30 December 2008

2008: A Year in Review

Well, it's almost the end of the year. Tomorrow is New Year's Eve, and SO's birthday. I got him XM radio for his birthday. He likes mine a lot, and I figure, he did want something he could take with him, and, if it's in the car, he can take it with him!

Personally, this was an up and down year. Lots of job stress, which I am still pretty up in the air about. I have that long commute, and it's not much fun to leave when the sun is rising and come home when it's setting, particularly when I am feeling like I am losing some of the passion I had once for it. I am praying that the New Year brings me some sort of peace or opportunity. Losing the car and having to start over did affect me. Because I like to do things so that others don't have to, it is NOT COOL to wake up to see your car totalled. There isn't a "sorry" for that one. And then to have to go through the stress of replacing it. Fortunately, God looks out for fools and children, and I came out of it OK. Just broke. It's been a transition to go from a, "If I can just get to May, I'll be paid off and I'll have this fairly nice car to ride around in" mindset to, "All I own of this car is two payments and the down money" and it don't help that they are putting all the cars on clearance, I could have a Charger for less than I paid for the Neon.

Stitching-wise, it's been a rough year. I didn't get as much time to stitch this year, and that's been hard. Stitching has been my release, and working two jobs to try to stay above water, and still have fun money, that's been hard on it. And it doesn't help that I didn't do as good at the fair as I wanted to do. I know it's not about winning, and third in the state is still third in the state. First is better. But all I can do is try harder next year. And hope I do better.

My goals for this new year are to, of course, get dyeing! I have no excuses anymore. And to work on some designs I have in my head. And to get ornaments for my tree.

29 December 2008

T'was the week after Christmas

and all through the house, Rachel was enjoying the holiday "stuff" without the hassle of deadlines, and working two jobs.

I've been off pretty much solid since Christmas Eve. I worked two hours on the 26th (I realized it took me longer to get back and forth to work than I was actually in the office, plus I scared the bejeezus out of SO by crawling back into the bed where he was napping, LOL), but other than that, I was off.

I had a nice holiday. I GOT MY SEWING MACHINE. Mom and Daddy bought it for me. SO was really pleased for me. The first thing he said was, "We need to get you a table for that!" I told him I can use the coffee table in the sewing room. Now I really have a SEWING ROOM. SO's mom and dad got me a gift card that burned a hole in my pocket so we went to Jo-ann's on Friday after I got home, and I bought 5 yards or so of fabric. For tuck pillows,and cubes! SO got me a necklace and a purse, along with a Tony Romo jersey. I had bought him the Demarcus Ware jersey, and funnily, we opened them at the same time (and those suckas still got their butts handed to them by Philly? Not to mention, the Baltimore station didn't even show the game, they had some funky sports talk show on. What is this about?). At least we looked like a couple, sitting there in our new jerseys, watching the Ravens. And he bought me a stereo for my sewing room. I will never leave that room, LOL. I also got a pair of slippers--we've christened them the elf shoes, and a fancy schmancy ort jar from my aunt.

We had some mixed success with our cooking endeavors. We decided we wanted a roast beef for Christmas Eve dinner. I went and picked out the roast. I had visions of a Nigella Lawson roast, pink and beautiful, yummy, very Christmassy. Let me say, if you want a cruddy piece of meat, send me to the store with instructions to pick it out. It looked gorgeous, but it was tough. Very tough, and chewy. I had gum that wasn't as chewy as that roast. I was bummed. I know, people were hungry, and that is nothing to really fuss about, but I want to be perfect, and that, my dears, was not perfect. The rolls went over much better. Blue cheese and butter are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. I was going to do Yorkshire puddings for dessert, too, but I just got too tired. Wrapping presents, and fighting roasts, and being Christmassy takes a lot out of a girl, so I curled up with some rolls. I also made a really easy fudge recipe, which I will share:

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
3 C milk chocolate or semi sweet chips
dash of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla

Melt in a saucepan the condensed milk, the salt, and the chocolate chips. Stir so that the chocolate doesn't burn. When melted together, take off the heat and add the vanilla. Stir. You can also add other things like nuts. Spread into a lined square pan. Let cool for 2 hours and cut.

SO loved this. He doesn't like fudge. Whoo hoo.

23 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Before everything gets really hectic around here, I wanted to take a moment to wish you, kind hearts and gentle readers, a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. Thank you for the gifts of your comments and the time you take to come to my corner of the blogosphere. Thank you for allowing me to go a little off course at times, and for letting me be a little fanciful.Hope to see you next year!

22 December 2008

i finally got to stitch

Woo hoo. Happy dance. Snoopy style!

I spent the last two nights at Mom's, because of work and a projected ice storm that did not occur. And I had to go pick up some stuff I had down there for SO. Mom wrapped his jersey, which I almost wish I had given him because Dallas got beaten by the Ravens. However, since we live in the Baltimore area, and they were playing the Ravens, at least he didn't have to upgrade to digital cable in order to watch it on the NFL network; he watched them get their butts handed to them by on the local station.

We did get the Christmas trees decorated. The ginormous tree is beautiful. My Charlie Brown tree doesn't look quite so horrible with the tiny ornaments on it along with my stitched ornaments. I have to put the ones my daddy made on there too, but I'll do that tonight.

Anyway, I decided I am not doing any non-Christmas stitching this week, and, since I've decided to remedy the lack of stitched ornaments on my tree by stitching them, I started Pam Kellogg's Blackwork Cat from the 2007 ornament issue. It seems to be going pretty good. I find with blackwork, there's a groove you have to get in to make it work and go quick, and, since it's been so long since I've done it, it took me til last night to get my rhythm. I am using WDW Amber for it, so it looks more like my Gussie. I hope to have it done by Christmas Eve, but I do have to wait til I can get the Mill Hill Treasures it needs to get it finished. Otherwise it's just a blackwork cat, not a Christmas blackwork cat.

One other thing, I was looking for warm winter clothes to wear. It's freezing here in the DC area, and I have had one Christmas sweater the whole season to wear. Very depressing. And I can't find the sweatshirt I love. So I started searching in boxes in the basement, and,not only did I find my winter clothes, I unearthed another bunch of stash. This is starting to be very troubling to me in a way I can't really understand. It was all stash that was running below the radar, like I knew I had bought it, but didn't know exactly where it was, but it wasn't like a frantic need to have it in my hot little hands. And I found it, but it was in with charts I didn't know I had. And that distresses me, maybe because I don't like owning stuff and not knowing I own it. I remembered when I bought it, a Nashville show sale or something like that, but I realized I was pretty depressed when I bought it, and it was one of those "need had nothing to do with it" excursions. Apparently in the early part of 2007, I had money to burn and no match to start it. Which makes me wonder, what other depressive, self-indulgent and equally expensive purchases am I going to unearth til I am done moving? I want this all, it's just starting to bug me that I spent all this money on this stuff . . .

19 December 2008

Stealth like a ninja

I finally got the rest of the charts that were in my car in the house last night. SO didn't get home til 8 last night and for once, I got home before him. A particular delight since I ended up making a wrong turn exploring an alternate route and ended up touring the backroads of the neighboring county. So I had to rush the boxes in the house and put them away. I can't make SO understand why I bought so much floss--he doesn't understand my hermit on the beach plan, and probably ain't open to the, "We're in a recession, I bought it for times like these" concept either. So it was probably good that he wasn't there to see me haul in a Target box full of charts and kits. We'll just keep that amongst ourselves, shall we? I should be set for a while. I keep finding SNN kits that I want to do, and it's like, "Ohhh, I can do this pretty quick." Of course I find it pathetic that I was a member for, uhh, 3 years, and only did maybe 4 or 5 of them. What was I thinking? I am doing the "fields" series as my New Year project, and passing the charts on to Suzanne. That is my goal.

It's a gloomy day here in Maryland. Dark and foggy and rainy. At least it's not ice. I was quite tentative stepping out of the house this morning, because I live in fear of black ice and don't particularly relish the thought of falling, breaking something important, and then having to lie there on the front stoop til SO comes out. Anyway, they are calling for ice on Sunday, hopefully not til I get off work at the theatre. Cross your fingers on that one. I put my little ornament from the exchange on my Charlie Brown tree, so I am at 4 on there, now. When I get the ornaments I made for the fair on there, it'll be 6. Kinda shabby there, LOL. I have to get making more ornaments. That's my project for 2008, an ornament a month. I found a little bird chart in an ornament issue I could do pretty quick. It would be good to do that and sew it up into a little bird shape.Then I would have to decide if I want feet on it, a running joke in my family because my grandmothers were competitive. One was crafty, one was a worker. The crafty one made a bird ornament one year and everyone oohed and ahhhed over it. The worker one didn't particularly like the crafty one, so she decided she would make a bird, but hers would be better because it would have feet. She was so proud of that footed bird, LOL.

17 December 2008

OK, I think I have my solution to my rut

I'm still moving stash from Mom's house to SO's. SO seriously had no idea how much I had, so I am sneaky. We're on a budget for now, but he said it was OK to buy fabric if I needed it. I am short on colored fabric, so this is good. Anyway, side note . . .

One of my new "brings" were the charts for my Britter Critter quilt. I started collecting the charts by Brittercup to make a quilt a couple years ago. I had this vision of it in all different counts of aida, and doing it like a crazy quilt. Keep in mind, I don't quilt, but I'm hopeful. I started actually doing the squares in 2006, but they got put aside last winter. I don't know why, I'd done like 4 of them. It was moving fast, I was starting to gather fabric to do the blocks, and then I put it aside.

Anyway, I pulled it out today and was looking. I could do these, at least til I get out of my rut. The completed squares look really nice.

15 December 2008

Not much stitching occurring

I must be in a full on rut. Seriously.

