Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm Happy to Say....

  • the tree is decorated (actually finished it after my last post) :)
  • the stockings are hung
  • the shopping is ALMOST complete
  • the play went well, and two repeat performances are scheduled for this weekend
  • we have missed four days due to snow/ice/bad roads/bitter cold, and I have had plenty of time to rest and recuperate. We are out again today, so I am officially on Christmas vacation as of today! :) No work until January 3!!
I have knitted and stitched until my butt is numb and my fingers are sore. Good times!!

I had my last sock class this week. I had to ditch one of my socks off of the needles because I messed up somewhere along the gusset. But I managed to finish both. The kitchener stitch was not nearly as horrible as I imagined. I was able to put my ripped off sock back on the needles without having to totally rip it apart. Looking forward to casting on another pair of socks this afternoon.

Classic basic socks
CO 64 sts.
Size 2 needles
Aslan Trends Santa Fe Kettle Hand Dyed Collection-Carnival

I also finished a pair of fingerless mitts this week. Love these. So does Jake. He has requested a pair for himself in black. I might cast on those this afternoon too.

Those Mitts Pattern - found HERE
Cascade 220 in Ruby
Size 7 needles

I've been stitching.... I am working on block 6 of Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow. This block takes awhile. It has a lot of solid stitching. It's really pretty though. I love the dark blue sky and the salt box house sitting on the snowy hill.

I have also been thinking a lot about stitching lately. I have seen a lot of stitchers that are planning to participate in the 2011 Crazy January Challenge. I have to say this whole idea really appeals to me and I am very tempted to join in. But I think I will end up watching from the sidelines and coming up with some goals for myself that include finishing a few WIPs from the massive pile that lurks in the basement and a few new starts as well.

Some WIPs on the finishing short list may include:
Ellen Birdseye
Beatrix Potter's Quaker Sampler

Some new starts that are calling my name include:
Sarah Esh by Barrick Samplers
Adam and Eve reproduction sampler in CSN May 2009 (see Tanya's beautiful finish here)
A&E by The Primitive Needle
(Notice a theme yet?)

As well as a few others that are not Adam and Eve themed... Will I start all of these? Maybe. Will I finish all of these? Probably not. But it is fun to plan and dream. I am on an A&E kick lately. This post on Paulette's blog started a two hour internet surfing session seeking out various A&E designs. If you love A&E samplers, what are your favorites?

I'm hearing another pair of socks calling my name. Time to cast on. :)

Have a happy one....

Monday, December 6, 2010

I need a little Christmas now...

Why is it that the Most Wonderful Time of the Year is also the busiest? I can't catch my breath or a break lately it seems. I love Christmas, but the hustle and bustle of it this year is draining my Christmas spirit in a hurry.

I know what it is.... I have taken on too much and committed to too much and need to be better about saying no. Life has gotten crazy busy. I don't even have all of my Christmas decorations up yet or shopping done yet. Why this is stressing me out so? I have no idea. Seems ridiculous really... It's because of the self-imposed deadlines that I give to, well...myself. According to my own deadline, the Christmas decorations should have been finished by Thanksgiving weekend, and the Christmas shopping should have been done a little after that. Because in my own warped sense of time, that is not only doable, but easily doable. And having all of this completed already would give me the perfect peaceful O Holy Night Christmas that I long for every year... at least in the irrational side of my thought process.... When did Christmas turn into such a marathon? A marathon of events and "must do's"? I don't remember it being like this when I was a child. Is it because it wasn't like this... or is it because I was a child and didn't realize it was like this because my mom was behind the scenes handling all the details for our family just like I now handle all the details for my own?

Aside from stressing about decorating, shopping and all the other details, our family is part of a Christmas production at our church. Not a just a play... it is a production. With music, scene changes, costume changes, lighting, the works. And it is fun. Really it is. But it is also busy. We have practiced A LOT. I have a minor role. I sing in one part, and have around five lines as the program coordinator of the town's Christmas program (all part of the play). No big deal. My husband Michael has a smaller role. He's the town mayor with a couple of lines. Also no big deal. Jake, our nine year old, on the other hand, has one of the main roles playing a pioneer boy who hears the story of Christ's birth by his parents in his cabin long ago. He loves it. I, on the other hand, and more stressed about him learning his lines and part than I am about the decorating and shopping that is not done yet. LOL! The play is really neat. One side of the stage is present day... a family celebrating Christmas in 2010. One side of the stage is the past... a family celebrating Christmas in 1810. Center stage is the town square that is later converted to Bethlehem and then later still to Calvary. Very good play. Written by our music minister who is extremely talented and creative. And I am glad to be a part of it. And I hope it is enjoyed by hundreds of people. But I will be glad when it is over, and I can take a long winter's nap....

