31 March 2008

The best-laid plans . . .

I meant to get some stitching done this weekend. By some, I mean, a lot. Did I, though? Nope. Just a little. Crud.

I finally figured out why March went so fast. I can't have a day to just sit around and do nothing. I worked Saturday. We made a poster for the box office. It was really cute. We were using dressmaking markers, which were like spraypaint, so I was pretty high on accident by the time I finished coloring my monkey. It was fun, I haven't colored in forever.

I intended to sit and stitch yesterday. But SO wanted to take his racecar to the track. In horseracing, this would be called breaking the maiden, but I don't know about car racing--different kind of horsepower. He did really well. Extremely well, really. He didn't drive the car, the guy who built it for him did. He ran it twice, the first time was 11.69, the second 11.56, on the quarter mile. If you run faster than 11.50, you have to have a rollcage, or you get thrown out. Steve could have made the car do under that, but the first pass, he forgot how much power the car had and didn't get a good start--still ran faster than the other car--and then the second, for some reason he didn't start when it greenlighted. It was cool, though, he gave the other car 4 lengths, and still beat its time. SO was so happy afterwards. He had been nervous before--"Bad stuff always happens at the track"--but he was really happy after it did so well. But, my LORD, was it cold at the track! I was hoping we were not going to spend all day out there, and we ended up not, because SO was just in long-sleeved tees. I was trying to hide behind him, out of the wind, but it didn't work.

After we got home, we decided to take a nap, so no chance to stitch there, LOL. I did get a little chance to stitch while we were watching Axe Men. I did start my Margaret Sherry mice. They are coming along. I really like that blue marbled DMC--I can see that used for a lot of things.

Today I have picked my cat afghan up again. I am trying to get the square I started finished today, so I have that finish for this month. I better get a-stitchin', I think, LOL. Actually I don't have a lot more to do, just finish the top cat, and do some backstitching. Hopefully, our local PBS station will have finished their fundraising drive and Antiques Roadshow will be back on. I stitch a lot during that.

28 March 2008

Friday Foolishness: It's Prom Season

And in that spirit, I present

Duct tape prom

I only found this site because one of my co-workers was a prior contestant (which makes me feel old). I am not sure how to take this site. It's innovative, and creative. Far more creative than we ever were able to be in the early 90's--I went to a school who had, "I will always Love You" as the prom theme 3 years in a row, if this gives you an idea of how we were, though, in all fairness, the early 90s were not the best years for music and "I'm Too Sexy" would have been COMPLETELY inappropriate as a theme. But at the same time, this is PROM. Someday, 30 years from now, these people will have children who will wonder what the HECK their parents were thinking when they look at some of these photos. And, probably, had this contest even been around back in 1994, the school wouldn't have let someone enter prom in a duct-tape dress. I know my mom wouldn't have let me out the house in one--she was upset because I bought a knee-length dress and she felt it should be ankle-length, but I had good legs and I wanted to show them off. Not that I got the chance because my date was an ass and bailed on me when it was too late to get a date and I spent prom night at Chichis with my underclassman friends, eating Mexican fried ice cream and dreaming of payback (BTW, the girl he bailed on me for was about twice my size and had a bad perm and cankles, and, although we were not sure if this happened before or after their marriage, she bailed on him and refused to return the $5000 engagement ring. You decide who came out ahead on that deal.)

Back to the original topic, though, because this is not about my prom experience, I do think this is interesting, though. My co-worker advised me that it is not a comfortable wearing experience, and rendered him sweaty. I can only imagine. But he did say it was waterproof--pretty awesome and good to know. Generation X was all about the protest; think of all we could have accomplished if we'd had less righteous indignation and been more like Generation Y.

We've decided that, for the next premiere at the theatre, we are making duct tape ensembles. I've decided I need a duct tape tube top--as long as I pair that sucker with a modest skirt,heck a ballgown skirt, maybe a nice light-weight cardigan, I am in compliance with the dress code. It's creative, it's theatrical, it's fascinating.

I don't know which would be worse

Invisible cows or that giant cow in Houses of Hawks Run Hollow.

Almost finished

I have just a little bit more to do on Creepy and it's finished. Yay! I should be able to get it done by lunch today, then stitch the little buttons on.

I decided to indulge myself this weekend and start another project. It's not on my list, it doesn't follow my theme, but I think, after this week, I need something cheerful and rule-bending. So I am starting a design from Margaret Sherry from Cross Stitcher last summer of three little mice floating on water. It's adorable and I even have the fabric they use in the model. Pretty rare for me to do that. But it made me smile and I have wanted to work on it ever since.

27 March 2008

Not much going on

It's pretty boring here in my area of the blogosphere.

I really didn't get any stitching done last night. I worked until 6:30 to make up for my doctor's appointment today. (which went well, BTW) Then headed over to the theatre to watch our latest production. I didn't think it would look too good to be sitting in the lobby, stitching, especially with the press there, so I sat in my car and stitched. It was a good show, it had been FOREVER since I saw a professional play, heck, probably when I went with Brea to see Phantom of the Opera, and I forget exactly what visit that was--I think it was when I came down during the DC sniper shootings, and, really, I was a little frazzled during those three weeks. Having a helicopter circling your head with a man with a machine gun in the door while you're running out to your car to get lunch will do that to a girl. Anyway . . .

The play was pretty good, but it ran long, and when I got home, I wanted to go to bed. And I was at the doctor at 8 this morning. So I been sitting here, trying to finish Creepy. It's slow going.

I am a little disappointed that it's the end of the month, and i don't have more finishes. What happened to March? Why did it go so fast?

