31 July 2008

Still here, still stitching

I know, it's wierd to get two non-stitching posts from me. I promise I am still stitching. It's just that I am really busy this week.

I do have to share. I got the second part of my order from 123 Stitch yesterday, and I think I was more entranced by the fact that there was a square of cardboard in the envelope than the charts, LOL. I was like, "Oh, boy, ORNAMENT backing!" But I was happy to get my charts. It was the new July Kats by Kelly and a Mosey and Me of Molly. I love Molly! She looks like the twins . . . or they look like her. Anyway, since I promised them I would stitch more dog charts, I thought she was appropriate, since I always feel like I am cheating on them if I stitch another kind of dog and she looks just like them . . . if they had tails and were pit bull mixes, LOL.

Anyway, I have cardboard now. Woo hoo!

I have to say, the Halloween fairy looks great and is really a joy to work on. I am done the upper part of her body, other than the beading. I even started on the fancy sparkly parts. Since I am working in a hoop, and this is a large design (I'm doing it on 28, not 32-count, but that can't make THAT much of a difference, really, can it? I don't think so. It is bigger than it looks in the magazine), I am saving the beading til the end. But I am super happy with how it looks. My poor mother thought it was a reprint of the kits we bought, and asked me why I was doing it from the magazine and not from those expensive kits. I told her that it was a companion piece, not the same. She was OK then.

But I have a question: Where are my poor little fairy's wings? I mean, doesn't a fairy have to have wings to be "a fairy?" Otherwise, she is just a very tiny person or an elf, and I've never seen a Halloween elf. That's a frightening thought, come to think of it, sorta like how I imagine those Irish fairies to be; apparently they aren't anything like the fairy godmothers in Cinderella. I've decided she is more like a witch, since she lacks wings. It works for me.

I did get into a little tiff with a co-worker over her. My co-worker's very religiously conservative. She doesn't "do" Halloween. That's OK. I don't mind that, but I don't like when people are rude about it (another co-worker was going to pray over me because I ate a lollipop shaped like a skull). She likes my stitching, so she wanted to see her. And she asked what she was. I told her she was a Halloween fairy. She told me she was ugly. Well, I let her know how I felt about that. I said, "She is not ugly. You are only saying that because she's a Halloween Fairy. If she was a fall Fairy, you would be fine with her." She agreed. That kinda ticked me off. No one has ever said my work is ugly. And she's not ugly! She's pretty. She's fairly innocuous. If she wasn't holding up that Trick or Treat thing, and if you remove the cobwebs at her feet, she's a Fall Fairy!


30 July 2008

Real life: Washington, DC

Another gem from my travels around the blogosphere. It appealed to me cause I live here. I've heard these discussions. Y'all might think we rabidly discuss politics here in the Nation's Capitol. We don't. We're just like everyone else . . .

These are my people.

I am so proud.

28 July 2008

The things you find on Blogspot

I am bored today. So I got to wandering through the blogosphere.


There's a lot of junk out there. A lot of teenagers complaining about their parents and their cellphones and their loved ones. Though, I guess, one could say pretty much the same about my blog. Except I don't complain about those things. I complain about my inability to stay organized and my projects, and I show pictures of my dogs and horse charts. To each his own.

But it's amazing when you find blogs that are just truly gems. And the best thing is when you find them from waltzing through stitchers' blogs. Awesome lists, those sidebars.

I have found one. I pass it on to you.

This entry made me almost fall out of my chair. *It's got some double entendres in it though, be warned.*

Can't post photos for now.

It's a hardware issue.

The hardware moved up the street to my parents' rental house, and I am not going up there to borrow it (it's my brother's, and he's in Houston for work this week, and I don't like his girlfriend, so I am not going up there to use the computer. NO WAY)

I am planning on getting a camera really soon, or at least getting myself a work-around--at this point, even getting a disposable camera and having photos put on a disk would work better than what I got, LOL.

So I will post soon. Trust me, this bums me out a lot. But I want to pay cash for that new camera and my budget just isn't working for a camera. But I am working on the computer--Dell is having their back to school specials, so I might could afford one.

Anyway, I spent all day yesterday fighting Midsummer Night Designs Medieval Mermaid. I was doing a lot more frogging than stitching. That really sucks on 22 count with silk threads. I must be getting old because I just can't count on that tiny fabric, and the chart is really small. I am gonna blow that thing up or I will never get this done. And it made it worse that one of my co-workers spent the whole work day TALKING. She was trying to tell me how to do the job. I almost (caught myself just in time) told her that I was selling tickets for that theatre when she was 9 and I don't need help. I think she ticked off the manager because we were trying to close and she was socializing with the house assistants and the manager had to do her job.

So it was a joy and a pleasure to come home and find my order from 123 had come. I bought the specialty stuff to do the Halloween Fairy from Nora Corbett--it wasn't too expensive. 6 packs of beads, 5 braids, and a piece of olive green cashel linen. I am really super pleased with my linen. I was a little doubtful from the picture online, but it's a really, umm, buttery green. And it works well with the rich browns in the floss. I actually regretted oversleeping this morning because I couldn't stitch on it, and I NEVER regret sleeping. EVER. Hee hee. Actually, I am really happy that a piece is thrilling me like this. I haven't been excited lately. I guess it's just part of getting ready for the fair--this is the time of year when I realize I didn't get as much accomplished as I wanted, and I am worried about what isn't in my hot little hands, and there is still so much to get accomplished in the next week or so. I have the 6th through the 8th off from work, but I also have my second dental appointment on the same day I have to drop off, and SO's mom's birthday is the 8th, so I have to get her a present and get my hair done that day too. But I will get it done. I am good at working in a crisis.

