May 31, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits 5/31/11

is ALMOST here!
Where did May go?
Why does time fly by so fast when you're an adult,
and so slow when you're a kid?

Wow, we've had another crazy time with the weather. Temps were down to 39F early last week. Yesterday, they were a stiffling 92F! Also, news reports of at least four, if not five tornadoes touched down in the city just 35 miles west of me last week. Luckily, only minor damage was done. Minor in comparison to what happened in Joplin, MO. My heart goes out to all those people. :(

Another semester of school started this week. Last week, I got a head start on the assignments: 3 chapters of reading, a 300-word essay, and a quiz. How fun is that?!? Actually, it's not bad -- I'm really enjoying reading the textbook. It gives "real life" stories as examples which keeps it interesting. I have even more positive news... Since the online link to the class wasn't open yet, I couldn't figure out where the "web chapters" were so I emailed the instructor late one night. By the time I got up the next morning, I had two responses from him, including links to the web chapters! I'm thinking I'm going to enjoy this class even though it's a lot of work.

All last week, I worked on the snowman ornament for the exchange I'm involved in. I think it's really cute! I can't show pics of the ornie itself, but I will show the embellishments I used on it.

I found them when I was digging through my stash. Look how *tiny* they are! Aren't they cute? (For those outside the U.S., the coin is a dime which the smallest of our currency.)

After not working on her for almost a month, I was able to put in a few stitches on Blossom Splendor last night. Here's what she looks like now:

Other WIP photos can be seen HERE.

It's been a while, hasn't it? Lack of time has kept me from doing anything around the house. My "to-do" list gets longer and longer! Since I had an extended weekend due to the Memorial Day holiday, I decided I wanted to get a small project out of the way. I've been wanting to put shelves into a recessed area of the basement stairwell since almost the time I moved to The Homstead 3½ years ago. (Remember Moving Day?)

Unfortunately, I forgot to take the "before" photos like I normally do. The entire stairwell was re-painted before the "custom" shelving was built and installed. Before I painted, the walls were covered with what I'm guessing is a 1950's green and it was grungy from years decades of neglect. I acquired an "oops" gallon of lighter green paint with Kilz already mixed in. It sure brightened up the area!

(Photo clickable for larger image)

One of the previous owners "installed" a piece of brown paneling to cover a hole in the ceiling of the stairwell. As you can see, I painted it to blend in with the rest of the walls. Mucho better!

No job ever -- EVER -- goes as one plans. See what happens when you try to drill into plaster covered metal corner and then brick? Yeah, the fireplace is right behind *that* wall. :(

I repaired the mishap and the project continued. Had to re-think how to attach the shelving since drilling into brick isn't the easiest thing to do. Ended up using angle brackets, and attaching them to the back wall of the cubby area. Perfect!

I couldn't get a good photo due to the small space, but this gives you an idea of what I did. Each of the shelves has a front "lip" so that whatever is put on them can't be accidentally pushed forward (and down the stairs).

Taking into consideration the cubby area is not "square", and that I used "oops" paint and "scrap" budget lumber, I think they turned out awesome! And the space is used much more efficiently.

Until next time,

May 28, 2011

To Germany Unscathed

The postal system must've been on high speed delivery! I received news that my partner in Germany received the mailart I stitched for her. Here's what I sent Judith:

(Clickable for larger photo.)

Does it look familiar? It should! It's very similar to the one I made for my Mom. :) I call it Asian Mailart #2, lol.

Designs from book "A Cross Stitcher's Oriental Odyssey" by Joan Elliott
Fabric: 18ct Antique White Aida
Fibers: DMC
Embellishments: Pink fabric lining, Asian coin, and snaps

May 23, 2011

Marvelous Monday Update 5/23/11

Doggie breath. Bleah. I had read that spearmint is supposed to help with that. While at the store, I saw these in the pet section:

They have spearmint in them. What dog doesn't love treats, right? Wrong.

Celeste: *sniff, sniff* (walks away)

Me: *thinks* (puts it on the floor, and walks away)

A few hours later, she hadn't touched it.

Me: *thinks to myself,* "I'll "trick" her."

