Saturday, August 15, 2015

New Stitching Year Begins!

How can I continue to be so wrong.  I really do have good intentions but I seem to be having trouble following through with those intentions.  Recent example - I had every intention of posting about dropping my items off for Fair judging.  I even went so far as to put pictures on as a draft and took my iPad on vacation with me to write my post and publish it.  Know what happened?  Yep, you guessed it vacation was so busy and returning from vacation was so busy that here I am a week returned and am just now going to write the dropping off my Fair entries post and set my stitching goals for the next year.  The Fair has actually started and I've been to the pre-opening reception to get my results and take a few photos (yet to be downloaded on my computer). 


I had 7 tags to enter items this  year and as you can see my projects were all pretty small ones this year.  I have a couple of Prairie Schooler pieces, a couple of advent SAL pieces from iStitch, one Primitive Hare piece, one piece by Blackbird Designs and the last piece I stitched so long ago I have not a clue who designed it.  BTW I don't think it will win anything.

Here I am dropping off my pieces and that is a friend, Laura N. who volunteers checking items in and releasing them when the Fair is over.

You can see Keith is watching the whole process very carefully.  Bill is the official photographer today.

Here Laura is verifying from the competition rules catalog that the information on my tags and my registration slip is correct.  Results in a future post.


Unlike many of you who set your goals for the stitching year the first of January I set my goals starting the day I drop off my items to the Fair for judging.  It is when I start thinking about projects I want to enter for the next year and as you all know you just don't get them stitched over night.  Let's not forget we have to add in time for framing (and the saving of money for framing).

I've had the question asked of me on more than one occasion why I enter my items in the Fair and subject myself to the criticism of the Judge.  

The main reason is the items I enter I actually keep for myself.  If it is something I want stitched to hang on my wall,  I better stitch it as entry or it will end up in someone else's home.

A second reason - If a non-stitcher is so taken with a piece I have entered and it results in them taking up the hobby of stitching so they can have it for themselves, it is a plus for the stitching industry.

A third reason - I take the Judge's criticism as "constructive criticism".  While I know some of the comments are based purely on personal taste (framing choice as I want it to look good in my home),  my stitching has improved over the years by taking some of their comments and working on a particular skill.

I've picked out three projects for the 2016 Fair so far.  Again, these are pieces I want to display in my home so will be entries.  

The first project should go into the Verse or Motto (under 15") category.  I will know for sure once it is stitched and stretched for framing.  This is a Lizzie Kate design I've wanted to stitch for quite some time called At Our House.  

I'm using the colors included in the kit.  I started stitching it before we left on vacation on what I thought was 40 count fabric.

I was wondering why it was seeming so tedious to stitch - ah, I looked at the tag and am actually stitching on 45 count.  Those 2 little numbers explain it all.  I got into a good stitching rhythm last night and you can see in 2 hours time I did move along quite a bit.  I am stitching this up on Lakeside Linen Vintage Light Exemplar.  It is looking good.


Well I finally did it.  I spent the money on a camera upgrade and have now gone from a point and shoot model to a DSLR.  It actually took me 3 days to find the time to take the camera out of the box. Here are a few test shots I did take.  I am pleased with the clarity of the photos.  I like the one I took of the clock where it blurs the items in the background making the clock the focus.

At this point it is "too much" camera for me.  I have downloaded the PDF instruction manual so hopefully with a bit of reading I will become more proficient with the camera.  Luckily I bought it from a local camera specialty store and they are great to answer any questions.  I also checked and they have classes about every quarter to learn to use your camera.  I missed this quarters classes while on vacation but another is scheduled for October.  I better get my name on the list pronto as I don't want to miss it.


As always, summer is filled with car shows for the Camaro.  You never know who you are going to run into at one of these.  It appears the cast of Star Wars was at this one.  The shows are always family oriented so is a great way to sit and relax for a few hours with friends who are also showing their cars.


My friend, Launa had a birthday recently and one of the women in this picture (who shall remain anonymous) thought it would be fun to use the frosting to block out our teeth for the photo.  You just never know what is going to happen when this group gets together but you can be sure there will be tons of laughter.

L to R Adelle, me, Launa & Mary Ellen


On a recent stop at the hobby shop Keith spied this piece of St. Louis Cardinal's baseball fabric.  Of course, based on the clerk's answer to the width of fabric I bought a yard to make 2 pillowcases.  Too bad her answer was not correct.  Did I mention Keith thought he would just expire if I did not have them sewn together by the end of the day and I promised it would be done by the time he got home that day.  I realized the error of fabric sizes when I started cutting them out 2 hours before he was due home.  No time to go and purchase more fabric so used a bit of creativity, a bit of sewing, pinning, ironing and from the looks of the last photo when he got his pillowcases - it was just what he wanted! 

Time for date night is rapidly approaching so off I go.  With any luck you will get to see some vacation photos and stitching results in a couple of days!  Ta!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I Should Have Known......


