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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking forward to 2010!

Hi there, friends and fellow stitchy folk! 
I want to wish you a very Happy New Year! I hope that all of you who read my musings had a wonderful and MERRY CHRISTMAS, too.

 I am looking forward with anticipation that this coming year will be filled with GREAT things. 
Do you make resolutions?  I do but rarely do I keep them.  This year, I only have 2.
1.  To get healthy.
2.  To stay positive and not be so afraid.
This year, I VOW (and you are my witnesses) that I will get healthy.  That means to continue my Weight Watchers journey to finally lose the 35 pounds.  I will eat healthy but not deprive myself.  I will exercise and that doesn't mean only to walk on the treadmill which can get mighty boring. 

The next thing that I VOW to be is more positive.  If you haven't guessed by now, my glass is pretty much 1/2 empty most of the time. My life is tinged with blue most of the time.  And I am a complainer.  I've worked on the complaining part and I can say that I do less of it but I'm not exactly where I'd like to be.  I want to look at my glass and say, "Hey, it's 1/2 full!  I've decided to stay away from those folks who suck the life right out of you.  (This is going to be hard cause I spend most of my waking hours at work with someone who is SO negative, it's contagious.  But, I'm going to do my best not to let him get me down.)  I'm not saying I'm going to be Polly Polly-anna but I am going to be less Chicken-Little.  I want to be more open and embrace change and new things.  Look for the good in people, situations, LIFE.  Stop burying my head in the ground.

Have faith.

I think that these lyrics by Nickleback sum it up perfectly for me:
If Today Was Your Last Day

My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day's a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had, if today was your last day?

What if, what if, if today was your last day?

Against the grain should be a way of life
What's worth the price is always worth the fight
Every second counts 'cause there's no second try
So live like you're never living twice
Don't take the free ride in your own life

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had?

And would you call those friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories?
Would you forgive your enemies?
And would you find that one you're dreaming of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you'd finally fall in love if today was your last day?

If today was your last day
Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart?
You know it's never too late to shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are

So do whatever it takes
'Cause you can't rewind a moment in this life
Let nothing stand in your way
'Cause the hands of time are never on your side
If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had?
And would you call those friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories?
Would you forgive your enemies?
And would you find that one you're dreaming of
Swear up and down to God above
That you'd finally fall in love if today was your last day?

2009 was a year of change for me. I had big changes in my life and I came to terms with stuff I tried to forget about.  A lot of it I didn't like but I had to face it.  I had wonderful things happen, a lot of FABULOUS times, proud times (the wedding, the commissioning, a promotion) but I was AFRAID.  Afraid to lose my job, afraid of losing 2/3 of our income when the DH retires and (OMGosh) what if, what if he can't find a teaching job in September?!  Afraid now that the 2nd Lieutenant is married, he would grow away from me (I know, weird...)   Facing my financials, making peace with my half finished wreck of a house.  Working on forgiving my self and the people that hurt me.  Realizing that it will all get done in God's time and not MINE.

So anyway, I apologize for the post cause it's rambling.  It helps to write it down and then be accountable.

And for stitchy things...I'm going to work on my WIPS and stitch from my stash.  I am not rotating but will work on whatever I want at any given time.
 I will blog more often and guess what!  I got a new point and shoot camera for Christmas (and a KINDLE, oh it's so wicked!) which means that I have NO excuse for not posting pictures.

Anyway,  out with 2009 and in with 2010!

I wish you all the most blessed, abundant, love-filled New Year!

It's going to be a GREAT year!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

With Heartfelt Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so much to be thankful for and so many blessings that I am overwhelmed and humbled by them.  I am thankful for so many things, too numerous to list but I'm gonna list a few of them anyway!

I am thankful for:
My faith- Without my love of Jesus, I don't know where I'd be
My husband - who loves me through and through
My Second Lieutenant and the Lovely Jenna - they bring such pride and joy into my life
My health - for a tough old bird of 52, I have just a few aches and pains that are expected.
My hearth - It's not a palace and it's a work in progress but I love it!
My job - I love it and am thankful everyday that I have a means to feed my needlework addiction!
My critters - They teach me unconditional love every day.

My friends - Wow, I am thankful for you, dear blogging friends!
My hobby - A 30 year addiction.

And much more.

I am not as eloquent as other bloggers but when I look at what God has given me, I am amazed, grateful and thankful.  He promised to meet my needs but He's certainly met my wants too!

Have a wonderful day with your family and friends.  The DH and I are trekking to Rochester to have dinner with Jenna's family.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Check out the Giveaway

Hi! The Linen Stitcher is giving away a really nice OOP Carriagehouse Samplings pattern. American Sampling!

Go check it out and sign up!

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm Back...

Hi everyone! I'm back! Did you miss me? Yea, like a bad rash! LOL!

I took a little break from my life. I was exhausted mentally and physically. I was so surprised by how much the wedding took out of me. And, I've been dealing with a bunch of personal things here at home. I decided to let some of my commitments go, take a break (and give myself one too!) and make peace with some of the stuff I can't control. That's a first for me cause I am a control freak extraordinaire. I am feeling much better.

Anyway, I've been stitching. First off, I finished Notforgotten Farms, Parson Brown.

I stitched him on 28ct lugana with DMC. It came out pillow size so I went and picked out some homespun fabric to back him and I'll have another snowman for my collection.
Also, I'm working on a few exchanges and a Christmas gift or three. And, I am stitching ornaments for Jenna and Mike. I've finished 2 ornaments so far, a Prairie Schooler and one from Angel Stitching that was in the '06 JCS ornament issue. But I've not put them together. Recently, I've developed a fear about finishing things. Mainly, because I've ruined a couple during the finishing process. So I've decided that I have to have quiet to concentrate and not rush things. I've discovered that I like the stitching process more than I like the finishing process.

