Friday, June 27, 2008

Oh, So Close and Other Happenings

This time I am going to start with my progress on Quaker Christmas. Had thought I might be done by now, but have not had as much time for stitching as usual. There is one whole motif to finish, one half motif to finish and one half motif not started along with a few little filler doodads and 1 letter and a couple of numbers. Then I can also put the 8 in to signify finishing it in 2008. Was not sure I would get it finished this year.
Had to make a stop by the frame shop one day last week to let them look at a Sunflower Seed design model to get mat colors and kind of frame for a customer. While I was there took QC in to begin the look for the perfect frame. Looked at a few choices, but will need more time.

A while back I mentioned the shopping bag that I was attempting to crochet. Finally got a scanned image of the model out of the pattern book. I am making it all one color and will probably line it to make it more durable. Here it my actual crocheting progress. I am using a cotton yarn made by Aunt Lydia that I bought at Wal-Mart years ago. It splits easily, but I have learned to deal with it. Getting close to the end of this pattern stitch and will change in a couple of inches to some type of half-double crochet pattern. Then comes the handles. They are slip stitched together at the top. Mostly I am working on this in the car.
Last weekend we were on the road again to the wedding that I tried to make the dress for. Other clothes worked out fine. The wedding, reception, buffet and dance were awesome. One of the coolest things was a "Candy Buffet" at the reception. All kinds of candy in different shaped bowls and footed bowls. They provided little cellophane bags to take your candy stash back to your table. Harrison and Jamie were such a cute couple and seemed to be having a ball throughout the whole thing. She is just so cute. Even had 2 different dresses. One for the wedding with beads, hoop and train, then another one for the reception and dance. Easier to dance without having to deal with the train.

Here are Harrison and Jamie having their first dance as husband and wife.

You will find that I don't often have pictures of myself or, if there are pictures, allow the to be made public. So look quickly, I am doing a picture of myself, taken at the wedding.

(L-R) Reina (one of my stitching buddies),

Anita (Mother of the groom and owner of The Sunflower Seed),

Kathy (trying not to look like a blimp)

Blogger kept making me do the label for the above picture double spaced. Tried everything to get it changed to no avail. Sorry!!! Stupid Blogger!!! Might also be the operator, but I would never admit to that.

Now to some to the reasons that QC is not done. Of course, I already gave you a glimpse of the wedding. Also worked both Thursday and Friday of last week to allow Anita time to finish up things to the wedding and get out to Salina ahead of time. This week I opening the shop on Monday and stayed most of the rest of the day for Monday night stitching and worked my normal Thursday. We had a severe thunderstorm watch in place on Thursday, but no real storms as it has been the last several weeks on Thursday.. Some areas got lot of rain. We got a little rain and lots of lightning and loud thunder.

Tuesday night Morris and I went to see the KC Royals play the Colorado Rockies. Royals won 7-3. We are 3-1 in games we have seen this year. Way better than last year. Last year we saw them win opening day and never again the rest of the year until our first game this year in April.

Then Wednesday night, Reina and I took Anita out for dinner and a movie to celebrate her birthday which had been on Saturday when we were doing the wedding thing. We had soooo much fun. Ate at Red Robin and then went across the parking lot to see "Sex and the City". It was a very good chick flick. We all had many laughs over that one. Not a heavy movie, just fun. We decided that our Monday night stitcher group should have gone to see it together. However, we would probably be so loud they would kick us out.

Last night, after I closed the shop, I had a meeting at the church regarding a cookbook that we are putting together for the 100th Anniversary of my church that is to be celebrated next year. I offered to help a friend that is chairing the committee. Will I ever learn to say "no"? However, I think this is going to be fun, but a lot of work. We can enter the recipes online, which makes things a little easier. I am in charge of the "Soups and Salads". I started out with 64 recipes and picked up another at least 20 last night. Spent some time working on it on Tuesday to see how it worked. Got 2 in then and put another 8 in today. Slow going, but as I do more it should go faster. Sometimes we are having to do some composing as we go along.

