December 18, 2006

Holiday Family Portait

Last year my employer offered all employees the opportunity to have a free 8x10 family portrait taken at the hospital by a professional photographer. I didn't take advantage of the offer last year but this year decided to have one done with Cowboy. This is the resulting photo which I've sent to my dad and stepmother as a Christmas present. Kind of weird to send a photo of yourself as a gift but I've never had a portrait done and my dad will be very thrilled I think. Of course I bought more than just an 8x10 because my guy is so handsome. So look out family!

And of course in true Cowboy fashion, there is more to the story. After taking this photo, the photographer asked if I would like a picture of just Cowboy so I of course said yes. Well I don't know what I was thinking but I took the leash off - didn't want it in the photo - and he was fine for the first few tries but then of course I took my hand off him and he was out of the door in a flash. So out I go into the hospital to catch him. I think everything is fine as he's heading towards the family waiting room into our special care unit which has a door. What I didn't know was that there's a door from that room into the unit (which was not supposed to be open but of course was). Of course my dear demon dog heads right into the unit and into a patient room which was thankfully empty. One of the nurses got the door shut and caught him but of course it was a bit of pandemonium for a few minutes there.

We went home right after that!

December 14, 2006

Chocolate Covered Cherries

Yum, Yum!! That is the name of this sock yarn which I bought from Spunky Eclectic, a Maine based yarn seller. This is the first of the 2 pairs of socks that I need to have finished by Christmas and I really love how it turned out. It's going to be hard to give these away! The yarn is great to work with and they worked up much faster using #3 needles and sport weight yarn versus #1 and fingering weight. I've started the second and am going to be knitting madly on the body any minute I get. I hope to finish it by Saturday so I can cast on for another pair with a different color of Spunky Eclectic.

I also hope to put a few starting stitches in a birthday gift that is due December 23rd. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be late in mailing it out but I'm gonna do my best!

December 12, 2006

Why I'm not a quilter

While I was working on exchange stitching, I also started this. The pattern is called Turning Twenty and for most people it's a very easy quilt pattern. Everything was going very smoothly until I realized, after sewing my last block together, that the yellow, pink and blue blocks in the layout corresponded to light, medium and dark fabric choices. In the Turning Twenty pattern, no two fabrics should touch each other. As you can tell, mine do - largely as a result of the light not dawning as to what the pink, yellow and blue meant. You can stop laughing now!

Oh well, it's my own unique creation. I still have to add a strip border on all sides and possibly an outside border depending on the finished size. The fabrics are what motivated me to make the quilt - they are different from my usual pallet but I really, really like them. And this is a very easy pattern to make - so much so that I will probably attempt another just to get it right! But I don't think I'll ever call myself a quilter.

December 10, 2006

Yikes it's been a while since I posted!

Sorry about the hiatus but things have just continued to be very busy at work and I have been madly scrambling to finish a few items that I couldn't show. I have been very, very busy the last six weeks. That means no blogging and virtually no blog reading as well. I really feel out of touch and I'm going to have to make a focused effort to catch up with all of my favorite bloggers and there are many of you out there!

I guess I will start my first December post with a photo of the wonderful Secret Santa exchange package I received from Danielle. She and I are part of a wonderful Yahoo group and I was lucky enough to have here as the person sending to me. She stitched the Country Cottage Needleworks ornament from JCS 2006. It is absolutely wonderful and she did a great job with the finishing. I think it's even prettier than in the magazine. She also included a wonderful little holiday note pad I'm hanging on my refrigerator and three GAST threads, Oatmeal, Cranberry and Pine - so Christmassy! She also spoiled me with two charts of my wish list, PS Winter Winds (I got Autumn Winds at Hershey CATS) and HIH's 2006 Collector's heart. Plus there was a yummy chocolate bar that won't last long around here!

Here is what I sent to my exchange partner, Peg. It is a freebie from Brightneedle and I stitched it over one on 28ct Water Lily and used a beaded edge finish and hanger. Peg seemed to be happy with it but one corner came out a little wonky because I think I left too much fabric in the seams - 1/2 inch vs. 1/4 which I think would have been better.

I have also managed to finally finish these socks - both of them although there is only one in this photo - and I've started another pair with a yummy hand dyed sock yarn from Spunky Eclectic. The yarn is sport weight and I'm using #3 needles so it's coming along faster. Think I can get two more pairs done before Christmas? LOL I'm going to try.

