Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Time for A May-Day Giveaway

Just in case you think I’m not very creative having another magazine subscription give-away, I’ve got to confess that it’s because McCall’s Quilting is letting me give a free gift subscription when I renew my personal subscription. (OK, I’m a magazine junkie and now the word is out. But I learned a long time ago that it's cheaper to subscribe to 3 magazines than to regularly buy just one at the store.)

So, here’s the deal.

Join in the fun by becoming a follower, that is if you aren’t already.

Prize: free one-year gift subscription to McCall’s Quilting magazine. Please note that this is available to US followers only because of the limits of the free subscription I have been offered. Sorry to those of you who happen to live elsewhere.

New and existing followers need only make a comment to this post AND complete the sentence:

If money were no object, I would….

The Small Print:
  • One entry per person if you leave a comment
  • Two additional entries when you link to the contest from your blog
  • You must have a US mailing address
  • Deadline for making a comment (and becoming a follower if you aren’t already): Friday, April 30th at 10 pm mountain time
  • If you don’t have a blog, please leave your e-mail address so I may contact you directly if you’re the lucky winner
  • I’ll select someone at random and post the name of the winner by 10 am mountain time on Saturday, May 1st, and will mail in the gift subscription within a day of getting your mailing address from you.
McCall's Quilting  Magazine is one of the three that I subscribe to (along with Fons & Porters Love of Quilting and BH&G Quilting).  It's a great magazine and I have made quilts that have been featured in it.

Good  luck everyone.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Another Business Trip

While most people would be excited to go to Las Vegas, I’m heading there in a couple hours for 2 days of meetings at a conference. At least I don’t have any presentations this time – only meeting with other people who will be there. I’ve only been able to sleep 2 nights in my own bed, and now the next two will once again be in a hotel. I will get about an hour’s worth of stitching in on the plane tonight (made easier by my upgrade to first class), but I will probably go to bed as soon as I get in my hotel because I have an 8 a.m. breakfast meeting Monday morning.

I did make good progress on Silver Creek’s Do Not Worry. Only the bird and fill-in around the letters at the top let to complete. Hopefully I will finish this week.

Friday night was a wonderful experience at the West Ridge Academy gala and fundraiser. Here’s the link to the newspaper article about the gala.

My brother is the executive director at West Ridge, which is a boarding school program for troubled youth. They have both a girls’ and boys’ program, with separate campuses. They take no federal or state funding, so the fundraiser is essential to providing scholarships for those families who can’t afford to cover all of the costs for their child’s tuition, housing and therapy.

This year the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (or at least about 2/3 of the choir) volunteered their time to come perform for the 850 guests attending the dinner and gala. It was an amazing night – not only the music, but to meet many of the families and children who have been helped by the program.

This photo is from the rehearsal; the men had their jackets on during the actual performance. It was easier for me to get closer to the choir for the photo during rehearsal.

Well, gotta finish packing so I can leave for the airport in a little more than an hour. I’ve been slowly getting caught up on blogs I didn’t have a chance to read last week while in Philadelphia. I miss the regular update from blog friends when I’m away.

Have a great week.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

One Finish and A Couple WIPs

Thanks for all of your kind comments to recent posts.

I finished “Return the Kindnesses” this week, and yes, there was a lot of fill-in stitching on this project.

This was the first project I started (a couple years ago!) using 40-count fabric, so the fill-in work was good practice using 1 strand of silk floss. The “learning process” is certainly apparent in the bunny’s body, but once again I have to say “finished is better than perfect”.

I’m getting ready for another business trip. It’s gonna be an intense week, with 3 all-day meetings Monday through Wednesday, and training for our newest sales people on Tuesday and Wednesday. I haven’t yet figured out how I’m going to be in two meetings at the same time. I’ll be giving the kick-off presentation at the sales training, while also being responsible for the agenda and meeting facilitation for the other meeting. Plus I have a new employee starting on Monday, so the fun never ends.

Each evening I’ll be cramming for the next day’s meetings, but I’m optimistic I’ll be able to do some stitching – at least on the airplane. I haven’t yet been upgraded to first class, so may be stuck in coach, but at least I have a window seat in the exit row in case the worst happens and I can’t move to the front of the plane.

Since it’s easiest to stitch on the plane (and in dark hotel rooms) on light 28-count fabric, I’ve prepared two projects to take with me on the trip. By “prepared” I mean I’ve threaded a bunch of needles with the threads I’ll need so I don’t need to worry about threading needles at 35,000 feet in cramped condition.

