Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Today, no updates on Ann, nor my latest junk finds, etc.  Today some thanks for things that I have.

Yesterday, was a really great day for me in a lot of ways.  I've been sicker than a dog with the flu for over the past week.  That can make you have a giant pity party sometimes.  I never get sick (or so rarely I don't even notice it) so in all my long hours of resting, I've thought of how lucky I really am.  Yesterday proved it.

Yesterday was DD's 12th birthday.  I am lucky that I have her - things were really dubious during my prenancy with her - lots of hospital stays, toxemia, etc.  But I have her and she's an absolute delight to have - a trial at times as all 'tween girls can be, but she's smart, sweet, talented and my love bug.

I made her the requested meal - frijitas (there was cake too, but didn't take a pic):

And tried to find a gift for her that's as different from a gift that you would normally give a 12 year old.  She got the requisite boots, camera she asked for, but she is also quite the little scientist and explorer.  She constantly brings in frogs from our garden, only to be told she has to let them go the next day.  Well, I found these for her at a Hallmark Store of all places.  She was thrilled!

Yes, frogs.  Two mini African frogs that live in their own Eco-Friendly environment.  She should be watching these for the next three to five years!   They went upstairs with her last night so she could make sure that they slept well.  Such a sweety!  Happy Birthday, my darling girl!!

A package arrived in the mail on Monday night.  We had high winds and rain and our power went off.  Right before I left to take my DD to dance (that was a struggle), a package arrived, but I didn't have time to open it.  The power was off until after we went to bed, so the package didn't get opened until Tuesday morning.

I didn't order anything, so what could it be?  Well, it was a package from Jolene.  When I found my first scissor frog, a dear voice, someone who I didn't know at all, commented on my blog and told me that she would make me a fob.  Time went by - little did I know that Jolene was busily working on it.  She posted hints on her blog, but I didn't know that was to eventually be mine.  She has posted pictures on her blog, which are much better than mine, so please take a look.  But not only did she send me a fob, she sent me Christmas in a box.

Inside of the black purse were these goodies:

A cute Halloween plaque (it's already hanging Jolene) and two beautiful pieces of homespun fabric.  My pictures don't do justice to how pretty these are. 

In the next package was the cutest Halloween chart (and excuse the bad pictures - it was cloudy and awful when I took them) with the fabric, floss and buttons from Just Another Button Company, a notepad and recipe cards AND THE MOST DARLING SCISSOR FOB WITH THE FANTASTIC OWL SCISSORS ATTACHED!!!!!!!  Be still my heart!  Not to seem dramatic or anything, but there were some tears coming out of my eyes at this point and they definitely were not caused by my illness.   Here's a couple better pictures:

Jolene said that this was her first attempt at making a fob.  Well, she could have fooled me, BIG TIME!  She did a wonderful job and there are tiny seed beads all around the edges.  Again, her blog has much better pictures than mine.  I so love it.  I told her that I was absolutely speechless!

The third package included some yummies for the tummy and a sweet owl necklace.

After I had composed myself and wiped my eyes, you just know that my new fob had to take it's rightful place among the scissors:

Jolene, sneaky person that she is, had been posting hints on her blog for a while.  Was I swift enough to pick up the clues?  Of course not.  I loved watching her over one progress on this PS design and thinking that she was a much better person than me.  Jolene, it is wonderful and I'm going to treasure the fob and everything forever. 

So those are a couple things that have truly made me feel lucky.  My beautiful daughter and the goodness and kindness of strangers - people whose lives you only see through their blogs, but who you realize have some ties to you in some way.  For their kindness, generosity and thoughtfulness.  How lucky I am to  have not only "met" Jolene, but every single person who has left me a comment or whose blog I have enjoyed - they have all been such an inspiration and it's a real delight to see into your world.    Thank you again Jolene, and thank you everyone for your wonderful comments.   I am truly lucky to "know" all of you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stitching and Stuff

Happy Tuesday everyone!!! Hope you all have gotten some good cases of stitch butt and you're having a great week so far!!

This has been a good week. Lots going on as usual, but some fun things for once. First off, I finished up another section of Ann:

Sorry for the somewhat distorted picture here - I don't know what happened.

Just a note here concerning the chart - you see two little birds (barely) on top of the red flowers - well, the bird on the right is not charted, but shows up on the pattern cover photo. So if anyone is thinking about doing this, make note.

