stitch

I only stitch on days that end in "y".



Friday, January 23, 2015

Stitching, Cooking, Visitors

It's been a rather unexciting week...but often that's a good thing.

I've been making some progress on a model but also squeezed in a little stitching time on a CEC freebie mitten called Mitten Mitten.






I also finished the Witch and am pleased with how it turned out.  Now I have to decide on a skeleton to stitch for next month.





I took the plunge and ordered the floss for "His Eye is on the Sparrow" by Heartstring Samplery.  I should probably have my head examined for deciding to stitch this one when I have so many other things "going" but I decided to use it to help motivate me to get some of the others done...or at least make some good progress on them.  I'll decide after the floss arrives as to what fabric to use.  I'm even thinking of trying to overdye some myself.  After all, it's good to try new things, right?  If anyone experienced in dying fabrics has any suggestions, please feel free to share.

Nikki at Country Cottage Needleworks released a design for which I stitched the model.  It's called "Seasonal Celebrations-Spring".  It should be available soon at your LNS.



We had a gorgeous few days here last weekend and the beginning of the week.  Our neighbor took a picture of some visitors at our dock.  (The lake level has been very low for several years after several years of drought so our neighborhood association voted to drill a well to pump it up.  This was an "after" picture.  Not only is the lake level better but also the water quality/clarity is much improved.)

Midweek the clouds returned and yesterday a wet and cold front arrived.  I'm glad I took some time to walk when the weather was so pretty.





I'm a "make lemonade out of lemons" kind of girl so took advantage of the "soup weather" to make a big pot of Ina Garten's Ribollita.  I love that stuff and hadn't made it yet this winter.  It takes a bit of chopping and prep time but it makes a lot.  I saved some in the fridge and some in the freezer and save cooking time on other days when we reheat this.  If you're interested, here's a link to the recipe:

Ribollita

I've made quite a few of Ina's recipes...I think she's responsible for some of the extra pounds I carry.

Happy stitching!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday already?

The week flew by this week for some reason!

Our "baby" son left to go back to school...after first staying a few days with some friends in College Station.  (He'll go back to Austin on Sunday.)

I enjoyed watching the Big Game Monday night to watch my Buckeyes win the National Championship.  The victory was especially sweet because of all the nay-sayers out there.  Also, because of injuries, we played out third string QB and it was only his third "start" for this game!  Amazing!  To celebrate, I made some buckeyes.  (Peanut butter mixture dipped in chocolate.)  DH took some to a meeting and I took some to choir practice.  It's a good thing...it's dangerous to be in the house alone with these.  Yum!!


Here's a picture of  real buckeyes:


While on the subject of food...I had the TV on one day and saw Ree (Pioneer Woman) making spinach soup.  Since we had a good bit of spinach left from another dish (DH makes a pasta dish with it.) I thought this might be a good way to use up the spinach.  It was tasty!  I'm claiming that it's good for you because of the spinach  (....and not talking about the butter, whole milk, cream, and cheese).  It was quick and easy to prepare too.  This recipe will be "a keeper" in my recipe file.


Here's a link to the recipe if you're interested:

Spinach Soup

On the stitching front:  I've been mostly concentrating on a model this week that, of course, I can't show.

I'm in a blog where we're stitching monthly Halloween ornaments with January's theme a witch.  I finally decided on a freebie by subrosa that's a little on the Prim side.  (I'm also in a Prim group...I like to stitch things that work for more than one of my groups.)  Not long ago I snagged a big bag of 25 count fabric.  I don't normally stitch on that count but thought it would be good for some over one projects so that's what I'm doing with this piece to make the design small enough to work as an ornament.  I like how it's turning out so far:



Last up:  here's my wip of a BBD freebie.  I was moved after the terror attacks in France to stitch an Eiffel Tower.

That's it for this week.  

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Brrrrrrr!!!

It's so cold in Gulf Coast Texas (How cold is it?) that I have to wear real shoes instead of flip flops.  We're hovering at about the freezing point which--I know! I know! isn't that cold--- but it is for our area.

Being from "up North", I'm enjoying the colder weather and celebrated by making a big pot of soup the other day.  I think I'll make some white chili today.  (One DS is still home for his college break and he requested this.)

I've been enjoying stitching on Brenda Keyes "Hetty Child" sampler that I started on Jan. 1.  I reached a "milestone" yesterday in finishing the flower basket motif in the center.


In the spirit of my "year of the sampler", I've ordered "His Eye is on the Sparrow" by Heartstring Samplery.  There's a FB SAL group for this one.

