Archive | May 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

We were fortunate to have gorgeous weather for the long weekend…  sunny and in the 70s.  I’d really wanted to be active and outdoors a lot and I think we accomplished that!  I’m a little worn out, but am happy that we took advantage of the time off.  I did manage to get some stitching time in too.

Saturday we went canoeing on the St. Joe River from Bristol to Elkhart.  We talked DBF’s son into going with us and had a nice time.  DBF and I have been canoeing before, up in Michigan, and have decided that was a nicer river and a better outfit that we rented from, but we still had fun.  Below are pics of the river, as well as the canoe we rented:



Sunday, DBF and I went on a 13 mile bike ride at the East Race Waterway in South Bend.  The east race also features the first artificial whitewater course in the United States.  They also hold whitewater competitions for kayaks and have even held tryouts for the olympics there.  We also rode around on the Holy Cross and St. Mary’s college campuses – both of which are located very close to Notre Dame.  St. Mary’s has a nice nature trail through the woods that was suitable for biking.

Sunday afternoon we went to a baseball banquet for DBF’s son.  They talked about the season (the JV team was undefeated), then gave out certificates and talked about each player’s performance.  DBF’s son plays second and third base and had the second highest batting average for the team.

Monday was also a lot of fun.  We decided to go hiking at Love Creek County Park in Michigan.  This is about an hour from where we live and is a nice park with a nature center.  There is a network of several trails that take you though woods and fields… there are actual hills.  This is something to celebrate when hiking in this area, which is mostly flat.  Anyway, the trails are all really well-kept and clearly marked, along with maps that you can pick up to take with you on the hike.  There’s lots of flowers blooming right now – it was a really nice way to finish up the long weekend.  It wasn’t very busy this weekend and we didn’t see any other people for the 4+ miles that we hiked.


Love Creek – Picture taken from a bridge on the trail…

The path…
Trail marker – There are also trails in the park that are marked specifically as suitable for mountain bikes…

Finally…. celebrating Memorial Day in rural Michigan:


We honked….


Alyssum Scissor Pocket Progress

I’ve been working away at my Allysum Scissor Pocket. Instead of using the included Dinky Dye, I pulled some Caron Waterlillies “Peacock” out of my stash and went to work on a piece of Belfast Platinum.


While I’m quite happy with the color combination, it wasn’t really what I had in mind when I went to pull some fabric.

I was quite dismayed to find that my stash of neutral colored 32 counts had dwindled to basically the piece of platinum that I used! I’ve been spoiled by having access to whatever fabric I might want in my stash for several years. I immediately had to inventory my fabric stash. I’ve got tons of 28 count, but again, not in the neutral colors I most commonly stitch on. I placed orders for 6 fat quarters of linen in white, smoky pearl, and platinum. I also picked up some cream belfast and lambswool at a lunch time trip to my local Hobby Lobby. I’d like to stock up on my favorite lugana evenweaves too, but that can wait. I also went through and weeded out some colors that I know I will probably never use… a couple of pinks and some really dark colored jewel tones. I separated them out and will bring them with me to the June 21 Chicago GTG (we’re doing a swap meet) and use them for RAKs.

Speaking of stash, I am quite please to learn that Silkweaver is going to start up their regular Fabric of the Month again soon. A couple of years ago they went to only hand-dyed fabrics, which are beautiful, but for the price and variety available, I’d rather buy something like that when I have a particular design in mind. I’ve done their FOTMs before, and they do such a good job as far as letting you choose what types of fabric you receive and also making sure that you don’t get any repeats of what they’ve sent you before. I may sign up for that once they get going again.

So I’m headed off into the long holiday weekend with no definite plans. We have a couple of cook-out type invitations, the promise of nice weather, and other possibilities like biking, canoeing, or hiking. Of course, DBF has his son for the weekend and those weekends tend to be subject to his son’s athletic and social schedule, which changes moment to moment and makes planning anything pretty much impossible since DBF needs to drive him around.

Mimi’s Tape Measure

This is an Olde Colonial Designs kit that I got a couple of years ago.  I stopped working on it because I was too intimidated by the finishing.  The stitched pieces needed to be sewed up to fit around the little tape measure that came with the kit.  I recently decided that I wanted to work on my finishing skills, and since this was halfway stitched already, I decided to give it a try and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!




The tape measure is about 2″ in diameter.

This same designer makes a pin cube in a matching pattern and I might try that out sometime in the future.

My  next project is the Alyssum Scissor Pocket by The Cat’s Whiskers (Scroll down on link to see what it looks like).  I saw this stitched up on someone else’s blog and fell in love with it!  It’s really cute, but also another opportunity to work on finishing skills.

Have a good weekend everybody!

