Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Haul!

To start my next anniversary present, I needed a few flosses. I headed to Strawberry Sampler to pick them up. And of course a few non-floss things jumped into my basket. Those included Heart in Hand Today Forever (a future anniversary sampler) and a few of the flosses I will need to start that one; Plum Street Samplers A Hundred Ways (the Jane Austen quote) (another future anniversary sampler!); and Plum Street Samplers Woolemina (you know how I love sheep); and two olive buttons for Amy Bruecken patterns because they were a quarter each. I couldn't resist that price! I don't even know if I need them!

They didn't have one of the flosses I needed so I headed to the internet where I found more things I absolutely needed. That little Mill Hill polar bear was on sale as was Merry Two, so I picked those up. And then I saw Heart in Hand's Always You (you can't really see it in the photo), and I had to buy everything for that one! And I have a third future anniversary sampler to add to the pile.

Y'all, I might be back in this thing!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Anniversary Presents


Forty-seven Hearts is complete! This is last year's anniversary sampler that I finished on this year's anniversary (yesterday).

By Silver Creek Samplers
Stitched with the the called-for threads
on Vintage Country Mocha 32-count

I finished it on the way to my niece's high school graduation party. This one. The one I wrote about here. Well, that post was prescient because she is heading to Temple to go to Tyler School of Art! We're so proud of her, and we know she will accomplish great things!

We adore her so much, that we were happy to put off our anniversary dinner until next weekend and instead eat chicken nuggets and pizza. (I guess her little girl self got to choose the menu!)

I signed this one not with the year, but with the anniversary number. I thought that was a better way to sign it than to admit I've dropped the ball on this project. Maybe we'll be married long enough to forget this little hiccup! 😉

The good news is I started this years sampler yesterday as well. It's Heart in Hand Needleart's 2018 Collectors Heart. I probably shouldn't say this, but it's 60 x 60 so it shouldn't take that long. (I've cursed myself, haven't I?)

Monday, July 02, 2018

Portugal

The dude wanted to go to Portugal for his 50th, and I had no objections. We spent four days in Lisbon, staying on this street, which had a stop for Tram 28 just down the hill. We saw lots of that iconic tram. We took a cooking class, which was a fun entree into the culture. We learned to make bacalau a bras, a salad, and a nice garlicky clam dish. We walked everywhere, and if you've never been to Portugal, it was built on a hill on top of a hill between two hills. As our cooking instructor said, "I never go to the gym but every day is legs day." We walked between 10,000 and 18,000 steps every day. All of it uphill both ways.

We had lovely, perfect weather in the mid-70s almost every day, and cooler in the evenings. Perfect for all those hills!

We went to Belem and saw the tower and the monestary and ate pasteis de nata, though we had those every chance we got! (That was our very touristy day.)

Cross stitch in Praça do Comércio! See, I haven't stopped thinking of you...

From Lisbon, we took the train up to Coimbra, which houses a 600 year old university. We visited the library there, but no photos are allowed. You should go check it out. We also went to see a performance of Coimbra fado; we've become fans.

From Coimbra, we went up to Porto. I had invited two of the dude's oldest friends to join us as a surprise for the dude. And boy was he surprised! We had gone to the Livraria Lello when I got the text that they had landed. Then everything I did, I did slowly after texting them. "We're at lunch here;" Me: tiny bites, extra chewing, lots of conversation. "We're at the church across the street, with the tile on the outside." (Me looking at every piece of sculpture in *both*--side by side--churches.) We were standing in front of the churches when I saw them--thank god because I had no idea how I was going to stall from there!

The dude was so surprised, totally bewildered that they were there! So we went and tried some port.

And then we celebrated Portugal's World Cup run. We got to see the Portugal-Spain match in a square in Porto with a few hundred of our Portuguese friends. Our waiters told us where everyone would be for that one. What an awesome thing it is to watch the beautiful game with others in public. We're thinking we need to take another trip to a world cup country in 2022. (But that will be in winter ...because FIFA. 🙄)

We spent a lot of time at the river because it was so flat! A relief!

And on the "six bridges" boat tour I found more cross-stitch!

There was lots more but I don't want to be the person showing all the slides while people snooze!

Portugal was fabulous! You should go! I'd love to go out to the Douro Valley next time, but there's a great big world. Who knows what's next.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Let's Catch Up

Well, that was a long time to be away! I haven't been crafting much, reading more. There's also been work brouhaha, vacations, visits, and auntly* duties. Let's see if I can catch you up in one go.

I realize that I haven't even shown you the last craft of Craft Month. You may remember that I was making little imaginary parties. I made a hot chocolate party. To top your hot chocolate, you could choose crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, nuts, marshmallows, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup for drizzling. I added whole peppermint sticks for stirring, if you like that kind of thing. I used buffalo plaid tableware not only because it matches my crockpot, but I find it very cozy. (I've had a couple of buffalo plaid flannel nighties in my day.) There are many recipes for crockpot hot chocolate on the internet, but I'd rather not use condensed milk (too sweet) and put my regular stove-top hot chocolate recipe in only to stay warm.

