Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Happier Day

At 6'4"David Ernest Moody, Sr  was a bit of a Mountain Man.  I was born on August 9.  David's birthday was August 16th.  When he was 12 he received a bike and I was his early birthday present. My parents raised sheep and my father built a little wooden wagon to be attached to the sheep with a tiny seat so David could lead the sheep around and give me a ride.  Later he taught be how to ride the bicycle that my father made me out of plumbing pipe - I always blamed that bike for my big calves!! He went to school to be a machinist but that position was not for him.  He needed to be outdoors. After he married he worked construction and landscaping. When his children were grown he started two businesses. One was a welding business.  The other was a tree service.  He excelled at both and worked at both until he was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer on Christmas Day of 2011.

As the  years passed each of the four children in my family of origin went their separate ways.  I hadn't seen him since the execution of my father's will in 2006...6 years ago.  He had decided he didn't want to continue a relationship with his siblings.  Sad.

I received word of his passing on Thursday evening.  I won't get to go to a wake or a funeral.  My friends won't be able to gather and comfort me.  I am sad about that.  I will honor David's wishes though.

Today I needed to comfort myself by writing these words and publishing these pictures of a happier day.  David gave me away at our September 16, 1972 wedding.   It was a happier day.

Yes I crocheted my gown.

Rest in Peace David

August 16, 1937 - March 27, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Today Was A Sad Day

...but there is tomorrow to look forward to.  Be back then.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cross Stitch Help

4 things every cross stitcher should know
As seen in Cross Stitcher
Cross stitching, like everything else, is a learning curve. We've asked some pro stitchers to tell us the clever tricks they've picked up over the years. Read on to discover what they wish they'd known before they first picked up a needle. Prepare to be inspired!
Even with all the good advice in the world it's impossible to get things perfect first time, and it can take a lot of trial and error to work out the best methods for you. But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy ourselves along the way! Half the fun of stitching is experimenting with different techniques and ways of doing things,
• "Always use an embroidery hoop or frame even if your project is very small. Your stitching tension will be so much better and you'll have something firm to hold on to as you work, meaning you don't need to handle the fabric with your fingers so much.”
Debbie Cripps, designer
• "I wish I'd known sooner about the 'using three strands when working on coloured fabric' rule. I didn't realise how much intense-coloured fabrics suck the colour out of your threads. Three strands makes all the difference!”
Emily Peacock, designer
• “I've learned to always work in really good light and use a thread sorter if possible. This is important with designs that have similar shades of one colour. I know I've come back to my stitching the morning after on a few occasions only to find that parts have been stitched in the wrong shade! A thread sorter saves a lot of unpicking.”
Joanne Sanderson, designer 
• “I wish I'd known more about handling metallic threads. I've found that knotting them to your needle really helps. Loop the thread and pass the ends through the eye of your needle and back through the loop. It makes everything stress-free!”
Nina Jackson, stitched

I adore Cross Stitcher Magazine ....that is the one that is always encased in a plastic slip so you canNOT look through it before you purchase it (Yuck!), it is published in GB and it is really pricey. Many times I simply do not have the price !

The Making Spot however is an online arm of Cross Stitcher that is emailed to you and  gives you the opportunity to purchase individual projects found in Cross Stitcher.  Sometimes it even gives you FREE advice.  That is what I have reposted above.  I hope there is a tip there that will help you...I found TWO that will help me. Who knew to use 3 strands on colored backgrounds?  Not me.

Oh and one more thing before I go:

This is the MOST INCREDIBLE story you will ever read.
It is available for pre-order now at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
It is also available for Kindle and The Nook or any E Reader.
It will be available on April 3.
I have been reading the now for 5 years. I never miss a day.
Stephanie Aurora Nielson is an inspiration for me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Unusual Tuesday

I was planning to Spring Clean yet another room today but........a knock at the door gave me a reprieve. My eldest grandson, Connor  (13) arrived unexpectedly.

