Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Oh Mr. Postman bring me my stitching.......

I have been anxiously awaiting my LK mystery sampler in the mail each day. A stitcher posted her start of it on a Facebook group today and I almost couldn't stand it! I have been reluctantly stitching on other stuff while waiting for it to arrive. I've worked mostly on BOF Schoolhouse Sampler above, filling in the flower petals. Still loving the colors against the dark fabric. This week is also finals week for me in two online college courses I am taking. I mistakenly thought a course in Children's Literature would be easy, there is FIVE essays due for the final! So my weekend will be spent mostly with my nose in a textbook with hourly trips to check the mailbox. 

And here is an Ebay purchase (that ahem still got here faster than my mystery sampler). I already have this pattern in the form of a Prairie School booklet, but was surprised to find it in kit form. This is a Janlynn kit from 1989! I was also surprised to find it came with a nice evenweave fabric, I thought most kits of that era had only Aida cloth with them. I admit I have an odd habit of searching for half finished cross stitch on Ebay because I don't have enough of my own at home apparently. Maybe I just hate to see someone else's craft go unfinished and unloved.  

 Here is my summertime quilt project. I forget the name of the fabric now, but isn't it sooooo cute!?!? I love mermaids and couldn't resist this. I actually got the inspiration for this project from another blogger Seaside Stitches. She did hers in bright Keith Fassett florals, and when I originally went searching for fabric I intended to do something similiar (hers are gorgeous!). I had never tried this block but she linked to an easy enough you-tube tutorial for it and well it just called to me. So I have my blocks all done for it (about 25 blocks or a lap-size quilt) just need to get them squared and sewn together.
And lastly the latest harvest from our summer garden Pumpkins! No, we didn't actually plant these, we compost year round and so the seeds must have been in the compost soil we used and just sprouted on their own. So this year we will be the weird family on our block with 4th of July Jack o'Lanterns.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summertime Stitching

 This is my summertime stitch this month. At least until the new LK mystery sampler comes out in 2 days...so excited for that! Anyway back to my current stitch, it's a Birds of A Feather chart "Schoolhouse Sampler" I love the striped petals against the black fabric. And I have a funny story to go along with the fabric. I dye a lot of my stitching fabric myself in a large stainless steel soup pot I reserve just for that chore. The pot is heavy though when it is filled with dye, fabric, and water. So when I went to dump it in the kitchen sink I accidentally tipped it towards me, and spilled it all over myself and the kitchen counters. Well it was hot black water, and so I immediately took off my pants and am in the kitchen scrubbing trying to scrub the black off of our white cabinets when my husband came in on the other side of our counter. I started to tell him I had had an accident, and then he came around the counter and saw the dye all over the floor and started laughing. He apparently thought I had had some other kind of unfortunate accident (i'm really not that old yet!) Luckily the cabinets should be easy enough to paint over, and it didn't soak into the tile. My pants were pretty much done for though.
 Here is my summertime visitor. I get home in the wee hours of the morning from work, and I pulled into our garage and saw/heard something dart under my husband's workbench in the garage. Well Phoenix is notorious for large roof rats that love our citrus trees and swimming pools. I have never seen one but picture them as huge rats with sharp teeth. So there was much screaming in our garage when I though I was locked in there with one of them. Instead I found this cute little baby bunny huddled inside. He must have darted in as I pulled the car into the garage, he was barely bigger than my hand...sooo cute!
And here is my summer garden. We have our vegetable garden in full swing already, you have to plant early in the spring here as temps get to 120 degrees in the summer and scorch everything. But this year my husband added a side bed to our raised garden bed for these beauties. I love sunflowers and they seem to do well here in our summer heat. I picked a bunch of different colors and heights so hopefully the bed will fill in nicely.

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!