Monday, December 31, 2007

gifts...

I am back home from my Christmas in Eau Claire...what a great time I had! It's always such a great feeling to spend time with my family!

I made all of my gifts this year...and now I am able to show some of them! All little ornie type stitchins. The one in the middle bottom is the closest to the correct color. I used primitive linen and 2 threads of DMC floss. The primitive linen is 32 count, which may as well be 100 count for how well I can see to work on it. Had to use the magnifier on my lamp to do these. I stuffed them with either wool snippets or sawdust...they are all small, but vary in size from 1 1/2 inches to 3 1/2 inches wide.




I gave other gifts, and certainly received many wonderful gifts. But, I gotta tell you, one of the most cherished is the table my BFF Janer painted for me. She is so very talented!! She started with a rickety old table that had an UGLY piece of linoleum glued on the top. This is the end result...



Here's the quick lowdown on how she did it. Stripped the linoleum off, glued/sanded/filled the table top, painted the background, decoupaged the print (yup, the sheepie with the checkerboard border is a print), then put 4 coats of polyurethane on it. How beautiful it is...so rich!!! Is that not the most awesome table you've ever seen???

Thank you so very much, Janer!
Jacque.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Another Day...Another Snowstorm!

ohman, I am sooo tired of this snow...don't you think we have enough already? {sigh} It's so pretty, but it is a treacherous drive home for everyone today!


Hopefully, the roads will be clear by tomorrow...am playing a 'wait & see' game about when I'll be leaving for Eau Claire. It's my family Christmas. I'll see my BFF Janer, too!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to One & All...

Today is the day we remember the birth of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Throughout this past year, I have become much stronger in my belief...and in my walk with Jesus. Thank you to Brenis and Maureen for being my spiritual guides. And, you know, I love the place I'm in spiritually (though I have a LONG way to go). Last night, I looked outside and saw beautiful night shadows across the unbroken landscape of snow (full moon...how gorgeous! Sorry, no photo to show you.). Stopped me in my tracks...literally. I took the moment to truly appreciate the beauty of it...and to thank God for being the Master Painter of all I see.

I received a wonderful box of gifts from Brenis...I didn't take a photo of everything, but here is the most special gift of all...a large text New King James Version Holy Bible...it is absolutely beautiful! A very SOFT leather...I want to hold it and caress it all of the time! She also gave me some Christian music cd's...I'm playing the Newsboys right now. I am so very blessed to have her as a friend!


Just so you know, my computer is having some serious hiccups from time to time. Not good when the online course I am teaching is just around the corner! But, it's working today, and I take that as a gift from God.

I am sooo excited! Here is a photo of the gifts from my Wool Snippets Not-So-Secret Santa...you won't believe what was in my box!




Here's the list: small Christmas tree made of wool strips (how'd she do that?), tree stand, hooked tree skirt with sheepies on it, Nick & Nora pj's - red flannel with dog heads/milkbones on them, Nick & Nora slipper socks with puppy head, wooden sheepie pin, peppermint chapstick, snowman clothespin (it's on top of the tree), two dog toys (tennis ball fox and moose...these are sooooo dang adorable! I'm not sure I want to give them to the dogs...and they're made by Woolrich!), & 5 wool skirts to recycle...really great wool. I think that's all...EXCEPT for some Led Zeppelin bootlegs! HOLY CRAP! I was already feeling very blessed to have received so many special gifts from someone who knew me so well. And now these...WOW! I opened that package last and thought I was going to die of excitement and happiness!!!! How'd she know???? 3 cd's of LZ at Madison Square Garden in 1973, and 2 cd's from San Francisco in 1969! OH MY GOSH...I am thrilled!!!! Thank you, thank you so very much, Joanne!

I am making all of my gifts this year...cannot show them here as I still have some to give out. Am taking photos, though, so will show them once the holidays are over.


