I’ve been working hard on my office/stash room in order to better organize, and find a permanent place for things like a cutting table, or a sewing machine, etc. I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from great internet posts like this: http://www.home-designing.com/2009/05/craft-room-home-studio-setup and this: http://www.sarahyoude.com/2009/06/the-craft-room.html (scroll down on the blog page).

And, I have an IKEA somewhat nearby. So, as part of my Christmas gift to myself, I have purchased a couple gallons of paint, two cabinets, and some IKEA gear to get the crafting side of my “studio” (as Spinster Stitcher would call it) up and running. Really, I’ve had the cabinets for almost a year now, awaiting some stashing organization. I’ll be starting small, but am excited. My goal is to have the room up and running before January 1. Here are some of the items I purchased on Saturday:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10192824

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50103604

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50081452

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/search/?query=bygel

I’ll post more later, and promise some pics of the work in progress. It’s a beast of a room, with large bookcases (filled) and an office space already set up. But, I’m culling through the junk and will hopefully have a much more organized, cheery place to work on the things I love most in 2011!

Ta, ta!

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Well, I just won’t try to excuse myself… it’s been so long since I posted!  But, I have been stitching.  I’ve completed My Quaker House from Blackbird Designs.  I’ve also started Jenny Bean’s Christmas Sampler.  And, I’ve also completed the stitching on Lizzie Kate’s Boo Club!  But I’ll be adding buttons to that one in place of the stitched candy.  I haven’t been able to take pics because my camera went missing for a little while, and then the lighting has been terrible when I’ve been home for the past several weeks!  One of the reasons is that I’ve been spending more time at the gym before I come home at night.  I will try to take pics this weekend and get them posted.

I’ve really enjoyed the fall weather lately.  I took up golf this year, and have so enjoyed it, that it cut into my gardening time this summer for sure.  A friend and I golfed at Hobble Creek for the first time a few weeks ago.  It was so gorgeous with the fall colors, and it’s just a wonderful course.  Being outside, enjoying nature, and having a fun challenge is really why I golf.  Never mind my score!

Hobble Creek 1st Tee

Hobble Creek

This is a pic I found, because the mobile pics we took aren’t uploading to WordPress (wrong format!)  But, the colors were just as beautiful, and the sky just as blue the day we were there.  It’s really a beautiful course and I’ll be returning there at least once a year!  It’s not far from my home at all.

That’s it for now folks.  Sorry no stitchy pics.

I’ve been reminded recently of a song I was taught a long time ago:

1. Oh, what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you fish in a stream, or lazily dream on the banks as the clouds go by?
Is that what you do? So do I!

2. Oh, what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you swim in a pool, to keep yourself cool, or swing in a tree up high?
Is that what you do? So do I!

3. Oh, what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you march in parades, or drink lemonades, or count all the stars in the sky?
Is that what you do? So do I!

Words and music: Dorothy S. Andersen, b. 1927

I’d add one verse:

Oh, what do you do in the summertime, when it’s so very hot?
Do you sip a cold drink, from the kitchen sink, while the AC is cranked up real high?
Is that what you do?  So do I!

I’m so grateful for the AC. Many folks here have swamp coolers. We had one for years, but it didn’t work the last 10 or so we had it. So, we used tons of box fans until about five years ago, when we replaced the furnace and added the AC at the same time. I don’t think I could bear to leave my mom at home in the hot house without it.

The only problem with the AC is that I’m not inclined to spend much time in the garden and yard, especially when most of my day is spent at work. So, I’ve been coming home, collapsing on the couch with a cold drink and then stitching for a few hours. It’s about all I’ve had the energy to do.

I have made progress on my Boo Club. I have made progress on socks. It’s been fun. Irresponsible, but fun. I also started a new thing yesterday. I saw this blog post by Lucy at Attic24, and when I showed it to my mom, we had to run to the store to buy yarn. We are both working on a new granny stripe blanket now. Here’s my progress so far:

Granny Stripes Start

And, here are the colors of Caron Simply Soft (100% acrylic from Good Ole’ WallyMart) that I’m using:

Granny Stripes Yarn

Row 1: Blue Mint – Lavendar Blue – Sunshine – Pistachio
Row 2: Persimmon – Plum Perfect – Soft Blue – Melon
Row 3: Orchid – Forest Floor – Plum Wine – Country Blue
Row 4: Berry Blue – Bone – Dark Sage – Vanilla – Dark Country Blue

I haven’t crocheted since I was about 12.  My thumb hurts… 🙂  It’s a good hurt though.  But, I think I’m going to have to actually pull weeds tonight.  Dang.

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.

Just a quick commercial message for the Blackbird Design’s book “Honeysuckle Manor”.  Many of you have raved about this one, and I knew I would pick it up eventually.

When I looked at it on Saturday, I was holding the last copy in the shop at the time.  It was even a copy that had been reserved for one of the staff members, but the owner told me I could actually have that copy, if I wanted, and she would order another for the staff member.  Wow.  An opportunity to plop down $25 more bucks.  I didn’t pass it up.

You shouldn’t either!  It’s full of beautiful projects.  Of course, I loved them so much, that I bought the threads for the two samplers on the spot, along with a beautiful piece of vintage Lakeside Linen Autumn Gold that I think will work well for the Margaret Harris sampler.  Unfortunately, I forgot about the chart error I had read about on the BBD blog, and I purchased the wrong color  of Belle Soie for the house, etc. instead of Vanilla Pudding.   I’ll have to remedy that next week.  Hmmm, so my little trip to pick up a few cotton threads, cost me over a hundred bucks.  Sheesh.  I need to get some self control!  But, this is the only item I’ve purchased from market.  Of course, I do have a bunch of stash items I’ve picked up recently, but they’ve been on my list of things to buy for a while.  I’ll have to share more about those, when I get my package from Elegant Stitch.

I also have a piece of LL Bittersweet (32 count) that I believe will be perfect for Hannah Lovina Joslin’s sampler.   We’ll see!  I’m dying to start it.  But, first, I need to finish a few pieces!  I do have a finish to share, and have made good progress on another.

I finished Homespun Elegance’s “Home is Where You Hang Your Needlework”.  This was fun to do.  I had put it away for a bit, worried I was running out of the Espresso silk.  I picked it up on Saturday, and forged ahead.  I finished it with one complete strand of Espresso silk left.

Homespun Elegance

Please forgive the lighting, but I had to use a flash this morning.   I stitched this on LL Meadow Rue.

I didn’t get a good picture of my BBD My Quaker House, which is about 70% complete, but trust me, I like it!  I hope to finish it sometime this weekend.

Well, new adventures are starting with Spring coming, and other events.  There will be plenty to show and tell in the coming weeks. That’s all I’ll say about that.

Have a great day, and make time for creativity!

Hello everyone!  I just had to pop in and say I’m so amazed at the speed with which Kathy from Carriage House Samplings got some charts into the mail for me.  I ordered them on the 15th or so from her Etsy store, and knowing it was just before market I wasn’t expecting them for a bit.  WAH-LAH, they arrived today.  A week.  And there was market in there.  Way to go Kathy!  I ordered “Sampler Folk”, “An American Landscape”, and “Plain and Fancy”.

Now, to contrast, I ordered some back issues of Just Cross Stitch and SANQ directly from Hoffman Media last October. 🙂  Got a confirmation of my order, but my card was never charged, and the magazines never came.  I tried again last week, with just one magazine.  I got the usual confirmation.  Luckily, this time I received a notice that it had been shipped.  So, I took a chance and ordered the rest of the magazines I was hoping to get last Fall.  I got the confirmation again, and received the charge confirmation this morning.  So, hopefully, they are winging their way toward me now.  I’ve just been in the mood to enhance my stash with some oldies but goodies.  But, mainly, these charts from Kathy have been on my wish list for some time.  And, I’ve just been so enticed by everyone’s blog entries about “This is the Day” in the JCS Jan/Feb 2009 issue.  I’ve really wanted to have that one for future stitching.  I also love Katrina‘s conversion!

So, now, my fingers are searching the internet for other treasures.  Older treasures really…charts that I’ve wanted for a while.  I’m still looking for the I’m-never-going-to-find-it Birds of a Feather “Friendship Sampler”.  Anyway, I need more stash like I need a hole in my head.  Really.  What am I thinking?  I have two cabinets I bought to put all my stash in that I have yet to put together.  I think this is a cry for help.  Really.  Okay…not really.  So, are there any market must-haves for you?  I’ve thought of picking up the Little House Needleworks mattress thing.  But then I thought, what in the world will I do with that?  I’d rather have a nice sampler in my stash that will go on my wall or someone else’s someday I guess.  I’m sure I’ll pick up a couple of the Blackbird Designs charts someday, but not right now. 

I WILL pick up the chart for Elizabeth Savilles that Terri has just finished.  I absolutely love this.  Terri, it’s beautiful!  And, by the way, I just totally identify with your ski story!  I’ve done that more than once on dry land, when I’ve hiked up a hill that I just can’t seem to get back down!  But I digress…  I’m waiting to see if Attic Needlework has the chart for ‘Liz it in stock…  And wonder if they have the OWS threads there to be able to do a conversion for me, or if I should just use the OWS.  I love those colors too, so I don’t have to change them really.  It just begs to be done for one of my nieces.

That said, I’m about to enter the season that will really restrict my stitching time, so I’ll be putting most of this away, and continuing to concentrate on just a few pieces.  But, I vow I will spend at least a few hours every Sunday, and hopefully some time in the evening a couple days a week. 

