If I had known how many of you were going to "come out," by doing a give-a-way, I'd have done it a long time ago! I was so excited just after I posted the blog, running back and forth to see who else would say hi. I really appreciate y'all caring about us and what's going on in our lives, and since a lot of you have blogs too, I've had fun peeking into your families as well.
I said I would wait until tomorrow morning to draw a name, but I thought I might go ahead and address the two main questions I got in your comments. A) How do you do that? and B) When do you do that?
A) I am not sure I can handle a full-out tutorial (especially since Jeremiah has done something with our camera and I can't show you with pictures), but I can tell you that it is EASY and YOU CAN DO IT. All you need is a needle, thread and a Mark-B-Gone pen (they sell them in the craft section of Walmart). My friend Melissa got me interested in this type of embroidery, and she wasn't even telling people to use the pen, just to start in on your fabric and make a picture. I, personally, am NOT an artist (I wish so badly I had saved my first few attempts at drawing a bird. You all would have had quite a laugh), so I make very simple sketches with my disappearing-ink-pen on my fabric and then stitch over what I've drawn. (As you see here, I have even resorted to stick figures :) That says "ma soeur" which is "my sister" in French.)
The primary stitch you need to learn is the back stitch, and the best real-live tutorial I found for it is HERE. I use a few other basic embroidery stitches, but you could really do an entire drawing just with the back stitch.
A couple of recommendations: Buy DMC floss (that's the special name for embroidery thread), because there is no reason to skimp on something that you are going to put a bunch of time into, only to have it break in a month or so. At it's highest (those little specialty fabric shops) it's like $0.75 a skein, but right now Hobby Lobby is having a 3 for $1 sale. Stock up! Go wild with your colors! I have been using 3 strands (I use 2 for smocking) on my needle.
I also bought a hoop to hold my fabric in place. You certainly don't need one, but if you do a couple and enjoy it, then I would buy one. It saves your fingers from cramping, trying to hold your fabric taught.
B) I do this the same way I do all the things I enjoy and make me feel like a person instead of a Mommy machine--early in the morning before the girls wake up. I like to start the day having breakfast/prayer/devotion with Jeremiah before he goes to work. Now, since I like to keep it honest on here, some mornings I sorta snooze while he's getting ready for work and don't actually roll myself out of the bed until he's walking out the door, but most mornings I get up with him (somewhere between 5 and 6 depending on what he has that day. 5:30 usually).
That glorious time between him leaving and the girls waking up around 7:30 or 8 is MINE. Knowing that I am going to do exactly what I want to do, is what motivates me to sacrifice those extra minutes and get on out of the bed. I read; I write; I cook; I have a longer devotion; I embroider; I blog. Whatever the heck I want to do. No laundry, cleaning, or obligatory tasks allowed.
I find that if I get a good solid hour in on something (whether it's a chapter in my book or something I'm sewing on), it's a lot easier to "steal" minutes during the day to complete it, than if I have to start cold while the girls are up. I steal minutes while the girls are playing in the backyard and I'm watching them or while they're napping or when we get in bed at night...I do try not to steal minutes during our meal times. The Lord has sorta convicted me on that one. They are people and you wouldn't sit and read if your friend stopped in for lunch. That would be rude. I find that (at least Pace) is most easily engaged and asks the best questions while we're eating.
I feel sort of silly that I just spelled all that out. It was probably boring for most of y'all, but I get that question in the comments a lot. When do you find time to read or sew or write? So, there it is in all its simplicity.
See you in the morning for THE WINNER!