Tag E. Butt opened his gift from Aunt Julie this a.m....a warthog! He was soooo excited! He's had 2 warthogs (a bit larger and RED) that he has completely worn out in the last few years. They were beyond repair, so now he has a NEW one! (Allegra and Tango will receive their gifts when I get back from seeing Aunt Julie in Eau Claire this weekend!)

...what's in here?
...ah-ha! A new warthog! I LOVE it!


...here Tag is taking a break from running around, playing with his new warthog. He's chewing on his bone, but keeping his new warthog close by his side!

Have a very Blessed Day!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Here you go...a few of my favorite videos of the LED ZEPPELIN Concert for your viewing pleasure!




Apparently, Graystone, who has Warner Music Group as a client, thought they should take the videos off YouTube...WRONG! Thanks to Steve Sauer of Lemon Squeezings, here's the link to find out more about that...vanishing videos.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ornament Exchange...

There is to be a luncheon/ornament exchange tomorrow at Claire's clinic (where I help out a few times a month). Unfortunately, I'll be late, cuz I have my job at the vet school. BUT, I was told that they would wait til I get there before they do the ornie exchange. YAY!

So...this is what I made. I showed it the other day when I had done only the stitchin'...and now I have actually finished it! The ornie measures about 3 1/2 x 4 inches. I whipstitched - with linen thread - a piece of green plaid homespun on for the backing and stuffed it full of sawdust! I stained it with a mixture of coffee/cinnamon/vanilla, sewed the strip of homespun and bells on...TA-DA!!! Here it is! I hope whomever ends up with it likes it!



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Let It Snow...


I'm having a 'snow day' today...am home from work.


Making progress on my Christmas projects and just hangin' out with the dogs.

~pretty snow...pretty Allegra~


Tag's goal every winter is to eat all the snow
before it melts away.
Not once has he reached that goal...

How the Concert Began...

How exciting this must have been for those who were there! Brings tears to my eyes...

The boys did a smash-up job and Jason did them (& his Dad) PROUD!

Monday, December 10, 2007

TODAY is the DAY...

... I sure wish I was in London! I am definitely there in spirit, though...man oh man...the concert has begun! London is 6 hours ahead of my time zone, which means they are clearing the stage for the 'boys' as I type this. There is a song-by-song blog on NME if you'd like to check it out. The website is jamming, cuz so many of us are accessing it. Try this link NME. OR, better yet...go to Steve Sauer's blog...lemon squeezings. I know I will be glued to this computer much of today. Here are a few photos from yesterday's rehearsal, which I read was absolutely AMAZING!!!! LED ZEP ROCKS!!!

photos by Ross Halfin...click on his name to see many more...they're awesome!





More later!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Hookin' & Stitchin'....

As some of you know, 90% of the Christmas gifts I am giving this year will be handmade. Been working on the pillows (see below) and I also plan to do some stitchery pieces. I know...why do it ahead of time when one can wait til the last moment???? Anyway.

Here is my FIRST stitchery piece. Yesterday I learned there will be an ornament exchange at the clinic party this coming Friday...YIKES! But, since we're all vets or techs, I felt a cat would be a safe thing to stitch. Besides, this cute pattern is from Kelley Belfast and she does primitive cats so much better than I do primitive dogs! I did the 2007 freehand...am thinking I should have graphed it out...hahaha.


Anyway, I am quite proud of this...took a few hours...the stitchin itself measures 1 7/8 x 2 1/8 inches...32 count primitive linen (over 2 threads)...reallllly small. No wonder I had to use my magnifier on my lamp! I'll find some prim fabric for the backing and then will age it all with a special recipe I have for that purpose (cinnamon, coffee, vanilla).
AND, here is the 4th and final pillow...all hooked! Still need to make the 4 of them into pillows, but heck, I have a few weeks yet to do that. {grin} This is showing much darker than it is, but otherwise the snowman is way too bright...would blind you, methinks! This snowman comes from Kelley Belfast's Merrie Wynter booklet of patterns. Cute guy, hey?


Now to sit and do nothing...yeah, right.

Led Zeppelin playing at O2 Arena tomorrow!

The countdown continues...tomorrow is the big day! Led Zeppelin plays at the O2 Arena in London! Hope all goes well for those who were able to get there...and that they have a fantastic time! I will be anxiously waiting to hear all about it.


Here's a link to take the tour of the O2...it is awesome...and HUGE!


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Snow...


...and lots of it...ugh. I may have to move to my summer home...this driving on ice-covered roads for 1/2 hour is not going to be fun!

COUNTDOWN...



ohman, I am soooo envious! In 5 more days, thousands upon thousands will descend upon the O2 Arena in London to see the one-off gig of LED ZEPPELIN!!! The chatrooms/forums/email lists are FULL of excitement and the talk...of plans, post parties, setlist, the magic, the power!!! Wish I was going!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

3 Down, 1 to go...

Here is Conlan's 'brown dog' pillow...all hooked, anyway. Started yesterday afternoon and finished this afternoon...24 hours...YAY! I had a ton of brown woolens, so cut them up and used them randomly...I think it turned out okay. I know Conlan will LOVE it! It measures about 12x17 inches...roughly the same size as Kaylynn's 'sheep dreams' pillow I posted a photo of yesterday.




Not sure what design to do for the 4th pillow...perhaps a snowman????

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Finally got another one done....


Here's what I've been working on...another pillow. This is 'sheep dreams' for Kaylynn...and it's showing darker than it actually is. But, it's all hooked and pressed. I love the woolens I used in this one! When I had my wool all over the living room - sorting through it - I found this lovely plaid I had gotten from Mary Flanagan woolens, and just by chance, I had 1/2 yard of a solid that matched it so well! I really have no idea what dye I had used on the solid...perhaps a bit of toffee??? And, of course, I always have brown on hand, so it wasn't difficult to come up with a piece that was perfect for the head/ears/leg! For the top of the head, I cut the plaid and the solid in half (so, like a #4 cut) and hooked one of each together in the same hole...and pulled the loops higher. I have decided that I don't really like hooking swirls, but I am happy with how this turned out.
I'll take a photo of all the pillows once they are completely done (ya know...once they are pillows).
Going to start on Conlan's 'brown dog' today.
That's all for now!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving in Wausau

I'm home...had a great time in Wausau! My grandkids, Jasmine (almost 9) and Conlan (almost 5) went with me to Jill's house. It was just Mom and Ray, niece Jenni and her son, Trent (4), Jill's daughter, Michelle, and me with the grandkids...a small group of us. Conlan and Jasmine came here Friday night and stayed over...they had a great time playing ball with Tag that evening. Got up Saturday a.m. and left for Wausau. We had our usual Thanksgiving feast of turkey and all the trimmings. YUMMY! As always, we ended up playing cards in the evening...I won some, lost some. Came home today...dropped Jasmine and Conlan off to their parents and am home! Man, I do love being home! Had such a great time and so enjoyed my visit with my family. Tony - Jill's son who is in the Air Force and stationed in Anchorage (spends a lot of time with our sister, Joyce) - and Julie (our sister who moved to Coloroado earlier this year) were noticeably absent...and missed.

Anyway...I had my camera at hand the entire weekend and didn't take photos. That is, until Jenni and Trent were leaving and I thought, "OHMYGOSH! I haven't taken any pictures...must get some of the kids!!!" Geez...where was my head??? Those were the only pictures I took.

Trent, Jasmine, and Conlan...


I have tomorrow off and will be hookin', hookin', hookin'!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving - Stop Motion Video

People are so creative...and obviously have much more time on their hands than do I! Thought I was going to laugh my fool head off over this one...enjoy!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Look What I Found on YouTube.com

Just wandering around YouTube today...see what I found! It's Darren Hayes from Savage Garden with Pavarotti singing O Sole Mio! YAY!

This Time - Celine Dion [HQ] (Taking Chances Album)

Speaking of time...this is one of Celine's newest songs. She has an album (and tour) "Taking Chances" coming soon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Now...and Then!

WOW...it's been a week since I last made an entry! I have a good excuse...take a look at this...





Yup, I had a major toothache! I suffered through it...




cuz I had some good meds...




And, now I feel all better! What a relief! A trip to the dentist is in my very near future.

But, enough about that!


I was thinking the other day about how time marches on, regardless of what we want - or don't want - to happen. Time seems to pass by more quickly the older one gets and I really don't care for that! We always talk about waiting for the weekend or our days off...and rush through the rest of our days. I, for one, am going to try to slow myself down and enjoy what I can from each day I am given.

With that in mind...here's something fun to look at...



THEN ---

NOW ---

THEN ---

NOW ---
THEN ---

NOW ---

THEN ---
NOW ---

And, some parting shots...


THEN --- (me at 5 mos)
THEN ---
(me at 22)


BEFORE THEN --- (me Mum at 19)...yup, I wore her wedding dress!
That's all I have for tonight!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

New Look for my Blog!

Yup, I am playing follow the leader and changing my colors around. Just as Tammy & Brenis did. I even got a new template. Such fun I have when I am in my 'escape' mode. I really need to be doing other things, but feel the need to goof off, instead.

But HEY!!! I actually did accomplish something this week. This is a chairpad by Wendy Miller of The Red Saltbox. It's going to be a pillow, not a chairpad, though. This will be for Jasmine, my soon-to-be 9 year old granddaughter. I have gray antique buttons to put on for eyes.


I have 3 more grandchildren...3 more pillows to hook...2 of them ready to start at any time. I'm hoping to get a good amount of hooking done tomorrow.

That's it for now!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fall Back...

Daylight Saving Time...for some reason, I can never keep it straight whether we are to spring back/fall ahead (yes, I know, that doesn't quite make sense) OR spring ahead/fall back. I always need to look it up...thank goodness for the internet! Well, I did get extra sleep, so that was nice.



One reason I am happy for DST is because now it will be light out on my morning drive to work...better to see the deer that way! Ohyeah, one of the exciting features of my long drive in to work is the fact that 15 of the miles I drive are signed as deer crossing corridors.





YIKES! Luckily, I've not hit one. Every morning, I pray to God to protect the deer from me...and me from the deer. One morning, I narrowly missed a doe and she had the audacity to look at me as if I'm the one who shouldn't have been there (well, maybe she had a point). Another morning, a doe ran across the road close enough for me to worry, but far enough away that as long as she kept moving, we would both be okay. With the sky lighter now - at least for the time being - driving to work will be a bit more relaxing for me.


Here's my front yard this morning...


As you can see, I have a LOT of leaves still on the trees. Luckily, we mow/mulch and NOT rake! Was a bit worried about that!

Must continue working on my list for today, so that's all for now!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

BREAKING News!!!


The Led Zeppelin reunion gig in London has been POSTPONED! Jimmy Page has broken his finger (get it? 'breaking' news...'broken' his finger...haha...not laughing at poor Jimmy...just my sense of humor...), so the concert will not be on November 26, but on December 10! Of the fortunate few who are in possession of tickets, I wonder how many will not be able to attend because of the date change? Perhaps my name will be drawn yet!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

National Candy Corn Day...

Yup, that is what today is! I heard it on the radio...it must be so!

I think the best way to celebrate this day is to eat as much candy corn as possible!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Grief Is The Price We Pay For Love...

Yes, I truly believe that grief is the price we pay for love.

After reading that sentence, you may think me cynical. Not so. That sentence pertains directly to my beloved dogs. I love them completely. I know that someday I will face life without them. It is inevitable that I will mourn their loss. The time will come sooner for some...sooner than it should. Sooner than I am...or will be...ready for.

Grief...part of the healing process...is so very difficult.

