Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A finish and a new toy

I finished up Mary Garry's Peace sampler last week though I still need to put initials in the lower right hand corner.  I think I will stitch the initials over one and include mine, the husband's and the 2 kids.

Mary Garry Peace Sampler
Weeks 30 count Cappuccino linen
GA Weathered Barn
design size 6 1/2 by 7 1/2

The past few days I have been pretty tired from working odd hours and busy with the miscellaneous tasks of living but I do have some ornaments started.  Just need some wide awake time to stitch!

I also have been distracted by my new toy!  I have been wanting an e-reader and when I was able to get a great deal on this Pandigital reader from Kohl's, I decided to try it.  My employee discount allows me to stack my discounts and with a rebate I just couldn't pass on it.  And no hassle returns folks!  If I decide I don't like it, back it goes!

I do like it though, but I haven't tried any other e-readers.  The screen is a bit too gray in dim light but works great with bright light.  It has wireless but I would never use it for the internet unless absolutely necessary.  I have downloaded 3 library books so far and it's a piece of cake.  I haven't purchased any books yet and that wasn't my goal anyway.  I love that I can "go to the library" and get them for free!  You do have to put books on a waiting list most times but that's OK.  Just download the books to Adobe Digital Editions, plug in the reader and transfer the book!

I am presently reading Cakewalk: A Memoir by Kate Moses and I finished The Kids Are All Right by Diana Welch (no, not the movie but same title).  These are both autobiographical.  I seem to be attracted to books about dysfunctional families (are all families a little bit nuts?).  It must be because of my quest to figure out my own family and trying to reconcile some of the crazy stuff that happened growing up.  It makes me feel better to know that I was not alone in my suffering, that there were other angry fathers out there and baffled overworked mothers.  By the time I was 12 years old I had lived in 5 different states and at least 6 different houses.  Moving around was not a good thing for a shy little girl like me and I don't think it was good for any of the 6 children!

Off to the bank...I think DD overdrafted her debit account.  As all moms of teenagers know, making the mistake is the best way to learn.  Sometimes we think they know how to manage things and then we find out somehow it went right over their heads when we told them how to do it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I love fall when it's not raining

It's a dreary rainy day here in Ohio and I'm feeling a little blue.  Made a mistake that may affect some customers and I always take those mistakes so seriously.  It's just that the mistakes were so stupid and unnecessary!  It isn't brain surgery, but still...

I haven't even felt like stitching for the past couple of days and I was on such a roll and excited about doing some quick Christmas gifts.  Hopefully by tomorrow I will come around and be the happy self I was a few days ago.

Thanks to everyone who offered me bits of the burnt orange thread I was looking for.  I appreciate it so much!  Lee, who was in town for a day, brought what she had and it was just right.  Thanks again Lee!

This is a little Mary Garry sampler I started this past summer.  The fabric is Weeks Cappuccino, thread is GA weathered barn.  
I love the color of this fabric, but not so crazy about the feel of it.  It is very soft and my stitches don't look nice and neat.  I had forgotten to start at a vertical thread and it was kind of bugging me, but I stitched up a bit to the side starting on the vertical and it didn't seem to make any difference.

There are some other Mary Garry charts I'd like to get my hands on but man, the prices on EBAY are ridiculous.  I did pick up a couple at very reasonable price, but they are not my favorites.

As some of you know, I work retail.  No, it wasn't my chosen career or a calling, it just happened.  At this time of year, it is retail hell.  I am constantly amazed by to what lengths people will go to save a buck and how little control some people have over their finances.  And in this sour economy, businesses have decided that they can make do with fewer employees, especially full time employees.  That means everyone gets very overworked and stressed, and when you think you can't do one more thing, they add on even more responsibilities.  I'm not talking about my own responsibilities necessarily, but when higher ups are stressed, it all trickles down to the rest of us.

So much for economic recovery and hiring more employees.  Big business has found they can just "make do."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I love the fall

I didn't realize it has been almost an entire month since my last post until now!  How sad.

And I can hardly believe that one week ago today I was readjusting to being back home after a lovely 3 day get away with 5 stitching friends.  We stayed at the Grape Arbor Inn in North East, PA.  We weren't sure how it was going to work out and to our delight it was just about perfect!  So perfect in fact, that we have already made plans to do it again next year.  We were treated to scrumptious tummy filling breakfasts (no need for lunch after that!), an endless supply of coffee, tea and other beverages and the company of the Inn kitties.  The Inn decor was lovely...so many antiques and comfy chairs and beds and decorated so nicely for fall.  I would love to see it when adorned with Christmas decorations.

