Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Year in Review

Today was definitely an up and down year.  I had Adèle in February, was forced to move in April and got carpal this fall.  I didn't really get my goals done.  So, let's look at what I did get finished.

I worked a lot on Christmyth:

I finally finished this as a banner for the girls' room:

Then I made this for my mother:

And I made some stuff for my friend Shelly:

And I made a PIF for Parsley:

I made myself a wedding sampler:

And some other miscellaneous stuff:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Hi everyone!

I've had a lovely Christmas.  The girls got lots of nice new toys and we have been invaded by Little People (the Fischer Price ones).  We also have a bunch of Chuck the Trucks running around as well.  We will be weeding out the toys next week (we rotate them so they get "new toys" every once and awhile).

The top picture is Zoé in her new Perry the Platypus pjs.  Zoé is two now and has no words.  Let me repeat that: absolutely no words.  She also doesn't respond to her name very well either.  We just had her evaluated and have specialists coming out twice a week to work with her.  She also has a hearing test scheduled so we will find out if it's hearing or not.  She is enjoying her toys though.  Adèle is doing well.

I've been thinking forward to next year's stitching.  My carpal tunnel is getting better so hopefully I will be stitching again next year.  Here are my goals:
I want to do this piece in honor of my in-law's 50th wedding anniversary.

This was supposed to be my brother-in-law's present but I couldn't do it because of my hands.

Then again, I would like to finish my DH's stocking:

And I need to find a stocking for Adèle, but I haven't shopped for one yet.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

First Sewing Finish!

I have my first finish from my new sewing machine.

I made a pair of black pajama pants from McCall's Pattern M6231.  I used a black flannel.  Here's how they turned out:
I made my husband model them but promised not to put his face in the picture.

Got some Kermit the Frog fleece to make Zoé a jacket with but first I am going to finish the picture frame for my mom on cross stitch.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Birthday/Christmas Present

This year for my birthday/Christmas present, I got a sewing machine.  It's the Brother Project Runway Limited Edition computerized sewing machine and it looks like this:

I never used to sew much by machine.  I took a summer school sewing class once but I never had a nice sewing machine.  I inherited my grandma's machine but it was old and didn't sew so well anymore.

I did a bit of research before deciding on a machine.  I was looking at the Singer Simple which was cheaper but this one had more features and it came with a bunch of accessories
My main concern was the feet which get to be pricey if you have to buy them.  It's also a free arm.

I used it a bit tonight to do some sewing on my first project which was a pair of pajama pants for my husband.  I got black flannel for it and cut out the pattern pinned it and started sewing.  I love this machine already.  It has a needle threader and the bobbin is extremely easy to put in, no complicated bobbin casing to deal with.

Realized that the pants I made were much too big. My husband wanted me to start over but looking at the pattern, I realized I only had to take it in on the size by about 2 inches on each size and I was able to salvage it.  Just have to do the elastic casing and the hem for the bottom.  So far, so good.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

An Advent service and a birthday

November 30 was Zoé's second birthday.  We celebrated it on Thursday because I couldn't get Wednesday off.  We ordered out Pizza Hut and she opened up her Mega Blocks that she got from us.  Now they are all over the living room.

We let her open one present on her birthday.  She piled her favorite stuffies on it instead.

We also had her cash in her piggy bank because it was full.  At our bank, they have a special account just for kids with your very own piggy bank and you get a prize every time you make a deposit.  So, she picked out the kitty cat.

Our tree is also up.  The 7 1/2 foot tree sure looks a lot smaller when you only have 8 foot ceilings instead of a 10 foot ceiling.

Tonight was the ladies' Advent candlelight service.  We did a table.  Here's what it looked like when it was all done.

 Mine was definitely not the fanciest table.  But I picked the nativity and the angel on purpose because it's an advent service.  I heard a couple of people comment on that they never would have thought to do a nativity (most of them were just generic holiday/Christmas decorations but one person did have a light up church) so maybe I'll set a trend for next year.  Wasn't going to do cloth napkins but I got that set of 8 for $5 at Tuesday Morning.  What a steal!  And they have a leaf pattern so they'll work year round..

I will be playing with my birthday/Christmas present soon.  But I'll save that for a different post.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my husband's family and all my kids except for Chris (who is on base).  Hope yours was great too.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Advent by Candlelight

My current church has a ladies' advent by candlelight service every year.  Because of my work schedule, I have not been able to attend the past two years because I always worked Sundays.  This year, I don't work Sundays so I decided to sign up.  But I looked at the signup sheet and there were like 24 ladies signed up to attend but only 1 hostess.  So, I signed up to be a hostess.

The ladies are all arranged in tables and there is a service with Advent readings and songs by candlelight.  And the hostesses are responsible to decorate their tables and then they also have to bring dessert and serve it to the ladies and also serve coffee and water.

I don't have a lot of funds to work with so I went through my stuff to see what I had.  The email I got said I had to have table settings for 8 and lots of candles and a water pitcher and coffee carafe. 

I have two sets of china.  One set looks like fiestaware but it's really china and wouldn't work so well because it's multicolored.  The other set is gold-rimmed but I only have 4 dinner plates.  I dug through my china which was still boxed up and found that I had exactly 8 medium sized plates in that set.  I also had plenty of coffee cups and saucers but I only had 7 juice cups because one was broken!  Ack!  So, we got another set of the glasses we use for everyday and I will just use those instead (we broke a couple so now we'll have more that actually match.

Here is what I'm planning for my table layout.  The blue candle holders will have white votives in them, I just don't have them yet.  I also think I'm going to swap out the red candy dish for a white one.  Tell me what you think


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dentist Visit and a Finish

Hi Everyone!

Happy weekend (well, my one day weekend anyway).  I went to the dentist today.  I'd been dreading it because when I went when I was pregnant, I was told I needed a deep cleaning and I had 7 cavities to fill.  Today, I was told that my teeth just needed a good regular cleaning and I only had 1 actual cavity.  He doesn't know what the other dentist saw but this new dentist has digital x-rays which is pretty neat.  Gums are a bit raw but my teeth feel nice and slick!

I also finished the Adèle picture.  Here is a picture:

My husband also took me on a date.  Emily watched the girls.  Went to Outback and picked out a toy for Zoé's birthday.  Almost had a gingerbread martini but that steak really filled me up!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Some stitching

Today, I did some more stitching.  I had previewed it earlier but I haven't had any time to work on it.

Carpal has really messed things up.  For Christmas, I planned to do this one Iris piece for my brother-in-law and this other piece for my in-laws and catch up on Zoé's ornaments and I was going to get the Pooh quilt done by her birthday.  Well, none of that is happening.  I will be lucky if I get the quilt done by Christmas.

So anyway, the piece I am working on is a mat for a picture frame.  My mom had pictures taken of the girls and I'm making a mat for them.  I'm using perforated paper.  Currently, I'm doing Adèle's.

For hers, I went through my DMC box and matched colors to the colors in the picture.  I was going to design my own motifs but I am not that good of a designer so I've raided my alphabet and Mini books.  This is actually made of strips of perforated paper.  I am attaching them at the corner by outlining it and stitching a heart through both pieces of paper.  Seems to secure rather well.

I found this alphabet out of one of my alphabet books.  Good old Leisure Arts.  Altered the colors to match the color scheme I had created.

I couldn't figure out what to do on the long sides so I found this cute butterfly border from my trusty Better Homes and Garden book.  I'm only doing one repetition.  The heart will match the ones on the corners to tie them all together.  Might add something like a flower in the white space, not sure yet.  The bottom will be a white picket fence if the white on white shows up ok.

For Zoé's frame, I'm using primary colors.  Not exactly sure what I'm going to stitch yet.  Trying to finish this one first.

Cease and Desist?

So, I got some kind of notice from Google saying that some of my pictures violate copyright.  Then, I tried to follow the links that they provided doesn't link to anything and one links to an album that is not mine so I am thoroughly scratching my head.  I have gone over my Picasa albums and nothing seems to be in violation.  The links supposedly go to the album with my cross stitch book covers.  However, none of the internal content of those books has been posted, just the cover which should not be a violation of copyright.

I also noticed some comments on Picasa from people requesting that I email them patterns.  I have deleted these comments and posted notices up in the albums now and I guess I should be clear.  I DO NOT AND I NEVER WILL EMAIL YOU CROSS STITCH PATTERNS!!!!!  Now that we're clear on that, there should be no confusion.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Not letting carpal stop me!

