Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Little More Summer

Summer Blooms that is...

I finally got back into stitching a bit and have finished another 10 hours on Summer blooms. I was going to try and do a full week stitching, but the main reason I haven't been stitching lately is that I can't get into it with this pattern. I LOVE the pattern, and it's super easy, mostly full stitches with a few quarter stitches on the flowers, but I just can't get into it like I can with the others... Anyway, once I got to the 10 hour mark I gladly put it down to pick up Dream Sampler again. I had only one evening done on that when I got a call from my local library to let me know that my wait was finally over and the new Harry Potter had arrived with my number on it. (Woohoo!!) So, I started reading that last night. I should be done The Deathly Hallows in another day or so, but another book I'd ordered in at the library has arrived as well, with a third one on the way... so It looks like even though I finally got my groove back, my stitching may still be sporadic until I finish these three books. But luckily I'm a fast reader and it shouldn't take me longer than a week to polish off these three. (that's if I'm taking my time *lol*)

Anyway, here's the most recent picture of Summer Blooms at 20 hours work, taken on Aug 20 2007. I love it, and I can't wait until it's finished. (in more ways than one)

Click on the "Summer Blooms" tag at the bottom to see the previous posts about this pattern.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I've been stitching! Woohoo

Yes, it's true... I've actually gotten a minute amount of stitching done in the past few days. Not enough to warrant a progress picture, but at least it's something. Mind you, I think it's probably just my way of avoiding doing housework. I always find something more interesting to do when that comes my way.

Since I have no pictures to upload of my progress I thought I'd add another "cat picture". A few months ago I said that once in a while I'd upload one of many funny cat pictures I received via email. I promptly forgot all about this. So, for the record. Here is picture number 2.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A new look

I was sitting in front of the computer today and started playing with making a titlebar for my page... well that half hour job turned into an entire evening picking and plucking away at my page. Colours, fonts, widgets, etc etc etc...

Anyhow, here's what I came up with... hope you like it.

It's been a while

Today’s SBQ was suggested by Jennifer and is:

How did you get started stitching? Was there a person that inspired you?

Well, my first foray into the world of stitching was when I was 12 or 13 years old. I picked up one of those 99 cent cross stitch patterns and stitched it as a Christmas present for Mom. She recently found it and gave it back to me all these years later. Here's a picture I snapped of it this morning, nestled into the vase of Gladiolius that I picked from my garden yesterday. Nothing fancy, but for a 13 year old I was quite proud of my work.

I recently picked up a pattern around the same size at a yard sale, intending to keep it for when Olivia gets a bit older. When my Uncle Stephen and his girlfriend Ellie were home from BC for a visit a few weeks ago, Ellie expressed an interest in learning to Cross stitch. So, I explained the basics to her and passed on my little pattern to her to give it a shot. Hopefully we've got another addict in the making! *lol*

Anyway, back to the story of how I started stitching.

Well, I never stitched anything else that I can remember for several years, even though Mom had picked up a magazine or two for me. (I still have my very first issue of "The Cross Stitcher" that she got me with a large unicorn pattern on the cover! -- I was a unicorn freak at the time.)

It wasn't until I was working at NB Power in 1999 that I caught the stitching bug again. Several of the women that I worked with were all stitchers, and wonderful stitchers at that -- and they inspired me to start stitching. Here's a picture of the first project I stitched. A 5x7 Dimensions kit I picked up at the local craft store. I never did finish it. I ran out of several colours in the kit and put it away for a while until I could get my hands on more of the same colours, then after stitching a few other projects I realized how bad it looks. The stitches are all going in different directions, and really messy. So, I made the decision that this would be a UFO forever. I'll never pick it back up again. I may someday decide to stitch it again from scratch , but I'll never finish this one.

I only did a few small projects in the next few years, and last year when I had Rachel I had signed up to some Yahoo groups and they inspired me to pick the needle back up again after a rest of a few years.

So, I guess my friends at NB Power, and my online friends were the people who inspired me to start (or re-start) stitching.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mmmmmm.... Sweets!