There's also another FB SAL group started by Jean Farish to work on her "America, Land that I Love".  I joined this one too.  I'd started it a while ago but it's become a WIP/UFO.


I also put a few stitches in a Primitive Needle freebie "By the Light of he Moon".  I joined a Halloween ornament sal group here:  Halloween Ornie SAL 2015  .  January's theme is Witches and I thought this might work.  Unfortunately it's a little big for an ornament so I might have to stitch something else for this theme.  I think this one would make a cute no-sew cube, though.



I fear I've bitten off more than I can chew with these SALs.  (There are a few more too.)  I also am working on another model and need to stitch DD's wedding piece.  I feel like it's ok though and will be happy with any progress I make on these...as long as I finish the model and DD's.  I'll never be bored because there's always something to stitch.


We ran out of pie (according to my guys, a serious problem) so I baked my late DMIL's banana cream pie that has rum-soaked raisins, toasted slivered almonds, and banana slices between the cream and meringue.  The story about this pie is that my MIL called it "Louie's Pie" because she said it was DH's favorite.  He whispered to me once that, although he loves it, it's not his favorite.  Apple pie would win THAT distinction.  He never had the heart to tell his mother.  Of all her pies, this is MY favorite, though.  The cream part is wonderful....so thick and rich.  It uses vanilla bean--YUM!--and 8 egg yolks.  Not exactly good for you.  We have it rarely so I guess it's ok for a splurge once in a while.  Now THIS pie is nearly gone and I'm hearing noises from a certain couple of guys who live in this house that "someone" needs to bake another pie.  lol!


Finally....on a very sad note....I am horrified by the terrorist attack that happened yesterday in Paris.  I feel like this was not just an attack on the Parisian/French people but an attack on all free people everywhere in the world.  I can't say that I know the answer about solving the problem of terrorism that we all face and I fear that our leaders don't have the answer either. I pray for us all that we can all learn to live in this world together with peace, mutual respect, and dignity.

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Out With the Old....In With the New

Wow!  2014 just flew by!

Here's my last cross stitch finish for the year.  It's a CEC freebie "Cup of Cocoa" mitten.  I'm in a stitching group who will be doing a sal of the mittens for 2015.  We also do a themed bimonthly exchange block and January will be CEC designs...so this little guy will serve 2 purposes.






Today/tonight I'll be working on Texas Snowman by Redbird Designs.  I've stitched it twice but for exchanges so the one I'm stitching now will be mine (ALL MINE!!!!!!).  Here's a picture of one that I finished.  (The little horseshoe charm came with the design and I haven't yet found a replacement the right size for it.  It's cute without the charm too.)  He'll hang on my snowman tree next year.




It occurred to me recently that, despite love samplers, I haven't been stitching enough of them.  So...I'm hoping to make 2015 "The Year of the Sampler" for me.  I'll start off Jan 1 starting "Hetty Child" by The Sampler Company.  I'd also like to stitch (or at least start) "His Eye is on the Sparrow" by Heartstring Samplery.   I can't even think of this one without the hymn playing in my head.  ;-)  I love that hymn so I think it's totally appropriate.

On to food!  As we were finishing the last of the pie the other day, my guys had the "deer in the headlight" look...despite the fact that we still have loads of cookies in the house. Yesterday I decided to bake a pumpkin pie and, since some bananas were getting very ripe, some banana bread too (for the freezer).  DS requested homemade whipped cream too and since we had some cream leftover from something, I made some of that too.  I'm probably high on the candidate list of "Mother of the Year".  What do you think?







It's cool here in SE Texas...bitter cold according to some (but not for us since we've lived in the "frozen tundra" of MI and OH).  I'm enjoying it.  The plan for DH and me is to stay in tonight and snack on appetizers.  We'll decide later which time zone to celebrate the New Year and toast 2015 with a glass of champagne.  We really are party animals! 

Happy New Year!!!

Happy stitching!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas

The decorations are complete, the gifts are bought (need to be wrapped), and the cookies are baked.  I have just a few more odds and ends and we'll be ready for the big day.  Tuesday will be pie day, I think.  (Cranberry Blueberry and Lemon Meringue)


                                                               Sugar cut-out cookies








 DH's Almond Biscotti





Date Nut Pinwheels



Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies





No Bake Cookies (Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Oatmeal)





Peanut Butter Blossoms




DH's Rustic Nut Bars




Spritz



Do you think we baked enough?  

