Weekend Ways

This weekend we are headed to Laughlin for my baby brother's wedding.

He's 9 years younger than I am, so even though he's 6' tall he's still my "baby" brother.

For the ceremony, my future-SIL has asked my children be involved. DD is an attendant (though not wearing the same bridesmaid dress....she's not *quite* old enough for that particular strapless style, thankyouverymuch) and DS is the ringbearer. We picked up his tuxedo last night (note the lovely photogenic smile):

As I won't be here tomorrow, and the Friday Forum is topical, I'm tempting fate and posting it early...

1) What are your plans for this upcoming weekend? Do you usually schedule your weekend activities in advance, or are you pretty spontaneous and do whatever you feel like at the time?

As noted above, we're off to Laughlin. The only "scheduled" activity is the ceremony early Saturday afternoon and dinner afterward, everything else will be whatever we feel like at the time...

We try not to over-schedule our weekends. DH and I will both have a list of things we want to accomplish, but there's rarely a true time/date attached to each item (unless it involves other people, etc.)

2) What would be your ideal weekend, if you could choose to do anything that you wanted to do? Where would you spend it, and why?What would you do? Who would you spend it with (or would you choose to be alone)?

My perfect weekend would be somewhere quiet and relaxing with lots of time for reading, stitching and watching the grass grow. Maybe a movie or two but the important part would be no *set* schedule. Wouldn't have to be anywhere at a certain time - now *that's* a great weekend.

DH can come along, too ;)

3) What was one of the best weekends of your life? How about the worst? Why? What happened?

Best - the first weekend DH came to Arizona (well, he wasn't "H" then, only "D"). A long Memorial day weekend that was over way too quickly, but felt like we'd known each other forever....

Worst - I don't think I've ever had a "worst" weekend. Some with more bad than good, of course, but if it's the weekend and I'm not working, it can't be all bad....

4) Are you pretty social with others during the weekend (i.e., getting together with friends and family, going out, attending parties), or do you tend to stay around home most weekends?

Definite stay-at-home folks. The best weekend is one I don't have to leave the house....

5) Do you ever tackle weekend projects around the house? Like what? Do you have to work on the weekends?

We don't discriminate on our house projects. Weekend, week, whenever we want! No working on the weekends for me....unless it is unavoidable (callout, upgrades, etc)

Enjoy your weekend, folks!


Egyptian Garden - The Beginning

Last night I planned to start Chatelaine's Egyptian Garden. A design I've been drooling over for weeks and weeks and slowly gathering materials for from all over the US.

I had placed a fat half of white Belfast in my two-gallon Ziploc bag along with all the other bits and pieces as they arrived. The piece is approximately 19" square on 32-ct fabric.

After a slight delay last night due to a couple chapters of Lego Star Wars with DD, I was ready to organize my kit, cut fabric and get going! I'd already decided on a corner start rather than diving into the pool (and the over-1 fish) in the center, and as the fabric would be *square* finding the starting spot in the upper left corner shouldn't be too much of a challenge....

It's 9:00. I pull out the kit and carefully take apart the bead pack. I noticed quite a few strays in the bag and an empty container, so I'm thinking the two need simply be reunited, right? Not quite. After carefully sorting out all the bead containers, I find the empty one is sealed tight and another is cracked open. The stray beads match the open container...and the color listed on the empty one is different.

Bother. But I bead at the end, so definitely not an issue *now*, I'll concede this minor frustration....and contact the vendor.

**Note: the beads were indeed shipped with one color missing...it's on backorder. Of course, now that they reminded me, I seem to recall an email on that buried in my inbox at home...

Egyptian Garden: 1
Annette: 0

Next, fabric cutting. I double-check the dimensions on my printed chart pages and pick up measuring tape and scissors and prepare to cut. I measure...I cut...how thrilling! I'm moments from my first stitch!

After studying the chart, I decide to begin with a stretch of metallic in the upper left and take a bit of thread to mark the true corner (there's a bead to be put there). Measure 4" from each edge...and then I start thinking....about the size of the fabric I cut...

Design is 19" square.

I want a 4" border.

So, how large did I cut the fabric? 24" square

Yup, too small. This leaves me a 2" border on all sides. I measure a 2" border on the fabric and look at it in relation to the overall size of the piece. No way. There's just not enough room to stretch and mount a 19" square design! Yes, I know about the muslin trick....and if this was a smaller piece or one I thought I'd have done in a year, then I'd go with it....but I know darn good and well this is a long-term WIP and part of that 4" border will be allocated to "wear"

Egyptian Garden: 2
Annette: 0

So back out to my box of "large cuts" of fabric to see what else I have. I want white, and I have plenty, so surely I'll have an alternative available, right?

