29 September 2008

Finished a finish

I got my HalloFall exchange piece mounted. It's pretty cute, if I do say so myself. SO helped me with the cording. I don't think that was the best possible cording ever done, but it was my first effort, so I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. I also got him to cut foamcore for me. He has mentioned in the past, I don't cut straight. I don't, I'll admit that. But he cut it for me and admitted it's not so easy to cut, LOL. Even he thought the finished box is cute, and he doesn't like cats. Now to fill it.

28 September 2008

The dreaded time had come

to go through the stuff I got out of the car and throw it out or organize it. The pitbulls were loving smelling all the bags, and SO was getting frowny face going over the amount of stuff, so I decided to go through and get rid of things. It only took me about two hours to get the boxes neat. I still don't have a car, though we've found the one we want. It just has to go through inspection and I have to get financed (which should be better now that Congress is passing the bail-out and I am not asking for as much. I will not, however, be asking the prior lender for money). But I am hopeful. Except I can't find my certificate of title, so am going to have to go to the MVA before I get the check to payoff the Neon. I don't guess I'm quite as sad anymore, or angry. I just have to take time off work to go deal with this, and that's kinda annoying me--I want to use my vacation time to lie on a beach and drink a beverage with an umbrella, not stand in line to get a duplicate cert of title, which I know I'll find the next time I am at Mom's house. Anyway, cross your fingers that I get financed for this car.

And I have to make this statement. How on earth did I spend $92 on floss in one trip and yet still can not find a skein of DMC 920 in my stash? I dug through my bags of floss from the car, and I don't have that color. I'm going to go to the craft store tomorrow evening after I sign some papers at the insurance company offices, but it just kills, because I know I have that color. Oh, well.

I spent some time this afternoon working on my project for my exchange partner in the HalloFall exchange. I bought a little paper box the other day at Michael's and painted it black, then sponged in some orange. I got some stamps too, and there is a trail of kitty pawprints up the back, and "trick or treat" on the front. I think what I'll do is get a plastic trick or treat pumpkin and put some goodies in there along with the box.Maybe a t-shirt or something decorative too. I don't know yet. I have all the stuff to mount the stitching, but SO's drill is not charging, so this may be a problem. But we'll figure it out.

26 September 2008

Organizing again

I finally decided it was time to deal with the 800 pound gorilla in the corner and start sorting the various bags of floss I own. They are all over the house, unorganized and I keep buying the same colors over and over. And we're not talking ones you use all the time. These are totally random colors. And, in those giant bags, there is always the risk that the labels will fall off and I won't know what number that shade of fuschia actually is.

I didn't go so far as to put them on bobbins yet. I have them in ziplocs, sorted by numeric rance. I figure, start small. It helps to have them at least that way, then I can at least go to a bag.

Still not buying any stash. I found another skein I needed for Lost Spirits. I need to get a skein of 920, but will wait for that. It's crazy how I have all this floss, but never what I need. I need to do something about my floss sorting technique. I found random skeins of various over-dyeds and silk threads in the mix too. There was the remains of a skein of Dragon Floss from an exchange a few years ago. Two skeins of needlepoint silk--what in the name of all that is holy did I buy skeins of pansy purple and goldfish orange silk for? Anyone got a clue? Obviously not anything important. I don't mix silks and cottons as a rule, so I have no clue.

And I did find out, via the insurance company website, that my little car is totalled. It was kinda exciting on Monday to think of the possibilities, but now I am just sick. I really did love my car. I know it wasn't a Rolls or a Mercedes, but it was mine, that I picked out and I bought all on my own. That was important to me, because it was the one thing I got on my own and didn't owe anyone for it. All my young life, I dreamed of a black car, and I wanted a Neon since they came out with them. I had hoped, when I got it paid off and paid off some other things, to pass it on to someone who needed a good car to give them a leg up in life (I don't care what anyone else thinks, sometimes having a cute car to roll around in gives you a boost of confidence, and I always felt adorable when that car was clean and freshly washed). But that's all gone, and I have to start over again. And this is not the time to be trying to get a car loan, thanks to the banks. I have decent credit, and I ended up in a screaming fight with the bank who holds my current car loan. It slays me, I pay ALL my bills on time, I paid the bank extra all these years, and it's "we're sorry, because you have high CC bills, and you work two jobs, you have a higher risk of default." They weren't worried when they were upping my credit limit, and they never turned down the extra payments I sent in because I work two jobs for something to do, now it's a problem? I didn't create the mortgage crisis and I didn't add to it, by not buying a house, and it's still kicking my butt. So, OK, when I get my payoff check from my insurance company, I better get a letter from the bank that states I paid that car off. And I will keep working my two jobs, and I will pay my cards off, and, when this credit crunch is over, which it will be (I'm certain of that), I'll remember this.

25 September 2008


I forgot I hadn't mentioned these.

