Coveting Pillows

February 28, 2008

I have been coveting these pillows since early January. I call Pottery Barn the Evil Pottery Barn because they always have something I can live without. Like these pillows. Bill told me I could go ahead and get them since he’s not in love with the pillows we have. Our current pillows are very low on the cuteness factor. Even though I had the “ok”, I’ve held off. Partly, because I got inspired by this other pillow, this one and these other pillows. And partly because these pillows are cheap (but very pretty!!).

pillow fabricThey are two very distinct looks, but I’m leaning towards handmade pillows. I ordered fabric (yay! an excuse to buy more fabric!). I have to get my pillow forms this weekend. The fabric arrived yesterday and I’ll prep it today so that I can work on my pillows this weekend.

What do you think of my palette? (Click on the thumbnail for the full picture)

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Stocking Woes…

February 27, 2008

You know when you finally get the urge to work on something you haven’t touched in a very long time? I finally got that feeling and I did some work on my Christmas stocking over the weekend. I bought the stocking in January 2005 so I’ve had it for 3 years and made very little progress on it. It’s such a cute stocking! I loved it the second I saw it.

I think that when I started on it, I wasn’t experienced enough. I am a good needlepointer. I’ve done some experimenting with different stitches and textures but my stocking took it to a new level and it was a bit overwhelming.

stocking0308 stockingclose0308

You can click on the photos for a bigger picture. In looking at it now, I’m thinking that I am doing too much tent stitch. I love how the little gingerbread house shutters have turned out, and my border at the top. The name is my handwriting and I think I made the right choice doing that whole section in basketweave. But I think the little heart lollipop and cookies need some texture. I like my snow, simple with nice shading. I LOVE my popcorn and cranberries. My pink gumdrop will have french knots to give it some texture. I’m a little disapointed with the green peppermint stick. On one hand, I really like the shading. But on the other hand, it doesn’t pop.

I am contemplating undoing the lollipop, cookies and the green peppermint stick to give them some texture. I kinda hesitate because I it doesn’t look bad, it could just look a lot better. I’ve got some ideas for other stitches to use. I’m open to suggestions though if anyone has any.

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Shop Announcement and Update

February 25, 2008

makemydayI’m so thrilled that I was given the You Make My Day Award by Janet over at Nuts About Needlepoint. I read her blog faithfully as I too am a little nuts about needlepoint. That was a great way to start my weekend. Thank you, Janet!

I’m going to be doing a shop update on March 9th! Focus will be on sewn goods (iPod cases and make a tote or two). But of course I reserve the right to add in some jewelry!

I know you’ve not been sleeping well at night, wondering how I spent my long Presidents’ Day weekend. My mom drove down for a visit. Actually, she drove down to be put to work. I’ve wanted to repaint my croffice (craft room/office). I was being bold and painted one of the walls a reddish brown. It looked okay, but wasn’t the right color. I was ready to go a little more neutral so activity #1 was to repaint two walls in my room. Doesn’t sound like too difficult a job, but it took half a day to paint. I won’t even mention all the time it took to take everything off the shelves and walls and temporary relocate 75% of the stuff in that room (which I did prior to Mom’s arrival). I went through it with an eye toward getting rid of stuff, but there really wasn’t that much fluff.

Our next activity was working on a chest of drawers I bought at the Salvation Army in the fall. I saw the chest and knew that I wanted to make it into a buffet for my dining room. My china hutch is overflowing and my table linens are in a drawer in my bedroom. My silver is in another hutch… Stuff is all over the place. I am looking forward to being able to consilidate those things into this dresser. The original plan was just to paint the dresser by my mom insisted we remove the paint from the top and stain the top. This way it would match my little hutch. As she was willing to do the paint removing, I said “sure!”. Well, once the paint started to come off, the wood looked great and we decided to strip the whole thing. We made a good start on this, but we didn’t finish. There’s a lot of paint left to be removed and then there’s some repair work and then we can work on the painting/staining.

