Jul 29, 2006

Ahhhh.... The Memories

My 14yr old niece has been saving old tshirts and fabrics that have sentimental value and meaning for her. I bought her a Mickey & Minnie Mouse Florida tshirt when we took her to Disney World at the age of 7. At 14, she still loves that shirt and even tried it on before we cut it up. Why did we cut it up? To make her a Memory Quilt. Some shirts had logos, one was a puffed paint shirt we made together a few years ago. Other fabrics include basketball themes, Scooby Doo, favorite PJ's, school mascots, and pieces I used to make her outfits when she was a toddler. After each one was cut into squares she arranged them into a design she liked. Much to everyone's surprise, she is even going to cut up her Barney baby blanket that she's had since she was 2. We are going to put that on the backside of the quilt. Here's the layout:

It took us two days to cut out all the squares. We also managed to get the top two rows stitched together:

So far she thinks it "SO AWESOME!" We didn't anticipate it being as big as it is. She keeps commenting on how "ginormous" it is (a bit of an exaggeration). I told her that she'll never be cold and she'll always have a bit of home with her. She already has plans for taking it to college with her!

Jul 26, 2006

SBQ - Scissor Collection?

Many of us have a few pairs of embroidery scissors and some even have a "collection". How many pairs of scissors do you have? Feel free to share a photo of your favorite pair or pairs with us!

I have 3 pairs of embroidery scissors that get used pretty regularly. My oldest pair and best is the gold stork scissors. I always tell everyone it was the best $15 I've ever spent. I've had them for over 10 years and they are still very sharp and do an excellent job at snipping. Since I made my scissor fob in April, I've been using the pink scissors quite often. The blue stork scissors are pretty new. I was at an event where I could get some stitching time in and didn't have anything to stitch, so I bought on of those Brass Stitchables kits and the blue stork scissors. I wouldn't say that I have a "collection", but I wouldn't mind 'collecting' a few different types of embroidery scissors -- There's SO many out there!

Jul 23, 2006

You Might Be A Redneck If....

...you have to tow your motorcycle home with a pickup truck.

Earlier this evening, I arrived at my brother's house to find my niece who tells me he went for a motorcycle ride with my other niece. I ask: "Was that before or after I called to say I was on my way over?" She says: "After" LOL, OK! So I call to say I'm coming for a visit and then he promptly leaves. What a way to make your sister feel special!

After about 10 minutes of visiting with my niece, the phone rings. I hear my niece laughing and asking, "Where are you at?" She hangs up and still laughing, she tells me: "You have to go get Dad. The motorcycle died." Serves him right, don’t ya think? LOL After getting into my car, I notice a missed call on my cell phone. My brother called me first!

I meet up with my brother sweating profusely from having to walk in the hot summer sun... bare-chested, shorts, and tennis shoes... and my little niece (Who just turned 9 today) in a tshirt, skirt, and sandals. Out of the kindness of my heart, I offered them a ride. LOL

After getting back to his house, he asked me if I wanted to help him pull the motorcycle back. I start to put my sandals on and he looks at my feet, then looks at me with a goofy look on his face. “You’re not wearing those, are you?” I answered, “What do you think I’m gonna wear? This is all I have.” Straight-faced he replies: “You should wear tennis shoes if you’re gonna pull the motorcycle back while I’m riding on it. Those there aren’t going to cut it.” Then he busts up laughing. Yeah, OK. Picture me wearing a rope harness pulling a motorcycle home.

