Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Find

My girls and I hung out together in Philly for a couple of days. Staying over at Heather's - my eldest - is always the best. Much laughter, good food, good times. We did some shop hopping at fabric stores, etc. We scouted out a consignment shop and I found a goodie.
  This all wooden table will be a new plant stand. I haven't decided if I will refinish it or shabby chic it with some Williamsburg blue paint. A little rearranging will need to be done once the holiday decor comes down but I am feeling it could be a new home to my orchids.   Best thing is that is was only $24.00!!!




Is it the memory that goes first?

It has been a fabulous week with family here.....and today the last of my childen went out the door for her drive home.    Now I will worry for the next 6 and half hours while she is on the road.   It is not like things can't happen at other times but driving at 65 (or 70 mph) does seem to accelerate your probability shall we say. 
A surprise Christmas present - my son - we thought he wouldn't be home for the holidays because of work but he and his family made it!

So to the memory part, in my mind's eye, as I was assembling and listing my WIP's for 2012, I am remembering I have all but finished the stitching for my Petite Sampling Etui....so sure was I that I never took it out of the storage case I had it in.......maybe it was the fact that it was a BAP that I felt I was 198% complete........well, here is where the memory kind of fails.


The top section, which is the last section I need to complete, is not 98% complete although the overall project is probably is 98% complete.   This was about a year's worth of stitching devoted to just one project and that is not me....I am Side Track Robin who gets easily pulled off task.  Why is this a big deal??   I am going on a Camp Wannasew Retreat on the 13th of January and had planned on working on the finishing while there.   This finishing is one of those tasks that will best not interrupted by phone calls, pop in visitors or the need to cook dinner and make beds.  I thought the retreat would be a good time to concentrate on it. 


Here are the four sides and then the bottom and the top.  We did it as a SAL and had two months for each side.  It was a guild project in 2010 and now I MUST assemble it before Ellen Chester comes to teach at our guild in April.   I think if I concentrate on this stitching project and not let me Stitchers ADD interfere, I can finish this up with no problem before the 13th.   The pressure is on.......oh wait, not putting pressure on myself is supposed to be one of my New Year's Resolutions....again the memory has failed.
 




Here's some of my brood taking naps. Even Troy, the puppy.  Yes, the girls all got matching pj's.   Santa spirited these under the tree magically on Christmas Eve.

The family being here was great and everyone helped with food prep and meals and dishes but I did feel like I was stationed at the kitchen sink forever.  It was so nice to enjoy each others company and sleeping arrangements were a challenge since one bedroom is now a craftroom and another bedroom is now a walk-in closet.   We had a dormatory set up with cots, double futon and Aero beds.  But again the memory failed......at the amount of toilet paper a full house needs!   Not that there was ever a doubt I would run out, but I did hear more than once, "we're out of TP upstairs"..... family, got to love them! 


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays one and all

No matter what your belief or way of worship, I wish you all a joyous and happy, healthy and safe holiday season.   May you be surrounded by loved ones, may there be much joy and happiness,  may there be beverages with or without spirits and may your plates and bellies be full!

Thank you one and all for your visits and comments to my blog.   I love reading each and every one.   I am still amazed at this thing - the Internet - and how is has connected stitchers and crafters around the world at the click of a button.    As much as I love the comments, I also love looking at each of your blogs, following your progress, your finishes and your families.

At my house we are ready for Santa to make the magic.......for now, a little baking and prepping veggies and dips......


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

....Laundry Room Status

The room has been primed and painted and flooring in and trim and new doors are in.....washer and dryer are set and look like a space ship control panel when lighting up the dark.....what's missing...the cabinets and countertop.....anticipated delivery.....January 3rd.....it is what it is......nothing to fret over......in the meantime, I can wash and dry til my heart's content. 

All that glitters.....



I just love these snowflakes.   The only addition to my Christmas decorations this year.

I picked these us for 75% off.....the only way I shop....coupons and sales!



I put up several trees - the lunacy of it!!!  and mixed the trees up this year.   Not intentionally, but read on  and I explain.  These should have gone on the smaller tree but oh well.    It is the Squirrel Tree - a tribute to my husband's encounter with a squirrel.
  