I did receive this little bauble in the mail today, and I. love. it. A handmade Jolly St. Nick necklace sold by Country Stitches. I can't wait to wear it.

On the stitching front...
I finally completed the bonus chart of the BBD Anniversaries of the Heart.

I started Lizzie Katie's 2010 Snowman... He's going to be a cutie!

On the knitting front, I have started a blanket, a couple of scarves and some socks. I am taking a sock knitting class at a local yarn store that just recently opened near where I live. I am really enjoying the class. I am learning how to knit socks top down and knit two socks at a time on one long circular needle. It is a lot of fun. My next class is tomorrow evening. We will be learning to do the heel turn, I think... Pictured below are my socks and the start of one of the scarves I have been working on.

That's it for now... Maybe after supper tonight we can "haul out the holly and put up the tree before my spirit falls again...."

Or maybe I will just start on that long winter's nap a little early and quit sweating the small stuff....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Granny Goodness

Hoping to turn these...

Into something that looks like this...

Stay tuned..... :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

A little of this and that...

I can't believe it has been almost two months since I last posted. I've been busy....and lost my groove there for awhile, but I think I am back. :) Here's my life in pictures for the last two months...

Started this...
(Lizzie Kate's Hiss of Eek, Boo, Hiss)

Worked more on this...
(Blackbird Designs Anniversaries of the Heart--bonus #1)

Started crocheting this...
(Granny Stripe afghan)

Also crocheting this...
(motifs for a motif style afghan)

Still knitting this...
(ribbed scarf in KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Bulky Yukon)

Finished these....
(basic stockinette socks in KnitPicks Felici Abracadabra)

Started these....
(basic stockinette socks in KnitPicks Felici Boardwalk)

Greeted by this the day before Fall Break....
(My principal decorated my parking space... Love his sense of humor!)

Went here....
(Disney World, Orlando)

Rode this a bunch of times....
(my favorite roller coaster Mt. Everest in Animal Kingdom)

Love this...
(the Headless Horseman starting the Halloween parade in Magic Kingdom)

Wish I was still here...

And that's that...

Until next time... which won't be two months from now...


Monday, August 23, 2010

Work, stitching, knitting

Work is really cutting into my stitching/knitting time which stinks, but I love my new job. My days are so busy that they fly by. I don't particularly like feeling overwhelmed or staying later to catch up, but all things considered, I really can't complain. I really like both the new principal and the new assistant principal, and we all seem to be working really well together. It has been a pretty smooth transition for me and for my family. I had forgotten how much I really enjoy working with middle school kids. They can be challenging at times but most of the time, they are just a lot of fun.

My parents surprised me with an "office warming" gift that was delivered to me at work with the best letter that I will always treasure. This is a Jim Shore piece called 80 Years of Laughter. It's hard to see it in this picture but the partition in the middle is a mirror so it looks like the black and white Mickey is stepping through the mirror into technicolor Mickey. I absolutely love it! A lot of my office decor is Disney so this fits right in (and starts a collection of Jim Shore Disney that I have been wanting to start :) ).

I've been stitching on a couple of things. Mainly Dog Lessons and Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow. I have fallen woefully behind on my goal of stitching a block a month on CaHRH, but that's okay... It's not a race or a contest. Lol!

As for knitting, I am still really enjoying that as well. I recently finished a Berruti hat that was so much fun to knit. I have been working on a ribbed scarf and a patchwork handbag as well. The patchwork bag isn't much to look at as it is just a bunch of stockingnette squares right now, but you can get an idea of the colors. And check out these little sock shaped needle point protectors! Aren't they adorable! I'm still on a mission to learn sick knitting. My last attempt (see last post) was a complete disaster. I knitted all of the leg, the heel flap and heel turn, but screwed up the gusset. So much so that I could not figure out how to tink it and move on and ended up taking the whole thing apart. I haven't had the heart to start over yet. I think I will wait until my knitting teacher shows me her method of knittitng socks on two circular needles from the toe up. :)

The movie Grease is on tonight. Love that movie! Thinking that I will watch it and stitch tonight after I get Jake to bed.

Have a good one!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Just a quick post since it has been over a month!

I am working on a couple of new projects. I am trying to learn how to knit a sock using the magic loop method. This is my second attempt. I'm kind of winging it, using an online video class and a book. Between the two, I'm trying to figure it out. Love knitting! And socks are one of the things I have most wanted to learn.

