Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Government Hired Me

It all started a few months ago.

Jen, the daughter, told me that she was taking the test to qualify for the position of US Census worker.

She’s the one that I’m going to blame for this predicament I’m in now because back then, she casually suggested that I might as well take the test along with her. 

It’s supposed to be a part-time work, make your own hours kind of job so that would work for me.  It pays really well too, so that’s going to be a plus. 

She gave me the phone number to call for registration and basically forced me to call.  Yeah, she forced me to call.

I haven’t taken a test in years though, so I was worried.  My math skills were based on how well I could hit the correct keys on the calculator.  My brain hadn’t processed long division in quite some time, so I was a tad bit concerned with rustiness.

“It’ll be fun!” she said.

Ok, so I went and took the test, but Jen lied.  It wasn’t fun.   Especially when one of the test questions required me to multiply 9 x 7 along with a whole lot of other numbers.  All the other numbers didn’t give me a problem, but 9 times 7, at least in my brain, equals 54.

Once I finally figured out that  9 x 7 equals 63,not 54, the rest of the test was clear sailing for me but left me frazzled. 

I ended up getting 3 of the questions wrong.  I think Jen had a perfect score or wait, maybe she missed one, it doesn’t matter because naturally, she gloated because she did better than her mom on the test.

Sure, it was lots of fun taking that test.  Thanks Jen.

The really funny thing about this is that ….


I got the call to become a US Census worker and she didn’t.

Lord help us all if they think that hiring someone that missed 3 on the test is better than hiring someone that missed ONE.

Anyway, yes, I’m now a Census worker.  I was sworn in as a government employee.  Last week, I trained to become a professional fingerprinter. 

Indeed, if anyone needs their fingerprints taken, for any reason, I’m the one to call.  Keep that in mind.

This week, I’m going through the training to be an enumerator.

Yesterday, I had to fingerprint 20 people and let me tell you, I never want to look at anyone’s fingers ever again.

So I’m probably going to be pretty quiet the rest of this week in blogland because the training will be for the rest of the week and then the job will start over the weekend.  There’s not a whole lot of leftover time to work on that Clay Pot Pansy pattern or to get started on the Strawberry candle mat.

I’m finding out that this is not a “part-time, make your own hours” kind of job that they advertise.  They want up to 40 hours a week, working every night and every weekend until the job is done.

Already it’s a lot more than I ever expected.  But the people that I work with are terrific and it doesn’t seem like it will be difficult work  … and now that I know for sure that 9 x 7 =63, the math that might be involved will come easy.

Thank you Jen for forcing me to take that test.  :)

I’m not sure if that was a sarcastic thank you or not.  I’ll let you all know next week.

Happy Birthday Jennifer Michelle. She’s 28 years old today which means that 28 years ago, right now, as I type, I was in pure, painful, agony for hours and hours and hours until those blessed forceps grabbed her head and pulled. 

Let’s all take some time right now to thank the inventor of forceps. :)

Happy Day everyone!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Strawberries Make Good Candle Mats!

I’ve been working on the pattern for the Clay Pot Pansies and hope to have the pattern for it ready to sell by next week.  Keep watch!

In the meantime, I’m thinking Strawberries ….


This is the strawberry pinkeep that I’ve made for several years, selling them successfully on Ebay.  Last year, I decided to use this strawberry arrangement for a large candle mat.

It was pretty spectacular.  ….


I plan to show this one in the making starting next week and then prepare the pattern for purchase.

It’s not difficult to make at all but it does take quite a bit of time to cut and stitch all those leaves, blossoms and strawberries.  Honestly though, it’s well worth the effort.  This candle mat is absolutely guaranteed to have a “wow” reaction from anyone who sees it in your home.

After I finish the Clay Pot Pansies, this Strawberry candle mat will be the next pattern release.  Expect it by mid May, hopefully. 


In other news …

THIS is what ate the pumpkin and squash plants in my garden last year …

Pictures 366

No, it’s not a giant rat.  It’s a groundhog.

Usually, I don’t mind seeing groundhogs on our property.  As long as they stay away from my flowers and vegetable garden, I find them cute to watch. 

I suspected that it was a groundhog that ate my plants last year, just because so much damage was done so quickly.  But I never saw the creature until this morning.  Right there is proof that I’m going to have to fence around my vegetables this year …. or perhaps a certain daughter’s boyfriend will be willing to “take care” of it for me with his shotgun ….

