Friday, May 21, 2010


Summer has finally arrived in the high desert, after the strangest Spring.  Until yesterday, May 20th,  it has been unseasonably cool and breezy.  And while the temps are now climbing to their normal stature, the reason I know it is now summer, is because of the arrival of the dreaded flying ants!

They seem to plague only me!  Not my husband, who quietly and blissfully slumbers beside me, oblivious to the drama about to unfold.  At night, while we're in bed, with just my reading lamp on, and a crack in the bathroom window to let some fresh air seep into the room, the flying ants must slip in under the window screen.  Or perhaps they have sneaked inside during the day, unnoticed, when a patio door is opened and closed momentarily.  Then they will lurk behind baseboards, in window sills, in the folds of curtains, until they see ME readying for sleep.   Now, here they come, bouncing and snapping inside the drum lampshade of the bedside light fixture that I purchased on ebay...a circa 1950's mid century style, a tall, slim gourd shaped glass, with the "made in France" gold paper label still affixed on the bottom.

Their hard little hourglass bodies, maroon red in color with glassine wings are repulsive to me!  I snatch them with my hands and crush them between my kleenex protected fingertips.  This is not an easy task, but if I don't remove them, they don't stop their pesky behavior after the lights are out.  In fact, that is when they become really bad characters!

Always there are one or two who have escaped being captured.  With the lights out, and my eyelids finally becoming heavy and my mind finally drifting off to dreamland, I am rudely awakened by a shrieking whine inside my ear!   This, of course, startles me awake, and I angrily swipe away the horrid thing!  I make sure it is dead, and try to settle back down for sleep.   Mere moments later, or perhaps hours later, (who knows!) I am jolted to full consciousness again by the sound of fighter planes dive bombing into my hair!  I wave wildly with my hands, and because I am really tired, do not turn on the lamp to see where they have retreated.  I hope they have 'just gone away.'

Oh, delusional me!  I'm fully awake again as I feel something crawling along the back of my neck.  I brush my neck quickly and decisively with a purposeful hand, and also explore the inside neckline of my pajamas.  Satisfied that nothing seems to be there, I edge towards sleep again.  But this is not to be!  I feel a sharp pinch along a left back rib!  This time, I leap from the bed, flip on the light, and swiflty yank my pajama top up over my head.  I see nothing!  But suddenly, I feel another sharp pinch on my abdomen!  I pull down bottoms, and THERE HE IS!  I HATE HIM!  HE IS DEAD MEAT!  How he got past the elastic barrier of the waistband is one of life's mysteries.  I am pondering this fact, rather confusedly, angry that my journey into sleep has been such a rough one.  I turn to look at my husband, still oblivious to the light, my plight, my fight!  And now, he has reached the huffing and puffing stage of a large locomotive, chugging along the tracks of his dreams.  He doesn't care that I'm upset, angry, and have had a battle with ants!  He doesn't even know about the ants!

I look at him one last time as I gather up my favorite pillow and head for the spare bedroom, because now I have a train to contend with.


The above was my attempt at prose this morning, after my lingering memory of last night's battle with disgusting bugs!  I don't think all bugs are disgusting.  I do have a blog on Moths afterall, which I have not posted to for over a year.   Mainly, that is due to a non monsoon season last summer.  That is not predicted to be the case this year, so the moth migration should be spectacular! 

I also have designed many canvases over the years which depict various insects.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Faerie Chandelier
If a faerie had would look like this!

                                                                      June Princess Shoe
This hovering bee is actually needlepointed on canvas!
                                                                      Beautiful Beetle
Wouldn't he make a handsome purse insert?

 A sweet birth announcement canvas for a baby girl!

Well, now I have the distaste of flying ants purged!  I think I'll go smell the roses!

PS...don't forget to vote for my quilt in the Quilting Arts competition, "Stitch This!"  See previous blog entry!  Thanks!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Quilt Challenge...Votes needed!

Hi to my blog friends,

This blog is going to be a plea for votes!  I entered a quilt challenge at Quilting Arts Magazine online, and the prize is a fabulous new Bernina sewing machine, the winner based entirely on the number of votes received by an entry.

My current sewing machine is 35 yrs. old, and while it has served me well over the years, I am ready for a new one with all the bells and whistles!  I have needlepoint finishing to do, plus many creative ideas to implement with a new sewing machine.  What better way to acquire one than by winning!

Here is a photo of the challenge inspiration.

I have found it very inspiring to see all the entries so far, as they are all quite different and reflect each person's imagination in rendering the swan.  It is not unlike a tv show challenge on the food network or HGTV, where one is given unusual ingredients or unexpected materials to decorate a room with.   That said, I think I have figured out why the winner is the result of the highest number of votes:  the magazine acquires possible new subscribers!  Please understand, however, that you DO NOT have to subscribe.  You can just vote.  You may have to sign up on the quilting forum, but can later unsubscribe.  I know it may be a lot of trouble, but it would be VERY appreciated by me!  My entry is titled "Once upon a time..." and is posted by stitchgirl2.  Go to:

So, here is my entry.  I created it in 3 days, and it was a challenge for me all right!  My sewing machine is are my machine quilting skills!  Nonetheless, I enjoyed creating this very much.  Not sure what I will do with it...maybe use it as an inspiration for a new needlepoint canvas?  Please let me know if that would be of interest to any of you....

Here are a few close ups of the stitching.  I was unable to upload these to the quilting contest website.

I hope my fairy tale interpretation of the swan with nest has a Happily Ever After ending for me with a new machine!  Thanks in advance for your votes!

Again, here is the link to vote:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo!

Hola!  Buenos Dias!

Today is a day for drinking lots of beer, evidently....Cinco de Mayo.   According to what I read on, it is not the day that Mexico celebrates their independence, but rather, it is to celebrate the Mexican's victory over France in 1862, in the Battle over Puebla!   But more accurately......

"The date gained more attention in the 1980s when marketers, particularly beer companies, saw this as a perfect opportunity to capitalize on the celebratory nature of the holiday."
Eric Lurio wrote in the Huffington Post, "It's actually a Mexican-American holiday, which was for some reason very popular in California, and over the years has become the official Mexican ethnic day, as Columbus Day is for the Italians and Polanski Day is for the Poles. In other words, it's a harmless, if totally fake holiday."

Well, okay then!  Here in Arizona, we currently have a shameful immigration law to contend with.  But that said, I will have to join in the festivities and enjoy some tacos and enchiladas today!  I do love Mexican food!  LOVE IT, LOVE IT!  And I adore the color, architecture, folk art, and culture that is dominant in the Southwest where I have lived most of my life!

Sundance Designs, the company which distributes my wholesale canvas designs, had it inception by replicating the utterly charming works of one famous Italian American,  Ted DeGrazia, who portrayed the Mexican and Native American peoples in needlepoint canvas.  Check out their website to see an unparalled collection of Southwestern and Mexican inspired canvases:

Below are a few of my own designs, influenced by my roots here in Southern Arizona.  I was born and raised in Tucson....a native daughter, a rarity I understand in this day and age.  Perhaps I shall start stitching the little couple featured below TODAY, just because they have been awaiting being stitched a very long time!  I can see the threads and beads now that I'm going to use.....YUMMY!

                                                               Little Muchacha

                                                                 Mariachi Muchacho

                                                                   Talavera Sun

                                                         Inside the Bougainvillea Wall

                                                                    Mexican Hutch

                                                                       Funky Chicken

                                                                         Adobe Gate
                                                                Sandor's Cottage

Bye for now~ or as they say in Mexico....Hasta la vista!  Adios Amigos!