A Stitch in Time*

Sunday, April 27, 2008

House Progress

It has been a very busy weekend, but this evening I had a small block of time to work on my sampler. Here is the latest photo of the sampler:
House and Garden Sampler WIP

I have threads hanging off the house I'm doing right now. Since it's my version of our actual home, I'm doing some of the stitching as I go without planning the stitches much at all. Thus you see the threads hanging off!

Here's another photo:House and Garden Sampler WIP

I wanted to take a close-up of the latest house, but the batteries on my camera didn't cooperate. Instead I cropped one so you could see my version of the peach and yellow roses to the left of our door, and the blue/lavender hydrangea to the right of our door, under the window. I used Color Variations by DMC for those flowers:
House and Garden Sampler WIP

Now I have just a window and a small bit of the right side of the house remaining. I'll stitch a tiny version of our six rose bushes in that planter, too. I think I'll use variations for the roses.

We planted the roses a few years ago, and they mean a lot to us. (after removing dreadful shrubs planted in the 1950s)Here's a photo of those awful shrubs that were soon to be removed:

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Here are the roses that replaced the junipers. We did this yard project four years ago, so the roses are now just four years old: First, from last summer:
Roses in Bloom

This photo is from this spring--the first roses of spring, in fact:

First Roses of Spring

Roses after planter Redo

Thanks for visiting here today, and thanks for your comments! I love hearing from you.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Adding A Pattern of Our House

When I last posted a stitching update here on my House and Garden Sampler, here's how it looked:

House and Garden Sampler WIP
I didn't finish the previous house in the top right corner before going onto the next house. Here's that house now, and as you can see I've almost finished it!

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I just need to do a bit of backstitching, and finish the tree.

I decided to do as I originally planned, and I'm adding my own 'rough' rendition of our house. Here's my little drawing of our home:

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Keep in mind that it's just a semi-accurate portrayal of our home!

Finally, here's what I've stitched so far on the sampler view of our own home. I have decided to make the tree much smaller than it actually is. I've also left out the detached garage.
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A close-up of the newest house: (One can barely see the white gate to the left of the house, and only a bit of gray stucco shows from under that large tree. The black represents our house's shutters.)

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I have also been looking around the internet a lot lately at other similar samplers. There are so many beautiful ones out there! I will be adding a lot more elements to this sampler as at this point it is rather plain and a bit lackluster.


I would like you to look at a photo my husband took of the sky the other night. It was so beautiful outside, and the full moon shone so brightly. I love it when the moon is full.

Full Moon in April

Last of all, I want to share a photo of a sunset that was taken from our backyard. I played a bit with the colors on a photo program, so it's more intense than it actually was when it was taken:


This morning before I went to work I got a photo of a new bird in our backyard, but that will have to wait for another day.

Thanks so much for reading my blog, and thanks for your comments. Your words mean a lot to me!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Easy to Prepare...Sure to Please

Dishes Men Like

"Easy to prepare, sure to please." Thus reads the words on the cover of this little cookbook. I've made two dishes from this book so far, and they've both been big hits.

The book was published in 1952. Times sure have changed, haven't they? I made the recipe below last week for seven of us in my extended family and everyone really enjoyed it!

Sampler Stitcher requested that I post this recipe, so here it is:

30 Minute Noodle Goulash

3/4 lb ground beef
1 Tbsp hot fat (I skipped this completely.)
2 small onions, minced
2 cups diced celery
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
Drained, hot cooked noodles (6 ozs dry- I used wide egg noodles.)
2 cups cooked canned tomatoes
3/4 cup shredded cheese
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt (I also skipped this completely.)

Cook meat in fat until browned, add onion, celery, and worcestershire sauce. Gently mix in the noodles and the rest of the ingredients. Simmer 30 minutes or bake in buttered 2-quart casserole in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Enjoy!

I love these tasty casseroles as we ate them a lot when I was a kid. I hope you enjoy this recipe, too.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Some Wedding Memories - One Year Later

Mom's Tussie Mussie and Bride's Bouquet
I can't believe that already one year has passed since our daughter got married! Above is one of my favorite flower pictures of the day, taken by my niece. It's a photo of the tussie mussie I carried that day along with a bit of our daughter and her beautiful bouquet. The day was so gorgeous, and the wedding holds many memories I'll treasure forever. Happy Anniversary to a great young couple!

