Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Bye 2011

I just wanted to pop in here and wish all of you a very Happy New Year!  2011 had it's ups and downs (especially healthwise) so I know that 2012 will be better.  The new year gives us all a chance to start over with a clean slate.  So good bye 2011 and hello 2012.  May we all have a blessed and happy start to 2012.  Oh, and if you're on the roads tonight, stay safe.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Next Year's Plan

So, I've thought long and hard about my stitching plan for next year.  Did I want to do something different every month?  Did I want to start a rotation (which I never liked because just when I started making progress on a piece, I had to put it down to work on something else)?  Did I want to try and finish more UFO's or WIP's?  How about a combination of things?  I think I have just about decided on a plan for 2012.  I have possibly 2 SAL's that I want to participate in: Quaker Gone Tropic with some of the stitchers at the 123 message board and another one with a friend I met last year, Kathy A.  Then Sherrie asked me last night if I had finished her graduation sampler.  Now she graduated a year ago and I really didn't know that she was interested in having one stitched for her.  I had started a Stoney Creek design but didn't accomplish much on it.  So that will go into the pile.  Then there were the UFO's I was trying to finish last year.  So I think my projects for next year will be:

Quaker Gone Tropic
Autumn Abstract or Desert Mandala
Cirque de Triangles
Cirque de Carreaux
The Wave
Sherrie's graduation sampler

I think I'll assign specific days to the SAL's, perhaps Monday and Tuesday.  Then I think I'll play it by ear for the rest of the week and just stitch on what I want to out of the remaining projects.  That way I won't feel pushed to stitch something I really don't feel like working on that particular day.  I may even manage to finish one or more.  I also reserve the right to insert smaller projects into the lineup should I feel the need arise. 

So there it is.  Bette's Stitching Plan for 2012.  It's manageable and I might actually complete more this way.   Now to go dig out the graduation sampler and add it to the pile.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Next Big One!

This is the project that I plan on starting on January 1, 2012.  Now I don't honestly remember ever specifically having a project to start on the first day of the year before but I'm changing things up this year.  There is a SAL for Quaker Gone Tropic over at the 123 message board and I thought since I had the pattern already, I would join right in.  It took me a while to decide on the fabric.  I finally chose one from Stitches & Spice over in Australia.  It's 25 count lugana and the color is called Eureka.  I plan on stitching it over one and I just love 25 count lugana for that.  The pattern calls for Silk 'N Colors thread but I just couldn't see spending that much for silk when to be honest, that isn't even my favorite brand of silk.  I managed to convert 3 of the colors to Threadworx overdyed threads but just wasn't happy with anything I tried for the 4th color.  So I just decided to bite to bullet and get the silk color for that one thread.  Overall I'm very happy with the results.  It's a fun, tropical piece and I think I succeeded in finding fun, tropical colors.  So, come January 1st when I'm watching the Rose Parade, I'll be stitching on my new peoject.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Last One !

Well, this is my last finished project for 2011.  At least, that's the plan for now.  I just don't have any projects that I want to start between now and the first of the year.  Now that may change if I can find a quick project that I can stitch up in a day or two but I honestly don't think that's going to happen.  I stitched this one as a Christmas present for Sherrie, who is a middle school choir director.  I thought it was so cute with its primary colors and the sentiment is perfect.  She likes it a lot and is hoping to find a place for it in one of her classrooms.  The fabric is actually blue fiddler's cloth that I found in my stash.  It just doesn't look very blue in the picture.  But it is blue.  I love the bright colors.  It made me so happy when I was stitching it.  So I'm saying farewell to 2011 and am hoping 2012 is even more productive.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

I'd like to wish everyone out there in blog land a very Merry Christmas.  As many of you have, I worry about the state our poor old world's in.  But I also have to remember the many wonderful things that have happened this year.  So my prayer for you is to have a very Blessed and Merry Christmas.  May this season of love remain in your hearts through all of 2012.  From my heart to yours,
                                                           MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rosie the Red Nosed Doggy

Now I've never had an animal that would let me dress it up in different outfits.  Actually I've never wanted to dress any of them up.  But Brian was visiting over the weekend and he decided to see if either Rosie or Annie would tolerate the antlers I usually wear at work.  Annie didn't want any part of them but Rosie actually seemed to enjoy wearing them.  Who would have thought it?  This is the best picture I could get of her wearing them.  She was too busy running around showing them off for me to take a picture.  So from Rosie the red nosed doggy to all of you, a very merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What's Up?

Wow!  It's hard to believe that's it's been a month since I updated my blog.  One of my New Year's resolutions is to update this more often.  I do have a good excuse though (I think).  I not only have been dealing with Valley Fever but now I have a shoulder problem as well.  Someone just shoot me, please!  Seriously, I've had a tremendous amount of pain and tightness in my left shoulder for about a month now.  I've been going to a massage therapist and I have an appointment with an orthopedist in late January but it has slowed my stitching considerably.  But I keep on keeping on and hopefully will at least finish Sherrie's Christmas present before Christmas.  I'll post a picture of it after Christmas since I'm not sure if she reads my blog or not.  I do want it to be a surprise for her.  But she's been coming home almost every weekend now and that cuts into stitching time. 

Ive been thinking a lot about next year.  I think I want to continue my program where I try to finish some UFO's.  I'm also planning to participate in the Quaker Gone Tropic SAL that is staring in January.  I have the fabric and all the fibers and just have to mount it on my scroll bars.  Then there's Lizzie Kate's Inspirational series that I love.  So many patterns, so little time. 

I also want to continue reducing my stash.  I started selling things on ebay again and was pretty successful at it over the summer.  I just have way too much stuff and will never get to most of it.  So all the patterns I culled out a couple of years ago will be going up for sale.  It is amazing how much you accumulate over the years.  And equally amazing how our tastes change.  What I liked 10 years ago I wouldn't look twice at today. 

So what's on your agenda for 2012?

Monday, November 14, 2011

PIF Winners

Well, it seems my PIF didn't generate a whole lot of attention.  But that's okay.  I've decided that everyone's a winner!  Cue the balloons and the confetti.  Blow your party horns!  I'm going to send something to all three of the ladies who commented on my post.  So Karen and Donna, I'll be getting in touch with you in the next day or so to make arrangements to send you your loot.  Thanks for entering!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pay It Forward!

Gosh, has it been almost 2 months since I've updated my blog?  I know time seems to fly but I hadn't realized so much time has gone by.  I actually do have a really good excuse.  Along the time of my birthday, I managed to contract Valley Fever.  Now most of you probably don't know what that is since it's endemic to the Southwest.  It's actually a fungal infection you get from breathing in the spores from the dust around here.  We've had some really good haboobs this summer (also known as dust storms) but I thought after living here for almost 18 years, I would have had a very mild case already and had nothing to worry about.  Well, I was wrong.  Valley Fever can be so mild you don't even know you have it or devastating.  My case is somewhere in between.   I spent several weeks just absolutely exhausted where I didn't even watch TV.  I just sat in my recliner and stared at the wall.  I am under a doctor's care and on meds and will probably be treated for at least another 2 months.  The doctor is watching a node on my lung but hopefully with the medication, it will disappear.

The reason I'm mentioning all this is because I fully intened to have this Pay It Forward right after my birthday.  Well, better late than never.  I was fortunate enough to win a Pay It Forward from Meari at earlier this year.  So now I'm paying it forward to two more people.  Here are the rules:

1). Send no less than 5 stitching related items per person within the next 365 days.

2). Items can be DMC, other threads, stitching needles, straight pins, buttons, scissors, ribbons, ect. - a combination of items such as 3 threads, 1 pack of straight pins, and 1 pack of stitching needles or just 5 threads.

3). The items must be new and not used.

4). If you win, you must be willing to post this PIF on your blog and do the same for at least 2 people.  This PIF is very simple and easy to do.

So that's all there is to it.  Just leave a comment on this post (with your email please) and you're entered.  I'll be picking 2 winners 2 weeks from today.  Feel free to post this on your blogs or tell your friends about it.  The more the merrier.  Have fun with this and good luck!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Another Thing I Like Is...

Arizona Diamondback baseball!  Now I'm not a fan who's just recently jumped on the band wagon.  Nope, not me.  I've been a fan since 1999 when we bought our Nissan Altima that Sherrie now owns.  We got tickets for 10 games that year and I just fell in love with the team.  I loved the old colors of teal, copper and black.  I'm not so much a fan of the new Sedona Red.  It seems like half the teams have red as their color.  But I wear it now cause that's what you do when you're a fan.  I've stuck with them through the great seasons (yeah, 2001!) and the not so good seasons (last year comes to mind).  And this year has been such fun to watch.  I know a lot of people have moved here from other parts of the country and they bring their love of their teams with them (hear that Cubbies, I'm talking to you) but it would really be nice to rally around the home team.  We may not get past the first round of the playoffs or we may win it all.  But no matter how we do I'll be sitting there cheering them on.  And I'll probably be there next year doing the same!

Monday, September 26, 2011

And the Winner Is...

So I assigned a number to everone who left a comment on my blog to adopt this lovely piece of orphan needlework and the number generated was 12.  So the winner of my blog giveaway is Karen!  I have your number, Karen, so I'll be calling to find out how you want to receive this.  I can mail it or drop it off to you or bring it by the shop. 