This is Spring Break at the children's school.  The children's "other Gram" had taken all three children to our local roller skating rink this morning.  While there she fell and BROKE her left wrist. Ouch.  The rink sent her to the hospital via ambulance and the children went home with her partner, Michael.  Luckily we live less than a mile away from each other and Connor decided to "take a walk" to our home and let me know what was up. NOTE: I have U-Verse which means more TV channels at my house and they do not have TV at their home.  Needless to say I told Connor to tell Michael to bring them all over to my home (hub was at work and we only have one car so I couldn't go to get them) so he could go be with Susan at the hospital!

Within an hour I had all three.  Ask me how excited I was!!

I took the following picture in the dining room after we colored.  Notice the bike mitts and scarf Phoebe
modeled for me.  If you go back a couple of posts you will read about the pattern.  Aren't they adorable??

Riley (9) and Phoebe (5)

Since their coats were being held hostage in their "other Gram's" car at the rink I found some fleece sweatshirts (adult size unfortunately) and away they went to climb their favorite hemlock tree.

Riley helping Phoebe zip up


Not Birds...Grandchildren!!!

The BEST role of my life is being 
a Grandmother*

*I highly recommend it to EVERY woman

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Very SPECIAL Sunday

As you can tell this blog is a "newbie".  For some starting a blog is so easy...they just decide to make one and Voila! it's online.  Not so with me.  It took me a long while to get up the courage and even longer to figure things out.

I've been a blog reader for a long time.  So many blog simply amaze me, others teach me, most inspire me, several awe me.  Mostly I just want mine to become a "soft place to land".

Today I want to take a moment to say a HUGE thank you to a member of the Old Farmhouse Gathering Team on Etsy.  Her name is Becky and she is from the amazing state of Maine. The name of her shop is CountryLaneFolkArt.

I was really struggling with how to add some of CraftCults widgets (Etsy Slide and Blog Roll) to this blog so that I could participate in the weekend Blog Linking Parties.  I put a post on OFG's message board and sweet Becky answered my plea for help.  She called me and within fifteen minutes she had me completely straightened out and on my way.  I was really touched by her kindness and I wanted to take this opportunity to show you some of her amazing work:

I hope you will visit Becky's Shop, Facebook Page, and Blog soon.



Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rainbow Scarf and Mitts

Despite the sunshine and record high temperature today wasn't the happiest of days for me.  I keep myself in check by reciting, "this too shall pass".  One way I try to brighten my day is to go to my long - and getting longer every week - list of blogs.  There is no end to the creation I find on these blogs. There are so many incredibly gifted sewers, stitchers, embroiderers, knitters, etc., etc.  AND there are so many tutorials.  Today I'd like to introduce to one of my favorites: Green Dragon Fly on Wordpress. Here is her address:

When I was in California recently my sweet Piper girl was constantly drawing and coloring Rainbows. Rainbows are currently her favorite subject.  So...when I saw this tutorial today I nearly jumped for joy:

                                             Rainbow Scarf and Mitts

I have maybe two hours of housework to do in the am and then I am going to plunk myself down with my cotton yarn supply, watch The View, and make Miss Piper a set.  Did I say JUST Miss Piper...well I could try that BUT  Miss Natalie would feel VERY left behind so I will start with one set and then proceed to make a second, slightly more petite set for Natalie L (as she likes to me called).

Have I told you recently how much I adore my little California granddaughter...I have?  Oh well it never hurts to emphasize things right?
                                                                        The End

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Cleaning !

Trying so hard to just take it one room at a time...but that NEVER works out..I mean you start to clean one room and then that leads to another and then suddenly you are way over your head and you have to just say "Hault! I need a rest. 

So...during one of those rest periods I made a new mouse..her name is Emma (after what my children called my Mom instead of Gramma).  She is different because she wears a straw bonnet instead of a stuffed fabric hat.

                                   Emma: A Country Shopper

Emma has filled her tiny basket full of today's freshest brown and white eggs, a lovely twisted bread and of course a wedge of cheese.  In her hand she carries another wedge of cheese.  I'm wondering if that wedge is really going to make it home or if by chance it will be nibbled upon before she gets there!