A couple people asked me about the lettering and whether it was cross stitch....backstitch.....or a pain to do.....was it boring?

.....well, I guess that monotonous would be a good word for it. But each line goes fairly quickly and I switch back and forth between some of the lettering - like a line or so - and then switch back to the center portion. I was saving the lettering to do all at once and it was making my skin itch because I wanted to stitch the "meat" of the design and not all lettering! I'm doing a happy dance because now I've just two sections to go and am over half way done! The next section has the Colonial A&E type figures (that I can't wait to get into) and then that solidly stitched Mermaid scene (gulp) on the bottom. Any bets on me finishing this? Aw, don't waste your money. I'm sure I'll slip somewhere. LOL

Last Friday I was on a mission to find a new cooktop. DH has finally had it with almost setting himself on fire. HA! I know how to talk to the cooktop from Hell - he does not and since he likes to cook on the weekends, he doesn't go through it on a daily basis. I finally got the new dishwasher a month ago (yeah, no more dishpan hands, Madge!), so he must be feeling generous. "Don't question, just go for it before he changes his mind" is my motto here. Anyway, while I was driving hither and yon, I saw a cute store - or what looked to be cute - so to give myself a break (really I was hoping for a ladies room because....well, I wasn't close to home and had put down an entire bottle of water driving), I went in and found some wonderful frames. I just love this black one:

And then I found a white one too:

I have no clue what pieces are going into either of them right now, I just knew that I had to have them. And the owner says she gets these in every week. She either leaves them as she finds them or makes them look old. Quess I'll be making a few trips over there. Very reasonable prices. She's also trying to get me into sewing for her store - you know - cute little pillows, simple quilts. Hmmmmm, could be a money making proposition for me, but yet I barely get time to do what has been lurking around here done yet. Great way to make some stash change, but the money would probably never leave the store - she has some great things!

Then on the way home that same day, I hit a couple garage sales. My car seems to be developing its own sense of radar for Estate or garage sales and just magically finds it's own way there - wonder how that happens??? Fridays are great sale days I've found! I think that my DH is going to commit me soon if I bring any more of these flower frogs home. I was surprised to find one because I don't normally see them at garage sales:

I also picked up the easel because I thought it would look great holding instruction books on my new table (yes, pictures are coming soon). Then I also found this lamp for the craft room:

All this great stuff for $9.75. Yes, I was doing a happy dance (or maybe I was dancing because I needed a ladies room again). I think the shade is a little overpowering, so I'm going to hunt down another one, but for the price - $5.00 for the lamp, $4.00 for the frog and $.75 for the easel, I was one happy camper. (BTW, that's my grandmother in the picture on the right).

While I'm on the subject of frogs, I have to post these pictures for Kim (she's at the threadheadsunite blogspot - Blogger is being stupid and won't let me link it). She is a collector of flower frogs too, and also a great thrift shopper and she mentioned putting hers in a birdcage. After I rescued my tea cups out of mine when I got the flower cart a couple months back, the birdcage got some new occupants:

That, of course, is not all of them. They're scattered around the house - on tables, etc. I'm going to need a new cabinet to display all of them. Yeah, like DH is going to go for that! LOL

Last Sunday was the monthly Sampler Guild meeting and they've got the greatest projects going on. The first one is this pinball which was suppose to be finished up for last week. Was mine done?? Of course not, you know me. I've been feeling the love with Ann, but I think that now that DD's dance lessons have started and I have 2-1/2 hours to kill waiting for her, I'm going to take these along with me and try to knock them out.

I just love it. Next month, we're doing (or should I say they're doing - LOL) the companion fob (do you not love that skeleton face in the flag?????):

Both of these pieces will be great to display with Shores of Hawk Run Hollow. Well, they will be when I get all three of them done! Could be a while. Maybe when the love with Ann subsides. And speaking of Shores, have you all seen Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow? I'm sure you have. I would like to go there, but I've already got three of these going. I can't even think of it right now. (yeah right.....I'll order the darned chart I'm sure, along with a few others - I think I've abstained for at least two months - that's a lifetime to me - and market is coming, don't ya know?? LOL).

