A Question Answered and Upcoming Stitch-Along

First, Isabelle asked about the Butterfly in Butterfly Lace....

I made it :)

It's essentially organza ribbon, fusible interfacing, some tiny wire and a bit of silk (stitched over the wire outlines) for the wings. The body is Rainbow Gallery Nordic Gold braid and the head a small gold pearl. The antennae are made of Kreinik braid.

Very tedious. But very pretty results....

Upcoming Stitch-Along -

The idea of a "Monochromatic SAL" has taken hold on the RotationBB this week. Several folks have single-color designs waiting not-so-patiently to be started and they are coming out this coming weekend, September 3-5. It's a long weekend (Labor Day) for the US but as usual, we have participants around the globe!

For me, it's my newly acquired Shiraz Sampler from Dinky Dyes to be done in DD Yallingup on white fabric.

For those without a usual monochromatic design, they've chosen a project that has lots of one color "family" to join in.


Productive Weekend

Two finishes this weekend!

First, Butterfly Lace by Victoria Sampler:

The pic is a tad dark..the linen is actually white.

Next, Bent Creek's August Snapper:

Stash, Baby!

Next year, I'm planning on doing the six "Snapperville" designs over the year and how handy that they arrived in my mailbox today. They weren't alone as the last of the fibers needed for TW's Tropical Dream and fabric for my eventual Mirabilia Enchanted Mermaid also arrived (PTP's Mercedes on Jazlyn - gorgeous).

Tomorrow: Monthly Goals update!


About me...and a tease

About me.... (found on a warm friend's blog)

1 . What time did you get up this morning? 6:30 - after smacking the snooze bar for 30 minutes
2 . Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds!
3 . What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Madagascar
4 . What is your favourite tv show at the moment? Mythbusters
5 . What did you have for breakfast? Oatmeal and grapefruit juice
6 . What is your middle name? Annette :)
7 . What is your favourite cuisine? Italian? Chinese? Mexican? Any!
8 . What food do you dislike? Meatloaf and green beans
9 . What is your favourite crisp flavour? US - blueberry, UK - plain Jay's chips
10. What is your favourite song? True Companion by Marc Cohn
11. What kind of car do you drive? Jeep Liberty
12. Favourite sandwich? Ham and swiss on rye with Miracle Whip
13. What characteristic do you despise? Insincerity, false "face" (saying one thing to you and something else behind you....)
14. Favourite item of clothing? Blue nightshirt found at Kohl's - soo comfy
15. If you could go any where in the world on vacation? London
16. What colour is your bathroom? Blue & White
17. Favourite brand of clothing? Anything that's comfortable!
18. Where would you retire? England
19. Favourite time of day? Evening
20. What was your most memorable birthday? This year's surprise trip to Burbank for CATS was pretty darn memorable
21. Where were you born? Michigan City, Indiana
22. Favourite sport to watch? Baseball
23. What fabric detergent do you use? Soapworks
24. Coke or Pepsi? Coke!
25. Are you a morning person or a night? Night
26. Do you have any pets? Three miniature schnauzers: Greta, Duchess & Nero
27. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? If you insist....hold for the last question
28. What did you want to be when you were little? A truck driver!

..and now the news....

After lengthy discussions at Nashville, Maureen Appleton and I will be working on some online classes in 2006. The first project will be a gorgeous set of "smalls" - needlebook, pinkeep, scissor fob, etc. and will include finishing instructions. As more information is set, I'll let you know.

I adore her projects and Maureen is simply the most charming lady you will ever meet! It is going to be a great time for everyone participating :)


To My Dear Husband....

Happy Birthday!

Would you have believed you'd spend this milestone birthday surrounded by such a family? Two kids who love you and three small dogs that do not stray far from your side during the day...

I know I am thrilled you chose to bring your life to the desert. You are my best friend, my love and my life forever and I am so much more with you than I ever was before.

Lvoe you muches, baby :)



I spent last weekend in the company of good friends, some I'd never actually met and all I can't wait to see again.

Thus is the "executive summary" of my Nashville trip! Now for the day-to-day details....

