Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rhubarb Stickywicket

With the help of Bob, we got the Coral Bells moved.  In the spot where they were, they were about to be over run by some roses.  We moved them on the other side of the Potentilla.  I'm sure they will be happier there.  Then Bob (uninstructed to do so) decided to dig up some of the new rose plants that were too close to the house...and the ones that weren't so close.  Who knows what will happen now.  The Coral Bells are thriving.  
 We have a Crab Apple tree that really hasn't been doing all the well.  It was professionally planted about 8 years ago.  It wasn't the tree we had picked out and payed for.  We also had two Maples planted at the same time in the front of the house.  When we came home from work that day, we found an apple tree in the backyard where a light pink Crab Apple was suppose to be.  We had to call the garden center that put them in to come back with the right tree.  It still wasn't the right tree but, we kept it.  It hasn't been a very good tree.  It leans way too much and has been kind of weedy, not full like I want it to be.  
This spring, I told Bob to cut the top half off.  He thought I had lost it.  I usually tell him not to trim things.  He does have a tendency to overdo it and cut too much.  He actually wanted to pull it out.  I didn't want that because it was pretty healthy.  He cut the top half off and it has never looked so good.  The flowers this year have been spectacular.  They also smell really good!
 We saw this bird bath a few years ago.  A local lady takes interesting leaves and uses them as a form.  This is a rhubarb leaf.  The glaze on it is really pretty.  I got a smaller one for my sister that year too.  Lately, the robins have really been taking advantage of it in the later afternoon and it really cute.  I have been trying to change the water daily to there is fresh water.  Buster likes to chase the birds away.  

                    My lilacs actually fared better than I thought and have been the best in years.
 In the same bed that the Coral Bells moved to is also home to the Sand Cherry bush.  This needs to be trimmed up a little but, I may do it myself after it is done flowering.  I love the pink flowers on this bush.
 I have been cruising on my Prairie Schooler June.  Sorry it is so wrinkly but, I scrunch it while stitching since I don't use a hoop.
 I love the peacock on the roof of the house.  
I did pick up some wave petunias and marigolds today for my patio pots.  I also got a phenomenal hanging basket.  I went with some yellow and deep purple.  Katy fell in love with some snap dragons.  We picked up a few of those for a pot.  We also got two cherry trees we are going to plant on the south side of the house.  It better not shade my rhubarb.  Speaking again of rhubarb, my wonderful husband will tell people (especially church ladies) who ask, "Oh sure you can pick the rhubarb."  So when the church secretary called this morning to see if we would be greeters this Sunday and oh BTW how's the rhubarb?  I cringe!!!  I do share my rhubarb...with select people and I pick it.  I only have two plants.    I don't want someone coming and picking it because I am careful not picking too much or too thin in an area. Not everyone is careful or picks it the right way.  There is a right way.  I don't ever pick it clean either.   These plants are at least 30 years old.  They were at my parents who got them from my great aunt, who just died at the age of 104.   I will give her some rhubarb but, it really isn't ready yet.

Looking forward to the weekend.  Going to get mulch this weekend. (Doing the mulch happy dance.) We are also going on a road trip Sunday to see Ed and his new apartment.  He bought some chicken last weekend but, didn't cook it yet.  I think he may be nervous about doing it.  We will probably pick up a couple of shallow pans for him while we are there.

Thank you for the great comments.  My basket is really cool.  I just have to find the right thing for the top.
FYI, if you haven't seen...Norden Craft has been doing a daily giveaway of signed patterns.  I don't know how long they will be doing it but here is the Facebook Norden Crafts Link.  Today's winners have been picked but, there is always tomorrow.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Keep on Stitching

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mystery Color

I finished organizing my floss.  I have two boxes with Gentle Arts, one of Weeks and a half box of Crescent Colors that could spread out a little.  The Weeks really needs a second box.  I also ran out of bags.  I didn't get all the Crescent Colors in bags.  I need to organize each letter but, that can wait until a rainy day.  I trimmed a little off the width of 4x6 dividers which works very well.  The height was better than the 3x5's 
 In the process of getting this done, I found a Weeks that I have no idea what color it is.  Some dog had chewed off the color name.  I have been trying to figure out what it is.  The website isn't too helpful since often the colors don't photograph well.  It isn't Sea Foam, too green.  It is bluer than Guacamole and too light to be Artichoke.
 I will probably take it with me the next time I go to a brick and mortar store to compare with the colors.
 I just recently joined the Samplermakers forum.  As I was perusing the posts, one of the members had posted a picture of a picnic basket she had made into a sewing kit.  I thought that was an inspiring idea.  On Saturday, Bob and I went and looked at a piece of property on a trout stream about an hour away.  After we got done there, (and it really is a nice piece of land, hopefully we can negotiate a good price) we went to Eagle River, poked around the antique/junk shops and then had lunch.  I found an old picnic basket in reasonable good shape.  It would be perfect for as a sewing basket.

