Marshmallow Men, Unicorns and Gingerbread Houses.

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Another friend who makes perfect stitches! If I keep company with perfect stitchers, certainly my own stitches will improve?

*Rachel adapted these adorable little marshmallow men from a project I shared during the first month I was blogging and she stitched them onto the most beautiful apron I have ever owned. Unlike my other aprons who live in a drawer, this much loved treasure is proudly displayed in my kitchen!

Rachel, who most of you know as Average Jane Crafter, surprised me with the apron when she came to visit Portland. I wear it a lot - but NOT when baking because as my daughter will attest - I am usually covered in flour from hear to toe! I want to keep this apron perfect forever!

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Another gift from Rachel! Remember when she wrote about finding this "vintage" Unicorn embroidery kit? I had already fallen in love with it - during the "vintage" years and told her how I had almost purchased the kit and always regretted that I didn't.

The next thing I know - I am unwrapping a package from Rachel - containing that very kit!

My satin stitch skills with regular embroidery floss are disaster. So I am taking my time with this one because I want it to be - well - you know - perfect!

Rachel and the original owner are right next to me anytime I am sitting with it. I am stitching it for both of them.

Moon Detail

Image of Moon Embroidery by Rachel

Rachel is broadening her embroidery skills and moved into what I call landscape embroidery - a direction I am headed as well - but with more forgiving crewel embroidery wool. Rachel's moon embroidery has been hugely inspiring to me to get back on track with my plans.

Read more about how she learned and details about the stitching.

She designed, stitched and then entered her embroidery into the Etsy Space Craft Contest - and was selected as a finalist! YAY! There will be a live judging of the finalists in New York the end of this month - won't you keep your fingers crossed for her? I am - and my toes!

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Roof detail of Rachel's Gingerbread House by Rachel

We have nearly melted the e-mail transmission lines with our messages back and forth about gingerbread houses! One day I hope like everything Rachel will be able to join Diane and I in making a gingerbread house.

For now - it is a virtual experience. You can see Rachel's beautiful gingerbread houses she built last year right here!

She made four! In one day! I told her it was impossible! She did it anyway! She blew me completely away! Impossible for ME! NOT for Rachel apparently!

Wheatspiral

Rachel has been in my corner since day one! Just two weeks in to my blogging adventure, she placed my very first link on a major craft site - "CRAFT" - Wheat Straw Ornaments. Her links on CRAFT in those early blogging days gave me what I needed most at that time - encouragement.

And I would like to say something else here - about the editors on CRAFT - they are Rock Stars! I don't know if you guys really understand how hard they work but just take a look at Rachel's blog roll if you want a clue to how many blogs they must keep up with just to keep those links coming.

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Rachel finding her own "new voice" - image by Rachel

I saved the best for last. Rachel is responsible for me finding my "voice".

In the early days of my "blog training", Diane encouraged me to explore and read other bloggers, partly to develop a blog roll and partly to just get a feeling for blogging.

I can not explain this at all, but there was something about Rachel - she was someone I felt like I could "speak to" and "share with" without concern for criticism or judgement. You know - a close friend. ( I found her a year before I actually met her in "real life".) So I simply began writing my posts as if I were chatting with Rachel. And this allowed me to find my voice!

So many new bloggers seem to find it terribly difficult to find their voice. They are so accustomed to writing term papers or inter-office memos. So my advice - go find you own "Rachel" and then start writing just to her. See what happens!

Rachel, thank you for being there for me from the very beginning of Gingerbread Snowflakes. Thank you for your support, friendship and encouragement. And for making my most beautiful apron and bringing the Unicorn back from my past. And most of all for being the amazing person that you are - the one who gave me the courage to find my voice and the one I treasure as a virtual and real life friend.

And, Pam, if you are working

And, Pam, if you are working on the vintage unicorn, I must tell you that your work is fabulous! I may not embroider, but I know good when I see it!

Oh, I love CRAFT. I SO miss

Oh, I love CRAFT. I SO miss that magazine! And I really need to make visiting the site a regular habit. I have been sporadic, with so many things going on, in adding more blogs to my list and keeping up with them, and CRAFT and avgjanecrafter are two that I really want to frequent. When I go there the vast expanse (somewhat like THE MOON) of quality, visually rewarding inspiration just blows me away. And I remember her moon embroidery! I knew she was a finalist, but I didn't know the winner would be chosen so soon!

Its always fun to write 'to' a particular person, a friend with a generous and guiding ear!

Oh sweet Pam! My goodness -

Oh sweet Pam! My goodness - you've got me all a mess in tears over here! What on earth did I do to deserve a post like this!? Wowza!

I never imagined I could meet and become such wonderful, dear friends with people ... over the INTERNET! Yes, even me - Mrs. Internet Addict. Diane was one of the very first bloggers I ever emailed, and her warmth and generosity just blew me away from day one. It was her encouragement and support that lead me to where I am now, and I have to say - that acorn didn't fall to far from the tree! Once she introduced me to you, it was all over. You are two of the most special people I know, and I feel so incredibly lucky to have connected with you. My only sadness is that we can't see each other in person more often. That's the only downside to the "beauty" of the Internet: we connect with wonderful people online and then want to just spend all the time in the world with them in real life, but can't always make it happen! ;)

As for my gingerbread house success, it rests solely on the support and instruction and resources you gave me. I absolutely could not have gotten through it without your wonderful and generous help! I felt like you were right there in the kitchen with me, and I thought about how much fun you and Diane must have had through the years doing the same thing together.

And, oh my ... can you imagine the three of us doing gingerbread houses TOGETHER!? Seriously, I just teared up thinking about it. I'm pretty sure my head (and heart) would explode from joy. We must make that happen - sooner rather than later.

It has been my supreme pleasure to get to know you and watch your blog grow and blossom, and I'm so glad that people all around the world get to enjoy your beautiful spirit and wonderful talents.

Much much much love to you! :)
XOXOX
Rach

Thank you Rachel for being a

Thank you Rachel for being a great friend to Gingerbread snowflakes and for being a amazing embroyderer, the moon one is too beautiful

The embroidered marshmallow

The embroidered marshmallow men are so adorable! I tend to stitch "rustic". In other words, I stitch too fast so all my stitches aren't even. I don't blame you for going slow with the unicorn stitchery. No need to rush and not be happy with the results.

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