Sunday, October 13, 2013

And the winner is....

The random number generator chose comment #4....Pamela!

Pam I will be emailing you shortly.  You have 24 hours to respond at which time I will choose a second chance winner.

Thanks everyone for participating!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ort Containers and a Giveaway!

I see another month has gone by with no posts.  Boy does time fly when you get a few years under your belt! I'd be interested to know why that is.  The cause of my absence this time is completely of my own making. I bit off way more than I could chew with a project for retreat.  Fall is our no frills retreat but I generally come up with something for the ladies to use as an ort container.  Last year if you remember it was the coffins.

 This year I made my own pumpkin patch! (click to enlarge)

 A few months back I saw a cute pumpkin pin cushion on Pintrest and I thought to myself, self, that would make an adorable ort box for retreat.  And wouldn't you know it but my own self said ya know, it certainly would be a great ort box.  So I set about gathering some supplies to see if I could make one.  I'm going to let you in on a little secret here...I am not particularly good at sewing.  This project required a bit of sewing, in the round no less so I wasn't exactly sure I would be able to pull it off.  I didn't have any directions to follow so I just had to wing it.  And when I was done I had a passable copy of the original.  Meet Hamish, my very own pumpkin dude.

   Now a smart person would have written down exactly  what she had done as far as how large I cut my pieces of fabric.  But,  and here's another little secret for one has ever accused me of being smart.  So when a couple of weeks went by before I was able to gather enough supplies to make these cuties en masse, I couldn't remember what I had done the first time.  So back to the drawing board I went.  I think I made 6 of these before I got the size correct.  Note to self:  one should write down important information for later use because as one gets a few years under ones belt one tends to forget said important information.  Here's another little tidbit for you.  Making one or 2 of these was fun.  Making 46...not so much.  Big time sucker!  Especially when I had 15 customer finishes to do and one ornament to stitch and finish for our exchange at retreat.  It wasn't that hard it just took a lot of time due to the many steps involved but in the end I did finish the little dears with 3 days to spare and I stitched and finished my ornament and got 12 of the 15 customer finishes finished.  All in all I think I did okay, however don't ask me about my house and the state it's in because it's not good.  But I'm slowly working on getting it back into shape. Thanksgiving is going to be here before I know it and I believe I was elected to have everyone here again so getting the house clean is my next big job.

I made a few extra pumpkins to sell so I could recoup the money that was spent but I also set one aside for a giveaway.  I haven't had a giveaway in forever and I thought this might be just the ticket.   Here is the pumpkin dude up for grabs.

He could be yours if you follow a few simple rules:

1.  you must be a follower of my blog.
2.  you must leave a comment on this post only and you must include your email address or your blog address so I can reach you.  
3.  if you share the giveaway on your blog I will put your name in twice if you let me know in your post.

Everyone is eligible as long as you are a follower including those not in the States.  I will draw the winner on Sunday Morning the 13th of October.  You will have 24 hours to respond to the email i will send after which I will choose a new winner.

I think I will call this post done and leave the retreat report for next time.  Thanks for all the wonderful comments on my Fair results.  I appreciate them.  Thanks also for hanging in there between posts.

Take care till next time!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

State Fair Results

Hello!  Anyone still out there?  I'm hoping a few of you are still hanging around despite my lack of posts.  I have no excuse other than I am a bad bad blogger.  Shame on me!

Not a lot to blog about today.  Work is good.  Dan is good.  Kids are good.  Dogs are good.  I started looking for something to wear to the wedding.  Figured if the fat hadn't magically melted away by now it wasn't going to happen so best suck it up and find a suitable outfit.  So far I haven't found anything that is making my heart beat with excitement.  Of course the chances of that happening are slim to none so not a big surprise.

Been busy planning  spring retreat.  Fall retreat is just a few weeks away.  St Charles Market was good.  I enjoyed chatting with the designers and other shop owners and took a wonderful business law class.  Been stitching quite a bit but haven't taken any pictures.  I'll have to do that soon.  In the meantime I thought I would share my State Fair Results.

