Saturday, April 30, 2011

You Can Visit, But You Can't Join!

Story #1:
Some time ago, when our group decreased to just the four of us, we all agreed that we were content to keep the group small and intimate; thus our commitment to each other over the past 18 years served to both strengthen and enhance our relationships. Our adventures are many and our meetings are just way too much fun. We look forward to them so much that someone is always ending an email, or phone conversation with the countdown as to how many sleeps left until we meet again.

We love to share our stories with other friends and family and we are often envied for the fun we share.  Once when Jody was visiting with her sister Holly and laughing about something that we did - Holly said, “I want to come to cross-stitch!”  To which Jody replied, “Well you can visit, but you can’t join!”  Sounds like something a sisters would say…don’t’ you think?

Well we all got such a chuckle out of that story when Jody told it, that we now say it quite often and at times for what may seem like no apparent reason.  It’s just become one of those sayings that give you a lot of mileage.

This past Christmas I wanted to give something ‘special’ to my ladies.  We’ve all crafted so many things for each other over the years, coming up with something unique was a bit of a challenge. Special and Unique; that’s what I wanted … and then I finally figured out what I wanted to do.

Story #2:
When I was a little girl, my mother had an old Crisco shortening tin which she used to store buttons in.  I loved it when she got this old tin out; we would sit together and sort through all the unique and different buttons.  My mother soon learned how much I loved doing this that she would make it my ‘job’ to find particular buttons.  If she needed a button for one of dad’s shirts or for a baby sweater she just knit, she would pick a button out and tell me to find 5 more just like it.  It kept me busy for a very long time and she could accomplish many a tasks while I sat contentedly sorting through all the different shapes and sizes.  I love the sound it made while I swooshed through all buttons and I would organize them all in piles of ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’.  Sometime ago I inherited this tin and used the same ploy my mother did with me to keep my children cleverly amused for lengthy periods of time.   

So…what could be more fitting to add to my gift to make it even more unique?  Why Buttons; of course.   So I dug out the old tin, put on the tea kettle and started sorting.  It was going to take some time; I had to find four of each kind of button and they couldn’t be just any button, they had to be unique.  As I began to sort, my girlfriend stopped by for tea asked what I was doing.  I told her and then she began to sort through the buttons with me while we drank our tea and I shared with her the button tin story.  We had a blast sorting and talking and laughing and drinking tea  and eating cookies and sorting and laughing.  Did I mention that we sorted buttons?

So…there you have it.  Below is the unique and useful gift I made my ladies for Christmas 2010. (Oh yes… and I remembered to stitch my name and the year on it too, just as Tracey taught us.)  Take note of the 'x' earring that on the button in the middle of the handle.   Jody got two sets from Avon and split them up between the four of us so we each fastened them onto a button. 

4 more sleeps.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Awake at 3am !

I woke up today thinking, it must be almost 5:30 and I'm wide awake and the alarm hasn't even gone off.  Rolled over to look at the clock to find out it was only 3am.  I guess the excitement was just too much for me.  So rather than lay in bed, I fashioned my own 'Fascinator' to wear to work today.  It's really hard to get a good angle of your Fascinator  while holding the camera yourself and when you have really short arms. 

The wedding was beautiful and I loved the dress !!  Simple, yet Regal. 

Tootie-pip.  Off to work now. 

p.s.  I forgot to say I LOVE LOVE LOVED the trees as Kathryn, Duchess of Cambridge walked down the aisle.

To answer the first commentor's question today: Yes, I'm wearing my 'fascinator' at work and it's a bloomin' SMASH !!!   I'm actually being taken out for lunch today to 'Olives' and I think I'll leave the hat on.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pansy Potting Party

Three weeks ago, my girlfriend Diane and I went to a Pansy Potting Party at a local greenhouse called Westland Greenhouses. When I mention it to people their first reaction  is, "What the heck is a Pansy Potting Party?"