Thank you all for entering my giveaway.  And especially for the birthday greetings.  They mean the world to me. 

And keep your eyes peeled for a Pay It Forward that will appear here in the next week or so.  Take care and we'll see you soon!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Birthday Giveaway!

It's my birthday and you get the present!  This is one of the orphan cross stitch pieces that was left on the store's front doorstep a couple of months ago.  I had the framing spruced up a bit but left the original frame since it looks so perfect with the design.  This is a lovely Victorian posy stitched on perforated paper with cotton floss.  It's very nicely done and deserves a new home.  Hence, the giveaway.  All you need to do to win this is leave a comment on this post.  I'll leave this open till Sunday night and choose a winner on Monday.  So please help me celebrate my birthday and give a deserving piece a new home!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Do You Remember

where you were 10 years ago today?  9/11/2001.  I do.  I remember driving my son to his job and listening to the radio.  It was a gorgeous day here in Phoenix, blue clear skies, the summer heat having broken.  I remember the DJ coming on and saying a plane had flown in to World Trade Center.  They didn't know what it was but they thought it was a small plane.  By the time I got home, the second plane had gone into the tower and I knew then that it was no accident.  I turned the TV on and began watching the coverage.  It seemed so surreal.  Dave was actually scheduled to go on a business trip to Washington that day.  I couldn't convince him that this was not a good idea but he was determined to go.  He would not allow the terrorists to win.  Fortunately he never made it to the airport since the planes had been grounded.  I remember the horror of watching the towers fall.  I remember seeing the devastation at the Pentagon.  And I remember later feeling the pride that flight 93 fought back and won the first battle of the new war.  Even today, 10 years later, it's hard to remember without tears streaming down my face.  No, I didn't know anyone personally who perished that day.  But I feel like they are all my brothers and sisters.  We never know what life has in store for us.  So today, I'm gonna hug Dave a little harder and love my family a whole lot more and thank God for all He's blessed me with.

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Newest Obsession!

Now I haven't been stitching as much lately as I normally would but there's a good reason.  You see, I have become obsessed with making my own jewelry.  I've always loved shiny things (I must have been a crow in a previous life) and ever since a new bead store opened up about a mile from my house, I've been busy taking classes and making jewelry.  These are some of the pieces I've made recently.  This set is actually peach but it doesn't show that well in the photo.  It's wire crochet done with copper wire.  The necklace is one of my favorites.
 The above pieces are chain maille.  It's so simple.  All you do is link rings together.  Now some of the patterns can get very intricate but I'm not there yet.  But I plan on doing much more with this technique. 

 These two bracelets are kind of orphans since they are the only two of their kind that I've made so far.  The one on the left is a flower garden braclet.  I have some of the cutest monkey beads that I plan on using in another one of this type.  The other is much more peach than it looks.  It's done with a right angle weave and I also have the beads to do another one using that technique.
 These two pieces are a spiral weave called a DNA weave.  Guess why?  I enjoy this style but I don't wear it at work too often since it feels funny when I'm on the computer.  It's a little too round to work on a keyboard.  But I love the look.

These two braclets on the right are flat spiral weaves.  One thing I did learn in this class is NEVER use a lobster claw clasp on a bracelet.  It is impossible to fasten by yourself.  But the class is to teach you how to do all kinds of clasps so they had to throw it in.  Never again!

Well, I just thought I'd show you all what else I have been doing with my spare time.  I love beads and crystals and rocks and rings and just about everything you can think of to put in jewelry.  Except lobster claw clasps. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Another One Bites The Dust!

 Well, I managed to finish another UFO on Thursday.  This is another Michael Powell design called Windmill (who would have ever guessed?).  This makes 3 of his designs that I've actually finished.  He is one of my favorite designers and I only have about 20 more of his kits to go.  I love the way they turn out but, boy, do I hate doing the backstitching on them.  I really dislike the way 2 strands of floss look when backstitching so I decided on Windmill to use one strand of #8 perle cotton.  That seemed to work much better than the floss.  I guess I'll get a better idea after they're framed.  I'm thinking of having the 3 of them framed together with a black mat and a silver frame.