27 July 2008

A finished finish for me

I finally managed to finish something and get it finished in the same day. I NEVER do that! I am pretty proud of myself.

I finished the Prairie Grove Peddler freebie I worked on all week. It was a pretty quick fun stitch. I would have had it done sooner except for getting thrown off by Robbie's stunt. But I got it done yesterday while we were watching the NASCAR practice.

I wanted to get it done, but I don't have a lot of crafty stuff at SO's. So we stopped at Michael's on the way home from dinner (I tried something new--crispy hot wings with Old Bay on them--yummy!). I was running like mad around the store, grabbing ribbon and a fat quarter of a red fabric, along with pins and a glue gun--my craft room is proper now, it has a glue gun! I had foamcore in my car, SO was a little surprised that I had it, but it's not like I travel like that, I just had it cause I bought it this week. I had to borrow scissors and a tape measure from him, and he had to open my pins for me.

SO laughed a little watching me cut the foamcore. I told him he should appreciate how beautiful things turn out when he sees how jacked up the processe is. He said it was scary, LOL. Anyway, it went pretty smooth, I pinned and got it all under control. The only thing I would have changed if I were doing it now was that I would have had sewing supplies and sewn it, instead of hot glue. But, you do what you gotta do sometimes, and I wasn't going out at 9 to see if I could buy some.

It's a little bulkier than I like, but it's a good start. I left off the little flag buttons my LNS included in the kit for the freebie because I couldn't figure out where to put them, but it looks good.

24 July 2008

A crisis last night

I stayed at SOs house last night. Went up after work, shredded up the chicken I cooked this weekend, and fixed the chicken stuffed shells I didn't have time to make last weekend. Baked him some cookies, because he loves cookies--they weren't anything fancy, just the cookies from the refridgerated section of the grocery store, but it's the thought, right? One of the pitbulls supervised. Don't tell his daddy, but I gave him some of the chicken and the shells because I stepped on his tail. I couldn't help it, it's a small kitchen and he has a long tail. I am unused to tails in the kitchen--the only dogs who've been in my kitchen in the last four years don't have them.

Anyway, we go to bed and my mom calls. She has no idea where my beloved Robbie is. First, I was like, "How do you lose a dog?" She thought she had let him in when the twins went out to potty, but had had the front door open to take the trash out and wasn't sure if he'd followed her out. He's pulled that with me one time before; I was halfway to the car before I realized the little black mass next to me was not my shadow. And she's been agitating him lately, telling him that I want to be with his Daddy more than him. I don't know how much English Robbie understands, but he gets upset when I'm not there. He's attached. Then she goes and looks in his "den" (Schipperkes have a thing about making a den, I don't know why), and he's not there. So panic kicks in. I start crying right in front of SO, who has only seen me that upset twice in our entire relationship. And then I tell him I gotta go. Of course I had to struggle to get redressed; SO thought it was wierd that I put a bra on, but he's never chased a Schipperke down the street and a bra is necessary.

Have I mentioned my SO lives an hour from my house? And that it was raining? Well raining is not the right word. Pouring is better for what was happening. So I am driving on windy back country roads, at ridiculously high rates of speed (yes, I know that that is not a good or wise decision, but I have full coverage, and my mother bear instinct was kicking in). I did slow down going through the really curvy parts; I get frantic, not stupid, and if I ended up in the hospital, that wasn't gonna do my dog any good.

All through the ride, I kept calling the house. My mother looked all through the neighborhood for him. She said some man saw her with the flashlight and asked if she needed help. She told him she was just looking for her dog. I've decided calling the house when you are frantic is not good. No one ever has helpful information and you have all that time to just come up with the worst case scenarios. By the time I got to my neighborhood, I had decided my son was either dead, someone had stolen him and he was going to have some crappy name, or he was wandering down Georgia Avenue, terrified and trying to find me.

Y'all, I actually slowed the car down and started calling his name. I even started calling him, Robbie-do, in case he was just not listening because he wasn't sure I was Mummy. I got home, walk in the house, Mom has the saddest look on her face and I don't hear him screaming that I am home. I asked her if she found him, thinking, even if he was dead, he was home, but she said no. So I decide before I spend all night looking for him, I will go back in my room and call him.

That sucka came running out from under my bed. It's dark under there and Mom can't see well, so she couldn't see him. I started SOBBING in relief, and took him out on the porch to cuddle with him, and tell him not to EVER scare me like that. He was licking my face, he was so sorry. I think what happened was that he didn't like the thunderstorm they had last night, so ran in my room. When Mom misplaced him, she went in looking for him. He hides under the bed when he thinks you're mad at him, and I guess he figured when she was yelling for him, she was yelling at him, so he wasn't bursting to come out for her. But he wasted two gallons of my gas. I could have killed him.

All's well that ends well. But it took forever to get to sleep. I have a headache today.

