"DESIGNS THAT REFLECT OUR AMERICAN HERITAGE"

Welcome to my blog. I'm probably very much like all of you who love the needlearts. My life revolves around family, friends, home and all things that help to make for a more contented life. When time allows; cooking, gardening, decorating, and collecting are my joys. I look forward to sharing all of these things with you. I also hope to keep you up to date on what is going on at Homespun Elegance, in regard to the needlework designs and the "Plain & Fancy Wares" that we offer.

Wishing you "Many Happy Stitches".
Sandra

Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year About to Begin

Happy New Year's Eve!

As the olde year is about to end and the
new one about to begin, I have three
favorite toasts/sayings that I want to
share with you.

"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go."
Lord Alfred Tennyson

"As we start the New Year, let's get down
on our knees to thank God we're on our feet."
Irish Toast

"May your troubles last only as long as
your New Year's resolutions!"
Anonymous

If the last one holds true, I should never
have any troubles.  

I wish joy, peace, and good health for
you and all those you hold dear.
See you in 2011!
Sandra

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What To Do Next

Good Evening Everyone,
What do I do next.  I am in a real state of indecision.
I was reading what Robin from Millstone Mercantile 
had to say on her blog and I couldn't agree more.
She just cannot make herself do anything with
her craft or stitching projects.  I am always like
this too after I have been away from it for
a while. I have soooo much to do to get new designs
ready for the Nashville Trade Show in February.
It just seems overwhelming.
Homespun Elegance will not officially reopen
until January 4th, so I have a few more days
to enjoy Christmas, but it is still hanging over
my head.  At the very least, I need to sit
down with my ideas and try to decide which
ones to go with.  Once I make that decision,
I think focusing will be easier.
I do have one design that will be completed 
next week, so I'll give you a little peak.
In the meantime I am going to enjoy my
beautiful tree a little longer and have
another Christmas cookie.
Many Happy Stitches,
Sandra

Monday, December 27, 2010

I Don't Want It To End

Good Evening Everyone!
The magic of Christmas is so special that I
never want it to end, but everyone has left now.
Hollis and Paul packed up the car and left
this afternoon.  So sad to see them go.
 Cameron and Ashley, our son and daughter-in-law, 
left early on Christmas day because of the weather.
 Normally, they spend the night, but were afraid the snow 
would keep them from getting home and going back to 
work.  What a disappointment that they had to go. 
 It is so rare that we all get together for an extended
time.  The snow was beautiful but I would
have rather had everyone here.  My usual family
 gathering on Christmas night was canceled
 because of our snowy weather.  Every Christmas 
I cook lots of desserts and everyone comes here
for that last sweet indulgence before it is over for 
another year.  Must get the desserts in the freezer, 
or you know what will happen. 
 This is how I feel tonight. . . . 
and I might add that it is also how I look after
all the holiday indulgences.  But it was fun!!! 
That's all for tonight.  
Many Happy Stitches,
Sandra

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Running Out Of Time

Good Morning Everyone!
Are you running out of time too?  Getting a
little frantic around here, but I just had to share
this finish with you.  I got a wonderful email
from Christie Lafranconi.  She shared with
me how she had been to my shoppe many,
many years ago and has been stitching my
designs for a very long time.  Here is what
she shared with me about how she did these
ornaments from "Four-Square Christmas".
"I love your patterns and especially the 
Christmas ornaments stitched on perfo-
rated paper.  This year I wanted to stitch 
new ornaments for friends and family and I 
decided to try using the "Four-Square
Christmas" pattern and see how these patterns
would look on perforated paper.  I stitched
the ornaments, backed them with brown
paper using Stitchwitchery to bind the
paper to the ornament, cut each one out 
separately leaving one square border from
the edge of the design and then sprayed
them lightly with adhesive and sprinkled 
with fine crystal glitter.  They look
wonderful and remind me of German
Springerle cookie. I've attached a photo...
the best I could take but really doesn't
show them off to their best advantage.
Thank you for your wonderful patterns
and for giving me many, many years of
happy stitching!"
 I would wish all of you "Merry Stitches", but if 
you are like me, there isn't much time to stitch
this week.  So, instead I will wish you joy in
your preparations.  
"Merry Noel",
Sandra

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Miracles

XXXXX CHRISTMAS GREETINGS XXXXX
These are our two miracles, one born near Christmas
as you can see.  It seems like only yesterday
that we experienced that magical Christmas.
Hollis wasn't supposed to be with us on that
Christmas of 1977, but she surprised us all.
If I had known we were going to have a
Christmas baby, believe me I would have
had red bedding.
Doesn't Cameron look happy.  He loves
Christmas and she was a special present for
him too.  He might have disagreed with that
over the years, but I think she was.
Hope you enjoyed that little bit of a 
Sullivan family memory.

