Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Stitching post...but no photos

This weekend was a pretty good stitching weekend. I worked on the Prairie Schooler Exchange off and on Saturday - and I made pretty good progress. It seems to be a quick stitch, which is good...maybe I will be able to finish the stitching up by next weekend so that I will have sometime to ponder & work on the finishing part of the project.

Today I decided to take Hockey Rivalry out of the UFO box (I posted it as a goal to complete around New on Hockey Rivalry for the posting). I worked on that some today in between fixing breakfast and lunch for the kids and helping my older son on his Medievil Helmet. There have been many blogs out there I have read where some of you are working on some very difficult/tedious projects and are able to make some progress on I am inspired and hope to get this project done by the end of the year.

Well...just thought I would post a quick on tonight. Hope everyone had a good weekend.


Hand-dyed fabric give-a-way!

Surfing and reading blogs this morning, I came across a give a way for Hand-dyed as part of the requirement for entering the give-a-way, I am advertising :)
There are 2 different give-a-ways that you can choose from, one is for 28ct evenweave and the other is for 22ct aida. Check it out on Daffycat's blog!

Friday, April 24, 2009

TGI....Friday! Weekend plans and Stitching Update!

It is Friday and we are entering the last weekend in the month of April, which is hard to believe. This week we started out with temps in the low 100s (set a record for the warmest spring temp either on Monday or Tuesday when it was about 103 or something like that...once it gets over 100 it is just plain hot). Everyone was running around "complaining" that Mother Nature forgot about Spring...well, I guess we just experienced our 2 days of summer because today it feels like Fall. With temps in the high 50s/low 60s and gloomy - we had to turn the heat back on in the house. Crazy!

We will welcome the weekend with open arms, for DH was busy with finance stuff at work. This means that his routine was to get into work, leaving the house around 7:30-8:00am and getting home around 7:00pm...then taking a nap infront of the tv until about 10pm and then getting up to do more work at home until midnight or 1am. This throws us all off a little during the week. With the weekend here, we will probably have another relaxing one. Robert (older son) has a school event tomorrow morning where he and his academic leadership group from school are doing a "clean up project" at one of the schools in the area. That is the only committed event we have this weekend, so depending on the weather, I am sure that we will try to get in a family activity over the weekend. Oh, yea...Robert does have a history project he needs to work on (which usually becomes a family project). They just finished studying Medievil time period and he has decided to make a helmet, which needs to be wearable - so, I guess that is one the list of things to do this weekend!

On the Stitching Front...
Yesterday, Robert has a class at the community center afterschool - so Matthew (younger son) and I just brought things to work on until the class ended (I find it more relaxing dealing with the kids' activities if I am not running from one place to the next in the car). While Matthew worked on his homework, I worked on the Danielle's Friendship Sampler (*4/25/09**click on link to see Danielle's Friendship Sampler RR) or the RR. Because the hearts are very easy to stitch up, I was able to finish the heart and will stitch my name/state over the weekend in preparation to send it out next week (May 1). I will post a photo of it as soon as name/state are stitched.

Last night I also worked on kitting up my next project...I signed up for a Prairie Schooler Exchange and the mailing deadline is June 1. I ordered 3 different designs (see blog - and "thank you" to Valerie's wonderful comment), I chose the Summer pattern because it is summer time (I can save the santa/snowmen one for the holiday time, just incase I sign up for any holiday exchanges...for I seem to be filling my plate up with exchanges lately). Anyway, I picked out a 36ct Edinbourgh Linen in creme and found almost all the floss in my stash (except for a couple of I a trip to Michaels is coming up). I am planning to stitch the one on the right and maybe finish it off as an easel (I saw a tutorial for that finishing on Vonna's blog).

