30 May 2008

The Tree is DONE

I finished the Christmas tree on my lighthouse stocking this morning. Woo hoo! Happy dance with me. All I have left now is to finish the snow and the little dove and the anchor. And most of the backstitch.

I really need to start finishing some UFOs. I may dub this as the Summer of UFOs--I mean, seriously, people do see more of them in the summer anyway, so it's not that far off--and just get some things finished, or if not finished, at least progressing decently. I am far behind in my Bride's Tree SAL, which is fine because I am not getting married soon. Not that I blame SO--he was trying to help out my mom, per my batted eyelash request, by mowing the lawn at her rental house. The house sits on a hill with a steep slant, and he fell and jammed his wrist. Now I don't know whether I should offer him the brace from when I broke, oops, just sprained (the most painful sprain EVER) my hand, or ask him if he fell down the hill and rolled into traffic. Before you start laughing, growing up, this was always the reason we were told my parents moved from that house, they were afraid of my brother rolling into traffic. My brother is not the kind of person who would have done something like that, but I was, so I guess it's good they moved, because I grew up in a perfectly flat yard and made it to almost 32. Though, when you think about it, they were a lot closer to the ER there . . . Anyway, he has to have his hand recover, so no marriage soon, no need to finish them all, though I do feel like a tremendous deadbeat.

I did, however, organize all my lovely finishing fabric last night. I must say, I have IMPECCABLE taste in finishing fabric. I found a lovely yellow plaid that was just sweet that I had forgotten I bought. But then, it was in Virginia Beach, so no wonder. Now to find something to finish with it . . . So I am pretty proud of myself, but I better get a finishing because I can see this fabric stash growing out of hand, and it's not like I can do anything else with it until I get a sewing machine. Even then, there isn't enough to really MAKE anything with. So must get a stitchin. And stop stitching large pieces that take too much time and bore me.

29 May 2008

Sue Hillis Stitch-in, Day 2

We woke up on Saturday morning, thanks mostly to Nancy's cellphone alarm going off. It's funny, no matter what you're dreaming of, those ringtones will just cut in and jar you awake. They don't appear to sync with any dream you can possibly have, not to mention they are annoying as anything. I was determined to get my sheep finished Saturday, so I started early. I am sure Nancy and Chrissy thought I was a freak because I was stitching in the half-light, LOL.

We got breakfast, and headed to the stitching room. Everyone was there, including Lesley, who came from Australia for the Stitch-in (she also visited a new grandbaby, but this is not the point). They were offering classes, but it was far more fun to sit and stitch. Someone started a swapping table and that was great. I found several nice things, including the Cherished Teddy Nativity leaflet, which I have never seen. My mother did ask what was the point of taking things down, if I just brought stuff back; I explained I gave away what I didn't want and got what I did want! I am just glad those charts got homes where they would be appreciated, and I am sure someone else feels the same about the charts they gave away. We were on our own for lunch, so bopped over to the gas station for snacks; since I didn't have a lot of time to be there, I didn't want to waste it at a restaurant, we would be eating at Sue's, and I never eat much when I am around other stitchers. Too excited to be with my people, LOL.

We headed over to Sue's a little after 2. I wore my hat--next time, I must get me a better one, I think. Nancy made a redneck teaparty hat, and a lady from near the Pennsylvania line had a lovely teaparty hat with bunnies on it. They won the hat contest, and we had a nice time sitting out on Sue's lawn, drinking iced tea and chatting. I did discover that strawberries in iced tea are DELICIOUS, one for the whoda thunk file. Sue has two pretty kitties, Lucy and Ethel, one of whom was standing in the door as if she were the mistress of the manor, greeting us. We got nice goodie bags with Hershey Kisses, a Cherry Ripe from Australia (do people in other countries get as excited about our candy as we get about theirs?), and a bunch of lovely charts. And I can always use a tote!

When the afternoon wore down, we headed back to the hotel for more stitching. Libby and Simchah were unable to make the morning Hardanger class, so I offered to show them Hardanger. They are both very talented stitchers, and picked it up quick, though I did have to tell Simchah that it was OK that her piece wasn't perfect from the get go. It's not the easiest form of stitching to do, but just the fact she was willing to try and she didn't give up says quite a lot about her. Not to mention, Libby is a wonderfully supportive friend and kept encouraging her. It really is a pleasure to teach people like them.