Other things going on - DD found out that she made the school basketball team. YA HOO for her! I was really happy for her. She didn't think that she would make it and we were a little worried because some of the games are going to be played on Monday nights. Not a big deal except she dances on Monday nights. Always the way, right? Well, fortunately both the Coach and Dance Instructor were very willing to make compromises for her - so she'll be splitting her time between each - basketball getting more of the nights because of the shorter season. This meant going from First String to Second, but she was happy with that. Go Catie!!!! Mom is especially proud because that's what I played in school.

Work on the craft room still continues. I've got stuff heaped all over the table otherwise I'd take a picture. I always think I can spend some time down there and then get interrupted with something. I've been waiting for DH to get some things on the wall for me, but he is slower than molasses in January and if I continue to wait, we'll all be looking down at all this from above. LOL You may find this hard to believe and wonder if I've been living under a rock, but I've never installed an anchor into the wall. I've always used those museum type hangers where the hole is nano-sized. But I've got some things to hang that are a tad heavy. Now before you think I'm prissy or something, it's because my husband does all the painting in our house (read: too cheap to hire someone - did I say that?) and he's so anal (seriously so) that he doesn't like holes put into his walls! Yeah, his walls! Last time I looked.........Well, enough of that. I went in and smiled at the friendly guys at Home Depot last night and they gave me step-by-step instructions so that I don't make holes large enough to put a semi through. So I'm ready - drill found, bits found - I'm ready to crank the baby up and go for it. HA!!! Maybe I'll put in some heavy metal music on while I'm doing it to set the mood!

Well, that's all the news that's fit to report today. Tomorrow is my day off - a trip to the cider mill for one of my two annual cider and donuts and drive days (the second is when the fall colors are at their best) - and to see a man about a frog -flower frog, that is. Quess I can call him my stash dealer. HA!

Till later - make a lot of X's.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Drive By Post and Reading Challenge

I've been crazy, crazy here lately and haven't had much time to be on the computer, but since I'm waiting for my kids to get home, I thought I'd try to catch up on my blog reading. I saw that Vickie is having a 10 Book Challenge (thanks Anna for posting this). So since I love to read, I joined the challenge. I'm hoping I can live up to it. Here's my list:

Finger Lickin' Fifteen - Janet Evanovich (not in the picture because I was too lazy to go upstairs and get it, but waving at Di for loaning it to me)
In The Woods - Tana French
Mental - Eddie Sarfaty (it looks quirky and funny and the title reminds me of myself at times - LOL - especially the way the past few weeks have been going)
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Home - Marilynne Robinson
The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo - Stieg Larsson
The Guersney Literary & Potatoe Peel Society - Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
That Old Cape Cod Magic - Richard Russo
The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown (yeah, I had to run out and buy it this am - thank goodness for the prices at Costco)
South of Broad - Pat Conroy

I don't know if I'm going to stick with this list because there are about five others that I really want to read too, but I guess the whole goal is to read 10 books and Vickie says that you can switch out because others may pop up before the end of the year. So my other contenders are:

Gilead - Marilynne Robinson
Time of My Life - Allison Winn Scotch
Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austin (read this years ago, but decided to read it again)
The Lace Reader - Brunonia Barry
Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout
Now, like finding stitching time, I need to find reading time. I should do okay - I average about 50 books a year, so I may just make it. I don't do audio books which I guess I should try again. First time I tried it, I kept getting up and missed half of the book. I do love holding a book and turning the pages and just getting immersed in them. But I probably should give it another try. Would get more read that way I think.

Well, I've got a few short minutes before the p.m. activities start up, but I had to post a somewhat stitchy little something. No, those above are not new finishes. You probably thought I'd abandoned Ann for a minute, didn't you? - No way Jose'!!!!!). These are projects that need to be put together AND they're sitting on the top of my new table that my FIL made for me!!!!! Am I happy dancing or what???? I'll post more pictures later. It was delivered on Sunday and I haven't had one minute to get down there to arrange the room or anything! DRAT!!!

Till later......a big hi to everyone if I've missed your blogs over the past week.....I'm trying to catch up. Hope that you get time to make a lot of X's, and thanks for all your comments too. I really enjoy them!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Someone Take My Temperature please......