Ok, no.

Although, I would like to trap it and take to to meet one of the other gophers that live further away from our house.

I usually plant tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and pumpkins.  The vermin leave the tomatoes and peppers alone but love those flower blossoms on the squash type plants.  They’ve even chewed on a few pumpkins too.  It’s annoying to spend so much time weeding and feeding those plants to get them growing beautifully only to have them eaten by wild creatures.

I will defeat them this year though … unless they know how to climb fences …..

Happy Day everyone!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Mish Mash Of Amish Flavoring

Our cute Amish roofers had a hat throwing contest from our roof.


I love how the Amish hats looked on our lawn.

Wow, you blog readers were a tough crowd yesterday.

The picture that I posted yesterday of Levi, the Amish roofer was enough to make BOTH my daughters click and write in that comment box.

You might want to read what they both wrote in the previous comments before you go any further with this because it is pretty, pretty funny.

Along with an inside joke, Rachel started it all by writing:

“ You took a picture of an Amish guy. Congratulations on owning his soul.

I'm sure he appreciates it.”

After she posted that comment, Jen called to complain that Rachel beat her to it. 

If I own his soul, then all of you who LOOKED at the picture, own his soul too!

I didn’t want to own his soul, so before I took the picture, I asked them if it was okay to take pictures  :)

The one guy laughed, rolled his eyes and told me it was fine. 

So we’re good.  His soul has stayed intact, undisturbed.

If you notice in the picture, Levi wasn’t looking at the camera, his hat was covering his face. 

As long as they aren’t posing for the pictures and looking directly at the camera, I’m not able to steal his soul.

I took even more pictures yesterday and today.  Since there were more/different guys working, I asked permission again. 

So I was/am really careful about respecting their beliefs.

But, there is more to this story because my daughters don’t EVER let me forget ANYTHING stupid that they catch me doing.

I don’t do stupid things often, really.  I’m nearly perfect you see, so if my girls catch me doing stupid, they grab it, expound on it, exploit it, then rehash it, year after year, at any time a mere mention of the subject might be brought up.

In this case, my stupidness originated  many years ago.

I signed up for a Yahoo email account back then so that I could play the online Yahoo games like Chess and TaiPei.   I had to make up a screenname for the account.  I thought, ok, this is a mish mash of games that I will be playing so I was a mish masher.  Therefore,  I became “aMishMasher”.

As “aMishMasher”, I went for months, happily playing my Taipei game against other online players.  Chess, solitaire, and hangman were some of my favorite pastime games to play too until one day ….

Rachel happened to see my Yahoo account screen name and say, “uhh mom???  Why are you an Amish Masher and what have they ever done to you to make you want to mash them?”

Needless to say, I was horrified.

All that time I was happily playing as “A Mish Masher” only to realize that others were calling me an “Amish Masher”. 

Of course, I immediately deleted that amishmasher account but unfortunately, I couldn’t delete the name from Rachel’s head.  Naturally she had to share the newly discovered “stupid mom deed” with her sister and over the years, despite my sincere affection and respect for the Amish community, my daughters still know me as the “Amish Masher”

So in honor of my daughters, and as I sit here typing, listening to the Amish air compressor running outside in the garage AND the country music blaring from their radio and watching them talk on their cellphone, I will show this picture of our house with  adorable young Amish boys up on our roof.





Eat your heart out Rach.  All these cute boys are at our house and you’re away at school!


Happy Day everyone!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Clay Pot Pansies


I’ve surprised myself with this candle mat. 

100_3734 Had I known that it would’ve turned out to look soooo pretty, I’d have made it sooner. 

It’s not quite done yet … still have to attach the backing to it. I’ll show another picture of it when it’s all finished.

It was actually really easy to make too.  Once I figured out a good leaf arrangement, it went together fast.

I haven’t decided if I will make this into a pattern to sell though.  If enough ladies let me know that they have an interest in this as a pattern, it will help with my decision.

If I did sell the pattern for this I would like to sell it with a wool kit too just so the option for the lovely clay colored pots and the mottled green leaf colored wools would be available to anyone who wished it.

That clay colored pot wool is extra thick and fuzzy coat weight wool.  The extra textured thickness of the wool really makes the pots stand out much nicer than the regular weight wools would.

