31 December 2009

Race to the finish line

I have 6 hours til it's 2010. In that time, I am going to my fiance's birthday party and ringing in the new year. This gives me about 45 minutes to get this finished. Can I do it?

30 December 2009

End of the year stitching . . .

I am working like a dog getting the last few stitches into my final finish for 2009. We had a great at home date night last night and watched "Pearl Harbor." We saw bits and blips of it on A&E this year and it seemed good, so I bought the DVD for DF. Ben Affleck is my celebrity crush. DF loved Kate Beckinsale in the Underworld movies. Apparently the movie is not exactly historically accurate, but that doesn't matter to me; if I wanted to see something completely factual, I'd watch a documentary (which I do a lot). I think seeing war played out so personally makes it more real; I never appreciated what my uncle Frank went through in the Battle of the Bulge til we watched "Band of Brothers" last month. And this made Pearl Harbor "real-er" to me.

A three-hour movie gives you plenty of time to stitch!

I may give you a hint of what I almost have finished tonight! :)

28 December 2009

2009: A Year in Review

I like to do this every year, reflect on what I've accomplished, at least stitching wise.

I would grade 2009 as a C+/B-. Don't those kind of grades just annoy you? In college, one of my theatre professors, who was a thoroughly lovely man, very smart, good actor, brilliant Shakespeare scholar, used to grade us like that. He assumed we all started off with Cs and had to work our way up. It was a shock to little ol' me, used to getting stellarly good grades and not working hard to get them, to suddenly get grades with minuses in his classes. Even the pluses were a shock because they usually had Bs in front of them, not A's. And he wasn't the kind of teacher who let you make up the grades with extra credit on tests. Now, extra credit in and of itself was a pleasant surprise in college, since a teacher in high school told us there would be no multiple choice tests or extra credit in higher learning, and, let me tell you, there were plenty of both at the University of Kentucky. But his tests were different. Essays in blue books (and don't you dare make your own blue book with construction paper, crafty friends), and extra credit that had very little to do with what you were studying in class. I think in my years of having him as my professor, I got one question right, and that was because we read a play by Moliere in high school French class, and I knew the name of the play in the original French. I got the bonus point and a shout-out in class, but I did not get extra extra credit for having the accent marks in the right place, facing the right direction. BOOOGER. But, I loved having him as my professor. He had a strong BS meter and he graded accordingly. If you weren't giving 100% effort, you didn't get an A. I spent most of the first part of the semester balancing in a C zone, because I wasn't paying attention to my craft, and, when I focused in and committed, I got the coveted A-.

The reason I tell this story is that I don't know if I really brought my A- game to my stitching this year. I allowed myself to be sloppy in my finishing, at least up until the fair, when I got called on it by the judges--my finishing has been more on point the last two months or so than it was all year. That's an improvement, not a success. Also, I didn't have the success at the state fair that I'd been seeking. I know, I know, having the lions get honorable mention is a great thing, and having Halloween Fairy win her class and be up for the Special Award is an honor, but I can't help but wonder what I need to do to be Best of Show? What can I fix in order to do better next year? I am learning to let the judges' critiques roll off when they're, in my opinion, not logical, or too nit-picky, but I am absorbing the lessons when I can.

But that's not to say that I'm entirely displeased with what I accomplished this year. I finished my large geisha. That, in and of itself, is a BIG DEAL. Since I didn't manage to get it done any other year this decade. And I set some lofty goals for the fair, and completed them. My lions are gorgeous. I can't look at them and say, "I could have done this better." Likewise, it wasn't a small task to get the kitten throw started, completed and fully backed by fair-time. So I'm pleased with that. And I'm happy that I'm making some small progress on my UFOs. Not as much as I would like, but it's a start. I'd like to have several more finished by this time next year, if that's remotely doable. I am starting to wonder if I'll have time to enter things in the fair or even really stitch, with all the wedding planning that has to be done. But, we'll see.

