26 May 2010

Picture update

I haven't posted a real photo in a few days, so I thought I would show off my progress on the Cardinal ornament. It's almost finished. I have the backstitch on the leaves to do and the rest of the beading. I didn't really want the beads, but HTB likes them, and he offered to go to Michael's to get them for me. He asked, "So you want round beads or heart beads?" I told him seed beads. He looked confused. I got a mental image of him standing in the bead aisle, terrified, asking random women what seed beads are. Luckily, I had the right color beads in my stash, so he's safe. Check that, the rest of the Michaels' shopping public in North Central Maryland is safe. LOL.

I also wanted to post my favorite picture from the weekend. I'm never in the pictures we take on vacation. Mainly because I don't just hand my camera off to anyone. So HTB took my photo while we were visiting the ponies on the National Seashore (though this is on the inland side of the island. He did a good job. I am not naturally photogenic, and especially not so when I've been walking in slop, but he took a good photo. I love that we saw a palomino pinto pony, like Misty. I really haven't seen a lot of them on our visits. I wanted to get closer, but it was a bit boggy, and I didn't want to fall, not with the camera in hand. I'm hopeful the next time we go down, we can spend more time exploring the island--it is such a pretty place and I feel so blessed to live so close to it.

I changed the header photo too. That pony watched me the whole time I was taking pictures. He reminded me very much of the horse my grandfather gave me as a kid. It really was nice to see them in a natural habitat, not scrounging through campsites. He looks so dignified and wild, truly a creature born of sand and surf and wind.

25 May 2010

Start the countdown!

2 days and a wakeup til I leave for the Richmond GTG.

I stopped over at Mom's for the box of stuff for the trade table--AKA, the Big Bin O' Stuff I No Longer Want. She asked me when I was putting it in the car if I was sure I didn't want it. I told her I went over it twice, and I don't want it. She said, "Well, just be sure because what if you want it in 5 years, you won't have it." I could probably trade for it then. I don't really see it happening, though. Not with what I have. I still have some stuff from the house to add and then that is ready. But that box is so jammed with stuff, I could feel the difference in the car's get up and go on the way back.

I also grabbed my HOHRH from Mom's dining room. One of the events at the Stitch-in is a contest and I thought I'd enter it, especially since I was working on it when I met a lot of the attendees at CATS in 2006 and I'd like them to be able to see the finished piece. It had been leaning up against the wall since I brought it back from the state fair in 2007--it doesn't match the decor and I was too nervous about putting nails into those old plaster and lathe walls to hang it up anywhere else. It really does need to come home with me. You can enter two pieces, plus two unframed pieces, but I'm not sure if I want to enter anything else. I'll have to think about it.

I have pretty much finalized my take-along projects. I'll be bringing Sleepy Hollow along, with the hope that I can get at least the angel/tombstone thingmajig finished, as well as the wording. It's time I put effort into that. As well as my ring pillow. I really do like working on that project; it moves along really quickly as long as I keep track of where I am. It just, at home I have so many other things that call to me and it's so easy to say, "I can work on this later." Well, I'm down down to 142 possible 'laters' and, in real time, that's not that many. What I need is a solid weekend of focus and it would be DONE, ready for the rings. So those are my two goals for the weekend. Let's see if I can accomplish them by Monday.

I will not be taking my car to Richmond. I need new tires, and that is not in the budget this month. They're OK for driving around here, but HTB doesn't want me taking them on long trips. He didn't ask me why I was spending money to go to Sue's and not on tires; he knows I need this, like he needs to go racing some weekends, we need our passions to get us through the stressful times. So, instead, he told me to take the Tahoe. ROCK ON! I won't have my XM Radio, which is quite the bummer, but . . . it is a larger vehicle with more cargo area (I'm just being prepared, just in case), it's comfortable, and it really is not that much more difficult to drive than the Vibe. Especially if I'm driving straight through.

I'm trying to figure out what goodies to take. I didn't buy a Smith Island Cake when we were at the beach--it didn't seem particularly smart to try to haul it home three hours, especially when that three hour trip took five due to traffic. I could attempt to make one, but part of me knows better--why inflict my first attempt at making it on others when we can eat it at home. Maybe I'll just do Rolo Pretzels or saltine cracker candy. It's been a while since I made both of those, they always go over well, and I think, other than nuts, I have what I need.

