Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lions and tigers and sweat, oh my!

A couple weeks ago was my birthday and we decided to make a family day of it. The twins were back home already but Daddy had taken them to the zoo the previous week. It had sounded like fun, so I chose to spend my birthday there. The temperature was probably close to 93 degrees that day and the heat index was 100. There was NO line to get in the zoo; as a matter of fact, they weren't even collecting guest passes. We have a membership and my sister was along as our guest. The zoo workers at the gate were just waving anyone in....we quickly figured out why.....the place was deserted because it was so darn hot!! The animals were suprisingly active and this little critter was quite entertaining, forcing his keeper to sweat even more as she shoveled dirt back in the holes he was so fond of creating.

We didn't ride the carousel but I snapped a pic of the ferocious animals stuck in an eternal dizzy spin.

Did you know that there were dinosaurs at the zoo? This was a surprise to me but Brookfield Zoo now has a "Dinosaurs Alive" exhibit. My DH took the kids to see it last trip, but we passed on the fun. The closest we came to a dinosaur ourselves was this animatronic Ruyang Yellow River replica which not only roared, but also spit at passers-by. Here's my sister trying to make a quick get-away.

Beautiful flower beds, too. I think I enjoyed them as much as the birds and bees. If you look closely at my favorite cone flowers, right in the center of the picture, you will see a lovely little bird. Bird-watcher I'm not, so I can't help you with the name of this feathered friend.

And now for a stitchy bit of news....a while back I posted pics of my Knotted Tree piece, "Summer Floral Sampler". Here it is framed. I love this design as it is so vibrant and colorful. It hangs in the shop where I can look at it every day.

And before I close, I thought I'd share Angie's first stitches. The piece on the bottom is a heart and her first attempt at stitching on her own. (Hey, where did that Fluffy come from? Sneaky kitty!) I drew a heart shape on the fabric and she was able to backstitch it. I think I will frame it and place it in her room. She was able to stitch that the first part of the summer. On the orange fabric is a pumpkin I drew. Angie added the jack-o-lantern face (you will have to look closely at the pencil markings) but did the backstitching on her own. I hope to share with her my love of the needle. I do hope she keeps up with it as she likes to stitch, likes to help me stitch and for her age, I feel she does well sitting for extended periods of time, concentrating on perfecting her stitches.

Thanks for checking in to see what's new! Now that the summer is winding down, I hope to be a bit more regular in posting!


Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Loose Feathers Special

I am so happy to be back home after being on the road so long that I am running a Loose Feathers special on my Facebook page. Check here:

You will need to leave a comment on the Facebook page in order to qualify so you might need to get a Facebook profile. It's quick and easy!

Here's what's on special:

Hope you're staying cool on this hot, hot Saturday!!


Friday, August 7, 2009

Homebound and Melancholy

My DH and I are now driving back to Chicago after dropping off the twins in PA. It's rather depressing, this part of the trip. We had such fun with them this summer. I will have nice reminders though of them playing at the shop. We colored or used Play-Doh or they helped me take packages to the Post Office. Here's a pic I shot on our walk back from the Post Office. This was on Stephen's Street, heading toward Illinois Street. My shop is just around the corner on the right.

One thing that will help me when I start to miss the kids is that Angie left behind her Fluffy kitty. She left it behind the first part of the summer and I took pictures of the mischief Fluffy got into while she was alone in the shop. When Angie came back to Chicago, I showed her the photos and I think this time, she "left behind" Fluffy on purpose so I could take more snaps and mail them to her. I will have fun with this! It's similar to a Flat Stanley if you are familiar with that concept.

It has been a beautiful day even though my DH dragged me out of bed at 5:30am so we could get on the road. It's about a 10 hour drive to PA but look at the beautiful landscape we get to enjoy.

My niece, Stefanie, who has been manning the shop for me, tells me that it's raining back home. I'm sorry to hear that because it has been such a great drive. I dislike to drive in rain and to take the kids back in the rain would have been a double whammy.

I'll be back in the shop tomorrow afternoon. I missed being there even though I was there part of each day. Class coming up on Saturday, August 22, is Country Cottage Needleworks Garden Party. There are 4 insects to choose from. This is a beginner/refresher stitch class. If you'd like some pointers working with over-dyed threads, this is the class for you. Call me at the shop to schedule your place. This stitched model is Ladybug and was worked up by Carol T who is also teaching the class.

Lastly, Stefanie stitched a Blackbird Loose Feathers from my stash. Unfortunately, the chart is no longer available. It is a wonderful sampler and I have already ordered the frame. I will get it laced up this weekend so I can drop it off for framing on Monday. You won't see it at the shop, but I'll post a shot of it once it's in the frame! The design is called Sunflower House and I believe it is Loose Feathers #11. Stefanie says I have to hang the sampler on the wall behind the chair she sat in at our dining table. If she wasn't sleeping, Stefanie was in that chair, stitching away.

Until another day, my friends. Thank you for reading!