Sunday, November 23, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone...

Since I am  in the crazy rush of Christmas stitching, I hardly have time to get on the internet, but felt very remiss in not showing a treasure given me by one of my BFF's, Stasi Buhrman.  When she came to the CA Wells event in October she was wearing her "queen bee" necklace which she stitched and put in the tinest watch fob necklace.  Well, I adored it.  It was smaller than the fobs we sell or that you normally see in the craft stores which kicked up it's cuteness to the highest level.  Perhaps it's because I've oversized (or shall we call it queen sized),  everything tiny is just so cute to me.  Anyway, I just fell in love with it and jokingly said, "Thanks so much for my gift." to Stasi.  Remember last time I said this was when she showed me her prize stand up Santa last year and I tried to stuff it in my tote to take home and she ended up giving it to me for Christmas.  And that was a limited edition that isn't even sold anymore.  Anyway, when Sara got back from Jamaica she handed me a small bag and said "I believe this is yours from Stasi."  The bag was one of the Halloween bags so I couldn't imagine what she had done.  But when I opened it....well it was Christmas all over again.  Inside was the necklace and a gift card to Hobby Lobby.  Mercy my cup runneth over.  As I was getting ready for church and put the necklace on I remembered I hadn't put it up for everyone to see so I wanted to get it up before I simply forgot again.  The design was from the Prairie Schooler pack of cards from a year or so ago.  Can't get that particular pack anymore but isn't this bee just fabulous.  I feel very much like the "Queen Bee" wearing it, however, when Stasi is wearing hers while she's visiting, I won't just because she is definitely the Queen Bee when she's here.  Thanks so much Stasi....I will lovely enjoy wearing my necklace and will think of you when I do.  As for my Hobby Lobby gift card....let's just say when I took three things to the framer last week, my car automatically turned toward Hobby Lobby and what could I do.  As usual I bought, bought, and bought some more.  So thanks again didn't hurt my wallet as much and I've got more stash, (just what I needed, but honestly I never have exactly what I need when I'm working on a project that needs charms, ribbons, whatever we don't sell,  so I need this store.)  I'm telling you if I ever won a million bucks...forget new cars, big vacations, new house....I'm going to Hobby Lobby and letting myself get anything and everything I see-that I think I may need sometime in the future.  Anyway, Thanksgiving is upon us.  I am on track, I think, with gifts.  Three at the framers, one completed at home and one almost completed...hopefully by tomorrow.  That leaves me with 2 more before Christmas plus Sara, so I'm not home free yet.  Since we have a few days off for Thanksgiving, although I do start working weekends (yes, that's right....I work 5 days teaching and 2 days in the shop...where the hell did my retirement go?) after Thanksgiving so I'm planning on stitching while in the shop.  But one project that might not get done, I'm ashamed to admit, is the Welsh Cottage, which is just sitting there looking sad as I stitch everything else around it.  I had put the date on it already as I had ever intention of getting it done, and I still might.  After all I have 6 days after Christmas to work on it solely.    I have one wall and the chimney left to do....I don't know, but I'm still determined to try.  Michael goes to Jamaica for a couple of weeks in December so that means no school and time to work on stitching...oh, how I'm looking forward to that.   I'm really looking forward to days where I can sit from early to late and never get dressed or go outside.  I've got the not going outside part down now, however, with homeschooling five days a week, well it's really cut down on stitching time.  It's amusing to me that when this whole thing started the day after Labor Day, I made myself get dressed and presentable and treated this as a job.  I wanted Michael to see that I was taking this job seriously by getting dressed, etc.  That ship sailed a few weeks ago when I started showing up in my sweatpants, directly from bed.  I will say I thought about it a couple of minutes but then decided I had to get some worksheets off the internet first and didn't have time to do both.  After that it was an easy slide down and now I seldom get dressed before class.  But at least we're still going strong.  He's doing well too, which is wonderful.  Got an 82% on his history mid-term.  I couldn't be prouder of him, and of myself.  It's fun to learn some of this all over again and I'm loving the math part.  But the science...if I never hear proton or atom again, well let's just say my life will still be complete.  Anyway, while I never thought my golden years would see me teaching, it's been interesting.   Now, it's time to get back to I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope you have plenty of good things to eat, and plenty of time with family,  (or perhaps your wish is for less time and I understand that too.)  If you have to be on the roads, please drive carefully.  I'll try to post some pictures of the finished gifts as we get closer to the day. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Another fun weekend......

