Thursday, April 30, 2009

Scissors and stuff

I found it! Nina (back on April 13th) posted a scissors challenge and giveaway. I saw the post. I lost the post. I found the post again. ... sort of the story of my internet life. Anyway, Her giveaway has ended, but it's still fun to meet her challenge.

So here are my scissors:
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And the escaping pair (I was actually working with them at the time):
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I have to thank Nina for this because it made me really see how many pairs I have. Sheesh. Now they are all reorganized and put away. Only the ones without cases now live in a little box next to my bed. That's 4-5 pair and it is certainly more than I need on a daily basis! I was even spurred by this to toss a pair!!!! It was a pretty little pair with a purple handle. You know, those ones we all have -- they come in purple, green, blue, etc (I haven't had problems with the blue pair-- they ar ein the picture near the lower right).... Anyway, both my purple and green pair flaked -- paint chips everywhere. It was so annoying, but I couldn't bear to toss them. I'd somehow ditched the green pair a couple years ago, but I'd held on to the purple ones because they were great "travel scissors"-- you know just in case the TSA thought I looked dangerous? Anyway, the purple ones bit the dust. No more road trips for them. Thanks, Nina!

Ok, I have a couple more minutes here so let me show you some recent accomplishments....
from Blackbird Designs:
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And, after a year and a quarter I finally finished!!!!!!-- Come on, I want to hear the cheering!
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Dragon Dreams ornie from one of the JCS ornie issues. I started this as my January ornie for the 2008 Bride's tree. lol

And here's where I've gotten on Beatrix Potter -- In March she was here:
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And now she's here:
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I was going to only use DMCs and beads on this, but I fell off the over-dyed wagon. I'm sorry , but I could not keep from pulling out a Vikki Clayton over-dye. So far it's appearing in the little shrub in the upper right of the picture, but it will show up in a few other places I'm sure. I would tell you what color it is but I got it as a grab bag spool so I don't know.

Last weekend I was at the L.A. Times Festival of Books--
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Just me, 100,000 of my closest friends, and
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the C-SPAN bus.
It was a nice day. Good weather, decent crowd. But the vendors were down somewhat and those that did come didn't bring as much as they usually do. Sure, I came away with books, but not as many as usual. I did get some nice, outdoor stitching done -- lots of Verna's version of the BBD sampler was done at a sunny table overlooking the fest.

This coming weekend (besides being Verna's 100the bday where I am official photographer and general helper) is POWWOW WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!! Woo hooooo I'm already wiggling with excitement. You know powwow -- fry bread, dancing, jewelry, beading. All the joys. Did I mention fry bread? Cause there'll be fry bread. Don't know fry bread? Oh I'm so sorry for you! Hmmm.... maybe pictures shall be forthcoming? Ok, probably.

***********Edited to add: Mel is having a lovely giveaway of a Mirabilia and some threads. Drop by and see!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Woo hoo!

Ok, I just have a sec, but can you believe this:
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I actually finished TWO 9gasp) of BBD's vacation samplers in a week!

The first one is for a fundraiser on behalf of Woodlawn Plantation, part of George Washington's original Mount Vernon estate. Mary Ball is George's mom and 1789 was the year he was inaugurated. I put the pair of birds facing away from each other because apparently she and George had a contentious relationship... it seems she wasn't the easiest woman to get along with. It is on 32-count ivory jobelan with rose blush Waterlilies.

The second is for my friend Verna who turns 100 this week! 100 years!!! Can you imagine? It is on 28 count hand-dyed jobelan from Wichelt called "raspberry lite" stitched in Hydarangea by Needle Necessities (and also under that name now by Treadworx).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wow, I can stitch!

I can, I just can't show you because the pictures are in the camera. Honest. I swear. I actually completed (MIRACLE) the BBD vacation challenge piece! [Go check out this opportunity. It's a cute little sampler and if I can finish it in a few days the rest of the world can finish it much more quickly. lol] I'll show you that later this week. And I finished another BBD little floral piece. Don't know what I'm going to do with it though.