This design is called Christmas Lights.  I'm not sure if it goes with the other 2 so I may rethink my idea of framing these 3 together and substitute one of the other kits I have of his to stitch.  As you can see from the bottom picture, it just looks out of place from the other 2.  I know I can find something else that will work better than this combo.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A New Way Of Thinking

I had a revelation this morning as I was trying to shove another chart into an already crowded drawer.  In the last few years, I have purged a lot of charts and magazines.  Now I have been really good about not going into them in the garage and taking everything back.  I KNOW I can NEVER stitch everything .  I'd have to live to be 500 years old to stitch all the charts and magazines I had.  So I kept only the things I really like and have been slowly getting rid of everything else.  I went from two full 4-drawer file cabinets to one so I've been feeling pretty good about my stash.  But there I was trying to jam just one more chart in the drawer.  So I thought to myself, I need to go through these and do some more purging.  But then it occured to me that I didn't need to purge anymore, I needed to STITCH more.  Yep, that's the answer I came up with.  I just haven't been stitching enough.  I used to be able to stitch in the evenings while watching TV but everyone complained about my light shining on the set.  So I need to find a better way of illuminating my stitching area.  Then I got to thinking about how I chose what I'm going to stitch.  Usually it's the newest pattern in my stash.  But maybe there's a different way of choosing.  I got to thinking about themes.  Maybe I can stick with a specific theme.  Now I don't think I can do only one theme in a year but I can manage a new one every month.  Maybe one month I can do all Lizzie Kates.  Maybe in April I can do flowers.  There's always Christmas in July.  Get the picture?  I'm gonna go think about this a little and see if I can come up with a workable plan.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Look What I Got!

I was very lucky to win a giveaway from Dani at  I have been following her blog for several years now and was able to meet her when she came to Phoenix in March.  She is a lovely person and a wonderful blogger and stitcher and photographer.  These are all the goodies she sent in her package.  I love the little pillow/frame weight.  Such a great philosophy.  And a new scissor fob.  I just bought a new pair of scissors that need a new fob.  I always need needles and best of all, a new little ort box.  Now I wasn't sure what it was until I read Dani's instructions on how to make them.  It's so clever.  I can't wait to use it.  Many thanks to Dani for her generous giveaway.  And more so for her friendship.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Framing Update

I thought I'd post a better picture of my cross stitch hybrid.  The other pictures just didn't do it justice.  So after experimenting with different locations in the house, I finally found one where the glare off the glass wasn't too bad and the colors were true.  It's just a very simple frame but I didn't want anything too elaborate.  The whole piece is very simple so a fancy frame just wouldn't work.  Also notice that the mat is not cut even.  It's wider at the top and bottom than on the sides.  That was my framer's idea.  She said it would keep it looking more retangular and I have to say I agree with her.  It's so wonderful when you have someone who knows what they are doing and are creative as well.

Now I know a lot of people don't use glass on their needlework.  In some cases, I don't but most of my pieces do have glass.  We have an evap cooler for the months when we don't use the AC (it's popularily know as a swamp cooler here) that puts out a very fine white dust when it's running.  The dust is very hard to get off things especially fabric.  So I'd rather take my chances with glass then definitely know things will be ruined without it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

New Framing

 I recently was able to have 2 of my most recent finishes (okay, they not both finishes of mine but I'll tell the story of that later) framed and am very pleased with both of them.  The cross stitch hybrid is actually a Christmas design but I think with the colors I can hang it out year round.  The bottom mat is silver as is the frame (not shown in the picture) and the top mat is a pale speckled gray.  In keeping with the rectangular shape, the top and bottom of the mats are wider than the sides.  It's so different!  I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

The other little piece has quite a tale behind it.  I came to work one day and found a box at our front door.  It was labeled Mom's craft stuff.  I took it in and opened it and discovered a treasure trove of needlework.  Some of it was (very badly) framed and some of it was unframed.  When the manager of the store came in, we went through it together and decided that all of it needed a new home so we split the contents between us.  Some of the pieces were unfinished, some had stitches missing but it was obvious that whoever stitched them really loved what she was doing.  And someone appreciated them enough to make sure they were placed where someone would love them.  I would hate to have seen them be sold at a garage sale or donated to a thrift shop.  So I am going to begin framing them a little at a time and I think when I get some of them done, I'll do a giveaway on a piece or two.  So keep checking back.  You'll never know when they'll pop up here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Margaret Sherry Part 2

Okay, I said I wasn't going on a search for the new Margaret Sherry bookazine.  And I didn't.  Really I didn't.  Yes, I drive past Barnes & Noble and Borders on the way home from work.  I also drive right past a Joanne's as well.  But I was good.  I didn't stop at any of them.  But sometimes things just kind of fall into your lap.  I was casually reading the message board over at Cross Stitch 123 and what popped up at the top of the posts but one that read FS: Margaret Sherry Magazine.  Now I'm usually never in time to take advantage of these opportunities but I noticed that the post had just been put up not 2 minutes earlier.  So after thinking about it for all of 30 seconds, I decided to take the chance and email Leisa from New Mexico.  Well, to my surprise, I was the first person who contacted her.  So after emailing back and forth for a few minutes, I quickly arranged to pay her and soon became the proud owner of the Margaret Sherry magazine.  I NEVER get lucky like that.  But I guess the stars were aligned and I was just destined to own it.  Many thanks to Leisa for offering this.  And, me?  I am one happy cross stitcher.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Stopping the Madness!

