Saturday, August 16, 2014

BIRTHDAY GIFTS FOR ME AND MY FRIENDS!

I and a couple of my friends celebrated a birthday over the summer months and I thought I would share a few of the fun gifts I received as well as the gifts I made for my friends. 



From my BFF, Rene' I received this lovely vintage sewing basket.  I love the open weave of the top.  She is always on the hunt for sewing related gifts on her antique shopping trips.  



From my dear friend, Harriet I received this stitched pillow.  It is a favorite saying and she stitched it in some of my favorite HDF silk colors.  I love the "Old Maid" line of colors.


To go with it she gave me this fun mug for my vanilla chai tea.  When my hubby and son see this one come out, they know it is stitching time for me!


For Harriet I stitched this little design from The Little Stitcher on 25 count over 1 and finished it into a pocket watch.  I decided to make a fabric covered composition book as a way to display for gift giving.  


This is the inside of the book cover.  The fabrics I chose have meaning to Harriet.  You might also notice that I chose a graph paper composition book.  It made more sense for Harriet as like myself she is constantly recharting designs to personalize in a more meaningful way.




From my friend, Belinda I received this beautiful stitching wallet!  This wallet is one she designed herself and executed to perfection.  I appreciate how she personalized the design and color palette to my likes.  Truly amazing!


My friend, Mary gifted me this fabulous book of projects.  I can always count on her to find my next project to create (she was responsible for the round placemats) and there are many lovely designs in this book.  I appreciate her confidence in me that I can create these challenging projects.  She is truly inspiring!





 For Mary I created this fabric box with fabric ORT bag.  In addition I stitched a small quaker motif and made into a pincushion.  I then added a few sewing needfuls and we have a stitching box.  I love that the fabric box is padded on all sides so the entire thing can be used as a pincushion.


From my BFF, Allison I received a box full of wonderful things.  I love her creativity in putting together a gift.  I love the stack of free patterns from her local shop that they were giving away on the clearance table.  No cost to her but so very thoughtful as many are projects I would love to try.  There were 3 patriotic cross stitch patterns as well as some cross stitch fabrics from a company no longer in business.  I can't wait to find the perfect project for the pink sparkly one.

Next post will be an update on my stitching project as well as the 2014 Iowa State Fair.  Just a hint - 7 ribbons awarded for 7 entries.




Saturday, July 26, 2014

Stitching, Stitching Goals, Sewing, Fair Entries!

STITCHING

I picked up the Mystery Sampler by With Thy Needle called Birds of a Feather.  The picture just does not do the piece justice as the inner part of the frame pulls out the golden colors and the red in the frame really pulls out the red.  I finally figured out I stitched this on a 35 count piece of linen but have no idea what color.  You can see my post of April 13, 2014 to see my color changes to accommodate my choice of fabric color.
I also started and finished this piece in just 3 days.  It is Madonna by Springberry Kreek Designs.  I stitched it on Twilight Blue using all Kreinik metallic braid #8.  The colors are not photographing well at all as it is all in shades of blue.  It has been left for framing so 3 more weeks to wait.

GOALS

As I said in a previous post, my stitching year runs from the time my last piece is done for the Fair (1st of July) until next Fair.  My goals for the year include stitching my stash of Prairie Schooler designs.  The first one I pulled out to stitch is called Harvest Time.  I'm using most of the DMC called for colors but I'm stitching it on a fabric called Copper Penny (28 count) which has a green base and therefore a couple of the greens may need to be swapped out for something else.

I've also updated my goals to include stitching a few WIP from my stash as well.  There are several that are 1/2 to 3/4 of the way done and I'm thinking this is the year for a few of those to go from works in progress to completed projects.  I have one Mirabilia that is screaming at me to be done!  

SEWING

I also spent a little time at my sewing machine making this gift for a family member.  It is a placemat which is the size of a charger plate.  I do like how they turned out but am rethinking how the quilting is done.  I quilted it as the pattern called for but am thinking something other than straight lines (or not so straight lines in my case) might be more interesting.  I'm thinking of doing something different in each individual square.  I have a set already cut out to put together for my family.  Again made a design change from a 9 square to a 20 square for a little more interest.  Can't wait to see how they turn out.
I decided during this project that my self-healing mat was no longer self-healing and it was time to purchase a new one.  It seemed to me that my self-healing mat didn't last too long so set out to do some research on a better mat.  After reading hundreds of reviews I ended up purchasing a professional self-healing mat by Alvin.  I also opted to purchase a larger size (2'x3') as my current size I found to be a bit small.  I have to say the price on this one was about 1/2 of the price I paid for the one I currently have.  I received it in a couple of days and I'm telling you when I went to cut out fabric for another project there was a noticeable difference in how well my fabric cut on this one.  I am so pleased with my selection.

