Thursday, December 31, 2009

10 Holiday Eating Tips

I came across the following list on a few websites over the holiday. I realize it is too late for you to keep this list in mind for Christmas, but hey, you can keep it in mind for New Year Eve and New Year's Day, before we all get back to normal life and eating habits next week.

A word to the wise:
1. Avoid Carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrot sticks on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas Spirit. If you see carrots leave immediately. Go next door they are serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much EGGNOG as you can. It is rare and can only be found at this time of year. Who cares if it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It is not as if you are going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it!
3. If something comes with gravy. Use it!! Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the Volcano.
4. As for the mashed potatoes, always ask if they were made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. the whole point of going to a Christmas Party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. This is the time for long naps, which you will need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and a vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and do not budge. Have as many of them as you can. They are like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention Fruitcake? Granted, it is loaded with mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it all cost. I mean have SOME standards. (Basic Grey's next Christmas line is named Fruitcake- You can have as much of that one as you want. IN STORES JUNE2010)
10. Remember this motto to live by. " Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the attention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Last Day of 2009

As I start typing this post, it is 1:45am, December 31st, so, yes, it is the last day of 2009. It's raining at the moment, I think the rain is expected to stop by sometime this afternoon. We appear to be getting our share of rain lately, in short spurts lasting a day or two, which has been happening about once during each week for the last month or so. If this trend continues over the next couple of months, eventually the temperature is going to dip below freezing and it will be some form of frozen precipitation (snow, or more than likely around here, a mixture of sleet, freezing rain, and snow). The weekend before Christmas, the western part of NC got a good dose of snow. My Dad, who lives in the northern foothill area of NC, measured 10 inches in his yard. Daddy was very happy with the snow, and I heard that his dog, named Buttermilk, enjoyed romping in the snow tremendously. My area, Raleigh, was on the edge of the "frozen" line. For a brief 15-20 minutes that afternoon, it was snowing beautifully at my house, and a little later, early evening, there was some sleet mixed with more snow before turning to rain.

As I think back over 2009, I think about the good or nice things that happened this year, and I think of things that fall onto the "I could have done better" list. I guess most of us can put together similar lists each year. For my "good or nice" list, there's nothing on that list that would be earth shattering to others, but they were note-worthy to me. For example.... 1) I went on my first overseas trip in June, something a few years ago I would have thought would never have happened. 2) I got together earlier this year with a few cross-stitching friends in Arizona. That was the first trip I have ever taken that involved me flying somewhere that was purely a "get together with a few girl-friends for a short vacation" type of trip. On that trip, I got to visit the Grand Canyon, another first for me. 2009 brought continued enjoyment with various musical groups in which I play, especially with the dixieland band. For the "I could have done better" list, again, nothing earth shattering, but I did plan to spend more time at the gym (I started going in May, but not so much these last few months). And I could have spent more time practicing banjo, working to improve my "picking" skills. And I could have spent much more time cross-stitching the last 1/2 of 2009 and could have been much better at posting to this blog. Overall, 2009 has been a good year, but ending with the usual thoughts of "I could have done more".

For the end of 2009, I've been enjoying being off from work almost 2 weeks (2 week end-of-year shutdown). I am working Friday, January 1, but can work from home. For Christmas, I drove to my Dad's last Wednesday. There was still plenty of snow on the ground from the 10 inches of snow that fell the Friday before. I visited my GrandFather (my Mom's Dad) on Christmas Eve, got to see my cousins and their children while there). While at my Dad's, I mainly relaxed, spending time with Daddy and my StepMom, stitched a little. I stayed till Sunday, headed back home after church.

Since getting back home Sunday, I have consistently been staying up late every night. Tuesday night I went to bed around 2, which was the earliest I've gone to bed this week. I didn't plan to stay up late every night, just something that has been happening, most of the time getting into watching a movie that's on late, while stitching a little. Currently I'm watching "The Caine Mutiny", a classic. Before "The Caine Mutiny", I watched "Julie & Julia". I won't be staying up too late Thursday night since I'm working Jan.1. I'll probably stay up just long enough to watch the ball drop in Times Square on TV. Here in Raleigh, the New Year's Eve celebration includes the dropping (or lowering with a crane) of the "acorn". Raleigh is the "City of Oaks" and they lower a large acorn (made from copper I believe). If watching the local CBS station here, which is usually the station showing the lowering of the ball in Times Square in New York, they will have a small insert square in the lower corner showing the lowering of the acorn, so one can watch both the lowering of the ball in Times Square and the lowering of the acorn simultaneously.