We hop into his truck to go get the motorcycle. Now, here comes the redneck part… He attaches one end of the rope to the back of the truck and the other end to the motorcycle (There are clips on each end). He gets on the motorcycle and I drive the truck. So there we are, toodling 20-25mph down the rural country road... a BIG 4x4 diesel pickup truck pulling a motorcycle and him riding it. One of the times I looked in the rearview mirror, I saw him smiling and waving at one of the neighbors. At one point he got the motorcycle running. He tried to get along side the truck so he could unhook the clip only he wasn’t fast enough and ended up pinching his finger between the rope and cycle causing a big cut. He had to pull back behind the truck and at the same time I must’ve swerved a bit and as I was looking in the rearview mirror, I saw him trying to keep control of the bike. He didn’t crash it... thank goodness... That would not have been a pretty sight. He tried a second time to get around the truck and unhook the rope – succeeding. He pulled in front of me and for a while things were going good. Then the motorcycle died again. So I pull his monster of a truck in front and we hook up again. This time he just rode it the rest of the way home.

As we go in the house, he showed me his finger. He washed it up and as he was looking for a bandage, his youngest daughter asked what happened. What do you think he said? “Your aunt tried to kill me.” Yes, LOL, that is what he said. He was kidding of course, and then he went on to tell the true story. Of course, none of that would’ve happened if he would’ve just stayed home when I called and told him I was coming over. LOL

Jul 22, 2006

Bookmark Finish

Here's my second finish for the weekend! It's a butterfly bookmark from the leaflet called Mark That Spot by C.R.O.S.S. M.Y. H.E.A.R.T. I stitched this in 16 hours on an 18ct aida bookmark. This is for the ILCS bookmark exchange. I hope Cate likes it.

Jul 21, 2006

Little Sisters.... And a Finish

For anyone who has a younger sister, you will certainly relate to what I'm about to say. Remember when you were young, and she followed you everywhere? She got into your stuff and with an angelic look on her face proclaimed her innocence. She wanted to be like you, act like you, and do what you did. Even though she may have been a PITA, she was also your playmate and your savior when bad dreams scared you at night... at least mine was. As we grew older and got jobs, my sister followed me into the hotel business, and then into the number crunching game until she found her own cup of tea. I know... I know... You're probably thinking "Where is she going with all this?"

If you recall, back in February I stitched up a scissor fob. Well.... after seeing me use mine for several months, she decided SHE wanted one, too! After all the sweet-talking and "favorite sister of mine" comments, she convinced me to stitch her one. LOL, doesn't take much! Without anymore adieu, here's my latest finish:

The pics are of the front and back. It was a kit by Shephards Bush that took me about 12 hours to stitch and another hour to make it into a fob. It's stitched on 32ct waterlily linen with DMC and Weeks Dye Works floss. I altered the date on the chart to say 2006 instead of 2003.

She will be so excited to finally get it!

Jul 17, 2006

What's My Soul Look Like? ... and Other Silly Things

What Your Soul Really Looks Like

You are quite expressive and thoughtful. You see the world in a way that others are blind to. - This is true.

You are a grounded person, but you also leave room for imagination and dreams. You feet may be on the ground, but you're head is in the clouds. - Grounded, yes. Head in the clouds? I don't think so.

You believe that people see you as larger than life and important. While this is true, they also think you're a bit full of yourself. - Not true in either case.

Your near future is in a very different place (both physically and mentally) from where you are right now. - Hmmm. Wonder where that would be?

For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust. - So very VERY true!

You Are 29% Selfish

In general, you are a very giving person who treats others very well. But at times, you insist on getting your way - when it matters most to you.
- I'd say this describes me well.

Your Seduction Style: The Charismatic

You're beyond seductive, you're downright magnetic! - Moi?

You life live and approach seduction on a grand scale. - LOL, again... Moi?

It's these talents that make you seem extraordinary - and you truly are!

Jalapeno Chicken Wraps

I made these after I managed to get the LP tank changed on my grill. They were pretty tasty!


Zesty strips of chicken and bits of onion sit in jalapeño halves that are wrapped in bacon and grilled. Serve them with blue cheese or ranch salad dressing for dipping.

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. pepper
2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 small onion, cut into strips
15 jalapeño peppers, halved and seeded
1 lb. sliced bacon, halved widthwise
Blue cheese or ranch salad dressing

Cut chicken into 2 x 1/2-inch strips. In a large re-sealable plastic bag, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, seasoned salt and paprika; add chicken and shake to coat. Place a chicken and onion strip in each jalapeño half. Wrap each with a piece of bacon and secure with toothpicks. Grill, uncovered, over indirect medium heat for 18 to 20 minutes or until chicken juices run clear and bacon is crisp, turning once. Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing. Makes: 2 1/2 dozen.

My Notes:
1) When cutting or seeding hot peppers, be sure to cut out all the white stuff in the pepper and rinse well. It's the white pulp that makes peppers hot. Avoid touching your face until after you've washed your hands well.

2) I didn't have seasoning salt, so I just used 1/2 tsp. of regular salt instead.

3) I didn't have enough toothpicks, so I broke toothpicks in half and used each half to hold each end of the bacon in place. It worked just fine.

Jul 16, 2006

Where's A Good Man When You Need One?

I love to hang laundry on the line during the summer. Especially sheets and blankets. They smell sooo good after hanging outside. There are times when I really miss having a man around the house. Like when three out of four laundry lines break over the course of the weekend. Each of the three times I went to check on my laundry, I found that a line had broken and all my laundry was basking in the sunlight... on the ground! A good man would be thrilled (LOL) to fix the lines for me. Instead, I had to fix them myself.

Even though I have central air, it doesn't seem to keep the upstairs cool. So I have a small window unit for my bedroom. In trying to get a good grip on it, I balanced it on a medium sized toolbox (Yes, full of tools.) that was sitting on a table. When I went to pick the unit up, the tool box fell on my toes. Ouchies! It was all I could do not to drop the AC unit. I managed to struggle up the basement stairs, then up the stairs to my bedroom before dropping the unit on my bed. These are times when you appreciate a good strong man! LOL I did get it in though.

Men seem to make certain tasks seem so easy, don’t they? Like when the LP tank on the gas grill needs to be changed. They *know* which way to crank that wrench in order to get the tank disconnected. Me? I sit on the ground with my legs on each side of the tank, wrench in hand trying to figure it out. I’m thinking “righty tighty… lefty loosey”. Cranking and cranking on that wrench, getting nowhere. (I am SURE the neighbors are watching and getting their entertainment for the evening!) Then I see writing at the connection point... it’s covered in gunk and I manage to wipe enough off.... resourceful, aren’t I?.... to see that I am cranking in the WRONG direction! It’s no wonder I was still sitting there with the tank between my legs after 20 min. I did manage to get the empty LP tank off. It was so much easier to put the full one on than it was to take the empty one off!

Yes, I definitely miss having a handy guy around the house!

History... a stitching meme

How old were you when you started stitching? I believe I started around age 12 or 13. It didn't really become a hobby (or dare I say "obsession"?) until I was much older.

How many years have you been at it? Shhh! Don't tell anyone, but I've been at it off and on for over 25 years. Gosh, I feel old...

Self taught or did someone teach you? I am self-taught.

What was your first project? My first project was a birth sampler that designed myself by using motifs I'd found in one of my Mom's old magazines. I found a piece of basketweave fabric in my Mom's fabric stash and untangled a wad of embroidery floss that was at the bottom of her sewing case. I still have the magazine pages I used to create the sampler as well as the sampler itself. It's terribly stained, though.

Dog Days of Summer

In my part of the world, the hot days of summer is in high gear!! The past two days of heat and humidity have been the worst so far. When venturing outside, you can just feel the heat radiating through the screen door (with the windows closed!). Then when you finally get outdoors, you're greeted with a blast of heat and humidity that makes you want retreat back into the cool sanctuary we call home. Whew... There is nothing worse than feeling like you need a shower to wash the sweat off you after being outside for 10 minutes.