These are from The Silver Needle in Oklahoma and are very limited edition monthly kits. I've never been to the shop, but they have some adorable kits. Especially since Brooke Nolan started designing for them. I don't like every kit. I am not that big on Santas, so the Christmas ones aren't always my cup of tea (but then again, the one in 2006 had a mouse, and me likey mice veddy much). But I have liked a lot of the recent ones. And the Halloween and summer ones are awesome. Consistently AWESOME.

And they come with recipes. This month was Smores brownies.

As far as price goes, they are worth the cost. I was figuring the other night, til you factor in the buttons, and the fabric, and the threads (always specialty, usually Rainbow Gallery), it's gonna run about $16 for the stuff, and I usually have left over. I was thinking yesterday at the hospital how to use up the leftovers. If anyone can think of a design that incorporates 3 years of leftover Fuzzy Stuff, Fyreworks, and very velvet, please let me know!

AND my favorite part, you can sign up and never have to talk to them. This is pretty awesome on the whole!

2 finishes in one day

I finished my Britty Kitty for the HalloFall exchange on Tuesday night. I just need SO to fix the button for me and I can finish it. I have batting left over from the wallhanging, and bought a pretty little box to fix and then mount it on. I even found a rubber stamp with pawprints on it to put on the box.

Mom had a medical procedure yesterday, so I took off work and took her to the hospital for it. She's OK, but it gave me stitching time. When I was cleaning my stuff out of the Neon, I found a UFO in the boxes of stash and took that home. It was Heartfelt Quakers by Midnight Stitching, cute little snowmen on backgrounds of Quakerish designs. I had started one back in May, and then put it in the trunk of the car, and moved on. But I figured I might as well work on that. It was perfect hospital stitching, because I only had one color to use to finish it. And I did. I am going to make an ornament from it. I don't know, though, if I should give it to SO's mom for Christmas. It's very "her", but I'm not sure if it's nice enough.

So two finishes in one 24 hour period is pretty good.

I started the newest SNN kit, Stitchy Acres while I was there, too. It's pretty cute, a graveyard for stitchy things. The designer put stitching terms on the tombstones. I think I may switch out the terms so that I can put "RR" on one, I think that would work, based on how many of them go missing. It's fun to work on, it's just a learning curve to figure out how to use all those funky fibers. This design uses a lot of Fyreworks which are not the easiest fibers to work with, but I think I have those figured out.

Oh, and I've done so good not buying new stash. I've done awesome this week. I keep finding UFOs and stuff I have kitted up, or partially kitted up, and it's been kinda fun to say, "I can do this. I can work on this and I don't have to spend money. Woo hoo." Last night, I was fondling Lost Spirits, by BOAF. I have a beautiful piece of Picture This Plus evenweave to do it on, and I want to start it. I need like 3 skeins of floss for it. Not too bad to just have to spend $1 to get a project ready for stitching!

23 September 2008

Profound post card at Postsecret blog

One of these days, I'll get back to posting just about stitching, but I found this today while blogsurfing (between waiting to hear on the car, and dealing with phones, I have a headache and that soothes me). How profound is that? I am tempted to pin it up over my monitor to remind me on my cranky days, there is no real reason for me to be unhappy. I've been through a tremendous lot in the last three years, a lot bad, a lot WONDERFUL. I've been blessed with wonderful friends, and I've had the chance to do some fantastic things. I was strolling through Borders last night and saw Widow of the Confederacy (which is a truly awesome book), and realized, "Wow, I've been to the house where the story took place. I've walked the rooms that were in this book. How many people in this room, in this mall can say that?" And that's worth being happy about. Being stuck in the trunk was worth being happy about, LOL, because I tried a new thing. So I am going to start being happy! And I am so excited.

Stitching as comfort

I got to stitch last night. I am almost finished with my stitching for the box lid. And, thanks to a wonderful person to whom I am so grateful, I can take a pic of it to share. It felt good to stitch, really comforting. I forgot how therapeutic stitching is for me.

I am still waiting to hear from the adjuster on the Neon, but the guy at the auto body said that they probably would total it. I had to go over today to fill out paperwork to let them work on it(why do they make you jump through 19 hoops after an accident? you gotta verbally release your car from the towlot, tell 5 people the same story, drive all over God's green earth, and sign and initial a mountain of paperwork, when the thing you most want to do is run from the room, screaming and waving your arms) and they gave me the license plates and told me to get the reast of my stuff out of it. I am pretty sure that is not a good sign, sorta like when the vet gives you the collar and leash. I had most everything out anyway, all I left in there was a candle, some hair ties, and a couple buttons. I feel so horrible driving away like that. But it is what it is.

