Sunday, October 30, 2011

Goodwill Find

I forgot to share this find I picked up a Goodwill a few weeks back when I dropped off mega boxes.   I love the sunlight through stained glass.  For now, it is hanging in my dining room.

This one is actually three tansom style windows I did and later had mounted in one frame.   It hangs in the upstairs powder room.  Now I have a reminder front and center to press and rehang the cafe curtains I washed a few weeks back and threw into the ironing basket.  Depending on the time of day the sunlight will cast sparkling colors all the way down the stairs and into the living room.

Sorry to show the toilet but I just love the splashes of color that travel with the moving sun.

Here's another.   This one my dad made so it is special.   I helped him create the design and he did in the 1980's.   Again in a bathroom. Not as much sparkle happening with this one.

And last, the first piece I made.   Not in the bathroom but in the laundry room.  Turquoise is my favorite color.  I really hope to be able to get back to my stained glass work when things slow down from my volunteer work (???) or when I retire.   I have a S.T.A.B.L.E. stash of glass to keep me going for awhile.   Working with glass, you only get better with practice and I am way out of practice.   Maybe during the long winter nights I can pick it up again.   Right! like that's going to happen.

End of October

I, for one, am glad October is ending.   It has been a busy and sometimes stressful month as my calendar will attest to.   Not much stitching going on.
I  - true to form - have started yet another copy of projects before finishing already WIP's but alas, I resisted through August before I strayed from my resolve and if I rationalize class pieces as not counting than it is not too bad. 

 First up I have been selected to do La-D-D's ABCD in Peg of Kentucky Sampler's Traveling Pattern. It *could* be a fast stitch if I *could* dedicate some serious stitching time. The pattern comes with a journal that the previous stitches write about their choices of fabric and floss and stitching experience before they pass the pattern and journal to the next person.
 Fun fun fun to read what previous stitchers have written but intimidating to me how quickly some have turned around the pattern....not so for me.  It will be my focus this week between meetings and obligations. 

 Last weekend saw my BFF and I in New Hope PA for four days of R & R. Leisure lunch at the Full Moon Cafe in Lambertville NJ and awesome dinner at the Blue Tortilla the next night and a ghost tour of New Hope one night. Peddler's Village was fun and all decorated for Halloween. 

 Two very important aspects - evening and morning beverages.    No hotel coffee pot for us!  Deb brings her own Mr. Coffee on all trips and sets that puppy to start at 6 -6:30 for that first cup of brew.
 So, this weekend, several of us ventured up the Northeast Extension to the Lehigh Valley EGA class with Catherine Theron. What a nice class and we have been looking forward to this for several months. How we crafters don't let a little old nor'easter keep us from our passion.

 Overnight bags were packed  *just in case* we needed to get a room at the Hampton Inn.   Fortunately Catherine excelerated the class so we could get out of dodge early.   I have to admit, near white out conditions and no plowing and trees across the road of the two-lane, no shoulder turnpike was a bit forboding.  Oh and basically 50 miles between exits too.  All was well for most of the ride since there were virtually no other vehicles except, Peggy Sue - my Pruis, on the road.   Obviously we made it without incident and it only took us about 45 minutes longer than it did to get there.   While the snow was beautiful, it was scary with all the trees down in Bethlehem PA and on the road to Allentown and then the NE Ext to Philadelphia.     
This is  the scissors minder from the class.     It's finished but not finished as we all understand.  Catherine was great and we hope we will be able to bring her to DVHSG next year to teach a companion piece.
So for now, swtiching out summer and winter clothes in my closest the rest of the day and attack to my mountain of volunteer paperwork in on my agenda.

And most important - I have been keeping up with the exercising and even took a yoga class this week.   Weigh in at Weight Watchers saw a 5 lb loss the first week and a 0.04 lb gain the second week.   Everyone tried to be encouraging the 0.04 was really nothing but I'd sure count it if it were a loss.   Lost count of points and too much alcohol when I was away - I mean 1 or 2 drinks a night is not too much UNLESS you are dieting.   Back on the plan this week and hope to report a minus after this week's weigh in on Wednesday. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A bit of this and that

In no particular order, first the weather this weekend has been awesome.   Yesterday was crisp and breezy and I love breezy days.   The sheets that hung on the line smelled so good when I got into bed last night.    Before heading to bed I sat by the outside fire pit with a glass of wine and read.  Another great smell,  the smell of a campfire on my clothes and in my hair.   Love it!  I finished The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and started The Grove. The Hotel was a quick read and a character study.  The Grove on the other hand has me NOT wanting to turn the page for fear of what will happen to Dex if he keeps listening to the 'voices' in his head.  Kind of like when I watch a gory movie and hold my hand up to hide the TV screen. 