First, out jumps a piece of 32-ct white Jobelan. That'll work! Too bad it's not wide enough (and truth be told, I bought the full yard originally for the Mira Queens, two of which have already been cut from it). Then, I find a yard of some suitable white evenweave and compare the counts. Yup, definitely bigger than 32-ct! At 28-ct, 28" square will leave me a 3" border....ok, that'll work. It'll be a 22" square design, but bigger is better, right? All the better to show off the beauty of the piece (and the over-1 will be a snap).

Again, I measure, I cut.....I mark the true upper left corner, I count down to the starting point and actually put in the first dozen half stitches! I'm on my way!

Maybe. Stitches look kinda big. Now, for the last 10 hours I've been doing 28-ct over-1, so anything over-2 is going to look huge to me....but these look *darn* huge.

I pull out the tape measure. ~13 stitches/inch. It's 25-ct fabric. And yes, folks, that means that once again, I've cut it too small.

Egyptian Garden: 3
Annette: 0

Now, don't get me wrong, 25-ct is great stuff. But a design that's 300+ stitches square? It would be a blanket by the time I was done! Back out to the fabric stash *praying* I have something that will work and won't have to order anything....and put off my start!

It's now 10:30, by the way. Getting later and the only thing I've managed to do is identify missing beads and cut fabric for two yet-to-be-known projects.

I have two new candidates for fabric and both are *clearly* labelled as 28-ct. I open up the white Lugana....ok, but looks kinda thin. I don't like thin. For something this size, "sturdy" would be good. The other piece is antique-white Jobelan. Ok, so white was my first choice, but a quick floss toss shows me antique-white is acceptable. Heck, the white floss will actually *show* in the little boat sails on antique-white.

I measure......I cut.....30" square this time! I want NO trouble! I mark the corner (at 4" in) and again, start my half-stitches (it's 11:00, bedtime on a *normal* night).

At 14, I pick up my measuring tape and hold my breath.....

A *perfect* inch!!!! Woohoo!!!

Egyptian Garden: 3
Annette: 1!!!

I managed all of 38 half-cross stitches before putting everything away and going to bed. I didn't even start the stopwatch, so there's a whole 10 hours still stretched in front of me.....

...and with the size of this design, I'm going to need it.


Weekend Review and a Double Helping of Brunch

Weekend in Review:

  • - Successfully shopped for final wedding clothing bits for DD (unmentionables) and DS (a tux! My little baby boy is going to wear a tux! Yes, there will be pictures.)

  • - Stitched latest JCS RR ornament on Saturday afternoon (quick!)

  • - Complete first 10 hours on my EL model. As it looks like a blue/purple blob, no picture this time....

  • - Finished the Pod Race level with DS in Lego Star Wars

  • - Greta went for her second grooming...and got new jewelry (a tag with name/phone numbers)

Now, for a double-helping of Sunday Brunch....


"It's funny how dogs and cats know the inside of folks better than other folks do, isn't it?" -Eleanor H. Porter

1) If you have pets, name what pets you have, ages, types, colors, and anything else that you want to describe about your pets. Post pictures if you have them!

Duchess Greta of Bandiscoot aka Greta is a 6.5 month old black Miniature Schnauzer. She has quickly become "ruler of the roost" and has DH absolutely wrapped around her little paw. She's a bundle of energy and very attached to her family (as we are to her). She's also addicted to peppermint LifeSavers....

We also have three fish in a lovely hexagon tank in the bathroom. One rainbowfish (Cramer) and two fantail guppies (nameless).

2) What is your dream pet? (That is, what animal would you own if money, state laws, space, allergies, were not an objection?)

I've always wanted a retired greyhound.

3) Are you a cat or dog person? Is your spouse a cat or dog person? If it is different, does it affect your relationship in any way?

I grew up with dogs and cats, but find that I prefer dogs and their more "dependent" relationship. Love cats....but if I have to choose, I'll take a dog any day. DH is definitely a dog person, though he's not "anti-cat" - we just have a different idea of how to keep a cat. (I say cats are indoor animals, he says they are outdoor animals....so no cat for us...)

4) Describe your first pet from childhood that your family owned. Post a picture if you have one.

The first pet I recall is a miniature poodle named Bambi. He was white with a bit of apricot on his back and ears and was great as long as someone was home. If he was left alone, he got really destructive (destroying *two* fiberglas garage doors within a short time when he was left alone...)

5) What is your favorite activity to do with your pets? Give a good funny story about something interesting your pets did, if you have one.

