A Stitch in Time*

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Adding Garden Elements and Disorganized Floss

I decided that instead of stitching and deciding upon the final house I would instead add some garden elements around this lonely house:

Sampler~ 7th House Finished

For a better look, it's the one in the middle row, on the far right:
House and Garden Sampler WIP

Doesn't it look bare around it?

So I sat down and pulled out lots of books and patterns, and came up with this:

Plan- Sort of

I've added a fence, some flowers, a dog, a cat, and several trees. Most of the elements came from this June's Just Cross Stitch Magazine, but I had to scale it down considerably. I changed the flowers to fit the design, and I also added a few small trees, too.

Here's another view of the entire plan. As you can see I've haphazardly taped together the different large sheets of paper, which is my usual style:
Plan- Sort of

Next comes the hard part. What do I do about thread colors? I tend to only slightly change from the designer's colors, but either way it's hard to find threads in my very disorganized storage of floss. I'm amazed at how organized some people are, and I wish I were one of them. Anyway, I've been collecting these threads for over 25 years so it really gets to be a pain to find colors. Yes, I should get them all neat and perfect, but I just don't want to take the time to do that.

One summer when time was long I even bought those little preprinted labels for my floss cards. I didn't manage to do all my thread, just a small portion. Sadly, today I found that some of the labels CAME OFF of the floss cards so that left me with floss cards without numbers! That's not something any stitcher wants to find, ever.

So I trudged along, looking for colors. I also have a DMC color card that I love and use for each of these 'design' sessions. Here are the threads boxes I had to look through to find the colors I needed:

Embroidery Floss

In the far upper left corner is my Summer Queen box. You can see the box I have for Fruit Bellpull, too, in the front center area, to the left of the baggies. At the right bottom corner is my box for this sampler.

Here it is, up close. I'm sure you'll see I don't have all the threads properly organized. It just takes too much time.

House and Garden Sampler Thread Box

The label is nice, isn't it? My husband bought a much longed for label maker, and he made me up a cool one for the box.

Here's a peek inside the box:

House and Garden Sampler Thread Box

Some of the floss colors are missing. They're resting on my sampler as part of the latest 'floss toss' for the elements I'll be adding soon.

Here is the 'floss toss':
House and Garden Sampler Floss Toss

The blue is for a flower, as are the golden colors. The dog and cat will be brown and almost black, and the fence will be a little darker than off white. The leaves and trees will of course be green.

I'm excited to get started on some elements in this design besides houses.

Thanks for stopping by today, and thanks for all your comments as I continue working on this sampler.


Labels: ,

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

House and Garden Sampler Update

Last time I posted a photo of my sampler, here was how it looked:
House and Garden Sampler WIP

I've been working on it some more lately. My last update was just two and a half weeks ago, so really that's not too bad, is it? Here are my latest photos:
House and Garden Sampler WIP

I made up the roses around the gray house as I went, using the other house's rose embellishment as a sort of 'guide'. I went in a different direction with the stems and leaves. For color on the red roses I used a DMC Color Variations skein I had here at home.
House and Garden Sampler WIP


Newest House on House and Garden Sampler WIP

It was great fun finishing up the ninth house!

Thanks for all your kind comments regarding my new banner. Glad you like it!

Happy stitching, everyone!

Labels: , , ,

Monday, September 22, 2008

Distracting Myself With A New Creative Outlet

Recently I read about the joy of distraction. I think I have that joy down pat, thank you very much!

Anyway, tonight I found a great tool/toy on the computer--some photo program. I've been trying to redo the banner here, to make it look more 'original'. I should be doing a million other things rather than idling away time here, but I found the new photo tool/toy to be so much fun!

In the end I came up with this banner up at the top. What do you think of it? I figured the banner included stitching, and the effect of it reminds me of time---spinning away, I guess? Or spinning steadily towards a goal? Take your choice, of course!

Ah, the joys of dawdling.

In stitching news, I finished the ninth house on the house and garden sampler yesterday. I just need to finish the tree I started that's right next to the house. I'll post a progress photo soon!

Thanks for stopping by today. Please let me know what you think of my new banner.

Labels: , ,

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Night

Backyard Flower

Thanks for your comments on the last post. Susan, I promise to post another recipe from "Dishes Men Like" sometime soon. Take a peek at Noodle Goulash in the sidebar if you want to see one of them.

This is one of those Friday evenings that I can only say I'm so grateful it's Friday, and that tomorrow I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn.

No stitching done yet, but I'm sure to get to some soon.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Book of Cookies~ Now That's My Kind of Book!

