Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This and That

Good Sunday morning to you all! (or good whatever time you check in). So first and foremost - wow 41 followers...thanks to all my old faithful (since March) followers and a huge welcome to my new followers! Thanks for stopping by. I read all my comments and check out your blog (if you have one)...it's fun, these computer generated friendships. Thanks to everyone who leaves comments too - I love hearing from you. The date on the top of this is wrong and I don't know how to fix it. I had typed a note in the posting area so I would remember something and then when I posted today, I just went into edit - this is minor and I have to work on the issues I have with this need to be absolutely correct (see further down about the threads I am off)! I'm working on it.

Whew - August 1st - this month will be whirlwind fast, as always. The only good thing about the downhill slide of summer is the loss of humidity and heat! I love reading about the lack of heat/humidity on other blogs...I guess you don't think about weather in other parts of the country/world (unless it's on the news) when you are quite the homebody and don't travel too far from home very often. Now don't get me wrong, I love to travel, but time, work, money all limit that!

I did have a comment from Diane from last post in which she mentioned the memory from her childhood of picking tomatoes and eating them fresh from the garden with muddy hands. Thanks for bringing back the memory, Diane, we picked tons of things from my Grandma's huge garden, especially the carrots. We'd run over to the garden hand pump, give it a quick and not so thorough rinse off and crunch away right up to the greens...then we would toss those those at the chickens. Gosh, I miss my Grandma's garden, the watermelon in the tin wash tub with ice and sodas (dr. pepper) and all her awesome cooking - fried chicken, okra, green beans, fresh corn on the cob, pies and on and on with the food - riding on the tractor with Grandpa and just fun with cousins galore!

I also need to say thanks to the suggestions on how others finish with walnut shells. I have some things waiting for filling (fobs, cushions, etc). They are patiently waiting by the sewing machine - maybe today I will get to them as I plan on heading up to visit with my sewing machine shortly - only a couple chores to do this morning first - unload the dishwasher (which I forgot to turn on last night and is still running) and about four loads of laundry from yesterday to fold. Oh yeah, and what to have for dinner tonight...but then - sewing!

I worked on this piece Monday while stitching with my friends - a great time as always!!

I plan on working this up with a little walnut shells for a fob - or maybe just a little sweet pillow. Or maybe I will finish it like Vonna did in her 7/25 post - gotta check out her tutorial it looks pretty do-able... then hang during the fall in my house or at work!

I didn't do a whole lot of stitching this week other than Monday...DH is working doubles so I have had to cook dinner when I get home from work - I know, whine -whine! But usually with his normal work schedule, dinner is in progress when I walk in the door and both of us, along with DS when he doesn't have to run right out, clean up so that takes less time too. So by the time that's all done, I have just kind of vegged - reading the paper, checking emails and to bed. But I did work on this too - it's "Alpha-Bits" and seems to have the illusion of going fast because I can do one whole letter (and the speciality stitch row under the letter) per night most of the time. But drat - last night I realized I was four threads off since the very beginning - the band should have gone four threads more...I don't think it's going to matter and it would require some serious ripping out and restitching...shhh, don't tell anyone!

Enjoy your Sunday, spend some time doing what makes you happy! Have a good week and hopefully next week I will have some finish/finishes to show you - unless I just decide to work on my DH's quilt.

Stitch happy,

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stuff...and more stuff...

Boy oh boy, it's been hot here - not only hot, but humid. Hate those "H" words! DH and I went to the Ann Arbor Art Fair this Friday. We walked around looking at all the cool art, did some people watching, had bottles of water, frozen lemonade and sought out any area there was a breeze (and not many to find). We then went to a restaurant which was recommended by a couple different people and though lunch was okay, not impressive and not nearly as good as our favorite Mexican place in Fenton. It was a nice morning, though. We decided to get out of dodge - and timing is everything - we were driving home when the storm hit - hard rain... DH took a nap (as he hadn't slept after arriving home from work about 7:30 a.m. I laid around a bit in the afternoon, watching old reruns and finishing my book...then we went to the movies. Inception was the movie of choice, it was a long one, but really good. I love movies that make you think, make you turn things over and over in your mind. I definitely would recommend it. It was an expensive date day, I must say, and put a bit of a dent in the weekly budget, but since we hardly ever do things like that, it was worth it.

