Monday, December 26, 2011

A Little More Christmas Stitching

I am determined to finish Christmas is Forever before the end of the year. Only one more "moteef" left and then the rest of the verse. Highly doable, even at my slow pace, as long as I don't get too fussy about the umpteen thousand letters I have to stitch. I counted them all when I started working on it last night and realized I wasn't even halfway done. I also found a mistake so I'll be frogging two of them. I know that doesn't sound bad but I turn into Rain Man when I'm stitching a lot of letters like this, obsessively counting them over and over, adding and subtracting so I know how many I've done and how many I have left to do. If it wasn't for all my counting and re-counting, I might actually be done!

I really need to find a support group.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

White Chicken Chili

Ah yes! Another post about food! But 'tis the season to eat, drink, and be merry and, by gum, I plan to do all three!

At the risk of repeating myself I have to say this stuff is gooo-oood! My sister-in-law, Tammey, introduced me to white chili a couple of years ago and, well, it had me at hello. Our "go to" recipe comes from Cook's Country magazine, and we pretty much follow it verbatim except for substituting chicken breasts for the thighs. I have an extremely low tolerance for dark meat chicken. We also leave out the fresh cilantro which I have an even lower tolerance for after having a job that required me to chop mountains of the stuff. One whiff of cilantro and I'm on the floor in a fetal position sucking my thumb. Luckily I don't have the same reaction to the dried, flakey variety so we use that instead. Now, this recipe has a secret ingredient that really sets it apart from any other recipe we tried: a can of white hominy, drained, rinsed, and pureed. It smells gross (oh ye of the sensitive nose) and pureed beans look exactly how you'd think they'd look (ick!), but it really does add a lot of flavor and helps to thicken the chili. Plus it's easy to deal with the hominy when the recipe also includes this:

Four chopped jalapenos! Hoo doggie! These bad boys should come with a warning label: Do not touch any part of your body for 24 hours after handling! No amount of hand washing seems to help, either. You just have to let it wear off.

Anyhoosie, if you're tired of the same ol' same ol' and want to mix it up a bit, give this white chicken chili a try! The recipe can be found online right here:

White Chicken Chili


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Peppermint Bark

Let me tell you, this stuff is goooo-ooood! Bordering on addictive! And it's so amazingly simple to make, I just have to share the recipe with you:

Peppermint Bark (courtesy of Miss Paula Deen)

1 cup crushed candy canes
2 pounds white chocolate
Peppermint flavoring, optional

Place candy canes in a plastic bag and crush into 1/4-inch chunks or smaller. (I smacked mine with a rolling pin. Quite satisfying if you're feeling a little Bah Humbug-ish!)) Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Combine candy cane chunks with melted chocolate (add peppermint flavoring at this point if desired). Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm. Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces.

Notes: I didn't want to mess with the whole double boiler thing so I just zapped my chocolate in the microwave, 15 seconds at a time, stirring until it was smoothy smooth. I also added enough peppermint flavoring to make my eyes burn but can't say that it made a huge difference in the final product.

And what would a stitchy blog be without some stitching! It's not much but here is my progress on Christmas Is Forever:

Good thing Christmas is forever because there's no way I'll have this finished before the 25th!

That's about it for me! Wishing everyone holiday cheer!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holy Cow!

It is my honest belief that the cows that give the milk used to make Bluebell Ice Cream must truly come from heaven. It's that good! But how did this Texas girl end up with two half gallons of "Little Creamery" yumminess in her Michigan freezer?? I'll tell you how!! My boyfriend Phil (also heaven-sent!) made a secret trip down to Kokomo, IN (the nearest place to buy Bluebell) in order to surprise me for my birthday. He also brought back five different pints along with the two half gallons. It's like having my own Bluebell Ice Cream parlor! (One that doesn't bother with bowls... I confess to eating it straight from the carton!)

The ice cream was not the biggest surprise, however! Phil also gave me a traditional Claddagh ring he had made especially for me in Ireland!
It's not quite an engagement ring but it does symbolize our commitment to each other. The hands represent friendship, the heart love, and the crown loyalty. I feel so blessed to be the person Phil chose to wear this ring!

In stitchy news, I've been working on Lizzie Kate's Christmas Is Forever.
This is the special edition kit from 2008 so I figure it's about time I got 'er done. It's also one of my Crazy January Challenge projects, but we don't talk about that particular failure!