I don't know if I'll be around the next few days. Thursday is HTB's birthday, so I've got a bit of coordinating with that. If I don't post back, I continue to wish you and yours a wonderful, healthy 2010. 2009 was a wild ride, but we made it through, maybe some a bit battered, with a few more grey hairs, but maybe we can focus on the moments of beauty and seek them out in the New Year.

26 December 2009

A very wonderful Christmas

Did everyone have a joyful holiday?

I had a lovely one. Got off work at 4 on Thursday and headed home. HTB cooked us steak and baked potatos, and then fixed brussel sprouts with golden balsamic vinegar. DELICIOUS. I also fixed a breakfast casserole for our Christmas morning breakfast, and taco dip to enjoy throughout the evening, which was a bit spicier than normal, since I used spicy refried beans, but I think HTB liked it. We wrapped each other's presents, and then settled in to watch A Christmas Story.

Yesterday morning, I woke HTB up early to unwrap gifts. I'm a dork. I admit it. Funny, the gift he seemed to enjoy most was a magazine/book about pitbulls. It was such an afterthought kind of gift, but he liked looking at it. He gave me a beautiful necklace with two layered hearts. I loved it, and told him it was perfect because I always tell him he is half my heart. I also got a Dallas tee shirt, which I will wear tomorrow when we watch the game, and a windbreaker in Dallas colors. I can wear that to go walking. And then he had me open a heavy box. It was a Tom-Tom. I've wanted one all year. Mentioned it briefly to him, but didn't actually think I'd get one. And there it was! He spoiled me!

Our families were so good to us. My brother bought us a new camera, which HTB loves and which will be so useful on our honeymoon. My mom bought me an apron--I am always getting messy when I bake and use up a lot of paper towels washing my hands--and gave HTB a gift card to Tractor Supply, which is his favorite store. We also got Hallmark ornaments from my parents, which is something they've done for my brother and I since we were kids, and is a tradition I plan on continuing for my kids. His parents gave us a lot of things for cooking, and a pretty snowflake necklace. The kids made us each a present: HTB has a grilling apron, and I have a tote bag. We went home, spoiled rotten.

I even made out like a bandit stitching wise. Mom bought me CHS Christmas in Hawks Run Hollow, with the fabric. She ordered it from Drema at Needlecraft Corner, so I had the best freebie packs to go through. YAY! One of my board pals sent me Linen Flowers Recipe for A Snowman, and a wedding sampler kit. And I got a gorgeous book from my friend Kathy, in England. It's Pollyanna Pickering's new book, and I love it. I am a sucker for her designs, and there are some lovely lovely charts, that just make my heart sing. I am so excited to get stitching on all my new goodies!

Today, I'm back at work. All the snow from last week, is well on it's way to melting, thanks to really warm temps and steady rain. I'm a bit worried, since they have not done the best job plowing, and there are only so many places for the water to go before it creates a problem. The Patuxent River was very close to the bottom of the bridge when I crossed this morning. Then I got re-routed and ended up going over a stretch of roadway that was submerged. I won't be going home that way.

Tomorrow, I may finally have time to bake all the goodies I've been unable to make this week due to scheduling. I guess I can still call them Christmas cookies if I bake them Christmas week, right?

22 December 2009

Almost ready for the holidays

I can't believe Christmas will be here in 3 days. I'm not quite ready, but almost there. I've had the gift-giving ups and downs. Misplaced one of HTB's stocking stuffers, a men's manicure set (because I live in fear that he will cut one of his fingers off trimming his fingernails with a pocket knife), and just found it this morning when I was on the verge of tears. I bought him a movie because it was hard to find, and my aunt bought the same movie, and I threw away the reciept. Then I went to wrap the other movies I bought and realized I had bought him "Public Enemy" on Blu-ray, which we do not have. So those two have to go back to Walmart tonight for an exchange. Darn it! I've started baking cookies. Last night was chocolate chip. Finally . . . I've just been planning this for weeks and never had time, and the poor man doesn't ask for much. Tonight it's going to be oatmeal butterscotch cookies and cheesy rice krispie cookies (let's be honest, they're cheese straws), which HTB does not like. I'll buy him the big tin of Danish butter cookies, he can console himself with those. Tomorrow night will be honey crunch cookies (we have a lot of butterscotch morsels to use up), 7-layer cookies, and fudge, and then I'm done with baking.

