Thursday, March 28, 2013

Done Early!

 I got a call from my LNS late yesterday afternoon and was pleased to hear that Easter Parade (BBD) was framed and ready for pick up.  It was so nice of them to put in the extra time to get in done in case I wanted it for Easter.  The picture on the right gives a more true representation of the colors in the piece.  You would not believe how many pinks I had to buy to get the right one!   
Update on my Isabelle Vautier piece.  I'm almost to the halfway point on the project.  I can't believe how fast it is stitching up.  Just a fun stitch!

It has been a busy day of errands but relaxing at the same time.  Started off with my Jeep in for maintenance and a repair.  Expected to be there most of the morning but was out of there in an hour.  Unheard of considering it was an oil change, tire rotation and a repair.  Unfortunately, the bezel that had "popped" out would not stay in when popped back in.  A new bezel has been ordered so I will be back there probably the first of next week.  Then off to another car dealership to pick up a part Bill ordered.  I was then headed across town to my LNS to picked up the framed piece but had to find things to do until their shop opened.  Wouldn't you know on the day where you have time in between places is the day everyone gets done quickly and I hit every light green across town except 1.  I'm betting that won't happen tonight when I go pick up Bill across town.
Earned some "good wife" points today.  This little socket was lost to my hubby a week or so ago while working on the car in the garage.  He had looked all over but could not locate it.  Well, my friends there is nothing I enjoy more than a challenge.  If it can be found, I will most likely locate it.  In the search for a cross-stitch pattern it took me 2 years but I located it not only once but twice within a matter of weeks.  Off to the garage I went today to have a look and wasn't out there but 2 minutes and found it.  I knew my husband had looked all over on the floor so didn't even bother there.  He said he looked in the toolbox drawer he had open so passed over that one as well.  Wondered if the toolbox on the floor had been open so popped open the lid and had a look there first - no socket.  My eye wandered to the left of me to the bottom of his tool chest on wheels.  Big cabinet at the bottom was open and is always open so the first place I looked was in the box holding the sabre saw and right there on top of the cord to said saw it was.  Not sure if hubby looked there but if he did the socket is the same color as the cord so he probably glossed right over it.  Me being me I ran my fingers along the top of the cord and felt it.  Finding a lost item always gives me a real sense of accomplishment.

Almost forgot I won a giveaway yesterday from By The Bay Needlearts.  I won the pattern for the 16th Century Ladies Pocket - wool design.  It looks like a fun little project.  She also posted a picture of her progress on #6 "Birds of Funky Feather".  The colors are wonderfully red.

 Part 3 of Blue Ribbon Designs Blue Jeans and Daisies Mystery Sampler has been shipped to your favorite LNS.  This is the last part of the mystery sampler and contains the answer to the Springtime Jumble to open the Mystery Bonus design on her webpage.  It is an adorable box filled with needlework smalls.

Lastly I have to say I splurged over the weekend and ordered a set of millennium scroll rods.  I'm going to blame Teresa (AtWillowTreePond) for this as she was telling me about them.  I had never heard of them so decided to do a search.  Once I located them there was a video to watch.  After watching video a couple of times I decided I wanted a set.  I only have one set of the scroll rods where you baste your fabric to the canvas on the scroll rod and just love this set.  All the others I've tried just do not hold your fabric taut.  This millennium set looks like it will do the job quite nicely.  They are coming all the way from England so will have to be patient.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring Blooms!

 I thought I better post a picture quick that something is actually blooming in my yard.  Really kind of strange to still have snow on the ground but my Spring flowers are starting to bloom.  I'm hoping the tulips will be all right - I'm afraid the deer have come up the past three nights while we were sleeping and proceeded to eat the leaves down to the ground and actually pulled out and ate a couple of the tulip bulbs.  I was looking forward to a beautiful Spring display of color now not sure it will be as plentiful.

Yesterday morning while Bill was on his way to work at 5:30 AM he called to let me know there was a huge moon outside - so, of course, I grabbed my camera and went out to take a few pictures.  Nothing too exciting in that batch but when I posted the little story on Facebook it sparked my friend, Mindi into texting me last night that there was a beautiful full moon out and to go take a picture.  I'm so happy she sent that text as there was a cloud behind the moon and the light of the moon gave it such beautiful hues from blue to lilac.  I got some wonderful pictures and so worth a few minutes out in the cold after dark. I wonder if the new of this camera will every wear off.  I actually hope not as I've taken some amazing pictures of family and nature!

