Okay, I know I haven't been around for awhile on the blog. But I do have a good excuse! I found out in early August that I'm pregnant! Probably many of you know that already from following me other places, but I think I have a few readers that just follow the blog so figured I better explain my abscense. I just haven't been stitching as much or felt much like writing since I found out- fatigue, nausea, and just general business and laziness have gotten in the way. I did finally manage to get in a little stitching though and actually finished my Heirloom Stithching Sampler. I probably could have finished it months ago, but see above reasons - also I was procrastinating at learning the drawn thread hemstitching portion. I had never done it before and I wasn't crazy about the look of it from the picture that came with the chart.
So I dug out some reference books on needlework I aquired ages ago and found the directions for hemstitching and changed the larger band to what you see in the photo above. Still Hemstitching, just a little different than designed. I also changed the smaller band further down, but I made that one four-sided stitch which I thought looked nice also. :)
So I'm happy to have one more Happy Dance for 2011 - I had hoped for more, I only finished Alhambra Garden and this one this year. I'm due on April 15 - so I think it is unlikely I'll finish too much in 2012 either, but one can dream. ;) I think I'll focus on Mother's Tree next as there are just about 5 names to go, so I should be able to finish at least that one. We'll see.
As for the Disney Diary - not sure whether I'll pick that back up or not yet. I'd like to chronicle our last trip, but I'm afraid I let too much time pass and I won't remember all the fun details I usually like to include. The good news is that with another baby on the way, there eventually will be another trip. We had thought with Alex going off to college in a year and a half that maybe it'd be out last trip. But now we cannot never take the youngest - which by the way is a girl. I think Katie is going to love being a big sister and showing her Disney in about 5 yrs or so. :)
So this day was our first Epcot day. I was really excited about this park because I was relatively confident that Katie would be able to ride the 3 "big" rides at this park: Soarin', Mission Space, and Test Track. I was also hoping that since Katie was going to ride them that Sean would put on his big boy pants and try them too.
So we rode the monorail from the Contemporary to the TTC and then changed monorails to the Epcot monorail. I so love watching out the window of the monorail when you swing around inside the park before getting off - gives you a nice view of the park from above. It was especially fun in 2007 when we got to ride up front in the monorail, but they don't let guests do that anymore because of an accident in 2009 when a monorail driver was killed. :( :(
So we got off the monorail and again it was hot waiting in the sun for the park to open. AND we got in the wrong line, which I seem to have a terrible habit of doing at all places WDW or not. *sigh* So it took us a bit to get in the park. Once we were in we walked right to Soarin' and got our fastpasses. I went ahead and got FPs for the whole family even though Sean was swearing he wouldn't ride on the hopes that I would convince him by the time we came back to ride. Soarin' is my absolute favorite ride of everything at WDW and I really wanted him to be able to do it with me.
After we secured our Fast Passes for something like 11:30a, we headed to the other side of the park for Mission Space and Test Track. Sean didn't want to either despite my urging, so Alex, Katie and I left him sitting on the bench with the water bottle in the shade to ride Test Track. Up to this point, Katie was pretty excited to ride it. As we walked up to the ride you see the cars zoom past over head of the ride entrance. Sean, who was still standing there was going on and on about how fast they were going and how you weren't gonna get him on there no matter what. *sigh* We got inside and in line and Katie started to express doubts about wanting to ride - I think because she heard all Sean's complaning about the speed etc. So I'm trying to be reassuring and moving her along in line, hoping she is gonna be okay. I knew she could handle it, that it wasn't that scarey, but she just kept getting more and more afraid. Finally we were right outside the loading area (where they show you the little movie about the ride) and she was crying and saying she didn't want to ride. I didn't want to scar her for life, but I didn't want to get out of line either. A lady in front of us in line talked to her a bit about her kids and how they were younger than her and had been riding a long time and it isn't scarey, etc. That seemed to calm her a little and we stepped into the movie area where they show a short film on what happens during the ride. When she watched that, she relaxed considerably. She got on the ride and had a blast! I was so close to caving and getting out of line with her, but I'm really glad I didn't. She did great and she talked about doing that ride again for the rest of the trip. It was her favorite!
