25 February 2008

March plans

I can not believe Finish It February is almost over. I'm proud I didn't start anything but my Bride's Tree ornament, and I just worked on WIPs. I picked up Magic Hat again; hopefully I will get that done, but not sure because I hate working with that stupid Light Effects floss I chose.

I am making March Month of Smalls. I have several cute little kits, mostly the freebie kits from British magazines, to work on. I want to get them started before I lose them, which, given my track record, is highly likely.

I did get the paypal notice to pay Silkweaver for my SOHRH fabric. Yay! And I also bought a Solo to do something I've had in my stash for almost 4 years--I bought it the day after I bought my car because I wanted to accumulate stash before the first car payment came due because I didn't think I was going to be able to afford stash. The very idea makes me laugh now. Do you know how much money I would have saved over the last four years if I had just followed that line of thinking? And you know, I have always managed to make that payment, even when I was unfortunately unemployed. Anyway, that still tickles me when I see this chart. Not to mention, I note with pride I didn't lose any of the buttons in all this time. I deserve a pat on the back for that, because nothing TICKS me off more than losing buttons, or else finding random buttons and having NO CLUE what I bought them for. But if I get the fabric for SOHRH, I am putting other stuff aside.

23 February 2008

Bought the floss for SOHRH

I went out at lunch yesterday and bought the floss. I bought DMC floss, because, well, the fabric is expensive, I just bought a bunch of stuff, and, frankly, I am too cheap to spend for the silk floss. HOHRH turned out pretty darn great with the DMC, so I am not worried about this. I am just hoping I picked the right fabric. I bought something called French Vanilla Swirl: . It looked good in the picture. I am bummed that Dower Legacy Linen doesn't come in a good color for this piece, cause that was great linen. Oh, well, can't have it all.

I have a suspicion I will have to do a lot of custom converting on this. I know that CHS does a great job converting to DMC, but there are some that are a little "off". I know that DMC 927 was listed as a blue and a pale jade green. Hrrrh? So I pulled DMC 772 for that section. But I also got 469-472 as well, just in case. And they had another funky color as a dark blue. I pulled 924 as well. 924 is a dark blue, if nothing else, that is a dark Williamsburg blue.

I am really customizing this one. So far I have decided that I am switching the wording on the center square and the house square. It just makes sense. And then flipping 12 and 8, and 1 and 11. And then altering the wording on the memorial square. I guess if I am going to do that, I should start looking for some sort of appropriate quote, shouldn't I? I think it is going to look good like that. There should be a balance of color, the verse would flow as:

"Beneath the blue of Heaven's dome, Lies the sea that fish call home, The moon above will guide my love, while he's far away from me, I'll wait for thee, my love at sea, Light the way, come what may."

That would sound good, right.

22 February 2008

Guess what I have in my hot little hands


And it's beautiful. I think I am going to make some changes to it to make it more personal and flow a little better for me. I don't know who that person the sampler is in memory of is, and it would be more relevant to me to change the wording to say in memory of the watermen.

I ordered fabric for it. I would have loved to have been able to buy a piece of that same Dower linen, but no one had it in the color I wanted. I bought a piece of Silkweaver instead.

21 February 2008

More Good Stitchy Mail

I have been getting lots of good packages. I got Secretariat in the mail, along with the running horse kit, on Tuesday. My order from Picture This Plus came last night--I love that little cat and dog. Finally, a designer that realizes that our pets do talk to each other, which I have suspected for YEARS. One of the ones I bought was called "Remember" and it's a tribute to the pets that we have lost. It's just the dog and cat looking off to the side. Very peaceful, but so beautiful. It might be kinda cool to frame that with a copy of the Rainbow Bridge poem. Or else a list of the pets that passed through our lives. Hmmm, will have to think on this one.