I also finally got to use these adorable cardinal bowls I bought (at Target?) a couple of years ago. 💗

According to my photos, I went to Longwood and the Please Touch Museum with my sister and the girls. (They remind me of me and my sister!)
My mother-in-law came for a visit in early May, and we made our usual rounds of gardens. We went to a couple of new ones too, and took a trip up to Jim Thorpe where we had some lovely woodsy walks and delicious breakfasts


My 30th (!) college reunion struck at the beginning of June. We spent an expected amount of time talking about perimenopause and eldercare and children going off to college, with an adequate time spent reminiscing and sharing our accomplishments. It was a refreshing weekend despite the wicked heat and humidity. (It was especially wet; in five years, I'm hoping our "reunion gift" is a pair of wellies.) A couple of days later the dude and I were off for a celebratory (he's--almost--50!) vacation in Portugal.



Some someones turned four at the end of June. The multi-themed party necessitated three types of cupcakes--Spider-Man (Sweet Baby Rea), Rapunzel (Special K), and Pink Pineapples (Sissy). But my cousin--who's now in pastry school!--handled them all with aplomb. I was also successful in making a Spider-Man card and a Rapunzel card (thank goodness for all those yellow DMC flosses--which became a braid hanging from a castle).

Let me make some rounds, and I'll be back to tell you more about our vacation.

*Why doesn't aunt have a nice adjectival form like avuncular? I wonder why that might be...

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Snowman Wreath

I bought all the things to make this wreath. And then it seemed like so much to do among the busy-ness of this week. For example, my sister needed me to pick my mother up at the airport and bring her to the house so that she could help with the girls. My mother told me 2:48 and then the day she flies she tells me 12:10. So I go to the airport at 12:10, which of course turns out to be the time she is taking off (to land at 2:48). This is not her first rodeo, people, so I dutifully went to the airport twice to get my mother. And then she needed to be fed. So I ended up bringing her to my sister's house in rush hour traffic. And then I got home at 7:30 and still had to feed myself and walk the dog.

And you wonder why I didn't want to make 11 pom pom snowmen. So I made the one. But it was fun and easy and I think I should make the other 10 so that I can have a fabulous new wreath.

I'd like to do this with a rainbow of scarves, like the original, but I am not buying whole skeins for two yards. So if you'd like to contribute, give me a holler!

Santa Appears

This is definitely the most cross stitch I have ever done in a Craft Month (number of projects, not necessarily number of stitches).

I give you Lizzie * Kate's Santa from the Stocking Sleds. I used most of the called for overdyed threads but I didn't have Bright Leaf (the gold around the edge).

I'm sorry that the blogging of Craft Month has been so haphazard. :(

Christmas Quilling

I did a small quilling project two years ago for the Craft Month Challenge. It helped me get over my dread of quilling that was instilled when my mother would have me make quilled snowflakes for the craft bazaar and sell them for .25/each. It was the 80s but damn, that's cheap. (I'm so traumatized I tell you this story every time I mention quilling. It might be time to put it to rest.)

I didn't use a pattern for this. It's a pretty basic project, I only used coils; no teardrops or marquis or scrolls. You just need paper strips (they sell them in the craft stores now/again), glue, and a toothpick. Seriously, you don't need more than that.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Christmas Card

I never got my Christmas cards finished last winter. I got sick (again) and was sick pretty much from Thanksgiving to Christmas. It was a laugh riot. And now every time I cough or sniffle at work people say, "Didn't you just get over being sick?" still.

So here is the card I have been hoping to complete for quite some time. Pretty much from the moment I saw the stamp set over two years ago. Warm Wishes

Unfortunately the craft room is in a state and I couldn't find the Warm Wishes stamp! Peace is an adequate substitute, but I fear there will need to be some craft room clean up!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Whimsical Christmas Tree


I made this Christmas yarn tree from A Million Little Things. Now that I am linking back to this and reading the directions and seeing Jill's tree, I've definitely made a variation. I didn't really crisscross my yarn like she did, and I used white glue not hot glue.

I chose Lion Brand Homespun in olive because I thought it looked most tree like. I also liked the texture.

I added the giant ball instead of a star at the top because I have so many giant felt balls. I bought several multipacks over the years and mostly used the middle size. That left the tiny ones for this project. And lots of those big ones. (I'm going to have to come up with a way to use those during some future craft month.)

This is such a simple craft that results in a delightfully whimsical tree.

Jingle All the Way!

I saw this made with a Stampin Up cling and a shadow box ages ago. So I finally got around to making my own! The cling was from AC Moore, and I didn't like that it had bells on the bottom, so I cut them off. This version suggested a change in colorway. I loaded up a glass cube with turquoise, silver, pink, and purple jingle bells because sometimes I like a nontraditional-color Christmas craft!