I would rather read than stitch right now. That's wierd for me. Usually I read in bed, not any other time. Lately, I've just been reading to beat the band. I finished Atonement on Saturday night. I don't know if I liked it. I can't really say definitively yes or no.

We have our Christmas tree. 9 1/2 feet (I know, HUGE!). We cut it down Saturday. Our ornaments should look really nice on it. I knew we were getting a big tree when SO took one look at the available trees and said, "Well, it doesn't have to go in front of the window." So we'll end up relocating the living room furniture for this to fit, but it will be beautiful with our little presents around it. But it was kinda tiring to traipse around the tree farm for a good 3 hours. I came home and took a nap.

I got my Secret Sister present from Angela. 2 skeins of linen floss. 2 charts of cats and dogs, a piece of fabric, and some YUMMY Dove chocolates. Robbie watched me opened it with great approval! He thought his Secret Aunty did a good job.

12 December 2008

Moving has been a wonderful thing

I realized this morning while carrying yet another box of stash out of my mom's house that it's great that I moved. Mainly because I get to be with SO all the time now, and I try to take care of him--I feel so homemaker-y the other night after baking cookies and making grilled chicken for him, LOL--but also because I am able to have all my stash neatly organized, and I am getting to see and touch my stash, when I usually couldn't. It was all in boxes, stacked up, unorganized, magazines mixed in with charts in with freebies, a little fabric, like the 800 pound gorilla in the corner. Now, it's a pleasure. I still have some work to do, but my magazines are in one place, unfiled charts in one, fabric in a tote. It's calming. And, honestly, that alone really has soothed my need to buy stash. Even if I was buying. I am having so much fun just looking through what I have. It's been a pleasure. Honestly.

I got some stitching done last night. I finally finished the middle section of Autumn Leaves. It's pretty, but a little paler than I would prefer. But so far, it looks good. And I was stitching with a fantastically rich purple last night, Winterberry. What a treat to stitch with such a glorious color! And that is such a silly small pleasure, I know, but seriously . . .

It rained yesterday, but at least we didn't get the ice. I can deal with mud--I skid less on mud than on ice. We're getting our Christmas tree tomorrow. Hopefully, it won't be too cold or too muddy, but I am not wearing my good Timberlands. SO thinks I am a loon because I won't wear them in slop, but they were a Christmas gift, and I don't want to get them messy. I'm funky like that. So I'll be putting up the tree probably Sunday.

10 December 2008

Random act of cuteness

I never got the photos from Assateague uploaded, so here they are. Isn't this little baby cute? We saw it both mornings we were there. I promise, I didn't touch it. I talked to it, but I didn't touch it. This was the only foal we saw. I guess the DNR doesn't encourage their ponies to reproduce with frequency, so they give them birth control. The ponies on the Virginia side don't have these silly restrictions, but then again, their babies get sold . . . for big bucks. We didn't see any over there, probably better in the spring.

I thanked this little guy for letting us use his island. The campground closes in November, so it's back to being theirs and just theirs. Til spring, and then we're blessed to be able to share it with them.

And I had to share this. I mean, does that not make your heart sing? It really was a magic place.

Introducing . . .the one, the only . . .Treaty Fairy

Finished finally. I no likey beads. I no likey braid

09 December 2008

The strangest thing

I went into Michael's yesterday to buy some things for my friend Kathy, for her birthday package. She lives in England and had asked for DMC floss. I've been "on the sleigh now for almost 4 weeks, and it's funny, because I felt so awkward wandering down the cross stitch aisle. Normally, I take my time, and look at the fabrics, and try to think of what I could stitch with them, but yesterday, I just turned around and walked out of the aisle after I selected her present, a gift set of flosses. No looking, no nothing. Could it be that my experiment has caused a change of heart within me and I'll actually use what I've stockpiled? I mean I was saving it for when I was a hermit on the beach. And we're trying for a beach-y feel in my stitching room . . . and I do enjoy staying home now more than going out . . .

I don't think so, but it feels good for now.

I worked til 8 last night and didn't put in many stitches. But that's OK, got a good recipe for homemade peppermint patties, and bought SO a pair of earrings he wanted. Yes, earrings. He wanted something from me he could wear all the time, and wants hoops. Not big hoops (I offered to get him some big ones from the beauty supply store, and we could put a parakeet in them--he does like Pirates of the Caribbean), but nice ones. It took three websites to find ones I like for him--they're gold, not too fancy (who pays $1650 for hoop earrings?), and well priced. I was happy.

08 December 2008

Tuckered out

I haven't been stitching very much this week. I am almost ashamed to admit it, especially since I have that beautiful sewing room, all my own. I'm just tired. Traffic was horrendous all week, with no real excuse other than the wind was blowing, and I was just worn out. I think the fact that the days are so short is probably contributing to this. It's one thing to get home and it's 6:30 and the sun isn't nearly ready to set, and then to get home at 6:30, feed the boys in the cold dark, and then have to cook and all you see out the window is the cold dark. Am I the only person who feels this way?

I did do some stitching yesterday while the Cowboys were on. I had stitched at work at the box office all day--you can't sell tickets to sold-out shows, so the phone calls were pretty short--and then came home and worked on my Prairie Schooler Autumn Leaves. It's very slow going when you cross each x individually. VERY SLOW. I was working a row at a time, because I didn't realize that there was variegation in the colors, but I popped my skein of Pennywort under my Dazor last night, and there's a little difference in colors. Not major, but it's there. So I am back to one at a time. The conversion is pretty good--I am using the small deer motif in the center instead of what they showed, and I changed the color of the mother deer to look more like how deer look here in the winter. It's more like Queen Stones. I am planning on getting some stitching done on Wednesday and Thursday, when I am off anyway. Hopefully I can make some really good progress.

Pumpkin asked about the snowman in my finishes post. That is by Midnight Designs, and is called Heartstruck Quakers. There are two designs included in the chart--pretty good deal that! I am wanting to do all the Heartstruck Series, but this took me a while to accomplish, LOL.

Thank you for all your comments about my stitching room. I am so grateful to have the space. That's also our guest room, so if you all want to come over, we have space. I told SO that you all approved of the room, and he said, "make sure they know you have a dyeing space in the garage too." Y'all, I have a dyeing space in the garage, but I won't make you suffer through photos of that, because, well, right now, there is other stuff on the counter, too.

06 December 2008

My sewing room

OK, so SO showed me how to do this. This is my new sewing room. Our pull out couch with my stufties on it:

The closet doors with some patriotic hangy things my aunt finished for me last year. I love patriotic stuff and I like having them there.

This is my bookcase with most of my charts on it. I've hung my finished wallhanging for Kitty Cat Dreams on there too, til we get my pictures hung up.

The coffee table with my evolving art project of floss in it. On the right is one of my favorite books, a book about Maryland schoolgirl samplers. In the early 1800s, a woman ran a stitching school here in my new town. She's buried at the church up the street from me.

My pride and joy, a very old nightgown that was hand made, even the lace, and lovingly repaired. I imagine this was the maker's wedding nightgown. It must have been special to have been saved and loved like this. I know it is for me, and I hope it is there for happy times like it probably was for her.

And the detail of the bodice. How lovely. One of those things you must have or your life is not quite the same.

Can it really truly be?

I have pictures. They're not the best, because I am still working on learning how to size photos and get them from camera to PC (I'm slow about these things), but these are some things I been working on.

There is a lot more finished on my geisha, LOL.

The kitty box went to England two months ago. My partner liked it. I liked it. I think these Dress It Up buttons are a great buy, as long as you can alter them to fit fabric. SO cut the shank off and drilled two holes through the button to attach it. I like it better than the spider on the original, don't you.

The snowman guy, I'll be making an ornament out. Now that I have all my finishing fabric here, this is easier.

I will try to post photos of my stitching room for you to see. Right now, I'm going to work out and then start dinner. We tried to go see the illumination on Antietam National Battlefield, in Sharpsburg, MD. But it was snowing and the roads were slick. They'll probably hopefully redo it next week. I can't see that anyone got there. It took us 45 minutes to go 15 miles. There were three MAJOR accidents, on bridges on the way. There are a lot of bridges on the way to Sharpsburg, so we came home. NOT COOL.

04 December 2008

It pays to console yourself

I stayed at my mom's house last night because I worked at the theatre til 10, and it would have been another hour trip back to our house to go home, then to get up this morning to leave the house at 6:30, that would have made me a zombie, woke up SO, and just generally made for an unpleasant day on the whole. I still didn't get to bed at a reasonable hour--the twins were messing with each other all night, all hyped up, and then somehow the cat got involved. We didn't get to sleep til 2, and then up at 7:15. ARRRRRGHHHH

Anyway, before I went to bed, instead of sulking over those beautiful Double-flips I posted yesterday (it helped that I focused on how exhausted I was after sorting through those piles of charts last weekend, not to mention the whole charity aspect. I mean, come on, charts or food for starving children or cats?), I started looking through some of the boxes that were left at the house. I am searching for a Vermillion Stitchery pattern that I vaguely remember seeing in the vicinity of these boxes, and figured, since I do these sorts of things, I stuck it in the boxes. Of course, though, because that would make something of a sense, I didn't do it, so I didn't find the chart. DARN IT.

But I did find some charts I misplaced. Yay! And they were good ones. There was an issue of Classic Cross Stitch, with a cool Halloween design, and some cat charts. And, and this brought me infinite joy, a Lanarte kit of a Lippizan stallion. That's been AWOL for a few years, although that was more a function of it was an early birthday present to myself in 2005, bought and delivered right when my grandmother died in October, and so I don't really remember much of what I did for that month, and I don't think I'm responsible for whatever I did. So I have this kit back! Yay. It always makes me feel better to have one of my horse kits close. Is that wierd?

I finished the apron for Mom's Miss Penny doll last night. I am really stoked about that. She's cute, but I don;t like her. Too fiddley. I'll have her finished by Wednesday, though.

