Monday, May 16, 2011

Yikes! It's been over a month since my last post. Wish I had a great excuse. I only have Cynthia to blame. She looks innocent enough right? But she's been calling me with her great plans for our time. The first call was for cheese. "Do you want to take a cheese making class?" she asks.

"You bet!" I reply.

Cnythia's holding the mozzarella we made in class.

Our instructor is salting some fresh mozzarella after slicing. It's unbelievably easy to make. Cheese seemed like such a mystery to me before this class, but no more thanks to Cynthia!

Here's the feta cheese. We are cutting the curds into squares.

This is fresh ricotta cheese....and is it tasty? Yes, it puts the store brands to shame.

Our instructor Jeannette cooking up ricotta cheese.

I've got Dave out by our back barn, working on the goat pens now. Our instructor, Jeannette has three kids she calls "The Teenies" ready to go to a new home. I've got plans to throw them in the back of my van and bring them home. Dave needs a new project. Might get Cynthia's husband to help with the goats too. (Just kidding.....I think I really will go and buy goat milk from Jeannette and call it a day.)

Next Cynthia calls with another new plan. "Want to do a 60 mile bike ride?"

"You bet!" I reply. So, I'm in training. We are going to ride from Columbia to Booneville on the Katy trail May 28th. It's 30 miles there and you get to stop along the way and listen to music. Sounds relaxing and fun!

We will spend the night in Booneville and travel back to Columbia the next day. I'm riding my bike frequently to build up some muscles. I'm trying to make the trip seem more manageable. I only have to do 3 miles 10 times, or 6 miles 5 times, or 15 miles twice and then repeat it the next day. I can't decide which sounds the easiest. My thighs are screaming as I'm out of shape.

Dave and I are leaving for NYC tomorrow. Our son Jeff is graduating from NYU. He got his PhD in physics and we want to see him walk the walk. Sadly our relationship with our son will be on a more formal level as Jeff told us we now have to call him Dr. Allen. So....long story short. I will be back to the blog in about a week.

Below are some stunning finishes for your viewing pleasure!

Katrina writes, "What a fun, fun, fabulous piece. I have loved every minute of stitching it and adding all the personalization. I am hoping in the future you do a similar project. I so enjoyed the mystery aspect of it and watching it develop. There are lots more pictures on my blog too. Thank you so much!" To see more visit her blog at

Visit Siobhán at Blue Hen Hollow and see more pictures of her finish shown above and below.

Siobhán writes, "I finished my Anniversaries of the Heart this weekend. I enjoyed figuring out my personalizations, which family members I would honor in the blocks, and the many memories woven with each strand of thread as I stitched their names or initials. I used the suggested overdyed cotton threads on 40 ct Examplar by Lakeside Linens. Thanks for such a wonderful design!

Giovanna writes, "I just wanted to thank you so much for publishing A Stitcher's Journey - such a wonderful book! Since receiving my copy I've made two of the pincushions charted in it, which you can see in the attached photos.

I used the charted threads, and buttons from my late grandmother's sewing box, for Tulip P. For Summer Stars, I dug into my stash for leftovers (the threads are WDW confederate gray, whisky, stone, guacamole, and red pear): it's the perfect little design with which to experiment, and I'll probably stitch it again and again. I also have the supplies to stitch some of the larger designs, and am now waiting to have more of that crucial ingredient: time, lol. That always seems to be in short supply, sigh...

Thanks again for your lovely designs, and cheers from Italy."

Pictured below are her pieces.

Cindy sent the pieces pictured below.

She writes, "Attached you will find pictures of my recent Blackbird Designs finishes. I would like to thank you and Barb for creating such beautiful designs. I absolutely adore stitching them, and have been collecting all of them that I can. I hope you both like what I have done!"
Visit Cindy's blog site at

Until later dear friends!



  1. Is the cheese aged? I can't eat cheese because it is aged, wondering if there is a way to make some that I could eat.

    Lots of wonderful new projects, love the cross stitch piece. Time for me to get my bike out and get some riding in, but rain this week.


  2. Wow! Cheese making, huh? Shows you how much I know. I didn't know ricotta and mozarella and feta came from goat's milk. :D

    Love all the finishes. Just gorgeous!

