Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Camping Trip & A Little Stitching

One of my daughter's favorite foods is mac and cheese. When I spotted this embroidery pattern on Flikr's mindboggld account at
I knew I had to stitch it up for her. I decided to crayon tint the cheese, heart and macaroni. I love how it turned out. It is stitched on a kitchen cotton towel and was stitched while camping.

We camped on Thursday night until this morning at the beautiful Black Forest Camping Resort. (  We headed to NC as soon as Stan was home on Thursday evening. We set our tent (the one with a light switch and a raised queen sized air mattress and yes, a portable air conditioner) up and two pop-up covers for our kitchen area and picnic table. We added a little decorating for Memorial day and relaxed.
Stan enjoying lunch Friday before hitting the pool.
Very few campers came until Friday evening, that meant empty pool for Stan and me!

Our friends, Adonia and Michael, came on Friday afternoon. We enjoyed relaxing at the site. Stan cooked steak on our cast iron griddle, potates, salad and bread. I made a cake in our toaster/convection oven. Yummy.

The White Squirrel Festival was happening in Brevard, NC. Lots of craft booths, food, live music and derby car races. We stopped our meandering to check out the race.

This was our first time seeing a derby race. 

We packed up and headed home this morning. It was a very relaxing weekend. 

As always, we are so grateful to all our military and their families. We know personally the sacrifice that is made by so many. May we never forget our fallen heroes.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May Stitch Along, Dancing Veggies Flour Sack Towel

I participated in the May Stitch Along with New Embroidery with Vintage Patterns on Flikr. The options were so varied. The month of May is host to many national days and we could choose from any of the following: Dance, BBQ, Salad or Flowers. I chose to combine the dance and salad combination with my Dancing Veggies pattern. I found the pattern on Hoop Love Vintage Transfer by mmaammbr. The link for the pattern is if you would like to print it off for your use. 

I printed the pattern and the traced it with a Clover Transfer Pencil.

After tracing the pattern, turn pattern pencil side down on to the surface that you want the pattern to appear and iron with a hot (no steam) heat.

The pattern is transferred lightly on to the fabric.

When deciding which pattern to stitch, I was looking for one that would be easy to crayon tint. I have never done any tinting but I had seen little dear tracks tutorial,, and loved the effects. It was easy and I loved this new 

I then followed little dear track's instruction and lightly colored the areas I wanted to tint. I then placed a clean piece of white printer paper and ironed the wax off. This set the tint but removed the wax. Easy peasy.

I finished the flour sack towel by ruffling a 2 1/4" strip of fabric. I had the fabric in my stash. I followed the directions from Made By Lex,, to make my ruffle and then sewed down the middle seam to attach it to the towel. 

I love how my little kitchen towel turned out. Aren't the veggies cute? My son was visiting last night and said they were creepy! LOL. 


Monday, May 21, 2012

Stan's Assault on Mount Mitchell & Recipe for All-Natural Energy Drink

Stan is riding in The Assault on Mount Mitchell ride today. He left Spartanburg, SC at 6:30 and will be riding 102.7 miles with 10,357 feet of climbing! This is his third try and he made it to the top both of his previous efforts. This is Stan, bright and early this morning.

Lots of bikers warming up before heading to the herd of a line.

They arrive by the thousands from all over the nation.

A little plug for this beautiful park. This was taken from site.

There are a few places in the world that still stand apart from the ordinary. Rising more than a mile high, surrounded by the gentle mist of low-hanging clouds, Mount Mitchell State Park is one of these extraordinary places.
In the crest of the timeworn Black Mountains lies the summit of Mount Mitchell, at an elevation 6,684 feet it is the highest point east of the Mississippi. For those who ascend this mighty peak, what looms in the horizon is a feast for the eyes—breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, rolling ridges and fertile valleys. Forested and forever misty, 1,946-acre Mount Mitchell State Park will provide you with some of the most tranquil moments you'll ever experience.

Amazing, isn't it?

Mark Sisson, Primal Blueprint and health guru, has an all natural energy drink that Stan swears by. Stan has tried many powdered and liquid purchased drinks but this recipe gives him more energy that last longer and keeps him hydrated.

All Natural Energy Drink
11.1 ounce coconut water - Costco is our source but we have found it at Walmart and most grocery stores have it in stock.

3 dashes sea salt

2 tbls honey - we buy local

2 tbls blackstrap molasses - we buy ours from Old Mast General Store

Slightly warm water in a pan on top of stove. Remove from heat and mix rest of ingredients.

This makes enough for one large athletic water bottle.

 Stan makes and refrigerates until needed. He usually multiplies this by 6 and stores in a sealed glass pitcher or jar.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Wild Olive Hoop Swap Extra Addition

Mollie over at Wild Olive blog hosted an embroidery hoop swap. For whatever reason, some participants weren't able to fulfill their commitments and that left some not receiving their anticipated swap item. Mollie posted about it and asked if any one would like to do an additional hoop knowing there would not be one received back. I decided to let Mollie know I would be happy to participate, if needed, because I had enjoyed the experience of both giving and receiving. And it really is true, it is more blessed to give than receive. I was excited to make up a new 4" hoop with the colors and motifs suggested by my new partner. I found these beautiful threads in her desired colors and a fun pack of iron-on embroidery patterns. I hope she enjoys her little hoop. I loved making it and getting it packed and sent out on Monday morning.

