Friday, July 5, 2013

Springtime and 17

Posts have been so sparse as the at-home computor will not allow picture posting, and I havn't stayed after hours at work.  Such a lovely spring!  This morning as I was leaving the house, the sky was bright blue with fluffywhite clouds, the sun was shining brightly, and there was a sudden gentle downpour of rain.  It was magical.  Maybe I'm just in a romantic mood.  The flowers everywhere I go are so lovely.  I am working on my annulment, which feels really good.  Robin is apply to colleges for fall, and enjoying her drawing and artwork, as well as working on another shockingly difficult puzzle.  2000 pieces that all look alike, and to top it off she's doing it on top of the last two puzzles that are still on the desk upstairs, making it even more difficult - too busy a background.  I don't know how she does it!

Robin turned 17 on April 18th.  We celebrated by going to one of our favorite eating establishments = Red Robin. 

We also had a little party, it was so fun.  She did a little happy dance!:
The dress, robin necklace, and shoes were her birthday gift from me.  So cute!We decorated with homemade banners, played games, and served chicken salad croissants, chips, green beans, salad, cake, and mango punch.  It was so good!  She was gifted with some gift cards, so we got to do a little shopping.  She found this beautiful butterfly dress and owl necklace at Charming Charlie - a really girly fun place to shop - both for $20! 

There is a pre-school where I work, and one of the moms took some photos of Robin.  They are truly lovely. I'll share a few:

A few months ago Robin saw a really cute knitted crab hat in my Molly Makes magazine, and has been determined to knit it.  We finally found the right yarn and she knit the whole thing in less than 24 hours.  I sewed the eyes on it.  Isn't it just adorable silly sweet?  I'm so proud of her!  I haven't knit in so long since I've gotten back into counted cross stitch in a big way - to stay!  I'm working on a Little House Needleworks Christmas freebie chart, "Merry Hearts", which I love. 
  Here's the hat part:
and here's the final crab hat, on a not at all crab:

(Of course, it's pulled down for comic effect!)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Almost Easter!

This Lent has flown by.  Many blessings.  I made a big change last week.  After vowing I would NEVER cut OR color my hair - I did both.  Here is the before and after:
Anyway, this is a big change for me.  Wow is it easier.  Really seems to help with the hot flashes too.
I do miss my white hair a bit too, but I can grow it back sometime (may have to wear a hat for a few months to do it :)). Here is my lovely girl in a top she bought herself with babysitting money:

Anyway, my big project, stitching the Country Cottage Needlworks Cottages of the Month was completed last night.  I really loved stitching this and it makes me so happy.  I can't stop looking at it!  I started it in June 2012 and stitched on it everyday since then, excepting for a couple of days here and there.  It is done on 14 count white aida cloth with DMC floss. 

Whew.  This is very special for me for many reasons, and my absolute favorite part is that my darling girl agreed (even though she is definately not a stitcher) to make one stitch in this for me.  She did the top of the "r" in December - my birth month.  Thanks sweetie!  I also love that in April, Robin's birth month, the birds have been changed to Robins.  Now I'm already on to my next project, started within minutes of finishing this one!  Photos to follow, of course. 
Here's one last view - who greeted me on my way in to work yesterday morning.  A very friendly crow.  We had a lovely exchange of morning wishes!  Same to you, friends!  Wishing you a blessed Holy Week. 

The Non-existant Ground Hog Day Brunch

We finally have a computer at home again!  Yay!  Lots of catching up to do.  New Year's Eve was so fun - as usual we got to go to the home of our dear friends Jackie and Laurel.  They have the best parties ever, best games, best food, best company.  Robin and I are so grateful to be included in their gathering, we thought it would be really fun to have them over to our house.  Robin saw the cutest ground hog day pancakes on Pinterest and we hatched a plan for a Ground Hog Day brunch.  Skip to the punch line, we hadn't heard back on a definitive answer so we thought it was off. I really should have called the night before, but I didn't.  Then I forgot.  Ground Hog Day - sleeping in for the first time in many days...2 days worth of dirty dishes in the sink (that does happen, not a lot, but it does), the living room floor covered with bones, toys, and dog hair, the couch cover askew, no food in the fridge.  Ding Dong.  Best friends we are in awe of and want to impress are at the door.  Oops.  We all messed up.  Being the sweeties they are, they forgave us.  I'll laugh about this someday!
The culprit:
Work has been busy, we have been busy with college applications, and I have been squeezing in stitching whenever possible.  I joined a Stitch-a-long blog to cross stitch a Christmas ornament each month (every other month is my choice, then there is a schedule of topics).  For January, I had a little kit for a pineapple that I got in Colonial Williamsburg a few years ago and still had it.  Here it is finished:
For February, the suggestion was for a reindeer, so I made this one by Lizzie Kate, just left the words off.  I used rick rack to trim the edges, matching the color of the reindeer's scarf:
Another little project I made was a little lamb from a kit from the JustAnotherButtonCompany called Eugenia Tuffet.  I think she turned out pretty cute:
My darling girl has been very creative lately with her art, and surprised me a few days ago when I looked over and this is what I saw:
This girl definately has a sense of humor!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Advent and Christmas 2012

I'm writing after the fact, here is a little look back on the best Christmas we have ever had, filled with love, presents, surprises and dear friends.  We even got to ride a camel!  Robin and I had never been to the Christmas walk before, but when we heard there were camel rides, we had to go.  We would have had some great photos, but I mistakenly had left the camera on no flash after taking some dog pictures (the dogs don't like the flash, of course) so here is an impressionistic view:
This was great fun!  I want to do it again, definitely.  It would be great to ride one over a distance or at a little bit of a speed - maybe - but Robin had an advantage sitting in front of the hump.  I was right on the hump and keep sliding.  So if you ever get the chance, avoid the hump if you can, but don't miss out on the fun!
We prettied up the house of course, and have been enjoying the lights, tree, candles, and warmth.  One evening in particular, I was sitting in the living room with just the light from the Christmas tree, I had a cup of tea, the dogs were all snuggled up with me, and I was looking through to the kitchen, lit by candles, and watching the snow falling softly through the kitchen door windows.  It was truly blissful. 

Sideways view, again. 
Robin and Spuddie (photo above), and me with Honey, Spuddie, and Holly.  Gosh I love my children!
The stockings were hung, you can see the folk Santa to the left, the one I mentioned last post from the craft show, painted on an old tobacco drying stick - a bit of Kentucky history...and all the plants in the kitchen were if full bloom, all four cacti and the violets.  It was lovely.

It wouldn't be Christmas around here without the nativity sets, this one by Jim Shore is in the living room.  We also each have one in our bedrooms. 
My set in my bedroom is my favorite.  Robin bought it for me all by herself a few years ago from her own money and it is the most beautiful one I have ever seen.  I have it on the shelf on my bed headboard:
Robin and I also decorate our bedrooms for Christmas.  Here are a few kitchy little corners in my room - yes mine is more cutesy and Robin's more sophisticated.
This little gourd Santa is painted by the same folk painter lady who did the tobacco stick Santa, though this one I've had a few years now.  Here is my vintage red reindeer, I think probably about the same age as me!
Well, maybe someday I'll come back and fix this the right way!  Notice too the darling little skunk, same age.  Both of these are stuffed with sawdust. 
Robin got a puzzle again, you can't see it but she actually put this together on top of the last puzzle she did of St. Basil's Cathedral.  I couldn't even look at it - too confusing - but she did it in about a day and a half or so.  This puzzle is of one of our favorite paintings.  It is Sunday afternoon on La Grand Jette by Seurat.  There is so much to study and enjoy in this painting. 
Of course I have been stitching as much as possible.  I am still stitching on the Country Cottage Needleworks cottage of the month series.  I'm not doing them in order, really, except June and November.  At Christmas I was actually working on August.  I am doing them all on one fabric piece, just as I obtain the right floss colors.  I have had to change some of the colors, though, as I am stitching on white, so in place of the white flosses I'm mostly using DMC 3033. 
It takes me about a month to do each one, stitching a little each evening before bed. 
This is a close up of November, and I also want to show what I did for April, my favorite so far, as it is Robin's birth month.  I have changed the birds to Robins!:
I hope to finish July this weekend.  More to come about this.  I have also joined two stitch along blogs for 2013, I'll post those later - one is a Christmas ornament SAL and the other is for a series of Sheep Virtues by Little House Needleworks that will be similar to the cottages - one each month.  I do get great joy from my stitching!  I also love to read stitching blogs, and I have noticed something that nearly all stitchers do - I have done this for decades, myself.  We all save the little snippets of floss in a jar or some receptacle.  Who knows why?  They are just lovely, and make one feel a sense of accomplishment - plus who doesn't love floss?  Here's mine, for all my stitch friends who also share theirs (don't even try to understand this if you don't stitch).  This is a vintage planter of Cosmos flowers I found on ebay quite awhile ago just for this purpose.  :).  Well, more to share, but time to go enjoy probably the last night of the Christmas tree.  I'm glad to be posting again, now that there is a computer in the family once again...(thanks Robin for sharing!)  Blessings and Peace for your Happiest New Year yet, God Bless 2013!