29 July 2007

Stitched on the beach today

I did get to the beach today. It was so nice there. The water was warm, there weren't as many people as on 4th of July--I think they were afraid of rain-- and it was nice. I got a sunburn, but only because I forgot to put sunblock on my chest. I stitched a little bit on my cat. It was such a wierd feeling to not change the color. So wierd I didn't keep working on it very long. But Ill have it done.

Mom asked me why I didn't buy more at the needlework store yesterday. I think that is the first time in years I haven't found at least one chart. For one thing I was short on money. Part of the problem of getting out of debt is that I am sending my creditors the money I usually spend on stash. I know it's a good thing, because I want to get out of debt so I can start purchasing some real assets, but it makes it hard to go shopping. But it's OK. I am looking long-term, if I am "celibate" now when it comes to buying stash, it'll be OK. I also felt kinda uncomfortable looking at new stuff when I have all these beautiful charts at home that I am not stitching. Especially when I've got about a month of stitching on my current WIP to do. I don't intend to start anything else til that is done.

28 July 2007

Floss Toss and cheap S.E.X.

I decided to do another post to talk about other stuff, so as not to draw attention from my framing finishes.
My Vikki Clayton silks for that Prairie Schooler. The floss toss is to the right. Won't they be fun to work with. I really prefer Autumn stitching to most any other kind except summer. I think it's the colors. They are so beautiful. And these are very rich. I got three other colors, just because they made my heart sing. The others were Lace Agate, Black Iris Bud 'n' Bloom, and Evergreen and Wine. I am now of the opinion that one should listen to their heart reaction, not their mind reaction. And they were too pretty not to purchase.
I went to the LNS to pick up my framing, and I needed some other things. I decided to take a list because I am trying to be conservative with my money. It wasn't a big list: black evenweave to do the French Country Cat on, floss for my Hinzeit lighthouse charts. I thought there was a good color for sand and sky in Needle Necessities to use for my Hinzeit chart, but there wasn't one. Where on Earth did I see that color? I thought about dyeing my own, but realized I just don't have the time right now to play around with dye, at least not til after the fairs are over. So I picked out a blue/green/beige combo. I like it. A lady next to men said it looked like a good beachy color. I also bought supplies to do the Dragon Dreams christmas ornament from the Just Cross Stitch ornament issue from 2006. I wasn't planning on this, but there is a contest at the State Fair for a Christmas ornament, and the prize is $20. That would be a pretty nifty little class to win. And I know how to finish ornaments now. It doesn't look like a hard stitch, she does't even use a lot of metallics So, wish me luck The only things I didn't buy on the list were 3 DMC variations, one of which is for the orange tabby version of Country French Cat, and since I had a brainstorm on the way to work, I also picked out a silvery-grey floss. We have a tradition in our family that when a pet dies, we buy an ornament and hang it on the Christmas tree in memory of them. I thought that that would be a good ornament to remember Grampy. And I bought perforated paper for my Halloween ornaments. So nothing was unneeded. And all this was $25. I have never spent that little amount at Stitching Post. So I am really proud!

My framing finishes

We went to the LNS today to pick up my fair entries. I was pretty happy with the job they did.

This is LHN Limited Edition sampler from 2005. I didn't really like this one until it was framed. I think the blue frame makes the picture.

This is Diane Graebner's Iris and Friends. I maybe should have had this matted, but it's OK. It cut the cost and it's still really pretty. I think Gramma would have been proud of this one.

I have three other finishes to show, but I thought it might be better to save and spread those out.


27 July 2007

No update pic for this week

I have made a decision I won't post a pic of M'deer this week. I've been working on him hard pretty much when I can, but there's still not a definitive shape to the lower left corner, so it's hard to see that there's real progress. But I am going to take a break this weekend and do some quickie things, just to get the thrill of a finish.

I found my copy of Country French Cat last week, so now he's in a safe place. And last night, while I was laying in bed, decelerating from the day, I pulled out the bag of floss I was keeping to do the Ronnie Rowe design that reminds me of Gus. I had pulled Weeks Dye Works Amber to do him in, because it is a very Gus sort of color, especially on the linen I chose, but I thought I could take a little of that and do the Country French Cat on black. Since I bought all that cat fabric the other week, I could have that done as a wallhanging, especially because the fabrics I chose have a toile-y kind of feel. So I may work on that this weekend, particularly if I don't have my order from Vikki Clayton. If I do, I may finish that one ornament.