We did finally get the Christmas tree decorated. I was stuck at Mom's this weekend because of the huge snowstorm that walloped the East Coast. 22 inches of snow in a day. I was supposed to work. I did not work. I shoveled my mother's walk, and got my car out, and shoveled out the dog yard 4 times so that the twins could refresh themselves. Robbie is not happy about this snow nonsense. I guess when you're tiny, and not too bright, and not used to snow, it's a bit overwhelming. He wants to be taken back to Texas. I told him this is his third winter in the North, and to take it like the wee man he is. Chance is, of course, non-plussed. I think she actually enjoyed romping with him at first. Having my girl happy is a joy.

Anyway, I got home Sunday evening. And we put the tree up. It was not easy. HTB lost some of his ornaments in one of the boxes. I asked him what they looked like. He said, "Fragile." He said someone stole them. I looked at him and said, "Yes, dear, they walked into the house, past the keys to the high-performance sportscar, past the electronic equipment, and took the ornament from when you were in 5th grade. Totally. Buying. That. One." I knew he had them somewhere--he is very thorough, he wouldn't have thrown them out or lost them. He was a happy camper when he found them. We ended up putting my stitched ornaments on the main tree. The little tree was ruined and not fixable, and I just didn't want to deal with it. We'll buy a new one. I think it looks good with the hand-stitched ornaments on it. The angel didn't actually make it to the top. She wouldn't have fit, and, because it's so big, and curved, neither of us could reach it without standing on the top step of the ladder, and, as we all know from childhood, good people don't stand on the top step because you could fall and crack your head open. And that just screws the holidays up for everyone. So we got her pretty close. Below her is the horse best friend Brea brought me from Nashville last week. I like tucking stufties into the tree.

I finished Fa La La right before we started the tree trimming process. I think it's cute. Not show-quality, but, if I spent my whole life waiting to make show-quality ornaments, I'd have none done ever. It looks good on our tree! The little cupcake above it is a new purchase from the little hardware store in my mom's hometown, a real treasure trove. Up to the left is one of the ornaments HTB was so convinced were gone. I love it--it's from elementary school and he has a bowl cut, LOL.

And a picture of the icicles that formed up and down the back porch. I love how they're curved in. It's a bit trippy, like an ice dragon is curled up underneath the snow, and these are his claws.

In case I'm not back before Christmas, I wish all of you a joyous holiday.

17 December 2009

Awesome news

I guess only if you are a stitcher. Or love the store.

There is a Hobby Lobby in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania!

That is not that far away!

Just an hour, maybe a little more!

Up over the state line. Near Gettyburg!

I am totally addicted to this store. Brea always takes me when I visit her. She feeds my addiction. As a matter of fact, she took me to my first HL when, flushed with the possibility of finally being near one when I visited her, I meekly asked her if we could, um, possibly, visit one in Franklin. B said, "No, we can go to the one in Cool Springs, it's closer." B is a crafter. She understands the addiction.

Driving back from visiting her one time, I drove all over Ashland, Kentucky, trying to find a new one that had just opened. When I finally rolled in there, sticky and hot and frustrated, I basked in the loveliness of the store.

Remember when I drove to North Carolina
to get a Hobby Lobby fix? It took all day, but it was sooooo worth it.

Should I be ashamed for this? I know if you have one, you probably don't understand the obsession. But it's like any new store. Novelty breeds adoration. My parents loved AC Moore a lot more when they had to drive to Hagerstown to find one. They never go now that they're 15 minutes from one.

And the thing is, I don't love them for their stitching supplies. They carry the most beautiful Christmas decorations I have seen in a craft store. And gorgeous frames.

Since they are not open on Sundays, and I work Saturdays for the next few weeks, I will have to hold on my investigatory visit. But I will plan . . . and wait . . . and revel in the knowledge that it's there. Just up over the mountain.