Me: *crumbles the cookie and mixes it with her food* Feeling like the naughty scientist, rubbing his hands together.

The next day...

Would you believe the stinkin' dog ate ALL her food except for the cookie parts?! Not to be disuaded, I tried it again. Again, she ate all the food and no cookie. I was complaining to a friend, who told me to throw them out in the yard for the birds. I put two in the bird feeder, and threw two in the yard. A week later, the ones in the yard were still there when I mowed. Here it is two weeks later and the cookies are *still* in the bird feeder, untouched. My conclusion??? They must be some baaddddd cookies!

While it's unofficial, I found out my final grade for my Investment class is going to be an "A".
I earned 97% in the class. Now, I can say I only have TWO more classes before graduation! I'll be graduating in November. Yay!

Job #2 has had financial issues since I started working for them last July. It's owned by two brothers. One hand doesn't talk to the other, so to speak. The financial problems have become more serious in the last two weeks. Suffice it to say, we (and by "we", I mean the employees) don't know when/if we're going to get paid from week to week. Last week (after not getting paid on Wed), I went in on Friday for 30 minutes before leaving because I refused to work an entire day when I didn't get paid from the week before. Two hours later, the secretary texted me to come get my check and cash it before there's no cash left. I ended up working a couple more hours to take care of payroll related issues -- I need the money, but I've had it up to HERE with not knowing whether we're going to get paid, and the bosses not letting the employees know that payroll will be late, etc.

Last week I wrote about how flower frogs (or scissor frogs, as we like to call them) are used by stitchers to store their scissor collection. As I mentioned, I have a small one on my end table that I keep scissors, seam ripper, and needle puller in. It's perfect since it doesn't take up much space. Due to it being small, though, I have to display my other pairs of scissors another way. Behold...

This hangs in my craft room,
formerly known as "the scary room".

P.S. If anyone is interested, I have another scissor frog on my stash-for-sale blog.

As I've mentioned before, I'm participating in a mailart exchange. I received my mailart early! Before I present the darling envelope, I have a story to tell.

When I went to the PO, I went to the counter first because I had to get some postage amounts for some packages I'll be sending out. I did that, and then went to get my mail out of the box. I was so excited by the fact I got mailart (and had a package being held behind the counter), that I left my keys in my PO box door. On my way back to the counter, I thought "Where the heck did I leave my keys?!". I asked the clerk if I had left my keys there. He said, "No." So, I gave him the card and said I had a package. He looks at me and says, "Did you leave them in the box door?" Duh! He told me to go get my keys, and he'd meet me at the side door to give me my package. The nice guy that he is, he didn't even laugh. As he handed me my package, he said to me, "That's what happens when you get old and senile!" He's older than me! LOL

Without further adieu, here's what Betty in Nevada sent me:

I thought it was really cool how Betty had the sunflower theme going on. :) She included a recipe for a cheese ball topped with sunflower seeds. It has bleu cheese in it, and since I'm not a fan I'll probably try a different cheese ball recipe and put the sunflower seeds on it. I do like how the tortilla chips makes the ball into a sunflower, though. Very cool idea. See the pink and brown bits in the upper right corner? Those are chocolate covered sunflower seeds! Of course, I *had* to try those right away. Yummo! I had to chuckle a bit at the sunflower seed packet... I *almost* bought some over the weekend. Glad I didn't.

Thank you, Betty. Everything was great :)

A couple of weeks ago, I showed my Rabbit Heart finish. Over the weekend, I made it into a scissor fob.

Rabbit Heart
by Alexandrina (Matrioska Biscornu)
Fabric: 22ct Hand-Dyed Purple Hardanger
Fiber: Anchor 112
Stitching Time: 3½ Hrs
Finishing Time: 1½ Hrs
Embellishments: Runched Ribbon

I also finished the mailart for the exchange I'm involved in, but no pics until it arrives at its new home. I also started the snowman ornament for another exchange.

After the incident at J2 on Friday, I needed some retail therapy, so I visited the thrift stores in town. I found a few things...

