Sunday, June 30, 2019

One Last Post for June

Two posts in two days...

I decided I had complained in the last post which really though is the truth of what goes on around here sometimes.

In between all that chaos I read three books this month. I have one to mention. Back at the beginning of June, Diane at Lavender Dreams mentioned the book Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger.  She wrote, "If you only have time to read one book this summer, read this one. It is amazing. You'll never forget it."

So I normally look at the library, but after reading about in on Amazon, I ordered knowing if I liked it that it might be one to pass onto my son. (It was written in 2014, so good chance it is at the library.) My son, daughter, and I are all readers and I usually can tell if they will like something as well. I am the most eclectic reader of the bunch.

Back to the book...yes, it was one I am still thinking about three days later. I enjoyed it and she made a great recommendation. For those of you who know me...it has some strong language in a couple of places but are not cast out there lightly like everything these days. They are part of the character and story.

A couple of months back I purchased a new decorating book. Y'all know my love for those, but I don't buy them lightly these days and this one did not disappoint. I am just now getting around to mentioning it. The book Enduring Southern Homes by Eric Ross is just that...beautiful classic, not trendy homes.

Here a few of my favorite pages...




He is on Instagram and one to follow if you love home decor like me, and I have been thinking I should share it for months. Now, I have:)

Onto other things...

I really really really need to stay off of Instagram period. I have two things I saw on there that are in some form or other showing up in Jolly July stitching, but first....

If you don't read or follow Judy at Halland House Gifts, you are missing a treat. You simply must go and see her finished "Sarah B" Hands Across the Sea Sampler. Simply marvelous, beautiful, amazing, and every other fantastic word you can think of will describe it. Vonna and the Fiber Talk guy have been talking about it for quite awhile on Youtube, but Judy has put the final stitch in it and I am so inspired.

If after July and my Christmas stitching that I have picked out I can stay away from being swayed by all the adorable smalls, this ole girl is going to be a stitching machine on some larger pieces and then just maybe one day I will do a Sarah B sampler.
Go see it!!!!
Then come back for some of my plans.

I have three larger projects that I have kitted up which really when you see here is way more than three.

Here is what I am up to...

Right after this past Christmas, I ordered some patterns that had birds. My plan when I ordered them was to eventually stitch them and make a wall in the master bedroom with these. I had been so inspired by all the botanical prints making up walls on Instagram and I though these would be my version of that. When they arrived all those months ago, I sort of put them on the back burner thinking maybe I had been wrong. They were not true pictures like, but maybe cartoonish. That is really not the word I am looking for, but I second guessed myself, so I stuck them back and started something else even though I had been all about them.


THEN, along came that inspirational lady... Carol at Stitching Dreams and lo and behold she had stitched one of them and I knew then I absolutely had to do at least some  of them, but which ones and how many?! After all, I don't think they will be that quick to stitch. So, I am finally getting through with some things I had started and put together a plan. I will do Faith, Hope, and Love first. If I never get to 8 of them, at least these three will look good together. I have 8 patterns, but two more have come out since I purchased them. They really need a mockingbird and then I will be in business:)

I plan to do all on the same linen.


Have Faith has been started and the colors are so pretty.



I definitely want to do my roses stitch that I have started and I simply must do two more from my space book...one of the Apollo 11 landing and then one of Voyager. I can so see myself starting the moon landing one on the 50th anniversary this year on July 11th.



I will stitch on the roses and the bluejay Sunday and then it is onto Christmas. I will be back soon for that plan!!!


In the meantime, I simply must not buy anything else, cuz wait to see you Christmas plans.

Overly ambitious,
Sandy

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Life Around Here

Let's catch up with things around here. I have some stitching to share at the end, but here is an update on just some of life.

