Jan 27, 2014

♪♫ Celebrate Good Times... C'mon! ♫ ♪ ♫

Anyone remember Kool and the Gang? 
It happened again... I had another birthday!

It was my birthday last week.  Recent weather conditions lately have reminded me of the weather we used to have when I was a kid. 

I had very few birthday parties due to bad weather conditions.  Thank goodness I had three siblings.  That's practically a party itself!

No parties this year either, but I did get bombarded with birthday cards from exchanges I participated in.  I also received a card from work and one from Menards along with a certificate for a free screwdriver, lol.

There were a couple of unexpected surprises that showed up in the mail from my stitching friends.  You gals are the best!
Wrapped in pretty pink tissue paper and bound with silver sparkly fiber, this came from Pam at My Stitchin-n-Stuff.  Hmmm... Wonder what it could be??

Oooh!  A needlebook!  So adorable.

 With 3 sizes of gold needles.
  The colors in the needlebook make me smile. 
So bright and cheery :)

These silk handkerchiefs came from Shelley at Shelley's Artsy Fartsy Life.
Her grandmother got them when she was in the orient.
They're so pretty!
CJ at Tea and Stitches says, "Every girl deserves chocolate on her birthday." 
Along with the huge chocolate bar, she sent me a beautiful scarf she made.

For my birthday, my parents took me out to eat at the local chinese food buffet.  Yummy!

At Christmas, the BF got me a quilting book, "Sylvia's Bridal Sampler from Elm Creek Quilts."  As part of my birthday present, he got me a set of quilting rulers.  Now I just have to pick out the fabrics.  Choices, choices!


Jan 21, 2014

Stitch From Stash - January

This year, I decided to particate in the Stitch From Stash challenge coordinated by Mel at Epic Stitching.  The idea is (obviously) to stitch from our stash to reduce spending.  I also look at it as a way to focus on reducing my accumulation of stash.

For the month of January, I have been stitching on Thinking Positive by Nathalie Cichon at Jardin Prive.  I hope to have it finished by the first week in February.

Other WIP photos can be seen HERE.

All of the materials came from my stash:
Fabric: 32ct Opalescent Luguna - Heritage by Enchanting Lair
Fibers: DMC, Weeks Dye Works

I also pulled out Japanese Garden.  With any luck, I hope to have it finished by the end of 2014. 
::Quiet you in the peanut gallery, lol::

I did the purple specialty stitches on the right side and the water/bridge on the right.  I also did the blue sparklies in both crane medallions.  It's been quite a while since I've seen the bottom part of the pagoda!

Other WIP photos can be seen HERE.

Since I started this in December 2005, all items definitely have come from my stash.

Jan 15, 2014

Hump Day.... It's All Downhill

Isn't that what they say?  It's all downhill from here?  How's your week been?

Remember the -22F weather I mentioned in my last post?  By the end of last week, the temps in my area were in the mid to upper 30's and we received lots and lots of rain.  Then the temps went much colder again.  All that rain and warmer temps, melted the snow which then ran downhill into my garage.  Until last night, I had 1/4 to 1/2" of ice on my garage floor.  I used an ice chopper to break it up and shovel it out.  We've had some light snows here and there, too.  The 30mph winds last night froze my face off while I shoveled the incline of my driveway.  Gotta think winter sucks big time love Winter!  Personally, Spring can't come fast enough for me.

Work continues to go well.  The Operations Manager asked for a voluteer to join the company's Continuous Improvement Council. I and another person from my department inquired about what would be involved. It involves community service, improving procedures on how tasks are performed, safety, company outings, signage, and other ways to improve employee "life" at work. The other guy bowed out citing "not being good at coming up with ideas". So, I volunteered.

My one-year performance review is coming soon.  Being year end, my supervisor hasn't had time to formally sit down with me.  She did tell me the other day that I'm considered a "top performer" and told me what my merit increase was.  Pretty good!  Woo Hoo!!

I am very close to finishing Part 3 of Thinking Positive. By the end of the week, I'll be starting on Part 4. Even though I've done more stitching since, here's a progress photo as of a couple days ago:

I've been debating whether or not to backstitch around the sheeps' bodies with a dark brown or a gray... to me, it seems like they blend into the fabric color too much. Thoughts?

Until next time,

(Who's wishing for summer right now)

Jan 6, 2014

Dang! It's Cold Outside....

Starting early last evening, schools and organizations started putting out notifications that they were going to be closed today due to weather conditions.  This morning when I left for work, my car registered friggin' frigid temps:

According to weather forecasters, this is the coldest weather my area has seen in 40 years.  Absolutely bone-chilling!  I drove to work with the heater on HIGH, the heated seats ON, and a heavy blanket laid across my lap.  I had boots, scarf and hat on, too.  In addition to the subzero temps, there was blowing and drifting snow.  Lucky for me, the main highway was mostly clear.  I'm hoping that the plows go through before I get off work otherwise I foresee roads with snow drifts across them.

I said good-bye to Yuku on Saturday... She's now on her way back home to Debby.  Originally, I had planned to start something new when I finished her.  Kinda like a reward after doing all that backstitching and French knots.  I decided instead to finish the Thinking Positive Sampler by Jardin Prive.  I've made quite a bit of progress since my last WIP pic at the PALS retreat.  Last night, I finished Part 2:

Other WIP photos can be seen HERE.

The colors are a bit washed out in the photo.  Taking a photo in the dead of night doesn't work very well!  When I used incandescent lighting with bounce flash, the fabric color was truer to real life, but the stitching was washed out.  Using direct flash, the fabric color turned purple and looked like it was stained.  Ugh!  Daylight is the way to go, I'm tellin' ya!  I'm going to hold off on a new start until I get TP finished.

That's all I have for this week. Short and Sweet.

Until next time...

(Who's freezing in the Upper Illinois Tundra!)

Jan 1, 2014

New Year, New Finish!

Since I've been doing the backstitching and French knots on Yuku off and on for most of last year, I'm considering this a finish as there is a LOT of FK's and BS'ing.  Today, Yuku is officially done!  Woo Hoo!  Yippee!  Yay! 

Other close up photos can be seen HERE.
This project belongs to Debby (no blog). She did all the X's and asked me if I'd be willing to do the backstitching and French knots in exchange for stash.  Soon Yuku will be on her way back home.