Apr 26, 2010


Yes, I've been a blogging "fool" lately! Please forgive me, lol.

For some history on kokeshi dolls, read HERE. When I was a little girl, my Mom had a set that fit inside each other, merely 3" tall.

Today on my lunch hour, I put the final finishing touch (namely, signature and date) on my stitched Kokeshi Doll. After work, I matted and framed it.

Design: Love & Devotion
Designer: Lucie Heaton, UK Cross Stitcher March 2010
Fabric: 14ct Baby Pink Aida
Fibers: DMC, personalized colors*

Custom matted and framed by yours truly. You can't tell from the photos, but the mat is light gray marble. And yep, I cut the mat myself. I found the frame at a thrift store. It used to be an UGLY brown and those little "notches" at the top and bottom were painted gold.

I'd like to give Lisa a "shout out" thank you for sending me the chart. She has a blog (or is it webshots), but I don't remember the link. Bad me!

*Edited: Coincidentally, doesn't she resemble my Geisha avatar?

Marvelous Monday Update 4/26/10

I go "treasure hunting" every couple of months. I love thrift stores. You never know what you might find. The two best things I found were:

knee-hi suede boots for only... $2!

The other was a 3-piece double breasted lined suit for only $8! It included the jacket, slacks, and skirt. Absolutely beautiful!

I also found this asian-inspired vase. I thought it would be great to put the reed diffusers into, -or- find some decorative chopsticks and make a display item to add to my collection.

I've been updating my stash blog, so if you need a "fix" check out the new additions. The link is on my sidebar.

I haven't stitched on ABC's all week because I started this:

I didn't particularly care for the colors in the original chart, so I changed them. Here's my progress so far. Much better!

I also had some time to make more beaded fobs.

Lastly, don't forget about the PARTY! Be sure to read the rules for the giveaway. Time to celebrate. As all good things come to an end, so does my party. You have until May 1st to join in the festivities. :)

The Hutch

A while back, I talked about the hutch I picked up at a consignment shop. A few people had asked for photos after I displayed my "trinkets", so here goes.

Still haven't found the rest of
my camera collection :(

The bottom is filled with my photo albums (circa 1984-2001). I have hundreds of photos not put into albums yet. Where will I store them??

Apr 25, 2010

Let's Celebrate!

I'd like to thank you all for your comments and support over the years. They have meant a great deal to me. I have treasured getting to know my bloggy friends both here and through the groups.

Today, my blog reached a milestone


What else could I do, but...

To "party" it up, I am hosting a giveaway! If you're interested in the giveaway, leave a comment sharing a tidbit from reading my blog that you found interesting, informative, meaningful, or just plain fun. Or, maybe you just like my stitching? You will have until Saturday, May 1st to "party" it up. If you put a tidbit on your blog about my party, I'll throw your name in the party hat a second time. Just let me know! Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you, whether it be through your blog link or an email addy.

The Party Prize*
(click on photo for larger image)

*The fabric was hand-dyed by yours truly, and I created the fob, too.

Apr 24, 2010

What does...

2 pairs of shorts, 2 blouses,
1 skort, 1 tank top, 1 sweater,
1 Nike shirt
have in common with...

a bunch of craft supplies

a bulletin board

a Japanese flower pot

a cute little oil and vinegar set

a king size sheet

this shelf

have in common?

Give up? One paper sack. One dollar. Huh? You may say. I had heard about a church rummage sale that was happening on Saturday. Unbenownst to me, it had actually started on Thursday and Saturday (the last day) was the "Fill a bag for a buck" day! So all I got the above mentioned for ONE DOLLAR!

I thought the shelf would look cute in my craft/spare bedroom. Look at the little spool details:

As I was walking out of the church, one of rummage sale workers was hawking the goods outside. I couldn't pass up these:

a card table and drawer organizer

another shelf

for the low, low price of FREE! I asked the guy if he was serious, lol. He even had his granddaughter carry the table to my car since I had my arms full with the bag of stuff and my purse. The card table needs some paint, but other than that, it still has lots of life left it.

Ya'll know how I like re-purposing items, right? Last year, I picked up these spice jars at a garage sale for 10cents each.