In the evening, Greta's energy level is the highest. She will tear around the house at the slightest instigation and we all enjoy playing with her at that time. It usually doesn't take much more than a "Grr" and a quick lunge to her to set her tearing off down the hall and into one of the bedrooms looking for the next family member, who mimics the same action and sends her on to the next person.... After about 20 minutes she jumps up on the couch and flops immobile for a good hour...

She's also good at playing with herself. She's got a red soft plastic ball and a large stuffed squeaky bone that are her favorite toys. Greta does her darnedest to play with both at the same time....she'll pick up the bone, squeak a time or two and shake it around, usually hitting the red ball which then goes rolling. She sees the ball trying to get away, drops the bone and pounces on the ball to keep it from escaping. Once she's got it in one place, she'll retrieve the bone and the whole process starts again.

On the wood floor in the entryway this can go on for a good 15-20 minutes as she slides around and the toys move easily....


"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast." -Oscar Wilde

1) Do you eat breakfast on a regular basis and why or why not?

Yes. If I don't eat *something* early in the day, I'm starving at lunchtime.

2) What is your typical everyday breakfast?

During the week it's usually something quick. A yogurt smoothie (the new "Light" Lucerne ones are quite tasty), cottage cheese and fruit from the cafeteria or, in desparation, a granola bar or Pop-Tart. On the weekend it can be anything from a bowl of cereal (if I've got Life, that's it) or a toasted bagel or the ultimate breakfast: leftover potato salad!

3) How do you eat your eggs?

Over-easy with crispy hashbrowns, mixed together. I also like poached eggs on toast or heck, just scrambled.

My DH doesn't eat eggs (aka "liquid chickens") so if I want a good egg "breakfast" it's usually prepared on Thursday evening when he's off to school....and not around to comment.

4) What is your favorite restaurant to eat breakfast out at?

When I went to Riverside CATS a couple years ago, there was a wonderful little restaurant across the pedestrian mall. They did a *booming* business in the morning and we (Mom, Erin, Erin's DH and I) managed to make our way in one morning for breakfast. They had the tastiest french toast and apple-smoked bacon...oh my...heaven, pure heaven!

Closer to home, IHOP isn't a bad choice for french toast....or the local 5 & Diner for eggs/hashbrowns/toast.

5) Describe your perfect breakfast in detail.

French toast with butter and maple syrup and a side of crispy bacon or medium-spicy sausage (patties or links...doesn't matter). Well, as this is the 'perfect' breakfast....make it both!


The Mail Bag

The mailman delivered a recent Barnes & Noble order yesterday...

Face the Fire by Nora Roberts

Third in the Three Sisters trilogy. As I just finished #2 (Heaven and Earth) earlier this week, it was time to get the final chapter...

Ill Wind by Rachel Caine

A new author for me, but the whole concept is *very* intriguing!

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

I love Laurell Hamilton and Charlaine Harris, so this just seemed a natural next author to try out. Lots of good comments on the Stitching Readers BB helped move it up the Wish List.

At Knit's End by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

If you read her blog, you know Stephanie is a knitter with a keen wit! While there are a number of knitting tips and references (ok, I'm only in the beginning of the book, I admit), *anyone* with a stitching stash of *any* kind can relate to some of her observations!

The email Inbox has yielded this week's Friday Forum

1) Do you have any purple clothes in your closet? If so, what items are they? Do you enjoy wearing the color purple (or shades of it)?

Oh my yes. I have shirts, pants, dresses (which don't get worn), socks and yes, even purple underwear. I love wearing purple...especially a rich royal purple.

2) Do you like the color purple in general? Why/why not? What does the color purple mean to you (i.e., how would you describe purple and its connotations)? How does the color make you feel?

It's my favorite color, I'm proud to say! It picks up my mood when I wear it (and I've been known to pull out a purple shirt when I'm not feeling my best to help lift my spirits). I consider purple a color of joy and contentment...

3) Name some purple objects that are surrounding you right now (if any).

I have my purple version of TW's Futurecast (aka Finian), finished with some deep purple fabric. I have a Ty Beanie Baby named Legend - a purple dragon. There are purple pens and highlighters here on my desk as well.

There's even more stuff at home..this is just at work.

4) Have you ever eaten any purple foods or had any purple drinks (or would you)? Why/why not?

Other than purple-colored cake decorations.....not that I recall....

5) Would you decorate any part of your home with purple? Why/why not?

Considering that I have a purple comforter on my bed right now, I'd have to say..."yes"

Enjoy the weekend!


Meme Day!

