Jan 26, 2012

I Was Caught!

I'm a big fan of Gail's blog, My Repurposed Life. I've emailed her a time or two with questions I've had, which she graciously answered. Remember my "facelift" from a couple weeks ago?

Well, I was CAUGHT by Gail!

Click on the button,
and scroll about halfway down the list ☺

Jan 25, 2012

Birthday Drive-By

♫♪♫ I had a really nice birthday! ♪♫♪ Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes. This year, I participated in two Birthday Floss Club exchanges.

First up are the lovely cards/floss received from CSE:

I also received a LOT of lovely cards and floss from the Stitching Sisters group:

I've been eyeballing the Jardin Prive charts for a long time. With a lot of prodding and pushing encouragement from my Stitching Sisters, I splurged and bought the charts as a combination graduation/birthday gift to myself.

Sampler aux Bouquet I

Sampler aux Bouquets II

Sampler aux Bouquets III

I plan on stitching them as one long sampler like this:

I received a very cute stitched card and some floss from Berly. Even though we've "known" each other for a longggg time, we didn't meet in person until the 2010 ILCS retreat in St. Louis.

Thank you for thinking of me, Berly!

I even received cards from Discover and Menards! Menards sent me a gift certificate for 14-piece LED lighted screwdriver set. Every time I am in Menards, I have to swipe my Big Card for a chance to win whatever vehicle they're giving away. It's become a joke between the BF and I as to WHO is going to get the vehicle when I win, LOL.

Also, the local movie theater emailed me a certificate for a free admittance to a movie for my birthday.

To end my birthday day, the BF brought over pizza. He said that since it was my birthday, I shouldn't have cook. Awww, ain't that sweet? For a gift, he hinted that he got me something I had said I wanted... Hmmm, what could that be?

A Thera-P Percussion Massager!

Indeed, I have been looking at these things for at least a year. With my neck and shoulder problems, I thought maybe one of these would help with the pain I always have. I LOVE this thing! It has a heat setting, as well as a low/high massage setting that gives a wonderful, deep tissue massage.

My birthday isn't quite over yet! The BF also plans on taking me out to eat this weekend. ☺ Ah, to be spoiled...

Until next time,

Jan 24, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits 1/24/2012

That's right... ME!

Did you think you were done reading about my educational adventures? Guess what came in the mail last week? My diploma!! I was so happy. As my coworker said: "It makes it more real, doesn't it?" It certainly does! Tucked inside the folio, was my transcript and declarations of the degree. Ahhh, life is good!

On Friday, it snowed and snowed and snowed! It snowed all day and by the time Mother Nature was finished, I had about 7-8" of very fluffy white stuff on my driveway. I went out around 5pm to start shoveling and snowblowing. Bless her little teenage heart, my neighbor girl helped me with the shoveling for about an hour or so. I finished the final snowblowing at 7:30pm. I was so cold, I could barely feel my thumbs!

After meals, I accumulate the leftover veggies in plastic container and store them in freezer until there's enough for a pot of soup. Since the cold weather set in, I made vegetable beef barley soup in the crockpot on Friday. What was in the soup, you ask? OK, maybe you didn't ask but I'm going to tell anyway ☺. Broccoli stalks (chopped up), celery, corn, carrots, onion, green beans, potato, and itty-bitty pieces of beef. I added barley toward the end of the cooking time... Yummo. It turned out wonderfully delicious!

See that cute little bowl? It's about the size of a large ramekin. I specifically went treasure hunting for ramekins, but found a 3-piece set of these for $1.49! Not $1.49 each, but for all of them. When I got home, I looked at the bottom and noticed they're from Pier One. New, these bowls would cost $6-7 each. What a deal, eh?

Why was I looking for ramekins? Because I wanted to try my hand at French Onion Soup. It was a bit time consuming to make, but well worth it. Topped with toasted french bread and melted cheese, boy-oh-boy was it tasty!

I'm not a novice cook, however sometimes I think I need a sticker like this. I carmelized the onions for the aforementioned soup in my oven. The pot lid was supposed to be cracked to release the steam, however it must've slid closed when I pushed the rack back in. When I checked the onions the next time, I wasn't thinking. I opened the pan lid and steam rushed out, burning my wrist. I have first degree burns from that lapse in judgement! Ouchie. Note to Self: Do not open hot, steamy pot with wrist in way.

Later as I was cleaning up, I separated the blades of my kitchen shears and put them in the sink to be washed. You *know* where this is going, right? While washing the dishes, I thought I poked myself with the tip of the scissors. Didn't really hurt much so I didn't think anything of it. It wasn't until later in the evening, I noticed I had cut my ring finger on the blade of the scissors! Of course, it's in the right spot that gets the pressure from using the keyboard and calculator! Double ouchie. Can I call in sick at work for this? LOL Second Note to Self: It's probably best not to put the scissors in a sink full of water, especially when the BF *just* sharpened them a couple weeks ago.

More exciting news! Remember my Little Snowman finish from last week? I emailed Loretta at Stitching the Night Away to show her what I did with her chart. She asked if she could put it in her gallery. How awesome is that? You can see it HERE and read what she said. I also found out that my ornament was featured on Craft Gossip, HERE. I am so stoked!

Last week, I received a stitchy surprise in the mail from Sharon at Cross Stitch Obsession. She said she saw it and immediately thought of me... how sweet of her! What was it, you ask? Oh yeah...

Over the weekend, I worked on Blossom Splendor. All the flowers and confetti stitches are complete. I've stitched all the way over to the left side and down to the bottom. All that's left is filling in various areas. I think I have about another week's worth and the stitching part will be complete. Then I have some Krenik and beading to do before I can do the happy dance jiggity-jig.

Other WIP pics can be seen HERE.

This week, I'll be concentrating on JG. So stay tuned for next week's update ☺

Now that my first 2012 finish has reached it's destination in Belgium, I can show the mailart I created for Patricia. The theme was "Stitchers Mailart" so I created this:

Designer: Prairie Schooler Book 115
Fabric: 18ct Hand-dyed Aida
Fibers: DMC
Embellishments: Pearl Snaps

More news about my nephew. The doctor(s) found a 4th broken vertebrae. He will have to be in a back brace for the next 16 weeks, and need a hospital bed for his home recovery. Thankfully, he landed flat on his back from the 20+ foot height, otherwise he may be paralyzed right now. Poor kid. Thanks for all your well wishes last week. They were appreciated.

Until next time,

Jan 23, 2012

TUSAL 1/23/2012

I just love these old canning jars. It's not often I find them with lids. When I do, I snatch them up.

I chose a pint size one for the 2012 Totally Useless SAL coordinated by Daffycat.

My jar contains threads from:
• Japanese Garden... pretty pastels and sparkly #4 Krenik braid
• Little Snowman... whites, blues, and orange
• Blossom Splendor... blues, purples, and greens
• Oh, and a mailart... reds, browns, and other muted colors

Wow, I've done a lot of stitching so far this month!

Jan 18, 2012


Facelifts are great, aren't they? After adding a little color here and there, things look a lot better! Oh wait, did you think *I* got a facelift? LOL, heavens no. I'll leave that to those who feel they can't grow old gracefully.

So what am I talking about then? The Homestead!

When I moved into The Homestead four years ago (Can you believe it's been that long already?), I inherited some very, very old appliances -- think 25 to 30 years old.

Looks good, right? Almost everytime I used the range, I had to jiggle the burners in order to get a connection so they'd heat up. The drip pans were corroded so bad that they really needed to be replaced. The coils didn't sit flat like they were supposed to so one side of the pan was always cooking too fast or burning. The oven didn't bake evenly, and the self-cleaning didn't work. But hey, I made do.

The best part about the stove was the dashboard light. It gave off the perfect amount of light during the evenings when I really didn't need to turn on the ceiling lights. Stoves on the market now don't have those lights. As you can see, there were drippings behind the glass that made it look like I never cleaned the dashboard.

A couple months ago, one of the 8" burners quit working entirely. Of course it was the one I *always* used. Ever try to use a frying pan on a 6" burner? LOL I was relegated to using the 8" burner at the back of the stove. Remember the jiggling I told you about? A couple weeks ago, I was doing the jiggle dance and by golly if the socket didn't start sparking... and sparking... and sparking, even after I stopped jiggling. It was at that point I decided it was time to get rid of the archaic piece of crap put her to rest. I may have been able to get it repaired, but 3 of the 4 burners needed help and I'd still be stuck with a three-decade old stove.

So I did what any respectable woman would do. I went shopping! ☺ The delivery was made last Sunday. I won't mention the idiot delivery guy. The delivery guy tried to talk me into letting him bring the appliance in my side door, which 1) if I let him do, it would've gotten wedged in the door and 2) would've never gotten between the cabinets if he got it around the corner. He was worried about the stove not fitting between my hedges! I knew from when I bought my refrigerator a couple years ago that if *it* fit through the hedges, the stove would fit... AND the front door is 4" wider than the side door! Finally, I told him I'd put a sheet over it so it wouldn't get scratched. What does he say? "Oh, we have appliance blankets in the truck." Duh!!

Doesn't it look great with the exhaust hood the BF installed last summer? It also matches the refrigerator!

I couldn't get a good photo of the refrigerator since it's on the opposite wall of the stove. The sink and dishwasher are on the same wall as the stove:

Someday, I'd like to do something with the ceramic tile on the wall. Not sure what because other than the yellow color, they are beautifully embossed tiles.

OK, that concludes my kitchen facelift, tour. Up next is the dining room facelift tour!

I'm not sure what the previous owner(s) of The Homestead were going for when they installed a flying saucer very contemporary-looking light fixture in the dining room. It matches nothing in the house whatsoever.

Every once in a while, I like to visit the closest Habitat for Humanity Restore. This time I found an awesome light fixture. Behold....

