Saturday, August 28, 2010

DVD: To Save a Life (2010)

(Review from To Save a Life is a powerful Christian film about suicide, faith, and the power of one person to make a difference in the lives of many. Set in an urban high school where the jocks are high on the popularity scale and partying is commonplace, the film opens with several striking segments that include a surprisingly uncensored look at a teen culture ripe with underage drinking, bullying, and sexuality. Jake (Randy Wayne) is a popular basketball player who's at the heart of every party, but when he witnesses a childhood friend commit suicide in the halls of their school, he begins to reflect upon how he treated his friend in recent years. As he starts to grapple with his own sense of right versus wrong and struggles to define what his duty toward others might be, he meets a youth pastor who intrigues him despite his own disinterest in religion. As Jake's relationships with his parents and his girlfriend Amy become increasingly tumultuous and confusing, Pastor Chris (Joshua Weigel) serves as someone he can talk to, and his weekly youth group becomes a safe place where he can be himself without the fear of being judged. With Chris's help, Jake sets out on a journey of transformation and personal growth that will reveal God's unconditional love and Jake's power to make a difference in the lives of others. This film is both graphic in its demonstrations of immorality and openly preachy, traits that may render it uncomfortable viewing for many, but those very traits send a powerful message to modern teens. (Ages 13 and older) --Tami Horiuchi

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Little Bit of Everything

(Please excuse the bad lighting, we are having another afternoon
thunderstorm and there is not much natural light at the moment.)

Guess where I am going tomorrow?

Michael's has this great coupon and
I happen to have 3 finishes in need of framing!
70% off!!  Woo Hoo!

I am still making progress on The Sampler Girl's "At Home with Jane Austen"

I also have a new start to share, I am stitching on this during cross country practice.  I hope to be finished by next week (if we are not rained out)
"The Merry Skater" from the 2010 Ornament Collection
Little House Needleworks
stitching over 2 on 28 count Lugana in Summer Khaki
using 2 threads of the recommended DMC threads

The national press has descended on the Crescent City to cover the five-year anniversary of Katrina, it is Hurricane Week on the Weather Channel and I am not liking the looks of this . . .

Danielle (not a problem for us), Earl, the future Fiona and that cloudy area near the coast of Africa is a fourth system (a potential Gaston) they are watching.  So much for a quiet season.

All this reminds me, that awhile back, I said I would share my hurricane/emergency prep tips with you.  Well, I started writing and was overwhelmed by the amount of information.  So I decided to use a tip of the day method for passing on information.  I am going to start with the obscure and weird, because the basics (keep your tank full of gas, keep cash on hand, etc.) are easy to find on either of the following website links.

American Red Cross Fast Facts - tip sheets for specific types of emergencies

TIP # 1 - If you have items you cannot take with you (especially fragile items) consider placing them in the dishwasher - it keeps water in, so it will also keep water out.  This is also good to remember in a case of flash flooding when you do not have the time or ability to pack things up to take with you.

TIP # 2 - Use your address book (or snag an extra notebook from your kid's school supplies) and write down all the contact information for your important contacts, for example
  • bank, mortgage company, insurance company, utilities, etc (including account numbers)
  • employer (especially important if you are not paid by direct deposit or you work in a job that will be in high demand following the emergency),
  • doctors, pharmacy (include a list of all your Rx medications and doses)
  • local police/sheriff and fire stations,
  • grocery (you can call before returning home to see if they are open/stocked),
  • schools,
  • church,
  • family and neighbors
Inquire about emergency contact information.  National utilities, pharmacies, etc will still be reachable through an 800 number, but locals will also be evacuated, have lost electricity or telephone service, be severely damaged, etc.

Cell numbers may be inaccessible due to down towers or heavier than normal usage.  During Katrina, voice calls were rare, it could take an hour of redialing before your call would go through.  The addition of so many extra cell users (evacuees) overloaded the local cell systems.  If you do not know how, learn to use the text messaging on your phone, it takes up less bandwidth.  Teach your parents and other older relatives how to use the text messaging on their phone.  Also, remember you can call your cellular company to change your plan to include/increase your minutes or texting limits so you are not surprised by your bill the next month.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Book - The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Twelve-year old Percy (Perseus) Jackson is a misfit . . . a troublemaker . . . the son of Poseidon.