I've made some wonderful progress on Mirabilia - Gathering Eggs over the weekend.  However, on Monday I remembered buying an Isabelle Vautier design a few years ago and had a sudden desire to start stitching it.  This is my progress since starting it on Monday afternoon.  I'm stitching on 25 count Spun Silver and using the called for DMC colors.  I will be alternating these 2 projects for awhile until one of them gets done.  The Mirabilia is so much solid stitching that it feels like I'm moving at a snails pace so thought this Isabelle Vautier would give me something to feel like I'm making progress.  It seems to be working.

I finally passed the halfway mark reading In the Garden of Beasts.  At the rate I'm reading I'm confident I will have it finished before April's book club. 

Well, off to do a bit of stitching before the men in my life get home and supper cooking commences.  Happy Stitching!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Little of This a Little of That!

It is hard to believe but we are expecting snow again today.  Forecast calls for 2" to 4" in the Metro.  Once again I've helped my husband carry the snowblower back out of storage just in case we need it.  I was more inclined to leave it in storage as it is 40 degrees out and can't think we will get anything but rain.  Imagine we are expecting a drastic drop in temperatures if we are to get snow.  Brrrrrr!  In light of the expected snow I decided to bring a bit of Spring into the house via my local florist.  The colors are so bright and cheery.
I did find some time to stitch on Wednesday night and am moving right along on this Mirabilia piece.  I'm planning some serious stitching for the rest of today.  Let's just hope my plans come to fruition.

After Keith and I went to the coffee shop we made a run into the LNS.  I was on the hunt for a red thread that would go with the fabric I had along with a green that would compliment the red.  As luck would have it, I got the last 3 skeins of Limited Edition Sampler Threads in Rustic Cottage and Stormy Ocean.  I can't wait to start the Isabelle Vautier design intended for this fabric.  In fact I think I will be making a start on it this evening.  They also had a piece of 25 count Dense Fog there for me and couldn't wait to add this piece of fabric to my stash.  I already have a project picked out for half of the fat quarter.  Leaves me enough to do a second project.  Woohoo!

Date night ended up being Friday night instead of tonight to allow our Respite Provider to attend a family Easter celebration.  Probably was a blessing in disguise since it is supposed to start snowing early evening.  Bill and I enjoyed supper out and then went to the movie Admission.  I had heard nothing about this movie and since it opened last night I had heard no reviews from anyone.  I enjoyed it more than Bill but we both liked it.  There was enough humor and a good story.  We really had a wonderfully relaxing evening.  I rented  This is 40 to watch tonight.  A great way to spend a snowy night - a bowl of popcorn, a funny movie and being with the ones you love!

Trying to come up with a book to recommend at May's book club meeting when we select our books for next year's discussions.  To that end I picked up a book call Quiet - The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking (Susan Cain) as well as The Power of Habits (Charles Duhigg).  I'm going to read them as they might really encourage a good discussion.  I know Psychology books are not usually the genre I recommend but I find both of these topics interesting so thought I would give them a read.

Just a heads up the Planned Parenthood Book Sale is coming up in April.  It is a pretty good source for older cross-stitch patterns and magazines so if there is something in particular you've been looking for and want me to add it to my list (I already have Easter Parade BBD for a follower and I'm looking for Cross Stitch & Country Crafts Nov/Dec 1994 for myself).  I do pick up anything by BBD, BOF, LaDDa and Prairie Schooler whether I need them or not as I've found homes for all of those in the past.

I received notification today that this June is my 35th high school reunion.  It does not seem possible that it has been that long since I graduated high school.  To date I have not attended any of the reunions.  For the first 25 years I was living out in Idaho and Washington State and the reunions fell in the year we visited my husband's family in California.  While he was active duty in the Air Force we adopted the vacation schedule of alternate years in Iowa and California to visit our family on both sides.    It worked out well for us but all my reunions fell on the California years.  There has been one reunion since we moved back here but we had something else going on and I didn't get to that one either.  Don't hold your breath that I will get to this one either - LOL! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Couldn't Resist!

I saw this adorable welcome sign and just couldn't resist picking it up this morning.  First day of Spring here is very cold and blustery.  I'm afraid my Spring decorations look a bit out of place with the cold and snow that is left but Easter is rapidly approaching so will miss out if I don't just go ahead and decorate.  If only Mother Nature would get the hint, warmer weather please!
I managed another couple of hours stitching last night and am making excellent progress on Mirabilia's #49 Gathering Eggs.  I'm looking forward to getting the sky finished and to start stitching the little girls holding the basket and flowers.

