Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year one and all!   Doing things very low keyed here to ring in the new year.   I have only been out to celebrate once on New Year's Eve and tonight I will not be making it twice.    I will be all snuggled, with a cup of  coffee ~ Irish coffee maybe ~ , a blanket, the fire place roaring to take the chill off and watching Harry Potter with my stitching in hand.  Can you believe I had never seen ANY Harry Potter movies?!  I got the dvd's for Christmas and tonight I will watch #3 while I stitch.     Really exciting huh?     Mr. W. could care less about going out.   I have some parties I could go to but since it is really a couples night I'll be just as happy with my Irish Coffee or maybe it will be some Bailey's Irish Creme on the rocks.....hmmm  With these thoughts,  I gladly let the revelers have their night out.

So while others are out celebrating, I will start the evening with some time on a new website and a new blog I am developing (more info to follow on both) and I will follow that with stitching away to finish my BRD Little Quakeresque.   I had thought I could finish it by my self-imposed deadline, in any other month I could have, but not in December.  Not as much stitching time.   So rather than stress about it I will be pleased with my progress.  It is getting close!

The photo doesn't show it but the linen has gotten stained over the course my stitching journey.   I think I will try coffee staining once it is completed and before framing.   Maybe I will try it on a piece of linen with no stitching first to see what effects I can create.   I am sure there are more than a few tutorials out there to tell me what to do.

I did a quick knit up of another novelty scarf.   My extent of knitting.  I can knit but I am not a serious knitter and have not been (or maybe, yet to be) bitten by the bug to get in head over heels with knitting.   First hint that I am not a serious knitter.....look at the gigantic needles I am using for 4, yes 4, stitches.   For now, it is novelty scarves with the thoughts of a Fair Isle Sweater in the far corners of my mind as something I could recognize in a catalog.

Not even making any New Year's resolutions here. What a lump I am!  Kind of made a resolution back in the fall to live a more active life which I thought would mean weight loss.   I was wrong.   So I see no need to place additional stress on oneself and then be made to feel bad you don't get the intended outcome.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!                                                           Wishing all a safe evening surrounded by friends and loved ones, wishing all a bright and happy new year filled with good fortune and good health.  Cheers!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Post Christmas Visiting

Really enjoyed my visit to western PA.   Talk about snow.....people are freaking out here with flurries today like it is a blizzard......I arrived in State College as the snow started.  12-inches later it was done and roads were clear and there were no mad dashes to the store for milk, bread and toilet paper or people panicking like they were be holed up til spring.  I don't know why the folks in my neck of the woods have weather panic issues.....but enough.
Now this is snow!

We stopped by the Lemont Cafe which was unfortunately closed for the holidays but look what I spied!   They still have a Milk Man that delivers milk.   I didn't know they did that anymore.  I remember the milkman and the Glenside Dairy bottles and the Bond Bread man every Saturday with his big tray of breads and pastries when I was growing up.

  This is the campus of Penn State and the view from the window where we ate lunch.  

 We ate lunch at "The Corner" in that little upstairs bump out room. 

The big smiles are because this is probably the fourth attempt to get a decent picture.  
The first three were funny faces! 

 We walked through Spring Run Park.  View from the covered bridge.

 We weren't the first to make tracks in the snow.  

 That's a ski slope where it is white in the side of the mountain.  Wouldn't that be cool?   A ski slope in your back yard.

As you can see, no stitching progress to share.......and probably none to speak of.........I arrived home from State College and was shortly thereafter greeted by two daughters!   Glasses of wine and boatloads of giggles and laughter quickly ensued.   Today we went shopping to a specialty yarn store, a quilt store and then to a consignment shop.  Tonight, more laughter, love and maybe a little bit of wine.

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Stitching Round Up

I will be so glad to remove all my WIP's from the right hand side.....ambitious I was with better than average success.   Truth be told, I just want to remove it and start a  new  list.  Please go to my 2012 Finishes tab for a re-cap of the year.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I am ready!

I am all ready for  Christmas.   Wrapping, done.  Decorating, done.  Grocery shopping, done.  Cookies will be done tomorrow.  Major cleaning, done.   Can always use the spruce up and tidying up.

