Wednesday, March 30, 2011

...out like a lamb...


Here it is, the end of March and what have I accomplished so far this year?  Not much.  :-)

BUT, I am very proud to report that thanks to a discovery in the "housekeeping" department, I have cleaned all (yes, ALL) of my windows, inside and out, thank you very much.  What is this wonder discovery, you ask?  They are called e-Cloths and I found mine at Marshall's (aka Home Goods / TJ Maxx).  The Window Pack has two cloths, one to clean with and the other to dry with.  You just wipe the window with damp cloth to remove dirt, then wipe it with the other one to dry/shine.  Think "Wax On, Wax Off".  It takes all of about two seconds, uses water only and the windows are streak free and cleaner than I have ever seen them in 14 years.  Seriously.  Don't cha just love that?  What else?  I used these cloths on my curio cabinet doors and shelves as well as my china cabinets doors and shelves, glass tabletops, and bathroom mirrors and they all seem to be repelling, yes REPELLING, dust.  These things might just be the best thing ever.  Sure hope you all run out and find some (available thru Amazon too).  They have made letting the sun shine in so much easier!  (I don't work for e-Cloth, know anyone who does, or get paid in anyway for this endorsement, btw)

Carmen is resting comfortably today after a rough day yesterday.  As some of you know, she had surgery to remove a few suspicious bumps yesterday.  To add insult to injury, she also had a teeth cleaning and toenail trim while she was in sleepy-town.  So, on top of three surgical sites (with stitches) to recover from, she also woke up with sore teeth and toes.  Poor girl.  

Rimadyl (pain med) is good

Mommy is home today, helping the girl recover with a little special treatment like rice/chicken/carrot breakfast.   I'm sure she'll be in top form in no time.   Dr. Fred, the v-e-t, said she had a very strong heart (and head).  Hummm...can't image where she'd get that! 

New this week at the feeder:

I just love these Purple Finches.  They show up in the spring with their Gold Finch cousins and add a brilliant splash of color to an otherwise drab backdrop.  One of my bird books says they look like they have been dipped in raspberry juice.  To me, they look like someone has dyed them like Easter eggs.  Very pretty.

On the stitching front, I'll be trying to finish up a very small "small" this afternoon.  It is for the SAS teacup auction in Birmingham, so no pics.  :-)    But, don't worry... you aren't missing much.

This Saturday, my EGA chapter is hosting an all-day "Stitcher's Day Out" at a local place called Heritage Farm Museum and Village.  We have been doing this one-day retreat for multiple years now and always have a great time.  I'm really looking forward to it.  Most years, there has also been a wedding at the chapel (just across the way from the Welcome Center we rent).  I think we all have come to look forward to watching the wedding hustle and bustle going on around us.  We certainly love watching the bride wait outside the chapel doors for the perfect moment, kiss her escort on the cheek, then start her walk up the aisle.  So tender.  So special.

from 2008 archives

Hope you all are having a wonderful week and are looking forward to April as much as I am.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Swan Sham


Say that three times fast!

Isn't it nice to have friends who know exactly the kinds of things you like?  And isn't even nicer when they surprise you with something out of the blue?  One of mine recently ran across these pillow shams at an estate sale and knew I would love them. 

And, I do.   :-)

Saturday, March 26, 2011


More greeting cards for chapter fundraiser to share.  Just in case you are wondering how I am turning out these cards so quickly, it is NOT because I'm stitching that fast.  I'm using bits and pieces of old stitched things to make these cards.

It really is a wonderful feeling to turn those odds and ends snippets I have lying around into something with a purpose!  I'm very hopeful that all of the cards our chapter creates will be well received and the fundraiser will be a success!

Assisi birds border in Florimell variegated silk

Blackwork pineapple in WDW "Honeysuckle"

Thanks for dropping by!  Your comments always brighten my day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

No good deed goes unpunished

Have I told you that a young girl at work asked me to teach her how to stitch?  She explained that she wanted to make a Christmas stocking for her son.  Isn't it like the most exciting feeling in the world when someone approaches you to share your passion for needlework?  I can vividly recall how I felt each time an acquaintance asked me to teach them.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that it makes me feel like those people who answer the doorbell and see the Publishers Clearinghouse van, balloons, and giant check.  I have those screaming, babbling crazy people jumping up and down in my head whenever I hear the words, "Would you teach me how to stitch?"

Well.  I tried to keep the crazy people subdued long enough to get my current student totally hooked.  I reviewed all my Christmas books, selected about 10 for her to take home and study.  She selected a very good classic, yet beginners stocking. One she should enjoy using for many years.  She's a smart girl so I decided to start her out stitching "over two" on evenweave.  She took to it like a duck to water.  I was so proud.  I watched her take her stitching bag to the break room like clockwork for her morning break, lunch break and afternoon break.  She always asked me to join and I always said, I'll be right there.   Famous last words.  Most of the time, by the time I was free, her break was over.  I did manage to arrange a few long lunches in order to show her how to use blending filament, attach seed beads, alter a design to suit her purpose, and share with her a few duplicate freebies I had stashed. 