Thursday -

I managed to leave work at 12:10 (12:00 was the planned time) and easily made my 1:00 appointment to have my nails done (color: "I'm not really a waitress" by OPI - a gorgeous red). Stopped at the framer to pick up my seasonal exchange stitched piece (last round) but it wasn't ready (minor frustration - DH picked it up on Friday instead). Home for some last minute packing and after picking up DS at school and kissing him and DD (and DH, of course) good-bye, the "mini-limo service" (my aunt) arrived and we (Mom & I) were swept off to the airport.

So far, so good.

Checked bags curbside (bringing scissors, so no choice but to check) and headed to the gate to find our flight delayed 30 minutes. We were supposed to leave at 6:05pm and arrive in Nashville at 11:00pm. Now, the hotel had told me at reservation that if we didn't check in by midnight, we could potentially lose our reservation (even though I'd already paid for the first night - go figure). I called the hotel, explained the flight delay, and they assured me we *would* have a room no matter when we arrived.

We finally boarded around 6:45 and the plane was only half full (yeah!). Didn't take off until just after 7 due to a "servicing delay" but at least we were in the air. We fly. I read as I'd promised to lend my copy of "Wicked" to someone there and I was only half finished.....thankfully it was a fairly quick read and I made serious progress.

We land at 12:20am (Nashville time). There is *no one* else in the airport. But do we get a gate close to the front? Of course not. C22 is our arrival gate. We trek thru the seemingly never-ending airport to baggage claim. We watch all the black bags go by until Mom's red and my purple suitcase make their colorful appearance (and breathe a sigh of relief that the bags made it). We then head to the car rental counter as we'd reserved a car for the weekend.

Unfortunately we'd reserved with a company that closed the counter at midnight. Joy. So we go to Option B and secure a "small" car which turns out to be a Grand Marquis....yeah...I guess that's small after midnight. Find car and consult map to hotel. Doesn't look too far away....we should make it easily.

Too bad road construction isn't marked on the map. We're talking concrete barriers on *both* sides of a narrow two-lane "highway." Nothing was *closed* but signage was severly lacking. We did manage the 15 minute trip, but it was a nerve-wracking trip!

We check in to probably the largest hotel I have ever stayed at in my life. In fact, the desk gives us a personalized map to help us find our room (didn't help. We found a security guard and pleaded for better directions. *That* helped.). We finally collapse around 2am.

Friday -

Before I get too far, let me say that Nashville has way more of something that I'm not that used to. Humidity. Yeah, Phoenix has the annual "monsoon" season where we moan and complain about our "higher" humidity but it really is nothing compared to the rest of the country. I know this. I was prepared for the muggy and sticky feeling that only humidity + heat can generate. Really. What I wasn't prepared for was the pathetic job the air conditioning does to offset the increase in humidity. Seriously. I don't think there was one time during the weekend that I felt truly cool *and* dry. Most of the time it was warm and damp in some degree.

Anyway, back to the story.

Friday morning dawns warm even though we'd cranked the room a/c down as far as seemed necessary. Phone rings at 9:20 and it's Terry and Dianne (1Terry & Carroselz for the BBers reading) who are right down the hall! Cool! They come over as we're *almost* ready for the day and we all eventually troop down to find the Mart to register before searching for breakfast food of some sort. We find the Mart, make a quick dash in to get our TWBB ribbons, run into a couple more BB'ers and then we're off to find some morning sustenance, adding Ann (aka WhizGidget) to the group. One Coke and croissant later, we're back for serious shopping.

We shop. We laugh. We find more BB'ers. We greet various vendors that know us by sight (the result of going to *lots* of these in the last three years).

Around 1 we decided lunch would be good and seek out the Delta Food Court and Chick Fil-A (yum). We find Terry and Dianne *again* (in the food court) so we do more talking with them and a new face: Nicole from the HAED Board.

The rest of the afternoon is a bit of a blur...I know we found the Stitcher's Lounge and found more BBer's (we were all over, I tell ya! It was GREAT!). I know I went back in the Mart for some more chatting with Terry (Nolan) and Maureen (Appleton). I know I made one trip to drop stuff in our room.... and I know I got a call that the "mystery guest" for the weekend had arrived and I gave her directions to the Lounge/Mart to meet up. I left the Mart around 5:40 and headed over to the Lounge to hook up with Mom & Mystery Guest: Erin and a few others to find dinner. We eventually ended up in the Food Court again laughing and chatting with Terry, Dianne, Valerie, Cris (CrisGA), Sally (swsheridan) and Kate (fenicedautun). Dana and Cheryl (momstitches) joined us when they arrived at the hotel and even Heather (hlott) and her DH came wandering by late in the evening. That night wrapped up around midnight finally....

