Friday, August 31, 2007

Sight Unseen

Yesterday we went for a long overdue eye check up and picked out the frames for our new eye glass prescriptions! I went with a totally different look than in the past years. Smaller wire frames instead of large plastic ones. We should have our new glasses sometime next week! But with dilated eyes for the majority of the afternoon and then using the drops I was given my eyes were feeling very weak so there was no stitching for me last night.

I did work on AAFG for several nights previously to get a start on it. So far I am really enjoying it!

I was able to get a free back copy of The Gift of Stitching from a coupon in Just Cross Stitch. I was extremely impressed with this online magazine! So much so that I subscribed!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Nature's Bounty

There won't be much stitching or scrapping today with the TV repairman coming out and our eye check up appointment later this afternoon. Maybe I can sqeeze something in later this evening!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Time to Chow Down

Don't you just love getting rewards for spending money? Especially when it's the necessary kind like grocery shopping! The store I grocery shop at gives at various rewards through out the year. In the past I have gotten gift cards for gasoline, luggage, a gardening tool set, lawn chairs and much more! Last night I made a quick run to the store to pick up some milk and upon checking the bottom of my receipt I noticed I had yet another reward waiting to be claimed! I was able to choose a gift card from a long list of well known stores or restaurants. This weekend, Harold and I will be enjoying a nice gift card to one of our favorite steak houses compliments of our grocery store!

Easy Chicken Parmesan
4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
seasoned bread crumbs
8 slices mozzarella cheese, or more
1 jar (16 oz) spaghetti sauce
Parmesan cheese
Whisk together the egg and milk. Dip the chicken breasts in milk and egg mixture and then in bread crumbs. In a skillet with a little olive oil over medium-high heat, brown on both sides until golden. Set chicken in a baking dish.
Slice 8 pieces of mozzarella cheese and put two on each chicken breast. Pour 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce over all. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a little more mozzarella and bake at 350° for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve with spaghetti, garlic bread and a nice green salad.

On the Road. While stopped to get some gas this horse and I were infatuated watching each other! He seemed to enjoy having his picture made too!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Here is an updated picture of my Willow Tree Sampler WIP. It isn't moving along quite as quickly as I had thought it would but it does help that the color changes are few and far between! My goal was to work on this piece for a week (and obtain a good head start) before beginning another start. It has been a week and I have achieved my goal so now I can begin another piece. And with that being said, I have made the first stitches on a new start - And A Forest Grew! A big project but what a awesome piece to have in your stitching portfolio.

After pulling out all my mini albums I am even more hooked on these scrapping delights! I have made up a list of various topics I want to use for themes on these books. We took a lot of day trips over the summer and the pictures are still waiting to be scrapped in their own mini books! I have several I want to finish up first (Being a Mom and Blessings) then I can begin on these!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Making it Home Monday

While we were out yesterday I made a quick run into the craft store to pick up some threads for my current cross stitch WIP. I meant to run right in, pick up the threads, pay and leave. 1 - 2 - 3 easy as pie. But as always my eyes were looking for those marked down prices whether I realize it or not!
And I did find a yummy bargain! A wonderful iron wall sconce complete with a glass hurricane to hold the candle. I have admired these for a few years in some of the country catalogs I shop from but never took the leap to buy one. Now I have one and can't wait to put it up after we paint! But for now it goes into the pile of things I have been accumulating "to put up on the walls after we paint" and then I will have lots of new pictures to share!

While picking up a few items from the grocery store over the weekend, I noticed a very nice wire basket. Hmmmmm. I had been thinking about getting one from another place that was smaller and more expensive. I decided to get the bigger, less expensive one at the grocery store. When I got it home I had to find a good purpose for it. It didn't take me long. I pulled out all my mini albums and piled them into the wire basket! What a great place for them and I can slide the basket in and out of the bookcase whenever I want to look at (or work on) one of my mini treasures!

