Wednesday, March 31, 2010

40 Squares, part 2

(OK, technically not part 2, as yesterday's was called "39 stitches".  It should have been 39 squares, apparently, I was listening to a child and not paying attention.  And since I'm doing 40 squares, let's fix that too.)

Boy, is my face red!  I rather shamelessly stole the design for my sun square from suzitee, but her's is MUCH better than mine.  Her blog is here, and her squares are all darling!  Now that I've given credit where it is due, I can show you my next 5 squares.

As you look at these, please ignore my blue lines, which were only roughly drawn in.  I will wash them out when each of the 40 squares is finished.

Square 6:
This is the stack of books on my nightstand.  Yes, there are at least that many.  I've included the Bible, because it is one of the books that I am determined to finish by the end of the year.

Square 7:
A ball of yarn and my favorite bamboo knitting needles.  I've hardly been without a pair of needles in my hands since the year began.  This square really looks better in person, as you can see the texture of the yarn ball more clearly.

Square 8:
This represents my first job, at a local grocery store.  But my husband says it is symbolic of my love of shopping.  I guess that works too.  I love dual purpose squares!

Square 9:
Not a great picture, but these are my sewing notions.  The silver needle is not showing up very well, but it is there.

Square 10:
This square is for all of the craft projects I do with my girls.  I will be thrilled if anyone can identify the brands I was trying to duplicate!

While I was stitching, one of my girls picked up the camera, and snapped this picture of me.  I was quite surprised when I uploaded pictures and came across this one, so I included it.  Perhaps I'm spending too much time on this project, hmm?
Oooh, look, I'm also on the phone with my mom.  I'd like to say this is not a good picture, and I look better in person, but I'm afraid it's pretty spot on!  At least it shows that I'm multitasking, which is usually true.

I'm hoping to have more squares done to show you tomorrow.  I've got to switch gears back to knitting today, as I have 2 pairs of slippers on order for tomorrow that aren't quite finished yet. 

See you later!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

39 stitches: a new project.

Any one that has ever spoken to me for more than 5 minutes knows that the last thing I need is another new project.  Especially when you see the boxes of projects lined up waiting for my attention.  So when I first saw the 39 squares project on Melissa Goodsell's blog, I was NOT going to participate.  I loved looking at everyone else's squares though.  I hadn't embroidered in some 30 odd years, after all!  And, I had tons of things already in the works.  I certainly wasn't going to get involved in anything else.  Yeah, right.

This stitch along started on March 1.  The premise is to stitch one 1" square each day for 39 days, or one square of each year of your life.  I visited may different blogs, and stopped by the Flikr site to see ever more darling little squares.  On Friday, March 26, 25 days into the stitch along.....I cracked.  I was up for hours that night, sketching out my squares.  On Saturday, I toyed with whether or not I wanted to play along.  On Sunday, I bought the supplies.  On Sunday night....I began.  Sigh.

Of course, I made some key changes, as I can't seem to ever follow directions to the letter.  I am doing 40 squares, since I will be 40 this year.  It has been a really long time since I embroidered, so my squares are 1 1/2 inches instead of 1".  I felt more comfortable being able to create something recognizable with a little more room.  And I am doing as many squares a day as I can fit in.  Also, each square is something defining about my life in some way.  So, here are the first 5 squares:

My birthdate, stitched in my birthstone color, surrounded by snowflakes.  My dad says I was born during the biggest snow storm in many years.

My dad and mom.  Because I was a daughter before I was anything else.

Me and my sister.  Because that is the next thing I was.  I am in yellow, my sister is in pink.  Because those were the colors of our bedrooms as kids.

A cross, representing my Lutheran roots.  Our church's cross is currently draped in purple for Lent, and I really like it.  So, here it is.

The sun, representing our move to California from New Jersey, in 1976.  I was 5, which is why the sun looks like a kindergartener stitched it.  No, not really, my skills are just that rusty.  But, my explanation could work too, so I'm sticking to it.

Stay tuned for future squares!

Projects, old and new

I met my goal!  I had Maddie's birth announcement picture in a frame by her birthday!  I still do not have a hanger on it, and it is propped up in her room instead of hanging, but that wasn't part of the original plan.  At least, that is what I'm telling myself!

Here it is:

I know it is not a great picture, but it is finished!