26 March 2008

I had enough

Let me explain, I am a difficult patient. I hate all things medical with a passion, except dentistry, which I find absolutely fascinating and rewarding, because usually things get fixed the day you complain about them to the dentist, unlike the doctor where you have to get referrals, go to out of the way places and then sit around and worry if someone at the insurance company screwed up and you get the bill for a surgery in the mail (ask me how I know these things happen). I don't like taking medication, I don't like going to the doctor--I always feel stupid because there is rarely anything really ever wrong with me, and I get really discouraged when I hear them tell me I need to lose weight. Hospitals freak me out. My worst nightmare (well, other than losing a family member in a terribly tragic way and getting screwed by the system, but that actually happened, so I guess it's not my worst anymore) is to be stuck in a hospital on bed rest. SO is hoping, if we do have kids, we won't have multiples for financial reasons; I am hoping we won't have them because I don't want to be on bedrest. Anyway . . .

And I don't like not being able to do what I want. This darn splint, which, granted, I was in love with on Monday when I had just had my wrist not so daintily manipulated by an X-ray tech and it hurt like I don't know what, is just a nuisance today. So I have taken it off for a few hours, and I almost feel back to normal. Granted, if I type for a while, it is going to hurt, but right now, I can go around sans wrap.

My stitching speed has picked up, even with using the overdyeds. They are a little tricky to work with, so I've delegated right hand to be the hand that holds the hoop, if just for today. I normally switch back and forth, but I just think, given that the outside part is still pretty sore, it shouldn't be handling the needle--you never realize what a workout your hands and wrists take stitching til you have an injury. The whole hand flexes to pull the needle through, your fingers move to correct the tension, it's really beautiful. It's a pleasant rest for it, able to contribute something, but leaving the hard work for left hand.

I am still plugging away at SamSarah's freebie, Creepy. I think I am going to give this to SO for a Halloween present. He took an interest in it and, come on, he gave me a whole room to use for my stitching. My goal is to get a picture of his racecar charted and give that to him. I know the owner of White Willow Stitching , who happens to be a wonderful, giving woman, but don't have the courage yet to ask her to chart it for me. She's done custom work before, though, and her charts are awesome. I even found a really cool saying to put somewhere on it: "Yes, it's fast, no, you can't drive it." I think he would like that. But, at the same time, I still need to get his Christmas stocking finished, and the other White Willow piece I am stitching done (it's at the bottom of her WIPs page, I am proud that I got this far, LOL), and this freebie.

I don't know how far I will get on this tonight. I am going to see the latest play the theatre I work at is producing. It's a short play, but I still won't get home til 9:30 at the earliest. But I have between now and showtime to work on it, and it's about 2/3 finished. So not too bad.

Have I mentioned this site?

I've heard them mentioned (in the Washington Post no less), but they have really really really cute fabrics.

The first thing I intend to do when I get my sewing machine (in the next month or so) is make myself some simple cute dresses, in interesting fabrics. I am working on losing weight, but I would be much happier if I had a sheath dress in this fabric. Or at least in this one. I at least remember enough from AJ's class to remember how to do something simple.

It's a neat site, even just to look at fabrics for finishing stitchery. I have got to find something to use this fabric on:


When the going gets tough, the tough adapt

I got home last night, realized that I was cranky and it was because I could not stitch, and realized I had to do something about it. So I pulled out my lap frame and worked on a project.

It really wasn't too big of a deal. I propped the bad arm on top of the frame--it wasn't like it was going anywhere anyway and the velcro band pretty much held it in place. I usually keep my right hand on top anyway, cause I can stitch better with it up there anyway. I am a leftie, so the right hand seems to work only when being watched.

So I just spent the whole night stitching. It was slow progress. I'll admit that, but, then again, I AM a member of the walking wounded, LOL. And I was stitching on my Stunning Irises, which seems to be the never-ending project. It's getting there though, I am going to shoot to have it finished by the end of May, because it is a very striking picture.

25 March 2008

One darn thing after another

I am not stitching this week. Not from lack of mojo, not from lack of desire.

I sprained my wrist and it hurts too bad to stitch.

The whole story is on my other blog, Confessions of a Recovering Fat Girl, which you can get to through my profile. At least I can still walk on a treadmill. I just can't stitch.

At least I get to go have a talk with my doctor about how to lower my BP without taking meds. This is a good thing. But I wish I didn't have to go to the ER to get my butt to the doctor.

I have a little WIP here to look at, but at this point, it's worse than giving me a cake and saying, "You can't eat that."

I may go fondle some silks.

22 March 2008

I thought it was spring . . .

Easter can't happen in the winter, right?

So why is it that, today, which happens to be the first day in months I put on a skirt and actually wear it outdoors, and which also happens to be the day before Easter, is it snowing? Anyone got an answer? Anyone? Anyone. Bueller? Bueller?
Winter has had three months to spit snow. Heck, it can even have part of November. It's March. Last weekend, it was gorgeous. This week it's snowing. I love Maryland in March.

Anyway, true to my word, I didn't do a lot yesterday, other than find those sites I posted. I found a cute freebie on My Aunt's Attic of a little songbird. Since I had some 40 count pale yellow linen, I decided that it would be really cute stitched in blues as sort of a Provence-feel to it. I could make a cute little pincushion with that, or else make a sachet. I've discovered I sleep much better when I put a sachet of lavendar under the pillows (you can still smell it), and since I have lavendar bushes, well, that would be pretty cool to have my own sachet, made with my little hands, with my own lavendar, under the pillows. Will have to work on that.

And of course, I am here at my PT job, without the floss to do the little bird. Bugger, bugger, bugger. But I do have LHN Heart of America to work on--I am anything if not well-prepared. These are times when I am glad I buy too much stuff.

