Monday, October 1, 2012

A long time coming

Hi to anyone who is still following my blog.  I have not blogged in four months.  Yikes!  Life went a little crazy this summer and I did not get around to the blog.  My husband spent about five months working in Charlotte, NC and commuting home on the weekends.  This time period really messed with my life for some reason and when, for all practical purposes, I should have accomplished tons of things, very little besides day to day maintenance of my job, my condo, feeding myself, and IPad took place.  Well, life is kind of back to normal.  DH got a new job in Chicago so he is living at home and back to cooking for me. 

While I have been away, some stitching has taken place.  Mainly I have been working on my travel piece because I am rarely home on the weekends any more.  Over the summer I finished a pilot piece for Dianne Herrmann on for her Color Theory class.  I am not really sure what I am going to do with this piece.  If anyone has some good finishing ideas, please leave a comment.  I thought about having it finished as a stand-up for the holiday season. 

My ornament by Princess and Me of Santa and the Pea was done on my last post but here is a picture now that he is finished into an ornament. 

I happened to be home this weekend and my Guild had the fifth Saturday stitch-in so I spent some time with Windy City Santa by Libby Sturdy.  I worked on his jacket and the yellow lines that are in the background.  This guy should not be that hard to finish before the holiday's. 

Finally, this is the piece I have spent the most time with since August.  The belt canvas will be finished into Eliza B flip flops.  With the stress of life it has been great to have a project that consists of only basket weave.  I have 12 of the 20 shoes done so I am over half way done.  In this picture, you can see the five repeating motif's.  The shoes are all done in Kreinik and the back ground is being done in Burmilana. 

I have been traveling some.  In August, I got to spend a week in Florida at my family's home in Bonita Springs.  We did take a few day's and went over to Key Largo so my husband could dive.  I visited Needlepoint in Paradise twice that week.  I finished kitting up the Shoe canvas and on my second trip, I kitted up a couple of Princess and Me ornaments.  Later in September, we went to our friends wedding at The America's Club in Kohler, Wisconsin.  I never had a desire to go to The America's Club because it is "only Wisconsin" and who would pay that a night to stay in Wisconsin.  Let me tell you, it is a beautiful resort with a wonderful spa.  It was most likely cheaper to spend a week in Florida than a weekend in Wisconsin, but I would be happy to go back for another lovely weekend. 

In September, I spent several weekends downstate at my parents house.  My dad has Alzheimer's and we are trying to get him into a nursing home.  So far, he has been kicked out of two.  The first one did not work because it was not a lock down facility and he kept trying to escape.  The second one, he got combative and aggressive towards the guests and staff.  For about the past three weeks he has been in the hospital.  They are trying to get his medicine right so he is not as mean and can be moved into another nursing home with a dedicated Alzheimer's wing. 

One of the weekends I was downstate, Mom and I decided she should get away and we went to St. Louis for a couple day's away.  I did get to visit the Sign of the Arrow needlepoint shop.  That shop mainly sells belt canvases and threads.  The people of St Louis must make a ton of belts because the shop was packed.  The store did have some beautiful canvases.  If you ever get to the Sign of the Arrow, make a day of shopping the boutiques around the shop.  I found some clothes and some house ware things that were very unique. 

In October I will continue to go downstate every few weekends but the big event is at the end of the month when I go to EGA National Seminar in Santa Fe.  I am already gathering my supplies.  Actually, the teachers are not asking for much beyond basic stitching supplies but my main concern was having the right size of Evertites available for the projects. Now mind you, I probably have 40 sets of Evertites, but you only get to this amount by never having the right size for the different projects.  Well, I must finally have enough, because I have the right sizes for the classes. 

I should be able to get back to some more regular stitching and I can spend more time on my blog and catching up with all of your blogs.   I read a few this morning and there is some good stuff to look at beyond Pinterest:)  I hope everyone is enjoying the fall.  Happy stitching and Go Bears. 

Take care everyone. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Spring Stitching Slump is about Over

Hello and thanks for coming back!  I have been in my yearly spring stitching slump.  Every spring, the weather turns nice and I get more in a reading mood rather than a stitching mood.  This year even reading took a back seat to life.  Well, I did not abandon stitching entirely during this time, I just slowed down and did not feel I had anything to show my stitching friends.  You really do not want to hear about the amount of time I spend on the terrace or in my stitching chair playing on the IPad or watching bad reality TV. 

Let me start out with my stitching.  Last time I wrote about two months ago, I was working on the background of Santa and the Pea by Princess and Me.  I was hoping to finish this last night but I got too tired.  All that is left is the little bit at the bottom of the ornament and a few more beads/snowflakes. 

