Saturday, August 26, 2006

3 Finishes for August

I don't think I'll manage another finish before August is over, but I am happy with the three I have!

For my son Andrew's 9th birthday, I stitched a card for him, using a Mouseloft kit sent to me by a friend in the UK. Thank you, Diana!! Andrew had a Luau/Pool Party and the card was very well received!



  


I also finished two projects on my StRIP list...S&BF's Bad Maid and JBW Designs' Tooth Fairy Pillow. You can see pics of both by clicking the links under the "My WIPs" section of my lefthand sidebar.

My dear friend, Brenda, who was so kind as to send me the chart & beads for the Tooth Fairy Pillow, will also be finishing it into a pillow for my kids to use. You can see the fabric I chose for the pillow here.

That's it for tonight! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

It's a Spring Thing...

Okay, I will (grudgingly) admit that Summer is in full force here in Texas. That, however, does not keep me from thinking of cooler times.

In keeping with the theme of soft breezes and more moderate temperatures, I decided to stitch It's A Spring Thing from the San-Man Originals Secret Shop.





Sandy gave a suggested color scheme, but encouraged stitchers to choose their own colors. I already knew I wanted to use a fabulous "tiny tuck" made by the ever-talented JoAnn. For the design to fit, I stitched it one over one on 22ct fabric. I chose SSS Watermelon, Kiwi Lime Pie & Black Licorice. There were four embellishments included with the chart; a butterfly, leaf, flower & tiny lavender heart.

Due to the size of the finished design (1.75" square), not all the embellishments would fit. I chose to include the butterfly and the heart, as I could not resist throwing a smidgen of purple into the design.

It felt really good to finish something so quickly. I think I feel a "tuck marathon" coming on...LOL

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Where did the time go?!?!

I can not believe it's been two months since I posted to my blog! Time really does fly!

I'm still here and still stitching. As a matter of fact, I just finished up my third model for San-Man Originals. My first model for Sandy was Snow Curls, which is featured in the Secret Shop. I stitched the second and third models for their upcoming retail debut. I'll share pics as soon as they're released!

In the meantime, I've also completed three exchange/surprise pieces. Here they are!

This lovely dragonfly piece was stitched as a present. I'll reveal more after the present has been delivered...hehe


  


I stitched the design for this teapot ornament (Thanks, Shirl!) for an exchange. The design is adapted from an older issue of Cross Stitch Crazy. I love that magazine!



  


Last, but not least, is my most recent finish. This is another great design from San-Man Originals, inserted into a tuck made by the ever-talented JoAnn. The little label is tie on with DMC floss and some tiny little buttons. It was a true pleasure to stitch!






During the last two months, Steven and I also celebrated our 12th anniversary! We enjoyed a fabulous dinner at The Northwood Inn. The next day, our entire family went to see the movie, Cars. We loved it!

As for the not fun stuff, we're still running the paper route. It has become easier to get up so early, even on very little sleep. Of course, the constant driving seems to have sped up the rate at which our van needs repairs. Since the A/C was finally fixed, we've also redone the brakes and replaced the shocks & struts, air filters & fuel filter. This week, we'll complete the tune-up with replacement of the PCV valve, spark plugs & wires and the serpentine belt. All that's left after that (we hope) is to drain & replace all the transmission fluids and replace the pan gasket seal. So much for the paper route providing a second income, right? To this point, it's all been going to repairs on the van, instead of additional payments on the van. That should change soon, thank goodness!

I'll close for now. My next post will deal more with the fun stuff, like our son's upcoming 9th birthday party! He's having a Luau and it should be loads of fun!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Have faith...

I am happy to report that I have finished another project from my StRIP list! Yay!

I stitched the Faith freebie from Accents, Inc. on a bookmark edged in dark lavender, using SMS Filled With Hope and Kreinik #4 braid in gold. I also used SMS Filled With Hope for the Nun's Stitches at each end. I'm thrilled with the finished piece!






This bookmark will soon be winging its way to a very dear lady in New Orleans. She was able to repair her home after Hurricane Katrina struck last year, and always seemed in such great spirits. She's definitely an inspirational person! I'm hopeful that this little gift will help her as she faces the upcoming hurricane season.

Also, I am slowly turning the titles of my WIPs (in the left hand column of my blog) into links to a current scan of each project. I need to scan most of them in, or at least stitch enough to warrant a scan...LOL The progress bars alone have been a great source of inspiration to me! Let's hope the scans provide even more motivation to stitch, stitch, stitch!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The repair list is shrinking...

Little by little, it's all getting done...

Our garage down is now back in working order! A technician out yesterday. Twenty minutes later, the door was going up and down with hardly a sound. The tension coil wasn't broken, just stuck, so no new parts were needed. Yay! I did make certain to get the tech's recommendation on a lubricant, maintenance, etc.

Also, within the next couple of hours, our van will have new brake pads and be ready to go. We also suspect a slight brake fluid leak, which will (hopefully) be easy to find and repair.

