Next Top Model

I'm looking forward to all the goodies coming out at the the online needlework show on April 14th! I'll have a couple of things, and Breanna will be releasing a new pattern too. She's really been working hard on getting some models going, and I'm so proud of her. :) 

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Speaking of models, we had a bit of a model fiasco here recently. Breanna had asked on her Facebook page if anyone was willing to stitch a model for her, and a very sweet lady by the name of Jessica signed up. Since Bre was away at school – and all of her supplies were here – she asked me to please kit up her model and send it to Jessie. I said I would, and Bre trusted me to do just that…

I pulled her colors she chose and grabbed the right color of linen.

I wrote out a note on behalf of Bre and tucked everything in an envelope.

I took it to the post office and away it went, off to Miss Jessie's house.

A little while later, Bre checked in on Jessie to see if everything had arrived and was working out okay. According to the email response Bre received, Jessie seemed to be finding the experience a bit challenging…

My phone rang.

BRE: "What, exactly, did you send to Jessie?"

ME: "What, exactly, do you mean?"

BRE: "What did you kit up?"

ME: "What you told me to, ya goofball. Linen and threads and your chart!"

BRE: "What kind of linen?"

ME: "36 count. Why?"

BRE: "I told her I was sending 32 count!"

ME: "Ohhhhh….ummm….oh gosh…. I didn't see any 32 count. But it's only 4 more threads? I mean.. umm…. isn't it okay that it's only 4 more threads?"

BRE: (silence)

It was the uncomfortable silence that made me remember the time I thought 45 count would be a breeze bc it was only 5 threads more than 40 count. That 45-count sampler is still sitting in my closet, and my eyes go cross when I look at it.

A few more days passed, and Jessie explained to Bre that she was sorry the model was taking longer than expected, so Bre assured her that it was no big deal, and she could certainly send the model back.

When the model came back to the house, I opened it up to see how far Jessie had gotten…

Oh no. Oh no no no.

I called Bre…

ME: "Umm.. Bre?"

BRE: "What's up?"

ME: "I got the model back from Jessie.:

BRE: "Cool! How far was she able to get?"

ME: "Welll… she certainly did a lot of work, and her stitching is impeccable, but it has to be stitched over."

BRE: "Why?"

ME: (silence)

It grieved me to have to explain to Bre that when I looked at the note I'd included in the kit, I about messed my knickers. Glaring back at me in black ink were these words, in my own handwriting:

"Hi Jessie! Just use one strand of floss over one linen thread…"

36 ct…. one linen thread. Poor Jessie! (Laurie Arp still hasn't forgiven me for this same task when she stitched the Joshua model!)

Jessie, if you're reading, your work is absolutely perfect! And I'd like to once again apologize for my blunder. Oh my… Please don't run for the hills if you ever see Bre in your inbox again! I'm pretty sure she's fired me by now!

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Promenade 2011

Saturday the 26th finally arrived, and hair and nail salons all across Omaha were teeming with high school girls preparing themselves for the most anticipated event of the school year: Prom! Sabrina had been really looking forward to the day, excited to finally be able to wear her new dress and have fun with her date…

Just a quick warning: this post contains lots and lots and lots of pictures bc I just couldn't seem to cull them to a reasonable number. Between Bre and I, we took about 400 photos, and I loved them all!

Here is Bean, waiting for Yuri to arrive…

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And here is Bean's good friend Sam the Ham…

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Sam, you're crazy, but you're a sweetheart!

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Here's Bre, who has an awesome photography blog

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And here is Sabrina with her handsome date, Yuri. Yuri is from the Ukraine, and has lived in this country for 4 years. He plays soccer and is very soft-spoken, and everyone who meets him adores him! I doubt he's ever had his picture taken as much as he did last night – especially since my mother started in with her camera as soon as they showed up at my parents' house.

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(Doesn't he look fabulous in his tux?)

Here they are, exchanging flowers…

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This is my very favorite photo of the night… Bre took it, and I just couldn't stop staring at it for some reason…

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The girls coaxed Yuri into doing some "Charlie's Angels" poses, although he truly had no idea what they were so giggly about…

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After leaving our house, they headed to another friend's house for group photos and a pre-dinner gathering…

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Another one by Bre… another favorite of mine!