November 1, 2006

Where did October go???

I know I've been missing in action for most of the month but I've been totally buried with work and too tired to get on the computer once I've finally made it home. I was the chair of my company's United Way campaign which took up way more time than I thought it would when I somehow agreed to chair the thing. And we've been implementing an intranet at work which I'm very involved with and I'm still trying to catch up on all the work that didn't get done during October. I am one burnt out woman! But I hope to recharge myself by taking a long weekend this weekend. I have Friday and Monday off so I hope to get some R&R (and not the fabric) to recharge my batteries.

As a result of the work load, I didn't accomplish much stitching during the month. I did manage to finish the bottom half of CHS Dainty House Wren and begin working on towards the top and I've started a Christmas exchange piece that is over one. I didn't get anymore work done on my PS Autumn Winds - I'm so behind Cathy and Joanie on this - and nothing on my CHS alphabet. Hopefully, November will be a much better month for progress. I will share my progress on CHS DHW on Friday as I have to go to a dinner for work tomorrow night.

October 25, 2006

Does this finish count?

Saturday I hosted a stitch in at my house and Sandy, her friend Lisa and Nancy were able to come. It was a lovely day and I really enjoyed the chance to meet Lisa and to get together again with Nancy and Sandy.

I was able to finish this little house which will be sent off to become part of a quilt that will be raffled off within my Yahoo group. The picture makes it look like the thread coverage is bad but it's really not.

This was not one of the projects I had listed on my 25 Projects Challenge - do you think it should coun't anyway?

October 14, 2006

10/25/50 Project Challenge

I have decided to join the 10/25/50 projects challenge.

The Rules:

  • Have fun reducing your pattern stash.
  • There is no time limit- people have different size projects they would like to work on.
  • Thou shall not purchase any new patterns until 10, 25, or 50 projects have been stitched.
  • Pattern size does not matter.
  • This challenge can also apply to knitting, beading, sewing and crocheting patterns.
  • You can make some exemptions. My exceptions are that I am allowed to buy stash for inclusion in exchange packages and I can buy supplies needed to complete projects on my list as long as I absolutely can't substitute something using my existing stash.
  • Gifts, gift cards, trades, RAKs (stash sent by others randomly) and patterns bought with gift money are not a violation of this challenge.
  • Freebies count as part of your total and you can aquire them at any point.
  • You do not have to declare the projects you intend to work on. (If listing would make you feel better please do so)
  • The offical start date of this challenge for me was October 1, 2006.

    Here is my list (30 not 25) in no particular order. I actually have a list of 50 items but I am committing to stitching and completing 25 of the projects listed before buying any new stash for myself.

    1. CHS Dainty Housewren - started in June 2006
    2. BOAF Spring Garden
    3. BOAF Summer Garden
    4. Blue Ribbon Heart of Gold
    5. M Designs Floral Sampler
    6. Maggie Bonanomi Live Each Season
    7. BOAF Kindness Sampler
    8. Jeanette Douglass One GOod Urn Deserves Another
    9. Goode Huswife In Her House
    10. Goode Huswife With My Needle
    11. PS Autumn Winds - Started 10.10.06
    12. HIH Halloween Medley
    13. HIH Winter Medley
    14. HIH 2005 Collectors Heart
    15. Stitch Every Day - Cure
    16. Stitch Every Day - Partridge In A Pear Tree
    17. Stitch Every Day - Bring It On
    18. Stitch Every Day - Oh Holy Night
    19. Stitch Every Day - Jingle All The Way
    20. SamSarah - Light In the Window
    21. Sweetheart Tree - Rhodes Butterfly Fob
    22. Trilogy Family
    23. LK Winter Snippet
    24. Le ChenE Dore - Automne
    25. CHS Rejoice
    26. Goode Huswife - Pumpkins and Peacocks
    27. Trilogy Bountiful
    28. Sweetheart Tree - Welcome
    29. This Too Shall Pass Scissor Keep
    30. This Too Shall Pass Pin keeper

    I plan to make a list for knitting as well.