So what likes the heat and humidity? My tomato plants (pictured below). I can't wait to have fresh picked tomatoes for my BLT - we bought some tomatoes at farmer's market last weekend and they were delicious, but nothing beats picking, slicing and eating within the same few minutes! Yesterday at farmers market, we bought some corn on the cob, tomatoes and green onions - locally grown and ready to eat...I tried a new recipe - mixed all together into kind of a room temp salad (you cut the corn off the cob, saute it with butter and the white of the green onions) and then mix that with the green part of the onion, tomatoes (which have marinated in a little vinegar and olive oil) add some salt and pepper - definitely making that one again! YUM!!

What have I been doing lately in the textile area? Well, last weekend I finished up some gadget bags which I will give away tomorrow. I have one more snap/button to sew and then they can be wrapped. Here they are:

The other is my Christmas Pocket progress - I showed this awhile ago and have just picked it back up. I didn't have the tree base done before, the sawtooth border is further down and the verse box is new - yes, I know the A is upside down - it's folded when finished so it needs to be stitched upside down - it's over one...have to have eyes not so tired to work on this...and I finally found a replacement silk color for the one that came with it - I wanted something darker, richer and not as bright. So now back up to finish the tree and add the poinsettias.

I will be working on it today, tonight and tomorrow - not going to work a whole day tomorrow, going to stitch with my friends! I can't wait to see all of them, it's always such a fun, relaxing day and I have birthday presents to deliver (see above)! Although they are all proficient sewers, I will give them my attempt to be a good sewer. Practice makes perfect (or close to it) right?!

So do any of you use walnut shells for inside of scissor fobs or pin cushions? What do you use for a lining to keep them from being against the linen? Do you find the looks you received funny when you ask if they have a smaller than 7# bag [at the pet store]? I need some guidance in how use them as stuffing - I have used fiberfil but it's not heavy enough and the crushed walnut shells are perfect.

A couple weeks ago I received this really cool RAK - Jennifer sent me a flower frog - yesterday DH and I visited the local Salvation Army and I picked up a cool dish for under it - now to get those fobs done (hence, the walnut shells) as they are stitched and just need to be finished/finished. Isn't it sweet?!!

So I've been trying to figure out why I have decided to blog and love reading the blogs of others - I think I figured it out...I was reading one the other day where someone had commented that they didn't like that particular person's blog lately as they had strayed away from the quilting and added too many personal tidbits. I commented to her (as did many) that it was her blog; if someone wants to read just about one subject, to find blogs they like (duh, why would you waster your time reading something you didn't have to or want to)? I think it's kind of like a diary - and maybe we get to peek, invited, into what's going on in another's life. I have always been a little curious (aka nosey) - so this is right up my alley (another reason I do so well in Human Resources too - and as a court report transcriptionist before that).
Okay, soapbox is put away...Um yeah, up to 38 followers, this is my 25th post and been blogging almost 6 months...boy does time fly! Thanks for visiting with me today!

So I guess with that and all the other rambling, it's time for me to stitch (after I finish the laundry waiting in the washer and dryer). Then in a couple hours, to prepare Reuben sandwiches for us and DS's girlfriend before they go to the summer concert downtown...have a great week everyone - stay cool (if you're in the hot part of the world) and stitch happy!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I've been RAK'd!! THANKS!!!

So I had a couple birthday cards to mail and hear the postman coming, so I ran out to greet him. I was joking with him that he's only been bringing medical insurance stuff, bills and political B.S. and nothing fun lately...and then he said it was my lucky day - he handed me a box.

So I opened it and found this:

Upon further opening - I had a very nice note from Jennifer (http://serialstarter.blogspot.com/) and also this:

I have been searching and searching for a flower frog to hold my scissors...I love it and can't wait to find a base - easier than the frog search, as I have a few things on hand I will try it out in or take a trip to the Salvation Army - they always have lots of things that will work. THANKS, Jennifer - such a sweet gift - and you really made my day! If you haven't checked out her blog, check her out - beautiful stitching and lots of pretty vacation pictures lately. I will definately "pay it forward", Jennifer!!
I had a couple BBD patterns I want to use for a focus group project for my Kindred Spirits guild and since we love to eat at the Mexican restaurant in front of my LNS and it's too hot to cook and I'm too lazy today - I picked up these two linens, one WDW I was missing to start and also a pattern I had ordered which had arrived this week. And then off for a chicken fiesta salad!

