Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hello Friends!  So...yes, it's been a while.  It seems like so many things get in the way of my visits here.

First of all, there's LIFE.  Just plain ol' everyday life that can suck up your time and creativity like nobody's business.

But I managed blog visits before, didn't I?  So I guess for my second excuse, I'll mention Facebook.  It's very easy to trade in the quick hit of a Facebook post for the meatier version of a blog post.  Except for this...I've made great friends and strong connections through blogging.  Facebook?  No.  Not really.  In fact, no new friends at all.  So I want to drastically reduce the number of times I look at Facebook, and spend more time creating blog posts.

Maybe you're feeling the same way?  If you are and you're thinking of giving your old blog a good kick in the pants, read this article, aptly named, Why Blogging is Better Than Facebook.  I like all of Cathy's reasons, but I like the Get Creative paragraph best.  

Now all I need to do is follow through.  As many of you know, that's not my strongest suit...

Anyways (or Anyhows, if you're from Pittsburgh), the last time we met here it was mid April.  Since then it has been an absolutely gorgeous summer in Pittsburgh.  Dave and I have enjoyed two of our favorite summertime things:  Outdoor concerts and baseball games.  Even though our Pirates seem to be spiraling downward, there are always the Pierogi races to give you a lift.

Best between-inning entertainment around!

I've also kept stitching through the summer.  Last year Dave and I bought a home in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Pittsburgh - a cozy little townhouse off the beaten path, and I've entertained stitching friends there a few times.  We've had lovely days with lots of laughs, and I've even accomplished some stitching.
Finished in February, but framed this summer

La D Da freebie - Flag City

Finally finished and framed our anniversary sampler!  Moira Blackburn's Scottish Love sampler, stitched on PTP Doubloon.
In family news, it looks like our family will be growing soon, with BOTH our children announcing their engagements.  We couldn't be more pleased!  Weddings are planned for summer 2015 and winter 2016.  It seems like the distant future, but it's really not that distant if you think of it in "stitcher's time".  (Thanks to Nikki for coining that phrase for me!)  I think I have a design picked for my son and his wife-to-be (very cool and non-traditional), but my daughter's design is puzzling me at the moment.  I think it's one of those times when a design simply has to hit you between the eyes, you know?

Sounds like a good excuse to go shopping, doesn't it?

Till next time,

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Stitch night topics

One of the things I enjoy about my stitch nights is listening to the conversations as they swirl around the room.  We talk about so many things - some serious, some silly.  But it's always interesting.

It's interesting because we are all different people, living in different situations and with different sensibilities.  Some of those differences might divide us in other environments, but not when we're in a stitching room!  So conversations flow and it's never dull.

And sometimes we re-visit old conversations.

For instance, one of our stitchers recently retired.  In the months leading up to her retirement date, she was wondering what it would be like when she didn't have to dress for work every day.  And since I am a fountain of unsolicited advise, I told her about the Fly Lady philosophy:   Schlepping around at home all day in slippers or bare feet makes you feel less ambitious.  You should put your shoes on every day because it will make you more productive.

Well, Nancy retired and then went South for a couple of winter months, so I didn't see her for a while.  But we were sitting across from each other last night and she told me that I was wrong with my shoe advice.  "Lee", she said, "It wasn't about wearing shoes.  It was about putting on a bra.  I was much more productive if I put on my bra."

Hmmm.  I think she's right!  Putting the girls where they belong tells me that I'm ready for the day...And setting them free at the end of the day tells me that I'm DONE.

What about you?  What piece of clothing or accessory tells you you're ready to get down to business?

Monday, April 07, 2014

Rounding the corner towards 60

I had a birthday last week.  It was Number 56.  There's something about passing the midpoint of a decade that gives me pause.  Sometimes it's super depressing.  Turning 36 sucked because there was something about turning 40 that blew me away.  Sometimes it's fun, like when I turned 46 and knew I had four years to plan a blow-out 50th birthday and 25th anniversary party.

But 56?  It was completely unremarkable emotionally.  Is it because 60 doesn't feel like a milestone?  Or am I just not seeing the milestones that lay ahead? Dave and I are already partly retired, both of us working part-time, so full retirement doesn't feel like a big deal.  I don't see weddings or grandchildren on the horizon.  But even if they were...those aren't my milestones.   So I guess my goal at 56 is to coast towards 60 and hope it's just that.... an easy coast.

Anyways....I had a wonderful birthday month.  It started with a fantastic trip with stitching buddies to Woodlawn Plantation to see the annual needlework exhibit.  And to do some shopping at In Stitches, of course!  I wish I had some show photos for you....but the folks at the needlwork show are very stringent with their No Photographs policy. And although I don't understand why - they never put photos of the winners online. I'll tell you, if I had won a ribbon, I'd want it plastered all over the Internets!

Then Dave and I took a 10 day break from a never-ending Pennsylvania winter with a trip to Florida.  It was just what we needed and we enjoyed every single minute of it.

We were home in time for a week long celebration of my birthday.  Let's see...there was a Robert Cray concert to kick things off.  Dinner and a comedy show with a good friend one night, an excellent Italian dinner with my husband another night, and then finishing a fun weekend by going to the Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day.

My mailbox celebrated my birthday, too, bringing these gifts from my dear-heart of a friend, Sue in Kansas.

Here they are a little closer.  A lovely LaDDa wooden box

An extra special cake

A project bag, and Sue stitched the sunflower onto it!  Does this girl know me, or what?

As for my stitching?  I've been stitching small stuff through the month.  I think you've seen one of these LK Flip It Bits - January - already.  But last month I finished February.  And I finished my name tag to wear to one of my stitching group meetings.  I'm really enjoying the Flip Its...They're easy and relaxing.  

Some close-ups

And that's about it...till next time!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Blog Stats

Do you ever check your blog stats?  I try not to get caught up in that trap, because I know that writing a personal blog isn't about popularity and numbers.  But sometimes I'm curious.

So recently I looked at my blog stats and in particular at my most popular posts - in terms of page views.  Hmm.  The statistics really surprised me.

I've written 1050 posts, and the most viewed post of my blog was just last summer, when I wrote about our trip to Myrtle Beach.  Really??  I didn't write a single thing about stitching and there's not a even one photo of stitching, but it had 2214 hits.  I think the lesson is:  If you want lots of hits on a post, just write Myrtle Beach in the title.  Maybe the term "Flying Cloud" got hits from Airstream enthusiasts, too?

The second most popular post I've ever written was under 30 words and posted on January 23, 2011 when the Steelers were in a playoff game. I also added a photo of a Terrible Towel.  That had 878 views, which seems measly when compared 2,214, but still....

So if I'm ever feeling unloved in the blog world, I'll write a post and title it:  "Driving the Airstream Flying Cloud Trailer to Myrtle Beach While Waving the Steelers' Terrible Towel".

Monday, February 24, 2014

More work on the Love Sampler

The weekend retreat to Villa Maria was the perfect time to make some progress on my Moira Blackburn Scottish Love Sampler.  You know the saying, "Eat. Sleep. Stitch"?  It's pretty close. Throw in "Walk" for some of us, and "Nap" for others, and lots of gabbing and laughing.  That's kind of it in a nutshell.

As you can see, I'm getting close to a finish here.  

Most of my weekend was spent in the lower right corner.  That border takes a crazy long time to stitch! 

And also in the theme of LOVE, it's so interesting that every person who had a comment about my Watson vs Sherlock as a boyfriend question chose...Watson.  Well I'll be darned.  I wonder what that says about us?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sherlock or Watson?

Like many of you living in the Eastern US, we had another weekend of awful weather.  And I worked really hard to put off clearing the driveway Saturday.  I had to really psych myself up to get out there and move more snow....

So how did I prepare?  I snuggled down in my chair and watched the last season of Sherlock, one show right after the other.  Like a pre-reward for a job I didn't want to do.  Boy, do I ever love that show.  I love a program that has me thinking about it long after it's over.  And Sherlock gave me things to think about as I mindlessly pushed snow around.  

Mostly what I thought about was...who is hotter?  Dr. Watson or Sherlock Holmes?

Who does it for you?  The icy brilliance of Sherlock?  A handsome genius who gives us glimpses of his flaws...and one of those flaws his loneliness?

Or does Dr. John Watson turn you on?  Not brilliant, but smart, loyal, dependable...yet with a streak of bad-boy/tough-guy that appears from time to time and that can be pretty hot.  Not quite but you'd call handsome, but still attractive.

As for me, I honestly can't say.  Probably Watson, because I think men like Sherlock come with too much drama.  And really....who needs drama?  

And Sherlock seems more like a project than a boyfriend.  And the last thing I need is another project.

Speaking of projects, I've been working on an older Lizzie Kate series, Flip It Bits.  I finished January a couple weeks ago, and I'm almost finished February.  Just for fun, I changed a thread or two in each Bit. I used a fuzzy pink thread instead of an overdyed for the snowman's scarf and mittens.  It's hard to see in the photo, but in person it looks kind of cool.  

And my local stitching group has decided that we should all wear name tags, which I think is a great idea for such a large group of women, because it's much easier for new members to get to know us if they can know our names.   It's so uncomfortable when you don't know all the names...So I've been working on one I've cobbled together from another design.  I should finish it soon, unless blindness sets in from working over one on 30 ct. evenweave...

I'm off to a much-anticipated stitching retreat this weekend, and believe it or not, I'll be taking the SAME project I took last year.  Let's hope I spend a little time stitching and a little less time talking and eating this year and then maybe I'll make have a nice progress pic to show for it.

Till next time, thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Valentine gift to you

My daughter got a stitched gift. My son got a card with cash. But you, my dear stitching friends, get our favorite sexy man, Ryan Gosling! 

I plan to wear a slutty gown with sequins, a slit up the side and a plunging neckline.
Anyone else have their dress picked out?

One of my favorite pet peeves.  Or calling it quilting.  Or crocheting.  I wish I knew their favorite hobby so I could call it by the wrong name.  But...oh...wait.  They usually don't have a hobby.

Enough said.  Get 'em, Boyfriend Ryan.

I could totally substitute Dave's face in this photo.  Ryan's sexy, but my Dave is a prince.  And he still makes my heart go pitty-pat. 
Phew.  Hotness.  And now that I'm feeling the love, I have to go find Dave and give him his Valentine gift.  

Happy Valentines Day to all you crazy blog readers!