Thursday, September 29, 2016

National Coffee Day

In celebration National Coffee Day I thought I would post a photo of some of the Starbucks mugs Phil and I have collected over the years. One of the first things we do when traveling to a new place is to check to see whether or not there is a mug we can pick up. I reckon every one of these mugs has a story behind it. I'm pretty sure I screamed in excitement when we found the Hamptons mug while sightseeing in New York City. We drove an hour out of our way to pick up Philadelphia and Pittsburgh at a rest stop. When our flight from Ft. Meyers was cancelled and Phil had to drive like mad in the wee hours of the morning so we could catch another flight home, I was happy to score another mug at the Orlando airport. There were the looooong lines for the Disney World mugs and an even longer uphill hike for Niagra Falls. Some are vacation souvenirs and sometimes we were just passing through a "mug city". But from Alaska to Vegas, it's been a lot of fun!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fall Stitching Basket

Okay... yeah...

I might need to narrow it down a bit...

Monday, September 26, 2016


Well, I didn't get my September Prairie Year finished in two days, but I did finish it in three! Woohoo! Go me! I seem to be on a roll!

Here's what the entire piece looks like so far...
It's looking pretty darn good! Only three more months to go!

Phil and I have been doing a lot of work out back on the bluff since the wall and stairs are finished. Okay, it's mostly Phil doing the work but I try to find ways to contribute. We pulled up all the volunteer squash plants (yes, we had more this year!) and we're getting ivy planted with the hopes it will take off and cover the whole bluff.

We've been having ducks visit every day and I try to have a treat for them if we're outside...
They are getting tamer and tamer and will come up and take the food right out of your hand. I have a feeling these might be the babies I watched grow up all summer because there are eight in the group. Happy to see they all made it to

Friday, September 23, 2016

Hooray! It's Fall!

It's time to embrace all things Fall! I'm jumping right in with my Starbucks Fall Blend, a delicious gas station apple pie, and a fresh Yankee Candle! This afternoon I plan to put together my Fall Stitching Basket!

No stitching to report. Phil and I made a trip to Las Vegas last week and I'm still in vacation mode. We had a fabulous time and I was pampered to the extreme with fresh coffee and pastries delivered to my door every morning and poolside Bellinis in the afternoon. I went for the spa treatment one day and was exfoliated, moisturized, buffed, and polished just like in the merry old land of Oz! I'm in desperate need of a reality check after a vacation like that!

I'm hoping to settle in for some stitching and maybe a chick flick or two later! I'm close to finishing my Autumn Prairie Season if I could just make myself sit down and work on what I refer to as the "fussy bits". I'd also like to start on September for my Prairie Year piece but I'm feeling the pressure to finish it in two days like I did August. It's that and my usual struggle with getting the q-snaps just right that keeps me from picking it up. Boy, does that make me sound like I need a stitchy therapist!

Have a great weekend!!!

Friday, September 09, 2016

PS I Love You

Prairie Schooler sure makes it easy to transition into fall stitching! I started this last week and have loved every minute of stitching it! We have all the elements of fall here! A scarecrow, pumpkins, a squirrel with an acorn, corn stalks, crows, and a cornucopia! I'll be adding the falling leaves shortly!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Let's Dance

A Prairie Year - August
by Prairie Schooler

Can you believe it? I finished the August block in two days! Amazing but true! This has to be some sort of record for me! I don't exactly have a history of getting things done in a timely manner!

Here's a piccy of the whole piece thus far...
I might actually get them all finished this year! Hooray!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Prairie Year Continues

I finished my Little House sampler with a few days left to go in August so I thought I better press on with my Prairie Year piece and see just how much I could get done on the August block.
Look at that! Would you ever believe I could get that much stitching done in one day? I am now super motivated to get this finished in the next couple of days! Go me!

Monday, August 29, 2016

ABC Sampler

ABC Sampler No. 1
Little House Needleworks
stitched on 28-ct. Light Mocha linen
with Classic Colorworks, GAST, and DMC

Not the best photo but I wanted to start the week off with a finish!


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Summer Returns

Yes, I realize in my last post I had switched gears and decided it was officially time to begin my fall stitching. Then I found a ready-made frame in my stitching room and decided that I might try my hand at finishing off a bigger piece. And I don't mean pizza! I found my PS July sampler in Ye Olde Box o' Fups and thought it would be a perfect fit. What do you think?
I admit that it's a bit wonky. Trying to get those side borders perfectly straight just wasn't happening. This is one of those rare times when I decided to just let it go.

(And now I'll have that song from Frozen stuck in my head for the rest of the day.)

Another true confession... the sampler is in no way, shape, or form affixed permanently in the frame. The idea is to swap it out for other PS seasonal samplers of the same size during the year. It also means at some point in time I will probably take the whole thing apart and sit there with a ruler making sure those borders are perfectly straight.

Now it's time for some stitching! Just as soon as I finish this pizza...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Sheep of a Different Color

So yesterday I decided it was high time I got my head out of the bag of Fritos, switched off Flip or Flop, and did some stitching. I picked up my Little House ABC Sampler and before I knew it I had finished the house and started on the area just below it. I figured I'd stitch the tiny girl first and then start on the sheep. Only when I checked to see what color I needed for them it wasn't white. Or ecru or beige or any other sheepish color. It was Golden Brown. Golden brown sheep? What the heck? So I flip to the photo of the sampler and see that the sheep are instead pumpkins. Pumpkins. As in Fall. I have inadvertently stomped on the brakes of any summer stitching I thought I might still do and have plopped down behind the wheel of a whole 'nother vehicle.
And see the name of the thread I'm substituting for the golden brown DMC? Pumpkin Pie! If I'm not ready for fall then I better get ready!

Excuse me ladies...
I'm off to browse crock pot recipes and shop for the perfect pair of leggings online!

Monday, August 22, 2016


Phil and I have returned from our vacation to Charleston, SC! It was very hot and humid but we still had a lovely visit with his kids and managed to see some sights and eat ourselves silly. One item that kept turning up on the local menus was pimento cheese. Served as an appetizer with pita chips or added to a hamburger, I did my best to sample as many variations as I could. Now that we're home I decided I better make a batch to keep in the fridge for pre-dinner nibbles. Or late night snacks. Or noontime I-can't-decide-what-I-want-for-lunch-so-I'll-just-eat-something-until-I-make-up-my-mind. 

Paula Deen's recipe has always been my go-to for homemade pimento cheese. Of course, I throw a little Paisley into it as well (which generally means I don't measure anything!).
Sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, half a block of cream cheese, the last of the mayo plus a little salad dressing, a blob of pimentos, a dash of garlic powder, and a few twists of the pepper grinder. And voila!
Just like Mom used to make!

(Actually, Mom bought Price's which will always be my fave!)

If you want to make your own and are feeling adventurous I'd suggest adding some chopped jalapeƱos. I would have done it myself but, alas, my insides just can't handle the spicy food these days. 

The sun is shining after a rather rainy/cloudy weekend so I am planning to take a book outside and enjoy a bit of deck time! I joined Once Upon a Book Club and have started reading this month's selection, The Gilded Years. They send a few little wrapped goodies to accompany the book and you open them at specific points as you read. It's a lot of fun and really brings the book to life. I highly recommend it to any readers out there!


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Just Keep Swimming

 I decided to take Dori's advice and just keep swimming. Or stitching, rather. With supplies gathered and a fresh Pepsi by my side, I sat with my nose to the grindstone and finished up my PS July square!

Here's what the whole piece looks like so far...
I did a whole-stash search for any more DMC 520 that will match the color I started with and came up with a skein from a kit that could possibly work. We'll just have to see. I still have most of my last skein left and I'm past the halfway point so I may be able to squeak by.

Phil and I are heading to Charleston, SC bright and early tomorrow morning for a vacation. It's a blast living on a lake in the summer but it'll be nice to get away for a change of scenery.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Putting the "Blah" in Blogging

So today I woke up thinking about orzo salad. Could orzo salad be the key to finding my mojo?
Would it be so wrong to eat lunch at 7:30 in the morning? It's either that or accomplish nothing all day.

Stay tuned!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Proof of Life

Just a quick post to let you know I'm still here before we dive headfirst into the weekend!
I have been stitching. A little. And reading. A lot. And shopping online. Maybe too much. But Nordstrom is having their Anniversary Sale and I can't help myself! (I shopped so much my wireless mouse burned out on me! True story!)

