Monday, November 22, 2010

I really should not talk about my pathetic stitching progress but I wanted to post something before the holiday. Yesterday I needed something brainless to work on so I worked on the large mushroom that is part of Beautie Spot. That went ok until I got bored with my DVR and decided to get a manicure, pedicure and eyebrow wax. Now I have pretty sparkly toes for the holiday.

Margie wanted me to post the bunny. She took a field trip to my desk and helped me figure out the leaves on this canvas. They are a raised closed herringbone. It is a pretty neat stitch for leaves. They are done in a sparkly, chartreuse Kreinik braid.

Here is my attempt at finishing. I really do not enjoy finishing and it really should be left up to the professionals. I had to do this one myself because I have an ornament exchange in a couple of weeks and just did not have time to get it finished any other way. My finishing skills are far from good but sometimes you have to make do.

I am all ready to take off for the holiday. I will get to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather in Florida. I still need to gather my projects and pack my carry-on entertainment but that is fun packing. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday with lots of good food and time for stitching.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Back to stitchy stuff

I have not had time to stitch much lately but I sent my husband to Inspired Needle to pick up my finishing. The finisher did a very nice job and was reasonably priced. Most of the ornaments are going to my friends whose house blew up last December due to a gas leak. I was going to give one of the needlebooks and scissor fobs to another friend for a thank you gift for hosting a party but the finishing was too expensive for a hostess gift at a pot luck dinner so I think I am going to keep the multi colored set for myself. I love the silk she used on the needlebook and the fob. Since I am happy with this finishing, I will take my Teresa Layman set to her for finishing. I did buy my own silk for that project so I know it is what I want. For the projects pictured below, I left everything up to the discretion of the finisher.

On another happy note and not something you hear everyday, Needlework in Paradise
in Naples, Florida is expanding their shop to the adjacent store. If you are going to EGA Seminar next year, this is a nice store to visit. This store does not have the best reputation but get your bitch on and this store is fine. I am planning on visiting then next week.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and many hours of stitching.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


This is a long post without stitching...

We are home from Brazil. It was a fun trip and very relaxing. We did not see or do a lot other than enjoy our friends, good food and good fun. Our flight was delayed by 12 hours due to mechanical problems in Miami so we did not get into Sao Paulo until late Friday night. On Saturday we went to Central Market and ate the famous Mortadella sandwich at the Bar Do Mane. It was just a huge, amount of deli meat on bread. Since I am not a fan of deli meat, I only had one bite but there were these other little fried delights called pasteis. They are filled with all kinds of meat, cheeses, hearts of palm, or fish. Some of the best were filled with a white fish. On Saturday night we went to a really nice Italian restaurant with some friends. The gnocchi was the best I have ever eaten and one friend hit his private collection of wine and shared some very nice bottles. After dinner we went to a hotel bar to listen to some music. Finally the night ended at a bakery where we bought a cake for Sunday.
On Sunday we had a traditional family day with lots of meat. Above is a picture of some of our friends that attended the cookout. One of the first things that came off the grill was chicken hearts on a stick. The kids ate this stuff like it was a real treat. I wanted to try one but I could not get past the smell. Below is the bread my husband was cooking in the outside pizza oven. One little girl carried a loaf around like a baby doll. It was delicious.

We spent most of our time in the pool. The days did not start early and we were up late about every night so the jet lag never hit us. If we went to bed at 2:00 am it was like going to bed at 10 in Chicago. Dinner was usually not until 10:00 pm or later.

Above is bamboo in Parque Ibirapuera and below are some of the birds in the park.

On Friday we flew to Rio. We stayed at a beautiful hotel on the beach. Below are pictures from the pool. Madonna rents out this hotel when she visits her new boy toy in Rio. Friday night we had dinner at a place that served basically a stew for dinner. Leaving this place was the only time I was truly scared in Brazil. They have one lane streets that go both up and down the hill. We were 3/4 of the way down and a group of young men came up the hill. They should have backed down but they were not giving up. Cars started piling up after them and behind us. Our driver ended up having to back clear up the hill. This would have been a great place to get car jacked or kidnapped. The driver was from the hotel so we are not sure if he was armed but this car was not armored. Fortunately, we got back to the hotel safely.