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Actually, several are Bre's, but I've lost track of them!

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Sabrina and Yuri were looking at me for some of these poses, but I liked Bre's perspective better…

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Bre had the idea of taking their photos in a mirror, so I got this one…

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…and Bre got this one! (I love this angle.)

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Sophie only has 6 more years before it's her turn…

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And finally, here's my girl getting her coat on, ready to head to dinner at an Italian steakhouse…

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(Bre took that one too!)

All the kids had such a fun time, and I sure enjoyed seeing them in their beautiful gowns and dashing tuxedos. I'm sure they came away with great memories for their last year of high school.

As I write this, it's 10:00 pm, and Miss Sabrina is just getting up for the day.

It must have been a good one. 🙂

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One Woman’s Junk

A couple of weeks ago my mom invited me to go antiqueing at a large "antique mall" just up the road. Since I can't quite justify the expense of real antiques, my perusing turned into more of a "let's go vintage-ing" trip. Mom was on the lookout for the ever-elusive pink flower frog, while I searched for samplers from the 1700's that might have a price tag of $2.49 on them. (Kind of like when she and I used to go in the Good Will, looking specifically for Longabergers, thinking that there must be tons in there that people don't want.)

She didn't find her pink flower frog, and I only found a print of a sampler stitched in the 1700's, but I did see these, and fell in love with them.

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Bobbins and wooden spools! I love wooden spools. And they came in this really cool Presto jar…

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I had never seen a Presto jar before. The difference bw these and Ball jars is that these have a glass piece that fits under the tin cap, whereas the Ball jars use tin for both pieces. Mom and I searched all over the place for another jar like it, but found nothing but more Ball jars for miles of aisles.

I love what I came home with that day! This is especially surprising to me bc I'm the type of person who will carry something around a store with me, and by the time I'm ready to checkout, the novelty of the item has worn off and I end up putting it back. I also tend to over-analyze my potential purchases to the point that I have no idea why I even picked them up in the first place (my husband calls this "analysis paralysis," and it's a trait my mil used to get quite annoyed at!)

Mom, we'll have to cover the second half of the antique mall next. I'm sure we'll find loads of pink flower frogs and Presto jars and samplers-for-$2.49!

I'm thinking we should check the Good Will first.

Nothing In Particular Day

I got the most wonderful package in the mail last week, from my dear friend Chris. Once in a while Chris will send something along that is completely unexpected, and this particular something was accompanied by a note that said "Happy Nothing-in-Particular Day!" (Btw, Chris is the most fabulous gift-wrapper, and tends to details that I would never even think of; while I'm spending time looking for a stick-on bow in the party aisle at Target, she's perusing the much-more interesting Aisles of Chris's Imagination.) (And is it "Chris's" or "Chris' "? Either way, she's got the imagination!)

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For some reason, I'm one of those people who thinks if I open a package carefully enough, I may be able to re-use the wrapping on another gift some time. It's not out of a desire to be frugal, but rather bc I hate to see beautiful wrapping go to waste. However, I'm never careful enough, and once I hear that tiny accidental rip, the game is over and I tear into it like my mother on Christmas morning.

Here's what was inside! What a sweet Nothing-In-Particular Day surprise!

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Isn't that the most adorable tiny coffee mug? She made it into a pincushion with the sweetest pins from Just Another Button Company. I love love love it!

And take a look at this…

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I was completely blown away by this sweet gesture. I just sat and stared at it, thinking that in a million years I never would have expected that someone would actually stitch one of my designs, personalize it, and give it to me as a gift! It was the most thoughtful, wonderful gift to receive.

Thank you so much, Chris! They are happily displayed in my home, and whenever I see them I'm reminded of your friendship and how you can turn a nothing-in-particular day into a very special one.

Finishes!

Shared with me, shared with you!

First we have Vaida from Lithuania's "Olga" and "Boris" finishes. She used Antique White Belfast with DMC and Crescent Colours… I love how they turned out on the lighter fabric. (And nice job on those photo backgrounds, Vaida! I looove how you photographed Boris.)

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Here is Naty from Italy's "Hares' Fathers Day" finish… this was stitched using 32 ct. Graziano and DMC in slightly lighter colors than what the chart called for. I love it when I get to see how stitchers change a pattern's colors to something that suits their tastes better, and I love the changes you made, Naty!