23 July 2008

Finally, some stitching done

My teeth decided, after the numbing wore off, to ache on and off all afternoon yesterday. That stunk. I worked late last night and started to have that feeling of, "What the bloody H#LL have I done to myself?" This is probably normal, because people on those plastic surgery shows always look like they regret whatever they have had done as soon as they come out of anaethesia. And then the next day, they are fine. I am better today, just the occasional twinge. I managed to eat some oatmeal and a biscuit today--more afraid that the temps will break than that it actually hurts, since it does involve front teeth and I am too vain to walk around with tooth stumps showing for any length of time.

But I did manage to stitch last night. I had to call my aunt and give her some last minute finishing instructions first. She went to the local quilt store and they helped her pick out some fabrics for a wall hanging. She said she hoped I liked them. Well, they did an awesome job picking fabrics last year, and they are super-nice, so I trust them.

Then I sat and worked on USA 1776 from Prairie Grove Peddler. It's stitching really quick--I should be able to get it done soon and then finished into the pinkeep next week. I don't work very much at the theatre after this weekend, and am grateful as I need the time to get things finished. But it was kitted up by my LNS and they didn't give me enough blue floss. Fortunately, they used DMC,so I was able to pull from my stash this morning. Gussie the tabby cat was lying on top of my craft cart and decided that, while I was trying to find that skein of floss, it was the perfect time to start airing some sort of grievance he had. I think he was mad because I finally got tired of his brother climbing up on a stack of boxes I have behind the craft cart, then jumping on him and biting him (I mean, come on, that's mean), so I put more stuff on top of the pile so he won't fit up there. I forgot Gus lays up on top of the stack too, so I think he was mad about that. Oh, well, rather he's mad at me than getting bitten.

So I stitched. I don't quite have it finished. Probably by the end of the work week. I am anxious to try the pinkeep finish. It doesn't look too hard.

Does anyone know of any good tutorials on finishing? I know Julie has some on her blog. Are there more? I know, those are closely guarded secrets, why am I asking, right? It's just nice to see them. There's a lot that don't involve sewing, but I sometimes wonder if the sewn finishes are better? if anyone knows, please let me know.

I also wanted to take the time to thank all you who come to my little world to read and post comments. I really do appreciate you! You make my day brighter

22 July 2008

My Secret Sister exchange

I am participating in an exchange on 123 this summer. It's been a while since I've done one. Not sure why, they're fun. I have the Halloween ornament my exchange partner made hanging at my desk at work. And this one is really simple. Card and floss, gift not to exceed $15, and card and floss. Easy!

I got my first goodie from my partner yesterday. Pretty card, with two lovely shades of Weeks I did not have. I bought my partner some of my favorite shades of Variations. She wanted to try silks, I will probably send those along with her final package. Maybe some Vikki Clayton silks.

The renovations have begun

I went to the dentist this morning to start my dental renovations. We made pretty good progress. Not quite as radical as I had thought, but that is good, because I was getting antsy at the end of the visit. I now have a full set of teeth for the first time in 11 years, even if some are plastic for now. I am not sore, it just feels wierd to have teeth where I didn't have teeth before.

I was pretty agitated yesterday and last night and today over my teeth. I tried to stitch, and I have to frog what I did. I finished my ornament. I am pretty pleased with it. The beading is maybe not my best, but the stitching is superb. Now to just finish it. I started that Prairie Grove Peddler freebie everyone has been posting, and that is what I have to frog. I will probably finish it as a pinkeep. My LNS showed it in a tuck pillow, but they sold out of those. I think a pinkeep would work well for it and it's a pretty easy thing to make. I'm just trying to get in some stitching time now, since the hurricane season is in full swing now--3 named storms in one week--and I have a sneaky suspicion work is going to take off and we'll be working extra.

21 July 2008

It's just too hot

We've reached what I think are the dog days of summer. Only my dogs are too hot to enjoy them. Maybe if they (and me) were not so fat, or we had a pool, or lived at the beach, or had central air instead of a window unit and a box fan, we would enjoy these days more. But we are obese, we can't afford a pool, we live an hour from a beach, and our house is 80 years old, built in the days when you kept your house cool by building 10-foot ceilings and it wasn't 95 degrees in the summer with butt-high humidity.

I worked yesterday. 5 shows in 6 hours we seated, plus answered phones. It was crazy busy. So between that and the heat, it was just not a good weekend, stitching wise. I have one more rose left on my geisha's kimono, and then the top will be done and it will just be the underskirts, the ground and the cherry blossoms above to do, plus the backstitch. All in all not bad.

I showed the Halloween fairy to my SO this morning. I am in love with that design, seriously. All that would make it more perfect, in my unhumble and unrequested opinion, would be a black cat, but you can't be picky. He likes it. Which is a pretty good sign that it's a must-have. And I love that it only has 12 colors of DMC, and 5 Kreiniks. Of course theres a lot of beads, but not too many to be cost prohibitive. I am just trying to figure out what color fabric for it now. The toss up is a green or a blue. I am leaning towards green, but because of the moon and the orange in the pumpkin, blue calls to me too. Darn it.

