Thursday, July 30, 2009

Where Did The Week Go????? And some Finishes.

I haven't been able to visit anyone's blogs this past week (although I'm going to start rectifying that in a few minutes) and I feel like I've been out of the loop, so to speak!!! But it's been with good reason.

Last Thursday, my sister from California came in and I have barely sat down since she's gotten here. We always have a lot of talk about and since she lived here at one time, there is a lot she wants to do. And we only really see each other a couple times a year (I go to see her in November), so there is a lot of catching up to do, stores and sales to see, etc. We have been to more stores, antique shops and art shows this past week than I've been in a year, and we have scheduled more of this (along with a pet adoption event the kids want to go to in the hopes that Aunt Cindy can convince mom to buy a dog). She leaves next Tuesday night. I think I'm going to be worn out. So therefore, no stitching this week. Not that I've even wanted to when I have had time to. I hope it's not that mojo thing striking me or should I say, lack of mojo - but when I've had time, nothing I have going appeals to me and I'm too lazy to pull something else out. But I do have a picture of a little thing that I did. Doing things for others sometimes appeals more than stitching for yourself.

Bitty Bee
Twisted Threads
1 over 1 on 32ct Summer Khaki Fabric

I made this scissor fob for Julie for her birthday. This was my first attempt at a fob, and I definitely learned what not to do in the future. I've never beaded before, so even that little bit of beading was a learning experience. It's one over one on 32 ct. fabric which wasn't too bad until I got to the white on the wings and I couldn't see it. I was going frantic because I was down to the wire (it was Tuesday) and had to get it done by Friday. Luckily, Hobby Lobby (who just opened a store in the general area) had a 40% off coupon, so I flew like the wind and picked up a Mighty Brite light with the magnifier and WHOA!!! What a difference. So I made the deadline and Julie told me she loves it! Anyone thinking of buying one of these lights - walk, don't run. I really love it!

Friday morning while having my morning coffee and trying to get my eyes open enough to finish off the top of the fob, get my shower and try to fix my tired 'ole self up to make Julie's birthday lunch on time (yeah, I stabbed myself with the mascara wand a couple times -my sister and I were up very LATE the night before and yes, there were margaritas involved!!), these beautiful creatures came through the yard:

We have a herd of about 16 deer that live in the subdivision. Rochester Hills is really on the outermost part of what you'd call Metro Detroit, and it's pretty much undeveloped 1/2 mile north of us, so we are frequented with these beautiful animals a lot during the year. Of course it was a little scary one night when I pulled into my driveway and there was a six point buck standing in the middle of it. Then again, I don't know who was more scared - him with his "deer in the headlights" look or me! LOL

Friday afternoon Joanne's called and said my framing order was ready! Woo Hoo. I picked up my Sail Away:

The distressed area of the frame has blue and matched the blue in the piece perfectly. I'm usually on the fence with matting SB's. Sometimes I order the Jill Rensel matts and sometimes I don't. This time I just put a sueded matt on it and although you can't see it, the matt has subtle shadings of a couple of the blue colors. I was really tickled to finally get it back.

Now a little bragging. My DD has been in a Summer Music Theater program here in Rochester. It's actually an accredited course that will apply towards her high school graduation. This year's production was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It amazes me that in five short weeks a group of high school and middle school students can put such a wonderful performance together. It is always sold out and is a huge hit in the community.

These pictures aren't the greatest as they were taken without flash. This was a scene where she was one of the school children.

And here she is in the middle with the orange dress. She had a few parts this year. She was in the Color Chorus, a Go-Go dancer, the Sun, and an Egyptian. Funny thing with the Egyptian, there were several of them and the girls had to wear there horrid wigs and I couldn't figure out which one was her to get a picture of her.

Yesterday, the kids, my sister and I took off for one of the Tourist Traps here in Michigan - Frankenmuth, which is described as Little Bavaria in Michigan. They have two restaurants that are "famous" (debatable in my opinion) for their chicken dinners, and shops galore! Also within Frankenmuth is Bronners, described as the world's largest Christmas store and it is. I don't have pictures, but believe me, it's an exhausting exercise walking through that entire place. They're online and if you're ever looking for some type of different Christmas ornament, that would definitely be the place. We also discovered a couple great antique stores outside of town and I came across a couple more traditional scissor frogs cheap (I'll post pictures later).

Well, that's about it for now. I need to read some blogs as I haven't had time in a week. The kids and my sister are off for a bike ride, so I'm going to take advantage of this and catch up while I can. Tomorrow's plan is to raid a few more antique stores that we didn't have time for so that should be a lot of fun. What I'm really looking for right now is not antiques, but my stitching mojo.

Thanks again for your wonderful comments. I love getting on and seeing a new comment and even though I've been such a slacker with comments this week, I have peeked and I'm off to comment now. Have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers, Catherine Jordan Class and Misc. Stuff

Happy Monday everyone! I figured that I better make a post now before the week got totally out of control.

I was really touched this week by a couple of things. The kindness of strangers never ceases to amaze me. A post or two ago, I made a whiny remark about not having time to make fobs for my scissors. I wasn't really whining, just lamenting the fact that I wasn't born a four headed person with eight arms so that I can stitch faster in the time I have! About a week later a package arrived:

Inside were these:

(Sorry for the bad pic - I took this ten times in different locations. I think I need a new camera - or maybe a new operator????)

Ranae made me not one, but two beautiful scissors fobs. I can't tell you how stunned and touched I was by her gift of giving. Both are beautiful and have extra touches that I was so surprised at. Envision me doing the Snoppy Happy Dance here. On the red and black one - a sewing machine charm - of course, I love sewing. On the second, the saying, "Laugh often, love much", another one of my favorite sayings with my name in beads strung along the length. Now I certainly can't lose those as I take them on my travels! Ranae, your thoughtfulness really, really touched me so much and I can't thank you enough for them. They look beautiful on my frog:

Ranae, I will think about you everytime I use them!!! They're beautiful!

The second act of kindness from a stranger was this blogger award from Wendy. Wendy, thank you so much for the award, and everyone stop over to see her wonderful blog. I'm suppose to designate people to pass this award to, but I can't pick only a few people. Every blog that I have listed on my sidebar are blogs that I love and I couldn't possibly pick only a few. So this award is for everyone!!

I am so touched by people's thoughtfulness!!!

On the stitching front........

.........little stitching was done this week. Basically just the whale on Block 6 and not even the entire whale. Stitching time has been at a real premium! Hopefully after this week and my daughter's rehearsals and performances are out of the way and I get my sister settled (arrival Thursday), there will be more time for stitching again.

This weekend I had the greatest time attending Catherine Jordan's Map of the Great Lakes of North America class:

We were the pilot class for this project and it was a fantastic experience. I would have never known that this was the first time she had taught it. It was the entire weekend - Saturday and Sunday. I've never done a two day class and I have to say that I really wish I could fit more of them in. I had severe stitch butt, but it was so much fun! Terri, Julie and I had the greatest time! Okay, I'm not in this picture - I'm camera shy. But as you can see, T & J are having a great time!

We didn't start off with the large map first. Catherine had designed a companion notebook for us to work on first so that we could get the hang of painting on the fabric:

This was what I got done over the two days. Doesn't look like much - could it be because we were also jawing a lot during the class?? No, not us - okay, we did get shussed a couple times! LOL We also worked on some hem stitches on a bookmark so that we could get the hang of finishing off the edges of our map. Eventually the notebook will look like this. I'm using Wisconsin's as an example, but you'll get the idea:

Catherine is a such wonderful teacher and sweet person.

I learned a lot of tips and techniques and I can't wait to start on the larger map. She also brought along a few more of her projects and I'll tell you it's hard to resist. I ordered the Jamestown Map (shame on me). My family spent a lot of time along the East coast when I was young, so I had to have it!!

Jamestown Map:

She also brought along a couple others.

Texas Map:

Illinois Map:

The Illinois map is so striking in person. It still hasn't been released as of yet (I believe later this year), but I know that I will have to have it. Never spent much time there, but the beauty of this map makes it a must have for the stash pile. Maybe someday I'll actually get it done and in the den! LOL

Catherine also brought some things along for sale. I wish I had taken more pictures of all the beautiful things she brought with her. I had to pick up this ruler. It has Adam and Eve on it, so you know I can't resist. Not a clear picture (again).

Catherine is coming back in September as there was an overwhelming response to this class and the group had to be broken down into two. She is also going to be teaching a couple of 1/2 day classes for painted and embroidered needlebooks, and yes, I did sign up (but shame on me, I didn't take a picture of it).

Her works are wonderful to look at and to work on and have so many details in them. What's nice about them, is if you have memories of a place within the state, you can add your own touches, or she will help you add them in. Michigan is big on apples, so I know that I'll have to add that, and my mom was in the running for Peach Queen in Romeo many years ago, so I know that I'll have to get that in there too! It's going to be such a fun project.

