Friday, September 27, 2013

Pumpkins for Cathey

Happy Blog-iversary Cathey!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Midwest Wool Festival 2013

As it does every year, Young's Jersey Dairy hosted the Midwest Wool Festival.  On Friday night it poured rain so I skipped Saturday and went on Sunday instead.

The famous Jersey cows were in their glory on the sunny, crisp day.  Young's is abut 35 miles northwest of where I live.  It is a fully functional dairy farm, along with a miniature gold course, driving range, hay rides, petting zoo,  restaurant and ice cream shop.

The large field behind the main building was set up with three huge tents filled with vendors and displays.

I arrived just in time for the sheep-shearing demonstration.  The man lectured throughout the shearing, never missing a beat or an inch of wool.  The sheep was surprisingly mellow.

So much wonderful wool in all it's forms.

And of course the main attraction, the sheep.  They are all so lovely, I couldn't choose a favorite breed.

Of course I managed to come away with a bit of sock-making stash.  The orange is "Vitamin C" by Fiber Optic Yarns.  The other two are by Knitted to a T.  The blue/yellow is "Not A Cloud In The Sky" and the pink/brown tweed is "Cherry Cordial.
I picked up the new 2013 Just Cross-Stitch Ornament Issue today, but cross-stitch is for another day.  I am obsessed with socks again for a while!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Speaking of Xs......................

Prom circa 1983's the big cheese of all the ex's!  My high school/college boyfriend who I dated for 6 years. Ah well, let's just chalk that one up to hard lessons learned.  Moving on................

Some cross stitch finishes and starts.  After 5 years, yes you read that correctly FIVE YEARS, I finished this little doll house carpet.  I loved working on it, but the poor thing kept getting pushed aside in favor of other projects.  It now has a home in my Victorian dollhouse.

So what to do when it takes five years to complete a dollhouse carpet.....START ANOTHER ONE!!  I just love the geometric designs of these.  They are stitched with two strands of DMC threads on 18 count plain white Aida.  This one is a longer rectangle and will go into one of the dolly bedrooms when finished (in just kidding).

Jerusalem Sampler 

Star of David Topiary
Two more starts on Jewish themes.  I am Catholic but I've always been fascinated by the history and rituals of the Jewish faith.  As luck would have it a dear friend's daughter is getting married.  They are Jewish and in fact the young couple will reside in Israel after they are married.  So now I have some gift ideas..............Mazel Tov!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

All My Xs

Not the ex's that make me wake up in a cold sweat, grateful that I'm not single and "out there"......I mean the x's made with needle and thread. Thanks to so many inspirational blog posts, especially those by Lori at Notforgotten Farm, I find myself drawn back to cross-stitch.  Lori has a great Autumn/pumpkin themed challenge going.  Her new book is at the top of my wishlist.  In the meantime I have been working on a few little things:

Gymnast Gabrielle Jupp of Great Britain

Gymnast Peyton Ernst USA
 Both gymnast designs are up for sale in my Etsy store.  I've also added some de-stash items for cross-stitch and knitting.  There are so many cool things for sale on Etsy.  If I could just sell some of my own stuff so I can buy someone else's!!

Cowl and ruffle scarf
 These two knitted items aren't exactly created with x's, but I thought I'd throw them in here anyway.  It seems that a large group of photos that I took of recent projects has mysteriously vanished from my camera.  I had planned out a well-organized display of what I've been making lately, but it seems that post is not going to happen today.  These knitted items are in the local school colors of green and gold and I hope to sell them at my big crafty/doll clothes sale on November 23rd, the day of our first Home Meet for gymnastics.  Those sales always go pretty well.
Neighbor cat-Houdini
 This little guy has been taking up a lot of my time lately.  He is the newest addition to the household where I pet-sit the two Great Danes.  Houdini was adopted from a local shelter in mid July.  He is much bigger then in this photo now.  This is their very first cat and I am inundated with phone calls and texts regarding all aspects of cat care.  Apparently I am well known as the local "cat whisperer", a title I gladly accept.  I get to spend an hour with him each weekday while the doggies are let out to do their "business".  Surprisingly he is the best of friends with the two giant dogs.

