Jun 27, 2007

Can't You See?

Lisa E has again posted a thought provoking question on here blog:

"How many times can a man turn his head, / and pretend that he just doesn't see?" --Bob Dylan "Blowing in the Wind"

While I certainly can go on the same tangent as Lisa in regards to family members tripping over items and then asking where they are (I am dating the equivalent of an absent minded professor), I am going on a different route.

Have you ever been stranded by the side of the road? It never ceases to amaze me at the numbers of people who will drive by... Yes, turn their head and pretend they don't see. Once I was caught in a white-out blizzard snowstorm and ended up in the ditch on the wrong side of the road. I was in a dress (on my way to work) standing by my car, hoping some kind soul would stop to help me. At least a half dozen people drove by me and didn't stop to help. I could've froze to death in the storm! Lucky for me, a guy finally stopped to help me.

Or, how about if you hear a neighbor woman screaming for help? Would you go help? Would you call the police? When I was younger, I was involved in a domestic abuse situation where my ex took the spark plug wires out of my car so I couldn't go anywhere and because he was drunk ended up pushing me on the sofa while we were arguing. Because he didn't like what I was saying, he proceeded to jump on top of me and start beating me in the face with his fist. I literally saw stars and almost choked on my own blood while screaming for help. Did anyone come to help? No. Did anyone call the police? No. I ended up leaving that night at 3am after he went unconscious. Dazed, I walked across town seeking help. Turn your head and pretend not to see.

I could go on and on about various situations where people turn their heads and pretend not to see. It's easier to bury one's head in the sand than to take a stand and help a fellow human being out. In today's world, it's all about *me* and if it doesn't directly affect *me* then I'm not going to look, because I really don't care. At least from where I stand, that's what it seems.

In some aspects, I am cynical about this. Am I bitter about the way the world is? Not really. Do I realize that there are good people out there? Of course I do! For instance, when I've had problems with my car co-workers offered help. When I had the hit-n-run last weekend, stitchers offered their phones so I wouldn't incur astronomical roaming charges.

*stepping off my soapbox now*

Jun 26, 2007

Hit & Run Update

I am in shock and awe at how quickly my insurance company has handled this claim! Here's the timeline of events:

Sat Night - Called insurance claims office from Indiana

Monday - Received call from claims personnel informing me that an adjuster would be calling

Tuesday - Claims adjuster calls, shows up while I'm at work to assess the damage, writes me a check for the cost of the damage minus deductible.

Now all I need to do is get my car into the shop to get the damage fixed. The entire bumper needs to be replaced. How much damage, you ask? Think $900!!! Thank goodness I have full coverage.

Jun 25, 2007

Stitching? What Stitching?

Did I even do any stitching during the retreat? But, of course!! What better place to work on Japanese Garden?! I did quite a bit of stitching on JG. Here's an updated pic:

This is progress after 105½ hours of stitching.

On Sunday, we were locked out of the stitching room for a while so I sat in my room stitching on my pansy fob.

So, Yes Virginia... I did get some stitching done. :)

Laughter, Learning & Lack of Sleep

With classic rock on the radio, sunroof open, and wind blowing my hair I was on my way to Indianapolis, IN for my first ever stitching retreat! The 5½ hour drive was smooth sailing and very relaxing. I arrived at the hotel without incident, and got lucky in finding a parking spot near the side entrance.

Much to my surprise, I needed a cart to unload all the stuff I'd brought along! The cart was packed with my duffel of clothes, camera bag, giveaway stash, two stash project bags, and scroll rods with JG on it. I also took along my empty froggie tote bag that Wanda sent to me (love that bag!)... Just in case I needed it.

On the way to my room, I noticed a room with what looked like stitchers. I stopped and introduced myself. Our "stitching room" as we fondly referred to it, was a suite on the same floor as our rooms. It was the first thing seen as one came off the elevator.

Prior to arriving at the retreat, I hadn't met any of the stitchers. I was a bit nervous about that, but the anxiety went right out the window when I stepped in the the stitching room and was met with warm welcomes. With each new person I met, I was welcomed with open arms. Couldn't have asked for a better group of stitchers to hang out with for the retreat! We had stitchers from AR, IL, IN, NV, and WI.