....because I must be seriously ill! LOL I have actually stuck to my onward quest to eliminate WIPS! I didn't switch out projects this past week. I didn't start anything new, nor was I enabled by any blogs (okay, maybe a little, but I didn't buy a thing, just added them to the list). I did take in a boat load of framing, but that's project completion, right? Anyway, I was a good girl and I just kept going on Ann. My intent was to rotate projects, but I just love working on her so much that I realize it's not about the rotation, but about the completion of projects. I know that I'll go back to Justine or maybe even Shores, but here is Ann this week:

Not tons of progress, but some. It's been hard staying up very late now that I'm back on the school schedule of getting up at 5:30. These sections are really large! At least the last of those cursed dogs are finished. This time around they were easy. It makes me mad that I let them upset the apple cart, so to speak, and got me so frustrated that I ranted and raved and threw it into the spare bedroom where I didn't have to look at it (but then again, it wasn't all them - I have the attention span of a gnat sometimes). I'm being really optimistic and thinking that I can finish her up by the end of the year (okay, maybe not - I'm sure my attention will wander - but it's a good thought).

I have to thank everyone again who entered my giveway! And a huge congratulations to Ranae again (it's going out tomorrow, Ranae). I was surprised at the number of people who posted, but it's made a huge amount of fun for me to discover some new blogs! Thanks everyone!

This weekend we went to a couple of Festivals that take place in the area. One of them was the Peach Festival in Romeo, Michigan. They always have a parade with the marching band, each branch of the Armed Services represented, craft booths, carnival rides, etc.

Don't you just love that house in the background? It's a bed and breakfast. I took a lot of pictures, but decided not to bore you with all of them except for the Peach Queen herself:

Not the greatest picture, but what can you do with a cell phone? I had a reason for making sure that I took a picture of her. My mother grew up in the area (actually North Branch) and actually ran for Peach Queen a long time ago:

My mom didn't win the title of Queen - she's the one on the far right - but was in the Queen's Court. This photo is from a book called Images of America - The Romeo Peach Festival highlighting every year that the festival has been held from 1931 to 2005. I found it in the bookstore a year or so ago and just thumbed through it and was surprised to see my mom in it.

The kids and I, before the start of the school season, stopped at a couple garage and estate sales that were in the area. My kids really scarfed up on the goods! They love going to those things. I didn't find anything of interest except for this book:

Don't you just love this title! I just had to get it! I would like to think of myself as an Uppity Woman! LOL This should really make for some entertaining reading, don't you think?

Work on the craft room still continues. The table still hasn't been delivered because my FIL is a real perfectionist and didn't want to bring it last week in case the finish wasn't dry. You just have to love him for that. But it was a good thing - heavy rains caused a leak in the basement and my craft room ended up being the dumping grounds for everything that was near the leak! AUGHHHHH. But it was just a glitch because of the way the rain hit the house (we think DS opened the window in the basement and wouldn't admit it - you know how those kids are). So no real organizing went on this week because I could barely move in there. But I had the urge to sew and went down there one day, moved some things back out into the room, and was ready to put some quality sewing time in on a project I need to finish up, DD's pointe shoes that needed the ribbons sewn on and my current quilt WIP thinking I would have a productive day. But, as always happens, something is wrong with the sewing machine! Why does this happen??? It worked fine the last time I used it! UGH! After an hour of fiddling with it, I gave up the ghost and off to sewing repair it goes. So we had to go to Plan B.

Plan B involved sorting out more floss. Yes, I'm still doing some arranging of floss, etc. I happened upon this great filing system for my overdyed threads:

I love this set up! I saw this on another blog, One Stitch at a Time, and decided to try it out. I really love it. A shop that carries this system is called Acorns & Threads. The tabs just twist out of the upper brackets, you put them on a floss ring and stitch your project. When done, just snap them back on! I had them in floss bags and thought that they were losing some of their varigation from the bags so wanted to try something different. I toyed with some different ideas like buying another couple of those hardware drawer sets that I used for my DMC threads, but then I saw this on One Stitch at a Time's blog and knew it would be perfect. I've got a long way to go though - that's just a mere dent in the overdyed collection!!!

Well, that's it for now. Haven't had much time for anything with trying to recuperate from summer and the kids being home. Now that they're back in school there are way too many things to catch up on! Hope everyone gets a lot of time to make some X's.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


.......I can't tell you how excited I was to run the numbers through Random Org. this morning. I was going to do the paper thing and have my daughter pull out a name, but with the all entries that came in, the number got up to 176 (with doubles for those who posted a link). That's a lot of names to write out!

