Monday, November 29, 2010

Is this crazy talk or what?

I have been reading some of your posts about the Crazy 15 Challenge for 2011.      Why, I ask???   How, I ask??? and again, Why, I ask?    Why would I want to make myself any more stressed or crazy then I am trying to complete all those projects?   How do people stitch that many things and still go to work and clean their houses? and Why 15?   Where'd that number appear from?   Why not 12 - one a month.   I think I am a quick stitcher until I see what some others turn out!  Geez!  I play it off by justifying to myself it is because I go off in too many directions - community groups, volunteer groups, working out at the gym, officer and chairmanship rolls - that each steal precious stitching time and that is without mentioning the dreaded time sucking votex of the internet and the hours at a time never to be recaptured.  Truth is I can be a ding-bat and just kind of forget what I am doing or even why I came in a room.....anyone relate to that one?

I had to chuckle (sorry!!) at Jodie of http://katescraftyblog.blogspot.com/   where she posted about this challenge.   Jodie is so sweet and so young and doesn't have 15 patterns in her stash pile!  OMG  I must have 10 times 15 in my patterns waiting to be done, many of which are kitted up and I will never ever get to.    I offer one up to Jodie if she tells me what she likes!   I just love to see younger girls take an interest in stitching.   Seriously, Jodie, comment on what you like and if I have it, I'd be glad to send it your way.   Maybe I should say, if a comment were to TURNIP from you......unless you have read Jodie's blog, you won't understand. 

I like a challenge and might have to consider joining especially if I mix it up with some quilting kits and wool workings.......hmmm......I even counted my starts/finishes for 2010 and was surprised to tally up 11, and 10 books I read and that was in the mist of prepping for a wedding!......sounds like I might be leaning towards taking on the challenge........what's the worst that world happen.....more WIP's? ........that is before I spied the current size of my WIP pile! 

The jury is out on this one ladies for me and it will depend if I have time to do a stash search to see what I have that I might fancy stitching in 2011 and if I believe I can be faithful about not doing any doing only minimal STASH ENHANCEMENT in 2011!    I wonder if I have 15 zippered project bags?

Friday, November 26, 2010

My TRASH is your TREASURE Winner

But first.....

Two days of cooking
One day of cleaning
Countless bags of groceries unloaded from the car
Lots of good food
Side splitting laughter with family
........a nap when the kids went to visit friends after dinner------priceless

I hope all enjoyed their Thanksgiving Day.

and now for Black Friday ...... you won't find me Mall hopping.   I put a value on my time and the frustration of parking lots and crowds and dealing with rude people in checkout lines and having to listen to crying kids and factor in with the savings offset by the blood pressure rise and the general headache and vote NO!  Almost all my holiday shopping is completed already and there will be internet shopping this weekend to finish up.  

One shopping exception will for the trip to the quilt shop in Middletown DE - The Lil Country Shoppe.  Their weekday hours don't allow me time to shop and I definitely need some Christmas red and Christmas green wool.  With my daughter here from Boston it is a great way for her and I to have some girl time.

And then it will be off to Philly to visit my eldest daughter.  She convinced (or guilted or enticed) us to a visit today with the promise of sharing some of her stash.   She needs help paring down her fiber and fabric stash....so her trash becomes our treasure which rolls right into the winner of my Trash to Treasure give-a-way.........using the random number generator and the numbers 1 to 109 (the number of followers as of mid-night November  7).....and the winner is........Linda of Two Succulant Sisters.        Linda  - Please email me at red1974@hotmail.com with your mailing address and I will get your envelope of beads and fabrics off to you.    If I don't get an email from Linda by Dec. 3rd, I will draw another number.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The ABC's of Me!

Borrowed from Meari.....just for fun.....
A - Age: 50-something
B - Bed size: Queen-sized Sleep Number
C - Chore you hate: Filing paperwork
D - Dog's name: NA
E - Essential start your day item(s): Stitching time
F - Favorite color: Blues, especially turquoise
G - Gold or Silver: Gold
H - Height: 5' 5"
I - Instruments you play: LOL - I have NO rhythm
J - Job: Executive Administrative Assistant
K - Kids: 2 daughters, 1 son, 1 son-in-law, 1 daughter-in-law
L - Living Arrangements: Married with Children with a mortgage!
M - Music you love: Easy Listening/piano instrumentals/Drum Corp and quad solos
N - Nicknames: Rob
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Yes
P - Pet Peeve: Drama. All the drama some people generate
Q - Quote from a movie: ...."turn you from a rooster to a hen in one shot", Dolly Parton, Steel Magnolias
R - Right or left handed: Left
S - Siblings: 1 sisters, 1 brothers, 2 half brothers
T - Time you wake up: 5:30AMish
U - Underwear: All colors, all styles
V - Vegetable you dislike: Love them all, especially if I can melt cheese on them
W - Workout Style: YMCA 3 times a week
X - rays you've had: Mammo, spine, hips, radioactive uptakes of thyroid
Y - Yummy food you make: Seven Layer Cookie Bars!
Z - The best place to visit: Either of my daughers!