Lest you think I worked my dear mother too hard, we also found time to go to a small flea market, see Atonement, eat lots of good food, watch other movies, take naps, and watch some Martha Stewart. And that was just on Saturday and Sunday. There were other activities on the list, but on Monday we took it easy. Fortunately, the weather cooperated and it was unseasonably warm. We drove to Sugarloaf Mountain and enjoyed a wonderful hike. Except for the gunshots in the background (which we attribute to a civil war reenactment and NOT hunting (please, let me just continue to believe this)) it was a perfect hike. Ooh, and I got my mom started on a needlepoint. She used to do a lot of handwork, probably 25+ years ago, so I gave her a small project. We’ll see how it goes.

croffice1 dresser1 dresser2

dresser3 mommovie1 hiking

Photos: 1. Croffice ready to be painted, 2. Dresser from the Salvation Army, 3. Mom stripping paint, 4. Bill helping strip paint, 5. Mom watching a tense moment in Casino Royale, and 6. Me and Mom hiking.

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A Quick Trip To Gran’s

February 21, 2008

Two weekends ago Bill and I made a quick trip to Nashville to visit Bill’s grandmother. I love going out there. We don’t really do anything except eat, sleep, read, do crafts (me), help with computer issues (Bill), and visit. Gran lives off of a lake so in the summer time our activities are expanded to include swimming. It’s a rough life.

Our visit was short but we fit a lot in. We helped Gran pack up some of GranBob’s clothes so that we could donate them to help the victims of the recent tornadoes. And then we drove Gran to make the donation. Bill and I are expert packers so we made quick work of the task. On the one hand it was hard to pack up GranBob’s things which reminded us that he’s gone, but knowing that GranBob was helping people make it a little better. Most importantly, we knew we were helping Gran with something emotionally and physically difficult so we felt good inside. AND, I got this very cool wool coat out of it. It was GranBob’s and hasn’t been used in almost 15 years. Basic wool trench coat in a beautiful gray scottish wool. My mom and I are going to do a little Project Runway on it to feminize it for next winter.

<tn1 tn3 tn2

Bill actually had an assignment for the weekend – wiping Gran’s hard drive and starting from scratch. It was cute to see them working together – quality grandmother and grandson time. (That’s Bill hidden behind the aloe.) I sat in front of the tv working on my needlepoint like a lazy bum.. But all my laziness paid off as I finished the project!!!

The view off the lake is amazing and we enjoyed the sunsets. We also got to visit with the neighbors (Bill’s aunt, uncle and cousins). Bill even got to help with a homework assignment. That was our quick jaunt to Nashville!

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Absence Due To Traumatization

February 20, 2008

Traumatization = Having been traumatized

I was being driven into work on Friday morning, planning out my blog post, thinking about how I would tell you about my fun valentine’s day dinner. Too much beer, free rose, yummy food. I’m sitting in the passenger seat innocently chatting with my hubby and then BAM! I see a deer get hit by an SUV right in front of me. Which sent me into a sobbing fit for the rest of my ride to work and traumatized me for the rest of the day and part of the weekend.

Granted, it was only a deer, but animals are my thing. And knowing that all you can do is drive by, that you really can’t help, feels pretty crappy. Anyhow, with the trauma, I lost my will to blog. I am doing better, though all eagle-eyes (or more eagle-eyed than normal) on my drive to and from work.

So as to not end this post on a downer, I will share photos or my kitties from the last couple of weeks. They look like they have it pretty rough don’t they? Tomorrow I will hopefully be back to my regular programming, filling you in on my last couple of weekends.

chel harrybaby sabrinakins

Updated to add that nobody was physically hurt in the accident. Sorry I forgot that initially.


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The Pedigree Adoption Drive

February 13, 2008

cj2Did anyone see Martha Stewart’s Dog show on Feb the 7th? I thought it was a great show, and am happy that she’s supporting Pedigree’s [Dog] Adoption Drive. There’s a lot of ways that you can help, and not all of them involve giving money. You could be part of the Million Dog Mosaic by uploading your dog’s photo. A $1 donation will be made for every photo that’s uploaded.

There’s so many dogs out there that need homes. I would encourage anyone who wants to get a dog to adopt. A lot of people want specific breeds and think the only way to get that breed is to go to a breeder. But there’s a lot of breed rescues out there, even purebred breed rescues. We got CJ from the Mid-Atlantic German Shepard Rescue. While I think every home should have a dog, it’s not for everyone. It’s not easy and it’s not cheap. If you’re going to adopt a dog, please be aware of the responsibility and the financial commitment. And make sure you get the breed of dog that fits your lifestyle.