Tuesday, I went to the movies for a matinee showing of "The Blind Side", which I have been wanting to see. It was a great movie. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.

Well, it's now a few minutes past 2:30 and I probably should go to bed. "The Caine Mutiny", which still has another hour and a 1/2 to go, will have to continue on without me (not like I haven't seen it before).

I do have a few pictures to share, which I will try to do in the next day or so. Hugs to all of my friends and family. May 2010 bring good health and happiness to you all.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Home from PALS Fling in Myrtle Beach

Hi honey, I'm home. I have pictures to share from the 12th PALS Fling in Myrtle Beach, SC. The weather was great. It rained a bit Friday night, but mainly when we were in the conference center, so the rain didn't bother us. I did have to remote into work a few times during the day to keep an eye on "work", but other than that, had a great time.

Sharon and I missed the other members of the GCGC (Grand Canyon Girls Club), currently consisting of 5 members - Michele, Karen, Sharon, Ruth, and myself. To Michele, Karen, and Ruth, you were missed. We did pass along your "Hello's" and that you would be back next year.

To Ruth, who normally flies into Raleigh, spends a night or two with me, and rides to Myrtle Beach and back with me, I have pictures especially for her, so she will feel like she was with me. First we have a photo of South of the Border, at the NC/SC border off of I-95. Yes, I was driving at the time, but it was directly in front of me, so only had to hold the camera right above the steering wheel, and with the digital camera, you can take a photo using only one hand, and there was very little traffic at the time.

On Thursday night, a few of us go to a seafood buffet restaurant called Crabby Mike's, it's become our Thursday night tradition. Here's their sign and their crazy "crab" van:

Here's a picture of Dawn's daughter Emily, posing with the dolphin near the restaurant entrance. Dawn and I have been best friends since the 1st grade. Dawn and I have attended all 12 PALS Flings. Emily is 6 and has also been to the PALS Fling, and Crabby Mike's, every year since she was born (her first trip when she was about 1 month old).

A photo of Emily again, with Mother Dawn and Aunt Susan. Can you tell that Emily is NOT camera shy.

One of the reasons we go to Crabby Mike's is for, of course, crab legs. Here is plate of crab legs that were beginning to be attacked:

Excuse the fingers in the above photo. That was Emily's fingers. Did I mention that this child is NOT camera shy? I had another photo of the plate of crab legs, without Emily's fingers, but that photo came out a little blurry, so the above photo was the best shot of the crab legs.

And finally, we have Mama Ida (Dawn and Susan's Mother, Emily's GrandMother), about to eat a piece of crab meat (that Dawn shelled and gave to her). Ida never understands the effort and work required to crack crab legs to get such small pieces of edible food ... these comments sometimes include a shaking of her head. Can you read the look on her face. It's the, "ok, I'll eat it, but I don't really like it that much" look.

Now on to PALS Fling photos. On Friday night, everyone gathers in the conference center. Activities include a grab bag exchange and an ornament exchange. There are always certain grab bags that get stolen often, based on the creative look of the grab bag "container". This was one of the popular grab bags. Actually, I believe this is by far the most interesting, grab bag container I've seen in the 12 years I've attended the PALS Fling:

The above grab bag was brought by Amy. It tied for 2nd place for number of times stolen. First place was a canvas bag with pretty cat pictures on it (I think that was first place). If you click on the above photo to see a larger image, you'll see that the sign attached to the panties says "Put on your big girl panties and cross stitch." I don't remember who ended up with it at the end of the night.

