Mar 28, 2011

Marvelous Monday Update 3/28/2011

Where has March gone?? It seems it just started yesterday, and now here it is... almost over! Mother Nature has "blessed" my area with snow, sleet, rain, and hail (twice) plus some sunshine this month. What an interesting month it's been.

Here's the best way to study on a chilly night:

Just when I thought the instructor couldn't get any lazier worse, he has shown me otherwise. Rather than ask 14 individual questions on our first quiz, he has instead chosen to make only ONE answer blank, and students have to put 14 different answers in it. Talk about stupid, and confusing! Other than that, my first week in my online class went pretty well.

Edited: I checked my grades this morning and found out I got a 94% on the quiz. Woo Hoo!

Went to one of the antique malls in town. It's always such fun to look in those places, you never know what you might find. A friend spotted a box in a corner with a bag of floss in it, so I went to check it out. The entire box was filled with stitchy goodness!

In addition to the supplies, this beautifully stitched piece was in the box:
Butterflies and Blossoms
Designer: Karen Avery (Dimensions Kit 3617)
Fabric: 18ct White Aida
Floss: Unknown
Size: 12x6"
Finished: 1992

The floss I needed for JG came last week, so I did work on it for about an hour. I think I figured out the specialty stitches. No pic because it doesn't look like I got much done.

Did you notice froggy in the above pics? He made his presence for a bit while I removed erroneous stitches on Blossom. There are two dark star symbols... one is slightly larger than the other. Why do designers do that?? Luckily, I only had to frog about 10 stitches and re-do them. And they were on the edge of the kimono, so a relatively easy fix. I finished Pg 2, and am onto Pg 3. I also decided to start some of the backstitching. It gives the piece some great dimension. Here's the progress so far:

(Sorry for the dark photo)

Until next time,

Third Time's The Charm!

I had such high hopes when I signed up for the Reindeer Ornament Exchange on the HOE blog. Boy, do I have a saga to share... Innocently enough, I signed up for the exchange in December B.S. (Before School). I said to myself, "Self, this is great. I can get a jump start on it!" Happily, I pulled out some fabric and threads. Before I knew it, I had my entire reindeer stitched.

All I needed, was to finish it... and recipient's name. I was one happy girl! The day I was waiting for arrived: I received an email from the coordinator with the recipient's name and the exchange rules. My happy face dropped :( Not really... just sounded dramatic, lol. No aida. Guess what I stitched my reindeer on? Yep, you guessed it. Aida. It was SO cute, too!

What's a girl to do? Stitch another one, of course! I pulled out a nice shade of green linen. Once again, I happily stitched another one. I still had weeks before I needed to send it out. I was ahead of schedule, despite school starting. Woo Hoo!

Fast forward to the weekend before the mailing date. I sat myself down to make the ornament. Mistake #1 - I cut the fabric too small. Mistake #2 - I cut the dimensions of the cardboard inaccurately. I don't know why my measuring skills went out the window, but they did that day. My confident self said: "Self, you can do this. You can fudge it. Go for it!" So, I tried. Really, I did. By the time I got done with that ornament, I was so disgusted with myself. :( No dramatic statement this time... I really was disgusted.

As much as I didn't want to, I contacted the coordinator of the exchange and explained my story. For the first time ever, I asked for an extension. My logic is this: I wouldn't have wanted to receive an ornament that looked like that, so I did not want to send one out looking like it. Luckily, I was granted the extension. And no, I didn't take a pic of the pathetic ornament. I chucked it in the trash and immediately started stitching a third ornament. Yes, three of the same design for one exchange, lol.

I ended up only being a week late on mailing from beginning stitching to the finished product-an ornament I can be proud to have my name associated with! To add to the drama, it was over a month before the ornament arrived. Without further adieu....

Mistletoe Reindeer
Designer: Daffycat
Fabric: 32ct Hand-Dyed Brown/Tan (manufacturer unknown)
Fibers: Unknown Cotton
Embellishment: Runched Ribbon
Mailed to: Aubree in Canada

P.S. This is my third finished-finish of 2011. Yay :) Of course, I couldn't let the aida ornament go to waste. I made it into a cute ornament also! I count this one as my second finish.

Mar 21, 2011

Marvelous Monday Update 3/21/2011

Temps have been higher than normal this week, which allowed me to do some yard work. I cleaned all of the larger flower beds. Look what I found one morning:


Not sure what these are, but they come up every spring and have little white flowers. There are a few ferns popping up, and the rhubarb (not pictured) is poking it's little red buds out also.

Since the weather was so nice, I let Celeste bask in the sun. The little snot bundle of joy decided to hide behind the swing when she saw me coming with the camera. "Na-Ne-Na-Ne-Boo-Boo, Mom!"

She really needs a trip to the groomer!

*sigh* My semester starts up today, so I'll be hitting the books once again. I have the same instructor as last semester so this should be a crapppy an interesting term. The upside to this is that I know how his class works so I'm hoping I'll do well. Again, I will have another term paper to write, a quiz each week, as well as online discussions to post to. What class am I taking you ask? Oh yes. Investments. I'm looking foward to this since I've always wanted to know more about investing.

Hold on to your seats! I actually got out JG and worked an hour an half on it last week. I became a bit frustrated because (1) I couldn't figure out what one of the colors was, and (2) I couldn't figure out what specialty stitch I was supposed to use. Turns out that I didn't order the color when I converted the chart to other fiber brands - duh! It's ordered and on its way now. Still haven't figured out the specialty stitch. Here's what little bit I got done:

I did a little bit on Blossom Splendor... filling in missed stitches. I'm almost done with page two.

You can see all the progress pics for both projects HERE.

Until next time...