And now you know my ABC's, won't you play along with me?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ABC's of Reading

I adapted this idea from Anna at http://stitchbitch.blogspot.com/2010/11/bookish-sunday.html.   A lot of people enjoy reading and  since a lot of us post the lists of books we read, I thought this was a neat challenge to myself and a neat way to keep track of what I/we/what everyone is reading. 

Reading is such an escape.  It opens up so much; it takes you away; it allows you to travel to the far corners of the world, to dream, to laugh, to cry, to yearn and to learn.   I loved reading to my kids when they were little.  I remember struggling with my son who didn't like to read and when in about the 4th grade I coaxed him to read the little snippets at the end of articles in the Reader's Digest.   Now, 20 years later, the Reader's Digest is a staple on the Christmas to all three of my children. 

I read almost nightly while Mr. W and I have our *quality time*.  When he comes in from the 'barn' he puts his iPod on the player and we listen to music.  I also read on my treadmill.  Boy can I rack up the miles when I am into a good book.


Here are the rules for my challenge to myself  --- ABC's of Reading --- I will list a book I've read that starts with each letter of the alphabet. (I don't count the "T" in the lead word "The", or "A")   If I don’t have a book for a letter (such as Z or X) then I will  substitute a book that simply has that letter in the title (ex. The Lost City of Z). However, I will only allow myself three of these WILDCARDS.  (Z, X, and Q. But not Z, X, Q, and V.)  My books will most likely be fiction and autobiographical.  But you could do it with any genre from fiction to non-fiction to poetry to textbooks.   I haven't put any deadline on this and I have a non-impressive average of 12 books a year.  

I've already listed my duplicate letters as my wildcards at the bottom of the list waiting for a place I may need to plug them in!  See my sidebar to the right for my *partial* list.   Looks like I've got a lot of letters open still!    Looks like I may need some ~title~ suggestions for some of these letters.

Feel free to copy the idea and create your own challenge and join in!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turning the corner

Pumpkins on the Hill little pillow
 Literally........I have been dedicating little BURSTS of time to this project and that and can report progress on all fronts.......well maybe not all fronts.......but at least on the crafting fronts.   I did the finishing on my bent Creek Pumpkins on the Hill.


Turning the corner on the inner border

Here is my progress on my Drawn Thread Love and Wisdom. This is the quild project that I got fed with because I felt like it was all I was working on and put in the WIP pile for 2 years. WOW! now that I have picked it up again, I feel like I am flying through it. Maybe it is the scroll frame I have it on. I have worked in hand for so long and still believe on some projects it will be my preferred method but I am learning to love the scroll frame again. I have several stitching friends that swear by the scroll frames so I thought, what the hey! see if I can work with it. Wow-wee Ca-zow-wee! I just love loosening those wing nuts and rolling the linen up to advance the fabric.


Loving these little features of my scroll frame
A place to keep threads ready for the needle



Oh boy! Don't even want to think about framing costs!


One thing about the scroll frame.....less wrinkles

Another way I am grabbing little snippets of time is to go into my sewing room each night before I go to bed and lay out the pieces for my next (machine) sewing step on my Hokey Pokey quilt.   I am amazed at the progress I have been able to make in a week's time by spending 20 to 30 minutes in the morning cutting, piecing and/or trimming.   84 squares down and 84 to go! 

I have alternated the morning sewing with stolen minutes wrapping Christmas presents.   I refuse to get myself caught up in the "Oh no, too much to do, too little time and now I am wrapping on Christmas eve" again like last year.

I really think a lot of us probably put things off with the disclaimer there is not enough time......well there may not be enough time to wrap ALL the presents but if I can knock out a package here and half dozen there, just like a stitch or 50 here and there, there is no way I won't be making progress on all fronts!  Yeah me!  Just like the tortoise and the hare.....I am just plugging along little bit by little bit.   I will just keep that handy kitchen timer nearby so I get in the shower and off to work on time........enjoy your week everyone!  Happy Stitching and Safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Eeeeeeeuuuuuuuhhhhh!

 Or however you spell the word associated with GROSSNESS!   I need a preliminary statement here about the cleanliness of my house.   My matra has always been "clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy".  That said, I know I am cleaner then most but not as fanatical as some but I am feeling creepy crawly right about now.  