100_3738 This picture kinda shows the 3 dimensional textures of the whole design. 

I just love pansies .. I think if I make another one, I’ll try it with deep purple pansies.  I love that velvety look of the deep purple. 

I think that I will do some dyeing today!


Soooooo ….

in other news …..

We are getting our roof replaced.  They started on Tuesday with the roof above the garage. 

I was gone the entire day yesterday, so I didn’t have to listen to all the pounding and hammering.

Today however, I can feel a headache coming on because at 7:30 this morning, they started ripping the shingles off the house roof.

The entire house is shaking with the pounding.  And it’s loud.  At times, it feels like the entire house will collapse and it’s scary.

I should just pack up and go somewhere for the day but at this point, stepping out of the house would only get me pummeled with the debris that is falling from the roof.

The good thing about the roofing job is that we found some really super nice Amish guys to do the job. 

100_3728 There’s an Amish community just about an hour north of us and this roofer came highly recommended. 

They’re just so cute with their straw hats and beards, I just want to pinch their cheeks!

No, they didn’t travel down here in their horse and buggy. 

There’s a non-Amish guy that works for them who drives them to the jobs in his own vehicle. 

It sure would be cute though if they pulled up with their horse and buggies. 

Happy Day everyone!

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Design and “EEEEKS! A SNAKE!”

I know you’ll be disappointed but No, the new design is not of a snake.
The snake story will come after I show what I’m currently doing.
So, I dyed some wool right after Christmas that accidently turned out to be identical to the color of clay pots. That’s the exciting thing about dyeing your own wool … the surprises that come from what some might consider a mistake.
Since I had the clay pot colored wool, of course, I had to start thinking of what design I could make with clay pots.
I quickly sketched out what I saw in my head and then continued on to measure it all to turn into a pattern. I set it all aside, deciding to wait until closer to Spring to make it.
The problem for me about setting it aside to work on months later is that I tend to forget where the location of the “set aside” might be.
I remember being aware of that problem when I stored the pattern, thinking that I’ll put it somewhere easy to find so that when I was ready, I could just whip it out and start on the project.
Yes, I lost the pattern.
I spent hours drawing that design up so I certainly wasn’t about to draw it up again only to find the original right in front of my face days later.
So, I got the wools prepared … dyed and dried. And just waited for the pattern to ‘Show Up”
Last week, it “showed up". And yes, it was virtually right smack in front of my face, laying on the little desk in the dining room.
100_3720So here’s what I’ve done so far ….
Naturally, the clay pots have to contain pansies!
The pansy looks oversized right now but it’ll be ok … once it’s stitched on, it shrinks some.
Check out the colors of that clay pot! I wish I had accidently dyed more of that wool .. I also wish I would’ve written down the “recipe” of the dyes that I used to create this color.
Ok … here’s the snake story. It’s a good one.
Imagine, if you will, opening up your car door to see a slithering snake like this one crawling across your car seat ….
What would you do?
Well, in this case, Jen and grandson were leaving to go home, Friday evening. Jen opened her car door and saw this snake making it’s way across the driver’s seat and onto the floor.
Her natural reaction was to give out a blood curdling scream. K, standing beside her, not knowing what she was screaming about, also gave out a blood curdling scream, simply because he felt it was the right thing to do, I guess.
That’s what hubby and I heard from inside the house. By the time we ran out there, the snake had made it way up inside the dashboard of the car and disappeared completely.
At that point, K, turned into his favorite movie character of all time … Indiana Jones. You should know that Indie Jones hates …HATES snakes, but Indie was bound and determined to find that snake because his damsel was in distress.
Indie grabbed a flashlight and went about examining every single inch of the outside of the car, searching for the snake, while his Pappap did what he could to figure out how to get the snake to come out of the dashboard.
Indie was a man obsessed … until it started to rain and his mom made him go inside.
Indie and I made some muffins while Pap and Jen tried to find the snake.
We really didn’t know at the time what kind of snake it was so care had to be taken just in case it was a poisonous one. Usually in this area, there are just harmless black snakes, so we were hoping that’s what it was.
The snake couldn’t be found. Hubby rigged up a light to shine down on the floor, thinking that the heat from the light would make a better, more comfy place for the snake to sleep. Pap drove Indie and his mom home in our car and we let her car sit overnight in our driveway, hoping that in the morning, we’d see a snake curled up on the floor under the hot light.
Hubby started ripping the dashboard apart, early Saturday morning. Out came the glovebox…. He would’ve torn the entire dash off but thought that perhaps he should search the rest of the car just to see if the snake had come out during the night and is in another spot.
Thankfully, Oh gosh, THANKFULLY, he thought to look under the mat in the trunk where the spare tire is …
There it was, sound asleep.
It was a harmless, but loooooong, black rat snake. Very good to have around actually, because they take care of the mice.
Hubby removed the tire and we called Indie and his dad to find out how soon they could drive to our house so that Indie could take care of the snake for us.
Indie’s dad snatched the snake up, and with the assistance of little Indie Jones, they carried the snake out to the woods. The snake is frantically searching for Jen’s car right now, I’m sure.
We still have no idea how that snake could’ve gotten into her car. It was cold that day so her windows and sunroof were tightly closed.
I’m sure she’s going to be anxious for quite some time now, every time she opens her car door.
If Jen sees mice scampering around her ankles now when she’s driving, she going to really wish she had that snake back ….
Oh gosh, Jen, I’m just kidding. Mice won’t be in your car, it’s ok.
Happy Snakeless Day everyone!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Dos and Don’ts of CHOCOLATE

