Monday, August 31, 2009


That was the sound of the weekend and today flying by. LOL

I got a new piece of technology this weekend. The nice folks with my cell phone service, were selling Blackberry's at an extremely low price. My contract has been up for a long time, and I guess I had points toward a new cell phone thingy, too. Most excellent. I had been thinking about getting one for a while, but debated my self for months, not knowing if I really needed one. My little Blackberry Storm has a touch screen (I feel so high tech!) and a spreadsheet and word processor capability so that I can upload all of my inventory of my cross stitch supplies that I have in Excel. This is so that when I go on stash acquisitions, I have a record of what I have. It also has an awesome calendar where I can put all of my due dates for my school work. Too cool.

I have not been able to stitch for a some time now. The first couple of weeks of school are always a bit rough while I find my pace on assignments and tests. I will be glad when I get it figured out so I can stop stressing. This happens to me every semester.

Kudos go out to my DD today. I called her on my way home from work, and she had made it home a bit early today. She was dying yarn in her kitchen. I have not tried dying, except for the curtains that I did back in May with RIT in the washer. My DD was doing hers on the stovetop. I asked her if she would dye floss for me. She said that it is probably the same process, so I am now thinking perhaps she can do some awesome overdyes for me. I wish I was not so scared to try it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Last Weekend in August

Can you even believe it?! August flew by!

As I said in an earlier post, we are now getting into the best weather of the year here. Today at lunchtime it was 93. It was a long hot day, and I had an over the top busy day and a heat headache. We had planned on having pizza for dinner, but it was still 87 degrees when I got home from work. DH offered to take Liesie and I to our favorite dog friendly restaurant. We figured that we should walk since there are a lot of tourists in town on weekends, making parking difficult. Off we went, with Liesie bopping along. The restaurant is a nice walk, but is about a mile away. A block away from the restaurant, I could already start to imagine sipping a cold beverage. We were sweating, hot and tired. Just as we walked up to the restaurant, a big chartered bus pulled up a people started spilling out of it. It turns out our restaurant was booked for a private party. This is a rare thing indeed.

I contemplated weeping openly right then and there, but was so dehydrated from the walk, that I could not manage tears. LOL We walked a mile back home in the heat. I tried not to be a drama queen all the way home. DH went and got us some cheeseburgers and chili cheese fries. He is such a prince. I have had my attitude adjustment and feel like I can make it through my weekend now. LOL

My fingers are starting to get itchy to stitch. I think I may pull out a small Shephard's Bush kit this weekend, just to be working on something. I purchased the Sweet Pea kit when I was in Modesto. It is really adorable. Hopefully, it will not be way too hot to stitch.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Walking in Gratitude

Do you ever just stop and think of how fortunate you are? I was talking to someone recently about how we just feel truly blessed. We have good jobs, a place to live, people that love us, great dogs, and hobbies that sustain us mentally. Life is good.

I tend to take a couple of classes each semester. I am currently studying Macro Economics and Genealogy. I love going to school in my mid-forties. I feel challenged and alive with the things that I learn. It keeps the mind sharp and I keep evolving how I see the world. I take my classes online, and I really like the discussions. The topics are covered by people of all walks of life and all ages. I love the different perspectives and how it makes me see things differently. I started back to school this week, and I am just so happy about it.

I am looking forward to the weekend. While I do have a bit of homework to do, I am looking forward to getting some rest. I would love to cuddle with my little lovable dog and watch the race. The weather should be nice here. DH and I have been discussing the need to work on the yard, so I have a feeling that I will either need to 1) bat my eyelashes or 2) get on my work gloves. I will try to take pretty pictures to post of some of the flora in the garden. Cross your fingers, hopefully I will have made up my mind on a new camera and will be pointing and clicking to my heart's content.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Getting Ready for Fall

I have to say that I think that Autumn is my very favorite season. I love the colors, I love the smell (and taste) of pumpkin bread, and the activity of the season. Here on the central coast of California, September and October are generally our best months weatherwise, and tend to be when we get our sunshine and warm temperatures. If you ever intend to visit here, it is the best time to come. It is quite festive, as it is also the time of the local harvest of many crops. It is a really nice time here. The humpbacks will start their migration in November. You can see them spout off of Pt. Lobos or down in Big Sur. They are an amazing sight to behold.

With all of the activity of the seasonal change and some outdoor living I will be taking a few more pictures. I would really like to buy a new camera. It has been about 3 years that I have had mine. Back then it was a great camera. It is 6mp but runs on AA batteries, not good for the environment. I am filled with guilt every time I reload it. They have better cameras now, very reasonably priced at Coscto and bundled with accessories. They tend to be 10 - 12 mp, have stabilization, and the lithium battery pack, which is rechargeable. I am a point and click kind of girl, SLRs are and always will be way out of my league. So I am looking at a Nikon Coolpix and a Casio, which are the same price. My gut is telling me to get the Nikon, even though it has lower megapixels. I know several people who have an older version Coolpix and they just love them. I am making myself crazy trying to decide. LOL

I am still trying to hone in on what project to start next. I pulled out a pattern for a Christmas ornament by Brooke's Books. It is one of those nostalgic 1920-1930 type patterns. There is a series of four of them. I bought the pattern because it has cookies all over, and they look like Stella D'oro cookies, with the moon and green club, etc. I loved Stella D'oro cookies as a kid. Every time I look at this pattern, all I can think about is that yummy amaretto flavor they had. I am wondering if they still make them now. I shall have to look for them. But I digress...I realized that this was not the pattern to start for two reasons. The first is that it has a gazillion color changes. I am not feeling it right now for color changes. The second reason was that I can not look it without getting hungry and craving cookies. I think I will look for something else...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Retro Stitchin'

I think I have mentioned it before, I love vintage/retro fabrics. It is a weakness. Anything that has little apple cheeked children or old kitchen retro on it, circa 1930's to 1960's, is okay by me. I ran across this book sometime ago, and had been putting off buying it. Well, last week, I had placed an order for my textbooks at Amazon. Of course, the next day, I found out I needed someting else. In order to meet my $25 free shipping minimum, I had to order something else. So here it is. This book is really cool in that it has pages and pages of reusable transfers. It features those old school stitches like chain, lazy daisy, etc, which harken back to those dishtowels and pillow cases we learned on back in the day. I am so stoked about this book. It makes me yearn to stitch a dishtowel, or put a chenille bedspread on my bed. (Only $12.95 at Amazon!)

I am still thinking about my next project. I would really like to do a couple of small things like a floss ring fob. There are just so many great freebies out there that I just can not seem to settle on a design. My floss ring that has been all over place with me and is deserving of a very nice decoration. But what to choose?!

DH has decided that Liesl needs to learn a new trick so he bought some Pupparoni to train her with (the Lean one, that we refer to as "Diet Pupparoni" LOL) Liesie loves learning tricks. She gets very excited when she does what she is asked to do. Unfortunately, there is one thing that gets her even more excited than training and that is Pupparoni. She gets tunnel vision and it is the only thing she can think about once she knows it is there. This can and often does make her so crazy about the thought of her fave treat, that she can not even hear us telling her to do something. She did finally calm her puppy self, she did great at her trick and is getting there. But, oy vey, it was crazy there for a few minutes. LOL She just looks so proud and happy when she is finally able to do her trick. What a character!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Oh boy, it is cold. We woke up and the sun was shining. We walked down the beach and it was warm. We were saying what a beautiful day it was. On the way back up the beach, the fog had rushed in and it became cold. It was amazing that it was that fast. So we have had a fire in the fireplace and I have my sweater and wooly socks on.

I got a nice surprise yesterday. I received an email through my blog from my old friend, Mary Lou from Kansas. (Waving at you, Mary Lou!) I started chatting with Mary Lou about 7-8 years ago on the old cross stitch message board on AOL. We became online pals and eventually got to meet a few years ago, when she was visiting the area with her husband. She is a really neat lady and a wonderful friend. Life got busy and we fell out of contact. Apparently, she was on Becky's blog, and clicked on the link to my blog and found me. I am so thrilled! It just goes to show how small our little world is now with the internet.

The world really did get small with the internet. I love reading blogs from other stitchers from all over the world. My blog list has links to stitchers blogs in France, Italy, Germany, Russia, the Yukon, the Netherlands and Australia. I think this is so very cool. I am not always able to understand everything that is written, but I love to look at the stitching, photos of families and pets, gardens, and quilt projects. It is really cool to get a glimpse of everyday life in another country, and to see how really similar our lives can be. I feel like I get to catch up with my friends all around the globe everyday.

Thanks to all of you who take the time to read about my little part of the world. It really means alot to me.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Stash In The Mail

Whoohoo! My stitchy stuff came in the mail today. My tea cozy pattern is here, as is my new Q-snap cover. The fabric on the Q-snap cover is so pretty. It is a nice treat to get something in the mail that is fun instead of junk mail. Even my bills don't come in the mail anymore.

It has been a crazy busy week this week, especially at work. DH had been back in Illinois for a week and came home Tuesday night. We were happy to see him. Liesie likes having the whole family together and everyone where they are supposed to be. Between DH catching up on his work and the audit at my job, we are both coming home really tired. Tonight was the first night we got to chat and catch up. DH made BLTs for dinner. There are few foods that I love more than a BLT. In fact, when we go out for breakfast I will usually order a BLT because I do not like eggs. So it was nice to sit and have something delicious and finally get to talk with one another.

I am looking for a cute design to put on my floss tag. There are some really adorable designs on the Freebie Gallery blog. I have a love of all things red, so something monochromatic might be cool. I think I just need to take some time to find a really nice medallion. It would be a really quick stitch. Then I really want to do some scissor fobs for some of my scissors. I have seen around the net that some folks are storing their scissors in the old glass flower frogs. This seems to be a brilliant idea. I shall have to keep my eyes peeled at the local thrift shops.

Hope you have a great Friday.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blue Ribbon!

Several weeks ago, I entered my Farmer's Alphabet (Prairie Schooler) in the County Fair. Actually, it was kind of a last minute thing. I usually enter several pieces, but this has been a difficult year, complete with a new job, a move, and other really overwhelming things. So life priorities took over. I figured I would just focus harder next year. At the last minute, as I was checking to see what entertainment was at the fair, I saw that I still had a day to enter something. So this went in. I did it primarily because my heart just breaks at the sight of dwindling entries every year and I want to do my part to bring attention to the craft. I am still surprised that it got a blue ribbon. I feel good about this first place finish.

If you have a local fair, please consider entering it. We need to support local fairs. Please do not worry about whether what you do is good enough, because, really it probably is very good quality. The nice thing about entering fairs is that I also get feedback so that I can get better at what I do. So if you bake, sew, cross stitch, or do any home arts, I would encourage you to get your guidebook to your local fair and start planning. It feels really good, you are supporting a local endeavor and raising the awareness of your craft. Perhaps someone else will become inspired by one of your pieces and want to try it, too. I find that I really challenge myself a bit more to take the time to really do something well since I know that someone will be looking at it with a discerning eye. The best part is when your peers and people who know your craft, tell you that you are doing a good job. So next year, go for it!

So now I have to start planning for next year. I am thinking that I would really like to ribbon in hardanger and blackwork...

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Whoohoo! I am happy dancing over this finish. I am really glad that it is finished. Unfortunately, as with most photos of cross stitch, the picture really does not do it justice. Admittedly, this is one of the more complicated patterns I have contended with because the graph was on one page but the stitches were on another so it was not always clear where to start, on the line, next to the line, two threads over, etc. This made it a little frustrating for me and led to a bit of frogging. But I really did enjoy it overall. I just know that I have to be more careful.. They really create beautiful pieces and they are so cheerful. I really appreciate that they use really good quality material in their kits.

I will probably not be able to start any new projects this week. I probably will not be able to blog much either. It is our annual audit at work, so as an accountant, I am up at bat, so to speak. I imagine that I will be working some long hours this week, which I really do not mind. I probably won't be feeling like doing much, that's all.

I had a nice quiet day today. It was really rather cold, so I lit a fire in the fireplace. Liesl got to take a nice nap most of the afternoon. We ended up going for a nice walk this evening before dinner. It was a bit cool and misty, but overall, a really nice evening. I love quiet days like this.

Hope you had a great weekend, too. Have a great week!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Almost Done

Well, I have finished the row of flowers, finally. I have also finished most of the touch ups, so I should be ready to do the beading tomorrow, which will not take long at all. The flowers came out beautifully. I followed that tip of swirling the stitches the blossoms so that the color variagation forms a spiral. It looks really cool. I will have to remember this for the future. I am looking forward to completing this.

I am thinking about making a floss tag next as a small project. I found my old floss ring the other day. There are so many great freebies on the freebie blog, that the hardest part will be picking out a design.

I am being really protective of Miss Liesl right now. My neighbor told me that the local paper has mentioned some attacks of racoons on dogs. Apparently we have a large population this year. My neighbor told me that she saw one in her yard just as it was getting dark, so she wanted to make sure that I knew because she knows I have Liesl. Racoons can be vicious to a dog and Liesl is smaller than most of the racoons around here. So we are going out with her when she potties after dark. Of course, the racoons are making a lot of noise, which makes her want to go out and see what is going on. While racoons are a reality in most of the local cities, it seems like this year is worse than usual.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Okay, I Bought It...

It has been calling to me, so this afternoon I bought it. The pattern that I showed in yesterday's post will be mine. The service at is so outstanding. Within two hours of my placing the order, I received an email saying that it was shipped. That is pretty darn good customer service. I also purchased a cover for my Q-snaps. I always feel like I have to make my shipping cost count. LOL

I stitched a bit this evening and got about two thirds of that bottom row of roses completed. I hope to finish this tomorrow during the Nationwide race. Tony does not race in this league so I usually cheer for Joey Logano. After I stitch the roses and the bottom border of specialty stitches, then I will do my touch ups, iron the piece, then attach the beads and buttons. I am still thinking about that special Jill Rensel mat, but I am still considering the price. The photo on the package for the kit, has the mat, so somehow the piece will feel like it is not right without it. But the mat is over $50 (handpainted) so I really need to think on it a bit more.

If you get the opportunity to check out the Needleprint blog, you will not be disappointed. There are some truly amazing pictures of embroidered and appliqued garments that are beyond spectacular from a museum in Kobe. Needleprint is a really well done blog. The photographs and the patterns are worth drooling over.

Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Must Have This:

I saw this a few months ago on Victoria Sampler's website. At the time it was listed as a class and was about $120. Way too spendy for a puppy momma that still needs to provide for her schnauzer princess. LOL So I took a big pass on it. I was thrilled to see that it was listed on for under $15, pattern only. I would love to take one of their online classes. It is just quite a bit outside of my disposable income. I plan on making the tea cozy out of this, as it is pictured on their website. DH and I still like to make a pot of tea during chillier days. So I would love something adorable to keep the pot warm. I just think it is lovely.

I think I have shared in the past that I am reading "Michaelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling" by Ross King. This book is so fascinating. There was a lot of drama surrounding the project. They break down the panels one by one and what certain items in each panel meant to Michaelangelo. I do not read alot of Art History, but this really is such an incredible book. It is my dream to see Rome someday anyway. Now, however, I feel compelled to spend a good afternoon under this amazing fresco to study each face and grouping.

I am hoping to finish Old Glory this weekend. They are racing in Michigan this weekend. It sounds like a great time to stitch.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Flew By!

Okay, I feel much better today. I am over my cranky. LOL

Today, Tony Stewart won at Watkins Glen. I was bummed yesterday when the race was called on account of rain. But Nascar makes the best decisions on behalf of the safety of the drivers and teams. I was sorry I did not get to see the race, because it was on a cool road course, but the outcome was good. I am happy to see Ambrose up with a good finish, too. He does well on a road course.

It was a good day at work. Things were very busy, which is always good. I especially like a work environment that is more on the fast-paced side. My job really is awesome and darn near perfect. I love going to work in the morning. I feel like I get to see my friends every day.

I got to stitch today at lunch. It was much more peaceful today than yesterday. I am finishing up the bottom row of triangles and looking towards the flowers. The designer of the piece had a great idea of not stitching the flowers in a row with the variegated floss. Instead, she recommends planning the flowers so that you swirl the stitches around in a circle. I think this is cool. I can't wait to start.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Not A Fun Stitchy Day...

I am so frustrated, I could just cry. I sat down to watch to race, which was rained out just as it was getting ready to start. I got out my stitching and started to rip out what I had mistakenly stitched on Friday night. (That series of triangles under the alphabet.) I got that unstitched, which is easier said than done with silk thread. I pulled out a new silk thread, finished it off, and set about pulling another one to finish the row. Before I did that I stood back to see how it looked. Turns out that I had pulled out a pale, pale gold that looked to be ivory. Bummer, dude.

So I frog, again. Grrrr. So I go ahead, pull that out. I make sure before I start with the next thread, that it is indeed ivory. Check. I start stitching, pull out another ivory thread, so I can fully finish the entire row. I get to the last stitch of the row and see that I am one stitch off. I was supposed to start one over from the left. sigh. I pull out the entire row.

This leads me to start to debate my own sanity. I try to decide whether I should try one more time or let it go for the day. Stubborness got the best of me. I tarried onward and I am proud to say that after umpteen attempts and mishaps, I was able to move ahead and go on to finish the next three rows. Geez, Louise. I cross stitch to relax...

I just have one more part of the white row, then comes the row of red flowers at the bottom. Then, ta-da! I will be done. I may need a few days off after this one.

Have a happy Monday!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Nice Saturday

Today was a nice day. We had a few errands to run, but nothing that was too yucky or crazy. We had to run into Costco to get some fish for dinner, but ended up kind of poking around in there, as well. I got some new, warm pj's (I love pajamas!) and a new wooly throw for the living room, which is extra soft and comfy. DH got a new cookbook that he is super excited about. He got Martha Stewart's Cupcake book. The photos are terrific and the recipes are not intimidating. We were hooked with the triple citrus cupcakes, and the Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Cupcake. We are eager to try them out asap. I believe that cupcakes are truly happy food. Just thinking about a cupcake makes one smile. I also like the fact that you have some portion control over your dessert intake.

We also got to poke around in Border's because DH was looking for a gift. I was hoping to find the new Garrison Keillor book. Alas, it was not in stock. I love Garrison Keillor, and the book is not available for Kindle, so now I have to find the book in hardback, at a reasonable price. I know, "Good luck with that..." LOL

DH is hooked on the free reader offered by Barnes and Noble for his Blackberry. It came with 6 free books. He is reading Bram Stoker's Dracula and is really enjoying it. They have the same $9.99 a book deal as Amazon. Many titles are less. He told me that it would be way too easy to keep downloading books to his Blackberry. This is the problem with restraint that I have with the Kindle. It is too easy, reasonably priced, and there on the screen in mere seconds. We both love books and are a bit weak about them.

It was really a fun day. I am glad I got to hang out with DH.

Friday, August 7, 2009

There Oughtta Be A Law...

Every single time I try to stay up a little later so I can make some headway on my stitching, it always ends up being the precursor to the frog. Why have I not learned my lesson. There should be a little alarm that turns off the stitching lamp at a certain time so that I can not even try it.

Here is what I did wrong: In Old Glory, apparently there are two rows of satin stitches, which come to a point. One points up, one points down. I love to do satin stitches. I was so excited that I neglected to see that there were two different rows, so I just started stitching away. I am two thirds done with the row. So tomorrow, rip-it, rip-it. Me and my frog friend.

I have been inventorying my cross stitch supplies, which has been really helpful to make me realize what I have. My biggest undertaking thus far has been all of the floss, DMC and many others. Let me just say that I have no business in the floss aisle at Michaels. I still have to do all of my patterns, but it seems a bit overwhelming to me right now. I have to figure out if I need to set up my Excel spreadsheet by designer or by subject. I am scared to see how many fruit patterns I have. I can not resist them and I do not know why.

Wishing you a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Liesl!

Liesl turned "terrier-able" two today! She had a wonderful day at work with me today. Everyone was very nice to her and told her happy birthday. One really nice person even brought her a special puppy cookie from a doggie bakery that was shaped like a birthday cake and was decorated with a bone. The "icing" almost looked like royal icing and the cookie was beautiful. It even had sprinkles. It was the most I have ever seen her enjoy a cookie. She licked that icing off for a long time, then broke the cookie in little bits. She looked sad when it was gone. LOL Don't worry, she was not sad for too long. She got her favorite dinner tonight of chicked breast and sweet potatoes. She is happy again. LOL

The picture above is of her when she was about 4 months old and had been with us about two weeks. She was about 8 pounds, as opposed to her 16-18 lbs. now (about 5 lbs in cookies.) It is hard to believe she is two. It flew by. She came from a bad situation, and her coat was all brittle, and she just was not in great shape. Now she is beautiful and healthy, thank goodness. She is also spoiled beyond belief. I am so grateful she came into my life. Above all else, she makes me laugh, is a great cuddler, and takes her job as my protector very seriously. She does not mind when she has my tears on her neck, and she is just a great all around companion. While she is spoiled with toys and cookies, I think I get the far better end of the deal.

I have not stitched today, things were just a bit too busy. However, I am reading a really good book, called "Michaelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling." So far it is a really good book with alot of historical information, but written in a really interesting way. I am finding it quite enjoyable. I highly recommend it.

Have a great Wednesday.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Off to the Fair!

The finished product went off to the fair today. It was the first time in a few years that we have not been working into the late night hours the night before trying to get everything framed and ready. I only had one entry this year. I had not even planned on entering but saw that I had a day left and had finished stitching this piece. I am thrilled with how the frame and matting turned out.

With the frame that we found (after we had bought all of the molding and stuff to make a frame) turned out beautifully. We got a green craft paint and DH just sort of unevenly painted it on so it would look worn. Unfortunately, it does not fit under the kitchen cabinets as originally planned. So, we had to find another place in the kitchen for it, and I will have to do something else for under the counters. Thusly, we are at square one again.

DH and I had to run out to Costco today, forgetting that it was the first of the month. As with every first of the month, it was a madhouse. Our printer has been a bit on the blink for the past couple of weeks, so on a lark, we cruised past the printers just to look at them. Did you know that you can get an all in one printer for about $79 now. We were in shock, remembering back to how much our first dot matrix printers cost. We ended up buying a new printer, which looks like it will be dreamy to work with. On our way to go get Diet Dr. Pepper, we passed the digital cameras and I could not believe how low the prices were on those either. (No, I did not buy one!) But I remember that my first Kodak 2.1 MP was like $400. Now you can get 10mp cameras for $129. I was thinking of batting my eyelashes at DH, but figured that the printer was already causing an owie on the wallet.

Well, I have a little furgirl requesting my attention. I have to go find a squeaky ball...