I have a nice rental. They gave me a Sebring (you get treated well after an accident, LOL), which is pretty nice. It's one of the cars I am considering buying--after all this, I deserve a little nicer car. Pretty roomy inside, lots of legroom. Appointed like a luxury car. Of course I had check out the trunk. It was very roomy. But looking was not enough. I climbed in the trunk last night. I figured, if it could hold me, it can hold whatever I have to shove in it--dog cages, wheelchairs, boxes of stash. So I did fit, and it was pretty comfortable in there. However, I turned on my side and got stuck. And my mother would not help me out, LOL. She said it was like jail, I get in and out on my own. So it was a couple minutes of effort to get out of the trunk. but i fit in the trunk. This moves it up on the list.

22 September 2008

Rest in peace, my little stash hauler

My pretty little car, that I loved with all my heart, that has hauled me faithfully, lovingly, to CATS all these years, that I scrimped and saved so that I could make payments on while I was unemployed, that I used all my prize money from the fair to buy new tires for two weeks ago, that I still owe money on . . .

was hit by another car outside SO's house yesterday.

Yes, folks, it is one darn thing after another with me. I've decided to finally accept that. Why do you think my blog is named what it is, LOL.

We were asleep and I heard this dreadful screeching noise outside. Got up, thinking someone else had been in an accident, and saw my beautiful little Neon up on the curb, like the yard was being used for a driveway. Of course, I got my frowny face, because, to be honest, I was pissed. Who wants to be woken up and find their car jacked up and all these kids were scattering out of the other car. The driver got out and he said, "It's my fault," (like it was possibly my fault? I mean, I'm pretty good at multi-tasking, but even I can't manage to simultaneously sleep in a bed and cause an accident in a car 50 feet from me.) and then he caught frowny face. Y'all, I swear to God, my face felt like it must look like my mom's face looks when she is about ready to lose it. He said, "Don't look at me like that."

I have to say this. It is a truly brave man who hits a car, and walks into the yard where a glaring fat girl (did I mention the pitty bulls were in their yard?) and then tell her not to look at him like that. So, since I run to hystrionics, I decided it was time to call the police and get SO.

Have I mentioned SO is very tall and imposing, and not the best person to wake up in the morning by yelling, "Someone jacked up my CAR." Fortunately, he is also calmer than me, so he was able to step in while I was calling 911, and then my mom (yes, I called my mom.) The guy turned out to be nice, He was sorry about the car. He whacked the crap out of my car.

My car is probably thrashed. We won't know til the estimator looks, but it was bad. My driver's side rear is gone. My rear window is gone. The doors don't open. There is a ripple on the roof, right at the point where the support beams are. SO says if they can fix it, he wouldn't trust it in another accident. The tires came through like champs.

However, I did have to get my stuff out of the trunk. SO says he didn't know you could fit all that in a Neon trunk. I explained that is the innovation of cab-forward design. I tried to explain that it was mostly stash. It is mostly stash. And some CDs. And a first aid kit. Granted, it's stash wierdly packaged in various bags, but I know what's in the bags. $92 worth of floss from that hideous rumor of DMC going out of business, some magazines, some WIPs.

I know what is important. No one was hurt. I had insurance. That is the most important thing. They'll make more cars if this one is toast. SO wants a Chrysler 300. I want a Ford Fusion.

19 September 2008

Stitched just a little bit.

I was feeling absolutely dreadful last night and decided I needed a pick-me-up. Well, I know no better possible fat free solution to all life's problems than red lipstick and a new haircolor, so I dyed my hair and bought new lipstick. I actually did need to color my hair--the dentist thought I put highlights in because of all the white--so I am now a mellow golden red. They had a display of Wet n Wild lipstick at CVS, and, even though I know that it's not good lipstick, I bought me lipstick and gloss. I pondered getting glitter gel, but realized the girl in the photo display wearing the glitter gel was probably going to a ball, and I sell flood insurance and theatre tickets, and therefore don't get invited to glitter-worthy events, so probably not the best idea to purchase glitter gel. I ended up buying a hairband so I can try out that new updo that Blake Lively has been sporting. It's pretty even.

I stitched a wee little bit when I got home. I am loving this cat. He is so cute. I told Mom he (why do I think it's a boy cat? I don't know but I do.)looks like our little Lilybet. Mom insists Lily would never lay on a pumpkin. I don't know. You lay where you want to when you are the queen! But I hope my partner likes it. My plan is to mount this on a box. I don't know if it will be a paper box or a wood box, yet. It just depends on what they have at the store when I go that works better. I like doing boxes better than anything else. I did one using an ornament from an JCS issue a couple years ago and my partner liked it. She still uses it now, puts Hershey Kisses in it at Christmas. Which is pretty cool. I'll find something else to put in this, as most people who haven't grown up with Hershey's chocolate think it tastes like vomit (it kinda does, but, I mean, I'm used to it. Most Americans are used to it, LOL).