                                               Be back soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Old Farmhouse Give Away

The Old Farmhouse Gathering is a wonderful Etsy team which I am proud to be a member of.

Today is the first day of our Spring Give Away called Friends are Flowers in the Garden of Life.

On March 24 one winner will receive all sixteen items donated by the members of OFG.  The value of this giveaway is $216.00.  The winner will be chosen by random from all of the comments left.

All you have to do is go to Etsy, Click on Treasury and then FAFOFG, visit some of the shops and then leave a comment.  For two chances to win you just need to "favorite" the treasury.

This is the mouse that I donated:

Rosie the Gardener

A new member of the adorable handmade Warmth Collection of Mice, Rosie has been dreaming of the perfect rose garden. Dressed in brick Sturbridge Plaid she has been reading and re-reading the Jackson Perkins catalog all winter dreaming of Spring and a new rose plant. She is 3" tall, made of 100% wool felt, with a suede tail. She carries a porcelain fully open yellow rose and a tiny silver watering can.

The other mice have welcomed her to their meadow but she'd love to be a member of your family.

Monday, March 12, 2012

"Kelly O'Mouse"

I promised you a new 11" mouse and here she is:

Kelly O'Mouse

For so many years people have told me that I should make "bigger mice".  Originally my mice were made for the Christmas tree...that is why they are the size they are... I mean who wants a huge ornament?   There are, however, many things I cannot do on such a teenie tiny mouse and so I have given in and started designing larger mice.  Kelly is just the fourth of a series.  She is named after my husband's sister's daughter Kelly O'Donnell Hartzog. Now I ask you how much more Irish could Kelly be with a name like Kelly O'Donnell?

I tried to combine three other elements that I love in this piece: hearts, quilting and cross stitch. I pieced together three different "Irish" fabrics to make the heart and then cross stitched on the "Erin Go Bragh". more fun.

I hope you like the finished product.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Pillow for Each Little Lady

I love to crochet and as you probably already know I adore my little "far away" Granddaughters Piper and Natalie.... What I thought would be almost as good as a about a soft crocheted pillow just the right size for a little head!

This is what I came up with:

The yellow one is Piper's and the brown and pink is Natalie's.  This is how I did them:

I purchased two 12"x16" "Travel Pillows" at WalMart
I used Worsted Weight Yarn and a size G Crochet Hook
I chained 60 and then simply single crocheted back and forth.
At the end of each row I chained one.
I kept holding the work up to the pillow until I felt it would cover one half.
Next I simple made another piece exactly the same except I put a scalloped edge around it.
I attached the yarn with a slip stitch to one corner. Next I skipped one space and into the next space I crocheted five double crochets. Next I skipped a stitch and single crocheted into the next stitch, skipped one space and made five double crochets in the next space and repeated until I was around all four corners.  When that was complete I put the two pieces, wrong sides together and whip stitched three sides together, slipped in the pillow and whip stitched the last side.

                                              Close up of Scalloped Edge

This project is simple and fun.  I thought of the girls with each stitch I made.  I hope they love their Grammie Made pillows...they are filled with love.

                                                                       The  End


Easter Bunny Cross Stitched Pendant Necklace-Perfect Spring/Easter Gift by Warmth - $26.00

I've cross stitched a tiny beige bunny from behind. Gotta love those adorable Bunny Butts!!! Along side of him I've cross stitched his favorite snack - teenie tiny carrots fresh from the garden. The pendant that I've used is not sterling - it is metal coated with a silver finish. The chain is silver coated as well and is 18" long.

This pendant is perfect for the a "Bunny Lover&qu...

Click Here to Visit My Etsy Shop!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Two Little Mailboxes

I've just returned from a lovely visit with two of my little granddaughters who live in California.  I loved every minute of the visit. The girls are so busy and so much fun. Both love their schools and I was given the privilege of visiting both of them.  On Friday Piper's Kindergarten Class celebrated her sixth birthday.  As we arrived the birthday flag was flying. At the start of each day Mrs. Mecchi does "the calendar". However on "Birthday Days" the child whose birthday it is has that honor. Piper was just terrific. Poised, confident, and so proud. Not only did she perform flawlessly but she serenaded the classroom afterward with two songs.  Her classmates were spellbound.  You see when the year began Piper was so shy she hardly ever spoke at all.