I have never submitted anything to any fair, county or state prior to this year.  Since I stitch upside down or backwards or however you want to describe it, I always figured that it wouldn't be worth my time.  Not because I needed to win to make it worth my time but because I figured they would disallow it because of the stitching being different.  But last year I heard there were very few entries in our State Fair in the counted cross stitch division and I vowed to myself that I would give it a try.  And then I promptly put it out of my mind until this spring when I talked about it a bit with Connie and MaryAnn and then let it drop again.   Finally in July I brought it up one last time, Mary Ann said her stitching was not good enough to enter so she wasn't going to do it.  At which point I thought maybe I would wait till next year.  And then I got to thinking.  How many other stitchers think the same way?  My stitching isn't good enough, I stitch backwards, what if something happens to my stitching...there are a multitude of ways one can talk oneself out of entering.  Believe me, I thought of them all.   But then I remembered the reason I was going to enter in the first place.  A lack of entries.  If folks don't enter it's just one more way that our favorite hobby is disappearing.  Shops are closing, big boxes are reducing inventory, fewer entries at the fair, fewer shops showing up at market, fewer designers and on and on.  So after waffling back and forth for a full day I went home and hopped on the computer and looked at the entry form only to find that the deadline was that day!  No more time for procrastination!  I called Connie and told her we need to do this and we need to do it today!  I more or less brow beat the poor woman into agreeing to enter!  And then I tried to decipher what the entry forms were all about and when I couldn't figure them out I got on the phone and called a friend of mine that works the fair and thankfully in spite of the fact that she was driving back from Indiana that day, Laurie was able to talk me through it and (this is the best part)  she's still talking to me!  I think I called her 5 or 6 times that day.  Poor Laurie.  She was a good teacher though and I was able to help Connie when she called me with questions.  Once the online paperwork was submitted the next hurdle was getting everything labeled properly, packed up safely and delivered to the pick up point an hour and a half away.  That required a few more calls to Laurie.  But it was all good.  Until I dropped off our stuff and they asked if it was okay to stack the pictures. I almost snatched them back out of the ladies hands but I restrained myself and calmly said I would prefer that they not stack them as damage can occur to the frames that way.  To which the witch woman replied that I had them packaged well enough that it shouldn't be a problem.  Just as I was about to leap over the table to retrieve our entries, Dan grabbed me and pulled me away from the old biddy  woman saying they would be fine and we needed to leave.  Once we got back into the car the panic set in.  OMG!!  What Had I Done!  The control freak in me was having a major meltdown!  Our stitching was no longer under my control.  It was not a pretty ride home.  So I did the only thing I could do at that point...I contacted Laurie, told her what the lady said about stacking them and begged her to let me know as soon as she could that everything arrived safely.  I am happy to report that they made the trip in one piece and in good shape and once again Laurie saves the day! Then the waiting began.  Laurie promised to call once the judging was done.  Oh, I should mention that Laurie is not a judge, just a volunteer that helps where needed.  A few days passed before the call came.   And while I was not really expecting to win any ribbons for the reason stated above,  I was pleasantly surprised to hear that I had.  Connie also won with her 3 entries.    Connie and I planned to attend the fair but the weather was excruciatingly hot the day we were supposed to go and I've been having problems with my hip since the fall I took before the shower so we opted out of going.  It would have been nice to see the other entries though.

So you might ask if having gone through the process once would I consider doing it again?  I would and I plan to year.  I'm going to see if I can brow beat a few of the shops stitchers into entering next year too.  The more the merrier right?  After all if people start seeing more entries in our division maybe more will come back to stitching.  That's my thought anyway.  So I challenge all of you to enter your local fair, be it county or state.  Not because you want to win a ribbon but because you want to expose the general public to our craft.  Winning is nice, but in the end the judging is all subjective and should be taken as such, not as gospel.  I stitch to please myself.  Not to have someone validate me in some way.   So, start thinking about what you want to enter next year and expect me to bring the subject up again come next summer!

Take care till next time!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Shower photos, Stitching and RIP Sophie

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Today is my day off and so far I've been pretty productive.  It's probably going to be all downhill from here though.  I seem to lose steam after about an hour, get distracted by the computer, a good book, a craft project or stitching and then nothing else gets done.  But I did get a lot done in that hour and a half that I was productive so I don't plan to feel too bad if nothing else constructive gets accomplished today.

