Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Progress

It is even colder than last night. It has been a good night to go to bed early with my stitching, get under the blankets and watching Dancing With the Stars. Liesie was tired from being back at work so she went to bed early, too.

It was so good to be back at work. I love the people that I work with, and we always say that things just do not seem right when one of us is out of the office for any length of time. Things just do not seem to be in balance. So everyone was so nice to me in welcoming me back home. It was nice to hear someone say that I was missed. I think I am really lucky. Liesie loved seeing all of her friends, too.

I am so excited that I finished the house in the tea cosy. It is such a large part of the design, and has taken a few days to stitch. This was not too bad in that there were large blocks of color. Now I get to move on to some of the specialty stitches. I love specialty stitches. It always make me feel really great when I can meet the challenge of a new stitch.

Enjoy your evening!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Back To Work Tomorrow

Yay! I love my job and I am really looking forward to getting back to it tomorrow. I am looking forward to seeing my co-workers and sitting at my desk.

After dealing with the blistering heat while I was down south, now I am freezing again back home. I have had the heat on and a fire in the fireplace. Even Liesl keeps burrowing down under her sofa blankie. (Doesn't every dog have a bed and a blankie in every room?) The weather forecast is calling for the temperatures to drop over the next few days. Brrr.

I had to take a midterm exam for my Economics class today. It took all of the two hours that was offered. Yikes. After that Liesie and I cuddled on the sofa to watch the race, while I stitched. I am almost finished with the house on my tea cosy. It is really pretty and the materials are lovely. I would take a photo to show you but, alas, it is too cold to go get my camera out of my purse. We shall have to put it off until tomorrow during daylight hours when it is warm again. LOL

Since I just wanted to get home yesterday, I passed several exits off of 101 (El Camino Real-the California Mission Trail) to other missions. It has always been my goal to see all of them, twenty one in all, so now I am thinking that a road trip is in order. There are several in Monterey County. I passed up San Miguel, San Antonio and Soledad. (I have been to Soledad before. I have even performed with a chorus there.) So far, I have visited six. I really would like to see them all. Some are better condition than others due to local community support. Most are still working churches that celebrate mass every Sunday. The buildings are over 200 years old, still young by European standards, but about as old as the United States. I think the architecture, the lines of the building and the bells are fascinating.
Wishing you a great work week.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Home Again, Home Again...

We made it home by about noon today from our whirlwind adventure. Liesie is glad to see her toys and her backyard again.

We had a nice trip down south. Yesterday Liesl just looked so tired that we pretty much stayed close to the hotel most of the day and napped. I did not realize until late yesterday that we had pretty much had the hotel to ourselves during the weekdays. Yesterday though, the party crowds came in and were noisy way into the night. The neighboring room had people talking and laughing until late. Then their phone rang at 3:30 am, 5 am, 5:15 am and 6 am. I was so over it by 6:30 and packed up the car as fast as I could so we could get the heck out of there. I will try to remember to only go there during the week in the future.

I am adding some other pictures that I took this week at the Botanical Garden in Santa Barbara. Here is my furgirl who I think is part mountain goat, since she could scurry pretty fast up the stone staircase:

These are photos of the redwood grove there:

It really is good to be back home. As much as I enjoyed the time off, I am looking forward to getting back to work.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Two California Missions, One Day

I have been to Solvang several times in the last 7 or so years. It dawned on me yesterday that I should look for Mission Santa Ynez. There are 21 missions in California, which are an important part of the state's history. In fact, San Carlos de Borrameo (the Carmel Mission), where Father Junipero Serra is buried, is right in my town. I love to look at the buildings, and to see what the sanctuaries look like. I am a practicing Lutheran so I am afraid that I do not always understand some of the religious artifacts, but I love the opportunity to learn and understand more.

I digressed. Santa Ynes (Saint Agnes) is right in the heart of Solvang. In fact, it is one block over from the main street, Alisal. I stumbled upon it on accident today when I went to drop something off at the post office. It was not open when I stopped by this morning, so I did not get to see inside.

