29 September 2009

The photo at the top

I had gotten some questions about the photo at the top.

These are Assateague ponies, from a photo I took on vacation. They're in another campsite, eating breakfast the day after the storm.

They're very fascinating animals. No one is really sure how they got there. Either from a shipwrecked Spanish galleon, or colonial settlers fighting the man by turning their livestock out to graze, tax-free on the barrier island. There's a story that Grampa Beebe of the Misty of Chincoteague caused a lot of the pintos to be born by turning a Shetland pony out on the island in the earlier part of the 20th century. I don't know what to believe. But they're perfectly designed for island life, compact and hardy, independant and free-spirited. That gnarly brush they're up against? They fit in that. We could hear them, fussing and calling to each other that first morning. It's kind of eerie to hear disembodied whinnies in the dawn.

You'll notice I said "Assateague ponies." Most people are familiar with them through the Misty of Chincoteague stories, by Marguerite Henry. The wild ponies that run on the Virginia side of the fence straddling the state line (because Marylanders and Virginians have to be kept separate, I guess) are called Chincoteague ponies. They are owned by the Chincoteague volunteer fire department. The ones north of the fence are owned by the state of Maryland and are Assateague ponies. I've been told the fence does not go the whole way down to the water. Therefore the ponies cross back and forth. These may have been Chincoteague ponies the day before this photo. Phooey on the state!

Probably the most beautiful book I've ever seen about the wild ponies (other than the Marguerite Henry books, and Wesley Dennis' illustrations are beautiful) is called Wild Ponies of the Dunes. We keep that book on our coffee table. It seems to be more about the Chincoteague ponies, but really, it's about the wild ponies of Assateague Island. I recommend it, although it makes me long to be back there.

28 September 2009

Finish and an updated afghan

My work on Hummingbird Trellis. I sat down and worked on it last night. This is probably one of the most soothing things to work on when my mind is frazzled. It's slow progress, but it's progress.

The little Halloween ornaments are finished. I just did the glue together. I think they are cute. I hope my partner likes them. I don't think she reads my blog. If so, sorry. I am just excited about finishing them!


Saturday was the first official day of dress-shopping. I've looked at dresses online, but never officially pinned down a look. And now I have to. And it was fun. My mother got her hair done. And put on nice pants. And then almost cried because the cat jumped up and pulled a thread in her pants. She asked me if she could wear sneakers. I said, yeah, why not? She said she didn't want them to think she couldn't afford to pay for a dress because her hair was messy and she was in sneakers. I had to explain that they only really care if the credit card goes through, and if they thought we looked too poor to shop there, we could take our money and go elsewhere.
But, then again, I was in a nice sweater and slacks and flats for the same reason, so I guess I really should shut up . . .

I have to say it was really a surreal experience. I've dreamed about getting married and getting the dress for as long as I've liked boys, and to choose "the dress" is so unreal. I don't feel like a grown woman anyway most days and then to put on these gorgeous dresses (OK, "put on" is a kind way of saying "after I staggered back from having several HEAVY ballgowns placed over my head--who would have thought beads and lace weigh so much?") felt . . . different. Not in a bad way, just in a, "At any moment someone's gonna want to see my ring as proof I belong here and I'm not a teenage kid pulling a prank." way. My mother said she would not cry. I told her if she doesn't cry, how am I supposed to know "the dress?" But I'm closer to the dress. There were two good options, and one that I like because it's elegant, and classic with a twist. Ohhhh, and I got my mom to say the words I've waited for since I was a big-haired high school freshman in love with all things short and revealing. We were looking at one dress that I rather liked, and I asked her opinion, and she finally, after all these years, said, "That is TOOO covered up." Dontcha love it.

And my delight in the day continued when, upon getting home, I walked in the bedroom, went to flip on the lightswitch, and saw one of my fair entries, the kitten, hanging up. And, right as I was turning around to yell, "Thank you thank you thank you" because I like seeing my stitching on the wall, but don't trust myself to put it up, I noticed the lions were hanging on the wall over the stereo. Darling HTB had hung them up. They were sitting in a box in my sewing room after coming home from the fair, and I'd thought the box looked a bit emptier, but I am dense and didn't notice they weren't in there til they were on the wall. Woo hoo!

