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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wow - it's already Tuesday!?

That is pretty much how my weeks feel like right now. Sorry about being absent - I have tried to keep up with all of your blogs, but I fell short around Saturday... It seems that a lot of things are going on right now. Work is getting busier, which is great, and I seem to have things going on in the evenings and weekends too, which is not all that common for me. I like it!

Let me just say, as always, thanks for all your comment - it is so much fun to hear from you!
Oh, and Gwen from Guava Gems Blog posted her second post on the Brightneedle Blog, which was really cool! She is making a small needle-book that will look just adorable - and she finished all the stitching over just a weekend! The pattern is called Pumpkin Flowers and is too cute. I have never seen it before, so that was extra exciting. (I need to get my BN charts out and get going too!)

So, to make sure that I don't forget, here is August's TUSAL update - tadaaah!
(Well, that was really more of an introduction than needed; not a whole lot going on in my TUSAL jar right now. I have tiny pieces of Hare Pyns silk floss on top and I have already forgotten what the last project I really sat and stitched on was... my short-term memory has been gone for a really long time. At least, I think so.... Oh, never mind, I think it was the Noel Quadrielle!)

Moving on to the small progress on the Hare Pyns project. I have finished stitching all the "smalls" now, so the main part is left - the pocket. It is stitched as three panels on the same piece of linen and to finish the piece, the panels are simple folded up. The panel that I am currently working on will be the "inside panel" - the one that, together with the back, will make up the actual pocket.
The fabric in the picture showing all parts will be the lining fabric.
As I mentioned in my last post, these areas take a while to stitch since every last linen-thread is covered with some sort of stitch. I have 4 more zig-zag rows, that will be snugged in under the first row, to go and then the motif-stitching is complete on the inside panel. After that, I am afraid that I will spend quite a few evenings on filling in the back-ground with some type of darning stitch. It will look really nice though.
As you probably notice, I am cheating on the year too. I took the class back in 2007 and I simply refuse to try to chart out 2011, so 2007 it is. As a matter of fact, the charted 2011 is not even included in the chart-pack that the rest of the group got this year, so we are all out SOOL.
Do I dare writing that I believe that the middle panel will stitch up quickly!? It is all Bargello, so I have a feeling that it will be relatively painless compared to the "flap-panel" which is stitched entirely in tent-stitch and darning stitches... I am still looking forward to stitching that piece!

I also want to show some more crazy sun-flower pics from my garden. I know that it looks like total anarchy - and it is - but I like it.
To re-cap, this was the "weed" that self-germinated. Still going strong:
This is the mix of flowers that I planted about a month ago. No rules were followed when planting these babies - a mix of three-four seed-types were thrown into the ground (way too close together) and I did not go through and pull out the smaller seedlings after things started to come up.
Here are a couple of the weaker ones, happily crawling on the walking path:
This type looks almost black when the sun does not shine through it. It makes me think of the Disc-World's Death's sun-flower garden:
Aren't these just gorgeous in all their glory?:
And here is a part of this craziness (poor neighbors!):

I also have to show you a pic of a very tired and cozy bunny...
Currently, he is happily jumping, leaping, running, spinning, and I don't know what, around the basement, where the rest of us are blogging from right now. All the noisy parrots are in bed and it is a grand time to be a tiny black bunny. We all learned that bunnies are treated like Royalty here - from a pellet only diet, Bubba has now also added apples, carrots, lettuce, grapes, bunny treats (he hates all of them!), hay, grass to his repertoire AND he has moved into the guest-bedroom! He is living a posh life, let me tell you! He may need to be re-named Bubba Hilton, if this keeps up... We are getting to know each other better, which is a lot of fun. I have even gotten licks and that head-bump that means "I need my cheeks rubbed right about now, please!".

Other than that, not much going on. I did drag my own, DH's and a friend's butts over to a party on Friday. We had a really nice time, but at about 11.10 PM, I said enough and drove everyone home again. It was a good time and we did meet a bunch of friends that we don't normally get to hang out with. The host-couple has had this party every year for probably 5-10 years now. Everyone is welcome, including people they don't know "as long as you would invite them into your own home". What is really neat is that the party has gone from a "get as drunk and obnoxious as you can" type deal to more of a family party. There are more and more kids running about and this year they even rented a bouncy castle from small and big kids.

