Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Time for a Fresh Start!

Been lacking in keeping this blog updated. Just enjoying my time "off". I don't work outside the home, but that doesn't make me any less busy! It sure was a pretty stressfull holiday for me. I am going to work REALLY hard not to let that happen again. I have goals in mind for this coming year. Not resolutions. I'm back to hooking and am almost finished with the border on the pomegranate rug. I haven't had a chance to take a picture yet, but plan on doing that in the next day or so. Feels soooo good to hook again. How rewarding it is to find something you truly love to do.
Hard to believe it is New Year's Eve already. 2009, WOW! I'm praying for everyone to have a safe, healthy, happy, and very prosperous New Year! I guess it's true, that we/things/situations, only get better with "time". Time is a healer for sure.
We rented some movies to watch today, but I think we'll be watching them over the next couple days. We got 6 of them! No special plans at all, just relaxing. No special dinners either. I will make Taco's for dinner for Nicole and I and George will have a hoagie. (not a taco fan). Craig will be spending time with his girlfriend at her house. I'm hoping to get to some more hooking later too. Other than that, it "should" be a peaceful day. Will stay up with Nicole probably to watch the ball drop. I'm sure George will be sound asleep by then lol.
We have had so many blessings in 2008. I'm praying that 2009 will be even a better year! I'm truly thankful for every day that God gives me to spend it with my family and friends. My deepest desire is for others to come to know Christ this coming year, and to find the peace that so many are searching for. It's so simple....
I sure hope whatever your plans are for this evening, that you stay warm, and stay safe! Think twice before drinking and driving, please...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope your day was Blessed with being with loved ones and just enjoying what the whole day is really about. So much hustling and bustling, and then it's over in just a short time. Taking time to lift up our hearts to Jesus should be our main focus. I know it's mine. Without Him, I am nothing. Happy Birthday Jesus!

We had a very nice day. Nicole woke us up at 6:00. Said she gave us an extra hour lol. Came in our room and just started bouncing on the side of the bed. My side of course. I told her to go wake Craig, and it was fun just listening to those two. I came downstairs and made the coffee for George. We always get our chairs set up and then we call them down. Lately, they can't seem to keep their hands to themselves. Pushing each other as they come down the stairs.

We let them pass out the gifts. They seemed to be enjoying themselves. Some are hams for the camera...>

And some are not...... For some reason, our family used a lot of tape on boxes this year lol. Craig had a heck of a time getting one open...

He's a real Viking's fan, so I thought anything Viking's might put a smile on his face. I was right!
Craig spoiled us this year. Wish he would have saved his money for the car he is saving for. He gave his dad a blue ray dvd player, his sister a speaker system for her mp3 player and this is what he got me! A 22" monitor! It will take a bit to get used to.
George and I had bought things in the past couple months that we considered our Christmas gift to each other. He got himself an analyzer (I think that's what it is called) for his ham radio and I got a Townsend cutter! We got a few more things for under the tree too.
After the gifts were opened, the paper started flying "again" lol.

And, if you followed the post from yesterday, you should know that when stuff like this happens in my house, you can guarantee someone will get hurt, or........ Yep, hot chocolate on my carpet lol. Craig did a great job at cleaning it up and you can't even tell it spilled.

When this was all finished, I made some egg and bacon sandwiches. Something easy. Tired of being in the kitchen. Our lunch/dinner consisted of a buffet style, serve yourself. A very relaxing day spent with my family. What more could I ask for? Took my mil some food later this afternoon, since she wasn't up to coming over. Sat for a little with her and then took Nicole to her boyfriends to have dinner over there. Craig had his girlfriend here for our meal and then went to visit with her family. Now I'm just wondering if I really want to hook or not. I said I was going to do that ALL day today, and still haven't done it. May just skip it today and really take the time for it tomorrow. I don't have anything else planned for tomorrow. That is so exciting for me lol! Right now I'm just listening to my blog Christmas music and enjoying the peace and quiet in the house. Aaaaaahhhh, so quiet, so nice......

