Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Years and a Year in Review

I know that I have been the worst blogger lately, but there is no time like the present to try to rectify that, right?  I thought that one of the best ways to get back on the blogging wagon was to just start off with posting the Stitching/Quilting Year in Review.  2012 wasn't the best for accomplishing much, let alone blogging, but it was filled with other great things that ended up taking up my time.  Sometimes stitching tends to take a back seat.  If I tried to talk about my two month absence from blogging we'd be here all day!!  (Wow, where did that time go type of thing).  But 2013 is a new year and hopefully I'll get back into the blogging and stitching swing for 2013.  I'd make it a Resolution, but I stink at Resolutions, so I'll just say that I'll try my best!!

I recently had a couple finishes so I'll start with those and work my way down the list.  As I said, this hasn't been a stellar year for finishes, but at the same time, it's still been a good year.

Like a lot of other people, I joined Nicola's Scarlett Letter Challenge.  As most of you know, she's celebrating a milestone birthday and wanted to make it memorable.  I don't think that she realized what a overwhelming response she would get to her challenge.  If you're interested in joining, walk don't run.  There are some wonderful prizes each month and what I'm sure will be a wonderful gallery of finishes as the year goes along.  How fun this is going to be!  It is so exciting to see all the projects that people are working on while celebrating Nicola's birthday.  Being a huge fan of The Scarlett Letter, I knew that I had to jump on board (and the fact that when I went through my SL charts to pick out a "few", I discovered that I had a ridiculous number of their charts)!  And no time like the present to start actually stitching some of those babies!!  The first piece that I chose was Abigail Gould's Sampler of 1796.  A small one (what a concept - I actually stitched something small), but so much fun to work on:

Scarlett Letter's Abigail Gould's Sampler of 1796
DMC threads and 35 ct. Mystery Linen

This is what the original sampler looks like:

At first I was a little concerned about the colors of mine, but Marsha of the Scarlett Letter commented on my post on the SL Challenge blog that she charted from the back of the sampler where the colors haven't been affected by sunlight and the elements.  I love how dear Abigail ended up.  I've already picked out a "few" that I want to work on in the coming year and one of them will be my New Year's start.

The only deviation from the pattern that I made was to not stitch in the background with wool.  I like to stay true to a reproduction and not change things up too much, but the thought of filling in that background kind of threw me over the edge, so I chose a linen that I thought would be closest to the color of the wool.  She was such a quick stitch.

Next up - Charlotte Clayton - how I love her (those cats look like they could make a snack out of dear Adam and Eve):

Charlotte Clayton by the Northwest Sampler Guild
36 count Meadowrue and NPI Threads

Ann Hall by The Scarlett Letter
35 count Legacy Linen and DMC Threads

Martha Jones 1972
36 ct. Vintage Examplar and DMC Threads

And last, but not least, probably my favorite of the whole year:

Ann Rayner
32 Count Legacy Cafe Au Lait Linen and DMC threads

I love Ann - and even with those over one sheep, I loved every minute of stitching her.  Seems that I've had a real Adam and Eve theme going on this year.  Just to mix things up, I've pulled some non-A&E themed samplers for 2013.

On the quilting end - even though I have a few projects in the works, I only finished one - The Farmer's Wife.  The Cotton Club is waiting for borders and that's it.  Hopefully, that one will make an appearance in the next couple of weeks.

The Farmer's Wife Quilt

For all the headaches this quilt sometimes gave me, I love it so much!!

There were a lot of projects that I didn't finish this year - I'm a great one for WIPs, but I'm going to try to make 2013 also a year of finishing up those WIPs.  We'll see how that goes.  I always have grand ideas as the New Year starts and flounder by the end of January.  But it's a goal to shoot for - mainly to finish up these babies:

Trick or Treat Quilt
Blackbird Designs
(need to give this another name - it doesn't look like Trick or Treat to me)

Only 39 in the photo, but actually 46 finished.  This project was going to be my take along project while my daughter danced.  Her broken foot put a kabosh on that idea, but I think that she'll be starting up again in January, so there is hope for making a huge dent in these beauties.  I have about 100 of them prepped and ready to go.  Just have to take needle and thread to them.

And there are a couple cross stitch projects that I'd like to finish up this year - both Scarlett Letter pieces:

And All Was For An Appil

I don't know why I put this one down, but I'm going to try what Margaret did with hers and stitch the outlines of the motifs first and then do the fill in.  I was green with envy when I saw Margaret's finish.

Susanna Lane

I don't know why I ever put this one down either - probably due to the fact that I'm a Gemini and am constantly getting bored with things.  But she is so pretty in real life that I have to finish her up this year.

So there you have it!!  2012 in review.  I have to admit that I've missed everyone and their posts.  I've tried to keep up here and there, but since the time of my last post it seems like we've gotten from the end of October to the end of December at the speed of light!!  I hope to do much better in the coming year.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope that everyone has a happy, healthy and wonderful New Year's!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Stitchy Stuff and Homecoming

Thank you so much for treading your way through my last post!!  I never thought people would make it through my rantings!  I can't believe some of the comments and emails I got on that one!  But being as most of us are moms, I know that we can all relate to those crazy moments where we want to slap someone, choke someone or lay ourselves under a bus.  It happens - it's part of the territory, right?  But it passed and all is well (at least until the next doctor's appointment in two weeks), and I'm not typing this with tire tracks across my body.  And of course, Catie opted for the new dress over the dress that caused so much freaking out!  Figures!

The Homecoming dance went well except for the fact that it rained cats, dogs and small children that day and night so we couldn't get pictures of the event outside with all the beautiful fall colors.  But here are a couple of the cute couple taken at Max's house where everyone met.  Catie had a wonderful time even with the boot and I think that it definitely was a time to remember.  They didn't go to any parties after as seems to be the norm these days (praise the heavens above), but opted to play X-box instead.  Gotta love them.

I didn't get the best pictures, but here are just a couple.  The pinning of the boutonniere - get a load of that tongue.  Reminds me of when she was so little sitting in the kitchen chair deep in concentration when coloring (when did you get so grown up?):

The boot doesn't look too bad, does it?  She decided not to decorate it as she felt there was enough bling on the bodice of the dress - probably a good choice.

And Catie acting the fool, as always.  Max has a look like, "Here she goes again!"

In other news around here - well not much - sad, but true.  I honestly don't know where time goes sometimes.  But once I got over my feelings of choking or doing someone bodily harm and felt that I could be trusted with sharp implements like scissors, needles, rotary cutters and the like, I accomplished a little bit on what seems to be the three never ending projects.  Are you getting bored of these yet?  But I'm having fun with all of them and haven't tossed them aside yet.  Not that I'm not dreaming of what comes next and having moments filled with thoughts of starting new things, but I'm actually restraining myself - for once!!

First up - the Cotton Club - three rows down, two to go:

Oops - I shot this picture from the wrong end and it looks like I've got upside down basket blocks.  Well you get the picture anyway.  I thought that I'd fly through these rows, but not the case.  Trying to put these rows together and then get them to match up where the red and brown meets the tan and pieced block is hard even on a good day.  Don't know what is up with that.

Charlotte is moving along at a slow pace.  Don't know what's up with that either.  Well, yes I do, I haven't been putting as much time into her as I would like too.  The only nights I seemed to get much done was during the Championship games and World Series games with our beloved Tigers!!  Unfortunately, they lost the first two games in the World Series against San Francisco, but I've stayed up until the bitter end.  Fingers crossed - there are more games to be played!!  And while watching the games I made it to the half way point on Charlotte (with the exception of the over one words - I need to be in the mood to have my eyes cross for half the night putting those in).

I love that couple in Eden:

In fact, I love working on entire this piece, but made a major boo-boo.  Am I fixing it - NOPE!!

It's the vase - it's levitating - and it's not suppose to.  Guess I've been out of school too long and no longer seem to be able to count!  When I got down to the bottom of the vase it wasn't sitting on the grass as charted.  BUT, would you have known that unless I told you?  Probably not (except for those of you who have stitched it), so this is my spin on being creative and making the piece my own.  Sounds good, doesn't it??  And Charlotte will never know, will she?  I just have to remember to do the vase on the other side of the tree the same way - better write a post it note so that I don't forget!

And then there are the baskets - the never ending baskets.  I managed to get a few finished up over the past few weeks - only 16 blocks - but better than nothing.  This tends to be my carry along project when I'm waiting on something - like doctors - so I don't get as many finished in a week that I had hoped to.

