Sunday, June 28, 2015

Stitching from Stash

Over the last year or so I have been seeing others posts their "stitch from stash" progress and have had my interest piqued.   I wandered over to Epic Stitching and read up on the rules and rewards.   I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I didn't have to wait until January to join up.  Mel is having a half year enrollment.   How's it work?   You have a 'budget' you pledge to stick to and honestly report what you spent on needlework supplies each month.    You use a $25.00 monthly allowance (your money) and deduct what is spent on supplies each month carrying over any 'left-over' money to the next month.  Framing, needles, q-snaps and the like are exempt from reporting.   You must post by the 28th of each month on your buying and stitching for the month.  There are 'points' to be earned for work completed each month which convert to adding more $$ to your virtual budget.   Prizes are awarded.   Non-bloggers can enrolled via email.  So I signed up effective July 1st. I hope I will be diligent with posting my monthly progress and be even more diligent with staying on 'budget'.    This could be a win hopping with other participants to see their work, stash reduction and preparing for fixed income of retirement!  (which is still a couple years out).   I'd better build up that bank of $$ before I hit Salty Yarns in OCMD in October!  That could be a painful reporting month considering my past spending amounts!

Here is what I decided on to give me my red, white and blue fix......of course a decision really couldn't be narrowed down.    I found these three in my stash, each was already kitted and on my radar to be done.   I quickly stitched up this Pine Mountain - July Expressions.   These are the best for being a little project to carry along and do at lunch time.   It took a few stitches to get used to Aida instead of linen but the trade off is no need for cheaters!

One down and next up....

....this other quickie - July Typography by Pine Mountain.   Not sure about the rest of you fellow stitchers but I for one am filling up my wall space.  I am liking stitching up holiday themed pieces that can be rotated out through the year.  Hopefully this can be completed by the 4th.  I hosting a big 40 birthday bash for my daughter on the 4th and these will be the perfect accents to the decorations.  (Lordy Lordy, I've got a daughter that's 40!)

Finally finished "To Kill a Mockingbird"and absolutely loved the book.   Just like Steel Magnolias, The Bodyguard, JFK and Pretty Woman are movies I watch over and over, this is a book I will reread.  Picked up and read "The Best of Me" by Nicholas Sparks in about three days.  Still dealing with this nasty annoying Achilles issue but I am actually experiencing some occasional pain free time but still no treadmill or extensive walking.   Oh it is hell to get old!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week all!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


See that big beautiful oak tree covered in snow....

 This is tonight after a ferocious line of storms came through.    Somewhere under that mess is my wheelbarrow.  This giant of a tree took a few other trees with it as it fell.  

 I took this from the front yard one winter morning at sunrise a few years ago and you can see the tree towering over the house.   It must have been 60 to 70 feet tall.

And just a few weeks ago when I was 'hosting' the bees, Mighty Mr. Oak was there.  

This photo is from almost the same position tonight.  

 Before/above and after/below
 That horizontal piece on the 4 by 4 archway is probably 6 1/2 feet high.

We were so fortunate.   I have never experienced a storm like tonight's.   Hopefully all my friends have faired well too.   I am seeing on FB some are without power and trees are down all over the community.    For me, I am thankful that myself and my neighbors, no one was hurt.   We lost a bit of siding  and the deck chairs are in the pool but all is well.   I just stepped outside a few minutes ago and all I could hear was chain saws.   I texted my children and told them about the oak tree and my eldest's comment will we find out way home now.   When they were small and would get lost in the 10 acre field behind our property I told them just find the tallest tree and that was home.   They will all be traveling home for the Fourth of July and it will be a shocker for them to see in person.  My backyard is going to be shaking in baking this summer without the shade of the oak.....and possibly a few less squirrels.......hmmmmm, that could be a plus.  

Saturday, June 13, 2015

I'll Keep You Posted

Oh boy......I am feeling like I need to start something Red-White and Blue.   I know I have some different americana designs kitted up.     I know I should refrain.   Hmmmm, I wonder if I have the will power.   Crap!  I have one BAP and one SAL and am expecting some pre-stitching for an October class and then there is Lizzie Kate that is so close to the finish line.   Why does this happen?  So long stitching on something, frustration hits when you have to frog or I get bored I guess.   Variety is the spice of life, right?  Film at 11 people.....maybe literally if I choose a new start!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Hey! It's Actually Worked!

As so often I have these brainstorms which once completed resemble the mess of palm fronds and driftwood after a hurricane.   But this time it came together exactly (almost) as planned.

First I did mega consignment shopping this weekend.   I usually hit my favorite shop once a month and was ever so surprised to pull up to a yard sale in the parking lot as well as deep discounts on the booths inside.

Here's my loot.

Above, a collection of things, including the $2 chandelier which I have plans for!

The seller didn't know anything about the stitcher.   I am such a sucker when thinking of the time and effort the stitcher put into her work.  For $2 I couldn't go wrong.

Liberty sign marked $3, reduced to $1 because I hesitated. And some fat quarters of fabric ranging from $0.75 to $1.50.

Red, White & Blue basket with two Americana hand towels, $4, Watermelon slices, $1 each, $1 silk flag scarf,  and NIB Lenox Snowflake candle jar.  This will be a Christmas present for a friend who will be told where I got it and she will be proud of my shopping prowess!

 My splurge, $20 for this strawberry tote.   I can see this with so many uses.   First up will be picnic plates, napkins and plasticware!
 $1 silk scarf went right out to become a bow on my door decoration.

 The sampler found a quick home on top of my J. P. Coats and Clark cabinet.  I think I will have to wrap that blaring white easel with a piece of grosgrain or bias tape so as to not be jumping out at me!

So on to my plans......
I took the $2 chandelier, removed the wiring, cleaned with steel wool and then spray painted.  At this point if my plans fail I can always make this into a spider for Halloween!

  I bought a can of spray paint for $3.57 and 5 stake style solar lights at $0.97 each.

I took apart the solar stake-style lights and filed down the bases of the lenses.  

 I used my glue gun to secure the lens in place and hung the lamp!    

I wanted this off a wrought iron hook mounted on the house to hang over my round deck table but Mr. W. had some thoughts on that.   Not to be dissuaded, I pulled out a plant hook and hung this gem from my pergola.   For under $12 and under an hour's worth of time (not counting drying time for the paint), I created a little more ambience for my outside room!  Can't wait to see how it looks tonight.  It won't be bright enough to stitch from but I sure can drink a glass of sangria by it!

As always, all photos are clickable for larger filmstrip view.   Thanks for stopping by and have a great week full of stitching, family and friends!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Drum Corp Time Again, aka Mr. W. Hits the Road

Ok, I will warn you this post could be likened to having to sit through your uncle's 8mm home movies so feel free to skip on by if you must ...... but if you wish to awaken a different creative side of yourself, by all means do continue.

You have read my posts and probably wondered  about the bizarre travels of my husband for eight weeks each summer.  I did my stint for several but my traveling days with the group ended. Although I enjoyed every minute trust me I have been cured from ever wanting to run away and join the circus.

I hung up my sewing machine and stopped making uniforms and sewing flags and costumes 13 years ago.  Mr. W.  still hears the music call him to join the group and travels with these talented, wonderful, young people (ages 14 to 21) as they traipse about the country living out of gyms, buses and armories competing in various college and professional football stadiums.   Each year he handles the logistics of getting five coach buses, two tracker trailers and various support vehicles where they have to be while driving an RV or one of the tractor trailers.  It all culminates at Drum Corp International World Finals at the LukeOil Stadium in Indianapolis  mid-August each summer.

It is hard to describe or to even come close to an explanation of the work, pageantry, talent, joy and dedication these performers have as well as that of the staff and volunteers of the Jersey Surf.

Closing ceremonies at Finals are one of the most moving things I have ever witnessed.   The Corps enter the stadium in Olympic fashion circling to the backfield, marching by two's from sideline to sideline until the entire field is filled shoulder to shoulder, end zone to end zone with corp members.   At the University of Maryland in Silver Springs in 2000 my eyes filled as I watched and THEN they played and the tears rolled down my cheeks.  All the Corps on the field and I quickly did a back of the envelope calculation that there were thousands of musicians, playing together to the crowd.   Unbelievable.

Please let Janinia Gavankar (star in True Blood) explain.  The  ESPN video explains her passion; the behind the scenes version explains the making of the video; and the music video spotlights the song only...... you've really got to watch all threee.

ESPN interview from 2014 World Finals

Don't Look Down music video

Don't Look Down music video behind the scenes  with editorial comments from Janina

Now while this is not the kind of performance they do all summer it is the same talented young people performing on the video.

.....And now we return to our stitching projects already in progress......

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Time to Move the Q-Snaps!

I completed page two of 12 of Rosewood Manor's Cornwall Cottage.   For the most past this is an easy fast stitch.....but then there are all the confetti onesy/twosy stitches scattered about the basket.  I was going to complete the entire border first and then do the basket but I am glad I decided to stitch each page completely before moving on.

Overall, it was little more than a week to finish this page.  Now, doing the math means I would be finished by mid-September.   Big laugh out to staying on that schedule.   Too many other projects and too many summer fun things going on.

Not far away is my faithful companion.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Bee-u-ti-ful Day

Last weekend, after two and a half days of yard work and/or picnicking, I decided to put away the tools, clean myself up, sit back and enjoy the yard.    I even took my Lowery floor stand outside to stitch with.   Long about a half hour in, I decided to  refill my glass of nice cool green tea.

