Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I love organizing...

stuff. I needed a solution for storing my many rubber stamps. I found this printer's drawer in an antique shop, and it appears to be just the thing. It was somewhat challenging getting them to stay put though. The shelves are rather narrow, and like dominoes, when one fell, another one fell, and so on. For now, it's sitting on my desk. I think I'll see if my DH will hang it on the wall. I think it's fun to recycle old things, and it sure beats the plastic shoe boxes that they used to be in.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A recent finish...

and an almost completed sampler. 1798 Quaker Sampler had been in my stash for a few years, with about a quarter of it done. For some reason, I left if to stitch on something else. I only work on one piece at a time, so it is unsettling to have unfinished business in my stitching basket. I must be in the minority in that regard because many stitchers like to rotate their projects. Anyway, it was stitched on 40ct. linen with one strand of Au Vera A Soie 100/3 silk. I changed every color from the way it was charted, and I have to say that I'm pleased with the results. Now to decide on a frame for it...

The other little one is called Schoolhouse Sampler, and it is from the August 1998 publication of Better Homes and Gardens Cross Stitch & Needlework. I am drawn to anything that has red as a dominate color, especially buildings. It was charted for Kreinik thread, which I don't use, so I kept putting it aside thinking that one day I'd convert it to NPI. I like using different stitches from time to time. The red alphabet is Algerian Eyelet. I love the look, but it seemed to take forever. The green bands are double cross stitch and rice stitch.

And on a literary note, I finished A Breath of Snow and Ashes, and I now know what happens to Jamie and Claire (well, sort of). I have a feeling that they will make an appearance in the John Grey books. I can't believe that I made it through all six books of the Outlander series. I was truly sad to read the last page and would highly recommend them all.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Please grow...please, please, please!

Yesterday was a beautiful day in the valley of the sun. After a nice breakfast out with family, we strolled through the garden center at Home Depot. Just waiting for me, rhubarb plants. Yippee! I couldn't resist trying to grow it just one more time. I have tried it from transplants and from roots, with no luck. I swear, this is it. This year, however, I have a different plan, thanks to the nice man who helped us at the store. Instead of planting it in my garden, I have put it into pots. The idea is to bring it inside when our weather becomes too hot. I can place them in front of the patio door, where they can still get full sun, but they will not be subjected to the heat. Sounds like it could work, we'll see. If I don't succeed, I'll resort back to begging my Midwest relatives for some of theirs.
I also planted some very pretty pansies, trailing geraniums, a grape tomato, brocoli, and a red and a purple pepper. I have never seen a purple pepper before, but it is the color of an eggplant, and it is certainly different. It could add even more color to my pasta salad!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Our ballerina...

Granddaughter, Olivia is now taking ballet lessons. Here she is in her little outfit before class. Ballet is the perfect outlet for her. She's a total girly-girl, nail polish and all, and loves wearing a tu-tu. I can hardly wait until her first recital. After sitting through thousands of soccer, little league, basketball, and football games with two sons, this will be something entirely new for me.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Snow in the ...

mountains, east of Phoenix. What beautiful pictures taken yesterday by my sister, and used with her permission, of course. My brother and sister-in-law are visiting from Illinois, and they all took a ride out towards the Superstition Mountains on the Apache Trail. I just love the shot of the cactus wren. It amazes me that it can land and perch on top of the thorny cactus. Here are a few of the sights that awaited them:

I have to say that I am very impressed with My sis's newly found photography skills. She has been coming up with some great photos lately. I'm sure the fabulous new camera helps. My brother has always been the master photographer in our family, so maybe now he has a little competition. Either way, I get to enjoy seeing the world through their lenses.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Sewing Circle...

is a wonderful oil on canvas by artist, Daniel Ridgway Knight (American, 1839-1924). I was given a framed print of this painting several years ago, and it has been stored behind a dresser in our bedroom for the last ten. The other day I pulled it out, dusted it off, and it now hangs in my craft room. It fits perfectly above my sewing chair. I used to imagine myself in the circle, gossiping with the others, plying my needle and thread. In my fantasy, we were in England, but I learned that the artist lived in France for most of his adult life, and was fond of painting French peasants.