When her performance was over we left her class to finish their day and we went to Natalie's school. It is called Little Hands Pre School and is held in an Episcopal Church in San Carlos. There is a long slanting walkway up to the entrance. The speed of the 36" tall Natalie as she raced up it to the entrance just amazed me.  She simply could NOT wait to get in.  As we went through the gate you could hear her classmates calling out their Hello's to her....and then the race was really on.  What a fabulous facility. The structure was daunting.  The children were actually helping and encouraging one another.  The chatter was remarkable. All I could think was, "what are their parents feeding them???"  At one point little Natalie was washing her "baby" along with several other little ones at the water table.  Along came some boys and dumped the rocks they had collected in the upper "digging area" into the water table.  Well that did not please Miss Natalie L (there are two Natalies you see Natalie L and Natalie K).  She raised one of her pointer fingers, put a frown on her little face that would have scared off a robber and raised her voice and said, "No!"  I tell you those boys ran.  Then she proceeded to use the "net" and picked up all the rocks and returned them to the digging area.  I thought then of how my daughter Jess had told me that she didn't ever worry about Natalie defending herself.   Apparently before she toned it down a bit Jess described her as a Soccer Hooligan!  Let me tell you by the time her class day came to an end at 11:30 those 3 year olds had me beat!!

The next challenge for me came on Saturday. I played with the girls while their Dad attended class and Jess left to select a dress and shoes for the Big Auction Date.  That was a breeze but my "BIG" challenge was yet to come.   I was to care for the girls from 5pm to 11pm or so while their parents attended a large auction that was raising money for the entire school district.  This was a huge affair with lots of fun activities and Jess and Peter were as excited as if they were going to a prom. They don't have too much time to socialize between Peter working full time and attending  UCal Berkeley for his MBA, parenting the girls and finding time to both study and sleep a bit.  Jessika has also been organizing two other fundraisers for SPNS and Little Hands.  Her background in non-profit fundraising has really benefited the children's schools.  Between shuttling the girls to school, working at Little Hands once a week and SPNS once a week, keeping the house going and cooking special Nut-free and Gluten-free meals three times a day she is constantly beat.

I have to admit I was silently totally panic stricken working in a kitchen I knew little about on a gas stove (terrified of those) and making a dinner for two very discriminating children I'm lucky if I see twice a year!!  But I have to tell you the super duper hot dogs and fries (actually tiny potatoes rolled in EVOO and course salt and baked in the oven) were a huge success.  Little Natalie put away 2 dogs.
Like my two grandson's would say, "she is a goat, she'll eat ANYthing".  Even Piper finished completely.  Next it was on to books and bed.  Well it was supposed to be books and bed.  It ended up being lots of Dora, twelve (yep, I'm easy) and no bed.  Finally at 10pm Piper said, "I'm beat. Let's go to sleep."  Of course both girls wanted me to be with them so we had to all congregate in J and P's room. Piper in her sleeping bag on the floor was delighted. Natalie I got to sleep "where Mommy sleeps" and she thought she was "Queen of the Night".  It took approx. 3 minutes and both were out cold.  Sigh....

The next day was another horse race with Jess finishing "Eloise's skirt" and she and I going to pick up the cupcakes for the party..purchasing buttons and last minute items at JoAnns.  Daddy had taken the girls to their favorite place: Happy Hollows (a children's amusement park in San Jose) with a huge wooden brand new play scape. Let's just say he had a bit of a head ache.  You see he sang Karaoke the night before at the Auction. If you know Peter you know his reserve would not allow that unless a bit of alcohol was involved.  Yes  apparently he did "a mean Neil Diamond".