Lots I could tell you about since my last post.  The shower/reception for Adam and Marcia went well I think. They seemed to be happy with it anyway.  It was a kitchen themed shower and their wedding colors are teal and tangerine with a lovebird theme.  

 Everyone was asked to bring a favorite recipe to put in the happy couple's recipe book.

There were a few hiccups along the way.  Dan forgot to take the sandwich buns out of the freezer the night before when he was asked to do it and I assumed it was done so the buns were frozen up until about an hour before the shower.  Luckily it was really hot out and they thawed pretty quickly in the car.  I won't bore you with every little detail.  I'll let the pictures do the talking for me.


I borrowed the vintage canning jars from everyone I could think of.  In order to make sure that everyone got their own jars back, we wrote on the reverse side of the love bird tags whose jar it was and how many they donated.  Connie did all the hand writing as she has beautiful penmanship and she tied all the bows because I can't tie a decent bow to save my soul.

The jars on the table with the nuts and M & M's
The favors.  My friend and neighbor Margaret
 crocheted all 40 of the dish cloths
The favor basket
the gift table
gift table
Recipe for Love 
Cupcake table
another angle
tower up close 
Abby made the mints with my sister and mother's help
The guests of honor
Wearing their estrogen and
testosterone aprons that
Connie gave them. 
I want to thank Connie for co-hosting the event with me and for all the time and effort she put into it.  THANK YOU CONNIE!  I couldn't have done it without you.  Thanks also to Margaret, Nancy, Jan, Lynn, Carole and Connie for the use of their canning jars.

Now that the shower is over I need to get the craft room all clean and shiny.  Adam is coming back the end of this month for his Bachelor Party.  Part of that celebration will take place in my craft room.  The guys want to come back to the house after their other activities and do some old fashioned gaming and Adam has decided the craft room is where they will do it since the Christmas Village takes up the rest of the basement these days.  The craft room is currently a train wreck so I'll be spending some time down there today and see what I can do.  Dan and I worked for a couple of hours on Sunday and went through a bunch of boxes of old school plan lessons of Dans.  I decided if we were going to clean we were going to CLEAN.  He had some seriously old crap in those boxes.  Most of it hasn't been used in 15-20 years but he still kept saying, he'd be in trouble if he ever had to teach it again.  Me?  I'm thinking if he hasn't needed it in the last decade he probably isn't going to need it anytime in the next decade.  And it would be extremely outdated anyway so most likely not usable at that point.

Dan and I celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary on August 2nd.  It was very low key as we are trying to save as much money as possible for the wedding expenses.  If you all remember last year, the man gave me an onion keeper.  This is what I received this year.  Gotta love a man that knows exactly what a girl needs!

I've been doing some work on our Spring Retreat.  Got the theme nailed down, am working on various goody bag ideas and I've found a designer willing to design our project.  I can't say who it is until we announce registration but I think it's going to be an awesome collaboration.

Mary Ann, Connie and I are heading to St. Charles for market in 2 weeks.  From the list of exhibitors it seems like the vast majority will be needlepoint designers.  While I love to look at needlepoint, we don't carry it in our shop as there are plenty of other stores that do in our area. I'm sure we'll find some wonderful treasures to bring home but I wish more cross stitch designers were attending.  I've said it before and I'll say it again...everyone needs to attend, shops and designers alike or this wonderful resource will disappear forever.  So if you have an LNS near you or know a designer, please encourage them to attend.

Been stitching every chance I get.  Some I can share with you and some I can't.  I can't show you my ornament/pin pillow for our retreat exchange.  That will have to wait until after fall retreat.  And I have another project I'm not ready to share yet.  But I can show you my progress on Heritage Sampler by the Nebby Needle.   It won't be long till she's done.

 And I have put a bit of time into Midnight Watch too.

I'm feeling a bit manic about my stitching right now.  I have so much I want to work on and there doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to do it all.   I need to remember to take a picture of my Cinnamon Christmas all framed up.  I'll share that next time as it is at the shop.

