29 June 2009

More freebies, and cute bellpull/ wallhanging hangers

I found these a while ago. I don't remember just where. The little girl is really cute. For any holiday. And I like the hangers. Very cute.

27 June 2009

I love this time of year

Not because it's warm, the beaches are open, there's fresh fruit, and I can do fun things on my days off.

Because Michaels puts their 4th of July stuff on clearance! Perfect for finishing cross stitch.

I went in this morning to get floss to work on my patriotic pieces and for buttons to embellish the twins' bandannas. The leaflet showed some fancier JABC buttons, but I'm using the designs for dogs. I don't think those buttons were meant to be worn, and most definitely, not by two rowdy little dogs. While they didn't have really adorable buttons, they had ones I can use and not worry about if they break off. Unless someone tiny and hairy decides to chew them, but, I think they can control themselves now--they'll be 10 July 30th.

Anyway, after I looked at the buttons and bought the floss (and forgot to buy needles, since I didn't bring any or even a WIP. So I'm sitting here at work, surrounded by everything I need to stitch except a needle, bugger, bugger, BUGGER), I went back to the patriotic stuff. Because I love patriotic decorations. They had a wagon wheel in blue and white country colors, just hanging there, with a clearance sign over it. I love a clearance sign like a fluffy girl loves cake. And to have an expanse of plain surface that I could mount something patriotic on for the price of $4.99. Well, crud, I can afford that. Especially for something to stick an unfinished finish on? I spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to pry the metal star on the center off, but then it struck me. One of Prairie Schooler's new releases this spring was patriotic smalls. I could put those on there! With just a little diddling, and a trip to Lowe's. So I have that! For $4.99.

They also had a long sign that read, "God Bless America." I like that too, but I couldn't figure out what to do with it. Just to have it to put up on the wall in the summer just doesn't work--I'm not that good at switching random pictures, and we don't do the seasonal decoration thing. So I left it there. Although my common sense should have dictated that we'd make it work for $5.99. On the way to work, I realized I had totally spaced, That little sign could also hold patriotic smalls to hang off the bottom. SO could have helped me put eyebolts in. He likes doing stuff like that. I am such an idiot.

I'm going back for it. Tomorrow, when they have a sale. I'm dense, not dumb. If I can get it on further discount, all the better.

I did finally finish the nun-stitch edging on my afghan last night. I was up late doing it, and I'm so glad it's finished. I think I'll be content to work on smalls for a while.

25 June 2009

Still slogging away

I have about 4 and a half more squares to nunstitch around. Blah. Blah.

I work a funky schedule the next few days. I work til 8 due to my part time job. I can maybe stitch at the theatre, if we're not busy, but one of our shows got a good review from the Post, and we've been swamped with ticket requests. Great for the theatre, not so grand for me. But I am serious, I will not stitch on this afghan this weekend. Particularly if it's 98 tomorrow like they have been saying it will be. I love summer, but I don't like having masses of fabric on me when it's warm. And an afghan is all about masses of fabric.

Since my obligation stitching really ends when this is finished, I am going to make a list of things I want to finish this year, and work to get through that list. High on it is SO's geisha (remember her?). She was supposed to be his Christmas present, but I found her the other day, as yet unfinished. I think she'll take a month to finish. A month is doable considering I've been working on her for 9 years, LOL. And that Fall Cat Sampler from Sisters and Best Friends. That is definitely getting finished this year. And there are several other small projects I want to get done. As well as getting some ornaments finished. The Charlie Brown pet tree looked a little bare this year, a shame considering all the unfinished ornaments I have been finding. It just takes time, ribbon, and stuffing. That's all I'm saying.

I really do have a feeling of accomplishment when I finish these UFOs and WIPs, more so than any other projects. I would say I should let more of my projects mellow, but there are some in my pile that I am just intimidated by, like the Summer Ball from Cross Stitch Collection. I need to work on it; I haven't even touched it in almost two years, not since CATS. oooopsss. Maybe getting some of these other projects finished will give me time to get that one worked on.

24 June 2009

I've got the blahs

Not much is happening around here. I am still working at getting the nunstitching done on the kitten throw. I am almost at the corner on the bottom, which means I have just one more side to do. I hope to have it done by Saturday, so I can mail it next week. But if it's not done by Saturday, I'm taking a break. I feel compelled to work with red, white, and blue. And now that I have all these cute freebies, it's getting to be too much to resist.

