Friday, July 31, 2009

L*K Exchange made it to Canada!

I heard from Angela P. this morning and she received the L*K Exchange I made and sent to her. She said that she was getting ready to leave, when the mailman handed her a package...which she felt the need to open immediate - and was excited to see what was inside the box. I was happy to hear that she liked it.

I stitched "Cross-Stitcher in Residence" by Lizzie Kate using the majority of the colors the pattern called for, except for the door, which I substituted with the same color as the roof
(the door color called for matched the fabric and I just didn't like how that was looking). Also, I attached a silver star where the heart button was suppose to go - for there is a "star" living in Angela's house.

On the back of the pillow, stitched a little spool of thread and added the saying "Come in and Stitch awhile" - thinking that kind of tied the whole them together. I settled on finishing this as a long pillow, because I read on Angel's blog that she likes long pillows. And it sounds like this exchange was well received.
Angela - may the pillow bring as much happiness and enjoyment to your residence as it gave me while I stitched it for you!

Now all of my exchanges I have completed and sent have been received. It is really a good feeling to be involved in an activity like this! In addition, I am enjoying assisting CindyMae by being a model stitcher for some of her designs that she is creating. I just finished another one last night and it really is cute.

With that finish, I spent sometime last night organizing the two Friendship Sampler RRs I have in my house. First, I will be adding my heart to Simone's. I have a DMC varigated red picked out, my heart chosen, a working copy made of that area - so I will work on that today and hope to have it complete sometime this weekend so that I can also add my heart to Ann's...I would love to complete these and be able to send them on their way to Karen; but don't want to promise, just incase life gets in the way over the weekend.

The other stitching projects on my "to do list" is my PS Exchange (mail date: Sept. 1; I have everything kitted up ready to go...this will be my next project after I finish the RRs)...then it will be time to organize my Mary Wigham. I received my fabric from NiaH earlier in the week and have downloaded & printed out all nine sections, so I just need to sit and determine the color scheme. Oh, yeah...I still need to finish my sister's anniversary gift too.

It is interesting how quickly a hobby can turn into something that has a "to do" list. However, as long as it doesnt' invoke stress, I think that it is ok. Stitching is something that brings me happiness; it is a good method of relaxation for me and a great outlet for my creativity. Nevertheless, it is alway a good practice to do a "reality check"...for if this hobby and passion becomes stressful, a "have to do, and/or a task - then I will need to re-evaluate all the things I sign up for. However, right now it is perfect - and I am enjoying everything that I have signed up to do!

So may your passion for needlework continue to bring you much happiness and enjoyment!

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Until next post....Lisa

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Lesson Learned

(FYI...this is a "hockey" post, beware)
Last weekend was tryouts (again) for Robert. Since he didn't make the AAA team the following weekend, he tried out for the AA team last weekend. He skated very well each day (there are three days of tryouts: Friday, Saturday and Sunday). So, by Sunday we felt that he probably made the AA team. Well, after the final skate on Sunday afternoon, the evaluators let the boys know that the list would be posted in 30-40 minutes...which seemed weird that there was that long of a wait. The weekend before, it was up within 10 minutes or less. While waiting in the lobby of the hockey rink, one of the evaluators (actually the assistant coach of the AAA team) pulled DH aside and talked with him. At that moment I thought that Robert didn't even make the AA team and that they were letting us know so we could leave before all the excitement happen. However, DH found out that one of the kids who was given a spot on the AAA team declined it and, after watching the AA tryouts they were offering Robert a spot on the AAA team. We did take some time to discuss this as a family (10 minutes in the parking lot of the rink) - weighing the pros and cons of both AAA and AA teams. One of the biggest issues is the amount of time Robert would play in a game - because at this level, the child has to earn is "ice time" in a game and in AAA there would be more competition for that versus AA. But we all felt that the level of skill development he would get playing AAA would outweigh the game "ice time" issue. While we are the parents of this 13 year old child, we did let him have the final say - and it has been his dream this summer to make the AAA team and he did work hard in all the spring clinics and in tryouts to achieve this - so, bottomline: Robert made the Bantam AAA team.

