Monday, December 29, 2008

Hello from Lake Mead!

I turned on my computer to check a recipe in MacGourmet, and noticed that I had 2-3 bars on my Airport - I'm picking up the internet on someone's wide open network. I'm in an RV park at Echo Bay, and someone has their own WiFi network! Wheeee!

We are having a fabulous time. We have great weather, finally, after a week of off-and-on wind, cold, and rain. It's clear and sunny, and I'm sitting outside where the reception is the best for this accidental network, and though it's a little chilly, it's bearable. Don's out on the lake with his friend Gary - and has been having great fishing success. We had fresh fish for dinner two nights ago, and yesterday he gave me 14 fillets (7 fish) to freeze. It's all striped bass, which to me, tastes much better than the catfish they sometimes bring back. We're having a "neighborhood" fish fry for New Year's Eve - a sort of potluck for the sides and desserts, and Gary and Don will cook a bunch of fish that should feed about 2o people.

I've gotten 4/5 of Black Swan Design's "Desert Sunrise" stitched, though I haven't taken any WIP photos of it. Tomorrow I'm going quilt and cross stitch shopping in Las Vegas - I need my nails done so I will make a fun day of it while Don and Gary are fishing. I'll report later about what I got!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sunday Stash #1

I'm posting this tonight since we're leaving tomorrow for 2 weeks with no internet. Lake Mead and a relaxing time in our trailer await us.

This fabric shouted my name at the Quiet Mouse last week, and now I need to find a pattern for it. The focus black, the red, and the yellow are from Northcutt's Midas Touch line, and I found the green and coordinating black elsewhere in the store. Lovely stuff!
If you'd like to join Sunday Stash, go here.

See you in a couple of weeks!

Friday, December 19, 2008

We Have Power!

Wednesday I went down the mountain to work, and came back home in the early evening in time for another storm to move in. During the night, we got another 2 feet! Don got up at 2:30 and told me the power had gone out. At 3 I heard him outside, and got up to see why he was out there. He said you have got to come look at this. I could not believe how much more snow there was. In 4 days, we got about 5 FEET. The power stayed off all day Thursday, and we learned that the Edison trucks weren't allowed to come up the mountain until around noon. When I drove down in the morning Thursday, they had the road blocked - NO ONE was coming up. There must have been 150 skiers and snowboarders waiting for the road to open up. I felt a little sorry for them - they took the day off to ski, and couldn't get up to the mountains!

Thursday evening we used our generator for light and to keep the fridge cold, and Don figured out how to hook up the fan from the fireplace insert to warm the living room. We had nice stovetop dinner - we can still use the stove since it uses propane - and even watched a couple hours of tv. He brought the little tv out from the bedroom and hooked it up to the generator and picked up ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX with the antenna.

The Edison guys, bless them, worked through the night - the temps were in the teens (this is southern California!!!!) - and power came back on this morning at 4:30.

Remember this wheelbarrow? Here it is again - almost totally covered.

Pretty, yes?

This is the view from our house up to the San Gorgonio Wilderness, and San Bernardino Peak.

The mountains in the far distance are the San Gabriels, above Rancho Cucamonga/Claremont, visible from Forest Falls.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My First Ever Quilt Top

We got another couple of feet of snow, so I couldn't go to work. Too bad. I stayed in and stitched together this quilt top, from a book I got at Barnes & Noble about learning how to quilt. I used cheap fabric from JoAnn's and Wal-Mart since I knew it would be very flawed, but still I think it looks pretty nice. I couldn't make the quilt sandwich today because I forgot to get safety pins. That'll come some other day, I guess.

Here's a close-up of the fabric I used.

Southwest Santa - The Sweetheart Tree

This is my first tuck pillow - it bit rough on the edges, but that gives it that homemade look. The ornament was in the 2001 JCS Ornaments Issue. It used a bunch of red Mill Hill beads that look like little lights on the cactus.

Thanksgiving Ornament - better late than never!

Debbie sent this to me as part of the Thanksgiving Ornament exchange on the 1-2-3 Stitch board. It's actually the second one she sent - the first one was sent in plenty of time for Thanksgiving, was returned due to wrong zip code, re-sent, and is now wandering somewhere in mail boondocks. But I like this one - she mounted it on some orange felt - frayed the edges a little - a simple finish that I can use on some other ornaments!

There were some fabulous goodies in this package - some notecards that I can use at work, and a mini tuck pillow ornament to stitch. I looked at that tuck pillow and realized "I can do that!" In my next post I'll show you the first one I made.

Thanks, Debbie, for the goodies!

Snow, snow, snow!