Well it goes like this... The cost of the PPP included two trays of pansies and all the dirt and fertilizer you needed.  All you had to take was your containers.  Following the planting party, they served flavoured teas and cookies and hey hid chocolate eggs throughout the greenhouse.  For each egg that you found you got a coupon to spend in their store.

Well, I decided to hit the second hand shops for some unique containers to pot my pansies at the Pansy Potting Party and I came across some teacups and I knew immediately what I was going to do with them.  Since I was hosting cross stitch two nights later, I decided to give Anita, Jody and Tracey a taste of spring in this lovely little teacup.

I filled a few other containers as well, but the one below is my favourite.  I just thought it was so unique.  I guess I didn't realize just  how many pansies were in two trays and I didn't quite have enough containers, so I just brought the rest of the pansies home to plant in my gardens. There was still some snow on the ground at that time, so I just put all the pansies in and around my cast iron urns on the front steps and it is such a refreshing view when you approach the house now. 

One of the other reactions we got when we said we were going to a Pansy Planting Party was, "Two pansies going to plant pansies."  (He's now buried along side the left over pansies in Diane's garden - but don't tell anyone...)


Monday, April 25, 2011

Stitchers Make the Best of Friends

 Wouldn't you agree?
 This pretty pattern Friendly Stitchers by Brittercup Designs was beautifully stitched by Anita (4X!) and generously given to each one of us as an Easter suprise back in April 2007.  I just love the cute little flower button... I think it really adds to the piece!

 I was lucky enough to have in my stash the perfect frame to finish mine...bought of course at the Thread & Eye  :^)  When we give something the same like this to everyone in our group,  it is always interesting to see how each person envisions their finished product.   

Thanks again Anita!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tell me Moore, Tell me Moore !!

Do you believe in ghosts?  Well I think everyone believes in Casper - why wouldn't they.  He's friendly.  Harmless.  Helpful.  Of course he's real.

(I thought this was kind of funny... and just had to share)  While searching for an image of Casper, I came across one that made me laugh because my immediate thought was, Bonnie - this is what you will look like as a ghost. 
My friend Shauna Moore and I were having a conversation about ghosts a few weeks ago, and whether or not people believe in them.  Well I had a few 'incidents' this past week and I have yet to determined the cause of each one.   While telling my friend Ruth about them the other day, she said, "You've got yourself a traveling ghost.  It's with you all the time - remember what happened at my house?"  

Determined to find answers, I sent Casper on a quest and he came back and said, "Go post it on your blog and let's see what Shauna thinks" 

Thursday 8:30 PM: I arrived home after a dinner date and Paige came right downstairs and said, "Were you here earlier?"  No, I'm just getting home. Why?  "Well I was upstairs and I had music on and I heard the door open and I thought it was you, then I didn't hear you making any noise - I called for you - and then all of a sudden the door closed.  It scared me"  I joked, "It was probably just a ghost."       Paige was like... shudddduppp !!        - next day  -

Friday 6:00 AM:  It was Good Friday, I was off and happy to be able to sleep in.  I was lying in bed and I heard a noise.  I couldn't quite make out what it was because I was still half asleep.  I thought to myself, It isn't the wind.  It isn't music.  It sounds like running water, but it's only 6am - Paige doesn't work until 9, there is NO way she's up!  I finally got up to investigate the noise - and we all know from watching scary movies that you only do that in the daylight hours - so I thought It's safe.  As I left my bedroom and walked into the hall it seemed to be coming from the bathroom.  I entered the dark  (window-less) room to discover the hot water tap on the tub running Full Blast!  Whyyyyyyyyyy?   Paige was still in bed so it wasn't her. The cat was in my room, so it wasn't her.  The tub taps are new and they are not loose.  Hmmmmmm 

When I was telling Ruth this story, she reminded me of the incident at her house.  I was spending the night at her house and she had asked me to bring my Carol Burnett shows with me so we could watch them together.  I put the dvd into the machine and we had only just got into the show about 5 minutes and all of a sudden the dvd player quit.  Ruth said, "Now why did that happen?" At first we thought that a button got bumped on the remote but it was sitting no where near either of us.  She said, "This has been working just fine - I don't get it"  Try as we may we could not get the machine to work the rest of the night. 

