Friday, December 31, 2010

I did finish

Jenny Bean's Christmas Sampler this afternoon.  I stitched it on a piece of 32 count Days Gone By linen by Picture this Plus (I think.  I wrote the linen count and name on the pattern but not where the linen came from.  Oops.)  Such a nice piece.  It will go to the frame shop in January during the framing sale.  

I've had a few questions about The Mantle from yesterdays post.  What I didn't like was the 18 count fabric... too big and rough, or working with pearl cottons.  I'm not sure I knew that was the  fabric and threads when I ordered the kit.  I would have liked it better on nicer fabric with a higher count.  Other then that, it's not a bad piece.  I didn't put anything in the picture to give it good scale.... It's probably 18 by 10. 

And a final year end post..... One year ago, tomorrow, my husband joined the Y.  Never, ever in his life has he been a member of a health club.  He set out to run the 5K that The Boy Wonder runs Labor Day weekend.  He wasn't feeling quite ready for that after slacking on his gym attendance during the summer.  Well, today, these 2 boys of mine headed out bright and early to run the annual 'Holiday Blues' 5K.  No problem for the 18 year old kid.... or my 52 year old husband, for that matter.  Way to go! 

Here's to a healthy happy New Year!! 

The Queen Bee

As I embark

on attempting to post every day in January, with some sort of stitching or sewing project update, I've been organizing my sewing room.  Last weekend I sorted thru my stack of Pioneer Women Sewing Circle kits.  Each kit comes with a little story or background about quilting and piecing in pioneer times.  Also, each pattern comes with an idea for a 'make do' fabric.  The idea being that women didn't just go out and buy the necessary fabrics for a quilt, they created their quilts from what they had.  So, maybe all the blues wouldn't match in a doll quilt like this one.  The 'make do' suggestion for this was to replace some of the blue triangles with a similar blue fabric.  I did that.... but as is the way in my world... I actually LOST one of the 'make do' pieces and had to go back and use one of the original blues.  So, instead of 9 different colored star points, mine has 8.  That little 1 1/2 inch square later turned up in the washing machine!  I thought I'd looked everywhere..... guess not.  Must have stuck to my sleeve when I went to switch laundry around.  Darn laundry.  I used one of my favorite machine quilting stitches on this.... the wavy line. 

A little quilt like this can go anywhere.  Here it is trying to make itself at home on an old bench in the basement family room with some other quilty type stuff.  We'll see if it stays there.  I might like to put it where I can see it more since I love the fabrics. 

The next kit is a small quilt using log cabin blocks.  I haven't read the story so I'm not sure what this one will teach me. 

I also have all the installments of this row by row quilt.  I can't wait to get started on it. 
Look at all those wonderful kits just waiting for me.  I will go in order but I can already tell the row with the house, barn, and church is going to be my favorite.  (Knock on wood and all that other stuff.  Could turn out to be a construction nightmare.) 

As is always the case, there is more I hope to work on but I don't want to commit to more then I can realistically do.  Of course, as I've previously mentioned, I will be participating in the Crazy January Challenge. 

Hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year's Eve.  Being the home bodies that we are, we'll be home with the kids having a quiet celebration. 

The Queen Bee

Thursday, December 30, 2010


one down and one to go until my slate is clear for New Year's Day and the Crazy January Challenge.
Unfortunately, this hasn't been my favorite project to work on, but I was determined to get it done.  I guess I feel like if I've invested the money I'm going to invest the time.  It's hard to imagine ever doing it again, unless....say.... I was stranded somewhere and this was the one and only project I had.... I'd do it on a nice soft 28 or 32 count linen with DMC threads.   I don't plan to have it framed.  I'll make it into a wall hanging at some point.  While pressing it I noticed I didn't stitch my initials.  I guess I was a little too happy to be done. 

Either tonight or tomorrow I'll put the finishing stitches in Jenny Bean's Christmas sampler.  Now, that's an entirely different story.  Pure pleasure to stitch. 

I have big plans for January stitching and sewing so stay tuned.

