29 June 2007

Back on the wagon and other observations

I am on the wagon again, as of today. It was payday and I've already paid insurance and a credit card. I paid most of my insurance balance off, but it still kinda bugs me that you never really get ahead with car insurance. So I don't need stash this month. I am trying to stop solving my problems with retail therapy, now it's through doing things to increase my sense of the world. I have plenty of things to work on, I kitted up scads of things, and I don't need to buy more. I can imagine that I will probably need to buy some things to work on my no-sew cubes and flatfolds, but that shouldn't cost that much--we're talking glue and styrofoam at this point. And, other than my surfboard and a t-shirt, I can't see buying anything at the beach.

That said, I discovered World Market at lunch, and I introduced my friend Samantha to the joy that is a Violet Crumble. She enjoyed her part of it. I made her buy her own. Emmie, my co-worker, got a little of mine. I don't think she will be a member of the fan club. That is OK. More for me! At least she did not do what my ex did and threw out the rest of his bar ($2 for a candy bar and the jerk throws it out cause he doesn't like it? I should have known . . . ).

It was so funny, she took her cat in to have her spayed, and the vet called and told her she had fleas. She was affronted that this had happened and felt she let Mistletoe down. And of course, she spent the rest of the afternoon looking for flea treatment. Finally, I turned to our co-worker, Karen, and said, "Karen, please explain to her that Mistletoe's fleas are not a reflection on her pet parenting skills." Karen told her it wasn't, then goes, "Look, it's not my fault my cat got a UTI and," and I just fell out laughing at the look on her face. But I think Samantha is going to be fogging her room. I always assume people are similar pet owners to me. I love my pets, but I've had them since I was 4, and I'm pretty laid back. If, at the end of the day, everyone is there, not bleeding, and fed, I don't sweat the details. Fleas are fleas. Not as bad as ticks, not as bad as lice, an annoyance, but if it doesn't involve a vet visit, not bad at all.

Update on the Deer

I made really good progress on him yesterday. I am filling in his face, hopefully that won't go too bad. It wasn't a really good TV night, so I was able to focus. I am hoping to have that done by the end of the weekend. But I may go to the beach on Sunday. I can not believe that it will be July after tomorrow, and I have yet to actually haul my cookies to the beach. Especially because I was there twice in April, when it was too cold to go in the water. I realize I make no sense. But I can rectify that.

I've been surfing the blog world lately. I really am getting addicted to reading them. Such lovely work people are doing! And it is kinda fun to just pick a point and start reading from there. It's been asked, what the point of blogging is. I like that I can see one person's work, set apart from the rest of us, with an explanation of the process of stitching it, how their life affects their stitching and vice versa. It's nice to know that not every piece brings joy in the process, not everyone is stitching for the ages, but that we are all proud of our work.

28 June 2007

The Deer has an Ear and a Nose

I am almost done with his little ear, and it's recognizable as an ear. And he has a nose. I just measured and I have 30 more stitches to put in to be at the bottom of the design.

I see why I put this down last year, well other than the fact that it held a lot of bad memories. It is very intricate shading. I came home last night after my nail appointment, which ran over because I had nail art done (I really need to post photos of their interpretations of fireworks and the American flag, LOL), and I had to wait for it to dry. Cause nothing looks cheesier than smudged nail art. And there were a lot of color changes in the little bit that I did. Felix was up at 6:15 this morning, having to go potty, so I was up stitching at that hour (let me tell you, even with cable, there is nothing on interesting at 6:30.)He has a nose now, and I got a little bit done, but it's going to be a while.

And, despite my vow not to do it, I had to rob Hummingbird Trellis of 3031. I need it for the tree trunk in this one, and I am not going to go digging in my car for the 33 cents I need for a skein. Nor will I charge 33 cents on a credit card, nor go in and buy something else just to make it worth my time. I will put it back in a couple days, I swear.

27 June 2007

Stupid, stupid, stupid

I will NEVER again do this.

Apparently, since I laid this down around Christmas 2005, and barely worked on it since then, what I was, in actuality doing, was robbing the floss out of the envelope. And now that I am humming along on it, I've hit the points where I need the floss. And God only knows what other projects I've put it in. Because I know good and well I didn't put it back in the bobbin boxes. Oh, I make myself mad with that kind of nonsense. So I am off at lunch to get more floss. And no more robbing other projects for floss.

Still progressing well on this one. I just have his ear to fill in and I'm done the top part. I was looking at the bottom and it's all twigs and stuff, so will have to really be careful down there, but it looks like it won't be tooo bad, and then this is finished.

The new Stoney Creek came last night. I like this issue, more than I've liked the last couple. There are some cute witches on a bellpull, but I would need to learn to do Turkey stitch to do them. I find the diagrams confusing. And there's a cute snowman saying "Believe" as well. I like that one. That might make a good christmas present.

And I will not buy anymore extraneous stash. After going through 3 bags last night, I have to stop. I have too much to keep adding.

26 June 2007

Making excellent progress on New Birth of Spring

I worked on this pretty steady last night. I am starting to make some great progress on it. My fawn now has a fully connected back that, surprisingly, came together properly and involved no frogging. I am almost to the bottom of the page. I just have to fill in his ears and a little bit of his forehead. There is a lot of outlining on this one, so trying to decide if it's better to wait til everything is done and then outline or do the part of the animals that has been finished so far. I did some of it before, but was holding off apparently on the part I was working on when I put this down.