I also, even though it's not on the 50, may work on a Hinzeit chart I bought in Ocean City with John. I misplaced it shortly after I got home, and just found it in a bag with a totally random chart. It's a charmed block design called Lighthouses. I don't like the colors that they chose, but I have a Needle Necessities that is in shades of beige and sky blue, rather like sand and sky, that would work, perhaps on cream. I am stoked to find this chart, even though I bought it because I thought it would make a nice gift for my ex, and he dumped me not that long after we got back. But at the same time, it would be killer in my livingroom, and it adds to the nautical theme. And it's something I like, it would be much worse if it was something I don't like to stitch and wouldn't stitch for myself. But at least I found it. It was a $16 chart, and I try to not misplace those. And I can stitch it in a way that I want to stitch it, and not have to worry that it won't be appreciated. I intend to go to the beach on Sunday and that might be a good project to take along, because I intend to park my fat self under a tree in my chair and stay as long as the weather holds out.

25 July 2007

Christmas In July

The local light rock station is playing Christmas music today. Very odd to turn the station on and hear "O Holy Night", while I have the A/C cranked up. It's because it's July 25th. I have to say, I got into it by the time they played "Jingle Bell Rock", and then they had to whip out Neil Diamond's "You Make It Feel like Christmas," which I have never liked. It's very odd. But then again, they were playing it in November the same day I was running on the beach in Ocean City with no shoes on. So I guess I should be used to this.

And I can't criticize, I was stitching a Christmas ornament on Sunday.

24 July 2007

Not much work done last night

I meant to work on my project, but I took the girls to the dog park after work last night. It was Nikki's birthday, and they haven't been in a month or so, so it was nice to get them some exercise. They actually LIKE the dog park now--they didn't like it at first, but, other than Nikki growling at some of the boys who were acting . . . indelicately . . . they had fun. Chancey even managed to roam away from me and actually interact with other dogs! This is a watershed moment in her life, because normally, she is with me. It's very cute to watch them. When they are at home, they are two dogs who have very little in common and they don't interact, but, out at the dogpark, they kept running up to each other with a "hey, I know you! You're my cousin! What is up with the rest of these people?" And, "Have you seen Mummy?" Then Chance would come running back. But the dog park is not conducive to stitching. It's dirty there, and it stunk yesterday (I kept checking myself for pooh, just in case), plus BOTH DOGS kept jumping up on the picnic table. Everyone was very cool about it, wondering why I was freaking out, but it was like, "Well, she was just licking someone's butt, she might have eaten a pooh when my back was turned, but if you don't mind her licking your Slurpee, you are a stronger woman than I!" I know my dogs--they are either just out of trouble, in trouble, or planning trouble. I watch them like hawks.

So I actually sat down to stitch at 9, and still didn't get much done. I decided that my issues seem to with having the skeins not on bobbins. And my floss box is too big, so I reorganized my threads into a smaller box Doris gave me a while ago. I still didn't get a lot done, but I learned, my bedroom has the perfect light to stitch, since I put those Daylight bulbs in the overhead light. I have an idea now to buy me a chair and make a stitching area in my room. But it's still an idea. I don't have room at this point, and I am not sure if i want a chair in my room.

23 July 2007

Back to the deer

After this weekend, and getting a tiny respite from all the brown and green, I am back to working on this. I got started last night while watching Ice Road Truckers, which I find to be an impressive show, because there is no way in H*ll you would get me carrying explosives across ice. And they make it look easy--one guy was doing 65KM an hour. I am not good at my metrics here, but I am impressed by anyone willing to do more than 15 mph on ice. But, then again, there are a lot of people driving here in Maryland who seem to think they are qualified to drive the ice roads, cause they drive like bats out of h*ll on ice. If having to drive on ice is what is keeping me from achieving financial freedom, I will just stay here in the heat and be poor. I have enough grey hair, thank you!

The bottom left section is already going to be the hardest. I can tell that. It's a lot of start and stop stitching. I am going to try to test myself and stitch several areas of the same color at a time. I think this will make it go faster, it's just not something I like doing because it increases the chance of error, but, at the same time, if I don't do it this way, I will have to use a needle park, and that is not my favorite way to work. That wastes time, whereas with this way, I just have to count extra well.

