Nov 27, 2014

Stitch From Stash - November


It's the second to the last month of the Stitch From Stash challenge coordinated by Mel at Epic Stitching.  The idea of SFS is to stitch from our stash to reduce spending. 

I started the year off doing sooooo well.  September, October, and November has not seen such greatness.  While I did better this month than I did last month, I ended up buying more on stash.  Although it doesn't count toward the challenge... I've sold quite a bit more than that on my stash-for-sale FB page than I've spent.  So for me, it more than makes up for what I bought.  So what did I buy?  Behold....



The entire Snapperville series ~ Bent Creek
 
Long Winter ~ Bent Creek
 
13th Colony series ~ By The Bay Needleart

Winter Cottage Boxer ~ Lizzie Kate
 
Merry Minis ~ Waxing Moon Designs
 
Winter Cove ~ By The Bay Needleart


The Four Seasons chartpack ~ Lorri Birmingham




Sheepish Seasons chartpack series ~ Full Circle Designs

Total Spent:  $43.50

New Starts from Stash: Christmas Ornie from JCS Ornament Issue, Sledding Friends Penguin
WIPs or UFOs worked on: Balloon Glow, Midnight Watch
Finishes: Sledding Friends Penguin
 
Until next time,
 

Nov 24, 2014

Marvelous Monday Update 11/24/14

WHERE DID AUTUMN GO?
Sadly, the nice autumn weather has been replaced by brutal cold winds and a bit of snow.  Here a bit of snow... Buffalo, NY now that's a whole other story!  Before the cold weather set in, I was going on daily walks during my lunch hour....





All those pretty colors have been replaced by leafless, stark trees and foliage.  :(

This guy was hanging out in a tree enjoying a snack!

GREEN THUMB
I can't remember if I've ever talked about my Mom's green thumb.  She LOVED plants... and when I say that, I mean LOVE...LOVE...LOVED them!  Ever since I can remember, she always had plants and flowers.  At one time, my parent's house had so many that you'd swear it was a greenhouse.

Much to my Dad's chagrin, to enable her us kids would buy her trees, plants, and bulbs for her to plant outside.  She loved them, so what was the harm, right?!

Mom's favorite plant was the Christmas Cactus.  Or Thanksgiving Cactus. Or Easter Cactus.  When she was living with me, she insisted we bring her large Christmas Cactus so she could see it.  Of course, we complied and I set it at the foot of her bed.  Every day, she'd tell me to open the shades of the window so it could get light.  She has had this cactus FOREVER and it's huge.  It's just starting to bud out right now and when it blooms, I'll share a photo.  Meantime, I have another one of her cactus that bloomed a few weeks ago:


Pink/Fushia/Burgundy were her favorite colors.  It's like a little piece of Mom is still with us through her plants.  I just hope I can keep them alive!  Incidentally, my brother is going to have that photo put on his arm as a tattoo tribute to Mom.


NEIGHBORS
As I said in my previous post, my neighbors are "in the process" of moving.  Going on three weeks now, they're still moving stuff!  They own the house and it's not been put up for sale so I imagine they're taking their sweet time.  They started to dismantle the dog kennels, but apparently got tired or something because they stopped after getting most of it moved.


That white stuff you see isn't snow.  It's dog hair!  For days, I wondered where all the large pieces of dog hair came from.... on my outdoor steps, in my hedges... everywhere!


This is their crap between our garages.  It's actually a lot better than it normally is.  They have stuff strewn all the way to the back as you can see and even shoved behind their garage.  Stuff that should be taken to a junk yard.


STITCHY STUFF
I've been putting stitches in on Balloon Glow during my lunch hour.  It goes pretty fast since most of the stitches are halfsies.


I've also started an ornament for an exchange I signed up for.  No pics, though.  Can't show until it gets to the recipient.  I will say that I must be insane to stitch it over-one on 28ct... 'nuf said.