All things woodsey and squirrel like

I have managed to complete my tree decorating and house decorations as they have come in spurts this year. I have been nursing a sore knee since Thanksgiving....not the end of the world but something to definitely make one weary after several weeks. I finally went to the doctor last week, got an rx for anti-inflammatories and had an X-ray. X-rays showed nothing other than an "arthritis flare". Gees, I didn't know I had arthritis in my knee/knees!!! So I have been alternating between nursing it and just being plain miserable by the time I get home from work. Couple that with not sleeping and I have been a pretty cranky old bird. They laughed at me because I took a bag of frozen peas to work and have been spending my lunch hour with my foot up and the frozen peas on my knee. Hey, it has helped with the swelling. Finally, after close to a month, I feel I am finally getting some relief. Golly, how one little old knee can make someone feel so miserable I'll never know. This getting old crap is for the birds!


Since I didn't do the traditional tree this year but I still wanted to be able to enjoy some of the ornaments, I did a little display on my coffee table in my family room.  I think it looks kind of cute but it doesn't photograph too well.
 Of course the early morning visits to the gym and all the holiday cookies at work and I believe I put back on the 9.5 lbs I lost with weight watchers! That constant battle with weight! Yuck!

Anyway, I had a girl's day out on Friday with my BFF Debbie (non-blogger and non-stitcher but recently expressing an interest in stitching....yeah, the power of stitching!!!) but I paid all weekend. I worked an hour, I iced the knee for an hour. In and out of the recliner all weekend, I worked on some of my WIP's. Well what's a girl to do when she is forced to be in the recliner with her feet up every other hour? Make use of that time to stitch of course!



I worked on the Sheltering Tree, The Basket of Blooms and Tequila Sunrise. I am pleased with the progress and so happy to see the end so closely in site for at least the Basket of Blooms with the other two now far behind.    I choose these three to work on not because of the percentage of completion but because of the overall amount to be done.   I figured a couple of quick finishes would be incentive to get the ball rolling and the needle flying.  What a diverse three.....cross stitch with silks, embroidery with DMC and canvas work with metallics. These are all in need of completion before I dare break my promise to start anything new. Can't do it, won't do it, don't dare even think about it. As much as I wish to stitch up ornaments, this is not the year. Those cuties will have to sit and wait for me and my resolve. 25 on that list of WIPs and a promise to not start anything new until retreat in May and only then if I have crossed a few off the list. I'm a numbers person and play all kinds of equations in my head. I am thinking to stay on pace and reduce this number to a manageable mess, I need to cross two a month off my list. I can do that......right?.....if I can, then how did I get myself in this fine pickle?

Ok, enough of my random rant of foolishness......time to get the ice pack out and put my feet up....housework?... it's not going anywhere.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

One Step Closer!

My flooring FINALLY arrived as well as a text from the contractor.   He is off to another job on Friday and Saturday and will be back on Monday to finish up.   Already I feel like I have finished room and not a little used to be a shed with a washer and dryer in it.   I came home to a surprise....the contractor had hooked up my washer and dryer for me to use!   I guess after two weeks without one, he felt sorry for me.   I told him he didn't have to hook them up but he did.   He told me during this whole experience that we are good customers and appreciates our business and our referrals to others so I guess that is why he did it.   That and because he is a great guy! 

Here's a pix of my floor and the tile I bought for the back-splash as well as a pic of my new W/D! The tile and the flooring is bringing out the blue in the wall paint. After I primed it on Monday and painted on Tuesday, my husband said it looked like the color of dry-wall!



Flooring on the left, tile for back slashon the right!


I have a load in already and I will freely admit I stood and watched it wash clothes probably for at least 5 minutes! 

Counting the days (and stitches)

I am so fortunate to have a bunch of vacation left.   Today is my Friday and next week I have only three days to work.   I am ready for a break from the rat race.   The family will be here and that is ALWAYS fun.   My son and his family cannot make it home for the holidays but we are hoping to drive out for a visit between Christmas and the New Year. 

My laundry room re-do is still in a stack of flux!  Fortunately it gave me time to prime it one evening and paint it the next.  I love painting a room.  I mean not really love the painting as much as the outcome and the fresh and clean feel you get.    I am waiting for the floor to come in.   I am finding it amazing how many stores do not stock what they sell.  It all comes from a 'warehouse' somewhere days away.  I get it.  I  mean I understand the lack of outlay companies have to cover for warehousing at each and every location.  What is more amazing is the lack of knowledge of the salespeople.  Do they all take the same course to BS customers and promise the customer anything to make the sale?  I would like to see knowledgeable sales people that give you the real skinny on delivery dates.   It is the domino effect.......I can't wash clothes because the washer and dryer aren't installed because the floor hasn't come in yet again yesterday - the third promised delivery date and it is holding up the contractor from coming to the next person's house.  