Our annual C.A. Wells memorial weekend was another great success.  The ladies started arriving a week earlier (our Debbie Liming), then the rest trickled in, Stasi Buhrman, Stacy Stinson, Jennifer Humphries, Kay Fletcher, Kathy Renard, Jackie Janovsky, Linda Wimbrow, and Candy, as well as Judy Brunclik who joined us Saturday but then had to return to work on Sunday, of course she was right next door in the shop, but still working).  But it was 2 days of eating, laughing, stitching, oh, my the stitching that goes on.  Debbie uses her time in Ocean City to get several projects, which have been started at home, finished so she finishes many projects while here.  She and Sara also spent many nights working on the finishing of earlier class projects so they are slowly getting their unfinished pieces complete...yeah!!!!  Linda arrived with her Welsh Cottage, which is really coming along, but I didn't bring mine because I can't work on over 1 pieces in a group setting...I need my comfy chair, magnifying light and my T.V.  Actually I worked on nothing Saturday, just sat talked and moved more stash from the shop into my bag (like I need anymore).  Stasi Buhrman brought her Mummy in the coffin which is soooo darn cute that now Debbie, Sara and I are all doing the same mummy, thanks to Stasi who also brought us a "coffin" to put our mummy in.  This years project for the group (we always have a Halloween project) was a watch fob necklace which I actually stitched back in the summer and decided that would be the project for this event.  Debbie  got hers stitched on Saturday...go Debbie. The photos up top are my newest craft project.  I did want to show you a picture of my finished Sullivan's scissor box.  Ever since we received our first shipment of theses little scissors, which come in a wooden like box, I have wanted to do something with the box.  They are a composite material which is sturdy not wood but feel like wood, but last year I tried painting them and the whole thing warped so that destroyed 2 of my boxes (how depressing), however, I'm not one that gives up easily.  So when I started seeing the tissue tape in the craft stores it made me think that perhaps I had found a perfect solution.   I got a supply of Halloween tapes and while I have not perfected my technique, I have been able to cover the boxes and using magnetic sheets I covered the inside top and bottom and now we have a new decorative needle box.  So cute and with all the tissue tape out there you can really do it for any occasion.  You could also put a lining in the bottom and

use it as a portable pin cushion or to store things (small things to be sure).   Craft to love a craft project!  I have managed to finish a couple of things, like the Harvest Home Pynboxe which you see here.  The inside of  lid has the piece you see here stitched, blanket stitched and then mounted to the inside of the lid and the box has been painted by Liberty Hill.  It was a fun project and sort of kicked off my stitching for gifts for Christmas, although this was actually part of Sara's Halloween gift.  So I actually had show and tell once Sara opened her gift during the event weekend.  I'm so embarrassed as everyone usually shows off  their "show and tell" because I usually have nothing to show, since after I stitch something I put it on the blog and hang it in the shop so nothing seems new.  I especially loved Stasi Buhrman's Mummy as did Debbie and Sara and we all pulled the charts to stitch this piece and thankfully Stasi brought each of us the casket she used to house her mummy in.  If you are interest but don't know which one I'm talking about, go to Stasi's blog and scan back and you will see it, she posted it a month or so ago...Fabulous Fun!  Once Halloween is over I start stitching  for Christmas.  Mercy me, my list of stitched gifts just seems to grow and grow.  I panic each year thinking I will be unable to get them all done.  Before Stitch and Bitch dinner I need several finished,  as I don't see some of the ladies until after the holidays and then I only have 2 more weeks after that to get 3 or 4 more done.  It's hard to enjoy the holidays when you are so concerned you won't get your gifts finished, but it's a challenge I happily accept...sort of the "thrill of the chase" to finish.  