I did break down yesterday and ordered the floss and fabric for Brightneedle's Nantucket Sampler. I've had that chart for quite a while, purchased on the way to my little beach. I plan on altering the design slightly to reflect a more local flavor.
Even though it's based on a place in New England, it reminds me so much of the little coastal communities along the Cheapeake, with the soft colors and the sense of timeless grace, or at least what there was before Hurricane Isabel came in 2003. I really feel honored that I've gotten the chance to watch the area rebuild over the last 5 years, both professionally through my work with flood insurance, and just as a Marylander who loves the water. So, I really want to do this piece now, tweaked a bit. I ordered 40 count fabric, which part of me thinks is nuts, since I don't see so well lately, but am too ornery to go to the eye doctor. I just feel like the less evidence there is that I am not 15, the longer I can fool myself. I can handle the wrinkles and grey hair--I finally found a good hair color, and the wrinkles are right around my eyes or on my forehead and can be covered with bangs or laughter. It's the nearsightedness and the increasingly uncool clothes that really bug me. My boyfriend does not have this problem. He has an aura of 'cool' to him, that he'll have when I'm wearing Coke bottle lenses and gramma shoes. He'll be the only 80 year old at the retirement community rocking a skull tee-shirt in the dining room, LOL. Anyway . . . the stuff was shipped yesterday, so I should have it this weekend.

I think it will look better on the tiny count than over-1, which I have not mastered. I can do it, it's just not my preference, ya know? So, with the help of my lamp, and some patience, I'll get this finished. And probably get new glasses. I'm a realist.

Cute 4th of July freebie

This is a nice one!

22 June 2009

A pleasant stitching day

Saturday was my day to meet up with Regina. She was on vacation in the area. Oh, man, was it a nice day!

It started out not so nice. Woke up to rain dumping down and headed off down the road to meet up with her. I stopped in at my not so-LNS to drop off my fair framing. They said some things that rubbed me the wrong way. They weren't outwardly rude, but they said some things I don't appreciate. My mom was not happy when she heard what they said. Mom particularly didn't appreciate it when she found out how much the framing cost. She actually wanted to call up the shop and complain, but I told her to let it go. I've been trying to decide if I will keep shopping there, though. I do most of my shopping online as it is, because I don't have time to go to an LNS anymore, and I really don't have time to go to a place that doesn't give me sterling customer service. Life's too short, and I work too hard for my money. Besides, I am having a blast shopping in my stash. As a shopowner for myself, I always seem to have something I want, LOL.

It was so rainy Saturday. I was 30 minutes late to lunch with Regina. I apologized to her; I'm not a heathen like that, normally I'm early, but the rain was coming down so hard, you couldn't see 50 feet ahead of you. You couldn't even see the bay from the normal place I see it, the cloud deck was so low.

We had a lovely lunch and I gave her the pin kit I had bought, and a freebie the LNS gave me. She gave me the most beautiful biscornu. I have to post a picture of it. She is an amazing needlewoman. She showed me her Fertile Circles needlebook that is just amazing. Check it out on her blog. It's more beautiful in person. I drooled over it, figuratively, not literally, LOL. She showed me some of the pretty shells she has found this week and told me how she had collected oyster (or, as a real Marylander, one whose family is from here, and who didn't grow up in the accentless world that is the DC area, pronounces it, "arster.") shells and her plans to incorporate them into her stitching. I will never look at shells the same. I tried to find her some shark's teeth, but the current didn't push them up on that part of the beach like it does at my beach, so I gave her some of the ones I had.

The sun came out after lunch, just in time for stitching. Woo hoo! We stitched on the beach for probably two hours. Regina is an water person, too, and it was wonderful to sit and stitch with another person, smelling the water, watching sailboats, and both of us remarking on how far out in the water you could walk. I brought along a SNN kit that I picked back up again on Friday. Those are perfect for beach stitching, not too detailed, not too challenging. I made good progress on it, and it's done now. Regina worked on her Quaker Rooster, which is going to be so pretty when she's done.

