Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 year in review

Well, now that I've posted once this week, I thought I'd try to do a post on my stitchy finishes for 2009.  I don't know if this is going to work, but we'll give it a try.  I don't know how to do those lovely mosaic pictures, so there will just be a long line of pictures.  Sorry!

(Pretend there's a picture of the CHS Sampler Stocking here.  How did I manage not to take a picture of that?!)

Hope you enjoyed my stitchy finishes year in review.  Now I have to figure out why I didn't take that picture.......     Su has a post with more Year in Review blog links, plus her own, if you'd like to check it out.

I hope everyone has a happy, healthy, prosperous, and most wonderful New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas fun, framed pics, new stitching, etc

Well, the Christmas tree is down, and the holidays are still going.  But first here is what Christmas Day looked like.

The presents all waiting to be opened.  And here are the boy child and girl child.  Can you tell which one was first up?

If you guessed the girl child was first up, you'd be wrong.  Hard to tell from the pictures though, huh?  We had fun opening our presents.  Then it was the lovely father type to cook our Christmas dinner for us.  Here's the table all decked out with food.

It was a great Christmas day.  But the tree was dropping needles at the slightest breath of air.  So it was goodbye tree by the second day of Christmas.  Now everything is back to normal and ready for the New Year!

I said in my last post that I may end up starting something new.  Well, I did.  Here it is.

It's called Beneath the Waters by Carriage House Samplings, although I think it was done when Kathy Barrick was still calling herself Barrick Designs.  Here is what the finished piece will look like.

And if you're interested in getting a copy of the chart, here's the link.   Kathy Barrick sells a lot of her OOP charts now on her etsy site.   I'm stitching mine on the same fabric as my PS Alphabets, 30ct Legacy Custard Creme over one, with the called for NPI fibers.  I want it to fit on a wonderful box that I recently got.

My friend Kathy (no blog) and I went to our favorite LNS on Tuesday, where I picked up two of my framed pieces.  Here they are, Frederick and Frederika, all framed with frames from Valley House Primitives.

And here is a picture of the frame detail.  I just love these frames!

While at our LNS, Kathy and I enjoyed the CHS trunk show that was there.  I ended up picking up the chart for this

(A Mind Independent and Free by CHS). And I was totally awed by all the CHS stockings hanging up -- what a sight!  And Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow was there as well!  Oh my -- to see this in person!  The colors are just stunning!  If you like the piece from what you've seen online, well, let me tell you, it's even better in person!  I am now sorely tempted to start in on that BAP!  But I also want to join in with Laurie of Corgi Cottage on And All Was For an Appil by Scarlet Letter.    All of which is a problem, since I'm in the midst of stitching the PS Alphabets and also Beneath the Waters!   I think all of this nonstitching time with the family is causing a major case of I-wanna-start-itis!  lol!

Well, the father type is still on vacation till the beginning of the New Year.  The boy child is off school till then, and the girl child as well.  The girl child will be going back to college Sunday to prepare for exams -- her college saves the fun of finals till after Christmas, a real bummer.  But until then, we're all snug at home.  Well, except for the occasional trip to the LNS, the kids disappearing with their friends, -- you get the idea.  But it's a pretty blissful, relaxing holiday.  Not much in the way of stitching, but such is life.

I hope you all have a wonderful, happy, and healthy New Year.  Thanks for stopping by my blog and sharing my stitching life with me.  It hasn't been a year yet that I've been blogging, but it's getting there!  Amazing!  It's been fun blogging with you all this year!  See you in 2010!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yet more Alphabets and concerts galore

I'm making more progress on the Prairie Schooler Alphabets.  Here are K and U.

(I used 221 for the red in the K block.  I also had to lighten up most of the colors in the cat.)

And here is the whole thing so far.

I'm using 30ct Legacy Custard Creme over one with DMC.  I'm thinking of taking a break from the Alphabets for a while.  We'll see what happens.  I always have a mental block with starting new projects so we'll see if the hurdle wins or the new start wins. 

In other news, it's been a concert time of year around here.  The boy child is in his high school orchestra, the advanced orchestra at the high school, and the county's regional orchestra -- which isn't affiliated with any schools but is its own entity.  So the non school orchestra's concert was first.  And we forgot the camera.  But here's a pic from the father type's cell phone.

Once again they were wonderful.  I guess I'd better get used to the fact that symphony orchestras made up of the best student musicians in the county are going to sound pretty darned good.  I just basked in the music.  Wonderful stuff!  They played two pieces I love, the Danse Macabre and the waltz from Swan Lake.  Bliss!

Then it was time for the high school's orchestra concert.  Not bliss, but you know, they're not bad.  :D  The regular orchestra played first, and then the advanced orchestra.  This is a picture of the advanced orchestra.  (The regular orchestra is bigger.)

Here's the bass section.

And here's what the boy child thought of the music they were playing (the advanced orchestra played Pachelbel's Canon, the most boring piece of music to play ever, according to the boy child).

I think that picture says it all!  lol!