 I went upstairs - the empty part of the my empty nest where my sewing room is - and starting the cleaning of the windows and mirror in the bath.    The window had not been shut or sealed all the way and I had a whole lot of those nasty stick bugs that everyone is complaining about all fall.   They were all in the window mechanism when I tilted the window in the wash.   I can tell you the Windex may not kill them but it will render them 'stunned' long enough to flick them outside.   EEEUUUUUUUUHHHHHH!

   Not only that, when I moved the curtains there were a bunch in the folds of the curtains so out the windows I threw the curtains, rod and all.   I have no clue nor do I care what the neighbors raking their leaves next door thought when they saw that like exhibit of craziness! Yuck!  Who knew an internet search for images would produce so many varietys.   I am not sure which ones I saw flicked out the window at the other end of my screw driver! And I have an exterminator come regularly!   These little critters are keeping me from potential stitching time!

Two Birds Crewel Work


My class progress

A closer view of Mrs. Bird

Or as some of us said, Two Cruel Birds.....for those of us that are cross stitchers exclusively it is hard to make that transition from structure to total free form.  Crewel is just that, it is what the instructed called, painting with thread.    This is part of my discovery from the crewel class yesterday with my guild.   Funny thing is as we all chatted we found many of us started with crewel work in the 70's when the patterns and wools used were limited.  For me, this is a fun project. 
I liked adding the leaves and berries

What a differnece adding the eye made and I am loving the beak
  Since it was a 'pilot class' and they were trying to keep the costs down I don't have color pix of the completed project.  Before week's end I should be receiving them by email not only to share but for my (much needed) benefit.

And now because I have been a crafting fool for two days and nights, I need to get my butt in gear and get some things done around here.

Thanks for visiting and I really enjoy the comments.   For regular followers make sure you check out the photos I uploaded of My Trash and Your Treasure.......Have a great week everyone.............

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fall Frenzy Shop Hall

My daughter and I took a bus trip yesterday for our first Fall Shop Hop Frenzy!  It was great fun and we got great stuff.   We traveled from Delaware to PA and back visiting 9 of the 10 stores on our 'passports'.   In addition to getting to visit some great shops and getting sensory overloading, we enjoyed the day with a great group of ladies......hmmmm, a new guild membership maybe in my future.  

Since I am just a beginner, I was the apprentice to their vast knowledge, terms and techniques.   Of course, there was SEX - Stash Enhancement eXperience going on.

Some fat quarters from the "civil war" fabric section -except for the snowman one on the bottom!

I love this Moda collection - complete and ready for a quilt!
And then there is my daughter. She is the self-described ...."Whiskey swilling, sailor talking, motor-cycle riding, spinning and knitting librarian"...... off early this morning, while the thermometer still registered 38 degrees outside.......she is returning to Philly to be at work by 8:45 this morning. Brrrrrrrrrrrr......she is going to be chilled to the bone after that 40 minute ride on the interstate! Kids!
Bundling up

My little alien

Her BMW model of choice
Believe it or not, she managed to pack all her stash in her trunk bag and tank bags.  Drat, none left here for me to play with.

Off she goes

Be safe my little one.....hope hubby has hot coffee for your arrival! and don't forget to text your MOM when you arrive!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My TRASH could be your TREASURE II ***UPDATED WITH GIVEAWAY PHOTOS***


As I was cleaning and picking up the house yesterday, I came across no less that 25 little floss cards.   Each wrapped neatly (kind of) and numbered with DMC floss number.   Some were in a tin on my coffee table, some in a zip lock bag in my stitching basket, some in my bill box, some in my basket I put coupons in in the kitchen and one was even in my jewelry box. 
I piled them on the stairs for a trip to my sewing room at a later date.    Yesteday, I knew I would have that date today.   I put the kitchen timer on for one hour otherwise I would be up there all day and headed upstairs to start to work.    First I put away my floss in the little plastic boxes I have but what did I find?   The floss box had a couple of sections filled with beads and one with buttons.  
Now, my motto is.......put like things together!   I am compulsively neat about somethings and a complete mess about others.   So of course the filing of the floss lead to the sorting of the beads and then the folding of the linen and the re-setting of the kitchen times 2 mores times and you get the picture.   Sorry to say, but it one of my favorite ways to spend a few hours on the weekend.    Not every weekend mind you but now and again is alright. 
So that leads me to my Trash and Treasure event!    I came across a lot of stuff that at one time I liked.  Or stuff that I have no idea how, when, why I have it.   If I am honest with myself, I know I will never use some of this stuff.   Tastes change or worse, I forget I have it and buy it again.    I was going to pack these things up and store in the YARD SALE box for the yard sale that never happens.   I thought it better to just pass it on.  I don't have photos yet but I have made a little pile of things I want to get rid of.  I didn't do anything when I hit the 100 mark on followers so I guess that is what I will be my celebration of passing 100.  

