Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31 - another year passes

I can't believe 2011 is coming to a has been an interesting year!

On the work front, we spent most of the year trying to find a site for a new library, and we may actually have an answer before too much of the new year passes. Health wise, both hubby and I are starting to feel our ages! Those old bones and muscles just aren't behaving as they should!

Somehow I have managed to get quite a few books read this year, and more stitching than I thought. I'm hoping to be able to keep up the momentum further into this new year.

We woke early this morning to take our daughter to the airport for her flight back to Boston. We had such a great visit, and I miss her so much when she leaves. But she has a good life there and she enjoys it, and that's all we ever wanted for her.

The tree is down...there are just a few small things left to put away. The house is getting back to normal. We are actually going out tonight for New Year's Eve...I can't remember the last time we did that! Usually, it is Chinese food and relaxing at home. Most years, we're lucky if we make it to midnight! So tonight should be fun!

So, I hope you will all ring in the new year with family and friends and that each one of you has a 2012 that is filled with love, peace, good health, abundant blessings, and many good memories.

Thanks so much for continuing to take the time to visit, and leave comments. I really do appreciate you all. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

december 29 - Christmas exchanges

I participated in three different exchanges this holiday season.

The first was a "12 Days of Christmas" exchange with the Every Stitch Counts group. These are all the wonderful gifts I received from Chelle...

The second was a Secret Santa exchange at the Friendly Stitchers group. Christina sent these lovely gifts...

Finally, we had a holiday exchange with the Pens and Needles group. I received these wonderful gifts from Evalina...

This is a close-up of the lovely stitched pouch she sent...perfect for needles, I think.

Thanks again to Chelle, Christina & Evalina for making my holidays so special!

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

December 25 - happy Christmas

Just popping in to say that I hope everyone has had a wonderfully peaceful and relaxing day.

We were so fortunate to have both our daughters and our grandson with us this holiday season.

Right now, I am feeling very blessed, and very stuffed!

Thanks for taking the time to visit today!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

december 24 - 'twas the night before Chrsitmas

Here is a photo of this month's collected threads for my TUSAL. Unfortunately, my large container with all my accumulated threads for the whole year has disappeared! I'm sure it will turn up, but for now I have no idea where it went off to.

Maybe it is hiding along with the three other items I cannot of Asher's little presents (some bath toys that we can just pull out whenever they turn up), my daughter's stocking (which has been replaced, but I know I just saw it recently), and my tiny address book that has all my passwords in it.

I hate misplacing things...maybe I will finally get more organized in the coming year!

I am waiting at the hospital for hubby to finish his meeting, and then we are off to the airport to pick up our daughter. I hope everyone has a very happy Christmas, and if you don't celebrate, I hope you will have a relaxing rest of your weekend!

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Friday, December 23, 2011

december 23 - trying to plan

The new year is looming before us and I am still trying to plan all my stitching projects for 2012!

There's the Crazy 15 Challenge, WIPocalypse, two round robins, at least 4 SALs that I can think of, plus trying to keep up with monthly ornaments!

I have a page here for my Crazy 15 projects. None are completely kitted up yet, but I think I have most of the parts for all of them. Just have to get them together! I posted a list of my WIPs this morning. Geesh! There are certainly a lot of them, and I am afraid that there may be more that I forgot about. I still am not sure what patterns I will be using for my round robins, but I have until mid-January for one, and hopefully February for the other.

I ordered threads and fabric for the Quaker Christmas II SAL yesterday. I had hoped to start that one on Christmas Day, but that won't be happening. I still have to get the pattern for the Elizabeth Hancock SAL. Hopefully, my LNS will have it and then I can get the threads. I think I have the fabric picked out. The other two SALs are both cottage/houses and those will be available monthly, so I hope I can keep up.

The last thing will be one ornament a month. I was just reading about a group that is setting up a challenge for that...but I can't remember where I saw it! It was only yesterday....I think at least one of my yahoo groups will be continuing with an ornament a month SAL though, so I should have no trouble getting the encouragement I need!

Is everyone else ready for 2012 stitching?

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

december 22 - missed a day :(

Did anyone miss me? Probably not, as my posts have not been very engaging of late! This cold has knocked me out...I'm actually glad to be going to my doctor tomorrow for a check-up from the ER. Maybe he can give me something to knock this out of my system.

So, yesterday, I went home, curled up in hubby's recliner (which is like one enormous comfy!) and fell asleep! I'd probably still be there if someone hadn't called!

But I wanted to share a few pictures...they are not very good, but you'll get the idea. Hubs went out and got our tree last week when I was sick, and he did a really nice job I thought! It's hard to see all the ornaments, but it is an eclectic mix for sure! Asher helped decorate it when he came over...he just loves Christmas trees!

This is our tree topper and it has been in hubby's family since he was a little boy. It is somewhat the worse for wear, but the inside bit still turns around and reflects the pretty colors on the ceiling. We all love it and it is the one constant that always says "Christmas" for us.

So, I have a huge collection of Santas, and I always used to display them all, on the mantle, or someplace else in the house. Well, last year, all of a sudden, the message got back to me that many people think all these Santas in a group are a bit scary! Christmas nightmares and all! So last year I only displayed a small grouping on the mantle. This year, I've only brought out a few. Asher wanted me to put a few of my lighthouses there, so we sort of compromised. The tree has some of the wonderful stitched ornaments I have received from friends over the years (and a couple that I did myself as well!)