And all the blocks so far:

46 baskets out of......gulp..........about 300.......I guess I better get my you-know-what moving.  But there are more waiting in the wings.  I have about 40 baskets on backgrounds, probably 100 ironed onto fabric (maybe more) and some more waiting to be starched - it's quite a process, but so much fun:

I don't think I'll ever get sick of this quilt - I am just loving all the red fabrics!!

So that's about all that is going on around here.  I did manage to get out for one of my fall road trips this week and spent a wonderful time at a new quilt store and antiquing, but you know, I can't seem to get the pictures to come over from my phone to the computer.  Well, I can, but then I seem to be at a loss as to posting them on the blog.  I'll have to wait for one of the kids to be around to post them.  They've told me how to before, but you know.........must have lost some brain cells with my rage of a couple weeks ago!!  LOL  I'll save them for next time.

Again, thank you for all your wonderful comments.  I truly thought that you would get bogged down in a quagmire of words!  But I truly enjoyed reading each and every one of them.  And I see that I have some new followers!  Welcome!  So happy to "meet" you and I have enjoyed making my way around to see your blogs.  Always so much inspiration.

Well, the pork roast is in the crock pot,  blog post done and house clean (somewhat), so I think that I'm going to go sew.  I hope that everyone has a great weekend!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Different Kind of Post (Mother Rage)

Okay, I just had to vent!  You don't have to read this if you don't want to.  But, the older I get the more crazed I become at the irresponsibility of businesses and doctors.  But, just so you can see something creative, I'll show you my second Cotton Club row almost put together.  I've been working on it today to calm myself down from all the stress of yesterday.  But see the block second from the bottom - well, it's set going the wrong way.  Am I changing it?  NOPE!  And just pretend I didn't say anything, okay?

So here goes the rant.  See this dress - beautiful dress right (it's really beautiful on)?  Well, getting this dress was an exhausting exercise.  This is DD's Homecoming dress.  Homecoming is two days away.  Why are we getting a Homecoming Dress three days before the event?  Well, this dress wasn't her first choice.  And here's the story.

About a month or so ago DD borrowed another dress from a friend.  She didn't want a new dress, she wanted to wear her friend's dress.  It looked darling on her and I'm thinking I don't have to buy a dress - score!!.  So I took it to the cleaners.  It was due back Friday.  I go in Friday and dress is not ready - hasn't been touched in all the time it's been sitting there.  They say that it has to be spot cleaned.  Please pick up Tuesday.  Okay, but why wasn't I called about this?  And why haven't you started on the dress???  No answers.  Just some mumbling.  I tell them that I have to have the dress on Tuesday.  If there is a problem please call me.

So yesterday I pull my body out of bed (I've been fighting some kind of stomach virus thing and just wanted to sleep in yesterday) and I run to do a couple errands - produce market for reinforcements for the troops and lunchmeat for DD because she hates school lunches.  I'm on a tight schedule that morning and my foot is tapping because I swear they could have sliced up a cow in the time it took to give me three packets of lunchmeat.  I run and collect other things, but I think that the senior citizen bus had their weekly drop off and I'm dodging people all over the place - it takes me forever .  Okay, I do the yoga calming breaths and just keep going!  The scanner acts up in the check-out line - more deep breaths!  I leave there - stop and fill up my gas tank (where I have to wait in line some more and take more breaths), and then drive to the dry cleaners only to be told that the dress can't be cleaned or even spot cleaned.  Okay, now I'm having trouble doing those cleansing breaths.  I'm starting to hyperventilate!!  WE'RE FOUR DAYS BEFORE HOMECOMING PEOPLE!!!  AND MAY I ASK WHY YOU DIDN'T CALL ME ABOUT THIS???  WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME THAT LAST WEEK???  IS YOUR PHONE BROKEN??? (yes, I actually said that).  I feel some kind of rage within me.  Mr. Dry Cleaner says he'll try washing it if I sign off on it.  I sign off, telling him I MUST have the dress like yesterday!!  He tells me to call at 4:00 and I'm back in the car (with thoughts of driving through his storefront), fly into the house and am tossing lunchmeat and produce in all directions in the refrigerator because I have to pick up DD for her foot doctor appointment like five minutes ago.