When I bought them, my thought was to use them for storage -- buttons, pins, charms, etc. All 12 of these fit perfectly on the shelf with the spools on top!

Apr 21, 2010

One Word, No Explanation

I snagged this from Kristin over at Dragondreamer's Lair. It sounded interesting, so I thought I'd take a stab at it. The only rule is:


Not as easy as you might think...

1. Yourself: empathetic
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend husband: none
3. Your hair: black
4. Your mother/stepmother: eccentric
5. Your dog: entertaining
6. Your favorite item: camera
7. Your dream last night: none
8. Your favorite drink: water
9. Your dream car: efficient
10. The room you are in: office
12. Your fear: loss
13. What you want to be in 10 years: content
14. Who you hung out with last night: Celete
15. What you’re not: outgoing
16. Muffin: apple
17. One of your wish list items: money
18. Time: 11:04
19. The last thing you did: read
20. What you are wearing: sweater
21. Your favorite weather: warm
22. Your favorite book: none
23. The last thing you ate: cake
24. Your life: unsettling
25. Your mood: content
26. Your best friend(S): crazy
27. What are you thinking about right now? sinuses
28. Your car: 300
29. What are you doing at the moment?: typing
30. Your summer: uneventful
31. Your relationship status: single
32. What is on your TV?: dust
33. What is the weather like?: sunny
34. When is the last time you laughed?: morning

So, if you wanna play, you can either copy and paste this to your blog or you can answer in the comments at Calli's place, where this meme originated. Either way, make sure you stop by and tell her you played.

Apr 19, 2010

Marvelous Monday Update 4/19/2010

April 15th has come and gone. My office gives 1/2 day "holiday" for tax season being over. It was 81F that day, so I took advantage of the great weather and went to the park to study.

In my 2 1/2 hours at the park, I managed to finish writing my second paper due for class this week. See the little ball of fluff under the table? Yes, that's Celeste. She had a grand ole time barking at the intruders park-goers.

The beautiful weather we've been experiencing has caused the flowers to bloom like crazy. I love Spring and Summer, even though my allergies are kicking in full force!

After making marinaded chicken on the grill, I had enough left over to make chicken fried rice later in the week. Mmmm... mmmm.... good!

Can you believe that ONE person waited until the last day to take the online midterm exam? An hour before class I talked to the instructor and she told me one person still hadn't take the exam (and she wasn't grading them until everyone had). She had a guess as to which student it was, but hadn't checked for sure. Well, *that* student strolled into class really late. Why? Because he was taking the freaking exam!

I had an "issue" with figuring out how to "see" which questions I missed on the exam. I ended up emailing the instructor, who then sent out detailed instructions to everyone in the class. Our scores ranged from 60-102%. I read that and thought, "Who the H-E-double hockey sticks got 102?!" In my mind, it was my group partner who is all "international smart", LOL. So, there I am using the step-by-step instructions to view my graded exam. I missed one MC question that I misread (I actually knew the answer had I read it correctly!) and missed 3 points on one of the essay questions. I kept scrolling through the test only to find out..................................


How did I do it? One of the essay questions offered extra credit points if we named and defined all 8 components of culture.

A friend of mine took me out to dinner to celebrate the fantastic score I got on my test. We went to a sushi restaurant where he suggested insisted I try the sashimi combo meal. Keep in mind, he hates does *not* like sushi and had no idea what sashimi was. Moi? I thought it was a sashimi sushi combo meal. But noooo.... It was a plate full of raw fish! No rice. Just raw fish, seaweed salad, calamari salad, and radish salad. I was brave and ate most of it.

Yes, that's an actual shrimp with its head still attached to the right of the plate. Everything on the plate is what was left after I made a good attempt at eating. I took it home and cooked it the next day before eating it, lol.

A few minutes of stitching here and there, and I finished another row on ABC Lessons. I'm to the halfway point!!

Apr 13, 2010

Taxes, School, & Stitching... Oh my

Is it going to be a Terrific Tuesday? Let's hope so! My Monday was extremely busy at work (last week of tax season, ya know!) and then I had school stuff to do.