Even though the shiny brass finish matched the rest of light fixtures in the house, I decided I wanted something a bit more modern. So I set to work.

Took everything apart. Covered sockets. Taped off wires. And then...

Spray Paint!

I was going for a rubbed oil bronze look. When choosing the paint, I made several trips from the lighting dept at Menards to the paint dept. I'm sure the guys who watch the security cameras were wondering what I was up to! I finally decided on a Hammered Dark Bronze paint.

Four days later, the facelift was complete. The curing time (waiting) sucks seems to take forever! OK, maybe not but it sure felt like it.

The BF sweated and toiled in order to installed the fixture. He said we did a great job. Me in the painting and him putting it up, LOL.

Looks 100% better, doesn't it?

Remember I mentioned the Habitat for Humanity Restore? It's a great place to find inexpensive used home remodeling supplies. If you have a creative mind like mine, it can be a treasure trove of goodies! They had two light fixtures like the one I just upscaled. I'm not sure why, but one was $20 and mine was on sale for...

That's right. $10!! So, for less than $20 (including paint and a few screws) I have a "new" light fixture. When I was running back and forth from the paint dept and lighting dept, I did take note of how much similar light fixtures cost. On the low end, a brand-new one was $99. I did good, eh?

Linked Up To:
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Jan 16, 2012

Marvelous Monday Update 1/16/2012

Seriously?! One day was 56F and by 5pm the next day, I came home to a 28" snowdrift in front of my garage door. Do you think my neighbors on either side had snow in their driveways? Noooo. Two and a half hours later, I had the drift chopped down and the driveway cleared of snow. It was so cold that my breath kept fogging my glasses so I had to take them off. Talk about a blind person trying to clear snow!

I was so cold, my thighs were bright red. Even a hot bath didn't warm me up... it just thawed me out a little. After sitting under the electric blanket for 45 minutes, I finally became warm enough but my entire body was so sore!

The Southpaw Stitcher is celebrating a one year milestone. Go on over and wish her a Happy Blogversary!

Happy Dance! Happy Dance! As part of the Ornament SAL, I stitched and finished my January ornament. This is my 2nd finish of 2012.

Little Snowman
Designer: Stitching the Night Away
Fabric: 22ct Red Hardanger
Fibers: DMC, Carries Creations
Embellishments: Runched Ribbon, Beads, Buttons

I changed the colors, added snowflakes, and added the beads and buttons. It turned out so adorable! I used my mag eyes and it made a world of difference in stitching on such a small fabric count.

Normally, I'm not a big fan of stitching on red. But, Vicky of Nutmegger Stitcher's Works recently finished a snowman ornament on red so I decided to try it.

When I wasn't stitching on the snowman, I stitched on JG. It's coming right along. I finished the bamboo stalks and water under the bridge near the 9 o'clock garden.

I received some distressing news yesterday. My 15yr old nephew was involved in a freak snowmobile accident over the weekend. He was competing in a snowcross event (like motorcross, but with snowmobiles) and ended up 20-25 feet in the air. He landed on his back and has fractured three of his vertebrae. He will be OK, but he will have a long painful recovery.

Jan 9, 2012

Marvelous Monday Update 1/9/2012

Well, how did your first week of 2012 go?

The winter weather has been unseasonably mild for this time of year. Christmas came and went with no snow. New Year's came and went with no snow. So far, temps have pretty much stayed in the 30-40's range with a few frigid days here and there. As the sign on my sidebar says, I'm $39.95+ and I've never known there not to be snow on the ground for Christmas and New Year's! Here's what The Homestead looked like between Christmas and New Year's:

See the little patch of snow at the top of the hill?

CraftyMoo is hosting a New Year giveaway on her blog. Click on over and check out her crazies, too!

I've cleaned out my ort bag so that I'm ready for the 2012 TUSAL coordinated by Daffycat. Here's all the orts from 2011. Whooda thunk I stitched so much?!

I added more things to my stash-for-sale blog, including some John Clayton charts and a Miribilia. If you'd like to see what's available, click HERE or click the link on the sidebar. Stay tuned 'cuz I'll be adding more as time permits.

I finished another page of Blossom Splendor. Only one more page to go!

She has been set aside so that I could create mailart for an exchange I signed up for last year. I started the mailart on Jan 1st and finished it into an envelope four days later! Sorry, can't show the pic until it wings its way to Europe.

Hold on to your seats! I pulled out Japanese Garden and worked on it TWO days in a row. I made some pretty good progress:

Other WIP pics can be seen HERE.

I hand-dyed a piece of blue fabric for Aurora Cabin. I think it turned out fabulous! All I need to do now is stitch it!

Last week I mentioned that Pam and I were doing an ornament SAL together. Since then we've been joined by Shelley of Shelley's Artsy Fartsy Life and Mary Ann of Just Stitching.

I have an awesome project in the works for The Homestead. Actually, I'll have a couple of things to showcase (probably next week). Now that I'm finished with school, I have more time to get done projects around the house.

Until next time,