Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Wrap-up and Plans for the New Year

Well, I survived Christmas and now to see how things go in the new year. Drove to my sister's lake house in NE Oklahoma ( 4/12 hour drive) on the Saturday the 22nd. Snow was predicted, so our trip was up in the air until that morning when we got up. It was not doing anything, so we were on the road before 8. About an hour from home, it started raining and rained all the rest of the way. Got there about 12:30, in time for lunch with my family and all of my sister's in-laws for a total of around 40. By mid-afternoon, the rain had changed to freezing stuff, etc. The in-laws left to return to their homes 2-3 hours away and it took them 5 hours. We had our gift exchange with my family and had homemade ice cream. Got to see my great-nephew Ethan for the first time. He is 7 months old and weights about 23 pounds. He is a very big boy.

My youngest sister and her family returned to their home in Missouri in early evening and were concerned about the roads. She called back to say that once they got into Missouri the roads were better. However, she did tell us that she had heard on the news that there was a 32 car pile out west of Topeka where I live. I knew then we had been hit with some snow. Heard from Anita from The Sunflower Seed about noon that it was snowing so hard you could not even see 1/2 block. There was a total white out that created the big crash. Found out the next morning we had, at least, 9 inches of snow in Topeka. That concerned us about our trip home. I know to some of you that does not sound like much, but we seldom get that much at one time, so people do not know how to handle it. Coming home was not a problem until we got about 30 minutes from home and there was one stretch of 10 miles that was completely snow-packed. Strange since the county side roads were clear and almost dry. Seems like the state DOT forgot about that stretch of road. It was great to finally be home.

Monday we drove a little over an hour away to pick up a 37-in TV from my niece. They had gotten all new flat screens for their house and no longer were using this one. It is bigger than anything we have so we said we would take it off their hands. Now all we need is a stand for it. Where we thought it would fit, won't work. Getting a stand is on the agenda for tomorrow.

Since it appeared that Morris and I were going to spend Christmas day alone and I found out some other good friends were going to be alone too, I called and invited them to spend it with us. They have been having a rough time in their life with a variety of things, so I thought it would be good to spend some quality time with them. I made an entire dinner with turkey and most of the trimmings without even running out to the store. We both had crisises with elderly father that morning, so getting together was great for all of us. Morris and Corky spent most of the afternoon doing a jigsaw puzzle, Jim took a nap and I attempted to help with the puzzle. I am not very good with them. I could have done some stitching, but that would have put me in another part of the house and that would have been rude.

There is still on Christmas stitching that I have not shown here. It is for my good stitching buddy Sandi. We have not had time to get together between the weather and her family get togethers. We will do that in the next few days. Here is what I have finished for her. It is one of the Krenik's "Remember the Ladies" series. Framed by the local frameshop. This was a project that I had started for Sandi several years ago and decided this was the time to finish it and give it to her.
Blessed Are .....
by Kreinik
25-ct Natural Pearl Linen
Kreinik silk Mori included with the pattern
This puts a wrap on Christmas giving and celebrations.
Many of you have made goals for the new year and ways you want to complete WIPs, etc. Well, I have made a plan on how to complete one WIP that needs to be done in the coming year. It is a wonderful design that I picked to do for my friend Sandi as a retirement gift. It is her colors, etc. She has now been retired 2 years and I cannot seem to get this done. Here is a picture of the design from the January/February1995 issue of CrossStitch and Country Crafts.
It has a lot more specialty stitches than I thought. Each of the letters of the alphabet are done alternating between the Rice Stitch and Eyelet Stitch over 4 threads for each letter. Besides that it eats thread like crazy to do all those stitches. I have decided that I am going to stitch at least 1 hour a week on this project on Tuesdays. That is the day that I am most often at home all day. Here is the progress so far.

Although the new year starts on Tuesday, I will not start my weekly stitching until the following week. There I even putting off the start. Still not sure what we might be doing on New Year's Day so don't want to plan to work on it and then have to change my plans. Wish me luck with the is project. Never tried stitching on a schedule before. We will see how disciplined I can be.

We had a few more inches of snow last night. That is the 3rd snow in 6 days. Feel like we are in the mountains of Colorado. That almost never happens here. Just gives me more stitching time. I don't like to drive in the stuff and our driveway can be a real mess.

Muffin Update: It has been 10 days of crating and anti-inflammatory meds and I took her back to the vet yesterday. He said there is some improvement, but he would have liked to see more. Gave her another steroid shot and said make sure she stays in the crate as much as possible. When she is out keep her on a leash so we can keep her from jumping around. She has not learned very well that she needs to eat when she is out. He says she will if we keep her in there all but the 3-20 minute sessions out. We go back again in 10 days. This crating is killing me.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Visit From Santa and Christmas Stitching

Celebration of Christmas has started early. Today I had a little Christmas party/exchange with my stitching sisters. Reina, Mary, Anita and I gathered at the LNS-The Sunflower Seed for lunch from Panera's and exchange Christmas presents.

These shots were taken as we were opening presents. In this one Anita is demonstrating how her new stay-at-home socks can also be used for hand warmers or hand puppets. Shop dog Betsy is in the foreground. Mary, (Anita's real sister) is in the red shirt inspecting a little suitcase type box she just opened from Reina.
Here Mary is talking to Reina and I think Reina is saying don't take that picture.
We always have such a great time when we get together whether it is Christmas, a birthday or just sitting and stitching.

I have to tell you that I really cleaned up. Thank you so much to my sisters. Below is the stitchy-type gift I received. Tin topper stitched in my favorite color purple. I think Anita said it was Caron Collection Amethyst. Also you see The Victoria Sampler's "Heirloom Nativity Sampler" with called for 28-ct Smokey Pearl Cashel and Embellishment Pact. In the little mesh bag was another Whitman Sampler Tin, still with the chocolates in it, along with fabric and Crescent Colours Belle Soie-Elegant Eggplant to stitch up a design that Anita had done for us. Design name is Celtic Tin Topper. Not sure whether it will ever be released to the public, since not sure how available the long skinny tins will be available. She gave us 40-ct fabric. I really want to see if I can handle the 40-ct stuff.

Some more of my gifts took on a theme. Many of you may have figured out that I am a big Kansas State fan, these gifts followed that theme. A light similar to an Ott-Light with the KSU logo on it. Also, a KSU wallet/coin purse, KSU key chain(the purple had almost worn off the one I had), KSU stickers and address return labels. The black and white thing is a little suitcase-type box with wooden-like handle. I love these. The make wonder project totes for travel or back and forth to the shop with Anita's design models for approval.
Even with all that I have mentioned above, that does not include it all. There was also a recipe book that had recipes for foods served in all kinds of restaurants from Applebee's to Olive Garden to Margareitaville. Some wonderful sounding recipes. They are expecting me to test them out on the girls. Then there was a gift card to Barnes and Noble. Love that place. Forgive me sisters, if I have left off anything. It was not intentional. I feel so blessed to have these three as my stitching sisters. Thanks sisters for everything and for the fun times we have together.

For several weeks I have been talking about the secret stitching that I have been doing for Christmas. Now I can show you the results of my labors that I gave to Mary, Reina and Anita in the order that the designs appear.

My Needle and My Floss
by Waxing Moon
28-ct R&R Creek Bed Brown
Recommended Threads-GAST, Weeks and DMC

Liberty Sampler
by Lizzie Kate
28-ct R&R Creek Bed Brown
Recommended Thread-GAST & Weeks

The Sampler Sampler
by Brightneedle
28-ct R&R Creek Bed Brown
Recommended Thread-Anchor & DMC
On this last design I used 3 of the 9 motifs from the pattern. I pulled all the ones that had houses on them with the middle one that said "Home". They were all framed at our local frame shop, that always does a fantastic job. The Sampler Sampler I just picked up on my way to pick up lunch and then to the shop. Did not have time to wrap and we had previously had a discussion about putting it in a plain brown wrapper. So I used some of the shop's brown sacks and made wrapping paper for it.

This might be my last post before Christmas, so I would like to take this time to wish all my blogging friends a "Very Merry Christmas and a Happy Stitching New Year". Tomorrow I have to pick up 2 gift cards and a few groceries. Then home to make noodles, mashed potatoes and homemade ice cream to take to my sister's lake house for our family Christmas on Saturday. It is about a 4 hour drive away, then return home on Sunday. We will be at home on Christmas Day with just Morris and I and little Muffin in her crate. That just means more stitching time for me.

Merry Christmas to you all !!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stitch Therapy Christmas Party

I stitch with a group of gals at the LNS -The Sunflower Seed every Monday night. We all call it our therapy session. The size of the group varies from as few as 6 to as many as 12. When we have 12, we almost have to sit on top of each other.

It is our tradition to have some kind of Christmas party and it was held last night at the the shop. We had to postpone it from last week when we in the beginnings of a big ice and snow event. Therefore we were all anxious to get together and have our party. This year we ordered in pizza and Reina baked a dark chocolate cake. Mmmmm!!! Also several a variety of cookies and chocolates. Stitchers love their chocolate. There is a story behind the cake. She had baked and decorated cupcakes for us for last week when we had to cancel. They were decorated to look like reindeer. Her husband is a police officer so they got the cupcakes instead of us. Sorry we had to miss the reindeer, Reina.

Several years ago, the owner/designer at The Sunflower Seed, Anita, started a Friendship Series of Samplers. Most years she unveils the design at our Christmas party and gives a copy of the design to the person that is being honored that year. This year the honor went to our dear Joann. Anita names the sampler for the person using their maiden name. Here is Joann with the stitched design model for the "Joann Fleischer Sampler'. She was very surprised and pleased to be honored in this way. The sampler incorporates a lot of purple, Joann's favorite color.
We struggled trying to find out Joann's maiden name. Anita had the design done, but we did not have the name to put on it. So one night, she and I were both early to stitching and I just started talking to her about her family and steered the conversation to her mother and her name. Her mother had a rather unusual first name so I had her spell everything for me. Viola!!!, we had the name we needed. Anita was amazed at how I accomplished it. Joann even mentioned last night about how we even got the last name spelled correctly since it was always being spelled wrong. I reminded her of the time I got it from her I had her spell it for me. We did not want to spell it wrong on the pattern. Before we left for the evening, Joann had all the supplies to stitch her sampler.

Here is Anita with Joann. On the dedication on the pattern mentioned that Joann always had a smile on her face and a purple thread in her needle. We always know if we find a stray purple thread on the floor it belongs to Joann.
I have included a close up view of the sampler. This was one of my secret stitching designs I mentioned in previous posts. We made several changes as I stitched it, including totally redesigning the flowers. Purple is a favorite of mine too, so it was a fun stitch. Also, helped knowing who I was stitching it for. I knew that she would love it.

Joann Fleischer Sampler
28-ct Pink Whisper Linen
Thread Gatherer Silk 'n Colors
Crescent Colours Belle Soie
The design will become available at the Nashville Market in February.
We all had a fun evening together, but I am not sure how much stitching we got done. I heard a couple of people say, "I put in 6 stitches and promptly took those 6 stitches out". I know I had to do some ripping myself. The down side of things was that we will miss 2 weeks of stitching for the holidays coming up and The Sunflower Seed being closed between Christmas and New Years. We left saying we would see each other next year.

Update on Muffin. --- We made it through the night and all day with her crated up. She did fairly well until this evening. Then we decided she was hungry. Fed her and she seemed a little more satisfied. She is not used having to eat at specific times. Even though she does not eat all day, it is always available. So now when she has limited freedom, she will have to learn to eat when she is out of the crate. Only 5 weeks and 5 days to go. Ugh!!! Will we survive?

Off to put in a couple of stitches and then to bed.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dog Health Issues

It has been a stressful day or two. As you know from previous posts, I have a 10 1/2 year old Boston Terrier Muffin. Here is photo taken a few months ago when things were green and not white and icy like they have been the last week or so.. After being out most of the day on Saturday, we came home and let her out of the crate she stays in whenever we are gone. I noticed that her left back leg was not working very good. Actually, part of the time it did not work or support her body. Thought maybe she had been laying wrong in her crate, but it did not get any better over the evening. Then on Sunday morning she was laying in the sun and I reached down to pet her on her back and she let out a very loud sharp yelp. Then I started getting concerned. This along with the leg problem bothered me. Almost decided to take her to the local emergency vet on Sunday. She also seemed to have problems going up and down stairs part of the time. Decided to just wait until morning and call our vet. Called 5 minutes after they opened this morning. The long time vet tech said bring her right in. We were the first ones that Dr. Connor saw this morning. He almost immediately knew what the problem was. He pulled her back legs out and said it appeared to be a back and spinal cord issue. Took several x-rays. With a dog her size it was like a full body x-ray. Very interesting to see the inside of your dog. One thing he was trying to rule out was a tumor.

In the end it appears that she has at least one and maybe 2-3 slipped discs in her back. We have no idea what she did that might have caused this to happen. She is a very active dog, playing and jumping, etc. So it could have happened any number of ways. He said when this happens the middle part of the disk is a jello like substance and as we age it turns to more like cottage cheese. This substance acts as shock absorbers for the vertebrae. Whatever she did caused the disks to move and some of the substance was pushed out and touched the spinal cord. The spinal cord does not like to have anything touching it. It then became inflamed. Over time the disk will heal itself with some fibrous substance kinda similar to when disks are fused on humans.

