books


Yes!  March.  I can’t believe I haven’t posted since March.  Shame on me.  Well, I’m up late working and watching my computer tick, so I can put in a few words and hopefully a pic or two.  Not much on the stitching front, because I have a few things going, and not a lot of progress on any.  I started LHN’s Liberty Belles on July 5th.  I know.  It’s late, but it’s a little fun piece, and we actually ended up celebrating the holiday on Monday anyway.  Ribeyes, jumbo shrimp scampi, and potatoes, onions, and sweet potatoes in butter on the grill, lots of lemonade and a new piece to stitch on.  That was a nice day.

In other news, I recently went to Orlando for a conference.  Whilst there I realized that Universal was having a “soft opening” of the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Islands of Adventure.  The park has now opened to the public, but I was able to sneak in one morning that I was there, with only 999 other crazy people.  While I hear that now, the waiting line to just get in is 9 hours.  Sheesh.  I have to say, as a big Harry Potter fan, they got this right.  It was just really fun, and the new ride is a blast.  I have tons of pictures, but here is a good one, with my friend Cheryl and I in front of the Hogwart’s Express.

Cheryl and Laura in front of the Hogwarts Express

Cheryl and Laura in front of the Hogwarts Express

Hogsmeade Snowpeople
Hogsmeade Snowpeople – Don’t they look great for being in 90 degree weather?
Hogsmeade Toward Hogwarts Castle

The Hogsmead skyline towards Hogwarts Castle

Owelry And Butterbeer

A View of the Owelry and the Butterbeer Keg

You can probably tell in the picture that I brought home a bit of loot.  The thing I forgot about was that my wands — being the long, thin, pointy things they are —  might cause a ruckus with airport security on the way home.  Yep, they caught sight of them in the Xray in my carry on, and had to search my bag.  But, what happened next was something I wish I’d had a video camera for.  They guy at the X-Ray pulled one out of the box, carefully looked it over, then raised it above a co-worker’s head, and with a flick of the wrist and swish of the wand, found out that it wasn’t really magical at all, and let me pass.  Funny stuff.  I did tell them that they would probably have lots more come through security in the next several months.  Luckily, the folks at Universal were smart enough not to make them sharp on the ends, or I would have lost a pricey investment in cast resin, I think.

And, I do have tickets to James Taylor and Carole King next week.   It’s been a long time since I’ve been willing to spend good money on a live performance.  In fact, I think it’s been since I got my iPod.  Who knew that lovely digital thing that contains most of my music collection would be enough to keep me in boogie heaven.  But, I couldn’t resist the option to see James and Carole together, and even splurged for seats on the floor.  I’ll let you know if it was worth it.

I have purchased a bit of stash.  My auntie Susan and I spent a day a couple of weeks ago in Ogden at Shepherd’s Bush and the Needlepoint Joint.  I picked up the last Blackbird Loose feather chart, linen and a thread conversion for The Goode Huswife’s “With My Needle” (already had the chart) at SB.  Teri was there, dressed in her usually cute jumper attire with a big felt flower brooch pinned on, and my Aunt went nuts.  She has decided she wants to be the queen of felted, knitted, and crocheted flower brooches in Boise, Idaho.  She decided this before we went to the Needlepoint Joint, where we found, some free knitted and crocheted headband charts, and a book called “100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet”.  I also picked up a chart of six knitted dishcloths, and a couple of skeins of mercerized cotton for the dishcloths in a neutral color.  I just love the little dish and face cloths that Staci at Snippets and Stash does.  Especially the neutral colored ones.  Okay, any of them are great!  And, I’ve wanted to knit some up for gifts.  We’ll see how much knitting I get done while the sun is shining so much.  I did see a wonderful knitted purple pig, that apparently is in a Rowan book that was not in stock… that saved me about another $30 I’m guessing.  Well, maybe not, when I order it online and feel compelled to make sure I buy enough to get free shipping.  I think it’s a plot.  After we shopped for stash, we picked up my cousin, and returned to Rooster’s for a great dinner.  It was a fun day.  I don’t often get to spend time with my favorite aunt.

Then, last week, after I spent all day at a meeting at the U, I stopped by a couple of shops on my way home just before they closed.  First, I had to pick up some new bamboo size 8 needles, because someone chewed on one of mine… while it was in the yarn still…  this boy-dog of mine has a yarn fetish.  Yarn and threads are the only thing he goes after to chew on.  Well, that, and jelly doughnuts, which is a story for another day.  After picking up my needles (and avoiding any more yarn purchases, which I’m proud that I did),  I did trek on over to The Craft Center.  While there, I picked up some threads for the BBD loose feathers piece.  I didn’t like the colors called for, and in fact, they don’t look much like the photo in my opinion. So, I did some switching.  And, I’ve decided I’m going to stitch the front and back of the pocket in a sampler form, with one on top of the other.  I also picked up the first two charts of Lizzie Kate’s Christmas Rules.  I’m not much of a big Lizzie Kate fan anymore, but I just can’t resist a few of her latest designs that say so much. 

So, there you have it.  It’s a long post I know, but lots can happen in four months!  Whew.  I’d better make this a habit, or call it a quarterly newsletter or something other than a blog, don’t you think?  The good thing about this big post though, is that I can see I’ve been really blessed to have good family, friends, and fun the past four months.

Well, life is busy.  Better get back to my computering.  I’m also really grateful to be employed in a job that I love!  Hope that the few of you who read this are having a great summer also.