Thank you so much for visiting today. I appreciate your time and enjoy reading your comments. May your weekend be full of Laughter and love! Don't forget to live in the now and remember to take time to stitch!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

One "finish" and Two "almost finishes"

Well, I finally finished "Wish, Dream, Hope, Believe" and can celebrate!!!
Time to do the Happy Dance,
Happy Dance, Happy Dance,
Time to do the Happy Dance...
E - I - E - I - O !

Sorry - my happy dance got a little out of hand. But this is the second time I finished this project. The first time I finished it as a pin keep, using straight pins with a ball on the end and attached a fun looking ribbon. But when it was done, it looked stupid...I hated was an embarrassing finish, so I ripped it appart and put the stitched piece in my stitching "catch all" box. This evening, I decided to pull it out again and try something else. I found the foam core square I cut for it and my supply of basic straight pins. I cut some blue fabric for the backing...and attached the stitched piece and the backing to the foam core with the basic straight pins. Then, I remembered my supply of beading stash (another crafting hobby I had "once upon a time"). Using some of the crystal beads, wire, crimping beads and other fun things, I created the hanger. I also found a charm that said "dream" in my stash which I put in the middle of the hanger. I do love the way it turned out...however, I still am not satisfied with the way my corners come out when I do this method of finishing. I have looked at several of the tutorials...but I just cannot make my corners look "professional" (so, if anyone has any good advice, please let me know).
I have 2 more "almost" finishes to show...
Both of these are Lizzie Kate "To My Teacher" designs. One is stitched on 22count aida (which has been hand dyed in red food coloring) and the other is stitched on 28count evenweave. As room parent for my younger son's class, I am organizing the upcoming Teacher Appreciation project/activities. Ever since my older son was in school, I have been organizing Teacher Appreciation "Thank You" books - which the kids write the notes or poems and I make the front cover and then bind it all together. It makes a nice keepsake for the teachers (in addition we collect money and purchase gift cards for the teacher). This year my son has 2 teachers who do a job share, so I am going to make a book for each of them. So, I have the stitched pieces done and will work on making the covers over the weekend. I will post the finished products as soon as I have them completed.
Other news on the stitching front...I received the next Friendship Sampler for the RR (it is Danielle's). I will need to sit down and determine which heart I am going to stitch and what color. Her instructions gives the stitcher the freedom to choose the color of the heart. I don't know if that makes it easier or more challenging to make a decision.
Well...hope your week is going well. Thank you for stopping by and reading. Remember...Live, Love, Laugh and stitch often! Lisa

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

FogCity Blog Friend Celebrating 4 yr Blog-oversary

Happy Blog-oversary FogCity Dweller! To celebrate there is a give-a-way...check out the blog!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday at the Beach

We had another Saturday without any hockey and it was the last Saturday of Spring Break. During breakfast, we talked about what we should do...should we go to San Francisco and walk around the farmer's market and make our way down to Fisherman's Wharf? Should we just visit the local farmer's markets around our neighborhood? Should we fix dad's bike tire and take a bike ride? Should we go hiking at one of the nearby hiking trails? Well, after some discussion, we decided to jump in the car and drive down to Hwy 1 by the coast toward Monteray, Pacific Grove and Carmel-by-the-Sea. After driving for a little less than an hour, we found ourselves around Marina (outside of Monteray, CA) and got out to walk a beach. It was beautiful out. We walked up an down the beach, while the boys ran in and out of the surf trying not to get too wet. They found some neat shells and a couple of Sand Dollars.

During our walk, there was a seal sunning himself (or herself? hard to tell - we didn't check). It was neat to be able to walk up to it. However it didn't like when we walked between it and the water, for it did bark at us.

The Seal even sat there and posed for me, looking directly and smiling?

After we walked this beach, we drove into Monteray - but because of the crowd, we decided to forgo the famous aquarium and drove into Pacific Grove for lunch and then walked down by the coast line for a while...then headed to another beach in Carmel. It was a fun day and a great way to end spring break as a family.
On the stitching front...I have been working on some Lizzie*Kate designs with a "teacher" theme for the upcoming teacher appreciation in Matthew (younger son) class. I will try to post those tomorrow.
Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. Lisa

Thursday, April 16, 2009

On-Line Needlework Show

While Multi-tasking while exercising on the stationary bike, I am visiting the April On-Line Needlework Show (click the link and then simply use the General Viewing link at the top of the page). You can visit so many different designers and websites to see what their newest designs and accessories. In addition, when you visit some of their booths, they have doorprizes which you can email your information to them as an entry. I find it fun to visit these cyber booths to see what some of the newest designs are out there...sometimes finding things to add to my "stash wishlist" and other things that just provide ideas.

Enjoy! Lisa

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Stitching Udate - Finishing and pondering new project

Friendship Sampler RR
I put the finishing touches on Donna's Friendship Sampler RR (aka "Lisa" and "CA") and will be putting it in the mail to Karen sometime today. I assume that the post office will be busy with all the last minute people mailing their I might just skip the post office and go to one of the UPS stores - but bottomline, I plan to get it in the mail today.
Donna's RR was done on 40 count linen. For some reason, I found this challenging. I don't think that it was the 40 count that was giving me fits, though. I think that I have grown use to stitching on even weave and the uneven linen was challenging. However, as each of the RRs travel here, I have enjoyed stitching on different fabrics and using different floss & color schemes. I am looking forward to the next one!

Wish, Dream, Hope, Believe Project

Well, I finished this project too (sorry for the blurry, dark camera is acting up). I enjoyed stitching 1 over 1 with varigated DMC and love the way that the design turned out. Last night at 9pm, it was all "finished" as a pin keep with some fun floss/ribbon attached with pins around the border. But I hated the way it looked, so I ripped it apart at 10pm (while I was laying in bed pouting. DH thought I might have reacted a little hasty). So, right now I have left it stitched on three sides to a blue backing fabric with a square piece of form core inserted inbetween. I still need to close up the bottom, when I determine how I will really finishing this piece. Finishing is really not my strength. I either put the finish pieces in a pile, get them framed or, if they are big enough, hang them on pant hangers until I figure out what to do with them.

New Project

Well, it is that time of the year...spring time...and about 3 weeks before teacher appreciation. As room parent, this is one of the events that I really enjoy organizing. For over 10 years, the project that I initiate is a teacher "Thank You" book. I send home an 8x10 piece of paper where the kids can write a thank you note or poem on 1/2 of the paper and then either attach a photo and/or draw a picture. These are collected laminated and bound in a book. The cover of the book, I typically attach a cross-stitch piece I stitch - it is usually the Lizzie Kate school design or a Sekas Teacher Heart. So, today I need to find all the teacher/school patterns I have in my stash to determine which one I am going to stitch for Matthew's teacher and then gather all the materials.

Spring Break - Day 3
This morning, Robert (older son) got up around 7 and we went out for a morning walk/jog to the school track where he ran again and I walked/jogged with the dog. Last night, a cool front moved in with high winds and some rain; so this morning the cool temps created a layer of frost on the grassy areas. It was a beautiful crisp Norther California morning to be out. Now, back from the morning activity, I am getting my morning spin on the stationary bike while the boys are vegging and/or working on school projects. This afternoon's activity will be to go out and get Robert new track shoes and both boys new everyday tennis shoes. If everyone is still in good spirits we might even get the haircuts out of the way.

