Sunday, June 22, 2014



Absolutely no lie the HAPPY DANCING started at 4:45 pm Friday afternoon right after I put in the last stitch on the Mystery Sampler (Birds of a Feather) by With Thy Needle and Thread.  It so deserved a happy dance.  I started this a couple of years ago but put the thing down as I was finding working with a color pattern was making me absolutely nuts.  I had wanted to enter it into the 2013 Iowa State Fair but that dream was quickly squashed only half-way through the top border.  

I found myself early in 2014 determined that this one was going to the Fair in 2014 or it was going into the trash.  Once again pulled out the project and found that by cutting the pattern into horizontal strips only about 20 stitches vertically I was able to move along pretty quickly.  I know it is such an offense to cut up a pattern but trust me it was the only way I was going to get through this one.  

As I chose a fabric so far from what the designer chose it necessitated several color changes.  I did keep to the designer's palette as much as possible and just changed intensity and hues to compliment my fabric.  All in all I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out and am looking forward to displaying in my home after the Fair - that is if I can find a place to display.  I've started having to rotate pieces from display to storage at this point.


My son and I headed out to StitchnFrame on Saturday after our run to the coffee shop for our vanilla chai teas to pick and frame.  These are just 4 of the dozen or so I tried on this piece. 

It became clear as soon as this one was pulled it was the right one for this piece although we did try another 4 or 5 to make sure we didn't miss something.  I can't wait to see it all stretched and framed.  I know it will look amazing!


Thursday morning about 9:30 when I went to leave the house to run a few errands I happened to glance out my back window and saw this lovely nibbling on the grass.  I'm thinking how pretty and send a picture to my husband at work and he's thinking "don't let it eat the flowers".   I snapped a couple of photos and then I stepped on the creaky board on the deck.  This was enough to send lovely on its way.  No flowers were harmed in the taking of these photos - LOL!


Although frantically stitching I still managed a quick road trip on Friday to Pella, Iowa with a friend to check out the "under new ownership and name" quilt shop called the Quilted Windmill. 

It was a delightful little shop with a selection of fabrics clearly different than what is carried at my local quilt shops.  The shop was set up in a very appealing manner and had really nice lighting. 

I did come away with a few 1/2 yard cuts of fabric.  You all know how much I love winter and the snow.  I spotted this array of snowflake fabrics all from the same line called Crystal Palace.  I immediately envisioned a table runner as well as a table topper for myself.  Yes, I said for myself as every runner and topper I've made have gone to other homes with the exception of my Halloween topper.  It will go nicely in my holiday theme as my Christmas tree is done in all white, silver, crystal and as it is snowflakes it will work all winter long.  

I also couldn't resist the fabric with the white background and splotches of color that are butterflies.  I see a portion of this turned into a square fabric box using the techniques I learned making the sewing boxes I made recently.  There will be plenty left over to make something else as well.  It is such a quick little drive over that I plan on making another morning of it in July.


My Tiger Lillies bordering my downstairs deck are all in bloom right now and in such a rich and vibrant orange.  I thought you might enjoy a little peek at them. 


I managed an entire 24 hour period without a needle in hand.  Amazing!  However, here I am on Sunday and in keeping with my 2014-2015 stitching goals I have pulled a Prairie Schooler design from my stash called Harvest Time.  I am currently working on the village in the top picture.  I have chosen to stitch it on a piece of 28 count Copper Penny Jobelan from my stash using the called for DMC colors with the exception of the church.  I just can't use the gray green colors and have pulled a couple of different grays with more white in them for the church.  As stitching progresses, I will know if these are the right colors to switch to or not.  

I also anticipate stitching the Thanksgiving turkey in the bottom photo as well but will not stitch the entire piece.  Instead my plan is to stitch the turkey in the center with the word Thanksgiving and some sort of border around the entire piece.


I am reading several books at the same time right now.  They are Abdication by Juliet Nicolson, The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern, A Higher Call by Adam Makos, The End of Night by Paul Bogard, and Hitler's Furies by Wendy Lower.  Just because I thought I should make it an even 1/2 dozen I downloaded onto my Kindle Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon to start later today.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Finish - Not Yet, Father's Day, Ferocious Storm!


I know I should be stitching right now as this needs to be finished by Friday - Monday at the latest.  This is the Mystery Sampler by With Thy Needle and Thread called Birds of a Feather.  I know I'm a few years behind everyone else getting this done and I'm going to blame it on the pattern being in color which I DETEST!  Honestly if I had known it was a color pattern I never would have purchased it!  This picture is not even close to the colors of the fabric and threads - of which I changed many - but rather just a quick snapshot to show my progress.  


We spent a good portion of Father's Day at the local church car show.  It had been forecasted all week to be a total washout but Father's Day morning the forecast changed to no rain!  Thanks to cloudy skies in the morning the temperatures were pretty comfortable and the car show set a new record for entrants of 183.  Our car did win some award but as Bill left before they were handed out, I'm not sure as yet what it was.
I invited my dad over in the evening to treat the guys to some homemade ice cream using our generations old family recipe.  You can see Keith is checking to make sure the ice cream is churning and eagerly anticipating his bowl.  It turned out perfectly and a bowl was enjoyed by everyone - rumor has it a couple of them had seconds!


I decided to stop on the other side of the park behind us and snap a couple photos of the lake.  When I get to the other side of the lake, I realize it is larger than what I remember.  These shots are taken from the location my dad used to take my brother's and I fishing from when we were kids.  Back in the day of graveled roads and farm fields.


We had quite a ferocious storm here in the wee hours of the morning after a steamy and hot day yesterday.  You can see I'm am drying out cushions at the moment.  I heard the winds at 1:30 AM and not 10 minutes later the tornado sirens went off.  They go off here for strong winds as well as tornadoes and last night it was the strong winds.  I would say 74 mph qualifies as strong winds.  We were lucky and sustained no damage but when I was out running errands I noticed several branches, large trees, and light poles snapped off at the base and on the ground.  Many lost power (thankfully we did not) and a good number of traffic lights were out.  The most dangerous one was where it was stuck on green in both directions instead of blinking red.  In just the time it took me to get through the  intersection there were 3 close calls.  As today is a repeat of the hot and steamy, they are forecasting repeat stormy weather again.  

Well, off to get a few things done!  

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Moments in Time!

It has been several days since my last post and we've lived a lot of moments in that time - some good some not so good.  I am happy to report that this week is oh so much better than the last one and am very happy to put that one behind me.

The very next day after my last post I ended up with 3 consecutive days at the ER with my hubby.  I've been through a lot of trips to the ER with my hubby over the years and can honestly say this was the worst of them all.  I've never seen my hubby in so much pain and have to say there is nothing more frustrating than watching someone you love be in so much pain and there is not a thing you can do to relieve it.  I guess that is why we have doctors, nurses and hospitals and thankfully on the third day they were able to come up with a treatment that worked. 

I just arrived home with him from the last trip when I received a call from my son's workshop that they thought he was getting sick.  I have a flying trip across town (as I always imagine the worst).  From what the staff told me and what I was able to piece together from Keith's behavior and signing he had something stuck and was choking on something from lunch and the coughing and gagging (staff told me about) finally dislodged it.  Needless to say it scared him.  As soon as he saw me, he threw his arm around my neck and the tears started rolling down his cheeks.  I am so thankful he was able to dislodge it himself.  I have shared the information with them so they might recognize that he is choking next time.

Things finally moved back to normal on Friday so was able to keep my lunch date with my friends at Fire Creek!  I had a Veggie Grilled Cheese and I wish I had taken a photo as it looked nothing like your ordinary grilled cheese.  It ended up the veggies were grilled.  For a spread they used guacamole and it was an absolutely delicious sandwich.  This restaurant has the most delicious raspberry iced tea and one of the gals was wondering what brand it was.  I encouraged her to ask the waiter for the recipe and low and behold it was actually a Coke product from their Fuze line.  We all loved the tea so each of us was looking forward to our own personal purchases of it.  I finally got around to making my purchase today.  By the way - it is a concentrate you add water to and each container makes 2 gallons.

Saturday Keith and I went on our usual chai tea run to our favorite coffee shop and then it was off to Stitch n Frame for a bit of shopping and conversation.  The picture shows Keith sitting on the sheep stool they keep in the shop so he has a place to sit and watch the shoppers in the L-shaped strip mall come and go.  While there we had a heavy downpour of rain so we had to hang out a good long while - oh darn!  
Later that night Bill and I had date night.  Ended up at the Outback for supper as he was looking forward to trying the Moonshine Ribs.  I'm not fond of their menu items and decided I could have an appetizer for my entree.  It was delicious!  A piece of flatbread topped with spinach, artichokes and a bit of chopped chicken and cheese.  It was a light supper that was just perfect!