The treatment for her is some pain meds for a few days, some steroids for inflammation, some other meds for inflammation and to be confined in a very small crate for 6 weeks, 24 hours a day. She can only get out of the crate, 20 minutes at a time, 3 times a day. It has to be a small crate that she can only turn around in and basically lay straight and not move around in. She has always been crated when we leave, but beyond that she has the run of everything. I had to go out and buy a much smaller crate than she is used to. Basically is is for cats or dogs somewhat smaller than her. The first time I put her in it, was a struggle, but I managed. Then she has to stay in it while I am stitching, etc. and it breaks my heart because she does not understand why she has to be in there. The vet said this would be harder on us than on her. This is going to be a very long 6 weeks, especially since it broke my heart to put her in there the first time and I have to do that 2-3 times a day for 6 weeks. Morris just keeps telling me we have to do it or she will not recover and could become paralyzed. That would be harder to handle. So I guess I need to pull up my big girl panties and deal with it. LOL!!!

She goes back to see the vet in 10 days. Hope she will have made great progress and we can adapt her treatment.

Have some stitching news to post, but need to take some pictures and get some pictures from a friend that were taken tonight at our Monday night Stitch Therapy Christmas Party.

Off to put Muffin out before going to bed. It is not going to be the same without her there to keep me warm.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Decorated Tree

On Thursday we started getting snow, sleet and freezing rain. Now things are beginning to look more like Christmas. More of the stuff is predicted for Saturday, Sunday and possibly Monday. It will not be all the time, but off and on. Usually when they predict it, we don't get it or get very little. I am a big chicken about driving in or on it. So, if it does happen, most of the time you will find me at home curled up with my stitching.

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent decorating my Christmas tree. The tree is a little smaller than usual and I did not use near all of the ornaments that I have. These pictures are taken from each side because there is not enough room to get back far enough to get the entire tree in the picture. The first picture is looking off towards the entryway and the other is taken from the entryway back the other way. The unfortunate part of that one is that is shows my refrigerator with my magnet collection on it.
My ornaments range from Hallmark collectibles including lots of Mickey Mouse, Patriotic Santas and snowmen to handmade ornaments made by myself, my mother and Morris's mother. Also I buy an ornament almost every place I have ever traveled to.
Here is my favorite and most cherished Christmas decoration. It is a hardanger Christmas tree from Cross 'n Patch by Emie Bishop. There is quite a story behind this piece. I had seen it at several Cross Stitch Festivals and fell in love with it, but I don't do hardanger. I have tried and just cannot do anything beyond kloster blocks. This was stitched for me by one of my best friends, Sandi.
As she tells the story, it was in one of her weaker moments. We were having a local stitch-in overnighter at the Kansas Museum of History. (Those were such fun. We don't do them anymore.) I was late arriving at the stitch-in because I had attended the KSU-NU football game in the rain. Sandi is a NU graduate. KSU had lost. She said I looked so bedraggled, wet and cold when I arrived at the stitch-in she took pity and stitched the hardanger Christmas Tree for me. I bought all the supplies and by the following year's Christmas, I had this wonderful piece to display in my entryway. It always the first thing I put our at Christmas time. I will never be able to thank Sandi enough for stitching this piece for me. Later, she stitched it for a friend of mine, but has never stitched it for herself. I think I have bought her the supplies to do it for herself, but it has not gotten to the top of her list.

Along with the decorating of my tree, etc., I have been doing some stitching on Block 3 of my Village. Here is my progress. Not much, but I have also been stitching on a Sunflower Seed design model. There has been a flag added, the beginnings of the sign and background and the roof of City Hall. If I could I think that I would stitch on this all the time, it is so much fun. However, I think I would burn myself out on it if I stitched it exclusively. My adult attention deficit probably would kick in. LOL.

The project that I have been working on during my stitch therapy sessions at the Sunflower Seed is the Not Forgotten Farms-Giving Sisters. Sometimes the light is not right to see the Village with my cheaters, so I do something else. Cannot stitch on a design model with all my therapy mates around. Don't you just love the green face on this lovely witch?

Tuesday morning I took time out to do a little online stashing. Here in Kansas we have a company that does overdyeing of fabric. Picture This Plus is located in Junction City, Kansas and they have developed a dyeing process that allows the fabric to be colorfast. The Sunflower Seed has used a lot of this fabric in her designs. Therefore, I have stitched on a lot of it. When they have pieces that do not come out quite right they end up with what they call "orphans". A couple of years ago they sold orphans every Wednesday. Recently I found out from their Yahoo group that the orphans were back. They went on sale at 10:00AM Central Time on Tuesday on the Internet only. By some minor miracle, I remembered what day it was and signed on and adopted the following pieces.

They even name their orphans. The ones I adopted are named Hope, Miles, Gianni and Gisella. Not sure which is which in the picture. Two of the pieces look like about the same color until you open one up and it has several light to medium brown splotches to give it some character. Don't have any projects in mind just had to give these pieces a new home. It is my understanding that they will continue the adoption process with new orphans every Tuesday at 10:00AM central time until all the orphans are adopted. Usually there are about 40 pieces each week ranging from 14-ct Aida to 28-ct Cashel to 32-ct Belfast in plain and opalescence. There are also a few pieces of Lugana. Size is usually 18x26. Check it out you might find an orphan that calls to you.

Late this afternoon, I finally got my blog reading caught up. WOOHOO!!!! It has taken me almost 2 weeks to get my Google Reader caught up from being gone from the computer for a week. I hope to never go down that road again. Almost felt like I was drowning. About the time I thought I was getting the numbers down, then all my stitching friends would decide to post at the same time. LOL. I probably did not do as much commenting while catching up as I usually do. Sorry!! I will do better now that things are caught. Want to thank all those that visit and comment. It is always fun to hear from you.

WOW!! This one turned into a long one again. Sorry!! Off to bed with me. I am working at the Sunflower Seed tomorrow. Hopefully, the yucky weather doesn't get too bad.

Happy Stitching to All.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

O Christmas Tree, Friends and Village Update

Working very hard at being in the Christmas mood. This morning was "hanging of the greens" at church, but I was ushering so really did not get to see much of what went on, other than the lighting of the tree, wreaths and garland. This this afternoon, on probably the coldest afternoon we have had so far, we went to a Christmas Tree farm about 8-10 miles from our house to pick and cut our tree. I think the temp was around freezing with a 20 mile an hour wind. BRRRR!!! Here is a photo of the tree farm.

The temp being what it was did not take me long to find a tree. Not the best we have ever had. We have been going to this place for several years. Had been reading in the newspaper that 6-7 foot trees were going to be in short supply this year. There had been a couple of years that they lost trees due to disease, drought and hot weather. We could tell they were a little short in that size. Here is a picture of the one that we picked out before the chain saw hit it.

Here the tree is in the corner of our dining room. Waiting for Morris to put the lights on and then I put the ornaments, etc. on it. Over the years I have collected ornaments from various places we have visited. Also, I am a Hallmark ornament collector. I have one small tote full of nothing but Mickey Mouse ornaments. If I wanted to be really ambitious I could make one tree with nothing but Mickey Mouse. I bet I don't even put half of the armaments that I have on the tree. Probably could do several themed trees. They look nice and I would enjoy them, but the problem is all the time it takes to put them up for a couple of weeks and then the time to take them down and box everything up again. I just sometimes rotate the ornaments that I put on the tree.