Here is a closer look at the tree. The oval shaped Santa on the left is the first stitched ornament I ever received in an exchange (probably at least ten years ago) and it is still one of my favorites. The Mill Hill one in the center is one of the newest, as is the English Plum Pudding one on the right. I love displaying these each year.

And finally, I have to share this wonderful gift that my daughter sent me for my birthday! It's called a Thai Pad, and it is made in Thailand out of pretty silk fabric. It is like a little pillow/cushion to prop up Kindles or iPads or books or whatever you might have. It is the coolest thing! I have an easel stand but that works best on a hard surface, and most often I like to curl up in a chair or on the sofa to read, etc. This is me, if you are a reader or have a reader in your life, you should look into one of these! Thanks again Sara!

So I guess that's all for now. I do have some work to do! Hope everyone is ready for the weekend festivities. Remember to take time to relax!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and visit!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 20 - making a list, checking it twice

I'm almost afraid to say this, but other than stocking stuffers & a little something extra for the hubby ( he's getting a new radio/player for his car)...I think I'm done with my shopping! Of course there's still wrapping to do, but still....I'm pretty pumped up.

I'm charging up the camera battery...there are a couple of things I'd like to share. Still tiring way to easily, but I am starting to feel a little better. 'course, now I'm feeling a cold coming on...when it rains, it pours!'

So, until tomorrow...nighty night, and thanks for taking the time to visit!

Monday, December 19, 2011

december 19 - short & sweet

Well, I made it through my first day back to work.

Got Chinese take-out for dinner.

Fell asleep watching football.

What a day!

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 18 - yes!!!

I am finally starting to feel like a member of the living again! Having Asher here this weekend really's hard to feel lousy when I look at that face!

So, I got a good chunk of my cards ready to mail, some gifts ordered, some others bought and ready to mail tomorrow, and a couple of great toy deals. I at least feel like I'm starting to be ready for Christmas!

Tomorrow, my day starts with blood work, and then stop by the post office, grab something to eat (I'm fasting) and then on to work. It really doesn't feel like I had a vacation, but the next two weekends are long ones, so that will be fun. I still have to get all my challenge stuff ready to go...

Off to bed...thanks so much for taking the time to visit!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

december 17 - first day out

My first day out in nearly a week, and probably not the best idea. But, Asher goes home tomorrow and that means I have to get to the stores after that, so I figured I might as well get my feet wet!

It was a beautifully sunny and clear day, and that helped. Asher went to a Christmas party with hubby for a bit this morning, his mom stopped by for a visit before going to work which was nice, and then we took him to the playground again, which he loves. He's sound asleep,which probably means he will not sleep through the night and will have me up again really late, but I don't really mind. He is such a joy...99.9% of the time!

I can't believe I only have one more day of vacation before I have to go back to work. It doesn't even feel like I had a vacation! Boo hoo...poor me! I'm hoping this week will go by quickly at work, and slowly in the evenings, because I have an enormous amount of stuff to get done. And if I don't pick up a needle and thread soon, I might just go into shock!

Speaking of which, my little gift today was a package of stitching needles...which I can never have enough of. I like to thread up lots of needles each time I sit down to stitch. I was talking to someone a few weeks ago and she said that she usually uses one needle for each project. Only one? That would make me crazy I think...all that threading and re-threading. Oh each his own!

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend, and thanks for taking the time to visit!

Friday, December 16, 2011

December 16 - unexpected pleasures

Still not feeling well, but I made myself get up and moving because my darling grandson came over to visit! Yay! I miss him so much when he's not around. He is so into Christmas this year...he thinks the tree is the best gift! So we got into the ornaments and he helped put some on, then grandpa took him off to go play at the indoor playground nearby. By the time they got back, he was exhausted!

I (well, Asher) opened my gift for today, which was a little bag of Werther's caramel chocolates...yummy! Thanks, Chelle!

And thanks for taking the time to stop by and visit!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December 15 - a strange blogger thing

Something weird is happening with my blog.

I have been trying for the longest time to change my text font to something more fun than the usual types. I was able to change title fonts, and others, but never the actual blog posts themselves.

Then, lo and behold, I made a post from my iPad...and voila!... My fancy text appears! I didn't have to do a thing. But when I posted from the computer yesterday...back to the old type!

It's a puzzle!

Thanks for taking the time to visit, and for all your nice comments. I have been trying to stay in bed and rest. This infection is really nasty ...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

december 14 - i'm supposed to be in bed, but....

Well, last night got lots worse before it got better! I went to bed with such bad chills I thought I was gonna die. Finally fell asleep (I think) but sometime in the very early morning hours, hubby woke me up and said - we're going to the hospital - apparently I was mumbling all kinds of gibberish (more than usual) and I was kind of hot and he was kind of scared. So off we went and they hooked me up to an IV, took my temp (103) and said it was very good that I was there. I am not a doctor/hospital kind of person. I always think things will pass and I can take care of myself just fine. My mother was like that...she never gave much credence to us when we were sick, so I think I grew up thinking I was always making too much out of anything. Anyway, several hours later, they told me that I had an acute bladder infection, gave me a pill and a Rx, unhooked me and sent me home to bed.

Which is where I am supposed to be, but hubby had to take himself to the doctor for his wrist fracture and one of our dogs was barking like a banshee, so I got up to investigate. There was this weird buzzing sound and funny smell, and I realized it was our doorbell...someone had pushed it in such a way that it got stuck. I hope it didn't burn itself out. I unstuck it but forgot to check it! Oh well, we'll find out later, I guess!

Anyway, since I was out of bed anyway, I thought I would post before my personal doctor comes home and restricts me to my quarters!