I was hoping to get to a cooler location this morning, so off we headed to Santa Barbara to see the dog friendly Botanical Garden there. Much of it was closed off do to the recent fires, but it was truly a lovely place. It was really really hot, but we stopped at each shaded bench so I could offer Liesie water and to douse her head to help keep her cool. She had a good time speeding off after lizards. The gardens are about a mile above the Santa Barbara mission. There is an aquaduct and filtration system that feeds the mission and surrounding area that was built at that time. The system is still in use today. It was fascinating.

On the way back down the hill, I got to see the magnificent Mission Santa Barbara, which I think is the largest mission I have ever seen. This mission holds several important artifacts such as vestments worn by Father Serra and significant works of art. It was about 100 degrees at the point that we got there, way too hot to leave Liesl in the car for even a few moments for a quick peek from the door, so sadly, I did not get to see inside. I snapped a few quick photos:

We finished the day by dipping our toes in the Pacific. Even the beach was too hot, so we did not stay long. It was a really great day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Greetings From Solvang!

We made it to Solvang, CA last night and checked into the loveliest dog friendly hotel. This morning, off we went to downtown Solvang. If you are not familiar with Solvang, it is a fantastic little town about 45 minutes outside of Santa Barbara. It was settled by the Danish in 1911, and maintains the style of a Danish town. There are a multitude of Danish restaurants and little shops with Danish items and souvenirs for sale. I love this town and the people here make me feel right at home. Today it was 104F degrees in Solvang. Oy vey, it was take-your-breath-hot! Liesl and I walked around until about noon then went back to the hotel for a few hours to nap with the air conditioner running in the room.

The shopkeepers here have been so lovely. They come out and chat with me about Liesl when they saw me sitting on a bench with her for a few moments, while I was giving her water. Several saw that she was very well behaved and allowed me to take her into their shops. They were incredibly kind. One of my very favorite shops here is the infamous Thumbelina Needleworks, which specializes in cross stitch items from Scandanavia. Everything is so lovely in there. I asked the nice man there if it would be okay if I went into the shop with Liesl if I carried her. He said it would be okay. He saw that she is well behaved and kindly suggested that she would be much cooler on the floor, instead of in my arms. She laid down on the floor while I went through pretty much every pattern in the store.

I bought the most beautiful patterns at Thumbelina. I was looking at a stitched piece that looked very, very old and beautiful. It looked to be an antique. I thought I was silly to ask, but did ask if by any chance he had a pattern for it. I am so lucky, because he did. I will post a photo tomorrow of it and the rest of my stash. It is a windmill by a stream, just a little picture. He said that it was stitched on silk gauze, and happened to have the silk gauze in stock. I am so excited to stitch this!!! I bought quite a few things that a truly treasures. If you ever have the chance to make it by there, you will be thrilled with the treasures they have. Permin, Eva Rosenstand, Gerda Bentsson, and Oehenschlager, etc. Wonderful, helpful service, out of this world Scandanavian cross stitch items. Truly one of my very favorite shops.
The other treasure I discovered today is The Village Spinning and Weaving Shop. DD dyes her own yarn and is a fantastic knitter. She has been looking for a spindle to spin her own yarn. I text messaged her right before our nap to let her know that this shop was here and asked if she needed anything. She got back to me, and around 4 I ran back to the shop in hopes it would be cooler in town. It was 97, yikes! The lady that runs the spinning shop was absolutely wonderful and gathered up the items for me that she thought DD needed. She had the most beautiful yarns there, too. She even carries the yarn spun from the waterproof fur of the Alaskan Musk Ox. A beautiful selection, extremely helpful and kind, and very knowledgeable. Really a fabulous experience.

We are off to Santa Barbara tomorrow. Word in town was that it was actually quite cold on the coast. Liesl would love to romp on a beach somewhere, especially if it is cooler!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Road Tasting...

Yesterday, we decided to go off on an adventure up to the Santa Cruz area. I was totally wanting some Cheesy Bavarian sausages. There is a place up in Corralitos that makes sausages that make your mouth water just to think about them. We go up there every once in a while to stock the fridge. We got there pretty close to closing yesterday, and the place was just packed.

We had been very worried about the folks who work there, because a couple of months ago, this little town was right in the path of the Lockheed Fire. The firefighters here have been so busy the last couple of years and we are so grateful for them.