 I came back outside and saw nothing but BEES!  I had to walk around the far side of the house to get to the backyard and into Mr. W's man cave.   Of course, when I told him there were a billion bees outside he didn't believe me.  (why is it husband's have to doubt/question everything we say?) Well surprise Mr. W.!
 Those aren't dots on the film....they are bees!

Zooming in all the way from the side door.   Trust me, I wasn't getting too close!

Zoomed in from inside the house.

These guys were not here one second but were everywhere the next.  Holiday weekend or not, I called our pest control company and left a message.  They came by the next day and explained the phenomenon.  The verdict and our instructions:  Honey Bees. They won't bother us unless they feel the queen is threatened and if one strings us, they will all swarm us!   Seems they have some sort of bee radar to alert each other of danger.   Yikes!  Good ole Miss Queen Bee was desirous of moving the hive but grew tired along the way and decided to stop at our house to rest.  Below, you will see all the bees protecting the queen.

The tech told us to give it 24 to 36 hours and they will move on.  I wasn't actually buying it but sure enough, the next night after work, they were all gone.  Learn something new everyday.

Bee safe everyone and bee plentiful with your stitches this week.    Next up, progress has been made on Cornwall Cottage.....almost completed page two.   Pix as soon as I do.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Oh To Do and Then Re-do!

I really have been in a slump stitching-wise and not put in much stitching time since OCMD at the end of April.   Not sure what I have been up to.......yard work mainly.  I am done all but one last flower bed that spans the property line on the right side of the property.   Truth is, I started it but kind of got the willies because I was sitting weeding and disturbed a snake!   Yuck!  This particular bed is very overgrown with ground cover and I think I need professional help.   That's my story anyway.

Been dealing with Achilles Tendonitis for more than several weeks.   Partial remedy - rest the affected leg/ankle.     However, rest = stiffness of the affected area.  Got to strike that balance I guess.  My treadmill is just gathering dust lately.   For now I will continue with the PT stretches and limp along.   Seems I got my medical degree somewhere along the line since this is a self/internet diagnosis.   Promised myself I will make an appointment with Dr. R. this week.

I have been going through closets and drawers as I have switched out the winter and summer clothes.  I am organizing a clothes swap at work (Its called a Naked Lady Party!) so that is incentive to be 'honest' with myself that I will never ever fit into those size 8's that are taking up space in my closet!  And since 8's in my closet have been no incentive on the weight loss side, it is time for them to go.

I have spent time desparately trying to catch hummingbirds at the bird feeder with my camera.   I have more photos of airspace than hummers!

Look at the face.    Can't you just read his  thoughts?   "What is the ding dong lady doing now?"

Stitching wise - the little I have done has been on Rosewood Manor's Cornwall Cottage.   When needle and thread do meet, this moves pretty fast.  The individual motifs make it easy to complete a section and move to the next.     This is page one of 12 completed. 

Off I charged to work on page two -  hha-hum....see my little boo boo?    One little set back - seems I ran amok in stitching the inner leaf border.   I was stitching merrily along without a care only to realize I stitched the leaves too big......along came the frogging so I could restitch the leaves that were stitched without the center stem.

Leaves frogged and replaced and I am on my way again. It helps to keep my needle minder loaded with needles and threads ready.

Using my blackwork knowledge on this one yellow flower I have been plotting my route in and out.  I think I am still getting enough color change with the yellow flower using the WDW.

Garden is in.  I am still a novice at this so two 4 x 8 plots is probably all I need.   I never let lack of know-how stop me from diving in!

Really too soon to harvest anything yet.    The lettuce is a possibility for a dinner salad this week.  And with all the blossoms on my bush beans, I see fresh green beans in my future.

I repotted my houseplants - ferns and spider plants.   I can't remember when they were done last and the total root bound mess that I had would indicate years.  Maybe even decades!   Divided and I cut them back so if they survive my intervention, this summer they may not look too splendid.  Dividing the plants caused me to run out of pots for my geraniums and petunias.   Rather then do the right thing and wait until I could buy more pots, of course, I improvised with what I had on hand.   I am worried about these plants in the two enamelware bowls.  I am afraid the sun with make the metal too hot and fry their little roots.   I will have to keep watch on these guys.  

Coral Bells in full bloom.

Nifty burlap bag I bought.   Plan to turn it around to the plain side for hanging other seasonal flowers.

Pulled some of my patriotic pieces from the wall to make a tabletop display.   Seeing these I am itching to start stitching up one of the patriotic pieces I have kitted up.  But no new start for me right now.   I have some pre-stitching for a class in October that I expect to see arrive in the mail shortly.

A more playful Buddy who took a rest from helping hand clothes today.

Next up, work on my guild stitch along.   I am pretty much through this month's assignment but do need to do a few more stitches before next meeting to keep up to date.  I am gangbusters after the meeting and then fade as the month goes on.   I rekindle that flame the first of each month to make sure I am on target for our monthly meeting.

Happy June all and stitch on!