October 13, 2006

Halloween Goodies Galore

Tonight I received my Halloween exchange from Rachel who is part of my yahoo group. She put together the most fabulous package including the incredibly stitched Trix or Treats from Blackbird Designs. I absolutely love this design and had been thinking of stitching it for myself. But I know I could not have done as wonderful a job as Rachel did. I'm just so thrilled and I have it displayed prominently on my TV armoire. It's just fantastic! I also received two skeins of Carries Threads in Harvest Moon and Halloween which I'm eager to try. I now have a new pair of Halloween socks and some yarn to make a quick scarf with plus lots of yummy candy as well.

And she thoughtfully included a Halloween squeaky toy that Cowboy had a lot of fun with tonight. I took it away as I wanted it to last more than one night. He had it squeaking up a storm and had quite a lot of fun chasing it around the house.

Thank you Rachel - it's the perfect end to a long week! Especially on Friday the 13th.

October 11, 2006

PS Autumn Winds SAL

Here is my progress on PS Autumn Winds. Pretty minimal looking considering its over 100 stitches but I'm happy with it all the same. I was so tired last night thtI wasn't able to accomplish much. I did put a few stitches in this morning before work to get it to the point of this photo. It's hard to put down!

Tonight I should work on my CHS alphabet piece but I'm so tired I'm afraid to pick it up and have to frog everything. Instead I will lay on the couch with Cowboy and read my book group book. We're reading Catch-22 by Joseph Heller this month. It's a weird book and I'm not sure whether I like it or not. Has anyone else ever read it? I'd love to hear what you thought.

October 10, 2006

Scarry Wabbit

I am lucky enough to be on the receiving end of another wonderful exchange piece from Susi. She made me the adorable SD's Scarry Wabbit and her finishing is just incredible. She sued some of the glow in the dark floss which I plan to test out myself since she sent me a skein along with some lovely hand dyed fabric appropriately named "Boo" and some wonderful buttons too.
Thank you Susi for a wonderful exchange piece. Your finishing skills are just fantastic. I must learn to finish better, I MUST!

I've hung it on the door to my bedroom. Once Halloween is over, I will find a place to add it to my heart wall!

Tonight I plan to start stitching on my PS Autumn Winds piece. I've been up since 3:30 this morning so I probably won't last long but at least I'll get to put those first marvelous stitches in. I will post my progress tomorrow!

October 9, 2006

Weekend Stitching Progress

We had a glorious weekend weatherwise but in between raking leaves and taking long walks with Cowboy, I managed to get a little bit of stitching done. As of today I'm going back to a rotation but here's what I worked on over the weekend.

The left is obviously CHS Dainty House Wren and I'm almost done the bottom half. I just need to complete the green outside border and I can move on to the top half. The project to the right is a house from the Trilogy's Trilogy Square chart which I've had for ages. It will become part of a quilt of houses created by members of the yahoo group I belong to. Everyone who contributes a square will have a chance to win the quilt. Pretty neat huh? Sorry the photo is so lousy but it's coming along nicely. I hope to finish it up this week and get it in the mail finally!

As I mentioned, I'm going back to a rotation in order to keep myself organized. I'm hoping it will keep me motivated to be successful at the 10/25/50 project challenge that is buzzing around the stitching blog world. I will be committing to completing 25 projects before buying any new stash with the exceptions of buying fabric or threads I just can't find in my own stash to complete a project (hard to imagine) and buying something for an exchange partner. I've got a list of 50 projects made already so I will chose 25 and list them here later this week.

So far my weekly rotation looks like this:

  1. Monday - Exchange stitching (this includes my yahoo group house for now)
  2. Tuesday - PS Autumn Winds SAL with Cathy and Joanie
  3. Wednesday - CHS Alphabet Series
  4. Thursday - CHS Dainty House Wren
  5. Friday - Scrapbooking or exchange stitching
  6. Saturday - Sock Knitting and stitching anything on my current rotation
  7. Sunday - HAED The Storey Keeper

I'm off to stitch on my house!

October 6, 2006

Dog Days of Autumn

This evening after work, Cowboy and I took our usual walk and I finally remembered to bring my camera. The fall leaves are changing quickly and I wanted to try and get some pictures of the leaves and Cowboy outside. We went to our usual haunt, St. Ignatius' Cemetery. It really is a gorgeous place to walk and one of my favorite places in town.

Don't I have the handsomest pup in the world?