A few hours later Ruth said, "Why don't you go up and enjoy my new jacuzzi tub and I'll read and then we'll call it a night"  Sounded like a plan to me!  So I relaxed in the tub while Ruth read and after about half an hour I got out, dried off & dressed and I went into Ruth's room.  I was so relaxed from the tub I crawled up onto the bed and we started talking.  We talked for about 15 minutes and all of a sudden the tub jets turned on.  There was no water in the tub so of course they were very loud.  We looked at each other like WTF? We got up to investigate - even though it was dark out... - and try as she might, Ruth could not get the jets to turn off.  She literally had to open the wall panel and reset the unit.  She came back to the bed and said, "Ok, I'm not sure you can stay here again !!"

So Shauna, What do you think?  Do I have a 'traveling ghost'?    Tell me Moore, tell me Moore !!  

Happy Easter

 Happy Easter to all of our Stitching Friends!  
 We hope that you are lucky enough to be enjoying some sunshine like we are here today.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Egg Cookies

It's been a tradition for us, that on Good Friday that is the day that the kids and I would sit down and decorate the hard-boiled eggs.  Since the kids are all grown now the interest in decorating eggs has gone, however, there is always an interest for cookies.  Everyone was home for the weekend so I took advantage of the extra help and started a batch of cookies and icing.  Remember one of my previous postings about "Cookie Day", well again... just as we were about to decorate, my cousin dropped in from Toronto and  happened upon the moment.  He couldn't wait to join in on the fun. 

Somehow people always know when I'm making cookies. mmmmmm cup of tea and a cookie sounds good right about now.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Love Love Love my Vintage Easter

Followers know how much I love the 'Vintage' look.  When Tracey was over the other day, she was admiring my displays and she said, "You just HAVE to get this stuff on the blog."  So... here you go Tracey.  Let's start then shall we with two of my favourite gifts that Tracey has given me.  This adorable egg-shaped piece blends in perfectly with the colours of my living room and the bunny looks like he's keeping a close eye on you at all times.  He's generally watching me eat all the Cadbury mini-eggs;  another one of my favourites. 

I've had this adorable carriage for many years.  When Tracey saw it, she just knew I would  fall in love with it.  It was the perfect  gift because I needed someplace safe to house my delicate Easter eggs.  These eggs are over 25 years old.  When Niki was very small we decided to decorate eggs one day and I had discovered these plastic sleeves that you slip over eggs, dip them in hot water and then the plastic molds around the egg.  To me, they were just too pretty to put on a hard boiled egg only to be cracked open and thrown away;  I wanted mine as a keepsake.  So I did the old fashioned thing, poked a hole in each end of an egg and blew the egg out.  Anyone who recalls doing this as a child will remember that you don't really know what will happen first. 

A) squeeze too hard and burst the egg
B) blow your brains out before you blow the egg out
C) faint 

By today's' standards - most people would faint at the thought of salmonella from wrapping your lips around a raw egg.  Hey... I'm still alive!

I like the idea that these eggs are in a carriage.  It reminds me of the birth of spring. However, this birth is long overdue and I think we are going to have to induce soon.  If not, we may have to resort  to using a scalpel.   Someone call a doctor!! 

These Vintage style tins have also been around for several years. and when I bought them they came with matching cards inside. 

If memory serves me correctly, I think I bought this adorable mother bunny at Mary Maxim's in the US.  Lesson learned from Tracey...whenever she gives or receives a gift she marks on it where and when it was bought and by whom.  Clever girl. 

Recycle & reuse !!   Also around for many years, I made  proper use of the babies building blocks.  Some would call me a pack-rat; I like to think of myself as frugal,  inventive and creative.  (p.s.  I have 'St. Nicholas' blocks painted in reds too to display at Christmas with my Father Christmas collection) 

And last but not least, my newest favourite.  I got this at Home Sense two years ago and I just loved it.  I'm a sucker for tin signs too, just in case I haven't  mentioned that yet.   As I was trying to take this photo this morning the flash kept reflecting off the tin, so I had to close my outside door and step out onto the porch to take the photo in the day light.  As a side note, don't step out onto a cold wet porch at 6:30am in sock feet.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

More Goodies!

