Latest Cross Stitch Day

Liz cross stitch My daughter Elizabeth and I have a monthly date to spend the afternoon together, have lunch, and do cross stitch. She is working on a dragon, with some intricate and really lovely beadwork. I am doing Grandmother’s House, by Told in a Garden. You can see the mess it makes when two stitchers bring all their stuff together in the same place. Here is a pic of her dragon. dragon This picture does not do it justice. She was just finishing the face and head, and getting more beadwork in. Here is the face. dragon head I had a good time too. Elizabeth is turning out some really artistic projects while I am stuck doing pretty much standard cross stitch. Still, it is very time-consuming.  Here is my project. grandma house At least I am at the bottom half finally! This is what I managed to finish today. quilt done When the kids were small, I did cross stitch all the time. It is compact, and once you get the supplies, very cost-effective, because it takes so long to do one project, and then you have floss colors left over for another project. Over time, floss stash builds up. I’m so glad that Elizabeth loves to do cross stitch. It is such a bonding/friendship time with my grown daughter. Cross stitch Here with my Maltese Poods, I’m a very happy lady!

Sail Finished and a New Start


I finished “Sail” a few days ago and framed it myself. Wow, have you priced professional frame jobs lately? They must be out of their minds! I love my projects and want them to look good framed, but sheesh!

It was a nice feeling to get something done. I love these small projects that can be finished in a relatively short period of time. I wasn’t even working on it every day or even every other day.


So of course I am choosing a bigger project to do next. After going through my big binder of patterns, I decided on an old Prairie Schooler.  It is so old that it doesn’t even show up in the archives on the official Prairie Schooler website. I did the one on the far left back in 1995!. This time I’ll be stitching the one on the right. I love them all though, and who knows, maybe someday I’ll get around to stitching that last one with the birdhouse.

I have gathered all my supplies. Pics to follow once the actual stitching starts.

Almost Finished With Sail and Happy Birthday Ada!


I’m in the middle of a four day weekend and having a blast. We are trying not to spend a lot of money these days so I’ve been watching movies and doing cross stitch. We did go to see Star Trek. Meh.  It paled in comparison to The Great Gatsby.  And another important milestone was achieved…my granddaughter Ada turned 1 year old on Friday!


Unfortunately they live in Arizona and we were unable to visit this time. Someday I will have a life again. Here is my daughter having a swim with Ada. I asked if she needed a suit but Melissa assured me it was unnecessary. Personally, I think she is afraid I would buy her something weird. Where’s the trust?


Here’s a cute picture with Daddy. Love the tulle skirt! You know it’s funny. When Tweeters was this age he was so happy and laughing all the time  until a camera pointed his way and suddenly he would get the deadpan look. I think this must run in the family. No worries though. I am sure they will start hamming it up for the cameras soon.

Fixing the Kid’s Car and Elizabeth’s Cross Stitch


It was a busy weekend. We went over to George and Elizabeth’s house so Jim could help remove the brake rotors to get them turned, get new brake pads, and then put everything back together.  Sounds simple, right? Ha! And by help I mean Jim did the work, George “supervised”, and Elizabeth and I took Zach to the park and then went to Burger King to get lunch for everyone.


Here are George and me, hovering at the front of the garage. George put up a new screen door and I stayed out of the way by mostly sitting in the shade with Elizabeth where we chatted and watched Zach play. Jim hit a snag after they picked up the rotors so we went home and came back Sunday morning to finish it. It was done very quickly. I have to say my husband is so awesome at stuff like this. He can put together and fix anything! He saved the kids over $500.00 bucks by doing the work himself. That’s some real money!



I didn’t get any pictures of Zach on Saturday and Sunday he was off visiting his Dad before we got there. I’ll get some at our Mother’s Day BBQ. But I wanted to get a picture of a project Elizabeth is working on. She has done some beautiful work over the years but with school and a toddler, just can’t find the time for it. See how close to being finished she is?


Gorgeous, isn’t it? Once she gets going on her projects, there’s no stopping her.  She attacks it with a single-minded determination I can only dream of.


Here’s the finished car, minus the hubcaps, about to be taken on a test drive. Everything worked perfectly and we left around noon. It was tiring but very satisfying.


Pansies and Aprons


It’s been a busy week of studying for finals and getting used to the new schedule around here. I have a ways to get my homemaking skills back in line. It really makes me appreciate all my husband has done for the last couple of years.  I would have been lost without him!

I did get some planting done. That is, for the pots on my back patio. I got a lovely hydrangea plant as well as my standard pansies, (violas?), geranium, and some others. It’s a start at least.


I still need a few hanging baskets for both front and back, maybe this weekend. Oh yes, we need a new coffeemaker. This one is toast and that’s pretty much the way the coffee tastes too.


I got a little bit more done on Aprons. There is more to do in the ties but once I finish that and the white fringe at the bottom, finally I can move on to the next one! There are three in all.

New Cross Stitch Patterns


I finally broke down and bought some new patterns this week. My 1-2-3 wish list is groaning and all weighted down with all my faves, so I felt like I had to trim it down. My camera is going south and I can’t get it to take pictures without alot of monkey work, so I instead of taking one shot with all of them, I took three.

Up at the top are two from Shepherd’s Bush; Sail and Love. I just love these little guys because they are quick to do and so cute. I thought the Sail one would look sweet in the summertime, maybe sitting next to a bowl of seashells. I can’t wait for summer!



Spring Arbor is my first pattern from The Drawn Thread……I think. I wish the picture was larger because it is so beautiful. They also have Summer, Fall, and Winter. All of them are very pretty. They would make a nice collage on the wall. Little House Needleworks is one of my favorite designers. This is a Christmas pattern, new this year. It’s called Main Street Station and I love the train in it.


The Prairie Schooler is an old friend. Jim saw these while I was checking things out and wanted me to get them right away. He loves them! They are much smaller than I anticipated which is a very good thing. I want quick finishes. I thought they would look better stitched on lavender or purple fabric.  Joann’s doesn’t have that color so I may be ordering that.

I wanted to do some gardening today but the weather has been very fickle. Instead, I may spend the afternoon organizing charts and looking in my boxes for fabric. fun times!

Queen of the Needle UFO


I was rooting through some old projects and came across my lovely and still unfinished Queen of the Needle. I’ve spent many hours with this and was sad to find it all wadded up and wrinkled.  I thought, why not put it in a frame and do a few stitches?

The linen was very soft and not easy to work with at first. I had to really pay attention but it was such fun to do some stitching. Here is my work for today.



I know it’s not much but it made me realize that once that lace on top is done, there is just the bottom half to do!  I decided to keep it out and put some time in here and there. Better to inch along at a slow pace than give up altogether.

Books Read in 2012 – Or, A Year Interrupted

TSSbadge4[1]This year I read just 34 books. I knew going in that it was not going to be a high count. With work, school, and all my other commitments, I simply had very little time to read for pleasure. However, I took much care in choosing the books I read. Of course there were a few dogs, there always are. I was careful in trying to locate well reviewed books, in many different genres, in order to have a solid, if pitifully small body of works read by the end of the year.

Top Five Books of the Year in no particular order:

92689786The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier – taking place in the fifteenth century, this story is a fictional account about the commission and creation of the series of six tapestries that now hang in the Musee du Moyen-Age, in Paris, France.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – two illusionists compete against the backdrop of a fantastical black and white circus.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – children compete to the death in a game of power and control.

82714967The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson – a clever interweaving of two stories: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the construction of the Chicago 1893 World’s Fair and H.H.Holmes, a serial killer who designed  his own torture and murder house.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – a woman goes missing and everything points to her husband. But things aren’t always as they seem.

Most Challenging Book:

29182687The Satanic Verses by Salmon Rushdie – I will definitely reread this incredibly complex work someday. It contains highly fantastical elements along with history, legend, and family drama. This is a very controversial work in the Muslim community. If any of my Muslim fb friends feel offended that I read this, please know it was not meant in any way as an insult to you or your faith. To be honest, I do not know enough about your religion to even judge this book according to those aspects.  My ignorance in that regard has challenged me to research and understand your beliefs better. I welcome your comments.

Book Club Books:

92689820Ragnarok: The End of the Gods by A.S. Byatt – I read this for Slaves of Golconda. A young girl who escapes from the London bombings with her mother passes the time reading Norse mythology. Mythology can be quite daunting, but it was a surprising little read. Thinking back, I haven’t read mythology beside the Metamorphoses by Ovid and I barely know any Norse mythology. Check it out.

I thought I would also present my list of cross stitch finishes. Yep, here it is, my list of one.

DSC00827You are My Sunshine by Country Cottage Needleworks. I did this for my brand new granddaughter back in May when she was born.

Pretty pathetic, I know. I have so many WIP’s but at some point this year they were put on the top shelf in my closet. I knew I wouldn’t get to them. Probably most of this year will be the same. But they will wait for me.

I hope everyone had a fantastic reading year. Looking forward to 2013!

Historical Fiction – The Antidote to a Really Bad Week?

But no, I’m not going to talk about it. Just trust me, bad. Once the dust settled I wanted to settle down with a good book.  On a whim, I clicked on The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick in my Nook library. It was on sale a couple of months ago and I snagged it along with To Defy a King. Just a few pages in and I was hooked! It’s about the life of William Marshall, a 12th century knight at the time of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. I had already read a rather dry biography of the royal pair but this story brought them all to life. Marshall is very skilled and known for his loyalty, even when it costs him dearly.

What is it about history that is so comforting? The story is filled with war, family infighting, intrigue of every sort, envy, and betrayal. You know, just like real life. It also has loyalty, love, and hope which is real life also. We all have difficult people to deal with and not all situations end well. In fact, many are tragic. But the bigger picture shows that life and family are good, and so worth the energy and love we put into it.

Sorry if that sounds a little dramatic. I’m feeling very thoughtful these days and need to change gears. Since I finished the book I decided to start a little cross stitch project by Country Cottage Needleworks for my daughter whose baby girl is due in two weeks!!  I hope the blue background doesn’t look too boyish. It’s just supposed to be the sky. Melissa used to sing You Are My Sunshine when she was little and sounded so cute. This reminds me of her.

I hope everyone has a good week and Happy Reading!!

July TUSAL and Grandmother’s House

It’s time for Daffycat’s end of July chapter of the 2011 TUSAL (Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long) where we photograph our ORT’s (Old Ratty Threads) that we have used in our cross stitch projects throughout the year. It’s a very pretty way to show the hours and hours of work that has gone into our stitching.

Here’s the top view.

I decided to do some work on a very old WIP called Grandmother’s House by Told in a Garden. It’s very colorful and fun to work on but the general “bigness” of it has made it hard to reach the finish line. It was in pretty good condition when I pulled it out a few days ago.

I thought I’d work on those steps just below where Grandma is sitting. Here is what was accomplished.

For some reason, those steps intimidated me but they turned out to be no big deal. I may work on this one for a while longer. Tweeters is over this weekend so work may be sporadic. But next week is another week.

Happy Stitching everyone!