I piloted a two day class with Diane Herrmann that will be taught in Santa Fe, this fall.  It is call Color Theory with a Twist.  This is a fun class for anyone interested in color theory and you can complete the project or use this as a notebook class.  I am working on the project because it is a pilot.  The project is not that difficult so it is a good project to work on when you just don't have it in you to do something difficult.   While the class is just three leaves, most people that took the class are going to buy the supplies for the entire Mobius Band.  I did not take a picture but I have a lot of the stump work lady bug done. 

Another class I am taking started on June 1st.  It is a cyberclass taught by Janet Perry on how to create your own stitch guide.  We have only had one lesson so far but the discussion board is going to be very interesting.  I am looking forward to this class. 

As I mentioned earlier, I have been spending way to much time on my IPad.  This has lead me to spend way too much time on EBay.  I have three new canvases.  Two are Princess and Me Ornaments which I like to have on hand for travel projects and I finally have a Edie and Ginger Frog.  The frog I bought is a stitched model in Needlepoint in Paradise and I have admired him for years.  Now I just need to get busy planning my stitch guide and sitting down to stitch. 

I have been doing a little traveling for work.  I have been to a meeting in Denver in April and training last week in Dallas.  I decided not to go to Bead and Button on Friday because that would just lead to another project.  Instead, I am going out shopping and lunch with a friend I have not seen in a while.  Saturday is my Guild meeting and the H2O bath product warehouse sale which happens to be across the street from my house.  This sale is fun because they give you a cardboard box with a rope to drag around and put your bath products in until you pay for them.  Saturday night is the going away party for  a friend moving to Charlotte.

Speaking of Charlotte, my husband has been living there for over two months.  He comes home every weekend and the being away from home is getting a little old for him.  While the first two months were a little hard, I am getting the hang of having the house to myself.  I am not thrilled with feeding myself, but I am eating the way I like to eat which is more veggies and less meat.  I am going out with my friends more and I figured out the cat and cat box are a complete pain in the butt.  He is old, so he is forgiven. 

Over Memorial Day we were able to get the outdoor plants done.  I think they turned out nice and I think they will grow up to be very pretty.  I was down state last weekend and was told about Supertunia's and I want to still buy a planter of those because they look like fun.  The first picture is the front balcony and this is the perfect environment for Inpatients.    The second picture is from the south facing terrace with full sunshine.  There are three planters on the terrace and two on the balcony. 

I think you have hand enough babbling from me.  I hope all is going well for my blogging friends.  I hope to get back into the swing of this and catch up on all the things going on in your worlds.  Have a great week. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I'm Back

 Hi!  You might think after a month absence I might have something great and wonderful to show for myself, but I don't.  I have been busy and stitching has not made the progress that I could hope for. On St. Patrick's Day weekend, my Guild had a retreat at the Oak Brook Hills Marriott.  We got to do a little shopping and lots of stitching.  I worked on the background of the Princess and Me ornament above.  The background was an easy thing to do in a group setting.  The weather that weekend was beautiful so this was also an easy project to take outside.  I also worked on Frog Stew which is pictured below.  I mainly worked on the sky and the purple sleeve. 

 The next weekend was a pilot class for Night Owls.  This will be taught by Diane Herrmann at EGA National Seminar in the fall.  It is an excellent class.  I will learn a lot on this piece.  I did not take a picture of the canvas because my little bit of progress and spaghetti is shameful.  Once I get a little more done I will show you a picture of the piece. 
Since it is pretty obvious that stitching has not been my only focus let me tell you about some of the other things that are going on around here.  Last weekend I made a last minute trip downstate to my parents home.  My mom thought she could use some help since they just moved back North from their winter home in Florida.  My dad has dementia and moving was very stressful on him and the rest of us.  It was a very welcome bottle of wine when I got home.

My DH has moved to North Carolina for a consulting position for six to nine months.  He is going to come home on the weekends or I will go down there.  I am not used to having to do everything around the house.  I am more accustomed to being the Queen of the house!  I do have Seattle Sutton doing my cooking.  This food is pretty good and I have even lost a few pounds.  I am getting used to living on my own.

I have been reading.  My reading goes up when the weather turns nice and I can sit outside.  I really enjoyed Mill River Recluse, Divergent and Slaughterhouse Five.  My book club picked Fifty Shades of Grey for our next book.  If you want to get your smut on, it is really good but not for the those apposed to a dirty book.  I said it will be a $30 dollar book club because I am going to have to finish the trilogy. 