It seems like an easier stitch to work on this now. It's a Stoney Creek, so to say it's easy is amazing. I don't know if it's because I have been doing the afghan and so the whole confetti stitching concept is not as foreign to me as it might have been back then. Or just that I want to get these things done. Now it's still not a simple stitch. When this was done, back in 1992, they were hand-drawing all their charts, so you can sorta tell when the person got tired cause the symbols get a little hazy. But, in keeping with the cardinal rule of this company, the design does use the entire 433-437, 738-739 range. I swear, even if it was a blue design they would know how to incorporate the browns.

But this will be so beautiful when it's done.

25 June 2007

Finally getting a wrangle on the UFOs

I have decided to address my serial WIP/UFO problem. I went down in the basement and pulled ALL the WIPS and UFOs that I could find to put in the giant box o'UFOs (AKA Area 51), so I have them in one place. It's a little embarrassing. I kept pulling stuff out and going, "Oh, this is SOOO cute, I should work on this." I have the 2004 Lizzie Kate Flip-Its started as the centerpiece for a tabletopper. I threw in the towel early on that one apparently, because I have half of one square done. That should really find it's way into the rotation soon, cause it is really cute. I may play with it a little because I am not too keen on the way that the DMC conversion turned out. If I ever become a designer, I am going to be really watchful on my conversions if I use hand-dyeds. The ones that contrast high with hand-dyeds don't always contrast in DMC. So that is on the list. And then I have a couple that I barely started that are in there, a couple I didn't even start, just separated the floss. Looking at this, and what's in my other box of stuff I started, I have enough things to work on for a couple years. I joke about I plan to become a hermit in a shack on the beach, and I will need stash to occupy my quiet time, but I am starting to wonder if part of me took that goal seriously.

24 June 2007

Weekend recap

Sorry to have not posted all weekend, but it's been really stressful. We had to go to Pennsylvania to attend my cousin's funeral. She was 26 years old and killed herself on Wednesday. We don't know exactly what happened. She had been bi-polar for years, but apparently she was being stalked by a man she had dated, and when she couldn't get away, she took her own life. I am so torn up over this. I didn't know her because our mothers were at odds for a long time, but she seems like someone I would have liked to have known. And it's not right that she's not here anymore. It was a nice funeral though. They played music that she had liked. And they offered the opportunity to share memories of her. I think that would be really good for a funeral. It really was a celebration of her life, and not a remebrance of her death. And that is how it should be.

We did manage to get 5 of my finished pieces to the framer yesterday. We had to do a flying run home to get there before the shop closed, but we made it. They are charging $300 for all five pieces, which I think is really reasonable. The one moulding I chose was $12 a foot, but the others were cheaper. I did have a little bit of a problem explaining how I wanted Chincoteagues framed. They kept wanting to do dark, formal frames. Which is WONDERFUL if it's a formal horse portrait, but I had to explain these are wild ponies and being framed formally with mats, glass and a very formal frame isn't what I wanted for them. I ended up with one that's a frame with hints of golds and browns, and looks like a shell or a bone, which I like. we got a nice black frame with beading for Gramma's picture, a rustic blue for LHN America (they had framed that one several times, so I trust them) and then a small patriotic finish got a cool greeny-greyey blue frame that matches the floss I used. And Mom picked up her stuff that she'd had framed. I am happy with how the one that we bickered over the frame turned out. I was right. Mom was really pleased. Things like these justify all that money they paid out for my fine arts degree.

22 June 2007

SBQ for the week

When you start a new work do you look for something small, do you look for another huge project or do you consider your UFOs?

This is a really good question for me. I have my 50 list. That is where I am currently pulling my works in. There is really good eclectic mix of projects. I set it up to be like that so I wouldn't get bored. And I also have a bunch of UFOs that I can pull from. I am really trying not to pull new projectst from other sources precisely because I have so much that it embarrasses me. I know I shouldn't feel like that, but I do.

My next works

I decided last night, while sitting on my rear, working on Forest Snowfall, what I am going to try to finish next. I am veering off my 50 a little to do it, but, they are things I started, and need to finish.

The first is no big deal, just one of those Secret Needle Night kits. I worked on it a little, so not sure if it even really qualifies as a WIP. It's Winter Snows Me. I just want it finished. I am going to have to rethink being in that club. It's getting to be too much, and the ones that I like aren't enough to justify spending $20 a month when I could be getting fabric. I don't know. Just when I want to throw in the towel, they get a cute kit, But I hope they don't do elves or Christmas trees for Christmas in July. Elves rank just above fairies in my list of things that creep me out, but I do go on an elf to elf basis in this. Anyway . . .

The other one is New Birth of Spring by Stoney Creek. I talked a little about that one earlier this month, but it's time to finish it. I've put it away because it has a lot of bad connotations. I was working on it in Shock/Trauma waiting room, and I used to work on it at John's house. I really don't want to remember that time, and what I lost in that time, but, when it comes down to it, this project has to be finished. The time at the hospital happened, the time with John happened. I realize now that, had Gramma been alive, I wouldn't have stayed with him so long, because I was just looking for some kind of escape from all that was happening, and she wouldn't have let me let him treat me like he did. And I am starting to get some peace from all this. I realize now that I were both in love with people who didn't really exist, and I can't be all that angry about it, at least not with myself. But I think it would be good for me to just finish that project and be done with it. And that way, too, something beautiful comes out of a really bad time.

Oh, and I figured out how to resolve my fabric issue from yesterday. And came up with an idea for A Summer Place. I am going to try to acheive a sand and sky effect.

21 June 2007

More magazine reviews

I think I may start doing this more often, because I am becoming quite the magazine expert, since I get ALL of them.

