be free

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow
by Carriage House Samplings

The Golden Gift

The story goes that some time ago a man punished his five-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of expensive gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became even more upset when the child then used the gold paper to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift box to her father the next morning and said, "This is for you, Daddy."

The father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty. He spoke to her in a harsh manner, "Don't you know, young lady, when you give someone a present there's supposed to be something inside the package?"

The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Daddy, it's not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was full."

The father was crushed. He fell on his knees and put his arms around his little girl, and he begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.

* * * * *

Only a short time later, an accident took the life of that same little girl.

It is told that the father kept that gold-wrapped box by his bed for all the years of his life. And whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems, he would open this special box and take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us as human beings have been given a golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our family, our children, our friends and God.

There is no more precious possession that anyone could hold.

Poinsettia House

by Little House Needleworks

I received this heart warming story via email a couple years back. Gifts of the heart are not always seen, but felt. Some of lifes greatest gifts are not tangible, but are more valuable as you cannot put a price on love, friendship or a helping hand. This is what I chose to post about today as we near the Holiday season.

Can you believe how fast this year has gone? I can't believe it will soon be time to turn our clocks back for day light savings time. I guess one way to look at it is that I can stay in bed for an extra hour longer in the morning....yeah!!!! But I dread the icy roads, fog, and the freezing temperatures that come with it. But on the other hand, it brings with it that wonderful time of year where we can spend time with family and friends, sharing joy and laughter and giving and sharing.

Remember the classic story by Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol”? When Ebenezer Scrooge learned, in a rather terrifying series of events, the true spirit of Christmas, which is giving. It's an occasion to remember the people who are special to you and give back the love and care they unselfishly bestowed on you the whole year. It matters neither the grandeur nor the price tag of what you give for it’s the thought that counts, that matters.

With this in mind, for the "grand finale" of the October Party Giveaway, I would love for you to tell of either the best gift you have been given or the best gift you have received. I know that the greatest gifts I have received cannot be bought on credit or with cash, and the beauty of a Christmas gift shouldn't be seen at all. The loveliness of giving is a feeling, grand and tall. It's the genuine offer of love, the yearning to make a connection, a show of honest gratitude, a display of sincere affection.

I have chosen a few "material" gifts for the occasion for which I know you will appreciate from the heart. Once again, there will be four prizes for this final round, they can be seen throughout this post. Each winner will randomly be sent a package so they will be surprised when they receive it. Some of the patterns will come with threads and others won't, everything will be a surprise this round. Ok, ok, ok, I will tell you that Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow does come with all the threads needed for this pattern. You may post your "best gift" comments now through Noveber 4th, midnight. I will post the winning names on the 5th of November.
I hope that you have all enjoyed participating in a full month's worth of giveaways. I wish I had prizes for you all, that would be so great! But you know me, there is always more to follow in the months ahead. May the love of family and friends be yours this holiday season and warm blessings abound!

Now for the list of winners for round #3. My sweetheart of a son drew the following four names:





Surprise! Surprise! Congrats to all four of you. Please email me at and let me know where you would like me to send you your winnings. Please let me know when you receive your packages so I know they made it to you safely.

Joyeux Noel

by Blackbird Designs

Parting thoughts:

T'was The Night Before Christmas

T'was the night before Christmas
and all through the town
Not a sign of Baby Jesus
was anywhere to be found.
The people were all busy
with Christmas time chores
Like decorating, and baking,
and shopping in stores.
No one sang "Away in a manger,
no crib for a bed".
Instead, they sang of Santa
dressed-up in bright red.
Mama watched Martha Stewart,
Papa drank beer from a tap.
As hour upon hour
the presents they'd wrap
When what from the TV
did they suddenly hear?
'Cept an ad.. which told
of a big sale at Sears.
So away to the mall
they all flew like a flash
Buying things on credit
and others with cash!
And, as they made their way home
From their trip to the mall,
Did they think about Jesus?
Oh, no... not at all.
Their lives were so busy
with their Christmas time things
No time to remember
Christ Jesus, the King.
There were presents to wrap
and cookies to bake.
How could they stop and remember
who died for their sake?
To pray to the Savior
they had no time to stop.
Because they needed more time
to "Shop til they dropped!
"On Wal-mart! On K-mart!
On Target! On Penney's!
On Hallmark! On Zales!
A quick lunch at Denny's
From the big stores downtown
to the stores at the mall
They would dash away,
dash away,and visit them all!
And up on the roof,
there arose such a clatter
As grandpa hung icicle lights
up on his brand new step ladder.
He hung lights that would flash.
He hung lights that would twirl.
Yet, he never once prayed to Jesus...
Light of the World.
Christ's eyes... how they twinkle!
Christ's Spirit... how merry!
Christ's love... how enormous!
All our burdens... He'll carry!
So instead of being busy,
overworked, and uptight
Let's put Christ back in
Christmas and enjoy
some good nights!
Merry Christmas, my friends!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Littlehouse Needleworks
Mayflower Landing

Good evening friends, before I announce the winner of "Give Thanks", I want to take a moment and express my appreciation to all of you who take the time to visit my blog and comment. I have met so many wonderful stitchers through blogging and I have really enjoyed reading your blogs as well, you are all so inspiring on so many different levels.