I am almost finished with the mouse. My father had surgery yesterday and I used the time in the waiting room to finish the tree branches, with a little bit of frogging. I just have to do the backstitch on this little guy now and he's done. I can't believe he took such a large chunk of the month. Oh well, at least I truly did make it Finish It February in that the only project I started was for the Bride's Tree SAL, and I finished that. Along with this, that is two finishes for the month. I promised myself to only work on UFOs and WIPs this month and I am doing really good, despite the fact that the new Cross Stitcher got to the stores, and it's got plenty of really cute small designs. I even found a sweet design of bears that Brea would love. But I can't work on that til March, as much as I want to get it started for you, B!

I will post a review of this magazine. It's one of their better issues, actually. Free Margaret Sherry kit, cute little bears, pretty pillow, nice issue.

18 February 2008

Good stitchy mail

I got home last night and these ( ) were in my livingroom. Aren't they adorable? I looked the pattern over and it doesn't seem devastatingly hard. The finishing, though, is beyond my skillset, so I am gonna take everything over to my LNS and have them finish everything. I think that is the best idea because why put all that work into the piece and then screw it up in the finishing? It is over one, though, so it might take a while to do.

I also got my box from Lena Rose. Someone on a board mentioned that Designs by Lena Rose was going out of business and was offering grab bags. I am like a fat girl on a Cheetoh about grab bags. I always have been. They were $15. Well, I spend $15 on nonsense, so $15 on stash is nothing! And that was a well-spent $15. There were several good charts I like, plus some I can sell (we are getting closer to a new computer, Dell has them on sale for $600, so I can get selling), but there was ALL KIND of fabric and specialty threads in there, plus little Mill Hill kits. We are talking Kreinek, Rainbow Gallery, Weeks, perle cotton, I mean GORGEOUS stuff. I got a nice big piece of green aida, and not a crappy green. This was a green you could stitch bunnies on or chickens. And a roll of white aida. If nothing else, I can dye that.

I've been itching to dye fabric again ever since I got my box of dyes out the other week. I have to find my instructions, but I want to do some more. I love doing it, it really is creating art. I finally have good dyes now. I was thinking of doing a piece for a beach scene, and maybe a peacock color. And the surprise element too, because you never know how it will turn out til it is finished. So, I plan on doing that really soon. Maybe Wednesday, since I am off that day.

17 February 2008

Leetle bit of clarifying

Just wanted to make sure that it was clear about taxes and Robbie. He isn't taxed, as far as I know I am not even required to have a license for him. What happened was that, to adopt him, I had to fly down to Texas, due to airline regulations about heat, and then I had to have him neutered. My mom had to loan me the money to pay for all that--it cost $100 more to have him neutered in Texas than here. So I want to get him paid off and her paid back--I keep having these annoying dreams they will repossess my "son" for some unseen reason that makes me declare bankruptcy and he ends up staring in a Capital One commercial. I know, silly . . .

My boyfriend thinks there has to be something wrong with me if I am not stitching. I didn't do any all Friday, and then just did a little bit yesterday. With football season over, we are geared up for NASCAR, which starts today (Go, Junior and Tony, go!). So it's pretty much habit to watch the race and stitch. Yesterday I just wasn't that into it. I guess because I am stitching piney tree branches and that gets SOOO boring. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful green, there's just A LOT OF IT. I am pretty sure I will be using up the whole skein of 3346 to do these tree branches. But when it's done, it will be so pretty.

15 February 2008

Lost my stitching mojo

I haven't stitched in a couple days. I am not sure why. I am trying to finish the Hollie mouse by the end of the month, but not sure if that will happen. It's funny, I thought I could have all these great finishes this month, but so far, I am having a not-good time stitching a tree branch. But I want it finished. I know this is just a couple days funk. I've been busy and then when I get home, I have been too tired to work. And I have been stressing about my income tax. I was missing one of my W-2s; it never got to the house. I finally managed to get a hold of the payroll person to ask for it, and she was like, "I mailed it out on X date." OK well I didn't get it, and I need my W-2. I was a little traumatized because last year I owed a great deal of money to the state, and was so worried that I didn't pay enough taxes. I was paranoid for no reason because I sat down this morning and did them online. It was quicker to do both online than my state taxes on paper.

