Monday, August 23, 2010

Keeping Myself in Stitches

One of the most enjoyable things about working in a shop catering to your own hobbies is the ability to bring home more projects and stash than you'll ever reasonably complete. I've had to establish a set of ground rules when looking at fabrics, threads, and charts in order to preserve some of my paycheck to actually take home. In order to buy a new piece of fabric, I need to have a good idea of what I'm going to stitch on it, threads must be designated to a project, and charts need to be something I'll stitch in the foreseeable future. John doesn't question it as long as he sees me enjoying my needlework, and in exchange he gets a new guitar here and there...

I like to have several stitching projects going at one time. I tend to get bored easily (ADD?), especially with borders, and this allows me several alternatives. It takes me longer to finish any one project, but I actually do finish them this way, as opposed to getting fed up and putting half-finished ones aside interminably. It's also nice to have at least one project that I can work on without magnification as it's more portable.

Right now, my primary focus is completing my pre-stitching kit for the Merry Cox class I'm taking in November. It's a French Bonbon box and needle book. I have one side for the bonbon box completed, and the border is almost complete on the needle book. It's taking a lot of discipline to stitch this border on all the pieces, but I'm committed to working on it daily - classes are too expensive not to get it done! I am planning to personalize it a bit, by changing the bird to an Anna's hummingbird - this is the type of hummingbird that hovered at my wedding bouquet as my father and I waited for the processional to start. Lovely memory, and one of the great things about having an outdoor wedding in Arizona. Here is what the completed box should look like, I'll post some photos of my stitching when I get further along.

I've also gotten off to a good start on Goode Huswife's 'Book of Spells'. I'm hoping to finish this into a cover for a collection of recipes or a stitching journal. The original is sized to fit on a standard paperback when stitched on 40 count linen, but I've decided to stitch it a bit larger and make my own book for inside. I'm stitching it on 36 count Rock Quarry and it's coming out perfectly. I love this fabric - it looks like an old book that was stored for many years and got moldy and discolored. Again, I need to take a few photos and will do so soon.

Ever since Tommy was born three years ago, I've been searching for the perfect birth sampler to stitch for him. So many of the designs are 'cutesy' and I wanted to find something that was more of a traditional sampler - one that he hopefully will still want to display as an adult. When Debra pointed out this model of Homespun Samplar's 'Bless this Child and Keep Him Safe', I realized that I'd found the right piece! I couldn't believe I hadn't noticed it before, but there are so many beautiful pieces at the shop that somehow I never saw it. I've converted this to AVAS Soie d'alger silks, and stitching it over one on 28 count Days Gone By. Photos to follow - I have the bottom line of text and the bottom flower band done, but set it aside to work on the bonbon box.

I've finally gotten brave enough to attempt some petit point on 40 count silk gauze. The following two designs are from Threads Through Time - and will end up smaller than 2x2 inches when completed! I'm in the process of choosing silk colors for these and will be stitching in Soie 100/3 and Gloriana's Luminescence. I can't wait to get them started, as miniature stitching is something I've wanted to try for some time.

When I get a moment to sit down with good lighting and a tripod, I'll be posting photos of my progress. Stay tuned!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Big Things In Store!

I've been absent from here a bit lately, and there's a good reason! Mom and I have been designing Priscilla's Pocket cross-stitch designs, and after much stitching, planning layouts, and other preparations, our first release is printed and ready to sell! We have a few more designs to follow shortly, and they will be announced here as soon as they're complete.

So - without further ado - From Every Mountainside!

The hornbook-mounted piece is stitched on 40 count Lakeside Linen in Crescent Colours Belle Soie silk. The mountain and words are stitched over two threads, and the girl and flag are stitched over one.

The framed piece is stitched on 32 count Lakeside Linen, also in Crescent Colours Belle Soie.

Both the hornbook threadkeepers and the star-studded, hand-grained frames are available as well.