Well, guess what I did last night. I made my very first ever Apple Pie. I used a "just add water" pie crust mix and a bunch of August Whites (or Yellow Transparents as Jason calls them) that he picked from the huge apple tree in his dad's back yard. What to call them is actually a bit of a bone of contention between us. *lol* You know that our marriage has to be just horrible if that's normally our worst fight. *grin*

Anyway, I threw it all together with a mound of sliced apples, a cup of sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg (more than a sprinkle, actually... a fair amount), then after baking for half an hour at 400 I took it out and spread some melted butter on top, then sprinkled it with sugar and put the pie back in for another half an hour. Mmmmmm.... Yummy.

The mini-pie I made for Olivia didn't turn out quite as well. It looks great in the picture, but the bottom crust wasn't quite cooked. I found several recipes that called from anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes cooking. I left it in for 35, but apparently it's not quite enough. I plan on trying to make a few more either later tonight or tomorrow. I told Olivia she could help me make some mini apple pies tomorrow if she was good.

This is what I was sitting down with when I was about to start my post this evening. Jason also got a huge bunch of blueberries at his dad's place and decided to make blueberry muffins today. They are amazing muffins. In case you're interested the recipe can be found here. Definitely worth it.

I still haven't been doing much of anything for stitching lately. I've been spending much of my extra time reading. I've been ordering in some of the Anita Blake - Vampire Hunter books (by Laurell K Hamilton) at my local library. I've only got 4 books left in the series so I guess I'll be reading a bit more for the next while. I get two books in at a time since I'm a fast reader (I usually read both books in 2-3 days) so I usually end up waiting for quite a while for the next ones to come in.

Anyway, I should take off. Big Brother just started and I don't want to miss anything! God, I'm such an addict!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Look what we got today

Here's a pic of Olivia in the Children's parade today. Jason thought he was doing me a favour today by getting up with the kids and letting me sleep. Normally I'd agree with him, but when I woke up at 9:45 today and remembered that the Children's Parade started at 10:00, it wasn't such a good thing. Anyway, I had the fastest shower that I think I've ever had, and did Olivia's hair in a couple of super quick ponytails and ran out the door with her and her scooter. We were going to decorate it a bit better this morning, but didn't have time to throw more than a few balloons on it.

We got there at 10:10 and had missed the judging of the Children's parade. Luckily the organizer took pity on Olivia and let her drive her scooter around in front of everyone even though she missed the rest of it...

I think the thing that soothed her the most about not getting a trophy was the other thing we got today at the Farmers Market. His name is Orange Sherbert according to Olivia and we brought him home this morning.

Apparently he's settling in quite well. (please ignore the dirt on the floor. I'd make an excuse, but it probably wouldn't be true... I'll admit it, I'm not quite as good a housekeeper as I like to pretend. lol)

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's a bird, it's a plane...

No! It's Super Olivia!

There is a Children's Bicycle parade this Saturday and Olivia decided she wanted to be a super hero riding her scooter, so I went searching on the web for ideas and found a cute little cape pattern here. If you use a felt or something like that it can be a completely no-sew project, which is normally the kind of thing I go for since I'm not great with the sewing machine. But unfortunately I couldn't find pink felt (only blues, reds blacks and whites) so I ended up getting some pink flannel instead. I had to sew the edges to make sure it didn't fray, but even with my limited skills it only took about 10 minutes at the sewing machine to do this one for Olivia and another little one for Rachel that matches. (Can I get a collective "Awwwww")

I found a bunch of downloads on this site for the mask she's wearing, wrist bands and belt buckles all in matching superhero looks. There were some pink ones on there so I printed them out and then glued them on a white sheet of foam, then cut them out the next day and let Olivia decorate them with glitter glue. She's not wearing the belt and wrist bands yet, but you get the idea.

I took a few pictures and told Olivia to "pose". She gets down on one knee like this and then says "Mommy, is this posing?" I laughed and told her it was a perfect Superhero pose and snaapped a few pictures. What a cutie.

