18 August 2019

So Much Stitching

Another month or so gap between posts. Ooops. Is it just me or is this summer flying by? We have had a few random days off. I took the first Friday of the month off to spend the day with my daughter. We went to a nearby state park, did a little hiking and swam in the lake before thunderstorms chased us out, then hit up a nearby Goodwill. I have been starting to try to find some work-appropriate clothing, since I think I want to start working in an office again. It's amazing what you can find, if you think outside the box. Left-brain took the kids camping at Gettysburg last weekend. It's not a bad trip for them, and has sparked some interest in the Civil War for him, but the kids got to missing me and came home on Saturday night. Or rather I drove up to the campground after work and got them. Ooops. Oh, well. I keep telling my husband we need to plan trips far enough in advance that I can get time off. Or else I need to change some things to enable me to work less. One of my goals for the next 12 months is to get down to one job that pays enough of an income to make me feel like I am taking care of my family well. Maybe this isn't the right place to say something like that, I don't know, but we live either feast or famine in our house and it's exhausting. We deserve better. I'm coming to understand the last year has been the equivalent of a branch where one rests after pulling themself out of quicksand in order to rest and regroup, but now it's time to fly onward. That scares me to realize, but . . . it's time.

 Some finishes . . .

This is not a recent finish, but I finally got a picture of my sweet bunny finish. This was a Christmas gift from my mom. It was not a quick finish, and isn't perfect, but I love it. I forget the name off the top of my head. It's a Russian kit, but I think you can get it on 123stitch.

This is a little kit I have had forever. It uses overdyed linen floss. It was fun to work with. I wish people still made it. It didn't fray like I thought it would. 

Lost Spirits
Birds of A Feather
stitched on PTP Raisin linen 
w/ DMC conversion

This was a long time work in progress. The pumpkin head took a crazy long time to complete. But I have discovered podcasts and those help pass the time. 

Walt the Malt
JCS Ornament Issue 2008
28 count Monaco with DMC conversion

I like this one because I was able to use one of the new DMC colors. I used the color they call White Violet. I think it adds a bit of a difference to the cup. He is supposed to have some buttons, but those have to wait. He isn't finished yet. 

Winter Sampler
Prairie Schooler
DMC conversion on 28 count Wichelt linen

I am pretty proud of this. I did not like the colors the designer pulled. This was all muddy browns and greys, and I wanted something to be blue and hard and crisp. So I did this conversion. This had languished for a while as a UFO, so I pulled it out and decided to finish it. It took a few weeks and that border got fiddly. I like this a lot. I think I will make a wall hanging out of it, something to decorate the walls this winter.  

Boo Steps Out
Cricket Collection freebie
stitched with random overdyed threads from Polstitches 
and Hand-Dyed Fibers on 28 count Monaco

I just pulled different Halloween-y colors to play together. I think I want to make a wind-sock-type ornament out of this, but not 100% on that. I used one strand to get a more wispy effect.

So that's all from here. I hope everyone is enjoying the end of summer here in North America. 

13 July 2019

A long-neglected update.

I hadn't realized it had been so long since I posted. I really need to step up my posting. It's just been so busy here. We celebrated my daughter's birthday last week. Her birthday was on a Sunday, so we went to a nearby state park with a swimming lake and spent the day. Neither of the kids wanted to get out of the water, even to eat lunch and dinner. I mostly spent the day under the awning, watching them. And then, somehow, managed to fall over a beach ball and jack up my ankle. It has been two weeks and it is finally starting to not hurt so much. Though, driving is not a pleasure. Last Monday, we had to help my beloved cat, Gus cross the Rainbow Bridge. Mom has had him since I moved in with Left-brain; we didn't want to take him away from his siblings, and Left-brain has cat allergies, and had the dogs, and it just didn't seem like the best choice for him to be with me. I agonized over the decision, but he was happy with my mom and he was still mine. He was 20 years and a month old, and had not been doing well for a while. It was his time to leave us. He was quiet all day, but when he felt I was near, he perked up and "talked" to me. I told him it was OK and thanked him for being mine for so long. I was 22 when I got him, and he was wonderful; I was the luckiest girl in the world to have him as my first great love. His little paw-print is in our china cabinet with the Fenton cat my gramma had painted to look like him, and I found a little ginger tabby figure today to put next to his ashes when they come home. But on to nicer things.