While I was framing her picture, I did this one too.  I had finished the stitching quite a long time ago, but didn't want to drag out the equipment to do just this small thing.
Framing this one really gave me fits.  I had originally cut the mats to be reversed:  with the orange mat on the inside and the white/black mat on the outside.  After some playing, we decided we liked it better the other way, so I recut them.  Then, I discovered that the tape I used to hold them all together was showing in the frame.  I took it apart to remove the tape and wound up ruining the orange mat.  Recut #2.  Sigh.  But it looks good, and is all ready for this Halloween.

Remember the little sewing box that I showed you the pieces of?  Here it is, all finished, literally!  I chose an oak finish, and it exactly matches our coffee table.  Kind of weird...I wasn't trying to do that.

Here is the inside, fully stocked!  It's not like I needed another pincusion or sewing box, but it is cute, and keeps everything handy.

Finally, while I had company here for Maddie's birthday, I had to find a project that I could work on in front of people.  I don't like to work on gifts for people in front of other people, and I certainly can't work on gifts in front of the recipients, so I went out to my "craft room" (part 3 of of our 3 car garage), and dug until I found this:

I started this counted cross stitch project some 20 years ago.  It has moved with me to 5 different houses.  When I found it on March 19th, all that was done on it was basically from the top of the center box up.  And a little bit of the outline.  It WILL be finished and framed in time for Christmas this year!

Madison's first birthday!

Madison turned one on March 18th.  I, however, neglected to take a picture of her on her actual birthday. Sigh.  I was so focused on her party being on the 20th, I didn't get out the camera.  Her little sisters sang to her, repeatedly, through out the day though, so it wasn't totally unnoticed.

Here are some pictures from her party.  The first is her cake.  Our family puts Christmas ornaments on our birthday cakes, owing to the percentage of us whose birthdays fall after the Hallmark ornament release.  In fact, only my oldest daughter's birthday is too early in the year, so she gets an extra present at Christmastime.  But, I digress. 

Maddie's ornament was the nursery rhyme about the cow jumping over the moon, so I had them make a "sky" cake. The cow probably jumped over the moon at NIGHT, but this was as close as I could come.

The bakery includes a free small cake for baby's first birthday, so that the other guests do not have to have slobbery cake.

Maddie, who was fairly cranky all day, in the living room. That's my dad behind her, and my stepdad to his left. Abby is on the couch, Katie is dancing, and you can just see Emma's ponytail flying by. I'm not really sure why everyone has their nightgowns on already. It was one of those things that just happens.

Maddie with Grampy. One of the very rare smiles that she gave out that day.

Maddie, with Poppa.  Another rare smile sighting.

Also at the party were Maddie's paternal grandparents, my Mom, my stepmom, my sister and her boyfriend, and our neice.  Oh yeah, and her parents and 5 sisters.  There are no pictures of her with any of these other pictures in my camera.  Not sure what happened there, but I promise to make up for it on the next occasion we get together!

When it came time to have cake, Brittany noted that we had already put Maddie in pajamas, and that we might not want her getting cake all over herself.  She went and got one of her own t-shirts to cover her up with.  She's a quick thinking girl!

This, however, is as messy as she got.  Of my six girls, only one of them really plowed into her cake.  All the other ones have just sort of dabbled in it.

It was a fun day, especially considering that I had the food catered, and we used disposables.  Not the greenest solution, I know, but it sure made the day easier!  Next stop, scrapbooking the day!

Next blog entry, projects.

Activities, updates, and a bunny sighting!

Perhaps I should sit down and update this a little more frequently!  A lot has happened in the 18 days since I last sat here.  We'll start with the 3 little girls.  I think it will take more than one blog entry today to catch up, so here goes!

As always, we made projects for St. Patrick's Day.  The first one, I used polymer clay to make shamrock "beads" for them, and they strung them to make necklaces:
These are the ones that they made to give as gifts.  The ones they kept for themselves had different colored stones in the middle.

Next came our refrigerator magnets:

Katie is our "free thinker". While Abby and Emma follow the directions to a "t", Katie insisted on girl shamrocks, so had hair bows instead of bow ties.  Love that girl!

A few days later, Brittany took the girls out for a run through the sprinkler.  Yes, it was warm enough for the sprinkler on March 19th!

They desperately needed haircuts before Easter.  Here is the before picture:

And the after picture:

What a difference!  Combing hair is much less traumatic now.  Notice the suckers the received from the stylist!

Last week, I took them to visit the Easter bunny for pictures.  Before we could get there, we were invited to participate in a training session at a photo studio.  Here is the resulting picture from that:

These people were you know how hard it is to get 4 little girls not only all looking in the same direction, but also SMILING?

Then, they saw the Easter bunny:

And here are our Easter projects so far.  Of course, I have 3 more kits put away for the next couple of days.