Of course, being a man, he wasn't as sillily interested in my dress shopping day. I told him I found one I really like and it was at a good price, but he asked, "Did you already buy it?" I told him of course not, but he must stop handing me caramel corn and putting mayo on my cheesesteaks. And I need body-sculpting bootcamp.

"Charms," I yelled, pointing at my biceps with their protective fat layer, "I have charms. And I have three to six months to lose them, because that's how long I have to pick out a dress. They have to make it. And they need six months! Charms!"

It's a good thing he's a calm person. We still have roughly 54 weeks to get through of this. But I'm going to go lift weights now.

25 September 2009

Housekeeping photos

So you know what I've been working on.

First all the fair ribbons, artlessly displayed.

And my cute little ornaments, from Spooky Critters 1 and 2 by Brooke's Books Publishing. The little ghost is mostly finished.

The little witch cat, not so much finished

And LK Boo Club!

I've also set up a Photobucket album of my photos from my vacation, rather than clog up the blog with them. Here they are.

I'm not the best photographer. But, if this doesn't tell you why I love this place, nothing will.

Stitching again

It's been a slow re-entry back, but I'm stitching again. I got my order of braid and beads last night, but realized I forgot to order black. And I don't have black braid, at least not that I know I do, and I am not going to go looking for it. There is a substitution for black floss, so I'll just use that instead. I don't think it will hurt. But I did notice that Weeks black is kinda skimpy, coverage-wise. It's covering, but it's not as luxuriantly plump as the regular DMC. I'm trying to be more aware of these things, since the fair judges pointed them out. I guess it's the way the fibers take the dye?

I got a lot of stitching on the ornaments accomplished last night. We watched The Dark Knight, since there was nothing else on. I really like that movie, which is wierd for me, since I have never liked Batman, EVER, not since the first one. I'm just trying to wrap my head around how these movies fall into the 90s Batman movies; are they like a prequel, or are we just supposed to forget those other ones exist. But I think I like this one cause it wasn't hokey. I prefer my humor to be earnest; things should be funny because everyday life is funny, not because people are grasping morons. There was humor, but it wasn't juvenile, and no stupid 'Batdance' song, although I didn't like Aaron Eckhart's interpretation of Harvey Dent; he kind of played him like a cartoon, but other than that, it was good. When we see stuff I've already seen, it's easier for me to stitch, since I don't have to pay such close attention. I'm hoping to get the rest of the stitching finished tonight, since we're going dress-browsing tomorrow, and I work on Sunday. I know it's early to go looking, but there are some dresses I really like, and I don't want to keep looking at them if they're too expensive, especially since I may have figured out a way around the strapless dress with large bosom conundrum via a lace bolero/shrug deal (Once again, Etsy, you rock my world with your handmade goodness!) I think these ornaments will be done by the time they are supposed to be shipped out, maybe sooner. Wouldn't that be a refreshing change for me? I need to round up where I put the treat bag I bought to stick everything in and then get a few more goodies to send her, and a card. But that's no big thing to accomplish, and everything is on sale now! I just bought a sign that says, "I have flying monkeys, don't make me use them" for 25% off. Woo hoo.

Other than that, my stitching is going slowly. The night before we went on vacation, I pulled out my White Willow Stitching Arab to work on. There's a photo of my UFO in the WIP section of Jamie's website that's been there for two years, and it's pretty much in the same condition it was when I took that photo. I really feel awful about not working on it more, it's just that I need more continuous time to work on it than I have. Maybe this winter . . . I am getting more progress on the Boo Club. I just have the cat to finish for Black Cat, and that flip is done. I figure it takes me about 3 days to do each little section, so all in all, not too bad. And these would make good ornaments for a Halloween tree. I was thinking about that the other day.

Have to run. I'm planning on posting pictures this evening, depending on our plans. Cross your fingers I get that accomplished!

23 September 2009

September is flying by!

I realized today there is one more week in September. And just 6 1/2 weeks til my birthday. What happened to this month? What happened to this year? If this is how the time will pass, I need to get on the ball with the wedding planning.