I also managed to finish the kids' ornaments for this year thanks to Foxwood Crossings' little sleds and the designs that go with them.  I got a late start but they worked up quickly.  Taping them on the sleds with a little Stitchery Tape is a finishing technique I can handle.  (New Year's Resolution:  learn some finishing techniques and "finish" some of the many ornaments I've stitched.)  I also stitched a gingerbread house ornament but everyone on the planet seems to be out of the sleds.  I hear that the manufacturer says they'll be available again in the spring.






These little "sled guys" are addicting.  I also have a leaflet of snowmen for these sleds so I'll probably do some of those for next year's snowman tree. 

We're "down" a few kids for this Christmas.  Our DS who lives in Denmark was here in October and he'll be back in the States for DD's wedding next year. Our DD and her finace' are traveling in Asia.  (Hong Kong, Viet Nam, Cambodia).  Here's a picture they sent from Hong Kong:



Merry Christmas!

Happy Stitching!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

I worked on decorating 3 Christmas trees this week.  (Well, if you don't count the little ceramic tree, the already decorated tabletop tree in the main bathroom, and the little wire tree.)  I added the third tree this year that I bought on sale after Christmas last year for the entry.  I had so many snowmen ornaments that I decided to theme that one:


I thought I might have to go out to buy more snowman ornaments but, as it turns out, I already had plenty.  The topper is a snowman made from plant pots.  I also added some crochet snowflakes made by my late Grandma.  She was so talented!

I also found a little snowman to hang off the front door's doorknob and today while at the thrift shop, I found a wooden snowman bowl to add to the snowman "collection":





Dining room tree:


The angel on this one was made by my sister-in-law for my first baby.  I put it on each of my kids' cribs so I think of it as their "guardian angel".  The tree skirt is a latch hook one that I did many years ago.  It's all bunched up because our dog likes to mess with it.

Living room tree (a 9-footer this year):


The crochet angel on top was another of my late Grandma's creations.

Of course, one can never have enough ornaments so I vow next year to "finish" some of the many cross stitch ornaments I have done or received over the years.

I finished and mailed off the model so I was able to stitch and finish a little freebie from Lori Brechlin for the Prim Stitchers Society Facebook group.  It's called "Sleighbells":


Our church choir's cantata is this Sunday.  We've had 3 rehearsals for that in addition to the little Faith band rehearsal.  I've been drinking a lot of tea to take care of my throat.

I'm still doing some shopping but almost finished.  On to cookie baking!  It seems I work off a daily list these days.

Happy stitching!


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Trip to Chicago and Playing Catch-Up

I accompanied DH to Chicago where he was attending the annual RSNA meeting.

RSNA 2014 Annual meeting

He'd eaten at an Italian restaurant on an earlier trip and thought I'd like it too.  I did.  Good food, interesting ambiance, and a waiter who was very friendly and funny.

Pizano's

I also got to have lunch with one of my (axe murderer) friends, Pam.  (DH calls my internet buddies "axe murderer friends).  We enjoyed a great lunch at Park Grill right under The Bean. (I had no idea what The Bean was until I looked it up.)  I don't know if the food tasted so good because it was or if it tasted even better because I got to eat with my friend that I hadn't seen in WAY too long.  (Please forgive my "hat hair".)


Park Grill




Here are a few pictures I took:

The Bean


There's an outdoor ice skating rink just under The Bean.  For some reason, I didn't snap a picture of it with the skaters.  Maybe I was too cold.  ;-)


I've not mastered the art of selfies but here's my reflection in The Bean:




Some cityscape:




Did I mention that it was cold?!  The day we left Texas, it was in the 70's.  We arrived to the 40's in Chicago but the temps plunged down to the low 20's one day and then warmed up to the 30's.  I actually enjoyed walking around in the brisk temps.  Probably knowing that I'd warm up in a few days helped.  (It's in the mid 70's here in Texas now.)

On the stitching front....I'd intended to finish up the model and send it out before we left but I discovered I was one stitch off so had to do some frogging and restitching.  I'm really down to the last little details now and hope to send it out Monday.  THAT will teach me not to push through and stitch when I'm too tired...it was a rookie mistake.  But....I love the design and you will too when it's released.

I worked a bit on a little Christmas piece for myself while in Chicago but haven't taken a picture yet.  Hopefully next time I post here, I'll have a finish pic to share.

I was the lucky winner of one of Nancy's (Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe) recent contests...I won the entire 1795 floss collection.  WOO HOO!!!  I was going to take a picture but Nancy's is all arranged beautifully so I'll borrow it to post here.  Isn't it gorgeous?!



The trip caused me to be late preparing for Christmas so we're hoping to put up the tree and some decorations today.

Happy stitching!