For those of us who love chocolate, this picture has a certain appeal….
It’s high quality chocolate on a stick! This is a “Do”. Do put chocolate on a stick. It can be less messy when eating!
However, this chocolate on a stick quickly becomes a “Don’t”, when it is flipped over ….
Gosh, I hope Rach doesn’t get angry at me for showing her picture to the internet world. ….
Yes, this is how my daughter, Rachel, looks on a chocolate lollipop.
You might think it’s cute, eh? Sure it’s cute … someone really creative thought this idea up.
There’s a big problem with this idea, however.
Let me tell you first though …
Rachel had this chocolate lollipop sitting on her coffee table in her apartment. When hubby and I went down for her program at school, I spotted it. She told me that the student assoc. at school offered this for free.
How nice! Get your picture on some gourmet chocolate for free!
The student assoc. does nice things like this quite often free massages during finals week is another terrific idea
Rachel sat, had her picture taken, and then watched as it was printed onto the lollipop chocolate.
What to do with it now though? How would anyone find eating their face to be appetizing? She couldn’t eat it.
So Rachel kindly thought that giving it to ME would be nice. What mother wouldn’t appreciate a nice picture of their daughter?
It is a nice picture, but I will not eat my daughter’s face. It’s just wrong.
Rachel says “well, what am I supposed to do with it ?”
Enter the grandson!
He had no problem at all with eating Rachel’s face!
He adores her as much as he adores chocolate.
He’s looking for the very best first bite spot …
100_3702 I cringe as I look at this picture …
He finds it quite tasty and I guess as long as I just see the backside of this lollipop, it’s bearable to watch. However …
100_3704 Ok, he just bit into her head.
This is just so wrong and the urge right now to take candy from a baby is very strong …
I’m wondering if this is like a voodoo doll and Rachel, wherever she is at this moment, is experiencing a severe headache.
100_3706 Someday, when he is older, he’s going to read this blog and think
“wow, I can’t believe I ate Rachel’s face and enjoyed it”.
At this point, I turned the camera off. I just couldn’t stand to see my precious Rachel’s face chewed off.
Just a few seconds later, the chocolate fell off the stick and onto the floor, breaking into smaller pieces. My daughter’s mouth was quickly picked up, chewed and swallowed.
So there you have it … Chocolate on a stick can be a really good thing.
But for the sake of your loved ones, DON’T have your face printed on something that should be edible ... because no one will find it to be edible. Except grandsons.
Happy Day everyone and Happy weekend too!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Giveaway Winner!

It’s with great pleasure that I announce the winner of the Pansy Candle mat is

Deb of Crows on the Cupola  !!

Congratulations Deb!

She’s been notified and the candle mat will go out in the mail today.

It’s always soooo much fun to read the giveaway winner reactions when they email me back with their address.

Deb was just a bit excited.  Haha.

To all the rest of you.  Thank you all for the lovely comments.  I’ve had such a great blogging year because of all of you. 

