31 March 2010

Kitting up

I got in the mood to kit things up. I figured I better roll with it since, in general, I hate this task. Especially when the designer hasn't put the numbers (or, in the case of overdyeds, the name) in order. Pulling floss is so tedious to me that I prefer to just do three or four things at once. Yes, it makes it more pricy than one thing at a time, but convenience costs.

So I kitted up two of the Minguistitch ladies, Autumn and Summer, the two LHN ornaments I haven't done, and my Pollyanna Pickering Pandas (by the way, that's kinda fun to say, LOL). Well, I need the DMC Variations for the pandas, because Michaels didn't have them, and I don't know where I put mine, and I didn't have time to run up the Pike to AC Moore before work.

It's been a pretty much glut of S.E.X. today. I got my UK mags for the month. I've been passing up Cross Stitch Gold a lot more lately, just like I gave up New Stitches and Cross Country Stitching a few years ago, but the newest one had a pretty picture of a beagle in it, and a cute Easter line up, so I had to have it. I know--"but you don't have a beagle?" and "Easter is in 4 days." Logic makes little sense in this area. They had the other three I buy-Cross Stitcher, Cross Stitch Crazy, and Cross Stitch Collection. I have to have some time to relax and indulge myself with a leisurely read! Perhaps with a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg?

I did end up running over to Mom's this morning. Robbie was so pleased to see Mummy, he opted, gentleman that he is, to ignore the fact I reeked of his step-brothers, the pittybulls. He wiggled with delight at my arrival, and was, unusual for a Schipperke, rendered speechless--such a funny thing to see a dog just opening and closing his mouth, and wiggling his butt nub. LOL. Mom had a package of fabric I ordered from, nothing fancy, just to back smalls. We were discussing wedding planning, and all the things that still have to be done, and how, just when I think I have something under control, I realize I've forgotten something--now it's the crinoline debate, which we can't solve til I have the dress in hand. Somehow my mother thought I bought my veil, I told her I didn't buy it because I didn't want to spend another $125(at least I think that was the price, my head was spinning) the day we ordered my dress, and so, we're trying to figure out when to buy it, and then where to store the whole deal til the wedding. I guess I'm finding kitting up the wedding ensemble as tedious as kitting up a chart. LOL.

30 March 2010

What to stitch now?

I finished "One Flag Over Gussie" last night. I didn't take a photo, because I was too tired, and this morning, woke up with the start of something . . . nasal-y. I'll have to see how this develops.

I'm not sure what to work on right now. At least for a couple days.

I know I need to get cracking on our ring pillow. My nephew wanted to see it when they came over Saturday night. I told him we couldn't because it was in the bedroom and his uncle had locked the door (because we put all the stuff we didn't want the kids to get into in there), and I can't reach the key. I can, but I didn't want them in the room. Then he asked, "Why do we need to put the rings on a pillow?" I didn't have an answer. He asks a good question. Apparently, it's not the trend to put them on a pillow anymore; you just send the kid down the aisle with an empty pillow, and give them to the best man. But I'd rather follow tradition and it's something he can be proud of accomplishing. I probably have half of that to get done, but I'll get it finished.

But I also want to start one of the seasonal ladies I found yesterday. They look like a fun stitch, they're all DMC, not a bead in sight to frustrate a girl. And they're different from my usual choices. It's an adventure to stitch.

I also need to start my panda project for the fair. That really doesn't look like a bad stitch at all, so it's on my list. I may pull floss tomorrow morning.

And then there are some little freebies to do. I have really enjoyed the quick finish of Gussie. I could get him done before I loathed stitching him--not that I would ever really dislike stitching an orange tabby cat, LOL. I don't know, maybe I'll just start a bunch of stuff and sort it out later.

What would you do?