I have several Christmas cross stitch pieces to get out and we have an icicle and snowflake arrangement that we hang in the front picture window. Will have more pictures when everything gets done.

Yesterday I had the most wonderful day. I spent it with 5 of my long time friends from college in a neighboring city. We have been attempting to have little mini-reunions over the last couple of years. Of those that we have been trying to get together, at least 2 were missing. One met with us last time, and the other has not made it yet, but we expect her to sometime soon. We all lived together in a scholarship house of 64 at Kansas State more years ago than any of us want to admit. Basically, the group us were together from 2 -4 years. One left after 2 years to finish up her nursing degree at another university.

Of the 6 of us, 4 are retired and 2 of them have gone back to work. One does long-term substitute teaching and the other one does contract work for a consulting firm that works for her former employer. One of the other recent retirees is planning to babysit her new grandson and then there is me. You all know what I do-------CROSS STITCH!!!!!!!!! The two that are still working are an elementary school principal and an assistant US Attorney. It was so great to spend time with everyone. We were never at a lose for words.

The reason we picked this date and city was they were having an Old Fashioned Christmas parade where all the entrants had be horses and horse drawn wagons and such. Nothing motorized. It lasted about an hour with 80 entrants. It was lots of fun. I did not get any pictures because it was raining and we found a place to watch the parade from inside. After walking around the downtown area before the parade, we found a little restaurant/coffee shop to stop in. Found a little counter-type area at the front that looked out on the parade route so we just pulled up chairs and our cappuccinos and lattes and watched the parade. That was only the beginning of our restaurant tour. After the parade was over, stopped in a shop that someone needed to pick a Christmas present in and dropped it and our rain gear by the car and went to a small art show in the local arts center. Right across the street from the arts center was a little restaurant with made to order wraps, salads and Philly Sandwiches. So guess where we had lunch. We were waiting on a call from one person. She called as we were starting lunch and she was on her way to meet us. We waited on her, which was not a problem. Gave us more time to visit. Then we talked some more while she ate her lunch when she got there. After about 2 hours for lunch, we moved on to a little ice cream shop that makes their ice cream right there with many, many flavors. Let's see, I think we had Snickers, Kansas Twister, Cappuccino Chip. Those are the ones that I can remember.

Again, we had lots of time to talk. We spent another hour there. One had to go rescue her husband that was watching the new grandson, so we took her to her car. We went into our hostess's home and looked at her pictures of her recent trip to Italy. One other of us had been to some of the same places and her and husband are taking some college students to that same area this spring. Then around 8 we decide we needed to do dinner, so off to an Italian restaurant close by. Time to eat again. We sort of blamed all the eating on to one of the gals because when we lived in the scholarship house she was kitchen manager at least one semester. Don't you like our logic.

Way too soon it was time to say good bye, but with big plans to meet again. Plans were made to meet again in early summer to attend "Symphony in the Flint Hills". It is an event that has been held twice now and sold out where the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra does an open air concert in the wide open spaces of the Kansas Flint Hills. In 2008, it will be in the county where one of the group lives. From what we all have heard it is an event not to be missed. I did look up last night after I got home to see what the date is. It is to be held June 14, 2008, so I will be letting everyone know. I know everyone is looking forward to us getting together again. We had such a great time getting caught up with everyone and say "do you remember this person or when we did this?", which was usually followed with a great deal of laughter. When we lived together we always had a great time and our time together yesterday was no different.

Since I was gone all day yesterday, there has not been a great deal of stitching progress done on any one thing. I have stitched on the Sunflower Seed design model, my Giving Sisters from Notforgotten Farms and I did start Block 3 of Village of Hawk Run Hollow. I tried to wait until Friday night or December 1st, but just could not do that. When I realized I probably would not get much stitching done on the lst because of going to the reunion, I started some on the border on Thursday night. Below is my progress as of an hour or so ago. It is a little difficult to see. I was working all on one side and I also did not press it very good from where I had it rolled on the outside edge when I was working on the other blocks. Not much planned for the coming week. Need to spend time decorating my tree and the rest of the house. There still is Christmas shopping to do. Also, this morning the filling in my tooth that was going to be repaired in a couple of weeks fell out. So will need to call the dentist tomorrow. They may need to work me in sooner. In talking to my niece about our family Christmas, I ended up volunteering to bring noodles and mashed potatoes for our dinner. That means I need to make more noodles. Morris wants me to make sugar cookies for his barber. They are his favorite. Now I have listed several things that I can do this week. Of course, there will always be too much cross stitch that needs to be done. Friday night is one of the few Christmas dinner that we attend. That should be fun.

Oh, and I am still trying to get caught up on the blog reading. I have been averaging almost 25 read per day out of my Google reader and I cannot get caught up. Many of you are getting comments on blogs that are several day old. Hope you don't mind. That does not even include the blogs that I just have bookmarked and are not in my Google Reader. Man you people are busy, busy.

Well, it is off to finish up a couple of things and then off to bed. I try to keep my night owlness under control. Sometimes I think I could stay up most of the night and then sleep during the day, but that does work very well to interact with people that aren't night owls. LOL!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Branson Report and Stitch Progress

Getting caught up after being gone for a week has been a major problem. Things really piled up while we were gone to Branson. The newspapers, the mail, the e-mail and the blogs on Google Reader. I had 150 e-mail and 115 unread blogs. Yesterday alone, I read 32 blogs and still have over 80 to read. More keep being added almost faster than I can read them.

The first thing I had to do when we got back was to go on Monday morning to pick up the dog (Muffin) from boarding from the vet. She was sooooo glad to see me. She was licking me all over and got so excited she nipped me on the nose. No damage, but I think it surprised us both. She has not let me out of her sight since. Poor baby.

Along with trying to get things caught up on Monday, had a church meeting and dentist appointment. Just for cleaning, but now have to go back for a repair on a filling in a couple of weeks. YUCK!!! Also so had Monday evening stitch therapy session. It was good to be back with everyone. Lots of things happening since I missed one week. One wedding done without a hitch and one of our group was at the hospital waiting for new grand baby. What fun we had. During our time together we manage to have a few laughs. You have heard the saying "died laughing". Well, I feel like I almost did. I was taking a drink of water during one of our laugh sessions and got chocked on it and spit water all over. Ended up coughing all night.