So I thought using the blogger app would help me be able to post quicker and a bit more often after all it is on my iPad and very handy.  Decided to put it to the test this past Saturday.  Things were moving along pretty nicely and making progress on my first post when hubby calls and can I help him a minute.  Set my iPad aside and go help him with for a few minutes.  On my way back to my iPad when here comes my son needing some assistance.  Okay so now I'm back to my iPad and hubby decides we need to take our chair out to the furniture store to see what part needs to be ordered to fix it.  Unexpectedly furniture store has part on hand and will have it fixed in 30 minutes.   Head home.  Oh shoot, now it is time to get ready for date night.  I should have known the same reasons I don't get to the computer to post would apply to using the blogger app.  I'm not giving up though.  I'm thinking if I could get in the habit of a short post every couple of days I might actually get it done using the app.


To this point we had already had breakfast out, trips to garden center, gardening, cookout, home made ice cream and fireworks.

Actually on Independence Day we enjoyed a nice quiet grilled out supper on our deck.  We made grilled chicken sandwiches (our first time making) and they were delicious.  It was a very hot weekend that weekend so I paired it with a decked out green salad that was light and refreshing on such a hot day.

On the 5th we attended the GOODGUYS Car Show for All American Sunday.  It was another hot day but was so worth the heat as our car was the Sunday pick and won.  I made a picture collage to share a bit of the award presentation with you.


With this hot weather mixed with rain showers every few days our flowers are looking BEAUTIFUL! I'm have to say I am enjoying fresh garden tomatoes from my friend, Launa.  Sweet corn is out so must make a stop at my favorite stand soon.


My friend, Harriet and I finally got around to celebrating our birthdays (hers June, mine July).  In case you did not recognize my veiled pic from a previous post.

I stitched this design by Teresa Murgida of Primitive Acorns called Queen Bee.  She has the cutest designs and so much detail for the small stitch count.  As soon as I saw this design, I knew I wanted to stitch it right away.

I had in mind I wanted to finish it into a project bag for Harriet who loves to crochet dishcloths.  So I took the stitched design to my local quilt shop and found these delightful fabrics.

I whipped them up into this project bag in no time at all.  I even found a skein of yarn in complimentary colors to include in the bag.

I have picked up and started working on Lizzie Kate's Land of Liberty.  I am hoping to finish this one this weekend.  I may be overly optimistic as I am getting very little stitching time these days.  Just so busy with activities durning the summer.  Yes, I am craving a blizzard so I can have some relaxing time at home.  Would love enough time at home to actually get bored.  We are, however, several months away from that even being in the realm of possibility here in Iowa.


Fun at a car night in a town on the outskirts of Des Moines.  Keith is having a great time.

Coffee/tea with my delightful friend and fellow stitcher Cathi H.

Colorful vintage birthday gift from Rene' who knows my passion for stitching.  So very thoughtful.

Straight from the heart birthday gift from Harriet honoring with a memory ornament of my parents' anniversary.   So special.

Iowa State Fair is rapidly approaching so will share entries for this year soon.  I have many thoughts to share from the past 3 months of packing up and emptying out my childhood home readying it for sale as both parents have passed.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day!


My family and I are enjoying a long 4 day weekend to celebrate Independence Day more commonly referred to as the 4th of July.  


Today's post will be a little picture walk of our weekend thus far.

Breakfast out.

A trip to Goode's Greenhouse - hey the plants were 50% off!  Bill and Keith took time to pose for a quick photo.

Keith looks pretty happy with his choice.

Homemade ice cream!  Keith just could not wait until the 4th so we had ours on the 2nd.

Warm sheets straight from the dryer on a cool day here.  Love that smile!

Enjoying the results of our gardening this Spring and Summer!

Playing with my camera.  These two pictures are exact same bloom.  Difference between taking a regular photo and using the close up feature on the camera.

Brother and nephew doing the cooking.

Great-niece trying to tie her shoe.

Niece and soon to be niece-in-law sharing a laugh.

Husband and son enjoying drinks waiting for food.

Great-niece stealing my SIL's chair.

Names in chalk.

My sister-in-laws enjoying the cookout.

Nephew-in-law holding his sleepy little girl.

Great-nephew showing uncertainty over our fireworks.

Brothers enjoying watching the kids.

Great-niece finally gave up and went to sleep in my arms.

Trying out the fireworks feature on my camera.  Works pretty well.


I even managed to add a few stitches to this little patriotic piece.  This is Land that I Love by Lizzie Kate.  I just love the new little needle minder my friend Cathi H. made.  Thanks again, Cathi!


Next on my list is to make another one of these bags.  My friend, Launa, saw it and thought one would be perfect to put her daughter's computer in at college.  I'm going to make this in a size that will hold a laptop rather than a stitch project.

I've found a new way to make project bags that I'm going to give a try.  The zipper has a tab on each end which looks much cleaner and I get to quilt as I go which will be fun and give me some flexibility for design on the outside of the bag.  I'll let you know how it turns out.  

I also signed up for an online class through Craftsy for making 3 of the Lazy Girl Design bags.  Looking forward to making those as well.


Oh, in case that is not enough.  Fireworks tonight and car show tomorrow.