Today, at lunch, I got UK Cross Stitcher and Cross Stitch Crazy. Cross Stitcher is becoming my favorite magazine. They always have interesting designs. And usually good freebies. I have to say, I am not pleased with the freebie this month. It's a CD-rom of card designs. Need I say more? I don't stitch cards. No one in my circle wants a cross stitched card. I wouldn't even know where to get the stuff to make a card. It's not a criticism of people who like to stitch cards, it's just not something we do. This said, I have some card kits in my stash, BUT NOT TO STITCH AS CARDS. I was planning on just framing them. Anyway, rant over.

It looks like a good issue. There is a summer sampler. And a really cute Margaret Sherry mice design in a walnut boat. Using that marbled blue fabric. Which creates an issue for me. I have that honking big piece of fabric I bought at AC Moore last week. I want to start Beach Combin' again, and trying to decide if it would be better on that or on the marbled tan, or if I should just dye my own for it. But I also have a design from a couple months back of Cross Stitcher that would look good on it, but would also look good on a buttery blue dyed by me. So my issue is, do I use this aida for the mice (which are also stitched in DMC, unlike the Santa Claus afghan) and the beach combers, use it for that other design, or not use it, keep in my stash for a rainy day when I am truly broke and unable to afford new fabric? Damn decisions. But on a bright side, there was a really cute beach kit they showed in there, that was not overly tropical, had one small lighthouse, and was different from what I have. And it was about $50. which means the cats will have to buy it for me for my birthday. But they are good cats and generous, too. There is also a Flower Fairy, which I will NOT be stitching. There does seem to be more in the way of letters, which is great because that is my favorite section of the magazine. And they didn't get rid of Tales from Norman, which, although I don't get everything he says, I find interesting, and he was the one who came up with the concept of the Special Spot for Stitching.

Today . . .

I've had some bad family news today, so not sure how appropriate it is to blog today. But as this is mainly supposed to be cross stitch related, it's probably good for me to write in here.

First thing, I got the car back from the shop. I feel so stupid. My light was on because I didn't turn the gas cap far enough when I filled up on Sunday. I knew good and well I didn't turn it til it clicked, but I didn't believe the people who wrote the note on the gas tank, "Failure to turn the gas cap will result in the check engine light coming on." Lesson learned: the people who write those notes aren't lying. Anyway, that screw-up cost $80-some dollars, plus the $7 for some chemicals they poured in there (and probably tightened the gas cap) and the $24.95 for an oil change. But I needed the oil change, and I needed to learn not to play with the car. And I think they fiddled with the brakes, cause they aren't squealing, but they didn't charge me for it. So lesson learned.

I am actually making better progress on the bottom of my Forest Snowfall. I am about the whole way across the bottom. Just have to do one more set of leaves and some snowflakes. So I might get this done soon. Just the lettering, side vine-y thing, and top leaves to go and it's finished. I realize it would be better to post photos, I just don't have the camera this week. Imagination is our friend, LOL.

20 June 2007

The neverending stitch

OK, I like Forest Snowfall. It's a pretty pattern. But, yet again, I need to state, I hate these hand-dyed threads. It is taking forever to stitch this thing. I finally finished the house last night. I am pretty happy with the way it looks, though. I did the roof running north to south and the building running west to east. So it looks rather log-cabiny. The side vines are kicking my butt, though--they are 82 stitches long, and I seriously am beginning to doubt my ability to count. And it doesn't help that I have a small hoop that the whole design doesn't fit in. Monday night, I was so frustrated.

I realized I won't be able to get this done in time to get it ready for the fair. Which is a slight bummer, but in the end, that's OK. There is always next year. Or else I can make it into a cube while I am on vacation. Since I've discovered the great fabric resource that is the quilt store. They will probably have something woodsy and wintry. I don't know yet. I did want this framed, but I wanted to have everything at the framer this weekend, and it won't be ready for that.

I am probably just thinking this way because the transmission light came on in the car today. It is really upsetting because I haven't even made half the payments yet. I hate when anything is wrong with that car. Mainly because I hate paying for broken things. But I am hopeful, it's just something minor, or that the powertrain warranty will cover it.

18 June 2007

Weekend recap and a small vent

Well, with all the running around I did, I am surprised I got any stitching done. I did get a little. I got a lot done with my fox. He wasn't nearly this good looking at the beginning of the weekend. Plus I was sitting there and realized it wouldn't be THAT hard to take his head, plop it on one of the dog bodies and have a Chanceypants for my Brittercup quilt. I don't know, I am toying with it. And I even managed to work on Forest Snowfall. I am almost done my house and the tree has some needles on it. I want to get that done this week, so I can get it framed for the fair.

Speaking of the fair, I need to say this. I have waited for the fair book to come out for a few months. After last year, when it took FOREVER and we had to talk to the fair people to get classes to put my stuff in, they were going to redo the fair book. So I was very hopeful that we would have something more clear than what it was last year, because that took forever. It came out, I took a look and the classes didn't change for cross stitch. Now, I don't want to complain, because Lord knows,we have a good fair. It doesn't cost money to enter the fair, and there are lots of classes. But it would be nice if they updated the classes to show more modern lines of the art form. This is the fair book, cross stitch is on page 9.

Now you tell me what class I can enter Houses in? Houses and buildings is a good choice, and an obvious one, but I don't know if that's the best.

17 June 2007

I give up, I just give up.

I will never find the Meow fabric. I am starting to wonder if I imagined it. I went to the Walmart in Gettysburg today after we took Dad to dinner, and they didn't have it. I found all kind of frog fabric, which you bet your sweet patoot I bought, because it was $2 a yard, but no meow. Mom is supposed to check the Walmart in Leesburg this week, but I have given up. One thing, we got plenty of healthy crafts departments on our Walmarts around here. And I did get a t-shirt that said, "Kitty's Not Happy" with Felix the cat on it. Woo hoo!

On to other things.