22 July 2007

Ordered some hand-dyed fibers

I got the new Prairie Schoolers in the mail this week, and one of the charts was Cranberry Christmas. I picked this one out because I started a plan last year to stitch 125 ornaments for my Christmas tree. I realize this sounds wacky, but despite being a stitcher for almost 20 years, since I was a wee tiny girl, I have no ornaments for my Christmas tree. I made them, it's just my mother took them, hung them on her various trees and told me I could have them when she dies (do you understand now why I absconded with the painted wooden box last week, which, BTW, is the same size as a 66 gallon plastic tub and therefore it was DESTINY!). So, last year, I decided that I would stitch 125 ornaments for my tree. And these ornaments are easy to do. Three colors.
I decided this morning to use a piece of linen I had (found it yesterday) to stitch the set on. I sat down with my box o specialty floss, and realized that, even though I have the red, I have not the proper green. I have a yellow-green Vicki Clayton, but I do not have a blue-based green, and I am uncomfortable with how they would go together. So what does the modern stitcher do?

I ended up buying the floss for PS Autumn Leaves as well. It's my favorite recent Prairie Schooler. And I do have that tea-dyed fabric I bought for Sandy Orton's Autumn Sampler. So not exactly bad. But I admit, I bought a detritus bag. it's about 25 skeins of left-overs (I think). It was $9. And you know how I love GRAB BAGS.

I do love VC silks. I don't normally stitch with them because I don't stitch a lot that is worthy of the threads. I do have Midsummer Night Designs Monkey Sampler to do with them. I think her designs convert well to VC silks. I did Mistress Prim and Mistress Proper and it was BEAUTIFUL!

21 July 2007

Notes from the cleaning

This would be funny if it weren't me, but I found an additional 10 packs of needles while cleaning. All un-opened. All size 28. Mostly DMC.

I am pathetic.

But I got lots of stash!

I am SOOO on the wagon

I'm in the middle of cleaning and decluttering my room today. I will never buy another cross stitch chart again. Or nail polish (I just had a moment where I agree with Jen Lancaster, do you know how much money I could have if I hadn't bought all those bottles of OPI and then bit my nails so I didn't have anything to paint). I don't need to. I can not stand to clean it all up when it gets unorganized. And I am not finished. My room is tiny, so we are moving all the furniture around. We still have a large bookcase to be moved, and the bed has to be angled, plus I have to put all the boxes I just moved, into the corner where the bookcase was. In case you haven't figured it out, bozes of cross stitch weigh A LOT.

20 July 2007

S.E.X.less for 7 days

I think this is a record for me for the year. I haven't bought anything frivolous since Saturday. ANYTHING. Not only stitching-wise, but in my regular purchases. I bought Gus a collar on Wednesday, but he's been naked for a couple months, and I can not abide a naked cat. Especially not him, because he has a tiny little head and a very large body, he needs a break point so he flows better. And it was Burberry print, which I thought would go well with his coloring. So my child is cute! But that was a necessary expense, because he really should have a collar in case he gets out. Other than that, nothing.

I have to restart my On the Hunt. I lost the threads and i don't like the colors I chose. I hate doing that, but it's a waste of time to keep working when I don't like it. To paraphrase Martha Beth Lewis, "fabric is cheap and we know where to get more." I just feel bad because Kathy did hers so quick. And I need to do my Halloween ornies for my exchange. I need perforated paper for that, so will have to order some, but that is not the same as all-out S.E.X. I am thinking of looking for some Halloween things for my exchange partner, to make it a nice package. Michael's has some super-cute Halloween decorations--who doesn't need a bottle to keep their heebie jeebies in when they get them, I bought one for my desk at work, just to freak out my co-workers--and I thought I could put some Halloween candy in the box too. Maybe some small cuts of fall fabrics. She is doing a Halloween tree, so it would be good for her. OHHH, I just remember I had bought all those dollar kits from Michael's last fall, I can put some of those in there, because she's making a Halloween tree.

I also put down New Birth of Spring for a day or so. I been working overdrive on that. And I am tired of greens and browns, at least for a day or so. I have picked up a Lanarte kit that I've had as a UFO forever, but that I think would be a nice break. Just for a couple days. I think the next project I work on will have to have some bright colors. I am getting tired of working on soft colors.