Jeff had decided that the neighbor's wild growth was endangering the trees that run down between our homes. I have shared before that next door are two of the most amazing waterfront lots probably left in our area. We are told they are owned by an elderly lady in Andalusia, Alabama which is about an hour and a half north of here. There are two small cottages on the property and one is rented out and the other is used by members of the family a couple times of the year. When they are finally sold I envision that it will divided up and more houses than should probably fit on them will be put there so I have always found it EXTREMELY hard to complain about them even though it is quite grown up on our property line and a three huge longleaf pines are growing at the water's edge and they are simply terrifying to watch during hurricanes.

I have always prayed that if they had to fall that they would somehow get caught in a swirl and go down into the water or at least miss our house. I think seeing what Hurricane Michael did to pine trees that large this past year prompted Jeff to act. Jeff has tried to poison the growth before, but I swear the oaks further up into the yard didn't look to good after that. I am sure they are really old, so I nixed that.

Back to the pines along the water.  Jeff waded and snipped the vines close to the ground that were literally sucking the life out of the pines. They did die so it was now time to wade in and start pulling it all out. Let me just say, that in the entire history of someone in our family living in our home... (December will make it 35 years that the in-laws first moved in) absolutely wonderful people have rented the little cottage. The neighbor has even helped with all of this as well as Paul Allen.

This first picture shows you what it looked like all the water to the water and growing out over the water.


This is the after.



This is during some of the work.

You can see how tall the growth is compared to my two tall guys.



My problem with flies has even been better. There is still more to go moving back from the water towards the street.

Now, that all led to two dogs and their story of being sick.

Early to mid June was rainy around here. Our pups love to swim and if I am not watching and even then sometimes they head to the water when let them out the door.

Lemony had gotten an ear infection and skin allergies. I had been working for two weeks to get her well.  She is much better:) Last Saturday, we were out working on the back and trimming trees and so forth. Lemony was puny so she stayed inside for much of this, but not Gus. Back and forth he swam for hours and drank the bayou water.

Yep, you guessed it ---he got sick. Saturday night I was up quite a few times with him vomiting. He even had some diarrhea. I thought it was over on Sunday so life went on, but he kept sporadically throwing up. On Wednesday, he threw up quite a bit, so I called the vet. I had just been in there on Monday to have Lemony rechecked.  Tuesday she got a special grooming, so she is feeling and looking much better. Thursday morning he went in and he is now on medicine for ears and severe colitis and eating special diet until Monday. I will say he has bounced back as of this afternoon.

OF COURSE, all of this throwing up on Wednesday happened about an hour before I was having a church group over for a cookout. I said to Jeff that I often wondered if other people had as much chaos in their lives. Sometimes I feel like my life is a I Love Lucy episode.

Lindsay had taken off on a Thursday and Friday over a week ago, so I had hoped to take off to the Auburn house and get some rest, but Mother had been slowly succumbing to sickness, so that didn't happen. Here is that little story... On Thursday of that same week, I had to take her to Brewton for a little bit of business. It was a quick but necessary trip. By the time I got her home, I talked her into going to the walk-in clinic. Of course, just less than a month ago we had been to her doctor for her regular appointment. That is the way that always works. She had a sinus infection and then it that wasn't bad enough, she came down with a stomach bug. She has been a very sick little lady and can't afford to lose a single pound. So, yes it has been downright hectic!!!!

I am so glad she lives here because I would still be making the hour and a half trip to Brewton and worrying when I am not there. Many of her friends up there are getting older too. Her best friend has just been diagnosed with cancer. She is 90 and has always been the picture of health, but Mom and I knew something was wrong. Mother will be visiting her often in the coming months.

Oh and Jeff's brother has taken his radiation treatments and his chemo starts this next week.
I am about to get off this computer and make him some peanut butter cookies.

So there has been lots of doctoring around here, BUT there has also been some fun.

I take Tucker to have lunch one day a week with Lindsay, so yesterday we went Panera Bread to meet her.  Mother was feeling better so she got to go too.


And the next picture is just because who doesn't love baby legs. We are sitting in the chair together and I couldn't resist this goodness.




It is hot here, but this week there has been a somewhat cool breeze in the 90's temps and Tucker have been back to our stroller rides; just walking a bit slower to not get so hot. He loves outside! We even saw some chickadees this week twice. I love my cardinals, blue jays, robins, mockingbirds, and sea birds, but I get so excited when I see something else.

