Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Thank you all for the sweet birthday wishes. It was a great weekend, and of course I am tired today! I lucked out and was able to take half a day off on Friday to go home and do a whole lotta nothing, which was so nice. Eric came home with these gorgeous roses called Latin Lady. The outsides of them are almost silvery. After dinner we had champagne and cheesecake, which was lovely.

During the week I had received a few birthday gifts in the mail, which I waited until Friday night to open. The first gift was from Carol. She made this gorgeous floss ring tag, which I keep seeing on blogs. I've been really aching to try my hand at one of these, but now I have one! And of course, Carol's stitching and finishing is amazing as always!


This is Topiary Bird Floss Ring Tag by Praiseworthy Stitches on Silkweaver 40 ct Solo Newcastle Linen with GAST Floss.

She included some other goodies in the package, including one of the Lizzie*Kate charts that I've really been wanting to stitch, and some more floss bobbins which I just ran out of (perfect timing!). Oh, and look at those beautiful scissors...what a treasure! Thank you so much, Carol, for thinking of me and for being such a wonderful friend!


My friend, Julia, also sent me a wonderful gift in the mail. She gave me this great Jo Morton quilting book, and a charm pack of some beautiful fall-colored fabrics. Thank you!!


I had wanted that quilting book mainly to do this Peppermint Twist quilt. I bought the fabric for it as a little gift to myself. Can't wait to get started on this one!


Saturday I drove out to the sewing machine store where I bought my machine to get some help on my embroidery function. I had finished up the binding on my $5 quilt, but was having difficulty embroidering a label for it. I wasn't sure if it was user error, or machine error. Luckily, it was an easy thing - just an adjustment I have to make when I am embroidering small letters, so I am back up and running! I was able to get my label embroidered, now it just needs to be sewn to the back of the quilt and then that is one more finished!! Yay!


Saturday evening we spent with my family for dinner, and then on Sunday went to see Eric's family. His sister is so talented when it comes to beading (she made the jewelry for my bridal party at the wedding). She made me this fun 3-dimensional pendant out of Swarovski crystals. This photo does not even do it justice, but it is so sparkly and gorgeous in person!


That's about it for me today. As I mentioned, I just need to sew my label onto the $5 quilt and it is finished. I also made a small start on my next Red Thread block on Friday afternoon. I still need to finish that one and one more before the end of the month to be back on track. Sherri just finished the July block, she's one ahead of me. I better get moving. I also have another Neighborhood RR on the horizon that needs to be mailed out on the 15th, so I'll need to figure out what I'm stitching for that. On the reading front, as much as I would love to have plunged right into reading the next Stephanie Meyer book, I decided it would be smart to go ahead and read my book for my next book club, as it is on September 5th. So, the vampires will have to wait. Sigh. Anyway, I hope to have a stitching update and a finished quilt to show you next time. Until then - take care, have a great week, and enjoy your stitching!

I am grateful for wonderful friends.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Road Trip

Red Thread: Road Trip
Bent Creek
DMC, Weeks & GAST on 32ct Light Mocha
Embellished with a snap

Finished 8/15/08



So much to show you! First of all, Friday night I finished stitching Road Trip for my Red Thread piece. This one actually went pretty quickly, and now I just need to finish July and August's blocks by the end of the month.


I was also able to finish sewing the binding on my quilt over the weekend. I attempted to embroider a label for it, but I seem to be having a problem with the embroidery function on my machine. So, I'll be visiting the shop this weekend and see if I can get it taken care of. Then, once my label is embroidered and stitched on, the quilt will be done! Woohoo! The Kimono quilt is heading to the quilter this weekend as well. I'll be meeting with her on Sunday afternoon.



In between all this progress I was making with my projects, I also went out and had some fun. Eric, my friend Melinda, and I went to the local Balloon Fest on Saturday.





We had a great time, and it was fun seeing the balloons being inflated. Unfortunately, there was too much wind for the balloons to lift off, so we basically watched them inflate and deflate. Apparently, if it is too windy, it can cause the balloon to catch on fire...so that would be a bad thing.


We had shaved ice and mojitos in a can (well, that's what I had - they had beer). But of course, no fair or festival in Texas is complete without this...


It was a great evening, even with the disappointment of the balloons.

Sunday, I met up with my friend Sherri to celebrate my upcoming birthday. She took me to see Mamma Mia and then out to dinner for some excellent Mexican food (my favorite!). But, you have to just take a look at what Sherri gave me...


Book two in the Stephanie Meyer's series and a gorgeous bookmark that she stitched over one!


How amazing is that?! Thank you thank you thank you, Sherri!! I love it! And of course I can't wait to make use of it with THAT BOOK! Woohoo!! What a fun night. I really enjoyed Mamma Mia as well, and was so glad that Sherri took me to see it.

That's it for me today. I just ordered the next books for my bookclub at the museum. We'll be reading Johanna: A Novel of the Van Gogh Family in September, then Stealing Athena in November and finally The God of Small Things in January. I'm looking forward to these. Now, I just have to get busy so I can read my new book (and finish what I'm currently reading). In stitching news, I've made a small start on the July Red Thread block, Picnic. I have a feeling this weekend is going to be busy. My birthday is Friday, and although I was hoping to take the day off from work, I just got an invite for my third meeting that day. Ugh! But, Saturday we're going to my parents house for dinner (and LEMON MERINGUE PIE!!) and Sunday night we're going to dinner at Eric's parents' house.

Have a great rest of the week!

I am grateful for sweet friends.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Mermaid Fair



Happy Monday, everyone! I hope that you all had a fabulous and relaxing weekend. Ours was very nice, although all of our plans had to be shifted around to accomodate the air conditioner repair guys coming back out to look at the BRAND NEW UNIT to see why it was not working. Well, it appears that when you install a new unit you have to set the unit to how much freon you want it to use at a time, and well, when set too low - it freezes over and then A/C no worky. So, in 106 degree heat, we were less than pleased. But, that aside, we did have a great weekend (although slightly rearranged).

As I mentioned in my last post, I was able to make a start on the next block for my Red Thread piece at the guild meeting (photo at top). This is the June block, Road Trip. Friday night I finished stitching the border, and then did the rest you can see here. I think this block will actually be a pretty quick stitch. Let's hope so - I need to move on to July! As always, this is a fun and relaxing stitch. Please excuse the wonkiness of my piece in the photo - this is due to the block being right at the crease where I folded the fabric, and the stitching itself is not so messed up looking. I promise.


Sunday morning I was able to spend some time with my sewing machine and do a couple of things that have been piling up - like doing some mending, and then working on some quilting projects. I decided that I am going to take my Kimono quilt to be quilted as a birthday gift to myself. So, I needed to make sure that my backing fabric was ready to go. That backing fabric is now pieced and pressed and folded neatly along with the quilt top. I am hoping to drop it off next weekend. Hurrah!! I will be so thrilled when that piece is finally completely finished. I've had the quilt top tacked to the wall in our dining room (which is meant to be its final destination), since I finished it. So, yay! for getting that done. I did have a minor snafu while piecing the back, since the fabric is directional. Guess who pieced the two pieces going in opposite directions. Yes, that would be me. So, seam ripper to the rescue.


The second project I worked on is part of my monthly goals. I cut and pieced the binding for my $5 quilt (which I had quilted way back in November I think!!) (Photo above is just the quilt top, pre-quilting.). I pressed my binding (all 8 million yards 0f it) and then machine-sewed it to the quilt. Needless to say, I had about 7.5 million yards extra of the binding, which I may use to string up the cat if he scratches on my couches one more time. So, all that I lack on finishing that quilt is hand sewing the binding down and then making and attaching a label. Woohoo! I can almost taste a finish!! I would have loved to spend Sunday evening stitching down that binding, but I had committed to Anna that I would get back to stitching on our Mermaid SAL on Sunday nights. So, I pulled out Mermaids of the Deep Blue to stitch on.


Last update on this piece was back in March, I believe. Here's what it looked like before.




And. here is what she looks like after last night's stitching. Not a ton of progress, but enough to see a difference. I am working on the light brown in her hair. I do enjoy this piece, and as it is my first Mirabilia, and my first Mermaid...it deserves some attention. I am stitching this with DMC on 32ct Ocean Waves Belfast by Stitches and Spice. Love love love this fabric. It is so gorgeous.


So, that's what I was up to this weekend. I am hoping to get Road Trip and my binding on the quilt finished soon. That would be fabulous! I do plan to work on the mermaid more next weekend though. See you soon!


I am grateful for dinner with a friend and moving the monstrosity!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Gift, A Guild and an Award or Two


Thank you all so much for your sweet compliments on Barnabee. I am so thrilled to finally have him finished. I haven't had a chance to stitch at all since finishing him until last night, so you can imagine what a treat that was! Last week was such a whirlwind! I finished Barnabee, finished reading The Masterpiece, took my vendor certification exam for Microsoft Excel 2007 (which I passed!) and rounded all of that up before heading off to Virginia for the weekend. Eric and I had a lovely, although short trip to Virginia and just returned Monday night. While I was gone I started and finished a new book, Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Loved it! Can't wait to get the next one. I've started a new book now (reading the 4th Chiaverini book) and am loving it!



So, yesterday coming back to work was crazy, as you can well imagine after having been out for a couple of days. But, all was rewarded last night when I attended the monthly gathering of the Tudor Rose Sampler Guild. My new good friend and loyal blog reader, Barbie, convinced me to go after showing me photos of an upcoming Jane Timmons workshop they will be having. This is the Madeira Sampler Tin Project. Isn't it lovely? This is just a peek, but I am hooked! I met Barbie for the first time last night and she brought me a gorgeous gift....



Barbie, I hope you don't mind me borrowing your photos of this beauty! She stitched (over one no less) this beautiful Queen of the Needle tin topper for me and the coordinating fob! Barbie, you are such a jewel! I can't thank you enough!!!



The Guild was having its annual stash sale last night, but I was a good girl and didn't bring anything home. I brought Barnabee with me to share as a recent finish though! As the program for last night's meeting was the stash sale, I was able to stitch a little and visit. I started working on my June block (Road Trip) for my Red Thread. I managed to get my block outline completely finished even while talking. So, that was a treat. I joined the Guild and am looking forward to next month's meeting. And since I did join the Guild (although not EGA) I am counting this as fulfilling this item on my 101 Things List.

Not too much else going on around here. I am looking forward to the weekend, and getting a little more stitching done. Anna and I are reinstating our Mermaid SAL on Sunday, so look for an update on my Mermaids of the Deep Blue. My last update was in March. And of course, I intend to get my Red Thread back on track as well.

And, I cannot forget to mention that Jenna and Katrina both awarded me the Kreativ Blogger Award. Thank you both for the sweet compliment. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it, especially as I've been feeling the creativity is few and far between here lately! Now, I am supposed to nominate a few others for this award in return, but as I have been so remiss in visiting blogs lately and since there are so many wonderful stitchers blogging, I will award it to each of you who visit me! Enjoy!!!

I am grateful for new friends and a dear friend's husband who is on the road to recovery and good health!