I just wanted to post a little bit about my girls today...
This past weekend, Breanna competed in a regional DECA competition at a nearby high school, and out of the 50+ people in her division, she ended up in the top 8. I was so proud of her! I believe her job was to impress the judges in the business of fast food chain management (Brea, if I've got this completely wrong, don't say, "Oh Mom," and roll your eyes at me!), and I wish I could have been there to see it. :) Btw, she said they only disclosed your placement if you were in the top 4, so she doesn't know where she placed exactly. No matter though - congratulations, sweet girl! Here she is with Cody, one of her biggest fans.
And how did she reward herself for her hard work? Why, by eating an entire loaf of Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread from the Great Harvest Bread Company, of course! And I do mean the entire. loaf.
My middle daughter, Sabrina, applied for a job at the movie theater recently. She had her interview, although most of it was spent discussing various realms in the computer game World of Warcraft. She finds out later in February - when the training begins - if she got the job, but when you've got WoW in common with a potential employer, what's not to hire?
And then there's Sophie. The child who never ceases to keep me from scratching my head in bewilderment. Yesterday she said to me, "Hey Mom. If my kid grows up to be British, I'm going to name him Desmond."
This past week I've been battling a nasty head and chest cold, but I've still managed to keep busy with my stitching and designing - and waking up at 4:45 each morning, ready to jump out of bed and write down all the ideas that came to me during my sleep, regarding decorating, gardening, etc. I have no idea where the inspiration is coming from, but if it's the Froot Loops I've been eating before bedtime, then keep 'em coming!
Today I decided to pick up some Starbucks and visit Mom, but before doing so, I took my camera outside and tried to photograph some of the beautiful snowflakes that were falling gently from the sky. If you've never caught a snowflake on your glove and looked at it closely, you're truly missing out on one of God's most beautiful, mysterious creations. They look like tiny, delicately-formed pieces of glass, some of them falling singularly, and others landing in a tangle of crystals.
I wish I had been wearing a hot pink or bright red coat, but my black one had to suffice. Mind you, these pictures are not intended to be artistic in any way, shape, or form (if they were, I'm afraid I'd be fired!).. so if you're unimpressed, all I can say is: "You had to be there!"
This one is of 2 snowflakes that were stuck together:
And here's one that landed next to the stitching on my sleeve:
And finally, one of those "tangled" bunches...I love how they still manage to keep their shape!
If you're lucky enough to get snow where you live, go outside and enjoy it... and then head to Starbucks. :)
Breanna and I spent the weekend at the Convention Center in Indianapolis this past weekend, where she was competing with Elite Cheer in a Jamfest all-star cheerleading competition. Up to this point, the Warriors (Brea's team) had a difficult time pulling off their routine bc of the enormous size of the team (34 girls), and the age range (8-18). They used to be a small team, made up of mostly older girls, but the coaches decided to take a younger Elite team and combine them with the Warriors, to create one large team. This was discouraging for everyone involved bc it meant re-creating their already established routines, but after watching them this weekend, they clearly had the chemistry needed to move as one, and their performance brought the entire Elite company to their feet. It was a most surprising performance, and they were near to flawless on both days. They ended up taking 4th place out of 15 teams, but in the eyes of all the coaches, they may as well have taken 1st. What a thrilling job those girls did! (I got hugged by people I don't even know, and all of our voices were gone after all that screaming!)
Here is a left-side view of when the girls first come out and are waiting for their music to begin; Breanna is in the middle, standing behind a "flyer" (one of the girls that gets thrown into the air):
This is what happens to that flyer, and I honestly have no idea what Breanna does with her after this point, bc it moves so fast!
Here they are, halfway through their routine:
This is Breanna's stunt group. There are 7 stunt groups, each consisting of 3 bases and a flyer. Breanna is a back base, and her job is to steady the ankles of the flyer while she's up, as well as to catch her head when she's coming down. The other two bases hold the girls feet and then catch her from the sides. (For those of you familiar with cheerleading, my apologies!) I absolutely love watching bases, bc they're so hard-working, and they are always talking to their flyers, encouraging them on the way up.
Here is part of the team... and forgive the red eyes in most of these photos; I couldn't correct them bc when I did, the program would "correct" their eye makeup as well, which is obviously verrrry red!