03 December 2008

We're in a recession, I am on the sleigh . . .

and they come up with this to tempt me.

Frickety blank blank double fudge, oh my bob, let me kick something here.

I want this. I want it. Oh, son of a gun, I want this. And yet, I understand that I don't need it. I understand I have too much stash. I understand that I work too much and don't have time for stitching, at least not right now.

And yet, I want it.

Off to the post office today

I will be a mailing fiend at lunchtime today. My Secret Sister packages are out the door. One to Tracy, my SS, who was so kind as to adopt a deaf dog in Georgia, even though she lives in Wisconsin. The dog was very close to being put to sleep and she truly is a very kind person to do that. Tracy will be getting a few dog charts, and some dog fabric, as well as a Nora Corbet pixie, and a couple other small things. I put an ornament in there for her to put a photo of her new furbaby, Murphy. And the twins sent her dogs bandannas. The twins feel nothing says, "It's Christmas; let's party" like a festive bandanna. Much better than those antlers I have--Nikki looked like the poor dog from the Grinch, and Robbie prefers that, since he is a famous dog, and Google-able (I may have thumbs, but he gets more Google hits than me, and so is better . . . at least in his mind).

The other package is for my other Secret Sister, Wendy. We belong to a little stitching group that is a fun group of girls. As luck would have it, we share a birthday, and now we're Secret Sisters. How cool is that? I found her some cute primitive charts, and put those in a nice box I got at AC Moore, along with an ornament that I think she would like.

I have one more exchange to do, but that's not due til New Year's, so I have some time. But rather exciting to get something out on time!

01 December 2008

Getting settled in

Do you think you can look at stash so much you lose the urge to do cross stitch? If so, I think I'm there.

My aunt was up for Thanksgiving, and she brought up a load of my stuff to SO's house. I then had to arrange my stitching room, i.e, actually put the stuff away that has been sitting in various boxes all over my house for the last God knows how many years. I had to rearrange my binders of charts; they had been relatively well-organized, but I fell a little behind lately.

I spent the better part of Saturday night organizing. SO kept checking on me. I am sure I was a sight, with my charts all spread out around me, flustered, on the verge of tears, LOL. It was like I would think I had all the bunny charts together, and then I would find one in another binder, but it was a fight to get the chart into the right binder. And then I wasn't sure how I wanted to file; I handled such rough decisions like, "Does 'Angel of the Harvest' belong under 'religious' or 'fall'?" And then all the random charts. But they are all together, and most of my charts are in them, and it gives me a little bit of satisfaction to see them lined up in rows on the bookcase.

One bummer, I had planned to bring my rolling drawer thing up to store fabric and floss in, but it was too wide to fit how I had it pictured in the closet, so I'll be getting another one of those. My mom can use the one I left at the house to store her clothes in.

SO did ask me why I bought all these charts. I had to sit and think about that. I mean, when you initially think about it, it does seem rather foolish to spend this much money on stitching. Even when you factor in the whole, "Well, better this than illegal substances or therapy," it still kinda falls apart. Therapy just costs most of us the co-pay, or else we don't go 'do' therapy. Illegal drugs are pretty self-explanatory. So I was thinking, because I could have probably funded my 401K a little better by being more frugal. But then again, with the economy this bad, and the stock market so bad, that would have been a waste of money. At least this way, I spent the money, and it's still around. So I told him it was an investment.

I still have my magazines to go get, and my fabric. And the kits. But I am getting there. I even have a pretty little coffee table for in the sewing room. It's very cozy in there.

And I finally got to use my stitching light. We were watching the Redskins get trounced yesterday (woo hoo), and I pulled out a project of Mom's (over one, this one) and used the light. SO looked over at one point and said, "Do you realize how small that is?" I nodded and told him that it wasn't even something I picked! Mom picked a little doll that you have to put together. She's very cute, but I'm not handy at putting things together. Fiddly things get to me. The worst part was, Lily, my little black cat who is typically a living angel, knocked the box with the supplies over when she was acting a fool and leaping around the livingroom, including a rinky-dinky little charm, and I can't find the charm now. It's probably down at Mom's--that's where she knocked it over at. So I have this thing with no charm that is tiny, and I have to do multiple accessories. I finally had to put her down, or else some nonsense was occurring.

28 November 2008

Thanksgiving, the day after

I hope everyone had a wonderful day. I was blessed to have dinner and lunch with my family and SO's family. His niece called me "Aunt Rachel" for the first time yesterday. She was trying to show me how to do an Irish jig. She's really good at it; those little legs were just a-flyin'. Yours truly, although my gramma's grandfather was a Boylan from Dublin, not so good at it. I had to tell her I couldn't do it, I am Pennsylvania Dutch, and we are better cooks than dancers. But it was nice to get called that; I think it has a nice ring to it, don't you?

I came home from work on Wednesday to a wonderful treat for which I am blessedly thankful. I've told you that I have a sewing room at SO's. I've had it for a year and have yet to actually take a stitch in it. Mostly because it seems to function as a catch-all room; as of Monday, there was a growing collection of stufties, the telescope I bought SO for our anniversary, our Halloween decorations, and the middle leaf from the table. I have been buying the occasional decorate-y thing to hang up, but they've not made it up yet. And there were no curtains at the window. I didn't know what kind of rod would be best, and pricing sheers at Lowe's is depressing. Why so much for see-through fabric? SO said he was bringing the bookcase for me to put my binders on, but I wasn't thinking it was going to be ready any time soon.

Anyway, I pulled in the drive and noted that a) the window in the room had a curtain, b) the room was lit up. HRMMMM. Along with the office/shoe room (I like shoes, SO LOVES sneakers and could be a distributor for Timberland, yes, we have a room full of shoes). SO never leaves the lights on in both rooms. Ever. No, seriously, EVER. So I walked in, there's a pile of clothes in the living room, and cleaning music on. I walked into the catchall room, and IT WAS CLEAN. PERFECTLY clean. Large and lovely and clean. And my bookcase was up. And the curtain was up at the window (he took it off our bed to put up there--must replace that).

Him: Is the bookcase OK, there, cause I have to screw it into the wall if that's where you want it?

Me: Ummm, I think so but can we try it on the other wall, just to make sure it's OK?

Him: OK, move your stash (he must love me a great deal to try to learn the lingo, LOL).

So we moved it around. Moved the couch over to the other side, moved it all around the room, for me to decide, in the end, it was in the right place all along. I've always thought that, when I get married, I won't be the kind of woman who does things like that. Apparently, I'm starting to practice for that.

In addition to all that, he cleaned out the closet so I have that to hang my out of season clothes. I am not sure I know what to make of this richness of space. I'm being serious. For ten years I've had a tiny little messed up closet (whatever they were thinking in the 20s when they built that house, I don't know because it's not even wide enough for a coathanger), and my stuff was shoved whereever there was space. Now I have this lovely little peaceful space where I can light a candle, read, watch the sunset, or take a nap. I see Robbie and I spending some good quiet time in here, though he would be content if we lived in a box, as long as we were together.

26 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I almost forgot to post this.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families. May our blessings abound in the coming year!

Treaty fairy is finished, and I moved

In my never-ending saga of the camera and my WIP never being in the same house at the same time, I have a new chapter.

The last time I moved was 10 years ago, when I moved back to Maryland from Kentucky after I graduated from college. I had gotten pretty swift at it back then, not owning much anyway, and realizing that everything I owned absolutely, without a doubt, had to fit in the back of a van. It's not quite like that anymore. I seem to have, um, acquired things. Mom at one point asked if I was moving the collection of Garfield things I inherited from my grandmother up. I told her there's no room for that. At least not in this house. Likewise, the model horses. They can't come yet. The model horses need their own house. I've heard of collectors building additions onto their houses to hold their collections, but, um, yeah, that's not happening, at least not in this house. Perhaps this is why people buy McMansions? They need a whole floor to hold their stuff.

I took the first load of my things up to SO's last night. One huge duffel bag of clothes, my Christmas tree, and stitching stuff. And not a lot of stitching stuff. And yet, the car was pretty full. It amused the pitty bulls to watch me haul it all in. My floss is still at my mom's, as are my work clothes, my WIPs, my fabric, most of my charts, all my freebies, and my kit stash. Now that I think about it, what did I really bring up there? And why was it so hard to wrassle it out the car? Because I assure you, it was not so much moving in as a wrassling match.

I finished Treaty Fairy Monday night, though. I am glad to say she is done, and I will not be beading again any time soon. ANY TIME SOON. I swear it. I bow to those who do a lot of beaded projects. I just don't have the patience for it. I did bring both of my current afghan WIPs, Hummingbird Trellis and my Diane Graebner. I am hoping to have Diane Graebner done quickly and ready for the fair next summer. SO is bringing that bookcase home tonight for my binders, but I still have to move my big plastic drawered thing up to put my floss and fabric in.

24 November 2008

I got the moving blues

Like Carrie in Sex and the City, I prefer to keep my wealth where I can see it, in stash and clothes. And now I have to move that stuff, and it's killin' me. And the pathetic thing is, I don't even have to move it all right now, and it's still killin' me. SO is bringing me home a large bookcase to put my charts on, but what about the fabric? What about the kits? What about my framed pieces? And my knickknacks? What will I do with those? I can't leave the little cat my grandmother had painted for me by the workers at Fenton. Or my kick ass print of a fantasy land that I bought two years ago at Thanksgiving at a junkshop. Or my teddy bears. Where will I put those. And I have misplaced my DYES. I NEED THOSE. I have plans for a Christmas gift with those. CRAP CRAP CRAP.

