Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer lovin', happened so fast...

Seems my M-DICE* has a main squeeze! I must admit, these two go together like peas and carrots, only better. I just hope the Bunny on the carton hasn't given these two any ideas! Although.................on second thought, that might not be such a bad thing!

You might think I own stock in the Blue Bunny brand as much as I blather on about thier ice cream (the yogurt is terrific too!), but actually I have no affliation (other than affection) with the company. However, considering that a thoughtful and generous marketing rep named Jordan sent me coupons for free ice cream last time I blogged about Blue Bunny (thanks again Jordan!), I might have to look into that stock. Don't think I'm scamming for more free ice cream; I only want to share just how customer oriented the fine folks at Blue Bunny seem to be. And did I mention how it tastes? Oh that cool and creamy mint chocolate chip, the smooth and sweet black cherry - IMHO, it really is the taste of summer!

Don't get me started on the Turtle Sundae flavor, or the Pistashio Almond, or the Coconut Macaroon, you heard me right, MACAROON ice cream.

Sorry gang, gotta run, I think I hear the treadmill calling!

*M-DICE = Most Delicious Ice Cream on Earth

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Miss to the framer

click for better viewing:

"Lady Liberty"
Wichelt Jobelin 28 ct. Watercress
Thread Gatherer and Splendor silk

I hope to be able to capture a better image of her when she's back from the framer.

I did go with metallic gold for the torch, but you can't really tell in these pics. With any luck, she'll be framed and ready for her new home by 9/11.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend, wherever you are!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

Well now I've seen it all. As a big fan of dogs and buffalo (GO HERD!), I couldn't resist sharing this post with you:

this, my friends, is a standard poodle groomed in the style of "Marco"

Check out all the amazing dogs and dog groomers here:

Wonder how Carmen would feel about trying out such a "do"? You know, just until January.

Go Marco, Go Marco!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BAP Draft Day

I recently discovered that whenever I'm nearing the completion of a BAP*, it sends "Wish You Were Here" postcards to all my other unstitched BAPs. I know this because they all get SOOOOO excited at the idea that THEY might be NEXT! From the point the postcards go out, it's all "choose me, pick me" to quote my BGAFF*, Meredith (Season Six premiere on 9/24 y'all). But the one-up-manship between them, I mean, it's the cutest thing ever! It starts slow and sneaky, like showing up in a three second snippet of a random dream. But it doesn't take long for the sneakiness to turn into outright brazeness and shamelessness, interrupting my work day, drive time, lunchtime, etc., until I'm drowning in a virtual tsunami of subliminal messages! I imagine, for them, it's a lot like NFL draft day......bless their hearts.

Here's how it plays out in my head:

Sportscaster #1: Gooooooood Evening Stitchfans and welcome to BAP Draft Day at Marnie Manor, where the air is electric with excitement and you can cut the tension with a knife!

Sportscaster #2: You said it Marv! The room is a-buzz with anticipation! I've never seen a better collection of PIGs, WIPs, UFOs, and virtual unknowns gathered in one place. The line-up of candidates is as long and impressive as the dessert table at a Baptist barbeque.

Sportscaster #1: I couldn't have put it better myself, Gene! The entire class of hopefuls have been struting and preening and frankly, couldn't look better than they do tonight! Any one of these characters would make an excellent first round pick. I don't know HOW anyone could choose just one among these outstanding contenders. But that IS what we are here for.....tell our listeners who you think is on the short list, Gene.

Sportscaster #2: Well Marv, I've lost count of the peacocks and pineapples roaming the room. We've got a strong contingency of WIPs making some noise in the parlor, but no one should count out the UFOs in the back of the room. It is pretty obvious though, the PIGs have come to play. I would say THEY are the team to beat. With that said, it's anybody's guess Marv.