I really wanted to stay, but I wanted to spend time with SO, and it was a long drive back to where he lives, so I left at 8:45. It was hard to go, because we were having fun, and there just isn't enough time in the day . . . Traffic wasn't too bad coming home, Rolled in the door at home at midnight, which was good, because I was going up past Baltimore, and that's an extra hour up 95, so not really bad time.

I really want to have my own stitch in. I think it would be fabulous to have a group of stitchers and just have us a party, totally relaxed, close to LNSs, close to attractions, but just a laid-back atmosphere. I am seriously working on getting one started.

28 May 2008

Notes from the Sue Hillis Stitch-in

I promised I would write about my experience at the Sue Hillis GTG. That was held in Richmond, Virginia over the weekend. I couldn't stay the whole weekend, but did have a nice time when I was there.

I was ready to go all day Friday. It was a cruddy day at my office because someone decided that, out of a staff of 10, 6 people could have the day off. We have a serious issue with this because the same 3 people take the day before and after every holiday off, but you can't say anything to anyone about being fair about scheduling. So I left, disgruntled, at 5 PM. My BF tells me that I am sunk because of how many people are on the road. I thought he was wrong til I realized, yes, every single person in the DC Metro area was in their car on the Capital Beltway, and then traveling down 95 South. It took me 2 hours to go 50 miles. That STUNK.

Oh, I have to tell y'all. I am sitting in traffic. We aren't moving really fast, maybe 10 or 20 miles an hour, when I see the guy in the neighboring car light up a ginormous blunt. In case you aren't up on your pot vernacular, a blunt is basically a huge marijuana joint, but instead of wrapping it in rolling papers, which are illegal to purchase in my area, the smoker will buy a cheap cigar (Philly Blunts were the #1 seller at the convenience store I used to work in, I guess that is where the name came from), remove all or some of the tobacco, add their pot and light her up. I don't smoke, so I don't know why this is preferable to regular smoking. I sure didn't think anyone would do it in traffic. Anyway, we weren't going fast and he seemed pretty jovial after he took the hit. He was waving people over into his lane, waving that blunt (I wonder if he ever thought one of us might be in an unmarked car, though I am pretty sure they don't send cops out in Neons, and the Sunfire with the body kit and custom paint job in the lane next to me didn't scream undercover, LOL). So I was OK with it til the smoke rolled in the car. ACCCCK. Pot smoke in my FRESHLY AND EXPENSIVELY WASHED CAR, as well as IN MY HAIR. I had to roll up the windows and run the air conditioning, which is not particularly gas thrifty, but I didn't want to smell like weed. A lot of the women at the get-together know of me, but haven't met me, so I did not want their first impression of me to be that I was smoking weed on the way down.

I finally got down there at around 8 PM, walked into the wrong hotel, and finally got to the right one. I just hunkered down and started stitching. We worked for a while til I realized I really did need to get a memory stick for the camera. And I was a little hungry, so we were off to the Super Walmart for food, the stick, and sour mix for the alcohol we had upstairs. people thought we were wierd for going to Walmart during the stitch-in, but, um, I don't know how other people do vacations, but in my family, it's not a vacation if we don't end up at Walmart at some point during the trip.

We got back and stitched happily til it was time to go drink. I don't drink much, so getting the chance to let my hair down is a treat. Managed to not get really messed up, so I stitched til we went to bed.

More tomorrow.

27 May 2008

Good things . . .

Pumpkin posted in her blog about some of the good things in her life. I have been so harried lately, I haven't had a lot of time to stop and think about my blessings.

Brea is the major blessing of my existence. She's been there for me during the highest highs and the lowest lows--who else would have sat next to me having a meltdown in the Nashville Airport or kept me company on the phone on the way to Richmond the other night? I never say enough to her how grateful I am that God put her in my life, because there just aren't enough good words to say that. B, you truly are my sister of the heart and I am so honored that you chose me for a friend.

I am blessed that whoever is in charge of the universe decided I was worthy of being pet parent to my wonderful dogs and cats and sent them to me. Each and every one is a gem: Chancey for her thoughtfulness, Lily for her beauty, Gus for being my main man for all these years, Nikki for being so protective, Flicky for showing me that we all have a capacity to forgive. And my Robbie, who loves me well beyond unconditionally and whose coming taught me that there really is a red thread that connects those destined to be together.

I am also blessed that I have the ability to paint pictures with thread and needle. Some people use acrylics, some use oil, I work in floss.

26 May 2008

Tea Party photos

From the Stitcher's Tea Party. I am on the top step, right hand side by the pillar, in the blue hat.