There’ve been some ups and downs along the way and there was a short, brief time that I seriously considered quitting because of a bad apple out there in the internet world.  Because of  all of you and your sincere encouragements and kindness, I stuck through the nastiness and I sooo glad that I did.  

You ladies are the best.  Keep watching … I love doing giveaways so there will be more to come!

Happy Day everyone!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Final Day for the GIVEAWAY!

If you’d like a chance to win this pretty Pansy Candle mat, please scroll down to the previous post and make a comment.

100_3672 Remember too, if you don’t have a blog, you are still able to leave a comment. Don’t be shy … just click on the “anonymous” button and leave a comment. It’s simple and easy!

The drawing will take place tonight at 10pm and the winner will be announced here, in my blog, tomorrow morning.


So this weekend was another busy one.

Saturday morning we woke up to no power. During the night a car crashed into a telephone pole and knocked out the service in our entire area.

No power for us means, no water. We have well water, you see. Well water needs electricity to operate the pump that brings the water into our house. I love having well water but the power outage made me wish I lived in town.

We had things to do on Saturday. Important things. Things that I needed electricity for.

We were leaving early to drive down to Cal Univ of Pa for a special program to honor the Presidential Scholars. Rachel is a Presidential Scholar, with a GPA of 3.97, so of course, we wanted to see her get recognized.

However, the lack of electricity in our house renders me completely helpless … and grumpy.

I didn’t have my morning coffee. I needed a shower. I needed my blow dryer and I needed a hot iron for which to iron my clothes and the dress that Rachel was going to wear…. and did I say I NEEDED MY MORNING COFFEE.

I was a bear. Poor hubby.

Well, it did work out. We purchased our coffee and drove down to Cal. I did my dressing necessities at Rachel’s place and managed to hide my grumpiness.

So the special honors program was held at the college gym, which was right on top of the volleyball court, where Rachel has practically lived, spending hours just about every single college day, right there .

We were packed in the stands like sardines and really uncomfortable, but our seats lined up perfectly with where Rachel was sitting, down on the floor, with the rest of the honorees.

This meant that Rachel was able to look right up at us and make faces at me.

Fortunately and unfortunately, as you’ll see, I had my camera with me.

Here’s Rachel posing for the picture …..


She’s the one in the purple, and she’s being her typical goofy self …

Yes, the picture is really blurry, but it’s ok, I’ll practice a bit with the camera so that when her name is announced and she’s shaking the presidents hand, I’ll get a perfect shot.

Ok, I’ve practiced taking lots of sample shots of the stage and I’m ready for the big moment.

It’s an honor to shake the hand of the president so it’s important that I get this picture so that Rach can show her grandchildren some day…..


Now, tell me. … how could this picture be any worse? I guess if I forgot to take the lens cap off, it’d be worse.

In this blurred mess is Rachel, with a big smile on her face, her arm is outstretched, ready to shake the school President’s hand.

I realized instantly that it wasn’t a good picture, so I tried to get another shot ….


Too late. The moment was over. And this shot is still blurry. All the rest of the people around her are completely clear but Rach is blurry.

And now, as I’m looking closer at this picture ….

100_3692a Those bare legs with flipflops are less blurred than my daughter’s face.

I hope I get my camera issues corrected in time for Rachel’s graduation. Gosh, I think after owning this camera for 5 years, I’m going to have to get out the instruction manual to find out the best setting to use to get clear pictures of moving subjects.

**Please remember: You must comment in the Giveaway post (the one previous to this one) to get an entry for the giveaway.

Happy Day everyone … and next time I post, I’ll be announcing a winner!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Who Wants to Win This Pansy Candle Mat? (Giveaway)




Oh, I’m finally finished with the Pansy Candle Mat.  It’s just glorious!

On Monday night at 10PM, I will draw a lucky winner name and then announce the winner in my blog on Tuesday morning. 

All you have to do to enter is comment in this post. If you have a blog, you must be a “follower” to qualify.  If you’re a regular reader without a blog, just click  the little “anonymous” circle and type your comment .. be sure to give your name!  Everyone is eligible .. even you wonderful international non-USA readers!

Here’s more pictures of the Pansies ….



It measures about 13” across with the center circle measuring 4 1/2” across.  It’s made entirely of 100% wool with the petals all my own hand-dyed and specially dye-dipped.

