Sunday, January 31, 2010

February? Really?

In the next few days, I will share a few old Valentine finishes with you, but between now and then, here is a new Christmas ornament finish:

Lizzie Kate "Joy"
stitched by: Annette Q
finished by: me

And my peacock candle wrapper in its new home in the B&W bedroom:

Capri blue Assisi peacock
candle wrapper

I was terribly proud of myself for hem stitching all four sides when I could have just ironed the edges down and called it quits.  All the while I was hemming it, I couldn't help thinking that some day when I'm pushing up daisies, some lucky yard sale shopper is going to think they've found the prettiest hanky they've ever seen.  I can only hope that doesn't happen!

Happy February Everybody!

Great Way to Start Anyday

Don't you love the way any nut bread makes the house smell?  I've just enjoyed a couple of slices, fresh from the oven and am now enjoying my morning latte and the aroma drifting from my kitchen.


1/2 c. Crisco
1 c. sugar (I used Splenda)
2 c. all-purp flour
1 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

(if you don't have buttermilk, add 1 t. of vinegar to 1/3 c. milk, shake and let sit 5 minutes.)

Cream shortening and sugar together. Sift together dry ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Add remaining ingredients; mix well.  Pour into a well greased loaf pan or 6 mini-loaf pans.  Bake 40-45 minutes for one loaf, 25-27 minutes for mini-loaves.

The batch made up very quickly.  In fact, I made twelve mini-loaves in 1 1/2 hours, including baking time.  Not bad at all.  Some to eat, some to share and some to freeze. 

I like mine with a little pat of butter, but a friend suggests a cream cheese spread with mini chocolate chips for banana nut bread and says it's better than 'you-know-what'.  With butter or chocolate, either way, it's
Oh so good.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My mother's mother's mother...

Have you ever been given a gift so meaningful that you simply can't wrap your mind around it?  While genealogy has never been a hobby of mine, many times I have wished that I could recite my family tree with ease.  By an amazing stroke of luck, some of my previously unknown ancestory has come to light.

1773 Abigail Briggs mother of
1800 Roxavannah C Briggs Kirkland mother of
1838 Helen Kirkland Throupe mother of
1861 Martha Emily Throupe Rhuark mother of
1884 Blanche Victoria Rhuark Smith mother of
1922 Rosa Mildred Smith Ackerman mother of
1953 Jane Lee Ackerman Lowe mother of
1971 Marnie Lynne Lowe Graley

 If you know your own family history well, perhaps this is not an astonishing thing, but for me, it's almost mind numbing.  I wonder how they lived, where they lived, did they stitch, if so, what and where and how?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

new cabinet / rough draft

My new cabinet made it home last week.  This is the 'rough draft' stage:

I'm positive it will be arranged differently in the final draft stage, but this is a start.  I have a physical inability to throw away cooking magazines, so as you can see, I have a ton of magazines and recipes to put in better order.  They aren't totally disorganized, but they could be better.  I would love to have them as handy as they will be if I leave them in the cabinet as I refer to and use them often, but they look a MESS the way they are.  I could spring for those nice professional matching magazine holders, but I already have magazine holders that I spent American money on and I hate to replace perfectly good stuff with other stuff just so the other stuff can match.  Ugh.

What's a girl to do?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Happy Dance!

It's a rare day that I blog twice, but it's a rare day that I have a new finish to share!

Assisi Peacock
threads:  DMC 3844 / black AVS silk
overall size: 3.25" x 9"

Honestly, not only do I love everything about this piece (the color, the black border, the bird, the overall design, the size, etc.), I fell in love with it about an hour ago when I got the circles stitched around the tail dots.

favorite part

I won't talk about how I lost my religion doing this part:


It would not have been so bad, but remember the backstitch is done lastly.  All those little quarter and eighth stitches around those grapes (without any black outlines to help) made me crave some grapes of my own!

Tomorrow, if time permits, I'm going to fashion this into a candle wrapper. 

I'll keep you posted...

Blackwork Basics class

Attention all locals:  if you are interested in dabbling in blackwork or would just like to snaz-up a pillar candle with this pineapple candle wrapper, why not check out my Blackwork Basics class at the Village Sampler this Spring. 

Check with Pat for scheduling.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

too funny not to share

OK - so we all know how complicated the whole tv/satellite/remote control/TIVO thing can be for the techno-challenged amoung us.  I still don't know how to switch between satellite and DVD.  No matter.  I'd rather be stitching anyway.  HOWEVER, my MIL does watch a lot to tv.  The tv is her constant companion.  Well, today, I come home from work and see that the TIVO record button is illuminated.  Out of curiosity, I check the menu to see what she is recording, knowing it would have taken an ACT OF GOD for her (at 93 years old) to have figured out the TIVO system on her own.  Much to my surprise and amusement, she had accidently TIVO'd pay-per-view porn.  YEP.  Porn.  Pay-per-view porn. 

