Jun 10, 2016

This, That, and The Other

Most of you know that I can sling a mean paint brush... when it comes to refurbishing filing cabinets or side tables or even painting walls.  Recently, I took a watercolor class offered by the park district.  Not wanting to be totally uneducated, I jumped on YouTube to learn some basic watercolor skills.  Here's what resulted from my using my niece's Prang watercolor paints from grade school (many eons ago!).  The tutorial I used was very good in that it went step-by-step on how to draw and paint.  My result:

A few days later I went to the class.  I was disappointed that there wasn't more instruction.  We were basically told to draw the flower and then paint it doing the lightest shade first, followed by medium, and then shading.  There was no demonstration or anything.

We were allowed to use primary colors to paint with: red, yellow, and blue.  After the teacher had difficulty mixing up a gray with them, he got me some brown... and still couldn't get it.  After trial and error, I finally got a color that worked.  Since I was late to class (didn't know where the community building was), I was stuck with the only flower left which was a white rose... hence the gray paint.  Roses are hard to draw and white is hard to paint!  I came home with this:

Over the past couple of months, my Fitbit band started pulling away from the face. Not a big deal. A little over a week ago, the button on the side of the face fell out somewhere.  It controls being able to scroll through the data screens.  Even though I can tap on the screen... hit or miss at best... it's easier to press the button.  It's disappointing that a piece of equipment that costs so much didn't hold up better.  I've only had it 10 months.  I contacted Fitbit and sent a photo collage.

Since it's still under warranty, Fitbit sent me a replacement.  I even got to choose a color!  I'm hoping this one holds up better.  ::fingers crossed::

A few weeks ago, my niece graduated high school.  She also was accepted into the College Now program her junior year of high school, so a week before graduating high school, she graduated with an Associates college degree.  Both with honors!  I am so proud of her.

It seemed like it took me a lonnnggg time to finish Part 5 of the Words SAL.  I haven't had a lot of time to stitch lately.

Part 6 didn't seem to take me as long.  I'm working on getting more of the border done since this part is the top of the design.

If you're interested in seeing what other participants have stitched, you can see them HERE.

Earlier this year, Kim from Wisdom with Needle and Thread announced she would be having a big birthday this year.  She turned 60! To celebrate, she decided to RAK 60 gifts.  I was one of the lucky recipients.  Using my needlebook tutorial, she created and sent me this:

Don'tcha just love the measuring tape ribbon?  So cute!
(It can be found on Amazon... I asked, hee hee)

Be sure to visit her blog to see all the other RAKs she's given out.  She is so talented.  And which her a happy birthday, too!

I almost forgot!  Back in April, I received my Stitcher's Day Exchange from Jennie K in Rhode Island.  She sent me a lovely felt backed heart.  It's perfect for a bookmark.  Jennie also sent me a Sweetheart Tree quadrille ornament chart.  One of my favorite designers!  Thank you, Jennie.

If you like summertime and beachy motifs, DMC has a freebie that has some very cute designs!

 Click HERE to download the PDF.

A while back, I mentioned being invited to a Facebook group called Throwback Stitching.  I thought I'd show my recent post here on my blog, too.

This was the first patriotic design I'd stitched.  I matted and framed it myself adding the wood patriotic hearts.  The design is from the premier issue of Cross Quick magazine.

Until next time...


Jun 7, 2016

Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop: Thrift Stores

Long time readers know that I love-love-love discovering treasures at the thrift store. Over the years, I've scored lots of goodies! 

As a stitcher, the thrift stores are my "go to" place for frames. Not only are they inexpensive, they are also more decorative than what I find in big box stores.  Click on the various links below to see how I repurposed items, or to just read more about them.

I found wonderful fabrics and quilting supplies.

Awesome Spice Carousels

Stitching Cabinet

My stash armoire!

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers June Blog Hop – Thrift Store Treasures and Stories. Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.

Apr 20, 2016

Hoosier Retreat 2016

A couple weeks ago, I made the 7.5 hour trip to Camp Riverdale in Mitchell, Indiana to spend several days with the Hoosier ladies. 

I spent three days stitching on JG and made a bunch of progress.  Here's what it looked like at the start of the retreat.

 My goal was to finish the 6 o'clock branches.  Tada!

I also finished the left and right bridges, the blue border, and started the gold metallic.  Woo Hoo!

These are the orts that resulted from my retreat weekend:

Not only did the camp cook our meals, we all brought snacks. We were never without food!

Everyone also brought items for the Show & Tell table.  Wow, a bunch of talented stitchers...

Somehow, two charts from the freebie table found their way into my hands. I don't know how that happens.

Fancy Works set up a "shop" table.  It was so hard to resist.  I ended up purchasing some small pieces of fabric and Liberty by Heart in Hand.  If you ever get a chance to visit Fancy Works, I highly recommend it. The shop owners are awesome.

Fancy Works also provided a goodie bag for every attendee.  Thanks, ladies!

These were the Mystery Boxes that stitchers brought.  It's a volunteer exchange that's similar to "Dirty Santa".  I didn't participate, but it was a lot of fun watching packages being stolen and seeing what was in each one.

Deborah exclaimed, "Oh, $100 worth of edible panties!" after looking in the Victoria's Secret bag. LOL

We experienced several types of weather during the few days we were at stitch camp (term coined by Jodi -- loved meeting you!).  The first day it rained and sleeted. The next morning, I woke to a marvelous sunrise.