DD and I drive to the doctors and I tell her about the dress.  She starts freaking out.  And I'm freaking out watching her freak out!  This is her first real date - I want it to be perfect.  We get to the doctors where we promptly wait ONE AND ONE HALF HOURS!!!  We're both sitting there freaking out about the dress, mad at the doctor for taking so long and she's starving.  We decide she won't go back to school (for which she was happy) and we would get something to eat and try to calm ourselves down.  After waiting for ONE AND A HALF HOURS, I walk to the door, fling it open, take a step out and am ready to confront the first person that walks by the door with my teeth bared and an arthritic joint model in my hand (not really) only to just about knock the doctor to the floor.  Neither one of are pleased at this event.  There are no apologies on his part and I'm about ready to pick up one of those joint models and sock him with it (I must mention that I did pick it up a couple times and swung it around just to test the heft and weight while waiting for him in case I snapped and used it on someone).

Dr. Slower-than-Molasses shows us the MRI and it definitely indicates that DD has broken her foot.  Prognosis - 4 more weeks in the boot and crutches.  Her face falls because now she has to sport a boot for Homecoming.  Her assistant at school who carried her books had thrown her a "BOOT the BOOT" party for heaven's sake.  Tears form in her eyes.  We leave there both upset and are still freaking out about the dress.  And she's starving and I have a flipping headache.

We drive to a fast food place (no endorsements here because I HATE fast food) and the food calms her down.  The Mountain Dew she drinks sparks her back up and she's freaking about the dress again.  So, we drive to the nearest mall because, you know, if we don't find something, that darned friend's dress is going to disintegrate at the dry cleaners (law of averages, right?).  Now the closest mall - well, it's about a mile long if you go the whole circuit - which we do - because we can't find anything.  She's worn out - a mile on crutches is not a good thing, and my headache is about at maximum velocity.  Did I mention that this dress had to be either black, white or a combination of the two?  Because the other dress was black and white?  We found a lot of wonderful things in other colors, but her date had already ordered her corsage - they were going to be color coordinated - they had ideas as to how they wanted to look - so only black and white would do.  OY!

DD is disappointed and hesitantly asked if we can go to another store.  I basically want to lay in the parking lot and let someone run over me before I drive to another store - preferably one of the shuttle buses -  but I tell her okay as we really have no other choice, so we get in the car and start driving across town.  While on the way her friend that owns the original dress calls and while talking to Catie tells us that the store that we're driving to is closed.  OMG, OMG!!!  But there is one down Hall Road.  Well, Hall Road is like taking your life in your hands during rush hour.  But what are you going to do?

So we brave the traffic, get to the store, look all over and can't find anything.  But wait - mom is digging into this ridicuously stuffed rack of dresses and I find one.  DD screws up her nose.  I say PLEASE, TRY IT ON, PLEASE. (please try this dress on before I start overturning racks in here and completely embarrass you and get myself arrested for going on some kind of crazed rage).  She does, and she opens the dressing room door and there is a big smile on her face - brighter than the beads on the dress.  She loves it.  And I'm almost on my knees thanking the Gods above.  She looks so pretty.  We actually get 20% off the dress because I'm cranky, really cranky at this point because 1) no, they won't hold the dress and 2) no, the dress is not returnable!  I'm about ready to go for the poor clerk's throat.  Do we leave and hope Dress #1 made it through the cleaning process and if not, Dress #2 will be there tomorrow?  No, I'm not taking that chance, so I point out two beads that are loose - one hanging by a thread (which I can easily fix but you don't tell them that), they give me the discount and then we're out the door.

I'm both breathing a sigh of relief and girding my loins for the harrowing trip back home.  For the past six hours we've been on the go - we're tired and worn out.  But wait - then DD reminds me that it's Spirit Week all week at school and tomorrow is Yellow day and we have to go to Joanne's for yellow things and we need Bedazzle stuff  to spiff up her boot and......well, you get the picture.  Joanne's was basically in the same parking lot so I said yes.  She gets her things and while standing in the check out line I think that the whole ordeal caught up with us because she spotted a pair of those wax fangs in the checkout line at Joanne's and started laughing - laughing so hard that tears were coming to her eyes.  I asked her what was so funny, and when she could finally calm down she said that she wished that I had a pair of those at the doctors office.  She said that she had a vision of me baring those things when I opened the door and almost knocked the doctor over.  Well, we ended up laughing so much over that people were looking at us quite strangely, but it certainly relieved the stress and made the whole day kind of laughable.

