Friday, December 23, 2011

And the Merriest of Christmas's...

 to you, my dear blogging friends!!

Do you think this guy is busy enough? Whittling away at that special toy? This is just one of my favorite ornaments that adorn the family tree. What is one of your favorites, other than the handmade ones? Do any of you readers, have specific collections, such as a theme, or brand, like Hallmark ornaments? Would love to hear about it, if you do!

I was able to finish The Primitive Needle's Earth Sampler a few weeks ago, not the greatest picture:
Primitive Needle's Earth Sampler
Tree of Life Linens Cocoa Double Dip 40 ct
Weeks Dye Works and Gentle Art Fibers
Substituted white cat for middle motif, in memory of a family pet

Here is a pic of the outside of the Belfonte house...looks so strange without the customary white snow to make it a truly wintery Christmas scene. Grass is greener than it was all summer, strange!
I am pleased that I have everything ready for Christmas. Usually this time of the year, I am frantically putting things together at the last minute, and that really does take away alot of joy in the moment. So, that said, I am hoping that you all are ready for your celebration of Christmas, with your family and friends this weekend. I am waiting with anticipation for my children and grandchildren to arrive for our family gathering on Christmas Day. Lots of good food, good company and good gifts, after reading that timeless Christmas Story. I wish you joy and lots of peace, dear friends and readers... the kind of peace that can only come to the heart, through the grace of God.

What is Christmas without Christ?

Love, Jan

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

TOO long away....BUT...

I am here now with a bit of an update on my life on Belfonte Lane! I am sure that I won't get everything shared of my year and I say that, because it has been since the end of February 2011, since I have made a blog post here! I feel badly about that, because I so enjoy posting and having you visit and sharing somewhat in my life, with you all special and dear, blog readers! Anyway, I hope to not stay away so long again, but we all know how life gets, I just need to make a strong effort to have 'make a blog post' at the tops of those never-ending lists that I am always making! Ha!! I am very much hoping that 2012 will usher in a year, a bit more organized, but even if it isn't, I want to be able to come here and post some! I have missed you all!!!

I haven't managed an overabundance of stitching this year, lots of that time, I have been focusing on my design models and stuff for Retreat, but I did manage to finish up this a few weeks ago! Not sure yet, what kind of finish to plan for this, but since it is so late in the season, I have a bit of time before I need to decide.

Blackbird Designs Waiting for the Harvest
GAST Pumpkin Pie and Dark Chocolate
32 Ct R&R American Chestnut

And another wip that is not quite done yet...I was having fun with buttons around it, and it might appear to be done, but isn't yet! Maybe next week I can share a finish of it, and maybe a bit more progress pics. It does motivate to get out my stitching more, just by taking pictures and sharing them with you all here! And also your wonderful words which cheerlead me on to a finish!
Primitive Needle's Earth Sampler
Weeks and GAST fibers, with one substitution and change of motif
Tree of Life Linens Cocoa Double Dip, 40 ct

This has been a fun stitch, several of my online friends and I have been doing a private SAL to remember Lisa and this is the design I chose to stitch. My prayers are still with her family, especially this time of year, the first holiday time they will be without her presence, and I know that it will be a hard time. I do hope to finish this little sweet sampler up soon and get it framed and on my wall. I substituted the motif that looked like a white strawberry with dark seeds, have no idea what it was, so I decided to put in a little white kitty in it's place, to remember a special cat that owned our family for awhile, named Monica.

That is it for the stitchey pics, but I do have some outside pictures that I took well over a month ago, when autumn 2011 was in full swing, so allow me to share them with you all, because if I wait another day or two, I fear that everyone's (including my own) mind will be on Christmas and snow and winter!
My Backyard Foliage behind the property fence

Belfonte Front Porch with Pumpkins and Ferns

Flowers did wonderful this summer and the mums just set everything off!

My Favorite Mum

And I couldn't not share a picture of my grandbabies....
Pumpkin Pickin' with Daddy, just their sizes too!

Happy Girl, Alexandra Catherine, aka Allie Bug

I will be returning soon, with more stitchey pics and updates! Thanks for visiting with me, and getting to the end, and for those of you, that leave me a comment, thank you from the bottom of my heart! I will do my best to visit your blogs soon!

I would just like to leave you now, with a special prayer of blessing this Thanksgiving week, for you and your loved ones! Give Thanks!!

Love, Jan

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2011 Tree of Life Samplings Retreat News...

please visit my Tree of Life Samplings Blog, for the latest news and info about the 2012 Retreat being planned!

Link is in right side bar, thanks so much!!

I really need to find the time to make a blog post soon! I have missed it more then you know!!

Love, Jan

Monday, February 28, 2011

New Beginnings and An Old Friend....

Hello, hello! I certainly wanted to get a post in sooner, but alas the month of February has flown by, like it usually does, I might add! It is my birthday month, and with the few days short that it boasts, it is almost always quick and over, with the blink of an eye! I hope that all of you have had decent weather, although we have had some weirdness going on at times and with the creeks and rivers being at flood stage, that is always a concern! But all is good for now, supposed to dry up and warm up (a bit) for a few days, before the weekend and the forecast of more precipitation!

With today being the last day of the month, I am determined to get this post, posted! I have been working on several things, so it doesn't appear that I have made much progress on anything, but I have had a blast doing what I am doing, so that is what counts!! Progress will come, I just need to stay at it!

I actually have Three "New" Beginnings this month, which is a great deal for me! Many of you, might think that is silly, especially those of you that joined in the January Crazy Challenge of starting how-many-new-starts-was-that-again???? Anyway, I love and have loved looking at all of the wonderful new starts out there, but to be honest if I had started that many, I would have been definitely found certifiable!!!

First off is Blackbird Designs Anniversaries of the Heart, A Wish For You:

I am doing this all on one piece of fabric, 40 ct Silkweaver's Purely Primitive, one thread of recommended over dyeds over two threads (with a couple of substitutions). I am doing them in NOT the same order as the talented ladies of Blackbird Designs is releasing them. I just felt that this one would look better first, and I will be doing this particular square to celebrate my youngest daughter, Ashley. Hope to finish it up in the next week, we shall see!

Secondly is Mary Glover:
Very little done on this project, but it is started! Thanks to Siobhan and her wonderful enabling, when I saw this sampler and the details on her blog, I just had to do it myself! Please visit Siobhan's blog, if you have not already been there, her projects and pictures are a true feast for the eyes and will definitely not disappoint! Also she has the details on how to sign up, obtain and take part in this SAL. She also has a recent picture of her progress and she has quite a bit more done on it! I did convert the DMC to NPI's, if you would like to have that list, please let me know, and I will edit this post later, with my conversions! I am such a silk snob when it comes to sampler stitching these days! I am stitching it over two threads, with two threads on 32 ct...I forget the name of the color now, although I do know it is an R&R!

Thirdly, here is my birthday start, Needleprint's Marianne Wenn Sampler:
Again, very little accomplished, but it is a start and I am so loving this one! I shared with you all, in a previous post, my conversions from the DMC to NPI silks and I chose 36 ct R&R Flax Fields, stitched with one thread over two threads. I WILL finish this sampler, someday!

NEXTLY (oh my goodness, I am going to have some friends all over that form of english usage, but I don't care,  I like the sound of it!) a re-introduction of a very old friend, Plum Street Samplers Seven Days of Creation:
I am not sure what YEAR I started this, Paulette, do you? Sorry, dear friend, I am not putting you on the spot! I do know though, it has been several years, and when I got it out of the wip bag, I thought to myself, self, you have that almost half done, it needs to be finished and on the wall! So, I vowed, once I got it in the scroll rods to work on it as often as I can and get more progress done on it. Because it is so very pretty!! I am stitching it on 36 ct R&R Creme Brulee with my conversion of DMC to Crescent Colours cottons.

BTW, Paulette is a very dear and old friend too, and if you haven't yet purchased or stitched any of her designs, you are missing out! Her creativeness is so heartfelt and she puts so much of herself in to each and every design! I have them all, and hope to live long enough to stitch many more of them!

Well, I guess that is it for this month! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read my posts; everytime you leave a comment, I am blessed immeasurably! Today, I am thankful to the Living God for friends such as yourself, whom I have learned from and developed many, many happy memories!!

I hope this video is of my 20 month old Allie Bug, going on 30 years, reading the daily paper!

Love, Jan

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Her Sampler Fini and Mariette Swift Progress!

A very quick post, first of all, hope you are enjoying a bit of warmer weather, like we are here in the midwest! What a joy it was for me today to be able to go out on my deck and sweep, without any sign of snow or ice! A breath of Spring is in the air!

I finished Her Sampler a week ago Sunday, and just now sharing a picture of it! It was such an enjoyable stitch, but to be honest, I had more then a few frogging moments with it. If I hadn't loved it so much, it probably would have gotten tossed in a pile somewhere, but I thought it was adorable when I first picked it up to stitch and still do, so all is good!
Carriage House Samplings
Her Sampler
DMC recommended fibers
R&R 32 ct Old Towne Blend Linen

Another sampler that is on my Up For A Challenge list this year, is Mary Garry's Sewing Cabin Mariette Swift 1804. I first saw this stitched by Siobhan and had to have it for myself, so was lucky to win it shortly thereafter on ebay, since of course all of her designs are OOP. Anyway, I started this cutey back in 2008, after converting the fibers to Belle Soie Silks. I don't know why I didn't finish it, just one of those gazillion times that I got side-tracked I am guessing. Anyway, nice to be back to it, and this is really a lousy picture, but at least gives some idea of my progress. Hope to get it finished and soon.

This shows it a bit better:
Mary Garry's Sewing Cabin
Mariette Swift 1804 (Reproduction Sampler)
Belle Soie Silks
(Don't remember the color of linen, but it is 32 ct)

Incidentally, speaking of Mary Garry's Sewing Cabin and those hard to find OOP's, if anyone has her Peace Sampler, I would be most interested in obtaining it. Either purchasing or borrowing, please email me concerning this. It is one that I have long sought after and do not have in my possession, and would so love to stitch it. Thank you in advance for your help!

That's all for now, I do hope that you have some fun with your stitching this week, I hope to get caught up on my blog reading and commenting. Doesn't take but a day or two for me to get behind with that. Also anyone that has inquired about my stitching retreat this summer, be expecting to receive via email Registration information and other pertinent information!

Thanks again for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment! It is such a blessing to me, I have almost reached 300 followers, which totally amazes me! Thank you for being interested enough in my ramblings to visit again and comment!

Sleep Tight!

Love, Jan

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Marianne Wenn Conversions and Giveaway Winner!

Howdy from Belfonte Lane in Indiana! Luckily we did not lose our power, during the Winter Storm of the Century'! So fortunate because in our town alone there were 16,000 outages with about 1/2 that many still without power! My heart goes out to them! I did everything I could to 'button up the hatches' and make things ready just in case the power did go out! Candles and flashlights at the ready and I even made a pot of coffee the night before, and put the fresh made coffee in a thermos! LOL At least if the power went out, I could have a cup of my beloved brew!! But fortunately, it did not, but I still drank the coffee from the thermos, which was still very fresh and hot and saved me from having to make it the next morning! LOL

We did get very strong winds and a mix of precipitation, mostly in the form of freezing rain and sleet, which left us with around two inches of ice! My driveway still looks like a skating rink and they have the schools closed for the third day here in the valley! But my daughter says that the roads are much better this morning.

I did mention that I was going to have another new start on my birthday, which is the end of this month, and that new start was going to be Marianne Wenn from Needleprint! After playing around with it for a while, I wanted to convert to all NPI's and was successful, but also I wanted to calm down the color palette a bit and even more importantly I wanted the color palette to compliment each other. The picture below is on the fabric I have chosen, 36 count Flax Fields from R&R Reproductions with the Needlepoint Silks laying just under the DMC that is called for in the chart. I did change out one color entirely, I am using NPI 871, in place of dmc 842, which is considerable lighter: 

Not the best picture, but maybe you can get the idea. This picture below shows the first set of needlepoint silks that I chose, I have since re-worked them, but wanted to share the picture, because it definitely shows the hues of the fabric so much better, although it is a bit darker, then the Flax Fields that I have, isn't quite as dark:
Here are the conversions, if you are interested:
DMC 304 ~   NPI 208
DMC 3706 ~ NPI 205
DMC 3713 ~ NPI 531
DMC 725 ~   NPI 474
DMC 744 ~   NPI 472
DMC 890 ~   NPI 646
DMC 3818 ~ NPI 353
DMC 906 ~   NPI 547
DMC 312 ~   NPI 746
DMC 3761 ~ NPI 742
DMC 433 ~   NPI 957
DMC 3863 ~ NPI 301
DMC 842 ~   NPI 871
DMC 844 ~   NPI 976

NOW, for what you have all been reading to find out, and I thank you for suffering through my meanderings, before I got to the most important announcement.....


The winner of the Blogoversary Giveaway IS:

Congratulations dear Kellie! The name of her blog is The Stitching Post, and is a wonderful place to visit. If you haven't visited her yet, be sure and do so! Kellie, can you please email me your snail mail address, so that I can mail out your box of goodies as soon as I can!

Of course, it was so hard to just pick one entry, there were over 90 of you that signed up. So I decided that if the following three blogging friends are interested in receiving a Tree of Life Samplings design, I would love to send it to you! Parsley, Terri from dixiesamplerdesigns and Diana (no blog), please email me as soon as you see this and please tell me which design is your favorite! Thank you all for participating in my 2nd Blogoversary Giveaway! It has been such fun and I always love seeing new blogs that come to visit!

I was planning on sharing a finish of Her Sampler by Carriage House Samplings...however she isn't quite done yet! Mostly because I could not resist starting Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs this week! I was so excited about locating just the right size fabric in my stash and pulling together the designs that are released and tentatively assigning squares to my family members! So I just had to put the first stitches in the first block! I do hope to finish up Her Sampler yet this week...maybe I will have it to share on Saturday with you all!

Before I leave, I want to show you a couple of pics, one of my visitors yesterday, the Carolina Wren, the Cardinal (male) and the Tow-Hee (think that is how it is spelled!) in my makeshift birdfeeder! I have had such trouble with squirrels of late, that I have had to be more innovative in getting my bird friends their food. Also with the recent inclement weather, I have not even been able to get a foothold on my decking, from all of the ice. So the pie pan with bird feed and square of suet to the side, right outside my french doors, is as good as it gets! They have been grateful, there have been many visitors, this is just a sampling, if you click on it, it will be larger and you can maybe get a closer look:
And my sweet girl, Boo, aka Sugar Smack, of course, just wanted to get a closer look too, but they weren't having that kind of closeness and flew away:
That's all for now! I do hope and pray that everyone is safe, cozy and warm after the recent storm that hit so many, many starts, and from what I hear stretched over 2100 miles! Thank you for visiting and following my blog and taking the time to write me a comment. So appreciate those, as always!
Today I am thankful for blue skies and sunshine and melting ice...well almost!

Love, Jan

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day After Simply Saturday!

Hello my kind and dear friends! I almost feel like chirping, now don't you laugh, but the sun is finally shining and has been all day! I needed to have some sunshine, after so much gloomy cloudy skies for at least the last two weeks. After a bit, it really brings your mood down! But today, well it is worth countless words, but won't trouble you with anymore on the subject for now!

First of all wanted to remind you, if you haven't yet signed up for my Blogoversary Giveaway, to please go here and do so, before midnight February 2, 2011. Which happens to be Ground Hog Day...wonder if that rodent-type fellow will indeed see his shadow this year? Anyway, don't forget to sign up and I have added a picture of the goodies, if you would like to share on your blogs! Thank you!

I have a small finish to share with you all...this is Belle Pepper aka Addison Rose:
Little House Needleworks
Belle Pepper
32 Ct Lakeside Pearled Barley
Recommended CC and GAST, substituted 2 fibers

I am celebrating my youngest granddaughter, Addison Rose, with this sampler, and the year she was born, 2010. It will hang in my home. It is not a substitute for a birth sampler, I still want to stitch one for her and her sister, but have yet found one that I want to use. I am probably going to design one, to get it the way I want!

I will return on Wednesday the 3rd with the results of the giveaway drawing! Also I have some conversions for my birthday start, Marianne Wenn I am going to share with you all. As for stitching, I am trying really hard to finish up Her Sampler by CHS this week! After that, I really don't know, but it will either be a new start, or one of my wips, from the list on my sidebar!
Hope your week is grand! I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to read and comment. Your thoughts are always so uplifting, and it is a wonderful feeling to read them all!

Today I am most grateful for the sunshine on this special Lord's Day! This is the Day the Lord Hath Made, Rejoice and Be Glad in it!

Love, Jan

PS I hope and pray it doesn't happen, but there is a winter storm warning in the forecast for these parts, through Wednesday! They are anticipating an accumulation of 2 inches of ice on power lines and trees, and that makes for trouble! There is a strong possibility of losing power, so if I don't get here to announce the winner on Wednesday, that will be why! Maybe this will one of the times, the forecast isn't that accurate, let's hope! I just wanted to let you know!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two Year Blogoversary Giveaway, Edited with Picture!

Today is the day, Happy Blogoversary to Belfonte Notes!

I have not yet taken a picture to share of what will be in the Giveaway, but I assure you, it will be wonderful things! When I do, I promise to edit this post with a picture, so you can have a visual, which I know helps!

Here is a picture taken today on my office floor...sorry, it isn't a great picture, but at least you will have somewhat of a visual to see for yourself and also to display on your blog, for others to see. It includes 3 charts from Carriage House Samplings, 3 charts from Plum Street Samplers, 1/4 yard and 2-1/8 yard cuts of linen (the two in the picture of the 1/8ths are 40 ct and the 1/4 yard is 30 ct). If you win and you would prefer different counts, just say the word, and I will switch them out to counts more of your liking. Also in the picture you can see some skeins of 3 different companies: Gentle Art Sampler Threads, Weeks Dye Works and Crescent Colours. Several skeins of each too. Oh and do you see that small box in the center? It is full of sweet little stitching treasures and things to embellish your smalls with, ribbon, buttons and more buttons, rickrack and other sweet surprises! Good Luck!

All you need to do to be entered into the 2nd Blogoversary of Belfonte Notes, is:

#1, be a follower of this blog. 

#2, comment in this thread, by no later then midnight daylight savings time on February 2, 2011. In your comment, share how long you have been online and what was your first experience that you remember, within a stitching community or yahoo group, or other avenue. Also be sure and have your email available to me, either here in the comments section or in your profile. 

#3, if you have a blog, please mention this giveaway, if you do not, please don't worry about it, you will still be eligible to enter.

Also would like to take the time to mention, I am in the midst of planning a special weekend stitching retreat to be in Terre Haute, Indiana the end of June. If you are interested in receiving email news and specifics of this special retreat event, please do email me at If you have any questions, feel free to let me know what they are.

Thanks for all of your visits to Belfonte over the last two years! I very much appreciate your comments and look forward to many more happy years of posting!

Love, Jan

Friday, January 21, 2011

New Stash Keep-Her Sampler-Addison Rose/Belle Pepper

Hello to my dear blogging friends! Yes, it has been awhile, have been contemplating a new blog post for weeks now...good grief, am I slow or what? Also have been trying my best to keep up with your blogs, love seeing what you are all doing, but I am a day or two behind now, so hope to get caught up with that this weekend.Must be this age thing...brings on confusion, indecision,laziness, interruptions, every excuse known to man, one can use when they reach that 'senior citizen' title! Anyway, I am here now and without any more excuses...first of all I want to announce that I do have a second blogoversary coming up in a scant four days, so please be sure and come back on the 25th, when I will announce the giveaway, so that you can be sure to sign up! If you not yet a follower, I would love it if you would do that now, because this giveaway is truly just for my followers! You will have time to sign up later, but for the sake of something coming up to make you forget, you might as well get it out of the way, right?

Boy, I feel this is indeed going to be one of those rambling and I hope not boring posts! Please bear with me a bit longer.

I have so enjoyed seeing everyone's works this month, so many yummy designs that have oodles of progress to drool over! Wow, I am duly impressed by everything I have seen! I did decide at year end, that I would at the very least join the Up for a Challenge challenge, by listing and working on 15 (think I have a few more) wips, that I have vowed to work on this year and hoping to finish at least some of them! For me, it would be too hard to work on them one at a time, I am a very slow stitcher and the progress to be made in a day, is minimal for me at best. So I decided to pick two from my list, and work on them for the month (hoping to finish some of them, although I know that there are some baps that are going to take more then one 'swipe'!) and the two I chose for the month of January are CHS Her Sampler:
This is what I managed to get done further on this piece. Although I hope to work more on her this weekend, and possibly get her finished! And let me tell you, I know she isn't large, not at all, not even for me, but the mistakes and subsequent frogging periods I have with this little sweet ditty has about thrown me over the edge! So when I do get her done, you will likely 'hear' my happy dance! I am stitching Her Sampler on 32 ct R&R something or other with the recommended DMC threads. Fun stitch!

....and LHN's Belle Pepper: 

I am halfway pleased with my progress on this sweety of a design, made even sweeter, by my personalization. This will be to honor my youngest granddaughter, Addison Rose. I will also put the year she was born (2010) in the area for a date. I am using 32 ct Pearled Barley (I think, one of my memory lapses of late, seems to be remembering the names of fabrics I have used. I used to be so on target with it, what is up with that?), with the recommended Crescent Colours and Gentle Art fibers, with the exception of two..I changed out the Straw Bonnet to Oatmeal GAST, so it would show up more and also changed the Mulberry GAST to Lancaster Red Weeks, since it is one of my favorite reds.

The rest of the time, I have been stash and stitch dreaming...thinking about all of the lovely projects that I really, really want to finish...some of the larger ones I have started, like Time and Season Sampler by MB, Mary Allen Sampler and Seven Days of Creation by Plum Street Samplers. Then the list that is ever-growing...might as well think about putting it in my sidebar of the blog, right...Ann Raynor, Mary Ann Hutton, Marianne Wenn (destined to be a birthday start next month), Chilvers, Hannah Lancaster (I must be out of my mind!), Villages of Hawk Run, Adam & Eve Sampler by the City Stitcher, Country House Sampler by the Sampler Company, etc. And the list goes on, these are just the BAPS on my mind! LOL

During all of that dreaming, I have been doing a bit of reorganization of stash, and started thinking of how much I have always wanted an antique drysink. There was/is room for one in my family room. I have had for some time two large Longaberger baskets in my family room full of wips, etc. The rest of my stash is all upstairs, in a couple closets and bins. Crazy, I know, but I thought if I could find a nice dry sink, that has at least a couple of drawers, and a cabinet, then I could switch out the storage downstairs! Novel idea, don't you think...well...this is what I came home with the other day:

Yep, an antique dry sink, in really great pristine condition, drawers intact and working and beautiful walnut finish in great shape! I love it!!!!! And I can't wait to fill it!!! I have put off doing that until tomorrow...Saturday is my one day, that I do spend the day stitching, stash diving-organizing and I do it guilt-free!!! My new Stash Keep is waiting....

I appreciate you getting to this point reading my ramblings...things are going great here and I hope they are in your neck of the woods as well! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave some sweet words for me to read, mean the world to me, they do!

Until my blogoversary in four days, stay warm and have some fun with those needles and projects!!!

Love, Jan