Saturday, October 15, 2016

Viva Las Vegas

Last week I spent four fun packed days in Las Vegas with some friends from High School and what a great time we had.  Now I am not one for gambling....I mean I did play the slots...but I remember the early days of marriage when $20 was all we had in the checkbook for the rest of the week so I kind of have a hard time wrapping my head around throwing money away.    I set my limit of what I am willing to go home without and then I was done.  Gambling aside there was far too many other things to do.  I knew we should have stayed another day!   I went for the 'mini reunion' and was pleasantly surprised by all there was to do besides the casinos.
Inside the hotel lobby
Out front of my hotel - Paris Las Vegas

Our early morning flight was good.  The pilot pointed out the Mississippi River and we saw the Grand Canyon from the air.  On the ground we met up with a classmate who now lives in Arizona.    We saw a couple of shows, we walked the strip, we were guests in the Diamond Lounge, we ogled and ah'd at the opulence of the casinos, saw the light show on Fremont Street and saw some scantily clad folks and sights for sure.

More of my hotel entrance

The Bellagio waiting for the fountain show.
The Paris Las Vegas across the street from the Bellagio
The Venetian and The Flamingo.......they may look close but the Venetian is about a 30 minute walk from where we were.

When at full force the sound was incredible.   It was like the whoosh you hear when fireworks go up as the high water was sent up......even higher than above.

View from top of the Eiffel Tower of my hotel below

Another view of the city below the Eiffel Tower

Classmate Darlene and I went to the Hoover Dam, took a boat ride on Lake Mead and a bus tour of local homes and gardens. We want to go back to kayak on the lake, to zip line on Fremont Street, to see some more shows, see the Grand Canyon, and more.   There really is so much to do there.
Above, the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge

Yes, I did the tourist foot in Nevada and one foot in Arizona.    They removed the state line that was painted across the roadway on the bridge as seen in the Selma Hayak movie "Fools Rush In".....seems it was creating traffic jams will people stopping for photo ops.

Inside the Hoover Dam generator room.

By pass pipes that are so large they had to be built onsite.  What an amazing engineering feat!

Approaching Lake Mead from our bus ride.

The white line is the high water mark from the snow melt in 1983.   That line is approximately 135 above the water level.

Approaching Black Canyon

The dam from Black Canyon

Such a hardy little bush......we were told to look for Mountain Goats feeding but we saw none.   Amazing anything can grow and thrive in this climate and terrain.

Leaving Black Canyon and heading back to the dock.

New York, New York Las Vegas

 Statue of Liberty made out of Twizzlers!

Fremont Street and oh the sites.......the casinos turn out their lights each hour for a laser light show displayed across the doomed cover over the street.

Bye bye Las Vegas......I think I will be back.

So not much stitching has been done the last two weeks.   I did take Miss Mary Mack from La-D-Da for the plane.  EZ-PZ right.....small, one color.  Well when you sit in the middle and you feel like a T-Rex with your arms all squeezed in....not as much progress as I thought I would be able to accomplish.      I've added the second "buttons" and start "All" since I got home and BAM......looking at this right now and singing the song.......I see I am short one line of "buttons".....time to frog I guess.    Geez, this piece is not proving to be as EZ-PZ as I thought it would be!

So back home and on my way to Thursday night stitching I had to pull over and take a photo of the beauty from where I live.     

Now time to regroup, clean house, winterize the deck and yard, finish fall decorating and head out again next week for a get away with a work mate.

Stay tuned for information on a Stitch-A-Long that I will be announcing before the end of the month.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

re·treat rəˈtrēt/

rəˈtrēt/  noun
  1. 1
    an act of moving back or withdrawing.

And that is just what we did...we all withdrew from the hustle and bustle of the madness of day-to-day life and enjoyed a long weekend at the beach.

The weather was not so good but we didn't notice.   Seems the locals were quite well versed in the weather and we were just bee bopping along like a bunch of blue-hairs on a bus trip.  Only when we tried to order take-outs for delivery and the 'natives' weren't venturing out did we get a clue that hey, it was pretty bad out.   I think OCMD received something like 10 to 12 inches of rain in about 36 hours.   What do we know......we just want to hang out and stitch together...

 From our house's front porch....above and below.  It was rough surf at the beach.

 Saturday morning a walk on the boardwalk showed the aftermath of the wind and rain.

Enough of bad weather.  Stay inside and stitch!  I don't see a problem.

What is more important is to know I am blessed.   I am so fortunate to not only belong to a group that meets weekly to stitch but I am lucky enough to have them as roommates at a weekend at the shore where we stay with others of our 'tribe'.    There were 19 this time around and a few regulars were missing.   Our room was missing one member this weekend....she's  in Florida......hmph!    (she was missed)

Friday dawned and the weather improved enough that we were able to go out to one of our favorites restaurants, The Sunset Grille.    I had the angel hair pasta with crab meat.  Of course, every meal is something to do with Maryland crabs.

