31 January 2008

WIP photos

This is called Autumn Acorns, from New Stitches #176. I have to say, it really is turning out beautiful!

not the best day to organize

The best parts of yesterday's organizational efforts were that I emptied another box and I found three reasonably inexpensive binders. BTW, forget starting an E-bay business, or a pet boutique; the real money, my friends, is in the binder industry. $12 for an extra heavy duty binder. What is it gonna do to be worth THAT MUCH MONEY? Thwart terrorism, or lead paint? I am not paying $12 per binder to hold my cross stitch leaflets. NO WAY. These were $5.99 and they were called the "ultimate binder;" they didn't look ultimate, but who am I to question them as long as the cover doesn't fall off. Anyway, I spend a good portion of last night putting charts in sheet protectors and sticking them in the binders. I have a lot of Leisure Arts charts, apparently more than I knew I had. Bummer. Now I have an empty box. Woo hoo. For a brief moment, I fantasized about putting shoes in the box. I have a lot of summer shoes. That might work. Better than flinging 5 pairs of flip flops, my patriotic platform stilettos (because nothing says "proud to be an American" like stripper shoes!) and a pair of espadrilles in the corner til spring. And I found 4 of the five cute FireWing Designs dog and cat charts I have. I have apparently misplaced the 5th, though I swear I got it out to take to CATS. Oh well, if I have to repurchase it, that's OK. Better to have to replace one, than 4. I can always sell it.

Anyway, I realized my next project is to organize the magazines by title. I can not find the one issue of Cross Stitch Gold that I want. I thought I put it in a box under the bed, but it's not. I checked in the boxes in the corners. It's not there. I checked the boxes in the basement. It's not there. I know it's in there somewhere. I didn't throw it out. I would never throw it out. But it's misplaced. But in looking for it, I found a lot of cute designs, so I really should get all them organized. That will help too, because I don't have my extra magazines organized and really don't want to sell them until I know they are dupes and not ones I don't have.

BTW, I found more fabric. Between the pieces I keep finding I have fully 1 yard of 32 count Stoney Point linen and not a single clue what I bought any of it for. Not a clue, y'all. I think I bought one piece because it was on sale. And I have some Heatherfield I vaguely remember buying for a Diane Graebner. Other than that, it must have been security purchases, because I can't think of any other reason to buy yards of rustico aida than it made me feel happy. I am a hot mess. I admit it.

Lastly, and on a side note, 3 cheers to my best friend Brea, AKA the original Chorty Chotgun, who finally advised her father that she did get a tattoo, and wasn't just thinking about it. Her father promptly had to take another call. I told her that, if they got on her too hard about it, she could always yell that at least it isn't on her face. Stand proud, Brea, and may your ankle glow defiantly in the dark.

30 January 2008

Finished making the Kloster blocks

I will post a poc of this project, I am actually really proud of it.

I finished the Kloster blocks on the Hardanger project this morning. I am following the instructions in the magazine, so am doing the cross stitch and satin stitch. But it's not easy. I am not used to counting individual threads, but I am slowly making progress. I did realize I don't have one of the colors of floss I needed, but I decided, instead of going out and buying floss, I will use what I have in my stash.

I still have to start my house ornament for the Bride's Tree SAL. Or else work it in with other designs. I don't think my designs are all going to be the same style. I think that will be OK. My Christmas tree is not one unified style, unless "whimsical" is a style. I am doing a snowman freebie with a heart by Sanman for my February ornament. I think that will be cute.

I decided I am putting Mosey and Me's Veggies into my rotation. It was the first one of their charts I ever bought, and it's SUCH a happy picture. I was having issues finding the Needle Necessities threads, but I found out Stoney Creek carries them, so ordered, along with a half yard of fabric that was on clearance. It was $16, so I figured I could afford that.

29 January 2008

This is not good



What's Your Blog Wanted For?

Been Frogging some Hardanger

I started my first real Hardanger project. I know that it's just because it's really only the 3rd project I've undertaken--the first one was palm-sized, the second one wasn't really much of anything--but this thing is kicking my butt. It took me the better part of two days to get the Kloster blocks to come together correctly, mainly because I think I haven't been paying that much attention to make sure that it's right. But I managed to get it all to fit together last night, now I just have some fancy ends to Kloster block in.

I do like the way Hardanger looks. It makes me feel like a competant needlewoman. Not that cross stitch doesn't, but I have always been in awe of women who can do hardanger, and now, I am one of those women. Yay for me.

I started putting my loose leaflets into a binder last night. I think if I have 5 binders, I could get most of them in there, except the oversized ones. Those need those Lo-Ran holders.

28 January 2008

It's here, it's here

I found this on Carriage House Samplings website. It's beautiful, it's stunning, it's NAUTICAL! If I ever wasn't going to buy this, well, that settles it for me. It's beautiful. It makes my heart sing. And it's not covered in the most obscure greens and browns in the thread company's pallet! Woo hoo.

This is going on my list of stuff I want. This falls under the rank of "Charts that make my life more complete" and I just can't pass it up.