So they are in now, I already have the dates when the refund will be in the bank, and I only HAVE to make a payment of $200 for Robbie, so I should have enough to get my SC subscription renewed, plus take the little dogs to the vet (which is gonna be really fun because the only medical information I have about Robbie is that he was neutered in August, he broke a tooth and it was root canaled, and he got a rabies shot in June of 2006 in another country. His shot record is in Dutch. My vet doesn't speak or read Dutch. Other than that, we'll probably just have to guess based on his sister. Woo hoo!

I probably will buy a little something stitchy, even if it's just the supplies for this:

These are the colors I want for my sewing room. Isn't this pretty.

My goodies are shipping, my goodies are shipping

I am starting to get the notices that things are shipping out to me. Yay! I should have my turtles this weekend. Yippee. I love those turtles. They would be so cute in my craft room, in a tiny little basket.

I have decided my craft room/our guest room is going to be decorated in a beach motif. I have not told SO this yet, but he said I could do whatever I want with it, and that is whatever I want. I have some nautical-themed stitching, and Shores of Hawks Run Hollow would go great in there--changing that one square that refers to the dead guy. He has the living room decorated with lighthouses (but not in a tacky way), and we do live in Maryland, and I have always loved the water, so this is a great way to tie it all together, and I am sure I can find a few nice pieces so it doesn't feel like a sewing room for when our guests visit. It would just be a matter of decided if we want to stick with sheers for the window to keep it airy, or try to find something a little heavier. I can see doing both, especially because we have that Dazor lamp, and the room faces west, so I am terrified that the magnifier will start a fire when we aren't there because we didn't put it out of the light far enough (Yes, I am a little paranoid). But wouldn't it be so nice to have a room that is just like the beach, with silvery blues, and sandy beiges, with photos of the seashore, and some stitching to come home to after a crappy day at work? Just like being on the beach, but without the sand flies. I could even put my little box of shark teeth I collected out, since they are one of my treasures.

Even my little turtles would fit in. They aren't sea turtles, but who's gonna know the difference?

14 February 2008

Fell so hard off the wagon I think I broke something

I was doing so well, and then I fell off. I blame the cats and dogs, I must have tripped over them.

I keep my shopping cart fairly full at my LNS. The cats advised me that, since I am the most awesome mother EVER, I could get Shores of Hawks Run Hollow for Valentines Day. And it was cheaper at the ONS than I could get elsewhere, so when I put it in the shopping cart, well, I had to buy everything else, because it was all in there and I am too lazy to remove it. But I did make sure I only bought what I really really thought I could stitch. It was still a lot.

And the dogs had decided I need the rest of the dogs and cats from Fire Wing Designs. So I had to buy those this morning--can't shop before Valentines Day! I don't know what I'll stitch them on, that is something we'll decide later.

And then I went on E-bay, but I am not going to kick myself over that. I got a great Roger reinardy kit of horses in the surf for half the price other sellers were charging, and Sporting Masters' Secretariat. I have wanted that forever. And of course that led to a visit to Needlecraft Corner, where I got the new Lizzie Kate LE kit from Nashville and the Quaker turtles. They were actually a really good deal. Everything but scissors for $30 US. Can't beat that! I have scissors, why pay extra for another pair. I like my Dovos--I better, for $40.

So that is all the purchasing I plan to be doing anytime soon. I would like to get the turtles done and made up. Those are adorable.

BTW, Happy Valentine's Day, ladies.