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Here's another finish from Lynn in Park City. (Remember her version of "A Sweeter Love"? ) This is her "Paradise Lost," which is on display at The Craft Center of Fine Stitchery… she changed the colors of the peacocks to her mother's favorite colors. Beautiful stitching again, Lynn!

Plum St. Samplers Paradise lost peacocks

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Love this frame!

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And here is Michele from Washington's finish of the St. Patrick's Day freebie (located a few posts back)… she stitched hers on 28-ct. coffee-dyed fabric using Crescent Colours (in Four-Leaf Clover, Erin-Go-Emerald, and Khaki Mocha) – and her husband helped pick out the backing fabric! Good job, Mr. Michele!

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Thank you so much to everyone for sharing your finishes with me! Of all the patterns to choose from out there, what an honor it is that you chose to spend some time stitching one of mine. You make my day!

I’ve Missed You!

When you've been blogging a while, you come to recognize your visitors' names and eventually start to feel as if you know them. So when you're gone from your computer for as long as I've been, you start to miss everyone!

I've been without my computer for a while bc of some issues I was having with it, but I think I finally have it back to where it will meet all my demands again. Maybe.  And while it was in the shop, I was in Kansas with Mike and Sophie, trying to get his parents' house cleared out. It was a productive trip, although sad at times. (I was fine until the last day, as Soph and I were looking around the empty living room. She quietly stated, "I said goodbye to Grandpa in his bathroom." Her voice was so sweet and lonesome-sounding, and it was then that I finally cried.)

Anyway, I've missed you all! I've spent most of the weekend printing and packaging and getting caught up on my photography blog, and this little complimentary chart is the last order for the day. I hope you like it!

Remember to click on this link, and not the image below! Download I Miss You PRINTOUT

I Miss You

Here's another option:

I Miss You RED

Have a lovely Sunday!

Finishes!

I just have to show you these fun photos that were sent to me… First up is from Bobbie at Stitching Bits and Bobs. She finished Olga on a fabric called Ancient by Picture This Plus. I love love love it!

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Next is A Sweeter Love (one of my very first designs), finished by Lynn of Salt Lake City. She adapted it for her 40th wedding anniversary, and not only included the initials of all 5 of her children, but also of her 7 grandchildren as well. Number-eight is on the way, represented by a pink heart next to the lady. 🙂 I love all the changes she made to it!

A Sweeter Love by Paulette Stewart adaptation for 40th wedding anniversary

Thank you so very much for sharing your lovely finishes with me, Bobbie and Lynn! I'm so very honored. 🙂

Got Luck?

I hope you enjoy stitching this little shamrock ornament. If you don't care for the "got luck?" at the bottom, you can always choose to stitch "Happy St. Patrick's Day" or "March 17" or "I'm Not Irish But Kiss Me Anyway"  – the possibilities are endless! – in whatever stitching "font" you like. Or just the shamrocks, sans words!

Please remember that you won't be able to download the chart by clicking on the image itself. Instead, click here: Download Got Luck PRINTOUT

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Top o' the Monday to ya!

Saturday Reblog: Crikey

Though lately I've not posted to my blog on weekends, I decided to re-post something I'd blogged about on my old blog at Xanga. I was meandering through some of the old photos there, and ran across one that scares me just as much now as it did back then.

If you were reading my blog way back then and you remember this photo, then you have my sincerest apology for bringing to the surface of your mind the frightening image that you probably tried so hard to suppress.

Here goes… from March of 2008:

When I got my new camera, I gave Sophie my old one so that she could practice taking pictures. Unbeknownst to me, she'd mostly been practicing self-portraits. So imagine my surprise when I discovered this doozy:

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The scary thing is, it eerily resembled this:

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I was as big a Crocodile Hunter fan as the next person, but still. I think I'll take back my camera when she's not looking.

And now we're back in March of 2011. Please don't send me the bills for your therapy sessions.

Enjoy your weekend!

 

Mom’s Pot Roast!

If you've never been successful at cooking a roast that's tender and extremely flavorful, you're going to want to make my mom's recipe. It's very easy and absolutely delicious. It's one of the first things I asked her to teach me to make when I got married, and it's been my family's favorite for dinner ever since. Head on over to Four Seasons Cafe to make your own!

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