The Queen Bee

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I have added a new page

to catalog my Crazy January Challenge 2011 projects.  I am working like crazy to finish my 2 major WIP's so I can start January with a fairly clean slate.  There are still a few odds and ends left in limbo but they might just stay in limbo no matter what sort of challenge I am starting.

Hope everyone had a great holiday.  This week will be for recovery, reorganizing, and preparing The Scholar for her trip to Spain.  Wish me luck.  Nerves are running in high gear. 

The Queen Bee

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all

and to all a good night!

The Queen Bee

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Things you can do when

you let the UPS guy or the mail carrier bring most of your shopping right to your door! 

You can whip up this cute wall hanging,

make some progress on The Christmas Mantle,

and contemplate which of the Pioneer Women's Sewing Circle kits to pull out. ( More about this next month, when I am a full fledged copy cat and mimic Carol's '30 days of sewing' daily blog posts.) 

The only thing they don't do is wrap.  I've managed to keep up, so that job is done. 

I'm not free just yet.  Tomorrow I will need to work plus run a few other errands.  THEN I'll be free.  Free to cook, bake and prepare meals for days on end!  All in good fun.  My cupboards are over packed.  By Sunday I'll be making a new grocery list, I'm sure. 

I have one more pre-Christmas post planned so I'll save all the holiday wishes.....

The Queen Bee

Sunday, December 19, 2010

This IS

what we made the kids get up for yesterday morning!  I LOVE going to cut the tree down.  The kids, however, would be happy to wake up much later on a Saturday and find the chore completed. 

Every year we drive to a tree farm on the tippy top of a hill just south of here and select our tree.  This year the weather was perfect.  A brisk 20', no wind, blue sky, and sunshine.  We've done this job, like a postman, in all kinds of weather.  Even so, it's still one of my favorite days. 

We prefer to trudge thru the snow and do the work ourselves.  No wagon rides for us.... although there was that one year it was windy, snowy, and below zero when we rode the wagon back to the barn.  We aren't totally insane!  This year we walked and best of all, the kids can lug the tree!!  That's Buttercup's shoulder in the bottom left.  No fool, is she.  She saw the other 2 had it under control.

Sorry, but indoor tree pictures aren't coming out.  We have it in our basement family room so there is almost no actual day light.  It does dress up the room, though.

Hope everyone is getting everything set for a fun and festive holiday.

The Queen Bee

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I should have bought a lottery ticket

today when I went to the grocery store because today is my lucky day! 

 Does everyone know what this is?

Yup, a length of Gentle Art's thread.  Raspberry Frost, to be exact.  It goes to this piece....

Jenny Bean's Christmas Sampler. 

I found it on the garage floor over near the trash can this morning when I was putting soda cans in the car.  So, thanks to NYS's deposit law, I was walking past the back end of the car when I spied it on the floor.....less then 12 inches from the open garage door and the snowing  blowing world that would have eaten it alive and never given it back!

I haven't stitched on this since Monday.  Also, on Monday I carried a trash bag out to the garage.  Maybe the thread fell off my pant leg then, who knows.  I was in and out of the garage with the car 3 times on Tuesday so it's a miracle this thread didn't disappear into the great beyond. 

While the value of the thread is kind of small, you all know I would have been a crazed maniac trying to find it and if I made the trip to my LNS that would be the one color they didn't have.  Then, I'd be placing on order online.  And, naturally, since it seems silly to order just one little thread, I would have put a few other things in my cart.  Top it off with some shipping charges and it's become a pretty pricey piece of thread.  So, really, that one little length of thread just saved me $20 or $30 dollars by staying put on the filthy garage floor!

Lucky me. 

Back to work.  The Scholar comes home Friday so I need to get wrapping because once she's home I probably won't ever be in the house alone.

The Queen Bee

Sunday, December 12, 2010

An update on a

couple of projects.  First, here are the 2 Lizzie Kate ornaments.  I'm happy to say that they're safely on the tree and the second one (be merry) didn't give me anywhere near as much trouble as the first. 
Second, here is the mystery quilt turned tree skirt in position.  I am very happy with how it turned out.  It's also nice that I could finish a project into something useful when it had previously been folded away because I didn't have any idea what to do with it.