Speaking of flowers have you seen the new release by Donna at By The Bay Needleart called Les Fleurs Chics.  You should check it out.  It is a vase of flowers and I love how some of it is stitched and some of it is wool flowers.  She does give instructions for it to be all stitched but I love the unique quality of having the wool flowers.  Definitely going on my wish list and hope hubby is paying attention for my birthday or maybe Mother's Day as that comes up first.  Think I should send him a link just to be sure.

I had a wonderful lunch with my BFF, Rene' today to celebrate her birthday.  The hour went by way too fast and before you knew it she had to go back to work.  Already have next month's lunch date on the calendar.  We have found that scheduling the next lunch date keeps us from letting too much time pass between seeing each other.  She also shared a new recipe for making sloppy joes using lentils for a vegetarian version.  Looking forward to trying this recipes.

Started reading a new book yesterday A Secret Kept by Tatiana De Rosnay.  I know I'm supposed to be reading In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson for book club and to that end I am 30% of the way through it - love how my Kindle tell me just how far I am through the book.  However, decided I needed to start reading something besides book club books if I'm going to have something to recommend for next year at our May meeting.  I'm finding I cannot put this one down right now.  Don't know yet if it would make a good discussion book.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I'm Thinking Stash Reduction!

We are enjoying a beautiful sunny day here today.  Temps are in the 20's and the winds are not quite as gusty as yesterday.  My car got so filthy from the snow yesterday morning that I made a stop at the carwash on my way home from running errands.  Once home wiped it all down and it just "sparkles" in the sun - no it really does as it has metallic in the paint.  It was a bit chilly out there wiping it down but hubby can't stand it if you wash it and don't wipe it down so I try not to drive him crazy every time I wash it.

I managed a couple of hours of stitching last night and am making rapid progress on Mirabilia's #49 Gathering Eggs.  I'm looking forward to seeing this one completed.

I have to say I think it is time for another stash reduction of patterns and fabric.  I was looking for a particular piece of fabric that I knew I had and it took me going through my stash 4 times before I finally found it.  Me thinks it is time to let some designs go that I know I am never going to stitch and fabrics that I find I don't like to stitch on.  So be watching for a new header with a listing of patterns and fabrics I will be letting go.  Who knows you might just find something you've been looking for.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Not The Best Start To The Week!

We are waking up on this Monday morning to a fast moving snowstorm through the area and unseasonably cold temperatures and GUSTY winds.  We are currently 15 degrees below the average and a whopping 50 degrees below last years unseasonably warm temperatures.  You just never know what to expect in Iowa this time of the year.  I can remember back in the 70's having a blizzard in mid-April that shut the city down for 3 days.  It appears my son is just like his mom and loves the snow.  He was delighted when he looked out the window and saw it snowing!

I always consider Saturday the end of one week and Sunday the start of the next week.  I'm not sure why I've come to think of those days as the end of one week and the beginning of the next but there it is I do.  

I started this week off by receiving a text message from a friend very early Sunday morning.  She received what she deemed a "suspicious email" from me with a link.  Her instincts were correct and my email had been hacked so if you are one of my contacts who received such an email you have my sincerest apologies.  I immediately took steps to secure this email account and to set up a new account for future use.  I did have one friend who did open the email and click on the link.  She did take her phone in and had a scan run and nothing appears to have been compromised so this is good.  Believe me if something looks fishy about an email (subject, time sent, etc.) I won't be opening it without checking with the sender.  It appears that the steps I took to secure the account have worked as I've not heard that anyone received repeat spam emails.

I learned a few things from my experience yesterday and would share a couple of them.  My particular email server has a way to not only have a password but to can create a visual seal to know that I am really in my server's site and not a dummy set up to look like it.  I also found out something I did not know and that is I can review the activity on my email account so I can see if anything looks "suspicious" to me.  When I pulled it up yesterday, yeah I would say my account having activity in CA and NJ when I was asleep was pretty suspicious.  In the future I do plan on changing my password much more frequently and I will be checking my account activity on a routine basis.  I won't lie to you that I spent most of my day yesterday updating my email address where it needed to be updated and changing every password for every site I use as well as deleting not necessary accounts.   It was a lot of work but in the end it will give me some peace of mind.
 After a day like that a girl needs some relaxation so I did get some much needed stitching time in last night.  Really am making good progress on Mirabilia #49 Gathering Eggs.  