That leaves the compressor for the van's A/C system and our roof/fencing. Maybe, just maybe, all the repairs will be done by the end of the month.

I'm very thankful that, so far, all the repairs have gone smoothly. I hope and pray that the trend continues.

Shrimp on the barbie...LOL

Apparently, I can no longer stitch on 14 ct Aida. Perhaps it's just me, or perhaps it was the stiffer quality of the Charles Craft navy blue Aida, but it's just not working.

I've been promising to stitch Sue Hillis' Burger King for my grill-mad hubby. So that's what I started on Sunday evening. I really thought the colors would "pop" on some navy blue fabric (which they do), but to me the stitching itself looks sloppy.

I have heard some say that they rinse their DMC or CC Aida to remove the stiffener. I, however, used to like the stiffer feel for stitching in hand. Now I stitch almost exclusively with Q-Snaps, which I love! Maybe the stiffener plus the tension of the Q-Snaps just isn't a good combination?

Anyhow, I'm going to rip out the little bit I stitched and restart the project on a white evenweave. I've become very enamored of evenweaves. I just love them! And I do still love 18 ct Aida, stitched with 2 strands.

Note to self...rinse the fabric next time...LOL

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Home & Tornado Update, Part 2

In some ways, it seems that the tornadoes here never happened and, in others, like it was just yesterday. In reality, it has been 2 weeks.

We finally received word that our insurance adjustor will be at our home on June 4th, and will be prepared to cut us a check that day. More than likely, our deductible alone will cover repairs to the fence. That means that the check they give us should pay for the roof repairs, in full. Of course, we'll have to find a roofer who has time in his schedule. That ought to be an interesting search.

Tomorrow, we also have an overhead door company coming out to look at our garage door. It won't open or close. After the storms, we had to disengage the automatic opener in order to open the door manually. Sometime during all the opening & closing of the door over that long weekend, the tension coil broke. Hopefully, it won't be an expensive repair.

This past Friday morning, we received a visit from a highly-recommended septic service company. Finally, someone who actually knows what they're talking about! The first service we called really scammed up, and I'm still wanting to go about demanding a refund.

This wonderful second service did a full inspection of our system and did let us know that our septic pump and one of our sensors were both no longer working. Happily, the owner had a sensor in his truck that he gave to use, free of charge. He also replaced the pump, but that wasn't free. Several hours and $300 later, our septic system is back in full running order.

Also, we're still waiting on word of a compressor for our van's A/C system. We had some work done on it the weekend of the tornadoes, but it became apparent that the compressor had been damaged when the coolant overheated. Our mechanic is just waiting on the right compressor to come in and then we'll finally have a working A/C again.

I'm in prayer that once all of this over, we'll have a month or two relatively free of large expenses. We really want our focus to be on paying off the van early.

Okay, enough serious talk! LOL I think I'm going to go clean up my "stash area" in my bedroom, just so that I can play with stitchy stuff...hehe...

I Love Carrots! (Really, I do!)

I stayed up entirely too late last night, but it was so worth it! I finally got around to finishing San-Man Originals' I Love Carrots!






I stitched this on Dyeing4U's Sandy's Sunshine Jazlyn...a color made especially for the San-Man herself. It doesn't show in the scan, but the fabric is a mottled pale yellow & white, with opalescent threads running through it. So pretty! I also used some raffia from my stash for the bow, which I think gives it a "country" feel.

I started this last year, but then rediscovered it when I decided to make a StRIP list. I'm just thrilled with the way it turned out!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What a weekend!

It was a VERY long weekend here!

This past Thursday evening, we took our van to the repair shop, to have the air conditioning fixed. We had decided that being "stuck" at home for the weekend would be wonderful. There would be no errands to run, just lots of family time. Happily, the van should be ready tomorrow. We were blessed to be lead to a wonderful mechanic who is fixing our van for a fraction of the original estimate.

Late Friday night, a line of severe storms moved into our area, bringing strong straight line winds, large hail, heavy rain and tornadoes. We spent approximately 30 minutes huddled together in the laundry room, after hearing that a tornado was on the ground 8 miles from our home. At one point, the whole house shook violently. The kids and I were scared, by Steven was fascinated by it all.

When we emerged from the laundry room, we discovered that we were missing nearly 70 feet of our wood privacy fence. Our power was out and the rain just kept coming.

Saturday morning, Kathy & her family stopped by to check on us, as did my in-laws. Our neighborhood didn't look too bad at first glance. My in-laws took all three kids and we stayed behind to do some cleaning up.

By late Monday afternoon, we still didn't have electricity, phone or internet service. Thank goodness we had our gas grill! We did A LOT of walking and a good amount of cleaning. All of our utilities were restored Monday night, 68 hours after the outages.

