Sunday, May 15, 2011

Going Batty!

It has been a busy time.  Our Normandy trip was wonderful - this is the B&B we stay in when we visit.

It is right across from La Fiere Bridge which the US Paratroopers needed to secure, and they did.  Many of our brave men died right here holding this bridge.  

Right across the street is the Iron Mike Memorial.  

If you ever have the chance to visit Normandy, I can highly recommend our B&B  La Fiere.  Have a look.

While dashing in & out of Paris, I managed to visit Des Fils Et Une Aigulle.  What a lovely shop and a great deal to see and buy.  Sadly, she did not have many historical samplers.  Here are  a few shots of her window display.

She had a model of Plum Street Sampler's Paradise Lost done over one... totally drool worthy.  Now that I have seen it, mine MUST be the same.  She also stitched LHN's Hillside Travelers over one... so, so cute.  

We also survived Prom, if just barely.  Here is a group shot of Erika's group - she is in red.

Alex also went to Prom.  Rob and I just thought he looked so handsome, and oohed & aahed over him - much to his dismay.  He is a bit squinty because of the bright, setting sun.  LOL.  But still, getting him to wasn't going to happen.

Erika and her date Vite.

Well, after Erika's group had left for dinner we continued to wait with Alex for his date.  After 30 minutes, we encouraged him to give her a call but he could not get ahold of her.  We waited and waited - and we watched Alex wait... another 30 minutes passed.  We were so upset on the inside and trying not to let Alex see it.  After about one hour of waiting he finally received a text from a friend of his date - she had lost her cell phone, got held up at the hairdressers, and finally made it home to use her mom's phone to text her friend to she could, in turn, text Alex.  She was on her way!  

So, we shooed away by Alex, but waited around to get a glimpse of his date, literally running past us - totally ignoring the perils of high heels and cobblestones.  We did try to take a photo on the sly, and this was the best we could do. 

I am happy to report that a good time was had by all.  Over dinner Rob and I figured out that we still have another 5 years  of Proms ahead of us.  Sigh.

Oh, and here is where these lucky children get to have their Prom - Heidelberg Castle - in the part that still has a roof - not the in the ruins, lol.

I have been keeping busy on the stitching front.  My third ornament from LHN is done - over one. 
I really enjoyed stitching this one.

I also finished BBD - Simple Things.  It has been in my WIP basket too long, and one of my stitching goals this year was to knock out some of these WIPs.  At my rate, I think it will have to be a 10 year stitching plan.

ATS has also seem some action and I am so happy to report that Page 1 is behind me!  I am hoping Page 2 stitches up a bit faster.

Please ignore the upside down Adam & Even needle minder... things you see after you take the photo.  Sigh.

I could not find my travel project when I left for the trip to Paris, so I grabbed another project that I had kitted up and really wanted to stitch.  BBD - Live Each Season.  Since we are doing several trips this summer with visitors, I am hoping it will see some decent needle time and perhaps I can get it finished before Fall.  I am stitching is on the called for R&R fabric which I have had for several years.  I have to say that I am disappointed that most of the coffee dyeing has disappeared.  I have noticed that this has happened with most of my R&R fabric.  As much as I like the effect, I think I am done buying their linen.

As to the title of this post.  Erika and I had a  close encounter with a bat two nights ago.  Around 1 a.m. in the morning Erika runs into our bedroom and tell me that there is a bat in the living room.  Rob, who must have been sleeping even deeper than I was told her not to wake us up because of a bat.  Huh??  Well, I jumped out of bed, and Erika and I "bravely" confronted the bat situation - me, crawling on hands and knees to turn the lights off and Erika on her belly, soldier crawling to open the patio doors, both of us muttering things like " Please don't fly into me."  " Please don't land on me."  " Please don't have rabies."  " Where is dad??" - all the while the bat is wheeling through the living room.  After a bit, the bat kindly obliged and returned to the wild, and I returned to bed to my hero and protector, who had remained blissfully in dreamland throughout the entire episode. 

 Here is hoping that you are having a wonderful weekend.  

Until next time,


Thursday, May 12, 2011

What is going on with Blogger??

This morning I finally got myself motivated to do a post  and when I hit publish I got an error message.  Now usually blogger saves a post  as a draft... not this time.  Aarrgh.

I also noticed that some blogs have been taken over with nonsense posts.  What is up with that?

Anyways, all my blogging get -up & go is now gone.  So I will leave you with some pics of my finished HallowEden, and try and resurrect today's post this weekend.

Don't know why that pink shadow is on there, its not there IRL.  