The girl child made it home for Christmas.  We did have snow here, but only 2 or 3 inches.  Down where the girl child's college is they had more like a foot, but she made it home anyway -- late at night of course.  But she's here and now we're all present for Christmas.  Now just to get these final two days of school and one bass guitar lesson over with.  :D   The father type has been on vacation since the 11th so it has been interesting having him underfoot, so to speak.  He has to use up his vacation time, so he won't be back at work till the New Year.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!   Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or whatever you may celebrate.  And thanks for stopping by and saying hi.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More letters and getting the tree

I was going to post sooner, but then of course I got into the "let me finish one more block" mode and waited till I finished one more block.  So here are S and T on my Prairie Schooler ABC piece.


And here is the whole piece so far.

I'm using 30ct Legacy Custard Creme over one with DMCs.  I changed DMC 502 to 503 in the Time block.  Still having problems with colors being too close.

In other news, we went for a Christmas tree this past weekend.  The girl child is still at school so it was just the boy child, the father type and me.  This year, the father type was determined to go to the farm of Kate Millett, a feminist who was apparently famous in the 70's.  (I'd never heard of her.)   So we went in search and found her house.  The father type got to meet her and get her to autograph a book for him, and he bought a couple more too (all authored by her of course).  Then we went in search of the elusive tree farm that was supposed to exist opposite her house.  Turns out there really wasn't much there in the way of trees.  Most were too tall, even for us.  And I would say there weren't more than maybe a half dozen to a dozen trees at that.  That were a reasonable size that is.  There were quite a few that were waaaay to big.  For example, this one that the boy child said we should take home.

But we were lucky.  After shaking snow off of various specimens, which were all tall (but not as tall as that one in the picture), the father type found one sitting off by itself, fairly non snow-covered, and a pretty good size.  (We'd learned our lesson after one year where the tree took up practically half the livingroom.  Now we look at trees that look like a good size but are actually way too big and say "oh, that's way too big," instead of taking it home and finding that it takes up half the livingroom.)   So the father type swung into action and sawed the tree down.

Then the boys lugged the tree back over the snow (it had snowed miraculously the day before to give us the perfect snowy day for tree cutting) to the car and we headed home.

Here's the boy child decorating the tree at home.

It was quite a successful day -- I always crack the whip and make us decorate the tree as soon as we get home.  So now we have a tree and it feels like Christmas.  (I got voted down emphatically on the "let's get an artificial tree this year" suggestion so it's vacuuming needles for another year.)

I hope it's starting to feel like Christmas for you as well!  And happy Hannukah for those of you who celebrate Hannukah.  It starts at sundown December 11.

Thanks as always for stopping by and saying hello.  It's almost TGIF time!  (I keep thinking it's Friday but it's not.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Alphabet progress, pictures, and an award

I finished the letter J in my Prairie Schooler Alphabet last night.  Here it is.

I'm using Legacy (so I've been told) 30ct Custard Creme over one with DMC.  Here are A and J together.

I'm really surprised at how much I'm enjoying doing the over one.  Maybe the secret is not to use 40ct or 32ct.  lol!  I've had to change some of the colors on both charts, and wish I'd changed the red on the A chart.  For details go to the Prairie Schooler ABC SAL blog. 

In other news, it was Thanksgiving weekend this past weekend.  The boy child had a sweet 16 party to go to.  My friend Ralph managed to get a picture of the boy child all spiffed up -- and smiling!

Now how fair is that that he can get the boy child to smile -- or even to pose for a picture for that matter?  You should have seen me the other day trying to get a picture of the boy child before his Area All County concert.  Forget it!

And of course, we had Thanksgiving dinner.  I won't bore you with lots of pictures.  But I just had to brag about my dear father type.  He always does the holiday cooking around here.  (I do the cooking the rest of the year.)  He's been doing the turkey since before we were married.  I still remember how disastrous his first attempt was way back in the dark ages before marriage.  lol!  But now he's an expert -- makes his own stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, homemade gravy, the works!  Here's the lovely turkey -- not a large one since the kids don't go for turkey that much.

Such a good cook, my father type!

And before I forget, a very old friend from way back when (or at least it feels that way!) gave me this award.

Her blog is Pomegranates and Paper.   I still remember going to her house back when she lived in our neighborhood and just drooling over her Stickley furniture, her real wood venetian blinds, and everything else that was just perfectly decorated to a T.  And of course going to the quilt shop together.  Or how about the time when we made a trip to the emergency room for some kidney stones?   I stayed in the waiting room with the two little ones, one of hers and the only one I had back then, the girl child.  The teen (my friend's blog name for her) outshone the poor girl child in the waiting room for cuteness.  I think it was the girl child's first time being outstaged by a younger woman.  (The girl child was a bit more than a toddler and the teen was a bit less than a toddler I think.)   :D  Anyway, check out her blog -- it's wonderful!   Loretta, I never thought you'd go back to the law stuff.  And what happened to the quilting in our lives?

Anyway, the rules for this award are to list 10 random facts about me followed by nominations of 7 bloggers that I hold dear.  Hmmmm, this is going to be tough!   Ok, here goes!

