Friday, August 16, 2019

A LONG Post of Stories

Let's catch up! 

I have been a bit busy inside with the August heat.

I was lamenting the other day about how hot it is!!!
I was trying to throw myself a good pity party. I was thinking how I have always had a love/hate relationship with this month. For many years I held onto summer with all the gusto I had in the first part of the month. I should really say I held onto the summer vacation. August meant back to school and the carefree days of life would be over. 

I remember one particular August when the school district was doing the wishy washy school start time thing that happened about three times in my 31 years as teacher. This particular year, it was decided we would start late in August again. I actually changed schools that year. I would be teaching at the school my kids attended so as a family we were ecstatic. I was giving up a school working at to be with them which was way more important. On the last day before the first day of teachers returning to work, I tossed caution to the wind and the kids and I headed to the beach with all the nonworking Mamas. I had already been working a week to get my new room in order.
It was one of the best beach days of the summer. The waves were super calm which meant we actually got in the Gulf. (Now, that is a whole other story about how I don't get in the Gulf.)

We rode the waves on floats and stayed all day. It is one my favorite memories with the kids...not the nonworking Mamas of whom I was extremely jealous of and really didn't have a whole lot in common with. That is another story of the things we do to each other...nonworking vs working Mamas. 

Anyway with August in the south, life needs to be slow since SITTING  (and I do mean moving other than breathing) on a porch or on a beach is about the only thing fun to do. The roses and geraniums are begging for relief for heat. You see I was complaining in my mind to the high hills!

Then, I read this and I got a kick in the seat which was much needed. Many times it is all about perspective. Here, this Mama was seeing the good things about August. 

Anyway, now that you have survived this story we will catch up with the needle and floss.

I completed all of the carols and 

am about to start some finishing of things.

Once I cut the carols apart, they seemed so much smaller than when I was stitching them. 

I also have continued with some Christmas stitching. 

Another story....

Last Christmas, we were at a friends house and Jeff fell in love with their stockings on the mantle. They have an extra large fireplace which was needed to hold lots of stockings for a blended family. No couple has ever blended their families as well as Mike and Cindy. There were 16 stockings. Every kid, spouse of kids, and grandchild had a stocking. They hung on the wood of the mantle. There is no way to describe the mantle, but it has pieces of wood that stick out almost like antlers which made the perfect holding place for the stockings. They were a neutral stocking and had colorful names on them. She had ordered them and had them done.

Now, let me tell a little backstory on stockings at our house. I hope you like stories, because I love them.

I never had a stocking growing up...maybe no mantle or the fact that I am an only child were contributing factors, but they weren't important to me. When Lindsay was born, she got a really cute pink gingham one and I hung it on our mantle. Along came Paul Allen and Mom found a a green and red patterned one and that is what we went with through elementary school. A refresh on school supplies and candy were items put in them for Christmas morning. When we moved in our current home the kids were in middle school and we were at Lowe's one evening and found some with a  chalkboard. That became the new tradition that are hung with toothpicks in some holes in the stone since there is no mantle.
When Tyler was added to the family, I found a fish for him.

Then along came Katie. So, I tried to just let them die away. Paul Allen who does not like change was not happy about that. Jeff wasn't too happy about it either, so when he saw the ones at our friends house, he was after me to find some new ones. Oh and now the stockings hold candy and scratch off lottery tickets.

One day while on Instagram, I came across this picture.

Source: Instagram

Now, I adored the picture, but I really thought and thought on it and knew that I could not stand that much color and pattern with a ton of stockings. I even have some fabric like that. I was really drawn to that letter and pattern though. 

I realized with lots of stocking I needed something neutral and calm with so much Christmas red. I find that too much red in the house affects my mood. It makes me a little anxious. Probably should do a study on that. I promise it has nothing to do with alabama as a team. Promise, cross my heart!!!!

I thought about this picture... and how much I love everything about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This would have been easy to do with store-bought and having them monogrammed, but I could not get that cross stitch pattern out of my head. AND if they were going to be special at our house, they really should have some cross stitch on them.

Months later, I bought some stockings on Amazon that have a burlap top. I knew that I could stitch on it. I ordered extra for a hopefully growing family. 
Then, y'all that is where I got stumped. I could not find anything like that picture. I stitched so many letters and ripped them out.