19 July 2007

4 Weeks Progress

It has been 4 weeks since I picked this up again, making a total of about ten weeks in. I've made awesome progress in that time. It's hard to gauge size, but to give a sense of scale on this, the fawn's head alone is the size of my loosely held fist, all on 28 count. The log is a lot biigger and lots of changes. I still have all the back-stitch to do, but it looks good, and I never thought I would get this far.

SBQ for this week

Which project (finished or in progress) are you most proud of? Explain why.

I think the project I am most proud of at the moment is the deer. For lots of reasons, many of which I have explained here.

First of all, it's beautiful. I am always proud that I can take a piece of thread and my little schussly self (Pennsylvania Dutch word, hard to explain, but if you have been reading this or know me, you know about my schussliness) and make something that people think is beautiful (or BOOTIFUL, as my team lead, Gloria, said). That is the wonder of cross stitch for me.

Secondly, this piece represents for me the journey I've been on in the past year. This was supposed to be my salvation all those days at shock/trauma, but it made me question my skills. Could I really handle the task ahead of me, just as I questioned could I handle all the changes that were occurring in my life. And I've learned that I can, just take it slow, do what I can, and things fall into place. And it has been hard, just like fixing my life has been hard, but that makes the success sweeter.

18 July 2007

Should I be concerned?

I brought the new box I requisitioned from my mom into the house last night and was putting my WIPs in it, and I found something that shames me. I am apparently obsessed with buying needles. I found at least 4 packages in the WIP envelopes, and then, shame of all shames, I was cleaning out my duffel bag from vacation after that, decided that, since I have this neurotic need to have needles at all times, I should check the side pocket of the suitcase. You guessed it, there was a pack of size 26 needles in there. Those must have been there for a while, though, because I only stitch with 28s. To furthermore show that something is definitely wrong, I was looking for my scissors the other night, poked myself with something in the sofa (fortunately, it was a finger, not a toe, or we would have gone to town), and pulled out a size 28 petite needle.


I think I need to go check the car at lunch. If I have a package in there, I need professional help.

But I don't think anyone needs to worry. I know that in that movie, Mel Gibson was messed up and he was compelled to buy Catcher in the Rye all the time. And I think that guy that shot John Lennon did the same. And of course, having packs and packs of needles is a little wierder than copies of the same book. But then again, I am too loud to be potentially dangerous. I am probably just a little wierd. But then again, I do consider myself Southern, and we are proud of our eccentricities. We parade it on Front Street.

BTW, my system of the four colors is working. I made excellent progress last night while watching 4 hours of CSI on Spike. It made something to look at during the Human Soup episode, cause that was gross. I should be done the stitching on the lower right hand corner by the weekend. Which is not bad, considering I've done probably a third of this project in a month, not too shabby for a Stoney Creek.

17 July 2007

Stepped out of the comfort zone

I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was going to think about loading up a bunch of needles with floss and stitch each row across to see if that saved time. Well, last night, in order to avoid the thankless job of peeling potatoes (that doesn't look like it's spelled right, does it?), I tried it. News flash:

For whatever reason, I can not cross stitch with multiple threads attached to needles on my project. It's not happening, it won't work, bless all y'all who can do it, but this chicky can't do it.

Realizing that, at this point, it would be more relaxing to peel potatoes using the very sharp kitchen knives than to continue stitching like that, I stopped and resumed my normal way, but with the realization that half of my anxiety comes from constantly rethreading my needles, I threaded up four needles, parked them in different places on my fabric and I was stitching that way. It works much better than the other way.

I've pretty much given up having a neat back on this piece. No one is going to look at it, and part of me finds that whole, "May I see your backside?"question rude. Don't misunderstand me, my backs are usually very neat, and I will put them up against anyone's, but on a piece like this, it won't be pretty and it doesn't have to be. It makes no difference. I am not doing huge runs across the back, because that drives me absolutely crazy when other people do it, but instead of it being a two stitch gap, I been doing 3 or 4s on this one. I know, SCANDALOUS, but it does make me feel sloppy, LOL.

16 July 2007

A CC/Stitchy reward

I had an idea to get myself to pay off two of my credit cards, sort of a reward and an enticement. I have two cards with a combined balance of $1500--I blame these balances on Christmas last year, and living in an 80 year old house (whoda thunk Lowe's was pretty darn close to being the happiest place on earth, like Walmart with all the clothes and toys removed?). Granted these are not my biggest cards, but I think if I pay them off, that would go a long way, and I could put the combined payments on my car payment. (which now that I say this is doable, I will never do. Just being honest here.)

Anyway, I was surfing on Friday and I realized that I would like to join Silkweavers FOTM club. But I can't justify spending $40 a month on fabric when I have these two cards out there with balances that I could be done with if I just stopped buying useless JUNK. It's not that I can't afford the $40, but it's a guilt thing. So maybe if I post it here, it will keep me responsible. But once I get those paid off I can afford the $40, especially once I pay that car off!

15 July 2007

Finally, a finish

I needed a break from New Birth of Spring. I took it to my nail appointment today because I figured I could work on some backstitching while I was waiting to be called back. The nail ladies all liked it, but some old man tried to tell me it took a lot of patience to do cross stitch. I know he meant it as a compliment, but I don't agree. I am the most impatient person I know and I stitch. I just have a boatload of WIPs.

So when I came home, I set that one aside. It's been about 3 weeks and I haven't had a finish, and I wanted one. I had bought a little kit with the yummiest colors of silk at my LNS. They had kitted up Rainbow Gallery's Spring has Sprung. This is my finish. It only took me about 5 hours to stitch, in between cat herding, and fixing dinner.

Good freebies

Not much to say today, but there are some gorgeous freebies on the links on this page:

14 July 2007

I found it!

I found my meow fabric! The fabric I have been questing for for over a month. The fabric that was my El Dorado of stitching! And that same fabric that I was seriously doubting existed. I even mentioned to Mom today that I was starting to think that I had somehow misread Moo as me-ow. This is so cool.

We went to Pennsylvania today to pick up two painted, well, Mom calls them toyboxes, but they're only toyboxes if you put toys in them, correct? One is for her friend, but the other one is for her, well, it was for her, but since she has enough stuff at her house and I need an attractive storage option, I am requistioning it for my room to be an attractive option to store my WIPs. I figure if I put the cats' binky (their no-sew fleece blanket for those unfamiliar with my very own language, Rachel-ese), that will protect the top and not encourage Gus to seek a higher level to lay on (i.e., the dresser), since he is obsessed with fleece (I don't understand it, but my job as a pet parent is to set boundaries, provide guidance, and dispense jummies, not understand him).
That was up in Kutztown, which is somewhere between Lancaster and Allentown.

On the way back, we stopped along 222 at a store called the Quilted Cat, a cool quilt store. They had all kind of cat fabric, including, you guessed it, my meow fabric. I bought a bunch of it because it was 20 percent off. They have a club that will send you 13 fat quarters of fabric 3-4 times a year for $30, not a bad deal. I am asking for that as a Christmas present. I don't think that is unreasonable,

Mom (and this is why I adore her) asked if the woman working knew of a cross stitch store nearby and the woman did. It's Stitch N' Stuff, on Rte 61. I like that store, a lot. It's not huge, but it was nice. And they were polite. I have started to notice as I journey down this path as a cross stitcher, that I get a variety of reactions when I walk in. I HOPE that it's because I look very young, and not because I look poor, but sometimes store owners look at me like they're trying to figure out if I actually stitch or if I am just looking for directions. My LNS used to be kinda like that, but this one wasn't. Maybe I was carrying myself differently today, I don't know--I had a pretty outfit on and I wasn't as down on myself as I had been (amazing what finding the fabric you were convinced you hallucinated will do for the spirit), but it was a good batch of S.E.X. As always, I tried to buy things I don't see at my LNS. We did find my favorite thing to buy at an LNS, GRAB BAGS! We bought two. Got some good fabric, including Heatherfield, and the awesomest, HONEYBEE CREATION BUTTONS! We got probably 6 of them between Mom and I. I love those buttons.

Then we had dinner at a restaurant in Lancaster. It's a restaurant across from Dutch Wonderland, always decent food, not really expensive.

It was a nice day.

12 July 2007


What do you love to do that many people hate? What do you hate to do, but do anyway?

This is a tricky one to answer. I don't do things I don't like doing, at least not with stitching. I am very blunt about that. My time is too tied up to do things like that. Now, what I love that many people hate? Stitching on aida. I like it for certain projects. It works very well for Prairie Schoolers and primitives, and if it's a large, fully-stitched project, why spend the money for evenweave or linen if aida works on the project? That means more money for charts, and as the queen of stash, I enjoy spending on stash.

