May 23, 2022

Newest Commission...


I received a special commission yesterday for a new Strawberry Sachet. This is the color palette I'll be working with to create the piece. I'm going to be stitching on white linen as I create a small garden for my client.

I'll begin work on this tomorrow, as I have a doctor's appointment today, followed by another class taught by Clara Warschauer (@clarastitching) this evening. It's going to be a busy day, so even though I'm itching to begin work on this new strawberry, it will have to wait.

Thankfully, Handsome is driving us to Milwaukee today. I'm never very comfortable driving there myself...especially when we have to go further south and west of the city. Traffic! ugh Hoping to learn some solutions from the doctor today, so wish me luck!

Tag will be back tomorrow. so I guess I'll have to run now. See you again on Wednesday. Toodles...

May 22, 2022

Sunday Scripture...

Romans 15:13 via quotesgram.com
 

May 21, 2022

Getting Back To It...

 

I'm finally back to working on my Everlasting quilt top. I'm working on corner three now, and after the corners are finished, I'll add a few random bees to the borders.

I've got my reunion meeting this morning, so I'll get back to it this afternoon. It should be a great day for it, as the weather is supposed to be on the cool side again. I mean, really? It's almost JUNE! Oh, well. I guess I'll just don a sweater and stitch. 

May 20, 2022

It Was A Busy Indoor Day...


It's not like I didn't get outside. I spent my "breaks" with Claudette and Crystal, as well as showering the pups with lots of attention. Tag was sleeping on his bed in my studio while I worked up here. And, I wasn't just sitting around all day either.

I was in the fabric studio, and have a few more items listed. These three assortments are now listed in my Etsy shop. (You can visit through the Etsy link in my sidebar.)

I'll be doing more of the same today. Breaking up with my fabrics is a hard thing to do, but I'm focused and determined. We'll get there. Slow and Steady wins the race.

May 19, 2022

Desserts By Handsome...

Handsome surprised me by making dinner and dessert last night. We had a lovely meal of roast beef with carrots, mushrooms and onions in gravy, mashed potatoes, and spring peas. It was delicious. 

He also made a dessert of brownies, deciding they would be better with frosting. Man, was he right! He topped these brownies with a fabulous Caramel Frosting!!! It was soooo perfect and tasty that I figured you might like the recipe. So here you go. (I'll also link this in my Recipes page so you can find it again later if you need to.)

CARAMEL FROSTING   

                                • 1/2 c. (1 stick) of butter, room temperature

                                • 1 c. packed brown sugar

                                • 1/3 c. milk

                                • 3 c. confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)

                                • 1/2 t. vanilla extract

In saucepan, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring to boil over medium heat, and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat with mixer. If frosting is too thick, add a little milk to desired consistency.

It couldn't be easier, and it's well worth trying. Now to keep my nose out of the brownie pan!

See you tomorrow!

May 18, 2022

Take It Easy...

Monday was a very productive day. I began mixing up bread dough for the week. As the bread went through it's rise, I mixed and baked a batch a four-dozen chocolate chip cookies for our grandson (and his folks). The last thing I made was a homemade rhubarb custard pie (homemade crust, of course). 

Grandpa Handsome made plans to take in a baseball game in Milwaukee with our grandson, so Grandma got busy early so he could hand deliver the pie, cookies, and a few preserved favorites. Once I finished everything (in good time for Grandpa to leave), I sat down with a cup of tea to rest a bit.

Handsome had planned to mow the lawn, too, but didn't get it done before he had to leave. I decided to surprise him and do the mowing while he was at the game. That was my last task for Monday. I made a light dinner and settled into a comfy chair. 

Tuesday was sunny but cooler, so I worked on a few things in the studio. Handsome ran to a doctor's appointment and had a few other errands, so the pups stayed with me. I figured they would just hang out until he got back home.

Tag loves to spend his days in the back entry. The storm door has a full-length window, so he can catch a few rays, snooze, and watch the road for interlopers. Likewise Bella will settle in on a comfy rug or on the sofa in the living room.

