Lately.

Here are just a few moments from recent days…

These wild thistles that grow behind my house, next to a busy street, were a pretty spot in the overcast gloom today.

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I passed by Sabrina's room and got excited that she'll finally be home from school this Friday. I've missed my girl.

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I also miss my Bre, who left to start her new life in a new town with little Tilly.

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When I painted my bedroom recently, I also painted my bathroom, so I decided to have some fun and add a few new accessories.

I absolutely love handmade soaps, and I found these on Etsy.

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I also found a lovely blue vintage Ball jar with a glass lid…

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I got this wire bread basket at Kohl's, but decided to use it for fluffy wash cloths instead of bread.

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Here's a new handsoap I got a Trader Joe's. Its fragrance reminds me of hotel soap.. it leaves such a clean smell on my hands, and I love it.

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I found this tiny cloche at Hobby Lobby, and it sits on the side of my bathtub now.

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I'd like to put this one in a cloche!

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But Tasha's a sweetheart. Poor, friendless Tasha.

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If you've been checking my mom's blog lately, you know she and my dad were the proud grandparents of 4 baby cardinals this spring. However, these little creatures weren't meant to grow to adulthood, as none of them made it past this downy phase…

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Spring brought lots of beauty with it, as usual…

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And I have no idea what this plant is, but I do remember putting it in the ground last year… I'm glad it was nice enough to return! I think those tiny pink flowers are so sweet…

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Here's another welcome visitor to the back yard… Mom doesn't much care for the mourning doves bc they kick her mulch out of place. But even though they do that to my landscape as well, I think they're charming little creatures.

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Speaking of Mom, look at this restaurantware she surprised me with! I love the feel of diner-style coffee cups, and this one was from the Coronado Hotel in California…

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When Bre moved back into her room, I moved out my fledgeling collection of Colonial-style accessories. And now that those accessories are settled in my dining room – and she's moved back out – I decided I needed some new accessories in the room. So Mom and I headed to Weathered and Worn and we each picked up these candleabras (mine is red, while hers is black) and battery-powered candles. I love these candles bc they've got built-in timers in them; every night they come on at the same time, and stay on for 6 hours before turning back off again.

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I'll leave you with one more thing I added to the bedroom. Thanks to Miss Tanya (The Scarlett House) and her powers of persuasion, I bought my first antique sampler, and I'm ever-so-in-love with it.

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I wish so badly I could sit here and blog more. I miss hearing from you all and sharing little things that happen here in this crazy house of mine. Truth be told, though, I just can't sit here like I used to, thanks to some hip pain issues I've been experiencing for a while now. And what stitching I get done is actually done standing up at the kitchen counter! Yes, it can be done, and isn't nearly as uncomfortable as one would imagine. 🙂 (As a matter of fact, I stitched nearly all of The Flood standing up!) 

And as for stitching, I've been working away on models, as well as doling others out to some very sweet model stitchers. 🙂 I'm going to pick up a Halloween-themed one tomorrow (thank you, Connie!), and have two others (Salem Sisters 3 and Vexation Sampler) that are being worked on (thank you, Rindy and Karen!).

My little Sophie would like to borrow my computer now, so I suppose I'll get off of here and let the dogs out before heading to bed early.

It was fun visiting with you all. I've missed you!

It’s Good to Be Twelve.

I remember turning twelve. It seemed so old compared to eleven… My sweet Joonbug celebrated her birthday yesterday by inviting over her Meems and Pops and having a cookout here at home. She loves birthdays, no matter whose they are, and we did our best to make hers as special as she makes others'. (If it's your birthday, just let Sophie know and she'll be in a good mood all day – I'm not even kidding.)

She's just too much fun to buy for (as Bre can attest… she pretty much broke the bank bc she couldn't stop adding to the pile when shopping for Sophie in Aeropostale). 

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Bean couldn't be with us bc she's taking a field course out in western Nebraska, but before she left, she presented Sophie with a new version of her old cell phone, which was quite exciting for Soph! Of course, Big Papa gets to deal with the data plan upgrade, but he did agree to it. It doesn't really matter that he was engrossed in a video game when the idea was presented, does it? (jk!)

Speaking of Big Papa, he taught the birthday girl all about the art of grilling…

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(Btw, those are my "Sweeters" on the top grill rack, as Mike calls them. They're sweet potatoes with all sorts of goodies sprinkled on top).