I really am getting giddy. I was looking at the list of designers who are coming. Whispered by the Wind! Stitchinspiration--! Sue Hillis will be offering the designs she had on the 2007 Cruise, which I have WANTED with all my heart for two years. And I am looking forward to hanging out with people. My roommates are stitchers I've known for a while. One grew up in the same county I did, the other I've known for a while and roomed with before. So it should be lots of fun!

24 May 2010

Went away for the weekend

The change in my header photo was in honor of our weekend trip to Assateague Island. We were both in serious need of a getaway after that long winter and with all the stress we've both been under. It was also Car Cruise weekend in Ocean City, and HTB loves going there. So we took the camper on its maiden voyage. HTB went down Wednesday, and I left Friday.

Of course, this being Crazyville, nothing exactly happens as planned. They called me Thursday from the bridal salon to tell me my wedding dress was in, and to come get it. So I had to make a stop-off. For me to drive over, try it on, then take it home and turn around would have been too long, so I was going to drop it off at my mother's. She had no room to hang it and suggested laying it across a bed. Well, HTB vetoed that right off the bat. He said no way, what if one of the cats laid on it? Or did worse. I didn't want it wrinkled, so I took it over to his parents' house. They babysat my dress and the dogs for us this weekend, LOL. By the time I got to the beach, I was so hot and tired.

Saturday was a pretty relaxed day. We woke up and went on a pony hunt. It may just be that the ponies haven't realized the plethora of good eating in the state park, but we didn't see a lot in there. None came to visit, and I'm all about the ponies. So we went over to the national seashore to look for them. And it was lovely. They were in their element, out in the marshes. We came onto 3 bands (what they call the herds): one with maybe nine ponies in it, one with two, and one with seven. We had to walk out quite a ways to see the band of seven. Flip flops are NOT good shoes for treks through mud, I forget that every year. HTB was wearing socks with his flip-flops (he'd hurt his foot and was trying to protect it), and they were trashed by the time we got out to the band. We didn't get close--HTB is still wary (some would say 'scared') of horses, and I have instituted a new rule with myself that I will no longer be part of spoiling their wildness by petting them.

We don't feed them, but I have petted them, even though it's illegal to do so. Everyone pets the ponies. People do far stupider things; I've seen people put their kids on them. Um, hello, you're putting a tiny child on a wild stallion. He might be little, he might be cute, he's still a stallion. I've ridden for 25 years and never been on an untethered stallion's back, even a tame one. STUPID STUPID STUPID. But really, I can't be that critical if I'm petting them. These are not tame horses, they're used to people, but that's no excuse to touch them. So I made a decision to not pet them anymore; instead I'll just talk quietly to them about how lovely their island is. And I'll stay away from behind them; I've been kicked enough to know better than that!

We went to the beach in the afternoon. It was a nice day, but too cold to go in the water. I am a bit ashamed of myself; I jumped in the Bay in a snowstorm on a 19 degree day and I can't handle my feet in the Atlantic Ocean on a sunny day 50 degrees warmer? Perhaps if I'd worn my cap and red lipstick? Is that the secret? Instead I contented myself figuring out what color DMC the ocean water was. Maybe in the 560 range, but maybe closer to 368? I'm not too sure about that.

We went into town for dinner, then went to watch the cars cruise up and down Coastal Highway. The best thing I saw all night was two Mini Coopers pulled up along side each other. One was a new one, the other was a very old one. With a tractor trailer horn on it. Which he blew. It was awesome. I want one. I think that is EXACTLY what I need to have for my daily commute. Can you imagine? How obnoxiously cool would that be? I chuckle thinking about it. Think about it the next time you are in traffic, especially if you are in a little car.

We came home yesterday. I HAD to stop at Salty Yarns in Ocean City. I haven't set foot in an LNS since the last time I was there, in September. And we needed popcorn from Fisher's. So HTB took the camper up to 94th Street and parked there, while I attempted to find a parking place for my car closer to the LNS. Y'all, it took me an hour to park the car. The parking is so unclear, and I don't want my car towed. I finally found one, two blocks from the LNS. That wouldn't have been bad, but it was 12 blocks from the popcorn stand. I had forgotten to pack capri pants, and I don't own shorts, so I walked down that boardwalk in jeans, my tee shirt and ballet flats. I was quite the beauty by the time I got back to the car and then wilted into the pizza parlor for our lunch.

