Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's a Bird Thing

Well, I have been busy over here - the weather has turned very Fall-like, with overcast skies and rain, rain, rain.  The dogs and I are back to walking in the woods now that the ticks have abated.  We have a real tick problem here and Lyme Disease is an issue.  After coming home twice with the dogs covered in ticks ( I do mean covered - it was GROSS), and me getting bit by ticks as well (GROSS, GROSS!!), I gave up walking in the woods for the summer.

Other than that, I have staid busy here at home.  My dad and stepmom ( who live in Germany) were here for a few day, and it was fun having them.

It was Erika's 18th birthday on Tuesday - I cannot believe my firstborn has hit that mile marker already.  One of our neighbors in Texas ( who's baby girl is now 1 1/2 years old)  reaction of  " Oh, crap" to the news that  Erika was turning 18 sums up my feeling on the matter very succinctly.

I made her some fingerless owl mitts ( she is big into owls) from a pattern from Ravelry.  It's my first attempt at mitts, and things turned out well - although on the first one I knitted the pattern backwards, and had to start over again... sheesh

These were knitt with some Wollmeise yarn from my incredible stash haul when we were down in Bavaria.

I also pulled out ATS on Sunday again - after the cloud I needed a break.  But I enjoyed the stitching I did on it this weekend- although the bluebird gave me fits, but then I realized that the ray of sun that I was using as a reference point was one stitch too short.

So, I am supposed to be stitching on all Christmas all the time right now, but have rebelled and started a new project that I am just loving.  Miss Ann Pennsylvania Peacock by Little by Little.  I just picked my own threads from my vast HDF stash, selected some PTP 40 ct fabric ( don't ask me what it is - label fell off)  and started stitching.  Did I already say that I love her?

These pictures do reveal my technique of stitching one strand of color and going on to another strand of color.  Since I have no self discipline, I  tend to switch color with every strand rather than finishing a motif.  I am thinking she will be less scattered looking on my next update.  

Now I do have a little beef with her - on that vine border, just to drive me insane, one of  the straight parts has 13 stitches in it, whereas all the other straight parts have 15.... of course, I did not discover this until I went back and started putting in the pretty, pretty flowers.   Well, by that time, all that you see on the bottom had already been stitched.  Uhhh, its not being frogged, that is for sure!!  Now, why can't designers point that out in their instructions?  Just a little FYI - it would be so helpful.

Alright, off to do my housework at lightening speed, so I can sit down and stitch some!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Finishes & Stash

So, I got to do some retail therapy while in France.  Here is what I managed to come home with.

The upper left is a book of alphabets but in cartouche style, then the latest issue of Mains & Merveilles with a couple Renato Parolin chart and a cute sampler in it, the newest book from Isa Vautier, a Marquoir book that is very out of print' the latest issue of Broderie, and the new book from Refletes de Soie with 5 reproduced English samplers.

This is the project that I liked in the Isa Vautier book - among some others.

I also finished some ornaments

Now the upper left  ornie, which was designed by Milady's Needle, I mostly finished last year for Adam. I pulled it out to put the last few stitches in and what do I notice...

The brown deer have some haloing going on around them - you can see it more towards the antlers.  This was stitched with the recommended Belle Soie.  I really have to say I am so disappointed with this silk.  For this kind of money ($7.50 per skien), I expect to receive a top notch product, not something where the dye rubs off or starts spreading onto the fabric.    When I say rubs off,  the Peacock Pinkeep by Blackbird Design used Belle Soie, and when I received my package, the red Belle Soie had left pinkish streaks across my fabric, from the friction between the two during shipping.  So, I have to honestly say I am not a fan of Belle Soie.  Love some of the colors, but there are some serious quality issues going on. Ok, enough of that.

The next item I finished was this 2002 Prairie Schooler Santa for Alex

Up next another BoaF angel for Erika.

Finally - not an ornie but one of the scissor companions from Ewe & Eye 

Wishing everyone a very stitchy weekend.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We have a Winner

So, in accordance to the blog giveaway rules I  wrote down everyone's name, cut them up folded them twice and put them into the lucky, red, sure- to- produce-a-winner bowl.

My lovely assistant, the soon- to -be-18 Erika did the honors, even though she had to take a break from talking on Facebook and watching Grey's Anatomy simultaneously...

And the winner is....

Laurie in Iowa!!  

Congrats, off to e-mail you now.

Since chocolate seemed to be the hot item, I will do another giveaway soon, just with chocolat.

Le Jardin

The gardens at Versailles are amazing.  The property is so huge that it takes over one hour of vigorous walking to go from one end to the other in a straight line.  Here are a few pics to you can get the idea.

Does this tree make me look fat???

Now, this looks familiar - See our visit to Bavaria

Check out how big this place is

Hey Mom, remember him - take a picture!

Remember her?

I leave you with a beautiful bust of Marie Antoinette

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vivre La France!!

I know that sentiment is not the most popular over in the States, but I must say that we had an amazing time in France.  The people were very friendly and helpful, the scenery beautiful and the history amazing.

We left home very early in the morning and zipped on through to Paris (which is a massively big city).  About 10 km outside of Paris is Versailles.  Now, remember that we just saw an incomplete copy of Versailles a couple of weeks ago down in Bavaria, but I was totally blown away with  my first sight of the palace.

It's huge!  It has got lots and lots of guilding.  Its gorgeous!!

How many movies have I watched where the Musketeers or the peasants were at these gates...

Check out the fabulous top - the thing below the crown looks like a sun  -  for the Sun King and it has got Fleurs de Lis  on it , topped by that very nice crown...all in sparkley gold!

Way in the front we are greeted by a massive statue of the Sun King  Louis XIV himself.  Liv is in the pic to provide some perspective.  There are ankl -spraining cobblestones that lead up to the main gate.  Behind the gate, the cobblestones become very sooth and even - it would not do for the royals to twist their ankle.

No comment on this one...

The inner courtyard - actually only half of it.  See all the gold on the buildings.  It actually stops right outside the of this photo, as they are redoing it, I am sure by next year the whole thing will be beautiful and golden again.

There is one of these on each side of the palace - they both say the same thing - "All for the Glories of France"

A peek inside Louis' chapel - I think the furniture is gone courtesy of La Revolution... Louis (14) really found religion late in life and this chapel was an add-on to the palace.  

Here is a shot of the ceiling.  The chapel had two floors to it, and the seating/standing order was in accordance to the strict hierarchy of the French court.  


This hallway is filled with statues of all the Who is Who at the time in France.  I hope you can see how long this hallway was, and there were two of these hallways filled with, sometimes very handsome, men.

Here is the king's bed - his first audiences of the day were done in the bedroom. 


No mix and matching here.  The fabric was stunning.

But who cares about the king - what about the queen - Marie Antoinette?  This, unfortunately, is the only picture I was able to find of her, there were supposed to be others, but they must have been off to restoration.  

Her bedroom rocks.

This bedroom is actually a recreation, since the good citizens of France destroyed her bedroom.  The fabric had to be rewoven from pictures.  Its a perfect princess room, really girlie.  The door that you see open was the door she escaped through when the revolutionaries entered the palace.  

Here is a close-up of the curtain - its protect with plexiglass from the likes of me, who would have to reach out and touch it - the curtain has roses, lilacs, pansies, carnations, and many other flowers I could not identify, on it.  

This is the bedroom she has prior to Louis XVI ascending to the throne - not bad if you ask me.

Last but not least, here are two shots of the famous Hall of Mirrors - can't you just imagine it full of French royalty dressed to the hilt, all bathed in candle light?

I will post some pics of the amazing gardens tomorrow and then on to our visit to Normandy - what a visit it was.

Don't forget to sign up for the giveaway on the post below, I will draw a name late tomorrow, which will be mid morning US time. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Anniversaries & A Giveaway!

First, I would like to publicly remember all the innocent victims of 9/11 and those who died in these last nine years following these attacks.  I remember so clearly getting a phone call from my husband, who was at the airport waiting to catch a flight, telling me to turn on the TV - I did, just in time to see plane number 2 hit the second tower.  The newscasters were not aware that that had happened and just kept speculating about the first plane, which led me to believe that it was some strange computer generated reenactment, although now both towers were burning.  I guess it was just beyond  my mind to comprehend what was happening... I am still greatly saddened by this senseless attack, and I always want to remember.....

On a happier note, my one year blogaversary slipped by, and I want to thank all you who pop in and read my blog.  Thank you especially to you who leave comments, they always make my day!  So, to celebrate, I am having a little giveaway.

I am including 4 pieces of the almost 40ct French Gander linen - 2 in neutral colors and one in Christmas  Tree green  and one in a darker red.  The patterns inlcuded are  Prairie Schooler Garden Alphabet, The Drawn Thread A House in the Country, & Sheepish Designs Wabbit's Garden.  Of course, a giveaway from Germany would not be complete without some chocolate.  I am just hoping things have cooled down enough to send them without a meltdown.  To enter, please leave a comment.  You do not have to be a follower, I just need your e-mail to get ahold of you.  I will draw a name on Sept. 15.  Thanks again for a lovely first year of blogging.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Le Chat

We had an amazing time in France - so amazing that the whole family is in agreement - we all want to live there.  I will work on putting a post together about our trip - we visited so many places, and I took so many photos, I will have to do some hard editing.

In the mean time, here is what I stitched for my   PIC for her birthday.

Its a design by Marie -Therese Saint-Aubin.  I enjoyed stitching it, and making the little pillow.  Now its is back to ornament stitching for the children.