This face, however, is like a naughty kid. I should have known to keep her with me, or kennel her up. The little, sweet-faced witch chewed up my favorite sandals. Grrrrr! I take part of the blame for leaving them next to the bed in our bedroom, rather than put them in our closet. However, that didn't mitigate my ire when I found them.

When Handsome got home, my sandals were waiting for him. He brought them upstairs to my studio, never noticing that they'd been destroyed. He was shocked when I pointed out their condition, followed by "You owe me a new pair of sandals". He was horrified, and offered to take me out immediately to buy a new pair, but I told him it wasn't necessary. By the end of the day, I'd ordered a pair exactly like them from Zappos, and they'll be here by Friday. 

I'm going to be fanatic about putting all my shoes away from now on. If they're out of sight, well, you know the rest. Otherwise, the rest of my day was uneventful. 

I've been designated in charge of the committee to plan our 50th high school reunion for next summer/fall. (I'm not even sure how that happened.) Anyway, it means I'm putting a little time into venue, dates, etc., along with another classmate. I've called a first meeting for Saturday morning, hoping classmates interested in working on the committee with us will show up. Planning for that is occupying a bit of my time at the moment, but I also want to get back to finishing the embroidery on my Everlasting quilt top. It's next on my list. Time to get it done.

May 17, 2022

Tuesdays With Tag - I'm Okay...

 
Hi, Everybody!
Hope you're feelin' good today. I sure am.

Mom told me that she spilled the beans about my little escapade last week. I'm not gonna say too much about it, except I had fun rollin' in somethin' nasty, and Mom came with Mr. Andy's four-wheeler. It was nice not to have to walk all the way home.

I mean...I picked a nice day for a romp, and there are so many good smells in the spring and fall. My nose took me to lots of interestin' spots in the woods. Before I knew it, I was completely turned around. I didn't know how to find my way home. Lucky for me Mom never gives up on me.

I didn't even get hollered at. I really appreciated her talkin' to me all sweet and low. It made me feel good, and I wasn't so worried anymore. I don't even know quite how I got way out there. I'm just glad to be back home.

I'm writin' about it again, just to let you know you don't have to worry about me. Mom and Dad are mostly takin' me out on a leash these days so I don't bolt again. I'm not exactly a spring chicken anymore, but I can sure run circles around them! 

I managed to get out again when Dad wasn't payin' attention, but I didn't run off. I did run around with Carly, and I've now got a sore leg and limp to show for it. As much as I hate to think about it, I guess I'm gonna have to learn to slow down a little. I'll start tomorrow...or never. I haven't decided yet.

I'll see you again in seven. 'til then... 

"Been There, Chewed That!"

May 16, 2022

A Perfectly Wonderful, Beautiful Weekend...

Sorry for the lateness of my post today. We had such a great weekend, that posting actually completely slipped my mind. Can you even believe it?

Handsome and I spent most of the weekend outdoors. I planted herbs and flowers, and Handsome worked to get a fallen tree out of the field, just in time for our farmer friend to start his work for this season's crop.

We ended the weekend with a Sunday evening of music. We watched our son perform on drums with their band, Sainted Patrons. (l-r: Al Luening, Wade Liljegren, Jim Dier) We got to visit with both of our guys and their families, too. It was perfect.

Handsome especially enjoys watching his son performing the instrument(s) that he's loved all his life, and he's darn good at it, too! (We're not biased or anything.)

I'm spending today in the kitchen. Chocolate chip cookies, rhubarb custard pie and fresh bread are on the agenda. Handsome is going to a ball game with Grandson tonight, so I'll be sending goodies along with him to leave at their house.

The sun is shining, the temperature is perfect to be able to turn on the oven in our kitchen, and life is good. Have a great day today. Tag will be here tomorrow to chat with you!

May 15, 2022

May 14, 2022

A Day At The Nursery...

Thanks to a generous gift certificate from Shelly and Andy, I got to take a fun trip to a local nursery. I went to Honeymoon Acres in Kiel with purchasing more herbs in mind. I did buy more lavender, bee balm, cilantro, and rosemary, but I also chose a new Shasta daisy, and even a couple of catnip plants for the Barn Girls.