I was the recipient of an exchange piece perfectly made by Carol.  When I say perfect, I really do mean perfect.  That girl puts my finishing to shame!  Just look at the back of this piece!  Her little extra touches just make it so special.  Thank you ever so much Carol for this wonderful gift.

I have more to post but I will end for the evening and post tomorrow.
Have a good night everyone.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Unsuccessful quest

I was unable to find a match for the Gentle Arts burnt orange thread at Just Stitching in Strongsville but I did find some other goodies.  I'm not going to tell about those for now as I plan to use what I bought for gifts.  Needless to say, I spent way more than what a skein of thread costs!
It's frustrating that dye lots are so different!  The dye lot I used is so bright and cheerful and the new one is so muted and much more brown than orange.  I don't understand why there isn't more consistency in the dye lots.  I don't mind subtle changes but I think this is kind of ridiculous. 
new dye lot on left

color as depicted on Gentle Arts website

Enough complaining!  I forgot to mention in my last post that I was a winner of a subscription to the Gift of Stitching E-zine that Barbara offered as a give-away.  I have my eye on some of the projects in my first issue.  Thank you ever so much Barbara!  I am thrilled to pieces. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

A fond farewell and the friendship tour continues

It's finally time to say good-bye to these lovely women.  I have lived with them way too long and it's time for them to be traveling.



They put up with me even when I got distracted and didn't tend to them for a bit and then put up with me as I ran out of thread again and again.  Not having a shop nearby, they had to wait until I ordered new threads.  And they put up with my impatience with their many color changes.  But patience prevailed and I am finally finished with this charmer.

 Birds of a Feather Friendship Sampler
GA, WDW and DMC on 28 count unknown linen

Melissa of Words and Blooms started this Friendship Tour and now I am going to send this chart on its way.  Hopefully no one else will take as long as I did to finish this piece!  My apologies to Melissa and everyone else on the list.

You may notice that I have still have a little stitching to do on a few of the flowers.  I simply missed a few spots and will go back to stitch but I need to buy another skein of GA burnt orange.  This is why:

The original skein is on the right, the new one I ordered is on the left.  I'm a little annoyed that there is such an extreme color difference.  I ordered it online, so had no way of comparing.  Today I am going out of town to shop so hopefully I will be able to pick up a match.

I have more stitching to share but will save that for another day.  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Here are some more snaps taken by DH a few days ago.  He was allowed to work today and will work tomorrow, but the campus will be closed all weekend and nobody except essential personnel will be allowed to be on campus.  I guess I will have to wait to see for myself what has happened.  The destroyed building below is (was) right next door to where I used to work and next door to where DH works.  Tornados work in mysterious ways for sure.  One of my coworkers lost her barns but no one was hurt except for one poor chicken that died.  Her mom and sister were in the barn when it occurred.  Amazing.  All their milking goats survived.  Many homes in the area were damaged as well as vehicles, but again, no injuries. 

Friday, September 17, 2010


We had a little tornado touch down in our town late Thursday afternoon!  Most of the damage was done at the Ohio State University branch research station (Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center).  This is where my husband works and where I did my graduate work and held several jobs.  This was nothing like the tornado that ripped through Wooster in 2003 which damaged so many homes and business.  Thankfully no one was hurt.  Here are some photos (not taken by me...borrowed from Facebook).

There were probably research projects lost and there will be much rebuilding soon to come.  There was damage also to some area farms and many people were without power but I don't think a single animal was hurt in this storm.

A little excitement on an otherwise humdrum day. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I felt inspired to blog this morning...

Wow, what a change in the weather!  It was in the mid-fifties upon waking up this morning and it's still very cool and breezy.  Fall is on its way!  We really do need rain though and the smattering that we got yesterday just wasn't enough.

I just wanted to show you all the work of a fantastic quilt artist who lives and works in our town.  Her work may not be everyone's cup of tea, it's certainly not traditional or conservative quilting, but I find it gorgeous and inspiring.  See the work of Susan Shie here: http://susanshie.blogspot.com/.

I am missing my daughter very much, but we text each other on a regular basis.  I love texting!  She and her roommate were able to rearrange their room so that it is much more livable.  They did have to sacrifice their desk shelves, which still kind of irks me.  Dear long lost son has started his senior year of college as an art major and will be knee deep in graphic design, intermediate ceramics and art history.  When it rains it pours.  He finally landed a bicycle mechanic job in a local shop and was also offered a work study position in the art department.  Poor kid...looks like he won't be sleeping much this year! 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, August 27, 2010

July...and August...oh me oh my, where does the time go?

