Monday, September 28, 2009

ABC progress

Just popping in with a quick ABC update.  The power was off here yesterday from 1:30 pm - 11:30 pm, so not only did I not get much stitching accomplished, I also have a little weekend laundry left over to catch up tonight.   AND my favorite quarterback in a Cowboy uniform, Tony Romo, is on the teevee tonight, so I must be quick!  (don't mention this to my favorite QB in a purple uniform - Brett gets so jealous).  The thudding you hear is me running up and down the stairs to the laundry room during commercial breaks!  (how 'bout that Cowboy stadium/palace? not too shabby)

Back to the stitching, I love Love LOVE this piece.  I've been luxuriating in the colorway. 

Bandana, Steamed Broccoli, Old Oak Tree, and Hickory Sticks seem like they were made for each other and for this linen. I snapped this pic quick with the iPhone, so it's not super great. Hopefully, it will be finished soon and I'll break out the "real" camera for her glamour shot. I'm still trying to decide on the final wording for the lower portion of the piece. And just so you know, I'm waffling (shocker) about whether to follow thru with my pillow idea (seam allowances scare me). I'd like to have the little pillow as we discussed previously, but I don't trust my lead foot! I also accidentally noticed how blank the space on the wall looks between my two lady chairs in my previous post. We all know how cute this little number is framed. Hummmm..... decisions, decisions.  Where's my life coach when I need him?

Mark your Calendars!!!  Big doin's this weekend folks:  the WV Pumpkin Festival is back in town!   I'll be standing in line for my pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin fudge and maybe even a new fall wreath for the door.

Then, one week from tomorrow, (cue the themesong Willie), we are on the road again for NATIONAL!   YAY!  But first, I must survive facilitating an all day training session at work tomorrow.  dread, dread, dread...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

this train's back on track

Hi Friends!  I feel like the past 10 days or so have been a loss.  Life got uber busy and I haven't been making much time for stitching or blogging.  The end of the fiscal year at work is Jack-crazy with last minute spending, last minute hiring, last minute training and last minute travel that all needs to be completed before 9/30.  It is always this way, so no amount of "pre-planning" can prevent it; it's just the way of the Fed gov.

The good news is, it's almost over.  I have one more major crazy day on Tuesday and then, there will be peace in the valley once more. 

I am excited to be taking a few days off in early October to head up the highway to Pittsburgh for the EGA National meeting.  I really really can't wait to be "on the road again", as my BLLCMFF* Willie would say.  Sometimes I rather enjoy letting special events creep up on me without notice because then, when I do look up from my desk and notice, "Hey, National is just a week away!", the excitement is much more intense than it would be if I was counting the days down from 100.  Make no mistake, I am TOO EXCITED!  I didn't sign up for any classes, but my travel mate and I wanted to at least go for Merchandise Day.  I have also identified couple of WIPs who are in bad need of a little vacation time too, so "ABC" and Waterlily Stained Glass are tagging along.  Sadly though, National overlaps another of my favorite stitchy activities, Fall Retreat.  I can't even begin to tell you how restorative Spring and Fall Retreats are for me.  Seriously healing.  I've written about Retreats before so I'll only say that they are a magical time for all of us and I sorely miss my BSFFs when I'm unable to attend.

Note:   For those of you interested in attending EGA National in San Francisco next year, the photos of the classes will be up on the EGA site next Thursday (Oct 1). 

Today would have been my mother's 56th birthday.  She has been gone now for almost 5 years.  I will spend some time with my Dad today and probably visit the cemetary.  It's raining and seems like a good day for reflection and quiet contemplation. 

So that is my story and I'm sticking to it. 

BCMLLFF = Best Living Legend Country Music Friend Forever
BSFF = Best Stitchy Friends Forever

My Random Mystery Give-Away Winner

09/09/09 was my lucky give-away day this month and so I had six commentors/entrants for the prize.  They were Vera, Jan, Lenna, Sadie, Vicki "Stitchy McFloss" and Susan from Plays with Needles. 
In the virtual hat they went and out came:

List Randomizer

There were 6 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

1. Vicki
2. Jan
3. Sadie
4. Vera
5. Susan
6. Lenna 

Congratulations Vicki, I mean "Stitchy"!  Shoot me an email with your snail mail address and I'll get a little something out to you this week.