I needed more potting soil, and then I chose this beautiful, pre-planted pot to put into my antique wash tubs. Handsome thinks we need a second one for the other tub. I'm all for it! We'll go back together soon, just so he can see how vast the nursery is. 

I get to play in the dirt today, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm planning new jellies and jams for the pantry over the summer. The rhubarb is already up, so I think there's a rhubarb custard pie in our future.

Have a great weekend. We've got lots planned, but will mostly hang close to home, so we can spend time with the pups. I do want to continue to keep an eye on Tag.

Thanks to all for your concern for my boy. We're both using leashes when we take him outside, and he seems to be better today. We just don't want to put him in a position to bolt again. You know we'll do our best for him. Thanks again.

May 13, 2022

He May Just Be The Death Of Me...

Our whole front yard is peppered with wild violets. They're beautiful! They're up in Andy and Shelly's woods, too - with some on our portion of the front, too. How do I know they're up in the woods?

This guy. That's how I know. Tag has been exhibiting a little doggie dementia over the past few months. Sometimes, he'll roam around the yard like he's confused. He has some odd behaviors in the house, too. The past few days, he just sits at my feet. No matter where I am. Occasionally, he chooses the most awkward moments to move in under my legs while I'm seated. He doesn't want to move either.

Such was not the case yesterday. I was getting ready to go out and feed the Barn Girls, but got sidetracked when Tag pushed the door. Once he was out he headed straight up the hill for the wood lot. Nothing I could do would turn him. He stopped once to look at me, and then ran uphill like he had an important appointment.

With my rotten knee, I couldn't move very fast, so by the time I got to the woods, he was nowhere to be seen. I limped back down the hill and told Handsome that Tag had run off on me and I'd be in my car looking for him. 

About twenty minutes later, I drove up to Andy and Shelly's to see if he'd shown up in their yard. (He hadn't.) Andy offered their four-wheeler to me so I could look for him. I accepted. I drove through the woods, and Andy hopped on his atv and went around the back of the woods. 

We met around the back side of the lot, so I turned around to try another field. I happened to look to my side, and there, in the brush was my boy. He stood looking at me like he was confused. I called him and he ambled to me. Then, I put his slip lead on, picked him up, and put him in the back of the four-wheeler.

Of course, he'd managed to roll in something nasty, so he got a bath once we were back at the farmhouse. I thanked Andy for the use of his machine, as well as his helping look. I transferred Tag to my Explorer and we headed down the hill.

Handsome helped me bathe the boy, and then I tied him out in the shade to dry off. He was perfectly content to roll around in the plush grass, and he spent an hour there getting dry. Of course, I kept the lead on him when I brought him back into the house.

Cookies were made (with some delivered up the hill), and then I sat down for a bit. Honestly, I was pooped. We did go to the estate sale (I'll share our purchases tomorrow), so my day started earlier than usual. Add the little adventure, and my concern for Tag, and I was thoroughly ready for bed at the end of the day.

We'll be keeping Tag on a lead when we take him out until I can plan a small yard to turn him into where he can't get away from us. He doesn't seem to be in any distress, but he sure is acting like the little old man he is. I'll be keeping a much closer watch over him.

May 12, 2022

The Huntress...

For the past few years, Andy and Shelly have been trying to get rid of gophers in their yard. They said they're mainly concerned that one of our dogs will chase over onto the yard and catch a foot in one of the many holes. We actually know of a dog who lost a leg that way!

They've tried everything, to no avail. They were getting ready with their next course of action, when we told them that Claudette and Crystal are working on the problem. Every day now, after I feed the girls, Claudette strolls across the field between the farmhouse and Andy and Shelly's yard. She's on the prowl.


She checks all the holes, and then settles down to wait. I haven't seen her score yet, but I'm confident she'll accomplish her goal. I'm also confident she'll bring it back to our porch to brag. yippee

I wasn't in the studio yesterday at all. It was a gorgeous day, so after haircuts and grocery shopping, I spent more time outdoors. (That's how you got yet another cat story, you know. wink

Handsome and I are heading to an estate sale in the morning. We got a message from the friend (she and her husband actually bought our first farmhouse), and she runs family estate sales now. She has a piece of farm equipment that she thought we might like to have as a yard ornament. We're going to see it and decide.

