Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Wow!  Only one more WIPocalypse update to go after this one and the year will be over!  Hard to believe it's been that long since we started.  I was actually in a bit of a stitching slump for the first half of this month.  Things have picked up a bit recently.  I did some rather boring looking stitching on the border of my Girafa sampler (not worth taking a photo of that progress), and I will finish the stitching on my giveaway piece tonight.  But I won't be sharing a photo of that for a while either.

This coming month is going to be dedicated to stitching all things Christmas.  To keep things rolling from last month's stitching finish, I have actually 'finished' three ornaments that were stitched last year (or possibly earlier, at least one having turned up during my massive hunt for old projects to be framed).

First up, we have this Peace ornament which came from a JCS ornament issue, I think 2011, but it might have been 2010.  I stitched it using Belle Soie silks on some sparkly Silkweaver linen.
This is a flat ornament.  The back is covered in some fabric from Mom's stash that has just a hint of sparkle to it:

Next up, one of the annual ornaments from Homespun Elegance.  I stitched this one using the called for fibers, and I think it might even be on the recommended fabric.  But I stitched it quite a while ago, so I'm not positive about that.

I backed this one with some fabric that was intended for some patriotic pin pillows I was stitching a while back, but seemed perfect for this little guy:

And lastly, we have another Homespun Elegance design, stitched on the same fabric as the previous ornament.  Which means that they were probably stitched in the same year.  First, the back, which is made with some Weeks wool.  Please disregard the bits and pieces of the rope trim that have deposited themselves onto the fabric.  I didn't get around to cleaning that up til after the photo was taken.

And the front, again using the called for colors.
So that's 3 less unfinished ornaments sitting in the pile.  That leaves about 5 that need finishing, plus the pillow from last month's post.  And of course there is also all the new stuff that I plan on stitching.  Yup, it'll be interesting to see where my needle leads me in the coming month.

That's it for today my friends.  I have caught a bit of a cold, so the Christmas decorating and card writing have been progressing very slowly.  I am hoping to get most of it done by Friday evening.  Saturday, weather permitting, the man and I will go get our Christmas tree and hang the outdoor lights.

Til next time, stay crafty and stay warm!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I hope those of you here in the States have had a pleasant day, and that you were blessed to find yourself surrounded by loved ones.  Here at the Patrick household, the dishes have been cleared, and the leftovers stored in the fridge.  Most of the menfolk are at the movies watching the new James Bond movie, while the women paid a visit to a dear friend who is in the hospital.

As I'm gearing up for my Black Friday shopping (no Thanksgiving shopping for me, thank you very much!), I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone well, and to say that there was only one more mishap added to my Thanksgiving adventures.  I got up early this morning to start the turkey.  I pulled the neck and a bag of giblets out of the bird's chest cavity, stuffed it with celery and onion, and into the oven it went (with a little help from my man; no need to break another toe by dropping a big ol' bird on it).  It only took 45 minutes or so longer than I really thought it would take to cook (which was factored into prep time, so no biggie, we still only waited about 15 minutes for it to come out of the oven beyond the promised time for lunch).  BUT, I did leave the bag with the gizzard inside the turkey.  I didn't realize there would be two bags.  Oops.  But it didn't mess up the bird.  I'm happy to say that the turkey was quite moist, the broccoli casserole was creamy and tasty, the gingered potatoes had a pleasant warm undertone, and the red velvet cake was baked to perfection.  Yes, I am patting myself on the bag.  By the grace of God, my man and I were able to present a perfectly edible (okay, more than edible) meal on our first hosting occasion.

Okay, that's all for today.  Stay safe, everyone.  I'll be back with stitching updates before too long!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Preparing the Feast, part 2

Noon: I start mixing the cake.  Not much can go wrong here.  It's been a while since I baked anything from scratch, but I think I'm pretty good at it.
12:10 Spike yaks in the middle of the kitchen floor.  Gross.  I briefly consider leaving it there while I finish with the cake, but decide that the risk of forgetting it's there and then stepping in it is too high.  I clean it up, wash my hands again, and finish prepping the cake.  Into the oven it goes.
12:20 I fill my new salt and pepper shakers.  They match my fancy wedding china.  I ordered them in July and they finally arrived on Saturday.  Just in time for THanksgiving, hooray!  But where are the plugs for the bottom of the shakers?  I. Have. No. Clue.  I can't find them anywhere.  They're brand new, how is this possible?!  Sigh.  Masking tape it will be.  Wonder how long it will take someone at the table to notice what I've done.
12:30  I start washing the first of what promises to be many loads of dishes.
12:45 I declare the cakes to be done.  Temporarily distracted by the realization that our oven IS NOT LEVEL, I bobble one of the cakes.  THankfully, it doesn't land on the floor.  Not so thankfully, I partially catch it with my upper arm.  Just a flesh wound, really.
12:48  Ow.  Even minor burns hurt.  Oooh, icy turkey bath water.  Aaaah.  Relief.  I wonder if this is sanitary.  I don't think I care.
1pm  Icing is made, lopsided cakes are cooling.  Dad's baked sweet potato is slowly cooking in the oven.