I am in the back. Pretty bold of me to post a picture of me in a swimsuit on a blog...

Brazil is incredibly expensive and I really do not get how this works. The people for the most part are have or have not's. A house keeper is paid $600 dollars a month and works 6 days a week. If you are on the have not side of things, life would be difficult. They have a national credit card. You can pay by debit and it comes directly out of your account. If you pay by credit, the full balance is paid on the first of the month out of your account. If you buy a $100 dollar shirt, for example, you can pay for it over 4 monthly installments of $25 dollars each or you can pay for the whole thing. Items produced in Brazil are reasonable but not many things are made there. A car is taxed at 135% of the purchase price and I won't shop in Chicago because of 10% taxes.

Overall we had a fun trip. I would go back to visit our friends. I am happy to be back in my relatively safe, inner city neighborhood with my sparkly jewelry which had to stay at home. On a stitchy note, I did teach my friend to cross stitch. She made a picture for her brothers Christmas present. She even designed a second project that she is starting on shortly. We may have another stitcher among us:)

Finally, I thought I would share a baby picture. I did not get to meet this baby because he was born on the day we flew out. This is a baby St. Bernard. The mommy is not very motherly and stepped on 4 of the 6 and killed them. The father of these puppies passed away very young so they replaced him with another male St. Bernard that was 3 months old. Solomon was so cute but he could knock me over even being a puppy. Brazilians are not into fixing pets. These big dogs do live on a weekend farm in the mountains. They have household staff to meet their every need so if they can stay out of mom's way, their life will be good.

My husband went out to the suburbs yesterday and picked up some finishing for me so I will get some pictures posted soon. I also won a nice drawing that I will have to post. Not a lot of stitching has been taking place. I leave for Naples, FL next week so not much will get done there either.

Happy Stitching.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hello from Sao Paulo, Brazil. I don't have any pictures downloaded yet but I thought I would drop in and say HI. We have had a very relaxing trip and enjoyed our friends house. They have a wonderful pool that is great to float around on and a outdoor pizza oven. It is a little cool today so I have been laying around reading and playing on their computers.

The lifestyle down here is very different than what I am used to. We have walked around some, we went to the park, we have eaten out which all seems normal. What is not normal to us in the U.S. is I have been in armored cars with armed drivers in case we are car jacked, friends hired the owner of a restaurant to come in their home and make 6 of us sushi, we have a guard in front of the house 24/7 and we are sleeping behind a bullet proof door for the upstairs bedrooms. I am not freaked out by any of this and I have felt safe but thieves target Americans, wealthy Brazilians, and their good stuff so extra precautions are necessary.

We have another day in Sao Paulo and then we are going to Rio. When I get back I will post pictures and tell you more about our experiences.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I did not get around to posting last week but I was busy making progress on Mayan Lighting. It is amazing what you can get done when you have the house to yourself. I have chosen not to compensate at the ends and stitch outside the lines. I figured it is going to be covered in matting or put into something so going outside the lines was easier than diagonal compensation. The dashed line was the original line Diane put on the canvas. It is not the right size so I am ignoring that line but I left it so I could show her since this is a pilot class. The colors in this piece are so bright and pretty!!

It may be a week or so before I post again and I may not have much to show. We leave for Brazil tomorrow afternoon. For this trip, you travel overnight and hopefully sleep most of the way. Going down will be fine since we are in business class with lay flat chairs. The flight back is full so we are stuck in coach. I have not really started packing or getting ready to go. I have tonight and tomorrow morning which is plenty of time. We figured the weather will be like southern Florida so when we get home we will wash clothes and pack them back for our trip to Florida for Thanksgiving. Our poor cat will miss us but he has a sitter that will spend some nights with him and our neighbors are going to come over to play.

DH has a second job interview today. Maybe he will get a full time job instead of consulting. A full time job will cramp his travel schedule but he can suck it up like the rest of us. My job has a very generous PTO and holiday benefit so I get off close to two months a year so I know I am very lucky to be able to travel often. No kids in my life so that also helps...

Until next time. Happy stitching.