No, the basket of pansies is not included!  They certainly look pretty with the candle mat though, don’t they?

The winning answer for Wednesday’s trivia question (What’s my most popular pattern to date?) is “Let It Snow” 

It’s by far the most popular with “Scarecrow Jack in the Pumpkin Patch” coming in second place but, like Brenda suggested, I think once late summer hits, the Scarecrow Jack will take the first place spot. 

All of you who guessed correctly will get one extra entry into this drawing.  All those who commented received one extra entry too. 

So again, to be entered in this Pansy Candle Mat drawing, you MUST comment in this post.  I can’t accept emailed entries …. they’re too difficult to keep track of. 

Even if you don’t have a blog, you are still able to comment by clicking the “anonymous” circle in the comment section.

Happy Day everyone!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Are We Sick Of Ham Yet?!

Why is it that I could eat chocolate every single day for the rest of my life and never get sick of it but yet, anything else, like HAM, I can only stand for a few days? Ever think about that?

I love ham, but I am getting tired of eating it. We still have leftovers from Sunday and I really REALLY don’t want Ham again tonight, so the rest of it is getting cut up and frozen. I think I’ll grind some up for ham salad tonight though.

Hmm … wonder if chocolate covered ham might taste good? :)

(Trivia question for the day is below)

Ok, so I’ve made some progress on the giveaway Pansy Candle Mat ….

100_3666 See the little candy dish that I used to trace around to make that inner circle and the stem arches? Jelly beans are in it now! I washed it first, of course, but that shows how we can use ordinary things around the house to help us with our patterns.

I just need to stitch some little buds with stems and attach the backing on this mat to finish …. which I hope to complete by tomorrow.

I should have this ready for a Friday Giveaway announcement!

Congrats to Cara of Cara Quilts for answering the last Trivia question first, and correctly. Yes, it was Blackberries that I made with all the french knot details.

All you lucky ones who’ve won extra entries for answering the trivia questions will get one more chance for an extra entry before I offer up the actual Pansy Candle Mat to give away.

I’ll even include my sister, Casserole Carol, in this one too. She was pretty upset that she was excluded from some of the trivia questions. I thought it was cheating and unfair to all the rest of you for her to answer the trivia question that was about her or the one that she would obviously know. She always cheated at Monopoly when we were little too. Oh wait … that might’ve been me that cheated. ….. hmm …. it’s best that we not go there!

Ok, the trivia question for today isn’t really a trivia question, it’s just a regular guessing kind of question.

Take a look at all of my patterns that I have shown over on the left sidebar.

Which pattern out of all of them has been the most popular seller?

Oh and since I’m the one that makes the rules, I’m going to give out extra entries to everyone that responds today PLUS extra entries to all of those who answer correctly. That means you can possibly win 2 extra entries today.

It’s still spring cleaning around here. I need to get up to my wool room and organize and I need to get up to the big sunporch and clean it out because Rach is going to be bringing her things home from school in a month and the sunporch is where it all gets stored.

But … you’d think that I would start spring cleaning with small things that are right in front of my face everyday, wouldn’t you?

100_3664 My pincushion, that I use everyday, needs some major spring cleaning. Actually, it’s needed cleaning since last fall. … It’s a mess, isn’t it? I have leftover strawberries stuck on there from last spring .. heck there are leftover wool heart pins stuck in there from 2009 Valentines day. Threads and buttons dangle …


This is the backside … Gosh, I never even look at the back of this. Look how many loose threads have collected there!

Ok, I’m going to spring clean my pincushion. Next time you see it, you won’t recognize it!

Car shopping is still going on … it’s just that Jen has now taken over the despised wheeling and dealing part of it for me. Jen loves doing the online dealing with the salesmen and she’s already managed to get a REALLY good price on the Hyundai Sonata for me. She’s working this week to get an even better deal.

I’ve been so limited with my time lately that I just haven’t been around to read any blogs lately. I really enjoy reading all of you and I miss it all a lot. I’m going to try to start back to my reading over the weekend. There’s a Yahoo wool group that I was invited to join but I just haven’t had the time to add even more to my reading list, but I hope to join that group within the next week too.

Sorry about the neglect. I’m trying to organize my time better and I think I’m doing well so far this week.

