Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What a difference a day makes...

a splendid Winter day
January 25th, 2011

a bitter cold and treacherous Winter day
January 26th, 2011

They say it's been one of our worst winters on record.  I believe it.

I'm settled in for the night.  Hope to finish Part 1 of Assisi GCC tonight.  Boy, I'd just hate to have to miss work tomorrow, with the refrigerator all stocked up and a bag full of stitching all ready to be worked.  Yep, that would be a shame - to be snowed in for a day. 

I hear it might be bad Friday too.

 Yep.  Horrible.


Stay safe and warm friends!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

First (oops!) Second Finish of 2011 (edited)

I'm so excited!  And I just can't hide it!

And, well, you know how the rest of it goes...  :-)

Leo d'Assisi

Threads:  Florimell "Old Gold" silk, 801 DMC floche
Design courtesy of:  Jos Hendriks (click HERE for chart)

Onward and UPWARD!

***Thanks to one keen reader, I'm delighted to point out that this is actually my SECOND finish of the year!  Like, THIS year!  My sweet little birdy nametag was my first.***

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Snowed in Saturday (the sequel)

I like to remain positive.  See the bright side.  Keep a sunny disposition

I'm positive my blood is going to freeze solid;  the bright side can only be seen on the weather channel; and my sunny disposition is vacationing in Phoenix, Arizona. 

So...with another round of 'Artic Blast' here for another week, here is how my To Do list is shaping up:

  • Feed the birds...

  • and the "K9 unit", Carmen...

    Wish me a Happy Birthday!  Mom says I turn 11 (or 77) on Monday.
  • and the hubs:  chili for lunch or dinner (Mom's famous chili recipe HERE)

  • Stitch (Leo d'Assisi nearly complete, getting caught up on Assisi GCC also)

  • Laundry (yes, the dryer is back from the dead)  Yay hubby!
I know you don't want to see a visual of Mt. Filth-i-mangaro

So that's what's happenin' in Wild Wonderful West Virginia, friends.  I know - I have to take my own pulse every once in awhile, just to be sure.  Stay warm and safe, friends!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Leo d'Assisi progress


Not bad, not bad at all!

 Cross stitched with Gloriana "Old Gold" Florimell silk
Back stitched with DMC 801 floche

O my goodness, I loved it when I saw it, when I bought it and now that I've stitched a good sized piece with it, I'm in love with the Florimell silk by Gloriana.  The variegation is so subtle, it doesn't look too stripe-y.

There is a very intricate border that will have to wait until Tuesday-Friday next week.  Tonight and tomorrow, I'll begin working on the Assisi group correspondence course (by Marion Scoular) I signed up to participate in with my EGA chapter.  I'm a little behind, so I've got some 'catch-up' to do. 

Thank goodness for three day weekends!

European Starling

Well, after a little more research, it is clear that I have European Starlings at the feeder.  The only good news is that they are "non-breeding", according to the field guides I've seen.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Assisi Lion progress report

I'm amazed at how close I am to finishing the cross stitch on this piece having really only stitched on it on my lunch breaks at work.  I'm close to getting to the back-stitch.  Hubby has oral surgery tomorrow, so I'm off work.  SURELY, (don't call me Shirley) I'll make it thru the cross stitching tomorrow.  :-)

A couple of you have emailed me to ask about the pattern.  If you like Assisi embroidery, you should definitely check out this site:  Stitch Stitch Info.  The lion pattern can be found there.

When it's done, I'm thinking I'll put it in my trivet that I change out for the seasons.

I like it.

I like it a lot!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Snowed In Saturday


First things first - for leaving me a comment on my last post, I have TWO boxes of chocolates to put in the mail.  Jane from Quiltsmiles in picturesque Adirondack, NY and Aubree from "For the Love of Cross Stitch" in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.  Ladies, please email me your snail mail addresses so I can pop your chocolates in the mail.  The longer they sit on my kitchen counter, the less likely they are to actually make it to the Post Office!  ;-) 

(The cover was from 1995, btw.)

The overnight snow we had put the skids on all outside activities today.  It might have also put the skids on most inside activities.  :-)

nap-time with "Daddy"

While Carm girl and her Daddy took an afternoon siesta, I caught up on a little computer work, filing, picture editing, blogging (reading and posting), bird watching and stitching.

A new arrival at the feeder


I'm not 100% sure, but I think this could be a female red-winged blackbird.  Maybe if she likes my home cooking well enough, she'll bring her mate with her next time and I'll be better able to identify her.

And, of course, I did what snow-days were meant for...
a little stitching   :-)

Since I couldn't get off the hill today, I missed my first group meeting of the new Assisi GCC class that my EGA chapter is participating in.  :-(  

I figured the least I could do was a little Assisi warm-up.  This gorgeous lion was a monthly education project from a few months ago.  I triple love the finished look and would be thrilled to bring a finished piece to February's Show and Tell.  <3

Now, I'm off to make a little dinner and take in a little Playoff action.