I averted a minor meltdown, caused by my lack of ability to stay organized. Yours truly bought about $15 worth of Carrie's Creations threads a month or so ago. Really pretty threads, by the way, and only $1 each, a bargain and a delight to find when every other thread seems to have increased in price. So, some barely lit bulb in my brain went off and I decided that it would be wise to stick my precious self-dyed threads in that bag. Well, it would have been a good idea had I not come up with it, because I proceeded to LOSE THE BAG. For the past week or so, I've noted it was lost. Do the rest of you ever have that little voice in your head that says, "Hey, ya know, you haven't seen that chart/sweater/pair of diamond earrings/cat in a while, you might want to check on that?" OK, I am joking about the cat--when you have 3 of them and two dogs, you keep them in eyesight all the time, especially if it's two that have gone missing. 9 years of pet ownership has taught me that two pets missing simultaneously means something is either going down or being plotted or else the dog is eating the diamond earrings I noted I am missing above (yes, I've had that happen, it still hurts). So, anyway, I've been checking the usual places and it wasn't there. Guess where they were? In the back seat of my car in a bag with some charts. I've looked at that bag a couple times. Anyway, I am so glad to have my threads back. I am going to go fondle them tonight. In the hot dark, LOL.

19 July 2008

Adventures at the LNS today

I went to my LNS on Monday (feels like Monday was about a month ago) for their Christmas in July sale. My mom had wanted to go along, but my daddy had to go to the hospital, so she couldn't go. I know, the question remains, "Why didn't YOU go along." My dad goes to the hospital pretty frequently since the accident. It's usually not that serious. The doctors admit him in for a couple days, and then they release him, usually with a sheaf of new doctors to go to. This is the difference between having Medicare and an HMO. If he had an HMO, they would give him a band-aid and some Neosporin and an admonition that, if he needs follow-up care, he best not go out the network. but with Medicare, it's "Come on down, let's test you for every possible cause for your toe to hurt."

Anyway, so I didn't go. Mom was OK with that, but she still wanted to go to the sale. I am pit-sitting today because I have to work tomorrow and can not go to the beach with SO and his family. Bummer! He only took one of the boys, so if you are on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and see a Mustang with a pitbull hanging out of it, it may be my SO; tell him I said hi and that the other pit chewed the board fence. So, because I am afraid said pit will eat through the rest of the fence, I took my mom to the LNS and kept Shaka in the house.

It was crazy busy in there today! It's always kinda busy, but this was an extreme. They were having the Carriage House Sampler lady there as part of her trunk show. She was signing a book of Gude Huswife charts and her charts. I thought about running back out to the car and getting my SOHRH for her to sign, but I figured that would be not good as I AM changing everything around. She signed Mom's copy of "Visiting Bird", which I promised Mom I would stitch for her soon. That was pretty cool.

Another lady was selling this really neat jewelry. It's hard to describe, but it was like she took a print, backed it with a sliver of stitching, surrounded with glass, then sealed the whole thing in silver. It was so beautiful. I didn't buy a necklace--I am tapped out til after the fairs--but Mom did buy me a necklace that she'll give me for my birthday. I know cause I picked it out. It's pretty. It has a print of a little girl holding her doll on the front and a Quaker motif on the back. It was a hard choice between that and the one with the squirrel, but I did choose. The jewelry didn't look that hard to make, sorta like she bought pretty little things at antiques shops or estate sales and made collages, wearable collages. It was nice.

I tried to behave with my purchases. I didn't see the point of buying a lot of charts when I have so many started and not a lot of extra money. The LNS started carrying Thread Drops, so, since they were cheap and I have been wanting them, I bought a pack of those. We'll see how they work. And I bought, "And A Garden Grew." So pretty! Just lovely.

Oh, they had the newest issue of Cross Stitch and Needlework. There is a beautiful Halloween fairy in there by Nora Corbett. Just gorgeous! She makes the magazine worth buying, but she's not the only thing that was pretty. It's all autumn-y designs. Lovely. Pumpkins and a fall farmer's market design. I haven't made my final read through, but it's a can't miss.

And I bought the Kreinik for my geisha. I am almost finished with the gold in her scarf, and it hasn't taken long.

18 July 2008

Pulled out an old UFO

Oriental Elegance by DGC

I have gone as far as I can go on my ornament til I get a beading needle, so pulled out my long-time UFO, Elegance of the Orient by Dimensions Gold Collection. I started it, umm, 7 years ago, and it's been languishing, mostly because I found it so intimidating after I had been working on it for 7 months. So I put it away and started something else. At least this proves I am consistent in that my changing projects isn't new.

I have no clue what was intimidating me. I was stitching pretty happily at lunch today, thinking, "Wow, this isn't that hard. I can do this." And yet, the only reason the poor little lady has a head (which is a recent addition) was that I was kinda bothered by the fact I had a headless geisha girl as a WIP. But it doesn't look that hard and I think I can get this finished soon.

But I am impressed with the fact that I was 24 when I did this. The back looks terrible, but all my backs back then were awful. It wasn't til I model stitched that I got that under control. But the front is pretty complicated. I haven't stitched much like this since then, other than the Stoney Creeks. But this is a good indication that I've progressed that I could handle those Stoneys, and they have reciprocated by making this a possible finish now, not just a kitted up chart.

The only reason I can think of as a valid explanation for why this took so long is the hideously awful metallics that came in the kit. They look cheap. My now-practiced eye feels that. They were stiff and not easy to work with. They were a pain. They are coming out. I think I can do better with braid from my LNS. It would look richer.

So we'll see how it progresses. It shouldn't really take that long. There isn't a huge amount of color changing in it, at least not anymore. Just the backstitch. I am saving that all for the end, because I have a system I follow now, that I wasn't doing back in. I start from the parts that are furthest away and outline those first, then work dimensionally forward. But I do see people's points when they complain about how little space they leave on the sides. I guess it makes sense to not put a lot of extra fabric on the sides to keep the cost down, and that really becomes the framer's problem, but some of these kits, especially if you are overseas, can be kinda costly, so it would be nice if they gave you more fabric.