On the way home, Robert commented that the last day of AA tryouts, many of the kids didn't skate very hard or put out much effort because they felt they made the team (or didn't make it and therefore "why try"). He then said, that he felt that it was important to give it his "all" all the time because nothing is decided until the list is posted. Well, obviously after this experience the old sayings: "it isn't over until the fat lady sings" OR "don't count your chickens until the eggs hatch" is true.

Anyway...we are very excited and proud of Robert! However all the stress of the two weekend caught up with all of us yesterday, for all 4 of us were very tired and "out of it". But now that we have recovered, we have to gear up for Matthew's (youngest son) tryouts which start this Friday.

Thank you all for your wonderful comments about "go girl" and support regarding my blog. I appreciate you all and this wonderful community. It really has added a new dimension to my life! Take care all! Lisa

Sunday, July 26, 2009

An Exchange to post

I received word that my "personal L*K exchange" recipient received her pillow, so now I can post the photo! For Heather I stitched "It's A Girl Thing". After she & I planned for this exchange, I read her blog and found out that she was interested in this pattern - so I thought I would stitch it for her. I stitched this using the color and floss called for on 28ct even weave - 1 over 1. And then finished it as a pillow. On the back, I decided I would add our names and year as a remembrance of this one-on-one exchange. I had so much fun stitching this. L*K is such a fun, easy, quick stitch. And the colors were so nice and vivid! It was also nice to do a "girl thing" :) My house is just full of boys :)
Oh, yah...if you click on Heather's name to visit her blog you can read about her travels to Texas where she actually met the designer of Lizzie Kate (Linda). How cool is that!

I have been stitching off and on the last couple of day - trying to finish some of the Quaker motifs for my two sisters wedding anniversaries coming up in August and a model for CindyMae. This weekend, DH and I have been playing tag team - as we drop off and pick up the boys at their respective ice hockey events. Robert (olderson) is going through tryouts again, this time for a AA team - we will know this afternoon if he makes this one. Matthew (younger son) has a hockey clinic all weekend, in preparation for his tryouts which is next weekend. By Aug. 2, we will be done with tryouts, both boys will be on a team and we will have some idea how hockey will play a part in our lifes this season.

So, with that...I will bid you good day and thank you for stopping by and reading. I hope that your weekend brings you and your family much happiness, laughter and love! And you find time to sit and stitch!

Friday, July 24, 2009

"Thread the Needle Day" Eve...

Happy Thread the Needle Day - Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday is Thread the Needle Day. You can be certain that it will be a great day........ if your sew.

Thread the Needle Day certainly is a day for those who sew. It also has a second meaning. The term "thread the needle", is also a saying. It means to either walk a fine and difficult line between two things or issues, or to do something difficult. For example, suppose two of your friends are on opposite sides of an issue. You may have to "thread the needle" on that issue, as you attempt to retain both of them as your friend.

There is also the game called Thread the Needle. It is a game in which two players hold up their arms to form an arch, while the others in line run or creep under. This is done repeatedly, the couples taking it in turn to form the "needle's eye".

My "not so" LNS - Needle in the Haystack (in Alameda, CA), and the BayArea EGA chapter are celebrating this "holiday" by stitching and being available to show people how to "Thread the Needle".

Taking time to teach other's "how to thread a needle", how to make our beloved "X's" , how to read a pattern is a way that we can give a part of ourselves to others and passing on our needlework passion. I was taught how to embroider and xstitch by my maternal grandmother and how to knit by my paternal grandmother. In November of 2008, I lost my (paternal) grandmother - but I know that she still is here with me when I pick up a pair of knitting needles to create a simple scarf (I am still blessed to have my other grandmother who will be 91 years young next month). I am sure that all of us out there have our own stories and memories of how we learned our needleart. However, there might be those who aren't so lucky to have someone to teach, if you are interested in teaching another how to stitch, visit the DMC Mentor Program Website. I signed up several years ago, received a DMC mentor packet in the mail that came with instructions and several stitching kits, which I have given to some of the neighborhood kids and taught them the basics of x-stitching. It is also a good packet to have if you have (or know of) children who are in girl or boys scouts (boys can learn

So...I hope everyone has a great "Thread the Needle Day" tomorrow - making time to sit & stitch and to enjoy to feel of the thread, the movement of the needle and the joy of the creation.

