Friday, April 8, 2016

Opinions please....

I have taken a quick break from my stitching rotation to pull this one out of my UFO basket. Why was such a small and pretty chart a UFO you ask? Well silly me did not buy enough thread, or even write down the name of the thread I had used for the pink of the letters. So I kept taking this with me in hopes of finding a match at the needlework shop and never did. Finally last week (after ahem EIGHT YEARS of this sitting in my basket) I just gave up! I went in my box of DMC and found the closest color I could, and you know what? Even I can't tell the difference now that it's done. By the way it was only the outer pink of the V that I didn't have enough of the original pink to finish. How silly of me to wait this long! So here is the opinion question.... See how the O is half filled in with ecru? Should I do the other letters  the same way or just leave them unfilled? The ecru kind of gives it a softer look, but it also makes the letters stand out less. I can't decide. 

And here is my other short project for this week. Prairie Schooler "Bump in the night" I have an idea to do all of these and another chart on a big piece of linen, and I am kind of liking the purple background. This one will just be a small ornament for my Halloween decor. 

And here is our newest foster "Ryder", he is a shepherd mix that was from the county pound. He was on the euthanasia list for the four days before we rescued him (for a dog that's sick it is amazing they let him live that long). He has what many of our fosters have had, a mange that is not contagious to dogs or people but causes them to lose their hair. I understand it would be hard for a shelter to adopt out a half bald dog, but I hate to see sweet dogs killed for something that is easily treatable. It takes about two months for them to grow back their hair. He is such a sweet dog too!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Pink roses, pink tulips, and not so pink lemonade.

Update on Blackbird Trellis. All of the leaves are now done, and all of the roses too. I had to order another skein of thread for the third blackbird, and am filling in the rest of the trellis while I wait for it to arrive. I have not started anything new, and my goal now is to finish this and Autumn Village + one quilt project by the end of April. 

Last weekend was our third anniversary, and sweet husband brought home beautiful pink tulips and a handmade card. He makes cards for all of our special occasions, and writes the sweetest love notes inside. I am terrible at writing anything in cards, I am always a little tongue tied. I am a lucky wife though. 

And here is my sweet toddler helping me juice lemons. He was so upset we were throwing away the peels once we had juiced them, He kept trying to dig them out of the trash bag to re-squeeze them, funny boy. So I now have gallons of lemon juice in my freezer. We actually don't have any lemon trees in our yard, but our neighbors have two huge trees that overhang our wall, and drop about a dozen fresh lemons each day. The smell of the blooms is heavenly, but I don't know what I am going to do with all this juice. I feel bad just throwing them away though. Lots of lemonade this summer I guess. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Road trips and Roses

Progress on blackbird trellis, 4 out of 5 roses mostly filled in. I am waiting on two skeins of thread to come in to start on the smaller buds (GA Pomegranite) and the leaves (GA Baby Spinach). I have enough to work on this week though, finishing the roses and the blackbirds. 

I think I have come up with a stitching rotation for this year. I am going to start one new project a month, and not stress so much about getting through my WIP box. So my project for March I have decided is going to be Spring Hare by La-D-Da. I still have Autumn in the Village (January's start) and Blackbird Trellis (February start) and will just divide my time amongst them.

Here is last weekends roadtrip. We drove up through Wickenberg, to the west of Phoenix, and found a nature/hiking preserve along the Hasayampa River. It was so nice to get out of the desert, and hike along green meadows and a pretty creek. 

Here is some of our desert wildlife, a lizard camouflaged against the tree. 

And a desert tortoise, he was right along the side of the trail, and if he hadn't been hiking himself I think we would have mistook him for just another rock!

Not really "wildlife" per se, but some cows resting in one of the pretty green meadows.

A desert ocotillo on top of the hill. It is a form of cactus, in the spring all of the spines bloom and are quite a display. 

My husband hiking up the hill.

And me posing on a little bridge over the creek. 

When we were all done hiking we went a little farther up the highway and stopped at a tiny cafe attached to a gas station in Congress, AZ. It was such a small town it only had one stop light, so imagine our surprise when we walked in and they asked if we had reservations! Well of course we didn't so we had to sit out on the patio, the restaurant itself maybe had 15 tables in a tiny little two rooms. The patio was pretty enough, and our weather has been so nice it was not a big deal. We weren't expecting much, but the food was amazing! Above is a photo of our salads/appetizer (zucchini chips). I had shrimp & lobster tacos for dinner, and my husband had shrimp linguine. If you ever find yourself out West in Arizona, the name of the place was Nichols West. From the outside it doesn't look like much, but the food was better than most you would get in the city.

 So a fun roadtrip weekend, and now I am back to the usual school week/work week, day to day. Hope your week has started off well!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Garden growing

All of my roses are now done on Trellis Blackbirds, and this week I have been slowly filling in the pink centers. You can't really see the trellis in the photo, it washed out, but I love the color I used WDW Baby's Breath, which is different than what was charted. Next comes the leaves and finishing up the blackbirds. 

And here was last weekends project. It has been in the 80's here, warm even for Arizona. So we needed to hustle to get our garden ready to plant before we reached the dreaded heat of summer. 

Here is sweet husband finishing up the fence. He had lots of help. 

My oldest got to use the power tools to cut the boards  for the fence. 

While my middle daughter got to paint the boards.

And my sweet baby helped dad build the step for the garden.