A few more photos of the day:

The Bride
The Bride and Bridesmaids
The Bride on the Stairway
Garden Wedding

Bride and Groom
Bride and Groom
Wedding Cake
In Front of Thatcher Manor
Bride and Groom

Hope your week is going well, and thanks for visiting!


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Stitching Stash and an Updated WIP Photo

I went to class today and turned in that huge project I've been working on for the past six months. I had it bound and printed on Thursday (107 pages!), and the final product passed inspection by my professor. Hurrah! Now I just have to take some more classes, and then I'll be done with this program. I wish I'd have done this a few years ago, but that's just the way it is.

After class I was in the general vicinity of a stitching store, so I decided to stop in and check things out. It's located about 20 miles from my home, so I don't get the chance to go there as often as I'd like to go.

Since I was so happy for having finished my big project, I decided to reward myself. I bought a few patterns for my House and Garden Sampler! Up until now I'd only used patterns I had at home in my very large assortment of old magazines and stitching books. I found several I thought could be useful for my sampler. I'll have to draw these onto the graph paper when I get to the next house in my sampler. First of all, I bought this first one as I liked how the trees and hills looked. I also like the borders on these patterns:

There's No Place Like Home! by Sandra Cozzalino

I liked this pattern for the house in the top right corner, although the smaller house looks good as well:

The Prairie Schooler Farm Fresh

Finally, I bought this pattern for the small-sized houses and use of birds. I will try to incorporate those into the design, too. Here it is:

The Prairie Schooler Birdsong II

Here's the previous progress photo I took of my House and Garden Sampler. I took it back in March, so I've done a little bit since then.

In March:
House and Garden Sampler WIP

Taken today:
House and Garden Sampler WIP

A closer look at the new house:
Fifth House on Sampler

And one more of the top two houses:
House and Garden Sampler WIP

Just for laughs, here's another look at that rough graph paper layout I did back in October. I think I'm going to change the house in the upper right corner (A version of our house) to a different one. I'm also going to add more houses on the bottom of the piece. There will be ten houses all together, I think. Here's that graph:
Plan-Sort of

I'll have to stitch on it later on tonight!


Tomorrow we are removing some huge, overgrown shrubs from our backyard's far corner. We've lived here for 18 years, but this corner has been awful for ages. I guess I should take some "before" pictures, shouldn't I? Truly I'm ashamed of how bad this corner looks, really.

On a better note, here's a smoke bush (cotinus) that we planted several years ago. Our daughter picked it out as she'd so admired this particular plant at a beautiful gardening center in a different county. It was hard to find one, but we managed to hunt one down and get it planted. I took the photo the other day as I love the purple color of the leaves. It's a decidious shrub, so it's amazing to watch its daily progress in growth and color.

Smoke Bush (Cotinus)~ Growing in Spring!

Here's how it looks when it blooms later on in the early summer through fall. The blooms are supposed to look like smoke, hence the name:
Smoke Bush~ Cotinus

It's time to relax some now and celebrate the finish of that huge school project. It's hard to express how elated I am that it's done. Having something like that in your 'to do' list is really a bit much at times.

Thanks for reading my blog,and thanks for your kind comments. I really appreciate your kindness and warmth.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Wonderful Apple Torte

Hope you like the new look of the blog. I'm off this week, so after I took my parents home yesterday I've spent far too much time here playing with the colors and pictures!

On Tuesday my niece Windy and her daughter came over in the afternoon. Anyway, my parents stayed here a few days earlier this week, so of course they wanted to see their great-grandaughter Hannah...and her parents, too! My niece's husband joined us too after he worked all day.

I cooked meals both nights my parents were here from an old cookbook published in 1952. It is called Recipes that Men Like and it was published by a worchestershire sauce company. I love vintage cookbooks, and earlier this ysear I grabbed up a bunch of them where I work. Someone was just giving them away, so those of us at my workplace that enjoy cooking and baking grabbed them up in a flash! One of the little booklets I picked up was published back in 1937. Isn't that amazing?

On Monday night I cooked Beef Stroganoff, and it was quite delicious. When my niece and her family joined us on Tuesday I made something called "Noodle Goulash". It was a typical 1950s casserole with beef, noodles, cheese, and tomatoes. Everyone seemed to like it, so we'll make it again!

Now on to the good stuff...my niece brought over a fantastic apple torte she'd baked up the night before. Here is the recipe if you'd like to prepare it. It's one of the best desserts I've ever tasted!

Apple Torte with Crumb Topping

Crumb Topping
1/4 c flour
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 c sugar
1/4 c butter or margarine, softened
4 tsp water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour

1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 8 oz block fat free crm cheese
1 large egg
4 c diced peeled gala apples (1 1/2 lbs)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450

To prepare the crust beat the first 4 ingredients with a mixer at med speed until mixed. Add the flour to the sugar mixture and beat at med-low speed until well blended. Press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan that is well coated with cooking spray.

To prepare filling, beat 1/4 c sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, cream cheese, and egg at low speed until smooth. Pour cream cheese mix into crust. Combine apple, 1/2 c sugar, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon in a bowl. Spread apple mixture evenly over cream cheese.

To prepare crumb topping, combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter with 2 knives until it resembles coarse meal. Cover apples with crumb topping.

Bake 450 for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 400. Do not remove torte from oven. Bake an additional 25 minutes or until lightly browned and just set.

Eddie Enjoying the Spring Weather as He Eyes the Torte

I hope you have a wonderful day. Thanks for stopping by here.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008


It's amazing how fast the week goes when you are off work!

It's been a busy week, and I haven't stitched the entire time. No, wait, I did stitch a bit on Monday evening for about 1/2 hour. I haven't posted a progress picture lately as there really hasn't been much change since last time I posted a picture.

Just as I was going to stitch tonight my professor for that project I'm doing called me, and thus my stitching plans were out the window. I ended up edited that 107 page long project, and reprinting the whole thing. I will be so, so glad when this thing is completely done.

I wanted to share a few more yard photos. First of all, about a week ago I noticed a very odd bird at one of our backyard feeders. I'd never seen one like it before, ever! He looked so different than the usual assortment of sparrows at our feeder, and he was much larger. Yesterday morning he returned, and here is his photo:
Black-headed Grosbeak

Another blurry view, so you can see the pattern on its side:
Black-headed Grosbeak

Through some internet and book 'research' I found out that he's a Black-headed Grosbeak, and he winters in Mexico and returns to this area in the summer. I sure hope I see him again!

Tonight after our overnight company went home we sat outside on our deck and enjoyed some reading while sipping on a cool soda. We were amazed that this brave mourning dove ate within about three feet of our ottomans:
Mourning Dove

My husband went inside to get more soda, and look what showed up on the telephone pole near our back fence:
Acorn Woodpecker
Yes, it's an Acorn Woodpecker! I've heard him in the morning, but I've never before seen his bright red cap. Actually I must say that I've never seen him before at all, I've only heard him.

A few minutes later, we saw this hummingbird enjoying our orange clock vine that's now blooming:
Hummingbird on Clock Vine

Finally, here's a few of our backyard plants that make me smile. I love seeing the yard come alive with color in the spring!

These are the geraniums we planted in pots on Sunday to help celebrate the near completion of that huge school project that's bogging me down:
Geraniums, Etc.

Another view of some of our potted plants from the corner yard:
Backyard Plants

And finally, here's the first lilac bloom on a shrub we planted just over a year ago. It's amazing to see a lilac in our yard, as they're not that common where we live. My husband is from the midwest and grew up with these wonderful purple springtime blossoms:

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for your comments.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

The First Friday In April

I'm glad it's here. Friday, and especially this Friday.

Next week is my spring break! Hurrah!!!

I have my huge graduate school project (rough draft) due this upcoming Monday, so that will again be my main focus for the next few days. I'll need to mail it off on Monday, so I have a lot of work and a lot of trips to the copy store this weekend.

On a spring note, please check out this bluejay that was in our backyard:
Bluejay Perched on the Telephone Pole

And finally, here are some fun pansies that are near our porch. I've always loved how a pansy's petals look like velvet cloth. Our son-in-law planted these in December, and they're still looking pretty good:


Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for your comments. Enjoy your day!

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