SILHOUETTE PORTRAIT

Guess what arrived last Monday? The Silhouette Portrait I won on CraftGossip! It only took 2 weeks from notification to delivery.  I've been so busy finishing up the exchanges I'm in that I haven't even had time to take the Portrait out of the box. How sad is that? Hopefully, after next week I can play with it. Anyone have this or a Cameo that can share some tips/tricks? New toys.... gotta love 'em!


STASH FOR SALE
The other day, I innocently started looking through my stash.  Next thing I know, I was purging stuff I liked but knew I'd probably never get around to stitching.  I ended up with a huge pile.


My purging might be your gain!  I've listed all this stuff on my Stash For Sale Facebook page HERE.  All prices are in USD and I will ship internationally with a minimum $20 order.  I also have a bunch of stuff listed on my Stash For Sale blog HERE.

TREASURE HUNTING
Not my usual type of post for "treasures", but I was so proud of my shopping skills I had to share.  For a while now, I've been complaining about contemplating replacing my 15-year old Black & Decker iron.  The poor thing has been put through the paces over the years, including being knocked on the floor a time or two.  The teflon coated sole plate started peeling a couple years ago and last year, I peeled some of it off because it was annoyingly bothersome.

While out an about over the weekend, I looked at irons at JoAnn Fabrics and Shopko.  I looked at B&D's, Rowenta's, Shark's, as well as others.  I decided to go with the Shark Ultimate Professional Model GI505.  It was "on sale" for $54.99 with no rainchecks *gasp*....


I'm anal all about researching and contemplating products before buying.  Of course, I do my research online.  Lo and behold, I found the same iron for sale on Amazon for $49.99 plus free shipping with a no cost 30-day trial subscription to Amazon Prime -and- $30 credit if I applied for a Amazon Rewards Visa card.  I was all over it! 


Final price for the iron:  $19.99!  Woo Hoo!!

Until Next Time,
 


Nov 6, 2014

Terrific Thursday 11/6/14

NEIGHBORS
For over two years, my sanity and peace has been disrupted by the backyard dog breeding neighbors on the north side of The Homestead.  More about them HERE.  Two weeks ago, I was pulled from my slumber at 10:30pm by one of the dogs barking... and barking... and BARKING.  After 20 minutes, I called the local constable office.  When the officer showed up, the dog was still barking "very loudly" (his words).  He tried to contact the neighbors (who were not home).  He issued them a citation.  The dog did not stop barking until close to midnight.  About 10 minutes after it stopped barking, the neighbors arrived home.  Last week, one of the dogs was howling.  This incident went on for over an hour.  Again, the constable was called and another citation issued.  I am SURE the neighbors are highly PO'd at me.

About a week and half ago, I observed the neighbors moving furniture from their house.  I had suspected they were moving.  Since one of the dogs was still outside in the kennels, I didn't dare hope too much.  However, the second officer confirmed to me that they were "in the process" of moving.

Can you say GREAT BIG HAPPY DANCE?!?  All the dogs are gone now and the neighbors are in the process of tearing down the kennels.  Woo Hoo!

HALLOWEEN
Most employers state morale is important to the success of the company.  Few do much to boost employee morale.  My employer is the only company I’ve ever worked for that actually does support and promote it.  We even have an employee driven Morale Committee!

One of the moral boosting activities is the annual Halloween Costume Contest, parade, and trick-or-treat. 

The morning starts off with the parade throughout the entire office for those who have “dressed up”.  Photos are then taken and voting commences through an online survey.  At the end of the day, “individual” and “group” winners are announced.


(Clickable for larger images)

The winners this year were:  One Night Stand and Hooters Alumni (These three ladies do group costumes every year and have won every year for quite a while!).

Then between 4:30-5pm, children and grandchildren of employees are invited to go from cubicle to cubicle to do trick-or-treating.  This year, I provided candy at my desk for the kiddos.  There were quite a few Captain Americas and Princesses!

Here's some TBT (Throw Back Thursday):

 My siblings and I - Circa 1977-78

My neices - Halloween 1997

STITCHY STUFF
I haven't had a lot of time to stitch since I've been spending a good part of every weekend at my parent's house cleaning, organizing, and packing up things.  Hard to believe it's been two months for my Mom and four months for my Dad.  Memories of being with them both are still so vivid.

I've put some time in on Balloon Glow during a couple lunch hours at work.

Other WIP pics can be seen HERE.

I've had one quick finish.  I stitched up another Sledding Friends Penguin.  I used miscellaneous cotton threads leftover from kits.  I think it turned out cute.

Design: Sledding Friends
Designer: Foxwood Crossings
Fibers:  Unknown cotton threads
Stitched on 14ct brown perforated paper
  
MORE THOUGHTFULNESS
As most of my readers and stitchy friends know, both my parents passed away in July and September.  After my Dad passed, my siblings and I were so busy trying to help Mom.  Things were crazy, to put it mildly. Things fell through the cracks.  I just realized today that I didn’t share the lovely things sent to me after my Dad’s passing.

First, are these lovely fabric angels from Karen A. They have been hanging in my dining room since I received them.  I have never seen them before and think they are so pretty.


Thank you for thinking of me, Karen!

While on vacation, Debbie B found beautifully embroidered zippered bags.  They're perfect for scissors, needles and other gadgets.  I was the lucky recipient of one.

Thank you Debbie!

GIVEAWAYS
Nancy over at Victorian Motto Sampler is doing 25 Days of Christmas giveaways. Click on over and see the wonderful things she has.

WINNER! WINNER!
Back in August, one of the Yahoo groups I belong to hosted “flash giveaways” for about a week. It was a lot of fun to see what was going to pop up as a giveaway and like the lottery… to see if I won.  I won an adorable Lizzie Kate chart pack and an Artecy chart.



This week, I was SO surprised to find out that I won a Silhoutte Portrait from CraftGossip.  From over 550 entries, I was one of two winners.  I never thought I'd win, but figured, "You can't win if you don't play."  Right?  Right.  I am so excited... can't wait to get it!


In case you're wondering, the Silhouette Portrait is an electronic cutting machine.  Like a printer, It plugs into a computer via USB cable.  It has the capability of cutting paper, cardstock, fabric and vinyl up to 8" wide and 10 feet long.  Unlike the Cricket machines, the Silhouttes don't require purchasing design cartridges (which are costly at $30 a pop).  Instead designs can be purchased from the online store for 50cents to $1.99 each.  Or, your own designs can be imported.  A $10 gift card to the online store is included, too!  I am so looking forward to playing with this.

Until Next Time,
 

Oct 27, 2014

Stitch From Stash - October


Here we are in the last quarter of the Stitch From Stash challenge coordinated by Mel at Epic Stitching.  The idea of SFS is to stitch from our stash to reduce spending. 

I did even worse this month than I did in September.  I spent $73 on a boat load of Sampler and Antique Needlework magazines and one UK Cross Stitch Crazy as well as several charts.  Even though there are some charts in the Sampler magazines, I really got them for the articles.  Hey, wait... isn't that what men say about Playboy?! 

 




 
Whew!  I was a naughty girl...
 
New Starts from Stash: Midnight Watch
WIPs or UFOs worked on: Balloon Glow, Heart of America
Finishes:  Heart of America
 
Until next time,
 

Oct 25, 2014

Stupendous Saturday 10/25/14

Happy Saturday!

I woke up early... early as in it was still dark outside.  The sky was still filled with stars.  Beautiful stars.  I am looking foward to the day because I get to go shopping!  With everything going on since April, this shopping day will be like a mini vacation away from EVERYTHING:  housework, laundry, cleaning out my parents house, dealing with estate stuff.  I need time away... really, I do!  So, that's my plan and I'm sticking to it.  (Even if I feel a bit guilty with all the "work" that still needs to be done.)

Now that I've shared what my stupendous Saturday is going to be like, I can regale you with other things I've been up to:

TREASURE HUNTING
Not that I've had a lot of time lately to treasure hunt, but I've gotten lucky with a few lovely finds over the past few months. 

Some of you may know that I love photography... just as much as stitching!  Love cameras, photographs, taking photographs, gadgets, and oh how I enjoy finding unique frames!  For years, I have wanted a digital photo frame.  I didn't want a cheapo one, but I couldn't justify paying a hefty price for a really nice one.  Look what I found for a mere $15:


I know, I know. It doesn't look very exciting right now but it will when I put photos in it!  It's an HP 8" digital photo frame in dark expresso.  It comes with a remote control, too.  It was still in the box in the original wrapping.  The funny thing is... It's been at the thrift store for weeks priced at $39.99.  When I saw it had been marked down to $14.99, I couldn't resist.  This frame sells on Amazon for $80.  So, so happy with my purchase!

Want to hear how anal indecisive I am with certain purchases?  Sure you do.  When I saw it in the thrift store, I thought: "Oh my god, I LOVE it!"  Then I saw the price tag... Did I really want to pay that much?  I made a bargain with myself.  "Self," I said, "if it's still there after you finishing shopping the rest of the store, then seriously consider it.  If it's meant to be, it will still be there when you get done shopping."  LOL, silly aren't I?  So, I did just that.  I continued to peruse the rest of the store... actually, I did go back and look at it at least three times.  Crazy, I know.  When I finished browsing, there it was and I brought it home.  What was it, you're wondering?

A beautiful (and I do mean beautiful!) oak jewelry armoire.  It is so similiar to my bedroom set, if one didn't know better they'd think it came as a set.  The photo really doesn't do it justice.



I consider it a piece of furniture as it stands 39" tall.  It's a well built armoire compared to smaller ones I've seen in stores.  My guess is that it cost around $300 when it was new.  I feel I got it for a steal at $65.  My only dilemma is that I don't want to get rid of my smaller jewelry boxes.  One my parents gave to me for Christmas when I was a teenager, and the other two I've had forever.  *sigh*  Believe it or not, I have contemplated using it as a floss cabinet.  It'd be perfect for that!

I did a slight modification in that I put felt under the legs so that it wouldn't scratch my hardwood floors.  The BF tightened up the screws for the legs and the piano hinge that allows the mirrored top to be opened.

After the above finds, this one pales in comparison.  Even though I'm much more particular about thrift store stash acquisitions, I still can't resist a good floss deal.  For less than $1, I got this:


I think I'm good for DMC 816 for a while, don't you?
 
My next "find" isn't as exciting as the previous ones, but a great find nonetheless.  Both my brother and BF have this.  They say it's awesome for keeping shoes, boots, and gloves dry.  Retailing for $40, I picked up a new-in-the-box Peet Boot Dryer for less than $5.  Score!  It's quiet and will come in handy.

 


STITCHY STUFF
I haven't gotten around to stitching the buttons on Heart of America yet, but I have been steadily plugging away at Midnight Watch.  I've made quite a few substitutions because I didn't have all the GAST and WDW the chart called for.  Plus, I didn't particularly care for some of the colors in the design either.  Mix it up, I did!


Since the above photo was taken, I've done quite a bit more.  I guess I should put out a new photo:


THOUGHTFULNESS
I continue to receive condolence cards and I must say that you stitchers have brought tears to my eyes with your thoughtful and caring words of comfort.  My heartstrings have definitely been pulled as I read the cards. Some of you I have met in real life and others only online, but I tell you what -- You guys (gals) are wonderful!  Thank you with all my heart for your kindness.

Yesterday, I was surprised to see a package sticking out of my mailbox.  I scanned my brain quickly, but I couldn't remember ordering anything.

 
Inside the box was a prayer shawl crocheted by Berly in Missouri.  She and I have "known" each other online for at least seven years.  We met in real life a couple years ago at a retreat.  I can't tell you how touched I was to receive such a gift and condolence card.  Thank you so much, Berly.  I have already showed it to a couple of my siblings. :)

I think that about does it for now.

Until next time,