When Cruiser died...when I made the decision to end his time with me, I knew it was the right decision...for him. I could not ask him to stay with me any longer when he was so sick and losing more & more of himself. I feel no guilt. Only a deep-down and abiding sadness. After 8 months, I still cannot say more than a few words of Cruiser without my eyes overflowing with tears. I miss him so. I feel an emptiness that is with me always...still.

Grief...the act of grieving is a very complicated process...and a very individual one. I surprise myself with the amount of pain I feel with his loss...the length of time it is taking me to get ‘over’ losing Cruiser. Surprise...because of my profession as a vet tech...my practical nature...because I knew the day was coming.

It takes time...am hesitating to say this because I do not wish to sound trite...but it is oh, so true. Time does heal all wounds. At least to the extent that we allow them to be healed. The day does finally arrive when it becomes easier to tuck the memories away. A day when every breath taken is not filled with sadness.

Tammy, an online friend of mine, had to make the difficult decision to end her beloved Truvy’s life this week. She is in my thoughts and prayers...I know what she is going through.


Empathy inspired this doodle of my mind.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

...gettin' carried away ~ available to PRE-ORDER



YAY...My number 1 project is about ready to go! Time to start getting the word out!


I have been mulling this over for several months and finally decided to go for it! So...


What I am offering is a selection of Melinda Watson's primitive designs...6 in all, with one of them being a design that was available for a very short time on my website and has not been seen since 2003!
"...gettin' carried away, part 1" is available to
PRE-ORDER until November 1
when I list this in my eBay store.
First shipment will be November 2.
These designs may be hooked, punched, stitched or painted.
The booklet is priced at $13.00, which includes
shipping via USPS First Class Mail.
If paying with PayPal, send money to browndogprims@wildblue.net.
If you'd like to pay with a personal check,
please email me for my mailing address.
All pre-orders will receive a bonus pattern.


I am so excited to have finally finished this project...and to be able to offer it to all my rug hooking, needle punching, stitching and painting friends!

Raising Sand...

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss...a seemingly unlikely pair.
Click on this link and see what this collaboration sounds like!
I am very impressed, for sure!!!
This is supposed to be the just the one song, but it continues on!
I love their voices...and this music...awesome!!
The album came out on the 23rd and is Amazon.com's bestseller!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy Birthday to me...

Okay, my birthday isn't for a few months, yet. BUT, I did buy myself a gift! OH MY GOSH...this is great!!! Kelley showed this on her blog (With Hook and Needle) a while back and I was fascinated! It was sold out for awhile, but is now available! I found the best deal on eBay...and it arrived today! YAY!!! I tried it out already and WOW! Cannot wait til I actually run out of bobbin thread on my machine so I can use it again! haha.

SIDEWINDER™ THE PORTABLE BOBBIN WINDER
For more information, click on this link: Sidewinder

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kashmir

Yup, the name of a song (need I say whose song it is?)...but also, the name of my favorite background dye recipe. My 2sheep background is hooked with this!

With this recipe, one makes a solution, and then takes whatever amount one desires per 1/2 yard wool. I threw a bunch of woolens into the pot last night with varying amounts of the dye solution...here is what I ended up with...


The two pieces on the far left were previously overdyed with something like dirty snow, only not grays but tans, and seemed to have a bit of pink undertone (still do, I think). The next one, 3rd from the left, is a dirty white texture from Rebecca Erb. Cannot for the life of me think of what she called it, but I am going to see if she has more! The 4th and 5th pieces were Fraser natural wool. I used more solution on these 3 middle pieces than I usually do and I am very happy with how they look. The end two on the right were pieces I already had overdyed...so they sat on the cupboard and waited for their mates. The piece across the bottom had been overdyed with Kashmir at some other time and, for some reason, which I find hard to believe, had almost no mottling. I threw that piece into one of the pots after the vinegar had been added and almost all of the color was taken up...it has mottling now!

Did some hooking Saturday night and yesterday, but am not happy with all of it, so am in the process of reverse hooking.

Dancing With the Stars is on soon...YAY!!!

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