Dan, Connie and I took a little road trip this past weekend to an antique shop in a small town about 25 minutes from Omaha that also carries rug hooking supplies.  I needed some wool for a craft project I'm working on and couldn't find anything in town.  The shop was in an outbuilding on a farm.  It was so nice to be out in the country.  The barn cat came out to greet me and there were horses nearby.  I was in heaven.  The shop was nice too.  They were having first Saturday of the month open rug hooking.   Pretty interesting stuff but not something I would like to do.  Connie thought she might like to try it though.  Did you know they call their "orts" snippets?  They need much larger ort containers than we cross stitcher's do!  

My mom's dog of 14 years passed away last night.  Sophie didn't have much of a personality, mostly she just sat there and blinked, we always suspected she had brain damage.  She was much more accurate at predicting when there was going to be a bad storm than the weather guys.  And she had a stuffed rabbit that she nursed on every morning like clockwork. Mom has had to fix that nasty thing a million times over the last 14 years.  But mom adored her and is devastated at her loss.  Rest in Peace Sophie.  You will be missed.

And with that you are now pretty much caught up with the doings around here.  I need to get this posted, throw the sheets in the dryer and head downstairs.  I hope you all have a great Wednesday and take care till next time!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What I did Wednesday!

Good Morning!

I'm not sure I can say that I met my goal completely but...I did get some stitching done.  I ran into a bit of a snag though.  Tuesdays, So You Think You Can Dance is on.  A person (me) cannot just listen to them dance like you can a regular TV show.  And boy was  the dancing good last night.  Lots of talent this season!  But I digress.  I had to stitch madly during the judges comments and the commercials.  And then there was the whole dog issue last night.  Between Rags thinking she needed to be cuddled half the night (she's been sick) and Kallie walking all over me because she was stressed out from the fireworks...well it made for some challenging stitching.  So progress was made but not as much progress as I might have liked.

Now I have a different problem.  Maybe some of you have it too.  Now all I want to stitch on is Midnight Watch and the heck with Golden Ice and Heritage Sampler!!  But I need to get Golden Ice finished and I want to work on Heritage Sampler too!  So for those of you that do a you have any tips or tricks to actually making yourself put the current project down to pick up what's next in the rotation?? Cuz I totally suck at it!

Today I am supposed to go out and get the paper products for the shower.  Plus I need to look for colored sugar in the correct colors.  I am trying really hard to get out there and get it done but I think I'd rather stay at home and stitch while doing the laundry.  Some company would be great but everyone I know is working.  Anyone wanna pop on over and go with me?  I'll buy you lunch!

Guess I should get myself pulled together and head out so I can get home and get the laundry started.

You all have a wonderful Wednesday and take care till next time! And if by chance any of you picked up the Take it out Tuesday Challenge, I would love to see what you got done!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Take it out Tuesday!

As I explained in my last post I have started Take it out Tuesday's on the shop's facebook page.  I figured if I was going to do it there I might as well carry it over here.  So tonight I decided to take out Blackbird Designs Midnight Watch and work on it.  Here's the before pic.  Will post after pictures tomorrow on What I did Wednesday!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I have a finish, but not a finished finish!

Howdy folks!

Been a couple of weeks.  Not much new.  Working on the shower for Adam and Marcia, trying to de-jungleize (that's my own word, don't try to look it up in the dictionary cuz it isn't there) my gardens, and stitching here and there when I have the chance.

I'm trying to get a little movement on the shops Facebook page so I announced Take it out Tuesday's and What I did Wednesday's on there.  Basically, you dig through your stash bag, basket, box...whatever on Tuesday and pick something new or something that has been languishing, tell us what you've chosen and work on it that day.  On What I did Wednesday, you post what you did and whether you met your goal.  I figured if I was the one putting this out there I better participate myself so last night I pulled out Rites of Spring by Cherished Stitches, posted that I wanted to get the stitching part of it done and lo and behold goal met!