RAIN! We finally got some last night. It came down hard for awhile and there was more while we slept! It did cool the temps down quite a bit which was a blessing in it's self! Our local newspaper recently had an article about a hometown man who had baked cookies on dash of his car because of the extreme temps! He had put a pan of slice and bake cookies on the dash of his car (that was parked in the sun) and left them there all day while he was working his job. The cookies were done by the end of the day! LOL! WILD!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saturday Shopping

I totally LOVE needlepoint samplers! I would have every wall in our house covered in them if I could! But I can't afford to buy that many and I really don't want to commit myself to making that many! LOL! But I will commit myself to (hopefully) several walls of samplers. Of course I plan to intermingle some grapevine wreaths and such with them.

We went out to some furniture stores today and get an idea of chairs and prices. I found exactly what I want for the living area! Harold is taking some time off in a few weeks and we will do some painting indoors so that we can have the chairs and area rug delivered to a nice fresh room! Posted is a picture of the area rug we plan to get. It really wasn't my first choice but the more I look at it, the more I like it and it will work wonderfully around the colors in my decor. *The room pictured is in a catalog*

I scrapped 8.5x11 for so long and I have at least 3 bookcase shelves filled with these albums I have completed! I still like this size and I'm sure I will continue to create more of them (especially for family albums since I have several empty albums waiting to be used) but at the moment I am really hooked on mini albums! So many different shapes and styles plus they look great sitting out in a large bowl or basket!

With this horrible heat, I haven't felt the urge to get outside and roam the yard for picture opportunities! Even the evenings are miserable with all the left over mid-day heat still hanging around! I may be forced to do a rain dance if mother nature doesn't send some storms our way! Now, wouldn't my family just love to see me do that! They would all go running to find a hiding place while yelling "We don't know you! We don't know you!" LOL!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Weather Forecast

I ordered this new thimble cabinet. It will hold up to 59 thimbles and/or miniatures. I like the glass door feature on it that makes it hard for dust to gather on the items inside the cabinet! The less dusting, the better! And a lot of room for adding new thimbles to my collection!

The past several evenings, Harold and I have sat on the porch and watched lightening dance in the distance! Somewhere, someone is getting some good storms but it isn't us! We are hopeful these storms will move towards us and grace us with some needed rain but they haven't yet!

I have a completed project to report. I have completed my part of the DML Circle Journal and it will be on it's way home to Vicki tomorrow! She is going to have a wonderful journal and I love the paper bag album she made for this!

I am going to work on my current WIP for several more nights and allow myself a nice head start before beginning a new piece! But I did get several new charts that I am looking forward to starting on! SOON!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

From Start to Finish

A new start! Willow Tree Sampler by Carriage House Sampling. I think it will be an easy one that will stitch up steady and smooth since color changes are few and far between.

I was going to wait on getting our new living room chairs before starting a new piece but -- what the heck! If I have my way, we will be going out this weekend to shop for them!

Here is my recipe of the week. With the heat still going strong, no one wants to be stuck in the kitchen cooking over a hot oven so here is a good meal made with the convenience of your crock pot.

1 pound beef stew meat
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 tsp. pepper
Hot cooked pasta
1. Combine beef, soup, soup mix, mushrooms and pepper in crock pot. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours. Serve over pasta. Yield: 4 servings.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Double the Fun!

I have several charts I am willing to trade. Because of my forgetfulness I bought the same charts TWICE so these have never even been opened!

Alpha Bird by Sheepish Designs and Home is (band sampler) by The Sampler House.

Another trip to the store for some threads and I should be ready to begin my new starts!

I have been drooling over Stoney Creek's Insect Sampler and was lucky enough to order the last one today!

And a picture of my latest new thimble! It's hard to see in the picture but it is surrounded by dancing fairies.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

It's the Weekend!

Weekend happenings: I finished up another Circle Journal and sent it on. Two more and I will be finished with both groups! I have already received my CJ back from the DML group and it is BEAUTIFUL! Thank you ladies for making this such a special keepsake!

Grocery shopping. Not a lot to get excited about here but it is nice to have some full cupboards again! With 3 hungry guys it never stays this way for very long!

What a long hot dry spell we are having! I water the plants and bushes but they need a good soaking courtesy of Mother Nature! The weather is calling for more temps in the 100's for us. UGH!

The mail man brought me a nice surprise! New charts to drool over! Now I get to wrestle with the decision of which ones to do first! I have decided what my new starts will be and will update the two open days when I choose what I want to do on them.
Mon - Weeping Willow Sampler
Tues - And a Forest Grew
Wed - (spot to be filled)
Thurs - (spot to be filled)
Fri - Alpha Bird (one of the new charts)
Sat and Sun - various smalls

I learned that Benison means blessing. A new word. A new definition.

I also learned that I feel better when surrounded by country/cottage decor. This is really nothing new but I did forget for a spell and tried out a different look in our home decor. Nice but I am so much happier since pulling out all the good country decor again!

Friday, August 17, 2007

It's a Challenge

It's been awhile since I shared a recipe so get out your pencil and pad cause today is the day!

Ritzy Chicken Cassarole

2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1 can cream of chicken soup, or cream of mushroom
1 cup sour cream, regular or reduced fat
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 to 6 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked
4 ounces melted butter, melted

Crumble one sleeve of Ritz crackers in the bottom of a 2 to 2 1/2-quart casserole dish. Drizzle half of the melted butter over the crackers. Mix chicken with soup, sour cream, and broth. Pour over crackers. Crush the remaining sleeve of crackers over the chicken mixture. Drizzle the remaining melted butter over the crackers. Bake at 300° for 30 to 40 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
Serves 6.

Since yesterday's finish I have been looking through my charts and pulling out a few to make into kits. But I'm going to be a stinker and wait until I actually start on each one before spilling the beans as to what I am going to work on!

For quite a while I challenged myself to learn something new everyday by making it a regular New Years resolution. I know it sounds over whelming but it really isn't. Read an article or watch a documentary about something. You will surely learn something new. Start a new hobby. Try a new recipe. It's amazing and fun to do. Actually most of us are already doing this whether we realize it or not! During the time I did this regularly I felt good. Physically and emotionally. I was exercising my brain while expanding my personal self. Starting today I am going to begin doing this again and I will report what I learn!

Today's picture is my bottle collection! Kind of hard to get this picture because of glare. Glare from overhead lights. Glare from the flash. Glare from the sun streaming through the window. I love to fill them or let them stand on their own!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Two in One Day

I promised to post THEIR SONGS when I could get the picture loaded and here it is!

As I said previously I did make some changes but I like it much better this way. I left off all the design at the bottom on the original chart because I felt it was just too busy for my taste but I love love LOVE the top half. And I added a birdhouse button to the bottom. My own touch. So -- I am happy!

Drum Roll........

Big scare this morning! DS got up extra early and decided to take Whiner out. He turned on the outside lights since it was still dark and set Whiner on the ground. Suddenly he noticed 3 big raccoons within several feet of them! He was able to scoop up Whiner and get back in the house before the raccoons decided this area was THEIR territory and attacked! He came inside out of breath but poor little ol blind Whiner was oblivious to it all.

FINISHED! That's right! I said I would complete THEIR SONGS by the end of the week and I did it! I am so thrilled with it! Unfortunately, I can't get the picture to load but I will keep trying! I did make a few variations which is ok since it is for me! I can't shout it out enough -- IT'S FINISHED!

A picture of another word in my kitchen! And some good advice to live by!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Word for the Day

I cleaned off and re-arranged the top of the fridge with my mixer, cookbooks and a great word! CREATE! I don't need to be reminded to do this each day but I just love seeing the word greet me each time I go into the kitchen!

I am going to wait until we get our new chairs before starting any new charts. Hopefully I won't have to wait too long. The thought of sitting in my very own brand new comfy stitching chair is enough to make me put all new starts on hold!

It feels like our horrible heat wave is over for now. I HOPE! Yesterday was definitely still hot but by no means unbearable and in the 100's! I am looking forward to Autumn now! Cool, crisp days. Beautiful colors on the trees as the leaves change. Even though my boys are no longer in school, I still enjoy the sound of the school bus making its rounds. Pumpkin carving time. Geese flying overhead on their way to find a warmer place to spend the winter! And sweaters!

