Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
It was fun! But if I ever do it again, I'll get more people to help me decorate them so that it won't take quite so long. I think they came out pretty cute -- and I can tell you that they are yummy because Jen and I "had" to eat one when it broke in half (hehehehe).
So I should give an update on our Tropical Storm Irene damage. Once the power cables were fixed, the tree was removed revealing damage to our house. A branch has pierced our roof and shot out the other side. There is some other small damage -- bent gutters and siding, and miscellaneous damage to the roof. It's pretty disappointing since our roof is brand new. Some folks were out today looking it all over. The house was built in 1956 and the siding is no longer made. They are batting ideas around as to how to fix it. They are going to try and find some of the siding somewhere and will get back to us next week. Meanwhile, my house has a very visible boo-boo.
Well, time to go turn those cute little cookies into favors for the Tea tomorrow! It's going to be fun!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
It is resting on power lines and so there is nothing we can do about removing it until CL&P gets out here. We never lost our power, but they will have to turn the power off to take care of this problem. CL&P obviously has more urgent work to do so we're guessing it could be a couple weeks until they are able to help us.
Our backyard is so full of tree debris it's crazy. Dad is in his own little world of happiness because he has loads of yardwork to do. He lives for that!
Our cottage at Camp Bethel is also safe, as are all the other buildings there. However, they lost power early on in the storm and are not expected to get it back in that area for at least a week. There are many downed trees. Here's a picture of a tree branch that fell in front of our cottage. Our cottage is the one on the right. Some friends took the picture of us, and removed the branch from the area, too! We haven't gone there ourselves yet as we have enough to deal with on the home front.
My brother Lee is involved with emergency services in Lyme, CT, which is near the shoreline. He sent me a text message today letting me know that many houses were damaged, and about 7 were totally lost. One person died. Trees are down and almost the whole area is without power. A helicopter dropped food and water to them. The emergency personnel are working around the clock and taking rest in shifts. Sounds like it has been tough there.
It is a relief that the hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it reached us. Things could have been so much worse.
Here's some videos I took of the storm as it came through our area.
Here she was on her grandparent's proch, which overlooks the Connecticut River. Mckenzie called it "BIG water" and her little pool "baby water."
And here's one from a whole year ago that stills make me crack up!!
LOL! Now I feel much better!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Getting ready for the Sturbridge Stitcher's Hideaway (July) consumed a great deal of time -- and then there's taking care of dear ol' Dad.
Dad just stopped in to say good night to me. He had already removed his hearing aids for the night, which means he's practically stone death, and which also means if he talks to anyone it's more like shouting at the top of his lungs because he can't hear himself! LOL!! So dad just said,
"SEE YOU IN THE MORNING!"
We live close to a cemetery, and I'm pretty sure he just woke up some of the dead.
Dad's all excited about tomorrow, because we are leaving for 10 days at our cottage at Camp Bethel, which is holding its annual Camp Meeting. Camp Bethel is an interdenominational Christian camp ground. My Dad has been going there since he was a baby. He met my Mom there. In fact, their families knew each other from attending Camp Meeting (Mom's family was from FL, Dad's from CT). When my Mom was born, she was given my father's mother's name, Iva June. Who knew she'd end up marrying into that family! So, for awhile, there were two women named Iva June Watkins.
So anyway, Dad has short-term memory loss. He knows Camp Meeting is coming up and he's quite excited about going. However, he can't keep straight what day/time we are leaving and has asked me probably 10 times today about it. Unfortunately, we won't be able to leav for Camp until mid-afternoon, so he'll probably ask me 10 more times tomorrow. LOL!
Here's a pic of Dad taken a couple months ago. He was clearing leaves and branches out of a miniature golf course at Camp Bethel. I swear, he puts most younger men to shame!
I've managed to get in some stitching. I made this for my buddy Deb, who has a thing for bees.
It's a Prairie Schooler design, now OOP.
And then I recently stitched "Summer Garden" by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler. I LOVE this.
What immediately drew me to this design is the girl sitting at the bottom in a chaise lounge -- because my Mom had captured a photo of me when I was perhaps 8 years old doing the same thing. Mom loved that picture and for some reason liked to say that I looked like a movie star in it! Ha! Must have been my cool shades. :)
I also designed a freebie for the attendees at the Sturbridge Stitcher's Hideaway, which I named Hear the Sea Call. It's a simple piece, but what's cool is that little shells and sea glass and fish carved from shells embellish it.