13 February 2008

Ice-covered, but here

We had a nasty ice storm last night, but I managed to get to work this morning. We started work late because of the weather, but since I was there, I decided to use the time to do my Valentines. I decided that, money being tight and SO being hard to shop for (he wanted hard candy), I would make him a bouquet from lollipops. And then I bought too many and decided that my parents needed one too. So we went over to Michael's and I picked out two votive holders and floral foam. I put sweet-tarts around the foam in Mom and Dad's and tied a ribbon around it. SO's just has a little heart charm. I have to say they are both really cute. Considering I have no flower arranging skills, I did good. I hope SO likes it. I bought him a stuffed animal, too, and two cards, one funny, one kinda cute.

Oh, and I found the coolest velvet covered candy box for that 1995 Cross stitch and country crafts magazine with the candy box. And the chocolate is good. Of course I had to eat it. I have a box for SO, this is for me!

11 February 2008

Nashville report

Somewhere on this site is a report from Nashville. There were a lot of cute designs. Just Nan was SPOT ON this time. Lots of cuteness there. Val's Stuff also had some great contributions. Their Feline Seasons is wonderful.

One of these days . . .

Taking the bull by the horns . . .

Or rather the scroll frame by the knobs.

I have had Sheila Hudson's Stunning Irises as a WIP for a while now. It's on the left-hand side of the screen right now. I had shame because I hadn't worked on it in forever. And why you may ask?

At CATS, I bought a fantastic scroll frame. It's great for working on dark fabrics because it sits at a slant, so the light passes through. It's light-weight, so I can flip it over. Wonderful.

Felix Anne found it. Felix is my lovely little cat. He was not meant to be your average cat. He almost died when he was 4 years old, and I've had him since then. He's tiny, so of course everyone treats him like a toy. Including Chancey when she was young, but that's another story, and he doesn't let her do that anymore. He's adorable,and, like most adorable men, he gets away with whatever he wants to do. And you can't get mad at him because, well, he almost died. He's delicate, except of course when he is bellowing out his dismay at something he feels you have done wrong. Yesterday, he started talking to me when I was coming up out of the basement. He looked so angry, I asked if he absolutely knew for certain what he was complaining about was true. He replied in a manner that clearly indicated, "No." I advised him that if he couldn't verify it, he shouldn't ought to be passing rumors like that. It made sense. Anyway, you always know where the most comfortable place in the house is because he is in it. And don't try to move him; he will talk smack about your mama.

So, after a few days of leaving my Stunning Irises on the scroll frame, I noticed it had a lot more cat hair on it than normal. We've pretty much given up fighting pet hair in my house. With three to four cats in it, plus the border mix, and two Schipperkes, AND my brother and I, both who have long hair, that is a fight we won't win, but I mean, this was a lot. One of my major quirks with black fabric is NO HAIR on it. They stand out more on black than any other color. So I was diligently brushing. I mean, I should have taken it off the scroll frame, but who does that every night.

And then I figured out what happened. Or who happened. Felix Anne (I gave him a middle name after my mother; it annoys her but it works surprisingly well as a name) has decided my scroll frame makes an EXCEPTIONAL kitty hammock.


I caught the little bugger in there just reclining and shedding all over it. Just a looking at me like, "What. I'm sleeping here," head on one of the rods and his bulk on my WIP.


When I got him off of it, it was coated in cat hair (I must have done something really bad for him to shed like that). There is nothing more depressing than a cat-hair covered WIP on scroll bars. So I put it away for a while. And cursed Felix.

But the other day I posted a pic of Chance posing next to it the night we got back from CATS (pre-hammock) and someone said how pretty it was. The picture is pretty; Sheila Hudson was having a good day that day when she was picking colors. And last night I decided that I would work on it. After I cleaned it.

Felix must have rutched (Pennsylvania Dutch word for wiggled) all over that piece, because that hair was ground in. It took me probably 30 minutes to get it to a level I can work with, just running tape over it. But I did managed to get it fixed and started working on it again. We were watching, "You've got mail," which I didn't like, so I made some good progress. I will get this finished--I want it off those scroll rods and finished. This is supposed to be a fair entry, so this is what I needed to get it done, I guess.