I have decided that I'm still going to try to reach my goal by finishing the Pooh quilt by Zoé's birthday.  So, I resumed work on it at work yesterday and I am hoping to do more today and post my progress.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review: The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard BookThe Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've liked Neil Gaiman ever since I read "The Sandman" (an excellent read but NOT for young readers at all).  Previously, I've read "Coraline" and "Stardust" and "Good Omens" (which he wrote with Terry Prachett) and "The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish."  I saw this is Barnes and Noble and thought that it looked like Gaiman's normal ominous work and I decided to put it on my list to read later.
Then I found out that it had won the Newbery.
Normally, the Newbery people are spot on in picking the best books of the year so I figured that I really REALLY had to read this one. 
The book itself reads more like a collection of short stories that are all connected together.  They center around Nobody Owens, a boy who's family is murdered when he is a toddler and he finds sanctity in a graveyard where he is raised by a ghostly couple the Owens and his mysterious guardian Silas.  We see glimpses of Bod as he grows up, being taught things by ghosts, as he befriends a little girl, as he tries to go to school in the real world.  Gaiman weaves all these stories together into an entertaining, cohesive book.  A definite read.

Decided to read it again for #allhallowsread on Twitter.  Excellent choice.

View all my reviews


So, I've been away from blogging for a week or two.  Been trying to spend more time with the girls and my heart's not really been into doing anything.  Why?  Because my insomnia is back.  Now, of course sometimes the girls are to blame for it but lately, I've been waking up every night, in the middle of the night and haven't been able to go back to sleep.  So, I lost a day of work (really hoping I don't get fired) and went to the doctor today.  Ambien CR it is.  Been on it before and I am happy to report that I did not sleep walk or eat my entire fridge.  So, hopefully there will be sleep tonight.  Let me rephrase that:  There had better be sleep for the $45 the generic cost me.  Yeah that's right generic Ambien on really nice UHC insurance we still $45. Boo.

The girls will not be wearing costumes this year.  We couldn't find any we liked and they were all oober expensive for what they are.  And I don't think Zoé will keep it on anyway.  Better luck next year.  Should have a sewing machine by then.

Speaking of Zoé, I decided to go through all the pics I have of them and had about 100 of them printed up.  Then bought a photo album for them.  Walgreens had a great deal of 10 cents a print if you ordered over 75 and the album was $7 at Dollar General.  Has a nice false fabric cover on it that feels fairly durable.  Also finally put some pics in their baby books but there's not a lot of space for pictures so we started the album on the side.  It holds 200 pics and had space for memos.

Zoé had her first ride in one of those car carts at Albertson's.  She loved it!

Adèle really has become a lover of stuffed animals.  Here's her current posse:

We have Minnie Mouse (she loves to grab her by the hairbow), Pikachu (the ears are great for grabbing), Lady (she likes the ears), a seal (used to be mine but it's the perfect size for little hands), Bolt (a recent acquisition that I found at the bottom of Zoé's toybox that she didn't want), a duck rattle (that I recently had to fix because it was rattled around so much that he was partially decapitated) and a yarn dog that Grandma made.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: How Now Shall We Live

How Now Shall We Live?How Now Shall We Live? by Charles Colson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I should point out to begin with, that this book is aimed at Christians as the target audience.

I was introduced to this book when I attended a C.S. Lewis retreat.  The book that was recommended was Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey who is the co-author of this book.  This was also recommended along with that book. 

This book deals with the concept of the Christian worldview.  It definitely takes the stance from "This Little Light of mine" which says "Hide it under a bushel? No! I'm gonna let it shine."  The first part of the book deals mainly which the view of the current world.  He explains thoroughly the teachings of postmodernism, naturalism and Darwinism, quoting material from different sources like Carl Sagan and other philosophers, showing their teachings and origins.  Then he goes to show how the underpinnings from these theories gave rise to the current themes in society like free sex, abortion, euthanasia and evolution.  As a Christian, it's often hard to see why society is the way that it is but once you understand the underpinnings, the results make sense.

The other part of the book deals with what should be a Christian's response.  In a nutshell, the current views of the world has resulted in morality being thrown out the window.  It's all subjective and there can't possibly be a firm set of rules.  The world also seeks to solve is to create a utopia.  Colson rebutts this by pointing out that there is in fact a moral law that God has laid down and that to help society, we must restore order.

I did really enjoy this book.  Colson has definitely done his research and quotes many different sources when trying to explain postmodernism.  He also uses a lot of examples to illustrate his points.  I would definitely recommend this to any Christian.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Project - Sneak Peek

This weekend was too short.  I don't want to go to work today.  But my Mom won airline tickets so she'll be flying back here sometime soon and I have to save up my paid time off.

I'm starting a new project.  It's going to be of my own design.  Here's a sneak peek:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Not much blogging going on here

Hi y'all

Haven't been blogging much lately.  Doing a little bit of lurking but mostly doing things around the house.With 2 under 2 there is constant cleanup.  Things are a bit easier now.  Our garbage disposal stopped working a few weeks after we moved in but having rented enough places, that is something that becomes tenant responsibility and they charge an arm and a leg to fix it.  It wouldn't have been so bad except it caused that side of the sink to leak and that side of the sink also had the dishwasher flowing into it.  We picked up a barely used disposal at the Habitat for Humanity store for $15 and put it in so now I have 2 sinks and a dishwasher.  We mostly handwash but on those days when the bottles and dishes are piling up, it's nice to be able to just run it all in the dishwasher.

For anyone, having to go to a baby shower anytime soon, I will say that the Playtex Drop ins starter kit is awesome.  Helps Adèle with gas issues and makes cleanup fairly easy.  Yes, you do have to buy the liners but it saves me in spit up and fussy fussy baby so I'll take the extra cost.  Plus, Kroger just had their liners buy one get one free so I bought 4 100 ct boxes for about $16.  That should last me through the end of the year.  The munchkin dishwasher basket is also awesome (so you can wash the nipples and stuff in the dishwasher.  And if you have a bit of money to spend, go for the Pack n Play.

I did a small bit of stitching.  Here's a picture.  Have some Christmas presents to think about but we'll see how the wrists hold up.

Monday, September 26, 2011

No Stitching but some cute kids

My mother was in town this week and flew back yesterday.  We had a lot of fun.  I took 2 days off so I had 3 1/2 days to spend with her.  Still not stitching but I've started a new project, scanning in my photos that I took with my old 35 mm camera and digitizing them. 

We discovered that the girls LOVE going to walks in the stroller.  We couldn't do it for most of this summer because it's too hot to do anything much outside.  But now that it's cooled off to the 80s, things like that are possible.

So, here is Zoé making Snickerdoodle cookies with Grandma.  She liked taking the dough and putting it in the cinnamon sugar.  Apparently, she also decided not to wait on baking the cookies and just ate the dough ball.  Then, she refused to eat a baked cookie.

We went to this park in Gainesville that has a large playground, a kid-sized train and a small zoo.  And Zoé had her first ride on a playground swing.

Then Grandma took us all out for ice cream and Adèle had her first taste. I think she's a fan.

Zoé has also become quite the colorer.  We ordered some Crayola Jumbo Crayons off Amazon (because surprisingly, they're not sold in stores, we've looked everywhere.  They only have large).  So, she takes on in each hand and goes to town.  She's pretty good about not coloring the table.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


So, I have been having some problems with the new phone I got just under a month ago.  The audio on the handset speaker was awful.  So, I got an exchange and....the audio was just fine but instead of coming out the handset speaker you put up to your ear, it came out the speakerphone instead!  Whoever put the phone together put it together backwards!  So, I got a 3rd phone today and am happy to report that it is working just fine.

The bad news is I've been having some wrist pains for the last few weeks and I went to the doctor and it's the beginnings of carpal tunnel.  He was very optimistic and said I probably would only need therapy if the stretches don't make it better.  I'm also going to be taking an anti-inflammatory.  Hopefully it gets better.  It's been interfering with my stitching and has brought it to a halt!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Been on a bit of a hiatus. Having some wrist pains and my mother is coming to visit in a week so we've been preparing.

Monday, September 5, 2011


I had to find a good present for my brother-in-law for Christmas.  So, I settled on this.  Just have to order the 25 count mushroom lugana.

To answer the question, yes it is cross stitch but the majority of the piece is blackwork.