My Friends

Monday, January 31, 2011

My newest design and project

I chose the majestic sheep that is standing alone as my first design project. So far I think it is going well, I just received my new needles today and I really like the feel of them. I have a different set ordered so I guess I will see which is my favorite. I am using JP coats floss 2 strands for this ewe. The dark is almost a forest green I didn't get the number off of it. Stupid but there was just a small amount left on the card. The other color is a light beige and also a verigated beige. I need to go back and rework some details on the muzzle though. It seem to get lost from back to front.
I do like the subject matter however and plan on working it all the way to the outside then punch needle a frame around it. I will keep you updated as I work my way through it. I do need to get back to my cross stitch work too. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in a day anymore. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

These are my next punch needle projects

I picked up these cards yesterday as I am just in love with the sheep and lambs and such. I want to do these up in Needle Punch next. I am trying to decide how to transfer them to the fabric. I am open to suggestions my needle punching friends. The artist is Becky Miller of Toledo, Oregon. She just has a way a capturing the density of the fleese and the fluff of the feather down on the goose.  I also found this photo in the Drs office magazine and had to nab it.
isn't it just the most awesome majestic looking figure. I have to capture it on fabric and make it look just as magnificent.
I love the background too.

Okay, this is my first attempt.

Well, I finally finished the little chickadee and now I am going to fill in around it to form a little picture and frame.
I am loving it and now that I see that it is something I can do with relative ease I have invested in some new flosses and new needles.
My picture is a little blurry but so were my eyes at midnight.I finally closed my eyes only to awake to horrible nightmares. The kind that you are trying to yell or scream and nothing will come out. I was even yelling that I can't see, I can't see, then it was I can't talk
The were terrible nightmares, one after another and I actually woke myself up yelling an obscenity at my attacker. I never talk like that so it even surprised me when I yelled the F word. The Queen mother of bad words. No it wasn't fudge.  My hubby said who are you yelling at?  I don't know some jerk that won't leave me alone.
He then said, " poor guy, he hasn't a clue who he is dealing with", laughed then went back to sleep.
Heheh. Gotta love em.
Well, thank God I made it through the night. Okay, I think I know why I had nightmares.
I was pulled over yesterday by a state trooper in our little town. I have not been stopped in 15 years. Good
driving record up till yesterday. Ewwww.... I live in a very small rural town with one main street which has most of the businesses on it. At the end of the main street there is a
flashing red traffic light for main street, but a yellow flashing light for the downhill cross street. I know this light and I have almost been hit byothers that pull out thinking I have a red light too. Any way, I stopped, looked, then started to pull out. WHOOPS, where did he come from. The state trooper. I immediately stopped to let him pass but he waved me on. Yea right. then he turned on his lights. OMG, I am being pulled over. I was so.... nervous. really shaking nervous. One reason is that I hadn't changed my AZ license to an Oregon one when I moved here. It was still valid in AZ but I was in violation of not changing in within a month or so. I have only been here 5 years. Whoops. Well, he wasn't impressed with my awesome driving record or my smile or the fact that I was so.... dang nervous. However, it was going through my mind that if I just smiled and acknowledged the fact that I knew I was in the wrong and that I always had such great intentions he would let me off. I tried to act the sweet little older lady that just needed a little break and if I was cutsey like those silly girls on Cops, he would let me off with just a warning and scolding. Well in the end, he did, BUT and this is a big But, he gave me one week to get my new license and that he had up to 6 months to still site me if I hadn't gotten it. He said he was going to stop by my house to make sure that I had followed through. The benefit of a small town.He didn't even site me for the moving violation.I thanked God as he was walking back to his car and I was wondering if it helped that his last name was McKay and mine is MacKay. Seriously doubt it, but never the less, I have to go take my written test next week. I panic on tests and I suppose thats why I kept putting it off. Wish me luck my friends. I know I was wrong. Oh yea, he asked me why I didn't get it sooner and I just said, well I hardly ever drive and this one was good till 2013 and I just thought I would wait. He didn't even smile at that. These young dedicated troopers have no sense of humor. Hehehe......
Okay. Drive safely and enjoy your weekend. I am going to be studying my handbook.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another nice day and No slipping