Here is the grab bag I got, which was brought by ConnieNE and was packed full of goodies and had a reindeer ornament hanging from the corner. Thanks again Connie:

Here are photos of other grab bags. In the second photo below, the small rectangle tin was the grab bag I brought. It had contained chocolates I brought back from Brugge, Belgium earlier this year for my co-workers. It was packed with various overdyed flosses and silks.

And, here are the ornaments for the Ornament Exchange. All of the ornaments brought were beautiful.

I have a few more photos I'll share of ornaments stitched by Dawn, her sister Susan, and Mama Ida. For cross stitch "shopping", I mainly bought fabric. Plus I did get some things from the stash room. I'll share the rest of these photos in a few days.

I'm already quite comfy sitting on my sofa, watching a few TV shows I DVR'd while I was gone (bouncing between those and football). Time to put down the laptop and pick up some cross stitch. For those at the PALS Fling, it was great seeing you again. There were a few that had not been in a long time, ConnieNE for one. There were also some new faces at the PALS Fling, who will hopefully come back next year. For those that could not make it this year, you were dearly missed and I hope I'll see you there next year.

Hugs to all.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ker-plunk....ker-plunk, ker-plunk....ker-plunk

Ah, the quiet hummmm of a new, working, refrigerator/freezer and the repeating sound of "ker-plunk" of newly created ice cubes falling into the ice bin inside the ice maker.

The delivery men arrived in the window of time I was told this morning. I had forgotten about the door to the garage being not as wide as the front door, so they had to take-away the dead refrigerator and bring in the new one through the front door. AND, since the front door doesn't open far enough to allow room to maneuver a refrigerator past the front stairs, had to take the front door off of the hinges.

Gotta love free delivery/installation/take-away. Thank you Lowe's home improvement store.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Death of a refrigerator

This is the first time I've posted in over a month... oh my, how horrible I have been. I owe you all the remainder of my European trip highlights, including photos of cross stitch stash bought while in the UK. I have been stitching a little, in between work and rehearsals, I owe you updates on that as well. I also need to finish up 2 ornaments that should have already been mailed. But for today, I'm sharing the story "death of a refrigerator".

A week ago this past Sunday, I came home from the grocery and put away the groceries. This included a new Ben and Jerry's item I saw in the ice cream section called "Ben & Jerry's Flipped Out". Later Sunday evening, I decided I was going to try one of these, but when I got the small container out of the freezer, noticed the contents inside were sloshing. "Hmmmmm," I said, and then noticed that a small piece of ham-hock I had in a zip lock freezer bag (yes, ham-hock, if you don't know what a ham-hock is, we can discuss that in a later post), no longer had ice crystals on it, and a poke from my fingers confirmed that it was partially thawed. Again, "hmmmm", I say, and "this is not good." The compressor was not currently running. I checked the settings on the frig, even threw the breaker off and on a couple of times. A few minutes later, the compressor came on and very cold air was blasting from the freezer section. Next morning, Monday, everything in freezer was frozen once again. I went off to work with plan to check things when I got home Monday night. Monday night, I get home and things in the freezer are thawing again, "crap", I say. Tuesday, a day I normally work from home, I had a repair man come to see if it could be fixed. The prognosis... compressor dying, cannot be fixed, it's working enough to "cool", but not to "freeze", your freezer is now an extension to the refrigerator section. Dumped everything in the freezer section the next morning (Wednesday being trash day), since most things had been thawing (or thawing/refreezing/thawing/etc) for who know how many days. Kept a few things in the frig (didn't toss milk right away since the frig was keeping the things cold in the frig section. I had rehearsal Tuesday night and Wednesday night, so I scouted out prices and choices Thursday night and Saturday afternoon. I had to go to the NC mountains Friday for a gig with the dixieland band. Last I had checked the frig was Thursday morning and it was still spitting out fairly cool air. Saturday afternoon, I came home and realized the compressor had completely stopped working and probably had stopped working between Thursday morning and Friday (no more cold air, nothing cold and the milk carton was starting to bulge....not good). So what little was left in the frig is now is in the garbage bin, and I unplugged the frig since there was no point in it sitting there, running, and wasting electricity ..... I hummed 'Taps' as I pulled the frig away from the wall enough to unplug it.

Yesterday, I returned to Lowe's home improvement, who, by far, had the best prices, and best deal on delivery and take-away of the old frig (don't get me started on the frustrating conversation I had with the salesperson at Sears when I was checking out refrigerators there on Saturday). They had no delivery spots for today, so my new refrigerator is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. Here's a picture of my new refrigerator:

Soon after my new refrigerator is humming away, I will be off to the grocery store to buy MILK.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Europe/UK Trip --- Part 1

Sorry it took a few days longer than I thought to start posting trip details and pictures. Returning to a hectic routine of work and rehearsals has kept me busy. I did get all of the photos uploaded to my computer and have gone through the photos, eliminating the bad shots (shots taken from tour bus when I would "snap", capture a traffic light, duplicate shots, and very blurry shots). But fear not, a couple of days ago, I uploaded all the remaining photos to a webshots album, and there are over 500 photos for your viewing pleasure.

Since the trip covered 4 countries and over 2 weeks time, I decided to share my trip with you in multiple posts. So, let's begin with:

Part 1 - Brussels and Brugge, Belgium.

My 2 traveling buddies (Kim and Carolyn) and I arrived in London around 7am on Saturday, June 6. We took the Heathrow Express into London's Paddington station (very cool looking train station - some of London's older train stations are quite beautiful in architectural detail). From Paddington station, we took the London underground (the tube) to St. Pancras station, to catch our train to Brussels. Once in Brussels, we took a taxi to the center of town, Market Square, and started walking around. The architecture of the buildings was breathtaking.

Note: Feel free to click on the photos to see them full size.

Here's a photo of the Town Hall:

For me, my first glance, and usually my initial photo, is an overall view of a building, or group of buildings. But then I would start to notice the level of detail on various buildings. Using the Town Hall as an example, look at the detail of all these small dormers covering the high-pitched roof:

And here is a zoomed in shot of the details of the rows of statues on the left side of the front of the Town Hall:

Here's a picture of other buildings in Market Square:

After having lunch at one of the restaurants in Market Square, we continued walking. As we approached a corner, there was a crowd of people to the left. They were gathered to look at, and take pictures of, the famous "Little Boy Peeing" statue. Here's my photo of him:

I didn't realize the statue would be wearing clothes. After I was back home, I google'd the Little Boy Peeing statue and learned that over the years, he has accumulated over 600 outfits.

As you walk around the streets in Belgium, you pass by many shops selling lace, tapestries, and, yes, CHOCOLATE. I did buy chocolate, but waited until I was in Brugge, Belgium. Another popular treat in Belgium is waffles, usually covered in one of a variety of toppings. On one of the streets, we passed by a shop selling waffles, they had a window open to the street with all of the varieties on display. Here is the one I bought and ate (I had to take a picture before I ate it):

I'll admit, I didn't eat all of the waffle. I did eat all of the strawberries drizzled with chocolate (I love strawberries), and ate about 1/2 of the waffle. It was yummy, I just wasn't hungry enough to eat all of it so shortly after eating lunch.

Later that afternoon, we were back to the train station and took a train to Brugge, Belgium, where we spent our first 2 nights. Similar to Brussels, in the center of town in Brugge was Market Square, or Town Square. It's an open area, statue in the middle, surrounded on 4 sides by various buildings and side streets spreading out from the corners like spokes of a wheel. Here are a couple of pictures of buildings around Brugge's Market Square:

The second photo above is the Provincial Court building. The red building to its right is the Brugge Post Office. Many of the buildings here were built in the 1700's. The level of detail in the buildings was amazing. Here is another photo taken while walking along the streets of Brugge:

Brugge has miles and miles of canals. I've never been to Venice, but from pictures I've seen of Venice, I image Brugge to be very "Venice like" at least in regard to the canals. Here's a photo I took as we crossed a bridge over a canal:

Sorry the above photo is a little crooked. We took a bus ride that drove you around the city and I sometimes had only a second or two to try to aim, focus and take the photo. You can take a boat ride on the canals, which we were about to do here:

Here are a few photos from the canal boat ride:

The lace shops had the most beautiful lace, huge pieces that could be used for a tablecloth, narrow runners of various lengths. When walking along one street, we came across a woman sitting in a doorway, making lace (bobbin lace making). I asked if we could take her picture, she nodded yes. Here she is:

Also in Brugge, in Our Lady's Church, is Michelangelo's statue of Madonna and Child. It's the center statue in the following photo:

It's the only statue by Michelangelo to leave Italy while he was living, and the only one in what is referred to as the "Low Country" of western Europe. I don't know why I didn't zoom in on the statue to get better photo of the statue.