Happy day everyone! It’s been just GORGEOUS weather here lately … I hope it’s just as beautiful where YOU are!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Trivia Jollies

Haha, you ladies make me laugh with your answers to my trivia questions.  (New Trivia question is below)

So the answer to the last trivia question that asked how my sister, Casserole Carol, got her name can be answered by reading THIS POST.

But briefly, my sister is known for making unusual but really good food.  I had a dream one night that she created a really awful casserole which used recycled curtains as the main ingredient.  There were lots more details in that dream that I didn’t mention in the post but I did send an email that next day to Carol that let her know exactly what she did in my dream.  “Casserole” Carol got her name from the horrible curtain casserole that she served in my dream.

The extra post winners for answering the trivia question correctly is
my Ebay fairy, Mary, of Va and Margaret of The French Bear

“Anonymous” Lisa will also get an extra entry because her answer was about curtains too .. and she lives about 15 min. away from me in Ellwood City.  :) 


Gosh, I haven’t done any stitching for quite a few days now.  Getting the house ready for the Easter bunny, took a lot of time.  I’ll start back to work on the giveaway Pansy Candle Mat tonight and hopefully have some pictures to show of my progress then.

Easter day was just gorgeous and it was well worth all that extra work to have everyone come over for Easter dinner.  Casserole Carol created some special casserole that contained some vegetables and sauce but I forgot to ask her what the heck it was called.  I think she substituted broccoli for recycled curtains. 

Her husband, Mark, didn’t bring his special flask with the mystery beverage in it so he was relatively well behaved …. Well, kinda well behaved.  :)


The newest Create and Decorate Magazine came in the mail and look at those luscious needle punched strawberries!

When I saw those strawberries, I had one of those, “Gosh darn it, why didn’t I think of that?!” feeling and I just wanted to slap myself for not thinking of needlepunching the fruit that I did last year instead of making hundreds and hundreds of french knots.  Needle punch would take a lot less time and look just as nice if not better  … Thanks to the Create and Decorate magazine!

So here’s the next trivia question:   (The first one to answer correctly will win ONE EXTRA ENTRY in the Pansy Candle Mat giveaway that will hopefully be held at the end of this week)

What fruit did I make last year out of wool that I stitched hundreds of french knots to create them?

Oh that question is worded badly….. hmmm …

Last year, I made a fruit with hundreds of French knots.  What kind of fruit was it?

Ok, that might be worded a bit better.


Happy Day everyone!

Friday, April 2, 2010

How To Make an Outside Easter Tree

Don’t have a tree in your front yard to decorate?
Well, here’s a little tip/how-to so that you can create an instant tree in your yard.
Picture 280My husband has been doing this for years. He takes a cut off piece of PVC pipe and pounds it into the ground where he wishes the tree to be. Then he goes to the nearest real tree, cuts off a branch and then places that branch into the pipe. The pipe makes the holder for the branch and it looks like a real tree!
After Easter is over, the branch and pipe come back out.
The grandson hasn’t had a chance to decorate our tree yet, hopefully today, since it’s so beautiful outside. This picture is from last year.
So, I’ve not done anymore stitching on the pansy candle mat. I’ve been so busy with spring cleaning that my entire day and evening last night was spent cleaning and best of all… ironing freshly washed curtains and drapes.
I still have to finish the dining room and the kitchen and then clean the upstairs bathroom today .. then I’ll be done. But I really don’t expect any stitching time until Monday.
So … this gives more time for more trivia questions.
Since I’m doing a giveaway next week for the pansy candle mat that I’m making, every post that I make until that time, I will ask a trivia question that relates to something in my previous blog entries to give the lucky winnner one extra chance/entry into the next giveaway.
Yesterdays trivia winner(s) are “anonymous” Lisa because she answered correctly that Jen is a teacher, but I was looking for the more specific answer that Laura from Appleberrycottage gave, which is an ESL teacher (English as a Second Language)
So they both win one extra entry in the next giveaway which will be the Pansy Candle Mat.
I feel the need to give a boobyprize award to Brenda, over at PumpkinPatchPrimitives too. Because she made me laugh out loud at her random guess of “Belly Dancer”, Brenda will get one extra entry for the giveaway too.
Ok, so here’s the next trivia question. The two people that answer this question the best will get an extra entry for the pansy giveaway.
Casserole Carol and her family will be coming over on Sunday for Easter dinner. She’s bringing food with her to share.
How did Casserole Carol get her nickname and why should I be worried about her bringing food on Sunday?
I doubt that I’ll get a chance to blog until Monday, so you’ll have the entire weekend to figure out the answer!
Happy Easter everyone … weather forecasts are predicting a beautiful day!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ohhh, Those Pansy Petals!