Every morning as she walked by my desk, she'd give me the progress briefing, always with a big smile.  I'd make a point to cruise by her desk at some point every day so I could peak at her progress.  Then, one day, when I walked by her desk, she didn't have the stocking.  She had new, stitch-less fabric, stretched on a brand spanking new set of Q-Snaps.  "What's this?" I said.  Sheepishly, she said, "O that?  I'm going to need your help later today.  I'm starting something new".  Very concerned for the safety of the stocking (due to all the blending filament cursing and growling), I inquired...."What happened?" 

Much too perky, she responded:  Nothing bad.  I just want to do this other thing for so-and-so for Valentine's Day.  And besides, I have all kinds of time before Christmas. OH!  By the way, I went to your stitching store over the weekend and found this other thing I want to do for my Mom.  It's really pretty and has all kinds of stitches in it that I've never seen before, so you'll need to help me with it too.  Her birthday is in May.  I've got time to get it done, right?  And!  Have you ever seen those overdyed threads?  They are gorgeous!"

So, it was official.  She had earned her BAP/UFO/WIP and flosstitute and underestimation badges, all in one week.  Bless her heart - it was like I was having a conversation with my 25 year old self. 

I just smiled and said, "I'm sure you will". 

So, she's stitching three times a day plus evenings.  I'm joining her for about 20 minutes a week.   I had the same project in my stash (all kitted up) that she picked out for her mom, so we are having our own Stitch-Along.  It's killing me to try to stay ahead of her so I have to throw a gorgeous freebie at her every so often to distract her!  It's like tossing a wounded zebra to a lion.  Is that so wrong? 

She called me on it after (about the third time), so she knows my game, but she's lovin' every minute of it.  So am I.  I just wish I was getting as much stitched as she is!  I must admit, when she finished up a gorgeous Valentine's heart shaped sampler that I've been dying to stitch for like, EVER, I was a wee bit green.  Then I tried to steal it.  Then I tried to guilt her out of it.  But, nothing worked.  :-(

Here is the project "we" are stitching at the moment:

Not much progress to show: 

It only calls for two variegated threads, ecru perle cotton and one shade of DMC.  I love patterns that maximize the use of just a few colors.  The simplicity appeals to me.

So, I'm off now to finish Y and Z.  Maybe I'll get a little more of the perle cotton satin stitched inner border done too. 

Sweet dreams, my friends.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Arrives



Enjoy the weekend and the first glorious days of Spring, friends!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Top o' the Morning to Ya

I love Love LOVE St. Patrick's day.  I love the leprechauns, shamrocks, jigs, and corned beef.  I blame it on having a drop or two of Irish blood in my veins.  So with St. Pat's celebrations this week, it looks like this week will be as busy, if not busier, than most.  

I'm sneaking in a quick post now before you all think Fat Tuesday got the better of me.

In stitching news:  I'm having a great time making a few greeting cards for a EGA chapter fundraiser.  We plan on stitching card covers in a variety of techniques and then selling the bunch of them until they are gone.  At $5/each, I think they will sell easily at our favorite LNS. (fingers crossed)

Here's a peak:

embroidery embellished felt appliques

scrap from hardanger project gone wrong

all cross-stitch design

The resident K9 is having a boo-boo issue that looks like it could entail surgery.  We'll be seeing Dr. Fred (the v.e.t.) asap, and maybe taking a quick trip to the OSU v.e.t. hospital, if necessary.  From the looks of it, I'd say I should go ahead and pack a bag.  :-(  

Therefore, there will be very little blog posting, blog reading, stitching, etc. until we get things back to the normal chaos level.

Happy stitching friends!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mardi Gras planning


Fat Tuesday is just around the bend friends.  Will you be "observing" the holiday? 

King Cake
(click here for recipe)

Considering the modern reputation of Mardi Gras, I'm not surprised that most people under the age of 30 don't even know that Mardi Gras is the day before Ash Wednesday, which of course is the first day of Lent.  Growing up, we always called it "Fat Tuesday" and knew it was our last chance for anything tasty until Easter Sunday.  Yes, Lent.  Those 40 (or so) days of self-deprivation immediately following the big fat party we call Christmas-New Year-Superbowl-Valentine's-Mardi Gras. 

Getting ready for Lent was like getting ready for a drought.  If you knew you weren't going to get any rain for 6 weeks, you'd make sure everything was good and watered too.

As a young girl, too young to understand the deep meaning of the season, I remember my mother offering this completely inappropriate explanation of Lent - Lent was Jesus' way of helping us take off the 'winter weight'.  Oh yes she did.  Probably didn't scar me for life or anything.  

Breakaway to the tennis match in my head:

Angel on the right shoulderDon't eat those cookies. Jesus wants you to look good in your summer clothes.

Devil on the left shoulderJesus would not want those cookies to go to waste.  If you don't eat them, somebody else will have to.

I'm sure none of that has anything to do with what's wrong with me today.   ;-)

So, in memory of my crazy mother, I think I will follow Janice's lead (click here) and bake these wonderful cookies for the office next week.

Think SPRING, everybody!