I wanted to share some photos with you. Please excuse any wrinkles, etc. These are scans, so they're not the best, but you'll get the idea!

This first is a photo of the adorable snow block I received from Renee in the Stitcher's Timeout block's such a cute design. Thanks again Renee!

Next up are the first two blocks I've stitched for next year's exchange. I'm hoping to get them all done before the end of the year. We'll see. First is for the "blue" theme. It is French Country Butterfly from JBW, stitched on a blue opalescent with a variegated thread from Anchor. Not sure that you see all the sparklies, but it's pretty fabric!

This second one is for the "garden" theme. It is a design by Sam Sarah - Patti's Garden. It is actually stitched on a pale yellow fabric but I think it looks more white in the scan. Anyway, I used DMC for this and added beads because I am horrible with French knots!

And last, is the adorable ornament I received from Christine in the Friendly Stitcher's ornament exchange. It is a Mill Hill design and I love it! I don't do much beading and have never attempted on of the Mill Hill kits. This is just so festive in person...real Christmas-y reds and greens, and tiny little jingle bells! I can't wait to put it on the tree! Thanks again,Christine!

Well, time to get more water and head back to the cave! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 13 - a fly-by post

In between sneezes and chills...hubby got the lights on our tree...looks pretty.

Spent most of my time sleeping or reading...finished the latest by Donna Andrews, The Real Macaw. If my head doesn't clear up soon, I see lots more reading and lots less stitching in my immediate future! Unfortunately!

Think it's time to go back to bed...thanks for visiting!

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 12 - not what I had planned

Well, this wasn't the way I wanted to start my week! I had really bad chills when I went to bed last night, and didn't feel much better all day. Spent most of the day sleeping!

Jeff went out and got our Christmas tree today. It's really pretty and smells so good. We'll probably put the lights on tomorrow.

I also had a nice surprise in the mail. My ornament from Christine arrived! It's a Mill Hill ornie
& is really cute. I don't do much beading, and have never done one of these ornies. Can't wait to hang it on the tree. I'll post a photo here tomorrow.

I think I'll head back to bed...thanks for taking the time to visit!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December 11 - a quiet day

Not as cold this morning...after nearly a week of freezing fog in the mornings, it was nice to see what was all around us. We had a very quiet day...spent time with the dogs, watched some football...

The party last night was husband works with some very rowdy folks, I must say!

I did get some stitching done...I'm working on some squares for next year's block exchanges on the Stitchers' Timeout group. I'm not a very fast stitcher, but not having to have these done until next year lets me enjoy every stitch instead of feeling pressured with deadlines.

And now I am going to enjoy every sip of this soy chai latte...thanks so much for taking the time to visit!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

december 10 - saturday checklist

  • papers to be shredded (our local police department provides this service every two months...what a big help!) - check!
  • hair cut and colored (boy, did I ever need this! I went to a new place that my husband told me about, and I am so pleased with the results! Thanks, Phan!) - check!
  • big pan of baked ziti ready to take to the party tonight - check!
  • laundry done - check!
  • litter box cleaned out - check!
  • recycling taken down - check!
I think it's time to stitch! What do you think? Jeff took the dogs down to the field to run around (their favorite place to go) and I am all by my lonesome. Awww!

But first, I haven't shown any pictures in awhile, so here is a photo of the ornament I stitched for the Friendly Stitcher's exchange. My partner has recieved it so I am safe to show it here. The design is from My Big Toe, and it is called Joy of Christmas. I used a Threadworx thread...I think it was Christmas Colors or something like that. I really liked working with it though!

So off to my stitching chair I go. Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Friday, December 9, 2011

december 9 - vacation time!

Yes...we are officially off work for the next week, and I plan to get lots of relaxing time!

I found out earlier today that one of co-workers lost her dad this morning. He had been really sick for most of the past year, in and out of the hospital, but it is still sad. Another angel up in heaven to watch over the rest of us.

When I went to get a card for everyone to sign, I decided to go o our Friends of the Library bookstore which is only a few blocks from the library. They sell lots of handmade cards and they are just beautiful. And guess what I found while waiting in line? A copy of the Just Cross Stitch ornament issue from 1999...for .25!!! What a find for was fun looking at which designers have been included still through all these years...some of their styles have changed and others were as recognizable as if they had just designed them yesterday.

So I just found out that we are going to a Christmas party tomorrow night. I think I had better get to the hairdresser first thing in the morning...I'm long overdue!

So, goodnight for now. Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

december 8 - food, friends, fun

I am really pretty lucky.

My boss and I have a great and personally as well. And we also have some really great people working at our library. Tonight we had our annual holiday get-together. For as many years as I've worked here (almost 18!) we've had a potluck breakfast. This year everyone seemed ready for something different, so we all met at a local restaurant for some food and good times.

It was really fun! Even though most of us chat all day, and our workplace is a pretty relaxed's such a different vibe when we're away from the library. You just see a different side of people...and everyone has their own story. I'm glad we got a chance to share so many of them tonight.

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

december 7 - the best laid plans....

Our mornings have been very frosty this week...low lying frozen fog and cold temperatures. So as I ride to work with my seat warmer on (one of the best inventions ever, as far as I am concerned!) I have been planning my stitching evenings.

Well, so far, two days have passed and not one stitch has been stitched! Monday, we had our doggy to the vet. id not have a pleasant visit, being poked and prodded and shot full of stuff. And then we find out the poor thing has fleas to boot! Ick! We have been so lucky with our furry family. No-one has fleas since they were really little. But now we have to be on the lookout and be prepared!

