Saturday, August 30, 2008

Whew! This week flew by...

Well, it has been an active week, which is explains why there have not been any posts for a few days.

I started back to school this week, which is always exciting. I am done with my Financial Accounting and Managerial Accounting Classes, which were pretty difficult subjects. I am happy to say that I got a lot out of them both. This semester, due to gas prices, commute time, etc., I am taking my classes online. So now I am studying Business Law and another management course. I have really been looking forward to both of them.

I did get my Chrismons over to the church mid-week. The pastor was both surprised and delighted by them. As we talked about them, I shared that prior to my beginning the journey with them, that I truly did not understand their history, purpose and symbolism. This led to a discussion about how we can use the ornaments to teach others. It appears that I will be assisting with a Sunday School forum as well as writing something for our church publication. I learned so much myself so I am really eager to share.

I am continuing work on the stocking as well. I do not have batteries yet for my camera, a situation I hope to remedy tomorrow. It really is such a beautiful piece. My daughter did so much work on it and did such a beautiful job. I am sure that her hubby will treasure it forever.

In the meantime, it is Labor Day, so I am really, truly trying to stay of the fabric store websites that are advertising major savings on fabric. It is really hard not to be checking out those retro fabrics that I love so much.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Stocking WIP

I am continuing onward with the stocking that my daughter did most of the stitching on for her hubby. I am currently working on the backstitch on the church. I have found that there is another set of graphs that show some additional stitching that goes around the windows. Apparently, there are supposed to be some wreaths done in french knots. I know there are alot of stitchers that hate french knots, but I like to do them. Plus the finished product looks so nice. The wreaths add so much to the picture, so I am anxious to get started.

It appears that the backstitch has a lot more detail work than I had originally thought. It is really detailed, which of course, makes it all the more lovely. I think it will be really stunning when it is done. It will be a very special keepsake.

As a side note, I am proud to say that I am now a great aunt. My niece, Sasha, gave birth to beautiful little Aiden on Sunday. He looks like a sweet little pink angel. We are so happy that he and his momma are doing well! A true blessing!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Oops! I Did It Again...

It started so innocently. I had to run by my fabric store to buy a lining fabric for my son-in-law's stocking. I thought that since I was there and all, and what with the price of gas I should really make this trip count... I thought I would just cruise past the two clearance tables and just make sure that they were not practically giving away a really fabulous fabric. That was when I spied a retro Michael Miller fabric with little cookbooks all over it. It was on clearance at $3.97 a yard. Hmmm. That is some major savings right there...

So I had to pass the other area on my way to the cutting table. I tried to avert my eyes, but there was this bright yellow, retro Robert Kaufman fabric with nursery rhymes. It was also $3.97 on clearance.

Okay, two yards of fabric for less than $8. That is a pretty good deal. Plus I had the fabric for the stocking. I would get out of there for less the $20. Cool. So off I trot to the cutting table with my three bolts of fabric. I say to the nice lady cutting my fabric that one of these days I have to come in and buy the Michael Miller ice cream fabric. She told me that if I really wanted that fabric, that I had better not wait too long. She said that it is hugely popular and that the last of it was on the bolt. She suggested that I go check the bolt to see how much was left. Darn it. The bolt was a bit thin... Minutes later I am walking out of there with my purchase, which included the pictured three additional yards of fabric.

I really need to get my sewing machine out and get all of these pretty fabrics into a nice quilt. For now it just makes me happy to look at them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hurray! A Stitchy Project

As I was poking around in my craft room, I suddenly remembered that I had promised to finish up a stocking that my daughter had started for her husband. Actually, not only had she started it, it was pretty much 95% done. It is stunning. It is a Dimensions Gold stocking called, "Sleigh Ride At Dusk." I seem to remember that she had put away because her adorable kitten, Sundae, was offering all kinds of assistance, none of which was particularly helpful to her. I told her that I would be happy to finish it in time for this Christmas, along with a second stocking that I stitched for her a few years ago that stilled needed to have the back put on.

I was quite impressed as I took the almost finished stocking out of the bag. The back was nearly perfect. It looked much neater than my work. I called her and told her that I was afraid I was going to mess it up. She really did an incredible job. I am just going through line by line to make sure that each line is full. It should be done by the weekend and ready to line and put the back on. It will look totally awesome when it is done. I will make sure to post a picture.

Since I am on a finishing kick, I really should frame those L&L angels. I think I am holding off because the Angel of Love is so heavy because of the beads. I am afraid that is really going to be troublesome to mount. Maybe by this weekend, I will have courage.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Plant Rescues

My heart goes out to all plants that are, shall we say, past their prime. I am the lady that you will find looking at the table of brown plants at the store with the 80% off sign on it. I have bought several of the beauties with great hope and have actually ended up with really great treasures, most of the time.

Some of my favorites are plants that were totally free. I have had this Candy Stripe rose for several years now. It was part of a rescue operation. I was at work and one of the managers asked me if I wanted to take it home. The gophers were killing the roots and it would not be around much longer. He dug it up for me and I went home with my new prize. It looked really scrawny and sick. I put it in a wine barrel, fertilized and watered it. It has survived a couple of tough freezes and a move. It is now about 5 feet tall. It just needed a little love and to be free of the gophers.

The orchid pictured above was from an arrangement that was delivered to someone in my office about three years ago. It was dying a slow death from no natural light, too much water one day after not being watered for a week, etc. Since it looked like it was for all intents and purposes, dead, I asked politely if I could have it. I put it in a sunny window in my cottage and aired out it's roots. For the last couple of years around this time it gives off these huge Moth Orchid Blooms. The blooms last two to three months and are incredible.

It pays not to give up on plants like these. They give me so much joy.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Yesterday the fair closed, which meant today was the day that all entries had to be picked up. It never fails to amaze me how fast they can break down such a large fair. It was nice to get my ribbons. I have to figure out a new way to display them. I also need to figure out where three additional pieces are going to go on my walls. I think I will be doing a little re-organizing.

It is alway a little bit strange to drop off pieces for exhibition. Many times I have spent months or close to a year on a piece. I then drop it off and it will be away from me for a few weeks. It is really good to be able to take it home for it's permanent place on a wall in the house.

I am still in my selection process for my next project. Tomorrow I am off so I am hoping to have my selection made by then. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chrismons continued...

Well, I have about 14 Chrismons completed. I have learned alot about their meanings and had a great time cutting, gluing, glittering and such.

The craft room was looking really scary after two weeks of my projects. So it was time to clear off the desk, vacuum and get the dog glitter-free. She had kind of a Vegas look going there for a while, but I am proud to say that it appears that the house has been de-glittered. However, I do recall that glitter has a habit of making an appearance on stuff you do not want glitter on.

Now I am in a crafting mood so I am wondering if I should frame that three, yes three L&L angels, that I have completed over 5 years ago. I am embarrassed to say that they have been stored in a big Sterilite container with a a couple of stockings that I have to put the backs on for the family. I am feeling inspired so 2008 could be the year. I really need to think on this.
I am posting a photo of my beautiful little Liesl sans sparklies.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Decisions, decisions....and TGIF!

Whoohoo! Friday has arrived. On the way home I bought a nice bottle of wine, rented "Talledega Nights" and "Waiting for Guffman" and thought about relaxing all weekend. There is a major car show here in town that ties up traffic so badly that most residents try to stay home for the weekend. That is our plan.

While I am still working on my Chrismons, I am starting to get the itch to do a stitchy project. I have some small things to work on but I am thinking about something more substantial. The Prairie Schooler Farmer's Alphabet is calling to me, but my hubby is questioning my sanity since I have already completed five samplers. So then I am thinking about Cross My Heart's Mother of Innocence. Lovely piece, but then today while looking for something else, I came across L&L's Angel of Dreams, already kitted up in my collection. All of these pieces are begging to be stitched. I just do not know where to start. Since I have some movies to watch it would be so perfect to be able to stitch along with them.

I am hoping to get a few more of my Chrismons done. I would really like to present them to the church next week. I think I will make this an annual craft project. I have had a lot of fun doing it. Plus I have some pretty neat ideas for future ornaments.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy dancing!

I am in a state of shock. My fair entries did far better than I ever could have hoped. Generally, when I drop off my entries, I just hope that I will take home some sort of ribbon. I am in such awe of everyone else's pieces and their hard work. I realize how much work has gone into every piece. I also understand the tough job the judges have. So I just do my best and hope for the best.

Here is the breakdown on my fair results:

Close to My Heart - Handanger -1st place
Candy Nutcracker Stocking - 1st place
Toccata 1 sampler- 2nd place
Bordeaux sampler - Best of Show

It was a really nice surprise and a true honor to receive recognition for something that I love doing so much.

What made it even cooler is that my hubby entered the fair for the first time this year. He is a homebrewer, so he entered his beers and his cookies. He won 3rd place with his cookies, and Best of Show with one of his beers. How cool is that?!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Glitter, glitter everywhere!

Well, I haven't posted for a few days. I have been working on a surprise for my church. Last year I noticed there were some bare spots on the Chrismon tree so I vowed that I would make a bunch of the traditional ornaments. Since the early Spring I have been collecting pearls, gold beads, styrofoam and such. Several years ago my church bought the instruction books and left them in my care, so I set to work this week.

The time finally came when I had gathered enough supplies so everyday for the past 4 days I have glued, beaded, and applied glitter. I have about 10 ornaments ready to go. I want to make at least 10 more. Keeping the surprise is really rough. There is gold and white glitter everywhere, no matter how hard I try to control it. I was a bit concerned when I noticed the dog walking by and she a couple of specks of glitter on her back.

They are coming out quite nicely. I can't wait to see them on the tree!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Stitchy Gifts!

I was pretty happy because I was able to give my daughter my gift that I had been working on. It was a scissor keeper and fob that I had made. I stitched it with silks on Silkweaver opalescent fabric. It turned out really nicely and I think it will make a nice keepsake. I also put a nice pair of Gingher's in there. I was so excited about giving it to her. She is into crochet so it is nice that she has a pretty pair of scissors to work with.

Now I trying to figure out should I start a new stitchy project, a quilting project, frame some old projects or just read a few books for a while. My Prairie Schooler Farmer's Alphabet pattern is calling to me though...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

"Tis a sickness, really...

Okay, while I will admit that my first love craft-wise is cross stitch, I do have a really powerful weakness for something else. I know you are thinking chocolate, but while I do so love good chocolate, this is even worse. It is my love of retro fabrics. I am totally weak in a fabric store which carries old novelty prints. Never has this been more evident than when I was in San Jose last week and had to see these prints in person. I have been looking online at them for weeks. Someone else who had purchased the ballerinas herself (in all three colors, no less) said that I really needed to see them in person and that the photos did not do them justice. I have to say that she was absolutely right and so I proceeded to buy a yard of each one. Bonus: They were 30% off. Happy dance!

Now, I will admit that I do not have any clue what I am going to do with them. They are just so darling that I just enjoy looking at them.

I was a bit proud of myself today because I had to run by the craft store for a last minute detail for a gift. I stood in the fabric section wanting this fabric with little vintage cupcakes (A Michael Miller fabric) and even had a coupon! I passed it up. I just know that tonight when I go to sleep, I am going to dream about little vintage cupcakes!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Almost there

Well, here it is- the night before the fair entries are due. My Bordeaux Sampler is framed and ready to go with a beautiful frame. My hubby did a great job making it. I love the way the leaf pattern mimics the vines in the sampler itself. We still have one more item to frame, but felt that we should probably do it in the morning when we are fresh. That one requires us the cut a mat so I am a bit nervous about that.

It is always exciting to go over to the fairgrounds and turn in the entries. There are quite a few people with their entries wrapped up in bags and paper. It is such a mystery and I wonder what is underneath.

I am looking forward to eating some deep fried artichoke hearts. It will be great to see all of the best of the best in our county, too!