Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Can I get an Amen!

I am so ready.....I have busted my little (sic) backside today.   I should have a ka-zillion steps on my Fitbit.  

Welcome home!
Corn Casserole - done, Cranberry Relish - done, Big Pot of Chili for dinner tonight - done, Breakfast Casserole for tomorrow morning - done, Watergate Salad - done, Green Bean Casserole - done, relish dishes....not done but thought about!, Turkey is brining, bathrooms are cleaned, floors are washed, and dishes washed, washed and washed and FINALLY done.  All I have left to do is bring the sheets in off the clothesline, run them through the dryer for a few minutes to get the chill off and make up the beds.    Family should be here between 7 and 9 tonight.   I think I see a window of opportunity opening to stitch.  um, last time I said that, I promptly fell asleep in the recliner.   Tomorrow I will set the table, pop that turkey in oven and make the potatoes and gravy.......a feast to be sure. It will be well worth all the pre-work I did today.   How did I ever manage when I worked the day before Thanksgiving?

Wishing you all a Wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving.

Buddy is exhausted just watching me.    He has resumed his perch on the mantle
for his sleeping place.   Remember, no one ever owns a cat; they own you.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

My Favorite Holiday

I am very blessed to have family, friends, health, a job......

It has been a crazy couple of weeks.   All good but nonetheless crazy.   Little to no stitching has been going on.  The last couple of weeks I have had something to do seven days a week and it has had me coming home to finally sit down with my stitching....and promptly fall asleep in the Lazy Boy!  Followed by a weekend of houseguests........dogs jumping and barking,  tails wagging things off coffee tables and bookcases, keys and phones on every surface.  Drinking glasses left on every end table.  Tons of dishes and tons of laundry.  Someone always hungry and opening the fridge.  A line for the shower.  I am not Miss Neat but I do like the normal sense of order I have in my house so for weekends like this I learned to just much as it is a jump from my normal, quiet day-to-day existence, I love it.    Everyone was home this weekend because no one was coming for Thanksgiving!   I turned in earlier than everyone last night figuring it was time for the mom to let the kids be kids.  I laid in bed and listened to their chatter, giggles and belly laughs and it felt so good and I had that warm and fuzzy feeling!    And guess what, we are doing it again in 4 days.   I went from just Mr. W. and I for a quiet stitching filled afternoon of a Turkey Day Feast for two to 12 house guests who will all be spending the night!     I don't know where I am putting everyone and I am sure there will be air mattresses with kids across the living room floor.  Oh boy but it sure is a wonderful life!  

Before I continue.....with fresh sheets and linens, I think a few minutes of stitching time are deserve and hopefully next post will include some stitching progress.  I have two projects I'd 
like to move from the WIP column to the Finally Finished column! 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Stay Away Squirrels!

What a week......been busy and been drama filled at work.    As the Senior Admin I seem to keep getting drawn into everyone else's drama.  Sometimes I just want to not be politically correct with my answer and just be totally sarcastic.  Probably would be lost on these people.  For some reason there is a belief that I am the only one to go to for any answers.  Really does no one else know when all else fails, to turn the copier off and let it reboot?  Oh no, probably spent hundreds of dollars of Company money between all the co-workers messing about for a half hour and calling IT for a solution.  I thought they were going to have a parade and put me on float for returning from a meeting solving the problem in about three seconds.  I just scratch my head and think......Harvard degree, Rutgers degree, Widener degree?  I've got the Common Sense degree!  Diverting and deflecting and remedying crisis made this was not a week that was conducive to crossing tasks off my to-do list.  I really want to cancel my subscription to all their issues! However it is not that easy.......we all know  how quickly the ugly mob could turn if I were to freak out.  And that is why I carry my stitching with me to get a few rewarding, blood pressure reducing stitches in at lunchtime.   OK, got that out of my system.   Pardon my rant.

One good thing this week at work was being able to give away $$$.    I manage the corporate credit cards and we have a ka-billion points from aggregating to them across the 110  cards.   In September I redeemed a good chunk of points for gift cards.  What a fiscally responsible way to spread good will.  Now I don't give the cards away but I worked on filling the envelopes with the various cards and putting the names on the envelopes.  The recipients have no idea they are getting them next week.   Employees come up to the Executive Floor with dread and how nice to see the smile come across their face and the tension leave their body.  My Company is so generous and I think it is so wonderful to see the difference make by saying "hey, I hear you have really been helpful with training the new guy", or "a customer called to compliment your efforts", or "I understand you're saving the Company money by  shopping for the better price".   I worked on this for the last couple of weeks and have kept it under my hat.  So satisfying.  I really do get pleasure from seeing others happy.

So, to my stitching week.    I finished the beaded acorn scissors fob.    It was such  quick stitch.   Love love love it!  I order doublesided tape we used at Jamboree and really helped with the assembly.

I am back to reading again by slowly reintroducing my daily time on the treadmill.   It's going slow but I am making progress and have been able to almost finish Oliver Potzsch's The Beggar King, A Hangman's Daughter Tale.   This the third in a series of five.  

Now it is time that I really get back to my Guild SAL.   I have grown disenchanted with this piece.  I was over the moon to join and start but the pattern is so filled inconsistencies and so much compensation stitching has been done that it has really lost its attraction.   It's just sitting on my lap stand patiently waiting.  So much so that instead of stitching on it I have done everything else cleaning and purging kitchen cabinets and bedroom closets.

Guess it's time to put it in high gear and get the last six rows done.

Happy November and have a great week in stitching!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Start from Stash

I have had this in my stash of projects for several years and kept putting off starting it even though I
really wanted to.   This is called "An Acorn for Andrew" by Tomorrow's Antiques.  I have done very little beading before.  Really never more than just embellishing here and there.  I read the directions put them down, picked them up and reread and then threw caution to the wind and started.  First stitch in and the directions say .....1059 to go!  Crazy.  

Mr. Squirrel is starting to take shape.

I actually thought this would not be a very good take along project but it is.  I just load up the good old beading tray and I am ready to get in a couple of rows at lunch time.  This is really stitching up pretty fast.  Started on Tuesday and I am almost halfway completed.  I don't know why I was so intimidated!   And it's another scissors fob!    Let the stash busting continue!

I also have a finish to share.   Yes, of course, I plowed ahead and assembled my biscournu.  I might have stuffed it a little firmer but really this will most like just sit in the basket with my other smalls.   This is another piece that slightly intimidated me.   Those buttonhole bars!  I really dreaded them but they were EZ-PZ and once you got going you got into a really rhythm.

 Love love love the pin cone button!  I am ahead of schedule on this SAL so I think I will put the other pieces aside and go back to my Girls from the Guild SAL.  Six rows to go and I am done.   This SAL wraps up the second Saturday of January and I am sure I can make that deadline.   Pix of my progress next time.

Next up, hmmm, more routing around me stash perhaps!

Stitching from Stash - October

Even with a retreat attended, I stayed within budget!   I really surprised myself.  I am not sure if it is this challenge, my desire to downsize or what but I am really thinking of what I have in my stash before I buy something new.  Not only that I am trying to be realistic about when I will stitch and finish a project versus buying it because I like it.  We all know we have stash to last us well beyond life expectancy but enough.  We all are tempted by new patterns, new floss that is still pristine and shiny buttons and beads.   I am really thinking about each project before I buy it - when will I do it, will I still like it then.   Very little is hitting that "I can't live without it" least this week.  LOL

September Carry Forward - $95.00
Allotment for October - $25.00
Credit for October - $6.00
Spent in October - $33.58

Balance - $92.42

Finishes in October

Pining to Stitch Biscournu
Hands on design scissors fob

All that 'buy only what you need' resolve and I am off antiquing for the day with a girlfriend or two.   I wonder if that buy it only if you need it will apply to consignment and antique shop finds.   

Sunday, October 18, 2015

It's a comin'

The SNOW that is....well maybe not for a while but my son reported flurries at his place.   Fortunately he is in the mountains and 160 miles west of me!   Not ready yet for old man winter.   I want to enjoy the fall first.  

I harvested the last bit of greens and peppers yesterday. And I brought in all the plants that were on my deck or hanging from my pergola.  They do so well outside in the humidity in the summer.  I hope I can winter them well.   I put Ike (My Boston Fern/no pix) in the bathroom hoping it will enjoy the shower humidity.  

