Monday, April 25, 2011


I am done stitching the bonbon box and I started putting it together. I haven't done anything by this designer before so I was interested in the finishing directions. They are pretty good, although I think there is a mistake in them. I'm hoping I can find a piece of wood for the bottom of the box. I might stop at Michael's after I see Halona and see what they have. It is becoming harder and harder to find crafty stuff and I don't cut wood. Maybe I should learn.
I picked up something that I had kitted up and started it. For some unknown reason, I like Little House Needlework designs but hate stitching them. But this design was just what I was looking for. Something easy and a bit mindless and no over-one stitching. It will be a needlebook when it is done.
My bathrooms are done and I have many little things to check on, pack and recharge for my trip tomorrow. I'm trying not to be nervous!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Tisket A Tasket

I miss not making up Easter Baskets. I miss the candy mainly. I would love a chocolate covered marshmallow bunny. Yum. I wonder if Walgreens is open. No, no, no. I am being good today. We are having French Rack of Lamb for dinner. I made a recipe from the new cookbook I got called Small Batch Baking. I made brownies. Three brownies. But it seems silly to go to all the trouble it would take for a big batch, cook it just as long and only end up with three measly brownies. They were good. DH pointed out that I wouldn't have to throw any away.
I worked on the fourth side of the bonbon box. It is almost done. I was kind of goofing around with the design in the circle. I tried stitching the same basket as in the first side but stitched it over two instead of one. I crossed a few of those stitches and I wove a thread under a few stitches. I like how it turned out. After that I started making up flowers and leaves in the basket.
Every year I think I will go over and sing the Hallelujah Chorus with the choir at the end of Easter Service. But when push came to shove, I didn't. Maybe next year. I sing and hum along (don't know all the words) anyway.
Happy Easter!
Lauren, I like your new photo.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Every day is Saturday according to my retired DH. I am officially stretched out from Pilates. I worked on the circle design on side three of the Bonbon box and finished it up. Now on to side four. I am kind of bored with the design but think I can pick up speed just seeing that I am almost done with the stitching. I haven't read the directions yet to the finishing part. I am itching to work on something else as this is all over-one stitching. We'll see if I can contain myself.
The sun is shining today. Puts me in a better mood right off the bat.
The AARP magazine has a whoopie pie recipe in it that I want to try. I have to see if the buttermilk I have in the fridge is dead or not. I haven't cooked in a few days and I almost want to. Almost.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Side Three

I am back working on the bon bon box. I have to decide what goes in the circle. I can repeat the flower basket or pick something new. I went looking for some Floss-Away Bags after exercise class. I didn't find any at my LNS, JoAnn's or Michael's. So I will look for them while shopping at Celebrations. I found a cute little Ott light at Michael's and it was half price. It is very small, portable and $10. Wow. I saw it on someone's blog and thought it would be really handy to take with me on my trips. It even clips on. How could I resist? I kitted up some small projects for traveling. I plan to iron today so that I can get some packing done. It is another rainy day. I curled my hair for the first time since getting it cut on Tuesday and I like how it is cooperating. My hair has been uncooperative for most of my life. So this is a miracle.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

I finished the Blue Ribbon Sewing Box and have set it aside until class in June. I'm hoping Sheri has a couple of co-ordinating kits to go with it or I won't have much more than gluing to do during the day long class. I did a few fly stitches over the strawberry's leaves. They look much better. I didn't do them all so I could have something to do during class. I was rooting around for something to work on or kit up. I came across a kit I bought on ebay that looked cute. It is a thimble holder shaped like a shoe. I decided to try it since all the stuff was in the kit to do it. I didn't have to go looking for stuff. It wasn't easy to finish. I hadn't made the picot stitches (leaves) before so I learned something. I put twisted cord around the edge as it made the edge look more even and finished. I should go back and work on the other box I was working on before the pre-stitching came in the mail. I almost forget what threads I was using. I should write this info down somewhere.
I am almost too excited to stitch. With Celebrations coming up in just a few days, I need to get ready. Make lists. Pack. Lose 30 pounds. Etc.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I got the pockets sewn to the back panels of checked silk. I had to back track a bit when the magnets repelled each other. Duh. I stitched the band that goes around the pyn pillow and am stitching that together. I made the tiny little strawberry. The twisted cord on it is made with only 4 strands of silk. I messed up the first one so had to try again (story of my life). I am thinking of doing the fly stitch over the leaves for some texture. I think I will be finished with the Blue Ribbon Sewing Box today. I have had the kit for barely 2 weeks so it went together pretty quickly and I enjoyed it very much.
DH is going to drag out the suitcases today. I'll have to start thinking of what I want to pack.
I should make a list of stuff I want to buy while I am at Celebrations. I got the Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose chart and it takes about 100 colors of floss. I'll have to sit down with my big bin of floss and see how many I can find, label and bag. I need to check and see if I have a big piece of 32 count to do it on. I wish I knew what kind of fabric the BRSB is done on as I really like that linen. Time to get to work!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Perfect Day

Yesterday was a perfect day. I got done with the bathrooms 15 minutes early. (I have it timed. It takes an hour and a half to do both of them, but I can only start when DH gets his lazy behind out of bed!) Then I got in a little stitching time before going to see Halona. She liked making crepe paper flowers and asked me to bring it back next week. Then we got three things we ordered in the mail. I love mail. And lastly, we went out to eat at a pizza joint where I had a rootbeer float for dessert. Oh, then I came back to watch Dancing With the Stars. Wasn't Kirsty's outfit awful?!?
I finished the top of the pyn pillow but when I got done I realized that I had used the WRONG COLOR for the initals and around the bird. No way am I going to take it out. I like the color around the bird, makes it look like a bird cage. I am thinking of stitching another top and getting the colors right this time. But I'm not sure what I will do. I made the panels that go behind the pockets. It sure takes a long time to do the lacing and sewing on the magnets that will hold the box closed. I still have to sew the pockets to their backing panels. It is a rainy day. I got my hair trimmed and so I am ready for my trip. 7 days!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oh No Snow!

What a way to start off the week - with several inches of snow! Forsythia bushes up the street are blooming but all covered with snow. April 18th and it is snowing. Luckily the temperature is warm enough that the snow is melting off the roads. I think it will be no problem driving out to Halona's school this afternoon. I dug out an old Martha Stewart kit for making crepe paper flowers. We'll see if she is game.
I had a weak moment. I love the paintings of John Singer Sargent. Combine those two unlikely facts and you come up with me ordering a new chart. I have been looking at the Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose chart on Scarlet Quince for a long time, wondering if I could stick with a huge detailed chart like that. I stitched a small Heaven and Earth Designs chart just to see how it went. 7000 stitches later I was disappointed to find you couldn't even tell what the image was. So do I take a chance that this chart will be different? Well, I guess the answer is yes since I bought the chart. Like I need another big project.
I am working on the "pyn pillow" for the Blue Ribbon Sewing Box. It is fun to see how it is turning out. This is a fun project. I have to think about packing for Celebrations. I am so excited to be leaving in a week! I am a lucky girl.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pocket #2

I finished the Tea Time Basket! It is all sewn together and ready for display. It turned out nicely but it wasn't a fun stitch. Tedious is the word that comes to mind. But I am very glad to have finished it. Since I am done with that, I can move on to more fun projects, like the Blue Ribbon Sewing Box. It is going too fast. I finished the second pocket and am almost done sewing it together. The last thing left to stitch is the mattress style pyn pillow. I haven't made a mattress style pincushion before so it will be good to see how it goes together. I did make a heart by Lauren Sauer but the directions were so bad and the fit so off, it doesn't count.
We saw a few flakes of the white stuff yesterday but it is all gone.
I found some small projects to take on my trips and now I have to see if I have the threads for them. I think I need another bin just for leftover threads. The floor of my sewing room is littered with them. Literally.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

And the Band Played On

I got the second band of the Tea Time Basket done! I am making the lining. I have about one third of it sewn to the basket. It is a tightly woven basket and not easy to stitch the band to. Then I have to sew the bands to the basket and it will be done done done. Yea!
It is Saturday and I am good, I went to pilates this morning. It is rainy and yucky out today. I want to kit up some stash for when I am traveling. I have some new small things that would be perfect for the airport or plane stitching.
I have this stuff I make at Christmas. You just melt white chocolate chips and pour it over broken pretzels, broken oreos and peanuts. I saw an etsy shop with similar goodies and got an idea to try a variation of my Christmas stuff. I had some mint chocolate chips that I bought at Christmastime by accident. I melted them and poured them over broken pretzels, animal cookies and mini flavored marshmallows. It's good believe it or not. Of course, DH won't touch it. On another blog I saw a recipe from the book "Small Batch Baking" and was intrigued. That's what I need. There are only two of us and most times making a batch of something like biscuits, I end up throwing away all but two of them. So I ordered that book. Of course it could be dangerous to be able to make just two brownies.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Very Nearly

I am very nearly done stitching the second band of the Tea Time Basket. I have only a strawberry full of queen stitches and eyelets (over 2 ugh) to do. I will be proud of myself when I get this all done. That is what we are taught to say to kids at school who show us their work, "you must be very proud of yourself". Then I can work on BRSB's second pocket which I find very enjoyable.

I went to the mall. I shouldn't have gone. I was feeling like spending money. But Macy's had a sale - on a Diana ring. I got the one I bought on ebay. I like it but it is too big. So I went to Macy's to see if I like the one they had on sale better. I liked it enough to buy it. Then I had to walk down to the Christopher & Banks store to see if the shorts they had were still on sale. Tops and bottoms (nearly everything in the store) was 50% off. So I went crazy. But I got a lot of stuff for not a lot of money. I needed to replace many of my old ratty tops anyway. I looked for something special to wear to Alex's wedding but didn't find anything good enough to try on. (It would have to be very nice for me to want to try it on!)

I have an appointment to get my hair trimmed next Tuesday. I like to do that before I go on a special trip. I have three trips in the next month or so. I am excited about Celebrations coming up so quickly. I just saw that they have a Midwest show planned for September. Hmmmm...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

To the Left

I finished the right section of the second band of Tea Time Basket. I have no idea what "ancora imparo" means. I think it tells what it means in the directions somewhere. So on to the left section. I have a good start. I want to do all the easy and quicker parts first before the eyelets and queen stitches.
I sewed the pin keep together. So I have three parts of the BRSB done. I started the second pocket and changed the hemstitching thread. I think it looks neater to use the pearl cotton. I should get my airplane tickets and hotel reservations for this trip in June. It's hard to think about it when I have two trips to go on (Celebrations and Alex's Wedding) before that.
We ordered some new towels. Our old ones are thin and worn out. It is great that at eleven o'clock at night when you take a shower and decide that you need new towels, you can just go on the Internet and buy some. Then decide your kid needs some too and get some sent to him. Although in some ways it is too easy to spend money on a whim (or when you're mad, or when you're excited...etc).
Exercise class has been packed this week. You would think it was January.
I like Beyonce's song "To the Left" I may download it. I downloaded Paul Simon's new album but haven't listened to it yet. It got a good review in USA Today. I'm not sure I like any of this year's Idols. I missed the last few minutes of Top Chef Masters so I don't know who went home.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pin Keep

I couldn't resist! I wanted to work on the BRSB pin keep and so I did. I finished it and now I need to finish-finish it. I love the sweet little design. I kept getting off on that little blue bird. It should have been simple to stitch. But I had to frog it several times. It is ready to be pressed and sewn together. Only two parts are left to stitch: the slightly larger pocket and the pin cushion.

I stitched on the Tea Time Basket second band but got to a tedious part, the eyelets over two threads. Ugh. I don't know why but I am drawn to Barbara Jackson designs. It certainly isn't the thread or the specialty stitches. I think part of it is the color. The colors she uses just appeal to me. Unfortunately my camera doesn't reflect the true colors. Yellow has turned pink again.

I have a pimple. It is right in the middle of my forehead. I have Clearasiled it and Neosporined it so it is on its way out of sight. I am too old for this sort of thing.
It is a nice day. It started out cold (32 degrees) but it is going to be 60.
Goals for today:
Sew together the BRSB pin keep
See how far I can get stitching the right of center Tea Time Basket
Sweep the kitchen floor and, if I have enough energy, wash it
All the laundry
Maybe homemade pizza for dinner.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Second Verse Same as the First

That's a quote from Herman's Hermits song "I'm Henry the Eighth I am". I am giving away my age. I worked on the second band of the Tea Time Basket and finished the center section and am on to the right section. A bunch of queen's stitches will slow me down. I really would rather stitch on BRSB but I want to get the Tea Time Basket done.
Kohl's and TJ Maxx didn't have any Diana rings so I bought one on ebay. It will be interesting to see what it looks like in person. Since it only cost 8.95, it should be made of plastic. It will be fun to wear and/or use as a scissors fob. While I was at Kohl's I was able to try on a few rings to find out what my finger size is. It turned out to be way bigger than I thought my dainty ring finger was. Maybe my ring finger isn't really dainty but old, wrinkled, arthritic and swollen.
Halona and I finished the birdhouse. She described her spring break to me. I wish her life was less chaotic. We don't have too many more times to meet before the school year is over. She is going to a different school next year so I won't see her after this school year. I have been her mentor for 4 years.
I tried to get a better picture today by taking it in a sunny spot. Are the colors better? No, the vine doesn't even look green. But at least the yellow bottom border doesn't look pink. I guess you just have to use your imagination on my pics.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sweet Things

I love how the BRSB is turning out. I finished the first pocket and the needlebook yesterday. Darling! A designer has very good directions when your stitching turns out looking as good as hers. I am going to have to lay a book on the needlebook so that it doesn't hang open. But I like seeing the little gold needle, tiny circular button and the scalloped needle page. Scallop scissors were kind of expensive but I love how nice it looks. I first saw them used in a Jackie DuPlessis project and spent a while looking for them. Finally I had to order them. The scallop scissors designed for scrapbooking just aren't sharp enough to cut wool or felt nicely. There is also a cutter blade that is scalloped but good luck finding that in a store.
I worked a teeny bit on Tea Time Basket. I have only the two over-one ladies left to do in the center section. But I have to work under a magnifying glass to avoid mistakes. Taking out over-one stitching is a *itch. Excuse my French. I started the pin keep for the BRSB but I screwed up the bird and am taking part of it out.
My bathrooms are clean. Yea!
Gay Ann Rogers has a new design out in honor of the Royal Wedding. I would like to design my own using old Sajou patterns of flourishes and crowns. She has a great idea of using a "Diana Ring" at the end of a beaded scissors fob. Cute. I want to stop by Kohl's and see if they have a cheap knock off of a Diana Ring. There are a ton of them on ebay but I don't know what size my finger is in case I want to wear it.

These pictures don't show the real colors. The leaves are green. I just now realize that I forgot to put in the gold in the bird's beak. I'll have to go back and do that.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I stitched most of the BRSB needlebook yesterday. I wanted to get to the bird and see how that turned out. It is going very well. I'm not sure I am doing the stem stitch properly but it is looking okay. When I am done stitching it, I can cut it out and sew the two halves together. I really like it. I don't think I will have much trouble getting the BRSB done by June 9 when I go to the class.

For three years in a row, my mother has given us some sort of drink maker for Christmas. I have given one away, taken one to Goodwill, and this year's I tried to sell on ebay. When it didn't sell, I opened the box and actually tried it. DH saw it reviewed in Consumer Reports as a very good blender. So I tried the Ninja Master Prep (what a name). It works very well. It can pulverize ice cubes easily and quickly. I love frozen style drinks, so I have used this everyday since I opened and tried it. I should try something besides ice cubes. I may make some ham salad with it today. Ice cubes are good since I just rinse it out and don't have to actually wash it.

I changed a diaper. I haven't changed a diaper in a couple of decades. I worked in the church nursery today. One of the other ladies called my name and said "Cooper needs a change." She didn't want to do it and guess who got elected? It wasn't bad.

Spring Break is over and I will see Halona tomorrow. We will finish painting the birdhouse. I am wearing shorts for the first time this year! It's not pretty but it is comfortable.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I got the BRSB pocket stitched. I love it. I threaded the ribbon through it and it is beautiful. I am contemplating cutting it out, interfacing it and stitching it together. I have one more pocket to do and I started the backstitching around it. I am thinking of doing the hemstitching with like 642 #12 pearl cotton instead of the medium brown silk floss. I think it would look neater. Then I started the long armed border stitch for the needlebook.
I went back and finished sewing on the bias edging on the Tea Time Basket. I put a few stitches into the second band. Maybe it would be good to set a goal of finishing the center section this weekend. I need to read the directions for stitching the basket lining. I have figured in my head how I could do it, but it never hurts to see how BJ says to do it.
It is supposed to be 80 degrees tomorrow. Wow, that will feel hot!
Life is good.

Friday, April 8, 2011


I was tickled pink when the mail came yesterday and the prestitching for the Blue Ribbon Sewing Box arrived. Yeah! I can get started. I dropped the Tea Time Basket like a hot potato and started on the BRSB. I am trying to do this perfectly. The first part is one of two pockets for the inside. The kit seems to included everything except the wooden box. I got about half done with the first pocket. It is cute! I am glad I was working on my other box as the leaves are very similar one-over-one. I am glad I have stitched a lot of Drawn Thread designs and have experience making jessica stitches. BRSB uses jessica stitches for the blue flowers but calls it the "overlap stitch". I am enjoying stitching this very much.
I went to the fabric store and got the doo-hickey I was looking for. In fact, I got two different sizes, 3/4 " and 1", just to make sure I had the right size proportionately. I decided on the 3/4" size and have about one third of it sewn on.
I made cherry chip cupcakes last night with yummy chocolate icing. I wanted to try something I had heard about watching Paula Deen. She mentioned to a guest cook that she also always uses buttermilk instead of water in cake mixes. So I wanted to try that. With the cherry chip, it tastes much less sweet but rich. I kinda like the regular way as I have a sweet tooth the size of Texas.
It's a rainy day but I don't care I have so much I want to stitch.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I can't find my bias tape maker doo-hickey. It drives me crazy when I can't find something. I know I have it. It exists somewhere. Just not anywhere I have looked. So I gave in and after aerobics I stopped by Jo-Ann's to get a new one. But they didn't have the right size. ARGH. So now do I go to the other fabric store? Probably. I want to edge my Tea Time Basket band with bias tape made from the lining fabric. I am making slow progress on the second band. I had to frog the over-one saying several times. But now that is done and I am on to the vine which is going much faster. While I was looking for the doo-hickey, I ran across a bag of round robin kits from Celebrations 2009. I tried to sort them into "Yes, I'd like to make this someday" and "No I probably won't make this but I'll keep the linen and floss". The remaining round robins from last year are still on my sewing room floor. I'm a slob. Just seeing the kits reminds what fun it is to get a bunch of little projects. Celebrations will be so fun - 19 days!
Looking for the doo-hickey helped me clean out a few things. School stuff that I never use I need to donate to Halona's school or my old school. I made some piles of stuff. What am I going to do with 34 maps of the world to color?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hoping for Mail

I got the motif done on side two of the box I am stitching. I like how it turned out. It is not always easy to get the right size. I stitched this over one.
For my Tea Time Basket, I graphed out my name - and misspelled it ! (I put in an extra "i") So had to fix that. So I am ready to get started on stitching the right side of center. It appears that the basket liner is made in two strips. So when I get the right side of center done, I will have finished one whole strip. I actually think I can get this done before Celebrations.
I am hoping for some great mail this week:
1 - Celebrations registration confirming I got the classes I wanted
2- Order from Stitching Bits and Bobs (I won't hold my breath on this one)
3- Frames for Leda and two old projects
4- Pre-Stitching for Blue Ribbon Sewing Box. I got an order form for scrims for the box. They are very expensive but gorgeous, I ordered some but not all of them.
The bathrooms are clean but I don't have to see Halona today as it is Spring Break. For Mother's Day we are going to make some hand lotion out of aloe, petroleum jelly, baby lotion and Vitamin E. We'll put it into small jars and Halona can give it to several people besides her mom (Nana, principal, Grandma, etc.)
Our crocuses are starting to bloom. It was 60 outside this morning. Wow. Sure looks like it could rain.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

To the Mermaid

Yes! I made it to the mermaid. The bad news is that I discovered a mistake in the border. I am not going to change it. It is what it is. I have only a few more stitches to finish the left of center section. Queen stitch strawberries and a sailor. Then on to the right of center section which also has a mermaid at the end.
I am nearly finished with the saying on side two of the box. I think I have a motif for the circle. That is my goal for the day: to get the motif done, so that side two will be finished.
I watched the whole first disc of In Treatment. Not much on TV Saturday afternoons or evenings.
It is chicken in the crock pot today. Easy-peasy.
I loaned a set of my phonics practice readers (books) to another mentor and she used them each week with her mentee who has a speech impediment and difficulty reading. He made great progress with the readers and now needs the next set. I am so glad the readers can help. My friend Donnie is also using a set with her mentee. They are short enough that the kids don't mind reading them. Especially if you give them a piece of your old leftover Halloween candy.
I didn't get to reading yesterday. I told myself that at 4:30 I would stop and read for half an hour. But I was heavily into stitching - almost done with something - so I didn't stop. I definitely am going to take some time to read today. I already finished my Sudoku.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday, Saturday

I'm good. I went to pilates this morning. I didn't want to. I wanted to stitch. But I knew it would be good for me. So now I can goof. I stitched again on the box and Tea Time Basket. I finished the center section of Tea Time Basket. I have a little momentum now. I want to get to the mermaids in the sections on either side of the center section. I stitched the second side of the box. I stem stitched the center circle as the pattern directed and I like it way better than the cross stitched one I did on the first side. I think I will take the first one out and do the stem stitch. I am working on the verse and it is going well. I don't like the bird in the circle so I am looking for a similar design to replace it with.
I got the first season of In Treatment. 9 DVDs. 5 epidsodes per DVD. So I have something to watch this weekend when there isn't anything decent on TV. I want to read some today, too. I am still only halfway through "Cutting for Stone" and I want to finish it.
Trying to avoid the "s" word in the forecast.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Microscopic Dog

I'm working at what seems like a snail's pace. I have almost gotten the center section done on Tea Time Basket. I just have to finish the over one couple with their dog. I really like the dog. IRL, I am scared of dogs. This one is so tiny.
I finished one side of the box. I stitched the "wrought by" straight from the chart and it just isn't centered. Then I tried to center my name and messed that up too. Taking out over one is so hard. I don't want to do it again. I am trying to convince myself that the uncenteredness lends a bit of charm to the design. Ha. I'm going to stitch the next side and then see how I feel. It has a saying on it that isn't centered either. What is weird about these pictures is that the post-it note and the bottom border of Tea Time Basket are yellow. I don't know why the camera makes them look pink.
I went to the dentist yesterday. The hygienist says my yellow teeth look beautiful. I'll take what I can get. I felt so bad last time when I forgot the appointment (it was during The Young and the Restless) and was really late. I'll never be late again. Unfortunately, I have to have a filling replaced next Wednesday. But we are trying to avoid having to get a crown on that tooth. The older I get, the more I appreciate my teeth. So many people have gaps where their teeth should be. Some people have more tattoos than teeth. Teeth are a better investment.
It's April. I'll have to change my calendar. 25 days till Celebrations!