I did stitch a bit on SMO's I Love Carrots, but it was too humid to stitch most of the time. Instead, I decluttered my son's room and thoroughly cleaned my refrigerator and freezer. It was a good time to do it, as I had to throw away most of what we had stored. Thankfully, the food replacement costs will count towards our homeowners insurance deductible.

We also discovered that we are missing a few shingles and the whole back section of our roof appears bubbled. It could be 2 to 3 weeks before an adjustor gets out here. However, the insurance company told us to call if we end up with any additional damage from more rain before the adjustor makes it out here. There is a possibility of more rain this coming weekend.

To top it all off, we had some problems with the service we hired to pump out our septic system. After a week of phone calls, they finally finished the job today. Now we have a different (and highly recommended) company coming out to do a full inspection of the system, just in case. We're in prayer that the system is fine and that if it does need repairs (pump, float sensor, etc.) that the cost be minimal and the repairs easily accomplished.

We've also found a great way to increase our income. Starting tomorrow, Steven & I will be running a commercial newspaper route. One of us will pick up the newspapers at 3 AM, drop them off at various business and then come home. It's seven days per week, but should take no more than 20 hours per week. The pay is wonderful, as well. If, at any time, we are ill or need to go out of town, we can have someone sub for us. My mom & my MIL have both volunteered to help us, if needed. Isn't that great?!

One last item of interest before I go. Last week I finished up a model stitching project for San-Man Originals. It is a GORGEOUS design and I predict it will be a big seller! As soon as it's released for retail, I'll post a picture.

That's it for now, I hope! LOL

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells...

I am VERY proud to announce that I've finished another project on my StRIP list!

At around 3 AM this morning, I secured the last button on JABC's Jingle All The Way. It is stitched on 18 ct Christmas Red Softana (Thanks again, Michelle!) with GAST in Shutter Green, Blue Spruce and Brandy. It will become an ornament for our Christmas tree!




Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Two finishes! Is that a record? LOL

I have two new finishes to report! It's true! I promise! hehehe

I'm a member of Tranquil Stitches and we just started out second "Mini Mystery Exchange". The first one was the Tiny Tuck Exchange, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

This time, our "assignment" was to stitch a piece for a little keychain. I received the honor of stitching one for Shirl, the owner of Tranquil Stitches. Shirl loves samplers, so I chose a "When this you see, remember me" design for her. She's already received the finished keychain, so I can post pics.








This past Saturday, I decided to stitch on the first UFO/WIP that caught my eye. My eye landed on Waxing Moon's You're My Sunshine. It was my first time to stitch on 32 count and/or opalescent fabric, and using the three strands called for in the directions, I had become discouraged. When I set it aside, I'd only finished about a fourth of the border.

However, when I picked it up again, I found it a joy to work on. Three short evenings later, it was done!






I think I'm done updating my blog for the night. That means it's time to work on JABC's Jingle All The Way. Good night, everyone!

More Birthday Fun!

Just when I thought my birthday was over, the fun continued :-)

After a slight shipping glitch, my mom was able to present me with my last birthday present from her. She gave me an awesome (and furry!) micro bead pillow, with a matching eyemask. Of course, both items are purple! I have to fight with my kids for the pillow, but they know the mask is not to be touched, except by me. I love both!

Then, just over a week ago, a package shows up at my house, from Down Sunshine Lane. Now I knew I hadn't ordered anything, so I was really puzzled as to what was in the envelope. To my extreme delight, sweet Jorja had sent me a Stitchaholic T-shirt! I love it and have already worn it several times. Even Steven agrees that it's very fitting! Thank you, Jorja!!!

This past Thursday, a package showed up from my oldest and dearest friend, Matt. We met when I was in junior high, as his dad was one of my teachers. We've been friends ever since. Matt is currently living in Hawaii and we all miss him like crazy. Thank heavens for email & phones! Matt spoiled me rotten with LOTS of Hawaii goodies! He knows my weakness for good Kona coffee and sent me three bags, along with Hawaiian tea, lotions, chocolate covered Kona coffee beans and some mad money. Now I simply HAVE to go stash shopping...darn...LOL! Thank you, Matt!!!

And, last but not least, I will soon have the fabric for Stoney Creek's The Lord's Prayer...all thanks to Sandy! She is truly a gem and a fabulous cross stitch designer to boot! She knew I was despairing over no longer being able to obtain this rather large (but odd-sized) cut of fabric from Silkweaver and gifted me with it for my birthday. Thank you, Sandy!

I've done some shopping with my birthday (& babysitting) money, but I'm also hoarding the majority of it until something calls to me. I have some ideas of what I might want to purchase, but I want to wait until something "talks" to me ;-) So the fun can continue until the stash money runs out...woohoo!

Let's Do the Bunny Hop!

We had a wonderful Easter weekend!

On Good Friday, my mom took my kids to a nearby park while I ran some last-minute errands. After those were done, it was back to my house for some Easter fun!

