Thursday, July 18, 2013

Prairie Schooler Santas

Let me just say, I love July! 

July 4th is one of my favorite holidays - I love being at ball games and hearing the National Anthem being played this month.  

July also starts to slow down at our house - well, a little bit.  The boys are only playing baseball on the weekends which frees me up just a little bit to catch up on things.  

Over Christmas vacation I started stitching The Prairie Schooler Santa collections.  I only have 8 done to this point, but decided to put the backing on them this afternoon.  

I am going to be SO happy come December that I have these 8 done.  Maybe I can get a few more stitched before it's time to decorate for Christmas.  

I chose to do the envelope method of backing - when you are done there's no stitching the opening closed.  

Thank you Marly for all your inspiration and help with these.  

 Put my Kindred Spirits piece in its frame last night.  So happy I could save this piece.

 I think I'm losing it!  I shared with you the wonderful Flosses by The Gentle Art....

well, guess what I found while digging through my stitching baskets today?

A floss kit for the pattern I'm currently stitching ......Autumn on Marigold Lane.  I had purchased this sometime during the winter and didn't need to purchase it again!  I'll need to find more patterns to stitch with these lovely flosses.  

Have a great weekend!  I'm off with our oldest son for a weekend Tournament in Indiana,  Dad/Coach and the youngest son will be staying home for a 12U tournament our baseball association puts on.   

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A new obsession

Like so many of you, I started Cross Stitching in the 80's.  My first project in the summer of 1987 was a Teddy Bear alphabet wall hanging that I made, intending to give to the first grandchild on my side of the family, who was set to arrive in October 1987.  I took that project with me to my boyfriend's softball games and would stitch in between games. In the end, my Mom wouldn't let me give it to my new born nephew - I needed to save it for my own kids. Mom said I had way too much work in that piece to give it away.  That boyfriend became my husband, 10 years later we had our daughter and I hated that cross stitch piece! I'm now saying that I'm saving it for our grandchildren.  

Shortly after starting the Cross Stitch obsession, I decided on the Floss*A*Way bags as my way to organize my growing collection of DMC threads.  

When JoAnn's had floss 4/$1.00 back in the early 1990's I would buy several skeins on each visit.  Did I really need to have every single color?  Have I ever used every single color?  

NO!  But I have them, just in case.....  

Move aside DMC

I've found a new love (maybe I should be real and say addiction)

 Simply Shaker Threads.
Oh Wow! is all I can say about these threads.  They are dyed to give a slight variation in the color in stitching projects.  It's a very subtle variation that I will compare to highlighting and shading in painting.  

My collection at the moment is only about 20 skeins, but I will be adding to it!  

One of my favorite designers is Pineberry Lane.  Most of Wendy's patterns that I have use the Simply Shaker Threads.  My current project is Autumn on Marigold Lane by Pineberry Lane.  The flowers in the big urn are stitched with just one thread color - Autumn Leaves and they are so pretty in person.

If you are looking for a source for the Simply Shaker Threads, may I suggest Rachelle of The Cottage Needle, found on Etsy HERE.  Rachelle is wonderful, she has a great selection of patterns, fabrics and threads.  

Thought I'd show you a mistake that I made.  I stained this piece just a "tad" too dark with coffee.  I was just sick, as I can't even tell where my stitching is or what it's supposed to say.  UGH.  How many hours did I spend on this one?  I couldn't even think about it.  

"Kindred Spirits" by Primitive Needle

 I was so afraid after baking the piece in the oven that the coffee stain would be permanently set.  What did I have to lose?  I took it to the sink and started running room temperature water over the piece.  Enough of the stain washed out that I can now see my stitching!  YAY!  Happy Day.   

I have a frame ready for this, just need to mount it on the mat board - my least favorite part of finishing.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Some First's and Some Last's

Oh, My Goodness!  Where have I been? It has been over 3 months since I last posted.

These last few months have brought about several changes at our household:  

The last time I have to buy a prom dress, it will just be tuxedo's from now on.    

The dress was the easy part - the shoes were a nightmare to find.  We were down to days prior to the big event before we found "the pair".  It doesn't help when we live an hour from the nearest shopping centers.  

I'm sure I'll still have to buy dresses like the one on the left, but what a day we had.  Carrie needed 2 dresses; one for scholarship interviews and a different one for the awards ceremony/graduation. We spent the entire day at the mall looking for "the outfit".  Wouldn't you know it was the last store we went into!    

At one point we were laughing so hard in the fitting room I was in tears.  I can't picture this happening with the boys!


Then there was the No Graduation Party Party.  In January she decided she didn't want a party, by February she thought she would, March back to no.  Late in April she changed her mind AGAIN.  And she had very specific requests.  
1. Mom's roll out cookies decorated like flowers
2.  Mom's smoked pulled pork

My husband put his foot down and said I didn't have time to smoke all the pork - Thank you!  He called and ordered it from a local guy who does this as a business. 

The cookies were another story.  I made 2 batches of my roll out cookies, decorated them and put them into the freezer.  On Memorial Day we spent 12 hours making more.  

It dawned on my after making the first batch on Memorial Day that the first 2 batches I'd made were egg-less ( I wondered at the time why they weren't puffy).  I forgot to put in the eggs!  Oh, My Gosh!  I don't have this kind of time.  
The recipe for these cookies can be found in this POST

The Graduate

Another Last - our youngest son is done with Little League Baseball - he moves on to a bigger field next year in Jr. High.  Kind of a sad day to say good bye to this level of ball.  

I love this picture of him in his catcher's gear.  His Dad was a catcher in both high school and college.  It's fun to see him follow in Dad's footsteps.  Spring is always busy with baseball for us - in the month of June we had just 3 days without a ball game.  But there's no where else I'd rather be!  

I guess this next one is a "second".  Son #1 now has his permit.  I will miss our daughter in so many ways when she heads off to college in the fall - one of those ways is her hauling the younger 2 around.  There will be a 3 month period, after she leaves before he can get his license.  UGH. 

I'll be back soon - I promise!