There have been a couple of cool stories in the news about dogs and soldiers. One dog travelled 70 miles through a war zone to be reunited with a soldier he befriended. Read it here. The other story is about a soldier who died, but who’s family fought to have two dogs he cared for in Iraq sent home. You can read that story here.

I certainly wish I were home with my punkin right now. If you have a dog, please give him/her a little scratch behind the ears for me.


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Getting Into a Groove

February 6, 2008

I’m feeling inspired again. I have wanted a storage case for my iPhone and earphones. I bought a cute new acrylic case but wanted a little more padding for when I carry it around. It took me awhile to come up with a design but I have not only one design, but two. The case in the photograph is my closed case with a flap that covers the cell phone pocket and the earbud pocket. There’s an open design where only the earbud pocket closes. I’m still working out the kinks on that one. So far, I am loving my storage case. I like having a place to put my earphones so that I always know where they are. It will help keep me from leaving them at home. While specifically designed for an iiPhone, it will also fit an iPod or other larger cell phone. It will also fit a cell phone with a relatively small bluetooth headset.

iphonecase1 iphonecase2

I am going to make a couple of the cases for my etsy store.

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What a Wonderful Weekend

February 4, 2008

So did you watch the Superbowl? I did!! I really don’t like the Patriots so I was cheering for the Giants. Plus, I like to root for the underdog. It was a very good game! Bill made some delicious nachos and we pigged out. So yummy… And then did you stay up to watch House? It was excellent. Plus I enjoyed the brief infusion of “new tv”. I am paying for it this morning…

Anyway, I thorougly enjoyed my weekend. A friend came over on Saturday morning for a sewing lesson. It’s sort of the blind leading the blind but she seemed to think I was an excellent teacher. She wanted to make throw pillows and because she also wanted to learn how to read a pattern, we bought a pattern for the pillows. It’s a very cute square pillow with 4 triangles making up the square. We prewashed our fabric, cut our pattern, cut our fabric and started to put it together. Between the shopping, the washing, the cutting, the sewing, it was productive. Add in a delicious lunch and who could want a better day? To top it off, I watched ice skating and an old movie (The Return of the Whistler), and did some needlepoint. That was my Saturday.

Sunday was perfect. I woke up, brushed my teeth, washed my face, and sat on the couch in my jammies needlepointing and watching tv and movies all day until it was time for the Superbowl. All day… Okay, I did take a nap for an hour. Bill brought me food and drinks so the only reason I had to get up was for nature breaks. I watched Akeelah and the Bee (very sweet, I needed a tissue at the end), the Goonies (classic 80s, love it!), some Murder She Wrote (MSW marathon on Hallmark channel) and then Rush Hour (funny!). Then I stitched during the game. So with all that sitting and stitching, do I have anything to show for it? The answer is YES! Two finished pieces!!! The first piece is the Love needlepoint for my lacquer box. It turned out well. I still have to sit with my tweezers to pull our the random cat and dog hairs that are sticking out. The second piece is a small ornament I got at B’s Stitches during my recent trip to St. Michael’s. It stitched up very quickly. My only complaint is that there wasn’t a lot of contrast between the gingerbread man and the red in the background, so I stitched around him with 2 ply of DMC floss. I think it makes a difference. And now, I can start on my Quilted Pear that I got in November. The only problem is that as I was pulling out my pear, I saw at least 2 other projects that I wanted to do. I’m also feeling motivated to work on my Christmas stocking. Anyone remember that?

Love-finished GBreadman-finished

Hope you’re weekends were wonderful too!

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About Me

Welcome to my spot on the web where I talk about needlework, crafts, and [many] other random things.

A few tidbits about me: I met my husband in college, flirting over tuba letters in the Penn Band. Our dog, CJ, and our cat, Sabrina, round out our family. I'm a sewist, knitter and needlepointer, and an occasional scrapbooker. I love organizing, reading, making jewelry, and hiking. A Chicago girl at heart, I am an avid follower the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.

You can email me at mlynapier [at] pobox [dot] com. Thank you for stopping by!

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