I ended my Stitch Maynia shortly after the last post.   I had 3 finishes during the month of May, and then have finished two more since then. First, my finishes

This was from an Etsy seller. I plan on just making him an ornament to hang with the other Halloween ornaments. I think I am going to spend September finishing things. It would take up so much less space that way. I was digging around in the garage the other day and found some of my finishing stuff, so it's a message to get started, right?

This little boat was in my stash. I think someone either put it out at stitching group or it was an inheritance from my friend, Enid.  I forget who it is by and it was not the easiest finish. I have visions of it on top of a painted box, maybe to hold some of our seashell collection?

 This  little guy was from the book of bookmark-sized charts by TIAG. I want to do several of these as an afghan. He is on a little scrap of some king of afghan fabric. He is super cute, but I am not pleased with how his butt looks. I know  . . . but it just looks like he is wearing a diaper. He will still be a cute little ornament!

Another Stitch Maynia finish. I am totally and completely in love with how this turned out. I planned to originally stitch it as I watched Southern Charm on Bravo, but it was too much fun to put down. I enjoyed learning about the houses while I was stitching it--the house on the right was originally built so that it would be the first house ships saw as they entered Charleston Harbor, and then the other two houses were built. Can you imagine! That probably made for a few awkward interactions at parties.  I have fantasies of having a South Carolina wall and this will be the start of that. I may try to see if one of the craft stores here has a decent rectangular frame for it.

After all the starting, I just wanted wanted something somewhat simple to work on for a while. I won this fabric on Ebay back in the day when hand-dyers used to do Dutch auctions on Ebay. Do any of you remember those days?  They were great to build up hand-dyed stash. This was by Dovestitch. I haven't used a lot of what I bought as it was random small offcuts, but this worked so great to bounce the bright hot orange off of. The chart has been out there a while. It's a freebie on Casa Cenina's website. Not the easiest chart layout, but I love how it turned out.
I pulled Summer Ball out again last week, along with Shores of Hawks Run Hollow. I haven't really worked on this since last summer. I just got burnt out on it, and, TBH, it reminds me that a lot was done when I was unemployed and I hate that time. But, I really would like to at least get this section and all the backstitching done by the end of the year. Once I get past these men, it's all pretty linear from here to the end. I hate to say it, but I HATE stitching on these guys. This one looks like he has a porn 'stache, which is neither comforting or period appropriate. It's just a lot of fiddly stitching. The women are much more fun to work on, but I actually love working on the architectural details of the project the most. I really want to see this done and up on the wall.

I am starting to think about my stitching for next year. If I get decent progress on this (and, who knows, I might end up getting a fire under my butt and finishing this, LOL.), I think I want to spend the year stitching Halloween and autumn charts. Imagine spending the year using those rich rusts and oranges, wines and purples. I have one project kitted up that I just tossed a bunch of left over fall floss in and will improvise as I go along. Doesn't that sound fun!!!! I would be in heaven, I think.

19 May 2019

I am awful at Stitch Maynia

Some people are so organized about this whole thing. They have a detailed shopping list, they order everything prior to the start of the thing. They take photos of their stops and starts. Me? I am like, "Let me grab something up and see how it goes." I am on day 19 of this adventure. And starting to lose steam.

I have started something almost every day since May 1st. When I get to the end of the month, I will make a big post about it all. Yesterday, I was so busy, then so tired, I couldn't start anything. I started two this morning, but I am not that comfortable with doing it like that.

I am kind of pleased at myself for taking the time to include projects I have hesitated in the past to start. One of the things I chose was Lizzie Borden, by Monsterbubbles. Does anyone remember them? She was a fun, quirky designer, and I loved that she came around when quakers and the monogram samplers were the rage. Lizzie Borden was a controversial design, or so it seemed at the time, because of the subject matter, and there were blood pools under the head of Lizzie's parents. I liked it, though, but never stitched it, first because it used all Weeks and Gentle Art, but later, Leftbrain doesn't like the morbidity of the design. Well, he isn't the one who has to stitch it, so I kitted it up and started it and I LOVE working on it. My progress so far can be seen here. I was concerned about the small printing on the chart, but it isn't an issue so far. I can't wait to work more on it.