I did take some time to finish up "Wicked" and turned it over to Erin. It's different....

Saturday -

Another morning, another trip for a quick breakfast (you know, for the size of the hotel I was *really* surprised that breakfast-type food was hard to come by. There was a buffet and the "cafe" shop within reasonable distance of our room and that was IT. Sad.) and back to the Mart for another tour as Erin had yet to see any of it (or anyone really see her). About 11:30 we left for our pre-planned side adventure to The Parthenon thanks to Cheryl's wonderful directions (always ask a native...they *know* how to get places!). Oh my gosh...it was totally worth the time! What an amazing building! I took a bunch of pictures (still in the camera, sorry! I'll post some later this week, promise) and absolutely marvelled at the sheer magnificence of it all. If you ever find yourself in Nashville and have *any* interest in Greek history, you must go to the Parthenon....

Next on the agenda was a small grocery to procure a couple "only in the South" items: Whitehouse Applesauce (for my southern-born DH) and White Lily flour. Next, a stop at the Honeybaked Ham store for lunch (very tasty). Back to the hotel for yet more chatting and laughing and relaxing in the Mart and Lounge before dinner at 7:30.

Dinner was a hoot. There were 30 of us and even though we'd let the restaurant know *days* in advance, there was much table moving and hand wringing to get us all seated. The buffet was pretty good, though I will admit I didn't eat all that much...I was *way* too busy talking! Did manage to find a bite or two of dessert, though. Our table consisted of Erin, Goldie (goldstitch), Lynne (Gwena Lynn), Kathy (StitchinKat), Melissa (lissylaine), Mom and myself. It was great to just relax and chat with these folks over a leisurely dinner.

Most of us descended on the Lounge after dinner. We did take the time for a group shot thanks to a couple handy DHs and another stitcher in the Lounge. Slowly folks would decide it was late enough for them until the only ones left were Erin, Valerie and myself......and we lasted until 4. Truthfully I couldn't tell you where the time went. I enjoyed the cameraderie and the discussion with *everyone* and I wouldn't have missed any of it for the world.

Sunday -

Believe it or not, it started early for me. I had a 7:30 wake up call (yes, just over 3 hours of sleep). Mom and Erin were still snoozing when I snuck out for a *real* breakfast with Terry (Nolan) of Dimple Designs. After only one Coke, I could even talk sensibly and retain the points of our discussion (regarding the ezboard and website administration). Then back to the Mart one last time for a round of "bye!" to several folks. I firmed up plans for a new venture with one of the designers (more info soon!) and even made a couple last minute purchases. Back upstairs to pack (Mom and Erin long up and getting ready), checkout and we headed over to Opry Mills for lunch before going to the airport.

Thankfully, the flight was on time (though we were late getting in and ended up with "C" boarding passes) and I did nap a bit on the plane. DH and the kids picked us up in a lovely cool air-conditioned car and I was thrilled to get back to working a/c even though it was 108 outside.

And finally, the stash haul:

  • Cougar "Fish" titanium oxide scissors

  • Vera Bradley Piccadilly Plum Villager

  • 7 skeins Dinky Dye Yallingup (cotton)

  • 2 skeins Dinky Dye Sapphire (silk)

  • Dinky Dyes Barrier Reef (cotton)

  • Dinky Dyes Airlie (cotton)

  • Enchanting Lair Spring Dragon (for DD)

  • Dinky Dyes Shiraz Sampler (thus the 7 skeins above)

  • Nutmeg Company "Summer in Sussex" (tiny 3d house)

  • Long neck Mini magnifier (too much over one lately!)

  • Heart's Content Rose Scissor Fob

  • Cottage Mills "Connect-A-Box" here

  • Cross Stitch Gauge (to id some mystery-count fabric I have)

  • Dimples Thyridia (kit - 1 over 1 in blues...gorgeous!)

  • Dimples Mini Ladybugs 1 & 2 (more over-1)

  • ..and a couple items for other folks...