Then, when we get home again, I will be making cookies! Heck. It's supposed to be 88º. Why wouldn't I light up a 375º oven? lol After that, I'll definitely get back to the studio. More on that tomorrow...

May 11, 2022

Our First Hummingbird In 2022...

Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird - Image Courtesy of Birds and Blooms Magazine

We spent most of the day outdoors on Tuesday. It's been a crazy spring, and yesterday was no exception. The blustery wind was replaced with a gentle breeze, so Handsome and I tackled outdoor tasks.

Handsome started on one of the downed trees that rests on the land we currently rent out to our neighbor. He farms it every year, and that tree needs to go before it's time for him to plow the land.

I wanted to put our outside furniture on the porch, but had to clean all of it first. Little kitty footprints, and more of Leo's winter pastime. Ugh. Glad it wasn't too bad, but now everything is disinfected, scrubbed, dry and on the porch. In fact, at bedtime, Claudette and Crystal were comfortably situated on the cushioned chairs for a sleepover.

When we took our afternoon break, we were surprised to hear a saw running. Handsome went outside to find Andy cutting those big willow branches off the main tree to make the rest of the task easier for us. Now all my husband has to do is cut up all the branches and we'll load them up for the burn pile behind Andy and Shelly's.

Speaking of which...our dear neighbor, Shelly is finally back home. She went to the hospital on March 3rd, and has been either in the hospital or the rehabilitation facility adjacent to the hospital since. She's made enough progress that she could now come home to continue her recuperation. We got to see her yesterday, and I almost wanted to jump into their vehicle when they pulled in to say "hi".

Needless to say, all that work and excitement wore us two seniors out. We ate dinner, took Tylenol and tucked in happy with our efforts.

If we hadn't been outside, we would have missed our first hummingbird visiting the feeders I put out three days ago. He'll spread the word, and soon we'll have a little flock visiting every day. Winter is finally, blissfully gone.

We'll take it a little easier today. We have haircuts and a little grocery shopping to do, and then we'll be back at the farmhouse for the rest of the day. I think I'll bake cookies when we get home and take a fair amount up the hill to celebrate Shelly's return. We think it's a quiet, appropriate way to welcome her back.



May 10, 2022

Tuesdays With Tag - A Mighty Wind...


Hi, Everybody!

I'm sharin' this picture today because it's me, to a T!

It's been one of those weeks. Mom's been stitchin' her brains out, and the weather's been really crummy. Mom finished her current project, so she took me outside so I could have a little romp, and I darn near blew away. You wouldn't think that could happen with my low center of gravity, but it was bad. 

We couldn't find a place to get outta the wind! Claudette and Crystal never even left the barn, and Bella and The Kid only went outside to do their business. They don't like it either. Mom and Dad went outside a couple of times, and both of 'em came back in the house, growlfin' that they almost couldn't open the door...and it blew like that all day.

It's supposed to be lots warmer today, but it also might rain. I'm not a fan. It would be nice if we'd just have a normal day pretty soon, 'cuz I don't like to be a complainer. It's really note my nature. In addition to all the traits shown on the picture, I'm also optimistic, cheerful, and happy. It's the Corgi way.

Gotta run. If it's gonna be nice for even a little while, I want to get outside and run around like a madman for a little while. I need to burn off some energy!

I'll see you again in seven. 'til then... 

"Been There, Chewed That!"

May 9, 2022

Fresh Flowers...

May I present to you my finished Goldwork Floral Wreath class piece. 

I promised to share a video showing how I stitched the leaves, but I hit the wall trying to do the recording yesterday. I decided I'd finish my class piece, and then show you how to stitch the leaves as a separate piece.

Now all I have to do is solve my recording problem (it's an operator issue...mine). As soon as I accomplish that, I'll be back to show you how the leaves are done.

For the moment, I'm going to celebrate completing this gorgeous design. Thanks to Clara Warschauer (@clarastitching) for offering this class, and for her skill in teaching the techniques. I feel much more comfortable moving forward with a few ideas I have for more goldwork embroideries.

Next I'll be finishing the embroidery on my "Everlasting" quilt top. What are you working on this week?

May 8, 2022

May 7, 2022

Saved By Common Sense...


There are times when an impulse strikes, and it's just better to lie down until the urge passes. Yesterday was one such day. We took a little road trip up the Fox River Valley to the Green Bay area. (Yes. The home of the Green Bay Packers.) Actually, we went to a town called Suamico (pronounced Swaaa' mick oh).

Handsome had seen a Harley for sale that really caught our eye. We're still regretting selling our Harleys while still in Florida. What were we thinking? We talked about it and decided to take a drive to see if it would fit. Remember, Handsome is 6'6" tall. His height is primarily in his legs, so not every Harley is suitable for him. We needed to try on this setup.

An hour and a half after leaving home, we were scoping out a gorgeous machine. All the bells and whistles, and so very well-cared for. He got on the bike and...it didn't really hit the marks. It might work, but we'd need to make considerable modifications. I sat on it. Perfect fit. I'm shorter by enough that it actually fit like a glove. (You'd be proud of me. I didn't whine.)

We decided that we'd come back home to find out whether or not we could gain the needed leg room by changing out the seat and a few other things.

On the way home we decided that this probably wasn't the bike for us. First, it's no fun riding alone. (I don't ride on a rear seat. I prefer my own wheels.) So, we're going to spend more time looking for two bikes instead of one. For now, it's best to just back away, take a deep breath, and wait.

Of course, the owner had to light up the motor before we left. (That's when I started whining.) I was very proud of myself for not sitting on the bike at that very moment and just riding off into the sunset, singing  Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild" at the top of my lungs. Don't laugh. I'm kind of serious here.

In the end, it was a beautiful day for a road trip with my husband and the dogs...even if I didn't get a darn thing accomplished here at home. There's always today, right?

May 6, 2022

A Story Tag Won't Tell...


I did stitch yesterday, and my light stand arrived, too, so I'll be using it for videos very soon. But the weather was also nice enough to spend some time outside. I emptied and cleaned the birdhouses, I filled the bird feeders, and prepared to put out the oriole and hummingbird feeders. I've heard the hummers are back in our area!

When I took a break, Tag joined me on the porch. We sat together on the chaise while I drank a cuppa tea. He'll never admit to this story, so I have to share it with you - with evidence!

Claudette meowed her way onto the porch, and then popped onto the chaise into an afghan where she's been sleeping when the weather is nice enough. Tag wasn't thrilled, but he didn't get down either.


I cuddled on my boy and watched how Claudette would behave with him so close to her. She didn't whack him on the ears or bother him, but I watched as she slowly wormed her way closer and closer to him.


Finally she was close enough to touch him, which she did. She was almost petting him! Once she was this close, she kind of cuddled him, too, and once that started, Tag decided he'd had enough. He jumped off the chaise and stood looking at the two of us.

I'd say that was a nice episode for All Creatures Great and Small, for sure! I think it was just so sweet. Crystal won't probably ever do this, but who knows? I never would have guessed Claudette would have either.

I haven't seen Leo for weeks, but he showed up today. He's scheduled for his "appointment" on Monday, so today I'm going to put out the live trap with the door strapped open. I'll put food in it for him, and Sunday evening, I'll actually set it to catch him. Cross your fingers this works. If I don't have him by Sunday night, I'll have to cancel his trip. I really want to get him to the vet to make sure he's not sick, and if he's healthy, have him tick-treated, neutered, and given his rabies shot. I don't want my girls (or dogs) catching anything from him, so I really need this to work.

I'll be stitching again today. The weather is supposed to be in the 70s by next week, so I want to finish my piece so I can spend a little more time in the garden. Happy Friday (already)!

May 5, 2022

Sparkle Plenty...

 

I wanted to sit in the dining room to stitch yesterday to take full advantage of the natural light pouring into the farnhouse. Because of a curvature on the edge of our dining room table, I chose to set up my Lowrey floor stand instead of using my oak table stand.

First I set up my magnifier lamp, then my floor stand. All my supplies on a tv table next to me; Claudette purring at me as she slumbered on the chaise on the porch side of the window; and Tag sleeping at my feet. It was a perfect day to stitch, and I accomplished quite a lot. 