One day while watching Misty Pursel on Flosstube... the heavens opened.
She shared a book of a designer that is all over Pinterest but I never really could find a good book in English with her work. It was promptly ordered even though I was really trying to be good on ordering any new "stash." 
It is so wonderful that I feel totally good about the purchase. Besides having the lettering pattern that was just so perfect, every other page of the book has something that I am dying to stitch for Christmas.


Here is a stocking which I will add some ribbon to pretty it up.

Another one...

Hoping to do two a week until I get them all done...8 total.

Then check out some of the pages of this wonderful book.

I see some ornaments for Tucker in the future.

I have seen some of these stitched by  the ladies in my sidebar and they are so pretty.

All those numbers are for the cutest Advent calendar idea. Maybe one of those for Lindsay and then another for Paul Allen if he ever has kids. Stitching until I am 100 years old.

Weeellll if you are still here, I guess I will close this post. I can't seem to get my blogging mojo going ...maybe it will be better in the fall.

I once blogged about so many things...trips, day to day life, thoughts rolling around in this old noggin, and home decor. These days all I am doing is stitching.

I guess stitching friends like it, but I have probably lost any other readers. 
I am sorry!

Question for you that are still reading... do you want the other stuff or should I just stick with the stitching when this busy season of life is over. This could be viewed as a test if you are still reading­čśé

Tomorrow is another day. Until then I will be trying to keep a positive attitude in the heat.

I almost passed out while tending to my flowers the other day, so it is real OR I might just be getting older.

Story telling is over. (Today I acted like those little kids who start telling a story in class and go on and on and you keep trying to gracefully interrupt them and get things moving along.)

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Stitching Away

While I was waiting for my floss to come so that I could finish my Christmas carol stitching, I finished up a stitch that I wanted to do for fall. Cotton is beautiful in the fall months in the south. On the drive from here to my hometown just across the state line of Florida / Alabama you will see beautiful fields for miles. It may grow much larger a little farther north, but not prettier.

The pattern was found on Cross Stitch Stash. It is stitched on 14 count Aida.

Here is a photo I took a few years back.

I am not a photographer so you can't tell much from my photograph, but trust me it is gorgeous.
I have no clue how I am going to fully finish it. I don't know if I will look for a frame or make it into a pillow or a flat fold. I really haven't had a lot of time to contemplate it just yet.

When I finish the carols, I will have  quite a bit of finishing to do. I still haven't even made an ornament yet out of the chickadees.

Now, about the carols. I have finished 6 ...

and purchased some wonderful velveteen for the backing and some beautiful ribbon. I ordered them from the lady that the pattern suggested although the pattern suggested chenille, but I think I plan to ruche the ribbon. I ordered the same color as the called for chenille. It came from an Etsy shop called lady dot creates. It was a so pretty and arrived quickly.

Took this photo late in the day and it does not do justice to the color.

I have two more carols to stitch and am now working on number 7. I will share them when I am finished with all 8.

Until then, football season is just around the corner and Tucker is already fitting into the outfit I got him the other day in Auburn, so who knows if he will even be able to wear it for long.

Happy stitching,

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Christmas in July Stitching and More

As usual, my stitching for July was less than my plans, but I am delighted with what I did stitch.

I completed 5 carols and am stopping on #6 for tonight. I might get her finished tomorrow, but I am doubtful because of lack of floss. I had to order more tonight and should have already done that. There are 8 total to be done.
I am completely in love with these and am going to get them done by the end of August.

Five carols and the chickadees were my Christmas in July stitches.

In other stitching for July, I have stitched on three other things than Christmas which I will continue until I get them finished. One of them might be soon as it is kind of small and on Aida which makes it go really fast:)

Now, for a little update on the decluttering of some sentimental items. It has gone slowly since I was a bit busier than planned when I first mentioned. I am not pulling out and making a bigger mess. I am going slowly.

I am only sharing the funny tonight....a conversation that occurred via text messaging to just Lindsay and Paul Allen. 

I have quite a collection of tickets to concerts from the late 1970s and early 1980s. Everything from Aerosmith, Boston, Styx to Barry Manilow and then throw in some contemporary Christian like the Imperials and Dallas Holm. It is quite an eclectic collection. I am going to share the convo and how one of them nailed it on the head why it is now difficult to throw them all away.