I am so glad I got the car washed. It's in the pic of us at the tables, on the right side, it's the black one. I realize at this distance you can't tell if it's really clean or not, but if your car is going to end up on the Internet, it's good to be clean.

Can it really be a photo?

Thanks to the kindness of a certain SO of mine, I finally have a finish pic to post. Woo hoo. Happy dance with me!

This is Cedar Hill's Sheep on the Meadow, stitched on the simply amazing fabric that Julie sent me. Julie, this fabric was a HUGE hit at Sue's Stitch-in. I finished it on Saturday night, a little later than I had planned, but I was giving my friends Libby and Simchah a Hardanger lesson and got a little behind. So I finished it right around 8:30 on Saturday night.

I'm really quite happy with it. The little sheep really do stand out against the fabric beautifully and make it look like a meadow. I am planning on a barnwood- looking frame for it. Grey or brown would both look pretty good, but we'll have to see what they have available.

I have to run now. We have dinner reservations at 4 at the local crabhouse, and I have to go run to the store for some things before we go! I'll fill in the details about Sue's as soon as I get a chance, and hopefully will have photos to share. It was a blast. Sue is a gracious hostess and so neat to meet people. I run into the Maryland and Northern Virginia stitchers on 123 fairly frequently, and met the Canadian stitchers at CATS in 2006, but rarely the Tarheel stitchers and never anyone from the Midwest, so it was a treat!

23 May 2008

The car is packed,

the needles are threaded, CD player has a good CD in it, I am on my way to get cake and liquor in 10 minutes, I have way more projects in the car than I can possibly do, SO told me I was cute and sent me a cute pic of himself, I even have a simply adorable hat for the tea party. I would say I am ready to go. Wouldn't you?

Of course I need to find a memory card for the digital camera. I'll stop at Walmart on the way down.

I was digging through my box of finished projects last night. I found some stuff to finish. Mostly old stuff, I have to say. But it needs to be done. I am only completely bummed about one project, Midsummer Night Designs Mistress Prim and Proper, because it has a couple little schmutzy (Pennsylvania Dutch word) places on it, that I am afraid to wash because I stitched it with Vikki Clayton silks back when they weren't colorfast and it already did run a little in one place. I don't want to mess it up any further. I think I may just frame that as a lesson learned. It's still amazing and HUGE. Besides, it's not necessary to be clean to last; someone once pointed out to me once that girls in the past times weren't working in a sterile environment and their stuff lasted. If it doesn't, well Darwin works for more than just people, LOL.

I am not going back to Kentucky, at least not right now. I found that out yesterday. To be honest, it's OK. When I found it out, the tension headache I've had since Monday went away. I am going to relax and enjoy getting ready for the fair. I just took June 13th off work--it's payday and therefore the best day to haul my cookies over to my LNS and get this started. I even have TWO $5 off coupons for there. Woo hoo! Don't know when I'll get to Hobby Lobby now, though, cause I am not doing another drive to a place that has a HL like I did when I went to Virginia Beach. It was 4 hours and lots of gas to get there, and I am not doing that this year. NO WAY. I think I can check Kohls and see what they have--they always have pretty interesting things there and great sales. I ought to be able to find a usable frame, right?

22 May 2008

Almost ready for the GTG

I took the car in today for a wash and wax and an oil change. They did a majorly crappy job of vacuuming it out at the car wash, which I would have complained about, but then again, it was only $15.95 to have it done, so really, I shouldn't have expected them to clean it like it was getting detailed. But I do have to say it would have been nice had they remembered to put the antenna back on the car, that's not asking too much; it was my fault the Doritos were on the back seat floor, but they put the antenna back there, not me!. Anyway, the Jiffy Lube guys vacuumed a little better for me. I have to admit, the car looks so good now, all shiny and black, you can barely see the scratches in it. I don't think it's looked so good since I bought it!

I pulled out more charts to give away at the GTG. Mom has decided I have some sort of treasure trove in my sale list and was like, "Don't give that stuff away if you think you might want it! Because once it's gone, it's gone." Umm . . . OK, that was the point. I am pretty sure there is not a strong sale market for the flyswatter covers (Not even gonna ask who was sitting around in the late 70s going, "ya know what, I feel really bad about the whole killing flies thing. Yeah they're nasty and annoying, but it's a karma thing. Lemme just cover that, it'll make us all feel better, and best yet, lemme put a little cross stitch on it. There, it's pretty. No tool of death on my wall, no sirree!), and I sure as heck don't need them. I don't care what anyone else does with them, but we don't need em here!