One of the items that I got to pick up at the market was a genuine Gizdich Ranch Olallieberry Pie. OMG! Olallieberries are incredible and grow here on the Central Coast. Gizdich Ranch is famous for growing them on their U-pick farm. The olallieberry is a cross between a blackberry and a huckleberry. Nothing in the world tastes like them. Don't tell anyone, but I had a slice for dinner. Yum!

Okay, I know what you are thinking-That is one big artichoke! This is Giant Artichoke in Castroville, home of deep-fried artichoke hearts. If you have had an artichoke recently, chances are it came from Castroville. Deep friend artichoke hearts are just about one of the tastiest things you can eat. They are served with mayonnaise, in case the frying does not provide enough fat for you. LOL If you make it to the Monterey Peninsula, do yourself a huge favor and try these delicacies.

All this talk of food is making me hungry...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Vacation Day 3

We have been having an awesome vacation so far. We had agreed that we would rest most of the first weekend because we were both just exhausted. Friday morning I got my hair cut, did a little shopping, then had a massage, which was heavenly. We then went out for a really nice lunch at one of our favorite restaurants for a super late lunch/early dinner. We got back home, at which time I declared that I was taking a nap, which ended up lasting an hour. We both said we were too tired to do anything else so we put on jammies and watched "National Treasure 2," one of our fave movies. I got to start my tea cozy while we watched the movie. It is a really fun stitch.

Yesterday, after waking up at 8:30 (yikes!) Liesie and I went for a nice long walk around town, taking a route we had never taken before. We have really interesting architecture in our town so I got to look at some really cool houses, that I had not noticed before. Our houses here range from castles, to a house by Frank Lloyd Wright, to houses with thatched roofs, straight out out of fairy tales or a Thomas Kinkade painting. Thomas Kinkade has a home here and a couple galleries in the area, so I have often wondered if he gets inspiration from some of the little cottages here. Alot of the houses have the cutest little fairy tale gardens where I get new ideas of flowers to put in my own gardens.

While we were off on our adventure, Bob was getting his massage. He came home really m-e-l-l-o-w. LOL. We decided to read our books. I saw that Dan Brown's new book was available on Kindle for only $9.99, so I had to have it. It is a pretty good read so far. Then DH decided late yesterday that he had to have chocolate so we ended up taking another long walk to town with Liesie, then went down and sat by the beach and watched the day end.

I think this may be another day of rest before we set out for fun and adventure. I would really like to stitch today and perhaps finish the wording so that I can move away from the over 1 stitching it entails. LOL I have always loved stitching over one, but my eyes are getting a bit older now... Anyway, today is the first race in the Sprint Cup chase, and Tony is number 1 in the points, so I will probably have to secure a seat right in front of the television to cheer on the Office Depot/Old Spice car. Go Smoke!

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


My stitchy goodies came! I was trying not to have my happy dance right there in the parking lot of the post office. Whoohoo! I must say they are ever so lovely. The fabric came serged around the edges from 123stitch. The owner of 123stitch, Joanne really run a top notch service! She is super speedy in her shipping, too.

Well, my vacation started at 3 today. After running a couple of errands, I met up with DD so we could get pedicures. I have bright red toes. Yay! Then we had burritoes and cervezas for dinner. Yum! I came home and changed into brand new pajamas for my vacation evening lounging. I have an addiction for pajamas. I would wear them to work if they let me. DH bought me a new set at Costco yesteday, complete with a pajama cardigan. How cool is that. The pants are nice and long, too.

I had fully planned on a night of stitching in said new jammies, but ended up playing around on the computer. I started looking at stitching blogs and my evening flew by. How does that happen so fast. I will stitch tomorrow. I can not wait to see my tea cozy take shape.

Off to get my much needed beauty sleep...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waiting at the Mailbox!

I feel like a little kid. I am waiting for my supplies to arrive so that I can stitch my tea cozy. Just knowing they are on their way is making me somewhat giddy. I got the shipment confirmation the other day. In fact, the shipment went out the day before I got the notification that the new JCS ornament issue came out. Shucks and darn, I will just have to place another order. Mind you, I do not stitch ornaments, but I have to have it in case this is the year that I start stitching ornaments.