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

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wedding Anniversary Gifts - Quaker motif stitching practice

A finish - a Freebie I got from the blog Needleprint Society (which has posts about the Mary Wigham Sampler and others from the Ackworth School - and different Quaker Motifs). While waiting for my fabric to come in from NiaH, on which I will be stitching the Mary Wigham Sampler, I found several wonderful freebies - thought it would be good to practice stitching some of these motifs before working on the sampler. One "freebie" was this heart, which was perfect for wedding anniversary gifts for my sisters. I have 2 sisters and both of them had their weddings in August. For each of there wedding ceremonies, I designed and stitched a ring pillow. To finish off the pillow, I used scraps from my bride's maid dress for ruffles - which make nice keepsakes. My younger sister's wedding color was Navy and the sister in the middle (I am the oldest) used a lavendar. Pictured is one "finished" stitched motif using DMC varigated blues - stitched 1 over 1 on 28ct evenweave. I need to come up with a fun Finish - thinking about mounting it on a wooden box or something. I am going to use the same pattern for my other sister, stitching it in DMC vaigated purple.

As I stitched this, I came to realize that I will need to take my time and really pay attention when I stitch the MW Sampler. But I am looking forward to it. And the timing was good, as I heard from NiaH and my fabic came in yesterday - because I don't see a visit there in the near future, they are kind enough to send it to me. So I should receive this within the next couple of days.

This has been a nice relaxing week for the family. DH and I have been taking our little walks in the morning, enjoying the morning cool foggy mornings before he heads off to work. During the morning the boys have been enjoying a leisurely breakfast picnic in the computer/exercise room while I spin on the stationary bike. Afternoons bring work/camp. We have been void of hockey in the evenings - which means that we come home after work (for me) and camp (for the boys), eat dinner and "veg out". I have been using that time in the evening to get a little more exercise, as well as "sit & stitch". A perfect summer week...however, things will change tomorrow - Friday Robert (olderson) starts tryouts over for the AAs and Matthew (youngerson) starts a hockey least both are at the same rink!

May today bring you much smiles and laughter! And give you ample time to put in a stitch in your WIP! Take care, Lisa

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Friendship Sampler RRs come to visit

Yeah...I am so excited! The mail person delivered the next round of Friendship Sampler RRs! I think that my boys thought I was out of my mind as my eyes watered in reaction - I have missed stitching my heart on these samplers. We have had a few things "mess" up our mailing cycle over the last couple of months, so there have been a few of us in our group of 16 that have been without a sampler to stitch on. So, when the package from Kathy I couldn't wait to tear it open and see Ann's and Simone's RR. Am I loosing it?

Both of these samplers are gorgeous, which you can see by clicking the link of the Friendship Sampler. I look forward to putting my mark on each and then sending them on. I have also gotten word that my sampler is back in the mailing cycle - Yahoo! Ain't life grand!

We are having another evening of R&R (as we are without any hockey in the evening until Friday). It has been nice to have evenings for a little spin on the stationary bike and then settle in for some stitching!

Take care everyone!
Remember...Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Lisa

Monday, July 20, 2009

One more hockey rambling...and a photo of current WIP

Your attitude is your choice. It always is. We live in an age that has developed the art of shifting blame to very high levels, and sometimes we get caught upin that same tendency. "Well, if you had my job you wouldn't be so positive.""If you had my kids, you wouldn't feel so good." "If only my boss were different,
I could be a positive person." In other words, "My bad attitude is not my fault!" The truth is, however, your attitude and mine are always our choice. No matter how bad things are, no one can force you to have a bad attitude if you don't want to. Now that should come as really good news because it says our attitudes don't have to be victims of our circumstances or of other people. We choose our responses.
Mary Whelchel

