Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Day 7...

~ Welcome and Warm Greetings to ~

On my trip...
once we made it to Fairfield, CA, the home, my father and stepmother are renting for the winter, had lovely lit magnifying mirrors in all the bathrooms. In the bedroom/bath that was "mine" for the two weeks I was in Fairfield, it had a lovely vanity set equipped with a tabletop lit magnifying mirror. Well let me tell you - my eyebrows (nearly invisible because they are blonde) never looked better! Lo and behold I  could see every random, stray, stiff hair and blemish on my whole visage. Having a manifying mirror that spotlighted my imperfections was a very humbling, yet freeing experience! My brows and chinny chin chin has never looked better than the two weeks in Fairfield, CA.

When I got home...
I decided I NEEDED a magnifying lit mirror to keep my brows and my chinny chin chin free from those random stiff hairs. So I bought this gem on Amazon. It suctions to the mirror and has an arm that stretches out...Oh MY! Plucking and Tweezing DREAM! I just stand there and rotate the head to the perfect angle and PLUCK away! $45 and this dream can be yours too!


Look at that magnification!


Amazon Prime....
It nearly ranks right up there with Santa Claus!
You can purchase this very mirror HERE

I've made some good progress on my...
Country Cottage Needleworks
"Snow Place Like Home ~ Snow Place #1"
over the last couple of evenings. . .
this is destined as a gift


Day #4 of my road trip...
saw us pulling in to Mesa Verde National Park in Mesa Verde, Colorado.
Long did I dream about this place from reading a story about it when I was in the 7th grade.
It was awe-inspiring, these homes built virtually clinging to the side of sheer cliffs.


HOW?! Did they get up and down? (I asked that...and it was either by VERY long ladders or small holes that were dug in the rock for foot/hand holds) 


I mean it snows here....
How would they climb up and down if it was snowy and icy?
How would you keep a toddler from falling off the edge?
How would you navigate with an infant?
What if you killed a'd you schlump that thing up and down the ladder?
Where did they go to the bathroom?
What if you were an old woman/man and couldn't climb the ladder?
What happened to their dead?
What about water??
What if you were afraid of HEIGHTS?


I would have loved to corner someone to ask all these questions...
but sadly the park was very busy that day and it was winter so there was limited staff and resources. I watched the video in the park center and basically I believe that in the winter, most people went up to the Mesa (top, plains area) where they had winter homes. Some people always lived up on the Mesa - especially if they were farmers. So maybe the old people lived up on the Mesa all the time too. 
I still don't know about water...
the dead...
babies and danger...


But no matter my weird questions...
These cliff palaces were extraordinary. I would have really loved it had I been able to get down inside the kivas and living areas - but they were all closed for the winter and you could just gaze at them from vantage points across a canyon.


Still a very wonderful experience!

That does it for Day 7....
until tomorrow....

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Day 6....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to ~

I showed you a the finish of the 2014 Prairie Schooler Santa...
but I neglected to mention that I finished a second Santa while I was in California.

It was the 2015 Prairie Schooler Santa and yesterday I finished them. 
Here they are right before I slapped them on my Prairie Schooler Santa Tree.

2014 and 2015 PS Santas

I finish all of my Annual Santas the same - red pillow ticking on the back, grosgrain red ribbon for the bow and hanger. I also make a little initial and year patch that I tack on the back with a dot of fabric glue, so that when I die, my family can see when I stitched these ornaments. I do this to all of my ornaments that I have stitched. 
2014 and 2014 Prairie Schooler Santas Back

Have you heard the old adage....
"Less is More"
In my opinion, The Prairie Schooler Santa's speak to this adage. They don't need any jazzing up, because they are beautiful and jazzy all by themselves. Simple is best in a lot of things. This being one of them. 

For your viewing pleasure...
I have created a tutorial that shows exactly how I make a "Simple Pillow Ornament". 
Simple and Perfect with my "secrets" shared for your own finishing prowess to grow.
You may view it on my YouTube Channel at this LINK HERE

Merry Christmas!
Sharing is caring!

Until tomorrow....

Monday, December 05, 2016

Day (4 &) 5....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to ~

Day 4....
was my twin sons' birthday, so forgive me for not posting. We were busy attending Mass, celebrating and just having general family time before they went off to go to work gathering carts and bagging groceries at Kroger. Then I spent a cozy afternoon with my husband watching documentaries (we are nuts for documentaries) and stitching. It was Sunday, thus a family day.

Day 5...
On my trip I took a project envelope filled with 10 Prairie Schooler Annual Santas that I have not stitched yet. I finished this one while on my vacation.

Prairie Schooler Annual Santa 2014
stitched on Davos 18 ct. 
2 strands over 1 thread
2014 PS Santa

is the called for fabric of many of the Santas. I tell that to people and they are like.... whaaat?! 
Essentially it is 36 ct. since it is just stitching over 1 thread. You can tell from the photo above that the holes are very visible. It is an evenweave not an aida. I like working on it. and I think the santas look spectacular on it.

