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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

October Week Two
Winner of Mini Give Away
RJ's Grab Bag
Christmas Challenges

Winner of the Batty cross stitch pattern is Sandy.   Congratulations!  Hope you have alot of fun stitching it up.   Thank you all for entering.   Look forward to more give aways. 

RJ's Grab Bag - a trip to Yellowstone 

Have you been to Yellowstone National Park?  If not, it truly is a place to put on your list of places to go.   My husband and I have been to many national parks but Yellowstone is by far our very favorite.  There is so much to see and do. Yellowstone is so diverse that it is almost like having eight parks in one.  It's truly an experience to be savored.  We like to spend a good week there to get to see all the spots of interest.  Where else can you see geysers, paint pots, hot springs, canyons, wildflowers, waterfalls, historical buildings, a huge lake and fantastic wildlife?  And to make it even better, Wyoming has the best summer weather with lovely days of sunshine, blue skies and no humidity.   I will give you the highlights of each area so you can get a feel for each section.

Lamar Valley is one of the entrance points to Yellowstone.   It is a very pretty area and if you are having a lucky day you will probably get to see some wildlife.  Bears are usually harder to spot but there are many buffalo to see.

How lucky were we to see a bear our very first day!
This was our first herd of buffalo to see.
We got even luckier...we spotted another bear!

Old Faithful is the most popular spot in Yellowstone and also the most famous.   Here there is great lodging in the Old Faithful Inn, the Snow Lodge and the Old Faithful cabins.  This area has the most places to eat and the most shopping for gifts to bring home.  But, the biggest reason everyone is there is to see the grand old dame, Old Faithful herself.   But don't miss the nearby paint pots and some pretty waterfalls.
This is Old Faithful with a rainbow forming behind her.

This is our favorite place to view Old Faithful from the balcony off the second floor of the Inn.

The fireplace is three floors high in the Inn.

This is the second floor.   The whole Inn was made from logs in Yellowstone.   The story behind how it was constructed is amazing.   Don't miss the free tour of Old Faithful Inn.
Here is a nearby paint pot.   They are all different colors.
This is where the cold stream meets with the very hot springs.

The Canyon area is downright gorgeous.   There is an area that they call the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and you will see the resemblance right away.  You will really enjoy the hike down to the lower falls where you feel like you can almost touch the falls.   It's a hard hike back up but there are lots of places to stop and rest.
Part of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Lower Falls


Another view of the Canyon
Mammoth area is another very popular area with visitors.   Here you will get to see the hot springs that have calcified over the years.   There is a mile hike to the top of the hot springs and you get a great view of the area from the top.  The little village offers very good accommodations and dining.  It also has military housing of many years ago that now houses the park rangers.   It's a great area to walk around.   Female and baby elk are plentiful and walk among the people.

Calcified layers after many years.
Mile hike to view the hot springs.   Great view to the village below.

These elk are very used to people being nearby.

Old military housing that now house the Park Rangers.
Hayden Valley is in between the Canyons and the Lake area and this is your best chance to spot wildlife.   There are fields and fields of buffalo and at some time during the day they will single file crossing the street to the other side.  This causes what they lovingly call the "Buffalo Road Block".  You may sit there for a long time but if you are lucky enough to be at the front of the line you get quite a show.                 
 Here is a gorgeous elk.       

This was an unbelievable find...a Mama and her cubs crossing the creek.
Here they are coming out the other side.
How cute are the baby cubs?    
Love his face.

 The Buffalo Road Block begins.  

It's a Grizzly!!!
This big boy took a detour and is coming over to say hello.   
Yellowstone Lake area is by far my favorite place to stay.   It is quiet and serene and the perfect spot to lay your head at night.   It has a beautiful restored hotel, a hotel annex which is more like motel rooms and lots of cabins.   They have the best food in the park with the number one dining room and the only made to order deli plus a diner just a mile away.   There are all kinds of water sports and you can even catch your own fish and have it made to order for your dinner in the dining room that night.  But the very best part of staying at the Lake is most every night a fantastic string quartet plays in the sunroom of the hotel.   For me, a perfect day in Yellowstone is hiking or touring during the day and then relaxing to the quartet at night.   They are four school teachers who come every summer and they will play any kind of music you want.  
Lake Yellowstone is huge

     This is the restored original Lake Hotel.           

The peaceful sunroom where you can look out at the beautiful lake.   It is a huge room and this is where the string quartet performs most nights.   The other nights they have an excellent piano player.           

This is a photo of the string quartet from the Yellowstone website.  This must have been a special day performance because we have only seen them at night after dinner.

The Lake Lodge is right across the street.   It has a big front porch with rocking chairs so you can view the lake.   It also has lots of sitting areas inside and is a great place to play cards in front of two huge fireplaces.

We came home one day and a buffalo was grazing on the cabin lawn right across the street from us.
Came home another day and he was standing right in our parking space in front of our cabin.   This is very unusual for them to come into the housing area.   They are massive creatures!!!
Roosevelt area is more of a primitive area for lodging.   It only has cabins that are very rustic and you must share your bathroom.    This is more for the young people who want an inexpensive place to stay.   It's worth a ride out there though because they have a western theme and their dining hall makes barbecue and steaks for a nice change of pace.  Wildflowers are plentiful in this area too which is a very pretty sight. 
The wildflowers are so pretty up in the Roosevelt area

Closeup of the wildflowers

This adorable cub was enjoying the wildflowers too.   We drove by and saw him on the side of the street.

And the last area in Yellowstone is called Grant.   There is some lodging and a dining room but that's about it.   It does not have much wildlife (sometimes elk) or any other attraction.
This elk is enjoying an afternoon snack.