But I scored good stash! I try to only buy things on vacation that are particular to that place or that I haven't seen at home. It's a wierd tic I have, but I feel like I'm doing a better job of supporting my LNS that way (despite the issues I've had with them over the last couple years about when I should bring in framing, and the way they look at freebies, they're still a small business owner). Fortunately, Salty Yarns carries a series of Ocean City designs, and has a nice selection of seaside designs. So I indulged, knowing that my summer won't be spent at the seaside and wanting to have a hint of summer and beach. I bought an Oberlin Samper design of light houses, a summer-themed Hinzeit, Shepherd's Bush, "O Say." I also bought LHN Summer Strawberries, which I may do as one of my ornaments for the Bride's Tree. I toyed over getting a tote bag with a Halloween chart by Prairie Moon, but $30 seemed like a lot to spend right then, so put it back.

It was a nice trip, a pleasant break, and the kind of weekend that gets one through til the next big weekend away.

19 May 2010


Are we there yet?

Is it time to sit under an umbrella with a frosty beverage watching the rest of the world go by, while we enjoy the novelty of "nothingness"? Or people watch? Or daydream? Have we made our appointment for the pre-vacation mani, pedi, fill, or spray tan? We'd hate to not be at our cutest--this is vacation! Has anyone seen the sunscreen?

Are our stitching bags packed? Have we thought about what projects to bring: let's keep the hand-dyed stuff for indoor stitching, and the simple stuff for outdoor? Are our scissors sharpened? Have we cleared out our cars to make room for random S.E.X. acts--we'd hate to not be able to find that Dazor lamp in that was on sale at 70% off because we kept the first aid kit in the car . . . and think of all the room for stash that we'd have if we just took the spare tire out!

If we're meeting up with other stitchers during our travels, did we remember to bake a snack, or pick one up at the store. Like, say, coconut cake or Smith Island 9 layer cake--don't we need the nine layers and the fudge frosting for energy to get us through long vacation stitching sessions? We shouldn't bring fruit, unless it's bought at a farmstand; we can eat fruit at home, vacation is about cake and salt water taffy and funnel cakes and water ice. And, since we're eating, did we pack elastic waist pants? Stitchers should be like Girl Scouts!

I think we're almost there.

Don't you?

18 May 2010

Picture post

A little late but here they.

Kitty and Me ornament from JCS 2000 issue. I think it's an amazing gift that she possesses that she can take 3801, which is a bright flourescent shade of red/pink, as un-cardinally a color as I can imagine, and make it work through fairly easy shading to be the perfect color for a winter cardinal. Very few designers, really, have that talent. Stoney Creek is far more intricate, and Teresa Wentzler is in love with tweeding. The only issue I am having with this is that the blackwork leaves are all in that HORRIBLE DMC Light Effects. That stuff pops and snarls worse than the elastic waistband on an ancient pair of underwear and I hate it. I keep using it because I think the Kreinik would have made it thicker, but GOSH, does it irritate me. I keep expecting it to become easier to work with as I get older, but it's like a bad relationship; you keep going back, thinking, it will be different, and it's not, and it irritates you more because you expected better. I'll get through it, and it will be gorgeous, but, it's a waste of floss.

This is a quick stitch project from the Sanman board, the Inky Dinky Snowman SAL. I did this very quickly over the weekend, probably in 5 hours for the whole project. I like blackwork, something about that being all there is to the project makes it OK. and I really do like the challenge of not jumping across the back of the fabric, and figuring out how to minimize the lines on the back. There will be ten more of these little guys over the coming weeks, and I am really looking forward to stitching them.

Here are photos of the 2011 Keepsake calendar. I hope this doesn't violate copyright. It shouldn't; I'm not showing the charts, just a sample of what they have available. It's maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but there are some nice charts here.

The back cover. It's impossible to get a good photo showing everything.

July. I think this would make a pretty pillow.

