Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Christmas Gift Arrives in the UK

GR&DF here I am again for a second post today!! It is super slow and I am not posting for two days so I thought I should post again.

I heard from Andrea that my Christmas Gift I sent her through the "Christmas Gifts Between Friends" exchange had arrived. Here is snap.....

I did the Yule Sampler from Primitive Needle and finished it into a Yule Box. It is stitched on a Solo piece of Linen from Silweavers using the recommended WDW floss. I wanted to do a little twist away from a traditional colour ground and this worked very nicely. Here is a snap of the inside....

The extras I included were some Godiva chocolates, a couple of skeins of Belle Soie silks a piece of Christmas fabric and a couple of fun California treats. I lined the box with a nice simple low key fabric that I think compliments the exterior. I was really happy with the way it turned out and Andrea is pleased so everything is still - right with the world!!!

Once again Dear Friends..... Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Take care,

Fall Snaps and PS Round 4 Arrives

GR&DF here we are on Turkey Day Eve - gobble gobble - and are we or should I say am I ready....? Well, sort of - I started cooking last night, roasting off the yams, making cranberry sauce and cutting up the sour dough bread for the dressing. Tonight will be a bit more and tomorrow T-Day will be a big push to dinner at around 2:30 in the afternoon. Isn't it odd how we keep the traditions we grow up with. No other meal all year long, excepting for Christmas Dinner and Thanksgiving, are were served in the afternoon. For some reason these two meals where and I just keep repeating what I grew up with. I am trotting over to the farmers market at lunch to get some last minuet fresh veggies I will need - and to resupply my kettle korn bag - its running low.

Yesterday on the way home we ran over to Japan Town and I almost didn't bring my camera from the car - if you can believe that!! I am glad I did as there was some leaf colour in the gardens out front. We don't get much color here in the city due to the Mediterranean climate but this was especially fallish....

You wouldn't even know you were in SF looking at this - Here are some other Fall snaps that were inside the mall area -

Behind glass and inside make for not the best photos but these were lovely arrangements and the snaps are pretty. We went so that Rico could pick up some back massage stick things for a work colleague and I needed (notice how I used that word) to get some more incense. I wanted something to evoke the fall or wintertime and found some sandalwood/clove/spicy stuff that is very nice!!

Asakichi is just a hole in the wall little place but it is packed with some of the most delicious smelling stuff and I keep going back for more.

I saw on the PS Year Long Exchange Blog that the piece I made for Gwen had arrived. Here is a snap -

It is PS #25 - Up on the House Top - stitched on 32ct Vintage Sand Dune using the recommended DMC Floss. I love PS and thought this was really cute - and Gwen likes the piece so all is well!!

There you go sports fans!! Thank you for stopping by and for you kind comments!! Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!! I will be back on Monday.

Take care,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mailing Exchanges and Alphabet Blocks

GR&DF thank you all for the kind comments. I do appreciate the time and effort. I still haven't taken the "new" quilt up to the second bedroom yet. It is still on my ratty happy chair I stitch in. It is a cozy thing to have around...... it may never make it to the guest bed.

This morning the mails take my last two exchanges for 2009. One has not too far and the other has quite a way to go. I so love making, sending and receiving exchanges.

My stitching for the evening was only a small bit on Ellen so I didn't bother with a snap. I also hauled out the floss' for CHS Alphabet Blocks - I find that even though I have a majority of the floss I may be a bit short on the Black Crow. I am also having to make the decision about the fill for each of the letters. In the photo on chart the fill that Terri chose was Whiskey, a lovely yellowy colour I like - the chart calls for Bittersweet - a bright orangey colour I am not fond of. Now I am thinking I like the ornagey of the bittersweet but think I may like a softer orange shade like Copper Penny........ I am usually not a very orange type of person, but kind of like copper penny shade of orange. I have also narrowed it down to 3 pieces of linen from my stash - - all Silkweaver splotchy pieces. Remember I am trying to stay within my stash and I can do ti all for the Black Crow for the lines and whatever I end up with for the fill, I need to order that. This will be started on Thanksgiving even if I only put a couple of stitches in - it will start. The day is fast approaching that I will have to jump and make the decision!

There you go sports fans - a short and sweet post. Thanks for stopping by - do come again!

Take care,

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekend Stuff

GR&DF I do appreciate the kind and helpful comments - I was a lucky stitcher to get two super ornaments. Tracey asked about the camera I use - It is an older one that I think I have had for at least 3 years - a Canon Power Shot A550 7.1 Pixel. You just can not imagine the trauma I had shifting from film to digital. I am usually that last person to assimilate any kind of new technology. For example - I fought off the CD for years before I gave in to them. I think the only thing I quickly went with would have been DVD - now there was something great!! VHS tape just sucked IMHO - they break , wear out, need constant adjusting ect... A DVD has none of these problems. Now, with Blu Ray - I am less than enthusiastic. The main reason being that what I like to watch - older movies - are just not being released - and I have 100's of DVDs that even if the Blu Ray equivalent was out there I wouldn't run out and replace.

I did putz around with some framing - I was moving mt picture frame stash and thought to myself that I could probably frame something - and so I dug around in the finished pile and pulled out a recent finish and 30 or so mins later I had it on the wall.....

Now I have a really nice addition to the "wall o-sampler." I don't know why I didn't frame it up sooner as I got this old 19th century frame a while back. I love how these vintage frames set off the needle work so nicely.

This weekend was like many in the past - we went to estate sales on Saturday I only picked up a couple of things - here is a snap -

I got another antique frame - and a really lovely Double Wedding Ring Quilt - and once again there is the Peach!! I only paid $2 for the frame and $10 for the quilt. The quilt has no spots, stains, tears or smells. There was actually two quilts in the pile of blankets we were digging into but Dale got the other one - it was an Around the World pattern. I think it was a super deal and looks great in our second bedroom on my G-Grandmothers bed.

There wasn't that much that caught my eye at the other sales but we did go into the Presidio to a house sale and driving through stopped at Inspiration point and I took a couple of snaps....

This is looking out over the bay - with Angel Island to the left and Alcatraz in the middle. The east Bay is in the distance. It was a lovely day, clear and bright. Then I turned to the left and took this of part of the housing in the Presidio...

It was a nice weekend and now we are on the count down to turkey day!!

Thanks for stopping by, do come again!!

Take care,

Friday, November 20, 2009

I've been Beckied - or - Christmas comes to SF

GR&DF my Christmas has begun in earnest - and yesterday the mail brought me some lovely things!! I will say it again stitchers are just about the nicest people on the planet!!!!!

Two of the many dear friends I have made from this here blog are named Becky and I am the lucky cuss that was "Beckied" yesterday - Let me begin with Becky K - I am in the Christmas Gift Exchange and BeckyK was my partner. Her package arrived yesterday and the lovely things that tumbled forth are just great!! Here is a snap....

She stitched up a wonderful Santa and Reindeer ornament from PS - you know I love them!! Not only did she send me the ornament but also included two cute charts - some JJ petits (I'm a sucker for those petit needles now!!) a beautiful piece of Christmas fabric and a cute little stand for the ornament to sit on when not gracing the tree!! How lucky am I!!
Here is a closer snap of the ornament -

Isn't it just darling!!
But look wasn't that a hound hoof in the right side of the snap.......

Even the Peach had to check things out!!
She thinks anything that hits the floor she needs to investigate.

The second package was from another dear Becky - BeckySC - I was her partner this round in the Year Long Ornament Swap. Here is a snap of the lovely she sent for my tree -

It is a beauty!! The design is by Bent Creek and called "Silver and Gold." It is stitched on 28ct Natural using WDW Floss and finished off with the sweetest snowflake charms!! I had never seen this particular chart but really like it - if I had ever seen the chart it certainly would have hit the ever growing to do list! Thank you both dear Becky's - You are the BEST!!!!! I may have to replace my little "feather" tree I have so many lovely stitched ornaments now!!! How lucky am I!!!!!

There you go sports fans - I am running late this morning so I will leave off withe a wish for everyone to have a wonderful a relaxing weekend..... Turkey Day Approaches!!
Gobble, Gobble!!

Take care,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday go to Market Snappers

GR&DF thank you again for stopping by a sharing my blog and shenanigans!!

Yesterday was Wednesday and that means a visit to the Civic Center Farmers Market. I never get tired of going and seeing what is in season. Now with the late Fall here and less produce out there a larger gaps between some of the Booths/stands. Even with a few no shows there was plenty to see and I took a bunch of snaps....

I always am amazed at the variety of things I find here and finding sugar cane is certainly different - the lemon grass was so nice I almost bought some, but Rico doesn't like Thai food so why bother... I on the other hand just love the stuff!!

and here is some really long pieces of sugar cane - what would you do with it???
Isn't it a great purple color!!