XXXXX   JUST A REMINDER   XXXXX 
 TODAY IS THE
 LAST DAY WE ARE SHIPPING.  IF YOU
 NEED SOMETHING PLEASE CALL.  FAYE 
AND I ARE TAKING A MUCH NEEDED 
CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY.  WE WILL BE 
BACK ON JANUARY 4TH.
MERRY STITCHES,
SANDRA

Thursday, December 16, 2010

First Snow

Greetings!
This is what is going on in Fredericksburg, VA.
We are expecting 3" to 5".  Every flake is here to
stay since it is sooooo cold.
 View out of family room.
 View from side porch.  I designed and had my
Santa flag made years ago.  Always wanted to
publish the pattern but never got around to it.
View from the front porch.
This is the kind of snow I like.  Pretty and not too much
of it.  Our winter last year was so horrible.  I worry
that we might have a repeat.  
XXXXXXXXXX
I know all of you are kind of tired of hearing about
the drama in my life, but I must tell you briefly about
our evening, or should I say morning.  My husband,
Lehmer, developed gastric issues late last night
and after about three hours of pacing the floor with 
no relief, we left for the emergency room, expecting
gallstones.  To make a very long visit short
(there from about 12AM to 5AM), through
tests, EKGS, and monitoring, they ruled out 
gallstones and heart issues.  After intravenous 
pain killers and something the nurse called a 
a Gastric or GI cocktail or something like that,
he finally got some relief.  We got home and went
straight to bed, but got up about 7:30.  I just
knew it would come back after the pain medicine
wore off, but so far so good.  Of course, he has
to follow up on this.  Remember I had my luncheon
yesterday.  He had it for lunch and again for dinner.
Very rich food.  I'm afraid it didn't agree with him.
XXXXXXXXXX
Should be taking a nap, but my nerves and nervous
energy have caught up with me.  I have baked
two pies and a cake so far.  Am going to take a
break and wrap for a while and then I am going to
take a nap.
I'm sorry I haven't personally answered your comments
from the previous blog.  Please know that I love
hearing from you.  It is just a crazy time so it means
even more that you take the time to send your thoughts.
Stay warm and do whatever makes 
you happy,
Sandra

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Luncheon

Good Evening Everyone!
My luncheon!!
Some of my friends around the table.  That is Faye
at the head of the table.  I'm sure many of you have
talked to Faye over the years.
Well, it is Wednesday evening and everyone has gone
home from my luncheon.  Somehow I managed to
get it done, but not in a timely fashion.  We didn't 
set down at the table until about 2:00.  Am I getting
to old for this.  Decorating and entertaining until
all hours.  I love doing it but I am definitely 
not as efficient.
 In my last blog I was undecided abut my menu.
This is what I finally decided on.
XXXXXXXXXX
Mulled Cider
"Plains Cheese Ring" with Strawberry Preserves
on crackers for an appetizer.
Corn and Crab Chowder 
Chicken Shepherd's Pie
Sauteed Apples
Brown Butter Sage Muffins
Rustic Apple Caramel Tart
Coconut Custard and Chocolate Brandy Pie
Coffee, Tea, Wine
Not only am I exhausted from preparing this
meal but I am having a sugar low.  Carb overload!!
XXXXXXXXXX
Did I get my tree decorated - NOOOO!
This is as good as I could do.  
I threw on one strand of lights, some of my "vintage like"
tinsel, and some other odds and ends and called it a day.
Hollis and Paul are coming home this weekend for a Holiday
Dance, so they are going to help with the tree.
Bless their hearts, now I can use that time to cook
and wrap presents.
Here are some other pictures of the luncheon and
the house.  Still not finished, but getting there.
Dessert Table
Breakfast room center piece.  I stack up my old
pewter and fill with nuts, kumquats, and holly.
Window decor
Window decor
Guest bathroom.  Can you see the tiny candy cane
on the guest towel?
Guest bathroom
Guest bathroom
Keeping room
Keeping room.  Hollis game me the great lanterns
last year for Christmas.
Keeping room.  Notice the Amish child buggy seat.
Have a great night.  I'm moving on to the next
project.  No cross stitch for me tonight.
Merry Stitches,
Sandra