My Cubby buddy got her Schoolbox exchange. She's happy with everything. I am pleased. She liked her animal shaped rubberbands; I thought those were so cool when I saw them in Target and couldn't leave them there.

18 September 2008

No stitching last night

I was very stressed yesterday, and needed some time to decompress. I was too upset to even enjoy Ghosthunters; it's pretty bad if I can't even enjoy watching Jason, he is my current celebrity crush (yes, I know he's married, yes I know I have a boyfriend, I can still drool). And it's been a while since I just walked the neighborhood. So when I got home, I took Robbie for a nice long stroll.

I have to admit, it was probably the nicest walk I have been on for a while. My sweet little guy walked so nicely, and didn't even try to growl at anyone, not even the dogs in the yards we passed. Though, there was one beagle who was flippin out, and he looked at her like, "Don't worry about me coming in your yard, I've romanced the most beautiful dogs in Europe, I am not messing with some loudmouth in a side yard." He kept turning to look at me with this loving look in his eyes as if his chief bliss in the world was to walk next to his mummy and show her off to the whole world. When we got back to the house, he didn't want to go inside. He wanted to roll in the front yard (I must be a parent, because I looked at him rolling and wondered how many fleas he was picking up, LOL).He looked so sweet there in the grass, happy to be with me and his grammy.

But I couldn't sit to stitch. I started the Britty Kitty ornament from JCS Halloween issue for my exchange partner yesterday morning, but I couldn't force myself to sit and do it. So I went and read for a while.

Today was what was supposed to be my final dental appointment. Note I said supposed. It wasn't. That is in 3 weeks. The permanent teeth were not right. My dentist wasn't happy with the color. I am not pleased with the shape. Apparently the lab mistook my directions of, "No Chiclet teeth" to mean, "No, Chiclet teeth" because these teeth are horrendous. I realize that there are way worse problems going on in the world right now than the fact that the lab made me teeth that are fit for a horse, but . . . I was so upset. The dentist said, "Of course they're not your teeth, but if you liked your teeth, you wouldn't have had this done." Which is fine, and true, except . . . I haven't been through all this to end up with Mr. Ed's teeth. SO said you couldn't tell from the photo I sent him, but I know. I've seen enough celebrities and makeover shows to know these aren't right. My dentist is going to try to make them more "feminine"--didn't the lab see I had cute little teeth from the original molds? But all I can say is this, nothing is being cemented in my head, not at $3600, not at $1500, not for free, that I am not happy with. I am putting my flip-flop clad foot down about this. This was my dream, and it's not gonna be wrecked and it won't be a nightmare. I am NOT HAVING IT.

So, of course, I have a headache. Right behind my right eye. I did stitch at lunch, because my personal breakdown shouldn't mean my partner gets screwed for the Hallofall exchange. And the due date is on the 1st, and this is over 1 with hand-dyed floss, which makes it slow going. I'll get it done. I have his front paws done, and almost all of his head. He looks so cute.

16 September 2008

Lovely mail day yesterday.

I haven't been home since Thursday morning, and there was a good bit of mail waiting for me when I got home. Most of it was stuff I ordered before I got on the budget, or things I needed for stuff I had, or commitment stitching. I did get that Schipperke chart. I showed it to Robbie and told him that was him. He advised me he NEVER had a mullet that big. I have news for that little dog. I have photographic evidence via Google that he sported big hair in his day. Granted, it was in Europe, so I guess he thinks it doesn't count, but, I mean, we all had big hair back in the day. It's OK. I also got my SNN kit from Silver Needle. I was worried it wouldn't come because of some issues with my bank card that started back in the beginning of August and ended up with the card being turned off for security purposes. They didn't get me a new card and PIN til last week, so it's been a bit frustrating to have to deal with all the merchants who used the old card number. Apparently, it happens all the time, though, so I don't feel like a dork.

I finished my peas, and am mailing them off tomorrow. So glad I could get this done quickly for her.

Oh, and my mom was tired of seeing me carry a ratty grocery store bag out of the house with my stitching in it every day, so she bought me a cute little tote at Michael's. It's lime green, which is my current favorite color, and pretty cute. It unzips so you can get to everything. She told me to just stick my current project in there, which I can do, but it's a lot nicer to carry that than carrying a CVS bag. And the scissors can't poke holes in it, so my floss won't fall out! Yay!

15 September 2008

2 down, 3 to get finished

Two exchanges are out the door as of today.

My schoolbox exchange was sent priority mail at lunchtime. Beth in Kentucky should have it in 2 days. I am proud that I managed to get it out on time. And it's nice. I hope she likes it.

All I have to do for SS is send my reveal card. I ordered her silks on Friday. I haven't gotten the confirmation that the floss shipped out, but Vikki is great about that, so it will go out in the next few days. So I am doing good.

