28 January 2009

Went stash diving last night

I spent the night at my old house with my mom last night. It was actually kinda nice, because today is my parents' 48th anniversary, and I had to take my dad a card to give my mom, so I got to see her open and read it. Pretty cool. She was teary-eyed.

I was still looking for things to move to the new house. I had left a lavendar sachet for under my pillow (the inspiration for SO's gift) and wanted to bring that home because I have been restless at night. And in looking for it, I found a stack of old Just Cross Stitches and New Stitches. I sat down for a while and read through them, and found some great charts that would be really charming. From designers I have never heard of or heard little of. I even found some Quaker designs in New Stitches. Pretty cool! So of course, I am bringing them home with me. I must have them close.

I love looking at the old ads for leaflets. It really helps me add to my "must-have" list. Except that JCS seemed to put a lot of their leaflets in black and white ads, so I can't really see what the charts looked like. There's one I want with wild animals that I am off to Ebay to see if I can track it down. Of course, it's funny to think about how it used to be. How did people order stash from stores before there were computers? Did you get a catalog? Did you just trust that the person at the shop would choose right if you asked for a brown fabric? How did it go?

27 January 2009

S.E.X at work

I guess it's not S.E.X. in that none of it is really . . . stitchy, but it's stuff I can use. Our company is giving away a lot of office supplies, and they said we could take them or they'd be given away. I scored a couple desk organizers (I know one doesn't need a bunch of those, but . . . they were free, and we have scads of them, no charity will possibly need all those.) I also got some binders. I'm not remotely ashamed. Binders are expensive. Hideously expensive. And these were not. And I can use them to put recipes in I find if I don't have enough stash to fill them. They were free. I also scored a little rolling file thing. I don't know what I'll use that for, but I'll take it and roll something. There were only two left in the whole office.

I also had a heart-stopping moment this afternoon. I am working on SO's Valentine's Day present. I am using a length of silk from a Dinky Dyes Oops pack in a rose because it matches my backing fabric, which has little cats on it. He gave me a card one time with a kitten and puppy on it and wrote that I was the kitten and he was the puppy, and I get him stuffed dogs when I have to get him a holiday present, so this is a present from his kitten. Anywho . . . it's the only skein I have of that particular color, and I brought it with me while I stitched at Mom's this morning. I put everything in my bag, got to work, sat down at lunch to stitch . . .and . . . the floss was not there. So I started to freak out because the project is half-done, and, even though it's small, I don't wanna restitch it. I had visions of it either lying in a puddle of snow, or as a cat toy (my cats adore floss on bobbins, the yellow one is on floss bobbins like a teenager on a Cheetoh). So I called Mom and had her look (and had to explain, yes, that means she had to move Lily, the little black cat sleeping on the couch, even though it would upset Lily. When she grows thumbs, she can make the rules). She found it.

So, because I had no floss to work on My Everything, I had to pull out an old UFO of Forever Friends. I think I've been working on it for 5 years, I am so pathetic. I realized why I don't get too far before I quit on it, since, at some point, I apparently absconded with two of the MAJOR colors I need to finish it, and then hid my crime by shoving a bunch of other skeins in there to confuse myself. I must stop doing this. But it's Anchor floss, so I am going to have to go and rob the colors back from whereever I stuck them.

26 January 2009

A Medieval Time!

For SO's birthday last year, I bought him a gift certificate to Medieval Times. We never used it. We finally went this weekend.

IT WAS SO MUCH fun. Oh man, was that fun. It was like paying to see a play, and getting the play, a dinner, a sporting event, and a horseshow all in one. I wasn't sure SO was going to be all that enchanted with the show, but he liked it. He said it was a little cheesy, but in a good way. We need to have some cheese! He loved the horses in particular. I would never have guessed he liked horses, but he did go to the International Horseshow in DC a lot as a kid.

They were impressive. They use Andalusian horses, the precursor of the Lippizanner stallions that travel the world. I don't ever remember seeing Andalusians (not that I knew they were them, anyway), so it was neat to watch them. They were warhorses and they get used in films a lot that are set in medieval times. Beautiful! And they came into the show ring doing classical dressage. One was even doing the move where they are on their hind legs, leaping. Gorgeous. One did the capriole, as well, where they leap above the ground and kick out. Can you imagine seeing that on the battlefield. One even did what I think is called the Spanish Walk, where he paws out with one leg while walking.

