Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year, filled with love and wonder. Hold your loved ones close, learn something new, slow down and appreciate nature, take a walk, do something nice without expectation of return. And as always, be kind to one another.

Monday, December 29, 2014

That Pink Quilt? Done!

Finally! Finished the pink quilt. Yay, yay, yay! Dropped it off this morning on the way to work. Got a thank you call a little later in the day.

Ran it through the washer, got it nice and wrinkly, very vintage looking. I have been working on this quilt since August and it feels so nice to have it done. Next quilt, one of my dear friends has a baby boy on the way! Looking at grays, dusty blues, browns, creams, and a little splash of colonial red. I think it will be pretty! LOL I will post a few pictures when I get the fabric all picked out. Be kind to one another.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Side Trip To....

So, what did I do on Friday? Cleaned house, cleaned the fishes' house (LOL), had lunch with DH, and took a nap. Since it was a bonus day, I figured I should do something a little fun. Took a side trip to the thrift store. I found a few things. First, a 100% wool men's sweater. It has a nice boxy shape with a zipper and was only $5! How could I say no? It will be nice at work when it gets chilly. Then, I took a peek over in the throw pillow section. I was looking for something that I could pull the cover off and replace with a punch needle cover. SCORE! I found an 18X18 feather, yes feather, pillow for $3! Perfect. And when I pulled off the cover, it was from Pottery Barn. I don't even want to know what it originally cost. I will run it through the washing machine and leave it out in the sun for a few days. It says Dry Clean Only, but I like to live on the wild side. LOL

One of the things I've never mentioned is my love for inside plants. I've talked about my roses and the problems with the drought, but I also have quite a few inside plants. I have all the regulars, pothos, spiders, etc, but I do have a little collection of orchids. Mostly phalaenopsis, but a few different types. I haven't taken very good care of them the past year, just too busy with Dad. And how was I rewarded? With three plants with spikes! How crazy is that?!? I am very excited to have some flowers coming my way.

Finally sewing the binding on that darn pink quilt. I did everything I could to not work on it yesterday. I cleaned a craft drawer, scrubbed two bathrooms, cleaned out the silverware drawer... LOL LOL LOL I promised myself I would finish it in the summer, then October, and now I WILL finish it before the end of 2014. I have about a quarter of the binding done and should be able to finish it this afternoon. Not bad considering it was still in strips yesterday! It sat on my table for so many months, I just couldn't take the guilt anymore. I put on my big-girl panties and got going. It is funny, it was only about 5 hours work to get to the binding, but I just couldn't focus. Sometimes it takes more energy to avoid doing something than it does to actually do it...I will post a picture as soon as I finish. Promise!

Off to do my Sunday chores. Grocery shopping and trip to RiteAid. I know how to live. Be kind to one another.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

My Prize, A Finish, and a Christmas Update

So, I think (LOL) that I mentioned last week that I had won Day 15 at the Victorian Motto Shoppe's 25 Days of Christmas. Wow! Santa Nancy was SO generous. First, two of her patterns. Yummy. Then, three packages of her amazing hand-dyed chenille. More yummy. the last bag, this is what I found:

Are these not the most beautiful colors? So bold and filled with color, I can't wait to use them!

And then here is my latest finish in the punch needle world.

I like this one quite a bit. Not sure what I am going to do with it. After my last fiasco with the beads, I am almost afraid to do the same to this one. LOL

Very quiet Christmas at our house. My sister and brother stopped by with their kids, but other than that, it was just me, Dad, and DH. My son will be here January 5th. I think that will be our happy time. Dad is quiet. I am hoping that he makes it until Ryan gets here. We remind him several times a day that his grandson will be here in a few weeks. I am sure he understands, he just can't respond.

DH was very sweet. Picked up a new Stephan King book for my gift, along with a key chain fob that he made. Oh yeah, and he got me my own little flashlight! He hates when I use his and don't return it to the proper space. I'm not really sure why he thinks that getting me my own flashlight will stop me from using his. LOL LOL LOL I can tell you that it won't even slow me down. LOL LOL LOL

Made a bit more fudge today. Okay, made a LOT more fudge today. Three more batches: peppermint, heath bar, and peanut butter. I've got a bit of coconut already toasted, so I may make one more batch this season.

My boss gave me tomorrow off! All the food has been ordered for next quarter and we can't start anything for fourth quarter for a few weeks. With today and the weekend, that makes for a four day weekend. I will be on call as usual, but that is okay. I am counting tomorrow off as a "bonus day". I didn't cancel daycare for Dad, so I will have five hours to do something special for me. No real plans, just a day to regroup and get some rest. I did take a little nap this afternoon in between Dad chores, but I always seem to be tired, so tomorrow will be nice. Even if I don't do anything, I will not need to get up at 4 am and put on clothes and make-up!

Heading down to the other end of the house. Maybe a bit of stitching, a little bit of tv watching. There hasn't been anything on all day worth watching, so I may need to pick out a movie from my VHS/DVD collection. Yep, I said VHS! I've still got a few left...I really need to get my favorites on DVD. I know that the life of a VHS tape is limited, so I should get the DVD while they're still available. I'm sure as soon as I switch over, there will be some new technology that comes along and I will have to start all over.

I hope that everyone has the holiday that they kind to one another.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Very Merry Christmas to All!

Wishing all a very Merry Christmas and the happiest New Year. Hoping for love and kindness, time with family and friends, health and happiness. Be kind to one another.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Countdown to Christmas

Only three days to Christmas, or so I've heard. I can't even remember what day it is, so I supposed that I shouldn't be making any assumptions about Christmas. LOL Picked up DH's gift. He is really hard to buy for when it comes to Christmas. If he wants it, he buys it. I chose something that he's talked about several times, but he kept saying he would make do with what he had. He didn't want to spend the money. Lucky me, it was $30 off and I had a 20% off coupon. Did pretty well if I do say so myself.

Dad is doing okay. He has had several strokes these past few years and has very limited movement in his left arm. His hand has closed on itself and we keep a washrag in his hand. This is so he doesn't cut the palm of his hand with his fingernails. Unfortunately, the rag must have been a little rough and now we have a really ugly sore on his thumb. We have been so careful to keep his skin clean and dry. I feel bad when I change the gauze, I know it hurts. It isn't as bad as it was yesterday, but I am still checking it a couple of times a day. The nurse will be in tomorrow or Wednesday, so at least I will have a professional taking a peek.

Finished my leaves project. I don't know, I just don't like how these beads lay....I'm a little disappointed, but I guess I will get better. On top of that, I really didn't like how the wool wrapped over the edge. It started to fray and I ended up having to put a few dots of glue to hold it down. I can see where the glue went. Either I did it wrong, used the wrong glue, or used too much glue. Again, very unhappy with my finish.

Something I did do right was FUDGE! I never make just plain fudge. I make white chocolate/peppermint fudge, and peanut butter fudge, and coconut fudge, and fudge with Heath candy bar pieces...I think you get the idea. I was a little unsure of the peppermint fudge. I used those peppermint pieces that you put in cookies, but when I added it to the white turned PINK. Oh. My. Goodness. I thought it was ugly, but when I took it to work, it was finished first! Tasted like a chocolate covered candy cane. LOL I really wanted to try some pumpkin fudge, but ran out of white chocolate chips. I use a recipe that I've had for over 25 years. It hasn't let me down yet...super easy, uses big marshmallows, sugar, heaving whipping cream, butter, vanilla, and chips. That's it, just six items. I've added lots of goodies and never had a problem as long as I don't try to add too many chips.

Anyway, ready to take a shower and head to the craft corner. I started on a pretty punch needle pear piece. I'm almost finished and will post a picture in a few days. Be kind to one another.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Still Plugging Along

I added beads, I added beads, and I added more beads. I don't know if I like the way it lays. I think I may have added too many beads in too little space. If I really don't like it, a couple of snips and I can start over. Since it's going to lay on a table, it might be okay.

