Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cheese and Monopoly!

Good Evening!

I don't know about you but this weekend went by way too fast!  I worked Friday and Saturday and today after running one short errand we just puttered around the house.  Didn't even work on putting up the Christmas Decorations!  I meant to stitch all day but instead got to searching online for some bedding I saw on Pintrest and before I knew it poof!  The day was gone and I don't think the bedding is available anymore so I wasted a lot of stitching time darnit!  

Thanksgiving went well.  Everyone played nice, the food was good, and while tiring it was a good day.  Most everyone went home by 5:00 p.m. which left me some time to sit and catch my breath, do a little stitching and watch a cheesy Lifetime movie.  Now don't get me wrong.  I love my Lifetime and Hallmark movies but this one was particularly bad.  So bad in fact that I changed the channel!  Shhhh, don't tell anyone I said that, I'll get kicked out of the cheese club!   My niece and nephew stayed to play a lively game of Monopoly with Dan and Amy and nephew Jordan drafted a friend of his (Nate) to play too.

They had a great time!  Dan and Amy found out they aren't the world's best Monopoly players,  I think they were both a bit surprised when Nate won the game.  Ya gotta watch out for the quiet ones.  They just go on about their business and let everyone else get whipped into a frenzy while they quietly buy up all the property before the others realize what's happening!    Amy spent the next day online researching strategies for winning Monopoly.  I think she's planning a rematch for Christmas break!

I wanted to share the Blackbird Designs Display that the shop has had up all month.  Most of the pictures you see belong to our customers who were kind enough to loan them to us for November.  Some I had never seen before so it's been wonderful to have them in the shop.  Thanks to all that participated!

Time is ticking away here and I haven't put one stitch in since Thursday night so I'm going to head on over to my nest and settle in with a  cheesy movie and my stitching.  Have a great evening everyone!

Take care till next time!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A road trip with lots of eye candy! (Pic Heavy)l-r

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I am finally sitting down after cleaning all day.  I still have a pie to make tonight but the crust is in the oven and then it has to cool before I can finish it so I thought this might be a great time take a few minutes and tell you all about a little trip I went on last Saturday with a few friends.

We have a group of ladies that come to our retreat from Des Moines Iowa.  The subject of a group of us going to Des Moines for a day of stitching came up one day at our last retreat while we were eating.  Those of us at the table thought it sounded like a stellar idea so a date was chosen and plans were made and last Saturday we all got up at the crack of O'dark thirty and hit the road to Des Moines.  Doreen picked Connie and I up at my house and then we headed to Council Bluffs to pick up Linda and after that we took a quick detour off the interstate at Avoca to pick up Mary.  From there it was a straight shot to Des Moines, well if a person was going to technical, it was a straight shot to Ankeny.  Our destination was the home of a lovely lady by the name of Patty.  Arriving at Patty's house we were greeted at the door with a warm smile and a come on in!  This is Patty and her friend Tom:

Patty has a beautiful home, It was all decorated for Thanksgiving.  She has a huge table in her kitchen that can hold 10 easily.  Which is good because that's how many of us were there.  It was the perfect size group, everyone could talk to everyone and you could hear what everyone else was talking about too.  Except for Dana, I don't think Dana said more than a handful of words but as she put it, she just likes to listen.  The Des Moines gals treated us to salad, pizza and dessert and we spent the day talking and laughing and having a great time!
L-R:  Merrilyn, Elaine, Doreen, Connie, Dana and Cathi

L-R:  Cathi, Linda and Patty
While we were there Patty offered us a tour of her home and me, being the smart blogger that I am, brought along a camera so I could share pictures of her stitching.  She had some beautiful pieces!  I won't post all of the pictures I took because that would take forever and I don't have that much time!   With a couple of exceptions, I have no idea who the designers are or what the names of the pieces are.  I just know that I enjoyed the eye candy!  I hope you will too!

Merrilyn had a finish while we were there.  She finished Jenny Beans Creation Sampler.  Much prettier than the picture on the chart!

As the day drew to a close, we packed up our bags and prepared to leave.  Then Merrilyn asked if we would like to take a side trip to her house to see her sampler wall.  Heck Yes!  I had heard stories of her sampler wall from others and couldn't wait to get a peek at it.  It was pretty awesome.  It's rather breathtaking when you see them all grouped together on one wall don't you think? (make sure you click on the picture so you can see them better!)

She also had a basket of needlerolls that  a couple of us were thinking about stashing under our shirt as we left.  But we didn't.  Honesty prevailed and we left everything where we found it.  But it wasn't easy!  Aren't these gorgeous?!!