I was reading the latest issue of WOXS. My friend Kathy sent it to me. I just have to point this out. I am realistic about the "cool factor" of cross stitch. It's not hip. I love stitching, but it's not trendy. And that's OK. I don't need to be "trendy" (after all, I now own 2 Felix the Cat t-shirts!). Anyway, this issue has designs for gifts for teenagers, and the teaser is, "Only the hippest gifts will do for trendy teens". OK, lets get one thing clear because I am not so far out of my teens that I forget what I would have carried at 14. There is a felt bag with the design, surrounded by rickrack (rickrack, people!) and a CD case with a design that says "Born to be cool." What teenage boy will use a CD wallet with a design that says. Born to be Cool? If I could post a pic I would. Anyway, so I won't be stitching that.

Now on a better note, their Stitch Stories was about the button company, Incomparable Buttons, I have heard about them before, and they have really cute buttons. But I didn't know that the company works with women in South Africa, using fair trade practices. I have been wanting to buy some of their buttons, but it's extra good to know the money goes to help poor women make something of themselves.

16 June 2007

What I have been working on !

Thought I would share some of the things I have been working on so that no one thinks I haven't been stitching.

This is from A Bit of Wildernes by Brittercup. My friend Kathy is doing the stag from the same book, and, since I love foxes, I thought we should do ours as a SAL. She is futher ahead than me. I am switching out the colors on this one.
Wee Flowers by Heart in Hand. My mom wanted this . This is done with DMC Variations. I don't really know what to think of them. This is pretty, but there aren't a lot of designs I see that these would be good for. The colors take a wild swing. Which is not really good. I did like how they looked on my Country French Pumpkin, but I don't know yet if they will be a success.

The Hummingbird afghan. Not too shabby for two years work. It is getting easier to work on this.

Another lesson learned

When you see fabric you want, buy it.

I went last week to Walmart, looking for fabric. I found stuff I liked that said, Meow all over it. I was going to buy it for my finishing, but my damn stomach started acting up and so I put it back. Mom was going this week, and said she would look, and then forgot. So I went today to get it, and they didn't have it. That makes me mad. I wanted that fabric. So I ended up at the quilt store thinking they would have something like it. They didn't. Not like that really bothered me, though, cause I got fabric. I decided on fabric with little pawprints on it. They look like cat pawprints, but I am still irked about that fabric. You wouldn't think they could sell out of it in a week. It was nowhere

15 June 2007

Surprisingly good find at AC Moore

I went in to get floss ( I was being responsible and getting it to put back from where I robbed it to fix my afghan) and they had the DMC marbled aida. Not only did they have it, they had it in three colors! I got blue and a greeny-browny color. I don't know what I can use it for, but it's pretty. Surprising because they don't have much at that AC Moore, but they have that. Interesting . . .

SBQ June14th

The question of the day is:

How do you store your WIPS and other projects you have kitted up?

After I did a online class, where my project was sent to me in a plastic envelope, I have been using those. I get them from the scrapbooking section of the craft store, they are usually about $1-$1.50. I know that is more expensive than Ziploc bags, but I can reuse them, they hold up well, and if I mess one up, then it's no big loss.

I was going to keep everything in the giant box of UFOs, but that has disappeared into the mess of the basement, so I have them pretty much everywhere. It's not a good system. I know that, but it works for me.

14 June 2007

A Place Where you Can Not Cross Stitch

Well, I mean you can, but from my experience tonight, it's not a good idea. You can not stitch at the laundromat. Not cause it's dirty, not cause people will stare at you. But, because you never realize just how short 10 minutes is til you have a bunch of clothes you are watching in the dryer while trying to stitch with over-dyeds.

Anyway I have clean clothes, and I got some work done. That laundromat really got my clothes clean. AND they will actually do your laundry for you. This could totally FRIGGING change my laundry habits. I mean, not my underwear, but think about it, drop the clothes off before work, pick them up after, pay the 85 cents a pound, and we're good. No watching the clothes. More time for stitching!

Got Newest Issue of Cross Stitch Collection today

I have been at work since 7AM today, so decided at lunch that it was the day to get my new magazines. They only had one at Barnes and Noble, so I headed up there. All in all, not a bad issue. There's a pretty peacock chart in there. I think I am going to stitch me a peacock one of these days, when I get all these other projects out of the way. Hah, like that will happen. There is also a really nice medieval lady in there. As much as I do not like to stitch people, she is really pretty. I might could be persuaded to stitch her. But what made it worth the money was the All Our Yesterdays design. I haven't liked a lot of her new stuff--I have to be honest about this, they got darker in color and aren't as innocent looking (I don't know if I am explaining that correctly, but it always looks like it's going to rain in the pictures) as they used to be. Fortunately, I stocked up in the days when the dollar was strong against the pound, so I have some older kits in my stash. Anyway, there are a couple new kits that I like. Well, chartpacks, I guess. And they are releasing a book of 40 designs in October, just in time for my birthday They look to be older. That is OK. I am hoping they have "Class on The Beach" in that book. That is the one design I have never been able to track down. I can put some of the designs in the livingroom when it's finished being re-decorated, because I realized that "beach" according to cross stitch designs, as well as in interior design, means lighthouses or tropical, and these are not really my design inspiration. I have a couple lighthouses that I bought, but I don't want to go crazy with them (the ex liked lighthouses), and I really do not find the tropical theme to be relaxing, soothing, or appropriate for our house, which is really a cottage. I've been trying to find seaside designs that aren't typical, boats, harbor scenes, things like that. Hard to find, though I did locate a chart for a crab that I am going to adapt for a design I have in my head.

