Sunday, November 29, 2009

Give-a-way

Jennifer at http://feathersinthenest.blogspot.com/ is offering a great give-a-way.   Check out the beautiful box and adorable scissors she is offering.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Finish at last!

Ye-Ha!  Finally something to crow about.    This week I received pages 7 and 8 of the Jeannette Douglas Stitching Album in the mail and of course I had to check them out.   Silly distributor emailed to ask if I minded getting both at once or should she send one and then wait a month and send the other so I wouldn't be overwhelming with completion.   ha ha ha!  This time last week, I didn't even have the front cover finished let alone the previously mailed first 6 chapters.  As I filed my newly received goodies in the binder I just had to leaf through my Stitching Album and ohhh and ahhh about stitches to come. I started about this time last year on the front cover. Seems I get so involved in (godzilla sized) SAL's that there is little stitching time for anything else.

At any rate, I love the Gloriana Threads and Belle Soie and Needlepoint Silks Jeannette selects.   I simply could not resist picking up the front cover to finish it which I was able to do in no time at all.   ...... and of course that lead to the need to work on the back cover....... although I have no business jumping into a new start.  I kind of rationized that it was a large project with sections and I had already started so it is not really a new start.   I have been good at not starting anything new since I reviewed and posted my WIP's.  I was kind of appalled at myself because of all the WIP's I was responsible for not to mention the age of some of them.  Anyway the stitching is now done on the front cover and I have managed a good start on back cover.

I am also near completion on side three of my etui.........this side has been very hard for me.  I have a stitching block I think or my stitching mojo is gone!  I am hitting the wall because of all the stitching already done and yet to be done.   Hopefully I will wrap up side three by the end of the weekend.  The majority of what I have to complete is the border and because of the palest of pinks being used they do not even show up here.   After this SAL I am going to make a serious attempt to wrap up some of the WIP's and not join in another SAL until I can cross some projects off the list.  Maybe I can make some sort of deal within myself......a most coveted start cannot begin until at least one thing is crossed off my list!  Or the purchase of a long desire pattern and fabric cannot be had until......

Drum Corps starts this weekend and that means my stint at the registration table.   I hung up my uniform sewing and fitting duties a few years back.  Tonight there will be all those new and anxious little faces and excitement of the returning vets.   Seeing old friends, trading stories.  Everyone really raring to start another season.  Seems like finals in August are so far away but this is that first step towards a winning season.

Off to the treadmill now to work off some of the holiday calories.  Back to my pledge of working out regularly.  A brief episode of issues with my back and a week of my Kindle being out of commission....now no excuses.

3-2-1....and the winner is.....

This was my first blogoversary give-a-way.   Not my first blogoversary but first give-a-way.  My first year of blogging was pretty sparse.  In fact almost every time I logged on I had to get my password and info from my daughter who has set it up for me.     I have managed to progress a bit since then.   Even have gotten a kudo here or there from her for things I have posted or added.   Also have gotten the stern look over the glasses and the statement from her that I have become internet obsessed.  I am not saying she is wrong for there have been some weeks when there has been way too much surfing, blogging, emailing, ebaying, website maintenace, etc.....but enough of that.

So this journey of my blogoversary has been a great one.  I have enjoyed comments (and not yet responded to all yet), and loved looking at your sites and blogs.   You guys are so creative and some of you are far to prolific in what you are stitching and completing.   I can't compete!!!!  I have to work long hours to support this obsessive habit of stitching I have.    But I manage to come back to my stitching for that calming affect it has on a near daily basis.

I have enjoyed reading your blogs, seeing your techniques and learning so much.   I found it interesting that we crafters are all so very similar.    Yes, we have different likes and preferences on designers and fibers and finishes but we have that common thread (oh boo hiss - what a pun).   Where else could others relate to the statement that something is missing on a day I do not stitch?   At work, they look at me like I have 3 heads when I said I have to stitch each day or something is missing.  When I try to explain it is like the athlete who works out and needs that endorphin rush each day my explanation gets lost in the roaring laughter of how much exercise I am getting threading the needle and moving it in and out of the fabric.  I chuckle along with them and secretly know they are the ones that are missing out.........