I hesitated before I walked out the door to make sure I had my trekking boots on with tread thicker then my car tires so I wouldn't slip on anything. I also made sure that I had my cell phone just in case my shoes didn't work I could call for help. Heheh We were safe and sound all the way home.
I have a good Mexican Stew cooking in the slow cooker and boy oh boy does it smell yummy. I will give you the recipe and I promise if you like Mexican food you will love this as we do.
Then I made a spice caramel cake for desert.
Slow cooker Mexican Beef Stew

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time : 11 hours 35 Min in a slow cooker on low. I precook my stew meat however and it take about 5 Hours total.
Makes 6 servings

2 lb beef stew meat
1 can 28 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
1 large onion cubed or 1 cup frozen onion (from 1-lb bag)
1 tsp chilli powder
1 package Taco Seasoning mix
1 can (15 oz)  black beans drained and rinsed
1 can (11 oz) Green Giant Mexicorn whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, drained

1 Mix beef, tomatoes, onions and chilli powder in 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker
2 Cover and cook on low heat setting 9-11 hours ( but as I say, if you precook your stew meat it takes less time) or until beef is tender
3 Stir in taco seasoning mix, drained and rinsed black beans, and corn. Cover and cook on high heat setting 15 - 30 minutes until thickened.
Serve over tortilla chips and top with a few more crumbled along with a dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheddar cheese. Oh yes and if you like a sprinkling of Cilantro just gives it that added flavor that the good Mexican food has.
This is great on a cold night or on Super Bowl Sunday

I have also been busy working on my cross stitches as this is where they stand so far.

So that is what I did with my day today.
I am still anxiously awaiting my punch needle tool so I can start my new projects.
I hate to waste a minute of a day if I can help it. Life is just too short to waste
Hugs to all of you and I do hope you will try the Mexican Stew.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sold all my Pine Needles in a Blink

I put my pine needles on sale on the pine needle group at Yahoo and sold them in a blink. I had about 10 lbs of long Florida Pines along with some other goodies that I am putting in. I think its good to make a clean break of it all and start off with my new hobby, Needle punch. 
Now to put a topper on my other wise great day I decided to take my two furry face friends for a walk in the sunshine. Unfortunately the sun hadn't shined enough on the grass in the park. Yep, down I went leaving about a 4' skid mark behind me. Along with that I landed on  my wrist and elbow and jammed my shoulder.
My two dogs were standing there looking down at me and wondering what to do next. Hehe, damage is already done but they walked very slow the rest of the way home. They just seem to know that things weren't right with Mom.
Besides being a muddy mess, I am going to have to go to the Chiropractor on Thursday. I just went yesterday but now I am all tweaked out of shape again. Dang It!!!
I was fairly graceful though. heheh. Not that it helps the visual image though.
Last time I did that I broke my wrist. At least I just tweaked it this time.
So, now I am in my jammies and nice and dry and sitting with the heating pad on my shoulder and arm. 
Well, I will now go to my corner and try and not hurt my self any more.
Have an awesome day my friends.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Took a walk today in the sunshine

 Today we had one of our few sunny winter days and we made the most of it. I didn't get any pics of my furry friends but here is the area that we took our walk in behind our public library. 

Hey Mom. Its a sunny day. Can we go for a walk? You betcha because you both have been so good and
deserve a nice long walk in the woods.
This is the front of our Library.  It is nestled in the pines. For a small rural community
they really make things nice for us. We even have a skate park
for the skateboarders across the street from the Library and
Tennis courts and a little park with things and swings for the little
ones to enjoy
This Tennis courts and there is a public pool directly across from the library
The beginning of the trail
                                        Heading up the trail and leaving the Library behind us
 Heading up the mountain makes you feel like you are on a journey in Lord of the Rings or going into a fairy land, Heheh, my imagination runs wild when I walk through here.

 Heading back down the hill and at the bottom there is a stair case and a little bridge that you cross over a little creek. The dogs like to get a drink from the clear cold water there
This is the back side of the Library    They give outdoor plays and functions here during the warm Summer months. There is sort of a little park area here with picnic tables to sit at and enjoy the nice days.

This is where the Mill is and there is a dock and some of  the local boaters have there boats tied up here.