We did get chased inside by the rain after a while, just a summer squall, but we went in. Her husband came back from his day, which sounded like lots of fun, too. He went to a Civil War fort on one of the islands. I didn't even know there was a fort on the island.

I did have to leave, far too early, but it was a long drive back home. I had such a lovely day with you, Regina! We must do it next year.

I'm hard at work now, doing the nun-stitch on the kitten throw. I hope to have it done by the end of the week, but am not too optimistic about it. But, then again, I am almost done one of the long sides, and it's going fast. I got to work 30 minutes early this morning, and took advantage of the stitching time. And used my lunch hour to stitch. This is almost mindless stitching, I just have to remember to wrap twice. After all the shading, this is a pleasure.

It's funny, I've finished two projects this week, and am on my way to having a 3rd finished as best I can finish it. With all the fair entries out of my sewing room, those two bags of supplies gone, and the knowledge that the cat fabric I bought for this afghan leaving soon, it feels so much neater in my sewing room. I know that it's just mind over matter, because that's two small projects done out of MANY, but every bit helps

19 June 2009


Someone posted this link, and so I must share. There are some good designs in these magazines. And 3.50 Euros is not unreasonable.

I knew this would happen

The Christmas cat surfaced.

I know I looked throught that pile of finishes on Sunday. I was not that tired that I couldn't have noticed it. And I couldn't find it. So now, after we picked out that Santa ornament, and I planned the finish, and found the Aida Plus I had horded in my stash for such an occasion (OMG, does this stuff stink. Being stored in the package all this time was not good for it, but, in my defense, I am not the original owner, and I'll air it out), it showed up today. SON OF A GUN. I made an executive decision that I'd still do the Santa. SO likes Santas (I never knew this til Saturday night, as long as I've known him, it's still nice to learn new things about him. They're always things that I would never have guessed), he rarely ever asks me to stitch for him, and so, this is a small thing I can do for him, especially when he is supportive of my stitching like he has been. I'll just put the kitty together, put it on the tree, along with the other unfinished ornaments I intend to finish, and we'll be good. I think that's the best way to handle it.

Now that I'm done the lions, I don't really know what to do with myself. I wound a lot of the floss I had used on it last night, and then sat there, like a dummy. I've been up so late stitching lately. It was 10:15, and I didn't have anything to do, and didn't want to start something--I am weird about this, but I can't start a new project the day I finish one, I guess the finish needs to be celebrated--but I couldn't make myself understand it was OK to go to sleep.

Today, I grabbed SNN from December 2007. I am giving the chart to Suzanne, who has so patiently waited for me to finish these, so I need to get this finished, especially because I managed to find the snowflake fabric it calls for on Ebay, and I want to get it finished before the fabric gets misplaced. I think I will work on this this weekend. This and the 4th of July bandannas for the twins. I am using a Stitchy Kitty pattern for those, Paws and Stripes Fur-ever, but still need to decide if I should finish it as a closed bandanna or let the back of the stitching be seen. I am still not sure.

I am excited because I am meeting Regina tomorrow for a day of stitching. She is visiting the area and is staying at a place not too far from my favorite beach. We are meeting up. I can't wait. Cross your fingers that we get good weather--it's been cool and rainy here lately, not normal for the end of June. I think we'll be good though!

18 June 2009

They're done, they're done-UPDATED!

The lions are done!

And they're gorgeous. The little cub has the look of one who is truly cherished.

They're finished! Woo hoo!

This is the finished piece.

And the finished piece in a frame:

17 June 2009

A little calmer now

I'm calmed down some from this morning.

Perhaps it was that I played with the twins at lunch. And told Chancey I was making her a bandanna for 4th of July. She grinned at the idea. Robbie liked it, too. My boy likes anything I suggest that doesn't involve the vet. Now I have to decide who wears blue and who wears white. I guess that boils down to which one of them is messier, and that one gets blue. I'm a realist.

I also played with the cats. Mom informed me Robbie has been growling at Lily because she keeps trying to make bread on his back. Between you and me, I think he's becoming more confident in the notion she's not a funny-looking relative of his. When there was uncertainty, he was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Not any more. Gus and Flicky were pretty even. Gus was upset that Robbie was so close, but that's a personal problem. Robbie is not allowed to mess with him (he's not allowed to go after any of them, really, but the yellow kitty is utterly off-limits), so he just has to man up about it and tolerate it. It's not like Robbie licks him; that's Chance's specialty, and he dislikes it. I guess Gus just dislikes these two dogs, so different from the ones we had when he was a baby. But I do love watching all the animals interact. It's like having 5 children, just funnier. And more relaxing (Seriously, can you yell at your kids to "Goliedown!" when they act out?)