That's it! I do promise pictures soon...both of the trip and a couple WIP pics :)


    Two More Sleeps

    Did you count "sleeps" as a kid waiting for Christmas? I did! I started counting when the advent calendar came out on December 1st. We had a paper version that we used year after year until many of the little "doors" started falling off. Now I have a wooden "calendar" for my kids (each day they hang that day's number on a Santa-shaped hanging...uhhh...number-tile-displayer-thing.

    It's two more sleeps until I head out to Nashville for CATS (technically it's not called that now, but that's still the name used on the boards). I don't have any classes scheduled, but may pick up the odd Make-It, Take-It (ok, "Little Bit o'Classes" - sheesh, why'd they have to change the name?!?) if the selection is improved from Burbank. No, I'm really going for the company. Ok, and a little for the shopping, but meeting up with stitching friends and catching up with a few designers is definitely the main draw of the trip.

    In the meantime, I'm going to catch up on one of my favorite memes: Booking Through Thursday:

    August 4

    Whether based in fact or fiction, the legends of King Arthur have been the inspiration for many novels including Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory, The Once and Future King by T. H. White, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Arthurian Saga series by Mary Stewart, and even A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain, to name just a few.

    1. Do you enjoy reading the legends of the King Arthur and the knights of the round table? Oh yes, it's a favorite! In fact, I took a college course on Arthurian Literature which included the Malory, White and Twain and a few others.
    2. How long ago did you read them? I first read Mary Stewart in the early 80's and the college course was in 1985. I can't remember the first time I read Mists of Avalon, but it was definitely long before the mini-series or even any of the sequels.

    3. Will you ever read more of them or re-read any that you've read before? I still have my original Mists of Avalon and will read it again someday. I need to pick up copies of TH White and Mark Twain as I know my voracious reader of a daughter would enjoy them..

    August 11

    Roger Zelazny's Amber series, J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings, David Eddings' Belgariad, and Stephen R. Donaldson's Thomas Covenant trilogies, are all classic examples of fantasy. None of them are books either of my parents would ever consider reading. I've devoured them all... And more.

    1. Do you like to read fantasy? Oh my yes! That's easily the majority of my reading time. I love good epic fantasy.

    2. What's your favorite (or least favorite if you don't like the genre) thing about reading fantasy? Pure escapism. Good over evil. It stretches your mind far beyond the normal everyday existence and lays a bit of magic and fantasy while retaining the human condition...you can relate, but you're forced to think beyond your mortal talents.

    3. Do you prefer regular people placed in alternate realities, like the Thomas Covenant stories and the Amber books, or do you prefer the whole world to come from the author's imagination? Or something else? Depends on the story. Alternate realities are great as the author can spend more time developing character and plot and simply highlighting where "reality" is bent for the sake of the story. For "whole new worlds" the author has to spend more time creating that world in the reader's mind, but he/she can create whatever is necessary for a good story. Each have their pros/cons and I've certainly enjoyed both. The Amber books and David Eddings' Belgariad are consistently at the top of my "favorite fantasy" lists.

    4. Do you have a favorite author or theme that you go back to again and again? I have read *everything* David Eddings has put out and re-read the Belgariad & Mallorean a dozen times. It was the first author I bought specifically for my daughter (after she devoured the first three Harry Potter books). I also love Dave Duncan and his "A Man of His Word" series (first book: The Magic Casement - recently re-released). Both of these are epic in length, feature strong male and female characters and the story is centered on a quest or objective


    The Joys of Parenting (a Teenager)

    My daughter, K is 15. She starts high school on Monday (10th grade) and has had a pretty good summer.

    See, just after school ended in May, she had an interesting email exchange with one of her long-time friends, J, where he *finally* admitted that he "liked" her. Now, as a good, observant parent (both kids are in band, so we've seen them together at many concerts over the previous year and a half), DH and I knew this was just a matter of time. When the kids were at a concert, the only time they weren't talking and laughing was when the were actually playing a song. They both would have these large grins on their face and we knew *lots* about J from casual conversation.

    So, this summer they've emailed back and forth and actually gotten together a couple times (J was out of town quite a bit, or they would have been together a bit more often, I'm sure, at some event or something). J accompanied us to see a movie in June and he attended K's pool party this summer, but that was it.

