Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Really Good Day!

Today was one of those really good days. The day started with going to church, which was wonderful as usual! We have really been looking forward to today, because a couple of days ago, my hubby asked me out on a date for lunch today. I have been pretty excited about it and made sure I did my hair cute and all.

After church we dashed home to change into comfy clothes. Neither one of us was hungry yet, so I mentioned that I would like to run by Michaels for a bottle of paint for some more Chrismons. Of course, one can not run into Michaels for one item. Today was no different. The beads that I really like were on clearance for $2 a strand. Even better, the rack was full, unlike when I usually see a clearance sign for cool beads at Michaels. I bought four strands and a pretty pendant that was made from mother of pearl. Sweet! Then hubby teased me while I picked out two gorgeous strands that were on sale at 2 for $5. They were sparkly, so they had to be mine!

By this time, we were getting hungry so we went off to one of our favorite restaurants, which has our favorite menu item on special on Sundays. Oh, my goodness, it was delicious! It is a fabulous gourmet meatloaf that is served over garlic mashed potatoes. We got to eat out on the patio. Many of the restaurants here are not only dog friendly, but also have menus for doggies. So we got to take the furgirl after her hard, no fun week. (her bandage is off, but her footie still hurts from the incision) She got to have her very special treat of chicken breast. It was such a beautiful fall day, warm and sunny. It was so nice to linger over a long, leisurely lunch and chat. We had such a great time.

Since I was so stuffed and sleepy, I came home and got out the knitting, while Bob puttered. Liesie has been napping on and off since we got in, probably still dreaming of grilled chicken cut into little puppy sized bites. LOL. I was making really great progress on my knitting and then looked further down the page, where, gosh darn it, I saw that I need to add ribbing on this sweater with circular knitting needles. Umm, I do not own any circular knitting needles. I would have to go back to, you guessed it, Michaels. And of course, you can't just get one thing at Michaels...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Knittin' And A Grinnin'

Well, it has been ages since I last picked up myknitting needles. After my evening of knitting with my daughter the other night I got all inspired. I spent today working on the sassy red sweater for my furbaby. I am afraid that my stitches are not as precise and uniform as they once were but this is a good project to do to get back in the swing of things.

I think this sweater is going to be really cute and warm. As I mentioned in a previous post, the sweaters that I like at the local dog boutique (yes, DOG boutique!) started at $55. Since I do not even buy $55 sweaters for myself, I knew that if it was going to be, it was up to me. I found the cutest patterns at 123stitch and bought acrylic yarn so that it would be washable. My sweet doggie is not so much into sweaters, but I am hoping that she will think differently of this one since it smells like her momma.

Autumn is in full swing here. It is hard to believe that we are in the last two days of September. I am looking forward to the rainy season starting. It is always so nice and cozy to be inside with a fire while it is raining outside. I can't wait!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Stash!

My fair winnings have been burning a hole in my pocket for the past month. I knew that I would purchase the ornament issue from JCS as a definite with it. In addition, I purchased Prairie Schooler's "Prairie Birds" and Shephard's Bush's "She Tends." I have been so good about using the stash that I already have this year and not making a lot of new purchases. It was a real treat to receive my envelope from 123stitch.

Every year I look forward to this issue. I have to say, this is the best one to come out in years. In fact, it is so awesome, I am seriously considering a subscription to their magazine. I do not stitch too many ornaments, but there are so many in this issue that I simply have to stitch. They are beautiful! The designers all went above and beyond in 2008.

Tonight I have been working on a knitting project. My daughter came over last night to play knitting. She is working on the prettiest socks! I had started a sweater for my Liesl a few months ago, but she was not done growing yet so I knew it would be too small. I put off pulling out all of my work until the last possible moment. Then restarted. My daughter taught me a totally cool new way to cast on, which is awesome because I hated the way that I casted on for about 25 years. So now I am reknitting Liesl a nice red sweater. It is getting cold here and unfortunately the dog boutique wants $55 a sweater. I am not feeling it. This should go quickly, so Liesie can be stylin' by next week!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Second Stocking Finish! Whoo hoo!

Yay! I am happy now! I got my daughter's stocking put together. I still have to put a loop on, but I am still deciding which style to use. It feels good to have it done after all of these years. It is nice to know the married couple will have stockings this year.

The colors in this are really pretty. I picked this one originally because my daughter use to always where a long braid when she was a little girl. The picture just reminds me of her and her little brother when they were little. Makes me a little wistful thinking about them when they were small. I blinked and it all went by so quickly.

As a side note, little Liesl is doing is doing much better today. She has the red bandage on until this Friday, when the vet checks her. She was her usual sassy self today, for the first time in a couple of days. It was good to see her walking on the foot and playing with her toys. She has a perky little way of trotting around the house, which was back.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Poor Liesie-poo!

My best laid plans of getting my daughter's stocking done hit a little speedbump. Yesterday, my little Liesie had a hurt foot. Of course, these things happen when the vet's office is closed. By last night the foot had doubled in size. Thank goodness the vet took us the first thing this morning(after a very sleepless night.)

Foxtails are evil things to dogs. I can not spread this warning enough. Their mission is to burrow further and further quickly. This is our third run in with foxtails, even though we are diligent and check her constantly for them when she comes in. Anyway, three foxtails had worked themselves into her foot, between her toes, over time. One had gone in about an inch, according to the doctor. He ended up doing surgery. She now has an inch incision, stitches, a huge bandage and is logging lots of lap time with her momma and daddy. There has been some handfeeding of the furgirl by her momma.

I am so glad that she is okay. Our vet is heaven sent and we are so grateful for him and his staff. It was a long day but thankfully our little furbaby is on the mend.

Hug your pet today.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Sleigh Ride at Dusk is finished! I was able to sew it together this evening. It feels really good to have it done. Most of the background is half stitches, so it almost has the appearance of being needlepointed.

I am so thrilled to have this done. Now I just have to sew my daughter's stocking that I stitched years ago. I am finally getting better about not just stitching something, but actually finishing it right away. I think it really helps to see other people's finishes. It gets me motivated to see other beautiful pieces.

The stocking that I stitched for my daughter is the Christmas Window Stocking by Janlynn. It is really colorful. I can't wait to see it finished! I feel like I am on a roll!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

One Last Thing To Do!

The tree and the snowpeople are all done. The snowfolk have their cute little carrot noses. The tree is all a twinkle with a gazillion french knots. It looks really awesome.

All that remains now is the horse section in the toe of the stocking. That is my project for tomorrow. I am hoping to be assembling on Saturday. Most of the section is done, as you can see from the photo. I will just have to add some of the cross stitches and all of the backstitch, then it will be all done. I am so excited!

Now that I am so close to finishing, my mind is turning to what to do next again. I do have somethings to make before the holidays. The new JCS Ornament issue has just come out and I have my issue reserved at 123stitch. I can not wait to get it. There are always so many beautiful ornaments in the magazine. In addition, there are always great tried and true recipes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Getting closer!

Whoohoo! We are coming into the home stretch! In the past few days, I have been able to complete a few more items on the stocking. The little "sled man" is complete, as is most of the Christmas tree. It appears that about 2/3 of the french knots are complete on the tree. In addition, I was able to outline all of the snowmen. They now await their arms and carrot noses. The last sizable bit is the horse and sleigh section. There is so much detail in this stocking, which makes it visually stunning up close. I hope to be able to assemble it this weekend and into my daughter's hands within the next couple of weeks.

One of my very favorite parts of my day is when all is quiet and I am able to read the blogs that I love. I feel like I am catching up with friends. I love seeing everyone else's labors of love! One of my very favorite blogs is the crockpot blog that is on my blog roll on the left here. I have made a few of the recipes. Last night I made the coconut beef recipe and it was amazing! It was even better as leftovers today. We also made the vegetable lasagne on her site and it was really incredible. Well, worth making. I love my crockpot. There is nothing like having the gorgeous smell of already made dinner when you open the front door after working all day. Without all that dinner prep I can stitch longer! Yippee!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Am Making Progress on the Stocking

I was happy to be able to work on the stocking for a bit today. I had a really hard homework assignment for my class that took much of the day. I was bound and determined to get some stitching time in though.

I am proud to say that I have the backstitch and french knots done on the church and the house now. They both look so lovely and cozy with the french knotted Christmas greenery all around the windows and doors on both structures. Next on my to do list is the backstitch on the little person with the sled, then onward to the tree. I just love the colors and the cozy feeling of the piece.

I have been thinking about working on my knitting of my doggie sweater for my sweet little puppy girl. While it is still on the needles, I had the realization today that I started that sweater some months ago when my Liesie was quite a bit smaller. It looks like I will be taking some measurements of an uncooperative miniature schnauzer this week.

It has been really chilly here this weekend. My feet have been cold and I have been finding myself wishing for cozy fires, a cup of tea and pumpkin bread. I am ready for fall!

Friday, September 12, 2008

First Cozy Fire of the Season

It is hard to believe. September and October are usually our summer. We look forward to these two months all year. It has been getting progressively colder this week. Tonight it was so chilly that a fire was made in the fireplace. Over the past few months I had forgotten how cozy a lit fireplace makes me feel. The smell of the wood, the warmth of the hearth, the light dancing in the room while I stitch. I just love having a fire in the fireplace. Liesie curled up at about 7:15 and went off to doggie dreamland.

I am still working on the stocking. It should be done pretty soon here. I will be thrilled to finish it and sew it into it's actual stocking shape.

Now that my knitting needles are sitting out on my desk, they are calling to me. Now that it is getting chilly, I really need to get that doggie sweater done. Then I have a wall quilt to finish, a blanket to make, a couple of Chrismons that require a quick last think done on them. A crafter's work is never done...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Fun Evening!

I just had a wonderful evening! My daughter has mastered the art of crochet and decided that the time had come to learn how to knit. It has been a while since I have really knitted, aside from the dog sweater that I started last year, which is still on the needles. When I got to the arm holes for her little puppy arms, I kinda freaked out and put it to the side. Fast forward to the lesson, which of course, my daughter picked up instantly and was knitting away, pretty much immediately.

We had such a lovely evening. We started with a big pot of spaghetti for dinner and cake for dessert. We were so stuffed that under normal circumstances I would have put on my jammies and slipped into my pasta induced food coma on the sofa. But we had a job to do, so my hubby made us some coffee and went to watch baseball on the bedroom TV. So we got to spend time yacking and catching up, just us girls. It was so much fun. It really was nice to get the knitting needles in my hands again, too. The weather is getting chilly again, so I really do need to finish this sweater for my little furgirl.

Liesie just can not bear the thought of going to sleep with her company still here. It was past her bedtime, and she was getting a really good cranky on, but she would not give in. She is afraid she is going to miss something. My daughter was pulling out of the driveway as Liesie finally gave up the ship and went to bed. She is so happy when friends and family come to visit her!

Ooh, almost forgot a really cool thing. My daughter brought me a chocolate bar that has BACON in it. OMG! My two very favorite food groups. It is delicious and had quite a bit of bacon in it. The salty and the sweet, the creamy and the crunchy. It was beyond good!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

And The Beat Goes On...

Time flies when you are stitching. I stayed up late again last night working on the stocking. My needle was smokin' ! I got a lot done, but sadly, I am not done with the house yet. My big hope is that it will get done tomorrow. I would have liked to work on it today, but with school upon us, I was a good student and did my homework for Business Law. I worked pretty hard on it for about, yikes, eight hours.

It is hard to believe that Labor Day has passed and we now look forward to the Fall. We are experiencing Indian Summer right now with the temps hovering at about 100 degrees Farenheit. Soon enough though there will be a crispness in the air and we will be getting the fireplaces going.

I have a beautiful autumn piece by Drawn Thread in my stash that I would love to stitch. I just know that I would probably not finish it in time to display for this autumn. Oh well, there is always next year. In the meantime, I will have to settle for those new pumpkin kisses. Pumpkin on the outside, white chocolate on the inside. This just sounds glorious! I shall have to try to find them this week!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back In The Saddle Again

Well, this is really coming along! I finished the backstitch and french knots 0n the church this past weekend. Some of the nicest ladies on 123stitch were doing an all night/late night stitch along last Saturday and Sunday night. It provided a lot of motivation to focus by having nice (and funny!) people up late with me. So I stitched and checked the message board until the wee hours of about 11. I know, I am such a party animal, huh.

The detail looks really good on the church. There are clusters around the door and windows of french knots stitched in red and green to appear like Christmas greenery. It is awesome. Tonight I was able to move on to the house next to it. I have gotten the cross stitches filled in, so tomorrow will be spent on backstitch and french knots. Next I will be on to the tree.

As you can see from the photo, there is a lot of detail and subtle shading. It is so pretty. I love the colors.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie...

Today when my hubby came home from work, he had a new-to-us piece of furniture that had been given to him. It is a stunning piece. So as he walked in the door, we set about putting it in the spot where it will live. Of course, this meant that we had to move another piece of furniture that was in the spot. This led to the re-arranging of furniture in the sitting area, the living room and dining room. In addition, there was the re-hanging of pictures and the vacuuming and dusting of previously hard to reach spots.

As a joke, I told him that the sofa in the living room and the curtains will no longer do. Frankly, he seemed somehow unamused by my wit.

The house does look nice in it's new state. In fact, it somehow seems bigger. Granted we are looking for a spot for the ficus, hubby's telescope, and the dog's toys... Whenever I start a project like this that seems simple, it leads to a variety of other projects. It reminds me of the book I used to read to my kids when they were small. It was called, "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie." It started out that giving a mouse a cookie leads to him wanting a glass of milk, then a napkin, then his needing you to hold him in front of the mirror to see if he has a milk mustache, whereupon he sees that he needs a haircut, etc.

All of this re-decorating, cleaning, and moving about left us a bit behind in time so I was unable to stitch tonight. I just love the way the house looks. All in all, it did go rather quickly. I feel like I was on one of those re-design shows on HGTV.

Monday, September 1, 2008

My Stitching Buddy

Liesl has been known to spend some late nights as my couch companion as I sit up and stitch. There is something comforting about a little gray ball of fur sleeping peacefully a foot away in the late night as I work on a project. When it is time to turn in, she gets one last cookie, then off to dreamland.

I wanted to post a picture of Liesie at her favorite place in the whole wide world - the dog beach here. Here she is able to be off the leash. She finds it her personal mission to keep the beach bird free. On this particular day, a pool had formed that had some ducks (yes, ducks) in it. Liesie decided that she should go for a little dip and let those ducks know that they were "mallarda non grata" on her beach. She was sopping wet, then decided that digging would be really fun. This accounts for the sand in her beard, on her nose and over her front. I think you can imagine the impact this had on the inside of the truck for the ride home. This picture makes me smile, not only because it is funny, but also because she was so happy that day.

So now she is sleeping next to me, oblivious to the tapping of computer keys. She will sleep here faithfully again tonight, waiting for the moment when she gets her last cookie of the night, then cuddles up for the night on her spot on the bed.