Okay folks.  Here is the latest that I’ve done on This is the Season by Blackbird Designs.  The pic is not great; I had to take it at night, indoors, without a flash to get the colors a little closer to their real appearance.  I just love this piece.  I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Tis The Season Progress

I couldn’t resist another start, when I realized just how small it was, and I wanted to have something to swap to that is a lower count… I think I need new eyeballs.  The 40 count slows me down a bit, since most of my stitching time is at night after it’s dark now.  I’ve started Blackbird Design’s “Winter Delivery”.

BBD Winter Delivery

I’ll be drawing the winner of my giveaway tomorrow… so if you catch this post before then, comment on my giveaway post.  It’s been a crazy week again.  I just don’t know sometimes how I’ll get everything done, and then I remember that when you take care of the important things, the rest take care of themselves.

Have a great week, and be sure to get some creative time in!

I have been trying to catch the “Complete Jane Austen” series on Masterpiece this season. It’s been wonderful to watch some of the pieces I haven’t seen before. If you are a Jane Austen fan, and haven’t seen any of Masterpiece on PBS this year, you need to look it up. In honor of my time with Jane, I took a quiz and found that I am most like:

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Of course, I think the draw to Jane Austen’s novels is that we all find a bit of each character in us. But, I think I agree that I am most like the older Miss Dashwood.

I am nearly done with the stitching on the Trilogy’s “Family”, which I’m giving to a friend at work. I’ve found a frame for it and I should be able to have it done this weekend. I am working to list all of my charts and WIPs. I need to shop from my stash! I have so many wonderful things I want to stitch and finish, and just need to make a plan that will help me be more efficient with the stitching time I have. I do have a short list for now, but really want to start a few new things, so I think I’ll create a plan that allows me to add a piece to my group of active projects on a regular basis, as long as I’ve made progress on each of the other projects in the group. I’m not really a “rotation” kind of person. At least as far as scheduling specific days or times. I just stitch on whatever I like at the time, or whatever I need to finish if it’s a gift. I will post more here when I have the specific plan down.

I picked up the last HP book just after 12:01 am on July 21, along with the CDs of the audio book read by Jim Dale. I listened to the first two chapters in the car as I drove my niece and nephew home. I picked up the book from there for another 1 1/2 hours, then went to bed at 3 am. I finished the book that night at 9 pm. Oh, and I also scrubbed the bathroom, stopped to eat, etc., and vacuumed. But, I did schedule my day so that I could just read… I won’t spoil it. But, oh what a great romp. I wonder how they’ll fit it all into a movie!

And, I’ve got some finishes. Here they are in all their wrinkled glory. They’re really not crooked, but were just on a lumpy chair when I took the pics. JBW’s French Country… can’t remember the exact name of the chart. I used CC’s new silk on this, in fern frond.

This is an oldie, but I have it in my hands again. I gave it to my aunt as a gift, sans the frame, and she’s never framed it. So, I asked for it back, and will be putting it in a custom frame… just need to build it. This is Victoria Sampler’s English Cottage Garden.

This is Ewe and Eye and Friends’ “Love Letters” with the Shepherd’s Bush conversion, and a few changes of my own.

Finally, I got around to starting this one by CHS, and I just loved working on it so much that I stuck with it until it was done. It took me about three days of evening stitching. It’s on 36 count RR creme brulee with the called for NPS silks. It’s been in my stash forever, and I love it even more now that it’s finished. I made a few little mistakes, but was able to adjust for them. I just figure it’s more my own.

Have a great week everyone! Thanks for your comments.

I guess since this blog stuff is new to me, I have a lot to say.

I’ve been thinking about my love of reading. I have loved to read ever since, well, ever since I could read. My second-grade teacher, Ms. Fite (yes, that was her name), wrote that I should “not spend my time reading novels in class.” I guess she didn’t like me reading when she was talking. That was when I first read the Little House series.

Even when life gets really busy, I find some time to read for a few minutes here and there. But, what I absolutely love is being so engrossed in a book that I cannot put it down to eat or sleep. Recently, I awaited the arrival of the latest HP installment (that’s Harry Potter for all of you people who have been off-planet for the past several years). It arrived near the end of a very busy Saturday, about 5 pm. I must say I had some real self-control this time around. I didn’t finish it until 12:30 am on Monday morning. At first, I read it in small bites, like you would when you’re trying to make a great piece of cheesecake last longer by eating just around the edges. After a while, you figure, “Oh well, it’s gonna get eaten sometime”. What you’re really saying is “I’m beat. You win. I’ve gotta devour the rest.” You can say “I don’t need the rest of that cheesecake (or insert your own personal weakness here)” all you want. But, you really do need it. It’s that way for me with books. Well, AND cheesecake. I’m particular about my books and my dessert. I don’t just read anything that comes along on the best seller list. I’m selective. (And, I prefer the real cheesecake, not the stuff from a box, but baked, New York style.)

For instance, I love to read books by John Steinbeck. But, they’re not my absolute favorite books. I don’t usually read them more than once. Why, you ask? Because he is so good at painting a picture with words, that all of the suffering and inhumanity he describes is more than I can take. I admit it, it’s more than my little sheltered soul can handle. But, once I’m into the book, really into it, I can’t put it down. If you haven’t read Steinbeck, you should at least read the first chapter of “East of Eden” or “The Grapes of Wrath” or “Of Mice and Men”. Then you can put it down. If you really can.