Today it's raining.  Tonight it 'might' turn icy then snowy.  I was banking on a snow day tomorrow but maybe the weather reporters have backed off on how bad it's supposed to be.  I planned ahead, anyway.  I changed my haircut appointment from Monday to this past Friday and shopped for cookie baking ingredients.  Even if the kids go to school I'm set for a day at home.  Knock on wood, if the bad weather does hit, that we aren't left without electricity!  Wouldn't that just figure?  I could still stitch and read by day light but the kids might be at lose ends.

Back to the sewing room.

The Queen Bee

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I thought I better

snap a picture of the hide'n'seek ornament while I had it in hand.  Be Jolly by Lizzie Kate with it's partner, Be Merry.
I've placed it next to the cute little bottle of homemade vanilla extract my friend Robin gave me.  She made her own, bottled it in really cute little bottles, and will be giving it as gifts this year.  So cool.  That, along with my cinnamon from Morocco, will make for some yummy holiday baking.  I have yet to assemble Be Merry  but I'll work on it soon. 

While I had the ironing board out this morning I pressed my Jenny Bean Christmas Sampler.  This is such a nice piece to work on. 

I expect to have it finished in the next few weeks.

Have a great day.

The Queen Bee

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The good, the bad, & the blind?

You guys are so sweet.  I ran downstairs to grab my thread list and spied the MIA ornament in one of the places I said it wasn't.  No need to belabor my blindness, we'll just celebrate the good news and move on.  I was going to take a picture to post with this but my day has been over the top busy.  Snowy roads have added travel time to everything.  I will need to leave for work again in a short while, so maybe tomorrow. 

The Queen Bee

The good, the bad, & the messy.

 Declaring a sewing day proved to be very productive.  So, yesterday I set out to take pictures of what I did. 

 First the good: 

I found myself in need of a Christmas tree skirt.  This is the mystery quilt from my quilt guild last year.  I quilted it, cut a circle in the middle and a straight line up from a corner.  I am still sewing the binding on.  I like how it came out.  Here is a picture before I cut into it.

the bad: 

 Isn't really all that bad. 

 I finished quilting this primitive Halloween wall hanging.  It really is square, the edges that don't look straight are just from it not lying flat... with the exception of the area over the star in the top row.  Honestly, I don't even want to explain how that happened.  It's a primitive piece, it looks it.  We'll leave it at that. 

& the messy.....

On Saturday I finished a cute little Lizzie Kate piece into a beaded edge ornament.  Problem is, I can't find it.  I have no idea where I put it to await it's mate.  It's not on the tree, it's not on the little pegs where I put ornaments until Christmas, it's not in the little plastic box with the matching piece.  I have no idea.   I rarely lose anything despite my work space looking like this.......

This is how I left everything Sunday night.  The machine needle broke and I just left it.  It was too late to be sewing, anyhow, so I thought it best to just abandon it until morning.  (I'm still not even showing you the worst of the mess.)  I did, however, clean up all those spilled threads from last month.  That's replaced by my 15 (aka 18) projects for the January challenge.  I am most afraid that the ornament might have dropped off the sewing table into the waste basket.  Saturday is garbage day.  Cringe.  I'm hoping I worked on it AFTER waste basket emptying but can't really remember.  Wish me luck as I search again today. 

It's a busy work day.  So, I better get moving.

The Queen Bee

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Here I go again.

The Boy Wonder got his acceptance letter to his first choice college.  Hurray.  Now I can clean out all those files from the other schools and start writing checks to Choice 1. 

Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes.  So kind of you.  I had a very nice day.  I didn't do any laundry or housework.  I read and sewed and puttered.  We had supper out at our favorite local restaurant and spent the evening watching DVR shows.  No complaints from me. 

One sewing room project yesterday was sorting my 15 projects for the January challenge.  That was quite a job.  Pulling threads, referencing what threads were in what kit because there were lots of duplicate colors, making a list of what was needed, going back to see what other kit had the threads and so on.  In the end I only need 3 over dyed colors and 4 DMC and one button pack!  Shocking.  There were patterns, threads, fabrics and lists spread out all over the place.  It's no wonder I ended up with 18 projects!  I'll have to think about how to handle that.  Maybe I'll start 15 then work the other 3 in as I finish things.  Or maybe, I'll nix a few as I get started.  I already know one that isn't going to be my favorite. 

Bent Creek's 'Christmas Mantel' is proving to be a real pain.  Anyone else working on it?  Last night I started stitching the last stocking in the line up.  I used one strand of perle cotton left from installment 1.  When that was gone I went into the thread pack from installment 2 but couldn't find the same color.  Instead there is a skein of DMC.  Huh?  Am I supposed to just substitute that instead?  That will look weird.  I'm resisting the urge to toss that project into the UFO pile.  Too much time and $$ invested just to turn my back.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet.  I don't have a stash of perle cotton to pull from and think the stocking will look strange with one section in DMC.  Maybe my LNS has some in stock.  I can't remember if that's something they carry.  Gosh, too bad I'll need to make a stop there soon. 

Better get moving.

The Queen Bee

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Time to decorate.

I love the house decorated for the holidays.  There is something about the soft glow of the lights in the evening that is so peaceful.  We will wait until closer to Christmas to cut down a fresh tree to put up in the family room, but in the meantime, this tree is in the living room.   

Snowmen are another theme I like.  Ironically, despite having many patterns, I don't have many cross stitch snowman.  Maybe it's the thought of stitching all those rows of white. 

I do have this very cute candle mat I made with a matching snowman candle. 
And, yup, today is my birthday.  Nice to have it on a Saturday.  I will spend a chunk of it in my sewing room.

I'll be back tomorrow to change the background.... again.

The Queen Bee

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Let the count down begin.

I love Advent calendars. 

I made the first one years ago.  I can't even remember how long.  Sometime in the mid 1990's.  The weight of the candy is pulling the one side in so it looks crooked.  I tie on the candy every year and the girls take turns cutting it off.  Buttercup will get most of the turns. 

This second one is more recent.  I can't figure out why I didn't put a date on it.  That's not like me.  I stitched it maybe 4 years ago.  It's by JBW Designs.  Each day a new picture gets added until it's full.  I guess you could go the other way and remove one each day. 

Off to get groceries then to take The Boy Wonder to the orthodontist. 

The Queen Bee

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The napkins have been

altered to create a matched set. 
I was recently in a quilt shop that had a sample on the counter.  Theirs was made with just a half circle.  Aha!  I came home and cut one in half, restitched it, and like magic, I now have a matched set.  I will wrap it and have a homemade gift costing the appropriate amount for my quilt guild Christmas party. 

I am trying to finish one last fall project before digging into some Christmas projects.  Soon I will take some update photos of Bent Creek's Christmas Mantle and Jenny Bean's Sampler. 

The Queen Bee

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What the heck...

..... I'll join.  The Crazy January Challenge 2011, that is.  You've probably already read about it.  The idea is fairly simple.  On each of the first 15 days of January, start a new cross stitch project.  The challenge part is to complete those 15 projects within 2011. 

Sounds like fun even though I don't normally like having that many things started.  The idea has appeal, though, because I like to finish what I start and because it makes me feel like I have less stash if I've actually started things. 

The down side is that I will have to accept the fact that the rest of my stash isn't going to get stitched any time soon.  Right this minute, every single pattern has a fair chance of getting stitched 'next'.  There is no chance any of them will get started once they don't make the January line up.  It's always possible I'll pick something to start despite having a number of things in the works, but doubtful. 

Then, the question arises as to what to do with my current WIP's.  I will try to finish the 2 current WIP's by the end of 2010, but there are no guarantees.  Especially Bent Creek's Christmas Mantel.  That's a big one. 

I am not planning to post a list of the 15 projects.  I've been following Carol's 30 days of sewing blog posts this month and thinking I'd do the same thing in January.  Since it's just something she created there aren't really any rules.  The 2011 January challenge will give me plenty of post opportunities so I should be able to fill the full month. 

