Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Time Flies

13th Colony Bay

21st Century Bay

Things around here have been busy. I'm not sure what it is about spring but there doesn't seem to be many quiet moments these days.

Blame it on yarnstorm

I'm watching Doris Day movies, dreaming of Cary Grant and wishing I was in Paris. She does cover a lot of topics in her blog. They always inspire and remind me of things I love like Doris Day movies. I'm still hankering for one of the pineapple upside down cake baking pans she used in a post a while back.

Have you checked out Anna Maria Horner yet? I love her new banner. I want to make a pile of those flower pillows. Of course I have to figure out how to make them and sewing is not my strong point, but I love them. I also love the bench in the picture and if you scroll down to her muffin picture, the slipcovers on her dining chairs are to die for. Love, love, love all her fabrics.

Want some great music to listen to while surfing, check out:

Nova 100 - never more than two ads in a row-I really enjoy this station. A friend sent me a link to this online Jukebox, Playa Cofi enjoy!

The Sons I Always Wanted
When we first moved here the kids thought the beach was great, then they grew to hate it. It's probably because since moving to the Sunshine State we haven't taken a real family vacation. We live in Vacationland USA why go anywhere else? Now the middle son and the youngest son have a new found love for our beach. They want to go all the time. These pictures were taken last Sunday.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Crafting from the Edge

Lots and lots of stuff going on around here, spring cleaning, no pics of that, aren't you glad? It's really hard to photograph a Hefty bag still life. Just doesn't work in any setting.

Here's a picture of my in progress BBD First Offerings. This really should have been completed ages ago but I have no focus or discipline at the moment. I'm using DMC 310 and 28ct white Monaco. I plan to do some damage coffee or tea dyeing to the piece once the stitching is completed. Here's my attempt at a springish still life. This is my version of Bella Dia: Vintage Vertical Stripe Crocheted Blanket Pattern
Here's a close-up, such that it is. I need more light, sparkley colors. This is a stash buster and I seem to only have dark or neon colors. I bought a skein of baby pink Red Heart yesterday to add a little lightness to the palette.

Here's another attempt at embroidery on the obligatory tea towel. The mermaid's hair is one strand of DMC 498(I think that's the right color) the bird is stitched with two using a split stitch I think, I can't really remember. Her arms are also two strands, her tail is outlined with two strands and the scales are two strands using Jenny Hart's scalloped chain stitch. The rocks are three strands using a split stitch and a stem stitch. Also part of the photo shoot a newly knitted Mason Dixon Ball Band Warsh Rag.

Sometimes when life is dark and dreary a bright light of hope shines through. After 30 something years of cross stitching and not being able to make a (insert the "F-bomb" here) French knot, I give you my first ever French knot, on the work I've titled, "Tea Towel with Red Mermaid".

It is not perfect, it's a bit loose but that doesn't matter it's a French Knot made by me! I was dancing and jumping all over the front yard, yelling across the road to my friend Pam, "Come look at my French knot." You see she's one of those stitchers that can make a French knot, her heart doesn't skip a beat when she sees a chart with ten or twenty French knots. They cause her no angst. French knots have me rootling through the bead box to come up with an alternative for my albatross, the French knot.
Because I love sharing my dorkiness with the world at large, I thought I'd share this link with you, angry chicken: it's the little things. After reading this entry the other day I immediately called the oldest DS-(who is 19 today Happy Birthday Ryne!)who was out with friends and began to quiz him on these and other Urban Slang words. He paused after I asked the fifth or so word and said, "Mom are you reading and Urban Slang dictionary?" Then he said, "I'm busy, find someone else to bother." The boy does love his mom, NOT! He did score a 100 on my mini quiz. Unfortunately it's the only quiz he's scored 100 on in while. Then I was reading GirlReaction and Carolyn mentioned Lupe Fiasco, because of Carolyn I was on the Gnarls Barkley band wagon way before my kids who think they are so cool, so I call DS#1 again and ask him, "Hey have you heard of Lupe Fiasco?" He said, "Yes, I have his CD. Don't call me any more unless it's an emergency we're in a movie." So much for being super cool hip mom in regards to Lupe Fiasco. I started quizzing the kids on the road. Yes they all know who he is. I am enjoying his CD even though I'm a little late to the party on this one. Also listening to Lucinda Williams' West and Live at the Fillmore.
I forgot to mention in my earlier post that we watched Casino Royale this past weekend. I loved the new James Bond. I know I read articles when Daniel Craig was chosen for the role that people weren't happy about it. I thought he was a great Bond.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spring Break is OVER!

Can you tell I'm overjoyed at the thought of my three kids going back to school today? Oh yeah, I was happy. Let me tell ya. HAPPY!

We didn't do anything vacationy(vacationie?) over the past week but we did get one bathroom painted and one hallway, I say we, I bought the paint, the spousal unit did the painting. We went simple. Good old Country White. Amazing what a coat of paint will do to lift your spirits and make a room or hallway look so much better(cleaner). While much painting was being done, I took Mr Clean's Magic Eraser to the front of my hideous kitchen cabinets. They look like brand new. The stuff the Magic Eraser is made of worked some serious magic on my cabinets. I got all the laundry off the kitchen table and of course it is now piled a mile high with yet more clean laundry. I'm doing better folding and hanging as stuff comes out of the dryer but sometimes you just have to get the stuff out of the dryer to get the stuff from the washer into the dryer and well, I get a little behind.

I haven't accomplished a lot in the stitching aspect of my life. Too many distractions, which means the chaos that is my home finally got inside my head and I actually chose to clean the cabinets and fill up forty Hefty bags with trash instead of stitching. I think I must have had a fever. The sad part of the tale is that we still have a lot of junk around here. Whatever pile I seem to get rid of, five more take it's place. With everyone going back to school today, some balance came back in my world and I worked a teeny tiny little bit on BBD First Offerings. I forgot to take a picture but will do it first thing in the morning. So I'm stitching along and for some reason the tv screen divides itself in half and we have about a centimeter or less of tv screen, on either side the tv is black. This is not a good thing. The new living room tv will be a 13 inch from the garage until a new tv is in the budget. YIKES! It's March Madness! University of Memphis is in the Sweet Sixteen and we're stuck watching it on a 13 inch tv.

Over the last week we watched several movies. Borat won our minifilm festival hands down. That's the funniest movie I've seen in a long, long, long time. I don't even like this kind of thing, but Borat, "It's NICE." I love that people are suing and I hope a judge tells them before you sign a contract, read it, especially if it's someone you've never seen before in your whole entire life and really read the contract even if your mother asks you to sign it. Hollywoodland was a bit of a snooze. I wanted to watch it but just wasn't in the mood. I'm going to try it again in a week or two and see if I like it any better.

We also loved the Galapagos special on the National Geographic Channel Sunday night. The Spousal Unit who normally doesn't get into geek stuff loved it. He considers NGC a geek channel.

The new Rolling Stone has an article celebrating 10 yrs of South Park. I can't believe that show has been around 10 years already. Personally I think Trey Parker is a genius.

This afternoon I talked to an old friend, we don't talk as much as we should. We've known each other since eighth grade and talk maybe once every two years. That's so wrong. We have so much history together, there was a time when were like family. Then again we talk after not speaking for two years and we start conversations midsentence. Truthfully I've been missing my grandmother a lot the last few days. You know those moments when you want to tell them something and the ice cold fact that they are no longer here slaps you upside the head and you just start crying because there's really nothing else to do. You can't talk to them and they are they only ones that would have a clue about what's going on inside your head. They might not understand it but know that it's you being you and know just the right thing to say. It may not have anything to do with the reason you called but for whatever reason when you hang up the phone everything is better. Talking to Leslie kind of brought my grandmother back, she spent a lot of good times with my grandparents when we were in high school. So picking up the phone and calling her made me feel a little closer to Mamaw if only by proxy.

The funniest part of the conversation, we were talking about our age, reading glasses, the possibility of bifocals, her not me, yet! And the converstaion to turned to all the hours we spent on the phone in high school talking about all those high school things, boys, Friday night football, why so and so was popular and "Did you see those new Willie Nelson Jeans at the TG&Y?" and I asked her if she felt fortyish inside, and like me she said, "No, it's not right that I'm the one saying back when I was your age we had three tv channels." That seems to be our generations "I walked uphill five miles in the snow back and forth to school barefooted". Three tv channels sounds a lot worse than walking barefooted up a snowy hill to this new group of kids.