I also spent 30 minutes reading In the Garden of the Beast.  I have reached the 20% completed mark on my Kindle and have to say I've already surpassed in one week where I left off after a month previously.  Hallelujah!

My poor hubby went to leave for work this morning (he leaves at 5:30 AM) and had a flat tire on his Expedition.  Really not a good way to start the work week.  Thankfully he purchased an air compressor about 20 years ago so had a quick way to put air in it and get on his way.  I'm just praying it stays inflated until he gets off work and get it repaired!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

New Stitching Chair = LOVE!

My new furniture arrived at the exact same time as my old furniture was off to its' new home.  I ordered these pieces in January and have had quite a long wait to see if what looked good in the store actually looked equally as good in my home.  I have to say it looks even better than I had hoped.  I was not sure if the paisley print would be to "loud" on a full chair but with the solid color sofa and solid color leather recliner it was the bit of life the room needs.  The chair is actually a recliner and last night was my first experience stitching in said recliner position.  I have to say it was quite comfortable.  This chair is a better height for my lighted magnifying floor lamp.  Looking forward to many more hours stitching in this chair.
As you can see, I've picked up another WIP from quite a long time back.  This is Mirabilia's #49 Gathering Eggs.  I started this piece back before my mom got ill as I thought it would remind her of growing up on the farm.  Unfortunately, when mom's illness went terminal I put it down and never seemed to be able to pick it up again with any enthusiasm.  It has been calling shouting at me the last couple of weeks so on Thursday when I finished the Jardin Prive' Rounde I pulled hunted this one down and starting stitching on it with a renewed enthusiasm.  I find myself thinking of all the stories and memories I shared with my mom and am finally able to enjoy stitching this piece again and am making remarkable progress.  I anticipate this one being my next finish.
I have not totally ignored my other stitching.  I managed to put a few more rows into this Jardin Prive' piece.  It doesn't look like much progress has been made but when stitching 1 over 1 on 25 count it doesn't show in pictures quite so quickly.

I'm still reading slogging my way through In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson.  I have loved every other book written by this author but this one is just very tedious reading in my opinion.  I am, however, thankful it is on my Kindle as I do read so much faster on my device.

Tonight we are having family movie night and the selection at this time is Life of Pi (always subject to change).  I've heard mixed reviews so am looking forward to seeing what I think of it.  I've always meant to get around to reading the book so at least I won't be disappointed because the book was better than the movie. 

I'm also hoping to cut out a couple of project bags this weekend.  I wanted to try out the lightweight leather like fabric I found and I think a project bag is just perfect.  I also picked up some more red wool to make a project bag for a friend like the one I previously posted with the crocheted heart on it.  I also would like to get to cutting out some of my Christmas fabrics into charm squares and triangles using my Go Baby I received as a gift.  I've some table runners and toppers I would like to make.  As much Christmas fabric as I have in my stash, my friends can expect to receive one.

  On the menu for supper - taco salads.  YUMMY!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

It's Been One of Those Days!

I've been up since 4:00 AM this morning and from there on the day has been "one of those days".  I won't bore you with all the details except to tell you the LOL story.  If I would have had anyone in the car with me, I would never hear the end of it.  After my dental appointment I needed to go to my LNS to take a couple items for framing.  As my favorite coffee shop is not far away and needed to kill 15 minutes for the LNS to open,  I decided to get a vanilla chai tea to go.  Normally this isn't an issue but today when I was on my way home and about 5 miles away I decide to take a drink.  At that exact moment a leftover cough from the cold I had decides to erupt.  I'm doing all I can not to spew out my chai tea by keeping my mouth closed and swallowing but all that accomplishes is choking on my tea and more coughing.  Suffice it to say at this point vanilla chai tea spews all over my steering wheel, dashboard, instrument panel, mirror - just everywhere.  By the time I got home it was all sticky mess myself included.  First order of business upon arriving home was a wet rag to clean up my car.  It took two tries at it before I feel I finally got it all cleaned up.  My lemonade out of lemons - my car sure does smell delicious!
This is my finished Jardine Prive' piece I was going to have mounted in the Sudberry box.  Unfortunately, when I got to my LNS found out we had mixed up the diameter of 2 Sudberry pieces.  The box was only 4" and my piece has a diameter of 4 1/2".  My lemonade out of lemons - I am having it mounted in the 5" diameter cheese board that is as old as the Sudberry box and is again a unique piece.  I have now decided to stitch Merry Winter by Threadwork Primitives for the box.  