We didn't make it home that night until almost 8p.m. but we all agreed it was a wonderful day and so nice to get to know our friends from Iowa a little better!  We're hoping another invitation will be extended in the spring, we'd be all over that even though we have to be up before the birds to get there at a decent time!
Thank you Patty, Cathi, Dana, Elaine and Merrilyn for a wonderful day!

I've got to go finish my pie and then I think I will stitch for a while before heading to bed.  Tomorrow will be a busy day with all the family coming over.   2 weeks ago there were going to be 25 of us but my sister and her family are not coming, her kids have low functioning immune systems and have been sick for weeks and she would rather keep them home tomorrow so as not to expose them to more stuff and maybe miss Christmas.  And Amy was supposed to bring her boyfriend but he went and used the "L" word after only a month of dating and she decided it wasn't fair to keep seeing him when she knew she didn't/wouldn't feel that way about him.  She liked him...a lot...and is very sad about the breakup but she had to be honest with him and he agreed there wasn't much point in continuing to see each other.  So we're down to 19 but still a houseful especially when you add in the 3 hyper dogs that will be running around!

Have a wonderful Turkey Day and take care till next time!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

And then there were 2

Happy Hump Day!

It's scary to think  we're half way through November already.  I need to get going on my Christmas shopping or I know some people that are gonna be mighty disappointed come Christmas Morning! I'm going to have to give up my Wednesday thrift shopping and concentrate on gift shopping for the next little while.  But not before one last trip today.  I didn't find much, just a headboard for Abby's room and this piece.

Which just happens to match a piece I found a month ago.

And since Terri  of Chocolates for Breakfast, Stitching for Lunch fame was kind enough to send me some frogs not too long ago, (thanks again Terri!) I had a frog that would fit in it just right.

I guess I better get busy buying some scissors to fill these babies up!  There are a couple of pair of Sullivans scissors that I've had my eye on,  but feel free to make suggestions.  Christmas is coming and Dan needs some ideas!

My stitching has been hampered somewhat by a rather large object that has taken up residence on my chest/lap in the evenings.  Rags has decided that's the best place to lay and stare at me.  She puts both front paws on my chest and then places her head between her paws.  Since my chest is where I prop my stitching when I stitch, you can imagine my dilemma.   Push the new pup away and hurt her feelings or don't stitch.  So far I have chosen not to stitch.  She moves on her own after about an hour so that's not too bad.

My Strawberry Hill Sampler is coming along nicely:

As is my Peace Sampler:

Roxy, I'm working really hard to get everything done you said I needed to have done before Last Saturday Stitching but I don't know if it's going to happen!

The shop received the new Barbara Ana designs a week ago and I just had to start one of them.  I wanted to start 2 of them but so far I've managed to talk myself out of doing that.  This is what I have done so far on Merry Christmas:

Adam has been in town this past week and a half for training so I've been cooking a lot more than I do when it's just Dan and I.  Dan has been pretty funny about it.  He'll come out to the kitchen to see what I'm doing and when he finds out what I'm making he gets a big grin on his face and says, "I love Adam."  I think I've heard that one line at least 10 times.  Marcia, Adam's fiancee was here over the weekend.  Adam wanted to take her to a Nebraska football game.  The weather was beautiful on Saturday and they had a great time!

I mentioned briefly in my last post that Adam had a fiancee now.  He proposed to Marcia about 3 weeks ago.  He rented a cabin in the mountains, hired a chef to come in and make supper for them and then proposed to her after their meal.   When he told me this I said WOW Adam, you went all out, to which he replied, "She needed a good story".   My boy is big ol' marshmallow romantic!  Marcia is a lucky girl.  Adam is lucky too.  It's obvious they adore each other and we wish them a lifetime of happiness together!

The Cabin in the Mountains
The dinner

The ring!
The Happy Couple!
And on that note I believe I am done.  I could rattle on for another paragraph but I need to make something for supper and then try to get some stitching time in.

Take care till next time!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reflections Retreat Recap and an addition to the family

Happy Halloween!

Let me begin by saying that my thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy.  I am lucky that everyone I know was spared the worst of Sandy's wrath.  I know that the days and weeks to come will not be easy but I also know that we as a people are at our best when things are at their worst.  I pray the road to recovery will be as smooth and as quick as possible.

Meanwhile, back in Nebraska,  things are as dry as they have been all summer.  The weather has turned cool and downright nipply at times.  More so than I would like but we at least have power to keep us warm and our homes are not flooded.