29 March 2010

Freebie Roundup

I found these two sites today with gorgeous freebies

These are in a Passione Ricamo/Mirabilia meets Whispered by the Wind vein. I think they're amazing. They also have other patterns, including a pretty Easter one,


And I found this one while looking through old freebies I had. You have to click on "grilles," then "grilles gratuits" to find them. I printed off the Chaton Noel and the Cow Sampler:

ABC Broderie

An update

It was a crazy busy exhausting weekend for us. We were running all weekend--he had to get the camper inspected, and I had work on Saturday, then a family party on Saturday night. Yesterday, he went dirt bike racing, and I went to church. The early service. I had some errands afterwards, so didn't get home til noon, and then it was time for a nap. LOL. Of course I didn't get to the quilt store, but I figured it's probably for the best. I have enough fabric for right now.

I did get some stitching done on my "One Flag Over Gussie." It's actually almost finished. I think it's so cute. I messed with it a bit. The kitty was supposed to be done in one strand with black whiskers. I changed him to two strands so he stands out a bit better. And his whiskers are white, since Gussie doesn't have black whiskers. I think I'll be done with this by this evening. It's been a fun fast stitch.

And I finished my humbug. I didn't fill it with lavendar. I used maybe a teaspoon full; a little goes a long way and that was enough to scent it nicely. I hung it on the closet door when I was finished, and I could smell it all night. I am really pleased with the way the ribbon looks on it; it matches the lavendar perfectly! It took a bit of fiddling to get it finished. Mostly my fault. I clipped the corners too close, and this is a finish that does not tolerate that. But it wasn't a bad technique. I think it took me maybe an hour start to finish.I will definitely be making more of these. It was a nice finish.

26 March 2010

Dragging and venting. . .

I was up well past midnight last night watching the Kentucky-Cornell game. Oh, wait, let me rephrase that. I was up late last night watching the Xavier-Kansas State game, with the Kentucky-Cornell score in the upper left hand corner of the screen. After halftime, they never went back to the game, except maybe for a minute. I a) don't understand why they scheduled a game on the East Coast between two Eastern schools (I consider Lexington, Kentucky to be Eastern; it's hard to explain, but old money, horse people, and European royalty at the Kroger feels Eastern to me) to tip off at 10:06 and the game in Salt Lake to start at 9:36, b)don't understand why, in this very stupendous year for our team, and with our huge fanbase (I mean you run into UK graduates EVERYWHERE), they didn't focus on the game more, because it wasn't a rollover, they were within 15 points most of the second half, and, in a tournament, 15 points is not a huge deficit. Not for a team that got to the Sweet Sixteen. Anyway, I'm dragging today. Thank God for hot Krispy Kreme donuts. It's like an energy shot. A warm energy shot.

One of the quilt stores around here is have a fat quarter sale on Sunday. 1.25 per fat quarter, no limit. I'm tempted . . . HTB is going dirt-bike racing, and so I'll be at home, I should probably go.

25 March 2010

A finish and a WIP

Here is what I've been working on.

The finished lavendar humbug. I am happy with it. It should be fun to sew it together.

And One Star over Chessie/Gussie. I did find a picture of the finished freebie. She got it the same place I got mine. Isn't it cute? My start is just barely started.

Do you see it?

To the right. On my 2010 Finishes list?

I finished my humbug last night.

Well, it's not finish-finished, but the stitching's done. I'll post a photo later. I'll also post photos while I'm putting it together. Which will not happen til this weekend. I just don't feel like finishing til then. I did surprise myself by finding my bag of lavendar in the garage last night while looking for something else. I thought it was in the sewing room , in the cabinet, but I guess I moved it out when Best Friend B came to visit and never realized it wasn't in there. Oh, well, good to find it, as that would have really thrown a wrench in my finishing plans. Anyway, so I'll be gathering my supplies to get that accomplished.

I pulled out another kitted-up freebie, One Flag over Chessie, by Chessie and Me Designs. It's a tabby cat under a flag. My LNS offered this last summer. They've now stopped doing monthly free kits, because of all the free designs online. They do a seasonal one now, 4 times a year. This is quite a bummer to me--a lot of times they had freebies you couldn't find elsewhere. LHN doesn't usually put their freebies out there, I don't even know if Chessie and Me has a website. And it was kinda nice to get everything to stitch the little kit, including the buttons, in one pack. And they always sold really well--if you didn't get into the shop early, you didn't get the linen kits. It was something to look forward to. Fortunately, I still have a lot of them to stitch. Sometimes slug stitching has it's benefits. :)

I am making some changes to this one. It shows a mackerel tabby. I have an orange tabby. Guess what color Chessie's gonna become? Whiskey. She may get a sex change and a name change for the finish, too. It will probably be "One Flag over Gussie," since my cat is Gus, and he would be offended otherwise. I try not to offend him. For the same reason, all black cats that I stitch are Lilys, after our little queen, LOL. I don't really think this will take that long to stitch, it's under 3 inches square, and primitive, so no shading. Yeah! I don't know how I'll finish it, whether as a pinkeep or an ornament, but I do have really cute fabric to back it with.

24 March 2010

Almost there

I am finally done all the backstitch on the humbug.

I just have to do the long surrounding backstitch, and sew it together.

I'm so ready to have this finished.

I decided to use some lovely purple overdyed ribbon I got in a detritus bag from Vikki Clayton for the hanger. It matches the colors of the lavendar pretty well, and I got a lot of it, so I think this is a good way to start using it up.

I haven't picked my next project yet, but I think it's going to be a freebie. I've slacked this entire month and not stitched on a single free chart. BOOGER. But, realistically, March has not been the best of months for me, and so, I'm not being too hard on myself.

This is a big day wedding planning-wise. I have to drop off our documents showing our intent to marry tonight. I did laugh a little; I had to fill out if I was a maiden or widow. Well, I'm not a widow, but I haven't felt like a maiden in, sheesh, 10 years. I think I pretty much graduated from college and fell into a matronly life. And I did laugh a bit that we had to put our parents' names on there, even though he's 41 and I'm 33; it felt vaguely like filling out those yellow cards from school, but I did it. I figured our children's children's children might need that info to track us down one day. I justify a lot of things these days that way. I don't know if it's good, but it works for us.

23 March 2010

A leeetle bit more stitching last night

It's nice to know I'm not the only slow stitcher. I was beginning to think something was wrong with me.

It was another hectic night last night. My brother's GF had a late flight back from Dallas, so we were on pet duty last night. I think both dogs were a bit tired of the wait, because they were running like whirleygigs around the living room. We played a little bit with the braver kittens; some are still very timid, and I understand. Taming a semi-feral kitten is not a short-term task. Sometimes I think we're still taming the Three Musketeers and Lily will be 11 in May (holy crud, all my pets will be 11 this summer. How can this be? I was not quite 23 when I got them. I was a young mother. Now I have tweens and grey hair.)

HTB was in somewhat of a foul mood when I got home because had a long day. I don't think it's really that he's angry, he's just tired and achey. It seems like it's feast or famine with his business; either he has no work or he's busy as anything. Right now, he's just very busy. I blame myself. During a slow period, I asked for help to get business to pick up, and it did. And I don't complain; I know he gets very antsy when he doesn't work, and I know he wants to be able to provide for me. So I rubbed his sweet bald head (always a calmer, works for dogs, cats, and men!), listened to him kvetch, and made sure he knows how much I appreciate how hard he works. He was a lot happier after that.

It was an OK TV night. We watched American Pickers; I don't like that show, but it was all that was on, and they were actually not being big jerks last night. And I do like looking at the stuff they find. I don't know what people would use it for, but I like looking at it. One lady had a Hudson that had been parked for 40 years in a shed. They got a memory jug; HTB said his mom had one of those and he pulled the stuff out of it. He probably feels bad now that he knows they're not junk, LOL. I like when they find Coke stuff, but I know I could never afford to pay for it like that. I'm still not convinced picking is a career path for me, though, even though I'm way more polite than these guys; I'm not big on climbing over rusty stuff, dirty things gross me out, and I'm afraid of snakes.

but I did get some stitching done. I just have a little more backstitching, and then around the outside of this, then the construction to put it together. Maybe not tonight for a finish time. More like tomorrow.