  3. Congrats on expanding your cooking experiences even further than bread - you go girl!!

    I want to also thank you and Barb for giving us stitchers such wonderful designs to stitch. AoTH was my favorite and I do hope you will think about doing another similar project in the near future. :)

  4. Thank you so much for posting a picture of my finish :-). I truly loved the design!!!

    Fun on the cheese making and the marathon bike ride!!! And huge congrats to your son, he must be quite the smarty, a PhD in Physics is very impressive. Hope you have a great trip.

  5. Wonderful post - lots of info and then on top of everything we get some lovely stitchery to ooh and aah over - you're excused for not having blogged lately! Lol

  6. The cheese making looks interesting.
    I hate it when I go for my first long bike ride and my legs feel like rubber bands when I get done.
    Lots of wonderful creations!
    Congratulations to your son!(sorry Dr. Allen)Have a great trip ~ you must be very proud.
    I just received the Basket of Memories in the mail ~ can't wait to stitch that one up.
    Prim Blessings

  7. Cheese making sure looks like a lot of fun. Congrats to you son for earning his PhD in Physics. YGG for attempting a 60 mile bike ride.
    Thanks for sharing all the awesome finishes with us. They are are gorgeous.

  8. The cheese looks great. The ride from Columbia to B'villw is that far? What great scenery - enjoy!

  9. I have a friend (Italian) that makes cheese all the time - he makes it looks easy, and it's certainly deeelish!! Love all the photos you shared and will look thru the blogs while you are biking. Really missed you bunches!! Did you not go to quilt market? I kept looking for sightings of you two!! Train hard - I'm envious!!

  10. oh no!!!! Cheese making...I barely survived the bread!

    I hope you soak up the glory of seeing you son walk the walk!

  11. We so missed you at Market in Salt Lake city.............;(

  12. Where do you live? I live in Columbia, MO and love to hike the Katy Trail, especially around Rocheport!

  13. Alma So glad you are back... You have been busy and looks like you have been having alot of fun! I have been stitching lots of things from the stitchers journey.. LOVE this book!!

  14. cheese making sounds like fun! You've done bread and now cheese, next you should try wine making! My husband made wine and now my son does...what a great combo - wine, cheese and bread!
    Kudos on doing a 60 mile bike ride...I have built myself up to doing 30 mile rides in the past, so I can appreciate the effort it takes. Our little group is all stitching the card box project from Stitcher's Journey...I'll send pictures when they are done!

  15. Congrats to your son, you must be so proud of him. And your activities look/sound like great fun :-)

  16. Thank you for showing off my finishes. I feel very honored! :)

    The cheesemaking looks like it's a lot of fun. I may have to give that a go as well! :)

  17. OMG! I was starving for your blog! I have been checking every day first thing in the morning. Would you believe I didn't check this morning? So glad to have you back. I didn't do Aniversaries of The Heart and now I have to have it! It is so awesome! Any way, love reading about all you great adventures.

  18. Good luck on your bike trip! Congratulations to your "Dr." son!

  19. I need to look you up while you are in Boonville and Columbia. I have been on that trail.
    Live very close

    Boonville is getting it's tourism up and running

    I have a friend who works for Missouri Life magazine and I keep updated on events

    congratulations on Dr Allen

  20. I wanted to tell you about an open air flea market same weekend of the bike ride

    just east of Columbia Mo at Artichoke Annies, Millersburg exit on I-70

    Saturday only

    but this is a fabulous antique mall


  21. I'm so happy to finally see a post on your blog. I was very concerned as it had been so long. I kept checking on you day after day, fearing that something dreadful had happened. Thank God it was only cheese!! Looks delicious and I must say I'm very impressed. I think I'll go now and try to find a twelve step program for stitching/quilting blog addicts as after my near hysteria at not seeing any posts from you in a months time, I am surely in need of some therapy. :O) As far as the biking are definitely a better woman than I.


  22. May I totally recommend the padded bike shorts or underwear. Trust me on this! Tamara

  23. I like your work ti is beautiful
    I congratulate
    Good bye
    tijeras y cuchara

  24. Hi, Shelley from Australia, I'm not sure how to use this properly, hope someone gets this message because the pictures I have seen of all the cross stitched houses put together are so beautiful, I would like to know what pattern it is so I can try to find it here in Australia.

  25. I have just finish my basket of memories yesterday evening... it was a real pleasure...It is my first blackbird but not the last... I will start the bluebird and after I will choose one in the journey stitchery... Thank you to create so beautiful things ... I like them...

    sandra (stitcheraddict) from France


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