Several people brought tons of giveaway stash. The 8-foot table was piled with leaflets, magazines, fabric, fibers, and books. One stitcher brought 6 tubs of stash! Let me say that there was a LOT of fondling going on!!!

On Thursday, we all piled into two vans (Thanks Michelle and Julie for driving us!) and headed to Zionsville, which was an adorable town with cobblestone streets. Pics can be seen HERE. Several of us had lunch at Zorba's Greek Restaurant. Afterwards, we all raced to the first needlework shop called Persnickety Stitchers.

The shop owner was very nice, and even gave us each a gift bag of goodies.

I picked up:

• Stitching Is A Blessing - by Imaginating
• Keep A Gentle Heart - by Plum Pudding Needleart
• Pink Carnations - by Sweetheart Tree

Once everyone stashed the place out, we jumped into the vans and were on our way to the next shop, Needle Fever in Indianapolis. Out of all the shops, this one was my favorite. I liked the way it was laid out and the clerks seemed very helpful. We all were given a small gift for visiting the store. I'm sure you can guess that I bought stash at this store, too.

At Needle Fever, I bought:

• Gather a Harvest & My Favorite Time - by Lizzie Kate
• The Sampling - by Bent Creek
• Dream, Wish, & Believe - by Calico Crossroads

• Warm Winter Wishes - by Waxing Moon Designs
• Always Remember - by My Big Toe
• all the GAST fibers and fabric for Always Remember

Finally, we were on our way to Hobby Lobby where I walked away with lots of stash at good prices. Gotta love the clearance aisle!!! [HL Stash Pics: 1, 2, 3] I'm kinda kicking myself for not getting one of those Lorri Birmingham baskets.

By the time we were done at HL, it was dinner time and all that shopping had us famished! We had a fabulous supper at Joe's Crab Shack.

Once back at the hotel, we had a show-n-tell for the stash that was bought. It was fun seeing what everyone bought. Who knew Annette had a "thing" for needlerolls?? LOL If you haven't figured it out... We *DID* spend the entire day stashing!!!

On Saturday, four of us went to a third needlework shop called Timeless Needlework located in Indianapolis. We met the owner, Holley, who was most helpful and friendly! I needed to get multiples of fibers for a chart I'd bought on Friday and the ones she had weren't of the same dye lot, so she offered to order them for me. When I inquired about shipping costs, she said she'd send them for FREE! She even showed me how a stitch fixer works. :) Even though her shop is small, and there isn't a lot... She will order stuff for you and will give you whatever help you need. That counts for something!

Even though my threads had to be ordered, I didn't leave the shop empty-handed! I picked up:

• Friendly Stitchers - by Brittercup Designs
• Miss Kitty's Dragons - by Just Nan
Later in the afternoon, we had two special visitors come to our retreat. Lori from Enchanted Fabrics was in the area on vacation, so she stopped by and stitched with us for a while. Not only that, she brought each of us a piece of her beautiful hand-dyed fabric!

A little while later, Karen Kluba from Rosewood Manor stopped by to give us our very own trunk show. This was an extra special treat because Katie does model stitching Rosewood Manor, and Karen brought a finished piece that Katie stitched and is featured on the cover of the leaflet! Katie was sooooo excited to meet Karen. It was great seeing her smiling from ear-to-ear!

Saturday night, I went to my car to make sure it started... If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know about the problems I've had. The car seems to be OK as long as it runs at least once a day. After making sure it started, something caught my eye on the back of my car. Upon closer inspection, I came to the realization that my car was involved in a hit-n-run accident!!

Almost on the verge of tears, I went to the front desk to inquire the procedure for things like this. The clerk had no idea, but offered to call the police. Upon arrival, the officer had a bit of an "attitude" telling me that HE'D be the one to determine whether or not it was a hit-n-run. After inspecting the car, he turned to me and asked, "Well, what do you want me to do?" Ummm.... How about your job, dude? (Of course, I didn't say that) I had him file a police report, in case the insurance company needed one. Then I called my insurance company. I have to say that all the girls at the retreat were very supportive toward me, making sure I was OK and giving me hugs. My thanks to them for that... It really helped me from getting overly freaked out over the situation.

Since it was the group's 3rd birthday, a pizza party complete with cake was served for dinner that night. I can't remember the last time I saw so much pizza!!