I've pulled a few potential projects.  I'm trying to think about the size, the necessary supplies, and the season of each piece.  Realistically I can only stitch a couple big pieces a year so I need to mix mediums and smalls together.  Then I'd like to pick a few from each season..... Christmas, winter, spring, summer, fall, etc.  I would also prefer to NOT go on a big shopping spree to buy ALL the supplies.  Obviously, I need the fabrics and a few threads to get started.  I have a dozen or more patterns kitted up so they'll be first in line during the selection process.  My birthday is in December and a few online stores will send coupons and ABC Stitch is having a big cyber Monday sale so if I get busy picking soon I might have to do a little shopping.  Just a wee little bit

First, we're off to replace 2 of the kids' broken cell phones, do a little shopping around the mall now that there should be a lull in the shopping frenzy, and see the Scholar off to College Town.  3 more weeks and we'll be moving her home again.  Time sure does fly.

The Queen Bee

Friday, November 26, 2010

That's me, if I dyed my hair.

The Boy Wonder got an acceptance letter to his second choice college today.  (Insert sounds of celebration.)  Big day for him.  We're still holding out for a letter from his first choice school.  They told us they'd let us know 'around Thanksgiving'.  In 'kid speak' that's BEFORE THANKSGIVING.  He's been finding excused to come home each day between school and track practice to check the mail.  We're all crossing our fingers that we'll know soon so he can focus on matters at hand.

Did anyone brave the stores?  It's not for me.  I will shop a little tomorrow with some coupons for Saturday and Sunday only. 

Back to folding laundry.

The Queen Bee

This won't be me today.

No way, no how.  Back when I used to shop for toys and bargains, I remember sitting in the lobby of Walmart on the Friday after Thanksgiving waiting for it to open.... in the day light!  That was before the world went crazy.

So, what I'll be doing today is shopping online.  Not a lot, just a little, but I bet it takes me just as long as if I'd driven to the store, waded thru the mobs, waited in line, and driven home.  If the whole world is at the mall, why can't I get online?? 

On the upside..... now that Thanksgiving is over, I can start decorating for Christmas.  I promise not to change my blog background everyday.  Back before I had a blog I looked forward to getting to use all those great backgrounds.... now I'm just happy one of them finally works right!  I might change it part way into December to mark a special day, but no guarantees.  I tried a dozen and a half other backgrounds before I found one that worked.  Took forever given the rate the Internet is working today. 

Hope everyone had a nice dinner yesterday.  I found a new sweet potato recipe that gets 2 thumbs way up from the 2 of us that like sweet potatoes.  It had cranberries in it.  So delicious. 

Ok, back to shopping. 

The Queen Bee

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A cute little finish

I finally managed to finish Country Cottage Needleworks 'Pie Menu'.  The boarder took longer then I expected..... isn't that always the way? 

We've been getting ready for Thanksgiving.  The Scholar is home, The Boy Wonder and Buttercup are on break, and food has been shopped for.  Tomorrow I will begin the cooking.  It will just be the 5 of us around the dining room table, but I like that.  It makes for a nice quiet weekend before the really busy holiday activities shift into full swing. 

I don't have much by way of Thanksgiving decorations.  I just let the Halloween stuff carry thru until it's time to decorate for Christmas.  I do put away the more whimsical stuff and leave the more primitive things out.  
I generally save this cute Silver Needle Secret Needle Night piece until after Halloween.  It includes the cutest pumpkin pie button.
After Thursday I'll start decorating for Christmas.  It's such a crazy busy time of year.  Every club, group, organization, etc wants to have a celebration of some sort.  It's hard to keep up some days.  And, of course, there are the 'anti helpers' like this little she devil. 

I had to stop what I was doing 4 times yesterday to clean up her messes.  Anyone who has a cat knows that sound.... that sound that means there will be a mess right in the middle of the living room carpet.  Ugh.  Each time I went to clean up the mess I wondered where the heck she'd found rubber bands to eat.  My kids don't know a home without a cat, so they know you can't leave rubber bands around.  Then..... as I was doing the dishes I happened to catch this sight.....

Oh, not rubber bands.  The stinker. 

Hope all my US readers have a great Thanksgiving.