That was my day, and I'm hoping you had some peace in your day too. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Birthday George!

Today is my husband George's birthday, and I wanted to share some pictures of the day we had. Nicole gave him a very funny card. They have a little joke going between them (at my expense of course), and he got the biggest kick out of it.
He got a few things. Having his birthday the day before Christmas, I always feel I'm shorting him. I don't think he feels that way, but it seems it.
The silliness started when the unwrapping was done. Between him and Nicole, I'm not sure who started it! (Something got on my lens, and didn't realize it)...
And what happens when children start playing and don't know when to stop??? Yep, someone gets hurt. This time both of them got it in the eye LOL. It was time to put the camera away and separate them lol. I hope he had a good morning. The rest of the day was getting ready to go over to his mom's to have dinner and cake. Then we exchanged our Christmas presents there. His mom may or may not come over tomorrow. We'll see how much energy she has. We had a good time there as well. Lots of laughing. We had our dinner, and then it was time for cake. I had forgotten the candles at home, so I searched her house for some. I found this lone one lol!

Of course after the singing, George wanted an encore.......... Not really, but it sure looked that way, huh lol?

Now I wonder what he was wishing for before he blew it out. Sure looks serious. Must have been wishing for something big!! Just look at that face. (oh please, oh please)
George cut the cake, and I guess I'm waiting patiently??? Mmmmm, chocolate. That's what I get for letting Nicole have the camera lol.
Even my mil was saying don't take any pictures of her. But of course she had to get one....
We got to open our gifts and just enjoy spending a little while longer with her. We had a good time, and she enjoyed the books we got her. She really enjoys reading. Craig wasn't able to join us tonight because he had to work. We missed him! He did have his girlfriend Lake here yesterday and I snapped a quick shot of them. Can you tell he's a Vikings fan?
Got home at a reasonable time, and started to boil the water to make the macaroni salad for tomorrow. Well wouldn't you know it? I didn't have any macaroni! It is now after 7:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Now what? I was calling all over, and everyone was closed. I was even calling neighbors, and they weren't home. Last resort was to call Kmart. Figured it Walmart was closed they would be too. I lucked out! They were open till 10:00. Ran over and got it and made the salad. Then it was time for the lasagna. Well wouldn't you know it? I didn't have a lasagna pan LOL. I'm telling you this year has been the year to remember. Sooo back to Kmart! Everything is now done and I just have a couple more gifts to wrap and then put everything under the tree. My daughter already informed me that she is waking us up at 5:30. HAH! We'll see.
Ok, off to finish up my night. Wishing everyone a very Blessed Christmas, and may you and yours have a wonderful day!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oh the Joy!

I don't think there is more pleasure than embarassing your kids every now and then. My daughter had her boyfriend over one night and I decided to take a few pictures of them. Nicole wanted to do a few things with the pictures anyway. So here are a couple. Cute aren't they?

Then I had some fun. I asked them to turn towards the tree. I guess they thought I was going to take a picture of them with their backs to me, but while they were doing that, I clicked on the computer a song that Brandon had sent her. (was going to post the link, but decided not too) Oh, he even has it on his phone, so it's not something I wasn't supposed to know. It was just a cute thing. Well, this was the reaction I got LOL. Look how red his face is. I just love it! He embarrases real easy. I told Nicole if he wants to hang around here, he is going to get over that real quick! He's sticking around so far lol.
Just had to share them with you. I even put this one as the desk top background on the computer! I got an, "Oh my God" lol. I'm always threatening to sing or dance when they have company. Hey, I have to have some pleasure in getting them back for all the times they've embarassed me, right?? And I haven't brought out any baby pictures....yet!
Well, I have the meatballs cooking now. Will have some for dinner tonight and then reheat for Christmas day for sandwiches. Defnitely a buffet on that day! Tried doing a sit down dinner once a very long time ago, and knew then that they don't work for us. Can't get everyone together at the same time. I can cook the lasagna, and macaroni salad tomorrow and the ham on Christmas day.
I got a lot done yesterday. Even though it was nothing but pure running from one place to another. One of my big problems is just trying to decide. I need to work on that! I will finish the wrapping today "IF" I can find the wrapping paper I bought. I've asked George and Craig today if they had it and they said no. Hmm, next is the daughters room, and if it's not there, then it must be UNDER all the stuff in my wool room lol. OH, it couldn't be there, could it lol?
Soooo looking forward to kicking back from Christmas day and the days to follow. I am going to have some serious down time. Even told my daughter last night on the way home from picking her up that if anyone wakes me the day after Christmas, someone is going to pay. She then said, but I have swimming practice that morning. I wanted to scream, and then she quickly said, Just kidding!! Ok, she got me good lol. See, you need a sense of humor in my family. I'll get her back for sure though.....
Hoping everyone is finishing/finished with their last minute details.....

