Sunday, April 29, 2012

Creative Thinking

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous, and after a week of crappy weather and feeling pretty crappy (cold going on its 3rd week, and my back acting up due to the weather), I finally got out of the house.  I ran some errands post office, library), pampered myself (pedicure) and grabbed some lunch at La Mesa's newest restaurant, Gingham.  Lunch was tasty, sitting out under an umbrella on their back patio was wonderful.

I still had time left on the parking meter, so I walked around the Village a bit, and browsed some of the stores.  I was beginning to give up hope of finding any deals in the antique stores, but then got lucky at my last stop.

Three small saucers

Chipped, cracked, stained, but wonderfully vintage.

Imagine each of them with a small stitched pincushion in the center, filled with crushed walnut shells.

I finally took some pictures of what I've been stitching on.  This piece has become very special to me.  I started it (yeah I know, I'm supposed to be refraining from new starts) on the day Grandma and I watched Casablanca together.

Shakespeare's Peddler jenny Bean Spring, stitched on
36 ct PTP Mello with overdyed cotton
Its done mostly in the charted colors, but I have swapped out a few due to the color of the fabric I'm using.  The PTP Mello seems perfect for this project.  Before stitching on it, I thought it was too orangey-yellow, too mottled, and something I'd never use.  I took a chance for this, and I'm loving it.  The threads are really neutralizing the fabric.

Cute little sheep and ducks!

Pigs or cows?

I love the flowers on the border.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Delinquent Easter Swap

As I'm sure just about everyone out in stitching blogland already knows, Terri over at Dixie Samplar host an Easter/Spring exchange.  Poor Bea, first she and I both had to worry about her package, lost in the international mail system, then when it arrived, I was caught up in dealing with "stuff" so never got a chance to get pictures posted.  It actually arrived on Monday, the day after Easter, and was great timing to give me a smile that afternoon.  I really needed it.

Bea totally went over the top with what she sent me.  The box was filled with all sorts of surprises, and it seemed like I'd open one thing, just to see more surprises inside that one.

There's a fabulous stitcher's box, with the cutest Ewe, Eye and Friends design stitched and mounted on the top.  All of the finishing details are immaculate, with very sweet details, featuring my favorite color - red.  Matching the box is an absolutely adorable wooden thread keep personalized with my name, and some some skeins of Nina's hand-dyed threads!  I've seen these around the internet, but have never had a chance to try them.

But wait, we're not done yet!  Bea also included not 1, but 2 of the most adorable handmade wallets.  One is a stitchers wallet with scissors and marking pins inside and the other is a cute little notebook, with pockets to store special little things.  Both of these are amazing, sewn with beautiful fabrics, leather, and some unique buttons used as closures.

Bea didn't stop there.  She also sent some really adorable wooden charms, with hand-carved/burned details on them.  She also sent me a true treasure trove of vintage mother of pearl buttons, from the 1930's.  Those are definitely getting saved for something very special.  They just don't make buttons like that anymore.  These are so silky smooth and cool to the touch, with some great heft, and just enough aged patina on them to make them gorgeous.  Bea respected my dieting wishes and kept the sweets to a minimum, only sending some absolutely delicious chocolate.

This exchange was very special to me, not only because I got the chance to meet 2 new stitchers, but the timing of receiving my package, and also it challenged me to try a new finish.  I stitched a Blackbird Designs project for Kathy (no blog), and used the same finishing technique suggested.
BBD Birds and Berries, stitched on 40 ct lined
with overdyed floss.

The design itself isn't very Easter-y, and sort of more a summer theme than spring, but Kathy said Blackbird Designs was one of her favored designers, so I went with it.  The finishing was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be, and something I'll probably do again.  It would be so easy to adapt the tri-fold design of this to a simple fold in half thing.

Since I didn't stitch an Easter design, I made up for it by including LOTS of Easter goodies.  Some of them were old favorites I always associate with the holiday (Cadbury Creme Eggs) but most was just me having fun in Trader Joe's.  So easy to go overboard in that store!  I also included a few stitching related goodies, and some travel size Burt's Bees products.

While we're on the topic of stitching for other people and Trader Joe's, I'll mention the small RAK I sent to Becky.  This is so out of date, since she posted about it right away, but this blog is also sort of a personal journal for myself.  Months ago she'd mentioned she and her family enjoy pepper jelly with cream cheese and crackers, and I had some homemade pepper jelly I wanted to send her.  I use it as a condiment on grilled meats.  Of course I had no idea where it was hidden away, so while I was trying to find it, I stitched up something small to into the package.  Remember this?  It was the BBD I stitched in 2 different colorways.

Of course since it was also so close to Easter, Becky got some Trader Joe's goodies as well.  I figure you can't ever go wrong with chocolate and candy.

Okay, I'm off to figure out what's for dinner, figure out what's making Annie act like a crazy dog, and hopefully finish my paper on corporate code of ethics and get it submitted.  Thank you everyone for all your kind words and thoughts, and putting up with me and my lack of blogging and commenting!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Margaret Leona Cannon

Rest with the angels Grandma, you had a wonderful life.  Believe it or not, this picture was taken the day before she passed away, at Easter Brunch.  She was doing great, and enjoying her bright pink fingernails.  It had been years since she'd had nail polish on.
Margaret Leona Cannon
May 5, 1920 - April 9, 2012
Instead of mourning her passing, I'm choosing to celebrate it as her moving on to a better place.  She obviously picked the time - the day after Easter, and after she'd had a chance to see her other daughter that lives in Seattle (Jacky had come down on Saturday).  In her mind, everything was taken care of.  I'm glad I stuffed her full of chocolate mousse cake on Sunday.  In fact, when I got the call Monday morning, my immediate gut reaction was "oh crap, I put her in a diabetic coma."

I have lots of stitching stuff to post about, some of it I'm horribly delinquent on.  But, I also happen to be horribly delinquent on getting some MBA papers written.  I need some of Becky's self discipline when it comes to chores, housework, and life in general.