Monday, May 19, 2008

This and That and Travel

Where does the time go? It has been a week and a half since I last wrote a post. Sure does not seem that long. Kept thinking I would do one last week and it just did not happen. Too many things to do. When I retired 4 years ago, several people expressed concern as to whether I would have enough to keep me busy and not get bored. I told them I thought that it would not be a problem and it has not been. Actually the old adage "How did I ever have time to work?" is true. With the things I do I would never have time to work a 40-hour job now. LOL.

This post is going to be a hodge-podge of things. So much so that I have made a list of things that I want to tell you about. And then I will probably leave something out.

Remember the little design by The Sunflower Seed that was done for our sleepover. Here it is done and framed. All of us that attended the sleepover have them done and framed. Last Monday night at our Stitch Therapy session, we all autographed each other's piece on the back. Reminded us of the good time we had that weekend.
Stitching Friends
28-ct Summer Khaki Cashel
DMC Floss
Frame-East Side Moulding
Even though my Carriage House-Village of Hawk Run Hallow has been put on hold while I stitch Quaker Christmas, Marcia from my Monday night group did finish hers. Marcia, it is so beautiful. I love it. Now I need to get cracking on mine.
Carriage House
Village of Hawk Run Hallow
40-ct Lakeside Linen
DMC Floss
Frame - Old Colonial Design/ Birdseye Maple.
Last time I think I told you about a kit I received for Christmas that I had started. I have done some more on this project. We are going to South Dakota the end of the week for about a week and I needed to get some work done on it, because I know the person that gave it to me will want to know that I am working on it. I have made a small start. It is a Dimensions kit called "Paradise Gate". I switched out the white Aida for 28-ct Antique White Jobelan. This is quite an interesting design. So far, I have only done half crosses with anything from 2 strands to 5 strands and some with blended needle. Up close, it looks rather strange, but from a distance then it does look more like the picture. This is going to take a long time to complete.Most of my stitching time has been devoted to Quaker Christmas. I know I am making progress, but I had to go back to my last picture to know which motifs have been added since the last time. I have even added some stitching since this picture was taken. The motif that is started below the "B" is large and is about 1/3 done. I am working from a copy taped together so I can finish a motif that is on two pages all at one time. Yesterday, I had to add the last pages to the copy, so In some places I am way past half-way. Still love stitching on it. Just not enough time to do it.
Last Thursday night, my friend Sandi and I went to a local Community Theatre to see "Menopause-The Musical". Wow!!! What a wonderful show. So many things to identify with were included. Or at least, Sandi and I could identify with. Basically the writer has taken many songs from the 60's, 70's and 80's and changed the words to relate to issues involved with menopause, such as not sleeping, night sweats, hot flashes, etc. If you ever get the chance to see this DO IT. There were even a couple of men there. Not sure they got as much enjoyment out of it as the ladies did. Now Sandi and I have decided our entire stitch group needs to see it. We neither one thought we would have a problem seeing it again.
My significant other (Morris) has some vacation days to use by mid-June or lose, so we are going to see his mother and other family members in South Dakota for several days. We leave on Friday and probably will be back the 30th or 31st. Have to be back to go to a Royals game on June 1st. We have not been up there since last July and his mother just turned 85 and we thought we needed to go again before the gas prices got any higher. It is about a 81/2 to 9 hour drive, that is without very many stops, but we tend to make several. Have several places that we always have to stop at. Been working to get things together to take with me so I won't be too bored. Also got a couple of crochet projects started so I can work on them in the car, if I want. Usually the dog has to lay in my lap most of the way. It is easier to crochet than to stitch when she is in my lap. I think that Quaker Christmas might be difficult to stitch on in the car. I have started another baby afghan and another dishcloth. I finished another dishcloth yesterday, so now I have made a total of 2. Would like to get more done as Christmas presents.

Many blogs have talked about working in the yard and gardening. Well, I don't do much of either one. We have had such a cool spring that I have not done much of anything in the yard. Trying to really have mostly perennials, so I don't have to do much. Morris spaded up the area that we usually put tomatoes it and it was hard and cloddy. Saturday he went out and bought a mini-tiller to work on it so I could put the plants in. We have really yucky clay soil and it can get really hard. Even the tiller could not break up the clods. He ended up wetting it down and then tilling to get it so I could put the plants in. Yesterday afternoon I put in 4 regular tomato plants and 2 cherry tomato plants in. This morning I put in 8 petunia plants. Still have a purple fountain grass to put in, but I tried to dig a hole big enough to drop it in and it was hard, so Morris will have to work on that tonight. Need to go buy a few more petunias and a couple of green pepper plants and my flowers and garden will be in. LOL.

Here are some photos of my flowers, purple iris, mostly. They are easy to grow and care for. Throw them in the ground and let them go. Sorry, Julie, I know you don't like them, bu they are easy to grow and look nice. I also have some white ones, but I guess I did not get any of those pictures uploaded. Muffin standing in front of some of the iris. You can see to the left in this photo that my peonies are in full bud. Usually by this time, all my iris are done blooming and the peonies are close to done. Don't think they will even be open by Memorial Day. I can remember growing up that my mother and my aunt would pick them as they were opening up, wrap them and store in the refrigerator to save for Memorial Day to decorate with at the cemetery.
Another picture of Muffin. In the first she is in the bright sun and her eyes are almost closed. In the shade they are more open. Maybe I should get her some sunglasses. LOL. The white irises are right behind Muffin in this picture.
This is probably my last post until we get back from South Dakota. Just noticed that May 31st will be my blog/anniversary. It is hard to believe that I have been doing this for a year. Hopefully you have not been bored to tears reading my babble. I really enjoy doing it after I get started. It is the getting started that is the problem. Don't want to take time away from stitching. Been having trouble keeping ahead of the blog reading. Many of the comments that I make are 2-3 days behind when you posted. That will only be worse after being gone for almost a week. Better late than never. Thanks for stopping by and reading my babble. Have a good couple of weeks and I will be back in touch in about 2 weeks.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hop Recovery Complete

Well I have finally recovered enough from last weekend's Shop Hop to take pictures and write about a great weekend. I worked at the LNS-aka-The Sunflower Seed on Wednesday to finish getting things ready for the Shop Hop on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There were displays to get together, rearrange things in the shop to accommodate all the new things we had in. One highlight of the Hop was to be a "trunk show" from The Workbasket. It was to be in our shop by May 1st. As of yesterday, we still had not received it. The patterns available for sale came directly from The Workbasket and there were there, but no models. They were to be coming from a shop on the East Coast. Maybe we can blame the postal service or UPS.

The shop hop was a wonderful time and we were busy virtually all the time each day. The busiest was almost always first thing in the morning. At one time on Saturday morning, we had at least 16 shoppers in the shop at one time and there were 3 of us writing tickets and people were still in line. After spending that much time on our feet, Saturday night Anita and I were toast.

Here are a few pictures of our displays to give you a little taste of some of the things we had for the Shop Hop.
As you saw in my last post, this is the Shop Hop Sampler made from all the designs that are picked up at each shop participating in the Hop. Anita designed the border and incorporated beads as eyes for the bats and spiders. We had available cuts of the fabric (R&R 18th Century Stone) and packets of beads that were used. In the foreground you can see hand painted Sunflower needle boxes Anita made. Oh, and what is Halloween without some Candy Corn. Yum!! Yum!!
Each year Anita designs a little piece as a souvenir of the Shop Hop and it is related to the theme of the hop. This year it was finished into a little flat hanger to put around a quart Mason canning jar to be used as a candy jar. Kit had fabric, buttons and ribbon for hanging. Oh, so cute. Jar had candy corn and peanuts in it. Can you tell we like candy corn? We have also found out that you cannot eat just one. LOL.
As an added bonus, Anita designed this little one over one Sunflower, too. She made up little kits with the pattern and fabric and put them in the little boxes that DMC comes in and tied them up with raffia. Made cute little kits. The fabric is R&R 18th Century Clove.

All in all the Shop Hop was a huge success and we thank everyone that came in to join in all the fun. It was nice to see old friends and make new ones. We heard about lots of projects in process and plans for others. One idea that we heard of that just really intrigued us all was there were 2 gals in that they were in the process of stitching the Shepherd's Bush stockings over one on 32-ct fabric. One of them already had 3 of them done. Those have to be amazing to see. Now that has given all of us in our stitching group new ideas.

Most of my recovery time has been spent stitching or doing stitching related things. I have not been to ambitious to much of anything. I did make it to both Monday night and Wednesday afternoon stitch therapy sessions this week. One of the ladies has asked me to do some charting of names and date for a sampler that she is turning into a wedding sampler. Will need to have that done by Monday night for that stitch therapy session.

My friend Sandi will be celebrating a birthday tomorrow, so we went to lunch yesterday. She is going to be out of town tomorrow and we were both going to stitch therapy yesterday afternoon anyway, so decided to do lunch too. I have her The Sunflower Seed's Celtic Needle Box kit, Belle Soie to stitch it, needles and a mesh bag to carry her stitching in. Sandi is the friend that I started a retirement stitching gift for a long time ago (I won't even tell you how long ago). I kept struggling with the piece and she kept offering to finish it. So finally in February, I think it was, I gave it to her. Talked to her on Saturday evening and she asked me to run by on Sunday on my way home from church because she had something to show me. Well, when I got there she had the piece done, framed and hanging on her wall. I did not have my camera with me so I did not get a picture. I will and show you how nice it turned out. She told me that I had already done the most difficult parts of the sampler. Thanks Sandi.

Here is my progress on Quaker Christmas. I have not put in almost 17 yards of 12-strand green silk in at this point. I think I have one more piece and it will be the 17 yards and I am not quite half done. This is such an awesome design.

Have also put a few stitches into a kit piece that I received for Christmas. Not enough for a picture of the stitching, so I tried to scan a picture of the kit and blogger would not accept my scanned picture. Don't know what I did wrong. This is the one that my MIL gave me and that I felt I needed to show some work on it when we go up there Memorial Day weekend. This is the strangest kit that I have ever done. It has a lot of half crosses. So far I have done some with 2 strands and 4 strands and the next part that I will put in calls for it to be done with 5 strands. Never heard of using 5 strands. Will see how it looks and then decide whether to do it that way or not. I think they are doing it that way to show texture for the garden greenery. Also am undertaking some sewing. I have a wedding to go to in June and I don't like any of the dresses in the stores. So decided to take a stab at sewing one. Don't know how this is going to work out since I have not done any of that type of sewing in years. Used to do it a lot, but it interferes with my stitching. I have all the pattern pieces trimmed and ready to cut out. Wish me luck in this project.

This week I don't work my usual Thursday at the Sunflower Seed. We have tickets to the Kansas City Royals tonight and would not be done with work in time to go, so Anita and I switched. I am working on Saturday so she can go see her little granddaughter.

Well, I can hear Quaker Christmas calling, so I am off to stitch. Thanks to all who stop in for a visit. You visits and comments are very much appreciated. Keep those needles flying.