Bwa ha ha.

16 December 2009

Welcome to Christmas in Crazyville.

We are still fighting the Christmas tree. I came home last night and HTB declared the tree was a mess, only not using those words. He said he had spent time trying to wipe the mud from the field off the branches, without success. He actually asked me what the deal is with artificial trees and said we're getting one next year. I'm fine with that; I like getting the live tree, but it is kinda messy to cut it down in the field and we bicker. It would be fun to just go along on the tree-getting party next year and not have to deal with getting the tree. He said he was going to go look at them today. I have a suspicion the tree may not be there when I get home tonight. I'm OK with it being crooked, really I am. He said, "It's really bad when you look at it from the side," so I told him we just wouldn't look at it from that angle. Simple, no?

I came home late last night, so not a lot of stitching occurred. I did sit down and sew buttons on two finishes, my Pine Mountain pillow from last week, and the LK Land that I Love. I'm glad the stitching is done, and glad the buttons are on. I tried to bead Fa La La, but that was not happening. I will get that finished TONIGHT. I promise.

We got our Christmas bonuses yesterday. I used most of it for Christmas shopping and to get groceries, but I also went to AC Moore. I needed to pick up some things for Christmas gifts, but I also wanted a little something for me--I mean, I was the one who earned that bonus, and it's the first one I have ever gotten since I started working at at 16. I treated myself to a pretty pair of scissors, and kitted up two Diane Graebner designs, Sharing the Harvest and Time to Leave. They put all their Christmas stuff on sale, and had some cute decorations for a tiny tree at 50% off, so I bought a few packs of those fixings--I thought they would be good to cover the ends of ribbon on ornaments. So they're going in my finishing tin! Woo hoo!

And, joy of all joys, they had matboard! I have been searching for it in ready quantities since October, and found a bunch of off-cuts at Joann's. I was OK with those, but I knew there had to be bigger size boards. Well, there were! It's only about $8 a sheet for the same size sheet as I've been getting in foamcore, so really, for a thinner finish, it's not such a bad buy. I knew I wasn't crazy when I thought I had seen it at a craft store. I have just been looking at Michaels, and you can't get it there. Woo hoo!

That's pretty much all that's going on here. Hopefully we'll get this tree situation dealt with tonight. I really don't have time to keep messing around with it and debating whether or not we should stick with this tree.

15 December 2009

Only in December

I had to work late yesterday because traffic was really bad yesterday morning on the way to work. We were going to try to bring in the magnificent Christmas tree last night, so I was rushing to make up the time and still get home at a decent hour. So I decided to brave the deer and take a backroad. The traffic is usually lighter on those because people fear the deer. And there aren't stoplights, which means I can get 20 miles in 30 minutes vs. 45.

And then life interfered. As I'm rolling up the road, following the car in front of me closely so as to make sure the deer understand it is NOT a good idea to come my way, up ahead, I hear the wail of a fire truck. "Great", I think to myself, an accident. I'm never going to get home." I see the truck and it pulls out in front of the cars. And another follows him. And who was on that second truck? Only the right jolly old elf himself! It wasn't supercold last night, so it was probably pretty fun to be riding up there. He did slow us down a bit.

HTB called to ask where I was, and I had to tell him that Santa Claus was holding up the line of cars. He probably didn't believe me, but I swear I'm telling the truth, LOL.

We got the tree in the house. No one cursed. HTB was patient with me while I stumbled along behind with the tree up through the yard. We got it into the holder. It's crooked--the trunk curves, which we didn't notice in the field due to the slope. Booger tree. I don't think HTB is too happy about that. He gave it his frowny face. The flipping thing intimidates me. I'm not ashamed to admit this. I just had these horrible visions of it coming down on the china cabinet, or on the stand we have all the family pictures on. Trust me, I kept my distance.

I didn't have time to stitch last night, and I really was not feeling well. My sinuses are acting up something awful, and that made my teeth hurt, but I know it wasn't a toothache because I just had a cleaning last Thursday and everything was fine, and I was congesty this morning. I honestly tried to stitch the beads on to Fa La La, but I couldn't find a beading needle, and was in pain, so I gave up on that one.