First, a clarification: In the "Burbank Report" I mentioned Marc Saastad gave the best hugs....in truth, he is second to my spouse. Please make a note of it....(ok, dear?)

Ok, time to catch up on a few recent memes...

First, last week's Friday Forum

What was the last ...

1) ... gift that someone gave you? Was it for a special occasion or just out of the blue? What's the last gift that you have given to someone else, and why? Did they like it?

When I returned from Burbank on Saturday, a wondering envelope was waiting with the recent TW/BS/DD Legends release "Sewing the Seeds" chart. It was the only true stash I received for my birthday and I love it!

The last gift I gave....hmmm...must be my daughter's 15th birthday gifts. Phantom of the Opera CD, three new charms for her italian charm bracelet and a new watch with "swappable" bands. She was pleased.

2) ... time that you took a walk? Where did you go? Did you walk with someone or go alone? Did you see anything interesting along the way? Do you enjoy walking as a form of exercise?

Oh my. DH and I used to go to a local track to walk of an evening (as exercise). It's been months...we really should start again....

3) ... thing that you thought of before going to bed last night? Why was it on your mind? Did you sleep well last night? Did you have any dreams?

The last thing I think of....usually what I've got on the agenda for the next day and what time I have to get up. I knew today would be fairly light, so that made for a restful night. I'm sure I had dreams...but not vivid enough to recall.

4) ... day of high school like for you? What were your feelings on that day? Do you still keep in touch with any high school friends?

In all honesty...I do not recall! Too long ago...20+ years.

5) ... phone call you made? To whom, and how long did you talk? Are you on the phone often? How many phones do you have at home?

As of this moment, the last call was to a local petshop to arrange for grooming for Miss Greta this weekend and took all of 3 minutes to arrange. I'm not on the phone much, prefering to make calls when needed, not "just to talk." Since we cut our "home phone" off, we're down to three cel phones at home only....DH, DD and myself. If/when DS starts getting calls, I'm sure we'll just get him one, too!

Next, a few Stitching Blogger's Questions:


Have you ever been asked to do model stitching?
Did you do it? If so, what was your compensation? (money, stash, etc.) If not, why not?
If you haven't done it, if you were asked would you? Why or why not?

Well, good timing as I'll probably start a model this evening. It'll be the first one in a loooong time. I did stitch several models back in the early 90's but when I kept getting designs I had *zero* desire to stitch, I quit! Now I'll offer those services to only a select few designers as I don't want to spend more of my time stitching for others than I do for myself.

The model I'm starting tonight will eventually come back to me. The designer is supplying all materials...and I will have the finished piece back after it travels around for a few months.


Do you "stitch with the seasons?" (This could be reflected by the colors that you stitch with, the themes that you choose, or even that during your favorite season you stitch more (or less) than in others.)

Other than feeling the urge to stitch Christmas ornaments around Christmas and Halloween pieces in Sept/Oct, I wouldn't say there's much of a pattern. I do love winter-themed charts, though, and cool colors.


What is your next specialty stitch?

Whatever I run across on a WIP!


How has your stitching evolved since you first started stitching?

Yes and no. One of the very first charts I ever bought was TW's Fantasy Sampler. I still love it and continue to acquire *all* of TW's releases (I've got all but one "generally" released chart - Mimi and about 75% of the magazine-released charts). My tastes have expanded and gotten a bit more eclectic as I run across new designs and designers. Hardanger, drawn thread, blackwork....all are now represented in my copious stash.

I "visit" my first real cross-stitch piece now and then (my Granny has it) and I've taken a close look at it. My stitches all went the same way and the same way they do now....I did use a hoop then and prefer in-hand now so that's different. It was stitched on aida....and I rarely use aida fabric now, another change.


What a Great Weekend!

Yes, I had a fantastic time at Burbank CATS this past weekend! It was a *very* small show with a mere 21 vendors (the smallest I've ever seen) but some of my very favorite folks were there and since the crowds weren't constant, I had plenty of opportunities to chat with them on Friday and Saturday morning. I suppose I'll do this chronologically as there really is a bunch to cover...

Thursday night - I did manage to leave work on time and after a quick bank stop made it home in plenty of time to finish off some packing, kiss the spouse goodbye and be ready when Mom arrived to pick me up. The airport was not busy at all, so we sailed thru security and waited patiently for the flight. The only interesting thing about the 1 hr 7 minute flight? I got a *full* can of Coke when Mom told the flight attendant it was my birthday....LOL

The airport shuttle was waiting on us when we emerged from the Burbank airport, but we could have literally *walked* to the hotel as it was just across the street! Checked in at almost 10pm, found our room, a nice comfy bed (pillowtop...ahhh...), four soft pillows and after minimal unpacking, we both went to sleep.

