Sunday, August 30, 2009

What a Way to End the Week!

So sorry I didn't get on here before now to tell you what I'd posted on Wordless Wednesday, but we had a late summer Texas storm blow through on Thursday evening. Lots of thunder and lightning. Apparently, lightning struck the electric transformer between our neighbor's house and the neighbor 2 doors down from us. We were without electricity from just before 9pm until just before 5am. Let me tell you, it was NOT a comfortable evening!! We opened all the windows in the house which let in all the warm humid air from outside. There was NO breeze at all! It was a bit cooler than the air inside the house, though, so that was a relief. I couldn't sleep. My husband couldn't sleep. The cats wanted to sleep in bed with us and let me tell you, their little furry bodies are HOT! I don't know how many times I moved one or the other cat out of the bed and into one of their beds throughout the night. I was stressed out thinking I wasn't going to be able to make it to work on Thursday, not because we wouldn't have hot water (gas water heater), but because we wouldn't have electricity to use the blow dryer to dry my hair! LOL Needless to say, I didn't get a lot of sleep on Thursday night and have spent the past 2 days recuperating. I'm not 20 anymore and it takes time to get over a major upheaval to my schedule like this!! LOL

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Now then, on to the pictures, which is really why you read this blog, I'm sure!

1. Pumpkin vines growing across my flower bed in the front yard. Thankfully, the neighbor doesn't mind if the vines grow over the wall and onto their grass. "If it will kill the grass and keep us from having to mow it, that's fine with me!" These vines are LONG!! The leaves are HUGE!! I had no idea when we planted them that they'd grow so fast, so long, and so big!

2. Maters, baby!! The fall maters have started setting and ripening. I'm so excited! I've missed fresh maters from the garden the past month or so. There's nothing like fresh maters from the backyard!

3. Rock Rose flower. I absolutely LOVE this plant. It gets huge and out of control, though, so I pulled out the original plant we put in 3 years ago. Every summer, we get babies that spring up. This year, we've had more volunteers than in any year before. We transplanted one to our backyard flower bed and I'll pull some of these up and put them in the compost pile and others I'll dig up and give away.

4. Cutleaf Rudbeckia. Simply says summer!

5. Callie in Mark's lap, an amazing picture to be sure. When Mark and I started dating, Callie didn't like Mark and Mark wasn't a fan of cats. Now, Callie will jump up in Mark's lap, give him head butts, and not run away from him. Mark has learned to love cats, tolerates them sleeping in bed with us, and spoils them just as much as I do! In this pic, Callie actually had her little head resting on his arm. Too sweet!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

More Progress on Heart of America

I spent my weekend working on LHN's Heart of America. I am now trying to decide if I want to put my initials in this box, or just leave it plain.

Here's the original for you to see where the initials are supposed to go.

So whaddya think? Initials or not??

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A New Start & Other Mindless Wanderings

Seeing as how August's almost over, I thought I should start stitching on my August ornie. Don't want to fall further behind on my ornie endeavor! LOL I decided to stitch the complimentary ornie "Emmanuel" by Plum Street Samplers. It's stitched on 28 ct. Myrtle fabric using DMC fibers. I worked on this last night while watching the Dallas Cowboys whoop up on the Tennessee Titans. (Go Cowboys!!)

The design is available on Paulette's blog, . Just scroll down a little bit and you'll find it. Click on the download Emmanuel link and it'll take you to the .pdf file to either print out or save or save and then print it out. Whatever floats your boat!

In other news, it's still hot in Texas, but a "cool" front blew through yesterday and dropped 3/4" of rain on us and dropped the temps to 95ยบ (big whoop!). The dear husband has started expanding our garden for the fall and future spring gardening. Our pumpkins are being overrun by cucumber beetles, but we'll be spraying them tonight in hopes of eradicating them from our garden. I told the husband yesterday that at this point in the game, I was ready to use chemicals. Considering I'm a die-hard organic grower, this is major! LOL

Looks like a freshly dug grave, doesn't it? First we had veggie coffins, now we have graves! LOL A bit morbid, don't you think?