My first test in International Business is this week. Just like my ethics class, there are only two tests the entire semester. To top it off, it's an online timed test. 68 questions. I found myself rushed to get the questions answered, but I managed to get them done in the alotted time. Now, I get to play the waiting game as to how I did...

I feel like I'm plodding along on ABC's as I haven't had but *maybe* 30 minutes of stitching time all of last week. Here's my progress:

Other WIP photos can be seen HERE.

I received a nice RAK (Random Act of Kindness) in the mail, but I'm not sure who it came from since there was no card or name on the envelope.

I do know it came from Australia, though. Recently, Felicity announced on her blog that I'd won a consolation prize, so maybe it's from her? Whoever, it was... Thank You!!

I pulled my hens & chicks out of the garage this weekend. They were a pretty purple and green color, and despite not being watered all winter they've burst out of the pot!

Apr 9, 2010

Needlearts Survey

The National Needlearts Association is conducting a survey of needle artists and would like your advice and opinions, whether you are a beginner or an expert! The survey is only conducted every few years so our input is very important. Answers are anonymous and no one will use your survey responses to market to you.

In return for your participation, you will receive valuable benefits:

• A chance to win one of five $100 needlearts gift certificates.
• Ensure stores and suppliers provide what you want.
• Explore your needlearts interests.
• Your valuable input will help the needlearts community to: Advocate for more programs to support the needlearts, such as Helping Hands Needlearts Mentoring, Stitch N Pitch, and Stitching for Literacy.
• Help independent retailers and family-owned suppliers succeed by giving much needed customer feedback.

As a thank-you for completing the survey, TNNA is offering the chance to win one of five $100 needlearts store gift certificates. To enter the sweepstakes simply fill out the survey HERE and then click on "Sweepstakes Entry" on the page you see after submitting the survey.

The 10-minute survey asks about your experiences with the needlearts you enjoy: cross-stitch, embroidery, knitting, crocheting, or needlepoint.

The survey is sponsored by The National NeedleArts Association, a business organization dedicated to supporting the needlearts community. Hart Business Research is conducting this survey for TNNA and compiling the results into a major national report, The State of Specialty Needlearts 2010.

Survey closes April 19, 2010.

Apr 6, 2010

Marvelous Mail!

A while back Donna hosted a giveaway in honor of her many blessings, and she wanted to bless someone else with a limited edition Spring Fob Kit by Lizzie Kate. Guess what?

I was the lucky winner of the drawing performed by her grandson. :) Aren't those little scissors the cutest thing?

Thank you very much, Donna!

Apr 5, 2010

Exceptional Experience

Out to Pasture?
For those of you who've followed my travels the past several years, you know I've had problems and repairs on the GTP. To be expected I guess, for an 11 year old car.

Even though I have LOVED the GTP since it came on the market and it gave me many good years of service, I became increasingly uneasy as to its reliability. So rather than put additional money into it, I decided to look for a different car.

Choices, Choices
I’ll admit it. I’ve been spoiled with my GTP. Fast. Heated Drivers Seat. Power everything. Roomy. Gorgeous Red. Sunroof. Leather seats. Auto Headlights/Fog Lights. Steering Wheel Controls. Heads-Up Display. Rear Window Defrost. Remote Locks. Ahhh, yes!

A couple years ago, the Chrysler 300 caught my eye. I thought they were pretty sharp-looking cars. At that time, I wasn’t ready to purchase so I tucked it away in the back of my mind. Then I saw a Buick Lucerne. Another nice car.

Last week the local “advertiser” newspaper had an ad for used cars on the front – one of which was a Chrysler 300 that caught my eye. I found their prices were quite high for the model/options they had available. Seeing the ad was enough to spark my interest to do more research about the models, options, and prices for the 300. I test drove a couple. Solid-feeling, comfortable ride. More research about dealer values, trade-in value for the GTP, bank financing, and insurance rates. I am so freakin very thorough when I’m thinking about making a major purchase!

I found plenty of 300 RWD on the market. Living in the land of extreme snow winter wonderland, I need to have FWD or AWD. Especially with my driveway. Ya’ll remember it, right? So, the search was on to find AWD (no option for FWD on the 300). Again comparing prices and options, I narrowed it down to a 300 Limited AWD listed at $2.5K less than Kelly and NADA retail. The dealership was an hour and a half away. I emailed the dealership and asked an obscene a bunch of questions. The salesman emailed me back almost immediately after each set of questions, and sent a carfax on my request. Duh. I later found out that a lot of my questions were answered on their website, LoL. Oops. Did I *really* want to take a 3-hour round trip for a test drive?