On Saturday, DH and I drove over to see our three God-children. We had a fabulous time. You remember how much fun the part was, back in the less-golden years? Yep, we got to experience that again. Climbing trees, going down on the slides, swinging on the swing set. The kids are too cute, but of course I forgot the camera at home. :-(

Finally, I promised weeks ago to tell you why we had to go to the ER. Well, after all my years of nagging, as all good wives do, about the importance of a healthy life-style, it finally happened - DH's total lack of bodily care caught up with him. I think just hope that he has been scared straight for a couple of months...
This s what happened; DH works nights and was just getting up and ready for work on a Wednesday evening around 8 PM. He was off the night before and had spent pretty much all day lying around, playing video games, drinking beer and napping. In addition, on Tuesday night, he had been playing out-door soccer, in an open field in 98 degree weather. Yep, you all know where this is headed....
I hear a bang from the bathroom and rush over to see what is going on. DH is just getting back up from the floor looking mighty embarrassed and confused. "I just fell" he says - yes, of course he hit his head on the way down. He proceeds to go to the kitchen to get a drink and since I am a bit worried at this point, I follow him. Luckily - he passes out again! I manage to, somehow, catch him (I am not short with my 5.6, but this man is a tall 6.3) and lower him to the floor. Seeing that this is my exceptionally stubborn husband, I decide to straddle him to make sure that he does not get up and insist on going in to work... sigh. (Anyone else have a stubborn man in their life, or am I the only lucky one? LOL) At this point, he is white, clammy, cold, and can not focus. I grab the phone, manage to remember the emergency number (yes!), and have just about time to think "wow, I am really doing great, keeping clam and all", when they answer on the other side and panic just seems to rush in and drown me. It feels like I can't breathe (I really understand that saying about "a weight on ones chest" now) and my voice comes out as yells in staccato - I even have a hard time remembering our house number. It is all I can do not to start crying out of shear stress and fear.
Well, an ambulance gets sent over, which I have to run out in the street to wave down from one block north-over (How can that happen? Don't they have GPS!? Or maybe I really did get the house number wrong...) Plus at the same time, I am dressing DH and asking him stupid questions like "Can you feel both your arms?" and "Do you have any tingling sensations?".
So, there we were - 3 firefighters, DH, and I squeezed into our minute bed-room. It would have been quite amusing, if it wasn't for the fact that I wasn't still pretty upset. All the standard tests were carried out and it was concluded that it was dehydration. Phiew! Here, just to amuse myself and make sure that DH would have to listen, I started to ask the FF really stupid questions, like "Tell me, I am not sure whether this is true or not, bu I have heard that it may not be a really great idea to play soccer in 98 degrees and go out for beer afterwards?" and "I am curious to know, if you may be so kind as to tell me, what is the better drink - water or Mountain Dew?". Show us that the nagging wife was right all along....
We got to chose whether we wanted them or me to get him to the ER. Seeing that he hit his head earlier, I insisted that they'd take him over. Well, that was lucky - the head and spine were fine( and I did get the satisfaction of seeing the doctor slap a neck brace on DH while DH gave me dirty looks...) but he needed O-N-E G-A-L-L-O-N of liquid before he could pea. I mean, really!? What was he thinking!? I did the typical emotional journey from "Thank God that he will be all right!" to "What the Hell can he have been thinking!?". We got out of the ER at 2 in the morning and by that time I was cranky!
Well, all in all, I am glad that he is all right an that he may have learned something... After all, he heard the firefighters tell me all about how to avoid dehydration... ;-)

So, on that note I will end with a couple of facts that my buddy Froggie sent me a while back:
- 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
- In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.
- Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
- Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
- A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

Who knew?
Take care, Happy Stitching, and Stay Hydrated!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where is my head!?

As always, thanks so much for all your comments - it means so much to me that you stop by to say hi! I have had a lot of fun reading all your notes and e-mails, especially about the "bad ass" misunderstanding. I can tell you that the lady in my stitch-group was apparently not the only one that figured that I had posted some more revealing photos of myself. So, if you thought that picture was confusing, what do you say about this?
(Hey, isn't that guy a vampire or somethin'!?)