Well, that's it for me. Being gone for a whole weekend - well, you can imagine what the house looks like. The DH and kids did clean the bathrooms (SHOCK!!) and weeded out the entire yard (a daunting task sometimes), but there is a HUGE pile of laundry that I have to start on. I also have not had time to check blogs for the past four days, so I've got a lot of catching up to do.

Thanks for all your comments once again, thank you so much, Ranae, for the beautiful fobs and Wendy for the award, and I hope that everyone has a wonderful, stitchy week.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Nautical Times

Happy Monday everyone! Hope everyone had a great weekend and got some quality stitching time in. I'm going to try to make this post short and sweet, but thinking about it, when has that ever happened? LOL I tend to post like I talk - a lot! Anyway, I finished Block #5 this weekend!! Woo Hoo!!
Of course I'm only, what......12 days behind schedule? But that's what happens during the summer. Just too many other things going on. In the winter it's so much easier to plop in the chair and stitch seeing as it gets dark at 6:00. When it's still light out at 9:00, it's so much harder. I did start a little bit on Block #6 - that one is going to be a monster - and I doubt that there will be much updating on that for a while. My hope was to get it done in a month and take a month off from stitching Shores (since #6 is actually like two blocks), but that's probably not going to happen. DD's performances are all next week and my sister is coming in for almost two weeks and then we may take off for a much needed few days out of Dodge, so not much stitching is going to get done (insert sad face here). Maybe some small things.

This weekend everyone took off their separate ways and I was home alone for some part of it. Did I stitch? Of course not. I cleaned the house and the mom-mobile, weeded, washed clothes, washed some windows (geez, I wish I could bottle that energy!). Couldn't get myself to sit down. But I did do something stitchy...........

I actually framed something myself! Thanks to Vonna's tutorial and this frame I found at Michael's in my travels last week, I decided to give it a try and see just how difficult it was. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but the greenish accenting on the frame matches perfectly the grass area where the bird is. And I have to say, it wasn't hard at all......well, maybe I exaggerate that a wee bit - I think I may have cussed a slight bit - but no one was home so I could get away with it! LOL But really, the hardest part was getting it lined up - the pinning was a snap and once I knew I had it centered, I actually liked the pinning part!! I think the centering was a little bit more tedious because of the border around the piece - it's hard to make two parallel lines line up correctly - the black border and the frame border. The best part of this whole experience was the cost - $12.99 for the frame with a 1/2 coupon from Michaels. I already had the matt board and the tape and I learned a trick years ago with the backing. Brown shopping bags dampened straighten themselves out - glue them down with archival glue - and it forms a taunt backing as it dries! I think I can love this cost savings.

So, now I feel like I get some of my smaller framing out of the way. Larger stuff I'll still let the experts handle, but I'm just tickled that I could do it.

Continuing with the nautical theme, I was digging through some things this weekend - actually rearranging things (I'll tell you I was like a woman possessed with the cleaning) and came across this scrimshaw I had purchased through my Sampler Guild. I have an oak quilt cabinet with glass on three sides and a removable glass shelf in the middle, in case you want to use it as a display curio. I was using this for some of my tea cups and for displaying smalls rather than hanging a quilt in it. Now, that the tea cups are going to a new home, I realized the scrimshaw would be great with all the other little things I've put in there. I couldn't get a good pic in the cabinet so I just laid them on the floor (which really isn't a good pic either). I will never actually use these - I can just see the scissor fob shattering if I really put it on the end of a pair of scissors, but since they're nautical, I thought I'd take a pic.

On a non-nautical note, when I was reading blogs this week, I came across Margaret's (my idol for super fast stitching) and she talked about a blog that was asking for pictures of your first quilt. Well, I didn't send a picture, but I did find mine rummaging through the linen closet this weekend trying to get the guest room ready for my sister's visit next week and I found my first two (don't laugh!!)

Okay, can we guess which decade these were made in? LOL Actually, these were made before quilting really became such a revolution like it appears to be now. These patterns came out of Family Circle magazine that my mom had around and I pulled the patterns out of them and kept them when I was a teenager. Years later I actually made them. And dang, I remember cutting the strips for these with scissors - not a rotary cutter! The top one is suppose to have applique hearts in the blank areas (do you think that I had a thing for hearts around that time?). And I remember not enjoying the construction of the Prairie Points around the edges. I never finished these off - I suppose I should.....someday. I still have the hearts cut out and ready for applique. I honestly don't think I'd display either of them now. But then again, who knows. DD saw them and thought they were cute. Perhaps I should finish them off for her.

