Saturday, July 24, 2010

Weekend Finish

Totally unusual for me, but I finished two things in two days! I'm very excited as this piece has been in the works for a year and a half. Shortly after I opened my shop, I decided to stitch Maureen Appleton's "Garden Tuffet" as a shop model. Yikes...who was I kidding? This was 40 count over one!! I was pretty ambitious but since I was going to take the shortcut and only work tent stitches, I felt it was pretty do-able. I finished the front of the tuffet within a matter of weeks but then it languished in my stitching bag for month after month. I would pick it up occasionally, but it quickly made it back into the bag after a couple of hours.

Last month, I was resolute that I would finish this tuffet. Enough is enough and I just had to get it done. So after some other stitching commitments were complete, I quickly finished the stitching. The borders took a bit longer but those were finally done. Now onto the assembly. I was nervous, as I've never assembled a tuffet or biscornu before, but I was confident I could follow the directions. Whip stitch the front and back together, stuff it and pull the middles together to make the indent. Piece of cake! It was quick and easy and now I wonder what I was so afraid of in the first place! What do you think? It is very pretty and now I can't wait to put it on display in the shop!

Thanks for taking the time to read!

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sewing and Stitching

A number of my stitching friends from Tuesday night also quilt. They have me inspired to work on finishing my quilt. I took a class several years ago at Thimbles and now I want to finally get it assembled. Of course, having forgotten how to finish it, the gals kindly offered to help me sew on the binding. I will see if I can get a good picture and post it within the next few days.

While blog-hopping, I came across this beauty! Tote Bag What a great way to display needlework! The blog owner, Margaret, makes some very lovely bags! Now I wish I knew how to sew better! Maybe I'll add that to my bucket list! Take a look at her blog for some Vera-like bags.

And a stitching finish for me!! I was working on The Sweetheart Tree's Spring Blossom's scissor fob. I finally finished assembling it tonight. Here is the front of the fob:

And now the back:

The front is stitched on Antique White Belfast while the back is stitched on Angel Blush Belfast. It was a fun stitch. I love all the sparklies. Sandie uses lots of beads and paillettes to add flash to the fob.

That's all for tonight. Have a great evening, a fun to you soon!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Toasty Flakes

The latest LHN monthly ornament showed up at the shop and is just oh-so-cute. I thought it would look great but decided to floss toss to give the design some added zing. What do you think of our choice? Weeks 30 count Chestnut. We only switched the DMC 869 to DMC 420 to get the branch arms to show up better. I think he's adorable and the Crescent Colours Bamboo and Sassy Brass really pop on this fabric!

Tonight is stitch night at the shop. I'll see what the gals think of the finish. I hope everyone comes refreshed from the long weekend. I know I am excited to be close to my own finish - picture will be forthcoming as soon as it's assembled. I will do that one on my own. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Never Complain About The Hot Weather

I was looking through some older pictures and came across this one. The bad weather will be upon us soon enough. I promise to not complain when it gets really hot! No complaining lately for sure because our Chicagoland weather is simply gorgeous! I love the warm weather and wish we could just do away with winter.

About two weeks ago we took a drive out to Kentucky again to visit with my cousins. We had the twins with us and they would have my cousin's eight year old daughter to hang around. One of our friends had recommended we visit Natural Bridge State Park while in Kentucky. We configured our GPS and off we went. The first thing you do when you arrive is get your ticket for the skylift. You can purchase one way or round trip. Since we are brave souls, we opted for the one-way because we were going to hike down. Here's the view as we started up....doesn't look so intimidating, right?
We moseyed along and then all of a sudden there was a sharp ascent! I am terrified of heights but seven-year-old Jack was alongside me and I needed to remain calm so he wouldn't get scared. I looked straight ahead and just snapped some pictures.

This is a perfect view of the sharpness of the incline while standing at the top of the bridge.

Natural Bridge State Park is named after the nature-made stone arch that sits high above the tree tops. There are several hiking paths for the adventurous down to the bottom from easy to expert hiker. We chose the easy path. Well, there was a nicely cut stone stairway down to the path but this was our first obstacle. Easy for the kids but suck in your gut and scoot sideways for the adults!

A view from on top of the bridge. It reminds me of Starved Rock State Park, here in my own backyard of Utica, Illinois!

Here's some interesting trees and their roots that seem to grow out of the rock. This was definitely not an easy trail! I don't know what they were thinking when they labeled this route. At times the path was so narrow, one false footstep and you'd be tumbling over the edge. Several times I had to help the kids down steep sections which were slippery with no good footholds. I was praying that I wouldn't slip and take one of them down with me!

We made it safely to the wooden staircase. It took us about an hour and 1/2 to climb down from the bridge. It was hot, hot, hot (not complaining...see above) and we were not only tired, but sweaty. I wonder how many people fall walking down these paths. Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a little....but really, I was surprised that they labeled it "easy" because I surely wouldn't have!

When our visit with the cousins in Kentucky was over, we headed home through West Virginia. I have never been through this state and wow, it is one beautiful countryside!

Finally, back on I-80, heading home to Chicago, we stopped for a quick dinner at Panera. Now what was I thinking?!!! I know better. I've been down this road before. See this blog post. I had a taste for a nice, light salad since I had been eating picnic fare for the last several days. I walk into the restaurant and this sign greeted me.

Mmmmm, perfect. I love this salad! Those strawberries are luscious and those blueberries.....I could pick them right off the picture. So, I go up to the counter and order the Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad. The cashier says to me, "We're all out of chicken." Excuse me????? How could Panera be out of chicken? She asked if I'd like another kind of meat. I toyed with turkey but I only eat turkey once a year on Thanksgiving. The other days of the year I can do without it. I ordered steak strips. It was a big disappointment. At Panera. Again. Never stop at this Panera. Ever. Again. Two strikes and you're out! No third chances! It was a miserable dinner and we still had about six hours to get home. I was happy to get a latte at Starbuck's and that satisfied until my head hit the pillow.

I hope you all have a wonderful Fourth of July!! Eat some watermelon and wave your flag! I think I'm going to a waterpark. Maybe I'll have some fun pictures to post!