Cowboy has had a bit of a transformation over the last two weeks. Right before I took him to be boarded, I'd been working a lot on basic obedience. I took him to a different kennel while I was in Hershey and I think they did quite a bit of work with him as well. Last night we went to a drop in obedience class and there were two other dogs in the class. I was so proud of how well he did. He was much less aggressive and agitated and did very well remembering all his commands. And tonight when we walked, I took him out without using the Gentle Leader collar and he was quite good. I think he's finally coming around to trust me and is even now seeking me out for attention. But of course he's no angel - tonight I came home to find he'd chewed off the cover of one of my rental books which of course I now own courtesy of Cowboy! LOL Can't get to comfortable can I?

October 5, 2006

Stitching Progress at CATS

I brought three projects to work on in Hershey, this CHS piece, the CHS alphabet and a new project, Heart of Gold by Blue Ribbon Designs. But once I picked up Dainty House Wren, I didn't want to stop working on it. I've put some more stitches in since I've been home so the verse is complete and I'm working on another small quilt star motif at the bottom. It would be great if I could finish this in time for show and tell at my stitch in on the 21st but I'm not sure I'll have enough time between now and then. We shall see!

October 3, 2006

CATS Part Two

Saturday Nancy and I met up with Joanie for breakfast. Since Joanie had a 1:00pm class, we decided to hit Chocolate World early so we could be back in time. I'm really glad we took the time to go - it was interesting to see how they make the chocolate and shop afterwards in the gift area. Boy were there a lot of things chocolate! After we finished shopping, we headed back to the Lodge and basically stitched the day away. Joanie's class ran the full time and she joined us in the Stitchers Lounge afterwards. A lot of stitchers left on Saturday I think because it was less crowded. Pete had gone to a model show earlier in the day and was watching football but we dragged him out to dinner at Applebee's and then Nancy, Jo and I found a comfy stitching spot and just stitched away.

We had breakfast with Joanie on Sunday and then we all headed for home. I spent the night at my sister's again and drove back to Maine on Monday morning. Cowboy seemed to survive his boarding experience at the new kennel and we are slowly getting back into our usual routine.

Here's a photo of my stash acquisitions - not that much compared to what I bought last year.
I bought two large pieces of R & R fabric - 28 ct in Country French Cappucino and Lambswool, a hand dyed piece of greenish 28ct Quaker's Cloth from Dinky Dyes as well as two skeins of their silk, one called Wild Lavender and one called Eungella. It's for The Cat's Whisker's Feed My Soul. Joanie and I are going to do an SAL with this as she bought some lovely lavender fabric and similar threads for this project from Dinky Dyes too. I also bought two Prairie Schooler charts, Autumn Winds which I had to have before I left CATS and Birdsong I which I got for 50% off. I also bought the coolest "candle bracelet" kit made by Liz Turner Diehl. It's a packet of beads that you string to go around the neck of a jar candle. My kit was hearts of course and I'm not sure I will use if for a candle or make a bracelet or use the charms for stitching pieces. It was a really clever idea either way and relatively inexpensive.

Cathy, Joanie and I are planning to do a SAL with the PS Autumn Winds. If you have the chart, feel free to join us!

October 2, 2006

Back to Real Life (aka Post CATS)

Well, I finally arrived back home this afternoon from CATS. I had a wonderful weekend and from reading other blogs very quickly, I see I'm not the only one that enjoyed the weekend. It was a lovely chance to see Jo and Cathy again and catch up on a years worth of life and to meet Joanie, Jenna, Leslie and Sue in person as well as stitch again with Nancy. Since I moved to Maine, life has gotten busy for both of us so it's really wonderful when we have extended time to stitch together.

I think I will post my CATS report in at least two parts as I still have stuff to catch up on before work tomorrow. I drove down to my sister's in NH on Wednesday evening and then drove to pick up Nancy in MA on Thursday morning. We left her house around 9:15am or so and headed south to PA. After a stop at Cracker Barrel for lunch and a bit of shopping, we got to Hershey about 5:30. Joanie called and we headed down to the hotel cafe to meet her and have a cup of coffee. By that time the shopping mart had opened up to the public so the three of us headed over there. It was packed. You couldn't get near the Picture This Plus booth because it was swamped. I think they sold about 2/3rds of their fabric that evening! We browsed around and each bought something. I was very restrained - I will show you my stash tomorrow. I think we stitched a bit after a late dinner and then went to bed, agreeing to meet for breakfast in the hotel at 10:00am.

