Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sparkly Mermaids

I decided to cheer myself up today with sparklies - lots and lots of sparklies. I got about half of the beading done on Mermaids of the Deep Blue today. Boy, do they ever look different now. I just figured out tonight that what they must be doing is bringing treasure up from the bottom of the ocean - you all knew that, but I just figured it out - LOL! I see a finish coming soon :-) But before I finish I need to dig out my digital camera manual and find out how to increase the resolution on my camera - you cannot even see all the beading in this photo.

Thanks to everyone for the many emails of concern regarding my early return from Hershey. All is OK. I don't want anyone worrying!!
Daylily: Chicago Sunrise

Friday, September 29, 2006

An early return.... :-(

I don't have any photos from Hershey today. After a nice breakfast this morning with Patti, Joanie and Nancy, Mike and I went out to investigate Hershey. We did not get very far. An issue arose at home and the need to leave and return ensued. All is fine now. I will spare the details as this is a public blog :-) Anyone wanting to know more, email me :-) But.... smiley faces aside, it was very sad to have to leave a day early! I missed out on meeting so many people that I was really, really looking forward to meeting! I am so sorry! I hope everyone had a good time in the Stitcher's Lounge and I cannot wait to read your blogs and see your photos.

So... 7.5 hours later, we finally got back to NH. We hit every possible construction and traffic jam between Pennsylvania and NH, including one right near our house that had to have been an accident on the highway. Fortunately, we were close enough to home to know how to get around it easily. To find the bright side, I did get to finish the ship on Mermaid and the Sea while I watched the Red Sox win a game tonight! **If I go to CATS in Hershey again, I will fly - that ride was too long. I might fly to the one in Las Vegas next year - anyone else interested?

And, here is my stash from CATS - I didn't break the bank, but had fun! Our first stop was The Silver Needle's booth where Nan Caldera was a special guest. Couldn't get near her. Although I got into the area early, there already were folks standing around her and looking like they had no plans whatsoever of moving anytime soon! But I did pick up "Be Witchy!" which was an exclusive for the show (little witch chart you see in the photo), along with LHN's new release, Two Blue Houses. We then moved on.... so many vendors there, about double what we see at Celebrations. I picked up a fat quarter of R&R's 32 ct Mockingbird linen for half price at the Sunflower Samplings booth... then on to Liz Turner Diehl's booth to 1) pick up a copy of a missing page of instructions from the class, and 2) to buy her stunning new Pollyanna's Summertime Lamplighter Garden kit - which had not impressed me until I saw the stitched model - then it was a must buy!.... and I did splash out a tiny bit at the Picture This Plus booth, but did limit myself to one piece - a pretty fat quarter of Crystal Glacier belfast... a final purchase made at the CATS Souvenir Booth - the chart commemorating this year's event (by Stoney Creek) - and I got the matching mug too :-) All in all, no major spending, but I feel I got enough good memories in the stash department.

Stitched on today: Mermaid and the Sea

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Class Day & Shopping!

Today was class day! Leslie, Margaret and I took the 17th Century German Garden class with Liz Turner Diehl. I took a photo of Liz's model of the garden while we were in class, because the real thing is so stunning! The photo on the chart does not do it any kind of real justice. I think we all really enjoyed the class, even though there was at least one obligatory teacher's pet wannabee that we had to suffer through ;-)
Mike and I were able to get ahold of two of the coveted chairs in front of the fireplace in the hotel lobby for a while this morning. This turned out to be a good vantage point to find my friends as they arrived. Mike took this photo of me working on Women of the Mayflower.
And, here is my ever-dutiful husband working on his laptop in the lobby too :-)
It turned out to be a rainy day in Hershey. By mid-afternoon there were some really heavy thunderstorms that came into the area. Here is a photo from our hotel room window - not a great photo, but our room did not have much of a view (not complaining here). Irregardless of the rain and thunder, stitchers just kept arriving non-stop all day. We stitchers are like the postman, rain/sleet/snow cannot hold us back from our stitching adventures - LOL!
So, while it rained and there was down time to relax before the shopping area opened up, I put some more time in on Women of the Mayflower....
At 5 PM, the shopping opened! Here is one small portion of the huge line that formed about a half hour beforehand! I think the long lines truly amazed Mike, who noticed there were likely no more than four or five husbands or boyfriends there at the time - LOL!! (Blogger won't let me upload my stash photo right now, so I will put it in tomorrow's entry - it lacks photos anyhow).
Mike and I were then lucky enough to have dinner at The Bear's Den with Leslie (seen here)...
... and her husband, Allen, along with Margaret. It was really great to meet Leslie and Allen, and to see Margaret once again (Margaret takes classes with me at Celebrations every year - this time, I came to her turf!).