Friday - As neither Mom nor I expected to attend any of the shows this year, we didn't renew our membership and couldn't enter the Shopping Mart until 10. No problem...we simply went downstairs around 8:30 to have a nice leisurely breakfast in the one and only restaurant in the hotel.

Shortly before 10 we headed over to the Mart, stopping to review the "Little Bit O' Classes" schedule at the tables in the lobby (I talked with one of the CATS folks and told them I would forever refer to them as "Make-It/Take-It" classes and if I did, I know others would, too...so they might reconsider changing the name to something less clunky). It was a *very* short list and only two areas for classes. The posted listing of all the pre-registration classes was also less than half of what I'd seen last year in Hershey and Santa Clara. Interestingly, though, I took only one class between the two shows last year, but even with the short list at Burbank, I still found one class (and it was reasonably priced at $58) that I wanted to take. Too bad it was on Thursday afternoon!

Anyway, we bought our tickets and precisely at 10 presented them to Nancy (the usual door guardian for those that attend these...LOL) to get our hand-stamped and a brochure. It was at this point I counted the number of vendors and was just amazed at the small number. I then started looking for my favorites and to my surprise found Marc Saastad (The Silver Lining) listed! Of the "Top Four" on my list to visit, his was the closest to the door, so I made a beeline to get my hug and see what was new with him.

He greeted me with a hug (he gives the best, absolutely!) We chatted. He showed me pictures of his recent trip to Rome (wow). He asked where my daughter was (she attended Santa Clara with me the last two years and that's usually where we see Marc). I picked up his single-bloom Carnation chart (free with tsunami-relief donation) and ooh'ed and aaah'ed over the models for recent releases (Lavendar Lilacs and Tours des Marques). It was great to see him...I had no idea he was going to be there!

After a good 20+ minutes, we wound around the corner and found #2 on my list, Terry Nolan from Dimples Designs. I hadn't seen Terry since Hershey in 2003 and it was just great to catch up and see his newest designs - The Secret Life of Snow (a series of snowflakes, the first four available at the show) and a couple compilations of individual Wee Beasties (a set of Bees and a set of Ladybugs) that make some hard-to-find designs easily available. We talked about *lots* of things...unfortunately many of which I can't spill quite yet ;) I'll just say that there will once again be a Dimples Designs website and I'll have some fairly intimate knowledge of the workings....

The last two stops on my "Top" list were right across the aisle from one another...Enchanting Lair (Laura Dickson is one of my favorite designer-people) and Picture this Plus fabrics. How conveeeeenient! More new things to see, more "life" stuff to catch up on (even though I'd seen Laura at Hershey last year) and just having a laugh or two with Laura. Mom did buy a couple charts and we talked fabric and threads as usual. I'm going to be stitching a model for Laura, so we made those arrangements (it's a design that's been out for awhile - we're trying a new "configuration" so to speak...I'm pretty sure I can post pictures, so ya'll will see how it comes along...)

So, at this point it's noon and I've not bought nothing (ok, I did get Marc's carnation but that's it). Time to actually *shop* seriously....

Here's what I ended up with:

FQ Crystal Mystic (Picture this Plus)
FE Shadow (Picture this Plus)
Funk and Weber "The Night before Christmas" (the Shadow fabric was bought for it)
Sweetheart Tree "Sleepy Santa" kit (this was their first retail show, I had to buy *something*)
2 ~FQ cream Glasgow 28-ct linen (destined for TW's 12 Days) - at $7.50 each, an absolute steal
Too Sisters Deco Echo, Mojave Mosaic, Peter's Puzzler and North by Loch Ness (New designer to me...love the geometrics)
Graceful Lily Needlework Courageous Ironwork (from the Skinner Sisters Booth - Mom bought it after I picked it up and put it down three times)
Dimples Designs *4* New Snowflakes (thus the Crystal Mystic fabric)
Dimples Designs True Heart Cockle - Burbank version (purple). He's doing a different color for each of the shows this year.

No, not a huge list, but remember, I only had two small carry-ons to cart anything home in (along with the things I had to bring...like clothes and toothbrush). We did take a short break to find a bit of something for lunch (Coke and bagel for me, Mom was thrilled that the Starbucks cart in the hotel lobby had a Pepsi stashed away to go with her croissant).

