Here we go again! We awoke to quite a snowfall, so Sophie and Friday decided to take advantage of it. It's gorgeous, but brrrrrr!
And in other news, guess who got that job at the movie theater?
She said it was incredibly overwhelming the first 2 days, with having to learn concessions on the weekend of the Oscars Deal, meaning that for $30, one could watch any and all the movies nominated for Oscars. Can you imagine all those people, saying things to you like, "Yeah, gimme a small popcorn and a slushie... What? What do you MEAN it's $16? I said I wanted a small popcorn and a slushie..."
Yeah, it was a rough one. But she decided against turning in her 2 weeks' notice after the first day.
Since Margaret and I have a "Ruthie Sunday" going (the day we've chosen to work on our Ruth Bacheler SAL), my friend Kim and my mom and I have decided that we'll have a "Pieceful Thursday," which would be a special day for our quilt piecing - although Kim and Mom get quite a bit more piecing done than I do, as you can clearly see by their blogs. (Yes, I do need to assign myself "days" to do things, or nothing will get done!)
Unfortunately, my Pieceful Thursday didn't exactly go as planned, as I had many things pressing on me that needed to get done. However, I have to show you what arrived in the mail from Kim! Oh, bless my soul, she sent me the new Beach House fat quarters -AND the cool tin lunchbox (as I call it) from Blackbird Designs!!
Here are the Beach House fat quarters, all spread out:
Thank you, Kim!!! If any of you need to enhance your quilting fabric stash, Kim's place over on ebay (kwiltykim) is the place to go. I would say I have no affiliation, but she's my dear friend! :)
Although Pieceful Thursday didn't pan out this week, Sunday Ruthie did. Margaret has been kind enough to keep her mad stitching skills in check while I caught up to her this past weekend. As you can see, I finished the left border of Irish stitches:
I'm very excited to begin the alphabet at the top this coming Sunday. Almost there, Margaret! :)
I took Margaret's advice while working on the border and listened to an audiobook, which really made the stitching go faster. My sister gave me this one by Jan Karon for Christmas one year, and I'm really enjoying it!
This week also marked the last stitches put into a new design I'll be releasing soon (the one I previewed a couple of weeks ago), called Bird in the Bower. I've got to get the frame ordered from Valley House Primitives today, and it should be ready some time in March, along with a couple other things I'm working on.
Btw, another great way to pass the time while you're stitching is to watch dvd's.. I have to glance up many times while I'm stitching, but I do manage to get a few x's put in the fabric. While working on my model, I watched these:
I loved all three! Is Keira Knightley not the most fabulous actress ever?? I love her! And oh my, I love Paul Giamatti in anything. He makes an acceptional John Adams, and I highly recommend this series by HBO if you haven't seen it.
Off to meet a girlfriend at Starbucks, so I'd better scoot. I hope you all are enjoying the weather where you're at... we had 60's a day or so ago, and today it's a tad nippy out there at 14. I think the robins showed up too soon, bc they were all huddled on the ground this morning, feathers fluffed as full as they could get them!
My poor Friday had a humiliating experience this week. It all began back on February 9th, when he had to pay a visit to his vet bc of a nasty, festering area on his backside that he wouldn't stop chewing on, which led to its infection. A steroid shot and a couple of meds later, he was all set to go home... and that's when he received the devastating news: he would be forced to wear an Elizabethan collar. For 14 days.
If you've never had to sentence a pet to one of these, count yourself lucky. They hate them, and they'll be furious with you for a while, since you've clearly gone all pet-Judas on them. When we first brought him home, Friday just stood in place for a solid hour with his head hanging low, not sure of what to do or where he could sit, since every time he moved he'd bang the offending accessory into something, startling him badly.
Here's what he looked like a few days after getting used to it:
Poor boy. And here's why it's called an Elizabethan collar:
I highly doubt Queen Elizabeth I had any idea the suffering she'd cause to beloved pets everywhere when she hired her personal stylist.
Fast-forward to Day 14, which was Monday. Everyone in our household was much excited for Friday to get his collar off; not bc he was miserable, but bc WE were. The odor from his neck (where the collar trapped water and dog fur - a deadly combination) was excruciating to us any time he came near. Many times throughout the day, someone in the Stewart house would hollar, "SOMEBODY PLEASE CALL FRIDAY AWAY FROM ME!! HE STINKS, AND HE WON'T LEAVE ME ALONE!!" (It will always be a mystery to us as to whether or not Friday knew he stunk or hovered in our personal space to get back at us.)
That day at the vet, Friday walked in and noticed a large, friendly-looking canine. And as he is always wont to do, Friday attempted to introduce himself. However, when the large dog got a look at Friday's collar, his ears went back and he hid himself behind his owner. I told Friday, "It's okay boy - he just doesn't want to play right now." The other owner replied, "He usually loves to play! I'm not sure what's wrong with him today." When Friday wasn't looking, the large dog quietly approached and sniffed the collar. At that point, his ears went back and he backed away again with a repulsed expression on his face. (I swear to you, I saw a repulsed expression on that dog's face.)
Enter Large Dog #2. Friday got terribly excited, bc here was yet another chance to play with someone! Tail wagging, he strained at the leash to introduce himself yet again, and the same thing happened: Large dog #2 sniffed Friday's collar, laid her ears down, and backed away. To make matters worse, she introduced herself to Large Dog #1, both their ears perked up, and they began to play with each other.
Friday was the social outcast, and he knew it. All of us owners got quite a laugh at the very schoolyard-like behavior, but I did feel sorry for my boy. He never met a creature he didn't like, but clearly there were those who didn't feel the same.
I'm happy to report that Friday has been freed of his collar and groomed beautifully. He's much happier now, and walks with his head high. And should he ever run into either of those two dogs again, he'll be just as eager as he ever was to be in the "in" crowd. Just like kids in a schoolyard.
P.S. My dad sent me this video clip, and it is truly one of the sweetest things I've ever seen. Please take a look - it's so worth the 20 seconds or so!
Sophie has been preparing a "how to" speech for a project at school, and in order to do so, she had to first choose a topic and then practice doing it. She decided that since someone already took "How to Make Lemonade," she wanted to showcase a different beverage (after considering other options like "How to Serve a Volleyball" and "How to Swim"). After searching the internet for a basic orange julius, she found one that would be perfect for altering.
By the way, she's been watching Food Network lately, and decided that she'd speak as if she were presenting her recipe to millions of starstruck viewers, possibly even sprinkling in a few of Paula Deen's "Okay, yawl's" as she goes.
"Okay, class... after getting your orange juice to finally open....Mom, where's your can opener?"
"...Then we'll add the milk and sugar and the rest of the stuff. And after that, the BEST part..."
"Mmm, the ice cream. Let us stare reverently into the container, breathing in the all-natural vanilla."
("I AM holding still. It's not my fault if you can't take a clear picture. Take a bite or it's going in the blender. I've got a show to do.")
"Okay, now we're all finished mixing everything up..."
"Let's try this stuff, yawl."
"Yes! It's delicious!"
After passing it around to anyone in the house who happened to be home - and getting rave reviews - Sophie was quite satisfied with her alteration-invention. I'm sure she'll do a great job, especially given her penchant for fame in the food industry. (Or perhaps American Idol - whichever has the greater viewing audience.)
Sophie's Incredible Orange Edible
6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
1 c. milk
1 c. water
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
10 ice cubes
3 c. vanilla ice cream
1/3 c. 7-Up
Mix all ingredients together in a blender and serve to anyone who happens to be home. Enjoy!
My mother (over at Littlebit) recently posted an accomplishment of hers regarding her new Bernina Quilter's Edition sewing machine and a pillow top she quilted. Here is the evidence:
She also mentioned that this particular pillow top was SUPPOSED to be a TABLE runner for "someone whose name she would rather not mention." But we all know that it was supposed to be for ME, her ELDEST DAUGHTER. Hmph.
Tsk, tsk. Can you see the meandering quilting pattern on the top of all the perfectly-pieced triangles? Ugh. It's really sad that my own mother would flaunt her workmanship this way.
That's what I like to call vanity, and the Bible clearly teaches that vanity is a sin. Mom, you know that this quilted pillow should really be at my house, where it was originally intended.
Thou shalt not steal, and I won't say Who said that, but I think you know. Now GIMME THAT PILLOW!! YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND - I'LL DIE WITHOUT IT!!! Thou shalt not murder!!!!!!!
(For those of you who may be reading this and thinking I'm pitching a big fit and mistreating my mother, please know that I love her more than anything... and to my one and only sister: if Mom gives me that pillow, I'll split it with you, maybe.)
*Edited to add: The designs shown below this post are not, in fact, sneak peaks of upcoming designs, but are fragments of existing designs! I apologize for any confusion.
As some of you may have discovered, I have had www.plumstreetsamplers.com taken down and redirected to my blog right here on Typepad. My reason for doing this was simply to contain everything in one place - my online catalog, photos, updates, and blog.