This was the view from the front door on Monday morning, while the first storm was coming through. The wheelbarrow and our cars can show you how much snow we had then, and by the end of that storm I'd estimate 2 1/2 feet judging by how much was on the deck.

I took this photo this morning (Wednesday), and you can see how high the snow is on top of the wheelbarrow. Yesterday Don spent all day shoveling. The snow plow came through one time, and piled up a berm 5 feet high behind his truck. He cleared that out, spent another half hour putting chains on the truck, and drove down to Yucaipa to leave it with the trailer at Tommy's. I was able to get out and go to work - my Jeep is 4WD, and it took 20 minutes to get the 2 miles from my house to the highway. When the plows did the main road, they took off the snow and left a solid sheet of ice - thick ice - AND DIDN'T PUT ANY CINDERS DOWN. Idiots. But even bigger idiots were the drivers who didn't put chains on, didn't have 4-wheel drive, and SLID down the steepest part of the road through town - DELIBERATELY. One guy I passed was sipping his coffee, right wheels along the edge of the road, just slowly sliding downhill, wheels not turning at all. Unbelievable.

This used to be a front walkway down to the street.

Anyway, I think I'll get some quilting done!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Sunday Stash"

Now that I'm getting into quilting, I've added a bunch of quilting blogs to my Google Reader. On 1/4 of an inch Tamara has started a cool thing - "Sunday Stash." It's a great way to share our stash - and while Tamara started it for quilting stash, I'm going to do it for both. It'll have to wait until after the New Year, since Saturday we're leaving for 2 weeks at Lake Mead.

So consider it a great wordless, picture-only post opportunity. You can grab the code for the button here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Apple Tree, part of Autum Sampler - Cross Stitch Gold

This little tree is part of Autumn Sampler, which was in Cross Stitch Gold. It's for Kay's 4-person round robin on CSRR. It's a lovely piece - and she's almost finished! Looks like only 2 more parts need to be completed.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Merry (Early) Christmas to Me!

My gift from my husband is coming early- it's a Singer Featherweight 221-1 Sewing Machine, made in January of 1948. It has the original foot controller, plus a new alphasew foot pedal. It's in "mint" condition - shiny paint and little wear. It even comes with the (rare) original booklet, plus some extra needles, bobbins, and other accessories. It also comes with the carrying case.

Now I just have to learn how to use it! But I'm sooo excited.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Michael Powell freebie - Christmas Tree

I love the look of Michael Powell's designs - from the curved edges stitched with 2 strands of black floss, to the bright colors and unique color changes. I have all of his cottage/church/lighthouse freebies, and haven't yet stitched one - and when I saw he had just added a Christmas tree to the collection, decided to make it my first Michael Powell.

Blackbird Ornament - Blackbird Designs

This little ornament appeared in the 2004 JCS Ornaments Issue. I don't know about you, but I was originally pretty confused about the finishing directions. It turns out that the designers stitched a large one, over two, and then made photocopies of it that they mounted and used for ornaments. They advised that if you wanted to stitch the blackbird for an ornament without doing the photocopying, to stitch it one-over-one. That's what I did. I changed the 2004 to 2008, and used some gold cording for the edges.

Winter Joy - SamSarah Design Studio

This was in the 2007 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Preview issue, and I realized after I finished it that I left off the little bird that went in the bottom right. Oh well - I don't think he'll be missed.

Christmas Squares from Danica

These came in today's mail - and will be made into an ornament during my next "finishing frenzy." He's a really cute Santa from Leisure Arts.

Thanks, Danica!!!

This is SOOOOO ME!

I admit it - I'm a slob. My colleagues at work think I'm organized, and I guess that in a way I am. I know where everything is; it just isn't put in places that look neat. I am a terrible housekeeper, though being married to a military neat freak has helped keep our house presentable. (He's retired; he does the houskeeping and I work and do the cooking.) When I saw this chart from Lizzie Kate I knew I had to stitch it for myself. It will now sit in a prominent place in my kitchen!

Bright Christmas - Fanci That

I stitched this for my manicurist Debbie. It's pretty large for an ornament - maybe she can hang it on her wall.

Prairie Schooler Ornament Exchange Received

One of the Yahoo groups I'm in is Prairie Schooler Fans. We had a Christmas ornament exchange, and Marie sent me this Santa. He's from Book #62, Kris Kringle. I love the cording she used - I've been looking for some like that and will try JoAnn's - and the bell. I haven't used a bell yet. She stitched and finished it with an expert hand.

Along with the ornament, she sent a ton of goodies - silk floss, Christmas buttons, a floss organizer, some size 26 needles, and some DMC gold thread - just as I began to run out of my gold thread!

