Saturday, August 29, 2009

Blog Anniversary Giveaway

Woo Hoo! It's giveaway time!!! I never pay any attention to that widget I have that counts down the days until my blog anniversary. But a couple weeks ago I looked at it and WOW!!, I couldn't believe that I've been blogging for almost a year. The actual date is September 5th. So in honor of my one year of blogging (and being amazed that people actually follow my drivel - LOL), I'm having a giveaway.

I know that probably some people were wondering why I was buying numerous flower frogs that all looked the same. Well, I had an ulterior motive - TO GIVE ONE AWAY!!!! I'm also including a pair of flowered scissors to get you started (although I know that every stitcher has at least one pair of scissors - but it's like a wallet - you can't give one away without a penny, quarter or dollar tucked inside - so what's a frog without a pair of scissors???). This frog will hold a lot of scissors - not only on the top, but the fluted sides!

So, if you would like to be entered into the giveaway, just leave me a comment on this post. Make sure that if you don't have a blog of your own to leave me your email so I can contact you. If you'd like an additional chance to win, make mention of this giveaway on your blog with a link to the post and let me know that you've done so. I know my actual anniversary is next Saturday, which is Labor Day weekend here in the States, so I'll announce the winner on Tuesday, September 8th!!

Good luck!!!!

And have a stitchy weekend filled with lots of X's!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cape Cod Girls and My Achin' Back

Happy Sunday evening everyone (well, it's evening here)! Hope that everyone had a great and stitchy weekend.

I had another finish this week which totally amazes me given my lack of attention span to any one project (although as usual, I didn't do this all in one sweep):

Cape Cod Girls
The Primitive Needle
36 Ct. Highland fabric
Weeks Dye Works threads

I didn't have the recommended 40 ct. fabric, and was a little worried about the coverage, but it came out pretty good. Because I also have an attention problem with following a chart, I did the entire top band in basil instead of how it should have been with the Basil and Cinnabar, but I kept forging ahead and I think that it's fine. I like following the Amish philosophy that nothing is perfect except for God (works for me - LOL).

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been really having a hard time with the amount of WIPs that are languishing around the house. So I've some up with kind of a half-assed plan. Probably because I know that I'll break every rule that I set down for myself if I make this too difficult. So my process of WIP elimination is going to be pretty loose. I think that I'll work on a WIP for one week, if I still love it I can keep going for another week or until I scream "Uncle" and go to something else.

The something else can be either another WIP or something that is already in stash and preferably a small project. It can be a small project that I have not started yet. If I need a thread or two, I can buy them, but the pattern and fabric and most of the threads have to be in stash. I'm stressing the smaller type of project because most of the WIPs I have going are pretty big:

1. Marquoir de Justine
2. Houses of Hawk Run Hollow
3. Village of Hawk Run Hollow
4. Shores of Hawk Run Hollow
5. Frances Eden
6. Ann Medd
7. Convent's Herbal Garden
8. Provence
9. Altegamme
10. Sarah Pope
11. The Ideal Landscape Sampler
12. Crystal Christmas (this really isn't on the radar screen right now, but it's a biggie)

(there are about another 20 projects laying around, plus three needlepoint projects and about 15 quilts in various stages of work, but I decided to spare everyone the agony of reading about all the WIPs laying around - just wanted to list the ones that I'm pretty sure that I will work on now).

As far as buying any new stash - well, after that junket last week, I think I can resist for a while. Market is coming, but I'm really going to try to hold off and only reward myself when I get something finished (Cape Cod Girls doesn't count as a rewarded finish, darned it.) I was going to come up with all kinds of rules and regulations for myself - like I can't buy anything even a few threads or can't buy anything until I've finished two projects -not going to happen. I think that I'm a rebel at heart and I knew that it just wasn't going to work. So to begin the attack of the WIPs, this week I picked up Marquoir de Justine:

This is where I left the poor girl when I started her in 2007. The reason I didn't get far is because I couldn't see the darned holes to stitch. I think that the fabric must have shrunk down quite a bit in the dyeing process and it was painful to work on. Well, since that time I've purchased the Mighty Bright light and I can see great with it and Justine is now fun to work on. I'll post a progress pic after my week is up (Tuesday). I haven't picked out my new project to work on. I'm leaning toward a smaller Scarlett Letter piece, but I don't want to make a decision now because Tuesday is two days away and my mood could change! LOL Actually, it may be another WIP - Ann Medd - she's been calling to me in my sleep, so I may just go back to her. I've got two days - who knows what will happen.