You saw in one of my previous posts, the sweet little pansy in the teacup that Bonnie gave to everyone last cross stitch meeting.  Well, she wasn't the only generous person that night... Anita and Jody each brought along something to share!

From Jody- A chocolate bunny & egg (it just wouldn't be Easter without some chocolate!), along with a "handmade by" rubber stamp that were tucked inside this cute little Easter container.  Can't wait until the weather is nice enough to plant my Sunflower Garden!  

From Anita- A colourful emery board ( handy to have beside my stitching chair... don't want any jagged nails catching on my fabric!), that had attached to it the most darling "Happy Spring"  tag (love the little bird!).  I have quite the collection of  tags/cards, etc. all  handmade by Anita... can't bear to part with any of them!  I was also thrilled to receive an early birthday present from her; a needle minder just like the one Bonnie showed you in her previous post.

Thanks Jody and Anita!!  :^)


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Birthday Wishes and Black Swans

It was windy and raining when I woke up today, but that did not dampen my mood one bit.  Greeting me as I came down the stairs today was this gorgeous bouquet of flowers that Jody sent me for my birthday yesterday.  What a lovely surprise! And how nice it was to have such a splash of colour on such a gloomy day outside.  My birthday was filled with many wishes, gifts and offerings and I am so grateful for all my family and friends and their thoughtfulness.  
Surprise delivery from Jody.
So while we are on the topic of Jody let's announce her latest achievement.  Jody arrived at my house last week for our 'cross-stitch night' with only ONE basket.  Now you have to know Jody;  Jody is to traveling light on cross-stitch nights as Bonnie is to doing things small.  It just doesn't happen.  So this month marked a momentous occasion for her.  One basket.  Half full upon arrival, and half full upon departure.  Normally, Jody marches in with a  full size tote, a large wheelie suitcase and her wooden tiered sewing  box.  Congratulations Jody.  Lessons to Bonnie please. 

When Anita arrived last week, she gave me my birthday gift.  She had made me a needle-minder.  What the heck is a needle-minder you say?  Well it's a very strong magnet housed inside a covered button and another magnet adheres to the back.  You place the needle-minder on your cross-stitch project and it holds your needle in place when not in use.  Anita cross-stitched the tiny design in silk threads.  It's absolutely adorably useful.  I attached it to the homemade card she made me and you can see it in the picture below. 

Tracey invited me over last night for dinner and a movie and how could I possibly resist.?  I didn't have to cook on my birthday, I could sit and relax, cross-stitch  AND watch Black Swan.  Although I must say I was a little disappointed that Tracey did not greet me  at the door in her Oscar gown this time.   Before dinner we went for a nice walk with her dog Willow and then we left to go pick up dinner (apparently Tracey doesn't cook on my birthday either...).  Just before we ate Tracey gave me my card and it was pretty thick.  I wondered what was inside.  She's famous for giving me cross-stitch patterns  or material and I wondered which could it be.  Surprise.  Not a pattern or material.  It was a dishcloth made from the new yarn she discovered and had only just bought last week.  I knew she had made one for herself, but I had no idea she had whipped one up just for me.  This new yarn is super soft, I love it. Thanks Tracey.!!  For all you faithful followers and cat lovers -  if you click on the picture to enlarge it, you will notice that Sushi made it on the blog once again. 

When Tracey had invited me over she said, "Be sure to bring your cross-stitch, although I don't know how much we'll get done watching this movie.  I hear it's pretty intense."  My response was, "How appropriate that you mention to bring my cross-stitch while we are watching Black Swan because I'm working on a ballerina pattern for a little girl who is in a dance class".