I hope you have enjoyed the tour of Yellowstone and that you will consider a trip there.    It's an awesome place that I think you and your family will enjoy very much.  Happy trails!!!                                                                        

Christmas Challenges

RJ's Santa challenge

I chose Santas Revisited by Prairie Schooler.   I really love the sunflowers and birds in this stitch.   I used all over dyed threads that I chose instead of the called for colors.   These Santas are are really alot of fun to stitch.   I'm getting closer to having enough to fill up my dough bowl.

            Closeup of Santa with sunflowers and birds              
Santas Revisited
by Prairie Schooler
35 ct. Weeks cocoa linen
over dyed threads that I chose


Mary's Ornament Challenge

I chose LHN's Pine Tree Inn for my Christmas Challenge this month as I wanted a quick stitch.  I made a small change to the original pattern which I really like.   Instead of a fence on both sides of the house, I stitched a tree on both sides and substituted a small heart button instead of stitching the heart.

Pine Tree Inn with added trees and heart button

Pine Tree Inn
by Little House Needleworks
28 ct. Zweigert Cashel raw linen
called for threads

Hope you are all enjoying a lovely fall.   It is such a beautiful time of the year. Thank you so much for coming by for a visit.   We always appreciate hearing from our stitching friends.   Next week we will be doing our "old ornaments made new".   RJ and Mary

            Autumn colors remind us we are all one dancing in the wind
                                           Lorin Morgan- Richards

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

October and Halloween
Week One
Styling with Stitches
Bonus: Framed Sampler
Mini Give Away details

October is such a wonderful time of the year.  My blogging buddy Mary in New York will be enjoying  the changing colors of the  leaves and the weather cooling as will most of our beautiful country.  It is the time of the year I miss most living in Florida when it is still in the 90's and so muggy!  But it does have it's perks going to the beach.  

We chose to make Halloween tags for our decorated cloches for our Styling with Stitches post.  BUT, I got the opportunity to go to St. Augustine beach for a week or make my tag.  Hard choice I know, but I chose the beach!   So I will be showing my Halloween stitch clipped to a clipboard for now but promise to finish it during the month and show it later.   But, Mary has her cloche tag finished which looks wonderful on her beautifully decorated cloche.

I also have a bonus stitch to show you which I made at the beach.

Plus Mary has an adorable mini give away for October too.  Details are at the end of the post.  Enjoy!

Styling with Stitches 

RJ's -  I chose Seasonal Mementos by Mary Garry's Sewing Cabin.   She is a cute little witch and was a fun stitch.  I first saw her on Carol's blog Stitching Dreams.  I fell in love with this pattern and always wanted to stitch her.   For now I just clipped some pumpkin fabric and the stitch to a black clipboard with a cloche tag to follow later.  

Here's a neat way to display your stitch until you have time to actually finish it.

Closeup of such a cute little witch.   That is a linen thread that I did not notice until later and pulled off.

Seasonal Mementos
by Mary Garry Sewing Cabin
40 ct. flax Newcastle linen
over dyed threads that I already had
pumpkin fabric from Joann's Fabrics

clipboard from Kohl's


Mary's - This was the first tag I have made and although it won't be my last it will certainly be the last one that I improvise on making.   I will be using directions from an expert in the future!

I found this chart on Pinterest and the source is       It is a free chart for personal use only.  Thanks Lynn for designing this really cute chart. 

I stitched it on 30 ct. Weeks mocha linen and used a check wool for the finishing fabric.  I used an orange metallic thread for the French knots I made for the eyes.   And I used these over dyed threads: pumpkin - CC Colonial copper, tree trunk - CC Roasted Chestnut, leaves - GA Fragrant cloves, spider and cat body - Weeks onyx and pumpkin stems - CC avocado

It was a fun and easy stitch and perfect for Halloween.   I glued the cute trim on which went very well and added to the finish.

Sweet Halloween tag on my filled cloche

Closeup of this cute stitch from a free pattern with the added trim

Free chart
by Happiness is Cross Stitching
30 ct. Weeks mocha linen
over dyed threads
metallic thread
orange and black check wool fabric


RJ's Bonus Stitch  

 I was able to stitch at night while we were at the beach and I made a cute Lizzie Kate baby sampler.   Remember when I made this little sampler for a baby girl and I added long stemmed tulips to make the whole stitch longer to fit the frame better?   Well this time it was for a baby boy so instead of tulips I made little sailboats in red, white and blue to add near the bottom to lengthen the stitch.  The top and bottom border is slightly different for the boy too.  I used Wks cayenne, GA freedom, GA baby spinach, CC eggshell and CC deep blue sea over dyed threads instead of the colors called for.  Hope you like how it turned out.

Closeup of Baby Boy sampler with added sailboats

Closeup of added sailboats

Photo of the baby girl's sampler with the added tulips
Welcome Baby
by Lizzie Kate
With added sailboats
40 ct. flax Newcastle linen
over dyed threads


Mary's October give away 

Batty about Halloween is an adorable pattern by Homespun Elegance.  I ordered two of these by mistake and would like to give away the second brand new pattern to one of our most appreciated followers for the fall season.   If you would like to win this chart please be a sidebar follower and leave a comment telling us your favorite Halloween candy.  The winner will be announced next week on October 17th.   It is open to followers out of the mainland too.
Here is Batty finished as an ornament

I made this one for my friend last year that loves Halloween

Closeup of the October give away pattern


Thank you all for stopping by for a visit.   We so enjoy each of your kind comments and really appreciate you taking the time to read our blog.  We hope to see you next week with our grab bag post and our Christmas challenge stitches.    Mary and RJ

                                   Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile
                                                          William Cullent Bryant