Well that is about all that is going on in my world.  If you celebrate Easter, have a wonderful holiday!  We are not doing much for Christian Easter but I am going to Greek Easter next weekend at a friends house which is always fun.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Belize and Santa and the Pea

We are having a great time in Belize. The pictures of the pool and sea are from my morning stitching nest. DH dives in the morning and I stitch or read until he gets back. From there, it is lunch, pool time, happy hour, cleanup and dinner. Not a bad day at all!!

I have been stitching on Santa and the Pea. I hate the suggested thread for mattress two so that is going to have to be done when I get home. The stitch guide has a dark green background and DH and I think it is too dark and matches the last mattress. I am thinking about a lighter green. If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear from you! This change is a bummer because I will have to leave the background until I get home and basket weave on the plane would have been a good brainless task.

I did finish reading the Midget House. It was a free Kindle book. It was a good story. I am also working on Game of Thrones which is wonderful but very much like the HBO show.

When we get home DH should start a new consulting job in North Carolina so more about that when I am on a real computer.

Back to stitching in paradise. BTW.. Not sure about the pictures on blogger for iPad. This is my first try and it may not be good.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Finished the Wave

Good morning!  I want to start today welcoming my new followers and thank you for the nice comments I received on my last post.   I am always surprised that people want to read what I write and take the time to comment.  I don't always comment on blogs but I do enjoy reading the stitching blogs.  There is so much talent in this world and your projects always give me something new I want to do.  

 Glad you liked my projects a couple of weeks ago because today is almost a repeat of projects with progress. First, I want to show you my Wave project.  This was a pilot project for Diane Herrmann.  This project is impressive in person.  The colors and the design are wonderful.  It was a very relaxing piece to stitch.  I was cursing eyelets and beads by the end because I could see the finish line but my progress was going slow.  I am really happy with the star fish.  I am not sure I have ever actually done a bullion knot.  I did do a few practice knots to get the hang of this.  They did end up hurting my fingers but that is most likely my fault for wrapping too tight around the needle.  I am not sure how I am going to have this finished.  There is a bedroom in the Bonita Springs condo that has a blue coverlet so this would be perfect in that room.
 Our guild had our second Libby Sturdy class last weekend.  I really did not get that much accomplished on this piece for the amount of time I spent with Windy City Santa.  I don't expect to get much done in classes but I spent most of yesterday on this project as well.  In class, I managed to get in the Ferris wheel.  This is a Jessica stitch with a couple of spokes and a few French knots.  This went along swimmingly in class and then I am picking out encroaching Gobelin later in the day.  Who knows what will work for you on a given day and what won't.  Since my last post, I did finish all the buildings on the right hand side of his jacket, the yellow in the skyline, a bit of blue in his coat, and I worked a bit on the ground/snow.

Finally, so I can add a little variety, I will show you my silk gauze Flamingo.  I really did not do all that much but I got a few more threads into the background.  This is an Erica Michael's design that was sold at EGA National Seminar in Naples, FL last year.

Maybe I will be able to get another post in this week because I might have more to show.  DH is hanging out with my parents in Florida the week.    My father's mental health is not that great so DH is hoping to give my mother a break.  DH is so much more nurturing than me.  He cooks, cleans, golfs, climbs ladders, fixes thing, and in general will have more patience with dad.   Plus, someone besides their children can sometimes tell them better to get him signed up in day care or hire some help.

Another bonus with him traveling is that he usually gets job offers while he is away. He is close to getting a full-time job or a consulting job with four different companies.  If this trip does not get him a job, we will be in Belize in a couple of weeks.  Dealing with interviews and head hunters while out of the country is always interesting but if he gets a job, it is worth it!

That is about all that is going here.  A week alone means quick dinners, a few household tasks, and evenings of stitching which sounds wonderful.  Now watch everyone come around and want to do stuff since I am alone which is very kind but it will cut into my stitching plans.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Slow but steady progress

Happy Monday!  I have been doing some stitching but it seems I can work a few hours but I am not making great progress in any one sitting.  Windy City Santa is ready for our second class with Libby Sturdy next Saturday.  All my homework is done plus I finished the water, added the boats, added the grass, and finished a few more buildings.  I am happy with what I have done.  This piece was chosen as my 2012 challenge piece to finish by next January.  

