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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Interruption






It snowed 3.5 inches yesterday. The first photo is the view from my computer. It was beautiful. But unfortunately, it caused many branches to break and/or fall. We lost power just as I was finishing washing the dinner dishes and didn't come back on until I was in bed. So I missed a whole evening of stitching. I got out my trusty little clip on OTT light and read a hundred pages in V is for Vengeance. (I only have a l30 pages left to go!) I tried whipping some of my fashion Buttons page together but the light wasn't really good enough. We have lost power too many times this year. But it does make me realize how much I depend on electricity for all the things I like to do.
The house tour is now in the mud room. I thought I just had two stitched things in there but I have four. The two house ones I didn't know what to do with so I just stuck them in the mud room. The Shepherd's Bush bellpull I stitched ages ago. The one I like best is by my back door and says "Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body".
We are slowly getting Christmas things taken care of. I bought some Christmas Cards today. Tomorrow is December! How can that be?!? I feel like telling Time to WAIT for me.
A

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Snow Warning




We are getting lots of rain. It rained all night and it is supposed to rain all day. Tonight they are predicting snow. Between four and eight inches of the stuff. ARGH. Luckily it will be warm enough to melt most of it. I just dread the thought of having to drive in ice and snow.
I didn't get much stitching done on my busy Monday. I am half done stitching the border of the last page of Buttons. Then I can put together. Wow. I can't believe I am actually going to finish this project soon.
I kind of abandoned my house art/stitching tour. I will get back to it now. The kitchen has only two stitched pieces. My clock and a bellpull that I have shown before as it was one of my first cross stitch pieces. My FIL made the oak cabinet for the clock so that makes it special. It occurred to me that eventually we will get to my sewing room which is a little scary. There are so many pieces of art/stitching in there.
I have enjoyed reading my list of bookmarked blogs today. You find out stuff and see stuff that you want to try or buy or go to. On Mary Corbet's site, she reviewed a book that I must have. So I ordered it from Australia. I can tell that next year will be the year of the box. This book tells how to make a box and all the accessories that go with it. Cool. Just when you think you have seen everything, something new comes along.
A

Monday, November 28, 2011

Better Late than Never



I am late in posting because I wanted to tell you how things went with Dylan. I was worried about time management. It is so silly. But I didn't sleep well. I was worried I would be late to see Dylan since I was going to Panera first. But all went well. Panera only took about 10 minutes and I was early getting to Dylan's school. I picked him up and asked him if he was brave. His first answer was "no"! So I explained that I brought him lunch and was he brave enough to try it? We went to the mentoring room and I showed him what I had. He could choose tomato soup or chicken noodle soup, turkey sandwich, chips and a mango smoothie. He only ate one of the things I brought. The mango smoothie. He was going to eat the chicken soup but he caught sight of the carrots floating on top and said no thanks. He looked at the sandwich, no thanks. He tried the chips and ate a couple then threw the rest away. So we went down to the cafeteria and he got his regular lunch. He only ate the chicken nuggets and threw the rest away. So, okay, I learned something about what he will eat or not eat. He says he likes tacos but not spicy. So maybe I'll try Qdoba next and get him a decent taco and see if he will eat it. When kids get used to crappy food it is hard to convince them to try healthier food.
It has been ages since I played Yahtzee or checkers or Uno. But Dylan and I played those games today.
I worked on Mountain Flowers and am half done with the front. When I saw Sherri's Mountain Flowers I had to feel it to make sure it was stitching and not fabric design.
I achieved my goals from yesterday. I got to page 200 in V is for Vengeance. I put page two into my Buttons book. I finished stitching the Fashions page and started on the card frame. I think I can finish the stitching on Buttons today. I still have the buttons cards to lace together but I am approaching being d-o-n-e!!!!
I did some very fun cyber buying last night. DH said to order the stuff I want for Christmas - so I did. The purse I was interested in is on sale. Yeah! Merry Christmas to me.
A

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rainy & Quiet



Today is a rainy quiet day. I got quite a bit done on the Fashion Buttons page. The vase and flowers look very sweet. Then I just have the button card frames to do on the other side. I want to whip together page #2 and get it in the Buttons book. That is my goal for today. I worked on Mountain Flowers and it is coming along nicely. I have to be careful while watching football on TV and trying to stitch at the same time. I often make a mistake if it is an exciting game. Those empty spaces on Mountain Flowers are supposed to be filled in with name and year, I haven't figured out an alphabet for that yet. Those areas won't be seen as the top folds over.
A rainy quiet day is the perfect day for reading. I want to get to page 200 in V is for Vengeance. I had a hard time figuring out how to spell "vengeance", who knew it had an "a" in it.
What's in store this week? Well, I plan to take a nice lunch and see if Dylan likes it tomorrow. I have a rescheduled mammogram on Wednesday and I pick up oranges (fundraiser for the Junior Symphony) on Friday. Hope you have a great week too.
A