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Decorating More and More

Good Evening Everyone,
First of all, thank you so much for your
care and concern about my car accident
and your comments about my decorating.
  Thank goodness it has not left me too sore
 and stiff because there is no time to waste.
Is everyone as frazzled as I am?  I have been
decorating all afternoon like a crazy person, but 
I am beginning to see the end.  I cut a whole
bunch of magnolia yesterday and will do some
pine and holly tomorrow after things dry out
a bit.  It has been raining for about twenty four
hours.  I'm not going to complain about that.
I feel so sorry for those who are suffering
with the blizzard conditions.  
This evening I hope to wrap a few presents, 
address a few Christmas cards, and begin 
prepping for my Christmas luncheon on 
Wednesday.  I've been hosting this
employee/friend luncheon for years and
I enjoy it so much.  For some reason though,
I just cannot make up my mind about the
food.  A real problem  - don't you agree.
I'll let you know what I decide.
Here are a few more pictures of the
marathon decorating.
My Charlie Brown tree in the kitchen. 
The rocking chair was my husband's.
Appropriately painted a Christmas red.
Living room.

Breakfast room. 
Dining room.
Many of the toys are ones that belonged
to me and my husband.  
Many of the other toys are antiques I
have collected.

The guitar was mine.  Can you believe
that.  No musical talent here! 

The glass ornaments in the bowl belonged to
my husband's parents.  We used to put them on
our tree.  Unfortunately, our tree fell years ago
and we lost many of them.  Now they are 
displayed in a safe place, I hope.
Kitchen window. 
Keeping room window. 

More to come.  I hope to put up our real tree
tomorrow.  I want it up before my
luncheon.  Have a good evening.  On to the
Christmas cards.
Merry Stitches,
Sandra 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Serious Decorating Time

Good Afternoon Everyone!
I hope I have a better afternoon today than
I had a few days ago.  After doing a little Christmas
shopping, I was on my way home, when I was 
rear ended at a yield sign.  If you have been reading
 my blog for a while, you know that Hollis and
 I were in an accident Labor Day.  I am still going to 
physical therapy for that.  To add insult to injury, 
it was our new car that was hit.  Significant damage
to the rear of the car.  It is drivable but the
trunk is unusable.  I was so upset that day I
was just worthless.  My mood is better today,
and physically I am OK, just a little stiff and sore.  
I am so thankful for that.  Emotionally not so good -
 beginning to feel like a target.  Trying to put it all
 behind me and get on with my decorating
and some more shopping. 
So, I thought I would share a view pictures
of the things I have put up so far.  The
real greens will come later so they will be
fresh closer to the big day.
XXXXXXXXXX
Basket filled with "vintage" goodies.  I love
the little feather tree in the old shoe.  How cute
are the little red buttons.  The cross stitch design
is one of Hollis'.
"Vintage" ornaments are on this feather tree.
This is a mismatched set.  I have been collecting these
nativity pieces for years and just keep adding my
favorites.
This is a Victorian Christmas tree.  I found it in an
antique shop in Fredericksburg years ago.  Have
you ever seen one before?  I've never seen another
one.  The tree is made of wire, and then there are
glass beads, glass ornaments, and other tiny 
embellishments.  Click on the picture for a
close up. 
I'll share some more pictures soon.
Hope you are having a wonderful day.  Please
be careful when out and about.  Everyone is in
such a hurry.
Merry Stitches,
Sandra