It was impressive. I always thought that my Breyer model doing that was just doing that. But I guess it's a real move. Our knight had the prettiest horse. I don't think the knights were riding Andalusians, probably Quarter Horses or polo ponies, because they were indoors, but it was pretty cool all in all. Of course, our knight won. AWESOME. I spent the whole show screaming for him (when I didn't have food in my mouth, that is). SO said he was glad he wasn't right in front of me, he'd be deaf. I was more worried about losing my voice, but it was hard not to get into it. Someone on 123 said Medieval Times was pretty boys on pretty horses, and how can you NOT get into that?

The food was good, although I am not a fan of eating hot chicken with my hands. SO ate my rib, so I can't comment on that, but the other parts were good. I want to go back this weekend, LOL.

23 January 2009

Like Feathered Wings

Pumpkin asked to see what this design looked like. It was pretty hard to find a photo of it, I don't think it's out of print, but you never know. This is the original. Mine is a little different. I found a mistake on the chart already, a misspelling on the word "fanning". I am adjusting. I think it's a neat pattern with lots of possibilities because you can change the colors to match your favorite horse colors, you could also adapt it to fit holidays (red white and blue for 4th of July, with a verse about patriotism and horses), or for Christmas. It's been fun to stitch, just a little time-consuming, because each stitch must be crossed individually.

The design is by Simply Old-Fashioned, I can't be certain they're still in business, but she does have some gorgeous designs. I love the Silhouettes series. And the Alley Cat moon.

Speaking of cats, I finally put away the last of my Christmas decorations in my sewing room last night, and put up a little statue of laughing cats on my coffee table. I found it at Goodwill the other day and it made my heart happy. The lady said someone had hidden it, but now it's MINE. I think it's a good omen to have laughter around you. I like having the things I love in there too but laughter is a good and worthwhile thing

I stitched in my sewing room last night. I got home late--tried a new way home that didn't work so good--and SO was in a mood because he had a long day and had to go into DC for work and he just LURVES going downtown. I normally stitch in the family room because my Dazor lamp stays down there, since I live in outright horror that it will light the house on fire if sunlight goes through the magnifier, even if I cover it. But he wanted to play video games, and I don't find watching people play video games to be interesting, so I went in my room, and kicked back on the couch. It was nice. I made good progress. I finished the middle horse and started on the wording. I needed a change from crossing x's.

21 January 2009

Assorted photos

I posted how I got my hair cut, but never got around to posting photos, so here, they are. These were from New Year's Day. I apologize for looking like this. I was going on very little sleep.

And of course, my son. So cute. So tiny. So wriggly. He did NOT want his picture taken. He claims it messes with his game to be photographed with his Mom. Play on, playah

OK, for some stitching, my current WIP. I am starting to worry you can't see the white horse, but it looks good. This is "Like Feathered Wings

And the next project to finish, SO's geisha. I have a lot to do on her. I think she is looking awesome.

Making my list

I started making my list for the fair last night. I have some ideas, but the list seems so small and yet so undoable.

It was a very long day yesterday. I had to go to work early because work was afraid the inaugural traffic would be bad--it wasn't. I stayed at Mom's house, and was moving away from the city, but they had State Highway Admin, and, later, state troopers at the on ramps. Traffic home wasn't bad. I followed SO home, by coincidence, but I didn't call him to flirt. I figured he'd had a bad day if he was coming home at 6:30, and he had; he spent 5 hours on a nasty job, and was kinda crabby and growly til he decompressed. We did try to watch the inaugural balls for a while--wierd because he picked it and he doesn't vote, but I left him alone, even though I don't care to watch other people party if I am not invited-- but he was annoyed that CNN wasn't actually letting you listen to Beyonce sing while the President and First Lady were dancing, so we went upstairs and watched Speed for a while. And I rubbed SO's back; he was really sore.

I broke down and bought Ink Circles' Calamity Pippi and Beau Leggy. I've been eyeing them for two years for my aunt, the Ivy League cowgirl, and they would make a cute fair entry. I think I have the right fabric in my stash, if I can pry it out of my own hands.

My friend Kathy sent me the newest issue of World of Cross Stitching. It's a good issue, it has a Solo cat design, and I love him. There is also a gorgeous Asian Heart that I am jonesing to make as a pillow. I think it would work for our living room because we like Asian things, and our colors match the ones in the pillow. I'll have to look at it.

19 January 2009

I think I'll keep him.

