Vacation – 10 Year Anniversary

My hubby and I spent last week in Texas for our 10 year anniversary.  Our actual anniversary is tomorrow,  the 21st, but with our work schedules we had to plan our vacation for last week.

We stayed in San Antonio right on the Riverwalk.  Food is expensive down there!  But… best salsa I’ve ever had was found at Cafe Ole. Really good bbq at The County Line (we went there twice,  it was that good).

We went to the Tower of the Americas, Natural Bridges Caverns,  did a trolley tour,  wandered the Riverwalk,  went to the Alamo.

And more.

Let’s see if I can get the pictures to load and post:










There are more photos but I know my phone will freak out if I try to post more.


Future Embroidery – Based on Photo

Have you seen the commercials for Pure Michigan? They show how beautiful our state is and try to draw people here to visit.  It actually is a beautiful state,  especially late spring with all the green leaves and flowers blooming.  But the most beautiful time is in the fall,  when the leaves are changing and we see bright gold,  bold red,  vibrant orange, and all the muted shades in between.

On Facebook,  there is a page when people in our local town are posting photos from around the area, “Pure _________”. Flowers,  trees,  spiders,  gorgeous autumn colors,  peaceful water,  etc.

A couple of the photos really drew my eye.  Something in them just spoke to my creative mind.

One of which is the following photo by a lady named Mary Harris:


That bright red leaf beckoned me. Drew me into the photo.  Then the whole branch of burgundy,  standing out from all that green.

As soon as I saw it,  I saw the potential for an embroidery design.  So I asked permission to use the photo and make a sketch.  Mary was kind enough to grant me permission.  After the sketch was done, I made sure she had the opportunity to see it,  and then I asked permission to use her photo on my blog,  which again she was nice enough to say yes.

Here is the sketch that was based on her photo:


I want to make sure to keep that red leaf front and center.  Followed by the burgundy.  With the green as the perfect background.

I haven’t yet decided if this will be needle painted, satin stitched, feather stitched,  or just outlined.

Thank you again Mary! I hope to see more of your photos on the Facebook page.  You have a great eye.

I do have two more sketches done from two photos another lady took.  I’m waiting for the additional permission to use her photos here with the sketches.

I also have a few of my own sketches I’ll shares at a later date.

Ice Storm 2013

What an interesting weekend….

We were slammed with an ice storm that started Saturday afternoon with freezing rain and lasted until Sunday morning.

While the ice does look pretty:


Too much of it is destructive:





Our road was partially blocked by downed branches and other branches hanging so low from the weight of the ice that cars couldn’t make it under them. My hubby and I cleared up what we could in front of our house and a few of our neighbors homes so that traffic could get through. One of our neighbors also had a large branch blocking her driveway and since she has her 90ish year old mom living with her, we didn’t want them trapped so we moved that as well.

Our small area appears to be one of the few areas that did not lose power. Wires are down all over town but we seem to not be on the town power grid.

My mom and stepdad lost power Saturday night so Sunday morning they called the hotel in town for a room. But when they went to check in in the early afternoon…the hotel did not have power either!

Luckily, we have a spare bedroom so they are staying with us until they have power again. Their house is close enough that they can check on things and make sure they don’t have any pipes burst and make sure the cats are okay.

We will have a white Christmas this year…made primarily of ice.


Where Did November Go?

This past month has flown by. Halloween brought a nasty lung infection that took a week of antibiotics plus an antibiotic shot to get rid of. We also traveled to Georgia for a friend’s wedding plus a mini vacation. (Pictures to follow at end of post).

This week was the monthly craft group meeting and we played around with making pot holders, hot pads, and/or mug rugs. I got mine pieced together but forgot my batting at home so I didn’t get to actually sew it together.


This month I also helped my mom put together her new “toy” (I’m jealous):



I’m still trying to finish up the gift for my cousin’s baby shower which is this Saturday. If I get it finished in time, then I should have pictures up later this weekend.

Georgia pictures time!






Oh yeah! I almost forgot. I’ve also been playing with a small embroidery practice piece, mixing in different stitches.



Instagram – photo differences

I decided to go ahead and try out Instagram. What Instagram is, for those that don’t know, appears to be a photo program for cell phones. You take a picture then you can crop, change lighting, etc.


First picture was taken with the normal phone camera:


In the next 2 photos I used Instagram and played with the effects:



So I was able to turn the photo black and white in one. And in another I was able to brighten up the colors a bit.

Would you like a close up of the little bit of embroidery I’ve done so far?

This tree uses one strand each of DMC 783 (gold), 433 (dk brown), and 301 (copper). Done in a stem stitch.


The water lily is made using 2 strands DMC 956 (pink) with lazy daisy stitches. The leaves are made with 2 strands of a green variegated which I’m not sure of the brand. The grass uses the same green. The small pink flowers are a French knot made with 1 strand of DMC 891. The rocks are…not to my liking but they are made with 2 strands of a dark grey DMC 3787.


The tree here is my first tree and it looks it. Haha. Stem stitch. One strand each of DMC 3829 (muted gold), 433, and 301.

I plan to add leaves to the big tree. Grass at the base of each tree. A few more trees and stumps. And I’d like to figure out how to make a tiny cardinal in the big tree. Maybe a fallen log or two. A winding path. Maybe a small rowboat in the right corner “pond”.

I’m not sure what else yet.

Vacation – New Jersey/New York

(pictures will be at the end of the post).
On Thursday last week, my hubby and I headed out early to start our vacation. Hubby’s sister’s baby shower was on Sunday in New Jersey so we decided to combine our anniversary trip with the trip to New Jersey for the baby shower. Thursday was dedicated to driving to New Jersey. 13 hours later, after tons of construction and a map that was not quite correct for the area near the hotel, we finally arrived.

Friday, we spent the whole day walking around Manhattan island. Over 10 miles walked! We started at the Port Authority. Hit Broadway. Central Park. Saw The Met where we met up with A, hubby’s sister. Went back downtown. Met A’s fiancé.

By then we were exhausted so we went back to the hotel for dinner and sleep.

Saturday, we met up with A and her fiancé in New Jersey and took the subway to the World Trade Center. Its sad to think about what happened back on 9-11 and to see how even 12 years later, things are still in the process of being rebuilt. MF, A’s fiancé, was two blocks away when it happened. He shared with us some of what he experienced. (which I’m not going to share here because it’s his story to share).

We walked through Chinatown, Little Italy, and other downtown areas. Lunch at a bistro. Then back to the World Trade Center area.

Sunday was the baby shower where A got a ton of presents for the baby. 7-8 weeks and our new nephew will be here!

Now for what you are probably waiting for, pictures!

Our hotel room:



I knew I didn’t want to spend a crazy amount of money for a purse, but I still had to stop in and check things out:


Central Park:



Love the architecture on some of the buildings:





I saw this little place and had to take the picture to share with Mom:


The World Trade Center, monument, and sculpture: