WARNING - HEAVY PICTURE POST!
This post was initially started on 6 August but didn't get completed or published until today, Sept. 2nd!
Boy! Has this been one busy month and a half! I celebrated my 50th birthday - UGH! Rob painted, sanded and generally fixed up the entire lower level (plus the upstairs bath) of the house, I removed wall paper (and didn't do a very good job of that) and then Rob had to try to fix the mess I made, Matt had his Eagle Scout ceremony and the big party at our house following, I refinished the bathroom cabinets in the boys bathroom, my parents came for a week long plus visit, I made lots of scissor fobs and seems like more ~ maybe I'll remember as I write this.
It has been a whirlwind of activity these last few weeks and I have so many things to share with you! First I just want to say thank you to all of you that sent such wonderful birthday wishes! This post is long overdue because I didn't feel like I could post on my blog about gifts until I had written thank you notes to everyone. I finally got them all mailed on Monday morning so if you don't have yours now, you should have it soon. In addition to all the good happenings, this has been a personally challenging month and I just have been overwhelmed. Fortunately, things are settling down and getting better and I'm ready to share!
Unexpected Surprise #1 - Never, when I started blogging, did I expect to make so many friends! But - that's exactly what has happened. To all of you who posted birthday wishes on my blog, or sent me an email or a card, thank you so very much! I was tickled to death to get each and every one. In addition to that, I got some other wonderful, unexpected gifts (in no particular order):
Unexpected surprise #2, Britta (no blog - it's a pity!) in England sent me this wonderful hornbook! Look how dainty (just like I USED to be) and pretty it is. She also included a beautiful mother of pearl button with the little girl and dog on it (oh so pretty), two darling charms (that Eiffel tower charm is going on my BBD Eiffel Tower pinkeep when I finish it) and this wonderful graph paper, note paper. And check out the pretty fabric envelope that her sweet card was tucked into. Isn't it wonderful? Britta, to say I was shocked is an understatement. You could have knocked me over with a feather! Thank you so very much; I'm so pleased to have something you stitched in my collection of beautiful things!
Unexpected Surprise #3; Robin in Virginia (no blog.....) has become a dear friend of mine over the last couple of years. She's the best person I know about sending sweet cards for no reason at all, and never seems to forget a special occasion. My birthday was no different. Look at the wonderful pinkeep she made for me. Robin knows I love Mary Garry designs and this is a beauty! I will keep it with my collection of lovelies all year long because who can stand to put something so pretty away? Thank you dear, Robin!
Unexpected Surprise #4: Melissa in Canada sent me this darling package with the sweetest card. I love the little thread winders (each one is a different color) and will put them to good use! I am so inspired to get a sewing basket like Roz's going (previous post) because they need a really pretty place to be kept. She also sent me three strands of gorgeous fall colored floss as well. I will have to find just the right project to use these. Thank you so much Melissa! I love your unexpected gift and am so glad we've become friends!
Unexpected Surprise #5; CARI in Virginia sent me the most decadent box of chocolates. The Fed Ex guy knocked on the door and when I opened it, I was so surprised! Will you look at these beautiful chocolates? I swear, you all KNOW how much I love chocolate! I was literally drooling with anticipation. Have you ever seen such pretty edibles in your life? I wish Cari, and all of you, could join me on my patio for a tall glass of iced tea (southern style!) and a chocolate. But, since there's not enough to go around, I'll eat them all! hee hee hee ~ sorry! I have to admit, they are long gone but I will enjoy the memory of such a sweet gift for a very long time! I think these may have been the BEST chocolates I have EVER had. Thank you so much, Cari.
Unexpected surprise #6 JOLENE sent me this beautiful package. Can you believe it? Fabric from the temple (SB), darling patterns and needles. Thank you so much Jolene. Uh-oh, I just noticed that one of the patterns Jolene sent me I forgot to include in the photograph - I'll show you that one next time! I love the patterns and the fabric and can't wait to get started on a new project. Thank you!
The day of my birthday I celebrated with my Rob and the boys. Rob cooked dinner, got the cake and I was treated quite well. I got some more beads for my Troll bracelets, I got a one hour massage gift certificate and a beautiful gold bangle from Hawaii. This one has the boys Hawaiian names engraved on it. For my 40th birthday, Rob gave me one with my Hawaiian name (Keli) on it. Maybe for 55 or 60 (if I make it that long), I'll get one with his name on it! The smaller one, a quilt pattern, we got the last time we visited Rob's sisters that live on Oahu. I love bracelets!!!
My DF Sally (no blog) had a birthday this month as well. She is in the process of decorating her craft room so I got her these Gingher scissors and made the fobs to go on them.
I think she liked them. Those big, white blobs are pearls.....
