Friday, July 9, 2010

Back from vacation

We spent five glorious days in northern Idaho this past week, visiting family. It was so peaceful in the mountains. I did experience a few withdrawals since we had very limited cell service and no internet access. Each day we were able to go ATV riding, play on the lake, hike, or just sit on the porch and read. I spent a lot of time on the porch. The view was spectacular and I loved taking in all that God has created. The munchkin went tubing and managed to return home without any serious injury. We had our first experience with a tick, one attached itself to her arm, but we caught it early. This is what I spent the time admiring:

Recently we did something that everyone should experience at least once in their lives. Make home made marshmallows. There is nothing better than a fresh marshmallow. My whole life I lived thinking that the white fluffy goodness was only to be found in a plastic bag on the shelf at the store. Not so! We used Alton Brown's recipe from the Food Network. It was super easy, totally delicious, and very ooey gooey. The hardest part of the whole recipe was waiting four hours for them to set. These are not good for S'mores, just as a warning, they wouldn't stay on a skewer to roast, but they are incredible in just about everything else. We've shared them with friends, neighbors, and everyone has loved them.

I haven't stitched much in the past week, but I have design ideas flying through my head and found a beautiful new thread color while visiting Haberdashery. This was my special vacation treat! We had to drive into Spokane to pick up family at the airport, and any time there's an LNS within 60 miles you can bet that I'm going to visit it. The owners were wonderful and the shop was amazing. There were models everywhere, so many creative finishing techniques, and the SCISSORS! Oh, my, the scissors. It was embarassing that I owned most of the pairs they had in there, but there were dozens and dozens of styles to choose from. The fiber selection was one of the best I have seen in a shop. The variety of colors and lines was more than I had thought I'd see in one place. Their charts were easy to sort through, there was lots of room to walk, and the stitching tables in the back were well lit for anyone to sit, stitch, and have a great time. I can't wait to go back! The picture just shows a very small front part of the shop, but you can get a good idea of their organization and space.

As for work, things have been busy. The new designs have started shipping out to shops on my auto ship and should be arriving in the next few days. I have run out of assembled froggy fobs and will spend the evening making up a new batch of those. They're hopping out of here! I've got new threaders to package, an older design to re-stitch the model, and lots of printing and packaging to do. All is good.

Tonight we're making home made pizza and root beer floats. Mmmmmmm. Hubby makes a great pizza crust and we'll be canning our own sauce this fall, made with San Marzano tomatoes that are growing (hopefully) in out backyard. All of our errands are done for the weekend and we can just enjoy our time as a family. The blow up pool is all set for the munchkin and I know she will find hours of fun splashing around.

Friday, July 2, 2010

These past few months have practically been a blur. The online show was a great success and I met a lot of new-to-me shops and stitchers. The froggy fobs and needle threaders are doing better than I ever expected. Summer is already here, the weather is turning hot, and we are enjoying time as a family. We've gone camping, worked around the house, planted oodles of seeds in the garden, and now it's time to work on stitchy stuff.

A lady at EGA asked how much I stitched. After careful consideration I answered with "four hours". She got the impression that I managed to do that every day with a business, home, and child. She thought it was wonderful. I laughed for a good minute and corrected her that four hours was my stitching total for the month of May. That has changed. I thank her deeply for making me realize that I had strayed from what I love so much - stitching! I made stitching more of a focus for June and it was easy to do with new designs to work on.

For My Big Toe Designs there are three new releases this month! I had planned on waiting until September to send them out, but they're done and I have no patience when I'm excited about something. I knew the moment they were home from the framer that I could not possibly wait two whole months to share them. No will power whatsoever. They're printing now and I'll be working hard to get them into chartpacks in the next couple of weeks. The designs are "Pray," "Enter His Gates," and "Peace." The one for "Pray" is my favorite of the bunch. Don't get me wrong, I love them all, but this one touched my heart. As I was stitching on it I had some struggles, and was reminded though the little x's that I needed to let go of the frustration, let go of the pain, and just pray.
As the weather has warmed I've been outside more and more each day. I have learned a few things while working out in the garden.

1.) If you are using the weed whacker and get a song in your head - don't dance to it. Bad things happen when that plastic twine hits your shins.

2.) Whoever said gardening wasn't a "cardio" activity hasn't seen the creepy crawly nasties that jump out from everywhere. I can guarantee my heart rate was WAY up.

3.) A child will learn naturally not to eat fruit straight off the vine when it's not ripe. As many times as your warn her, she will have to learn it on her own, and you should definitely have the camera ready for the sour face.

4.) Neighbors cannot see the snake that you're running from in an irrational fit of fear. All they see is the crazy screaming neighbor doing zigzags across the yard.

Our trees, vines, and bushes are all starting to get fruit on them. We've got the cutest little baby apples, pears, grapes, and strawberries. I never knew produce could be so precious! The tiniest little bunches of grapes are on the vines and I could stare at them for ever. The lettuce in the garden is doing well and we are using it at mealtime. With a little fresh chives and tarragon, shaved parmesan and balsamic dressing... mmmmm. Very tasty. I can't wait until the tomatoes are in full season and we can eat those with every meal.

A couple of nights ago the munchkin saw fireworks for the first time. We were able to pull some chairs out into the middle of the yard and watch the show from over the neighbor's trees. The beautiful display was only about a mile away and it was stunning. We all loved seeing the night light up, and it was worth having a cranky child the next day after staying up so late.

Mostly life right now is peaceful. I'm learning that the house doesn't have to be vacuumed as often as it was, the dust doesn't really matter unless it's dated, and weeds will *always* be there. I've figured out some things about myself that I never ever ever thought would happen. I like to camp. I like to kayak. I like to fish (as long as I don't catch anything, have to touch a worm, or get in the water). My most peaceful time is in the kitchen, making new dishes and treats. It's a strange new world ;-)