The McConnell house is in it's usual state of home improvement.  Dan has Abby's room painted and will hopefully finish the headboard tonight.  I found one nightstand today while I was out thrifting and hopefully I will find something similar in style sometime soon!  Adam will arrive on Sunday and although I doubt the room will be completely finished, it should at least have a bed in it by then!  

I was away over the weekend at our Falls No Frills Retreat.  We had 27 attend this year which is up from last years 15!  As this is our No Frills Retreat we try to keep it low key and just have a weekend of stitching with friends.  Me, being me, couldn't quite make it entirely no frills though.  Several months back I was at Michaels and spotted some unfinished wood coffins.  I looked at Dan and said, I bet I could do something with those and he said yep, I bet you could!  So we bought 30 of them and hauled them home.  I had a vague idea in the back of my mind but it didn't become fully formed until Connie said something to me about putting a name on the front of the coffin.  After that it was just a question of pulling it all together and figuring out the best way to get the writing on the coffin.  It took Dan and I several false starts but eventually we were able to get a system down and we got them all finished the week before retreat.  Here's what they look like.

Connie added peanut butter eyeballs and gummy body parts to them and we put one on the bed of each person that attended.

I don't have too many pictures to show you from retreat.  My camera battery died and I forgot to pack my spare but here are a few of the ladies enjoying their weekend.

One of the gals that came brought a metal spooky tree that her neighbor welded for her.  It was way cool and many of the ladies wanted one so she took names and email addresses and was going to check with the neighbor to see if he was willing to make more.  Awesome, isn't it?

Cathi does such a good job with her finishing too.  Each item was  perfect!      

We also decided to have an ornament exchange this year.  Only 14 of us participated but it was quite fun and everyone did an amazing job!  Here's a shot of all the ornaments together:

This is the ornament I made:

This is the ornament I received.  Isn't it adorable?  The gal responsible for this one finished it up at 5 o'clock in the morning the day of the exchange!!  Nothing like a bit of procrastination to add to the fun of retreat!

I started 3 projects over the weekend.  Didn't get too far on any of them cuz I was too busy looking at what everyone else was doing and talking.  Lots and lots of talking.

I began the weekend with Peace by A Stitcher's Hands.  I'm stitching it on cream 40 ct linen over one using the tent stitch.  Doesn't look like much but I'm proud of how far I got.  The colors are gorgeous!

Next I worked some on Plum Street Sampler's 2012 Hare's Halloween Freebie.  I'm stitching this one on Picture this Plus 32 ct Dusk using the called for fibers except I am changing the hare color.  My skein of the color for the Hare's is pretty green and I only see green rabbits when I've been drinking too much.  No wait that's 6 foot Pooka Rabbits I see when I drink too much and that's only happened a couple of times.  

And the last project is Strawberry Hill Sampler from With Thy Needle.  I'm doing this one as called for except we didn't have Park City Blend so I had to use 35ct  Abecedarian.

One of the  gals attending Retreat for the first time was also cross stitching for the first time.  Usually Margaret crochets when she comes to our Saturday Stitching.  But she wanted to learn to cross stitch so Connie hung out with her and taught her how to stitch.  I think they both did an awesome job, Connie at teaching and Margaret at learning!  I'm cheating with this picture, Margaret lives across the street from me so I trotted my happy hiney over there tonight and took this picture!     It's a freebie pattern from The Workbasket I believe but don't quote me on that!

One final thought on retreat and then I will move on...Thanks to the staff at Calvin Crest for making us feel so welcome.  Retreat wouldn't be as great as it is without the wonderful facility we stay in and the good food they feed us.  The scones were awesome and I tried Curried chicken for the first time and actually enjoyed it!  Those that know me know what a rare event it is for me to try a new food, much less to like it!  Kudos to you all!  See ya in the Spring!!

And now I would like for you to meet Rags.

Rags is a rescue pup that Dan and I are pretty sure we will be adopting.  She has been staying with us the last couple of days and so far so good.  No dog fights with the other 2 dogs, no love yet either but no fighting is good and we'll take that. Yesterday as I got ready to leave for work I decided to put Rags in the bathroom and put the baby gate up so she could have more room to move around in than she would have in the kennel.  She could also see the other dogs so she wouldn't feel so isolated.  I put her food in there, her water, a chew bone and a blanket, put the gate up and placed her on the other side of the gate, turned around to get my purse off the table and turned back to head to the door and there was Rags, sitting behind me, tail wagging, looking like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.  I didn't even hear her jump that gate.  Poor Rags was then banished to the kennel for the day.  Silly puppy!

I think that's all I have for today.  Thanks for visiting with me today and take care till next time!