Ok, that's it for post #1. I'll give you cross stitch shopping update as I progress through the trip.

Cross Stitch purchases in Belgium: Zero.

There was a cross stitch shop near our hotel that we walked past each day, but it was closed when we arrived late Saturday and did not open on Sunday. There were some neat looking cross stitch designs hanging on display in the window, but based on the price seen on an Anchor kit also on display in the window, I don't think I would have bought anything there.

Tommorow, I'll post Part 2 - Paris.

If you would like to look through all of the photos I uploaded, here is link to my webshots album:

2009 Vacation - Belgium, Paris, England, Scotland

Hugs and Happy Stitching.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hi honey..... I'm home

Wow, what a trip. I will admit that a 2+ week trip is a long trip and by the last couple of days, I was getting to the point where I was looking forward to heading home. I was still having a great time, but starting to look forward to being home. My flight from London landed a little before 3pm yesterday, I was home around 5pm. Not too long into the evening, I felt like I was melting into my sofa, so around 8:30 I dragged all the luggage upstairs, open the bag which contained my 'toiletry' bag to get my toothbrush and was getting into bed at 8:52pm. I think I was asleep by 8:53pm. Was wide awake at 5am this morning, and back to work I went.

Scotland was the last few days of the trip, and was by far, the most favorite place I visited. Edinburgh is a beautiful city and looking up the hill at Edinburgh Castle is breathtaking. We also did a 12 hour bus tour this past Friday that took us into the Highlands and down past the lochs (including Loch Ness where we could 'look for Nessie'). Scotland is a beautiful country and I could easily see going on a return trip to Scotland to see more. Brugge Belgium, where I visited the first few days of the trip, was also a beautiful city to visit and was my second favorite place I visited on the trip.

Since I was up early this morning, I took the time to unpack the luggage. There are currently 3 'piles' on my bed:

1) The pile of stuff I bought. This includes much more stitching stash than I would have thought I would have been buying. We visited 2 designers (at their home) while in England, and another designer visited us on our "stitching day" at the hotel, where we also received our stitching project from Susan that she designed for the trip. We also visited the Royal School of Needlework in London, and yes, they also had a gift shop with stitching kits and books. More details on the designers we visited on my future posts which will include photos. The pile of stuff I bought also includes the other souvenirs I bought (frig magnets, post cards, etc).

2) The pile of dirty laundry.

3) Small pile of other things that didn't fall into the above 2 categories (few items of clothes/socks that didn't get worn, hair clips, ziplock bag of Splenda, charging adapters, etc).

No photos to share today. I'm working on the photos. First to move them from camera memory card to my Macbook, then I'll get ALL of them uploaded and categorized on my webshots page. I'll be working on that tonight. And the reason I have everything I bought in that one big pile on the bed was to have everything together, not scattered in different rooms, since I'll need to spread it out and take a photo of all the new stitching stash to share with you, and can take another photo of the non-stitching stuff I brought home.

So, give me 24 hours or so to get the photos uploaded, and I'll start a series of blog posts with more detail and photos of the trip.

I hope everyone is having a great day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

London part of trip wrapping up

Ok, quick update I hope. I've tried to add a post twice and keep getting an error when I try to 'publish' the post. Trip is still going great. Tomorrow we head to Edinburgh for the last part of the trip, I fly home Monday.

Hugs to you all. I have hords of photos to share once I get home.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hello from London!!!!!!!