We're tossing ideas around, leisurely, like softballs. I have my bridesmaids picked out. God bless my best friend, she graciously accepted my request to be my MOH. I figure this is a positive for everyone; she is the only person in the world who wouldn't be afraid to deck me if I start being a Bridezilla, but yet, wouldn't do it because she loves me too much. Our flowergirl is excited because of the footwear; "Can I wear high heels?" she breathed in rapturous delight. Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out what shoes I can buy that won't make me look like a shrimp, since HTB is a foot taller than me, but yet, I can stand without falling over in. The "ringbear" told us his job is to hand out rings. His uncle is going to have to explain to him that he has to take them to Grampa, or else whoever's sitting in the last row will have a very unique souvenir of our ceremony, and we'll end up hunting for rings like that scene in 4 Weddings and A Funeral. :)

But all in all, it's a wierd time. I know the wedding and the party are not the most important part of being a married person, but I want to have it be a memorable day. I'm remembering every idea I ever had for a wedding, and what I don't remember, my mom does. Options for places to get married are being items of contention. The two places I had thought of having the service as a younger person aren't near any reception venue, so those are out--the guests shouldn't have to drive an hour for punch and cake, ya know? I'm looking for favors. I think I want to have candles as a favor, and I have been looking on Etsy. Etsy grows more impressive every time I look. It's like a good craft fair. And I love it! And I still can't believe, looking at these bridal gowns, that I finally get to wear one. I think it's gonna feel like playing dress-up for a while. But I'm confident I'll know the right one when I see it; it's the one that, when I put it on, I'll hear him suck his breath in! That's my goal, at least.

I do think I know what I want to adapt into our ringbearer pillow. One of these:

I was planning on doing one anyway, since I like the Celtic feel of them and thought it would be good for then-SO, but this way it becomes a distinctive keepsake for us. What do you think?

22 September 2009

Must break out of this funk

I have an ornament that is supposed to go out for the ornament exchange I am in in exactly 8 days. Would you like to know the progress I've made on it? I picked the chart, ordered the beads and floss, bought most of the floss, and I know how I want to finish it. Other than that, I am the President of the Procrasti Nation. But not for long.

I've chosen Brooke's Books Spooky Critters for my partner. They're very whimsical, and I think they would look great on a branch. If the stitching is not too bad, and I don't foresee it being so, I can do a couple for her. I think that would be good, especially since they're small. I figure, since my bead and metallic order was shipped today, I can get the floss part stitched til the other parts get here. Back it with scrapbooking paper, get some seasonal ribbon. It's all good. At least it is in my head. But then again, inside my head is a pretty loopy place, so maybe this is not good. Oh, well, we'll find out.

And I was pretty proud of myself. I am trying to be more money-conscious so as to have money to contribute to our wedding, and our honeymoon, so I'm not using the credit cards. It's been a hard struggle. The logical part of me knows better, the three year old part of me says, "Let's run amok with the Mastercard!" and then throws a block when I tell her we need to save money so I can buy a garter for HTB to fling at the single men. Anyway, I went on the website to order the supplies. I find going online to shop is way better than a real store for me. Keywords are a strong deterrent to aimless wandering around, falling in love with random things. No looking at gorgeous wedding samplers when I type in "midnight blue beads." And yet my wish list was so tempting. I played with my cart, putting things in and out. And then the logical side cleared its throat and advised the three year old side that it seemed like a horrid waste of money to buy charts and fabric I won't do right now when I have tons of charts at home, just waiting to be done, I have tons of UFOs just waiting to be done, and I've sat here for the last week, not stitching. And it would be rather embarrassing to explain to our guests that we have no DJ because I spent the money on nonsense. And, for once, the three year old side of me listened. I am growing up!

The Boo Club flip-its are coming along. I am on Black Cat now. This one has been throwing me for a loop. I have picked out the word at least 4 times, but I'm almost there with it. It might even get done for Halloween . . . but don't hold your breath.

18 September 2009

Preview of things from the St. Charles Show

See anything you like?

Some very cute things coming out. I'll just have to add them to my Christmas list.