So, a lot of great things are happening in my family now, which is really cool. I can not believe that I have forgotten to share some of these major events with you!
- Mom and Dad are finally retired, so they are busier than ever. This fall, they are going on a trip to Argentina. My Littlest Sis, who likes to "collect" experiences, gave them this really cool gift - a roof-top walk through Stockholm. The things people come up with! LOL Here are some neat photos that she sent me. I think that mom and dad look really brave! Stockholm looks as beautiful as ever too!

- Littlest Sis and her boyfriend are in Peru as I write this. (It was really cool - we Skyped through her cell phone while she was on her way through security at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm.) She also e-mailed me the other day stating that "I have just completed my first triathlon It was crazy tough but super-fun". Kudos to her - my type of triathlon is probably quite different from hers; the stitch/watch bad TV series on Netflix marathon, followed by the ice-cream eating while wrestling to keep about a million birds out of the bowl and my mouth, and the final leg is the 2 hr nap. Phew - it's a hard life!!!
- I just started my new job-position last Friday (still not an official move yet though; boy, those bosses are way too good a procrastinating... insert "big sigh" here. (This particular transition has been in the works since December 2010 - they really can't just sit down at the computer, invest the 5 minutes it will take to type up the dratted announcement e-mail and hit the send-button - really!?!?! All right, enough whining!). I am now a member of a real team - yay! On Friday I am going canoeing with my new department. I have to confess, I am a little bit nervous about that, but I figure that I'd better jump into the group and maybe even the water.
Oh, and since we are talking about career and that stuff in this bullet - take the 15 minutes to watch this video: Sheryl Sandberg (the COO of Facebook) on Women in Leadership! If not for yourself, at least for your daughters, granddaughters, nieces and other young girls. Talk about this with them; these are the traps that most of us women have fallen into one time or another - not only through our careers.
Thanks Hip*Hip, for sending me the link!

- But the biggest piece of news is this - Little Sis and long-time fiancee got married the weekend before last! The main-event was the baptism of their second child (remember the PS birth sampler a few months back - yep, still waiting to be personalized...), but they figured that they'd just tie the knot officially at the same time.
Here is a picture from church, courtesy of Littlest Sister.
To the happy couple - Ha den äran att gratulera, Herr och Fru H.
My super-duper adorable niece was dressed in a dress bought for her by her favorite US-residential aunt...
Looks like a typical Swedish cool summer day:
This was the engagement piece that I stitched for the couple years ago. I remember being really pleased with the framing (home-made, no less) and I did home-delivery. It rode with me in the hand luggage on one of my trips home. I have been thinking that I really should stitch one up for DH and myself too one of these days.
Time to start thinking about a wedding sampler. I already have a quick stitch in mind.

Other than that, not a whole lot going on. I did get the second package of Maia kits in the mail. Bird pictures - can it get any better? LOL

I also picked up some neat display items from Hobby Lobby - love that store! Three ornament stands and a tiny ornie display tree:

I am also happy to report that I am finally getting up to a reasonable speed on the Hare Pyns pre-stitching. I can not believe how many hours I have spent on these super-tiny pieces!!! They do look great though, if I may say so myself, but there is an abundance of over-one stitching (tent, thankfully) and every potentially exposed linen surface is carefully covered in one type of filling stitch or another.
Note the ridiculously small size of the fob... (again, my hands are "normal sized"... you don't believe me, do you!? LOL)
The scissors sheath stitching is almost finished too, just some extra tenting around the bargello work and then it is finally off to begin stitching on the main-piece. That one will not be small...
Here is the Hare Pyns smalls modeled by "the real thing":
Bubba sends out an extra greeting to Heather! :-)

Before signing off, I have to tell you about a wonderful beginning of a morning earlier this week. Tuesday started out with me looking through the kitchen window while getting some tea going. Something was hovering in the air right in front of me and then sat down on the phone line just outside the kitchen. It was the first humming-bird of the season! This tiny bird gave me a wonderful sense of luck - nothing ought to go wrong when a day starts like that. Then I walk over to the other side of the house, to the living-room, to take care of my beast-birds. I glance through the window and see a Cardinal pair sitting in my crazy sunflower going to town on the seeds.
I left for work with a smile on my face that morning!