FAIR ENTRIES


Today was the day to drop of my entries at the Iowa State Fair Fabric and Threads where judging will begin on Monday.  A big thank you to my SIL, Jodi who went along and entertained Keith while I was checking in my entries.  It appeared it again was NOT like the good old days when the line went down the hall and out the door.  We walked in an were 6th in line to drop off my entries.  Sadly just not as many people are entering in any of the divisions of Fabric and Threads.

Here are photos of my entries for the 2014 Iowa State Fair.  I really hope to find ribbons on The Way to Happiness and Birds of a Feather.

Home/Heart Afghan

Valentine Pillow

Miss Peepers

Live Laugh Love

The Way to Happiness

Birds of a Feather 

Home Sweet Home
I celebrated a birthday recently and will share some of the lovely things I received in a future post.  Off to make homemade chicken and noodle soup and then an evening of stitching!








Saturday, July 19, 2014

South Dakota Trip Part 3 & Final!

This is the last and final installment of our trip to South Dakota.  As I do print my blog into books each year, Bill wanted to include some thoughts/comments as well.  Be sure to read what he has to say in final thoughts of the trip.  I will let the pictures do most of the talking.  On Friday we took a drive along the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway.  Took the round about way to get there -  yes there is a story there.  The scenery was beautiful!  Bill and I both commented that the terrain in this part of South Dakota reminds us of the terrain in Idaho where we lived for a number of years.  
There were these little cave like openings all throughout the canyon.

The rock was quite high up on both sides of the road.

As always, I love to hear a stream babbling along.
I loved the purple flowers in this photo.






Bill and I were celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary so a stop at Bridal Veil Falls for a photo seemed appropriate.
Seemed like a gorgeous backdrop for a photo of the car.


This is where we stopped and had lunch.
On Sunday about 50 to 60 Camaros met at the Knucklehead Saloon and took the drive to Mt. Rushmore National Memorial.  It was a sight to see with this long line of Camaros in front and in back of us.  When we went through the small town on the way, people just stood at the side of the road video taping and waving.

My first glimpse of Mt. Rushmore.
The staff at Mt. Rushmore reserved the top ramp for the Camaro Rally and only Camaros were parked up there for a short time to allow professional photographer to take group photo.  This is just 1/3 of the Camaro on the ride in my photo.  It took 3 photos to get them all.  Why didn't I think to use my panoramic feature!

We were able to get someone to take a family photo of us next to our car in front of Mt. Rushmore.

I did all of my school reports growing up on President Lincoln so he is my favorite.

Those who know me won't be surprised that I had to take a wonky  unusual picture.  This is a closeup of the right eye on President Lincoln.
This is taken from about the half-way point walking up to the lookout area.

After visiting the Memorial we went and drove Iron Mountain Road.  We went through this tunnel....


....and this was the view waiting for us on the other side.  We are about 2 1/2 miles away from Mt. Rushmore here.

A little further up the road we stopped at a scenic overlook and I love this photo I took from this vantage point.  I am at the same level as the monument at the overlook.

A FEW FINAL COMMENTS

The accommodations at the Spring Hill Marriott in Deadwood were perfect for us and would definitely stay there again.  The motel was large enough to have all the amenities (pool for the guys, workout room for me, restaurant, room service, underground parking, free breakfast bar in the morning) but small enough that we never had to wait for an elevator for more than a minute when coming and going.  The rooms had a living area (sectional couch, desk, free wifi) with a frosted divider from the beds, bathrooms, closet area.  Also across from the living area was a built in area with a refrigerator, microwave.  It was definitely very comfortable for the 3 of us.

As mentioned before, we definitely had to dodge a few downpours.  The photo on left is the view from our hotel window Friday morning.  The photo on the right is the same exact view late afternoon after returning from Spearfish Canyon drive.
 
The end result was Bill detailing the car in the underground parking for the car show the next day.


I kind of got a kick out of the different style of photos I take compared to Bill.  These are the kinds of photos I take of Bill and Keith - try to get them looking at camera, smiling.
Bill somehow manages to get photos of me from the back.  Do you suppose he is trying to photograph my hair - smiling as I type that.  Definitely not Christmas card worthy.  Don't worry though....
.....I did manage to get him to take a couple of pictures more Christmas card worthy.

My last and final thought - there is nothing like the smile on my son's face when you have taken the last turn to home.

BILL THOUGHTS/COMMENTS

I had a really good time on this trip.  I had not been to that part of South Dakota before and it was fun to see.     The terrain reminded me of Idaho and Washington where we lived for several years.   I've decided we need to visit our relatives more often as this was the first time my wife met my cousin, Jim.  Amazing we have not visited sooner as it is only 6 hours away.   The number of cars they have sitting around gathering dust is amazing!  I wish I could take that 1923 home and restore it (picture in Part 1).  I had fun at the car show despite the weather.   The drive around Mt. Rushmore was amazing!  I loved driving all the turns in the Camaro.