Sportscaster #1: You said it Gene! It is anyone's guess - Will The Lady of the House go BIG or small, w i d e or TALL? We've heard rumors of a beaded fish, a legendary needlebook, a trio of wise men and beaucoup blackwork. Of course, who's to say she will put all her eggs in one basket, Gene? It's a well known fact that she needs more than one player to fill out her roster. Actually, we could speculate all night!

Sportscaster #2: Great point Marv. I can tell you that the scouts have been working overtime and earning their paychecks! The standouts gathered in this room represent the best this area has to offer but, at the same time, it's a very cosmopolitan, diverse group. In a nutshell, Marv, there's something here to suit everyone's taste!

Sportscaster #1: In-deed! But, the question remains......WHO WILL BE NEXT!?! We will have to live with the suspense a little while longer until the Lady of the House speaks. We have it on good authority that she has consulted with her advisors and is ready to make an announcment.

So stay tuned stitchfans...we'll be right back after these messages.

*BGAFF = Best Grey's Anatomy Friend Forever
*BAP = Big A$$ Project

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Just as I suspected! I wandered outside this afternoon for a breath of fresh air, after I finished scrubbing the floors, washing the windows, polishing the furniture and baking a cake (wink wink), and WHAT did I see? Humph....

Can't say as I blame him. Today might just have been a perfect day for a little, how did Hammer put it?........... Hammock Time!

Liberty progress

click on photo for better viewing

It won't be long now.....but, sadly, it won't be this weekend. Big family birthday celebration for MIL, family visiting from out of state, another big birthday feast, plus other various and sundry obligations will keep me from stitching for another day or two. My hope is to have her to the framer by Monday, 8/31. The frame (which is already on order) is gorgeous! A combination of verdigris green and mottled bronze; you'll love it! I can't wait to see it all framed up.
Here's hoping you are getting all the stitching time you can stand this weekend!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Random Mystery Give-away Winner!

When the oracle spoke earlier this month to reveal that the 14th would be my lucky day, I thought it not a coincidence, already knowing that the 14th was my Blogoversary!!! Unbeknownst to them, I sent my commentors names off to the Oracle and here's what she said:

List Randomizer
There were 4 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
1. Sadie
2. Cindy
3. Debbie
4. Vera
Timestamp: 2009-08-19 22:31:40 UTC

Congratulations Sadie! I'll be getting a little something out in the mail to you soon!

If you'd like to be included in the next mystery random give-away drawing, all you need to do is drop me a comment on the (random) (secret) lucky day of the month!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Stitcher's Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there was a very weary stitcher who thought she would never finish One. Huge. Sleeve. There were big folds, little folds, long folds, short folds, and some of the folds had folds of their very own. It was just a very fold-y kind of sleeve. She stitched faithfully in the wee hours, but alas, time was not her friend. One night, the stitching fairies took pity on this faithful yet weary stitcher and completed all the pesky folds that vexed our heroine so horribly.

In appreciation for their merciful act, the stitcher made for the fairies a love offering of chocolate and coconut gooey goodness.
(Must. Keep. Fairies. Happy.)

Where does one find such a fairy pleasing epicurean delight? From the culinary Fairy Godmother, Paula Deen, of course. I converted the pie crust to chocolate on a hunch that it would be just the right compliment to the coconut.

I was right. Yum.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Blogoversary To Me!

Wow, now that was one fast year! I must say, as someone who knew no.thing. about blogging one year ago, I am pretty darn amazed when I look back through all the archived posts. It is so neat having a visual diary of the projects I completed or just worked on this past year. I'm a little shocked, after all I did manage to stitch, how little of it I still have!

By my count, in my first year of blogging, I've given away three pin cubes, a wine bag, one checkerboard, three angel ornaments, a treble clef pendant, a sweetbag, a double lucky biscornu ornament, a floss tag, two threadboards and bunch of needlebooks. Whew!


I managed to keep one threadboard, one pin cube, one biscornu, two floss tags, a bargello, a blackwork, a couple of smaller random pieces, a tassel, thimble keeper and a name tag. Not shabby.