Perhaps it was that I went shopping in the stash I left at Mom's. Not "left", really. I just haven't stitched enough to make room for it. I grabbed a patriotic chart from Homespun Originals, the Lighthouse Sampler from By the Bay Needleart, and 3 packages of Aida Plus that I got in a lot on Ebay. Not only did I shop for free in my own stash, my mother gave me her Visa card so I could pay for my framing this weekend (part of it's for her anyway). I got paid to shop, LOL.

No, I have it. I had to put back the ladder my brother got out to do work for her and never put away. While trying to shove it between the water pipe and the wall, its rightful place, I knocked down a horseshoe that was hanging on the water pipe, right onto my shoulder. OWWWWWW. OWWWWWWW. Of course, I uttered a profanity. It fell on my shoulder. I don't know why there is a horse shoe in the house in the first place. The house is close to the DC line, not exactly horse country. My brother and aunt have horses, but they're in Southeastern Virginia, and I don't think this shoe would have fit either one of them. Anyway, it knocked sense into me, because I am going to get this project finished.

Freaking out and venting.

I am on the last little bit of my lions, the blob of blue half stitches off to the side. It has gotten me cranky and freaking out. This must be done so that it can be washed, ironed and at my LNS on Saturday, along with several other projects. If not, it will not be ready for August. And that will make me mighty angry. I am not going to make it. I swear, I won't. Not with me working tomorrow and Friday at my PT job, plus my regular work.

Not that I'm not trying. SO made dinner for us last night so I could work; I went out in the kitchen and got, "I got this covered, go finish your project!" ARRRRGGGGGHHHHH. I was up til 11 last night, stitching, and then went to bed. I got to work 15 minutes early and just sat in the parking lot, stitching. Usually I leave the radio on, but the people on Cosmo Radio were arguing over something stupid, and I didn't feel like listening to it any longer. They've been upsetting me lately anyway, but my local station was playing their version of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" and that gets tiring, so I ended up listening. Anyway, I turned it off. Probably better. I find half-stitching to be difficult anyway. I think it's because I have a long run of stitching, but can't stop and cross every 10th X like I do normally. It's nerve-wracking, so I have to focus. It's my crazy manifesting.

I have come to a decision that I must not put myself in this situation next year for the fair. SO tried to tell me to do a little better planning last year, when I was running around last minute, but I didn't listen because I was convinced that my panic was due more to me spending the last three days before the entry date doing basically everything BUT getting ready: dental appointment for my makeover, hair cut, going to the beach for the day to relax and center myself. What was I thinking?
And then I goofed around this year, and didn't take my stuff for framing when I would have gotten the birthday discount. I guess I was laboring under the misconception that 10% off framing wasn't enough to make it worth my while? Now I'd kill for 10% off. If any of you are born in June, can you meet me at my LNS on Saturday with your driver's license? I'll love you forever and buy you some linen!

I promise, going forward, this will change. I will start getting my things framed or finished in a timely manner, even if it means less stitching. I can handle it, I'm a big girl. Finishing makes me happy, too. This year, there will be no playing around before fair drop-off; no hair appointments, only dental appointments if it's an emergency and, if there isn't an outlet for a hot glue gun, a table for crafting, and A/C, I am not going to the beach til my stuff is entered, and that's final. I can not be this crazy 2 months before the fair. It isn't good for my blood pressure or my well-being. It isn't good for SO. And my stitching suffers.


15 June 2009

Are squirrel nests like this?

It begins always with the argument that, "I better put this away in a nice safe place". Always. And then I put away the treasured object and, in due course, lose it.

