Friday, July 31, 2009

Here is my latest update. I stitched a little bit tonight. I am really tired so I did not get a whole lot done. You can barely make out the little sheepies on that second row. The sort of blend in in the photo, but are easier to see in person.

Man alive, I am sleepy. I woke up to drizzling on the roof at 3 am and could not get back to sleep. I was dragging all day and came right home to take a nap. This whole drizzling thing is making me crazy.

I had super fun today. From time to time, three ladies from my department get to go to lunch together. They are such neat ladies and are the kind of smart, funny, professional women that I would truly choose as friends. They make me laugh, and are just so cool. I am lucky because, though I work really hard, I do feel like one of the bonuses of my job is that I get to go see my friends everyday. We had a great lunch, a lot of laughter, and tried a new place to eat. It was such a great treat.

I am hoping my DD and DSIL will be able to come over tomorrow. I am having some computer and printer issues. DSIL is an IT guy and always works miracles on my computer. I feel a bit badly about asking him to work on his day off, but I did promise on their voicemail that I would make them something wonderful for dinner.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Making Progress

I finished my row of lambies tonight on Old Glory. They are so cute. I will post a photo this weekend. I had hoped to make more progress this week, but hey, my little world was wild, I tell you. I am hoping to get some rest this weekend, after I drop off my fair entry. Working on my cross stitch is definitely part of the rest plan. I am really tired.

I got to walk down to the beach tonight after work. It was pretty brisk, and I am really glad that I wore my jacket. Brrrr. But the air was nice and fresh, and helped me to relax. Liesl is so cute. She loves to sit on my lap sometimes when we stop during our walk and just watch the world. We sat for a while and just watched the waves and the people going by.

I am hoping to finally get those chairs painted this weekend. It is a project that is looming large ahead of me and I should probably get it done before I have to stow them for the winter. I also want to shop the Peterboro Basket online sale this weekend. I love their baskets. They are works of art!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

Today, much to my disbelief, my DD turned 26. I am wondering how that happened so fast. Luckily, she and DSIL were available to whoop it up with us. So we met them at our new favorite barbecue place for dinner. I am so full that I can not move. It was nice to have a fun dinner out during the week. It sort of breaks up the workweek. It was a lot of fun and she loved her birthday presents. I have been blessed with two really great kids. I am so glad that DD has such a happy life. She married a really great guy, who is really smart and funny. It was a real joy to spend time with them tonight.

On the way to dinner, I poked my head in one of the local thrift stores. I found quite the treasure. They had two collector plates from the Sound of Music. I was very excited. I do love the Sound of Music, but it has a more special place in my heart because my sweet furgirl's name is Liesl, the same as the daughter in the Sound of Music. When she first joined our family, she had a different name which totally did not suit her, and she was young enough to change it. Since she is a German breed, we thought she should have a pretty German name. So I remembered Liesl. Everyone who sees her says it is truly the only name that suits her. But anyway, I digressed. I bought the plates for a song, and they will go up in my office/craft room that is of a Scandavian design. I think they are cool.

I got to watch my season finale of Deadliest Catch last night. After this season, I have even more respect for the men and women that serve in our Coast Guard. This season, more than in others, we got to see some of the tough situations that they put themselves into to rescue someone else. They do an incredible job. Unfortunately, from time to time, we see their helicopters off the coast here when bad things happen, like fishing boats in trouble. We have a really rough undertow that people tend to underestimate here, and sadly people get dragged out and need the assistance of the USCG. Bless them and the work they do.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It Is Still Cold

In addition to the cold, it has been drizzly. Like drive with your windshield wipers on drizzly. I have even been keeping the heat on in my car.

I am posting early tonight because it the season finale of Deadliest Catch comes on at 9. This has been the most dramatic season of all of them, and tonight looks like it is even more dramatic. Looks like it will be a nail biter. I am looking forward to doing a little stitching while watching it. I am hoping to finish my sheep by the end of the evening.

I got to play with Liesie for a while tonight. More than anything, except maybe Pupparoni, she loves to be chased. So I chase her around the house. She lets me touch her as I am running then she rushes away, ears back with a happy trot. She is pretty funny how happy she looks. She is such a stoic little dog, that it warms my heart when she gets her smile going. I know quite a few other mini schnauzer parents that say that they just can not imagine their lives without a mini schnauzer. This is exactly how I feel. She is such a character.

Well, I am off to stitch!