This week I found another flower frog at a garage sale that I passed by. I wasn't going to stop, but, well, you know how that is. I see the sign Garage Sale or Estate Sale, and I almost always have to stop. Of course, my kids love going to them as much as I do, so it's fun for all of us:

I think that I'm going to put myself on a diet with these things too. DH keeps asking me what I going to do with all of these things. Well, the other day I did put flowers into one (didn't take a pic) and it looked lovely. So they do have a purpose besides holding scissors. But I think I need to rein myself in before I'm overrun by these things.

And the most exciting news of all - my FIL is almost done with my table for my craft room. YAHOO! We were over at his house yesterday and he had some finishing questions for me. Even my DH was impressed by the way it looked. It may be another couple of weeks before it's delivered here, but I'm so excited. In anticipation of the big event, I ended up finishing up the packing (that I've only been working on, for what now, three months?), and moving everything out so that DH can paint the room (he took this week off) and this is what I'm facing now:

If I have to find something, I think I'm going to be up a creek without a paddle. I should have taken a birds-eye picture for the true impact to be seen. It's just total mayhem in the center of the main room in the basement. And my back is aching. My DH thought that he could move my two cabinets with all my patterns, books, etc., on some dollys, but not the case, so I had to empty them. Back breaking work! My DH also was amazed at the amount of stuff I had crammed in that room. Quite frankly, it was perfectly organized, but I was a little shocked myself. I must have arranged things pretty well, but I was amazed. Definitely time to start sending some of this stuff to a good home. Actually, I had to clean out both the basement bedrooms - the one I'm vacating and the one I'm moving into - so this was kind of a double whammy.

Well, that's about it for me. I'm going to take a Motrin for my aching back and sit and put some stitches into Justine. Thanks for all the wonderful comments last week. I can't believe all the excitement that stash purchases have on everyone. Of course, I think that I get just as giddy seeing everyone elses purchases (and it's gotten me into a lot of trouble)! LOL Have a wonderful week and get some stitching done.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Finish,Some Stash and I Should be Shot!

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope that everyone is having a great weekend! It's hotter than heck here in Michigan (about time is all I can say), so I figured I'd save myself some sweat and delay housework until another time (I can always find an excuse to put off housework!).

This week I finished up Queen Bee by Shepherd's Bush. I love these projects because they're fun to stitch with all the different stitches and you can have a finish in pretty short order:

Just in time to use all those 60% off Joanne's coupons I've saved up. DH is going to divorce me for sure with this framing. He looked at me with raised eyebrows when he saw last month's framing expenditure. All I can say is - HE'LL GET OVER IT!!! LOL
Last Sunday was my son's 16th Birthday. It's so amazing how quickly these kids grow up.

Here he is, but don't tell. He doesn't want me putting pictures of him on my blog. He thinks it's lame. He's reading a long note that my DH and I wrote to him about how proud we were of him. I think he thought that this note was lame too - you know how kids are at that age. But we are very proud of him - he's a hardworking kid, gets great grades, volunteers and mentors. We spent the day at Race Rochester - an indoor race car place - it was hotter than the dickens in those helmets, but he had a great time. Then his favorite dinner and cake and he was all set. What did he ask for? Well, an IPod Touch, of course. His older one broke and he was using mine. I'm glad to have mine back now - especially because of some of the songs he downloaded on it - I like rock and roll, but.............

DH has a tradition that on my kid's birthdays, I get flowers to re-celebrate their birth and to thank me for giving him his children (I guess he had a little bit to do with that, but why remind him - LOL). He can be a sweetie sometimes:

The week has been busy as usual. Three weeks and the kids are back to school so I'm sure that everyone is familiar with the drill. We've gone to see a couple of movies this week. DD and I went to see Julie/Julia. I had read the book and enjoyed it, but I didn't really enjoy the movie. I was expecting there to be more of the cooking mishaps and maybe that really gross scene near the end with the maggots (not that I enjoy seeing maggots), but most was left out. There was really more about Julia Child in this one, than Julie doing the cooking. I was disappointed.

We also saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. It was good - long - but good. Now I haven't read past Book 4 (I used to read them to my son when he was real little before he could read them), so I really didn't know the whats and wherefores after that point, but it was still good. Oh, and while I'm on the subject of entertainment, I finished up a book this week that I really enjoyed. It was called "The Little Book" by Selden Edwards. It dealt with time travel to 1897 Vienna and three generations of a family. I really enjoyed it.