Sunday found us at the Garden Center looking for replacements for some rose bushes we lost over the winter.  I don't remember the winter being all that cold but according to the staff/gardener's the winter this year was too cold for the roses and the evergreens were "burned" from the bitter cold which is why they are so brown.  Really I thought it felt like a typical winter.

We decided to buy a few hydrangea bushes.  We purchased 2 of the usual kind and then a couple of a new variety that have some different blooms on them.  These all go in the little garden around our flagpole and I have to say I like the red/while/blue look to it.

On Monday Bill ended up at the dentist for a scheduled root canal - I know doesn't sound like any fun to me either so thought soup would make a good supper.  I set about to make a homemade chicken and noodle soup with veggies and have to say it turned out spectacular and yes, I did make my noodles from scratch.

Couple more updates and then I'll let you go.  I'm getting closer to a finish on the With Thy Needle and Thread Mystery Sampler.  I really want this one finished and to the framer before heading to the Camaro Rally later this month.
I also have a little something I made for my friend, Harriet for her birthday but am unable to share photos at this time as we've not had a chance to celebrate her birthday just yet.  I will say I used a design by  She has some adorable designs so you might want to check out her shop.

I am also looking forward to starting a little project for my kitchen using the fabric and threads in the photo below.  It is a 32 count fabric and I'm using the colors called for in DMC.  I can't wait to see this come to life.
I was in my local hobby shop yesterday to purchase an item and found this lovely lined burlap basket on the clearance rack.  I've been looking for something a little larger to display my needlework smalls and this looked just perfect to me.  I am so pleased that there is room to grow - LOL!

Father's Day is this Sunday and I will be making homemade ice cream for my hubby and my father to enjoy!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

End of Week Review!

 We've gone from a below average temperature Spring to a now above average temperature run here in Iowa.  I heard on the news the other day we are 22 days ahead of schedule for temperatures to hit this high.  I will say my plants are thriving as evidenced by my latest picture collage.  The warmer temperatures have also brought along some great bit white puffy clouds....not to mention the occasional pop up thunderstorm out of nowhere.
I'm making progress on the Mystery Sampler by With Thy Needle and Thread.  I divided the pattern into thirds and will be starting the last and final section tonight.  I really am looking forward to a finish on this one.
For those of you interested in the pattern for the fabric box I made it is available for purchase as the FABRIC BOX KIT from the designer (thanks Aunt Nanc for getting this information).  The kit includes instruction book, patterns, cardboard and batting.  This is the exact kit I received from my Aunt Nanc who took Marie's class.  With the pattern I was then able to replicate the cardboard and batting to create as many as I wanted.  I will take pictures and share what I used to replicate materials in another post.

You can contact her as follows:

Marie Nafzgar
21895 Cherokee Rd.
Clovis, CA  93619

I was pretty excited last Sunday to have won the giveaway from Purple Cats Corner.  I was given a choice of her three newest releases in print form.  I chose Serenity and think it is just lovely.  If you have time, check out her Etsy shop or Facebook page.  She offers her designs in a array of formats.  I have purchased a few of her notecards and tote bags.  I know she has offered other items in the past as well as magnets come to mind.

Sadly someone stole some of the decorations put out on my mother's grave again this year.  My younger brother put this lovely solar rose light on and it lasted about 2 days before it disappeared.  Needless to say the family was all upset about this.  You would think people would have the decency to respect someone's grave.  I'm a believer that "what goes around comes around" and this person will get what is coming at some point.

I bought myself a new Thermos brand insulated bottle.  I love these bottles and have several as they really do keep your water cold for the 12 hours they say they do.  I love that I still have ice at the end of the day and I can leave it in a hot car and come out to ice cold water.  They are readily available for purchase at local stores or online.  Oh and the pink - means the guys won't be running off with it anytime soon!

 We took the Camaro out for a drive Friday night as it was such a beautiful night out and ended up down by our State Capitol building.  Hubby couldn't resist a couple of photos.  The picture on the left is from down at the bottom of the landscaped area across the street.  The middle photo is on the road right in front of the Capitol.  The photo on the right is the Soldiers and Sailors Monument located just South of the Capitol.  

Well, it is time to go put a roast in the oven for supper.  See you soon!