I've lost my fair entry ornament. My sweet little blackwork cat that I finished on Christmas Eve. I could kick myself. I've looked everywhere. I tore apart my sewing room. And when I mean tore apart, I mean that I tore it apart. I have been through every tote bag I own, every bag of floss and fabric. I tore apart the closet, getting hit in the head with a bucket I bought to put a finish in. I am surprised SO didn't wake up when I started cursing once the stars went away. And it's not there. And I don't know about y'all, but I consider it to be adding insult to injury that I found everything I needed to finish the ornament, but not the flippin' ornament. I know I didn't take it out of that room, but it's lost in the vortex. And my room looks like a den of iniquity; I must clean it up tonight. And get the rest of the catch-all crap out of there.

SO was of the opinion I should keep looking for it, but I looked at him funny. He knows that look. I can not find it. I am wasting valuable time looking for it. I risk being hit in the head again, and that will not do. So, I dragged all my JCS ornament issues into the bedroom, and started looking. He asked me to let him pick one. That seemed like a heckuvan idea, so I handed him the stack, admonished him to take care of the older issues because they're valuable(our conversation went somewhere along the lines of,"Be careful you don't tear the pages in that one, it's $50." Him: "No it's not, it was $5.99." Me: "Yeah, but that was in 1997, I'd have to replace it on Ebay and it's $50. No, no, no, I didn't pay that much, I'm just saying."), and let him look. And I found out SO likes Santa Clause. I was leaning towards animals and Christmas carol lyrics, but he likes Santa. Whoda thunk? But he did have a hard time picking between the winning Santa from the 2006 issue, and a Pam Kellogg that had a kitty on it. I think the finishing was what decided it--the Santa looked easier.

I am trying to think of this on a higher plane, that maybe that ornament disappeared because it wasn't good enough. And it's being replaced with a more "Christmas-y" ornie. I don't know. I just want it back.

The lions are progressing. I am 99% finished. I just have a titch of back stitch to do on Mama's ear, and some half-stitching, in 3 very close shades of blue. That is proving a bit difficult, but I am doing it block by block. I am pretty sure I'll have it done by the weekend. I don't have a choice as far as that goes, LOL. It has to go to the framer. And it does go fast, it's just careful counting.

11 June 2009

In other news

I am still slogging away on Mama Lion. I back-stitched one of her eyes today. Looking at it just now, she looks pained. But I guess I would look pained too if I were missing the top of my head and an ear. And the person who could offer me those essential items seems to be otherwise occupied.

SO bought us a new (to us) home gym yesterday. He already had a gym area in part of the basement, but I don't use that because I am afraid I won't do something right and injure myself, and look like an idiot doing it. This new one is a nice set up; it has leg equipment, which I love to use. We could actually work out together, which I need, because SO helps me with my form when I am lifting weights, and I need a firm trainer, because I goof off while working out (hence the reason I fear doing the workout wrong) but it's a little big for area he had wanted to put it in. The lady offered him a treadmill too, but he told her he had to see if this all fits in the house.

I walked in and he was on the floor, looking like an overwhelmed child on Christmas morning. Both pieces of equipment don't fit in the gym area, and he had apparently spent several hours trying to make it fit. He said, "My car needs a new battery, and I just spent the money on this." I kept my mouth shut, but, between you and me, the gym is a better investment than the battery would have been. I'm just saying . . .

We have a running thing about puzzles, because he loves them. The dishwasher is a puzzle to fill. He's good at shoving large quantities of dishes in, me, not so good. This is just another puzzle. I rubbed his head to get the thinking cap going, and told him we'd figure it out. And we did.

Basically we are going to move things around. The entertainment area goes in the small area the home gym was in, the gym equipment in the other part. Which I am stoked about. The small area is warmer because the heat duct comes down there, and the lighting is better. Since we spend so much time down there, and I stitch, the better lighting makes it easier, and I don't have to have my stitching light on. I have to work tonight, or I'd help him shift things around, but he'll get it done. If not, I'll help him tonight.

Patriotic Freebies

4th of July is my absolute favorite holiday. Don't get me wrong, I love Halloween. I love Christmas. I am even getting into Valentine's Day (something about a card with 'Baby' on the front of it turns me in to a teenager). But 4th of July has it all. Americans are proud to be Americans. Everyone wears red, white and blue. You don't have to send cards. You don't have to buy a gift for anyone. You can go swimming. You can eat a hot dog. There will be explosions, for which no one will go to jail. That, kind hearts, gentle readers, is the ultimate holiday of the American holiday calendar.