You have three more chances to win my monthly Random Mystery Give-Away.  As always, just drop me a comment on my secret lucky day and the oracle might just call your name next month!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The last of summer

Autumn is officially here on Tuesday, but the chill in the morning air and the extra blanket on the bed tells me she has already settled in in my little corner of the world.  I can remember a day when summer meant sleeping in, rolling skating or bike riding all day, reading books for fun and day trips to exciting places like petting zoos, regattas and air shows.  I think it was 1985 when I started "grown up" activities in the summer, like taking classes at the local college and later, working that stripped all the true fun away from summer.  At the time I didn't miss the aimlessness of summer, but looking back, I could have used a few more of those lazy hazy days before entering the "real world".  Now I would give a king's ransom to have three solid months to explore, create, learn, rest, refresh, renew.....clean out closets, sort the pantry, organize the stash.   Okay, sorry, but I would!

The tomato plant is still yielding some fruit, but I can't help but wonder if each will be the last until next summer.  I can't even begin to describe how fan-tab-ulous these tomatoes have been:

And, I ask you, have you ever seen such a darling little bell pepper in all your life?  (yes, those are eggs)

The corn is not from our garden, but it was so delicious this year, I did freeze some for winter:

In addition, hubby decided he wanted to learn how to can this summer, so he/we put up about a dozen pints of tomatoes (for chili and such).  I made a small jar of pesto.  And, on his very own, he made grape jelly and blueberry jam and I'm not even sure what else.  You should have seen the kitchen, Yowzers. 

I hope your summer was as "fruitful" and full of blessings as mine has been.

Friday, September 18, 2009

so much for my balanced budget

Opened today dangerously close to my house. 
Need I say more?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A LHN new start

Here's a little new start I've been working on this week.  It's Little House's Alphabet Rhyme.  The colors are so warm and wonderful and the linen, well, I'm in love with it.  I've strayed just a little from the recommended colors in order to more exactly match my "lady chairs" in the "drawing room" but they all are still Crescent Color overdyeds. 

When it's finished I'm going to try not to ruin it try to turn it into a tall, skinny pillow (with the, gasp, gulp, electified sewing machine).  I think the chair looks like it would welcome a corner propped up pillow.  Instead of stitching "Now I know my ABC's..." at the bottom, I'm thinking about something like "Welcome to the Drawing Room" or simply "Marnie's Drawing Room".

My only dilemma:  one pillow, two chairs.  Hummm....  Wonder if my disorder "sense of order" will allow that?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Women's Friendship Month

In 1999, National Women's Friendship Day (September 20th) was founded by Kappa Delta National Sorority, which is based in Memphis. Starting in 2009, the day becomes a month--the entire month of September!

Here is a list to help you think of activities that you and your friends can enjoy together.

Enjoy National Women's Friendship Month

  • Send a card or short note to your best friend telling her how much she means to you.
  • Celebrate your relationship over high tea or coffee.
  • Remember a special friend with a book of poetry or fiction.
  • Send a card, and perhaps a photo, to a faraway friend.
  • Plan a girls' night out. Go see a movie. Make reservations for dinner.
  • Visit a spa together. Make appointments for manicures. Get makeovers.
  • Reconnect with a childhood friend with whom you've lost contact.
  • Sign up for a cooking or gardening class.
  • Plan an adventure. Go hiking, hot-air ballooning, white water rafting, etc.
  • Start up a book club with close friends.
  • Send flowers to your mother, sister or other relative who has also been a good friend to you.
  • Hand out goodie bags to your female coworkers. Include a note about National Women's Friendship Day.
  • Record a cassette tape or CD with songs that remind you of your friendship with a particular woman. Send the recording along with a short note to your friend.
  • Make a photo album or a scrapbook that celebrates your friendship.
  • Use your special talents or hobbies to make your friend a meaningful gift.
  • Take cards and home-baked cookies to your friends and female neighbors.
  • Throw a party or potluck with your closest women friends.
  • Plan a weekend with your former college roommate in your college town. Visit the library. Attend a football game. Go to your old hangout.
  • Make plans with your good friends to volunteer at a women's shelter, soup kitchen or child advocacy program.
  • Make a new friend
courtesy of

Personally, I think the logo would make a beautiful scissors fob!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

BAP Draft Day (conclusion)

Sportscaster #1: Welcome back stitchfans. We are joined by the Lady of the House now and believe she's ready to make the announcement. Let's listen in....