The Queen Bee

Friday, November 19, 2010

One more down, 1.1 million to go...

or something like that.  But, who's counting?  My latest book was Every Secret Thing by Ann Tatlock.  I really enjoyed this book, up to a point.  The premise:  a group of teens with a secret.  Not your typical teen secret, but something I've not encountered in a book before.  They knew what happened to a favorite teacher that left his job under mysterious circumstances.  When the main character, Beth, returns to the campus of her private prep school as a teacher some 30 years later, she seems to be the only one of her friends that can't let it go.  The story moved along quickly but towards the end took a religious turn.  I hadn't expect that.  It was only later, after reading some other reviews online, that I discovered this book was considered Christian Fiction.  So, taking that into account, maybe I wasn't exactly the target audience.  It explains the total lack of real personality traits..... like swearing, worrying about what your hair looks like, or sexual tension between characters.  I understand that people want to read books like that, so I can get past that.  What I really found perplexing was the lack of effective editing.  One character tells Beth that she has the whole evening free to visit and catch up with her but then rushes off.  They also claim to have kept in touch over the last 15 years but then they don't seem to know the most basic things about each other's lives.   The other glaring error was in the telling of a favorite childhood memory by one character where she use to visit a cottage on 'Lake Conesus'.  Being from the Finger Lakes Region of NY, I know that the name of the lake come before the word 'Lake'.  Probably an inconsequential error, but obvious to anyone familiar with the names of any of the lakes.  What, maybe a hundred thousand readers? 

I never want to discourage someone from reading a book because we all like different things.  Rarely does a book strike 2 people in the same way.  It's just that I have the means and desire to share..... so go forward and read whatever pleases you!  For some, though, there are far too many books in our 'waiting to be read' pile to spend time with anything we're not going to enjoy.  So, hopefully I've spared some people and peaked the interest of others.

The Queen Bee

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Oh, Happy Day!

This very cute little guy turned 18 today.  Amazing.  His first year was spent in more doctor's offices and hospital beds then most of us see in the first 50 years of our lives.... but look at him now! 

Once you get past the bad photo cropping.... it's a real learning process and I'm learning on the go.... you'll see just how grown up he is.  Wonder how much longer I can call him The Boy Wonder.  I'm so lucky to have him as my son.

Take a minute to look at the previous post and let me know what you think about the napkins.  I've refolded them making them taller and narrower but with another swoop across the middle.  I'm still undecided about giving the mismatched set.

The Queen Bee

Monday, November 15, 2010

Seeking opinions

on an exchange gift.  For my quilt guild Christmas exchange we are to make a small gift costing around $5.  We are supposed to adhere to that price, which can be hard if you're just digging things out of your stash.

Anyhow, at our last meeting someone brought, as a show'n'tell, cloth napkins that can be folded like a Christmas tree.  Very clever and easy to make.  I thought that would make a good gift item.  So, today I dug thru my fabric to see what Christmas fabrics I could come up with.  I had 6 fat quarters from a bundle purchased a few years ago.  Each napkin takes 2 fat quarters.  Since I didn't have more then 1 fat quarter of each fabric, none of my napkins are the same.  So, here's where I need help.....  would giving 2 that aren't the same, but compliment each other be ok?  I was leaning towards the 2 with the green/black combo.  (There's something about that 3rd one that makes me want to go back and refold and repress it, but for this exercise it will be ok.)

They can also be refolded to feature the other fabric.  I tried that with each and thought this was the best way.  If you click the pictures you can get a close up look at the fabrics. 

I have a couple yards of fabric with Jim Shore Santas that would work well, but I'd need to purchase complementing fabrics.  I also think the Jim Shore fabric is more my style and think I'll make napkins for myself. 

Any thoughts you have would be appreciated. 

The Queen Bee

Saturday, November 13, 2010

How many times

do you have to do something before it becomes a habit?  Probably far fewer for a bad habit then a good habit.  Whatever the number, I do not intend for this PICTURE LESS posting to become a habit.  There were simply no photos taken today to help illustrate my post.  Sorry.  I won't let it happen again, any time soon, anyway. 

Today we drove to College Town to sit thru an information session with The Scholar about her stay in Spain.  Interesting.  While I have the normal anxieties about letting a kid go to Europe for 5 months, I've been to the country, twice, so have a level of confidence the other parents lack.  Lucky me.  I wish I could be young again and embarking on a similar journey.  Modern technology is wonderful.  I will learn to SKYPE. 

