Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Night

I am just really enjoying my newfound love of cross-stitch thanks to the Let's Stitch blog. This week's challenge is to pull out an old project that was not finished and to at least stitch a bit on it. I went through my cross-stitch stash, which is about 500 times less than my stamping stash, (read need more!!!!), and found this Santa. I am not sure if I still like him; but he is almost done and I guess he is pretty cute. Once I am done I will ask my Mom to make him into a Christmas ornament. She is able to back the piece with fabric, stuff it and get it ready to hang on a tree.
Here is what he will look like when he is all done.
The highlight of my week was seeing the musical, Mama Mia, at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago. It was a ton of fun. My boss gave Jane and I tickets for ourselves and a guest. That was so thoughtful of her! I brought along my friend Lorie and we had a blast, especially critiquing everyone's outfit as they came into the theater. My friend Trish has seen this musical and gave me a copy of the soundtrack so I am sure I will be listenging to that this week. My favorite ABBA song is Waterloo. What is your favorite ABBA song?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Not Enough Time!

Glorious Friday night is here! I have so many fun activities to be doing right now and there is just not enough time for everything!
First of all, I am still going ape over my renewed love of cross-stitch. I found an internet store that has tons of patterns and a wish list feature. I have been going through the site and finding tons of patterns that are so cool. I put them on my wish list and that helps me with my "want monster." This way at least I know where the stuff I want is! The site is called ABC Stitch Therapy! Great name.
So, in addition to visiting all my usual blogs I now have cross-stitch places to visit.
I received the books below this week from Barnes and Noble and they both look like fantastic reads!!! Also, this weekend I will obtain all the new magazines put out by Stampington along with the new Holiday issue. Plus, now I want to get the Christmas Cross-Stitch magazine!
Also in the not enough time category all these new Fall shows are starting!!! I have devoted way too much time this week to Dancing With the Stars; but I can't not watch it! Plus we have to watch Heroes, Survivor, The Office, political news, and The Cubs are going to be in the play-offs!!! I am glad I have the cross-stitch because that will make watching play-off baseball more fun. (Do you understand that? I am sure all you crafters do.) So I am glad it is the weekend. The work week was really cutting into my "me time!"

I hope you have a weekend filled with special delights and lots of relaxation!

(all pictures on this entry taken by me in New Carlisle, Indiana; except for the book picture on the bottom which was taken in our house)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Everything Old is New Again!

This is so exciting! I have reconnected with an old love of mine!!!!! Cross-stitching! Here is how it happened. As you read in the previous post my Mom and I were in Indiana last weekend. We remembered that there was a cross-stitch shop in LaPorte, Indiana called House of Stitches. You see a long time ago I was crazy about cross-stitching. Actually for awhile it for sure saved my sanity. I will tell you that story in a few moments. Anyway, I have not stitched in quite a while. The last time I tried to do it I could not see the squares in the fabric! That was about 2 years ago. Well, recently I finally bought a pair of reading glasses as I was increasingly unable to read magazines and small print in books. So, with the new magnifying glasses coupled with the stop at the cross-stitch store........Voila! Love for cross-stitch was reborn!

The picture above is a gorgeous quilted bag that my friend Kim sent me a while back. It is the most perfect craft bag for my current stitching project! It is lined inside and there are numerous little nooks and crannies for needles, scissors, hoop, pattern, etc. That was half the fun of starting a new project; getting it settled in its little project bag.
Well I definitely did not need to buy a new project. I have quite an extensive stash of projects from years past; and luckily I really still like most of them. But the lure of all of that NEW, NEW, NEW stuff was too much for me. I looked at many, many lovely patterns. I chose the one above because it was quite simple and I figured for my first foray back into this craft I would pick something that would be relaxing. I am going to make the project pictured on the bottom.
The sample was done in blue which I love; but the lovely Linda of House of Stitches showed me this varigated Christmas color thread and I was off to the races!
I have not progressed very far yet, but what you see completed above has all been done since Sunday night. I think that is pretty good for working full-time. I have found lots of new cross-stitch blogs which I will add to my blog roll for any of you who might have this fever also. I also found a perfectly wonderful cross-stitch forum called CrossStitch

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Carlisle, Indiana

There are a few towns that are imprinted onto my soul. This is one of the biggest imprints. New Carlisle, Indiana. Geographically, it is located near South Bend, Indiana. New Carlisle is the town where my Grandma and Grandpa Bates are from. When we were kids we would make the trip to this town often as my Grandma's parents still lived there.
We would get in the car (a green Galaxie 500) and certain rituals would be adhered to. We would listen to Johnny Cash on the 8-track and Juicy Fruit would be chewed. Whoever could spot the town's water tower first got bragging rights.
On most visits to New Carlisle the adults would give us some coins so that we could walk uptown to buy candy.
Yesterday my Mom and I drove out to New Carlisle to see a house that she has been wanting to buy. She dreams of living in New Carlisle, and I can't say I blame her. It would be delightful to live in a small old town. The house was decorated for Fall and it was gorgeous. The town's historical society bought the house when it was in bad condition and they have totally redone it. It is so delightful. Frankly, I would love to move into it myself.
Did you see the little Halloween trick or treaters above? That was a paper napkin cut out. Of course, we had to purchase a package of them so we can recreate this.
This is the back porch. Can you imagine just sitting here reading a book? The library is within walking distance!
Here is a picture of the second story window.
Back to the porch.
Window decorations really make a place don't they?
The living room.
The house is called the Cassidy House; I assume that is the first family that lived there.
We had a picture perfect day; weather was great and we had lots of fun together. We were able to drive on my favorite road of all time, State Road 2 in Indiana. This road goes through some wonderful farm country. We had lunch at one of the local restaurants (we had great hamburgers). We talked to people about our family that had lived there. It was great to mention the names Bates and Carlson and people knew our family. New Carlisle will always hold a special place in my heart and my memories.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Book Fairy

Books open countless doors through which our thoughts can roam away.

The Book Fairy has been with me for the last four books I have read. Each of them was a riveting read that I could not put down! Some are sure to be on my Top 10 Books of the Year list.

I realize that my #1 passion in life, besides my family and friends, is reading. I cannot do without it. If I don't read for part of day I feel really put out. I have to read for at least an hour a day. Really, if left to my own devices, I don't even think I would watch television.

The last four books I have read and which I highly recommend are:

Kabul Beauty School
The Year of Fog
The Man of my Dreams
The View from Mount Joy

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rainy Weekend

It has rained here for the past three days. I love rainy days, but even I think this is getting ridiculous. We have been laying low here at Duet Abode.........
Which has given me time to obsess over the latest offering from the genius minds of Basic Grey. Here you see some examples of their newest line, their Christmas line, called Wassail. That name is so clever! The papers are certainly completely drool-worthy!!!! I can't wait to get my hands on them.....I don't think they will be available until October though. To see the complete line go to the Basic Grey website. You will have a fun time browsing.
Tomorrow I will not be going to work. It is the start of our bathroom remodel. I am staying home with the cats for the first day to make sure they are okay. Mike and I decided that while the workmen are here during the day we will put the cats in our bedroom with their food, etc. Of course, this gives me the excuse to hang out in the bedroom all day tomorrow (kind of like what I have been doing all weekend!). I checked out the movie below, The Other Boleyn Girl, and hope to watch that. I read the book and it was a fun read.
I hope to be somewhat constructive tomorrow since this weekend has been all about the reading and sleeping. I think I will have to make a pact with myself on Sundays. I need to get up, shower, do some housework, and then I can get on the computer and read books, etc. If I don't start out with something constructive I just waste the day away which is lots of fun; but not so great for everything else. Have a good week People!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back in Business!

Well, here I am finally!!! I don't know what overcame me. I just felt like I had nothing to say for a few weeks. So, here are some random things that have been going on. Above is a card made by my friend Jane. She surprised me at work with it. Absolutely gorgeous! and so sweet!
On Tuesday night Jane and I went over to my friend Linda's house. She is my Stamping Up demonstrator. She designed the card above for us to make. It is beyond brilliant! I especially love the long and narrow size of it.
The vintage cards that are seen throughout the rest of this post were purchased at our town's flea market. Jane and I had a table at the flea market where we sold stuff that was cluttering up our homes. I made $200! Wahoo! I am using my money to buy the Zutter Bind-It-All Version 2.0. Have you seen these? It is a little machine that you can use to make your own little books. It punches the holes and then helps you put a spiral coil on. I am so hepped up about this. I plan to take old, falling apart books and strip the pages out of them. Then I will use the front cover and back cover, put new interesting pages of scrapbook paper, maps, blank cardstock in and make journals. I have had this idea for 2 years! Last time I visited my Dad we went to all the places on Bainbridge Island that might be able to help me do this and came up empty handed. Finally, a solution has been found. I am pretty positive this is the solution at least. The cool thing is that my Dad is really great at getting the edges and seams of the book covers in really good shape. So it will be our project together. I will send him the gutted books and he will get them ready for me to bind.
Another new thing I have been into is Italian singers. One day at an antique shop Jane and I heard some great music. We asked what it was and were told it was Mario Frangoulis.....Right away I requested his CD from the library. While looking up his music I stumbled upon two other singers, Alessandro Safina and Vittorio. This is some really fun music. It is like Italian opera with a pop twist.

We are getting ready to have our guest bathroom remodeled starting Monday. I am happy that we are doing this; but I am worried about our cats and all of that disruption with noise, etc. Also this weekend we have to strip the wallpaper off in that room and I am dreading that. Any tips about cats, construction and wallpaper removal are welcome.

I will try not to be gone so long in between posts! Thanks for sticking with me people!