I also did decide last week that I don't have to spend all day on one project. If I just start the project and move on to something else, it still counts as a start. I had a tiny little start from Mother's Day I made good progress on, but had to put down for other adventures (namely, I got my ears repierced and we made BLTs, which is about as perfect a Mother's Day as I could ask for). It can be seen here. It only needed a few more hours of work to be complete, so why let it sit for the rest of the month? My other project for the day was a WIP I had started last month. So I finished it. Although I don't want to do that all the time, it felt better to complete a project, not just start one. I have three completions so far this month, which is pretty awesome!

That's all for today. I will try to post pics of all this stuff soon.

04 May 2019

Stitch Maynia, part 1 (pic heavy)

I originally was not going to participate in this. I have a lot of WIPs and UFOs and have been going back and forth about adding to them. But in the days running up to it, seeing people kit things up, I decided, since I don't have to actually work to kit up projects for this thing, and I have a lot of projects I want to start, but have resisted, why not just do it? So I started. As crazy as it seems, I am embracing one project for each day in May. Some may be UFOs that need love, some are new projects. Some will be large and some not so much. I plan on finishing these, but probably not this year. Pardon all the pics, and please forgive me my terrible photography:

From an issue of Cross Stitcher. It uses DMC Light Effects. I am a masochist, LOL

From a 1999 issue of Cross Stitch Collection. I just love the colors:

I just love this little design. Something fun to brighten up winter afternoons.
Kitty and Me started posting these on her Etsy shop. I just thought it would be nice to have as "not a Halloween" fall project.

I have had this chart forever. I just love the little puppies' faces.
Everyone posts this Prairie Schooler. I have been wanting it for a while, recently bought it and thought it would be a good start:
I found this in an old Gloria and Pat book. I thought it would be cute for my daughter, since she and her brother don't see eye to eye. Ever.
This is one I may end up removing. Another project I have had forever as a UFO. I started it with Anchor, but I don't like how the Anchor floss converted. I am unpicking it, but it's slow going.
I saw these little bunnies years ago in a letters section of Cross Stitcher, and spent a year or so searching out the design. I love it. But never stitched it. I splurged and bought some of the Etoile threads to see how they will look on it.
This is my start for today, in honor of the Kentucky Derby. It's an old Janlynn kit I have had for years, but never had the "spirit" to start. I think it will be a magical piece, but it's very large! 

A freebie I found somewhere. I am playing with the colors.(Pardon my thumb)
And another freebie I found. I am using some of those new DMC Colourist (or whatever they are called) threads.
Cricket Collection flip Flop. One of the LNS' kitted these designs up and I am slowly working on it.

Now, if you have made it through this, these are the progress photos so far:

Day 1 of the Waxing Moon piece. I bought this fabric in a grab bag at CATS in 2006. I don't know who it is by. I am using DMC and loving how this looks so far.

Day 1 of a JBW Designs, Country French Pig. This was a little UFO I had kicking around. He just had his front leg when I picked him up, but now he is complete. I love these little animals--they look so pretty, no matter what you stitch him with. He is done on basic black evenweave with Needle Necessities floss. 

I have more future choices to show, but that is enough for today, I think. I ordered the materials to do Lizzie Borden by MonsterBubbles, which I am excited by. Left-Brain thinks it's morbid, but he can have his opinion, LOL. 

14 April 2019

My handsome boy

I don't think I have posted a photo of this guy in a while. He just had his spring school pics taken. Other than his hair, which I swear was nice when he left the house--he was all spiky, he looks so adorable in this picture. They gave us the information about the backdrops they were using, which helped immensely in picking out his outfit. And it doesn't hurt that he LOVES wearing a bowtie--he is such a little gentleman in that way. I found it at Walmart, and that makes up for them taking away the little bit of cross stitch they had. He is doing so well. He just finished his speech therapy--6 months ago, all he could say was "Mama," "Dada", "Sissy" "Dimi (Granny)" and "Mick" for Mickey Mouse. Now he talks about as well as his sister did at the same age--I put him in the car the other day and he asked where Granny was and if "Unca Yuke" (my brother) was at home. So I think the therapy was success. I am still, always, so grateful for the prayers and good thoughts that were sent for him. He is so healthy and strong and we are so blessed.

I seem to have lost my stitching bug the last few weeks. I had some medical issues that were causing me stress, but, after going to my doctor, everything is OK. I am relieved; one day, I drove to work, just crying over the whole thing. I ended up doing a lot of reading instead. And that's OK. This isn't a race. This is the only thing I have finished that I took a picture of. It's one of the snowflakes Sanman did one year for Christmas. I did this with Coloris floss by DMC. It's nothing major, just a pretty little finish. I like the color a lot, and am going to look for a small snowflake charm to put in the middle.