08 February 2008

Another finish and a UFO picked up again.

I finished my little snowman for the Bride's Tree SAL last night. He is absolutely DARLING. I wish I could get a pic of him to share, but we are still computerless, so this isn't happening for a while. I was worried about using the Impressions fabric in stripes, but it looks wonderful in it. I did change some of the colors on it. A snowman needs blue, after all.

This morning I picked up Sisters and Best Friends Over the Moon Fall Black Cat: . I started it sometime in the summer of 2006, and put it away because it has large areas of one color stitched in overdyeds, which is not my favorite way to do overdyed threads. I would like to get that finished this month. I have tomorrow off, so I think I can get a decent amount finished, maybe the cat and the pumpkin. The picture does not really do this chart justice. It uses some gorgeous colors: Weeks' Ocean, Sea Foam, and Peoria Purple, and GAST Spring Grass. They don't sound that pretty til you actually put them together. And then, beautiful. It is such a shame that S&BF is not designing together anymore. They really do have some wonderful, fun charts. But then, we can't have new designers succeed if older ones don't retire.

06 February 2008

The Good News and the Bad News

It was a good night and a bad night.

We need a new computer. My computer at home died. I realize it was going to happen anyway. It was 5 years old, and the cats are always sitting on it, and it has 5 million pictures on it. It was bound to die. But it sucks because I can't post photos on here til we get it replaced. I am checking with Dell. I hope to get something I can load PC stitch on. But this stinks. So no photos til that gets cleared up. I guess this kinda gets rid of the whole, "Can't spend frivolously" rule. But then again, if I am trying to start selling things, I need a computer, so it's not frivolous, right?

On the good news, I found another cache of British magazines, stuffed in other boxes in the basement. These were ones that I knew I had, but didn't know where I put them. I was starting to think that I had lost them forever. But I didn't.

I think this is all my magazines. I am not willing to bet my life, but I think it is. It just feels good to have things together. I was starting to get worried.

Mom said the funniest thing the other night. She is also trying to clean out her house, and she said, "I got rid of a bunch of magazines," and then gave this expectant look like, " You should do the same with these, are you really ever going to stitch all this stuff.. I told her my stitching magazines are NOT magazines, not in the traditional sense. They are a treasure trove and a resource. I have told her before that, if something were to happen to me, she should NEVER just sell my stitchy stash, at least not the magazines. I put a lot of time into that collection.

I've always let her know that, when I no longer need this stuff, I would like to have it donated to my alma mater, the University of Kentucky, to start a needlecraft collection. I envision it as a collection for the College of Fine Arts, so that needleworkers can come take a look at how we stitched in the late 20th to early 21st centuries. Some of the articles are astoundingly well-written. And think about it, when people look for research on the 19th century samplers, how many times do we wish we knew MORE. Here's a chance to endow with the MORE. And my acquiring nature is perfect to start it because I like gathering stuff and I tend to want to be as complete as possible. If I've reaffirmed nothing else to myself in organizing everything, it's that. LOL.

05 February 2008

I am SOOOO exhausted

Who needs to work out when you can just sort cross stitch magazines. I spent 4, yes 4 hours last night, pulling British magazines from 5 boxes I had stashed them in. I still have one more to go through. I started a box for American magazines, and that is about half full already. Amazing how little space my American magazines take up compared to their British brethren.

AND I FOUND THE MAGAZINE THAT, ALONG WITH THE SQUIRREL KIT, STARTED THIS WHOLE PROJECT. Woo hoo! I would Snoopy-style happy dance for you to show my joy, but I am too tired. Anyway, that takes a load off my heart.

Another good thing is that I found a bunch more charts that I wasn't sure where they were. And some kits. I think those things breed, but I can't be certain. I know I could not have bought all this stuff. I just couldn't have. Oh, wait, this is why I don't own a home. Or a foreign car. I had to pay for all this.