So after dropping all our finds in our room and still more visits to Terry and Laura, Mom and I headed to the Stitcher's Lounge to relax before going back to *the* restaurant for dinner. A half-dozen folks were in and out and we chatted about everything from the Hershey show (compared to Burbank...uhh..no comparison!) to a recent discovery: dark chocolate M&Ms which one of the gals was kind enough to provide samples of (oh my...were they tasty! They are also limited edition...so stock up if you find them!)

One of the ladies in the lounge was working on the project from the one class I had hoped to take...Yugoslavian Weaving I looked at the project and was even more intrigued so I went back over to the class area (it was just 5:00) as I had to pick up one item in the Mart for a certain wondering friend and the instructor had another class ending at 5:45. After a brief chat, I ran back to the CATS desk, signed up "post-mortem" for the class and the instructor not only brought me a kit right then, but offered a "5-minute lesson" to be sure I understood the directions :) (If anyone wants to sign up for a CATS class, but can't make it, the kit will automatically be mailed to you afterward...)

By 8 we were ready to walk across the lobby for dinner and one of the ladies we had been chatting with joined us for dinner and...you guessed it...more chatting. LOL.

We were on our way out about 9:30, but found Laura in the bar area along with some of the other vendors and CATS folks, so we stayed for a bit and laughed and just had a great time before finally retiring around 11ish.

Saturday - Breakfast at 8 with Terry and then back to the Mart for some final good-byes and to see if I could spot any of the BB'ers! I did see Laurel (and her gorgeous chessboard!) and Darla in the Mart for a bit and saw a couple others *briefly* out in the lobby while we were waiting for a ride back to the airport.

The rest was fairly routine...wait for plane, board plane, fly for an hour, get off plane, ride shuttle to car, pay to get car out of parking lot...and then home to the family.

The rest of the weekend was fairly quiet. I stitched on Autumn Queen, watched a couple movies and just kept that easy relaxed feeling I came home with.

I know, I'm late on Memes and promise to catch up soon....and then there's the books I've been reading...and a progress pic for Autumn Queen soon...

Watch This Space....

Full Burbank report in the works! I'm typing as fast as I can....


Happy Birthday to ME!

...and to my fellow Mafiosa414'ers: Suzemo and Terry. Let's all have a fantastic day!

So as it's my birthday, today I'm posting fun stuff only!

Found on a bRight friend's site.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know (and some stuff you probably didn't)

Favorite Soda: Coca-Cola Classic (especially with some vanilla added)

Favorite New CD: Monk Original Television Soundtrack (just got it last night from my wonderfully fantabulous DH!!! I LOVE it!)

Burger: Homemade: Sharp Cheddar, Miracle Whip, sweet pickles, tomatoes and lettuce on a toasted whole wheat bun

Favorite Ice Cream: Haagen Dazs Vanilla Swiss Almond

Favorite Coffee: Chocolate Macadamia (to smell only....drink? yuk!)

Store to Browse: Barnes & Noble (or any bookstore)

TV Show: The Amazing Race (if I can only pick one)

Snack: popcorn with parmesan, butter and garlic

I Can't Stand: Green beans and meatloaf! YUCK!

I Bet You Didn't Know: I've never been more than 20 miles outside of the US

Words To Live By: Live today, as you never know what tomorrow will bring...

I'm off to Burbank CATS for the weekend...full report next week!!!


Couple of fun quizzes....

Your Inner European is Italian!

Passionate and colorful.

You show the world what culture really is.

Ok, that I can see....

You Are 35% Normal

(Occasionally Normal)

You sure do march to your own beat...

But you're so weird, people wonder if it's a beat at all

You think on a totally different wavelength

And it's often a chore to get people to understand you

Yeah, that's pretty much what I thought....

Here's a fun one:

Annette's Aliases

Your movie star name: Popcorn Edgar

Your fashion designer name is Cheryl London

Your socialite name is Annie Paris

Your fly girl / guy name is C Wri

Your detective name is Tiger Cibola

Your barfly name is Mixed Nuts Cape Cod

Your soap opera name is Annette Willard

Your rock star name is Twix Jaguar

Your star wars name is Chegre Wricra

Your punk rock band name is The Happy Floss


Everybody Dance Now!

Yes, I was a dancin' fool this weekend thanks to finishing Joy and my beaded purse! And I now have pictures to prove it...

Joy by Monsterbubbles was stitched for my Brother's upcoming nuptials at the end of April (thus the "Established 4/30/2005") on 25-ct white Lugana in Crescent Colors (Cupid, Crab Cakes, Rosy Glow, Bewitched, Barrel Cactus, Zach Black and River Rocks). It's all 2-over-1 and approximately 8 x 10 (12 x 14 will be the final framed size). I chose a rust red lower mat and medium grey top mat with an antique silver frame.

