Thursday, December 31, 2009

Finished finished! :)

The back is a plain yellow fleece and the binding is an ordinary satin blanket binding I got at JoAnn's.

I just hope young Teresa understands Aunt Jenny is a much better stitcher than she is a sewer - the satin binding was really hard to keep straight. I think the result is passable, but I'm sure a more experienced seamstress would have done much better. Ah well.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Dance!

All the stitching is done on the afghan! Woo Hoo! And not a moment too soon. My sister had her baby yesterday morning at 4:30am. She had a little girl they named Teresa Lucia. They don't find out the sex or reveal the name of the baby til it is born, so usually I don't get a chance to include any name or anything before finishing the blanket. The timing worked out this time that I was just finishing up when she was born. The text along the side of the center is the baby's name and birthdate. :)

I'm planning on doing the finishing tomorrow as I have off from work. More pictures once I have it all blanketified.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Little Squares done!

Finally! Now just Mother Gooser herself and this afghan will be ready to be finished into a blanket. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shoveling and Stitching

As many of you know, there was a big snow storm in WI Tuesday into Wednesday which resulted in a day home from work and school. I spent the day shoveling the heavy snow the blower couldn't get at the end of the driveway, and then stitching 6 over one letters on Chatelaine's Heritage Sampler. Good thing I have no deadline for finishing this thing - there is a ton of over-one letters! :)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater

I'm afraid to say so, but I think there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Only two more small squares left and they are both rather easy. Then the large center design of Mother Goose herself, which is going to be over-two, so it really isn't that much harder/bigger than the small squares. I'm thinking it will take about as long as two of the small squares. Anyway, getting close now. And no obligation stitching for 2010! (Well except for the Mira RR I'm already stitching for.)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

MissyAnn is the awesomest!

Well, that is what Katie said anyway. :) Actually she said, Mrs. {Missy's last name here} is the awesomest, but I don't want to post the name here. :)

A few days back Katie was watching over my shoulder while I read Missy's blog, and insisted I buy the pincushion that Missy just made. She thought it was so pretty. :) I explained that Missy had made it for herself and that it wasn't a store or a sale, but her own pincushion. Katie was very put out, but suggested maybe we could go to Missy's house when she has a yard sale and buy it from her. I thought that was pretty funny and told Missy the story in the comments on her blog.

Missy made her a pincushion and sent it complete with a note telling her how Santa called and asked her to make her one because she had been trying to be such a good girl. Katie was a little suspicious and didn't seem to think Santa could possibly know about the pincushion, but I think I convinced her saying that Santa must have been making his list and checked in on her while we were looking at it on the computer. Little too smart for her own good I think. *sigh*

Anway, THANK YOU so much Missy - you really made my day and Katie's! :)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Little Bo Peep

Only 3 more little squares to go, then the big one in the center. Mother Goose herself goes there.

Also, I'm trying to come up with a creative way to include the year for the baby. I usually put "Baby [last name] 2010" somewhere on the completed afghan where it won't look too out of place. Right now the best I've come up with is the lower right square which will otherwise be empty. It won't look exactly right though cause that square should be empty to keep the every other square stitched pattern I've got going.

If anyone has any bright ideas, please feel free to share. :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Heirloom Stitching Sampler progress

I took advantage of finally having some down time this weekend and pulled out this from the WIP pile. :) Just couldn't work on the afghan when I was feeling so blissfully lazy I guess. :)

I did the three small bands under the scene and then the over-one letters and the band beneath them this time. Fun to work on but I think I'll put it away now and get back to the afghan - Wendy is due January 10. I think I'm likely shooting for the Baptism at this rate but I still have to keep plugging if I want to make that.

In other news I think DH and I have finally settled on a carpet for the basement. We ended up going with Home Depot even though we thought we wouldn't use them again because they are a big PITA. But their price is almost 2k less than the others so I guess we'll put up with it. I plan to post pics of the basement once the carpet is in - which I'm hoping will be before Christmas.

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and a good Black Friday. I skipped going out for the sales this year, but did manage to score a PS3 bundle from Walmart online at 3am when they went on sale. Setting the alarm, turning the computer on 15 min. before the sale, and going back to bed 20 min. later was so much better than actually having to leave the house and fight the crowds. I might never actually leave again to try to shop the Black Friday deals. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009


My husband finally figured out why our PC wouldn't load any pictures and got it fixed. So now I can share these with you. In between painting all the trim in the basement I'm still plugging along on the afghan. Here is Sing a Song of Sixpence and a picture of the whole thing. I'm working on Little Bo Peep next. :)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Mira RR - Athena :)

This one has lots of bling, and she was really fun to stitch. Hope you like her Autumn! :)

I'll be back to stiching on the afghan next. I've been spending a lot of time on yardwork, housework, and painting our new finished basement lately, but I'm trying to get in more stitching time! :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe

This one went faster than I expected. Finished just in time for Autumn's RR to show up on my doorstep. :) So I get to stitch on the RR for the next bit and take a break from the afghan.
I'm stitching Athena for Autumn's RR, and then Sing a Song of Sixpence for the afghan after that.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Jack be Nimble

Finished this up just today. :) There was an old woman who lived in a shoe is next. Might have to get in some progress on something else first though - this afghan is burning me out. Sister is due in January though - so not much time left to get it done.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Renovation Update

To see before pictures, click here - I posted them a few weeks back.

Just decided to take some photos of the progress on my basement finish and thought I'd share. Although a lot of work has been done, it still mostly looks like this - framed walls! Note the wiring too! There are also lights and heating vents in the ceiling.There are a few highlights to share though - Now we have a hallway, with a wall that will hide all the ugly mechanicals - furnace, water heater, etc. (on the right).And there is the bathroom that is all roughed in, water supply done and in the right place, and tub in too.And the best part so far - the windows! When we bought this house we knew immediately upon seeing this slope on the side of the house that we'd take advantage of that landscape to add egress windows! Well actually, the windows aren't in yet because they are on special order to match the siding, but the structure and openings are all there.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mira RR - Poppy

Finished putting the beads on this one on Saturday. Next up I'll be working on another nursery ryhme block for the baby afghan. This one was a quick and fun stitch.

Also on Saturday we did what we've been doing for several Saturday's in a row now - we went to one of Alex's cross country meets. He's been doing so great and improving his time so much, we are just bursting with pride for him. Last week he took 30 seconds off his best time, and this week another 1 min and 20 seconds more. It is really building his confidence to finally feel he fits on a team and can do well. He's tried other sports before and just never felt like he was close enough in skill level to the other kids to try out for a team. With cross country he is still a middle of the pack finisher - but he is moving up and feeling good and so are we. :)

Alex is third from the right in this picture. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rub a Dub Dub - 5 kids in a tub?

Some of these take longer than others and this was definitely a longer stitch. It is done though, and I'm happy with it. Just in time for the next Mira RR to show up. I'll be stitching the Poppy pixie for Missy Ann next. :)

In other news our renovation of the basement has begun. They put in the HVAC vents today. No pics, cause well it is just vents and nothing interesting to look at there.

This past Sunday, my sisters and brothers and I all got together at my mom's for a picnic. It was the first time in probably years that all 5 of us were together. It is so hard for me to believe that the boys are practically grown. Me and my sisters are from my mom's first marriage and we were in high school when my mom had the boys during her second marriage. Here is the pic of all 5 of us.
From left to right: Mat, Karen, Wendy, me, Andy. Wendy is 5 months pregnant and will be the recipiant of the afghan when it is complete.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Sweet Pea!

Managed to get in enough stitching this weekend to finish up on this round's section on the Mira RR. This is Annette's RR, which is going to be all pixies. :) I really enjoyed stitching the deep pinks and purples in this one.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Big Amazing Renovation

Well, not really, but amazing to me. We are going to go forward with finishing our basement. Contractor is already pulling the permits and we are very excited, but also very busy as a result. I never knew how much work it was just to get started on a renovation. So many appts with contractors to vet them out, get a good price, find out what can/can't be done. And then meetings with the bank to get everything set up and in place financially. Add that to the stress at work, and well I guess I just haven't been keeping up with my blog or my stitching the way I used to.

Anyway, I'd like to document the transformation my basement is going to make here in my blog, so I took some before pictures tonight. DH and I already started ripping down the ceiling tiles in the one room of the basement that is already finished because we are having the contractor do this room like the others to bring it up to code (it is a DIY "finish" right now) and so that the basement will look seamless when it is finished. Here are my before pictures with a short explanation of our plans.

As you come down the stairs this area is on the right - it is the largest area and will be a huge rec room. It is actually larger than what I could fit in the pic.
If you continue to travel right after coming down the stairs there is a doorway in the right wall that leads to this already finished room. This room will be my craft room. See our demo work on the ceiling - yeah, lots left to do. The exterior walls are just painted cement, so this room is not up to code - we will have drywall and electric put in around the exterior walls in here and the ceiling replaced with drywall like the rest of the basement will have.
To your immediate left when you come down the stairs is another doorway - this one leads to a large walk-in closet. Believe it or not this was actually a big selling point of the house. I've always wanted a large game type closet for the kids to shove all their toys into. In here we aren't doing much, cause well, its a closet - but we will have dryall and insulation put up on the exterior wall and put in some nicer shelving.If you continue left, you come into another large open area. This will also be a large rec area. Except that the leftmost 1/4 or so of this pic is where the full bath will be.If from there you look to your right at the back wall this is what you now see. We are going to install two egress windows - one on the left where it is now solid concrete (in the large rec area) and one on the right where the existing well window is.If you continue to turn slightly to the right, you can see the area where the existing well window is. This will be a legal bedroom once the new egress window is installed and we've removed the workbenches and finished off the poles into the walls.

And lest you think I've given up stitching - I assure you I have not! I have my latest section for the Mira RR all but done - just waiting for a missing spool of kreinik to arrive in the mail so I can finish it. I also have another nursery ryhme afghan square in the works - "Rub a Dub".

I was dissapointed to have to miss out on a GTG this weekend, but I stitched some on my Alhambra Garden in honor of those fine ladies as it is what I stitched on last time we were together. Will have to show progress pics soon as it is getting close to being able to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Mary had a little lamb

Finished this a few days ago - just now getting around to uploading it. :) I'll be stitching on Annette's RR for the Mira RR next, so hopefully I'll have a pic of that to show soon enough. :)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Stone Roses progress

Manged to get in a bit of progress on Stone Roses over the last week or so. I was really happy to be able to work on the pinks in the ribbon. It was a nice break from all the shades of white and gray. I was worried about the gray shades being too much, but they really aren't that bad and between getting to stitchi in the pink ribbon and doing the colorful silks (they are Waterlilies) around the edges, this is really fun to stitch. Putting it back into the WIP pile for now though.

Now I'm working on a "Mary had a little Lamb" block for the nursery ryhme afghan - but it is going much more quickly than the Jack n Jill block did. I imagine that by the time I finish "Mary" I'll have Annette's RR to work on for the Mira RR - so I'll be stitching another pixie soon enough. :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I managed to finish Katie's silver curtains, the Jack n Jill design for the afghan and mulching the front garden. Still haven't settled on a paint color for the bedroom, but whatever, I'll get to it when I get to it I guess.

Katie was pretty happy with her silver valance and I was happy I talked her into this in lieu of the silver walls she really wanted.
In other news, I won a prize on Susan' s blog for showing a pic of my "to-be" craft room. Look at all the awesome stuff she sent. Thank you Susan!! :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Seems just about everything is a WIP right now and nothing is done. I've been stitching for what seems like forever and a half on this Jack and Jill square for the mother goose baby afghan. I guess it is taking me so long because I'm not really enjoying this particular design and also work has been really, really tedious lately. Last thing I want to pick up when I get home is something that also feels tedious cause I don't really like it. Work is about driving me batty - they seem to think that I will somehow just know what to do and do it right the first time with no explanation or plan of attack. When I point out there is no way for me to know this stuff, they agree and apologize and act all understanding and then say something insane like, "So you'll be done tomorrow right?" It also doesn't help that the work is not at all technical writing, it is more like code writing and I find it extremely tedious. Instead of writing documentation, I'm fiddling with the code of the xml pages to make the content management system display the pages correctly. If you understood what I meant by that - you probably understand it as well as I do. I've tinkered a bit with this sort of stuff before, but it was never the whole crux of my job before and my handlers seem to think that experienced technical writer means I'll figure out what they want and just do it without them telling me. Anyway, if the economy didn't suck right now, I'd so be telling my resource manager to get me out of there - but with assignments so scarce, I gotta make the best of it.

Anyway, went off a bit of a work rant there, which I try not to do in my blog so back to my WIPs. Besides my stitching WIPs, I also have several other projects that seem to be in the middle. I guess if I had more than the attention span of a gnat, I'd have something done instead of a whole slew of things that are "in progress".

DH and I pulled all the bleeding heart from the bed around the garage because it was seriously overgrown and choking out all the other plants - we didn't quite get it all finished though - a little weeding and mulching left to do on the right side. See my lilies, before we cleared the bleeding heart, you couldn't even tell they were there

Then there are Katie's silver curtains - I bought fabric a few weeks ago and just this weekend got around to hemming all the edges and starting the pocket where the rod will go - there will be tapered sides to this when it is done. I got sick of it though this afternoon and put it aside. Hoping to get back to it sometime this next week - we'll see.
And then there is the master bedroom. I picked out and purchased curtains - got a steal in JC Penny's clearance bin on some lined silk panels for $20 each (reg. price $75). The valances were on sale too - but not quite as good a deal. We're having a hard time selecting a paint color for the room - I want a sort of steel blue but darkish. I think I've ruled out all three of the samples you see in the pic. The one on top is too "baby" blue, the one in the middle is too purply, and the one on the bottom is just too, well blue.

So anyway, there is what I've been up to and what I've accomplished - a whole lotta nothing!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My brother the soldier

Very early Thursday morning, my sister, my mom and I all traveled to Lawton/Ft. Sill Oklahoma to attend my brother's graduation ceremony from basic training. He graduated with the rest of his class and will continue his training for the field artillery in the US Army National Guard at Ft. Sill for the next 6-8weeks. After that he comes back home and will be a "weekend warrior" in the guard unless/until he is deployed somewhere.

I've always had respect and gratitude for what our armed forces do, but this experience was very moving to me. Seeing the dedication on my brother's face and on those of his classmates and watching him graduate made me so very proud to be his sister, but also so very proud to be an American. I know I'm not capturing in words what I mean to say - it wasn't just knowing that these guys are having to face the real possibility of being deployed and risking their lives - and it wasn't just having known this kid since he was born (he is 19, and was born while I was in high school - so he really is a "little" brother). And it wasn't even that he has struggled to find direction in his life as he's matured to adulthood or that I've never seen him feel so certain that this is what he wants to do, or so positive about doing it, or that I could tell he was feeling like he is making a difference. Those things were part of it, but somehow the whole was greater than the sum of the parts.... I'll just say I'm so proud of him, despite the fact that I feel that statement is incredibly inadequate.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Mira RR - My first Pixie!

Just finished stitching my first ever Pixie - well part of one anyway. This one is Lilac. I'm finding that the ones that have at least a hint of a face rather attractive. Previously I had sort of written off all the pixies because of the lack of a face (yes, yes, I know they are supposed to be coutures and all and that is the reason for no face - but somehow that doesn't make the lack of a face any better to me).

I get to stitch two more pixies for other ladies that have a pixie themed round robin, so that should give me more chance to experiment with them. This one, has an eyelash and she is looking away, so it doesn't seem unnatural for the face to not be there. Lucky for me there are several others like that, so I should be able to happily stitch Pixies for my other round robin stitchy friends that desire them. :) :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I managed to add the piping to the pillows! All of you sewing experts out there for whom this is no sweat please just humor me a second here. :) I've never done anything that involved using a different foot on the sewing machine before so just let me have my moment. LOL I ended up using the zipper foot to do these since my cheapy brother model of sewing machine did not have a piping foot and I didn't want to look for and buy one.

An experienced seamstress will be able to find room for improvement upon close inspection of the pillows, but I'm pretty happy with how they turned out and now the window seat is complete. Except of course for the silver curtains Katie has requested....*sigh*.

Speaking of curtains, I have no earthly idea how to dress the window in my living room. The valance was left by the previous owner and I know it is hard to see in the pic. This house is so hard to photograph because there is always all this natural light pooring in the windows where I'm trying to take the picture. Anyway - it is a burgandy gingham valance on a thick wood pole. I'm fine with burgandy - but gingham not so much, plus this window set just seems like it needs more than just a weaky mealkey valance on it.... suggestions??

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Katie's Window Seat

Please excuse the poor lighting and the messy room, but here is a picture of the window seat cushion I made for Katie's room. When we moved in there was just no cushion at all, so I started from scratch. I bought two 72in rolls of 2in foam that was 24in. wide. Since the window seat is 31 in. x 110 in. I ended up cutting the foam in five 24 in strips and glueing them together with tacky glue. I could have done it length wise, but I felt the longer seam would not have held together as well and might have been more noticeable. Sorry, I should have taken a picture once I had the pieces glued together to illustrate what I'm talking about, but I didn't think of it at the time.

Once I had the pieces of foam glued together, they seemed pretty secure, but because the cushion was so big, I felt I really should find a way to more securely keep all the pieces together. I had this muslin-like fabric left over from a clearance purchase of fabric years ago and it was exactly the right size to be able to enclose the whole cushion in one piece of fabric. The width of the fabric just made it around the cushion, so I had to whipstitch it on. I wanted a really tight fit anyway, and with a piece this big I just couldn't imagine fighting with sewing it inside out and then trying to wrangle it onto the foam without the pieces coming apart.
It took about 5 hours or so to whipstitch around both angled sides and the shorter straight edge. (The longer straight edge is the fold of the fabric.)

Here is a close-up of the fabric I used for the cover. It is a chenille, and DH hated it, but Katie loves it - and it is her room. I like it too, because I guess I always wanted a girly room when I was a child and never really had the chance because I was raised by my dad who didn't get such things, and I also had to share a room with one of my sisters and she wasn't the girly type as a child (though come to think of it she is now).

Oh, funny aside about DH and fabric: We were in JoAnn's picking out this fabric and I suggested a fabric to Katie and DH said, "Jenn, look this one is all messed up on the edge - I don't think you want that one. Actually lots of them are like that - maybe we should go to a different store." It took me a minute to realize he was talking about the selvedge edge. I actually had to convince him that was supposed to be like that to prevent fraying - when I first explained it (trying not to laugh in his face!) he didn't believe me and acted like I didn't know what I was talking about and this was all just poor quality fabric, etc. etc. Yeah, cause I've been doing crafty stuff including minor sewing projects since I was 10 - but you who are in a fabric store for about the 2nd time in your entire life, know more than me....

Anyway, I had decided I wanted the cover for the cushion to be removeable. Katie is only 5 after all, and although we don't allow her to eat food in her room, she does have markers and crayons and paints that she uses in there, and who knows what mischief a 5 yr old can get into right?

The fabric for the cover did not come in as wide a bolt as the fabric I used to enclose the cushion. I orginally intended to do either a zipper or an envelope back for the cushion, but I ended up doing this on the fly. The diagonal seems are all machine sewn - since I was using the fabric from selvedge to selvedge edge I didn't need to put in a hem to prevent fraying on the part of the fabric that didn't get sewn together. I just used a million pins to pin it tightly and to keep the fabric from slipping around and losing the shape I wanted. The opening works out fine, because it is just large enough to slip the cushion out of if I need to, but it is completely invisible on the back while the cushion is in place.

Now for the pillows - probaby won't make them until this weekend. The pillows are also a chenille, but in a lighter pink shade with hearts for the raised design instead of circles (Katie picked out both fabrics). I was thinking of using the small bit of fabric I have left from the seat cover to make piping on the lighter colored pillows to tie them together a bit. I've never done piping before though, so we'll see. I have pillow forms for them and will just do a standard envelope back on them, so except for the piping (if I go that route) they should be really easy to do. I'm in the middle of stitching a section on the Mira RR though, and having fun with that, so I'll probably wait to do the pillows until over the weekend.
Yes, I edited this after I realized I had missspelled "selvedge". :)