Did basically NO stitching this weekend

I was off the entire weekend and stitched all of probably an hour. Bummer. But, all in all, that wasn't so bad because I probably needed sleep. I slept horrible last week--it's not so easy to rest sharing a bed with two small rowdy dogs and a cat or three--so it was good.

I started a piece of Hardanger. I am taking Guilt-free January seriously, y'all! It's a piece by Mary Hickmott and pretty simple, but I had to frog a bunch of it already, so I learned you have to be more diligent about counting than in cross stitch. But I think it works for me as a craft because I already count by measuring things off of other parts of designs so this works. It's easy to tell you messed up when things aren't even. So we''ll see--it's not a craft you do on linen when sleepy.

I am pleased to say I have managed to empty an entire box of stitching supplies in my organizing. YAY for me. I took the empty box and put about half the binders I had in it. That seems to be a more secure way of storing them than just sitting them on top of the boxes. And I realized I could put all my unframed art prints in the sides to keep them secure when I move--bonus, because I love the art I have collected. I did find my Mosey and Mes. I looked at the supply list for one I want to do, and that kinda bummed me out because they used Needle Necessities and, well, there is no more Needle Necessities. I know there is that new company BUT I don't know where to buy their threads. I will look at my Gentle Art supplies and take from there.

The superbowl sales are going to be this weekend, and I am up in the air about going to them. Realistically, I don't NEED anything--lifting full boxes is a pretty good reminder of that--but I think I worry I might be missing something good. But BF and I had a talk this weekend, and if we are ever going to buy a house together, I need to get some of these credit cards paid off. It would be nice to have a big old rambly house to have room to start a business for myself and I want a business more than new stitchy stuff. So I don't know.

25 January 2008

Friday Foolishness

This makes me laugh. Hysterically. I realize this has nothing to do with cross stitch, but there are days when I do feel like I herd cats for 8-10 hours.

I found it, I found it

I found the squirrel kit last night while going through boxes. I almost whooped in delight! Almost. You bet your life I put everything together. It feels so good to have both parts again. Now to get the thing stitched--I think this is going to be a project for Finish It February.

24 January 2008

Don't spend it all in one place, people

And I bet you were wondering how I can tie this in to cross stitch. OHHHH, but I can. I will try to stay away from the obvious How does one become eligible for a tax rebate if one doesn't pay taxes? because it just confuses me, and I will not shake my fist in impudent rage at my accountant for telling me that it was not a good idea for me to have a baby just as a tax write-off last year (just joking, there). I will just sit here quietly and figure out how to frivolously spend the money.

I think I could spend some of it getting New Birth of Spring framed. I am thinking a simple whitewashed frame, nothing too fancy. I might even be able to afford mats and glass. I didn't frame anything with mats last year and most of it was without glass.

But I think I would also want to get my Stoney Creek renewed for 3 years. That's just a little more than $50. And I liked doing it that way before because I just didn't think about it for 3 years. Trust me, these were three years I didn't need to worry about renewing subscriptions.

And I might, I just might, get that Stoney Creek Christmas class kit. It's $118. That would be such a huge treat for myself. I guess the question is, though, would I want to stitch it? I think I would, I mean, I have been drooling over it for a year, watching for it to be available. And it is lots prettier than that nutcracker I took the class for. I really don't like that.

But I also think I need to give Mom some for paying for Robbie's plane ticket, and Robbie needs a new collar. A pretty one. From the pet boutique. Which, by the way, I want to start myself one. I think owning a pet boutique would be fun.

Another finish

I decided that I wasn't going to do a lot of organizing last night. I got my nails done and, after she picked the acrylic off my left thumb, it hurt so bad, I didn't feel like messing with heavy boxes.

So I plunked myself down and decided to finish one of the little free Halloween ornaments from Sanman board. I had started it back around Halloween, but put it aside. So I finished it last night. I did the one with the ghost and the little cat on it. I won't post a pic til I get all of them stitched because I am sending to my fabulous finisher, AKA my Aunt B, to make ornies. There are 20 of them, so this may take a while, LOL.

I joined the Bride's Tree SAL yesterday and am looking forward to it. The first month is a house. I was looking through my magazines last night, and I came up with the idea of stitching a front door and then having it finished as a house shape. Wouldn't that be killer? Now to find the perfect front door in the next week.

23 January 2008

I just realized . . .

That it's 7 months to fair season.

And I don't have anything ready.

I realize that 7 months is a long time in just day time, but in terms of stitching time, it's not. Not when the average large project takes 2-3 months, and then it's a month (or more) to get things framed. Ey yiy.

Now I should really start to buckle down and get figured out what I want to have to enter

To be framed:

New Fallen Snow (have the frame, just need it stretched and mounted)
New Birth of Spring
Lost Dragon Sampler--perfect for the fantasy class.

Those are really the only entry-worthy pieces I have finished.

I have the Margaret Sherry afghan at the finishers.

I will put BF's stocking in, cause I am not working with blending filament and then not entering it.

The Joan Elliott winter angel for the religious class--I don't know if it quite counts as "religious," but it's an angel. Angels are religious.

Cedar Hill Sheep in the Meadow--for the special class for the state fair, but I will put it in the county fair too.