Thanks for bearing with me.  Next stop, Madison's first birthday!

Monday, March 29, 2010

I owe you one...

I sat down at the computer, all set to write an entry for you, complete with LOTS of pictures.  I've done some projects with the kids, we've visited the Easter Bunny, Maddie had a birthday, and I've started one new and one VERY old project.

However, my dear husband would like a turn on the computer tonight, so I owe you one.  Look for it tomorrow.

Friday, March 12, 2010

It's been a long time...

...since I sat down to write to you.  Let me catch you up on a few of the happenings here lately:

I couple of weeks ago, I joined the Women's Ministry group at our church for a Craft Night.  The craft was paperbag scrapbooks, which I really didn't have a interest in.  I am not a scrapbooker.  I do not want to be a scrapbooker.  I have no intention of becoming a scrapbooker.  However, I did want to meet some ladies from the church, and figured this might be a good way to do that.  So, I printed off a dozen pictures and headed to the church.  The scrapbook I made that night was given to my mom, to commemorate the Girls' Day Out we had a few weeks ago, so I do not have a picture.  Fortunately, I spent the entire next day making another one!

This is the cover.  The whole thing is made from paper lunch bags, cut off at the bottoms and folded in half.

The bags are left open at the sides, and we made journal tags to slide in them.

I wound up liking this project so much, that I am planning on making several more for grandparents to commemorate Madison's first birthday (next week, yikes!) and Easter.  But I am not going to become a scrapbooker.  No really, I'm not.  Yeah, I don't believe me either!

And then we had several days of mundane household duties, which I am not going to blog about, because honestly, I can't really remember what they were.  The following Thursday, I had my MOPS group.  The night before, I finished the six pairs of ladybug slippers that had been ordered for that day, and then promptly got orders for 5 more pair!  That particular meeting was our monthly craft day, and here are the pieces needed for assembling the craft:

It is (or will be) a little sewing box.  I always take my crafts home.  There are about 50 women all trying to use glue guns and scissors, and I figure that if I can ease the congestion, even by 1 person, I will.  I haven't made mine yet, because I want to stain the box first, but I will be doing that this weekend.

On Sunday, I finished Madison's birth announcement.  Here it is, although I haven't framed it yet.

I found another picture that has been waiting for a frame:

And immediately found another work in progress, that is earmarked as a birthday present for someone this summer:

I am working on this as furiously as I can.  I'd like to get it finished, and then frame all 3 pieces at the same time, while the equipment is out.  I would still like to Maddie's done by the 18th, so I may have to just do hers, but I'm hoping!

Tuesday night, I was tired.  I couldn't face any more ladybug slippers, and was too tired for such detailed cross stitch, so I made another crocheted fish wash cloth.

I don't really want to become a crocheter, either.  I want to know how, in case I ever need to, but I don't want to really take it up.  However, I have decided to make one of these for each of the girls, in their respective colors.  I'm halfway there now.

Yesterday was a beautiful day here.  When I woke up, my plan was to vacuum and dust the family room. Have any of you ever experienced a "snowball day"?  That is when you think you are going to just do this, but then, you have to do this first.  And then maybe I should do that. Oh, I may as well just do the whole darn thing.  That was me yesterday.  My simple vacuuming day turned into emptying out every one of the kids' toy bins (and there are LOTS of them), sorting, reorganizing, and eliminating some.  Then I tackled the entertainment unit, restacking DVDs and organizng the Wii games and controllers.  So now, my whole family room looks really good.  To thank the girls for helping me (yes, I know they should, because it was mostly their stuff, but it never hurts to be appreciative), I treated us to a McDonald's lunch, which we ate on our back patio.  It was really nice to soak up some sunshine, especially since today is rainy again.  Then, I had them help me make whoopie pies for dessert last night.  The recipe was in our newspaper on Wednesday, but I just read it yesterday.  We made chocolate cookies, and had some with marshmallow filling, and some with fluffy peanut butter filling, and they are GOOD!

Today's plan is to turn off this computer, and then go make a few projects for St. Patrick's Day with the kids.  Thank you again, Oriental Trading Company!  I'm also going to dust off some of my polymer clay, and help them make some magnets.  I might be sorry about that later, but we're going to give it a go. 

Next week is Maddie's first birthday, so we are getting ready for house guests and a big party.  I'm not sure when I will sit down to write to you again, but it will hopefully be soon!

P.S.- If you stop by, please leave a comment so I will know you were here.  I will get back to you as soon as I can.  Sometimes, I feel all alone here, and would like to know if I've had a visitor.