Monday, June 29, 2009

Their Song...

Good Day Friends! Last Friday, I found myself in a junction, I had finished stitching my Patriotic Exchange, and I needed something new to start. So I dug into my basket and pulled out - Blackbird Designs "Their Song". Last time I stitched on this, was the same day I started it and that was January 3, 2008 and here was my progress on that one day of stitching:

Three days later..... here is where it is now:

Blackbird Designs ~ "Their Song" ~ Loose Feathers #24
Fabric: 28 ct. Apple Brown Bindy Linen R and R Reproductions
Fibers: Weeks Dye Works as called for
Started: 1/3/08
Finished: 6/29/09
~~to be framed~~

O Happy day! Another sampler for my "someday" Sampler on to the next stitching project....hmmmm....what shall that be? Guess you'll have to wait to see ;o)

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my Patriotic Stitching Basket, I appreciate the positive feedback so much. And to answer the question on the star thread holders - this is so embarassing simple I'm ashamed to tell you .....I got them at Michael's, they were already cut out, they were already painted, they cost 79 cents per star and all did was drill a hole in there for the floss tag ring. Simple! See no magic! :o)

That's it for me until next time....Love and Best Wishes, as you count your blessings and your stitches, from our house to yours! XXxxxx

Give generously, for your gifts
will return to you later.
~Ecclesiastes 11:1~

A Patriotic Basket...

Hello Friends! We had a very nice weekend and I was able to participate in A LOT of much in fact that I was debilitated with "numb butt syndrome"! :) I should have a stitchy finish in short order to show you! :) It is an oldie, but a goodie!

In stitching business....

I was invited to participate in a Personal Patriotic Exchange. Being that I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy of the First Order (YDDFO), I took the bait and was landed on the shore in record time. I knew what I was going to stitch right off the bat. It was something that I've had on my mind to do for myself since this pattern came out. But thanks to this exchange Nancy K. got to be my victim. Here's what I stitched for her:
Patriotic Stitcher's Basket

a floss tag; ring complete with stars as the floss holders

a needlebook
along with.....

a ruler and scissors pocket

All of these items were stitched using... Little House Needleworks (Diane Williams) "Hearts of America" motifs. I've wanted to make a basket of smalls using this pattern from the very first time I saw it, so now I had the chance and could see even the rest of the motifs used in a pincushion, a ruler pocket (so the ruler could have its own home) and a scissors fob. But maybe that will be another project for yours truly, we'll see. I'm sure you noticed that inside the basket, I had a Patriotic "stitch" all "kitted up" for Nancy - I'm into "themed gifts" can you tell? could I pass up LHN's Liberty and Justice Pattern? That's the perfect fit into the Patriotic Stitcher's Basket, no? So it's in there along with a cut of fabric and the thread (on the stars) so all Nancy has to do now is carry her basket with her on July 4th and she's set to go with needle, thread, scissors, fabric, pattern and a ruler to measure her margins! Presto! Shebang! Happy 4th Nancy, I hope you like the exchange I stitched for you!

Well now friends....that's all I have for you today....I'm going to go catch up on everyone's blogs, and then myself, my stitching and my four kiddos are going outside to work on our tans, which is a joke in and of itself being we are the fairest skinned people this side of the Mississippi and rather than getting that golden all over, take us out of the oven we are done, healthy look to us we burn and peel. :o( The humidity here in good 'ol Indiana has been cut in half and the temperature has dropped down to the 80's outside. It's like heaven!

And until next and best wishes, as you count your blessings and your stitches, from our house to yours! XXxxxx

Happiness is something that comes
into our lives through doors we
don't even remember leaving open.
~~Rose Wilder Lane~~

Friday, June 26, 2009

My dear friend....

My birthday is coming up..... quicker than I want it to, in fact :o( And on Wednesday of this week, my buddy the Postman delivered this long skinny box from my friend Marie P. I was shocked, dumbfounded and amazed at what sweet Marie did for me, I'll let the photos do the talking:

A sweet Annalee elf holding a pinkeep announcing my birthday!

After my birthday is over I can just flip the pinkeep and Celebrate my Freedom as an American

Marie knows my scissors fetish and my Prairie Schooler lust so she gifted me with Premax scissors and a Prairie Schooler Strawberry to match :)

Marie found out about my obsession with red handled 1950's kitchen utensils

What does a girl say about this thoughtful, wonderfully beautiful, stunningly kind birthday gift? All I can say is, I have been blessed many times over in my life and one of the biggest blessings I have and count myself so lucky is that I have many people that I can call my friend and Marie is one of them. Marie, my dear, I know we've spoken of this many times.....but how I wish we lived across the street from each other, we would tear it up! Thank you for your kindness, your generosity and your friendship! Love ya!

And in closing, I shall leave you with a wee picture of two other best friends :0)
BFF's~ Lil' Red and Chatty

And until next time my dear readers, friends and fellow stitchers ~ Love and best wishes, as you count your blessings and your stitches, from our house to yours! XXxxxx

Were there no God we would be
in this glorious world with grateful hearts and no one to thank.
~~Christina Rossetti~~

Monday, June 22, 2009

Whoops We Did It Again....

*The Meeting*

*The Napping*

*A Protector?*

*Our New Baby ~ Lil' Red*

It's official, I'm a crazy cat lady....after some BIG family discussions, convincing of the husband, signing of legal documentation stating that I would not ask for any more cats after this adoption (just kidding, but I did agree verbally) ....we adopted this 2 month old sweetie-babe. And what a bargain too! Little did I know but June is 1/2 price cat adoption month at our humane society! Wow! How. About. That. $37.50 later....he's got his homemade kitten house, his own guardian angel and at least 5 admirers....I'm sure Daddy will come around someday soon!

How could I resist? The kids and I were S-U-N-K as soon as we saw the little darling - oh there were plenty to choose from, but this sweetie...He's spunky, that's all I have to say about that right now. We'll see how it all pans out as the week progresses! Sorry about the double post....I just had to share our excitement! And show off our baby :o)

Thank yous all around!

Hello my dear friends! I have a wonderful exchange to share with you today! I was asked to join a Patriotic Exchange through a personal exchange group and my partner was Becky K. She picked lovely designs from Anita's Little Stitches aren't these beautiful?!:

TOP: front of biscornu
BOTTOM: back of biscornu
Designer: Anita's Little Stitches
Patriotic Exchange from Becky K.
Goodies ~ Becky also sent me a mount rushmore bookmark...but that was confiscated by a little reader with black cat-eye glasses that lives in my it is not pictured....

I love Patriotic Themes and have a lot of Americana in my home...these little lovelies will find a rightful place of honor here one shall go in my biscornu basket and the other shall live on my Freedom Scissors on my Scissors wall board. :) Thank you Becky! You did an awesome job...the work, stitching and finishing is apparent in this lovely ensemble! THANK YOU!

Next Up: Father's Day Celebration....we celebrated Father's Day on Saturday. I worked this weekend and Saturday proved to be a light day so I was home earlier than normal, Ian had baseball tournament games on Sunday so Saturday was the day for us to celebrate our wonderful Daddy! I made Keith's favorite meal which is Minute Steak in Ketchup Gravy, made it once when we were dating, not long after we were engaged ;) It's *that* good! Anyway....I think my Mama (who made the recipe calls it Swiss Steak)....I don't know...all I know is
A.) I think it Rocks
B.) apparently my family does too

I always make it with mashed potatoes so we can use the gravy on the taters complimented with either corn (my personal favorite) or green beans (another personal favorite). Heck next time I may get all jiggy with it and make it with both corn and green beans! I digress......anyway here's pictures to prove the love:

Ian is saying come on already..."let's eat" because this is about the 15th picture I took...

Here Keith is yawning, Katie's trying to be happy because I'm getting mad, Jake's staring out the window, Ellie won't look at me and I cut off Ian's entire body....'ll just have to take my word for it....we love each other, we're happy our Daddy loves us and takes good care of us, we are thankful for Daddy and we also had a cake. Which is another whole story...I told Keith to get a dessert from the store because I wouldn't have time to make one. He brought home a Pink Cake with Hot Pink piping and Blue/Purple flowers. I took one look at it and said, "Happy Father's Day!"....LOL! Good grief!

On about that recipe for Swiss Steak? Might as well share the goodness....I know my American Readers will be able to make it, I don't know about my foreign readers due to the ingredients...but here goes:

Monica's Swiss Steak:

1. Package of Cubed Steak (I always get 8 - 10)

2. Make a dredging flour for the steak by using 1 cup of flour with salt and pepper to taste (I use probably around a Tablespoon of each); mix up well
3. Dredge both sides of the steak in the flour; tap off excess
4. Once all steaks are dredged then start pan frying the steaks in a skillet with 1 inch of oil; fry until done, place on a plate with paper towels to drain.
5. Once all the steaks are fried, pour off excess frying oil, but leave the bits of steak/coating in the pan, I just drain the oil and then use a paper towel to pat off the excess that won't pour off. Set aside.
6. In a large mixing cup (or bowl) put 1 cup of ketchup, 2 envelopes of Lipton's French Onion Soup mix and 2 cups of water...mix well. Put the steaks in the skillet, put the skillet on medium heat, pour the mixture above over the steaks, let simmer on the stove until the gravy thickens.

A lovely down home, Paula Deen type meal, y' all! Use the gravy for mashed potatoes and/or some dinner roll/biscuit dipping! YUM-O :o)

Until next and best wishes (and dishes!), while your counting all those blessings and stitches, from our house to yours! XXxxxx

Friday, June 19, 2009

My daughter

Katie has created a blog entitled The View From My Window she wants to have a sort of "online" journal of her life and the view outside her window. So after weeks of hounding, pleading, begging.....we set it up today and she's just posted her first blog. So if you all would like to take a look at her blog and follow her life adventures, she'd appreciate it. She got the followers list in the side bar and of course she's chomping at the bit for some comments! :o) No stitching will go on, but she's pretty the entertainment factor would definitely be worth it!
THANK YOU my friends for helping me welcome her!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Home Sweet Home....

