Stitch Therapy

Discovering me … one stitch at a time

Category: books (Page 1 of 2)

A visit from the Christmas Chicken

Can you believe that it’s really 2017? Do you remember when the year 2000 seemed so futuristic and far away and here we are 17 years later!

How was your holiday? I never totally got rid of the grumps, but did manage to put on a happy face and hide them well enough as not to be a Debbie Downer.

Anyhoo, here’s what we did…

There is a story that gets told over and over about how when Tom and his brothers and cousins were younger, a giant costumed chicken would show up at various family functions. This year, Tom thought it would be funny if a chicken showed up on Christmas Eve instead of Santa.

Guess who he thought should be the chicken?

That would be none other than yours truly.

Thankfully, one of his brothers stepped in at the last minute and made a great Christmas chicken.

Santa showed up too. It was mayhem.

The boys pretty much got everything their little hearts desired on Christmas morning. So much for minimalism and simplicity.

I was off from work the week between Christmas and New Years. It was nice to hunker down and be lazy. We spent our time…

Coloring

Taking a long hike



Creating animations

I checked out two biographies from the library, one on Julia Child and the other on Catherine the Great. Culinary History Royal Nerd heaven!

We went to the beach house on Thursday and stayed through the New Year. Biggest was excited to test out the crab trap that he designed and built.

He caught 11 crabs and we made a delicious crab bisque!

We went to the Melting Pot for dinner one night which has inspired us to up our at-home fondue game in 2017. I can already tell that my diet is not going to go well.

We visited the cat rescue and pretty much wanted to take every cat home with us.

I was particularly fond of the three black cats on the windowsill. How cute are they?!

And worked on a big puzzle.

I say “we”, but really it was “me” who kinda got obsessed with it.

I spent New Years Eve in my jammies reading about Catherine the Great, which was GREAT. Some of us didn’t make it till midnight.

Happy 2017, Friends!

Things & Stuff

Hi Blog!

It has indeed been a whirlwind around here. Last weekend was very festive with Tom’s birthday, the Halloween block party, annual spooky family dinner, and, of course, Trick-or-Treating. I didn’t take any pics. Who am I??!!

This week, I…

Have been immersed in my new (old) Julia Child cookbook that I found at the thrift store. She is so long winded. I love it! 2 whole pages on how to properly boil an egg!

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Could truthfully use the excuse “the cat ate my homework.”

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Listened to not one, but TWO, violin players in the house now! We’re on our way to being a string quartet!

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Have a great weekend, Friends!

Shopping Adventures!

Hi Blog!

What?! Monday again?!

On Friday, Tom and I went to dinner and a comedy show with some friends. We saw those guys from that old improv TV show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” It was hilarious.

Stephanie and I went shopping on Saturday and I bought this old blanket chest. I love it.

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I guess I never finished telling you about our cross stitching adventures in Paris. I looked up some stitching shops to visit before the trip, but we didn’t manage to go to any of them!

One day though, we were out strolling near the hotel and spotted what looked like a fabric store. We stopped in and, lo and behold, it turned out to be a fabric, knitting, and CROSS STITCH store!!! Quelle surprise! They had a whole floor dedicated to cross stitch stuff! In a terrible moment of irony, my phone battery chose that exact time to die. Luckily, Tom was there to snap some photos.

I almost couldn’t focus. There was so much to see!

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Evenweave and linen in every color…

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They had a ton of pre-finished items just ready to be embellished with some cross stitching. Cute pouches of every shape and size!

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And pretty kitchen towels!

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There were soft stitchable bath towels in lovely colors…

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And a whole wall full of embroidery books!

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I had never seen the Rico design books in the US before and promptly fell in love. It was reaaaaallly heard to pick just a few items to buy.

I ended up getting two books, filled with the most gorgeous designs.

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So tasteful…

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And modern…

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Le sigh…

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I also bought a pre-finished runner and a tablecloth that was made specifically for stitching some of the designs from the books. I love the pretty texture on the tan one and … swooooon… white swiss dots! Who doesn’t love swiss dots?!!

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Can you tell how excited I was to find this store?

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The rest of the trip, I carried my stitching stuff around Paris in hopes of working on it during any down time. There ended up not being any until our final day at the Luxembourg Gardens.

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There were a lot of people milling about reading and sketching and relaxing. Can you imagine a dreamier place to stitch?

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I worked on last year’s 12 Days of Christmas stitch-a-long because it is small and portable and not too confusing, especially amidst so many distractions.