I thought that saying was very fitting this morning. Yesterday, when the AAA hockey team was posted, Robert saw that his name was not on the list and 3 of his former teammates made the team. He was disappointed and DH & I were too. But, we know that he did his very, very best - there wasn't anything that he could have done we say "leave it all on the ice," which he did. He just didn't have the height, strength, "top-notch" skills or the experience that the majority of the 2nd year bantams had. Throughout the afternoon yesterday, I could tell that he was bummed...he wasn't sure what to do with himself yesterday. Not that he was underfoot, but he did "plop" himself down by me and watch me xstitch...and then when that grew old, he "plopped" himself down by DH and watch him play a computer game. He talked about his feelings and went over the whole tryout skates (looking for something to be critical of - for he is his worse critic - but he just couldn't find anything that he did wrong. He knows where he has to improve, but knows that he didn't do anything there is a difference, which he has figured out). There was no one to blame - not even himself - it just happened, he just didn't make the team based on the rest of the kids who tried out (38 skaters trying out for 18 spots).

He processed it all afternoon and into the evening, and by the time he was ready for bed, he was ready for AA tryouts (too bad that those don't follow immediately after so that we could get this over with!). I am so proud of him...he got hurt on Friday night and dealt with it (doing what needed to do that evening) and was able to got back on the ice Saturday morning and Sunday morning....he skated hard and battled for the puck and a spot for the team each and every just wasn't meant to be. He has come to terms with it over night and is now ready to go again next weekend. Robert, I love you and proud of the way you are maturing. These opportunities to deal with disappointment are a step to maturing to a young man - which you are doing a great job of. And one last my wonderful DH, we dealt with the scary moment of Friday night and the disappointment of the outcome together very well - I love you very much and would be lost without you by my side!

Ok...enough of my Hockey Ramblings...on to the things that you all are more interested in reading (hopefully you have reached this point!). To reward you for suffering through the first part, here is a photo of one of the things I am working on (sorry for the blurry was a rushed shot). This is from L*K "It's a Girl Thing". I am planning to use this as part of a little gift for one of my sisters for a holiday gift in December. The stitching of this is just about done. I have been stitching on 28ct evenweave - one over one - using the colors/thread it called for plus making a x-stitch border using Threadworks. In addition, I have been stitching another model for CindyMae (from CindyMae Designs). The mailperson should be delivering the next round of RRs to me, which I hope to receive in the next day or two.

Hope everyone is doing well. Thank you for sticking with me during this weekend of ramblings. Hope your week brings much love and sunshine!

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

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hockey Mom's biggest worry

(This is a stitching/needlework blog too...but just need to do a Hockey posting right now).

It seems that with any sport now a days, there is always a worry about your child getting they can get hit with the ball or a pitcher can damage their pitching arm; football the child can get tackled and break something; soccer - there seems to be more reports of injuries and sometimes death due to hits on the head. Well, last night was the first night of tryouts for my older son, Robert. He is trying out for Bantam AAA (which covers birth yr of 1996 and 1995...and "triple" A is a high level, tier/ranking). This is his first year as a Bantam, so there is always some discussion of whether 1st years should tryout for the high levels. Suffice it to say...last night there were 38 skaters and 4 goalies on the ice all competing for a team that will have a max of 18 skaters and 2 goalies. Robert looked very good out there (yes, a mom is somewhat prejudice of her child).

For the first 15 minutes there are warm up skates and drills and then for the remaining hours they divide up into 2 different groups/teams and scrimmage. During the scrimmage the coach and other evaluators watch to see how the boys play - how they hussle and fight for the puck - what kind of plays the make and how they play with other kids they haven't really played with before. Robert gets in about 5 or 6 shifts in the first 1/2 hour of the scrimmage, each time he would jump over the boards of the player's bench and "fly" to the puck (first one to the puck to make the first play of the scrimmage is a good thing to do!) Well, around that 1/2 hour mark, Robert gets hit a few feet from the boards and goes down. As our "tough" kid goes, he typically gets up immediately (if you get hit and you are hurt, the first thing you should do is get up and go to the bench...if you get hit and you are not too hurt, you get up and continue play until the next shift can get out). Well, I saw Robert get hit and I saw Robert go down and I saw Robert try to get up and fall back down. My heart skipped a beat when the coaches and a few players whent over to him. They did get him up and skate him off the ice and he went into the locker room. One of the father's from our team last year is a doctor, and he was present (watching his child)...I got him and he looked at Robert. Robert was shaken up and upset and scared (so was I). I waited a few minutes to collect myself (for I had tears and was sick to my stomach as my head was playing "what if" games) and then I went into the locker room. He was a little woosy - but he knew where he was, what day it was, who all the people were standing around him asking questions...but he wasn't quite sure what happened, until later as we were getting ready to leave the rink.