1.  I love the Beatles.  Many of you probably already know that, but it doesn't say it has to be little known facts, does it?  :D   I actually discovered the Beatles in college (we're talking '79 to '83 here), but I do remember jumping up and down on the couch to "She Loves You" as a wee one.  We sang along too:  "Bunxum yeah yeah yeah!" we screamed.  (That's what we thought they were saying.)   Later as a small child I heard various Beatles songs as the 101 strings version played on my mom's favorite radio station, KMAN in Manhattan, Kansas.  I had no clue that songs like Fool on a Hill were by the Beatles till I was in college.

2.  My hands are way too small.  I mean waaaaaayyyyy toooooo smalllllll!!   Just to give you an idea, I have to wear my kids' winter gloves from when they were little.  I think the ones I'm using are a child size medium from LL Bean.  See what I mean by small?  It's a real disadvantage when you are trying to learn to play the piano (I can only barely reach an octave) or the guitar.  I trashed the piano when I was in 4th grade I think.  The guitar was my idea so that lasted longer, but with small hands I just can't do much.

3.  I wanted to learn to play drums as a kid and so did the boy child.  Pretty funny, huh?  The reason why I didn't learn was that my mother said she wouldn't be able to take all the noise.  The reason the boy child didn't learn?  Well that's a long story.  He was already taking guitar lessons at the time that all the elementary school kids got to choose an instrument to learn at school.  He wanted to do drums.  I said -- do you really want to learn two instruments?  Why don't you put down guitar and see if they'll let you do that with the band?  Well, he went off to school and saw the instrument demos -- and discovered that you could play the Jaws music on the double bass.  You know, that DU DUM  DU DUM DU DUM thing.  How cool is that?!  So the boy child signs up for guitar with double bass as his second choice.  And they assign him double bass.  I say to him, well that means you'll be learning two instruments after all.  Do you want me to contact them and ask to switch you to drums since that was what you really wanted?   And I think you know what the boy child said.  No thanks.  And the rest is history.  :D   (This is getting to be long, isn't it?)   Oh, and he picked up the bass guitar later.  After the double bass.  They're the same thing after all.  Sort of.

4.  I've had two stitching lives.  Well, I've mentioned that before.  Basically, I had a stitching life mixed in with my quilting where I'd basically just do the AC Moore or JoAnne type stuff.  I loved Paula Vaughn, and my first real designer was Prairie Schooler.  But I used aida and DMC and life was limited. I did try one Scarlet Letter kit, which was my first time with linen and silks, but never finished it.   Stopped stitching pretty much, just quilted.  Then my neighbor Kathy (no blog) got me back into stitching and I discovered how changed the world was.  Silk fibers, linen galore -- I went ga gah crazy and that was it.  I haven't touched a quilt since.  Sort of.

5.  Which leads to -- I want to get back into quilting.  I guess it will be my second quilting life if I do get back into it.  The same sort of thing has happened.  In the 3 or 4 years since I stopped quilting, things have changed.  Now there are all these new fangled precuts which are marvelous, neat patterns all over the place, and the best part is -- all these hand applique designs!!!!!  Argh!!!  Like this

Or this

These amazing quilt patterns can be found at Threadbear Quilts in Australia.   The first one is the Civil War Bride Quilt.  There's a blog that I think I have the link for in my side bar.  The second quilt is Phebe's Quilt by Di Ford.  I so totally want to do both!  (Thanks to Lizzie for the second picture.  Hope you don't mind, Lizzie!

6.  I have a fear of crowds.  I think it's because once upon a time in junior high, there was this event in the gym.  Afterwards, everyone was crowding out and something happened and everyone was panicking and pushing and shoving and -- well, I was in the midst of it.   And I went down with people falling on top of me and was sure I was about to be trampled.  Luckily, someone pulled me out and I was ok.  But ever since then I haven't been able to tolerate crowds.  I just get panicky.  Ugh!

7.  I hate housework.  Well, I don't mind the laundry that much, but I hate everything else.  My mother was a clean freak and I'm the exact opposite.  Which isn't a good thing.  Oh well.

8.  The father type and I are pack rats.  I guess that sort of goes along with the housework thing.  But it's true.  Luckily we're not extreme pack rats (ie hoarders) like Homer and Langley.

9.  I'm an anglophile.  Yes, I'm one of those who loves to read about the royals -- actually more the historical royals than the modern day ones.  And I love to read British literature and all that.  I'm an anglophile.  What more can I say?

10.  I love to watch tennis.  Which you probably already know if you read this blog.  The internet has changed my tennis watching.  I used to just watch the slam events.  Now with the advent of online streaming, I've been watching all sorts of tournaments.  The latest and last of the year was last week's ATP World Tour Finals (or WTF, which totally cracked me up the first time I saw that).  Boy, was that a great tournament!  Only the top 8 seeded players in the world going at it.  Totally enjoyable.  And it was at the O2 arena in London.  Cool!

Whew!  I did it!  Now the other part will be harder.  In fact, I'm such a chicken that I'm not going to pass the award on.  Sorry Loretta!   :D   But hey, I think this post is long enough as it is!

Have a great week, everyone!  Thanks for stopping by and saying hello.