I worked on Hummingbird Trellis last night for a while. I am starting to make good progress. I have to go to the laundromat tonight because our washing machine broke last week and the guy won't come til tomorrow, so I have to do laundry (cause I know we'll need a new washer, you just watch), and I won't take that afghan along to the laundromat, so going to take Moms Wee Flowers to work on. Hopefully, I can finish it tonight, then finish Forest Snowfall this weekend. That's the plan at least. And then Mom can take it with the frame over to get framed.

I am also taking Iris and Friends over for framing soon. I don't have hopes that that will win at the fair, but I can take it. It's well-executed, if I say so myself. I just hope I can find a frame. I want a black frame for it. My ideal is a black frame with some carving on it, maybe in a braid pattern. That would make the frame simple at first glance, and then interesting up close. I suspect, though, someone might try to talk me out of it, though. Well, gotta get it taken over first.

13 June 2007

A new start, a kit-up, and some organization

I tried very hard last night to be thrifty. I was looking through my stash and kitted up Simple Gifts by TIAG. I was a little shocked that floss now costs 33 cents a skein at Michael's, so am trying to be a little more responsible, because, really when you think about it, that is not cheap. Not when it was 10/$1 when AC Moore opened up in 2002 here. So I have most of the floss, just not a couple of those wierd colors I never use. And, while I was at it, I started trying to organize the floss I had just thrown in random boxes into the correct bobbin boxes. It would make it so much to kit things out of my stash and actually save money.

I am having a very hard time finding that Hog River Frame I NEED. How in the hell did they go out of business already? Designers are still using them. I guess the solution is to try to work things out with a private artist, but that makes me mad. I wanted this frame. The frame made the design. I will figure things out.

I also started something for Mom last night. She had picked out Heart In Hand Flowers, and, because we were trying to economize, I chose DMC Variations to stitch it with. They were cheaper than the other hand-dyeds. I am OK with the colors. As long as she likes it, it's OK. It won't take long to stitch, and she's always saying she picks things out and they never get stitched. So this should give me a little time. And we already have the frame. It was a limited edition frame. Mom was so concerned that someone who bought the design that was supposed to go in it would be upset cause they didn't have the frame. I had to explain that probably half the people who bought the design wouldn't ever stitch it and the ones who did buy it, they would finish it some other way than in a $20 4X4 frame, LOL. I will have to post a picture tonight.

12 June 2007

I am also going to have a stash sale.

I also decided I am going to have me a stash sale this summer. The dogs need a baby pool, and I haven't had a sale in so long, and I have all those charts that I will never do that I got as part of lots, that, for the sake of the dogs, and de-cluttering, it would be better to get rid of all this stuff. I got some stuff in those grab bags that I can add as well. I think that is going to be my weekend project, getting that list ready.

not much stitching done last night

I finally brought in all the grab bags I bought last week at Stitching Post. I had gotten a bunch of DMC floss in the bags and I wanted to wind it on bobbins. I have GOT to get my stash organized, cause I just can not afford to keep buying DMC. I guess they were clearing out the supplies they had given to model stitchers, because they weren't full skeins, so it didn't take that long. I just watched Antiques Roadshow and wound.

I did realize I had to frog out some of Forest Snowfall. So I fixed that while watching Dateline reruns. My brother came in, I guess somehow Nikki broke his hand while she was cursing out the neighbors German Shepherds on Sunday. Luke can't understand why she hates those dogs, I told him it must be because she was unfortunately incarcerated in her early youth--i.e., she was in the pound--and those are the popo dogs. Anyway, so we were discussing that while watching the show. Do not get me started on those To Catch a Predator shows. Those are some stupid men. And I love how the men always say they are law-abiding citizens. I can not resist the urge to yell, "What about the ones that say don't have sex with little kids." Gaaah. But at least I had something pretty to focus on.

I also tracked down the pattern I have that we bought one of those custom frames for Hinzeit charts. It's Nesting Place. Really pretty design. I have to get it started because we are going to rack up that frame waiting to get it stitched. I guess this will supercede the 50 list. But that is OK. After all, there are no 50 police.

11 June 2007

Thank goodness for Stoney Creek

This morning I got to pondering my dilemma with the 3045. I did not want to go to Michaels. I have no cash til Thursday. I mean, I probably do, but that would entail finding change, and I have too much to do to be digging for change, when I KNOW I had that color somewhere in my stuff. The funny thing is, back in college, I would have written a check for 66 cents with no thought. So I got to digging through the kitted up stuff, and I found that color.

Now, what I find astounding is, I have a saying about Stoney Creek. I swear there is a rule that we just don't know about that states that every Stoney Creek design must use 3362, 3363,3364, 3346-48, 433-437, and 738-739. If you think I am exaggerating, take a look at the Stoney Creeks you have in your stash. Anyway, so I got to thinking, and I realized I remember seeing that color in another design, but ran across a design from last year that I found 745 in last week when I was looking. Apparently, I had the good fortune of kitting up the LNS of Stoney Creek designs, because I found both colors I needed in there. Of course, I have to restock that design, but I will do that when I have enough floss needs to justify going to Michael's. At least that design is not on the 50. Even though, I am thinking about adding it, because it's a pretty design. I think it's the June 2006 issue of Stoney Creek. I like the cover design. I even have fabric for it, a pretty piece of PTP fabric I found at CATS last year in a lemon color. It even have sparkles on it. I thought that would look sorta like sunshine.

10 June 2007

Started fixing the problems with that square.