Stitched on today: Women of the Mayflower

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Off to Hershey, PA

Mike and I left for Hershey, PA this morning around 11:30 AM. It was a rather interesting trip. The weather couldn't have been a nicer - a warm, early autumn day. But, for some reason, Mike opted to take the GPS route option that took us through New York City and Newark, New Jersey. We managed to get to the city at rush hour. Suddenly, our trip was taking us much longer than we had planned.... we finally pulled over in New Jersey, near the Pennsylvania line, to get some dinner around 6 PM. We did not care for the restaurant at our first stop, so we decided to get back into the car and drive another half mile or so to another restaurant. But, when we got in the car, the GPS screen was black! A little bit of a panic here - we had not brought along any alternate directions to the hotel, we had been relying solely upon the GPS to get us there! Mike was annoyed, since his car is so new and now the GPS was not functioning! So, we went into the second restaurant, had a light dinner and returned to the car. The GPS was working again! We figured the screen simply got too hot from all of the driving we had done so far - and it was a warm day! Anyhow... we got there, and it took us 8 hours including the dinner break.

A quiet night and really nobody else was there yet. Not a lot of stitching to report, but did work on Blessings Be Thine in the car (until we got to the city - then it was sightseeing time) - and a tiny bit in the hotel room later, so here it is :-)

Stitched on today: Blessings Be Thine

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I am addicted to the Panda Cam

More of Paradigm Lost - because it is Tuesday. I was a little busy tonight with getting organized for tomorrow's drive to Hershey, PA. So, I didn't stitch for very long. But I did get a good amount done on that huge motif near the upper right corner.

I have to admit this - I am totally addicted to the Panda Cam! I keep catching myself checking in on Lun Lun and baby girl - they are sleeping/cuddling right now. LOL

I loved watching The Lake House (today's new DVD release) tonight - sweet movie, and it did take me a while to figure out what was going on... which is a good thing. That reminds me, Mike and I enjoyed watching another sweet movie, Shopgirl, on Saturday. That was a recent ebay bargain with no regrets. I do love sweet movies, and am glad the film makers are getting better at making them again :-)
Daylily: Lighthouse Peach Jewel

Off to CATS in the mid-morning - as soon as MIL shows up to house/cat sit for us. I will give you daily updates when I get back - I hope I have photos for you too! Now, for the important stuff - to go figure out what WIPS to pack!

Stitched on today: Blessings Be Thine (at work) and Paradigm Lost

Monday, September 25, 2006

Monday, Monday

Let's see... the Red Sox lost a game... there was another funny episode of Two And A Half Men on TV... I am working on An Emblem of Love... yep, it must be Monday! So, here is tonight's progress. Next week I hope to stitch the swan in the medallion. The swan is my favorite part of the whole sampler :-)
Daylily: Gloria Hite Best

I just had to share this! Here is Lun Lun the Giant Panda with her newborn daughter, yet to be named (she will be named in a naming ceremony after she is 100 days old - right now, she is only 19 days old). The photo is from the Zoo Atlanta website, and the little girl was born the first week of September... how precious is this? Lun Lun holds her baby much like a human momma does. Zoo Atlanta has a Panda Cam that lets you watch Lun Lun and the baby!

One more day of work, then off to CATS!!

Oh, I got Dianne's Neighborhood RR in the mail today - and in it was a packet of belated birthday gifts from Su! She sent me the chart for St. Peter's Fair by Shepherd's Bush, which I am sure she saw on my wish list - thank you, sweetie!! And... she stitched me something so incredibly sweet! I will try to share a photo tomorrow, as I could not get a good one tonight!

Stitched on today: An Emblem of Love

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Time To Bead

I didn't work on Mermaids for long today, but, unless I come across a missed area (which would not surprise me!), I am now done with the x's and with the backstitching. So, the beading party began and I got some done up by the upper mermaid's hands. I don't think I will get to this again until after CATS, though. (sorry about the photo - I cast a shadow on the fabric tonight, oops!).

I spent the better part of my stitching time today working on a Christmas ornament - just a little Lizzie Kate freebie. I got the design stitched and am up to basting my stitching lines on the linen for the backing... not much left to do, but wanted to get to my Mermaids. I hope to finish it after CATS too :-) Then I will share it!
Daylily: House of Orange

Stitched on today: Lizzie Kate freebie (Joy) and Mermaids of the Deep Blue

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Backstitching & Beading

That is what I am down to (pretty much) now with Mermaids of the Deep Blue. I thought that tonight I was going to write that all the x's were done... but oops! Not so! I realized just a little bit ago that there is some Kreinik braid still to be done for the baubles around the hands of the upper mermaid... other than that, though, I just need to backstitch the arms of each mermaid and then do all that beading. I remember that Katrina had mentioned that it took her about a week to do the beading on hers. It will take me longer since I have SAL commitments and the trip to Hershey, PA next week :-)
It was a good mail day today - the first good one in a long while. I received some nice fabrics, which was a treat! I received my Treat of the Month from Sugar Maple Fabrics, and it is Winter Meadow belfast this month - very nice! I also received a FQ of 40 ct Light Cappucino by R&R, which I got for the greatest deal on ebay... and I got some Crystal Carnival belfast from Picture This Plus in a trade - for M Designs' new chart with the sun setting... cannot recall it's name! I saw somewhere that this is the called for fabric.
Daylily: Pastilline

Hey, good news - Mike and I had dinner at my mother's tonight and my sister was also there. May seem like nothing, but my family almost never sees each other anymore (which makes me sad), so this was a real treat. Mom made a wonderful roast pork dinner tonight, and I had a good time :-)

Stitched on today: Mermaids of the Deep Blue

Friday, September 22, 2006

Instead of a new start... reviving an old UFO

First things first, it is Friday - and Friday is Houses of Hawk Run Hollow day. I finished the windows - even filled them in... but that is it. I totally agree with Becky that these blocks each take quite some time to stitch! I was hoping to get considerably more done tonight, but just couldn't. If you are a fan of HOHRH, you won't want to miss this very humorous blog, if you have not been enjoying it already :-) Too funny to miss!
Since I realized that this is not a good time at all to start a new project, what with my already very long list of WIPS (and with the exception of a short term SAL starting next month, of course), I decided to revive an old UFO. I have been wanting to revive this one for ages, and today was the day. This is Mermaid and the Sea by Examplers From the Heart. I started this three or four years ago. I am using Seamist 40 ct Graziano linen by The Blended Needle (now Heaven Lee Creations). The project is stitched with Weeks Dye Works floss - I love this project! I know I put it aside in the early days because it was my first large project on 40 ct and I think it overwhelmed me a bit. But 40 ct does not overwhelm me any longer - it is now my favorite linen count (I think you figured that out already) - so I am back to working on this one now too! I only gave it about 40 minutes today because it was HOHRH day - I finished the crew on the ship and the little gulls above their heads.
Daylily: Mother Superior

Stitched on today: Mermaid and the Sea and Houses of Hawk Run Hollow

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Why stop now??

Why stop working on the mermaids now? I got right back at them tonight and finished up the lower tail. Then I got to work on the blue tail and realized that it is charted very differently than it appears in the photo on the chart. In the photo, much of the tail that is near the green base of her body is light blue... but on the chart we get to use dark green (DMC 500) and several darker blues in that area. I kept with how it is charted - it is prettier. But, I wonder what happened?? Anyhow, now I am getting excited to finish this project. Tomorrow I will be working on HOHRH, though. Becky emailed me today to let me know that she doesn't think she will be able to work on HOHRH tomorrow. I am going to still stitch it, as I will be in Pennsylvania next Friday night and I don't plan to bring anything as large as HOHRH with me....

I got to thinking as I was stitching tonight about what Mirabilia I will start next. Some may recall that I feel that Mirabilias are such a pleasure to stitch (and Mike loves them), that I always want to have one going. I immediately thought of Bliss Fairy. That will most likely be my next Mirabilia start. But it occurred to me that my WIP list is still quite lengthy, so I will try to finish L&L's Angel of Love or Little Wings before I start another Mirabilia. I figure that will be a motivating reason to finish one of those L&L's :-)

As for the mermaids, I am really anxious for when Sue starts them on her Silkweaver Ocean Fantasy belfast linen. I think they are going to be just stunning!!!
OK, here is my long overdue update of Bordeaux Sampler - remember, Anne, I warned you that you would laugh over how little I managed to get done in the past five weeks! I have been busily putting in time at work on a gift for a friend (which I finished today - then even did the finishing work - which I know nobody will believe - and it goes in the post tomorrow - oh my!!), so Bordeaux got pushed aside. I did spend about an hour today stitching that little cluster of over one grapes, though. Just a little tricky on 40 ct.!

