Friday, December 31, 2010

Here Goes Another Year - both going and coming

What a whirlwind of a year 2010 has been. First off, it was an adjustment of going through each month without my sweet dad and his humor and wise words. He is missed beyond words and tears still sting my eyes often just thinking of him but none more than his birthday, Dec 16th. That was hard. Then there was the very unexpected death of my brother in law and helping my sister and the kids get through these past 2 months. It really seems like it's been 6 months. Wow! hard to believe it is only 2 months. The days seem longer.
Then, there was a major life adjustment as my husband and I started nursing school and going full blast into that before my husband got sick and landed in the hospital with complications of a kidney stone. Forced us to drop out of school after 6 months while we dealt with his complication and treatment. Then we started another school in the fall and are doing well in it.
I spent the majority of the summer stitching while we were waiting for classes to begin in the fall. Got a beautiful piece finished for my aunt ( The Art Nouveau lady) and then started another beauty (Classy Lady) for my cousin. Was nearly finished when my BIL passed away and then I didn't get to stitch for a whole month after that. But, lo and behold, it is completed and framed. I have to make time to meet with her and give it to her.
For Christmas, I had two Shepherd's Bush pieces framed for my mom and gave them to her for Christmas and she is really pleased with them. They turned out beautiful in matching frames and complimentary mats. They are Sophie's Roses and Peter's Patch. I bought more stash this year and seemed to stitch less but I am a happy stitcher with my stash!
My stitching goal for 2011 is to stitch more meaningful pieces, especially from my stash, and to clear out alot of older patterns that are piling up and I've lost interest in them. I still intend to continue my collection of Gingher Designer Scissors and GAST threads as I have the complete line of threads and many of the Limited Edition skeins which I realized that there are more LE skeins than the regular line now. That's ok, I stitch from both and my collection of Weeks Dye Works is growing. I am not trying to get the complete set of WDW as there are many colors that I'm not interested in.
I don't know what's going on with my computer and blogspot, I am not able to insert any pictures lately. That makes for some boring blogs. What's going on? I really hope my computer isn't about to crash.
So, Happy New Year to all and many blessings to everyone. I wish for everyone to stay safe, healthy and to find ways to help other people! God Bless!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to All

Wanted to wish everyone reading a very Merry Christmas and look forward to a prosperous 2011.
Finally this day is here and gifts are wrapped and under the tree. The size of the presents are small but the price is not. The kids are too eager to open presents and excited to see the looks on the faces on other people as they open their presents. My son did most of the wrapping as he has in previous years. He's such a good elf and gets excited with the decorating and the Christmas music. I love all the love in his heart!
Keep safe and enjoy the celebration of Jesus' birth, keep Him close to your heart!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Some of my old favorite stitched pieces

While I was looking over some of my pictures, I came across pictures of some of my favorite stitched pieces that I have hanging on the wall. Here are three of a set that are my first pieces using overdyed threads from back in the 90's. My father-in-law liked them and made frames for them, they were not ironed or stretched and I didn't want to take them apart to do that because he took the pieces and gave them back to me framed. I thought that was so endearing and it's a great memory I have of him.
This last one actually looks like my father-in-law from the back (although he was not from an Indian descent). He was a great character who wore hats and had a presence about him.

Oldies but goodies! They are dear to my heart for many reasons but also because I used "overdyed's" that were new to the stitching world at the time. You should see my stash of GAST and WDW plus a nice selection of silks too! They really have changed the stitching world!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving - alot to celebrate

We are truly thankful for our health, our family, our friends, our support system and to God for blessing us in many areas. We acknowledge that "things" in our life are just luxuries to enjoy but does not define who we are, what matters is having Jesus live in our hearts and having His Spirit to guide us. We are fortunate that we have the extra funds to make Christmas purchases for the kids (son, nieces, nephews, grandsons and great-grandbaby girl) and are able to spend time with family.

Our Thanksgiving feast was just that, a feast! We were blessed with two complete thanksgiving dinners and we had already purchased our BIG turkey, 21.21 lbs! So we blessed another family with one of the given dinners and felt really happy to be able to do that for a family that didn't know how they were going to serve a turkey meal. We believe that we are blessed to be a blessing and as we get older, we enjoy giving and look for ways in which we can help other people. Sometimes it's a word of encouragement, other times it's what we can do for them. Helping out someone is rewarding and keeps our hearts light and a smile on our faces. We truly have alot to celebrate, not just today, but every day.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Miss You Dad!

I can't believe it's been a whole year since my sweet dad passed away. He wasn't ready to leave us and tried his hardest to stay but his body couldn't do it anymore. What is the saddest part was him leaving my mom. He loved that woman with everything that he had and it's hard for her to keep going without him. Her life isn't as enjoyable as it used to be. She puts up a good front, but on the surface she's just being brave and trying to be happy.

I've come to hate hearing that cliche, "time heals all wounds". A wound is never completely mended, it's masked by a scar, a cover up, but the hurt of missing someone is always present. Really, what hurts the most is having my parents separated by two different worlds, knowing my mom is missing her mate and life long partner.

In their wedding photo from 1953, my mom made her wedding dress and the night before the wedding, my dad helped her sew on the roses onto the veil because she had decided to decorate it. Then, before the wedding, he couldn't contain his excitement and went into the bedroom where she and all the bridesmaids were so he could see her and everyone was trying to shoo him out saying it was bad luck to see the bride before the wedding but he paid no attention to that and went to see his "girl".

November 16th will always be a sad day until they are reunited again.

In the meantime, we reminisce about his wit and humor and funny jokes and antics. We miss his calm nature and easy to get along with attitude, and his never letting things get to him. Most importantly I miss teasing him about the Redskins. A die hard fan to the end who didn't like the Cowboys but never missed a game. It's just not fair that this year the Redskins have a winning season and the Cowboys don't. It's just not fair that he missed that, it would have been a fun football season to have him tease me back this once.

I try not to cry over missing him, but I'll allow some tears this day. It's the first year without him and life was better with him on earth for our own selfish reasons. I know there are many angels laughing at his jokes in the eternal heavens!

I miss you, I miss all your jokes and all your stories. I miss looking out for you and taking care of you, it was always me that benefitted from our extra time together those last 7 years. Thank you for everything Chacho! I love you Dad!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Looking Like Fall

We've had a couple of windy days in El Paso and the yellow leaves are starting to blanket the ground. I went outside this morning and took a couple of pictures of our little Brindle Pug in her first fall photo of her life! She posed easily, I think she likes the colors too!
Then Little Ray joined us in the fun and I couldn't help but get a picture of these two best buds!

So, as we say in Texas, "Happy Fall, Y'all!!"

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

RIP George (Jorge)

Here is a picture of my brother-in-law who passed away Oct 24, 2010 after having a bad reaction to an antidepressant he was recently prescribed. This picture was taken after he got this Chevrolet. He traded in a pick-up truck he had because his new job assignment was far from home and he wanted to save as much as he could on gas. It was a small vehicle for him but it was when gas prices were pretty high and he was very happy with the trade-in. This car was planned to be handed over to his son when the time was right.

There are so many people who are devasted by his very unexpected passing. It was a complete shock and there was no time to help him. He was a great family man, loving husband, friendly and willing to help anyone who asked. One of the best things about him is that he was always making jokes.
He was a police officer at our local community college. It was his dream to become a police officer and he loved his job. His family consisted of my sister, his son and daughter (both kids are teenagers), and plenty of brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, etc. We are very much in shock but have lots of great memories.
God Bless You George!

Friday, October 15, 2010

My Mom has been busy!

Getting ready for our first craft show of the 2010 season. Pulled out the totes from the garage and started sorting to see what we have to work with. Now comes the fun part, pricing!
Since our first show is at an elementary school, I had her make a couple of hat and scarf sets for little girls. plus she has alot of scarves and capes that will be great for teacher gifts.
This lady is non-stop! She's more accurate than a machine!
Her fingers are hurting her more so she's slowing down. It takes her a whole week to knit a sweater coat where it used to take 4 days of good Yankees Baseball to watch.
She says this will be her last year for the shows, she says that every year :-)
Pray for us to have fantastic sales this season!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A whole skein of DMC 3823!

I'm really loving this lady! It's alot of fun to stitch using these beautiful colors. I was able to fill in the background and finished one whole skein of DMC 3823 and took a picture. I've always wondered how far one skein goes and this gave me a great idea since it's pretty much solid stitching.
My camera isn't that great at capturing the detail and then the sun was really bright on the bottom left corner but here's another picture of the whole picture up to the same point:

It's nearly completed and I'll have the backstitching and beads to complete. I've decided to give it to my aunt, her birthday is next week. She'll have to receive it late but I know her reaction will be well worth the wait. Aside from my mom and sister, she is the recepient of alot of my stitched gifts and she has them all hanging on her walls.

Now that nursing classes have begun again, my stitching time has quickly diminished but I am determined to push forward. Keep praying for my endeavors!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy 15th Anniversary

We wouldn't have an anniversary if it weren't for our son. He's the glue that has kept us a family unit though all the rough times. He's such an awesome kid that we couldn't break up this family during the toughest times, but we have since made a commitment to stick and stay and so now the rough edges are smoothed out and we have a great family environment now.
I never thought we would make it to 5 years of marriage and here we are celebrating 15 years! The last 10 have been much better. Big Ray has let me know how much he loves me and how much he doesn't want to start over without me. And now, we are beginning (continuing) our medical studies next week and are very comfortable being together round the clock.
We celebrated with dinner at our favorite restaurant, Outback Steakhouse. We are regulars there so even if we're not celebrating, that's our choice to go out for dinner. The staff, although it changes periodically, always remembers us and they gave us a complimentary dessert of a sampler of carrot cake, brownie, and cheesecake. We sat in the bar area so we could watch the first half of the opening NFL game: New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings and Bret Farve. Happily, the Saints won.
When we got home, my son and husband gave me an anniversary present. They gave me a medical scrub top that has hearts on it (and really great pockets). That is such a thoughtful and very practical gift and I was completely surprised that they thought that out. They are great guys, worth keeping!
Happy stitching and new pictures will be posted soon!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Look what we ate!

I took a picture of the pineapple upside down cake that I baked for my son's birthday. The first picture is the setting of the pineapples and cherries before I poured the batter in my favorite Pampered Chef 9X13 baker. The next pictures are after it was taken out of the pan, followed by the lighting of the candles.

I also took a picture of the lasagna that I made. He wanted 2 lasagnas because there is never any left over. He was right, there was none left over from one pan and we had a whole pan left for the next day.

Again, I used my favorite Pampered Chef pan for one of them. I cannot tell you how many meals I have made in this pan, and all the pineapple upside down cakes that have been baked in this. It's funny because the men in my family that I bake birthday cakes for all request the pineapple upside down cake. And they also want lasagna: my son, my husband, my brother-inlaw, and my dad before he passed away. My nephew requests the cake but not the lasagna, he prefers to go out for steak. What's wrong with that guy????
I failed to take a picture of the toasted French bread that my husband made in the cast iron skillet. By that point, I was ready to eat and not thinking of pictures. It was delicious!!

I'll go ahead and show you the cinnamon roll I made for breakfast on my son's birthday. (Okay, it wasn't his whole breakfast - it was a treat).

I thought it was funny that my husband stuck a candle in it. We were in a hurry to leave for school. Silly guy!
What a fun day his birthday always is. Here's to many, many more! Susan~

Monday, August 30, 2010

August 30th - The best day of my life!