I don't know,people complain about kits and how shoddy they are. I have to say, I don't remember ever having a crappy kit. At least not a commercial one--I had a crappy Lorri Birmingham kits about 4 years ago. BTW, Ms Birmingham, I am still waiting to hear from you re the issue I had with the floss in that one. The charts been done for 4 years, but I am still hopeful you will reply, LOL. I guess time will tell on these other kits.

16 July 2008

I love me some backstitch

I am at the point in my ornament where it's just backstitch and beading. Happy happy joy joy. I feel like I have been backstitching for a week now, but it's only been three days. I think I can get the backstitching done tonight, after I get back from my nail appointment and taking Chancey for a walk (she's the one in back in the picture below, though I do have to say, that is a strikingly good photo of her as she does not look fat in it, just hot).

I had intended to work on the ornament last night, but I went to the gym. I am trying to get back into shape, seriously I am. So I went. And I used the treadmill for 25 minutes, and biked for 20. When I got home, I was still keyed up (I ran a quarter mile and I haven't run a quarter mile in years, so I was kinda hyper), so I decided to do yardwork since the sumac tree in our flowerbed was threatening my lavendar bush. And the bed was full of grass--my gladiolas were all choked out this year, and I love my glads, my lovely bought at Walmart gladiolas. Anyway, so I was out in the front yard pulling up grass and whacking at a tree with the loppers. And the most pathetic thing was the Mongrel Horde, who claim to be fine guard dogs. My son is a champion, a fine example of the Schipperke breed, bred to provide security on barges, his sister, well, she just gets easily irritated, and what is the point of having a Rottweiler/border collie mix if she doesn't hear me outside the house? They did finally notice I was out there and started barking, but that was only after I tripped on the electric cord I couldn't see for the sumac bush, fell forward into the bush and the house, and started cursing. So they barked their "stranger get out of my yard" bark til I went around to whack on a different part of the bush, then Robbie saw me and started the, "My mummy's home, she's home, I love her, I worship her, come inside and play with me," bark, which I ignored. I wanted that tree out. I did get it out finally and dragged it around the house (someone else can throw it in the trash, I did the hard part), then I went and admired my tomato crop. I have a suspicion I will be able to open a tomato stand in a few weeks, LOL, but how was I to know that ALL my tomato plants would survive and thrive? And could I really sit and stitch after all that excitement?

So it was a long time til I sat down and stitched. The little ornie is almost done. I just gotta finish this little bit and then bead it. Oh and finish it, almost forgot. I am trying to figure out if I want to do it as a stiff ornie or a pillow. I am leaning towards stiff for now, but not sure. A pillow would be pretty simple to do, even hand-sewing. I spent a good portion of a staff meeting today pondering this issue.

It's three weeks til the fair. OK, three weeks and a day. I think I have everything under control, just have to do my finishing. And figure out what cookies I am baking. I want to try the cookies I did last year again. I thought they were good . . . but I also have a couple new ones, including a zucchini chocolate chip one. I figure that's a pretty hard class to judge anyway, because, realistically, if you aren't adding something to the cookie, how many differing recipes are there? And I am still hoping to get an entry in the box cake mix class.

15 July 2008

Lookeee looookeeee, pictures

Sorry one is sideways!

Note to self

When you tell the LNS that you need a picture by a certain day, it will inevitably be done well before it's due. If you don't, it will be late.

Of my 7 pieces I took over to be framed, 6 were ready yesterday. They never called me, just told me they were there. I had been budgeting that they would be ready by the first week of August, and they were early. It was a little touch and go, financially, and I am pretty short this paycheck, but I'll make it work. Of course I only knew they were ready because I went over to go to the Christmas sale. I had to put some things back, but I was proud of myself for being the stronger woman and I didn't have to borrow money from my mom to get all the framing done. I'm poor, but I'm proud.

I didn't buy much Christmas-y yesterday. Of course, who could with a $241 balance due on framing? I bought a treasure for an ornament I am doing for the Bride's Tree SAL. $7 for a wreath and bow. That is more than the magazine the design came from cost. That is more than the other supplies cost all together. And I kitted up a design to do for Brea for her Christmas present. It's not huge and yet it requires 4 skeins of GAST, a package of some crazy expensive beads, and Kreinik. I drew the line at the hand-dyed fabric. I love you, Brea, however, I am not buying a fat quarter of flourescent green linen when I only need a little bit of it. I know you don't want me spending money like that . . .

My LNS was having a trunk show of Carriage House Samplings. *drool drool droll* I had to go look at SOHRH for a while. Mine isn't as neat and pretty as the model. I guess it will be once it's stitched and stretched. I did get Sally's Feather Tree. It was too pretty not to.

Other than that, I had a pleasant day off. Went to Joann's, and browsed the Christmas fabric. I did pick up some dog and cat fabrics to back things with. I got two different dog prints. The dogs are getting tired of all these cat designs I stitch, they've informed me. They feel like there are two of them, and, even though there are three cats, the ownership of Lily is up in the air as to whether she is mine or Mom's (I still hold she is mine because I am the one who named that cat and I buy her collars--naming and clothing rights equal ownership) and they are not totally convinced she is not a Schipperke as well--Chancey went over and was trying to get her to play this morning--so they feel there are more dogs than cats in the house. So I must stitch dogs. I bought a new hot glue gun and hot glue to do some finishing. Woo hoo. They were even having a sale on scrapbooking papers, and since I have a star box and have an idea for a finish for a small patriotic thing, I bought some to play with and do some decoupage. So I am going to read up on that and do some decoupage.