Funny, the woman I spoke with yesterday....the shipping clerk at the flooring store and NOT a salesman.....gave me the honest answer......."No one should have promised you that floor to be delivered in less than 10 days.  It comes via truck from Georgia only once a week and has to be ordered one week in advance."   Gee the salesman told me when I ordered it on a Saturday, "That supplier delivers every Friday."   Silly me, I didn't ask the right questions, yes, a delivery is made but will my order be on it......Sorry, it was implied it would be when he said it will be shipped to us on Friday.  Had I know 5 days would turn to 14 I would have gotten a vinyl remnant!  Well, maybe not.    I am sure when I see my flooring, it will be worth the wait.

....I am running out of clean socks......I may have to visit the local Suds Your Duds with my clothes like Mr. W. did last weekend with his.......sorry for the rant.......just have to get it off my chest ....kind of getting on my nerves with my dining room piled high with stuff.  Tell me, how does work in one small room cause the ENTIRE house to be upside down?   Another mystery of the universe I guess.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

WIP's of a couple of kind Clarification!!!

LOL!  No, I didn't start the Basket of Blooms in high school, I started doing embroidery in high school!

Monday, December 12, 2011

WIPs of a couple of kind

I took all your advice and started to work on the project with the least amount to do which is not necessarily the WIP closest to completion if you know what I mean. I picked up an old friend and stitched away on this goodie. My old friend, Em Broiderery, is the stitching I started with way back in high school.

A Basket of Blooms, purchased at the Longaberger Homestead

This may have only been about 10% complete but it is working up very quickly. I plan to make this into a pillow once completed. I don't know how much stitching time I will be able to get in this week.....work by day, prime and paint by night.....no rest for the weary.

Now for the before pix of my teeny tiny laundry room.......not much to look at here and not much that we have done to it since we moved in umpteen years ago.

My old faithfuls that I hate to part with....but lacking space, I have made a concession for new stacking units.  (Sorry folks - sometimes I can get the pix right where I want them and other times.....well they have a mind of their own.)

What's this? an unassuming closet outside the laundry room? Look what lurks inside...
This closet was closed off on the DR side and opened up into the laundry room side.

How did all this STUFF come out of that teeny tiny room and closet????

 The room used to end just to the right of the breaker box.  I now have 28 inches to the right of it.  
Pix don't show how much larger it feels with the closet incorporated into the laundry room.    More pix to be taken once I change into my painting clothes and get a move on....


Saturday, December 3, 2011

OMG!

In order to avoid this


The Christmas Decorating!  I dug into my WIP basket(s) and am appalled that I have 25 TWENTY-FIVE!! Yes, 25 WIP's.  Check out my tab above for the 2012 WIPocolypse for pix illustrating the horrible truth of my Stitching ADD!I  I have to think of a way of attack!  Should I start with the ones closest to completion or the opposite - the ones with the most to do?  Should I worked on the oldest to the newest?  Should I would in rotation or concentrate on one at a time?   Oh the decisions.....Looks like there will be no new start anytime soon in my future!  For now I have them ordered in a list on my sidebar listed by the amount completed.  

I think I will hereby resolve no new starts until Retreat in May and then only if I have been able to cross off at least 5 from my list. 

I should have stuck to my decorating!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Home Construction Update

I have "before" and "during" pictures but need to take some "after" shots this weekend during the day.   It's too dark when I get home from work to take a pix.  This sunsetting early and driving to and from work in the dark is really dreary.   Thankfully, just a couple more weeks of driving in the dark and we will slowly gain some minutes of daylight. 

So this is what we did....and why. My front porch - or a favorite spot to sit and watch it snow, or drink a Saturday afternoon coffee, or rock and read, etc. - the porch is about 25 years old. The tongue and grove fir flooring has absorbed moisture to the point that it is making "hills" in some spots and the wood was rotting under the columns. (the columns that I don't think fit the house)

 Whenever I was expecting company, I would strategically place a patio table across "El Porcho Hill".

