Sunday, September 20, 2015


I am not finding a lot of time to stitch with all the car shows.  I have started 2 pieces since the Fair and am at least making progress albeit slow.

This is At Our House by Lizzie Kate.  This has always been a favorite verse and can't wait to have it stitched and framed to hang in my house.  I'm stitching this on a piece of 45 count L.L. Vintage Light Exemplar.  I was using the called for colors right up until the white would not show up on the fabric.  I've substituted DMC 3685 which is a shade of red.

I have also restarted - yes I said restarted - Mirabilia's Gathering Eggs.  I was 1/3 of the way done stitching 2 over 2 on 28 count but didn't like the look of it.  I am now stitching it 1 over 2 on a piece of 40 count dirty linen using the called for threads.  I like it so much better.  Can't wait to find more time to work on it.

My friend, Harriet and I found time on Friday for one last visit before moving from their town home.  We had so much catching up to do that the time just flew by.  Looking forward to our next visit in her new home.


I was inspired yesterday to make something different for the picnic lunch I always pack to take along to car show.  The recipe was requested for this Orzo Salad so here you go.

Orzo Salad

I cut into large pieces the following veggies

Yellow squash

I then tossed them in olive oil with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.  I placed on a parchment lined cookie sheet and roasted in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour.  Really depends on the size of your pieces how long you bake. Mine were about an inch.

I also baked for chicken thighs in the oven at 375 degrees for an hour.  I took all chicken off the bone and cut up.

I boiled 1/2 cup orzo in salted water until done and then drained off water.

In a large bowled I combined roasted veggies, chicken, orzo and feta cheese.  To this I added 1/3 cup Olive Garden Italian dressing.  I encourage you to use your favorite vinergarette dressing.

You can eat this either cold (which we did for our picnic) but feel it would be equally yummy as a hot dish.


Car Shows All Rolled Into One

There are still so many things and pics I want to share. It will do my best to control myself.

We've been attending a lot of car shows over the weekends and I have taken oodles of pictures.  It really has helped me to "get to know" my DSLR better and am consistently getting better photos.  My pictures of "things" are still better than my "people" photos but I have not given up hope yet.  To that end I have signed up to take a class in October to get to know my camera better.  Can't wait.

A new friend, Janice, asked me if I have always liked taking photos. I answered yes without giving it much thought. It was an honest answer as I've had a love of taking photos since I was very young.  Her question had me probing my memory and realized my mother started my love of photography.  When I was in elementary school, momredeemed her books of Regal stamps at the local HyVee in exchange for a Kodak camera.  This was my birthday gift that year.    What a lovely memory.

Favorites from car shows...

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Grace Lutheran Fall Festival

We attend the annual Grace Lutheran Fall Festival on August 26.  It again was another enjoyable evening.  There were lots of people there we knew among the hundreds who attended.  A meal is provided and there are bouncy toys, horse rides and face painting to keep the kids entertained.  They are really good at keeping things on time as well.  In at 5:00 p.m. and out right at 8:00 p.m.

Here are a few of my favorite pics from the night.

Bill and Keith checking out something on the phone.

Not the original shot but what I cropped it down to.

This ended up being a double selfie - darn shiny cars.

This appears to be 1/2 a volkswagon bug

I love a corvair

This is a pretty rare Lincoln.

Cars are parked back to back for several rows.  Record entries this year.

We won a trophy this year.

Keith latched onto it and didn't let it go.

Yep, took it to bed with him as well.

Last Day of Fair Car Show

Normally I would be attending the Fair on the last day but this year friends who belong to the Unique Mustang Club were having their first ever sponsored show.  Bill, Keith and I decided to attend to support their show.  

I will say we have attended a lot of car shows this year together as a family.  It is a pretty low key and relaxing day.  You pretty much spend the day walking around looking at cars and talking to owners and sit around in groups in lawn chairs chatting the day away.  No laundry to do.  No house to clean.  Just enjoying the company of family and friends.

There is usually food available but options are limited so this year I've been packing a picnic lunch for us.  

My son and I.

Really nice paint on this Mustang.

Interior of a car.

Engine of same car.  I seem to photograph engines well.

Bill and Keith hanging out on the picnic blanket.

Host cars.


Bill and Keith off to look at cars.

This little guy was comparing his model Camaro to ours.

Fair Results & Catching Up


It seems like September has been equally as busy as August this year.  I'm going to try and get a few posts done in rapid succession over the next few days to share my August and September with you.  Today I'm sharing my results from the Iowa State Fair competition and my days spent at the Fair with family and friends.  I decided to take advantage of my Collage App to keep the picture stroll to a minimum.

I was pleased to have been awarded 6 ribbons out of 7 entries this year.  I split evenly this year between 3rd and Honorable Mention.  I am not surprised there are no 1st or 2nd place ribbons this year as my projects were so much smaller and had no special things likes beads and metallics.  Still very excited to have 6 out of 7 of my pieces recognized.  

I think what was even better was that the comment cards on all pieces contained nothing but positive remarks.  I think this is the first time I have never had one critical remark.  


This collage has some other competition things I really enjoyed.  I thought the Best of Show crocheted table topper was amazing.  The upper right is a contest where everyone gets the same fabric and creates a quilt block.  Always so fun to see how different the squares are.  These squares will be used to make the quilt for next Fair's raffle.  I found the quilt with the scissors quite fun.

These are photos of food items around the Fair.  My cousin's son and I are standing next to the 1st place largest pumpkin this year (I promised I wouldn't put this photo on Facebook but didn't saying anything about my blog).   I caught them judging some of the vegetables.  The tomatoes looked good enough to eat but would have been a big no no.  The Floppy Show cake was amazing (you have to be from Iowa to remember Floppy).  I thought the sewing theme using fondant was very creative as well.

Here are a variety of other things I enjoyed at the Fair.  I love watching the activity around the midway.  Always fun to see the smiles on my guys' faces while riding the sky glider.  I love the judged flowers.  This year with the butter cow they did Monopoly in butter.  There is always the big sand sculpture and it would not be a Fair with out the Big Bull.  I couldn't resist the sleeping pig - he appeared to be smiling in his sleep.  We also were there for the Veteran's Day parade - the service man who attended my father's funeral and gave me the flag is part of this group.  I also caught a morning of horse shows as well.

This also appeared to be the year of quirky photo ops for me.  If there was one, I was volunteered for it.  I got behind the wheel of a fire truck, dressed and in a bucket for MidAmerican Energy and put in an oversized chair that made me feel like the Lily Tomlin character Edith Ann.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the Fair through my eyes.  There were tons more photos and things to do but there is only so much one can put in a post.


On the 2nd to last day of the Fair I travelled South to Kansas City, MO to attend the 50th Anniversary gathering for this lovely couple.  They are my Aunt Marg and Uncle Larry and they are two of the loveliest people.  Whenever you are around them there is always laughter and joyful fun.  I also value that they are such wonderful listeners and offer such good advice and wisdom.  I love them dearly!

I did whip up this little piece to commemorate their special day.

The last day of the Fair which I am usually at was spent this year attending a first time car show for the Unique Mustang car club.  These car shows I've been attending with my husband and son have been a wonderful place to learn to use my new DSLR camera.  I will share some of my favorites next post.

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!