So after hearing how well Katie did on Test Track, Sean agreed to do Mission Space with us. So all four of us got to do Mission Space together, which was a lot of fun. Katie was the Navigator - I don't remember what everyone else was, probably because I was focused on her the whole time. She was very concerned about pushing the buttons the whole time. Even though I told her it didn't matter and if she didn't push the button at the right time, the ride would still turn out the same, she kept getting all anxious about pushing the buttons. Finally I just said, "Mom will do it for you, don't worry." So I did her buttons for her. She was a little more nervous than she had been on Test Track (after she got over the crying in line) but she did good and liked it okay. I think she would do better a second time now that she knows what to expect. Oh, and we did the Green version - I have been known to get car sick now and then, so have always been to afraid to try out the Orange version.
After that we went over the Nemo and Friends Pavaillion and did Turtle Talk with Crush, and the Nemo Clam shell ride. Both were fun. We snapped this photo outside of Turtle Talk - apparently I didn't take many other photos this day.
After Nemo and Crush, we had just enough time to do Soarin' before our lunch reservation. No dice on getting Sean to ride, and after doing it again, I'm sort of glad I didn't convince him. His main fear of rides is height, and although I suppose you aren't really that high on Soarin', you certainly feel as though you are. It is very convincing to your senses that you are truly soaring in some type of glider, so I think he really wouldn't do well. Bummer cause if you can get past that it is an awesome ride. As Alex, Katie, and I were in line for Soarin', Katie started to get nervous again like she did on Test Track. This time she got nervous BECAUSE of the little movie that shows you what to expect on the ride. She was geting fussy and scared and saying she didn't want to ride. I knelt down and looked at her in the face and asked her if she remembered how she was scared at Test Track and that was okay? I told her I wouldn't take her on any ride I thought she'd really be scared of - that I knew she could do it and to trust mom. She bucked up and got on the ride. Luckily, it turned out she really loved this one too!
After Soarin, we had time to just stop at the gift shop outside Crush/Nemo and buy her an autograph book. I wanted to get her one soon anyway so she had it for character meetings for the rest of the trip, and it seemed like a good time to reward her for being so brave on Test Track, Mission Space, and Soarin. :)
So we went to our lunch reservation at Le Cellier at the Canada pavillion in World Showcase. I had the Filet Mignon with Mushroom Risoto. Sean had the Salmon. Alex had a burger, and I think Katie had a kid's pizza. The Risoto was very good, Sean said the Salmon was just okay. Alex wasn't that pleased with the burger, but I think that is because it had a lot of extra fixings on it he doesn't usually eat. I also had to try the Cheese Soup, which was good, but a little salty I thought. (which is saying something cause I like salty things!) This restaurant gets a lot of praise on the various WDW sites, but I thought it was just okay. The highlight of the meal for me was the Red Maple Smoothie that I had for my drink. It was raspberry smoothie with a splace of sprite and very yummy. The table breads were also very tasty, particularly the pretzel bread, which I hadn't had before. For dessert I had the seasonal sorbet, which was peach. Sean had the Campfire Smores, which he said was hard as a rock, and he didn't like the marshmellows (yeah, I know, why order smores if you don't want marshmellows?) Except for the Campfire Smores, nothing was bad, it just didn't live up to all the hype, and with all the other choices at WDW, we likely won't go back to Le Cellier.
After lunch we did SpaceShip Earth - a real family favorite. We love all the funny pictures they do putting your headshot on a bunch of figures and poses. Yeah, we're easily amused.