Monday, July 27, 2009


It is cold. Like bundle up and turn on the heater cold. I can not believe it is this chilly in July. I am one step from hot cocoa and marshmallows.

Old Glory is coming along. I am working on a white stripe now that is made up of a row of sheep. Cute sheep. I still need to finish the top red stripe but I need the sheep as a reference point. The pattern has an insert on another page for a rosebud between the words, and it is throwing me off on my count and reference point. It will look cute as a button though.

I had forgotten how much fun it is to stitch with silk. It just goes through the fabric so nicely and is so soft. It is a special treat though. Like truffles, the chocolate kind, not the mushrooms.
Have a great evening!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It was a really great day today. DH and I had a date for the Bach Festival Viennese Matinee today. It was really incredible. Musicians come from all over the world to participate, so the quality and selection of music is more than one who loves classical music can dream of. DH and I both love classical music. My favorite composer is Johann Sebastion Bach himself. Although there were no Bach compositions today at the particular concert we attended, it was so amazing. We are so glad we were able to go.

It has been so cold today. Fifty six degrees and foggy. We have both been wearing sweaters today. I am still feeling pretty exhausted, even though I was able to sleep until 7:30 this morning. I came home this afternoon and took a nap during the beginning of the Nationwide race. I was able to stitch for a while and made a little bit of progess on Old Glory. It is really coming along quickly. I showed DH a couple of Jill Rensel mats online today, including the Old Glory mat. He agrees that it really does make the difference in the framing. Looks like I had better start a little savings plan for a while.

We had to run out late this afternoon to get to supplies to make the frame for my fair entry. I am looking forward to seeing it finished. It will look wonderful in the kitchen, too, when the fair is over.

They are racing at the Brickyard this weekend. Since Tony is from Indiana, it is sort of his home track. So we are all hoping for good things for Smoke. Go Tony!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Momma's Tired...

Whadda whirlwind week. I am so tired that I seriously thought I would be asleep by 8 tonight. I am glad that I get a couple extra hours of sleep in the morning.

Liesie got her hair done today. We have a fabulous groomer, who told my husband that Liesl can be a little bit of a drama queen. LOL. DH said, "Uh, ya think?!" These dogs are known for having a flair for the dramatic. (The groomer has also had mini schnauzers herself since the 1970s, and knows how they can be) If we put a coat on Liesie because it is 20 degrees or pouring down rain, she drops her head and her shoulders and acts like we are just terrible to her. She tries to look so pathetic. DH says that she really goes for it when I am around, more so than when it is just him. It is really funny and really sad at the same time.

I stitched for a while tonight and at lunchtime today. I finished the blue field. Whoohoo! Now I am working on the stripes. I fear that I might even have it stitched by the end of the week. It is a quick stitch. I so wish I could afford to have Jill Rensel frame it. The Jill Rensel mats are amazing and custom to Shepard's Bush. I may have to put this away for a while and save up my pennies so I can buy the mat.

Well, DH and I have a date for a matinee tomorrow and I need my beauty sleep. Have a great evening.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Wow! This week has just blown by. I can't believe we are coming into Friday already. Holy moley!

I am sitting here tonight with the sounds of a schnauzer snoring away. She has cute little snores. It is a comforting sound. The meds have been worn off for two days now and she is back to being a sassy little girl. Her stubborness seems to have gotten worse. (This breed is very stubborn.) But all in all, we are so glad to have her back to being her busy little self. She is past due for getting her hair did, so tomorrow she is going to the groomer first thing in the morning. I did not want to put her or her wonderful groomer through her cranky spell while we were dealing with the Prednisone, so I cancelled last week's appointment. She is kind of fluffy and curly right now. Since she has hair instead of fur, she has to be groomed quite regularly.

I have been picking away at Old Glory, and hope to post a photo this weekend. I am almost done with the blue field. Next I will do a couple of white stripes. I have a feeling this one will be done way too soon. Luckily, I have a couple more Shepard's Bush kits when this one is done.

I had to buy two new books this week. I say had to because I was ordering a little book light for my Kindle on Amazon (so I can read at night without disturbing DH). It came to way less than the minimum for free shipping. I can not stand to actually pay for shipping so I had to look for something to buy instead. I found two books, The Beginner's Book of Drawn Thread, and Whitework. I am hoping to get a chance to read them cover to cover this weekend. The covers and the reviews were great so I hope they are awesome.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Old Glory

Once in a while, a piece comes along that is just so much fun to stitch. This is the case with Old Glory. It is just plain fun. The silk thread just glides through the fabric and the colors pop. I love working on this. The bonus is that it has specialty stitches. I love specialty stitches. They make a piece look so amazing. I am having so much fun.

It has been a good evening. I came home and made my macaroni and cheese. I make mine in a skillet. I am sad when I see a bubbling pan of mac and cheese and it is without cheese in the middle. So I have always made mine in a skillet, so that every elbow noodle is perfectly encased in cheese. Plus I add olives to it for a little bite of salt here and there. I have made the same mac and cheese since my kiddoes were small.

When I was 18, I bought my first cookbook. It was a part of one of those deals where you got 4 books for a dollar if you promised to buy two more during the year. So I picked out a Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook that was published in like 1980. This was prior to the diet conscious revolution, so everything has butter and milk in it. This has always been my favorite cookbook. The pages are stained, the spine of the book is non-existent, and it is sort of frail. But I love it, and have never found another cookbook that it comparable. I have cooked so many meals out of that book, and I have great memories whenever I open it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Here is my first row of Old Glory. It is actually a very fast stitch. I got most of this done this evening. I would have finished the row altoghter, but DH came home from his rehearsal at 9, and we sat and caught up on the day. I had fun while I was stitching it. I have to change out needles tomorrow from the one that came with the kit. It seems that it has a jagged eye and keeps cutting my thread. Grrr. So I will change over to my favorite, John Jakes Platinum needles. They have smooth eyes and go through the fabric like buttah! I love them. They last pretty long before the needle starts feeling sticky. I can't stand that feeling.

I went online yesterday to see when the fair is in town and who the musical acts are this year. I was not really up to entering anything this year. Last year, I won best of show, which was a total shock. I had entered quite a few things. This year, we have had a lot going on, so I was not able to pull it together. When I was online yesterday, I saw that today was the deadline for entries. I asked DH if he felt he could get a frame ready in the next few weeks. He said that he thought that I should enter my Farmer's Alphabet. So I went ahead and registered to have it entered. I do not expect it to do super well. (although a ribbon is always nice!) It just really bothers me how much the cross stitch entries have dwindled over the past three years. I want to make sure that cross stitch is represented. I wish I could have done more. Next year I will do better.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


It was a really good weekend. Liesie had her last Prednisone yesterday and is already acting like her sassy, schnauzer self. She has been trotting around the house, busy as ever (mini schnauzers are VERY busy little dogs.) We have always read that the breed needs lots of exercise, lots of activity and lots of toys, otherwise they make their own fun with your stuff. So, I tend to pick up toys when I find them really cheap. DH said that he has never seen a dog that loves toys so much. Tonight, she had made a little heap of her favorites (newer toys) and laid down on top of it to go to sleep. She cracks us up.

DH had a special rehearsal of his brass quintet this afternoon at the house. I figured that this was not going to sit well with Miss Liesie, who would want to be in the middle of it and perhaps sing along. So, Liesl and I went off to run errands. I went over to the place where I bought the too short drapes to see if there was a possibility of me returning them. The nice folks at the store readily accepted them and let me exchange them for something else. I don't feel so bad anymore. I also picked up two lovely hanging baskets of impatiens for $6.50 a piece.

We had a nice, relaxing afternoon and evening. It was taco night! Yum! I read my book for a while and then decided it was time to pick up something to stitch. I pulled out Old Glory by Shepard's Bush. This was one of the things I bought in Modesto a few weeks ago. Shepard's Bush makes really high quality kits. I was impressed when I opened it to find 32 ct Lambswool. It was serged all the way around. Nice. The silks included Thread Gatherer and a French silk thread. The buttons are JABC. I am very impressed. The pattern itself is printed on high quality paper. This will be a fun stitch and the colors are so beautiful. I have a feeling it will go quickly, too. The silks and lambswool feel so beautiful in the hand. I am a happy girl.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sprucing Up Day, Part Deux

Well, I feel a bit sheepish. We did get a lot of the chores done today. I was doing laundry, cleaning up, and performing puppy toy surgeries while DH got his tools out. I had some curtain rods in my stash of home decorating items. They have lovely finials. One set of brass ones and one set of black cast iron finish ones. They have been used on large windows before. Apparently, not large enough... DH brought this to my attention as he was preparing to mount them to the wall. They were about a foot short of my eight foot wide window. Who knew?! So I jump in the shower so we can run over to Target to acquire two longer rods. We get pretty new brass rods with leaf finials.

We get the rods home. DH takes down the 40 year old apartment type drapes down, noting the caked on dust at the top...He then goes and gets the packages of the new drapes out of the linen closet. I knew there was gonna be trouble when he asked me if I had read the size on the package. He goes on to point out that the packages indicate that the length of the drapes are 63". Most drapes, including the ones that I need, are 84". Why the heck would they make 63" drapes? I have never heard of such a thing. As luck would have it, I had beautiful, elegant 84" drapes in my collection. Now I have to figure out what to do with the new ones.

Anyway, the drapes look lovely, and the house is all clean. DH also put in a new showerhead in the master bath. I was not able get my chairs painted since we lost time running to Target, but there is always tomorrow after church.

I did not get to stitch tonight. I am so tired from all of the cleaning and running around today. Instead, I have been online studying Biedermeier and Vierlande samplers. Both are amazing styles. When I look at some of the patterns and reproductions of samplers of the 18th and 19th centuries, I marvel that people could design such complicated patterns without the aid of a computer. The thought and careful planning of such mathematically complex boggles my mind. These were not simple endeavors. Here is a great web page with reproductions. Get ready to feel a little lightheaded. LOL

I have a couple of cross stitch books that I am paging through. One is Traditional Blackwork Samplers by Lesley Wilkins. A total classic! I am also thumbing through a copy of Gerda Bengtsson Danish Floral Designs. Stunning.

Sprucing Up The House Day!

We have actually been looking forward to this all week! We both have had a really super busy week, and now we are looking forward to fixing up the nest, so to speak. I bought new drapes for the dining room about two months ago. DH is going to hang them. I am working on my wicker chairs. We both have major cleaning to do in addition to some other sprucing projects. I am thinking that a trip to Home Depot is in the near future as well. We both love working on stuff around the house so it should be a pretty fun day. Plus we get to stay in. I may need to take a nap, too.

At some point today or tomorrow, I need to go shopping in my craft room for a project. My fingers are getting a little twitchy after two days of no stitching. I feel a little lost. I am thinking of something pretty for the bedroom, which means something in soft blues and pinks. I just bought those nice Shephard's Bush kits a few weeks ago at the Elegant Stitch in Modesto. One of them may be the winner.

Last night, we went to our favorite dog friendly restaurant again. Although we both had a busy week, it was also a really fulfilling one for each of us (we both love our jobs), so we felt like celebrating. We had planned on going out to another place alone, but Miss Liesl was looking so cute and smiley, we just could not leave her. So off we went. It was a gorgeous evening, and the restaurant was full, with so many other beloved dogs. There was a Great Pyrenees at the next table. Liesl is less than a foot tall, but believes herself to be a big dog. We have not broken the news to her. We let her live in that bubble. LOL Anyway, she had to go over and smell noses with this huge dog. She had her chicken breast, we had our fondue. It was a good evening and relaxing.

Have a happy Saturday!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Early Morning Walks

It has been very warm and sunny here this week. This is not always the case here. Many mornings are cold and foggy. This has been very balmy. This is a photo of the beach at 6:30 am. It has been really beautiful.

We had a big adventure tonight. We have been in a house-sprucing-up mood. I love the HomeGoods store for inexpensive, high quality household items. We love Mediterranean style dishes and thought that HG would be a good place to look for them. The bummer part is that the closest HomeGoods about an hour away in Gilroy. So after I got home from work, we packed into the car for the ride to the Garlic Capital of the World. This is confirmed without a doubt when one drives into Gilroy on a hot day. The smell of garlic is thick in the air, only not in a really good way. Whoa, Nelly!

We did not find dishes, but did find some chair cushions that are perfect for my wicker chairs and amd a gorgeous shell wreath for my porch. The wreath actually is better than the one that I had pictured in my head. We also picked up a couple of puppy toys for a spoiled Schnauzer that we love. She will be surprised tomorrow.

I had promised DH that if we went to HomeGoods, I would treat him to Sonic. There is not one anywhere near here so it was a special treat. DH said that he has not been to one in over 12 years since he left Texas. We both had chili cheese dogs with tater tots. I can not remember the last time I had a tater tot. It was a special, out of the ordinary treat. DH had a Butterfinger shake something or other as desert. Tomorrow will probably be a veggie night for us now.

Now that I have my new chair cushions, I am ready to paint my wicker chairs. We have a deck off of our bedroom, and I was really hoping to create kind of an outdoor living room but wanted to tie it to the colors in our room. The cushions were perfect and were on clearance, two for $22. The ones we were looking at originally at an import store were $35 a piece. I am happy. I can't wait to sit outside and sip coffee outside. Maybe I will paint tomorrow night so we can sit in the chairs on Saturday morning...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I am very happy. I was finally able to finish it tonight. Whoohoo!

It has been a busy evening. I have an important meeting tomorrow so I brought a bunch of work home to prep for it. My DH made a nice dinner while I worked. The weather is absolutely beautiful here this week, so we ate outside, which was very relaxing. Then DH did dishes while I worked some more. I did my meeting prep until 8 then decided to pack it up for a while. So I picked up my stitching. I was able to finish it up in an hour.

I am really fortunate because DH does all of my framing. He says it is now his turn. He said he can do the nice weathered green frame that I have in mind. He also said that he will make sure that he gets a piece of glass for the frame since it is going into the kitchen. I am so excited.

I am so grateful for the kind postings about our little Liesie-poo. We just adore this little dog. She is less than a foot tall, but is definitely a big dog in a little outfit. She really is amazing and we can not imagine life without her. Her second birthday is in two weeks, a day I am sure that will be filled with toys and treats. She may even talk us into going back to her favorite dog friendly restaurant for her favorite chicken breast.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

So Close To Finishing!

I worked the last three squares simultaneously today. I am finishing up two of the squares now. I was thinking about trying to finish it so I could photograph it for my post tonight. However, I remembered how just the other day I was trying to rush and spent a whole lot of time pulling out my work. So I decided to wait until tomorrow night to finish.

Tomorrow night I am supposed to have a stitchy night over at DD's. We are supposed to go get our usual sushi, which is delectable. We get this soft shell crab sushi that is fried tempura-style in the sushi rolls. It is amazing. I could eat a whole plate of it all by myself. We go to this tiny, no-frills place that makes the best sushi in the world. Then the plan is to stitch and knit at her house nearby. Unless we decide to go get peddies, (My toenails have been unpainted for about a month)...

I am so excited to be so close to finishing this piece. As I look at the colors and how all of the rows just fit together, I am so thrilled that this will be on my wall. I have always loved fruits and vegetables in decorating. I think they are absolutely beautiful, which is probably why they have always been painted in still life paintings. There is such a plethora of colors and shapes in nature. The simplicity is what really speaks to me.

Well, there is a cute little puppygirl who looks like she would like my attention and some serious cuddling...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Liesl's Portrait

A few weeks ago, one of the gentlemen at work had brought in his photography equipment and was taking photographs of some of the employees' dogs. As he was passing my office he asked if he could take a photo of my little furgirl. I had not had time to wash her beard or brush her out, so it was more a case of the momma licking her palm to smooth out the beard quickly before the camera clicked.

This is my all time favorite picture of her. This is the Liesl that I know, the one with the big soulful eyes, and sweet look on her face. I am so grateful for this picture. I know I could never ever have taken a photo like it. Isn't she so beautiful?

My friend's memorial was very sweet. I just can not believe she is no longer here. She was so full of excitement and made everything exciting around her. Today the world seems a little more boring without her. Usually after memorial services I feel better, like I have closure. Today I feel sadder. I feel so badly for her husband and family.

I stitched for a little while tonight during the race. I finished the Q square. Now I am off to stitch H. I now have four squares to go. I wonder how far I will get this weekend. Hopefully, I will have a photo finish for tomorrow night's post.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Tonight I finally finished that zuchini. Now I know how Captain Ahab felt about Moby Dick. After all that frogging and all of that green, I was so over it. Now I am happy and all is right in my world.

I now have five squares left. I am pretty darn excited. I will work on it for a while during the race tomorrow.

I will not have a whole lot of time tomorrow for stitching. I have to attend the memorial service of a friend. Her husband called me Sunday night to tell me that she had passed from a horrible cancer that affects one in one million people. She was only in her mid sixties and is one of the most interesting people I have ever met. She was so incredibly kind with such a great spirit. We had sort of lost touch for a while due to life happening, so it was such a shock out of the blue. I had actually been thinking about her a lot lately. On the day I got the call, I had picked up a beautiful toile box and was holding it. She knew that I love red toile and gave it to me after I had gone through a really tough time. There will be so many people that will miss her.

So if you get a chance, pick up the phone today and call a friend you haven't called in a while.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Grrr. Had To Frog Again...

This is what I get for being lazy and not counting a row. Instead, I ran the row to meet the stitches from another color across the square. I neglected to figure in the fact that there was a third color that went between the two. I did not realize it until I was getting ready to finish off the thread and then saw that my letter Z was all wonky. sigh... I did get it pulled out and re-stitched but I lost valuable, at-a-premium time. It seems that this happens when I get to the end of a project. I tend to rush at the end of a project, and unfortunately, that means errors. I would like to remember to slow down a bit in future projects.

Speaking of which, I am not sure what to stitch next. I am starting to mull potential projects over. There is not one that is totally calling my name yet. Perhaps I will just work on organizing my stash for a while. It needs to be cataloged in Excel.

Liesl and I took a nice walk on the beach after dinner tonight. It was a bit chilly, but we were happy to get some fresh air and exercise. She is now down to taking her medicine every other day so she is getting back to schnauzer business. Tomorrow she is going to work with me. She loves to see her puppy friends and her human friends who bring her cookies. At lunchtime we usually take a walk around a nearby pond. There are ducks in the pond, and there are times we will just sit cuddling on a park bench while we watch the ducks. She just likes to watch them swim and sits quietly. I love spending my lunchtimes with her. She is the best lunch date ever.

Have a happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Nice Day

This is one of my treasures that I bought at Elegant Stitch in Modesto a couple of weeks ago. As I was looking at some patterns and kits, DD started looking at some lower shelves. She pulled out the most gorgeous silk purse and decided on the spot that she had to have it. We were shocked by the low price of $20. I quickly asked her if there were any more. She went back and pulled out the one pictured for the same price. It is silk with beaded centers on the flowers. It is so pretty and holds my wallet, phone, Kindle, and ipod, so it is quite roomy. The problem is that I feel like I should cover it in vinyl like a sofa so that it does not get dirty. I am quite protective of it. Maybe I should carry it in a purse. LOL

I got to stitch today at lunch and tonight. I am over halfway through with the zucchini square. It is kind of exciting to be this close to finishing. After this, I will just have 5 squares to go. I am really hoping we can do the green weathered frame for it. I think it would look perfect in my kitchen.

The good news of the day is that Liesl is feeling much better. She was trotting around the house when she got home today. She was also very bright eyed. She looked like herself and it made me so happy. We decided to go to our favorite dog friendly restaurant, where they even have a doggie menu. Liesie was excited as we drove up. All she could think of from then on was chicken breast (the only treat she is allowed to have there, since the other menu items are high in fat. Fat is real no-no for schnauzers.) Chicken breast is a once in a long while treat. She was still feeling happy when she got home and rough housed with her daddy for a while before deciding it was time to fall into what her daddy and I refer to as "her chicken coma." She sleeps hard and generally snores after she gets this special treat. My heart is happy that I got to see her so happy again.

While we were having our dinner (oh, yeah, we got to eat, too...) we got to meet some two nice couples from Modesto who were there with their three beautiful scotties. I mentioned that I had just been to Modesto a couple of weeks ago with the 123stitchers. That is when the two ladies told me that they, too are stitchers! We talked about the Elegant Stitch and our favorite designers. We traded blog addresses and I have added Becky's blog to my blog roll. It is very beautiful and stylized. It is listed as Sweet Cottage Dreams on my sidebar.

This has really been a great day. DH and I sat counting our blessings tonight and talked about all of the wonderful things in our lives. Today we are most grateful for Liesie feeling so much better.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Got Reaquainted With The Frog Tonight

Grrr. I had to unstitch my yam tonight. I was getting ready to do the accent color and realized that my count was off. Even though it is a small block, it was still a drag to rip it out. It is alway a bummer when that happens. On the happy side, I did get it all restitched so I can move on.

It is cold here. Actually, I heard on the radio that it is even cold up in the SF Bay Area. I have a sweatshirt, warm, wooly socks (that my sweet DD knit for me) and my blankets and yet, I am still cold. It did make a nice evening to stitch, but now my hands are getting cold. It does not help that I am watching Deadliest Catch, and I just feel so cold when I watch that show. I just do not know how those guys do it. Every time I think I have had a hard day at work, I see this show and it puts it all in perspective. I am really, really lucky.

Liesie seems to be recovering from her allergic reaction. She is on Prednisone for a total of 15 days. Apparently, there is an antihistamine in it that makes dogs droopy and sleepy. Miniature schnauzers are normally a very active, busy breed. So it is hurting my heart to see her looking so out of character. I will be glad when this is over and will make sure that we do everything possible so that she never has to go through this again. She is such a cool little dog and I truly miss her trotting around the house. She has a happy trot that makes me feel happy to watch.

My cell phone is in the beginning stages of being in its end stages. Ironically, my contract also recently expired It is funny how the phone knows. LOL Anyway, I have always had the rock bottom number of minutes plus unlimited text messages. I actually hate talking on the phone. I would rather talk to someone in person. I am now faced with making a major commitment on a new phone. DH has a Blackberry and says that I should get the Blackberry Storm. Oooh, pretty. The additional $30 a month for internet, not so much. But then there are 20 other phones to choose from. But again, it seems like all of them are going with a trend of having internet access. I am overwhelmed by it, and know that I have to stick with my choice for two years. This is as important as deciding to get married. LOL

Have a great Wednesday.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday, Monday, La, La, etc.

It was a very busy day today. I had a lot on my plate at work, including the payroll. I totally love my job, and I really like it when I am busy, and whoohoo, it was a wild ride today! (Amidst all of the work, several of us were able to get in a conversation here and there about Saturday's race. ) It was a full day, and I came home a little pumped up. As a result, it was one of the rare occassions that I did not feel like stitching. I cleaned my kitchen, and kind of neatened up the house.

I did get to poke around on the computer this evening after my chores. I get the weekly email from Nordic Needle and this week they had some really great stuff about hardanger. I love hardanger and think in many ways that it is faster than cross stitch. I love the lacey finish and how elegant it looks.

It took me about 20 years to try hardanger, because I was really scared about the cutting. I finally took a $10 Make It and Take It class at CATS about 7 years ago. It was so easy and I was amazed that we finished our small project so quickly. After that I kind of dabbled in the non-cutting stitches of hardanger, such as the kloster blocks and eyelet stitches. I was happy to stay in the safe zone. Finally, an opportunity to take a class with the great Lori Birmingham arose several years later, also at CATS. She was a great teacher and went through the steps of cutting. The most important thing I took away that day was to pick up the threads you intend to cut on your scissor blade and count several times to make sure that you have the correct number.

Now I love to work in hardanger. There are several pieces by the Victoria Sampler I would love to stitch. They have some gorgeous freebies to start, as does Nordic Needle. Both have great tutorials, as well. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about trying hardanger to go ahead and take the plunge. Please do not wait 20 years like I did. There is a whole big world out there in the pearlized threads that include, drawn work and white work. All are so elegant. While there is a wide variety of colors to work in, I still love the elegance of the ivory on ivory.

I shall definately have to put a hardanger piece in the line up this year.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What a great day...

Today was a great day. I got to sleep in an extra hour and a half today. It was lovely. Then we all took a walk down to the beach. It was already getting crowded so I am glad we did that early. It is usually cold, but it was warm enough to just wear long sleeve shirts and jeans. We had a nice walk then came back to start our chores.

My closet has been looking like a bomb went off in it, so I was finally able to get that clean. I could actually find the mates to all of my shoes. There has also been a project that has been calling to me. In the backyard, there a bed of ivy that has been trained in a diamond pattern up the wall, but has fallen into disrepair by previous tenants. It is a popular thing to do with ivy in our neighborhood and looks quite cool. It has been very overgrown so I got out the hedge trimmer and went to work. It looks much better now, but my arm was shaky for a couple hours after that. It made it kinda hard to stitch. LOL

After all of that activity, I decided to sit down and stitch for a while. I got my favorite Safeway Italian Lemon soda, turned on the Deadliest Catch marathon (I am all caught up on this season, whoohoo!) and started on my stitching. I am happy to say that I only have six squares left. It has been absolutely peaceful and happy to relax and stitch. Little Miss Liesie napped the afternoon away right next to me on her red fuzzy blanket. She is such a comfort to have next to me when I stitch.

We had a quick dinner of fried leftover spaghetti. I am not sure anyone else does this with their leftovers, but we always did as I was growing up. You put a pat of butter in the pan, then fry the leftover spaghetti in it. It is so delicious and kind of decadent. It is one of my favorite dinners. When I make spaghetti, I am always looking forward to the leftovers.

I got right back to stitching and my marathon of DC right after our quick dinner and my stitching. A few minutes ago, DH brought me a glass of milk and some peanut butter cookies. He also lit a fire in the fireplace, since it is chilly here. It is quite cozy.

Well, off to do my last bit of stitching for the evening! Hope you have a great week ahead.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Hope that everyone had a happy and safe 4th! Ours turned out a little differently than I had planned. Last night, I went to sleep at about 10:45. At 11:04 DH woke me up to inform me that I was snoring, which I most emphatically deny. LOL I went right back to sleep only to awaken at 11:35 to Liesl barking, growling and running down the hallway. I did a quick check and did not see anything going on. So I put her back in her bed and went back to sleep. At 12:10, she was up and insistently barking and running again. It was then that I heard a loud woman's voice, either arguing or at a party somewhere in the neighborhood, which is not a common occurence around here. I was too sleep deprived to make it out. I realized that this would probably continue for a while, and Liesie would only be up and warning all of us for as long as it was going to go on. It would be fruitless to go back to bed, because she would be up and down and I would be a wreck. So I got up, tucked my little furgirl into her blankie on the sofa and turned on the TV to watch Craig Ferguson. (He cracks me up!) I was not able to get back to sleep right away from all of the going to sleep and waking up I had done in an hour.

I am not much of a night person, so this really threw a wrench in the works. I woke up at 9 this morning, way late, and still exhausted. I had so much planned for today, chore wise, but was too overly tired, so it took me a while to get started. I did not get half of the things done that I wanted to.

I did get to stitch in the afternoon. We decided to make this a day of rest and to try to get our stuff done tomorrow, when I have a clearer head. I got a bunch done on my Farmer's Alphabet. I think I should have it completed by next weekend. I was able to stitch most of the race until we had our scrumptious barbecue. I have had such a great time stitching this that I am almost sad to see it end.

I am posting a photo of my acquisition this week. I found this beautiful pair of Premax scissors on ebay for $13.99. They are made in Italy and are quite pretty. The colors and pattern are quite lovely. They are not as heavy and substanstial as Ginghers, but beautiful in their own right. They are also very sharp. The pair of scissors that I would love to have are a pair that I see on a lot of European blogs. They are almost pewter in color and have an intricate, kind of Gothic design. I have never seen anything indicating who makes them and if they are even available in the US. Someday, they will be mine...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Had Today Off

Our organization had today off for the holiday. It was a nice treat to have a Friday off. I got my hair cut and we got out and ran errands. We had to go to Home Depot, one of my fave places. I get so inspired when I go in there. We have a few projects going on around the house and needed to pick up supplies, like paint for my chairs.

I stitched late into the night last night, so I did not get to post, as I fell asleep. That watermelon was labor intensive, let me tell you. I got to stitch tonight too. We put in a movie and I was able to get the corn square done. I am so excited that I will be able to stitch tomorrow. Tony is racing tomorrow and then the Deadliest Catch marathon is on. I am hoping to get a lot accomplished. I also am going to paint a couple of old wicker chairs, and have a little yard work to do. The day will be busy. We plan on barbecuing in the evening and just relaxing.

The plan for tomorrow is to stay home for the holiday. We live in a popular tourist destination and traffic into town was at a standstill today. Tomorrow will be insane. We will not be leaving the house. So far the plan is to just barbecue then watch a movie or something. Liesie is still not feeling 100% better yet either so it will be good to day home, so she can play in her yard, and nap in her bed.

Have a Happy 4th tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Liesie Update

Liesie seems to be doing great today. She has not scratched at all and seems a lot more comfortable. She went to work with her daddy today and he said she just slept all day. I figure that has to do with the medication. It makes my heart happy to see her acting a bit more like herself.

Today was wild. Our fiscal year ended yesterday, so as an accountant, we are trying to close the month, the quarter and the year all at once. It makes it really exciting. I came home pretty tired and vegged until dinner was ready.

I worked on the W tonight. I got most of the outline done. This is one of the more labor intensive squares with alot of detail. I probably should have started earlier tonight, but what are you gonna do. I will finish it tomorrow night. I am off on Friday, so I can stay up a bit later if need be tomorrow night.

I have been thinking about Quaker patterns today. I have been looking at the Needleprint blog for the Mary Wigham project. Both MWP and the Beatrix Potter samplers are stunning and available for sale on the blog at reasonable prices. This morning I was able to download a couple of freebies. They are so beautiful. I wish I could take on another BA sampler project, but I have so many in the pipeline already. I have to have some restraint...