Hi everyone. The trip has been great so far, lots of walking, so my feet and ankles are usually getting very tired toward the end of each day, but after a good night's sleep, I'm okay for the next day. Trip over was fine, no problems. After landing in London, we were off to the train station and the chunnel to Belgium. Brugge, Belguim was great. Then to Paris for 2 nights, which was also great. Today we came to London and the rest of the tour group arrived. I have lots of pictures and many more to take.

Ta for now. I'll try to post again in a few days. Hugs to all.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A finish and upcoming vacation

Hi everyone. Here are photos of my completed needle roll project. Here's the outside of the needle roll:

And here is the inside of the needle roll:

And, no, I did not crochet the items on the inside. The project kit did include the small zipper pouch that is mounted inside. Sally Criswell (feel free to visit her at Cross Stitch & More) crocheted these. Sally is also part of the England trip I've mentioned. She has all kind of adorable crocheted items that hold various things. For my crocheted items, the one on the far left holds a small 6-inch wooden ruler, the one to the right of it holds a small pencil. The one to the far right holds a wooden needle holder. And I have a small pair of scissors in the zipper pouch.

My overseas trip starts this Friday, leaving Friday evening for an overnight flight to London. I am not taking a computer with me (personal nor work computer). However, a friend traveling with me is taking her computer with her as she will have to work a little while there. She has said I can use her computer if needed, so I will try to post a few times with a vacation update. I will be taking lots and lots of pictures. I'm not going to upload photos while there, since I will want my use of my friends computer to be brief. Once home, I'll upload all photos to my webshots page and will post updates for you.

I also upgraded my personal cell phone to a blackberry a couple of weeks ago, the world edition that is supposed to work while I'm overseas. If it does work, it will give me access to my personal email, even lets me write messages on my (or my friend's) Facebook Walls.

I hope everyone is having a great week. Happy Stitching. Hugs, Chris

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thank you Veterans

As we enter into Memorial Day Weekend, remember our soldiers, past and present. I stumbled upon the following on YouTube and thought I'd post it here. It's John Wayne talking about the history of Taps.

I'll be playing with the Raleigh Concert Band for a Memorial Day Ceremony at Raleigh's National Cemetery on Sunday afternoon. Other than that, I have very little scheduled for the weekend and hope to get plenty of stitching done. May you and your families have a very enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Have you seen the new Nora Corbett designs

I don't have any stitching projects to share. I did finish the stitching on a Christmas ornament for Karen, but can't show you photos until it's finished, mailed and received. I'll finish it by this weekend and have it on its way to Arizona by first of next week. My needlewrap is further along than it was from my previous progress pic, hopefully I'll have the stitching finished on it by the end of the week.

Now, for those that like the Nora Corbett "flower" designs, have you seen the latest two new ones that will soon be finding their way to your LNS. They are:


Sweet Pea

You can see details on them on Wichelt's New Products/Books page.

I think both of these are adorable, especially Pansy. Although when I get around to stitching Pansy, I'm going to call it "Bearded Iris", not Pansy, because I think it looks exactly like a Bearded Iris (I hope Nora doesn't mind). There are a few of these I adore and have in my stitching-to-do pile: Tiger Lily, Lily of the Valley, Lilac, Poppy, Holly, and now Pansy (aka - Bearded Iris) and Sweet Pea.

I hope everyone is having a great week so far and your stitching needles are flying.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A finish and a WIP.

Howdy everyone. Hope everyone had a great weekend. For all my cross stitching buddies out there that are Mothers, I hope you had a very Happy Mother's Day. I had a very enjoyable Sunday afternoon.... stitching, stitching, and stitching. I did get up a few times getting laundry done and to heat up something for supper, but mostly I stitched while watching a season review/marathon of this season's ANTM (America's Next Top Model). I almost finished Little House Needleworks "Schoolgirl Lessons" Sunday night before realizing the time and going to bed. I did finish it last night while stitching at Monday night stitch night at my LNS. Here's a photo:

I also spent time last week and Monday night continuing to work on a needlewrap project for my upcoming trip to England. Here are a couple of photos.

