Monday, February 26, 2018

Books and Blooms

My cold is so much better, but I can tell you I have been a bit lazy and have a very messy house to show for it. I am thinking Airborne fizzy drinks helped a bunch.

I thought I would pop in this morning and do a books and blooms post before I get busy.


I finished up Come Rain or Come Shine this past week. I give Kelly @Talk of the House credit for sending me back to read the series after I had ditched them. She did a whole post on this particular book when it first came out. She got an early copy and did a little version of the wedding theme.

This was the picture she posted.

I so understand the picture now that I read the book. I must say I enjoyed this one very much. The wedding was precious and perfect.

If you are a Jan Karon fan, this one you will like.

I haven't mentioned many of the books I have read lately, because ..... I am pretty sure most of my readers are ladies like me and you would not choose this one.
My January read was The Footprints of God by Greg Iles.


This is not my typical read. My son and I shared a Kindle account for many years. I was at an appointment with Mother and finished my book, so I browsed my Kindle and started this book. It was enough to hold my attention and I actually wanted to know what happened. I guess you would say it was a suspense thriller about a top secret government computer called Project Trinity.

The men in your lives might like it. I thought the ending was a bit outlandish after I spent all that time sticking with it. Well actually, it was a typical man ending...blow up stuff.

That is my reading for this year sprinkled with a good bit of short stories and non fiction because I am always reading.

I am going to throw in a bit of what I watch out of the corner of my eye while I stitch.

My husband controls the remote when he comes in and I honestly put up no fuss because I don't care for TV much.  I watch news, weather, and Hallmark occasionally.

February is a tough month for him since sports is limited, so before the Olympics came on this past month, he conned me into a Netflix special.

Stranger Things.

Netflix Stranger Things site

Yep, this old girl settled in for the two seasons of this show. If you go look it up, it is going to look strange.

Here is what I like about it...
great characters
set in 1984 ---the setting and backgrounds, clothes, everything was so 1984.
the filming even looked like 1984
crazy story line that I think would even have come out in 1984.

I actually got kind of hooked on it. I know Jeff was completely surprised that I liked it. I had to watch with my hands over my eyes a couple of times, but the story got me as "strange" as it was.

The way I get through TV is with a hoop in hand.

Summer Schoolhouse Lesson 1 progress


The weather has definitely been spring like. I haven't really done much in the yard other than walk around and watch everything start greening.

I am babying my roses. I will share it more when it gets growing a bit bigger, but I have everything planted now. They are beginning to sprout and hopefully this next month I will start having lots of blooms. 

This one was a new addition and had a ton of blooms on it when I planted. The goodness on this plant is overflowing.

They start out a yellow with red tip buds then open up yellow and then turn a glorious shade of pink before they are spent. There is so much good going in this one that it may become a new favorite.

Rio Samba (hybrid tea)

Well, that is it in my world. Headed off to clean house! AND hopefully, read and watch girlie things.


Friday, February 23, 2018

A Little Easter Planning and a Final Cross Stitch Finish

I have had a little head cold the past few days. I am feeling a tad bit better today, so I thought I would take it easy and do some fun things this morning.

I am planning for my Easter dinner whatever day my kids can do it. You can read about my thoughts from last year on holiday dinner times here.

One thing that is tradition for me and that I have held on tight to is using the good dishes for holidays. I was toying with the real china for Easter this year, but I have so fallen in love with my linens that I put out for Valentine's Day.  I love them so so so much, I simply can't put them away. The linens are from Jenny's Everyday Occasions online shop. I think she has sold out of the pink linens, but she has new stuff with every season.

I first put out the good china.

Slightly boring.

Then I put out my not necessarily good china, but one I only use on special days. I fell in love with this blue pattern from Southern Living at Dillards a couple of years ago. I just had to have it. It is so versatile. The bunny plates are from Pottery Barn.

Anyway, I think the blue will win out for Easter this year. I will share the final look closer to Easter.

Then, I decided to finish up my spring pillow that I stitched a couple of weeks ago. I want to get it out for spring which is not quite here, but my mind is definitely on it.

I used the thread that came with the pattern. It was Classic Color Works Weathered Vine.  It is definitely a muted green with an olive undertone. I simply had n-o-t-h-i-n-g in my very l-a-r-g-e stash that matched it. I decided it wouldn't have to be something that contrasted rather than matched, but I still had nothing in my stash. 

I headed down the road to the expensive quilting store and found the perfect piece by Moda. I just love the little bees. The leaves are a perfect match and the muted and soft blue is perfect. 

Such a perfect match that I plan to finish the "Summer" pillow in the same fabric.