And, in that vein, I thought I would share some of the best patriotic freebies I've run across lately. I hope you enjoy them. I certainly love them!

Cindymae has some great freebies. I love the patriotic ones. I am thinking of doing the tree in the center of a grapevine wreath. Wouldn't that be cute?

Plum Street samplers offers us this one . Really cute!

And we have these from Needlecraft Corner. You have to pay for the kits, but, it's not a lot to pay for the fibers and fabric you'd be using anyway. I totally blame "Liberty for Ewe" for my passion for all things involving patriotic sheep. Could you resist that little lamb?

This is sweet! Not patriotic as it stands, but make the little lamb's ribbon red white and blue, and it's perfect for the holiday. July 4th makes me feel ewe-phoric. They also have these to do as primitive stitchery. Heck, there is lots of great clip art on that site. Go to town!

A whole blog of freebies

Several more.

A couple nice patriotic ones by Gloria and Pat. There are a lot of lot of cute freebies on these pages.

09 June 2009

We have an ear!

I know, 2 updates in a 4 day stretch? Whoda thunk.

This is my progress as of today. I finished Mama's ear this morning. She truly is a mama now, with eyes to watch over her baby, and ears to hear him with. It was sheer bliss to have all the time I had this weekend to stitch. Other than my no-sew adventure, this was all I did. Of course, other tasks are being left undone so this gets finished, but SO likes takeout and he does the laundry anyway. If I can just get this finished this week, it will be a huge weight off my shoulders.

08 June 2009

It's getting to that time

The crunch is on for the fair.

Yesterday, SO and I went over to Michael's to get a frame. SO has never been to that particular store, but he went because I told him I needed his help to pick out a frame. I think he realized that, if this hangs in the house, I need a frame he likes too. So he went.

And he was good. He perked up when we got to the model car section. I didn't even know Michaels had a model car section, did you? He looked at them so longingly. I told him if he wanted one, he should get it. He said no, because he didn't have a place to display it. I have to find him a shelf, and then get him a model. We could craft together. We discussed the merits of the pirate bowling set (for his sister's kids, not for us). He said it wasn't very well made. I told him this was probably good; the last thing anyone needs is small children chunking non-foam balls at things inside the house, since we already have to childproof when they visit (can you imagine if they got into my sewing room?--it would be like a low-rent Disney vacation, with scissors).

We wandered down the frame aisle. One thing I have always liked about SO is that he gets me. We speak the same language, in a wierd way. So, when I said, "I want an African frame", he knew just what I wanted. And we found it. A really pretty frame that looks rough-hewn, but in a good way. And, because, SO is a perfectionist, he wanted the "perfect" frame, he sat himself on the floor and went through every one of the frames they had in that style to find the one with the least number of dinks and knots in it. It must be love if he was willing to sit on the floor for me. I wouldn't sit on the floor at Michaels. But I think this frame is going to look great! I feel a little bit bad about taking it to my LNS for framing, but they will still make the money off the stretching and mounting, and I just can't afford to have all my stitching custom-framed. Maybe by next year . . .

Mom came over to make no-sew fleece blankets for kids on Saturday. My house is a little better suited for this because I have room to cut, and the pets aren't doing their darnedest to lie on the fleece, like they do at her house. They're so easy to make and don't take that much time, if you are doing kid-sized ones. We did one with scottie dogs on it, and a paw print back, and the other one was bugs on the front and a blue back. Mom has more, but it was a long drive and we didn't have time to do all of them. She'll end up giving these to one of the local charities at Christmas, which I really admire her for.

06 June 2009

Late night stitching

I got some good progress on this one last night, totally by accident. I got home at 9 and we ate dinner, then I picked up the lions and started stitching. We watched TV for a while, but I asked SO if we could watch a movie, thinking it would be midnight when it was over.

I should have known something was up when I started yawning. And SO yawned. And we couldn't stop.

It was 2 when the movie was over. I had stitched for 4 hours. I haven't had 4 stitching hours in two weeks. I didn't even notice it was that long.

Why doesn't 4 hours at work go this quickly.

These are due at the framers on the 20th. I have to step to it.

04 June 2009

Why there are no pictures this week

I have the best of intentions on putting pictures on here. I swear. Life interferes.