September. Probably another good pillow, but you really could leave this out all year. It would be a pretty dining-room picture.

October. I would really leave this out all fall. It's pretty.

And December. The December 2010 is a juggling Santa, so this is, I guess, appealing to the elegance of the season, so you bookend the year in elegance and whimsy. But it would be kinda fun to put these out on a table in an entry way or amongst a buffet at a Christmas party.

I'm starting to embrace the idea of easels as a way to display stitchery, not on the wall. I'm sure this will change when we have jostling children, but it's a lot easier to use them to display little seasonal framed pieces than to try to find places to hang them (we have a patriotic piece up on the wall in our living room that is 4X4 and the normal piece is 12X16 and it grates on me to see that tiny little picture on that big expanse of wall) and they do make a pretty presentation.

Hope you are having a good week. Thank you for your kind comments about dealing with change. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels this way, and I'm glad people found my comments OK. All we can do, in a changing world, is keep finding humor. And at least I walked out smiling, not crying, and I made Norah smile. I think that girl has a future in puppy blogging, LOL.

17 May 2010

2010: the year of change

Saturday, I said goodbye to one of the best bosses I've ever had. She is a young mother, newly married, with the most adorable little girl ever. I only worked with her part-time, and so we didn't have a normal boss-employee relationship. Yes, we talked about work and had serious discussions about the future of our employer and our concerns for how we're positioned in the market, but she was also someone I could talk to about transitioning into marriage, and that it feels wierd to go from single, independant, self-focused person into a partnership where it's putting someone else's needs first. She understood the frustrations of planning a wedding and having to deal with everyone's input. We could joke around, and look at pictures of cake online and drool together. She brought her 2-year-old to work all the time. Norah showed me her knee, once she figured out where her knee was. She loved to look at puppy (pronounce pah-py) videos on You-tube. We had a group love affair for donuts. But she wanted to go home to the Midwest. She needed to be home, and, although most of me understands that, because I feel the same about Maryland, it was still, "Oh, crap, it's another change."

I'm noticing a trend with this year. Change. Maybe I've been dense the last 33 years and just didn't notice things were different--it feels like I just woke up one morning with wrinkles and grey hair--but I notice that life is changing more and more these days. I've never handled this type of thing well, probably left over from growing up in a small town, where everything stayed the same all the time. It can be overwhelming.Part of me just seems to want things to hold still. Even the good changes. I won't ever really be content til I know they're "good" and that's hard.

I'm trying so hard to work on this. Other than work, I've never had a change that was bad. Even the things that changed in a way I didn't like, always ended up OK. And I know everyone feels like things take time to get used to. And I am working to put aside my fear. To be brave. To accept that life is not static.

I almost called out sick on Saturday because I didn't want to say goodbye. But that would have been wrong, so we joked and chatted all day. Before I left, I told my boss I appreciated her. I held Norah, she showed me where her knee was, and we looked at pictures of dogs on blogs--she LOVES Diane Williams' Golden Retriever ("Pah-pies, pah-pies," she said), and she was laughing at Pumpkin's dog. At the end of the day, I gave my boss a hug, and I told Norah to "stay Southern, don't let them change you, girl, no matter what. You're one of us." I hope she remembers that. And I hope I faced change with grace.

14 May 2010

Unforeseen S.E.X

I went over to Mom's today to let the twins out. I still get mail there, and, in addition to PS Prairie Birds, which I have been wanting, there was another package. I thought it was the new issue of Stoney Creek, but it wasn't. It was a 2011 Cross Stitch Calendar.

Last summer, I ordered the 2010 Cross Stitch and Needlework Calendar. It was a good buy for $20. There were at least 4 charts in there I like, and I have a habit of changing tastes as I age, so maybe more will strike me. And it was cheaper than buying it at the LNS. I forgot that I had signed up to have them keep sending them to me. And there it was. A little early, but I think it's worth keeping. My favorite design is of kitties looking out a snowy window in January, closely followed by a picture of the flag for July.

