Stitching and Life in the Company of Pets

Monday, May 26, 2008

Progress and eggs

While not as far along as I'd like, Schoolgirl Lessons has moved forward a bit. This turned out a bit darker than it really is (coloring in the earlier post from using the scanner is more accurate on the fabric) but since this was taken with my camera the picture is clickable, so the lovely shading in the blues can be seen more easily. With only about a quarter of it left now I'm hopeful of having it done by the end of the SAL. I thought the SAL ended the end of this month. However, it actually ends June 15, so it should be doable.

Since I don't have much stitching to show off, I'll show off my new toy. I'm not much of a cook anymore, preferring to make what I can nuke in the microwave and what is quick. Therefore, frozen foods that can be microwaved are quite big on my list. Things that take a while to cook, or things I'm going to feel like I need to cook a lot of to justify, just don't get made. One of the things I haven't made lately and I love are hard boiled eggs. Ok, I hear most of you laughing saying those aren't hard. I agree, but, they do take time (20 minutes plus) and if I'm going to heat a bunch of water and use the stove to cook that long I feel I need to make quite a few. Since I'm the only one that wants to eat them, I don't really need a lot. However, this weekend I was out shopping and found this really neat new toy, it is a Egg Boiler for the Microwave by Nordic Ware. It looks just like an egg and works wonderfully. To make my eggs I just open it up into its three parts like this The bottom of the egg I fill with water to the fill line. Then I put the metal middle back in, which has 4 little indents to put eggs in. I can cook just 1 or up to 4 eggs.
Once the eggs are in, I snap the top back on, put it in the microwave, and cook for 10 minutes. Let it cool for 2 minutes and I have eggs. Much quicker (and I think less energy) than the old way. Also, especially in the summer it will be nice not to have the extra heat in the house that running the stove for that amount of time would give. And if I get sidetracked and forget them, the microwave turns off by itself, I don't have to worry about boiling the pot dry. I used it for the first time yesterday and made a couple and it worked wonderful. Eggs were done, easy to peel, and are now gone, guess I need to make some more for lunch tomorrow.

Today is Memorial Day so I have the day off. It looks like it is going to be a lovely day. We had storms last night, which was good as we needed the rain. However, it is nice and sunny now. Hope you all have a good day too.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Interesting Mother's Day present and progress

I've had a number of Mother's Days to celebrate since my daughter was born, and in that time I've had quite a number of Mother's Day presents, some of them more lets say unique than others. However, this past Mother's Day I received my oddest one yet. Lets just say sometimes what someone chooses to give you doesn't quite equate to what you'd like to have. In this case I could have done quite well without my gift. The gift in question though did not come from my DD, it was presented to me from one of my four footed and furry children (maybe you now have a vague idea where this is going). Mother's day went very well for me. I talked to my DD, went over to my parents, spent some time with my brother and his family who were also there, and in general had an enjoyable day. Later that evening however it must have occurred to Jaz that she wanted to give me something (needless to say quite a few people have now been informed that next year they can take Jaz shopping for something a little more appropriate, LOL). Here is my angelic looking culprit, now would you think she'd have come up with this creative of a gift? At about 2 am, Jaz decided she needed to go out, so ok, out she goes and in a bit she's ready to come back in. As she's passing by me I look down and see what looks like some grass on the side of her mouth (since she loves to eat grass that's not unusual). So.....I say her name to get her attention so I can get it, at that point she quite happily proceeds to drop a dead mouse at my feet. Ok, I can hear you all going eeeeewwwww, believe me I was doing the same. As I'm doing a crazy fast step to get further away, Jaz is standing there wiggling all over, tail waving madly, and is sooooo pleased with herself she can hardly stand it. Also at this time one cat then another has noticed something interesting is going on and are starting to move our way. So, at that point I am still icked out, Jaz is still wiggling with glee, I'm trying to figure out how I can get the dead mouse off the floor and out the door without touching it and without leaving it as the cats now want to move in and claim it. Chasing a cat through the house to reclaim a dead mouse at 2 am is really not something I want to do. Having a cat steal the mouse and leave it somewhere I can't find and then having it begin to smell is not high on my list either. Finally I managed to get it scooped up and out of the house, all the while avoiding Jaz who is trying to lick my face when I bend down (another eeewww, I know where that mouse was, yuck!!). The cats are now not happy as they didn't get their new toy, Jaz is trying to figure out why I wasn't thrilled with her present, and I just want to calm down so I can go back to sleep. To say it was an interesting experience is an understatement. I so do not understand dogs. Why on earth would you want a mouse in your mouth in the first place, eeewww, and she was just so incredibly pleased with what she brought me. Oh well, they say it's the thought that counts, but even so, I hope next year my Mother's Day is a little quieter. Something from the furbabies that is a lot more boring and less unique will be much appreciated, LOL.