I hope everyone has had some beautiful Spring weather.  We have had the most amazing Spring here, but now that our wonderful outdoor pool has opened, I am sure it will cool down and rain.  Such is life in Germany.

Until next time,


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Season of Sadness

It has been a difficult time since I last posted.  It began with a very distraught phone call from my younger SIL who had just discovered my FIL lying dead on the floor of his house.  He should have been in assisted living but he just couldn't bear to be parted from his house.  Bob was felled by a massive coronary attack, and we are much relieved to know he did not suffer.

My DH flew home to Iowa two days after the news, and after much thought the kids and I followed to be there for the funeral.  Our main reason for doing this was that my MIL is still alive and this would probably be the last time she got to see the kids.  It was a mad dash - we flew over on a Thursday, and departed again Sunday morning.  The funeral was very touching and my FIL who served his country well during his 20 year military career that included three tours in Vietnam, was buried with full military honors.

DH is the executor of his father's estate, and anyone who has done this can attest to the incredible amount of work involved.  As my DH is working through all the paperwork, it has come to light that the older SIL has been siphoning off my MIL's money over the last year and a half.  At the time of my FIL's death my MIL's account had been drained down to $3.00 in savings and the checking account was completely empty.  Four days after my FIL passed she withdrew thousands out of my FIL's account.  My husband got his mother to revoke her power of attorney, and put a new one in place so he could take over the finances.  It would have been great if it had ended there, but the older SIL has gotten my MIL to reinstate her as a user of the bank accounts and the money drain continues at an unprecedented rate.  We have spoken to the bank, we have called an attorney, we have transferred money out of the account to a non-local bank, but since there is a cap on how much we can transfer a good portion of the money remains accessible.   It has been so stressful, and has given us no time to grieve the passing of Rob's dad.

On a happier note, on our return flight, we had a 3 hour layover in Dallas, and the kids and I each got to see our dear friends for a quick lunch.  I was so happy to see my stitching buddies.  Thank you Michelle,  for finding a nearby restaurant with great BBQ to satisfy my craving.   I was a bit of a nervous wreck, since we all scattered in different directions.  The kids proved themselves trustworthy and everyone made it back for our international flight on time.  It was a bit crazy though.    

Not much has happened on the stitching front, currently I tend to sit and stare at my stitching more than actually doing  it.

I did finish a little something for my younger SIL who loves snowmen and I thought this would be the perfect gift for her.
Shepherd's Bush - Warm Hearts

HallowEden is making very slow progress, but if a timelapse camera was used daily progress would be evident.

ATS saw some action this weekend as well.  I have reached the bottom of page 1 on the right side.  I'll be working my way across the page to the left.

I also was a very lucky recipient of one of Merumo's needlebooks - how pretty is that?  Thank you Merumo, I will put it to good use.

Tomorrow, my DH and I leave for Normandy for a quick 3 day business trip.  We will get to spend a long afternoon in Paris ( we take the train from here to Paris, take a rental car out to Normandy, and then take the train from Paris back home).  I am planning to take in an exhibit about the Romanov family and their art, and stop by Des fils et une Aiguille.   Then again I might chuck that plan and hit the flea market!  I will probably be looking more than shopping, since the Dollar has totally tanked.  But it will be fun anyways.

Until next time, hopefully on a happier note.


Friday, March 25, 2011

A Great Cause

Merumo is hosting a wonderful giveaway to help her people in Japan.  She is giving away amazing miniature quilts that she and others have made.  Please take some time to head over to her blog today or tomorrow ( giveaway ends tomorrow) and see if you are able to lend a helping hand.  Just click on her name and it will take you over to her blog.  Merumo is an amazing stitcher and quilter, I think you will enjoy looking at all the wonderful things she has worked on.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

You're in the Air Force Now

Our daughter Erika is getting ready to graduate this Summer, and she has finally decided that she will join the Air Force.  We are so happy for her and hope that it will provide her with some great opportunities.

Here are a few pictures from her swearing in which my husband was able to do.

Friends and Family are gathered

" Alright Dad, you are embarrassing me!!"

"... and I will defend my country...."

Hope she is always this happy serving our country.
And its official
We are proud of her.  We have not gotten a departure date yet, but should hear soon as to when she will wing her way back to the US and start basic training.

 After I got the news that Lisa Roswell passed away, I had to put my stitching down and pull out one of her fabulous designs.  I choose Crescent Angel and stitched it over one on 35ct R&R linen - don't know exactly what color.  I wanted to finish it as a hornbook.    So here it is, in honor of Lisa.

I also started on Plum Street's HallowEden.  I chose my own colors from my Hand Dyed Fibers stash.    The 36ct fabric is also from R&R and is a nice vintage blue.  Now the only issue I ran into was that the coverage of the dark thread was a bit skimpy.  Smart little me knew exactly how to solve that problem... I would just stitch the dark parts over one... such a great idea!!!  Ok, you guys can stop laughing now!!

Uh uh, each over two stitch is stitched four times over one....brilliant!!  I think its called, how to make a fairly quick stitch into a really long & a bit excruciating one.  On the other hand, I really love the look of it though.  My sweet little A&E seem to be ready to join a Dia de los Muertos parade.

The over one ornie stitching has also continued.  Here is He's a Flake by LHN.

I used French and Colonial knots instead of beads and like how it looks.  Now, I did have a heck of a time getting the stitches of the white floss to look decent - I frogged and re-stitched so many times... why is that??  Its just the white floss that consistently was a problem.  Anyone have any insights?

 Last but not least, progress was made on ATS - I finally got through the tree and have started with Adam & Eve.  I am working on this piece today and hope to have them both completed.

    Spring has arrived here - thank goodness - I have had it with winter.  I have been trying to diligently spend time in the garden.  This poor garden needs some TLC so badly after almost a decade of neglect.  Its a massive job, but I am trying to make some headway, and hopefully the fruits of my labor will pay off this summer when the flowers will bloom, the vegetables are thriving and the weeds are under control... hey a girl can dream!!
    Until next time,

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    The Pitfalls of Translation


    I also listed some stash for sale - the link is on the upper left margin.  

    Bye for now,


    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    More Paris

    For everyone who has patiently waited for my stash pictures - here they are.  I was fairly conservative, BUT next year I will have a plan, and damage will be done.

    Reflets de Soi - Ann Mitchell & Heloise Cornu each flanking Muriel Brunet  MB 1841

    Heloise Cornu - I know its bright!  It was done on 32ct Silk Gauze with AVAS Soie Surfine - a total dream!!

    I love the Eiffel Tower pattern by Jardin Prive , the ohter owe is by Natalie Jo from Atelier Perdu

    AVAS for Jane Atkinson - No its not cheaper to buy it in Paris....chaching!

    A bit of trim.....

    This one was so feminine - I could not resist.
    Now for the two Reflets de Soie samplers, thread packs are available, so I think that is the route I will take - its much cheaper than buying each the colors seperately.  I am planning to do Heloise Cornu on silk gauze - she looks wonderful that way.

    Now for some more Paris pictures, just to put you guys into sensory overload...

    Yes, they are real.... and expensive!!
    One of the fun things in France is the food....

    Yummy, yummy food

    Oh la la - le Fromage....

    The produce...

    Such large & beautiful strawberries...
    I wanted to buy a little of everything

    And pasteries....

    And chocolate....EVERYWHERE

    More hip-exploding pasteries....

    Beautiful flowers

    Ginormeous crepes

    Hope I did not blow anyone's diet!

    Here is a lovely statue of Jaon of Ark

    Champs Elysee at night towards the L'Arc de Triomphe

    Champs Elysee towards the Place de la Concorde & some French hair...

    I leave you with some images of the Catacombs, the underground querry beneath Paris where eventually 6 million Parisens found their final resting place.  At first, the bones were thrown in, later they were organized in the stacks you will see in the photos.  These were taken without flash, as it was forbidden to use it down there.  The black line you see on the ceiling still remains from when people walked through the catacombs by candlelight only, and this was their guide through the catacombs.  Let me tell you, it was difficult enough with electric light, but going through there by the light of the candle, which you carried.... NO THANK YOU!!

    See the ground water way down there - quarry workers used to cool their feet in this...

    Stop:  Here is the Empire of Death - a slightly distrubing entrance to the Ossuary

    Uuhh, creepy

    Skulls and femuers were used to build a wall - the rest of the bones were thrown behind this wall.

    There were A LOT of bones - and we only got to see a fraction of them.

      To climb back out you have to climb up a very tight spiral staircase with higher than usual treads.... there are 82 of them.  I was behind a group in which an elderly lady was struggeling to get up these stairs, and although I could not see her, I could hear her moans, and groans.  For some reason it filled me with anxiety, and much to my shame, I just wanted to climb over that group, shove her out of the way and escape to the fresh air.  I did manage to keep my flight impulses in check and I don't have to mention how glad I was to get back up the to the surface!  

    I leave you with my first onrie of the year - LHN Fa-La- La - over one.

    I stitched this over one, because over two was just getting too big, plus my stitches looked like a kindergartner was having a good time - don't know what was up with that.  Its very petite, and I love it that way.

    Until next time,