The Doctor friend gave us all the things we should do - basically watch him, give him lots of fluids to drink and just a little to eat and rest. On the way home, I stopped at a gas station and got an ice pack which he put on his head and neck while we drove him something to eat and some Tylenol...he showered and then went to bed (we did wake him up and checked on him during the night).

This morning he was up at 5:45 - feeling a little tired, but wanting to go back for Day 2 of tryouts. DH and I told him that was fine, supporting his decision, especially since he didn't show any symptoms of concussion - but if he got out on the ice and felt bad at anytime, that it was "ok, to sit or even remove himself from the ice."

He made it all the way through tryouts this morning as per reports from DH via phone & txt messages. So we will see what happens. We have one more day of AAA tryouts - we will find out tomorrow if he makes it or not....if he does "great"...if he doesn't that is totally ok, for AA tryouts are next week. At this point, I am just glad that he [seems] ok...we will definitely watch him the rest of today and through the rest of the weekend.

Thank you for putting up with this post...I just needed an outlet to get this out of my head and off my mind. I will have some stitching updates to post soon - as there are some finishes coming ahead!

Take care all and have a good weekend!
Remember...Live, Love, Laugh and stitch often! Lisa

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Christmas in July

It must be Christmas in July, as there are many blogs with is one I thought I would post about just incase you might have missed it:

The first is from My Little Raggedy Blessings - deadline/announcement date: July 31, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Non-posted photo finishes in a quick fly-by posting

Well I have truly finished my L*K exchange and will be putting that in the mail very soon (and will post photo when word of receipt is posted)...I have also finished the model for CindyMae and will be putting that in the mail as well. It feels good to have those done - I have enjoyed them both, but as we stitchers do...I am looking forward to the next project. So, while I wait for my fabric for the Mary Wigham Sampler and the next round of the Friendship Sampler RR (which my house has been void of for about a month - summer vacations and other factors seem to be playing havic with the RR - but it is totally understandable!), I will look through my stash to pull something out.

My week this week is just filled with afternoons of camp for the boys, work for me and DH, and hockey...and we are getting ready to start hockey tryouts. So, since I dont want to bore you will all the hockey chatter again, I will leave you with this...

Take care and remember...Live, Love, Laugh and stitch often! Lisa

Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend Recap and Hockey Chatter

Hope everyone had a good weekend. I had one that I call a "me" weekend. Saturday I went to a gathering of the "stitcher's by the bay" yahoo group at my "not so" LNS. It was SOoooo fun! First, I got to meet Valerie (from whom I actually found out about the group), which was nice as I have been reading and commenting on her blog for several months. Second, I got to go shopping - I have decided to start the Mary Wigham sampler so I wanted to get some fabric and thread (which I have decided to use GAST and I will note the conversions I use when I receive the fabric I put on order). Third, I got to meet some of the other members who were able to make it to the gathering. I really enjoyed talking with all the women, getting to know a little about them and their needlework history...and I got to look at some of their work. Wow! It is one thing seeing peoples work on their blogs, but when seeing them in person there is such a WOW factor. I really had a fun afternoon!

I am so glad that I did this - not only because of the reasons listed above, but because I did something for myself. Many times these opportunities come my way but my "stinking thinking" starts up in my head. Thoughts such as "I can't go anywhere on the weekend because the family is home," "I need to be here to make sure that my sons eat and my husband has time to rest over the weekend from his work week," "I can't go because I need to make sure that the hockey stuff is washed and ready for hockey on Sunday"...and it goes on and on. So, when this opportunity came up, I talked to DH and said that I really wanted to go - and he was so supportive! In fact, when I came home and talked non-stop about the wonderful women I met and how much fun I had stitching & visiting with them, he looked at me and said, "I am so glad that you went and took the time to finally did something for yourself." Wow.

Sunday, the boys had hockey in the morning and then again in the evening, which DH took them to and I stayed home - got in a little more exercising, stitching and the house ready for the week. It was a nice day too.

