Stitching and Life in the Company of Pets

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Two down and a Long Time coming finish

Well I have two done, words that is, with 10 more to go on my Lizzie Kate Doubleflip series. I've finished up Dream and Love (you'll have to overlook the wrinkles) So far I'm still loving the looks of this, and for the most part I'm enjoying stitching it. I'm doing it on the recommended 32 ct. Lambswool, which does seem to be softening up as I stitch more. The overdyes are showing nicely too, especially in the green heart. Where I'm having the trouble is aligning the different squares. Normally with a pattern you have the parts above and below that you can count from. However, as all the words are on different cards, I'm trying to work with the general placement graph but it doesn't show the details. I like to have lots of points to count off of to try and check my placement, but this series, since it was originally set up separately, doesn't have them all one place and lined up to look at. It took me forever to get comfortable with where I was starting Love relative to Dream, and not being able to check that the O and and V were where they should be to the design under Dream drove me nuts. Oh well, it all worked out, and hopefully Remember will go a little easier. This is the new SAL I'm doing with my DSIL Kim. We stitch at about the same pace, so make good SAL partners.

As mentioned in my earlier post my parents just celebrated their 50th anniversary. For quite awhile my DSIL Kim and I have been working on a special SAL for them, actually a number of years. It took a while as we only recently moved fairly close to each other (about an hour now). We didn't want to trust our piece to the mail, so always hand delivered it to each other when we'd be together. Needless to say, with life, kids, and jobs, we weren't always ready to transfer it back when we'd meet up. Also if my parents were around, we couldn't always get it done easily either. However, we stuck to it, and got it finished and framed in time for their anniversary. The piece we chose was Creativity by Just Nan (picture is clickable) This isn't as good a picture as I'd have liked, but I forgot to get a picture before it was framed, and framed under glass doesn't photograph that well. Quite a while ago I showed a tiny piece (a little mouse) of a mystery piece I was working on, this was that piece.

The saying on this is so sweet, and along with the cats (my parents have always had cats) perfect for them. Kim and I divided the bands between us, my brother stitched the cats in the cat band, and each of the three grandchildren (my daughter and my two nephews) each sewed on one of the dragonfly charms. It was a work of love that all of us were able to contribute to. They have it hanging up already, and seemed to be thrilled with both the design, and appreciative of all the time and love that went into selecting it and stitching it for them.

While a busy time at work, I've managed to squeeze in three movies (one each weekend). Once my DD moved I pretty much just rented movies, or watched ones I already had, as none of my friends were very big on movies. However, found out my neighbor loves movies, so now I have a movie buddy. I've seen the new Indiania Jones one (really enjoyed, but the first one and Crusade are still my favorites), Kung Fu Panda (very cute), and WALL-E (fun, and I loved the underlying message it gave). There are several others either out already or coming out that I want to see. It's going to be a busy summer.

Well off to do some more yard work before it rains again. Hope you all have a great weekend.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pirates, Clowns, and a Finish

I can't believe all that has been going on since my last post. It has been a wild couple of weeks. This is kind of a long post, so if you just want to see my stitching finish, you can scroll down to the end.

First off I was able to take some vacation time to visit my DD. The circus won't be in MI this year, so I needed to figure out where else I could meet up with her to visit. The closest location she was at, with a time I could take off, was in PA. So, off to Wilkes Barre, PA I went. I left on a Wed., and drove about 10 hours. I had found a motel that was close to the arena she was playing at, but didn't realize what a great location it was until I got there. It was about 5 min. from the arena one way, and about 7 from where her train was at going the other. I was able to shuttle between the two easily. The theme for her tour this year is Over The Top.

We had a great time. I was able to spend part of Wed. evening and part of Thurs. with her. Friday we spent the day as she only had one show in the evening. Fri. evening I was able to see the show from the lighting booth where she works. It was fun seeing the show, and interesting to see how she coordinates the various spotlights, timing them to fade in and out and such, during the show. She doesn't do the lights, but she calls the cues for the people on the lights to follow. Time went by way to fast, and then it was Sat. morning and time to drive back home.