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Oh… is someone selling baguettes? Oh… do I smell crepes? Oh… should we walk over there for a quick Cafe au Lait? You know, distractions.

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I also stitched on the flight home and managed to complete Days 1-6. Quick aside, can I say what a treat it is to sit on your butt for 7 hours while watching movies (of your choice) and cross stitching while people bring you booze and food? Other people think that flying is a pain, but this tired working mama says “Bring it on!”

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I think I’m calling this project done for now and try to do a little finish work so that they are ready for Christmas. It only took two years to complete 6 days. I guess I’m not so good at stitch-a-longs.

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Anyhoo, that wraps up the Paris recaps. You’re probably tired of reading about the trip by now, so this week I’ll move onto more exciting things like Soccer practice and Chili making. Haha. Until then!

In Pursuit

Hi Blog!

It was very unproductive around here this weekend, between having my nose stuck in a new library book (about that scandalous Henry VIII) and playing Pokemon Go.

I was so lazy and barely left the house, except to chase Pokemon in the yard. Tom took this picture of me while in hot pursuit of one. This game is so addictive!

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By Saturday night, everyone was getting a little bored so we went to the mall to run some errands. I had heard through the grapevine that the Summer edition of CrossStitcher was finally available here in the US, so you better believe that we went to Barnes & Noble to look for it.

Imagine the disappointment when I found this big EMPTY space where CrossStitcher should be. It was sold out!

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We are a determined bunch though, and this just meant a trip to a different Barnes & Noble. Behold… the Summer issue in which yours truly is a correspondent!

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Exciting times here in the Suburbs. Happy Tuesday!

Junior Chef

Hi Blog!

Here we are at Friday again and I never got to tell you about LAST weekend!

Biggest has been obsessed with cooking shows so we decided to plan a menu, shop, and cook an entire meal together. It was so much fun!

Tom helped Biggest type up the menu.

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He worked hard on his knife skills.

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And took great pride in presentation.

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He made the Avocado sauce on his own. It was delicious!

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We were really proud of him.

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There was chocolate fondue for dessert. We don’t have a fondue pot so made one out of an oil diffuser and a bowl.

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Our resident food critic says “Keep it!”

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It was such a fun activity to do together and we are already planning our next menu!

I spent Sunday in the kitchen too… Making yogurt for the first time. I felt very scientific with my thermometer.

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10 hours later, we had cute little cups of yogurt!!!

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It was really good!!! I can’t wait to experiment with other recipes.

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Lest you think that all we did was eat last weekend, we also drank the best Sangria. (Sangria = Summer)

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I got this book from the library and was excited to show Tom. It turned out he had already read it! We are a perfect match. By the way… I am now obsessed with George and Martha Washington, think that John Adams is a total nerd, and greatly admire Thomas Jefferson.

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We went bike riding.

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There was a neighborhood yard sale. One lady was selling 5(!) spinning wheels! I was incredulous that someone living so close to me owned 5 spinning wheels and that we weren’t best friends. I don’t think I need to tell you how hard it was to walk away without bringing one home.

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I did bring this home though. Isn’t it cute?

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Speaking of cute, this is how I found him “working.”

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And him “not working.” (He sleeps in the weirdest positions.)

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What’s new in your world? Have a great weekend!

Wandering + Wondering

Hi Blog!

It was a busy weekend for little old me.

Tom and I went out for a lovely dinner date on Friday. A new restaurant opened near our house and it is delish. I had the duck. I love duck, but never prepare it at home because it seems like a lot of work. When it’s on a menu, I go for it!

On Saturday, Stephanie and I ventured into the city for a weaving workshop held at the studio of a former classmate of mine.

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We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but it was so fun and inspiring! It was not so much about the technical art of weaving but rather about the intuitive and meditative art of weaving. It was so against my usual regimented perfectionistic (hello… cross stitch!) tendencies that it was quite freeing and enjoyable. I think this might become a new hobby because, you know, I need another one.

Sunday was sloooow but productive at the same time. I woke up at 6 and was the first customer at Target at 8am sharp. What is better than having an entire Target practically to yourself? It was like some sort of dream sequence.

But the day wasn’t all dreamy wandering around Target, I went grocery shopping, cooked a ton in preparation for the week ahead, cleaned (Pinterest test of vinegar + Dawn dish soap to clean a shower. It worked!), played piano, read Wonder to the boys (Oh! That book! Have any of you read that book?! My heart hurts! I need to talk about it with someone!),

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Watched these two watching football,

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And squeezed in between two boys on the couch to do a little stitching. No pics, I was too tired by then to get up and find my phone.

All in all, a good weekend. What’s new with you?

In the Colonies

Hi Blog! TGIF! Are you all as happy as I am that it’s Friday?

This has been a busy but unproductive week. Here are some tidbits.

I started reading “Quiet” on the train to NYC. It’s a good read so far. Totally relatable.

Yesterday was a glorious day outside, so I walked to the library at lunchtime. This town has the most beautiful library perched right on the river with a little park outside.

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I am probably the only person on Earth who has not read or seen Gone Girl, so I checked out the book. Let’s see what all the fuss was about.

We have been enjoying all sorts of summer activities around here…

Nerf gun battling…

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And scootering.

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We went to a concert in the park. The boys ate all of the snacks before the concert even got started and then got bored and made up games with tin foil balls.

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We also went to our neighborhood ice cream social. The boys loved eating ice cream (maybe I did too) and running around with their little friends and digging in the creek. Ahhhh summertime.

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We finally decided on our vacation which will be to…

Williamsburg, Virginia!

The boys are excited about Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. Tom and I are excited about Colonial Williamsburg. This is right up our nerdy history-loving alley!

As we were talking about the trip, I realized that I have a Williamsburg pattern in my stash! I don’t even remember where or when I got it, but sure enough it was there!

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Maybe I should stitch Williamsburg while IN Williamsburg! Am I crazy fun, or what?!!

Another day… Another post.

Hi Blog. Happy Monday (not!).

We had a delightful weekend. Weekends are the best.

These came out of the garden.

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They might not look like much to you, but they are a pretty big deal. We are not such green thumbs around here.

I got this book, which I am looking forward to reading. Introverts unite!

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I let the boys do a little redecorating, which I am beginning to regret. This is one of their formerly cute shelves. It used to hold vintage children’s books and fire engines now THIS… sigh… boys.

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Proof that Coal might >gasp< LIKE Sammy (a little).

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Proof that Charlie is the softest, cuddliest, fattest cat in all the land.

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I made this Icebox Strawberry Cake from Pinterest. Fresh whipped cream… happy sigh. It was worth it.

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Lest you think that I’ve abandoned my one true love, I haven’t.

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See the creepy lady that is beginning to emerge? There is a little problem. My linen is lighter than the linen that they recommended, so her skin color may not show up. Should I go even paler for her skin so that she is even creepier and ghostlier?

The boys got tired of the “8 Ball Club” upstairs, so they set up the “Hip Hop Club” in the basement. Tom and I were quick to dismantle it because geeeze it was the only quiet kid free area left in the house!

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I practiced the piano, using a new online course.

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And Charlie discovered the dryer.

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How was your weekend?

Summer

I am such a lame blogger these days. Come to think of it, I have been a lame cross stitcher too! Since I clearly haven’t been blogging OR cross stitching, here is what I have been doing:

My sweet boy graduated from 4th grade!

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My other sweet boy finished 2nd grade!

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Charlie tried to remind me to cross stitch, by sitting right on my project.

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I’ve been obsessed with Eleanor and Park. WAAAAHHHHHH that ending!!! I need to know the three words!!!

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We sold some lemAnade.

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I got my Reiki level 3 attunement.

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Here’s to slow Summer days.

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Hello!

Happy Monday, Friends! Did you all have wonderful Mother’s Day celebrations? I hope so!

We had an activity-filled weekend. On Saturday, I made the mistake of trying to mow the lawn. I hadn’t renewed our landscaper contract and (in a moment of delusion) thought that it was something that I could do myself. HA! I got part of the front lawn done and thought that I would DIE! It must have been obvious that I was in over my head because our neighbor’s landscape guy came over to offer his services. I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

I got to do (almost) all of my favorite things on Sunday. Sleep. Eat delicious food. Play piano. Read. Kiss and cuddle my sweeties. Go for a family run (say what?! more on that later!). Organize the pantry. It was a pretty stellar day. I am one lucky girl indeed!

Here are some photos from our day:

Selfies with Charlie
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Selfies with Kid
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The other side of the table who refused to let me take a clear photo of them.
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Bubble Tea!
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No cross stitching because THIS arrived!!! Squeeeeee!!! Can’t put it down!!!
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