Friday, October 31, 2008

Two Exchange Pieces Received

Yesterday, I received my Heart of America exchange piece from Jan. She chose Bent Creek's "God Bless You" with a few changes. First of all, she changed the wording to "God bless the USA" with "the" stitched over 1. She also changed one of the stars to a heart to add a bit of red. It's stitched on 32 ct. Vintage Palomino linen from Lakeside using a variety of threads. I absolutely LOVE it! I just keep staring at it and trying to decide how I want to finish it.

I got word today from Chris, that she received her Heart of America exchange piece. I just mailed it Wednesday and it only took 2 days for it to get from Texas to California! The USPS amazes me sometimes. LOL I chose Lizzie Kate's "Let Freedom Ring" for her. I love the simplicity of this design and it was such a fun and delightful stitch. It's stitched on 32 ct. Vintage Country Mocha linen and used 3 Crescent Colours fibers. They're not a direct conversion from the called-for fibers. I just picked a red, white, and blue that looked good together and then picked my fabric. I also used a grey for the pole because in my mind, most flagpoles are silver. I think it turned out great, if I do say so myself!

It was a great stitchy mail day all the way around!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quaker Friendship Sampler Info

Several of you have emailed me and asked for info on the design. The official title of the design is "Quaker Style Friendship Sampler" by Sampler and Such. It is still listed on Hoffman's website, so any LNS or ONS that orders from Hoffman should be able to order it for you. I'm stitching mine on 32 ct. Mockingbird linen from R & R Reproductions with Crescent Colours fibers (cottons) in Bamboo, Blue Beadboard, Tufted Yellow, Secondhand Rose, Fleur de Lilac, Dandelion Stem, and Rod & Reel. There was a group of us on the Only One Ewe message board that started this together. Most of them have finished. Some did it in a monochromatic theme using various colors and fabrics. They were all gorgeous! If you have any problems ordering the chart, contact my friend Jan at Only One Ewe .

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Saturday Night Stitch Progress

On one of the message boards I am a member of, we've started a Saturday Night Stitch. It's open to all members of the board and is designed to help us get some of our WIPs and UFOs completed. This was our first week to stitch. Of course, in my excitement, I thought it started last week, so I pulled out my QFS and worked on it last Saturday!! Here's my progress for this week. I got the little rabbit done and started the motif under it.

In other stitching news, I'm mailing my Heart of America piece off to California, so I should be able to post a pic of that soon. I'm also hoping to finish up my Thanksgiving exchange piece soon. I've been working on that for the past 2 weeks. The mail date is in a couple of weeks, then I'll be able to show that off as well.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Quaker Friendship Sampler Progress

Lest you all think that I have done no stitching, I pulled out this OLD WIP from my stitching basket. I've been working on this off and on, more off than on, for about 2 years now. We're beginning a Saturday Night SAL on one of the boards I'm on, and this is going to be my project. Since I finished my LK piece and had an opening in my rotation, I worked on it over the weekend. I finished the motif in the lower left hand corner. I'm almost half-way finished!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Plant Swap!

This afternoon, my husband and I drove over to Arlington to participate in the North Central Texas Plant Swap hosted by the Texas Gardeners group on the Dave's Garden website. What an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon! The weather was absolutely perfect, not too hot and not too cool, a light breeze, and lots of sunshine. There were about 50 of us, give or take a few, and TONS of plants to be traded and given away. Almost all of the plants were from individual's gardens, either from volunteers, dividing clumps, rooting cuttings, or plants people didn't want any longer.

Here's what I took:

I had some Rock Rose (pavonia), Ruellia "Katie's Pink", a couple of Shasta Daisy "Becky", and May Night Salvia. Yesterday, I dug up several starts of Pigeonberry that I discovered out by the compost pile and took those along as well.

This is what I came home with:

I don't know what half of these things are, but thankfully they're all labeled!

More plants.

My husband scored a tomato plant with little flowers on it as well as some seed starting trays.

Here's a picture of the trade tables. Every member was assigned a spot at the tables and it was marked with each person's board name. Plants brought for pre-arranged trades were put under the table at each person's place. Extras were put on top of the tables.

I am already making plans for the spring swap!! Now all I have to do is get all this stuff planted before the first freeze!

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Friday Finish

I put the final stitches in my Lizzie Kate Flip-It November block this evening. Only 1 more month to go!!

Happy 10th Gotcha Day, Callie!

It's hard to believe that Callie's been in my heart for 10 years now. I remember clearly the day she wandered into my heart. It was a miserable day, cold and drizzly. She sat at my back door crying her head off. On and on, "Meow. Meow. Meow! Meow!" My roommate and I had recently moved to a new apartment which had several cats that wondered the complex, so I didn't think anything of it. I figured she was at the wrong apartment and would soon wander home. However, she was insistent and wouldn't go away! "Meow...meow...meow...Love me...I'm scared...I've lost my humans...I'm hungry...meow...I'm so cute...I'll love you forever...I'm thirsty...meow...meow...I'm tired...I need a safe, warm place to live...I'm really sweet...meow...meow...I've chosen you...." To this day, I've never heard her meow as much as she did that afternoon!

I was a dog person through and through. I'd recently lost my precious Boston Terrier, Gabriel, whom I'd owned for 15 years. He was spunky up to the end and my heart was completely broken when we had to have him put to sleep due to old age and a variety of other health related issues. I wasn't looking for a new pet. I didn't need a new pet. I didn't want a new pet. I hadn't put down a pet deposit. I certainly didn't want a C-A-T!! (I grew up hearing the mantra, "The only good cat is a dead cat.") I wasn't ready to give my heart away to another animal. God and Callie had other plans, however.

So began our 10 year relationship of mutual love and trust. Callie was a big-time fraidy cat when she first arrived. She's learned to trust humans, know that food is in plentiful supply, a hand is always near to calm her and rub her tummy, and that she's very well loved. I've learned bunches and bunches about cats with Callie and she's been very quick to forgive any wrongs I have committed, like not cleaning the litter box faithfully (I didn't know you were supposed to scoop daily!), changing foods on her too quickly (I didn't know it mattered!), like not realizing that kitties weren't dogs, but they're just as smart and charming (I had no previous experience or training.), and that the closet door should not be closed with her inside (oops!).

I'm continuing to learn about cats and aging, nutrition for "senior" cats, general health care for "seniors", and the life long loyalty kitties give to those who love, nurture, and protect them. Callie has filled my life with so much constant, quiet, gentle love it's unbelievable. Not much of a talker or an expressive love bug, she has her own unique ways of demonstrating her love and communicating. When she's hungry, she goes and sits where she's fed. When she wants to sit beside you, she sits on the floor and looks up at you, very pathetically I might add, waiting for an invitation. She's stingy with head butts, but gives them enthusiastically, willingly, and in abundance at four o'clock in the morning when she's hungry (and I'm sleeping!!). She LOVES to be petted and groomed, but don't tell anyone! She will lay on the floor, or the couch, or the bed and let you pet her, rub her tummy, or brush her until your arm is worn out. She loves laying in the sun and cuddling up next to a nice warm body during the winter months. Of course, you must pet her when she snuggles up to you! When she walks by you, a little flick on the tail or a body slam let you know she's acknowledged you and that she loves you. An enthusiastic thump of the tail on the floor when speaking to her tells you she loves you and is happy and content with the world.

I know that we won't have many more anniversaries to celebrate, as Callie's now approximately 12 years old. Although she's in relatively good health, she does have some kidney issues that have to be monitored closely. For now, I treasure the days we have together and celebrate the times she shows her "tortie-tude". I also treasure the times we share loving each other and celebrating small victories, like jumping up on the bathroom counter for a drink or getting over an infection.

Thank you for loving me, Callie-bug, and introducing me to the wonderful world of cats. I'm so glad you wandered onto my porch that cold October day!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Make. These. TODAY!

I "found" this recipe while I was digging through my recipe file. I have a bazillion loose recipes I've collected over the years in a blue file folder and every once in a while I have to go digging through them to find a long-lost recipe. It's a horrible job, but if I don't do it, we'd go hungry at my home. DH won't even cook by a recipe, much less go hunting for one in my folder! It was orginally a gift-in-a-jar recipe, but I've never given it as a gift. I just made it, and boy howdy! I found a winner!!

Oatmeal-Chip Cookie Mix In a Jar (makes about 2 doz)

2/3 C all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t ground cinnamon (I use Saigon Cinnamon)
1/4 t salt
1/3 C packed brown sugar
1/3 C granulated sugar
3/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1.5 C quick or old-fashioned oats
1/2 C chopped nuts

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Place flour mixture in 1-qt jar. Layer remaining ingredients in order listed above, pressing firmly after each layer. Seal with lid and decorate with fabric and ribbon.

Recipe to attach:

Beat 1/2 C (1 stick) butter or margarine (no substitutes), 1 lg. egg, and 1/2 t vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until blended. Add cookie mix; mix well, breaking up clumps. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake in preheated 375ºF oven for 8-10 mins. Cool on baking sheet for 2 mins; remove to wire rack.

Your friends and family will thank you!!

**Please remember not to eat too many. You know what oatmeal does to the digestive tract!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Quote of the Day 10/8/08

The presidential election is getting closer and closer everyday here in the States. I'm getting more tired of the mud slinging, name calling, and rhetoric being spouted by both by parties. I already know who I'm voting for and who I'm voting out of office, so I don't really need to hear all the ads and such. However, today while listening to Dave Ramsey's show, he read this quote and it's so appropriate for this time in our nation's history.

Politicians, like diapers, have to be changed frequently – and for the very same reason.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Waiting for Santa & Random Other Thoughts

I put the final stitches in this whimsical Christmas piece by Helga Mandl over the weekend. It stitched up quickly and really turned out cute, I think!

In other news, my 96-year old grandmother is in the hospital. She lives with my aunt and my aunt took her to the hospital this past Saturday. My grandma spent her 96th birthday in the hospital. :( Today she had a blood transfusion, but the doctors still haven't figured out what's causing her bleeding. Any prayers for a diagnosis and healing will be greatly appreciated. Here's a pic of me & Grandma from a few years ago.

Hosted on Fotki

Lastly, I found this on Dave Ramsey's website. It's an hysterical look at government, The Heaviest Element Known to Science.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Sad Day in American History

Yesterday, after passing the bailout bill, I had to fire my US Senators and Representative. They all voted against what their constituents wanted, a defeat of the bill, and voted for growing the government and maintaining the status quo in Washington. I am sickened at what a farce our governing body has become. Washington is way out of control and the only way that we, the people of America, can hope to have a voice is to fire the current Congress and elect new officials who aren't caught up in the hoopla of Washington. If GW wasn't a sitting duck, I'd call for an impeachment.