I also had to start one of The Nebby Needle's new to me releases.  I fell in love with the Heritage Sampler.  The shop had the fabric called for so in my opinion it was meant to be which meant I had no choice but to start it.  I tried.  I really really tried to follow the directions and use only 1 strand over 2 on 30 count.  I just couldn't do it.  I know it was supposed to be done that way to get that old worn look but I kept fussing over it and finally I just said screw it.  So 2 strands it is.  Unless I change my mind again and do 1 strand over 1.   I don't know...what do you think?????

Worked some on Golden Ice too.  I don't know which one of you is sneaking into my house in the middle of the night and taking out everything I've stitched that day but you need to STOP!  Right Now!  I swear I stitch on this thing for hours and it doesn't look like anything is getting done!!!

Several of you asked about the button bouquet that I made from a picture I saw on Pintrest and posted last time and you wanted to know how to find it.  The picture actually came from a listing on Etsy.  I can post a link but if you are looking for directions I never found any.  I just looked at the picture and went from there.  I can write up what I used and how I did it if you want.  Let me know.

And now I best get a move on and get some customer finishes done.  Thanks for stopping by!

Take care till next time!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stitching and life updates

Howdy Folks!

It's Wednesday, it's my day off, it's hot and humid out and I'm cleaning house.  Anyone else have to turn the A/C waaaay down when they clean?  Since the advent of Menopause it's become part of the cleaning routine.  Furnace off in the winter and A/C down in the summer!    I'm about finished now though.  I should be, with the exception of an hour or so I've been at it since 9 this morning!  Gotta love a clean house!

Life was supposed to calm down after retreat but so far I haven't noticed a big difference.  I'm deep into bridal shower planning with some Retreat 2014 thrown in there for good measure!  I don't know why I have to make things so difficult for myself but somehow I always do.  Finally nailed down a venue for the shower this morning.  Next up is the the invitations.  I've got them picked out, just need to get the wording to my liking and we'll be set.

I've done some stitching here and there.  I decided I wasn't getting any younger and working on black wasn't going to get any easier so I've pulled out Golden Ice and am going to stick with it until it's finished.  I'm not sure how long it's been languishing in the unfinished pile but it's has to have been a couple of years anyway.   Hold the phone!  It took me a while but I found the last update I did on it and it was dated July 2010 so it's been almost 3 years.  This is what it looked like then:

and now it looks like this:

Working on this piece has caused a bit of hostility from Abby.  See, Golden Ice is for Amy and I have already stitched Fire and Ice for Amy also.  When Abby caught me stitching on it she said "Oh, I guess we know who the favorite daughter is."  She is referring to the fact that I was supposed to stitch 12 dancing princesses for her and I gave up.  I decided I was never going to live long enough to finish that piece.  I've asked her to choose something else that is within the realm of possibility but she refuses to do so.  My bad! LOL!

I've also been working this little piece that I picked up at market called Rites of Spring by Cherished Stitches.   It was a limited release kit, comes with everything to finish it into the pillow as shown.  It's a nice break from Golden Ice and has been a fun stitch.  Not much left to do now.

I also stole a bit of time away from my stitching to work on a craft project.  I love how it turned out!  Exactly like the picture on Pintrest!

In family news: 

Dan has been busy working on a border of rock around the edges of the back yard.  The dogs had run a rut in the grass along the fence.  When it rained, this rut would become a pit of mud.  The dogs would come in covered in mud up to their eyeballs, track it all over the house and furniture before you could snag them to clean them up thus making the above chore of cleaning harder.  And nobody needs that, right?   So taking our cue from the neighbors we decided to put rock all long the fence line, thus eliminating the mud.  The dogs would run on the rock and voila!  No more mud baths.  In theory this was a brilliant plan.  In reality, it's a total fail.  The damn dumb knotheads (one of my mom's favorite sayings...usually aimed at me) don't like running on the rock!  So now they run along side the rock.  How long  do you give them before they run a new rut in the grass??  I can see into the future now...the entire back yard covered in river rock.  No grass in sight!  Guess that would solve the mud problem for good!

