Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's Been So Long Since My Last Post.....

.....that I had to actually go read my last blog post to see what I had been up to.

I've been on another road trip to Winterset, Iowa with a girlfriend.  It is hard to believe but that has been over a week ago and I'm just getting around to posting about it.  It was a fun little trip with all the little shops all decked out for the Christmas holidays.  I came home with several "must haves" - well they were!  A few photos from that trip.

This is the store window from the Mercantile.  There were so many fun things in here.  Kind of a mix of new and antiques.  I came out with a couple of items from here.

This store is not for you if you are a "purest" when it comes to antique items.  She takes antiques and repurposes them into unique one of a kind items.  My friend, is a purest so it was not as much fun for her but I'm always looking at antiques with the eye of how can I use it other than its' intended purpose.  I came out of there with a couple of items as well.  This display is right inside the door.

I love the cabinet for spools of thread but 1) I do not have the space for it in my home and 2) I did not have the cash on me listed on the price tag.  Oh darn!

This is the Courthouse that sits in the middle of the town square.

We ate lunch at the Northside restaurant - it's on the North side of the street.  Not very creative with the name but the food was certainly worth the stop.  I wish I had taken a picture of the inside as it had several items of the original interior.

I came home with these little lovelies.  I just couldn't resist the spool.  It will look so nice as part of my Christmas display on the buffet this year.  I picked up another Christmas ornament (ice skates).  I think this is the year I'm going to count how many ice skate ornaments I actually have.  Any guesses?  Still wish I could figure out when and how I ended up with an ice skate theme to my tree.  The ice skate toothpick holder - yeah it had to come home with me! 

I quick stop at the yarn shop resulted in a couple of skeins of speciality yarns.  The picture is deceptive as the colors in this skein are really dark, rich Fall colors and not neon like the picture shows.  I couldn't resist these 2 little serving plates as well.  Snowflakes - another one of my things - yes I'm a lover of winter/snow.  Do you suppose it has anything to do with the fact that my husband kissed me for the first time in a snowstorm at the park?!  I loved how it is shaped like a gift tag even down to the little hole for the ribbon/string.

Another cool thing that happened is the local news station used one of my photos at the beginning of their weather segment this week.  Lucky for me my sister-in-law caught it and took a photo with her phone.  I was busy in the kitchen getting supper together when I heard my name but missed the photo.  Lucky she was quick with the camera.  

Replaced the water filter in the refrigerator over the weekend only to find out it was defective - meaning it kept leaking water all over the inside of the fridge.  Took it back and exchanged it for a new one (another story there) and decided what better time to clean out the refrigerator.  I took everything out including all the shelves and bins.  It was rather a satisfying feeling at the end of the project to see it sparkle so.

Just last night I finished my third ornament for my tree.  Yes you heard me right my third one.  After all these years of saying I would stitch one ornament a month so I would have some for my tree I've stitched three in the last two months.  For those of you who don't believe in miracles I think now is a good time to start! 
On the reading front I did finish Ruby Brooch which I enjoyed.  The Race by Clive Cussler has also been moved to the finished pile as well.  I enjoy the Isaac Bell series and this one was no exception as I liked it as well.  I started and finished Fallen Women by Sandra Dallas.  This is different than her usual books as it is what I would classify as a mystery.  I really did enjoy it.  I also started the Bride's House by Sandra Dallas.  I'm having a harder time getting through this book as I don't particularly like the characters in the book.  Still I'm 1/3 of the way through so will finish it up.

More to say but out of time! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nice Weekend!

 The tree went from covered in leaves to almost bare of leaves on Friday in just 3 hours.  It was fun to watch the leaves falling to the ground. So relaxing that I sat on the front porch and did a small video of it.  Never know when you need to unwind.

Went with my older brother to Pella on Friday.  I get to see him so infrequently and it was so nice to spend some time with him.
First stop was VanDen Berg's Gift Shop for some Christmas decor shopping.  It is just a small store but packed full of fun items.  We ended up spending 2 hours in there.  Yes, we both walked out with a bag in each hand.  You will see my items when I decorate for Christmas but will say I was thrilled to find 2 ice skate ornaments for my tree and the music box I bought - delightful.

We had time for a quick walk through a couple more shops then a yummy lunch at a little Italian Restaurant.  Last stop was Jaarsma Bakery.  Trust me you CANNOT go to Pella without stopping in there to bring home some pastries. 
I managed a bit of stitching this weekend and finished another ornament for my Christmas Tree.  I had Bill pick the next one to start as I just could not decide.  This is Peppermint Twist by Little House Needleworks.  I'm trying to get several ornaments stitched up and then will plan a day to do all the finish work.
Today the Halloween ornaments were finally put away and I brought out my Thanksgiving ornaments.  I love this big old ceramic turkey Mom made for me.  