I managed to accumulate some stash the past week or so. I think I get like this every year when I really want to just tend to what I want to - stitch, etc., - but it's more for spending time with the kids. I really should be shot is all I can say. I finished QB and I'm almost finished with Cape Cod Girls so my demented brain tells me that it's time for more stash. I am seriously ill! LOL
Anyway, not that I want to blame anyone for my purchasing of below mentioned stash items, but.......I have been somewhat enabled.

I have been watching Sandra's progress on the Betsy Davis sampler and have been enthralled with her progress and beautiful stitching, so I broke down and had to order the chart. Sandra and I have has some email discussions about these beautiful samplers and at one point she had mentioned a very similar one called An American Sampler which was published years ago in an issue of Treasurers in Needlework. Well, she sent me a picture of it so I knew what it looked like, but this weekend there was an estate sale in our neighborhood (no, the economic situation has not gotten better around here even though I'm hoping my stash purchases will help things out somewhat - LOL). Anyway I zipped through the house and the woman must have been a crafty type of person. I saw a whole box of craft magazines and what do I find:

An American Sampler published in 1993. So now I'm happy as a clam. But it's going to be hard to decide which one to stitch first.

Then because you can't just order one chart from the Scarlett Letter and I wanted to keep Betsy company in the envelope, I had to order two more:

I've been watching the progress of Margaret and Tanya working on Rebecca Robinson and just had to have it. The Flame Stitch sampler is one that I've had my eye on for a while because of the bright colors in it. These purchases were partly because I wanted to start working on Suzanne Lane 1776.

Why did Suzanna make me buy more you ask? Well, she's been in my stash for ages, and seeing how I haven't really worked on a traditional sampler for a while I thought I'd start this one. But pulling her out made me just want to take a glance at the Scarlett Letter site and I started nosing around. Bad move - I remembered Rebecca and the Flame Stitch sampler and it was all over. I just must have been in that kind of mood. Anyway, I wanted to start Suzanna, but alas, no fabric that fit it. Did have the called for fabric but an inch too small all the way around. So, what does one do???? Get fabric, of course, which was not a good thing. Like I said I should be shot.
I tore out of here first thing yesterday morning before everyone woke up for the 50 minute hike to my not so local LNS. Now mind you, I just needed fabric. Well, I got fabric, but between us girls (and any men that might read this and enjoy stitching), just getting fabric - well that just IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!!! Look what jumped into my hands and screamed, BUY ME!!

Just because these represent two of my three favorite things. Plus I like having some small projects.

The Riddle - I have seen this popping up on blogs and love the colors in it, so had to have this one.

Then Sailor Collar by Shepherd's Bush. Now there is a reason I got this one (well, I talked myself into having a reason to buy this). I wish that I could be SAL stitching Sail Away with all the other girls, but I already did it. When I saw this on the wall of my LNS, I decided this could be my piece. I won't post on their blog, but I'll have a nautical theme thing going too. (Note: I am an honorary member of the Sail Away SAL - thanks Glenna!). But there was another reason. Last Spring, our Sampler Guild had an auction and I bought the companion piece, Cranberry Pinafore, for $10.00. Now I can have both of them stitched and hang them together. I think that's a good reason for buying this, don't you? Of course, you do! LOL

Then I get an email this week from Colonial Crafts posting their latest things. I'm surprised the subject line in the email wasn't, "Dear Sucker - Do We Have Some Things For You".

I love these fabrics. Now I haven't quilted much in a while, but the line of this fabric just jumped out at me. If I remember right it's called the Williamsburg Sampler line. I'm going to get a couple more pieces of it. I'm not into collecting whole lines necessarily when I do a quilt, but I thought these two pieces from the line would be great for backing pillows, pinkeeps, etc. Love it!!!

I think that I have done enough damage this week. What I want to do now is come up with a 25 project list. My friend Di and I were talking about this and the fact that we have WIPs all over the place and just keep adding. It's time for action. So the two of us are going to put together a list of 25 projects that we want to do and get them done. I'm doing it because I have so many WIPs going (some from 20 years ago that I still love), that it's becoming lunacy. So my project for this week is digging everything out and making a list and figuring out the rules. Maybe if I publicly embarrass myself before all of you, I'll get some of this stuff done (like all three of the HoHRH pieces).

Well, that's about it for now. I should get some cleaning done even though it is so hot. Maybe I'll just go play with stash! LOL Oh, one more thing. I don't know about anyone else, but I've had a horrible time with Blogger this week. I would try to make a comment on someone's blog and I would get error messages. It would clear up for awhile and then start again. Then it threw some of the blogs I really like to follow down to the bottom and wasn't bringing them up when new posts were made. So, if I haven't made a comment, I'm definitely not ignoring you! I obviously don't need to be enabled anymore (at least for a month) by all your wonderful stitching, but I love reading and seeing everyone's projects. Have a wonderful week!!! And thanks again for all your comments.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Attack of the Frogs......