Many if not most of the vendors set up little vignettes - I thought this one particularly nice -

This farmer always has the nicest variety of potatoes - Fingerling, Yukon gold and the Peruvian Purple ones - I bought some of the purple ones since we have become addicted to them - just quarter them, sprinkle with some lovely French grey salt, grind on some black pepper and splash a little nice olive oil stir and pour into an iron skillet - throw in the oven at 350 for about 40 mins stirring every 10 mins and voila some super nice and easy potatoes!!

aren't these some beautiful carrots!! It is just crazy the different colours they come in.

This basket of little lovelies held the not so nice carrots.... but they are still really nice looking.

and there were bunches of the most beautiful rhubarb everywhere - this was some of the nicest -

This "green" shot included some spiky looking things - -
The Bok Choy was quite nice and I really like this green just steamed -
On the way out I stopped to get my bag o'kettle korn - and this little group of field trippers was just crunching away. It is really nice that they make the time to bring classes over to see the different veggies and things - and every week there is a different group of kids and all ages from Kindergarten up to around 6th Grade.
That was yesterday - last night was some more exchange work.

The flickers in the evening were part of the TCM Month Long Tribute to Johnny Mercer and showcased some Academy Award winning songs in movies. The first up was a great film "The Harvey Girls" - 1946 - starring Judy Garland, John Hodiak, Ray Bolger, Angela Lansbury and two favorites of mine Marjorie Main and Virginia O'Brien. The Mercer award winning song from this film was "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe." This was followed by "Here Comes the Groom" - 1951 - Starring Jane Wyman, Bing Crosby and Alexis Smith. This movie is not considered a musical but with Bing in it there was plenty of singing. The song that won the award from this flick was "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening." The last flicker for the evening is a real favorite of mine - both the film and the song from the film - "Breakfast at Tiffany's" -1961 - starring Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard and Patricia Neal. The award winning song was "Moon River." I would highly recommend all three films - if you get the chance you will enjoy!!

There you go sports fans!! Thanks for stopping by! Do come again!

Take care,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Red Bird Arrives in SF and some Flicks

GR&DF your comments certainly made a bright spot this morning!! The menudo thing is not the tripe - I think - but the odor when the stuff is cooking. Not pleasant!! It reminds me of chitterlings cooking on the stove. I have only smelled that once over at a friends house out in the country when I lived in NC. It is very dis - stink- tive if you get my drift!!
Oh well each to their own.

Yesterday the mail brought me my ornament from the Ties That Bind Exchange. It came from Margaret in super fast time!! Here is a snap -

It is really darling and couldn't be a more perfect subject - the red bird - You know I love them!! Thank you so much Margaret it will look great on the tree!!

My stitching or lack of last night was spent working on finishing up exchanges. I miscalculated a couple things - measure once cut twice - so I had to do over some stuff which has now put me behind a bit - but the goal is a big mail drop on Friday - fingers crossed!!

There have been a few flickers lately so lets pick three - the first would have to be "A Month by the Lake" - 1995 - starring Vanessa Regrave, Edward Fox and Uma Thurman. Beautifully shot in the Italian Lake district around Lake Como. A lovely film to watch with a great little story. It so reminded me of my trip to Italy and when I was in the same area. The second film is "The Beautiful Country" - 2004 starring Damian Nguyen and Ling Bai - the story of a young man who is an outcast in his Vietnamese village for being half American. He leaves the viollage to begin a journey to find his mother in Ho Chi Minh City. After a dreadful accident it then becomes a story of the journey to find his father in America. Beautiful cinematography and a great modern immigration flick. The third film is "The Namesake" - 2006 - starring Kal Penn, Tabu and Irrfan Kahn - and directed by Mira Nair. It was because of the director I had this in my queue on Netflix. She has done some really wonderful pictures and this is another winner. This is a family story the spans 25 or years. I really enjoyed these films all for different reasons. All are well shot and have great stories with rich wonderful characters. I would recommend all three for just about everyone!!

Thank you all for stopping by - and for taking the time to comment, I do appreciate them all!!

