Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Where did the time go?

Greetings dear friends!
Where did the time go? It seems like yesterday was the first of December and blam! now Christmas is over and we are moving fast toward the first of the year. Lots of things happen in December around this household (as I know it does in every other household around the world), but here's a few of the things I've done in the past 29 days:
  • Celebrated My Twins 10th Birthday (Dec. 4)
  • Solo Parenting: my Husband was gone for travel for 1 week (Dec. 7-11)
  • Hostess of the Christmas Staff Luncheon at my children's school (Dec. 9)
  • Celebrated Katie's 12th Birthday (Dec. 11)
  • I have been sick since Dec. 12 (still ill...doctor thinks it is the H1N1)
  • Traveled to Haubstadt, Indiana and celebrated holidays with family (Dec. 18 - Dec 23)
  • Purchased NEW VAN a 2010 "Salsa Red" Toyota Sienna (Dec. 21) !!!!!
  • Got 6 inches cut off my hair and have an entire *new look* (Dec. 22)
  • Returned to Bloomington Dec. 23
  • Celebrated Christmas Dec. 24 at our house
  • I worked the holidays Dec. 25, 26 and 27

Whew....
what a whirlwind month. I know it is the same for all of us and I enjoy the hustle and bustle, I just wish I was feeling a little bit better during all the running around. But I think *fingers crossed* I may be feeling a little bit better. Let's hope anyway....


There....
has been a flurry of activity in my mailbox. In fact a real party has been going on in there and I have felt blessed to be the recipient of such lovely gifts from dear friends. First up is a lovely ornament from Nancy H (no blog) from Washington State. I was stunned to receive this gorgeous beauty - I did a very small favor for Nancy and it was of such a small consequence that it deserved nothing as grand and wonderful as this. I have been wanting to stitch this for myself for some time, thank you from the bottom of my heart Nancy, I shall cherish it!



Blackbird Designs Ornament from Just Cross Stitch yearly ornament Magazine

Then...
that sneaky elf Marie P landed these pretties in my mailbox too! Imagine my complete shock and utter amazement when I opened to find this tremendously CUTE penny rug themed for my winter decorations:


Winter Penny Rug handmade by Marie P.

and as if that wasn't enough Marie also packed in a handmade ornament of little red underwear and a totally cool tuck away tote (a large bag that folds up for easy storage). Marie, once again you astonish and amaze me. A big shout out for Marie too, because her birthday is TODAY (Dec. 29)! Happy Birthday sweet Marie!

Marie's goodies sent to me

Next....
the sweet and kind Harmien, flew this lovely over the oceans far and wide to wish me a Happy New Year 2010, isn't it pretty?! I love it and it is gracing my tree front and center now :) I shall toast the New Year on Friday Morning with a big glass of Diet Mountain Dew and think good thoughts of you dear Harmien. Thank you so much!


Harmien's New Year 2010 Ornament to me

Now....
I have been stitching so please humor me and let me dazzle and amaze you with the efforts of my own personal stitching:

Little House Needleworks ~ Pear Tree
stitched on 40 ct. Silkweaver's French Vanilla Linen using DMC (for my tree)

Little House Needleworks ~ Fa La La
stitched on 40 ct. Silkweaver's French Vanilla Linen using DMC (for my tree)

Little House Needleworks - "Fa La La" part two (for a friend)

Homespun Elegance 2007 Santa Ornament "Merry Stitches"
stitched on 32 count random linen using GAST and DMC (for my tree)

Finally...
my friend Cathy B had a birthday in November. She was one of the first bloggers that embraced me and welcomed my friendship when I first started blogging and I have never forgotten it. She has been generous and kind with me and I wanted to acknowledge her selfless spirit with a special gift in celebration of her birthday. And although it was late, I hope she liked it, for I thought it was perfect for her:

Blackbird Designs "Friendship Sampler" Wool Applique made into a pillow
*notice I put our initials on either side of the birds*

So...
I guess that does it for me, for right now. I am currently stitching on *the* Prairie Schooler ABC project of which much hype has gone round. I started it just last night and so far, so good. I probably will not be back prior to the new year...so please know that I wish with all my heart that you all have a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year! May blessings abound around you and may your heart be free. Hugs and love from me to you with warm welcome to the New Year - 2010!
:) Vonna

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Surprises galore...