I don't know about random number generators but I can do the good old folded slip of paper in a container.  I thought in keeping with the season, my gravy boat would be appropriate.  But 112 entries from 47 comments proved too much.  So without further ado, the lucky winner is......TRACY!  Congratulations.   I will review your comment for contact info and be in touch soon.   

Thank you all and happy holiday season!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Kindle - Update!!

My Kindle has died!  I am right in the middle of Greg Iles, The Quiet Game.  A quick look on the Amazon site says to return it in the original packing...................with a footnote to pack in something similar if original packing is no long available.   Can you imagine if we were required to keep the original packing for everything we purchases, we would all need a second home just to store all the original packing and boxes.    It looks like it is the battery from what I found on the trouble shooting page.   I need to revisit the Amazon site tomorrow and make sure I can get it fixed.

11/24/09   10:15 pm - Two phone calls to Amazon and I am back in business.   "Charles", the rep I spoke with today, taught me how to remove the back and reset the device.   yeah!  Kudos to Charles and his customer service skills.  Now I can get back to my treadmill/reading regime.  

Really enjoying the comments

I have taken the time this morning while I wait for the plumber to re-read your comments on my Blogoversary post.  Thankfully nothing serious as what I have read some of you are experiencing with flooding basements, etc.   Just need the periodic snaking of the drains.

I have followed up with some posts, some I still have to.   I am visiting each of your blogs - if you have one - and I am enjoying my journey.   Happy week and blogging to all and Happy Thanksgiving to all the US followers.   .....it is my favorite holiday.   No pressure, no expectations.....just all those wonderful smells, family, food and laughter.  To the left...Norman Rockell's adaptation if he were a redneck!  Sorry, no offense intended. I thought the beer and paper plates were something likely to show up on a table or two.

Plumber has arrived....hopefully he will be quick and I can get off to Kohl's for some earlybird shopping.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Crafters are just the nicest people

Pardon the pun
but crafters are cut from a different cloth to be sure.  We have all known that friend or member of the women's club that has a recipe that we compliment.  What happens when you ask for the recipe?   Does she offer up her prize winning secret for her apple pie readily?   There may be promises of a recipe.  And sometimes you get the recipe but your version doesn't quite measure up when you prepare it.   Maybe an ingredient or step missing?  We all have suspected that.  Well, crafters are not the same.   A crafter loves to share her treasures, her websites for favorite stores, her trinkets, her joy in her craft, her techniques, her help, her time, her methods, her favorite store, her wisdom and her stash (well maybe I got carried away; maybe not her stash! lol).  

This is not limited to stitchers.   Crafters in general take so much pleasure in what they do that they want others to have the same pleasure and jump at the chance to share.   It just comes natural to us.   We know the effort that has gone into a project and we appreciate with a keener, non-critical eye.   We look on in awe and wonder.  Why, because we are not competitive.  Not competitive with each other but rather take pleasure in others success and accomplishment with a given craft. 

I am on this roll because of a RAK from someone I don't even know.    Let's see if I can explain......back to the purchase and gifting of the Big Shot dye cutter I bought my daughter for her birthday.   Since she was home for a visit, I gave it to her early.   She opens and I find out she already had one so I got to keep it.  (Yeah!)  When she returned home, she went to her card stamping group and was telling the demonstrator about my birthday gift to her.   Her demonstrator was all over it.   She emailed me "how to's", ideas, and more just so I could get the most out of my purchase which I had not even made from her; she was eager to share her crafting knowledge with me!   She sent me the latest catalogs in the us mail and some cards she made as well.    I did nothing but leaf through the catalog earlier tonight.   I turned down pages of must haves, like to haves, and neat ideas. 
Look at the trees on the left page of the catalog!  Too cute.   Now look at Selene's card.   Who'd of thought to put blue and purple together for a Christmas card?  Too pretty.     I love the Stampin' up papers.  Their colors are so pretty.   Check out the little gift card envelope Selene also included.   I feel like I want to stamp all day on Saturday and make a ton of cards!  Selene has already offered a girl's night of stamping the next time DD#1 and I visit DD#2.    Check out Selene's blog.   She has great ideas and easy to follow instructions.   I may even have to use her as one of Santa's Elves to help me with my Christmas shopping. 