I am in the process of uploading all of my designs to the Plum Street Samplers photo album, located both in the left and right sidebars of this blog, but I'm still trying to get all of the information for each design entered. This has been quite a task! I'm also unable to figure out (yet) how to arrange the photos in a more convenient order... right now they're pretty much randomly placed, even though this is not the order I uploaded them. 'Tis a mystery! (That's one of my favorite lines Geoffrey Rush says in the movie "Shakespeare in Love.")
Thank you all so much for taking time to visit my blog as often as you do, and for leaving me such wonderful comments. You have no idea how fun it is reading them (although my poor mother knows, bc I can get quite giddy when I'm feeling flattered), as well as the emails you send to me. I appreciate each one!
If you have any questions about any of my designs, I'm just an email away. Thank you again!
As I may have mentioned once or twice, my Sophie can be quite a handful. She is a bouncing, singing, dancing, jump-roping, mascara-coveting, crazy bundle of energy, and has given me more grey hairs in her short 8 years than my husband has given me in almost 20. She has often made me feel as if I'm a brand new parent, completely green and wondering how to handle one situation or another, and has an uncanny knack for leaving everyone in her wake feeling exhausted and bewildered. And that's on a good day.
So imagine my surprise when I walked past her room the other day and realized that my little drama queen is slowly transitioning into a BIG drama queen...
And would you believe I've been behaving like a deer caught in headlights - and actually knocking?? What on earth is wrong with me?? Apparently it is not I who calls the shots around here.
Perhaps one of the reasons she insists on granting permission to any potential visitors is to protect her arsenal of Bath & Body Works products:
Or maybe it's simply to keep her big sisters from pillaging her Guiness-worthy stash of lip glosses:
Or maybe it's just bc that's what little girls do when they want to establish that they're independent young women, and show their disdain to all those who still say things to them like, "Hewwo, my widdle shnoogie-doogy shweety pie! How was school today?"
Just kidding, I don't say "hello" like that. Pshaw.
I'm off to buy some hair color. And some new mascara, bc I can't find mine.
I have a rather annoying tendency to feel restless and unorganized when I've been extremely busy for a while, and then suddenly all activity just stops. For example, I've been working like crazy to get the models done and photographed, the charts written up and printed, everything mailed out to where it should be, running the kids to all their various activities, and getting geared up for the Sioux Falls cheerleading competition. And now that I'm back from Sioux Falls and the current tasks have been completed, I have no idea what to do with myself.
I got back to a wreck of a house (read: pizza boxes and Sprite cans as far as the eye could see), and I know I could be cleaning it, but here I sit. I have loads of laundry to do, but I can't bring myself to do them. I usually give myself (after an out-of-towner) a single day to meander aimlessly through the house, but now I'm on Day #2, and the laundry looms ever larger, the pile threatening to eat me if I get too close.
One thing I have been doing to avoid the laundry, however, is stitching. :) Margaret Chess and I decided that we'd start the Ruth Bacheler sampler together, only working on it on Sundays. We have now dubbed this day of the week "Ruthie Sunday." :)
Here is where Margaret is at so far... she's using the silks kit from Scarlet Letter:
Of course, as those of you who know Margaret will attest to, she finished this top band of Irish Stitches in about 6.3 minutes.
Here is mine, after about 6.3 hours:
I'm using DMC, which appears to be slightly more pink/pastel than Margaret's silks. Margaret's more closely match the cover model, in my opinion. We're both using 36 ct., and although I'm not sure what color hers is (it is a Zweigart fabric), mine is Vintage Navy Bean, by Lakeside Linens. (And btw, Margaret is now completely finished with the left side border. I need to wear safety goggles when viewing her progress, bc the dust she's leaving me in keeps getting in my eyes.)
On a different note, this past weekend was a huge success for Breanna's cheerleading team! The Warriors took not only first place in their division, but Grand Champions!!! That's amazing, girls!!!!!!!!
Here is the jacket they won as Grand Champions:
Only one competition left... Disney's Wide World of Sports! I'll be sure and jump in front of the camera and wave to you all when we finally get there. ;)
And before I forget, here's a sneak peek of a new design I'm working on, called "Bird in the Bower":
I'm not even half finished with it, but I'm working as quickly as I can!
But first, I really should get this house cleaned. And oh, the laundry. Oh my my my.
Today I'll be shipping out the new charts to all their destinations, and then I'll be getting ready to head out of town tomorrow to South Dakota for a cheerleading competition. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
P.S. I don't think Sabrina cares to have her bum shown to the world, but I had to snap these pictures of she and Friday snoozing on the floor... I couldn't get a good photo bc as any of you who have photographed your lounging dogs knows, one step too close and they'll come a-wagging, thinking they've won the Milkbone Lottery or something.