Sunday, May 31, 2009

In My Garden

We are still in limboland with closing on the house, but since we are here, we've begun to settle in a bit. I moved my stitching down into the room that is to be my craft room - but haven't unpacked it and fully settled in yet. Here is the set of nifty shelves already built in where I can organize the stash.

We've also had the carpets cleaned - well the living and dining areas, bedrooms are being done next week and we bought a nice washer and dryer set since this house did not come with w/d and we didn't want to bring our old ones.

The thing I could most use some input on is the Garden areas outside. Since we looked at and made the offer on the house in early April, all we saw was last years dead grass and a bunch of leaves in the backyard. At the inspection in early May we saw some daffodils here and there which were beautiful. When we actually moved in we discovered there is a ton of flowerbeds that have probably been pretty much let go the last few years. We have a nice rose bush, lots of tulips and a few other perinnals, but also a lot of weeds. I'm afraid DH and I have decided to make much of it grass cause I just don't think I can keep up with that much garden. I took a bunch of photos though and any advice or even just telling me what kind of plant some are would be helpful. Then I can look them up and figure out how to take care of them. I'm thinking I might move some of the leafy plants from the largest area to some of the smaller garden areas when we plant grass in the largest area. Anyone know how well they take to being transplanted? I'm totally clueless about gardening - so any advice is good. I pretty much know what you learn in 1st grade from growing tomato plants - sun and water - other than that I'm stumped. Here is a link to the webshots albulm with all the photos - feel free to comment there or here with any suggestions.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Well, we moved

First let me say we are all moved into the new house. We are completely free and clear, clean and closed on the old house. I cried like a baby at 11pm Friday night when the last items were removed and we finished vacuuming and cleaning so the new owners could move into a clean home. It was a really good house and except for the apartment complex across the street that was becoming more rundown and us just generally outgrowing the place, we loved it there.

I'm sad to report that we did not have an uneventful closing/move to the new house though. We went to the walk-thru at the new house at 4pm on Thurs evening, and closing was scheduled for 10am Friday morning. We already had a good portion of the old house packed and loaded onto the moving van. When we got out of the car our realtor's face was just white. She told us that aparently the bank had continued to move on the foreclosure of the house even though they had accepted the short sale. Apparently there are two different departments at the bank and the right hand does not know what the left is doing. The seller aparently knew this but did not tell her realtor, so nothing was ever communicated to us and we thought we were smooth sailing since it was less than 24 hrs til closing. Anyway, bottom line was we couldn't close cause the bank did not have a payoff number because the foreclosure attorneys now need to get paid (even though they have accepted an offer before the foreclosure attorneys were in the picture).

We obviously did not want to be bullied into paying these fees just because it was the last minute and we had no where to go. We threatened to get an attorney and sue for breach of contract and basically the seller and the realtors agreed to let us move in under an occupancy agreement where we pay a very small rental fee per day til we can get the thing closed. The quasi-closing was really to set up this agreement and it was a little ugly because the seller, who is the person who is being foreclosed on was there and she was bitter about the whole thing and wanted us to pay more for the rent. We didn't want to pay anything because we felt we already agreed to get a mortgage to pay for the house - why should we ultimately increase our cost to own the house by paying rent until we close and then still pay the agreed price. We only agreed because the amount we are paying is so small that should the bank continue to drag their feet we are getting an awesome deal on living expenses. The seller felt we should pay what it would cost us to rent an extended stay hotel. The realtors all told her too bad - we shouldn't have to pay anything, and that we were getting the house. It wasn't down right hostile, but plenty uncomfortable.

So anyway, we are in, the house is a mess with stuff needing to be unpacked, and we are unsettled and stressed about whether this will all work out. The realtors are all saying it will, probably within the next week - but when I read up on short sales/foreclosures online there are plenty of horror stories that start out sounding like our situation... so we are hoping and praying for the best.

Soooo to completely switch gears and include a little stitching, here is a pic of the first block of the baby afghan I started for my sister. She is expecting her third child in January. I finished this inbetween packing the week before we moved. The afghan is going to be all mother goose nursery ryhmes (sp?).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

New Mira RR

Here is my new Mira RR all ready to ship out on June 15. I think I'm going to request children and fairies for all the sections. :) The section I stitched is from Baby Boat.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Celebration Bobkin

This is another one of the projects we received at the Make It, Take It at Celebration. The first picture is with the Bobkins safely stored under the ribbon in their new holder and the second is the back of the holder with the bobkins out - so you can see what they are. :)

This stitched very quickly in about 2 hours on Sunday afternoon - just didn't get around to uploading the photos til now. This was my first attempt at Nun's stitch, so an easy quick finish to learn a new stitch! :)

I'm pretty close to having my Mira RR all ready to go too - just a bit more stitching on my section to go - hope to have a pic to post of that soon.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Celebration aftermath stitching

So since getting back from Celebration I've ignored all my WIPs and stitched only on stuff I got there. I really have not had that much time to stitch , but I did manage a little progress on Heirloom Stitching Sampler and to finish my Drawn Thread Fob.

I still need to do some over-one leaves and flowers around those squiggly lines on the top and sides of the sampler, but I'm happy with how it is coming out so far. I made the fob a little smaller than the design called for just because I wanted too.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Celebration of Needlework 2009

Sorry folks - picture intensive post! Just returned from my first ever Needlework Festival experience at Celebration, and it was a great time. Below is a picture of me with everyone I met from "the boards."

Standing is Carol, Kate, Robbin, Holy, & Erin. Sitting is me, Susan, and Erin.

Holly and Susan were gracious enough to let me share transportation to the airport and hotel accomodations with them. This means they also put up with my company the entire 3 days we were there. Yeah, basically they are saints! :)

The first day I was really, really tired. I usually am not so socked out by one bad night of sleep even with travel, but by the time Holly and I went to our Bumbling Bullions class at 3pm on Thurs. I was barely keeping it together. The class was great though and although I didn't finish any of the class piece I did learn to make a better bullion! I'm confident now that I can do the class piece, where before I probably would have just avoided doing it even though I like the little button designs. I would have been worried I couldn't do the stitch well enough and wouldn't have attempted it.

Later that night we went to the Make-It, Take-It classes. A great value, I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I could have picked my head up off the table for the majority of the time I was there. I found out later that Erin was even at my table for this, but I didn't know who she was at the time. :) I got lots of great projects and even managed to finish the Drawn Thread fob on Friday while stitching in the lobby.
I'm too lazy to go and look for all the designers names and the pattern names, but above is a picture of what we got. See my fob all stitched up on the right? I still need to put it together, but the stitching is done. All nice projects. I decided to give the bag on the far left to Katie. This project involved making flowers out of fabric using a plastic form - very easy and this afternoon I spent some time with her making a few more flowers and decorating the bag with them. She loves that she has her own craft bag now. :) She was just thrilled with it.

This is Erin, Susan, and Holly at the Intermediate Techniques Hardanger class we took on Saturday - I learned the picot which has eluded me for forever and a half and the Edelweiss stitch. Julie Norton was a fantastic teacher and a pleasure to be around. She talks a lot about her granddaughter, but she has a wonderful sense of humor and works really hard to ensure everyone in the class gets the most they can out of it. Even though there was one lady in the class who couldn't do basic Hardanger she managed to keep all of us moving at our own pace while patiently helping her with easier stuff too. Everyone learned - no matter what level they were at when they arrived.

Here are some more pictures from that class. I think it was my favorite because I learned the most.

Above is the class kit as we received it - Isn't it pretty - presentation is important you know! :)
Here is the kit after I got it home so you can see what was in the box. The book has very detailed instructions for how to do all kinds of fancy hardanger stitches. Below is the work I actually accomplished in class. Pretty darn good picots if I do say so myself! I'm also pretty proud of the Edelweiss - though I'll freely admit it still needs a little work. BUT I understand how it works now, it is just a matter of mastering the techinique from here.I also did quite a bit of stach enhancement while I was there. I purchased Marriage of Minds and Wayward Sampler from Drawn Thread, a fat quarter of 36ct antique white Lakeside Linen, two small kits from Colonial Designs (one of a ruler holder and fob, the other a pin cushion), 4 skeins of SNC (they were $4 each!) and the real budget buster: Heirloom Stitching Sampler by Victoria Sampler with fabric and thread pack. I just had to put a few stitches in Heirloom Sampler on Friday. I ended up buying a very narrow but long enough piece of fabric to work it on. I'll have to sew muslin on the sides to frame, but I think the coloring will work very well for the piece.

I also really enjoyed the round robins - these are a great way to get a lot of little projects without busting your bank account like you do for the regular classes. Of the 14 projects I got from the Make-it, Take-Its and the 2 round robins, I could honestly see myself doing about 12 of them. The two I couldn't see really doing were both by the same designer and she will remain nameless.

I think my favorite memories are of the people though. On Friday Holly, Susan, and I sat at a table along the edge of the high traffic area in the lobby and several people recognized us from the nametags Holly and Susan stitched and finished for us. It was nice to realize somebody out there really does read my blog - one lady knew all about my house drama even though I didn't "know" her at all. I felt a little like a celebrity stitcher. :) Everybody was friendly and nice and I really enjoyed getting to know several people from the boards a little better. I'm afraid they also got to know me a little better too - like don't give Jenny too much caffeine all at once! :)

I really hope I get to do it again someday and meet all the same ladies again and maybe a few more too.