09 February 2016


Does anyone else just not seem to be able to do it? I am messing around with it for Santa's Pets, since it takes so long to change out the colors, but I just can't make it happen in a way that makes sense. I thought my stair-step method would make it easier, but do you stitch every square of that color in the box with the same length of thread? How does that affect the way the back looks?  And if you don't, do you work every vertical row? 

We watched Paddington tonight. I had attempted to take Kay-kay to see it when it first came out in theatres last year. She was too young, though, so we left about 30 minutes into the movie. (She did the same with Inside Out, the reason we won't see movies in the theatre til she is 6 or 7; the surround sound is overwhelming to her). It was pretty good. Strange to see the Earl of Grantham not at Downton, LOL. Not sure I like Nicole Kidman as a villain. She was so good in Cold Mountain, even if that wasn't how I pictured that character. I should have paid more attention to my stitching, though--I had to unpick about 50 stitches for watching the movie, not counting. Oops. And I seem to have misplaced my bobbin of 841. How did that happen? I know I have more of that color, though.

Not a long post. I am very tired, so am headed off for bed. I hope everyone is having a great week.

07 February 2016

February is one week old!

This has not been the best week. I haven't felt well--Kaykay brought something home from daycare and we've both been sneezy. She is the lucky one; she gets it, has a few days of runny nose and then goes back to normal. Mommy, on the other hand, ends up needing a z-pack. I am hoping it doesn't get that bad. I ended up with bronchitis for 5 weeks in November (and that was with a z-pack). I don't want to repeat that. Anyway . . . I decided to focus on finishing Santa's Pets this month. Why I decided to pick the shortest month of the year to do this, I don't know. But it is my focus. I finished the right side upper section this week. I know the bottom is going to be tricky to finish because it's a lot of confetti stitching. I spent this morning starting and ending threads. Fortunately I got up early and had time to do this.

This is the progress so far:

Santa's Pets
2009 Better Homes and Gardens calendar
stitched with called-for DMC and fabric

I apologize for the quality of the photo. My camera takes good photos, but this one is pretty challenging for it.
And this is what is will look like when done

I decided I will frame it under glass, with a barnwood frame, and probably mat it. I think it needs a little more of an finished edge than the model shown has. But it will be really pretty. The house we are moving to has a fireplace and this will look so lovely over the fireplace (after Left-brain makes a mantle, since my dad never got around to installing one). If you see this calendar on Ebay, it's worth the money to buy it. there are several really pretty designs in there.I would just recommend making a working copy. 4 years of holding this has left fingermarks on it--my copy is unshareable because the page is pretty much see-through, but at least it doesn't affect any other design.

I did pull out this small UFO to work on when the puppies get me frustrated. Maybe not the best choice. It frustrates me too. It's not quite confetti stitching, but it just barely rises above it. No rhyme or reason.  But it will be so pretty on my tree when it's done.

Winter Animal cards
Cross Stitch Gold December 2007
called for threads, unknown fabric

Thank you to everyone who is hanging in with me. I know I am not stitching anything really current and "fun", but I do think it's always kind of interesting to see "vintage" stitching. And next year, I can stitch something more current, except I looked through the newest Stitchery catalog and didn't see anything I couldn't live without. Hmmmm!

Anyone have any fun plans for tonight? I work til 6, but went out yesterday and got some goodies. Left-brain got a small convection oven for Christmas and has been using that to cook chicken and it's so tasty. I also bought a schmearkase cake after stitching group. Now, growing up "schmearkase" was a way of doing cottage cheese. My great-grandmother used to make it fairly regularly with the new milk on the back of the stove, but when the family moved out of Pennsylvania in the 60s, neither new milk or time was available for this. So Gramma just made it by running cottage cheese through the potato ricer, mixing it wuth some heavy whipping cream and serving with apple butter. It's so good! But when I searched it out to find out the proportions to make it for myself (because I didn't learn a lot of my gramma's recipes, which i kick myself for), there is a cake by the same name. Not the same thing, but I never took the time to make it. So when I saw it yesterday, it looked good. And tastes good!  Like cheesecake, but with a base made of the same dough that makes raisin-filled cookies (another PA thing, LOL). I plan on getting more of these. Along with bigger pants! So we have that for dessert. If the game is not close, I am watching Downton Abbey, although it was a little shocking last week!

So, i know everyone is prepping their Super Bowl menus and donning their team's colors, so will let you go!  Have a great week!

31 January 2016

Santa's Pets--nearing the end of the section

I am almost to the corner on Santa's Pets. At least for this section. Yay! I am determined this piece will be done by the end of February, so have been scrabbling all weekend to make some progress on it. I would like to hope I could get this portion done by the end of the evening tonight, but work interferes . . . I may be able to get most of it done, since a lot of the squares I have left aren't complete and I don't have any fractionals left on this part. Then, onto the last little bit and I'm done!

28 January 2016

January was a very productive month!

I am quite impressed with myself! I'm two weeks into the Stash and Start Restraint Challenge and so far so good. No new starts, no new shopping, even though I did find some kits I would like. I am keeping my head on straight. I can't afford new stuff, and I have so much that needs to be finished. Not the least of which are the 4 afghans in various stages of completion. But that is another story for another day. Look at all these lovely finishes for me this month!