Mar 14, 2011

Marvelous Monday Update 3/14/2010

Checked my transcript today and my grade for Corporate Finance was posted. Got an A. :) Yay! I ended up getting a B on my term paper, and I've emailed the instructor 3 times asking for feedback on what he took points off on. Not surprising, I haven't received an answer back!

One of the ladies on one of my stitching groups posted a link for a St. Patrick's Day meal from the Cuisine At Home website. Since I had beef brisket in the freezer, I thought I'd try it out. It's a pretty easy crock pot recipe called Marmalade Glazed Corned Beef with Carrots and Potatoes, recipe HERE.

A couple of notes:
• The site is correct: The beef was salty, even after rising it. It made the carrots *really* salty. The potatoes weren't, so I'd suggest putting the potatoes in and then layer the carrots on top.

• I substituted wine for the lager, and red wine vinegar for the white.

• I didn't carmelize the marinade in the oven, just heated it up on the stove and poured it over the beef. The marinade was really good over the beef.

• I did cut the extra fat off the beef. Don't do like I did, and slice your pinky finger. I bled like a stuck pig! Luckily, no blood on the beef.

I haven't done any stitching since around March 7th, so no JG update. My plan is to get it out tonight and do some stitching on it (right after I clean Charley's cage -- the silly girl laid 4 eggs last week!). Here's the progress I did on Blossom Splendor:

I would also like to thank several of you who emailed me with your enabling temptations by informing me of the new chart packs from Joan Elliott. Luckily, I already have both of them, hee hee.

I bought the Blue Geisha kit last year when I went on the ILCS retreat to St. Charles.

Summer Geisha was actually featured in one of the UK magazines last fall. Guess what? It was called Blossom Splendor. It's one of my current WIPs.


As promised, I chose the recipients of my PIF. They are as follows:

Bette of Reflections of a Desert Rat

Mel of Epic Stitching

Kay of Kay's Corner

Congratulations, ladies! Please email me with your snail mail addresses.

Again, here are the rules:

1. Send no less than 5 stitching related items per person within the next 365 days.

2. Items can be DMC, other threads, stitching needles, straight pins, buttons, scissors, ribbons, etc. - a combination of items such as 3 threads, 1 pack of straight pins and 1 pack of stitching needles or just 5 threads.

3. The items must be new and not used.

4. If you win, you must be willing to post this PIF on your blog and do the same for at least 2 people. This PIF is very simple and easy to do, so I hope you will join me.

Mar 4, 2011

Thank Goodness It's Friday Update 3/4/11

Whew! What a long, long week it has been... Where do I start?

Last week, I spent three days in the Green Bay office. It’s a 4.5 hour drive each way. The Monday before I left, they got snow up there. Monday here? Ice. Ugh. Luckily by Tuesday afternoon, weather was fair and roads were good. The hotel was great, service was great, and the food in the restaurant was awesome. I highly recommend the Comfort Suites, if you’re ever there. I received crash course (a day and half) training in some new software the company developed, and this week I was on my own servicing new clients. Things never go as planned when you start a new project! I ended up working extra hours trying (said "trying" not succeeding) to get everything done that needed to get done. Needless to say, it’s been a very, very long and stressful week.

I’m in my last week of the semester. All the “complaints” and observations I made early in the semester carried through to the end. Whatever. All I care about is that I’m getting a good grade. So far, I’ve been carrying an “A”. Our written paper is due this week. So… In addition to work stress, I’ve also had the stress of trying to get my paper done. Our assignment was to choose a company and analyze their financial statements based on financial ratios assigned by the instructor and answer 19 additional questions he came up with. I chose a company called Robert Half International. I ended up writing 17 pages, did my final editing, and uploaded it to the online classroom today. Whew! It’s worth 20% of our final grade. Even if I really screwed it up, I will still walk away from the class with a “B”. I now have two entire weeks free!! Free, I tell you, free! Oh, and now I only have 3 classes left until I graduate :)

And now for some fun stuff...

It's been a while since I've shared some photos of Charley and talked about her antics. Since I spent a lot of time this week working on my paper at the dining room table, I opened the door to her cage (which is next to the table) and let her amuse herself by climbing out and up to the top. It cracks me up that she spreads her wings and hovers while looking toward the floor at Celeste. Like she's a predatory bird or something, lol.

Sometimes she's content just sitting on the door of her cage.

It's not quite so fun when she takes flight to the nearby curtain rods and then proceeds to crap on the curtains or the plant below! Bad bird, bad!!

Much to my surprise, my Geisha Needlebook was featured on the DMC blog (HERE). How exciting is that?!! Thank you to CJ for letting me know. :)

I didn't get to work on Blossom Splendor very much, but I made a little progress. I just wish it would start looking like something!

Pay It Forward!

PIF (Pay It Forward)
A while back, I signed up for a PIF on Carol's Stitching and Stuff blog. She sents the cutest and tiniest pair of stork scissors and I just love the emery board. A girl can never have enough of those! I really loved everything she sent:

Thank you, Carol!

Now it's my turn to Pay It Forward. If you would like to participate, leave a comment on this post no later than March 12th.

Here are the rules:

1. I'll send no less than 5 stitching related items per person within the next 365 days.

2. Items can be DMC, other threads, stitching needles, straight pins, buttons, scissors, ribbons, etc. - a combination of items such as 3 threads, 1 pack of straight pins and 1 pack of stitching needles or just 5 threads.

3. The items must be new and not used.

4. If you win, you must be willing to post this PIF on your blog and do the same for at least 2 people. This PIF is very simple and easy to do, so I hope you will join me.

I will "Pass It Forward" to 3 people who comment on this blog entry by the deadline. If you are interested in participating and love surprises; please consider signing up. I will announce the names on March 14th - on my usual MM blog update.