I’m Laura, owner of Appleberry Cottage. I love to share my primitive stitchery, primitive punch needle, hand crafted folk art, and heirloom crocheted baby afghans with you.
When I'm not crafting, I'm mom to 4 kids: Andrew, Matt, Rachel (17 yrs old), and James (12 yrs old).
I finished cleaning Rachel's room! :) I even washed and ironed the curtains, dust ruffle and all the bedding before she came home. I wish the bed was made now, but it isn't...
My lovely daughter wants to know where all her clothes went. Well, they are in her dressers, where they belong. Here we have sweaters (with matching camies) and jeans.
Here's pj's. She's claiming she doesn't have any. Oh, and can't forget the shorts, swimsuits, tanks, and short and long sleeve t shirts. Yea, I guess all her clothes disappeared while she was gone!
While I"m on my cleaning kick, I started sorting all my craft supplies. I sorted patterns by category : stitchery graphics, punch needle, cross stitch, and bowl fillers/ornies. I can now easily find what I'm looking for! I cleaned out my fabrics. I had WAY too many tiny scraps that I wasn't using. I even found some muslin that I forgot I bought, so I'm getting ready to start some new projects. I just need to clean off my work/craft table in the family room, and I'll be set to craft this week. I really wish I had an entire craft room where I could work and sort my supplies. (James is watching my type this, and he really wants his own Lego room) But then I would have way too much and not use it all, so I'll stick with my small work area for now.
Here are all the bags of stuff I've removed from Rachel's room. This doesn't include the bags of garbage, believe it or not. I now need to take the bags to the local Goodwill store by tomorrow evening. I don't want her digging through all the bags to see what she'll keep - whether it fits or not!
Matt decided that her carpet needed steam cleaning. So, he cleaned the carpet yesterday. I'm washing all the bedding, and now need to iron the curtains to hang back up.
I put Andrew to work getting the corn on the cob ready for the grill. It was SO hot this week, that I didn't want to turn on the oven. I found a new recipe for a rotisserie chicken in the crock pot. Put some foil balls in the bottom of the crock pot, then put the whole chicken on top with spices. It was good, and Matt wants me to make it again.
Our exciting new purchase this week is above!!! No, it's not a new van, but new tires for the van, plus a new battery. I can almost hear all the oh's and ah's! Needed the new tires for the trip next month. We didn't want to drive the mountains (and possible snow) with our old tires. We keep our local mechanic in business since we're always having something done.
I haven't been crafting all week, so no new photos to share. I did see some photos of Rachel at camp on the camp website. One photo has her horseback riding. The other was at the waterfront for evening games. I pick her up tomorrow evening. I'm sure she'll have LOTS of stories to tell! :)
Before the haircut (no, he won't smile for a photo for me) and after the haircut (still won't smile for me). It was his idea. Since he leaves for scout camp on Sunday, he wanted his hair to be out of his eyes, and nothing hot. But Andrew did say that the old Andrew will be back in a few months.
Last night was fireworks in our town. We don't have a 4th of July show, but have one at Cary Days instead. I'll have to see if Matt's camera got any good photos. His has a fireworks setting that he was testing out last night.
Russ called and said there are rumors of another reduction in force tomorrow. Another small one, so it doesn't hit the news or Wall Street. Lovely. So, it's now the waiting game - again....
Yesterday was a wild weather day. In the morning, the tornado sirens went off. There were circular clouds out in the towns of Huntley and Lake in the Hills. We didn't get any severe weather, other than getting a LOT of rain with thunder and lightening.
Today Rachel left for camp. There were 3 buses that left, so lots of jr highers. Now that she's gone for a week, it's time to clean out her room. It's a lot easier to do it when she's not here (she'll want to keep everything). I can do a small section a day, and hopefully it will be done by next Friday when we have to pick her up.
Today was hot enough for a pool day. Russ, James and I went this afternoon. Then after dinner, I took all the boys. Looks like we'll be hanging out there all week, as it will be warm.
Not much time for crafting, but a couple rows of crocheting at the pool tonight. I picked up an extra skein of yarn on the way home from the camp bus today, so I'm set to crochet!
I started a cat punch needle project, but then got stuck. I just didn't feel inspired by it, and didn't like the way one little section turned out (the color combinations). Plus, I don't like cats! (no flames, please) So, I put that project aside and started a baby afghan. This is the pattern that got me back into crocheting. It's all done in one piece, and has such a pretty border (that's the last part of the afghan to do ~ the border looks like lace). I know I'll need at least one more skein of yarn, but I'll see how far the one I"m working on gets me. I've done this pattern so many times, that I don't need the pattern, except for the border.
On Tuesday night, it was only 3 of us for dinner. Andrew, Matt and Rachel had a barbeque at the jr high youth group. So, it was only Russ, James and I for dinner. James hit the strawberries early. He lost another tooth that evening, so he now has 2 empty spaces on the bottom.