Road Trip!
Sure, why not?! I did take a male counterpart with me for moral support and point out things I may not notice, plus to help with negotiations. I drove 1 ½ hours into another state to test drive a car. Am I crazy? Upon arriving at the 5-star dealership, a guy came out and asked how he could help. After being informed I wanted to look at 300 Limited AWD’s, he showed me the cars, brought me the keys to both and told me to take them for a test drive. Meantime, the salesman who I had been emailing with realized who I was and claimed his “territory” customer.

Drive ‘Em
They didn’t ask for my keys, didn’t ask for proof of insurance, or even my driver’s license. Just “Here ya go. Take them for a drive!” I took the gray one first. Nice. Then I took the white one. (I had seen them both online, and really liked the white one) While out test driving the white one, my friend called and told me that I did NOT want the gray one – it had several flaws including dents. He had given the white one the once-over (lol, maybe twice or thrice-over) while I was testing the gray one. The engine on the white one was cleaner, also. The white one was definitely taken care of better than the gray one.

We sat down and talked numbers. I already knew their pricing was a LOT lower than other dealerships and according to blue book values. The salesman made it a point to tell me, not knowing I did my homework. In essence, they weren’t going to budge on the sales price so the only thing I had to bargain with was trade-in value on my car. They came back with what I thought they would, a bit lower than blue book value. Not good enough. Actually it was, but I wanted to see if they would do better, and they did.

So guess what?! I negotiated my way into a new-to-me Chrysler 300 Limited AWD.

Definitely Unprepared
Then it came time to draw up the paperwork. I hadn’t planned on going home with a different car. As such, I didn’t have the extra sets of keys or the title. Nor did I have my checkbook. The dealership took my word that I was pre-approved for a loan. At this point, I’m still in awe with the whole dealership experience. They let me take the 300 off the lot for $100 deposit, and told me to mail them a check! (Well… the title and keys, too.) Unbelievable. After recently sitting through negotiations at a different (local) dealership who was high-pressure and anti-negotiation, I thought my car buying experience was a piece of cake!

My “New” Ride
Initially, the 300 was designed under the supervision of Mercedes engineers which is why it looks and drives comparable to the Mercedes E-class vehicles, only with a less expensive price tag. The powertrain is the same as the Dodge Charger.

Features: All-Wheel Drive 3.5L V6. 5-speed Automatic Transmission with ability to manually shift. Leather Interior. 6-CD Changer with MP3 and WMA. Sirius Satellite Radio. Boston Premium Sound System. Heated Power Driver –and- Passenger Seats. Electronic Stability Program and Traction Control. 18” Aluminum Wheels. Auto Headlights/Fog Lights. Auto Temperature Control. 60/40 Split Rear Seat. Steering Wheel Controls. Remote Locks. Built-In Programmable Garage Door Openers. Sunroof. Tinted Privacy Windows. Rear Window Defrost. Power/Heated Side Mirrors. Electronic Vehicle Information Center. Of course, there are lots of nice safety “upgrades” as well.

Hard to believe they let this off the lot for $100, isn’t it?

Marvelous Monday Update 4/5/2010

It's been some crazy weather we're having! One day it's 85F, and two days later temps are down to 60. One day it's sunny and spring/summer-like, a few days later we're threatened with severe storms with hail. Today is sunny and 70's with expected thunderstorms tonight.

I've *almost* finished another line on LK's ABC Lessons:

When I walked around the corner of my house, I saw this:

Of course I *had* to run back in the house to get my camera. This guy has been very brave. He comes right up on my back step, and does scamper away as fast as I'd expect. He just sat on the stump the entire time I was photographing him... eating his nut.

Then I walked around another corner of my house and I saw this:

My daffodils are just starting to bloom and the tulips will be opening soon. More and more periwinkles are blooming. Guess what?! I saw my *first* robin over the weekend. :) In my book, spring is officially here!