But I can show you my Ho Ho exchange ornies for Chris and Karen which I dropped on them while adventuring in AZ---
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Shelleen is the next victim I think. Either she or Monique.

Oh, on the PaleyFest Mentalist evening, it was a nice success. I was shocked that the only "runaway hit of the year" had a half-full venue, but it certainly made it more comfortable to find seats and easier to get out of the parking lot. [Apparently the BSG/Caprica night was insane-- not only waaaay sold out, but also the precursor to a launch party at the same venue. I think I'm glad I didn't have to deal with the traffic that night.] I can tell you Simon Baker fans out there that he is certainly eminently viewable, but I believe that the personality that took the evening was Owain Yeoman. Very funny man. Very, very funny. For the record, apparently the humor of the set is giving grief to Simon for being named the "sexiest man on TV." Imagine the misery lol Oh, the fun I would have with that.

Speaking fo fun, anyone else think the new Jack in the Box commercial about "cows the size of schnauzers" is as hysterical as I do? Frankly, the thing that cracks me up is the line "herding cows the size of schnauzers." I'm not rushing out for the mini burgers, but "schnauzers" may be one of those words that's inherently funny.

By the way, check out the nifty new freebie from The Sampler Girl based on an Anne Frank quote.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Culture (such as it is here) and just call me "StitchNStash"

Hello there everyone.

First to "culture" -- earlier this week I went to one of PaleyFest09 events -- this one on True Blood (yes, Charlaine Harris fans, I was there!!!! I can attest to the fact that Bill and Sam are just as cute in person.) We saw a bit round of last season and a sneak peak of the coming season then had a chat session with most of the cast.

I should say first of all I am usually in a constant state of annoyance at these things when they are about shows based on books. Phrases to producers and directors like "when you created these characters," "when you wrote this story," and "how did you ever come up with such a wonderful idea" just push every one of my book-ish buttons. I want to stand up and scream that s/he did NOT write or create these characters and that they came up with these "wonderful ideas" by taking them from someone else. Having said that, the True Blood hierarchy was at pains to credit Charlaine with all that was wonderful ... even down to thanking her for specific phrases. I was most impressed.

I came away with one question from the evening: why are all these show fans squealing (honest, there was squealing, lots of squealing) over the guy that plays Eric? Are you watching? Does he look like Eric to you???? I mean couldn't they get someone who looks like he could have sacked a city???? He's supposed to be a Viking, not some sulking, greasy punk.

I have to admit that the thing I like the best about all these evenings is the funny stories that the cast tells. Figuring that there's a couple more of me out there somewhere allow me to share a couple of my favorite quotes from the evening-- [I apologize to those of you who aren't watching or who don't get HBO-- the DVDs come out next month, you can catch up then read this again and lol]

--When asked what their favorite scenes were, Sam replied: "Well I remember one of my least favorite scenes. Running Naked. Running naked with flesh-colored jazz shoes."

--As to why Tara is in the first season despite not appearing in the books until book 3 the producer Alan Ball said "I didn't want it to be Sookie and the parade of hot guys" -- to which Anna Paquin replied "that would be bad how?"

--When asked if she read the books before filming, Carrie Preston said "Yeah, I read them. I wanted to see if I die or not."

--When asked if they get special recognition from the public when they go out now Anna Paquin asked: "You mean like people yelling 'What am I thinking, Stackhouse?'"

If you are a Mentalist fan, I'm going to the Paley event on that this Friday. I'll say hi to Simon Baker for you. I will NOT squeal though. Well, not unless goosed. And if goosed by someone other than Simon there will be hell to pay for someone.

Since I have a few spare moments I thought I'd do some updating. After all, I'd hate ya'll to be behind on the glories (hee hee) of my vast (even more hee hee) stitching of late. [Yes, there's some very serious tongue in cheek there.]