Take care,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Round 4 PS Exchange Arrives and Soup's On

GR&DF how wonderful and warm are your comments!! Thank you so much!!! I do appreciate them - I need to say that right after I posted yesterdays Blog I got a call from the Rico-nator about the snap - but he got over it!! I did get a couple of questions in the comments..... Missy Ann asked about snoring and in my house, from what I have been told, I am the loudest snorer..... but I wonder if that is true as I don't hear it!! Marjorie asked about seeing Christmas Carol - I haven't yet but it is in the works to get out and see it. Anna V-S commented on the darker silk dots on the words in "Ellen Birdseye" - that is also what attracted me to the piece as I like that little details in the letters - that particular brown silk is HDF Kodiak Bear 5137.

Yesterday the mail brought my Round 4 Exchange for the Year Long Prairie Schooler Exchange. It was sent by Andrea and is just a wonderful piece. Here is a snap -

She made me a Mattress Pyn Cushion. The chart is PS Book 91 - Summer/Winter - "December." It is beautifully stitched and finished. Along the sides the wintry theme continues with little snowflakes -

and flipping it over one the back are our initials and a cute little charm -

I have stitched this particular chart at least twice for other exchanges and most recently for Shay. I was always going to make one for myself as I really like it but like many things just never got around to it - now I have one and it's a beauty!! Thank you so much dear Andrea!!

Last night I was again stitching on a really cute exchange so no snaps of that yet.

Nothing much else going on around here - the weather has gotten a bit cooler and we have been turning on the heat a bit in the evenings. With the fall here it can only mean soups and stews for dinner and last night Rico made some Albondigos Soup that was simply delicious!!! If you click the link it will take you to a pretty decent recipe. This is one Mexican soup I really enjoy. There is another Mexican soup that I do not like and that is Menudo - Rico likes it but I just can't even be in the house when it is cooking - the smell just gags me. It is a very traditional dish but just keep it far from me - it is kind of like when I am cooking collard greens - something you know I love!!! Rico runs from that - so I guess each to his own!!

There you go sports fans!! Thanks for stopping by do come again!

Take care,

Monday, November 16, 2009

It was a Stitchity Stay at Home Weekend!!

GR&DF the weekend came and went so fast - like whoosh!!! Now, whats up with that???? I think if the week is dragging by like a snail on its last bit of slime then the weekend should drag by accordingly.

All my grandiose plans for getting the house in shape for the holidays where a sort of fizzle and I did very little in the way of getting prepared for Thanksgiving - which is a mere 9 days away. With my sister and her family coming down from Vancouver, WA - it will be a full house Holiday!! I know she reads this blog daily - she wont comment here but I do hear what she thinks about my blathering when we get to yakking on the phone. Hey Cissy!!!

So what did we do this weekend????? We hung out at home. We did run some errands Saturday morning and I did 5 loads of laundry - but really the house was where it was at for the last couple of days. I worked a little on an exchange but I expended most of my stitching energies towards stitching on my own projects. I finished up Hetty - and I am really pleased with how she worked up with my changes - here is a snap

"Hetty Child" The Sampler Company
October 18 - November 14
32ct Fog - converted from DMC to Belle Soie

I really like how she turned out - the picture bites , but the sampler is pretty!! I also started another piece for myself. Before I did I made the decision to stitch from my stash. I figure I have a pile of it so why should I buy more???? So I pulled out a piece of 28 count BOF Sandpiper that I had left from another something I stitched and found a chart I wanted to do (that would fit) ... then went to my HDF silks and pulled the silk conversion of DMC and here is where I am a day or so later -

This is Goode Huswife's "Ellen Birdseye" and chart I got off of eBay as it is OOP. I have wanted to do up for the longest time and she is coming along fine - it is a smaller than Hetty so should finish pretty quickly - then I think I may pull out CHS Alphabet - I have the linen I want to use and about 85% of the recommended over dyed colours - the rest I can fake from the stash heap. This time of year funions are tight so I just can not justify spending the cash on kitting out something new. I must be strong!!! There is always the new year. :)

I took a snap that sort of illustrates the weekend at my house.......

This was the mid morning nap time yesterday at my house after chocolate croissant and a couple of cups of coffee. I will hear it about this picture I am sure!!!!

Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words!!!

Take care,

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Art

GR&DF we are at the end of another week. With a mere 13 days left until Thanksgiving .... and then hard on the heels of turkey day we have Christmas - it seems that the older I get the quicker these few Autumnal months speed by. I really haven't any stitchinty snappers today as I am trying valiantly to get my exchange commitments finished and then into the mail before in the next week or so.