21 March 2008

Another cool link

There is some great stuff on here if you like vintage charts. I found some that, even though I am not a biscornu gal, I would a biscornu just to use the pattern. There is even a bat looking design here:

Not so Friday Foolishness: Happy Birthday Grandpa!

Teacups up or mason jar of coffee, or whiskey.
100 years ago today, my grandfather was born. He died October 10th, 2000, but he is celebrating in Heaven.

He was a pretty neat guy. I guess we all think our grandfather is the coolest, but mine was up there.
He loved horses with a passion, and he passed that on to my brother and I. He told me once he never rode a horse in his life, but he drove a team of horses til he was 90 years old, and he never plowed a field unless it was behind a horse. When he was 80, he decided he wanted some mules, and ended up with 3, Jack, Jill and Jenny; they were his pride and joy, along with his beloved Tom, the horse he bred for my brother. He was a farrier of some repute, and a moonshiner (along with my beloved gramma). He was a coalminer in the winter, and a farmer in the summer. He taught us cowboy songs, like Red River Valley and Billy Vanero, but he couldn't carry a tune, so I don't actually know how to "sing" the latter, we just kinda mumbled it, but it does seem that when I sing to horses when I'm riding, they prefer the cowboy songs. He had a soft spot for the unloved, the neglected, those creatures, both human and animal, most of us pass up as unworthy of our attention, and he taught me there is something to be valued in EVERYONE.

And so, I want to raise my teacup up to him today, on his hundredth birthday. I am honored that I was chosen to be HIS granddaughter. I'd say a party is being held in his honor in heaven, but if I know him, he's across the Rainbow Bridge today, in his cowboy hat and overalls, in the meadow where his horses run, under a shade tree, taking a nap. And that is perfect.

20 March 2008

Monochromatic freebies

Got this site today. Looks like some nice things here on a quick look.

I will have to look further tomorrow. We're going to have a super slow day at work, so won't have a lot else to. I guess I could go walk on the treadmill at the gym at lunch or print the nice freebies I find off. LOL

I got an urge . . .

to finish things.

I guess it's because I keep seeing all these gorgeous finishes in the blogosphere, but I am really starting to want to finish things. I have two boxes of unframed finishes--my secret shame, y'all--that need to have something done with them and it's time to start.

Thanks to my aunt, I know how to do the cubes now, but I had so much fun with that little tuck from Sanman, and I was thinking Magic Hat would be wonderful as a little plaque (that doesn't look right, but I can't spell today) on the wall. That way, it's cute, and I wouldn't have the usual guilt and tension that accompanies my seasonal framed things (this is too pretty to hide away til Christmas, what if one of the cats breaks the glass between now and then). And flat folds, well those just look easy peezy to make.

I know I am still learning and I need to improve my skills. My ornaments aren't that great yet. Maybe because I can only do no-sew. But they are still pretty decent. Decent enough for second place at the fair, LOL.

19 March 2008

Didn't get to stitch last night

It rained last night and took forever to get home. And I was running around, taking care of SO's dogs. Sneaky little devils conned me out of a whole bowl of food, not the 1/4 of the bowl their daddy gives them. They were insistent that that was the correct ration and that if it were not, they wouldn't have been able to eat it all. SO wasn't mad about it, though, he just didn't give them their cookies. I spent some quality time with them--Shaka wanted his belly rubbed after dinner, so of course, I rubbed it for him. How could one ignore an offered belly, especially a pit bull belly?

I finally have a lightbulb in the lamp in the sewing room. Yay! Now I can stitch in there in good light, at night. I did find in Michael's yesterday the most perfect decorative accessories for my nautical theme. I have pretty much singled out what I have to have at full price, a pillow with a crab on it, and some little votive holders. But they had really cute shutter hooks that I realized would be great to use for the curtain tieback when I find the curtains I want for in there. The couple other little things can wait til they go on clearance in a couple weeks. I asked SO to help me with the curtain rods, because the last owner or tenant or whatever they were took the curtain rods and the hardware with them when they left. What a wierd thing to take. Anyway, we have to buy new and put it up.

OHHHH, I forgot to mention this. I finally own a beautiful piece of cross-stitched clothing. We went to a bazaar at a Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Sunday and they had a table where the proceeds went to benefit orphans, and there was this really lovely blouse with stitching on it. It's really simple, high neckline, gathered sleeves, simple embellishment in red and black, but it will be so pretty over heels and dark denim jeans. And it went for a good cause, plus it was a HECK of a deal, just $15. I couldn't beat that, even if I bought a shirt and stitched on it.

They had a lot of stitching there. A table was selling psanky (I know it isn't spelled right, but they are Ukranian eggs). My mom collects them, but the guy who was selling the eggs is a stitcher! He had beautiful stitched religious Easter pieces, and he says stitching is his business. That is pretty cool. He was younger than me, and I like to see men of my generation stitching. Even though my brother knows how to stitch--he taught me, for Heaven's sake--he won't do it. I guess he's worried that his friends will think less of him, but this guy was proud of his substantial talent, and that is wonderful.

18 March 2008

I wonder if I could count this as a small

I was leafing through my magazines last night and found the May 2001 Stitcher's World. If you have this one, it's the issue with the little Cute as a Bug design by BOAF on the cover. Which is a cute design, but I don't have a reason to stitch it. Anyway, I was looking through the magazine, which I love to do, because I have an affinity for the older designs--funny, this is a 7-year-old magazine and I am saying it is older, but I think the designs were better earlier, at least in the American mags--because I compete with my stitching and I worry someone else will stitch the same thing better than me--AAACK! Anyway, I found the cutest little purse design. It's a beehive, with little bees and blackberries all around, and a fancy beaded fringe. Very artsy. The magazine shows it in needlepoint, which I can not do, but also has instructions for cross stitch.