It came with a super-cute pocket calendar with a chart by Val's Stuff. WITH. A. BUNNY. The only drawback is that the bunny is stitched with CC threads with no DMC conversion. Why doesn't someone man up and do a conversion? I know, I know, "But Rachel, you can not convert overdyeds. The variations are too subtle, too intricate. You must stitch the design using suggested threads." HOOOOOOEEEYYYY. If they can convert Weeks, they can convert these. I know, I know, "Then YOU do it, Missy. If you're gonna complain, fix it." To which I answer with a resounding, "I'm BUSY." For now, I'll just write in my parents' wedding anniversary, and place my order for the overdyed threads.

Looking at houses

We looked at a house last night. At some point, we want to move to a larger place. There's not really an option to stay in this one long term, not if we plan on having children. So we're looking. HTB's cousin is the listing agent on it. I think HTB was kinda thinking I would say, "I like it, this is exactly what I want." And a lot of it was. But it was overwhelming.

The house was MASSIVE--7000 square feet. That alone is an issue because there's just the two of us for now. I want to make decisions based on how it currently is, not what it might be in the future. What if we don't have children? What would we do with all the space? Other than clean it? It had 5 bedrooms upstairs, each with their own bath and walk-in closet; the smallest bedroom is the size of our master bedroom. Even using one for my sewing room, there would still be three bedrooms out with empty space. And that wasn't even looking at the basement. That alone was the square footage of our house. HTB said, "We could put my weight room there". I told him the only way we could really use that space would be to subdivide it and rent it out as an apartment. It did strike me too that open floor plans don't make for a lot of space to hang finished stitching, but that was a small concern, LOL.

It did have a lot of nice features. It has a lovely center island in the kitchen. We lack counterspace in our house, so that would be good. And it had plenty of storage. I told HTB that I don't think we own enough stuff to fill up a house like that, so we could probably actually have everything, including my ginormous model horse collection and our ever-expanding kitchen gadget stash, there. And it would be nice to have all my stash in one room, put away neatly. And it had a sitting room in the master suite; I told him that that would be nice if we do have a baby because, for those first few weeks, we could have him or her there and they would have a space that would be "their" space, close by.

It was nice to have the chance to go through a house like that. We actually had a really nice discussion on the way home about what we want in a house, and what our timeline is to make this move. He wants to be in it by the time he's 45, I don't want to move for the first year of our marriage, and I would prefer to not be pregnant when we make the move. I'd really like to go tour some modular homes--not tiny ones, they do make bigger modulars now. I still have that vision on my house on a hill in my head, so clear. I want to get as close to that house as possible, only now it will have a big garage/barn for our toys--the camper and the horse I want.

It was fun though. We've always lived in humble houses, sorta nice to step up and look in a luxury house, LOL.

13 May 2010

Chose the next ornament for the Brides Tree SAL

I think I will end up doing two bird ornaments for this SAL, not just one.

I had planned on doing Monsterbubbles' "The First Day," from the 2009 JCS ornament issue. My reasoning is a bit corny, but, on the day after our engagement, we went to Ocean City to walk the boardwalk. Oh, let's be serious: I wanted to go to Salty Yarns, HTB wanted caramel popcorn and a TV to watch football. Once he had a little pit beef in him, he was more than content to sit on the bench outside the LNS and let me shop (and if I play my cards right, we'll repeat this scenario when we go camping next weekend :)). Anyway, when I bought the ornament issue there, I liked the idea of stitching that ornament to commemorate how we spent "the first day," eating, shopping, being lovesick goobers.

But I have always loved Kitty and Me's contribution to the 2000 issue, a pretty cardinal sitting amidst blackwork, er, greenwork, greenery. We get cardinals in our yard, and I dearly love them. Even the one who has a habit of flying right up to the window in the morning, hanging on the screen, and looking in at us. Looking at her head-on, she seems to be glaring, like we're somehow slacking because it's 830 on a Saturday morning, there's no food in the feeder, and we're not hustling to fill it. She looks us over, like, "Well . . . ? Quit laying around. Feed us. The blue jays are hungry." I guess she doesn't understand that, after a week spent working hard to pay for the food they eat, we need to sleep in? We tried ignoring her, but that doesn't work with wild birds. But we watch them quite a lot. And enjoy them; it's neat to see variation in color in the males, even in the same season, even eating the same food. Since it's an interest we share, I thought it was a good thing to have on our tree.