It was kinda funny. I was reading about registries, since those tend to be the gorilla in the corner. Have one or don't have one? Tell people about them in the invitation or trust that they will ask about it when they RSVP? Apparently you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. HTB said I could register for whatever I think I need. Need is a relative term. We have towels and sheets and things like that--I just bought new towels the other week, so I'm good there. I would like a set of good china, but it's not a NEED; we don't need fancy china when we have sat at the dining room table 5 times in all the time we've been dating and we don't have a kitchen table. I'll probably put some charities on our registry; I know the non-profit theatre I'm working at is hurting because of the recession, and they need help more than I need salad forks, right?

So how this relates and where I find the humor is that one thing I read said to register where you have your hobbies. I actually laughed. Can you imagine? Are people really doing this? HTB registering for a camper at the RV dealer, me at the LNS. "Rachel and HTB are registered at and Camping World?" LOL. I mean 123 does have a wish list button . . . I would so totally not do that. But that's funny.

I am working back into stitching. I am carrying around my LK Boo Club Flip-its. I had to run some things over to Mom's at lunch so couldn't sit and stitch, but I'm getting there.

17 September 2009

Thank you thank you

Thank you for all the comments of well wishes! They mean a lot to me! I promise to be good and keep most of the wedding details off here, except the cross stitch related parts, but I thought I should share the big news.

I didn't talk about what happened the rest of our vacation. My fingers were kinda flippy on Monday--still getting used to the weight of the ring, LOL.

The rest of our trip was lovely. The weather got much better. Sunday we went into Ocean City and walked the boardwalk. We couldn't leave without a tub of Fisher's Popcorn, could we? Plus, my lovely husband to be was jonesing for a sports fix. Our other team, based on the fact that we live not far from their training camp, and we both loathe the Redskins (as all good Dallas fans do), is the Baltimore Ravens, and they were playing, so he wanted to have lunch at a place with a TV. I, of course, had to go to Salty Yarns. It really is a lovely shop. They had a gorgeous display of fall things in the big picture window in the rear of the store. I was good, though. I only bought a few charts that I hadn't seen before, Carousel Charts pendant design for my secret sister, and the Ornament issue.

And I have pored over that issue. It's a good one, at least to me it seems like it is. I have already picked about 20 ornaments to stitch. ANNNNDDDD, I sat my little butt down and read how to actually properly finish an ornament. No surprise . . . I haven't been doing it right. Instead of attaching the fabric to two pieces of foamcore and then glueing that together, I was supposed to sew the front and back together, shove the piece of foamcore in there and sew it closed. Is my face ever red. No wonder my ornaments look so bad. I am so sorry if anyone reading has ever been an exchange partner of mine and got one of my poorly constructed ornaments.

We went back to the campground and spent the evening vegging. HTB asked if I was hungry (I just realized how often we ate this weekend, we were shoving food in our mouths every couple hours, LOL. How will I ever be a slim bride at this rate?) and I asked him to hold off. Well, these cute little Sika deer came walking through the campsite. One little doe was so curious. She walked right up to me. I sat very quietly and very still and she was probably two inches from my hands, so close I could feel her breath on my fingers. A very cool experience, another one that we will keep in our hearts' memories, not in a photo album. It was amazing how many animals visited us while we were there. HTB couldn't believe it. The practical side of me says they were just on their way from here to there, my fanciful side thinks maybe they wanted to give their blessing to us. It's a nice thought, anyway.

It was hard to leave again. We promised to come back every year. Hopefully, one day, we'll bring our children to teach them about the place their parents loved separately from childhood, and where we fell in love as adults and where we vowed to make a go as a family. That would be nice.

Of course we loaded up on good Eastern Shore produce--peaches, nectarines, melons, apples--on the way back. We've had to resort to Safeway produce lately, which is very disappointing, so it was a pleasure to stand over the sink last night and eat a good watermelon.

And now . . . I'm in a stitching funk. I have probably put in 100 stitches since we've been home. I just can't settle in to work on things. I think I did 15 stitches on vacation, but not any more than that. So that means I haven't done much of anything since last Wednesday. I think HTB is starting to worry--he can't believe it's been this long without stitching for me. I know I'll get back into it, I have to, I have ornaments to make for Halloween, but I'm still in a whirling hazy daze right now. Perhaps stitching will bring me back into focus. I'm going to try it today.