Before heading off the the First Grand Canyon Girls Club (GCGC) adventure I set about getting ready for our floss tag "class." Our friend, Karen set about to educate us on the ways of tagging.... without spray paint. [While I'm thinking about it, when exactly do you suppose taggers are artistically "improving" freeway signs? I've traveled CA highways at all hours and never yet seen "art" in action. You'd think I would have given my traveling and the extent of the "art" on local highways.] I decided to use part of Elizabeth Designs' "Black Sheep Sampler." You will note below that the vast amount of stitching involved took me nearly 2 weeks and wasn't even finished until I got to AZ. Ultimately, Karen's efforts paid off and I took home this lovely item:
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Two WEEKS. Ok, sure I was really busy. But 2 WEEKS??????? Sheesh. It took me a whole night to get the finishing done too. Let this be a warning to you, too much alcohol can slow your stitching progress no matter how patient your teacher is. lol Thanks Karen!

Also stitched while GCGCing was the following lovely which Karen designed and kitted up for us:
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Lovely isn't it? She even gave us some of her beautiful coffee-dyed fabric! Jealous yet?

Well, if you really want to be jealous...... this
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is a piece Karen did and allowed me to have. Seems she didn't have a spot for it in her house. What's that? Do I hear boos? Wailing? Gnashing? So sorry you weren't there. heee heee

To finalize my AZ stitching report I'll add this --
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I got a bunch of the sparkly light wing color done on the left wing of Black Swan's dragon while on the plane to and from the adventure.

In the last post I promised a reporting on my stashing activities at The Attic so here goes. First, here's the one thing I told myself I could get if I found one for a reasonable price:
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Yup, that's my new tote bag. It's really very cool. In case you're thinking it would look good on you, I left one there in pink with green trim. You can get that and we can be stylish together.

Despite my best efforts to not need anything to put in the tote some stuff leaped in it while I was wondering about the shop --
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That's R&R "garnet" -- the threads are Belle Soie and Thread Gatherer's that I'm considering using to make a sampler with this yummy fabric. Whatcha think?
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that's Der feine Faden's "Potpourri"

And here's Plum Street Samplers' "Beedie's Garden":
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These last two from The Attic are potentials for an insert in a needlework purse I have awaiting my attention:
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I couldn't just stash at The Attic though -- at the Grand Canyon I picked this kit up--
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I'm thinking of trying it over-1. Think it'll look cool?

By the by.... don't you find it terribly disconcerting when stash leaps into your arms while you are shopping? I just don't understand how it happens.

The GCGC did a little grab bag party one night an I was lucky enough to take home Sharon's "alarming" bag (she used one of those Hallmark Don't open til Christmas bags that kept wailing "Back away from the Bag".... honestly it was most vexing--- reach for stash, get yelled at, reach for stash, get yelled at.... do you think this is how Jung worked with his patients????). Anyway, I got all sort of goodies -- thanks Josh's mommy!!!
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Possibly the most special part of the package was my "Custom, Limited Edition" needle pack--
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You can't really tell, but it came pre-opened for my convenience and to the glee of everyone at the table. Possibly they thought I wasn't up to opening my own needle pack?

Well I'd better go. More later. I wish you all a lovely day.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Hi, honey, I'm home!

The first Grand Canyon Girls Club festival has concluded. Successfully, I might add. -- I mean we did make it to the end of the adventure without having to find a body bag or a handy hiding place for any of our members.

Michele, Chris, Karen, Sharon (who will have a blog against her will soon), and I met up in Phoenix and giggled, stitched, shopped, ate, travelled, and didn't sleep much. I believe a great time was had by all. It was certainly had by me!

In no apparent order....

We visited The Attic needlework shop
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Michele, Karen, and Sharon contemplate something cool

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Chris and Sharon

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The GCGC share the sacred sign for "I'm on VACATION!": Sharon, me, Chris, Karen, and Michele.

I can sum up The Attic by saying it was a blissful way to spend a couple hours, and it caused much oooing and ahhing. I didn't need anything really, but for convience sake I was willing to look for a tote bag since some moron (that'd be me) had brought all her stitching in ziplocks and was tired of trying to balance them all without dropping them as we shuffled between hotel rooms. anyway, so I was willing to buy a tote if they had a reasonably priced one. I did that, but somehow other things fell in my bag. Sigh. You'll get pictures later since they are still trapped in my camera. I do have some shots of pieces they had on their walls which they'll probably end up ordering for me:
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We even stitched--
Here's proof that Sharon stitches. She swears she doesn't, but now we can prove otherwise--
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Chris made us all these darling little pieces for our floss tag training class--
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I have a suggestion for you, don't have creamsicle alcohol, single malt, a shot of Godiva liquer, and a taste of Smirnoff Raspberry Twist if you intend to whizz through the making of your first floss tag. Then again, maybe it's just me that shouldn't do that. (see below)

Sharon got a tatoo of her son's baby footprints
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while the rest of us sat on the leather sofas, listening to blaring heavy metal, and stitched. Honest. I'm sure we were their first stitchers.

Karen brought us goodies which included this lovely notebook. I can't help loving Michele's face with this book (you can't quite tell, but the front cover of the book enjoins you to "Laugh")---
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We went up to a grand cabin arranged for us by Karen (bless you, gf!) and relaxed our little brains out:
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Micele made us a lovely fire --
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Here's our aforementioned alcohol collection--
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And the GCGC posing with their prizes (I'm in there in spirit hee hee -- I'm being represented by the scotch)
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Here's us posing with the yard bears at the cabin:
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Lest you should think we lacked for actual wildlife-- here's the print of the bear who visited our first night:
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and another little friend of his:
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From the cabin we hauled ourselves for the day to our namesake, the Grand Canyon. The drive there and back gave me (since I was the not so cold one with the longest camera strap) plenty of photo opps.
We saw cool plants like this ocotillo:
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many cacti and lots of rocks:
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Lake Mary:
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where I got out to take the pics for the chillier people in the car
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who then, as every cliche of this situation demands, drove off without me.

When we finally made it to the Grand Canyon I think we all were simply awed. I certainly know why Thomas Moran did so many of his paintings now. If you hven't gone, you should. If you have, go back. I'm wanting a full week to just sit and stare. The pictures may be nice, but they are a pale shadow of the reality.

My very first view of the Canyon:
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Neither Sharon or I like heights:
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The Club would like you to know it was kinda (ie. downright) cold--
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You all should know by now that plants talk to me --
local lichen:
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cacti at altitude are kinda whimpy looking:
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trees, however are really cool:
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While at the cabin we breakfasted in "town" (town being defined as a cafe, gas station, and post office):
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whenever we were at the cafe there was always a truck with dogs in it in the parking lot-- apparently it's a cafe rule...
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Oh and when breakfasting at the cafe, I can recommend the biscuts and gravy, but if you order the pancakes, just get one, it's the size of a platter! Honest!!!!
Here's our crew at the cafe --
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Michele (her shirt reads "I'm living in my own little world, but it's ok, they know me there" -- the cook came out to read it because the waitress had told him about it. And now she owes him a shirt since he tracked us down in the parking lot as we left to tell us we'd better not come back without a shirt for him), Sharon, Karen, Chris, Karen's sister, and Karen's aunt
and little ole me:
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A little warning: When on a road trip with your dear stitching friends, do not leave your camera unattended in the car with your buddies while you go to the restroom. If you do this you get pictures like this which you just know you didn't take:
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It was a really lovely long weekend. If you get a chance to escape with friendly stitchers, jump at it!

I can't really share everything from the Inaugural Grand Canyon Girls Club festival since there's just one rule to the GCGC. It was written over the door of the cabin:
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