Dec 28, 2015

End of Year Catch Up

Our first snowfall of winter occurred on November 23rd. Ten inches of heavy, heavy (Did I mention "HEAVY"?) snow fell. Starting out, I was able to clear the backyard with the snowblower.

While trying to clear the driveway, I fell backward into the snow. Landed on my rear end and jammed my knee into a screw on the snowblower. It's almost healed. I can't believe how long it's taking!

Then the shear pin broke on one of the augers. Since I couldn't get out of the driveway, I couldn't go get another one. This meant shoveling by hand... for the rest of the day! Because of this, I'm now suffering from tendonitis in my elbow. Thankfully, a passerby offered to help me clear out the remaining third by the street. Who says there aren't good samaritans?

Once I was able to get out, I went out to get new shear pins and promptly repaired the snowblower.

Up until today, my area only saw one other snowfall... a light dusting. Today... oh today... brought sleet and freezing rain. All day! Most of us at work left early. There's about 3" of sleet on my driveway. I don't know how I'm going to get it cleared.

December 14th marked the 90-day anniversary at my "new" job. So far, it's been going pretty well. I have three project managers I work under. One is in another state so I've never met him. A second is very good at explaining in depth everything I need to know... and then some. The third forgets that I'm new and doesn't take the time to explain unless I ask for clarification on how things should be done. The first month was spent training in other offices near Chicago. I went to a seminar in near Chicago to learn the basics of construction industry accounting. The trainers gave out candy for anyone who answered questions.

At the back of the training room, this sign covered a good two-thirds of the wall. I really liked it. It's so true!

A couple weeks ago, I became a great auntie for the third time. Let me introduce you to Annyia Rose. She is so tiny and adorable.

You may or may not know about the adult coloring craze that's been going on the past several years. I decided to download a coloring page and dig out my art supplies from years past. I started this floral design a few days ago.

I'm really enjoying working on this. I've used cheapo Rose Art and Cra-Z-Art colored pencils since they're what I had. On each flower, 13-15 colors were used.

I participated in one Christmas ornament exchange this year. The person I sent to was not the person I received from. You may recall from a while back, the flat snowman ornament I did. It went to Jenn in TX.
Design: Heads Up
Designer: Cherrywood Design Studio
Cherrywood Design Studio
Magazine: 2012 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue
Fabric: 28ct White Linen
Fibers: DMC
Embellishments: Handmade cording,
DMC memory thread arms, fabric scarf

I received the cutest ornament from Char in PA. Thank you, Char!

I also participated in a card exchange. Marina in Canada sent me an adorable angel ornament. Thank you, Marina!

I really wasn't in the mood to decorate for Christmas this year so all I can show is the many cards I received from friends and family.

For Christmas dinner, I made Italian Roasted Chicken, Roasted Mixed Vegetables, and Mashed Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy.  It was soooooo delish!

In my next post, I will be showing my two finishes.  Stay tuned!

Happy Dances!!

First up is a piece called "So Happy" by Bent Creek.  Apparently, this is a hard-to-find chart pack.  I was lucky enough to know someone who had it.  Thank you, SM!

I picked up the frame at a thrift store and then mixed a paint color to coordinate with the stitching.  It turned out beautifully.

It took me about a week to stitch this up.  The photos really don't do it justice!  I stitched this on a beautiful 28ct Opalescent Cashel Linen in a color called Shimmering Romance.  This was a Silkweaver fabric.  I used GAST and DMC threads. Embellished with buttons that came with the chart.

My second finish... a big one... is "A Marriage Is".  This was stitched for my niece's one year anniversary (that was in September... okay... so I'm a little late!).

This was a Janlynn kit (023-0564) designed by Nancy Rossi at Kooler Design Studio. I swapped out the aida for 25ct Sal-Em cream linen stitched over-two with cotton threads from the kit. It took longer than I thought it would, but turned out beautifully.

I'm hoping to have another small finish by the end of the year. Wish me luck!

Nov 30, 2015

Three Finishes!

Pleased to announce I have a few small finishes! 

Say hello to Hootzi!
Design:  Hootzi Humbug
Designer: Just Nan
Fabric: 14ct Tan Aida
Fibers: DMC and GAST
Embellishments: Hex Beads

I also finished October Monthly SAL.
Designer: Palko
Stitched on 28ct Antique White Cashel Linen
Fibers: DMC and WDW

Designer: Palko
Stitched on 28ct Antique White Cashel Linen
Fibers: DMC and GAST


Nov 11, 2015

Has It Been A Month Already?!?

Time just seems to fly by these days.  Where does it go?

I would like to thank those of you who sent cards for Deborah.  She loved opening them all.

Unfortunately, she had a tumble the week after I visited and is now in a nursing home recovering.  Please keep her in your thoughts.

I've lots to blog about so onward...

As some of you may know, I acquired a FitBit Charge several months ago to assist me in my wellness journey.  My only regret is that I didn't get the one with the heart monitor.  With the job change and the weather getting colder, I'm finding it harder to get my steps in.

As you can see in the photo, my fitbit is looking a bit rough.  I wear it all the time.  I do have some encouraging news!  Since August, I've lost 18 lbs.  In addition to weight loss, I've also lost inches:  1" in the waist and hips, and 1½" in the thigh.  It's slow going and not been easy, but health wise I feel better.

We've been steadily working on the upgrades at my parent's house.  My brother's have finished putting the new steel roof on and it looks pretty good.  I showed up one day and found that the garage door spring had fallen off.  One more thing to fix.  From what my brother says, it appears my Dad had this issue before and fixed it.  We now will need to reinforce the garage door because it's falling apart, too.  Meantime, I've been plugging away at painting two of the bedrooms.  It's a slow process when I'm the only one doing it.  One room is almost done except for pulling up corner round and painting it.



Mucho better!

The trim around the door and windows was a baby poop tan.
I've painted them the same color green as in the closet.

For about a month and a half, I couldn't locate my tablet.  I lost it about the time I switched jobs.  I tore the house apart looking for it.  I called restaurants I go to... just in case I might've left it there (Highly unlikely, but never know).  No luck.

Remember how I explained that I loaded charts on it and then used it as my working copy.  No?  See HERE.  You can see how this would put a damper on my stitching if I don't have my tablet.

When the weather gets colder, I put an electric blanket on my bed.  What did I find?!  Yep, the tablet!  I must've been using it to read in bed and somehow it got wedged in between the box spring and footboard of the bed.  Now, I can work on the marriage sampler again!

The Halloween mailart exchange has been completed.  Here's what I created for Linda L in AL.

The front design is by SanMan Originals.  It's from a JCS Halloween issue, but I can't remember which issue.  The tree on the back is by Jaunty Fox Designs.  The cat is also from the JCS issue. Stitched on 18ct Fiddlers Lite Aida using one strand of DMC. Embellished with coordinating fabric, ribbon, and Halloween buttons.

Here's what Linda sent to me:

Thank you, Linda!

While visiting with Deborah, I started a new project.  Here's the floss toss:

Progress at Deborah's:  (Sorry the pic isn't lighted well... it was night time when I took it)

Here's what it looks like now.  Almost finished with stitching. Then beading and assembly.

To close, I thought I'd share this photo.  I saw this road sign on my way to Deborah's... not too far from where I live.  I thought it was funny...


Oct 11, 2015

Card Party for a Stitcher

A fellow stitching sister, Deborah Markham, was hospitalized last week after having a silent heart attack and is in CCU.  She's a fighter, but has other health issues so the hospital doesn't want her going home without some help.  Today, I am going to visit her.

I thought it would be nice if we threw her a card party.  If you would like to give her a 'get well' or 'thinking of you' card, I'd be happy to collect them all and get them to her in one big bunch.  I am sure she would love that. 
If interested, email me at and I'll send you my address.

Oct 5, 2015

Marvelous Monday Update 10/5/15

Over the weekend, I went to see The Crucible at a local community theater.  The actors and actresses were fantastic.  The young actress who played Betty was a bit fidgety while in a coma.  She kept rubbing her eyes and running her tongue over her teeth, LOL.

The 1953 play by Arthur Miller dramatized and partially fictionalized the story of the the Salem witch trials.  A small group of teen girls in Salem, Massachusetts were caught dancing and conjuring with a slave girl in the woods.  To avoid being punished, the girls tell lies that Satan had invaded them and forced them to participate in the rites.  It quickly escalates into witchcraft accusations of upstanding members of the community.  Thrown into the mix are greedy preachers, landowners trying to steal others' land, and one young woman infatuated with a married man and determined to get rid of his innocent wife. Arthur Miller wrote the events and the subsequent trials where those who demanded their innocence were executed, those who would not name names were incarcerated and tortured, and those who admitted their guilt were immediately freed.  The play was written as a parable of the Congressional Communist witch hunts led by Senator Joe McCarthy in 1950's America.

Since my parent's estate auction was an epic disappointment, we decided not to sell the house until after we've done some work on it.  My brothers have done a great job putting a new steel roof.  We can now repair the plaster in the living room where the months and months AND months of rain caused a collapse two days before the auction. 

Since there's a lot of walls to be painted, I invested in a Wagner Sidekick.  Years ago, I had a Wagner Power Roller -- the Sidekick is the newest version.  I've finished painting one of the bedrooms using it.  It makes the job go a lot faster.

This room was turquoise/cobalt blue!
 I've started to scrape the peeling paint off the walls in my old bedroom.  It's a messy, messy job!
Not sure why the paint was peeling in the room, but all the walls looked like this.

East Wall - Scraping in process!
South Wall - More Scraping
This was a quick stitch, but a bit fiddly to put together.  Several years ago, Glenda in MT sent me a RAK of gold DMC memory thread.  This design called for brown memory thread, so I improvised and spray painted it with expresso I had left over from ABC Lessons.

Design:  Heads Up
Designer:  Cherrywood Design Studio
Magazine: 2012 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue
Fabric:  28ct White Linen
Fibers:  DMC
Embellishments:  Handmade cording, 
DMC memory thread arms, fabric scarf