We had a great time in Branson with Martin and Mary, as usual. Went to 2 shows and road the Branson Scenic Railway while they were with us. We saw Moe Bandy in an afternoon show and The Haygoods in their evening show. The Haygoods are a family of 7 guys and 1 girl ranging in age from 30 to 14 and they sing, dance and play multiple instruments. One of the guys sang one of the best versions of "Mary, Did you Know" I have ever heard. It was so moving that you really got caught up in his singing. They also did a wonderful "Stomp" dance with one of the guys being on the top of a scaffolding. It was awesome. Never really expected that type of show. Later in the week, Morris and I saw "Magnificent 7". It was a variety show of 7 decades of music. It was OK, but we both said we had seen better.

Thanksgiving was spent with my sister and her family and her in-laws at her house in Nixa. We ate entirely too much food, but I think that is just part of celebrating Thanksgiving. There were not many of the homemade noodles that I took leftover. They are a tradition in my family and now we are passing it on to Ruth Ann's step-sons and in-laws.

While we were in Branson, we did get some Christmas shopping done. Still have a lot to do. Yesterday, I did some orders online. Have a few more places to hit yet. Also watched some football games. My team lost again and ended the season with 4 losses. Not sure what the problems are, but hope they can get them fixed by next year. However, it does save me money because they will not be going to a bowl game this year. The best part of my time in Branson was that I got to do a lot of stitching.

Block 2 of Villages of Hawk Run Hallow was finished on Saturday, November 24th. That block was a pain for me. At least, the trees were. I had already started the branches before we went to Branson, but I was looking at the pattern and realized I had made a mistake. The branches were one color and the leaves were another and I had started making them all one color. So ended up doing some frogging. Ugh!! Several people have told me that would have just left it. I decided that I wanted it to be right, since I was putting so much work into the entire piece. Here it is.
Now here is a photo of both block together. I am not starting the 3rd one until at least Friday night. That will be just before the 1st of December. In the meantime, I am stitching on various other things.
On Monday night, I finished the 4th of 4 Christmas presents. So it is off to the frame shop with it either today or tomorrow. I was afraid I had over extended myself in trying to get those presents done. While in Branson, I took time out from VOHRH to stitch on a few other things. None of which I have pictures of. Back working on a design model for the Sunflower Seed, and a couple of other UFOs. Pictures of progress and Christmas items will come later.

Remember in my last post I mentioned I was starting to do some crocheting again. Well, the next two photos are of crocheting that was completed while in Branson. This first is the beginning of a baby afghan for a friend's grand baby to be. It is really soft and fluffy. Then in talking to my niece, Megan on Friday, I found out that I am going to be a Great Aunt again in July, so I guess I am practicing for an afghan for her. That will also mean a baby sampler too.

Here is a dishcloth crocheted with Sugar & Cream cotton yarn. I just found this pattern for a crocheted dishcloth on Joann' web site. Always saw the knitted ones, but no crocheted,so I was excited to find the pattern. Now everyone at my stitching therapy group thinks they need one. I had thought about doing that, but they are going to have to be patient. I don't do them very fast. I used the wrong size hook on this one, so maybe the next one using the correct size will be better and faster. Still have to weave in some ends.
Here is a little ornament that I completed the stitching on. It is from PS "Button Up". That pattern is for a big sampler, but I just took one motif out to make an ornament. I guess my camera does not take good pictures when I get too close. Sorry for the blurry picture. It is on 28-ct Lambswool linen and I converted most of the colors to overdyes. The face color has also been changed. I stitched with what the pattern called for and it made the face so dark that he looked like he fell asleep under a sun lamp. Have a couple more motifs in this pattern that I would like to do also.

Today I will be missing Wednesday afternoon stitch therapy. My ladies group at the church changed their meeting today from last week. It was too close to Thanksgiving. Going to see if I can read a couple of blogs before I hit the shower and off to the group meeting. My dog has been fussing to sit in my lap and got tired and went over to the couch and laid down and now is snoring. LOL.

This weekend, my college friends are trying to have a little get together in a nearby town. We are trying to do this on a regular basis. In the summer, some of us got together and now we are going to try again and go see a Christmas parade. The weather forecast is not very good for Saturday, but we will see how it turns out.

Thanks to all that take the time to stop by and read my blog. I know it does take time, since I am so wordy. Also, thanks to all for comments regarding progress on VOHRH.

Enjoy the season we are celebrating and don't get to rushed. Find time to stitch.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving (No Pictures)

Just a quick update of happenings. We leave in the morning for a week at our timeshare in Branson, Missouri. As I mentioned before, this has become our annual tradition. We see a few shows, do some Christmas shopping and basically chill out. For me, that includes lots of time to stitch. Seems like I have been slow to get things together for this year. I have done some food preparation. Taking beef stew, stuff for spaghetti, and an apple crisp. Michelle I could have used your apple peeler when I was doing this. For Thanksgiving dinner with my sister and her in-laws, I have made noodles and have stuff to make a cranberry salad.

On the drive down, we are stopping in Webb City, Missouri (near Joplin) to visit a cousin. This has become part of our routine on this trip too. They have two of the cutest little dogs.

As for stitching progress, I finished, on Thursday night, the design model for The Sunflower Seed that I had been struggling with. It is not in her hands to be framed and prepped for release. More about this in a later post. The last Christmas present is maybe a couple of hours away from being complete. I think I am going to leave it at home. It has so many colors with it, which takes up a lot of room. It will be no trouble to finish it as soon as I get back home. VOHRH Block 2 almost has the entire white part of the church with stained glass window. Just mainly roof and the willow trees left. They are really hard trying to follow all the back stitched leaves. My stitch bag is packed along with my lights and an old magnifier. Also have done some more crocheting. Working on crocheted dish cloths. Always saw knitted ones, but found a crochet pattern, so I am hard at it. That will be easy to do in the car.

Hopefully all of you bloggers will be so busy with Thanksgiving preparations, eating and visiting with family and friends that you will not be doing much posting to your blogs. That way I will not be overwhelmed when I get home. I hate to get behind. It seems like it takes forever to get caught up.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Don't "gobble til you wobble".

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weekly (sort of) Stitching Update

It has always been my goal to do a post at least weekly, however it did not happen within the week this time. I tend to not want to do one when I do not have any pictures. I know that it is not necessary to include pictures, but it seems to make things more interesting with pictures.
This has been a particularly busy week, but I managed to get in some stitching. Helped with a soup and dessert fundraiser lunch at church last Sunday, including providing a soup and a dessert, helping set up, serve, and clean up. It was very successful, so it was worth it. Monday helped Anita, owner of The Sunflower Seed do a trunk show of her Christmas designs at the local Needlework Guild. Attended the funeral of the mother of a good friend on Tuesday and went to two stitching group therapy sessions at the LNS. Worked at the Sunflower Seed on Thursday, had lunch with another friend on Friday and had my annual mammo and bone density test on Friday, too.
In between all that stuff I managed to fit in some stitching. Most of which I cannot show yet. One of the design models that I am working on for The Sunflower Seed has been a bugger to do. Several different problems. Color issue that we had to work out and as I got further into it, I found that I had made a mistake in the first part of it. We tried to compensate and change the design a little to accommodate my inability to count and read the pattern. Well, that did not work, so I spent a lot of time with the frog. Last night, I finished all I can do, until Anita makes some changes in part of the design and then I will complete it. Tonight, I finished the 3rd of 4 Christmas presents that I am stitching this year. Now it is ready for the framer. One of the others, I picked up from the framer last week, the other one has the frame ready to go on it. I was getting worried that I would not get them all done and framed in time. The fourth piece is about 2/3 done, so will get it done, at least by December 1st. With all this stitching, did not leave much time for my Village piece, but I did do some work. Actually, I got more done than I realized after I went back and looked at the last progress photo. Here is the latest update. The church has a few more stained glass windows and the other tree trunk is started. Hopefully this week there will be more done it. I am not looking forward to the backstitching that is the leaves of the trees. Maybe it will not be as bad as I think. My friends locally started this on October 1st and she is on block 5. She is a really fast stitcher.