I collapse in a chair later and wondered why I ever signed up for this mom thing.  While DD and DH are eating leftovers (I cooked way too much food the day before, thank goodness) and I'm eating a plain omelet and dry toast to make up for the bazillion calories I ingested with that fast food lunch, my headache finally eases, but I'm still kind of crazed over the doctor visit and the stupid dry cleaners not making a simple phone call.  But then after dinner DD puts the dress on to model it and everything is okay.  She looks beautiful, she's happy, and the boot doesn't look bad after all - kind of a cute fashion statement.  And I realize then why I signed up for the mom gig!  Seeing her smiling face in that black dress was worth every exhausting minute.  So I'm calm now.

But we see the doctor in a few weeks - I don't forget easily!  LOL  And of course, as luck would have it, we picked up Dress #1 the dress from the dry cleaners a short time ago and it came out perfect:

Now she doesn't know which one to wear.  I vote for the black and white, but both are cute on her.

So rant over.  We'll return to our regularly scheduled programming in a couple days.  I know that this isn't my normal post, but I thought that it would be fun to record this on my blog and look back on this time at some point- a big time in my daughter's life - and smile again about the whole thing.  A big thank you if you made it this far!  I'll post pictures of her all dressed up and made up next week.  I'll also have some more stitching and quilting things too.  But I just had to rant!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The End of September

Okay, I know that this sounds lame - but what the heck happened to September???  Seems to me that I just made a blog post and was just getting the kids back up to school.  Now I'm seeing Halloween (and in some cases, Christmas decorations - what's up with that?) in the stores, and October starts tomorrow!!  I thought that with school starting and everyone back to their respective jobs and school, my life would be free - free to quilt and stitch with reckless abandon.  Guess it didn't happen that way.  I had such good intentions on posting on a more regular basis.  Didn't happen.  But maybe things will get better, right?

There has been very little stitching going on - at least that I can show.  My progress on Charlotte Clayton (excuse the folds - too lazy to press) has been really lackluster:

Not a heck of a lot for the month of September or since my last blog post.  Mr. (or Mrs) Kitty Cat is in and so is Mr (Mrs). Rooster/Peacock - I'm not sure what that's suppose to be.  I would have been much further along, but I met with an unfortunate incident of "I can't count" (happens more than I care to admit) and I had to frog out an entire nights worth of stitching:

He's missing his whiskers, but the thread just came for those, so I will have to add them in.

I've also been stitching a little bit here and there on the Susan Singleton SAL which I can't show pictures until December, but we've had a new addition to the SAL list - Evelyne from Eef's Needle.  I think that we're now up to 8 participants.  Welcome Evelyne!!! The rest of the participants are listed in my previous blog post and if you'd like to jump on the SAL bandwagon - don't hesitate - the more the merrier!  Here's Susan just to refresh your memory - an ambitious project to say the least - but we're breaking it down over a two year span - plenty of time to finish the sampler (so I say with hesitant confidence):

So what has been happening besides my mediocre stitching?  Well, DD had a little mishap in walking one day.  Actually, not her fault - Mr. Bailey decided to bury a bone under his blanket, DD walked across the blanket, turned her ankle - and ended up fracturing her foot (see Bailey looking a little sheepish?).  So she's sporting this most attractive form of footwear and using crutches.

Not good as it will affect her dancing for another month or two.  But for all bad things, a good thing happens and yesterday was her birthday - her 15th Birthday - when did she get this old?

And her friend Max came over the house bearing a stuffed ladybug and a cup of her favorite Starbucks - Pumpkin Spice Latte - ymmm:

Aren't they cute?

See the HC on the lid of the cup?  That was his way of asking her to the Homecoming Dance.  So sweet!  He is a real sweetheart, although my heart goes into spasms thinking that she's old enough for a a boy to like her - I mean really like her!!!  He's even offered to come over and help decorate her boot as she'll still be wearing it when Homecoming happens.  Like I said - he's sweet!

I have managed to get a little bit of quilting done!  I'm still lovin' on some baskets and I managed to get 7 of them made in the past few weeks.  Working on this QAL with Siobhan has been so much fun.  She keeps me excited about working on these babies!  She's beating the pants off me though - I think 55 to my 30, but I'll catch up.  And some progress is good progress, right (excuse those threads you see - LOL)?