My first beaded knitted purse! (Batteries are for size reference only). I did crochet the "strap" (a mix of plain chain and beaded chain) but otherwise used teeny-tiny (4/0, I believe is the term) needles, #8 perle cotton and sead beads for the purse itself. The hardest part? Finding a comfortable position to hold those tiny needles and thread!

Also, I picked up my framed Summer's Magic this weekend:

The hand is my DS who "claimed" this piece as his own when I was only half done! I'm *so* pleased with the colorful framing. I am blessed with fantastatic framers! (Art Crate in Mesa, AZ)

I've updated the sidebar over on the right there to show my new 5-slot rotation which I'm hoping to start on Wednesday (I'm finishing up this month's Bent Creek Snapper before diving in). I have listed the pieces in no particular order, just the expected number of hours for each. I've also included a section for my knitting projects, as they are getting more and more defined...


Poll Results (Take III)

I tried *three* times yesterday to make this post. Twice typed in the Blogger interface with disastrous results and off and on in this text editor...but for some reason there was all this *work* to do....

I'm hoping against hope the "third time is the charm" on this! I'll save the Friday Forum for this weekend....

Poll Results

In the "What to pick up next?" poll, Egyptian Garden is maintaining a *narrow* lead over "An older WIP" which I find very interesting! I had little doubt that EG would win, but had no idea that "old WIP" would make such a strong showing. I get the distinct impression that my readers want to see more of those current projects....I hear and obey!

In the "Next Focus Piece?" poll, Mirabilia's Autumn Queen is way out in front. Either DH is voting more than once, or, more likely, it's just a well-loved piece. I agree with you all...Autumn Queen is second only to Winter on my Queen listing.

Bearing the poll results and my own idiosyncracies in mind, I've come up with a 5-slot rotation (10 hours each) to get back to my projects (order is not set in stone):

Chatelaine Egyptian Garden
Mirabilia Autumn Queen (focus)
MH Honeybees/Chatelaine Quilt A&B
TW's Stroke of Midnight
Lynn Nicoletti Neptune/Poseidon (or VS HCS, I just can't decide)

The Mill Hill kit should be done within the first 10 hour slot. After that, the Quilt squares (6 to be done) will give me the "illusion" of finishing as I work thru each round. At 70 hours, it should be a snap to finish one round/month even with the usual ex-rotatio stitching that will come up. The Bent Creek Snap-Along and the Ornament RRs will be outside of the main rotation.

As "Joy" was completed last night I will commence the rotation after completing this weekend's BC April Snapper!

I'll post a pic this weekend before dropping the piece at the framer's....I put the final stitch in at 10:05 last night and by 10:15 I was dozing on the couch....

Knit News

I confess. I ordered more yarn and project supplies.

I was evilly enabled by a warm friend. She pointed me to Knit Picks and oh, my, the wonders I found....

On the way to me now: Sweet Tarts Stripes, Rocky Mountain Dusk and a book (well, and needles, too). When sharing with DH this week he asked if I would be knitting socks for *him* too....so I suppose I am forced to search for yet more "manly" colored sock yarn....oh the tragedy....

I suppose I need to make Friday night my regular Knit Knight, eh?


Joy Update....and Polls!

I am THISCLOSE to finishing Joy by Monserbubbles! I've only got one large flower left in the lower right corner, so Thursday night at the very latest it will be DONE!

So the question is then....what do I pick up next? I have two projects fully kitted and ready to go (YWH & RB) and one that's kitted enough I can start it (EG). And of course, I always have the 20+ other WIPs waiting semi-patiently....so what would *you* do?

What should I pick up next?
Egyptian Garden
You Were Hatched
Renaissance Bookmark
New? Pick up an old WIP!

Free polls from Pollhost.com

Also, with the completion of Joy, it's time to have a new "Focus" piece...the piece that gets the most attention and essentially lives *in* the house rather than out in the garage with the rest of my stash. I'm having a tough time deciding as I love (ok, and miss) all my various pieces. I will say that DH is pulling for Autumn Queen as he *reallllly* wants all the Mirabilia Seasonal Queens hanging in the living room ;)

Choose the next focus piece!
Mirabilia Autumn Queen
Chatelaine Quilt Mystery A & B
Lynn Nicoletti Neptune/Poseidon
Victoria Sampler Heirloom Christmas Sampler
Teresa Wentzler's Stroke of Midnight

Free polls from Pollhost.com


Bitten by a Large Bug

Yes, I admit. I've been bitten.

By the KnitBug.