This is Brea, with one of her best friends from the team, Liz:
Rewinding a little, here are my room girls - very early in the morning - sitting down in front of a mirror in the hotel, trying to do their makeup while still half-asleep:
My sweet girl and I:
One of the best things about the weekend was how many moms told me what a sweet girl Breanna was. The little girls on team loved her, bc before they went out on stage on the second day, they seemed a bit nervous...so Breanna held out her hands in a bowl shape to each of them, saying, "Take some First-Place Lotion! Here you go, rub it all over your flyer legs!" The girls thought the imaginary lotion was the coolest thing, and getting the giggles really seemed to calm their nerves - especially when Breanna would look at them and nod approvingly, saying, "Ooooh, good job.. it's so glittery!"
The other best thing about the weekend was when I encountered the most beautiful thing I've ever seen... a celestial beacon, calling me to its life-giving goodness:
Or as a friend of mine put it to the barista: "Give us the Plasma."
After all, I need this stuff to make it through the throngs of people, waiting for the awards ceremony to start:
And that's just the floor level. Don't forget - there are THREE ARENAS, side-by-side, that are just as full. 50,000 people attended Jamfest!
I do believe I've recovered now, but before I know it, it will be time to head off to the next one. I won't be attending market this year bc I'll be at a competition the same weekend that market is taking place. But as much as I enjoy going to market and meeting so many different people, I also love spending the time with Breanna - especially since this is her last year of cheerleading.
Oh my goodness, I didn't expect so many suggestions for a sampler title! They were all so wonderful, and I truly enjoyed reading every single one of your entries!
The title I chose for the patriotic sampler was submitted by Elizabeth:
What a clever title! My very first reaction was, "Free Bird? I think I'm the only one who never cared for that song!" And then about .000078 seconds later, it dawned on me: "Free. Bird. Oh!!! I get it!!! FREE BIRD!!! Freedom! Independence! And birds!!"
Thank you so much, Elizabeth! As soon as these are ready for production (the Valley House Primitives gals are getting a frame ready for it), yours will be on its way to you. Email me though, so I know where to send it! :) And Congratulations!
Again, I'd like to thank all of you for the time you took to help me find an idea. I wish I could have used all of them, but then there would be no room on the cover for the photo of the model. :(
Thank you so very much, and have a wonderful Tuesday!
Good Morning to you all! I'm getting ready to head out of town for another cheerleading competition, but I thought I'd check in first and let you all know what I've been up to as far as the designing goes...
First off, the Tannenbaum chart will be available some time this month (my apologies, Sharon!). The automatics had theirs the last week in December (and were probably wondering, "What on earth are we supposed to do with a Christmas chart, when Christmas was last week?"), but I was waiting to send Hoffman theirs when I was ready to release A Handwork's Pace.
Next up, waiting for its frame, is a new one that remains almost nameless. I say "almost," bc I actually do have a name for it, but I'm not quite satisfied with it. However, I usually try to keep the names of designs simple, so that they're easier to find in a distributor database. Something obvious, you could say. For example, if I did a nativity sampler, then I'd probably name it "Nativity Sampler," rather than something cool like, "One Night in Bethlehem."
Here's a sneak peak of the almost-nameless design - and please forgive the wrinkles! I haven't quite mastered getting that pesky fold line out of the linen yet without using a damp cloth...
If you have any suggestions, I'd love for you to post them in the Comments section. And if you can't come up with anything, that's okay too! If I'm able to use one, then the person who submitted it will receive a free chart, once they're released - either through snail mail or electronically - your choice!
Have a fantastic weekend, and I'll see you when we return!
P.S. Even if your idea for a name isn't simple and to-the-point, I'd love to hear it anyway! Who knows.. I've been known to break a few rules on occasion.
This will be my first release for the new year, and was stitched by the lovely Margaret Chess. I hope to have the chart written up later today and perhaps mailed out to the autos tomorrow, if all goes well. With our crazy weather, I never know if I'll be housebound or not!
The frame was provided by the fabulous ladies (Joy and Janet) at Valley House Primitives. Hop over to their gorgeous website!
Thank you so much for your wonderful stitching, Margaret!
P.S. All of the photos on this blog are clickable, if you'd like to see the sampler enlarged.
P.P.S. The little wooden spools are from my great-grandmother Mary's sewing box. :)
My youngest child, Sophie, is absolutely in love with makeup. Any makeup. Eye shadow, lipstick, mascara - you name it, she's got an obsession with it. I used to wonder where on earth it came from, but now I realize that she's truly a product of a household of girly-girls. Not to mention she also loves to play school, and as a teacher of 25 imaginary students, she simply must wear makeup when she's teaching. Otherwise, she'd look just like one of her students.
So when Sabrina and I decided to journey to the Ulta store (in case these are not in your area, they are a cosmetics chain, similar to Sephora) to spend the gift cards that Audrey gave to us for Christmas, Sophie very gladly came along. However, she was quite crestfallen when she realized she had no money to spend, so naturally I obliged her, and she was back to her chirpy self.
After spending an hour perusing the aisles, Sophie lighted upon an incredible deal: a palette of 120 eyeshadows, lipglosses, and blushes - brushes included - all for the low, low price of $7.99! A virtual Case of Many Colors! Imagine all the students she could teach with this tool in her arsenal... why, she could teach the WORLD!!
Naturally, I obliged her.
"Okay class. If Margaret has 1 tube of lipstick and Alice has 100 tubes of lipstick, who should be our dearest friend?"
"Now kids, either go outside for recess or read quietly amongst yourselves... Teacher's got some papers to grade."
Btw, after Ulta, we 3 girls headed over to Books-A-Million, and then to Little Caeser's and Sonic (for root beer floats to go with the pizza, of course!). When we got home, we pulled out the couch bed, watched 3 hours of Lost (again, fast-forwarding through the Kate/Sawyer parts), and pretty much had ourselves a slumber party. Don't all girly-girls love slumber parties?
We had another beautiful snowfall a couple of nights ago, and the kids decided they wanted to go out and play in it. Cody was visiting at the time and didn't have a hat or gloves, so Breanna insisted he borrow some of her gear.
My older girls are very much into snowboarding and skiing, so they have quite a collection of crazy cold-weather clothing.. the particular hat that Cody is modeling is called the "Natty Dreads" hat - in case this sort of hat is foreign to you. However, it's your basic run-of-the-mill hat when you hit the slopes in Colorado! (Sabrina has one called "Hellraiser" that's quite a sight to behold. Remember the movie by that name from the 80's? Yeah, it's sort of like that. I'll have to get her to model it for you some time.)
Friday can't bear to hear giggling children and not join in the fun. But he has the odd habit of sitting on the nearest person, refusing the let the fun come to an end. I guess he figures if he doesn't let his chosen pal up, then the festivities could go on all night.
Every year Mom and I exchange cross stitch samplers for Christmas. This year, however, as Mom mentioned in her blog, we were running out of time to get them mounted and framed, so we postponed our exchange to this week.
I get so excited about seeing what my mom has stitched for me, and this year was no exception! She knows I'm addicted to the color red, and I plan on decorating my front bathroom in red and white, so this was her gift to me:
Isn't it stunning? I absolutely LOVE it!! She can't recall the name or designer offhand, but it did come from one of 2008's The Gift of Stitching's online magazines.
Since my mother is an avid gardener, I chose this for her:
It's by The Goode Huswife, and it's called "Love Thy Soil." When I was going through all of my stash to see what would be a good sampler to do for her, I came across this one and immediately knew that it was the one! The saying couldn't be more perfect. I stitched it on 36 ct. Pearled Barley by Lakeside Linens and I used the DMC the chart called for.
Merry Belated Christmas, Mom - and to me as well! And Audrey, since you've got one leg up on the Domestic Bandwagon, we'll be expecting samplers and quilts from you next year. And you can knit some socks for us too. (Actually, my sister is the Bath & Body Works Queen, and none of us would have anything but cheap bar soap to shower with if it weren't for her. So if she promises to keep us well-stocked with bath products and lotions for Christmas, then samplers and quilts and socks won't be required of her.)
My kids got Rock Band for Christmas this year, and if you aren't familiar with it, it's a video game that uses a specially-designed "electric guitar," drum set, and a microphone - and invites anyone to pick them up and follow along with the tv screen, karaoke-style. The notes onscreen are color-coordinated with the guitar and drums, so that the user knows exactly which chords or drums to strike. Mind you, knowing which chords to play and actually playing them are two different things! Especially when you have over-achieving kids who refuse to start on on the "Easy" mode.
Breanna decided to try her hand at the drums, and Cody picked up the guitar. Sophie eagerly grabbed the mic and belted out one of her favorite songs, all the while trying not to get too angry with Cody for nearly whacking her in the head with his guitar. He was oblivious to her glares, however, as the game sometimes requires your utmost concentration (to better your score and "unlock" new songs).
Breanna looked as though she was being bitten by a nasty swarm of mosquitos, but no one can ever say she doesn't give 110%.
Oh well, it keeps them out of the garage, the hooligans.