But there are more baskets waiting in the wings - about 60 templates pressed on fabric:

And more fabric waiting for some template love:

Did I mention that I love these little baskets?

And finally late last week I had room to breathe and I had missed sewing so much, so I took the bull by the horns determined to get the Cotton Club quilt knocked off the list of things to do.  I managed to get five blocks finished:

Which now only leaves two more blocks - Woo Hoo!!

So there's my month of September for you.  Not a lot accomplished, but October is looking really, really good!!

One last thing that has taken up some of my time this month was continuing to track my genealogy.  The large document that I found was a wealth of information and a lot of the month of September was spent building my family tree.  And a lot of Google Translator as a good portion of the front end of the document has events and information all in French.  Time consuming and I'm still working on the translating.  I finally managed to get the tree finished up at least as far as the document goes.  Mundia, which is the site I'm using to build the tree - tends to give you a lot of hints towards other things - you can see the little leaves at the top corners of each person.  So now it's a matter of checking out all the hints and start digging.  Because my family was so involved in things that happened in Detroit during the 1700's I've found that there are a lot of books that record a lot of their lives and so I need to start trying to track those down.

One funny story that I did find in the document (and there are a lot of stories pulled from newspapers and documents from the day) was that one of the houses of a relative started on fire and the woman in the house ran out in hysterics and on the way out the front door grabbed a gun that was sitting on a table.  Well, she ran out of the house screaming and waving the gun around, got so hysterical that when she got outside and her neighbor came to see what all the uproar was about,  my relation pulled the trigger and shot the neighbor dead!  Not good!!  I've managed to track my family down 28 generations.  I'm the 28th.  Now I'm in the process of tracking up from the first person that appeared and see how much further I can go back.  It's a lot of work, but so exciting!!

So that was my month of September.  Thank you for the comments you left on my last blog post, and I've tried to do a good job of keeping up with everyone (for once) and have really enjoyed seeing what everyone is working on!  I really missed that during the summer!   Take care and stitch a lot!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It's My Blogoversary, Some Stitching and Tree Climbing

Hi Dear Friends.  It looks like I slid off the blogging wagon again for the past couple weeks, but I'm going to do better from this point out.  Promise.  The past couple weeks (or three) have been filled with getting DS back up to college, DD registered for school and all the related shopping (you know how those teenage girls love to shop), and my DH's beloved Aunt passed away after a long battle with Alzheimers.  So we've had a lot going on the past couple weeks.

With that said, it's my 4th Blogoversary today!!  I can't believe I've been blogging (sometimes rather sporadically) for four years.  I've met so many wonderful people, some in person, and I truly love the friendships that I have made through this blog.  I hope to blog for another four years and continue the friendships that have really grown close to my heart.  Blogging has also brought me an unexpected surprise - but I'll get to that a little later.  And yes, I'll have a giveaway.  I'm not sure when - soon - once I get the mayhem cleared up from a very busy summer!!

So what have I been doing the past few weeks besides the above?  Well, I've gotten a little more stitched on Elizabeth Clayton, although the progress has been slow.  I love working on her with the NPI's and think I'll have to use more silks in the future:

I had hoped to be finished with the entire side, but that didn't happen.

I managed to get a few more basket blocks finished with my QAL with Siobhan - 8 as a matter of fact.  They are the perfect thing to carry around with me.

And here are all the baskets that I've finished so far:

23 blocks total with more waiting in the wings!  I don't want to think of how many more I have to sew!!

So there you have it - not too much really.  But wait - there's more!!  I seem to have gotten myself into another mess with some stitching.  I've joined a SAL with Terri, Marsha, and Sandra.  Although I should call her Cousin Sandra, but I'll get to that in a minute.  The four of us are going to be working on Susanna Singleton by the Scarlett Letter:

This will be a lot of fun.  Although, truth be told, I totally stink at SALs.  We're all doing it over a two year schedule and will post every three months, so maybe there will be hope for me.  I've had this in my stash forever, so it will be fun to finally work on her.  I don't know where I'm going to find the time, but I'll give it the ole college try. (Edited to add:  It seems that since Terri's and Sandra's posts - we've acquired three more SAL girls - GabiSuzanne, and Margaret!  Woo Hoo!!)  This is going to be so much fun!!