Mom helped me a little by organizing the WOXS magazines. She also kept Robbie-do occupied when he decided that he needed to "help" Mummy. Small dogs are not good organizers, so she held him and petted him. This was a huge help, especially when Nikki (the border collie mix) came in the room, too, to see what was going on. I had to chase her out--plumy tails, little dogs, cats and slick paper are not a combination ideal for succeeding in keeping things neat.

I did decide something important. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, and I am giving up spending frivolously for Lent. I think the one thing I am learning is I don't need ANYTHING. I can go an entire 40 days without purchasing a single cross stitch item, and not make a tiny dent in my stash. And I would be better off for it. It's going to be hard. But it's not just in the stitchy arena. I am not buying the dogs clothes. I am not buying lunch out unless it is for a special occasion, and that does not include, "It's Thursday and we just got paid." I am not buying clothes. I am just going to spend what I need to spend to get through.

So wish me luck.

04 February 2008

A finish and a much anticipated start

I finished my Autumn Acorn Sampler last night, and started my first ornament for the Bride's Tree SAL. I am already behind, but I think that I can get that finished and the February ornament done quickly.

My first major Hardanger finish turned out pretty good. There are some mistakes on it. I screwed up--geez, I don't even know how to describe it, but when you form your Kloster blocks, I didn't get the direction started right. I am not fixing it. It takes a lot for me to say that, being Miss Perfectionist. But I am not fixing it. It's done. It was not an easy project. I think I did OK on the needleweaving, and my dove's eyes are alright. I want to work on getting my tension a little better so I can wrap the bars tighter, because mine are bulky, but I need to find someone who does Hardanger to ask, and, for as helpful as my LNS staff is, I don't think they do a lot of hardanger, so are not the best to ask. I don't know who IS proficient at Hardanger, though, at least not around here. SO asked what I wanted to do with it. I told him I am not sure. Money is a little tight right now, and I haven't gotten my W-2s from my part-time job yet, so it's not gonna be done any time soon. I am leaning towards a pillow for the finishing. That is simple, it's fairly inexpensive, and I can store it when it's not autumn.

I think I was able to do this because the Super Bowl sucked right up until the end last night. Even the commercials for the most part stank. I liked the Clydesdale one, but the Careerbuilder ones were heinously disgusting. Especially the one where the woman's heart came out of her chest. WTF? It was so offensive that I am seriously considering taking my resume off their website. NONE of theirs were good. And the game went so slow . . . but it was good for me. I got stitching done.

I am enjoying the ornament I am stitching. It's from the 2007 ornament issue, by Julia Lucas (thank you Jennifer for pointing out that one). I found the perfect piece of linen in my stash, too. I am going to leave off the Welcome part. I am not giving it to anyone, so I don't need it. I don't think this should take that long to get done.

I also got my new stash from Marilyn's in the mail. The piece of linen I bought for half price to do Veggies on is PERFECT. The colors look gorgeous on it. I can not wait to start this project, but I am going to wait til at least March. I am resolving to get a couple great finishes this month on some UFOs. I have so many things in my stash that I could finish without a lot of effort if I just sat down, focused on finishing them and followed through. But there is something so alluring about playing with bright new floss that playing with something I already started doesn't give me. I should get over this. I could save so much money by just finishing stuff, LOL.

01 February 2008

Friday not so foolishness

Just wanted to post a personal happy dance.

I am 28 days soda-free.

This is a big deal for me. The longest I have ever gone before was 6 weeks. I am two weeks off my all time record.

It is killing me. I almost broke 4 or 5 times now. But why would I want to do that. Far easier to just keep going and drinking ANYTHING but soda than to keep restarting and doing this to myself. I am drinking iced tea to beat the band.

I have learned that tea in plastic bottles, unless packaged by Galliker's Dairy, SUCKS. Glass bottled tea is better. Tea made in the iced tea maker is best.
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