I have puttered in my flower beds today and should sleep good tonight.

So for the stitching part...
I took my Things Unseen to the framer's last night. First chance I have had. I can't wait to get it back. I think it is going to be wonderful.

I did stitch up three little pillows with the threads and extra patterns that came with the sampler. I used some of the buttons and beads from the embellishment pack. You can't see the pink beads in the picture, but they are there. I was not able to find a place for those two blue buttons with the rose. I just quit and will use them somewhere else. I am quite sure of that. I will share where they land (bowl or shelf) at the Auburn house.



Even with all the hectic, I must say I have enjoyed June. I really really hate to see it go. I don't like to rush time anymore. I did far too much of that in my past. I like to savor the days. I am still walking at 6:00 in the mornings. I have not been as good about the gym days so I have devised a home plan to try next week for strength training. Y'all the gym is less than a half mile from my house and I can ride my bike there. I have no idea why I procrastinate that. I am hoping my home plan will work. Better make me a sticker chart!!! Ha Ha!

I am grateful Mom ad the dogs are all on the mend.

I have a "#jollyJuly" stitching plan, but I don't know if I can stick completely to it because I am ready to do my roses stitch and I have a bird one started too.

That was a kind of complaining post, but keeping it real for you. Life is not perfect anywhere.
Next post I will share some stitching plans AND some books I have read. I have a winner for you!!!

Hoping for a little less hectic and very sad to see June go,
Sandy


Sunday, June 23, 2019

Lizzie Kate's Things Unseen

I completed Lizzie Kate's Things Unseen Mystery Sampler. The pattern was divided into three parts. 
I truly love it. The colors are amazing together.

I used all the called for colors which were by Weeks Dye Works. I came away with two new favorite colors --- Spanish Moss (which is the truest color for Spanish moss I have ever seen) and Boysenberry. Oh and I liked the color Straw. I simply must use those colors again.

I did not use the called for linen. It called for 32 count Wren linen or at least 28 count. I ended up using a 36 count I believe cream Edinburgh linen. 

I started this on the 32 count linen and I just wasn't loving it. I knew this was a stitch I needed to love, so I stopped and debated going to 28 count or 36 count. I ended up with 36 count using one thread over two. It is a bit more mellow I think than the 32 count stitch. 

Anyway, I love so that is what matters. Let me share more.



I had originally planned to make a quilted wall hanging from this because it comes with an embellishment pack with beads and buttons. This fabric was going to be my choice of border, but...


stitching it on 36 count has made the buttons just not feel right to me, and



the directions were very unclear about all of the items in the kit. The large rose buttons are in their charted places below as well as the buttons around the pot of flowers. I am just not feeling it, but no despairing as I have a new plan.


The pattern came with two extra patterns. One a small pin pillow and the other a long narrow pattern with a quote. 

I am going to stitch those patterns into three small pillows since I love love love the colors.
I will use the buttons and beads in those pillows. It never shows the beads at all in the pattern cover or any of the directions, but they are really pretty. I think all of it will be just perfect with the pillows and I can use the fabric to trim them. A win all the way around as I see it.


The sampler will head to the framer's after all. 
My plan is for this to go in a bedroom at the Auburn house. 

When you finish a large piece it gives you such a feeling of accomplishment. I know while I was doing it I felt it was taking so long, but it was worth it in hindsight.

Such a wonderful sentiment too to gaze upon and think about,
Sandy

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

A Stitching Post

Here is my July 4th stitch all finished up.


Back


On display.


I am also going to try and share all my patriotic early summer stitching displayed in this one post. 

In the kitchen, I have some last year's and this year's stitches on my counter. I don't really use this counter for food prep so it can act like a hutch.





I feel like my home could be a year round summer display as it is one of my favorite seasons and seashells, sea life or palms are in every room year round, but I will keep it to the stitching.