We made a bunny cake, yarn "baskets" (which need some work...LOL), dyed eggs and ate entirely too much candy. Oh, we did eat dinner, but only to justify eating so many sweets...LOL

Saturday, my mom came over again :-) There was more eating, game playing and ummm, eating. The poor bunny cake lost his ears...hehe

Here are some pics!

Andrew, my handsome young man, on a slide at the park...





Annemarie, my beautiful blonde, on the balance beam...





Olivia, my beautiful brunette, on the monkey bars...





And last, but not least, my mom's fabulous bunny cake...



Monday, April 10, 2006

My 30th Birthday was WONDERFUL!

I must say, 30 isn't all that bad...at least not day itself...LOL

The morning of my birthday, Steven headed off to work, with plans to meet up with the rest of us for lunch. At 11:17 AM (the time I was born), my mom rang the doorbell and was immediately attacked by her grandchildren...hehe From home, we headed to one of my favorite restaurants, Summer Palace.

They had a great table set up for us, and while we were waiting for Steven, my in-laws and grandmother-in-law to arrive, my mom & Andrew headed back out to her car. They returned carrying my cake, balloons and a big bag of presents & party decor. Pretty soon, the table was all decked out for a party! And the cake...all I can say is WOW!







Once everyone arrived, it was present time! My children gave me "30th Birthday" themed gifts, including a magic wand (supposed to make me younger), a beaded necklace and a coffee mug. My in-laws gave me two wonderful books by different Christian authors. Steven had me order some cross stitch goodies and I'll be picking out a new griddle. He's so good about honoring my wishes for practical gifts, although he does occasionally sneak in a great surprise. My mom had already already given me with some "mad money" for a recent out-of-town trip and she'd ordered the curtains I'd picked out for my living room. At my party, however, she surprised me with a STUNNING Brighton organizer, to replace the wallet I've been carrying for 12 years. She knows I would never treat myself to something so wonderful and she picked out the perfect one for me! She had also tucked $30 into the wallet ($1 for every year) and had printed off oodles of family pictures, for me to put in my wallet. I was spoiled rotten and I loved every minute of it!

After presents, we ate and ate and ate. Did I mention that Summer Palace has the most fabulous Chinese buffet? All the traditional favorites, including several seafood dishes. Yum! None of us had any room for cake, so it came home with us.

Once lunch was over, everyone headed off to work and my mom, the kids and I headed for the mall. My mom wanted to take me to the Brighton store, to look at some other wallets. She wanted to make absolutely certain that I was happy with the one she picked out and I was. While we were there, I treated everyone to Cherry Limeades from my favorite little ice cream shop in the mall. They were delicious!

After a quick stop at my mom's house to pick up some things, we all came back to my house. We lounged around, talked, watched the kids on their bikes and such until Steven arrived home. He cooked for us that evening...all the fixings for yummy burritos. After we ate, we finally had cake and ice cream. We were all stuffed and vowed never to eat so much again (yeah, like that will happen...LOL).

We also played a couple board games and it was after 10 PM before my mom called it a night. We were all falling asleep at that point. It was a fabulous, fun-filled day...exactly what I wanted!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Crabs-R-Us

A little sidenote to the presents from Olivia's party...hehe

Andrew & Annemarie decided that they wanted to give Olivia her crab, but they gave us permission to pick it out. In keeping with the Little Mermaid theme, her new crab is named "Sebastian".

Of course, Steven still didn't have a crab at this point, so we purchased two new ones. Steven's happens to be a female, which finally has a name, "Boo". Suffice it to say, he wouldn't go for "Ariel"...lol "Boo" originally started out as "Blue", because her shell is painted that color. However, we know they do change shells every so often, so Steven shortened it to "Boo".

Now, to recap, we have (in the order they joined our family) "Hermie", "Two Claws", "Shelly" (our other female), "Sebastian" and "Boo". Our second crab ever, "Crabby", perished after a "shell fight" with "Two Claws".

A while back, after her first molt, Shelly abandoned her pretty little spiral shell, in favor of a "normal" round shell. Since then, she has molted again, just a few days after Two Claws decided to molt. Now, all three of our oldest crabs have been through at least one successful molt while in our care. Yay!

The two newest crabs have settled in nicely and now that there are five of them in one tank, we're noticing more activity overall. Everything we've read says they thrive in groups.

We gave them all a bath on Saturday night and really enjoyed watching them run around in the water. On Sunday morning, I peeked into the tank to see what they were up to and found that Two Claws abandoned his shell in favor of Shelly's original shell (the pretty spiral-shaped one). Now, Shelly has changed shells once and Two Claws has completed his second exchange. It gives a whole new meaning to the term "shell game"...LOL

I simply must remember to take some pics of them the next time my mom is here with her digital camera. They're alot of fun to watch and play with.

30...here I come...

Oh my, it's been nearly 2 weeks since I posted to my blog. Amazing how the time goes so quickly.