And then last night I came home to find my hubby with a splint and softcast/bandage on his arm! Turns out he fell at the Transit Center (slipped on some spilled diesel fuel) and fractured his wrist. I can feel his pain, believe me! My wrist is still not right and it has been two months. I think he has it worse than me though...his is really swollen and very painful.

So maybe tonight I will have some time to put my needle & thread through some fabric...maybe...just maybe....

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

december 6 - stitching friends are the best!!!

This is turning out to be a wonderful mail week for me! First, I received these wonderful squares from Ruth n the latest round of the Fair & Square exchange.

Ruth and I have been partners before, and I have also seen some of the other squares she has stitched. She always takes the extra time to really personalize the squares she stitches. She chose a design by Blackbird Designs and really changed it up for me. She added the books, and the letters and numbers are the call number for my favorite book, The Little Prince!

Then on the second square she added the codes for our respective libraries...isn't that too cool? The squares are beautifully stitched and I think I am going to make a pin keep for my desk at work.

This is also the month that our secret pen pals were to be revealed, and I received a wonderful surprise today from my pen pal, Gracie! She stitched me this lovely pincushion...the Blackbird Designs piece from this year's ornament issue. It is gorgeous and the back fabric is a beautiful maroon and gold.

I have been following Gracie's blog for awhile and I am really glad that she turned out to be my secret pal. I hope that we will continue to keep in touch.

I also got a wonderful birthday gift from Clare this week, but my camera battery died before I could take a photo :( Clare sent me some lovely backing fabric and threads, a beautiful pair of earrings, a wooden thread holder and a needle minder....the one with the crown. I seem to be collecting these and this was one that I was wanting! She also sent a lovely Sweetheart Tree design with maroon beads...I am not very good at beading, but I am determined to try these little berry embellishments.

These are the squares I sent to Ruth, in that same exchange. The design is a block from A Sampler Story by Brenda Keyes. Ruth has received these and likes them. :) so I am pleased.

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit!

Monday, December 5, 2011

december 5 - hi ho hi ho it's off to work we go

Well, one of us anyway...hubby stayed home today...the man never, well, rarely, takes a sick day, so I guess he is entitled! Besides, now he will be home to take one of our doggies to the vets this afternoon. Poor Eros has the worst allergies...he is constantly scratching and chewing on's uncomfortable to watch him. We've changed his diet and tried allergy medicines, but nothing seems to help enough. Hopefully the vet will have a solution.

My commute ended up taking twice as long as usual thanks to two accidents on the roads. It was really cold and there was this white frosty mist covering everything. The roads didn't really feel slippery, but then I don't drive like a maniac either! It always amazes me how some people drive like its warm and sunny and dry, when it isn't. Oh well, I got here safely and that's what counts.

It's evaluation time, and I had mine this morning. It went really well. I am really blessed to have a library director who is funny and smart and as much a friend as a boss. She was hired a few years ago, and really stepped into a minefield here. All of our best laid plans kind of got sidetracked and life has been crazy almost since her first day on the job. But, luckily, we work really well together and we both know that the other always has their back. I am truly grateful to have someone like her as my boss.

Unfortunately, I also had to give two evaluations last week. One went fine, as I knew it would. The other...not so much. At this point, I'm too tired to go into details except to say that she wasn't happy. I only even mention it because the whole experience just reinforced my belief that some things and some people just tend to sap way too much energy out of me. I was pretty much consumed with this thing for the last two weeks of the month...way too much time. But I learned my lesson, and now that it's done, I can look forward to next year!

I don't know if I mentioned that I have also joined Measi's WIPocalypse. I'll write more about that tomorrow, but before work this morning I had a few extra minutes and tried to start a list of all the WIPs I have laying around. Talk about scary! Without even having to think very hard I came up with 33! Some of these are carry-overs from last years' WIP challenge and some are carry-overs from the 2011 Crazy Start Challenge, with a few others thrown in for good measure. Obviously, I didn't do too well with the challenges last year!

So, more about that tomorrow...maybe even some pictures...maybe!

Thanks again for taking the time to visit and/or comment!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

december 4- my LNS

I realize how lucky I am to have a needlework shop so close to home. Even though I wish they were open more evenings, I love being able to fondle the fabrics and especially the floss up close and personal. I do still sometimes order online ...especially when I see good sales. And I get my DMC from Michael's or JoAnn's ( although their prices are almost as high as the LNS now!), but it is such a luxury to be able to touch everything (I am a touchy-feely kind of person after all!)

My LNS is Acorns and Threads in Portland, Oregon, and Jeanine has recently begun opening the shop on the first Sunday of each month. So, after bringing Asher back to his mommy today, that's where I headed. There were two patterns waiting for me...the second part of the La-D-Da sampler (one of my crazy 15) and the first of the CCN cottage monthlies...the rest of the considerable sum left there was spent on threads for the upcoming challenge pieces. I still need more, and also to find my fabrics, but it's a start!

Off to have a nice big mug of tea and a cookie!

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

december 3 - Saturday in the park

It has turned out to be a lovely Saturday here in the northwest. Our Oregon Ducks won the PAC 12 championship game last night and are their way to the Rose Bowl! Go Ducks!!!

And we ended up having Asher spend last night and tonight with us...what a wonderful surprise. It seems like he has changed again I only a week. This age is so much fun! He is off with his grandpa decorating the Christmas tree at the bus garage, then we're off to the park to enjoy some of this lovely fall weather. Time for grandma to settle in with a nice hot mug of tea and a good mystery for a little while.