11 July 2007

My vacation finishing

It took 3 or 4 outings, 3 days , and trips to stores in 2 states, but we got these done. My aunt is a wonderful finisher--we teased my mom tonight that this was what results from an art degree from George Washington University and an arts admin degree from UK. She laughed.
From the top, it's Secret Needle Night June 2006--this is the second SNN I have ever finished.
Next is the Drawn Thread Cat Sampler. Then it's some freebie I got from the my LNS--I love the tassles on it, for some reason I can't explain. Under that is a sheep freebie from Rainbow Gallery, stitched on a Silkweaver solo. Note my attempt to make sparklers on the thing he is standing on. The next finished piece is a Lizzie Kate freebie on Heatherfield, which I like stitching on. Lastly, it's JBW Country French pumpkin, which I do have to say, the fabric was a remnant at my LNS I bought on a whim, the floss is DMC color variations. It amazes me the fabric cost more per yard than the fabric, floss and chart, but it's so pretty.

10 July 2007

Perfect Stitching Time

I must, slothfully, yet proudly, admit that I was in my pajamas til 2 this afternoon. If I had not had to go to Lowe's to pay my bill, I would still be in them. But it was worth it.

This has been a very stitching-oriented vacation, in a good way. I have not been to an LNS, even though there is one close. Frankly, we have been too busy making these no-sew cubes. My aunt finished a patriotic one while I was out, and it's STUNNING. She is very talented, but I tell you, it's a job and a half to pick out fabric and trims. You have an idea of what you want, and then half to find what closely approximates your vision. This is not easy. I spent a while looking for, I guess you would call them, sew cubes since we made no-sews. Couldn't find them.

Anyway, in our travels, I introduced my aunt to the beauty of the $1 section at Michael's. They had all manner of western kits by Bucilla, we got 7 of them and she left a couple there. She said she thought of it as little kid stuff, I told her she had been missing out.

She handed me a little Mill Hill kit she's had for a while to do for her. I figure it's a fair trade for helping me. Luckily it's a Halloween kit. I used to do a lot of these Mill Hill kits when I was in high school, I made Mom scads of the little pins my senior year when I was sick so often. I even made all the little bracelets. She has them, they wouldn't fit my fat little wrists now.

I've made good progress on my project. I have a couple more flowers done. I imagine how far I would be if we hadn't been away 13 hours yesterday. I am pondering doing this a little different because its all dusty browns. Maybe doing that thing where you thread up different needles and just stitch with them all at one time. I don't know. I want this done

09 July 2007

240 miles to Hobby Lobby

I am 240 miles from the nearest Hobby Lobby while here in Virginia Beach. And, being the addicted and conscientious stitcher that I am, we had to go down to Fayetteville to check it out. My aunt has never been to a Hobby Lobby, and I am proud to say I brought her into the Hobby Lobby nation. We got a couple things to work on these cubes. Though we were all the way down there and decided it would be cool to use cat toys as the feet on my Drawn Thread cat sampler. I also bought two good kits on clearance--one is a bear, and the other was patriotic. We like patriotic. And 3 Christmas ornaments. I have to say this, if you compare the ornament selection at Target with Hobby Lobby, HL ornaments win. I got one in the form of a tabby cat. I am always pleased to add to my tabby cat collection.

I'm slowing down on New Birth. It's very tricky now, all browns and greens. And not the prettiest greens and browns. I am focusing on the outcome and not the process. The fabric is getting heavy, that is how tight the stitching is

08 July 2007

On vacation

I am on vacation this weekend, up until Wednesday. Mom did take Grampy and have him put to sleep on Friday. I would have stayed home had I not taken time off work and made plans. It's been a while since I lost a pet, and so, I couldn't help it yesterday when I mentioned we have four cats. I don't have four cats anymore. I have 3, and one who just went to be with his sister. I didn't stop to correct myself, most people don't know how to react when you say you've lost someone, and he was a someone.

OK, stitchingwise, I've been doing a lot of finishing the past couple days. My aunt is very crafty and has an Art degree, so she's been assisting. We have some GORGEOUS things we are making. I have three hanging ornaments, two patriotic, and one Halloween, and a beautiful cube made from JBW Country French pumpkin. It's gorgeous!