Then, I went crazy at work trying to catch up from being gone, and getting ready to leave again. I had Mon. - Thurs. to work, as I had Friday and all of last week off also. Friday I spent getting ready, as on Sat. morning we took off for a Cruise. My parents are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, and to celebrate they wanted to take the whole family on a cruise. Unfortunately my DD couldn't get time off, but me, my brother, my DSIL, my two nephews, and my parents all went on a Disney cruise. Here's a picture of the ship that was our home away from home.
The two postcards show the ship, the Disney Wonder, much better than I could have (it was huge).

We flew to Orlando on Sat. and spent the night there, then took the Disney shuttle to the ship on Sun. to start the cruise. We did the 4 day cruise, with two stops at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay, and one stop at Nassau. I wasn't sure how being on the ship would agree with me, as I get motion sickness very easily, but I did ok. I took a Bonine each night, and wore my sea bands whenever we weren't on land. There was only once where I felt a bit ill, but an extra dose of Dramamine settled that. There was so much to see and do on the ship, and off, that we couldn't do it all. Which is probably the point, so that you'll want to come back. Each night Disney put on a wonderful production. We saw two original musicals, Toy Story and Dreams, a juggling/comedy act, and a musical called Golden Mickeys.

The Golden Mickey's highlighted some of the major Disney movies. Here are some pictures from that one. No flash photography was allowed, so they are a bit dark, and most of the ones I tried to get didn't turn out, but this gives you a feel for the theater and style. Toy Story and Dreams, the ones I don't have pictures of, especially were Broadway quality.

The next day we went to Disney's Island Castaway Cay. The weather was perfect and we had a fantastic time. We even splurged and had a massage in the open air cabanas. What a treat. Here are several shots of the one side of the island. The one boat shown is the Flying Dutchman that was used in several places in the Disney Pirates of the Caribbean film (as was the beach areas).

The picture of the Dutchman is from the back (from the ship), which is why you can see the cut out area. From the front, it looked like the full ship did in the movie. I would have had more pictures from the cruise (other shows, Nassau, etc..) but my camera decided it didn't want to work anymore at that point. :(
Oh well, everyone else took lots of pictures, so I can get some of theirs. While we were on Nassau we did the Dolphin encounter trip, where we got to get in the water with a dolphin and even get a kiss from it. When we went back to Castaway Cay, we went on the Glass Bottom Boat and saw lots of lovely fish, and I even learned how to snorkel (which is much more tiring on the legs than it looks). All to soon it was over and we were headed home. We docked on Thurs. and flew home on Fri.

While part of this weekend was spent getting everything in order to go back to work on Monday, a good part of yesterday was spent cleaning my yard up. While we were gone some really bad storms went through. At times it is unclear if it was just really strong winds (70+ mph) or an actual tornado (depends on who you ask) but there was a lot of damage in our area. The storm hit last Sun. and when we came home on Fri. there were still about 300+ people with no power. While most roads were open, most parks are closed due to tree damage. The golf course not to far from me lost over 100 trees. Lots of uprooted trees, downed limbs, broken fences, etc... on my block. Quite an unexpected site to come home to. Luckily I didn't have any damage, but cleaning up all the tree branches and stuff that came down took several hours, and since I'd been gone I also needed to mow. My neighbors were such sweeties, they moved the biggest limbs out of my front yard for me to ensure they were picked up by the city, and so it wasn't so obvious I was away from home.

And finally, my stitching finish. There was so much to do on the cruise, not as much stitching got done as I would have thought. However I made enough progress on the last of Schoolgirl Lessons by Little House Needleworks that I was able to finish up the last little bit last night. So here it is (and for a change I managed to get a good picture of it with the colors pretty accurate). This was such fun to do, and with it being a single color, a really relaxing stitch. I love the blue silk, Mer Bleu, that I used, so soft, a real treat to stitch with. It even was finished by the SAL ending date, which was today, talk about cutting it close.

Well, if you've managed to hang in here this long thanks, I know it was a very wordy posting. Hope you've all been well, and I'll be catching up on everything you've been doing this coming week. With being off the computer for two weeks, I have A LOT to catch up on.