Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy Anniversary, David!

29 years ago today I married the most wonderful guy ever. Now he wasn't the man of my dreams. That guy was tall, blond and British (or Australian or Kiwi - I wasn't particular). David is not so tall, dark hair (whatever is left) and solidly American. But I'm convinced God has a sense of humor and gave me just who I needed and not what I thought I wanted. Now we've had some rough times(his layoff which led us to AZ, my miscarriage) but through them all, we've stuck together and only loved each other more. He was a saint when my dad moved in three years ago. He probably handled his living with us better than I did. He is, in a word, a good man.
For our anniversary he had already given me a new Daylight lamp for my craft room. Yesterday he brought me flowers. He said they had to have lots of daisies cause they were our wedding flowers and the rest had to be yellow because that was one of our wedding colors. So he bought the gorgeous bouquet you see in the picture. I truely have been blessed to have married such a great guy.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Favorite Designers

I've noticed in my stash I have several designers where I have a TON of their patterns or kits. Yes, I buy kits when I need to and yes I actually use the materials in the kits. I guess I'm too thrifty to pay that much money for a kit then throw everything out but the chart. I do prefer to stitch on linen or lugana but I'll use aida cloth when necessary. Actually as I get older, I find myself using aida more & more. I can stitch on it without magnification and that makes it nice in the evening when I'm watching TV. Anyway back to the topic. Some of my current favorite designers are Ink Circles, Papillon Creations, Full Circle Designs, Crossed Wing Collection (which has the best birds ever) and my absolute favorite Michael Powell Designs. I adore his whimsical style and his use of bright colors. His designs look like pen and ink drawings colored in with watercolors. The backstitching takes some getting used to - it's not the normal way of backstitching but uses long stitches instead. I really don't like using embroidery floss to backstitch it so I've decided on this one (my third kit) to use #8 perle cotton when I backstitch. I'm on my third kit of his and I only have 22 more to go! ;-) I said he was my favorite. The kits actually use quality fabric and Anchor floss (which I prefer), so I've been happy with them. They're very expensive though, especially with the exchange rate so I think I'm through buying them for a while. They do have one more design coming out that is a must have for me so I'm saving my pennies for that one.

What's most interesting to me is how my tastes have changed over the years. I used to buy every Just Nan that came out (and actually stitched them) but haven't bought a new one of hers for years. I love the old Shepherd's Bush but when they changed their style of writing, I quit buying them. I love the older Bent Creek designs but not the newer ones. So maybe it's not so much my tastes have changed but the styles have. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I know change is necessary or designers run the risk of getting stale. So for me, change is a good thing. Means I can buy more stash!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Revelation!

I think I'm finally out of my stitching slump. I guess there are a couple of reasons for this. One is that I've decided to send Gabriel to Ghost Stitchers. Life is too short to spend time working on something I absolutely hate. There are so many patterns that I want to do and I'm beginning to resent the time I spend on stitching a project I so dislike. So I'm mailing him off tomorrow.

I've also decided that I need to return to the idea of stitching one project at a time. I've tried stitching multiple projects but I never seem to get anything done. I worked hard on finishing my NZ animal piece and found I really enjoyed seeing my progress. The same thing is happening with the Michael Powell piece I'm stitching. In just 2 weeks I've managed to finish more than 1/4 of it (it's solidly stitched). I'm getting such a feeling of accomplishment that I want to stitch all the time (hard when you have to work). I've done the rotation thing (stitched 10 hours on each project) and found I was getting frustrated when I switched projects even when I only had an hour or so to finish a project. so I'm turning over a new leaf and am going to start enjoying my stitching again!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

More 4-Legged Members!

Since you've already met Squeak, I'd thought I'd give equal time to the doggies in our family. Bear is the handsome fellow with the scarf around his neck. Rosie is the lovely lady on the floor. Bear is my daughter's dog. From the moment they laid eyes on each other, they knew they belonged together. Bear is the gentlest dog I've ever seen, but he would give his life for her. He regularly gets beat up by Squeak but has never retaliated. In other words, he's a wimp. ;-) But he's a very well-loved wimp.

Rosie is the newest member of our family. We found her through a rescue organization at Petsmart. Remind me NEVER to take the kids with me when I buy dog food. She was in a crate and everyone was loving the cute little puppies that were there also. She was older (but it turns out not as old as they thought she was). She had been found wandering in the Grand Canyon by herself at about 2 months of age. She was in a rescue organization in Flagstaff and they thought she would have a better chance of being adoped her in Phoenix. So she was fostered in a home with 17 other dogs. I called David cause I was sure he would say no but to my surprise, he decided we needed another dog for Bear when Sherrie went to college. There have been times in the last 2 years when I was sure I was going to get rid of her. She wasn't housebroken and had a real chewing problem (the foster mom had said she had none of these problems because we specifically asked about them). But I'm glad we stuck it out cause she is a great dog. Sweet, smart and funny, I'm certainly glad we kept her.

What's this got to do with stitching? Not much but they are a part of who I am and they are friends I cherish.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Another Finish!

I'd like y'all to meet (from left to right) Woody, Bandit and Fred. They've come to live with me here from New Zealand. The Otago Peninsula to be exact. This was a kit I bought when I was there about 4 years ago. One of the things I really liked about that country was the different animals that live there. I especially like how much of the land is set aside in National Trusts. We went to one of them on the Otago Peninsula. It is called the Penguin Place. You actually got to go out in blinds and the yellow-eyed penguins would parade past you on their way to their nests. We were literally only 2-3 feet away from them. Anyway this kit reminds of the wonderful visit we had. It needs washed and ironed but I was so excited about finishing it that I just had to post it. I'm also making good progress on my windmill from Michael Powell. I have had to chase that stupid frog away all morning. I've ripped out different parts of the fence several times now. BTW, my husband insisted that the animals needed names so he got had the privilege of naming them.
April started out the way March ended. We had a power failure that turned out to be caused by an underground cable failure. APS came out Friday to fix it. They dug their neat little holes and thought they would be out of there by noon. Well, what they (and the city) didn't know was the the water main was not where it was supposed to be. Instead of being under the street, it was under the sidewalk. To make a long story short, they punctured the main and 150,000 gallons of water went flowing down the street before they could turn it off. We had about 4-5 inches of mud on our driveway. The city has promised to make everything like new again. We'll be having 2 slabs of the driveway replaced (there's no foundation under it anymore) plus about 6 slabs of sidewalk and the road in front of our house will also have to be replaced. Now I'm sure not much more can happen but I've learned not to tempt fate.