I only have one more blossom to do. Then I'll stitch the calyx on the three buds (the part at the base of each bud), the stems, and I'll keep one of the leaves to do with you next week.

I hope we have another day today, just like the one we enjoyed yesterday. That would be nice, indeed.

May 4, 2022

Back To My Project...

I've completed three stems now (of course, I've seen one gap I need to fill on the leaf), and I'm starting work on the fourth and final stem.

I'm waiting for an order from Amazon to get here, and then I've planned to do a recording of the stitch used on the leaves to share with you. I've ordered a stand that will both hold my cell phone (which I'll use for the video) and illuminate my embroidery as I work the stitch. I'm planning to do the video next Monday if my order comes on schedule. I'll let you know later in the week.

So, my plan is to get everything else done, leaving just the two leaves to work. As I stitch, I'm contemplating how I want to finish this piece. Do I want to mount it on a wooden box? Perhaps framed? Maybe I should put it into a wonderful framed hoop assembly I've recently discovered? I'll keep thinking on that while I'm working. Do you have any thoughts?

May 3, 2022

Tuesdays With Tag - It Was Just One Of Those Days...

Hi, Everybody!

Let's just start this week with a photo (unautographed) of my fabulous self.

Of course, there are two photo bombers behind me, but I admit they are cute. You may notice I'm a little frowsy in this image, but that was about to change over the next half hour or so.


Mom got a wild hair and decided it was time to tame mine. She saved all the fur she pulled off me in that bag, but when she was done, she put it in a special place on the flower fence so the birds could use it if they wanted to. I don't mind that she did it, but I wasn't thrilled to be under the brush to accomplish it.

I mean, I really like that devil-may-care look, and all this groomin' makes me look a whole lot tamer than I really am. See how she smiles as she puts me through this torture. Who can I call about this treatment?

As though bein' brushed and havin' my toenails pulled out weren't enough, then this happened! Turns out that Claudette loves gettin' brushed! While I couldn't get away from Mom and her tools of doom fast enough, the goofy cat slipped into my spot almost before Mom could lift me off the wall! 


She really got into the spa treatment Mom gave her. Crystal stayed up near the barn because Boo and the Kid were runnin' all over the yard while all the brushin' was goin' on. This one didn't care one bit. She would have let Mom brush her all afternoon.

When Mom was finished, Claudette jumped off the wall to follow Mom and me into the back yard. She must have been dizzy from her treatment, because she walked straight between Bella and Carly. They were runnin' circles around her while she arched her back and poofed out her newly-groomed fur. Don't worry. No cats or dogs were injured in the ensuin' playtime. 

Claudette held her ground, and the dogs ran back and forth. Mom sat down on the wall near the big pole barn, and finally Claudette just moseyed over behind her and flopped down in the grass. She wasn't in the least bit phased by all the nonsense.


Of course, Mom wanted to get a nice picture of Dad with the girls. This is the one I picked to show you. That's Dad in the middle (hee hee), Carly on the left side of the picture, and Bella on the right. I think it's a good way to remember this really nice spring day. Don't you?

I'll see you again in seven. 'til then... 

"Been There, Chewed That!"

May 2, 2022

Broken Tree...


We have a casualty in the yard. Our corkscrew willow succumbed to high winds this winter. So, yesterday, I walked down to see how bad it was. Of course, I had company.


Claudette was the first to bounce down the hill with me. The wind is still blowing, so she stuck close. They don't like what they can't hear.


Crystal wasn't far behind. She was all floofed up, on alert for anything that might hurt her. Once she got close to us, her fur settled down. 


They proceeded to bounce around in the cover, climb the tree, and generally act silly while I did my inspection. It was cold outside, so when I headed back they followed me. It wasn't long before they were snuggled up in the wood shed again.

I haven't seen Leo for over a month now. He must have seen the "neutering" memo. I'm going to have to cancel his appointment. He's on his own. I'm not putting food in the Compass Barn, and man, do I have a serious cleanup out there once the weather's warm enough. My girls are comfy in the woodshed for now. 

We just have to wait until the ground is completely dry so we can tackle this tree and clean up the yard. I hope that's soon.