Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Few Days in California

It's hard to believe that a week has gone by since I last wrote. I just wanted to complete the pincushion for the Summer Exchange before writing again. Last night I sewed it all together and now I can only hope that my exchange friend will like it. Namuelle, thanks so much for organizing and hosting this exchange. It's great!!

Well we went away for a few days just like planned. Thursday morning we left home around 7:00 a.m. and arrived in Simi Valley around 12:30. It was wonderful to be in California again, I just love it there. We spent the afternoon visiting the Reagan Library which was very interesting and also enjoyed our tour of Airforce One. From there we drove north to Visalia where we spent the night. The following morning we drove to Sequoia National Park and the adjacent Kings Canyon. In Sequoia we climbed partway up Moro Rock. When we first arrived the fog was so thick you couldn't see much, but after visiting a few other points of interest it had cleared up quite a bit so we went back to the rock and we were able to enjoy the awesome views. In Kings Canyon we hiked to General Grant Tree which is the third largest of all known sequoias. It is 267 feet high with a circumference of 107.6 feet. Getting to the tree is no problem - a lovely new path, all downhill. Getting back takes a bit more effort as of course it's now an uphill battle. We saw many more amazing things but I won't bore you with all the details. We had hoped to travel home through Yosemite but heard early in the day that the Tioga Pass isn't open yet. This meant that we had to travel pretty well the same route home.

This week along with finishing my exchange pincushion I also tried my hand at making a biscornu. It was really fun to make and I'm happy with the result. I still have to add a button and once I've done that I'll post a picture.

Tomorrow Maria, Karin & I start our 'Frederick the Literate' SAL. That's going to be fun. Will try and post a picture tomorrow night of my first nights achievement.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sampler Finished

A quick show before the American Idol results show starts. Although our votes went to Katherine everyone seems to feel that Taylor is going to win. Well, I like him too. This is one finale where we just can't lose.

The sampler is finished, just needs to be ironed and framed and then I can send it off to my sister. Hope she likes it.

DH & I are off to do a bit of sightseeing the next few days. I'll take my GFG quilting along as the hexagons are easy to make in the car. That does mean no work on my pincushion until Sunday but I promise to work extra hard on it once we're home again.

Oh yes, for the fellow book-lovers out there - I was finally able to pick up 'Labyrinth' by Kate Mosse at the library today. I must have waited for at least two months to get it. DD received it for her birthday and said it was excellent.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Summer Exchange Friend

How exciting!! When I opened my e-mail Saturday morning there was message from Namu with the name of my summer exchange friend. This is fun!! Of course I immediately started looking for a pincushion pattern and am pleased with the one I chose. Sorry I can't show you a picture but it's a secret until it arrives at it's destination. Will post a picture after July 1 which is the arrival date for our exchange. Spent some time Saturday & yesterday working on it and am looking forward to continuing later today.

What I can show you is the progress I have made on my sampler. This is actually the first time I've ever made one and I'm enjoying it very much. As you can see it's not very difficult and very relaxing to do in front of the TV. Once this is finished there are a few old projects I should probably finish up.

Liz, when I look at the wonderful projects you and some others are working on I'm just itching to start several of them immediately but I don't think I could handle the pressure of working on several large cross-stitch projects at once. You're probably right though and I'll change with time.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mission Accomplished

Friday night I finished up the final stitches on 'Powell & Hyde Cable Car' and here is the finished piece. It always amazes me how the last few days I'm working on a project I can hardly wait for it to be completed, yet once it's done I feel like I've landed in a void. The question is always 'what now?'

Saturday DH & I decided to escape the heat for a day. It's into the 100's every day now so the only time you really want to be out of doors is the early morning. This morning at 5:30 a.m. (yes you're reading correctly, that's when we get up and go for a three mile walk before the heat sets in) it was already 77F. Saturday we drove up to Zion National Park and on to Bryce Canyon. The scenic drive through Zion is breathtaking. Around every corner there are new and wonderful vistas. Bryce Canyon has some of the earth's most colorful rocks, which have been sculpted by erosion into fantastic forms including pillars called 'hoodoos'. Iron oxides give red, yellow and brown tints to the limestone, while manganese oxides lend a lavender hue. What a wonderful cross-stitch picture this would make. Due to the high elevation the temps were wonderful. At one point on our way home we were crossing through a pass at almost 10,000 feet and there was still lots of snow and even ice on the river. What a welcome difference from our desert climate.

