Saturday, July 24, 2010

My Sweet Abigail and Real Comfort


Abbie agrees with the sampler quote I'm working on right now.

The Jane Austen quote.......There's nothing like staying at home for real comfort............"

My first try at designing a pattern-FUN!

This morning I decided I would try again at using some design software which seemed foreign to me last week when I got it in the mail.. I played with it a little and I didn't really want the software PC Stitch to duplicate photos........I wanted to play with it and try my hand at designing things that inspire me or thoughts on my brain. And boy did I have fun! FUN!

I almost gave up trying to figure it out but this morning, I got up and decided to try to learn again.
I spent a couple of hours and made this sampler and I had a great time doing it. I'm definitely not a professional at this but I thought I would share what I did this morning.

Funny, as I really don't know what this would look like really stitched and it turned out much larger than I anticipated. 
I decided to create a sampler of my view of our little nest in the mountains with some motifs and also has the date we first moved in here.







I still have to learn how to put this to my blog if I wanted to include it. That's why I had to take a pic of the monitor.  The motifs I wanted to include were our butterflies, the pink roses, the year, a heart, a windmill for the Dutchy part of us, a cross, and the two of us birds and a mental impression of the front of our house on a hill.

But, the printed version is like this:


I picked Crescent Colors as the threads.
I may have to change the colors when I start actually stitching this to see if they flow together or not.
I'm just playing and thought I would show you what my Saturday is going like.
It's definitely too hot to go outside!

So, whatcha think?
I still have a lot to learn about this software program but it's fun learning something new.


Frozen Friday Flashback


Remember this in February?


Yep, I remember the frozen commutes home in the dark. I just can't get myself to say
Brrrrrrrrr    right now though.

It might be the major hot flash in the airconditioning I'm having right now.
Or that the humidity is thick.
But one day, we'll all be so glad again for warm hot days.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Starting the Dog Days of Summer in the South


Yep, I do believe it's the beginnings of the dog days of Summer here in the mountains.

The Labs shed their collars somewhere in the past few weeks and we have to get new ones. They have ID microchips, but we need to get more collars back on them.
Ruby and Raven are sisters. Ruby born before Raven and they are about 6 years old now. Unfortunately we were not even celebrating their birthday during the first week of July because of Ren's death but these girls are like Thelma and Louise. They usually have a mission.  And usually that involves the ducks at the pond down below and a long swim in the Summer, then a good belly roll in the red Ga. clay! :o

Well, as I was raised in South Ga, I think the Summers here are pretty mild. But, I have to admit today's humidity was so thick that my camera lens kept fogging up when I went to take a picture.
Reminded me of Waynesboro, Ga. where it's 100 degrees by May 1st every year.
I don't miss that  AT ALL!

But here, we'll have about a good month before the nights will get less humid and cooler again.'
Until then.  HOT!
This is the pic I was taking before I realized how fogged the camera got.
So here it is again after wiping it off.
yep, about the time I'm taking the pic, I get breathed-on by this:
so I hold my leg out to take the rest and hope that her breath is not going through your computer right now or you'll run and shut it off immediately!

Gosh, Raven, what did you eat today??????  Yuck!

Our Prim American flag has faded in the sun.

Thomas is keeping watch over all the over grown weeds. He is hoping for a frog tonight. He better not bring me another baby snake.
In fact, I read that you need more than 1 cat if you live in the woods to help keep snakes away.
So, I've finally convinced Body Guard to go to the humane society and adopt a light gray kitten soon!!!
I can't wait.  I bet Thomas can though. But he is getting pretty lazy in his age and we need another to tend to the outside of the house.

yeah, right. He is going to check out the rest of the porch.



He's our mountain lion.

who watches over delicate things like this rose in the garden.



And I watch over this other lion-of-the-house, spoiled and loving it, girlie. ;)

This quilt is her favorite spot to rest while I'm stitching or blogging.
She's getting ready to watch the news with me now.
It certainly is cooler in the house than outside, actually the thermometer says 86 degrees but the humidity is the highest ever today.
But, I can't complain because after supper, BG and I had a craving for a Dairy Queen Blizzard and we both tried totally new flavors. I got Strawberries and Vanilla Oreos and he got a Pecan Pie Blizzard.
I think I liked the Strawberry best and he did too.
Talk later
Jennifer

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I have butterflies




I am extremely fascinated by butterflies.  Luckily when we moved here to the woods, we already had two very large "butterfly bushes" planted right outside the windows and since that time they have grown the largest this Summer than I've ever seen. They hold the nectar which draws the butterflies to linger for hours.

Even though I have always been amazed at butterflies, I really know little about them. I just know they are pretty, different, variable in color, and relaxing to view.
Today, I didn't even go outside. But, I watched the many butterflies, fluttering around the bushes.
Recently, I learned they also are attracted to Lemon Balm herb plant, which is something I just put in a big tin outside on the front porch.

The butterfly really had more meaning to me when, in the 90's,  I  joined a group called The Compassionate Friends and served on the board for our area. This group is an international support group for helping bereaved parents. The Butterfly is the symbol for TCF.

This is the Monarch Butterfly and is probably about 50% of the ones I see fluttering around in our yard.
I read alot today and found out that the Monarch ones migrate large distances.
Interesting.

As you probably know, butterflies start out as catepillars and even as a wee girl, I was amazed at catepillars. Probably the only "insect" I didn't scream at.
I learned today through reading that catepillars have the ability to inflate their heads like snakes when they feel threatened and also can have spots as well.
They also produce toxins that help them survive from predators.

In doing so, they transition into beautiful butterflies with wings that look like stained glass at times and capture the eyes of many nature-lovers.
Some butterfly wings have more distinct boundaries than others.