How long do you think it will take Dan to remove that
pile of dirt?
Amy has a very busy summer ahead of her.  She's back here at the ballpark working during home stands.  Then in Lincoln taking summer classes, working in 2 research labs and studying for the GRE test to get into grad school.  I think her one class is going to help her with that last bit.  It's a class on addiction and she has to give up something she is addicted to for 28 days.  Only thing she's addicted to is watching TV so now she has plenty of time for studying!

Abby moved into a new apartment with her friend Maggie.  They are now mostly settled in and have it set up nicely.  Each of them have their own bathroom right off their bedrooms which is nice.  No sharing!  I had to laugh though when Dan and I were over helping her hang some pictures.  They have a huge TV in their living room and each of them have a TV in their bedroom, so 3 TV's in this not so big apartment! I was telling them when Dan and I got married we didn't even have a TV and when we did it was a small black and white one and we only got one station!  Times sure have changed!

Adam and Marcia are doing well.  Getting ready for their big day in November.  Adam played baseball this spring.  They've both run some marathons and now that it's pool weather Marcia will be poolside when possible.  They'll be here for a wedding that Adam is in come July, hence the wedding shower plans.  None of my family will be attending the wedding in November for one reason or another so we thought it might be a nice way that they can be involved.

And that should catch you all up.  Not too much exciting going on.  I'll try to post again this weekend.

Thanks for reading and commenting.  Love comments!

Take care till next time!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Retreat...Final Chapter at last!

It's a stormy day here in the Heartland.  Kallie is a complete mess, my water heater is leaking and when the guy came out this morning to service the air conditioner for summer he informed me I don't have a damper on my humidifier so my system is not running efficiently.  Hmmm...I had one before you all replaced my furnace last fall.  I called the office and they are coming out free of charge to take care of that... in 2 weeks.  My tater's are torked for sure!  Geez people, if a person has one when you start a job said person should have one when you finish the job! Am now waiting on a plumber to arrive so thought this would be a most excellent time to finish this epic story!

Sunday Morning when we sat down in our stitching spot we found one of these waiting for us.

"The Sister's" as we like to call them made each of us a Needlebook!

See the cute feet fabric they found?   Love it!
Thank you  Denise, Deb C. and Connie N.,  that was a very nice thing to do and everyone loved them!

Sunday was a pretty laid back day, most everyone was feeling the effects of little sleep and moaning about how quickly the weekend went.   We did manage to get everyone together for a group photo

and then one by one the ladies started packing up in preparation for the trip home.

Some had to take a quick nap before they hit the road though, and I heard through the grapevine that some pulled over and took a nap while on their way home.

It's always sad when one of our retreats is over.  We always have a wonderful time and the ladies are always fun to be around.  Lucky for us it's only 4 months until our Fall No Frills Retreat!  We're going to do a Halloween ornament or pin pillow exchange this year which should be fun.  Just need to decide on a chart and get going on it so I don't leave it till the last minute.

A great big THANK YOU to all of our Retreater's, old timers and newbies alike,  for coming out and being the great ladies you are.  We couldn't ask for a better group of people. See ya in the Fall or next Spring if not before!!

To wrap this up I have some pictures of my finished Retreat Project which is slightly different than it was charted.  You know me, I can't leave well enough alone.  I didn't change a lot though, left out a motif, changed a color here and there and I used over dyes on mine.  

Here is the model as charted that I showed earlier:

and here is mine.  It's hard to spot the differences.

I made some stick pins to put in my footstool and Connie liked them so much she wanted a set and thought I should make a few sets to sell which I did.  I put a heart charm and feet charm on the larger pin.  

 I had a finish right before retreat.  You might have spotted it on the brag table.

stitched on 32ct Meadow Rue over one with a tent stitch
While I was at retreat I worked on a couple of older projects.  First up is Tuscan Rose before retreat.  I last showed an update in April of 2012 so it had been a year since I touched it.

 and after retreat:

I also worked on my Peace Sampler.  The last picture I could find looked like this:

It now looks like this:

And with that this epic Retreat post comes to a close.  Thanks for hanging in there folks!

Update on the water heater.  Need a new one.  Not an inexpensive item.  Oh well,  gotta have hot water right?

Take care till next time!