On this day, 14 years ago, my life changed in ways I'd never imagined or dreamed of. My little boy was born and since that day, my heart grew so much and keeps growing every single day with love for this guy. He is such a sweet thoughtful, kind, compassionate, funny, smart, loving and caring guy. Everyone told me to wait for the terrible two's, wait til he turns a teenager. But not this guy, he defies the norm. He's always been a very loving person to be with and I miss him when he's at school or away for whatever reason. He's a great conversationist and never lacks for something interesting to talk about and easy to laugh with. But what really makes him special is his heart. He has a heart for God, then his family and somewhere down the line, himself. I have no doubt that he will be incredibly successful in all that he does in life and will have many friends and family to support his endeavors. I thank God for him everyday and can't believe I have such a special person so dear to my heart. Thank you God for this beautiful blessing, every single day. Happy Birthday sweet son!! Love, Mom~

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Here's my Art Nouveu Lady WIP

With the beginning of football season comes the beginning of a new project. I chose this Art Nouveau Lady from a British magazine, designed by Lesely Teare. I thought the colors were beautiful and reminded me of summer. So, starting with the Hall of Fame game with the Dallas Cowboys, I began and got 5 hours of stitching accomplished.
Here's my progress after another 10 days of stitching:

When I got to this point (above picture) I realized something wasn't right. The colors weren't as pretty as the picture and were kind of dull. It wasn't until then that I referred to the color picture and saw that many areas have the wrong symbol and I'd been stitching the wrong colors.!!! First off, the outline that I initially started with is the wrong color. Then, the bosom of the dress is yellow and right where I was starting the highlight of the dress (below the forearm) it is charted with the darker flesh color. That's when I didn't like what was going on. Come to find out, the dress where I started stitching her knee (above her forearm) is not the right shade of orange. Plus, the orange outline inside the blue circle is the wrong color too!!! Guess what! I frogged all of it and began picking out the colors that closely matched the picture.
So...after all that disappointment and sending off an email to the publisher (they are looking into the situation), here's my new progress:

I estimate I'll have it done in 2 weeks. A little late for me because my husband and I are headed back to nursing school and once it starts, there'll be very little time for stitching if any at all.
Wish me luck on all endeavors!

By the weekend, I hope to have filled in the light blue background and then I'll add the features to her face and detail of dress. I am loving this design! Happy stitching!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vacation's over but was fun!

We had a great time on our vacation! Fell in love with the great-grandbaby girl and got to babysit her many times. She's going to be a talker and a sweetheart. She has a sweet disposition and is very spunky and coos all the time. She made a great first impression on us as she loved us and laughed at us and all the faces my son made at her when we met her. They bonded really well and I was impressed with how protective he was of her since he is only 13 yrs old.

Here's the great-grandpa pretending to bite her little tiny fingers. She loved playing with him!

And here's the finished and framed pieces I stitched for this sweet baby:
And for my brother, I finished the binoculars and was able to give him the stitched piece along with the binoculars we used as kids on so many of our vacations and camping trips. There are many, many memories tied to those binoculars and the case. I could never get them back in the case properly and always had to rely on my big brother to put them in nice and neat. Even now as an adult, I still find it tricky. I didn't frame the piece since I hadn't been to his new house and didn't know what frame would work best so I left it to my big brother and his creative wife to take care of that task. :-)

Here's a thrift store find that I got for my mom: a copper kettle for $3.99. I knew she could clean it up and make it look spectacular and that's exactly what she did and now she's showing it off on the kitchen table for now.

It was really fun to be in Dallas and see family and friends. The trip was 10 days long but flew by in the blink of an eye. My husband, son and I were all very sad to leave but also ready to get back home to our own spaces. It didn't stop us from touring some neighborhoods for possible places to relocate in the future.
See ya later Big D! Until next time...

Friday, July 30, 2010

We made it to Dallas!

No pictures on this post, but just a note to say that we made it to Dallas in one piece! We had such an adventure traveling. The day started out lovely, some clouds in the sky then it started to get thicker darker clouds, then the most beautiful dark blue/grey stormy skies. Those dark, dark clouds turned into big rain drops. I was driving and when I turned on the wipers and they streaked across the windshield because of lack of use! We happened to be in a mountainous area, no towns or exits for hundreds of miles around. All it was was just rain, mountains and 18-wheelers.

Cars were pulling off the road to wait out the storm but I kept forging ahead. The storm was so bad that the road wasn't even visible! Honestly, for long periods of time I could only see the white line right in front of the car and knew I was still on the road!