Over the weekend I have been stitching a model for one of CindyMae's designs. She is a new up and coming designer and has some nice things coming out. I am just about done stitching it, but I will let her post it when she receives it. So, stay tuned!

Well, this week I will find myself sitting and stitching at the hockey rink, as the boys are enrolled in another hockey clinic that goes from 5-8. It makes for a busy week (between their summer camp, my work & prepping for the hockey clinic, and then running them down to the clinic in the evening) - but that is [my] life and in a weird sense I do enjoy it! Friday, Robert starts his tryouts for the next season - which always brings stress into the family. He is trying out for Bantam AAA (Bantam is the name for the age group, which is 13-14 year olds...and AAA, well I am sure that the more As you have the better the calibur of kids). This might be a stretch for him, to make the AAA team that is. But as the saying goes...tryout for the highest opportunity and if that doesn't work out, then tryout for AA and so on. So there are other options if he doesn't make it. But youth sports has a lot of politics and crazy parents out there...and this is where all the stress comes in. A "AAA" team might not contain all the best kids because, as the rumor mill has it, many kids are waiting until the next week to try out for AA (and many of those kids are some of the better ones).

Anyway...I will not bore you with any more of this hockey chatter...but just want to tell you that in our house hold our thought is, to have Robert tryout out this weekend and see what happens. If he makes it "great" and if he doesn't "great...he can tryout for AA next weekend". Ya know, it is just best to "go with the flow" because things have a way of working out.

Have a great Monday and a super week.
Remember to Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Lisa

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday's show and tell...

Yesterday I received an my personal exchange from Heather - a pinkeep that reminds us to "Wear a size fits all". In her card she said that this was her first pinkeep. She did an awesome job! The colors go very well with those in my room, as seen by the bedspread that I photographed it on. Even the fabric used for the backing is perfect! Heather seemed to have captured my liking of neutral, earthy colors very well! Thank you Heather - I love it! You should be receiving your package early next week!

Other Stitching News...
First project...L*K Exchange due in the mail at the end of the month. I am putting the "finishing" touches on the "finished" you see by the photo of the piece of fabric on the sewing machine. I am really enjoying this new toy. I can't say that my pieces look "professional" but the things I have been making with it seem to be looking very nice and those on the receiving end have expressed positive comments. And the finished work that I have mailed out, are pieces that I am proud of and would enjoy receiving too - so I guess they do look good.

Second Stitch...tomorrow I am planning to attend a get together at my "not so" LNS. It is a get together of the Stitchers by the bay Yahoo Group, which Valerie got me interested in joining. And, what is cool, is I might get to meet Valerie and other fellow stitchers in the Bay Area (as well as go shopping for more stash). I am looking forward to this!

In the backyard...
I think that we finally beat our bird problem, as I spotted on strawberry in our strawberry garden (under the bird netting). Hopefully the little mice we have scurring around the neighborhood will not find this morsel. I probably should pick it as it does look ripe. We also have a little bean plant out in the garden and there are 2 green beans (not much for a family meal tonight, but still pretty cool). Our orange tree seems to be putting out some young looking oranges (yes, that is the little green thing on the end of the branch in the last photo). We'll see if any of them actually grow big enough and ripen into edible fruit. As transplants to California from Minnesota, we have a lot to learn about growing citrus fruit, but it is definitely fun to try and grow oranges, grapefruit and lemons. Actually our lemon tree does very well without much work. We have enjoyed homemade lemonade, lemon wedges on our fresh grilled fish and have even shared our lemons with distant friends & family!

At the rink...
We have had NO hockey this week! Yahoo! So the boys have been going to their camp in the afternoon and I have been able to go to work and stay a little later. In the evenings, the whole family has been home together. I can't say that we have done anything productive - just enjoyed vegging out at home together (boys and DH playing their favorite on-line computer game; boys have also done some of their summer reading; I have been stitching or just plan resting). However, the hockey clinics start up again on Sunday afternoon - so starting Monday, I will be driving down to San Jose (about a 45 minute one way trip) for the evening clinic. Next Friday, Robert tries out already for the next season. He is trying out for a AAA team...we will see how he does. Either he will make that and he will be set for the season...or not make that team and try out for the AA the following weekend. Matthew's tryouts are July 31-Aug 2.