This morning I went Christmas shopping. I'm trying to scale back this year, but I wanted to make sure I got some good things for HTB. I found some movies he wanted, but I thought I'd get him a Dallas tee shirt or something, and they had NOTHING. Lots of Redskins stuff, lots of Ravens stuff, which was quite obvious, but it was a lot of Indianapolis stuff or Patriots otherwise. I could understand the lack if there were not a GAZILLION Dallas fans in the DC area and we love to razz the Skins fans. Since I think it's too late to order from the Cowboys store for Christmas, I bought him some U of Maryland stuff. As a devoted Kentucky fan, my soul screamed at spending money on another college's gear, but it's not for me, and I consoled myself with the knowledge that we're ranked #4 and his team is . . . not. If it were not December, it would not be in my cart.

I did head up to AC Moore to get some stuff for Christmas gifts as well. I bought some things for my friend Kathy, who lives in the UK. I don't think she'll get her gifts by Christmas, but she understands. And my exchange partner, LibbyD! I did talk myself out of a candy dish for us by telling myself we are pretty good for Christmas, til we get to the next house. And then I went down the Christmas aisle. They have all their Christmas fixin's on sale, so I bought some tiny instruments and candy canes and things like that to trim finishes. They were on clearance, so that was a good thing.

14 December 2009

Goals for 2009

Christmas is next Friday. That means 2010 is two weeks away. I've been so busy the last few weeks, I've lost track of time and forgot it was so close. The 0-decade is ending, we're 10 years out from the millenium. Is it just me or did we seem so innocent and hopeful in 1999? And then the world kinda seemed to fall in . . . Maybe the teen decade of the 21st century will see a better world come to pass. We can hope for it.

I did get a small finish done over the weekend. I started a Pine Mountain pillow kit for Thanksgiving, a gift from my Secret Sister Exchange partner, Thursday at lunch. Brea's plane was delayed an hour, so I plunked myself down at the airport and worked on it for a while, then finished it last night. I need to sew on the button, but it will be finished. I don't actually have a lot of non-Halloween fall things stitched and ready to use to decorate the house, so it will be nice to have this sitting out next fall. I also realized, after posting Fa La La, that it's not actually "finished." I forgot the checkerboard row at the bottom. OOOOPPPPPSSS. I did entertain the idea of leaving it off, but I know myself enough to know that would drive me nuts. No one else would care, but I would. SOOOOO . . . I am finishing that and sewing on the beads before tomorrow morning. And finishing it by the end of the week. No need to drive myself crazy on something so easily correctable.

I've been thinking long and hard lately about my stitching goals for 2010. I know I've mentioned that I want to focus my stitching to working on freebies next year. I still want to do that, but I have decided that I will not restrict myself to "just" freebies. I'm going to work on UFOs and WIPs too. And of course I have the wedding stitching, and a big project or so for the fair. And there's a Dragon Dreams I have had kitted up for a while, The Ice Dragon's Kingdom, that I want to finally start and get finished this year. It doesn't appear to be super-hard, and I've always liked stitching DD charts, so I want it done! I think that's a pretty reasonable set of stitching goals for myself.

I also want to push myself to get HALF of my unfinished finishes completed the whole way through. It's not an unreasonable amount, at least I don't think so. One or two need buttons or charms, and then framed; this is the year they will get what they need. There are some that need custom-framed--I think after all those years of stitching, Elegance of the Orient deserves just a bit better framing job than I can give her--but a lot of them, I can frame or finish into ornaments or cubes myself. It's just a matter of committing the time and effort into doing it. And I've made it easier to do by consolidating my finishing supplies. I even bought a big new bottle of glue so I can't say I lost my glue. There really are no excuses left for me, right?

09 December 2009


I promised pictures.