And lets not forget my clothes. I have gone through and sorted out a lot of clothes for charity. And yet, my clothes seem to be breeding. I found some perfectly lovely suits that I can wear, and totally zoned on. I don't want to give them up because they're classic suits, they fit,and I was whining about how I don't have the right clothes to wear to the theatre. I always did, they were just hidden. So those have to come. CRUD CRUD CRUD. I am not taking my formal gowns. Now is as good a time as any to give those to charity, probably there are plenty of girls who need a dress for a Christmas dance, and mine are pretty classic, if I do say so myself, and it's not like I attend many formal events.

I did tell my mom I was taking the charts she had bought for me to stitch. I certainly can't stitch them when they are at her house, LOL.

I did stitch last night, after I got so disgusted with packing. I started Mom's Miss Penny doll, which does not look too difficult. It's just stitching her apron, and a needlebook and making her a hat. I worked on that, then pushed myself this morning to finish Treaty. I am almost there, I just have that bunch of fairy dust in her left hand to do and she's done. DONE! DONE, I tell you. Pumpkin, I think we both need a break from beaded designs after this one. I am so paranoid my beads will come out that I am weaving the thread through several lines of threads, plus crossing my x's, and still I am afraid. Perhaps putting her on that sticky back would be best, at least the beading thread wouldn't come loose. Just kidding . . . I know someone has just shrieked in dismay over that comment, LOL.

22 November 2008

Slogging through

I'm on day 4 of a 5 day slog through opening weekend at the theatre. Last night was the first night I got to bed before midnight, and I have to admit, I fell asleep on the couch. This morning I slept in til 9 and felt so decadent. To just get through the rest of today and tomorrow, then I am off Tuesday and just have to start moving stuff to my new place, and go shopping for Thanksgiving dinner.

There has not been much stitching occurring. I will be honest. I've poked at Autumn Leaves, but I've been doing so much running around at lunch the last couple days. I had to get a new outfit for the play opening tonight, as everything I have at SOs is either too fancy or summer clothes, and the shoes I have there didn't match any of it. Good thing Sears was having a good sale or I would have been sporting some brown checked Bermuda shorts with denim blue espadrilles, and it snowed last night. Not much down where I live now, but the snow was lying (laying?) at his place. The dogs were not pleased, but it is getting on winter now.

Speaking of which, my Baltimore station has started their Christmas music schedule. If you don't have the luxury of a local station playing music, I'll share with you:

It's nice to listen to.

20 November 2008

A finished finish, and an elegant one at that.

I can't post photos, because this has to go to my exchange partner and I want it to be a pleasure for her to open, but I finished the finishing of my ornament for my partner. I am so pleased with this ornament, how it turned out. I try to be careful and neat in my finishing, but sometimes I can't be as neat as I would like. This time, I far exceeded my expectations. It's a pillow ornament, but it feels elegant. And icy. And wintry.

All my co-workers want me to make these ornaments for them. People in Hell want icewater too, but that don't mean it's going to happen. I'm serious about that. I need to get ornies for me finished! I did contact someone about finishing a round ornie for me. I'm so excited about having that little tree to put them on, I want them done!

Oh, speaking of ornaments, this is the year when all those hours of trudging up and down the rows of Target looking for ways to finish ornaments is paying off. Someone on 123 posted little wooden words that I bought, to put a tiny little stitchery on. I also picked up some plastic snowflakes that could be used the same way--they were 3 for 99 cents, you can't beat that. But the treasure was a gold metallic lacy leaf. I thought it would be so pretty to stitch a little thing and put it there. Now I'm trying to find a small bird to attach, otherwise, it'll be a fall motif.

19 November 2008

I've been tagged by Natasha ( to share some information about myself. Here are the rules ...

Rule #1 ~ Link to the person that tagged you.
Rule #2 ~ Post the rules on your Blog.
Rule #3 ~ Write 6 random things about yourself.
Rule #4 ~ Tag 6 people at the end of your post.
Rule #5 ~ Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their Blog.
Rule #6 ~ Let the tagger know your entry is up.

1) I'm imfamous with my former University's police department.
2)When I was in high school, I was bi-lingual. I'm very rusty now, but I thought in French at one point.
3)I love to bake, but I hate eating things I made.
4)Ever since I was a little girl, I only ever wanted a black car. I don't want red, I don't want blue, I can't stand white. Just black. Preferably with a sunroof.
5)It occasionally bothers me that when you put in Robbie's registered name, then mine, Robbie gets more Google hits than me.
6)I have an irrational fear of subway grates.

Finishing an ornament by hand

I have to get that ornament for my exchange partner finished and in the mail by this weekend. I messed around and forgot to get it to my LNS to get it finished in time to get it mailed, and, even with SO's assistance, I just don't have mad flat ornament finishing skills in supply enough to try to do a circular finish. So I decided on a pillow ornament finish. That way, I can use up some of the scads of fiberfill I have, and do it myself.

Of course I did not have appropriate fabric to back it. As a matter of fact, I don't have much Christmas fabric at all. What I do have seems to center itself around an animal theme, and I figured my poor exchange partner deserves better than a wintry ornament backed with dogs in Santa hats and carolling cats (you'll understand when I post a photo). My artistic side rebelled against that! So I thought I'd get some nubbly velvet in a royal blue or a navy blue. I liked how that felt when I backed SO's Stocking with the wine color, and I work right near one of the loveliest, most addictive fabric stores in the area, G Street Fabrics.

So I headed up there after work, in the cold. It snowed here yesterday afternoon. Not hard, there's none laying on the ground, but it snowed. And it was cold last night. And they had no nubbly, short nap velvet. Not even in the couturier section. So, after I consoled myself by walking around and looking at all the delicious fabrics they had (my kingdom for hips that would allow me to wear a wrap dress, so I could justify buying jersey!), I headed to the quilting section to look and see what they had there.

What they had was not much in the way of Christmas fabrics. This is surprising, no? Don't quilters do Christmas projects? I guess they are supposed to go to the quilt store if they want a better selection. And console themselves by fondling the bolts of jersey. But I did find a lovely piece of fabric that works perfectly. And they had cording that matches! And of course, I bought another half yard of fabric that showed animals carolling. I might need that.

I am hand-sewing this all together today. I am hopeful I can get it mostly finished while I am at work tonight. We're opening a new show at the theatre, and I'm seeing it tonight, so going to be a late night, but it will help get this finished, I am all for it.

I am almost done with Treaty fairy. I just have the last little bits of beading to finish and she's complete. She was a little bit tricky to work on, but I think she's pretty. Mom thinks she's pretty, SO thinks she's pretty. She's just a sparkly, cobwebby, wingless beauty queen. I did have a scare last night. Somehow, and I have no flipping clue how this happened, a dot of spaghetti sauce got on her! AAAAAAAACKKKKK. But I have a Tide to Go pen, truly an essential in one's stitching box, and that took it pretty much out, at least that I can feel comfortable when I handwash it, it will come out. Cause that would have stunk!

18 November 2008

On the sleigh and off to a good start

I've been on this kick now for 4 days and so far, I've managed to put aside 4.69 for charity. I'm keeping a list up at the top now, just to keep me honest.

It must be a sickness. I pulled out Autumn Winds to work on at lunch yesterday, and realized I did not have two skeins of silks I needed. I kitted this up so long ago, how did I miss out on those two skeins? I was kinda in a fluster, because I can't stitch around those areas for 6 weeks, I'm not that talented. And I have all those Oops Packs and threads I bought from Vikki Clayton over the years. Surely I have a rust brown, and a gold in there. I mean, I am a floss hoarder. But, as soon as my little hoarding soul heard that I was planning to open the boxes of hand-dyeds and look, it rebelled. "You CANNA DOOO THATTTTT! We MIGHT NEED IT for SOMETHING BETTER LATER! What if you have the PERFECT PROJECT and you USED THE FLOSS? Buy some more. Forget the children. Forget your promise. Leave my floss alone! I mean it!" Have I told you my hoarding soul is greedy and unpleasant? I ignored it and went through the boxes and found two skeins I can use, but I have to say, it killed me to cut the first length off one of them. Hoarding soul was not pleased, but I don't care, I am using that floss! I am saving $3.40, plus shipping. I have that to give to charity. It's not much, but it's more than I would have had to give had I bought floss.

I got a lovely package from Jennifer of Sweetpea Stitches yesterday. 2 skeins of her gorgeous floss. She really is wonderfully talented! I see bright things for her future as a floss dyer! Let us know when you open your Etsy store, girl!

17 November 2008

Why there are no pictures on my blog yet

Let me tell you about my weekend.

We partied this weekend. I had Friday off--I haven't worked a Friday afternoon in three weeks now, how am I going to get through this week?. I took my mom to my LNS for their model sale and to get some things for my secret sisters and my friend Kathy. (It's pretty fun to shop for two people who have divergent tastes, along with your mom, and your penpal). If you are in the Catonsville, MD, area, or can get there (and gas is $1.97, a level we have not seen since I purchased the Neon, bless her poor murdered soul, in 2004), all proceeds from the model sale go to help a battered woman's shelter in the Catonsville area, and there were some great bargains to be had. Mom spent $120 and got a finished Christmas tray, 3 framed Waxing Moons, and a small thingy to put in the wall. I ended up buying the newest issue of Cross Stitch and Needlework and Bent Creek Littles Christmas Trio for myself.

Then we headed up to Needlecraft Corner in Baltimore to get my birthday month discount from Drema. I ordered Bent Creek red threads from her, because Mom likes them a lot. And she had the 2009 CS& N calendar, which had a couple really lovely charts in it, so I picked that up. I also got Goode Huswife's E is for Eggs, because Iloved the colors, so bright and cheery. And I got the Dickens mittens for my ornie tree. I figure this will be the last stash I am going to purchase for a while, so I wanted to enjoy it.

Friday commenced my "on the sleigh for charity" event. No more stash purchases until at least January, not even threads and needles. I'm a little antsy, because 6 weeks is a long time to be stash-less, but I have plenty of stuff to work on, in the grand scheme of things, 6 weeks is NOTHING, and it's for charity. I can give up stash so kids can eat. Although, I did realize on the way to my part-time job yesterday, I had no needles in my stitching bag, and I couldn't stop at Michael's to get a pack. So, I just didn't stitch. I didn't die. There was plenty of stuff to look at online between customers. It's worth it.

So I guess you are wondering why I have no photos?

My birthday party was on Saturday. We got tied up in my hometown with the annual Odd Fellows fruit sale, and I was running short on time, so I forgot to grab my tote with the camera in it on the way to SOs. Not to mention he had no power when I got there, so I had to do the best I could do to get ready while there was still light to see. Tights and I have a love/hate relationship at best in the light, and it was not something I want to tackle in the dark.

We have a rule that no party is good til someone has thrown up, someone is running around with no pants, and we've eaten cake. Usually the kids take care of the sick and pantsless. We are adding "someone has caught something on fire." I brought my jewelry box into the living room to get something out of it and see it, and leaned over some candles. I had my hair up in a pony tail on top of my head, because I couldn't curl it, and I guess I need a haircut as I had no idea it was so long. I leaned over, and just as SO said, "Watch your hair," to which I gave him a look and leaned over, I heard a whoosh and realized the tip of my ponytail was a light. AAAAAAAAH. I put it out really quick, but it was a little disconcerting and stinky, and I realized later I had a lot of alcohol-based product in there. I know, it could have been much worse, but the smell disappated, and I guess I don't need a haircut anymore. LOL. (And note I am only laughing because it could have been worse and wasn't. Why are bad things only funny when you don't get hurt?)

We did try a new dish from this website:

We tried the Circa 1980 Bacon Holiday Appetizers. They were good. SO was a little concerned because they took two hours to bake. He seemed to think we could turn the heat up and cook it shorter, but I told him "Patience." So we had them during the Cowboys-Redskins game. I realize eating a club cracker wrapped in bacon is not on anyone's list of appropriate diet food, and I should be more careful with what I eat, since I have lost 10 pounds since the middle of September, but it was football. It was good. And we rationalized it by stating we were using reduced sodium bacon, and cooking it on a rack so the fat dripped down (although one fell down into the bacon fat, but it was still YUMMY).

12 November 2008

Christmas SAL

Just found out about this today. For $5US, you get a bunch of charts! And they're cute! You just go to her website and then sign up. I've stitched her charts before. They're sweet. They're colorful. They would look fabulous on my ornie tree.

Major milestone

After almost 8 years, geisha has a full body. I finished her skirt last night. Woo hoo! And I am almost done the grass around her feet. I'm looking forward to the backstitch on her, because it means she will be done.

I am going to try to get some pictures posted this weekend. It's just been a time matter. I spend a great deal of time running around lately. But I have the photos from camping, and some WIPs, and that adorable kitty box I did for the Halloween exchange. I need to make that a priority, especially since we are opening a new show at the theatre next Wednesday, and I am going to be pretty busy, at least next week. I work 5 days in a row. I am OK with that, it's money I need for the holidays. It's just a daunting task. I hope that things run a little smoother for this year's show than last year's production, which got a little out of hand due to the short staff and sheer amount of people in the area who wanted to see the show, on top of that we were doing several shows at once, plus having parties--I think every person in the county showed up to at least one event at the theatre by the time January rolled around, LOL. I asked to not work the weekend between Christmas and New Years, just because I need to recover.

11 November 2008

My buy of the week

I went to AC Moore up on "the Pike" today at lunch to get my stuff for my exchange partner. I think I did a good job. 4 skeins of floss as a mea culpa, plus a doggie ornament, and a Mary Engelbreit tiny Scotty dog kit, plus some doggie fabric. And then I got her a musical card from CVS. I hope she likes it.

But I got the best buy! I have wanted an ornament tree to hang my hand-stitched ornaments--all three of them--on, since I plan on stitching ornaments for a tree. I never liked the tiny ones. I don't know why, but I didn't.

We were in AC Moore the other day, just passing time, and letting my friend, Gloria Jean Anne, look at silk flowers. We've decided and accepted that between the Michaels on the pike and the AC Moore, if you want stitchy stuff, go to Michaels, but for silk flowers, AC Moore is better.

Anyway, we wandered over to look at the ornaments, and right next to them were these small artificial trees. They weren't lifelike, but I thought there was a good amount of space to put stitched ornaments on the trees. And they were small: 3 foot or 4 foot. I can't set something like that up at my mom's house--the cats would climb that sucker in a heartbeat and swing from the top like a little yowling star--but at SO's, it would work.

But they were $19.99 and $29.99. Which is too much for my budget. Not for a little tree. Not when I have to make the first payment on Trouble. So, instead, I decided that I would buy it on Friday, when I get paid!

Today I braved the Veterans' Day crowds--one of the joys of being here in the DC area is that on these federal holidays, traffic is good, but once you are in the office, you keep your butt at your desk because all the federal employees shop the pike on their days off. I wanted to make sure the trees were still there. I went over, and they were marked $3.99.

I brought mine home. The cashier said she was buying one too, with her discount.

Drama, drama, it's all drama

I've been a little frazzled the past couple of days. SO and I came down to his shop on Sunday to get his work van so he doesn't have to drive his Tahoe all week, so on the way back, I stopped in at my/Mom's house (I don't know what to call it now that I am moving in with SO, but if my mom doesn't stop asking me when I am gonna get my boxes of stash out of the dining room, I'm not moving) to see if my VC silks I ordered for my birthday were there.

They were!

And SO's Marcus Deware jersey, which he has been saying he wanted for a year, and it was a little spendy, so when I found it on Ebay for half the cost of the Cowboys store, I bought that sucker.I thought about trying to get him a Deware autograph to go with it, but they were rather expensive, like a week's takehome pay. Not happening. But he'll like the jersey.

And there was a box labelled from my secret sister. HUNH? Secret Sister. Not the one from a little board I go to, cause she doesn't live in Indiana, where this lady lives. It slowly dawned on me that this was another round of Secret Sister on a Yahoo group. I thought I had to sign up for each round, and apparently not. She sent me this lovely Pine Mountain pillow kit, a dog picture frame, perfect to put pix of mummy's main man in, some beads and some needles. So I had this lovely box of stash from someone, and somewhere my Secret Sister was waiting for her box of stash.

Y'all, I could have thrown up. I felt so horrible. So I ran around, trying to get a hold of the moderator, so I can get my partner info and get her up to date. I was so upset. I try not to be a flake, if I can help it, and this was just awful.

I got her today. I like my partner! She likes dogs. She likes Halloween. She just seemed kinda sad the last time she posted as she thought her partner didn't want her. So I fully intend on spoiling her. Seriously.

So I am off to AC Moore at lunch to get her two skeins of floss and some goodies for a small intro package. They have really nice little Bucilla ornament kits, and one is a dog, so I'll get her one of them, plus their Christmas ornaments have gone up in quality, and I think I saw some dogs there. I can't be sure, but I think they are trying to copy the Hobby Lobby model in that, as HL has AWESOME ornaments.

Then, on Friday, I'll get her her big treats. I hope my LNS has them. We're going by there, because they're having a model sale to benefit a battered women's shelter in Catonsville, and my mom likes to go. I should be able to pick up some nice things.

10 November 2008

I must have this

I can not explain why, but I must. I wonder how the fair people would judge a piece like this?

It's by Xs and Ohs:

Halfway better

He got his drain out on Friday. A drain. He didn't even yelp when she took it out. I guess he got the one that hurt the worst out himself and so the rest was cake. He still has his stitches in. Those are in for 10-14 days. My mom was more upset about them staying that either him or I were. And the doctor said to keep his cone on, unless we were watching him. I couldn't get her to understand that, as happy as he was to see his feet for the first time in a week, he wasn't gonna mess with his stitches. Poor little man, I gave him a cookie on Friday before I got to thinking. It was a big one, the kind you need a leg to hold down so as to properly chew, and he couldn't eat it. He got so frustrated. I think my mom is taking him back today to get the stitches out. I left that up to her, because I can't take time off work to run him out to the vet's and I don't like scheduling her without her input. But we're getting closer. You bet I'm gonna watch that tiny hiney like a hawk.

My birthday went great. SO doesn't have my present yet, but it's our anniversary tomorrow, so I think it will probably be a combo gift, and he's having a party on Saturday for me. He did take me out for steaks, which is AWESOME! My parents gave me the Carriage House Samplings Fragments necklace I picked out in July. It's pretty, a small Quaker motif from an old Goode Huswife (I think) model on the back, a small portrait on the front, with an antique key and two chocolate beads attached on the bottom. I think it will go so nice with a sweater dress I bought last fall and I like that it's not the everyday. This is her website and link to Etsy store: . I think Whiter Shades of Pale would be lovely for a wedding day. My aunt is donating money in my name to a horse charity--with the economy so bad, people just can't keep their horses, and are turning them in to rescues, or, and I think this is horrible, letting them go in areas like Corolla on the Outer Banks, I guess because there are wild horses there? I am praying for those poor horses; there is a huge difference between a wild pony used to wintering on a barrier island and a domestic horse who has known warmth and constant food through the winter. That makes me sick. So I would hope my birthday present goes to provide a homeless horse with some comfort this winter.

I did pull out my geisha and stitched hardcore on her yesterday. I almost have her skirt done. After that, it's just half stitching and back stitching, piece of cake! I will be celebrating when it is done, I assure you. This will be a huge happy dance. But I do have to say, for as much crap as people give kits for the quality of the floss and fabric, other than having a small margin (which a good framer can mask, this is why we pay them the big bucks), the fabric has held together astonishingly well. Especially since it's been a UFO for so long. The floss might be a little ratty looking, but again, it's been a UFO for 8 years, these things happen. SO asked if I reused the leftover floss from the kits. I told him not usually, I don't throw it away, but that I usually just send it to one of the charities that asks for floss, especially if it's not DMC. Maybe I could start using it for ornaments or small designs like they have in WOXS.

