Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Meet my new boyfriend!

Here he is....................His name is Frank.   Isn't he cute?

He doesn't talk back.   He just hangs out around me and makes eyes at me.  He's the strong silent type.   My kind of guy.

I hope to do the finishing on the other two this evening.

I also did the finishing on  Spooky Tricks.   In normal fashion, I charged through without waiting until I had the 'proper' piece of Styrofoam cut and rather worked with what I have.  It's a bit lumpy and fortunately only together with pins so I can take it apart after Halloween and reassemble it in a neater fashion.  It still needs a box on the top.

On a serious note, we really lucked out around me as far as Hurricane Sandy is concerned.   There is some yard flooding and the typical roads that have flooded but I see no trees down around my neighborhood.  Original forecasts and updates all evening on Monday had me more than a wee bit nervous....didn't know what it would me to have the eye pass over me and kept anticipating those high damaging winds.   My fortune however can be seen all over the news as the misfortune of others.   The devastation they are showing is so painful to see.   Living in Jersey, everyone goes to the shore, we all know and love the ocean and the boards.   The boardwalk and beach are our backyard.  It is so hard to see the devastation to properties and to families lives, their homes and their livelihoods.   All I can say on the upside is that so far, it seems like the people of NJ have risen to the task.  My thoughts and prayers are with all those who were in the path of Hurricane Sandy for the struggles they will face in the next few weeks and months.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stitching up a storm

Cleaned a walk-in closet, watched what seems like a ka-billion hours of new casts and weather updates, baked (and ate) bread in my new pottery from North Carolina, 

my boots standing at the ready, 

 and stitched up two-plus Halloween ornies.   These are the three little cuties I took on vacation but never started.   Good thing I took something else with me to work on because these are quick stitches and will work well on my October themed tree.

 Obviously still have power......we will see what the morning brings.  For now, back to stitching the haunted house.

Waiting game

Awoke to news that Hurricane Sandy has shifted her targeted land fall again by a few more miles south.  Not good for me.  It is estimated that at 2 a.m. Tuesday the red line of her path will be nearly  directly over me!   Not too nervous until I saw that on Action News this morning.   It's going to be a long day of anticipation and longer night and day tomorrow.

I have my jugs of water ready, everything is charged, flashlights and candles at the ready,  I baked some goodies yesterday and my office is closed today and tomorrow.  Mr.  W. thinks I am ridiculous that I filled jugs with water......if it is needed, maybe I will think about sharing it with him!  Is it like when a baby is coming and folks are sent to rip sheets and boil water?  Just a distraction.  I guess I will just have to stitch while I still have power ........but maybe after I assemble an emergency bag in case we have to leave.  For now, it is a waiting game.......

Stay safe and stay dry everyone on the east coast.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

An Actual Stitching Post

I am just inside from securing anything that could become a projectile when Hurricane Sandy arrives.   Everything looks bare with the garden flag, wind chimes and Halloween decorations, etc. down but is for the best if we get what they are predicting for the Delaware/New Jersey area.  I think I will roast a chicken today so in the event I am without power for a few days we will have something to eat.  Also going to boil some eggs too.....always can make egg salad a bit at a time.  I don't mean to sound gloom and doom or sound like I am super prepared having been through an event like this before.  Just trying to think ahead.
Managed to slip one more vacation picture in.   This was taken by
John of John Lack Photography, of Roanoke, VA.   It is the stars
at night from the scenic overlook just down from our hotel in Little
Switzerland.  He had a much better camera and directed us to his
Facebook page to find where he would post the pictures after he was
home.   He does amazing things with lighting.  Thanks John!
Thank my lucky stars above, I have been fortunate to have escaped with only branches and leaves and a side-yard lake in the past.....but this storm ..... either I am getting old or more nervous but I think this could be the one to wallop us.   To be forewarned is to be prepared...or something like that.  On to stitching ...... I worked on something different on the drive home from vacation.   I have found since I switched from Aida to linen, I can no longer stitch while riding in the car.....or maybe it is the fact I need cheaters now.   Whichever it is, I tried some embroidery - simple back stitch and stem stitches while riding home from New Market VA to home.   To my surprise, I was able to stitch a lot without getting a headache or car sick.  I also a tried a new method on this fabric.   A vendor at a quilt show last year told us about this.   After transferring the design to the fabric, I colored it with Crayola crayons (I would guess any crayon would work.) Next, I took a clean piece of white paper and used it as a pressing cloth and pressed the fabric.   EZ-PZ

The pattern is from By My Hand and is part of the Season by Season Stitchery Collection, Fall #SBS3
The result is the wax melts into the fabric and I was ready to do my outline stitches.   I did the stem stitch around the pumpkins and then realized it was to all be back stitched.
I decided to leave them as they are.  I was not about to tempt my good fortune and 'frog' while riding in the car.  Not too sure what this guy will be when he is finished, but I am enjoying a journey back to my beginning routes of stitching.

Vacation Post 4

Split Rock half way up to the top of Grandfather Mountain
  Closer view of the delicate balancing act that has held the split rocks for centuries.
 Debbie got her wish and we saw BEARS!
 A little creative photography allows for the appearance that they are roaming free.   No, they were in the animal preserve and beyond a high wall and fence.
 From the parking lot mid-way up the mountain looking towards the top.
 See the road zig-zag up the side of the mountain?   Easy for me to say 'go for it'....I wasn't driving.  We walked (CLIMBED!) the rest of the way to the summit.  The sign said .4 miles.....it took an hour!
To the left, the path complete with a stairway of rocks. It was  so worth the climb.
 This is the swinging bridge at the top of Grandfather Mt.   It is one mile about sea level.
 Honestly, it was a bit scary and I was not alone hugging the railing as I ventured out.
 On the opposite side, no railings, no comfy tourist friend scenic overlook.....you were on your own as far as no falling off the edge.   The view was truly a humbling experience.  It really gave the feel that you were on top of the world.

 We enjoyed lunch after our climb and shared our seating with these fat faced chipmonks.
Back at the inn in the late afternoons I managed to start and finish this Halloween little stitch. Not even the one I intended to stitch but I  wanted to get my needle and thread into this fun fabric.  No plans on how I will finish it.
That's all for now folks and thanks for bearing with me with my vacation photos.   I really feel sorry for anyone who doesn't get to enjoy seeing the splendor of the mountains or the ocean for that matter.  I gravitate towards the natural attractions so much more than the man-made ones.  
And now for an event of nature!!  in the mid-atlantic states we are all bracing for Hurricane Sandy.  I am out the door shortly for supplies.   We already have our water, batteries and the like.   But because I was away the cupboards are bare.  I am thinking a nice big crock pot of homemade soup, some yeast for homemade bread, some fruits and non-perishables in case I am without electric.   My encounters at the grocery store may be far worse than hair-pins turns, steep inclines and scenic overlooks with no guard rails. Batten down the hatches all and stay safe this one really could be the one to hit us hard.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Vacation - Part 3

Just time today for pictures of Little Switzerland.  Later this weekend - Grandfather Mt. and stitching progress made while on vacation. 
See what I find waiting for me.  I have the best friend ever.
 The back of the famous unseen road sign.
 The Switzerland Inn - This doesn't even begin to show how neat this place was.  
 Another view
 Entrance to the Inn and the Fowl Inn Bar to the right.
 The lake was awesome.

 On the Blue Ridge Parkway approaching the Little Switzerland Tunnel
That bank of windows causing the glow had the most amazing forever view. 
 Part of the lobby of the lodge showing one of the seating areas around one of the four fireplaces.

I promise only two more vacation posts.  Upcoming - Wooly Worm Festival, stars, Grandfather Mt., Linvilla Falls and stitching progress.   

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Vacation - Part 2

On day one, we traveled as far as Roanoke, VA.
The views get better with each scenic overlook.  
Ridge after ridge of mountains were breath-taking.  

We were blessed with beautiful weather......until
Day Two, we continued south along the parkway, we stopped at Mabry's Mill.  If you notice it is not as bright as the photos above....it is because we have climbed so high, we were driving in the clouds, aka fog.

We continued to travel south exiting the Blue Ridge Parkway at Fancy Gap and stopping in Mt. Airy - the hometown of Andy Griffith and the town that Mayberry was based on. 
This was in the general store.   

This statue outside the Andy Griffith Museum was adorable.  

Inside the lobby of the museum, the gas pumps from the 'filling station'.
 The museum was a really nice tribute to their hometown hero and well worth the $3 admission.   Lots of neat memorabilia but no photos allowed.  Most of the items were collected by Emmett Forest who had collected so many things, he needed a museum to house them!
"Stars" for the stars of the show.

Barnie's patrol car.   You can take a ride around town in it.   The owner of the car will chauffeur you.

I think that is Opie's tackle box and Otis' straw hat in the back window.

Passing the filling station on our way our of town and Barney's car is parked for the night.
We were then off to our destination of Little Switzerland, NC with the perils of Route 226A still unknown to us...... Meet Diamondback - 12 miles of twists and turns.  As per the brochure, over 190 turns in just twelve miles.

 Remember the fog we encountered earlier in the day......well it hit us full force not even half-way up this 12 mile stretch.  I had called the Inn when we left Mt. Airy to tell them we would be arriving until 8 p.m. and asked for a weather report...."the fog's startin' to lifting, y'all".   Lifting HELL!   We were using all the electronics we had.....Debbie was driving, we were using her Garmin GPS and I was using Google maps on my iPad and telling Debbie each curve that we were approaching.   Imagine Lucy and Ethel in the techno age.   No shoulders or  places to pull over, straight drops on one side and rocks or trees straight up the other side of the road.  Seriously this was about an hour of terror except we were so damned determined to be brave for each other.  At one point, I offered to use that flashlight she had given me and to walk out in front of the car.   I really would have but I think her being afraid of bears and needing me to talk her through it she vetoed the flashlight idea.  It really wasn't one of my better ideas and I wasn't too disappointed she didn't want me to.  Slow and steady we just kept our eyes on the white lines at the edge of the roadway.  We stopped at the Alpine Inn which was at the very edge of the road offering scant parking. They told us we were only a mile away and if we got as far as the Blue Ridge Parkway we went too far.  They added that locals don't drive the mountain at night or in fog!   It was the first and only place to pull over.    They also won't let you use their rest rooms either so don't stop there if your in need.  Rest room or not, had they not mentioned we should verve to the right of the parkway entrance, we would have never found the Inn.  There is was, a faint glow of amber lights on the right and a car coming straight toward us out the driveway (because when we made the turn, we were in the wrong lane!) let us know there was a driveway ahead.

Here's the sign  next to the road the next morning.
I cannot even begin to tell you how bad it was.......except to say that we passed the sign to the Inn which was lighted and only feet --- FEET --- from the road and we could not see it.  Unfortunately for us later during our stay in at the Switzerland Inn we mistakenly took 226A again when we missed the turn to get on 226 and we saw in bright crisp clean daylight how horrific the road really was.   We both must have had an angel on our shoulder that night and after we had settled into our rooms, we enjoyed well deserved drinks and delicious dinner at the Inn onsite.