Lunch at Le Cellier really took a long time, so it was already something like 1:30p. We didn't get to all the stuff I wanted to do this day because of that lunch reservation - another reason to skip it in the future. So after SpaceShip Earth, we headed out of the park and back to our room for a little downtime. I had wanted to leave the room by 3:15p so that we could see Lights!Motor!Action! at Hollywood Studios. Even after 3 trips to WDW, we have never seen this show. By the time we got back to our room though it was already after 2 - so leaving at 3:15 and seeing LMA just wasn't gonna happen. I think we were all secretly glad because it is a show in an outdoor arena that is pretty sunny - and of course it was HOT. So we soaked up the cool in the room and the pool until about 4:30p before heading over to HollyWood Studios. We rode the bus there and arrived just in time to see the last showing of the evening of Beauty and the Beast.
I cannot believe we waited til our 3rd trip to see this show. It was awesome. Very good live performance - and Katie really liked the dancing as she could recognize several of the dance moves and technique she is learning at her dance classes. Of course, the technique of these dancers was way superior to the girls in her class, but we'll keep that between you and me. ;)
After Beauty and the Beast, we did the Muppets 3D show and the Big Movie Ride. We also tried to do the Little Mermaid show, but the wait/time was just too long during the times we were in that area of the park. While we were over there though, we wandered into one of the gift shops and I snapped this picture of the cross stitch kits they sell near the Academy of Animation. I managed not to by any new stash, mostly because I was remembering how little real estate their was in my luggage!
While we were back at the Animation Academy, we decided to do the drawing class they hold back there. So much fun! They were teaching Tigger, and I thought we all did a pretty good job with it!
After the drawing class we rode the bus back to the hotel and settled in. Alex and I had planned to attend Magic Kingdom's extra magic hours this night and we debated back and forth on whether to go. We were both tired, our feet hurt, etc. In the end, we dragged ourselves out of the room and to the park at about 10:30p. This was just dumb. The EMH didn't really start until midnight, because regular park hours were til midnight. So when we got there, there were still long lines. We managed to ride Buzz and the PeopleMover (Alex wanted to see the inside of Space Mountain again) and not much else. The wait for Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain were each over an hour. We got some smoothies at Auntie Gravities for snack credits and walked over to Pirates of the Carribean. The smoothies were wonderful and lasted just long enough to complete the walk across the park. We did Pirates with hardly any wait and then left the park before the true extra magic hours even began. Lesson learned - only do EMH when you can actually do EMH! We had a lot of fun at them in the past when they were earlier like starting at 10pm. midnight to 3am was just too late for us after two long park days.
Next up: more Epcot, Princess Breakfast and Cape May Cafe Buffet
Many of the books and websites I've read about Disney World tell you not to do Magic Kingdom on Saturday because it is on the weekend and therefore theroritically busier. I decided to do it anyway because both Friday and Sunday had extra magic days at Magic Kingdom, so I figured fewer people would choose Magic Kingdom that day. Also families that travel from out of town are often traveling on Saturday, so even if they come to MK on Saturday, they arrive later in the day. And I just plain wanted to go to Magic Kingdom for our first real park day. :)
My plan was to get Fast Passes for both Mickey and the Princess meet and greets at the Town Square near the front of the park on our way in and then head straight for Space Mountain. A tip: The Mickey Mouse meet fast passes are not connected to the other fast passes in the park for some reason. In other words you can get FP for Mickey and still get another FP for something else immediately instead of having to wait for two hours or the window to open. (This is not true of the Princess M&G, they are connected to the other fast passes). Well that was my plan anyway. We got to the park about 10-15 min. before rope drop because we like to see the opening show and because it puts us in a good position for getting a FP and to our first ride right away. :) It was HOT, well it was July, so Duh! But gosh it was HOT, and the sun was really beating down even though it was only 9am.
So the rope dropped and we muddled our way into the crowd and headed for the Mickey and Princess greets. Oh, the building was so heavenly cool... and the wait to see the princesses was only 5 min! Why FP it when it is only 5min? Well, it was really more like 15 min. but the line was inside and did I say it was cool? We saw Aurora (sleeping beauty), Belle, and Cinderella and Katie loved talking with each of them. This was about the time she realized that lots of other kids had autograph books and she wanted one too. We had promised her one soveniour during the tip if she was on good behavior, so we didn't get it then because it was still really day one. She got her picture taken with each and got to talk to them though and you could tell she really liked it.
Once we finished with the Princesses I was a little nervous about getting a FP for Space Mountain for me and Alex and Katie seemed content with meeting the princesses, so we decided to skip Mickey for now and do him another time (we'd live to regret that on another day, but I'll save that story for when we come to it). So we continued up Main Street and then turned right into Tomorrowland. Alex and I obtained FPs for Space Mountain and then we all got in line for Buzz Lightyear. This is a real family favorite! The wait was posted as 10 min, but it was really only 5, we got right back in line to ride a second time and probably could have done it a third time but DH didn't want to ride the same ride 3 times. Party pooper! ;) I got the high score the first time, Alex got the high score the second time. Something Sean and I really enjoyed this time was that now that Katie is older she is less clingy and really preferred to ride with Alex on lots of the rides. Alex enjoyed teaching her things and showing off a bit to her, and we enjoyed the chance to ride together and not have to split up so one of us could ride with Katie.
After Buzz we ran into Stitch by the PeopleMover ride. Katie loves Stitch and there was only one other child in line to see him. :) The night before we left for the trip Katie lost one of her front teeth, so she is now sporting that classic gap you see on your average 7 yr old once they lose one or both of their front teeth. Stitch was pointing at her mouth and shaking his head. The character handler was sort of translating for him since the characters with a head costume don't actually talk. The character handler said that Stitch was wondering where her tooth went. Katie said the Tooth Fairy took it, and Stitch had a horrified look and covered his mouth, which really made Katie giggle. We got it all explained to Stitch so he could sleep at night without fear of the Tooth Fairy taking his teeth and moved on to the Tomorrowland Speedway. :)
Again, the kids rode together, which meant DH and I got to ride together. :) And even better I got to take a pic of them in the car together. We rode the Tea Cups and then the PeopleMover before our FP time for Space Mountain was ready. Sean is still scared of roller coasters, and I didn't think Katie was ready for Space Mountain yet - at least not as her first more grown up ride, so just Alex and I were ready to go. Unfortunately the ride was closed when we came back. :( So we were talking about whether to have lunch or ride Carousel of Progress when Katie saw Chip and Dale and wanted to get in line for them. The rest of us weren't really up for that, and told her so. She had a bit of meltdown about that, not terrible, but sassy and pouting and I was ready to nip that in the bud. I wasn't putting up with that for the whole trip. She had a prompt timeout on a nearby bench while we plotted our next move. We ended up doing Carousel of Progress after the 7 excrutiating minutes waiting for the time out to be over was finally done. (Why does punishing your kid always feel like punishing you?)
Just as we came out of the Carosel of Progress we headed over to a restroom and when we came out of there we saw that Space Mountain was just starting up again. We headed over to it and got in line and rode right away. Just as much fun as I remember it. We took a look at Big Thunder Mountain, but the wait was over 50 minutes and the FP return time was 2pm and we didn't plan to stay that long, so we had to take a pass on it.
We ate lunch at Cosmic Rays - DH and I had grilled chicken sandwiches and Alex had a burger. A note if you are on the dining plan. They will only allow you to order a chid meal for a kid, but the choices for kids meals are really limited. However, the counter service credits are really all pooled together in the computer. Basically they enforce this by only allowing you to order as many adult meals at one time as are on your reservation. So for us, we could only order 3 adult meals each time we placed an order. The options for kids at cosmic rays were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (uncrustables) or this nasty mac and cheese. Katie really wanted a hot dog instead. So we split up (both my card and DH's could charge) and we each ordered two adult meals so Katie could get a hot dog. Why the hot dog is not on the kids meal plan to begin with is beyond me. It isn't as though we were trying to get prime rib for her or anything.