Sunday was a relaxing day with Mother's Day calls from our children who both live too far away to drop by on a day like this. An entertaining evening with 'Survivor' even though I would have preferred that either Terry or Cherie win the million. Oh well, of the two finalists I guess I can live with the winner.

Of course with a long evening of TV I needed something to cross-stitch and as I don't really know what I want to do next I started a small Blue Ribbon freebie sampler 'Crowned Heart' to keep me busy while I decide.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Hand Applique Quilting

It's early Monday morning after a quiet weekend. I tried to blog last night but kept on doing something wrong and was unable to get the pictures in the correct place. Finally just gave up.

Our weekend was pretty quiet. We went to see 'RV' with Robin Williams which was a real fun movie. It all started a little predictable - you know mom & dad & two young kids where daddy is everyone's hero. Next flash the kids are teenagers who think dad is just soooooo old-fashioned. At that point I thought "here we go again". However that's where the movie took a turn for the better and the rest was really very enjoyable and funny. I've always been a Robin Williams fan so I guess I should have known I would enjoy it.

Here's my attempt at hand applique. This is how my quilt was supposed to turn out. The block I'm working on is in the top left-hand corner. This is a project I wish I had never started. I loved and still love the pattern for this beautiful quilt but know I will never be able to complete it. When I started, it really didn't look all that difficult. The tree trunks and the first two trees went well. But then the moon. I've sewn it in three times now and am in the process of removing it again. Thank goodness I only bought the materials for one block. My goal now is to complete just that one block and I'll be very satisfied if and when I get that done.

Here you can see how the first block is supposed to turn out and next to it my attempt at hand applique.

Not much progress in four months is there? Is it any wonder I prefer picking up my cross-stitching?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Clang! Clang! - cable car coming

A day with lots of hours for cross-stitch and the cable car is taking shape.

My daughter recently asked if I wasn't bored stitching this a second time. No, I haven't minded at all. The first time I did it 3 1/2 years ago, I was in such a hurry to get it ready in time for the birthday that I didn't enjoy making it nearly as much as now.

As I'm getting closer to the end of this project my mind wanders to my stash and I wonder what I should do next. I've decided to leave 'Golden Gate Bridge' at least until I've done something completely different.

San's 'Q of the week': Do you or have you stitched with over-dyed threads? (Weeks Dye Works, The Gentle Art Sampler Threads, Six Strand Sweets, etc.) If so, what is your opinion concerning them? If not, why not?

How about that, a question about overdyed cotton just when I was wondering about it.Up till now I’ve never used it simply because I’ve never had a pattern that required it. I have Teresa Wentzler’s freebie “Tropical Daydream” which calls for Dinky-Dyes Overdyed Cotton #22 and I’m having a hard time finding it locally. Now that you mentioned you’re not so keen on the overdyeds San,I may just replace it with DMC in a similar color.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A little bit of cross-stitch

Once again the weekend flew by and I didn't get as much cross-stitching done as I had hoped. I also wanted to do a little research into "how to blog" as my blog has a long way to go before it's as nice and informative as many I have read in the past few weeks. That didn't get done either.

We did have a nice relaxing weekend though. Saturday night the neighbors were over for a BBQ. This is the best time of the year to spend the evenings outside. By the time June rolls around even the evenings will be too hot.

Managed to finish R's niece's bookmark, wrote a little note with it today and will mail it tomorrow.

And here is the project I'm currently working on, 'Powell & Hyde St. Cable Car'. About four years ago I made this picture for my sister-in-law's birthday. Recently I decided to make it for myself as well, along with the matching 'Golden Gate Bridge'.

Debbie Patrick's patterns used to be sold in a wonderful little shop on Pier 39 in San Francisco. When we were living in Northern California we'd go to the city on a regular basis and each time I just had to stop by to see what was new.

'Powell & Hyde St. Cable Car' by Debbie Patrick.