On Friday, we met Carol and Mike for breakfast and then they headed off to adventure around Hershey and we headed to the shopping mart area to browse some more and stitch. Cathy arrived around noon and we slowly met Jenna and Leslie and Sue. It was so wonderful to meet so many bloggers - it's just like you're meeting old friends. No awkwardness or anything and it is such fun to see what everyone is working on. It's so awe inspiring to see the incredible stitched pieces. Jo and Pete arrived later that evening and we all met up in the stitcher's lounge to get some serious chatting and stitching done.

Here are some photos taken on Friday.

This is Cathy and Leslie (on the left), Jenna and Jo stitching in the Stitcher's Lounge on Friday evening. And that's Joanie on the left and Nancy on the right. Disregard the date because the time stamp was wrong on my camera.

More tomorrow!

September 24, 2006

You're Invited!

To come to a stitch in on Saturday, October 21st. You can come to stitch (or knit) and plan to bring along some of your finished or unwanted charts for a chart swap. Sandy from The Queen's Stitch should be coming and I hope that Nancy, Carol, Ann and Joyce can join us. If you are within reasonable driving distance of southern Maine and would like to join us, please let me know and I'll send you directions. The more the merrier!

I'm happy to report that I finished up the stitching on my SBEBB Halloween exchange and have been busy today working on the finishing part. I'm trying something different this time so I really hope my exchange partner likes what I stitched! I also packaged up Gaby's autumn exchange gift for my yahoo group and will be mailing both packages out on Tuesday or Wednesday. Whew it's nice to be finished with obligation stitching for a bit. That means I can head to CATS next Thursday with a clear conscience and something new to start!

September 14, 2006

Aniza's Birthday Exchange

I just had an adorable Hallmark ecard that Aniza has received her birthday exchange in Malaysia so I can post a picture. I ended up finishing it into a little pillow because the first method I tried didn't come out exactly right. I was trying to make it like one of the JBW hanging pillows butI just couldn't get my ribbon to hang right and when I tried to iron it, I melted some of the ribbon so this was the end result. This time I used perle cotton for the tassles because it was the best match in color. I'm not sure I would use it again though. I'm glad it arrived safely in Malaysia and that our SBEBB birthday group has concluded without a hitch. Happy Birthday Aniza!

September 13, 2006


Doesn't the "king" look cozy? This is a picture taken this morning with the "king" reclining among the pillows. He leads an easy life doesn't he? And he looks so innocent but don't you believe it.

September 11, 2006

Full Moon Fever Continues

Barbara asked kindly how I was doing after my fall last week. My ankles are much less sore and I know have three matching bruises forming on my left leg. As if that weren't enough, I walked into a tree branch yesterday and now have a scrape just under my right eyebrow. And tonight as I was getting ready to leave work, I could not find my keys. Two trips all around the hospital and out to the car, a good 45 minutes before it dawned on me that I had worn a coat to work this morning and guess what I did with my keys? Yep, I had put them in my pocket and totally forgotten I wore a coat because it was hidden behind the open door. It's either the full moon or menopause which I'm not buying so I'm blaming it on Luna.

Thanks for all the kind words for Susi and me on our redwork. This was another great SBEBB exchange. Hopefully, I will be able to show Aniza's birthday exchange gift soon as well. I was a bit later thank I had intended to be in mailing it out due to some finishing complications. Aniza's was the last of my birthday group exchanges so that is finished for the year. I really enjoyed being a part of the group and seeing all the lovely things that were created.

I also forgot to show you my finished sock. This is the one that Cowboy got into not once, but twice and I finally finished it off last week. Now I must cast on for its mate and try and finish it by Sept. 21st so I can at least say I finished one official pair of socks for the Summer of Socks KAL which I have done so poorly at.

Although I love being in exchanges, I'm going to take a break and try not to sign up for anything for the next two months or so. I really need to get knitting on some Christmas gifts and finish some stitching for myself. We shall see how long that intention lasts!