I'm not really sure what I'm trying to say right now, but old friends, sometimes their voice can heal, or take the sting out of a hurt for a little while. They can also make you homesick like you wouldn't believe!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sunday Morning

A while back Jane at yarnstorm wrote a post about Krispy Kreme-yarnstorm: hole food.
It got me thinking about my early Krispy Kreme experiences. A Krispy Kreme experience you're asking yourself? Yes, when we first moved to Ft Walton Beach, FL from Little Rock, AR we spent quite a few late weekend nights with the kids at the Krispy Kreme in Destin. Nothing better than the late night donut run. Yes, we should have known sharing a couple dozen hot donuts with young kids at midnight was a mistake, but we were younger then and it was family time. If it was dark you would be able to see the "glowing orb of happiness" as DS#1's friend David called the "Hot Donuts" light at the Krispy Kreme. Bright sun kind of takes away the effect.
Here are the donuts moving along the conveyor belt after passing through.....

the sugar falls as seen above.

After passing through sugar falls and riding on a conveyor belt, the donuts end up in my hands in the box above. Box o' joy, oh yeah.

Dozen hot, life is good!

Two adults, one dozen hot, could not eat one more bite.
Did you know that Krispy Kreme now has 100% whole wheat donuts? We passed. That is not what the donut experience is all about. It's not about health. It's about hot, gooey dough melting like butter in your mouth. It's about a soft sugar coating covering your tongue. It is not about vitamins and minerals and what's good for you. It's just about "GOOD".
Tomorrow, Slim-fast, today Donut World a.k.a. Krispy Kreme, the happiest place on earth.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Coffee or Tea(Towel, That Is)?

After thinking about this for over a year I finally gave embroidery a try. My first two projects can be seen below. The towel on the right is from a Jenny Hart's Stitch-It Kit. The towel on the left is an Aunt Martha's iron on transfer. Apologies for this picture being in the shade, my camera battery died on me during the photo shoot. The coffee pot is red, the squiggledy lines are black, the cup is yellow, the saucer, lime, the coffee is brown satin stitch. The steam is also brown but stitched in a back stitch. Here's a close up of the orange dancing pot. I want to emphasize the word "dancing" so as I explain this to you, you can be a little inside my head when I was stitching this(inside my head, yes, that's a scary place, deal with it for a minute or two ok?). I chose orange for the pot because I like bright colors and I've been Jonesing for a Le Creuset Orange Dutch Oven and this is as close as I'm apparently going to get. I used a simple back stitch. I satin stitched the handle to the lid and it's not as neat as I would like. I also satin stitched the eyes and used a stem stitch for the lashes. The arms and legs are outlined in black using a split stitch. The steam, I pondered the color choice for a while. My first instinct was a bright green, then I thought, "No, steam isn't green, that's not realistic." Ok, in my world the steam for most things I cook is green but that's beside the point. I opted for the grayish color you see also using a split stitch. Now why was I so concerned with my color choice being "real"? The pot has arms and legs and it's dancing for cryin' out loud.

If I make another one of these I'll definitely follow my instinct, screw reality.
I was so euphoric over the success of my first two embroidery projects that I decided to get a little more advanced. I pulled out my Mystic Mermaid #3984 patterns, also courtesy of Aunt Martha. I only have two packages of these designs, I can't find more anywhere. But at this point I'm feeling like a master transfer iron-er on-er and proceed to screw up not one towel but two and completely render useless one of my mermaid patterns. I am going to go back to my corner and proceed to embroider another dancing kitchen gadget and leave the mermaids alone until I can be trusted not to ruin yet another pattern.
My beginner thoughts on embroidery are:
1. Embroidery is different than cross stitch. (DUH)
2. I worry a lot about my stitches being even and laying right. I feel my work has a naive(crude, kindergartner, sloppy) feel to it. My satin stitches suck beyond belief but they did get better on the second towel which is the orange pot.
3. It's fun and I can't believe I haven't tried it before now. My next 40% off coupon from Micheals will go towards the purchase of Hip to Stitch.
4. I can see this being addictive. The projects are quick, at least these two were, and I enjoyed choosing colors and not being told what colors I had to use.
This is what happens when a cross stitcher spends way too much time reading the finished projects in the cross stitch/embroidery forum over at Craftster. I want to embroider everything in my house. The feed sack towels are from the store who shall not be named. I've heard Martha's feed sack towels are the best and can be found at your local K-Mart. Definitely a reason to head to the Big K.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Running All Around My Brain

This time of year is when I attempt to declutter the house and plan what to do with hopeless patches of green that we loosely refer to as the yard.

Today's project: the spousal unit's closet. It's a nightmare because it's the closet we throw stuff in when people show up unexpectedly and then we just ignore the piles of crap until we start looking for something we haven't seen in a while and think, "maybe we threw it in there". So far I've filled up two garbage bags and am in the process of emptying out a huge rubbermaid bucket tote I shoved in there a while back. I had high hopes of running across my Beatrix Potter Quaker chart but it wasn't in that particular bucket. I found more jeans the kids have outgrown for a denim throw I plan to make one day. I still have the other half of the floor of his closet to clean, this is a project that takes baby steps. If I work longer than 30 minutes at a time I get overwhelmed. I still can't figure out how we accumulate so much junk. Well I do, I'm a magazine whore and those create piles everywhere and I hate throwing them out because you never know when you have to look something up in a back issue of Mary Englebreit's Home Companion. Although the one I really wanted to save, there was a quilt I wanted to attempt to copy, I can't find. It's probably hanging out with Beatrix Potter laughing at me.

I've also been trying to plan the backyard. From pictures you can tell we have very little grass up near the house so I'm thinking about extending the patio using those large square stones. I have to get the grill off the patio and I'm thinking three rows of three stones will be perfect for that and then six rows of three on the other side and I can get the patio table off the porch. That way when we open the back doors we won't bang against chairs or the grill. I'm sure my neighbors appreciate that at 4 am when I'm letting the dogs out.

We're going to build a raised bed for a garden this weekend. Last year I did the container garden thing and my tomatoes would only get so big so we're going to put a raised bed on the south side of the house. I don't think it'll look tacky. Once it's nice and green and leafy it'll be pretty. We enjoyed home grown tomatoes last summer. Didn't have a large crop but made some killer bruschetta a couple of times. I'm going to try Square Foot Gardening this year. We're going to try watermelons again but a smaller kind instead of the congo watermelons we planted last year, very unsuccessful, we'll go with something that's not supposed to get 30lbs in size. I want to plant my herbs in big pots and set them around my extended patio created by the stones I mentioned above. Yes, I do understand that these plans are primed for disaster but I want to make the backyard a sanctuary. We're also going to put up some privacy fencing between the houses on either side of us. I've been pricing it and think we can do it pretty cheap to just connect us up on either side. We'll have to build our own gate unless Home Depot has premade gates, Lowes doesn't.

We have these new kids that have moved in and they are making me nuts. Don't get me wrong I don't mind other people's kids, but if I'm outside they are in my face talking to me constantly. Now they have started ringing the bell and wanting to tortureplay with the cats, they want me to bring the puppy out, I want to say go bother your own mom. So a fence it is and I'll never have to go out in the front yard again. The one girl is also clumsy and has fallen off the swing in my backyard twice. That's all I need a kid getting hurt on our swing. Although this little girl told me that I really should give them our swing because she doesn't have one. What is up with that? Every time she comes around my house into the backyard I'm sitting in the swing. I believe that means we use it! Anyway, I have plans for the backyard to make it a nice place to hang out expand the patio on the cheap and be able to leave my back doors open and the dogs can stay out as much as they want.

No stitching news, I worked a little this weekend on that BBD freebie, First Offerings.

We did watch a lot of movies this weekend. We watched The Departed-brutal. We also watched Snakes on a Plane. How good would that movie be in 3-D? We screamed all the way through it and kept pulling our feet off the floor on to the couch, lots of fun. We also watched Stranger than Fiction with Will Ferrell. I loved this movie and Rumor Has It with Jennifer Anniston and Kevin Costner, very enjoyable. We wasted Sunday finishing up season 1 of Dawson's Creek and starting season 2. Yes, our weekend was as lazy as you're thinking. Sometimes you just have to lay around on the couch and let all your brain cells chill for a while.

I started reading The Expected One by Kathleen McGowan and I can't get into it. I should have never read the acknowledgements before finishing the book. It has really taken some of the magic from the story. Sometimes I just don't need to know the backstory. Let me just enjoy this work of fiction and not know the author's journey. Sometimes too much information is too much information.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

National Craft Month

March is National Craft Month and the March 2007 issue of Country Living is showing off the Needle Arts. The trusty scanner isn't connected to the laptop so please excuse the less than perfect pictures. I took the below picture no less than five times, every one of them turned out blurry. This was the best of the batch. I want to make one of those circle coverlets. The one shown in the picture sells for $650. YIKES! I definitely want to attempt to make one. The pillows are cool too.
And these Rickrack dishes, how cool are they?

Needless to say I'm enjoying the new issue of Country Living a lot.

National Craft Month

March is National Craft Month and the March 2007 issue of Country Living is showing off the Needle Arts. The trusty scanner isn't connected to the laptop so please excuse the less than perfect pictures. I took the below picture no less than five times, every one of them turned out blurry. This was the best of the batch. I want to make one of those circle coverlets. The one shown in the picture sells for $650. YIKES! I definitely want to attempt to make one. The pillows are cool too.
And these Rickrack dishes, how cool are they?

Needless to say I'm enjoying the new issue of Country Living a lot.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday and Life is Good!

This post is image heavy, my apologies to anyone on dial up. I'm going to start with this fabulous fabric I found at JoAnn's. I looked all over for a bolt and was going to buy as much as I could with my 40% off coupon but I only scored 4 fat quarters of it. It makes me happy to look at it. It reminds me of I Dream of Jeannie. I want to cover everything in my house with it. This fabric reminds me of the inside of Jeannie's bottle. I don't know why, but it does. I'm hoping to get a little bit more of this and maybe turn it into a Churn Dash Quilt. It's so girlie. Being the only chick in a housefull of guys, sometimes I need a pink fix. What you see below, happy feet! My feet. This picture was inspired by one Amanda took last summer. It's March 2nd and that water is as cold you think it is. Yes, I need a pedi, big time.

A group of ecstatic seagulls. The see a herd of tourists with bread! They are on the attack!

The view above my feet and why I spent most of my life trying to get here. After several years of hurricanes I no longer dream of this being the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning but I love that it's only three miles from my house. Life could be a lot worse.

Yes, we have lifeguards here on the Redneck Riviera, they just aren't anywhere near the water! Yes, the Gulf of Mexico is over the dune, that's like totally where all the water and swimmers are. The lifeguard stand is uh, behind the dune. I don't even know if you can see the water from the lifeguard stand.

This is the view from the top of the dune. How beautiful is that sand and water?

Today's movie, Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.

Current Topics of Interest
First of all, could that Anna Nicole Smith fiasco get any more bizarre? Her mother tried to stop the funeral today. Some people have wondered why this has fascinated people so much. It's like a soap opera only real life. There are no good guys in this story. It's heartbreaking on so many levels. Her mother reminds me of those people who disown their kids because they are gay, don't speak to them for 20 or 30 years and then when the adult child gets aids and is dying, they walk back in their life, try to isolate them from the people they've loved for years, and still don't get it. From everything I've heard her mother did the tough love thing, "I don't want anything to do with you if you're on drugs". It would take more than that to keep me from my kid. What ever horrible choices they make, they are your child. Period. I get the whole tough love thing, not wanting to be an enabler, not wanting to subject the rest of the family to their problems but at the same time, you can't alienate your blood. Was Anna Nicole Smith more than likely surrounded by horrible people, yes, another reason to keep the lines of communications open. I want to say I feel bad for her mother but the only one in this story that I feel bad for is the baby daughter. Just beyond sad.
Another reason to focus on this Texas gothic drama, it takes one's mind off the real horrors in the world such as the Jessica Lunsford trial, I can't imagine as a parent having to deal with something like this and go through the trial every second wanting to jump out of my chair and strangle the animal that did this to my kid. It's a lot easier to obsess over Anna than face this kind of horror.
Thanks to Carolyn I discovered India.Arie's cover of Don Henley's The Heart of the Matter. It's beautiful. Here's a link to her My Space and you can listen to the song.
No stitching news to report. I've made a little progress on the BBD freebie but nothing worthy of a photograph.