I also noticed that Sandra recently posted some beautiful WIPs that she has going on, so you need to look at her most recent post.  Since I'm so bad at SALs, I hang my head in shame because the two of us were going to work on Marquoir de Justine together.  Take a look at her picture on her blog of her Justine and then look at my progress:

Shameful, I know.  But it's the linen - I'm not loving the linen, so I'm going to have to start it over.  This is also not a very good picture of it.  It doesn't photograph well!  But after seeing Sandra's beauty, I know that I have to stitch it with new linen!

Now, here comes the Cousin part with Sandra and I and what I meant about Tree Climbing in my post title.  That referred to Family Tree Climbing.  And if you get bored with reading family stuff, then skip to the bottom!!  But I'll try to make it as brief as possible.

When my husband's aunt died, I stood in the cemetery and started thinking about all the people and what their lives were like.  Sometimes we know so little about our relatives.  I've even thought about people and their lives when I've gone into an antique store and made a purchase - who owned what I was buying and what were they like.  Well, I decided to trace my roots with encouragement from Sandra.

Here's some of my immediate family - on the left my Great Grandmother, in the middle my Grandfather in his WWI uniform, and my Grandmother, and to the right is my Great Grandmother when she was small.  In the middle is my father when he was little.  I have a ton of pictures of relatives, but now I'll have some history.  Sandra has encouraged me time and time again to trace my roots and I started with my father's side of the family - actually his mother's side of the family - the one in the middle picture.  And what a mother lode I found.

I found out that my Great-Great-Great Grandfather married a woman named Victorie Pelletier (which makes me think of Anne Pelletier who charted Marquoir de Justine - are we related)?   Victorie's father was Charles Stanislaus Dagneau de Quindre dit Fortenay.  Victorie's mother was a Shawnee Indian.  His second wife (or 1st - there is no proof he married the Shawnee woman) was Marie Catherine Chene.  Both Dequindre and Chene are well known street names in Detroit.  And it appears that good ole Charles had Indian blood in him too (denoted by the use of Fortenay in his name).  Oh this is getting good - the black sheep in the family type of thing - skeletons in the closet.  Well, it seems that Charles and his family were very prominent and instrumental in the history of Detroit in the 1700's.  Are you bored yet?

If not, there's more.  In some articles I came across it was noted that Charles' family (who came from Quebec and France) was key in surrendering  Detroit to the British in 1760 (although one article says it was his uncle - Francois Marie Picote and another article said it was Charles - more investigation is needed, but since the records are in Detroit, I should be able to clear up that mystery). And that Charles was instrumental in the capture of Daniel Boone in Blue Lick, Kentucky.  Okay, this is cool.  But then I came across documents - one after the other and then the mother lode - a 294 page document about the Dagneaux/DeQuindre family beginning with a Henry D'Agneaux (I shortened the name) in 1068!!!  Thank goodness for the internet.  My direct family started showing up down the line at item 95 and at item 138 appears my GGG Grandmother and Grandfather, and further down the list there are more relatives.   I'm thrilled and some documents also tell me where they are buried in Detroit and Windsor.

In my excitement, I emailed the document to Sandra - not to read - heaven forbid, but just to see what I came across.  She glanced through a little of it and discovered another name, DeGrey, on the list that she thought I should investigate further.  A quick search on that name takes me back to some Queen in Denmark in the 600's (still investigating that one also).  But along the line what else do we find - that we're both related to William the Conqueror and that Sandra's line comes up and converges and she is my Cousin!!  To quote Sandra:

  "We are related to William the Conq. through his Grandfather Fulbert of Falaise and William's Uncle and Fulbert's Son Reynar.  William's Mother was the Daughter of one and the Sister of the other.  So that makes William our Cousin many many many times removed.  To make things easier, you could say that we all share the same Grandparents".

So there you have it.  How cool is that?

So, not only has blogging brought me so many great and new friends, it's also brought me in contact with someone who helped me find my past and is also related.  And who knows, a lot of us are probably related somewhere done the line.  I'm sure that we've all heard the term ,"We're all related"!

Now, what I'd love to do is find a sampler that one of my relatives stitched!  There are a lot of names in that big document.  Maybe I'll find one.  Wouldn't that be great??