I decided this was going to be the year I stopped feeling sorry for myself and wallowing in my past, to start taking care of myself in a meaningful way. To rise, as it were. Going to the doctor actually has been part of that plan, since I didn't ever care if I stepped back into a doctor's office after having Lolo. . I promised myself that I would get all my checkups done,  get my teeth cared for again, get new glasses, since my eyes were last checked in 2002. I'm still working on that one, but my teeth have been worked on, and one of my doctor appointments is done. I was terrified to go in, but the doctor realized what was happening and he's working with me. I have a few more things to do to get my health back under control, but I am getting there. Small battles win wars.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. If I don't post back next weekend, have a safe and happy Easter or Passover.

30 March 2019

Been away too long!

Somehow, the last 6 weeks got away from me! It's been so busy, I just forgot to post. I had these grand plans that I would spend this month finishing things into ornaments, but that got away from me. I've been putting in 60-70 hour work weeks, and trying to spring clean the house. We also decided to try starting seeds and growing some veggies this year. In one of my rambles through Dollar Tree, they had seed packets, $4/$1. I bought two packs of tomatoes, a pack of cucumbers, and some green beans, plus the dirt and an incubator-type thing. The tomatoes are doing really well, the others not so much, but I am hopeful. I went back and bought pumpkins and bell peppers, and am going to start moving stuff out onto the deck. I have finished a few things since the last time I posted:

Five Little Pumpkins
JBW Designs
stitched with called-for threads
on MCG textiles evenweave scrap
I changed this a little from the original. There was a lot of fiddly over-one stitching, so, when it came time to do their eyes, I skipped that part. I also removed the random stitches in gold thread all over the place. I don't think it takes away from the design in general. 

Secret Needle Night kit
March 2006 (?)
used kit contents
I loved every second of working on this little guy. He stitched up so quickly and was such an effective use of specialty fibers. I am not sure how I will finish him, yet. I need to think about it. It would be nice if I could find a fabric with rainboots or umbrellas to back him with. I have an uncanny ability to manifest that sort of thing, LOL.
Otherwise, not much of interest going on. I have been reading like a fiend, mostly children's books. Right now, I am reading Miss Hickory.  about a winter in the life of a little nut doll. I know how it ends and I am not looking forward to that, but I am reading it anyway. I also read the first two books in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. We saw the movie this week. I enjoyed it as a stand-alone, but I think the books went into more detail and explained things better, so I like those more, and think, even if you saw the movie, the books are a must-read.
 And I am still slogging through the Outlander series. Last year, I decided I would read the entire series. I read the first book 20 years ago, but stopped after Dragonfly in Amber, and just couldn't get back into them. While I was unemployed, I started them again, and just recently finished Drums of Autumn. I am not about 300 pages into The Fiery Cross. It's slow going, but I am getting there. They aren't bad books, but it's just very detailed reading, even more detailed than John  Jakes' books, which I love.
So that is about all from here. I hope everyone had a great month and is ready for April!


16 February 2019


CW Designs
stitched with called-for DMC threads
 on 14 count aida
I finished this this week. I am so STOKED to be finished with it. It's been a journey. I bought the chart in 2006, but had to stop because I got lost and couldn't find out how to fix it. In 2016, when I spent 6 months on UFOs, I restarted it and worked on it off and on for the past three years. I just loved how it has turned out. It's so calming to me. Really soft, lovely colors, and then those pops of amazing hot reds and pinks in front. I am going to try to frame this myself this year. It would be nice to have it ready for Easter, so we'll see.
I also had the brilliant idea this week of trying to pull all the things that I might want to work on this year and put them in a bin to have at hand. I found a really simple bin at Dollar Tree (for $1, no less) and put a bunch in there, and then filled up a box, and then another box. I have more ambition than skill, I think. :)  But, you have to have a goal, right? I did find a bunch of projects that need to be finished, so it was not all shameful. I think March may be a month where I focus on finishing items fully. I will have to see how that goes.
Right now, I am trying to finish up Winter on the Square by Just Nan. It's been a fun stitch. I will post a photo when I take a good one. I am going to finish it as an ornament. I think it would have a better chance of being used in that condition vs. as a picture on the wall.

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