We're very excited that our charts are finally starting to be produced, and we hope you will be as well! You can contact us for wholesale ordering information at our website, or for retail orders, please contact Attic Needlework or request us at your favorite local shop!

I'd love to hear what you think so please leave me a comment - and I'll keep you posted when new designs are ready!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

$25 Safeway Gift Card winner!

Congrats to post #20 - Jay! Jay won the $25 Safeway gift card and the Betty Crocker Sweet Treats baking gift pack!

I'll be contacting you at your e-mail address to get shipping information.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Betty Crocker Sweet Spring Treats and $25 Safeway gift card giveaway

I was so lucky to have the opportunity through MyBlogSpark to test out some Betty Crocker products and share my thoughts with you! I received a VIP coupon to purchase a product to review, and a $25 gift card to use for more products! We still have several mixes to use, but I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed one of their newer items - Warm Delights Molten Chocolate Cake. I bought this planning to share it with Mr. Grey Hare, but he wasnt up for dessert the night I made it, and lucky me - because it was incredible! In less than 5 minutes, I had a freshly baked, warm, chocolaty delight, and I savored every bite. I purchased the larger sized Warm Delight, which is a single serving, because I planned to share, but they also sell mini sizes that would be a perfect size for after dinner when you just want a bit of something sweet.

I also decided to bake a cake for Easter, and I wanted to do something to make it fun and special. I started with a basic white cake mix, and after preparing the batter, I divided it into thirds, I mixed in food coloring to make pink, yellow, and light blue, then swirled them in the pan. I also added sprinkles to the batter as I layered it into the pans. After baking, I used a fluffy frosting recipe tinted light green and it was beautiful!

Betty Crocker and Safeway Stores have teamed up to help create special memories by offering recipes and great coupon offers on products. . You also have the ability to download coupons directly to your Safeway saving card on several Betty Crocker products.

Visit to find new favorite recipes for sharing with your family. Don't forget to get your coupons before heading to Safeway to pick up the ingredients to make your new tasty treats.

Thanks to MyBlogSpark I am offering one of my readers a "Spring Sweet Treats" prize pack that includes a silicon baking pan, stainless steel mixing bowl, oven mitt, Betty Crocker mixing spoon and a $25 Safeway Gift Card to help buy those ingredients.

Here are the ways to enter:

Mandatory Entry: Follow my blog publicly. (1 Entry)

Extra Entries: Can be done after the mandatory entry is completed. Post a comment including a link for credit.

1. Blog about this giveaway and include a link to your post. (2 Entries)

2. Visit and tell me what recipe sounds yummy to you. (1 Entry)

3. Follow @littlegreyhare on twitter (1 Entry)

4. Re-tweet this giveaway. (Can be done once daily for 1 entry each time)

Win a "Spring Sweet Treats" Prize Pack including a $25 GC to Safeway.

This giveaway will end on May 1st at midnight PDT. The winners name will be chosen by random drawing and will be announced in a post on May 2nd. I will notify you by e-mail if you've won for your mailing info, so be sure to leave me a way to contact you! Giveaway is open to US Residents only. Thank you so much for entering and good luck.

Written for MyBlogSpark, who supplied the information above. Special thank your to Safeway and Betty Crocker for supplying the coupons and gift card to MyBlogSpark for review and giveaway. All opinions are mine; other than a product sample and gift card, no compensation was received for this post.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tracey's Le Crueset giveaway

My friend Tracey over at I'm Just Your Average Mom, is hosting a giveaway for some awesome le Crueset baking dishes! Hurry over to enter!

Tracey's giveaway

Monday, February 22, 2010


Congratulations to Wendi who is the winner of the $50 Safeway gift card!

