May is Melanoma Awareness Month

As a Stage IV, almost three year survivor of Melanoma, I have decided to hold a promotion through my Etsy shop and website for the months of May and June for Melanoma Awareness. Any purchases made during the months of May and June, when using the code word “melanoma” upon inquiry or order, 10% of all proceeds will be donated to the Melanoma Research Foundation.  They have done and are doing great things for people battling melanoma.

Since I was diagnosed with Stage IV in 2014, so many new treatment therapies, such as immunotherapy, specifically Opdvio, have arisen. I remember my oncologist saying to me upon the start of my treatment with Yervoy in April of 2014, “…the longer we can hold off the disease, the more advances in treatment there will be”….and he was right.

Since my treatment, the combination of these two drugs has also become the bull of treatment for melanoma. As a patient of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC, enjoy this link to an interesting read regarding such treatment. These treatments have given hope and saved the lives of many people with advanced stages of this cancer. People also have to know that melanoma is not just skin cancer. It goes well beyond your skin.  For instance, mine broke my pelvis and hit my hip bone. Cancer is a beast and no one and no piece of your body is invincible to it.

Please visit my website and/or Etsy shop and remember, just because you don’t see something of interest there, I welcome custom orders. Please inquire.


May is Melanoma Awareness Month

Protect the skin you’re in!

Wanting to try my hand at embroidery.

I’ve been cross stitching forever, since I was 10.  I’m now in my mid-40’s. I have been researching things online and through my instagram account continue to see so many works of art completed in hand embroidery. I love the look and the pop of color included in so many of these projects. I have the itch to try it. As I was researching beginner embroidery, I came across the blog below. It seems to be a very helpful blog, filled with information for both the beginner and well-seasoned embroiderer. There are patterns and even tutorials in the shop. I downloaded two of the tutorials. When I am done with my current cross stitching projects I think I am going to take the plunge into the embroidery world. I’ll post when I do, but in the meantime, if you’re looking for some good embroidery info, check out the blog below. I figured my shop is called aRAIofStitches4u, ie. “array”, so why not incorporate as many different stitch type products that I can.

Hello everyone It has been some time since I posted, but that is because I have been very busy working on something on your behalf! Do you dislike tracing your own outlines? That slightly wobbly line that you get no matter which method of tracing you use or how hard you try to keep a […]

via Tracing your own outlines — Trish Burr Embroidery

Editing RAW Images using Gimp


I currently use GIMP as my photo editor program since I only edit photos for fun and cannot afford Photoshop. I’ve never edited a raw image before, but it was suggested to me by a photographer friend at A Day In The Life Photography. The first attempt with taking photos in the raw failed me. I’m not sure what I did, but when transferring these photos from my camera to my computer, I did something to make the transfer process a little crazy. I’m not even sure what I did. So, I tried it again. This time, I only took a few shots and I took them in jpg and raw image format so I could see what was what when I transferred them to my computer.


I opened up Gimp to edit my raw image and oh my God! Gimp looked totally different than I’m used to when editing a jpg formatted photo. I’ve attempted to edit a raw image twice and I think I need to go on youtube and learn this other side of Gimp. I believe it looks more like a Photoshop program when editing raw images. I can’t even explain what I saw. The toolbars are gone and there are just graphs and things. It’s all foreign to me at this point.

So, I sat there and tweaked a photo just playing with different adjustments. I saved the raw image and then opened it but it was completely pixelated and I couldn’t see a thing. I’m wondering if I needed to export it as a jpg before opening it for viewing?! I have no idea, but this will have to be my next venture. Step by step I go. I really want to figure out this raw image editing stuff. Right now, I’m scared of it, but I guess I was scared of Gimp when I initially started using it too.


Any suggestions or insights on raw image editing for beginners is welcome!!!  Please!!!  🙂

Thank you.

Birth Sampler for a girl or a boy, pink or blue

Birth Sampler for a Friend – The Cross Stitch Mounting Process

Today I mounted a completed birth sampler for a friend. It was my first time using a very thin mounting board. To fit in regular, non custom frames, these mounting boards work best in my opinion. I do, however, like the thicker mounting boards better. I feel you get a better stretch on the thicker mounting boards. When you pull the material on the thinner mounting boards, they bend, whereas with the thicker boards, you can stretch the material more removing more of the wrinkles that don’t come out with an iron.

In either case, I do love this birth record and can’t wait for my friend to receive it and to finally see it framed. This piece will make a great addition for a baby boy’s or girl’s nursery. The Dimensions kit comes equipped with dmc floss geared toward either gender.

If you have a newborn or know someone who does, contact me and order a custom birth sampler. They make great gifts and are great keepsakes. My daughter is five and I still have hers hanging in her playroom.


Charliestrong – Wowed Last Night

After putting my daughter to bed last night, I got up out of bed to continue stitching on Charliestrong. After three hours of stitching and getting ready to take a photo of my work in progress, I saw it. I saw Charlie’s hand and wedding band coming through my stitching. I didn’t think I’d start to see much of anything as of yet so I was surprised and pleased with how it is coming out. The likeness of the cross stitch and the actual photo just astonishes me. This is what I love about cross stitching photographs.

Check it out.

Photo Edits

Where does time go?

I woke up this morning and had all of these plans, to do this and to do that, in the house. And, of course, it’s a beautiful day out. I don’t mind staying in regardless, but I know I have to get my daughter out of the house. I struggle with this often. I’m a home body. Anyway, I usually get up and jump right on the computer and get a few things done. Well, it’s 1:30PM and I’m still here. I edited a few pictures for my daughter’s school newsletter, I edited some of my own pictures and a princess picture, and paid a few bills. I have yet to clean the dishes from breakfast and have to wash clothes. My head is spinning with so many different things to do, but not knowing where to start.

Figured, I’d come here first and show you my edits and then I’ll hop on the dishes and hopefully get outside at some point here.

The picture below I took on Easter Sunday. I was just playing around with my camera and thought, hmmmm, maybe it would be a cool shot. I tweaked it with GIMP and fotojet and PicLight this morning and came up with this. I wanted it a bit more vibrant, but all in all I like it. Any thoughts? CC welcome.

Photo Edits

A photo of a wind chime that hangs in our yard.

I’m so behind with edits for Ella’s Enchanted Events so I worked on one photo this morning. I hate that there is an ATM in the background. I’ve tried a few things to remove the eye sore in other photos, but I don’t have the skillset to cut it out and make it look good.

Any suggestions??

Beauty and the Beast

Practicing my photo editing on Princess Belle.

This picture was a jpg. I don’t have the raw image. I tried editing raw images not too long ago for the first time and got scared.  lol.  Yes, scared. GIMP turned into a whole different sort of program. I messed around a bit, but need to get to know how to edit raw images before taking a whole set of images in raw format I think.

What do you think? What’s my best course of action to learn how to edit raw images?


Thanks for any feedback you can lend!


HEART cross stitching supplies

A little bit of stitching today…now and later

Got some cross stitching done this afternoon. It was nice to relax for a bit while watching Shrek with the little one. It’s a cool, rainy day and it was just nice and cozy. The best kind of stitching weather.

I worked on the HEART cross stitch I started and got about 2.5 hours in. It’s coming along.

Tonight I’m hoping to work on my 2nd project, the sentimental piece I’m calling “Charliestrong”. Updates to come, unless I fall asleep when I put my daughter down to bed. I was up late last night stitching.

I think I am enjoying working on two cross stitches at once. One project is very monotone in color and a more intricate piece in the way that it is taking longer to see exactly what it is and because of the blending of colors. When I switch over to the HEART cross stitch, the colors are so vibrant and there is no blending of two colors. It’s a much quicker stitch. Also, the heart is being completed on a larger sized Aida cloth than “Charliestrong” so seeing what you are doing is also easier. However, the HEART can get difficult because some of the stitches are so far away from the other stitches. The counting is more in mid-air, or in this case, mid-Aida. But in the end, no mater which, it’s all worth it.

What are you stitching? Do you enjoy working on one or two projects at one time? Or more?