And here are all three enjoying our sprinkler and the warm afternoon. Crazy that it's only February and it feels like summer already here! We planted three different types of tomatoes, which never do well for me in the heat so I am hoping they still have at least two more months of milder temps here, and four different kinds of peppers which I have had really good luck with. At our last house we had one pepper plant that lived for three years and kept producing peppers each summer. So at least the peppers enjoy our heat!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Feet in the dirt weekend

First off Happy Valentines Day everyone! Hope you have lots of love in your life today! 
I am celebrating by working all weekend, yuck! It's ok though I still got to spend time with sweet husband today. I also started a new project, something I think perfect for Valentines Day with the pretty pink roses on it. Plum Street Samplers "Trellis Blackbirds". I love the colors used for the roses WDW Baked Apple and Charlotte's Pink. So not that I needed a new project, but I just couldn't help myself! 

Today my time spent with sweet husband involved lots of digging and painting and sawing. We are working on getting our garden bed ready to plant. Above is an old picture before we moved to our new house last year (we took the raised garden bed with us). At our old house we had it fenced in with chicken wire, until our shepherd decided some flimsy wire was not going to keep her from our delicious squash.  I know, how weird our dog loves squash, we even have to watch our Halloween pumpkins cause she starts chewing on the rinds. So today we worked on building a picket fence around our garden bed. We have one side done, three more to go. It was nice working outside today in the warm weather, but if you ever want to test your teamwork skills build something with your spouse! There were a few discussions on how exactly the whole fence was going together, but in the end we got it done.

And here is my Valentine's day jewelry from sweet husband, a new fitness tracker. I had a Jawbone two years ago, that I purchased used off of Ebay, and the battery died within a few months of owning it. But I really liked their app, it tracks your sleep and daily activity/steps. This one even tracks your heart rate.  I love tracking stuff, and seeing graphs of when I am most active or when I was in deep sleep vs. light sleep and how long it took me to wake up is fun for me. So I was super lucky this Valentines day, my husband knows me so well! I also am still doing Weight Watchers and you can sync it to their app to earn fit points (if you don't do WW fitpoints= more food). I have been working on being healthier this year, I made it to the gym and to a yoga class last week. I have also ran 52 miles already this year. But of course with a full time job and three kids it is hard to fit in workouts sometimes, so anything that makes it more fun or gives me some incentive to do it I love. And no I was not paid to say any of that, I just wanted to show off my new toy!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Blessed by books

 "Thine is the Trick and the Treat" came out of my WIP basket for this week. I enjoy it for relaxed stitching. Just the one color, and the chart is pretty simple to read. I have been slow working on this one, I think it has been in my WIP basket two or three years now. But I enjoy it and am in no particular hurry to have it done with. 

Here is my "blessing of books" I picked up this week. I am already 75% done with "Bellman & Black". It is interesting so far, not quite a fantasy novel, but there are fantastical parts of the story. This is my first time reading this author and I will be looking for her first book "The 13th Tale". 

Next on my bookshelf is "Austenland". A friend recommended the movie based off this book, and I loved it! The movie is so funny and just light, and so far the book (yes I always read a few books at once...hmmm just like my cross stitching) has been as good as the movie! The main character is a Jane Austen fan, and books a vacation to a resort that gives you the full "Pride and Prejudice" experience complete with your own Mr. Darcy. Honestly I have never read any Jane Austen books, but I still really really liked this story.

I also picked up "The Alchemist" which is apparently another classic that I have missed. It is a fairly short book, less than 200 pages so it should be a quick read. I have heard nothing but good things about this book, so I am hoping not to be disappointed. 

And the only non-fiction book of the bunch, "Who, What, Where, When". I love books of useless information, and so far I have found this an interesting read. There is another author Mary Roach, who wrote "Stiff", "Gulp" and "Bonk" which are all books that talk about the little details of death, food and sex. Anyway, I enjoy her books and they give me the feeling I have learned something and actually read something other than just pulp fiction. 

So that is my week, books and easy stitching. This weekend we are going to try and get our garden ready to grow. Here in Arizona our gardening season starts early, it is supposed to be in the 80's already by this weekend!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Apparently they thought I wouldn't notice

Here is my chart for Autumn in the Village, do you see the edges of my chart? I always make a working copy to highlight (and enlarge --my eyes aren't what they used to be). Well, someone in my household of three kids and three dogs spilled something all over my chart. Instead of telling me, or spreading out the pages to dry, they quietly tucked my chart back into my sewing basket and this is how I found it. Luckily the original chart is still usable, just all of my working pages that I high lighted are water damaged beyond use. Oh the perils of living with children and pets!
Here's my progress on Autumn Village. I worked mostly on the tree in the middle this week and the grocery store (the yellow/green building. Soon will come all the back-stitching, YUCK! but I know it will make it really pop once it's done. 

This Prairie Schooler went off to the framers last week, and I get it back this Friday. I am excited to hang it up for spring. It has sat in my finished box all year. I wanted to go with the frame on the right until they told me it wasn't actually a frame but a spacer for underneath, So the green/blue on the left it was. As my husband pointed out we have yellow walls in our kitchen/dining area so the wood frame really wouldn't have stood out against them anyways.

And our latest foster Kenzie went back to the Humane Society. She was recovering from the loss of her front leg, and was such a cutie pie! I really loved having her (i'd keep all of them if I could). In her place we are now fostering a shepherd puppy that is missing about half his hair. He is going to be such a handsome dog once it grows back, but for now he just looks awkward. I'd post a photo of him but puppies just don't hold still long enough!

Calvin also turned 2 last month! For his birthday we go him a basketball hoop, and guess what he wanted to play with? The box of course! So here is our sweet baby standing in his birthday box.