Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Own Blog

Welcome to my Grow Your Own Blog party!  I realize I've been remiss on keeping up my blog so I decided to make a fresh start.  And I'm promising myself that I will keep this up quite a bit more often.  Life is finally settling down for me and I plan on getting back on track with both my stitching and my blogging.

Dave and recently moved from Phoenix to Denver.  It's been a big change and I guess I've finally realized that while I like it here, I will always consider Phoenix home.  That's the reason I will not change the name of my blog.  Once a desert rat always a desert rat.  

Here's what you should know about me.  My name is Bettelou but most everyone calls me Bette.  I won't reveal my age but I have 3 grown children and 2 grandkids, one of whom is going to be 2 weeks old tomorrow.  I'm going to Minneapolis next week to see him and my granddaughter and of course my son and daughter-in-law too.  I've been married to a wonderful man (I know you're reading this, David) for almost 36 years.  I have a beautiful calico cat named Squeak and a great dog named Annie.  

I love to do all kinds of needlework.  I've tried Hardanger and Brazilian Embroidery, I've dabbled in needlepoint and I knit and crochet.  My mom taught me to do basic embroidery when I was 7.  I remember that she drew a Santa on a piece of muslin and taught me the outline stitch to stitch him.  When I was 9, she taught me to knit when I was bored in the summer and looking for something to do.  I taught myself to crochet in college and I crocheted my way through many boring classes.  But my passion is for cross stitch.  I'm a frustrated artist and can't draw a straight line if my life depended upon it.  But when I take a blank piece of fabric and use my thread to create a picture with floss, I really feel like I'm an artist.  I often change colors or use different textures in my work and that makes it feel even more like it's my creation.  So cross stitch will always be my first crafting love.

I also love to make jewelry.  I love the look of chain maille and hope to do more of it.  I also love to work with seed beads (more so than the larger beads and stones) and have made several pieces that I really love.  I've even tried crocheting with wire and beads and love the look of a cuff bracelet I made.  Once again this fulfills my need to be an artist.

 I also love to write.  I've written several novels which will probably never see the light of day but I had fun writing them.  I also (believe it or not) love to blog.  Although I haven't done it much lately, I do enjoy it and also enjoy reading other blogs as well.  I get inspired when I see what other stitchers are working on.  I love to read blogs from all over the world.  I live vicariously though them.

So I guess you will see a little of everything in my blog.  I don't plan on just blogging about my crafts but my life as well.  You'll hear about my kids and my pets and what I'm working on.  Hopefully you'll get to know me a lot better.  You'll see pictures of my work and and whatever else I think you'll find interesting.  You never know what you might find here so I hope you've visit me often

And in honor of this letter get-together, I'm having a giveaway.  I'm putting together 2 surprise packages of stitchy stuff.  Anyone who leaves a comment on this post is eligible.  You don't have to become a follower (although I would love it if you did) of my blog to take part in the giveaway.  Leave a comment by Feb. 14 and I'll draw a name on the 15th.  Make sure you leave your email in the comment so I can contact you.

Well, now you know a little more about me.  And I hope you'll visit me often.    You never know what you'll find here.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Big News!

Well, it's been a while since I've posted anything other than when Rosie crossed over the Rainbow Bridge (which I still cry about when I think about her).  But I do have an excuse for why I've been absent for so very long.  BTW, thanks to all my followers for not abandoning me during this process.  See, Dave and I are moving to Colorado!  Yep, after 20 years of living in the Phoenix area, we are moving to Denver.  Why?  Well Lockheed-Martin, Dave's employer, has decided to close a number of plants across the country and consolidate them into either the Denver area or Valley Forge, PA.  The program Dave is on is moving to Denver (Littleton if you want to be more specific).  We actually have been in a state of flux since October when we didn't know where or even who was moving.  We only found out in February that he was being offered a transfer.  It was either that or a layoff so guess which one we chose.  So we've sold our home here in Glendale and bought a home up in Highlands Ranch and are actually going to be moving in about 2 weeks.
I guess the hardest things will be leaving friends I've known for years.  Having worked in 3 different LNS's, I've made a lot of friends with much the same interests as myself.   Some of the ladies have been my friends for almost 20 years.  I know I'll make new friends there (and I am looking forward to that), but I will miss my old ones dearly.

It's also been hard reducing my stash.  We are moving from a 4 bedroom house to a 3 bedroom home with an unfinished basement.  So for the past few months, I've been digging deep and culling the herd and getting rid of boxes of stash, mostly charts and magazines.  But I've also donated a number of framed pieces I've done because there is just no room for them.  So I've kept some of my favorites and donated the rest and boy, was that ever hard.  My stomach actually was tied in knots just going through the process.  People have told me I will feel good about reducing the stuff in my house but so far it's not happening.

Well, I plan on being better about keeping this blog up to date but for now I'd better go and try to find some more stuff to cull.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Saying Good-Bye

It's so hard to say good bye to a good friend.  Some days it seems impossible.  I know I haven't blogged in a while (okay, months) but a lot is happening in our lives (more about that in another post) and there hasn't been time.  But I hope that changes in the near future and I can get back to blogging about my life.  But I did want to say good bye to my beautiful Rosie.  She went over the rainbow bridge on Feb 25, 2014 after a very short but devastating illness.  She was fine on Friday and starting showing symptoms on Saturday.  By Tuesday night she had to be helped over the bridge.  It turns out she had AIHA, an auto immune disorder that destroyed her red blood cells.  It's a very aggressive and ugly disease.  She fought to the end but it was too much for her.

Rosie had a rough start in life.  She was dumped in the Grand Canyon when she was 2 months old (I'm still convinced she was raised by wolves) and taken to a rescue organization in Flagstaff.  They thought she would have a better chance of adoption if she was in Phoenix so she was fostered there in a home with 17 other dogs.  By the time we adopted her, she had some pretty bad habits (like chewing everything in her reach and not being housebroken).  During that first  year, I almost gave up on her several times but was convinced by my family to keep trying with her.  After a while, she finally realized she was home and became just the best dog.  She never did warm up to too many people but she sure loved her family (and that included her fellow furbabies).

I still look for her in her favorite sleeping places.  I still call her for dinner.  I still want to hug her good night.  But I know she's waiting for us and someday I'll see her again.  So for now I'll just say I'll see you again, sweet Rosie.

Monday, August 12, 2013


I finally have a finish for this year.  I'm happy dancing all over the house!  I cannot believe just how long it's taken me to finish this little design.  And I do mean little.  I guess I hadn't realized that I had lost my stitching mojo for a while.  It also took me a while to figure out the best way for me to see with my new vision.  But whatever the reason, it's done!  And it's done before Elsie is too big to use it (I think!).  In case anyone is wondering what it is, it's a hooded towel for after her bath.  It's actually a perfect design for them since they have quite a collection of rubber duckies in their bathroom.  Forgive the camera strap hanging down in the corner.  I'm using Sherrie's camera (she lost mine in the Philippines - whole nother story) and I guess I hadn't realized the strap was so long.  Anyway, now it's on to Elsie's birth sampler.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I Just Have To

show off a little here.  This is my beautiful granddaughter, Elsie.  When Chris, Annette and Elsie came down in July, we all went off to JC Penneys and had family pictures taken.  This is one of my favorites from that sitting.  That's Annette's and my hand holding Elsie's.  She wasn't old enough to stand on her own so she had a little help from Mom and Grandma.  She is such a sweet and happy baby.  Her smile just makes me warm all over.  I think she's gorgeous as well.  Takes after her grandma.  Opps, I meant to say mom.  Seriously I can see lots from both sides of the family in her.  Anyway I just thought I'd introduce my first grandbaby to the world.  World, meet Elsie.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

I would just like to wish all my followers from the USA a most happy and blessed July 4th.  Our country has faced many challenges in the past but we have always risen above them.  I am and always will be proud to be an American.

I would also like to thank the men and women of our armed forces for keeping us free.  It's a job I certainly would not be able to do but I so appreciate and pray for our soldiers, sailors, Marines and Coast Guard.  Thank you for all you do.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

I'm Kind Of Sad

I'm really kind of sad right now.  The LNS that I have worked in for the last 8 1/2 years has closed it's doors.  Yesterday was our last day for sales.  Next week we're taking inventory and then that's it.  Needler's Nest will be no more.  The really sad thing for me is that this is the first time in 18 years that I've left a job with no prospects of another.  I've worked for LNS's for the past 18 1/2 years.  When one store closed, I went to work for another.  I worked for Countless Stitches for 3 years and when Katie sold the store, I went to work for Barb, the new owner.  I worked for her for another 7 years and when she closed the store, I was asked to come to work for Needler's Nest.  Now 8 1/2 years later, Needler's Nest has closed.  It's been a fun, wild ride but all good things must come to an end.  I loved having first hand knowledge of all the new products coming out.  I learned so much about this craft that we all love so much.  I learned what I would or would not do if I had my own store (which let's face it, will never happen).  I lived my childhood dream of owning my own store.  Okay, I didn't own it but it working there was the next best thing.

I am convinced that it is almost impossible to open a LNS and have it be a success.  I truly believe it's almost impossible to make a living owning a LNS.  Yes, there are a few stores making it but I believe most small LNS will have a very rough go of it.  I do believe that the stores that make it are going to be the ones with a large Internet presence.  We're all familiar with Silver Needle, Stitches, N Things, Cross Stitch 123, The Attic and Elegant Stitch.  Why?  Because they rely very heavily on the Internet.  Of course, they have good service and lots of stuff that make our hearts go crazy.  But I really believe what helps them thrive is the Internet.  Nothing wrong with that but it does make it hard for the smaller shops to compete.  So I think the wave of the future is a number of what I will call mega-LNS's with some smaller ones scattered around.

So I'll get off my soapbox now.  It's been a great 18 1/2 years and now I'm on to my next adventure.