But enough of the Flora    This week I accomplished little stitch wise.   Ever have one of those weeks when you have something EVERY night?   I am blessed to have a circle of stitching friends I meet with weekly, and a group of high school classmates I meet for dinner monthly.  Add girl's night with the girls from work and other appointments that collided for the perfect storm of out every night!    

I did finish my scissors fob from last weekend.   Not too excessive here am I by the looks of my collection of scissors fobs.  And I am sure there are a couple of more squirreled away with a WIP.  

I also finished up the bottom of the Pining to Stitch Biscournu.  Isn't it fabulous when you round that last corner and your stitches meet like they are supposed to?  

I don't know if I will shelf the assembly until January or do it now.   Since I am basically an out-of-order gal,  chances are I will do it now.   Overall I am ahead of schedule on this SAL and can put aside the fob and needle book until January.     I need to get back to my Sampler Guild SAL to stay on schedule for a January completion.   Ug!  Sew many projects, sew little time.

Sorry to overwhelm you with so many photos of this piece!   But I just love it.   Isn't the pine cone button perfect?

I didn't share what I got at Salty Yarns last week.  Not much at all.   There were so many things I fell in love with but then I did an honest  review......will I stitch it this year, next year or who knows when? Will I still love it in three years when I might get to it?  I put many things back after being totally honest with what I will accomplish before I return to Salty Yarns in April   I might have actually won for the LEAST amount spent.  I did picked up these two Halloween pieces.   I look forward to stitching this Mill Hill complete kit called Sugar Skull.   All those beads means this is not a take along project.  The completed version is so much more than the kits looks.  Sally always gets me no matter what the season with having current season finishes at the counter when you enter the shop.  I like stitching Halloween pieces because they give me permission to use wild and bizarre colors that are not my usual m.o.    I also got this pocket watch necklace and pattern.   Great tip from Sally - the fabric just lays in the pocket watch so you can change it out to showcase other holiday motifs.

The framed "creepy" is from my gift bag at Jamboree.   I cut the bag apart and popped "creepy" in a 4 x 6 frame, added the skull off my bag tag and set it out with my Halloween table to decorations.

Well with colder weather coming it is my plan, my hope, my promise to myself, that I will spend at least one week night up in my sewing room working on a quilting project or finishing a finished piece.  
My wooden carpenters tool tray is full of Halloween fabrics on the left for a wall hanging I have in mind and on the right are parts of a red white and blue four patch table cover I started and strayed from and in the front, 5-inch squares of novelty fabric cut in hopes of making an I-Spy baby quilt.  

Well here's to the start of another week.   This afternoon, Monday, Thursday and Friday are already filled in my datebook.   Who's knows if I will have any days open by the time Monday rolls around.  Happy stitching all.   Bundle up in your sweaters, listen to the crinkle of fall leaves under your feet, and enjoy the season.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Home Again Home Again Jiggedty Jig

Boo Hiss....had to come home from Ocean City Maryland.  Sally, Sarah and Mary (as well as Vern, Brian, Michael and all th rest) at the Lankford and Salty Yarns never disappoint by taking that extra special care of us.  It is like visiting old friends or family.   Love love love sleeping with my window open and listening to the waves......ahhhhh.....

You know how it goes....come home, unpack, do laundry......somewhere between unpacking and finishing the laundry looks like Buddy is glad I am home OR he is exercising his opinion that I stay home!

This was not my normal guild fall retreat at Salty Yarns.  Instead this year I attended the fall Jamboree at Salty Yarns.  It was three half-day classes and making new friends.  It is always the best to spend time with fellow Stitchers.  There were 55 of us.  Sarah out did herself with the delicious food and desserts.  Any long weekend with my girl friends is a great one.

I got to meet a fellow blogger.  I have followed Stasi B.  at BeeMused ....BeeStitching for several years.  A big shout out to Stasi for her help in the classroom with the Baby Lock and in the shop  with fabric selection and cutting.   Stasi  had seen my Pining to Stitch Biscournu and decided to stitch it.   She brought her finished biscournu to share.  Isn't that always a boost when someone likes what you are stitching enough to stitch it too.