Thanks for all your encouragement about this daily blogging and my choices for the 2012 challenge. Blogging friends are the best!

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Friday, December 2, 2011

december 2 - challenges challenges

So...several weeks ago I signed up for the Crazy Challenge for 2012, even though I still have lots of pieces to finish from the Crazy Challenge for 2011. Well, having lots of UFOs and WIPs never stopped me from starting new pieces before, so why should I let it bother me now??? I've been waffling though about really doing I really really want to add at least 15 more starts to my pile? Will I be able to keep up this year? (last year, I got off to such a good start and then went into a huge slump and stitched very little for months).

But this morning I started looking at people's lists and getting that itchy stitchy feeling, and I decided to plunge ahead...I think I am just doing the basic challenge...that's 15 new starts on the first 15 days of January, I think. So here are my no particular order... and, of course, I reserve the right to change my mind between now and January 1, but I think these may stick!
  1. Star Sampler (Periphaeria Designs)
  2. Autumn Band Sampler (Little House Needleworks)
  3. Warm Winter Woolens (Little House Needleworks)
  4. Bloom (Midsummer Night Designs)
  5. Margaret Cottam (La-D-Da)
  6. Metamorphosis (Ink Circles)
  7. Button Button (Country Cottage Needleworks)
  8. To Everything There Is A Season (The Drawn Thread)
  9. Note to Self (Heart in Hand)
  10. Ornamental Pumpkin (Turquoise Graphics & Designs)
  11. ABC's of Aging Artfully (Lizzie Kate)
  12. Morning Star (Blackbird Designs)
  13. Persuasion Pillow (The Sampler Girl)
  14. Jolly Jack (All Through the Night)
  15. Forgive Quickly (Lizzie Kate)

So, now I'm getting excited! I know that many of you are also doing this challenge in some form or other, so I hope we can all encourage each other through the year. And I am really looking forward to seeing everyone's progress
(and watching my wish list grow in leaps and bounds once I see all your wonderful stitching)!

Thanks for taking the time to visit today!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

december.1 - NaBloPoMo

I am really going out on a limb here, but I'm going to try and post every day during December. It's been a long and difficult day, and I've decided that it is time to make some time for me. The theme for this month is "gifts" and I hope I don't sound selfish, but I think that this will be a gift to myself.
If I can just take a little time each day to write...something...anything...that can only be a good thing, right? I'm hoping that my hand feels better soon so I can get some more stitching done too, and then I'll have some pics to share too.
So, goodnight for now, and thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

november 29 - you say it's your birthday.....

it's my birthday too! happy birthday to me! My wonderful hubby gifted me with a brand new fun! Grown-up toys are so cool! I even have a book, so maybe I can actually learn all the really fun things I can do with this toy. And when I came to work this morning, my boss (who is as much a friend as a boss) had left me a wonderful goodie bag full of all kinds of luscious smelly stuff for pampering. I see a long hot soak in the tub in my future! And then, hubby also sent me these beautiful flowers!

I feel really spoiled today!

It seems like a long time since I have posted much of anything here. My hand is still sore from that fall a month ago and so things have slowed down to a snail's pace. I did get all my exchange packages ready to go last night though and have gone to the post office to send them all on their merry way. Now I feel like I can relax with my stitching, since nothing is "due" anywhere for awhile. December is also the month when those of us in the "secret pen pal" adventure reveal ourselves, so I've sent that along too. I really tried to confuse my partner, and had friends from all over the country mail the letters for me so she wouldn't know where I lived. Sneaky, huh? I am looking forward to seeing who has been sending me such lovely letters each month.

Did you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving? I hope so...ours was very nice. We had Asher stay with us for a few days which was a joy as always.

His mom and her boyfriend were able to join us for dinner before they had to head off to work...we skipped the traditional turkey and opted for steak and lobster instead. Yummy! And now I have to seriously think about Christmas...where did this year go?

I have some exchanges to share. I realized that I never posted a photo of this wonderful PIF that I received from Mouse awhile back. She stitched this beautiful pillow for me.

I love these pillows and keep a basket of them near my stitching chair so I can see them all the time.

This is the pillow I stitched for Jayne in the last round of our Blackbird Designs exchange. The design is Basket of Spells from the Casting Spells leaflet, but I changed the colors and made it un-Halloweeny! It is stitched with Vicky's silks in Dark Wisteria. Sorry, the photo makes it look kind of wonky!

And this is what Jayne sent me in exchange.

I think she said it was her first exchange, and wow! She really outdid herself. Any one of these would have made a wonderful exchange...but all three! I am still speechless!

The last of this year's blocks has been stitched for Stitcher's Timeout. The theme was "snow" and I stitched Snow Zone from Lizzie Kate, but I forgot to take a photo before I mailed it off :(

We also had an ornament exchange with the same group. Here is the beautiful ornie I received from Lynne. It is English Plum Pudding from JBW, and it is so pretty in person...the picture does not do it justice!

And here is the ornie I stitched and sent to Lavon. It is Noel from Log Cabin Needleworks. I stitched it on a Christmas Green jobelan with Weeks "Noel" floss.

There are another couple of ornaments floating out there that I will post once they have been received. Also, fair and square blocks from the latest round.

But now I have to try and put up a shower curtain so I must go!

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

nov. 26 - TUSAL

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

I know I'm a day late, but here is my TUSAL for November.

I managed to get a few small pieces done and finished so there are some ribbon and fabric bits in there as well!