Her card will be on its way shortly!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Fiber One Yogurt / Safeway giveaway

Best-selling author and food expert Lisa Lillien, AKA Hungry Girl, has given her “seal of approval” to the new Fiber One yogurt, the only leading nonfat yogurt with 50 calories and 5 grams of fiber (20 percent of the Recommended Daily Value). It is also a good source of calcium and vitamins A and D, making this a guilt-free and all-around great choice for dieters and those watching their weights. Each cup includes the creamy, delicious taste you expect from Yoplait, and you don’t have to feel guilty about enjoying it. Fiber One is available in a variety of flavors including, Strawberry, Peach, Vanilla and Key Lime Pie (see what Hungry Girl thinks about the new yogurt here: !)

In addition, from now through February 9th, the Safeway family of stores has a special deal where you can purchase two 4-packs of Fiber One yogurt for only $4! Make sure you take advantage of the great savings on Fiber One yogurt and more!

But wait, there's more!

Safeway, Fiber One and MyBlogSpark provided me with a VIP coupon so that I could try this delicious yogurt and let you know what I thought of it. I picked vanilla and it's yummy! Rich and creamy and so very tasty!

In addition to the VIP coupon, I was given a $50 Safeway gift card to try out some other great Fiber One products. I plan on doing my shopping today!

Not only was I given a $50 Safeway gift card but I have ONE to give away to my dear readers!

To enter - do the following (and be sure to enter one comment for each thing you do):

1. Visit Fiber One and tell me what products you like or might want to try. (required)

2. Become a public follower of my blog or let me know if you already are.

3. Blog about this giveaway and post the URL.

Good luck!

Contest ends: Sunday February 21, 2010 at 11:59 pm EST. US entries only. Leave a separate comment for each entry and a valid email address/blog URL. Winners will be announced on Monday, February 22. Winner will be chosen at random and I will contact you for your information.

Written for MyBlogSpark, who supplied the information above. Special thank your to Safeway and Fiber One for supplying the coupons and gift card to MyBlogSpark for review and giveaway. The opinions are mine; other than a product sample and gift card, no compensation was received for this post.

MckLinky Blog Hop


Congratulations to Tracey who won the Old El Paso gift pack! I'll be contacting you for your mailing info and that will be coming to you soon :-)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Old El Paso Giveaway

Hooray! It's time for a giveaway! According to a recent survey, 61 percent of Americans are planning to watch the big game. In celebration of this year's game, I'm planning a Football giveaway!

Thanks to Old El Paso and MyBlogSpark, I received this football themed gift pack and now I can give one away to my readers.

This is what is included in the gift pack:

Two free cans of Old El Paso Green Chiles, a football-shaped ceramic serving platter, two sets of football-themed plates, cocktail napkins and a football themed table runner.

I love Old El Paso Green Chiles. They come in 4.5 and 7 oz cans and are a great way to spice up your recipes. I use them in many of my own recipes, and I was excited to try out one of the recipes spotlighted on the Old El Paso site.

Delicious Green Chile Cornbread - it's moist and savory - perfect for mopping up the last bits of chili in the bowl, or warm out of the oven and topped with a bit of butter. Mmmmm!

Click HERE for a .55 cent off coupon on a can of Old El Paso Green Chiles

Would you like to win an Old El Paso "Tackle the Taste" Gift Pack?

Receive one entry for each of the following:

1 - Follow my blog - leave a comment letting me know you're following.

2 - Visit the Old El Paso website and tell me what recipe you'd make with your free green chiles.

3 - Tell me about your favorite football team.

4 - Blog about this giveaway. Leave a link to your post in your comment

The deadline to leave a comment is Saturday, 2/5/10 at 11:59 pm EST. I will announce a winner on Sunday morning (2/7). The winner will be chosen by random drawing, and the prize can only be mailed to US residents. Please leave your email address with your comment if you don't have a blog, so I can contact you for your mailing information.

Thanks to Old El Paso and MyBlogSpark for providing me with a gift pack and one to give to one of my readers!