I know these aren't the best pictures of my sewing room. However, it is clean, it is ready to be used in its alternate incarnation. Like I said, it's cozy in there. But, if we keep this configuration, it will be much easier to turn on the lamp and get my chart binders. I am switching that lamp out though, to one my mom bought me. It's got patriotic sheep on it. And skeins of wool. It was meant for me. It's summery! I wuvs summer

From where the couch used to sit. The top shelf has some of my goodies on it. And my first dog. Have I mentioned I keep her ashes in the sewing room? HTB found the idea of keeping her in the bedroom distasteful. He wouldn't buy my argument that she is possibly the most maintenance-free dog we own and should be allowed in the bedroom. I don't know why people have such an aversion to pet ashes. I promised her I wouldn't leave her again, hence the reason she is cremated, and I'm not shoving her in a closet just because she's no longer alive. Anyway . . . I'm digressing. There's also a really neat book up there on Maryland schoolgirl samplers. I like looking at it. I'd like to stitch some of the samplers.

Standing in the doorway.

When it reverts back to its civilian usage, I'll take new photos.

Two finishes. LHN Fa La La. The snowman bear wanted to pose with it, since my Victorian Bearington Bears are packed away.

A quilt square for a friend. I don't know if I am particularly proud of this, but it's neat and pretty, and I love the design. I hope she likes it

Lastly, sometime in late September, I decided to send a letter to Cross Stitch Collection magazine about my lion picture, which came from that magazine. We took the photo after work, I wrote them an email, I sent it off. I didn't hear from them for the longest time . . . til last week. They are publishing my letter. I hope they do some creative editing because I look like I just got home from work in the picture. I am wearing my dog jammie bottoms and a twinset--terribly stylish, I know. My hair is parted down the middle, but I just didn't feel like retaking the picture. Anyway, the email said I was getting a prize from Madiera. When I got home, these were waiting for me. Aren't they gorgeous? I am trying to think of something to stitch with them. I've never used this brand of thread, but I'm willing to try anything free, LOL. I'll be in issue 179, so if the picture looks a bit rough, remember, I work in customer service, and somedays rough is all we can aspire to.

A blog contest

Chiloe is having a wonderful giveaway on her blog. Check it out!

Rearranged my sewing room

and I like it.

Actually, I didn't do the arranging. HTB did that yesterday since he didn't have any jobs to go on. My sewing room is cozy, and when we pulled out the couch for B to use, it was a bit too cozy. B wouldn't have been able to move, let alone turn the light on and off--the light switch does not work, has not worked since he bought the house, so you have to manually turn the light on, an annoyance when I come reeling into the room, half asleep, in the dead of winter, trying to find clothes. So he moved the couch around. It's now in front of my window, facing the closet. The light falls in over my shoulder now, which should make it a more pleasant place to stitch. The only thing I don't know about is that it's over the air vent, but I think, if we move it forward a bit, it should be OK.

The house is almost ready for B to visit. We made up the bed last night. HTB was so worried that the pull out mattress wouldn't be soft enough for her, so he put the one from the futon on, for which I am grateful, because that sucker is too heavy for me to carry and throw on there. We have all new bedding for her; Mom bought new flannel sheets to replace ones she lost, I bought new pillows, and I put the reindeer quilt we bought at the church rummage sale across the bottom of the bed for a festive feel. My Christmas Bearington Bears are on there to welcome her--B likes bears. HTB even hung one of my cross stitched pictures up because the walls felt a bit bare. I have to tell you, it was so cozy in there, I almost wanted to take a nap, LOL.

I will try to take some pictures tonight to show what I've been busy doing. I got the beads to finish Fa La La yesterday, so that will get done. I started a quilt square for an online friend from an old LK freebie on Monday night, and that should be done today at lunch. And of course, you must see the fabulous Sewing Suite at the Hotel New Windsor, your home for the holidays!

08 December 2009

So cute

Someone posted this on 1-2-3, and it is adorable! Too cute not to post here!