I forgot to mention what little chart I was stitching for the quilt square. It's Sanman's Snow Peas, only I took out the snowmen and changed the colors to be a little brighter. I think it works pretty as just the little peas. I spent all weekend stitching on it trying to get it done quickly. It's almost finished, I just have to finish the backstitch. I really hope she likes it, there is just something so endearing about peas!

Not much else is going on. With my shopping moratorium on, no new S.E.X. for me, and that really is OK. I mean, it took me all weekend to stitch two little peapods. As long as I get to keep my magazines, I am set for a while. I finally managed to watch one of my all-time favorite movies, "The War," with Kevin Costner and Elijah Wood, which I bought on DVD six months ago, and can't watch at home because our DVD player broke. (I just realized, stuff breaks a lot in our house . . . hmmm). It was as good as I remember it being, and it's sad that that movie is NEVER on TV. Elijah Wood was super-good in it. And that was probably the last really good Kevin Costner movie. It was funny and sad, and the music was good. Good movie to stitch to!

SO grilled out yesterday--this is his new football game day tradition. He's made this chicken for me before, and it's so good. If you like North Carolina barbecue, this is wonderful! This is the style from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, very flavorful and kicky. And, if you want a really yummy dip for it, mix a little bit of yellow mustard into some mayonnaise and dip bits of chicken in it. Oh MAN is that good.

BTW, this isn't his family's exact recipe--I'm not sharing that, I know what side my bread is buttered on, LOL--but it's close enough that you won't be disappointed. I am starting to collect Maryland recipes and this is worth adding!


2 beaten eggs
5 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. salt
2 c. vinegar
1 c. vegetable oil

Mix together. Marinate chicken pieces. Baste with marinade while grilling.

12 September 2008

No more geisha, at least not right now

I signed up for a quilt square for a lady who has aggressive cancer. The organizer needs to have it to the quilter in a few weeks, so that's what I am working on this weekend. I'm going to stay up late tonight to watch the coverage of the hurricane. I did this with Gustav; it's more "homework" than anything else. Plus, SO is going racing tonight and tomorrow (if the weather is OK), and I'll be awake til he gets to the track, so I can get a lot of work done on it.

I did get my SS exchange partner her final installment of floss this morning from Vikki Clayton. They were really pretty purples, so I think she will like those.

I did get three stitching magazines this morning on the way to work. Those don't fall under the heading of verboten because they are for my collection, and it's not like I can go back and find them when I get where I can afford new things again. There were some really nice charts. I'll blog about those later.

I have my final dental makeover appointment next Thursday at 8 AM. I am so ready for this to be finished. One thing I have learned from this: Don't believe what they show on TV. They never truly show what a total dental makeover looks like. The person sits down in the chair with wonky teeth, and gets up the same day with the most beautiful set of teeth one could want. No sweating, no blood, no pain, no anaethesia, the bib thing isn't even wrinkled. That's not how it's been. It will be a little over 7 weeks since I started this when I get the final teeth, barring major issues. It's been more uncomfortable than I expected, though I can't pinpoint exactly what makes it uncomfortable. And now I am kinda afraid that I'll get the final teeth and they won't be right. It was really wierd to have the power to look at the teeth I've had in my head a certain way for all this time and give specific instructions of what I want--Can we make this canine look like the other one? It's too pointy. That's a really wierd conversation to have with your dentist. And I've lost sensation in my front teeth. I never realized how important feeling your food is to the pleasure of the eating experience, but it is important. I wish I'd had someone to say that would happen.

I'll have to wait to see what the final result is to say if I would do it again. I know it needed to be done. I know it's one step forward to get me to where I want to be. One nice thing that happened was that my insurance approved the charges for my veneers. I don't know why. They aren't usually covered, but they did these. That offsets that they wouldn't pay for my bridge because I lost the tooth before I got this insurance. So this will cost me $3600 or so. And that really is not a bad price to pay for a cosmetic procedure. Is a tummy tuck that cheap?

11 September 2008

The WTC quilts

Thought I would share this, in honor of the day that forever changed this country. I was fortunate enough to see these quilts at CATS 3 years ago. I know the woman who organized this project. This is truly inspiring.

A finish for me

I know I am supposed to be focusing on my geisha, but I left her in my car on Monday night after I got out of the gym, and since I was too exhausted to go out and get her, I decided to start "Cats" by Val's Stuff. I've had it forever, but never started it and, when I went to look at it the last time, the buttons were broken. And, believe me, that makes me so mad--they were Mill Hill Buttons and not cheap. So I decided to finish it before it got further wrecked. Fortunately, I have buttons I can use that I bought at Michael's, so it's not a loss. I was trying to figure out how to handle the frame, because they use a Hog River frame that is really pretty on the cover, but Hog River is out of business now, so can't get the frame. But VeeandCo makes pretty frames, so I'll see if she can make me one.

I still have to order my SS's last gift for our exchange. I picked out some pretty Vikki Clayton silks for her that I hope she'll like. And I have to mail my schoolbox exchange. I hope my partner likes that. I think I took good care of her.