My son left me a note on the fridge reminding me that Christmas is 10 days away. I've done minimal shopping and decorating so it looks like it's time to push it into hyperdrive. My daughter's last final is today so I'm hoping we can meet her for a quick celebratory lunch before she has to go to work, and then get some shopping done.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit, and I hope you are enjoying the holiday season!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Friday

Instead of pulling something wintery out of my Crazy January Challenge basket, I decided to start a new project. Fancy that! This is a freebie from Plum Street Samplers called Give Thanks. I went with an olive green linen so I'm having to tweek the thread colors just a tad. I really do love fall colors so I'm happy to hold off on the whole winter thing just a little longer.

Phil and I had our six month anniversary yesterday. He sent me this beautiful flower arrangement and tonight we're going out to dinner. I can't tell you what a blessing this man has been in my life. I'm looking forward to so much more with him.

One last picture... Egg found the only spot of sunshine in the house this morning. I almost hated to wake her up, but kitty on the kitchen counter is a big no-no!

Hope everyone has something fun to look forward to this weekend! With dinner out tonight and a potluck on Saturday, I should be as stuffed as any Thanksgiving turkey!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

All Done!

Season of Growth
Little House Needleworks
stitched with DMC on 28-count Antique Ivory linen

At long last, all four seasons are stitched! What a joy it was to work on these! And, hooray! I can scratch another Crazy January Challenge project off my list! There's no way I'll get the rest of them done before the end of the year, but as I mentioned earlier, I'll be rolling them over to the WIPocolypse Challenge! All is well in my Stitchy Universe!

Alas, I totally blew NaBloPoMo this year. My laptop decided to be super uncooperative on a day when I was feeling a mite bit cranky. Not the best combination for posting, so I didn't. And then I didn't some more. It's not every year one gets to fail at two challenges, right!? I'm back into BWO mode, Blogging Without Obligation, which is more my style anyway.

Nothing but gray skies here today, along with some snow flurries. As much as I hate the cold and wet mess that comes with the snow, I do enjoy watching the flakes drift down from the sky. Very relaxing. We've about lost all the leaves off our trees in this area so it's looking a lot like winter outside. My next project is definitely going to be something winter-themed!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's Raining, It's Snowing

Our first snow of the season. It's coming down in big chunks but mixed with rain so it's way too wet for it to stick. Still pretty darn cold out there. Just the sort of day for staying inside and stitching!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Here I Go Again

After what will most certainly be my utter failure at successfully completing the Crazy January Challenge, you would think I would swear off this sort of thing. But today I learned of a new challenge for 2012. The WIPocalypse, brought to us by Measi at Measi's Musings. So the way I see it, all those projects leftover from the CJC can now be WIPocalypse projects and I don't have to worry one bit about what didn't get finished! It's all very encouraging! It reminds me a little of Pug Dog Economics!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Season of Growth Progress

Won't be much longer 'til this one goes in the Fuppie Box!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Who Moved My Zeitgebers?

Not sure if it's the time change or the fact that I had to drag my butt out of bed at 6:00 this morning, but I am totally ready for a nap.

Progress on Season of Growth has been slow (quelle surprise!) so I won't even bother with the blurry picture. I do have high hopes of finishing it this week, though, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I better find some toothpicks to prop open my eyelids if I expect to get anything accomplished today! (And on a rather bizarre note, I have actually had my eyelids held open with long Q-Tippy things during some very uncomfortable surgery. Best not to revisit that memory!)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Dream House Update

Not many changes to be seen from the outside. All of the windows have been installed and we have shingles on the roof. Inside, they have finished most of the framing, installed the HVAC systems, and plumbing and electrical are underway.

This is going to be the shower in the master bathroom. It's almost big enough to need it's own zip code!

You'll have to take my word for it, but we'll have a beautiful view of the lake from the windows in the great room.

The back patio was poured this past week. I wish I'd been able to get a picture of it before the sun set because it really is quite impressive.

The woman behind all these stunning photos, haha!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Ding Dong Class of '66

DING DONG BELL KINDERGARTEN, 1965-1966 (listed alphabetically). Look at those eager young faces.
That's me, front row, second from right. Proof positive that I am a genuine Ding Dong!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Another LHN Season

There are two things I won't be remembered for: my lightning fast stitching, and my faaaaabulous photography skills. I hate to admit that this is the best out of 26 pictures I took. Sheesh!

Anyhoosie, this is my latest project, Season of Growth from Little House Needleworks. Now, if you do want to remember something about me it's that I love all things LHN! I can't think of a more relaxing way to spend an evenening than working on one of Diane's designs. I'm sure many of you agree, they are an absolute joy to stitch. This is the last of the four "Season of..."s I have left to do. Woohoo! Nothing like feeling that sense of accomplishment before you've actually accomplished something!

Looks like we're in for a pleasant weekend here in southwest Michigan. Maybe our last for a while? People keep mentioning the S-word that comes with that W-thing. Here on the Rocky River, we're keeping it Summer just a little longer!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Time Out

Today is being one of those days.

Laptop is completely buggered.

Camera won't stay turned on long enough to take a picture. (Which, yesterday, I couldn't get it to turn off... quelle ironie.)

Even my rechargeable toothbrush seems to have given up on me.

I had stitching to show you, honest Injun, but it will have to wait until the various components of my life decide to cooperate with me.

Until then they'll all be sitting in Time Out. (And with the way this day is going, I'll be starting my own version of Time Out at precisely 5:01pm.)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

What's In Your Q-Snaps?

I fell in love with The Riddle by The Drawn Thread the second I layed eyes on it. Much like my darling Phil who, on our 5th date, drove me to House of Stitches in LaPorte, IN to purchase the pattern and fabric. (If that's not love, I don't know what is!) I have since dubbed this Phil's Sampler. The verse describes him to a tee. He is the most generous man I have ever met, always putting other's needs before his own. He is such a blessing in my life and I love him dearly. My goal is to have this sampler finished by the time the construction of his new home is complete. That should be sometime in January so I need to get my needle in gear!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Blogging For Blogging's Sake

NaBloPoMo 2011

Is it November already?? Fall is having a party and I haven't even bothered to open my invitation!!

National Blog Posting Month is upon us and, even though my blogging has been sporadic of late, I will do my very best to post every day this month. My laptop has been informed of my intention and for it's part has promised not to flake out on me during the next thirty days. I've had to practically give it CPR every morning for the past two weeks so confidence is fairly low!

Click on the badge above if you're interested in coming along for the ride!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall Classic

My boys have once again done me proud!

Game One is Wednesday! I get all giggly thinking about it!

(Have I mentioned I love baseball?)

Thursday, October 06, 2011


I love baseball!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Eat Your Heart Out, Barbie!

With every dream man comes a dream house, right?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Midwest Stash Exchange

Tomorrow is the 5th annual Midwest Stash Exchange at House of Stitches in LaPorte, IN from 10am - 2pm central time. There will also be a block party with fun and games for the kids, so bring the whole family! Have your scissors sharpened while you shop, shop, shop! You just might find that elusive pattern you've been searching for for years!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Their Song... Framed!

I have been horribly remiss in sharing my Mother's Day gift with everyone! My sweet (and totally generous!) children had Their Song framed for me! I'm positively thrilled with how it turned out! The last time I had something professionally framed was back in a year that began with 19... so it's been a while! They couldn't have picked a more perfect gift for me!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

So Happy Together

Obviously there's a reason why my blog posts have been so sporadic as of late, and that reason can be seen in the photo above. There is a new man in my life and I have been completely smitten with him since the day we met. I feel so blessed to have him in my life, and wanted to share my happiness here.

If you need me, I'll be staring into two gorgeous blue eyes. :-)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ladies Only

On a recent trip to Chicago we took a slightly scary but very fast elevator ride up to the 96th floor of the John Hancock building to check out what is rumored to be one of the best views of the city.

Not from the observatory or the lounge...

...but from the ladies' restroom!

What do the men get?


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hot Diggity Dog!

Today is National Hot Dog Day! Pictured above is the popular Chicago style hot dog, which I have to admit to never trying and had never even heard of until moving up north. You know me, I'm a chili cheese kind of girl! We are headed to the Elkhart County Fair this afternoon so maybe I'll get a chance to try a Chicago dog. We have tickets to the REO Speedwagon concert this evening so I'm hoping the rain holds off. We've been having quite a heat wave here so it's nice to have a bit of a break, but can it wait until after the concert? Please?

Much to talk about but unfortunately it's time for me to fly! (Get it?)

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Saturday, April 09, 2011

It's a Happy Bunny Day!

Happy Bunny Bunny Day
by The Trilogy
stitched on 32-count Dirty Belfast Linen with DMC

Long time, no post, right? Can you tell I got the job I applied for? My days of leisure are over! I did find a little free time and managed to finish up this cute little bunny. It's one of my Crazy January Challenge projects so I can cross another one off my list. I think that's three now, so twelve more to go.

In other bunny news, I saw one hopping through our yard today. He made a bee-line for a couple of mourning doves and sent them fluttering up in the air. It was pretty funny! A very playful bunny and two annoyed birds! Our inside bunny is a picky eater and what she leaves in her food bowl we empty out in the yard for the outside critters. I'd like to think this bun found some tasty bits to nibble on.

With all the birds and critters running around the yard, I guess spring has finally arrived. We're still not seeing any leaves popping out on the trees, but the grass is starting to green up and there are a few things sprouting out of the ground. I might actually take a stab at a garden this year. I'd love some fresh peppers and herbs to cook with!

Hope you all are enjoying your weekend and don't have to work like me, haha!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Happy Pillow

This little singing bluebird is from a chart by SamSarah called Sing to Me. I stitched it waaaay back in 2007 on a bit of stitch band that I had gobs and gobs of. I'd always planned to make it into a sort of wrap-around pillow thingy, and finally got around to it today.

I think it's pretty cute in all it's un-perfect-ness. It makes me happy to look at it, too. :-)

I really am thrilled to have my sewing machine up and running. :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

At Last! Some Stitching!

And a finish, no less!

God Bless Those
by Shakespeare's Peddler
stitched on 32 count Vintage Exemplar linen
with Gentle Arts Sampler Threads

This was designed by Theresa to commemorate Egypt's recent struggle for freedom, and sold at the Nashville Market as a limited edition kit. My photo does not do the thread colors justice. They are truly gorgeous.

Theresa finished her's into a small pillow with a chenille trim that suits it to a tee. I'll need to make a trip into town for the trim and some stuffing but I'm hoping to duplicate her finish. I did finally find my sewing machine yesterday, but for some crazy reason I didn't pack the foot pedal in the same box. After spending half the day yesterday digging through boxes and cussing whoever did the packing (that would be me...), I finally gave up and tried to find a replacement online. The only one I found was going to cost me $56! I think of purchases like this in terms of how much stash I could buy with the money, so that just wasn't going to cut it!

This morning I remembered how my Mom used to recite "Baby Jesus, lost and found" when she was looking for something. So I sat down and concentrated on where I thought the foot pedal could be. Baby Jesus, lost and found... Baby Jesus, lost and found... and POOF! it came to me! I knew exactly where it was! I'd stored it in a plastic bin which is why it wasn't in the box with the machine! It didn't take me long to find the bin, and sure enough, inside was the foot pedal! Of course, I'm totally on the hook to actually use the machine now!

No word on the job still. Do you think they found out about the sit-in I staged at my high school back in 1977? Those were good times!

That's about all I have to report today from the hovel. Hope this week has been treating you well!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Treasures from Staci

I recently won Staci's (of Snippets and Stash fame) blogoversary giveaway and was tickled pink to receive these gorgeous stitching accessories, beautifully stitched on what must be Staci-dyed linen. Thanks to Staci, I am no longer a pin cushion-less, floss tag-less stitcher! I will treasure them always! She also sent a collection of 360 DMC flosses, so I am now the best outfitted stitcher in MI! Thank you so much, Staci! You made my week!

There hasn't been much stitching to speak of here. The days have been grey and dreary and positively dull. Spring is taking it's dear sweet time on getting here and I am in the stitching doldrums. Help!

In other news, I took it upon myself to interview for a part-time job earlier this week and, barring them digging up something nasty in my past, I should be gainfully employed soon.

[Incidentally, the illustration in the background of my photo is from a book by Kit Williams, Masquerade, which contained elaborate clues to a real live treasure (a golden filagree hare pendant) which he had buried somewhere in England. It unfortunately ended in a bit of a scandal when the treasure finder was discovered to have cheated.]

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The Cake

I admit it's more of a 'cake wreck' but we did have fun making this traditional King Cake for Mardi Gras.

