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About Me

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I love anything creative...I am a busy mom of three (+4 dogs, 1 bird, 1 bunny, and 1 sweet husband) who sometimes wishes I had more time/energy/talent to devote to just being creative!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

In like a lamb, out like a lion?

Thank you to everyone who posed an answer on what a bell ringer was in my last post. All of your answers made sense, and I can now say I learned a new phrase from an otherwise pretty easy book. Some months I like to read horror or crime novels, and some months all I can handle is easy fluff books.

Above is my progress on Ashley. I have the worst time getting a good photo of her! The fabric is hand-dyed by me, using a RIT dye called Kentucky Sky, and it is the prettiest shade of light blue. But does it show up at all in any of my photos? No, it just looks like a yucky grey. I need to take her outside in the full sunlight to see if I can really get a good picture of how bright and cheery she is. It probably doesn't help that I am using my cell phone for photos instead of an actual camera, I may have to dig out my camera to get a true to color picture of her. 

And here is the ornament  I received from Carol on the Hooked on Exchanging blog. Obviously a Prairie Schooler Santa, I love the simplicity of their designs. I managed to mail mine out last week, and can't wait to show what I stitched here. That is my favorite part of doing exchanges, hoping the person I am stitching for loves what I stitched as much as I did. 

Last week was my birthday (I won't scare you with how old I am- or how old I feel), and my DH and middle daughter picked out the most beautiful bouquet. My daughter called them tangerine tulips. The blooms went from almost a coral color on the bottom to pink and yellow on the tips. So pretty! Each of my daughters made me a birthday card, and DH picked out two new charts from my wish list. Mirabilia "Garden Party" and Lavender & Lace "Celtic Summer". I can't wait to get started stitching on both of these, but I am still trying to be strong and finish off more of my WIP list. 

And here is a little stash I picked up for myself, a new Bent Creek- Oodles of Autumn. I loved the little fox and raccoon and you all know how much I love anything fall of course! Also Fall Basket by Imaginating. I just finished off their Harvest Lantern design earlier this year. The colors on this one, between the turquoise bird house and the purple flowers and golden sunflowers are so pretty!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bell Ringing?

Had a little time this weekend to do some finishing. I worked on my HOE ornaments (eek everyone else has their ornaments mailed out already-I am of course the slow one) so I can't show those yet. But I also did some fussing with Alice. I found the little keys in the dollar bins at Michael's and wanted to do a border of black and white beads around the white trim. Unfortunately the trim, combined with the linen and the fabric is super hard to stitch through so the beading didn't work. So now I am letting it sit for a while hoping inspiration will strike me for how to finish it off.

A tiny bit of progress on Ashley, I worked mostly on her bouquet last night which was very slow stitching. There must be over a dozen different shades of pink in the flowers, so much confetti stitching! At least the pinks are pretty I guess.

And here is my newest reading selection, and I have a question for someone with a little more culture than me maybe. The book is set outside of London, and she uses a few slang phrases that I am not familiar with. Most I figured out, like what a chat-up line was. But she called an ex-boyfriend a "bell ringer"? I'll quote the book and maybe someone can help me figure out what it meant...
"And he completely forgot to mention the bell-ringing. -- How could I have gone out with someone for six months and not known they were a secret bell-ringer?"
So I googled bell ringing and it of course gave me the obvious answer of someone who rings a bell, but it was such a weird phrase, anyone out there with a better answer than google? 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy first day of Spring!

Happy first day of Spring, though here it is starting to feel like summer. It has been in the low 90's here in Arizona, which is too hot for me. All of my children have been asking when the pool will be warm enough to swim in, and I had to let them dip their toes in to prove it was not warm enough yet.

Ashley is coming along, gathering roses for the spring-time. I have decided to do all of the grey in her dress first, and all of the white of her dress last to try and keep it as clean as possible. I'm sure I will regret this choice when I am going blind from all that white. I have to share how well my husband knows me. I ran in the kitchen the other day and frantically put her under the cold tap after spilling coffee on her (EEK!) and my husband asked which piece it was. When I said it was my Mirabilia he had the good sense to say "Oh no! Not that one". Luckily it was only a few drops of coffee and a quick rinse under the cold water did the trick. Silly me stitching before I have finished my morning coffee.

Here is how we spent this warm weekend. We drove up north for a little hiking, and to see this beautiful waterfall. It was really flowing with the snow-melt from up north. Our little one was convinced we were in the woods looking for bears, wolves, or snakes. Luckily none were to be found along our little hike, just a very pretty herd of deer (who did not seem the least concerned with us). 

My fitbit said we had climbed 50 floors on the hike and went a bit under 3 miles along the trail. I would like to note also that I carried the littlest one most of the way back up the trail after he exhausted himself playing by the waterfall, and I could definitely feel it in my back and calves today. Made me feel like all those mornings at the gym were paying off. And below is pre-hike, I made my husband pull over so we would get a picture in front of the cherry trees. Prescott has a few streets of beautiful old houses, and each block was lined with these trees full of pink and white blossoms. 



Monday, March 13, 2017

Marching along

Forgive me, not the most original title-but it's early and the caffeine hasn't kicked in yet. Still stitching along on Ashley's Roses. Lots of white in her dress, which is not as bad as the confetti of pinks in her bouquet and her hair. Darn all that pink is so pretty once it's done though! 

Christina of Whilst Iris Naps commented about having to look up what she would look like finished. She is an older Mirabilia design (1998) and I do have the original chart but it was missing the photo so i'm sorry I can't show you what she will look like here. How I came to purchase the chart is actually a funny story. I bought this chart, and about 20 other Mirabilia's off of a Craigslist post of a sad looking box of patterns and a tangle of thread. Well, when I got to the house it was a man selling off his mother's stash who had unfortunately passed away. He showed me the box that was in the original posting on CL of mostly patterns from the 80's and old magazines that I wasn't sure I would find anything to stitch out of. He then asked if I cross stitched, and if I would be interested in seeing the other stitching stuff she had. He hauled out this big steamer trunk, full of her half stitched projects, some in bags with charts/threads, and some just tossed in randomly. Then he brought out two other cardboard boxes with a folder full of Mirabilia patterns, another full of Teresa Wentzler, and several others beautiful patterns. From the first look in the boxes, I was almost hopping up and down with excitement. I bought the whole lot up, and could barely fit it all in my husband's Jeep. Now I worry if I will ever do her half-done projects justice, she had many that were half started and I can't imagine how many hours of love went into each.

Here is my new reading start this week. I have talked about how much I love Mary Kay Andrews books, and this is her writing mysteries under a different name. We shall see if it measures up to her more romancey types books.  We also did some Netflix watching this week. Finally got to see The Reader with Kate Winslet. You may remember I just got around to reading the book in January. I must say the movie was just as good as the book. Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes really did their characters justice. Another movie we watched that I can highly recommend is the Accountant starring Ben Afleck. I really liked him in The Town, and this again is another action movie. The story though was interesting, and not the typical car-chase shoot em up action movie. 
And this weekend was my sweet husband's and I's fourth anniversary. My girls look so young in the above photo. I'd like to say we don't look too much older yet, but the years (and wrinkles) do sneak up on you. For our anniversary we had a wonderful date night with grandpa babysitting our little guy at home. We did a couples massage (a first for my husband) and then went out to dinner at the Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant (which was a first for me). 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March madness!



So Lizzie Kate's "Luck" is done. I simply hemmed around the design, frayed the edges a bit, and mounted it on a cute piece of fabric in the frame. Love the design, but wish I had chosen a darker linen to stitch it on so the white stitching would have shown up better,

And here is my 6th finish for the year. This WIP was sooo old, I started it 13 years ago I think! The Aida I stitched it on was so grimy too, but with a good rinsing in some soapy water it now looks clean again, This is a pattern out of a magazine, so I am not sure who the designer is. 

And here is my little bit of March madness. You know how I have been trying so hard to reduce the amount of WIPs I have? I have been restraining myself to only starting one new project a month (LK Luck was my Feb start and finish). So for March my fingers were itching to start a huge Mirabilia that I have no hope of finishing anytime soon while still trying to show love to all my other WIP's. But I just couldn't help myself, so I present to you my start on "Ashley's Roses", and man is she big- 202 by 262 stitches. She is a perfect Spring/Summer stitch to counter all of the Halloween WIPs I am trying to get through.

And here is my littlest one helping me pick lemons in the yard. We got a full laundry basket full of lemons off of our neighbor's two trees, and juiced 4 pitchers full of lemon juice. We also planted our tomato garden for spring already, but with all the rain we have been having our little plants are looking a little battered.

I'll leave you with one of our roses on the trellis outside of our bedroom patio. These are called Fourth of July roses, and I love the white and pink stripes of them. They are not very fragrant, but they do grow nicely over the trellis, this particular bush is up to about 11 feet tall, and puts out blooms for much of the year. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Feeling Lucky?

I couldn't resist a teeny-tiny new start, I mean really it doesn't even count does it?!? Above is Lizzie Kate's St. Patrick's Day chart for this year. All I need to finish is the threads for my leprechaun's face and the gold for the border. Quick, cute stitch and a good break from all of my Halloween stitches.

Here's where I am at on "Remember Me". I completed the row of houses (just need roofs on them), dug half of a grave (all that dark stitching is tedious) and my witch now has a dress and a pumpkin companion. I messed up the skeletons toes, so am hemming and hawing over how much I will have to frog to make them right. This linen is very bumpy/uneven, and I went over three somewhere when it should have been over two. Now the only problem is finding which little stitch threw me off! 

Below is my SIXTH finish for the year, Drawn Thread's "Halloween Sampler". I changed many of the colors on this one, but overall am really happy with how it turned out. I have organized my WIP list into categories (I know how nerdy am I?) so about 25% of my projects are Fall/Autumn, 25% are Halloween, 25% are miscellaneous, and the last group is all of my big-big projects. My goal for the first three months of this year was 25% of my WIP basket done, or 9 projects. So with six done already and one more month to go I am right on track. Well, as long as I stop adding new projects like ahem the LK at the top of this post. Look away, look away--I just can't help myself apparently!


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.