Lady: Good evening everyone. First let me say, WOW, I am blown away by the beautiful possibilities gathered here for my consideration. Each and every one of you are here for the same reason, to be lovingly stitched and cherished forever. As I look around the room, my heart is quickened to see those of you I have single handedly brought here. Some of you were easy to come by and some of you played hard to get, but rest assured, you are all equally loved. Additionally, my heart is warmed at the sight of those of you who were sent here by some sharp eyed, good intended scout. I love my scouts (aka Vera, Deb, Annette, Becky, Glory, Del, and the list goes on). They are the best in the business.

As you all know, it is not often that we have a ceremony such as we are enjoying tonight. Most often, I am woefully behind in every area of stitching like Christmas gifts/exchanges, friends and family birthday and baby gifts, EGA class work, chapter contributions, not to mention personal stitching. BUT, once in a blue moon, the seas part, the "Must Do" list is caught up and I have an opportunity to pull one of you up out of obscurity, into the light. But, before I do that, I'd like to thank each and every of you for your endless patience with me and immeasurable inspiration. Just knowing you are here brings me much joy!

The wonderfully deep pool of excellent candidates has made this selection one of the hardest I've ever made. Many factors have contributed to my decision, including the kind of projects I've recently worked, the length of time some of you have been waiting, and, of course, the quality of the subliminal messages you have been sending me.

So without further ado, it is my pleasure to name "Birds and Bamboo stained glass" as my 2009-2010 BAP!

Congratulations B&B.   But, before we go any further, let me make a couple of things perfectly clear...

Sportscaster #1: Uh-oh Gene. This can't be good.

Sportscaster #2: You can say that again Marv.

Lady: I have worked very hard this past year to finish several significant pieces that have required untold hours of concentrated stitching. And even though I have named my next BAP here tonight and very much look forward to working with you, I plan to complete several LBP*s between now and Christmas.   I trust you understand and will respect this decision. 

Sportscaster #1: Well there you have it, stitchfans. Birds and Bamboo will be our next BAP but looks like it will be weeks, perhaps months, before the first stitch will be in place.

Sportscaster #2:  Thanks for tuning in stitchfans. Until next time, remember to show your floss whose the boss and keep your thimbles nimble.


* LBP = Little Bitty Projects

Saturday, September 12, 2009

September blue and a feather leaf too

This is a love letter to September:

September Morning, bright and blue, soft as an angel's kiss, gentle as the breeze.  Could there be a more beautiful hue?  Mother Nature furnishes orange counterpoints as if to say, "there can be no debate, this palette of perfection will forever be my favorite".    Mine too.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Miss America was FRAMED!

please click on photo below for better viewing
"The Lady"
fabric: 28ct. Wichelt Watercress jobelyn
threads: Thread Gatherer and Spendlor silks

Oh how happy I am to have my Lady back from the framer just in time for 9-11. I do hope my friends will like her. I think they will.

Didn't I tell you that you'd love the frame? My framer, Miss Patti Jo of the Village Sampler, did me a solid when she doctored up the frame to look more like her corner sample. The frame came in with just a hint of the green verdigris that made it so perfect for the piece. So, she touched it up with a little extra green until it was "just right". Thanks again PJ!!! I owe you one. In my opinion, it's just perfect!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

more summer desserts

How pretty is this!

Summer fresh peaches and blueberries drizzled with apricot jam wrapped in a warm flaky pastry jacket and baked to golden brown perfection......mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.........

My peaches are the size of softballs, so it only took one to make this rustic dessert for two. A note about the recipe, I accidentally omitted the 1/4 c. of sugar and so I just sprinkled it with sugar when it came out of the oven. You would have never known it was missing a thing.

What's not to love?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I've never done THIS before...

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit! I've won

BEST OF SHOW at the State Fair!!!

Yes, it's true. I am suffering with an EXTREME (nearly lethal) case of swollen ego. Send ibuprofen for the swelling and smelling salts for the shock. I'm stunned - gobsmacked is the best adjective I can use to describe my shock.

It's been several years since I've sent anything to the Fair, so I had almost forgotten how exciting it is when something earns a ribbon. Even my little "Sweetest Thing Ever" won a blue ribbon in it's little category. This must be how moms feel when their kids bring home straight A's on the report cards!

Reporting from cloud 9..........Happy dance happy dance .......................