Howdy friends :)
My mailbox has been getting a lot of unexpected action lately. Like this little beauty that I found in there earlier this week:
Handmade needle case from: Goldie

Isn't this darling? Talk about surprised! Thank you Goldie for such a sweet and useful gift. I will use it and think always of you! THANK YOU!

Then the needlecase was joined by this beauty:
Sudberry House needle pincushion, a set of JABCo pins and a lovely lapel pin from: AmySC

You'd think....
that would be enough, huh? Well yesterday, I went out to my mailbox and an envelope from Waxing Moon Designs was in there. What?! I had just been talking to Amy about a Santa that I had admired on BeckySC blog and then lo and behold the pattern for said Santa appeared in my mailb. The accompanying note from the designer told me that Amy requested it to be sent to me. THANK YOU Amy! What a sweet friend and sweet surprise :) THANK YOU!

My husband...
is on his way home at this very minute (!) from his business trip. He got done early! SWEET! And soon our family will be back to normal! I'm glad for that. I don't like it when Daddy is away :o(

Lastly....
I'd like to share with you a fantastic home business. My neighbor and dear friend, Christy, is a graphic designer (and a Mama too). She has a wonderful business where she creates the most beautiful stationary, cards, invitations, YOU NAME IT at very reasonable prices. If you are ever in need of something custom and designed JUST for YOU, then give Christy a call or drop her a line. She'll help you out. Being the recipient of many of her creations, I can tell you that they are top notch and very beautiful! Christy is a fabulous person and I'm giving her business a shout out! Hi ya Christy :) So try Creative in Bloom for all your custom printing needs! (Her link and logo will remain in my sidebar for future reference)

HO Ho ho...
until next time ;o)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Christmas Ornaments...

Hello Friends!
This year I drastically reduced the number of exchanges I did, however the ones I did participate in were of a personal nature and I was thrilled with them all. My final exchange of the year was with Kim B. Kim stitched me the sweetest little candy that she wrapped in cellophane with jingle bells to hang on my tree isn't it cute?! And it looks so pretty on my tree:



She also sent me some really super wonderful goodies: two spools of Christmas ribbon, a Christmas button for a special project, a skein of Sister Scarlett Belle Soie (love, love, love this!) and the present that made me cry when I opened it, a St. Therese medal prayer card and a St. Therese finger rosary - Kim remembered that St. Therese was my favorite Saint so she being a fellow Catholic sent me a most special parcel.

THANK YOU...
Kim for such a lovely exchange. You touched my heart. Thank you!

Here's what I stitched for Kim:



Prairie Schooler's Booklet #42 - "Angels"
stitched on black 32 ct. evenweave with DMC as called for
finished as a flat ornament

This is the second one of these angels I've stitched from the booklet and let me tell you the picture on the cover does not do the actual final stitched product justice. They are amazing and it isn't my stitching I cross the X just like anyone else - it is just the simple color palette and excellence of the designer - sheer and utter gorgeousness! Prairie Schooler makes us all look like great stitchers.

Well what else up?
I'm trying really hard to keep afloat, but my google reader tells me, I'm kidding myself if I think I'm floating....ha, ha, ha! I'm sinking and like a stone. Friday was the twins birthday, tomorrow is the Staff Holiday Appreciation Luncheon that I'm coordinating at my children's school, Friday is Katie's birthday and this week my husband is out of town again, this time he's in Norfolk, VA. I told him if he DARES go to Williamsburg to see Christmas I'm going to clobber him. BUT if he does go, get me some saltware pottery and a William and Mary sweatshirt! :)

And....

now I see as I glance in the corner of my computer screen that it is 7:19 a.m. and I must dash to get breakfast on the table. So much for Mommy time and I still look gross and smell like a pig farmer from my elliptical workout. I guess I won't be impressing anyone today....oh well...tomorrow...

Until next time....
love and best wishes, as you count your blessings and your stitches, from our house to yours!
XXxxxx
Today on the feast day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary - she born without original sin - may we always in our hearts and minds shout a resounding "yes!"

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

THE 2009 Pfeiffer Christmas Card...

TEE HEE!...
I have been laughing my rear end off all evening. Tonight was *the* night for doing our yearly Christmas card picture.....my kids were thrilled to say the least. But the boys soon got in the spirit when I turned around and found them with those things under their noses. Funny! So it started off really good... I let them keep it on, because if you knew my boys....well you'd understand the moustaches. This was one of the first pictures....pretty good! I had it as #1....

Then...
I started scrolling through the other 49 pictures I took (I know...) and I found this one and knew without a doubt that this was *THE* one!

Our Card Reads:
"From our Kitchen to yours...
Merry Christmas!
The Pfeiffer Clan
Keith, Vonna, Katie, Ellie, Mario and Luigi"

Now...

Maybe its just me, but that just makes me LAUGH. OUT. LOUD! :) and isn't that part of the season? JOY! FUN! LAUGHTER?! We think so and soon we'll get our 75 cards and spread a little among our family and friends. Consider yourself slathered in it!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Favorite Ornaments

Hello Friends!
I hope this finds everyone hale and hearty :) My husband went shopping on Black Friday and I had Christmas early because he couldn't wait to give it to me. LOL! So I thought I'd use my new gift to take some pictures. Keith got a sweet deal on a Cannon Rebel EOS T1i and it came home to live with us. So I was dinking around and took some pictures of some ornaments that I stitched for my kids over the years. These reside on my cross stitch only ornament tree.

Here is Ellie's Baby's First Christmas:
Ellie's First Christmas 2005 -
design from a random Leisure Arts Booklet

Ian's Santa ornament which was from either For The Love of Cross Stitch Magazine or from Cross Stitch and Country Crafts Magazine (I can't remember which) but I do know the design is from Terri Richards of Shepherd's Bush before I think Shepherd's Bush was born. Cute isn't it?


Ian's Santa Ornament 2001
Design by Terri Richards

Here is Jake's complimenting Reindeer Ornament that goes with Ian's Santa designed by Terri Richards, I always try to stitch "companion" ornaments for the twins. I know they won't have the same Christmas tree when they grow up and have their own families, but it always makes me smile to see them on my own tree.

Jake's Reindeer Ornament 2001
Designed by Terri Richards

And here is Katie's ornament. This is from a Cross Stitch and Country Crafts magazine, and I remember stitching this when I was pregnant with the twins. Katie was just about 22 months old and she was such a little darling (she still is a darling, just in a bigger package). I picked this ornament because at our old house she would sit on the couch and look out the window and this ornament reminded me of her and looks just like she did during that time.


Katie Grace's 1999 Ornament
So there you go...
a random trip of some favorite ornaments, a blast from the past. My kids are growing up so fast, and I can sit and look at them and my heart really just aches and tears come to my eyes. Oh they make me angry, frustrate me to no end some days, have me pulling hair other days, but those times are always eclipsed by the wonderful people they are becoming. They are kind and polite, concerned and caring, and they make their mother proud. I thank God every day for their them. They are Mama's little dears.

Now then....

I was paralyzed with fear over Thanksgiving - not about the holiday about the food that was going to be present over the holiday. But you know what? I made good choices. And so yesterday, I was sort of reining myself in by gathering my wits and was thinking of something that I could make that would be using filling foods and low in points so I came up with these delicious (if I do say so myself) and hearty Huevos Rancheros recipe. Here's what I did: cut up into small pieces red pepper, red onion and portabello mushroom (about 1/2 cup each). Spray saute pan with Pam, throw all the vegetables in and cook until tender (still a bit of crunch, but tender). Turn vegetable out on a plate. Spray pan again with Pam and then add 2 egg whites and 1 egg (salt and pepper) - scramble. Turn out egg on plate on top of the vegetables, mix and sprinkle with Weight Watchers Mexican 4 Cheese. Toast two pieces of Sara Lee Delightful Wheat Bread and use 1 tsp between the two slices. You can have this hearty meal for only 5 points. I think that's pretty fabulous, personally. I need something hearty because I eat after my 30 minutes on the elliptical. Today I did level 8 on the fat burner cycle and I thought I was going to have to crawl up the stairs :) LOL! But the readout said I burned 250 calories. So I guess crawling upstairs was worth that.

Well folks...
after a long drought of NO stitching, I'm finally stitching! BUT, it's for a personal exchange. Soon though I'll be able to show you that and more I hope.

In the meantime...

I wish you many abundant blessings during this season of joy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks....

