Monday, October 8, 2007

Stampin Up

Like I need another craft!

What cute cute cute stuff these demonstrators do. One of the girls at work is a demonstrator. Every other month she has a class in our lunch room after work.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Some things I have completed

Scroll down the right side to view some of my completed projects..........

Is it October? The calendar says so but not the thermometer!

Just back from the CATS Festival in Hershey. Sorry to say, they announced this is the last year. It is disappointing. There is certainly the interest. Like anything, I am sure it is no picnic to organize and run it. I can only imagine the headaches.

At any rate, my girls and I had a blast. We shopped and browsed the marketplace. There was not nearly as many vendors as in the past. We may not have bought a whole lot at the marketplace, but we did indulge. Those chocolate martinis are to die for. Great food and dinners were had.

Let's back track some.....arrival day is an afternoon at the Hershey Spa. OMG! Is this what people from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous live like! Cocoa scrubs, manicures, pedicures, facials. You know that spare change you throw in a jar? Well this is what mine is saved for!!!!

The marketplace was so minimal that we took a side trip on Friday to Mannings Wool and Yarn Shop in East Berlin, PA. Both daughters knit and one spins as well. Even mom bought yarn and pattern for a lacy scarf. I can knit but I am a challenged knitter at best. The highlight was the GPS directions on my daughter's phone telling us to ....'turn right on Peepytown Road'..... well if we didn't get the giggles over what I thought was PeePeetown Road. What can I say......sometimes we have no couth!

So back to the cross stitching part. Bought Jan Nan's Queen Bee pin cushion, bought another needle book - I think I subconciously believe I need a needle book for every WIP - bought a few JBW designs. So cute and so quick to stitch. Working on "le pumpkin" on Picture This Plus "Fossil" with Gentle Arts "Pumpkin" floss. (Or it may be Weeks Dye Works "Pumpkin"). Should be able to finish up this week and may a pillow out of it. Pix to follow

By far the least amount I have every spent at the show......but then we visited the outlets on the way home. Hey a girl needs new undies!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Three's a Crowd

I completed the Three's a Crowd design of Valerie Pfeiffer, Heritage Stitchcraft from England. Cute cross stitch of 3 chick-a-dees on a branch. Of course each has a personality that matches one of my children. I inserted the finished project in the opening of a trinket box. I purchase the DMC box last year as a Christmas present to myself. One of those things that I always wanted so I just got it. It was filled with needles, clover cutter, threaders, floss, linen, patterns and more. This is now my coffee table box to hold my current stitching project. Who am I fooling....current stitching projects! Multiply projects don't fit but I had good intentions.

Currently working on a Penny Rug Needle Case that I purchased in Nashua. It is a Donna Stefanik design from Heartsong Primitives.

Also, a graduation sampler for my son-in-law from Sweetheart Tree. I love the intricacies of Sweetheart Tree as much as they frustrate me. That project has been put aside for a couple of months. (photos may never follow!)

Lastly I am working on Autumn Roses Necessities Bag from Wendy White of Wee Works Sandwich, MA. This is on 40 count. I have not progressed too far and need to get moving. The deal with this one is that both my daughter and I took the class in Nashua in May and she is done! I will see her at the Stitching Festival in Hershey and we are going to compare progress which means I better get stitching. For the most part, this is stitched in one color so it makes it a great project to take a few minutes at lunch time and sit outside in the bright sunlight and do a bit.

Of course, you say I jest that this is all I am working on but remember the key word currently working on. That doesn't mean there are not a few more WIP - works in progress. These are the ones that I am actively working on! and of course there are more.....

Before the CATS Stitching Festival at the end of September, I need to review my project flyers, brochures, etc. and create a list of the linens and fabrics I need. Great booth at the convention of hand dyed linens, lugana, aida, and more from Picture that Plus. It will be my first stop when I attend the show. One needs to get there early before they are picked over and sold out of what you may want or need.

Summer's Over!

Where did it go? As we get older it seems to fly by even faster. This summer, for me, was filled with a lot of overtime Monday to Friday and weekend day trips. Some might think, wow, Overtime! but there is no money associated with it when you are salaried. It's all good. As with anything, there are push times and crunch times. We are down five employees in my department due to everything from resignation, retirement, disability to termination! We do what we have to do to get through these times.

I think the pace at work set the pace for my weekends. My husband supports a youth group and it lends him to be away a lot of weekends and leaves me to my own devices. So this summer - in no particular order .....
  • I did some some landscaped rearranging - built a dry creek bed on my property - more like a little gully then a full fledged creek bed.

  • Went to the theater with my daughter and saw Wicked! It was great. The show was great as was the walking around the city and strolling through the parks and shops around Rittenhouse Square.

  • Had a graduation picnic for my son-in-law. What a guy! He spent 14 years in night school to get his engineering degree and he deserved a picnic! Of course, it was the hottest day of the summer and we all melted! Enlarge it, i is hard to see but it says 120! Silly me, I can' find the clearer photo. Must be on the other computer. Folks don't believe you get those temps. in Jersey.

  • The annual removal of everything from the garage and the great purge of stuff.

  • The annual sorting of closets and drawers followed by the huge drop off at Goodwill.

  • Spent the day in St. Micheal's on the eastern shore. Road the ferry across the bay to the town of Oxford and walked the streets there. My travel companion had spent her summers as a child at a great aunt's house. We found the house and it is has been converted into apartments. As she was telling me about her memories of the old porch swing we looked up and the hooks were still there. It was an especially nice day for her.

  • Deck parties! The son of a friend plays in a three piece acoustic band. They were called to perform last minute for a cancellation at a local restaurant with a deck on the river. They played to a packed house and have been invited back on subsequent weekends. It is great to have been able to watch these kids grow from babies to having babies of their own!

  • Weddings - boy did I have weddings! I think there was a period of 4 months that I had a shower or a wedding almost EVERY weekend. Like I said, it is great to have watched these kids grow up and marry. Boy do I feel like my mother when I say....I can remember changing your diapers!

  • Bought a book on Speedwriting to learn something new and to help with the fact that I am covering 6 to 8 meetings week due to turnovers at work. hmmm, I wonder where that book is? Must be buried in a pile of cross stitch.

  • DCA Finals in Rochester New York and a side trip to the shores of Lake Ontario.

  • Afternoons by the pool with either my sister or brother or both!

  • Kutztown Folk Festival - I always wanted to go and finally did this summer. The crafts, the cloggers, the quilt display and the food! Need I say more?
  • Porch painting - I decided to give the front of the house a little curb appear. I spruced up my front porch by getting rid of the tired stain by replacing it with crisp gray and what paint and a couple of Cracker Barrel rockers. Sweet! I meet with resistance from my husband and my son who thought it unnatural to paint the fir decking. Come on! It was at least 15 if not 20 years old. I like the end result and have even more plans. I think they protested just enough to get out of helping. Hopefully the before and after are obvious.

  • Cross stitch and more. Not only did I do a fair bit of stitching, I started the summer with a trip to the Celebrations of Needlework in Nashua, New Hampshire in May, I am ending the summer with the Creative Arts and Textiles Show (CATS) in Hershey PA at the end of September. This will be the 8th year I have gone to CATS and it is a special treat because my daughters join me. They both stitch, knit and crochet beautifully. This year as well as last, we will treat ourselves to an afternoon at the Hershey Spa for choco scrubs and pedicure and facials. Followed quickly by the Chocolate Martini's once we check into the Convention center. Three days of heaven for a stitcher. We have even been known to do somersaults down the wide lush hallways. I watch, they roll!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Have you ever been to LUSH? Wow what an experience. It is the ultimate in luxury skin and body care. The sales staff is sooooo nice and sooooo helpful. They explain what each product does, suggest what products are best for your particular need, use the samples on you! I went to a friends and family sale event at the Lush on Walnut in Philly tonight. This is my second trip. The first store I went to was the Boston store. After the fabulous sales girl in Boston I felt sure I would be disappointed because no one could measure up to her. Well I was wrong, Lush is doing something right and not only with their products but with their staff as well. Their products are all natural and handmade. There are no preservatives and they are better for the environment. I can't wait to try my 'stuff' and you know we all need stuff. Some may consider them as costly but I am worth it! I am not one to spend a lot on myself but this is one indulgence that I don't have a problem with! Thanks to my daughters for taking me!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Coming soon

Pet Peeves - when does polite become too much
Jersey Surf and my husband
Crafting - three's a crowd cross stitch
Cross stitch festival - Nashua
Cross Stitch festival - Hershey

Surf's Up

Don't even say there is nothing for kids to do these days. Need to be brief but need to get this out there as well. Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corp - a great organization that has helped thousands of young men and women over the last 15 plus years learn teamwork, experience the thrill of competition, traveled across the country, met lifelong friends......and more. More on my real feelings about Jersey Surf in a later post.....................

Trooper Ron's 5K

This time last year I would have laughed at you if you told me I would participate in my first 5K. Well let's not get excited, I walked it. All the folks from work that convinced me I should do it kept saying......"there will be lots of walkers.....". I should have heard the loud 'sucker' in the background.

Straight from work we arrived at the waterfront which is a beautiful remake of the city's warehouse area. We signed in, got out numbers and t-shirts, stretched, listened to the local radio station and waited. First was the the children's mini run. Too cute! Ok, so now it is the walkers and runners to the starting line. I gravitate to the back of the pack. I am confident that I can do this and that I will not be the slowest person. The tension mounts and off we go. It took far less than 15 seconds to realize that I am so far out of my league. Everyone is running and has pulled ahead of me. It is me and the motorcycle cop behind me. I am having the immediate panic attack of embarrassment. Will it be me and this cop for the next hour? Way to make me feel like a sore thumb. Apparently in my total horror I am thinking out loud and I comment about how I was lied too about the number of walkers. And there is Chris to my rescue.

Chris couldn't have been more perfect if he were on a white stead. Chris tells me to stick with him because his wife always takes off and leaves him. And sure enough I see her and her girlfriend rounding the bend ahead of us. Chris also reassures me that I won't be the last one in because he has a tradition of walking in last. A peace settles in and I know I can do this. We round the corner for the riverwalk and the motorcycle cop if gone so I am a little less threatened. We walk and talk and talk and walk. Somehow we picked up a few folks that are now behind us. We didn't pass anyone so it had to be during my initial haze of embarrassment that I overlooked these comrades.

Chris, a native of the area, told me all these little tidbits about the area. We cruised past where his mother worked during the war (WWII) making ship parts.....a real Rosie the Riveter. We eventually pass another person or two in the shop area as they slowed to window shop. We are about a mile and a half in and all the people from work have already passed me on their way back.

We turn the bend and round the corner and we notice that we have lost anyone behind us. The workers positioned on the route are picking up the cones after we pass their check points. I am too worried about my burning calves to be embarrassed at this point. It's all good. I am a confirmed couch potato that would otherwise be sitting in the chair cross stitching or reading a Grisham novel but I am out here doing it!

Chris's daughter slows and joins us for a bit. She is about 13 and she is tiring. Not long and she has a burst and she pulls ahead. I start to waiver and Chris pushes me on. The whole walk is nothing more than I am used to but the pace is more intense than I would prefer.

So the finish line with the digital time on top is looming ahead. I am so thankful that Chris was put in my path for the afternoon. Chris tells me that I helped him shave 6 minutes off his time. Chris pulls back, his daughter now with us again and tells me to cross the line ahead of him. He, after all must keep up the tradition of he and his daughter crossing hand in hand and last.
There they are, all the folks from work, cheering me! Oh the further embarrassment. I cross at 52 minutes 30 seconds and feel great. Looking at the website, I was under a 17 minute mile which is acceptable I feel. I could have kept going. I grab a cold bottle of water and we are all off to have a after group shot taken.

I find Chris who is with his family and I shake his hand and thank him for helping me make it.

Back to reality, into the car, across the river, home to cook dinner! Driving home I am energized and looking forward to my next walk.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Jiminy Crickets!

or rather jumping jiminy crickets. Oh yes the promises to keep this current have gone the wayside. Again, where does the time go? I like to think that rather than waste time by admitting disorganization, that rather I do too much. Which is very true. I need to learn to lower my expectations and learn to say NO! Enough on that subject because that is a whole other therapy session on its own.

My newest endeavor has been the excessive accumulation of Stampin' Up stamps for making greeting cards. What fun to turn out these creations. I admit that on my own I have had very primitive results. At the workshops I have attended, these women are so creative! The things they think of and things they combine to make works of beauty are unbelievable. We have a girl at work that organizes little after work sessions every month or so and we do look forward to these classes. Next one is June 22. More on Stamin with April and a link to her site once I remember where I have it written.

That of course leads to the tangent that was created. Making my own paper. How cool is that? I got the kit with the instructions, screens, blotting paper, etc. from Michael's Arts and Crafts. I decided to dispense with the mulching and weeding as planned and took my trusty blender to the potting bench on the deck. So simple to shred an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper and toss it in the blender, add 2 cups water and blend for 30 seconds. Poor it on the screen, drain and blot the water and Ta Da! Paper. I got inventive and added lavender from my garden which turned out pretty cool and resulted in scented paper. Then I moved to mint from the garden.....equally cool. I have been saving letterhead from work that was to be shredded. (The dreaded typo or alignment problem, or let me change that paragraph from my boss.) The better the quality of paper the nicer the end result. Our letterhead is tri colored so it adds a fleck or green and teal and blue here and there. Also, I learned the longer you blend the smoother your end result. As with anything, it is a learning process. I will have to take a photo and display it. But let's not rush me.......all in due time.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Oh my goodness, where does the time go?

Of course, like so many things we all do, I needed to have a Blog. I had to have a Blog. My daughter helped create it and then there is sat. I had my Blog and let it sit out in cyberspace all alone and neglected. Perhaps that is why I never had a puppy. It could be that my Blogging ties in with my stitching. I haven't put needle to fabric since Christmas. I am feeling the lack of center in my life. So instead of sitting at the computer and entertaining myself with mindless games on Pogo, I need to get my nimble little fingers in gear. Heaven knows I have quite a few started projects and twice as many more that I want to start. I made that promise all us crafters do..... I promised, on my honor, that I will not buy any more projects to add to my stash until I complete something. I further promise, on my honor, that I will not start one new project until I complete one... and let's see how far into the year I can last.
As an aside, I love Pogo! for the way it allows me to unwind. Don't seem to get much else done when I get into a Pogo frenzy. Seems odd that I would like to unwind at a computer after sitting at one all day at work. But it is a far cry from a deadline or people hovering over you. I have been doing quite well and have kept up with the badges so far for 2007. For those of you not familiar, Pogo is an online game site. You can play anything from Chess to Checkers to Blackjack or Slingo or Hearts and much more. You earn points or tokens. Each week, two or more specials will be going on. If you complete the task required for the special, you get extra points and a badge for that game. You have an album where you keep these badges. This is sad that I know that much about this! I kind of rationalize it that as I cooked, cleaned and diapered others were playing Intellivision. It is now my time to be a gaming aficionado. Now that word should impress my librarian daughter. But I digress....

So I found a funny thing out there on the net as I was looking for information on the Stitching Festival. Just put 'stitching festival' in the address bar and let the search engine do the rest. There is a hit for " Gumble - A Cross Stitch in Time". This is the recounting of a trip to a cross stitch convention by a guy trying to impress his girlfriend. Well written and quite funny. I can just see the poor bastard sitting there with the other husbands. I guess that makes up for the countless Sundays wives are abandoned for football.

We are a strange brood us creative types.