Monday, June 29, 2009

My Summer Vacation, Stitching and Mr. Policeman

Ha! What summer vacation? Mom's don't get summer vacations, right? The last week has been another busy one! I have to learn not to raise my hand and volunteer, but I'll get to that in a moment.

Even though the week has been absolutely nuts, I have managed to get some stitching done. It's back to Shores and Block 5:

To tell you the you the truth I'm amazed that I've gotten this far during the week. I love this block as much as I did Block 3.

Most of my week has been taken up with kid things. DD is in a Summer Theater production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. As the three high schools here don't have all the costumes in their wardrobes, they need a lot of things made. I, being in a great frame of mind one day (or maybe out of my mind would be a better way to describe it), raised my hand and volunteered to sew some of these things! UGH! What was I thinking? I vowed to never volunteer in any mega way after I ran the school auction for a couple years (a full time job) and was Treasurer of the PTO at the same time. That kind of volunteering can swear you off it the rest of your life! I like being involved when I can, but sometimes I get myself in over my head. Last week it was cutting out and sewing collars and cuffs for the Egyptian costumes. This week, who knows?

In addition to the sewing, I also have had to shop with DD for parts to costumes. She needs a go-go dress and contrasting tights, flat skimmer shoes or go-go boots (HA! - should have kept mine), a blue work uniform shirt (Salvation Army was a destination), a black blanket, an Egyptian Wig. She also got the part of the dancing Sun, so I don't even know what is involved with this. Of course, shopping with this 'tween girl is a nightmare - we came home with much more than we intended. It was fun, but exhausting. One of the things, the black blanket, was difficult to find.
While we were in Marshalls, DD spied this cabinet and said that it looked like something I would like! Well, sure enough it was and for the great price of $9.99. I love the color blue but it won't work in the room I want to put it in, so it's another thing for the painting list. I mentioned to my DH that his daughter sure knew how to shop. His comment? "I wonder where she inherited that trait?" LOL

Many trips were made to Joanne's too and I picked up another pair of scissors for my frog (mom has to buy something for herself, right? Okay, I know I bought the cabinet, but.......)

They're just a multi-colored pair of DMC scissors - nothing fancy, but I liked them. And they were the unbelieveable price of 94 cents. I bought a couple other things that I needed for the craft room organization and when I came home I thought that the bill seemed off. When I read over the receipt, the scanner had only charged me .94 cents, not the $8.99 on the front of the package. I was doing a happy dance.

Another thing I've been working on (in my little spare time) was more organization in the craft room. This time it was my DMC threads. I thought I was organized before - I kept them in floss bags in drawers, but I found myself buying threads for projects when I already had them. Plus I noticed that some of the threads had changed color. Could it be that my threads were suffocating in the floss bags? Gasping for air (why does the thought of a goldfish in a bowl come to mind here)? Was the plastic changing their colors? I don't know - I don't know if those Floss-A-Way are archival quality. It was pretty much just the grey shades and possibly DMC changed formulas over the years, but I decided to change my method of organization. Terri had mentioned she kept her threads this way, and decided that I'd give it a try:

I'm going to spray the outsides of these little cabinets a different color - probably red. I would have done it this week, but it was humid as all get-out, and plus, I just had a hard time finding time. This has been my project for the past two weeks - I could fly in and work on it a little and then fly back out the door with all the activities. Each drawer holds four different colors of threads. A lot of drawers have two of each color (reckless purchasing). I found the labels on a Cathe's blog, shrank them down at Kinkos and copied them on a piece of unperforated label paper and cut them out. Now I feel so organized! The whole DMC collection is in here plus a few drawers for needles, etc.

Well, that's about it. Oh yeah, I did, in all my running around, and I must admit that I have a lead foot - get my first traffic ticket! AUGHHH! $125.00 and 2 points!!!! What the heck?? I've been driving since Adam and Eve were in the garden (well, I feel that old sometimes), and only have been ticketed once - for a No Turn on Red, which I argued my way out of because the sign was behind a tree. I think that Mr. Policeman was just having a bad day and decided to nail me. The light turned yellow, I saw it, thought I was too close to slow down (I was doing the speed limit here - honest), gunned it, but not fast enough. It turned red and BAMMO!!!, Mr. Policeman did a U-turn and nailed me. He asked me how my driving record was and I said "Perfect". Obviously, he decided not to keep it perfect (stinker!). Maybe he hadn't had his donut fix! DRAT!

Well, on that note, I'll leave you with something pretty. My Endless Summer hydrangeas are finally coming up. They're not at their best color yet, but I'm so happy to see them!!!