After dinner, Karin showed us the techniques to complete our pinkeeps and biscornus. We used a variation of Renee's no-sew pinkeep instructions. My projects can be seen HERE.

By 11pm, I was beat and knew I had a long drive home... I asked Karin if I could have the hardanger project that was kitted up for us, so I could do it at home. My thanks to Karin for teaching the classes. I enjoyed them, and everyone's projects turned out great. :)

Vickie did the most frogging during the retreat, so Kim presented her with a froggie prize.

Throughout the weekend, we were "treated" to goodies donated by over 50 designers. Here is what I received: 1, 2, 3. It was awesome how generous the designers were!

As if that weren't enough, Colleen brought stashy gifts for everyone. Gift wrapped and everything. We all were like kids at Christmas time. I received September Garden kit by Elizabeth Designs, 32 skeins of DMC floss, and a piece of Lakeside Linen in Fawn color. Thank you, Colleen. It was really thoughtful of you!

I was up early on Sunday (very tired, though) and said my goodbyes before starting the trip home. I was so tired that I HAD to stop every so often so I could get out and walk around in order to 'wake up'.

At one rest stop, there was a beautiful memorial park behind it, complete with lake, fountains, and geese.

Being the photographer that I am, I couldn't pass up the photo opportunities. I walked the perimeter of the lake snapping shot after shot. Pics can be seen HERE.

About 45 minutes from home, I had a brilliant idea! Zzzzzt!! Can you hear the lightbulb going off in my head? I decided to turn my baby dragon piece (stitched in the 90's) into a pinkeep. So I stopped at Michael's and JoAnn Fabrics for a bit of shopping. I found a great piece of green fabric for the back!

Needless to say, I didn't make it home in 5½ hours since I made a few more stops. 681.5 miles later, I greeted my doggie... who was very happy to see me. I took everything from the car to the living room where it's still sitting.

As Debra put it: It's like a big slumber party for stitchers. The love of stitching brought together 12 wonderful women who spent 4 days and 3 nights of stitching, stashing, eating, laughing, and staying up late. I enjoyed meeting each and every one of them! For my first retreat experience, I don't think I could've had a better time. I had sooooo much fun! More photos HERE.

A big THANK YOU to Betty, Karin & Kim who organized this year's retreat. You did a great job!

Jun 19, 2007

Just Another Meme

Snagged this from Outi:

Were you named after anyone?
Yes, sort of. As the story goes... my Dad liked some song on that was popular around the time I was born. So that’s how I got my name.

Last time you cried?
A couple months ago, after an interaction with my sister. Her attitude and tone was like a stab in the heart.

Do you like your handwriting?
Yes, I do. I’ve been told by lots of people, including cashiers in stores that I have really nice handwriting.

Favorite lunch meat?
Ham, I guess. I don’t buy much lunch meat.

Do you have kids?
Nope, haven’t been blessed yet.

Would you be friends with youself?
Of course! I’m a good friend and a good listener.

Do you use sarcasm a lot?

Do you have your tonsils?
Yep. Maybe not for long, though. I have an appointment with the ears, nose & throat doc on the 28th to determine whether they need to be taken out.

Would you bungee jump?
Nope. My luck, I’d hurt something. Plus I’m afraid of heights.

Favorite cereal?
I buy generic cereal occasionally. I don’t remember what it’s called, but it’s the healthier kind, not the sugary ones.

Do you untie your shoes?
Yes. After having it pounded into my head as a kid, I untie them. As Dad used to say: Shoes last longer.

Do you think you are strong?
Mentally, yes. Physically, somewhat.

What is your favorite ice cream?
I have to choose? I like all kinds!

First thing you notice about people?
Facial features.

Red or Pink?

Least favorite thing about yourself?
Where shall I start? LOL I guess maybe my aloofness around people. I’m rather quiet and not a good conversationalist.

Who do you miss most?
Someone who would make me feel special to the core, and my grandparents.

What shoes are you wearing?
Black loafers with a big heel.

Last thing you ate?

What are you listening to right now?
The radio.

What color crayon would you be?
Lavender, I guess.

Favorite smells?
Lilacs, Motor oil.

Last person you talked to on the phone?
Ahhh... Shane

Favorite sports to watch?
Not a sports fan. The most sports I watch is the Olympics.