 This is for Amy - my daughter from Massachusetts.   She always arrives home and has to help me finish wrapping.   I am ashamed to say that some years she has even wrapped her own!   But look at this  Ta-Da!  I did it with time to spare.  It feels so good with 10 days off in front of me.

 Teddy Bears are ready

I am also done mounting some of my projects for next year.   Oooohhhhh!  I want to start but the challenge with my EGA doesn't start until January 1st.   Not sure which I will tackle first and I am sure I won't stick to it exclusively.   Good 'ole side-track Robin is sure to get bored and wander project to project.

So here's wishing a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday season to each of you.   I love the comments as much as I love following each of you in your trek through a stitching project or through life.  Stay safe and dry and have a healthy and prosperous new year.   And let's start those 26 random acts of kindness.   I know I have!

Friday, December 21, 2012

26 Acts of Kindness

Have you seen this?   We don't need government or lobbyists or entrepreneurs telling us what to do.    This is a grass roots movement that can change everything.   One person at a time doing one thing at a time to make a difference.  Tiny little acts by everyday people doing what is right.  What a concept.    See Ann Curry's challenge.

Conversation with my son

Son:  We are looking forward to your visit.
Me:   Me too.   I am excited to be coming out to see all of you. (Exciting about seeing, not so excited about the drive alone.)
Son:  What time are you leaving your house?
Me:   I plan to get up, pack the car and head out early - by 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
Son:  Call when you are an hour out.
Me:   I will text you from the rest stop on the turnpike when I stop for coffee or gas.
Son:  Well,......after you are off the turnpike, call before you get to the mountains.   We are expecting  a foot of snow and the pass maybe be closed.
This is what I envision my drive will look like!
Me:  Ummmm, OK.   (ACK!!  #@$^#&%(@!!! The pass?!?! WTH Sounds like I am driving into Pike's Peak or something.  Fleeting thought of the Donner Party.)
Son: You will have to drive north at the capital, get on the interstate and come into the valley from the other direction. It could add an hour or so to your drive.
Me:  ......ok.....(An hour in good weather probably.  Double ACK!! I have about 6 inches of ground clearance and drive a flipping hybrid!!)
Son:  Don't worry, mom, we have great snowplows out here.  It will be an awesome drive.
Oh boy, this is more than the typical snowplow.  I wonder if this is what he is talking about.
Me: .....ok.....(his idea and my idea of awesome are quite different.   Let's hope this one of the times when he tends to exaggerate right?)

Good thing little red just got a new battery and four new tires! If a fat man in a red sleigh can make it through Monday night, I guess a fat woman in a red car can too.  In typical fashion I will pack all kinds of water and snacks and fruit for the drive and in case I drive into a snow bank never to be seen again until the spring thaw.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What's up with blogger??

I promise I didn't even play around this time.   Too busy with holiday prep and events.   Somehow the way my blog is seen on my iPad has changed to the 'mobile view' or how I am used to seeing on my cell phone.   Not as much functionality, no links to other blogs.   And tonight, my holiday template is gone and the colors of my type are changed.   Looks like a sort of typesetters argument going on here!  Blue lettering???   Geez!  A bit of fiddling around and I have the holiday template back and the blue letters gone but my page is all squished up. Anyone else experiencing random bits of change to their blog?   We know I don't like change!  at least not change not of my own doing.  I will try to get to the bottom of this.

PS  LOL  One problem corrected and another crops up!   I have the view I want on my phone and my iPad but it has a beach theme and now here too.....hmm to think of it, maybe that is not a bad thing.   Enough messing about for me tonight.   On to other financial reports and stitching!!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Good and the Bad

First, the good.....I am so excited to have to finishes to share.    First up, I completed the stitching and finishing on my ornament for my exchange at work.   I am happy with it and think the little branch arms are the cutest.    I really thought the plaid fabric was what I wanted to use, but the little holy print looked better in the end.  

I also finished stitching Jingle All the Way from Scarlet House.  Neither photograph nearly as pretty as they are in person.   I plan to finish it as a pillow with rick-rack and a rusty jingle bell.