The first project I’ll be working on is the darling “Do Not Worry” by Silver Creek Samplers. I did a little stitching on it last night to get it started. Rather than use the DMC colors recommended, I’m using over-dyed Gentle Arts. My fabric is also a bit lighter than the original.

The other project is one I brought home from the ranch last weekend. I’d left it there to work on in the event that I ever arrived without a WIP. But I decided to bring it home with me and work on it while traveling. It is Birds of a Feather’s “Bitter Flower Sampler”.

Not a ton of work left – the most time-consuming will be the vase, but the border alphabet should go pretty quickly. Here's the original design in case you aren't familiar with it. (It's several years old -- so you can imagine how long I've been working on it.)

It’s going to be a pretty nice day in Utah today. I’m hoping I can convince my mom to go with me to a charming shopping area called “Gardiner’s Village”. I’m hoping to find a new couch at the Country Furniture store. I have been dreaming of a black and cream toile print couch for several years – and am finally ready to replace my 20+ year-old couch in my family room. The shopping area also has a quilt/stitching shop called Pine Needles, so will definitely also stop in there as well.

Have a wonderful week. Work and travel will keep me away from blogland until probably next Saturday. Will hopefully have good progress on projects to report.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Unexpected Recognition

About 3 weeks ago I passed 20 years working for the same software company -- well, almost for the same company. Our company was acquired by Oracle about a year and a half ago. I assumed that my 20-year anniversary would come and go and no one would remember it other than myself (and perhaps my boss, whom I've worked for that entire 20-year period).

Imagine my surprise when I received an e-mail from Oracle's HR recognizing my 20 years, and the opportunity to choose a gift. There was jewelry, crystal, watches, and electronics. But then I saw one of the options was a Canon PowerShot SX20 IS camera -- 12 megapixel, tremendous zoom capabilities, a good mix of manual and automatic exposure options, and more.

Well, that's what I picked. It will be great for my Mediterranean cruise this fall, plus I should be able to take better photos of my projects for the blog. You'd never know from my recent photos that I actually have a minor in photography. But when cameras went digital, I got lazy and went with point-and-shoot (and inexpensive). My single-lens-reflex cameras are gathering dust because digital is so much more convenient than film.

It probably won't arrive for a few weeks, but it will be fun to re-learn what I used to know about photography.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pin Pillow Exchange and Stitching Progress

I received this darling pin pillow from Kathy as part of BeckyBee’s pin pillow exchange. Every day since the April 1st deadline (and even before) I was eagerly watching for the mailman each day in hopes that my exchange would be in the mail. And today it was!

We had a great weekend at the PX ranch – even with some fresh snow both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Lots of great food – from roasted turkey with sausage, cashew, and dried cranberry dressing and roasted asparagus, to freshly gathered eggs scrambled and served with grits and PX ranch bacon. I made Ina Garten’s Easy Sticky Buns. Yummy, and yes, they are extremely easy because they are made with frozen puff pastry dough. We even had enough to warm up the leftovers for breakfast on Sunday, and they were just as good.

Mom and I got one vegetable garden box planted with cool-weather veggies – radishes, both red and white; spinach; leaf lettuce; and cabbage. Tomorrow I’ll head over to my parent’s house and we’ll get the seeds started under grow lights for tomatoes, peppers, and a variety of squash. They should be ready to plant on branding day, planned for May 15th.

I got some stitching in – thanks to taking a floor lamp with a 150 watt bulb to make it easy to see what I was doing. I made good progress on both my Family in Stitches design, as well as another WIP that I’m hoping to finish this week.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Opening My Cabin This Weekend

I’m taking Friday off from work to get a little jump start on the weekend – and to open up my little cabin for the summer. The cabin is at my brother’s ranch, near their ranch house and the “hideout” – a large building with bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, laundry and a large family room with lots of comfy seating and projection TV.

Besides cleaning out the cobwebs and dust that accumulated in my cabin during the winter, we’ll also be planting some of the cool-weather veggies in the “lower” garden. There’s another garden plot on his ranch, about 1/2 mile away at his other ranch house – but we won’t be worrying about that one this weekend.

It will be a family affair this weekend – and lots of fun. Besides my parents, my brother, his wife, their daughter, son and daughter-in-law, my sister will be there with her husband, their daughter and grand-daughter.

I’m hoping to get some stitching in while we’re visiting and gabbing.

We are also going to have a mini-spa for the women and do foot baths with salts from the Dead Sea and calming essential oils.

Have a wonderful Easter everyone!


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