The day I drove home, it rained... and rained... and rained.

Salt Fork Rest Area is one of the more beautiful rest stops along the interstate in Illinois.  It has walking paths, picnic areas, a pond, as well as the usual restrooms/vending machine building.  I took advantage of this photo op:

There were a couple of takeaways from this retreat:

•  "Head down, Shut Up, and Stitch!"  We all thought this would make a great tshirt. - Thanks Vonna for the phrase.  It was great spending the weekend with you!

•  Did you know there is a Hoosier Stitcher Sisters signal to be able to signal to other Hoosiers in a crowd? It's like a secret handshake.    I'll just say that involves using your hands to pretend to jiggle the girls. LOL  Thank you Nancy for enlightening us all.

This was my second time going to this retreat.  Reuniting with some and meeting new stitchers was awesome.  We all had a great time laughing, eating, and stitching.

Apr 3, 2016

Where did I leave off?

Oh yes... my cough and pending trip to Florida...

I went to the clinic at which there was no doctor available so I saw a nurse practitioner who prescribed antibiotics.  No surprise there since that seems to be the "cure all" solution whenever someone isn't quite up to par.  I took the last of the antibiotic the day I left for Florida.  The cough was still there.  In the days following, it got better (while in Florida).  As soon as I got back and stepped outside the airport, I could feel the familiar tickle in my lungs and within a couple days my cough was back.  It leads me to believe it's allergies and allergy induced asthma.  Oh fun.

On to better things!  My trip to Florida.  It was the first time I used an airport hub located only 40 minutes from my home.  I met two sets of teenage girls who were so polite it restored my hope for teenagers, LOL.  I took some awesome cloud photos from the plane, and saw my first sunset from the air.


The weather was beautiful... in the 70's (while back home, it was in the 40's).  It was a bit humid the first couple days, but got better the last few days.  Either that, or I was getting used to it.  Went to several places and saw lots of things...

First up is the Florida Botanical Gardens.  It was interesting to see all the plants and flowers. The funniest thing I saw there was a sign that said, "Please Don't Feed or Molest the Alligators." LOL


The next day was a trip to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. 

Every hour or so, they had a "Meet and Greet" where the aquarium employees talked about different animals.  I got to meet Shelly the Penguin after the penguin meet and greet. 
There were several tanks where people could touch the undersea life... being a touchy-feely person, I *had* to touch everything. LOL



One would think catching the sun set at the beach would be a simple thing.  Nope.  Tried for three days... the first two evenings were very cloudy despite being sunny all day.  The last evening was a success.  Along with a beach picnic at Ft. Desoto State Park, a beautiful sunset presented itself.  Another first... I've never seen the sun set while sitting at the beach.  I highly recommend a picnic at sunset!

This is another of my favorites...

Made some new friends at the beach:


The days flew by, and there was not time to see everything.  I guess I'll just have to go back!

This week, I had my first performance review with the new employer.  My boss told me upfront that he 'grades' strict.  Sure enough, on paper, he did.  Yet, verbally he discussed how I've accomplished tasks other project assistants have not (Technically, I'm a project accountant) and that I have the capability and capacity to do more.  The performance review lasted 3 hours!  He went over point-by-point all the line items of the paper review.  Long story short, the project managers want me to be 'more agressive'... that I have no boundaries as far as getting things done even if it means spending more money (lol), and I essentially have to babysit them after I ask them for information (nice... not).  Right before I left for vacation, I was given a pro-rated bonus and told I received a 3% raise.  I figure I can't be doing too bad despite the mediocre paper review if I received a bonus and a raise.  Hard to believe it's been six months since I left my previous job.

Readers may recall that I finished A Marriage Is back in December.

It was supposed to be a one year anniversary gift for my niece and her husband, but I didn't get it done until December 24th... a few months after their anniversary.  With her crazy schedule and social life, it took me three months to pin down my niece in order to give it to her.

I kitted up Promise Me by Lizzie Kate to stitch while at the airports and on the plane.  Sitting by the window provides great light.

A lot of my readers know Deborah.  I recently had another overnight visit with her.  She's doing much better, and is moving to an assisted living home.  I believe tonight will be her first night there.  It's with mixed feelings she's leaving her home she made with her husband Max and their furbabies, but she also knows it will be best to have help immediately available if she needs it.  There are guest rooms so she's already invited me to her new home!

We had a great time chatting the hours away and stitching.  I took Promise Me with me to Deborah's to stitch on while we were chatting.... made good progress.

Sometime during my vacation, Palko sent out Part 4 of the Words 2016 SAL.  I had so many emails that I didn't see it until a few days ago.  I wasted no time in putting the project back on the qsnaps, LOL.  Part 4 finished:

I've been remiss in participating regularly with the Throwback Stitching sponsored by Carolyn at Stitching One Day at a Time.  There's also a Facebook group called Throwback Stitching where finishes are shown along with stories that pertain to the project.  Here's my latest "throwback":

I stitched Painted Ponies back in 1995 and made it into a photo album cover.  That year, I made photo albums for each of my sibling's families as well as for my parents.  I filled each album with photos I'd taken during the year... pertaining to each family.  I also put captions next to each photo, LOL.  This one went to my oldest brother.  I had each sibling open their gift in order of age.  By the time it was my youngest brother's turn, you would've thought he had ants in his pants as he couldn't sit still waiting (He was 23 at the time!) because he could see what the others had gotten.

Months just seem to fly by, don't they?  Time to say farewell to another month.