I realized the other day on the way home from work that I need to stop the madness of chasing after charts and books that I don't need or have room for.  Several weeks ago I had heard about the Margaret Sherry bookazine that had been put out.  Now Margaret Sherry is one of my favorite designers.  I just love the child-like wonders of her designs.  I buy every magazine that has one of her designs in it.  So you can imagine how excited I was to hear about this new publication.  Until I found out just how hard it was going to be to get my hands on it.  So I was driving home from work and decided to stop at Barnes & Nobel because I was sure they would have it.  I was wrong.  As I got in my car, I began planning my next stop.  Now, mind you, it's 110 degrees out and humid to boot.  And here I was planning a road trip to maybe, if I'm lucky, get a copy of this bookazine.  I don't even know what designs are in it but I was determined to get one.  Never mind that I knew that most of the patterns were in the magazines I already had.  So I sat in my car and did some hard thinking.  I decided I wasn't going to chase after the elusive bookazine.  If I happen to come across it in my travels, that would be great.  But I would not make a deliberate effort to find it.  Yes, I would love to have all the patterns in one place.  Actually I do.  They're in a file folder in my filing cabinet.  So I'm stopping the madness of having to have everything that everyone else has.  I'll be happy for you if you find it and wish you well.  Me, I think I'll just go dig out my file folder and drool over the ones I already own.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Another One Bites The Dust!

Well, in my quest to actually complete some things this year, here is my latest finish.  It's called Snowflake and is by Art-Stitch.  It's another cross stitch hybrid.  For those new to my blog, that's a cross stitch pattern I've stitched in needlepoint.  I had a lot of fun with this one.  At first when I started stitching it, I wasn't sure I liked all the colors.  I was afraid it would turn out to pale.  I did, in fact, change the gold to a darker shade.  But I really like the way this one turned out.  Yes, it's actually a Christmas design, but I can see having it out all through the year.  I'll take it to the frame shop on Friday and try to figure out how to frame it.  Now onto the next UFO.  Which one shall I finish next?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Stitching Update

I thought it was about time to give an update on what I'm actually stitching.  I have found that I'm stitching less and less much to my chagrin.  I love stitching, I will always love stitching.  But I'm finding myself drawn to bead work and jewelry making.  I've always loved shiny things and since the bead shop moved in just 2 miles away, I've been taking classes and just generally making a nusiance of myself.  It's also easier on my hands, neck and shoulders.  I've had a lot of pain lately and am trying to do all I can to minimize it.  So I haven't been stitching as much as I would like.  But I still have all kinds of plans to stitch things, especially with overdyed threads and fabrics.  So in order to get back on track, I'm displaying a couple of pieces that I have been working on.  The top picture is of a Michael Powell I started a couple of years ago.  I don't know why I haven't finished it yet.  Oh, wait, yes I do.  It's all that weird backstitching he has.  But I got smart with this one (I've stitched 2 others of his and have maybe a dozen more to go) and did the backstitching in #8 perle cotton.  It's much easier than the floss and I like the way it looks better.  So this one is just a few days from being finished.

The second piece is another cross stitch hybrid I'm doing in needlepoint.  I wasn't sure at first if I liked the colors but now I'm really excited about the way it looks.  Once all the stitching is done, I'll backstitch some Christmas trees in with some beads and it will be all ready for the holiday season.  I'm having a lot of fun with this one.  It's kind of mindless so I can do it at night while watching TV.

So that's what I've been up to.  How about you?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How Come

I can't be satisfied with what I've got?  I was just thinking about all the free cross stitch patterns that are available on the Web.  I must have a stack of patterns about 6 inches tall that I've printed off.  And that's just one stack.  I have folders full of patterns.  Free patterns or patterns I've printed off (where I've been a member for years).  And I'm not just talking about about cute, little patterns used by designers to grab your interest.  I do have lots of those as well.  And I love them when I need a pattern for a round robin or a card.  No, I'm talking about gorgeous, big patterns.  Like the Book of Ink Circles (or BOINK as it's affectionately known as), or the ones from Papillon Creations (both names which escape me at the moment).  There are some French blogs that are posting gorgeous samplers that are free for the printing.  AAS has a wonderful, whimsical Christmas design that's a free SAL.  You could stitch for several years just from the free patterns that are available.  So with all this bounty, why do I still feel the need to BUY patterns?  I know I tell myself I'm doing this so when I retire, I'll have my pick of what I want to stitch.  But tastes change.  Who knows if what I want to stitch today will be what I want to stitch tomorrow?  I tell myself that if my favorite designers retire, then I need to get their patterns before they go out of print.  If I never bought another pattern, I'd be set for life.  I've even been culling out things I know I'll never stitch.  But I still find myself drawn to new patterns.  It's a sickness, I tell you.  And I'm not sure I want to be cured!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Good Bye My Friend