My trip....
I'm going to spread this out a little to share among posts. Keith and Ellie drove me down to Haubstadt, Indiana on Sunday, November the 6th at 5 a.m. From there I got in the car with my father and stepmom and off we went on our trip. We headed first to St. Louis, MO - Gateway to the west. We traveled all day and stopped for the night at Salina, KS. I had never been further west than Branson, MO, so Kansas was a whole new world for me. I was amazed at the gently rolling prairie and the golden grasses blowing in the wind.  The next day (Monday, November 7) we drove to Golden, CO which was just outside of Denver. In the morning (Tuesday, Nov 8) we got up and began to make our way to Arches National Park in Moab, UT. Before we got to Arches though we stopped in Colorado for breakfast and ate at Mountain Lyon Cafe in Silverthorn, Colorado 
Oh my word...the food was so delicious. It was a sort of smallish, homey diner that I saw and said something to my father about eating there and he pulled in and I was glad he did. Delicious, wonderful food!

We made it Arches National Park (11/8/16) and I will share some of the beautiful photos I took while there. It was a stunning, awe inspiring experience. You go there...and it is just...well let's just say, I thought about God.... a lot. I'll never forget it.








In this canyon...the wind whips through these stone walls and all that sand is from the rocks being broken down. It was nearly up to your calves and you walked in there. I was wearing Birkenstocks and took them off to walk through the sand (because I was rubbing my feet raw with the sand and the straps of the sandals). That sand was freezing cold! My little tootsies were almost blue by the time I got back outside the canyon and just dirt. Definitely could tell this place was a desert environment because at night it gets cold and the sand was a good insulator of keeping the cold in!


So there you go....
the first three days of my "grand" adventure.

Tomorrow I'll be back and in the meantime...
smile, keep that little light of yours shining!
Share a Coke with the world too :) 
I love Coke and I saw that "I'd like to give the world a Coke..." commercial today. If it would just be that easy....perfect harmony in the simple act of sharing a Coke. I'm pretty happy when I drink a Coke....

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Day 3...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to ~

Sorry I'm late this morning with my daily post....
I've been decorating and am happy to report, I put the final touches on my home yesterday afternoon!
It is clean, decorated and ready to enjoy!

I usually save my tree to be viewed on Dec. 23...
but what's the point? You want to see it and I can use various close up shots of it through the 25 Days to show each ornament in more detail :)

So here we go... FRONT view of our 2016 tree:
2016 Tree Front

RIGHT SIDE of our 2016 Tree
2016 Tree Left side 

LEFT SIDE of our 2016 Tree
  2016 Tree right

Over 500 handmade ornaments adorn our 7 ft. tree. Ornaments from my childhood, ornaments from my husband's childhood and ornaments from my children's childhood. About 275 of them are cross stitched by my hands and a few of those are from friends of mine that have gifted me through the years with their beautiful work.

Our tree isn't fancy, but it is a work of a lifetime and all six of us are a contributor to it's beauty.

Katie is having the time of her life in college....
She's done so well with the transition, heck even Mom did very well with the transition - all things considered :)
She has made tremendously good friends. And every Friday night they have "friend game night" and a sleepover. Last night instead of games they went ice skating.

Katie Dec 2016 college

They posed with Garfield outside the rink ~ Jim Davis the creator of Garfield is a Hoosier born and bred and still living in good 'ol Indiana where he presides over Garfield, Inc and is an adjunct professor at Ball State University. (Yep, BALL jars....made in Muncie, Indiana) Indiana ROCKS!

Katie Dec 2016 college with Garfield

A wholesome, fun ending to a Friday night ~ Friday Night Sleepover!
Katie Dec 2016 sleepover
Start studying girls, finals are in a week!

And here are my boys this morning eating a hearty breakfast prior to going to their first SAT attempt....
SCORE BIG BOYS! Mama and Daddy need you to get a scholarship!
aren't they cuties? ;)
Ian and Jake SAT

Last night I began stitching....
by Country Cottage Needleworks
Snow Place
I'm doing mine with the called for colors on 36 count 2 over 2 on Vintage Country Mocha linen
I think it will be an ornament.

And Day 3's Tip is....
buy this book, that I finished last night:

It was SO good...I cried at the end. So good in fact I'm going to start at the beginning and read the series. :) 
I'm always in need of a new series.

OK folks...
that is Day 3! Until tomorrow....

Friday, December 02, 2016

Day 2....

~ Greetings and Welcome to ~
Day 2 of

is one of my most favorite days of the month! It is my pedicure and manicure day! 

Do you know...
that I never had a pedicure or a manicure before I was 40 years old?
I always felt it a little odd to have a person mess around with my feet...
you know handling them and clipping my toe nails and such. 
 Then I was given a gift certificate for my 40 birthday from a dear friend of mine 
(who knew I had never had one and kept telling me that they were HEAVEN! And I kept telling her that it was WEIRD to have some random person picking the toe jam out from under your toenails....) 
Well I used her gift certificate and I was hooked!

It has become my monthly ritual that makes me feel like a girl ~ my one guilty indulgence
  (well besides buying too much cross stitch stash.)

So here is a tip for you....
RUN and go get a pedicure! 
Even if you don't want some random stranger picking the toe jam out from under your will LOVE it! Oh they feel so good! 
The best part of a pedi is the night you get home with a fresh pedi and getting into a new bed with fresh clean sheets and running your smooth feet back and forth on the sheets.

You's the small things in life for me.

someone on one of my last blog posts asked if my new kitty, Augustine - Augie for short -
(yes named after our happy place, St. Augustine, FL not to forget St. Augustine the actual saint and theologian of the church)
They wanted to know if he had made it from his illness and continued to thrive.
Well he certainly has! I am happy to report that he is spoiled rotten. He runs my older cats like a collie herds cattle. Chatty distinctly will not put up with any of his crap - he starts growling when Augie gets that - I'm going to tackle you look in his eye. Red boy puts up with his crap for a while and then knocks Augie in his place. Here are a few snaps of my sweetie new boy:

The very day we brought him home:

48 hours after coming home, he was gravely ill....

During his convalescence when I was hand force-feeding him and wiping his hiney when he had to use the bathroom....

Two weeks after bringing him home...he's sassy and killing ALL the things!
Augie Kills

Four months old!

Here he is as a big kitty...
I believe he is full grown (so does the vet) he's 9 months old. He's a smaller Tom Cat than my other Tom's. He's petite and short-legged. He is a ham....

Here he is today with Red and Chatty (yes, Chatty was growling while I was taking this picture).
You can see he is small. 
Red is my biggest guy...he is skinny but so long and tall that he is roughly the size of a bobcat (just not as heavy in body as a bobcat). 
Chatty is dainty in bone structure but large in size - he loves to eat and I have to watch him. 
**All three adopted from the shelter. Chatty was 2 when we adopted him. He is now 11 years old. Red was adopted the next year as a kitten, he is 8 years old. Augie of course is less than 1 year old.


Tip #2 for today....
Adopt, don't shop! 
Give a pet that has been discarded a loving home. SO many pets (of all varieties) are just waiting for someone to love them, care for them and give them a forever home. Maybe consider adopting one from your local pet store for Christmas? 
These boys have brought us abundant joy! Little gifts from heaven to brighten our walk on this earth. I love these cats so much. They are my friends and my companions and love me for me. Of course they are cats, so it is all their terms...but what is not to love about them?! Mama's little sweeties! I've had many cats in my life...but these guys...ahh! I love them best. Even though they eat like they are starving and fill up their litter boxes like champs!
...scooping poo daily not my favorite part of pet ownership... 

after my mani and pedi is decorating day! So tomorrow we might have actually something Christmassy to talk about.

And maybe even a little stitching???
WE WILL SEE what tomorrow brings!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Day 1.....

~ Warm Welcome and Merry Christmas to all of my stitching friends ~

Today is the beginning of the fourth year of

So here we are on Day 1...
and I've got to be honest people, I have been back in my home for 24 hours and my life is a bit random and frankly a mess since I've been away for 3 1/2 weeks on my grand vacation.

One thing you can count on me about is: 
Keeping it real. My life is a bit of a mess right now ~ not in a bad way, just in a I'm not in the groove and things are out of control way.

My house isn't a mess...
(no my husband is too much of a perfectionist for it to be a mess) but it is still decorated for fall. Yes, you read correctly. Not a single Christmassy thing is anywhere in my house, except for this Blog Header (that I made today) and this here little 'ol post.

So give me this first day to draw a road map of what will happen in the upcoming days.
"What is going to happen this year during these 25 Days?"
Well I'm going to share with you my family, my life, my tips/techniques/ideas and just generally bask in the glow of the holidays!

Last year so many people enjoyed my gadgets and gizmos bit...
that I know for certain that I'll have a few gizmos to throw in and show you. Some I've bought from a store, some I've made because it helps me in the way I stitch.
We will definitely have stitching related talk.
We will definitely have tutorials created and shared as my gift to you for being my loyal friends.
We will have fun and laughter.
However, above all, we will share happiness and love for each other, our craft that brings us so much joy and just general fun.

There is so much negativity in the world...
you see it all around you. It is my hope that together we all can make a change in our hearts, with purpose in our minds, to be a positive light for this world. We all have different ideals, faiths, families, friends, goals...but although we are all different and walk different stations in life; this art, this hobby brings us all together under a common roof for fun and fellowship. AND....I've got a couple of fellowship moments that I just experienced over the last few weeks to share with you during these 25 days!

Tis the season for fellowship....
join me friends - join me to light up this world for good, for joy and for friendship.

I'll be back tomorrow to share with you my progress on bringing a little Christmas in my home....
Oh heaven help me, I've got a long row to hoe here and the weeds are a grabbing at the handle.

Until tomorrow friends!
Merry Christmas and Happy 25 Days!

Now on to my coffee with peppermint mocha creamer....GO! get ya' some!
That's your Day 1 tip :)