Thursday, July 31, 2014

Are you ready for some cuteness?

I stumbled across this darling embroidery pattern on Etsy.
Within minutes-it was mine and I couldn't wait to stitch it up!
The first doll I had to do, of course, was the Japanese doll!
I love all things Japanese! (especially my husband!)

This one is called Keiko.

Isn't she the cutest thing you've ever seen?

I embroidered her during one night of tv watching with Isabel.
I plan to finish her as a little stuffed doll for my granddaughter Amy. Isabel is embroidering the Polynesian girl, and I think I will do the Chinese one next!
Amy will soon have an array of dolls from around the world!
I love them, they are so fun!

P.S.~I love having a granddaughter, she is my excuse to make pretty little things!!
I have long been a doll and toy addict!

Do you make things for your children or grandchildren?


Monday, July 28, 2014

Basil Bear

I took some time Sunday morning to make a little bear for my one year old grand daughter, Amy.
He is called Basil Bear.
This is a little pattern that has been on my radar to try out for some time now. It is a free pattern from Nana Company.(I love everything she makes!)
I try very hard not to work on Sundays.
 And really, this was NOT work, it was so much fun to make. I really enjoyed every stitch. It was made slowly with all of the embroidery done by hand. Sundays are good days for "slow work". For me, projects like this are not work at all, but fun and therapeutic!
My hubs and I went to early morning mass, at 7:30AM.
So the rest of the day was just stretched out before me. It is a lovely feeling when you have so much time and no work obligations to gum it up!
I often think about how much God loves us by giving us the commandment to rest and keep holy the Sabbath day. He knows how much we need this time to rejuvenate.
 I know it is really popular these days to work, work, work.
But honestly, I have learned through the years that pushing yourself continuously can be bad for the soul. 
We all need time to rest, be alone with our thoughts, take time to smell the flowers, and refuel.
It is as essential to the human psyche as nutrition is to the human diet.
So whatever it is that you do to slow down and refuel, I hope you will find some time this week to do it. It is a wonderful way to go back to your work week with a fresh approach!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Around the studio...

2 posts in one day, I know!
But I am taking advantage of the fact that Isabel is still pretty out of it today after all of the meds she was given yesterday for the surgery, so she is sleeping a lot.
Meanwhile I just wanted to share some of the things I have been working on.
First of all, I snapped a pic of my plants-they look so cute in the window today.
 I love plants, and I get no end of pleasure from them. I truly enjoy tending them and talking to them as I water,prune and repot them, etc.! LOL! I know, I'm a little crazy, but they are so cheerful and friendly!
I am especially infatuated with my cacti at the moment!
Moving on:
Here is my design board. I have been working on a lot of stitcheries this summer. As I finish each block I like to pin them up to help me keep focused, and frankly, to enjoy looking at them!
The two blocks on the left hand side are from the quilt pattern by Crabapple Hill called "Berry Picking Party". This is a gorgeous quilt, and the blocks actually stitch up pretty fast.
The little angel on the right side is from an original design I am working on for a Christmas pattern release.
And the bottom right is my progress on the free stitch-along from Jenny of Elefantz, The Lord's Prayer.I shared my beginning progress here. I am really enjoying this one.
And last but not least, here is a shot of my work table. You can see the fabrics I will be using for my Christmas stitchery design-it will be a quilted wall hanging.
What are you working on?

Ice on...Ice off

You may remember in the spring of 2013, my youngest daughter Isabel tore her ACL playing basketball during the final game of her 8th grade season. She had surgery to repair it, and it was 6 months of recovery and physical therapy.
In the fall she came back full guns and played a successful soccer season. All seemed well. In the winter she played freshman basketball for her high school, and her entire season was bumpy and full of miner-ACL related injuries. She had some trouble with her right leg being stronger than her left, which resulted in her back going out of alignment. Eventually toward the end of the season all looked well and she was playing almost back to her former level.
Then at the LAST PRACTICE OF THE SEASON she injured the OTHER leg! She did not hear a "pop" this time (yes that is the ACL snapping! ew!) so we hoped beyond hope it was just a bad sprain.
It didn't seem as bad this time.
She was off crutches in 2 weeks.
We did an MRI, and the ACL seemed to be intact. There was no conclusive evidence of a tear-just a very bad bone bruise.
The doctor ordered more PT and we hoped that with strengthening it would be fine.
But, alas,
after 3 months of physical therapy, it was just not right. Lots of pain still and some unstable moments.
She tried to play kickball with her friends one day and her knee completely gave out. 
So the doctor recommended exploratory surgery.
 It was the only way to be able to know conclusively what was really going on in there. He would do a scope, and if there was damage he would fix it.
 Yesterday Isabel had that surgery.
There was absolutely NO ACL! It was gone. I'm not sure how long she has been walking around without an ACL, but I have a hunch it tore completely in June when she played kickball that time.
OOOOO!!! It just makes me cringe.
When I think of all she has done since then-hiking in the mountains in Colorado, bike riding, all that vacation WALKING!
 Oh goodness! 
So here we are again! 6 more months of rehab. This poor kid!
So I am back on nurse duty! Ice off!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Colorado Vacation

Hello All!
 I have actually been back for some time now, but I have been having a really hard time getting back into the swing of things!
But just so you all don't forget me completely
 I decided to share some vacation photos with you.
I know...
Well hopefully not, but bear with me as I try to get back into
"the groove"!!
A hilltop outside of Denver.

These are the beautiful cliff dwellings located at Mesa Verde National Park.
This is a trail in Mesa Verde-one of the coolest hiking trails I have ever been on!
This is a castle rock located in either Colorado or New Mexico (I can't remember which!) in the Four Corners region.
After getting back I have been so tired! We did A LOT of driving this time, stopping in Kansas to visit a college for Isabel on the way back to Chicago. I've been very slow to get back to work, but I did do a little baking!
I made an apple crisp from some fresh organic apples...yum!
What have you been doing with your summer?