14 September 2009

And then he kissed me . . .

Warning: This is not a cross stitching post, but I can't NOT share it!

I just got back from our long weekend on Assateague Island. Such a momentous weekend.

We loved it there last year, and were so looking forward to some sunny days with just each other. Camping. In a pop-up. SO has been working so hard all summer. SO hard. I've been stressed out.

We were a little miffed to hear that a coastal low was sitting right at the beach. Because rain ruins anyone's day. They PROMISED it would be out by Thursday. It was bright and cheery on Thursday when we pulled out. I loaded up the camper with the new issue of Cross Stitcher, and several projects. Several books, including Pride and Prejudice, came along. I had about 10 pairs of pants for all weather, since last year, we climbed the lighthouse and it was a bit hot as I ascended it in my long sleeve shirt and jeans.

We got to Salisbury and it started dumping. My boyfriend got this irritated look and said, "I am looking SOOOO forward to putting this up in the rain." I told him I would help and it would be OK. I have GOT to stop doing this, especially when it is patently apparent that the situation WILL NOT be OK.

He got soaked checking in. And said the park wasn't allowing people in tents to set up. They said we should be OK because we were in a TENT TRAILER. So we sat and waited for it to slow down. I can take wind. I can take rain. Wind and rain, driving sand, not so cool. Not so pleasant feeling.

We managed to get the camper set up, soaking a lot of the bedding, and the mattresses, and then gingerly handed in the essentials: clothes, my book, and snacks. I didn't bring my stitching in because it was safer in the truck. And we sat. And waited. The park ranger said the storm was supposed to blow out by 8PM. OK, we can handle ANYTHING for 5 hours.

But it didn't stop. That camper pitched back and forth like mad til 9. We took a nap and talked, crammed together on the sofa. SO is a big man, and I'm not exactly a delicate flower (but that will change). SO moans, "I have ribeyes marinating in the cooler. They can't sit in that another night." So he dashes back out to get them, telling me to stay put. We had fried rib-eyes on the campstove with corn and beans. SO was so upset about having to fry those steaks. I told him that they were awesome, and they were.

We went to sleep on the couch, but he woke up at 12 and got up to go lay on a soaking mattress. I told him that I'd go lay there and he could have the couch; he'd worked so hard to get the camper up, but he told me I get the best.

And all through that night, we laid there. I am surprised the camper stayed together; it was that bad. I was scared, but I know SO wouldn't ever keep me in a bad situation. I trust him. I had to change clothes 3 times because going out was soaking them. His pillow got wet. I heard a crash, knew it was a wave and ran around to check to see if we were under water. I couldn't see it, convinced myself it was the neighbor's awning, but SO told me the next morning he'd heard it and it was probably a wave crashing on top of the dunes. If I'd known the water was that high, it would have been bad.

I did manage to drift off to sleep finally, by telling myself that the rain couldn't keep going. When I woke, the wind was more normal and life was going on. I got our fire ring out of the 2 feet of water behind the camper (we were high and dry and set it up. Then took a walk. The campground was flooded. We all came out and congratulated each other. Someone pulled in and said they'd been turned away and they were turning away the pop-up campers; we'd been in a gale and it wasn't safe for pop-ups to be up. The book Stormy Misty's Foal is about a gale and how it devastated little Chincoteague, and we'd been through one. I don't wish to repeat that. I have been in 2 hurricanes and I was never so scared as I was Thursday night.

Friday was our recuperation day. Some ponies came to visit. I learned that, the ones on the Maryland side of the fence are Assateague ponies, the Virginia ones are Chincoteague. I wonder if the ponies know this? They do know how to get in a cooler, as SO found out. Two mares knocked over his Dr. Pepper and drank it, then went in the cooler. SO said he couldn't believe their lips were that strong. I can! That night, SO woke me up to say, "There are ponies outside. One's on one side eating, the others are over on the other side." They were so beautiful, standing in the moonlight. And we quietly watched them. Two lay down to rest. SO was impressed they got between the truck and the camper without knocking into anything. We wanted to take a picture, but it didn't turn out. A lot of pictures this weekend didn't turn out. I guess some things are meant to be remembered with the eyes of the heart. I know I'll never forget that sight.