September 10, 2006

Redwork Scissor Keep from Susi

I receieved my SBEBB redwork exchange piece on Friday and am so thrilled with what was stitched for me. This is the absolutely wonderful scissor keep that I received from Susi. It is stitched over one and contains a wonderful pair of red scissors. The inside is a luscious silk fabric and the ribbons are attached with the teeniest red heart buttons. She did an absolutely fabulous job and I thought using a magnet to attach the scissors is just so clever. I never thought of doing that but it makes it so quick and easy to get the scissors and to keep them within the scissor keep. Thank you Susi - I will treasure it and put it to good use!

Elisabeth has also received my gift to her so I'm going to post the pictures I took before I mailed it off. I made a litte pocket from a JBW Designs chart. It was originally intented to be a photo pocket using linen banding but I just used regular linen for mine. I think I will definitely try this technique again.

September 7, 2006

Clean Bill of Health

Tonight Cowboy had his one remaining stitch removed by the vet who was very pleased with how well his incision had healed up. We got a clean bill of health and barring any unfortunate incidents, will not have to go back until his yearly check up in May.

I also had some stitches removed today from a mole that was excised. I was expecting to get a cancerous report and it was - highly pigmented basal cell carcinoma. The margins were very clean so my doctor is confident that everything will be fine. I have to go back every four months for the next year but with no other occurrences, I can go to twice a year. I urge you to make having a full body skin cancer screen part of your regular health check up. I had gotten very lax about it, even knowing I am a prime candidate for it. The mole was on the back of my neck so it was hard to see often until my hairdresser asked me if I had had it checked out. I made the appointment and am very glad I did.

It's a full moon tonight and boy don't I know it. This morning I put too many sweeteners in my coffee - yuck! - without enough time to make another pot and at lunch time I fell down the back stairs at work, resulting in two banged up and sore ankles, a bump on my knee and a sore tailbone. Then I got home and realized the check my neighbor had put in my mailbox that I forgot to pick up last night was picked up by the mail man. Of course she hadn't put a name on the Pay To part so now it's floating around somewhere. Needless to say, she's not that happy that she will probably have to stop payment on it. I offered to pay the fee and I'm going to call the post office first thing tomorrow to see if they can find it. Of course it only has "Patrice" on it which is what my neighbor calls me. Cross your fingers that it will be recovered!
I'm going to bed!

September 5, 2006

Weekend Progress

Thanks to a long three day weekend, I was able to send off two exchange pieces, sew the buttons on my HIH Halloween Medley and make a fair amount of progress on my autumn exchange piece. I chose something my exchange partner liked and I must say there is a lot more detail than I expected. But I'm nearing the finish point and I've decided to finish it as a no sew cube so that's progress. This is a picture of my HIH piece with the frame my friend Nancy ordered for me. I hope to get it to the framers this wekend.

Thanks for all the well wishes for Cowboy. He didn't have to wear the elizabethan collar much this weekend as I was home. His incision has pulled together nicely and I think the vet will be very pleased when we go on Thursday to have the remaining stitches removed. We are back to our usual 30 minute walks and he's been quite energetic so I think he's pretty much recovered from his ordeal.

I'm getting quite excited about CATS now that it's finally September. I will be heading down to pick up Nancy on the 28th for the drive to Hershey where we will get to see Jo and Cathy again as well as meet up with Joanie, Carol, Leslie and hopefully others to stitch the weekend away! I can't wait! Anyone else going?

August 30, 2006

Poor Pitiful Pup

The always lovely Princess Emma (aka Super Beagle) asked how Cowboy was doing and from this photo you can see he has not made a model patient. He managed to rub one of his stitches out on Sunday and by the time I got home yesterday to take him to the vet for a check up, he'd rubbed out another. Thus the Elizabethan collar. To say he dislikes it is to put it mildly. I had warned him of the evils of this dreaded device, but he didn't listen. He is absolutely mortified to wear it. He sits rock still and whines in the most piteous manner.

It was still on when I came home tonight and his stitches are dry so at least it's working. He also managed to get into the window with it on - he looks kind of like a canine astronaut and I did ask if he'd channeled Mars today but he was too busy being overjoyed to have it off to answer me. I will leave it off when I can watch him but it must go back on when I'm not here. We go back to the vet again next Thursday and hopefully the other two stitches will come out.