Thea Dueck was the instructor for that retreat and she designed the Sturbridge Sewing Box as our project. It is SO way more gorgeous in person.
The linen, silk threads, and lining fabric were such an awesome match. This piece is really going to be a treasure! I'm bringing the kit to Camp in hopes of getting much of it stitched there. The kit came with a DVD with all the instructions for completing the project, including the finishing! Woo-hoo!
My little great niece Mckenzie is the delight of our family. She's just adorable, sweet and so fun! She calls me Auntie Sue, and whenever she says it, my heart melts!
She loved the air escaping from the balloon! LOL!
She turns 2 in another week and we're all ready to party!!
Enjoy the summer!
Monday, April 4, 2011
That is one very much-loved little girl!
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Our first stop was to a local church, which held a craft fair. We saw some beautiful items there -- handmade beaded jewelry, colorful scarfs and pocketbooks, hand-blown glass, unique bird houses, and so much more. I purchased a round mirror that had been decorated to capture a bit of the sea. If I can figure out how to take a good picture of it, I'll post it here. My plan is to hang it in the bedroom wall of my cottage.
There were some fun food items offered at the festival - maple cotton candy, maple nut ice cream, maple ham sandwiches, etc.
Next we visited several antique shops. I love to look at old linens and such. You just never know what you'll find. I picked up two items. I'm not sure exactly how this piece was made. When I first glanced at it I thought it was crochet -- but when I looked closer at it I thought it was woven with surface work added. Click to see it larger and see what you think the technique might be. It feels like cotton.
I found this little appliqued hand towel that was just sweet. I'm hanging that one in my bathroom -- a perfect color match.
I can't seem to resist little hand towels and hankerchiefs with embroidery and cutwork. They are usually sold very inexpensively - a couple dollars or so. I have a drawer of them and like to just take them out and fondle them all! LOL!!
I can't help but wonder who made the pieces I find. I end up paying a few dollars for something that probably took who knows how many hours to make. I wonder who made the pieces and how they ended up in a pile in some antique shop.
Afterwards, Dad and I continued our Maple Festival fun by going to a small cafe for a yummy lunch of maple nut waffles with real maple syrup, sausage, and hot coffee. Mmmm. As we waited for our order to arrive, I put my new linen finds on the table and was examining them again when the waitress came over to look at them. Her name is Becky, and as it turns out, she loves cross stitch and embroidery! Becky was also wondering if the piece above was woven rather than crocheted. We were very curious about it! It was a nice surprise to meet another needlework fan at the cafe.
It felt so good to get out and about after this looooong winter. After we left the festival, I just wasn't quite ready to go home so we drove to Michael's to pick up a frame for the "Always Kiss Me Good Night" stitching I did for my husband. After I get it stretched and framed I'll post another picture, which should do it better justice.
Speaking of pictures, I'm thinking I need to invest in a better camera because so many of the photos I take are blurring up on me. I had to scan the pictures of today's finds in order to post them here. Looks like I need to do some research on cameras!
Thursday, March 10, 2011
What a winter!! It was really starting to get to me. At one point when it was about 4' deep I "planted" some flowers to cheer myself up -- and to entertain my neighbors.
It was a very welcome break from my cabin fever to go to the Stitcher's Hideaway Alumni Winter Escape retreat. What a great time we had! It was totally Stitcher's Gone Wild! The conversations and laughter were so wonderful. We stitched, talked, accumulated more stash, laughed, and feasted on catered meals for 2 whole days and nights! Paradise! I'll be writing about our time together to post on the Stitcher's Hideaway website soon.
I actually managed to get some stitching done in between being silly and chatting with everyone. I finished up these two "Songs of the Seasons" by Prairie School (sorry, folks -- it's out of print now). I stitched them over one and changed the linen and some of the floss colors.
By the way...I found out that you can click on these photos to see them larger.
Next I did all the basting for my next project -- "Sweet Pea Gazebo Sampler" by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler. I'll be working on that as soon as the weather starts warming up. Why? Because I have SSD (Seasonal Stitching Disorder) and don't like stitching on summery designs in the winter, etc. Weird, I know.