 It has a very lovely walnut finish on it.  After I cleaned it with a little Murphy's Oil Soap and a soft brush, it looked pretty good.  There is still some varnish on the sides.  The top is a little rough but, I plan on covering that with a piece of stitching when I find the right thing.  I could probably Briwax the top and it would look good as new.  The bottom corner is a little cracked but, really isn't an issue.
There is a mark on the inside from the Shelton Basket Company.  I think it was probably made around 1940.  Here is a Link to Shelton Basket.  The strip inside the lid is elastic to hold utensils.  I can make a cloth liner when I'm ready to finish it.  It only cost me $15, they marked it down $3 when I went to pay for it.  They were having a sale.   
 I also saw on the forum, using tins to cover with stitching.  These are aluminum spice jars that would make great pin holders and I could cover these.  I hated to buy a cool old tin and cover it.  These should work out great.
I finished Prairie Schooler June.  I just need to stitch it up and it will be ready to hang for the month on my china cabinet knob.  

I have started the larger Prairie Schooler June.  I'm moving a long well.  
Thanks for the wonderful comments.  I enjoy hearing from you.  Hope you have had a great weekend.  The weather has been perfect (finally!).  I plan on moving some Coral Bells once it gets shady in the backyard.  They are being overrun by a rose bush and its shoots.  

Thanks for stopping.  
Keep on Stitching

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Psychotic Red Wing Blackbird

Katy thinks this Red Wing Blackbird looks psychotic.  I have a penchant for psychotic looking creatures.  I think I have blogged about that before.  

 She is not quite done yet.  I think there is a beak and a worm yet, some leaves and the border.
It is not exactly done yet.  
My Rhododendron is blooming majestically.  I don't have any tulips or daffodils in the garden mostly because little critters will eat the bulbs.  This is always the first thing to bloom in my garden.
I absolutely love it.  My  rhubarb is doing very well and there should be a pie in the not too distant future.  I simply adore rhubarb in any way, shape or form
Then there is the stunning photo of me (NOT!!)  Katy took it while I was blogging Sunday night. 
 Buster looks especially cute.  It was really nice outside that night.  Not so much today.  
We are suppose to get a freeze tonight so that will mess up the Lilacs and Apple blossoms.  
We haven't had a good bunch of Lilacs in a couple of years because we get a frost that messes them up.  I really like them too.  I am not happy about this!
I am really hoping to get some things done this weekend - mostly relaxing.  The last few weekends have been crazy busy and I just want to put my feet up and stitch.  I want to work on my floss boxes and get them done.  I also need about 40 bags of bark mulch to put in my flower beds.  I didn't do any last year because of my knee surgery.  The summer before it didn't need to be done.  This year I'm in desperate need of mulch.  Bob is thrilled, yeah right!  Not sure it will get spread yet.

Hope you have a spectacular weekend and get to do what you really want.  
Thanks for the great comments and keep 'em coming!
Keep on Stitching

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lots to Catch Up On

There is lots to catch up on.  First, the Vera Bradley bag on won from Vicky at 2 Bags Full.  It is an East-West tote and a wonderful tote.  I had blogged about the perfect stitching bag and this was the style that I found to work great as a stitching bag.  I took it to the conference I went to this weekend.  It carried my markers, candy and the hand out packet from the conference.  Now, I think it will become my knitting bag or just because I need to carry stuff bag.  
 The conference was on the latest concepts of tendon repair and rehabilitation.  I went to a course on Anatomy, Arthrokinematics and Mobilization of the Wrist, Thumb and Digits.  One of the things we did was identify surface anatomy.  Here is my hand with the radial column side of the hand, the metacarpals and some carpal bones.  I'm a hand nerd, I think it is cool.  
 I started the June small project from Prairie Schooler, little baby birds.  
 I have finished bagging the GAST thread.  They are labeled but, need to be alphabetized under their letters.  I have them by letters but, not in exact order.  I will do that once I have all the thread bagged up.  I think it is working pretty good.  Mary, I'm not quite as OCD as you...haha, I won't be computerizing it too.  I should confess, I tried but, I didn't keep up with it.  I LOVED the comment!
 I have the brand written on it and the name.  It is amazing some of dye lot variance.  I will have to post a picture of the differences between the Sables I have.  
I did put a file card in each evelope to keep it from flopping over and that seems to be working well.

Back to the old grind tomorrow.  I am so glad we have a three day weekend coming up.  I need a three day weekend really bad!

Thank you for the great comments.  I really enjoy hearing from you.  It is a dinner time topic sometimes.  Hope you had a fun weekend and have a really stellar week.

Keep on Stitching

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Eating Dinner By Myself and It's Okay

This will be a no picture post cuz I haven't yet mastered pictures with the iPad.  Maybe someday.  I think you need to do something like Photo Bucket.

I am about two hundred miles from my laptop at the Wisconsin Hand Experience becoming up-to-date with the latest in the world of hand therapy.  They changed the venue this year.  In the past it was at the Sheraton, close to a mall.  The first night I do my own thing.  I would usually shop and eat mall food.  This year we are at the Crowne Plaza.  Closet things outside of the hotel is a McDonalds amNd a sketchy steaks house.  So, I'm eating at the hotel restaurant by myself, having a glass of wine and blogging.  I did have a very good burger with wasbi sauce and caramalized onions, yum!  Everyone in here, except two guys at the bar are going to the conference, including the presenters.  When you go to things like this they should have a dinner board so people can meet and have company.  Although, I really don't feel like small talk.  I'm tired: busy weekends, busy work, a four hour drive and five and a half hours of conference work.  Let me tell you the physician talking about ultra sound imaging was as dry as a popcorn fart!

Last night I actually got started sorting the over dye floss.  I had done prep work.  I decided to get the floss bags to stand up straight with a file card.  I have no idea how many I got ready but, it was a pile.  I think now believes I have floss.  I pretty much got through A-H in the GAST.  I have lots of work yet.  I'm thinking four boxes isn't going to be enough. I may have to use s shoebox for a while.  I got dividers at Wally World for a 4x6 card and cut them so they were about 4x5. High enough to see them over the bag and narrow enought to fit two across, if that makes sense.  I will post a picture this weekend.

If you haven't seen yet there is an awesome giveaway at Victorian Motto and Sampler Shoppep,  you need to check it out....Gorgeous!

Glad you stopped.  Please pardon any weirdness but the iPad autocorrect and sometimes we don't agree.  Thanks for all the great comments!
Keep on stitching

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Time to Reorganize

Went shopping yesterday with the Stitching girls.  Before going, I was sorting through the over-dyes to see what I need for projects.  It is way too complicated to go through the thread.  I thought I had a good system.  Initially, I had used hanging file folders, color coated by brand:  Red:  GAST, Yellow Weeks and Blue Crescent Colors.  I had a strip of velcro hook on the folder and a piece of loop on the card for the thread.  I could stick it in alphabet order.  Became too complicated and just didn't keep up with it.  It is a mess.
 I picked up four photo boxes and around two hundred floss bags.  I think the bags should fit two across in the box.  My friend Patty was amazed I bought four boxes.  "You really have that much thread?"  I replied, "Oh yeah.  I use it.  But, sometimes I just buy a color because it is pretty."  I hope four boxes will be enough.   I'm really hopping that I will only need three, and one extra.  
I got all but one of the colors I needed.  I may just substitute it with something close.  I also found small pieces of 32 count Lambswool that will work well for the  Prairie Schooler monthly smalls for the seasons.  They were a dollar a piece.  
 Kendra had gotten some new patterns I really need more but, alas no will power.  This is a new designer for me.  I love Halloween patterns and I really love psychotic pumpkins and I think now a psychotic cat has gotten my attention.  
       Isn't he cute?  I may have to do a small to hang from a knob handle during the season.
 I think I have grown fond of crows too, just like the sheep.  Years ago it was cows.  I think that may be future post about how taste changes.  
 Finally, the designs from France  have been getting my attention lately.  How can you go wrong with sheep in the picture. There is a website called the French Needle with fun patterns, scarves and other little interesting things.  See  More French Stuff
Hope you had a great Mother's Day.  Mine was very nice but, hectic.  Ed was home and cooked me breakfast.  He is moving into an apartment so it was good practice.  Bob was cooking breakfast at the church.  I really don't like to go to those.  I would just as soon have a bowl of cheerios.  We then had the grandmothers for dinner.  But, did all kinds of chores in-between.  Since I played yesterday, I had to do chores today.  Tomorrow, back to work.

It will probably be a short post week.  I will be out of town for a Hand Therapy Conference.  I have to keep up with continuing education credits to keep my hand therapy certification.

Have a great week.  Oh, BTW we had snow yesterday.  Fortunately no accumulation.  It is very chilly today, more like March than May.

Keep on Stitching

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Courage and Other Things

I finished the LHN Virtues but, didn't get in it Katy's box.  She wanted me to send the box as soon as possible because it has been taking longer than anticipated for the boxes to get to her....almost a week.  I baked the chocolate chip bars on Monday night and packed up the box.  Bob shipped it via UPS from his office.  She got the box on Wednesday, in record breaking time.
Here's how it turned out.  I texted her a picture.  
 This was a freebie from Drawn Thread.  I had cut the fabric wrong.  I was going to fold it for the back but, I messed it up and didn't realize it until after I had stitched it.  I just used some pink fabric on the back.  I finally got around to finishing it after I found it while straightening up Ed's/sewing room.  I have had this gold cord for a while.  When I found it, I bought it all and I'm glad I did.  It is the best stuff.  I have never seen it again and I don't remember where I bought it.  I know I have had it for a long time....HOORAY FOR STASH!!!!
 After seeing the Ladies Prim Society at Dyeing to Stitch on Faye's blog the Carolina Stitcher and fell in love.  I absolutely adore GAST Mountain Mist.  I am starting with my name tag.  I stopped at the quilt store today and found some backing material, Moda Civil War line.  It is nearly perfect.  The blues may be a little different but, it will work.  I used it for the picture background.  
 I'm stitching it on 40 count, so it isn't too big.  
 This is the first official project of the Ladies Prim Society.  
 I have recently picked up more patterns from Threadwork Primitives.  
 The second project, a Black Bird Design.  Love these colors too!  I am a huge fan of BBD.  I have blogged projects, gift boxes.  The backing material for this are Moda too.  BBD also designs for quilt fabric for Moda.  
 A little closer look at the pattern.  
Got to get my shopping list done for a shopping trip with the Stitching girls.  I need some floss.  I have decided to reorganize my overdyes.  I think I'm going to get some floss away bags and photo storage boxes.  It would definitely make it easier to find floss and put it away.

While at the quilt shop today, there was a group of ladies who had road tripped it.  They all had huge bags of fabric and kits and were laughing and giggling about getting more stash. (It was some MAJOR acquisitions). I feel the same way about cross stitchy stuff.  I laughed with them and said when the lights go out because of disaster or the Zombi Apocalypse happens we all will have enough stuff to last us.

Keep on getting your stash just in case of that Zombi Apocalypse, I know I will!
And as always, thanks for the lovely comments.  I do so enjoy hearing from you and I appreciate you taking the time to comment.
Keep on Stitching.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

TED Talk: The Happy Secret to Better Work.

i have heard about the TED talks first from my son.  Then I came across this one in a news letter.  They are always informative and usually entertaining.  TED stands for technology, entertainment and design. (This is all a very elementary explanation) The title of this one is sort of deceptive and doesn't just apply to work.  It really is a way of changing your life or at least thought pattern.  Essentially when we are optimistic our brain is flooded with dopamine (a neurotransmitter)  we learn better.  (That is really basic)  It is a 12 minute video TED Talk Here.

So five things you can do to change your outlook for 21 days:
1.  Identify three things you are grateful for.
2.  Journal one daily positive experience
3.  Exercise
4.  Meditate
5.  A random act of kindness or a conscious act of kindness and he suggested an positive email to an

So today's positive experience:  It is really nice and you know how I have complained about the weather.  I was able to get into my south flower bed and cleaned out.  I have a grass issue but stuff is coming up.
The poppy
 Russian Sage
 Allium that in 2 years doesn't do much
A huge thank you to all the wonderful comments.
Keep on Stitching

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Oh, Did I Need This

It has been a week!  Our daughter Katy has a genetic disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.  Her body doesn't effectively produce collagen so she has painful, hypermobile joints.  Collagen is the glue that holds everything together in your body.  You can read more Here.  She really struggles but, it is amazing her fortitude.  It has been a really rough week/month.  The hardest thing about being a parent with a chronically ill/child in pain is what to say when they are so very miserable.  There really is very little that can be done with this disorder other than pallative care.  She really gets no relief from pain medication.  We have gotten lots of braces and splints.  She goes to Physical therapy to tweek exercises to keep her muscles strong and in tone to hold her joints together since the ligaments aren't capable.  The latest was she has been having skin problems where she had some blood seeping through a stretch mark.  We are thinking a Pain Clinic maybe the next route.  We have been to the Mayo Clinic without great success.  The stupid weather hasn't helped.