My sheep look fabulous. They really pop against the Celedon fabric now that I have a lot done. I love how their little faces all look different, they don't have the same expression. It's a really lovely effect. Maybe I'll do better at the fair than I had hoped. I won't win at the county level, not with these. But maybe at state they'll stand a chance. Hopefully, I have a good chance to win 1st with New Birth of Spring and Lost Dragon Sampler. They don't get a lot of entries in Fantasy, and NBOS is very detailed. My aunt brought up some of my small finishes to see what we can do with those. Maybe make some ornaments and small things with them. She's going to take Kitty Dreams to her quilt store and have them help her pick out the fabrics to make into a wallhanging. They make good choices and she's very talented, and I love that my finisher has a degree in art from an Ivy League school, hee hee!

21 May 2008

OK, I give up

I am going to have to break down and buy a new computer and my own digital camera. I can not keep going without posting a finish. Or a WIP photo. BJ's Wholesale Club had a decent price on a camera, and I can probably get financed for a computer through Dell. The IT guy here at work is still looking for a motherboard for our PC, but who knows when he'll find that, and I am feeling withdrawal. But I am going to hold off til after I get back from TDY. No need to be worrying about that from 500 miles away, plus my brother is moving out in July (or at least that's the idea), and I'll finally have room to start dying fabric then, and we'll be doing that, so I will need the camera for photos of that. So, for right now, I am going to get one of those one-time use cameras, when it's developed, put the pix on a disk and upload. That's the best I can do for now.

I am getting ready for Sue Hillis' Memorial Day Stitch-in. In two days, I'll be there. Woo hoo. Gotta pack tonight, but that will take all of 5 minutes because I am not staying all weekend. Tomorrow morning before work, I am getting the oil changed in the Neon, then have it washed and vacuumed; since this is probably my only real vacation this summer, I am riding down in high style! There's a swapping table for stash, so I am bringing down some of the things out of my sale items (no, not the cruddy stuff, I promise, LOL) to put on the table. If it doesn't get taken, it will go to a battered women's shelter in Richmond. I love that idea, because cross stitch has been such a therapy for me, and I hope it helps a woman who is going through hell. But I should be ready to go on Friday--all I need to do is pick up a coconut cake at the Amish market at lunch (because the first question we stitchers ask is, "Will there be cake?" and this is REALLY AWESOME CAKE) and then I just have to fight the traffic to get to Sue's.

My sheep are progressing well. I did get them buggers finally corralled yesterday. I went home with a hellacious migraine at noon, laid around for a while on the couch, drinking caffeine and hoping it would go away, then took a nap (don't ask me why I drink caffeine when I don't have a headache and am up all night, but gimme a headache and all that fixes it is caffeine and sleep). Woke up still having the migraine, so I lurched over to the grocery store for sunglasses, food, and painkillers (though I am sure we had prescription ones in the cupboard). When I took Excedrin, it finally went away, so I got some stitching time--and was wired til 1 AM.

I have pretty much run out of one of the colors for the sheep, but I managed to find another skein of it in the bag for the Stoney Creek stocking. Please remind me to put that skein back when I am done with it for this project. One of the benefits of doing a Stoney Creek is that, especially if it's a cover design from the magazine, they all use every single color of DMC floss. EVERY ONE. Anytime you need a color for another project, it's in a Stoney Creek you kitted up. If it's not all of them, every Stoney Creek must use the 433-437 range of colors, as well as every green, all those 640 greys too. And 745. But they really are beautiful designs. So you get a beautiful piece of art, and your own miniature Michael's with each finish.


20 May 2008

Darn frigging frog

I miscounted on Sunday and didn't pick it up until last night, after I had done an entire sheep, the fence and the hedge. Son of a . . . . I am so furious at myself. I started unpicking everything to get it fixed. I know I don't have to do this, but I am a perfectionist, and if I know the flaw is there, it just won't work.

This really messes a lot of stuff up. I am going to Kentucky for work in the next week or two (at least that is what they told me, this could change) and will be there for a month. It's not something that I can turn down, it's good for my career, and who knows what potential career path it could put me on that would help out my family. But, realistically, at least in terms of my summer goals, it's going to be hard. This pushes up my deadline to get things stitched to have them ready for the fair. I know that's a small detail in the broad scheme of life, but I love the fair, and I know that they rely on people exhibiting to keep the fair from being just the midway and the commercial building. But it makes it so crazy for me. I was running around the house last night, trying to figure out where I stashed everything. Fortunately, I found most of the finished pieces, and as soon as I figure out when I am leaving, I am taking a day off to get all my stuff over to the framer. But having to unpick the sheep potentially puts me a day behind in finishing the sheep. ARRRRGH.