And now for the bad not so good news...looks like even Little Miss Amy won't make it home for Christmas.    She has work deadlines and will be working the weekend before Christmas and I am sure will be working from home on Christmas eve to get two mergers complete.   Two days off is just not enough time to drive the 13 plus hour round trip.  I am sure she will share the day with friends (Britney!)  It is always the single girl with no children that gets to put in the extra hours.  So unfair.   The upside is that one day she will have VP after her name for sure.

Thankfully all the children are healthy, happy and employed.     So we will Facetime and Skype and have phone calls between us and it will be different with just me and Mr. W.   I am truly thankful that my children are well and one day will come home.   Something not all my friends can say.  

Perhaps it will be a day to spend watching the Christmas Story marathon and stitching and maybe even start a new project.  Oops! Can't do that.   Have a 2013 EGA Challenge that starts January 1st so I will have to refrain.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Just when I thought I was done with some of my volunteer duties, things were leveling out and my guard was down.....I managed to turn over my responsibilities of Secretary/Publicity/Fundraising January 1st of 2012, BAM, at least one has come back to smack me in the back of the head.   The woman who took over as Secretary has decided she doesn't have time - need I mention she only took on the Recording Secretarial not the website, fundraising, publicity or other many hats I was wearing for the group.  (Note a little anger on my part.)  I guess this type A personality doesn't have patience for people who are not organized.   I used to.  I used to sing that merry song of everyone brings something different to the plate and something to offer.   Guess I must be getting too old for that bunch of bull.   I guess, too, I could have said NO! but this is my little old lady group that I fear will fold without my participation.  No, I am not that vain, they are that old - mid to late 70's all of them.  The old adage - ask a busy person rings true.  I guess now that I have that off my chest I should be more charitable.  I don't know her life.   I don't know what stressors she has and I am the DIM WIT that somewhat volunteered to take it on until......

But I need not to wallow in this self-created/self-pity.  What I need to do is attack each assignment immediately and be deaf when the next lament for help is run up the flagpole.    I think it frustrates me because had I known......(which I believe she knew she was reneging resigning)....I might have been better prepared to deflect the request and not feel like I had to be the savior.    It makes me angry to have things I don't want to do get in the way of things I want to do.  Maybe I need to take a vacation day to sit home all day in my pj's and work on getting everything up to date.

OK, bitch session over.   Pulling up the big girl pants.  Organization is the key.  I will dedicate an hour every Sunday afternoon to the Arts Alliance to keep them current and I will say NO! to the next thing they try to hand over to me.    It is time for some new blood in that organization.  In future, I will be like the majority of society that has little bitty alligator arms when it is time to raise their hand and volunteer for a job.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

As far as I am going.....

Just a few snaps of some more decorating I have done.     I am not doing as much as I usually do.   Seems like a lot of work and am kind of bummed out that for the first time ever, not all my kids will be home for Christmas.   My son was off Thanksgiving so he has to work Christmas.  My eldest daughter, a city employee, has to work Christmas Eve and then again on the 26th.   And little Miss Amy in the middle will be leaving on the 26th to complete two mergers before the end of the year.  
Mr. W.  - a man of little emotion - I can tell is a really disappointed but won't say.  I calmly explained, all is well and that we are so very fortunate that for 37 years we have had our children home for Christmas.   Some years, my eldest and her husband haven't even put a tree up because they have spend the holidays at our house.  Mr. W. understands my son's job is a 24/7 job (in a hospital) much like when we were first married and Mr. W. worked in continuous operations.  Miss Amy and I will visit friends and family while she is home and share some good quality crafting time together.  I will be traveling to State College on the 26th to spend a few days with my son and his wonderful wife and her son.  Alas, our children are grown and have lives and careers and all is well.

Yes, they are dressed for the season.   It scares my son-in-law that I dress them for each holiday.

OMG!  All those red packages are MINE from Mr. W.    He's never been one to buy me presents and I am very afraid.....many are shaped like shoe boxes but rattle like puzzles??   Yes, I picked them up....I had to put the ribbons on!

