A Stitch in Time*

Monday, March 31, 2008

Last Day of March

First Roses of Spring
First Roses of Spring

It's Monday~where did the weekend go?

Far too much time was spent working on projects for my job, and no time was spent on my Master's project. That is unfortunate and I'll have to make up for that later on this week, or next week.

I did work in the yard for many hours on Saturday, and above you can see a picture of the first roses of spring. These roses were planted three years ago, and they're looking better each year!

I also fixed up the front porch a bit. These colorful pots are very special to me since our daughter painted and decorated them several years ago. One of them even has glitter on it, but that's hard to see in the photo.

Here's how the porch looks now, and the funky mix of color is a fun thing to me but I know that many who see it may cringe at the uncoordinated clash:
Spring Porch Plants

I moved the Christmas poinsettias to the backyard patio/deck area:

Poinsettias in March

I don't know what to do with those poinsettias to sustain them until next Christmas. Any ideas? They've been outside since we got them from our son-in-law.

I stitched for about 1/2 hour on Saturday. I will share a photo of that later on this week, but very little progress has been made since the last photo.

It's off to work now. My husband helped me rearrange the classroom late Friday afternoon so I'm prepared for an 'exciting' day. The children react to any small change, so it will be fun to see what they do with the huge changes we made!

I hope you have a great day, and thanks for your comments and visits.

Stitcher S

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Monday, March 24, 2008

The Middle of the Last Week in March

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My daughter, niece, and great niece (with son's glasses, for fun) on Easter

Thanks for all your nice comments on the previous post. It's so nice to hear from people who read this little blog!

We had a nice Easter. It was odd in that I worked on my project for about seven hours, but I now have over 100 pages in my document folder. It was a very daunting task to put it together and fortunately my husband and son helped me out a bit with the computer part of it!

After working on it for those seven hours we went to my niece Windy's home in a nearby city. She had beautiful tables set for the gathering, and she even made some really cute nest placeholders complete with a colored egg with our name on it. I wish I'd have taken a picture of them! I think my brain was half gone by the time we got to the gathering after having worked on that project all day.

The work week is passing by, and as usual I have a mountain full of work to do at home. I have been battling a bit of a cold, so that makes the week go by much slower.

I also wanted to share a spring photo I took a few weeks back in our backyard. I liked how the various flower colors looked blooming, but somehow my photography skills don't do it much justice!

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The Beginning of Spring

I truly hope the rest of your week goes nicely! Thanks for stopping by here.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Greetings

Happy Easter! I hope that if you do celebrate Easter you have a wonderful day spent with family and friends. Later on this afternoon we will be going down to my niece's home to celebrate the holiday. The cake we're taking is baked and ready to go!

I wish I had some stitching news, but I really don't. This week has only allowed me about 1/2 hour to spend stitching.

Back a week ago I did stitch a bit, and here's what happened:

Pet Me! You don't need to see the pattern...

You can even see the "House Sampler" label on my stitching box. My husband got a label maker last summer, and it's a lot of fun to make labels. The funny thing is, he'd wanted one for years and he finally got it last summer. He even recently ordered some 'accessories' for it online. I can't wait to see what sort of accessories one gets for a label maker!

I find that he and I are alike in that way. We always tend to wait a long time before buying things we want, even if they're relatively inexpensive. Do you ever do that? No one could even accuse us of needing instant gratification!

I wanted to share one more photo of our cat Coco resting with our son. She took a nap yesterday on him as he was resting on the sofa. I couldn't resist taking a photo:

Catnap with Coco

I hope your day is as relaxing as theirs seemed to be!

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Are We There Yet? No, we're not.

Saturday Sunrise

The weekend flew by, and I don't know where the time went. I spent a large part of Saturday working on my Master's project. I am so, so tired of it. At one point I felt like screaming. I mean it, I wanted to scream! I knew that it would do no good, so instead I took a short break from the computer and all the madness of putting this project together. On a positive note, my instructor has been supportive and complimentary about what I've done. That does help a bit.

My husband took the sunrise photo above on Saturday morning. I like the way our neighbor's tree shoots up above the rest of the large, old trees. We don't live in a spot that is prime for taking sunrise photos, but either way I like to look at the sky in the morning and when the sun sets.

The bathroom/bedroom painting project is still underway, but there are no 'after' photos to share yet. Someday that huge job will be done. Our bathroom cabinets were previously painted blue, so those are a real challenge to cover. The new color on the cabinets is 'Pot of Cream'. Here is a photo of my husband removing that old 'Jacobean' style wallpaper in our bedroom. That blue matted picture on the right is going 'bye bye', too.

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I did stitch a bit on Sunday morning, but not enough to warrant any sort of update photo.

I hope your week started out well.

Take care,
Stitcher S


Friday, March 14, 2008

Another Weekend to Work on That Thing

It's Friday night, and soon I will again start working on my large project for the program I'm in at this time. It's not a stitching project, unfortunately! I did get a lot done last weekend, but the entire project is not complete yet. I think I have about 10-20 more hours of work left to do on it, and it will more than likely be more than that.

The week dragged slowly. The time change made it especially hard to function at a good pace, and work seems to just keep getting busier. Spring Fever has begun and the students are very, very restless.

Stitching Update

Here's the latest progress picture of the House and Garden Sampler.

House and Garden Sampler WIP

And a close-up of the latest house:
Fifth House on House and Garden Sampler

I only worked on it about an hour this past week, but I will get some stitching in this upcoming weekend.