Hair color?

Eye color?

Do you wear contacts?

Favorite food?
I like all foods. Sushi is good. Lasagna is good. Enchiladas are good. The list goes on...

Scary movies or happy endings?
Happy endings.

Last movie you watched?
The Last Samauri

What color shirt are you wearing?

Summer or Winter?
Summer, as long as it’s not gawd-awful humid.

Hugs or kisses?
Both. Greedy, aren’t I?

Favorite Dessert?
Choices, choices... I like them all.

What book are you reading now?
P.S. I Love You

What is on your mouse pad?
Dust and lint.

What did you watch last night on tv?
Wife Swap, Ex Wives Club

Favorite Sound?
Birds singing, children playing, nature sounds.

Furthest you have been from home?
The Caribbean

Do you have a special talent?
I have many. Where do you want me to start?

Where were you born?
Despite what my Dad says... I was born in a hospital, and not a barn.

Got this far? Consider yourself tagged!

CSE Bingo Prize

Yesterday, I received a rather fat package in the mail... from Canada, no less! At first, I thought it was a RAK. Inside was a cute little card informing me that it was the bingo prize I had won months ago. Wow!! I'd almost forgotten about it. JoAnn sent me the nicest package and I really liked it all!! :) I noticed on the package it took 13 days to get from Canada to the US. WOW! Thank you for everything, JoAnn. It was a wonderful package!

Inside the package was:

• 2 packages of 18ct aida -- teal & light gray
• Package of flower buttons -- very 60ish.. cute!
• DMC Teddy Bear Kit

• 4 packets of tea -- raspberry, orange, lemon, blueberry... love tea!
• Stranded by the Sea floss -- Mandarin Fish
• Crescent Colors floss -- Miss Madalyn
• Old Willow floss -- Ballerina
• Glissen Gloss Japanese Silk floss
• Magnetic Listpad with flowers and bees on it
• San Man Brr Tuck Kit... how very, very cute!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Munchies


1½ c. flour
½ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ c. butter, softened*
½ c. plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
½ c. packed brown sugar
¾ c. peanut butter
1 egg
1 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
¾ c. powdered sugar

In medium bowl stir together flour, cocoa, and baking soda; set aside. In large mixing bowl combine butter, ½ c. sugar, brown sugar, and ¼ c. peanut butter; beat with mixer until combined. Add egg, milk and vanilla. Beat well. Beat in as much flour mixture as you can with mixer. Using wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour mixture.* Shape dough into 32 balls, each about 1¼” in diameter.* Set aside.

For filling, combine powdered sugar and remaining ½ c. peanut butter in bowl. With mixer, beat until smooth; knead by hand if necessary. Shape into 32 balls.

Preheat oven to 350F. On work surface, flatten a chocolate dough ball; top with peanut butter ball.* Shape flattened dough over peanut butter ball, completely covering peanut butter ball; reshape into ball. Repeat with remaining balls.

Place balls 2” apart on cookie sheet. Flatten with bottom of glass dipped in the 2 tbsp. of sugar.* Bake about 8 minutes. Let stand 1 minute. Transfer to racks to cool. Makes 32 cookies.

-- I used margarine instead of butter. This may explain why I didn’t need to use a wooden spoon to mix in the remaining flour mixture. The dough was quite soft and moist.
-- I made my chocolate balls 2” in diameter and ended up with about 18 balls, so I split the peanut butter filling into 18 balls.
-- Since the dough was soft and moist, I sprinkled a tiny bit of flour on the work surface and my hands to prevent the chocolate balls from sticking while I patted them gently to flatten. I flattened them to about ¼” thick.
-- It helps to lightly moisten the bottom of the glass before dipping it into the sugar the first time. I flattened the balls to about ½” thick.
-- I ended up baking the cookies for 11 minutes and cooling on the pan for 5 minutes before moving to a rack for cooling. I tried 8 minutes/1 minute and the first cookie I tried to move to a rack fell apart. Longer baking helped.

Jun 18, 2007

Father's Day

Coming up with gifts for my Dad is always difficult. He doesn't really *need* anything, and always says, "Nothing." when you ask him what he wants. One year for my Dad's birthday, my sister asked him that question and he gave the usual answer. Being a smart alek, she wrapped up a box of "nothing"... an empty box. What was supposed to be funny, didn't turn out that way. She said she could see the disappointment pass over his face and she felt bad.