So to be entered, you don't have to do anything, just be a follower as of mid-night November 7, 2010.   I will post photos shortly under  this same posting and will use the random generator thing-a-ma-bob to select a winner on Thanksgiving Day!  

I think I will go through patterns after the first of the year and do the same thing.   I mean seriously.  If I were to live another 54 years and be of sound mind and eyesight and able to stitch that long, I might, just might run out. 

Some navy 28 - 30 ct, a printed 18 ct, a hand towel ready for x-stitch


2 1-yard each 28 ct. great for bell pulls.  Some 16 count pink and a whole hunk of 24?? ct. Aida

Just Nan Little Whimsy frames

Cone shapes Aida (I used one in cream for a flower girl bag) and a little wire hanger.

Assorted beads - great for embellishing some Christmas Ornies!
Oh, and another find, about 50 skeins of floss that I have never wound onto cards but rather were stuffed here there and everywhere!  So, on my November list of objectives is to wrap three or four each night and get them wrapped, numbered and filed away neatly in their proper order in my little floss boxes!   

This is the tangle of floss I gathered ............

....and here is where I hope these skeins reside in the near future!

My TRASH could be your TREASURE

Stay tuned for this one..........I've got something up my sleeve but no time to post about it now.   I have to run out to a community event my Arts Board is hosting.......ta ta for now!

My TUSAL

I have missed a new moon or two but here is my ort mug!  It sits in my basket with my smalls and my wash cloth I am knitting and my tablet I take to guild meetings for notes.  These are all the things that surround me (or rather sit on my coffee table) as I stitch.




Just to give you an idea of how LARGE my mug is.....that is a stanard size bottle of nail polish next to it.

New Start


My latest start - JBW French Country ABC's.

I am working on my Drawn Thread Love and Wisdom sampler which was a group project with my guild 2 years ago.   I kept up with them through the first 6 to 8 months but all my stitching time was devoted only to it and I got frustrated by all the other projects calling to me from the stash pile!

I am more than halfway but even after two nights of stitching, the progress looks minimal but I am committed to keeping at it so I can make that WIP list shorter.  I decided to work on a WIP and alternate with a new *smaller* project at the same time.    I seem to get discouraged when I have a larger project and I get closer to completion in invisible increments.......ergo, a smaller project at the same time.  The smaller stitch with be my *traveling* stitchie thing that I take to work, take to a friends, etc. instead of the big bohemeth of a scroll frame and a Ka-billion colors.  

I'm curious, what does everyone else do?   One at a time?  Do you have bags labeled for each day of the week (just like our underwear used to be LOL!!!)    and stitch from Tuesday and Tuesday?  Do you have 'traveling' projects?  Do you have an array of starts and work on whatever your mood? I guess there is no one size fits all and it is whatever works for you.    Whatever your method, I hope you get in some stitchie time this weekend and are able to see some progress.

Out with the old, some if it anyway

 
 Time to change my header and time for all the jack 'o lanterns to be put away. Fortunately I am leaving up what I need for fall decorating. Silly me keeps a tree up year round and decorates it seasonally.  Here is the Halloween version.  After some minor 'tweaks' it will ready to be  my fall tree.







Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.   I think because I remember the fun of the Thanksgiving football games which maybe at the time the teeth chattering temps I didn't think were so much fun.......A little history, I was the HS Band Booster President or Secretary or Treasurer or plain old Booster for over 8 years.   Anyone who has been involved with high school band knows that they practice more hours per week than the football team.   Not only that, their season runs from July to June.   Each year there were 60 to 100 kids that we spent 3-4-5 days each week with.   Everyone needs to belong to something and these were the kids that weren't necessarily atheletes........except for that year when our Drum Major was the Capt of the football team and at half-time Carl jumped on the scaffold to conduct the band in his football uniform.  (I need to dig up a pix of that out of the old shoebox!)  Over the years we had a girl with bi-lateral hearing aids on the flag team and a boy who was blind who played the tympany and carried one side of the banner in parades.  I loved those exhausted years....which accounts for the low stitching turn out in the 90's.   But anyway, enough of my soapbox......





I remember getting up at the pre-crack of dawn to stuff the turkey and get it in the oven before I made big igloo coolers full of hot chocolate for 100. Coming in the house from the game, having spent time with my band family, entering the house filled with the delicous smell with your cheeks rosey and so cold they hurt always made me feel like I was walking into a Norman Rockwell life.
Thanksgiving, to me,  is just that simple.....it is a time of Thanksgiving. To appreciate family and friends and tradition. There is no pressure, just good smells and good food and good fun with family and friends. I don't know whether I am cooking this year or if we will all travel to the City of Brotherly Love to my daughter's, but I know there will be good food, good smells, good family and friend time and then the food coma that follows. And no, my good feelings of Thanksgiving do not carry over to Black Friday. No good memories there!