My Adult Attention Deficient got the best of me on Thursday when I was working at The Sunflower Seed. I have been looking at Notforgotten Farms - The Giving Sisters, ever since it came out. Decided that if no one had bought it by the time Halloween was past, I would. Well, on Thursday I bought it and came home to my stash and found some 26-ct White Birch Heatherfield that I decided was perfect for it. You know I just had to start it. Here is my progress so far. I am using 3 strands of black in order to get good coverage. Seem to always think that black does not cover well so tend to always use more strands than it calls for. Otherwise using the DMC that it calls for. Hard to see any colors, but there are a couple in the top border. I love this design.
When I was at the framers last week, I also picked up another framed piece. I have had pictures of this one before, but before it was framed. I was not sure what kind of frame to put on it, so had Anita take it over and pick out the frame. She has such a wonderful sense as to what things need. It is just gorgeous. Here it is. This piece has always been difficult to photograph, so hopefully you can see the stitching.
The Workbasket
Quaker Odds and Evens
January, June, October and November
28-ct Mulberry Cashel
Needle Necessities Mauna Loa
Still disappointed to know that Needle Necessities is out of business. I loved that thread. I have managed to stock up on some of my favorite colors, so you will probably see some more things stitched with it in the future.
The week ahead does not appear to be as busy as last week. However, I will need the time to great things together for our annual trek to Branson, Missouri for the week of Thanksgiving. We have a timeshare down there and we have started our own tradition of going down and using it the week of Thanksgiving. It gives us a chance to see the Christmas shows, finish or get close to finishing our Christmas shopping and generally just kick back for a week. The most important thing is to get my stitching packed. Usually do a little extra cooking and freeze some things so we don't have to eat out all the time. One of our ideas for doing this was to get my family to come there for Thanksgiving dinner,etc. So far that has not happened. My dad thinks there would be too much traffic, etc. for him. One of my sisters lives in the area, so for the last 3-4 years we have been having dinner with her family and her in-laws. I also made the mistake of taking home made noodles one year and now they tell me I cannot come unless I bring them for our dinner. Silly me for starting such a thing. There is also a nice needlework shop in Branson. Have to make at least one stop during the week.
Tomorrow I think I am off to Joann's to buy some yarn. A couple of weeks ago I took a crochet refresher class and now I have the bug to do some crocheting. One of stitcher friend's is going to be a grandmother in March and I thought I would crochet an afghan for the baby. While I was looking for my patterns, I ran across one for a crocheted baby bib using cotton yarn like Sugar 'n Cream. Think I will try that too. Never enough time to do the things I want to do. I really am going to have to live forever to accomplish all the things I want to do.
Some day I am going to get the hang of this blogging thing, but now I cannot figure out how to make it put spaces between my paragraphs. When I am composing, I make spaces between paragraphs, but when it publishes sometimes it does it and other times it all runs together with no spacing. Sorry!! I think this is one of those times that it is all run together. Will try to do one more post before we leave for Branson, but no guarantees. Not looking forward to how many blogs I will have in my Google Reader after spending a week away from the computer.

Have a good stitching week everyone. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Stash and Village Progress

Wow, I am exhausted and I have not even gotten my post written. Just ran into a snap uploading pictures from my camera. Usually I do it through my HP printer, etc. with its software. Tonight it kept telling me there was no memory card even when it was stuck in the printer. Ended up using an Adobe down loader that did work, but then I had to figure out where it saved my edited photos. I get so frustrated with technology that I was almost ready to throw it all away. Since that process took so long this will probably be Thursday post instead of Wednesday one.

Last Friday I attended a Sewing and Quilting Expo in Kansas City with my stitching friend Sandi. She has gotten into quilting sort of through the backdoor. I like to quilt and sew, but would rather cross stitch. Sandi is working on finishing some things her mother had either in process or planned when she passed away rather suddenly. Now Sandi has the quilting bug pretty good, plus she also does sewing for her granddaughter. She make her Halloween costume this year. She wanted to be a cow, she had a cow costume and so did her Cabbage Patch doll Josie. i digressed a little here. The expo was held on 4 days with a merchandise mall open for 3 days. Various classes are held each day with a very diverse set of topics. The one class I took was Crochet 101. Even thought I crochet, I thought there might be some tips I could pick up. My mother, grandmother and an aunt did some beautiful work with thread instead of yarn and I have always wanted to be able to do that. Never been very successful. The teacher was very good and the class time went way too fast. The yarn we used in class was smaller than regular worsted weight yarn that I have used for afghans, so it was a different experience working with that. When I asked her my question about working with thread, suggested that I start with sock yarn. It is a very small yarn and then try again with the cotton thread. So I bought some sock yarn and have done a little work with it. I like the way the stripes appear in it. Did not take any pictures of that. It did not even enter my mind to do that. Maybe in a later post.

Could not go through a merchandise mall without buying something. Here is some fabric that I bought. The two pieces of red were bought at separate booths, but are companion pieces. One has snowmen in it and the other is just the background of the snowmen. Did not even realize it until I got home. Funny how things like that happen. No particular project in mind for any of these. I just like them. Also shown is a marking ruler that is marked off in 1/2 inch increments that you can use a chalk marker in to mark various widths for cutting. Still struggle getting my rotary cutter to work for me.
Here is a purse that I bought at one of the quilt shop booths. It looks just like a Vera Bradley bag, but did not have the Vera Bradley price tag. It was only $20 and has six pockets on the inside and one with Velcro closing on the outside. I love it. The handles are a good length too.

On the stitching front I have been working on the last 2 of 4 Christmas presents. Both are about 2/3 done. Sometimes it is hard to find time to stitch on them other than at home, since the people that they are for are involved in both of my weekly stitch therapy sessions. Also working on another design model for The Sunflower Seed. She has decided that one part of it needs to be changed so I will continue with the rest of it until the changes are done. This one needs to be done by before December 1st. The other design model is being put on the back burner til this one is done. Been trying to stitch as fast as I can, but when I do that I end up frogging more mistakes. Her Nashville market is coming up in February and she is already stressing over it.

My VOHRH has had to go on hiatus for a few days. Trying to get the other things done first. Also was waiting on some more silk. Got that on Monday, so was able to fill in one blank spot on the church steps today and tonight. Also has run out of the green for the grass and now am trying to finish that part too. Below is the progress so far.

Sunday the ladies of the church are having a Mission Fundraising Soup and Dessert Lunch after church. I am making at least a double batch of Taco Soup. Never really paid any attention to how many it serves, so after making the double batch, if I don't think that is enough I will make another. Also making a cream puff dessert. Good thing there is no home football game this weekend. I would not have time to take a whole day to go. Have bought the paper products for the lunch, still need to do some shopping for my soup ingredients and crackers and carrots and celery. Will do that Friday morning. Tomorrow (Thursday) I am working at the LNS-The Sunflower Seed. Things continue to be busy there. I know I have two orders to check in and price plus she told me today there are some patterns of hers that I can put together. It is better to be busy, but then I don't do any stitching. I guess she does not really pay me to stitch. LOL.

Hope everyone had a fun Halloween and not too many tricks or too much candy.!!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Kitty Rescue

WOW!! Can you believe it a post 4 days in a row. Don't get accustomed to it, because it probably will not happen again for some time.

Finally, I can tell you the story of our kitty rescue. When I came home from my Monday night stitch therapy session about 9 on Monday, I heard this MEOW! MEOW! MEOW! as I was getting my stuff out of the car. Then the sound came into the garage. I went into the house and said something to my significant other (SO) Morris and he said it was all over him when he got home from work. It was a black kitten. Bigger than just a baby, but not as big as an adult cat. Morris said he had tried to feed it milk and it did not want it. The kitten seemed very tame. We could pick it up and it purred constantly. Also the front paws were pulsating all the time. I became concerned about leaving it outside all night. We live kinda out in the country with all kinds of wild critters around, mostly coyotes and deer. Coyotes prey on little kitties. So we found a box to put it in and leave in the garage overnight. We would take it to the shelter the next morning. We did not secure the box well enough and in short order I heard it scratching at the door into the garage, so we again put it in the box and there it stayed all night. I actually woke up in the middle of the night worrying if it was too cold in the garage for it.

Here are some pictures of the kitty the next morning in our kitchen.

Here she is exploring the kitchen and about to find the dog food.

Here she found the dog food.
We tried feeding her milk in the morning. She was not much into that so I decided to try some of Muffin's dog food. She really went for that. In the process, she sunk a claw into one finger and a tooth into another. Have always heard cat bites are nothing to mess with so I hit it with peroxide and neosporin and now you would not even know it had happened. While I was doctoring myself and calling our vet that lives 2 door down, Morris was finishing getting ready for work and took the kitty into the bathroom with him. While there she pooped on a rug. We decided she had been eating somewhere to be able to do that. He sure was disgusted with the smell. You know how men are, but I know cat poo smells pretty bad. One reason I had called the vet office is that he lives 2 doors down from us and I know he has cats, so I thought it might be one of his. His vet tech said he was not missing any cats, but that if we wanted to bring it by they would find a home for it. Yeah!!. So Morris took it with him and dropped it off on his way to work. End of story. I have not called to see if they found a home.

Since we live on a very busy road, etc., I decided it would not be a very good thing to have a cat. I grew up on a farm and we always had cats and I believe cats should be able to go outside some. I was not ready to deal with losing a cat. Besides my Boston Terrier was not very keen on the kitty at all. She is getting older and did not think it was fair to stress her out with another animal in the family. She is a spoiled only child.

As I have mentioned many times I stitch design models for The Sunflower Seed and cannot show pictures of my work until she releases the designs. The following design has been released 2-3 weeks, but I had to wait for a picture on her web site. Actually the picture on the web site is better than the one that we used on the pattern.

Here Mousie, Mousie

30ct. R&R 18th Century Blackbird

One of our customers has also stitched it on 28ct Mystic by Picture This Plus. The cat is collecting mice with the cheese bait in his mouth and hanging his bounty on the fence. This was a fun stitch. Now I am working on something that needs to be done around the 1st of December and have another about half done, but it will not be available until market in February. The web site also shows 5 other designs that have become available in the last 3-4 weeks.

My progress report on VOHRH will have to wait until another time. Tomorrow I am going to Kansas City with another of my stitching friends, Sandi, to attend a Sewing and Quilting Expo. Last year we stayed over night and attended 2 days. She will be going back on Saturday, but I have a football game. I have enrolled in one class, Crochet 101. Although I know how to crochet, I thought this might be a chance to learn more. I was taught by my mother and grandmother and I only can do it with yarn. Would like to figure out how I can get myself to do it with thread to make doilies, bedspreads and tablecloths. Some of them can be very beautiful.

I keep forgetting to thank everyone for stopping by and for the comments that I receive. I love to read those comments. It is real motivating to read the comments. Through some of the comments, I have made several friends that I would not have had otherwise. Thanks to all of you in our blogging family.

Happy Stitching!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cross Stitch Camp/Retreat Report

This is going to be a long post, sorry. I thought of breaking the Cross Stitch Camp report into 2 posts, but I just uploaded 10 pictures so I am going for it. Julie sent me an e-mail this morning saying she almost was ready to come by the LNS to get a report, that she was tired of waiting for me to do my report. Sorry Julie, I had been tagged twice and need to take care of them first.
Very early last Thursday morning, two of my stitch group friends (Jan and Linda) headed out for a Cross Stitch Retreat sponsored by Heartland Needleworks in Oklahoma City. I am not much of a morning person so leaving my house at 6:00AM was rather difficult, but I went on to pick up Jan and on to meet Linda in a town 30 miles to the south. We loaded up stitch bags, stitch lights, folding camp chairs and suitcases and off we went. Things were rather uneventful all the way to Wichita, where we made a stop at Heart's Desire. They were having a trunk show from Midnight Stitching. This shop does all the framing for Lizzie-Kate. Below is what I added to my stash. I had been looking at Quaker Row and I am still collecting Needle Necessities fiber whenever I find it.

You noticed that earlier I stated that things had been uneventful all the way to Wichita. Well that all changed after we left Heart's Desire. We needed to get back on the Highway and back to the Kansas Turnpike. We missed our turn onto the Highway twice because we were always in the wrong lane. It was not a full interchange, so the getting on was different than we expected. We just had a few laughs over that.
Once on the Turnpike we continued down the road. Stopped for lunch at Braums. For those of you that don't know about Braums, it is an ice cream store that also does fast food. We ate lunch and then left room for ice cream. Cannot go to Braums without getting ice cream.