This was Mike's plate.. I always thought his mustard technique for hot dogs was interesting (which is evidence for why I don't pick him for my team when playing Pictionary)…

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Time for the bean bag toss, which was one of Mike's gifts to Soph…

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I love this picture of these two…

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We also played Ladder Ball, which is always fun!

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One of Sophie's very favorite television shows is Cupcake Wars on The Learning Channel, so instead of a traditional cake, we surprised her with various gourmet cupcakes. (And for fun, since she's a Toy Story fan, I got her a miniature Buzz Lightyear cake.)

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Sophie loved all of her presents, and she was especially glad her grandparents came over. Not that they would have missed it. 😉

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I do have to interject, however, that her little brother got on her nerves a bit:

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Especially when he took her prized earrings that were laying nearby and placed them in the bored-out eyes of the ice cream man he had created. This did not go over well with the birthday girl, and I reminded her that men are boys too, and they require much patience at times.

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Sophie, you are amazing. And we're so very happy you were born. We love you!

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P.S. This morning she said to me, "I'm starting to feel twelve now." And since today is the last day of school, she added, "And can you believe at 3:00 today, I'll be a seventh grader?"

A Fresh Look

A couple of weeks ago I decided that I was tired of the green walls in my bedroom. So after trying out several swatches of different colors (everything from mustard to colonial blue), I decided to visit the Sherwin-Williams Color Visualizer, and finally found a color that I couldn't live without: Crystal Clear. Also known as NPI 511.

Here's a picture of Tilly, perched on a favorite spot in front of my window, with one of the old green walls behind her:

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And here's a picture of the new paint over my headboard, silently waiting for Dutch Beauty to return home from the framer:

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Btw, I purchased a new bedspread as well.. it's called the Martha Washington's Choice, and I absolutely love it! It looks like it has sampler motifs on it…

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I didn't want any shams or throw pillows or neck rolls this time. I'm converting to utter simplicity, so I wanted just a bedspread, and nothing else. So far, I'm very happy with it, although I've threatened Mike with complete despair for the rest of his days if he dares to lay his sweaty, fresh-from-the-gym self on top of it for an afternoon snooze.

Before I painted, I was planning on having Adam & Eve samplers hung over the bed. But I've since changed my mind, and have moved the A&E's to the bathroom. It's not like I have many; I only have Frances Eden and Paradise Lost there so far, but since my mother would need smelling salts if she saw that I wasn't working in odd numbers, I decided to add a third A&E to the mix…

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This is A&E by The Primitive Needle. I kept most of the primitive color palette, but did change out a few of the colors to keep it as bright as Frances and Paradise. Of course, one of the colors added was NPI 511. 😉

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I also changed the color NPI 775 to NPI 223, and stitched the deer and squirrel in colors from the chart's original NPI list, but not in dark brown, as the chart symbol indicated.

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It's stitched on 35-ct. Weeks Dye Works Parchment, and I left off the straight-edge border, as I'd like to have the mats or frame come right up on the edge, where the border would have been.

That's about all I've been up to this past week! I suppose I've had enough fun lollygagging, so it's time to get back to model stitching. Although, the living room could sure use a fresh coat of paint…

Curio

My great-grandparents' dining room suite is mine now, and I love every piece of it. Especially the tea cart, which houses my collection of Majesty magazines (given to me by my mother), and the china cabinet, which is used for everything but china.

I love how comfortable the room feels at night when the little light inside the cabinet is turned on, and everything glows softly. Like the favorite fabrics that I can't bear to cut into, and the lonely Colonial figure, purchased at a vintage-and-antique shop, even though his mate was missing.

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The photograph of my beautiful grandmother (btw, my "Beedie's Garden" pattern was designed for her)…

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The little Dutch shoes that my sweet friend Karin recently sent to me…

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Earlier this year, I spotted this adorable couple at my favorite country shop, Weathered and Worn…

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Isn't he wonderful? I love his shoes! He looks like Ben Franklin to me.

And his lovely wife…

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Of course, you-know-who is always into everything, so this doesn't surprise me in the least…

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(I'll miss her when she moves, despite her silent-yet-intrusive self.)

I love my china cabinet. And I'm fairly certain that my great-grandparents, Ola and JC, had no idea that this is how their china cabinet would spend its retirement, some 50 years after they purchased it.

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