Anyhoosie, no big plans this weekend. We were in Chicago last weekend because the Texas Rangers were in town to play the Cubbies so we had to be there! And yes, I clocked a good five miles of walking on Michigan Avenue! All I came home with was one pair of (absolutely fabulous!) sandals and a blister (hence the online shopping) but the journey is half the fun, amirite?

Off we go! Have a great one, y'all!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Day Three

ABC Sampler is off to a great start after yesterday's Stitch-In! I was invited out for dinner and pinball so my evening stitching time was scratched from the schedule. One can't stay cooped up every day, even during a Stitch-In!

And I can now add "Master Magician" to my list of accomplishments!
It was a joint effort but that is our high score! We are The Bomb!

I haven't decided if I'm starting a new project today or if I'll continue working on My ABC Sampler since I didn't get as much done on it as I'd hoped. I guess we'll call this the Anything Can Happen segment of our Stitch-In!

Let's do this!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Day Two

I'm declaring Day One of the Second Official Chicken Ottoman Empire Stitch-In a roaring success! I will set aside A Little Liberty today and get started on ABC Samler from LHN.

I've decided to stitch each one separately and found this Light Mocha linen in my stash to use. It's 28-count but It looks really good with the threads and I have at least a yard of it so there should be plenty to go around.

It's an absolutely gorgeous morning here at the lake. I've been out on the deck taking pictures of our duck family to send to Phil. I did a head count and we still have all eight babies! I'm very relieved since one little guy tends to lag behind the rest!

Okay! Time to grab my brekkie and head upstairs to the Empire! (I'm hoping some fruit will counteract all the junk I've been eating! I'd show you a picture of my snack stash but I'm afraid you'd lose all respect for me!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Day One

I officially kicked off the Second Official Chicken Ottoman Empire Stitch-In last night with a big dish of my favorite Jalapeno Popper Dip...
I could eat the whole thing!
(And trust me, I will!)

Then I punched the magic button for the fireplace, turned on the Home Run Derby, and settled in for some stitching!

And here's my progress on July...
I haven't quite decided if I'm doing the LHN ABC Samplers individually or as one big piece. I'm leaning towards individually so I can make them into fancy little pillows to display in a bowl. In the meantime I will get started on A Little Liberty from Lizzie Kate...
I have my comfiest clothes on, snacks at the ready, and a refreshing peppermint-eucalyptus spritzer in case I need a little pick-me-up! I just need to finish my coffee and swap the laundry out and I'll be off and running!


Monday, July 11, 2016


We had a great weekend here at the Chicken Ottoman Empire... stitching-wise, lake-wise, eating-way-too-much-food-wise. I made a half decent start on my July Prairie Year which has me super happy. This one should go quick... a lot of red, white, and blue, which is perfect for this time of year. (Funny how that works when you're actually stitching the block for the month you're currently... um... monthing in?)

Phil took me down to LaPorte on Saturday so I could do some shopping at the House of Stitches! He's such a good sport when it comes to helping me pick out patterns and thread! He's not one to sit outside in the car and wait for me while I hurry through my selections. He comes in and asks questions and gives opinions and tells me to take my time. Here's a snappity-snap of the goodies I picked up...
I desperately wanted the new Little House ABC Sampler but was told they were sold out. Luckily we found one in the "new releases" bin and I literally did a happy dance in the middle of the shop! I picked up the threads I needed and all I need to do now is find the perfect fabric in my stash and I'll be off and running!

I'm still planning to hold my Second Official Chicken Ottoman Empire Stitch-In! I have plenty of great summer projects thanks to HoS and Phil, so now all I need to do is make a run to the grocery store for foodies and drinkies and then settle in for three straight days of nuthin' but stitchin'!
(and eatin' and drinkin'!)

Friday, July 08, 2016

June Finish!

My June Prairie Year is finished!
I can finally stop pretending it's still June and turn my calendar over to July!

Here's what the entire piece looks like thus far...
I just realized I am officially at the halfway point!
Double woohoo!

Phil will be out of town next week so I'm planning the second annual Chicken Ottoman Empire Stitch-a-Thon! Complete with a trip to House of Stitches in LaPorte tomorrow so I can stock up on supplies!
Triple woohoo!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Still June-ing

I'm really (really!) hoping to finish my June Prairie Year block today. I'm just about done with the big flower and the mis-matched green border has been ripped out. I restitched part of it yesterday to get a feel for whether or not I'll be leaving the leaves as they are. Chances are I will, considering how much I want to get this done! My laziness really shines through at times like this!

We had a nice 4th of July weekend here at the lake, despite the skies being a bit cloudy and the temperatures a little cooler than we would have preferred. At least it didn't rain and we were able to take the boat out a couple of times and see plenty of fireworks. I took all of two pictures the whole entire weekend so here ya go...
This is the back of the house (Castle Khaki?) as seen from our dock. The wall is progressing nicely and we're hoping the quote for new steps doesn't come back so extraordinarily high that we decide to risk life and limb on the old steps for a couple more years. They are about the last thing remaining from the fire so they're not in the best condition.

And here is picture number two...
This is Bella enjoying a nice ride on the boat. Looking at the blue sky there I'm thinking this may have actually been taken on a different day. I really outdid myself with the total lack of picture taking! But then I would have had to put down whatever it was I happened to be eating or drinking at the time in order to snap a photo or two! Well done, me!

Thanks for stopping by! I'm off to stitch! Woohoo!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Wall

Continuing with my Game of Thrones theme here, I bring you...

The Wall
We are having a retaining wall put in out on the bluff so there's been a lot of tractors and bricks and workmen and noise this week. 

Oh, and dirt...

A lot of dirt!

As you can tell by these pictures, I don't venture outside much while all of this is going on.

I did try to get a picture of the ducklings who come to visit us every morning...

It's difficult to make them out because they're the same color as the dirt but you can see their ducky shadows. Sort of. They have grown so much in just a couple of weeks. Must be all the scraps they are getting from the workmen. There are eight of them in all and their mother has been doing a good job keeping them safe. I count them every day to make sure they are all still accounted for.

Hoping soon I can show you pictures of the completed wall. Right now it's a mess out there. We are still planning to have company for the 4th of July weekend. I might need one of those
"Excuse Our Dust" signs!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Girl Has No Stitching

Phil and I have been watching Game of Thrones on Sunday nights (along with the other 7/8 of the human population!). We like to have theme dinners that revolve around the show because, well, we're just kinda odd that way. We've had fried chicken on The Hound Night (not nice, juicy mutton chops because that would be mean). Wine (and trivia, because we have to show that we know things!) on Tyrion Night. Dragon Wings (okay they were Buffalo wings) on Daenerys Night. Wine (again) on Cersei Night and so on and so forth. (You'll be happy to know we did not have Thenn Night!) For the season finale last Sunday I made a quick and simple version of something resembling a cottage pie. And we dubbed it...

Hot Pie!

(It was delicious!)

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Frogging We Will Go

So I finally get the ole q-snaps on relatively straight. At least straight enough where I'm not constantly trying to readjust them. I settle myself on the loveseat with an ice cold Pepsi and the Rangers game on TV. Just the ticket for a Sunday afternoon. I'm making good progress on my June Prairie Year, stitching some leaves, working on the border. I'd had to grab a new skein of 520 out of my stash for this square because I'd used up the first skein. But it's DMC. No worries on colors matching, right?


I've never in my 30+ years of stitching had this happen! I grabbed another skein out of my stash to compare them and sure enough, the one I'd been using is lighter! I dug the little paper dealies out of the trash to make sure I hadn't grabbed the wrong number by mistake but no, I wasn't crazy, it said 520. I'm considering leaving the leaves (haha, that's funny!) and just restitching the border since that's the most noticeably different part.

I really really really wanted to get this one done before the end of the month so I better hop to it!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wonky Wednesday

Is there a trick to getting q-snaps on straight???

After several tries and much fiddling this is the best I could manage.

  Does anyone have any tips???

Monday, May 09, 2016

Stitch Maynia - Week Two

For my second Stitch Maynia project I chose the May Word Play from With Thy Needle and Thread. I love all the little motifs! It should stitch up pretty quick too!