Here goes my attempt to bring everyone up to speed on life in the Harris household.

March 24th was my baby's 5th birthday. I still find it difficult to believe that Olivia is 5! Where did the time go?

As much as I didn't want to, Steven & I had to leave her on her birthday. We dropped all three kids off at my mom's house and headed for Dallas. Steven's company hosts a regional meeting each March and it's a do-not-miss event. As for the kids, I knew they would have a blast with their Mum Mum ;-)

My weekend was wonderful all the way around. Steven sat in meetings during the day and I ran around shopping (a little) and enjoying some quiet time in our lovely hotel room. I can't remember the last time I lounged in bed, watched TV & read a book, all at the same time. We also ate out both nights, once at On the Border and the next evening at Medieval Times, courtesy of the company.

On Sunday, we were up bright and early and on the road home. We made several stops along the way, arriving home at 1 pm. We spent the next two hours finalizing preparations for Olivia's party, which was at 3 pm on Sunday afternoon. Her chosen party theme was The Little Mermaid. Here is a pic of the partygoers, cake, balloons, etc. It was a great party, with LOTS of Ariel-related presents.

Back row, l to r: Meme (my grandma-in-law, Ann), Me, Steven, Nana (my MIL, Martha) and Paw Paw (my FIL, Ray)
Middle row, l to r: Lindsay (niece) and Andrew (son)
Front row, l to r: Katelynn (niece), Olivia (daughter), Mitchell (nephew), Annemarie (daughter) and Mum Mum (my mom, Mickey)




The few days following the party were a blur as we all tried to get back into our normal routines. It's amazing how one weekend trip and a party can disrupt everything when you're a stay-at-home-mom...LOL

This past Thursday and Friday, I enjoyed the pleasure of babysitting two of my nephews, Mitchell & Malachi. Mitchell is nearly 4 and Malachi is 6-months-old. They're awesome little boys.

On Saturday, Steven spent a good amount of time doing yard work. He dug a trench between our walkway and driveway, which will eventually become a stepping stone path connecting the two. We chose to dig out a path, which will add some sand & gravel to, for drainage. The we'll place the stones and some topsoil. After that, we'll be planting some ground cover to fill in the spaces around the stones and install some solar-powered walkway lights. We also planted some seeds in two of our planters. I can't wait for everything to be finished and/or blooming!

As for today, there's not much going on. I'm enjoying some quiet time here at home, while the older two kids do their schoolwork and my youngest enjoys a movie.

Tomorrow, however, will be fun! Tomorrow...I turn 30! Ack! LOL

I'm looking forward to lunch with my hubby & kids, my mom, my in-laws and my grandmother-in-law at one of my favorite restaurants. After that, who knows? Perhaps a quiet afternoon of stitching? I'm also eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new living room curtains, which my mom ordered for me as my birthday present. They're so pretty!

Okay, I think that's it from my end...for now, anyways. Hopefully, my next update will be much shorter...LOL

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Mermaid Musings

Ariel (aka Disney's The Little Mermaid) needs a haircut...LOL

I finally made myself sit down and finish stitching her face. Oddly enough, the kit calls for her hair, eyes & lips to be stitching in two strands on 14 ct, but for her face to only be in stitched in 1 strand. I thought it would look awful, but I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome. The peach-y thread is so pale, any white that shows through lends an ethereal look to her face, while the areas done in two strands really "pop". Once I backstitch everything, I think I'll be even more pleased with the overall look. But I digress...

Ariel has LOTS of hair. And I have to wonder...wouldn't living in the ocean result in massive tangles? I remember the times I went swimming without having my mom braid my hair...it was not a pretty site afterwards.

Perhaps Ariel should consider a shoulder length cut with some long layers or even a chic chin length bob?

Or maybe, just maybe, I need to get out of the house more often?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Tiny Tuck Exchange...My Turn!

On this rather dreary Saturday, I discovered a ray of sunshine in my mailbox.

I've already blogged about the shamrock I stitched for the Tiny Tuck Exchange on Tranquil Stitches, which I sent to Rae. Today, I received a tiny tuck from Julie & JoAnn.

Julie, a sweet lady from the UK, stitched these adorable mice and placed them in the tuck made by JoAnn. Not only that, but she filled the mailing envelope with shiny heart-shaped confetti, yummy mini chocolate Easter bunnies and a fabulous card. Click the thumbnails below for larger images.

Thank you, Julie!!!





Thursday, March 16, 2006

I am truly blessed...

My sweet hubby, Steven, arrived home last night and rang the doorbell, instead of just walking in. When I opened the door, he pulled out a gorgeous bouquet of carnations from behind his back. Carnations are my absolute favorite flower. The ones he brought home to me are red, magenta and white tipped in magenta, along with tons of baby's breath & greenery. Everything was wrapped in cellophane printed with multi-color butterflies and then tied with purple, lavender and white ribbon. Does he know me, or what? They smell heavenly.