It is amazing the amount of energy that one has after falling asleep in the bathtub (I know, dangerous), then sleeping a couple hours on the sofa. I have been working on that square for a while this evening and have made some good progress, though right now, it's a lot of green. And I realized that I am missing one of the colors I need for this square. 3045. Again, a bazillion colors but not the one I need. So I guess this week, I am off to Michaels for more. I REALLY need to get my floss organized. This would not happen if I had a better organization. However, I was missing another color, and found it in the leftovers from Kitty Dreams. Anyway, it's close on to midnight, and I am wired. Pretty good for a woman who cheated death this afternoon, LOL.

I also did work on Forest Snowfall. Not much to talk about there. It's pretty straight-forward, just a lot of stitching. I am hoping that I get it done in time to get it framed for the fair. I had thought it would be done sooner, but I wasn't working on it during lunch this week, and then I was trying to finish other stuff. So it should be done this week.

I am asking Joanne from 123 to get the frames for The Perfect Man and A Cat's A Cat. I won't have them ready for the fair this year, but that is OK.

Frogging on a Hearthside afghan.

I had to frog out square 9 on this afghan today. I can not believe I was so stupid that I miscounted. I had a lot of work in on that thing. I am so peeved with myself. This is what happens when I do not count and recount and recount. I know why it happened, I had it stored for so long , that the running stitches got kinda mashed down over the thread, so I didn't see it. But why would they make the pattern so that it was running right up against the edge. It's confusing, well, I was confused. But then again, i confuse so easily. I am doing Nature's Home on aida. This way it won't happen and I can make it into a quilt.

I went fabric shopping yesterday and today at Walmart. I sincerely hope they do not get rid of all our Walmart craft department. Because, for less than $30, I got some awesome fabric. I have to send Mom back, because while I was in yesterday, I had some great fabric with Meow on it, that I can just see on a cube, tea-stained, but my stomach started acting up (BTW, just so it's out there, 90% of people who have had their gallbladders out experience issues, so if you need the surgery, and the doctor feeds you that line of business about your troubles are over, think of me, sick, in Walmart, passing up the Meow fabric, LOL) But I got some cute puppy fabric, and some fabric with bees. Lots of nautical fabric. I even bought some flannel with cats on it. That was $1 for the whole yard. I know, most people don't use flannel for their cross stitch projects, but it had cats on it. I am sure I would have better luck finding more precise fabric at the quilt store, but it was good to get so much usable stuff for so cheap.

09 June 2007

Can you do a favor for me?

It's not a stitching favor, so I don't know if I have a right to ask. Well, heck, it's alright to ask anyway, because, gentle readers, you don't have to do a lick of what I tell you to do. I won't know any way. But, if you have time, or you are willing to make time, go visit places around you, be a tourist in your hometown. You live in the most beautiful place in the world, you just might not know it yet.. Someone, no matter where you live, is dreaming and planning, and saving money to go on a trip that will inevitably end up in your area, even if it's just to stop for gas, or because there was a brown sign 50 miles back on the road telling them to turn off for some obscure thing.

I was struck by this idea because I always wonder what compells people to come to the DC area. I live here, I wouldn't trade this life for anything, but I never think of it as a place that, if I didn't live here, I would scrimp all year to visit. And yet people do. And then, today, because I have been down lately (I swear, Bee, I am trying real hard after our talk at the airport about that), I decided to go back to Gettysburg, because the last time I was there it was a miserable experience, and I wanted to go just where I want to go, without thought of time or other people. Now, Gettyburg is the veritable Mecca of Civil War buffs, and it's probably not the ideal place to be between now and the 4th of July, because of the battle anniversary, but there were license plates from all over the country there. There's lot of stuff to do that aren't outside, but I think you have to pay for those, and I was doing it on the cheap. So I just did the visitor's center, then got in the car and drove around. I always realize what a real hell the bettle was, because it's south central Pennsylvania, meaning it's hot as crap this time of year, and they were walking in wool uniforms, lugging equipment, poorly fed, across fields. If you have ever walked across fields, it's not fun, let alone in the heat. I know I will faint if it gets too hot, and you wonder how these people didn't say, Forget y'all, and leave. My great-great grandfather was there. I get a sense of connection to him to see where he fought, looking at things he looked at, and knowing he survived. Not only that, he survived other hellish battles, and had a daughter who was strong enough to raise 8 children after my great grandfather died of cancer, and her youngest was my grandfather. maybe strength is genetic, cause it takes a lot to survive a war, and losing your helpmeet, but if they did it, I can get through the bad times. And I was reminded that I am blessed to live so close to a place where my family walked and helped save the country.

And I know I am not the only one who lives close to something spectacular. Everyone does. And so, I am asking you to go on a quest to explore your blessing. And if you do, let me know!

08 June 2007

I am going to answer a SBQ

OK, I have never answered one of these before, mainly because I never know where to find them to answer. The first question I will answer is:

What has been your most challenging project and why?

When it comes to physically difficult, the most challenging is Hummingbird Trellis. Lots of confetti stitching. It is not something that is in my comfort zone. I do not like leaving my comfort zone that much with my stitching. But, at the same time, I wonder how much of it is also mental, because Stoney Creek is one of those things you either love or run screaming from, and it's not that they're challenging. They are STILL little x's, just in lots more colors. But I did one when I was 20, and unemployed for the summer, and it was no big deal. Maybe because I didn't know I was supposed to be intimidated. It was just something to be done. Now it scares me. Does anyone else think like that

The most mentally challenging project was two of them. The first was HOHRH, because I set a goal and had to push myself to meet it. It was a large project, but I was working on it when the accident occurred and the last thing I wanted to work on was that one. So I put it down, started New Birth of Spring, worked on that for a while when the worst of the aftermath was occurring (and I haven't worked on it since), and picked it up when I felt like dealing. And the other one was Diane Graebner's Iris and Friends, just because that was Gramma's memorial piece. I could hear her from the day I brought it home, even though she hated "criss cross" she said, "That's me and my Lily." I had to admit she was gone, and I would never have days like we had together, so many memories tied up in a little piece, of Lily when she was a kitten and planting iris with her and just spending time with someone who would have fought the world for me, and for whom I would have done the same. And how I wish that I could have shown it to her when she was alive.