I want to do it. It's adorable. It's quirky. It's unusual, especially if I can rock the beaded fringe. It would be quick to stitch, not too bad to finish, either. And . . . it's a potential fair entry. It's only 4 3/4 by 9 1/3 inches long and there really isn't a lot of stitching involved. This is more about the finishing. I guess I could try to get it started. I should be done with Creepy by the end of the week, I'll have time.

And it doesn't necessarily have to be a PURSE, it could be a needlebook. Lord knows I need one of those. I did load up on 28 petite needles on Friday, because I want to use them for Pointsettias and Pinecones, which I am doing on 40 count. I know, I really don't want to have useful eyes by the time I am 60, do I? But what's the point of buying them if I have no place to store them, and I am rapidly coming to the realization that sticking my spare needles in the selvedge of projects is NOT a viable storage option. They don't stay there, for one thing. One day, when we are cleaning out the house, we're gonna find them all over the floor, in between the floorboards, probably under the stove. SO found one in the carpet in the livingroom, I put it in my drawer in the dresser, it's probably wodged in the dresser boards now.

17 March 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone

I hope everyone is having a wonderful St. Patrick's Day. Not much going on here today. Busy working at Creepy. Trying to get it done.

16 March 2008

Some Photos I hope

At long last, I can share some photos. My brother allowed me to use his laptop and camera, so I can post.

The finishes are as follows:

Mouse by Hollie Designs.
Magic Hat by Sanman Originals
To the Moon and Back by Waxing Moon. I actually finished this right after it was released, but I found it in a box and I haven't shared a photo of it.
the first square of my cat afghan. This is SO much fun to work on.
Creepy by Samsarah--I pulled this out this weekend and realized I took one stitch on it when I first got it, so I worked on it while we were watching the tournaments yesterday.
Shores of Hawks Run Hollow. I think I am going to do some editing.
and Sanman By The Sea. Very fun to do, very cute

15 March 2008

Woodlawn Plantation Show

I visited the 45th Annual Woodlawn Plantation Needlework Show in Alexandria, Virginia, yesterday. It was a nice show, though I will never understand how they judge that sucker. We used to joke that if you were a man and entered something, you automatically won. This is not so true anymore.

It seems to me that there were far fewer big cross stitched pictures this year. There were the standard Lavendar and Laces and Miribilias, along with the gigantic samplers, but not a lot of just straight large pieces. Interesting and unexpected. A lot of my favorites got hosed--there was a gorgeous photo-to-chart of a sunset through tree branches that got NOTHING. That would make me so mad as a stitcher. And a huge TW Peacock Tapestry got squat. Since I attempted that piece (attempted, not finished) I know how much work went into it, and it would irk me if that was my piece. BUT, and this redeems the show in my estimation, a very lovely rendition of the Mary Beale Advent Calendar, done over 1, won a ribbon. It was stunning, and I want that pattern now. More than I did before.That thing will be huge when completed. I was, as always inspired by the canvaswork. I think that may be something I take up next, but not sure. I am starting to really enjoy using different stitches and creating different textures. It's fun and they have stunning work there.

It was also a chance to see Nelly Parke Custis' needlework. It was on pretty good shape for being 200 years old. And I have to say, I thought one of her footstools was an entry. So when anyone says to me, "I don't stitch with the idea of it being passed down," I am going to remember Nelly's footstools. She didn't probably do that either, and they were probably used--imagine how many muddy feet were plopped on those footstools--and yet, here they are. Not to mention, and this was pointed out to me by a fan of antique samplers, the whole idea of only working on samplers with clean hands and never getting the fabric dirty is just hooey. Back in the day, women didn't bathe as much, and I am sure they didn't wash their hands after cooking and taking care of kids and working in their flowerbeds. Well, maybe they did if they were ladies, but probably not as often, and so dirt and grease got on the samplers and some managed to last til now. Perhaps they formed a protective coating against time. I do know sunlight damages materials, maybe it didn't bother those old samplers becuase they didn't have as many windows due to the cost of glass? I don't know, but it just goes to show you, you don't have to treat your needlework like bone china, it can take a little bit of stress. HOHRH was sorely abused over its two years in creation--Chancey sat on it, it got hauled to 4 states in a car, I ate while working on it, and it still was up for Best of Show. So there ya go. But I still keep my trusty Tide-to-Go pen nearby. Works like a champ.

And of course, i had S.E.X. yesterday. Not much, but enough. They didn't seem to have that skein of Belle Soie I needed, so have to order that, but i got a couple cute charts, including an advent calendar.

13 March 2008

Changing the format a little

I am working on improving the reading experience for this blog, so decided to play a little with the comments format. I switched it so that you don't have to have blog on here to comment--which should make it better if someone uses a different format--and I have decided to moderate the comments. Not that I would do anything to comments about my blog, but I got a couple spam comments, and I am not into that. So this should help a little.

Not much is happening today. My friend Kathy sent me the newest WOXS, so that was in the mailbox last night. It was a pretty good issue. They had a story about the designer, Alison's Animals. She does very detailed and cute cartoony animals. She did another one for one of the issues in December. The story said she was looking for someone to do her work in cross stitch. Any cross stitch companies out there, you should pick up her work. It's adorable.

I am about three quarters of the way finished with the chicken pillow. I think I may just work on that tonight to get it finished. It is pretty darn cute, in an elegant way. But I am telling Mom, it better not end up on the couch with the dogs and cats. Robbie, being of a noble bent, will certainly try to lay all over it, and that is the last thing I need--I don't care how many countries he holds championships in and that he has some of the most gorgeous fur in Schipperkedom, dog hair is dog hair is dog hair.

I am taking the day off of work tomorrow to get a makeover for spring at the salon, then go the Woodlawn show in Alexandria, and then get hot wings for dinner for SO and myself. I don't know what I am more excited about, LOL. At this point, the hot wings are out in front, but I am so excited about the other things, too. I haven't cut my hair in almost 18 months, so it's halfway down my back. I decided it needs to be cut because I need two bottles of haircolor now, and, at $20 a box, if I need two, I really am not saving much doing it myself. SO just asked that it not be short, because he knows how long it takes to grow out (yeah, about 18 months) and that I get antsy when it's in my face. He's right, so I can accomodate that. And I do love the Woodlawn show. It always inspires me; hopefully, this year, the cross stitchers will have a stronger presence than they did before. I didn't enter anything because it is kind of expensive to enter things, and I didn't have anything that I thought was "up to snuff", but next year, I might. It's still fun to go, because you never know who you will see things from. There were gorgeous hand-embroidered costumes from a guy in Kentucky. So beautiful. And all the cool canvaswork. I am not a needlepointer, but it's so pretty.

12 March 2008

Progressing nicely

I have my little chicken at my desk at work, and it's coming along nicely. I think I worked on it maybe three hours yesterday and it's about a quarter finished. If I could get off here, I would have it done by the end of the day today.

My cat afghan is coming along really well. That first little corner, with Holly and Ivy
on it is really looking sharp. I wasn't sure that it would look as good because the model is stitched on white and I am doing it on cream, but it looks fine. I decided that I would pick the four cats who best represented the seasons and do them in the corners, so Holly and Ivy represents winter. Spring was hard to figure out, but Catch a Tail is going to be Autumn (I may fudge the colors a little--that is a very yellow yellow). Give Me a Kiss was my choice for spring, but I may change that. This is my choice for summer. It looked really patriotic, and that really is my idea of summer, patriotic.

Mom did ask what the cats were doing sitting on the quilts. I think she wanted to know what they were doing. I assume, based on years of cat ownership, that some fights are about to start. Cats, at least mine, usually don't do well with sharing.

OH, BTW, if anyone who reads this blog is looking for either the Olde Colonial Designs Rooster Pillow (Pumpkin?), Lizzie Kate Big Girl Panties, or Just Nan's LE Peter Cottontail, my LNS, The Stitching Post still had a lot of them left. They do mail order.

11 March 2008

Slightly annoyed over this article

I guess I am a little sensitive about things like this, but I find these photos to be so utterly degrading.

I am what would be considered a classic nerd, when you define nerd as a smart person. I got good grades in high school and college. History and English, with a focus on American Lit, were my focus, other than my theatre and business courses. And I got good grades, because there was no reason to get otherwise. And in college, my parents were paying for it, so I didn't want to waste their money. I was not a social butterfly, but I have really NEVER looked like these girls. When I was 18, Melrose Place was popular and I ran around in those mini-skirt suits, and I never looked like these girls. I spent quite a lot of time disproving the very idea of these pictures and it cuts that people still picture "nerds" as these girls.

But I guess what gets to me the most is that they actually gave these women ZITS in these photos. Why would they do that?

I think I am just having a really bad day because I see this after I hear Dr. Laura say on the Today show that women whose men cheat on them didn't take care of their men enough. OK, I realize that I should keep this about cross stitch, but that smarted. When I was 23, I was with a man who took full-on advantage of me. I stayed with him through a lot of things that other women wouldn't put up with. When he lost his job, I paid for him to go to college. I was 23. I was making $10 an hour and I paid for him to go to college, I charged it on my Mastercard. I loved his son like he was my own and if you want to get some dirty looks, be 23 walking around with an 8 year old--people look at you like you are dirt. And he cheated on me. We busted him with hickies on the side of his neck and I can remember whoever she was called when I was there. He tried to tell me that it was his professor, but I knew good and well, he had his "boyfriend" voice on. He left me a week later. Anyway, my point is, I took care of that man. I don't even think I treat SO as good as I treated him. I learned my lesson, and SO is a real man. But I didn't DO anything to deserve to be cheated on. I was so furious at Dr. Laura, I told her to go F herself. Or well, I told the TV. I normally don't yell at the TV, but it took a while to get OK with what happened (not at the least because I had to repay the loan on the CC and take his sorry ass to court, where he never showed), and I don't have time to hear that I was remotely responsible for him cheating because I was busy making sure his dreams came true. By the way, Dr. Laura, you haven't aged well since the last time you opened your mouth and something stupid fell out. I might have not made my old man faithful, but my new man is pretty dang sexy, and he thinks I am cute, and I wouldn't have had the chance to be with him if I had done "enough" for my old man.

Anyway, that's enough ranting for today. I apologize for straying off topic. Usually I leave that for Fridays. I guess we can blame this rant on the time changing.

I just realized

I have done more Sanmans this year than I have done in the past 6 years of being online. I just finished my 4th, and before that, I think I had two finishes, one of which I have managed to misplace (big shocker, right?). But they are such HAPPY charts. I guess I've developed a theme to my stitching for 2008: the year of stitching happily. 2007 was the year of stitching masterpieces, 2008 is a new year with a new theme.

I am starting the Rooster pillow at lunch today. If it takes more than a week, I will be shocked. But I am also working on my Diane Graebner cat afghan. I have sorta figured out a rotation for all these projects. Something simple at work. The cat afghan at home on the weeknights, and SOHRH on the weekends. I think that will work for right now. I would like to have that afghan to enter in the fair. That is my goal for it. I have the first square about 1/3 of the way done. The quilts are a little tricky to work on, but it's fun.

10 March 2008

Gonna have another finish soon

I am hoping to have another small finished tonight. It's a San Man tuck banner, By The Sea. I worked at it yesterday at my part time job, and I just have a little bit left. I would have had it done sooner, but I managed to spill red Koolaid on my first attempt on Thursday, so I am a little behind. Let me tell you, it was beyond depressing to look down at my little Koolaid-stained WIP. I considered rinsing it out, but I pitched it. And I was more careful with this one.

I must pat myself on the back for not, in the two years I have had this little chart and charm, losing the charm. Losing the charm is pretty much Standard Operating Procedure for Me, so this is a big deal. I had to swap out some of the colors, but I think the floss I chose for the lettering goes really well with the tuck banner and the charm.

Next up is a chicken pillow for Mom. She tried to get me to buy the kit on Saturday, but it was $24 and I spent A LOT of money at my LNS. So she bought it, and requested I stitch it for her. It's a rooster with scissors; she doesn't understand why there are scissors on it, and, to be honest, I don't either. So I am going to center it and remove the scissors. It should look OK. It's a pretty pillow; it's sorta like toile, with tiny little chickens on it. I would love to know where places get these cool fabrics. It's not at Joanne's.

09 March 2008

Not very stitchy, but pretty cool

This is my SO's Mustang, getting dyno tested back in November. It's not quite this color anymore. It has a silver body now, and everything from right below the windows up is sparkly black. If I can't have navy and silver, I'll take sparkly black. We like sparkly! This car is his pride and joy. He literally bought the car with high mileage, removed everything, and has it to the point that it's faster than a Cobra, and I am so proud of him.

I don't listen to this with the sound on. Apparently, it is pretty loud. SO enjoyed pointing out the guy who resisted putting his hands over his ears. He said he was pretty cocky til they fired the thing up, LOL.

Besides, I can always repaint the Neon sparkly navy blue and silver.

Yeah . . .

I'll have to discuss this with him.

I took the plunge

OK, now I know I was supposed to be working on smalls this entire month. And I am trying very hard. BUT, the fabric for SOHRH came in the mail on Friday night, and I Had to start it. I finished the outline and the wording of Squares 6 and 7. I am not sure if I am happy with how I have laid out the wording--I have to take a look at it with fresh eyes--but I love the fabric. It's not yellowish, like the model, but it's a really creamy,peachy brown, which looks fine. I have already had to change the red used in the flag on the ship. The DMC conversion was for 3858, a berry red, but when you look at all the colors together, that didn't make sense, or look good, so I switched it to 815.

We went to my LNS, the Stitching Post, yesterday. I had my income tax refund, so it was like being a kid in a candy store. I tried to keep my purchases simple, but well . . . I did have a good time.

I do have to stop shopping. And I think I have reached saturation point. I got the skeins of threads I needed for the new L*K LE, and an older one I had all but one skein for. I found a really gorgeous piece of Heatherfield in White Birch for the Diane Grebner I kitted up the other day, Sharing with my Kits. I thought the little flecks of blue and brown would go really well with her dress. And the cow would stand out better. It is 26 count fabric, though, that could be fun. If I do it over one, and I probably will, I will need to use my magnifier. These eyes aren't as great as they used to be.

On a side note, it's spring, and time to take down the winter and holiday stitched pieces. I don't have a lot of large pieces, but I definitely want to put something up that is cheery and springy. Maybe Iris and Friends. I haven't actually had that up on the wall yet. And I have a bellpull by Sanman to put up as well. Most of my framed stuff is summery--how did that happen, LOL?

07 March 2008

Awesome stitchy mail last night

I got home last night and had heaps o' stash waiting for me, all guarded by my lovely little Lilybet, our beautiful black kitty.

Along with an ebay win from one of my favorite sellers, which is pictured above, I had 5 Prairie Schoolers. FIVE. Homestead Holiday and these . I love them. There is even a little lighthouse ornament. Pam pointed it out the other day, and well, we got to stitch that. My Secret Needle Night kit was also in the box. AND, I finally got the DVD of "The War," with Kevin Costner, which is absolutely my favorite movie of all time, even though it didn't do well in the theatre. So it was a good mail night.

I didn't have a lot of stitching time last night. SO has been a little antsy because he is almost done his race car, and it's getting painted this weekend. I have been trying to keep him calm, but it's hard. He designed this car from the ground up, and he's done such a great job with it. It's a Mustang he made more powerful than a Cobra. I am so proud of him, because it was a huge project, and he's had to do a lot of learning on the fly. He's almost finished, just needs better fuel injectors and shocks and this snazzy paint job. I tried to talk him into doing silver and Cowboys blue, but he's going with silver and black with a flake in it. Hey, as long as it's not Redskins colors. It is going to look superhot when it's finished. Lord knows it's fast; he took me for my first ride in it on Christmas Eve and it was pretty lively. But he sounded like he needed to just talk and work through the nerves and I wanted to do that for him. Besides, he is going to have to deal with me when I start gearing up for the fair, and that is not pretty. Especially if I am baking. But I got some work done this morning on it, and it will look so cute!

06 March 2008

SBQ: my connection to Mel Gibson

What is your cross stitch weakness? (i.e., What do you have to have when you see it, even if you are supposed to be on the Wagon?)

I sorta thought I suggested this one when I realized it's my phrasing, but I forgot I did it. And it's my question.