With Thanksgiving drawing near, I find myself looking forward to sharing time with loved ones and reminiscing about memories I hold dear from earlier years. My family is shrinking, when it should be growing. I have lost all my grandparents and parents, but I do have a wonderful mother-in-law who is 82 though. This year our family gathering will be small, but we'll make it memorable.

I am thankful, so thankful, for so many things and thought that it would be nice to hear what you are thankful for, so what I have planned for this weeks giveaway is simple. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post stating three things you are thankful for. Sounds easy, right? This week there will be four (4) winners. I have posted pictures of all 4 prizes within this post and as always, they will include the threads, you will only need to supply the fabric. The mystery twist to this round is that each of the four winners won't know which one they have won until they receive their prize package. If you would like a second chance, post about this giveaway on your blog and let me know when you have done so. You may enter until midnight Wednesday, October 28th and I will announce the winner on Thursday, October 29th. Good luck to you all!

Midnight Stitching
Quaker Row

I found a very touching poem that really makes you think about some things we may not think of being grateful for and I wanted to enlighten you:


Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something, for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary, because it means you've made a difference.
It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.
~~ Author Unknown ~~


Blackbird Designs
Give Thanks

Also, as promised, the "Grand Finale" Round Four Giveaway starts next Thursday. I KNOW you will want to mark your calendars for that one!!!!!

This weeks winner is "Deep Fried Cupcake" of which Andrea is the lucky winner of Glendon Place's, "Give Thanks". Andrea, please email me as to where I should send you your prize. And for those of you that don't know Andrea, take a minute to stop by and visit her blog, you'll be glad you did. She has a wonderful blog.

The "Mystery Prize" winner is Blyn of My Busy Needle blog. Congrats to Miss Busy Needle, please email me so I can obtain your address for your "Mystery Prize".

I appreciate all your warm and heartfelt comments and remember:

Without you as my friend,
Life would be a bore;
Having your friendship in my life
Is what I’m thankful for.

P.S. Don't forget to enter "Missy's 13 Days of Halloween Giveaway", you can click the link to her site on the top of my sidebar.

Monday, October 19, 2009

13 Days of Halloween Giveaway Starts Today!!!

Hello Friends,

Just a quick reminder that today starts the first day of Missy's 13 Days of Halloween Giveaway. This sounds like so much fun, don't miss out. Click here to enter.

Friday, October 16, 2009



Oogily-boogily biffily-bats—
Here come the witches with broomsticks and hats
Each clasping an old dead rat!
In tattered old clothes and pointy toed shoes
Which witch will you choose?
Which costume will be crowned
the best this world has seen?
The decision is yours for the
"The Queen of Halloween".

Witchy #1

From left to right, Witchy #2 and Witchy #3

Witchy #4

Witchy #5

From left to right, Witchy #6 and Witchy #7

Witchy #8

Witchy #9

Witchy #10

Witchy #11

Witchy #12

Witchy #13

Witchy #14

Witchy #15

Witchy #16

As you may know, I had horrible luck with my post last night and so I totally changed this post, pictures, language, everything. Call me superstitious, but I don't need any more bad luck posting. As you can see this weeks contest is about witches....what you will need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post only stating which witch you would like to vote for "The Queen of Halloween". If you would like a second entry leave another comment telling me what your name would be if you were a witch. For example, "Hilda the Hag". The contest is open for comments until midnight October 21st. The winning "witch" will be announced on Thursday the 22nd. Below you will see Round 3's prize for the pattern "Give Thanks" by Glendon Place along with the necessary specialty threads, beads and treasures. You will need to supply your choice of fabric for stitching. There will also be a "Mystery Prize" for a second gift, but no hints as to what it is, my lips are sealed. Cast your votes now so you don't miss out!

Round #3 Giveaway Prize
"Give Thanks"
by Glendon Place

Now, for the 2nd prize winner of Round #2, please give a wicked cackle for the lucky witch

Congrats Marjorie, you have won this awesomely wicked pattern "Toil & Trouble" by La-D-Da with threads. Please email me so I know where I can send you your gift.

And now for our Grand Prize Winner, "A-crow-bat" has drawn the name for the luckiest of witches


The cast and crew of the "Crypt Keepers Club" would like to congratulate Madame Margaret on winning this delightfully frightful pattern and supplies for the Blue Ribbon Designs giveaway!!! Please notify me of your mailing address so I can get your "Treat" to you.