The longer I neglect this blog, the harder it is to get back into it!  This sentiment was just echoed by Lee but she has only been away for 10 days and I've been away for what, almost 2 months?  Mostly it's been my lack of stitching which has kept me away since I have so little to show and I've been so preoccupied with family life that I've had trouble "letting go."

I'm playing around with Picnik, hoping that it will solve my photo editing woes.  Photoshop Elements just bogs down my computer and drives me crazy!  Blogging ain't fun when you've got to sit there and wait and wait for a photo to be saved. 

Here's a taste of what we've been up to this summer.

My cozy stitching spot at camp (yes, I did take my Ott light with me)
A little light retro reading at camp
Claire learning how to water ski

Red Hill Firetower, Center Harbor, NH
Keepsake Quilting, Center Harbor, NH

View from the tower, overlooking Lakes Region of New Hampshire

Revolutionary War Cemetary in NJ - my father is buried in the cremation garden

Isn't this a beautiful headstone?

We made a family oriented visit to New Hampshire and New Jersey.  Lots of changes in both places, some very stress inducing.  I wouldn't really call these visits vacation, but we did enjoy seeing everyone and relaxing at the lake place, which we call camp, for a few days.  

And last, but certainly not least, we are officially empty nesters, at least for awhile!  We dropped Claire off at  Miami U a week ago.  We were all disappointed by her room and my response from residence life was a suggestion to remove the shelving from the desks so that the desks could be backed up to the wall.  They do not fit under the slanted ceiling! They are going to bunk their beds so that they gain a little more space but the desks will have to remain where they are.  Crazy.  But Claire seems to be enjoying herself and I know she is keeping very busy with her studies.   She lives right across from the fabulous rec center and the ice arena.  The location is perfect for her. 
The cramped and dark dorm room.  Boo.
I promise, really I do, that stitching pics will soon follow.  I've been on this blasted computer way too long!

Friday, July 2, 2010

June...over much too soon

The lovely grad

A party for the girls

Yum...mini-cupcakes in school colors

My new hoodie! Yea Miami University (Ohio...not Florida!)

DH on his grueling 8 1/2 hour 100km mountain bike race...he finished!

Some garden renovation...replacing old lavenders with new and planting bare root roses

My helpers in the garden (wish I could teach them to weed)

I am plugging away on my BOAF Friendship Sampler and am aiming to finish this weekend (I hope, I hope).  I will be sure to post as soon as I finish!  Eager for a new start but I won't let myself 'til this one is done. 

My dear mother, who is dealing with severe osteoporosis, was just diagnosed with AMD, age related macular degeneration.  For a avid reader, this is not good news.  It makes me so sad.  I canceled her subscription to the New York Times, which occupied a nice part of her day since there is so much to read.  No doubt about it, getting old sucks! 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

SBQ for June

I haven't answered an SBQ yet because I was too preoccupied with the goings on around here but I have pondered June's question.

Tell us about something that you have stitched or plan to stitch for any father in your life.  Maybe it’s for your father, your father-in-law, your children’s father, your grandfather, your godfather, or someone who was or still is an important father-figure in your life.  Why did you choose this particular piece of stitching?   Tell us the story behind it. 
And because a simple one part question is never adequate, let’s go some more:
Often times we identify our love of needlework and our skills with our mothers or grandmothers or other women.  It’s understandable because often they were are first teachers or role models.  Now let’s think about our stitching life as it relates to our dads.  Is there anything about our approach to stitching that we can recognize as traits of our fathers?  For instance, does your dad (or any other important man in your life) have an approach to one of his interests that you can observe and think, “Hey….if I substitute the word “needlework” for “fly fishing”, we’d be pretty darn similar!”  So tell us about it.

I have never stitched anything for my dad (who has been deceased for about 20 years now) but I did knit him a sweater.  Long sleeves, blue sport weight yarn, with cables.  I wonder where that sweater is now?  I'll have to ask my mom.  He probably never wore the thing which is the way of so many garments that I knitted.

When I first started cross stitching he did see some of my charts and was quite interested in it.  He thought it was pretty cool that someone could make a business out of designing and printing the charts.