I'll post the finishes that I got back from the framer, but the dogs wanted their photo on here today. They say jump, I ask how high.

11 July 2008

Not very foolish this Friday

Not much is going on around here. I'm off on Monday, so looking forward to that. I found out they are taking entries for a small local show in Laurel, at Montpelier Mansion this weekend. I exhibited there 6 years ago and enjoyed it. Their only rule is that you can't have shown the entry before. That's fine. And at $5 per item, it's not too expensive to enter.

I will say, I am just plum worn out. I'm not sleeping well, and have been stressed all week over silly things. Maybe not so silly, though. I guess if they were silly I wouldn't be up over it. Anyway . . . I had to work at my part time job last night. And that can be such a drain. There are some really rude people on our subscriber list. And I realized, listening to someone scream about a problem you can't fix, and criticism of your organization, is tiring. I always try to not lose my temper in public, because it just looks absolutely stupid to pitch a hissyfit. And I look ugly when I cry, LOL.

At least I only work 4 hours tomorrow. I can go to the gym on the way home to decompress. SO wonders why I only go to the gym when I'm mad. It's a good question, but I guess my answer would be I do a lot of thinking at the gym, and if I don't have something to think about, I get to thinking about walking in the same place for 40 minutes, or touching equipment other sweaty people touched and may or may not have wiped down, and well, that bothers me. They say cardio is good for you, but it just brings out that part of me that worries about things no one else thinks about.

But Monday, I plan on relaxing. I will be back at Joanne's ETC, getting fabric, and my LNS is having a Christmas in July sale. I am going to buy those Lizzie Kate Flip-its and some fabric to do a Pam Kellogg ornament that's been kicking around my house and needs finished.

10 July 2008

7 deadly sins, stolen from Libertybelle's blog

1. LUST: Besides your current Significant Other who do you lust for or have you lusted for? My dentist. He is so cute and has the most gorgeous blue-green eyes. And a guy I liked in college named Rob. He never looked at me like anything, but he was adorable. Adorable

2. GLUTTONY: What food brings out your inner glutton?
king crab legs, caramels, a lovely rare steak, BLTs

3. GREED: What are you greedy for? I would love to have a house near the water.

4. SLOTH: What is your plan for an ideal day of sloth? I don't know, I haven't had a day of sloth in so long. I think any day where I spend the whole day in bed, watching TV, and sleeping, is a good day.

5. WRATH: Describe a time that you let out a can of whoop ass on someone.
I got in a very minor car accident, and my insurance company was supposed to help me out. I put in a claim and two months later, they had still not sent me my check, filed the paperwork, and were calling with questions. It had been so bad that I asked to have the claim cancelled and the rep talked me back into keeping it open. And then I got no check. She called again with a question and I went off. I left a message for her supervisor, he didn't call me back, then I called and told his secretary or assistant that I would sit on line til he came on the phone. And then it was on. I went up and over him and back around about this claim. I told him that it was pretty simple to figure out what happened, I had sent paperwork, and I had no idea why the rep or whatever she was had more questions. I told him it had been whatever number of days that it was since the accident and their commercials said they cut a check the day they came out to look at the car, which they had done at the garage the day it happened. He told me she was a new adjuster, and that she had been in training for a lot of the intervening time. I told him that if she needed that much training, perhaps she shouldn't be handling claims yet. I told him I got the car fixed the week it happened, and that I had to borrow money from my parents and it was pretty crappy to have to do that when I paid for full coverage on a 15 year old car, and that they were making way more money off me in premiums than I would ever get in a claim (this was true, I drove a hoopty, but had been getting in accidents). We came to an agreement.
6. ENVY: Who or what do you envy? Why?
People with pretty teeth. I have horrible teeth (but just for 12 more days-holla!), and I always feel like I would be really pretty if I just had better teeth.
7. PRIDE: Have you ever had to swallow your pride? What are you proud of?
All the time. I've had to ask for old jobs back. And it's OK to be that way.
I'm most proud of the fact that when bad things happened to me (and there have been times when some shit hit the fan and spattered. Sorry to curse, but that was how it happened), I never used them as an excuse. I just kept going, even when it took all my strength to do so. I spent a lot of time faking it, a few times when I had epic meltdowns, but I made it through. And I am stronger for it. Now when something happens, it's more like, "Whatever, I'll get through it."

09 July 2008


I think I have made it clear I am a hot mess when it comes to keeping track of things. I've managed to lose my RR. The one I was supposed to be sending out last week. Oops! At least it's mine and not someone else's. Thank God for that.

Anyway, rather than start over, I realized that the project I would most love to have a RR done as is my Diane Graebner cat afghan. I finished the one square last week and I like how it looks. I thought the small kitty motifs from Kitty's Day Out would make the perfect RR, not too strenuous for anyone to stitch, very cute! My RR group said it was OK, even though they haven't stitched on an afghan before. I told them it's not hard and I will even send my qsnaps along to make it easier. I don't stitch afghans on hoops--pulls the threads funny, I've found--and q-snaps are perfect. So that should help them.