And so, because it was so hard to choose between the fun and funky, and the more meaningful, more beautiful, I just figured it wouldn't hurt to do both. To represent that, as a couple, we do have so many layers. At first, I thought I was braking some "rule," but, in this case, my sandbox, my rules.

I'll try to post some photos tomorrow night. Which has also been set aside as a finishing frenzy Friday. I'll be pretty busy this weekend, and I want some of these ornaments finished NOW. So, we'll plug in a movie and I'll go to town. If we're lucky, it's a Lord of the Rings marathon, and that could go all night! LOL.

12 May 2010

Reader I married him!

is finally finished. I put the last stitches in and popped it out of the hoop for a picture. It's stitched pretty much per the chart, though I did change out the flower centers--otherwise the red in her ribbon makes no sense. Now it makes little sense, but a little is more than none. Right?

We did debate about her shoes. I didn't like black. Especially since the dress color is the shade range my bridesmaids' dresses fall into. The girls and I are wearing silver shoes, so I thought about that, but I didn't have any silver thread at hand. I stitched them in white, but that looked cheesy and "80s" to me. I thought about leaving her feet off, but HTB said she needed feet. He said the black was fine, because "that's the only color they had back then." We then launched into a discussion of Jane Eyre, because he didn't understand what the writing meant. I tried to explain, as much as I remember from something I read in middle school. I admit, that is not on my list of life-changing books, so I stitched this more because I thought it was cute than from any real connection to the story. He liked it; now to wash it and mount it and wait for my dad to get my box back to me. I keep thinking how cool it would be to line the box with the scraps from my bridesmaids' dresses, but it would only work if things need to be highly altered, and I don't think I'll have enough. So I told him I'd have to go to G Street Fabrics (the big awesome fabric store for the serious sewer here) to find something that worked.

I don't know what I'll work on next. I need to finish our ring pillow. But I have some other stuff that is tugging at me to do. Hmmmm . . .

11 May 2010

A gorgeous freebie design

Thank you Erynne!

Be-Stitched.....: Faith

Magazine S.E.X

I stopped yesterday to get my stitchy mags for the month. Barnes and Noble was well-stocked! I had been a bit worried that, with as busy as I've been the last couple weeks, I would miss out on this month's issues, but they had what I wanted.

It's a good month in magazine world. The two American magazines I bought, Cross Stitcher and Just Cross Stitch were lovely. Lots of summer charts in them. But I think this is a the best US Cross Stitcher I've ever seen. There's a LOVELY chart in there by Mike Vickery of wildlife. It's a big design, requiring a 22X16 piece of fabric. HTB really liked it; he did a double-take on it, and he really doesn't do that for anything that's not lighthouse-related. Sooo . . . he might be getting that for a Christmas gift.

The UK magazines were really nice. Their designs are always really lovely, and I find that magazine designs are the biggest temptation to break my freebie/UFO/ornament resolve. Cross Stitch Crazy has a Bentley Bear design, which I can actually stitch this year, as it's a "free kit" and fits in my rules, but it also has a really sweet All Our Yesterdays design, which is not in the rules. I could probably spend a decade stitching all the things I have been finding--maybe it's the lure of the forbidden, LOL. Cross Stitcher didn't have a lot of charts I want to stitch this instant, but it did have a magnetic chart guide, which will probably come in handy for stitching very intricate designs. And Cross Stitch Collection. I think that is, by and large, my favorite British magazine--it had a nice mix this month of Joan Elliott, a chart of elephants, Sarah Kay and little stuff.

I did waiver about buying Cross Stitch Gold. I'm trying to change my way of thinking so that I don't have to buy every issue of every magazine. This is one that is easier to do that with. It really is a magazine that runs hot and cold for me. They will have a run of really nice charts, then things I wouldn't stitch if I had to. This was an OK month, but not a great one. They've been having a lot of OK months. But last issue was wonderful, so it's one of those things I have to actually think about. Does anyone else do this.

Thank you for the comments about teaching my niece to stitch. The ideas of things to help her are wonderful! At least I'm not the only one with fractional issues. I'm hopeful that a different chart will really spark her interest. But I take it as a good sign that the problems and the loss of a needle didn't discourage her--heck, she was willing to crawl under the porch for that needle. That is a brave stitcher--they battle stinkbugs on that porch, LOL.