Yesteray also saw Mr. W. and I take no less than 15 boxes to Goodwill and I picked up a stained glass window.  I will take a pix to post when the sun is shining through it and not during the dark of night like it is now.  I cleaned and rearranged the attic when we got home.   A good job done......all my son's stuff has been relocated to one section for him to give me a thumbs up or thumbs down on the next time he is home. 

Today, I went to The Dump for the first time and bought an area rug for my newly exposed living room floor.   I spent more than I thought I would but still got a rug  for a lot less than I would have if I went to a regular store.   I need to trim the padding a bit or adjust the carpet a wasn't easy moving this back and forth by myself so I left it a bit askew.

I ordered an extra set of stretcher bars for my scroll frame and they arrived Friday.  I was happy to mount one of my iChallenge Crazy 15 projects on it.   I mounted My Stitching Treasures by Jeannette Douglas and put a little work in on it this weekend.  I think I want to order more!!! I am tasking myself to complete a motif on JD/MST and then move to a different WIP.  This weekend I did the basket and the satin stitches of the border.   I don't know about you guys but doing borders seem to take forever. So I thought if I did it as I went it wouldn't be that painful.

This afternoon, I decided to make some homemade salsa - yummo!  Next time I will make sure I wear gloves.   I cut the peppers in half and scraped the seeds out under running water but apparently I got some of that darling oil from the peppers on my thumb and under the thumbnail.   Ye-ow!  I have washed my hands a half dozen times; I have soaked  my fingertips in milk, I have made a paste of baking soda and scrubbed my fingertips, I searched the internet for I am trying clorox cleanup or similar or maybe rubbing alcohol followed by a benedryl cream application to cut the pepper oils.   For sure if I make salsa again I will wear gloves!  **UPDATE**WINDEX!  Windex took the pain away.  OMG!  Just like My Big Fat Greek Wedding!  I don't know why I thought to try it.
And why such a dainty amount....this week I joined Weight Watchers at work.   This new Points Plus is a bit more compliclated but I know WW works if you stick to the program.    I need to make it work for me. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lawn Soldiers

The view from the stairs.   I plan to have the floors refinished and to get an area rug in the future.
I stitched very little this weekend and instead cleaned, and washed, and sorted, and stowed things.  My daughter and my son-in-law - the absolute most wonderful S-in-L of all times, yes, him, came down early Saturday and he proceeded to pull up my LR wall-to-wall carpet.  Heather and I left at 9 to go to my monthly guild meeting and we were home by 1 and he was DONE!   Not just done, but all task strips and staples, everything in trash bags and carpet cut in 3 ft sections and rolled done.   He is wonderful.   All that and I fear I caused his cyatica (sp??) to act up.   He was bearly moving this morning.  I was glad to get a text at 2:40 this afternoon that they made it home by way of a 50 minute motorcycle ride.   Poor Mikey, I hope he is feeling better tonight.  

And this home improvement project started something....of course.

No, Im not moving....but am trying to purge a bit here and there.
I created a cozy reading (or stitching) corner.

I gathered up all my Hoosier glassware to display on top of my Hoosier.   Oh my! 
I didn't know I had so many.   I guess I'd better stop collecting them.
It is a good feeling but I am pooped!  I sorted my dry sink, my Hoosier cabinet, and rearranged knick-knacks and furniture after washing all the walls.   I mean since I was running amuck with the mess so why not.   That cleaning and sorting spirit kept going today.   I brought down the half dozen or so boxes of stuff I have been collecting for a 'yard sale'.  Right, never going to happen.  However, I can inventory it and get it off to Goodwill.   I have the task of inventorying and packing it up on my list this week because I already recruited Mr. W. to help me with his truck next weekend so we can haul this stuff out of here once and for all.  I mean seriously, when you open the cabinet and can't remember ever, ever, never using something, why keep it? chuck it! or off to Goodwill.  Let someone else use it, enjoy it, or at least let it take up room in their cupboards!