On to the classes.  We were divided into three different classrooms which the teachers rotated through so we were able to leave out "stations" set up with our stitching tools, etc.  As each class started we were greeted not only with our project supplies but with goodies.  Without further ado.....look at what we made!!

Me and my roomies first two class finishes.

We did the pre-stitching before the classes and were able to walk away from classes with completed projects.  First up, my group had class with Cathy Haberman of Hands on Designs.  Fabulous!  Can I say that again?  Cathy was a great teacher, friendly, efficient, warm, sharing and talented.  Look how adorable!  Such fun to walk out of class with a finished finished!  And we walked out with not only with a thank gift from the teacher but the skills to be able to finished the second one.

Our second class was with Just Another Button Company.  

Rachel, daughter of the founder, was our teacher.  OMGoodness, how sweet she was.   There are not enough superlatives what a pleasure it was to have her as a teacher.  She gave us a history of how JABCo got started.   They will be celebrating their 20th anniversary this year with a nostalgic re-do of how they starting - with a Christmas present of polymer clay - but this time not just mom with children but now mom, children and grandchildren.  Look at this adorable pear!    Mine may be a little bit lopsided but I will have to work at shaping it a bit more.

Sunday morning's class was with Cecile of JABCo, Rachel's mom!  Again, another fabulous class.  Cecile gave us all polymer clay and taught us to make buttons.  It was really fun but that said Rachel and Cecile don't have to worry about me taking up button making and giving them any competition.  It is not nearly as easy as it looks.  I have a new appreciation of any JABCo button.

The attention to detail by each teacher, the quality of the supplies, the project coordination and the Jamboree made this a fantastic weekend.  It was easy to see a lot of planning went into the weekend.

Here is the outside of the two finishes and a close up of the pear button.  Not the one I made but a JABCo original.

Next the inside of each book.

The buttons I made.   One of my pears is tied to the strawberry basket in the back.

I was so over zealous about remembering to put in the holes in each button before baking that I forgot I needed to leave one untouched to glue to the tag.  Sooooooo I added a smile to my button before I baked it.

Here is the complimentary scissors fob we made.   I need to pink the edges and then do a quick stitch up.

We were also given this pear painted on perforated paper to stitch and attach our buttons to.  Not sure if I will stitch it or just put it in a simple black frame.

All that and can you believe I had time to stitch something?   This is a little wool kit that only took an evening.   EZ-PZ, the overall size is only about 3 by 8.  Now to finish and hang for the fall season.

 Pardon the wrinkles but I did also finish the top of my biscournu.

And got a good amount done on the bottom.    I would secretly like to finish this by my Thursday night stitching night....better get those clothes folded so I can get stitching.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Welcome October

Well here we are in the fourth quarter of the year already.   We (almost) needed the AC on in the beginning of the week if only for the humidity and today we need a quick run of the heater to get the dampness out of the house.   I had my first discussion with Mr. W. about perhaps we may wish to consider being snowbirds.   His response.....hmmm, if it fits into his retirement plan.  Wow, at least he didn't totally dismiss it like I was a crazy wintering in Florida may be in my (distant) future!    One can wish.....and actually, I don't know if I am really a fan of Florida but I guess I could take one for the team and try it.  Maybe we can start with renting a place for a couple of months one year and see.....but enough....

My hoop is mounted on my new stitching frame
from Notforgotten Farm.   
Stitching wise I haven't been able to put in much stitching time.   No progress at all on my Guild SAL but I plan to get back to it and tackle it in earnest before the month if over.

I have been concentrating my efforts on my EGA SAL and I have to say it is one I am really enjoying.  I think the instant gratification from the quick finish of each small helps.   I am using my hoop mounted on my new stitching frame from Notforgotten Farm.   I am loving the stand.   It helps me stitch with both hands and move faster.

This is the biscournu top.
First pine cone completed and three to go

Here's the finished front of the scissors keeps.       

My plan once I finish the biscournu is to put Pining To Stitch aside until after the first if the year to allow me time to finish my Girls of the Guild SAL by the January deadline.

That's all I've got folks.......except to be looking forward to heading to OCMD mid-week.   My stitching friends and I are attending Jamboree at Salty Yarns.  Of all the places I go I do so look forward to these trips to the beach with my girlfriends the most.