Last spring I walked into my workplace's employee lounge and came upon a true treasure. It was a large box of old cookbooks that were published from the forties through about the early seventies. On the side of the box were some letters crudely printed that said, "FREE". Someone must have cleaned out some elderly person's kitchen, and then simply didn't want any of these charming cookbook treasures. I never did find out who brought in the box, but nonetheless I looked through it and found many books to take home. One I snatched up was "Dishes Men Like". Under the title it says, "Easy to prepare, sure to please."
Dishes Men Like
It was published in the fifties, when homemaking and cooking skills were things that were valued far more than they seem to be today. Okay, I'm not saying we should necessarily go back to the fifties, but on the other hand it makes me cringe when I hear grown women with whom I'm acquainted say they don't know how to cook anything at all. Their children seem to be living on fast food and restaurant fare, exclusively. That's a whole different issue, and it's far more controversial than anything I should be talking about on my little stitching and home blog. I consider myself a harmless fluffball, and I need to keep it that way.

I posted a recipe from "Dishes Men Like" back here in April. The recipe was called "Thirty Minute Noodle Goolash", and you can get the recipe if you click on it in the sidebar.

Another book I selected was "Book of Cookies". Here it is:
Book of Cookies

I love the charming vintage title font, and also the cute illustrations that are inside of the book. It was published in 1958 and the recipes are from the editors of Good Housekeeping magazine. Today I wanted to share a recipe from that book, so here you have "Blonde Brownies".

Blond Brownies

2 2/3 cups sifted flour
2 1/2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter or margerine
2 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1 cup chopped nuts
1 6-oz pkg. semisweet chocolate pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 15 1/2 X 10 1.2 X 1 " pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt. In a large saucepan, melt the butter; stir in brown sugar; cool ten minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour mixture, nuts, chocolate pieces until well blended. Spread in pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center springs back lightly when touched. Cool; cut into two inch squares. Makes about 3 dozen.

These are so yummy, and I hope you enjoy them.


I wish I had some stitching news to share, but I haven't had a chance to stitch yet this week. Maybe soon!

Thanks for stopping by here.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Watch Like A Hawk...

Hawk near our Back Fence

Above is a photo my husband took of a hawk that was watching all the birds in our yard. In the photo the hawk is sitting on the peak of the neighbor's detached garage that's right beyond our back fence. One day we sadly saw a hawk take off with a little bird that was hiding in our large hedge in the yard.

We live right smack dab in the middle of a fairly large city, so I'm surprised a hawk was visiting our little neighborhood. The closest uninhabited foothills are miles away, but I guess they fly for miles to find their prey.

Tomorrow is Friday! Now that's something to celebrate.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Stitching Update~ At Last

I haven't posted a stitching update since early June. That was three months ago!

Last time I posted a picture, here's what my sampler looked like, more or less:

House and Garden Sampler WIP

I added the house in the bottom middle portion:

House and Garden Sampler Progress
House and Garden Sampler WIP

Now here are some views of the latest house I'm adding:
Latest House on House and Garden Sampler WIP

House and Garden Sampler WIP

A view of the entire sampler, without garden elements that will be added at a later time:
House and Garden Sampler WIP

The sampler is about 20 inches by 20 inches.

I still haven't stitched in about a month, but hope to get some stitching in sometime soon.

Thanks for stopping by here today!

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Visitor

We have a new visitor in our backyard:

Mystery Bird on Feeder

What kind of bird is this?

It just showed up on Monday, and I think it's a yellow parakeet. I've seen him back each day since then.


On the stitching front, there is no progress on anything. I haven't stitched in about a month. Someday soon.

Thanks for visiting here!


Monday, September 1, 2008


My father passed away last Wednesday from Alzheimer's Disease. He turned 79 three days before he passed away, and on his birthday nine of us were with him and he looked at all of us intently that day. That was the last day I saw him where it appeared he was aware of things that were going on around him.

We deeply mourn him, but I know he's in a better place now and is at peace. He suffered so much in the past few months, and actually years.

There are a million things to say about him, but the best thing I can say is we loved each other lot, we understood each other very well, and he will always be with me. He taught me so much! I thank God for his life, and for the years we had with him.

Here's a photo of my dad and I dancing on my wedding day--almost 27 years ago. He was a fantastic dancer, and taught me how to do the swing dances from the 40's and

Posted by Picasa

Finally, a poem we had printed in his memorial folder:

The Next Place

The next place that I go
Will be as peaceful and familiar
As a sleepy summer Sunday
And a sweet, untroubled mind.

Once I read these words:
"Grief is the price we pay for love."
Such true words, indeed.