And it tasted so much better than it looked!

Les bons moments, mes amis!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

It's Fat Tuesday!

Time to sing and dance and eat cake!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Tree Frog

Block 2 of my Village is now complete! As the title of this post suggests, I did end up frogging the willow trees. (See the little pile of gold fuzz?) It wasn't because of a stitching mistake but because I still haven't learned to read and follow directions. I was perfectly happy to leave the trees 'as stitched' and carry on with the remainder of the backstitching. So I'm reading, "Backstitch the tree branches in 315/830." Check! Then I read, "Backstitch the tree leaves in 156/500." Tree leaves? What tree leaves?? I'd just backstitched every tree part in 315! I didn't realize those little diagonal stitches were actually supposed to be leaves and should be stitched in a different color! Oh, the words that flew out of my mouth! They too were of a different color!

Anyhoosie, the story ends well because I do like the trees sooo much better with green leaves and not the monotone gold they were. I also stitched the forgotten 'a' in Isaiah. St. Peter's Church is complete and I can't wait to get started on the next block!

We are going to be heading up to Portage today to run some errands and, as luck would have it, today is also National Pancake Day so we'll be stopping in at IHOP for their annual Children's Miracle Network fundraiser. Short stacks for everyone!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy Dancing to Their Song

Their Song
by Blackbird Designs
stitched on 28 ct. Apple Brown Bindy by R&R Reproductions
with WDW fibers

Yes! It is finally done! I had to look back through my blog archives to see when I started this one and I discovered it was my first new start of 2009. Now it gets to be my third finish for 2011. I'd have to do some more checking but I believe this is also my third Blackbird Designs finish. I only wish I'd discovered them sooner as the prices for some of the out of print charts are more than I can afford. I'll keep hoping to find a deal on Ebay!

Next in the Q-Snaps will be my Village of Hawk Run Hollow. I got the first willow tree done on Block 2 easy peasy, but for some reason I'm going cross eyed with the second one. I'm having so much trouble I'm starting to doubt I stitched the first one correctly! But if it is wrong I'm not about to restitch that thing! So why do I keep looking for a mistake? It's like some sort of stitchy psychosis!

Still no sign of spring here. We're stuck in an infinite loop of snow, melt, refreeze, snow, melt, refreeze. My daughter took this picture of a cedar waxwing in a tree near her apartment trying to eat the frozen berries.

We've been refilling our feeder daily, trying to keep up with the appetites of our local sparrows and cardinals. It was getting a little expensive so we started feeding them the bulk sunflower seeds from the grocery store instead of the fancy cherry-flavored blend. Luckily our guys are not picky eaters. In fact, I've noticed quite a few more finches than we had before and they are some of my favorites, along with the little chickadees.

Today is Thursday and that means it's spaghetti night! (Missy, if you read this, I still use the sauce recipe you sent me so many years ago!) I must be getting ready for a second hiberation or something because my appetite has been out of control this last week. A sure sign that winter isn't over yet... darn!

Thank you all for stopping by! Here's hoping you have your own finish to report soon!

Monday, February 21, 2011

For Lack of Some Moss

I worked on Their Song over the weekend but it remains unfinished for the time being. That single length of WDW Moss is all I have left and it isn't going to be enough. When I bought the fibers for this chart I didn't realize I would need two skeins of Moss and Havana. Luckily I had the Havana in my stash so I was able to finish up all of those bits. And I could swear I'd bought some Moss knowing I was going to need it, but I couldn't find it in any of the usual places. Today might be the day I actually do some organizing around here!

We've been thrown face first back into winter here in SW Michigan. Yesterday started with snow, which then turned to snow and sleet, which then turned to rain and ice. We're back to snow today and it's a mess out there. There are reportedly 85,000 homes in the area without power. I know ours went out at some point during the night because all the digital clocks were flashing this morning. I am counting my blessings because this old house gets pretty darn cold when the furnace isn't running.

Have y'all checked out the new releases from the Nashville market? ABC Stitch has a nice list of them here. My wishy-wanty list has been growing over the last couple of days!

Hope everyone is staying warm, especially if you're in the midst of this latest wintry mess! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Great Backyard Bird Count

I know how much we stitchers love to count, so if you have a spare 15 minutes this weekend, consider participating in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count.

Black-capped Chickadee
(Photo from the GBBC website)