But, here's what I learned today....... sophomore girls are SO MUCH tidier then freshman girls.  Phew.  I was considering staying in the dorm lobby today.  Last year I saw more then enough dorm messes to last me a few years.  Here it was Saturday morning, hallways were clean, doors had fall decorations, and best of all.... their suite was clean and they had a CROSS STITCH decoration on the wall.  The best surprise came when we returned to the dorm after the meeting..... The Scholar and a suitemate are learning to knit!  Will wonders ever cease?  I even taught them to purl.  I'm speachless.

The Queen Bee

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes.

Alas, no pictures today, however I was entertained by the 50 or so 3rd graders that came to tour my court room and listen to the judge explain what happens in court.  The kids sat, listened and asked questions.  And, questions they asked!  Clearly they've been influenced by TV.  A common thread was about how fast someone would be sent to jail, how long they might be there and if they would have a lawyer.  One little guy put his hand up and said something like this...... say a 7 year old, not me, did something really bad, would he get an attorney?  We answered... then he proceeded to tell us what he did that got him an attorney.  Lucky for us his teacher was very quick and stopped him!  The adults saw it coming and were freezing our expressions just in case.  TMI moment averted.   Hopefully they learned something and they've made their one and only visit to a court room. 

So, I've done my civic duty for the day.  Think I'll go read.

The Queen Bee

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's fun to be the winner!

After work this morning I took a drive to pick up the quilt I won at the local shop this past weekend.  It's throw size and will be a nice addition to the collection on the couch in our family room.  I'm not sure what the pattern is called.  It's like a rail fence but each square is just one piece of striped fabric giving it the basket weave look.   

Check out the back.  No cheap muslin backing here.  Probably if the sun would shine I could get a picture that reflects the colors better.  Who wants to wait until then? 

I've been stitching on Jenny Bean's Christmas Sampler.  Maybe in a few days I'll have some progress worth showing.

Tomorrow 2 groups of 3rd graders will come tour my court room.  At that age they're thrilled to try on hand cuffs and bang the gavel.  Here's hoping that's their last up close and personal look, though!

The Queen Bee

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday updates

Mondays are a good day for an update.  Blogger can get very slow on the weekends making any posting a challenge.  I'm catching up on housework and laundry this morning.  I've had a terrible head cold for the last week so I've let things slide.  Fall sports are officially over...... happy dance....and holiday planning is under way. 

Meal planning is part of the fun of fall holidays.  Fall makes me want to bake, too.  So, while this piece doesn't look exactly fallish it reminds me of this time of year.  I couldn't resist starting it despite having several other pieces in the works.

'Pie Menu' by Country Cottage Needleworks....

This past weekend was Customer Appreciation weekend at the quilt store closest to my house.  I rarely go, though.  Recently they featured a quilt pattern in an e-newsletter that I wanted so I stopped in.  They were giving out tickets for drawings based on the amount of $$ spent.  I didn't pay attention to what the prizes were, figuring I'd never win.  Well, surprise, surprise.  I got a call this morning that I'd won a quilt!  I have no idea what quilt but winning was exciting.  I'll take a drive at some point this week and pick it up.  It's kind of fun having another surprise to look forward to. 

Back to the laundry.

The Queen Bee

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Another book finished

I don't think I've ever read a Joanna Trollope book before.  The idea of this one was intriguing, though.  A man dies, and at the reading of his will, his current family learns that his previous family will inherit the bulk of his estate.  The book is told from both ends.... the old family and the new family.  I think we are supposed to feel for the current family.  Somehow I found that hard to do.  They felt like they'd been wronged by the man's first family, as if the new 'wife' (they never actually got married despite having 3 children) didn't have an affair with him and steal him away.  The man never had contact with that first family again!  Huh... hard to muster much sympathy.  I don't want to spoil the book because it's not a bad story.  In fact, I kind of enjoyed the story and the drama of the family getting themselves back in order. 

I have no idea what I'll pick up next.  I've found it best not to plan because sometimes I shuffle thru the books and pick up something other then what I thought I'd read.  We'll all just have to be surprised together. 