06 July 2007

A Sad Day

I won't post about stitching today, but wanted to post about my mother's beautiful cat, Grampy, who will probably be put to sleep this afternoon. Grampy, whose real name is Kody, is a cancer patient, but his cancer has most likely come back, and my mom does not want to have him suffering.

Kody has been in our family for the past 13 years. He came my senior year of high school, to be a companion for my beautiful Dana-dog, who loved kitties and needed something more her size to relate to. Kody was apparently a cat who believed in the adage, God helps those who help themselves, because he came into my aunt's house in an ice storm. How could we let a cat who so desperately wanted a home go to the pound? So he came home.

He was a good pal for my Dana. They played games we never understood, and when she crossed the rainbow bridge in 1999, it affected him. We didn't know how much til we brought home Chanson (Chancey's real name), and he hated her. But they came to an accord. He also ended up with Felix Anne at the same time. I always figured he thought we took his good friend and left him with two young eejits. But they made life work, and over the years, he became the wise old King Kitty.

In 2005, my parents moved in with me, and Kody came along. I don't know if he really wanted to come along. My cats certainly didn't want him there. Lily downright hated him, Gussie could not understand why Grampy had to come and pick fights. Only Felix loved him. Grampy hadn't been a good partner for him when my parents had Felix. Flicky loved him, and Grampy used to beat him up. I guess he was trying to show him his place. But they all managed to come to an agreement on how to live. Gus allowed him to imagine he was still King of the House, Lily cursed him when he got out of line, and Felix was patient. Grampy even made sure that our Nikki knew that he was the once and future King--claws have a way of confirming that.

We knew that Grampy was aging and that he would one day leave us. In late 2006, he was diagnosed with skin cancer and lost his ear. We decided that wasn't so bad, he couldn't see his ear, and he was still regal. He was declared cured, and then yesterday, after a few weeks of him just not being Kody, my mom took him to the vet, who has discovered masses.

I know he will be across the Rainbow Bridge, and his sister will be there for him. I know they've missed each other. I knew this would happen at some point. Part of loving our pets is giving them back to God when the time he's loaned them to us is up. And I know he deserves a good place to go. I'll just miss him.

05 July 2007

This is my update on New Birth of Spring. I worked like crazy on it over the weekend, but was working on Lizzie Kate for the past couple days. I think this is a pretty good progress. Now I am on the bad part, the brush and twigs. These little flowers are a PITA, too. I will say that. This one that I am working on now on the right side, that one took almost 2 hours to do. TOO LONG!

SBQ for July 5th

Do you consider yourself a “floss miser?”

Hmmm, this is a hard question to answer. It really depends on the floss. I wouldn't imagine that I am a miser as much as a horder, if that makes sense. A long time ago, someone said to me, "You must have great stash." And I do have awesome thread stash. I have come to the decision that, out of my large credit card debt, fully half of it must have been from those shopping sprees for thread in the early parts of this century. And I hate using that thread. I know they will make more, but I still worry that they will stop making that particular color and I might need it one day when I can't afford new. I realize this is illogical thinking, but I can't help it. I hand-dyed some thread at CATS, and I was going to use it in a project, but I was afraid to do that, even though I have the dyes, because what if I never actually dyed thread again? It would be gone. This is very sad, I realize this.

But back to the original question . . . I guess you could say I am a miser with my Anchor floss but only because it's not that easy to come by. And it's expensive. So I tend to be careful with that. But DMC, even though I complain about 33 cents a skein, is still fairly cheap and I work 10 minutes from Michael's, so if the cat grabs a skein, it won't kill me. I still don't like wasting it, don't get me wrong, because I still put up with a lot of BS to earn the money to pay for it, but it's not necessarily life and death.

I did realize one other way I am miserly. With kit floss. My first counted cross stitch project was a beautiful chestnut Arabian stallion I dearly remember ruining an entire length of floss by letting it knot as I was pulling out a strand, and being 13 and stupid, I threw the length away. Summer that year, I realized I was short thread (precisely that amount I threw out, BTW) and had to go to the store and get more. And it didn't match. It was my 4-H project. Even though the ladies were nice about it, I knew that it wasn't right. That poor horse has sat on my wall with a mismatched spot on his chest since 1991. I bought the kit again off E-bay a couple years ago, I am seriously pondering fixing his chest with the thread, because I won't stitch him chestnut and it hurts me that his color isn't perfect. So I learned. I've found most kits have plenty of thread, but I don't want to make that mistake again.