Last night, I got home at a fairly reasonable time. I would have been home sooner, but they closed the road through town for the fireman's carnival parade, and I had to go around. The road they wanted us to use would have put me waaaaaaayyyyy away from the house, and I am not that comfortable with running the backroads in this county. I got out on some Sunday due to an accident closing down the road, and one was unpaved. I didn't know there were still unpaved roads in this state, LOL. My car is a "citified" car, I guess, because it didn't handle the gravel very well, so I am going to try to keep my off-roading to a minimum in it. That, along with the prevalence of deer and the fact that I've already been hit by one, makes me a little hesitant to go road-running. So I took the back way into the neighborhood.

It was nice to hear the parade. I didn't go because the dogs needed tending to, but I did enjoy sitting on the bench, watching them eat, listening to the marching band. I realized they were playing some rock song by Finger 11. Their last big hit. When I was in high school, our marching band could only play "Louie Louie" and the 1812 Overture? We could have never played a song about being in a club. But then again, it was the 90s, we were in the back country, without Internet or cable; such things were a mystery to us.

By the time I got the dogs taken care of and ate dinner, it started to storm, so I had to bring the dogs in. And that was pretty much the end of the chance to post photos; I am not booting the computer up in a thunderstorm. And it DUMPED last night. SO had been down in Southern Maryland, racing, but they only got to run 3 cars before they called off the meet. He was home by 10, and, from when he got the truck door open to running up the front stairs, he was SOAKED. I couldn't believe it.

My pansies are loving all the wet weather we've been having. They're growing like crazy. I know I have to take them out of the planter, because it's getting too warm for them and I want to put in some summer flowers, but I feel bad about it. I'm just enjoying them for now. My mom is coming over on Saturday to work on some no-sew fleece blankets. I think I'll end up letting her take them out. That way, she actually killed them, not me.

03 June 2009

Where did your journey begin?

Someone else shared the start of their love for cross stitch, and I thought it would be fun to share where I started, and learn how everyone else got into this hobby.

I learned to stitch when I was 12. My mother had always stitched while on vacation. She only did it on vacation, and I loved it. She stitched Told in A Garden designs that she bought at the old LNS in Virginia Beach, VA. She had a lot of them; somewhere in my mother's house is a treasure trove of these patterns, all unfinished. And gosh, how I wanted to learn. There was something hypnotic and beautiful in those tidy little stitches. But it was one of those things that they didn't want me to do because I was the kind of child who flitted from thing to thing, never really focusing on anything. Probably today, with a different mother, I would be diagnosed with ADD. But it was the late 80s, my mother is "old school" and they just didn't get things like that for me.

But I pestered. I'm the queen of pestering. And of guilt trips. And my mother relented. She brought me home a no-count kit of a little sunbonnet girl facing a sheep. And my brother commenced to teach me to stitch. Note I said my brother. But he's a good stitcher, he just stitches the opposite way I do. He actually took my little kit and worked on it after I went to bed that night. All opposite. I never picked it out. It's my bubba and I's masterpiece.

I was happy with no-count for a year or so, finished another big project, and, oh, how I loved when my Daddy would take me to MJDesigns (remember that store? They closed in 1999, or, rather Michaels took them over, but they were THE BEST. Long aisles of stitchery. Sigh) for a new kit. And then I realized it still wasn't counted work.

Vacation rolled around, and we went to my aunt's house. I remember pretty vividly,at the end of vacation, Mom and my aunt went off to the cross stitch store(what was that place?), and I wasn't allowed to go. They had to go get gas because Iraq invaded Kuwait, and gas was going up in price, probably all the way up to 75 cents a gallon, which was scandalous. They came back with a kit for me and taught me to do counted. It was a teddy bear, and I wrecked it. And flung it aside and never finished it. But it wasn't so much that I didn't want to stitch, that maybe that wasn't the kit for me. I've always done better when I've picked the project. Daddy took me to the craft store a few months later, I picked up my first real project, a horse's head that was way beyond my skillset, screwed that up, and worked my way through it. I entered that in the fair, won 2nd prize, the first of many second prizes I was to get at the fair--I had a fairly long streak of second place finishes at the fair in the 4-H division, but the girl that won was really good, so I never grudged her. And I was hooked.