No photo update for my May Prairie Year block. For whatever reason my camera suddenly decided to stop focusing. I'm not quite finished with it but it's close... just a few more flowers in the basket and I'll be able to do the Dance of Happy!

And speaking of flowers, I had a perfectly wonderful Mother's Day Weekend! We went to the Tigers game on Saturday. Or was it the Rangers game? We follow both teams so it was a ton of fun rooting for both sides! On Sunday I had 2/3 of my kids here with me to celebrate with a yummy quiche for brunch! They brought flowers and chocolate and a bunch of fun treats! I was super spoiled!

This day is flying by so I better find something to watch on the telly and get busy with my stitching!

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

One Window School House

You would think that after the construction delays with Jacob's Grist Mill, I would never be awarded another contract in the Village! My low-ball bid for the project was rather reluctantly accepted by the city planners, supplies were ordered, and work has begun on the new school house.

I hear the children in the village are ecstatic at the prospect of an extended summer break!

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Tuesday Bluesday

This was the scene in the Chicken Ottoman Empire this morning. So full of sunshine and crafty potential.

And then the migraine set it.

I'm headed for the couch, a comfy blanket, and a chick flick or two!

After all, tomorrow is another day!

Monday, May 02, 2016

Stitch Maynia

We're off and running on the May Prairie Year block! It took me two tries to get the flower dealies in the top corners right so the rest of the border is a bit suspect. Here's hoping the neighbors won't be hearing any screams of frustration coming from the Empire!

A little Paisley trivia...
This particular basket of flowers has been seen before on my blog! Back in the dark ages of the internet I'd participated in a round robin on CompuServe (yes, I'm old!) and one of my CISters had stitched this design for me. I turned it into a little hanging pillow in one of my first attempts at finishing. You can see the post here.

In other news...
I'm a little late to the party but I joined the Stitch Maynia group on Facebook. I don't have time to do 15 new starts in 15 days so I decided to do an abbreviated version and try having a new start every week this month. As you may have guessed, the May block is my start for Week One! I haven't decided on what I'm doing for the other three so we'll just plan on doing a big reveal each Monday. Sound like fun? You betcha!

We finally have a little blue sky after a gloomy weekend so I'm off to enjoy it before the clouds and rain sneak back in!

Have a lovely Monday!

Friday, April 29, 2016

April Finish!

Fresh off the Q-Snaps is my April block from
A Prairie Year! I'm hoping the rest of them stitch up this quickly!

Here's a picture of January through April...
This means I'm officially 1/3 of the way done with this project! More importantly I am back on track to finish one each month! Woohoo!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bun Done!

What a handsome bunny! I finished him up yesterday afternoon so now it's on to the border! I should be able to get this finished before the end up of month! Woohoo!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tuesday Progress

I'm not going to win any speed records for my stitching!

I made a little more progress on my April PS Year... a little more of the bunny's body, his white tummy and tail, and two bunny feet. I would say I'm almost to the halfway point on this one.

I finished the L on Shop last night while watching the Blackhawks game. There's also a little bit of the O there, and one of the shopping bags started.

We had quite a storm last night with thunder, lightning, and hail! All's quiet today but it's very chilly out. I think I'll turn on the fireplace, get under a blanket, and work on some stitching for the rest of the afternoon!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Flea Market Finds

I thought I would share a few of my flea market purchases from last week!

I loved this duck (or is he a goose?) the second I saw him! He is sitting on the buffet near the front door where he can greet everyone who comes to visit!

I've always loved Debbie Mumm so when I saw this little teapot I had to scoop it up. I have it sitting on a bakers rack with a bunch of my bird houses. I do have a thing for birds!

Here's the rest of the bakers rack. It might be time to do some rearranging on it.

This set of salt and pepper shakers had to come home with me! I was looking for little things to add to the centerpiece I try to do for each season. I haven't put together one for spring yet but it's on my To Do list.

Naturally I had to grab this cute paper banner! Birds!

Phil is away for a couple of days on a short business trip so I think I will try to get the house all spiffed up and spring-ified for when he gets home! I'm also going to do a major closet clean out. I have a ton of new things from Stitch Fix so I need to make sure it's all front and center so I don't keep reaching for the same old faded jeans and sweatshirt combo!

Happy Monday!