Friday, February 25, 2011

Frogging Frogs

Lizzie Kate's Boo Club is moving right along. I got the Spiders and Eek! blocks done this week. I love those little spiders, especially the little legs for some reason. Once the buttons are added there will be two more spiders and the frog will have eyes. Speaking of frogs, that frog was something else, I swear I stitched and re-stitched the right side of his body at least 4 times! There were either not enough stitches, too many stitches or something wasn't in the right place! lol The next block is Creppy, with a little owl sitting in a tree over a headstone.

Spiders & Eek!

The first 5 blocks, Spooky, Treats, Black Cat, Spiders & Eek!

While going through a box of framed pictures, I came across this piece. It's a Dimesnions kit called "A Year of Events" that I stitched in the Spring of 2009. I'm a sucker for monthly samplers and I really liked this one because of the bright colors. The subtle color differences used for shading make it look really detailed, even though it was a simple stitch. I actually stretched this piece myself and it made me realize why I just pay to have pieces stretched and framed! lol

"A Year of Events"

Hope everyone has a great weekend, thanks for stopping by! Nick

Friday, February 18, 2011

Black Cat & Teddy Bears

Well, I started and finished the Black Cat block of Lizzie Kate's Boo Club on Sunday. The poor black cat is temporarily blind, his eyes are a pair of white button, which I will add when all the blocks are finished. Each block comes with a set of black or white buttons. Unfortunately I haven't stitched anything else since. Hopefully I can start the next block, Spiders, this weekend.

Reading Karen's blog entry about rediscovering her Ziggy collection, reminded me of a collection I rediscovered myself. When I was growing up my mom collected Annette Funicello Teddy Bears for me. Annette would host shows and sell them on the shopping channel QVC. I used to love those little teddy bears growing up and always looked forward to getting a new one. As I grew up though they became a forgotten nick-knack that occupied a curio cabinet in our house. Shortly after I graduated high school we moved and they were packed away in their boxes and forgotten. Recently while going through some boxes in our garage I came across a box of these bears. It was like being a 10 year old kid all over again! Several of my favorite sets of bears have found a new home in our living room, treasured just as much as before.

This is one of my all time favorite sets, called the Soda Pop collection, each is 5" mohair bear. They were sold on QVC through an auto-delivery program. You signed up and paid for the first bear and then every other month a new bear would be shipped automatically to you. After receiving so many bears, you also received the wooden soda crate to put them in. Each one is a different soda flavor, Cherry Pop Fizz (red), Orange Spritzer (orange), Cream Soda (yellow), Lime Divine (green), Grape Swizzle (purple) and Rootbear Bubbbly (brown). I remember how exciting it was when a new bear would be delivered. I even remember the time we moved and before we could change the shipping address, one of the bears had been shipped to our old house. I frantically had my parents go to our old house to pick up the package when the new owners called to say a package had been delivered there for us. They now sit in their wooden crate on top of a bookcase in the living room.

My second favorite set is called Sushi Platter, and was also purchased from QVC. Three mohair panda bears, Sushi (black), Sushimi (red) and Wasabi (green) sit on a ceramic sushi platter, that has green bamboo stalks painted on it. When I took these out the box, I also found a postcard inside, that apparently QVC had mailed to us to let us know about the upcoming show, that advertised this set on the back. They sit on top of our digital cable box in the living room now.

After I rediscovered these bears I did some research online and, sadly, found out that due to the failing health of Annete, who has MS, the collection was discontinued in 2004. As with anything "collectible" right now, they aren't worth much, not even what they sold for originally. Of course, these were never purchased to be an "investment" and I would love them just as much if I could only sell them for $5. For those that are interested in collecting though, it's the perfect time to add new pieces to your collection, even the smaller mohair bears like these that would normally retail for $30-40 can be found for $10-20 on eBay.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and thanks for sharing in a treasured childhood memory. Nick

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Spooky Treats

First, I want to say "Thank You" to all of you who commented on my last blog post! It was very encouraging to read all of your comments. I've started to check out all of your wonderful blogs again and can't wait to start sharing in your progress and finishes!

I've been able to work on Lizzie Kate's Boo Club and finished the first two blocks, Spooky and Treats. I love these kind of projects because you get to have that "finish experience" several times, each complete block gives you that excitment of a finish. The fabric is a little darker than it shows in the picture. I didn't get it quite as dark as I wanted, but it does help make the white & yellows pop more.