The pumpkins have started blooming, male flowers only, just about 6 weeks after planting. As with all my other veggies that have produced male & female flowers, the males are over anxious and have arrived to the party early to strut their stuff.

The cucumber beetles were all over this flower this morning. :(

Some of my late-blooming flowers are starting to pop out. This is exciting as most of these were just planted this spring! I've been waiting ever so patiently for them all summer.

Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Cowpen Daisy (Figure out how this plant got its name!)

Some of the Blanket Flowers that I winter sowed (were winter sown?) have gone to seed and already produced babies! We found these when out inspecting the flower bed this morning.

The Turk's Cap that I rooted from a cutting taken from my dad's neighbors in San Antonio is very happy in its new home in the back flower bed. It's starting to fill out and produce flowers almost daily.

Here are our backyard neighbors' dogs, Winston and Sophie. They're actually littermates and are about 18 months old now. Winston, the bigger one, is on the left and Sophie, the smaller one is on the right. Winston has to be the center of attention and Sophie usually hangs out in the background, carefully watching everything. They greet us when we're out in the yard and will bark like crazy until they're acknowledged.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Clarification and Floss Toss

I have not started "Give". The WIP picture I posted yesterday of "Give" by Plum Street Samplers was not my work. I saw this pic on a cross stitch message board last year sometime and I loved the conversion, so I saved the picture to remind me of how I wanted mine to look. The stitcher stitched her piece on Autumn Splendor fabric from Sassy's Fabrics.

Here's my fabric and floss combination for "Give". It's a bit more yellow than the picture of the person's WIP I posted yesterday. However, the fibers still look great on it! (If I do say so myself! LOL)

32 ct. Chalice from Picture This Plus with Belle Soie silks from Crescent Colours

Attic Tea~vines
Fawn~dark on birds (wings) and larger nuts
Mudpie~smaller nuts
Pumpkin Carriage~light part on the birds (bodies)
Tortoise Shell~urn

I do believe this is going to be my next incentive piece!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

And Then There Were Two

Two choices, that is! The next incentive round starts in September, so I've been diving through my stash trying to find the perfect piece to stitch. The only stipulation is that it has to be at least 120 stitches x 120 stitches. Considering that I don't have very many large patterns in my stash, it's always an adventure to find something to stitch. You can stitch 2 designs to add up to the 120x120 size requirement, but I prefer to stitch one if at all possible. Who needs another WIP to worry about?!?

Here are the two semi-finalists:

Quaker Christmas Samplers by Carriage House Samplings

I'd do the one in the first (top) picture as it's the one that meets the size requirements. I'd have to stitch it in either a red/green combo or monochromatic with either a nice Christmas green or a rich Christmas red.

Give by Plum Street Samplers is the other design I'm considering.

I would stitch it in a different color palette, already converted to CC's Belle Soie Silks, to look more like this WIP I saw last year.

I'm leaning more towards the Give piece as I absolutely LOVE the fall/Thanksgiving season. I'm not big on Christmas and decorating for it as I'm usually worn out due to being so busy at work. So, do you see my dilemma??

Now then, the real reason you read my blog...yesterday's pictures!!

1. Okra pods in the blazing sun. I'm so tired of picking okra!
2. Baby watermelon, a nice 'find' on a recent day.
3. Jalapeno peppers in various stages of ripeness.
4. Pumpkin vines in my front flower bed because we ran out of places to plant them in the back yard! LOL
5. Blanket Flowers blooming away in the dog days of summer.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Words and Wordless Wednesday

I know it's Wordless Wednesday, but I have to share this with you. A very good friend of mine has launched her designing career and is set to release her inaugural design in the next few days. I'm so happy for her as this has been in the dreaming stages for many years. Without further ado, I am proud to introduce "Rare Treasures" from Tree of Life Samplings.