Howdy doo my friends! So how's it been round here? Seems like you all have been busy as my google reader reads 863...WOW! I was caught up right before we left, now I have a whole lot more catchin' up to do ;) We had a wonderful vacation. My kids are now travelers and I can say that they have been outside the state of Indiana. This may bore you, but I thought I'd give a recap to you all to show where we've been and what we've done these last 9 days or so.

We started out in Nashville, Tenneessee.

We arrived on Sunday, June 7th and just checked into our hotel and then went out to eat for supper and then swimming / hot tubbing.

Monday morning we were up bright and early, ate a good breakfast at our hotel and on it was to Andrew Jackson's home - The Hermitage:

The Hermitage

The family in front of The Hermitage

The burial place of Andrew and Rachel Jackson located in The Hermitage's Formal Garden

Andrew Jackson died June 8th (the day we visited) they placed a wreath upon his grave

Jacob at the Jackson's graves ~ he is our resident Andrew Jackson buff, Andrew is Jacob's hero

I must say, I've been to The Hermitage about 5 times and this time it was fabulous! They have done a lot to make the tour of the grounds better. It is enhanced with a talking tour (you listen in headphones as you walk the grounds). It was wonderful! We had a great time learning more about "The General" and past President of our country. I wanted to read American Lion before we went, now I absolutely want to read it after our visit!

After the Hermitage visit we went on to Opry Mills, we ate and did a spot of shopping. Then we went on back to the hotel and swam and hot tubbed the evening away.

Tuesday we got up bright and early again ate breakfast and went to the Parthenon. This was *totally* cool and awe inspiring. Very nicely done and very nicely preserved. It was a quick stop, we stayed only an hour but it was well worth the visit.

The Nashville's Parthenon ~ the only EXACT replica of the Parthenon in the world

The Goddess Athena (whom the Parthenon was built for)

Next it was on to The Adventure Science Center. This was fun, but being that we are members of one of the top Children's Museum in the country it was a little lame - but still good and we had fun! Here's Ellie in the working ambulance they had on site:

Ambulance Driver Ellie

After the museum stop, we were headed out of town for our next destination, but we got to see the "Batman Building" one last time (as the twins called it - it was an AT & T building - but it was sort of "batman looking", huh?)

Batman Building in Nashville or is it Gotham City?

We made a couple of wrong did we know? Well we had a pretty good idea when we were in a neighborhood were the church had to park their van in a fenced in area with razor wire at the top! We locked our doors and turned on the over drive! We eventually found our way to the interstate ;)

Got Razor Wire?

We got on I-24 and cruised south :) Katie snapped a picture of the Nickajack Lake for me, this is one of my most absolute favorite spots to view when we travel down I-24:

Nickajack Lake

Late afternoon, we pulled into our Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We unloaded, checked in, went out to eat and then went back to the hotel for some swimming and hot tubbing.

Wednesday, we headed out *early again* and went to Rock City where we:

Saw a petrified mushroom

Saw Lover's Leap and a cool waterfall

Saw 7 states all at one time

Found some cave dwelling bears....oh my!

Saw some talented Gnomes

Then it was back in the van and on to Ruby Falls. We saw some magnificent things in there like:

The Falls

Cool Cave Formations

Then it was back in the van and on to Incline Railway which took us UP and back DOWN Lookout Mountain:

Incline Railway

Then it was back in the van, back to the hotel for some swimming and hot tubbing, then we went out to eat (at the same place as the previous night) and then back to the hotel for - yep you guessed it swimming and tubbing!

Thursday, dawned bright and early again we were out on the town this time going to Tennessee Aquarium. FABULOUS! We:

Petted some Sting Rays

Got to know some butterflies

Met some baby penguins

Met some Mama penguins

Marvelled at the wonders of sea life

Saw some really BIG, hungry fish

Saw some beautiful jelly fish

Then it was back in the van, back to the hotel for some more swimming, some more hot tubbing and then out to eat one last time to the Favorite Pfeiffer Tennessee Restaurant Summer 2009. We came back stuffed, tired and ready for sleep.

Friday had us awake with the sun, ate our last breakfast out, packed our bags, checked out and in our van heading back toward Indiana. Late afternoon, we were in good 'ol Haubstadt, Indiana birthplace and childhood home of Vonna Epperson Pfeiffer and current home of the Epperson-Pfeiffer parental units. We stayed the weekend there and headed home last evening. Whew....does one's own bed ever feel *so good*? Heavenly.....

So, if you're still hanging with me, thank you for sharing our vacation - we had an excellent adventure! I'm glad to be back home so I can rest! :) I have done absolutely no stitching for about 14 days now...I will definitely need to rectify that situation!

Until next and best wishes, while you count your blessings and your stitches, from our house to yours! XXxxxx

"There's no place like home for the holidays or *any* day, as far as I'm concerned!"

~~Vonna Pfeiffer~~