The crystal bowl on the left was my grandma's and when you need another crystal bowl for your loot, you just drive over to my mother's and she has a stash of them such as the one on the right. I just love a bowl of collected shells.


In the living room, I have shared this one recently; "hello summer" may be one of my favorite stitches ever. 

In the tart is one I stitched last year. 
Oh and the Lemony stitch ended up staying here. I had stitched it for Jeff to take to his office, but he decided he would rather have it here, so she ended up on the book cases.



I also have the June stitches out. One in the sewing room...(BTW, I said I wasn't going to redo the monthly cottages, but I might have changed my mind.) Stay tuned for the new edition.


The other June stitch ended up on the bookcases because Gus decided I put it on the church pew for him. He has never messed with the Summer stitch. In his defense, I think it was because I had laid a leash there for a good while and then suddenly a pillow popped up right where the leash had once been. He must have thought I put it there just for him.


The summer pillow on the church pew. 

I will freely admit the winter pillow gets the shortest stay because spring comes out early and summer comes out a bit early so they get the most bench time.


And last but not least, the guest bathroom got the other patriotic stitch. The bathroom seems like an odd place but I was cruising through about to put it in the foyer when I just really thought it looked good in there. The picture makes it look lonely, but trust me it looks nice and that blue paint has grown on me. I am now a lover of it and fully owning it!!!




I have two other patriotic stitches bought or gifted me that I really want to do and then I think it might be time to say I have enough of those. They will have to wait for summer 2020 though.
Later in the summer I will change the patriotic out to my sunflower stitches.


I will leave you with a cute picture of that Gus and...


Lemony.



Summer arrives here long before the calendar says it is summer and that is okay with me until late September when I am ready for a breeze.






Monday, June 17, 2019

Stitches and Celebrations

I have a small patriotic finish.



I hope to make a circle finish (not on a hoop though) with  it this week so that I can enjoy it displayed this year. I love the ribbon on the pattern envelope. That comes from Brenda Gervais's shop. I ordered some brown to do a couple of pillows one other time and it was delightful to work with, but this time I will go with stuff I have in my stash.

I have been working on Things Unseen stitch, and I am embarrassed to show the wrinkled status. It looks horrible, but I have used a hoop mostly and folded it to put in my project bag when not stitching on it. I am now done with Parts 1 and 2 of 3. Part 3 begins underneath the black checkerboard line and house. I am eager to finish it now as the end is near. It has embellishments of beads and buttons so whether I frame it or make a wall hanging with it is yet to be determined.



Along with stitching, June is a busy month with birthdays. Gus, Jeff, and Paul Allen all celebrated birthdays this month. The birthday celebrations quickly reminded me that I have been retired from teaching for 5 years. I really can't even believe that, but it is true. Sometimes it seems like yesterday and others like a lifetime ago. For many of the 31 years I taught, the birthdays came on the heels of just getting through with post planning. I really didn't even settle down until the birthday cakes were made and at least family celebrations took place.



 Jeff and Paul Allen are two days apart and I always made a point of them having their own special day. Family usually never minded because it was two desserts. I once even had a slumber party for boys out in backyard tents two days after I finished getting the classroom closed and packed. I was so tired and didn't relish staying up all night. All but two boys ended back up inside on the floor so I felt the need to stay outside and monitor the two. Let's just say I never had an outdoor slumber party ever again!!!




After the kids were older the school system changed to an earlier August start and I got to have a little breathing room before parties. Either way, I am not sure why but the beginning of June still seems a bit busy. Summer is in full swing so even though the calendar says it isn't even summer yet...it is indeed summer even before the kids are out of school. 



Longer days always mean filling them to the brim, yet I love the no schedule. I sort of still fall into that no schedule feel and it doesn't always mean I am the most productive person. I tend to jump around from task to task rather than staying on my routine.

Along with birthdays, Mother and I took a trip home to check on the cemetery. My dad is buried in a small country cemetery. I always like to go up and make sure the grass is getting cut. We also picked up my aunt and then as usual went to Monroeville to eat on the square for lunch. I take all the scenes for granted I guess and think every single single time I go that I am going to take pictures of the famous square and courthouse for y'all from To Kill a Mockingbird, but I never do. Next time!