I've been stitching a little too. I started Lizzie Kate's Dog Lessons for People. This will be for Jake. He loves it and thinks the sayings are hilarious. I've stitched very little for him so I'm excited that he wants this particular design to hang in his room. I bought the design at Dixie Darlin' during a recent Pigeon Forge getaway weekend. They had a model of it stitched on PTP Relic, and it was gorgeous! I bought enough fabric to stitch both this and the Cat Lessons version. (sorry for the crooked photo. I'm posting from my iPhone and can't figure out how to edit it.

In other news, I transferred jobs about two weeks ago. Some of my regular visitors might remember that I was a school counselor working in two elementary schools. A counseling position opened at our middle school this summer and I decided it would be a good move for me. I am thrilled to be at one school every day but it was very sad for me to leave my elementary schools. I miss my little kiddos and the wonderful staff and friends from there. But I am settling into the middle school nicely. I have worked there before and still know quite a few of the teachers. Today was our first day of school and it went really well.

Time to fix supper although I would love to just take a nap!

Monday, July 5, 2010


Creative blog titles are alluding me today....

My new found love of knitting has seriously impinged on my stitching time lately. I am sure it will balance back out eventually.

I have discovered that collecting yarn and knitting paraphernalia is just as much fun as stashing stitching stuff.

I have made a few rookie projects. (Don't look too closely... they are definitely beginner projects and have mistakes).

My first knitting class project was a shortrow watch cap. I actually made two but the first one was quickly adopted by Jake and seems to have disappeared.... It looks just like this one except it is orange.

A dishcloth for my aunt in Texas who celebrates a birthday tomorrow....

A pom pom scarf with a fun yarn called Pomp a Doodle. This knits up very fast...

And a Wedding Washcloth and a Grandma's Favorite Dishcloth...

My next project for my knitting class is another shortrow watch cap except this one will have a cabled brim. I have started it and ripped it out about five times so far. I do fine with the cables, but seem to get in a hurry in the other parts of it and end up messing up.

My next goal is to learn to knit socks and to make a felted bag. I am loving knitting, I tell ya. :)

I have done some stitching. Right now, I am working on the BBD Anniversaries of the Heart piece. I am on the third one (can't think of the name right now...). I decided to suck it up and do the counting between the second and third design. I counted a dozen times. I hope I have done it correctly....

I am thinking I might start LHN's Simple Joys after this. I have it kitted and ready to go.

Here are some of my favorite flowers in my yard that are in bloom. My husband Michael is the green thumb of the family. If it were left to me, we would be lucky to have grass growing in the yard.

Black Eyed Susans and Coneflowers...

Stargazer Lillies (probably my most favorite flower....)

Scout enjoying the shady front porch...

That's it for today....
Have a good one. :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Still kicking

I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I just haven't been here in a long time. Or on other's blogs either, but I will catch up eventually.

School is out. I have had to work several days here and there, but I am getting ready to start a long stretch and not go into the office at all for awhile.

We have been to Disney and back. We had a great time. This was the first year that Jake wanted to ride all the big rides and major rollercoasters. Michael and I love those so it was a lot of fun that we all were riding together this year. I can't wait to go back. We are planning another trip for October. Now that he is no longer coaching football, fall break vacations are an option whereas they never have been before.

I haven't been stitching as much as usual, but I do have a lot to show since it has been so long since I posted. I have made more progress on CaHRH, finished blocks #4 and #5, and started block #6.

I have stitched and finished a few patriotic smalls for Independence Day. I have always loved the idea of a basket of smalls to mark the holidays and seasons. (I have only stitched a couple of these recently. Most were stitched last summer, but I have just now finished them into little ornament sized pillows).

Speaking of smalls, that is all that I want to stitch lately. In the last week or so, that is all that I have worked on. Usually I love stitching on great big designs that take forever to finish, but lately, I just want designs that are quick and easy. My BAPs aren't holding my attention. I started this Lizzie Kate design this morning and hope to have it finished by this afternoon. :) I think this would make a cute pinkeep or a small framed piece.

I have also been learning to knit this summer. This is something that I have always wanted to know how to do, and I am so thankful that I am finally getting the chance. A friend of a friend is teaching several of us how. It is so much FUN!!! I am still such a beginner, but I look forward to getting more proficient and learning new things. I have made a short row cap and started a second one. We have learned casting on, knitting, purling, and binding off. Our next class will focus on stitching knitted pieces together and using a cable needle. If anyone knows any good knitting resources online, I would love to know about them. :)

That's it for now... Back to my marathon stitching, movie watching, audiobook listening afternoon. I love when I can have days like this. Enjoy yours. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Show and Tell

I finished Valentine Rose last weekend. These are small designs, but detailed with quite a few colors. They are taking me awhile to stitch. I read on the Blackbird Designs blog that they are thinking about releasing the bonus design that is placed between #2 and #3 early so that those of us stitching this series on one piece of fabric would not have that empty space hanging out until October. I am really hoping that they decide in favor of this idea. I am putting this piece on hold for awhile in hopes that this happens. I was dreading trying to get the space between #2 and #3 counted correctly. Knowing me, I would have counted it ten times and still messed up.