I also decided that I am stitching Julia Lucas' ornament from last year's ornie issue as my entry for the fair in the ornament category. I think it's pretty, it needs to be finished, and i think that it will show some skill in that it uses metallics and beading. Since the judges didn't think the dragon ornament I did last year deserved first place, I have decided to not go with the fantasy theme this year, probably safer. I figure the house ought to do well, and it's another bride's tree ornament finish and I need to get back on track with those. And I had an inspiration for an ornament for Brea, but I won't share that til it's done.

My Santa's Journey afghan is on it's way to me, priority mail. I am so tickled. It has to be washed and fringed, but that's OK. I can handle that. It's backed and ready to go! I can't wait to see it. Can't wait to enter it in the fair.

08 July 2008

A pleasant discovery for me

I forgot to mention this, and it actually seems like a freaky thing to be surprised by, but I am!

I picked blueberries on Friday at a little orchard north of Frederick. It's a tradition that we celebrate Independence Day by picking fruit (I guess cause my parents were off anyway that day). We picked cherries two or three weeks ago, but Friday was blueberry day. So I went and did that. Picked 5 pounds, which doesn't seem like a lot til you actually are rolling blueberries off the bush for an hour. Note to self: you are planting blueberry bushes at someone's house next spring.

Anyway, on the way home, in my continuing effort to conserve gas, I stopped at the huge Joanne's in Frederick (on the Golden Mile) to get the backing fabric for my stocking. And I walked around to see what they had. They don't have the best selection of stitchy stuff anymore, which made me a little sad. I used to find the best stuff there. Absolutely the best. Not so much anymore. So I went back to the fabric section to look around.

I wish I could sew. I think the one thing I would love to have in my wardrobe would be a sheath dress in a beautiful rich Chinese silk brocade. I think that would be the most lovely thing, very sophistocated. So of course I had to walk over and look at those, LOL. And the eyelets. OK, I looked at all the fabric. One of these days I won't be so fat and I can have dresses made, right?

I wanted to check to see if they had muslin for me to make some of those primitive stitchery patterns I bought recently. I think they would be kinda fun and different from my usual stitching. I had looked for some in the huge fabric store by work, G Street Fabrics, which I highly recommend if you love to sew because they stock couture fabrics, but they didn't have any that I could find.

Joannes had it. Lots of different shades. Lovely.

And they had the most beautiful fabrics suitable for finishing. I was in heaven. It was way better than a regular Joanne's--they only seem to stock current season fabrics--and the prices were reasonable. I stood, transfixed, by fall fabrics. Fall fabrics in July! Not only fall fabrics, but fall fabrics one could actually USE and they were PRETTY. Last year, when we were looking for supplies, I couldn't really find a lot that I liked, and here it was. I restrained myself and didn't buy any fabric . . . but I will. Oh, yes, I'll be back!

07 July 2008

My weekend . . .

was pretty tame.

For once, I had three days off. I spent most of the weekend watching TV, I am ashamed to admit, but it was cloudy and rainy all weekend. We did see all 4 Harry Potter movies, 3 of them yesterday. I can not believe I spent over 6 hours in a chair, watching Harry Potter, but I did. I don't know about y'all, but the 4th one is kinda too intense for children. At least to me it was.

I was actually slightly productive. I finished the first square of my Diane Graebner Cats and Quilts afghan on the 4th while watching a marathon about food Americans love. It only took several months. I hope the next squares don't take so long, LOL, or that there isn't some food-related marathon on, because I would have smacked someone for some North Carolina pork barbeque on a bun with coleslaw by the time that marathon was over. I worked on Medieval Mermaid while I was watching the fireworks on TV.

I know it's a shock to know that a devoted 4th of July ophile like me doesn't go watch fireworks. It's not that I don't love fireworks. I do. I do. But I don't have children, heat makes me cranky (and, let's be serious, would you want, at some point on the 4th of July to deal with a BIG girl with a loud and heavily Western Kentucky-accented voice, who is hot and cranky,I don't think so), and I no longer am that fond of sitting outside, worrying that we will have either a thunderstorm, like two years ago, or a tornado, like last year. Plus, there is always the hassle of getting home, either on the subway from the fireworks in DC (and I am about to impart some knowledge--the Farragut North Metro station is a little further of a walk back from the mall, but it's quicker to get on a train) or the two hours it took for us to leave the city limits of Littitz, Pennsylvania, the last time we went to their display. So I have discovered the unadulterated pleasure of sitting in my own home, watching a Capitol 4th on PBS, and eating ice cream. I feel it's a better service to everyone involved, plus, this year, staying home meant I was conserving energy and the environment.

I headed over to my LNS to drop off the Christmas stocking to be finished on Saturday. They were having their 4th of July sale--15% off of patriotic things, 10% off the rest if you wore red, white and blue. I did--on my feet. I had to show her my flip-flops, but I did it proudly. I got the graph of the month, a patriotic freebie, The Littles Uncle Sam, Lizzie Kate's USA Squared, a new Jeannette Crews book, "Friends", and a new design from a designer I haven't heard of called "Three Black Kitties." On top of my discounts for showing her my feet, I had a full Supersaver card, so I got an extra $6 off. Nothing like saving money. There were a couple patriotic charts I really wanted, but money is pretty tight til I get everything back for the fair, so I left them there. I figured they would be there, and if not, I had other things. I think this is showing a great sign of maturity on my part, LOL.