You will not believe it, but I am still behind in blog reading. It has been almost a month since I missed about 6-7 days. Even when I read and sparingly comment on 20 or so a day, I cannot seem to get caught up. So many of your comments will come but it is just taking awhile. Love reading every one's news and trying to keep up with everything going on. Thanks for reading all my babble when it shows up occasionally. You comments are appreciated and makes me feel like I am gaining a new set of stitching buddies.

Stay cool and keep those needles flying.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Weather, Symphony and QC Progress

Very long post. Lots of pictures.

Around this great country, we have been having all kinds of weather. Our area has not missed out on it. Last Wednesday, the 11th, tornadoes did significant damage to Chapman, Kansas, a community of about 1300. About 60% of the town was destroyed including all schools and 2 churches. That same tornado also hit Manhattan, home to Kansas State University, my Alma mater. The campus sustained significant damage to at least 10 buildings. This was an older campus with lots of old trees. Lots of trees were totally uprooted. It also hit a housing development or two, plus a small area of businesses. The campus estimated $20 million in damage. They cancelled classes for the next day. One person was killed in Chapman and another person in a small community north of Topeka where I live.

All but 1 of the last 10 Thursdays we have had some kind of storms. This past Thursday was no exception. Remember I work at the LNS on Thursday. Just before time to close I heard them announce a Severe Storm Watch for the area. Hurried around and did the closeout of the drawer and headed home. Did not want hail on my car. I got about 2 miles from the shop and probably still at least 8-9 miles from home, the tornado sirens went off. Was listening to the weather reporter on the radio and could tell it was still far enough away that I could get home. As I was leaving the shop it was raining hard but as I got closer to my house it started to be less. However, I had not been home only a few minutes and the heavens opened up for maybe 30-45 minutes. The following photos are the result of torrential downpour. In a couple of the pictures you can see that it is still raining.
Backyard that is now a river. Drains from the yard to the right across our yard to the yard on the left.
Front ditch full and over flowing into the street. The drain tube under the driveway could not handle all the water.

This is our underwater driveway.

In my last post, I mentioned that we were going to Symphony in the Flint Hills. I told Martha that I would show pictures of the Flint Hills. She used to live in Kansas and knew all about the Flint Hills. The concert was awesome. It was held out in the middle of 160 acre pasture.
It was a 3/4 mile walk from the ticket taking area to the concert area. Below you can see the walkway was lined with hay bales and the white things in the distance were the various tents set up for food and the concert. This was supposed to be a get together of some of my college friends. It ended up being just 3 of us with spouses and a friend of one of the gals.

We decided to walk it. 3/4 of a mile did not sound like a long way. However, we forgot that it was in the low to mid 80s (I don't do any kind of hot) and that we were all carrying fold-up camp chairs. This photo was taken by Morris showing us girls walking in. We are that little cluster in the middle of the picture. Clicking on the picture makes it bigger.
Photo of pond that we walked by on our way into the concert. You can see the people walking on the trail. The trail sort of meandered around and you can see this here too. Click to make bigger.
This is the concert stage and you can see all the people gathered on the slope down towards the stage. The speaker were hung on big booms. Was not sure how well we would be able to hear. We sat near the back of the seating area and could not see the stage and musicians very well. I told everyone all we needed to do was hear. And it was awesome.
This part of the Flint Hills is very rich in history. The nearest town to this location is Council Grove and they were on the Santa Fe Trail and the early home of the Kaw Indians. The Flint Hills is considered to be tall grass prairie and makes of 95% of the tall grass prairie in the United States. The area is still used to graze cattle from late spring to early fall.

Not sure what part this played in the concert, but before it started there was this covered wagon train that moved across the area behind the concert stage. Very much in keeping with the history of the area.The coolest part of the concert partially happened by accident. Right after the intermission, they played a piece that was used as the them for the TV show "Big Valley". Maybe some of you remember that. We had been watching that they had a herd of cattle up on the slope behind the stage. Once that big music started the cattle bolted off towards the right. It was like it was choreographed to be that way. They managed to get them all back together and then they moved slowly like a cattle drive across up behind the stage. This picture is a little dark, but click on it and you can see things better. As we were walking out, we heard some people talking to some people on horses and they said the bolting of the cattle when that music started was not planned.
I forgot to mentioned that volunteers mounted on horseback we stationed along the walking trail to get assistance for those that might need it. For children seeing the horses was quite fun.

All in all everyone had a great time. The last thing I heard was " Kathy, you need to get us tickets for next year". That in itself is quite a feat. The tickets sellout within about 3 hours of when they go on sale. This year I called for 11/2 hours before I even got in.

Bear with me. I am about done. Blogger did not want to cooperate too much tonight. It took me forever to upload the pictures. And now that I have them uploaded I am going to use them all.

Daisies are one of my favorite flowers and I have tried for a long time to get them to grow in this perennial bed I have. Last year I transplanted some from Morris's aunt in South Dakota. I guess they like Kansas alright because they are doing well. Morris took this photo after our big rain storm. See the sun is out already.

Now for Quaker Christmas progress. There has been good progress this week. I thought last week it might be done in 3 weeks. Well, I still think it will be 3 weeks, but I have gotten a lot done.
Forgot to take a picture of my progress on my crocheted shopping bag. Will leave that for another time. Have made good progress on it too. But the sewing of the dress for the wedding has taken a turn for the worse. Actually, I have gone to plan B and am wearing something else. After I got it all sewn together to the point I could try it on, it was too snug in places that I don't need it to be snug. Made a few adjustments and then I decided I did not like it at all. It made me look like a walking sign board. I am short, but not a small around person and it just was not working. Oh well, I have something else to wear and now I can do more stitching instead of sewing.

Sorry for making this so long. Thanks to all that have stuck with me the entire way. Your visits and comments are special and appreciated. Still have not gotten caught up on my blog reading from our trip to South Dakota. I think I am gaining on the numbers.

Looks like it is about time to hit the hay. Should have a couple of wedding pictures in the next post.

Until next time, keep those needles flying.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Made It To The Corner

I hit a significant milestone on Quaker Christmas late last week. I made to the upper right hand corner. When I got close to the corner, I just kept working until I reached the corner. Now my stitching friends tell me I am almost done. They haven't seen the size of the remaining motifs. Still think it will take at least 3 more weeks of stitching. This is most definitely the biggest design I have ever done. I have a few WIPs that are big, but I have stayed with this one. And will continue with it until done.
Been struggling with allergies and sinus issues the last couple of days. Monday I opened the LNS and we had no A/C, so I opened the doors to help keep things cool. It was a somewhat cool day. Between that and the no A/C, I really messed up my allergies contributing to sinus drainage for a scratchy throat. Have not gone anywhere these last two days.

Have been doing a little sewing on my dress for a wedding on the 21st. Actually have made a little progress in between phone calls. Seems like people know when I am home trying to get some things done. The phone rings all the time. Was worried that this dress I was making might not be ready by the wedding or I would not like it, so I tried ordering a couple of dresses. It is so hard to find clothes that are not for a teen or my grandmother. I fit somewhere in between that. They came yesterday and I tried them on this morning. Suffice it to say "They are both going back to where they came from". The dress I am working on will have to work.

A couple of weeks ago when I went shopping with Reina and Anita, I bought this crochet pattern book for one of the patterns in it. It was for a shopping bag that I thought would come in handy and it looked like something that I could manage. So I started it on Monday while sitting at the LNS. Needed a car project. Have it going pretty good, but now that I read the pattern again, I may rip part of it out because I don't think I did the turning ends right. The directions are not real clear. It seems to be written a little different than I am used to. Maybe I am just dense.

This weekend Morris and I are going to meet with some of my college friends about an hour away from here to attend the 3rd annual "Symphony in the Flint Hills". This is where the Kansas City Symphony goes out into the middle of a pasture and puts on a concert. The Flint Hills are a rolling type hills in Kansas that runs from near the northern border down into Oklahoma in the eastern third of Kansas. Most of it is still in the native grasses and is used to graze cattle in the summer. Part of it has been made into a National Preserve. The first year the concert was held on the grounds of the National Preserve. The concert runs from 6:30PM until about sunset. Everyone that I have ever heard from that went said that it was "awesome" and you did not need to be a symphony orchestra fan to enjoy it. Will need the crochet project for the ride down and back. Will have the dog with us and it is just too difficult to try to stitch with her on my lap.

Gotta get back to the sewing. Hope to have some pictures from the concert and the prairie.

Thanks to all that stop by and comment. I really appreciate you taking the time to do so. I am way behind on my reading, commenting and responding to your comments. It might be necessary just to read and comment very little, in order to get caught up. Cannot get the number waiting to be read much under 100.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I'm Back and Still Stitching.....

Well, we made it back from our trip to South Dakota late Thursday evening, however I have not been the mood to do any blogging. Now that I have sat here and waited for Blogger to upload my pictures, I know why i put off doing it. Came home to 108 e-mails and 98 Blogs in Google Reader. but by the time I got to reading blogs there were 113. Forty of the e-mail got deleted before I even read them.

The trip went well for having to travel 9 hours by car. We have made the trip so many times that we have various places to stop along the way that have become traditions. One stop is a VF Factory Outlet in Nebraska City, Nebraska. I got a bargain in some Bass sandals. Their price $50 on sale for 50% off and then they were running a Memorial Day sale of an additional 40% off everything thing. So my shoes cost me $16.04. Almost went back and bought one in the other 2 colors. Can you say shoe lover. LOL.

As I mentioned previously the dog mostly sits or lays on my lap the entire trip. She must have gotten tired of laying down. Here is a photo of her sitting up asleep leaned up against the car door. Morris took this picture while he was driving along. I was too close to her to take the picture. Dogs can be such funny creatures.

Our destination was to visit with Morris's family in South Dakota. We stayed with his 85 year old mother. She still lives basically alone, but Morris's brother is there almost everyday and does some of the cooking for her. We had not been there since they put in new carpeting in the house. Very nice carpet and they had rearranged everything. My first reaction was to look around the living room to pick out my place to stitch. Sure glad that I took my little Ott Light. She only had one lamp in the living room, so I picked a spot on a couch in front of the big picture window and plugged in the Ott Light. Went out to eat several times, cooked several meals at her house, and made tours of the cemeteries. Morris also has a sister , 3 nieces, and 1 nephew that live in the same town, along with great nieces and nephews and 2 aunts. We had a cookout at one niece's house on Sunday evening. Visited with one aunt on Tuesday night and the other one on Wednesday morning.

Wednesday about noon, we left to go see his cousin Jackie and her husband Richard. They are basically our same age and they grew up together. We had discussed going on an Alaskan cruise with them this summer. Jackie changed jobs and has not very much time available to do something like that and we found out that there is going to be another baseball trip to NYC, so we decided to postpone it for at least a year. Jackie lives about 100 further north in South Dakota up near the North Dakota border. Their house is on Lake Mina about 10 miles west of Aberdeen. Really nice area and several years ago we used to have family reunions there the second weekend in August. Have not done that for several years. We both really have missed having that time to get together. Basically we just hung out with them for the afternoon and evening and left for home about noon the next day. It is about 11 hours home from there.

Here are some photos of Jackie's lake area.

View of the lake from the deck steps.

Richards fire pit down by the lake. They recently did some new landscaping and decided to put in this fire pit. Jackie said that Richard would stay down there all night if she would let him. He and Morris went down and built a fire and had Smores. YUM!!! It was rather chilly, so Jackie and I stayed in the house, watched the Royals get beat by the Twins and I crocheted. Now Morris has the bug to build a fire pit similar to this in our back yard.

Here is the cutest Lighthouse that Jackie had set up down by the lake. The light actually works and is set on a timer and goes round and round like a real lighthouse. It is so neat. I can just her my sister Nelda say "I want one". She also has a lake house and it would be perfect for her location too.