Instead of stitching lets talk art - and let us focus on the American Hudson River School of the19th century. Although he has been lumped into this group his paintings often were painted far from the Hudson River Valley. The artist I am talking about is Martin Johnson Heade. His paintings are well know for a couple of things - beautiful and tumultuous landscapes or the salt marshes of New England and scrumptious South American scenes full of orchids and humming birds.

Cattleya Orchid and Three Brazilian Hummingbirds, 1871
National Gallery of Art

I have seen a quite few Heade's and they are even more lovely in person. Usually on the smallish side they glow with colour and verge on the erotic. He spent lots winters in St Augustine , Florida, where he eventually married and settled down to live. In the last decade of his life it was in St Augustine where he painted many floral pieces especially magnolias. It was the magnolia that in 2004 the US Post office choose to represent him on a stamp -

Giant Magnolias on a Blue Velvet Cloth, 1890
National Gallery of art

Thanks again for the comments on Wednesday post I really enjoyed hearing from you all.
Have a great weekend!!

Take care,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Opening that Worm Can........

GR&DF my goodness what did I do??? You dear sweet stitching folks - how you rallied behind my blathering opinion!! Your the best! That post was very interesting and generated quite a few comments - last count 49 - and all one voice with the same basic opinion - I do hope that it will do some good in the long run. I look at this blog and comments - as it is a two pronged thing - as a stone thrown into a pond with the ripples moving ever outward - like good deeds.... you never know where or who they will touch.

Now, I also wanted to give some feed back....... and you knew I would!!! Sweet Terri - my goat got gotten also!!! I love that line!!! Missy Ann - I am with you - as I also will pass on limited edition floss - as it comes and goes to quickly.... and with all the over dyed out there I have never had a problem finding a colour I could use to replace something limited. It was an interesting point about the overseas market - in that specialty things may be harder to find and kits are an easier option. But, with the web making our world ever smaller I would think it would be getting easier to get specialty things using an OLNS. I know from personal experience that there are European designed things that are hard to get here in the US that I have ordered and gotten pretty quickly through international mail so I would think that looking from Europe or anywhere international you could order and get things from the US. JRae commented and told of working in a LNS and having a stitched model on the wall - and that when the designer of the piece came into the shop and saw the model she had a fit that there where changes made to her design. I am amazed at that reaction - first and foremost one should be ecstatic that any stitcher anywhere would find the piece worth stitching - all the time and effort that goes into even the smallest piece - how dare she react that way!!! No matter how wonderful the design is if no one stitches it up then whats the point???? These designs/charts are made to be stitched - changes are good and make the piece more personal to the stitcher not the designer. The basic design/chart and the model that is pictured is a jumping off spot and a beginning of the creative process that is this stitchery stuff we all love to do - and - if the model is stitched in or recommends using any over dyed floss at all then it is going to look different anyway since different dye lots of floss can be dramatically different in the extreme. Just look at my Hetty piece - even with a list of Belle Soie changes I am using no one will ever be able to exactly replicate mine. Belle Soie is notorious for dramatic shifts in colours and dye lots - that is what makes it so wonderful IMHO. I love that two skeins of BS can look like two different things with the same name. After all is said and done I think that designs - if they must be kitted should also have a chart only option!!

Last night was more exchange stitching - only a couple more pieces and I will have gotten them all done and even gotten ahead of the game with some exchange early next year!! woop woop!!

The flickers last night were more of TCM's month long tribute to the music of Johnny Mercer - and they were some early things I hadn't seen before. The first film was "Hollywood Hotel" - 1937 - starring Dick Powell and the lovely Lane sisters, Rosemary and Lola. The second film was "Garden of the Moon" - 1938 - starring Pat O'Brien and Margret Lindsey. Both films are light musicals and both directed by Busby Berkeley. I enjoyed them both and they seem to play often on TCM so if you get the chance stop for a few mins and give them a look.

There you go sports fans!! Thanks for stopping by and for your super de duper comments!! I do appreciate hearing from you all.

Take care,

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Richard and I got the Grumbles

GR&DF I do thank you for your very kind comments about the lovely ornament that Carol sent me for the Ornament exchange. Thank you all for the nice things you had to say about how Hetty is coming along - she is whipping along at a very good pace.