While J was in the nearby party store purchasing a number six balloon I thought I should try to keep the scorching hot car cool so I turned on the A/C.  WRONG MOVE.  Little did I know that the car and it's battery were over six years old and the last time Natalie left the backseat lights on and AAA had to come to "jump" the car they told Jess that only a new battery would start the car the next time it died. Oh I just wanted to die myself!!!  Jess just laughed and said it was long overdue and AAA would come quickly. In the meantime with the car scorching hot and $120 worth of nut-free cupcakes in the back seat Jess texted Peter and on his way back from Happy Hollows he picked up the cupcakes while we waiting on AAA.  Just about the time of transfer the huge number six balloon popped, Jess screamed, Piper cried, and I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  Could this drama go on much longer???

AAA was wonderful. The battery is guaranteed for 6 years....and off we went rushing back to the house to put the buttons and snaps on the Eloise Skirt for that evening's birthday party.

Balloons:check, cupcakes:check,bouncy house:check,arts and crafts supplies:check, pizza delivery: check.  Oh Lord let all the kids come, let the food be good, let no one get hurt in the bouncy house and most important of all let Piper have a wonderful time at her party.

The children came, the food was fabulous, the staff at the Youth Center were endearing, the parents of the children were such good sports, the children hugged and ate and played and jumped and were the sweetest bunch of children ever....all from Room 4 of Brittan Acres School in San Carlos, California.

Another day over. What a wonderful, fun filled day. Hectic and exciting and WONDERFUL.

After the party which was held from 6-8pm (the only available time all weekend due to an athletic event) the children put on their pajamas and it was time for Piper to open her gifts.  I honestly have to say that it was really touching to watch a little six year old as excited by the hand drawn and written cards and notes that accompanied the gifts as the gifts themselves.  Some of the notes just tugged at your heart: "Piper, you are so COOL"  "Piper you are my BFF"  It just made me feel so happy for her that she had so many friends.  This was a very happy, confident, loved little girl.  What more could a Grammie want?

Well all of this dialog leads up to the thank you gift that I sent the girls today.  It was because of their love of sending each other (Piper and her friends, AND Piper and Natalie) little hand written notes.
"Be Good"  "Hi" "Come Over", etc. that I thought of making each girl their very own mailbox.  There was never going to be a more appropriate time.

I was able to find two little mailboxes at JoAnns. $4.95 each. They are made of tin, beautifully painted Hot Pink, Blue, or White.  I think I found the only two left in the State of Connecticut: one blue, one white. They can, however be ordered from  Then I went to the scrapbook section and purchased some puffy pin-dotted press apply letters ($3.95 each color) and put the girls names on the front and the word "mail" on the flags.  (Yes, I know I made a mistake on Natalie's...but I did correct it before I mailed it!)

Here are a few pictures:

Friday evening is Video Night at the Levinson's.    In Natalie's Mailbox
I put a dual copy of Lady and the Tramp.
This Friday will be a special night with Mom's Popcorn and "The Tramp".

The End

Monday, March 5, 2012


What a fun party. Eloise (opps, I mean Piper) had the BEST time ever.  Nearly all of her Room 4 friends were there.  There was a bouncy castle, arts and crafts, pizza, and cupcakes topped with bows and the number 6 and even the outfit that Eloise always wears.  After all of that there was free play in the huge gym at the Youth Center of San Carlos.

Miss P greeted all arriving guests with the biggest wave and Hi......... and from that point on was just the sweetest hostess, making sure each of her guests had the best time at her Plaza.

Piper...nearly "Eloise" Mommy makes last minute adjustments...yes Mommy did make the outfit..

"Eloise" pulling her favorite friend "Johnny" from SPNS Pre School.

Oh Yummm..Natalie loves her some Chocolate Cupcake!!

Can you believe these adorable cupcakes with Eloise's outfit on them?

"Eloise" and her Mommy consult....


Sitting on the bleachers at the end of a lots of athletic play...three tired ladies!!

Of course her little sister Natalie was in attendance and kept right up there with all the almost and newly sixes.  There seems little that this child cannot do..and do well.  She is a total delight and was so happy for her Big sister.