KT Tunstall Concert

DBF and I are headed to Chicago (third weekend in a row!) Friday after work to see KT Tunstall at The Vic.  We actually saw her at the same venue several months ago and enjoyed it so much that we decided to go again!

I just love her latest CD, Drastic Fantastic (click to listen to clips).  My favorites on this CD are “Saving My Face,” “Hopeless,” and “Someday Soon.”  I also like her first CD Eye to the Telescope.

One of the things I love about her concerts is that she builds up her songs by starting with a guitar riff, background vocals, drum beats, etc and records them over the top of each other using foot pedals (there’s probably some sort of technical term for this, but I don’t know what it is!).  The tracks that she records at the beginning of the song loop while she and her band play live over the top.  She uses the pedals to turn on and off the tracks throughout the song.  I’m not explaining this very well…. so I found a clip of her doing this on… without a band… just her.  (click the link to watch).  In the last concert we saw, she did this with a full band playing over the tracks with her… it’s a huge amount of music coming from only few people!  Amazing!  I’ve seen other concerts where they’ve done this, but not as well as Tunstall does it.  I just love her!

Happy Mother’s Day!


Here is a pic of me and my mother, about 1971.  The picture isn’t the greatest, but it’s a scan of a copy…
My mom helped raise her younger siblings, me, my sister, and brother(s)…. then was instrumental in helping out with my nephew when he was younger. If I say so myself, she did a great job. Not being a mother myself, its hard to imagine or even fully appreciate all that she did, and still does. I hope that if someday, I’m a mother, that I do as well as she does.

I wish I lived closer so I could spend the day taking her to brunch, shopping at Hobby Lobby or maybe going to a movie. I had to settle for a mailed gift and a phone call. Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

Today we are going to visit DBF’s mother in a suburb of Chicago and will have dinner with most of his family there also. She enjoys photography and has her own web page that showcases many of her photos… Henny’s Art.

Victoria Sampler Heirloom Family Sampler!!


Finally finished! I’ve been working on this one for at least a couple of years. I was going strong on it and suddenly just lost interest about half way through. I was initially disappointed with this pattern because it didn’t use any sparkly thread and there two brownish overdyes and I was never sure which one was which and didn’t have confidence that what I was doing was right, so I put it away and hadn’t picked it up since.

Anyway, now that I’m finished, I’m thrilled with it. The beads provide plenty of sparkle, I love the colors, and I especially like the spot of color hardanger at the bottom. That’s pink perle silk with an overdye for the weaving and dove’s eyes.

I have no immediate plans for framing this one. I’m thinking about maybe finishing it as a bellpull instead.

So what is next? I have Olde Colonial Designs Mimi’s Tape Measure Kit lined up. I’ve done half of the stitching. I plan to complete that, then try my hand at finishing it up into a cute little tape measure.

Les Miserables!


DBF and I went to see Les Miserables on Saturday.  It was wonderful!  This is my favorite book, and this was the fourth time I’ve seen the musical.  The first three were the full production touring company shows – twice in Portland, OR and once in Grand Rapids, MI. 


Saturday’s show was at the Mariott Lincolnshire Theater, just outside of Chicago. This is a very small theater and the seating is 360 degrees around a center stage.  There was no rotating floor and the “sets” were very scaled down, but the music and the acting was top notch and just as moving and powerful as the bigger shows I’ve seen in the past.  The creativity in how they did the scenes was actually pretty interesting.  Anyway, if you are in the Chicago area I’d recommend it.  I think the last show is on Mother’s Day.


On the way to Chicago (it’s around a 2 hour drive), we stopped at House of Stitches where I picked up some charms that I ordered and DBF picked out a chart of the Chicago skyline that he’d like me to stitch for him.  He appreciates my stitching so much – maybe because his father did a lot of stitching when he was younger.  After the show, we met up with DBF’s brother and sister-in-law.  We hung around their place, then went out for dinner at Nancy’s Pizza.  It was good company and good food and we got home around midnight. 


Sunday was pretty laid back.  DBF was doing some volunteer canvassing for Obama, and even offered to do the grocery shopping, and I stayed home and stitched.  I tend to get a little obsessive when I get close to a new finish on a large piece.  I just have another couple of hours to put in and it will be finished.  Honestly, I had time to finish it last night, but my eyes were just too tired and after hours of wrapping divided bars and partial greek crosses… I’d just had enough for one day!


I’m not sure what I’ll be working on next, but it’ll probably be something small as I’ve been inspired to work on my finishing skills by looking at others’ blog posts.


Speaking of campaigning, our primary is tomorrow and I’ll be voting.  I’m hoping that by the end of tomorrow, we’ll have a clear candidate for the democratic nomination…