So when I got a email from Vicki at Three Bags Full Blog (who had also sponsored Grow Your Blog) letting me know I had won one of the Vera Bradley Bags, I was esctatic!  You can see the original post here -

Vera Grateful Giveaway from Vicki at Three Bags Full   This really couldn't have come at a better time.

I have been working on the LHN Virtues and this is the latest one.  I do believe I will send this to Katy in her final exam box from home.  I think it is appropriate.  She'll think I'm nuts.  I did do the sheep in the Wisper thread the white and the brown head.   I'll fluff him up with a bunco brush when I'm done.

I wish you could see how fuzzy the sheep is.  Sorry the pictures aren't exactly straight. 
 Guess I'm just cock eyed.  
Then at Mass today, Fr. Joe said that according to Cardinal Dolan "Be Not Afraid" is mentioned in the Bible 365 times.  I think the cosmic powers of the universe are converging.

Some snaps of the local dams.  This one is the Ford Dam.  Ford's Woodland Division was here.  This is where they made the wood panels for the Woody Station wagon in the 1940's and during the war they made gliders for the Army.  Kingsford Charcoal was an off shoot, a way to sell the byproducts.  Trivia for the day.   My husband has been on the inside of the building and said it is very Art Deco.

This is Hydrolic Dam further downstream.  It is a much bigger dam and really running water.  
Finally, my mom's 86th Birthday is May 8th.  She is having her kitchen, back hall and adjoining bathroom re-tiled.  Her oven is in the living room so she can't cook.  I had her and my MIL over for dinner tonight.  My Mom decided that was good, it could be for her birthday.  I had to scramble and get a present.  She is very difficult to shop for, "I don't need anything."  I got my MIL a subscription to People (that thing is expensive!)  So, I had to get my Mom something nice.  I went to a little gift/home decorating store and got this done.  They are silk so it shouldn't flair any of her many allergies.  LOL.  I told her if she didn't like it, she could give it back to me for my birthday.
Hope you had a great weekend.  I still can't believe I won a Vera Bradley Tote.  I love VB and I am so grateful to Vicki because I really needed a lovely surprise like that.  

Thank you for all the wonderful comments.  You are all so wonderful.  I'm so glad you take the time to send me a little note.  
Have a great week!
Keep on Stitching

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Twenty Four Hour Finishes

I finished up a few things in the last twenty four hours. 
I finished Shepherd's Bush Come Home and I did stitch the words.  
It kind of turned out a little lopsided.  I worked on it last night at stitching group.  
I added some silk ribbon and beads so it was in keeping with Edens Lament. 
 Arttie said the lopsidedness was ok.  I figure it adds to its charm, LOL.  
It is really hard to sew a heart on the machine.
It looks cute in the basket with Eden's Lament. 
 I have another one to do an it will make a nice trio
 Then I moved on to my Prairie Schooler May.  I did stitch in the "May"

 Before I show you the finished Homespun Elegance Scenes of Spring, 
I thought I would show you what was in the frame.  Can't remember the name of this one. 
I am too lazy to find the pattern.  It is one of the "Bringing In" series.  
It is very cute.  The basket button has some fuzzy fiber in it.
 The finished Scenes of Spring.  I have Scenes of Summer in the queue.  

I will be starting the latest LHN Virtues - Courage.  I did get some Wisper Thread to do the sheep fuzzy.  
I'm going to make this sheep fuzzy.  

I also spent some time today putting away thread.  It is amazing how fast that stuff accumulates in a basket.  
I need to make sure I have the right thread for some upcoming projects
The stitching group is going on a road trip and I hope to stop at the Stitching Bee.  
I have a copy of the new Stacy Nash book reserved.  I am hoping it will be there.  

I have an uber busy day tomorrow at work.  I will most likely fall asleep in my chair early tomorrow night.
Need to do some more spring cleaning type of activities this weekend.  Moving sweaters around, cleaning out the laundry room and putting away some more stitching stuff.  
I really hope I get some stitching done.  
Have a great weekend.  
Keep on Stitching