After lunch we did the Liberty Boat, which was way hotter than I expected. My sunburn, although slight, was really annoying me because I was just sweating and hot and uncomfortable. I almost fainted on the boat, and DH helped me sit down in a little bench in the center of the boat and drink some water from the pack we brought, and then crawl (well not literally, I walked, but it felt like I was crawling) to the rail where I could get some air. That is a long ride and it is more in the hot sun than I was expecting. I think it would be fun and relaxing in 70 degrees, not so much at 96 degrees.
After that ordeal, we made our way to Hall of Presidents where we cooled down and DH slept. :) I actually did listen to the presentation this time and was even a bit interested in the history, but the coolness was the little slice of heaven I needed. After getting cooled down in Hall of Presidents we headed out of the park and back to the monorail and then the Contemporary.
We slept a little, swam a little, and then got ready for our dinner reservation at Ohana at the Polynesian resort. This was the reservation I was most nervous about - our family is not really adventurous eaters. I'm trying to change that at least a little bit, which is why I picked it. The food there is Hawaiian Polynesian and is really, really good. To my relief and surprise Sean and Alex loved it. They ate and ate. I liked it too, very yummy. The have sticky wings and pot stickers - two things I usually don't care for much. But here they were just to die for! Katie didn't eat so well.. sigh.. but she really enjoyed the singing and dancing they do with the kids. A Polynesian woman sings and dances and leads them around the tables in a procession and gives them lays. Katie still has hers and still tallks about it even though she basically ate 3 bites of skewered chicken and a few bites of bread and brocilli and that is it. Ah well. Probably the best meal of the trip.
After the meal we went to the Poly bus stop and rode to Downtown Disney to go to DisneyQuest. You want the Pleasure Island stop, not the marketplace stop if you are going to DisneyQuest. DH had been dreading this part of the trip, since he did not enjoy it on our earlier trip. Last time we went though, Sean didn't do a lot of the stuff Alex and I did because he thought it was too video game orientated. Katie was only 4, so she didn't come at all, instead she went to the kids club (babysitting service) last time. So this time we got to do everything as a family, which was way more fun. We did the Jungle Cruise, which isn't at all like the one in MK - it is a simulator of a boat ride where you have to paddle your way through the course. The way you paddle had a real effect on which direction you go in the simulator too. Very fun and it didn't matter that Katie couldn't really paddle much, the other 3 of us made up for it. Next we did Pirate of the Caribean, again not like the one in MK. This was also sort of a virtual reality and we got to shoot down pirate ships, similiar to the way you shoot in the Toy Story Mania game at Hollywood Studios. We also did the big pinball simulation all together and the Tourist Jeep ride (Lost World?). We wanted to do the Animation Academy here too, but kept missing the scheduled time for it. Alex and I did the design your own roller coaster and that was fun - the ride handler made fun of us though for choosing all "green" (easy) and "yellow" (medium) level elements.
After all that we were exhausted, but happy. I felt so good that this trip was going well - Katie could do more and there was a better sense of comradery than on previous trips when we had to do separate activities based on the age and interest levels not matching up as much. So yes, Ohana means family seemed to be our theme for the day.
We rode the bus back to the Contemporary and noticed that mousekeeping left us a brand new towel arrangement. :)
We left the house at 5:30am to make our 7:30am flight. Very early, but we were all so happy and excited to be going - so for once it wasn't hard to get everyone up and going. Even Katie, who can be a bear in the morning, got up cheerfully. :)
The flight left on time and even landed 20 minutes early - guess our pilot had a lead foot or something. Since this was our third trip I knew to ride the shuttle to main terminal and go down to the first floor on the B side to get to the Magical Express counter. I saw the long check in line and gave a little inward sigh, and went to stand in line. Only they had changed the setup a bit since last time - the long check in line was actually for Disney Cruise Line - not for the Disney Resorts at Walt Disney World. The cast members directed me to an EMPTY line to get on the buses - Yay! :) So the cast members scanned our Magic Express tickets and showed us to our bus to the Contemporary which was already there and ready to take off. Extra bonus!
It was 11:30am, and we had 7:15pm reservations for the Hoop Dee Doo that night. Hoop Dee Doo is now a family tradition for us, if you aren't already familiar, it is a live dinner show that serves fried chicken, ribs, cornbread, salad, and strawberry shortcake. To be honest, the food is nothing special - just average. It is a really fun show though. The kids really enjoyed the slap-stick hee-haw type humor. If you have a fourth grade boy or so he will think it is hilarious. The first time we saw this show Alex was 11 and he laughed so hard he cried. Now it is more tradition for us and more mildly amusing. Still a good time, and a fun thing to do on our more laid back arrival day. So anyway - I would have made reservations for the 5pm show, but I was nervous about the flight getting delayed, or magic express taking a long time and needing time to get settled in our room, so I booked the later reservation. Since we were making such good time, I called the WDW Dining number, and moved the reservation to 5pm - no problem there - the cast member was able to change the reservation.
The actual ride to the resort took a little longer than I would have liked because the bus made stops at Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, and the Polynesian before taking us to the Contemporary, but we were still all checked in, settled in our room, and eating lunch at the Contempo Cafe by 1pm - very good time for the scheduled landing of 11:14am. Alex actually had a good idea that I'd use if we are ever in this situation again. We should have just gotten off the Magic Express bus at Grand Floridian (the first stop) and rode the monorail to Contemporary - probably would have shaved another 15-20 minutes off, but oh well.
We checked into our room to find the "mousekeeping" had already left us a towel animal. Some wash clothes arranged like a mickey head. :) A nice touch. We stayed in the Garden Wing of the Contemporary Resort and our room sort of overlooked the pool except that there were trees and folliage between our room and the pool - but that was fine with us - we didn't pay for any special view and we didn't get any special view, so par for the course. :)
We were on the Disney Dining Plan because I had gotten a Free Dining PIN right around the time I was beginning to plan the trip. The Dining Plan is 1 Table Service Credit per day, 1 Counter Service credit per day and 1 snack per day for every member of your party. It might not sound like much, but it can be a lot of food. Each of the Table Service and Counter Service credits include a dessert, drink and entree. And at the counter service places, often a side such as fries is also included. I would probably not get the dining plan if we did not have the PIN code, but since our food is then included in the price of our room/tickets, we do save a bit of money using it. Anway, we used our first set of counter service credits at the Contempo Cafe. One of the dessert options are these huge cupcakes. They were super yummy too. This is the Dos Leche one (caramel) and they also have a Black Forest and a Strawberry which were also very good. :)
So after lunch we changed into our swim suits and decided to check out the pool. I would not recommend staying at the Contemporary resort if you have little kids (say under 7ish) because of the pool. There is no kiddie pool at all. Katie loved, loved the kiddie pool at the Wilderness when we stayed there in 2008, but all the Contemporary has is a water-spout play area. It was a real pain for me too, because although she could just touch bottom in the big pool, she isn't a strong enough swimmer that I felt she could be independent in the water at all. So if she wanted to be in the water, I had to be right there, attached at the hip the entire time. I really liked being able to let her play in the kiddie pool while I enjoyed my drink in a nearby beach chair at the Wilderness - couldn't do that here.
If anything went wrong on this day at all it was that I didn't pack any sunscreen in our carry-ons. We had larger bottles packed in our check-in luggage, which hadn't arrived yet, but I should have thought to pack a few 3oz bottles so that we could have lathered up before going to the pool. We didn't stay at the pool long, and luckily no one was badly burned, but my shoulder and neck got slightly crispy. Enough to be sore for the rest of that day and the beginning of the next - a minor annoyance.
After our dip in the pool we got ready for the Hoop Dee Doo. We were almost late for our reservation because it was raining and the boat that runs from the Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, and Ft Wilderness Campground had to switch to using bigger, covered boats because of the possibility of lightning. We had our ponchos though, and it was no big deal. We finally caught the boat and just made the reservation. Fun time at HDD as usual. :)
I was really happy to make the earlier show of HDD because it meant we had time afterward to go to FANTASMIC! at Disney's Hollywood studios. FANTASMIC! was playing twice - once at 9pm and again at 10:30p, but we really didn't want to stay up for the 10:30p since we had been up since 4:30am, and 9pm was really like 10p with the 1 hour time change difference between CT (WI) and ET (FL). I love FANTASMIC! It is my favorite night time show at WDW and I highly recommend it.
