Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Special Occasion And A Stash Haul

Two weeks ago Mark and I went to California to attend our son's graduation.  In the past we have enjoyed seeing him graduate from high school, where he was the valedictorian, and then college.  But this graduation was quite a special one.  Matt earned his PhD in chemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.
This was a big, gigantic deal for us.  We saw how hard Matt worked for this and understand all of the good he can do with his degree.  So I'm proud to say that he is now Matthew J. Pavlovich, PhD.  Or Dr. Matthew Pavlovich.  Wow, I still have to get used to that.

We enjoyed our trip to the west coast, and did a lot of things -- visited San Francisco's Chinatown, went to a SF Giants Game and did a little wine tasting in Napa.  We also celebrated with our new graduate and his girlfriend, Stephanie, at a very lovely restaurant in Napa. 

The view from our hotel's parking lot.
Of course, there is one place in the Bay area that I couldn't resist visiting and that's Needle In A Haystack
It's less than a half hour drive from the Oakland airport so we made a stop there on the way in.  Just like my previous visit, I was blown away by the selection of threads.  They have a wonderful collection of charts too and the staff is extremely helpful.  I know that you want to know what I came home with. 
First, there's the "Needle Lady Pocket" by LHN.  This just appealed to me, plus making a needlebook will be a new adventure for me.  It called for brown wool, but I chose green.  I figure that the fat quarter I bought will be enough for the needlebook AND some Christmas ornament crafting.

I had been eyeing the Frosty Forest charts from Country Cottage Needleworks for some time.  When I was at Needle in a Haystack, I found that they had all of the charts (to date) plus the fabric already cut to size and ready to go.  I couldn't pass that up.

Here's a chart I've never seen before.  It's Ink Circles' "Turtles All The Way Down".  Mark likes turtles (he has been known as the "turtle whisperer" and has rescued many turtles from impending doom), so I happily snapped up this chart!

I also bought two Ink Circles charts for Sheila, who was looking after our cats while we were gone.  She seemed very happy with those, along with the box of See's assorted chocolates that I gave her.

All in all a very happy trip.  Coming home with some sweet charts doesn't hurt either.

Remember that the deadline for entering The Snowflowers Diaries Blog's giveaway is tomorrow, June 1 at 12:00 P.M.!  This is a truly generous giveaway and the offerings are lovely!  Don't miss it!

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Craftiness of Other People

Every once in a while I like to showcase the work of other crafters.  This blog isn't all about me.  Well, not all of the time.  I like to include the creations of others because it opens up worlds that not everyone knows about.  You can get all kinds of ideas just by seeing what other people are up to.

At our last Stitch Day, Trish brought one of her projects - adorable Christmas ornaments that she was in the process of finishing.
We're always looking for new ways to finish Christmas ornaments, so it was fun to see what Trish is doing with her country-style stitching.  Fringed fabric, a little batting, running stitches around the borders all add up to make some cute primitive looking ornaments.  Trish says she still has to add buttons to some, and all will get a fabric backing and a twisted wire hanger.  Very sweet.
These are a cute alternative to mounting the stitched piece on foam core board, which I am fond of doing.

Sheila has been busy.  This spring she worked on a very unique project -- a barn quilt.  It didn't use very many supplies, but it did require a lot of planning.  First she made a drawing of the quilt pattern, and then drew the pattern on a wood board cut to size.  Then she used outdoor acrylic paints and a lot of painters tape to paint the colors onto the "quilt".
As you can see, painters tape was necessary for these sharp, clear edges of the painted areas.  You probably also need a steady hand!  And this is what it looks like on their cute little barn.  How happy is that?
Another project that Sheila worked on a little earlier in the year were Valentine's Day gifts for the teachers of her two daughters.  I'd never heard of a word cloud, but what a wonderful, imaginative gift!
Sheila used her computer skills for these.  Each has a different background, with the same thoughtful words in the foreground.  They are perfectly framed in colorful metallic frames.  I was a preschool teacher a while back, and I would have been touched to get a present like this!

Well, I hope you liked my showcase of other people's craftiness.  Maybe you'll be inspired to try something new!

Oh, and if you like giveaways, The Snowflower Diaries is having a wonderful one!  Just click here to see what I'm talking about!!  You won't be disappointed!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Three Weeks Worth

Let's see.  During the past three weeks, I've celebrated a birthday and turned f am now a year older.  I actually have a new cross stitch start, have had my work schedule changed, and attended a Stitch Day.  Although my lack of blogging may make it look like I'm a slacker, I am indeed not!  It has also magically turned into spring in the Atlanta area.  Yay.

My new start is Just Nan's "Jasmine Mix", something totally different from any other WIPs I've got going.
It's small, very detailed and uses a ton of colors.  A nice change of pace from what I've been stitching lately. 

Mother's Day was a low-key celebration.  Mark took me out to lunch, which was no easy feat.  We started out by trying for a late breakfast/brunch.  Ha ha ha!!  Right!  All of our favorite breakfast places had crowds of hungry-looking people standing around outside.  By the time we figured out that breakfast was out of the question, it was lunchtime. 

After a quick stop at Trader Joe's, we went to an area antique mall, where Mark patiently followed me around and didn't make too many snarky comments about some of the stuff on display.  I'll admit that I made probably an equal number of snarky comments, as it's very easy to be amused by some of the old-timey wares.  My eye was drawn to a glass bowl full of small sand dollars.  I picked it up and wondered out loud what I could make with these.  Mark told me to buy it and then decide, and I quickly took his advice.  After all, it was a bargain!
Most of these sand dollars are quarter to half-dollar sized.  There are some larger ones and some very tiny.  Now the question (that I still haven't answered) is:  What can I make out of these?  If you have any ideas or suggestions, please leave them in a comment.  I think they're beautiful just as they are, but since I have so many, it might be fun to use them in a crafty way.

I also picked up a ceramic flower frog.  I have two glass ones that I put on the top of bowls and use to hold scissors.  This is the first time I've seen a ceramic one, also at a very good price!
It's a pretty turquoise color, isn't it?  I don't have enough scissors to fill it.  I don't know if I ever will, but it will stay in the craft room where it can just be pretty all by itself.

So help me solve my sand dollar conundrum. Let me know what you think!