While I was there I decided to take in my finished BBD Easter parade.  I chose this dark purple frame for this piece.  The picture with the frame does not show the true colors of the fabric as it is stitched on Lavender Sunset.  The picture on the right is closer to the true color although it still doesn't show it off to its' best.

I wish I had pictures to show of Belinda and my masterpieces from paint class yesterday but 10 minutes before I was to leave I received an email that class was cancelled as the instructor could not get there.  It was a huge disappointment.   We do, however, have a road trip in the works for June to Accuquilt which is located in Omaha.  She was so thoughtful to invite myself and a couple of other friends to the unveiling of the 4th Annual Accuquilt Barn Quilt Block winner.  It sounds like a lot of fun and a great way to start off the Summer. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It has come to my attention that I did not make it clear where I purchased these neutral colored matte finish eggs.  I bought them at Hobby Lobby and they come so nicely packaged.  The cost is $7.99 a package but they are in the speciality Easter rows and have been on sale for 40% off for at least two weeks.  When I stopped in at another location of Hobby Lobby, they had one of last season's rabbits left that are made out of wood.  I thought it just adorable and it is larger than the other two I have so couldn't resist picking it up.  
I moving right along on Jardine Prive' Ronde de Fleurs.  I am looking to a tonight finish (might be wishful thinking) but no later than tomorrow night.  I can't wait to have it mounted in the box and on display in my home.

Tonight it was stuffed jumbo pasta shells for supper.  Recipe is posted under the Recipe tab.

Started reading In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson.  I downloaded it on my Kindle when it first came out but could not get interested in the story.  It happens to be our book club selection for April so I'm willing myself to get it done within a week.  If I don't force myself to read it each and every day, I'm afraid I won't have it finished in time for book club.  It is another WW II book.  It is funny how we seem to have themes some years quite by accident.  We all laughed at the year it seemed to be elephants, then another it was dogs, this year WW II.

Looking forward to paint class tomorrow with my dear friend, Belinda.  Can't wait to share a photo of our "masterpieces".  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Busy Week Ahead!

It is going to be a busy week this week as I've something scheduled every day.  Some fun - some not so fun.  I mean who really enjoys going to the dentist.  

We've started the week with less snow than predicted but enough to be causing driving hazards all around town.  I've a few errands to run but am going to wait a bit to allow everyone to get to work before venturing out.

This Wednesday is the much anticipated second painting class I've signed up for at Social Canvas.  I had such a good time with my friend, Belinda at my first experience at the Social Canvas   If you go to the link and check the calendar for the morning class on the 13th, you will see what we will be painting.  I'm so pleased that again, my friend, Belinda had time in her schedule to sign up as well.  We had such fun together last time and we both learned a thing or two that we are planning to implement this time.  Our paintings were fine last time but am anticipating spectacular this time.  Looking forward to a morning of painting, chatting and laughing - oh and did I mention it is mimosa morning?!  I'm just hoping Keith let's me keep this one.  My first project is currently on display in his bedroom as he loved it!

 Received my call yesterday and Friday is the big day for furniture delivery.  I can't wait.  We ordered a new sofa and chair back in January and they have finally arrived.  The sofa fabric is exactly what you see in the photo except we had the pillows made with the same fabric.  Orange is absolutely nowhere in my decor except at Halloween!  The fabric on the right is what we had put on my new "stitching" chair.  I can't wait to try it out!  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Interesting Date Night!

Hard to believe but our warm upper 40's weather is disappearing for a couple of days again.  Somewhere along the way the current rain storm took a left turn and we are going to get 5" to 9" of snow here by morning.  I kind of wonder if we can blame it on hubby.  He bought the new snowblower but thought he could just store it for the Summer.  Appears it was enough to anger the weather gods and they are dropping another round of snow here to show their displeasure.  Don't worry he has gotten it back out and has it ready for me to use in the morning.