On the stitchy side - I picked up my framed Jeannette Douglas Pineapple Stitches.   Had to take the shot at that angle to not have a big old glare spot!   The outer mat is in the olivey family and the inner mat is purple!  The framer was surprised that I wanted to see the purple until we laid it next to the piece.   He said he hadn't even seen the purple stitches until we placed the mat.   I wanted something different.   I am not sure where I am hanging it.   I had plans to line the walls of my dining room with samplers but since my stitching has to be as slow as blue mud that will never happen. 


(look at all the page corners I have turned in the Stampin up catalog Selene sent me!)

Blogoversary! - I will be putting all the names in the hat on Turkey Day and letting you know who the winner is by the end of the day!   Good luck all....down to the wire on getting your name in the hat.

What happened when I dozed off?

I worked late a couple or three nights in a row.  That is not so bad but I also went in early all week.   So I put my feet up with my stitching and DWTS on......I remember watching the re-cap of the prior night but that is all I saw.   I woke up all sore and twisted, no stitching accomplished and 11 o'clock news  or something on TV but no Dancing with the Stars.   Imagine my surprise when that next day I hear one of those between show ads that Joanna Krupa was eliminated.  What is up with Joanna being voted off DWTS?   I thought she was awesome....but I am also tone deaf and never can remember words to songs or who sings them so I don't exactly possess a lot of validity when it comes to judging the performing arts.  But she was good!  I really thought it was between Mya and Joanna for the win.   I anticipated Donny or Kelly being eliminated.   I just love listening to Kelly talk and I think she has come a long way during the competition and was hoping she would be able to continue.  Is it my judgment or was this a shocker?  So more TV drama....what's up with Oprah?  Week after week you watch TV and it is the same old thing but BAM! miss a few days and sh&$ happens.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Amy

Children - Amy's birthday brings all the normal memories.   It is hard as a mom to have your child so far away on these special days.   My memories go to last year when she turned the big '30'.  Her sister and I were in ka-hoots with her boss.   We pre-arranged our secret surprise visit since Amy travels for business.   I was afraid we would drive 350 miles to surprise her and she would be in Denver or wherever.    We did manage to pull off the surprise, cake and all had a great weekend of girl stuff, drinks, shopping, drinks and stitching.  Since I can't be with her, I sent her a little electronic happy birthday surprise as well as the new coat she picked out when we had the little Stampin Up Big Shot snafu.  So I am impressed with my bits of computer knowledge.   I found a you tube rendition of The Beatles, "Say its your birthday" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztoSUhbNntQ and I  beamed this electronically to Amy on her email and Facebook account.   Who said you couldn't teach an old dog new tricks. 

This year, Amy and her college room mates are having a spa weekend.   You go girls! Work hard and relax just as hard.   (??) 

PIF - I received my PIF from Meari yesterday.   I already have an idea for the pretty fat quarter.   I have had such an obligation ridden week, it was nice to receive a surprise and to open and explore the goodies.  Hmmmm, what neat Halloween stitchy thing can I use the spool of Krenik on?

Posts - As I reviewed all the recent posts on the blogs I follow, I found that I was not the only one that was time challenged this week.   Here on the east, we were all pre-occupied with the nor'easter.  It helps to know that it is not just me suffering from my own poor planning.   I think it was the planets being aligned wrong.....  I for one have realized that the computer, the internet, the email, the blogging rob me of precious stitching time.  I am trying to limit my time to quick reviews during the week and a more thorough following on Sunday mornings of what all you talented people have posted during the week.  Yeah, it's a plan but then there is the execution of the plan.   Hmmm, I know myself all too well.   I will be sucked in my the need to *see* what is going on. 

PartyLite - I managed to buy the champagne candle glasses at half price.   No one on the list for these but I know they will make a fantastic shower present for a blushing bride.   These are so pretty.   There is a hollow center you place votices or tea lights in and keep the integrity of the wine glass.   When lite, you can see all the bubble trapped in the gel.  They make such pretty reflections.  I purchased red wine glasses for myself last year.   Each time I pass my pie safe where there are stored, I can smell them.   yummy!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

For no apparent reason..

Stitching Progress -  Ever have one of those weeks where you thought you had nothing to do but ended up with something everynight?   I know we have all had those.  For no apparent reason it seems like my past week turned into that.   So much so that I actually didn't go to my guild meeting on Thursday evening.  My decision was in part to be able to stay in and in part because I have my son's family for dinner one night a week and the week nights were running out.   I didn't get much stitching done and at this rate I feel like I will never finish this etui.    Never is a bit drastic......but it does conjure up imagines are all those WIP's!  lol    I know after this SAL I will not be signing on for another for quite awhile.   Although I love the fellowship and the support, we seem to pick projects that come with 9 and 12 month completion schedules.   I want to be able to start and finish something in under 9 months!  I guess I need the more instant gratification.  I have so many other irons in the fire and  it's not like stitching is my only activity.    Ouch!  Hmm, that's sounding harsh.  Of course, we are all busy and all are pulled in  a bunch of directions; and with the holidays approaching we are going to have our schedules streatched.  This past week just seemed to be one that pulled at my stitching time.
Children - In one of the blogs I follow, the author is talking about her kids traveling to different parts of the country and her motherly worrying.   I am right there with her.   I talked with my one daughter as she was driving 275 miles to meet some college friends for a girls weekend.   And yes, while I am thrilled and happy she still remains in contact with them and that she was doing a spa weekend with them, sometimes that worry wart mom side comes out.   I just wanted her to get there and be safe.   I felt bad as I signed off from our call because I was falling asleep.   She was calling - hands free - her girl friends to let them know how far out she was.   I think she was within an hour when we hung up.   (Aims! Hope you are enjoying!)
As for my eldest, I spent, what seems like the whole day behind the wheel driving from DE to Philly and them to Newark International Airport to Philly and then home again.      Her husband, my S-in-L was returning from his mountain climb and flying into a nor-easter.   All was well, he actually landed and was getting his luggage before we were parked.  The songs and stories about the New Jersey Turnpike do not do it justice.  Because for no apparent reason the traffic was moving slow.  It was good to have him home and great to hear his story of his trip.   He brought back some beautiful hand carved pieces and art work. 

Treamill Diary  - I did manage to get back on the treadmill today and put in 31 minutes.   I don't want to fall out of the routine and will not make excuses.   I did get out of the routine with my mother-in-laws passing and services.  I can say I got side tracked with other obligations but the words I used on my kids have come back to bite me in the you know what!   I used to tell them "you have the time if you take the time."  but I was often referring to picking up their room or doing dishes.   So, I guess I need to look at my walking as a job well done and not a chore......more words that a spouted routinely that are a bit tough to swallow.

Reading - I managed to finish Turning Angel by Greg Iles and immediately downloaded and started another Greg Iles book.   It is great to use my Kindle on the treadmill.   I enlarge the print for ease of reading and then just hit the 'next page' button.   It does pass the time quickly and it allows me to pursue my passion for reading at the same time.

As for tonight, I am off to a PartyLite party and perhaps I will be able to make a few Christmas present purchases.  We are to have a mild day Sunday weatherwise and I hope to do a bit of picking up in the yard and THEN will be stitching.   I already have dinner ready since I made a big casserole for my Mr. Wonderful since I will be out tonight and there will be plenty for tomorrow.  Sounds like a plan is forming......stitching after the treadmill.