So without further ado (drumroll, please..................................). The winner is:

NUMBER 23 - Ranae of the Stitch by Stitch blog. A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU, RANAE!!!! Send me an email with your snail mail address so that I can send the flower frog off to you right away!!! (email is in my profile).

And thanks so much to everyone who visited and left a comment. The best thing about having a giveaway like this is that I've found some fantastic new blogs to explore! So thank you everyone for entering! And congratulations again Ranae!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Giveaway Reminder and This and That

Happy Wednesday morning everyone! I thought I'd do a quick post before the kids got up and we continued our adventures with the school shopping! Whew, can that wear you out quick. This is school supply day (read: credit card on fire day - although it was smoldering after some clothes shopping yesterday). The supplies they need makes your hair stand on end.

First off, if you haven't entered the giveaway for the flower flog (see previous post), sign up now! The drawing will be next Tuesday, September 8th! If you want to enter the drawing, please leave a comment under that post ONLY!!

On the stitching front: shock of shocks, I've stuck to my rotation!!! It's been hard - very hard!!! I can't tell you how many times this week I wanted to pull out something else, but I stuck to it. I put in a week on Marquoir de Justine:

This is really a difficult one to photograph because of the colors used and the fabric (Vintage Nutmeg). I toyed with changing out the brown that the church is stitched with and some of the lettering, but in real life, you can see it and between the mottled fabric and how the brown looks on it, it does give it an old feeling so I'm going to stick with it.

Last Tuesday, I switched out projects and started back on Ann Medd - if you're not familiar with her, here's her pic:

Described as the "Mother of all Samplers"! Well, I think I have to go along with that. It's not a bad stitch at all - straightforward, very few specialty stitches - but it's just so big and those verses on the side can get you.

This is the progress I've made in a week - the C and D verses (or what's done of them), the flowers and leaves where my thread is and those two dogs facing each other (which were causing me all the headaches because the pattern only had them facing one way - oh and ignore that fifth leg on the dog on the left - I have to frog that out.) Not a lot of progress, but some.

This is what I've accomplished so far on the whole sampler - if I get through this section, I'll be almost half way:

And my favorite part - Adam and Eve, of course:

I'm going to stitch another week on it and maybe just try to finish up the whole section so that I can say I'm half way done with it. It may be a stretch though - the week before school is always a busy one. I have been itching to start on something else, but even though the stitching time has been at a premium this week, I see progress every time I put it down and that's encouraging!!!

A couple exciting things happened this week. I won Jan's giveaway of the premier chart for her new design endeavor!! I'm so excited to win and I'm also so excited for her. I know that we're all going to love her designs! I also know that I'm going to have to work this into the rotation. Yes, I know, I know - it's not in stash!! Well, some rules are meant to be bent, right?

The second exciting thing is that my room finally is finished - well, the painting part is. I have moved a loveseat and my sewing table into the room, but have to wait for the table from my father-in-law for the final arrangement and hanging of pictures, etc.

DS is in the closet learning how to install shelves and putting the vent covers back on. The color is Scottish Road by Behr and I love how it came out. I always have a hard time picking out colors because even when you bring the swatches home to look at them in your own light, it still comes out different. But I'm a happy camper. The white box on the wall, unfortunately, has to stay. It houses our power box and I guess we can't do without that! Estimated time of arrival for the table is this weekend so I can finally arrange the furniture in the room. I can't wait - and just in time for the kids to go back to school. Yahoo!!! Although, I think I have a good week of scrubbing down this house before I can play in the room. DRAT!!!

I'm bruised from head to toe from moving around two rooms of furniture! And all the unpacking of things afterwards. UGH! But I really had a chance to go through all my charts, quilt books, etc., and found that there are a lot of things that I no longer need or want, so I may set up a separate Sale/Trade blog to get rid of some of this stuff!! Stay tuned!

Well, I'm off to look through blogs. I haven't been able do to that for three days or so and I know there is a of catching up to do (and probably some enabling).

Thanks for all your comments, especially for the Giveway, that have come in so far. I was glad to see that there were many from blogs that I've never seen before and I know that I'm going to have a lot of fun looking at all of them.

Have a great week and holiday and make a lot of X's.