Are you looking forward to the holidays? I approach them with caution because this isn't my favorite time of the year. I'm not a fan of the hustle and bustle and with the economy, our resources are tight this year. I've been bummed about that and I'm having a hard time knowing that Santa's pack won't be as full as it was in Christmas' past. I don't have any vacation either so the holidays overall will be different. Usually, I have 2 weeks off but this year with the wedding and a forced vacation via a July 4th shutdown, my vacation is very short. The 2nd Lieutenant won't be here on Christmas Morning (he's off making holiday memories with the lovely Jenna). Different indeed!

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I'll be posting more often and if I get enough light, I'll try to take some pictures (if my dinky camera cooperates). So stay tuned!

Anyway...I'm off, I've got to get ready for tomorrow. It's back to the work week for me! Thanks for stopping by..I do appreciate all of you!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

No longer a Cadet

Yesterday, Mike commissioned into the Air Force as a Second Lietenant. The ROTC detatchment had a little ceremony and here are the pics:

Mike and Jenna:

The Lietenant:

And all of us.

We are very, very proud of our son!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More Wedding Pics

Ok, some more wedding pics...the snapshots are coming in from friends and family.

This is me coming out of the church right after the ceremony. I love the dress! I do wish I'd worked my arms a is what it is.

Mike and Noah doing some line dance...the kids and their friends danced the entire reception. Of course, I did too. Made a proper fool out of myself.

Jenna dancing to the same song. I love her dress. You can see some of the "bling" on it. All pics are clickable and will get BIG.
And the happy couple.

Stitching is going very well all of a sudden. I've gone from famine to feast. I'm back 100% and want to start everything I see (which is very, very dangerous). I allowed myself to start Notforgotten Farms, Parson Brown, a very cool snowman. I'm stitching him on 25count evenweave with the recommended DMC. I did change out one color cause it faded into the fabric. I'm planning on making him into a nice homespun Winter pillow. He'll join the other Frosty Friends in my collection.
Oh, if you are interested, today is the last day to sign up for the Blackbird Exchange Blog Round 3 exchange. Pop on over and sign up. Or email me. Names will be assigned tomorrow. We've got very talented stitchers in the group. No lack of creativity in this bunch. Please join us for a fun time!
Thanks for stopping by. I love when you visit. I enjoy your comments and I hope you enjoy your time in Joanie's World. Stitching pics soon cause I've made enough progress to share. My progress is distinguishable now, not just blobs...hee-hee!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Slowly, slowly my MoJo is coming back

Thanks to everyone for commenting on my last post. I am getting back to normal and feeling more like myself. A few nights, I went to bed with the chickens (one of my Mom's fav sayings). And I am stitching again. Small things. I can't stand the thought of stitching on anything BIG.

So, I worked on Where My Heart Blooms, the house is about 1/2 done now and I am about 3/4 of the way finished. About this time in the progress, I usually just focus on that piece and finish it. It's like an obsession. But I haven't gotten to that place just yet. Soon, I bet! And I am working on the Plum Pudding freebie and I am working on October from Mary Garry. I've stitched that little witch before but gave her away.

I cleaned my house today. It's mostly clean. I stitched most of the afternoon, put out some of my Autumn decorations (I LOVE Fall!!!) I ordered new drapes for my living room (got 'em from JCPenney at 50% off which softened the blow when I told the DH how much they cost).

It's been a good day!

Have you been watching out for the new market releases? There are MANY that I want but I will practice restraint and do my very best not to purchase, um-mm, much. (I'd like to say I am only going to stitch my stash but I would be lying. I am trying to do that. I have so many cool patterns and I love them all!)

I love the new Carriage House Samplings! Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow and the tombstone are too cool. But I am drooling over the new Goode Huswife release, the Colonial Garden Series book. I will buy it and it will be my Christmas present to my self. Everything else that I love will go on a Wish List. Unless I lose my resolve, get stressed out, the planets align and I lose 10 pounds. At that point, there's no telling what I'll buy!

So what's on your Must Have list and your Wish List?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Out of Sorts

Have you ever been like a bird that flits from one thing to the other? Have you ever done that and got so overwhelmed by your lack of focus that it made you somewhat nuts? And gave you small anxiety attacks? Well, that's been my week.



I am blaming my short attention span to the wedding. I don't mean that in a negative way, it's just that's been our FOCUS for the last few months. Now that the wedding is past us (and the kid's are sailing to the Western Carribean as I write you) I realize that there is so much that I let go while preparing for the wedding. And now, there's too many things to focus my attention and energy on. Too many things that need my attention and too many things vying for a piece of me.

Work is insane. Hence a small anxiety attack followed by some really negative self-talk about not being able to handle this job (insert rolling eyes here...). I know that we are busy and yea, I am behind on a few projects but not enough to make me hyperventilate. Which I did and which is terribly perplexing.

Cross stitch is everywhere too. I can't focus on just one project and I can't stitch for more than an hour or so cause I get all fidgety. I've worked on a Prairie Schooler Santa from Santa and Snowmen. It should have been an easy-peasy finish, except, I can't count. Frogs.

Then I came across a blog devoted to smalls, Stitching Smalls with Friends so I had to start an autumn design. I decided to do a small Plum Pudding Needleart freebie called Blessed Be. I thought that it would be fast and easy...Nope. No attention span. Fractured attention span.

So, I decided to write here for a little bit and then go for a walk. It's a gorgeous day so I should at least spend a bit of time outside because before to long it will be too cold and snowy to walk outdoors.