I look at the photo of my kitchen floor, and think it's ugly. Yep, it's gold. Yep, the floor is slightly warped. So, it needs a new subfloor, as well as a new laminate. Maybe next year..... At least it gets cleaned!
I've been mulling over the idea of a Christmas in July sale on ebay and my blog. I found this adorable Santa rug hooking pattern in a library book. I shrank it to use for a punch needle. I think that will be my next project!
I have a couple things set for a sale. I have one candle mat and one pillow. Now to add to the pile and complete more items. :)
I finished my first penny runner for the dining room table. I found some black print fabric for the backing at a local quilt shop. I didn't want to use the wool felt, as it would have been too thick. I ended up using a size 5 DMC pearl cotton for the edges. I really like the rustic, folk art look of it. I liked it so much, that I did a small table/candle mat to coordinate! I just listed this one on ebay last night. I had Rachel helping with cutting the circles (ok, so we used a Sizzix machine to cut the circles - it's SO quick to cut perfect circles). I stitched this one with black floss for the pennies, and a tan for the sides.
Since my candle mats have been selling on Ebay, I quickly stitched up another one for summer. This one also hit Ebay last night, and already has a bid! :) I'm really liking the button hole stitching on the sides, as I can do it all by hand. That means I can bring it along if I'm sitting at the pool or waiting for kids.
For my local friends (who don't blog): A Houseful of Boys isn't just a crazy mom that I found on blogland ~ it's my crazy cousin. :) Oh, my friends Cathy and John have been elevated to the title of "awesome" by my boys. Matt saw that John's car (a Mustang GT) and thought it was cool - it has lots of gadgets. Andrew said it was "beyond" cool ~ it was AWESOME. Yep, John is now awesome and cool in teenage eyes!
Tonight it's dinner out for Russ and I. It's our 18th anniversary. The kids stay home with pizza for dinner, and hopefully no fights! :)
I started stitching all those pennies together last night. I'm using Valdani thread that's a combo of black and dark brown. I'm really, really liking the way it's turning out. It's just the right thickness of thread for this part. I haven't decided on what kind of backing to use, but I'm thinking a thicker thread to sew the backing. Something that will show up, but not be too bold. Maybe a dark brown DMC size 5? When I get to that part, I'll look over the isle in the store to see what I like.
Schools out! Here are my three 8th graders: Matt, Andrew, and Rachel. My 4th grader is James. Can you believe I actually got them all in a photo? James spent the afternoon running around the neighborhood with some other boys. They were playing with pop guns. I'm sure the neighbors love hearing the sound of pop, pop, pop for a few hours! I got Andrew to cut the lawn today. Matt had to point him to the correct machine, as Andrew was going for the snow blower instead. I'm sure he would have figured it out eventually!
Any bets on how long they will sleep in tomorrow morning?????
I finished cutting my penny rug runner. I wanted it small enough to be able to keep it on the table when 6 plates are there for dinner. I tried to mix up the color combinations as much as possible. I took out some of the mustard color, as it was too bright. (I can't age this in coffee & vanilla!) I quickly pinned them into place, but will do exact placement when I sew each stack together. I used all but 2 of my pins, so I'll have to get another box sometime.
I'm debating which thread to start with. I have black DMC in size 8 and 12. I also have some Valdani in a combo of black/brown. I'm leaning toward the Valdani to add some interest in the stitching for a folk art look. The Valdani says size 12, but it's more of a DMC 8.
Tomorrow is an entire hour of school. By the time to drive James and get home, it's time to go back and pick him up. It's suppose to rain, so no going to the pool. Plus, it's a little cool for swimming. We'll all have to sort through school supplies and put the good items away for next year. I'm sure the recycle bin will be filled with old papers that have been stuffed into lockers!
This is my birthday boy, James. He turned 9 today. Although he had to go to school, there was an end of the year class party with pizza. We brought ice cream cups for dessert. Here he is opening a Halo action figure - it was top on his list!
A new Wii game - Nascar!
More Bionicles to keep him busy.
Birthday ice cream. He doesn't really like cake, so we made hot fudge sundaes instead. He lost a tooth at Noodles and Co tonight at dinner. The tooth fairy (no, doesn't believe in the tooth fairy, or Santa) gave double for losing it on his birthday.
This is a "new" wood bowl for my dining room table. I found it at a local resale/antique store this past weekend. It's larger than my other bowl, so it easily hold my larger carrots. I'm not sure if I like the lighter color or not. It does have a nice finish, so I don't want to mess with it too much. I'll wait and see how I like it with the penny runner that I'm going to make.
I made a trip to Joann's today and found some wool felt. I washed and dried it, but didn't like the way the black dried at all. I thought it was ruined, which would mean another trip to buy more. It's the 30% wool (they didn't have black in 20% wool), so it was too thick and dried funny. I cut a table runner out of the black and decided to spray the wool with water, then took an iron to it (between cloths to keep it from getting shiny). It worked! I was able to make it look really nice and not scraggly. I don't know if I over dried it in the drier or not. I'm letting the other colors dry a bit more by air to see the difference. I'm so use to working with cotton fabric, that felt and wool are a new thing to learn. I'm hoping to get to cutting circles tomorrow. I want just 3 colors of circles over the entire runner - something really primitive and plain. (ok, easy to do).
My peonies bloomed today! I had planted these 2 years ago, and they really hadn't bloomed until this year. I had gotten a bag of them from someone on freecycle, so I didn't know what color they were. It's a really pretty shade of medium pink. There's a lot of blooms on the plant ready to bloom! :)
Tomorrow is the last full day of school. I'm going to enjoy the peace and quiet and a house to myself.
Our local paper had an article yesterday about residents upset with a neighbor. They didn't like her idea of a planter in the front yard. She took an old pedestal sink and turned that into a planter. She also took a toilet and put flowers in that. Is this trash to treasure???
I took a grapevine wreath I had sitting in storage, and put it on my fence outside. I thought the fence was a little plain since the clematis is still small. Now I'm thinking that I could twine the branches through the wreath as it grows longer. I'll have to play around with it (maybe it will take a couple years for the clematis to reach maturity?) over time. The other plants look so small now. I had cut back the mums early in the spring, as they were overtaking the sidewalk in the fall. Give them 2 years, and they'll be huge again. This spot is all sun, so any plant that likes sun thrives. (plus, not a whole lot of rocks on this section)
Before my paychecks end for the summer, I bought a bird bath for the garden. Our old one broke to pieces a few years ago, and I never found a cheap one to replace it. This one is metal, so I don't have to worry about it during the winter (cement ones will crack). Matt wants to help me build new wood borders for the garden this summer. The one side has pulled away and we can't get it back. We started, and the wood was dry and splitting. We have some boards downstairs in storage, so we'll see if we can use those. This one was put together using nails, and we'll use screws, plus some corner reinforcements. If the garden ends up being a bit larger, I wouldn't mind! I'm sure my neighbors wouldn't mind either! Our yards are all open, but sorta divided by perennial gardens. We enjoy seeing what the others have.
I finished another punch needle late last evening. I'm waiting for the stain to dry on it to see if I need to make it darker. I also traced a couple stitchery candle mats to stitch up on a rainy Saturday. I don't know what I'll list on Ebay tomorrow, and what I might save. I'm still thinking of a website with more exposure - maybe Lemon Poppy Seeds? For now, I'll have to just stitch the afternoon away!
I just finished this punch needle pinkeep! I think I'll put it on my selling blog until Sunday, then list it on Ebay. This one was fun to do, with outlining and 2 toned background.
I had a good laugh this afternoon. Andrew has been looking up concerts he wanted to go to this summer. One group he likes, Skillet, is going to be in Arkansas. He reads it, and says, "R - Kansas". At least his younger brother could read the state correctly!
I started a punch needle crow using a rug hooking pattern. The colors in the rug hook were way too bright, so I toned them down with more primitive colors. For the background, I'm trying a couple different shades of blue, but without punching "stripes". The camera really defines the colors, but they aren't that different in person. I'm doing some shaded areas, and filling in a few small areas with the darker blue. I really like the way it's turning out. The border will be red with gold stars.
As I'm punching, I'll take out my frustrations with the Cubs. I was listening to the game on the radio last night, and they blew a 5-0 lead in the 8th inning. Why, oh, why am I a Cub's fan? I think I really believe in the curse. (ok, the relief pitchers need to be replaced - they need Kerry Wood back!)
I have to make my shopping list for the birthday boy next week. James will be 9 on Monday. He still has school that day, but will bring in ice cream for birthday treats.
I just finished these 2 mini candle mats. They're about 4 7/8" across, so something for tea lights or votives. I'm going to put them on my selling blog, and possibly list them on Ebay next week (I already have a couple candle mats listed this week). My next project is a crow punch needle. I just transfered the pattern onto weaver's cloth, now to decide on colors...
Rachel's Beta fish, Bubbles, died today. She didn't want to bury him in the backyard, so she flushed him. We won't buy another one until after vacation in July.
Everyone is tired today. We were woken up at 3:30am by some loud thunderstorms. VERY loud thunderstorms. It did clear up this morning, but then rained again this afternoon.
We found this rainbow after it stopped raining this evening. Rachel used my camera to capture the image.
Yesterday I took Andrew and Matt shopping for clothes. Andrew came away with 3 pairs of shorts, a swim suit, and a pair of jeans. Matt got 3 pairs of jeans. Now to find Rachel a one piece swimsuit for camp in a few weeks. Summer is almost here - school is out next Wednesday!