The last of the deck furniture standing at the ready to march into the shed for the long cold winter.
So I moved to the outside this afternoon and packed up all the deck furniture.   The last of the chairs stood at attention while I got the shed keys so they could be stowed away for summer.   I am not as sad as I was about summer ending but rather I am now looking forward to sweatshirts and rustling leaves and hot cider and somewhere in there, some stitching time.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

What a great idea!

I know there are a lot of us who can qualify for this one.......get ready for the the Works-in-Progress Apocalypse (or… WIPocalypse for short).   Check out for details.   There are over 100 signed up already.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

I have no restraint or Two New Starts

Every year I 'reward' myself with a new start at Retreat.....or rather twice a year I reward myself since I attend a spring and a fall retreat.   This year was no different..........I really have no business starting a new project but than again, it is all about justifying it and you know we stitchers can justify the 'need' to buy something or the 'need' to start something.    I have finished 10 of my 2011 iChallenge of 15 projects and resisted all year to start something new knowing I was scheduled for two classes.   Now in addition to the two class pieces I have two new starts from my retreat.  (Oops - signed up for a Catherine Theron Class in late October! so make that three class pieces this year.)  I really am thinking that 2012 needs to be the year of shaving some of those WIP's off my list because the number of 9 WIP's only counts what is in my workbasket in my family room and not what is stowed away in my sewing room.  Oh the things we squirrel away.

I believe I will start working in a one week rotation on my projects as well as packing one of them in my stitching bag for a traveling project.   You know, the kind that you can take to friends easily.  I bought a neat project bag at retreat.   I love these mesh bags and now to have one with handles, how cool is that?

So to memorialize my WIP's, here are the final four five of my 2011 i-Challenge.  LHN - Heart of America, The Sheltering Tree, Jeannette Douglas - My Sewing Box and Bent Creek - The Leaf and Lizzie Kate's -  ABC's of Aging. 

Heart of America - I am enjoying and have made the most progress on this one.   It sits on my scroll bars and and is easy to access for a quick few stitches before work. 

The Sheltering Tree, I need to concentrate on this one when I stitch but I love the silk threads I am using.  I saw several of my fellow stitchers on Retreat doing this same project and love the difference colors some are using.   Mine seems boring now. 

My Sewing Box is a favorite that I haven't picked up enough which is ashame because Jeannette Douglas uses the best colors and softest  flosses.  Before I started this in January, it is a project that I wanted to undertake for years.   I think I will be able to move fast once I put it on my scroll bars after I finish Heart of America and free up my scroll frame.

Lizzie Kate's the ABC's of Aging has been my carry along project.  Taking it to guild meetings or friends for a quick few stitches.  But, alas, I am bored with it.....

The Leaf - I am not liking.  I think I used the wrong count fabric or too many threads.  And I thought this would be a quickie but I am finding it tedious!

My class pieces:   Gay Ann Rogers - A case for color.  This is my first canvas piece.   I had a stumble early on with this one with the center motif and I haven't picked it up since.  For shame.....

Jette Finlay-Roy - Whitework.   This is a new technique for me.  It is worked with pre-cut linen thread.  A friend from class is suggesting to do one thread per day and I think I will try her approach times two and vow to stitch two threads a day.

And now for my new starts:   Shakespeare's Peddler - Keys and Drawn Thread - Random Thoughts.  
There was a little restraint shown - I bought the Keys last fall at retreat. This will be a quick stitch and may become my carry along project. 

Random Thoughts has been in my stash pile for at least three years.  It is a piece I have wanted to do for a long time.  I am happy I finally started it. 

Oh look, a project for every mood!  If 2012 is the year to complete WIP's, 2013 will be the year of finishing!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ahhhhh, return from Retreat

OMGoodness did I need a girls weekend and to make it better, a weekend of stitching to boot. It has been a long summer of overtime and civic duties and not much, if any, down time. So a quick recap - we left Thursday afternoon at 3 for the 2 1/2 drive to the beach.....dinner on the way......checked in....walked the boards......stitch, stitch, stitch and repeat for the next three days mixed with shopping, a cocktail party, a movie night, it was just great. It really made a tremendous difference leaving Thursday afternoon instead of Friday morning. I think it could be our new standard. Here's a sneak peak of the goodies I got at the quilt shop and the cross stitch shop......

Oh and I forgot, the fudge from the Wockenfuss candy store on the boardwalk.   Pumkin Pie fudge! Who'd of thought?  Yummy