I’m interested though in whether any of you have found any items from market that you just have to have, whether sooner or later!  Thanks for your comments.  I know my little ole’ blog isn’t the most fun or interesting, but it’s fun to know that some of my fellow stitchers are out there and listening!  I just love this art of ours… for the art that it is, and for the way it brings us all together.

I hope you’ve all had a great day!

Hello friends! I thought I’d pop in and mention a couple of things. First, Debbie asked if I was using different colors on my two BBD pieces.  I am using the threads that are called for on the Quaker House, with the exception of the green.  I’m substituting WDW Scuppernong for the Olde Willow Stitchery that was listed.  On the ‘Tis the Season piece, I worked out a cotton overdye substitution, because I just didn’t want to buy all that silk for a holiday piece, however wonderful it is!  But, I should also note that I used my “vibrant” setting on my camera.  I will take some new pictures in the daylight and post those this weekend.  I am also using a different linen than is called for on each, but I can’t remember which ones!

And, Margaret, I have to agree that Merrill’s are wonderful.  In fact, the Keen’s I bought were to replace a really old pair of Merrill’s, that have a lot of the sole worn away on them.  But, who am I kidding?  I won’t get rid of them.  They will still be my weekend kick-around shoes.  I just couldn’t find any Merrill’s that would work for weekdays.  Almost bought a black and fuschia pair of Merrill boots though!

Now, to the main event.  At least the main event in my life lately.  I’m watching the women’s Olympic snowboard / half-pipe event right now.  How many of you are watching the Olympics?  What is your favorite event?  We have an Orem native who is competing in the skeleton.  I’ll admit, I cheated and checked the results online, but I’m going to also watch late night!

And, as I watch all of these events, I wonder what is in the psyche of these competitors that allows them or pushes them to go FAST down a hill on sticks or spin high in the air on boards?  Or run and jump onto little tiny sleds, head first, down what I can only describe as an icy alpine slide on steroids, like Noelle Pikus-Pace?

I live at the base of some of the most beautiful mountains in the world, where skiing is the ultimate call-in-sick excuse.  I did “transfer in” from Southern California just before high school.  I remember all of my new friends would go skiing.  I never had the money to ski really, so I didn’t.  Until I was an adult and working for a company where I helped to manage some conferences for key partners.  We arranged for the conference to be held at Deer Valley, and part of the fun was free ski lessons or a snowmobile tour.

The bunny hill was wonderful!  My instructor asked me if I had ever skied before; he thought I was a natural (of course he couldn’t have been biased by the fact that he was being paid!).  I picked up on the whole technical aspect of skiing immediately.  I could even stop at the bottom of the hill.  I spent the greater portion of the day going up and down that hill.  It was my friend and I loved it.  Absolutely.

Then, I took my first ride on the big lift.  I barely got off in time for the easy run.  That should have been an indicator what was to come.  It was a beautiful day. But a day of sunshine that created more slush on top of a very thick layer of powder.  I readied myself at that top of that run.  I knew I could do it.  After all, I was the queen of the bunny hill and a “natural” on my first time out.

I set off down the hill.  I told my legs to move my skis.  I felt like I was moving through marshmallow creme.  I found I could plow through it if I just went fast and straight down that hill.  That steep hill.  I wondered if I could actually stop.  It was that downhill thing, combined with fast.  That’s what kept me snow plowing in the slush.  And, I kept falling.  And falling.

I kept getting up.  Then, when I found  myself on my backside again after what felt like twenty times, I looked over and saw the mid-mountain shuttle stop.  That little sign on the post, outside a snack bar.  It was just a short walk away.  I got up, and fast, I tell ya.  My move to get out of the skis, was the fastest thing I did that day… I must have looked like a big awkward duck in those boots as I walked past the snack bar and over to the shuttle stop.  I know.  You’re asking me “where was your pride girl?”  I had none.  I didn’t care.  Funny thing… the shuttle driver didn’t seem to be fazed that I was standing there in full gear, begging for a ride down.  I got on, and dreamed of the bunny hill where I had a glorious time skiing like a real person.  And I vowed that skiing on the big mountains wasn’t for me.

I took the easy way out, and haven’t been back since.  I’m really tempted to try cross country skiing though.  I keep looking at all of the beautiful powder and I want to be out in it.  So, I’m working toward being more in shape to do that.  But, downhill snow skiing is not in my future.  I gaze at beautiful snow-covered mountains all winter from the valley.  Unless of course I drive up to the outlet mall in Park City where I take part in my own Olympic event of shopping.

Sometime I’ll have to tell you all about my water skiing experience.  Think fish bait.

I’m going to stitch now.  I hope you are all getting in some great stitching time, and cheering for your favorite Olympians!