Then maybe I'll be a little more focused and can make a dent in my autumn design.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More Wedding Pics

I am going to bore you a little more with wedding's the happy couple right after the ceremony.

Mike with 2 of his groomsmen, Charlie, the best man, on the left and Brian a groomsman in the middle at the rehearsal dinner.

And the wedding gift...Jenna pulled Mike away from the driver's side and insisted on driving it! At this point, she still thinks the car is a rental.

Mike getting ready to tuck her into the driver's seat. Jenna is checking out the interior.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wedding Day pics!!!

I have a few pictures from the wedding. What a beautiful day! It was magical!

This is Chris...he was one of the groomsmen. Mike, Charlie and the DH were picking up their tuxes. Chris decided he wanted to be a manequin...

The wedding cake was scrumptious! Mike and Jenna chose 2 different flavors, one tier was hazelnut cake with chocolate filling (my fav) and the other was an almond cake with raspberry filling. The cake was dense, moist and the icing was not that sickening sweet buttercreme. It was DELISH!!!

The wedding party. The day began with rain but the sky cleared early afternoon. By the time we got to the reception, the photographer could take some outdoor pictures.
And our beautiful bride. Her dress was exquisite. The pictures do not do her justice. She was radiant!

We had a blast at the reception, the food was great, the DJ spun great songs and I danced until my feet ached! We laughed and just had a wonderful time.
Oh, and the best part? After the best man's toast (which was appropriately funny and heartfelt) Mike gave Jenna her wedding gift.....are you ready? He gave her a '08 cherry red MUSTANG! You should have seen her reaction, it was priceless. Mike told her that he misled her, that the car wasn't a rental, he bought it for her. And that he wanted to give her her dream car because he just wants to make all her dreams come true. When he held out the keys to her, there was a gasp from all of us, no one could believe it!
There will be more pictures to come. These are the one's that we got before the camera decided to quit for the evening. I hope you like the little bit that I could share with you!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

R.I.P. My Chrissy the Wonder Dog

Today, is a sad day at Chez Wedding...our beloved Chrissy the Wonder Dog has joined Freeway, Fraggles, Pirate on the Rainbow Bridge...

She battled a very aggressive cancer which was untreatable. The tumor was growing all over her muzzle. She didn't appear to be in any pain but she never was a complainer. Our vet, Dr. Steve, told us that there wasn't anything he could do for her. It was only a matter of time. So before she got too bad, we made the painful decision to send her on her way. Oh, how it broke my heart...

Oh sweet Chrissy, how I miss you!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Oh the countdown begins!

We are just under a month away from the nuptials...OMGosh, I can't believe in less than a month my Cadet will be a Mr. & Mrs.!!!! The invitations are mailed. Details are getting finalized. Of course, we do have a glitch, the florist decided they couldn't do the wedding so now we have to come up with another one - IN 3 WEEKS! There's so much to finish and do!

The wedding sampler is 1/3 complete. Being who I am, of course I changed it to suit me and I struggled with some bands and the personalization. I am through those parts now so it's just follow the patterns and get her stitched. I am shooting for getting it to the framer by the end of next week to take measurements so the frame can be ordered. Then my needles will be flying to finish it to give the framer time to do her thing and have it done the Wednesday before the wedding. I also have to finish making the money box and the scrapbook. The scrapbook and the sampler will be given to Jenna at the bridal shower her sister is giving her on the Thursday before the wedding. I just realized I am on a short runway! EEE-EEK!!

Anyway life is busy here at Chez Disorganization. Between work, insomnia, work, wedding stuff, work and more work, housework, wedding stuff, my head is going to explode. Add the stress of my DH's upcoming retirement and lack of a new job to fill in the gap between what his retirement will bring in and our monthly expenses, it's a wonder I've not been deemed certifiably insane and committed to the Psych Ward at our local hospital.

But anyway, time marches on.

Stitching...I've picked back up Blackbird Designs, Where My Heart Blooms. It was my car project because I can actually see the holes in the 30 count linen with my cheater glasses. But I wasn't feeling the love for this piece so it went into the UFO pile. This week, I just wanted mindless stitching. So out it came. And I fell back in love with it. I realized that I didn't like how my car stitching looked...mainly cause the tension was all wonky. And that's why I disliked the piece so much. Plus the linen is like cheesecloth so the stitches were either to loose or too tight. So out went that stitching to be replaced by even tensioned little Xs. And I am back in love with the piece. I stitched on it over the week and I am working on the house now.

Then I decided that I will be working on the Wedding Sampler exclusively from now until it's FINISHED. I have to reserve the hardanger for the weekends though just so I do it when I am not bone tired. I did some hemstitching last night late and guess what! It's got to be frogged. First of all, I misread the directions (and they aren't written that well either) and cut the wrong threads. Then when I started the hemstitching I totally missed wrapping a few of the vertical threads. I am chocking it up to fatigue. Learned my lesson.

SO that's life in Upstate NY..hope you are doing well in your corner of the world. Oh, before I leave you...check out Threadhead's Unite! A lovely French General give-away is happening! Tell 'em I sent you!

Friday, August 07, 2009

It's been awhile...and 1/2 way

I've been a bad blogger. I admit it. I'm sorry. I've neglected you.

Honestly, I've not stitched in weeks. I want to but when I get home from work, I am DOG tired. So tired that I do a few things around the house and then C-R-A-S-H. I sleep like a rock but wake up tired. My DH says that it's stress from work. Work hasn't been fun the last couple of weeks. That's putting it mildly.