Now I am back to working on CaHRH block 4. At the beginning of the year, my goal was to stitch one block a month and finish this in December. I am behind, of course. I am thinking that I might work on this one pretty steadily and just get it done. I love it. I would love to have it hanging in time for Christmas this year.

Found this cute little fella last weekend. There is a quaint little town called Glendale that is very close to where we live. They were having a spring festival there this past weekend, which we went to. It was fun. I got a few odds and ends from the booths, but found this little guy in The Village Shop. He is supposed to go in a garden, I think, but he is going to hang out in my sitting room/stitching room for awhile. They had several styles to choose from, but this one on the skateboard caught my eye. Isn’t he cute! Hopefully he will have fun on that skateboard and not find his way to my current project. LOL!

I have been doing some major stashing. I am still trying to complete my collection of Carriage House Samplings designs that I "have" to have before they are no longer available.

Miss Lila's House, Hearts and Flowers, My Hometown, Quaker Stocking, Primitive Stocking, Quaker Study, Black Willow Farm, Fredericka, A Haunting Mermaid, A Weeping and A Blessing, Folk Art Pincushions, and BBD Anniversaries of the Heart #4 Pink Hill Manor

If you like CHS, what are your favorites? (In another words, enable me so that I can make sure I am not missing something fantastic that I will later regret not buying and end up paying way too much for on the Bay of Evil. LOL!)

I also lucked into some Birds of a Feather designs that I have been wanting from the Stitchin' Post (gotta love that name!) in Nashville. I enjoy shopping there when I am in that area. They are also online and do call in/mail order. These are Memories of Christmas, Christmas Angel Ornaments, French Lesson, and Halloween Icons. Somehow this particular shop lucked into several OOP charts including these BOAF. I called the shop hoping that they would also have Joyous Christmas as I have been searching for that one forever, but no luck. I am not complaining... I am thrilled about these!

Five days of school left!!!! This time next week, I will be telling all my little people to have a great summer, and getting ready to enjoy a great summer myself. :)

Hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Snow Garden finished!

I finished Snow Garden this past weekend and started Valentine Rose. I am loving this series. I am glad I decided to stitch it all on one piece of fabric. I am saving the personalization until the end. I have ideas that I am jotting down as I go along, but I want to see all of the series before I make my final choices.

I am trying to play "catch up" in May and stitch on all of the monthly projects I decided to stitch throughout this year. Specifically Anniversaries of the Heart, Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow, and the LHN ornaments. I would like to get Anniversaries caught up through the third house. I owe CaHRH blocks 4 and 5. I have a pile of LHN ornaments to work on. I think I have stitched two of the six so far. I probably won't accomplish all of this in May, but I hope to make progress toward all of them.

Thank you all for your kind words regarding the flood. Thankfully, my family was not in any danger at any time during the flood and did not have any damage at all. Things are back to normal in our area.

I hope all of you here in the States had a lovely Mother's Day this past weekend. My little one surprised me with a card and some stitching stash cash with the help of his dad. I was fortunate to get to spend the day the way I wanted with the three of us traveling to my parents' house to spend the afternoon with them and with my brother (whose birthday was on Mother's Day this year). It was a fun day!

My husband also surprised me this weekend with the news that he has decided to resign from coaching football. He has been a varsity football coach for 18 years (as long as I have known him). I have always tried to be supportive (I have been better at it some seasons than others), but I am really glad he has made this decision. It will be a really positive thing for him and for us as a family. I have always dreaded July 15 (the official start date of football season and the day I feel like I become a football widow) and looked forward to the final playoff weekend (because the Monday following we feel like we get our huband/father back). It takes a lot of time and energy to be a coach. Coaches, at least the ones I know, are a very dedicated bunch of people. Because at the high school level, it sure isn't for the money. He made the comment to me today that he has not had a free fall season since he was seven years old. He started playing little league football then, played high school and college football, and then immediately started coaching after graduating from college. 33 years of football. That is unbelievable. But he seems very happy and at peace with his decision. I couldn't be happier or more proud of him. He is an extraordinary man, and I am lucky to call him mine.