10 May 2010

I might have recruited another stitcher

She seems to be well on her way!

I bought our niece a little cross stitch kit at AC Moore for her Easter basket. It was supposed to be "My First Cross Stitch". These kits may be the reason that kids don't stitch, because it is BAR NONE the worst beginner cross stitch kit ever.


It has fractionals.

Our niece is 7 years old. She is incredibly bright. But she is 7.

I'm 33. I'm not that big on fractionals. At least I was spared them til I was 14, and, even then, I put that kit down for a few years, til I was 20. And had nothing else to do and no money to spend on cross stitch. I'd already encountered blending filament, so this wasn't that much different. But I was 20. And she's 7.
I can't imagine encountering them at her age in a kit marketed to ages 6 and up.

God bless her, she tried.

I asked her how the kit was coming. She said she tried, but she had a bit of a hardship. She took it out on the porch. And it fell through a crack. I told her it happens to the best of us. I think you end your pledge period as a stitcher when you lose your first needle. She said she knows what crack it went down through. I told her they make more needles. I was going to give her a pack of mine, but we had Mother's Day at our house and the needles got packed away. And the doors locked to keep cracker crumbs off our more important treasures.

She said she likes butterflies and flowers. So I was thinking of going through what I have and kitting her up a simpler freebie with floss and a pack of needles (because in our stitchers' sorority, we need plenty needles, right?) and seeing where she can go with it. I think she'll actually like stitching as long as it's not overwhelming. Maybe that was the difference when I was a kid--the kits weren't as complex, there was more of a variety for a beginner to choose from, and the stitches in kits weren't so hard. I'm a kinetic learner, so I appreciate the challenge of learning by doing, but fractionals on a kid design were a bit much!

I think she liked doing it. She noticed a Sanman tuck I had hung on the coat closet. She was studying it intently and said it was pretty. I think she's drawn to the desings with charms on them--she's a girl who likes her bling! I think she wants to do it, it's just a matter of having her a needle and something she can do. We'll save fractionals til she's 10 . . . or 30?

Her little brother was also interested in stitching, he has commissioned his first work. A "monster twuck," just like his uncle's. He is about the cutest kid ever . . . soooo anyone know of any monster truck designs

06 May 2010

Getting ready for the Memorial Day Stitch-in

All my stash that is "for sale" is at Mom's. I never moved it to HTB's house when I moved. A few months ago, I decided that all of it needs to go. I don't want to pay to list it on Ebay, I don't have the time to set up another sale album, and most of it, I'm not going to stitch. It's remnants of grab bags and box lots I have bought over the years, or things I just don't like anymore. The giveaway table at Sue Hillis' GTG is the best place to get rid of it; I can get things I really want, it will go to a home that really wants it, and, if not, it will get donated to a charity in Richmond. This is a win-win for all involved and it's not taking up space in my mother's living room. So last night was the night I got it ready to go. I went through the binders I had it in, and put it all in a box, ready to go to Richmond.

Of course my little hoarding heart said, "Do you really want to get rid of all this?" She almost had me, til I realized there was a layer of dust on the binders, and, if I haven't stitched it in the last 18 months, maybe longer, I probably will not stitch it. But I went through everything one more time. There were a few things I saved, but 99% went into the tub to be given away. I'm proud of myself for that.

I did not put the leftover British magazines I have in there. I bought them for someone who used to be a friend, but she got me to send $180 worth of magazines to her, never paid me for them, and then never paid for the rest; she claimed she had personal issues. These magazines are an annoying reminder of her, and I need to get them out of the house, but I really don't think, at this point, that giving them away is going to make me feel better about the situation. I do think I will try to list them on Ebay one more time, then go from there. They're older issues, and still in the wrappings, one would hope that someone would find some value in them . . . Anyway, that was a small backstep (maybe), but I guess it's understandable. I just need to list them. Get off my hiney and list them.

I was pretty stoked to find, tucked in with all this stuff, my Nigella Lawson cookbooks. When I was finished, I sat down and read through them again. I've made a couple of the recipes--my watermelon feta cheese salad is a Nigella recipe, and everyone loves that, and even my carnivorous HTB liked the roasted veggies with cheese on top. I'm thinking of seeing if he wants to do the Coca Cola ham this weekend, and maybe the deep-fried Mounds bars. YUM!