See it will be perfect for it too.

This is also a great match for foyer which houses my new church pew.

I am in love with it.

It all pairs well with my foyer decor that stays out from January to late September and fall arrives.

The table is opposite the pew.

A better opposite view.

In search for the perfect rug...until then this small one will have to do.
I would so add a small book ...Bible or prayer book to the pew, but sweet Gus, the puppy Springer, likes books as much as me!!! Just not to read, but to chew on.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Morning Beach Walk and a Stitching Finish

I made it out to the beach for a walk this morning.

Since hurting my back, I thought I would wait for my gym visit until tomorrow and savor the good weather this morning.

There is really nothing like a morning walk at the beach this time of year. It is a great way to start the day.

This really was the second picture. I guess I needed some flash. #notaphotographer

This afternoon I worked to put my finished stitching in its tart.

For all of you professional finishers who make all of this look so may stop reading right now and come back another day.
I am straight up embarrassed to show you the rest.

However, I always want to see pictures of how things are done, so I am sharing how I did it. Arlene @Nanaland asked for a tutorial.

I really did plan to stitch the back like the lacing I have seen. However, I just couldn't seem to control it as well OR maybe I just lost my patience and went with what I knew.

So here goes...

I didn't not have any sticky board or mat board on hand. I was so sad and thought if I leave to go get some all my work time will be lost and motivation with it, so I improvised.

I found the back of an old graph paper notebook and cut two circles out using the removable piece of the pie tart pan as a guide.

I used two pieces since I didn't think one was sturdy enough and used tacky spray glue to hold them together. I had perfect weight then.

I used some batting I had on hand. It is some that is used for quilting found at Joann's, but fluffy kind. I only used one layer, but I might use two next time.

My tart was like a biscuit with no baking powder with only one layer.

I am undecided on if I need it with more baking powder. I will test it next time.

I was pleased with it though😊

I didn't even glue the batting.

I then used my tacky glue to start gluing it down on the back. I always use my small clothes pins to hold down what I glue until it dries. The clothes pins are the size you usually find in the baby shower stuff. These were left from my classroom.

I added a washer on second thought. Much like my monthly cottages. I use washers to hold them to a magnet placed in frames. I think the pie tarts are so cute that I might like to prop them up in a basket or shelf. I didn't have to glue the magnet since the pans are metal.

So that my friends is the way I did mine.
I am sure I have lots to learn!

That is for today. I hope this helped some poor DIY'er like me who is not nearly as crafty as she would like to be.

Crafter wannabe,

Update: After I posted this, I was surfing Pinterest and found this link which has a wonderful tutorial for what I did and it looks much better.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Beach Sunsets and Some Stitching

It was a three day weekend for the family, so I didn't get much done other than playing. Playing is good though!

I worked outside and ran around doing stuff with the hubby all day Saturday. Church and a nap on Sunday followed by a sunset visit to the beach.

Apparently we weren't the only ones with the same idea. There were lots of people out there doing the same. I guess the first really pretty weekend brought everyone out.  I had to break out the shorts this weekend.

As we were sitting there, some really good friends showed up and we sat there to well after sunset visiting.

Today, I set out to do some of chores, but quickly ditched them when my daughter called and asked me to go to the outlet stores with her. She wanted a new purse.

I didn't buy a new purse, but I did pick up a cute knit dress. It will be a very multipurpose use dress and as y'all endured my vent over pants the other day, you know I am ready to wear something else.

I stitched on Betsy's Tart Saturday night but couldn't finish then. My eyes just got so tired. I did finish on Sunday.

I will take another picture of this soon as the lighting was awful on this. 

I actually loved how it turned out. I was so unsure about the colors when I started it. I had seen Vonna's color changes and considered it. I seriously loved her colors, but I decided to just go with the called for colors and I am really glad I did on this ONE. I can be more patriotic on some other selections I have yet to stitch.

Plum Street Sampler had on her pattern envelope that the colors were to be like a sepia photograph, but she felt "Old Glory" deserved a bit of color. I loved the finish colors together. They are definitely Early American.

I had hoped to do a final finish on that and my Spring cottage today, but chose daughter time instead. I hope to get in the sewing room and put a final finish on both this week.

Hope you had a wonderful President's Day,

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saturday Stitching and Dessert

I am going to take a play from my friend Arlene @Nanaland and do a Saturday Stitching.

I have three things I have been rotating. Here is my progress.

Betsy's Tart.

I actually got off count on Betsy's Tart. I have to redo "Let." As you can plainly tell it is too high. I have no clue how I managed that other than to say I should have been using my magnetic line keeper.