Also this month I was supposed to be helping LORAINE lead a SAL on SB's Sail Away. I haven't been any help at all but Loraine is doing a fantastic job. In honor of leading without actually doing any of the work, I decided to make all the Sailors a scissor fob. I made 20+ fobs and I took this pic at the 1/2 way point. (You'll get yours next time I see you, Deb!)
They're all the same, yet each one is slightly different. I hope everyone liked them and if you haven't received yours, by all means, shoot me an email! The blue and white pearls represent the colors of the sea and the individuality of each sailor, the turtle reminds us that no matter how quickly or slowly we stitch, that we will all get there eventually.
Here's a link to our SAL blog. Loraine did a great job with the blog and has one of my favorite Hawaiian singers in the playlist: Iz - go have a look and a listen.
Sail Away Stitch-a-long Blog
Here's a pic of my Sail Away progress to date:
My major activity this moth (August) was getting ready for Matt's Eagle Scout ceremony and party. I put an unbelievable amount of hours into a slideshow and in the script for the ceremony and the programs to hand out. I have cried at every Eagle Scout ceremony I've ever been to but not my own kid. I guess, after you've looked at the slideshow for something like 30+ hours, it's no longer quite as touching. I did shed a tear or two when Matt's pal Eric got up to speak but other than that, not so much. I won't go on about it more than I already have for the past few months other than to show a few pics.
Matt giving his speech and reflections on being in Scouts.
BFF Julie's son Josh leading the flag ceremony:
Matt's Cake (No! I did not bake/decorate it)
Me pinning the eagle medal on Matt:
Matt, his pal Eric (in blue shirt), his scoutmaster a fellow eagle scout named Tyler and another scout named Alex:
My mom and dad on the patio before the party:
A shot of the backyard before the party:
On the morning of Matt's party, my mom says, "Do you want me to recover the cushions on those old green chairs on the patio?" Surely she didn't mean today, the day of the party? Yep, that's exactly what she meant. While I readied the food and the patio, Rob got the ice, beer, wine, beer and sodas and beer, my dad vacuumed and my mom sewed the cushions. Here's a pic of my folks sitting on them just prior to heading off to the ceremony. Aren't they cute - my parents I mean, not the cushions (but the cushions are cute too). Can you believe they are both in their 70's? I only hope I age as well.....
I was also busy this month getting ready for my folks to come visit. For some reason, before they arrived, in the midst of all the other "stuff" I had going on, I got the bright idea to re-do the boys bathroom (which also serves as the guest bathroom). So, Rob painted the walls and I refinished the cabinets and bought and hung new window treatments and shower curtains. Refinishing the cabinets wasn't nearly as easy a task as I thought it was going to be but in the end, they turned out great. The old oak doors/drawers were just ick from all the moisture in the bathroom and I am so glad to have them gone! I still have a 4 drawers to finish (as you can see) but that'll get done in the next few weeks - no hurry now!
While my folks were in town, my dad, dh and boys golfed a lot. My mom and I shopped a lot. This is what I found at one of the antique stores:
Kind of pretty, don't you think? You can see that it used to be a pretty shade of blue but age has turned the top a lovely, deep green. I wish it still had the lock but that's okay, 'cause look what was inside:
The basket is marked Germany, as are the scissors. The larger pair of scissors are much more used, the gold is more worn than on the smaller pair but they're still pretty and they are still very sharp. The only thing that appears to be missing is a thimble (I think) . I paid all of $37 for this and while it's not in great shape, I just couldn't pass it up! Have you ever seen one like this - I've searched everywhere and can't find one. Any idea how old it might be? I don't know if it has any value but I just love it! I may try to recover the inside with new satin but then again, if I mess it up - I'd be sick so maybe I'll leave it be for the time being.
Also while my mom was here we hit a beautiful fabric store and got this old fashioned oil cloth. My mom is a talented sewer and I always manage to find a job or two for her when she visits! She made this cute, old fashioned apron for me. isn't it cute?
She also made this awesome tablecloth. The solid black is actually chalkboard cloth - shhhhh.... don't tell my boys (although I think they're too old to care) and it's not as shiny as it looks in the picture. I love it - I just wipe it down and keep on going. Didn't she do a great job?
Are you still with me? Here are a couple of pics of the new paint job. I used an off-white for the trim, a kahki color for the walls and a red for the accent walls. Here are a couple of shots of the new paint job:
And finally, sadly, my dear Aunt Nancy just passed away the night of the 31st. She had just begun her battle against lung cancer - we had a luminaria for her at the Relay for Life this spring. I will miss her as will all of her family and friends. She was a bundle of joy who loved Elvis and her family (not necessarily in that order!) and she will be sorely missed. Charlie, Dina and David, you are all in my heart and my prayers.
I hope that now that August has passed that I will have a little down time to stitch, visit your blogs and catch up on lots of things. I hope your summer has gone well, that your families are happy and healthy and that you know how much I appreciate your visits, your comments and your friendship.