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

november 8 - a fly-by posting

I wanted to make sure that my secret pen pal knows that I received her latest card in the mail yesterday. Next month is "reveal month"...I feel like I am on one of those decorating shows! This has been fun, but it's hard not being able to "tell all" to our partners. I can't wait to have a real conversation with my secret pals!

I'm trying to get little bits of stitching done. My hand is still really sore...I don't know how those football players get injured week after week and then go right back out to play! But I have lots of exchanges to get in the mail over the next few weeks so I'm plugging away!

I finished my December "snow" block for the Stitcher's Timeout exchange, but misplaced my camera so I'll have to wait to post a photo. I did take one with my phone but can't figure out how to get it from there to here. Did anyone say technologically challenged? I managed to finish Part 7 of Carol's SAL and just have the last little bit to do. I really love Carol's design and this SAL has been a joy to do. Hopefully, by the time I finish my other little projects I will have found my camera!

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to visit!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

october 26 - just a quickie

Just a quick post to show my Totally Useless SAL for this month...not too much added...mostly threads from Carol's SAL and a couple of exchanges. Next month should include lots of ornie stitching...I hope!

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Monday, October 17, 2011

october 17 - it's dangerous being me!

I am sitting here trying to type with basically one hand. Why would I do that? Well, not my choice...Friday night found me climbing onto our opened up sofabed to turn off our ceiling fan light (long story) when I fell through the corner where the frame and mattress meet. One leg inside the bed...the other (along with the rest of me) dangling and finally falling to the ground. I landed on my left shoulder and my hand, wrist and forearm...all of which are majorly bruised and sprained right now. I am not left handed but it is amazing how much I am finding that I need my left hand...little (but important) tasks hurt...a lot!I have a clunky brace on today but it still hurts. People here at work think I am a walking disaster in the making...just a few short weeks ago, I fell down the concrete steps near my house and messed my knee up pretty badly. That's finally starting to feel better, just barely tender now. I', working my way up from the feet, so I probably should be investing in a helmet sooner rather than later!

Of course, I couldn't get any stitching done this weekend, but I didn't really have time anyway. We have relatives visiting from Maine (not staying at our house, but close) so we met up with them on Saturday for breakfast and visited a wonderful Harvest Fest in Hood River. We brought our grandson, whom no-one had met and we all had lots of fun.

My LNS, Acorns & Threads, had its annual fall open house yesterday so I stopped by and picked up a few things and ordered a few more. They are also having a Staff Trunk Show and it is so much fun seeing all the wonderful pieces stitched by members of the staff there. Unfortunately some are older and the patterns are now out of print, but I am making a list anyway. I love treasure hunts!You never know what you might find!

Well, I'd better get back to work...hopefully I will be able to pick up a needle in a few days and get some stitching done!

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

a little of this & a little of that

Fall is most definitely here. It's been really raining off and on for the past couple of days. We did get a few sun breaks today, but they have been few and far between. We were on vacation last week and got lots of things done around the house, spent a few days with our grandson and still had some relaxing time. Vacations are just never long enough though! I realize that it would be oh so easy for me to just slip into the stay at home mode...just can't do it yet though!

Elaine was my partner for the last round of Fair & Squares. These are the beautiful squares she stitched for me. The design is from The Gift of Stitching magazine and it is really pretty. The colors are lovely too. Thanks again Elaine!

I stitched this design from a mon ami Pierre for Elaine. It is stitched with one of the variegated threads from DMC. This was a freebie and is a favorite design of mine. Elaine liked it too!

I also finished my needlebook for the Autumn Needlebook exchange at Friendly Stitchers, but I can't show that until it has been received. And Part 6 was stitched for Carol's SAL...the photos can be seen on her blog.

Only two more months until our secret pen pals are revealed! I received another nice letter from my secret friend. I am really looking forward to finding out who she is!

We will be seeing family this coming weekend. My SIL & BIL are flying in from Maine, and my other SIL and her partner are flying in from Las Vegas. Our Maine relatives will be here for a week. Their son lives in Hood RIver which is about an hour from here and it has been a few years since they have been to visit...the Las Vegas relatives are only stayuing for one night. We are bringing Asher up to see them since they haven't met him yet. In fact, he was born two months after we saw them last when we were back East for a reunion. Should be a fun and busy weekend!

I started another piece last night, but don't have a photo to share yet. It is Dandy Dreams from Silver Creek Samplers. Hazel has let me borrow the pattern, so I want to get it done as quickly as I can. I love this design and love the colors as well. I'll post a photo next time.

And, finally, many of you commented on the little kitty in my TUSAL photo for last month. I love this little kitty, but it is not something that I stitched myself. It was stitched and sent to me by Pauline last year.

So that's it for now. Thanks so much for all your comments, and thanks for taking the time to visit!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

september 28 - two SALs

So, I have been in the midst of chaos since Sunday night trying to empty out the closets in our upstairs rooms. I don't know why I thought it would be easier...I mean, I knew I had a huge amount of stuff, but it was even worse than I thought...way worse! So now the floors are cleared, the shelves are cleared, and the bathrooms are stuffed with boxes and bags! Luckily, Jeff is on his way home from his conference and we are both off tomorrow, so we can do all the last minute things. He'll be home Friday when the guys come to actually install the carpet...I can't wait. I vow never to let things get to this point again. If they do, please lock me in a little room and don't let me out! I have made lots of discoveries though...patterns that I didn't think I owned so bought another, lots of freebies that really do have to be sorted, lots of designs I know I will never ever stitch, and lots of treasures that I was so excited to see. I see a big sale or lots of giveaways in my future!