Can't believe how quickly summer goes when you measure it by sports and school events! Nevertheless, we still have time to find somethings...other than vegging at home, hockey, work and do before school starts. Mmmm, I will have to put my thinking cap on and get out the calendar.

Hope everyone had a good week! Take care and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and stitch often! Lisa

Monday, July 6, 2009

A finish to show, a RAK and an award

I heard that Beth received a package I sent her - which contained not only some movies for her niece & nephew to enjoy when they come over to Aunt Beth's house but a couple of surprises for her. One was the patriotic pillow below.

The pattern was a freebie I found when searching American Flags ( I used the flag pattern but added the borders and the "Happy 4th of July". I stitched it 28ct evenweave fabric - one over one.

I heard about her receiving this package when the postman delivered an envelope with a RAK from Beth which included a thank you note and the Blue Ribbon Design called: "Stitches, Stars and Stripes" - which Beth was stitching but since it wasn't going well, she decided to move on to other projects...I am so excited about receiving this. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! BTW...I hate to ask, but what does RAK stand for (I see this referred to by others, but I haven't exactly figured what it stand for)

And from CindyMae, I received the "One Lovely Blog Award" Thank you! I appreciate the acknowledgement! And while speaking of CindyMae, she has started her own design business - so check it out! With regards to the award - I know that I am suppose to choose 7 other bloggers to award this too...I have started reading so many every morning while I am on the stationary bike that it is really hard to choose only 7. So, if I don't pass it on, I hope that I am not shunned in the blogging community :<

Today it was back to camp for the boys and back to work for me. Tonight it was NO HOCKEY! So, to celebrate (or at least for me) was a take out Chinese dinner for DH and the boys (I don't typically eat take out - just enjoyed my own steamed veggies and fruit). Then they started to play their favorite interactive internet game called Evony. They are obsessed with this game - creating armies, building cities and attacking other cities and building alliances with other players from all over the world. Don't ask - their time they put in this game gives me time to stitch! So that is what I am going to leave you is stitching time!

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

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A day at the fair

Saturday, the 4th of July, we went to the Alameda County Fair. We decided to go early, getting to the gate before 10am, we had to wait until they opened. We wanted to beat the heat and the crowds, as we assumed that it would be crowded on the 4th of July (the photo on the left is Matthew and Robert waiting at the gate) Each of us had special things that we wanted to see or do at the fair. The boys wanted to do the rides and the carnival games (Robert did chores around the house to earn money because he knew that we would not pay for rides/games. Matthew still had birthday money to spend). DH was looking forward to all the fair food - especially the funnel cakes which made a good breakfast.

Me? Well, I was looking forward to walk through the craft building, or the "food and fiber" building (strange name, don't you think), and looking at the artwork/crafts. There were a lot of quilts, a few needlework pieces and many other craft types. Some were works submitted by adults and many were submitted by schools (as in school projects). I don't mean to sound disappointed, but since my only fair experience is the big Minnesota State fair where the craft buildings are huge and there are separate sections for needlework & quilts, etc - I guess I was expecting a bigger display. But it was very nice and I enjoyed looking at all the artwork. After the boys money ran out, I visited the "food & fiber" (aka craft) building, and enough fair food was consumed...we watch a horse race, as the fair ground are right next to the horse track. We were home around 2 pm...just in time for a nap :)

Our firework viewing was done on Friday night. We took a walk up the hill to the middle school where we watching the fireworks that were shot off from the fair grounds (the fair grounds are about 6 miles or so from our house - and we had a good view from the hill). The fair didn't have fireworks on the 4th - and we were all too tired to get in the car and look for any.

On the stitching front...I am still working on an exchange and waiting for confirmation of receipt from a couple of people. As soon as I hear, I will post photos of those.

Hope everyone had a good weekend...Remember to Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often - Lisa

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hum while you work...

