Sunday, January 31, 2010


Well, here is the Mary Englebreit card that I am working on. If you squint and tilt your head, you may be able to see that it will say "Friend" on it. The photo on the pacakge of the finished product is rather darling, I must say. I am a bit surprised how long it is taking though. I originally thought I would be just whipping this out, but it does not appear that it was a realistic expectation.

It has been a rather hectic weekend, so I have really treasured my brief periods of dog cuddling, stitching and reading other blogs. There is such beautiful stitching out there and it just inspires me so much to see so many beautiful things. I had some time to look at the two smalls blogs and the freebie gallery. I could look at these blogs all day. I am thinking that when I have my little vacation, I may have to set aside some time to print out some of the freebie patterns and put them in a binder.

It is supposed to rain like crazy again this week here on the coast. We were fortunate to have a couple of days to dry out but it is supposed to be a heavy rain all week. This cuts into Liesie and my walking time. We walk about 40 minutes early every morning, but that walk is cut a bit short when it is pouring. (We are suger cubes and melt in the rain.) It is really a shame, because I really appreciate having that time alone with her before the day begins. Once I am able to meet the challenge of getting her out from under the blankets, she will just trot along on a walk. She looks so happy that it makes me happy.

The nice thing about the rain, is that it will be nice and cozy to be home and stitching in the evenings. I have noticed recently that Costco carries Starbucks hot cocoa mix. I love their hot cocoa and I am thinking that I may have to get some for my evening treat. Add a nice blanket, cute little dog, and my stitching, and it makes for a perfect evening.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Got To Stitch Tonight!

Whoohoo! I got to work on one of the cards tonight. It was nice to sit and stitch for a while. I had errands to run after work, but made it home early enough to still be able to get some stitching time in. The piece is starting to take shape. The colors are very Mary Englebreit. It felt so good to be working on something creative.

I am preparing for another busy weekend. I have a lot on my calendar, and yet I hope there will be some time to work on a small piece. I am also hoping to get in a hike or walk with Liesl, and some serious cuddle time with her.

I am going to be taking a staycation in late February. I am pretty excited about it. I am hoping to get a bit of rest, do some hiking, dinners with my wonderful friends, and reading of really good books. Of course, the top item on the agenda is cross stitching. I am even okay with it if it rains. I still have a gift certificate for the local quilt shop burning a hole in my pocket, so I may even do a small quilt or even take a class. Knowing that I have nine days straight to play is pretty exciting. The 23rd is my birthday and falls during my vacation, so Liesl and I will have to find a way to celebrate. This is going to be an amazing year!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Fast Weekend!

This weekend was busy. Super busy. I had such grand plans for it and relaxing. I did get my chores done yesterday but no real resting. I did not make it into my craft room either. Drag. Today was another fast paced day. I went to church, then had lunch with a friend. Got to run home and play with Liesl for a couple of hours before I had to go back out for a meeting. I can not believe how fast time went.

We are gearing up now for the second round of storms here on the Central Coast. It did remain pretty clear today, just some ominous looking clouds. Last week was so incredibly stormy and it looks like it will be like this again next week. I will go back to my bad hair days. We do need the rain here in California so we should appreciate it. I am glad that we had a couple of days for things to dry out first before the second round of storms. In the meantime, I hope people and animals are safe.

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Reprieve From The Rain!

I awoke this morning to see a big orange ball in the sky. It took me a moment to remember what having the sun out was like. It has stormed like crazy for a week now. I have a poor little dog who has had cabin fever. It looks like a long walk is on the agenda today. It looks like I may even get to wear sneakers instead of rain boots. It looks like it is going to start raining again tomorrow, so Liesl and I will be grateful and happy dancing for the sunshine today.