Bob and I had a hot date at Costco after work to do some vacation grocery shopping. We spent a little too long lingering over the book table. We both love books in written or audiobook form. Why do there have to be so many good books and so little time? It is the same with stitching. We picked up some interesting snack type things tonight. They actually had cashews coated with coconut. Uh-yum! We also picked up Mexican Coca Cola. Our Costco carries it. It is so delicious. It is made with sugar cane and tastes just like the Coca Colas we had as kids. It comes in the glass bottle. You serve it really cold on a hot day. ( we are expecting the weekend to be in the 90's here in California this weekend) It really brings back memories of getting them out of the old iceboxes in the 60's.

It is hard to believe it will be autumn in a week. I love Autumn. I love the smells, the colors, the foods, the coziness of it. I like being able to snuggle under a blanket throw with a cup of tea to stitch or read with a cute little dog curled up next to me. I love the smell of pumpkin bread baking. I welcome this season and I am truly grateful for everything in my life. Life is truly good!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It's Raining!

Wow! We are having a for real and true rain tonight. Usually it does not rain here until November-December. It is kind of nice and cozy. I made chili for dinner, good ol' comfort food. I am generally a follow the recipe to the letter kind of girl. I think it is part of my accounting frame of mind. We just do not go outside of the rules. Anyway, I got wild and threw in a bunch of tomatoes that I needed to use up and some leftover flat beer that got put back in the fridge. Bob said it was delicious (Yay!) and congratulated me on going outside of the box.

I had that flu/fever thing this weekend. Yucka. My head was all achy and stuffy. I feel better now but that was no fun.

I have been working on my genealogy studies this weekend for my class. I am not sure if I have shared this or not, but about six years ago I started my search. It has been such an interesting journey. The side of my family that I have been able to trace the furthest is my mother's side all of the way back to Macclesfield, Cheshire, England. Macclesfield was the center of the silk industry until the Industrial Revolution, when many people immigrated from Macclesfield to Paterson, New Jersey to work in the burgeoning silk trade there. In my research I have found a long lineage of silk weavers, embroiderers, and silk trade laborers on this side of the family. I wonder there must be some sort of institutional memory that made me want to embroider and work with fine cloth like linen and silks. I love working with silk best and will use it in my stitching whenever possible.

I have such a sense of pride and connectedness to my ancestors in this journey. I think a big part of it is that our lives are not just woven together, but that they are also woven together by needle and thread. I am connected to them with a love for doing the same things that they did, only I get to do them for fun.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Methinks I have selected my project for vacation. It is my Victoria Sampler Tea Cozy. I am ordering my fabric this weekend. (28ct, thank goodness!) I am looking forward to doing some of the crewel stitches on the vine. It also has some ribbon embroidery. It is a smorgasboard of stitching!

I was having a really good day, but my afternoon did not go so well. I got a text message from Bob this afternoon saying that Liesl had hurt her front paw and was in total pain so he was taking her in to the vet. They could not figure out what was wrong, so they gave her a painkiller/anti-inflammatory shot. She has been acting normal this evening, but we are not sure what will happen when the medicine wears off. I am hoping she sleeps because I came home with a little bug. I have had a fever all evening. Tomorrow will be better.

I got my Nordic Needle catalog in the mail today. I am going to look at it cover to cover tonight. I love their catalog. It makes me want to do more hardanger. Some of the pieces are so delicate and so amazing. It is as much to look at stitching as it is to stitch!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Last Days of Summer

The other evening after dinner we took a walk down to the beach. We made it in time to see the sun taking its last bow of the day. The weather was just lovely here all weekend. Today, it was like a switch had gone off and it was much chillier. It felt a lot like fall all of the sudden.

I went in and worked today. I am trying to get everything done before my vacation starts. My workplace is wonderful and is letting me take my holiday at the start of my vacation. Whoohoo. An extra day! I went in early in the morning and worked straight through. I got so much work done without the phone ringing. I work with really nice people so I kinda missed everyone today though.

We took a nice walk after dinner and went downtown, which was pretty deserted. The tourists had all gone home and the streets were rolled up for the night. For some reason, Liesl likes to stop in any open door downtown, and just stop and look at what is going on inside. It is quite funny. She is a dog about town.

I am trying to decide what to stitch on my vacation. I am also trying to decide what to read for fun. You can't just be making these decisions all willy-nilly. Some careful consideration needs to go into how I am going to recreate. Do I want to read and stitch something fun? Or do I want to go the meaningful route? Should I broaden my horizons and read a classic and stitch hardanger? What to do, what to do... It is fun to plan. I am counting down the days!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Blissful Saturday

Today was one of those normal, wonderful Saturdays. Liesl and I sat for a while and shared a chair on the back patio. The weather was beautiful, a slight breeze and sunny skies. It was nice to sit still. Then DH and I went to Target to pick up a few items, and found some lovely plants for the garden that were really inexpensive, like $1.99! We got some German Statice, Moss roses, and Dianthus (love the way it smells like carnations!) DH will put them in the ground tomorrow, yay! I took a nap during the race, then DH put a couple of steaks on the barbecue for dinner. It was just one of those ordinary days. I love those!

We are very appreciative to have these wonderful sorts of days. Last year was a very stressful one for us. We pretty much had all of the top stressors that a person can deal with. However, we made it through it all, and are so grateful. Days like this are really a treasure to us, where we just enjoy being together with our sweet little furgirl, and doing mundane things.

Stitching Bits and Bobs is running one of their great sales this weekend. Every holiday it seems they run a 20 - 25% off sale on most of their stock. They have a lovely website, too. Lots of stuff to look at. I tend to utilize them for some of the harder to find stuff, like Permin. They have a really great selection of Permin and Eva Rosenstand. So far I have been strong and not made any purchases...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Whoohoooooo! It's Friday!

It has been a wild, wild week! DH decided to take Liesl and momma out for dinner at our favorite local dog friendly restaurant tonight.

We enjoyed our adult beverages while Liesl stayed ever alert for the waiter with her order of chicken breast, and/or for other puppies to sniff noses with while she waited for her food to arrive.

Dinner has arrived!

Life is good!

I did not get to take a photo of the last part of the story. Liesl tends to go into what we call a "chicken coma" when she gets this special treat for dinner. She is now fast asleep on top of the new pajamas that I was planning on wearing to bed. Instead, I am having to wear mismatched ones because she is somewhat immovable. LOL

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Little Bitty Project

Here is Shepherd's Bush's "Sweetpea." It is a small project and just as cute as a button. I love the Jill Rensel heart double mat, but I am still saving for her mat for Old Glory. Bob does all of my framing and matting, so we may have to have a little consult on how to mat and frame it without it breaking the bank.

The colors in this are just lovely. I think this will look just lovely in our boudoir. It is just adorable. Hmm. Now that I am thinking about it, perhaps I will just finish it into a sweet little pillow. I have three decorative pillows on the bed. What's one more? Now I am thinking this a better and more affordable alternative.

Since I will probably be finished with this one by lunchtime tomorrow, (just kidding) I am thinking about going through my patterns this weekend. I think we will be staying in this weekend, (Yay!) so I would love to work on something pretty. I do not think we want to stray too far from the house unless it is to walk Liesl down to the beach, or to go get a coffee. The tourists are already pouring into town and I can hear loud parties coming from the nearby vacation rental houses. sigh
Have a great holiday weekend! Be safe and make sure you don't get barbecue sauce on your stitching this weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oh My Goodness!

Shakespeare's Fairies - Cross Stitch Pattern

Shared via AddThis

Have you seen this! Wow! I am not much of a fan of fairies, but this one is just darling. Nora Corbett does a really nice job on fairies, particularly her flower fairies. I may have to get the Shakespeare's Fairies. The colors are just lovely and it seems like the picture just moves.

My boss is getting new furniture tomorrow, so I got her big set up in my office today. I am thrilled. My office looks totally different now. I was thinking that I would like to stitch something colorful for my office. I will have to go through my patterns this weekend, unless, of course, an ONS is having a get down sale and the fairy picture makes it into my shopping cart. LOL. I wish I could totally express how happy I am about this new set up. I am looking forward to decorating my new space!

I think I have figured out my schedule now for my class assignments, etc. It was a bit overwhelming at first, and this weekend had me wondering if I would be able to pick up a needle and thread before Christmas. But all is well and not to worry. I think I have worked out my balancing act. Thank goodness. I have missed my stitching over the past week. Life is good!