We had a very nice time in South Dakota, but I think Morris was anxious to get home. He was worried the yard would get ahead of him and he would have problems getting the tall grass mowed. We had been having lots of rain. While we were in SD it was very chilly and very little sun. One day it only got to 55 and was windy. Driving home, we had rain all through SD and clouds most of the rest of the way. Heard of big storms in western Nebraska as we were driving through there.

Jackie is grandmother to 2 with another due later this summer. They live about 5 hours away from her and she really misses them. On the way home I decided I needed to stitch her a little "thank you" gift. On Friday, I ran to the LNS and bought the stuff to do this for her. When I was at Monday night stitch therapy, I finished it. Ordered a frame and left it to be framed.

Ask Me About My Grandkids

Designer: Lizzie Kate

28-ct Natural Brown Linen

WDW and GAST Threads

Even with marginal lighting I was able to get some stitching done. Ran into one problem with Quaker Christmas. I put the outline of one motif in the wrong place and had to frog it. Between poor lighting and having to frog, I put QC aside after a few days. It was a little difficult to see at night when I lost some of the natural light. Still made some good progress. It is getting harder to get a good picture of it since it is so big. I had to stand on a foot stool and shoot down on it to get this picture. I am on the last page. Click on the picture for a bigger image.
A true stitcher is never without a couple of extra projects to work on if problems are encountered with the planned stitching. With the limited lighting I struggled to find a project that I could see especially at night. Did a little stitching on my M Design -- Little Witch. She got an arm out of WDW Chartreuse. Not enough progress for a picture. I finally settle on another project that I done little to no stitching on for close to a year. It is on R&R 28-ct Antique Cotton. Hands To Work-Best of Blessing.
Just from looking at the photo it is hard to know of the progress. I stitched the sun, lots of words, the fish and the male figure. Also finished the lake water, started the tree branches and some border. It amazing the difference from stitching with Belle Soie silk and then go to GAST threads that this one is stitched in. The dark border, words and tree branches are in GAST Dark Chocolate and I had trouble getting good coverage. Too spoiled by the silk and its good coverage.

With the dog riding in my lap most of the time during the car time, it is difficult to stitch, so instead I crocheted. Here is my work. I am about 2/3 done with another baby afghan like the one I finished earlier in the year. This one is for my niece. The other thing is a dish cloth made from a different pattern than I had used before. This one is somewhat simpler than the other one and I used a Sugar and Cream thread that is dyed so it works up in stripes. I like the look. Just need to weave in my ends. In the background of the photo you can see a smidgen of the fabric for a dress I finished cutting out today. It is to wear to a wedding in less than 3 weeks. Need to spend some time on it. Haven't actually done much sewing in several years. Hope I remember how to.

Saturday late afternoon, I went with Anita and Reina to a nearby town shopping and dinner. Ended up at a yarn shop. Bought some wonderful yarn for another baby afghan. Very nice shop and I could lose myself in there. Also bought a crochet book that had a pattern for a shopping bag. Not only do I like shoes, but I am also a bag lady. Lots of plans, but not enough time to stitch let alone do any crocheting.

I hear some thunder, not sure what the weather is doing We have had storms east of us tonight. Yesterday it was rather scary. Here where I live had heavy rain and 60MPH wind, but in other areas that also had softball- sized hail. Broke out car and house windows, damaged cars. One car dealer had every vehicle in the lot damaged. My plants survived. Finally got in some green pepper plants tonight in the mud. Bought some other flowers Saturday, but they are not in the ground yet. Maybe later this week. Just checked the radar and I think we are going to miss out on the storms for tonight. Good!!

Had a scare a little bit ago. I forgot and went to look at somethng else before I got this post published and when I came back to the create mode, everything I had done was gone. However, I was saved by the autosaved draft copy. So I better hit the publish button before I have to do this entire post again. That would not be a good thins since it took me a long time to get in the mood to so this one.
Happy Stitching!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!