Percy has been to 6 schools in 6 years.  He is restless and impulsive.  He has ADHD and dyslexia.  But his problems are about to get much worse.  Zeus and Hades are both sending their worst monsters to get back what was stolen from them, and they think Percy has it.  Lots of action and adventure with the added bonus of a little taste of Greek mythology.  Excellent book for 5 - 7th graders!  I was throughly entertained and it left me wanting more.

I have not seen the movie (they are never as good as the book), but will borrow it from the library sometime in the future and will update this post.

UPDATE - After watching the movie, I recommend you read the book first.  The movie is a poor representation of the book, your two hours would be better spent reading the book.

No Sweat

Woo Hoo!!!!
A thunderstorm rolled in and began raining
2 minutes into cross-country practice.

DS wasn't too disappointed since he has two tests tomorrow
and no practice meant extra study time (and no stitching time for me.)

Even Bourbon Street empties for a thunderstorm.

We are almost to the height of hurricane season (September 10th).  The anniversaries of many of our major hurricanes (Camille, Betsy, Katrina, etc.) will be during the next 4 - 6 weeks. I will be saying extra prayers that the experts are wrong and this will be yet another quiet season.

DID YOU KNOW . . . today is the feast day of St. Rose of Lima, patron saint of needleworkers.  She sold her needlework (lace and embroidery) to support her family and the sick and hungry she took into her home.

 “Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.”
St. Rose of Lima

To celebrate, I will be putting a few more stitches in "At Home with Jane Austen" and choosing a design to stitch for an upcoming charity auction. 

I am not sure of the SOP for donating a stitched item for auction.  I may have to give the chart away with the stitched piece.  I guess I can contact the designer and ask.

There's No Place Like Home

I have another finish!

"Winter Sheep" (2010 Ornament series)
Little House Needleworks
stitched over 2 on French Country Linen in Cafe Mocha
using 2 threads of the recommended DMC threads

And I have been anxious to make a new start, so I spent a little time last night on this.

"At Home with Jane Austen"
The Sampler Girl
stitched over 2 on French Country linen in Latte
using 2 strands of the recommended Crescent Colours threads

It is not my usual color palette, but I love these bright happy colors!  It has been a fun and easy stitch so far.

Not looking forward to this afternoon.  The expected heat index for today is between 110 and 115 and today is the first day of cross-country practice for DS.  We are under heat advisories from 9am - 10pm all week.  I will be wishing I could stay home.  I try to find a shady spot (there are not many) where I can stitch and watch practice.  It is amazing to see how far these kids can run, especially in this heat.  Last year, DS came in from the first practice plopped down on his bed (despite my urging to shower first - ewww!) and fell asleep for 3 hours.  (He has a big test tomorrow, so I hope he doesn't take another long nap.)

Ten minutes into practice, I will be wishing I had stayed home.  And when I get home, I will probably head straight for the shower.  Fortunately, I will have the red beans in the crock pot so I will only have to make rice and turn on the oven (ughhh!) to bake the corn bread and then pop the sausage under the broiler. 

Maybe I should change this design to "There's nothing like staying home in the a/c."  Do you think  Tanya would mind?

Hoping it is cooler where you are!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

DVD: Invictus (2009)

After being elected President of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Mandela uses the Springbok rugby team as a tool for uniting the country.

If you liked this movie, check out the movie "End Game".

Another Finish

I am in the mood to wrap up loose ends, maybe it is the start of the new school year, maybe it is being in the middle of hurricane season and not being as ready as I had planned.  So I am trying to finish up a few WIPs.

Pardon the bad light, we have skies full of white clouds with peeks of blue and five minutes later, the sky turns dark grey and ominous preceding another daily thunderstorms.  Dontcha just love it when a tropical system boomerangs and comes back for 2 weeks in a row!?!

"Dogs Leave Paw Prints"
Lizzie Kate
Proceeds from this design are donated to the Kansas Humane Society
Stitched on 30 count Weeks Dye Works Cappuccino linen
over 2 threads using 2 strands of recommended Weeks Dye Works threads

I still have to add the silver dog bone charm under the dog house.  I will check the local bead shop and Hobby Lobby to see if they have something that will work.  If not, I will have to wait until my next trip to the LNS in October.

OOPS!  I just realized while looking a the photo that I missed a line of green under your.  I will post another picture when I have framed or otherwise finished this piece so you can see it with the green.  It just started thundering -- AGAIN -- and I want to get off the computer.  Besides, I feel like doing a little baking again today -- I'm thinking cookies!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another Finish!

I finally finished "Season of Love" by CCN. 
It is a pillow finish with a deep green fabric backing with holly designs.

"Season of Love"
Country Cottage Designs
(from 2010 JCS Ornament Preview issue)
stitched over 2 threads
on an unknow piece of ivory/off-white linen
using the recommended GAST and DMC threads

I will be posting a new start (or restart of a WIP) soon.

It was outrageously hot today with a heat index of 100 (temperature is 95, but with humidity it feels like 100), but I turned on the oven anyway to make these German chocolate cupcake.

(Did You Know - German chocolate has nothing to do with the country.  It was developed by Samuel German of Baker's Chocolates.)

I will post this semi-homemade recipe on my cooking blog Joie of Cooking.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Isn't she lovely . . .

I received my first RAK in the form a this beautiful biscornu
from Patty at Hanging on by a Thread

Isn't it gorgeous!  And it matches my stitching bag.

It is hard to see in the photo, but Patty beaded the seams with the tiniest red beads.

I love the color, the design . . . I love everything about it. 
It is absolutely wonderful.

It really made my day today, it is so dreary and humid
from the incoming tropical depression
that I needed a little sunshine from a random act of kindness today.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A k-new finish

My first attempt at knitting!

It is not perfect, I did have some trouble with the brim stitches and I actually think I have the hat upside down because I closed the wrong end, but I really enjoyed doing it.  I used one of those round looms and it came together really quickly.  It only took one episode of Miss Marple and about 15 minutes this morning to finish it off.  After seeing the stitches come together on the loom, I think I will have a better grasp of needle knitting/crocheting.  I hope to try my hand at those in the future.  My goal is to make a few hats and scarves so the round loom will work great for now.

I am so full of ideas for projects at the moment -
thanks to all you crafty bloggers who have provided the inspiration!

I have gone through all my crafting materials and thrown out the dried out paints and markers, passed on the materials I do plan to use and organized what is left.  I gave my sewing machine and Cricut semi-permanent homes so I can use them more easily.

DS has picked a few projects he would like to do and will be
making handmade Christmas gifts for all his grandparents.

I have also been doing some sewing,
no finishes to show yet, but soon!

I am hoping to finish CCN's "Season of Love" by the end of the week.
I like the flat finish and have some cording to use on the edge,
but I cannot cut a straight line on cardboard or foam-core. 
Any one have any tips? or suggestions for another type of finish?

It is the first week of school here so I will have some stitching time
during afternoon pick-up and should be getting back into a regular routine
(which totally fell to the wayside this summer).

The fluorescent tube lights in the kitchen have burned out.
They have been in use for 10 years!
Is that normal?

Hope you are enjoying the rest of your summer!

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Winner and a Heat Wave

Sorry for the delay in posting my giveaway winner, we spent the weekend on our "honey do" list and I was too tired to even think about the blog.  While cleaning out my crafting stash, I found a few items to add to the giveaway.

Okay, everyone in the pool!

The tension mounts . . . (thanks to DS for drawing)

. . . and the winner is . . .

Congratulations Mary of Stitches and More!

Mary, please e-mail your snail mail address to me at so you can recieve your goodies.

Since we spent the entire weekend on the "honey do" list, I did not get any new stitching done.  Here is an update on "Season of Love" by CCN.  I messed up on this one, but I am not going to fix it.  Can you  find it?

We will be watching the Gulf this week to see if Tropical Depression 4 will impact the first week of school.  DS is hoping for a hurricane day to extend his summer.  (Can you believe school starts next week?)  We still have 119 days left to hurricane season, so I am hoping the busy year predictions are wrong.

We are having record temps this week.  The heat index (temp plus humidity) has been in the 110 - 115 degree range with heat advisories lasting until 8pm.  Yesterday was the hottest day so far this summer.  A/C repairmen are working non-stop, we are breaking record temps daily and under nearly constant heat advisories -- IT IS HOT!  We usually don't see any real fall-like temperatures until November.  It is going to be a long August (and September and October).

Hope you are having cooler temperatures and enjoying what remains of the summer.

Looking to add to your stash, check out my stash swap blog.