Yes, but what have I learned, you ask? I've learned a few new tricks with my camera, how to use the photo editor Picnik, a whole new lingo (RAK, PIF, SAL, OOP, BAP, PITA, BBSFF, for example), a few new techniques from fabulous blog tutorials, and several new-to-me online resources for those hard to find items. I've also learned that this here blog has lit a fire under my stitching butt. Who KNEW?!?!

I think most bloggers would agree with me that making new friends and sharing with existing friends is the best part of it all.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend, wherever you are!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Snapshots of Summer

Fleeting images of summer...what color, what beauty, what blessings!

Sorry for chopping off the right hand side of the collage. I would love to know how to edit this template to widen the content area and minimize the side borders, but alas, I am not a techie. I really like the template but am quiet sure if I started tinkering with it, I would create some kind of "fatal error", I'm experienced in the "fatal error" arena. I've got the brand spanking new profile at work this week to prove it. What that means in plain English is my computer forgot who it belonged to. All my shortcuts, documents, email, etc were simply lost, no, not lost, just misplaced the IT guy assures me. The actual machine still works like a charm, it just has amnesia. Supposedly it is more likely to happen when you log into the system from remote locations. Blah blah blah. Since I've got about 20 days to write employee performance appraisals, I hope it regains it's memory soon. All my notes for the whole year are in there, somewhere. Sing it with me now, "Somewhere, Out There, Beyond the World Wide Web, .... "

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Liberty verse complete

Forgive the crap-tastic photo please, more rain here today makes for not good photo taking. The fabric is a soft overdyed patina green. It is really perfect for the project. I'm stitching with silks, one overdyed for the statue herself (Thread Gatherer, Green Leaves) and a solid for the verse (Splendor, s838). Yes, one line of the verse has a little overdyed in it. I got skippy with it one night and had stitched 5 words in the overdyed before I realized what I'd done. I didn't feel like ripping five words so Shoot me!

The point is..........the verse is done!!! Now, it is literally onward and upward, up her arm that is. I originally thought I would stitch the entire project in the green silk, but after seeing Susan's post about her recent visit to The Lady, I think I'll do the flame of the torch in gold metallic. It looks so pretty in her photos. If it is horrid on fabric, I can always frog it and do over. (I do know HOW to frog, I'm just not a big FAN of the frog.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Once, Twice, Three times a K9...

Carmen in dots, dashes and neon hot flashes...

Channeling my inner Warhol here.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Brain aerobics

Has the summer started to turn your brain to mush, maybe just a tad? Feel like you might benefit from a little mental flexing? If the crossword and sodoku books have gotten buried under a pile of People and TV Guide, here's a fast and fun game we used to play in high school. Points (that counted for nothing!) were awarded based on humor, content and originality.

Quick, make a list of 10 of your favorite words, or words you love to hear someone say. Doesn't matter noun, verb, adjective, just jot down the first ten that come to mind. Now, write a short short story using all ten words. Here's mine:

It was a splendid day for a horse race. The bread pudding was superb and parade of hats delightful. The thoroughbreds were all looking positively magestic. When my trifecta hit, I was elated! Crossing the finish line first was Spectacular Bid, placing second was Sublime Mime, and showing third was Radiance. The payout was enormous.

The shorter the story, the better. No need to be bothered with facts, just have fun with it. See how few sentences it takes you to squeeze all ten of your words in and still have some semblence of a story. If you are brave, post your short stories in my comments. Sniff-sniff.... is that dinner I smell burning or perhaps just my synapses firing in places they haven't fired for awhile?

Like a glass pearl necklace

If you happen to be up and out early enough for the dew to still be on the hydrangeas, maybe you'll discover a few glass pearl necklaces of your very own.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

more ATCs

I haven't completely flipped my wig for ATCs, but given the opportunity I could see myself investing way too much time in these little numbers. I like making the envelopes (template here) as much as I like making and thinking about making the cards. Fun FUN FUN!!!

I am wondering something though...maybe some of you experienced ATC traders could tell many hours of work go into an "average" (yet good enough to trade) ATC? I don't know if they should be "mini-masterpieces" or just something to do when you want a small, quick project to work on. There must be some traders out there with some advice... I'm really looking forward to my first swap with the ladies of my guild. I think it will be really interesting to see what everyone comes up with.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Face of Liberty

Quick update before I'm off to the back-cracker. I finished Liberty's face Friday night. Wanted to work on the verse over the weekend, but it just didn't happen. Her face was a bit sterner in the pattern, so I decided to soften her a bit with a brow lift, a little rhinoplasty and some collogen injections to her lips (giggle). Seriously though, I did rearrange the alignment of her facial features just a tad, like 1/2 of a stitch higher here and 1/2 of a stitch to the right there. I think it looks pretty ok now - it did look off-center and stern, like scowl-y before. The girl's got some eyebrow's on her to rival Brooke Shields'!!!
Most all the rest of the work is in her arm, hand and torch which runs up the left side of the fabric. The verse shouldn't take very long, just 7 more fairly short lines. You are seeing the last line of verse above. With 9/11 only a month away, I think I'll have her finished but I'm not sure if I can get her framed by then. We shall see...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

blueberry dessert

If you haven't seen or receive Kraft's food&family magazine, I highly recommend you check it out. I'm a bit of a recipe hound so over the past 15 years I've taken lots of different cooking/recipe mags like Gourmet, Cook's, Cooking Light, Taste of Home, etc. and enjoyed them all. I never expected when I signed up for the FREE food&family magazine years ago that a.) I would enjoy it (visually) as much as the high priced cooking mags and b.) I would make as many if not more of the recipes from it as I would any of the others. The food photography is excellent, the recipe quality is very good and each issue normally has several coupons for free stuff like salad dressing, chocolate chips, coffee or whatever. Yes there are lots of ads, but the vast majority of magazines you pay for these days are overflowing with ads, so that shouldn't worry anyone.

Yesterday I was filing away some paperwork that had gotten piled up in the kitchen and, like always, there were several recipe mags in the pile. Well, can one put a recipe mag away without first flipping through to see if anything jumps out? I don't think so. So, there I am, flipping away (when I should have just been filing) when a no-bake cheesecake-y looking dessert just jumped off the page. It was made with strawberries, but I had a frige full of perfectly plump and ripe blueberries, so I thought, "What the HECK! Let's give this a go". It took all of 15 minutes to make, from the time I abandoned my tidying up and began collecting the ingredients. And let me tell you WHAT......I've slaved over scratch blueberry cheesecake before and I don't think it was any better at all than this little 15 minute, no-bake cheesecake.

The website only has the recipes from the last three issues of the mag, so since I've got your mouth watering for blueberry cheesecake and the recipe was from the Summer 08 mag, here's how it goes:

(Recipe for 8x8 dish, double for 9x13)

6 graham crackers, crushed
3 T. butter or marg., melted
1/2 c. plus 1 T. sugar or Splenda
2 pkgs. cream cheese
1/4 c. blueberry preserves
1 c. fresh blueberries
1/2 tub Cool Whip

Mix crushed crackers, 1/8 c. sugar and butter in dish. Press to form crust. Refrigerate while making filling. Beat both bricks of cheese and 3/8 c. sugar in bowl until well blended. Add preserves, mix well. Sprinkle berries with 1 T. sugar in separate bowl or measuring cup. Mash a little with fork. Stir berries and Cool Whip into cheese mixture. Spoon over crust. Cover. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours before cutting.

DELISH!!! Recipe was written for strawberries so if that tempts your tastebuds more than blueberries, I'm sure it would be just as good!