Below is a sneek peek of a project that is nearing finish. Love it!!!
I bet you can guess what it is.

Harvest Blooms
by Hands To Work

Pumpkin, Pumkin, who loves pumpkin???? Treats you say, well I had quite a few emails requesting the recipe for my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, so I decided to share it with all of you. When the weather turns cooler and the leaves start to fall, these cookies are an absolute fall favorite at my house. You may just want to make a double batch as they have a way of "disappearing". They are very moist and cake like. Oh , I should mention that I make mine with milk chocolate chips and be sure you buy the canned pumpkin, not the pie filling, they are very different. Enjoy!!

And the finished product:

In closing, The Count would like to announce

I think my dad is Dracula.
I know that sounds insane,
but listen for a moment and
allow me to explain.
We don't live in a castle,
and we never sleep in caves.
But, still, there's something weird
about the way my dad behaves.
I never see him go out
in the daytime when it's light.
He sleeps all day till evening,
then he leaves the house at night.
He comes home in the morning
saying, "Man, I'm really dead!"
He kisses us goodnight, and then
by sunrise he's in bed.
My mom heard my suspicion
and she said, "You're not too swift.
Your father's not a vampire.
He just works the graveyard shift."
--Kenn Nesbitt

Thursday, October 15, 2009

CRASH!!!!! bang!!!! DOOM!!!!


I am so sorry to inform you that I will have to post the winners of round 2, tomorrow, Oct. 16th. I have spent over 3 hours on this particular post and for some reason, bam!!!!, everything disappeared, pictures, story, etc. right in the middle of it all, how frustrating!!!!! I am so upset at the thought of having to redo everything that I just need to put the compter away and take a break.

Tune in Friday, again, please accept my apologies.


Monday, October 12, 2009



Pumpkins in the cornfields
Gold among the brown

Leaves of rust and scarlet
Trembling slowly down

Birds that travel southward
Lovely time to play

Nothing is as pleasant
As an autumn day!

by Blair Buell

Happy Columbus Day!! Today I thought I would share some photos of my "Moonlit Garden" by Blackbird Designs. I love the big pumpkin and the bright full moon. I am thinking about putting a bead on the door for a doorknob, just need to find the "right" one. A little squirrel (named Charlie) to add some mischief to the piece and maybe some little acorns. I don't know why, but I always seem to have a need to embellish my cross stitch projects. They don't feel right unless I do. I love the saying on this fall sampler, it is so true. I believe everything has a purpose whether it be for an hour, a day, a month, a year or a lifetime. You just never know.

On a lighter note, I hope you had a wonderful, relaxing kind of weekend. My hubby and I went for a drive on our "Put Put", which is what I call our vintage 1972 Honda 90. I inherited it from my parents when they passed away. It is pumpkin orange and I love it!!! I told my husband we should name it "Harley". I remember when I was about 12 years old my Dad taught me how to drive this motorcycle when we were camping. I have a photo of me on it with an orange, yellow and blue "Chevron" striped coat.

It was an eery day, gray and overcast so it was the perfect setting for a spooky adventure. We went in this old house that had been abandoned so to speak. The windows were broken and the door was open. I was curious so I ventured inside for a peek, I just couldn't help myself. I normally would never do this, but since it had already been vandalized I felt a little more as ease so I crept in slowly, I didn't want to get in trouble for trespassing. Just inside the door there was a headstone on the floor. I thought that was really weird and freaky!!! I wonder where it came from??? Inside, there was a room just off the back porch that had an old freezer with it's door opened upward, it reminded me of a coffin and I knew I wasn't about to look in it. The house felt cold inside and I was a little nervous that I had actually went in it. I was drawn to the window on the upper level so I had my husband pose and look out the window so I could capture a "ghost in the window" shot. Kind of cool! Then I went in and took a photo looking out of that same window. The winding staircase leading up to that room was really narrow with tall steps.

On our ride, we stopped and played with a couple of miniature horses named Buttercup and Barney. They were so adorable!! There was also a goat, just not sure if it was a nanny goat or a billy goat. The rain sprinkled a little on us, but it wasn't too bad. Later on that evening we went to my brother-in-laws to deliver his birthday present. It was fun visiting family and playing with their two adorable cats. I love cats!!

I guess I will get my recipe out for some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies this evening and make us a little treat after dinner. I keep thinking a cream cheese pumpkin roll would be really good, but it is time consuming to make so I will have to wait for the weekend. Which reminds me, it is Witches Night Out at Gardner Village this weekend so I will be meeting my cousin for a witches night out. I will take lots of photos and post some for you to see. It has become a tradition of mine to be a witch at least once a year!!

I am getting my crickety skeleton put together and I will show you some fun ideas for displaying him later this week. Until then I hear those cookies calling my name and if I'm lucky maybe I can stitch a little while they are baking. Have a lovely evening and don't forget to rsvp for the will be here soon!!!