SO has really impressed me with how he's accepted this cross stitch, well, fetish that I have. He gave me my sewing room, which I cleaned up this weekend, since we had the rug from the livingroom in there while the tree was up for Christmas, and it was a mess because I could not keep the rest of the room clean while there was this ginormous rug in there. He stayed out of the room the whole month. He has learned the lingo, and I am pretty sure he would only fuss momentarily if I borrowed the coffee maker and took it into the garage to use for hot water for dyeing. He doesn't understand why I need so much floss, but he's trying to learn

The only thing we really butt heads about is why I start so many projects while I have so many started (they should start support groups for partners of stitchers so they can discuss this). We've had a few, umm, disagreements on the topic. He thinks I should finish things I start in a timely manner. I've tried to explain, it doesn't work like that, not with me. I had to finish one at a time when I was young, and now that I pay for my passion, I buy and stitch as I see fit. I just have so much I must do, and not nearly enough life left to do it in an orderly manner (I'm 32, that leaves me 68 years to get this stash stitched at most). I see his point, I just dance around it.

Anyway, last night, I started the annual, "Oh, crap, I have just 7 months to get everything done for the fair, and I have not a thing to enter," panic attack. I realize there is something fundamentally wrong with me in regards to the fair. Others enter one or two things, yours truly feels compelled to enter 100 projects. SO understands that I have this wierd competitive streak; he doesn't play basketball with me anymore because I talk too much smack, but he does enjoy that I take things seriously. I was working on my Like Feathered Wings, and he wanted to know what I was planning on doing with it. Was that for the fair? No? Why not? Because it's not "show quality," and I was just getting it done to get it done. Maybe I'll make a pillow, maybe not. So anyway, in his extremely calm, thoughtful way (btw, he's probably been cogitating on how to say this), he says, "Why don't you make a list of what you want to enter in the fair and finish those? And not start new things unless they're for the fair?" And . . . ya know . . .I couldn't dance around that point. This is why we are a good team: I deal in theory, he deals in details. So I need to sit down and make a list of what needs to be finished and get it finished. I know I won't be able to get all the stuff done I want, but I can try.

We went on our trip to the Quilted Cat on Friday. It was cold. I have NEVER been that cold. It was so cold that my veneered tooth hurt under the veneer. As bad as it had hurt when there was no veneer on it and he was shooting cold air on it, which I guess makes sense because porcelain is porous. And I had a sinus incident, so I was reeling around with a headache and an earache. And I slipped while sweeping snow on Thursday, much to the pittybulls' delight, and hurt my ankle, so bad I had to walk around the yard and think for a few moments (thank God the neighbors weren't around). So I hauled my battered self into the car and we were off. Did I mention it never got above 16 the entire trip? Yeah it was cold.

The quilt store is a dream come true. I loved it. I spent quite a bit of money there. Quite a bit. Almost $100. And I still don't have thread for the sewing machine, so it's pretty useless, except to finger and chortle over. They still had Christmas fabric, so I got some of that (we may end up eating peanut butter and jelly for a few meals to pay for it, but life is too short to pass up dog-themed Christmas fabric--it's just that simple). They also had some cute Valentine-themed fabric with tiny cats on it that I can use to do SO's Valentine's present. Which I need to start. I probably ended up with 10 yards of fabric, but about 20 cuts. I was running around like a FOOL, because they had fabric for every holiday, with animals on it.

I know there was fabric with other animals on it. I saw zebras. I saw bears. I saw farm animals. I bought a half yard with seagulls on it. They won't work on the quilt, but they'll work for something. I saw gorgeous quilts, all completed. It was lovely. It was how I would feel when I was little and was placed in front of a display of model horses. If I could have drooled, I would have. Our quilt stores here are not NEARLY that nice. Or themed. I seriously want to join their fat quarter club, but perhaps I should use what I have.

14 January 2009

2 days off

I get tomorrow and Friday off. Woo hoo! I usually do take this time off every year, it's sorta like having Christmas vacation without having to deal with people shopping. And with everyone and their mother coming into town for the inauguration this weekend, I need some time out of the area. We are still going to the Quilted Cat, but are also going to some place called Emmaus to pick up something my mom bought and never bothered to have mailed to herself (no, I don't understand either, but she is probably the reason I am as wierd as I am--matter is neither gained nor lost in this universe, and my . . . eccentricity . . . came from somewhere), so we're off for a 350 mile round-trip ride on a cold day. Mapquest came up with the brilliant idea of traveling 95 to get to Emmaus. Yeah, OK. I knew that running backroads as a teenager would prepare me for something in life and Friday may be what I was being prepped for.