I’ve been doing spring cleaning so I haven’t made much progress on the Pansy Candle mat.100_3658 I do have one pansy stitched on, only 7 more to go..

The actual stitching isn’t really all that difficult … easy actually.

The most time consuming task of the whole thing is creating the individual pansy petals.

100_3661 All of the petals have to be individually cut … and let me just say right here … I stole the pattern for my pansy from a real live pansy, so God gets the design credit for my pansies. I certainly want to give the proper credit to the original pattern designer.

I took a real pansy and pulled the petals apart, laid them out on a piece of paper and then traced around each petal.

Ok, so the time consuming part of all of this is the cutting and hand-dyeing of all those yellow petals. It’s a long, many stepped, process to get the special purple shading on each petal.

That’s why I limit myself to only a certain number of pansies that I make each year. I make them until I get sick of seeing those petals. Once I stop enjoying them, I must stop until the next year.

So, let me remind y’all that I’m making this pansy candle mat to giveaway in honor of my one year blog anniversary.

Every time I post, until the pansy candle mat is finished and ready to offer for the giveaway, I will ask a trivia question which relates to something that I’ve said in my blog over the past year. I will give the winner of each trivia question an extra chance entry for the actual giveaway.

Congratulations to Michelle, of Rocking Chair Stitches, for being the first one to answer the last trivia question correctly. She wins one extra entry for the giveaway which will be offered next week sometime.

The correct answer …. my daughter’s names are Jen and Rachel.

The NEXT trivia question will be much more difficult.

I’ve only mentioned this little bit of info one time (I think) in my blog so it’s unlikely that many people will remember this …

TRIVIA QUESTION: What does my daughter Jen do for a living?

(Casserole Carol, it’s cheating if you answer this and expect to get an extra entry so don’t even think about it)

The first one to answer correctly gets one extra entry into the next giveaway.


I have never ever used Fed Ex for mailing, so when it was necessary to mail a package using a Fed Ex postage paid label, I had to go look on their website to find out where to take it for drop off. Oh good, there’s lots of Self-Service drop off boxes!

Ya know those cute Fed Ex mail boxes you see outside of businesses? Since I’ve never done this before I just assumed that I could affix the mailing label and drop my box into one of those Fed Ex mailboxes. So that’s what I did. Unfortunately, I didn’t do the right thing.

Apparently, those self-service mail boxes are only for Fed Ex Express packages. Since I was mailing a Fed Ex Ground package, the Fed Ex Express mail carrier, was confused. He didn’t know what to do when he saw my GROUND package mixed in with his EXPRESS packages.

I’m not sure what happened to my package after that but I do know that it sat lonesome and unwanted, somewhere, until almost 2 days later, I looked up the tracking number to see if the package was delivered yet.

My horror to discover that the tracking number revealed that it wasn’t picked up yet, resulted in me calling the Fed Ex phone number to find out what the heck had happened.

Eric, the Fed Ex phone answerer, informed me that it’s ok, lots of stupid people drop their ground packages in the express package mailboxes. He’ll put a trace on it and try to find the missing package. and then they’ll send it back to ME so that I can mail it back out the proper way.

Gosh, it’s not like I put a UPS package in there! I don’t know why the Express Package mail carrier couldn’t have given my Ground package to the Ground mail package mail carrier when he got back to his station. Apparently the ground and express carriers don’t mingle? I dunno.

But about 5 hours later, I got the phone call telling me that they did find the package. They graciously offered to mail it out by ground carrier for me instead of sending it back to me!

haha … ok, so lesson learned here.

DO NOT USE THOSE CONVIENENT SELF-SERVICE DROP OFF BOXES FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN EXPRESS PACKAGES because you will kill mail carrier brain cells when they see your ground package.

My brother used to be a Fed Ex mail carrier …. when he comes over on Sunday for Easter dinner, I will be sure to find out how many brain cells he’s lost over the years while working for FeD Ex.

I’m outta here … lots more spring cleaning to do!

Happy Day Everyone!