OH, and I got the most awesome thing. SO is moving his family's business out of the shop they rent, because it's too much space, and too much rent. He had some cabinets in their kitchen/breakroom area that he brought home yesterday. I figured he would have some use for them and didn't want to ask, but he said, "You can use this for your floss dyeing. So I have a real workplace, with real drawers, and I can put my dyes away! And feel professional! I asked him if he knew an artist to do the logo for my little enterprise, he said he would ask his tattoo artist friend. I have faith in his work, it would be pretty awesome to have an award-winning tattoo artist do my logo, right? I just have to make sure he knows I don't want anything too wierd, just a line drawing of a happy cat.

I have gotten a couple comments on the floss dying. I think the link should be in the post. "my tutorial" links to my original post, and "Jennifer" goes to her blog. The posts are recent. I know Rit will work to dye fabric, although I haven't tried it with the dishsoap. It does take it pretty well with just the dye, and, knock on wood, I have never had a piece where the color ran or faded, even with laundering. Without the vinegar, it just takes a lot of rinsing with hot water until that water is CLEAR. And then you can iron to set as well.

06 November 2008

Check this out!

Jennifer showed off her wonderful beautiful thread dyeing finishes she did using my tuturial
from over the summer. Didn't she do a fantastic job? Way better than I did! I am so proud of her! (And a little pleased with myself for writing directions people can understand and get such pretty results from). I hope she does start an Etsy store!

Whoda thunk

that if I used #8 braid instead of #4 braid, it would be just different enough to irritate me, and yet, strangely out of place on my Treaty Fairy? And, most intriguing, course enough to leave a gouge mark on the surface of my freshly-painted fingernail last night. Not I!

I had to go get another reel of braid, since I used up all my emerald following the directions for her. I confess, I didn't pay that close attention to the kind of braid it was when we were at my LNS, I just needed 009, not 009HL, which was up high on the rack. So I grabbed 009, and didn't look to see it was #8, not #4, and took it home. Sat down last night to stitch, and, realized it didn't feel right. Unfortunately, that was not before I got a dink in my nail polish because I ran the braid over it. CRUD. Looked and it was #8. Bugger bugger bugger. So I had to order another reel today. Kinda annoyed with myself.

As is my wont on Wednesday nights, I watched Ghosthunters. It was the recap of the live show, which I have to admit, I didn't watch because I was handing out Halloween candy and watching the Davinci code on Halloween. The Miz was a guest ghosthunter. I had to laugh. Does anyone else realize that the Miz was Mike from the Real World New York in 2001, back when I used to watch that show religiously? He's come a long way from being a dumb frat boy, but he was kinda aggravating in the brief clip he was on. He called the ghosts wusses. My immediate thought was, "If they are from the Civil War, is it really a threat to call them a wuss? Do they know that word is an insult?" I don't know--I imagine they are not up on the current lingo, beings as they may not even be totally convinced they're dead. And then with the voices that said, "You don't belong here" or whatever, that seemed a little hinky to me. For something to just come out and say it, it sounded like a recording. I don't know if someone got in there and was messing with them. It was wierd. But there was some stuff I don't know how to explain, like tugging on Grant's coat--that was cool!

We are almost finished with Robbie's treatments. We have one more night with the drains, hopefully. I have a 5:00 appointment tomorrow with him at the vet's, not the best way to celebrate my birthday, but not having to give him that hydrotherapy is a good gift. He is no longer even willing to come in the bathroom with me, LOL. This morning, he laid in the livingroom door while I was getting ready, just so he could make sure I got out safely, whereas normally, he would get in the shower with me if he could. He's funny. I think he'll do better once the therapy is finished, because all he knows about the antibiotic is that he gets cream cheese, and ain't nothing wrong with that. He was dancing on his hind legs for Mom last night while she was fixing it. I let her do the fun stuff for him, I get stuck with the hard work, cause he'll get over it. As soon as we get that cone off, he's just going bye-byes with Mummy, and he loves having me all to himself, especially in the car.

05 November 2008

Another day . . .

Robbie managed to get his cone off last night. While I was asleep. I don't think I have ever had a cardio workout that quite jazzed my heart like that moment when I reached down to find out who was pushing me while they were supposed to be sleeping, felt the nose, the silky fur that means Robbie, and didn't feel the cone. I was horrified that he had gotten it off and was working on his drains and sutures, so I raced across the room and flipped on the light. Thank God he either hadn't had time or access to his but get them pulled out and they were still in place. so I just shoved the cone back on and admonished him. He looked at me like, "Whatever. Talk to me when you have to wear this stupid thing."

I did figure out if I moved his drains when he was in the tub in the warm water, it doesn't seem to be as uncomfortable for him. It's still uncomfortable, but not as bad. He still doesn't like having the Neosporin put on. I can't do anything about that. But I take it, from his reaction, that the "pain relief" part of the Neosporin isn't working too hard. Or else my son is just a bawly baby.

I finished my primitive stitching piece last night. It was so easy to do and pretty fun. Mom couldn't believe I had it done in a day. Neither could I. But it was fun to outline and backstitch and stem stitch. Made a really pleasant change from messing with infintesimal beads. I picked Treaty fairy back up this morning and wanted to work on her. I found this site with really cute free primitive stitchery designs:

04 November 2008

A pic

This was the square I did for Laurie in British Columbia as part of a quilt from 123. She sent me the most beautiful email thanking me. All I can say is Thank you to her for being a person in my life.

There comes a day . . .

When you realize, you just don't got it in you to make little x's. At least not that day. For me, that day . . . is today.

I don't know whether it's the fact it's Election Day and I am so fed up with politics in general. This could be, especially because I live a few miles from the nation's capital. So when the rest of you aren't having to have the political stuff jammed down your throat, we still gotta deal with it. Because of the inauguration and the changing of offices. I was at the polls at 7:30 this morning. They're in my hometown, in the elementary school I went to. It's funny; I go in every other year, and yet I still find it amusing that everything is so tiny. And of course the line stopped right in front of my 6th grade class' photo from 1988. Let's just say, the 20years between then and now were years of great positive change I can believe in, at least now that my eyebrows and cheekbones grew in, LOL. Anyway . . . I voted.

But it's probably not just that. We're 4 days into Robbie's hydrotherapy and wound care, and it's taking a lot out of me. It's not that the care is difficult, but my boy is difficult, and strong as anything. I realize that it hurts to have the care done, but he keeps wiggling, and my mother does not help me anymore than she absolutely has to. It is incredibly frustrating to have to hold his back legs, and a tube of Neosporin, to have to twist the drains, and to keep him from tucking his butt, and then hear, "You are going to pull those out if you aren't careful", while she's barely holding him. It takes a lot out of me, to the point where I am starting to hate doing it. At least I only have til Friday to deal with it. And I had to do it last night at 11 and this morning at 6. 2 times in 7 hours is draining.

So I started a small primitive stitching piece I bought on E-bay last week. It's fun. It's kinda relaxing. It was a little hard to draw on the muslin, but I figure if it's reasonably close, my brain will help me fill in and make it look nice.

03 November 2008

Getting back to normal

Robbie ended up in the vet through Saturday. His gland ruptured, so when I went to get him on Friday, they told me he had to stay. I did get some visiting time. I tried not to stay too long, so he wouldn't get too upset, but I was in tears when I left. He came home on Saturday morning, but felt the need to tell the vet staff exactly what he felt about their abusive ways. Apparently, it was insulting to his dignity to have his tiny hiney shaved, and then to have to wear a lampshade, while there are drains hanging out of his buttcheek (I guess I would be insulted too). Unlike the cat, he was smart enough to do his smack-talking sitting by the front door of the vet office, and insisted that, if I had to pay for him to be abused in such a manner, I was not as smart a woman as he thought I was, LOL.

He's starting to do better. The lampshade is not working too hot, but that's more a function of him not being able to comprehend that it's longer than his nose and wider than his body. We have to do hydrotherapy twice a day which he hates, but when I get the warm water in the tub, he doesn't mind sitting in it. He really loathes when I have to move the drains, and that hurts me, but SO said I had to keep doing it, because I have to do it to help him. He is being so good about his antibiotics (god bless the inventor of cream cheese), but I think he must realize cream cheese isn't supposed to be chunky, because he watches when I am sticking the Clavomox in the cheese. But he's taking it.

Stitching wise, I didn't do very much this weekend. I wound the threads from my Ooops packs on Friday night while waiting for the trick or treaters to come to the door. The pitty bulls were in the garage for the duration, and one of them decided to add to the Halloween atmosphere by sending up the most un-earthly howls whenever a child stepped onto the front steps, and it was kinda funny to watch the kids reacting to him. And for some reason, they seemed to think that the lockbox for the spare key was a bomb. They kept yelling, "Don't touch it." I had to stop myself from laughing.

Saturday was pretty much filled up with taking care of Robbie and working. Came home and SO informed me that he had eaten candy for lunch. It was pretty late, so I didn't get my stitching out.Even though I was annoyed at myself for not having Treaty fairy done.

I did pull her out yesterday and commenced beading her. I hate beading. Not when it's two or three or four, but this was some long runs of beading, and I was so afraid it would start to fall out, like SO's stocking did . . . at the fair, waiting in line to enter. So I was very slow. And my hoops aren't big enough to hold the whole piece, and I am not good at beading in hand, so I had to go today and found a large set of Q-snaps to use so I can bead.