Friday, December 19, 2008

Could not stay away

For as miserable as the weather was today, I just had to try and make it to Joan's for dye group today. Luckily, the temperature was warm enough that it wasn't freezing. We did have a lot of rain though. I fought back and forth with myself whether to go the long way or try to go over the mountain. I had to go to the post office first and mail a package, so I thought to just try the mountain. When I got to the base ready to go up, I told myself, "now you know if go you up, you must come down" lol. Whether I turned around half way or not, I would have to come down some how. Was just praying that it wasn't icy. This is what I ran into though. And yes, I turned off my wipers to get a shot lol. I was the only real idiot on the road anyway.

I just took it at a moderate pace. Got there safe and sound. Only Delores didn't venture out in it, so it was just 4 of us. We had such a fun time. Of course we had to play games. Joan is the best at hosting a party! One of Nancy's favorite games is the word search we do. Ok, I'm lieing. Nancy hates the word search lol. (I like it !). And I won a prize for finishing first. Actually, I think I'm the only one that completed it lol. It was a tough one. I got some wonderful candles. My house is going to smell soooo good this winter. Then Joan gave us another game to play. It was a bunch of questions on a paper. I'm telling you they were tough. I guessed at just about all of them. I think I got 4 out of 15! They were all a little history of Christmas questions. That was fun too.

Joan made some wonderful home made pizza for lunch. I LOVE it. She knows that :). It was great. But it was a surprise. I didn't know we were having it. I brought my yogurt that I grabbed on the way out the door. (I left that for her to eat later lol). There were also sweets to pick on and some vegetables and dip. Everything was delicious. Louise brought us all some home made earth bread and she aslo makes caramel popcorn. Mmmmm.

We didn't do our normal dyeing today. But Joan did have something planned. Told you she's the best! She had 4 pieces of camel wool soaking, and she put 4 different dyes near the pot. We were to make up our own formula. Whether it be just a straight one dye, or a combination, etc. So we all started with the same color and when we were done, we ended up with 4 beautiful pieces of wool. Was very interesting to see what each person chose to do. We also cut our piece into 4 pieces, and gave a piece to each other. So now we have a piece of all of them.

Before we were ready to leave, I asked Joan's husband Bob to take a picture of us. I can't thank him enough for the shots he got. When I got home and looked at them, I howled lol. We are one silly group!!! Ok, the camera wasn't set on flash, so I had to step out of the picture for a minute. Here they are joking around as usual. Nancy on the left, Poor Louise in the middle wondering what the heck have I gotten myself in to, and Joan on the right. Not sure what song they were singing LOL.
Ok, now I step back into the picture...... We get serious for a moment... and then.......
The silliness starts again. Don't you just love the bunny ears I have????

It was a great day, and was spent with great friends. So glad I decided to go and not stay home. Thank you Joan for your hospitality. You are such a giving soul. Bless you! And PLEASE thank Bob for taking these great pictures lol. Love them! You all just crack me up!!