I have also been spending some time with the wave piece.  I am almost done with row 21 of 26 row in the total project.  Then I will need to add eyelets and the starfish near the white thread (where the water meets the sand.)  I am working on this piece because it has one set of my 12 inch stretcher bars.  I need a frame that is 12x12 for a class I am taking on February 18th and 19th and I really do not want to buy bars if I can help it.  I will have to take Frog Stew off for the other set of bars but this is the economical thing to do.  If DH gets a job this week, then I may be over this economizing thing and buying one more 12 inch set. 

I have also been busy reading library books.  I finished 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.  This book was around 950 pages so it was like reading 3 books and it took a while.  It was pretty good but  not sure I would say you have to go out and get this book unless you are a fan of the author.  This is the first book of his that I have read.   Now I am reading The Tigers Wife by Tea Obreht.  I am about half way through this book.  Again this one is OK but I am not telling anyone to rush out and buy this either. 

On a less refined note and probably where my mind needs to be right now.  Loved catching up on the Bachelor and 24 Hour Catwalk yesterday.  Recently, I watched half of the this seasons Dexter and this is another great season.  Finally, I finished season one of Boardwalk Empire.  Loved it!! 

We did have a big weekend and the Happy Monday comment is more to psyche myself into believing it.  On Friday, about 15 of us went out for Tapas.  It was a good time but we got home late.  On Saturday night we had friends over that we met on our trip to the Turks in December.  They came in with a ton of wine and we killed it all.  DH made a wonderful meal of shrimp and scallops with a chipotle butter sauce for starters, the main meal was a cassoulet and an asparagus dish with poached egg and pancetta.  For desert, he made a tort.  This turned into another late night so by last night I could not get relaxed even though I should have been exhausted.  Oh well, the work week is to straighten out the bad habits from the weekend:)

Hope everyone has a great week with lots of stitching time.  Cheers!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


 Today is a day to celebrate the finish of Beautie Spot.  Excuse the wrinkles and the poor photos.  Beautie has been traveling and has to go to Guild on Saturday so I can show everyone that I finished my challenge piece.  The second picture is so you can see the spangles.  I am supper happy that this three, maybe four year, WIP is done.  I am not sure what I am going to do with this.  People suggested a fire screen and that is a good idea.  I do have a fire place but I am going to think on this for a while.  If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. 
I have also been making progress on Windy City Santa. I am working on the homework for the class in February. I finished his mittens, I worked on the background, I did the green down the center of the coat and I worked on the buildings. I was a little intimidated by the building but once you get going they are not that big of deal. Part of the homework was to finish the building to the far right so we can put the Farris wheel in. I think I will continue to work on this for a bit since I am happy with my progress. Maybe I will make this next year’s Guild Challenge piece. This one has been in my WIP pile for several years.

The big news yesterday was DH quit his job. We found out Saturday night that the company he was working for was shopping his job. He was not happy at this company and was looking for another job so this was the final straw. They mutually agreed that it would be best if he just left the company. It will all work out for the best. He worked his contacts yesterday and he has a third interview for a global roll with an investment bank. He has an interview today with another investment bank and he started his consulting company back up. He is going to help a friend market a product he developed. I would say that was pretty good progress for one day out of a job.

Have you seen the latest issue of Bon Appetit? They have veggie tart on the front cover this month. It was a ton of work to make but it is delicious. I am looking forward to left overs for lunch. With my chef unemployed, there will be lots of good eating at our house. He was taking requests from the neighbors last night.

That is all around here. Hope everyone is getting into the swing of the New Year and has tons of time to stitch.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy 2012

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season.  I decided I really liked not working but life would not be as much fun without the paycheck. 

I finished the Night at the Opera ornament by Princess and Me.  He went to the finisher on Saturday.  I think he turned out cute and he was a fairly quick stitch. 

I did finish stitching Beautie Spot while I was in Naples for Christmas.  When I got home, I ironed the piece and a little bit of color ran under the deer.  I fixed the problem by picking out the black and adding a couple more rows of stitching so all is well.  I am adding the spangles which are not in this picture.  I added all the spangles that I had but I am about 20 spangles short.  They were shipped yesterday so this is getting so close to finished and I will post a final picture soon!!

Our guild had a stitch-in on New Years Eve day.  We had a great turnout of 15 ladies.  I worked on Windy City Santa but I did not take a picture.  That night we had a dinner party for eight friends and two babies.  DH made southern appetizers of shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, and biscuits and gravy.  For dinner he made a filet, twice baked potatoes and creamed spinach.  It was a wonderful meal and lots of wine.  It is great to live with a man that loves to cook and he cleans up.

I hope 2012 brings much happiness, good health, and lots of stitching time.