Not a whole lot of stitching has gotten done, at some point I keep saying my life will settle down but it doesn't show signs of slowing in the future. However, I have made some progress. Schoolgirl Lessons now has the house done and part of the tree I still can't get the lovely deep blue of the silks to show, but I'll keep trying. I'm hoping to get some more time in on this during this weekend. The SAL runs through the end of this month, and I'd really like to have it done by then. Lizzie Kate's double flips has also moved forward a bit more just a little bit to go and I'll have the first word finished. Kim has already finished Dream and has a good portion of Love done so I need to get moving to catch up.

Well I'm off to see what all you've been up too. Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day and it was a little, ummm, less exciting than mine, LOL.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Two new starts, and some pictures from Philly

My first new start is for a SAL with the Little House Needleworks group. I'm doing Schoolgirl Lessons on 32 ct. Belfast Linen, not sure of the color, and using Crescent Colours Belle Soie in Mer Bleu. This picture really doesn't do the beautiful blue color justice, hopefully my next picture will be more true to the color it is in real life. This is the first time I've used the silks by Crescent Colours and they are wonderful. So soft and plush, they just glide through the material.

Here is what it will look like finished. The other thing, besides the silks, I'm really enjoying on this piece is that it is all one color, so I can just sit and stitch and not worry about changing threads all the time, very relaxing.

My second new start is the new Lizzie Kate Double Flips series. This one I'm doing with the Weeks Dye works and Sampler threads on 32 ct. Lambswool linen. You've all probably seen what it will look like done, as so many bloggers seem to be working on this lately, but in case you haven't here it is. This is such an unusual piece for me, not my normal style at all. However, I fell in love with the colors and the wonderful words, they really do convey some great ideas to live by. I'm not to thrilled with the fabric though, it seems quite stiff and even scratchy. I've been told that the manufacturer uses quite a bit of sizing to ensure consistent size and count in measuring and that it should get softer as I work on it more. Or, I could try washing it to remove some of the sizing. I may try to do that, being careful not to get the very top wet where my stitching is as I won't want it to run, which overdyes are prone to do.

Have any of you worked with the lambswool before? What did you do? Do you think that it does really soften up as the piece progresses? This piece I'm doing as a SAL with my DSIL. We tend to stitch at about the same pace, so it will be fun to have the company. With so many people starting it much earlier in the year, I think most other stitchers will be done long before we are.

My DD is still with the circus and having so much fun traveling around and seeing so much of the country. Her latest stop was in Philadelphia. I don't know how we'd keep in touch without our cell phones, as her hours are quite different from mine so actually talking is difficult. However, we send each other text messages all the time, and I get great pictures from the places she's at. We love the fact she can take a picture on her cell phone and send it to my phone, I can see what she's seeing at that time. It sure helps in feeling like we are staying connected even though she's so far away most times and I rarely actually see her.Then I can forward her pictures from my cell phone to my email and can share them with family and friends and such. So many times new technology drives me crazy trying to learn it, but in this case I think it's wonderful.

She really tries to take advantage of the opportunities to sight see and explore the various places she's in, travel is after all why she joined the circus. While in Philly she made a point of seeing a number of places, including the Liberty Bell (you can even see the crack)

A museum with a Star Wars theme going on, I love the Darth Vader they painted on the steps (all pictures are clickable, but if you click this one you can see Darth Vader even clearer)
She even tracked down the steps that they used in the movie Rocky and made a point to run up them.
She's a big movie buff, in her travels she also made a point of going to see the Brooklyn Bridge, with the main reason being she'd seen it destroyed in so many movies she wanted to see it in real life.

Midnight continues to hold her own, moving around a little more, and with a little more interest in things. However, not much interest in eating. She'll munch a little kibble now and then, but mostly only interested in baby food. She loves the turkey flavor. Sure feels funny to be back in the store buying baby food, when my baby is now almost 25.