    Yes, it's a budding romance. DH and I have taken an interest (of course) and K has shared some of their conversations and emails with us. I helped her find ecards to send during their "ecard war" earlier this month (she won). We like J.

    Last week, I couldn't help but take advantage of this. I'm a good, but sometimes evil mother. I admit.

    K took out the trash and had left her cell phone on the end table where I was sitting. I picked it up like I was talking on it. When she came back in she heard....

    "So how was your summer?.....That's good. Ready for school next week?"

    At this point she sees me on the phone, but doesn't make any inquiry as to who has called.

    "Yeah, K is too, but I think it's just so she can see you every day."

    LMAO! Her face changed instantly to a look of horror and she covered the space from the door to the couch in record time. I put the phone down and DH and I started laughing. It took her a moment to realize that I wasn't actually talking to anyone...

    But it was *priceless*



    Stolen shamelessly from Whizgidget but with a few of my own added (marked *):


    Soda: Coke. Original, full caffeine, full sugar. And if I can get the "Mexican" version that is still made with sugar, so much the better.

    New CD: DS's Jazz for Kids. Fun songs. (Ok, I admit, I cannot remember the last CD I bought for myself).

    Burger: Harrington's Parlez-Vous Burger. Harrington's is a restaurant in Albuquerque and the Parlez-vous burger is open face with sharp cheddar cheese, a mushroom/wine gravy and a dollop of sour cream on top. The best burger ever. Haven't had one in 10+ years. Don't even know if they still exist....

    More realistically: An In-and-Out Double Double with onions. Preferably ordered in California, as the Arizona version just doesn't taste the same.

    Ice Cream: Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Swiss Almond

    Coffee: Safeway Select Chocolate Macadamia. But I don't drink it...just smell it.

    Store to Browse: Any bead or book store.

    TV Show: Mythbusters. No...wait....Amazing Race. Or Monk. Or really any Atlanta Braves baseball game...

    Snack: Hot buttered popcorn with parmesan cheese and garlic salt

    Scent*: Vanilla or Fresh Lilacs

    Movie*: Pirates of the Carribean (today, the answer will be different tomorrow)

    Dessert*: Tiramisu or good New York Style cheesecake with fresh berries

    Restaurant*: Texas Roadhouse. Incredibly good steaks.

    Candy*: Good 'n Plenty or maybe chocolate covered caramels....yummm

    Book*: The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop

    Project*: The one just finished or the next one I'm going to start...LOL

    Words to Live By: Be nice. You never know who is watching.


    On Being Seven

    On Saturday, August 6th, my sweet little boy turned seven years old.

    He spent the day a little differently than normal, accompanying me to the salon for my bi-weekly nail appointment (Dad was off with Sister taking three dogs to the vet [they are fine - just routine]), being allowed to borrow Sister's GameBoy for this excursion. He was given a "birthday sucker" by the owner which he proceeded to eat imitating the owl in the old Tootsie Pop commercials (yup, three licks and it was *gone* from the stick). He behaved beautifully and while I wouldn't want to make it a habit, I'd take him again.

    We returned home and he spent the afternoon watching Jonny Quest with Dad while Sister and I made the weekly grocery run. (I also snuck in a side trip to Target to pick up his birthday present - a Sony CD Walkman).

    For dinner he decided we should visit the "Big Stone House" restaurant (aka Macaroni Grill) so he could have pizza. He ordered lasagne instead (a first). He also told *everyone* from the hostess to the waiter that it was his birthday. DH and I had decided to hold off on that part and stop for ice cream on the way home instead of enduring the attention at the restaurant. Obviously, Son wanted the attention. After dinner, a lovely young lady presented him with a plate of yummy Chocolate Decadence cake (with candle) and sung a gorgeous Italian version of "Happy Birthday." She was marvelous and I came thisclose to a tear looking at my sweet little boy loving every minute of it.

    We still stopped for ice cream at Dairy Queen.

    Once home, Son opened his gift. He didn't know what it was at first, but it didn't take him long to figure it out. Sister had found the Spongebob Squarepants Movie Soundtrack for him and he sat quietly (another first) on the couch while listening to it and then his Jazz for Kids CD. His little feet tapped away and he danced a bit but he was amazingly.....quiet.

