Monday, December 24, 2007

A Christmas finish

Didn't have much time for ornies and such this year, but did manage to finish this flatfold and one other ornament that is already taped to the package for the recipiant. It is "A star" by the Sunflower Seed from the 2007 JCS Ornament issue. It was too big for an ornie once I finished stitching it, I thought, so I made it into my second ever flatfold. My technique in making these still needs a bit of work, but it is better than my last attempt, and after making a few more, I think I'll have it down. :)
Merry Christmas everyone! :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Shhhh.... Alex is getting a Wii for Xmas!

I'm so excited! I finally scored a Wii - and just in time for Christmas. I set up my cell to receive a message from when they go up on the internet anywhere and I just purchased one off!! Now to email customer service about upgrading the shipping so that it will get here in time. I was in such a rush to just get it ordered that I didn't pay attention to what shipping option I was choosing. Twice before I haven't been able to complete the online checkout process in time to snag one when they were available, so I was really rushing.

SQEEEE I'm so excited! We've wanted one since last year, but didn't really get serious about trying to actually get one til this year - We figured the demand would have subsided by this year and that Nintendo would have caught up. Not so...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dasher HD!

I've finished "Dasher" by Nora Corbet for my mom for Christmas. You might remember I gave her "Donner" for her birthday last month. Now at least she has the two to display together.

In other news, Katie is now recovering from a nasty ear infection. She isn't really prone to them - this is only her 3rd - she seems to get one a year or so. This one was really bad though. We first noticed she was sick on Monday night when she woke in the middle of the night and threw up in her bed. Ick! I first thought a stomach bug or just fatigue general sickyness from a cold that was going around school. Tuesday we kept her home from Daycare cause she seemed sort of lethargic and we were all homebound because of an icestorm anyway. Wed. DH stayed home with her and by this time she was complaining of her ear hurting. I took her in to the doctor Wed afternoon and they confirmed my diagnosis of an ear infection and gave her some antibiotic drops for her ear. I thought she'd be up and her old self by sometime Thursday, but when that didn't happen I started to get worried. I called the doctor's office Thurs. night and they basically reacted as though I was just being worrisome and that I hadn't given the drops enough time to work. Luckily my boss was really understanding through all of this and I was able to work from home both Thurs and Friday and keep her busy with Disney movies and Spongebob since she was mostly lying on the couch being cranky and sick. She would seem a little better for an hour or two, but then seem as sick and warm and cranky as ever.

Today is the first day that I've been confident that she is actually getting better and it's Sunday. I've never had one of my kids be this sick for this long before, and for that I guess I should be grateful. Sean and I are about worn out from it all though. The worrying and all the extra effort to keep her comfortable and not fussing. Of course now that she is feeling better she is accostomed to a little more attention and not wanting to give that up although she is clearly better and playing with her dolls and toys and beginning to want to eat again. I think I'll actually be glad to get back to work tomorrow!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Christmas Doily

I made this Christmas doily for my grandmother for Christmas. I'm going to give her some Christmas-y smelling votives and a votive holder with it. I think she will like it. :)
It almost didn't get finished. I was working on it during Katie's preschool ballet and gymnastics class and accidentally left the thread on the bench outside the classroom. Luckily it was still there the next morning when I realized and went back for it. If it had been gone there is no way I would have been able to finish. The thread is a Vikki Clayton thread, but I have no idea what color and I bought the threads about 5 yrs ago for a project I ended up not starting, so even if I could figure out the color who knows how close the dye lots would be 5 years later....
Anyway, the thread was still sitting on the bench right where I left it the next morning, so crisis averted! :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

More Mira RR

This one is the middle fairy from "Three for Tea". I thought the colors would compliment the fabric well and this was one of the fairies Missy Ann had on her "preferred" list. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Between now and Christmas I'll likely be stitching on gifts and ornaments. I'll post pics as I finish things. I gave my "Donner" to my mom for her birthday and she really like it, so I'll be starting "Dasher" very soon. I decided to do a quick Hardanger doily for my grandmother first. She always likes me to stitch her something for the holidays. I also like to do ornaments for people to send out with the Christmas cards. We'll have to see how many I finish this year. :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Donner HD!