Dish Towel

I also wanted to share a little story about a piece I finished stitching years ago. It's now hanging in our dining room corner. It's the Gathering Honey Sampler from an old CS and CC magazine. I affectionately call it the 'dish towel' because as I worked on it over the years my mom would see me work on it and always ask me if it was to be a 'dish towel'. She meant no disrespect by it, I'm sure. In her family the ladies who embroidered (her mom and just one sister) basically stitched only dish towels. I think it took me several years of stitching to complete this sampler, so needless to say it wasn't meant to be any sort of dish towel.

Here's a photo of it:

Gathering Honey Sampler

And in the room, to the right of the hutch (Gosh, that hutch surface needs some sort of color on it, I can sure see that now!) :
Old Hutch

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for your kind comments.

Stitcher S

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Sunset after a Long Weekend and a Recipe for Donut Cake


My husband took this photo right after sunset yesterday. You can barely see the moon. These wires are over our neighbor's house, and in the morning when I go to feed the birds I usually see the mourning doves up there waiting for their meal.

The weekend ended happily for me as I was able to email off a 67 page document to my professor! I am not yet done with the project, and I have about 10-15 hours more work to do on it, but I got a large chunk done.

My goal was to work on it for twelve hours over the weekend. Instead I worked on it for 14 hours on Saturday, and about 5 hours yesterday. I am tired from all the concentration, but it's a good sort of tired.

To celebrate all the hard work we went to a late lunch yesterday at a local Mexican restaurant. After that we came home and I relaxed and watched the birds in our backyard. For the first time, I saw a baby sparrow! It sat on a branch of a small plant we have in one of our terra cotta pots. Its chirp was very delightful and sweet.

(The following photos were not taken yesterday, but they represent what I saw as I sat and relaxed...)

The baby bird sat on a branch of the plant that is furthest to the left:

Rose Tree

A lone finch:

Finch Enjoying Lunch

I saw three of these in our yard at the same time a few weeks back:
Western Scrub Jay

Western Scrub Jay in the Yard

This pigeon has been around since I took this, but I haven't seen him on this feeder again:
Band-tailed Pigeon on the Birdfeeder

Here's the right-sized bird for that feeder:

Another Finch on a different feeder

Of course our two cats also enjoyed relaxing with me in the yard, too.

Cats watching the Finch
On a stitching note:

On Saturday morning before I started the project I forced myself to stitch for about 45 minutes. I will take a picture soon!


My niece Windy http://abstinenceinthecountry.blogspot.com/ has requested that I post a recipe for a cake she calls 'donut cake' as it tastes like a donut. Here you are.

Donut Cake (aka Peanut Croquette Cake)

Duncan Hines white cake mix

Prepare cake according to the directions using a 9 X 13 pan.

Frost with white frosting. I make the buttercream recipe on the C and H powdered sugar box.

Grind up 1/2 can of Spanish peanuts, but don't grind them too fine.

After frosting the cooled cake, immediately sprinkle the peanuts on top. Press down so they stick real well.

Enjoy! The salt/sweet thing is very addictive.


Thanks for stopping by here, and enjoy your Tuesday!

Stitcher S

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Friday, March 7, 2008

A Bit More Progress

Here is the latest photo of my sampler. I really hope I find a bit of time to work on it this weekend. Wait, I won't find the time---I will set aside time to work on it. Last Saturday I stitched for 1/2 hour in the morning right when I got up, so at least that way I did get some stitching done last weekend.

House and Garden Sampler Progress

Here's a closer shot of the new house:
New House Emerging!

The green is a bit brighter than the other greens I've used so far but I decided to add more varied hues and tones to make the sampler 'livelier'. We'll see how it turns out! How do you think the new greens look with the other colors so far?

It looks to be a busy weekend for me at home. I will work on my master's project all day, both days. My goal is to put in twelve hours this weekend!

I have not been good at doing so lately, but I must get to it this weekend. Sigh. I would so rather go to the dog park with our dog, work on the house, visit with friends and family, or sit and stitch, but I need to work on this project!

Thanks for all your comments and support, and please let me know what you think of that new green shade.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Yard Before and After

I thought it might be fun to share some before and after photos of a small corner of our oddly-shaped backyard. We bought this house almost 18 years ago, and at this point the home is 51 years old. When we bought it the yard was overgrown here and there, and due to many life circumstances it was never quite the yard we wanted. It still needs some work, but it is better than it was!

A few years ago, this is what the corner of our yard looked like. This area is right behind our garage. We sit at the end of a cul-de-sac with a long, narrow backyard. Please brace yourself for this photo, as it looks so trashy and ugly. I'm a bit ashamed I lived in a home where part of the yard looked like this:

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The first thing we got was a new wall, and some new more 'neutral' awful fiberglass. Our neighbor insisted on the fiberglass, and I have always disliked it. My husband worked hard at clearing out the weeds and he also rototilled the entire area.

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After this we added our own lattice to cover up the fiberglass. My daughter and I painted the lattice and the nearby fence. Actually, I did most of it. It's when our daughter was in a law enforcement academy, so I got up and started painting the fence at six o'clock in the morning. I did that in honor of her dedication to the academy!
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Then we added some plantings along the back fence (photina), some climbing roses along the lattice, and a magnolia tree.
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About a year later our future son-in-law helped us plant sod:

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Here's a close-up of the climbing roses and crape myrtle we planted almost three years ago. We took this one last summer, and now they're looking almost overgrown:

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Here's the area and how it looked last summer. It makes me yearn for relaxing summer months when I look at this photo:
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That's our before and after story of our little corner of the yard. Somedays I feel as if my wheels spin and I get nothing done. Seeing these photos helps me see that we actually do accomplish a few things around here!

I hope your week is going great. Thanks for all your comments and words of encouragement!

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