Well, that's it for me. Have to fly as the rat race continues. I have to say that I'm touched by everyone's comments. I really love reading all of them and your blogs too. You all leave such wonderful comments and I feel that I've made a tremendous amount of wonderful friends! And your blogs are a wonderful source of inspiration!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Building on the Shores

Happy Monday everyone! I hope that you all had a great 4th weekend! And hopefully some stitching done too! We spent the day out at my BIL's house. They live a couple houses off the St. Claire River on a canal near Anchor Bay. It was a beautiful day and the fireworks were spectacular! Given that Algonac is a very small, sleepy town, it was amazing the fireworks display they put on. The day wasn't too cool or too hot. Really perfect. There is just something so laid back with that town - the beautiful Victorians and small cottages - you really feel like you've gone far away - reminds me a lot of Northern Michigan, which is one of my favorite places to vacation.

Construction on the Block #5 of Shores has been at a snail's pace. No real stitching time this week. In fact, a lot of what I got done was last Monday night and last night. Obviously, I'm way behind schedule. This block was suppose to be done by the end of June. I'm still loving it, but it seemed to take forever to get the bricks and mortar in.

I did have one happy dance this week. I got Adam and Eve back from the framers:

I'm not a particular fan of Michael's for framing, but they had a 60% off sale, so I decided to give them a whirl (I like to save a buck whenever I can). I'm really pleased with the job they did. Now that one is put to bed, so to speak, I'm really itching to work on Ann Medd (given that there is an A&E in that piece). She's been calling loud and clear, but the thought of pulling her out fills me with a sense of anxiety because she's do big. But maybe I can find some time to put some stitches in. My whole problem is that I always go for the BAPs and not much in the way of small things.

The rest of the week was just plain, 'ole busy. DS does volunteer work through his high school with an organization called Kids Giving Back (looks good on his college apps, don't you know). His requirement this week was to work the fireworks in town. No stitching was done that night as he had to be there at 4:30 to 5:30 for set up and then from 9:30 to closing to take down (they have a tent where they solicit donations for the works that they do in the community). Needless to say, I was kind of stuck sitting there for six hours because of the traffic. And I forgot my stitching! UGH And it rained the entire time. Another UGH! Luck was on everyone's side though and about 10 minutes before the fireworks were to begin, the rain stopped and the fireworks went on. What we don't do for our kids, right? I'll so love it when DS gets his license - although, on second thought, I'll probably worry myself to death.

I did manage to pick up another couple pairs of scissors this week. I'm kind like an obsessed person with these now. One pair is just a cheap pair of floral scissors I found at a needlepoint store and the other ones are a pair of Gingher Biancas.

The scissors frog is filling up:

I definitely need to find some time to make some fobs. I've got a couple patterns lined up and I'm going to beg Terri for some beading lessons, but it's all going to have to wait until the fall I'm afraid.

I did manage to make a quick run this weekend around everyone's activities. Dawn at Holly Hills Primitives had this tea cart on her blog a couple of weeks ago, and I knew that I had to have it. She was holding it for me and holding it, and I couldn't find the time to get up there. Finally yesterday I just said "I'm out of here" and drove up to get it. My grandmother had one of these carts to display her tea cups. When I was little, I used to love to go into her dining room and look at all her pretty stuff (her house was a very feminine cottage type house - decorated in the style of what we call shabby chic these days). When she passed away, my Evil Aunt took off with the cart (along with a multitude of other things, but I won't get into that). I got most of the tea cups, but haven't had any real place to display them. Some were in the bottom of a large bird cage I had, but the rest were scattered around:

I just love it. It's really a flower cart but it looks very much like the one my grandmother had minus the pot holders on the top. It needs a little cleaning up and I may give it a new coat of paint.
I have to thank everyone for their comments about my traffic ticket. I called the Court to see what the damage was going to be and I was told, "$125.00 and 2 points"! WHAT! I have set up a court date. Seeing as I have an unblemished record and there was a reason I looked away from the light (my cell phone rang - DS was hurt in gym class that day and I thought the school was calling me and telling me his injury was worse that they originally thought), I'm going to fight it. At least hopefully get the points taken off. Everyone tells me maybe Mr. Cop won't show up and they'll throw it out. We'll see what happens!
Well, that's it for now. Have to run and catch up on a bunch of errands. Hope everyone has a great week and finds some time for stitching.