Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I survived!

There have been a few who have checked up on me so I thought I should update and let you know we have survived the storm.  Thank you for the phone calls, texts and facebook messages!!  Though we lost power for 15 hours, we didn't flood when the sump pump stopped working...whew!  That was my biggest concern for us.  My Mom in northern NY is still under some severe weather watches, snow/rain and wind, so please continue to pray that she makes it safely through the storm, and I have some relatives in Pennsylvania who are still without power.  My friends on Long Island are accounted for, I was truly worried about them.  I still haven't heard from a friend in New Jersey and am worried about her and her family.  It is amazing the number of people and places this storm as touched.  There are many without power and homes tonight who may suffer due to dropping temperatures.  Please keep them in your prayers.  I did get some stitching done, not as much as I expected, but I did get some!  I'll post pictures in a future upate.  I will be drawing names for the giveaway tomorrow, so stay tuned for that upate.  Thanks again for those who checked up on me!  *Hugs*

Monday, October 29, 2012

Frankenstorm Preparedness...

Hi Folks!

Well all the news this morning is about Hurricane Sandy sitting about 275 miles off the coast and already wrecking havoc along the coastline.  The pictures look pretty stunning from Ocean City where the waves are crashing over the boardwalk and the streets already are flooded looking like rivers.  It's funny, the main thing that keeps running through my mind is the Salty Yarns and wondering if they are safe and dry...and wishing I had bought more patterns/fabric while I was there a couple of weeks ago.  According to the news this morning, the main stuff from the storm will hit later this afternoon.  So...here I am blogging before the power goes out.

Here is a picture of my Hurricane Preparedness kit...the essentials are in the foreground...my stitching, lamps and tons of batteries.  I'll be rationing the batteries to those hand held video games 'cause Momma needs her light to stitch by!!  LOL

Last night, while watching the storm news and waiting for my guys to drive home from Hershey Pennsylvania (since the bigwigs are fighting over hockey salaries etc. and delaying the beginning of the season, the Capitals have not been playing and the guys are going through sports withdrawal) where they went to see the farm team for the Capitals play, I finished another crazy!  Woo Hoo!!  If I keep this up I'll finish more than my hoped for 15!!  This makes crazy number 14!!  I am thrilled!

Saturday we volunteered to help out with our churches annual Fall Festival.  Mike dressed as an 80's exercise guy...AKA Richard Simmons...but he kind of reminded me how he used to look when we were dating...minus the sweatband on his head.  LOL  His hair was about that length and about that curly.  I need to find an old picture so you guys will see what I'm talking about.  I was supposed to be Indiana Jones, but let's face it, without a bullwhip, I wasn't too convincing.  LOL  I manned the spider ring toss and had a lot of fun!

I finally found a sunny day to take a few pictures of the leaves before they all get blown away by Hurricane Sandy.  I love this time of year.

Just a little picture here of silly ol' Tom.  He has a ritual every morning, when we come downstairs, he cuts us off, nearly tripping us up on the stairs, just so we don't forget our duty as pet owners to BRUSH his fur.  You read that right, this nut likes to be brushed...and will bite and claw and meow until we perform our duties.  If we don't brush him quick enough he will brush his face himself until we arrive to finish the rest of him!  LOL  Here's a picture of him with his brush.  

 Finally a little news about the Hurricane.  The reason people are so concerned is because there is a low pressure coming from the west that is bringing with it some very cold temperatures.  It will mix with the storm from the east that is picking up tons of moisture from the Atlantic ocean and they are predicting blizzard conditions to the west of us.  Because the two storms are converging, they are expecting it to sit over us for a few days, bringing lots of rain and sustained winds.  Since it is so hard to predict, and because they cannot use the "bucket trucks" to reach and repair power lines in high winds, they are predicting we will be without power for 3 or more days.  I am not in a low lying area, but we have had our power go out several times while we've lived here, so I'm expecting we will  lose power here.  We'll be fine...and hopefully the blizzard will stay to the west of us.  Our biggest challenge will be loss of power.  My guys are so excited because they found a battery operated storm radio that will charge a cell phone if needed (I can't imagine how long that will take though!!) so if I can I'll post things on facebook too.  As soon as we get our power back, I'll post my progress on my stitching.   Till then, those of you in the path of Sandy, please stay safe!  I'm praying for all of us as we head into this storm.  Take care!      

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Birthday Blessings and another crazy finish

Hi there!

What a busy week I've had!!  It was my birthday this past week and I had the time of my life!!  My guys continue to spoil me as well as my family and friends, and I am so grateful to all of them for making my day so special.

First, though...a finish!!  This is another one of my crazies, "Find the Cure" from The Sweetheart Tree.  It is stitched on 32 count linen over two using the recommended thread and pearle cotton they suggested.  The pailettes and ribbon charm came inside the pattern, but I think you can purchase the embellishment kit from The Sweetheart tree separately.  The beads were from Mill Hill.  My hardanger portion of the piece isn't too well done, but from a galloping horse at 100 yards, I don't think anyone will notice.  I'm anxious to get this one framed.  I also have to say here, that it is still Breast Cancer Awareness month, so please do whatever it is you do to get checked for cancer.  There were young ladies in my support group, one in her 20's, a couple in their 30's.  If it is too soon for a mammogram, please do your monthly exams.  If not for yourself, think of those who love you and please be mindful that breast cancer has no age limits!!  At 49 I was considered too young to have breast cancer, but an annual mammogram saved my life.  Ok, off the soap box for now...LOL.

My birthday was made special in so many ways, but Astrid met up with me that morning and took me to lunch where she surprised me with a few gifts.  A necklace, a bracelet that she had made, and a little angel ornament all inside this lovely little bag.  The we hit Michaels looking for some sales or goodies we just HAD to have.  It was so much fun!

Then I ran home, changed  my clothes and my guys took me to dinner at Sotto Sopra, a very nice restaurant in Baltimore.  The service was excellent and the meal superb!  Next stop was the Hippodrome Theater where we saw an off-Broadway production of Wicked!  I LOVED it!!  I had heard so much about this play that I bought the book, but had a difficult time getting started (I was having chemo at the time and my brain wouldn't focus) but now I will have to go back and sink my teeth into it.  In case you aren't familiar with the story, it is the story about the witches BEFORE the Wizard of Oz story takes place...and certainly has an interesting twist.  They also had a few gifts for me shown here, and some gift certificates from my LNS.

My sister also sent me a few things.  While visiting her this summer I watched her chop some items with this Baker's blade.  She made what she was doing look so easy I commented that that would be a handy dandy item for my kitchen.  How thoughtful was that?  She also sent along some earrings and a necklace.  These are my birthstones.  Pretty huh?

Now, if you've made it this far...let's see if you have been paying attention.  I was putting some charts I had recently bought away when I discovered I had a duplicate.  So...is anyone interested in trying their hand at a Drawn Thread design called Box of Stitches?  If so...please make a note in the comments that you would like this chart, and I will have the drawing on Oct. 31st along with the other two little charts mentioned in the last post.  If you don't leave your e-mail address I may not be able to reach you, so make sure it's either in your comment here, or on your blog where I can find it.  I'll see you back on the 31st!  Good luck!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Stacy Nash, Not Forgotten Farm and a Giveaway!

Well, it has been quite a week, so grab a cuppa, pull up a chair...I've got some stories to tell, and a giveaway...so stay tuned!

It had been less than a week since I left my family to fend for themselves while I went for some R&R in Ocean City...and already I set off with another set of pals for a stitch retreat.  I want to thank Ms. Wendy for making all the travel arrangements, booking a wonderful B&B in a lovely old farmhouse, a side trip to a stitching store on the way there, and finding and booking us for the amazing class we took from Stacy Nash at Not Forgotten Farm in Virginia.  She even drove there!  And what fun did we  have?  Anyone who knows Wendy knows you are in for a laugh a minute.  Alice and Pat are no better!  We giggled and snorted and laughed all weekend...what a hoot!  Thanks ladies for a wonderful weekend.

On the way to the Orchard House B&B we stopped in Fairfax, Virginia to visit the Stitcher's Stash.  We met the owner, Jacquelyn, and spent two...yes TWO hours in her store!!  What a treasure!  She has some amazing models on her walls, and thankfully she had 4 of most of the ones we oooohed and aaaahed over.  The ones she didn't have enough of, she was most accommodating and offered to send them to us.  I'm pretty sure I bought enough other patterns that I won't need the ones she will be sending for a while.  LOL  What a pleasant visit we had with her, and she was most helpful with choosing colors for a project and gathering all the materials we needed for them.  

Thank you so much, Jacquelyn, for recommending the place across the street for lunch...it was WONDERFUL!!  My sandwich was so big, I had a hard time getting my mouth around it...no comments from the peanut gallery please!!  

I was impressed that Jacquelyn is having a sale and the proceeds from donated items is going to Wounded Warriors.  I think she said it was next weekend, but don't quote me on it...visit her website by clicking on her name above and shoot her an e-mail.  I'm sure she will be most willing to share the information.  Any activity to promote and help our "warriors" is wonderful in my eyes (since my husband is retired military) so she  now has a soft spot in my eyes, I only wish I could go and make a contribution myself.

Next stop was our "home away from home" for two nights, the Orchard House B&B.  We stayed in their "farmhouse"  or the Apple Blossom Farm House...

just down the driveway from the "Big House" or the Orchard House.  

It was so comfortable, the kitchen so big and roomy, and the table big enough to support 4 stitchers with enough room to stretch out.  We gabbed and stitched (some of us until 3 AM ) trying to finish the stitching parts of our Stacy Nash class.  We were making a basket, a treat bag, and a small strawberry.  

The class the next day was being offered at Not Forgotten Farm. Lori Brechlin is the owner and designer of Not Forgotten Farm patterns and her shop is just amazing!!  She was also so friendly, helpful, and fun!!  She made us feel at home and like we were long lost friends.  There was so much to see, we took some time before we settled down for the class to peek in every corner...whew, what a mistake!  LOL  I was tempted buy WAY too many things!!  Please check out her blog at the link above by clicking on Not Forgotten Farm and you will see me and my companions working away.  What fun!!

Stacy Nash's class was AMAZING!!  She is very patient, had all the materials ready for us inside the little box and came by each table to show us step by step how to assemble the box, the bag and the little strawberry.  Her way of making the bag that is fully lined was so simple and even I, who am finishing challenged, was  able to follow the directions and finish the bag nicely.  You can check out her website at the link above by clicking on her name.  

The lunch Lori provided was so yummy!!  And she took us on a little tour of the farm when we were finished.  It was such a fun day, I can't thank them enough for their hospitality and patience with us.  I hope I'm able to go back again next October.  Here are my friends and I with Lori and Stacy.  What fun!!

Now that the class is over, I'm back to working on my Crazy January Challenge piece.  I decided to try and finish this piece, it's called "Find the Cure" and is a chart designed by The Sweetheart Tree.  I'm actually trying my hand at hardanger....eeek!  Wish me luck!!  I hope to finish this in October, that will make my 13th finish of the crazies.  I've given up hope that I'll be able to finish all 31 that I started in January this year.  My goal now is to finish at least 15.  And my challenge for next year is to finish the other 15 that I started and work on one large chart that I have sitting in my stash...either London by Thea Gouverneur, or the Maia Kit, Winter's Majesty, my hubby gave me for our Anniversary.  Any thoughts?

If you've stayed with me, you're a trooper!!  You've finally made it to the giveaway.  In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness  month,  I'm offering these two items, Lizzie Kate's "Peace Love and a Cure" chart, and The Prairie Schooler Kit "Stitch to Win".  

Please make sure you get your mammograms or whatever your method of examination is each year!!  I know for a fact that a mammogram saved my life by catching my cancer early at stage II.  I am forever grateful for the doctor who read my mammogram and found those tumors!  I was completely shocked when I was diagnosed, as breast cancer does not run in my family at all!!  So, do yourself and your loved ones a favor and get checked!  All you need to do to enter the giveaway is leave a message at the bottom of this post with your e-mail address on this post only and I will choose two winners (one winner for each chart) on October 31st.  Good luck!

Oh...and I wanted to draw your attention to the little blue thingy that is holding up the charts.  When we arrived at our weekend retreat, Wendy had one of these things for all of us that went with her.  It has two slots as you can see to hold charts and  a small hole in the front for scissors. This thing is amazing and will hold a 8 1/2 X 11 size chart  with no problem.  Look Ma!  No hands!!  It slips easily into my stitching bag...I love  it.  Thanks again, Wendy, for all the goodies, and for a memorable trip!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Crazy Finish!

Holy Smokes!  Two posts in one week!  Can you handle the excitement?  LOL!!!  There is a lot going on BUT for once I'm not inundated with doctors appointments so I have had a little more time to stitch.  Last night, while watching Dancing with the Stars and the second Yankees vs Orioles game on the TV I finally finished "The North Wind" by Little House Needleworks!!  Yippee!!  Slowly, but surely I am finishing my crazies!  This is finish number 12.  I wish I could say I will finish at least half of my crazies before the year is up, but I have so much to do before the end of the year I doubt I'll be able to finish three more.  Wish me luck, though, won't you?