I took a photo of our resident humming bird. Actually we have a least 2 resident hummers, and they are fun to watch. The one I caught drinking is actually being "allowed" to drink at the feeder, for the other was above in a tree watching. They are very territorial. When the one watching determines that the other has had enough, he will chase the other away. When we had 2 feeders up, we had 5 humming birds feeding at one time...but only for a little while - for the 4 visitors were eventually chased away. And if the feeders begin to run dry, that little bird will definitely let me know. For he will buzz around my head when I go out and check the garden in the morning.

Well, since I still can post some of my finishes, I thought I would show you some of my sewing efforts. During my morning blog reading this week, I read Blackbird Designs and Alma is posting some quilting lessons (today is lesson 2). With this new sewing machine, which I have now created several small pillows with and fixed my favorite pairs of shortalls (I live in shortalls and overalls), I thought it would be fun to take some of my scraps and play. So, below are some of the results of my play...I love the way the star turned out. I know that it isn't perfect as the lines didn't all match up, but I think that it will be a nice backing to a pillow or something. The other is really just a hodge-podge of scraps that I had left over which I just sewed together, playing with the different settings of the sewing maching. Not sure what I will use it for, but I am sure that it will come in handy to finish some xstitch project!

Tonight we have the last of the 4day a week hockey clinic. The boys are really enjoying it and bummed that it is the last one. They will have a break from hockey next week (unless we find a local skate or something) and then a "Tune-up" clinic which comes right before Robert (older son) tries out for a AAA team. Can't believe that it is time to tryout for the next season already. Matthew doesn't tryout until the end of July.

Fourth of July is this weekend and this is the first time, since we moved to California (which was 6 years ago) we are in the states for the holiday. Typically we have been in Canada for a hockey tournament (decided that we had enough travelling due to all the travel from January-April for hockey) - so we are looking forward to being at home. There is a county fair (the Alameda County Fair) near by, which we will probably do on Saturday - the boys are looking forward to the rides, DH to the greasy fair food, me-the craft booth (I hope they have one). We are also talking about watching fireworks. I heard that San Fran puts on a great one down by the Bay. Valerie (FogCity Dweller), communicated some places in SF that would be good spots to watch the fireworks from...but we will see if we are up to it, especially if we go to the fair in the morning, I don't know if I can deal with a trip into the city, too (I know that I am in my very early 40s, but some days I feel much older).

I also hope to sit and stitch - finishing up my L*K exchange is the first on my list. Then I need to find a design for my PS exchange, as I received the name and address of my next partner (how exciting!) and I also started a Sweetheart Tree needle roll (theme is blueberries) which is something that I will be giving to my mother, who loves blueberries. Her birthday is in October, so thought that I would try and get a head start on this (as soon as I have something worth showing, I will post a photo).

Question...Which way to you cross your stitches?
  1. First I make the / and then I cross the top with \
  2. First I make the\ and then I cross the top with /
I am just curious, because when I stitch on the Friendship Sample RR of another member, I always look and try to determine which way they cross their X's so that I can make their artwork look consistant. I don't know if this matters, but I believe that it is a respectful thing to do. I have found most of the women in the group cross as per choice "2" and I on the other hand cross as per choice "1". I guess that this is a good exercise for the good ol' brain.

Thank you for visiting today. Hope your week is going well! Remember:
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often....Lisa

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Visitors in my garden

Well, we have mice. Every morning, DH and I take a walk together at 6:30am while the boys are still in bed. Yesterday, when I went to get the dog & his leash, there was a little "gift" in his kennel - a dead mouse. It reminded me of the story, "Of Mice and Men"...I guess Bruno (our dogs name) found a pet that he wanted to hug and love and lick - and did so, until it was licked to death. But that was the second mouse I have seen around our house - and then when we took our walk there seem to be an abundance of dead mice on the side walks. Guess it has been so hot and dry lately that they have been suffering. Nevertheless, when I went out to check our garden this morning, all of the strawberries that were on the vines yesterday, were gone this morning...and the tomatoes had bites taken out of them. Oh, well...

BTW, in appreciation of a comment left by Donna, the Julie/Julia Project link I posted about yesterday is an old blog...if you want to keep up with Julie Powell, here is her new blog: I am so looking forward to seeing this movie!

Just working on my L*K nothing new to report in the stitching side of life. So I will keep this short!

Take care all...remember: Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Lisa