Today's a very sad day for my family.  Our beautiful Bear was sent over the Rainbow Bridge.  He was almost 13 years old and had been suffering from Cushing's Disease for the past year.  It finally got to be too much for him and we made the very sad decision to send him over today.  Bear was a very special doggy.  He was Sherrie's best friend and Rosie's constant companion.  It will be so hard to see her without him.  But I know it was the right decision.  I just wish it didn't have to hurt so much.  So I'll say farewell to Bear knowing that he's romping in the meadows with Lady and Sam and getting beat up by Tiffany and loving every minute of it.  We'll see you later, Bear.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

New member of the Family

I thought I'd show off the new puppy we got yesterday.  We (my DD Sherrie and DS Brian) went to a pet expo yesterday.  Now I had no intention of returning with a dog although I knew this summer would be a perfect time to get one.  Sherrie will have the summer off from teaching and can help with the training.  But I just didn't know if I was ready to deal with 3 dogs.  Bear is not getting any better and I'm afraid his time is short.  Maybe that's why I though a 3rd dog at this time might ease things for Sherrie and Rosie (our Aussie/Sheltie).  Well, there were all kinds of rescue organizations there.  I did want a younger puppy because of all of the issues we had when Rosie came to us.  So while wandering around, we spied some beautiful puppies.  There were 5 red ones and a black one.  I just couldn't leave her behind.  I called DH (who is out of town) and he said it was up to me.  Wrong thing to say!  So we are now the proud owners of a very mixed puppy.  The only thing we know for sure is that the mom is a German Shepherd mix.  We think we are going to call her Annabelle with Annie for short.  Not sure if that is definite but that's what we're leaning towards.  So, World, meet Annie.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Happy Dancing!

I'm happy dancing all over the place.  My kitchen is DONE!  Yes, after all the storm repairs that had to be done before we could start and 3 months of work and waiting, my new kitchen is complete.  It's so beautiful!  When I look at the pictures of the old kitchen, I can't believe that it's the same room.  The whole room is so much lighter and brighter.  It looks so much bigger.  I was kinda worried about how everything would work together, but I think it looks great.  So come on!  Happy dance with me!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Couple of WIP's

I thought I'd show a couple of the WIP's that I've been working on lately.  The top one is Cirque des Carreaux from Ink Circles.  It's stitched on 25 count lugana in a color called Terra Cotta.  I'm not even sure if the color is still available.  I've had it for so long in my stash that it could be many years old.  I'm stitching it in a Threadworks color.  I really wanted to use this fabric but really had an awful time finding a color that would work with it.  I think I succeeded with the green.  It reminds me of Autumn and I'm really happy with it.  I've made good progress with it.  I finished half of what you see there in just about 1 week's time. 

The second picture is the new project I added in since I finished a new project.  This is another cross stitch pattern that I have converted into needlepoint.  I kept largely to the colors that were called for, changing maybe only one or two.  It's going to have stylized Christmas trees on it when all the background is stitched.  I believe the pattern is from Art-Stitch.  I'm also making good time on it and hope it have it finished by the end of this month.  We'll see if I can make it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Us!

32 years ago today I married my best friend.  I remember the day like it was yesterday.  It had poured down all week (16 inches in 24 hours earlier in the week) but on the morning of our wedding, it was bright and clear.  It was a wonderful day and it was a great preview of what was to come.  Like most couples, we've had good times and not so good times.  We survived a layoff and a cross country move.  We have 3 great kids but even that was not without problems.  We had my dad living with us during the last year of his life and Dave treated him as if he were is own dad.  Through it all, we've stayed best friends and lovers.  If I had to do it all over again, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

David had the flowers waiting for me when I got home yesterday.  The daisies are extra special because they were our wedding flowers.  They're my favorite and I know that's why Dave gave them to me.  The roses are for true love and that's what he is to me. 