Thanks Marie!!!

Squares sent to Jenn F

This is the March leprechaun from Heart in Hand's Monthly Miniatures. Jenn has let me know she received the squares I sent, so I can now post pics of them. She had said in her profile that St. Patrick's Day is her second-favorite holiday, so I thought this little guy was perfect.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Folk Art Topiary - Brown House Studios

Here's another ornament from the 2004 JCS Ornaments Issue. I had some large green ric-rac that was perfect for the trim.

Noel - Shepherd's Bush

This was a little freebie from the Caron Collection. It called for a special little heart, but I just used a heart brad left over from my cross stitching stash! This little piece is about 2 inches square.

Deer Ridge Ornament - Gloria Moffat

I found this little guy in an old Cross Stitch Sampler magazine from 1992. I just changed the date to this year. The pattern called for French knots at the ends of the tree branches, but I used little beads instead.

Better Late Than Never!

This is a cute little chart from Carousel Charts called "Which Witch is Which?" I stitched it one-over-one, so it ended up 3 inches square.

Woodland Snowfall - Little House Needleworks

This is from the 2004 Just Cross Stitch Ornaments Issue. I love LHN designs!

Pastel Pine Tree - Fine Fancywork

So, I started a finishing frenzy today, finishing several ornaments all the same way. It was a bit like an assembly line - measure, cut, glue, and so on. This little piece is from the 1988 Just Cross Stitch Ornaments Issue. I used some dusky rose fabric on the back, and it's trimmed in gold. What's hard to see in the photo is the glittery gold thread that was used for backstitching.

Thanksgiving Squares from Karen D.

These F&S squares included two cute Just Another Button Company buttons. Now, what shall I make with them? Thanks, Karen!

Squares from Jenn, and some hand-dyed floss!

These cute and very nice squares came Friday from Jenn, for F&S R0und #10. She stitched me a great Celtic design, and included some floss that she dyed herself. I'm already looking for that "perfect" pattern to use the floss on. As for the squares, I have a round tin that's the exact size of this design. So I will soon make my first covered tin! Thanks, Jenn!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Poinsettia - Brittercup Designs

I really liked the look of this one when I saw it in the 2007 JCS Ornaments issue - but didn't want to do the finish they used - too complicated for me! And the Cinders threads I used had less red in it than the one they used. But I still think it turned out nicely!

The Berry Basket - Fine Fancywork

Another oldie - this one is from the 1988 Just Cross Stitch Ornaments Issue. It looks a bit lumpy - sometimes I just don't get those edges smooth and even.

Christmas Sampler - Lollipop Designs

This little design is from the 1986 Just Cross Stitch Ornaments Issue. I stitched it one-over-one, making it about an inch square, and then put it in a little ready-made slide frame ornament I got at Michael's. I painted the frame green and glued on some miniature Christmas lights.

Cute Ornament from Angela!

Angela stitched this adorable ornament for a personal exchange. My husband says he's going to bring up our mini-tree and put it in the trailer when we go to Lake Mead for winter vacation. I have a growing collection of stitched ornaments that are going to go on it so we can have a little Christmas at Echo Bay. Thanks, Angela!!!!

It's Not a Democracy...

just because a majority votes a certain way. It's not a democracy when a majority can take away the rights of the minority. A democracy PROTECTS the minority.

In addition, when you insert RELIGION into government, you are in fact violating the constitution. We are supposed to have not only freedom OF religion, but freedom FROM religion.

Helen says it better:

"If marriage is an institution supported by this country then it must be made available to all of its citizens according to the law. If however, it is strictly a religious institution then a constitutional amendment determining who can and cannot have access to it is sort of missing the point. Religious freedom except for people who are not religious is a mutually exclusive concept. And if we keep going down this path the concept of a Christ-like Christian will become an oxymoron."

Just my two cents, whether you agree with me or not.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

10-0 !

(Class of 1979)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ice Queen - Raise the Roof Designs

I got lucky and found the Swarovski crystals at Joann! I stitched this on 32-count linen, and finished it as a pinkeep-type ornament. I gave it to my friend Claudia yesterday for her tree.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's Been A Long Wait

In January of 2005, I put this bracelet on. It says THINK BLUE 11/04/08. I've never taken it off - and have proudly explained to anyone and everyone who asked about it what it said and meant. I told myself that eventually I could take it off for the right reason - President Barack Obama.

I told my sister this morning that I'd have a "ceremonial removal of the wristband," and would cut it into little pieces. So, there it is.

I can't wait to see how our country changes and how the world reacts to this. I really don't know what else to say - except that watching Jesse Jackson cry tears of joy said it all just now. I am so proud to be an American.