I remembered that yesterday was the new moon, but didn't remember until this morning around here is my pathetic TUSAL offering. All those blue threads on the top are the new ones. Before Sunday, there was like one little thread in my bowl, but on Sunday I got all caught up with Carol's SAL so I was able to have at least a little something to show. While stitching Part 4, I realized I was off one stitch in Part 2, so had lots of frogging to do...but now I am all caught up. Carol re-sized the photo for me, but I can't seem to get it over here to the blog, so please check out her blog to see my progress and all the other wonderful pieces that are being stitched. And here is my totally useless SAL for this month...

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Friday, September 23, 2011

september 23 - just sharing

I have had so many things rolling around in my head and just can't seem to concentrate on any one thing long enough to get anything accomplished. You know how it is when you have something niggling in the back of your mind that you know you have to do, so you can't really do anything else because you feel sort of guilty for procrastinating on the original thing? Well, I have been feeling that way for a long time about my "craft room" and the closet within. The closet is stuffed, and my shelves and files are in a state of disarray. But now I am being forced to do something about it because my dear husband called the rug installer the other day, and they are coming next Friday to install new carpet in our upstairs of which is my space. They will move furniture around (except for the bed, which we will have to take apart), but they want all the "little things" put away and nothing on the floors of the closets. Think about how many "little things" there might be in all my stitching stash...yes, some are in boxes, but they are mostly small boxes which I have to find a place for. And then I tend to also make piles and stacks and never seem to get around to sorting through them. And the bags....oh dear. It is just too overwhelming to even think about! Hubby says we can do the closet together tomorrow, but then he is leaving for a conference out of town and won't be back until Wednesday. I think I am in trouble!

A bit of good news if you are the owner of a kindle and have wanted to get library books for free...overdrive (the company that supplies ebooks to libraries) is now supported by kindle which means more free books for us! And the best part is, it is so easy to use. Even I can do it, and I am certainly no technical wizard! Any new way to get books into my hands is always appreciated!

We are having a needlebook exchange on Friendly Stitchers and I received my needlebook from Val the other day. This photo does not do it justice...the theme was autumn, which is my favorite time of year anyway, and this is one of Val's original designs. It is so pretty in person...I know it will be kept out on my stitching stand all year long. Thanks again Val!

I also received my completed round robin back this week from Jinger. We are in a small group and we all stitched The Hunt this last round. Mine is stitched on a mottled gray fabric with GAST in Brethren Blue. It looks so much better in person, but you can get the idea. I wasn't sure about this design at first, but I really love the way it turned out. Thanks again to Jinger and Clare for stitching on this for me.

And I just realized that the New Moon is fast approaching (where did September go?) and my ort container looks pitiful...there won't be much to add to the TUSAL this month if I don't do at least some stitching this weekend. Maybe after a hard day of cleaning out the closet I will reward myself on Sunday (After hubby leaves of course!)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend planned. Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Friday, September 9, 2011

september 9 - smiles and letters

For a short work week, this one has seemed to last forever! It doesn't help that I have been battling headaches all week I guess. Anyway, bring on the weekend!

Isn't this the cutest little design? Sharon posted this one her blog this weekend, and I stitched it right up. I love ladybugs and this one really made me smile...which is what she intended, I guess!

I stopped at my LNS yesterday on the way home to pick up the JCS ornament issue. There are some really nice designs this year, and many from designers I wasn't familiar with. It's fun for me to realize that I can recognize some of the designers now by just looking at the ornaments. My to-do list just got measurably longer!

And when I got home there was a letter waiting from my secret pen-pal. She sent the prettiest hand-made card...the flower is stitched and so delicate! Thank you so much...whoever you have not guessed yet!

I've signed up to do the Crazy 15 Challenge again this year, but I'm having second thoughts. I enjoyed starting so many new projects in January, and I was really sure that I'd be able to complete most of them, but I must admit that so far only a few have been finished, and some are really not even calling to me any more. I didn't choose small projects....well, maybe a couple, but most were medium sized, and I think that as my stitching time became more limited, even those just seemed too big. And then, of course, one must factor in the fact that I have startitis and zero will power when it comes to limiting myself...I see a design I love and start it, and just see myself stitching away...but much of that stitching is in my head! Every day on the drive to work I tell myself what I will accomplish that evening, and more evenings than I care to count, I accomplish zilch! But...I have finally stopped beating myself up about it and just do what I want, when I can and enjoy every stitch. It is my hobby, after all, not my job!

And since I am at my job, I suppose I should get back to it! Break time is over!

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 1 - the simple woman's daybook

For Today....

Outside my window...the sun is finally coming out
I am thinking...about all the things on my "to do " list
I am thankful...for my husband, who is always there for me
I am wearing...a sweater :(
I am creating...a mess on my desk
I am wondering...if I should out my shoes back on
I am reading...The Union Quilters by Jennifer Chiaverini
I am be awake enough to stitch tonight
I am looking forward to...a relaxing weekend
I am hearing...the fan blowing over my head
One of my favorite things...a soy no water chai latte from Starbucks
A few plans for the rest of the week...stitch, read and get my hair cut & colored
A photo to of my favorite spots along the Oregon Coast...Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach...(not my photo, I am at work)

Please visit other daybooks here...thanks Peggy!

september 1 - stitchy helpers

There was a distinct chill in the air this definitely feels like September!