I did have some questions about Hetty... Carol Z asked about the silks I am using - Yes - they are over dyed Belle Soie silks. The sampler is charted for DMC only and I did like the colour palette, but I like using silk more than cotton, especially on samplers. So I re charted it for BS silk - since there is no direct translation of DMC to BS I used my own judgement and what I liked together coming as close as I could to those charted colours. Siobhan (who does lovely things BTW) mentioned that she hadn't seen this sampler before - it is from The Sampler Company and is an older one I think. Brenda does some lovely things and I have my eye on a couple more pieces from her collection. There where a couple of people that wondered if I ever slept - trust me I turn into a mega lump every night and get quite a bit of sleep, but I also stitch a few hours every evening as I find it very relaxing. Ariadne asked about other ornaments i might have from past exchanges - those will come out of the Exchange baskets and onto my faux feather tree soon - I will get some snaps of the tree decorated so that you all can see the beautiful things I have gotten form so many wonderful stitchers.

Yesterday TCM celebrate Richard Burton's Birthday with some wonderful films - starting off with
"The Taming of the Shrew" - 1967 - starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor - this is a great version of the Shakespeare play with both Liz and Dick in top form!! This was followed by a favorite flicker of mine "The V.I.P.'s" - 1963 - again starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor - this flicker is about a group Jet Set beautiful people stuck in a fogged in London Airport and their various stories. Margaret Rutherford plays the impoverished Duchess of Brighton fro which she won a nest supporting Oscar. The final film of the evening was "Becket" - 1964 - starring Richard Burton as Beckett and Peter O'Toole as Henry II. A great movie that also has in a very small part one of my favorite character actress - Martita Hunt who plays Empress Matilda - Henry II's mother - I would recommend any and all of these films as very superior.

And now to my grumbling - I may be stirring up a hornets nest but this is my blog and I wonder what other stitchers think. What my grumbley bitching is about is how it seems recently - over the past year or so - more and more designers are releasing "kits" or "packs" that include everything chart, linen, floss - and then jack the price up accordingly. Now, I am not complaining that if one is including everything to complete a project that a decent price shouldn't be set - what I am bitching about is that it takes choice away from the stitcher - who one presumes the designer is making the design for anyway. I saw a totally great Christmas "pack" project from a designer that I usually don't care for, but this particular piece really appealed to me. This project was recently released and is another all inclusive project- and priced accordingly. I would rather pay for just the chart and kit it out for myself as there are a few colour choices that the model shows that I do not care for and is why I do not often care for her pieces. As with most of the Stitchers out there I have enough stash to last my lifetime and then some so I will probably never get this project, which is a shame, but I just can not justify paying for a complete project that I will have to then get more floss' to replace the colours I do not care for and a piece of linen I would want to work it on. As with many of the "complete" projects out there - the floss colour choices the designer chooses do not always appeal to me and I would change them any way, but if I am having to pay $35 or more for a single project and then having to switch out and change floss and linen this can run a project into some big bucks and I would think twice about buying it or just skip it all together. Thank goodness for the secondary market of charts on eBay - I have gotten quite a few charts that originally started off as complete and all inclusive projects. This is how I will probably get this chart eventually and in the end who does that help - not the designer, not the shop. Sometimes to acquire a chart one wants that is the only way to circumvent the "kitted" or "prepacked" project. Maybe I am just to independent and don't like being told what to do or how to do it - but I think I know what I like and in the end I can just say it with my dollars and just move on to something else. Off my soapbox - I don't mean to offend anyone and I do acknowledge a designer can do whatever they please, however that is a two edged sward - and as the end consumer I can do what I want to also. One would think in these hard economic times it is shame that with prices going up and up to price oneself out of the market - and don't get me started on these multiple chart projects.

That's about it for today sports fans!! Thank you for stopping by and do come again!!

Take care,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ornament Exchange and Hetty

GR&DF I do thank you for the kind words about the Peach. She is a darling - very barky but still sweet. Now the Pete is more reticent about having his photo taken - he is our shy man-dog.

Yesterday the mail brought a package that has been en route for more than two weeks - it must have come the long way around the Cape of Good Hope and across the Pacific. We need not have worried as it has arrived safe and sound with no indication as to what the hold up might have been. Here is a rather wonky snap of the lovely piece -

Our townhouse can be so dark that it is impossible to get a decent shot - so I stood way back to flood the flash and it seems that while doing that I lost some sharpness. The closer I got the more washed out things became - so there you go. If you jump over to Carol's Blog she has a great snaperoo of this beautiful ornament. I do thank you so much Carol it is another beauty!!!!

I also tried to get a shot of the progress on Hetty last night - so for another rather poor snap...

As you can see I got the main motif completed - I was thinking this sampler wouldn't' be completed until after Christmas, but I just might have it done before - we shall see.

Last night the flicker was "The Draughtsman's Contract" - 1982 - starring Janet Suzman and Anthony Higgins. A sumptuous film with an Agatha Christie type mystery story. Worth viewing for the costuming and wigs alone. The film is beautifully shot inside and out at a country house called Groombridge Place near Tunbridge Wells.

There you go sports fans!!
Thank you once again for stopping by, do come again.

Take care,

Monday, November 9, 2009

Stitching up a Storm and a Winner

GR&DF we had a very quiet weekend with nothing exciting happening at all! We didn't go anywhere except to Pac-and-Save to do the weekly grocery shopping Saturday Morning!! Aside from the grocery store visit and 5 loads of laundry - I spent my time sitting and stitching!! Which allowed me to finish up the stitching on two more exchanges. I was going to focus on the finishing but it was the stitching that kept me going for two days. In addition to the exchange pieces I also put some stitching into Margaret's RR. Here is a snap -

I only completed the single flower/acorn motif, I think with time at a premium during the next couple of months I am going to spread the stitching out and do it in small bits. The floss Margaret has chosen is a gorgeous red from Threadworks.

I also got to do a bit on Hetty - but the snaps I took of her last night was just disgraceful so I will not show them this morning. I will try and get a better one for tomorrows post.

The comments from Friday where very kind and I do thank you all!! Jennifer asked about the puppies treat jar - yes that is exactly what that is and boy don't the hounds know if you come within about a yard of that sucker. If they aren't around looking they can hear the clink clink of the lid being lifted off!! and Lana - how funny that you would mention In-n-Out Burgers... with Thanksgiving coming on we are certain to make a pilgrimage to one for lunch over the Holiday weekend. This is my BIL's favorite place to get a burger from when they visit from Vancouver, WA. Expect some snaps of that treat after the long weekend!!.

One of the films from the weekend was "The Libertine" - 2004 - starring Johnny Depp and John Malkovich. What a very interesting movie - and what a great job Johnny Depp did in the role of the Earl of Rochester. Set in the world of Restoration England with Malkovich as Charles II we see the very seedy side of court life. I enjoyed this film an thought how very realistic it came across at depicting the late 17th century.

I also wanted to announce the winner of the DVD give away.....
with the Peach again supervising the drawing...

then the claw draws the name...... and the winner is.....

Dear Carol !! I have sent you an email and will send out the DVDs in the next day or so, Enjoy!!

I will leave off today with another snap of the Peach - since she is a totally sweet hunk of love!!

Thank you for stopping by and for the kind comments I do appreciate them!!

Take care,

Friday, November 6, 2009

Exchanges and EggNog

GR&DF - (gentle readers and dear friends) as that is how I think of those reading my blog/journal in the quiet early mornings here in San Francisco. I have made such nice friends writing here.

I did appreciate the kind words about the Crumbly Fruit effort. It warmed up wonderfully well last night - and a plop of vanilla ice cream sort of all melty on top didn't hurt it one bit!! Nicola asked what recipe I used. Well..... I was inspired by a really wonderful cooking blog - but in my "Mother Hubbard cupboard" I had to improvise up some ingredients. The basic recipe I followed or made up -

a bit of butter
2 Pears, cored and peeled - chunked up
2 green tart apples, cored and peeled - chunked up
2 or three ripeish plums with the stone removed - chunked up

1 cup of rolled oats
2 Tbls butter
dash of cinnamon
a couple of scrapes of a nutmeg
1/2 brown sugar

Melt a bit of butter in a pan and saute all the fruit until it has started to soften up. Butter or spray a shallow baking dish. For the crumbly top - take about half of the oats and grind them up until they are flour like. Pour the oats both ground and whole along with the spices, 2 Tbls butter, and sugar into a small bowl. Work this around with your fingers until it is crumbly. By this time the fruit should be done, pour the fruit in the shallow greased dish and then the topping on the top, spreading it evenly over the fruit. Pop this straight into the oven for about 20 mins or so, until it looks brown and bubbly. Let sit out for 5 mins before serving. Can be topped with whipped cream or ice cream.

Now my improvisation on the recipe was with the oats - of course there wasn't an oat to be found.... except some instant oatmeal packets of Rico's. There where two packets left of maple and brown sugar flavoured - I took both packets and sifted out the flavourings and extra sugar and ended up with some slightly mapley flavoured oats to work with - It wasn't bad - just a little desperate!!

I heard that Shay received the Ornament I made her for the Ornament Swap Exchange we are in - Here is a snap of the piece I made -

It is a Prairie Schooler Design - called "Summer /Winter." This is December from the months. I am so happy that Shay likes it - We both love PS and I thought what a perfect design for her!! I used the recommended DMC but can't remember the linen I used. Last night I was still exchange stitching. This weekend will be a marathon finishing two days getting stuff together for the mails next week.

Last night we went for adjustments with Dr Cindy and on the way home stopped at Jack in the Box - sometimes you just gotta stop!! They have out the Holiday Shakes - well, I am a sucker for the limited time flavour anywhere - and so I got me an egg-nog shake!

Lets just say it was a delicious taste of Christmas and the Holiday Season!! Happy Christmas!!

Thanks for stopping by do come again. A reminder about the DVD drawing today is the last day to thrown you name in the BOD - If you haven't then put a comment on Mondays post!! I will announce the winner on Monday!

Have a great weekend!
Take care,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wonderful Fall

GR&DF it finally feels Fall like here in the Bay - nice crisp weather and beautiful produce at the Farmers Market. Yesterday was Wednesday Marketing and although there where fewer stands than normal it was still a joy to visit and get some produce. You know I took my camera and got some nice little snaps..... and here they are....

some beautiful Pomegranate's and persimmon's....

-and gorgeous collard greens - I took home a big ole bunch of these and will cook them up this weekend!!! Yummy!!! Rico really doesn't understand my love of the "green" and will eat a teaspoon full to be nice - but I just love them!!!

and these lovely fall flowers!!

I also picked up some fruit as I was getting a hankering for a buckle or crumble..... so when I got home I got to making one - Taking 3 pears, 3 granny smiths and 4 plums (they where smallish) pealing, coring and chunking ..... I threw them into a hot skillet with a pat of butter to get them cooking -

While they were cooking I greased up a dish and made a crumbly topping of oats, dark brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg (you can make a fruit dish and not put nutmeg in!)

and Yes - that is the Christmas cookie jar - I hauled that sucker out the other evening!! I haven't made any cookies yet so it only holds Vienna Fingers and Pecan Sandies for the time being.

Then 20 mins or so later out of the oven pops this....

A warm Fall dessert!! I love these homey delicious things!!

Yesterday's comments where really nice and I thought I should throw out some responses..... Yes, Nancy, I love those peppermint mocha's and had forgotten about them until I read your comment - I need to stop and get one soon!! Carol G works at Hershey's that place they make those delicious Reese's Pieces!!!. Dear Berit mentioned a Top Flicker Favorite of mine "Scrooge" the musical version from 1970. Although not well thought of critically I love this movie and it is a favorite of my mothers. I always play it while decorating the Christmas tree and watch it at various times during the year just to get a Christmas fix!! Did you know that Christopher Plummer and Rex Harrison where both offered the lead roll in this Scrooge but turned it down eventually the part went to Albert Finney. I saw this musical version done on the stage in London with the late Anthony Newley playing the lead. A couple of people asked about the newest version of "A Christmas Carol" coming out tomorrow from Disney - I can't wait!! I am not a big fan of Jim Carrey but it should be a nice movie to see. Bronny mentioned "The Muppet CC" another fun version of a great story.

Stitching is still exchange related and the flicker last night was a PBS Napoleon thing that really wasn't all that much. So I changed the channel over to TCM to catch the first evening of the month long tribute to Johnny Mercer. The flicker they started the evening off with was "The Fleets In" - 1942 - starring Dorothy Lamour, William Holden and Betty Hutton. An odd and contrived movie with some great musical numbers.

I think I will leave off with a shot from last night. Looking out across the Bay towards the Oakland Hills the moon was full and golden....

Using my little hand held camera made for a rather poor shot - but the moon was huge and beautiful!!!

Thanks you for stopping by - Don't forget to post a comment on Monday's post for the Marie Antoinette DVD Drawing - just click HERE.

Take care,

Let's Stick to the 1840's

 Gentle Friends, I finished up Miss Sarah Barker 1840 here's an old snaperooo of how she looks... "Sarah Barker 1840"  from Ne...