Sweet gifts from friends

I was the recipient of a few gifts for Christmas already. I taught Genny from church how to hook a while back and she is doing a great job. She's working on her 3rd rug I believe. Has also made some pins too. I meet with her at church when our schedules permit. Used to be once a week, but lately hasn't been all that consistent. Well, she made me the cutest wall hanging. I think I've got her hooked on wool lol. It's all wool and she did a wonderful job. I just love it. I have it hanging in the guest bathroom. Love the torn edges, and the branch she used for the hanger. Along with that, she gave me some really nice smelling lotion and shower gel. Thanks Genny

Then I received a package in the mail from my friend Joanne. Was very surprised! Inside the box was another box that was covered in 2 offwhite wool skirts. Those will be great for my dyeing. Inside the other box, which by the way has a hole in the top to add a hooked, punched, or cross stitch piece, there were all these other items. Love that box and can't wait to do something with it! The striped wool is wonderful and I look forward to hooking with it. The tea is something new I tried while we were away at camp. They had some there at class, and it was the first time I tried it. Really like it! The mitten is hanging on a wooden tree that I have in the foyer that I put a twig vine around with lights. It started off with one mitten on there, and then my friend Beth gave me quite a few to add to it one Christmas. It is now full! The lint roller will go in my hooking bag, and the citric acid will be used for my dyeing. I'm so glad she labeled it. You never know what could have happen :). I may, just MAY tell you a funny story about citric acid some day..... The candy is hidden at the bottom of the box so I won't be tempted to eat it. I am planning on holding on to it until my wool room is cleaned up after the holidays, and then it's coming up there with me. Hmm, may just have to eat some before I clean it to give me the energy that will be needed. It's a distaster in there and needs a warning sign on the door before you enter. That's how bad lol! As it is, it has a Stay out sign on the door because I have all the Christmas presents just thrown in there that aren't wrapped yet. Plus, with me doing last minute gifts, it's a mess. Yes, I am a messy, very disorganized, and can't seem to put something away after I use it. A bad habit, very baaaaad habit. I think I need a 12 step program for that lol.

Well, speaking of last minute gifts, I need to get upstairs and stuff one to get it off in the mail today. We are expecting some iffy weather today. I'm supposed to have dye group, we'll see how it goes.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Home for the Holiday?

I got to thinking today how many people are staying home for the holiday this year. The way the economy is, I wonder how crowded the airports will actually be. How many families will not be together this year? Is it because of distance, a lost loved one, or a loved one in the armed forces? How will you be spending your holiday this year?

For me, I will be staying home, and celebrating with my husband and 2 children. I have 2 brothers who live in different states. They have their families now too. And we all have our own traditions. Even though we won't be together physically, in our hearts I truley believe that we are "home" on Christmas. Our memories never leave us of the times we've shared. A phone call that day or sometime that week will be spoken with love and best wishes for spending it with our families. I look forward to that phone call...

My wish for everyone is a peaceful day no matter where you are. I think of the homeless, the ones who are fighting for us right now, ones with no family at all. But one thing we all have are our memories. And rather than be sad, we need to feel those memories and know we are "home", no matter where we are. All of you who will be hustling and bustling around going from home to home, I lift up my prayers to you for safe travels.

I pretty much have everything done now. All the baking is done, and what a wonderful day that was spent with my daughter. It was a tradition I did with my mom, and now I have it with my daughter. Even told her that I hope she continues it with her children. A lot of laughter went on that day. Made a few new things, and Nicole even said about the gooey bars that it was a new addition to our annual baking. They were really good.
Today I spent some time with my friend Vicki and showed her how to do punch needle. She is one fast learner. A real natural. She will finish her projects in no time at all. Can't wait to see it!

Tomorrow I will go to a few more stores, and I'm really hoping that will finish it up. The hardest one is my husband, and knowing him, I may be out till the stores close on Christmas Eve buying for him LOL. His last day is Friday, so I'll wait till then to "hound/nag" whatever it is that men say we do (not me though), to find out what he wants or needs. He's been really busy at work, so I didn't want to bother him.

I have my dye group to go to on Friday and I'm looking forward to the relaxing time spent there. Just love those gals!! Will make sure I take my camera for that. I miss not posting pictures on here. Just haven't had anything to share/well that I "could" share because they were gifts.
Enjoy the rest of your week!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Getting there

I'm working steadily now, trying to finish up the "little" things. I did all the wrapping yesterday and now I can see what still is left as far as shopping. Not too bad, just a few little things. But isn't that always the case? There are still those few little things to keep you going.

I've sent out my ornament swap package on Monday. She should be getting it soon. And now I'm just finishing up the Secret Santa package. Wish I could share it with you, but that would ruin the suprise! You never know who reads these blogs, could be her!

We didn't get the bad weather they were calling for. I for one am thankful for that. Didn't know what to expect when I woke up this morning. I am going out to lunch today with a friend I haven't seen in quite a while. I am looking forward to that. I may go out a little earlier and hit a couple stores before hand and see if I can get a "few" of those things still left to do. The one who is always the hardest to buy for is my husband. His birthday also falls on Christmas Eve! Makes it even tougher. And as we get older, there just isn't that much that we want/need. Whatever we want or need (as long as it's reasonable), we just get it throughout the year. I keep asking him for his list. It's sitting there near the sofa, but there is not that much on there. Will have to keep on him. I know he's really been busy with work lately, AND my jeep which is still in our garage. I have faith that he will find the problem. Honestly, I think the man will be able to build a Jeep all by himself after all the research,reading, and working on it that he's been doing. Gotta love all his talents!

Tonight I'll be heading out to church for their Christmas dinner. I was there the other day and got a peek at the gym where it will be held. It is looking so festive. I hear they are expecting close to 200, and will have some entertainment. Sounds like a nice time to get out and have fellowship with friends.

Well, now it's time to get back to some cross stitching. I think I can finish the stitching before I leave and then age it and construct it when I get back this afternoon. Shoot, that's one thing I forgot to do. I need to send my husband the link where to get the linen I want for Christmas. Better do that before I get off here. I just love Stacy Nash's site, and her linen is really nice to work with. I have a couple of her patterns and the new little book she put out. There are some more patterns I'd like to get.....perhaps next year some time.

Here's hoping everyone will be able to finish up those "few" little things this week, so we can have the time to stop and reflect on what the season is all about, and not be working ourselves to the bone up until the last minute. Let's give from the heart and help those who are less fortunate than we are. There is always someone worse off than we are. And it feels so good to give.....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Some hook-in fun.....

I went to the Blue and Gray hook in today in Gettysburg. Peggy Hannum came today to give a talk about color. She did a wonderful job and showed us some of her most beautiful rugs. She is a fine cut hooker. And you will see what I mean by beautiful. She has been hooking for 30 years. She spoke of and showed her first rug she ever did. I can't believe I didn't get a shot of it. It was large rug with iris' on it. It is on her website. Just click on her name above, and you can find it there. Her teacher tried to recommend the small rose pattern (just a mat) that most beginners start with, but she really wanted to do a "rug". So her teacher worked with her and said ok. She told us not to be intimidated by color planning a rug. Or to think that we are inadequate. It really is "in" all of us. We just need to bring it out, and give it time. Eventually the rug will tell you if you need a little of this or less of that. We should always ask questions, and share our experiences. We learn from everyone. She even learns from her students. Rughookers are the most generous people. At these hook-ins, if you are ever struggling with something, it's the best place to be for a multitude of opinions and suggestions. Someone is always willing to help you out. That's what we are there for. To help each other and to learn from each other.

