Things That Make Me Happy

July 29, 2011

happy flowers

Bill walked through the door on Sunday morning with this super cheerful bouquet of sunflowers.  I have been enjoying them all week.  Sunflowers make me smile.  This morning I moved them into my craft room to make me happy while I persevered through my mystery quilt sawtooth star squares.  I thought I had finished these squares last week but when I looked at them, they were terrible.  They weren’t the right measurements and they were messy and after mulling it over for a couple of days, I decided to make a new set of them.  I saw them making my life difficult as I tried to put the quilt together.  It’s totally my choice to redo them, but it also kinda sucks.  They are the hardest, most time consuming part of the quilt.  The good news is that the second set is looking much better.  I am using my wing clipper ruler (which I forgot I had the first time around) and this batch is actually coming out square and they are the right size.  So while it’s tedious and boring, it was the right decision and my sunflowers make it a wee bit less painful.  I’m also going to do something with my reject squares, I’m just not sure what.

stretching kitters

The other thing that makes my resewing less painful is this little kitty.  She makes me laugh ever day, if not multiple times a day.  She’s just so darn cute.  Gracie loves to stretch out on her back and show me her belly.  The best thing is that she lets me rub it.  I love the belly.

strawberry lemonade

This summer has been the summer of lemonade.  I’ve pretty much cut out all soda (diet and regular) from my diet.  I kinda miss it because I do enjoy an ice cold Pepsi every now and then, but I know it’s not good for me.  And actually, I’ve gotten to the point where regular Pepsi is just too sweet for me.  Weird.  So this summer, my drink of choice has been lemonade.  And really only at dinner time.  But sometimes we go out, and an extra special treat is a strawberry lemonade.  Panera has a very delicious frozen strawberry lemonade.  We had some strawberries in the fridge and I decided to make my own strawberry lemonade.  I blended up a pint of very ripe strawberries with about 2 teaspoons sugar and ended up with strawberry puree which I poured over a glass of iced Simply Lemonade.  That pint of strawberries made about 4 or 5 glasses of strawberry lemonade, and I stored the puree in the fridge in a covered container.  I might also try it without the sugar; it all depends on how sweet the strawberries are and your sweet to tart preference.  Yum!

There’s lots of other things that make me happy, but I don’t have any more photographs of them.  I’ll have to work on that.


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Weekend Progress

July 18, 2011

I had a productive weekend.  Productive mainly with the fun stuff which is always nice.  We relaxed in the morning, went for a walk, ran errands, ate out, did a little window shopping…  And then in the evening things got really exciting.  I pulled out all my needlepoint and cross stitch projects, photographed them all and updated my inventory.  I went through the stack, identified 80 projects to keep and over 30 to donate and/or sell on ebay.  80 is still a lot of projects, but I’m only keeping the projects I really like. The unfortunate thing is that most of the projects are medium to large sized projects so they will be more time consuming and it’s going to take me awhile to finish up those 80 in my stash. C’est la vie.

start of sunshine day afghan

I also started a new project on Sunday.  It’s the Sunshine Day Afghan.  I’ve only done crocheted edges on afghans before so granny squares are a whole new world.  I worked on 4 squares yesterday from about 1:30 – 10:30 with a nap, dinner break, and other miscellaneous breaks.  After all that time, I had 2 squares fully complete and two squares half done.  At that rate, I might have this afghan done in 9 years.  Today things went better.  I’ve got the technique and while I’m still slow, I finished four more squares this afternoon.

more sunshine

I’m hoping to maybe do 2 – 4 squares a day.  We’ll see.  They are quite addictive.


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Christmas In July

July 14, 2011

About the only thing able to hold my attention these days is le Tour de France and needlepoint.  I went through my pile of canvases and was inspired by some of the projects in my queue.  I was also a bit overwhelmed.  I dug through my electronic files and found a spreadsheet where I listed all the canvases and projects I owned.  Yet another scary number.  Over a hundred in both needlepoint and cross stitch.  If I finished 10 projects a year, it would take me over 10 years to stitch what I have.  Crap!  And I’m not sure there was ever a year I finished 10 projects.  Double crap!  I did pull out a few projects, seven, that I bought that I’m no longer interested in and I am going to try and find a place to donate them.  I’m going to have to go through the pile again with a more critical eye.  The good news is that I rediscovered some awesome projects that I can’t wait to get to.

Right now, I’m focusing on some little projects.  I have two medium sized projects in progress that aren’t interesting me at the moment.  I pulled out a couple of Christmas ornaments to start instead.  In fact, I finished three ornaments in a week!  I can only show you two because one is a gift.

mitten ornament

A mitten…

reindeer ornament

A reindeer…  I really enjoyed stitching up this guy.  I started with red part of the ornament, and used some Vineyard Silk thread from my stash.  I had forgotten how much I enjoyed working with that fiber.  It is so much more enjoyable to stitch with a high quality material.  It lays so nicely, the colors are vivid…  I used alpaca to make my reindeer a little nubby and he turned out well.

Before the ornaments, I worked on two Halloween projects.

spooky house needlepoint

A spooky window…

boo! needlepoint

A cute ghost…

All these projects are with the finisher and I can’t wait to get them back!

I’ve now picked up a very special needlepoint project.  More on that later.


A Visit With Mom And A Low Key 4th

July 7, 2011

It’s been a few days since my mom headed home after a wonderful visit.  But of course every visit with mom includes disappointment.  I hardly took any pictures, and there’s no picture of the two of us, or the three of us for that matter.  Ah well, it’s something I have to remember for next time.

I am all about balance, and our visit was a perfect blend of hanging out and getting things done.  I had a couple of projects I wanted my mom to help with, and help she did.  We went through my piles of fabric and found a bunch of stuff to donate, and my mom inherited a few things.  It helped created space and gave me room for the piles of fabric that were hanging out elsewhere in my craft room.  And now I only have stuff that I am going to use.  I also had some WIPs that have been sitting around for several months that Mom finished.  It was a win-win situation; I showed her how to do a blind stitch on the quilt binding, and she practiced by finishing my projects.

IMG_20110704_104506

finished scrappy pillow

She helped me reorganize the closet in our guest room, we packed up 15 bags of stuff to take to Goodwill, she finished sewing and hemming two cotton dresses I had cut out a few weeks ago, and helped me fix some pants that needed fixing.  I’m probably missing things, but that was a lot of stuff.  Yay for Moms!

In between all that work, there was plenty of time for play.  We relaxed and knit while watching Seasons 1 and 2 of the Closer on DVD.  There were breakfasts out, coffee breaks, ice cream runs, an occasional walk, some shopping, and introduction to Jamba Juice and last, but not least, Transformers 3 in 3D.

mom enjoying jamba juice

Now that I’m seeing it all in black and white, it explains why it took me two days to recover after she left.  We had a super quiet 4th of July.  In fact, Bill napped in a chaise lounge while I sat outside stitching and watching the Cubs game.

IMG_20110704_111957

We spent the evening watching tv and trying to keep our furry babies calm.  Neighbors were setting off (illegal) fireworks over our house and the animals were not enjoying it.  At all.  It actually made me a little nervous – little explosions being set off over our very dry, wood shingled roof.  It makes sense to me why fireworks are illegal here.  Thankfully there weren’t any problems and they stopped at a reasonable time.  Bill had off on the 5th which was a great bonus and we had a nice day together.  All in all, not a bad way to roll in the second half of the year.


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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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