07 December 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It snowed on Saturday. They'd been calling for 1-2 inches. I bet we got 4 in our little neck of the woods. I was supposed to drive to my hometown to sing at a Christmas party for senior citizens. Guess what didn't happen? We tried, because I had been rehearsing, and I didn't want to let everyone down, HTB even put his winter tires on the Tahoe so we wouldn't slip and slide, but the weather was too bad. I could have put up with not being able to see, since I was not driving. I was quiet so he could focus, I even was willing to deal with the huge chunks of snow hitting the windsheild. But when we came upon a car on its side, that was enough. The people were fine, the car was able to be driven onto the rollback, but I would never have forgiven myself if we'd gotten into an accident and HTB got hurt just to get to this party, and I know my mom would be upset, so we turned around and came home. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts for brunch and I sang Dido's "Christmas Day," and Beyonce's "Ave Maria" to HTB, since I am OBSESSED with those songs. We toasted each other with my hot chocolate and his coffee and that was our Christmas party. And when we got home, we fed the birds and squirrels, so we could watch someone enjoy a holiday dinner. Rather goofy, I know, but it was a nice safe way to spend the day.

Yesterday, we got our Christmas tree. It was a long afternoon, tramping around the tree farm. Every year we promise ourselves we won't get a giant tree, and every year, we end up with a tree bigger than the year before. We've hit the limit this year, of both his ability to pull a tree that large out of the field, and the ceiling of the house. I knew there would be a problem when he looked at me standing next to the tree and said, "The tree is twice as tall as you." And he was not kidding--the tree is 11 1/2 feet tall and will touch the ceiling. I know we have ornaments for it. Not terribly sure we have enough lights for it. But it will work.
He did scare the bejesus out of me, though. He was wearing flannel-lined jeans, which seemed like a good idea when I was thinking of him shoveling the long expanse of sidewalk in front of the house, but he wore them with a fleece-lined wind-breaker, a hat, and a rugby shirt, and by the time he cut the tree down, he was overheating. I was really worried about him, once I figured out he wasn't sitting down because he was tired. He said he thought he was going to pass out. The tree farmer made him ride back to the main house with him, which I knew embarrassed HTB, but it was for the best, and he did feel better once he got his coat off and cooled down a bit.

Our snow is still here, lying pretty on the grass. We're not going to decorate the house til next Sunday evening--it's too much to clean the house and decorate before B gets here and we want her visit to be joyful.

I finished my Fa La La ornament for the most part. I had to order the seed beads, but they were shipped from 123Stitch on Friday and they should be here either today or tomorrow. I'll finish it once I get the beads sewn on.

And another stupid funny thing: We got new pillowcases. I was pulling them out to put them on the bed this morning. Imagine my joy and delight to find cardboard in there to use for ornaments. I can do two or three with what was in there. Does anyone else love finding cardboard they can use for finishing?

04 December 2009

I think the stress is getting to me

Totally off topic, but I think I've been thinking too much about this wedding.

I'm having dress anxiety. There is a dress I really love. I have not tried it on, because I am a great large fat person, and they do not have sample sizes that fit a great large fat person. DO NOT get me started on why I find it wrong to spend hundreds of dollars on a dress without being able to try said dress on first. The bridal shop lady said it was in my proper silhouette--empire waist. And it's me. But my mother has those motherly concerns that it might make me look pregnant (UMMMM, it's 2009, I'm not pregnant, even if I was, it would be on my wedding day and anyone who would talk ish would be wierd), there was some discussion about sleeveless, to which I say, I have found very few stores selling dresses with sleeves (another question--why no sleeves or really shoulder-covering styles for winter weddings? What do brides do getting in and out of the car if they have no sleeves? Freeze to death? Supposedly they're returning for spring 2010, but I will believe that when I see it.)

I have tried on other dresses. I tried on one in Pennsylvania that felt like a costume. Cathedral train, draping. Beautiful dress, and if I was 50 pounds thinner, 4inches taller, and able to tan, it would have been super cute. But I'm none of those things and, although the ability to handle elaborate formal dresses is among my numerous varied skillsets, that train was a bit much. One dress reminded me of a kilt--any dress where your mother looks at it and says, "Can you just have them take that little part off there?" is a no. A couple dresses didn't make it out of the dressing room.