I am going to really try very hard to not buy new stitchy stuff. I have a really good reason. I found a place nearby that offers horseback riding lessons for a reasonable (or at least I think it's reasonable) price, and I have really really wanted to get back into riding for the last couple years. I did it when I was a kid, but I got out when it started They even offer the opportunity to purchase a share of a horse, and I always sorta felt I could really get in shape if I could just have access to a horse more than once a week. But the chance to have that requires that I cut back somewhere, and so I think I better cut back on the stitchy stuff. No more trips to the LNS, no more Ebay. At least for a few months. And I do have to admit, I've found more projects by looking through my stash the last few days than at the LNS. And since they're kitted up already or kitable, it's saving gas. LOL

10 September 2008

Where is everyone?

I realize my blog is not interesting with no photos, but I keep going on everyone's blogs and there's not a lot of new posting. That makes me sad. I like your blogs. I like y'all. I miss reading your writings. Please come back. I'm still here. I'm still real. I really am Rachel from Maryland--I would show you my driver's license to let you know I really am me, but I don't think the world is ready to handle seeing that picture.

Anyway . . .

Not much is going on here. I decided what my project is going to be for the special contest at the state fair next year. The special contest, which is a class where they choose a letter of the alphabet, and you have to stitch a subject that begins with that letter, is " Things that begin with L." This year, it was "S", and I did my sheep for that, last year, it was T. I think you have to be pretty specific; one lady stitched a gorgeous Barb and Cheryl "Sunshine and Shadows", and it got nothing. I think they didn't see how it was something that began with S. Anyway, this year, I thought about going with a lighthouse, but that's pretty common, and I want to stand out. Plus, I had this gorgeous Maria Diaz design in an old Cross Stitch Collection magazine of a lioness and her cub. It's just like a photo, very lifelike. So that is my entry. I misplaced the magazine (of course), but I found it last night, and spent most of the evening cuddling it.

09 September 2008

Does anyone read French

I got my cow pocket last night. I happy danced, until I realized the directions were in French. Even the measurements were in French, well, metric measurements.

I have spoken French since I was 8. I was bi-lingual by the time I was in high school. I was put in a junior level French lit class my first semester of college. I've read Voltaire in the original French.

I can not read these directions.

It shows how to lay out the charts on the fabric. You would think I would have had enough experience reading French to understand what the HECK is going on. Well, somewhere in my French studies, between learning about Haiti (but not learning how to speak patois), learning how wild the French were for jeans, and memorizing large portions of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, I missed the section on translating French cross stitch instructions.

I'll figure it out if I have to use Google translater to do it. This will have to be finished, and I don't think any finisher I know is quite skilled enough to both finish and translate French.

08 September 2008

The box approach is working

I am starting to see good progress on the geisha's skirt. I mean, really good. It is starting to make sense and falling together right. I am pretty happy with it.

One thing I noticed is that the piece is a little dirty and discolored. There is a difference in color between the floss on the part that was done in 2001, and the part I just put in. I am not panicking, I am not even worried about it. It was in an unfinished basement for 7 years, bound to make anything a titch grungy, plus it's been handled. The dogs ran on it. The cats have been on it--they're cats, they like to be with me. But it does serve to undermine the importance of trying to keep your hands clean while stitching. Because, I assure you, I didn't ever pick it up with grubby hands or let muddy beasts near it, but it got a little grungy and over time, that got heightened. But, it's not worth worrying about. I wash my finishes (at least the ones not with overdyed threads) with dish detergent and they normally come right.

Oh, and I've been camera shopping, at least online. Since my tires were so reasonably priced, I think I can afford one. At least a mid-priced one. I think I want to stick with a Sony, since that is what I am used to and I'm not trying to be a pro photographer here, just trying to show my work off. So we'll see. I'm also trying to save up to go to the beach with SO on Columbus Day weekend. I want to go to Chincoteague, Virginia and that is probably a good time to go. The leaves will be turning on the Eastern Shore, there won't be as many people there, trying to get back over the Bay Bridge at the same time. These are all pretty important things to take into consideration. I would like to have the camera then, but if not, my brother will let me use his.

06 September 2008

Despite the rain, not a total washout

Tropical Storm Hannah came through today. It was pretty nasty up til 5PM, but it cleared up by sunset and it looks good today. I was SOPPING wet by the time I got to the theatre this morning. The power went down at work momentarily, but we are on the same grid as the local hospital, so it came right back up and we made it through. Thank you for thinking of us.

The stash hauler (my car) has 4 brand-new tires! I already feel much safer. It struck me that I haven't had 4 new tires on that car since I bought it, not at the same time. SO ordered these for me, because he thought we could get them cheaper than at Sears. I hadn't intended on getting 4, but I did need them--I think one of the tires is the one that came with the car, LOL. And he got a great price, $77 each with free install. I am happy. He does take exceptional care of me.