We all need our stitchy helpers, and we all have our addictions, don't we? One of my addictions are the special embroidery scissors put out by Ginghers twice a year or so. I can remember a time not too long ago when I thought to myself...why would anyone need so many pairs of scissors...wouldn't that money be better spent on more patterns, for instance? Oh what a foolish thought that was! Once I gave in and bought my first pair (I think they were "Sarah"...because that's my daughter's name...isn't that a good reason????), I was hooked! I do use my scissors...and switch them out from time to time. But mostly I just crave them and love to look at my little collection. And no...I do not plan on stopping this addiction any time soon! So here is the beautiful Alicia...if you look closely you can see the peacock feathers in the design...along with the lovely fob that Sue made for me. I think it's perfect for these lovelies.

And I also had a wonderful surprise in yesterday's mail. There was a sale at The Gift of Stitching shop awhile back and I ordered these three adorable thread winders. I don't really use thread winders (at least I haven't up 'till now), but they were so cute I couldn't resist (do I sense a pattern here???). So here they are...and I am really pleased with them. It's kind of hard to tell in the photo, but the lighter green one has a mermaid design etched in, and the cross has many Celtic designs. I love them!

I had plans to do lots of stitching this week, but every night I have been more tired than the one before. This week seems to be dragging on...maybe because we are having a long weekend coming up and we are all anticipating it...I'm not sure. I did stitch Part 2 of Carol's SAL, but I decided not to post photos of it here until it is done. Carol is posting progress photos on her blog though, so please take a look at everyone's lovely stitching.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, August 29, 2011

august 29 - it's TUSAL time!

It seems like we just did this, but it's another new moon and that means another TUSAL posting. I had to change original one has become too small. I'm on the lookout for something nicer, but until then, this will have to do! There are lots of bits and pieces this month. I don't feel like I've accomplished much but I have been putting needle and thread to fabric, and here is the result. Lots of pretty colors....

Thanks for stopping by to visit!

Monday, August 15, 2011

august 23 - SALs, Exchanges and New Starts

Life around here has been so hectic lately...if there isn't something crazy going on at work, there's something crazy going on at home! In fact, I actually started this post last week, but am just now actually getting it blog ready! But in the midst of all this craziness, I have found some time to sit and stitch...thankfully! I love SALs, even though sometimes I have a hard time keeping up! This weekend, Carol, from IStitch, sent out Part One of her Mystery SAL. I am lucky enough to be one of the participants (lucky, because I love Carol's designs and know that this SAL will be wonderful). I am stitching my piece on 28ct. lugana from Kiwi Illusions. The fabric color is "Sweet Violet" and it was sent to me a long time ago from a stitchy pal. It is a pretty purple color and really nice to stitch on. The thread is called "Sugar Plum" and is from GAST.
Edited: I have removed the photo of my SAL piece. It seems that some people may be enlarging photos from our blogs to try and duplicate this design. I don't want to enable anyone, so please go to Carol's blog to see all the in progress photos from everyone stitching along. Thanks!

The second SAL I am currently doing is with the Little House Needleworks/ Cross Country Needleworks yahoo group. I made a very small start on The Chocolate Shoppe, but was so happy when Carrot Cake arrived in my mailbox on Saturday because that is the design I really wanted to stitch! So I made a small start on the border and hope to get many more stitches put in this week. I love these little cakes!
I've also started a SAL with the Blackbird Designs group. We are stitching the new Loose Feathers design...Summer. I am having some problems with a few of the thread colors. One just faded right into the fabric, and all my greens look alike, so I will try to remedy that at my LNS before I get too much farther. This is my small start.... The Stitchers' Timeout yahoo group has bi-monthly block exchanges every year and these are always fun to do. The theme for September is "owls". I started stitching an owl block months ago...part of a design from Blue Ribbon Designs...but somewhere along the way it got misplaced. So I decided to start another little owl. This was a teeny tiny design from someplace I can't remember right now!. Well, guess what disappeared as well? So when the new JCS issue arrived with the cute Halloween ornaments I decided to sit down with my threads, fabric and magazine and stitch this one up until it was finished. I figured I wouldn't be able to lose it that way! so this is the owl that was finally sent off for the exchange. It is called Fall Owl and is designed by Casey Buonaugurio.

Here is the summer block that I received from Renee....sorry for the shadows in these pics. Thanks again Renee!

And here is the adorable CEC acorn that I received in the anniversary block exchange from Sue. Thanks again Sue...

I love these acorns!
Some time back, we also had a SAL on Stitcher's Timeout. If I remember correctly it was a Fall/Halloween theme. I chose to stitch CEC's Acorn Autumn, and finally finished it this summer when we were on vacation. Another acorn design!
The other exchange that I have begun participating in again is the Fair & Square exchange, where each round, partners stitch a pair of squares for each square is a design, the other is an signature square. I was partnered with Nancy this last round and since I knew she liked La-D-Da, I stitched their Tiny Sampler for her. It is stitched on a mushroom evenweave with DMC 4130.

Nancy sent me the greatest squares. This is another La-D-Da design (one of my favorite designers as well) called 'Tis Better. This design was on my to do list for this year but I never got around to it...Nancy did a great job with these and I really love them. And I also have another new start. I was lucky enough to win Summer Splendor from Diane Williams a few weeks ago and couldn't wait to get started stitching this. I'm missing one of the threads and hope to find it at my LNS later today. I just had to put in those first few stitches! Don't you all sometimes feel that way???? I also went overboard with stash buying these past few weeks, but I'll share that next time! I didn't realize there would be so much to share when I started! I guess when it rains, it pours!

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit!