Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Big Adventure and PS July update

I had a big adventure today...at least for me at this time.  I was able to get into the driver's side of the car today and take myself to my hair appointment.  I had a cut and color today.  I wasn't exactly able to put my left foot on the foot rest of the chair but, that was no big deal.  I was done within an hour and a half.  I called the DH (he wants me to say he's handsome) to see if he was available for lunch.  We met at a restaurant and sat outside.  It was really a lovely day and it was very pleasant.  The only problem about sitting outside like that is I have to really sit forward in the chair because I'm short.  Because, I have to do that, the top of the pants and the bottom of the shirt slide apart exposing (gasp) the granny panties.  I just put my purse between me and the back of the chair.  Whew!  Problem solved...I hope.

I have been cruising on the Prairie Schooler July.  Not quite half way but, getting there.  Filling up my TUSAL jar with ORTs.  Once I get the quilt motifs on the bottom, I will be halfway.  I think the crab in the bottom corner is rather handsome.
I need to put out the 4th of July/patriotic pieces and was going to blog about them.  I think that blog will most likely wait until the weekend.

Tomorrow night is Stitching Night at Ann's house and I can drive myself.  Hurray for me!!
Thanks for stopping.  Keep on stitching.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

July PS project update and Chocolate Chip Bars

I was going to start the post with the Prairie Schooler update but, since the pictures came up the way they did I will start with the Chocolate Chip Bars recipe.  I had gotten a Church Cook book when I got my first apartment from my college roommate.  It was a reprint from the original cook book published in 1947.  The recipes are all hand written and illustrated.  These are the best cook books since they are usually tried and true recipes .  I have made a few changes.  
                                          Chocolate Chip Bars              preheat oven to 350
1 cup of shortening (I use butter)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar.  
Cream butter and sugar together.  Add two egg yolks (save the whites).  Sift together 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder and 2 cups flour.  Combine with the creamed butter/sugar.  Spread into a greased 9x13 pan and pat down.  Spread over the top of the crust one 12 oz bag of semi sweet chocolate chips.  
Topping:  Make a meringue with the two egg whites beating with a mixer until stiff peaks a formed.  Add a pinch (yes a pinch) of baking powder and 1 cup of brown sugar.  Spread over the top of the chocolate chips.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Reduce the heat to 300 and bake another 25 minutes until the top is golden brown.  
Since my daughter is showing symptoms of gluten intolerance, I used gluten free flour to make these and they turned out really well.  This is one of my favorite bar recipes.   

 Katy took the bar pictures for me.  They really are yummy!  They sell out fast at bake sales.

Here are the updated pictures of Prairie Schooler July pictures.  It is going quite fast.  I have taken a brief break to work on the top secret Christmas present.  I should be back on track in an hour.

 Pardon the wrinkles and the shadows.  I tried to take the pictures where there was some good natural light.  I have about a quarter of it done all ready.
Kind of a humid, overcast day.  There is a good breeze blowing so it isn't too uncomfortable.  Good day to stitch but, is there ever a bad day to stitch?
Thanks for stopping.  Keep on stitching.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I have added alot of blogs to my list since I have been home and meeting some great people.  I love checking out all the blogs and will do it several times a day.  So for any of you who may read this keep on blogging.  I need something to do.

What caught my eye was TUSAL on Daffycat's Blog:  http://itsdaffycat.blogspot.com/.
It took me a while to figure out what TUSAL meant:  totally useless stitch a long where they are keeping tracked of ORTS.  I have an ORT jar that currently is holding pens, pencils, highlighters and scissors, not really holding ORTS.  I do have a little quilted thing I picked up years ago at a Cross Stitch shop in Cedarburg, WI that holds ORTS and has a pin cushion attached and a magnetic strip.

 This is what I usually put my ORTS in.  For the TUSAL I need a different container.  I just burned a candle for the last time last night and cleaned that out.  It will make the perfect container to hold ORTS.  i have decided to start from the beginning since I am doing as much stitching in one day I think I normally do in one week when I am working.   

I think my family is convinced I have slipped and fallen into the deep end.
Thanks for stopping.  Keep on stitching.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Finished Do Not Worry and ready for a new start.

You think I have nothing better to do than blog.  Mostly I don't.  Between stitching and blogging I am maintaining sanity.  If I stand too long, my knee swells, then it itches and then it gets stiff.  Oh wah!  I finished Do Not Worry.  I made some mistakes but, covered them up.  You should have mistakes in your work since God is the only one who can create something perfect.  If I don't stitch, blog and do my home exercise program, I may be compelled to order some Lipozene.  That could be a disaster.

Here is the finished pictures of Do Not Worry.  I had to change the year on the pattern.  Now I just have to get a frame.  I don't know where I will put it just yet.  That is always the dilemma.   

 The close up of the little bird.
 I am just cruising through stuff right now.  I figured I have time to finish this Prairie Schooler before the Fourth.  I need to get out some of the 4th of July things and move pieces around.  I have all the thread and the fabric so I am good to go.  My daughter really likes the lobster on the smaller piece.  As always I just like the whole thing because I am a Prairie Schooler junkie.  I may have to do a post about that in the future.
Hope you are staying cool.  It is pretty warm here but, suppose to cool down after this front moves through.  Thankfully we have gotten some rain.  We could use more.  
Thanks for stopping.  
Keep on stitching!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Do Not Worry Update

I have been working very diligently on Do Not Worry.  Before I took the blog pictures, I wanted to finish the robin's beak.  I really don't stitch all that much.  Today I only stitched about an hour.  We had gotten movies from the video store, streaming Net Flix really doesn't have many "NEW" releases.  We got The Woman in Black.  If you like spooky movies, this one is for you.  It made me jump several times and that's hard to do.  Back to the topic.  I hope that I will be done with this soon and be able to move on to something new.  Other than therapy, right now that is the high light of my day.  
Close up of Do Not Worry.  I really think this is turning out terrific with the over dye thread.  Below, it is the angle shot trying to get artsy fartsy like the big guys.

While we were eating dinner tonight, we had all kinds of action at the bird feeders.  I think we had a pair of Scarlet Tangers.  The bird's head was red and it wasn't a cardinal or a wood pecker.  And then there were two pairs of gold finches were eating the seeds from this plant.  It is a Corn Flower.  It is amazing how light those birds must be because the stems don't bend down. 

Then I walked around a little more and took a few more pictures of what is blooming in the backyard.  I have three different roses in the backyard.  I really don't know what kind this is.  I had gotten it from my mother-in-law a few years ago.  These only bloom for about a month.  They will hold up a few days after being cut.  And they do have a little scent.  We had torrential downpours this afternoon so everything is still quite wet.  

  This rose bush have kind of taken over the area where the Coral Bells were planted.  In the fall or early next spring, I am going to move the Coral Bells some where, don't know where yet.  We are talking about another raised bed next to the shed.  That may be a good spot.  

 The red rose is a ground rose and this will bloom all summer.  It is the rose next to the poppy and really took off once I moved the poppy next to it.  It loves the shade from the poppy and has really thrived since they became neighbors.
 I have two of these bushes, Virginia Roses.  They grow like nuts and my husband is hell bent on trimming them to the ground.  Some day I may take to the pruners to him (LOL).  People have stopped me from watering to find out about them.  I have given many babies away.  Some years they are a mass of pink roses.  Too bad they don't bloom longer than they do.
Thanks for checking up on me.  Haven't caused too much trouble yet.  I am starting to get antsy.  I may just make a trip to Walmart on Thursday to get out of the house.
Keep on stitching.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I Cross Stitch! June Cleaver did Needlepoint

The current blog question from Stitching the Night Away

Do you experience this same assumption from society in general that just because you’re being crafty you’re also driven by some unseen force to be in constant 1950s housewife mode? and then…. Who actually does the cooking and the cleaning in the household? I’d also really like to hear some words from the men in the crowd who stitch on this topic. What sort of societal reactions do you get and what ridiculously wrong assumptions do people make towards you when they see you working on needlework?

I am far from a 1950's housewife.  At this point my house is a disaster since the kids are home from college and I am recovering from knee surgery.  When things are "normal", I now do the majority of the housework.  When the kids were home they did it to earn extra cash.  (I always told them I didn't need a paper route.  I already have a job.  So cleaning was a win-win.)  The husband will do dishes and other chores if asked.  He does do all the yard work except the flower beds.  He has stepped up to the plate during this time to help with laundry and grocery shopping.   I think he is ready for things to go back to the way they were before my surgery.  

The most interesting response I have gotten over the years was when I was in Fort Lauderdale, FL visiting my sister.  She thought it would be a treat for me to visit her favorite needlepoint store. It was filled with quite lovely, handpainted canvases a bit out of my price range.  (That was one of the reasons I started cross stitching in 1982, was I needed an inexpensive hobby since I had just graduated from college and had my first apartment.  Not so cheap now, haha).  I made the comment that I cross stitch.  I was promptly informed, "Oh dear, cross stitch is just a craft.  Needlepoint is artwork."  I am still trying to figure that one out.  Maybe the hand painted canvases were "artwork" but, if it isn't originally your artwork then isn't it also a craft when you stitch it?

So check out all the blogs at Blog Hop at Stitching the Night Away
Thanks for stopping and keep on stitching.  I will, I don't care what anybody thinks.  I am the stitching honey badger.  


Friday, June 15, 2012

Concrete Legos and Project Updates

It seems like it has been a busy week around here even though it doesn't seem like I have accomplished much.  The road construction is noisy and dirty.  We can't leave too many windows open.  It is kind of interesting but, it isn't right.  They a suppose to have cut down the hill since is the second highest intersection for accidents.  Your view is impeded by the hill.  And, there is a retaining wall being built at the south end of our yard.  The retaining wall is five feet at the highest point.  This is an accident waiting to happen, with a kid falling off of it or a great place for graffiti.  The blocks are interesting. They have got to be two to three feet by four feet and look like giant concrete legos.  I think they are too big for a residential area.  What do I know, I'm not an engineer.  I do know that what I see looks pretty bad.  I should have posted a picture of that.  The DH is on the war path.  
 On a brighter note....the peonies are in full swing.  Katy picked some and brought them in for me to enjoy.  I think we had a bigger crop last year.  I love peonies.  I wish there would last longer.  I think my favorite is the lighter pink one.  The pink gets darker as it gets closer to the center of the flower.
 The pictures really don't do them justice.  Maybe someday I will invest in a better camera.
 The darker pink one is a little on the down slide but, still pretty.
 I did get out and about yesterday with Katy and did a few small errands.  We went to the bank, and Twisted Sisters the bead store.  They had just returned from the Bead Show and had all kinds of new stuff.  It was very exciting  I picked up a few small things for additional Christmas projects....to be disclosed later.  I will have to post about the other things I got...multi colored beads and some silver beads.  We ended our rounds at Pet Supply to pick up dog food for the super Shih Tzu.  He had a trip to the groomers earlier in the week.  We have tried a new groomer and it has been a match made in heaven.  Notice the groovy bandana she put on him.  Very Psychadelic.  Anyway, he was due for a new toy and he does like to play tug-a-war.  A loofah seemed to fit the bill.  He decided to take a little siesta with Loofah Louie.
 I am finishing cross stitch things.  I did finish all the cross stitching on my sister's birthday present.  I need to put it together.  I won't be able to post about that until she gets it since she is a member of my blog and I don't want to ruin the suprise.  I am hoping it comes out looking good.  Finishing is not always my forte.  I have a hard time with corners.

I have been working on Silver Creek Samplers Do Not Worry and that is going fast.  This one I will most likely frame.

Therapy is going good.  I hit a 106 degrees of knee flexion (bending).  I need to ask them what they are shooting for.  I was told that once I get to 110 I will be getting on a stationary bike....oh joy!

Kind of rainy and dreary this morning.  Suppose to be a rainy weekend...I guess I will just have to stitch.

Thanks for stopping.  Keep on stitching!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

FYI a blog giveaway At Willow Tree Pond

Just letting you all know that Teresa at www.atwillowtreepond.blogspot.com is having a drawing in honor of having 300 members. Check it out! Fabulous prizes! And I am totally jealous of her retreat!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Some Cheese with that Whine?

I am just crabby today.  Thankfully, we have central air otherwise I would be really crabby since it is 90 degrees outside.  I know things will start feeling better but, I just don't sleep.  So, I am crabby.  I should have some cheese with this whine.

On the upside, have started the decoy cross stitch project while I am doing birthday presents and Christmas presents.  This is so I have something to blog about.  I ordered this a while ago from Shakespeare's Peddler and she had done a conversion to overdyes from DMC and I really liked it.

 It is really stitching up quick since I just started it yesterday.  Not sure what I will do with it when I'm done.  The colors do fit in well with the general color scheme in our house.
I was really surprised yesterday when the mail came and I had gotten my order from Country Stitches, the new pattern from With Thy Needle and Thread.  This is the one that uses the 12 ounce Whitman Sampler Box.  I can't wait to sink my teeth into this one but, it is going to have to wait until some of these other projects are off the hopper.  

 There is the pattern for the box cover, huswife, pin keep and a scissors case.  I am looking forward to this.  It will truly be a keepsake when it is done.
 The threads for the piece.  Of course my pictures never really do it justice.
Finally the chenile as a finish for box top.  I really love the chenile as a finish.  The color is also a little over exposed in the picture but it is a bluish green over dye and truly lovely.  

I must end now because the good ole/new knee is squawking.  
Thanks for stopping and keep on stitching.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Finish and Top Secret Projects

So moving right along on the recovery process but it is slow going.  Maybe the Prairie Schooler Tortoise and the Hare was prophetic.  Slow and Steady wins the race.  I think the worst thing with the process is that I can't really be on my feet longer than 10-15 minutes without the knee swelling like a balloon.  I use the ice as fast as my ice maker can produce it.  I have been getting in a lot of quality stitching time in between the exercise sessions.  I finished the Tortoise and the Hare.  I haven't pressed it or mounted it yet.  Had I been thinking, I would have cut a bunch of cardboard before the surgery.  I'll get to it.
 Now, I'm working on Christmas gifts.  Since they are top secret, because you never know who is visiting, I can only show you the color of the thread.  I will post pictures after the holidays.
 These are the supplies for my sister's birthday present.  Can't show the picture of that but, I will after she gets it....in July.
I will have to start another project so I have something to post.

I have been waiting for the new With Thy Needle and Thread pattern to be released for the 12 ounce Whitman Sampler Box.  She posted it this week.  Here is the link to website.  I just love it!
http://www.countrystitchesonline.com/catalog.php?category=6 . I had to order the pattern.  I can hardly wait to see it in person.

Thanks for stopping.  Keep on stitching.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tortoise Update and General Stuff

I am nearly finished with the Tortoise and the Hare.  I have had to do a little more frogging than usual but, I am blaming it on the pain medication.  I only took a half of one prior to therapy today.  That story will follow.   Back to the topic at hand, so initially I did the slow & steady wins the race in the pink color.  I didn't realize it was the wrong color until I was all done with the lettering.  It was a whole night's work.  I have a few more days work left on it.  I will iron it when I'm done.  
 I even had stitching group at my house last week.  Bob just pushed a recliner to the dining room table and my Ott light and I was good to go.  We did have some issues.  I was going to have my daughter bake a cake but, when it came time to turn on the oven it was a no go.  Fortunately, it only needed to be reset.  I really kind of like that stove...it has dials and not a computerized controls.  I figured when I bought it, it was less to go wrong.

Stuff is starting to bloom in the garden.  I would take more pictures but, it is still a little tricky getting around and my knee swells if I do too much.  Here is the first poppy of the season.  I love poppies.  Too bad they don't last longer than they do.  The first time it bloomed a few years ago, it was only one flower.  I had moved the plant all over to find the right spot.  When it did finally bloom, I excitedly called everyone to see it.  As I was doing that, my big dog walked past it and just chomped the flower off.  I was a little miffed but, it was really funny.  I still miss that big dog.

Such a happy flower.  In the bottom left corner is a ground rose, and the two of them love being next to each other.  The rose has thrived in the shadow of the poppy.

And today was the first day of outpatient Physical Therapy.  I can completely straighten my knee and I have 87 degrees of flexion.  According to my therapist, I am on schedule.  I thought I was doing very well.  It is rather sore tonight so I doubt I will do much more than ice and maybe do a prolonged flexion stretch.  I did bring a treat.  I also work in this Rehab department.  I  was accused of bribing him to not inflict pain.  I made a rhubarb cake.  This is a very old recipe I got from my grandmother years ago.  It is by far the best rhubarb cake on the face of the earth.  Here is the recipe.

Rhubarb Cake
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 pan
1/2 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 c. flour
1 c. buttermilk
2 c. peeled and chopped rhurbarb (1/4-1/2")

1/4 c. white sugar  and 2 tsp. cinnamon mixed together

Cream shortening and brown sugar.  Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Add the salt and baking soda, 1/2 the flour and 1/2 the buttermilk, beat in and then add the rest.  Beat well.  Fold in the rhubarb.  Spread into the greased pan.  Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the top.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

It is more like a coffee cake.  It is positively delish!  It only took me three hours to do it this morning.  I could only do a little at a time to give my knee a chance to recover.  The worst is sleeping at night because everytime you move, it hurts.  It is overall getting better.  At least I can stitch.

Thanks for stopping.  Keep on stitching.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Who Really Needs a Goal for a Reward

The latest entry for Stitching the Night Away blog hop:  
Do you set stitching goals for yourself and how do you plan them out? (Weekly, monthly, annually?) What are your current stitching goals (if you don’t mind sharing)?
In addition to setting goals for yourself, do you have a special reward that you reserve for when you reach a stitching goal?

This is by the far the hardest question I face.  I get asked this every year with my work performance appraisal.  The answer that always comes to mind is "not to kill one of my co-workers and keep putting money in my retirement account so I can retire as soon as possible."  Luckily, I don't get fired.  I think my boss could kill one of my co-workers too!

So, when it comes to cross stitch goals, the only ones I set are the ones that I'm doing as a gift.  Usually, the ones that I have to set goals for, is the projects I do for my stitching groups Christmas presents.  I start looking in January to see if there is something that really pops, that isn't too complicated and I won't lose interest in because I do at least four.  If it is something I really like, I will do one for myself.  Sometimes, I bite off more than I can chew.  One year, I started a Just Nan box.  It was too much work.  i think I did one and chucked the whole thing because it was just too much.  I try to start early enough, usually the summer so that I don't resent the project.  I also mix it in with other projects to avoid boredom.  
I usually don't set goals for stitching.  I want it to be fun.  It is my therapy but, I can't say its cheaper than Prozac but has fewer side effects.  
I don't have goals but, I have a box full (and I mean a Banker Box FULL) of projects, some just patterns, others are kitted up.  I rarely have more than one or two projects going at once.  I'm very pragmatic.  I like to finish things.  I like to see progress.  

 Seventy five projects but, some of these are multiples...Prairie Schooler so more than that number.
Possibly the next one's in the hopper while doing the Christmas projects.  
As far as rewards, I can always find something to reward myself at the cross stitch store or website.  There will always be a hank of overdyed that tickles my fancy, a Prairie Schooler pattern or some embellishment that I can reward myself.  There is always a reason for a reward.