This little display has my Be Thankful stitched piece in it.  There is a small turkey as well as my horn o plenty and pilgrims.
Perfected this soup recipe today.  I call it Lor's Cheesy Chicken Veggie Soup.  Click on the tab at the top for my cooking blog for the recipe.
Enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing date night last night.  A leisurely supper at the Food Court, a trip to the Apple Store, the book store and then to see the movie About Time.  It was not quite what I was expecting but found the movie delightful.

Well, throw in a little laundry and a trip to Rich's for vanilla chai tea and that pretty well sums up my weekend.  Hope yours was as relaxing as mine!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Splurge!

I finally splurged last week to purchase this sewing clamp kit by The Heart's Content.  This one is called Sampler Bits.  I've wanted one of these ever since they came out a few years ago but just never got around to purchasing one.  (It appears I almost waited too long as it was hard to find one to buy.)  I love that the kit actually includes the antique sewing clamp (these too are virtually impossible to find).  I'm looking forward to making this one of my next "new starts".
I thought I would include a picture of my progress on Red Riding Hood by Primitive Hare.  I will give you a few of the facts about my piece.  I am stitching it on the 40 count Old Salem Linen by Primitive Hare.  I am using 1 strand of floss over 2 threads.  I'm using all the called for colors except the red.  I changed it from Buckeye Scarlet to Bandana as I have my eye on a frame that should match it perfectly.  I did, however, opt to use 2 strands of thread when stitching the snowflakes.  Since the rest of the design is 1 strand over 2 using 2 over 2 is giving it an appearance of 3D snowflakes which help them to show up better.  The bottom left border has me at the bottom of the design.  I stitched the bottom half of that border in a couple of hours so an anticipating a rapid conclusion to this piece. 
Yesterday I was headed to my local quilt shop looking for some inspiration for Christmas gifts to make this year.  All that stood between me and it was this engine.  In the picture you can see the brick building off to the left which houses the quilt shop.  The engine is parked across the street and I had to laugh when the engineer got out and had to walk over and unlock the gate to continue on his journey.  Funny sight to see in the heart of a bustling city.

Last but not least I would like to send out belated Happy Birthday wishes to Teresa (  She celebrated on October 31.  Teresa, hope it was a fabulous day filled with fun activities!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Accomplishments! Yes - 2!

Ahhh!  Sitting down on a Fall Friday night on the 1st of November with my favorite beverage - a vanilla chai tea in my 100 Years of the Butter Cow cup.

It seems like the perfect time to show you a couple of my accomplishments for the week.

 First accomplishment was finishing my piece for the Primitive Hare swap.  After much consideration I decided to finish it using a box I had in my stash.  I painted the box and then mounted the stitched piece on top and finished it with some cording.  Inside I made the bottom right box magnetic to hold needles.  The bottom left box has been padded for pins. The top right box has been outfitted to hold a pair of scissors and the upper left box is just fabric covered.  I was having a bit of a dilemma on how I was going to secure the scissors and received some wonderful ideas.  I had myself all set to use one of those ideas when down at my sewing machine I spotted my velcro.  It was like a giant light bulb turned on over my head that I could use this wide velvet ribbon in my stash and the velcro.  I sewed it to the fabric before attaching the fabric to the form core.  I was so tickled that it actually worked.  I do not know the person this is going to and instructions forbid us from contacting the recipient so I can only hope and pray she likes what I've done.

My second accomplishment was finishing Pear Tree by Little House Needleworks.  I started this ornament in 2010 when my mom was terminally ill and I would sit with her so dad could go out and run errands.  At some point I put it down and never picked it up until last week.  It brought back so many memories of the wonderful conversations Mom and I had when I started it.  It was a joy to finish with thoughts of her while I stitched.

It is the first ornament I've stitched for my own tree - YEA!  Now to start one of the many others I have kitted and read to go!

I'm making fast progress on Red Riding Hood by Primitive Hare so I'm going to start another project.  It is The Christmas House Sampler by Blue Ribbon Designs.  I've seen this one stitched up a couple of times and it is just gorgeous!  I'm using the DMC color options and stitching on a piece of 28 count Clay.  I plan on putting my first stitches in this project Saturday night.

My third accomplishment was finally making a trip to the park out back of my house for a few Fall photos.  Unfortunately, the colors aren't as beautiful as in years past but still managed a few beautiful photos.  Here are a few of my favorites.
Boat house
Canadian Geese


Covered bridge
Tree roots
Walls covered in graffiti

Approaching covered bridge

Looking through bridge from one end to the other
Roof inside bridge

This tree stands out.
I'm also closing in on a finish of two books.  I expect to finish The Race by Clive Cussler this weekend along with Ruby Brooch by Katherine Lowry Logan.  I'm already thinking about my next book to start and am leaning toward The Bride House by Sandra Dallas.

Off to do a bit of stitching or maybe reading!