Over a yard of pretty pink trim for 99c. I think this will be great for a pinkeep or a box finish.
Set of stamped pillow cases for $3. I'm not a huge fan of stamped projects, but the quality of the pillow cases is awesome, and I loved the trim. Plus, you can't buy a nice set of pillow cases in the box stores for $3!

Until next time,

(P.S. A big "thanks" goes out to Karen, who sent me both my siggie avatars.)

May 18, 2011

Flower Frog? Scissor Frog? What?

For my last post Berly asked, "What is a scissor frog?"

Technically it's a flower frog converted to another use. A flower frog is a device used to help arrange flowers. For stitchers, they're used to store our embroidery scissor collections. Hence the name "scissor frog".

So why are they called flower frogs? Online research reveals a patent was issued for this "invention" in the 1940's. The patent listed this was a holder of flowers and sat in water like a frog. The name "flower frog" stuck. Some articles state flower frogs date back to the 1600's.

Frogs such as the Japanese Kenzan, are made of metal with little pins that hold the stems in place, and fit into a vase or bowl.

Other designs use a number of holes or guides that stems could be fit through for arranging.

Many types of flower frogs are art pieces with holes for flower stems and a container for holding water.

Click Photo to Enlarge

I had an empty one in my previous blog entry. This is the same one filled with my scissors:

Here's the one I use:

Notice I also have my seam ripper in it, along with a needle-puller.

Do you have a scissor frog? If so, let me know... I'd love to see.

May 17, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits 5/17/2011


It's just amazing how last week temps here reached into the 90's and last night temps hit the freezing mark! Brrr, was it cold this morning. We might hit 70 by the end of the week. *might*

Thank you for all the comments regarding my back. I started to feel better last Wed, and was probably 98% better by Saturday. Now, I'm all good. :)

Last week was the final week of the semester. I managed to get my paper finished and submitted. It'll be interesting to see what kind of grade I get seeing as I used the same format as I did last semester. Hey, I figured if the instructor could be lazy and use the same paper assignment and sample paper... then I could use the format of the paper I wrote last semester, too. Granted, I had three times the amount of cited sources this time around. I put a lot of work into both papers. In case anyone is wondering, I did this semester's paper on Caribou Coffee.

I'm signed up for next semester (starts at the end of the month). The class is Comprehensive Financial Planning. I've already ordered the book, which shipped the same day, and arrived within 4 days. Talk about fast service!

For now, I'm just going to.....

I went treasure hunting a couple weeks ago, and I found a plastic container full of needlework supplies. Nothing had a price tag, so I asked the cashier who asked the store manager who said $1.99. Sold! Here's what I came home with:

The Disney leaflet has the *cutest* Christmas ornies in it!

I'm still working on the mailart for an exchange I'm in. I should have it stitched and assembled by the weekend or early next week. I'll have to start searching for the "perfect" snowman chart for an ornament exchange I'm in. Then I can get back to Blossom Splendor!

For anyone who's interested, I have another flower frog on my stash-for-sale site. I think I counted that this one could hold 33 pairs of scissors if you put them in the perimeter. Also, there are new Lizzie Kate charts. The link is on the sidebar, if you're interested.

Until next time,

May 10, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

Ugh. I've been in pain since Sunday. My Dad came over to till my garden... Well, he needed help loading and unloading the tiller from the back of his truck. While loading it, I hurt my upper back muscles. It was so bad that it was all I could do not to drop the tiller and get it to the tailgate of the truck before falling forward on the tailgate myself. I went to work yesterday. The morning went fine, but by the end of the day the muscles were spasming. Driving home was excrutiating! Instead of doing homework last night, I spent the evening on the sofa with a heating pad. I've been taking Flexeril and liquid vicodin before going to bed. Today, isn't as bad (but the day isn't over, lol).

For those of you who asked: My Mom really loved the mailart envelope. She put it in her display cabinet and got it out to show my brothers. :)

I'm working on a second mailart and will be starting a snowman ornament soon. Both are for exchanges, so no pics until they arrive at their new homes. After that, I can go back to working on Blossom Splendor.

Several weeks back, I was the winner of Ruth's birthday giveaway. Look what came all the way from Ireland!