I didn't want this to become sappy but I just wanted to let the world know how special he is.  Happy anniversary, David!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spring Exchange

I recently participated in a Spring Exchange run by Lainey over at Lainey's Stitching House.  It was probably the best run exchange I've ever been in so kudos to Lainey for doing such a great job.  My exchange partner was Sue (  I received a lovely package with some very pretty threads, a lilac candle, some bath fizzies (which I can't wait to use) a notepad and a cute little box of spring tissues.  And of course, before I forget, a lovely stitched cube.  It's a Lizzie Kate pattern called Bloom.  It's my first cube ever and I'm really pleased with it.  Sue did a wonderful job in finishing it.  It's currently residing on my dining room buffet where everyone can admire it. 
This last picture is what I sent to Sue.  Great minds think alike cause I sent her a Lizzie Kate piece as well.  Mine is called Happy Spring from Lizzie Kate's pattern called Spring Things.  The finishing was a flat fold done by Karen over at Stitching and Sharing.  Karen does a wonderful job and I can highly recommend her to anyone who needs finishing done.  This was a great experience and was a fun way to share our love for stitching with someone new.

Friday, April 15, 2011

PIF from Meari

I was very fortunate to win a PIF from Meari at Now I usually don't ever win anything but I got lucky this time. Meari sent me some lovely threads, a Mill Hill bead kit, some needles (something we all need more of) and a lovely little dragonfly scissor fob. Now that gives me a scissor fob on each pair of scissors I own. Two of the threads she sent were by Carrie's Creations. Now I know this is a very popular brand of thread but I have never used it. So I'm excited to get a chance to try this. The colors Meari sent remind me of pansies so I'm going to see if I can find a small pansy pattern to try them out on. So now I'm going to PIF as well. Keep checking back in the next week or so to see when I post my PIF.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Here's Another One!

Here's another piece I picked up from my framer today. It's my little cross stitch hybrid that I recently finished. I really like the way this one turned out. The light gray mat is fabric and I just love the texture of it. This was such a fun piece to stitch. So much so that I have another hybrid lined up and ready to start. But I've promised myself that I would finish up the other UFO's that I've been working on before I start on another new design.

Here It Is!

I have finally been able to have the poppies framed. As you can see, I decided to go with a monochromatic scheme. I figured that would make the poppies really pop (yes, that was a joke!). We tried a set of green mats but they just didn't work in my opinion. My framer came up with this combo and I'm really pleased with it. I just hope Don likes it as well. Oh, the first picture is my sweet kitty, Squeak, investigating the picture. I just had to include it as well. It looks like she approves of it as well!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Poor Me!

Now I fully intended to spend the day stitching. Yes, I had to make a slight detour to go pick out some new floor tile (the one we were going to use has been discontinued - what else is new?) but I really wanted to have a day where I didn't have to do anything but stitch. Well, it doesn't look like that's gonna happen. While I was taking things out to the garage, I managed to smash my finger in the door. After I finished thinking all the bad words I knew, I went in to survey the damage. My poor finger is pretty well bruised both front and back and I managed to shave it open as well. It's nothing serious but it's throbbing pretty bad and I just don't think I can hold a needle right now. So I'm just going to have a little pity party for myself and spend the rest of the day sulking.

I did manage another finish before I took out my finger. Blue Gentian Sampler with my variations. I'm really pleased with the way it came out. So far this year I think I've finished as many as I did all last year. I'm on a roll!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Friends

It's been several weeks (almost 3 to be exact) since I had a wonderful experience of meeting some lovely people from our neighbor to the north. I have been following Dani's blog ( http// for a couple of years now and she recently came to Arizona to visit with her friend Kathy in Yuma. They were making a day trip over to Mesa for a trip to The Attic for a stash spree. Dani very kindly invited me to join them so I drove over and met Dani, Kathy and several of their other friends. It was a wonderful way to spend the morning. Not only did I get to add to my already considerable stash, but I got to make some new friends in the process. Phyllis, Judi, Kathy and Dani are all from Canada so it was great to hear about their shops and interests. Annette is from Mesa and met us at The Attic. It's her home shop so she was able to give us inside scoop on what they have available. Now I know I live here as well but The Attic might as well be in another state as often as I go to it. It's a lovely shop but I just can't justify the drive too often when I work at a LNS. Anyway Kathy was very kind to give Annette & I a gift which I love. As you can see from the picture, she gave us the cutest little case with some great goodies in it. I especially love the little scissors. They're so retro and I'm really into retro lately. Can we go back to the 60's? Anyway I loved spending the day with my new friends and meeting fellow stitchers. Now when I read their blogs, I fell like I'm reading a letter from a friend. (Does anyone still write letters??)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Almost Done