Last night Olivia had a sleepover at a friend's house for the very first time. She's had a friend over one time and she's had a sleep over at her Nannie's house, but never at another friend her own age before. It was nice to put Rachel down to bed and not have to fight with Olivia for an hour or more to go to sleep. It reminds me what it was like only having one child again. I hardly remember what I did with all my free time. lol.

No stitching progress to report. I'm still in my stitching slump. Hopefully I'll get back into it after this weekend. I'll be busy most of the weekend with stuff at the Fair. We're taking Olivia and Rachel out to the rides tomorrow and I'll be working the Figure Skating booth tonight and tomorrow night selling tickets on a Diamond Ring. Here, take a look. This is the picture of the ring that I downloaded from the Crescent website. They donated the ring for our fundraising efforts! Thank you Crescent Gold & Diamonds!!!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Has it been 3 weeks?

Wow, where has the time gone. I knew it had been a while since I posted last, but I didn't realize that it had been so long. I've been on bit of a stitching lull. I haven't added more than a few dozen stitches to anything since I posted last, but I have managed to get one of my long completed cross stitch projects finished into my very first "no-sew Cube". (See the directions here)

I've had the project stitched and done for quite a while now, but I had to find some fabric for it. Needless to say, finding snow-y fabric in the middle of summer has been quite a challenge... I looked everywhere I could think of, but one day when I was walking through Walmart, I noticed a bunch of Christmassy looking fabrics on the end of the row and darted in for a quicker look. I found this very cute (and perfectly matching) blue snowflake fabric. Perfect. Seems that the Christmas fabrics came in earlier than usual and had just been put out the day before. What luck. The colours and pattern are a perfect match for this pattern.

I should mention that the pattern is called "Snow Ice Cream" and is by San-Man Originals. I didn't stitch it using the called for fibres. It called for a lot of overdyed fibres, which I didn't have... so I just kept pulling out different threads from my DMC boxes until I found some that I thought would work well.

All the swirls and snowflakes were all supposed to be stitched with an overdyed thread that went from blue to purple, so what I did there was stitch a few stitches using two strands of blue, then a few stitches with 1 blue and 1 purple, and then at the end I'd use two strands of purple... It worked very well.

In other news, Olivia has started getting an allowance as of this week. We have little "chore charts" that I picked up at Staples a few months ago where you can list what different chores she has to do each week to get her allowance. Of course being 3 years old we don't expect a whole lot of her yet. She has to Brush her teeth in the morning and in the evening, She has to help make her bed and help pick up her toys in her bedroom, and she has to help pick up her toys in the livingroom/kitchen. Then there's a spot to put an extra star if she's "Extra good" for mommy. If she refuses to do one of her "regular" chores (usually this is the brushing her teeth in the morning... she just won't do it no matter what I threaten her with) then she gets an X for that chore for that day. If she doesn't do something, but I didn't ask her to do it,(for example, her room isn't messy and there aren't any toys to clean up) then she doesn't get a star or an X.

At the end of the week we sit down and count all her stars and all her X's and if she has more stars than X's she gets her allowance. If she has more X's than stars, then nothing. The first week she refused to do most of the stuff on the list and at the end of the week I had to explain to her that because she didn't listen to Mommy when I asked her to do these things she wouldn't be getting an allowance. I think remembering that has helped her this week. She did much better and got a whole dollar for her troubles. She asked me to give her the allowance in nickels and dimes. (She wanted pennies originally, but I had already cleaned out my penny bank and gave it to her earlier in the week.)

Well, that's about it for today. We're headed off to see a parade this afternoon to kick off the summer festival here in our town this week. It's pretty boring for the adults, but Olivia is so excited. She's got it all planned out. She'll be in the Wagon with Rachel and she wants to bring a bag to carry all the candy that gets thrown to the kids. She doesn't want to miss out on a piece of it. lol. I'll post some pictures tomorrow if I remember.

Some (but not all) blinkies adopted from:

Others found randomly around the net and put here to use for my own nefarious purposes! Muahahahaha. (*J/K*)