I saw that Prairie Schooler released new Fall, Christmas and Winter designs. And the new 2009 Santa! I LOVE Prairie Schooler and even though I have enough stash to last 14 lifetimes, I've pre-orderd them from E-Handcrafts Stitching Room:

And now for the 1/2 way. It seems that I stitch a pattern until I hit the 1/2 way point and then it goes put in the Wip pile. I have ahem, MANY Wips that are finished 50% to completion. I am sad to say this. I swear I have Stitcher's ADD. And I have NO desire to work on them at this time. Has any one felt this way? I think it's the reason for my slump. I am in a slump.
I am sad.
Oh, and we are 5 weeks away from the wedding! OMGosh, I can't believe it's almost here! The invitations were mailed this week, details are getting completed, the kid's got their liscence, booked their honeymoon cruise and I'm holding on tight!
Thanks for the nice comments about the Bridal Shower. It truly was lovely. Don't you just love my GF's home? TOO DIE for!!! Jenna had a lovely, lovely day.
Well, thanks for stopping by. I love that you come and visit, even though I've not had much to say. I am hoping that changes REALLY, REALLY SOON!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bridal Shower Pics and Just Stuff

Two weeks ago, I hosted a Bridal Shower for the Lovely Jenna and my family and friends. I'd like to share a few photos of the event. I have more but they are on a CD that's with the future Mr. & Mrs., so you'll just have to wait to see pics of Jenna opening gifts, the family, and the beautiful table that my GF set for the bride-to-be and our families. (All pics are clickable and will get BIG.)

This picture is of the stack of favors in the dining room. I stamped the boxes and filled them with homemade chocolates, dark hearts and white chocolate rosettes. They were tied with 2 ribbons, one the color of the bridesmaid's dresses and a sheer white one over it. A tag and a heart charm was tied to the ribbons.

Here's the gift bags I gave to all the guests. Inside was the chocolate filled boxes, homemade biscotti, chocolate covered spoons and a CD of Mike and Jenna's favorite love songs. I stamped the bags with the same rose stamp I used on the chocolate favor boxes along the bottom of the bag, I stamped the bag tag with that stamp and put the happy couple's name on the tag. This shot is in the livingroom.

This is a shot of the dining room table before we served lunch. Penny graciously used her best china, Old Country Rose. I made the calla lilly centerpiece. Each of the lillies held a wedding picture, the DH and I, Jenna's grandparents, her sister, Jenna's parents and Mike's maternal and paternal grandparents. The center lily didn't have a picture in it, it represented the upcoming nuptials. I wrapped the stems in white silk and tied the bunch together with wide red silk ribbons.

Lastly, this is the Lovely Jenna, our bride-to-be and her sweet Mom, Trish.

Aside from some awkward moments with my family and a very selfish 19 year old niece, the shower was everything I dreamt it would be for Jenna. She got enough kitchen stuff for 2 kitchens, a beautiful handmade afghan, vintage table linens, towels, sheets, pots and pans. I gave her formal china, Lenox Opal Innocence, and her everyday dishes, Pfaltgraff's, Patio Garden.
On the stitchy front, a crowd of frogs decided to spend their summer vacation with me. I've worked on the wedding sampler but each row of the band sampler, I've had to frog, frog, frog. I put it away and started Heartstring Primitive's, My House is Built in Glory. But of course, all my work on the twisty, viney border needed to be ripped out.
I have a bad urge to start another piece, I purchased With Thy Needle & Thread's latest designs. I want to start Miss Snow Fairy really, really, really bad. So bad that I went out and bought the linen. Also, I have a 60% coupon from Michaels, so I may just purchase the frame to go with her. I also purchased the latest Sampler and Antique Needlework magazine, I got the latest Blackbird Designs, Loose Feather pattern, It's Berry Time, which I love and a plethora of other patterns that are calling my name loudly. I don't think I have the willpower to resist starting ALL of them.
Well, sweet friends, I'll have more shower pics as soon as I see Mike and Jenna again and hopefully some stitchy pics over the weekend. Thanks for hanging in there with me and thanks for stopping by to check out my corner of the world. Now that the bridal shower is over, I may have a bit of time to'll see more of me, I PROMISE!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hi all, just a quick post

Thanks for hanging with me, gang! Our home computer has died (the motherboard decided to leave permanently) so I do not have unlimited access to the internet or anyone's blogs. I am going nuts. Like an addict without her fix. It's terrible, especially because I am on VACATION and have time just to relax and catch up with all of you.

This weekend, we are going to Rochester to see the kid's, book a rehearsal dinner resturant and then help them out with their plans. Next weekend is my bridal shower. Stay tuned for pics!

I've been working on the wedding sampler. It's a slow go cause I am basically designing it as I stitch. A motif here, a specialty stitch there, FROGS here, there and EVERYWHERE!!! I have to pull out about an hour's worth of work cause I used the wrong silk. But I'll post a picture of my progress soon. Right now, it's a few bands and the kid's names. Nothing spectacular.

Well, the DH needs his 'back so take care and thanks again for visiting!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!!!!

Today we spent the day with Jenna, Mike and Jenna's parents at the Broome County air show. The air show is sort of a tradition with us, we love the planes especially the fighter jets. And we were not disappointed!

The Blue Angels performed at this show. They were AWESOME!!!

So, I am feeling a bit patriotic at the moment!
Wishing all those who are Americans, a Happy Fourth of July! I hope you are having fun where ever you are! And to my non-US friends, I wish you a great weekend.

Now, off to the fireworks!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Busy, busy, busy, busy....