04 July 2007

Happy 4th of July

I don't have a stitching post today, because I haven't really had any stitching time today. Today was my "Ultimate 4th of July" with all the standard things you want on a 4th. I've been up since 5:30 AM. We went blueberry picking. I like picking them. It's easy and there isn't a big potential for staining. You do not have to sit down to do it, like strawberries.

It took us two hours to pick 15 pounds. Which wasn't bad. The weather was nice. There weren't a lot of bees--this is another problem, but it wasn't today. Then we hurried home, I jumped in the shower and then headed down to the beach. I spent a couple hours down there. It was pretty hot. I was trying to read, and kept reading til I got hot, then went and jumped in the water.

There are now tornado warnings going out around the area. Don't know how that will affect everything but not pleasant.

03 July 2007

Magazine Reviews July 3rd

Would you like to know why I LOVE magazines that come out in the summer?

They are FULL of patriotic designs. And 4th of July, bar none, is my favorite holiday. Far more than Christmas, Halloween, definitely ahead of St. Patrick's Day. Because, let's be honest, what other holiday can you eat a hot dog, go swimming, not have to buy presents or send cards, watch things get blown up, and get a history lesson all in the same day? Even Guy Fawks Day happens in the fall. Maybe it's because I was born in 1976 that I love it so, but I do.

So imagine my absolute DEEE-light that the newest issue of Cross Stitcher is plein de ( full of for my non-French-speaking friends: you can tell I am excited if I lapse into French here) patriotic designs, at least five of them. Even an Ursula Michaels design of patriotic quilts. The only bummer on that one is that it uses Anchor threads, which I will, I guarantee, be missing at least two of. And, before it becomes an issue, I don't convert back and forth between those two. There is also a patriotic floral design by Pam Kellogg (which I have to say looks A LOT like Sue Hillis' summer design, but I mean, really, there isn't a lot of leeway with patriotic flowers and Sue's was in a beach bucket). Also a kinda cool summertime picnic design, as well as a design of TAPS.

Other than that, this is a pretty good issue. Though there is a design that I find pretty messed up. It's a dog house, and you are supposed to stitch names and put the names on the dog house, I guess if you are in trouble? I think that is pretty messed up. Imagine you come home and find your name "in the dog house" when you've had a pretty rough day already? Then you gotta figure out what you did that made some one around the house mad. Though I can see it being applied for the pets. Because, with 6 of them running around, someone is always in trouble. Not to mention, as far as I am aware they can't read and therefore, no need to worry about the inevitable backlash upon finding themselves in trouble.

This one's for you, Bee

Today's post is dedicated to Brea, who has managed to survive, not only a week in the woods, but the drive there, and a truckstop bathroom. All this without medical issue, mosquito bite, discord, or international incident. All in all, a good camping trip, Bee!

I have something to admit. "I am going on the wagon" is apparently some internal code I have for, "I am going to the LNS, but don't want to admit it, and I will spend scads of money." I went to Stitching Post on Sunday. I am staying out of that dam store. I spent a lot of money, but I bought the rest of the charts for the Lizzie Kate Flip-It stamps from 2005. I found the first 5 of those and the 2004 set in a bag in my stash boxes in the basement the other day. And I got two cute charts from My Mark that are perfectly patriotic. And a couple other ones. Plus I signed up for the bellpull club they have--I kept seeing stuff I liked, and bought some threads, plus the graph of the month kit. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP. But now I have the stamps, and we found the frame for Forest Snowfall, which will go in a week from now. But I saw there's a new club called Meowy Time, which is a black cat, from Homespun Elegance. The gods conspire against me . . .

But I did make some major progress on the deer. He is pretty much finished now. I worked on him while I was taking tickets at the picnic and did well. I now have all the brush around him to do. Which I am not looking forward to, but it has to be. And there are flowers interspersed, too, to break the monotony. Then it's just the bunny side to do and it's done. And it really is NOT a bad stitch. Certainly not the monstrosity it had become in my mind. I also worked on the Lizzie Kate Flip-Its. I was going to make a table topper out of them, but I realized they aren't facing in the right direction, so going to make a wall hanging. I will do the table topper with the 2005 stamps. That makes more sense. I do have to say, though, Bent Creek does a better conversion from overdyeds to DMC. I love their conversions. Sorta working this one out in my head.
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