    I'll be pulling out some of my Disney soundtracks for him tonight. Something that keeps him quiet and relatively still? Oh my, we've got to encourage this....

    I love you, my sweet babboo. I can't believe it's been seven years already. I hope the next seven don't fly as fast....


    Meme Streets

    I haven't done a Friday Forum for awhile and I'm liking today's subject, so here it is....

    1) What's the best restaurant that you've *ever* been to? Think about customer service, atmosphere, food presentation, taste of the food, decor, location, etc. How about the *worst* restaurant? Why was it so bad?

    There's a restaurant called Rustler's Rooste here in Phoenix. It perches high on South Mountain and has an incredible view of the city. My first visit there back in 1998 with DH was wonderful. Ribeye steak you could cut with a fork, perfect baked potato, half-dollar sized bites of indian fry bread and flaky and perfect apple pie. The view was amazing as the sun set and the lights of the city sparkled. We paid handsomely, but it was absolutely worth it.

    Fast forward to 2003. We returned to RR with my in-laws (MIL likes cowboys) and it was horrible. The view was still there, but the menu was drastically different. *None* of the items we had the first time were on the menu and what we did order was over-cooked and tasteless. And the prices? They had *raised* them! We won't go back.

    2) Imagine that you order something at a restaurant but discover that you *totally* dislike the food after tasting it. Do you complain to the server and send it back, requesting something else? Or do you just keep quiet about it, not eat it, and continue with the rest of your meal?

    Depends on the restaurant. If it's the first time there and I've ordered that badly, I'd probably ask for something else. If I'd been there before and tried something new...I'll probably just pick at it and remember never to order it again (which has happened).

    3) Do you prefer eating outside, in a restaurant's outdoor seating area? Or would you rather eat your meal inside? Why?

    Depends on the time of year. During the summer, inside, please. Cook my dinner, not me.

    4) Are there any new restaurants in your area [or elsewhere] that you've been dying to try? Do you enjoy dining out, or would you typically rather eat at home?

    Love eating out. But we like our old standbys more than trying something new! Someday I'll make it over to the Scottsdale area to visit Garduno's - which was my favorite mexican restaurant living in Albuquerque. It'll be new to my family, but not really me. There's another place that's been open for over a year called Copperpeak Grill I'd like to try, too. That's much closer though :)

    5) You and a friend go out to eat for lunch. Do you split the bill between the two of you, or do you offer to pay for everything if you're the one who invited your friend? Would you say that you're a pretty good tipper? Do you know people who aren't?

    Depends on the occasion. If it's just a "let's grab some lunch" invitation, I prefer to split it. If I'm inviting for a specific purpose (celebration or trying to glean some information from someone) then I'll pick up the check.

    Having worked in the restaurant industry (as a bookkeeper, not a waiter), I know the importance of tips to the wait staff. I will tip a *minimum* of 15% and usually round up if the service was good. If it was *great* then I'll go 20% - 25% depending on the size of the bill (and round up).

    My step-father could use some "help" when calculating a tip...but Mom usually catches it in time ;)


    Monthly Goals - August

    Time for a recap of the July Goal Results and what's on tap for August!

    July's Goal Results:

    Finish Mom's socks for birthday dinner on Saturday, July 9th - Yup! With five hours to spare
    Stitch first Ornament in new RR - Check! It's off to NZ
    Make progress on Faerie Blue - She got a few hours....
    Finish Seasonal Exchange piece - Done! Just waiting on the finishing bits
    Start/Finish July Snapper - No - but I did get one done this month
    Start/Finish 4th of July Snapper - Yes!
    Start DD's knitted tank - Yes!
    Start Pi Shawl - Yes!

    August Goals:

    Start/Finish August Snapper
    Stitch next Ornament RR
    LOTS of progress on Faerie Blue
    Finish DD's knitted tank
    Have a blast at Nashville CATS!

    Stealth Finishes:

    I have finished a couple things recently, but I can't show them off yet.

    Margaret's ornament in the new Ornament RR round is done and the supplies are off to Lisa in NZ. Also finished my Seasonal Exchange piece and am waiting on the last of the finishing bits before it travels "down under" to Melanie.