DMC thread colors used for embroidery was
733, 3808, 3809, 3810, 3813, 3819.

When I completed the embroidery, I removed it from my plastic hoop and placed it in the covered wood hoop with it backed with the above fabric. I trimmed around the edges, hot glued the edges down then glued the rick rack on the outer edge and the inner side of the hoop to hide the raw edges. I like the finished look the trim gave it.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Saga of Our First Reupholster

My daughter, Hanna, was given, from my mom, a sofa, loveseat and recliner that was gently used. Hanna and many friends heavily used the furniture during Hanna's college years. At one time, she lived in a very large house with 6 other people, two dogs and a cat. Well, you get the picture. The furniture base was still in good shape but the upholstery was in need of some help. Hanna and I went to Ikea and found this stripe fabric on sale for 3.99 a yard. It is a heavy-duty canvas and very contemporary. We had initially decided to make slip-covers. Hanna decided we should try and reupholster! I have NEVER reupholstered anything, nor has Hanna. But hey, I can read a blog! I searched around through Pinterest and my blog roll and found several sites that were helpful and we gave it a try. We recovered the loveseat pictured below and the sofa, which I failed to take a photo. The sofa is a bit better, as we learned a few tricks in covering the smaller loveseat. It took us about 9 hours to just get the old fabric off because there were thousands of staples to be removed. We spent an additional day covering the loveseat and about a third of the sofa before falling over from exhaustion. Hanna had to work the third day so I tackled all the sewing for the sofa and we finished it up the third night. I sewed the last stitch at 9:00 PM and by 9:15 I was in the truck to drive my 2 1/2 hour drive home. It was a fun experience because I shared it with my sweet daughter. It was also easier in some ways and much harder in others than I thought. I didn't imagine the difficulty of removing the fabric and staples. Both of our hands were swollen the following day from griping needle nose pliers to pull staples. One thing that was helpful, each step of removing the fabric, we snapped a photo on my iPhone. We were able to refer back when we had a question of "What next?"  The sofas are contemporary and fits Hanna's personality and gives her tons of colors to coordinate the rest of the apartment. 


Hanna hard at work.

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Remembering Our Friend

Yesterday would have been the 31st birthday of our 
precious friend, Captain David Hortman. David was first a son and brother, uncle and friend who loved all of those and his country. He was a West Point graduate and a Special Ops helicopter pilot who was killed in an accident last August. My husband and I had the honor of knowing and loving David since he was a little boy and the privilege to serve as his first contact in an emergency. When I say privilege I know that sounds unrealistic. When David asked us in 2008 to serve him in this capacity we hoped and prayed to never have this job. We also accepted the responsibility of knowing the absolute worst could happen. David lost his father to cancer when he was a teen. He didn't want his mother to receive devastating news from a stranger. And so on August 9th at 5:02 AM my husband answered a loud knocking on our door to receive two military men in full dress uniform. We knew, without the formal notification that had to be made, that our sweet friend was no longer alive. He had told us what to expect. We had the very difficult responsibility of sharing this dreadful news with his mother and extended family and friends. We miss our friend but yet in letters he left for his mom, sister and my husband and me, he asked that we celebrate his life. So, yesterday we spent a lot of time remembering all the wonderful things about this special man. He was a man with a zest for life. He was a man of courage and honor. David Hortman was truly a wonderful son and brother and for my husband and me, we loved him liked a son and he let us. His laugh was infectious and his voice in song was full of joy, which he and Stan, my husband, loved to do together. In fact, the song My Girl was one of their favorites to harmonize and yes, change the words to make them funny and all about those two. When we remember David in the midst of our grieiving and days that feel cloudy, the memories we shared together do bring us rays of sunshine. 

 Just a few photos to share to celebrate David's 30 years here on Earth.

David surrounded by his mom and sister. I took this photo on his 27th birthday.

David and friends.

David with his niece last Easter.

David and Stan - One of my very favorites of the two of them.

David and I on his 27th birthday.

Costa Rica

Arlington National Cemetery
Gone but never forgotten, always loved and missed.
We do not grieve like those with no hope but grieve knowing we will see David again.

I made this little felt reminder of choosing to celebrate those memories when we miss our dear friend.

The hoop is six inches. I found this great cloudy fabric at Hobby Lobby. I found a free font, Delius, through Pinterest. I used Word to add a circle shape, printed it, then cut it in half.  The sun was glued around the edges Elmer's Craft Bond Acid Free Glue stick. I edge stitched the sun then I printed off the words I wanted and used a transfer pencil on the reverse side of the paper. I ironed the words on to the fabric and stitched it using a backstitch. The words on the yellow had two strands of DMC threads and the lower words used one strand. I cut strips of the extra gray fabric and wrapped the outer layer of the hoop for a more finished project.

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