I hope everyone has a great week and gets a lot of stitching in. I finally found all my threads (thanks to my organization efforts) for the Plantation Sampler so I can finally join the others stitching this and put in my one day a week commitment tomorrow. Thanks again for such sweet comments and emails. It really makes me smile to see them.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Where Did the Week Go

Well, I don't know about everyone else, but it seems that since school has ended, one day has run into the next and before you know it a whole week has gone by! Of course, it doesn't help that besides the kids I also had DH home for the week. Makes for not getting too much done. DH is worse than the kids - I'm sure we can all relate!! LOL Anyway, both the kids are in summer programs, but the minute they get out - MOM!!! Can you take me to the mall, Blockbusters, I want to work out, I need a dress for my part in Summer Theater - oh yeah, shoes too and a leotard (not all at the same store, of course), two sets of dance auditions for next year, softball.....and I probably forgot a few things in there! It's taken me two days to do wash! OY! All I've done is run my butt off. I'd rather have stitch butt!

A week ago, the Guild I belong to (Kindred Spirits Sampler Guild) had their monthly meeting and Terri, Julie and I were the hostesses. Terri posted pictures, but I thought I'd post a couple just because I thought our table and goodies were so nice.
These miniature cheesecakes were one of my contributions. My local produce market sold the edible flowers and since Julie came up with a floral theme, I thought they fit right in.

All the food was wonderful and Terri has posted her Praline Brownie recipe on her blog. I think I grabbed one of those before we were even ready to start eating just because I had to have one (and don't tell - I think I took the biggest one - they were so good!!!!).

I'm looking forward to our next class through the Guild. Catherine Jordan is coming to teach the Great Lakes map:

I can hardly wait to get my hands on this one and start it. I think our Guild will be the first to be taught this project. Of course, where I'm going to fit it in to stitch is another matter. It should be an interesting class because all the water on this piece is painted in. It should certainly turn into a great learning experience.

Even though everyone was home and I've been running my butt off, I did manage to get some stitching in. I started Queen Bee by Shepherd's Bush (love the sparklies in her wings). I've had this kit in the stash pile for a while, and after the A&E sampler (now at the framers - Happy Dance), I wanted to do something with soft colors and with a little more interest to the stitches.

I got past the 1/2 way point in just a few days. The last picture didn't come out very well, but shows my progress. It's been a lot of fun. I used a different lettering that I found in a webshots album ( These can be downloaded and used if you like them. I prefer this type of lettering over what SB has been using - that wonky high/low, wide/narrow lettering. I really would have liked to finish it but I felt the end of June looming in the horizon and decided to sail back over to Shores. I haven't done enough on Shores to snap a picture though.

I was surprised to learn this week that I won a giveway on Karen's blog. I haven't won anything in my life except for a Funny Face Drinkstand (does anyone remember Funny Face - it was like Koolaid - actually probably was Koolaid under an alias). I entered a coloring contest and won a drink stand. It was profitable until one day, my brother, in his role as Kamakazi Bikerider Brother, decided to end the business of the drinkstand by barreling down the sidewalk at warp speed and crashing into it. It was only made out of heavy-duty cardboard, so it didn't take much to end the summer refreshment stand business. To this day, I can still see the glee in his eyes as he came barreling down the sidewalk and us girls running and screaming like crazy fools. Oh brothers, what would we do without them?
Anyway, I won the Friendship chart by Brightneedle. Ya Hoo! I was tickled. Then I just needed a stash fix of some little things (I really should be shot) and picked up Ark and Girl in the Red Dress. I would really like to have her, Marion the Librarian and Miss Mary Mack (and I think there is one other one - Friends Forever?) stitched for my craft room. I've seen this one done on 40 ct and would love to try it. Just haven't gotten up the nerve yet. Anyway, just another couple things to add to the ever-growing "want to do list".
I also received Sampler Sisters of the Thread chart from The Primitive Needle. I would love to just dig into this one, but I don't have any fabric that would fit the piece. It's a shame I didn't have this a little earlier, because I finally broke down and ordered a few pieces:

I ordered some 40 ct Relic on the left, 36 ct Limited Edition Reindeer and 40 ct Legacy (can't see the mottling, but it's nice) on the right. The Reindeer is the fabric I ordered for The Plantation Sampler which I'm suppose to be stitching as we speak. I joined a SAL and had all intentions of putting in a few stitches in this weekend and I never got there. Story of my life! I'm going to try this week. (Have I ever mentioned I stink at SALs?)

Last, but not least, I was wandering around my local Joanne Fabrics last week and spied these on sale for $14.99 a piece! Gingher Criss Scissors! I love, love blue and white! I had ordered the smaller ones off the Bay of Evil for a pretty good price, but not as good as $14.99. Seems that I've developed a scissors fetish (mainly due to Terri - well, I have to blame someone, don't I???). I asked the girl at the checkout (who was besides herself because she didn't know they were marked down and almost bowled me over checking me out so she could go grab some) if they did this often. She said that when a new one was scheduled to be released, they put their old stuff on sale. Well, that's great news. So if you need scissors, run to Joanne's.

Well, I think that's about it. I have to go catch up on four days worth of blogs! I have to say that I enjoyed all your comments to my last post (which seems like I made ages ago) about Costco/Sam's addiction. I didn't realize that so many people were in love with that store or had husbands that loved those stores. I got a kick out of all of them. It's nice to know that you're not alone! Hope that everyone has a great stitching week and thanks again for all the great comments. I sometimes try to reply to them, but lately I just haven't had the time to do that! I'm going to try to be better!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

And the Winner is........

........Nina (Between Crosses with Nina blogspot)! Wow! Congratulations Nina. DD picked your name from the bowl (sorry no pics, battery camera is dead). Email (in my profile) me your address and I'll get this chart off to you ASAP! I don't know how long it takes to get to Hungary, but CONGRATULATIONS! We definitely will need to see progress pics when you start this!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Giveaway

Okay, I've decided to have a giveaway. I've never done this before, but now that I've finally stitched this beauty (previous post), I've decided that I would give away The City Stitcher's Adam and Eve chart. I figured that after 20+ years in my stash pile and now finally finishing it, that this chart deserves a new home. I received comments and emails about it, and yes, I could put this on the Bay of Evil as it is out-of-print and it might command some ridiculous price, but I'd rather have some fun with it and send it to a blogging home (plus, hanging my head here, I ordered a couple more charts and I really must make room - LOL).

The rules are really simple. Post a comment on my blog that you would like a chance to win this chart. If you don't have a blog of your own, make sure that you leave your email address so I can contact you. If you post a link on your blog referring to this giveaway, I will give you another two (2) chances to win. I'll pick the winner one week from today (Monday, June 22nd).

This was a fun stitch and I hope that whoever wins this chart will show me pictures of their progress. Good Luck!!!

Oh, by the way, the thingys I forgot to put in have been added , but discovered I also left out the snake's eye! Both have been fixed and it's off to the framer's this week!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Adam and Eve Finish

Adam and Eve
The City Stitcher
40ct. Vintage Meadowrue
DMC threads

Well, woo hoo! Adam and Eve is finished! And I'm doing a happy dance because I just never thought I'd get it done. I don't know why, but it seemed like I was stitching this forever, although I really wasn't! Maybe it was the 40 count fabric and the fact that I keep jumping back to Shores. Excuse the pictures though - I just can't get a good close-up shot to save my soul. Perhaps time for a new camera. This one is getting up there in years. But......wait.......OMG! I don't believe it!!!! I'm admiring my handiwork and just noticed that it's not finished! (insert head smack) Seems like I forgot two round thingys next to the word 'disgraced'. Oh good grief! I'm so embarrassed. But obviously not that embarrassed because I'm just going to keep going with this post and worry about those thingys later. HA! But I just don't believe it!

I was so happy last night when I did the last satin stitch at the bottom, that in my exuberance, I took that stinker off the scroll rods so fast and declared another project finished. Well, we'll just count this as a finish, won't we? I'll put the round thingys in later and that will be that! The Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 7 is tonight - GO WINGS! And I'll get some stitching time in then. Not going back to the Shores until next week. I pulled out SB's Queen Bee - should be a quick stitch. Block 5 on Shores seems so stitch intensive, that I need a little play time!

In reading blogs this week (when I could get time for them - and if I missed yours, I'm trying to catch up so bear with me), I was saddened to learn that Jean Hilton passed away. Jean was the designer of some of the most beautiful needlepoint patterns I've ever seen. I have quite a few of her books (not surprising with my stash collection), and I actually did one of her designs called Gleneagle:

I marvel to this day that I ever finished this. It took me nine months of exclusive stitching and I was working full time and had a year old son. I wish that it wasn't behind glass because it really is a beautiful design and some of the blocks warrant a close up shot. She used wonderful stitches and was famous for her use of the Jessica Stitch and I believe she invented one called the Mistake Stitch. So detailed are her designs that in the upper left corner, the middle section is a raised God's Eye, giving that block a 3-Dimensional look. I love all her work so much and am really saddened by the news of her passing.

I have managed to make a couple road trips in the past couple of weeks. I really didn't buy much of anything except an antique looking rooster for my sister's place in Long Island. But I did come across this prim mannequin that will look great in my craft room (still under construction). It's not often you find sewing related things in a prim store:

I also read on Tracy's blog (Passion of the Day), that she has set up two blogs. One for Shepherd's Bush fans, Shepherd's Bush Village, for people to post their SB finishes and another one for the Plantation Sampler, so you may want to check them out.

I have finally decided to do a SAL with Tracy and some others on the Plantation Sampler. I've had this in my stash for 22 years, and last year my Sampler Guild made it one of their projects. I didn't join them at the time because I really stink at SALS. Big Time!!! But then I saw that this blog had been set up and that Margaret has been working on this and I love how hers looks, I figured it was time to bite the bullet. This is going to be a pretty loose SAL, so I think that I can do it. I wouldn't want anyone to put money on my finish of it anytime soon, but I'm going to give it a try.

This week has been busy so there isn't much else going on. Kids got out of school this week, but both are going to summer classes through the end of July - my daughter to a Summer Theater program, and my son wants to knock out two classes so he won't have to take them in the fall - gym (don't we all love gym - LOL), and Economics.

But I do have to tell you about a find my DH came across. My DH is addicted to Sam's Club and Costco. If there was some kind of help group for this addiction he would be a prime candidate (but then again, I have my stash addiction, so we'll just let him have his). I used to love going in there and strolling through the aisles, picking up the latest books, etc. But now DH has this addiction and I don't seem to go but once or twice a year. The kids no longer ask where Dad is on a Saturday morning. My son just says, "Dad must be playing the Hunter/Gatherer role again". LOL It's the truth. He's got it bad. Well, this weekend he came across a real find. At least I think it is. We've been trying to furnish this house since we moved into it 4 years ago. Our family room was just about finished last year (previous post) but we still need a few pieces. DH and my taste are totally different, but he came home and said that he thought he found a table he thought I would like. Well, this is what he found:

He took me back over to the store, I took one look at it and said "SOLD SAYS ME"! The people standing around must have thought I had lost it. I couldn't believe it. Just what I was looking for and without the high cost of a regular furniture store. Our room is gold, black, and red so this fits right in. The top four drawers open individually, and the rest are two doors that open with shelves inside. It's a little less bright red then the picture and distressed. I was besides myself because DH just isn't into that sort of thing, but I had been making noises about filling out the corner. Perhaps he was worried that I would find something expensive, so finding something at Sam's would save himself some moola. I'm sure he'll regret it when the bill comes in that he even showed it to me. He's going to regret it more when I put those decorative touches on it and above it! LOL

Well, that's it for me but I thought I'd post a flower pick (everyone's doing it, so I will too). It's about time for flowers here in Michigan. The way the weather has been I doubt we're actually going to get summer, but I don't mind if it's cooler.

Hope that everyone has a great weekend and gets some stitching time. Again, I really love all the comments and emails that people send. And if I missed your blog this week, I'm getting there. I love reading what everyone is up to and stitching!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

They Say It's Your Birthday......

.....well, it was my birthday too, YEAH! Thank goodness, you can't hear me singing! Sunday was my birthday. And I am so late in posting here, that it isn't even funny, but it's been a busy week! I'm not telling what birthday it was because I'm real sensitive to the advancing age thing....but I'll just say that there is grey in my hair - a lot of it - but my hairdresser is the only one that knows for sure - well, not really (did I mention my dad was gray at 30 and I take after him....)! HA!

Anyway, I had a wonderful birthday. My daughter made me a cake - chocolate with fudge icing. She didn't want me to post a picture because she assumed mom had decorating things in the house which I didn't (I usually do the decorating without buying decorating icing or anything - that stuff tastes so awful), so her cake, she felt was less than spectacular. But don't tell - I'll post a pic:

I think she did very well with the little sprinkles she found in the cupboard. Notice the peace symbol at the top - she is all about peace symbols lately - must be a 'tween thing.

Served with great ice cream - white chocolate raspberry swirl. The cake was delicious! The kids and DH also gave me a cell phone because they think that I'm the most technically challenged person on the face of the earth.
The kids are all about texting and mom (that would be moi), just cannot text on those phones where you have to punch three times to get the letter "c", and then three more times to get the letter "i". Drives me nuts. So they got me one a little more advanced. It's a self-serving gift I think. They text me all the time - me, I don't really text at all. But I do love it.