As you all know, last night was date night for hubby and I.  We love to see movies on the big screen so again was our activity of choice.  There we were sitting in the theater enjoying a movie when 3/4 of the way through a loud noise went off.  At first I thought someone had forgotten to turn off their phone before the movie started.  It was at the end of that thought that the recorded voice came on instructing us to head to the nearest exit and use the stairs and not elevators.  Yep, it was the fire alarm.  The lights came up and movie stopped running.  I've often wondered how people would react when faced with this situation in a movie and now I can say I have first hand knowledge.  Amazingly there was absolutely no panic.  Everyone grabbed their coat, purses and in an orderly fashion exited the theater.  No pushing or shoving and people allowed others to exit their rows and continued on after them.  The good news was there was no fire just a smoky popcorn popper.  They sent us all back into our respective theaters once the alarms finally quit sounding (another 10 minutes or so), rewound the movie about 5 minutes and we then watched the conclusion of our movies.  Made for a quick supper at the Food Court in order to make our next movie.  Our movies of choice were Snitch and A Good Day To Die Hard.  Enjoyed them both.  Snitch is actually based on a true story.  
Today was such a miserable day out of rain/sleet/snow that I decided to make a pot of vegetable soup and french bread to go with it.  I've included the recipe on my recipe page if anyone is interested.  It really hit the spot for supper tonight and have plenty of leftover for lunches this week.
While at my LNS last week the owner, Vicki, showed me an old Sudberry box that she has in the shop.  I'm talking it has probably been in the shop for 20 years.  She told me I really needed to stitch something for it as it is a box that you can no longer get and was in the Sudberry line for a very short time when it first was offered.  She knows me so well that I like to have things that are unique/different/ONE OF A KIND.  I came home and started looking through my stash of patterns and this Jardin Prive' design that I received from Teresa (AtWillowTreePond) in our Advent Exchange is just perfect.  The design size in the box is 5" diameter and on the 32 count fabric my diameter is going to be 4 1/2".  I think the colors will look fabulous with the cherry color of the box.  I started this afternoon and am making great progress.  I'm looking forward to taking it out to Vicki to mount in that box and bring it home!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Fabulous Friday!

As you can see, a little trip to the Hobby Lobby resulted in the purchase of this adorable little bunny at 40% off to create a little Easter/Springy display on my dining room buffet.  I already had the beaded flower vine and added in some more of those neutral matte colored eggs.  I also included my LED candle from Where Sisters Gather as it just looked like it belonged in this display and shows it off so beautifully at night with the light it casts.  I know I've created a lovely display when my hubby says it looks nice which he did say.  

 I just couldn't resist sharing these two photos.  You see in the picture on the left we still have snow on the ground but in the picture on the right is a close up of the tulips coming through the ground that are in the upper left hand corner of the first picture.  My tulips, crocus and daffodils have all been working their way through the ground since sometime the end of January.  I think we are going to have an amazing display of color this Spring.  It started raining here overnight last night and is to continue through Sunday evening.  We desperately need the moisture here in the midwest so no one is complaining.  In fact I'm sure everyone is thankful that the temps are warm enough that it is not coming down in snow!

I had a fabulous Friday this week.  It was our monthly book club discussion and as you are aware I was to lead the discussion on Blackout by Connie Willis.  I was surprised at how well it actually went.  Sci-Fi is not a genre this book club embraces and I was so pleased at the number in the group who came up to me after and thanked me for recommending the book.  They were thinking ET takes over world and instead got historian time travelers visiting the Blitz in WWII.  They found themselves turning page after page of the book and thoroughly enjoying it.  I also received so much positive feedback on leading the discussion that my confidence in my abilities was definitely boosted.  It was great to see my good friend, Harriet and catch up with her as well as many other friends.  Such a fabulous group of women and so look forward to our monthly discussions.  For my book club friends the mini-series about Selfredge's Department Store that Murle mentioned and was in the book begins on March 31 on IPTV. It looks like it is 8 parts and will run on consecutive Sundays.

I went straight from there to meet my good friends, Belinda and Mary for lunch at On The Border Mexican Restaurant.  It was a delightful lunch filled with lots of conversation and laughs.  We've been trying to find a time when I could go with them to a scrapbooking store here in town that they love and yesterday was the day.  I have to say the store has everything you could possibly want/need for scrapbooking.  I was a bit overwhelmed at first but by my second trip around I was getting truly inspired.  In fact so inspired I figured out what to do with "queen bee".  I saw a printer's tray there which reminded me that I have one of those myself.  It is quite a large one so I went ahead and purchased one of the smaller ones at the store.  I've decided to cut my piece in a rectangle shape and mount with padding on foam core and pop it into one of the slots in the printer's tray.  I will use the same 4 colors in the queen bee to stitch some other pieces to put in the other slots and also display some other little trinkets in there as well.  I can't wait to see the results when it is all done.  I will post pictures as I work on it.  We also got to make our own little envelopes as a make and take project.  I need one of the envelope makers of my very own but alas they said they are on backorder until the end of April.  Did some looking online and apparently this is a new item and the popularity was unexpected and they sold out immediately.

We had movie night to finish off my fabulous Friday.  We rented the Intouchables and it was an absolutely delightful movie.  Only drawback is they spoke all in French and we don't know French so we had to read subtitles throughout the movie.  Still was a delightful movie.  

This morning while hubby worked Keith and I took our traditional Saturday morning trip to Rich's Brew for vanilla chai teas.  Keith thought a trip to our LNS (StitchnFrame) was in order so we made a stop.  It was a fun visit which resulted in a piece of fabric for a project as well as an idea for what I'm going to do with the "special" ceramic button I received from my dear friend, Allison for Christmas.  I can't wait to get started on it.

Tonight is date night for hubby and as I'm finally reaching the final stages of the "crud" thinking will enjoy myself.  Looking forward to dinner and a movie or two.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Easter Vignette

Amazing how when you start to feel better after being sick and get the house all cleaned and disinfected you feel well enough to do a few "fun"things.  Today I got out the few little Easter bunnies my mom made in ceramics for me and created this little vignette.  I took a glass vase from the dollar store, added some burlap ribbon, a flower magnet my friend, Allison, tucked into a box for me a couple of years ago and filled it with these neutral matte colored eggs I found.  I do wish I had a few more Easter/Spring ceramics of my mom's so I truly treasure the ones I do have that she made.
It was a very exciting day here yesterday as UPS delivered the new snowblower my husband bought.  Now that I won't have to do it the old fashioned way with shovel and back breaking work we probably won't get any more snow this winter.  To that end we are expecting rain and temps in the upper 40's the rest of the week - wouldn't you know.
Okay I'm going to admit purchasing some new "old" designs today.  I stopped in at my LNS (Stitch n Frame) this afternoon on the quest for fabric and came out with this wonderful baby sampler chart.  I call it a new "old" chart as this designer was very popular in the 90's.  The design company is called Temple Treasures and I love that her designs are pretty simple, show many options for ways the design can be stitched, and are easily adaptable to any color scheme you would want to use. I will admit to purchasing a couple of traditional Christmas designs which are the kind my family loves, a patriotic piece and a welcome with sayings that you can stitch in several different ways.  Her line of designs are not carried by anyone so my LNS orders directly from her and keeps her designs on hand.  The other plus is the price.  Her designs run $4.50 to $5.00 which is an amazing price compared to designs today.    I truly feel my LNS is a treasure chest full of different, out of print and hard to find designs.  My niece is having her second baby so am feeling the need to get her first born's baby sampler started and really appreciate that my LNS has many options to chose from in the store and most likely mine won't be what everyone else is stitching.  

While in there I also picked Vicki's brain for ideas on finishing my "queen bee" from Prairie Schooler.  I received some comments from some of my blogger friends with suggestions.  I too had thought of making into a necklace/brooch but cannot find a large enough pendant to put it in.  It seems I'm going to have the same problem with a key chain as even the rectangle is not large enough.  Thankfully I've put Vicki on the job and she is going to see what she can find that we can make it into something.  She actually suggested making a needle book which is what I may end up doing with this one.  I did pick up the smaller count fabric to stitch it up again in a smaller size hopefully  more appropriate for a scissor fob.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It's Done!

I have a small finish to share.  This is the 2013 Prairie Schooler freebie sent out with their new releases. When I was given it by a friend as she didn't want it, I couldn't wait to stitch it.  It only took 24 hours start to finish.  Two things made it a little slow going 1) being stitched on black and 2) I had to take out the right side 3 times before I got it right (again the black fabric).  I had a piece of 28 count Jobelan in black in my stash so used it rather than the called for 18 count.  The finished size is 3" H and 2 1/2 " W.  I used DMC Blanc, 503, 732 and 834 for my threads.  Even though the black fabric was a pain to stitch on the colors on the fabric is stunning.   Now I'm trying to decide how to finish.  I'm thinking to put it into an acrylic key chain.

Now on to my WIP.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Stitching Again!