While on the drive to pick up our food, there just happened to be a liquor store right next door. To enhance our evening further I said to Tracey, "You get the food, and I'll get the booze!"   I grabbed a very large bottle of Peach Schnapps to go with our Orange Juice.  After all, what better way to get your daily serving of two fruits. 

Note of caution:  Fuzzy Navels + Black Swans = Weird Dreams.   Don't do it.

P.S.  Thanks again everyone for all the birthday wishes!  It was a great day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pink + Green + Yellow = Spring

When Bonnie and I were shopping last week, we knew the day wouldn't be complete without having a look around Hobby Lobby.  Even though I still have a ton of dishcloths to finish crocheting for the wedding, I couldn't pass by the yarn aisle without having a peek.  

Did you know that Hobby Lobby has their own brand of 100% cotton yarn called I LOVE THIS Cotton!? Well I tell you, I whole heartedly agree!!  This yarn is amazingly soft and the variety of colours are just so scrumptious! 

This gorgeous pink and green combo caught my eye and to me it said "Welcome Spring", so into the cart it went!  I think it makes washing the dishes by hand a little more enjoyable too  :^) 

Notice the sweet little teacup with the yellow pansy?  When Bonnie hosted our monthly cross stitch meeting this past week, she had three of these darling Spring favours waiting for each one of us when we arrived.  Don't you just love it?  Thanks so much Bonnie!

Happy Spring everyone!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Easter Time

I'm glad Easter arrives a bit later this year because for some reason I seem to be behind schedule in getting my Easter decor set out.  Here's a look at what I've displayed on the mantle for the holiday this year: 

The pretty pastel pillowcase was found in a bag with lots of other linens that came from my Nana's house; as did the buttons that are displayed  in the glass bowl sitting on top of it.  My Nana kept everything, and it took a very  long time going through it all when we were getting the house ready to sell.  I had to look at every little thing... I sure didn't want to miss any treasures!

Don't the "chocolate"  bunnies look good enough to eat?  The one below is a candle! 

Last year I posted about this gorgeous cross stitch that Bonnie made for me. (You can read all about it here.)

There you have it... all ready for the Easter Bunny  :^)

Thanks so much for dropping in to visit!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Now That Puts A Spring In My Step

I was craving to work with some yummy sherbert-like colours last week, so I stitched up this Lizzie Kate freebie for Springtime.  Now I'm on the lookout for a cute little frame to finish it off (and I have a few buttons to add to it too!). 

Perhaps Bonnie and I will have luck finding the perfect one during our shopping excursion this Friday...

Stay tuned!  :^)


Sunday, April 3, 2011

TUSAL- Post #4

Now you must be thinking that I emptied my clear glass TUSAL jar, shined it all up and that's why you can't see it, but no... both Bonnie and I are having computer woes at the moment. Therefore I have no picture to share (today anyway).

I hope dear Daffycat will take pity on me for being a few days late :^)

And I even had some pretty new colours added to it this time around!

 Fast forward 3 days...  here it is!!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Today I Purged

I was fortunate enough to be off work today, however it doesn't mean I actually took the day off.  I spent most of the day purging my filing cabinets.  It's my fault for allowing  them to get so full and disorganized in the first place and that I have to spend my well earned day off cleaning them out.  You would think that being an Executive Assistant I would know better, but I guess when you work with papers and files all day long it's the last thing you want to do when you get home.   Thank goodness the sun was shining today to encourage me to carry on. 

While sorting through the files I came across an old Ann Landers article that I had safely tucked away. This article still makes me laugh.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. (you may have to click on the picture to read it)

Then I moved on to the next set of files in the drawer .  As I was about to grab the folders I had to laugh at the priority in which I had filed them;  note the thickness of the first folder which  was inevitably overflowing into the next one followed by two folders that clearly take the back seat in this house. 
And for the dedicated followers who know what my cat is like, and just in case you are wondering.... 
...yes, of course, she was there to help. 


Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016 was held at Jody's this year and we were lucky we had good weather for our travel eastbound.  If there is going to be a...