This caused the balloons to be a few stitches too high. I think it will still fit in the pie tart in that direction easy, but width is another thing. I have studied this a good bit. I have measured and planned and it still seems that there is too much in the pattern for it to fit width. I have a plan and we will see how it all comes out.

I love the muted colors. I really wasn't sure about them, but decided I would go with it. I think it is going to look lovely in the tart. It should look great in my living room.

Then I started the "Bluebird Out My Window." I haven't gotten very far, but I think it will be a quicker project.  I am not sure I am going to do the bottom Home. We will see.

I just decided one evening to pull out "A Needleworker Lives Here" and start on it.

These three have kept me happily stitching.

Now for some sweetness...

I made a delicious and easy dessert. Stacey at Poofing the Pillows posted this the other day. I had my church small group coming on Wednesday which just happened to be Valentine's Day. After seeing Stacey's, "Cheery Delight" in jars, I thought this would be perfect. I love do banana pudding in the little jars.  Hers is actually prettier than mine. The reason being her cherries are red. I used organic cherries and they were burgundy. IF you want your dessert to look like Valentine's or the Fourth of July don't use organic cherries. 😁 The only other thing I did different was I actually made homemade organic whip cream instead of cool whip. Cool Whip would have been fine. I am just dealing with health issues, so I do everything with a healthier alternative.

This was before I added my whip cream. See it is burgundy. 

The weather this past week was delightful here. Even though my back was hurting I did sit outside several times. Just loved it.

Enjoy your weekend,

Friday, February 16, 2018

Blogs, Flowers, Dogs, Lots of Thoughts

I didn't intend to be gone for a full week, but it just happened. Let's catch up.

I have a full list of things to talk about in my brain. Can I remember them all long enough to type them here? We shall see...

First up is the sadness of reading that Kelly at Talk of the House is quitting her blog.

If you have never read her blog, you will probably need to skip over all of this because I just have to talk about this. Like I really mean, I must.

Let's just say I totally understood, but I was so sad. I love reading my little blogs. I am not a social media fan at all, but blogs, well, let's just say I loved them long before I started this little one.

Anyone who follows Kelly loves her blog. She makes me almost like red. Almost. I am only a fan of red at Christmas and the Fourth of July. I am blue and greens kind of girl. Red stirs me up too much. I also love gingham which she does well in her home. I would really love to have those gingham curtains in my home, but alas they don't match the style of my home. I really wonder if she will carry them over to the lake home? Y'all may remember she did a post once where she talked about decorating a lake home and there wasn't one bit of gingham.

Now, we all will miss her home at Christmas. I really pondered why I loved her so much. Her home is really similar to our previous home. That home was one that we built and honestly thought it was our forever home. We never considered that Hubby's parents would die and we would one day move into their home. Our previous home was much like Kelly's in style I think. BUT, that isn't what drew me in to her blog.

I pondered today why I liked it so much. I think it was that she took everyday items and decorated her home with them. From month to month, season to season, she took books of different colors. plants growing in that season, ribbons, know...just the stuff you have in your home to make it look so warm and inviting for each holiday. There was really very little "Box Store" purchases other than maybe dishes.

Oddly enough, two of my favorite posts of hers had nothing to do with her red decor. They were her Thanksgiving one where she decorated in greens and browns and

her spring one with the blues and greens.

I didn't link anything back to her blog because it goes off the air at the end of February.

She will still be on Instagram where hopefully she will let us see the new lake house and the new decor.

Now, to string some more thoughts together. I am thinking this is going to be a long post so hang on while I do a brain dump.

Instagram...I don't like it like blogs. Yes, I love the quick fix of pretty pictures. I love all things home decor and always have, so you can just look through the digital magazine of pretty pictures all day. I also love cross stitching and that has been my true source for signing up for Instagram in the first place. I honestly rarely post...not sure why...not as comfortable with it as blogging. I decided for one thing I was looking at it too much, so I curtailed that quickly. The reason I mention it at all other than Kelly will still be on there is lately I am getting a lot of spam. I guess you call it spam. I keep getting follower requests from men. It doesn't look like porn, but just old men looking for a hookup I guess. Today however, I got a girl porn site. I thought it would stop, but it seems to be getting worse. I have it set for private and don't hashtag on my posts. Anyone else out there having a problem???

Spring is coming. I can just feel it. It is so interesting to me how the seasons come and go each year. No matter the intensity of summer or winter, spring and fall finally make their way to us. Fall seems to come a little later than spring in my neck of the woods, but without fail each February even when it is still a chill in the air, you begin to see signs of spring.

I have seen the Japanese magnolias blooming in the neighborhood. The other day I saw a vacant lot full of robins. A sure sign in my book. The azaleas which took a beating in January have little buds starting. I think for the first time in a really long time we might have azaleas blooming at Easter. That will be wonderful!

I have started venturing outside to dabble in the yard. I have planted some new roses. At my previous home, I left behind a rose garden that I sincerely loved. When we moved to our current home, I had trouble finding a place with enough sun to grow them. There were some maples in our front yard that eventually a hurricane took out. I planted a few and puttered with them. Hubby kept insisting we put a tree back. I can only say that none of them did well in the front yard due to the live oaks. Finally, he planted the most magnificent Natchez Trace crepe myrtle. To ensure that it did not grow into the live oaks he planted it closer to the house. Even though it was beautiful, it grew like a weed and towered over the entire side front yard. It took all of my sunshine away. About killed the grass too.

I hate to say it, but I was glad when he decided it had to go. It was too close to the house! WE spent last Saturday during rain breaks to cut it down. SO---I have been busy putting my rose garden together. I have a baker's dozen planted with my old and new additions. I promise to share all of the details with you. If you are not a rose gardener I will put it in one post and you can skip it entirely.

Anyway, I traditionally prune and fertilize on February 12th. However, this year I did it on the 8th. I could see that it was going to be a good rain lasting all weekend. They are sprouting like crazy. I am so excited. I just go out and stand in front of them and dream of the roses I am going to have in a month or so.

Oh yes, you still with me? I am thinking I have too much on my mind for one post. The rains came down and on Monday evening just after dark I took Gus out for a potty break. I have had him on a leash since he was neutered last week and I didn't want him jumping in the bayou. We were strolling around in the cul de sac when I thought I would bring the garbage can back up to the house. All of our neighbors put them at the entrance into our circle near our side of things because the limbs from the live oaks hang down to low in the circle. I knew more rain was on its way and no one had come out to get theirs because it had rained all weekend and most of Monday, so I started closing the lids so everyone wouldn't be rolling back a can full of water when they came out.

Now...Gus, the Springer has fully let me know on more than one occasion that he is terribly frightened of the big green rolling monsters. I thought I would quickly get ours while I had him on the leash and I would not have to come back out. Once I started closing those lids, he began backing up in the bushes trying to pull away. I then noticed he was stomping on my daffodils that were breaking ground. I tried to yank him out. Let's just say it didn't end well. He had already managed to wrap the leash around one of the wheels, so when I yanked on him, I got a collar, lease, and garbage can, but no Gus. I also landed on my rump in the middle of the circle. Pavement not grass met my behind.

All that to say, I have been moving very slowly all week. I didn't think I was really hurt that evening, but Tuesday I felt like my whole body had been jarred. It has caused me to be quite lazy this week.

This was on the way to his neutering appointment. He had no idea of what was about to happen.  I don't think he even knows anything happened now.

Oh, and the usually perfect Lemony, the Golden went swimming one day and must have rolled in dead fish. She had to have two baths.

I have lots more spinning, but I will end with two quotes from the Gladys Taber book I have been reading. I love her books and am currently reading another, Still Cove Journal.

The first...
"I've always maintained that if I had to choose between a spotless house and a messy dog, I would not hesitate to choose the latter."

I have been trying to keep a clean house for 34 years while having dogs. Gus is definitely giving me a run for my money.

The second...
"But when housework suddenly seems unbearable--as it sometimes does, especially in February---the homemaker has a freedom of choice seldom possible in an office routine. One can choose an hour of the fantasy land of seed catalogs and plan for spring. Let the washing go---it will keep.

I fear I have done a good bit of letting things go this week with a very aching back!!!

Stitching friends, I will be back with my stitching progress soon.

Filled with Aleve and hoping to be moving with ease soon,

Thursday, February 8, 2018

A Throwback Thursday

I came across this picture the other day and since it is Thursday; it seems like a good day to share.

This is me in 1989 just a few nights before my first child was born. I am stitching on a blanket.

The next photo is the center square.

Here it is today.

When Lindsay was really little up to about 4th grade, it hung in her room,

Lindsay would want me to tell you that I, not her decorated this room, because she is not pink girl. How I raised a girl who is not into pink I will never know. It is her act of rebellion I suppose.

We still have the bookcases. You may remember I painted them about a year ago.

A while back I mentioned to Lindsay that we should take the blanket apart and make individual pieces to frame to give to all grandchildren WHEN AND IF I ever have any. 

She was not impressed with my idea at all. She is not typically the sentimental one. That is reserved for my son. 

I still think it is a good idea, but I won't do it without permission.

Here are the other blocks up close.