This is why I don't answer these. They make me think too much.

And I caved . . .

I was not going to buy stash, but I needed to buy a 123 GC and I had had some stuff in the cart, and it just seemed stupid to delete the other stuff when I wanted it. But I got some stuff I liked, including a chart called, A Nuisance of Cats. I think this is so appropriate because if there is one thing I have, it is a nuisance of cats. Especially because last night, Grampy got the water bottle because he kept trying to haul his not-unsubstantial bulk onto the coffee table to climb up on the stereo (I will be so glad when that bleeping stereo is out of my livingroom, it blocks the chimney, and they use it as a stepstool up to the mantle, and I hate when they get on the mantle). The funniest thing is, he kept turning around and licking the wet places like, "how in the name of all that is holy did I get wet?" He is pretty spoiled, like the fact that he had cancer means he can do what he wants. Anyway, he figured out he didn't like being wet and backed off.

I am going to attempt to do some non-framing finishes

I am determined. I see all these people with these great flat-folds, and I have so much stuff that sits around and isn't finished. So I am going to take my little self to Walmart tomorrow, on the way back from Gettysburg, and get some fabric to finish stuff with. I can get some foamcore, too. I think I have a glue gun somewhere, but I don't know where that somewhere would be. And with all the thread I have, I am sure I could do cording.

07 June 2007

See I do finish things!

These are two framed things and Kitty Dreams. The Snowman is from Woodcrafts by Karen, and the little cat is by Stoney Creek. I am proud to say I have two Stoney Creek finishes. I guess going for an afghan for my 3rd finish was a little much.

I found these charts today

Aren't they cute? The Calamity Pippi ones. Damn this conserving money. I wonder if I could get someone to do a trade for them? Or hint broadly for a gift. But, on the other hand, I haven't bought stash since Sunday. If I can just make it a month, that is a start. And I am sure those charts will be out there in a month, right? Or else I will just not want them anymore.

I emailed Vicky for finishing that afghan again. I hope it will not be too much to get done. I was kind of embarrassed that I forgot to take it to the PO for so long, but Vicki was tremendously understanding. She rocks!

A finish and issues with fairies

I finished Square number 5 on my afghan last night. It took me about 4 hours to get that little section I was working on finished, but I did it. I was watching the show Ghost Hunters, which I had never seen before, but it was really interesting, and I was able to stitch.

I know now why I do not stitch fairies. I've tried and I just can't. It's got to be genetic from what part of me is Irish. The show was talking about this house in Ireland was haunted because it sat between 2 fairy forts. Apparently you are not supposed to build between the forts, because it makes the fairies mad. And Irish fairies aren't sweet and loving and cute. They are sort of supposed to be cranky and not very nice. I imagine they look like these fairies in a book I have that was illustrated by Garth Williams (he illustrated the Little House books). Now, I like Garth Williams, but his fairies are devious- looking.
Anyway, they were talking about this house was supposed to be all full of tunnels underneath and the fairies supposedly know where you are when you are walking around. And they had video where there were little thermal images running after the people. And one of the guys sat in the middle of the fairy mound and said he felt like there were beings running around. GAHHHHH(but then again, wouldn't you be kinda pissed if someone who barely believed in you sat themselves on your roof?). Of course I believe in spirits--how could I not, there is too much Irish and Indian in me to dismiss them. And I think it would freak me out to see fairies. But then again, I was raised in the country and have sense, we don't hang out in random fields after dark without there being a good reason.

So I have no fairies. I don't think people who stitch them are wierd, I just can't see them on my walls, now it would remind of that show.

05 June 2007

Another realization

Perhaps it's that I am bored, perhaps because I got to stitching at lunch in my car in the parking garage yesterday, first day it hasn't been like a swamp around here in a week, but I realized, it's been over two weeks since I have had a finish off the 50, actually closer to three or 4. I must do something about this. Does it count that I kitted stuff up this weekend?

I bought all the floss for the 70s animals, which were again one of those things that I knew if I did not purchase, my life would never be the same, maybe an OK life, but not with the same brilliance (or else I was in a crappy mood at that place I worked that I still for the life of me couldn't tell you what I did for 4 weeks). I haven't decided what to do with the finished pieces, maybe make pillows on the off chance I will get married and have children. But I really would like to get started on them right now. The picture doesn't do them justice. They are really pretty, bright colors. Hopefully, I can start them soon.

I did pick up the Hummingbird Trellis afghan last night. I had set it aside for a few weeks (the cat, well, you know about my Sue Hillis cat.) It is really tedious stitching. I admit that to myself now. And since I don't have that much time to stitch, I don't make much progress. I just have to keep powering on. I am almost finished with Square 5, and there isn't any backstitch or fractionals on this one. So maybe I should be done tonight, I hope.

I have come to a decision

Based on the fact that I seem to be using a great deal of my discretionary income on buying stash, and the fact that I have so much stash that I spent an hour on Saturday looking for a chart, I am going on the wagon. I don't know how long it is going to last, but I think to myself, you know, you could get out of a lot of credit card debt if you just stopped buying new charts and did some of the stuff you have in your stash. Even for a year, doing just charts from the stash, I could save so much money. And it's not like when I go to the store, I seem to be buying a lot of charts lately. Working on the 50 has had that effect on me. I was looking at stuff the other day, like, "Ohhh, I forgot I had th-h-h-i-s!. How yummy." Stash diving is like that for me. Not to mention, I could use the shopping time to organize stuff. I told the lady at the Stitching Post, I stopped buying buttons until I was working on the project that called for them because I keep losing the damn things. Nothing quite so sickening as finding a random reindeer button, knowing it cost $2, and not knowing what I bought it for.