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Prune Bread



My BFF asked for the recipe for prune bread. It honestly didn't occur to me that anyone would want it. But I am delighted to comply!
Prune Bread (Grandma Wilkinson's recipe with changes by me in parentheses)
Cook 1 pound box prunes (I used a 20 oz box)as directed on box.
(Put prunes in a pan and cover with water. Boil for about 15 minutes).
When cool take out pits. (Are you kidding?!? Get the pitted prunes!)
Add 2 teaspoons baking soda to prunes and water and let stand.
Mix together: 1 1/2 c. sugar, 1/2 c. shortening (butter!) and one egg.
Cream together and add prunes. (I used a mixer so that the prunes wouldn't be in chunks)
Add 3 c. Flour. Bake at 375. (I baked it at 350. What can I say, I'm a rebel)
Test like cake. (In my Grandmother's day, that meant taking a strand from the broom and sticking it in the cake to see if it came out clean. eew)
Here is a picture of the tile I ordered. W Slate from Virginia Florim.
Also here is a picture of one of the rods I bought. It doesn't really keep your stitching taut, it just keeps it from getting all wrinkled up when you stitch in hand.
I made a mistake, the threads etc. accessory packet cost 46 not 60. There is a similar accessory pack for My Story that is 60. Yes, I bought that too. Good Grief.
A

It Doesn't Feel Like Saturday







With a holiday this week, I have my days mixed up. It feels like Monday for some reason. I went to Pilates this morning but the teacher didn't. One of the other students tried to be the teacher but it just wasn't working for me and I left.
I worked on finishing My Storybook. I decided to use my machine and sew it together. I bought the accessory packs for My Storybook. They had all the charms, threads and wool pieces needed to finish it just like the picture on the cover. My problem with the accessory packs was the cost. It was 60 dollars for the threads, 3 charms, 6 beads and two small pieces of wool. Some of the threads weren't even used. There were mostly one 18 inch strand of most of the threads. The threads chosen were not even good choices. I changed the colors used on several of the motifs and the wording. There was a separate accessory pack for the bookmark (for an additional 20 dollars) with all the charms on the end.
I whipped stitched the cover of Buttons together. I had been putting it off for fear it wouldn't fit together or I would somehow mess it up. But it went together fine. Then I put in the first page. The book is coming together! I started whipping together the second page. I am almost to the vase of flowers on the third page. I bet I can finish this before the end of the year.
I put just a few stitches in Mountain Flowers. I would love to get a couple of hours of stitching in on this today.
I've got to start thinking about Christmas and the stuff that I need to do.
A

Friday, November 25, 2011

Back to Normal





I was irritated with trying to publish my blog on Wednesday. Blogger didn't want to include some of what I wrote. So my title "Reprieve" didn't make sense since you didn't know what I got a reprieve from. I was supposed to have a mammogram on Wednesday but when I arrived, I found out that the machine was broken so I didn't have to get one.
So yesterday I didn't post. I took the day off. Most of the day was cooking, eating and washing dishes. I did get in a little bit of stitching. I finished My Storybook and now I am sewing it together. I would like it better if the colors were better. It is irritating since I paid so much for the accessory kits. But that's life. I found some fabric in my stash to finish My Storybook and I plan to get it done today. I worked a bit on the Fashion buttons page. My goal today is to get to the vase of flowers. I put in a few stitches on Mountain Flowers. It is shaping up nicely. I made some twisted cording to see how it would look on the Lucet holder. I used two strands of the Soie Perle. I think it could be a bit thicker so I'm going to try three strands and see how that looks. Yes, I've given up trying to make the lucet cording as I just can't get it nice and even enough for my taste.
I have ordered the tile for the kitchen floor. With any luck, we can have it done this year.
DH is asking what I want for Christmas. I happen to have a little list all ready for Santa.
A

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reprieve





I made the prune bread yesterday and it turned out well. There wasn't a dip of uncooked batter in the middle. I froze some for Christmas. I'm going to make the pecan pie today that is our dessert for Thanksgiving dinner. I decided not to make all the stuff I would make if the boys were here. So no rolls or stuffed mushrooms or candied apple rings. I love the rolls but can only eat one or two - not 12. I have a 16 pound turkey. That will last us a while.
I stitch a little on three projects yesterday. I started the last page of Buttons. It went well but I really have to be careful not to assume that the design is exactly symmetrical because it isn't. I am not quite half done with the Fashion buttons page. If I worked on it all day, I could probably finish it. I added just a bit more to Mountain Flowers. I so enjoy working on this design. This is just the first half, or front of the purse so there is lots more to do. Then I put in the word "friends" on My Storybook. I started a key motif but changed the color floss. Some designers like Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler are gifted at picking out a palette of floss colors. I have used her leftover floss to do other projects since they go together so well. Then there are designers that there is no rhyme or reason for choosing the floss they chose. Even Buttons has two blue colors that are so close together you can hardly tell them apart. Why? I'm still not happy with the floss colors in the little house on My Storybook. I admit that I love some overdyed floss colors but they don't look good when I put them in a design. Combining colors isn't easy. Shepherd's Bush lovely soft colors always seem too pale for me but usually work fine in their kits.
Well, I'm off to eat lunch and then to stitch.
A

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Let Them Eat Prunes



My favorite holiday food comes from my Grandma Wilkinson. She always made prune bread. I think I'll make some today. I haven't really perfected the recipe and some part of it is usually undercooked. Prunes used to come in a one pound package and have instructions for cooking them in a quart of water and then you had to pit them. I like that now you buy them already pitted. You have to be careful not to get the flavored ones. But I have to guess at how much water to boil them in. I'll freeze some for Christmas. I went to the big grocery store yesterday and it was a zoo. I was so tired when I came home. And there were still a few things I didn't get.
I showed Dylan how to work the Cricut machine. He cut out a few things but then he was done. He wanted to play a game. So we did. He was so sweet. He brought me a gift. It was a necklace (like the ones you wear during Marti Gras) that he bought at a garage sale. His lunch was awful - again. He had the choice of a hot dog or chicken nuggets. He chose the chicken nuggets. He didn't eat the beans, fruit cocktail or wheat roll. Who thinks up this marvelous menu of barfy food? Maybe I could take him something better from Panera. Tomato soup and a turkey sandwich. Hey, I'd like that.
I was so tired that not much stitching got done yesterday. I only got 5 diamond shapes on Mountain Flowers done. That's all. But as Sister Anthonita always used to say, "Tomorrow is another day". Indeed that is true.
A

Monday, November 21, 2011

Holiday Week







The bathrooms are clean but I still have lots to do today. I am taking my Cricut machine for Dylan to play with today. I think he will like it. Halona always had a blast with it. Then I have to go to the grocery store and buy tons of stuff for Thanksgiving.
I stuck to it yesterday and finished off the metals/glass page to Buttons. Yeah! Only one page to go. It is the Fashion buttons page and frames for button cards. I think it will go pretty fast. I also worked on Mountain Flowers for a while. I wanted to see what the third diamond motif looked like. It is such an interesting pattern. I have neglected My Storybook and hope to get a bit done on it today.
I was putting the behind the sofa art gallery away when I realized I have a few more frames behind the bookcase. Drawn Thread's Open Heart, a watercolor and a pastel. I once took a pastel workshop even though I don't do pastels. I am easily talked into things evidently. But it was fun and I'm glad I did it. Our assignment was to do a "white" picture. So all the items in the picture relate to white.
I have to use a curling iron on my hair so I don't look like a witch. I think I need a haircut. The challenge is to convince DH that I need a haircut.
A

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Distracted






I was going to finish up the glass Buttons page but I got distracted. I got a kit I bought in the mail. It was just too tempting. I had to look at it, feel the threads, serge the edges of the linen and try just a stitch or two... It has three diamond motifs repeated all over this little purse and I stitched two of them just to see how it went. This project is going to take a long time but I love the effect. It will be a keepsake when it is finished (I say that about a lot of the things I stitch!) I enjoyed this so much. It has some specialty stitches that keep me on my toes. The name of it is Mountain Flowers.
I actually worked on Buttons until the mail got here. I don't have too much left to do. I need to finish the basket and a branch of leaves as well as the borders. If I have any self control today, I'll get it done.
I got a lovely present this week. It is a beautiful tassel from Margaret. Thank you Margaret. I really admire her skill in doing the hardanger edging. I'm terrible at hardanger. What a lot of work! It is a kind and generous gift.
The house tour continues with two large framed cross stitch projects in the dining room. My curio of stitching is in the dining room too but I've already given you a tour of that. There is the Chatelaine Holland Springtime Mandala. It was such a major project. It took me a year to finish it. It has many beads on it. It can be hung on any side. I am proud of myself for sticking with it and getting it done. The other stitching is a kit that I started a long time ago, put aside and then picked up again. It is supposed to be done with one thread but I did it with two plies as it was too faint with one. I ran out of thread and had to figure out what color floss to replace it with. I'm happy with how it turned out too.
A

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tis the Season







The tour continues of the living room with the other things behind the sofa. This is a miscellaneous group of art. First up is a photo of flowers that I got at the Ann Arbor Art fair and a print of Australian flowers from Aunt Jean. In the next photo is a Hollie Hobbie cross stitch that is donkeys years old (as my MIL would say). The small framed one I gave to my MIL before she passed away. On the right in the next photo is my very first completed watercolor and a favorite subject to paint, pansies. It was good to look at the stuff behind the sofa as I had forgotten about some of the (dusty)things back there. Lastly, there is the bird and strawberry. It is a Just Nan limited addition.

The Fruit Market is now selling Christmas trees. ARGH. It isn't even Thanksgiving yet. My attitude toward Christmas has changed the last few years. It is likely to change (for the better!) again in the next few years with the birth of a granddaughter.
I worked on Buttons and am more than half way done with the Glass buttons page. I am changing some of the stitches on the basket and using some Hand-Dyed premium floss. I bet I can finish it today. Then I will have only one page to go! I worked on several little motifs on My Storybook. I have everything above the name plate done. Now I need to finish the lower half of the front. I backstitched the cottage all around so it would show up more. I still don't like the colors. It would be much cuter in different colors. It would be a darling scissor fob just by itself.
I read about 60 pages in V is for Vengeance. I get working on something and I don't want to stop - be it reading or stitching.
A

Friday, November 18, 2011

F is for Friday








This is the behind the sofa art gallery. I am getting ready to change the pillows on the sofa to Christmas ones. I stitched the Santa design from a Treasures Magazine and I usually leave it up several months as it was such a challenge to stitch. Here is a photo of all the Christmas things.
I got packages yesterday. Fun! The new TV is now set up on the kitchen counter. It looks so nice and we have doubled the usable counter space by moving the hulking dinosaur of our old TV out. I have a stack of new books to read. I started one, V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton. I've read the whole alphabet series. This is the newest book that just came out on Tuesday.
I went to a craft show this morning. The Weaver's Guild had a lot of stuff for sale. I didn't buy anything but I admired some very soft scarves. I am at an age where I don't need anything. Name anything and I probably have at least two. In another room was the Handmade paper guild and the potters sale. I bought a recipe book and a fish plate. I ran into a couple of friends there.
I worked on the Glass Buttons page. It is going well. It is stitched mostly over one. I have changed a few colors, using my Hand-Dyed Fibers. I finally worked my way down to the little house on My Storybook. I love the little house but the colors it is worked in don't make sense to me. I am using the recommended flosses. I hope I don't regret it.
A

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Metal Buttons Done





The living room tour continues with a photo of one of my shelves on the bookcase. DH has the top shelf and has history and technical books on it. He changes out the books on it but I never see him do it. I have the two lower shelves. One has art and collectible books on it and one has junk I have collected over the years. I have 3 little cross stitched dolls from Cross Stitch and Country Crafts Magazine. There is a nice wood box from Sudbury House with a Christmas cross stitch design on the top. The design was a contest winner from CSCC magazine. I've stitched this design at least three times.
My sister tells me that yesterday's watercolor is not my best one, as she has my best one. She is sweet. There are two other photos of framed stitching on the walls but I am ready to switch them out as it is almost Christmas season. The cats in a basket is a very old piece I did maybe twenty years ago. Tomorrow I'll show you the art gallery that is behind the sofa.
Happy dance time! I finished the Metals page on Buttons. Yeah!! I had to take out so much of this page that I'm glad to just put it behind me. The next page will be a lot more fun as it is a basket and leaves.
We ordered the new thin TV for the kitchen counter. What was the deciding factor? Free shipping. It should be here later today. Also my books should arrive today. It's like Christmas around here.
A

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One Trick Pony




The tour of the living room continues! I am not a one trick pony. I do watercolor, needlepoint and many other crafty things. Over the sofa is my best watercolor. It was in the Area Show. I haven't painted in a couple of years but every once in a while I get the urge to just put paint on paper. My painting area is kind of a mess which deters me from painting. I need a maid. One who will follow me around and clean up my messes. There is one last needlepoint pillow in the chair with one of my dolls, Annabelle. My niece once whispered to her mother "She has dolls!" Yes, I have a few.
I stopped by a medical office and got the forms to sign up for a new doctor. I thought it would be difficult. I figured I would be told "Sorry, the doctor isn't taking any new patients". But I just have some forms to fill out and a first appointment.
I worked on the Metals page of Buttons. I am regretting choosing the more difficult stitching scheme as I've had to frog, frog, frog. But I can see some progress so I'm keeping at it. I love the little box that has a rabbit and a dog in it.
I worked a bit on My Storybook. I am stitching a basket with yarn balls in it - for the the second time.
I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is next week. I made a pumpkin pie. I'm the only one around here that likes pumpkin pie. So I froze several pieces. It has been warmer than usual so it doesn't really seem like Thanksgiving time yet.
I should get my order from Barnes & Noble soon. Then I'll have a real dilemma - whether to read or stitch.
A

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Plant the Seed





We are looking for a new TV for the kitchen counter. Yes, I know, a TV in the kitchen is a very bad idea. But it has been a bad idea in our house for nearly 40 years. I suggested last year that we get a thin TV so that more counter space is freed up to work on. The first response from DH is always "No absolutely not". Seed planted. Give it time to grow. Then yesterday DH is looking on the internet for a thin TV. We have found that you can not get a name brand TV that is less than 19". I stopped and looked at what Target has after exercise class this morning. Nothing smaller than 19". Their 19" TVs look so little. DH has come around to my point of view. We can manage a 19" TV on our counter. Maybe we can go get one later today.
I have no doctor. My old doctor retired and didn't even tell me. How rude is that? I try to see him as little as possible. So I'm looking around for some young whippersnapper kid to be my doctor. I need to get a T-DAP shot before the baby gets here. The real trick is to get DH to get a shot. Actually it won't be a trick, it will be a miracle.
Dylan was fun. We played with Snap Circuits and another game. His lunch was appalling. Fish sticks or chicken nuggets with all breading and no meat. Of course he choose the chicken nuggets. He didn't eat the applesauce or wheat roll or carrots smothered in ranch dressing.
I didn't get a lot of stitching done yesterday. I got the name plate stitched on My Storybook on the fourth try. But that's about all I did.
I'm starting my house tour of stitching with my sofa. This sofa is the first piece of furniture DH and I bought. But nobody spends any time in the living room so we aren't really motivated to replace it. I don't do much needlepoint but several of the pillows on the sofa are needlepoint. I hate the pink one but I don't know what else to do with it. I tried to sell it on ebay but it didn't sell. I guess Goodwill is the next stop for it. I change out the pillows seasonally so I have my Shepherd's Bush "Thanksgiving" pillow out. The other pillows next to "Thanksgiving" are some of my favorites. I love anything blue and white. Also, the Marjolein Bastien one is very pretty.
A

Monday, November 14, 2011

Not Lucky





While I was cleaning my bathrooms, I noticed that my Lucky Bamboo doesn't look so lucky any more. It is a least 10 years old and he used to have two friends with him in the vase. I should get him a new friend. I don't have any stitching in my main bathroom I have this neat collage picture that says " I was rich if not in money in sunny hours and summer days and spent them lavishly. Thoreau" I thinking of switching it out as it isn't summer anymore and "sunny" is a rare occurence here.

There are times when I just should not stitch. I keep making the same mistake over and over. Yesterday was one of those days. I stitched part of the nameplate on the front of My Storybook with one strand of floss. It was too light. So I took it out. Then I stitched that same part with two strands of overdyed. When I looked at it, I realized I had used the wrong overdyed. So I took it out. Then I stitched with two strands of the right overdyed. That is when I saw that it was stitched in the wrong place - about 4 stitches too high. So I am taking it out. Again. ARGH.
I started the next page in Buttons. It is the "Metals" page. There are eight frames for buttons to be placed. You can stitch them in tent stitch or a slanted stitch. I am choosing the slanted stitch. There is a cute little box with a couple animals in it. That will be fun to stitch.
I put in some black on the Winter Cottage. Still doesn't look like anything yet.
The bathrooms are clean and my car has gas. I'm going to see Dylan today. I'm going to tell him about my "toy" (my Cricut machine)and then I'll take it next week. He has no idea of all the nifty stuff I have that we can do. I bought a gingerbread house kit for us to do in December.
A