There was an orange 18-wheeler in front of me and I kept my eye on that because I couldn't see the road at all from the fierceness of this storm. There were a few times that I lost sight of the big rig even though it was only about 50 feet in front of me. When I lost sight of the truck, I just kept the steering wheel straight and relied on God to keep us on the road. It was such a scary experience but I knew the road was pretty much straight and there weren't any cliffs so I figured that if we did get off the road, we would just be driving on the ground and not down a ravine.  Once we got through to lighter rain, I relaxed, then realized that I had to pass some other trucks that were spraying water so bad that I couldn't see again! Ah well, by faith, we made it and have a story to tell and are so happy with our survival and our vacation.

When we were able to finally pass that 18-wheeler, my husband rolled down the window and pretended to "text" thank you to the driver and waved. He said the driver was laughing and waving back. He was obviously relieved he made it as well!

Before the storm started I noticed the temperature was dropping quickly, once we emerged from the heavy rains I saw the temp had dropped down to 68 F, that was a 30 degree drop! I don't know what it was during the actual storm itself. When we arrived in Dallas, at night, it was 90 degrees, but completely clear skies. So many lights and businesses and excitement! We are so happy to be here, even for a few days.

BTW, mission accomplished on the binoculars. It is all stitched and I brought the binoculars that we had as kids to give to my brother along with the stitched piece. I will take a picture of them together when I give it to him tomorrow. Happy weekend!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My mom knits and crochets

My mom knits or crochets many hours a day. She's made so many items for family that finally her sister convinced her to sell her items at craft shows. So now she spends hours a day preparing for 2 really good shows in the fall. The sad thing is that her hands are hurting her more and she says that she has to knit slower and that possibly this could be her last year for the shows. I don't know what she'll do if she didn't have some yarn woven through her fingers every day.

Here's a picture of an afghan she's currently making, it'll be done by the end of this week, then she'll start something new. It is a ripple afghan in brown and shades of variegated brown that looks like fudge marble. This is her favorite pattern and the best seller at the shows.

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's Crunch Time!

At the end of this week, my family and I will be traveling to Dallas to visit alot of family and friends. I will get to see my brother and my sister-in-law at their new home in Plano. I started a little thing for my brother's office (he does alot of free lance work from home) last year and put it aside because I wasn't completely happy with the color conversion from Anchor to DMC. Well, I've decided that I'm not scraping it and time to pull it out and finish it. Here's what it looked like before I started on it tonight:

What's funny is that on my camera, I don't see the shadow, but on the computer it's very present!
Anyway, I have stitched on it while watching the Yankees play Cleveland and got some progress made
but I'll have to work faster on it.

Here's the little Somebunny kit that I completed to be a companion to the Somebunny design
that I finished earlier this week. The colors are similar to each other and this little thing took only
2 nights to finish up. Hope the little grand-baby girl enjoys it too!

And here it is next to the big Somebunny design:

Hope your needles and creativity are flying on these hot summer days. Stay cool!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The puppy did it again, sort of!

Our sweet little doggie has messed up in my son's bedroom again. This time she peed...on the bed!!! My son didn't wake me up to tell me, he just took the sheets off the bed and put them in the bathroom and slept with a blanket on top of him. When I went outside to see the dog, she started to jump on me as always, but I said "Bad dog" and she backed away, knowing what she had done. When I fed her, she stayed away from me and just looked at me. I don't like being mad at her, she's a sweet dog and is a big part of our family now.
We rescued her in March and never have been more happy with a dog than we are with her. She's a Brindle Pug, she's black with gold tiger stripes. Very unusual coloring and a great disposition. In hindsight, I now wish we hadn't had her spayed, she would have had some good looking pups. Ah well, back to forgiving the little thing. The sheets are washed and the comforter was washed at the laundromat and is hanging on the clothesline to dry. Her name is Nicki, and I call her Nickers, not to be confused with knickers.

On the stitching front, I finished the little bunny for the great-grandbaby last night and need to start another project tonight. It will be something I've never stitched before: Art Deco style lady. I'll get a picture posted once I get some stitches done.

Until then, Blessings to you and your needle!