Barely containing my laughter, I show her what she's done, much to her mortification.  We laughed about it and I quickly deleted the HOT WIVES CLUB XXX

Of course I had to share this with hubby before we went to dinner at the Super China Buffet.  MIL loves the Super China b/c they have the peel and eat shrimp.  So, at Super China, hubby says to MIL, "Mom, what have I told you about ordering pay-per-view porn while we're at work", shaking his finger her direction (laughing).  To which she says, "What'd you say?".  To which he yells "WHAT HAVE I TOLD YOU ABOUT ORDERING PAY-PER-VIEW PORN WHILE WE'RE AT WORK!!!"   At which point we had the attention of the entire restaurant.

We laughed all the way home.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Peacock in the making

It's still a little hard to tell but there IS a peacock in there!

thread: DMC 3844
black AVS silk

If I have any luck, maybe I'll be happy dancing by the weekend!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Not freezing, progress pic and birthday bulletin

Yesterday, I saw a big orange fireball in the sky!  I overheard some people calling it "the sun".   Whatever it's called, it made me feel warm and wonderful!  It was back again today!  I'm praying that it might return tomorrow.  I loved it.  I was nice, while it lasted.

I've stitched a little on my capri blue Assisi peacock candle wrap.  Here's a progress pic: (also seen in my new header)

Not far to go, but it might be a while before I get back to it.  Hubby and I are moving his mother in with us for a little while during renovations to her home.  She is coming tomorrow and will be here a month or so.  She is incredible and I look forward to having her, but it will be a big change from what hubby and I are used to.  We'll adjust quickly, I'm sure, but stitching time might suffer a smidge.

Carmen wanted me to thank all of you for not adopting her when I was trying to give her stinky self away to a new home recently.  She wants everyone to know that she smells 'better' now and is glad she isn't having to train a new family.  She's just got us trained to her liking and it's only taken her 10 years!  Hard to believe my baby turns 'double digits' on the 24th.

Not bad for a 70 year old!

Wherever you are tonight friends, here's hoping you are warm and safe.  Happy stitching!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Global Warming meltdown

I'm no scientist, nor politician, nor activist and my soft heart tells me the polar bears are losing an uphill battle, but COME ON!!!  I could really use a little of that warming action right about now.   I AM FREEZING!  I HATE SUB-30 degree WEATHER!!!  Hate hate hate it!!!  The bad news is that it's only JANUARY 8th!!  I can't take three months of this.  I think I'm going to spend this snow day, for which I get to spend a day of vacation (grrrr), searching Expedia for cheap airfare to Arizona.  Perhaps three days in the sun would do my frozen toes some good.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

back from framer

I couldn't be happier with how Autumn came back from the framer:

by Indigo Rose
silk on linen

corner detail

on the wall

I'm aware that it's January, but I must confess this baby is going on the wall and not coming down until I get tired of looking at it, which might be a long long time.

Thanks again PJ!  You've done it again.  I 'triple love' it!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

This always happens when I have a few days off work and don't go out of town.  I get into some BHP, also known as Big Hairy Project, around the house that takes over my life for months!  I've already mentioned that before the New Year I decided to redecorate a guest bedroom.  It is coming along nicely but I still have a long way to go.  Here's a sneak peak:

The only problem with decorating with black and white is apparently knowing when to stop.  You'll think I've gone mad when I show you the whole deal, Lucille.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I was browsing in a local furniture store to see if any new bedroom suites struck my fancy when I stumbled upon a fantabulous bookcase/hutch at an unbelieveable price. 

It is exactly what I've been wanting for my breakfast nook for like centuries!  Hubby has his rolltop desk in the nook now, but it will have to find a new home in the basement soon because after the salesman knocked $100 off the already unbelieveably low price (thanks to hubby), I couldn't say no.  Made by Pennsylvania House - solid cherry.  I can't wait to get it home and all set up!

Next - My dad is celebrating his 59th b/d on Tuesday.  He's a big Pittsburgh Steelers fan and due to some health issues, always has cold hands.  So, for his birthday, I got the BHI that he needed a Steelers hand muffler, just like the old fashioned ones.  After much fussing and fritzing which involved the electrified sewing machine (and lots of prayer), VOI LA:

It's 8 fleecy fuzzy fluffy layers thick and feels like heaven on the inside.  I know he'll love it!

Lastly, there are about 4 stitchy things I want to do for the new B&W bedroom.  I'm using a Capri blue as the accent color and frankly, I am so in love with how it's turning out that I think I'm going to ask it to marry me when I get it all together.  Normally, I would automatically add red accents to any black and white decor, but because this is a bedroom, I thought red might be too much.  So, Capri blue won.  I've been hanging on to this peacock pattern for about 100 years because I simply could not decide what color to do the Assisi work in.  Again, red is my default function, but somehow I just could not reconcile stitching a peacock in red.  However, since I need Capri blue accents in the new bedroom:

I'm thinking it might be a great pillar candle wrapper....what do you think?

Well, my stomach virus is rearing it's ugly head, so I must run (no pun intended)