He is on 32ct Silvery Moon linen from Zwiegart. I subbed MH 00348 for the 10071 Magnifica beads, and a generic brand white seed bead for the 10069 Magnifica beads. I also subbed Emeral Swarowski crystals for the treasures in the antlers and used a generic brand red pebble bead for the treasures in the wreath, since they looked as though they were meant to be large berries or bunches of berries anyway. I also subbed the Waterlilies 204 with Dinky Dyes 57 which is a plum color for more berries in the wreath. It didn't seem to make sense to buy a whole skein of Waterlilies for about 30 stitches. Lastly I used just plain DMC blanc for the tail instead of the Whisper.
I think it looks pretty good even with all my substitutions. I added the name to the bottom with a random alphabet I had from an insert of Just Cross Stitch Magazine. My plan is to do each reindeer as they are released and give them to my mom who collects deer. She can then display them all at Chrismas time with her collection. She is going to get this one right after Thanksgiving for her birthday and I might get ambitious and try to finish Dasher for Christmas. These actually are pretty small and work up very quickly for a Mira on a small cut of fabric. (Fit easily on a 9 x 12 piece from my stash.)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Donner WIP

My mom collects deer and I thought that doing one of these for her each year would be a nice addition to whatever Christmas pressie I get for her. I decided to use Silvery Moon fabric mostly because I have a huge piece of it left over from Heritage Sampler, since I had to buy a whole yard and I know I 'll have enough to do all 8 Christmas Couriers on it. It is going really quickly, but I was sort of surprised by how much specialty stuff these little designs use - didn't have much in my stash already to complete it. I did buy the braids and a few of the magnifica beads, but I think I'll make substitutions for the treasures and the other beads. I think I'll also just use DMC B5200 for the tail instead of the recommended Whisper - I've heard it yellows anyway. I have already subbed some Dinky Dyes plum for the recommended Waterlilies thread for the berries in the wreath. I think that looks pretty good so far. :) It was only like 30 stitches anyway - so I'd hate to spend $6 on 30 stitches.

In other news, trick-or-treating was a real blast this year. This is the first time Katie really got into it and really seemed to understand CANDY! AT EVERY HOUSE! YIPPEE! Alex went to this year after waffling back and forth about whether he was too old or not. I figure as long as he is being polite and not obnoxious and staying out of trouble he can come trick-or-treating with us - for now - that opinon might change as he gets older still each year. Here is a pic of the kids before we left the house. Katie was a bunny and Alex a pirate.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

More Mirabilia RR

Because there was a delay in mailings earlier in the round, I ended up getting a few of these kind of close together. I might have one more pretty soon too! Anyway, this is Marjean's and I really like the layout. As you can see she has some thick and short boxes and some thinner and longer. I bet this piece is really going to be beautiful once complete.

As you can see I stitched part of Emerald Mermaid. :) Since my own RR is going to come back to me all mermaids, I thought it might be nice to stitch one or two myself.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Heritage Sampler WIP pics

I picked this up on Friday to do my normal rotation slot on it, but just couldn't
put it down! I ended up stitching on it all weekend and managed to finish the border around the top band and start the two vertical bands underneath. I'm pretty happy with how it is coming along and these pics really don't do the piece justice. It is much more vibrant in real life. :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Another Mirabilia RR finish

Finished another section for my Mirabilia RR. This is a section of Butterfly Fairy, a pattern I've always liked minus the fairy's wings. It was nice to stitch just my favorite part of the design. :)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Alhambra Garden progress

Here is an updated progress pic for Alhambra Garden. I know it isn't a ton more since my last photo, but I did complete a diagonal corner, which I've decided is my favorite part of this design, and it went quick too! :)

I also took advantage of some unexpected free time on Friday afternoon and finished off my first ever Halloween design into my first ever flatfold. It turned out okay, and looks pretty good in the photo, but a closer examination would reveal some finishing blunders. Looks good enough to have up for the month of October though, and I since this was my first flatfold I knew the finishing probably wouldn't be the greatest. I'll do better on the next one having had the practice now. :)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Here's what I got

This is what I received from the recent Open-themed exchange on the Rotation Board. This is from Liz, and she stitched me the prettiest little biscornu. :) I think I'll ditch my old ugly pin cushion from JoAnn's and start using this instead. :)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Exchange Received

I stitched this for an Open-themed Smalls Exchange on the Rotation BB. I received word today that the receipant got it in the mail so I figured I'd share the pics. :)

The design is Sweet Baby James Needle Purse by Indigo Rose and it appeared in JCS a few years ago. I changed the colors to silks that I had leftover from when I stitched "My Son" a few years back. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and it was relatively quick and easy.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

First Heritage Sampler WIP pic

I've almost finished the top band of purple flowers and greenery. I'm really happy with my fabric choice - I picked 32ct. Silvery Moon and the colors show up really nicely, not sure that this photo really does that aspect any justice, but at least you can see my progress. I wanted to get a good start on it before just moving it into a regular rotation spot - this is about 6 nights of work.

I'm back to the rotation for now though, so today/tonight I'm stitching on Alhambra Garden. I'm hoping to get to do another of the corners, I think I should be able to at least start on it.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sweetheart Tree RR Foldable Book

For the Sweetheart Tree RR, I had the particpants each stitch a portion of a foldable book, like the ones the Designing Ladies created for 2006. I used Judy O'Dell's finishing book for directions on sizing the sections and putting it together when I got it back. It took a lot more time and effort to finish than I originally thought it would, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I really like these little books and have two other RR foldable books to assemble when I get around to it. One from a Just Nan RR and one from a Foldable book RR that I used Friendship and stitching as my theme. I need to stitch a section or two for each of those before I can finish them though. I think I'll wait a bit before getting around to it as this one took me almost a week of all my stitching time to finish! I'm sure it'll go a little more quickly next time as I won't be spending all that time studying the directions!

In other stitching news I managed to pick up my yard of 32ct Silvery Moon Belfast from my LNS on Thursday and cut it to the size I need for my Heritage Sampler - Yikes 50in x 23 in. - I actually cut it 23 x 55 since the width was already that size and no use cutting off only 4 in. I'll just give myself a little larger margin. That is one huge piece of fabric. I shudder to think of the size of the frame, but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I spent all of last night and most of this morning rinsing silk threads to prevent bleeding should I need to wash this piece, and given how big it is and how long it is likely to take, I'm figuring the chances of needing to wash it are pretty good. BUT I think I will get to put needle to fabric for the first stitches sometime today (still have a little floss rinsing to do for some of the colors that are STILL bleeding - like the Gloriana Pomengrate!) I'm going to spend a few days or maybe a week on it before moving back to the rotation or to a RR piece so I'll likely post a small meager progress pic when I do eventually move onto something else. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

DH got me roses! :)

With the kids' school activities starting this last week - I've been running everywhere and stressing way out. DH has been watching the new football season and enjoying it, but we have been spatting about how much I'm doing and how much he's watching football.
Last night he came home late from work and brought me these to apologize and let me know he does appreciate me! Woo hoo! I can count on one hand the number of times he has gotten me flowers in the 12+ years we've been married (including when the kids were born!) so this is major for me. I cried when he gave them to me. Maybe, just maybe, he gets it, huh?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Final Sweetheart Tree RR finish

This one is Dani's. This is the last one to do for me for this Round Robin. It was a lot of fun, but I'm glad to have one more thing done and off my stitching plate right now. I just got a call from my LNS that my fabric is in for Heritage Sampler, so I'm itching to dive into that ASAP! :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Another Mira RR finish