I received a prize pack for myself and one to give away from Old El Paso through MyBlogSpark. No other compensation was received. This post is based on my own personal opinions and experiences.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Raisins and toddlers...

Today I did the grossest thing I have ever done as a parent.

Tommy looked at us suddenly while eating his afternoon snack and said in a very shocked voice "My raisin". We both looked at him to find him poking in his nose and looking stunned. When asked, he said "in my nose" and we both knew we were in for it. Not wanting to incur another humongous doctor bill, I asked John to run for the tweezers while I tried to get Tommy to blow his nose. He proceeded to suck air in. Not good. When John got back with the tweezers, I tried to look into Tommy's nose, but he had pushed / sucked the raisin in too far to reach. As John readied him for a trip to the E.R. (why do these things always happen on a weekend or after business hours?) I took a last ditch run through my friendly search engine. You wouldn't believe how many raisin up nose stories there are out there, and I was lucky enough to find the solution in the second one I looked at. I read the story, yelled for john to bring the boy upstairs, and gave it a shot. Basically, you plug the opposite nostril and give a sharp breath in through the mouth. More of a quick puff - you don't want to hurt their ears. Took me two tries since he was screaming and trying to push me away, but the raisin (and everything else in his nose - ick) shot out and stuck to - you guessed it - my cheek. I'm thoroughly washed now but I did think John was going to be ill. Tommy looked at me as if nothing had happened and for letting us take care of it here he got a new Hot Wheel Ferrari. Lucky kid - not so lucky mama. I'm filing this away for the next time.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Life in the handbasket...

I have most definitely been absent for far too long. It seems like the past several weeks have flown by and I'm not sure where the time went! We were so busy over the holidays, and I am finally catching up - next year I hope to be a bit more organized so I can keep up, but I had thought I was this year and it all got away from me... again.

My best friends Linda and Doug came to visit the weekend before Christmas, and we had a wonderful, if too brief, time just relaxing and catching up. Tommy was delighted to see 'Auntie Linda' and 'Uncle Doug' and you'd have never known he hadn't seen them since he was 16 months old. He adores them both. They gave him a 'Music Maker' which is like a small wooden zither - he LOVES it! It's wonderful because even at his age, he can play music. Duets with Daddy on guitar are soon to follow!

I've been working as much as I can at the Attic. I really enjoy my time there and even though I feel like I don't have nearly enough knowledge to help people as much as I'd like, I learn more everyday. It's fun, even when we're busy, and I love seeing all of the beautiful needlework that comes in.

I recently took a punch needle embroidery class, and I'm enjoying this new skill. I think it's great for taking a break from cross-stitch, as it goes quickly and doesn't require counting. :-) All you have to do is fill in the area with a color - easy and somewhat mindless, which is a nice change. ( I can do mindless, just watch me :-) )

Our biggest news is that Tommy started at Montessori school two weeks ago. We had really liked our daycare, and the people there, but felt like he wasn't getting the independence he needed. Also, he had started to tell us regularly that he 'didn't want to go to school'. Now that he's in the new school, he's actually excited to go, and seems to enjoy what he's doing there. I think it helps that he's only there for the mornings, whereas he was at daycare all day for three days. The shorter days plus attending all week seems to have made a big difference for him. He loves his new independence, and he's made some big strides even in the short time he's been there. Many more pleasant afternoons that we ever had before, and his cooperation is better too. The main battles we have now are when he wants to do it himself but we don't have time for him to poke along. Oh, and food. Always food...

I have taken on some on-the-side editing work for an old friend (he's not old... we've just known each other since college...) who has taken up writing. I love his stories, but he needed a bit of help polishing the language, so I volunteered my time. I'm so proud of him for having the courage to take this step and I really want to see him succeed. I'll be passing on links to his site soon.

I do hope to be here much more regularly now that I seem to have gotten it back together. I have a review to do soon, and a giveaway to set up, so I'll be posting the details in the near future - stay tuned!