The CrochetBug and I have co-existed together for years without trouble. Every now and then he'll nibble on my fingers and he's easily satisfied with the odd baby blanket or afghan. He used to only demand small doilies, but his appetite increased last year. Luckily there was a "baby boom" in my circle of friends so it was good timing. This year I'll have to get him back to doilies and the squares for the 63-Square Afghan, methinks. I've given him a taste of bead crochet, and that seems to agree with him as well, thankfully in small doses.

But the KnitBug is simply voracious. He is not happy with fuzzy scarfs made quickly from eyelash yarn. He is not satisfied with dishcloths (I've now done 4 and expanded my stitch repertoire nicely) and while the beaded purse kept him happy for awhile, he's now forcing me to eye new and significantly large projects.

Today, in fact I bought this yarn. Its intended use is a Booga bag from Black Sheep Bags. And, just as with a stitching "freebie" - the chart may be free, but the supplies aren't. I still have to buy needles.....oh yeah, my knitting needle collection has exploded in the last couple months and *way* beyond what is found at Michael's. The KnitBug prefers *wooden* needles, dontcha know.

But even that lovely bag will not satisfy him for long. He's got his eye on a much bigger prize: a Pi Shawl. This gorgeous piece of work is designed by Elizabeth Zimmerman and found in the Stitchers' Almanac (a recent eBay purchase, I admit). Of course, I've already got my eye on the yarn for the project: Knit Picks' Shimmer in Morning Mist. But is it for me? Thankfully, the KnitBug is not particular as to the ultimate recipient for the works....this is destined to be a Christmas gift (for DD, shhhhh). If I could just decide on needle size...but hopefully the pattern book will give me that info.

I refuse to knit sweaters (I live in the desert for crying out loud!) but I might have to break down and try socks eventually. I mean, who can resist when the yarn self-patterns?

It's Monday...so that means it's Meme Day!

Gotta catch up on a couple....

First Sunday Brunch

"In a country as big as the United States, you can find fifty examples of anything." -Jeffery F. Chamberlain

1) What state were you born in?


2) What state do you currently live in?


3) How many states have you been in? (and yes, driving through counts!)

24! The list is here.

4) If you had your choice regardless of cost, which of the 50 states would you choose to live in?

Oooo..that's a tough one. I think I'd like to live in them all for a little while.....

5) Which of the 50 states would you rather die than live in?

Every state has *some* redeeming area, so other than, say, anywhere with more than a few inches of snow in the dead of winter or greater than 110 in the heat of summer (terribly ironic given that I live in Arizona), I'm good!

Now for the Friday Forum

1) What's the best April Fool's Day prank that you've ever pulled on someone? Do you have any tricks up your sleeve for this April Fool's Day? Do you consider yourself a "jokester" who is always pulling pranks on others and clowning around?

No jokes for me...thanks.

Not that I don't enjoy a good joke. I do. I just draw a fairly fine line between "joking" and something more sinister. I do *not* enjoy others' pain or embarrassment.

2) Have you ever been the victim of an April Fool's Day prank? What was it, and when did it happen? Did you take it lightheartedly, or did you get really upset? Who tricked you?

I'm usually pretty good about spotting a April 1 prank, I mean, if you aren't aware of the calendar when someone say...announces they are buying a llama farm, for example...then you might want to open up your horizons a bit....

3) What's on your calendar for April? Any special dates/events to celebrate and remember? Are you looking forward to anything in particular this April?

April? Nothing special....really....

April 14th - my birthday (it's an "o" birthday.... kinda big one)
April 14-16th - Burbank CATS (birthday present from my Mommy)
April 30th - My baby brother is getting married

4) The saying goes that "April showers bring May flowers." What's your favorite type of spring flower (or flower in general)? Did you plant any flower bulbs for springtime? Do you look forward to doing some spring gardening?

Lilacs are my all-time favorite flower and I associate them with my birthday (and thus spring). Growing up in Michigan, there were several large purple lilac bushes outside my bedroom window and the smell is forever linked to my birthday celebrations.

Bulbs? Uhh..no. Desert landscaping all the way. Low water, low maintenance and that's fine by me.

5) What's your weather usually like in April? Does it fully feel like spring, or does spring sometimes take a while to arrive where you live? What has your weather been like lately?

Warm. Hey, I live in the desert....what do you expect? "Spring" usually lasts about an hour or two before we hit "Pre-Summer" and the mercury consistently stays about 80 degrees during the day....

Seriously, we've had lovely weather for a few weeks, with only a smattering of clouds to obscure the beautiful blue skies. The rain has let up and I have yet to hear of temps going above 90 again (yes, we've already been there).