Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The 2011 i-Challenge - a finish

I finshed up the stitching on my Prairie Sampler Friendship Star Puzzle Purse. I had never done the Nun Stitch but quickly got into a rhythm - not without a couple of counting re-starts.
 After completing the Nun Stitch all around, I pulled threads to make it viusally easier to see where to cut.

It always makes me nervous to 'cut' my piece but I did.

   I hope to find the right fabric from my ever-increasing staff of fabric to use to back it and plan to work on the 'finishing' this week as I am anxious to learn to/master the folding.   I plan to post the progress and mastering of the folding!

Finishing this one, allowed me to stay on schedule of one completion per month.  Pretty meager compared to some but realistic to me.   I plan on knocking out 3 i-Challenge project this month by completing 3 Challenge WIP's that are each more than halfway completed.   WOW!  That will make a huge dent in my challenge.

More goodies from Massachusetts

Technically from New Hamphire but acquired on my recent trip to Massachuesetts.   Does this happend to everyone?   We sorted and gathered items to donate at the Savers Store - like a Goodwill store.   We stopped, donated and then shopped and came away with more than we left?   What is up with that???    This is some of what I got......

I have a collection of Hoosier Glass vases. I don't know why these fascinate me other a woman I met at a friend's house party who conducts past life coaching told me I probably lived in the 1930's (?? huh?) Anyway, I am drawn to things of that era. This is what I was able to snag up at Savers - for only $1.99 each! Yeah!

It's hard to read but is does say "Hoosier"
I added these to my existing collection of Hoosier Glassware. Maybe I like these vases because I tend to be 'thrifty' and can't justify the higher cost of the other Hoosier Glassware. At any rate, I may have reached my quota of Hoosier vases since I have run out of room atop my dry sink and pie safe.

I don't know what I plan to do with them....a couple in the back are collecting wine bottle corks and I do use them for flower arrangements. 

Another not so good pix that doesn't show they both have the poinsettia pattern.  It matters not, I use the mugs everyday.
I also snagged this cutie of a glass dish.   I recognized the pattern as Princess House and it matches the mugs I treasure from my mother's estate.   I think I might have paid $4.99 and if any of you remember Princess House prices from those home parties of yesterday, you know I got a deal.  

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day

Between the yard work and getting pools ready and parades and fireworks and picnics this weekend, take time to remember those who gave so much that we could  have those parades, fireworks and picnics.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Found more stash.

Love the wide rick-rack.  Wish they had more colors. 
 What a treat! I found my tote bag from this weekend with more ssssssstttttttuuuuuffffffffffffffffff. How could I forget from trip to Serendipity Quilt Shop in Dagsboro. Look what I found tucked away in my tote.

Got these fat quarters to *maybe* finish my Eat Drink and Be Scary

Got stretcher bars for an upcoming class

Loved this fat quarters with no plans

Can't wait to use from Civil War fabrics  on the quilt pattern

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stitching Progress

Well here is it.   These are some of my works in my rotation for the 2011 i-Challenge.  I have been still working on all projects but concentrating on two or three at a stretch  giving each a week or so at a time.   Once I got started on my rotation, it has become easier to stick with a project for more than a day.   It takes that long to reacquaint yourself with each project particulars.  Heaven knows there has been frogging - oops forgot it was over one or oops forgot this one uses one strand. Sew it goes......

LHN - Liberty

Not in my rotation but started this weekend.   It was a Laura Perin class at a recent EGA Meeting.

Praire Schooler Friendship Puzzle Purse - I think I will concentrate on this one because I am anxious to see it finish and folded.

LHS Needle and Thread

Lizze Kate's ABC's of Aging

Promise, no new starts while I continue my 2011 i-Challenge!  Better get stitching because I got a whole slew I am itching to start.......all good things come to those who wait......

Stash Enhancement Oh My!

Back from  retreat and so sorry that it was over so quickly.  It was another great weekend at the Lankford Hotel and Salty Yarns in OCMD.   As always, co-workers don't get it.   They can't get that sitting in big white rockers on the front porch of a boardwalk hotel is enjoyable.   They want noise and loud music and action and hoopla.   Well let me tell you, sitting with friends, chatting, laughing and stitching is FUN for our types.   My life is so hectic with every minute planned that I look so forward to the no stress/no schedule/no fuss/no high heels and pantyhose weekend.   Heck, I didn't even put makeup most of the weekend.  The only drawback was it was cruiser weekend and the hot rods with their split manifolds were reving engines to the wee hours. And then there was the car parade on the boardwalk at 7:30 in the morning.   It was over an hour of cars driving by.  Some of them were real beauties.

So to the stash enhancment. Well I did it again. I vowed not to add to my pile of leaflets and projects that I will need two lifetimes to complete and came away with stash totaling into the 3 digits. Yikes!

This one fascinated me.  Can't wait to do it. And it includes the wooden base.

Picked up these little pretties just because.

and this....

and these.....

and this....

OMG! and this.....

and thought this was cute for Easter....
  I had only ONE think on my shopping list and didn't find it in the shop.  That is until it was time to check out and as I waited inline, it hopped on in my bag. 
This is the only thing on my shopping list! I can't wait to start this one too!!!
 It is good to know that we have a "stash re-distribution" event at our next guild meeting.   I need to re-evaluate my stash and see if I can pare it down at the meeting.   Hopefully, I will not enhance it!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A finish and just in time

No silly-heads! Not just in time for Halloween - Lo-Ween as we called it in our house.   A finish just in time for Retreat!   I made myself a promise that I would not 'buy' anything new unless I had one finish a month for 2011 completed.   And yeah!  as of 10 minutes ago I put the final little spider webby things on. 

This is Waxing Moons "Eat Drink and Be Scary".   I had it all kitted up and ready to purchase using 28 count and then I see it done over one on 40 count.   I never worked on 40 count and have to say I was pleasantly surprised.   This could be a new favorite count to work on.   See those cheaters?    4.0 strength!  No other way for my old eyes to manage this count.  I have to *sheepishly* say, this was a fun stitch that I enjoyed stitching and will take my ribbing from my friend Pat on the inside joke.

This finish is  just in time .....now I have to pack for my semi-annual retreat in Ocean City MD with my Delaware Stitching Group.   A weekend of good friends, big white rockers on the ocean front porch, good food, lots of stitching and a cross stitch store next door.   What could be better?

Oops! Just realized this put me at only 4 finishes and not at 5 for 2011.  Boo Hiss.   I am so depressed at this that I may need retail therapy at say, a cross stitch store......again, I can justify this transgression......since I have no LNS and the fact that I have a coupe real close to finished and May is not over yet! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Idea to execution!

UPDATED WITH DONNA's REACTION and PHOTOS/SEE BELOW  -  I get these ideas in my head and can visualize the final product but somewhere between thinking up my brilliant gem of creativity and the final product I seem to go awry.    My friend at work is retiring about 35 years service.  Technicalities and being politically correct has caused management to determine that we no longer have individual retirement parties but quarterly hold joint retirement dinners for the retirees.   I get it.   If you do for one, you need to do for all; could get real costly.  No matter, but I kind of was feeling bad that 35 years and nothing!   So my wheels started turning and concocted up a plan.   I created a GIANT retirement card - seriously 24 by 36! and send out an email to managers and supervisors to spread the word and get folks to sign and offer their well wishes.  I ordered lunch for all the admins on the floor, with a little extra for the officers of course and got permission to use the Employee Recognition Account to pay for it.   I ordered a giant sheet cake to share with all the Company tomorrow afternoon as we wish her well. 

Now the crazy creative ideas start to come. I get this idea to make a beauty queen sash and add 'badges' that commemorate her career. Simple right?   I searched clip art and printed out all these little images that reflected a job task - Cake Serving, Phone Manners, Mastering Planners,  Foreign Travel, Veterinary Sciences - as an Administrative Assistant the tasks are many and diverse and we all joke there are a lot that fall under the ...."and any other duties as assigned"...part of the job description. 

And I through in a few fun ones, like "Nascar Driver" to reflect her love of speed and "Queen of the Machine" for her love of  casinos.    Now came the time to attach them to the sash I made.   I tried hand sewing and they got all wonky.  Not to mention I had the flashback of sewing all the patches on kids jackets and uniforms til my fingers bleed.  I tried using glue dots and they were not attached securly.   I even tried stapling which worked but the back was too rough and there were too many sharp edges.  

I ended up machine sewing them on.   It may not be the neatest but it is the more secure.  Although it didn't turn out as professional as I imagined it, I hope it will be something to make Donna's last day fun and memorable.

So I hope Donna is surprised in the morning, with the giant card, flowers and balloons and her sash of achievements not to mention lunch and dessert.