The design is stitched on 36 ct. Creme Brulee linen from R&R Reproductions using Needlepoint Incorporated Silks. To order a copy of the design, please email Jan at

Now then, on to Wordless Wednesday!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

I know it's Monday, but I didn't have time to post my wrap up from last week and the weekend on Sunday. Besides that, I was stitching until late last night and couldn't post a pic of my progress!

I started out my week working on my long, lost Paula Vaughan piece, Summer Welcome. I think I started this back in 2001 or 2002 and I've not touched it in the last 4 years or so. We've lived in this house for 4 years and I know I've not stitched on it since we've lived here. I spent the first night pulling the 20-something skeins of floss I'd "stolen" from this project to use on other projects. I also had to figure out where I was on the chart, which is not an easy task. I had to figure out what color of blue was running around loose in my project bag. I had to count to find my place. I had to re-count. I had to count again. When I finally started stitching, I discovered that some of the stuff I'd put in the last time I stitched was in the wrong place and I had to frog. Come to find out, I'd miscounted, so I had to frog what I'd just stitched and eventually, I'll have to go back and re-stitch the old stuff I'd frogged. (Are you lost yet??)'s what little progress I made after I got in the groove.

Before (you can click to see larger)


I know it's not much, but I also discovered that either my eyes aren't as good as they used to be, or I need better lighting in my stitching spot!

On Saturday and Sunday, I worked on LHN's "Heart of America". You know, I am really loving this design!! I will be sad when I finish it as I've so enjoyed it, but I'll be glad to have another finish under my belt. Here's where I left off after Sunday's stitching.

My Callie-bug has ventured up to the top of the recliner!! This is a huge accomplishment for her as she's always cautious and skeptical about things. The chair has been in this spot for the past 2 years, so I guess she finally deemed it safe to explore. Plus, she's watched Hannah snooze up there for 2 years! I found her up there Sunday afternoon enjoying some sun. In the first pic, she's totally relaxed. The second pic is to show you the 'overhang'. I was afraid if she got any more comfortable, she'd fall off the back of the chair. LOL It's a precarious perch, to say the least.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Captions for Wednesday's Pictures

1, 2, & 3 are floss tosses I did for my next ornie. I decided to go with the third fabric choice, which really makes the colors "pop", but the pic I took of it is horrible!

4-Summer Welcome section I'm working on. This is my "before" picture.

5-Summer Welcome progress after 50 mins. of stitching.

6-Toad Lily blooming in my front yard. The flowers are so small and only last a day.

7-Pumpkins we transplanted to the front flower bed. These are doing the best. The rest of them have been attacked by squash vine borers and aren't doing well. We've treated the plants, but I'm not sure it's enough to save them.

8-Pink Skullcap, a great little plant that makes the most brilliant hot pink flowers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

More Progress on LHN's Heart of America

Here's the latest progress scan of my Heart of America piece. I'm really enjoying it! I only have 1 square on the far right to stitch and the long banner at the bottom that runs the width of the project.

The "Old Glory" square has been my favorite square to stitch so far. Here's a close-up of it.

I will be relegating HOA to my Saturday Night Stitch project, so it'll be slow going to a finish, but a finish will come! I will now move on to this project that I started MANY years ago, like 8 or so!! It's been languishing in my stash closet. I don't think I've touched it in about 2 years. This is Paula Vaughan's "Summer Welcome". I've got roughly 175 hours stitching in this project.

Here's the back of the project at 155 hours.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Wednesday's Picture Captions

1. Pumpkin plants~They've really taken off after the rains last week.
2. Lemon Mint (aka Monarda or Horsemint) laying on top of my Autumn Joy sedum which is getting ready to bloom.
3. "Katie's Pink" Ruellia growing in the cement slab out my back door. This is the first time it's flowered in the 2 years it established itself there. Obviously a volunteer plant and very tenacious!
4. Ripening jalapeno, or it could just be sunburned.
5. Baby maters discovered in the fall tomato bed!!

Picture NOT featured on Wordless Wednesday, but I thought I'd tease you with it anyway...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009