Stay warm!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Finish on the 12th Day of Christmas!

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, my own self gave to me: 

Stitched from Christmas card cover - Designer Unknown
Any ideas anyone?

Although it is very small, I have to tell you that stitching this little piece has brought me tremendous happiness as it marks a turning point.  I'm stitching again.  :-)))

 It's been far too long and I must admit that I'm feeling more than a touch of the "I'm goin' to stitch everything I own in the next 24 hours" madness.

Oh the plans I have for 2011!!! 

Shall I ramble a few off the top of my head?

The Biggies:
  • Birds and Bamboo tea tray
  • Giulia Punti Antichi's Italian Peacocks purse
  • Marion Scoular's Assisi GCC
  • Lois Kershner's Sashiko GCC
  • Sheila Hudson's "Monet's Parliament at Sunset"
  • BBD "Joyeux Noel"
  • VS's Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh (three separate designs)
  • Cherry Stitches Sampler
  • Jim Shore's 12 Days of Christmas
  • Lavender and Lace "AUTUMN" (to accompany Celtic Christmas)
and everything else way down there (in the left sidebar) under "Biggies, on Deck"

Little Seasonal Projects:
  • Valentine box of chocolates (February) scaled down for small tin
  • Remember this cover from Better Homes and Gardens Cross Stitch & Country Crafts?
    A box of chocolates to the first commenter who correctly guesses the issue.
  • Bent Creek "Blarney" (super cute Leprechaun sitting on a sheep) for March
  • The Trilogy "Secret Flower Bed" (super cute square with bunnies, bees and flowers) for May
  • LHN "The Rain Fell" for April
  • LHN "With Liberty and Justice for All" for July
  • CC & LHN "September", "October", "November" and "December"

In honor of this Revival, I picked up a 'few' threads to celebrate:

Belle Soie:  Mudpie, Sandy Beach, Rouge, Peacock, Noir

many various overdyed

So, now it's 8:30p and my new self-imposed computer curfew siren is sounding.

Happy stitching friends!  Remember Little Christmas tomorrow, 1/6.

Monday, January 3, 2011

After Christmas Sale Find of the Century

Do you love the Nutcracker ballet?   Me too.

Have you seen it a dozen (or two) times?   Me too.

We know the score, the story and sweet Clara...

But, have you ever seen a Clara doll?  Neither had I, until just the other day.  I was hustling my way thru the check out line at Home Goods with a few marked down napkins, sea salts, etc. and what caught my eye from behind the clerk?  Why a beautiful little Clara doll, holding a Nutcracker! 

"How beautiful!, I said to the clerk.  Even from here, I can see how carefully detailed she is." 

Yes, said the clerk. 
She is very special. 
Hand carved and hand painted in Russia. 
Signed and numbered. 
Marked down...half-off.

It was then that the pinball machine in my head (or something much like it) hit the jackpot. 

"May I see her, please?"

Yes, Clara, you'll spend no more time on the metal rack at a discount store, wedged between broken bulbs and smelly soaps.  No siree Bob.  You and I are going to get along just fine. 

P.S. Click here for better pics.  Retails for everywhere between $750 (gulp) and $300.  I joyfully paid a scant fraction of that for mine.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ringing in 2011


Beignets for Breakfast

Margo (My Up-tight Northern Alter Ego):  "Oh my...aren't beignets nothing more than deep fried dough?"

Marti (My Southern Self):  "Why yes, yes they are!  Unless of course, you are lucky enough to be from the South..then they are beignets."

Truth be told, these little bite-sized chunks of love weren't plated until almost 11 pm tonight.  However, I have been in a very 'Nawlin's' frame of mind the past week or so.  Some weeks a girl needs a little more pampering than others.  Wouldn't you agree?

New Orleans is much much more, but on the surface, it is a sensual city of instant gratification.  It offers many, many ways to indulge your every guilty, drink, music, and that's just the beginning.  I may never have a breakfast as memorable as the chicory coffee and beignets I had in the French Quarter many years ago.. 

The memories of the sights, sounds and tastes of NOLA come back to me at the most unpredictable and unlikely times.  It is definitely a "total immersion" kind of thing.  Like taking a bath in pure, leave-me-be-I'm-having-a-moment, pleasure.  Wait - they have a name for it - MARDI GRAS! 

I haven't visited since Katrina, and don't have any immediate plans.   But, every once in a while, I feel an undeniable tug towards the Big Easy.  Today, it was beignets.  Yesterday, it was ACME oysters.  Tomorrow, who knows? 


Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the warm, gold and olive Christmas decor is giving way (slowly but surely) to wintry fresh, white and silver. 

Hope your New Year is off to a Sweet Start!