Dad is getting quieter and quieter. He hasn't said my name for over 6 months and only said a few words this past week. My son is coming home for break on January 5th. All I can hope is that Dad makes it that long. He really seems to be losing weight, but I may just be looking too hard. Ryan has not been home in five months, so I think this will be hard for him, too. He wasn't coming, but he sounded so lonely, and I know I am missing him, so we went ahead and bought the plane ticket. One good thing is that he is flying into an airport only 35 miles from home, so at least I won't be driving the entire day.

DH and I are taking a break from Dad chores tomorrow to try and pick up a few Christmas gifts. We really don't have much to get. Most of my gifts to friends are stitched or homemade fudge. I sent my stepson his package last week, and with the coffee pot that Santa sent last week to Ryan, the little things I sent over the last few weeks, and finally the plane ticket, I don't see much shopping for Ryan in my future. LOL I know he has no problem with that. One thing about that kid, he is not into buying new things. I think that the one trip we will make while he is here is to the thrift shops. I want to try my hand at recycling wool clothing into useful pieces of material for my projects. He loves thrift stores, so I know he will be on board.

Dinner time is now, so off to take care of Dad and get some leftovers on the table. LOL Be kind to one another.

Monday, December 15, 2014

I Won! I Won! I Won! Did I Say I Won?

I won! Santa Nancy over at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe had her 25 Days of Christmas Giveaway...and I won Day 15! Woot, woot, happy dance! It will be a "surprise" prize, but I don't care! I love, love, love Nancy's threads and use them for both cross stitch and punch needle. I have been stalking her ebay store and have quite a few pretties on my watch list. I will love anything she sends. :-)

On the punch needle front, finished a little something. This pattern is from Prairie Grove Peddler, 2006. The original colors were really too bright for me, so I toned it down with some muted Valdani threads and some DMC black.

So then, I decided to follow some instructions over at Three Sheep Studio on how to add beads. Here is my start:

Well, may I say it would have been easier to climb Mt. Everest....First of all, I had to look up "blanket stitch". I realized that I had been doing it for years, so good. Then I choose beads, easy, good. Then I started to add the beads. Remind me again...who in the world adds beads to punch needle? It would have been easier to eat glass. Seriously, I am at least 5 fingers short for this craft. I would pick up a bead, start my blanket stitch, drop the bead, shred the wool, pick the bead, start my blanket stitch, drop the bead, repeat, repeat, repeat.... I can only hope that I hit a rhythm soon.

Drought report-rain started about noon today, already have a quarter of an inch. I feel like one of those Charles Dickens characters...more please. Any rain is appreciated and needed. No complaining from me!

Ok, kids, I am off to fix dinner. Hmmmm.... I have a half pound of ground beef, what to make, what to make. Better make a decision soon! LOL Be kind to one another.

Friday, December 12, 2014

My Snowman's Got A Booty!

Just a quick snowman's got a booty! I have had a horrible time getting this finished. No reason, just seemed to loose steam about the same time I started stitching the white.

This will be my last ornament finish for this year. Now just to finish, finish, if you know what I mean. LOL

Update on the storm here in California. No wind/tree damage at our house, and inch and a half of rain. Woot, woot! I know that the storms have hit pretty hard in some areas, but we so desperately need the rain. Any snow that we get in the Sierra's will be appreciated. The news is saying that the worst has passed, but I am hoping to get another half inch this morning.

Off to work, forty minute commute in the rain. I will put on my big girl panties and just do it! LOL Be kind to one another.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Weekend Report on Wednesday...

Update on my trip to Rancho was a 36 hour break from reality. The drive down was not too bad, traffic was pretty heavy on the way back. At least there wasn't a lot of roadwork. It seems that California only does major repairs during holidays. Guess I lucked out going between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I still cannot believe that I drove eight hours round trip to visit for 14 hours. What was I thinking? LOL All I can say is...I am a pretty darn good friend!

Absolutely no pictures. Another, what was I thinking? It was a very nice visit. My friend's daughter is beautiful, inside and out. She is blond with big blue eyes, but the wonderful part is her sweet disposition. I'm sure that when she has had enough, her stubborn side will come out. After all, she is her father's daughter. LOL But even at her young age, she seems to genuinely like people. She will smile and engage in conversation, but still knows better than to go to just anyone. Her parents have included her in all aspects of their business life (they own a dance studio), so she is used to seeing lots of different people. I am so very proud of my friend. I have watched him go from an awkward teenager to a great father. ...Oh, and, they want to home school! I was very encouraging, but still gave them the usual lecture. "Understand that this is a family project, it will include everyone, not just your student. It will be difficult, probably make YOU cry, and will be the most amazing time of your and your child's life". I think that if they stay in the LA area, it will be a better choice to home school. Just too much danger in the public schools in their area. One of their close friends is a home school family, so I think they will have a great support system.

A first for me, IMAX theater. Oh. My. Goodness. It was amazing! As my friend and I were chatting, he mentioned a great IMAX theater in the mall. I said that I have never been to that type of movie. He had us in the car and on our way. Granted, walking up five flights of stairs to get to our seats was a bit much, and I did not make any bathroom trips, but it was great! We saw Interstellar. It was the perfect first IMAX movie. I could not believe that even if you leaned over, the bottom of the screen was just as clear as the top. Yep, I would go again in a heartbeat. Even with the stairs!

Weekly visit from the nurse. No change with Dad. He hasn't really spoken in a few weeks. I don't think he's called me by name in three or four months. It makes me so sad. My dad was my entire life. I really, really, really was a "daddy's girl". I try so hard to remember the good times. As each day passes, it's getting harder and harder to get through the every day crap. I know that sounds harsh, but it is so hard to watch someone die just a little bit every day. I ask why, but there are no answers. Once again, I remind myself that at least he is not in pain.

No update on the stitching front. I stitched a little on my ornament while I was down south. I really need to finish this before Christmas. THIS CHRISTMAS, thank you very much. I cannot believe how a little, tiny ornament is kicking my behind. I need to focus! LOL

Enough whining and mumbling. I am off to finish my dad duties. Be kind to one another.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How Much More White Do I Need To Do?

This is the ornament I've been working on for WEEKS that should have taken DAYS, but I've been sidetracked by punch needle, and quilting, and making rusty jingle bells, and SQUIRREL! LOL All I can say is that I am trying to get it done before Christmas. Only a tiny bit of white for the snowman and I will be finished.

All quiet on the home front. Dad seems a little slower than usual, but we haven't seen the nurse this week, so really no news to share. It hurts my heart to see him get further and further away. Nothing I can do, but it still hurts.

Drought report...we've received a half inch of rain this last storm. I go out every few hours to check my rain gauge, as if staring at it will make it fill any faster. I watch little green patches appear in the fields and say a quick thank you to God. We need the rain desperately. We still run a few cows and we need grass. We've supplemented with hay year round for several years now and had to sell down from about 100 head to less than 30 just to be able to keep them fed. I am so ready to be done with this drought...

I am making a quick weekend trip to visit a friend down south. I haven't been to visit him and his family for over two years. When my son moved to the Bay Area, it was around the same time that my dad came to live with me and my husband. I had to choose my trips very carefully, so....I went to the Bay Area to visit my son. Now that he is in Iowa, I won't be making any weekend trips to visit him. Los Angeles is not my favorite area to visit. The traffic seems worse than the Bay and it goes on forever....but I have known this person for over 12 years, so I really need to suck it up and make the drive. And, if I leave a little earlier than I planned, I can make a side trip to Garden Grove to visit Needlepoint LTD. It isn't my first choice for an LNS, because it focuses on needlepoint, but it does have a nice selection of fibers and threads. Sometimes you can find some pretty fabric from Picture This Plus. I don't need fabric ( I've been picking up extra every time I go to Elegant Stitch), but of course I will look! Since I started needle punching, I may look for a few pretty threads.

Off to finish chores and I should be getting dinner started. Be kind to one another.