If you're still reading this after the brief history of my family and you haven't bolted for the next blog out of boredom, thank you for following my blog, thank you for being a friend, and I hope that our relationships continue for years to come!!!  And I hope that we all share another four years of inspiration!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fifty Shades of Red

Hi everyone!! Sorry for the long absence in blogging.  I have missed keeping up on what everyone has been doing.   I have to admit that I have been lurking around the blog world here and there, but have been really bad about leaving comments.  I actually thought of just leaving Smiley faces when I did manage to find some blog time so that you would know I was there, but I thought that was a little bit lame.  I guess that my lack of posting (and commenting) kind of turned into an unplanned sabbatical from blogging.  It's been a rather hectic summer and I'm just coming up for air.  But I have managed to get a few things done!!

Now, lest you think that this will be a post about a new trilogy of erotic books like Fifty Shades of Grey, put your minds at rest.  Although I wouldn't mind writing something like that!!  I could make lots of money, have liposuction (okay maybe not - the whole idea of that scares me), bury myself in tons of new stash from all the royalties from the books, and snap my fingers and say, "Here Boy", when I dropped my quilting/stitching needle or needed a little liquid refreshing, all while I'm sitting in my lounge chair looking out over the Mediterranean/Caribbean, etc.  Lovely thought, right?  Such a dream!  But no, this is a PG rated blog. But lately I've been obsessed with the color red.  Lots of shades of red - fabric that is!  I dream about them, obsess about them and this is what I'm doing with some of those fifty shades of red:

Okay, I know - this is only 15 shades of red, but I'm working on the other 35 and then some.   276 more (actually 273 more - 3 were off having coffee or something and did not make it into the photo shoot) to be exact, but I try not to think about the number that I still have to do.  And I'm working on this with Siobhan from across the pond.  Actually, I jumped on her bandwagon and when she mentioned this quilt and that she was working on it, Trick or Treat, from the Blackbird Designs book, When The Cold Wind Blows, I just knew that I had to do it.  Crazy, yes, I know, 291 basket blocks, another 48 border blocks.  Truly insane, but they are so much fun, and it's fun having a partner in crime to work on them with!!

I had tons of reds in my stash and never knew what to do with them.  But now I know.  These babies are like eating candy - addicting.  And this is my first foray into hand applique (well, okay I'm lying - I tried it a long time ago and absolutely hated it).  But times have changed - I had so wanted to make the Phebe quilt,  really didn't trust my applique skills, but knew if I wanted that quilt I had better learn how to do it.  This is a great portable project and I drag them everywhere when I have to sit waiting for the kids!  Everything is in this box and I just pick it up and go!!  So much fun!!

I also managed to machine sew one lone block on my Cotton Club quilt - poor thing.  I still have about nine to do and then I can start putting the quilt together.  It's the one on the right.  There hasn't been much time to sit behind the sewing machine this summer.  :o(

Now, in case you think that I had given up stitching during my unplanned sabbatical from blogging, that would not be the case.  I've still managed to put needle to linen and actually have a finish:

Ann Hall
The Scarlett Letter

It was good to finish up this old WIP!!  But the whole time I was working on the bird under Adam, I kept thinking that the bird was so large that he could probably swallow Adam up in two bites - ymmm:

And once dear Ann was finished, I decided to start a new one - Elizabeth Clayton:

Elizabeth  Clayton
35 ct. Meadowrue
NPI Silks

I love working on her.  I don't know if it's the silks or what, but she's a joy to stitch.  It's always a toss up what I work on at night - Elizabeth or quilt baskets. 

Like I mentioned, it's been just one of those summers where I haven't had a lot of time to myself, but I did manage to take a small break when my sister came to town.  Even though she had lived in Michigan for 20+ years before she moved to California, she had never been to Mackinaw Island, so I surprised her and arranged a couple day getaway:

 You get to the island via ferry:

You grab a bike - the only mode of transportation besides walking or horse drawn carriages:
(DD makes bike riding look good!) and you ride around:

The Grand Hotel:

On the grounds of the Grand Hotel:

Arch Rock:

On the main street:

And a trip wouldn't be complete without some fudge which the island is known for:

There were more pictures taken with a phone, but they didn't translate well when I tried to post them here.  So there is my summer!!  Not a lot accomplished as far as stitching and quilting, but I spent a lot of time with my kids and that's always a good thing.

I'm anxious to catch up with everyone!!  I've missed your posts!!  I hope that everyone has had a great summer (can you believe it's almost the end of August?) and I'm going to catch up with everyone.  I can't wait to see what I've missed!!