When you look at this picture...
can you imagine what that first Thanksgiving was like? Oh from the time of Kindergarten we've learned about that first Thanksgiving. Through the years I've come up with my own thoughts on it. I can imagine that it was probably dusty, dirty and smelly. There most likely was the scent of tangible fear in the air, exhaustion, hunger and myriad of other things. Can you imagine the thankfulness of the Pilgrims, not only to the Native Americans, but to God? They were starving, they watched their children starving, death and dying all around them. I'm sure it was pretty bad, I'm sure there was a feeling of total and complete devastation, dread, loss, suffering, self doubts, and more. I also theorize that if the Native Americans came to deliver the Pilgrims from their plight with gifts of food and comfort, that they must have felt a huge amount of empathy for them. How else could the natives have confronted their own fears of these people of the pale skin that came with "fire sticks"invading their land? Much was over come on that day and one thing was definitely illustrated - that human emotion of thankfulness.

Although I believe this is a basic emotion, it is one that is often overlooked, especially and sadly it seems, in this day and age. On the most basic level, do you hail your fellow man when passing on the street with a "Good Morning", "Good Afternoon" or just wish them a good day in general? What about a simple smile? My Granny always told me it is easier to smile than to frown, so I try to do it a lot. It makes me look prettier than frowning anyway and it sure does seem to have a positive effect on people around me. In my personal experience the smallest of acts, brings the greatest joy - not only to myself, but to others as well.

Now...
it often seems that bad things happen to good people. Don't they? All you have to do is take a trip around the blogs on any given day, at any given time of the year and you will see pain, suffering, heartache, illness, depression - things that you don't wish to happen to anyone. We all have experienced these emotions, and when we read about others facing difficult issues we feel badly for them, we have empathy for them, we remember how we felt when we struggled with something similar. It hurts, makes us cry, makes us want to burrow our head and never come up for air.

My family has experienced loss year. We experienced it just 9 short months ago. We've experienced this kind of loss before and we'll experience it again. It makes me scared. Makes my heart ache knowing that I have to live through that kind of emotional hurt and pain again. But that is part of the beauty of life. We don't know when the day or the hour shall be, but if you put forth just a little bit of effort those days and hours leading up to the day and the hour it makes it all worth while.

So therefore...
I'm thankful. I'm thankful for all that I have and all that I have been blessed with and you know how I show it? I smile. I say "good morning" or "good day". I try to always thank those around me - for opening a door for me, letting me in a densely packed traffic line, oh, there's lots of things I can thank people for, but I shan't list them all here. I do these things, but the most important thing I do of all is: I pray. I pray for God to help me be a shining example for my children and perhaps to others. A light that beacons calmness. Am I always calm? Heck no! Am I perfect? Absolutely *not*! But I try to be, I strive to be - and that my friends, is the ultimate human condition - striving. Striving to be something more than what you are. Striving to have what ever it is that makes you happy. Striving.... it's a good word, as is thankful and prayer. So to cover all my bases I try to do all of them. I strive, I'm thankful, so I pray. I think it's a good life plan, and I'm going to keep on keeping on. :)

In closing...

I wish all my dear readers, friends and family a *SPECTACULAR* Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for you! I also want to let all of you know that I pray for all those that have difficulty in their lives and are facing things that are nearly unspeakable. I hope that you find inner peace and a wall of courage to face your challenges. I pray for you now, as I know that countless others prayed for me and mine 9 months ago. I never forgot the outpouring of love and prayer and I never will.

May God's abundant blessings be upon us all, Happy Thanksgiving!
*now please pass the turkey!*

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Goodness...


I thought I was the only looney toon in the bin. But apparently I've sparked a real Hoomba with this Prairie Schooler Alphabet deal. And I've been asked mulitple questions...so I thought I'd address all the e-mails, questions, etc here.
The project that I referenced with the link below, I'll repost the link here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8416520@N02/2219248167/sizes/l/
Now, I don't know this lovely lady of the wonderful project, but I've read the captions on all her photos of said lovely project and it is stitched on 28 ct. one over one using the called for DMC.
Said project is The Prairie Schooler's Alphabet Series which you can go to this link: http://prairieschooler.com/inventory.htm and check out the original patterns. They are a few years old.
Now I've also been asked if I'm going to set up a blog and do a Stitch~a~Long. Well I wasn't planning on it, but I guess if there would be enough interest, I could. So I guess...let me know? Leave a comment here if you want me to set up a Stitch~a~Long blog.
Now people have also asked if I've started: Nope, I haven't
I've been asked, when I'm going to start: Well, soon, I hope....I'm dyeing my fabric today! Gonna do a little basting and baking of the 'ol fabby and see what is what. But lets remember that I have 1 personal exchange that I've got to stitch for prior to Dec. 1. Then I have a little thing that is called a finishing business and talk about a looney bin....that is what it has been the past month. So I'm a little busy....but I'm thinking by Dec. 1 I'll be ready to start. Maybe.
So about this SAL, if there is enough interest I'm game to set up a blog, have people join and then lets just see what happens. I'm not good with SAL's every time I say I'm going to SAL I flounder. So lets just say it's a blog and you can work on it when you want, start it when you want to, drop out if you want to, not join if you don't want to. Whatever....that's the rules. Anything goes....but if I start a Prairie Schooler Alphabet Blog, then you got to at least stitch something using the said charts. It doesn't have to be all on one piece of fabric, but it has to be from the Prairie Schooler Alphabet Charts. Ok. There ya go...now comment if you want to SAL. I'll contact you (if you leave your e-mail address).
Just a FYI, I did some cipherin' cause I'm a good cipherer (don't you know) and here's some dimensions for you:
All of the letters are 70 stitches wide. Some of the charts are 100 stitches high and some are 101 stitches high.
Now if you figure your layout. (I'm doing mine in three rows like "THE PROJECT") and that would be with (2 stitches in between all the blocks) 646 stitches wide and 307 stitches high.
here's the size fabric you'd need:
20 ct. (over 1) 36 x 19 (with 2" border included in dimension)
25 ct. (over 1) 30 x 16 (with 2" border included in dimension) or 32 x 18 (with 3" border)
28 ct. (over 1) 29 x 17 (with 3" border)
40 ct. (over 2) 36 x 19 (with 2" border)
I didn't do all counts, because this is the fabric I had to work with...but it will give you an idea....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ornament Exchange

Howdy doo friends!
I participated in an ornament exchange on the Friends Through Threads blog and yesterday this little buddy flew the coop and landed in my mailbox:


Christmas Chicken from Margaret S. of New Zealand

Didn't Margaret do a fantastic job? He's going to have to roost high up on my tree because the kitties sharing our home has been giving it the old stink eye....I know Red, for one would love to pluck it's gizzard, for sure! :) Thank you Margaret for such a lovely addition to my ornament collection.

Now....
Since this IS a stitching blog and I've not shown you anything stitching related in a. long. time. Would you like to see what I stitched for Joan S. in the same exchange? You do? Well then, here it is:

Prairie Schooler "O Come All Ye Faithful"
taken from the book entitled "Songs of the Season"
Stitched one over one on 25 ct. ivory lugana using DMC threads as called for

I love...

how this turned out. In fact so much so that I visions of stitching all of the "songs" in this booklet for myself as ornaments on 25 ct. fabric. Think I'll "git 'r done"? Well excuse me while I laugh my rear end off because I want to show you what I'm contemplating next....

Now....
copy and paste this to a new browser or click on it: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8416520@N02/2219248167/sizes/l/
(and please use your best Brittany Spears voice and sing with me)
Oops....I did it again,
Looked through flickr albums,
lost track of time,
Oh cheese and crackers.
Yep, I bought the fabric,
I'm gonna tea dye it
and get all my threads
yeah, ready, ready
Pretty snappy tune, eh?

What else is up....

My Sweetie Pie, Honey Buns Husband is out of town. He's in Washington State near Seattle doing a major install of some thing that he's worked on for 4 years. According to our phone conversation last night, all was going well. I can't stand it when he's gone. Not only does it mean that I'm flying solo, but I'm just sorta lost without him. He's my best friend. I miss him.

I guess....
that does it for me. I've not hardly done any stitching of late because of my busy schedule. But hopefully soon....or at least at the beginning of the year? Fingers crossed. Until next time....
Love and best wishes, as you count your blessings and your stitches, from our house to yours!
XXxxxx

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day...