It was a wonderful surprise and reminded me, once again, how very blessed I am to have him as my husband.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What Flavor Ice Cream Are You??

I saw this on Nona's blog and couldn't resist. Wouldn't you know, Mint Chocolate Chip is one of my all-time favorite flavors!

You Are Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Creative. Expressive. Unique.

Yes, I really do cross stitch!

It's been way too long since I posted a finish!

I took part in a mini tuck exchange on one of the boards I belong to. JoAnn, seamstress extraordinaire, made these adorable mini tucks from various fabric, all with 2 1/2 inch openings. Each lady in the exchange was mailed a tuck, with instructions to stitch something for it, then mail it on to another lady in the exchange. Tuck themes varied, no one knew what theme they would receive and partners identities are only being revealed as the finished tucks are received.

JoAnn sent me an adorable St. Patrick's Day themed tuck. While going through some old Cross Stitch Crazy magazines, I stumbled onto a great shamrock design. I adjusted the colors to more closely match the tuck, stitched it up and sent it off to my partner, Rae.

Rae received the tuck this week, so I can finally post a pic of my latest finish. I love how it turned out! Thank you, JoAnn (for making the tuck) and Shirl (for arranging the exchange). I had so much fun!




Something's rotten in the state of Denmark...errr...Texas

I just couldn't resist the title for this blog entry. It just made me smile.

Great news! Steven qualified for two quarterly bonuses from his job. They will show up at the end of April, and I couldn't be happier.

Then a dark (and somewhat smelly) cloud threatened to blot out my sunshine. We came to the realization that we couldn't wait until his bonus check arrived to have our septic tank pumped. Our homebuilder (if you can really call him that) cut so many corners when he built our house. For instance, inside our pump tank, there is a high water alarm. From what I've read during the last couple of days, systems like this normally include a high water alarm light AND an audible alarm (usually located in your garage or under your kitchen sink). Wouldn't you know...there is a small light next to the outside breaker for the septic pump, but no audible alarm. We have no clue how long the alarm light has been on. Frustrating, not to mention potentially dangerous to our health AND our budget. Steven called around and found a good price on having the tanks pumped.

Of course, I tend to go into "worst case scenario" mode the moment a bump rises in the road. I hardly slept last night, convinced we'd be smacked with a large repair bill today, certain that our septic system was forever ruined (silly me, it's only 9 years old).

To my utter and total relief, the owner of the septic pumping company was done and gone within half an hour. During that time, he gave us a nice rundown of how our particular system is set up, how often to have it pumped (now that all three kids are potty trained), etc. We found out he's only been in business for 8 months and told him we would gladly refer him to anyone and everyone. I still didn't like having to write that check, but at least it's done now and I don't have to think about it again for 2 years.

The cloud is gone and the sun is shining once again.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Mermaid off the port bow!!

Okay, I admit it... I've been a very bad blogger for the last month. Up until last week, I was hardly stitching and just didn't feel I had anything meaningful to post. Silly me, huh?

Let's see... Steven & I went to see Dave Ramsey live on February 18th. It was a wonderful event and we learned a lot! It had turned bitterly cold here and was threatening to ice, but we still made the 2 hour drive. My mom stayed here with our kids and the four of them watched movies, played games and made crafts in front of the warm fireplace, all in pajamas...LOL They all loved their "pajama party". When we made it back home Saturday evening, we made Smores in the fireplace. Just a wonderful day all around.

What else? Hmmm, we sold Steven's pickup, so that's one less vehicle payment to fuss with. Not to mention, our car insurance dropped significantly, as well! Yay! I'm all for cutting our budget as much as possible. With Steven being self-employed (read: fluctuating income, lol) and me being a SAHM to three kids, every penny counts.

We've also switched our home phone service from a "land line" to VOIP, through a company called Lingo. We have had an SBC account ever since we got married and a couple years ago, we picked up their "all inclusive" plan. All of our local & long distance calls, call waiting, caller ID, voice mail, etc was supposed to be "only" $49.95/month. Well, after SBC tacked on all their taxes, surcharges & fees, our bill was routinely $75.00/month. Not such a bargain.

We would have switched sooner, but we had to wait for a competitively-priced VOIP service to become available in our area. Finally, Lingo made it to our part of Texas. Now my telephone is hooked up to my cable modem, via a small adapter and my phone number didn't even change. We absolutely love it! And the best part? We're getting ALL the same services we had when we were with SBC, PLUS I can now call various other countries outside the US/Canada/Mexico, all for the fabulously low price of $22.09/month. That's the final price AFTER their ONE tax ($0.64) and ONE fee ($1.50). I'm happy :-)

Now, onto the title of this blog entry...LOL Our youngest, Olivia, is turning 5 years old this month. I cannot believe my baby is no longer a baby, nor even a toddler. But I digress...