Me, when all else fails... I bake him cookies. Homemade cookies from scratch are a rare treat for anyone in my family (because no one but me bakes). So, I spent Sunday morning baking him Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies. Chocolate cookie on the outside with peanut butter filling on the inside. Don't they look yummy?!

After scurrying around the house looking for the "perfect" container to put them in, the best I could come up with was a Christmas gift bag!! It doesn't look too Christmasy, does it?

Notice the card... No writing on the front. I bet you're wondering why? For years, my Dad gave me a hard time about writing on the front and sealing the envelope. "You could re-use that envelope," he'd tell me. Yeah, OK Dad. So I stopped putting "Dad" on the front and stopped licking the flap. LOL HE can re-use the envelope if he wishes.

And wouldn't you know.... He "noticed" the Christmas bag!

Jun 15, 2007


I got this from Velda:

SCATTERGORIES - it's harder than it looks! But Fun!

Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each number.

Rules: of the following...They MUST be real places, names, things...NOTHING made up! If you can't think of anything, skip it. Try to use different answers if the person before you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question and you can't use a search engine... Now Go!

Your Name: Meari

1. Famous singer/band: Madonna
2. 4 letter word: Mime
3. Street name: Maple
4. Color: Maroon
5. Gifts/presents: Money!
6. Vehicle: Mazda
7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: Maps
8. Boy Name: Matthew
9. Girl Name: Maria
10. Movie Title: March of the Penguins
11. Drink: Milk
12. An Occupation: Movie Star
13. ???
14. Celebrity: Matthew McConnohey (sp?)
15. Magazine: Money
16. U.S. City: Memphis
17. Pro Sports Team: ?????
18. Fruit: Mango
19. Reason for Being Late for Work: Motor on car died
20. Something You Throw Away: Milk Jugs
21. Things You Shout: Meanie!
22. Cartoon Character: ???

Practically An Angel - LOL!

I wouldn't say that, but I am pretty laid-back.

You Are 16% Bitchy

• You are practically an angel - both on the inside and outside.
• You try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt (Yup!), and you're even tolerant of bitchiness in others!

Google Reading

Ahhhh! I'm in the progress of switching my blog reading from Blogrolling to Google Reader. BR just wasn't consistent in letting me know when new entries were being made, thus I'd be SO far behind in my blog reading! I'm about halfway through adding my Blogs of Interest to Google Reader. So far it's working great! There are a few renegade blogs that don't register on GR, though. Once I get the blogs switched GR, I'll probably remove the list from my sidebar except for the renegades. LOL, they'll be labeleled as such!!

Jun 12, 2007

Words from Brooke

Just for the fun of it, I sent Brooke Nolan pics of my needlebook that I made from her design. I didn't expect a response from her, but guess what? She sent me an email:

Oh my stars! My heart just about stopped when I saw your photos yesterday. This is SO lovely...I'm speechless. Thank you so so much for sharing this with me. Your work is exquisite...Your stitching is beautiful and the needlebook design is gorgeous...I love the gold braid...It's just so delicate and lovely to look at. You did a GREAT job. I was wondering if you would mind me putting your photos on my blog and talking about it to the Yahoo! Group. I wouldn't give away any of your contact info but I think other stitchers would like to see what you did with this letter block. Let me know if that's ok...

Thank you SO much for contacting me and thank you also for stitching my design...You really made my day...week...month...year...LOL!

Take care,

Tests... More Tests

*sigh* I've been feeling under the weather (nothing to pinpoint, just overall tired for most of every day) for quite a while now, so a couple weeks ago I went to the Dr., who had a bunch of labs done on me. 6 tubes of blood and a urinanalysis. I have an elevated SED rate, whatever that means, and I have to have it re-checked at the end of June. The initial urinanalysis indicated blood in the urine and a high white blood cell count. A re-test last week showed no blood and the nurse said it was "better". Their vagueness is really annoying me. I'm supposed to have it re-checked in 3 months. The Dr. is supposed to call me back so I can get clarification as to why she's wanting these tests. Quite frankly, I'm starting to worry.

