About Me

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I love anything creative...I am a busy mom of three (+3 dogs, +1 bird, 1 bunny, and 1 sweet husband) who sometimes wishes I had more time/energy/talent to devote to just being creative!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Skeletons coming out of my closet

I'll start with my most recent finish, Alice is done! This was a very quick stitch for me, and I loved the softness of the colors in it. This was my first time stitching a Jardin Prive design, and I have to say I enjoyed the chart too (easy to read, just DMC thread and no blended colors). I am still debating making this into a pillow or a wall hanging, pillows in our house tend to be well-loved!

And here is my not so new start. Birds of A Feather "Remember Me On Halloween".
I say not so new, because when I went looking back for my starting progress photo I had to go way way back in the archives. The date under the cat says 2011, which means I probably started this in 2010. I don't think I have stitched at all on this in the last five years, so it was time for it to see some attention.You'll notice the edges are taped with blue painters tape, and I was very brave in leaving very little margin around my stitching. It is funny how much I have learned in my stitching over the years. The skeleton is again stitched in glow in the dark white (my favorite for Halloween pieces), and I have changed every single color from the chart to suit what I had available in my thread stash. 

And here is what I have been reading this week. Watership Down was recommended by a friend of mine, and is a children's classic about a warren of rabbits. At first I was not sure how much I would enjoy it, but it wound up being one of those books I wished would not end. The Reader was my other finish this week. I have not seen the movie yet (starring Kate Winslet), so went into this book knowing only a little of the story. I did like the story, it was a short read, only 200 pages. I looked up some of the reviews of it after finishing it, and it gave me pause to think about the characters in the story. It is about a Nazi prison guard put on trial for war crimes after the war, and her motivations for what she did. I highly recommend both books, but am now immersing myself in lighter fare of Mary Kay Andrews, I love her books for how just light and fun they are. She just came out with a new one called "Save the Date" about a wedding planner who finds love. One of my New Years goals is to read two books a month this year, so finishing these two in the last week of January puts me right on track.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Alice is almost in Wonderland!

So I have a good feeling Alice will be finish #5 for the year. Here is where she is as of this weekend. I got a good bit of stitching time in on her as husband was out of town visiting family. I found the fabric on ebay, and think I am going to make Alice into some sort of small wall quilt or pillow. Isn't the clock fabric perfect for her though?!? Sorry Alice is so wrinkly, I took her off my stitching hoop just to get a quick progress photo.
And while husband was away I did a little thrift shopping over the weekend, and look what I found! It was half off Saturday at the Goodwill's in our area, and I found the above spool of kind of an eyelet lace trim for $4. I actually wanted trim for  Alice's pillow, but I honestly have no idea what I will do with quite this much of it. The spool is about 8 inches across, and on the bottom it says "365" not sure if that is in feet or yards. If it is yards that's like a half mile of trim! (please don't check my math i'm terrible at it) So I now own a lifetime supply of trim. FYI you can expect to see this on ALL of my future finishes.

And here was my BIG purchase for the weekend, a new outside stitchy spot. We have an awesome back porch at this house, and used to have a very old-very cheap futon that too many foster dogs had halfway destroyed and I would not longer sit on (they ripped the stuffing out of half of it). Now that we are on hiatus from dog fostering for a bit, I decided it was time for me to have a comfy stitchy spot again. I love stitching outside in the natural light, and being able to hear birds and the wind in the trees. Here in Arizona this is the perfect time of year to be outside too, it was in the high 60's this weekend. So I found the above daybed on Craigslist (for $100 bucks less than it was still on sale for at World Market) and all of the pillows on it for less than $10 at Goodwill (half off day again). The only thing new I had to buy was the mattress for it (I just can't see buying a used mattress). So I am one happy stitcher again to have an outdoor spot again.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A few more finishes and oops! one new start

So I did start something new amidst continuing to try and thin out my stitching basket a bit. This one was a Christmas present from my family, and I loved it so much I just couldn't wait to start on it. And for less than 2 weeks of stitching, I'd say I have made a good start on it. The design is "Alice au Pays des Merveilles" by Jardin Prive. My husband picked it out and then had my two daughters help him gather all the threads needed for it, so it truly was a family gift. I love the design, especially the white rabbit and the flowered tea cups/tea pot along the bottom.

I have had some recent finishes too. Finish # 2 for the year is Lizzie Kate's September block. For such a tiny piece this one sure took me a long time to get done. I ahem, started it back in September with the delusion of getting it done in September--how is it January already!