Kitty's Life, Prairie Grove Peddler
recommended threads on Wichelt linen
This was a Crazy January 2011 start. I have to say I am really glad to see it done.  Not just because of the Wichelt linen. It was large blocks of color, writing, and long lines with overdyed threads. My favorite combo. And I do like the design. I just . . . I'm glad it's done. And, I mean to make this clear. I know I express a certain amount of loathing for Wichelt linen that borders on obsessive ("I should say so, if you hate it so much, why do you keep buying it?) I think I had this in my stash, but I realize that Wichelt linen is like that super-hot person you liked in high school. You know better, but they look like Paul Rudd and have a motorcycle, and they let you wear the helmet when you climb on up with your fake-Bennetton bag, and you can't help yourself. So you ride home, and court the wrath of your mom, knowing they will just stand you up for your senior prom.  And that is how Wichelt works, it's so pretty, but so skimpy and stiff.  But I keep finding myself looking at it on the bolt. I am trying to use only Zweigart, but I think I just bought some for my CC Dickens ornaments. Oh well . . . .
Whiskerkins, by CM Designs
stitched on Monaco, with the recommended threads
I started this last spring.  I love this line of designs. So cute and not that hard to stitch. This ended up a UFO because of the greens she chose. 3815 and 3816. These are not Halloween-y greens, although they do photograph darker. I am happy with the finished project even if it was disconcerting to work with that green. I think this would be so cute as a grouping of pillows across a sofa for Halloween, don't you?

freebie, Kissycross
stitched on oatmeal aida, with customized colors
I changed this one a lot. I started it this fall, but I put it aside because I did not like the colors the designer chose. They were very light, and I love my foxes red, so changed that out, then realized it's not really fall if the leaves aren't different colors!  So I changed the colors around. I love it!  Oatmeal aida is so nice to do prim autumn designs on. It just feels like a warm and comforting color, and I use it a lot. Over evenweave, but you know me, I stitch on anything!

All Dressed up for Christmas
Vermillion Designs, 2005 JCS Ornament issue
called for DMC and Kreinik 102 #4 on Jobelan
This is probably my favorite design ever from the JCS ornament issues.  I loved it the second I saw it, even though there are a few errors. One of the symbols shows as a grey and it makes no sense, so I changed it to the darkest gold. I enjoyed stitching this, even though it was a challenge. But it has made me happy during a time I am under a lot of stress. 

The Language of Flowers
UK Cross Stitcher, May 2006
called-for threads on Monaco
This is another design that ticked all the boxes on first view. Gorgeous colors, delicate design, lovely font. I just enjoyed every second I spent on this. I don't know what I'll do with it, maybe a pillow, but it just enchants me.  
Not much else worth discussing is going on. We got 3 feet of snow last weekend. The snow was so heavy on my car that the driver's side mirror broke off. Left-brain Gorilla Glued it on til I can call the junkyard and get a replacement shipped, though, really, if the glue holds and the mirror still works, do I really need a new mirror? I mean, do I really want to spend good money on that car? 
I have been doing really well this month with not spending money. Christmas sort of reinforced to me that things have to change for us to have a better life. I  made a resolution that this would be the year I got myself out of debt, except my job cut off our overtime. I have been bummed out about that, but I realized that that was no reason to stop my efforts to improve our life, so I just have to get a new part time job. And it would be a lot easier if we just stopped shopping and only bought what we needed, got rid of what we didn't need, and appreciated the time we have together. This is quite a shift in my thinking and one I have never been able to keep at this long, but I really feel like this is my time. 2016 is my "fight song"; I don't really care what anyone else believes, cause I still have a lot of fight left in me!
So that is that for this month! I hope everyone is having a good week!

15 January 2016

Another finish

Happy New Year!  Sharing a finish for today. I have had it kitted up for a few years, pulled it out before Christmas, and finished it this morning.  It's from a 2006 issue of UK Cross Stitcher, using the called - for DMC on white Monaco. It was fun to stitch and will be so pretty.

Today starts a 6 month period of Stash and Start Restraint for me.  No new stash,  no new starts. All I can work on are my UFOs.  All I can buy is the materials to finish those UFOs. Now that it's here, I'm a little worried I will cheat, but I can do anything for 6 months, and it comes at a time when we are feeling a money pinch, so . . . It will have to do til things get better.  Which, in an eerie coincidence, I heard my phone go off at 5AM with a FB notification, and it was some random message from a FB friend I don't talk to that much and it said, "Trust in God". Since I had asked Him to help us get through this last night, I choose to take it as a message. 

I have a few more finishes to post. I have 3 for the year so far. Nothing major . . . But they're finished. And 2 were UFOS, so they're out of the Bin of Good Intentions!

22 December 2015

Last Finish before Christmas

This is a freebie by Lavender and lace. I have loved it since it came out. I started it in May 2014. I finished it tonight. It's on some kind of hand-dyed Wichelt linen, and we know how I feel about that, but it was the right linen for the project. I am so pleased with this finish!

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls