Thursday, May 26, 2011

The things you forget when you post early in the morning....

just after I hit the 'publish' button on the last post I remembered that I forgot....

I forgot to thank all of you for your gushing adoration for the finishing Karen did.  I REALLY appreciate your kind words and compliments of both my stitching and Karen's finishing.

Great teamwork!

Take the risk and send Karen an item or two.  Buddy up with another stitcher and share the postage.  I've used another finisher, who also does awesome work, and Karen's prices were right in line with hers...even with the added postage of sending things to England.  

I can't tell you what a thrill it is to see your work turned into something so pretty.  Somehow it just feels different then when you do the finishing yourself. 

My nest is full.

For a few weeks, anyhow, all my kids are home.  Until summer camp jobs begin we're all full up here.  The wandering child is catching up on sleep and adjusting to our time zone.  (I think she wishes she was still in Spain but all good things must come to an end.)

Since we missed her birthday in April we celebrated last night with our traditional dinner and cake.  I'm happy to say our bakery doesn't need to be featured on Cake Wrecks.  Always a good thing.  Per her request.... dinner was hamburgers and the cake was a cookie cake. 

I can now reveal the photo quilt I made using pictures from her various travels.  I hadn't sewn the binding down when I snapped these photos. 

 This was a fun wall hanging to make.  Very different from the usual photo quilts I've seen.  I have fabric to make another from our trip to Colorado a couple years ago. Now that I know how easy it is to print the photos onto the fabric I'll try to get to it sooner than later. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

A box

of goodies arrived this afternoon.  I sent some finishing to Karen.  She always has such gorgeous finishes that when she announced she was starting a finishing business I knew I had to send some business her way.   She assessed my pieces and produced this wonderful collection of stitching ready to be proudly displayed around my house.

I sent 7 pieces...
 Best Witches by Shepherd's Bush,
 Spring by Lizzie Kate,
 Bernard by Heart in Hand,
 Blessings Abound by Heart in Hand,
 Celebration Spring by Heart in Hand and Blue Moon by Bright Needles,
and last, but not least, Holly and Berries by Little House Needleworks.  
 Aren't they fabulous?  Check out Karen's finishing album for more pictures.  I had a heck of a time uploading these so didn't include any of the sides or backs.

Thanks again, Karen.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Despite appearances

to the contrary, I haven't forgotten that this is supposed to be a cross stitch blog (or mostly cross stitch, anyway). 

I've been stitching on Peppermint Twist now and again.  I need a magnifier, so I spend as much time getting myself situated as I do stitching.  It's coming, though.

We finally have a little sun, so I've been getting the landscaping cleaned up and some flowers planted.  Everything looks so lush and green after such a wet spring. 

Soon, soon, soon, I should have a post about some finishing I sent out.  Each day I think the package will arrive and I'll have a wonderful picture laden post but the mailman continues to disappoint.  The virtues of patience.

I went to see Something Borrowed over the weekend.  Loved it.  I've written before about how much I like Emily Giffin's books and the movie didn't disappoint..... even knowing how it came out in the end.  All her books have a little bit of a surprise ending. 

The Scholar embarks on her return journey tonight.  Phew. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How many stars?

I don't write about books very often anymore.  Even on Goodreads I just give a book some stars and move on. 3 stars means I liked it well enough, 4 stars means I'd specifically recommend it to someone, and 5 stars means I'd read it again.   Very few books inspire me to 4 stars and rarely is there a book worthy of 5.

Today, however, I just finished this book.....

You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon. Somewhere in my book review blog reading I came across a review of this book.  I bought it and added it to my pile.  Had I known it was short stories, I might have passed.  What drew me, besides the beautiful cover, was the mere idea of the story.  The title says it all.  What's it like to be home while your husband is in Iraq?  I thought it would be a story told in the traditional style of a novel.  It's not.  Just short stories.  It's the writing, however, that just got me.  It leaves me without words.  What it must be like to dream of a house and a family..... fun, friends, babies, play groups...but doing those with one ear to the news.  Listening and looking and worrying and coping.  Most of all coping.  What we whine and complain about is just NOTHING.  These families would be happy to be worried about a spring that never comes.  OY.  I know that, in this day and age, people choose to join the military, but the reality is an entirely different thing.    Many times, as I read this book, I wanted to throw it down like it was a snake that had bitten me!   Each story left me feeling sad and empty and angry.  How many stars do you give a book like that?  Who would you recommend it to?  I'm sure glad I read it and hope a few others will too.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lucky Friday the 13th...

First up... is Blogger being weird to anyone else?  My last post is gone.... although it's on my reader but the link says it's been removed.  For a couple hours this morning I couldn't log on either.  The page said Blogger was temporarily unavailable.  Hmmm.  Technical difficulties, I imagine, but not sure why that took away a post from Wednesday afternoon.

So, why is Friday the 13th lucky?  Because today is my wedding anniversary.  22 years.  Not quite half my life, but we did meet when I was 22.  This picture was taken a week before we got engaged.  My husband was a groomsman in his cousin's wedding.  I was dressed in the typical yuppy working women's style of the day. 
We don't generally exchange gifts on our anniversary.  Coming on the heels of both Mother's Day and my husband's birthday we just never developed the habit.  So, I was quite surprised to find this on my kitchen counter this morning after the kids left. 
Addressed to 'Mom and Dad'.  Those wonderful, sweet children decorated up the envelope and gave us 2 tickets to their show tonight!  So cute. 