Here's the entire needlewrap:

And a close up of the top half:

The verse is stitched over 1, I finished it last night. The needlewrap was designed by Susan Greening Davis (it's her London trip / stitching adventure I'm going on next month). From her design, above the bottom motif are the words "England Tour", "June 2009" and a line for your name, with a vertically flipped motif over the words. A couple of ladies and I are extending the trip a few days, and going on short side trips to Belgium, Paris, and Scotland, so I want to change that section to include England, Belgium, France, and Scotland. I need to sit with the graphing software and get that plotted out. The inside of the needlewrap gets a lining of black felt and a small zipper pouch Susan included, plus some crocheted holders. Hopefully, I'll have completed photos by end of next week.

I'm off to dixieland band rehearsal soon, need to put on some shoes. Ta for now.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Another contest you can enter.

Head over to Steph's blog and check out her contest. To celebrate 10,000 hits on her blog, she is giving away $100 gift card to a lucky winner. Drawing will be May 9th, so hurry on over.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Want to enter a contest drawing?

Edgar is celebrating his second blogaversary and is having a drawing for a surprise gift. If you haven't visited his blog before, you should. Congratulations on the blogaversary Edgar.

For me, it's been a busy week. I have gotten a little stitching done. I'm at work now, so cannot share any progress pictures at the moment, but promise to do so later tonight or tomorrow.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Couple of finishes to post...

I finally added the charms to Lizzie Kate 2002 FlipIts. Here is finished project:

This was a round robin project from 2007/2008. I stitched the final 2 squares (April and May) this past Christmas. I attached all of the charms this past week.

I also finished Blackbird Designs Petites Lettres Rouges this past Thursday.

I really enjoyed stitching this one and it worked up quickly. I dropped both of these off for framing this past Thursday.

No stitching this weekend. I did start Little House Needleworks "Schoolgirl Lessons" this past Thursday night. Nicole sent this to me in February, goodies in my Ho Ho Ho Oranament Exchange package. I started it at a Tune Swinger's Orchestra dance this past Thursday night (I'm a member). I'm more of a helper. Basically, I run the sound board during the dances and I help out percussion in the Latin songs, playing either Maracas or Claves. And will sub for the piano player in rehearsals when needed. Since I'm only playing during the Latin songs, I'm sitting at the sound equipment and have plenty of time to kill, so I took stitching with me. The light isn't great, but I can see enough to stitch (carefully). No stitching Friday night, I worked late and ended up vegging in front of the TV for a bit while getting laundry done, then went to bed. Saturday, I helped out at my LNS (Lazy Daizy) till noon (Sarah was having a sidewalk sale), then had 2 concerts. First concert was the Raleigh Concert Band at 2pm. I'm in the percussion section and have been playing with the band since 1999. Second concert was the Blue Notes Dixieland Jazz Band, playing a wedding rehearsal party (an outdoor pig picking). I'm the banjo player and one of the singers. Yesterday was way too busy. Today is a little more relaxing. I will be going out a little later for a bit. Hopefully later this evening, I'll be home and can put my feet up and stitch.

I hope everyone has had a great weekend. Hugs and Happy Stitching.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jumping on the BBD wagon...

I have stitching photos to share. After not stitching hardly any the first 1/2 of April, I have been stitching the last couple of weeks. First, Fair & Square round 12 squares have been received by both my partner, Carolyn L, and myself, so I can post photos.

Here are the squares I stitched for Carolyn:

I know it wasn't a Halloween round, but from Carolyn's likes and dislikes, she loves Halloween. And when I saw this Lizzie Kate design for Bippity Boppity Boo, I had to stitch it for her.

Here are the squares Carolyn stitched for me:

I love these Calico Crossroads black cat designs. Thank you Carolyn, I love them.

I did stitch a few minutes on Peppermint Twist last week on Monday night, but didn't get a chance to pick it up again last week. What I did do last week, when grabbing moments to surf various cross stitcher blogs, was see several pictures of folks stitching the Blackbird Designs Vacation Sampler. This kept catching my eye over and over, and combine that with the fact that I've been thinking over and over lately, "I really want to start something new", I just had to start it. And, for whatever reason, was in the mood to stitch it with a fall color (rust or orange-red). I started stitching it Saturday afternoon, and continued stitching on it Sunday and last night and here's what it looks like now.

