Monday, July 16, 2018

That Didn't Take Long!

Beach Cottage is finished! I'm trying to figure out why I put it away when I was so close to a finish, but most Victoria Sampler designs are what I like to call fiddly. Below is a snippet from the pamphlet that I made a working copy from. As I work my way through the design, I mark out the verbiage, as well as marking my progress on the chart. At some point, I get a little burned out on the backstitching here and there, color changes, etc. and I move on to a simpler design. But I always come back.

Beach Cottage by Victoria Sampler
stitched on 32 ct Frozen Fractals by Hand-Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie
using the VS accessory pack

I come back because the payoff is so sweet!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Wanna Stitch?

The last time I picked up a project was in April at the Victoria Sampler retreat in Sidney, BC. And before that I did very little since before the holidays. I just wasn't feeling like stitching. Part of me was dealing with the fact that my last daughter was getting married, and not only that, but she decided to share an apartment with friends for her last months as a single. All very understandable and even wonderful, but it left me with that empty nest that just had to sink in and then adjust to. I must have turned a corner the last few days as my bag full of projects came to mind, and the one calling to me is Beach Cottage by Victoria Sampler.

One reason I thought of this project must be the fact that the summer heat is finally turning on with temps well into the 100s for the next few days, so thoughts of the beach are especially lovely right now. There's not much left to finish Beach Cottage, just a lot of fiddly, detailed stitching that eats lots of time, but really does bring the design to life. So I'll plug away on this for awhile and see how much I can get done.

Looking forward to my first stitchy weekend in a long while!! I hope you enjoy yours too!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Event of the Year

At the beginning of the year, my youngest daughter got engaged to a terrific young man, Noah Farris. After much consideration, June 23 was their chosen date. I really wasn't eager to plan a quick June wedding thinking that we would have a hard time finding rentals and vendors. Much to my surprise, and their delight, June 23 was available for all the vendors we wanted.

We also decided we wanted an informal, fun wedding and reception. There's no place like home for feeling comfortable - in this case my oldest daughter's home which is on just over an acre of land, with wonderful neighbors to help with parking cars, because, well, they had about 370 people on the invitation list (including children). Most venues don't accommodate numbers larger than 250, and our working number was 300.

By ceremony time, most of the seating was shaded, but the weather was a perfect 87 degrees. Tri-Citians are used to desert heat, so 87 really is pretty perfect.

And when putting on an event like this, having a big family that pulls together makes it easier and more affordable. Mystie and her husband hosted, using the event as incentive to get the yard spruced up. She's also quite an organizer, so she served as the wedding coordinator. Her husband had the parking people in place and even ran a shuttle service from the neighbor's down to the event. My oldest son loves beer and provided that beverage for the reception. Melanie, our artist, did all the graphic work on the invitations and programs, as well as getting them printed. She also decorated the front of the ceremony, and the groom's best man made and put up a wood cross in the center. My middle son, Brendan, served as the DJ, and the twins helped with manual labor. And then there's our church family that helped in decorating, set up, serving drinks and cake, moving tables and chairs. We are so blessed to have all these people in our lives!

All the Paulson clan
Noah's mom and I bought matching dresses and didn't know until arriving at the wedding!
Great minds . . . !

Since Kirsten and Noah went out for tacos on their first date, we had Hacienda del Sol cater. Their Mexican food is delicious and is the preferred restaurant for our employees. Our guests really enjoyed it as we had absolutely no leftovers and some folks went back for seconds.  The bridesmaids really got the party going on the dance floor and everyone had such a great time! Soon it was all over and the happy couple left the reception for a few sunset pictures. The next day they left super early for a honeymoon on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Not So Routine

Okay, obviously I'm not back in the routine and it looks like things won't be routine for several months. I'm still working in the business, still teaching my ESL class, even still getting in some stitching - just not as much. The reason is - my youngest daughter is getting married in June!

Wedding planning is consuming bandwidth in my brain, lol! I was really lobbying for a fall wedding, but circumstances with our pastor's availability and family complications have bumped up the date to June. It's pretty late to be planning for June, but so far we've had good luck with our date being free for the vendors we've talked to. We're planning to have the wedding and reception in the back yard of our oldest daughter's home as they have just over an acre of land. Kirsten found her dress very quickly and easily - in and out of David's Bridal in 90 minutes, lol! The photographer has been procured and one by one the check list is getting shorter.

On to the other part of my life!

Promise of Spring

I did get Promise of Spring finished the first part of February. This was a nice little design, stitched on Picture This Plus Dapple with DMC floss. The end of January, Gary and I had a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, for an insurance conference and I packed of Promise of Spring to work on during down times.

Yes, the weather was lovely and warm - just right for stitching by the pool.

But the cool mornings were warmed by fire pits all around the property. We were at the J W Marriott, Desert Ridge which is a gorgeous place for a conference and for kicking back in the sunshine!

And I came home with my Starbucks You Are Here mug. I just love these mugs, lol!

So I finished stitching Promise of Spring and I delayed starting another project. The VS Jingle Bell Xmas Tree Farm came out for a few stitches, and then I got a call from my local x-s shop. The Valdani floss set I ordered was in!

Oh boy! This is my first set of  Valdani floss and so far I really do like them. This set of colors goes to Rosewood Manor's Autumn Quaker sampler which was an impulse buy when I lingered a little too long at the LNS. In my stash I had plenty of 32 ct Vintage Country Mocha which seemed to be the best color choice I had available.

So here is the latest pic I have, although I've gotten several more motifs finished since I took it. With a 32ct fabric, I do have to strand the Valdani to two strands (Valdani has three) and that is a bit of a pain to not have an even number of strands in the floss. The end result is worth the effort tho. 😊

We celebrated grandson Knox's 8th birthday on Sunday, and yesterday he and I went shopping and out for lunch. We found a Star Wars lego set he'd been wanting, then went to Red Robin for a hamburger. Red Robin seems to be a favorite for the younger set, and I think this gizmo on the table has something to do with it!

Who needs crayons when there are video games on that screen! Somehow I was able to pry him away from it to get his lunch down and then we actually played a few trivia games together. He's a bright little guy and always a lot of fun!

So that pretty much wraps up my update! I'll keep plugging away at my blog reader and maybe someday I'll actually catch up with all of you.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Into the Routine

It's been back to the routine this week with my ESL classes starting up again. The weather was wet and gloomy and Monday's attendance was a little low, as I expected. These classes are totally volunteer for both students and teachers and many of these refugees are from warm climates, so going out into the cold is difficult. Tack onto that cold and flu has hit our area hard and the result is low attendance, I just view it as an opportunity to give more attention to those who do come.

Then on Wednesday the sun came out! And that was the birthday shopping and lunch day with my granddaughter Ilse who turned 10. She wanted shoes and once again we had great luck finding some cute ones at Ross, She's at the difficult stage of needing a woman's size shoe, but still being a girl. Thank God for ballet flats! :)  Ilse will also be starting a beginning sewing class soon, so her mom gave her a shopping list for the class. My daughter is not a seamstress at all, her husband runs the sewing machine if needed. So we had fun looking at the fabric at Hobby Lobby, then going to Craft Warehouse for the fat quarters - they have a superior selection. We ended the morning with lunch at Red Robin where Ilse surprised me by eating her adult size hamburger, two servings of fries, and a little birthday sundae at the end. She is long and lean, and I think she's going into another growth spurt!

My stitching project, Promise of Spring, is coming along. Here's my progress as of yesterday:

If I'd been putting in the same amount of stitching time as last fall, I'd be done. It really does stitch up pretty fast. So with divisional football on this weekend, I should get pretty close to a finish.

And speaking of football - how about that college championship game between Alabama and Georgia!! Living here in the Pacific NW, I'm not a fan of the SEC, but that was a great game!

I've gone off watching much Youtube/Flosstube. It's so much to try to keep up with so I'm not even trying. Now I just watch a little bit of this and that every now and then. I do enjoy listening to Fiber Talk though. Gary and Christine put out two podcasts each week, Sunday is usually an interview and Wednesday is catch-up talk between the two of them. Really great listening!

Well, it's time to get going. Have a great weekend, my friends. And to those of you in the Midwest - stay warm!!