When I arrived home, after finishing the bills and medical b.s., I decided to pull the fibers - don't you just hate when it's on your list of fibers you own, you know you have it; you go to "kit" it up and it's with some other project at the moment and you don't know which one? Or are you a "one project at a time" stitcher? I used to be - not any more. I don't have any idea how many WIP's I have and I don't want to know...I love having flexibility and have some hard things to do, some easy stitching and some in between.
So I am to stitch tonight, stitched last night while watching back episodes of Deadliest Catch from this season - some of them I missed...such a sad season! Tomorrow I hope to hang out in my sewing studio and work on various projects - also not a one project gal there either...too many things, too little time.
Should be an okay week though - off next Friday to peruse the Ann Arbor Art Fair - it's been years since my hubby and I went and checked out all the very cool things. We're doing that and having lunch - been awhile since we had a "date". Then it will be the weekend again. Now, if I can just figure out a way to cool myself down I'd have it made - whew it's been too hot! Have a great week all! Thanks again Jennifer - I love it! As soon as I get a base situated and scissors resting comfortably, I will take a pic and post.
Stitch happy,

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ahhh Sunday - but Sunday means Monday...

The title says it all - I love Sunday...but Sunday at the end of a vacation means work returns tomorrow. How come the days go so fast when you're on vacation. As I said in my previous post, it was a working vacation. Friday DH put new brakes on the truck - having old vehicles (all 3 over 10 years old) is not always a the best - only in terms of payments, but not repairs. Luckily DH is talented and knowledgeable when it comes to repairs most of the time. My car is still in the shop and hopefully will have a new rear-end on Monday. That repair is the second we've done on this car and because it only had a little over 50,000 miles on the last rear-end the shop put on, they knocked quite a bit of the labor costs off. Again, thank goodness DH knows what should and shouldn't be with cars.

Did go to the Salvation Army and found a couple crystal items...I'm going to use the pitcher for pens, pencils, rulers in my studio. The other two, nice additions for my curio cabinet...

Yesterday we had a slight break in the humidity; so after my son's girlfriend got off work, we headed to my mom's to take a cruise on her pontoon; she lives on a chain of about six lakes. We did some swimming and took our very warm dog, Cody swimming - he loves the water and is still sleeping from all the excitement mid-Sunday morning. We also had Subway for dinner on the boat, mom baked some cookies for dessert. It was wonderful to let Cody soak off some of the extra hair he's carrying and all of us cooled off a bit.

Not much on the stitching front I can blog about - I am working on a Christmas present for my exchange (with a group of talented, amazing friends).

Went to our local farmer's market yesterday morning with my DH. Saw some beautiful sour pie cherries...so, made this. I haven't had a homemade cherry pie for many, many years. After boating yesterday, had a slice with some vanilla bean ice cream and if I do say so myself, delicious!!

I also finished these two pillows - so which ties do you like on top? I love the way switching them makes the pillows look entirely different but I can't decide. I cut these out last fall and they were buried underneath some other projects. In my cleaning of the studio Friday, dug them out and spent oh, I don' t know, less than one hour to prepare them for stuffing, then another half-hour to slip stitch after stuffing and then whaalah - on the bench in the family room...love the batiks!

Have a marvelous Sunday - I'm off to get ready for my Kindred Spirits meeting, then hope to stitch this evening.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Gotta Love VACATION!!

So it's about the hottest day of the year - what did DH and I do on this vacation day? Well, stained the deck, of course. DH is off the entire week, I only worked yesterday...getting some things done around home - today was the deck staining and taking my car in for service (groan). We did go to the Salvation Army so I could check again for a flower frog - no luck...maybe I will win the one on Deb's blog (http://threadgatherer.blogspot.com) pick me!! We also stopped by the quilt shop in the next town and picked up my BOM for the civil war quilt I have yet to start. It has the fabrics from my banner - yum! Digressing to Deb's blog - check out her story about the RAK with Kim - very funny that she returned your note and box, Deb. I had read about the salt shaker this weekend, which is cute, by the way.