Olivia is somewhat Disney Princess crazy...just a little ;-) For her 4th birthday, she had a general Disney Princess themed party, with particular attention paid to Sleeping Beauty, Snow White & Cinderella. This year...she's all about Ariel from The Little Mermaid. So, if you've seen the movie, you might remember Scuttle the seagull saying "Mermaid off the port bow!" whilst looking through a small spyglass. (I really need more adult contact, no? LOL)

I'm currently stitching Ariel from a small kit that was free with an older issue of Cross Stitch Crazy (UK). Originally, I was going to frame it, but now I've decided to make it a patch and apply it to a dress or t-shirt, for Olivia to wear to her party. Between the patch and a surprise stitching gift that I can't post a pic of yet, I haven't done much stitching. But I've been stashing! I'll post more about my new stash, and that stitching surprise, later.

For now, I need to run and finish up Steven's end-of-week paperwork, load the dishwasher and make my grocery list. I was floored by a horrid migraine yesterday and got nothing accomplished. Thank heavens for leftovers, otherwise we would've been ordering out for dinner last night, which I prefer not to do.

I'll post more later! I hope everyone is having a fabulous day!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bookmark & Blog Success and a Shelly Update!

My mom LOVES her bookmark. Steven did manage to stop by her place before heading out to work...yay! Happy Birthday (again), Mom!

On the blog front, I think I've finally achieved the "look" I want for my blog, at least for now. I'm considering adding a little jeweled border between my header graphic and the 3 columns, just to soften the transition a bit.

And one more little update on our newly-molted hermit crab, Shelly. After giving her several days to "harden up", we gave all three of our crabs a bath and put them all back into their tank. Shelly settled right back in.

When I passed by the tank yesterday, I noticed Shelly's shell lying in an odd position. I picked it up and it was empty! So I picked up the "hermit hut" and there were all three crabs...only Shelly was in a new shell! She apparently decided her old shell was no longer habitable. So, she abandoned it and settled into one of the empty "extra shells" we keep in the tank. Now she looks nearly identical to our other tiny crab, Two Claws. The kids were so excited by all the recent changes!

That's about it for today. I'm hoping to get more stitchy stash scanned in and uploaded to my sale/trade albums tomorrow. I've realized I have a good bit of excess that needs to go before it drives me nuts...LOL!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Well, I'm only seven days late in finishing this, but here it is! I wanted to stitch a little something for my mom and then I came across the pattern for this bookmark. Violets are her birth flower and I love purple.

I backed the bookmark with some sticky felt and I even used my pinking shears on the felt, just to "pretty it up". The thick felt also gives the bookmark some body, which I like.

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!



Template Tango

If you stop by and my Blogger layout happens to look very odd, it's only because I'm playing with a new 3 column template. When I get tired of working on it, I simply reload my "normal" template and everything is "perfect" again...LOL

Monday, January 30, 2006

Fabric Finds

I think I've finally found the perfect fabric for my living room curtains!

Quite some time ago, my mom & I stumbled upon some wonderful fabric for my kitchen/dining room curtains. It's called "Herb Text" and I think it's so "me". Instead of focusing on a solely herbal theme, we're going more for an Italian vineyard/bistro look.

Since then, I've been on a serious hunt for more fabric...this time for my living room. Our floorplan is such that the windows from both rooms are visible no matter where you are, so I knew the fabrics needed to play off of each other.

I requested a swatch of a promising fabric and it arrived today. I love it! Even my husband likes it! Yay! Now I just need JoAnn's to put all their drapery linings on sale! LOL Here are the fabrics. The one on the left is for the kitchen/dining room and the one on the right is for the living room.


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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Read a good book lately?

My kids are growing up...(sniff, sniff)...

We took all three kids to the library this morning and our oldest two, Andrew (8) and Annemarie (6), applied for their first library cards. I remember applying for mine when I wasn't much older than they are now.

They each checked out a book and couldn't wait to bring the books home. Andrew picked out an old favorite, but Annemarie went for a 6-in-1 volume of Dr. Seuss stories. My hubby, Steven, LOVES reading Dr. Seuss to the kids.

We made some other stops, then headed home for lunch. I had planned to go back out immediately to do our grocery shopping, but I was practically falling asleep sitting up. The (much needed) rain today made for perfect napping weather. Andrew & Annemarie each went to their own rooms and Olivia (4) snuggled in with us. We all fell asleep and woke up feeling very refreshed.

Andrew went with me to the grocery store and to JoAnn's, where we picked out a patch for a pair of Annemarie's jeans. She fell while outside playing and one spot on one knee has just started to fray. Andrew picked out the patch, it's a navy blue heart with all sorts of bright & fun embellishments on it. Annemarie LOVES it! Yay!

Loading up on groceries took a good 2 hours. This was our big stock up trip, and we nearly had to go to a second cart. It's amazing how much extra time it takes when you have to stop on nearly every aisle. Not to mention all the time I spent trying to convince Andrew that we didn't need every item on certain aisles...LOL

All in all, it was a wonderful day. Tomorrow I plan to do some laundry and dishes and then stitch, stitch, stitch. I feel the need to finish The Price of Freedom!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Soft Shell Crab...