As for stitching,  I was able to finish Random Thoughts by Drawn Thread.   So much for sewing the border on my flight on Thursday.    Guess I'd better pick out something else to stitch on the plane.     The border was interesting with a complete change of color and stitching about every three inches.                
I like to challenge myself and stitch a piece that has something new in it for me.   I have never withdrawn threads so this was a nice introduction.   And I had never done scoring or the hem-stitch before.   Scoring was not too difficult but tedious if you know what I mean.....I really needed another set of hands almost.  As for the hem stitch, it was time consuming but I got 'er done.   I am a bit off not the lower left corner and I think I need to adjust the mitered corner to pull it in for a straighter line.

I picked up charms and the bell pull hardware from Salty Yarns.   They did not have exactly the called for charms but in my 'need' to have it,  I picked up the bird and shovel instead.  Each are meaningful for me.

Once I finally finished the hem stitch which took me the better part of a day, I set to work on my witch.   This is where I was when I started the weekend of my Boo To You from Pat Thode at HeartStrings.  And below, ta-da! Look how much progress I was able to make!  A bit of hem on her dress and a black cape down both sides and I may be able to stitch and finish her for this Halloween.  And believe it or not, now that I am home and unpacked, I just want to stitch some more.

Upon checking out of Salty Yarns on Sunday morning, I was declared the winner.....again.....I won the honor of spending the most from our group.  Mainly because  I bought a ton of NPI silks for an upcoming project which I justified!

Of course, on the day we are leaving there was actually a bit of matter.....we got to enjoy what we came for.....a weekend of laughter, sharing, great food, great times......and some stitching and shopping too.  See you in April  January Lankford Hotel and Salty Yarns.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Borders and Bindings

Ack!......someone told me yesterday there are 92 days until Christmas....holy moly.... as if I am not already freaking.   Life has been hectic lately....big changes at work with a major re-og.  Same boss but he has additional new demands and responsibilities so that means I do too.  Upcoming travel plans. Something like 4 out of the next 6 weekends I am away or have plans.   Summer decorations down but not away.   Fall decorations out but not up.  Yard work to do.    I kind of have myself wrapped around the axle stressing over when am I going to get this all done!!  And now I need to stress about when will I Christmas shop!!! thing at a time......activate mission cybershop.

And somewhere in the middle of all this I think I  'hide' behind my stitching.   Does that make sense?   I make a detour from all the things that need to be done by 'needing' to get my stitching time in.    I do so enjoy the stitching time but let's face it.....little fairies are not coming in the night to do my time to suck it up buttercup and meter out my time better....

OK that's my rant for this Sunday morning.  I am sure I am not alone and others get the same overwhelming feelings at time.  Enough lamenting and now some sharing of accomplishments.
I spent last weekend in Philly with my daughter.   Always a great time.  After I helped her in her office with a giant mailing, she helped me get my quilting done.   On Sunday we went to the Mancuso Quilt Show in Philadelphia.   I am seeing a trend....each year it is shrinking by a few vendors which saddens me.  I saw the same decline with CATS (Creative Arts and Textile Show) until they folded.

On my quilt, I still need to square up the edges and then fold, press and add the binding.  That's a  sneak peak above.    Hopefully I will get it trimmed and folded up nicely until I have an evening free to attach the binding.   I am not putting any pressure on myself to add the border this week since I need to get ready for OCMD.....and I like to make sure the laundry is done and the house is cleaned before I go.   Seems silly but feels so good to come home to everything in it's place.
As always, my stitching pals and myself love love love our retreats at the beach.

I finished up the 'body' portion of Random Thoughts from Drawn Thread and now it is time to pull the threads for the border and hem stitching.  Time to read the directions twice and pull once.  I thought I would wait until retreat next week in OCMD for needed moral support but I charged ahead.  It worked out AOK.  I will pick up the needed charms at Salty Yarns.  One of my upcoming weekends away involves a long flight (Yikes!) and I am thinking it will be a great time to stitch the border.   My seat partners on the plane may not agree as I  continually pull the needle in and out.   Nonetheless I need to pick a project to keep me occupied and to keep me distracted from BEING IN A PLANE for 5 and 1/2 hours!   No fear of flying here.

Another candidate to take along on my flight is the Boo to You witch I am working on.   I frogged and restitched her face in the proper color.  She looks better.  One would think this was an easy stitch because it is on a large (18) count.   Wrong, lots of counting here.

Some of the fabrics I selected at the quilt show as possible backings for the witch when I am done stitching.

And then there is a Will update.   No, he is not standing already.   Mom or dad are holding him up.   My D-in-L is so good about sending pics and videos each week.   I hope to see him in the new few weeks.   He saying yes, Grandma, come see me!

Happy stitching all.   I for one will be taking it one day and one task at a time and before I know it......things will get checked off my long list of things I need/want to do.