Tomorrow DH and I hope to hit a couple garage sales (searching for that elusive frog), then it's cleaning the storage room in the basement - at least that will be cooler than the deck is today.

I stitched a bit last night, gonna stitch again in a few minutes - no pics yet. I am working on a Christmas gift and she may or may not read my blog.

DS started summer school today, so we will be staying around here for the entire week off. Maybe DH and I will catch a movie, don't know what we will do on Saturday - with this weather, it's not gonna be outside for long, then Kindred Spirits Sampler Guild Sunday.

Stay cool!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lots of Stuff...

Boy did I have a productive couple days but they were also relaxing...Thursday my m-i-l and s-i-l arrived from Minnesota. Our dining room table is an antique from my hubby's family. It is an awesome table - the kind with 5 pedestals - many, many leafs. My m-i-l was at a moving sale and found this crochet table cloth which fits the table when square and also with one leaf. It has a couple spots, but is really well done! So this first pic is a close-up of her $1 find! What a great gift...Then there was the trip to the Mexican restaurant we love to visit...we knew my s-i-l would love it and the burger m-i-l ordered was fabulous (we didn't know what the American food was like). Want to know the best part of eating out there? It's by my LNS and the second pic is my stash "acquirments" (I know, it's a made up word) of the weekend. The scissors are for the fob I made and stitch/finished a month or so ago...I will have to finish/finish it now that my pink scissors are in!

I did some stitching while trying to stay cool - boy did the weather turn Saturday - we had been fortunate enough for a couple days to have the windows open all day, mildly warm in the late afternoon to early evening - cool and great sleeping at night. But then BAM - almost 100* today and much humidity. I hate hot and humid, and long for snow when this happens. So, it was fitting I finished this project. It has been my go-to for many months.

It's easy, straight cross-stitch and has been a "fun" stitch. I did the glass "markers" with beads and small charms...I just had to show you a close-up of the margarita glass, the salt rim was done with Rainbow Gallery's "Fuzzy Stuff" and it really is cute. Now all I have to do is finish/finish it into a pillow - let's see if I can get that done within the next year....

Then I also stitch finished this fob, even made my cord. Now to finish/finish it too...whew!

I also had a big finish goal (for 2010) finished...ta-da! Finished stitching The Red Flower Sampler by Eileen Bennett. This one was started about five years ago and I put it away or got sidetracked, who knows, then I revisited it this spring and have worked on it faithfully. And it's done...I also showed a pic of the flower centers since I posted my dilemma a posting or two ago and had some great ideas commented to me! Knots in the outside two centers, satin stitch in the middle flower. Now to the framer for a finish/finish. I love this one and know just where it is to hang once framed.

I also spent some time with my sewing machine. I bought some ticking type fabric and remade a pillow (my favorite pillow sprung a feather leak a few weeks ago), I did two other pillows for a bench in my family room - they aren't quite done, but close. I'll post a pic hopefully next post!

We picked up the house and did laundry when my in-laws left this morning. It was a nice visit, played a dice game "farkle", ate lots of yummy meals, watched old movies and I stitched...my son had a nice weekend with his friends and girlfriend too, before starting summer school this week. My DH is off all week and working around the house - staining the deck, trimming trees, cleaning up the storage room in the basement and hopefully getting some fun in (I am off most of the week, but must return to work tomorrow to get payroll done - in one day I hope). Maybe going to Frankenmuth or antiquing or a movie. My friends are all getting together for an overnight at the end of the week and I'd love to do that too, but I don' t know what DH will have planned and how that will involve me. Hope to get in a little reading too! DS will be in school three days and hopefully be working hard at night so that he can have some fun on the weekends.

I welcome my new followers and thanks to all who leave comments. I can't believe I have now been blogging for more than three months...and I feel as though I know so many more people who share my passion for stitching, sewing, reading...this is fun. I have to say, there are a couple "thrills" in blogging - seeing new followers and comments to my posting and then there's the times I have been reading along on someone's blog and see my blog listed in their sidebar. I can't help but think that must be, on a small scale, how people who write songs, books, etc. feel when they see they are published. Neato! (isn't that a fun word)!

Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!! And Happy Canada Day to my followers from O Canada! Have a great week all!

Stitch lots!!