Thursday, April 26, 2007

Friends' Weather

Those of us who are on different groups and lists have found not only kindred spirits in crafts, arts, or other similar interests, but we have also made friends. Some members post frequently, some you'd like to hear from more often - having found themselves 'busy with life' having less time to visit with on-line friends.

As I ramble into my subject, have you noticed in yourself a different attitude or concern toward the weather? Of course when there is tragedy, we're all saddened by the outcome, even when we are not directly affected. During the predictions do we pay a little closer attention when the state or city of an online friend is mentioned? Oh, that's where lives - I hope this doesn't cause harm or damage there.

This weather channel message is brought to you by the 75` partly sunny day, where it appears the freezing weather has dissipated, and spring has sprung - with empathy for those who are with unmelted snow or chilling rains ...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

American Idol Gives Back

Yes, I'm a fan of American Idol - watch every week (recorded), but rarely vote. This week's show was special in that they were making contributions to some of the world's crisis areas. You can read more details about it at One of their advertisers had agreed to contribute $5 million dollars if there were 50,000 votes. I did my part and voted numerous times - redial is wonderful, isn't it? There were 70,000 votes!

I was thinking of driving to the coast this weekend for a couple of days, to see a craft show and try to find some 'Mermaid Tears'. We've all seen the hungry children in Africa, those impoverished with AIDS and malaria who struggle to get miles and miles away to visit a hospital for the chance of receiving the small supply of medicine. It always tugs at the heart strings - the tears of a 12 year old who is the man of house caring for his younger sister after losing both parents. After watching the show and seeing some of the areas that would be recipients, Africa and America alike, I decided to contribute the money it would have cost for the trip.

My tiny contribution wasn't much, but if each of us makes a tiny contribution, medicine will be available, books to be read, food for hungry families - children will be saved. Please consider helping to save a few real tears.

Crazy Quilt Gift - Part 3

I continue to work on the pillow gift for graduation. Found out that the graduation is May 5, so there's a little more than a week to get it finished. I've enjoyed working on it, but tatting has been calling my name loudly recently... partly due to the fact that holding the embroidery hurts my hand more and more. I will survive, too :-)

After the Freeze

I thought all the plants around may be dead, but no, there are a few survivors!

The clematis have started blooming

Here's one that is barely open

And quite a few blooms ready to pop.

Can you see the little green coming back? Thought these Dianthus were gone for sure!

The peony has made her blooms, and even has a baby shoot off (right) this year. It even had an ant on it - I read someplace that they're necessary.

And even the hibiscus is already up... the red flowers will be bigger than palm size in a few weeks.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Farewell to Hand Embroidery List

I left the Hand Embroidery yahoo group this morning and got a message that my last message could not be posted to the group. I guess I didn't give it enough time to process before leaving. 'Course yahoo hasn't liked my messages much recently anyway - I have to go to the Group Page to reply, and then I think it's hit or miss. Anyway, I will post below the message I sent.


I'd like to say goodbye and best wishes to everyone on the Hand Embroidery list. You all do lovely work, and I'll keep an eye on your blogs and comment there.

Take care, and Happy Stitching!
Charlene in SC

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Chalk Markers

One of the common discussions on the Crazy Quilt lists is templates. The topic of what to use for marking always comes up - and it was a problem I had for a long time. It kept me from using them as much as I would have liked because I couldn't find anything that worked for me. Finally at my local Hancock's Fabric I found MY solution. It is a little kit of chalk markers that comes with a chalk holder, white and colored chalks in a storage box, and a little sharpener. They also sell chalk refills. I had a 50% off notions coupon, so it was a great buy! I believe I have seen them at Hobby Lobby, and they have weekly coupons, too!

Pillow Gift - Part 2

I made another attempt at putting the pillow top together for the graduation gift, and this time it came together a little better. Not perfection, but I'll deal with it. Thanks for the encouragement, girls! I'll keep you posted on the progress. The little gold motif is just placed there. I'm surrounding it with tatting and beads. It's one of the college's logos.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Pillow Gift

My cousin's husband will be graduating from college in early May. He has loved a couple of CQ pillows I made for my little cousins, so I plan to make one for him as his graduation gift. The colors of the school are Garnet, Gold, and Black. Now doesn't that bring up dramatic images in your mind? It certainly does in mine. The choices of fabrics were pretty when they were in the group to use.

Yesterday I started putting the top together, and it was anything other than dramatic. I was attempting to use some printed materials that included the colors, but it was a mess. Took it back apart to start over. Makes me wonder if that's why I haven't been doing much cq lately... have I lost the creative edge, or just out of practice? I'll post the next attempt and seek your comments.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Two for the Dough -- ***

I've finished Janet Evonavich's Two for the Dough and it was a light, fun read. Stephanie is a bounty hunter who lives in New Jersey, near her family, with a police officer/childhood friend, Morelli, sidekick (and more??). Grandma Mazur gets more involved with this case since it involves funeral homes, one of her favorite activities. She also gets a new apricot doo and Doc Martin's.

I think I'll give Stephanie a break and read something else next.


Aren't we always looking for different patterns for stitching? I get a newsletter sort of email from Dover Publications each week, and they typically offer pages of Samples that can be used for multitudes of applications. Take a look to see if there's something for which you've been searching.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Weight Loss

Several of the members of the CQ for Newbies list joined a subgroup called Stash for Pounds started by Susan. She's the greatest cheerleader!!

A few of you have mentioned seeing the weight loss ticker at the top of my blog. I had started trying to cut back before the group became active, so my loss has been since around October, 2006, I think. It has been slow going, but that's ok - at least it's going in the right direction, and I'm not doing anything that feels like deprivation which has been my problem in the past. Cutting back and moving a little has been my plan. An exercise class that we've been offered at work has fizzled for me. Guess that group participation and following the leader's thoughts on what we all should be doing wasn't working for me!

On the group, we weigh in once a month. April 4 was the last weigh in. This morning there were comments about how we've been tempted and tortured by the two 'sweet' holidays in a row! I have to break down for chocolate, too. It may not be the best way, but I try to eat a salad or something light so I can have a piece once in a while. I was totally surprised that weigh day brought a little loss. There have been weeks when there was no loss at all.

As for our goals, well that will definitely have to be changed for me. I'm not nearly there! May need to change that nine months to at least a year, maybe 18 months! But I'm not stressing over it... it's not a race for me. At least I can tell in my clothes. And I think I've become content in the fact that size 8 is not in my future! I would really love a 10, but will be happy with 12. You all know how sizes are - different numbers for different brands - but I have moved down in pants which is a BIG deal to me - 16W (is that for wide?) to some 14's that are loose. Hopefully when garden season officially gets underway the metabolism will get a little more boost.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Spring Flowers

I've been outside blowing those beautiful Bradford pear blooms off the drive and feel sticky - it's 80+ degrees out this afternoon. Of course as my mom always says, watch out for that Easter snap! The old wives tales are more accurate than not because the prediction for Saturday night is 30`.

A few new blooms made the effort worthwhile, though. The first iris has bloomed, and the wisteria is beginning as well. Guess 30` will slow them back down over the weekend!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Full Moon

Tonight is the full moon - such a lovely sight!

From behind the clouds to fully exposed...