Oh, and I did find that Michael's is having a sale on their fall baskets. I thought it would be pretty cool to have a fall basket with a piece mounted on it, and they had such pretty baskets 70% off. So I found an adorable tiny pumpkin shaped one that I can probably find a small design to go into. It was 60 cents--I couldn't pass that up.

30 October 2008

One sick puppy

First it was SO, then it was me, then Chancey had to go to the vet, now Robbie had to go. It's a trickle down thing.

He was acting funny last night. He whined extra long when I came in, but I figured he was just very talkative. He is a big mouth, which I am happy about. My first Schipperke was a "talker;" I trained her to sing and she vocalized fairly frequently. Chancey is quiet, and never would learn those tricks, but Robbie's a talker too. So when he whined, I just asked my mother, as is our little joke, what on earth she was doing to my son all day that he had such a sad story to tell me.

He was snuggly last night, but he's always snuggly when I am watching TV. I think sometimes he gets mad that I go to SO's as much as I do, so I try to give him all the snuggly time he can get. But he was quiet. I noticed last night he is starting to look like an older dog, but I didn't think anything of it. He's been pulling hair out of his legs, but I watched those and they didn't seem to be infected, so I figured when he was acting funny, the booboos stung or he was just annoyed because I keep telling him to quit it. I was planning on taking him to the doctor tomorrow to see if it was something to be concerned with.

I woke up this morning at 4:00 and he was at the foot of the bed, where he never sleeps. So I cuddled him up to me. He didn't seem to want that. That should have tipped me off that something was up, because Robbie worships me. But again I figured, "Oh, it's that leg, let me look at it in the morning and I'll put peroxide on it if it looks yucky."

This morning, he went potty, but he came in and sat down. No water, no food. If you remember, when he was sick in April, he did the same thing. Warning bells started going off in my head. I thought I would take a look at his gait and see what was going on, so I took him out with me. He did the run and sit, run and sit. Which is pretty much the universal, "Something is wrong" move. He started scooting. I've never owned a male dog before. I don't know what scooting signifies. All I knew was my son was NOT acting like he is supposed to act.

Brought him back in. He went for a drink of water.Chancey wandered in the living room. She smelled his hiney. And then looked at me with a disgusted look. So I figured he had a hanger-on--that makes sense for the run and sit, cause Chance does that (life is not easy when you lack a tail). I got me some paper towels and took a look.

He had a huge swollen area right under where his tail would be, if he had a tail. It was so huge and red, I thought it was a tumor that had ruptured, and started getting upset, because how could that happen to MY dog? I watch the twins for things like that, like I watch for coughing or the other things that happen to Schips. And I haven't had him long enough to feel, in my heart, that the love I've given him was given long enough to make up for his travels down the broken road. I know that's silly, but I worry about things like that. But my mom calmed me down, because she said tumors don't come up that quick, and they aren't as sore as his seemed to be, at least not until they are late-stage, and he probably didn't have butt cancer.

I got the appointment for him--I couldn't take him because I had to work--and mom took him. He had an infected anal gland. I am glad that I didn't go, because Mom said he screamed when the doctor touched it and I can't bear to hear my furbabies scream. She said it was so bad that he had to be put to sleep to get it cleaned out. And the vet cleaned his teeth. Great, they got him coming and going, LOL.

I feel relieved, but I still feel horrible. Even though I know I couldn't have seen this coming, part of me feels like I should have seen it sooner, or done something so it didn't happen. He was in pain all night at least. My poor widdle man. I feel wretched about it.

He is spending the night at the vets'. And I have to go get him tomorrow.

29 October 2008

An idea for a Christmas present

I don't know if this really counts as a present, but I had an idea.

I've been spending a lot of time lately pondering the blessings of my life and whether I am a good caretaker of those blessings. Sometimes, especially when I look at all my stash, I don't think I do the best job, because I really do have a lot. I know, stash is not the same as having a thousand pairs of designer shoes or 15 expensive purses, but . . . it's all relative.

My favorite human charity offers a gift catalog and one of the choices is to buy chicks for someone. When I checked, it was about $20 for 20 chicks that can grow and provide meat and eggs and income and . . . hope. When I look at that $20 spent on cross stitch, that doesn't buy much, but it gives someone the chance to better themselves. $20 for hope, or $20 for something that I may hang on the wall someday.

So this is my gift to myself as we enter the holiday season. I will not buy any stash. Not on Ebay, not on a sale list, not from a shop. Any shop. Even if they have a discount or a sale, or awesome freebies. And that is going to include buying any kind of supplies. I have floss and needles and fabrics, and UFOs and kits enough to keep me busy and out of the craft store. And, when I see something that I really really want, I will donate the price to a charity. The charts will still be around in January, as will the floss and fabric, if I still want them and I'll have something way better than a new stitching gadget.

Oops packs

Oops packs can be purchased here . You do have to do a control+F move for them, but they are there, and she had SUPERFAST shipping. I started buying them at the CATS shows a couple years ago, and they really are fun. WAY better than a chart grab bag. And Jo is really nice. I actually got introduced to her at last year's CATS by my friend, Chris. Apparently, a lot of people thought I was invisible, but now I've been introduced, and I am not.

I have yet to use these threads. But, I mean, with all the dyers who aren't in business, and how pretty the threads are, it's more fun to just have them and keep them, LOL. But they will be pretty in my Quaker Seasons. I am picking out what I want to use. And I may break down and mix silks and cottons. This is a huge step for me, LOL.

28 October 2008

A tale of two fibers

I came home last night to find my Oops packs had been delivered. Fantastic service from Dinky Dyes and it was great to see that so much had been crammed in that bag for $10. Probably 15 skeins of floss in each bag, and in some gorgeous colors. Since one was for my Secret Sister, I had Mom choose one and we put it away til Christmas. I spent a good time fingering it and planning what to do with it.

Then I pulled out Treaty fairy. She is almost finished, and is so pretty. However, (ain't there always a "however"?), because I followed the magazine instructions and stitched her with two strands of Kreinek, I don't have enough green braid. Crap crap crap crap! I can't go back and pick it all out and put it back in with one strand, and that irks me. Now I have to go pick up another package of the braid when I take my ornament over to my LNS on Friday to get it finished, and I won't get it all done in time to have her finished on Halloween, not with going over to Baltimore, then going up to SO's house and getting all the candy ready, and taking care of the boys--they have to have their playtime outside, and their dinner, and be inside and away before the kids start trick or treating, because they'll scare little kids (well, not so much the little kids, most little kids see a dog, and it's . . . a dog, and the boys aren't intimidating looking, unless wagging tails and kisses intimidate you, but adults see that they're pitty bulls and think they are savage killers), and the older kids in the neighborhood might mess with them, and that would upset me a great deal. But I'll figure it out. She'll get done. I guess it would have not irked me so much if, knowing they were putting in there to use two strands, the magazine had said we'd need two spools. Not every craft store carries Kreiniks. It's not a tiny thing to ask a person to purchase.

27 October 2008

A long weekend

We had the worst weekend. Both SO and I have been nose-sick for the better part of a week and a half, but SO got stomach sick yesterday. We were supposed to run into town to do some errands, and he got to playing around with my car and the boys--they're starting to recognize my car as "ooh, that's Rachel's car," but then their Daddy in it, and he honked the horn at them, and they were confused in their own special way, and then they were happy dancing because Daddy was playing with them, and he got sick. So I was off to run errands on my own--it's funny how men never seem to think that wrasseling a huge back of dog food when you're short is a big accomplishment, but the boys were suitably impressed when I returned home, and happy danced with me. But he was dog-sick. I didn't feel so hot either, and worried we had eaten something bad, but I feel better, and he was sick all afternoon, and into the evening. We both woke up at 4 AM and he was still sick, so I stayed up to rub his back til he fell asleep again.

We did have a bit of a horror movie marathon this weekend. We saw The Hills Have Eyes, The Birds, and The Shining. I liked everything but The Shining--Jack Nicholson went nutcakes just a little too quick in the movie, versus the book. I mean, come on, it didn't snow til December, he could have warded off cabin fever by going for a walk in the woods. Obviously, only that one murder had taken place, the other caretakers managed to find something to do to pass the time. And I wouldn't lock myself up in any kind of building with someone looking like Jack. I'm sorry, he is scary. The Hills Have Eyes is just another example of why you should never be condescending to locals when travelling. Or go travelling in the desert. Anywhere. Though I did think to myself, the whole incident could have been avoided had they just had OnStar. I just loved the Birds. SO watched it with me for a while, but it interfered with football, so the next time he got sick, he just watched it on the TV upstairs.

I finished my little Blackbird freebie sampler. It's really really pretty. I am pleased with it. I thought about starting "Autumn Leaves", but I want to get Halloween Fairy finished by Halloween, so I am working on that. It's going pretty quick now, just one pumpkin and some backstitching and the beading to do. I'm off on Halloween, so she should be finished by then. Then geisha is getting finished, so I get her framed for SO for Christmas.

We're trying to cut back on our spending, and I am supposed to be finishing all these WIPs and UFOs. SO has decided that we are not cutting the heat on unless we absolutely have to. I need to finish my Hummingbird Trellis afghan, so I can foresee long periods of winter afternoons spent under that afghan, keeping warm while stitching on it, LOL.

24 October 2008

Happy Dance with me

Longtime followers of this blog may remember how I misplaced my kitted up PS Autumn Winds. I had kitted it with Vikki Clayton silks, and I loved it, so this was a pretty worrisome loss for me. I figured I hadn't truly "lost" it, I figured I just stuck it in a box, and it would turn up.

Well, y'all, it did.

I was getting ready for bed last night, and I opened my painted chest of WIPs, and it was in there. I don't know how it got there. I have looked in that chest several times for it, and it was not there. I assure you, it was not in there. That was the first place I looked, and it was not there.

The twins were on the bed and they watched me Snoopy-style happy dance. I assure you, they were impressed. Jazz hands played a prominent role. I think a pas-de-chat occurred, perhaps a tour jete, I'm not sure. I was in a whir of cold-induced haze, joy that I had managed to fix my error of the previous evening, and incredulity that I had found this chart.

I'm cuddling it now. I may fondle silks at lunch.

I did break down and bought some Oops packs from Dinky Dyes. One is for my Secret Sister--I love grab bags, and these are so fun to open, such a nice mix of perles and silks and cottons. The threads I bought for myself are from the animals for my birthday; they apologized for not going all out and ordering from England, as is their usual way of purchasing my birthday presents, but they said times were hard on the boulevard, and the companion animal field is not a particularly lucrative one financially, so these were all they could get. Which is fine, I like em just fine. But I can't open them til my birthday. Lets see if I hold out that long.

23 October 2008

Cue the violins

I should know better than to try to stitch when I am taking cold medicine, right?

Especially one that is mostly alcohol, right?

Well, I didn't. And it bit me in the butt.

I was making such good progress on my freebie. I thought, "This is not so bad. I must be only moderately high, because I can do this." Then last night, when I was feeling moderately better, I sat down to watch Ghost Hunters and stitch, and realized I was off. I had counted wrong. FRACK FRACK FRACK! So I spent most of the show, which was a particularly good one, frogging. I was so mad at myself.

Maybe I should just put my stitching down til I feel better. I do feel scads better this morning. I am not saying the Nyquil helped that much. It at least didn't help me sleep any better, because it took a while for me to fall asleep last night, but this cold doesn't seem to be lasting as heinously long for me as some of my other colds. I certainly don't think I got it as bad as SO had it--he looked like death warmed over whereas I just look like I had a really fun night at the bar.

22 October 2008

She's alive

I am sick. I did come down with this cold. It's the first bad cold I've had in a year, so I am trying to be patient with myself. But I had to go home from work yesterday, it was that bad. I really couldn't dispense underwriting assistance when it felt like my brain was full of mashed potatoes.

I tried to relax, I seriously did. I draped myself over the couch with the dog and tried to watch TV, but that didn't work, so I crawled into bed. I must have fallen asleep because when I woke up, all the male pets in the house were cuddled up next to me, acting in their best nursing capacity. Methinks Robbie is a student nurse as he kept trying to lick my mouth, when I needed that to breathe out of, LOL. His brothers were all snuggly; I read somewhere that cats don't retain body heat, so they need to stay in warm places, hence their wierd fascination with sunbeams, so they were probably attracted to my feverish self.

I did start feeling a tad bit better after I took some Dayquil. I still don't look like one of their spokespeople. I don't think I am in any condition to conduct high end contract negotiations, or go jogging around a lake, but I am pretty sure I'll live.

20 October 2008

I am getting sick

I have that full throat, sinuses starting to congest, slightly woozy and crabby feeling. And I am coughing. This is not looking promising. But it's OK. I'll just take some vitamin C or something. As long as I don't lose my voice, I'll be OK.

I tried to work last night on my projects, but it just wasn't happening. Too much good stuff was on TV, and SO was upset about the Cowboys losing. I would hate to think he is going to stop being a fan over this . . .

19 October 2008

In quarantine

SO is sick. I think he has the flu, or else some equine-related, mosquito-borne tropic disease. I think I am coming down with it. Unless my nose is running because it's flipping FREEZING here. It was 31 degrees when I got in the car this morning; Trouble was covered in frost. I put the pittybulls out to go play, so SO didn't have to get up and do it--he seemed to be doing better and I want him to stay in bed--and they gave me such a look, like, "Can we at least have a cookie so the chewing warms us up a bit? Is that too much?" So I gave them each one. Don't tell SO, k? They are so getting sweaters for Christmas.

I am almost finished with my pretty little freebie. I was stitching it watching Hope Floats, which has been on E! a lot lately. I really like that movie; at one point I had the cassette, but that probably went away when I stopped owning cars with cassette players. Anyway, it was a good stitching movie, cause you didn't have to actually pay attention to see what was happening. I am trying to figure out what to do with it, whether to get a frame or make a wallhanging of it.

17 October 2008

Crazyville is being renovated

Like all renovation projects, this started out with good intentions. I just wanted a seasonal template now that it's cold as anything outside, and I can't wear flip flops. Now we are going to have to do a major renovation. I lost all my links, including my list of projects I did this year. DAMN DAMN DAMN. Sorry to curse; it's pretty much par for my day. I'll just let that go for this year. CRAP CRAP CRAP.

If your blog isn't on my list yet, I am working on it. I am sorry.

Friday Foolishness and other random stitchy thoughts

The Halloween edition:

I've been following this blog for a few years, at least at Halloween. I think it's pretty cool. It's fun to remember some of the vintage things he talks about. There is some language involved, on occasion, but still it's a pretty fun read.

I started my Secret Santa shopping, at least in regards to my stitching SS. My partner wanted some fabric for a chart she is doing, so I sent her a gift card to pick out whatever she wants. I can't pick fabric for other people. I've realized that, just like it's hard for them to pick for me. I hope she enjoys it.

I came to the sad realization last night that I really truly could stitch on just my UFOs and WIPs for a year. And I would probably not even finish a quarter of them. I have Treaty the fairy in the car now to work on at SOs. (she is the only stash in the car, other than my way cool stitching bag that Mom bought me at Michaels, of which I am very proud of myself. I am trying to keep the car detritus-free, so as to retain the new car smell longer) So why do I keep buying, and I mean that in a general sense, I am being good about buyine new stash. I guess because part of my greedy acquisitive soul worries I will miss out on something and regret it? Like I regret never being able to purchase all those wonderful kits that used to take up 3 aisles at MJDesigns (Michaels bought them out right after I graduated from college, they were an awesome store). I know, that's silly, because I do have enough stuff that I like as much as anything I give up, LOL. The question is, how do I tackle all those UFOs and WIPs? I keep picking them up and puttin em down. My beautiful Stunning irises is on a lap frame, not very convenient for travel, but I want that done. Geisha needs to be done for SO. That may end up being his Christmas present. I don't know. Maybe if I can find a decent standard frame and just have my LNS mount it?

16 October 2008

Woo hoo!

I had time last night to flip through the latest issue of The Gift of Stitching. I've been falling behind in reading it lately (I been a little busy, ya know). So I was DELIGHTED to see a design in there from one of my new favorite designers, West Wind Designs . I have probably 6 of her charts, all bought on Ebay from her. I think they are so cute. But I thought her design in TGOSM was really pretty.

Of course I am lacking a skein of Grecian Gold in my stash. I guess I am going to have to buy that. Online, so I am not tempted to buy anything else.

I wonder if there is a way, other than E-bay or a stash sale, to sell all my extra charts. I gave a lot away at Sue Hillis', but there is still a lot there. I almost want to just sell them as a lot, to get them out of the house. Maybe Craigslist, but I don't know. I hear too many horror stories about where people want to meet. Maybe Oldstitch . . .

15 October 2008

Fun with monochromatic samplers

I am working on that freebie sampler. It's coming together really nicely. I love the color I chose, a steely grey blue. I think it works so well with this chart. I was watching SVU last night, enjoying stitching. Much easier to just make little xs with plain cotton floss than to do the fancy work with the metallics from my ornament exchange piece. I do hope my partner likes it.

My HalloFall exchange partner liked her goodies. She said getting the things out of the pumpkin trick or treat bag was like the scene in Mary Poppins where she pulls things out of the satchel. I am so glad she liked my little box. I know I have some room for improvement on that, but I did try, and I do like how it looked for a first-time try. I think putting the batting on top of the foamcore really helped a great deal to make it look nicer. I need to work on my twisted cording, but it was a good start, and I'll learn. I hope she wears her kick-butt tee shirt. We all need an article of clothing that blinks!

I bought the fabric to start that piece for Mom from Victoria Sampler. I think it's called Strawberry Farm or something like that. The chart called for Olive Green linen, but comparing the chart photo to the fabric, it didn't look right, so I picked a blue color. I figured that made sense--after all, it's usually sunny with blue skies when you go strawberry picking, right? And I don't need the whole cut of fabric for this project, so I can use it on another project!

Has anyone else noticed major mistakes in the JCS Ornament issue? I normally do not complain about these things, but I was working on my ornament and it called for the ray stitch. Y'all, I have been stitching since 1988, full on 2/3 of my life, and I have NEVER seen that stitch before. Not in cross stitch, at least. I am sure it's not one of the commoner stitches. So, I thought it would be in the back with the stitch diagrams. It was not there. They had variations of it, but not it. The variations were useless because they were over 8 threads, and I needed over 4. I was so upset, because I want to do the ornament the way it was designed to be, and, if it's not there, how can I? I had to search back through my collection of old issues to the 2002 issue to find it. SO ANNOYING. And there was a note that said, "Refer to finishing instructions on page ???." (shaking head). Ummm, what page is that after? !!!? &&&? Give me a hint here? I know Sue Hillis' ornament was altered in some way. Some one said recipes were missing.

On the subject of the recipes: How many recipes for sugar cookies does one really need? There were 2 or 3 in there this year. I forget that not everyone purchases their sugar cookies in a roll from the refrigerated section, but seriously? As well as several for pumpkin cake. These are not recipes that lend themselves to variation to retain their true nature, ya know? And really not many recipes for something you could eat as a main course or a side. I was pleased to see a recipe for margaritas from Glory*bee. I think it was her. I don't drink that particular beverage, but I appreciate having something a little different. I personally would be sharing a recipe for a food dish--someone in 98 did mashed potatoes that were awesome--those were my New Year's food in 2002.

There are a lot of really cute ornaments in there, though. I really liked looking through it.
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