I want to have my Stunning Irises for the flower class. I am just worried because (hanging head in shame) Felix Anne has been using the lap stand as a kitty hammock, which is NOT good, and it's rather hair covered. I have to take the lint brush to it.

I need to do some small finishes, but what gets me is that county fair judges size by framed size, state by design size. The consistency issue bugs me.

I did see a cute idea for finishing yesterday at Michael's. They had little purses to make. They showed them with iron-ons of Paris, but you could pretty much take a small set of designs and put them on and it would look good. I love iron-on interfacing for things like this. Anyway, they were reasonably priced, about $5 for the purse body, the same for the handle, maybe $3 for the trim. It might be worth it to pick up one on payday. The pink one I looked at would be cute with shoes or hearts on it, but if they had a straw one, think of the cute summer stuff you could put on.

2 more boxes organized

I went through two more boxes. They had the stuff I bought at CATS last year. It was kinda like Christmas, rediscovering stuff I forgot I had bought. I had a bunch of hardanger leaflets and some fantasy leaflets in there from some grab bags I bought, so I went through those and picked out what I want, then put the rest to be sold.

I did rekindle my passionate love affair with the charts from Fire Wing Designs:

I love the ones with the little dog and cat the best, but she is such a fantastic designer. Her dragons are really cool, very modern. And, I just was sitting here thinking, it's pretty cool how a lot of the designs juxtapose dragons with snow, kind of a fire and ice theme. I guess it appeals to me cosmically because I am a water sign (Scorpio) born in the year of the dragon. Maybe . . . but I am definitely treating myself to the dog and cat designs as a Valentine's Day present.

Anyway, I decided that, realistically, the only way I will keep this organization system in order is to write on the ends of the box what goes in that box. It won't be as tempting to stick non-related things in a box indignantly stating "Fabric ONLY" written in Sharpie. Then onto getting all the charts organized. I keep thinking I am going to come on that treasure trove of fall charts I buy constantly and shove in a box; won't it be awesome to just open a binder marked "Fall/Halloween" and have them RIGHT THERE?

22 January 2008

RIP Heath Ledger

I don't know why I feel compelled to post, but I do. His passing is so sad. He was too young. I feel so sad for his daughter, and for the fact that we won't get to see the actor he would have become.

Let the organizing begin

I started organizing last night. It went fairly well.

I managed to go through an entire box. I pulled out, by my estimate, $50 worth of fabric. One piece was something I dyed, so I don't know if I should just redye it, or pitch it, because it was pretty ugly. There was a quilting kit in there too. I bought that in 2001, but I decided that it is finally time to level with myself and realize I won't quilt. I I also found a catalogue from 2004, that box of crayons, and a book about Presidential children, that I think I need to finish before I relegate it to the thrift shop.

I decided that that box will be where I, at least until they overflow, store my kits and the odd-sized charts. That's a big help, as my current filing system appears to be by when I bought it. That is not a good system, by any stretch. I am hoping, soon, to get the leaflets better organized than I had them. The horse binder is in good shape--my horse charts are in there for the most part--and the dog leaflets, because, and the dogs will strike me dead for this, I just don't have many of them, but I have tons of cat charts, and others and then those wierd charts that define simple classification. I have lots of those. But I intend to get organized. I will get new binders, I will get new sheet protectors, and I shall be neat. But, if the trend of finding fabric continues, I need a box for fabric. *sigh*

On another note, I am making great progress with the stocking for my SO. Considering I can not work on it on the weekends, it's coming along great. This is from a now OOP August 2005 issue, and it's pretty. I would say I am probably a third of the way there, even with the blending filament, which I detest. I don't know, now that I got that one project finished, Stoney Creeks just aren't "impossible" anymore. And the wierd thing, even before I finished M'deer, I HAD finished another SC. I finished it when I was 20, and I seem to remember that it was not easy, but it wasn't impossibly difficult. It was only when I got around other stitchers that it got "hard". But this is not hard at all. Interesting how experience changes us.

21 January 2008

A cold shivery Monday

I couldn't deal with organizing, so I got out of the house this weekend (you think this is part of my problem?). It was a short day at my part time job--we didn't have a play going on, but I still heard the singers in the amateur production renting one of the theatres singing flat for two hours. And they left a mess in the lobby--both lobbies. I left right about the point that the facilities manager walked through, muttering, "They'll pay for that."

But I did meet someone who knows stitchers. I was stitching at the box office window--I can do that if we aren't busy, it's art, after all! And this guy comes up and says, "My mom and sisters do that." He was the kind of person who is too busy to do it (which, honestly, most of us are too busy to do cross stitch, we just give up some other basic need to do it), but he was appreciative. I can appreciate that if someone appreciates my art.

After work, I had to meet my boyfriend's family for his parents' anniversary party. I felt kinda bad because I just brought them a card, but what do you buy for people who have been married 40 years? Or better yet, 47 years because my parents' anniversary is this week. Anyway, his aunt, who I finally met, cross stitches and she goes to the Woodlawn show. So that was pretty cool!

We didn't get home til 11:30, and then didn't wake up til 10 yesterday. Or at least I didn't. BF had an energy drink, cake with coffee in it, and coffee and he didn't sleep, so at 4AM he was up doing laundry. He apparently didn't sleep til 8, so I had the whole king-sized bed to myself, and stitched in luxury while watching E before the game started. Which, just on a side note, I fully commend anyone who managed to be at the Green Bay game or played, or lives in Wisconsin. It was too cold there. When athletes' heads are steaming, it's too cold.

I fully plan on starting to go through things tonight.I am going to start in the basement. I found a box with a box of crayons in it. I'm 31, I haven't used crayons on a regular basis in 20 years (has it REALLY been that long), why did I buy these? Things like that are going in the giveaway box. I don't need them, they are taking up space, they need to go to someone who can use them.

This not going to be easy. I am warning you now, if you hear cursing, not even lady-like, "well, gosh gee" but some straight up, make a sailor blush cursing--and it will be a cold, cloudy night tonight, those words carry--followed by dogs barking, it's just me cleaning.

18 January 2008

I need to get organized

I give up. I admit defeat.

I can no longer live in my crafty cluttered bliss.

Remember how stoked I was that I found that squirrel chart? I had misplaced the chart probably the night after I started it, found the chart this week. and now I have lost the other parts, and the chart has no DMC numbers on it. This is the crappy part. I found the kit while I was searching for those other charts, and thought, "Kick butt, someone must have found the chart and put it in the package." And then opened it, discovered the chart was NOT there (of course, it was elsewhere), put it back in whatever box I pulled it out of (I swear it was a box), and promptly lost it. THIS STINKS.

So,I can't do this anymore. I am so unorganized, I have orphan pieces of fabrics in boxes that I have to have bought for SOMETHING (because one of them is a deep blue green, and I wouldn't just buy that fabric for grins)and, let's be honest, how in the heck would I, were I to pick whatever chart I bought them for, KNOW that I did indeed have the perfect fabric for, because it's in a box in the basement, and not in the giant box o fabric under my bed? I would be trucking off to the LNS for more. I know I would do that because I bought more fabric when I misplaced the navy blue linen for an ornament. I went to find a collar I bought for Chancey that I KNOW I stuck in a tin, that was specifically "the tin that Chancey's rose collar is in" and discovered it was stuffed full of DMC. And do you want to know what my first thought was? "What did I buy this for and is the dog collar underneath the floss?" I hate when this happens. Now I feel inefficient, disorganized, and I also now feel like a crappy pet parent, because that collar was cute, and I can't find it and I can't find my kit that was $20 US,and that stinks. Think of all the money I would save by just being slightly more organized.

17 January 2008

My next Guilt-free January start

is based on this sculpture:

I've had the kit by Anchor for, gosh, 5 years almost, and haven't started it. But it's calling to me. Puppies call to me. Especially because these are border collies, and I love our border collie mix. She is about the smartest dog ever, way smarter than my Schipperkes--not as sweet tempered, but smart. If I have the patience to do the puppy thing again, and I want a big dog, I think I would get another one, at least a mix. Another thing I like about the chart is it shows them tugging, and my little dogs did that when they were puppies. Heck, they do it now if there's a toy they both want. Nothing to me is more adorable and fun to watch than them playing like that, even though I know it makes them mad when I laugh at them as they battle for a prize.

So that's my new finish. I wish I had an actual pic of the project to show, but it must be OOP, and apparently no one has it.

16 January 2008

The long-promised photos

This blog was getting too wordy, so here are the photos I've been promising you for weeks.

The finishes are Lizzie Kate's Beware of the Cat and Dragon Dreams Lost Dragon Sampler. I LOVED every minute of that Dragon Dreams Sampler. I really do like band samplers. I think I may try to work on one of my fancier charts of a band sampler, because they are such a joy. The Lizzie Kate was maybe not such a fun stitch, but it's pretty.

My WIP is the Mouse from Hollie Designs. I like this chart, but I am not sure that the colors are the best. I wonder if, back in 1983, when they designed the chart, they had the color selection we have, because it's not an issue of the dyelots changing--the cover photos is about the same shading. But it's fun. The branches are giving me a fit, but I'll get through it.

OHHHH, I forgot

One of the items on my on-going WIP list was the Lanarte squirrel. I am embarrassed to say that it is still on the list because I lost the chart. Well I found it while cleaning last night. It was in my room, under my bed. Don't ask how it got there, because I don't have an answer. As far as I know, the kit never made it into the bedroom. Wierd, hunh?

Long time no see, people

I have been on vacation for the past three days. No major jet-setting vacation, this was more like my Christmas vacation. Sunday we watched the Cowboys lose (and I for one see nothing wrong with T.O. crying, they did lose as a team, I would be crying too), and I stitched. It was so cold that I was glad to stay inside.

Monday, I made my promised trip to the LNS. I wasn't really buying anything new, except that horse book by Stoney Creek. I will be stitching from there, though, because the charts look way easy. I just didn't kit anything up yet. But, other than the new Cross Stitch and Needlework, a chart by Kats by Kelly that my mom thought reminded her of our Lily, and a sale chart, that had sheep and watermelons on it (Could you resist a chart with sheep AND watermelons, I ask you?), and the fabric to do my fair project, all I bought were the supplies to make that Hardanger pillow from New Stitches and some beads, treasures, and braids to do some of the projects I have kitted up.

Let me say this. Those freaking treasures are expensive. I had heard people say they were, but you know how it is, you never really believe other people about what's expensive. But $6 for a little STAR!?! If it were not that I needed the star to complete a stocking for my boyfriend, I would have just figured out a work around. And the worst part is, Mill Hill has you on the treasures, because, at least to my knowledge, there isn't a cheaper alternative. But I have it now, I just have to eat sandwiches or crackers at lunch for a while to pay for it. And the stocking will be gorgeous.

12 January 2008

A Guilt-free January Start

I decided to start a project for guilt-free January. I started "The Lost Dragon Sampler" by Dragon Dreams. It's a lot of fun to stitch. It doesn't look like it, but it's really a cool band sampler, and I love how the variegated silks are making it look. Of course it helps that the designer chose vibrant colors--stitching with a hot green silk is tons of fun. And I can't remember the last time I used Waterlilies, I hate to think it was back when I did this:

Irises-Elsa Williams

Anyway, I am enjoying this WAY more. It should be a quick stitch. I need some braid for it, but I can get that on Monday. After that, it should not be too long.

11 January 2008

Starting to get back in the swing of things

I actually sat down last night and stitched for 2 hours. I was so proud of myself.

I seem to have misplaced a lot of charts that I bought at CATS. I think they were in one of our tote bags, but can't remember where I put the tote bag. I think it got misplaced during the Christmas cleaning. But, in looking for them, I found an old UFO, and pulled that out. It was the Stoney Creek Christmas stocking from 2005 that I started for my boyfriend. After we broke up, I put it away because I was not functioning very well--these things happen after the person you want to spend the rest of your life with tells you things like he never thinks you will get a good job, or have good credit--and looking at anything having to do with that whole thing nauseated me. But, 18 months later, I could pull it out and realize that what he said isn't true, and I can work on finishing this piece. And I think it's going easier for me than it did before because I have New Birth of Spring under my belt. After working with that hand-drawn chart, this chart is a pleasure, and it's much smaller to work with.

I promise, on Monday, I will post pics of everything I am working on, so as to not be a blogging deadbeat.

But, another good thing came out of my searching--no, not the charts that I was looking for. I found a bunch of stuff to work on for Guilt-free January and most of them use supplies I can get at Michael's.

I pulled out:

Raise the Roof Dry Turkey, stitched all in DMC on 28 count. All I need from LNS is an olive button. (who wants to bet my LNS will not have an olive button. Anyone, anyone?) It looks like a fairly quick simple stitch.

Dragon Dreams Lost Dragon Sampler--I mostly kitted this up last fall, but need to get one skein of DMC 906. I think this would make a good entry in the fantasy class at the fair and it's whimsical. If I ever get to the point where I have a real office, I want to have whimsical things hung on the wall. I work better surrounded by fun things--my cubicle has fun pictures of the cats amd a box I bought at Michael's on clearance, and my pumpkin-footed JBW cube, so I think that would work well.

I have TIAG's Simple Gifts as well. I just need to get the rest of the floss, and I should be ready to start. I bought the fabric at Everything Cross Stitch last winter; Mom and I drove down to Fredericksburg, Virginia, the day before Super Bowl Sunday, just to get out. It was a nice day, and that is a wonderful shop. You have to love a shop where the owner says, "Would you like me to pull the floss for you while you shop?" Well, YEAH. Woo hoo. That had been a time when I was flush with cash, we have to be more reasonable now.

Also, Village , by Per Segno per Filo. This is such a pretty little design. It's not something I typically would choose, but wouldn't this make such a gorgeous wallhanging?

I also pulled out two charts to actually be guilt-free starts that I haven't bought anything for yet. I have Cedar Hill's "The Cat Feeder", which is so cute. It's a little cat waiting patiently by the bird feeder. The cat looks like my Flicky, and he probably would sit by the birdfeeder, not knowing quite what to do, but knowing he ought to be there.

Also, "Happy Everything" from Stoney Creek, Snow Happens. This looks like a pretty quick stitch. It should be a good break.

I think one of my stitching resolutions this year is going to be to only buy floss when I know I don't have it in my stash. I have a lot of just random floss in bags and I have NO idea why I bought it. I found a bag last night. Just random floss. I am pretty sure it's for a SC. They have a very specific set of colors that they use, and this was rife with those colors. They were in a bag with a kit, so I have my suspicions of what I bought it for, but I can't be sure. I hate that. Of courseI wouldn't have this problem if I went totally on the wagon and stitched only what was kitted up. But that's not fun . . .

10 January 2008

Another must have

I must have this. I will have no rest in my bones (and this means a lot since I am dog-tired) til I have this chart. It's new from Stoney Creek. I think I can order it from their website. I wonder if it's out in stores yet. I am going to check on Monday at the Stitching Post. If it's out, it's coming home with me. If it's not, I am going to order it.