......flower frogs, that is (although the stitchy ones came by too). I'll get to the stitchy one first. Even though my sister was here and we flew like the wind (including the day she left - Tuesday), I actually had a finish!

Be True
Little House Needleworks

I only started this, what? Four months ago? But it was the perfect piece to pick up while my sister and I were gabbing late into the night. This will be my next framing attempt. I spotted another tutorial on one of the blogs using binder clips. That should help out immensively with the pinning or lacing part.

My sister and I had such a great time! Antique malls, discount malls, flea markets, thrift stores, pet adoption events, art fairs - and so many other things, I can't even remember all of it. I didn't take pictures - she took all of them, and hopefully she'll send them to me soon. Have I mentioned that it's taken me two days to recover? And my car now has an additional 700 miles on it? LOL But we did have the best of time.

Time with my sister is precious. Three years ago we all thought that she was going to die. She had contracted a virus (she's traveled all over the world), and it lodged in her stomach. After two years of horrible fatique, missing out of work, going through a battery of tests and drugs (including opiates), they finally think they've pinpointed what it is (and the name escapes me right now, darned it). She is currently in a remission kind of state and being treated with Chinese herbs. It is a known virus, but very little is known about it and the Chinese herbs seem to be the best treatment. Right now she is in an 18 month weaning process off the opiates she was on and seems so much better than when I saw her last November. Unfortunately, the virus can rear it's ugly head again and attack her heart or brain. We are constantly praying that doesn't happen.

My sister loves flea markets and antique stores because prices are so much cheaper here than where she lives, so she was the perfect enabler for my current addiction. It seems that I've developed an addiction for flower frogs. Now I don't know how I'm going to use all of these, but we all need something to collect, right? The only other things I guess you could say I collect (besides what appears to be a scissor fetish lately) is Barbie Dolls. But this is what I found:

The one on the left is just one that I found in Frankenmuth - it has hearts on the side so I grabbed it. The one on the right is actually circa 1935-1938 and I was so thrilled to find it that I almost fell all over myself! But then I found two more of them - exactly the same at different antique stores. I bought those too (don't tell DH). One is going to my sister as a "just because" (I think she actually got caught up in my frenzy, came to me with a second one and I grabbed it out of her hand, snorting and dancing in the store - not realizing that she could possibly want it), and the third one - well, I'm not sure yet what I'll do with it - maybe fill it up. What I like about the one on the right is that not only can you put scissors in the middle, but along the scalloped edges too.

Then I found a couple clear ones:

And these:

And then this top. Actually I bought a couple of these in different sizes. I found that with good antique store sleuthing, I can find bowls that will fit these for a good price.

I also found these two things for my craft room. I love the victorian hand clip!

And then this for my dining room:

I don't think that it's an antique, but I had been looking for something like this for a while.

Another thing I almost came home with (and it's still up in the air) was this precious thing:

Isn't he adorable? He was at a pet adoption event we went to. I took him out of his cage, he licked my face and snuggled into my neck and did not come out. Wouldn't let anyone else take him either. The kids were thrilled. Unfortunately, you don't take these animals home. You fill out lengthy adoption papers proving that you will be able to take care of the animal. Well, I've done all that and we're waiting. I'm not holding my breathe because he was so adorable that I'm sure many others wanted him. But we'll see. He's a German Shepherd/Lab mix found with his four siblings in a burned out house in Detroit. Not my first choice in a dog - I tend towards smaller ones - but the kids really loved him. And he'll get big enough where I'll be forced to walk him and maybe he'll keep me in shape. I was hoping though that I'd hear something - it's my son's 16th birthday on Sunday and I know he would have been absolutely thrilled if we had gotten him.

Well, that's it for now. DH and the kids are playing putt-putt golf. I'm on the home stretch on SB's Queen Bee and trying to decide what to do next. I don't want to go back to Shores. I've decided that what I'll do next year when Kathy Barrick visits our Guild is take all three of my HoHRH pieces (all in various states of progress), hang a sign over my neck that says "Sufferer of Habitual Startitis" and call it a day. What a slacker I am! LOL So I'm off to find another project to work on.

Hope everyone has a great weekend of stitching and fun, and thank you again for all your comments. (PS. I need to learn to make shorter posts - LOL!)