I obviously wasn't going to finish it in time for the BBD Vacation contest, but I still wanted to stitch it. I'm stitching it on 32ct Platinum lugana with Belle Soie Paprika. It really is stitching up quickly, I can't believe how much I've gotten done since starting it 3 days ago. I will continue working on it tonight after getting home from rehearsal. I did make some changes. I wanted the letters and words to line up on the same vertical stitch, so I shifted the letters on the second line to line the right side of the "U" up with the letter above. I'm stitching this for my Mom and needed a "W" for her last name and also added the "W" to the alphabet, and flipped "Y" and "X" so they were in alphabetical order, and moved the numbers down a row to line up with the end of the alphabet. I hope the ladies at BBD don't mind all the changes I made. The word on the 4th line will be "Mother" (I was stitching left to right and that was where the thread on the needle ran out last night). The last line will have "Nancy White", my Mom's name. I haven't decided what to put between "8 9 0" and "Mother", maybe a small blackbird, or a heart, or maybe the years for her birth and death worked over 1, I'll figure that out after everything else is stitched.

Once this is done, I can get back to working on projects that I should be working on.... a Christmas ornament that's theoretically supposed to be done, finished and mailed by April 30th (sorry Karen, I'll be a little late)...... two round robins I need to get stitched and mailed on their way this month (I want to get them done and mailed before leaving on a trip June 5).

Happy Stitching everyone.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The rest of my Arizona photos...

Here is a link to all of my Arizona photos.

Webshots album - 2009 Arizona trip.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Traditions??

Do any of you have Easter traditions other than attending Easter church service? Do you have an Easter tradition that some might think a little silly? My non-church and maybe silly Easter tradition is watching the movie "The Ten Commandments". It was shown last night on network TV, but with the commercial breaks, was on from 7pm till around 11:45pm (yuck). I bought a DVD copy years ago so I can watch without commercial interruptions. I pretty much watch it every year, sometime during Easter weekend. I started playing it about 30 minutes ago, and am about to move to my comfy sofa with a cold diet soda sitting nearby, and start stitching.

I hope everyone is having a happy and blessed Easter weekend.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Back from vacation....

The first gathering of the GCGC (Grand Canyon Girl's Club) was a wonderful success. It was Ruth that came up with GCGC.

We visited Karen's LNS while there, The Attic. I am very lucky to have a LNS in my town, especially since it's a great LNS. But it's always fun to visit another LNS, and shop of course. Here is a picture of the GCGC at The Attic (left to right - Sharon, Ruth, me, Karen, Michele):

There were many interesting things to see while driving around Phoenix. They have really neat designs in reddish concrete near some bridge overpasses:

Lots of cacti:

Even a man-made cacti (not sure exactly what this is, I was taking picture from the car, so couldn't investigate):

On Friday, we left the Phoenix area and headed north to a beautiful, large cabin. This first shot is from near one of the front doors, looking across the living area (kitchen area to the back):

We took turns taking pictures of the others sitting on the fireplace hearth. Here is my shot of Ruth, Sharon, Michele, and Karen:

On Saturday, we headed to.....

On the way to the Grand Canyon, we passed more beautiful scenery. Here is a picture of a distant mountain I took from the car. Karen told us which mountain this was, I San Francisco something I think:

The Grand Canyon is absolutely beautiful. Words really cannot describe how beautiful it is. If you have never visited, you should plan a trip to see it. Here are a few of the 45-50 photos I took:

Here's a picture I took of my GCGC buddies at the Grand Canyon (notice how cold they appear):

Thanks to the extra jacket Ruth had, I did not freeze. I thought the temperatures were going to be in the 50's and I didn't pack a jacket. After our first few minutes at the Grand Canyon, my arms were getting very cold and I borrowed a jacket. There was still snow on the ground around the cabin and the Grand Canyon. It had snowed on the north side of the Grand Canyon the day before and the very cold wind was blowing from the north.

Feel free to check out pictures posted by the other GCGC members: Ruth, Michele, and Karen. Sharon doesn't have a blog, but we decided we were going to create one for her, so keep checking, Sharon will soon have a blog.