Saturday, we spent the morning scouting future campsites. Our loop appeared to be the highest point of the state park, because the other sites were flooded, including the loop with the water and electric hookups. Not good. Not safe. We then went on the beach. I read Pride and Prejudice, and kept pointing out stuff to SO about marriage. I told SO it made absolutely no sense that Mr. Collins would be so adamant to marry Elizabeth one day and then two days later go get engaged to the other girl, and how odd that was that one could change affections so fast. Just little things like that.

He asked if I wanted to go to an early dinner. I was like, "but it's really early." SO is not an early eater, and we had had steak at 1, so I was a bit confused, but he wanted to go to Ocean City, and I'm not going to deny him ANYTHING on vacation, not when the man slept on a wet spot so I'd stay dry. We went to a nice place, had some awesome seafood stuffed potato skins. I am SOOO making them here. They were yummy.

We went back to the campground after dinner, and SO wanted to go fly a kite. he grabs his backpack, and I said, "What is that for? You don't need a backpack to fly a kite!" He told me to stop being so nosy. I thought, "OK, if he wants to do it, he has a reason." I said, "My tummy is a little bit achey, so I might have to leave the beach." He then says, "Can you please try to do that before we get to the beach," which is a very odd thing for him to say. He knows my stomach is cantankerous, and has never asked me to please do what I need to do before we go. He ought to know these things can not be controlled, but I wasn't denying him anything.

I met him on the beach and we tried to get the kite to fly. Of course, it didn't. The breezes weren't right. I told him it was still fun. And it was; he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and any chance I get to see him relax and have fun is a pleasure to me. He never will understand the joy I get in seeing him play, but he works so I can play, and I want the same for him. So we walk back to the top of the dunes. And he stops. He says, "I have something for you." He opens the backpack and hands me a card. A romantic card. About wanting to wake up next to me the rest of his life. I read it, and I'm thinking, "What is this? Is he asking me to marry him? Is this an engagement card? Do they make cards for that? Should I ask him? What if it's not and I ask the wrong thing, and it's not and . . .", so I asked, "Is this what I think it is?" Because I want to maintain a bit of modicum and decorum. He says, "Maybe," and that's when I saw the box. And he went down on one knee. And I do not specifically remember him asking me to marry him, because I was shaking and saying yes. I probably looked like a freaking idiot. I could not breathe. I could not look at the ring. He put it on my finger.

And OMG, is it beautiful. White gold, solitaire stone with 14 channel set baguettes on either side and bezel engraving. It didn't look right on my finger, too pretty, LOL. He told me I was glowing. He designed it for me. No other girl in the whole world has this ring. And the fact that he loves me enough to not only work his tail off for months to pay for it, but to wait til he could take me to the place I love more than any other place in the world, the place I realized that I was in love with him, in order to ask me to be his wife is so mind-blowingly romantic.

Our families are happy. My parents weren't home when I called, but I did tell them. My brother is pleased. SO's, er, Darling Fiance's, niece can't wait to be the flowergirl--her mom had to tell her that we have to ask her before she can tell people. Her mom said the little niece was happy her uncle was getting married, but it took a few minutes to get her to connect that he is marrying me, LOL, but she thinks it's awesome I get to be her real Aunt Rachel, LOL. And I think it's pretty cool that she gets to be my real niece :)

Anyway, must run for now. I'll post again tomorrow, hopefully with photos.

09 September 2009

P is for . . .

(UPDATE: I have been looking for pictures of this project for the last hour. No one has them for sale, no one has stitched them. I can't even find the artwork they came from online. I'll have to take a photo of the page in the magazine. I'm trying!)

my entry for the special contest for next year's state fair.

Mom picked up my fair entries yesterday. I did find out that my lions did not place as well as I previously reported--they did not get 3rd, they got honorable mention. I apologize for the mix-up. I feel so embarrassed to have thought they got the 3rd, but then again, the honorable mention ribbon is baby blue and the 3rd is white. Baby blue and white look alike under fluorescent lights. But I did better than I did last year, and I'll do better next year. I did find out Treaty Fairy had been considered for a Special Award at the fair, which is pretty cool. Out of three years of entering, two of my pieces were considered for that. That means I'm consistently doing something right. At least on some things--others (those that involve finishing, apparently) leave a bit to be desired.