Lost in a sea of browns

I spent a good portion of my free time yesterday stitching on the lions. There is something rather depressing about looking at a baby lion with a headless mama, so I am trying to fill her in. She has a gorgeous nose now, and her chin is slowly filling in. So we'll see. I don't work this weekend, but we're putting a new deck on the house and I suspect we'll be off to Lowes to look at wood and tools. I'm not fussing, though. Our deck is not large enough for the table and the blow-up pool, which has to be up there because, if it were in the yard, the pittybulls would be in it all the time, and would probably pop it. And I am so looking forward to coming home from work on some muggy July day when I'm annoyed and need to relax, and getting in the pool.

But I am to the point that I want this piece finished. I'm tired of the browns. I want to stitch smalls. I want to stitch something summery. And patriotic. And . . . not brown. I'm already planning my follow up projects.

I did finally decide which ornament I am going to enter in the fair. The heartstruck Quaker snowman I did last fall. I am pretty sure I have fabric for it; if not, there's a quilt store next to my LNS that will have something that will match. I'll have to take it to my LNS to get finished. If the judges don't like it, then that's on them. I think I did a good job on it. We'll have to see, though.

02 June 2009

S.E.X. and the beach!

I had a good day yesterday. Pretty good anyway.

Our company doesn't give out bonuses, but they do give days off you can win through a drawing. I won the drawing for last month because I had the most perfect attendance for April. Someone up above must have been watching out for me, because I've been so stressed out lately that I really needed a day off to feel normal. And that day was yesterday. And, what better place for a suffering Scorpio to readjust than at the beach? So, I stumbled out the house at 6:30, went and picked up my mom, and off we went

This is where we went. Breezy Point beach. I think I've talked about it before, right? Anyway. It was nice to go there in the morning. On a weekday when there weren't 900 people there. It was warm yesterday, but not too hot. Not even a greenhead fly. Even the water wasn't too cold. It was a good day. It's the best beach for fossil-hunting, and it didn't disappoint. I added at least 60 shark teeth, some petrified wood, and some dental plates from rays to my collection (kept in a box with a cross stitch motif on it, LOL--I join my passions). And that was just in two hours, most of which I wasn't really looking that hard.

It was nice to have time to be with my mom and just talk and relax, and remember how we went to New Jersey when I was young. She laughed a little about how my father wanted them to buy a beach house up there, and she said no because she didn't think they could afford the whopping price tag of $75K, and she thought they would lose their shirt. She asked me if I remembered those days and I do. I can remember seeing Annie up there and Fox and the Hound, which is still one of my two favorite Disney movies. And how we'd walk through town and get Irish Potato candy from a store where the A/C unit was up in the air and it would drip on you (funny what you remember). And there was a guy who, everyday, would do these beautiful, intricate sandcarvings, and he would decorate them with bits of shell. And we'd eat cornflakes with blueberries in them and think that was Heaven. Mom said she was so glad she instilled a love of the ocean in me; I'm glad she did, too.

I was trying to get home at a reasonable time to eat dinner with SO, so we left at a little before noon, and, after a drive through the coastal communities there--Mom realized she knew where we were, because, before us, she and my father had a boat and they kept it docked in Deale, just up the road (please note, they did not have that boat when I was young. They had kids and became land-locked. My parents lost their cool factor, I guess.)--we went to my LNS. It's been MONTHS since I've been there, and it was kinda bizarre to step in. Normally, I just walk in and know where to go. But yesterday, I just wandered around. I didn't buy much. The monthly supply kit for the freebie, the one for last month, a Bent Creek Photobooth of a pig and a Chicken, and a leaflet of ornaments for my mom, along with the new At Home with Needlework. That's a really good, not to miss issue. I'm normally ambivalent about it, but it was a pleasant surprise.

They did have a trunk show of BOAF needepoint canvases. I drooled over those for a while. A lot of them were the same as their cross stitch charts, but there were some I hadn't seen. A Toile Rabbit--was that ever released as a chart? Anyone know? And a Red Riding Hood. I seriously thought about purchasing those too. Even though I have no real experience in needlepoint. But then I remembered I have a room of unfinished cross stitch, and no experience, and a tight budget, and I thought better. I can always go back and get them, right?
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