I forgot to mention yesterday that I received my JCS 2006 Ornament Issue, and I just love it! There are 14 ornaments in it that I simply want to stitch.... me, stitch ornaments?? See how you all influence me??? LOL!
Daylily: Watermelon Time (thank you, everyone, for your lovely comments about my garden - I adore my garden as much as I adore stitching, and your sweet words are so appreciated!!)

Stitched on today: Bordeaux Sampler, gift I cannot share yet and Mermaids of the Deep Blue

***And, someone else isn't "stopping now" - congratuations Big Papi on your record breaking home runs numbers 51 and 52 tonight! Nobody in Red Sox Nation ever doubted you would achieve this goal this year! You are just awesome!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Growing Tails

I realized tonight that there is really very little stitching left now to do on Mermaids of the Deep Blue. Once I finish their tails, there will only be some backstitching left to do.... and then, apparently, about a solid week's worth of beading to do! I am on the task, and doing my best to be focused with this project now :-) I am hoping for an October finish.
Daylily: Evergold

Stitched on today: Mermaids of the Deep Blue

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Finished the Alphabet

Here is the latest update of Paradigm Lost. Tonight I finished the alphabet. I have finished all of the complete motifs on Page 2 and started in on that very, very large motif on Page 3 as well... that one is going to take a while to stitch - it is huge. It does seem to have a nice rhythm to it, though.
Daylily: Infinity

Stitched on today: Paradigm Lost

Monday, September 18, 2006

More of An Emblem of Love

Here is a bit more again of An Emblem of Love, the Monday night SAL with Karen - (have you seen her stunning Shepherd's Bush floral band sampler yet? If not, go look - it is not to be missed!!). Anyhow, on EoL tonight I was able to get the floral motif above "An Emblem of Love" all stitched up. This is such a petite and sweet sampler.

I was RAK'd today! I am so used to being the RAKer, that it felt a little strange to be the RAKee! Julie, a regular reader of my blog but who is not a blogger herself, bought one of the fabrics I listed for sale last week. Along with her check she sent me Flutterbys, an adorable chart that I have had on my Wish List forever! I am so excited! I just love this little sampler (and pretty much anything else by The Workbasket!). Thank you so much Julie!! So sweet of you!!
Daylily: Green Eyes Wink (an early season bloomer that is finally being posted in mid-September - LOL).

Stitched on today: An Emblem of Love

***Oh my goodness, CATS in Hershey, Pennsylvania is next week already!!! I think even Mike is looking forward to our trip!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Mermaids of the Deep Blue Update

Finally, today I was able to get back to work on Mermaids of the Deep Blue. I had a great time working on them, and I really didn't want to put them down. It's looking good that I should be able to finish them before the year ends :-) I have not worked on them since August 11th? Oh no! With MTM out of the way now, there should be plenty of time now to get caught up with them.
Our cats just love catnip. So, Mike dug out one of his (clean) socks and filled it with an entire can of catnip for the cats. I caught Angus rolling all over it last night. It has become a very popular item here in the house now :-)
Daylily: Cinnamon Mist (yes, another bug... what can I say? that is gardening in the woods)

Stitched on today: Mermaids of the Deep Blue

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Le Potager du Roi, Part 9 - Finis :-)

I was absolutely determined to finish Part 9 of Mystery IX tonight, and I did.... of course, if I had decided to do the beading and crystals now too, I never would finish it this month. And I began to wonder if Martina were to stitch one of her mysteries or large online classes following the monthly schedule she gives to us, would she be able to finish on time? I often wonder if she realizes how much work she gives us each month. I don't think this month's part looks like it was all that much, but it sure was. It really used up a lot of the Sierra Haze Lt. Gloriana silk, which surprised me. So now.... only three months left to go!
Daylily: Bubbling Brown Sugar

Wow, it got really warm/hot here again today - yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stitched on today: Mystery IX

Friday, September 15, 2006

Houses of Hawk Run Hollow... and a DVD that needs a home...

Yay, Friday!!! Back to work on Houses of Hawk Run Hollow tonight, and House 3 is beginning to take shape now. The front door is a bit bright. It seems with this conversion by Vikki Clayton that each block has areas that look incredibly strange as I am working on them... but they come together when the block is finished. I imagine that will happen with this bright door too - oh, and the birdhouses will be this bright Tiger Lily color too... hmmm...

I have a DVD from my collection that needs a home. It is a Region 1 DVD for USA/Canada... but will play elsewhere if your DVD player can handle All Regions DVDs.... free to the first person who wants it is Picture Perfect, an adorable romantic comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Jay Mohr. I love this movie, but recently bought the Jennifer Aniston box set and this movie is in the set... I don't need two :-) So, email me or leave a comment... first come, first served :-) (DVD and its case are in very good/excellent condition). DVD has been adopted
Daylily: Critic's Choice

Stitched on today: Houses of Hawk Run Hollow

Greetings from Angus and Lily

Angus (black) and Lily (calico) just wanted to say hello :-)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A light at the end of the tunnel

After stitching on Mystery IX again tonight, I can now see a light at the end of the tunnel. I should be able to finish up Part 9 next time I work on this project. That will probably be Saturday or Sunday, as tomorrow is HOHRH night with Becky :-)

I just picked up this neat little book by Liz Turner Diehl from Traditional Stitches. While the majority of the book has charts that really don't appeal to me - playing card motifs, acorns, a fleur de lis button, a poker chip box - there are two simply amazing (and petite!) garden charts in this book that are must stitch items for me! You can see the first one on the cover - what a sweet little English garden to put atop a trinket box! The other is another sweet garden to go inside a clock by Olde Colonial Designs. It is similar to Liz's Jeweled Garden series in that it is set up vertically, of course, to fit in the opening on the clock. However, it does not have crystals on it and is very colorful - I have told Mike that this clock is very, very much on my wish list now! Maybe I will be able to get it at CATS - I think Olde Colonial might be there (they are at Celebrations each year)...

My HIPAA training was fairly dull today - but there were two highlights - Mike picked me up on lunch break and we found an excellent Chinese buffet - and I really enjoyed meeting the psychologist who sat next to me... she knitted socks while the instructor chattered away... and away... and away. But, I got my certificate, that is what matters! LOL

Funny, Ann has suggested that I stay away from Rte 93 South on Sunday - to avoid returning NASCAR traffic. Little does she know how much I would love to find a spot along the roadside to camp out and see if I can see Ryan Newman's hauler and entourage drive by :-) I won't be doing that though - I will be home stitching and watching the Patriots game :-)
Daylily: Earth Angel (hmmmm, sounds just like a L&L angel I stitched last year!)

Stitched on today: Mystery IX

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Past the halfway point

I made it past the halfway point on Part 9 of Mystery IX tonight. I hope that this will be finished sometime this weekend, then I can work on Mermaids of the Deep Blue and Houses of Hawk Run Hollow a bit before the month ends. I will be bringing smaller projects like Women of the Mayflower and Blessings Be Thine when we drive down to CATS at the end of the month :-)

Well, NASCAR is arriving in New Hampshire for the weekend - the evidence was there as I crossed the state line into NH from Massachusetts on Rte 93 North coming home tonight - and drove right by J.J. Yeley's motor home (fancy shmancy - nice chrome exhaust pipes!) and one of his haulers (probably his personal vehicle or other equipment - not the one with the race cars in it). Too bad it wasn't Ryan Newman's! But, I did honk and wave :-)
Daylily: Drive Me Wild (yikes, I didn't notice on the thumbnail of this photo that it has all those water spots on the petals - I won't be submitting this photo to Dave's Garden this year!!).

I best get off to bed now. I must get up early for "therapy school" tomorrow (aka a conference for continuing education credits) - not a fun one tomorrow, this one is on HIPPA laws (the federal laws that govern client confidentiality) - ugh, boring! Fortunately, Mike is coming up to meet me for lunch! Eight hours of boring lectures by two lawyers!

Stitched on today: Bordeaux Mystery Sampler at work (a few stitches - will put up a WIP pic at the end of the week for Anne, although it is not much to share) and Mystery IX