Each year I worry and yet each year I get it done.  Picking projects has been tougher this year.  I either find really complicated projects which I can't get done in a few weeks or nothing at all so I'm struggling a little to come up with something appropriate for each person, something different and something I think they will like.  But again, this is an every year thing so nothing new.  Other than that, it's all about school.  I have been relieved of skatepark duty, although I did have Mary's 4 year old, Israel for 4 1/2 hours yesterday, oh my, and I thought skatepark duty was exhausting.  I was just getting ready to blog when I got the call, "what are you doing?"  Which is Mary's way of saying, "I've got a child that needs you."  So ended the peacefull stitch filled afternoon.  I was busy setting up car parades, taking car of his pets on his Ipad and once again lego's.  He is such a joy to listen to as he says the most amazing things for a 4 year old.  But then don't they all.  There is no censoring what comes out of their mouth.  Oh, I meant to mention something.  Jackie Janovsky and her husband Bob are helping their grandson, who's in elementary school, with his math everyday after school.  I want all the parents and grandparents who are helping to teach their children or grandchildren to know about a fabulous website for been so helpful to Michael and I.  We are not only doing Algebra, but now Core has thrown in Geometry and Trig just to make my life more difficult.  While I knew I could handle history and English, I knew Science and Math could present a problem for me.  But math, no matter what level, seems to be manageable because I have this web site.  I go in a couple of days before I have to teach Michael and get my skills up to date and I'm doing things now that I swear I never did in high school and I know for a fact that I didn't see Trig in 8th grade.  I really think I was in 12th grade, but then that was back in the dark ages.   I do think Core is making things terribly confusing for a child.  And taking classes now that should have been taught in elementary school makes everything harder.  But we're plugging through and I can not tell you the satisfaction I get when I see the smile on Michael's face when he "gets it."  He starts out crying saying he doesn't understand and after an hour I see that smile start and the next thing he's saying is, "It's O.K. Nan, I get it."    Makes the fact that I'm no longer retired from work (because that's what this is), alright.  I use to say to people who have had to take on the raising of their grandchildren, "I don't think I could do it at my age."  While none of us would want to since we all hope our children outlive us or are great parents, I now see that I would rise to the occasion if called on.  It's a good feeling, but I pray everyday I won't ever be called on to take full on parenting again.  4 1/2 hrs a day teaching Michael is enough for me.  Thankfully a child acts differently with a grandparent that with anyone else so my job here isn't that bad...just frustrating at times as I struggle to find the right method of teaching him.  So that's what new here.  Sara is in Jamaica with the girls, Mary just got back from her vacation with her girlfriends...she went to Puerto Rico I think (it's been a week and I've already forgotten where she went.....and I'm the one teaching...go figure).  I'm still looking forward to Thanksgiving and a few days off, although we've decided to cut short certain holidays for school as Michael goes to Jamaica with Sara and Vernon every year for about 14 days the early part of school.....and we need to make that up.  So Christmas we'll work a few of those days and we might take a day at Thanksgiving, but we'll still see some days off and I do get off when he's in Jamaica...whoppee!!!!! I'll really appreciate the time off this year.  I use to love the 3 days we got off  from the shop during our winters when we close Tues., Wed., and Thursday.  But this year I don't get any time off after the holidays as I will be in school 5 days a week and on weekends I'll be working the shop.  Ugh!!  Back to 7 days a week working and in the winter...double UGH!  Just got back from the grocery to have a good lunch for Michael, so I'm back to shopping once a week.  Got to get some stitching done.  Talk to you soon.