I have decided the project I will use to break in my sewing machine is this:

It's not cross-stitch, but look at how cute that kitty is. And so huggable. I can see it with nubbly fabric on the stripey part. And that would use up some of the fiberfill that is in the closet.

Tomorrow, I am going to play Lady of the Manor and just do a little cooking. Maybe cruise to Goodwill to see if I can find something to use as storage in my sewing room closet. I already told SO that I might be at Lowe's to get some plastic drawer thingies, but putting plastic in that room seems wrong. It's so pretty and classy, but the closet is a hot mess. I also want to teach myself to make smothered chicken, but I don't know. My gravy skills aren't too hot. One of the only things that I regret in my life, and I seriously try to not live regretfully, is that I never learned to cook my grandmother's cooking properly. I do fry chicken and I like mine better than hers, but she made gravy effortlessly, and I am scared of it. I really should have appreciated that part of her more than I did, because I was blessed to be able to come home to a hot dinner of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy on a weekly basis. I know now, it's not that easy. And her potato salad was unique. Maybe people here wouldn't like it, but that's the best potato salad in the world, not fancy, but it was hers. One of the things that makes me the happiest in life is when I make something and it tastes like hers did, because it's a connection to her that isn't broken yet, when I am losing so many things that she was around for. But I guess I always supposed, maybe stupidly because she was always "young" to me, and I don't feel very old, that we'd have plenty of time to get those recipes. And then we didn't. But I have her glorified rice recipe, and it's good, and I finally work with people who appreciate it, so it's good. And I can learn.

13 January 2009


I thought we could do with a little sprucing up in here. The Christmas background was nice, but it's not Christmas anymore. Leaving it up like that won't make it Christmas again. And even I am not lazy enough to leave it Christmas-y for 49 weeks, which is about the time til Christmas rolls around again. Anyway, I'll put the links back when I get a few moments.

I have decided I am in perfect LOVE with the Sampler Girl's charts. I do have several of her charts, they just make my heart sing. I am making "Everything" from Literary Littles for SO for Valentine's Day. But I love all her stuff. This
is her totally awesome blog, with lots of freebies that would make some gorgeous ornaments. I am adoring her Clara/iceskating design. I love it. I covet it. I wish my LNS would carry her stuff.

I have decided one good thing about the world economy stinking is that the dollar is much stronger against the pound. $1.45 to GBP1 today when I went surfing on Sewandso's website. I did put some Pollyanna Pickering kits in my cart to see how much they would cost, and it wasn't terribly unreasonable, like $32, plus not having to pay VAT is like a sale. It's tempting to me. Veddy tempting.I don't know if I could talk myself into purchasing those charts as a way to stimulate the world economy. I did sucessfully convince myself my post-9/11 credit card purchases (and God, there were so many) were my contribution to fighting terrorism, but I'm a lot older now, and I finally realized that if the country was relying on Citibank and I to fight the Taliban, it had asked the wrong people. I plan to exercise a bit more control, though, to be serious, this economic downturn did get worse after I cut back my spending. Hmmmmmm . . .

11 January 2009

Doldrums of winter

Does anyone else feel like they're in the winter doldrums?

I have been trying to stitch, and spent much of yesterday, watching a marathon of Real Housewives on Bravo and working on Simply Old-Fashioned's "Like Feathered Wings." I'm changing the colors from browns on the horses to greys, not because I have anything against chestnut horses--I've ridden them and owned them--but I always did have a yen for grey horses, so I have one in a light grey/white, one in medium grey, and one in a very very dark grey/black. But I am not super-thrilled with it. But it has been a long-term UFO and so I want to get it finished.

There is a new book out by The Sampler Girl that I am jonesing for. It is on 123, but I am trying to talk myself out of it. I think the project during the holidays of not buying was really a great thing for me, and it's not been hard. I've been finding so many great freebies online that are exciting. Wierd, hunh.

But other than that, it's been pretty quiet. SO's parents came to see our Christmas tree and have pizza on Friday night. I started taking down the Charlie Brown tree yesterday, but didn't really have the heart to finish it (I guess some part of me thinks someone will leave a present under there if I just leave it up long enough?). Taking the decorations down is so depressing, and it was rainy and grey and sleety yesterday and I just gave up. I am putting all my stitched decorations in one box together, so they're all together. I had to work today, and they were calling for foul weather, so I went to Mom's last night, so that was another reason I didn't get it done. Til I went on my walk (I am really proud that I jogged part of it, probably 1/8th of a mile), and made the bed, and loaded the dishwasher, and watched scads of Bravo, it was too late to do the tree. Hopefully I can get it down tonight, though I have no idea where I will shove said Charlie Brown tree.

I realize I didn't ever post a photo of our decorations. This is the Charlie Brown tree with the ornaments on and the pets' presents underneath. Robbie loves that pink toy.

And my afghan hanging up so it would not get dirty. SO's mom said we couldn't see it because of the tree, but, then again, we knew how it looked. I wanted to use it under the Charlie Brown tree, but SO thought it would get dirty there:

09 January 2009

How awesome is this

It falls under the category of "fiddly" and I'd probably have to change it to English, but this is a pretty awesome project.

There's a bunch of other neat freebies on here too.

I'm investigating quilting, right now. So far, the basic instructions I am reading make it look pretty easy to do basic piecing, however, it is probably not that easy.

07 January 2009

Wanna hear a secret

I have two days off next week and I am going here .

Since I am back to working on my Britter Critter quilt, it's time to start assembling fabric to actually work on it, and they have, bar none, the BEST animal themed fabric selection I have ever seen. Anywhere. Period. And they are nice. I am not sure what is more crucial to the success of this project, but I am leaning towards the latter. I wish their website was better, but you work with what you have. If I want to be uber-daring, I might even go down to Lancaster for Sonic. We don't have Sonics here and their food is so good. I can not resist it if I am close to one (maybe it's good that it's not here, but then again, maybe it's only good BECAUSE it's a rare treat. Such are the deep questions of life) I might . . . but I will not go to the LNS in Reading, Stitch N Stuff. That's a great shop, and if I were not on budget, I'd be in there, but I have enough stash for now and we do have to have groceries; a fat girl's gotta eat. What I need is fabric that will work with my theme of all the Britter Critter animals as a quilt. I can justify that as an expense, right, if I am finishing something? But, seriously, it's a wonderful store, and they're only two hours from my house.

I started my stocking, only to realize that, not only did I not get all the colors I needed, instead of getting the one that was in the center where I started, I got the wrong color because someone put it in the wrong bin. SO has said I should just use the substitute color. I can not get him to understand I can not do that (It's intricately shaded, Ikennadewwwwwthat, donchu understand?, I tell him. He doesn't buy it. Somehow I need to find a metaphor for this he will understand.)

05 January 2009

Happy New Year!

It's been so long since I've posted, I'm sure y'all thought I forgot you. I just had a lot to think about this weekend. I was offered a job that is nearly 70 miles from the house, and I agonized and tried to reason my way into a plan that would make it possible to accept it, but I finally had to decline the position. And it hurt to do it, but I couldn't have spent 4 hours a day in a car, or on a subway train, nor did it make financial sense to get a raise of $20 a day and then spend $11 on getting there. So I turned it down. And I pray I made the right decision. I think I did, because it was like a weight left my shoulders and I wasn't sleepy last night. Whenever I am depressed, I could sleep forever, and I was sleeping a lot all weekend.

It was a freezing New Year here. Blustery winds, almost gale force, on New Year's Eve. I was running around running errands, and it was throwing my car all over the road. And I thought the car wasn't that tiny. I got stuck in a traffic jam because the wind pretty much knocked a power pole over that was hanging over the highway. Yeah that was scary.

I cut off my hair on Wednesday. I had gotten to a point where I had my hair up all the time anyway and it was so long. I decided that it was time for a change. I really liked a slightly modified angular bob, so we went with that. It was a big change, going from bra-length hair to a bob, and I have to admit, when large long clumps of hair started falling past my face, there was a moment of, "What have I done to myself" but everyone loves it. It has a great color, a strawberry blonde, and it feels healthier. I just HAVE to blowdry it now, but that's OK.

I am pretty proud of myself. I started a New Year's Day project, and I am almost finished it. It's nothing big, a Lizzie Kate, "Land that I love," but I realize that I have never finished a New Year's Day start, and that is pretty wretched, so to be almost finished with it, that's great. SO asked if I would frame it, and I told him no, it is going to be a cube. He'll have to cut the foamcore, he's better at that than me.

And I picked out what I am going to do for my stocking. SO has his pretty stocking, I need mine! And, since I got hosed at the state fair last year, it's ON this year. I will win that flippin' stocking class. I chose this one

I think it's really pretty.
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