This one is Kaye's Round Robin. I've been meaning for so long to do this piece (Three for Tea) and have always liked the expression this fairy has - something sort of coy about the look on her face that I find charming. I also really like the fabric Kaye chose. It is a 32ct natural opalescent and compliments pretty much all the Mira fairies well - an excellent choice for a Round Robin piece.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mother's Tree Progress

Just thought I'd post a progress pic for Mother's Tree - it still isn't much, but at least I have the outline of the upper part of the tree done - just endless fill in work to do before moving onto the trunk. I enjoy stitching on it for one night a week though - it's a good piece for stitching during movies since there aren't any color changes and all the difficult counting is already done.

Right now I'm stitching on another Mira section for the Round Robin, so that will probably be the next post. I also got word recently that the last piece for the Sweetheart Tree RR is now on its way to me, so I'll finish that up once I'm done with the Mira RR section before going back to the rotation.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A small finish

Finished this last week already I think - just took me a bit to get it on the scanner! This is Just Nan's "Girls Night Out". the fabric is a bit washed out in this photo, but it isn't too far off. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and I'm hoping to get around to finishing it into a flatfold before Halloween. Are there any good flatfold instructions online?

The rest of my pieces are coming along okay, getting in a bit of progress on each piece as it comes up in the rotation. I'll have to make an effort to post more pictures - maybe this weekend! I also finished another small project (I took a break from the rotation) but it is for an exchange, so you'll have to wait for pics of that one. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mirabilia RR finish

I stitched Middy on Autumn's RR. Angi (faerystitcher) stitched Queen Mermaid. I just included Angi's portion because they fit so nicely on the scanner together. So nice to have a quick finish. :) I may try to work in an exchange piece I signed up for before going back to the rotation.

In other news, we got our family picture taken for the first time since Katie was born. I think it came out rather well. :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Alex is 12!

UGH! Just one more year until my 'baby' is a teenager. Sometimes it seems he is there already, and other days he still seems like my little boy. *sigh* Does this mean I'm getting old and matronly?? To have a son that old - and to be talking like, "Oh seems like just yesterday..." Yeah, I know, probably. I am so proud of him- he is such a great kid that never gives us an ounce of trouble. He is having "the guys" over for a sleepover tonight and we bought him a few games for his new Nintendo DS for his birthday. He worked all summer doing chores and saved his money to buy it for himself, so we felt that would be a good present. He's starting 7th grade in a few weeks and I just don't know where the time went.

Anyway, in stitching news I've decided to do Chatalaine's Heritage Sampler! Its an expensive design to purchase, and the materials are also expensive, so for me buying the pattern and design is a committment to actually stitch this one. I have a lot of cheaper patterns I buy thinking that I like the design and hope to get around to stitching it one day - but it isn't a firm committment until I've pulled it out of the stash drawer to start. Not so with Chatelaine's - if I buy 'em - I stitch 'em cause I could never justify the cost if I didn't! Sooo this one will probably take the open spot I had for Friday's - I don't want to hold off starting it for fear that I then won't stitch it and will have wasted all the money I spent on it. Am I just neurotic about that or what?

So now I need to decide what fabric to use to stitch it. My main contenders are Morning Dew by Silkweaver in Belfast or Joblean, or perhaps Lambswool Joblean from Wichelt. But then I saw Porcelain on the Silkweaver site and thought that might go nicely too - it is a good neutral. Anyone have a piece of Morning Dew in their stash that they might be able to comment on how dark it is? Is it subtle enough to stitch leaves and flowers and not loose the greens??

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Growing Inspiration

This piece is so much fun to work on - so satisfying to finish each little flower, leaf, and bird. It is slowly but steadily growing, and because I enjoyed working on it so much this Thursday, I kept right on stitching on it on Friday (friday is my "free" day in the rotation). So sad to put it away, but hey, Thursday isn't that far off right? :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Silkwood Manor

Yikes, I've been so busy at work lately that I haven't felt much like being on the computer to blog lately. I usually make time to check the boards and email, but then I want to stitch in the remainder of my free time!

Anyway, the new rotation is working out really well and I love being able to get in a little progress on all my pieces each week. Here is Silkwood Manor. Yes, I know there are still smudges on the pic - apparently there is actually something wrong with the lens - it is not just dirty. Guess that is what I get for buying a cheap camera off ebay - you get what you pay for - sigh. It'll have to do for now though, and I think you get the idea.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Weekend Stitching Progress

So far the new rotation plan is coming along great. Friday was my free night, so I decided to get a jump on Alhambra Garden and worked on that both Friday night and on Saturday. I was able to finish filling in all the browns and greens, and now I think I have a clear direction where I'm going next with the piece (up to the left diagonal corner, I think).
I have to say I did not really enjoy stitching on Angel of Summer so much, but knowing I only had to work on it one day helped me buckle down and get some good progress in. I put off working on more of the greenery this time and did the browns that will become the bow under her wings. Will probably finish that next time and maybe do some more (blech!) greenery.
Since the next Mira RR piece still has not arrived (expecting it any day now), I will work on my Hardanger runner tonight, which is done in pinks and white. A nice break from all the brown and yellow tones I've been working on in these two pieces.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Inspiration - Rosewood Manor

After working so long on getting those blankets finished and then stitching for a month solid on the Mermaid to finish her in time for the fair, it felt really good to start something new.

Did I pick one of the pieces that have been on my to-do list for ages and ages. Oh, of course not - I had to start the fabulous piece I just bought on our get-together this past Saturday! What fun to work on.

I see that my digital camera has some sort of weird smudges on the lens or something, but I'm too lazy to retake the pic. I think this is still a pretty decent picture, you can see the detail pretty well. The linen is 32ct Moonglow Belfast and the design is all done in DMC - which I love. No extra expensive fibers to buy, which sometimes puts me off of large and lovely samplers. The linen is really soft and nice to work on too, and supposedly although it has a hand-dyed look, it is actually colorfast, meaning I can wash it when I'm done. Since this piece has a lot of thread changes, I'll likely not put it in my Q-snaps and up on my lapstand. I'll probably just keep moving around my little 6in. metal hoop, which means I'll want to wash and press it when I'm done!

It is all whole stitches and backstitches - no beads, no partial stitches, no specialty stitches. Don't get me wrong, I like all those things, but it is nice to have a piece that doesn't have all those things thrown in the mix of my rotation too! And with all the stopping and starting it is still challenging enough and still beautiful enough to hold my attention. Perfection!

Speaking of my rotation, with the major hurdles out of the way, I've decided to try something completely new with my rotation. Well, new to me - I know there are several other stitchers who already use this method, so I cannot really claim credit for coming up with it or anything. Since I have 6 large projects, I'm going to try to rotate nightly, with a "free" night on the 7th night of the week. I will put the projects I want to finish first on Sat. and Sun. since I get the most stitching time on the weekend. The problem I see that might come up with this method is that I might not see enough progress before having to move on in the rotation since on weeknights I often only get an hour of stitching time and if we have a busy weekend, Sat or Sun. might not be any better. I'm going to give it a go though, and if I find I'm getting frustrated not making enough progress I might do a week on this rotation and then a week on a "focus piece". We'll have to see. I'll suspend the rotation for any Round Robins that come in the mail as I am completely hopeless in that area - have to start it as soon as I open the package! So for now here is the new rotation:

Saturday: Alhambra Garden
Sunday: Angel of Summer
Monday: Hardanger table runner
Tuesday: Silkwood Manor
Wednesday: Mother's Tree
Thursday: Inspiration
Friday: "free" day

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Sweetheart Tree RR Happy Dance

This is Marjean's piece. I think the colors she picked are just gorgeous! I stitched portions of "Celtic Cross", "Windsor Rose", and a band sampler I cannot remember the name of just now. I think the whole piece looks just fantastic! Just one more section to stitch for this Round Robin and I'll be done with it.
So now that my mermaid is done and my RRs are caught up - tonight I get to start a new piece! Woo Hoo - I'm going to dive right into Rosewood Manor. Watch this space for a progress photo in a few days/week.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Fair Judging and a Get-Together!

The Fair judging on Friday was a lot of fun like it always is. I really enjoy seeing what everyone else enters and the people watching is a lot of fun too. Maybe I'm just weird, but I find it mildly entertaining to watch some of the people who take the whole competition thing way too seriously. For example, one woman who I've seen there every year I've gone plopped herself next to me and began to comment on everyone else's piece and whether she agreed or disagreed with the judges about everything. Thing she announced to me that she had been coming 14 years and had over 100 ribbons. Wish I'd had a cookie for her. ;) Every year this same woman gets upset over some piece of hers that doesn't place (even though she usually has 5 or 6 that do) and says in a huff she isn't entering next year, yet she always does.... Like I said, she is entertaining though. Best of show went to a fabulous Brazillion needlwork piece, very well done and a great piece - well deserved.

Waiting for Ships did win the blue ribbon in her size category, so I was thrilled with that. I also entered Cottage Garden Fairy which did not place. However after the judge announced the winners she held her up and went on for about 10 min. about how the workmanship was excellent and there was technically nothing wrong with it, but something was just off somehow, she couldn't explain what and that is why she didn't place it. I was fine with the decision as the pieces that did place were all wonderful and deserved to win ribbons, but I wanted to hide under my chair when she was talking about my piece and how it was "wrong". I think it might have been the green fabric, which goes really well in my bedroom with soft blue walls that sort of soften the fabric color, but I can see where it is a bit more jarring out of that context. I also entered the Baby Afghan that is shown in the pics in one of the posts below, but didn't really expect it to place because of the simplicity of the design and I was right.

On Saturday, I went to my first-ever get-together! It was so much fun. I met up with Melissa (MissyCor), Susan (SusaninIndiana), and Kelly (marrissasmom). Susan has a great recap on her blog, so I won't repeat all that she said, but I also returned home very tired, but thrilled to have had the chance to meet these great ladies. Hoping we get a chance to do it again real soon.

I got some nice stash too, most notable Rosewood Manor's Inspiration. I also purchased the special hand-dyed fabric for it - so now I'm committed to starting it! :) I have finished quite a few things lately, so I think I can allow myself this new start. I've also been meaning to start Mirabilia's Stone Roses for ages, so I may just start them both in the next month or so.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Waiting for Ships Happy Dance!

I finished the beading at 9:30pm, the framing at 11:30p and turned into the fair for entry today at 12:30p (on my lunch hour). I just managed to finish her. I'm not totally happy with the frame she is in, but since there was no time for a professional framing job, I had to find a ready-made frame to put her in and this was the best I could do in this size (10 x 16). I actually ended up taking apart a framed print that I bought in this frame and using that as the frame. Even though I wasn't really interested in the print, the $20 I paid for this was way cheaper than a professional framing job. I might have to change out the frame someday though - I really wanted a dark frame to match her hair - we'll see.
So the fair judging is on Friday and Saturday I'm going to my first ever get-together! I'm really looking forward to both - I need some stitching boost now since stitching only on that mermaid for so long sort of sucked out my stitching mojo. Those two things will be just what I need to get it back!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Baby Afghan Pics

Finally got pics taken of the finished baby afghan! Here it is. :) The pics aren't as high quality as I'd like cause the camera is set on the medium quality setting rather than the high quality setting and I haven't taken the time to go through the menu and change that yet - but you get the idea.

Monday, July 02, 2007

More WfS

Another scanned image as I'm meeting with resistance from DH on buying the new camera. I may end up buying a used one on ebay cause I really hate being without one, and I can get the same camera that I had for about $30 with shipping. (It was not a high end model and a few years out of date, so...)

Anyway, here is my progress on Waiting for Ships. I am trying to finish it in time for the fair - have to drop off entries on July 19 and I'm starting to worry I won't have time to finish and frame her. I am already planning on framing her myself, so time at the framers isn't really an issue. I'm going to keep plugging though, even if I don't make the fair at least I'll have a happy dance sometime in the near future.

Is it bad that having some extra stitching time in on this factored heavily into my decision to take tomorrow off from work?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Baby Afghan Finished!

ARGH! And since my digital camera is still very much dead, I cannot show a pic. Of course there is no way that sucker is fitting on the scanner, so you'll just have to imagine with me what it looks like until I can buy a new camera. (I'm hoping that will be soon, but have to warm DH up to the idea.) I used a flannel backing with little handprints and footprints in pastel colors and a purple blanket binding to finish it off. I'm rather proud of how it came out. One side has the bright colored alphabet, and the other the pastel prints, and the purple binding compliments both rather nicely. I will post a pic once I get a new camera, just cause I'm so gosh darn glad to be rid of stitching on those afghans that now I have to share my victory.

So now I'm focusing on getting as many pieces finished for the fair as possible. I have to turn pieces in by July 19, so I have just under a month to finish stuff. This year I'm entering "Cottage Garden Fairy" as my large piece. I finished her in late 2005, but don't have a more recent large finish because of spending all the time on the darn afghans. Since she was finished within the last two years and I've never entered her before she is still eligible. Only reason I didn't enter her last year was that I entered Chatelaine's Sampler Mystery II instead, which won me my first blue ribbon in that category! I don't think CGF will win this year, but she may place - we'll see. I'm also entering the baby afghan I just finished in the "not a framed picture" category, so at least I have two pieces already done. I'm really hoping I can also finish "Waiting for Ships" for one of the medium size categories, and possibly "Girls Night Out" by Just Nan for the small category. Guess we'll just have to see if I can actually accomplish that!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Waiting for Ships Progress

I had to scan her in because my digital camera died! :( I think it got a little wet on Sunday at our Father's Day picnic cause it hasn't worked right since, and today when I went to upload the few pictures I took, including a pic of Waiting for Ships, it just died and won't work no matter what I do to it. Ah well, anyone know of a good, inexpensive digital camera? I just need something that will take nice snapshots and photos of my stitching.
Anyway, this is my progress on Waiting for Ships. She is on 40ct Tropical Breeze linen from Silkweaver.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Summer Queen Mira RR finish

This is Debbi's RR. She is having everyone stitch one of the Mira Queens. Angi stitched Winter Queen, and I've stitched Summer Queen so far. The fabric is a lovely blue color and I think it will complement all the queens really well! :) If I ever get around to doing the queens maybe I'll do them like this - just their faces all on one piece of fabric.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Disney Days 7 & 8: Nassau and Castaway Cay

Our first full day on the ship we were docked at Nassau. Since this was our very first cruise ever, and we had heard that most of the tourism in Nassau is shopping, we elected to stay onboard the ship. It was very relaxing – I got to swim for a bit by myself in the adult pool while Katie and Alex spent some time in the kids clubs and DH checked out the sports area. It was heavenly. I don’t think I’ve been swimming by myself without having to watch out for one of my children in the 11 ½ years since Alex was born. The pool was not very big, but there weren’t that many people in it, so it was big enough. There was an area around the pool that also had water in it, about six inches deep, so you could also just sit in the water without swimming too if you wanted.

At lunch time we decided to try eating at Tritons since we were scheduled to eat there on our last night of the cruise and Sean and I had made reservations at Palo for that night instead. Katie was a bit fussy at lunch, and one of the waiter’s brought her a paper rose made out of one of the children’s menus – so sweet and Katie really liked it. It kept her busy enough to get through lunch and the food was very good. I had a chicken dish that I really liked – don’t remember what everyone else had. After lunch I decided to take Katie and Alex to “Meet the Robinsons” which was playing in the onboard theater. I was worried Katie would not make it through the show because she has never been to a theater before, but she did really well and enjoyed the movie.

The rest of the day was filled with more swimming in Mickey’s pool and Goofy’s pool with both kids, and watching Sean and Alex play ping pong on deck. We also had more than one helping of the free soft serve ice cream bar up there! At dinner time, we went to Parrot Cay, our assigned restaurant for the night and discovered that it was Pirate night! Our waiter insisted we wear the pirate scarves on our heads and silly me forgot to bring the camera to dinner. I did manage to snap a quick photo of Katie though back in our stateroom with hers on. I had the Flounder and mashed potatos and it was very delicious. One of our better meals on the whole trip! The waiter brought Alex three desserts, an ice cream sundae in the center with two bowls of pudding for mickey mouse ears on each side. He was so stuffed he only managed to eat a bit of the sundae – mom and dad helped with the pudding I’m afraid!

Later that night there was a pirate night party on the pool deck with a ton more food and desserts – I don’t know how anyone could have any room for that though and with the large crowds we skipped this too. We went to one of the live shows onboard instead “The Golden Mickey’s” which was pretty entertaining. Katie really liked seeing all the Disney characters all in one show. Alex was in the club playing various games, so he skipped it. A very relaxing, yet entertaining day!

The next day we woke a little early in an effort to get to Castaway Cay as we’d heard so many good things about it. It was beautiful and we had a great time playing in the sand and sun and collected a few sea shells too. Luckily we had enough room in Katie’s suitcase to include a few blow up toys and a few sand toys. This way we didn’t have to pay the outrageous prices they charge for them on the island. For those of you POTC fans, the Flying Dutchman is currently docked there, and although you can’t walk or swim right up to it, it is still a pretty grand sight to see! I really like how my pic of it turned out. Well, I took about 4 or 5 pics – this is the one that came out the best and will actually make it to the photo album. There was a big picnic style lunch served on the island with hamburgers, hot dogs, soda, chips, cookie dough ice cream, potato salad, and a ton of other stuff I’m forgetting to mention right now. Even though it was only about 75 degrees, we started to feel like we might be burning by about 2pm (even though we were wearing sunscreen!). I guess the sun is a lot more direct when you are closer to the equator like that. We decided to head back in because of the sunburned feeling and also we all were starting to feel the sand in all the uncomfortable spots.

Once back in our stateroom we all took showers/baths to remove the last of the sand and to relax a bit before dinner. We watched Disney movies as one of the channels is dedicated to just playing Disney classics. I think we say Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin as well as parts of Little Mermaid and Toy Story all sometime during our trip. There was also a channel showing movies that had just come out on DVD and we saw parts of “Pursuit of Happiness” and “Dream Girls” too, but didn’t have a chance to see all of them. This night was our date night – so Alex and Katie both headed off to their clubs at about 5:45p and Sean and I got all gussied up and went to the adults only Italian restaurant on the ships highest deck overlooking the ocean – Palo. The food and the service were really divine. Now, we are no foodies – but we really enjoyed this meal. I don’t remember what Sean ordered, but I had a seafood and rice dish that had shrimp and a creamy marinara cheese type sauce to it. It was heavenly and much better than I though it would be from the description. We also had a chocolate soufflé that was heavenly. YUM! A very nice capper for our cruise! We returned to our stateroom and there was a plate of fresh chocolate covered strawberries and a Magical Moment certificate! Those were really yummy too! We spent the rest of the night on our balcony eating our strawberries and enjoying the nighttime view as we headed back to our home port at Port Canaveral. We were so sorry that our vacation was ending, but it was a fabulous time and both Sean and Alex talk about when we might be able to afford to do Disney again. Sean was really resistant before the trip and was only going because he felt like he should be willing to do some things for the rest of the family to have fun – but he wasn’t really looking forward to it. It is a huge victory for me that he actually enjoyed going and would like to go again. If we can afford to go again, we definitely will, and there will be no resistence!