Harold is taking some vacation time soon. No plans to go anyplace except to the dr or an occasional errand to run. Since we would like to have the house finished up by the holidays, we need to get busy!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Lazy Days

A picture of a collection I forgot to mention in a previous post. Mini Books. I really enjoy them. And they are small enough to put a nice sized collection into a large bowl. Our bookstore usually carries a small variety year round then offers a larger selection during the holiday season!

No stitching the past couple of days but I am only a matter of days away from completing THEIR SONG. I should be finished by the end of the week if all goes smoothly! And I will share one final picture sometime during the week!

There really hasn't been a lot going on around here lately so there isn't much to report on! With the extreme heat, it's been a week of lazy days to try and keep cool.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Dog Days

When I look at how far along other gals have gotten on charts I am only now beginning (or planning to begin) I feel REALLY behind! But as the old saying goes "better late than never" and I'm sticking to that!

Now that I have been stitching awhile again and making up my wish list I have found that I am partial to reproduction samplers, Quaker samplers and samplers featuring birds and/or houses. There are plenty that don't fall into any of these categories that I like but the majority do. Of course, you gotta love those quick and simple charts!

Aren't these little books adorable? My friend, Sheila, sent them to me. She says she bought them but they look yummy enough to be homemade! I have find some special uses for these! The mailman also delivered my new thimbles today! What beauties!

I did some shopping today. Out around town AND online. I picked up some fabrics and threads for AAFG plus several other charts. Everyone at the store was very impressed that I was going to tackle AAFG and asked me to bring it in when I finish! A quick run by the post office to drop off another circle journal. Plus several other quick stops where I picked up a few items for some neglected collections! Then home to shop online a bit for a few more charts! YEE HAW!

It was still hot today but not quite as bad as the past few days! That was a relief! And for those of you wondering how I have been doing on not smoking -- ALL IS GREAT! I just passed my 4 month mark without a cigarette. If you want to stop I highly recommend you ask your doctor to give you a prescription of Chantex!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Goof Up

REJOICE by Carriage House Samplings. I just can't seem to bring myself to work on it anymore. I still like the pattern and hope to finish it one day! It was one of the few charts I had remaining when I began my stitching again and it was mainly started with the intentions of keeping my hands busy until some orders with new charts began arriving. Basically I can say it served it's purpose. For now I will just say that you are on hold, dear friend but I will keep you on my Current Project List (just in case)!

I usually read a few blogs each morning over my first cup of coffee then backtrack to leave comments. This morning I got a comment mixed up and posted it on the wrong blog! My apologies for this! The best excuse I can think of is "it was early and my coffee had not started working yet"!

I spent yesterday evening studying my new AAFG chart and making the list of threads I need to get. I love that this chart is divided into sections. Otherwise it would definitely be too overwhelming!

August is looking to be a month of things to get excited about! New chairs and rug for the living area. Eye exams which means new glasses will be close behind!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Good Vibes

Blogging mistake yesterday. I said I had only 2 circle journals left to do and these projects would be complete but I forgot about one so now the total is 3 more to finish up!

I stitched on THEIR SONG some more and it is really coming along! It should be finished in a matter of days now! This verse means so much to me because of my bird feeding practices. Those of you who know me, know that I feed the birds from the end of October through the first part of June. This covers cold weather and the nesting season when they need a little extra help. From June through October there are plenty of insects and berries available to them so they can eat as nature intended. To help nature out a bit and to keep the birds around, I have planted oodles of berry bushes in our yard. They have many different selections - blueberries, blackberries, pyracanthas, barberries, cotoneaster, viburnums, Virginia Creeper and more!

"I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries and very frankly give them fruit for their songs"

The mail man left some stitching goodies for me today! The JCS 10th year anniversary collection of Christmas Ornaments book, Jeanette Crews 51 Little Houses AND (drum roll, please) And A Forest Grew chart! YUMMY! I am already so in love with this one! I need to check my threads and make a run for any colors I don't have!

After some searching I found the doilies my grandma crocheted for me. They were really dirty (probably the reason I had put them away) but have been washed and set back out for all to enjoy! And the room is humming with good vibes again!

Picking out only a few charts from my LONG wish list is NOT an easy task! LOL! Since I am prone to frequently changing my mind I will keep the choices a secret until I actually order them! *UPDATE* I have already changed my mind 3 times since making my first choices!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I'm Melting! I'm Melting!

Another miserably hot day (it got into the 100's) and the rest of the week should be just as bad! During this heat, inside is a good place to be! Thought I would share a picture of several thimbles from my collection.

By the end of the month (if not sooner) I will have enough completed (both circle journals and THEIR SONG) that I will be able to begin a stitching rotation schedule to begin on September 1st. I could start at any time but would like to finish up the previously mentioned items before doing this.

I have finished up my WISH LIST for the time being! It is probably long enough it could be called a WISH NOVEL! LOL! I sure hope Santa plans on being REAL good to me! *wink! wink!*

A list of the first ones I have my eyes on to start are posted below. I may have toss a coin to see which ones get chosen first! There are many more which are not yet listed so not worry! The ones marked with ** still have to be purchased!
1. Willow Tree Sampler
2. Hunt Sampler by Homespun Samplar **
3. Because Nice Matters
4. Birds of a Feather by Long Dog Samplers **
5. And a Forest Grew
6.Home is.. by Sampler House **
7. Matter's Choice by Carriage House Sampling **
8.When the Calling Bird Sings by Exemplar Dames **
9. The Needle Charmer by Exemplar Dames **
10. Crowflower by Workbasket **
11. Paradigm Lost by Long Dog Samplers **
12 Acorns and Threads by Carriage House Samplings **
13. A variety of smalls

The sound of the UPS truck got my attention earlier as I am waiting on several things to arrive! He pulled up at our house. He sat in the truck. He left. Nope - he NEVER even got out! What a bummer to get me all excited and then pull a mean trick like that!

As hard as it will be I have vowed NOT to buy anymore scrapping supplies until my current stash status reaches a certain point. You know the old saying "Waste not. Want not" and I have enough to keep me scrapping for quite a while without any worry of running low!

What I did today: stitched on THEIR SONG, got another CJ ready to mail (only 2 more to do),

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Mid Week Heat

Here is my progress on THEIR SONG so far. I am working on finishing up the cherries on the branch then I can move on to another section of it. I goofed on the word "blackbirds" by doing the entire word in black instead of using brown on the last 4 letters. No biggie. I like it this way!

It has been at least a week or more since we have had any decent rain and without some moisture, this hot Southern summer sun is doing a real number on my plants so I spent a good part of the afternoon making sure they all got plenty of H2O along with refilling the bird baths! Nothing like some cool refreshing water on a hot HOT day! I would love to see a good steady rain for several days! And I'm sure my plants would be thrilled for that to happen too!

We are planning to get a new rug and chairs for the living area. A new recliner for Harold and a nice cozy TV / stitching chair for me.It's going to mean some furniture re-arranging but I think it will be worth it!

The more I look at the chart And A Forest Grew by Rosewood Manor (and pictures from gals working on it) I want to get it and start on it! It's one of those "the more I look at it, the more I like it" type charts! *UPDATE* I have ordered the chart and it should be arriving by the end of the week!

Working on my stitching / project weekly rotation chart as well as my wish list! After all, the holidays really aren't that far away and it doesn't hurt to have some ideas ready!

What I did today: Stitched on Their Song, ordered And A Forest Grew.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Some of This. Some of That.

Today is my last day of such harsh restrictions! YEA! Tomorrow I begin partial restrictions and will be allowed to go out among people. I just have to be careful and continue to stay away from small children and pregnant women! That shouldn't be too hard. Also I am not to cook food for others for a few more days.

Also, after today I can work on some more Circle Journals. I have been fine with working on things for myself during this "quarantine" period but I didn't feel that I should work on something that belongs to another person!

