Saturday, May 28, 2016

Preview Pictures

Lizzie Kate Halloween Mystery Sampler preview picture:

Just Cross Stitch 2016 Halloween Issue:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

When flashlights attack!

Life is wonderful here in the folds of the Lilac Thicket.  This girlish girl is seeing a new light on life thanks to taking an unplanned day off from work and a pair of stylishly fabulous new eye glasses! 
Last week was a very stressful week for me as my mentor dared to take a vacation and left me to my own devices assisting new vice presidents and directors.  The good news is not that he returned, the good news is I still have a job!
More stress involved storms that went thru and knocked out our power for 19 hours Sunday.  Our phone won't work when the power is out because these darn wireless phones we have require electricity.  I had to explain 3 times to my Caribbean Prince why the phone wouldn't work even though it was plugged into our router.  At 8pm Sunday the power pole was split in two on the next street and out the lights went.  This really did delight the Professor as he whipped out his new flashlight and exclaimed what good fortune that he bought this device at the Thrift Shop for 5 bucks. 
My dear readers let me explain this nifty little device to you so you can really comprehend the fullness of this tale.  One end is a flash light, the other end is emergency flashers and in between is a tool box filled with dangerous instruments in the hands of my beloved.
So back to the his glee he flipped on the flashers and flashed them at me instead of the steady light at the other end.  I told him he was going to be the anecdotal tale of health care workers everywhere if he didn't get it out of my face.  Health care workers everywhere would tell the story about a stormy night when what they thought a huge fire fly waddled into the emergency room only to find out it was a man with emergency flashers stuffed up his posterior because he wouldn't get it out of his beleaguered wife's face.  "That's not funny where's the fuse box?"
Yes give this man a tool box and he thinks he can fix anything, which perhaps some men can, however not my Guyanese husband.  Tools and the Professor, an alarming mix.
The Professor and I found a nice headboard at our favorite thrift shop for $15!  I really like it and we were able to get rid of a lot of clutter and my bedside table. 
We also found this chair and it was a little more expensive then I usually like at $40.  I do enjoy sitting and stitching in it because we have such great stitching light in our bedroom.  I was actually able to snap a pic before the Professor piled his junk on it.
This is my progress on my Mermaid Bath Salts piece.  You can see that I have barely scratched the surface of it even though I have spent hours stitching. I started in the upper left hand corner and you can see the top of the "M" in green.
We discovered that some flowers we planted in the front yard last year came up again.  I am not sure what they are called but they definitely add a splash of color that I love, you know being pink and all.
This morning we ran errands and ended up at the Farmers Market where a vendor was selling wonderful bedding plants.  They were a buck a 4 pack and we spent $10.  I love the Farmers Market.
When we got home my ever swash buckling Prince in his finest attire went to slay the grass in the back yard.  I am blessed my dearest ones, blessed beyond my wildest imagination. 

And so I wish you a happy week and a wonderful Memorial Day.  God Bless.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A thankful Thicket update

This would be the absolute proof that the Professor, my Caribbean Prince, is still alive and kicking.  I thought I had better mention that since there has been powerful silence for the past 8 months.  I know my kindred kind you thought I may have taken up new residence in the Missouri penitentiary for Professor-cide.  Ha, the joke is on you!

Today is Mother's Day and my beloved gave his annual salute to all neighborhood Mother's by firing up our bad boy lawn mower at 7:30am!  I know you are sad you missed the festivities!  I am certain other hard working mothers around here would have loved to have missed it also.

So you ask, what has been keeping our plump girlish girl busy all these long months?  Simply one!  I have been working very hard trying to be a better more even tempered wife.  I have been working very hard at work, taking advantage of learning opportunities with a special project.  I have been stitching.  I have been baking and cooking.  I haven't spent a great deal of time at home on the computer, I have been cultivating other interests, trying to simply  my life and mind.

We had to send Professor back east for his last maternal auntie's funeral.  It hit him quite hard.  My dear husband grew up in a small village near Georgetown, Guyana.  His maternal grandmother had 4 daughters, and 2 lived in the homes on either side of her.  Yes, 5 strong beautiful Guyanese women living in a row of 5 homes on the same street.  My Prince was surrounded by nothing but family and a dizzying number of cousins as play and schoolmates as well as protectors.  Doesn't that sound idyllic?  He has wonderful memories of growing up and I really envy him.  So now all the sisters are together up in Heaven which is pretty magnificent for them but very sad for the family left behind.  I was touched when his sister called me after he arrived in New York to thank me for sending him.  She knows finances are tight and she was appreciative of that fact.  How terrific is that?

This morning I have baked the crescent roll bread pudding to take over to my dear Mother's.  I have also baked a chocolate mayonnaise cake to take to work tomorrow.  Both of those recipes are over at my Lilac Thicket Cooks blog.

I may get in some stitching later today on my Mermaid Bath Salts piece.  That being said Happy Mother's Day my dear readers.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Stitching is not for the faint of heart!

This girlish girl has been on it.  I am so excited to share with you, the stitchy stuff I have been up to.  I have finished 4 UFO's in the past month.  I think I deserve to treat myself to start a new project, don't you?
I finished this Lizzie Kate design for my Princess Wiggle Wiggle.  Wouldn't you say that since she is a princess she deserves a crown?
The buttons held on with a length of thread with beads were such a pain in the pancreas but the results are darling.  You can enlarge the picture by clicking on it for a better view.

The difference in the floss on the green vines looks more apparent in the picture then in person.  The more I stitched the less I noticed the change.  My posse couldn't even tell which part of the vine was stitched with a different brand.

I think I will make this into a bed pillow for more function.  She can take this off to college with her in 15 years and have it brighten her dorm room with loving thoughts of her Auntie.
This is my third finish is a C Mon Monde design.  The design is called "Un Tour Dans Mon" which translates to "A Ride in My Bag".  She is stitched on 32 count Enchanted Night from Color Blooms.  She is darling and I kept thinking she reminds me of a Mary Poppins character with the umbrella. 

As far as how (and when) I will finish her, I had an idea for a trick or treat bag for Princess Wiggle Wiggle.
This is my fourth finish, a free design from AutyTM.  It is the 2011 Patriotic Quaker heart.  I used Crescent Colors Wavy Navy, Red Manor and Honey Bee.  I was surprised as the Navy ran when I washed it, I would have expected the red to.  You don't really notice it.  I did love the Manor Red color, very deep and rich.

How to finish....maybe an ornament.  The next Quaker Patriotic Heart I stitch I want to use a Tea Rose pink and a light blue and a ecru colored floss.  I think that would be pretty too!
The new project I am getting ready to start is "Pumpkin Farm" from Blackbird Designs.  Yesterday I went and bought the DMC as I could only find one skein of the GAST it called for and I didn't want to spend the money. 
So this morning I got up and started pawing about my Happy Room.  I went thru one storage box of fabric (I have 3) and pulled out a couple dozen choices and then threw the floss on them and pared it down to 3.  Top fabric in the picture is 30ct hand dyed linen Gold.  Middle fabric 28ct hand dyed cashel Mountain Mist and the bottom fabric is Kiwi Illusions 28ct lugana "Rimu".
I think I will take it all outside and look at the choices in the sunlight.  God Bless all of us and may the bounty of autumn fill your lives.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Enjoy Your Life-It has an expiration date

Expiration Dates for 77 foods, beauty and household products

Apparently the following story has been out there for a while.  I had not seen it before and it so touched me that I felt the need to share it.  The father in the story reminds me in many ways of my Grandfather that was born in 1903.  He was the Irishman and his wife, my Grandmother, also born in 1903, a German.  Grandfather was Catholic, in fact his mother, Fanny, who was born in County Cork had fierce ideas he was GOING to be a priest.  Thankfully he didn't or you wouldn't be reading this blog.  Please enjoy this story for the first time or maybe it is something you have seen before.  But please enjoy and take it into your heart.

Here is a story of an aging couple told by their son who was President of NBC NEWS.

This is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and president of NBC News. In 1997 he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It is well worth reading. A few good chuckles are guaranteed. 
My father never drove a car. Well, that's not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car.
He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.
"In those days," he told me when he was in his 90s, "to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it."
At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in: "Oh, baloney!" she said. "He hit a horse."
"Well," my father said, "there was that, too."
So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars -- the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford -- but we had none.
My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines, would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.
My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we'd ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. "No one in the family drives," my mother would explain, and that was that.
But, sometimes, my father would say, "But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we'll get one." It was as if he wasn't sure which one of us would turn 16 first.
But, sure enough, my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown...  

It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn't drive, it more or less became my brother's car.
Having a car but not being able to drive didn't bother my father, but it didn't make sense to my mother...
So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned  to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father's idea. "Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?" I remember him saying more than once.
For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps -- though they seldom left the city limits -- and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.
Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn't seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage. (Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)
He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustine's Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish's two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home.
If it was the assistant pastor, he'd take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests "Father Fast" and "Father Slow."
After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he'd sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I'd stop by, he'd explain: "The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored."
If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out -- and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, "Do you want to know the secret of a long life?"
"I guess so," I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.
"No left turns," he said.
"What?" I asked.
"No left turns," he repeated. "Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic.
As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn."
"What?" I said again.
"No left turns," he said. "Think about it... Three rights are the same as a left, and that's a lot safer. So we always make three rights."
"You're kidding!" I said, and I turned to my mother for support. "No," she said, "your father is right. We make three rights. It works."  But then she added: "Except when your father loses count."
I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing. "Loses count?" I asked.
"Yes," my father admitted, "that sometimes happens. But it's not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you're okay again."
I couldn't resist. "Do you ever go for 11?" I asked.
"No," he said " If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can't be put off another day or another week."
My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90.
She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102.
They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom -- the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.)
He continued to walk daily -- he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he'd fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising -- and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.
One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news.
A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, "You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred." At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, "You know, I'm probably not going to live much longer."
"You're probably right," I said.
"Why would you say that?" He countered, somewhat irritated.
"Because you're 102 years old," I said.
"Yes," he said, "you're right." He stayed in bed all the next day.
That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night.
He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said: "I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet"
An hour or so later, he spoke his last words: "I want you to know," he said, clearly and lucidly, "that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have."
A short time later, he died.
I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I've wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long.
I can't figure out if it was because he walked through life, or because he quit taking left turns. "
Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the one's who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it and if it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it." ENJOY LIFE NOW - IT HAS AN EXPIRATION DATE!