Even though I am too chicken to stitch them, I have the other two SC horse books in my collection. These are beautiful. There is even a jockey and a race horse. I told you, I have a thing for racehorse pix and this is so beautiful. I could never own enough charts of galloping racehorses. I can't explain it. Maybe it was because when I was collecting Breyer horses, my favorite model was the Phar Lap model. He looked so trim and neat and proper and free, and I guess I carry that on in my stitching. One thing, the leaflets take up less space than my models, though I would NEVER sell my model horses.

09 January 2008

I think something is wrong with me . . .

It's guilt-free January, where I can start ANYTHING, and I don't want to start anything. I don't want to haul my cookies to Michael's and kit anything up. Anything I might have wanted to start is in my craft room 30 miles from here.

But I am going to my LNS on Monday. I haven't been since 8 November. I already have a list of what I *need* :). I am getting the supplies to make that cute Hardanger pillow. And the floss for the new LK Flip-its. And some beads, because I managed to lose the ones I had for my winter angel in the car. There were even a couple from my 50 list that I thought about starting too, but not sure yet if I want to buy overdyeds for them.

I think my not wanting to do this is that I am starting to go through my things to get ready to move out. I have too much. I have like 6 big boxes of charts to go through even after organizing some into binders. This is not good. Even culling it to sell, that is not helping. I have pretty much stripped out what I don't want and those six boxes are things I still want. I think this is a good year to go on the wagon. At least if I stitch the stuff, I don't have the sadness of, "I will sell this and I will never get the chance to stitch it. What if I want it." When you get in that kinda funk, even my old standby thought of, There will be other charts that you will like just as much, if not more, doesn't seem to work. Anyway, it's time to stop being a baby. I have to get rid of a lot of things, maybe on the days when I am off, I will take a big lot over to the Ebay store. I am going to do that anyway with my ballgowns--because, to quote my boyfriend, "When's the last time you went to a ball?" (umm, 6 years)-- so I might as well go with that stuff too.

I did stitch last night, though. We were watching the primary coverage. Even though I hesitate to post political stuff on here, I was happy Hillary won. I don't like Barack Obama, because he just doesn't have the experience. Hillary has been in DC for 16 years, in politics since, pretty much since she has been with Bill. It's kinda like with my Schipperkes; Robbie is not particularly easy for a non-dog person to deal with, but I have been owning Schips for 18 years, and he's a piece of cake for me to deal with, cause I know how their minds work. Hillary knows how a Washington mind works, AND she let Bill do some campaigning for her. Democrats love Bill Clinton. He could have shot someone on live network. TV, lied and said he didn't do it, and we would have been like, "I don't like that he did it, but I understand he had to lie. Long as we're not in a recession, besides that was a guy that probably needed killing."

But it gave me a chance to get some stitching done. I am working on my peppermint mouse, and I like the opalescent linen I chose for it. Opalescent and I don't always get along, but this is nice stuff, and I think the sparkle will make the design pretty.

Anyway, back to this whole guilt-free January thing. I guess I shouldn't really think there is something wrong for not wanting to start. I don't have set rules I have to obey with my stitching, if I want to start something in May, I am 31 years old, I should just start it. But I do think I should start something for the fair, just to start getting that on track.

I think I have picked my project for the special contest for the state fair. I am going to choose sheep as my subject. I found a really pretty, just simply lovely design of sheep in a field--I forget who it is by, but it's pretty. I might not win 1st place, but that's OK. I would still be doing my part to promote needlecrafts, and sometimes I think they prefer simple, well-executed designs to fancy ones not so well done.

08 January 2008

Not much stitching getting done

I started my cute little mouse on Sunday while watching football, but didn't get a lot done last night. But I have a good reason

I have decided that this is the year I am going to commit and get my body in shape. Last year, my goal was to become interesting. And I did that, especially since how many folks would fly to Dallas and back in a day for a dog two months after they went gem hunting? Fascinating . . . Anyway, I decided, especially after looking at the pix from the gem hunting trip, that I am fed up with being fat. So I started working out on Sunday. Last night, I went to the gym. OK, I went to two gyms. After spending twenty minutes driving around the parking lot at my closest branch, and not getting a space, I went to the other one and worked out on the elliptical. Then I went home and started moving boxes around in my bedroom. A lot of them were full of books, so it was good workout.

05 January 2008

Still more mag reviews--remember it was a good week!

OK, since I didn't finish the reviews from yesterday, I have two more for you! Hopefully, you have availability to these issues.

The Cross Stitcher (US version), February 2008

I think the best thing that this magazine ever did was get a new editor 5 years ago because it truly has increased in quality and value since then. There were occasionally cute ideas under the old editor, but not in the quantities of the new editor. And this issue does not disappoint. I think one of the major things I like about Cross Stitcher is that it very much is a "grab your keys and go" mag in that you could literally buy it at lunch, read it on your lunch break, and then, after work or whatever, go to a craft store and purchase the right supplies to have a project started that evening.

My favorite design, and I can't put my finger on why is Winter Beauty. It's a pretty little thing, with cardinal buttons, simple but fancy looking embroidery stitches and a nice verse, "Icicles, redbirds, Snowflakes and Pines, Winter's Beauty is not hard to find." That is so true. They finished it as a pillow, which is probably the best way to do it, because it's awfully expensive to frame things and this makes for a quick change.

For our Valentine's Day enjoyment, there is a pretty door hanger with LOVE on it. I guess you could put that up on the front door, if you had a storm door. There is also a box with My Crazy Heart on it; a crazy quilt heart. It's nice, but what do you do with something like that? Maybe a paper box?

There is a design called teenage language that I don't get. It's a bunch of words that I think are from text messages. Maybe it's just a bad case of the crankies because I still feel like I am sixteen, and I looked at these and had no frigging clue what they meant, and I feel like I ought to. I don't know, though; it could be cute for my SO since we text so much. But he doesn't tend to do the abbreviation thing since he has a full out keyboard on his phone, and I have to do the "1-1-1-1, 6-6, 5" deal to tell him something, because I have a basic phone.

There is a pretty sachet pillow that would make a great Mother's Day present. But I would stuff it with lavendar. Wouldn't that make an awesome gift for the bed? I have a sachet Mama bought me, tucked under my pillow and it is so nice to smell!

Another design is a repro sampler. I don't know, but it seems like there are a lot of repro samplers being published that look alike.I am not really a sampler person, so this is wasted on me.

Right after that chart is an ad for some fascinating dragon designs. Aren't these cool?
I especially love the ice dragon. Very striking on black.

There is a chart for men's grooming supplies. I don't understand why anyone would stitch this. It is a sepia-toned pic of a comb, cufflinks, a shaving brush, and other stuff. Where would one put that? Unless you know someone who runs a barber, NO WHERE.

I like Jo Gatenby's Was It Worth It. Jo Gatenby is a pretty interesting person and it's a cute design. They feature it on JAR Designs fabric, but, they say you can pick out any complimentary fabric. However, this fabric is pretty kick butt; it's a leaf print. Very cool.

There is also a cute little snowman, stitched on Babbling Brook by Wichelt. You could substitute that new marbled DMC aida for this if you must stitch on the fly. I like the Hardanger tablerunner too, but it's pretty big and has a lot of buttonhole stitch, which I hate. I am still looking for my next project, but not this one.

04 January 2008

More mag reviews

OK, able to write more.

Next up, we have Cross Stitch Collection, Issue 152

I think it's pretty obvious that I love this magazine. If I could subscribe to a British magazine, this would be the one. I love the fact that they have charts that you just can't find in America. And, unlike Cross Stitch Gold, which also happens to be a favorite, they don't usually put charts in that you can buy as a kit. I have to relate this story, because it's one of those horror stories you pray does not happen to you.

In the winter of 2003, around Christmas, someone on 123 discovered a gorgeous Pollyanna Pickering design of polar bears. She wanted to know if the kit could be had. The whole board searched for this kit in England, and she found a kit, apparently the last kit in the UK, and had it sent to her, for the mind-boggling price of $100US. Not a month later, the design was in Gold. AAAACK! I think I would cry--even to kit up a mag design is not $100. But that has taught me a valuable lesson. Think long and hard about spending big bucks on a UK kit cause eventually it'll end up in a magazine.

Anyway, as I am wont to do, I have been digressing. Please excuse me, my New Year's resolution was to stop drinking soda and, well, there is not enough caffeine in the iced tea I have been drinking to get rid of the slight headache I had all day today.

This is another fantastic issue of this magazine. The only design that I could not see myself potentially stitching is the Jane Netley Mayhew. Everything else is pretty stinking cool. There is a pretty Christmas AOY design--speaking of which, I need to do another one of those because I have 10 kits in my stash, and they were a pretty substantial investment back in 2003.

Sheila Hudson also has a pretty design called Winter Walk, though I do have to say that, since North American deer don't look quite like British deer (not saying this in a bad way, but they don't look alike), I would take the horns off. Otherwise, it's very pretty and it would be good to leave up all winter. There is also a nice little ballerina.

I also saw nice robin designs. I figured out a couple years ago that, even though I am not into cards, the designs they do for cards in the winter would make perfect ornaments. They are small, quick stitches, minimal commitment, and these robin designs would look great on a tree.

A new feature in the magazine is the stitching star. I think this is a good addition to the magazine. I love to see what other people stitch, and I like to find out about what compells them to stitch that. Perhaps that is the reason I enjoy blogging so much, because it's not just, "Look at what I stitched," there's a story behind it. I used to love the Diary section of Quick and Easy for that reason. I wanted to be a part of that, but I realize that, by the third entry, it would have been, "I hate this bleeping project. It makes me crazy." or, "Do quilters have to put up with this?" followed by a bunch of cursing. At least here, it's not so embarrassing when I say that.

there is a sweet little blue and white design. I think this year, I am going to try to do some designs to be mounted on boxes again. I made one in 2005 for an exchange where we had to give something we stitched (I suck at finishing, so ornaments are not a great choice for me to do), so the little box turned out cute. The lady I gave it to liked it; she uses it at Christmas . I have been wanting to do something like that again, and I have a pretty star-shaped box to use, but I am just afraid to screw it up. Anyway, this would be pretty cute as a practice piece. It might make a good Mother's Day gift--anyone can use a pretty little box, right?