Peggy spoke a lot about swatches and how they help you find the color you are looking for. You can use books, or one example she gave was fabric. You can get fabric that is color planned for you already. You know you've seen the little dots on the selvedge of yardage in the fabric stores. Collecting pictures, you can make a great reference book for future projects. Here is one rug that she wanted to match her curtains that she made. Again, using swatches from TOD (triple over dye), she was able to come up with colors that matched her fabric. You can see the fabric at the top corner of the rug. One thing that I love to hear is that her rugs are on the floor and they are used. She walked on hers during her talks today. After all, they are "rugs" aren't they?? Some people will gasp (not rughookers) when you say you put them on the floor lol
She talked a lot about intensity of color too. Below I will show some rugs that have some real intensity. She achieved this by dyeing her colors over colored wool instead of white or natural. Dyeing a peach over a peach, or a green over a green etc, will give your color more intensity. It looks like you can just pick a piece of that fruit off the rug, doesn't it? Just gorgeous.
I sure hope I'm explaing all of this right. Sorry if I get anything backwards or twisted. So much was said.

Peggy spoke about the primary colors red, yellow and blue. And how colors work together. If you ever see some of the swatches that are out now from different people, their colors all go well together. Below are some rugs that she also overdyed the same color over different colored wools. For example, taking a peach, red, and blue, and dyeing them all the same green. They will all go together. The scroll in the round rug was all done that way. Stunning, isn't it??

Light and dark backgrounds were also talked about. In her pillow, the tiny flowers are almost a white, and yet she took another color and just lightly outlined it so it was enough contrast to the background. Guess it's kind of hard to see with the angle of the picture. I had to take them sitting down.
She talked about so much, that I'm sure I'm missing a LOT. I wasn't taking notes. I wanted to post this now, because if I didn't I would forget everything. (I'm sure Marion appreciates me doing it now anyway lol). Some of the pictures didn't come out, sorry. The color wheel was also talked about, and Peggy for as good as she is with her color, she doesn't use it that much. They can be a little hard to use. But it is a good tool for knowing complimentary colors and things like that. But to plan a rug with one, I know I wouldn't be able to do it. Ivi also mentioned something that was interesting to me. She said that you can take a colored piece of wool and hold it up to the color wheel, and see what color range it falls in to. For example, you have a piece of greenish yellow. It may just fall into the category of yellow and not green, even though it looks like a green to you. Hope that makes sense to you. I will definitely look at the color wheel a little more with some of my wools.
If nothing else, I've given you a lot of eye candy to drool over today lol. There was a lot of oohing and aaahing over her rugs. I will show a few more before I show you one of her students rugs. The butterfly rug was done for her daughter using transitional dyeing. I hope I didn't get that confused with transcolor dyeing lol. Again, a LOT was talked about.

And here is one of her students rugs. She chose some wool that was wonderful to see how they used it. It's a primitive rug, but with lots of color!! There were some spot dyes, some marbelized pieces, and some dip dyes. A great job!

Oops, and I can't forget the picture I took of Doris' (so happy you started your blog!!!) rug that I took in the beginning of the day. Doris has been a rug hooker for many years and does fine cut as well. This one, she took to the 3 day class with Cynthia Norwood that I was at. It is done in an 8 cut!! She's just about done!! I haven't touched my class rug in weeks lol. I think she did a wonderful job with it, and she was laughing today at how fast it goes with a larger cut lol. I have this pattern sitting here in the room with me. I had picked it up at the Brandywine hook in back in October. My mil gave me money to get myself a Christmas present with. So I picked up that one. I had always admired it. Can't wait to start it NEXT year...... I want to put it over my sofa in my family room. Curious to see what colors I choose. After Peggy had given her talk, we exchanged our wool by standing in a circle and Louise read the story about the Wright family. As she read it, every time we heard the word Wright, we passed our packages to the right, and when we heard the word left, we passed them to the left. We did relatively well, and only screwed up a couple times lol. When the story is over, whatever package you had in your hands is yours! I got a wonderful piece of dark herringbone from Marion (Thank you!!). I am going to check it out for the background in my class rug. Love to use other people's wool in my rugs. Something to always think about when you look at it. We also had some great desserts to sink our teeth into. From cupcakes (thank you Joan, they were delicious), to brownies, and peppermint bark and cookies. I was a good girl though, and made sure I ate my lunch first, THEN treated myself to a few (or more) pieces of treats lol!
Hoping everyone is off to a good start of their week!