Hope everyone is having a good week. Thank you for dropping by and reading my blog. Remember to Live, Love, Laugh and stitch often! Lisa

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Weekend Recap and Spring Break Activities

We had a nice Easter weekend. The Easter bunny came and litered the backyard with lots of plastic eggs filled with chocolates and some money. Each boy made out with about $4-5. We enjoyed a nice family breakfast and started to finish up the "to-do" list set up on Saturday.
  1. On line traffic school - I finished up all the tests, but then found out that I need to do a final one that either has to be done through an identity website or in front of a notary. I guess there are those who do these to get out of having a ticket go on their record, but have someone else take the tests for them. So I need to figure out which way I want to go and get this wrapped up this week.
  2. Taxes - Done! Filed! Now we just wait for the refunds to show up in the checking account. The Fed should be in there by the 24th of the month...but the state of California will be delayed because they said they are out of money and cannot pay back the tax refund. We'll see what really happens.
  3. Robert's projects - it sounds like there are 2 projects that are due on or before the end of spring break, 1 that is due at the end of April and the last due at the end of May. He did work on the Mid-Evil Knight power point, which he needs to email to his teacher.
  4. Matthew - took breaks from the computer to read 30+ minutes and play with legos. I did request that he write a few thank you notes, but that didn't get anywhere. Maybe I will try today.
  5. Garden - it has been weeded, cleaned up and replanted with tomato plants, 1 green bean plant, a couple of new strawberry plants and some more flowers planted under the humming bird feeder.
  6. Lawn - it is mowed, fertilized and the sprinklers are up and running.
  7. Need to sit and stitch as much as possible to enjoy my time & spring break!!!!
And the last one...stitching...I have been working on Donna's RR trying to finish the heart I chose and get my name/state stitched on there. Last night I sat down after dinner and got the heart done, now I will just need to find the color she has requested, and get my name/state done so that I can get it in the mail tomorrow (on tax day - should be a fun day to run to the post office :)).

I have also beenworking on "Wish, Dream, Hope and Believe". I almost have the boarder done and hoping to have a photo posting tomorrow.

First Day of Spring Break (Monday 4/13)
Yesterday was the first "official" day of the boys spring break. It was a nice, relaxing day we all had. Robert and I took a morning walk down to his school, where he ran a mile on the track. He is on the school track team and wanted to take Spring break to work on his times and get in some running. The boys enjoyed a picnic breakfast in the office, which I spun on the exercycle and they played some sort of computer game where they could meet eachother in cyberspace. After lunch, I worked with Robert to clean out his closet - after 2 and 1/2 large black trash bags filled with stuff, we took a break and he worked on his histroy project while Matthew read his book. Later in the afternoon, before dinner, the boys and I got out of the house - they rode their bikes and I walked our dog. We all got a good work out and were ready to come home for dinner. It was a nice relaxing day.

Second Day of Spring Break (Today, Tuesday, 4/14)
Today Robert and I have our 6 month dentist appointment around noon. So, since we will all be out and about, we are going to use this day for errands. The boys need new tennis shoes and hair cuts - and I would like to find a nice but inexpensive shelf unit for Robert's room to put all his trophies and medals from hockey tournaments. I am trying to get this boys room uncluttered. His closet looks better, but on top of his chest there is a lot of "clutter". So that is the plan for today.

It is definitely nice to have this break from all the "going-going-going". Sorry for the rambling this morning...hope you will comback to view my finished stitching projects tomorrow!!!

Remember...Live, Love, Laugh and stitch often! Lisa

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday w/o Hockey

Spring Break has started for us. The boys had a 1/2 day of school yesterday, coming home around lunch time. So, since yesterday was my first Friday where I took off work (typically I just work Mon-Thus) and I didn't have any hockey travel - I gave myself the day off too!!! Yahoo! While the boys ate lunch, I made banana bread (when you have rotten make banana bread) - I had them help with the measuring, egg breaking and so on, making it a team effort. After popping that in the oven and the lunch dishes were in the dishwasher, the boys went up to veg on the computer and I took out my stitching (working on the "Wish...Dream" project). When the oven timer called out "Banana Bread is done"...we all ran down stairs to take it out and cut it up. They both love banana bread out of the oven. The rest of the afternoon, the boys played either computer games, board games or outside...I continued to cross stitch (no picture today...I will post one tomorrow).

I am not sure what we will do today. This is the first Saturday - the first weekend in fact - that we don't have any hockey to go to...No practice...No games...No hockey team parties...NOTHING. This can be a good thing or it can be a stressful thing. Remember the buzzards from the movie "Jungle Book". These guys sit on the branch of a tree, "vegging out" looks at the other and asks, "What do you want to do?"...and the other responds, "I don't know. What do you want to do?"...and then the first one responds, again, "I don't know, what do you want to do?" And it continues a few more times, until they realize the conversation isn't getting them anywhere...only to go back to it again. Well, this is how our household behaves when we don't have hockey and don't have any official plans.

One thing that we have enjoyed doing on Saturdays like today is going to our local farmer's market. When we moved here from MN, the farmer's markets were a real exciting thing for us because several local communities have them and they are not too far from our house. Most of the time we hop in the car and drive down to Main Street in Pleasanton, CA or, if we are really ambitious we ride our bikes 12 miles to the one in Danville, CA. It is fun to walk up and down the street, looking at all the wonderful fruits & veggies...smelling the warm breads that the bakery stands have out. The vendors typically have samples of their ware out on their stands...which makes for a good mid-morning snacks (and is very economical). This was a great way for my boys to try new fruits and veggies when we moved here and continues to be fun for them. One of Robert (older son)'s favorites are the English Peas. You just open the pod and pop a plump pea in your mouth - great to snack on while walking up and down the street. Matthew (younger son) loves the fresh bread; he will end up getting a warm bagguette and munching on that while we walk. My DH loves the Kettle corn (but since he is now on a diet, has informed me that I will need to make him some air popped corn to munch on if we go to the farmer's market). So that is one option.

We also have a list of things we need to do this weekend:
  1. I need to finish my on-line traffic school (yep, got a ticket several months ago and opted for the traffic school so that it doesn't get on our insurance record).
  2. We need to finish up taxes. I think that we will be getting a refund, but we are just procrastinating because it isn't a fun thing to do (DH and I usually end up arguing about something)
  3. I need to get an idea of the number of projects Robert has to do over Spring break and what the requirements are
  4. I need to give Matthew options of things to do so that he isn't mesmorized in front of the computer all day long
  5. I need to weed and clean up the garden - get the strawberry bed ready to grow and get some tomatoes to plant
  6. Need to mow the lawn, fertilize it and get the sprinklers ready to run
  7. Need to sit and stitch as much as possible to enjoy my time & spring break!!!!
Not too much to do :) Oh, yah, I will also need to make sure that all the Easter things are prepped and ready for the Easter bunny's visit! I still have boys in this household (13 yrs and 10 yrs) who still believe (or at least don't want to give up the dream).

Have a good Saturday...remember to Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Lisa

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wish, Dream, Hope, Believe...and other stitching updates

This is the status of the most current WIP: "Wish, Dream, Hope, Believe" that I am working on currently (sorry about the photo, my camera just didn't want to wake up this morning I guess - with flash it was washed out and without it was dark). It is being stitched on light blue 32ct evenweave, 1 over 1 - using various DMC Varigated floss (I'm making up my own color scheme vs what the chart calls for, basically because I am creating this with my stash). I started this projection on March 20, 2009 - and if you are interested in checking out what it is suppose to look like, you can see this and several others on the DMC Creative World Website.

Update on the Friendship RR...
I am having a wonderful experience - and a lot of fun - with my very first RR. Because the pattern is made up of many hearts, and the main direction is to stitch one adding your name/location and the mailing it out, it is simple and quick. The main form of communication has been emails, which not only keeps all of us (18 women) up to date, but each of us have been adding little tid-bits of our life in these emails. Thus, we are making some good friends a long the way. Currently, I have just received Donna's. I have been documenting each one after I stitch my heart, name and state on: FRIENDSHIP SAMPLER.

Signed up for my first exchange....
Before going to NC, I signed up for my first exchange - "Year Long Prairie Schooler Exchange". One of my goals for this year was to get involve in an exchange, so this helps me to achieve this goal. In addition, by signing up for this one, I will be exposed to a new designer/producer of counted cross-stitch designs. Once I was accepted into the exchange and received the address of the person I will be making it for/mailing it to - I went to several different on-line needlework places to look for that "just right" pattern. Since the only stipulations was that the piece be finished (no bookmarks, coasters, etc) and that it be sent no later than June 1...I assumed that any design by Prairie Schooler would work. I did go to the blog of the person who I have been assigned to get a feel for her likes/dislikes.
With so many designs to choose from, I ordered 3:

This one is called Summer Breeze

This pattern is called Forget-me-knot

Last, but not least...Santas & Snowmen

I thought that this would give me some choices before I settled on one design. If any of you readers have an idea or advice for this first exchange, please let me know!

So that is my stitching update for April 9th...on a personal DH and I marked our 18th wedding anniversary quietly this year on April 7 - he snuck a bouquet of roses & lilies in the house during his lunch hour as a surprise for me upon walking in after picking up the boys. I put in a little card in his lunch box. We didn't do anything else - just kept is small and sweet. Our life has been very busy this last year - lost a couple of wonderful grandparents at the end of 2008, but the remaining busy-ness has been all good things. I am truly blessed to be married to my "sweetheart" as the saying goes...I love him very much and the life that we have together!

Thank you for visiting and reading...I love reading all the comments, advice and words of support that get left by you all! I hope that things are well with you and your family. Just remember:
Live, Love, Laugh...and Stitch Often....Lisa

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Quick Post - the final weekend of the hockey season

Thought I would post a son's hockey team's run at the National Finals ended last night with a tough loss of 0-1. They played a very good game, but just couldn't get the puck in the net. We are very proud of the boys - it has been a wonderful season; and even though they didn't make it to the end - they are the 3rd PeeWee AA team in the Nation.

Both of my sons finish up their hockey season this weekend. My youngest is now home from his State finals (they didn't do very well, but they had A LOT of fun over the weekend). Robert and I will get home late this evening.

It has been a great season for both. Lots of achievements and memories. I am very proud of both!

Tomorrow I will get around to posting some stitching photos. Until then, remember to love, live, laugh and stitch often! Lisa

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hockey in North Carolina and a mini-family reunion

Hello from North Carolina and the National Hockey Championship (don't have any stitching news right now, but wanted to share with you some of the exciting things going on here). My son, Robert and I arrived in NC on Tuesday - long flights and long ride to our hotel [I got lost :( ]
Our first game wasn't until Wednesday afternoon, so we were able to get to bed and get a good night sleep before having to head to the rink for the first game.
The Charlotte Jr. Checkers (the host hockey team) & the National committee coordinated a wonderful & fun way for all the hockey teams to be transported to the rink for their first game...they were picked up 2 hours from their hotel in a stretch white hummer limo. When the limo arrived at our hotel to pick up our team (who didn't really know about this event) some of the kids thought it was an April Fools joke. Upon entering the limo, they were given a pair of sunglasses to wear - as they were being treated celebreties for the moment (this was their 15 minutes of fame, I guess). When they arrived at the rink, they exited the limo and entered the building where they signed the official autograph board...and then they went to the locker room to dress for their first game. Their game was very exciting...unfortunately it ended in an overtime loss, but they played a very good game.
Today, they played their second game and won 10-1. We have one more game tomorrow before we find out if we made it to the quarterfinals on Saturday and what time we play. Keep your fingers crossed.
Another very cool thing that is occuring is a lot of family has come to this parents from Minnesota, my in-laws from Kansas, my grandmother from South Carolina and my uncle & cousin from Raliegh, NC. We have 4 generations here...

That certainally makes this weekend extra special! Well, thank you all for reading my non-stitching entry.

Take care!