Then I worked on "The Bunny Run Around" by Theresa Layman. This design is done all in French and Colonial knots on muslin. I have quite a bit of this design done and am now just filling in background color, which made it a great project for me to work on while chatting and laughing with all the other stitchers. The instructions say that there are approximately 1100 knots per square inch. I find it hard to believe -- but that's what it says! So, I'm thinking I'm a pretty sick individual for taking on this design -- but I do love it!
I finished up some great projects last year. This one was made for my niece Hilary and her husband Alex Rose. I altered "Good Friends Sampler" by Victoria Sampler to turn this into a wedding sampler. The colors and design were so perfect for them. At some point, now that the winter will soon leave us, we'll be getting together to pick out a frame for it.
I also completed another Victoria Sampler design -- "Sturbridge Kitchen Garden" -- which Thea Dueck designed and taught at the Sturbridge Stitcher's Hideaway Retreat in 2009. The design depicts scenes from Old Sturbridge Village.
I finished the "Martha Washington Sampler" by Dawn Fisher of Morning Glory Needleworks. Dawn designed this piece for the Sturbridge 2010 Stitcher's Hideaway Retreat. Each band represents something in Martha's life. Dawn was an awesome instructor! She is also a history buff and so she shared a lot about Martha's life with us. It was so interesting and fun!
I also finished "Always Kiss Me Good Night" by Dawn Fisher of Morning Glory Needleworks. This was a Christmas present for my husband but I had a difficult time getting it done. I had plans to complete the very last part on Christmas Eve -- but my husband just wouldn't go to sleep so I could work! LOL!! So when I gave it to him on Christmas morning, it only said "Always Kiss Me Good"!
I have a WIP I'll be working on during the next few weeks before my SSD kicks in and I switch to the Sweet Pea Gazebo Sampler. It's "The Bay State - Massachusetts" by Jeannette Douglas Designs. She taught this at the Sturbridge Stitcher's Hideaway 2007 retreat and I have it on a frame about 40% done. It's gorgeous. Gee, I hope I can finish it before my SSD hits me!
Jeannette will be teaching at the Mystic 2011 Stitcher's Hideaway Retreat -- another new project. Can't wait to see it!
One of the many things I enjoy about the retreats is seeing what everyone else has stitched during our Show 'n Tell sessions. I am truly amazed at how awesome we are!! LOL!! At the recent Alumni Winter Escape Retreat there were so many amazing works of art -- many different techniques involved -- and even some knitting and jewelry to see. Some items had been entered into fairs and had received Blue Ribbons and Best of Show! I'm telling you, stitchers are cool!!
Until next time -
Friday, January 28, 2011
Last summer seems like years ago.
In fact, I think it might have been 3 years ago.
There was green then...and pinks and yellows and purples....and not just in winter scarves.
They say we're in some kind of weird weather pattern and we should expect to keep getting socked this way for a few weeks.
If we get any more, I might not be able to spot my Dad when he's shoveling.
I may need search parties.
I am reminded of a poem written by Courant staff writer Jim Shea, who was whining over the snowiest winter on record back in March of 1996. We had many storms that year, but they were spread out over months. This year January has buried us. But let's take a moment to enjoy Jim's verse:
March 9, 1996
100 Inches -- And Counting
It is winter.
It has always been winter.
It will always be winter.
Spring will never come.
Spring is not for us.
Spring is for the privileged.
It has just snowed.
It has always just snowed.
If it has not just snowed, it is snowing.
If it is not snowing, it is going to snow.
Snow is evil.
Snow is plutonium.
It is cold.
It will always be cold.
It has always been cold.
Warmth will never visit here.
Warmth fears cold.
It is gloomy.
It will always be gloomy.
It has always been gloomy.
When skies are not gloomy, it is cold.
And cold begets snow.
It is depressing.
It will always be depressing.
It has always been depressing.
We are trapped in a Russian novel.
There is only dark mood.
It is winter.
It has always been winter.
It will always be winter.
Will it never concede?
Will it never end?
I will turn 60 on the first day of spring.
Theoretically the first day of spring.
How will I spend that day?
Will I be wading in up to 4' of snow to knock icicles off my gutters again like today?
Will I once again have snowed packed into my boots?
Or will I be frolicking in lighter garments and enjoying the first sightings of crocuses?