These are the faux apples I bought on sale the other day! Don't they look good enough to eat? Also they are surrounded by part of my pie bird collection. It isn't a big collection anyway but there are a few in the kitchen. Most of my collections are a small to medium size right now. I guess because I enjoy collecting such a variety of things and the fact we are limited on space, small to medium collections are best for me! If I feel a collection is getting too large and starting to take up too much space I get frustrated and put it away or on rare occasions have been known to just toss it and start completely over! So what do I collect? Other than hobby stuff, that is!

1. Stoneware mixing bowls
2. Quilts
3. Pie birds / vents
4. Thimbles
5. Gnomes
6. Santas for Christmastime
7. About anything with houses on it
8. Cookbooks

and I am thinking I would like to collect Cross Stitch Smalls such as pin cushions, scissor fobs, needle rolls and sachets.

I really REALLY need to get busy! It seems like most of the stitching blogs I read almost always have some sort of show and tell! A part of me wants to jump in and share while another part of me isn't sure my work is up to the same standards as these gals!

The WIP that I found hidden away yesterday is Rejoice by Carriage House Sampling. I realized that I changed some of colors around and forgot to write them down on the chart! Oh brother! This is gonna be fun trying to figure out colors and match them up!

What I did today: Stitched on Their Song. Cleaned out my scrapbooking area and supplies (still have more to work on). Looked through my other charts for a new start.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Change of Mind

Here it is the 2nd day of August! Where did the first day go? Oh yeah -- at the doctor's! LOL! Last night Harold slept beside the bed on his air mattress and Whiner slept on the floor (both of them at least 7 feet from me).

Last night I started on a freebie by Drawn Threads (The Tree Keeper). Loving the ease of it so far. As soon as I can poke my head out of this hole (meaning to step out into the world again) I need to pick up some tiny gold beads for it! I know! I know! I said that using beads on my cross stitch just wasn't my thing but this little piece really does need them. Hoping I can do this sometime on Saturday! I hate not having everything I need as I need it! But that happens when you are building your stash up again! Hopefully I will this one finished to show by Sunday!

As I was going through some supplies I found hidden away I came across another unfinished WIP! No telling how long it has been sitting there just waiting for my attention. Probably at least several years! I will be adding to my list of "current projects" and have officially become a "more than one project at a time" kind of gal! LOL!

My August stitching goals will remain fairly simple but definitely good to do!

1. Continue working on building up my stash
2. Post to some group blogs
3. Work on some finishing techniques
4. Complete at least 2 projects this month
5. Print out some freebies
6. Finish up Their Song

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Today was the big day - in a manner of speaking! LOL! Harold keeps joking around and saying that I will glow in the dark tonight! LOL! Three days of stitching, magazines and lounging about in my jammies!

When I quit smoking, my primary doctor gave me a prescription for some anti-depressants (even though I didn't think I was depressed) to help me cope if I needed it. My moods became unbearable! I was MEAN beyond MEAN and just totally NOT NICE! The doctor gave me these before we knew about my thyroid and he feels that this medication just helped to make a bad situation even worse! So I am now off the anti-depressants and feeling like a much nicer person again! THANK GOODNESS!

I picked out some small charts to stitch on over the next few days! I thought it would be nice if I could add a few more to my list of completed items for the year and get some ornaments done at the same time!

I know I said that I didn't like working on more than one project at a time. This may be changing very soon! I end up getting frustrated with the medium to larger size projects because they are taking longer to finish and I am NOT a patient person! So I need to work on these several days a week and do some smaller ones that are quick to finish on the other days! *big grin* Besides, these smalls are so neat! How can you resist them?

I am VERY tiffed at our town! We have NO cross stitch/needlework shops or scrapbooking shops! Oh we have Michaels and Hobby Lobby which carry a dabling of these items as does our local Walmart but I am talking about stores that specialize ONLY in these crafts! Totally not fair that they are all so "out of the way" from here or in some ridiculously large city that dh hates to drive in!

I totally forgot to mention that we went to the Biltmore Estate earlier this month! FUN! DH had never been and I haven't been since I was little so it was like going for the first time again because I saw things much differently than when I was a child! Today's picture is but one of the beautiful sculptures there that took my breath away!