Thursday, September 26, 2013

Part 2 and more October goodies!

What's happening at L*K? We're shipping new designs on October 4, so things are humming around here. The Boxers are piling up in anticipation of their date with the shipping table.

Sadly, all the other new releases aren't here yet...YIKES! They're all marooned at the printer where they're having equipment problems. They've promised delivery soon and we may have to call in some elves this weekend to get everything sacked and assembled in time. I sense a Mexi-food emergency, because Mexi-food is my go-to for extra energy and stress control!

Here's what's coming to your favorite needlework shop in October!

Part 1 Holly & Hearts Mystery Sampler
Here's the cover! Look closely and you can catch more sneak peeks of the whole mysterious stitchery. The little Christmas bird (center of pic) is included in the Part 2 design. If you haven't joined in the mystery club, it's never too late. Just contact your LNS to order the charts, and optional fabric and fiber packs. Just for this project, L*K is in the fiber and fabric biz, and are providing the "whole deal", just to make your lives easier.

#161 Flora McSample's 2013 Stockings
Flora is our young sampler friend, and every year she designs a set of Christmas ornaments. This year she decided to do little stockings, and we're glad she did! Chartpak includes set of 3 mini-stocking patterns, as well as embellishments (buttons and beads) for all 3 projects. These stockings are small, but they're BIG on vintage charm and holiday spirit!

#160 Life is Not Measured
We've had a lot of requests for this wonderful saying, so here it is! It's not too big and not too small, just a satisfying size to stitch...and enjoy for many years!

B45 Good Friends are Like Angels Inspiration Boxer
Amen! The older I get, the more I value my friendships...both long-time friends and precious new friends! Kit includes 30 ct. natural linen, hand-dyed muted blue flower buttons and a tiny golden heart for the bonus "Angel" design.

What is THIS? I know it has NOTHING to do with the rest of this post, but I wanted to share my passion for "playing with my food". I made these cute little Twinkie school buses last week for a church event with a Back to School theme. Let me tell you...there aren't a lot of school themed things to do with food! 

I found this project on Pinterest (of course!) and got to work sawing the fronts off some Twinkies to turn them into buses. They would have looked much lovelier if I had bothered to put frosting in a pastry bag, blah, blah, blah, but everyone loved them. And we're still enjoying the remainder of the giant bag of M & M's I bought for the wheels!

The wheels on the bus go round and round.....

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Falling for fall

So, it's HOT here today...and I'm making a huge mess around the house getting out FALL decorations. A braver blogger would have taken a picture of the huge "before" mess, but this post is about "decorating" and there's nothing pretty about my messy seasonal habit (and I forgot to take the pic before I enlisted my husband to return reject items to the scary basement).

WHY do I do this??? I know it's not entirely normal for a mom with grown kids to turn things upside down decorating for the holidays. But it happens...every few months or so...every year...I can't stop my seasonal urges.

I start out thinking "Hmmmm...I think I'll freshen things up a bit around the house, and get out a few seasonal things". Then an explosion occurs somewhere between the basement and the main floor and totes mysteriously appear, existing decor is stacked for storage, seasonal things come out of said totes, more decor is temporarily retired and relocated and (yes, sadly) even some new seasonal things magically appear. Gotta love Dollar Tree for emergency seasonal decor!

Here are the final results. Yes, some of these pics are very similar to last year. I actually photograph my seasonal decor and file my pics on computer so I can attempt to speed things up the following year...and sometimes it works. I changed a couple things from last year in my entry hall, but my favorite Santa/witchy man is still under glass...he never ages! It's hard to see but he has a sack full of pumpkins on his back and a nice black/gray coat ensemble.

Yes, I have a GIANT sized fireplace mantel. It's also rather high off the ground, so it needs BIG stuff, or in this case, a lot of stuff!  I am fortunate to have an outlet hidden up there, so I can plug in my old-fashioned un-candle (orange lit thing) and some of the black branches on the left have tiny lights. Sorry, couldn't wait for dark to take the pic.

I have a minor obsession with old tole-painted trays, and you can find them scattered pretty much all over the house. The black background ones are my favorite, so I put them "front and center" during the fall. I tried to keep things simple on this big shelving unit in the family room. Just refreshed big glass jars with fall stuff, added the feathery owl and a few other autumn accents. 

This owl is a funny guy! He weighs almost nothing - must be papier mache with feathers glued on. Friends and family think he's pretty creepy, so sometimes he shows up in unexpected places, for dramatic effect!

Here's a closeup of the little October 31 frame thing. I had an extra black frame from a needlework project. I made this little graphic on my computer, printed it on regular copier paper, and once it's in the frame under glass, it looks pretty cute.

Here's my favorite decor area in the kitchen. Yes, the kitchen walls really are chartreuse! It's a surprisingly fun color to decorate around. Looks great with spring and fall colors, and really glows with holiday reds. It's hard to see (limited photography skills abound!) but there's a wonderful cross stitch I did from Birds of  a Feather in a starring spot. It's really primitive and a little creepy and I love it in this black frame.

Also in the kitchen, over the stovetop is the little shelf above. I made the bunting with some scrapbook paper. Just cut triangle shapes from assorted paper. Tie them together with ribbon after you make holes with a regular hold punch. When you're done for the season, fold it up and put it away! The giant black thing is one of my favorite tole trays. It has beautiful painting on the other side. I took it outside on the grass and sprayed this side with blackboard paint, then got to work with chalk. It's fun to change the message seasonally, when I'm not displaying the pretty painted side. Fall leaves are courtesy of Dollar Tree!

Time to go dig up last year's mums from the garden and put them on the patio and make the annual pumpkin pilgrimage! Happy Fall, y'all!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Our Purple Pride!

Yep, it's that time season! I admit I'm not the biggest fan ever, but I sure do enjoy watching games with my K-State friends, eating game day food, cheering and chatting. Games are a great excuse to spend hours with some of my best purple pals!

Usually, we watch from the cool comfort of our family room with the giant TV (Alan somehow talked me into this several years ago), but occasionally we score some real game day tickets. Then we make the 2.5 hour pilgrimage to lovely Manhattan, Kansas (fondly known as the "Little Apple") and home of the Kansas State Wildcats!

Alan and I met there, so it's full of fun memories and nostalgia rules when we drive into this lovely college town in hilly northeast Kansas. You didn't know there were hills in Kansas? Wrong...just happens to be flat where I live!

Above is the new WEST HALF of the stadium...a mere 90 million dollar investment for the home team. The day after the final game last year, they imploded the existing west half of the stadium, then worked like crazy to rebuild and expand. We were there for the first game in the newly expanded facility...and thankfully our tickets were on the west side in the SHADE. It was still over 100 degrees at 7:30 game time.

What's game day without some parking lot tailgating? Our friend, chef Doug, brought along some tasty kabobs, and the men grilled while we set out other potluck food we had brought along. Did I mention it was HOT? I have no idea what the temp was in the parking lot, but it was staggeringly HOT. I'm not very heat tolerant, so I collapsed in one of those folding sling chairs and drank and drank and drank....water, I mean!

It was so hot, I almost lost my appetite....almost! Brenda had brought along some amazing peanut butter/chocolate chip cookies, and they're my favorite. I figured the sugar was good for me in that HOT environment, not to mention the protein in that peanut butter!

We have lots of pals who regularly go to games, driving from towns around the state and often out of state. Here are my long-time friends, Greg and Julie (and husband Alan with his mouth full of food on the right). Julie was my roommate in college, and we're still good friends. You may remember Julie from my summer post on the lavender farm.

Dinner's over and we're ready to brave the crowds INSIDE the stadium, with friends Doug and Vicki.

But first, a photo op as we enter the stadium. Boy, was this a hard shot to get as hordes of loyal fans were massing through the gates. The only people not in purple were the green-shirted security guys behind me. I'm standing with the new statue of our beloved coach, Bill Snyder. He's still coaching and he's no youngster. And he's always wearing the same purple windbreaker and carrying a clipboard, just like his statue. We had bets if he would emerge this night wearing the windbreaker, since it was rumored to be 136 degrees on the field...but he did!

We set a new attendance record with over 53,000 in attendance, and enjoyed the full football game experience...awesome marching band, traditional cheers, our mascot Willie the Wildcat, big salty pretzel (I needed the extra salt to combat the heat) and all that. After a full bottle of water in the first half, and a giant Diet Coke in the 3rd quarter, I think I finally cooled off for the finish of the game. What a treat to get to attend in person, but I'm watching the next game from a cool recliner!