Saturday, August 04, 2012

Long time, no see...

So, how's it been? Have you enjoyed the last, what, 6 months since I posted? I hope everyone had a nice end of winter, spring, and summer. It has been crazy busy here. For the past few months I have been in the middle of the revisions for our text. On top of that, I had four classes to teach in the Spring semester (over 400 students total). We also started a new research project in May and I started my own project in June. Just to make my life a little more hectic, I had to teach a summer course because we couldn't find anyone that could cover the course. Needless to say, I have been busy and not ignoring my blog intentionally (well, sort of).

As for stitching, of course I found the time. I would go crazy if I couldn't stitch. I have finished several projects, but thought it would just be easier to start with the ones I am currently working on. First up, I learned to crochet!! My mother is a wonderful crocheting woman. We all have baskets of afghans in our homes that she has crocheted for us. For some reason, I just never got it. She has tried to teach me on several occasions, but it never worked for me. Then enters Katie, my newest sister-in-law. She taught me in five minutes. I have since made a granny square pillow (huge) for our cat, Elvis. I will try to remember to add a photo next post of that. Currently, I am working on my first afghan. It is cute, don't you think?

As for cross stitching news, I am in a Halloween mood right now. The Lizzie Kate Mystery sampler is a great one to stitch. I finished the first section in like two days. The second part arrived at the shop yesterday, so I will work on it soon. If you haven't picked this one up, I highly recommend it.

I also dug out an old pattern from my stash, Sleepy Hollow from Cross Eyed Cricket. Very fun stitch. I am about half way through the first section. The house is completed, so that is a great. Maybe, just maybe, I can finish this one before Halloween.

Theresa at Shakespeare's Peddler released a reproduction sampler in 6 parts as her freebie chart earlier this year. I actually stitched the whole thing and absolutely loved it. Now, I am itching to stitch more of her reproduction samplers. I think I will work on the Jane Pattison for a while. I promise to include photos in the next post. (And I promise that next post will not be in 6 months.)

Have a great day!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy February!!

Wow! Have things been busy around our place lately. This semester is already running like a speed train, with lots of projects and things to do. I haven't had as much time to stitch, but I some progress is being made. I worked on a WIP this past week, Autumn Leaves and Sunflower Seeds from Blue Ribbon Designs. This is a really cute piece worked in silks. I just don't like the 28 ct. fabric I am working on. But, luckily it is more than half done, so I will work through it.

I am also working on the CCN February Cottage. Love this. I don't think it will take much more time to have this one finished. Really cute design and I love the colors.

Finally, look at this cute little ornament that I received in the Santa Ornament exchange over at Hooked on Exchanging. Cindy from NY made this little beauty and mailed it to me earlier this month. I really love the beads and can't wait to add this to my ornament collection. Thanks, Cindy for the beautiful exchange. Plus, I absolutely love the card. Butterflies are one of my favorites.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Two finishes to share

Wow! I have really busy this past week and actually finished 3 projects. Two of them are series so I still need to work on these for a while, but the third is a true, complete finish. First, Lizzie Kate Winter Alphabet. I stitched this on a piece of 32 ct. fabric from my stash and I love the result. I can't wait to frame this one. If you haven't picked up this chart yet, it is so much fun to stitch and really works up quickly.

Next, is Elizabeth Milner from Shakespeare's Peddler. Theresa is releasing this as her free chart of the month, releasing 1/6th of the pattern for the first 6 months of 2012. Again, this is a fun stitch and is easy and fast. I am stitching it on 40 ct. Lentil using the designated silks. This is my first time to stitch one of Theresa's reproduction samplers. I am lucky enough to see the originals of these beauties in her collection and have wanted to stitch one for a while. The problem is that I was a bit intimidated by the sizes of these samplers. I know that the originals were stitched by little girls, but they didn't have research to conduct, textbooks to write, courses to teach, kids to feed, etc. I am just worried that I will start one of these and then never finish. The way that Theresa is releasing sections each month seemed like the perfect method for me. As a matter of fact, I stitched this section in just three days.

My other finish is Blackbird Designs Summer. It is the first of the 3 part 2011 series. Sorry, I didn't get a picture, but will post it later.

So far, January has been a great start to the new year. I have accomplished most of my goals and am still excited about the new year. As the semester is revving up though, I am getting quite busy, but it's all good things.

Hope everyone has a great week and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Crafty business

So, it has been quite a busy week for me. Classes started on Tuesday. I have three large lecture courses this semester (total of 450 students) plus I am team teaching an MCAT prep course with 30 more students. Needless to say, I have met a lot of new and excited young people this past week. I am actually really excited about this semester. The students really seem motivated, which is always nice.

Now, on to more crafty things. Last weekend I decided to finish some of the JABCo pin cushions that I have been collecting the past year. I, of course, picked this up at Shakespeare's Peddler and have finished some over the past year, but the collection is quite extensive now. So, I got to work and finished 4 in two days. The cutest, by far, was the Cherry Limeade (special limited edition available at St. Charles). Sunday, I coached/coerced my sister Bridget through finishing yet another one with me. These are very, very cute and really fun to do. I still have 5 left to finish, but I will get to them eventually.