Sent a few pictures like this one...

In case y'all are not music fans, the Commodores' lead singer was Lionel Richie. They were from Tuskeegee which is just down the road from Auburn.

I inquired of them should I keep or throw away?!
I knew what each would say before I even sent it....Not even kidding!!!!!!!

That was Paul Allen's response...
Here comes the sister....

In two pictures (sorry).

Lindsay is not as sentimental... Paul Allen is more like his mama:)

But wait - it gets worse...

I then sent two more pictures of several cutouts we made in high school to decorate the locker halls during football season. These were placed on lockers. I was always on the team that decorated the school for home games, etc. 

And yes, more tickets.

The conversation continued with Paul Allen thinking those were kind of cool and yes, Lindsay is right when you keep stuff that long it is harder to throw it away. 

One more - the next one caught their eye because of the ticket at the top of the page.

A close up.

They wanted to know what this was. Anyone else remember this TV show. Well, it really was a TV show and it was a competition between three towns somewhere in America. It ran from 1975 through 1976. My little town of Brewton was featured against Andalusia and Opp, Alabama. Andalusia was the winner and the show aired in March of 1976 on ABC. I even found a website that talked about it.

I have been brutal, but I will share what I did with the tickets and some other things in the next post.

More tickets:o)

Where did July go?

Monday, July 29, 2019

Weekend Wrap-up

We enjoyed our very quick trip to Auburn this weekend. It is such a delight to be able to go just a few hours away and relax and see such different scenery. I have said it before I am a beach girl, but I so love the trees just that far north. So many different varieties and even different birds to view. 

We ate breakfast Saturday morning out and did a bit of shopping, but mostly walking and just being outside because the weather was wonderful. Low humidity and lower temps made me just want to soak up the outside. I sat on that little side porch I have shared here before with Mom and the dogs while Jeff did some other stuff.
Stitched a bit on a totally new project that has been in a project bag. It was easy stitching on Aida and just right for the trip.

I did do a little shopping for the house. I have been very selective so as to not make it harder to clean plus I don't want much up there, but I have wanted some matching lamps for the master bedroom, so I went to Ross and found the Perfect Pair for less than $20 each. They were traditional in style and such a perfect match for what is already in the room. The lamps I had were needed for the other bedroom anyway.

They even matched the framed picture above the bed. That picture I have had for almost 25 years. It was above the bed at our previous home which was country in style. When we moved to our present home, Mom took it to her house because it was pretty and very nicely framed. When she moved down here I stuck it in a closet and now it has found its perfect place again. See sometimes, getting rid of stuff is not a good idea!!!

I would say this room is complete. Maybe a throw for when I am sitting up there watching TV sometime. I actually have one here I am going to take next time AND I want to stitch the birds for a wall in there. The bluejays are in progress and I have lots more to choose from of those patterns.

Then I moved the other lamps I had into the second bedroom upstairs and I had wanted a mirror in that room. The furniture in there is from Lindsay's house. They needed a place to store it while baby beds are needed. Lindsay was actually wanting to see it, but Tyler couldn't part with it, so I told her to put it in the Auburn house and if she ever wanted it back then I would be happy to return it. I have a feeling it will be there forever.

Anyway, to tie the black lamps in with the existing stuff, I got a black circle mirror at Hobby Lobby. While I was picking this out, Jeff wandered and found a wall decor piece for above the bed. It turned out to be the perfect piece.

Oh and it does have knobs. The original ones are here and I keep forgetting to take them back up and put them on. Lindsay had put the blues ones on from Anthropologie. Those are an option too, but I think I am going with the originals if I can remember to take them.

I don't know if I shared that the bedspread was one Mom had in her closet from her previous home. So I have scored a pretty big win in this room as well. I swapped out a picture with a navy mat to go in there from one of the bathrooms and everything is falling into place.

I hung my Things Unseen sampler downstairs. It looks quite lonely on the wall, but that just means this wall gives me a reason to do some stitching to go with it!!!! Couldn't be happier with that idea.