Friday, August 31, 2012

I'm the voluptuous one in the middle

Lately I have been dreaming of the sea.  I want to feel the salt air in my lungs and the sand shifting under my feather light body.  I want to spread out a blanket and set up a chair under a big pink umbrella.  I want to sip on ice cold Diet Pepsi and complain that the sand is getting into my stitching bag.  I want to hear the gulls complaining that I won't share my Pringles with them.  I want to gossip with my bosom chums about the latest projects we need to purchase.  I want to bemoan the fact the sun is so bright that I need my sunglasses.  I want to giggle about the silliness of our latest adventure.  Yes my congenial friends I want to be taken away to the sea.
You may be asking why, why would a girlish girl with a perfect life want to be somewhere else.  Well it is all Ms. Tanya Marie Anderson's fault, yes the Sampler Girl designer.  She tempted me with a sale on her darling designs by daring to slip an e-mail into my box.  Shame on her and how could I resist?  How could any Jane Austen fan resist "By the Ocean with Jane Austen"?  And then there was "Gertie Sells Yarn by the Seashore".  Not to be left behind was her cute Halloween design "Out Flying".  Because my finances were in short supply I decided to forgo her new design booklet "Mermaid Booklet".  I shed a tear as I vowed in one month to purchase it so we would never have to part again... 
I can't wait to start a new project but I will contain myself even though I want to stitch Gertie and Jane for my necessary dearest ones, girlish girls have no bathrooms, only necessary rooms.  Just like girlish girls do not sweat, they glisten.
I indeed have been making progress on Princess Wiggle Wiggle's birth sampler.  I have to finish her name and then the crown at the top and the right blue bird and I can start on something else.  This one has the 2 different colors of green hand-dyed floss.  At first I was not happy and swore I could tell a huge difference but as the rest is stitched it isn't noticeable.  I won't tell you which part of the vine is with a different brand but let me know what you think.
My next UFO to tackle will be the above design.  It really is darling, a French designer.  This is being stitched on Color Bloom 32count in Enchanted Night.  It is cute and look forward to getting started on a "Sea" design.
And I have a weeks vacation coming up soon.  One of the things I would like to accomplish is making a slip cover for my love seat in the front room.  I found this denim fabric at the Thrift shop...11 yards of 60" width for $6.60!  I don't know if you see the pattern well in the photo but it is a throw cover with gathered corners.  I want to make a throw but then make cushion covers so it will stay in place better.  If I have enough fabric I would like to make a padding for the arms too.  I will wash the fabric first to remove the starch and shrink it.  I am so excited about doing this and will definitely share the finished product with you.
Pears are ripe and for the picking!  I brought some home from work and the above pears came from Brother 1's pear tree.  The Professor has commented on how sweet they are.  I may pare some up to freeze for pear bread or pear cobbler...yum!
Oh yes, I found a great Spanish rice recipe and my Prince loves it.  I put the recipe up on my other blog, The Lilac Thicket Cooks.  The link is up on the right.
The time has come for this girl to sign off.  I am going to fix me a bagel with some Nutella...yum!  May all your Thickets be blessed and your adventures delightful!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Time for an Underwear Finish Dance

I am just so excited, yes dear friends, there is a finish in the Lilac Thicket!  "I Love You", a UFO started over a year and a half ago was completed as I watched some programs I recorded!  My work of art is washed and pressed!  I even recalled seeing some fabric in my stash that is perfect to finish it with.  I am thinking a tuck pillow or a heart shaped stuffed door hanger...what do ya'll think?  Any suggestions?  I think I probably will work on finishing it next weekend.

So onto the Lizzie Kate piece and as I look at it I see it isn't a very big piece so only the crown and the right swirl with bird along with Princess Wiggle Wiggle's name remain.  There is one fly in the ointment. I chose different colors then the pattern called for. I didn't write the names down which isn't a problem because the skeins are in the bag, except that the green was a Six Strand Sweet hand-dyed. They are no longer in business and I used all but a length that is in the needle dangling from the fabric.  The floss tag is missing so I don't know what the name is.  That means trying to match it up with something else.  I suppose the worst that can happen is I have to pull the left green swirl out and start over with another color...rats!

Well if one finish is a roll, I am on a roll and I feel good about it.  I enjoyed stitching which is something that hasn't happened in a while.  Life is sweet within the Lilac Thicket this evening.  Time to embarrass my husband by doing an Underwear Finish Dance for the neighbors in my front room window!  I think the dance song will be..."hot stitcher, check it and see, her needle temp is 103"!