Paul Allen and Katie went to a Braves game, that is THE Atlanta Braves for which we are all fans. So, this was the very first time in 27 years that we had a joint birthday party. Katie had bought tickets for Paul Allen's birthday and they were for the day of his birthday. Both go their celebration on Jeff's birth date. The kids  stayed at the Auburn house so they could take the dogs and they made a little mini vacation out of their time trip. Here is Dansby on one of the days of their vacation at Chewacla State Park. It is near the house. It has lots of rocks and Dansby was a pro at climbing them.


I thought that was such a cool picture. 

We have also been going on out on the boat each weekend and taking the dog for a swim.

It seems like Gus is always in a picture, so here is Lemony who is a bit more camera shy, but a mama lover.



Both.

The background is reservation for Eglin AFB...hence no houses. The dogs absolutely love these outings.

One more thing. Isn't this the cutest wrapping paper ever. 
I had some cute stuff from the lady that sells this at Christmas. Some of you commented on it then, but this is my favorite. I need to stock up on this when she puts it on sale. 


I will close it for now. 
Sandy




Tuesday, June 4, 2019

A Dog Story and Some Stitching

Gus, the Springer met his brother this past weekend. A rather cool story this is.
Soon after we arrived home with Gus, my son discovered that a former student of mine's fiancĂ© had gotten a dog from the same litter. The student and his now wife were just graduating from Florida State, so they named their pup, Chief after the mascot, Chief Osceola. 
I couldn't believe someone so close had managed to get a dog from the same litter. I always talked about our dogs when I taught and we have had Springers since just a couple of months after we married. I had Murphy at the time the student was in my class.

We were out boating this past Sunday afternoon and had taken the dogs to the back of the bayou to swim along the shore of Eglin reservation land. We were slowly boating back home with the dogs in their usual position up front getting as much wind as possible. We happened to see the young man and his dog outside his parents home. He was tossing a ball into the water to tire him out. 

The brothers finally got to meet. We took a couple of quick pictures, but they are all basically a blur because the dogs were running. They had a blast. 



Small world!

I finished my gift stitch. I have stitched it before and shared it on here, so nothing all that new. The book is a very old book that I have had for decades and stitched many things out of it. This time it is for Jeff's birthday coming up. 


Modeled after this one...


Typical Golden pose!


Currently I working on Part 2 of Things Unseen. I am making progress.



I have three other rather large projects that I am just dying to do, so other than the month of July when I am going to work on Christmas stitching, this is going to be the year of large projects.


I just needed to start one of the other ones the other night, so I started a few stitches on my rose project. This was not on my list at the beginning of the year, but blogs and such got me.
I saw that Martina was doing a rose pattern and I just new I needed to do one, so off to Ebay I went a searching.





AND then there is happy mail!
My sweet friend Arlene sent me a wonderful present today. I feel as if I have arrived with my new "Stitching with the Housewives" bag. Priscilla and Chelsea have just made it even cooler to be a cross stitcher. Truly is a wonderful hobby.



Oh and my finishing is so much better than it was 5 years ago and I came across Priscilla's blog and realized there was a whole new world of stitching that didn't have to be framed. That said, I decided to maybe maybe maybe redo my monthly cottages that I first saw on that blog. I have had them in my kitchen each month for years now. I thought maybe I would redo and make a flat fold out of them. Well, since I had two June stitches.... Long story about how I didn't like the red one with the strawberries and stitched a new one with different colors which I guess could be peaches or oranges. Anyway, I took one of them to redo. Then I had a moment of sanity and realized I do not want to go down the rabbit trail of redoing things along the way because I improve. I will accept the old and keep moving. No more redos on them. I do hope to continue to improve!!!



So with keeping Tucker, keeping a house tidy, cross stitching, and reading I am living the life.






Loving the longer days,
Sandy