This is the second new project that I started at the beginning of the year. It's a lovely kit from The Cross Stitch Guild by Jane Greenhoff called Blue Genetian. Now I know a lot of you are not fans of kits but this really is a quality one. It has a really nice linen and the thread, while I'm not sure of the brand, is very nice to work with. And there's plenty of it. So I can highly recommend it to anyone. I did make some minor changes to the chart. The trees next to the house are supposed to be worked in algerian eyelets but they are not my favorite stitches, either to do or to look at, so I changed them to smyrna crosses. I much prefer that stitch so out went the eyelets, in went the crosses. I also had to adjust the size of the letters of my monogram in the heart. There was just not enough room for the "W" so I made it a little skinnier. I'm also going to put french knots in the center of the flowers on the border instead of regular cross stitches. I think it will just add a little more interesting texture. When this is all done and framed, I'm going to use it as an introductory class in stitching on linen at the shop.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Finish

It's a very rare day here in Arizona. It's very gray and overcast and it has rained all day. I decided that it was a good day to stay in and stitch. I haven't been able to do that in a long while so I took advantage of the time. I watched movies from the Syfy channel and finished up my cross stitch hybrid piece. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I love the bright colors and the very basic shapes. While it's very simple, it has an elegance that I really like. I'm not sure how I'm going to frame it yet. I do know I want a shiny, black frame around it. I'm no sure about the mats though. I'll have a chat with my framer and see what she thinks. Now to add another new project to the mix. I really should be stitching on a UFO but I have another hybrid in mind that I have most of the supplies for and am anxious to start that one. I keep telling myself to work on the older projects but there's just so many new ones calling my name.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Phase 2 Done!

Well, phase 2 of the great remodeling project is done. The countertops were installed on Friday. I am so pleased with the way they look. I always second guess myself as to whether or not I made a good choice. This time I think we done good as my dad always used to say. The installers were here all dayon Friday and then the plumbers came after they left. The only problem that occured is one of the backsplashes broke as it was being installed. I think you can see it in the picture of the stove. Since it is a bookmarked piece, we really didn't want them to replace it. So they took it back and were going to repair it. They'll be out tomorrow to install it. I am really thrilled with the way this whole thing is turning out. I can actually see the end coming soon.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 7: Getting There

Well, we're on day 7 of the great kitchen remodeling project. As you can see from the pictures, the cabinets are hung, and the floor cabinets are in place. Dave is still try to get the dishwasher and the sink hooked up. The stove needs to be pushed back and the microwave hung, and I think that will do it for phase one. The countertop will take about 1-2 weeks. The floor will probably wait until the end of the month. That was the soonest our guy can lay the tile. But I'm okay with that because he's really good and I want it done right rather than quickly.
I really LOVE these cabinets! They are some of the prettiest I've ever seen and certainly the nicest we've ever had. Our cabinetmaker is a real perfectionist and makes sure that every i is dotted and every t crossed. But as I said before, I want things done right and am not in a hurry for this project to be done.

Monday, March 7, 2011

End of Day 1

So we're at the end of the first day of the great kitchen remodeling project. As you can see all of the tile has been removed. It's gone! The old ugly saltillo is forever vanished from the kitchen, dining room and foyer. It will never show its butt-ugly face in my house. Can you tell that I really, REALLY disliked that stuff? The guys (and I include my dear husband David in that) did a superb job in keeping the dust out of the rest of the house. Big sheets of plastic, open doors, and the swamp cooler did wonders in keeping the air and the dust out of the house. The dogs spent the day outside. Rosie loved it, Bear keep asking why he couldn't come in. Squeak spent her time either in the closet or under the bed. She was NOT a happy kitty. Tomorrow will be more of the same as our floor guy comes back and gets the floor surface ready for the new tile. That will be laid in several weeks because he has another job he has commited to but that's okay cause the ugly tile is gone forever!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's Starting!

We are starting a huge adventure at our house. We are getting ready to start remodeling our kitchen. As you can see from the pictures, it looks very dated and dark. The tile is saltillo and is very hard to clean. In fact, five minutes after the floor is scrubbed, it looks like you haven't washed it in months. The cabinets are dark and sagging. My glass cabinet (which was the first to go) was actually shored up by a 2x4 and the glasses still rolled to the center. The house is 32 years old and the kitchen has never been renovated. So we decided that it was time. We've only lived here for 17 years. The cabinets will be a natural hickory, the countertop will be a gorgeous gold/gray granite and the floor is going to be a gray tile. The guys are coming tomorrow to remove the tile and grind the floor if necessary. We know there's a crack that needs to be repaired and that will be done before the cabinets go in. Hopefully that happens later this week. Apparently the cabinet-maker is waiting for the doors to be finished. I really getting excited about this. Not the mess, of course, but having a beautiful new kitchen. I may even be inspired to start cooking.