Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Picked Up My Stitching Again!

It is a stormy and wet day here in Iowa so seems like a good time to bring you up to date on my activities of late.  

It goes without saying that I continue to pack up and work on clearing out my parents' house along with my brothers and our spouses.  I am pleased to report that this Sunday we will be holding the estate sale and whatever is left - off to donation or trash or wherever just so long as it is gone.  It will then be time to put the house I and my brothers' grew up in on the market.


I did finally manage to pick up and stitch a small project for a friend's birthday.  Unfortunately we are not getting together until July 7th so you only get to see a smidgen of what it is and will have to wait to see how I finished it as well.  It really was wonderful to put needle and thread to fabric again.  I'm in the mood to do something patriotic so am looking through my stash for a small project to stitch.  Really feeling the need for the feeling of accomplishment.


A friend asked me to teach her how to make some project bags so decided to make one to brush up on my skills.  As I'm feeling in a patriotic mood, I pulled out several fabrics I had and proceeded to make a project bag.  This one is 14x15 finished.  Notice how I took a 5" square of star fabric and appliqu├ęd onto the striped fabric to look like a flag.  I know - I'm getting more daring these days.  The striped fabric is Stonehedge Stars & Stripes by Linda Ludovico.  The star square is Summer Festival by Color Principal.  The interior star fabric is Indigo Crossing by Polly Minick & Lauri Simpson and the back exterior fabric is MIA exclusively for JoAnn Fabrics.  I really had fun experimenting with this bag and a friend has asked me to make one for her daughter to use as a computer bag.  Can't wait!  Just so you know it only took 1 hour and 30 minutes start to finish to create this bag.  This includes cutting the fabric and ripping out the zipper when I put it in backwards - LOL!


Summer has arrived and with it the start of car nights and car shows.  Here we are posing for a family photo in front of our car at the annual Father's Day show at the local Peace Lutheran Church.  It really is a family oriented event and so enjoyable to attend.

This is my husband checking out his favorite car of the show!


This is my favorite car!  For good reason.


See the front seat - one bench seat across not bucket seats.  My husband owned a '71 Monte Carlo in a different color when we were dating and it reminds me of the days when you could actually sit next to your guy instead of on the other side of the car.  Oh, I think I wouldn't mind having one of these again.



Here are my guys sharing a laugh at the car show.  


This is a panoramic photo of car show and still could not get all the cars in it.  There were well over 200 cars.


I snapped this photo when my guys were at car night headed off to make the rounds looking at the cars.  This one just touches my heart.


In June I also did something I said "hell would freeze over" before I would do.  I attended my first professional golf event.  This was the Principal Golf Classic at The Wakonda Club here in town.


We were at hole 5 watching all the action.  Keith seems to be happy about whatever we are discussing.


This is looking at hole 17 from the tee off area.


This is Mark Calcavecchia (wearing his bacon pants for luck) who won the event.


Father's Day included our first batch of home made ice cream.  YUM!


I am adding an old photo of Bill and I on our wedding day.  We will be celebrating our 34th anniversary on Saturday.  Nice that it coincides with our twice a month date night.





Monday, May 25, 2015

Long Time In Between Life Happenings!


Since last I posted my dad passed unexpectedly on April 3, 2015.  As previously indicated, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and was undergoing treatment.  His unexpected death by a massive heart attack took some family members by surprise.  Yes, we all knew we were going to lose him at some point in 2015 due to the lung cancer but did not see the massive heart attack taking him so quickly.  I can truly say for his sake that he went as he (or really anyone) would have wanted and that was quickly and with his dignity.  We all knew what to expect over the coming months as his cancer would have progressed so it was a blessing for dad.  He and mom are now together again!

I was lucky to have grown up with such great parents who were wonderful role models for the wedding vows spoken:  "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, in health, to love and to cherish".  They certainly had their share of ups and downs through the years and my brother's and I watched my parents live those vows in the best ways possible.  They provided us with a loving home where we kids felt safe, secure and cherished.  Certainly rich in the way that really matters.

Here are a few of my favorite photos.





As you would expect after the loss of your second parent who still lived in the house you grew up in (since 1967), there are so many things to sort and go through.  Deciding what to keep (and who will keep it), what to donate, what to sell and what to toss.  It has been 7 weeks and this process is still ongoing but my 2 brothers and I are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  I may be optimistic but I feel we are just a couple weeks away from emptying the contents of the property except for the sell items.  Hallelujah!  

Along with the sorting has been the sharing of many memories among my brothers and our families.  The surprises we have found of things kept by my mom and dad.  For example the necklace I had worn for my senior pictures I had long ago thought was gone and wished I still had to find in my mother's dresser drawer.  As I'm really into history (especially family history), it was exciting to find in my dad's metal box on a shelf in his workshop a distant relatives high school diploma from 1847.  What a treasure to have.  