What can I say! The wedding plans are heating up! The shower is in 2 weeks and I am in a tizzy over the planning! You know how you ask people you've invited to RSVP? Well, NO ONE has but I know there are at least 8 who are planning to attend. What is it about picking up the phone and saying Yay or Nay? It's making me nuts cause I need to have a nose count so I can plan food, favors and just rest easy. GEEZ!

The wedding is in 8 weeks. I finally found a dress but I am waffling a bit on it now. My girlfriend, Penny, says that I look hot in it but I feel a little pudgy. I've not done well on WW the past 2 weeks cause last Wednesday was my birthday, today is my 30th wedding anniversary. This past weekend, I went to Pittsburgh to my niece's graduation party. LOTS of food. And the weekend before we took Jenna and Mike on a paddleboat ride on Canadiagua lake to celebrate everyone's graduation...yes, it was a 3 hour tour...Oh, Gilligan!! LOL!

So starting tomorrow, it's back on the program with a vengeance. Most of our partying/celebrating is just about over. Jenna's parents are coming down on Saturday and I think that's the end of parties for awhile.
As far as stitchy things go, I've not put a needle to anything since I finished up Bea. I am in a small slump. It's cause I have to do so much before the bridal shower on the 18th. The house NEEDS a lot of attention since I now have 3 households plus my own to deal with. I have some things from my Dad that I've got to come to terms with, my in-laws are passing down things they no longer want but think we need and my sweet boy has moved out of his apartment into Jenna's parents but his stuff has moved in with us. I don't have room for all this stuff and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed trying to relocate everything.
Well, I have to go now, I just wanted to say hey and to let you know I'm still fogging up the mirror here in Upstate NY....thanks for hanging in there with me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Beatrix Potter and Prairie Schooler Exchange

Bea is finished!!

And I received this wonderful exchange from Suzanne. She was my partner for the Year Long Prairie Schooler exchange.

I love it Suzanne and I've hung it on my hutch in my kitchen where I can see it all the time.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bea's progress and news

Ok...I'm back. Did you miss me? I took myself out of circulation for a few weeks, there's so much going on right now at Chez "What Are We Going To DO" that I became a tad overwhelmed, stressed, bitchy and most of all weepy. I have to say that my stitching has kept me sane. Thank goodness for linen, silks, DMC and a needle. And of course, all the blogs that kept me motivated to be creative and not hide under a rock.

This month, I've made significant progress on Bea: (sorry for the crappy photo, but if you click on it, it'll get BIG!)

She's almost done! I am down to one motif on the lower right side and the initials in 2 motifs. Plus, while I was pressing the piece in order to take a semi-decent photo, I noticed that some of the thread ends are working loose. I didn't double back my threads when I was ending them until very late in the sampler, so I may have to do some repairs just to ensure that nothing unravels.

It's very possible that I could see a finish in the next week or so. Hear the band warming up? It's going to be a Happy Dance!

I decided to stay true to the pattern and stitch the initials from the original sampler. I toyed with personalizing the sampler with my family's initials but my anal tendencies won over and I'm staying true to the original. I may break from tradition and add my initials above the bee motif on the lower left corner. I don't think Bea would mind and there is enough room in that space to make it look like adding my initials was intentional and not crammed into the space. I don't think placing my initials there will detract from the over all composition of the piece so I'm going to stitch them in that spot.

Before I forget, I am accepting signups for Round 2 of the Blackbird Exchange I am hosting. I hope you will join us for the next round. Stop by for all the info to sign up. Round 2 sign-ups will be open until June 15th. Shoo! Shoo! Go see what treasures have been stitched in Round 1! That should whet your appetite to come play with us!

I have been stitching every night for the last few weeks. Mainly on the projects that "Shall Not Be Shown". I've finished my Prairie Schooler piece, now for the finishing and the Blackbird Designs exchange is just about done. I am torn on the finishing for that piece, I have a couple of ideas clanking around in the ol' cranium but nothing that's won over my heart. But I'll figure it out very soon!

I've bought a bunch of stash but I'll save that for another post cause the camera is wheezing and is refusing to take another picture. And I've got LHN's Watermelon to show you and Blackbird's Petite Rouge sampler to show you too. Plus, Feed the Birds which is inches away from completion.

After getting my exchanges sent off to new homes, my focus will be the Wedding Sampler. I am combining Victoria Sampler, Heirloom Wedding and Heirloom Christmas patterns into the sampler. There's a section of stitching in the Heirloom Wedding that I am not fond of so I decided to swap that part out for a section from the Christmas sampler. Plus, I like some of the lace patterns from the Christmas sampler better than the Wedding Sampler. It will be unique for the soon-to-be Second Lietenant and his lovely Jenna. But I've got to get cracking, otherwise I'll be giving it to them on their 5th anniversary. I am stunned to think that the Wedding is about 100 days away! Geez, where's the time gone! So much to do!

Lastly, I want to thank each of you who've stopped by to read my drivel and keep up with my adventures. I certainly appreciate all of you who come by and honestly, it's a comfort and a blessing to know that you care enough to stop on by. I promise now that things are somewhat settled, I'll be back around a little more frequently.

Monday, May 18, 2009

HI everyone

I just wanted to say that I am sorry I haven't been around recently. I am just a little overwhelmed with life right now and I always tend to withdraw when that happens. Please forgive me!

I've been stitching, on my exchanges and Bea. Bea is 1.5 motifs from being finished! I am so excited! She's all I want to work on but I MUST, MUST, MUST be disciplined and work on my exchanges. I do love what I am stitching so it's not that big of a chore.

I haven't taken any pics to share but I promise I will tomorrow as long as we have sunny weather. So stay tuned.