I have so many chores to do, but I think I will try to get as much done as I can this morning, so that we can enjoy the afternoon. I would really like to get into my craft room/office. I have not been going in there much, because I keep the door closed so that the heat will stay in the main rooms that I really use. So as a result, that room stays really cold. I would really like to sit at my desk and go through my patterns. I would really like to pull out my two years of Stoney Creek magazine to see just how hard that hummingbird trellis afghan just really might be. There is also a large blackwork sampler I would like to do. I really need to find a project that I love so I can focus on it.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It stormed all day yesterday and then again today. It just poured buckets. I have had some bad hair for two days. Ugh.

I was grateful tonight that I did not have anything that I had to do after work. I came home put on my jammies and fuzzy socks, nuked a Lean Cuisine, and sat down to stitch. I was a bit tired of wearing a coat that was wet, and having rain pour on me as I got in and out of the car, and I was a bit chilled. I blasted the heat in the house and got it tasty warm and took my position on the sofa with remote, very cute little dog, and my stitching. I was happy to see that my favorite show, "Modern Family" was on twice tonight. It was a really good evening. I still have quite a way to go on my card, but it is all about the journey, right?

Yesterday morning, we had a huge thunder and lightening storm around the time that Liesl and I usually take a walk. Of course, we could not go. Then today it was just pouring. Poor Liesl has not had a walk in two days. Miniature Schnauzers are a very high energy breed, and require a lot of exercise. So we always start the morning with a 30-40 minute walk. This gets her kind of mellow (as mellow as a mini schnauzer can be...) before we head off to work, then we take several walks throughout the day. The poor girl is really missing her walks and so am I. I am thinking good thoughts for tomorrow morning.

Monday, January 18, 2010

End of the Weekend

Well, I must say that it has been a very peaceful, enjoyable weekend. I got to read an entire book and get some stitching in. I know I had promised to post a photo, but it just does not look like anything get, so I will wait until the letters are a bit more recognizable. It is taking a little longer than I originally thought.

The rain just came down in buckets today and the wind just blew. There was about 45 minutes where it was clear and there was some blue sky. Liesl and I took the opportunity to take a 40 minute walk. She looked happy to be outside. We must be living right, because as we literally walked up to the door, the skies opened up and started pouring again. So we came in and got cozy for the rest of the day. I finally got the vacuuming done, so I played on the floor with Liesl for a while, then just relaxed with my stitching.

The Hummingbird Trellis is tempting me as my big project of the year. I do have all of the issues of Stoney Creek and the afghan that it requires. I am thinking that it would probably keep me warm in the evenings, too, as I stitch. I have to think long and hard about this, as I am starting my classes again soon, as well as some other activities, such as chorus. I would think that it would not be too terribly hard to stitch, and it really is gorgeous. I shall have to ponder.

Have a good week!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another Great Day!

Today was a good day! The rain was supposed to start last night but held off until mid morning today, just as I was driving to church. As always, it was a great day at church and I am prepared to face the week, renewed and centered.

By the time church got out, it was pouring. Like raining sideways pouring. I got home, changed my clothes, made a cup of hot cocoa and a chicken sandwich. Liesl thought that this was an excellent menu choice and assisted in the consumption of said sandwich. It was nice, cozy, and warm in the house, so she decided spread out on the sofa to take a nap. This time I thought that it was an excellent idea and asked her to scoot over. I took a good, deep nap. It was quite luxurious. Afterward, I did not want to harsh my mellow with vacuuming like I should, and picked up my book instead.
After a short visit with a friend, I came home, made dinner and picked up on my stitching. I am working on my first Mary Englebreit card. I am having fun with it. I am stitching it on high count Aida cloth. It makes it go kind of quickly. The colors are very Mary Englebreit. I am hoping to post a photo tomorrow.

As a side note, I have to say that I really miss ME's magazine. I love her sense of really happy colors. Plus she seems to share a love of the the same retro/vintage periods that I do. Her magazine was just so happy. I hope someday that it returns.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Great Day!

Have you ever had one of those days that is so ordinary, but just feels so amazing?! Today was just great. Liesl and I slept in until the unheard of hour of 8 am. Then we were out early and ran to Costco, Target and Trader Joe's first thing before it got busy. We are expecting a huge rainstorm here tonight. It is supposed to pour on us all week, so I had to make sure we had groceries, Liesl food (and treats), and cleaning supplies. We took a quick walk then I went over to the library and checked out an armload of books. As I was walking to the car, my girlfriend called and asked if Liesl and I would like to join her and her dog for a long walk by the water in Pacific Grove. Off we went to walk for the next hour and a half. When we got home, Liesl climbed up on the sofa and gave me the eye with the little sliver of white showing that means that she would like to be tucked into her favorite pink blankie. She can be shameless in her demands of spoiling. I am but her humble and obliging servant.

I was able to get a few chores done while she napped, then started my supper. I have been craving English muffin pizzas. I have not had them in years. Whenever I make them, I am transported back to the time when my kids were small and I made them for them. I made a Caesar salad and just devoured my meal. ThenI got to throw the ball for Liesl over and over. Now she is laying against me, deep in sleep.

It is amazing how beautiful an ordinary day can be. I got everything done that I needed to, and got to spend it with my dog. I got to spend time with one of my closest friends and admire the beauty of God's creation in the ocean crashing on the rocks. Now it is a peaceful evening. I hope the rest of the weekend is this wonderful!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I Must Be Losing It...

Oh my goodness, I was talking on the phone tonight with one of my girlfriends and she asked me if I was off for the holiday on Monday. I had totally forgotten that Monday is a holiday. I have three, count 'em, three whole days off! How could I forget?! I am so excited! I love going to work, but I am really grateful that I have some rest time in the near future.

Well, now with this new development I will have to revamp my plan. It looks like our rainstorm is going to hold off until Sunday, so I am planning big things for Saturday. Firstly, my friend and I are thinking of walking dogs by the water (if the waves are not too high. Storms usually = huge waves here and it is not safe.) Then I plan on going to the library and stocking up on some new books to read. I have had a gift certificate to the quilt store in Pacific Grove for about a year, so it may be time to use it on a small project. I always get inspired in that shop! I am thinking it is time to spend some time in my little office/craft room. I may do a little baking, too!

I have abandoned the Altoid tin for the time being until I can match up floss. Who knew there could be so many variations of ivory. So now I am stitching some nice Mary Engelbreit cards as some long overdue thank yous to some awesome friends who have been over the top kind to me in the past weeks. I am so fortunate for the friends that I have.

I am a bit tired tonight. Over the past three days, a couple of us from work have been taking small hikes with dogs at lunch. Liesl loves this time, and rests really well afterward. Today we were joined by two more work friends and their dogs. It was really wonderful. My head gets really clear with the fresh air and my heart pounding from the climb, plus we have such good, thought provoking conversations. I just keep thinking that I am so blessed to have the life that I do. I am really lucky!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another Wild Wednesday!

Oh my goodness, I have been busy. I am still trying to catch up from the week I was out recuperating from my accident. Plus, I am enrolling in classes for the spring semester and choir just started up again. It is an exciting time! The best thing that happened was that I got my car back from the body shop today and it looks so pretty, and drives like a dream. Whoohoo!

With all of the activity, unfortunately, I have not had much opportunity to stitch. I am trying to find a match for the ivory silk thread in my Altoid tin kit, as I seem to be short. I think I shall have better luck on Saturday in the daylight (and a little more patience. LOL)

It is supposed to pour down rain on the weekend. I figure I will grocery shop on the way home Friday, then hunker down at home with a new stitching project and some good books and my little Liesl for the weekend. It will be so nice and cozy to rest this weekend with a cup of tea, and the rain falling outside. Plus, my friend at work lent me her copies of Season One and Two of Madmen. I keep hearing such great things about this show! I am thinking about working on a Shepherd's Bush kit that I have. I could use the rest and Liesl would love to nap and be doted on.

Have a great evening!

Friday, January 8, 2010


It has been a very busy week. Oy vey! I am exhausted.

I had to run by Costco on my way home from work and ended up buying one of their delicious rotisseried chickens. I had some leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge, so basically, dinner was done. Little Miss Liesl thought that she should also partake of Friday night dinner, too. She loves chicken breast more than any other food. She was pretty tired and nodded off quickly after she ate.

I had wanted to stitch, but I was so tired that I could not pull it together enough to stitch until way after 9 pm. By that point, I was overly tired and afraid of making a mistake, so I stitched for less than half an hour. I hope to have the project complete by the end of the weekend. I brought home a lot of work, so that will take precedence.

I am looking forward to the weekend. I have to get my house totally clean and do laundry. It is nice to have a domestic weekend. I am feeling well enough to putter around the house and strong enough to vacuum. I think Liesl will be happy to nap and play with her toys this weekend, too. As long as she gets her walk, she is happy to stay home.

Hope it is warm where you are...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ooh Blah Dee, Ooh Blah Dah...

Well, for such a small, simple project, this little Altoid tin is making me pull my hair out. I came home and made myself a quick dinner so I could get to my stitching. I sat down and realized I had to pull out more stitching than I had originally planned on. I pulled out my work and went to start stitching, whereupon my needle fell out of my hands and out of view. Immediately, I commenced my search. Having a needle lost is bad enough, having a needle lost when you have a small, curious dog, makes one a little frantic.

I found the needle, but then realized that the floss I needed was missing, probably attached to whatever I was wearing when I started this project. I finally found a couple of pieces and am hoping I have enough. Hence, the hair pulling. It was one thing after another...

Liesl slept through all of my stitching drama, although she was trying to get me to rub her tummy in the middle of it all. Who am I to deny her, when she does such a good job being such a wonderful little companion? She is such a little character. I am very fortunate. When she was much younger, she used to take off running with cloth or floss, whatever she could get. Now she basically ignores it when it is out. Of course, I store it without the needle parked in it, just in case.

I am still healing, so I have been getting tired pretty quickly. I am looking forward to the weekend so that I can rest. I may try another trip to the library, too.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Um, How Did It Get To Be Wednesday Already?

Whhoooosh! That is the sound of this week going by. I have been so busy that it has been incredible. I can't believe that we are just a few hours from Thursday! Oy vey!

I was able to find my error in the Altoid tin. That was not the hard part. Alas, the hard part was pulling out stitching done with silk thread. That never goes well. It never comes out in one piece. It frays and makes kind of a yucky mess. sigh. In any case, it is pulled out. Now tomorrow I can have the fun of stitching again.

I am getting together an idea of the things I would like to stitch this year. I have alot in my stash that I would like to finally to put to use. I also would like to work on ornaments as I posted earlier. I have so many lovely patterns in my stash along with the fabrics and such that I need to complete them. I have put myself on a pattern diet this year so that I can use what I have. I really need to visit with the patterns I already own.

Have a super evening.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

One Tired Puppy...

Little Miss Liesl is tired. In preparation to go back to work tomorrow, I had a dry run and got up early and took her for her usual walk. After that I went to church while she snoozed for a while. Upon my return from church, a friend called and said that it was such a beautiful sunny day and asked if Liesie and I were up to a walk with her and her dog by the water. It really was a beautiful day, warm, with not a lot of breeze.

Liesl had a really nice time walking. She got to smell the smells along the trail and hang out with her doggy friend. The walk was longer than we have been doing, so when we got home, she climbed up on the sofa and gave me the look that lets me know she is ready to be tucked into her pink blankie. Have I mentioned she is spoiled?! (she deserves every bit of her spoiling!)

I have a feeling it is going to be a quiet evening around here. I am so excited about going back to work, I can not even express it. So I will try to figure out my error on my Altoid lid and then turn in early so I can be bright and shiny first thing in the morning.

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Off By One Thread

I shared a photo of my little Altoid tin cover last night. Today as I was doing the border, I realized that I am one thread off. Unfortunately, it affects the border so I must go back and revisit the error of my ways. I kept stitching after I knew I should last night, and unfortunately, it always ends up costing me when I do that. Luckily, it is a small piece and should not be too much of a hassle.

Today was a good day. I was feeling much better, and got to take a little longer walk with Liesl today. We were both tired by the time we got home, and both got to rest. She had pretty cute little puppy snores at one point. It felt really good to be out in the air, and seeing the goings on in the neighborhood. I have some of the loveliest neighbors, who are so very kind. I think good neighbors are worth their weight in gold.

I am literally counting the hours until I can go back to work on Monday. I have been out all week recovering. I miss my coworkers, who are also my friends. I miss the mental challenge of my work. I miss how busy it is. I am so excited! I just can't wait.

Well, guess I should go pull some of my stitching out so I can move on to my Queen stitches.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Project...

After the morning's yuckiness, I decided to take out one of my boxes of kits and see what I had in there. It was like going through a toy box. I nearly pulled out a larger Shepherd's Bush kit, but then I spotted an old Lori Birmingham Altoid Tin kit. This peaked my interest in several ways. The first being that I think very highly of Lori Birmingham, having taken a class from her at CATS several years ago. She is a neat lady. The second reason is that it is in alignment with my wanting to do more smalls. The last reason is that my eyes fell across two of my favorite words in stitching--Queen Stitch. Readers of this blog who have been around for a while know that I can go on and on about how much I love to do Queen Stitch. I think it will look especially cute on this piece.

I am feeling a bit better than this morning. I rested and tried not to overdo anything today. I also ate really healthy food today and got some fresh air by taking Liesl for a little walk. The doctor said that I can take little walks and that it is good for me. One of my highlights of my day is walking with Liesl. Anyone who has experience with this breed knows the happy trot that they have. She trots along with her ears back and just looks so happy that it makes me happy to watch her.

I got to stitch tonight while watching the Mythbusters marathon on Discovery. I love this show. It is just so fascinating how they use science to prove or disprove urban legends.

Well, off to dreamland...

Trying to Think Happy New Year Thoughts

I am afraid I was a little overly ambitious yesterday. What I have not mentioned in my posts is that on Christmas Day, I was in a serious car accident and received some injuries. I have chosen not to focus on this part, but rather on the fact that God protected me and saved me from worse issues. Through His Grace, and the help of really wonderful people, I have been getting better. I have received many blessings in this journey. I am so grateful to God.

Yesterday was my first real outing since Christmas. I have had to drive a couple of really short trips since then, but yesterday was one where I had a get on the highway. I had to work up some courage for the day. I got out early before I lost my nerve and before holiday traffic got heavy. The need for groceries was a good motivator. I gave myself the trip to the library as a special treat.

I am afraid that the hour long excursion may have cost me, because I woke up not feeling really good today. I am trying to stay positive and bring good thoughts and energy into the New Year, so I am trying not to complain. Overall, I feel more grateful than anything, but I can not deny that it hurts today. Liesl seems to sense this and is content to sleep next to me here rather than being up and busy like her usual mini schnauzer self. I wonder sometimes how she knows what she knows.

I think I will pull out my old JCS ornament issues today, and start planning some ornaments to stitch for next year. I have been so inspired seeing others post their ornies on their blogs and message boards. I have not stitched an ornament in about 20 years. There have been so many beautiful designs in the past few years and though I always have the best of intentions, my magazines go back on the shelf, and I return to stitching big projects. It will be good to have a quiet day, with a cup of cocoa, and leafing through my old magazines.

God has blessed me many times over indeed and I am so grateful.