So here is how the day started, save my running around like my hair was on fire......Donna arrived to flowers and balloons.  She was then presented with her sash which she donned immediately.   She looked at all her badges and roared with laughter...except for the badge "Veterinary Sciences".    She couldn't figure it out.    Donna, really?    Your boss is a horse-woman!  You have ordered hay, called the vet for colic, arranged fundraisers for the wolf rescue compound your boss has on her property and even had the unenvyable task of getting the guys to take the frontend loader down from work to your boss's farm when she put her bull down and they needed the frontend loader to dig a hole.  Really Donna - Veterinary Sciences badge was EARNED.  So continue - we got her to the lunchroom on a ruse and she was surprised the whole floor was there to cheer her - about 25 of us.   Midafternoon we had a giant sheet cake and I sent a network email out to the whole company to come eat cake and wish her well.   And while she was chatting away, we tied a dozen soda cans to her car and painted her windows with "good luck" and "happy retirement".    We all helped her  load her car and she discovered our mayhem.   Just as the street crew was getting out for the day she found the cans and we convinced her she needed to cruise the parking lot.   It didn't take much convincing and off she went with lights flashing and horn honking and cans dragging.   We laughed so hard our sides hurt.   She daintily parked and back inside we all went as if nothing happened.    We have it on good authority that dispatch has the surveillance video from the parking lot camera along with that video of Donna walking down the Executive Hall with her dress tucked in her pantyhose.    We have teased Donna about all the "Marlboro" freebies she comes in with and her girlfried threatens she will arrange her funeral with Marlboro apparel and Donna said she has to include her sash and badges too.  
  I must say, I have to give myself a pat on the back.   Donna had a great last day at the office and I wish her well in her retirement.   We already have a dinner date on the calendar.   Hopefully I will get some photos off the network at the office and can post them....silly me with my getting everything together, I forgot my camera this morning.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I justified it!

 I can't believe I did it but I did. I have incredible justification powers. I figured since I drive a hybrid it was my gas money I had saved. I figured since I brown bag my lunch it was my lunch money I have saved. Since I don't smoke anymore, it is the cigarette money I have saved.  And I will sell my Janome................but really it is becaues I am WORTH IT!!!!!! I did it............here is my new baby.


Look at her!  The Sapphire 835

When I brought it home I also had purchased a 30 inch separating zipper to replace yet another zipper for Mr. Wonderful (what does he do to them????)  And I said, "Look honey I got you a zipper and it came with a new machine."   He was marginally amused.   Of course, to his credit he wanted to know what was so different about it then the machine I have.  And to his credit when I told him it was expensive and then the price, he scoffed..."That's not expensive".   Men!  How is it that men and women have such a different opinion on costs??  I explained how much nicer the button holer was, how it comes with a DVD, how it has interchangable (model to model) feet, how it has a much bigger throat and will allow for quilting so much easier and that is a far as I got.   You know guys...he had to go there.   He can't wait to tell his friends I had to go out and buy a Deep Throat machine.   Sorry ladies for being rude but right now I am so happy with my purchase I care not!      I have debated on a new machine for some time and on this one for a week.    I don't even know when I will be able to take it out and play with it.    I am still catching up from being away last week, have a friend coming over for a quilting lesson tomorrow  and my sister coming for quilting instructions on Sunday, have meetings out the wazoo, am hosting stitching group next week and leave for retreat next Friday morning........it is OK though....because I will be able to savor the anticipation of playing with my new baby. 

Oh and yes, I made the personal vow to myself that this is the last machine you will ever buy!                          

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Off to Massachusetts

I spent a long weekend with my daughter's in Massachusetts.   One lives in Philadelphia and the other in Lowell so Philly girl and I try to trek up a couple of times a year.  Oh so much fun and so much laughter and over so quickly.    We crammed so much fun and activity into 4 days and tired out our little New England transplant.   Thursday we arrived in record time and is was fun chatting and catching up.   Friday, we went to the New England Textile Museum.   I've got to hand it to the Massachusetts Arts and Cultural Commission......they have the most awesome museums.    The Textile Museum is a must see.   We grabbed a quick dinner and then off ot Derry New Hampshire to Amy's weekly knitting group.  More laughter til the tears rolled.

On Saturday, Heather and I convinced Amy it was time to move up to a better sewing machine.   Three hours later we walk out with the Husqvarna Sapphire 835.   Oh I want one.   My current machine is a Janome and I have never warmed up to this machine.   I kept thinking it was a learning curve moving from a Singer to the Janome but 5 years later....I am just not feeling it with the Janome.   But I am sidetracked here....more on my machine dilemma in an upcoming post.  We rounded out the day with a trip to an Indian Restaurant.   WOW!  Mine was supposed to be mild.   Hot hot HOT.   But good.  Sunday we went to Old Sturbridge Village - what a nice way to spend the day. Here's my girls......had to take a few since they were not acting serious.

These lovelies were in with the quilting section.

Another Massachusetts treasure and what did I find......in the building with the fire arms display but an excellent collection of needlework items.   In addition, the artisans on site working in the blacksmith shop, the soap making barn, the tinsmith's were all so knowledgeable and professional.   It was a very enjoyable day. 
 Such ashame  I couldn't get better shots through the glass cases.
 This one was awesome.   Enlarged detail below.

 Stitched family record rather than written in the family bible

 One of the things that stood out that I liked about the 'village' was it
was not all manicured.  Rather is looked authentic.