 And Cricket Collections "Playing with Jacks" got the final stitches and back-stitching put in it. I originally was only going to stitch the black pumpkin on the right hand side of this design, but am now so glad I went ahead and stitched the whole thing.
And finish #4 for the month (that puts me ahead by one if your counting-my goal was 3 finishes a month) is Trilogy "Secret Flowerbed". This was another small that took me forever to get done. I did little french knots for the bunnies tail, and the used tiny green seed beads for the caterpillar. Pretty happy with how this one came out, but no idea how I will actually finish it. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

2 more finishes for the New Year

Busy busy start to my New Year, we have lots of winter birthdays in our family, so it feels like the holiday celebrations have stretched on and on. But things are finally calming down a bit (knock on wood). I am slowly working on my WIP basket, my goal for last year was to complete 25% of my unfinished projects, and I succeeded. I finished 13 cross stitch projects in the last 3 months of 2016. So my goal for the first 3 months of 2017 is the same, but a slightly smaller number. To finish 25% of my WIP basket I will need to finish 9 projects or 3 per month. This month I have already completed 2, so only 1 more to meet my goal for this month. Normally I have never cared how many projects I have going at once, but I must admit it does feel nice to have a slightly smaller stitching basket.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmas decorating

So I confirmed my ornament arrived safe and sound for the HOE exchange. I am excited to show it off here. I will definitely be stitching this one again for myself. It was a Hands on Design piece from their chalkboard series. I hand dyed the fabric again for these, and finished it as a flat fold ornament. I loved the felt holly leaves and buttons that were included with the charts, and I added my own little Mill Hill beads along the bottom border for the holly berries.

Last weekend was spent putting up our Christmas decor. Here is my middle child stringing the lights on the tree. And below is my DH being silly with the same light strand. She did the bottom half and he strung the top half of the tree.

Even our little guy got into hanging up the ornaments this year. We also put out our dancing/singing Hallmark snowmen underneath the tree, and about every two seconds he turns them back on so our house has been filled with Christmas jingles already.

And my oldest, I can't believe she is tall enough already to hang the fragile ornaments high up on the tree safely out of brothers reach! She is almost as tall as me already, but in my mind I still see her as a little toddler in footie jammies!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Home Stretch

Almost there on "Blessings Sampler". All I have left is the back-stitching on the acorns, basket, and bottom two borders. There was supposed to be a butterfly along the top of the design, but I left it off as butterflies didn't seem very Autumn/Fall to me. So now I am considering what to put there instead. One of the other designs in this series has bees, and another has a crow which were my first choices. Maybe i'll just add a couple cute buttons up there. Anyway, happy to have this almost done.
Here is a little early Christmas present I bought for myself. A framed/finished piece off of Ebay. I thought this would be a nice addition to my fall decor next year. You should have seen the box they shipped it in, you would have thought they were shipping me a missile or something there were so many layers of bubble wrap. It is a very pretty stitched piece, and the little pumpkin on the side of the frame just adds to the cuteness.

I know I have talked about tracking and planning more. So here is one of my first efforts at tracking stuff. Just checking off how many miles I ran in the month of November. If I had known I was that close to 50 miles total I would have been better on my running. I have been working towards 5 miles on my long runs. Unfortunately the week of Thanksgiving was busy for me and I barely got a single run in. Below is the view across the lake on one of my long runs. That is Camelback Mountain in the distance. This was before the weather here turned cold last week. Well I say cold, the high is supposed to be 70 today so i'm not sure I can call that chilly. For an Arizona girl it is though!

Friday, November 25, 2016

A teeny tiny Holiday hangover.....

Waking up this morning with a headache, and just sore from yesterday. Honestly I didn't even have that much wine with our Thanksgiving feast (2 glasses of Moscato, my favorite wine- kind of a light sweet white wine).  But it was such a busy day, rushing around to get everything cooked and set up, that I didn't eat much the rest of the day and didn't drink any water (just a cup of coffee in the morning) so today I am feeling drained. My two girls are looking forward to going out and doing some Black Friday shopping, and i'm hoping this headache clears before they get out of bed. 

We otherwise had a lovely Thanksgiving. We celebrated my mom's 80th birthday as well as Thanksgiving, so lots of extended family, cousins, aunts, and uncles were there. Luckily my brother hosted the whole thing, so while it was nice not having to clean and decorate our own house, it was kind of a pain hauling food back and forth to his house. But I am thankful for a day spent with my family, that my family has a roof over their heads, food on their table, and everyone is healthy and hopefully happy to be together. How was your holiday if you celebrated yesterday?

I have managed some progress on Blessings Sampler. I do like these charts for the simple DMC threads they use, and the charts themselves are pretty basic and easy to read. Now I just  have some filling in stitching to do on the leaves and basket, so maybe just maybe this will continue to be worked on in the coming week. 

This lovely ornament also arrived in the mail from Rosa all the way from Canada. Where I imagine there is snow on the ground already. The high here yesterday was 75, so we had dinner outside by candlelight, and it was just chilly enough to feel like Fall still. Anyway, this ornament was part of the Hooked on Exchanging Christmas exchange that Rosa herself suggested we do. I am so happy she prompted me to do another exchange. We had exchanged ornaments last year through the HOE blog, and she does gorgeous work.