My biggest weakness. Oh, Lord, I am ashamed of myself for this one. Needles. You know how in that one Mel Gibson movie, he had all those copies of Catcher in the Rye? He wasn't sure why (except that it was a government thing, which it turns out it was and he had to save Julia Roberts), he just had to buy them when he saw him

That is me with needles. I have to have a supply at hand at all times. I am pretty sure it has less to do with a government conspiracy than the fact that I do not have a proper storage system for my needles (I would do a needlebook, but I have no sewing machine, and I pretty much stink at hand-sewing, and I think you need to be able to sew to make one) and end up storing my used needles in random bits of fabric and at the bottom of a vase (don't ask, I don't understand why I do this, but I guess if I can't get to the needle at the bottom of the vase, there's a good chance it won't end up in my foot or in the cats' mouths). So I lose them fairly frequently. Look I didn't say it was a good system! Anyway, I can not resist.

My other weakness is a horse chart. I can not resist them. Last night I had to have a nice long chat with myself about why I can not afford the horse kit at the top of this entry. It's new from Lanarte, it was 20% off at Sew and So. Which is still almost $50. For once, I won an argument with myself. I dazzled myself with my own logic, though, citing a James Herriott kit of a draft horse I didn't purchase and it went OOP before I got the money together at the far more favorable exchange rate. But I do like this one and I intend on buying it for myself. AFTER I get my two smallest credit cards paid off. But it was still hard to take it out of my cart.

To be really honest with you, between wanting to buy a house in this vastly overpriced market, and wanting to fill said house with kits (who in their right mind but me looks at a model home, with the idea of, "Oh, I could use that room as a stitching studio, my guests can share the dog's room, but yours truly), I am seriously considering the Save karyn approach to debt management. Set up a website and beg, beg, beg for money.

started a new afghan

I guess I should be smacked for starting a new afghan when my Hummingbird Trellis is not finished, barely started, but I decided that, since I had a spare afghan lying around, and an empty set of Q Snaps, and those charts are small, well they would be a great afghan.

I am combining the following charts:

Cats and Baskets
Catch a Tail
Cat and Mouse
Three's a Crowd
Give Me A Kiss
Holly and Ivy

Ready to Pounce

And then adding the little motifs from Kitty's Day to it as well.

I still consider to be a "smalls" project because these are small charts. They will just be finished as a large project. No different than a quilt. It should be tremendously cute, and WAY easier to get done than the Stoney Creek quilt.

And I realized, since I found that awesome quilt store, the Quilted Cat, last summer, I won't even have to stress about finding cat-themed fabric to back it, because they had so much and, being a quilt store, will probably be better able to help me choose the right fabric.

Not only all this, but I cut a strip off the afghan because it was too big, and I can use that as a bell pull. I thought about putting Pumpkin Pie, another wonderful freebie by Sanman, on it, but I won't do that, just because I think that needs a white afghan and this is cream. It's fine for the cats, but not Halloween. So I can probably find a set of three or four coordinating fall designs and use that to make the bellpull.

Waste not, want not, my mother always says.

05 March 2008

Snoopy Style Happy Dancing-with Lights

Light Effects that is.

I finished Magic Hat. Woo hoo! Of course, it doesn't feel so much as I finished a project as that I won a battle. I did sustain an injury in this project. I was shoving the needle through the fabric with that crappy Light Effects thread and managed to jam the needle deep into the tip of my middle finger. OWWWWWW.

It's very cute. As crappy as those threads were, they really did make this project cute. I hope SO's mom likes it.

04 March 2008

I need a sewing machine

I have come to that realization. I need one. I must be the last crafty person without one, but I am one. I could finish so many things if I just had a bleeping sewing machine.

Not to mention, I could start making myself clothes. One of the cruddiest parts of being, erm, voluptuous is that they just don't make pretty clothes in anything over a 14. Over that, if it's reasonably priced, it's made of a flowy fabric in either a jungle or floral print, with a sequin or an elastic waistband. Because we all know nothing makes a butt look smaller than encasing it in knock-off organza with a large flower, flashing like a disco ball. And it does one's self-esteem wonders to find a waistband mark when you take off your pants.

I do know how to sew. I learned in college. One of the benefits of my major was that I pretty much learned useful life skills--makeup application (I can make pretty realistic fake blood), sewing, even how to use a drill and nailgun in Set Design class. My costume professor was more than just a designer; he was a tailor and a fashion fan--you never realize how flattering it is to have a man notice your clothes til one looks at a beautiful embroidered dress you are wearing and says, "Girl, I likes your dress" (those were the days I was a 6). Anyway, so I know how to work a sewing machine, and I learned how to pick fabrics that speak about the person who is wearing the garment, and I do have a fashion sense. Not to mention, I work down the street from G Street fabrics, which is the ultimate fabric store in the Washington area, and I could be the best-dressed fat girl cross stitcher you ever saw . . .

If I had a sewing machine.

It's not like I MEANT to go this long without buying one. My grandmother and I could never agree on what we needed. She wanted one with a drop-in bobbin, though, to be honest, she never sewed the whole time I lived with her, but I can handle getting it in the machine. So we were at a stand-still. Now that she's gone, I guess I can get what I want. I just have to find a decent priced one, preferably a Brother. My professor liked Brother best. I trust his judgement--after all, he liked my dress, LOL.

Gonna start some smalls tonight

I have to work til 8 tonight. It's OK, though. I have stuff to do. I made sure of that. After I worked out this morning (yay for me), I headed my little self over to Michael's to kit the little stuff up. I kitted up a bunch of goodies, even two that are in no way smalls--Lynn's Prints, "Sharing with my Kits" and L&L Santa of the Forest. But it was in my purse and I do want to stitch it, so it was OK. With Santa, I was a little bummed that Michael's didn't have the right fabric or even that wierd DMC gold thread that L&L used to use, but I can probably order the thread, and I had an "Oh, yeah," moment in line when I realized I had a whole package of the perfect fabric in my stash. Woo hoo.

As far as smalls, I kitted up a really sweet Sanman tuck hanger kit, "By the Sea." I think I can get that pretty much finished tonight. I also have the stuff for my Sheep in the Meadow, and a small Diane Graebner Cats and Quilts.

I wonder, and I am just thinking here. I have an afghan that I bought a couple years ago and don't know what to do with it. I wonder how it would look to take the Cats and Quilts and put them on the afghan. I have several different little charts and then also one called Cats in Baskets that is the cats in, you guessed it, baskets. At least then, they wouldn't be small pieces sitting around, but something useful.

Must think about this. I had my hands on that afghan last night, I can check on it.

03 March 2008

A stolen Idea

Dani on the Bride's Tree SAL had this on her blog.

Look at the list of (100) books below. Bold the ones you’ve read. Italicize the ones you want to read. Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in. (Movies don’t count.)
1.The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)

3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)

24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25 . Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)

72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)

87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Choices, choices, choices

Here I am, in a new month, where I can start ANYTHING, as long as it's small, and little indecisive me can't decide what to start. All the cute little Cricket Collection Easter charts. Brooke's Books Halloween Tea Party. Sheep In the Meadow. it's all calling to me. I think I should start Sheep in the Meadow, because that is a fair entry, and I am woefully behind on those.

But I do have to laugh at myself. I was looking at the fabric for Sheep In the Meadow, trying to figure out if one of all those pieces of Stoney Point linen that I bought would work for it. Oh, it definitely would, cause it's the fabric they used in the model. I laugh because I rarely ever buy fabric for charts until I am ready to stitch them. And I almost never have the called-for fabric in my stash. I don't roll like that. I bought this fabric months ago, and just ordered the chart well, back when I was asking what I could stitch. So it's pretty cool that my hoarding ways have benefitted me because for once, I have the fabric I need. It's not the same color as in the picture--that is like a light green and mine is a rich blue-green--but photos lie.

I do have a magazine review for you this entry. The latest issue of American Cross Stitcher is KICK BUTT. I ran across it at Borders, looking for the issue of Stoney Creek between the last one on my subscription and the one when my new subscription starts in June. They didn't have that one, but they did have this one.

Of course there are two St. Patrick's Day designs. I don't do St Patrick's Day. I am Irish, but my family focused more on being Pennsylvania Dutch and not so much on the Irish part--I told SO I can't cook corned beef and cabbage, that can be his doing. One of the designs is for a photo album. The other is a little design by Pam Kellogg that says Erin go Braugh with little flowers and shamrocks. That's not so St. Patrick's Day, more like Irish, so that wouldn't be too bad, if you know someone who does Irish things.

The cover design is a very sweet Easter Egg bag with bunnies and ducklings on it. I am liking Joan Elliott's designs a lot more, and these bunnies have such a soft, gentle expression. And the ducks are cute, too! I think this would be great for a child, but, heck, I would be willing to make it for me and put it out since we do exchange gifts in my family. The bonus is that they took the ducks and made an ornament out of them.

There are WONDERFUL ornaments in this issue as well. They took the little ducks off the Easter bag and made an ornament. There are chicks, and a real traditional ornie. Also, and I am so using this for one of my Bride's Tree's ornies, a little bird on a nest with eggs in it. Very lovely. Something for everyone.

There are some bunnies on a pillow by DMC. Pretty nice, but I think they were a freebie from DMC, and one of my major magazine annoyances is when they put freebies or designs from kits in the magazine. But then again, I've saved money on OOP kits that way, so I don't complain too much.

Another entry is a pretty dogwood tray made by framing the picture and adding cabinet hardware. Not such a bad idea in general. Since I am always looking around Lowe's for S.E.X., this could be a good thing--I could spend an hour in the kitchen hardware aisle.

I won't go into the monthly appearance of a Gail Bussi design. I've made myself clear about how I feel about her stuff. And the woman's grooming table design . . . though, I could almost see that as a dresser tray if we added the cabinet hardware, then i could put all my "products" on it. Hmmmm, I never thought about it like that.

There is a lovely design by Lois Winston of little birds, with the saying, "A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you've forgotten the words." I am so blessed to have so many people in my life that this would be so appropriate for. Hmmm. I dogeared this one.

02 March 2008

I am not dead

I am sorry I have not been blogging. My dead computer issue was compounded by the fact that someone at work deleted my internet access by mistake, and the IT department has a vastly different definition of "24 hour turnaround time" and "fixed the problem" than you or I do. So, until that gets fixed, or I suck it up and buy a new computer--which is looking more and more likely--I am depending on the computer at my part time job.

I miss my blog!

Anyway, not much has been going on stitchingwise. I am still working on the Magic Hat, by Sanman. I finally finished the flippin' snowman. I will never be so stupid as to use two strands of Light Effects on 18 count EVER AGAIN. I don't know if I will really ever use that stuff that much anyway. It was the wierdest thing, I needed a fill for my nails badly the earlier part of this week, and, between my overly long nails digging into the sides of my fingers and the texture of the snowman pressing into my fingers while I was pulling that barbed wire-feeling thread through and trying to keep it smooth, I was about ready to pull my fingers off because they were sore. It took almost an entire skein of that stuff to do him, so that didn't help. The snowman looks pretty good though. Not great, but I am NOT picking out any stitches. No how, no way, no where.

I have so much stuff that I want to start. All my smalls. All those little kits I was saving and trying so hard not to lose. I'm gonna start em now. There are a couple Margaret Sherry kits from Brit mags that I want to get done, but I am not sure how to get them finished. Oh, well, I will deal with that later. I just have to get Magic Hat finished.
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