The Queen Bee

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A new start

I started Bent Creek's new Christmas piece:  The Christmas Mantle.  Besides being partial to Christmas stockings, I thought it was neat that the piece had 5 stockings... the right number for my family.  I haven't received the second installment but I've seen it online.  I'm hoping to keep up with this and have it done by Christmas. 

Life will settle down after swimming and cross country sectionals are over this weekend.  While The Boy Wonder is between seasons  he'll be appearing in the school's production of 'The Crucible'.  He's never once shown any interest in being in a school play so this will be fun to see.  

The Scholar got her passport... phew.   Just in the nick of time because the trip organizer has an appointment in NYC Friday to get the visas and she needs the passports in hand.  We still have a few more hoops to jump thru to get this semester abroad set.  Maybe the stress created by all this red tape will make me so relieved to have everything in place that I won't spend the next 5 months worried about her being so far away.  Here's hoping, anyhow. 

Snow has arrived in Western NY.  I took a picture on Halloween afternoon but it didn't come out.  I was on the screened in porch and the camera focused on the screen, instead of the snow.  We had our last snow of the year on Mother's Day in May.  Gotta love the snow to live in these parts.

I'm off,

The Queen Bee

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's good to be two people....

First off... no post is complete without a picture so here is today's.  Has anyone ever seen this needlepoint of Key West?  It hangs in the art museum in Key West.  It's easily 8 X 10 feet.  I'd certainly need to be 2 people to create that! (I really didn't have a picture today so I went back thru and when I spied this one I knew it fit the title.)

So, anyhow, the title..... a number of years ago my parents were assembling a piece of furniture... a bookcase or tv cabinet, I don't remember what.  It was one of those things that comes in a flat box and needs assembling.  The badly translated instructions said:  it's best to be 2 people.... We thought that was funny but somehow it really fits. 

Today for example..... my husband is away.... again... not that I'm counting or anything but that's like 4 times in 6 weeks... and I have to work tonight.  Buttercup's swim team is having a dinner... and again, not that I'm counting but this is the 3rd celebration of the end of the season.... come on now, enough already.... and I'll be at work.  So, The Boy Wonder will step in to be our household representative.  He'll stop by the dinner between cross country practice and play practice.  He'll have to slip away from play practice to run Buttercup home then head back over to school.  We live in an absolutely enormous (mile wise) school district... I once heard it's the largest in the state.... so there just aren't people who can run your kid home because it's possible they have 15 miles in their own direction to go.  So, tonight, it would be good to be 2 people so I could be in 2 places at once. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Seriously, clean that room!

Honestly, what are you doing?  In general, I'm tidy.  I clean things up as I go when I cook, run the vacuum here and there every day, and do laundry obsessively.  So, why is it I like a messy sewing room.  And I do really mean:  LIKE. 

The bottom picture is the shot I was going for.  I was going to show you my next project.  A cute little primitive Halloween wall hanging.  I've cut the pattern measurements in half, made notes, and spread out my fabric choices.  What I was careful to avoid was getting any of the mess with the threads in the photo.  Recently I received 4 boxes of cross stitch threads from someone who has given up stitching.  Four, you say?  Huh.  I see a whole lot more then 4.  That's because I got out my own boxes to frantically look for the correct color of green to put about 12 stitches in 'An Apple a Day' in order to finish it.  Annnnnnd, since I needed to incorporate the new boxes into my existing boxes I left them out.  Then I knocked one over, then the ribbon maker fell off the shelf, and I can't even explain what the extra foot pedal to my sewing machine is doing on the floor.  But, there it is and I'm willing to live with it until I can get back to it. 

I believe in the 'out of sight, out of mind' philosophy so when there are projects I don't want to forget about I leave them out.  I have similar messes around my sewing room that I'm still not going to show you.  I think it makes me work on things that I would ordinarily forget about.  My desk at work is like that, too.  I start out with a clean desk and end up with a clean desk but in between..... look out.  It's all spread out! 

I recently commented on KarenV's post from October 6th because she was willing to show her sewing room floor.  Anyone else brave enough?  I'd love to see.  I bet I don't even think it's all that messy.

Happy Stitching.

The Queen Bee