I am focusing on that geisha's skirt now. I think it would probably be better for me, as far as keeping track of what I am doing. And it wouldn't make the task quite so daunting.

05 September 2008

A plea for reality

I am sure it's out there in the blogosphere about the huge scandal at 123Stitch. A long-time poster went AWOL and came back under a dummy name and was rude as HELL to people. Despite the fact that people were asking where she was, were genuinely concerned about her, and were hurt by what she did. Joanne won't let us discuss it. A LOT of people are angry. A lot of trust was violated. Since we can't post there, it's taken to the blogosphere.

It is beyond my realm of reasoning to figure out why someone would go online and proceed to hide under another persona, either by taking a fake name, or even just by being a bitch. The fake name I just don't understand. Yes, it's "the internet;" you're talking out into a nameless void, but that doesn't mean people don't get hurt by things you say or do. My family thinks I am nuts when I speak of friends I have that are online; they don't understand how we create bonds. But we do; my online friends have gotten me through the tragedy of my grandmother's death, the joy of going to get Robbie Doobie Doo. They are the first people I rush to tell when I win fair ribbons, and I worry that I let them down when I don't win; I know that's wierd, but y'all have been my biggest cheerleaders and you got me through some difficult moments involving blending filament. If you are going to be horrible in an online community, you have to be brave enough to be nasty under your own name. Otherwise, keep your mouth shut. A lot of us feel like she was amused by our concern, maybe amused by how we reacted and that makes it worse. There is a trust involved, and when someone breaks that trust for their own entertainment or to fill some void, it starts to undermine our group.

And I think it's time that we all stood back and took a look at our actions. How do we treat other people on the boards? Would we say those things if we were face to face? Could what we say and how we act hurt someone. People have said so many things about me that just cut me like a knife; someone told me once that, since I had gotten mad and kirked out on my boyfriend, who had cheated on me with someone online who played him for a fool, they could understand why he didn't want me. Who says something like that to another human being who is hurting? What gives anyone the right to do that? Because, I assure you, no one would say that to me in real life and remember the next few minutes of their day. And I have always tried to go on the theory that people are fragile. The fact that I remember what was said to me, worried that it was true, and that I did deserve that, and still think about it, that shows that. Part of our communal trust is to be aware that what we say could affect someone long after we've tripped merrily on our way, and to act accordingly. I try to do that, even when it means I have to delete posts. Maybe that is why I post inane posts; I would rather your last impression of me be that I amused you, not that I made you angry.

I think I am starting to ramble here, but I guess it comes down to being respectful. A lot of people are hurt, and bewildered by this situation. Personal responsibility plays such a big part of all this; if people would just stop and think 3 steps ahead before they did things, or did them with kindness in their hearts, this would have been avoided.

This is not funny, LOL

This is new from LHN. And I am on a budget. The good news is, though, my tires are only $77 each with free install. Woo hoo. I think we take it in on Monday.

Please keep those of us in the Mid-Atlantic in your thoughts. We have a tropical storm blowing through. My mom was busy getting stuff up off the floor in the basement and outside this morning, and my aunt was out trying to get ready. We're pretty storm ready on the whole here, but still . . . .

She sparkles now

I decided to do some more backstitch last night. I'm humming along and I figure I should take advantage of my willingness to accomplish it. Especially since the chart is about to self-destruct; I had to put another layer of tape on it today, LOL.

I started stitching the golden motifs on her shawl last night while watching Law and Order and Homicide: Life on the Streets. I miss Homicide. That was a pretty awesome show in the mid-90s. And I am not just saying this because it was set in Baltimore, and a lot of my acting buddies worked on it. It was a good show. And I don't think you can get it on DVD. If you can, I'm so buying it.

Anyway, the Kreinek braid was a fine choice to use to do this instead of the ugly thread that came with a kit. It makes just enough impact to be lovely without being overwhelming and it's making the shawl pop. I am super-pleased with it.

I am trying to do a small section of skirt in between backstitching. I think I may be psyching myself out about the funky shading on the skirt and how tricky it all is, and so it's important I fight that.

I will admit, I bought stash today. Someone found a Schipperke pattern on Oldstitch, and I can't pass that up. They don't come around often.

04 September 2008

New Designs by Blue Ribbon Designs

They MUST know when I am on a budget. (shakes fist in impotent rage)

My cow is shipping

I had an email from La Cigale Brodeuse that my cow pochette is shipping. Yay!

I was starting to be worried because I ordered it on the 2nd of August and it's not here yet. And it's not like I have any other place to order from. But she was on vacation, and apologized profusely for not shipping sooner. It's OK. It's not like I didn't have anything to work on, LOL. Now to figure out what fabric to stitch the cow on.

If you want to check out their site, it's

Does anyone know why there are so many French cow patterns? There seem to be a lot? I have one from Teddy and Co that's a cow dressed as a witch for Halloween. One of these days, I'll get that started.

Welcome to the blogosphere

Found designer Sue Hillis' blog today. She is one of my favorite designers and is so very talented. Looking forward to seeing more posts from her.

I didn't get a lot of stitching done last night. It was my night to get my nails done, so didn't get home til 7:30. I didn't sit down to stitch til 8, but it was Ghosthunters night, so I had good TV to watch.

I actually laughed out loud. Geisha's backstitching instructions referenced making cording to line the red parts of her kimono. I do not make cording. I don't make it for ornaments, I am not making it to tack onto stitching. NO WAY. I don't think I am good at it and I don't like it. So I backstitched instead. It looks OK, but took a while. I worked on her skirt too. That is some rough going. My poor shredded chart is not holding up well, and the backstitch is over the symbols, so I am just doing it as best I can. It will all meld together in the end.

03 September 2008

My stuff is home

Mom picked up all my entries at the fair yesterday. I already hung New Birth of Spring back on the wall; it looked terribly bare without it there. They sent the premium check as well, for $66. Which is wonderful. And desperately needed. SO is trying to see if we can get my tires for wholesale through his friend that runs the raceshop, and he needed the size on them. When I bent down to look, I realized that the belts may be starting to show. NOT GOOD. With the check, I have enough money to replace the front tires right now, but we'll hold off on the back til closer to winter. I bummed myself out a little by admitting I can't use the prize money to buy a new camera, but it's pretty a pretty obvious choice and I only look stupid. I can always buy a camera. The little dogs told me they might be willing to buy me a camera for my birthday if I was a good mummy.So that's that.

And I was pleased to see what the special contest will be: things that begin with L. This makes my quest for the perfect lighthouse chart more crucial. Particularly since I had an idea to choose a peachy pinky orangey hand-dyed fabric to stitch it on and make it look like it's a lighthouse at sunset. I have a vision, now to find the chart that finishes that vision. But then, too, I have some lion charts that would be pretty cool too. I don't know. I have 50 weeks to make it happen.

I am buzzing on the geisha. I finished the backstitch on her head, and did a kimono rose. It never fails to impress me how effective backstitch really is. People complain so much about it, but really, it changes your piece from blobs of color to something beautiful. I did realize this is a pattern that looks better from a distance than it does up close; the backstitch is really sharp from a little bit away. Hopefully, I can have her totally and completely done by the end of the month.

I got my partner for the HalloFall exchange. She's in England. LOVE IT. I am doing her the Brittercup from the JCS Halloween issue, since she wanted Halloween. That should be a quick stitch. I just need to get the button for it. Or a button. She wants tricks, too. I'll have to think about that. I am not too good at that kind of thing, LOL.

02 September 2008

It's September!

It is so hard to believe that summer is over. SO keeps telling me that summer is not over since we don't go to school anymore, but it still feels like it. The next holiday we have off is Thanksgiving. And then Christmas comes.

I had a really nice holiday weekend, all in all. I am so glad that Gustav seems to have minimal damage results, though I hesitate to say that since, if it was my house that had any damage, I would be upset. I watched the Weather Channel all weekend just to see how bad it would be, since my New Orleans agents were freaking out. We went to my father's family reunion. My watermelon feta cheese salad was a success, which I was pleased about--I never know how people will take it, but they liked it. My mom sent the hambone home with me; we gave it to the boys last night, which pleased them to no end. I stopped by the cemetary to visit my gramma and take her a pot of mums on the way home. It's been dry up in Western Pennsylvania, so I watered it pretty well, but, if she wants to keep it nice, she better send some rain, LOL. Yesterday was a lazy day; we went out for dinner to the same restaurant we had dinner at on Memorial Day, so it was nice to end the season at the same place we started the season. And they had crab legs. YUMMY. I decided on eating those instead of Maryland crabs, because it was less work, and less risk of shells getting in the meat to break my temporary crowns.

I worked a little on my geisha. I have started putting the details in the places where the stitching is finished. I decided to tackle her head last night. The chart calls for twisted lazy daisies in three strands. Those are hard to do, or at least hard to make look nice. Mine aren't so great, but the directions aren't great, and they do look pretty much like what they are supposed to look like. I think they will be OK when the whole thing is finished. The backstitch is a little daunting, but I'll get it done. I can't wait to finish her. I am so thankful to SO for taking a picture of her for me so y'all could see her.

01 September 2008

An updated WIP photo

Finally, a photo of my UFO/WIP, Elegance of the Orient. I know, she doesn't look much different than she did before, right. But her tree branch is done, and the lining of her kimono, that's almost done. Yeah

It seems like New Orleans wasn't hit too bad by this hurricane. Thank God.
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