I know how this is going to end. I will spend the four weeks of evenings on my TDY in my hotel room, with a glue gun and exacto knife, and some pre-made frames, framing stuff for the fair. If I am crabby for the next month, I apologize. One bright spot, there's a Hobby Lobby in Central Kentucky, and they have kick-butt frames, so I will at least have nice frames.

I wonder if things like this happen to the people who exhibit sheep?

18 May 2008

Long time, no see

I have been so busy since Wednesday. My SO is back from the beach. Had to put aside the stocking so he wouldn't see it. He thinks I spent all week on my sheep. Ha ha! I showed it to him, and he said, "Those are taking a long time, aren't they?" Yep. Now to just get them finished and get that stocking finished so it's ready for the fair.

I have been thinking a lot about something my LNS put out in their newsletter. I don't know if I should just take it as a thought or think of it as bitchy. They were talking about how we should really focus our purchasing efforts on going to the LNS and not shopping online. They had a valid argument, I guess . . . because they do do mail order and they have the super-saver card, and you can touch things there, but still . . . I like shopping online. I like shopping on E-bay. I usually don't buy fabric online, cause that's a hit and miss thing (ex: the three yards of heather material that turned out to be grey, What will I do with 3 yards of grey material?). But I like the convenience of shopping online. I like the fact that, usually, if you buy from an ONS, it's in stock, ready to go. My LNS has to order it and they want the entire payment upfront. My ONS only charges when they have it there. I know that's a little thing, but still, what if it's something that is going to take a while to get or you might not get, but they still got your money tied up for a while?

Then there's the costs involved with actually getting over there. My LNS is 1 gallon of fuel away from me. That's 3.75 to get over, and the same to get back. How often does the cost to ship an order come to $7.50? Yesterday, I was driving back to SO's house from Baltimore, and I got lost because the expressway exit didn't indicate his town, and I get unsure of myself. So I ended up getting off headed to Pimlico Racetrack, where, by the way, they were having the Preakness Stakes, and I had a HELL of a time getting back to the highway. I finally pulled a U-ey in front of about 6 Baltimore (and that's Ballimer for y'all not from here), because I just didn't care if I got a ticket. If I got pulled over, I planned on throwing myself on their mercy and explaining that I was from DC (that mollifies the issue a lot of times, they know we don't know how to drive in their city), but they let me go. I guess on Preakness Day, they have worse things to worry about than a frazzled-looking red head pulling a U-ey. And you want to know what anal-retentive me was MOSTLY concerned about? The amount of gas I was burning up being lost! Anyway, so it matters. Not to mention, it's a time issue. I work two jobs. This is the first time in, crud, 2 months I got to my LNS. My weekends are so precious to me that when I find something that gets something I need done and it doesn't involve driving somewhere on a weekend, I am ALL ABOUT THAT. With an ONS, I can order at 7:30 on a Wednesday morning, on Christmas Day, on Sunday at 5 PM. I like that freedom.

I guess I don't like being told where to shop, even gently. I mean, if you start down the road of that logic, it turns into you can only shop at one LNS, and I frequent three. I did frequent more, but they closed. And when you think about it, as a stitcher, what is the first thing you look for when going on vacation? Is there an LNS? Now I will say, in all my travels, when I get to a shop, they all go out of their way to be helpful. They all say, let us know if there is ANYTHING we can get for you. That is lovely. If I were looking for city-specific designs, I would check with them. But at least it doesn't get shoved that I should patronize them.

I mean, I love my LNS. I am way over-reacting probably. But then again, so are they. Everytime I go in that place, there are people all over the store. It's a big LNS. I do my part to support them. So much so, that they know my name. If my mom doesn't come along, they ask about her. When I was going through my stash, a lot of it had stickers from there. So I've done my part. I fought terrorism by shopping there, I stimulated the economy by buying yesterday, can I spend my money in peace online? I hope so, cause I just found some sites in Europe, and, um, their designs are WAAYYYY cuter than ours, and they take Paypal . . .

14 May 2008

Still stitching diligently

I'm still here. Still stitching away at my stocking. This has been a pretty hectic week. Usually I have more stitching time than driving time, and this week, it's been the opposite. Not that I mind, but it does cut in. I'm finally getting stitching time at 9PM. It's not leaving me a lot of time, but I'm getting some progress.