August 27, 2006

Good advice

Thanks to Anna's good advice about soaking my HIH Halloween Medley in cold water, it looks a lot better. Most all of the staining came out and I am very happy with the results. The frame for this is on its way to me and I think it will end up being a gift. I just have to remember where I put the buttons and get those sewed on and it will be ready to take to the framers once the frame arrives.

I have obsessively stitching on my yahoo group autumn exchange piece as I want to make sure I'm finished in plenty of time and I will need to start a Halloween exchange piece by Sept. 1st. I did manage to work a tiny bit on CHS Dainty House Wren but the progress is minimal. I finished a bit more on the fence on either side of the lady.

It's back to work tomorrow and then a nice three day weekend. I hope to make lots of stitching progress so I can get back to some of my WIPs. Hope you had a great weekend!

August 23, 2006

Mid-week Update

Thank you to everyone for their good wishes for Cowboy. He is doing much better today- back to his normal self and I'm feeling much more relieved. The vet said that I'd need to keep him as quiet as possible which isn't that easy with a JRT. Today I crated him while I was at work and came home at lunch to walk him. I have to restrain him from picking up his pace as he doesn't seem to be feeling much pain and he was eager to stretch his legs tonight. Since he goes into attacj mode when he sees cats or another dog going by outside from the window, I think I will continue to keep him crated when I'm not here. It's torture for a JRT to be inactive - even one as relatively mellow as my little guy.

On the stitching front, I've started my autumn exchange piece and it's a bit too recognizable to be able to show you my progress even though I'm pretty sure the recipient doesn't read my blog. I'd hate to spoil the surprise early. I think Iwill be making this one into a pillow as it is fairly large for an exchange piece. I may change my mind once I have more stitched. It would work equally well in a frame. Tomorrow is stitch and bitch so I will make sure to work on something that I can show a progress photo of.

Sandy, I totally forgot about the brownies too - so sorry about that! I had a small corner last night and they were okay. I think I will throw them in the freezer for when I desperately need something chocolatey. Joanie, the fabric and silks are for M Designs Floral Sampler. I can't wait to start working on it as I love, love, love NPI silks!

August 22, 2006

I have the MOST amazing neighbors

I know I've spoken about my neighbors behind me - they are truly amazing, wonderful neighbors. Tonight Jerald, who is a FANTASTIC cook, showed up at my door with a plate of chicken catcatorre (sorry if I spelled it wrong) gnocci with sun dried tomatoes, basil and pine nuts in olive oil and a lovely piece of bread. But the piec de resistance was the glass of Chianti he brought as well. I had been mindlessly munching through an unspired salad which promptly went into the trash. Aren't they great????

And I really needed it tonight, especially the Chianti, as Cowboy had surgery today to remove a cyst that was under his skin but had burst and wouldn't heal. He has a very large incision - much larger than I expected - and is in pain and very lethargic from the anesthesia. I feel so bad for him but it needed to come out as it wasn't healing on its own after a week of antibiotics. My poor baby. I am probably more stressed out than he is but it hurts to see my little guy in pain. Thus, the glass of wine was very welcome!

I am so thankful and blessed to have the Coveney's behind me!

Anna, thanks for the advice on my problem with HIH Hallween Medley. I will try that tomorrow as I'm too tired tonight to mess with it. And Happy Anniversary!

August 21, 2006

Halloween Happy Dance - Sort of

I had a lovely day stitching with Sandy yesterday. She arrived around 11am - her friend Lisa decided to beat the traffic and leave early - and we stitched until about 3 pm with a break for pizza. She had tucked a dog cookie treat into the front pocket of her stitching bag and before she could even get it out, Cowboy had pulled it from the pocket and was ready to chomp away!

After Sandy left, I took Cowboy for a walk and then came back and finished up my HIH Halloween Medley. Unfortunately, the press cloth I used must have been too damp in one area so the WDW Hazelnut ran a bit at the bottom left corner. I'm not sure what to do at this point. The picture is a really bad one. I had a hard time getting the whole piece into the frame and the lighting was obviously not that great. I will try and get a better picture tomorrow.

I also managed to do the finishing on my redwork piece. I had to rip out two different times but I think it looks pretty good considering my sewing skills. I can't wait to post pictures but it won't get sent out for a bit. I need a few more things to add to the package. And this morning I put the first few stitches into my autumn exchange piece. I am hoping this goes quickly as it's not that big. I'm really trying hard to get everything done before the deadlines.