Since I've been trying to stay indoors, I've been doing things around the house that I never seem to have time for: Ironing, major floor scrubbing, cleaning/organizing rooms, etc. etc. Doesn't that just sound like a fun barrel of monkeys? I've managed to get another project framed: How Does Your Garden Grow? by LK. I still have to put twine hanger on it.

Jul 4, 2006

Weekend Update & SBQ's

Happy 4th of July! I pinched a nerve in my back below the shoulder blade. How fun is that?! I spent the evening talking with a special friend. That was much more fun.

My sister is 3 years younger than me. Like all little sisters, she was a pain in my rear. Who would've thought that when we became adults, we'd actually get along? LOL This past weekend, the two of us took a trip together to Schaumburg, which is a suburb of Chicago. It's home of Woodfield Mall, the 3rd largest shopping mall in the country.

On the way to Schaumburg, we stopped at an LNS where I got WDW Old Glory and she bought two beaded scissor cases and a scissor fob kit. Her idea was to make me a beaded kit for Christmas. Although, she now says she never told me "which" Christmas it will be. This was after she spent 3 hours sorting beads. The scissor fob kit? Well, that was for me to stitch for her because she liked the SB fob I made and now she wants one for her scissors.

After spending 20+ minutes waiting in the toll booth line, I took an exit to use the facilities. Keep in mind, I'd been there on more than one occassion. Well, this time there was construction and I missed the detour sign. Next thing I know, we are going BACK the way we came. My sister looks at the heavy traffic on the other side of the interstate (The side we had *just* gone though) and made a few choice comments and tried to convince me to use the "No U-Turn" exits rather than finding an off-ramp to turn around. "No. Yes. No. You wimp. I am not pulling out in front of all that traffic going 80mph." LOL! Farther and farther we go in the wrong direction. Traffic on the other side had thinned out, so I took the plunge and used the "No U-Turn" and told her she was paying the ticket if we got caught! Then we spent another 20 minutes getting through the toll booth for the 2nd time. "Yes, we're so charitable that we'd like to pay twice." After this incident, she decided she'd had enough and took a nap. As we got closer to Chicago, I started to look for the exit we need to take. Next thing I know, I'm driving over top of the road we needed to be one. Do you think there was an exit I could take to get back? Noooooo. That didn't stop me from trying, though. Finally, my sister woke up and asked where we were at. In an irritated voice, I told her I missed the exit and we were near O'Hare Airport -- which was WAAAAYYY south of where we were supposed to be. Her bright idea was to pull into the O'Hare oasis and get turned around. Rational idea, but there's only one way in and one way out that points you in the same direction you were going when you came in. No turning around. So then, I decided it was time to ask for directions. We entered the oasis and approached two people at the cell phone booth we thought might be intelligent. They work there, right? They should know, right? Wrong. The one clerk was on his cell phone talking to his buddy... actually ASKS his buddy for directions on our behalf. 10 minutes later, he says... Sorry, we don't know. Grrr! Next stop: the gas station. Now that little fellow was helpful. Unfortunately, we had to go way farther south before we could get turned around and work our way back to Schaumburg. We made it though. Finally!

While in the burbs, we went to a JoAnn Fabrics Superstore. The next day was spent at Barnes & Noble stitching, beading, and looking at books/magazines. I caved in and bought one of those British magazines. It was a fun weekend.

On Monday, the remainder of my order from 123stitch arrived. I only placed the order over 3 weeks ago! At least now I can finish up my SS package and send it on it's way.

What do you do with your charts once you've stitched them? Do you keep them or dispose of them? If you keep them, do you organize them in away that is different from the way you keep your unstitched charts?

I dispose of the work copy since it's marked up. I file the original with the rest of my charts, in nor particular order.

What is the biggest mishap you have had with your stitching material (i.e. spillages)?

Luckily, I haven't had many mishaps. I think once (a long time ago) some ice tea got spilled on a piece, but I rinsed it right away and there were no remnants of stains.