I look at websites, I read reviews, I ponder how a dress will look against the church backdrop or photos. Would I love it 20 years from now. Can my hair be done to make the dress look right? I am not kidding when I tell you I have put more manhours into the selection of this dress than I put into researching either of the cars I've bought, or the college I went to. PUT TOGETHER.

So, was it any wonder that I had the worst wedding related nightmare last night? I was wearing my pretty dress. And I looked thin and pretty and bridal in it. I had a nice veil. We were attempting to put my hair up. Into some fancy bridal 'do. Into which it would not go. My friends, current and high school, all kept bobbing into try to fix it. And it would not go. At one point, someone attempted to do ringlets. I don't know about y'all, but, after a certain point of hair spray and messing with my hair, any attempts to apply a curling iron don't result in a curl, but rather a perfectly straight, board stiff section of hair. It looked so horrible and I was so upset. And it didn't help that everyone kept saying it looked alright and they were playing wedding music. I think I threw something. I don't know if it means anything, I don't know if I should just calm down, or should I pick another dress. Or should I just stop drinking iced tea before bed?

03 December 2009

Not much stitching occurring

I'm in the middle of a very busy stretch here (but then again, we all are). My best friend is coming to visit me a week from today, and I have to get the sewing room converted over temporarily to a guest room, so I've been boxing stuff up and taking it to the garage, so that the couch can be pulled out and she can actually move in the room. This weekend, I sing at a Christmas party, we are going to try to drive to Sharpsburg for the Memorial Illumination if the snow they are calling for holds off, and then either working or going for a family event on Sunday. I've been to the Illumination before, and it was beautiful, but they don't have it if it snows (we had a slippery snowfall last year on the day it was supposed to be and I had to work the next week), so I want to go. Plus, we have to clean the house up, and work. But it will be so much fun to see B! I haven't seen her in two years, and I can't wait! And then the next week is pretty packed with stuff to do. If I can just get through til the 19th, it will be easier. And next year, hopefully, I can afford to request lighter hours at my part time job so that everything gets done and the holidays are what they're supposed to be.

I am going to try to get some ornaments finished before Christmas. I got my small white tree from my mom yesterday and bought some aqua/tealy and copper colored ornaments to go on it along with my stitched ornaments. Now to figure out where to put it, since it's a bit bigger than last year's tree and we have become a plant rescue this year and there is a large bamboo plant where the tree was. We'll make it fit. I'm keeping the other tree, even though it's not exactly pretty, we can surely find a use for it somewhere. The only reason I'm not still using it is because my mom was asking me to come get this white one, and I have more stitched ornaments this year.

01 December 2009

A New Start

but no picture . . .

My Joann's trip last night was spurred by my desire to get caught up on my ornament stitching. I'm a bit behind in my Bride's Tree, and my LHN Ornament came in last week, so I was ready to start.

I had an ulterior motive for going, though. When I was in at Halloween, I had noticed they had Christmas fabric with sheet music on it. I couldn't figure out what to use it for then, but I thought it might be good to use for the Fa-la-la ornament, so was checking on that. Of course, they didn't have any left--whoda thunk there would be a run on that in North Central Maryland? But I found some stripey fabric that matches perfectly. I was also looking for fabric to back an ornament HTB and I made together and that was fun--it's a frog in a martini glass saying, "Hoppy New Year," not exactly easy to match up, ya know? Joann's does not appear to carry either alcohol or Christmas frog-themed fabrics, and there are a bazillion shades of green, but I got lucky with another stripe. Stripe-y Christmas to me!

Anyway, I did find most of the floss I needed, and the rest I had in stash. And I am using fabric from my stash as well, some aida I had. It did feel a little odd to go in my stash, find the neutral bag, and then get out the fabric I needed, since I am usually so disorganized that I just buy new fabric, but it was a good kind of odd. I could get used to this.

I'm making good progress with the chart. I have the center lightpost done. It's nice. I think it will make a cute, albeit big, ornament and a nice addition to my collection.
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