Update: I talked to the Dr this afternoon. She's referring me to an Ears Nose & Throat doctor to take a look at my tonsils. My tonsils have always given me problems but doctors are reluctant to take them out when you're an adult. In January, they were really inflamed. I've been to the doctor every month except April and each time she commented on how unusually large they are. This last time she thought I might have chronic tonsilitis, and after talking to her today, she said would explain why the SED rate was high. That combined with the fact I've been extremely tired. She reasons that because they're inflamed they could fall back into my airway when I'm sleeping obstructing my being able to get air. I have noticed I wake up throughout the night snorting and last night I woke up choking. So, before any other testing is done she wants me to see the specialist and get his opinion. That's scheduled for the end of June.

Jun 11, 2007

Two RAK's in One Day!

I cannot express how much it lifted my spirits to know that not one, but two people were thinking of me. I received 2 RAK's. They came on just the right day, too.

One was from Nancy J in MI. She sent me 14 skeins of DMC floss in very pretty colors, 4 skeins of #5 perle cotton, a pattern booklet for the Color Variations floss (will come in handy!), and a spool of green opalescent ribbon. Thank you very much Nancy!

The second package was from Carolyn B in NC. All sorts of summery colors were included: There was a piece of sunshine yellow opalescent fabric, a floss holder with a little gold zippered purse, 5 skeins of Carries Creations floss in Shockwave, Over the Rainbow, Fresh Grass, Dawn Sky, & Warm Fuzzy, the cutest little spring hat button, and a thank you card. It was her way of thanking me for everything I do for the ILCS group. Carolyn, I am touched! How sweet of you.

I've never used Carries Creations floss before so I'm rather excited about getting some! I've heard good things. I'm thinking the fabby and the floss would do well with an LK design. Hmmm....

Monday Update 6/11/07

Movie Monday
The Doors, with Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, & Billy Idol. To be quite honest, it was one of the weirdest movies I've seen in a long time. I didn't know much about Jim Morrison or The Doors prior to this movie. If this movie is factual, I have no respect for him as a person or artist. His character in the movie strikes me as a little boy in a man's body, a lost soul. With the lifestyle he lived, it's no wonder he died at 27.

One would think that 3 bags of mulch would go a bit farther than it did. On Friday, I put down the mulch the landlord left for me. I was hoping I'd have enough to put under my bench, but alas... No such luck! On Sunday, I finished planting the rest of the Lilies-of-the Valley. I am so glad that job is done! My pole beans are sprouting. Much to my dismay the bugs are already eating the tender leaves. Yikes!! I need to figure out how to save them.

On Friday, I went for a good long walk with Celeste. On her 4" legs, she kept up pretty good during our 45 minute speed walk. She was thirsty when we got home!

Imagine how pleased I was when I drove 45 minutes to the "big city" only to find that there were no orders for my repeat lab work. The nurse was helpful and called the other lab thinking maybe my doctor's office sent the orders there instead of the clinic lab. Meanwhile, I called my doctor's office asking where my orders were. We found out that indeed they were at the other lab and would be faxed over immediately. Once I pee'd in a cup, I was free to go. LOL

Spent 2+ hours "doing" my car. Changed the oil, and detailed the inside. Looks pretty spiffy!

Stitchy Stuff
I have a finish! Woo Hoo! I finished the needlebook for the class I'm teaching. Despite the fact that I omitted a step when I was putting it together, I managed to work around it and the needlebook turned out beautiful! At least I think so.

I used a freebie chart called "J is for Japanese Embroidery" by Brooke Nolan. I stitched it on 28ct waterlily linen with DMC threads and Rainbow Gallery Treasure Braid. I omitted the "J" and added two additional floating balls. In the center of each ball, I added a Mill Hill Bead.

I'm still working on the cardinal for the retreat. I've managed to stitch a bit on it almost every night this past week. I'd say I'm 2/3 done.

Jun 6, 2007

SBQ - Challenges

What has been your most challenging project and why?

The project that had me pulling my hair out was most challenging for me has to be Stoney Creek's Freedom. There are several reasons it was challenging:

• There were many blended colors.
• It took a long time to complete and was a large project at 11x14 in size.
• I despise dislike stitching browns, blacks, and grays.