Katie.....
along with three other young students, won the Veteran's Day Essay Contest at her school.

Daddy and Mama....
attended the Veteran's Day Convocation where she read her essay to the whole assembly.

~Katie, the oldest student, waiting her turn~

~still waiting, but she saw Mom is taking pictures~

~Katie's Turn~
Here is her essay and we dedicate it as a family to all the veterans that have served our country throughout the years from 1776 to 2009. Especially my Grandfather Bernard F. Weber (U.S. Navy - WWII), my father-in-law Edwin P. Pfeiffer (U.S. Army, Vietnam) and my brother Jeremy D. Epperson (US Marines)
Dear Veterans,


Veterans are the reason this country was started. Many of our Presidents were veterans, like George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ulysses S. Grant and others. We should also be proud of the veterans that are here today.


Veterans are heroic, brave, strong, patriotic and protective. They want to help other countries that don't have the lifestyle and freedoms that we as American citizens enjoy. Veterans keep us safe, defend our rights, work every day nonstop to protect our country from visible and invisible threats. Thank you veterans for your unfailing and ceaseless hard work in keeping this great United States of America the "Land of the Free" and the "Home of the Brave".


Tonight, before you go to sleep, thank your lucky stars that there are soldiers protecting our land, cruising our waters and flying overhead to keep you safe while you sleep.


Sincerely,
Katie G. Pfeiffer


Thank YOU Veterans for serving our country, I know there are many proud families and especially proud Mama's out there for all the men and women serving our country. And I know that I know a portion of that pride, because this is one proud Mama. A Mama proud of her daughter for her ability to produce such a rousing and heartfelt piece of work proclaiming her pride in her country and it's defendants!

God Bless America!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Punching...

Good Day Friends!
One of my followers "divorced" me today, so I thought maybe that was a *hint* that I need to get my hiney on here and tell you something worth reading. I don't have much, but what I have hopefully will entertain you. Can you pretend it is entertaining at least ?! Gee...thanks you all always have my back :)

As the titles suggests....
in between running the kids to and fro, work and everyday, mundane housework, well ok and stitching some secrets, I have been doing a little needle punching. Here's my very first try...this was with a 6 strand needle and I just have a little bit left to finish. Not too shabby for my first try, right? (You better say yes, Vonna, why that's grrrr-eat!)

Then you know me....
why not just jump head first - singing a rendition of Queen's "We are the Champions" - right smack dab in the middle of something that you know very little about? And as in my driving - if it isn't pedal to the metal and rubber to the road, I don't know what driving is - so I went for the gusto! Mama Mia! I had purchased some cloth and then hand drew Fredrick by Carriage House Samplings on it. I stupidly thought that, "Hey, I have Fredrick and hey, I have Fredricka - so I'm going to punch them - it'll be faster!" LOL! LOL! LOL! Gosh I make myself laugh sometimes! Maybe it is a little faster - but I agonized over the drawing for 4 hours! Yep from 2 a.m. until 6 a.m., one morning when this idea whacked me, right in the middle of my forehead, and brazenly woke me up to get on with it! Can you believe the audacity? What is this world coming to?

So....
here's Fredrick from the "wrong side":

Design modified from Carriage House Samplings Cross Stitch Pattern "Fredrick"

And....
Here he is from the right side (pictures clickable):

Design modified from Carriage House Samplings Cross Stitch Pattern "Fredrick"

Purdy...ain't he?

Then....
I haven't told anyone this "openly" on my blog. But on September 21st, I became a Weight Watcher Member. I was scared, embarrassed, desperate...and I just did it. You know I am not unlike what I feel a drug addict must feel like, except food is my drug of choice. So in my mind, going to Weight Watchers was like an intervention. I have a problem, I've admitted it to myself and I know the world has seen it for the past 9 years or so. For the past 6 weeks I have faithfully *every day* counted my points and have eaten within them and have done 30 minutes on the elliptical keeping my pace at 3.8 - 4.2 mph and making sure that I get in at least 2 miles in that 30 minutes. Some days I can get in 2.5 miles in 30 minutes going 4.5 mph or higher. I haven't missed doing my elliptical in 6 weeks. NOT. ONE. DAY.

I'm not telling you.....
all this for accolades or pats on the back or any sort of feedback period. Although I got the last little *push* that I needed from reading of others and being friends with others that are on the program. You know what? That step I took into a room filled with men and women on September 21, 2009 at 5:37 p.m. was the best, single thing I've done for myself, my life, my family ever. Period. This step will be a huge part of my life for many weeks, months and years from now on. If you are even *thinking* about Weight Watchers, do it! My decision to join Weight Watchers is a lot of the reason why my blogging is being cut down to only weekly posts. I'm taking time to focus on ME and get me back to the person I looked like 20 years ago. I looked good. I want to look that way again and you know what? I will only I'll be better, seasoned, like a fine wine. You can count on it. Mark it down, write it in the books - my will is firm and I have one hell of a strong constitution. I'll git 'er done, as my Pap used to say, come hell or high water.



So....
with that little bit of cheering from the recesses of my own head. I congratulated my victories over the past 6 weeks and loss of 14.2 lbs. with a trip to the nail salon. I haven't had my nails "done" since I was pregnant with Katie in 1997. Welcome back, fancy nails :)

So with that....
my story is complete. If I'm not around here at my own blog, I will be back again soon. And I really do try to spend a little bit of each and every day with you on your blogs. Please don't divorce me, I'll be here, but I just need to focus a little more on ME so that I can be HERE for a whole lot longer.

Until next time my dear friends and stitching buddies....
Love and best wishes, as you count your blessings and your stitches, from our house to yours! XXxxxx

Life is not intended to be simply a round of work, no matter how interesting and important that work may be. A moment's pause to watch the glory of a sunrise or a sunset is soul satisfying, while a bird's song will se tthe steps to music all day long.
~~Laura Ingalls Wilder~~

Friday, October 23, 2009

Slugging away...

Happy Friday, Friends!!!
Another week flies by....and here we are to the weekend. This weekend we will be celebrating my in-law's 40th Anniversary. And I've been running to and fro gathering the items needed for the cake table and ingredients for the punch I'm making....busy, busy, busy. I think it will be a nice day though and we are looking forward to going "home" and visiting with each of our families.

This week....
I did finish my wool fall table runner:



Fall Runner
Designer: Lois Griffith
wool applique using hand dyed wools

Isn't it pretty? I love it! I have it on the table in our entry way with my Prairie Schooler "When Witches Go Riding" framed piece and my La-D-Da "Something Wicked" framed piece flanking each side. It makes me happy to walk past and see the pretty things I've made with my own little paws :)

What else have been up to?
Well I've been busy learning another needlecraft! I just went ahead and bit the bullet and purchased some CTR punch needles and got busy to the learning part. Self teaching is definitely teaching on the "curve" I don't have anything that I want to show you yet...but I must say there is something satisfying in the sound and motion of the "punching" :) Sort of gets your aggression out!

I've also...
looked into possibly doing a wool applique quilt. Now I'm just looking, but the results I've seen on some of the wool quilts makes it pretty doggone tempting. But I'm just in the "thinking about" stages right now. We'll see if I hit the "add to cart" button any time soon ;)


I guess...
that sums up my life over the past week....there's been more, like swabbing the deck (that is now dirty again) and I washed the windows (put they have little finger prints on them already), oh and there were toilets that were scrubbed and polished and beds made, clothes folded...but alas it seems to be a never ending cycle....

In the meantime...
Thank you so much for your friendship and visits! I was overcome with all the nice things said about my Prairie Schooler finish :) I'll be round to your blogs as much as I can in the upcoming days....so keep up the inspiring work!

Until Next time...
Love and best wishes, as you count your blessings and your stitches, from our house to yours! XXxxxx

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
~~Colossians 3:14~~

Friday, October 16, 2009

Witches and Wool

Hello my dear friends!....
and may you be enjoying a bright and bonny Friday with a wonderful weekend ahead! I have lots of good things to share with you today, so I'm going to cut to the chase and get right to it. This morning at 7 a.m. I put in the last stitches on my Prairie Schooler Design. I framed it up and here it is (pictures are clickable):



Prairie Schooler's "When Witches Go Riding"
Stitched on: 28 ct. Days Go By Linen by Silkweaver
Stitched with: DMC cotton as called for
Framed using Jill Rensel custom designed mats

Pretty smack dab awesome isn't it?!

I'm just thrilled to BITS with how it turned out!!!! I knew as soon as I saw these mats last year on the Bush Blog that I was going to get them. I saved up some Christmas $$$ - I don't usually buy fripperies for myself, rather for my hobby and home - and in February of this year I've had them awaiting my stitching the sampler. I'M. IN. LOVE. with this finish. Last Halloween 2008, I was in love with my La-D-Da's "Something Wicked" finish and frame....this year, I'm in love with my "Witches Go Riding" and the Jill Rensel Mats....PERFECTION!

Remember I told you.....
last time, that I was having a "Mommy's Weekend" at Celebrate Fiber in Terre Haute, IN? Well that was FUN! My Mama and I took a wool applique class and we had a B-L-A-S-T! My Mama's even ordered TWO more kits to come knocking on her door soon....Penny Rugs and Wool Applique are another passion of mine. I think I'm going to learn next to rug hook and needlepunch. Anyway....I don't believe that cross stitch will ever be unseated as my one true love, but these other needlework traditions are also something that call to me :) Here's my Fall Wool Table Runner as it stands today:

I have both sides completed, now I'm just adding the special embroidery stitches to make it all shine!

Like the outline stitch here on the petals of the sunflower....


I also used the outline stitch for the "ridges" on the pumpkin and the chain stitch as the curly-que vines....

the full sunflower....

a leaf with the blanket stitch and outline stitch....the stems are triple running stitches...

To finish this runner, I have to finish all the embroidery stitches, cut out pennies for the end, sew them together, tack them on and then sew on the backing ....then....viola! It shall be finished. I think I'm getting pretty good at wool applique, plus I like it....know what else I've been thinking abou? ...designing my own wool applique penny rug....in fact, I've already drawn out a design....hmmmm.....we'll see!

What's up for the weekend?...
work at the hospital. But I hope to squeeze in some stitching time for myself. I've gotten myself into a couple of personal exchanges, so I need to get hauling some rear on those. Well I better get my patootey off this computer and do some housework, or else my husband will fire me.

Until the next time my friends...

Love and best wishes, as you count your blessings and your stitches, from Our House to Yours!
XXxxxx

Look for heaven here on earth....
it is all around you.
~author unknown~

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Whatcha doin'?

Hello Friends!
Time keeps slip slidin' away, doesn't it? My heaven's it seems like I just *blink* and slam bam its Friday...We've had lots of stuff going on over the past week, so I'll get right to the highlights! ;)

Katie....
and her Fast Pitch Softball team won Fall League Championship! I was happy for her as the Summer League team was runner up in Championships this past summer. Although according to her - she "sucked..." last Saturday during the games (she attended a sleep over the night before and her Daddy had to pick her up at 8:00 a.m. to get to the field on time). They played a double header. So being that she "sucked" in her own words, I asked her if the officials during the award ceremony announced her like this, "...and Katie Pfeiffer, who sucked and really doesn't deserve a trophy...will get one anyway." She just laughed at me and posed for her picture...

I've been....
working hard on my Prairie Schooler in betwixt working and driving to and fro around town after the babes....
Not much...
more to go! And wait till you see the frame....oh you'll flip!
"When Witches Go Riding"
By the Prairie Schooler
28 ct. Silkweaver's "Days Gone By" linen
DMC Threads
This weekend....
for the first time in 6 years, this Mama is having a "girls weekend"!!! In Terre Haute, Indiana (about 1.5 hours west of Bloomington), there is a Celebrate Fiber weekend at Sycamore Farm! I'm going and my Mama is going to meet me up there. We're spending the night even! WHOO HOO! We're taking a Wool Applique Class with Lois Griffith (who is a local artisan) and we're making a Fall Table Runner (penny rug). In fact it is this one designed especially for this event!


That's...
pretty doggone exciting isn't it?! I'm just tickled to bits over it! A real night away :) Cool beans! And....guess who's having a booth there at the event? Stacy Nash.... I told my husband to withdraw some money and hand it over quietly and with a smile on his face - Mama's goin' to town!

That does it for me this week.....

I'll be back with a weekend report and hopefully a framed "When Witches Go Riding..."

Until next time....
love and best wishes, as you count your blessings and your stitches, from our house to yours!
XXxxxx
Anything, everything, little or
big becomes an adventure when
the right person shares it.
~Kathleen Norris~