Monday, November 9, 2009

African Update and Birthday Present


Spoke with my eldest daughter and she has been able to talk to her husband.   He has ascended and descended Mt. Kilomanjiro.   He is apparently a legend in Arusha for some unknown reason.   Maybe they consider him that crazy american?  He is back in Arusha and prepping to leave tomorrow for Amsterdam for his connecting flight back to the US.   Asked what the next mountain he will climb is his reply was....he doesn't think he will climb again for a while.   We both think it is the exhaustion talking.   He will be planning his next (his second) climb probably before he lands back in the USA.   It may not be year or two but I bet he does it again.  I can't wait to see him, hear the stories and see the photos.

Since my other daughter was home for a family funeral, I gave her her birthday present rather than having to making it at the end of the week.    Well before she opened all the way, she said......"You didn't get me a Big Shot, did you?"  Yes, of course I did.   I introduced her to Stampin Up and card stamping last year on a visit home.   She now meets regularly with a group near her and is even in a club,  She told me all about SplitCoasters.com and puts me to shame with all the new and different stamping techniques she has learned and made.   So guess what, she already has one.   Well, there is no dilemma.  I wanted one but wouldn't spend the money on myself for one.  Sure, I'd spend it on my kids....you know how that goes.   I am excited.   We went to Joanne's yesterday afternoon and got a couple fo Sizzix dyes and played last night.   I need to stitch for next couple of nights to make up for lost time but will have to make up some Christmas Cards this weekend.    As for my daughter's birthday, looks like I am buying her a new jacket.   All's well.  I was secretly happy that I had picked out something that she liked....afterall she had already bought one which proves it.


For those who asked.....here is my Big Shot ......  It is a tool for card cutting and more.   You can cut fabric, paper, tin, felt.   It consists of a platform and a roller you crank your dies through.   





It is hard to see here, but this is the general deal.   You have two lucite plates.  Between the plates you sandwich your paper and the die.   Of course, don't be silly, yes they are sold separately.     

You then feed this 'sandwich' through the machine and it does the rest.
You get a perfect cut, everytime.



Stampin Up has some really cool dies.   I of course coudn't wait to mail order one and we ran to Joanne's to buy a couple.   Staying with the season, I got the christmas tree and the snowflake.     I especially like the little gift tags and the little favor boxes that Stampin Up offers.   It is perfect for those times you want to mass produce. 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Blogoversary! Give-away

Okay, Official Giveaway Stuff to celebrate my Blogoversary.

I have had a blog for 3 years but it has not been until the last year that I really got into it.  Not only into my blog but a more regular follower of others blogs.   To celebrate the joy of sharing with others, I created a very eclectic giveaway.

1) I'm giving an assortment to one lucky reader of my blog.  More pix and contents listed below.
2) Enter the giveaway by leaving me a Happy Blogoversary comment on this post only.
3) Get a second entry by being a Follower of my blog. Let me know in your comment that you are a Follower.
4) Get another entry by posting about my giveaway on your blog. Leave a comment to let me know, please. 
5)  You can leave all your info in one comment - a blog comment, follower info and posting on your blog comment.   I will still count each individually.
6) No blog, no problem...but leave your email!
7) The winner will be chosen by random drawing on Thanksgiving Day.
8) I will post the winner's name and we will work out delivery instructions at that time.

a) Stitchers Journal
b) JBW French Country Amore'

c) DMC Linen Floss collection
d) Little House Needleworks - Two Red Houses

This giveaway is hosted to thank all of your for reading my blog, for leaving me lovely comments, and for broadening my horizons with your clever blogs as well.  I know I have fun 'window shopping' and looking at the eye candy on others sites.   I have seen and learned so much by following others.  Thank you all for visiting my blog today.

All the items are unused.   Some are from my stash and some are from my LNS. 

e) Thread cutter and magnifying glass with 3 x 5 graph tablet
f) Magnifying glass** This is everso 'gently' used. I used it like twice and decided I didn't like it


 
g) Milleneum ABC Sampler

h) Bent Creek Christmas Row
i) Rosewood Manor Charming Tulips

Blogoversary!

Sorry for the delay in the Blogoversary posting.   We have had a death in the family.   Although it was following a long illness one is never really prepared.   My time since last week has been spent making arrangements with family and going over details.     We have had some warm thoughts and good laughs remembering a wife, a mother, a mother-in-law, a grandmother.

I hope to be able to photograph my give-a-way and post by tomorrow (Sunday).   Right now I have kids sleeping in the room with my stash!  I hope to get some stitching in this morning as things wind down after yesterday's services.   Stitching is always what calms me, releaves my tension and keeps my blood pressure down.   All of you who stitch know the therapeutic  value of needle and thread.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Becky's got us all beat!

I follow Becky's Bee Stitching Hive  http://beckysc.blogspot.com/.   Her site and work are beautiful and equal to her decorating for holidays.  She goes right from Halloween to Christmas.

I was checking her site out this morning and see she has a Christmas tree in her kitchen.   A few years ago when I started doing the same, no one got it.  It was just more evidence to my family that I was goofy.   But I figured  why not?   So, for Becky, here's the photo I dug out of my album.   Not the best photo.  I don't remember the tree looking so skimpy on the decorations.  I used cookie cutters, little whisks, strung popcorn and cranberries, other kitcheny stuff and somewhere on there are gingerbread men.  Actually if you click on the photo you will see the cookie cutters that are not showing up.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Not much stitching going on so far today

First, my little Gavers in his Halloween costume last night giving me his Batman pose, then his mom, or rather my wonderful d-in-l!.

Yesterday after work - yes another Saturday spent at the office - I went to the Goodwill Store.   I am usually at the back door dropping off but went inside to shop today.   I got a sparkling holiday shell, a gray wool blazer, a BRAND new Jones New York white blouse and you know you can never have too many of white tops.   I also got two new sweathers and neither of these looks like they have ever been worn.  Five items for $19.  What an inexpensive way to broaden my wardrobe.   The is the ultimate recycling.   

I did manage a bit of stitching during the week.   You know how sometime you stitch and stitch and don't see or feel any progress?   Well at least it happens to me......sometimes I feel like I am stitching in slow motion.   That was not the case this week.  I seemed to be able to show progress even if I didn't stitch for hours on end.  It's too bad the pink peony intersecting hearts in the center don't show up to well.

Picked up a new book last week and I can be almost as obsessed with reading as stitching.   I can't put this book down.   It is called "Turning Angel" by Greg Iles.   A very easy read and a real page turner.    It is set in small town south.   A prominent doctor has an affair with an underage girl and she gets murdered.   Oh course he is a suspect and the powers to be seem to be trying to railroad him.  All kinds of twists and turns, drugs and back room politics and that is all I can say without giving too much away.   This is the first book by Iles that I have read and I know it won't be the last.   I can just picture the antebellum mansions and the spanish moss on the trees and Smokey and the Bandit cops. 

I hope to post my Blogoversary giveaway this week.   I have a pile of things and need to do a little stash cleanout to see what else I can come up with as well as hit the LNS for some fibers.

Off to the treadmill and then need to bake a birthday cake for Gavin.  He is 8 years old and wants a Devil's Food cake and the homemade ice cream that I will wait and make with him after dinner tonight will be a surprise.   Lord knows we have enough Reese's peanut butter cups to smash up and add.

Note:   My daughter has spoken to her husband who is in his hotel in Tanzania getting ready for bed.  He is there to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro!  Why?   Because he can.   He has to be 'in country' for 24 hours before the expedition.   His climb starts on Monday.  This is his first big climb and we are happy, anxious and excited for him all at the same time.  Go Mikey!