I am so excited to report that I've finally been feeling well enough to pick up my stitching again, do some baking and snap some more nature photos.  I'm still not at 100% but I'm getting there.  Sinuses are still draining terribly.
My neighbors on both sides have bird feeders but we do not.  However, we do have a tree on each side of out deck out back and all those birds just love to come hang out in our trees - and there are many!  It does provide an abundance of opportunities to snap photos of many kinds of birds.  I loved the color on these two yesterday and thought I would share.
Friday night we did rent a movie to watch.  Hubby decided on Seven Psychopaths.  Well, let's just say it was a stupid movie.  I don't know why we watched it all the way to the end except it was so stupid you just had to see where they were going with it.  This after taking my hubby's truck out to be fixed as his power window quit working on the driver's side while at the car wash on his way home from work. Lucky for us they were able to get it in right away and we were able to pick it up the next day all fixed. I won't tell you how much it cost as you would probably faint dead away.  Bill almost did!
I enjoyed an evening of stitching on Saturday night and am pleased to show you my completion of this little freebie I got from Pinterest.  It really was a quick stitch once I felt well enough to stitch again.  I used DMC 310 for the Black, DMC 581 for the green tree stem, and DMC 740 for the pumpkin and candles.  It is stitched on an experimental over dye in 32 count that didn't work out for my friend.  
Sunday I managed a couple of hours of stitching on the 2013 Prairie Schooler bee that was a gift from a friend as she didn't want her copy.  I happened to have a scrap of 28 count black so was able to start stitching right away.  I will tell you I don't like stitching on black and this will be my one and only ever to be stitched on black.  I did change 2 of the colors as I stitched with the DMC colors I have in my stash.  

I also made a batch of brownies yesterday using an old family recipe that my mom always used.  You will see that my hubby was into them before the icing had time to set.  I'm glad he is enjoying them!  I've added a new tab in my header for recipes where you will find this recipe.  I will go back and add previous recipes when I have more time.

 Today has been a lovely sunny day and I've spent it cleaning and disinfecting my house.  I told you when I felt well enough I was going to tackle cleaning my house from top to bottom and I just couldn't stand it another day.  I feel just a bit better being in a clean house.  I thought today would be an order pizza night after cleaning all day but I managed to put pork chops in the crock pot so a home cooked meal will be enjoyed after all.

Book club is coming up this Friday when I must lead the discussion for Blackout by Connie Willis.  I've been rather nervous about leading this discussion.  I finally decided my approach for this discussion and it has helped considerably to reduce my fears.  I've decided to embrace the fact that this book is a work of Science Fiction and lead it like any other fiction book.  I'm not going to try and make it all about what really happened in WW II but about the characters and what is happening to them in the book.  I think I will be much more confident in my ability to lead the discussion this way.

Friday, March 1, 2013

I've Turned A Corner!

Well, I think I've finally turned a corner today with this miserable cold.  I'm actually breathing through my nose for the first time in a week.  Woohoo!  I'm definitely not at 100% yet but I actually felt well enough to leave the house today for a bit.  A quick trip to the post office, a short browse through Hobby Lobby which resulted in some inspiration for an Easter/Spring vignette.  Of course, resulted in my purchase of a couple of items to create said vignette.  I won't put it together until I get a chance to clean house from top to bottom.  Just can't help myself - feel the need to disinfect the house.  

I've also had a busy week here shoveling snow even so recently as a couple of hours ago.  The snowstorm on Tuesday/Wednesday resulted in 8.9 inches of snow instead of the expected .2.  BIG difference.  Snowblower broke last snowstorm so am clearing snow the old fashioned way with shovel.  It took 3 times over 2 days to get the drive and walkways cleared.  We live so far out that we are always the last on the list for plowing.  Yesterday they finally got around to our street and left a mound 1 1/2 feet high filling in the end of my driveway.  Of course, you have to shovel this out before it freezes so you don't ruin the bottom of your vehicles.  Again this afternoon they went by with the plow and this time I got by with only a foot piled at the end of the drive.  I have since cleared it and had to clear 3 feet in front of mailbox so we would still get delivery.
You can see from some of my pictures over the last couple of posts I've still managed to get my camera out and take a few photos of nature.  This morning our little red friend who hangs out here quite a bit did some posing for me.  He stands out so bright red among the gray branches and white of the snow.
I also thought I should update you on my progress on Boo Tree (freebie).  You would think I would be much farther along but was just so miserable I didn't feel a bit like stitching.  I know - unheard of not to feel like stitching.

Looking forward to a quiet night at home with some stitching and family movie night.  When Bill gets home from work, we will decide what movie to rent.  I see Life of Pi is available and have wanted to see that.  Anna Karenina is also available but I know Bill would not like this one.  Chasing Mavericks, Hitchcock are also options.

I'm also making homemade potato soup for supper as it sounded like a quick and easy Friday night meal.  Now if I could only taste it!