Jun 5, 2007

Travel RAK

Not too long ago, I met Wanda at Deborah's house to present a RAK. Wanda was on here way to vacation in Aruba. Last week, I'd posted a question to the groups about a substitute for Kreinik #4 braid in Citrine. Wanda not only sent me a substitute... She sent me this wonderful bag from Aruba! Check out those frogs!! I just love the color of the bag, and it's SO big.

Wanda... What a great RAK. Thank you for petite treasure braid and the bag!

Green Thumb Blessings

"Do you have indoor plants? Do they thrive or do you lack a green thumb?"

This question was posted as a QOTD on one of my groups last week, so I thought I'd answer it here, complete with pics! I am going to expand it to indoor and outdoor plants.

Me and My Dad - 1970

Growing up, my parents planted a huge garden. When I was old enough to take an interest, my Dad tilled up a 4x4 section in the yard and gave me seeds left over after his plantings. It was up to me to see what I could grow. Combine that with my mother's love of plants, and you have a green thumb by genetics.

My indoor plants consist of:

Basil - This plant is 3 years old. I started it from seed, and it has been replanted three times. In the summer, it sits outside on my porch. I bring it indoors during the winter months.

Amaryllis - This is a bulb that normally blooms in January or February with huge gorgeous red, pink, and white varigated flowers on top of tall stems. Once the flowers fade, the stems and flowers are cut. The plant is left to grow and store energy. When warm weather arrives, I set it outside until fall. Then I cut the leaves and store the bulb in the basement until January.

Bamboo - I bought this plant a few years ago when visiting Chinatown in Chicago. It really needs to be replanted. I think it's root bound in that little bowl (but I like that bowl!). This usually sits on the end table in my living room. This year, I decided to set it on my porch with hopes it will liven up some with warm weather and sunshine.

??? - This one is new, which is why I can't remember the name of it. I bought it last week to replace the Majestic Palm that died last year. It's about 2½ ft. tall. It will sit in the corner of my living room. Currently, it's sitting outside because I need to replant it into a prettier pot and I figure the warm weather will do it some good.

Maternity Plant - These are rather neat plants. My mother gave me this plant when it was about 4" tall. Now it's about 3 feet tall, and this is after numerous cutting the tops off! My mom is amazed at how big my Maternity Plant is. The smaller one is about 8" tall. The interesting thing about this plant is that it produces "babies" (thus the name) that are the size of lady bugs. You drop the babies in dirt and they grow into the plant. I've started lots of plants this way! Anyone want one?

And now to my outdoor gardening adventures! Last year, I hardly had any time to make my outdoor area look nice. This year I think I went a bit overboard in my attempt to make it pretty. LOL Nothing wrong with pretty, right? Here's what I have going so far:

Notice how the pots match? While garage sale-ing this past weekend, one place was giving away flower pots and they had one that matches these! So I snagged it up and have plans to plant more flowers. The best part... The pot was FREE. Isn't that little turtle the cutest thing?

Coleus plants have such a striking appearance. When I was little, my mom grew these plants indoors. I've got these sitting on my porch.

Here are my tomato plants. Hopefully, this year will result in red tomatoes instead of lots of green ones! Take a look at how huge last year's plants and tomatoes got: HERE.

I created my "little corner of the world" with a small flower bed. To the left Morning Glories are growing and hopefully will climb the fence creating a wall of color.

To the right, I've planted pole green beans which will climb the fence and produce fresh green beans. That's IF the critters don't eat the sprouts like they've done in the past. One year, I had to replant 3 times! In the center of this garden is a wild violet plant surrounded by Impatients. The camera is actually a bird feeder, but I like it for decoration purposes. Adorable, isn't it? Not pictured is two large planters that I have plans to fill with flowers. I'll have to show those later.

This year I decided to try hanging planters. One planter I started from seed and is just barely started so no pics. The other is quite large and I filled it with pretty pink and purple blooming flowers.

Many times I've mentioned how wonderful Freecycle is. A couple weeks ago, someone was giving away Lily of the Valley. I shared some with my mom, and started planting some behind the garage. As you can see, I still have more to plant.

I thought sunflowers would make a good addition to the yard, so I started some plants from seed. Hopefully, the neighbors won't mow them over when I plant them next to the fence.

And finally, these are plants I *still* need to plant in pots or put into the yard somewhere: