Sunday, June 30, 2019

3-day Weekends

Got to say I am getting used to them.   And got to say that this is causing me to doubt my retirement decision.    Thing is, it never has been the job; it has always been the workload.   Since my replacement has taken the CEO off my plate as she is learning my job, it is so easy to do a normal and not a triple/double flip of a workload.    I think by January 10th I can convince myself that even a 4-day work week is too much.  It feels good to have a non-Herculean workload for the first time in about forever.

So, with this extra day off what have I been doing.......really too soon to make a difference.  I've been making Friday my appointment days - oil change, trip to the framer's, dentist, hair appt.  It does take the pressure off squeezing appointments in to the workday.  I feel like I've got the best of both worlds.  I can say the yard is in pristine condition.   Some closets and drawers have been cleaned.   Some reading has been done.  And a new to me thing, is listening to audio books.   In one three day weekend, working in the garden three hours each day, I managed to listen to The Tattooist of Auschwitz.   Three day weekends are proving to be a win-win for me.

For stitching I have been on a Red-White-and-Blue binge.    I hope to get this canvas piece, Hooray for the Red, White and Blue done by mid-July.  I have done very little canvas work in the past.   This is proving interesting and fun.

I find I really need to be in the right position for working on this one.   Like at a table with a frame weight or using my Lowery stand.  

It is fun seeing the plaid start to form.    Today I hope to finish the row of flowers and at least another row on the plaid.

I am working on stitching up these cuties.   I'd like to finished the last little ones today or tomorrow and be ready to finish these as ornaments.   I have the house in the lower right to finish and a tiny little parade one to stitch still.  Don't you think you need to be in  the mood to do finishing?   I do and I credit that as the reason why that basket 'o shame of finishes is so large.

 Another I am looking to finish this week is from my basket o' shame of stitched and then left to languish.  Not quite sure how I am going to finish this.   Might dive into that newly sorted box of frames I have in the craft room and see what might work.

And, I always like to share if I find something that works.    Now this works for me!    I tend to sprawl  when I sit and stitch.   Whether as home or at a class.   I bought this little tray at Prim Stitchers Retreat for the obvious reasons.  Yardstick/stitcher.    I find that keeping this by my side it gives me a target to aim for placing my bits and bobs.   Better than needles in the arm of the chair and scissors between the seat cushions.  It measures about 5 by 9 inches and is perfect.    Next class I go it, I will be taking this for sure.  

The other good product I found and was easy to use is this Instant Antique spray.   I have no idea where I picked this up.   Some store where it was displayed near the check out and I thought, oh I have to have that!  I wanted to coffee/tea stain fabric for my patriotic ornament backing and the coffee dying didn't really make much of a change.  Mostly likely this was my fault for being overly anxious to see the result and pulling the fabric out of its coffee bath too soon.   Anyway, the light bulb went off and I remembered I had this spray.    Easy to use but I recommend a generous amount of paper towel lining the counter top because of the over spray.  The voice of experience here.

For the 4th of July, it is our 4th Annual Girls weekend and my daughters should start arriving on the 3rd.  I bought us all the same jelly roll of fabric and challenged them to come up with a quilt patterns to use.   It should be fun to see how they all turn out different.   And truthfully, we may go a whole other route....and considering I am not exactly sure where my jelly roll can be found..... it is whatever any of us want to work on.   We never really have preset project plans in mind but I know by the time they leave there will have been many laughs and a multitude of projects finished.  I'm thinking I might arrange a spa afternoon for us......but that would require we dress in something other than a bathing suit or pj's and stop crafting for at least an afternoon.    hmmm, rough decision.  

 Mr. W. is back on the road for the summer and this weekend I spent fixing my pond.   The 20+ year pre-formed shell sprung a leak.   Fortunately I had a large pond liner (like a tarp) in the attic.    Pond drained, plants and filters out, I lined the existing pond shell with the liner.    Things are back to normal now.   Having no major yard projects in mind for the summer working on the pond let me mind stray......hmmm, do I relocate my fairy garden around the pond?   Some thought is needed on that.    Pool time today is an option.   The water temp is finally out of the 70's and I admit to only being in the pool twice because Mr. William wanted to swim when he visited two weeks ago.

Thanks all I've got folks.   Time to stop lallygagging and get the laundry on the line and attack the day.

Thanks for stopping by and.....keep on stitching.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Trying to stay in contact....

I've got to admit I have been a slacker on blogging, blog following and floss tube viewing.    Just not enough hours in the day.     My time has been filled with being in the garden, reading, going out with friends and a stitching.      I think I need to learn to watch floss tube while I stitch to see all the good floss tubers that everyone talks about.

Of the books I have read lately I can highly recommend "The Only Woman In The Room" all about the life of Heddy Lamar.   A brilliant woman who you should thank every time you use your cell phone.  Also, "Beartown", story of a small town youth hockey team and sides taken when bad things happen.  This was written by the same author of "A Man Called Ove" which I read several years ago.     I also read "Lay This Body Down", a true story of plantation owner/s and peonage workers in the 1920's-1930's in Georgia.   It was somewhat nostalgic to read as it was all about the town my brother lived in and places I have seen in Georgia.  I also recommend "Inside the O'Briens" by Lisa Genova.   She has done another outstanding job capturing the progression of a disease (Huntington's in this book) and how the family copes.  And a tear jerker, "Everything I Never Told You" by Celeste Ng.   The prejudice felt by a Chinese-American couple as youth, how it formed their view when they become parents and tried to shape their children lives and the tragedy that resulted.  Lastly, back in January I read "Where The Crawdads Sing", never expected the ending.

I can see some Friday's relaxing here
Since I have lamented about work, I will give you the fabulous update.   I finally have the right person that I am training for my job!    Jen is a dream come true.   She is me, 30 years ago.   I keep trying to reign her in and tell her favors done are rights expected because I don't want her to burn out.   I negotiated to stay an additional 6-months with the caveat of a normal length workday and a four day week.   YeHa!  So nice to have a couple of extra hours each day.   It's only week two and I am not quite used to the 3-day weekends but I will suffer through.

Willie wanted pancakes, he got pancakes!

As for family, I had a fantastic visit from William last weekend.   He brought his mom and dad with him but you know I only had eyes for him.    Wow - starting at about 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day he never stops.

A trip to the playground to try to tire him......

Willie ate crabs with us
Such concentration on filling Dam-mom's pond

We finally did wear him out.

 For stitching, I finished Easter Peep Parade from Brenda Gervais of With Thy Needle and Thread.    I stitched this on 18-count Fiddler's Cloth and think I will finish it as a pillow.     It was nice to be able to stitch without cheaters.

I started working on this SAL with my EGA Chapter.   It is called Hooray for the Red, White and Blue.  What I enjoy about my EGA is learning new techniques and trying things I might otherwise be wary of......I am learning to use a laying tool for the Neon Rays fiber I choose for the bunting.   It was cumbersome at first but once I got into a rhythm it is going well.

 Look at the fun, cool fibers I am working with.....

And now I must sign off and get back to cleaning closets......not as horrible as one might think and it will feel so good to have everything in its place and a place for everything.  I don't know about you but I get overwhelmed when everything is a mess and that is what happened with my craft closet(s).   Both spare bedrooms upstairs have small walk-in closets that house most of my crafts.   One is large enough to have a chest of drawers in it with much of my fabric.  The shelves hold large plastic tubs with everything from stained glass to basket weaving to Stampin Up to finishing supplies to WIP' get the idea.    The one in my sewing room had become a catch all for anything and everything I didn't have a place for or I wanted to stow away quickly.   It is long past time to get these into a more logical order so I don't have to hop from room to room to search for something.    And I have recently received some crafty items from a friend that is downsizing not to mention my items from Prim Stitchers Retreat arrived and there is no where to put this items.  I didn't quite need a backhoe to get in there but close.  Between the two closets, I jumped into moving some items from one room to the other.   Today, I probably need half the day to finish up the sewing room closet today and take that large pile of 'yard sale' items I identified out to the garage.   It will feel so good to get this done and maybe all the 'stuff' on top of my crafting bench will be able to find a new home too.  By the end of the day, the entire upstairs will have had it's spring cleaning.   The downstairs may be on a quick train called the Hot Mess Express, but I will feel better knowing the upstairs is in order.

Thanks for stopping by.....and I promise to try to take an evening to catch up on all your posts.   Keep on stitching!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Snippets from the edge....

Wow, I can't believe it has been so long.   Let me try to give you the Reader's Digest version of the last couple of months.  The operative word being 'try'.

When last I appeared, I was working on Karolin Beringer Sampler.   It is finished and at Michael's to be framed.   I took advantage of a 70% off coupon and took this and 3 others over on Memorial Day.
Looking forward to picking it up with the others.

I spent Easter with my son's family which was also William's birthday week.   We had a blast and a half.   Always a good time when I visit.   I love that we FaceTime a couple of times each week.   Willie and his daddy are coming for a visit next weekend.   Time for "Dam-ma" to get some Willie goodies in the house.
Home from State College and I was out the door to my Guild's semi-annual retreat in OCMD.   It was another good long weekend with old friends and new and I DID NOT win the prize for the most spent.   Some of my walls are filled so I opted for some small holiday and seasonal pieces I can finish quickly and use to decorate for the seasons.

 Can't wait to start this guy.......not too sure I want to tackle assembling him when I finish stitching .....that's a ways off
 Bunch of tiny stitches that I can finish and use as seasonal accents.   Could also be good size for take along projects and the plan is to stitch from stash.

After OCMD, I had a one day turn around and was off to Memphis for the Prim Stitchers Society Retreat.   As retreats go, this is one of the best.  Dixie, who coordinates is all, just does an absolutely fabulous job.   We added a couple of extra days to sightsee on our own.  We did a tour of Graceland - which even though I am not a big Elvis fan, I have to say the tour and museums were second to none.    We did a walking tour of Memphis.   

As part of the walking tour, we visited the Peabody Hotel.   This organ belonged to Frances Scott Key and was on the mezzanine.

 Quite a display of showmanship (in the best way) as the Peabody Ducks entered the lobby for their daily swim in the fountain.

Gorgeous handprinted elevator doors and a snippet of the original tiled floor.

 The memorial park overlooking the Mississippi River that once was home to all the statues of confederate leaders.    To me, and I may be alone in this opinion, it is sad that part of the history has been taken down and is stored in some secret warehouse.

Beale Street on the lest and some of the beautiful architecture on the right.
Graceland.   Not the gigantic Hollywood Mansion we would see today.   Just a stately home sitting well off the street.   Below, even at a young age, your can see the start of the curl to his upper lip!

 Imagine that!  A needlepoint version of the front of his house.    Only a stitcher would find this interesting while on the tour.
 His living room
Having had a series of golf carts for fun around the yard, Lisa Marie's golf cart key caught my eye.

 After touring the house, we toured a well thought-out and well laid out museum documenting Elvis' life.    There is another wall of just the gold albums.
 Cars!  Did he have cars.   From Bentleys to purple Lincolns to the Red MG Spider from the movie with AnnMargaret.

And somewhere along the way, drinks were had.    And food.  OMGosh did we eat good and did the scale show it when I returned.

I'd love to share the fabulous retreat gifts, class pieces and purchases but they have not arrived yet.   Since I was traveling by plane, I left my purchases with a bestie in Tennessee.   She will be bringing them to me later this month when she comes to visit her family.    It will be like shopping all over again when I unpack my goodies.
So after being away 15 out of 20 days, I needed to catch up.   I have my yard in great shape other than a foundation bed that needs to be raked out still and the area under the pool deck.    I did get my veggies are in.   I have already enjoyed salads with my very own lettuce.    

 I love the bursts of color I get with every turn around the yard.

We went back and forth on whether to build a pergola, but a pergola, put up an awning........and decided on is 15 by 21 and I am in my happy place when I sit on my deck.   Still working on the furniture arrangement.

I am loving sitting here eating breakfast and having coffee each morning.  

I can tell you that my egg chair is the best seat in the house.  It is a great place to stitch or read.

We had some pool issues to deal with.   A leak around the output.   Got that fixed this week and should finish refilling the pool to day and start the vacuuming and chemicals.    

Also, got a hiccup in what I planned as a kitchen upgrade.   Seems the spring checkup of the AC resulted in a new AC and heater.   Ugh!   It was on the horizon that it was going to need to be done in the next couple of years but when the repair estimate mounted higher and higher we bit the bullet and gave the go ahead.  Kitchen counters and back splash had to be delayed.

All that and some website and blog support tackled out of the way I did get some stitching in.  In addition to finishing Karolin Beringer Sampler, I started Patriotic Poppies from Brenda Gervais and I am about 80% down.   I am stitching it on 14 count and it will be finished as a pillow.   From my purchases as Salty Yarns in April, I started and hope to finish Easter Peep Parade also from Brenda Gervais.   This is being stitched on 18 count fiddlers cloth and I think I will also finish as a pillow.    Both are so close, I hope to get both stitched by the end of June if not before.

Yesterday I created this cake.   I had the concept, read some Pinterest tutorials and put this together for friends celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.   I was really happy with how it turned out.    It took a lot longer than I thought it would to roll and arrange all those dollars.   They will 'bless' me as they 'earn' those dollars when they disassemble it!

 So that is where and what I have been doing.    For today, more enjoying the outside and maybe a little stitching.  

Thanks for bearing with me for my NOT Readers Digest Condensed version and thanks for stopping by.    Keep on stitching.  

Oops!  All that and I forgot something.    My laundry room window has been bare since I remodeled it several years ago.   I got the brilliant idea to create a window covering.   I made a frame to fit inside the window out of 2 by 2's.  I painted it white.   I planned to stretch lace over the frame and staple gun in place.   Well like all my brilliant ideas, there is usually an equally as brilliant flaw in the planning.  Seems I had no lace like fabric.  Instead, I stretch and mounted two old stained dresser scarves.   Not like I envisioned, but happy just the same.   Just more of my attempt to reuse and repurpose.