I have Aniza's birthday exchange gift almost completed. Just have to complete my finishing and it will be ready to go. Hopefully I can get this off in the mail next week as it has a long way to go!

August 20, 2006

A visit from the Queen

The Queen is coming to visit today and she's bringing a friend from Connecticut for an impromptu stitch in. I'm am looking forward to getting together with Sandy again and meeting her friend - another stitcher. I plan to stitch all day long today to make up for the lack of stitching time I've had recently. It's raining and a bit cool and gray so it's the perfect day to stay indoors.

I do have some progress to report - I finished my red work piece and began the finishing process. I just need to cart out the sewing machine and get it threaded up. Maybe this evening! And yesterday in the mail I received my order of 32ct Moonglow fabric by Picture This Plus from Sue at Colonial Needleworks. She sent it along with the button pack I needed for HIH's Halloween medley which I also managed to work on a bit yesterday. The fabric is what the chart called for and I'm glad I waited for it instead of substituting something else. This is a picture (not a great one) of the silks called for lying on top. I decided not to use the Gloriana Princess Perle Petites because I couldn't find them locally and Sue helped me substitute NPI silks. Thanks Sue for the great help and service!

I plan to work on CHS Dainty House Wren today while the Queen is here but I also need to get back to my over one CHS alphabet piece which has been neglected all month. And then there is also an autumn exchange piece I need to start for my Yahoo group so it will be hard to decide what to focus on. CHS Dainty House Wren is calling the loudest right now but I will show you what I end up working on tomorrow!

August 15, 2006

Birthday Goodness from Aniza

Yesterday I received Aniza's wonderful birthday exchange package all the way from Malaysia. She made me to the most beautiful pinkeep and sent along a great package which included more wonderful Olde Willow threads in Philadelphia Red, Solitude Green, Quaker Star Gold (all these are linen threads) and Yorkshire Blue which is a Quaker Color. I also received some wonderful Nordic Gold filament thread, the gorgeous red/gold/silver ribbon you see and a piece of 28 count Fawn linen. Yummy in the extreme! Thank you Aniza!

August 9, 2006

No Photos Today

I am working diligently on my SBEBB redwork exchange piece so I can't show you my progress but I'm very happy with it. I'm very close to being done with the stitching part and I plan to look for lining fabric tomorrow night at my s&b group. I plan to stitch this design for myself at some point as I really like it.

I've been very tired this week - post vacation blues I guess so I have been going to bed early. This means less time for stitching and reading. But I've been trying to take at least 30 minutes each evening to visit blogs and actually comment. There is so much lovely stitching going on and lots of renovated blogs which is really fun.

I hope to work on some stitching that I can post photos of once I've completed my redwork piece so please stop by again! I hope you're having a great week - I'm yearning for Saturday already!

August 7, 2006

Vacation Comes to an End

Today was my last day of vacation and it's back to the work grind tomorrow. This is a picture of all the girls on the beach on Saturday at the outer beach of Nauset. Three of these lovely bathing beauties are my nieces and the rest are friends. We had a fantastic time on the Cape and I was sorry to leave.

On Thursday I went to my sister's and on the way stopped off at Colonial Needleworks. I was only going to buy some fabric and threads but as usual I came home with a bit more. Every time I visit this great shop in Bedford, NH, I find something I can't do without. Sue has an awesome collection that just gets better and better. It is definitely worth a trip or stop if you are in the area. Sue helped me find some NPI silks to substitute for the Gloriana Petite Perles called for in my M Designs Floral Sampler. I also ordered a piece of the Moonglow linen by Picture This Plus and can't wait to start it. I also couldn't resist the Heart of Gold design by Blue Ribbon Designs. I picked up a piece of 40ct Cream linen and the Crescent Colours threads called for in the design. As soon as I finish my redwork exchange piece, I plan to start this one!

I also picked up some WDW colors I needed for the BOAF Spring and Summer Garden pieces, HIH's Autumn Medley and a fantastic chart by Annemiek Konig of The Needle's Content. I bought Sampler Pillow Cover but I'm not sure yet if I will do it in the colors it calls for.

This has to be it for me until the end of September when I go to CATS! All in all I had a great week of vacation!