After HDD we took the boat back to the Contemporary and the walked to the bus stop and took the bus to Hollywood Studios. No problem waiting for the bus - it drove up just as we walked to the bus stop. :) We did have to make a stop at the Polynesian to pick up people there though, and I had heard that in July the line for FANTASMIC could be full as soon as an hour and a half before the show. We arrived at Hollywood Studios about 8:20p - so I was a little concerned we would miss it, but my backup plan was to do some of the other rides planned for a different day if that happened. Turned out there was no need to worry at all. We scored excellent seats about half way up a little the left of the center. Excellent viewing - I think we lucked out because the rain drove a lot of people out of the park and back to their hotels. The pictures below are of the stage as we waited for the show to start and then the finale float with all the characters. :)
After FANTASMIC! we were all very tired, but very happy. We had another small snafu trying to get to the right bus stop - we walked left instead of right out of the gate and went quite a distance before we realized the stop for the Contemporary was on the other side and then had to back track and go the right way. The bus was there waiting for us though and we didn't have to wait long to get back to our resort. Everyone went right to sleep. :)
I know Martina of Chatelaine designed this piece to be a sort of Mother's tree listing your female ancestors. I already have Mother's Tree in progress for that - so I'm using it as a Family sampler instead. So that is my husband's name there. The next line of text will be "wed on January 28, 1995 to" and then my maiden name on the next line. Then a line will say, "Their children" and then Alex and Katie's full names and birthdates on the lines after that. I have a verse I might put in the remaining lines, provided I get that far before the grandchildren are born! :) I'm thinking of doing the verse in backstitch, so that I can easily frog in about 10-15yrs when the grandkids do come and I can then add their names too...
It is a LOT of over one lettering, so I'm trying to make as much progress as I can while I still have my eyes!
This was my first time getting anything framed by Jill - and I know it won't be the last - she did an awesome job and I am so pleased. And she wasn't anymore expensive than going somewhere locally, even with factoring in the shipping!
Here are some close ups so you can see the detail.
I took this picture next to the accent wall so you can see that the mat matches pretty good. It actually hangs here over the fireplace on a cream colored wall, but I think the colors will play nicely off of the opposite accent wall color.
This came home to me probably over a year ago now and I finally got around to finishing it off. I stitched the baby in the lower left corner when it came home and the girl with the knitting needles before she left. I had lots of help from several other ladies who stitched all the other designs. I designed this layout to fit in a standard 11 x 14 frame, so as soon as I find one I like at the store I'll get this framed up. Might be awhile though, so I thought I'd share the happy dance now. :)
This one is just flying by - I think I should finish it by summerish time with no trouble at all. :) Unfortunately I'm probably gonna have to skip the fair this year though. :( We are planning on going to Disney one last time before Alex moves up and outta here, and the only week that works out for the special booking dates for our deal and around the kids extra-curriculars, and my boss's vacation schedule is the same week that the fair judging is. *sigh* Ah well, maybe next year. I can hardly complain about going on a nice vacation.
Not the clearest of pictures this time. I finally lept into the 21st century and updated my phone to a Motorola Grasp complete with QWERTY keyboard and camera. I took these with the camera - the 1.3MP is obviously not as good as my usual camera, but I wanted to try it out and was too lazy to retake them.
I finished another name on Mother's Tree and started St. Basil's Cathedral. Katie really, really wanted me to start on "her castle" so I caved and started it for her.
I'm planning to change some of the backstitching on the cathedral to make it stand out better against the white opalescent fabric.
The last time I posted about Stone Roses, I told you all about how some of the white thread had stitched in sort of dingy. I am lazy, so I really didn't want to frog and restitch, but I was afraid that the Waterlilies would run if I washed it.
When I started Convent's Herbal Garden I soaked all the silks for that project to bleed out all the excess dye. Since one of the Waterlilies colors for that design (112 fir) is also in Stone Roses, I decided to also soak the Stone Roses silks. Since neither of the Stone Roses silks bled at all, I decided I could go ahead and wash Stone Roses. No bleeding, and the white looks white now as it should! :) Whew!
So all that said, not a ton of progress this time. I'm sort of in that mid-point of the design where you stitch and stitch all these large blocks of boring color and there doesn't seem to be so much progress. Eventually though it will come together, and I still think she is pretty to look at in the meantime. :)
I made a deal with myself that I could go ahead and start Convent's Herbal Garden on New Year's Day IF I stitched on only Alhambra Garden the week between Christmas and New Year's AND once I spent a few days on the new start, it was back to Alhambra Garden until it is finished.
Here is the progress on Alhambra Garden - definitely starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel - but it will still be a little stretch before I can really happy dance.
And here is what I managed to accomplish in 3 days of stitching on CHG. *sigh* it isn't nearly as much as I'd hoped, but the over-one and eyelets slowed me down a bit.
The fabric is 28ct Fairy Dust, which is a soft peach tone - very yummy. I'm going to have to figure out what to do about the yellow flowers along the outside edge of the design though cause I think they will disappear on this fabric if I stitch them in the recommended 094 Lemon Waterlilies. The yellow eyelets in the picture are that same floss color, but I think they are okay here since they are surrounded by other stitching so they still pop okay.
I finished the finishing for both of these pieces on 12/31/2010 so that my year end list of finishes might not be quite so awful. Angel of Summer I finished back in August, but just got around to framing, and the band sampler is a round robin piece that was finished a couple of years ago already but I never got around to making it into a bell pull until now. Tool all of an hour and a half - really should not have put it off for so long! I finally found a perfect frame for AoS; though I really should have hung her and took a picture against a lighter background so you could see the frame better. Don't worry she is going to my mom's house and isn't going to hang there permenantly - that is just where I had space for her at the moment. :)
2010 Review In 2010 my goals were to try to finish at least 3 of the following designs that were in my rotation:
Inspiration - Rosewood Manor - nope Mother's Tree - MLI - nope Angel of Summer - MLI - yes Heritage Sampler - Chatelaine - nope Alhambra Garden - Chatelaine - getting close, but nope Stitcher's Heirloom Sampler - Victoria Sampler - nope Hardanger Table Runner - didn't even touch this one all year. *sigh*
I also wanted to finish these completed pieces into framed pieces or other items: Just Nan RR from a few years back - into a stitching book - nope Band Samler RR from a few years back - into a bellpull - yes, by the skin of my teeth - see above Mirabilia Mermaid RR - into a framed piece - nope, but I got Jill Rensel's contact info and plan to put this to the top of the list for 2011. It WILL be done. :)
2011 Goals I'm going to shoot for 3 bigger finishes from my rotation this year too. I know that is an attainable goal for me because for years I finished 4 or 5. I just had a slower for me stitching year than usual. I just didn't pick up a needle as much. I want to get back to stitching more, so I think 3 is still reasonable.
My current rotation list is similiar to last year's:
Inspiration - Rosewood Manor Stone Roses - Mirabilia Mother's Tree - MLI Persian Floral - TW Heritage Sampler - Chatelaine Alhambra Garden - Chatelaine Stitcher's Heirloom Sampler - Victoria Sampler Hardanger Table Runner Convent's Herbal Garden - Chatelaine
If I had to guess I'd say I could finish AG, Mother's Tree, and Stitcher's Heirloom Sampler by end of 2011. I'm pretty positive that Heritage Sampler, CHG (new start on new year's day 2011) and the Hardanger Table Runner will not be finished. Stone Roses is an unlikely 4th finish if I get that far.
I'd also like to frame/finish the following: Mirabilia Mermaid RR piece Mirabilia Children RR piece Just Nan RR stitching book