04 May 2010

Pssst . . . we've got pictures!

I had time to take photos today. I think I haven't shared these before.

Christmas Carrot from a 1990 issue of Country Stitch. Stitched on marbled DMC aida (why don't they make marbled evenweave?)I did switch out the color of the inner border. It was calling for another shade of green, but I thought the red would look better.

An older finish-Fa La La. I know I talked about it, but I forget if I posted this one. It was a freebie from Plum Pudding.

Irish Kitty from Kustom Krafts. Stitched with the recommended threads on a piece of Charles Craft aida.

And my new WIP, Reader I Married Him, aka The Jane Eyre Tribute. I am enjoying this a lot. I did get a bit of a stain on it, but I think it will come out with washing--it's either iced tea or dog drool, no biggie. I have to take the wooden box I bought to mount it on over to Daddy and see if he can stain it for me. He is a woodworker and refinished a lot of furniture in his time, and so, is better at these things than yours truly, plus he can probably find use for a container of stain after the project is finished, whereas I won't and it will just take up space in the garage.

I hope everyone is having a good week. This week is much better for me, though I am so saddened by the devastation of the floods in Nashville. I think I've posted that I work in flood insurance, and I would like to think I've developed a bit of professional "distance" due to what I deal with every day, but this is different. I love Nashville; I've loved it since I first visited 15 years ago and it's my favorite bigger city to visit. Five years ago, Best Friend Brea and I were at the Opryland Hotel for CATS, and it was so pretty. A fairyland. And it causes an ache to see water in the building, and to know the Country Music Hall of Fame has been flooded, and the new concert hall. Not to mention the sports complexes. I am asking everyone to keep the people of Nashville in your thoughts while they recover from this horrible event.

03 May 2010

It sure is Monday

Thank goodness I've taken next weekend off. I never realized how drained I get working six days a week, but I was so tired last night I fell asleep at 9 and overslept this morning. I guess it didn't help that there is some wierd problem with the brakes on my car; there are no leaks, but I am missing brake fluid. I know I need new brakes, since the car now has 48K miles on it (it makes me a bit sick to my stomach to think when I bought it, it had 0 miles on it, they had just rolled it off the truck the day before I spied it), but it's not in the budget, unless HTB puts them on for me at his buddy's speed shop (I think that, if they can put heavy duty brakes on the race cars they build, they can put brakes on a Pontiac, but sometimes the things which would seem so do-able to me are not possible to other people . . . and vice versa). Til then, he's putting brake fluid in the car. I am thinking of asking him if I may take the Tahoe to the GTG. Or else step up the repair.

This weekend was blazingly hot in the DC area. It was 88 degrees yesterday, and the upper level of the house was a sauna. HTB made Eastern Shore chicken on the grill, and we retreated to the depths of the basement with our smokey-salty-crusty-yummy dinner and a lovely tomato-mozzarella salad (made to use up some romaine lettuce we had). It was so good--this is not something you can make in the winter in the oven, it must be cooked on a grill, with a drooling canine guarding it--and we didn't say a word to each other. Too bad we didn't have ribs in the freezer--he would have probably made those too, and that Eastern Shore marinade on a rib is the stuff summer dreams are made off. We still have a lot of chicken left over, so we will be eating a fine dinner tonight!

I did manage to finish Christmas Carrot. I forgot to take a picture, will try to do that tonight. It's cute! I like it a lot.

I started another freebie, Jane Eyre, an older freebie by Casey Buanagorio (and I apologize for misspelling it). I am using it to cap a keepsake box. It's stitching up pretty quick, and it will be really pretty.

01 May 2010

Something came a hoppin' to my house . . .

and it wasn't the bunny.

The frog came a visit to me last night. I didn't count the border right on the bunny and it was one off. Only . . . I had to pick out all the checkerboard border on the right hand side as well as half the bottom border. I could have screamed. By the time I unpicked everything and fixed it, I could have screamed. Needless to say, Christmas Carrot did not get finished last night. Maybe today . . .
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