The special contest for 2010 is themed "things that begin with P." I decided to focus on figuring out a project to get my mind off the placing issue (I was angry at myself). I spent the whole ride home last night trying to figure out a "P" thing to stitch. This is not an easy task, especially since it can't be something you have to stretch your imagination to see the connection to P. They had a list of suggestions, but, if everyone looked at the form and said, "Oh, I'll stitch a panda or a peacock," then there's a whole class of the same thing. I try to be unusual. This may be where I go wrong--maybe last year, the sheep didn't place because they wanted ships or Santas or seals, like they put in the catalog--but I'd rather have those sheep on my wall and adore them than a ship I only kinda like. And this year, budget is going to play a factor. I don't have a lot of panda or peacock charts, and I'm not spending the money to buy them. And at some point, I realized I was 10 miles from home and had spent 20 miles thinking of "P" things.

And then it dawned on me. One of my most favorite things in the world is a P. Not a P that it takes a rocket scientist to determine. Maybe more common, but with plenty of charts in my stash. Because I love them. POLAR BEARS! And I have the perfect chart. One I was looking at the other day, thinking I should stitch it.

SO and I looked through a couple binders just to make sure there wasn't something better. That ended in him asking me if I had any plane charts, which I told him absolutely not, and me pointing to a picture of birds and asking if they were quails or partridges (Partridges, more than just a decoration for a pear tree!), and him saying they were quail. So we decided together, that the polar bears were the best option. He asked me if it was going to be hard to do. I told him it didn't look TOOO bad; it doesn't, it's just bigger than the lions, but not as much fiddly shading and not as much backstitch. It's a design I can do, knowing that I'll love it, whereas I might like a peacock, but not love it. So, now to buy the fabric. I will not stress myself out over this. I will start early and have it finished!

Speaking of finishes, I did finish Cat Lover Too this morning. I realized I have finished three UFOs in 33 days, pretty impressive, if I do say so myself! I'll try to post a photo, but we're packing for our vacation, so I don't know if I will have time.

08 September 2009

Giveaway on Riona's blog

If you like Halloween charts, head here: . On her 9/4 post, she is giving away super adorable charts!

07 September 2009

Is it Monday already?

This weekend sure went quick! Hope yours was a blast! We had great weather to send out the summer.

I came home Friday to the most wonderful surprise. SO said to me, "Why don't you go let the dogs in?" It was 9:30 and I was tired, having worked 76 hours in 8 days, so I must have given him one of my famous, "They're not the dogs, they're your dogs" looks, but I got up to let them in. And, out in the garage, was a pair of brand-new mountain bikes, one for SO and one for me. Didn't I feel stupid? I ran back in and gave him a hug, since I have been wanting a bike. He totally bought them on a whim, thinking they would be fun for us to take to the beach. I love mine!

However, I have not been on a bike since 1993, and it shows sadly. I already had my first accident. I was going too fast, and ran into the railing on a bridge on the walking path we were riding on. The bike is OK, me not quite so lucky. I have a scraped leg, a scratched finger, but I dinged up my fresh pretty French manicure that I was so vain about--red tips with black and silver trim, my personal statement of, "Summer's not over just because it's past Labor Day, I will not go gently into fall nail colors!" But I'm not too pressed; I could have actually been hurt, and it was my stupid fault. I'll sacrifice a bit of nail enamel and acrylic to not be hurt; thank God, because the path is right by the Firehall and we watched the only ambulance in town go whizzing by right as we got there, so God watches out for fools and children.

I was a little stitching demon this weekend. I'm mostly ready for vacation. Still haven't finalized my stitching projects, but I am mostly packed, pretty much ready. My sewing room is as spotless as it's going to get; I don't picture SO's mom as a snooper, but if she wants a book to read, I have plenty for her.