I also like the pretty design called, "A Year In Flowers," with a different flower for each month. I am not a flower person necessarily--they need to be bright to strike my fancy--but I like these.

This is also pretty good for the non-project pages. I like the letters, and someone has completed Summer Ball, by Sandy Littlejohn. I am always awed by someone who can complete one of her designs as they are beyond NOT easy. And someone has done that baby in sepia again! Oh, to be able to start him . . .

Magazine Reviews-It's about time, right?

I realize I have been remiss about doing this for a long time. But I happened upon my local Barnes and Noble on a good magazine week. So here goes.

Just Cross Stitch February 2008

This is a really good issue. It's a Valentine's Day issue. If you hate Valentine's Day, this is probably not gonna be a must-have for you. I am not that fond of this holiday, but this is a good issue.

There is a great design of orchids on this issue. It's a Permin design. Those are expensive, so we've already got the money on the magazine back.

As far as the holiday is concerned, there are several great designs, including the cover design. One is really simple, called Hugs and Kisses, which would be nice if you decorate for Valentine's Day or else need a signal for a roommate that this is not a night to hang out in the dorm room. I am not saying it in a bad way, it's really cute. Also the design, be kind and your heart will grow. Now that is cute! I could see that as a pillow.

My favorite design has got to be Winter Symphony by Little House Needleworks. It's cute little birds. I like primitive things and it's pretty. I also like the New Zealand sampler, but probably won't stitch it.

There are a couple projects I am not to keen on. Monsterbubbles has created a design of bugs, called the Fab Four, and George and John are in this issue. I don't know if I would stitch bugs, even though these are modern. It's kind of a bummer because I like Monsterbubbles' designs. And then there is a rocketship design. I might like this if I had boys, but I don't. Unless you count Robbie, and, well, he doesn't need a rocketship stitched for him.

All in all, this is a good addition to a magazine collection.

More to follow

03 January 2008

Another kick butt site

I didn't find this one, someone else did, but it's a pretty cool site. I don't know if it's licensed.

Basically, it's coloring pages. Lots of coloring pages. They aren't conducive to cross stitch, but, if you were into redwork, they would be cute. Wouldn't they make a pretty quilt? It only sucks that they don't have Fox and the Hound. But no one has Fox and the Hound anything . . . .

The first finish within 48 hours of the New Year!

Look at it, over there to the left, all by itself, my first finish for the New Year. It's all by itself for now, but the year is young.

I am making a change to how I list my finishes this year. I am going to include the finish dates, for a better idea of how long it takes to do these. Like last year, New Birth of Spring took all summer to work on. That wasn't really reflected on the list.

02 January 2008

Another great thing about my SO

At least crafty-wise. He's tall, he's handsome, he likes me a lot, he's a good cook, he's kind to me. All that is great and I love him for it, but a great bonus is he lives 10 minutes from a nice Michaels. This is important to a crafter! I was amazed on Sunday because I knew it was there, and needed floss--which I left in my craftroom, where I won't be for two days, dang it--and was home quickly! I am stoked. Woo hoo.

Since I am trying to control spending and keep my stash inline with the craft room limits, my mother asked me if we would stop going to the LNS. I think she is sad about it. I said OF COURSE NOT. I am just not going to go look around and buy. Shopping should not be entertainment, it should be just a thing we do to get stuff we NEED. And I was a little needy in 2007. I keep looking at that pile o' stuff from CATS and feel a little guilty, because it really is a lot of stuff to stitch. Why add on top of that, cause I have a lot of cute stuff in my collection. And why stitch what everyone else is stitching, when I can start THIS . I love this little mouse on a candy cane, even though I never saw it before I bought a box lot including it a couple years ago.

I know, stop getting ahead of myself over that mouse. But it's adorable. Adorable. SO was not impressed by him. Phooey!

New Year, new start, new hopes

Happy New Year, kind hearts, gentle readers! May your 2008 be blessed!

Not much is going on in my little corner o' the blogosphere. My New Years was pretty good. SO's birthday was nice, except he wouldn't let me help get the house ready for the party, so I sat around watching a CSI marathon all day and stitching. His 5-year-old niece was very interested in my stitching--she likes any way of making a picture. So, as soon as we determine if she can count, I'll teach her to stitch! Another convert.

I did start my New Year's Day project. It's a Stoney Creek bellpull--I promise I will post pictures as soon as we get the Christmas tree taken down. The fabric stinks--not it's bad, it just smells funny, and it's been in a bag since I bought it, so I don't know what is causing that!--but it's a nice stitch so far. I am still incredibly intimidated by Stoney Creek charts, but this is very do-able.

I also am almost finished with Lizzie Kate's Beware of Cat--a Halloween project that is really cute. I will probably get it done by this evening. I think I am going to make a door hanger out of 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