In Oklahoma they have many toll roads, but they operate way different than they do in Kansas. And you know we are just little country girls from Kansas. Well, now you can probably say that we are wanted in the State of Oklahoma. Their toll roads have a pull off place ever so often that you are supposed to pull over and throw some money into a chute. In Kansas, you pay the toll when you are getting off the toll road. So the first one we came to we just drove on through like we had their pike pass. We worried as we went along that we would see red lights and siren, but we never did. The next one that we came to we decided to pull over and put money in. And on the way home we stopped at both of them along our way. My sister came from Missouri on Friday and she had to pay $3.50 two different places and then also on the road that we had been on. At one point she got off to get gas and had to pay $.30 to get back on. We asked the girls at the retreat and they said they have cameras that take pictures and then they send you a ticket, if you don't pay the toll. Well, as of Monday night Linda had not received the ticket. On top of everything else, she has a personalized tag, so it should not be hard to figure out who it was. We have had several laughs over this one.

We made it to camp around 4. Got to pick out our own room. It had 2 twin beds and a queen bed and we had our own bathroom. That is a change from other camps. This was more like a motel room. Next we picked out our table and figured out how to get all of our lights plugged in so that we were not tripping on the cords all weekend. The camp facility was a church camp operated by the Methodist Church. Very nice facilities. It was down in a canyon and we were told to downshift our cars because of the sharp descent into the camp area. Cell phones did not work there. Nice break from contact with the real world. The dining hall was quite a hike from the lodge where we were staying and stitching. I figured it must have been at least a 4 block walk. Food was decent. Just the normal camp food. Not great, but edible.

I just realized I loaded a couple of pictures out of order, but will continue on any way. The next picture is of my cohorts in crime. Jan and Linda. We have stitched together at least once a week for maybe 12 years. They both work for the State Law Library and have know each other for 38 years and were in each other's wedding. Both will become grandmothers in the next 6 months. Linda in late November and Jan in early March. These two gals are 2 of my best buddies and we always have a fun time together. Never a dull moment for sure. Jan is the one in the foreground. They are going to yell at me for putting their picture into my blog. It is easier to talk about someone once you know what they look like.

The following picture is of my sister Ruth Ann. She joined us on Friday afternoon. She calls herself the unserious stitcher. She loves to do stamped embroidery, but does counted too. This is the second year she has joined Jan, Linda and I at a camp. She needs it since she is a school counselor and the mother to a 16-year old son and step-mother to 3 sons, 17, 19 and 20. Sometimes I think that house just has too much testosterone in it. Her and my other sister always tease me about my cross stitch and fabric stash along with all my other craft supplies. They call it my store. Usually I can come up with what they want from the store.
As I said this camp was in a canyon and we were surrounded by cliffs and bluffs of red dirt and rocks and lots of trees. The gals in charge of the camp mentioned that there were mountain goats in the area. I found it hard to believe there were mountain goats in the middle of Oklahoma, but here is proof. It is hard to see, but the white blob in this picture is a mountain goat sunning on the cliff. At one time we saw 6 goats. I tried to zoom in, but this is the best I could get. I think Jan got a better picture, but I forgot to tell her send it to me so I could use it in my post.

Here is our stitch room. Look at all the lamps!!!! Lighting was not the best so the lights were really necessary. I also took a goose-neck magnifier. Not my Day Light, but it works OK. The Day Light is too hard to transport. The vehicle already looked like we were moving to camp when we got everything loaded up.

You never go to camp without snacks, etc. Here was the variety of stuff on the snack table. We did not even get to put out all of our stuff on the table since it was already full.

Heartland Needleworks shuts down their shop during the retreat and brings a great deal of the shop to the camp. This is very handy to those attending the camp that do not have a LNS. This shop has been open since June, 2006. At the time they opened 3 needlework shops in the Oklahoma City area closed. In talking to the other campers, many had to travel several hours to a shop or did their shopping on the Internet. For me, I like to see the stuff in person. Here is a picture of the table of fabric that was there. This was taken on Saturday after a lot of fabric had already been sold. They zig-zagged everyones's purchases and had to have one of the husbands bring out more thread. I think I heard them say they had been through 5 bobbins full of thread.

Something that I had never seen at at camp before was a board to hang any projects completed during the weekend. This was fun to watch. We really had to tease Jan because she put up 2 Christmas Trees early on in the weekend. We accused her of having only 3-4 stitches left to complete them. However, none of us knew that they did this. It is a great idea.

Bear with me, I know this is getting long, but there are only 2 more pictures. We really were not aware that we would have projects at this camp, but we did. We thought we would be just stitching on whatever we wanted and enjoy the peace and semi-quiet. Below is a picture of the projects that we were given at the camp. One of the shop owners had made everyone a scrap bag to hang on your chair arm. These are a little different than I had seen before. Actually, it worked pretty good on the dashboard of the car on the way home. In it was a pattern for a Needle Nanny from Twisted Oaks. Also Twisted Oaks had done a small freebie just for camp and they provided the fabric and thread to do it. These were stuck inside the scrap bag. The Friday project was Be Blessed by Plum Pudding Needleart. They provided 18-ct linen and thread to do it along with everything we needed to finish into an easel-backed flat. Then the Saturday project was from Full Circle Designs, named Pumpkin Petals. This design was just released for the online Needlework Show being held at the same time as camp. They provided us all the thread and the 32-ct Silkweaver linen to do the project. The pattern included the overdyed wool and buttons used in the design. These are all shown below. They are kinda hard to see. You would think that I would eventually be able to take decent pictures for my posts.

And at long last the final picture is of the stash I acquired at camp. Included is 28-ct Blue Moon Java from R&R. I just fell in love with this fabric. I almost waited too long to pick it up. I guess others liked it too. From Little House Needleworks, I got Frappuccino and Cappuccino. Still need the last one of these so I can do them together. Also got "Believe" from LHN. Blackbird Designs, Be True and Kind. The kit from Homespun Elegance for "A Chill is in the Air". In the bargain bin, I found Homespun Elegance "Blooming Summer Bellpull" and A Quaker Clock from Samplers and Such.

As far as stitching goes, I got quite a bit done, but will save that to another post. I tried to do a little bit of a rotation for my stitching. I started out working on a new Sunflower Seed design model that is needed around the first of December. Ran into a color issue, so moved on to VOHRH. Also stitched on were one Christmas present, started another Christmas present and Waxing Moon "Christmas Stack". I had not worked on Christmas Stack for a while. I am getting much closer to having it done. I have gotten more done on VOHRH and should post a progress picture, but will do that on the next post, since this one is so long. Also I have a story about a kitten rescue that my significant other and I did Monday night, but that will be saved for the next post too.
All in all, we had a great weekend and are making plans to attend another one. We felt this one was a very good camp/retreat to attend since there was no pressure to do the projects and you could do what you wanted when you wanted. The only real structure was when the meals were served. Now that you all are either asleep or worn out from such a long post, I will close and get to bed. I am worn out just writing and posting this thing.
Happy stitching!!!!