Since I spent the last post trashing Facebook I will venture into that realm by posting "What's For Dinner".  In true FB fashion here are some snaps of two recent dinner time faves:
Handmade Calzones of various flavors.  Gotta love frozen pizza dough!
My first attempt at crabcakes.........not too bad.
 Our big weekend event was my dear friend and fellow gymnastic coach Alisha's wedding.  She and David are an amazing couple.  They love animals of all sorts so of course their wedding was at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.  The ceremony was as unique and down-to-earth as the couple themselves.  The zoo was closed to the public for the ceremony and reception but the swere allowed to roam freely and view all the exhibits.  My little camera was not too cooperative in the low light, so I only have a few good photos.

 Some animals even made "guest appearances" at the reception.  I got to meet and pose with Gizmo the Owl.  What a great night spent with friends in this amazing venue.  Congratulations David and Alisha.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Making The Most Of The Day

I was going to title this post "Making The Most Of The Last Day", since today is the final day of the Summer holiday from the gym.  But that word "last" seems to be too much of a trend in my blogworld lately.  Two of my favorite bloggers and sweet friends have decided to stop (or temporarily suspend) their blogs.  I will miss you Isabelle and Annmarie.  Barbara in Maine gave me quite a scare with her recently titled post "Coming Full Circle".  I thought she was making an exit too.  Can I blame them?  I have neglected my blog for so long in favor of Facebook, texting and e-mails.  Ah Facebook, where I can find the snarky one-liners from the disgruntled, the mysterious quips of the love-lorn, and of course the mandatory photos of what's for dinner ( I actually LIKE these!).  Again, I too am guilty on all counts.  I have been in a heated Facebook shaming of Lowe's Home Improvement Store over my lawn mower.  No matter how many **** I insert in place of certain letters I am sure everyone knows exactly what I'm writing.  It's become an unhealthy obsession to check on all the other angry consumers, share my story over and over and add my nasty two cents where ever I can. As for e-mail, there is another venue that I am better to avoid. It has become (since the demise of our home phone land-line) the repository of spam, junk mail and cyber telemarketing....and of course the ever-so-stimulating e-mails from work. " The pencils, formerly located on the left corner of the desk will now be relocated to the right side of the desk.  There will be a one hour staff meeting Friday at dinner time to discuss this issue."  Followed by an impossible to open Excel document repeating this announcement so I may print out my own hard copy to retain for my records.
Gone are the days when I would spend hours writing letters.  Sure the airmail stamps were expensive, but that's what made it all the more special.  I didn't waste a lot of time or space on CRAP.  I remember having nearly 2 dozen "pals" from all over the World,  Some from the world of gymnastics, others with common interests in cats, sewing, gardening....and some with absolutely nothing in common.  I miss that simpler time.
In these waning days of Summer I always seem to get nostalgic for things gone by.  The annual trip to my childhood home only intensifies these feelings.  It went off again this year without many glitches.  Joe and all the cats survived my week-long absence and my parents were very happy for the help and "unique meals"(my father's words) I made for them.  As I reflect on endings, I feel that my time here in my quiet house with my gardens, my special world of gymnastics and my rather unique lifestyle in general will be coming to an end.  I know my parents need me to live with them and help them.  Each year I put it off to the next and even now I hesitate to write about it because it makes it all too real.
But where else should I write?  Some cryptic Facebook post, some stilted and overly edited e-mail, an angry text to my brother?  HERE is where it should be.  Among my friends, in a world I find very gentle and caring though it be in cyberspace.   I love to read about your crafts, your pets.  I love to see photos of what you are making for dinner!
So what will I make of this day?  I will knit a pair of socks.  Maybe get some work in on a half-finished quilt.  I will fill the bird feeders and refresh the hummingbird "juice".  I'll pull some weeds from my over-grown failure of a vegetable garden.  I'll entertain the cats (or is that the other way 'round!).  I'll clean something, fix something, cook something.  And maybe when I'm tired of all that I'll write a letter to an old pen-pal.