Stitching-wise, I have been making progress, but not as much as I had hoped. I stitch a bit more on BBD Summer, but then decided to work on LK Winter Alphabet. It is really cute on this green fabric. Can't wait to finish this one.

Yesterday was a fun crafty day for me. A group of friends and I signed up for Painting with a Twist, a local paint studio that offers classes for the public. This is a franchise business that has studios in lots of different cities and we are lucky enough to have one here in our little area. We met for dinner (and a lemon drop martini). Then we spent the next two hours working on this little masterpiece. I am thinking of using this frame, but Hobbie actually likes it without a frame. We had the best time. Afterwards, we all met at a local martini bar and sampled some of the yummy varieties. I loved the Bananasplitini and the Grasshopper. Needless to say, we had a great time and plan to repeat this night out soon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First Finishes of the New Year

Isn't it lovely?! I finished Blackbird Designs Anniversaries of the Heart piece last Thursday. Friday, I went by my favorite frame shop and picked out a frame. After a bit of confusion with the framer, I was able to get the correct frame by Saturday and now it is hanging in my house. The finished piece is absolutely beautiful. My sister Sharon says that it is definitely an heirloom piece with all of the family initials and dates. My younger sister, Bridget, is putting together a photoshopped piece that highlights the initials and dates so I can attach it to the back of the piece.

Just this morning I finished the CCN January Cottage. It is stitched on 32 ct. Silkweaver Boo Belfast Linen. I used the called for threads except for one. I didn't have it in my stash, so I substituted GA LA Haze for the roof top.

I also started the 2011 BBD Loose Feathers series this morning. I am stitching this on 40ct. linen, not sure of the name of the fabric though. It will be small and I have to wear my reading glasses now to stitch on 40 ct., but it will be worth it when I am finished.

Well, today is my last free day before the new semester. Classes do not begin until next Tuesday, but I need to go into the office tomorrow and get everything organized and attend a meeting. The textbook work has also suffered a bit over the holidays, so I will focus on that the rest of the week as well. I really enjoyed the holiday this year and took advantage of all my down time, but now it's time to get to it. Looking forward to the new semester.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

First Road Trip of 2012

We went to New Orleans! It was a short trip, but we had such a great time. Ok, here's the back story: I got a Cool Daddy deep fryer for Christmas (I was so excited.) The first thing I made with this new kitchen gadget was a batch of beignets using the Cafe Du Monde mix available in our grocery stores in the South. The boys were impressed, but Hobbie thought they needed to experience the real thing to make a fair comparison. So, Hobbie suggested that we go to New Orleans for the day since he had Monday off from work. So, we did.

We walked around the French Quarter and had the beignets (Yummy!!!). Then we decided to walk down Royal Street on our way to the WWII museum.

I love to look at art galleries. I am semi-artistic but too impatient. I appreciate the time and effort that artists invest in their work. I was lucky enough to work at a frame shop when I was younger and framed lots of work of our local artists in Hattiesburg. It was alway so much fun to see what these people created. So, we are walking along, admiring the different artists' work, when we came upon Alex Beard's Studio. I was awestruck. I usually just look at the displayed pictures in the windows, but I had to go into this studio. I was so excited. I LOVE his work. His work features animals and since I am a biologist, I was especially drawn to his work. I mentioned to Hobbie that I really liked the work and wanted one for my birthday in February. He asked which one I liked the most and I showed him the Avery Island Egrets print. HE BOUGHT IT FOR ME!!! He said that he knew if we left the studio with the intention to come back later, I would never go back and get the piece. (I can be a bit of a tight wad). I have to wait a few weeks though because the piece will have a customized mat completed by Alex. I can not tell you how excited I am. Isn't Hobbie the best?

So we made our way to the WWII Museum. Patrick has been to the museum twice with different class trips, but he was excited that we were all going to go and thought that Nicholas would especially enjoy it. We saw the featured film Beyond All Boundaries. It was amazing and very touching. I think it was a great way to start off the year with the realization of just how much has been sacrificed so that we can just decide to run down to New Orleans for the day. I very touching and humbling experience. Nicholas was impressed and wants to go back to visit the museum again. We were not able to go through all of the exhibits.

While we were there, the boys were hungry (teenage boys, ya know). We decided to eat at the restaurant in the museum. I was reading the description to the guys when I realized that this was a John Besh restaurant. I really think I blushed when I read his name. I have a huge chef crush on John Besh. It all started when he challenged Mario Batali in Iron Chef America. Then when I really got to know him on Next Iron Chef, I was too far gone. He seems to be such a genuine individual (and it doesn't hurt that he served in the USMC, I have a thing for Marines). We had a wonderful meal to end the day.

What a great time! And, we made it home early enough that I had some stitching time before bed.