Aren't they wonderful goodies? Thank you, Ruth!

From one extreme to the other. Today temps were supposed to be in the low 80's, but ended up getting to 91F! Add in some humidity and it's just wonderful... not! By the weekened it's only supposed to be in the 50's.

May 4, 2011

Just In Time!

I've been experiencing some major anxiety as to whether or not I was going to be able to pull this off. Envelope and card are finished and ready to be put in the mail tomorrow... hopefully to arrive on my Mom's doorstep in time for Mother's Day.

I'm thrilled with how it turned out *big grins and happy dancin'*.

Designs from book "A Cross Stitcher's Oriental Odyssey" by Joan Elliott
Fabric: 18ct Antique White Aida
Fibers: DMC
Embellishments: Pink fabric lining, Asian coin, and snaps

(Click on photo to Enlarge)

In case you're wondering about the writing above the snap, it says "Happy Mother's Day Mom" in Japanese. I free-hand embroidered it using Google language translator.

No envelope would be complete without a card, right? Right! Sooo... I made a card, too. Not as impressive as the envelope, but I think Mom will like it.

Until next time,

May 2, 2011

Marvelous Monday Update 5/2/2011

Remember the bottle of RIT dye I found under the sink last week? I decided to put it to good use! Behold... My works of art!

14ct Hand-Dyed Aida

22ct Hand-Dyed Hardanger

And L@@K... I have a finish I can actually show!

Rabbit Heart
by Alexandrina (Matrioska Biscornu)
Fabric: 22ct Hand-Dyed Purple Hardanger
Fiber: Anchor 112
Time: 3½ Hrs

Is that not the cutest bunny silhoutte ever?! My plan is to make it into a scissor fob. I changed the chart a bit, and added a tail to the bunny.

A couple weeks ago, Amy from Cross Stitch and Cupcakes hosted a giveaway to celebrate 3 years of blogging bliss. I was thrilled to find out I had won one of the prizes. In looking at her photo (HERE), I thought I was getting like 5 kits. I literally said, "Holy Crap!" to the postal clerk when I went to get my package, lol.

Froggy is always sooooo nosey whenever I get a package. Excitedly, he hopped up on the box. "Ribbit! Rib-It! What is it? What is it?"

There were not 5 kits and pillow forms... Amy sent me SEVENTEEN Pine Mountain pillow kits! It was like Christmas.... ahhhh, stashy goodness. I can hear ya'll now... "Which ones did she send? Which ones, huh huh?!?!"

Deck the Halls

Bits of Love


Oh Boy!


Best Witches

Be Scarey

April Square Dance

New Love New Joy

March is Breezy

Love & Home

Fright Night

February is Sweet

Pumpkin Pie


Stockings Were Hung

Spots of Christmas

Scaredy Cat

Thank you, Amy. You were way too generous!

If you haven't visited Amy's blog, please do so... She's got a very cute blog!

Deborah at Cranberry Samplings is hosting a giveaway. Click on over to her blog and see her beautiful stitching!

My friend, CJ of Tea and Stitches, is hosting a giveaway. Go see her cute finishes and what she's got up for grabs.

Thank you to everyone who left comments regarding my dismay at having to take another freakin' unexpected class.

I'm signed up for the next semester. Happily, I don't have the same instructor I've had the last two semesters. :) This time around I'm taking Comprehensive Financial Planning. I'm really looking forward to this class.

When I went to the campus to sign the paperwork for class, the advisor informed me that I had no financial aid for summer. I looked at her and laughed, "You're really just making my week. First, you tell me I have to take another class and now you tell me I have no finacial aid." Because of the way the college sets up financial aid packages, they can only do 4 semesters at a time. If a student wants to take a summer course, they have to re-allocate money from the 4 semesters and then fill out another form to have it put toward the summer semester.

Well, it would've been nice to have known this when they put together the package! Luckily, I saved ALL the leftover money from every semester's financial aid so I can just use some of it to pay for my next semester.

I realized this morning that I have two weeks left in the semester, which means I need to finish up my term paper this week! Yikes...