In Stitches

I have this friend who has encouraged my addiction to needlework such that it’s now all I think about. In fact, it’s safe to say it was her misfortune that really sent me over the edge.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve received countless emails from her introducing me to new needlework sites and amazing vintage Etsy finds.

If you had asked me a year and a half ago if I would like to learn cross stitch, I would have laughed in your face. What a difference time makes, as I made this sampler for my sister’s graduation from law school:

I’m also currently working on these projects for our little newlywed abode:

So as a fan of needlework, and a slightly better than amateur stitcher myself, I thought I’d share some of the fabulous needlework sites I’ve found. The inspiration is endless and I’m hoping the excitement I have to tackle all my new needlework projects holds through completion. Enjoy!

Feeling Stitchy – Features super awesome projects, tips and tricks, cool finds on Flickr and the web, and free patterns!

Mr X Stitch – “The number one contemporary embroidery and needlecraft blog on the planet!”

subversive cross stitch – HILARIOUS cross stitch patterns for purchase – be warned some use “choice language” ūüôā

Scoot – An adorable downloadable PDF embroidery pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop I can’t wait to get my hands on.

Maricor/Maricar – Australian twin sisters who do some breathtaking hand embroidery.

Embroidery with a ‘V’ – This post over on papernstitch features an adorable Etsy shop. Seriously love!

This is what happens when you sing lustily…

I grew up in the Methodist church and have a ritual I follow before almost every service I attend. I sit in the pew and immediately reach for the hymnal.

One of the first pages of the United Methodist Hymnal is John Wesley’s Directions for Singing.¬†Though written in the 18th century, they still provide great guidance to Methodist congregations everywhere, as well as a bit of humor relief. In fact, I remember several years ago a lay leader poking fun at a few of them when the ¬†preacher was away on vacation.

Allow me to break these rules down for you.

I. Learn these tunes before you learn any others; afterwards learn as many as you please.

II. Sing them exactly as they are printed here (So even if the projector screen reads “Hark the Herald Angles Sing”, that’s what we sing? AWESOME!!! Is it almost Christmas?),¬†without altering or mending them at all¬†(This includes all unwritten runs that American Idol contestants add); and if you have learned to sing them otherwise, unlearn it as soon as you can (Unless you think your way sounds better).

III. Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a single degree of weakness or weariness hinder you (Does laryngitis count as a weakness or weariness? What about those that are tone deaf?). If it is a cross to you, take it up, and you will find it a blessing.

IV. Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, then when you sung the songs of Satan.

(Essentially, sing out strong…)

V. Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony (This needs to be explained to the child that always hogs the mic when the children sing. Admit it, you know there’s one in every church); but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound.

VI. Sing in time (ahem). Whatever time is sung be sure to keep with it. Do not run before nor stay behind it; but attend close to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you can; and take care not to sing to slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy; and it is high time to drive it out from us, and sing all our tunes just as quick as we did at first.

VII. Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.

In reality, the majority of John Wesley’s directions have very good points that are still applicable 3 centuries later, but there’s a reason I’m sharing these rules with you…

Adam and I have spent the last few months attending a church we have grown to love. It’s accepting, friendly,¬†genuine, and thought-provoking. Plus, it helps that it feels like a small town church, which made it even more appealing to both of us rural Arkansans. We love the community outreach and mission work it does, though we have yet to get involved and we’ve found a Sunday School class that we truly enjoy. I’m actually surprised that we felt so at home at the first church we “auditioned”, but I’m also very thankful.

Every week we’ve meet new people and feel more accepted than the last. This past Sunday, proved this more than ever before…

You see, Adam and I were sitting behind this sweet elderly couple whose husband sang in the church choir. Before the pastor began his sermon, all those in the choir and serving in worship came and sat with the rest of the congregation – which meant that when it was time to sing the final hymn, Adam was singing directly behind a choir member.

The final hymn that Sunday was “Standing on the Promises”. It’s a classic hymn, best known for its chorus – which I warned Adam to control himself during prior to the song even beginning. Let’s just say that he sang lustily and with good courage.

And nowhere near half dead. 

We’ll also say that he had a head-bop going on in the middle of the chorus…

After the service ended, the couple in front of us turned and invited him to join the choir.

Full disclosure? They asked me to join as well, until I told them about my voice teacher going MIA after one lesson in middle school. True story. Hand to God. Ask my mom.

So, I got off the hook fairly quickly.

Adam was polite, told them he’d consider joining and confirmed that he could sing bass.

Too bad they didn’t ask how well he could sing bass.

We left the sanctuary and laughed about it in the car on the way to lunch with our Sunday School class; and haven’t thought much about it since.

Today, we received an email from the Music Ministries Director. In it, she tells us that she was sorry she didn’t get to meet us after church and hoped we are enjoying our worship and fellowship at the church. Then she tells us that she “watched¬†Adam, as he very energetically sang the bass part in the final hymn” and extended a personal invitation for him to join the choir. She also said she spoke with the sweet couple it front of us who confirmed that Adam had indeed sung.

Truth is, Adam does sing, but it’s not often he’s in tune. He also isn’t the best at keeping time – a clear violation of directive number 6 above. I’m sure that the choir would accept Adam with open arms and I’m sure they’d never tell him he couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket to his face. But secretly, I believe that they would regret extending an invitation to him.

Sunday Shares: Video Edition

This week it seems like every click I make takes me to an awesome video. I honestly can’t remember a week where I’ve found more videos worth sharing in a week. So today, because it’s Sunday and this is my blog, I bring you yet another installment of Sunday Shares.

I’m positive this will become Adam’s theme song. He can thank me later.

The first time I visited Adam after he moved to Austin over a year and a half ago, he took my to Top Notch. I had no idea the significance of it at the time, because I hadn’t seen the movie Dazed and Confused. Immediately after eating, we go home and he forces me to we watch it. I’ll say that I enjoyed it, but I haven’t watched it again. This is the 120 second version of it, because you know kids are too ADD to sit through the entire thing. Kids these days, sigh.

“I Gotta Feeling” by The Black-Eyed Peas is one of my favorite Jazzercise warm-ups and even though I may not be a fan of country music, I am a bluegrass fan on¬†occasion. So Black-Eyed Peas + Bluegrass = WIN on my blog.

The year is 1994 and the co-hosts of the Today Show on NBC had no idea what the Internent was.

And finally, as a newly engaged gal who likes have fun and dance to 80’s Whitney Houston, I can only hope that when Adam and I reach this couple’s age we are still as cheesy as we are today.

Sunday Shares

 

Friday was my team’s Christmas party. It consisted of sugary cookies, meat candy, cheese dip, CatchPhrase, and dancing. And when I say dancing, I mean Wii Just Dance 1 and 2 and The Michael Jackson Experience (minus the plastic surgery and children). For the record, playing these games immediately after downing a plate of Christmas potluck goodies is not the best idea and since we played the dance games for 4 hours straight my feet still haven’t recovered.

I’m sure you don’t want to hear about my boring weekend of sitting on my couch wrapping presents and catching up on DVR, so it’s time to update you on my weekly Web Surf and Blog Stalk. Presenting this week’s Sunday Shares:

  • Damn You Auto Correct! – If you’re like me and own an iPhone, chances are you’ve had it “correct” your text messages. My current favorite one for my phone is changing morning to morbid and the to Tge. Nevertheless, this website compiles the best corrections as submitted by readers for your reading pleasure.
  • Carol of the Bed Intruder – Admit it, you LOVED the Bed Intruder song. Well, you better hide your kids, hide your wife, because Liberty University has turned it into a Carol and it’s fantastic. Run and tell that, homeboy!
  • Can this picture go on Facebook? – So technically this is over a week old, but it slipped through the cracks last week and deserves to be posted. My tweep @audcole made a very useful and hilarious flowchart to use before posting pictures on Facebook. I suggest you open it and share it with everyone you know.

Sunday Shares

I’m done with graduate school for the semester and I had a virtually free Sunday afternoon to blog stalk while listening to Sting’s Symphonicities album. Which, by the way, you must have a listen – it’s such a unique take on some of his greatest hits and I highly recommend! Your ears will thank you, I promise.

Anyway, time to blog stalk means time to share with you a few of my favorite finds over the last week or so, in a little feature I like to call Sunday Shares.

 

Sunday Shares

I was in a Cheese Dip Coma for most of Saturday, because I became a card carrying member of the Southern Cheese Dip Academy. Yep, that’s right, the Southern Cheese Dip Academy. It’s quite possibly my proudest achievement to date.

Even if I had to buy my way in.

This Cheese Dip Coma lasted into Sunday, but because Adam had to head back to Austin early this morning (9:30 is early for a Sunday, right?), I got an early start on Grad School work, in turn providing me with ample blog-stalking and random Internet-browsing time this afternoon. As a favor to my blog readers, all 10 of you (and that’s being generous) here’s a few sites worth sharing.

  • Bank Drive-Thrus – The Perfect Place To Needlepoint! – Noelle is a new IRL [In Real Life] friend that I found through Twitter over a year ago. In this post, she may or may not talk about me and the opening of the new Little Rock Anthropologie store. In reading this post, I may or may not have laughed like a hyena.
  • Recycled Magazine Flower Tutorial –¬†This may be the cutest idea ever for old magazines.¬†After Adam had the audacity to walk over to my side of the bed this weekend and then point out the amount of magazines strewn on the floor, it might be in my best interest to do something with them.
  • Unsuck It – Are you stuck in a corporate job with co-workers that use annoying buzz words as often as possible? This is the site for you.
  • Pugly Pixel – Graphics geeks like me will LOVE the free resources available to them on this blog. What are you waiting for? Go!