This is my progress on HT afghan. It's moving along, but still not quick. OHHHH, I saw my first hummingbird Saturday morning. Tiny little thing, investigating our non-nummingbird feeders. We didn't know we'd get them, so we don't have one. I think that needs rectified, don't you? I even have the new needlepark I bought on it. It seems to be working OK, but I think I should have a bigger one for this. With all the shading, it's a big small.

And Cat Lover too. Almost finished! I am shooting to get this finished tonight. There is supposed to be a button on the cat's hat, but, since the chart doesn't specify WHICH button, just that its a JABC button, and, since it looks fine without it, why stress over it?

So that's all for now!

04 September 2009

Oh boy oh boy

I was trying to be good today.

I was trying to be logical. I have spent the last week putting away and organizing and cursing whatever imp it was that made me accumulate so much stash that there is no way I can neatly store it all. I vowed to stitch more, accumulate less (although the newest Stoney Creek mentions this as a trend in much the same tone that people at a health fair will tell you you're obese, like it's a really bad thing that shows some internal failure that, if you had a little more control over yourself, you wouldn't be in the situation, and must be mentioned in pity-filled whispers). I vowed this fall would be different.

And then people post this.

And my willpower melts.

Even with just part of it showing, I know I love it. And I must have it.

Despite it using Thread Gatherer.

Despite the fact I've only completed one other Hawks Run Hollow piece. I take it as a sign of hopefullness that I have Shores started and I look at it in passing and think, "I should work on that." I also have Villages mostly kitted up. This is hopeful. This is why I stitch from stash. I just spent my 2009 stitching budget . . . in 2007.

Perhaps it's time I start whispering in the pittybulls' sweet spotted ears when I let them out in the morning. Perhaps they can tell their Daddy I would like it for my birthday. I can just picture him, walking around the cross stitch store with a bewildered look on his face, mumbling, "Christmas . . . birthday . . .Hawks. Don't they have any Dallas stuff in here? Why doesn't she just finish what she started?"

In other news, I have decided to break with my own plans and work on Cat Lovers Too this weekend. I am getting so close to finishing it. I can probably have it done by Monday if I stitch tonight. But, if not, it gets put away for Halloween ornaments. Funny to think of sitting on a beach working on Halloween ornaments, but we're dredging the last little bit of summer out we can!

03 September 2009

I know I am supposed to be focusing on two pieces, but

I picked up another UFO to work on last night. I was supposed to be cleaning, and I guess I was cleaning, if you count going through a tote bag as cleaning (and I do--I threw out some receipts), and pulled out PS Autumn Leaves. I must get that done this fall. So, I decided that I had worked enough on the other two UFOs and did a bit of stitching on that one. And ended up frogging what I had put in, because I miscounted. Darn it. Darn it. Darn it. But, in fairness, I haven't been frogging a lot lately, so I guess I was due for an episode of it.

I probably won't be stitching this evening, though--I want to start packing for the beach, so I am not rushing around at the last minute, throwing far too many unnecessary things in my suitcase and forgetting something important, like flannel PJs. I learned my lesson about that last year. SO says he knows how to work the heater in the camper, but I'm still packing those jammies; when you wake up at 2AM, cold, it's hard to get back to sleep.

I also need to finalize what I am stitching for these ornament exchanges. I'm pretty good for my Halloween exchanges, the Christmas one is hard, though. I found a really pretty Sampler Girl freebie from last year, I think. I guess it's OK to use freebies for exchanges, isn't it? It's a simple freebie, just the word Believe, but I think it will look very elegant.

So that's all that's going on here. I'm going to my family reunion on Sunday. My mother called this morning and was worried I have to drive "all that way" by myself--SO wanted to go, but there is too much stuff to do and not enough time to do it. I told her I drive it every year by myself, so I should be fine. The only hard part is when I get to Somerset and then get rather stuck on how to get to where the reunion is. One of these years, I will write it down; it's kinda important to learn since my dad's family cemetary is near there, and I don't want to lose where my grandparents and my great grandmother, Kate, are buried. But I'm looking so forward to the reunion--it's my chance to eat REAL Pennsylvania Gobs, which are sorta like a Devil Dog, but better.

If I don't write tomorrow, have a fantastic Labor Day weekend!

01 September 2009

Look at these!

New from Brooke's Books




I even found some perforated paper last night in my ramblings.
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