In other news, we were told that our gelding, Joey, is severely arthritic in his hocks and in his right front fetlock. The ponies got pedicures today and the farrier was very concerned about him. We will be putting him on an arthritic supplement. The farrier really gave us a start cause initially, he thought it was laminitis which is very bad. He thought this because our horses have been on grass for the past few days and new grass is very rich. We've been weaning them on it for a week now so we thought all was well. Fortunately, laminitis is not the case, YAY!

The Cadet, the lovely Jenna and the DH graduated this past Saturday. I am so proud of all of them!

So, off I go, my needle is calling!!! Stop by again soon!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Stitching and the Military Ball

First of all, I want to tell you how much I missed all of you!

This week, I finally got a chance to stitch. Yes, you read it right. I. STITCHED.
I worked on my 2 pieces that "Shall Not Be Shown" (exchange pieces) and I stitched on Bea.

Below is my progress (click and it'll get BIG):

As you can see, I am nearing the finish! YAY!!! I love Bea and I will be sorry to hang up my needle with her but honestly, Bea, you are quite the demanding girlfriend!! Every time I sat down to stitch, YOU cried the loudest and then pouted until I picked you up and stitched on you. And if I left you alone, you unleashed the frogs just to let me know that you were upset to be neglected. Because of you, I have 2 exchanges to complete in 2 weeks, you Vixen!

Now on to family can stop reading if you don't want to hear about the Military Ball.

Two weeks ago, we attended the Cadet's final Military Ball. We had such a great time. It's such a special evening, filled with good food, an engaging speaker and awards. This year was no exception. Even though the Cadet didn't receive any awards, we are still very proud of him.

Here we all are..

And another family pic:

The DH and the Cadet:

And the Cadet and his lovely bride-to-be:

The Cadet received his assignment, upon his commissioning as a Second Lietenant in October, he will be going to Intel school in Texas for 7 months. From there, I don't step at a time.

Right now, we are planning graduations, the DH graduates with his Masters in Education, the lovely Jenna graduates with a BS in Elementary Education and the Cadet will graduate with a BS in Criminal Justice. I am also hip deep in planning a girly-girl bridal shower in July and getting together a bunch of things for the happy couple. I started the wedding sampler (just basting guidelines cause I am waiting on thread) and I am putting together a scrapbook for them. Also, I am trying to gather recipes for a cookbook too. Somewhere in the midst of all this, I have to find a dress for the wedding, a restaurant for the rehearsal dinner and so much more, I just can't remember. Before you know it, the wedding will be here!!

Busy times!

So, I hope all of you are well and are finding more time than me to stitch. I promise though, I'll be posting more pictures soon. I actually put ALL my wips together in one spot (and I won't tell you how many I have...let's just say I have Stitcher's ADD) so I can pick and choose what I want to work on. I know the focus piece will be the wedding sampler but I hope to finish up some of the pieces that are 3/4 complete. This year, I haven't finished one thing except for a few exchanges! What's up with that!!!

Take care everyone, and to all you Mom's out there...Happy Mother's Day! I wish you a wonderful day surrounded by the love of your family. For me, it's going to be a quiet day...we will go to church and just spend the rest of the day at home. The David will be grilling steaks, the Cadet will make a phone call and so will my sweet MIL. And I'll be thinking of my Mom.

Have a sweet day, Mom's everywhere!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Hello, friends! I feel like I've been a little MIA.

Well, there is a lot going on at Chez Chaos, so much that I haven't picked up a needle in 2 weeks!!! My word. Can you say withdrawl?

Work is very busy. This past week, my partner and I conducted an internal audit of our Management, New Product Introduction, Development and Qualification processes. Four days of non-stop interviewing. Now, I have to write up my report. Fun.

On Friday, it was the Cadet's Military Ball. The DH and I attended and it was VERY cool. I always look forward to this dinner. On Saturday, I met with the Lovely Jenna's, Mom, for some serious wedding shopping. We went to lunch and then the Cadet and I had some one-on-one time, just so we could chat. He bought me ice cream. And now, I am home, keeping the fires burning cause Dave went to Pittsburgh to visit his parents and see his brother, who just came in from Nebraska for a few days. I am tending to my menagerie and trying to get some work done in my house. I am a little overwhelmed! Hence, no stitching.

SO sad. But I plan on fixing that situation as soon as humanly possible. I am so close to finishing Bea now and I found my materials for the wedding sampler (they went MIA for a day or so). Plus, I have a number of Wips to work on and, did you see the Blackbird Design freebie? Oh, how I want to stitch this darling little sampler! But I think it's going to have to go on the back burner for awhile. Exchanges and the wedding sampler, plus Bea will take up most of my stitching time.

Well, sweet friends, it's off to bed with me. I have to get up bright and early to tend to my critters. Then it's off to work. Damn, I wish I would have taken tomorrow off. But I would be cursing myself later when I really need that vacation day. Hope you are well and are spending copious amounts of time stitching.

I am jealous.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.
Matthew 28:5-6


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Let Sleeping Cats Lie

I am going to let the pictures speak for themselves...This is exactly what I wanted to do this afternoon but instead, I started my Spring cleaning. The house smells very fresh!

Ella found a new perch. The Grandfather clock commemorated my DH's 25th service anniversary from IBM.

Unfortunately, she and the barn cat had an altercation about 6AM on Friday morning. She jumped from this perch and to our horror, the grandfather clock fell over. My DH was beyond mad and he was very upset. It survived the fall with some damage, the corner of the pediment is crushed and there are a few scratches. We were pretty amazed at the lack of damage because the weights separated from the chains. We thought that the glass panels in the door would be smashed to smithereens. The glass popped out of the gasket in the door and nothing was broken.

Sweetie-girl burying her nose between the sofa cushions.