Well, time for both me and Bubba to jump into bed. I am sure that I have forgotten a bunch of things that I have wanted to tell you for several days now, but I will probably remember as soon as I hit the "publish post" button. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by, take care and Happy Stitching,

Saturday, August 20, 2011


So, yesterday I drove up to northern KY to spend an evening stitching with the stitch group. We all come from about a 1.5 hr (it was more like 2.5 hrs yesterday, due to traffic) radius around the meeting point and stitch, catch up and have a grand time.
On the way, I decided to stop by the only Crabtree & Evelyn store in Kentucky. I love their hand-lotions, but the reason for the detour was their lip-butters. It is out of this world - stays on for forever, smells and tasted wonderful, looks great (slight red tint), and works wonders for the lips. What is not to love!? Believe you me - I was so disappointed when I got to the store and was told that they have stopped carrying the lip-gloss. Isn't that always how it is? Every time I find a product that I absolutely adore, it is taken out of production. Wonder why - guess that my preference is opposite of everybody else... LOL I will have to shop on-line, I guess.
(The one in the front is the type I love; the "lip swirl" - they have, or used to have, Mulberry, Chocolate Cream and Peppermint.)

Our hostess, who is a sweetie by the way, just found out a couple of months ago that four of us in the group have stitching blogs. We started chatting about the post where I wrote 7 things about myself and we talked about living in Panama and so on. I have no idea how it came up, but we started talking about peopleofwalmart.com and all the sudden, our newly hooked blog-reader blurts out that "Oh, I thought that the "Bad Ass" photo was showing you". Everyone at the table pretty much fell over laughing.
We were trying to rack our brains, trying to figure out what I had written that could have lead her to jump to that conclusion, but with no success.
So with further ado, I am declaring here that rumors about my bad ass are greatly exaggerated. Dear readers, I assure you, I can not take credit for this bottom:
You would probably be a bit taken aback by all the stuff I haul with me to the stitch-meets. This is the pile of assorted projects riding along:
This weeks stitching has been been pretty neglected and really not much to show....
The Hare Pyns class piece progress (once again, I realized that I spent double the time stitching over-one crosses, instead of the much quicker tent-stitches that we were instructed to use.. sigh!)
Scarlet Letter's EH sampler - I am finally starting on the big green "branch" border, which is what made me fall in love with this reproduction sampler in the first place. I am having fun stitching it, but it is a lot slower that I anticipated.
And finally, this is the progress on a brand new design that I bought to stitch for my Littlest Sis. Can't show you what it will be, because she is a follower... I am hoping to get it ready for her birthday in October, but I am not sure. It is stitched on Aida which helps, but it will be pretty large, solid stitching albeit a fair amount of half crosses.

All right, moving on. Bunny is doing well. I got a lot of really great suggestions from all of you and from browsing on the net. Favorites were Emo (except that I am apparently the only one finding that a hilarious name), Jinx, Corporal Carrot (I was reading Pratchett's Men At Arms when we got him), and Jet.
I have finally decided that, being a southern rabbit, his name will be Bubba Bunny. Say that quickly three times! LOL

I got some nice stash this week too. I am a book-lover, but I do tend to separate books into two categories. One is the "reading" category and the other is the "eye candy" section. I picked up a little bit from both groups on Amazon last week.
Eye Candy:
- French-Inspired Jewelry: Creating with Vintage Beads, Buttons & Baubles
Kaari Meng
- Baltimore Elegance: A New Approach to Classic Album Quilts by Elly Sienkiewicz
- Sew Serendipity: Fresh and Pretty Designs to Make and Wear by Kay Whitt
Here are a couple of pages showing a bit of the style of each book:
I got these books for reading:
I just read The Hidden Language of Business by Margaret Morford last week and I thought that it was great. A lot of us technical people are not necessarily great at networking and the politics in the office and this book is a great tool to help you improve. This is an example - I bet that the vast majority of us have done this at one time or another:
For me it is a good reminder to see this black on white, so that I can tell myself not to do this again! An easy read, structured, AND containing a simple plan to help you learn and practice all 60 rules. I definitely recommend this book and I decided to read her first book too, to see if that is as interesting ad helpful.

This week's score, brought to you by Bubba:
Hard to find Fremme booklet, linen, floss for $22 on e-bay - say no more!

This week's message:

The birds expressed some concern earlier this week that all of you will find Bubba cuter than them, so here are some pics showing off the babies and their make-do amusement part ride (no worries, the fan was not turned on).
Checking out the new weird animal:

This week's surprise:
I forgot our wedding anniversary! Again!!! I think that I have ever only remembered one of them in the 8 years that we have been married... DH and I are the perfect match - we both forgot the first 3 anniversaries. Now I believe that he remembers more on spite - LOL. He is a sweetie! He did tell me that he would have gotten a bouquet with orange roses, but there weren't any. I think that what he gave me is absolutely perfect!

Well, I will probably have to end it here. There are so many things that I would like to share with you, but the laundry is calling for me and I have yet to jump into the shower.

Take care and Happy Stitching,

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Drumroll, please!

So, I know that I promised to post the winner of the give-away yesterday, but I do have a perfectly reasonable excuse; we had a power outage over night - again...
Apparently Kentucky was hit pretty hard by, what I would deem, a short-lived storm. We lost power about 10 yesterday night and it got back on about 11 this morning. That is not too bad. I remember one ice-storm a a few years back when we were without electricity for 11 days. Luckily, we had learned our lesson the hard way the time before that one, so we had already invested in a generator.

Well, before the power went out, we had a give-away draw at the house. I gathered up the notes from all participants, put a pressure on one of the birds to contribute to the blog work, and we got a winner.
We had 31 participants, even though I had 33 comments. My Littlest Sis pointed out that she would stay this one out so that the drawing wouldn't look too biased. Then she left a second comment telling me that her comment pass word code was fulamin, which translates to "ugly-face". LOL
Here are the comments, ready to go:
Rusty feels the pressure - he looks slightly nervous:
Plummeting in for the catch and ta-daah:
Congratulations to Sarah from Craftymoo!!!!
Sarah, please e-mail me your address and I'll send off the goodies to you this week!
To all of you, thanks so much for playing! I hope that you had as much fun as I did! I don't recall if I ever posted where to find the pattern wallet, but here are the two Etsy -stores I found them in; the bird-wallet is from the Slipped Stitch Studios and the mermaid-wallet (smaller) was found at Mad Bird.

Other than that, we are taking it easy. We decided to get up early and happened to start working in the front yard. It was easy; we got to bed pretty early thanks to the darkness, even though I managed to read a couple of chapters in the light of DH's work flash-light.
I did also get a chance to say hi and thanks to the people cutting down all the fallen tress from yesterday's storm and to the Kentucky Utilities people who got us our A/C back. The former crew did not speak English, so we did the nod-wave-and smile routine. The latter group seemed glad that I wasn't yelling at them, since apparently one of our neighbors had cursed them out in the middle of the night... (note to self - not a great idea, if you want help quickly next time you are in trouble...). Poor guys, they had been up all nigh working to get 30,000 households connected back in town and they told me that when everything had been resolved here, they were headed for Louisville, where 120,000 households were out of electricity. They had been driving and working hard; they come from a couple of towns east of us. Thanks guys!

So, this is what our front-yard looked like earlier today:
A lot of neighbors passed by and seemed very concerned. I finally figured out that most of them probably thought that this was caused by the storm. Little do they know that this is what happens when you give DH free hands with some clippers, a saw, and a ladder...

I gave one of our hanging Japanese cherry trees a serious bob (it used to look like Cousin It). Note how "my branches" magically disappeared. I believe that DH still believes in the clean-up fairy...

Hard work is really tiresome, especially if you are a tiny, still nameless, bunny:
I like Jo's suggestion to name the bunny after one of the characters in the book that I am currently reading. I will think about that. I am currently on a Marathon reading mission, reading all Terry Pratchett's disc-world books. One of the main characters in the book I am currently reading is Death, but I don't think that I'll pick that name...
The latest named baby-parrot was named Nibbler after the pet/alien in Futurama:
The name was picked both because it is, in my humble opinion, a super-cute name, but also because it fits very well. This is DH getting nibbled to death by tiny parrots:
Got your ear!

One last note, if you have time for a bit of more browsing today, please stop by and say hi to Beauty Bonnet of Beauty Bonnet's Stitch who is a brand new stitch-blogger. I know that she'll be thrilled to have you visit!

Take care, enjoy your Sunday and Happy Stitching,