Of course, I could have moved the bird prints to that wall and hung the sampler by the Hoosier cabinet, but I think I will mull it over. I added my great granddaddy's picture to the cabinet. I should have it out and enjoy it and it will remind everyone that the cabinet was his.

We ate at my favorite restaurant, Acre, with friends Saturday evening.

We took the dogs to the dog park on Sunday morning. It was just beautiful and we had it to ourselves which meant we could wear Gus out before heading back home by lunch.

It was a good weekend and we needed it.
Jeff's brother who has cancer  has had some setbacks so he definitely needed it to recoup for the long haul in front of him.

Oh and I bought Tucker two new outfits for football season.


And it won't be long before he can go to Auburn and enjoy the slide that was out back.

No rushing it though. He is growing plenty fast!

Tucker and I are strolling in the early mornings now when he first gets here.

I will share my stitching progress later in the week.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Summer and Dogs

Popping in for a life post here.

Tucker has my heart! He is growing and verbal with what is his talk. The other day he was in the walker and just moved over to the kitchen door and acted if he was talking to someone in there.

I pulled out the sunflower stitches this week to replace SOME of the patriotic stitches for late summer. I am really glad I got these done. I think they are perfect for August.

Kitchen counter corner.
One made it to the living room and I really need a round hoopla style one to replace the July hoopla. It is so funny how that piece caught the hubby's eye, and he thinks I need one there for each month!

I also changed the table linens to something other than blue. I have had blue out for quite a while, so I decided to match the yellows and oranges in the orange plate in the first picture.

In other summer decor I was not looking to purchase anymore pillow covers for the living room after I got the anchors, but then Jenny at Everyday Occasions offered these 

and I spent some money.

They are just so perfect and maybe my favorite ever.

I found a wonderful app to scan photos in so I can upload them to a drive and iCloud. I never ever notice ads on the sidebar, but this one popped up and caught my eye in Pinterest. Turns out I really liked it. You can lay out a page of photos from your photo album and it will scan each one separately. It was not free, but I did the one week trial and decided to pay for it for a year. It was $11.99. It is called Phototyme. It goes pretty fast doing it with the app. Now, I need to really make use of this year.

It even retouched them a bit. Here are a few that I did.

My great granddaddy.
My dad.
I also decided to write somethings down for the kids as I am working on making some of the pictures digital which turned into me thinking on it a bit. I decided another blog would be the way to go. I made a private blog for just the kids. I will tell them the story of why I adored my great granddaddy and all about that bike that he could ride up into his 90's. Mother has him on video and the local paper did a story on him one time.

I will occasionally share a story with this blog as well.
So that is my latest in my decluttering process of sentimental items. Of course, both of those photos are ones I will keep, but I am am making sure the kids know who and what everything is because with each passing generation, we can't keep everything.

I am stitching! I have almost finished another Christmas carol and I worked on my roses stitch, but the blue jays are calling me for some reason. I have been stitching on it the past two days.

Speaking of roses, summer has heated up and my roses and my geraniums are none too happy about it. They both look like they are very tired. They will perk back up when some cooler temperatures arrive in October. I had really avoided them lately and I got out to weed my beds on Sunday after church. I should have done it in the morning because that is when the afternoon sun hits hard on them and I literally almost got sick working in them. I had to quickly put my tools down and head inside for cool. 
That is why I try to do stuff inside during July and August!!!

Actually it has been a tad cooler in the mornings and Tucker and I have taken a stroller ride as soon as I pick him up each morning. He loves the outdoors!

Here is his 9 month old picture.

Gus and Lemony shots for your enjoyment.

Gus sleeping with his new frisbee.

Lemony working to find a cool spot.
Paul Allen got a new job. That is an answer to prayer!!!!!!!!! He did not attend college and that makes life a bit harder. He has drifted around for sometime working for the school system as teacher's assistant. I am not even going to lie and tell you that I struggled so badly with him not going to college. I was a first generation college attender and being a teacher, well... it was hard. One day I might share the story, but for now I am happy to have moved a prayer request to the praise side. That is all I will say about that.

That is life in home ec land. I am leaving you with one last photo because it just has to make you happy. Paul Allen and Katie's dogs.

Reece and Dansby

We are heading to Auburn this weekend for a little rest and relaxation. Can't wait!
See ya next week,