The contrast of those boundaries lend to a beautiful appearance.
Some butterflies also have organs of hearing, something I didn't know until today.

As much as I like butterflies, I have never stitched butterflies. I have several patterns that are very detailed but have not stitched them.
Maybe it's time to browse through some butterfly motifs.

For when I see them, they remind me that they are gifts to us from the Maker and only He could make such beautiful, functional, detailed, and symbolic creatures.

Hope your day went well.

Sometimes

Essentials, in perspective.......


I have to laugh because if not, I think I will cry in this economical job craziness right now. The ripple effects are far-reaching right now and the atmosphere of work is like pins and needles wondering if there will be job cuts. People are being sent home during the day now. It's brought folks, ordinary working folks, down to the level of Maslow's basic need.....survival in the environment of ........craziness. Simple chaos at times. I just remember and say, "I'm a survivor, I've been there and done that, got the T-shirt, the mug, and the banner for it" and keep going". But,like many others out in the dog=eat dog=world, it's quite draining. Thank goodness I have some things that came in the mail that brightened my day.

I'm trying to go on a stash diet gradually as I have alot of patterns and supplies but these caught my eye and I splurged on the new Kelmscott scissors, The Lace Scissors to add to the collection. I really like Kelmscott scissors for several reasons. First, the cost is low, compared to many others. I saw a pair of embroidery scissors last week on Ebay that sold for $325.00!  WWWWWWWWWWWWOE! Never would I do that but I guess it's nice for those that can.

These are from the Sampler Girl Webshop. I just opened them in the mail tonight after a very long stressful day at work. Second, they are small and travel-friendly and almost exhibit an antique look.
A close-up pic:


The drawstring bag was unexpected and most loved to carry them in. Thank you, Tanya.

The other mail piece that I ordered over a month ago on Ebay was a new garden flag as our present little one says "Welcome Spring" right now.....a little behind, I know.


I love the colors and the Prim look. Can't wait to put out in the yard tomorrow!


And Miss Abbie received 2 new T-shirts from a friend at work. A lovely surprise waiting for me on my computer station where I type in patient reports. Thank you, Connie.




Both are very cute and I will try them on her tomorrow on my "recuperation from work-day off"



Even through all the chaos and stress at work, I lunched with this for 20 minutes and put a few more stitches in. I definitely will be measuring and cutting this tomorrow. The large piece is heavy and dragging when I stitch. I think it will be better cut to size with a 3 inch allowance.
Tomorrow I have alot of catching up to do. I've met many kind new people through this blog and need to visit and read their blogs.

I think dogs feed off their owners energy and tonight, Abbie has been on overdrive constantly, probably sensing anxiety from the busy week. This is hour 6 and she is still running, jumping, going in circles, chewing, licking, and never still. I have not seen her this way for this long.
Tonight I gave her some salt and vinegar potatoe chips and she absolutely loved them. Probably not healthy for a snack but she looks now for them constantly. LOL

Have a peaceful night's sleep,
Jennifer

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Start sampler--a Jane Austen piece by The Sampler Girl


Not many stitches in and I spent about an hour trying to figure out what happened to my Really Teally by CC without success. I just know I ordered it with the other colors but somewhere in between one place to another, it disappeared. So, I went with the DMC equivalent for that one. Luckily, I had it in stash.
I love that color. All other colors are CC cotton floss. This is a Jane Austen sampler by The Sampler Girl.
So far I snapped this out of the frame and stitched by hand so the tension is not the greatest but seems stitching is going faster that way. I imagined the teal motif, a snow flake, which is very soothing in this weather.



I have not cut the 18 x 26 in piece of the 30 ct Weeks Linen, Linen color in hopes that I can stretch 2 samplers with this piece. There is a companion piece to this one by The Sampler Girl and I hope there's room to stitch both on this large piece. Pretty sure there will be. Both are narrow and long.

Summer is flying by. The busiest time of year for work as many folks are out of school or off for vacation leave or many reasons, so stitching is slower right now. Fortunately, I have a job to work still during this economy, it's a blessing. The economic pressures are having ripple effects into the healthcare system which puts further strain on the job front. Pressure from all sides.

Hope your week is going well. 
Stay safe and cool,
Jennifer

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dinner and quilts at Unicoi Lodge

Tonight, Body Guard and I went to Unicoi State Park Lodge to eat dinner supper. The buffet was so fresh and abundant. They always have fresh trout and vegetables and a dessert table that is quite huge.
It was raining very heavy until after dinner and then the sun came out with the mountains steaming as we strolled along the grounds and the woods.

We met some nice folks while I took pictures outside and looked at the beautiful flowers.

Unicoi's dining room has always had many quilts exhibited and, well, as you can see in the pictures, the prices are quite pricey for a souvenier for travelers. We are locals and have seen them before but I got my camera and started snapping pics after we ate our good-eats.



He waits patiently always while I'm on an adventure.
See the smile.

After the price though.......




And so the camera starting snapping.











What a name for a pattern!


In the meantime, he's analyzing people.


This is one of my favorites....nope, can't get any of these quilts...evah. The prices are quite high. LOL












This Oak Leaf pattern one is my second most favorite.




Then, the next level at the bottom past the other side of the BIG fireplace has several other quilts.


Although I had enough dessert to hang from the rafters, I didn't for these pics :)


Hold on, let me just bend way over and grab on to the lights and get this close-up!







Walking down to the second floor and then out where the rain finally stopped and within a few minutes the sun struggled to beam through the clouds.


The Lantana is abundant here.


Not a drop of rain wasted......

AHHH,  sun!


We stroll through the grounds.



I did not once hear the word S_N_A_K_E, thank goodness, on this walk.


This is the swing where we sit and talk about things like "remember when......"


I can only say it was a steamy Sunday evening.


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