The next block is Black Cat, which I will be starting today, as well as extending the border on each side. I would rather put the border off, since it isn't as fun to stitch as the blocks, but I know if I don't keep the border going as I stich the blocks I will put something in the wrong place! lol

Thanks for stopping by & hope you are all enjoying your weekend! Nick

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lost & Found

Wait, what, I was supposed be updating my blog? lol Holy moly, where did the last 6 months go?!?! It was unbelievable to me when I logged in to Blogger and saw that my last post was at the end of July and that I had started this blog almost a year ago. I didn't fall off the face of the Earth, or forget about stitching & blogging...well, maybe I did for a little bit, but I found my way back. Even after being lost.

The last 6 months have defenitly been something else, full of many ups & downs. Not too long after my last blog post a new chapter in my life started, and not necessarily by my own willingness. After almost 22 years of marriage my parents decided to seperate. That was really the start of my blogging & stitching hiatus. My attention was turned to packing and moving, and in a way, starting a new part of my life. I now share an apartment with my mom, I help out with rent and bills until we fully get back on our feet. Sometimes it takes a radical shake up to realize how truly lucky we are to have the things & people we have in our lives. It hasn't been the easiest six months, but we've survived!

Work has been another major obstacle. Twords the end of summer and into the fall, I started disliking my job more, and more. I'm at the point now where I completly dread the thought of going in almost every day. I only stay out of neccessity. I've tired applying several places, before Christmas and in the last few weeks, but never hear anything back. I started training as a manager but little has come of it. They did a massive overhaul of all the stores in our district, replacing our general manger and several of our shift managers. We also lost many employess to transfers, fireings and quits. I think only about 3 or 4 people are still there that were there when I started almost 9 months ago. Since all of this has happened, my managment training has been put on the back burner.

Since then I've rarely thought about stitching. I haven't worked on any pieces, started any new ones, or even purchased anything new. In fact, I don't even know where a majority of my stash is. It's unbelievable how many boxes it takes to pack almost 21 years of your life in! lol

Some things, not even the unpleasentries of life can spoil. My dad & I enjoyed another season of Michigan football. Though is wasn't a perfect season, despite the amazing start, it was full of wonderful memories. We were able to make it to Ann Arbor for 4 games, the opener against Connecticut, and the games against Iowa, Illinois & Wisconsin. You couldn't give me a million dollars to spend Saturday with any other person (my dad), in any other place (Ann Arbor). We've been saving out extra pennies and are looking forward to purchasing season tickets this year. GO BLUE!

The new press box and one side of the new box suites & luxury seats at The Big House.

At the end of October I celebrated my 21st birthday. I loving being able to order a beer with my Big House Burger on game days! lol This past Thanksgiving was the first Thanksgiving we didn't spend as a family, in fact my dad was out of town for Thanksgiving. We did spend Christmas together and we enjoyed it. It was hard to get into the spirit at first, sually I'm the first person to put up the lights, start theChristmas music and go overboard with the decorations, but this year was a little harder. I manged to find my Christmas spirit and did the best that I could with what I had to work with. It actually takes a little more ingenuity to go from decorating a large yard & house to an apartment balcony.

A scaled down vesion of my Precious Moments Nativity display.

Just before Thanksgiving we adpoted a kitty from a local cat shelter. He's black with a white belly and paws, and a little white mustache. I named him Bo Schembechler, after the legendary Michigan football coach. We usually just call him Bo or "Schems". He's grown into quite a spoiled stinker, he likes to jump and climb on top and everything, but I love him!

Bo Schems, sitting in a box. He thinks he needs to climb into/ontop of everything! lol

Recently, maybe now that we are more settled in, I have had an itch to get stitching again. I didn't really feel like pulling out an old project, I wanted a fresh start of sorts. The heavens must have lined up because at the exact same time, I stumbled across a great deal on the Lizzie Kate "Boo Club" set. This set has been on my wishlist since it came out, so I figured it was a sign to get back into stitching with a project I really like. The couldn't find a piece of the fabrics I picked out, long enough to stitch the entire piece, so I decided to color my own fabric. I wanted a brown shade to really show off the black and white border around the set. I took a piece of white aida and coffee died it a nice shade of brown. It's drying as I type, so hopefully I will be able to start soon! :) I also found some candy corn buttons from Just Another Button Company that I think I will get to replace the stitched candy corns at the bottom of the border.

Lizzie Kate's "Boo Club"

This week I started visiting all the wonderful blogs that I used to check daily. It really lights a fire under me to once again see so many amazing projects. I can't wait to get back into the swing of things. Thanks for taking the time to catch back up, I'll make sure it won't be another 6 months.


"What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise."
-Oscar Wilde