My feet hurt.

Preparing the feast

Mostly for my own amusement, I have decided to post once or twice during the process of preparing for our Thanksgiving feast.  Since it's my first time making several of these dishes, this could turn out to be verrrrry interesting.  And no one who will be at dinner reads my blog as far as I know.  Except my husband.  And he'll never tell, will you sweetie?

7am: run the last load of laundry so there will be clean sheets on the guest bed and a clean tablecloth on the table.
7:30: prepare the sausage balls (appetizers in case the turkey takes too long to cook).  Hmm, Mom's recipe says this should make about 90 sausage balls.  I have 48.  Hope they cook all the way through.
8am: hubby leaves for work, sausage balls go in the oven.
8:30: sausage balls look done.  I haven't eaten one of these things in decades.  They just aren't my thing.  Break one open to see if it looks cooked through.  It does.  Decide to taste it to make sure it isn't too mushy or something.
8:32: Oh crap!  These things are tasty!  I want another one.  Or maybe two.  Just to be sure.
9:15 call Mom for clarification of her vague candied yam recipe.  Wake her up.  Seriously, Mom?  Sleeping?  No fair.
9:45 sweet potatoes boiling, first pitcher of sweet tea is cooling on the counter
10am to 11am type and email a long list of properly formatted children's names and Christmas wishes for the Robeson County Giving Tree event.  Choose a name for myself and another for my sister.  This is always such a bittersweet experience.
11am sweet potatoes are done, cooled, and ready to go in the casserole dish.
11:15  whoops!  I could have sworn that jar said cinnamon.  Exactly how much ginger have I accidentally added to the pan?  And do I think it's bad enough to start over?
11:16 Nope, not bad enough to start over.  I'll just add extra brown sugar.  This could be fun to serve.
11:20 sweet potatoes go into the fridge.  I pat the frozen turkey.  It's still frozen.  That isn't good.  I thought it was supposed to thaw in two days?  Why do I believe such silly lies?
11:21 begin filling sink with cold water.  Tom goes into his bath.  According to the bag, this is going to take about 8 hours.  Guess I won't be brining the turkey, huh?
11:45 what to start on next?  What will go wrong next?  Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A winner, TUSAL, and prepping for dinner

Yeah, I made that stupid title just so I could do some rhyming.  Maybe it's the early hour of the morning.  Or I'm just in a silly mood.  Who knows?  Sorry I've been away so long.  It's just been a blah kind of month, and I haven't really felt like blogging very much.  Haven't stitched all that much either (eek!).  I did finish a couple of scrapbooking layouts, so that's something.

The toe, and foot, and tailbone, have all been healing nicely.  I see the doctor tomorrow for a progress review.  Hopefully I'll get a big thumbs up and be out of this stupid boot before too long.

November TUSAL update:
If you want to read about the TUSAL, go here.  Daffycat will be doing this again next year.  I am thinking that I will sign up again.  That jar is almost completely full.  I think I will look for a clear ornament to stuff with orts during my post-Thanksgiving shopping.

While I was trying to photograph my ort jar, I let Princess enjoy a little outdoors time.  After I was done with the jar, I took a few photos of my sweet girl.  Some of my cats could care less about going outside.  Some don't go outside because they won't let me catch them when I am ready to go back in.  But Princess not only loves the outdoors, she doesn't run away from me.  Some might blame this on her large, fluffy size.

 Most of the time, this was the view I got when I tried to photograph her.  Not her best side, I'm thinking:

Okay, enough delaying.  An announcement of my 100 followers giveaway is looong overdue.  I used the random number generator, but I'm not tech savvy enough to figure out how to share a webshot on this blog.  Without further ado, the winner is...

Miss Pants!!!

Heather, I don't think I have your email address, so please shoot me a line with your snail mail... and be patient with me.  I will start stitching on your prize ASAP, but I doubt I'll get much done over this next week as I will be very busy with Thanksgiving prep.

Yup, that's right.  My man and I are hosting both our immediate families for Thanksgiving dinner.  And I'm cooking a turkey for the very first time.  I have to admit, I'm a bit scared of the whole idea.  Turkey totally intimidates me.  I'll let you know how it goes.

That's all for today folks!  Stay safe and stay crafty.
I'm ready for my closeup now.