And Olivia...

Don't they look comfy?
Well, now I am going to stitch and watch TV.
Have a Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

And there was light! And there are pictures!

Hey Everyone!

I hope you all had a great Wednesday. Life at Chez Chaos is, well, chaotic!
Today, the DH and I drove 2 hours to pick up his new truck. And 2 hours back again. The insurance company finally declared our little truck dead, they took their time cutting a check and today, we drove home a new-to-us '01 Silverado. It's a year older than the dead truck but it has less miles, is a full size pickup and has a manual transmission. All criteria that the DH had for a truck was met. He's happy. The down side to this whole affair was the truck was in Pennsylvania, 2 hours away. So, I had to take a 1/2 day personal to drive there with him and then drive the Explorer home. It was a weird day. I feel like I am on vacation but really I am not. It feels like Friday but I have to get up and go to work tomorrow. My reality is skewed right now cause I took time away from work in the middle of the week.

But there was light when I got home. The sky was brighter than it's been for the last week. Granted it was SNOWING (hello, Mother Nature, didn't you get the memo stating that it's SPRING? My daffodils are shivering!! Please send warm weather, soon!) but there was sufficient light to take some pictures.

May I present to you:

My progress on This is the Day:

Stitched on 36ct Lakeside Autumn Gold with the recommended thread. Tonight I started on the black border on the right side and finished stitching the black line under the alphabet. I am having fun with this sampler. I hope to make significant progress over the weekend cause I am sticking my ample backside in the corner of the sofa and stitching. All. Weekend. Long.

Next is Feed the Birds:

Honestly, this little sampler looks like a fast stitch but in reality it's not! I really thought that I would be done with it by now. Well, I am almost 1/2 way done. I am debating on stitching the checkerboard border or just leaving it off and putting a mat on it. The checkerboard screams 1990's! But it also adds charm to the piece. I'll have to see when the time comes. The sampler is stitched on 36ct Flax linen with good ol' DMC.
And this is my girl Bea! Only 4 more motifs to stitch and she'll be done! Can you believe it?

The motif on the bottom left next to the wheat motif should be stitched 2 threads higher than where I placed it. I am debating on ripping it out or just leaving it where it is. My OCD heart is telling me to rip it out and place it where it should be (and be accurate to the chart) but my lazy self says just to leave it. It's not affecting the placement of any other motif and I know that it doesn't affect the look of the sampler. It's just not correct. And it's a reproduction. So, dear readers, what say you? Would you rip it out and restitch it where it belongs? \
Ok, so that's all the news that's fit to type tonight. I am really tired and if I was honest with myself, I am a little anxious about work. I am sure that the work thing is actually nothing, I just have a tendency to build up things in my head. Well, time will tell... I think I am going to work a little on This Is The Day and watch some TV. And then turn in early.
So, once again, thanks for stopping by, I am tickled that you are interested in what I have to say. Leave a comment if you are inclined. I love reading what you have to say to me!

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Hello, World!

Yes, it's me! I've surfaced but sadly without photos. I know, I know, I will lose readers if I don't post pictures soon of my crazy life or my stitching progress but you will have to be patient cause it's been RAINING for the last 4 days. I am seriously considering asking God if he wants me to start building another ark. No light for pictures.

Let's see...where to begin. Well, you all know about the tragedy that happened in my little city. Tonight the paper ran little bios of those who were killed. So sad, so sad that I cried. A newlywed who will not see her first anniversary. A husband who did his best to shield his wife from the shooter's bullets only to have her die in his arms as a bullet passed through him and into her. A Mom and Dad who weren't at the bus stop to pick up their 6 and 9 year old after school. All who just wanted a better life, all who wanted to provide for their children. A retired teacher who just wanted to give back to her community after years of service in the public school system. There are many more stories that are sure to be told as these souls are laid to rest.

My DH took his last state test for his teaching certification. He said this test was hard. He'll find out if he passed in about a month. Now, he's sending out resumes. He knows only of one district that has 2 math teaching positions open. I am praying hard that he gets an interview. I don't want to think what will happen in the fall if he doesn't find a full time job and has to resort to student teaching.

The Cadet and the Lovely Jenna are well. Both are exhausted. Jenna is working 2 jobs and the Cadet is holding down a full time job, a full credit load and ROTC. And now, we are pushing them to finalize some of the wedding plans cause it's 5 months away!!! We need them to get registered. I am planning a bridal shower in July. I have to get busy! But I feel like I have all the time in the world. NOT!

We will be going to Rochester to the Military Ball in a few weeks. It will be a lovely time! I enjoy this dinner so much. And then there are rounds of graduations, showers, birthdays and weddings! WOW!

On the stitching front, this week I am focused on This Is The Day. Michelle and I are working one week out of the month on it. I love the colors but I am not loving the stitching behind the alphabets or numbers. It's mindless stitching. Which is good when you are listening to the TV. I've been blog hopping and I've noticed many stitchers have worked and finished this little sampler. I like the alternate colorway too that some of you've used to stitch your sampler.

And on Bea, I am down to 4 motifs. I will be frogging out one of them though cause I misplaced it. But fortunately, not much is stitched, only the outline.

And! We have 20 talented stitchers signed up for Round 1 of the Blackbird Designs Exchange Blog. The response was greater than my wildest dreams! Thank you to all the talented stitchers that signed up for it! I know we will have a lot of fun and I can't wait to see what everyone creates!

Well, that's it for my corner of the world. Hope you are well and thanks for stopping by my little corner of creation!

Happy stitching and have a wonderful day tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Goodness, time flies

It's been a week or so since I posted. I hoped to be better about keeping you up to date on the minutiae of my life but well, life got in the way!

We've been busy. The Cadet had an other accident, this time with the DH's truck. So, two accidents in a month. We will be in insurance hell for quite awhile. Now we are dealing with repair shops, insurance adjustors, claims, the Cadet and the FILs. Fortunately, no one was injured (except for a certain Cadet's wounded pride). Unfortunately, the truck suffered a possible fatality. We are waiting to hear the fate of the dear vehicle. Will it go to the truck hospital for major reconstructive surgery or will we bid it a fond farewell as we send it to the junkyard? A few days will tell. The repair shop is evaluating the truck's injuries as we speak.
We've been truck shopping and if the truck is truly beyond repair then we've narrowed it down to a couple of vehicles.

I did breath a sigh of relief though, Jenna's parents were wonderful through this ordeal. The Cadet stayed with them for a week and they graciously offered advice and a kick in the pants when he needed it. Also, they fed, watered and sheltered him. I am grateful and very blessed by such caring folks. It had to be an inconvenience to them to have an extra someone living with them. If this is any indication of how they will treat him after he is married, the boy is all set!

On the stitching front, I've worked a little on Bea (I am getting a bit tired of her right now). I only have 7 motifs to finish. But they are big motifs. All along the bottom row and the rose one. I've been thinking about how I am going to frame her. I have to say though, the DH doesn't like her color. He isn't fond of burnt orange and he's wondering where I will hang her. He really doesn't think she fits in any of the rooms we currently spend most of our time in because of her color and I have to agree. So, I think Bea's going to live in the hallway to the bedrooms. There is a wall between the main bathroom and the doorway to our bedroom which is the perfect size for Bea. I threatened to hang her in his soon-to-be new office but I got that hairy eyeball. He said that Bea reminded him of a map of the world. I didn't even want to ask him where he came up with THAT analogy so I bit my tongue.

I also worked a little on some things that "Shall Not Be Shown". And I am planning The Wedding Sampler. I haven't actually worked myself up to starting the WS, mainly because it will be a BIG sampler and I am getting tired of big projects which require a ton of time.

Oh! We've got 13 stitchers signed up for the Blackbird Designs Exchange! Please, if you are interested in Round One, hurry and sign up! Round One signups close April 1st!

So that's about it from the corner of my world. Thanks for stopping by. I'll have some photos posted tomorrow, promise.

How's life in your space?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Love, love, love this!!!

I was out blog reading and I came across this post featuring this new design from Little House Needleworks:

I just love this piece! I am a sucker for house designs and I LOVE sunflowers! I can see this stitched over one, can't you?

This is going on my wish list definitely!

I've worked on Feed the Birds. The lady and the 2 birds perching in her hands are complete. It's moving along quite nicely and I am glad for a break from Bea and the hordes of Wips.

We have signs of Spring in upstate NY. Crocuses are popping up and the daffodils are finally shooting up in my flower beds. I am so looking forward to COLOR!

So that's all from here...hope you are having a lovely evening! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hey! I'm here!

I am sorry that I haven't been a good blogger recently. For awhile, I was posting fairly regularly and then I had my mini-meltdown and went and had a small pity party.

Life is sure interesting in Chez 90%. Huh, you say? Well, there's a story about the 90%. On Thursday, my company cut all salaried employees pay by 10% for this quarter and possibly next quarter too. Manufacturing employees didn't take a pay cut, they are working a 4 day week. The company took away their match on my 401k that went to a 101k after the recession hit and now, it's just a k. No raises either. I am glad though, it could be worse. I could have a 100% pay cut. I AM Blessed and I am thankful!

But hey! Let's talk stitching now!

Disclamer: Sorry about the crappy photos. I didn't drag out the iron. Please disregard the wrinkles and the hoop marks.

Earlier this week I worked on Bea.

Only 7.5 large motifs to stitch and 2 very small ones to go till I get to dance. Can you hear the bagpipes tuning up? And the tubas and bassoons? They're getting ready! I think I may have a happy dance by the end of May at this rate. Stay tuned. My band is!

Remember when I said I was stitching a pillow for Valentines Day? This is as far as I've stitched:

It should look like this sometime in this decade:

But I took some liberty with my version because the DH has been stitched in my heart for about 34 years now. This year we celebrate our 30th anniversary.
I have to say that the border on this little pillow gave me fits. And I'll have to do some re-arranging to get all the motifs in. So, I guess you could say that I used Beth's pattern as a springboard for something totally unique to me.
Lastly, I caved and started a new piece (rolling my eyes). I was going through my stash to decide what I want to sell and give away cause my tastes have changed and there are things that I know someone would love. I came across a bunch of Merrily Beam charts from the 90's. I love them! They remind me of Prairie Schooler and Mary Garry.
So, since we love to feed the birds and that special species of bird, I decided to start Feed The Birds:
It's a fairly fast stitch in DMC. I am stitching it on my 2nd favorite linen, Flax. This is 36 count.

So, that's all from Chez 90%. I hope you get a Stitchy Sunday. Today it's very sunny and it's supposed to be in the 50's so I may go out and clean out the flower beds. Yesterday, the DH and I steam cleaned the living room and bedroom carpets. Out with Winter! In with Spring!
Oh and one more thing!!! Please sign up for the Blackbird Exchange! We have 8 talented stitchers so far and it's going to be very fun! You do not have to commit for the entire year, just the exchanges you want to play. I am working out a couple of cool ideas for my piece.
So come on! JOIN THE FUN!!!
Once again, thank you all for following my blog and visiting. I am very blessed by my cyber friends! Have a wonderful week. I am going to count my blessings and my stitches. How about you?