Monday, Terri and Julie (who has no blog and who must be arm twisted to get one), took me out to lunch! I should have taken pics with the phone! See, not technically advanced. Anyway, we had great sandwiches at Panera and then presents! And oh my gosh, were there presents. I was really just about speechless and blown away.

Terri gave me this adorable set that I think she painted and distressed (did you Terri?) Anyway, she used a lot of ingenuity with this one. She took the design from the Hornbook Angel pattern done by Lisa of The Primitive Needle and adapted it for needlepunch! Isn't it wonderful? I definitely need to post this where Lisa will see it. But that's not all with this set.

Terri lined the box (excellent job) with some BBD sampler fabric and included some antique buttons. But wait, there's more.

Then she made a pincushion and inserted it in to the one of the round boxes!
And to top it off:

A beautiful (just love them) pair of Gingher scissors (to add to my minuscule scissor collection) with a fob that she made herself. I think that it looks excellent on my recently acquired scissor frog.

Perfect, don't you think? And I should mention here that the fob and scissors next to it, were also a present from her a year or so ago! So they will reside in my frog together. I think they're sisters!

Then Julie gave me this. Not the greatest picture, but I didn't have a hook in any of my walls that I could hang this from. I will definitely take a better picture once it's mounted on the wall and floss rings attached. But it's a swivel wall mount with five arms.
And again I was just about speechless because I had wanted one to hang my thread rings in my new craft room (still under construction and updates in another post). She didn't know that I had wanted one, but she wanted to get me something for my new room. I think that she picked the most perfect thing!

She also made me a floss tag:

This was stitched from the Prairie Schooler's sampler, Johnny Appleseed! Very cool and I'm such a sap, I almost hate using it for fear something will happen to it. I may hang it from my Ott Lamp so I can just look at it! Like I said, I was totally blown away with these wonderful gifts! Thank you with a lot of hugs, Terri and Julie.

On Wednesday, I went out with my BFF Diane. Mexican food and margaritas! OLE! We had a great time and more presents:

The Promise by Shepherd's Bush stitched by Diane's own hands!!!! I need to get a better picture of this, but with glass on it, it's a little bit difficult. I just about fell off the seat (and no it wasn't the margarita! LOL) Now wouldn't this make you want to fall off your seat?? Seriously! And Diane always adds some little twist to everything that she does. She added an ark charm to bottom (I don't think you can clink on the picture to make it bigger - I'm going to have to work on that). And then:

Two magnets with Chessie & Me samplers (excuse the bad pic)! I love both of these gifts so much! The SB will have a prominent place on the SB wall in the guest room and I'll think of her each and every time I walk by it (which is will be lot because it's my refuge when DH snores like a freight train!). Many, many, many hugs to you Di! I absolutely love, love, love it.
I think that I'm very blessed with the best and greatest friends!

Okay, now I'll get off the birthday horse (although I'm still doing happy dances) and back to stitching.
Adam and Eve are not doing well as far as stitching goes. Something is rotten in Eden, me thinks. Yeah, the stitcher has been partying too much this week! LOL Seriously, I honestly thought that I would be done with this, but as you can see, I'm not (hmmm, wonder if the margarita had anything to do with it! LOL). I have made mistakes at every turn (this isn't rocket science I keep telling myself, and I wasn't drinking margaritas every day). You can't tell by the picture, but Mr. Sheepie doesn't meet the grass so he's getting his legs extended (I don't do frogs). I think the slowest part has been the grass. Since the fabric is 40 ct, I feel like I'm on the slow boat to China stitching this thing. I'm (fingers-crossed) hoping that I can get the rest of the grass in it tonight while the Red Wings (Go WINGS!!!) game is on. If not, this piece will come dangerously close to making it into the WIP basket for a while. Time is quickly approaching to get back to Shores because that Block 5 is pretty stitch intensive.

The craft room, for obvious reasons, has not been touched in the last week or so, although FIL called with the total amount for the craft table. My FIL, being from the old school, thought the price was a little high, but it ended up being about 1/3 the price I thought it would be for the materials, so I told him to "let the games begin" and get that puppy started. Obviously, I need to get back down there and do a little more work. I did manage to pick up a couple more items for the room, but I'll show them in another post. Don't want to overdo the pictures!

That's about it. I'd say that's quite a lot! Thanks to everyone for all your great comments (I'm still trying to catch up on everyone's blogs for all the partying I've done this week), and thank you Terri, Julie and Diane for making this the best birthday ever (oh yes, DH and kids too!).