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Christmas Tyme

Good Afternoon Everyone,
XXXX PROCLAMATION XXXX
We will be taking orders until
December 17th.  We will be back 
January 4th.  
If you are like me you are running from one
project to another.  I have made so many lists, but
 even my lists are not helping anymore.
I've finally started my Christmas decorating.  I'm
planning on sharing a few pictures of the house
as I proceed.  I hope I won't be boring you, but
I know I love to look at other decorated homes.
It is such an inspiration.
Collecting Christmas decorations is a 
passion of mine and I have been doing it for a
very long time.  Primitive, traditional, whimsical -- 
I love it all.
One of the things I have wanted to do for weeks
was to put a rather large assortment of things
for sale on Etsy.  Well, as you know that hasn't
happened because you would have been the
first to know.
Consequently,  I am just going to post a few things
here over the next few days.  Still in time to give as gifts
 or include in your home.  All the other things will have to 
wait until next Christmas.
I only have a few of each of the items below
and each price includes the shipping.  Just
email or call me with your payment information.
I take Visa, MC, Paypal, money orders, and
personal checks.
XXXX SANTA FACES XXXX
available in gold, blue, and red.
                                           



I painted these paper mache Santa faces.  I hope you like
them.  I have a couple in each color.  They measure
7" Wide X 9 1/2" High.  He looks really neat hanging
in a wreath, at the top of a tree, or just sitting anywhere.
Comes with a hanging cord.
The price is $25.00 including shipping.
XXXXXXXX
Next I have
xxxx SANTA BOOTS xxxx
I had these boots in the shoppe and they were 
very popular. They make great
gifts for the newly weds or a baby's first Christmas.
I wrote the name on one side and the appropriate
date on the other side.  I can do that for you too.
 Or just fill with greenery and Christmas finery.
For all of you mothers and grandmothers out
there, make a new tradition of putting a special little
gift in it for each Christmas to come.
It measures 7" tall X 7 1/2" Wide and is painted 
on both sides.  
These are $27.00 including shipping.

XXXXXXXX
"CHRISTMAS PUFF" ORNAMENTS
The last thing today are these ornaments
that I made using prints of my little paintings. 
 They are made from felt, with a little
added tinsel and then glittered.  The white one
has a gauzy fabric over the off white felt. for
a little more "vintage" look.  I have a few of 
each.  Just refer to them by the print shown.
They are 3 1/2" in diameter.


The price is $8.00 which includes the shipping.
I will combine shipping if you want multiple items.
xxxxxxxx
Well, I'm off to do dinner and then do some more
decorating.  I hope you are having a wonderful
day with 
"Many Merry Stitches",
Sandra



Friday, December 3, 2010

A Few More Goodies!

Good Evening Everyone!
The weekend is here and I'm already worried
that I won't do everything I need to do.
Happy to report though that we got our
beautiful Christmas tree Thursday.  It is
now setting on the back porch in a tub
of water.  It smells so good out there.
~~~~~~~~~~~
Thank you for all of your orders 
for the Christmas Candle Clips.  
I still have a few left.
~~~~~~~~~~~
For those of you who have artificial trees
and I have those too, Faye came to work
the other day and told me about the most
clever thing.  She found these at Walmart
and I went there I soon as I could to
got some.  I'll scan one so you can see it.
They are called ScentSicles and the one 
I like is Douglas Fir.  You hang them in
your tree and it says it will scent a regular
size room (whatever that means) for three
weeks.  I hope they do because it is 
wonderful.  I'm going to hang one in my
car.  I just had to share.
Now for some other "goodies".  None
of these items were made by me, but
they will still add a festive touch to someones
home.  I have one of each in my house.  
I only have a few of each of these
 wonderful things.  I call the first one a 
"Candy Container Santa"
He has a sack on his back to 
load him up with whatever you want.
He is 10" X 3 1/4" at his widest point and is
only $11.00 which includes shipping.
I only have three.
Next is a great little Santa who is going
to visit good and bad little boys and
girls.  Notice the sticks and his bag
filled with candy canes.  I think he is
so sweet.  I call him
 "Santa With Gifts"
and he is 8"X 3".  He is $11.50
which includes shipping.  I have three 
of these too.
Last but not least is 
"Christmas Bird"
but he could be enjoyed all year.  He measures
9" X 3 1/2" and is made out of the
perfect red cotton and a homespun looking
fabric was used for his under his body and wings. 
 Black bead eyes are the perfect finishing
touch.  He can fly to your Christmas house
for $12.50 which includes shipping.  
Unfortunately, I only have one of these.
That is all for tonight.  I hope you have a glorious
weekend.  You may not hear from me again 
until late Sunday. I intend to do some serious
Christmas shopping and decorating this weekend.
  I hope to add many items to my Etsy site next week.  
I'll let you know when to go there.
Merry Stitches,
Sandra