Of course, we were going to the show anyway but it was a cute idea.  On Mother's Day, which I had to share with my husband's birthday, I was joking about my anniversary night being spent at the school because we're providing the cast with dinner then going to the show.  Dinner and a show.... only I have to fix the dinner and share it with 17 high school students.  It's all in how you look at it.

It reminds me of the year we celebrated our 8th anniversary.  My neighbor, whose 3 kids were grown, stopped over.  I was in the midst of the typical predinner chaos of a house with 3 kids.  Buttercup was a baby, we'd just started a huge renovation project, and I was trying to get supper.  She commented on this being no way to spend our anniversary.  I remember saying that if 8 years ago, on that very day, someone told me that this is what I'd be doing 8 years from that day I'd have thought I'd died and gone to heaven.  So, again, it's all how you look at it.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A finish

One of my quilting goals this year is to finish the 2 monthly projects I didn't keep up with last year.

On Monday I finished 'Under the Garden Moon... Snowmen on Parade'.  A row by row style quilt.  I love the colors and enjoyed all the different techniques used.  

 I've left it on my sewing room floor while I decide if I'm going to quilt it myself or take it to the long arm quilter.  I think I'm going to take it to the quilt shop because I just don't want to wreck it.  I like it too much to take a chance with my unpracticed machine quilting. 

I think I enjoy the process of piecing much more then quilting.  Quilting a quilt is an entirely different art then piecing.  I will use my machine to quilt smaller projects but I need a professional to handle the larger jobs.  

Now, if I could just be sure to wear blinders when I go into the shop.......

Some days.....I should just stay in bed.

If I am so darn organized then why does my desk look like this? 

And.... I'd already taken care of some of it when I snapped this photo.  The computer is downloading a new audio book onto my MP3... priorities... I need something to listen to in my sewing room this afternoon.
When the kids were first in school we had a school lunch calendar that hung on the fridge..... then a reading log.... then each had a file for important class stuff.... now there are files and files and more for school papers, one for each college, one for the info about the Scholar's Spain journey, one for the summer camp jobs, one for my upcoming vacation... it's overwhelming.   It's no wonder I'm sending the camp paperwork a month late!  That's the crux of the shame this AM.  A month late?  I'm an accountant... I LIVE for deadlines.  We love cut off dates, dead lines, due dates, the works!  Quarterly payments that aren't actually due in exact quarters, tax returns due the 15th day of the 5th month?  Bring it on.   I never return a library book late, or pay a bill late.  Why then, is 'camp paperwork' written on my 'to do' list from back in early April?  I got nothin'.  You'll see I also haven't made an eye doctor's appointment or crossed off 'passports'.  That task can wait.... I did look up the expiration dates... I have a few more months. 
The note pad says it all.... What's a princess to do?  Some days are just better spent in bed.  OY.

Back to work. 

Hope everyone else is working away and leaving behind a clean work space!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Stuff, junk & things.

 That's one of our favorite lines.  Buttercup picked it up from somewhere..... probably a tv show.  That kid's a funny one.  Once her teacher, maybe her 4th grade teacher, told me a story of this amazingly inspirational phrase she'd written on a sign to hang on her desk.  The teacher was just gushing with awe at how smart she was.  I, on the other hand, was holding my breath.  It came from Sponge Bob.  The teacher's only child was still in kindergarten.  It was only a matter of time before time froze in place when she heard that exact same phrase come out of her tv. 

Anyhow, back to business.  Thanks for all the birthday wishes for The Scholar.  That picture just gets me.  Back in the day when we put babies to bed on their tummies all cozy in their bumper padded, drop side cribs.  You don't see that pose anymore...the one where they pull their knees up and stick their butts in the air.  I don't think I have pictures of The Boy Wonder doing that and Buttercup was born after we worried about sleep positions.

 Spring is MIA in western NY.  We did have a teaser day last weekend.  My husband and I took a drive down to a cute little town at the south end of one of our Finger Lakes.  We walked around, shopped a little, (there's a quilt shop in town) and had lunch at a cute ice cream parlor.  One of those places with all the pretty wood trim and a tin ceiling. 

At an antique store we bought a wooden flower box.  Since I don't want to ruin it by putting it outside and the cat will eat any flowers, I filled it with the next best thing.  And, since the only thing that crops up around here like flowers are quilts.....

and I've managed to finish another Crazy January Challenge piece.... Fresh Watermelon by Little House Needleworks.  It certainly took me long enough. 

Aren't those little ants cute?


Last but not least, there is work happening in my sewing room.  I'm not ready to show anything quite yet.  Soon.  This is what my cutting table looked like this morning.  Funky looking scraps.

Ok.... back to waiting for the dishwasher repair man... for the 3rd time since we bought the thing 2 months ago.  (Much eye rolling and head shaking.  What can we do?  The price of modern technology.  It came out of the factory dysfunctional and they assure us that if they can just replace enough parts it will work.)

Friday, May 6, 2011


I am playing with the blogger app for my iPad. Besides learning to post I will try adding a photo. Soon I will have a real post....

Summer time in the Finger Lakes. My 3 with a a friend's 2...(2 of her 4).

When I view the post I only see my 3. Learning to edit isn't in the card tonight but so far it all seems easy enough.