We have shared many a laugh through this process which has been wonderful.  I imagine the big emotional day will be our last walk through the house when it is sold as it closes a big chapter in all our lives.

STITCHING

Although I spent many days a week over working at my parents' house I have managed to finish up July by Prairie Schooler and have it and the 2013 Advent SAL by iStitch framed.  I am very pleased with the end results.

I was a bit late this year but finally did sign up to enter a few items in the Iowa State Fair.  They will be much smaller and fewer projects this year.  I have kind of lost my stitching mojo as my time at home has been so limited.  I am going to start a small project just so I have something to work on if only for 15 minutes.


CAR NIGHTS/SHOWS

My husband, son and I have started the summer car activities with a couple of the car nights and car shows locally.  


 Packed a picnic lunch and spread out a blanket at the car show on the 16th as it was a beautiful day.


This is at the car night at Nick's.  That is our friend and neighbor, Keegan in front of his dad's Roush mustang.  

VISIT

I did take a week long break while my friend, Allison and her mom, Lynda were here for a visit to celebrate their birthdays.  Surprisingly considering how long Allison and I have known each other it was the first time Lynda and I had met.  She was an absolute delight and the perfect addition to make the shopping duo a shopping trio.


We started our week with a cold day at an Iowa Cubs baseball game but you can see by the smiles it didn't ruin our fun.

We ended our week together in the tropical surroundings at the Botanical Center.  





I've decided this would be a perfect place to go on a cold and snowy winter day.

We also did many other things like shopping at multiple malls, a trip to Stitch n Frame (Allison left 9 pieces for framing) lunches and suppers out, cooking suppers, strolling through Historic Valley Junction (I had a necklace made while I waited at a store called Fishlips) and a trip through the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall.

It was a fabulous visit with an old friend and a new friend!


Peonies are in bloom.  Thank you Rene' for this beautiful bouquet from your garden!  






Saturday, March 21, 2015

Lorrie's Latest!


My first Spring bloom has finally opened during the past week and I couldn't be happier.  If I can't have it cold and snowing, it is time to move on to hot with tons of flowers in bloom.  Yep, I'm a girl who likes her weather in extremes.  I'm just not a fan of Fall and Spring like so many others.



Ending this week on a relaxing note.  Hubby, son and I enjoyed beverages at our favorite coffee shop after early morning haircuts.  Tonight is date night for hubby and I and we will be seeing the movie Gunmen (Sean Penn) just out in theaters.  The past few movies we have seen have been a bit disappointing so am hoping this one will fair better as we have heard no reviews.  Sometimes when you see movies after everyone says how great they are you build them up in your mind that they will be phenomenal and then are usually disappointed.


Last Week


This Week

This week has been less filled with appointments so my days have consisted mostly of exercising at the Y, housework and running errands with the exception of lunch with my BFF, Rene'.  Happy to report that this left some time for stitching.  You can see July by Prairie Schooler is coming along nicely.  I'm looking forward to a bit more stitching time tomorrow so am expecting to finish the house this weekend.  Yea!  I'm getting sick of stitching with the house color so am looking forward to finishing this part of the design.  It is the last time I have to use the color in the design except for about 4 more stitches.  Yippee!

Well, time to go take a quick spin in the Camaro before getting ready for date night.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Saturday Snippets

I know it has been awhile since my last post - a month to be exact.  At times life gets busy and I feel I have nothing worth sharing.  Let's see if I can't bring you current with my life's happenings.

SPRING IS COMING

I think we are heading into the warmer months here in Iowa.  We have had a week of temperatures in the mid 60's to mid 70's this past week and Spring bulbs are really peeking up through the ground.  It will be so exciting to see Spring colors very soon.  Hubby has been doing some Spring clean up in the yard and putting out some of the patio/porch furniture.  We are currently on the hunt for new cushions for the gliders we have for the front porch.  

DAD'S CANCER BATTLE

My dad's cancer battle is just that a battle for him.  He has finished the first round of radiation and "starter" chemo had his 4 week break and started the targeted chemo 3 weeks ago.  This chemo has sure taken a lot out of him.  It is tough to watch this man who is a fighter and always on the go to having his legs knocked out from underneath him.  The chemo makes him so very weak and he is frustrated as he has the will and desire to go and do but just doesn't have the strength.  Prayers and pep talks are a constant right now.

STITCHING


I did finally finish Poinsettia House by Little House Needleworks.  I stitched it on a piece of 28 count OOPS overdyed fabric.  You will notice that I did change the design just a bit.  I took out the words and moved the little banner with the birds to the location where the words were.  I took out about 10 stitches on the side borders (5 above, 5 below the "V" in the middle) to accommodate the change in design.  I'm pleased with how it turned out and am now just looking for inspiration to do some finish work with it.  


I have again picked up July by Prairie Schooler and am making great progress on it.  This is a photo I took after picking it up again but I have made much more progress that the photo shows.  I will take another photo for my next posting.  I'm stitching on a piece of 32 count fabric using HDF Premium Silk.


I just picked up my framed Advent SAL 2014 piece by iStitch from Stitch n Frame just yesterday.  I am so very pleased with how it looks.  The red frame is a perfect color match for the red thread.  I still say it was the right choice to add the red border outside of the white border.


Remember this Advent SAL piece I left with Vicki.  She was going to check her scrap moulding at home as she thought she had a moulding just perfect for it.  I stopped into the shop last week and she had two options but she was leaning toward one over the other.  As always, it was the one I preferred as well.  She knows my taste so well.  It will be a couple weeks before I get this one back as she only has enough moulding to make one frame and wants to make sure no mistakes are made.  It will be well worth the wait.

COOKING


I've slipped in some baking over the past 3 weeks.  My hubby and son have enjoyed a pan of magic bars and my loaded chocolate chip cookies.

My niece had a Pampered Chef party last night which I attended.  I had looked at the catalog online before going and had some idea what I wanted to purchase.  As always,  after seeing some of the new things in person I switched my selections.  It really was a fun evening!

READING

I've been doing a lot of reading lately which probably explains why there hasn't been a ton of stitching going on.  I got hooked on reading The Chronicles of St. Mary's (a series of time traveling historians) by Jodi Taylor.  I've been in the mood for some light entertaining reading and this series was just perfect.  To bad for me I went through all 5 in the series so quickly as I would enjoy reading another.

I read the most recent by Sarah Addison Allen called First Frost.  I really enjoy her books which have such a magical quality about them.

I am currently reading a book by Tasha Alexander called A Crimson Warning.  It is a mystery from her Lady Emily Series.  I believe it was tucked into a box from my dear friend, Allison.  I am certainly enjoying it as well and think I will be selecting a few more from this series of books.  

SPEAKING OF ALLISON

I'm looking forward to Allison coming for a week long visit in May for her birthday week.  She used to live here several years ago and know we will have fun revisiting old haunts and checking out new ones!

Allison also sent me an idea for a new placemat.  I'm hoping to find some time in the very near future to figure out the sizes I will want to cut my fabrics and get to work.  It has been awhile since I spent any time sewing and look forward to a project.  

HOPE YOUR DAY IS SUNNY AND WARM!





  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Frosty Felicitations!

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!


This little vintage valentine says it all about my hubby and I.  I think I turned Bill's eye originally because of the '78 Camaro I was driving - LOL!

STITCHING 


I continue to work on Poinsettia House by Little House Needleworks but am rapidly approaching a finish on this one.  I decided I did not want the wording on my piece so I removed the wording and moved the little banner with the birds over to that location.  I will begin stitching the border tonight with a small adjustment.  As the border is not very involved, I'm hoping for a finish this week.  

After this is finished I must get back to stitching on pieces to enter in the Iowa State Fair for 2015.  I've narrowed my next start down to a piece by Lilli Violette.  I'm in the process of pulling colors and picking fabric for it at this time.  I will be making a few alterations to it as I've a desire to add some beading.

FRAMING



I finally found time this week to go to Stitch n Frame to pick out framing for my 2013 and 2014 Advent SAL pieces by iStitch.  Red is usually a very difficult color to match with a red frame but the first frame I picked up was a perfect match.  I expected to spend an hour trying to come up with a frame for the 2014 piece but it was done in SECONDS!


 The 2013 piece is being a bit more difficult.  I decided against the bell pull as could only find one option of hardware in as small of a size as I would need.  I pulled 2 framing options off the wall.   This led to Vicki pulling a smaller profile piece from the back room which in turn led her to thinking she has a piece of moulding at home in a better red in the smaller profile.  As I trust her 100% with my framing, I have left it with her and she will proceed to making it look fabulous with whatever she thinks works best.  Needless to say we are headed in the red direction as the green leaves it feeling a bit lifeless.

ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER


As usual when I'm in Stitch n Frame, one thing leads to another.  1)  While looking for frames we find a small pre-made frame on the wall that is delightful.  2)  Must then find the perfect overdyed floss to compliment frame.  3)  Purchase of said items.  4)  Leads me to peruse hundreds every pattern I currently have in my possession to find the pattern that will fit perfectly in the opening of the frame.  5) Find perfect pattern that with a few alterations to the design will fit perfectly.  6)  Picking a fabric to use (count determined by the design stitch count).  I will be stitching the design on 45 count fabric.     Whoops - not an Iowa State Fair piece.

BITS AND PIECES


I was out shopping the other day for a new handbag (no luck there) but stumbled upon this "so me" bowl that is the perfect size for holding my sponges/drain stoppers for the kitchen sink.  


I spent Wednesday and Thursday cleaning house and changing several of the vignettes in my home.  This is my new one on my kitchen island.  Periodically I pull things from my storage in the basement and create new displays and put some things back in storage just to have something new at which to look.  Oh, how I love sitting in a freshly cleaned house with new pretties to enjoy!