Pie safe in my dining room.
Dry Sink in my dining room
Desk in my dining room with my sad looking orchids.....really the one to the far left has a new shoot about 5 inches tall.   I am very excited.   I guess neglect works for growing orchids.  
Fireplace mantle with some greens
My Byers Dolls that were my mom's.   The only ones I have but always a favorite to put out.
Not my decoration but one I saw in a consignment shop.   Loving it!  
Want to make one with old Christmas balls.

I tried a panoramic shot with my phone but it didn't turn out so fab. 

Ornie Work

Been a very busy week with little stitching going on.   'Tis the season for holiday parties and holiday dinners, just why must we string 6 events together in one week?   It does not bode well for those of us forever dieting.....but that is another post.

I finished the stitching on my ornament for our exchange at work.   I dug through my collection of patterns and found this in a Cross Stitch and Needlework Leaflet from 1996.  It was funny to work on Aida again......note of sarcasm.    I feel a bit guilty that my only cost was $0.39 on a skein of DMC Blanc.  I came in a bit under the $15 limit.  And how does one manage to have a stash of bobbins and bobbins of floss and no white?

I added the fringe to the scarf and I am happy with it.    

He has no arms yet because the finishing calls for using real twigs.    I snipped mine from my grapevine wreath in my dining room and will need to trim them down to size.  "Frosty" will show up better on the PTP Relic Aida once I do the outline stitching to be done while finishing.  

I am ready to do the finishing but can't decide on which fabric to use.  I've narrowed it down to these two and I am leaning towards the red/green plaid.  The finishing instructions are super simple with no machine stitching and I am looking forward to finishing it this week....maybe even tonight!  It could be my reward for finishing up all the house decorations today!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

How to judge a good person

It is that time again....decorating the house.    Thankfully, Mr. W. brings everything down from the attic in his garage and helps me carry into the house.   I go about my business of decorating and emptying tubs which I place just outside the sliding glass door and they mysteriously disappear and are stowed back in the attic until I need them again.   He lets me do all the house decor - choosing wall  colors, furniture, arrangements, yard, flower beds and holiday decorations, so I don't dare say a word about how he put up the outside lights.   Let's just say, we have different design aesthetics.

I have always applied this formula for getting a read on someone......
 1.  How they get along with children;
 2.  How do they get along with dogs; and
 3.  How do they handle tangled Christmas lights

Hope no one was judging me when I was fretting with the 'pre-lit' tree.   Geez!  Everything is lit, walk across the room and a section is out.  Walk back, it is on, repeat this several times.   I check every bulb, twice; changed the fuses in the cords; same result......sometimes they are all lit and sometimes they are not.   There was a time when I would have really fussed about it.   I mean really in the whole scheme of things, does it really matter if one ring around the tree is out?   I am not having any holiday parties for anyone to notice and question.

My tubs o' stuff waiting for my decorating expertise.  all that and there is even a bag of 'new' And And there is even a bag of "new" decorations there on the top.   I decided on a new color scheme this year or call it too much disposable income to spend in bargain bins or call it too much time on my hands or call it what it is - insanity!   I have decorations for a traditional tree decorations (hallmark ornaments, etc.); I have a complete kitchen themed tree with cookie cutters and mini-whisks, strung popcorn and cranberries, and red and white gingham; I have a woodland themed tree with pine cones and squirrels; I have a flower tree with nothing but bunches of dried flowers; so who needed a new themed tree?   Insanity, like I said.    I did up the woodland tree with pine cones and squirrels in my dining room and then did up the other tree with red, gold and my new Grinch green!  Only two trees this year.

 I am humming Karen Carpenter's words "the lights on my tree, I wish you could see....."

 Grinch Green garland on the top of my Hoosier cabinet.
Now, at night with the lights on.
I carried the Grinch green to my coffee table.  Nestled the two candle rings to carry the color through the room.   They are snugged in around the wine corks I save.  I try to date and add initials to them to commemorate the date.  Looks dark because the flash wouldn't go off.  

The stairway before
 The stairway after - probably a little more tweaking will be done here.  
 My woodland tree in the dining room.

My Lefton pieces.   The square candy dish was my mom's and I snatch up any pieces I see when I am out junking.

OK, enough of a time-out for me.....back to those tubs o' stuff!