It's official...Shelly, one of our little hermit crabs, has sucessfully molted!

She's our smallest hermit crab and the most friendly of the three we have. She's my favorite and I'm just thrilled that everything went well with the molt. We'll give her new exoskeleton a few more days to harden and then she can be re-introduced to the main tank. I'm sure by then, she'll be ready for a bath, as well.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Progress Bar Success!

Well, I haven't stitched in several days and it's all because of this blog...LOL

I've been desperate to create progress bars for my WIPs where I could put the actual percentage number (i.e., 10%, 30%, etc.) inside the bar itself, instead of on the same line as the bar's title (a long WIP title would cause the percentage to wrap to a new line). It sounds picky, but anyone who knows me can tell you I'm generally a picky person.

I was trying to create my bar with CSS & HTML. The great people at Blogger Forum were of tremendous help, but we couldn't achieve the exact look I was going for.

While Google-ing for some "magical" bit of CSS code, I found what I was looking for! If any of you fellow stitching bloggers need/want progress bars, look here. A lucky lady's husband wrote this Javascript for her knitting blog and was then kind enough to share it with others.

His directions for applying the code are wonderful. I even managed to change the border from black to white without messing up the script.

Now I can go through all my WIPs and figure up my percentages and add the bars to my blog. Yay!!!

I know my hubby will be happy to see me vacate the computer chair. I've been seemingly glued to it for the better part of the week. And truthfully, I'm looking forward to stitching again!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Well, it's official...I have a new addiction...

Yes, I am well and truly addicted to my blog. I spent the better part of this morning playing with extra features for my sidebar.

I now know how to make "progress bars" for my needlework projects. I only have one up right now, but I will add others before long.

I added an "email me" link. It doesn't do me much good to have a trade/sale link if no one can contact me about a sale or trade.

And last, but not least, I put a few of my blinkies on display. I have several more I'd like to upload, but unless I make my sidebar wider, there isn't room for them. And I've noticed that having more than 5-7 blinkies REALLY slows the page loading time. So I will be content with the ones I have and perhaps rotate them every so often.

On the stitching front, yes, I did stitch on The Price of Freedom this week, but no, I didn't finish it. I find it difficult to stitch when my 8-year-old son is practically begging for a rematch of Monopoly. I thoroughly trounced my son and my husband in a rather short game of Monopoly last week, and over the weekend my son proved he can do exactly the same thing...to both of us. My hubby really must learn to be a better loser...LOL...

As for my progress on The Price of Freedom, I did manage to finish the last bands of Scotch stitch and tent stitch. I still lack one band of needleweaving, some rows of "regular" cross stitches and backstitch. Then, it's on to the last two flag-styled hearts and the beading! The star "beads" are silver-plated and could use a good buffing. Thankfully, my mom has a spare jewelry cloth.

Tonight I plan to enjoy the chili I have cooking in the crockpot and then snuggle into my new chair to stitch. I can't believe I'm so close to finishing The Price of Freedom! Once it's done, I must get back to the little stitched gift I've been working on for a certain someone's birthday. I can't say for whom the gift is intended as *she* might just be reading my blog...

I hope everyone is having a Marvelous Monday!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Price of Freedom

I am loving my current stitching project! It's an absolutely stunning design from
The Sweetheart Tree entitled, The Price of Freedom.

Originally it was only offered as a kit, but I happened to stumble across the chart on Ebay and happily bid on it. Unfortunately, I lost my bid.

A couple of weeks later, an envelope from a LNS in Florida appears in my mailbox. Now I knew I hadn't ordered anything, so imagine my extreme delight in finding the chart & embellishment pack for The Price of Freedom inside the package!!! A dear sweet angel on the SMO board had purchased it for me because, as she said, "I know what it's like when a design really calls to you."

I was finally able to finish kitting up this project AND to start stitching on it! Here is my progress after 4 sessions.


I hope to have this finished within the next couple of days. Then I'll only have to wait for a framing coupon from Michael's, and, of course, some $$$ LOL

Why did I pick "Trinabelle's"??

Well, here it is...my blog...

Why did I pick the name, "Trinabelle's"? It's simple, really. When I was a little girl, my mom took to calling me Trinabelle, and I loved it.

I debated about whether or not to start a blog. I asked myself, "Will I really post? Will I keep up with it? Does anyone really care what I have to say about anything?" Then I realized that it honestly doesn't matter.

I'm still not finished with the layout of my blog, but it's not that far from completion...yay!

All About Katrina

    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
    I'm 41-years-old, happily married for 22 years to my high school sweetheart and a proud mom to our three fabulous teenagers.
    In addition to being obsessed with cross stitch, I also enjoy reading, logic puzzles, baking and gaming.

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