This only hints at the rotting of the wood under the support columns....among other places.
  In normal fashion, not to be satisfied with just repairing the decking, the project expanded, shall we say.   I figured if we were replacing the decking, the support columns and railing would need to be removed so why not replace and upgrade?  Made sense to me and we are happy with the results.  

Now for the re-do, new rails and new composite decking. It is not too different in appearance. The entrance and step are wider. The railing more substantial and there are four instead of three columns.



Maintenance free and no more painting needed!  I am looking forward to decorating it for the holidays!  

Oldest WIP Status

Well I missed the last day of the month posting and hope this is not an indication of things to come.    Here is my meager progress on the oldest WIP.   Not much to show but I will get there....one stitch at a time.   The left section is now entirely stitched and backstitched.   I am now working on the right side motifs from the bottom up.  Visit Evalina at This and That and join in her challenge.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Framed and hung

Super quick - a look at my attempt to crackle paint. It isn't the best and I may someday sand it down and re-do it.





Saturday, November 26, 2011

A little diversion from stitching

Just call me Side-track Robin today.   I have flitted from project to project leaving some - like cleaning the two bedrooms upstairs half completed.    Now for a totally useless diversion.   I am just in from raking leaves, etc. outside.   Here on the east coast of the USA it is an unseasonally warm day and we are taking advantage of it with by cleaning flower beds, hanging clothes on the line and getting all the leaves raked.  In typical fashion, when I am ready for a rest (really a time-out), I surf through the blogs I follow.   Here's a neat thing that I have copied from the Stitch Bitch.

So just for fun, another book meme -

The book that’s been on your shelves the longest - Has to be Latin II from 8th grade Latin class.   Still with my neatly folder tissue paper typed list of the different tenses and diclensions.
A book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time). - I have a book on Upper Penns Neck history (now called Pennsville Township).   This book was written by my elementary school principal.   She had such a passion to local history and lore.   I remember our 6th grade class trip with the entire 6th grade of the school fit on one bus and we rode all around the county with stops here and there and the principal pointing out different historical facts.   To this day, I still can ride by some of these points of interest and see her standing facing all our eager faces and tellings us the local trivia.
A book you acquired in some interesting way:  A Girl Scout Handbook - I was at a yard sale two towns away and was flipping through books and opened the book and saw my mother's name as the leader.  At the time I didn't even know she had ever been a Girl Scout leader but her name was unusual and I recognized the scout's name as a friend of my older sister's.   I bought the book and later confirmed with my sister that yes, indeed, my mother was her troop leader.

The book that’s been with you to the most places: hmmmm, I'd have to say my Kindle or more recently my Kindle Ap on my iPad.   I know that is, a stretch but it is all I got!
The most recent addition to your shelves: See above - I rarely buy paperbacks anymore.   I will buy a good craft book because there is no replacement to a good instruction book in your hands.   Most recently I purchased "Put em up"  A book on canning!
Your current read: A Time In Between - hard to get into
Your last read: 1,000 White Women - awesome!   Hope it is a movie one day.
The book you’ll read next:  Probably will be the next in the series for me of the Janet Evanovich/Stephanie Plum series - #9.  With the holiday season approaching, reading time will be limited and light, entertaining reading will be in order.  Who knows what Stephanie and Joe Morelli are up to!!

What a difference a day makes

 How we went from this
........... to this in a quick turnaround.
 
I needed my dining room table to lay out my son's quilt. This will be the biggest thing I have ever tried to machine quilt. I don't know how well I will fare. Once it was all pinned together I rolled it from opposite sides towards the middle so I can start machine quilting.

   It got as far as looking like a giant anaconda on the steps.  I hope to steal a half hour each evening to run a few passes with the machine on the quilting.  


I spent some stitching time finishing some finishes. These are two of from Bent Creeks Americana Collection trio. The leaflet had the info about the frames used so a quick email a couple of months back resulting in a quicker yet deliver of the frames.


I am also working on framing up JBW's French Country Alphabet. I took a Walmart frame, I am painitng it geen then then plan to add a top coat of white paint after using a crackle medium.

It has been  fun to craft and sew and do non-stitching but still stitch related crafting. My to-be-finished basket is not quite as full as my WIP basket and it is now three projects smaller.


Tiny bits of progress on my oldest UFO project.  First, I have the entire left side now completed.  There is not too much left on the right side. However, all the back stitching can be time consuming.