Does anyone watch DWTS?  So many talented dancers this season, it's hard for me to pick a favorite just yet.  I could watch Gilles dance all day...he's good AND he's so HANDSOME!!  And Shawn is incredible too, but I like watching Derek Hough dance...he just seems so full of joy all the time!  And then there is Helio...he's pretty smooth too.  Who is your favorite?  There are a few who I seriously wonder why they were voted back, unless they were just there to pull an audience in.  I won't mention any names, but one of them needs to stop blaming her partner for her terrible performances.  If she would listen to the judges and take their advice she might just do better.  'nuff said.  LOL

Last I have to mention the Orioles.  What a season they are having!!  We were able to snag tickets to the first game of the Post Season series against the Yankees.  They have to win three out of five to advance to the next round.  There was a two hour and forty minute rain delay so they game didn't start until 8:40.  But when it did start, there was a sea of orange in the stands, and everyone was given an orange rally towel as they entered the stadium.  As you can see, we were sitting in the rafters.  I don't mind, especially since we were under cover and inside the ballpark, that's all that mattered to me!!  

I have to admit, I love watching the ground crew uncovering the field after a rain delay.  These guys run around like crazy getting the field ready, truly amazing to watch!  

There were a few exciting moments in the game when good plays were made or there was a good hit, and they have begun playing "Camden Style", a parody of "Gangnam Style" when they make a good play.  Ben just loves this dance!  I have to giggle every time I see him.  He's so much fun!!

Unfortunately they lost, but the excitement in the air was palpable!  It was a fun game until the last inning when the Yankees pulled away.  However...last night was "Omazing" when they were able to win against the Yankees!  It's going to be a nail biter from here on in.  Their next game is in New York so they'll have their home team advantage there.  

So...that's all there is for now.  Hopefully I'll have more to show you next week.  Till then, don't forget to schedule those mammograms!!  (Hey, it's still October so just resign yourself to the fact you're going to hear about getting those puppies squished!  LOL)  *Hugs*

Sunday, October 7, 2012

It's October...and you know what that means!

Well, the name says it all...so before I get to the "good stuff" I'll give my little lecture.  October is my favorite month.  Why?  Well...first it's because my birthday is this month.  And since my brush with breast cancer two years ago it has become the month I get to encourage others to get their mammograms.  Truly I tell you, a mammogram saved my life!  Although the two tumors I had were smaller than the eraser on a pencil, they had already spread to my lymph nodes under my arm.  They were too small to feel, and nearly too small to be found on a mammogram, but because they were caught early and treated effectively, I'm here to nag you about getting tested.  It may be a momentary discomfort, but in the long run your family and friends will thank you for spending more time on this planet with them.  PLEASE don't put it off!!  Ok, lecture over...LOL

In the past I have had a give away.  I'm still trying to pull one together, but haven't had time to sort things out just yet.  I will be visiting a needlework store next weekend and if I can find something, I'll put a giveaway together...so watch this space!

What have I been doing to keep me from sorting out something for my favorite cause?  Well, I was invited by another breast cancer survivor to accompany her on her annual trip to Ocean City.  She usually goes with female  members of her family, but I was adopted for the week this year and was invited to go with them.  Let me tell you...we had a blast!!  If you are friends with me on facebook you know some of the things we've done.  I was away from my computer so I couldn't post pictures of our little escapades last week....so here are a few.

Here we are on the boardwalk decked out in pink.  Before you ask, I had pink on my black shirt that said "I fought like a girl and won".

We spent time on the beach soaking in the rays...

We played two awesome games of mini golf...

And I actually won!

We fed the birds...

Visited the car show down by the inlet...

Watched the sun set and rise and the moon shine...

Saw the dolphins playing in the surf...

And listened to the waves crash on the shore.

We visited The Salty Yarn on the boardwalk and I enhanced my stash a bit...

I even got a chance to work on "The North Wind" by Littlehouse needleworks! 

It was a great week, one I didn't even realize I needed until I was there relaxing and having fun.  I  miss the ladies already!  After spending so much time with my guys doing guy things, it was such a change of pace to spend time with ladies doing ladylike things.  And I get to do it again this coming weekend when I spend time with ladies I used to work with going to a retreat in Shiloh!  I'm getting very spoiled!  LOL  I'll fill you in on that trip when I get back.

Last, but not least, I am pleased to announce that my beloved Orioles have made it into the playoffs!  I think I posted last time that the guys were up early the day the playoff tickets went on sale and were able to snag tickets to the first game of the playoffs.  We are so excited that the Orioles are in the playoffs, the first time in 15 years they have made it this far.  It will be an exciting few weeks until we learn if they make it to the world series!  I'll keep you posted.  In the meanwhile...LET'S GO O'S!!