I worked on Cricket Collection Sleepy Hollow while we watched Harry Potter. It's progressing nicely. I worked on the tombstone and it's coming along. I really like this chart. There are areas of broad expanses of color, but they aren't too too bad. And it really will be cool when it's done!

03 July 2008

Do you know when your fondest dream will come true?

I do. July 22nd.

I know this is supposed to be about my stitching, but I need to get this out!

No, I'm not getting married. At least not that I know of. But more than being married, more than having a family, more even than having a home, my most treasured dream (and it's sad that it's such a basic thing that I haven't been able to accomplish yet) is to have a nice smile. A pretty white smile with perfect teeth, all in a single line, no gaps, no holes, no ugly fillings. I am obsessed with teeth, I admit it. That is the first thing I notice about a person. Probably like people who want breast implants look at other people's assets, I look at teeth, and I wonder what it would be like to have gorgeous teeth.

I've been fighting to get to the point where I have that since I turned 18 and started making my own medical decisions. And I've never been able to accomplish it. I've been too scared, too worried, too . . . something . . . to actually stand up and say, "This is what I want. This is what I need to become the best me that there possibly can be. Whatever it takes, I will make this happen."

And then last summer, when I was in my "between times"--ya know, that time between the last time and the next time--I finally had enough and told my dentist that this is what I want, and I am tired of living with an ugly smile. And we started fixing it. I ran out of insurance pretty quick, so we've had to hold off a little to maximize my benefits, and that is OK. My teeth look better, and I feel better, but now I want more. I want to have the perfect smile.

And I am finally getting it. I made the appointment today. For July 22nd. It's not a small undertaking. My dentist asked me how long I want to be in the chair. We're doing 2 1/2 hours. But when I walk out of that office, I'll have 3 temporary crowns, a temporary bridge, and the startings for veneers. We're bleaching, too.

But I can't believe it. By the time my next car insurance payment is due, this will be started. Wow. All this waiting and it's finally going to happen. I can't wait. So if I'm a bit like a whirly gig for the next few weeks, it's cause of that.

02 July 2008

Sore fingers

One of the few vices I allow myself (other than stash and Rita's) is that I wear acrylic nails. I've worn them for three years. Never those garishly long ones, fairly short and they look pretty realistic, they just make me feel polished and ladylike. Plus, I use my hands a lot when I am at the theatre, selling tickets, so it's important to me to have nice nails. I usually tend towards the vibrant reds and cool colors used as a French manicure, it just makes me feel better.

Well, I realized the other week, it had been 2 years since my last new set of nails. Apparently, this is highly frowned upon, as the acrylic gets "old," though I must really question just how old the acrylic gets when my nails barely get over the tips of my fingers, so we're talking the oldest it could possibly get is 3 months. Anyway, my nail girl has been complaining, so I decided last night to go and get a full set. It took 2 hours to get them done last night. I was so tired when I got out of there.

And my fingers are killing me this morning. The sides right around the nail are so sore. I think she nicked me in a couple places. And some of my nails are so thin that I could almost feel the drill when she was smoothing it out. Plus, since she put on that plastic nail that they put on, my nails have been molded into a new hump that does not match their natural contours. They don't particularly appreciate that. They are probably going to ache until the weekend. It's OK, though. I figure this little bit of sore once every two years is OK. They are a little long, though, but I can get em cut down next visit.

I did take a few minutes last night to start another new project. I know, bad! but I've Midsummer Night Designs Medieval Mermaid kicking around my to-do pile for a while, and I decided to start it. I am using Vikki Clayton Salty Sea. One strand on 22 count Hardanger fabric. It's stitching up pretty quick for as little as I've worked on it. Now it's just an issue of keeping the cats and dogs off of it.

But I do have to say, I am sitting here with Turkuaz right next to me, and it does feel kinda good to finger the eyelets. I had to pick it out and restart yesterday at lunch, but I am making really good progress on it. The instructions said for a lacy look, pull the eyelets tight. Well, if there is one thing I am good at, it's pulling tightly, and I am loving how that looks. The little bit I have done looks so dainty, and it's going quick. I can't wait to see how it progresses.

01 July 2008

Happy July!

The year is half over. How's your 2008 so far?

I finished my primitive elephant last night. He's really cute and I'm really happy with him. I'll figure out how to get him and the donkey finished this week. So I decided to go all out and start something new. I pulled Miribilia's Blossom Harvest from my to-do pile (or at least one of them), and started her.

So far, she's not been too bad. I am a little bit stymied by the beading. I don't know if I should bead as I go, or save it all up to do at the last. Both have their advantages, both have their disadvantages. And of course I didn't buy any of the beads--I kitted this up while I was temping, and I didn't have money for beads or treasures. Maybe I'll have it soon. I don't know. But I am trying to go without beads for now. She's very pretty, and I chose Water Lily linen to stitch her on, a soft green. Hopefully she won't take too long.

I also started a design from the Gift of Stitching magazine. It's from an old issue, the November one. It's a design made of eyelets. I figured that was enough of a change from little x's to keep me interested. I'm not very far, but I like it so far. I didn't use the colors they called for in the magazine, aqua and chocolate. I chose grey blues and grey browns. I like how those look together, so this should be pretty and personal. I don't know where I'll use it, but that is a side issue.

I found this blog on my inter-Internet ramblings. It's got lots of cute photos:
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