So I am going to try. I may be miserable, I may be crabby, but, then again, I will have less stash to wade through with a guilty conscience.

04 June 2007

It's a Sickness, I tell You A Sickness

I couldn't last an entire day without stitching. Last night, when Cold Case was on, I started Forest Snowfall by Country Cottage. It's really simple, only 7 colors. But I couldn't last. I feel such shame.

03 June 2007

2 Hours in the LNS today

Talk about "where did the time go?" . We had to go pick up my framed pieces, and Mom took some things that she bought to be framed. It took forever to get the frames picked out for her stuff. The lady kept disputing my thoughts on how things should be. I wanted to pick a black frame with a pattern on it. BECAUSE, as a person whose background is Pennsylvania Dutch, I know that we aren't as stodgy as people percieve us. And she couldn't get it. We finally chose a black frame with some carving on it and rubbed with red, to pick up the color on the piece.

I didn't buy much. I still managed to spend money, but I didn't spend much. I bought two grab bags at $5 a piece, two pieces of fabric for The Perfect Man. I forgot what size I needed, but knew I needed opalescent. I also bought the newest copy of At Home With Needlework, and the little monthly kit they do up and Bitty Buttons Sheep.

Then, because the quilt shop was on the way to the LNS, and they had pretty summer fabric, we picked out two pieces with tomatos on it to make bandannas for the dogs. I thought that would be cute. Nikki will have blue with tomatoes, Chancey will have yellow. Nothing says summer like tomatos

Kitty Dreams is FINISHED

Finally! I got him done last night at 10:30. I still have to wash him and add the charm, but the stitching is done, and it really only took about 2 weeks once I got down to it. I am so glad he is done.

I already took the floss out of the travel case and put the next project inthere. I think the carrier is the best for the huge Mary Hickmott Nativity I kitted up back in February. I just have to get more Stitchbows and a couple more pages for the binder because there are a LOT OF COLORS for this project. But it would be another project on the level of HOHRH, and there aren't any fractionals.

Because I have been working so hard, I decided to take today off and not stitch. I really have been stitching too much lately. I know, how can I say that, but I have. So I thought if I took one day off, it wouldn't kill me. But don't fear, I do have to go to the LNS this afternoon and pick up my things I had framed.

02 June 2007

Very Hot for a Saturday

First some cross stitch gossip, thanks to my friend Brea! Brea reads this blog, so shouting out to Bee. Someone on 123 posted that Hobby Lobby was discontinuing their cross stitch fabric. It was $2.15 a yard, so I asked B to go see if hers had the pretty rustico evenweave we saw there, but the one in Cool Spring, Tennessee, not only didn't have it on sale, but she said the lady told her that they were going to have more needlework. Which is AWESOME! We were disappointed with their selection. I guess no one told them I was coming 750 miles and needed to have a great Hobby Lobby experience? Anyway . . .

I have decided that we will most likely not being going to a Hobby Lobby while I am down in Virginia Beach. All the locations were about a 4 hour drive. And the Neon is not that comfortable. I read somewhere they were the same seats as Viper seats. Interesting. I guess when you buy a $60000 car, you aren't taking it on long trips. But lemme tell you, those are some crazy hard seats. When I drove to Nashville and drove back, it took me a week to recover and I blame it on those seats. Anyway, I've veered off course from my cross stitch talk, LOL.

It was hot as heck today. It was muggy at 7:30 this morning. We went to a church yard sale, because last year I found some stitchy stuff, but this year I was not so lucky. I went up to the Dutch Market for candy (their caramel truffles are the bomb), and then went to Michaels to kit up some stuff on the 50 list. They actually had a really nice selection of kits there, I was really impressed. None of the new pretty mottled DMC fabric, but it was a nice selection. I actually thought about buying some pillowcases to embroider, but realized that I have enough stuff to work on. I know this because I spent an hour this morning looking for one of my charts to kit up. It was the Calico Critters chart, which has some wacky 70s animals. I had stuck it in the cat binder (I am blaming the fact that I set up this filing system last summer, which I seriously whish had never happened). But I have the cat and the dog kitted up. They would be really cute pillows!

I am almost finished with Kitty Dreams, I just have to finish outlining, and do the ball of yarn and the bee. And then I am done. Woo hoo. I haven't had a finish in three weeks, and it's bumming me out.

01 June 2007

It's Summer, fair is getting closer

Today is June 1st. I have taken 8-9 August off to get ready for the county fair. I will win this year. That gives me two months and a week to get everything stitched and framed that I want to enter. Talk about pressure. So far, these are my entries:

  • Houses of Hawks Run Hollow (and if that doesn't win, I will seriously scream--I am still pissed over losing to a stupid beaded Mill Hill pic last year)
  • Sea Life by Lanarte
  • Friends Gather, Hearts Warm by San Man
  • that Halloween pic by Stoney Creek (I don't know if that will win, but it won't win if it isn't entered)
  • Snowman picture by Woodcrafts by Karen (who I still find to be an under-rated designer, because those kits are the best value, you can't TOUCH a frame by anyone else for that amount.)

I am also hoping to get some other stuff finished. I think I have drastically improved my technique from last year to this year, but time will tell. And it does bum me out that Houses didn't do better at Woodlawn, but I take some comfort from the comments that I got. I do have to remember to get it registered for the state fair.

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