   Well, I hope you enjoyed your walk in the sunshine with us.  All of this is just a couple of blocks  from our home. For such a small town in Toledo, Oregon,  it is a very comfortable little towns and the people are very nice and genuine. Real down home folks.  On our next walk I will take you down town to meet some  of our locals.  The Mayor of our town is a very nice woman that owns and runs the Cottage Quilt store.
                                 Now you can't get more down home then that can you?

Friday, January 21, 2011

coiled basket making.

I have been researching the coiling core baskets and found a source and some very pretty designs for making the coiled core baskets. I guess I was just in hopes that I could continue with my pine needles but I will sell my huge stash of needles and buy some coiling core to try my hand at these.

Here are some nice baskets that I found on line.

Also I have made one of these before that is a lot of fun

yes, I know there are many other ways of making the baskets. It was just my preference for using natural materials and the warm colors and smell of the needles.
I guess I will just have to change my way of thinking. Thats hard to do at my age. Heheh
The crocheted rug that I made lasted for about 10 years. It was sort of funny that I bought all this pretty new fabric then shredded it up to make my rag crocheted run. It was made from a combination of red, yellow and blue calico's. Very homey.
Thank for all your suggestions. I will give them some thought.
Okay my friends, you have given me lots to think about and a way around my allergies. You are true friends.

Allergic to pine needles now?????

I have been making pine needle baskets for years but now I have developed an allergy to Pine needles or the oil or whatever is on them. Last year I was making some baskets and at the same time I visited the aquarium here in Oregon. Well, I was handling the stingrays and sharks in the observation tank where you can touch and experience the fish with your hands. I developed the same reaction that I swelled up with the other day. The doctors were baffled and put me though all sorts of tests and lab work only to decide that the only thing that was going to work was prednisone. I was a horrible mess to look at. My face looked like I had been through an abrasion procedure. It didn't get that bad this time so far as we caught it right away and figured out that it was the pine needles. Benadryl and all those allergy meds didn't work, only the prednisone.
So after making all those baskets for everyone else I don't even have one for myself. Dang it.I guess I will have to buy one.
Maybe I can trade one for all the pine needles that I have.
Guess I am going to just be handling fabrics, beads, wax and threads from now on.
Its funny how after years of never having any problems with allergies, I am now extremely allergic to them.
Makes me so angry as I love making them and this was the first one since my hand surgeries. Guess I'm gettin older. Heheh
These are some of the baskets that I made before.

Well, I have my work cut out for me for now with the cross stitches that I am working on. One for CCP Gathering

Monday, January 17, 2011

Migraines and Cross stitch don't mix

I have been trying to work on three different cross stitches and my headaches are just getting the better of me. Guess I will have to put them up for a couple of days. Errrrr..... I want to keep going but the more I try to concentrate on each stitch the more my head pounds. I think it is winning for now.

I haven't gotten far on any of them but I have made a switch in the sampler for my daughter. We decided that we like this pattern better and so I have started on it. It is a Family Tree Sampler so it works out just the way we wanted it too.
This is the newest sampler I have started
and this is the beginning of the CCP Gathering sampler. I did find out some very interesting information regarding the house on the sampler.
This came from a Member of CCP Gathering along with the photo of the original Garrison House. Thank you Ginny

The old garrison houses looked like this one and some were taller like the one on Crows Creek.  It was fortified with the second floor overhanging the first floor.  This was to keep the indians away from the second floor.  The people inside could shoot at the indians from above.  They were constructed of stone or logs.  As the years went on the houses were built like the Crows Creek one without the overhang.  You still see some now being built with the overhang though.  Our family was the second original family in my hometown.  There is a book about the Gunnisons and in it there is a place that tells of a garrison house that all the area neighbors ran to for protection when indians were sighted.  I guess not everyone built these style houses. 

Isn't this fun sewing a part of history along with our pro board banner. I am going to enjoy making this even more. The best part of this and no one knows is that I am going to give it as a special gift to someone special. 
Now, if my head will just let me do what my hands want to do. My hands are cooperating but my eyes are making my head hurt more.
It was finally a nice day here today and i could get myself up and out to enjoy it. I will just have to do some self healing and make myself feel better tomorrow so I can at least take my kids for a walk with out it raining. They are getting tired and fat because they can't get out to exercise and the back yard just doesn't cut it. I mean, who want to play in their bathroom so to speak. I do the Poop Patrol daily but still they are bored with just the back yard. 
I am going to soak some pine needles tomorrow to see if I can still make a pine needle basket. I haven't tried since my hand surgery but since I can't see to do the cross stitch I have to do something.

So there you go. As promised an update.
Have a super awesome week my friends

Friday, January 14, 2011

Preliminary sketch on fabric

Okay, this is what I have decided about this cross stitch project. I had contemplated stitching the whole thing but after trying to chart out all the different areas I decided to do it this way. I did a preliminary sketch on the fabric and shaded in the areas that I most likely will be stitching over. All the text will be stitched and I will go back in and stitch over the areas that I want to highlight and leave the background as is. It is suppose to be leaning toward the Primitive aesthetic values so I feel that the sketch as well as the stitching will accomplish that. Like I say it is Preliminary and I will keep you updated.
 The shadow below the picture is just that, a shadow. It has not been shaded it is just from the way the picture was taken.
This is the other one that I am working on too. My eyes are giving me grief and I even use a magnifying lamp
but I think that I may have to start saving up for a new pair of glasses too.

I have also stitched up some bears and sheep and just need to go pick up the stuffing for them.
So, you see, life is going on and starting to shift gears again after the holidays. There always seems to be that time where you feel like you are just idling and can't get you mind in gear. Well my friends. I am in first and heading toward second. Just wait till I get in 5th gear. Heheh that is usually when I am just cruising along and things are moving smoothly. I usually stay between 3rd and 4th most of the time. heheh
So I've got the engine warming up and I will show you my travels a little later.
Have a terrific Friday.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Its a blustery day in the woods today," Que Sera Sera"

Not a day for umbrellas. The winds have been blowing all night long and the wind chimes outside the door and window, if they survived the night, have been chiming like Big Ben. I will have to go out and check them when it get light out. Still pretty dark as its early morn here.

I probably won't be straying too far from the ole homestead today. Going to meet my best friends brother from Maine even though he didn't bring me any lobsters. eheh. I think that he probably did bring this weather with him though so I will have to let him know that he is more then welcome to take it back when he leaves. I am ready for some beautiful sunshine and some warm days to make me smile again. I absolutely need at least 1-2 days a week to put some bounce into my step. That must be the ol Southern California girl in me.
Working on converting a photo into a cross stitch. Whew, not an easy thing to do. I got as far as putting an 18 count pattern on the photo now just need to gather the colors and chart it out.
This is the photo that I am working on. It is from a forum that I belong to.
These are the floss colors that I have chosen to use.

Now comes the charting of the colors. This may be a real challenge and put my art skills as well as my CS skills to the test. I will keep you updated with this as I go along too. Yea, I know I already have two projects going and you can't believe all the things that I have cut out in the studio just waiting to be sewn together and stuffed. Oh well, as my Dear sweet Mother used to say
Que Sera Sera, what ever will be, will be, the futures not our's to see, Que Sera, Sera.
Okay my friends I am off like a dirty shirt and off to see what I can stir up  in the studio. At least its warmer here with the rains, so I won't complain too much. At least I have Miss Mattie here to guide me.
Have a very productive day, and just stop by and say hi. I love company.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Brrrr..... too cold for my blood

Brrrr.... its way too cold out there for me. It was so cold this morning that my dear sweet hubby's car doors were frozen shut. That's cold. Wipers were frozen to the windshield not to mention that 1/4 inch of ice on the windshield. I am so grateful that I have a husband that gets up and goes to work  6 days a week and never, never complains. I would be whining complaining if I had to go out in that cold. I just wouldn't do it. Yes, I am a wimp. I confess. I am a fair weather dog walker and if its below 40' I don't go out at all cause it takes me forever to get warm again. Okay..... we are all dealing with the cold weather, especially in the Louisiana and Alabama areas so I am just grateful that we don't have snow where we are yet,

I have been busy working on my daughters cross stitch and as promised I will show you what I have done so far. I am waiting for some more batting so I can work on my granddaughters teddy bears.
 My friends are suppose to be picking that up in the Portland area today when the go to pick up a family member from the airport. When you come to visit us its a two hour trip to the airport to pick up or deliver friends or family members flying in or out from here. We do have a local airport but it is just for shuttle flights and is very expensive.
My dear friends are all so worried that I can't stay warm that my dearest friend here with the Big C bought me a heated throw. Another dear friend sent me info on some wonderful cuffs that keep your wrists and lower arm warm and are especially good for those with arthritis. These look like a good thing and I think I have some old knee socks that I might just alter and make some of these.
Another thing that I absolutely need to do with the help of my little miss Mattie mouse, is to clean off my desk. I am running out of room and that is a sure sign that something is out of whack.  See what I mean clutter everywhere. How does this happen so fast? I think it was one of the Clutter bugs that have infested my desk and my studio. Yep, its the Clutter bugs hard at work making sure that I don't run out of stuff to do. Yep, Clutter bugs for sure. heheh

Well, my friends, with all the bad things that are happening in our country, sometimes its hard to keep a positive outlook  when we hear about the tragic shootings in Tucson, Arizona of a congress woman along with several others, one being a young 9 year old girl that was also shot and killed. What is happening to folks to feel that this is the only way to get a point across? I just makes my heart hurt.
I just try to remember that  God never gives us more then we can handle and if we keep the faith,  we will make it though the tough times and be all the better for it. This of course doesn't apply to the shooting which is something that I am sure, God had no hand in other then to allow the Arizona Congress woman Gabriella, that was shot at point blank range, to survive the shooting as of this posting.
I am sure that if you think hard, you will find something to be grateful for today. Remember to thank God for even those small things that help to keep our lives and families together as well as the jobs that we have or food and the roof over our heads that without his help and love for us, we would be in a world of Puppy poo poo. Sorry, just needed to lighten it up a bit
Please take care my friends, and smile at someone today. Its catching and more then likely you will receive more in return. Do something nice for someone else today. I also want to add that yes we are big Ducks fans here and want to wish them luck in their final game of the season in Phoenix today.
                                   GO DUCKS ! ! !.    
A sad duck as we didn't win but we sure gave it a good Oregon Duck try

Friday, January 7, 2011

Creative juices aren't flowing as fast as I would like them to

Have you noticed that creativity needs a little extra boost to get going after all the holidays are done? I don't seem to have the energy or inspiration to get the motivation into gear. Its more like getting the butt into gear. I have many things that I want to get going on like my grandchildren's teddy bears that didn't get done by Christmas.
Is anyone else having this problem? I contribute a lot of it to lack of sunshine and warmth. Good excuse heh? No, really, I need to recharge my solar batteries. When it is so cold I just want to stay bundled up and my studio is upstairs and I usually block that area off so that I am not heating up rooms that aren't in use 24/7.
I guess I will just have to open it up long enough to get some things stitched up and or cut out.
I am making slow headway on my daughters cross stitch sampler that will include her family children's names,births and her wedding date.

I can also see the restlessness in my little girl. Heheh, little? Yea right. Well, I guess this all means that we need a lot more exercise so, GOD, if you are listening, I could use some nice sunny weather to get the ole batteries recharged please? I promise to be good and not yell at my four legged kids when they chew up my new socks, or when they want to play at 3:00 am .

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Well Its obvious that winter is in full motion

It is so cold out and maybe my blood isn't as thick and young as it used to be but I just can't seem to get warm. I wear three layers in the house and add more when I go out. It just seems that from the waist up I am always cold. I try to work on my needle work and my hand are so cold that I can't feel the needle. I'ts warm enough inside but my body temps just seem to be less then they should be.
I am trying to work on teddy bears and cross stitch samplers and if I sit more then a half an hour my upper body gets cold. Any suggestions fellow stitcher friends.
Have you ever know a dog to suck on its toes when it is going to sleep? Well, I have a little girl that chews on her foot like a pacifier when she is going to sleep. What a baby. She just makes me smile, heheh

My friend gave me an adorable little mouse made from pussy willow buds. It is such a cute idea and she knows how much I like the little mice as long as they aren't real. heheh Just cute
I have decided to name this little fellow Knots. Quite a suitable name don't you think?