I have been seeing Lake Stitcher's SBQ and people's responses posted on various blogs. I was not blogging the last time she was doing this, but I was reading blogs and loved reading people's responses to the SBQ. I thought this time I would join in on the fun. Here's the question:

Suppose we say that there are two types of stitchers.

There are those who enjoy the “process” of stitching. They stitch for stitching’s sake and if something gets finished, so much the better, but it’s not necessarily the end goal. Primarily, it’s the application of needle and thread to cloth that makes them happiest.

Then there are those who are “project” stitchers. They move steadily through their projects, certainly enjoying their stitching time, but finding their greatest joy in the completed stitching.

If you had to pick one to describe yourself, which type of stitcher would you be? I imagine that we could all say that we fall somewhere in between, but really think hard about this and try to pick just one. And once you’ve decided whether you’re a Process or Project stitcher, tell us if your recognize that approach in other parts of your life.

I think I lean more toward the process stitcher side. I enjoy all the different phases of stitching--stash acquiring (who doesn't enjoy that!), kitting projects, organizing, making the first stitch, etc. I have no qualms about making new starts. The large number of WIPs I have doesn't bother me or cause me to lose sleep at night (I don't call them UFOs because I do plan to eventually finish them all. LOL!). I will work on a project until I get bored with it and then I will put it down and move to something else. I feel restless on days that I do not get to put needle, thread, and fabric together. It relaxes me. I love the rhythm of it. I love painting on fabric with thread. It makes me feel artistic and creative, regardless that is someone else who created the design. Not that I don't love finished projects, but I definitely favor the process more.

That's it for me today. Have a great week! Make lots of x's.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's a Beautiful Morning!

In my 17 years working in education, I have experienced school being called off for a variety of things besides your garden variety snow... For example, I have witnessed ice storm days, flu days, tornado days, mercury spill days, and train wreck days.... I am not kidding. Today I am experiencing a flood day. And believe it or not, this is not the first one in my educational career. Which I find odd because we do not live in a flood plain. We had school on Monday, which I wondered if we would, so I was a little shocked when the phone rang around 9 pm last night announcing that there would be no school today. One section of our district that has a smallish river running through it, has been hit extremely hard with flooding. Roads are closed there and no vehicles can get in or out, which includes busses, so no school today. I think everyone there is okay, thankfully. They just have a big mess to clean up.

So this leaves me with the question of what to do with this time I have been given that was unexpected on this beautiful sun-shiny day....
Do I stitch?
Do I read?
Do I shop?
Do I clean? (nah, that's no fun!)

Not sure what I will do with this gift of a day. Maybe a little of all of the above.

I thought I would share a few stash acquisitions that I have acquired recently.

A little birthday stash: CHS Houses of HRH, CHS Village of HRH, Spot the Horse, BBD Anniversaries of the Heart #3 A Wish for You

A few something somethings from the Bay of Evil: SANQ Fall 2002 and JCS April 2002 which may or may not seem impressive from the covers, but look at the treats that await inside....

Heavenly Paradise from the SANQ issue.... love this little A&E design

And a Bent Creek design from the JCS issue

As well as a cute Brightneedle design that I have stitched here and there in Blogville and have always liked.

I have read a couple of books recently that I wanted to share.

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon.... an oldie but a goodie. I read this series more than a few years ago after she had written Fiery Cross. I fell in love with Jamie and Claire and their adventures in Scotland and America and through the portals of time. Now that she has come out with the seventh book in the series, I am trying to re-read them all from the start of the series before diving into the newest one. It is amazing to me how much I have forgotten of these stories. It is almost like reading them for the first time all over again. I am enjoying them very much. If you like historical fiction/drama/romance/time travel.... I highly recommend them, but as I say to all my friends especially if they are easily offended, these books read like an R rated movie. Nuff said.

I also finished listening to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I love young adult literature. I taught 8th grade language arts prior to becoming a school counselor, and I LOVED teaching literature units. Everything from The Giver to Animal Farm with a few others thrown in for good measure. This is a book I would have loved to have had when I was teaching. It is futuristic with a lot of moral dilemmas that makes it a great book for discussion. My middle school librarian friend has not been able to read it yet because she can't keep it in the library. It is always checked out. Any book that makes a typical middle school kid want to read...well, I just have to read those myself! :) I have started listening to the second book in the series called Catching Fire this week. So far, I am enjoying it too. I think there is a third book coming out this fall.

I will leave you with a picture of Petey, my other boy "child"

Good grief, Mom... The Derby is over... Super Saver won.... Don't you think it is time to lose the dorky bandana?

Thanks for reading and for your comments. I have a few people yet to email some responses to some questions to, and I will get to that shortly. :)
Hope the sun is shining where ever you are today. I am out of here to make some fun!! :)