I started doing a little of the backstitch, so I don't have to do all of it at the end, which would be overwhelming. But it's OK so far. One of the things I really like about Stoney Creeks is that, even though they are backstitch-heavy, the backstitch really makes the picture snap to life. So it's worth the effort. But I am laughing a little at myself, because I brought all these projects to work on, and I've only done work on two. I guess when I plan to go away, my focus piece should not be anything quite so complicated.

One thing that this is showing me is that, if I move, I need to start looking at jobs much closer to me than where I work now. Gas is a huge concern, but also the time being away from home. I was lucky this morning and didn't get tied up til about a mile from the office, but I was three hours in the car on Monday, and the seats in my Neon are only a little more comfy than church pews. And it's not like there is not work to do away from here. Not everyone in that little town works in DC.

12 May 2008

Cute new freebie

Found this sea biscornu.

It's adorable, isn't it?

Another good weekend of stitching

I am house-sitting this week, and got to spend pretty much the whole weekend stitching. I highly recommend it! All I got out of bed for was to let the dogs in and out and then go to the grocery store.

I got some progress on SOHRH done. I am working on the compass in the center section. There has to be a typo on that. The flower uses 407 and 3858. I switched out the 3858 to 815, but on the photo the part that is 407 appears to be gold. 407 is not a gold. It's a pale pumpkin color. I even cross-referenced how 407 was used in other squares and it's not the same. So I made an executive decision and decided to stitch that with 3852. It's a gold color, and looks really good with the other colors. I plan on working on it at the get-together. We'll see . . .

I also did some good progress on BF's stocking. I had planned to have it finished by the end of the week, but I got mad at him last week, and this fell by the wayside. But I want to get it finished so I just sucked it up and got working on it yesterday. The stocking is from this book (it's on the cover, on the left):

and all that green in the tree is driving me nutcakes. I am almost down to the bottom though, so I can see the end. Hopefully by the time SO comes back, I'll just have the toe to do. That will still give me time to get it to the finisher in time for the fair.

09 May 2008

Friday Not-so-foolishness--Happy Mother's Day

I read this today. It's a tearjerker. I'm blessed to have a lot of women in my life who aren't my mom, but who I think of as my "other mothers." Happy Mother's Day, everyone

08 May 2008

Look what is coming to me!

I don't know if anyone else notices this, but Secret Needle Nights lately have been really good. Granted I never have time to stitch them, but they've been so good lately. This is the newest one, it debuted last night, but I didn't have time to look at it. Imagine my delight to see it this morning. Especially with my yen for all things summery and beachy. I am definitely gonna stitch this one. Wouldn't it make a sweet no-sew cube? I can even probably find some shells to use for the feet.

I have decided to work on SOHRH at the get-together. I have to get some progress made on it beforehand though. I put it aside because I wasn't really happy with how my reworking of the words was affecting the design, so picked the words out and am putting them back in in a way that doesn't cut off part of the ship's flag.

07 May 2008

I have a financial happy dance to share

My decision to go on the wagon has had some financial rewards for me and I am pretty proud of myself for them.

I paid the CC I usually use to purchase stash online today. I realized I haven't used it in over 2 months. I don't think I've gone 2 months without using it in 3 years. I have a full cart at 123, don't get me wrong about that, but I haven't used that card, and I kinda decided , if I am going to empty my cart, why not just use my check card and not pay interest on it? But I'm trying to be good, because who knows what's going to happen in the future, and I am trying to get into real estate. I want my own property, that I get all on my own, without anyone's help. I've been looking at websites for houses in Kentucky, and they are SOOO cheap, at least by East Coast standards. It's a choice, credit cards or a piece of ground all my own, where I can run around the back yard if I feel so inclined. Not that I would, but it's all about OPTIONS! And I do have to admit, it's kinda cool to watch the minimum payment drop month to month. Frankly, the CC bills seem to be the only expenditure dropping, LOL.

And it's not like I don't have plenty to stitch. Sandy of Sanman posted some of the old freebies (forgive me if I mentioned this) in the Secret shop and it was a chance for me to get the ones I missed. I don't consider that a big expense, not at $1 a piece. I started Pumpkitty yesterday--he's so cute! I also have Boo Kitty and Kitty Magic to do. I found a really nice piece of fuschia (not a wierd fuschia, a usable) Silkweaver solo that I bought back when they used to sell them as Dutch auctions on Ebay. By the way, people who run Silkweaver, if you read blogs, that was a really kick butt thing you used to do, and it would be super-cool if you would start that up again. Just a suggestion! Anyway. So I think Kitty Magic would look good on that, trying to decide if I want to make the kitty white or black. White would pop against the fabric. Boo Kitty will be on black, and I am making the kitty black. Maybe make the ghost glow in the dark. I don't know yet. OHHH, and I found another solo that would work great for Snow Penguin! One of my favorites! It's blue and purple-y, sorta like they are enjoying their snowman in the dusky times in winter. And the fabric was in my stash! So bonus!

06 May 2008

One More Post and I'll leave you alone

Lisa's blog references telling 7 quirky facts or habits about yourself. I thought it would be fun for me to tell mine. I can't come up with seven, though, so I guess six is OK:

1. At one point, I was a legend with my college police department for offering to show one of the officers the biggest set he'd ever seen. Now, before you think I was a drunken pervert, it was part of a self-defense class. Being compliant was one of the tools that our UKPD cop/instructor taught us. The other girls were afraid to say anything like that, because they were afraid that the cop would think badly of them. I just wanted to see if it would work. He said it would have worked, except I was resisting, and you're not supposed to entice and resist like I was. But I got out and then I kicked the crap out of him. A few days later, my friend, who was dating a police officer, asked me if I offered to show anyone the girls lately--they were talking about me. All I can say is that I learned a lot in that class.

2. I believe in ghosts. I've had experiences with ghosts. I often wonder if, when the dogs start randomly barking and staring at corners, if they are seeing ghosts who just choose not to make themselves known to the rest of us (Schipperkes were burned at the stake as witches' familiars, and I've heard a lot of people say their Schips are sensitive--you decide).

3. I have never seen the Princess Bride. I never intend to. People try to trap me into seeing it. It never works. I have no desire to see that movie.

4. I am addicted to Law & Order. I love that show. There are so many good episodes. I never get tired of it.

5. My high school class had 69 students in it. I wanted to go to a large state school, out of state, so that I could start fresh and not know anything about anyone I went to school with. Wouldn't you know it, in the class after me, TWO people enrolled at the school. 50 states in which to go to college, and they come to MINE? I didn't even go to a school high on the list of places people in my county went to.

6. I can not stand having long fingernails. If they are over my fingertip for longer than a week, we have a problem. I don't know how other women do it. I can't. And as for those superfancy, super-intricate designs on all five nails. NOT HAPPENING. I can barely sit still for the hour it takes to do the fill and polish. Anything extra and I would have a meltdown.


Do you have any pieces that you would liked passed on to future generations as family heirlooms?

This is not the right week to ask me this question, as I am having to do some hard thinking about whether or not I want to have children. If I do, then I have some choices I have to make in my personal life. If not, then this is a moot point. There will be no one to pass the pieces to.

I guess, in the end, I do want to have some things passed, but not to nieces and nephews. Probably the major thing I would want passed is the piece I did in memory of Gramma, Iris & Friends.

Now of things I've stitched, I would like, and hope Brea will do this, for her to pass the piece I did for Stitcher's World's Red Cross Auction for September 11th to someone who will take care of it.Design for Red Cross auction I designed this piece (I know, it's pretty simple) and it has a very precious and personal meaning to me. The first few weeks after the attacks, it was really rough, and I take things so personal. I got panic attacks fairly frequently, and when I would, I would sing that song to myself as a prayer to God to take care of us. And it has a letter about my experiences on that day tucked in the back; I thought it was important to document what I went through because I worked for a security company with lots of buildings downtown and around the Pentagon, and we were on the front lines. Someday, someone might want to hear that. So, B, don't put that out at a yard sale, please.

if you can't do it, wear it . . .

That is my new motto.

I am wearing a really cute blouse I bought at a bazaar at a Ukrainian Orthodox church the week before Easter. It's cross stitched. There is some pulled thread work on it too. The stitching is hand-done. I don't know if you've ever bought cross stitched clothing, but usually it's done by machine. It's all too perfect for human hands to do. This one, you can tell it was done by hand, but it's a really good job. It's gorgeous.

I was a little worried it wouldn't fit when I bought it. Clothing can be a problem for me if I don't try it on, because I have a way distorted vision of how the girls look. We did the "hold it up to yourself" test, but the bazaar was in the middle of the church, and I couldn't try it on. I bought it anyway because they were selling things to benefit an orphanage, and it was $15, so I wasn't out too much if it didn't work for me, and I figured it would be a good addition to my textile collection, such as it is. But this fit last night. I was shocked! But in a good way.

I think it's really sweet. It has puffy elbow-length sleeves, square neck, and it's white with red and black stitching. It feels very bohemian. I put it on with dark jeans today and high heeled strappy shoes--they look like character shoes, very appropriate as I am a character! I felt really cute coming into the office this morning, and very chic.

04 May 2008

Lot of good stitching time this weekend

I need to learn my limits, because it is really not a good idea for me to consume one of those bottled mocha frappacinos at 9 PM, then get absorbed into the movies on USA. You would think that, since I have to have at least two servings of caffeine to keep away migraines, and I only had two on Friday, that the caffeine in the drink would be OK. WRONG WAS I! I ended up being awake til 3 AM, watching 40 Year Old Virgin and then Varsity Blues (if you've seen this movie and like the raunchiness of it, which I do, don't bother watching on regular TV, because they cut out everything remotely raunchy. Who lets their impressionable child up at that hour? Heck, they took out Tweeter's whole role.). Then I was up at 9 AM yesterday, thanks to the cat (for once the dogs were as tired as me), so I was stitching on 6 hours of sleep. Anyway, I digress . . .

The wakefulness did enable me to get some substantial work done on my stocking. I have about half the tree finished now. It was not easy. They used 9 shades of green, a lot of which were dark, and not easy to work with on the black fabric. Hopefully, I'll have this done in the next two weeks. I'll have to think about doing such an intricately shaded design on black, if I do another one like this. All the other SC I have kitted up are on light colors, so way better to deal with.

02 May 2008

Accck, they took away my prime stitching time

I am probably going to catch 18 kinds of heck for this, but I have an admission to make. I stitch at work. Well, I used to stitch at work. I work in a call center, and we've had some major restructuring lately, so I had time to stitch. My boss didn't care if I did it, at least I was in my seat and not talking. I have a naturally loud voice, and my accent is of the Kentucky kind, so keeping me quiet is a priority. I was getting a lot of stitching done.

And then we moved everyone together and someone who doesn't work in this department decided that it was not professional for me to be stitching at my desk between calls. so I can't do that anymore. We can't read, we can't stitch. We can stare at the walls for the time we aren't on the phone. ACCCCCK. I've decided that I am going to use my now ample free time to work on my writing. I figure that can't annoy anyone.

But it really did annoy me to be told that. I have the lowest aux time (time we can't take calls), the highest call volume, and I am the one that when all the head office people come, they play my calls, because I am very good at what I do. And yet, the one thing that keeps me sane I can't do because someone doesn't think it looks professional. I think there was some sort of discussion that I couldn't even do it at lunch--EXCUSE ME? That is my free time, and it's a better way to spend an hour than rolling up and down the main shopping thoroughfare, running the risk of being late and eating fast food. I am really fighting the fast food cravings, because, if you don't drink soda, there really are no good drink alternatives at a fast food place, just fruit punch, iced tea, the quality of which ranges from exceptional (Taco Bell Raspberry iced tea) to exceptionally bad (pretty much everyone else's sweetened iced tea--it tastes pretty much what I imagine Lemon Pledge would taste like). So I checked today and my boss has no problem with what I do on my time. I am glad of that. It was really starting to get me mad. At the very least, I need that extra uninterrupted time to get SO's stocking done.

I've discovered a new bunch of cuteness. Primitive stitchery! I was trolling E-bay for it and found a lot of patriotic things. They look pretty easy to do, I do have some embroidery skills--have I ever told the story about how I became a chain-stitching expert due to an accidental misinterpretation of directions on a lap quilt? No? Picture it: a 3" X 3" intricately done stamped cross stitch lap quilt, with every motif lovingly (and slowly)outlined in chain stitch, instead of backstitch. 2 years it took me, friends, but I did it. It has a mystery stain on it now, because I never got it finished into a quilt, but I will finish it, and I will display it proudly because those miles and miles of chain stitch made me a master stitcher. Anyway, so these look pretty simple and very pretty. I think they would be quicker than a cross stitch. I just have to go get muslin. They'll be a nice change, cause sometimes, you really are too tired to count.

So that's where I'm at right now. I only work 5 hours this weekend, and I have to dogsit. I am going to clean my car out and then take the little dogs down to the park for a walk along the creek (cross your fingers no one decides to jump in and have a swim!), then gonna uncover the furniture on the side porch and stitch. At least as long as the Mongrel Horde allows me before they start getting mad at the people walking up and down the street.
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