What I find really exciting is that his father did needlework and in my mom's living room hangs a self designed and somewhat stylized needlework picture of a house and trees.  I really need to get a picture of it the next time I am there.   I am hoping that someday it will be hanging in my house.

I've never made anything for my husband.  I kind of think he wouldn't appreciate it.  I don't say that in a mean or angry way, that's just the way he is.  If it's not a bike or skis it's not going to wow him.  I don't know if substituting the word needlework for mountain biking works.  We both have a passion for our hobbies but one is so sedentary and one is so active! 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hello world!

What has this absent blogger been doing these days?  Focusing on DD Claire and her end of the year graduating senior activities, gardening and painting, with a little stitching in between.

It doesn't take too long to post so why the delay?  Because I am a born procrastinator!!!  Try as I may, I never quite seem to get beyond that.  At least the most important things get done but procrastinating can be a real brain drain. If you are like me, you'll know exactly what I mean.

Melissa, I was hoping the friendship sampler would be done by the end of April, but I didn't make it, and when May came upon us, there were fewer nights that I took up the needle.  It may be years before you get this traveling chart back!

Lovely daughter Claire and her date David ready for prom

Newly painted green walls in the sun room

The walls change color constantly in this room depending on the time of day and the angle you view the wall.  Maybe not quite how I imagined it, but I still like it.  I've always wanted sage green walls somewhere in the house.

Lastly, the collection of party supplies for Sunday's grad party for Claire and her friend Shannon.  It's forecast to be a warm day, no rain thankfully.  I love a good party but hate to give them, so this is nerve wracking for me.  It's an open house for 100-200 kids (it's all those Facebook invites, so you never really know how many will show up).  Here's hoping that we will have enough food!!!

You know something?  Blogging actually does take a lot of time!  By the time I uploaded and edited photos, restarted my computer because Photoshop crashed, uploaded the photos to Blogger and added text, I think 90 minutes have passed.  Yikes!!!  Gotta go!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Framing finishes and a little griping

Ok, just need to get something off my chest first.  Bear with me.  A friend of mine had been trying to reach me for a couple of days but didn't leave a message on my phone.  When I did get back to her, she only had a question about a restaurant here in town.  "Do you know if they are open and what their hours are?"  I had no idea since we haven't been there for ages so I suggested she call them or look on the web.  So logically I asked her why she needed to know and she said that she and her "girlfriends" go out to lunch once in awhile and were thinking of trying that place.  ?????  What's that all about?  Plan a lunch with your friends and then ask your other "friend" about the restaurant they want to go to???  Nothing like feeling like THE HELP.  You know, I almost called her back (I was so mad) to express my feelings but I just don't feel like it's worth it.  This is not the first time this has happened and it probably won't be the last.  I don't think she'll get it anyway.  Enough said.  Not that it makes me feel any better...

Here's what is making me feel better these days.

Bitter Flower, Birds of a Feather
Look at this!  Finally had some framing done!  This was the big test, to try out Michael's.  Overall I am happy.  I like the frame and the work seems to be good.  With 60% off, the price on this came to about $72.00.  When I picked up my pieces, I realized they had left out the spacers (due to a miscommunication when I placed the order) but the clerk took them apart and put them in while I did my other errands.

Frame detail

I am not quite as happy with my other piece but I take most of the blame for this.  I really didn't know what kind of frame I wanted and ended up with this.  I don't think it was the best choice.  Maybe someday I will reframe it and use this frame for something else.  I think there needs to be more linen showing around the edges and it's also a little crooked.  This one cost about $67. 

Spring Has Come, Prairie Schooler

Michael's doesn't have a huge selection of frames but I will probably use them again.  I will just take more care next time to choose the right frame and be sure of the size. I still plan on doing some of my own framing soon and I really should check out some of the small framing shops in our town.

I've been stitching away but no photos today.  Got a list a mile long and blogging was not on the list!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Another accomplishment!

Dear daughter made her final decision on her choice of college the other day!  I think it was actually a no brainer.  When we revisited last week, we were able to have a very helpful meeting with a faculty member, had lunch in a cafeteria and learned more about the students and the vision of the university.  

Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 

picture perfect campus

home of the Miami RedHawks and the No. 1 overall seed and top-ranked ice hockey team (but they lost to Boston College in the Frozen Four playoffs...boo)

I'm relieved that this is done.  Even though we started late with the college search, it still seemed like it took forever to find the "right" school.  Hopefully this school will be a good fit!

I think I am more excited than she is...