I did get this awesome package from Lori Ray. I complimented her on her bookmarks, and she gifted me with not just one, but two of them. I LOVE THEM. The Easter morning one is lovely, not just for the time of year, but it means a great deal to me because I am trying be stronger in my faith, and yellow is such a hopeful, happy color, and I think of church as a hopeful, happy place. Not only do I love the color of the iris one, but one of my favorite memories with my grandmother was a morning we spent transplanting some irises she had at the bottom of her walkway. It was a day pretty much like any other, but it was a day with my grandmother, helping her do something she loved, and irises remind me of her. And I am so honored Lori Ray made these for me.

22 March 2010

My weekend . . .

was not the most restful.

It's the time for year for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. HTB played basketball in high school and loves Maryland basketball, and I was a fixture at home games while I was at Kentucky, so we watch with rapt attention, and argue. Friday night, we were up til 12:30 watching the Maryland game. But I had to be at work at 10AM on Saturday, and, therefore, was dragging. Unlike in college, I can no longer be wild as the wind til 4AM and then bounce up and be a productive citizen at 8. Not happening. HTB is now a full-on Cat fan, as his team lost yesterday, and my team beat Wake Forest. Handily. I tried not to razz him too hard, because he was upset, and I've been in his place. Too much lately, but we're good this year.

I had to be at work early on Saturday because we had a children's production, put on the Corbian puppet theatre, Darwin the Dinosaur. If you ever get a chance to see this show, or a puppet show by the company, GO SEE IT! I didn't get to see the whole thing, but the show was about a dinosaur who has to decide to be a nice one or a mean one. The puppets were made with glow in the dark tubing worn by the puppeteers, and it was set to epic music. How many children's shows do you see that use Carmina Burana AND music from The Lord of the Rings and the kids LOVE IT? I told my supervisor we should have had that show as part of our mainstage season. It was that cool. I am impressed that people are actually able to come up with a concept like that and bring it to fruition. It was not something we went over when I was in college. Oh, well.

I tried to finish my humbug this weekend. I'm not done yet. I'm a little annoyed at how they calculate the hours a project will entail. The directions said it would take 10 hours. Either I'm a vastly slower stitcher than the norm, or something is off, because I've worked on this for two weeks, and I'm not done. I know I've spent more than 10 hours on it--heck I worked on it for 5 hours when I took Mom for her doctor's appointment, and wasn't nearly finished. It's all confetti stitching, and backstitching. How can that take ANYONE just 10 hours? I don't get it. But I'm almost finished. I have about half the backstitch completed, and there's just a little bit of regular stitching, then I'll start putting it together. I should have it finished by tomorrow. I hope . . .

19 March 2010

Dances with Kittens--Friday Foolishness

We've been pet-sitting for my brother this week, hence the reason I'm short on WIP photos. He has, in addition to his border collie mix, Nikki, his GF's Jack Russell Terrier/Australian Cattle Dog mix, who is, by far, the most high-energy dog I have ever met in my entire life (thank God she's the size of a JRT, anything bigger would bounce off the walls), and eight cats. Yes, eight. I thought I get overwhelmed by three. Eight is daunting. But, there's a reason for it. They had one cat, and friends of the family had a litter of kittens, then couldn't find homes for them. The husband mentioned he was going to "get rid of them." We all know what that means. My brother couldn't live with the idea of seven kitties getting killed because their owner didn't see fit to spay the mama, so he took them. All of them. He was supposedly going to take them to the pound and get them adopted. I couldn't take any because a)HTB is severely allergic, b) Shocka and Beazer are not socialized to cats, and I can't risk it, and, oh yeah, c) I have three cats already that Mom keeps for me and, if I can't bring them home for reasons a and b, why do they get shoved aside for a baby kitten? And then he fell in love and couldn't give them up. He's a good man. A soft touch. He did a good thing. He's my big brother.

Anyway . . .

We've never seen all 7 kittens at the same time. The big cat comes around. He and I have an awkward relationship. We babysat him a few years ago; he whomped my Gus, clawed me, and irritated Lily. But he's a nice cat in his own home. His name is Dinky. Another cat bops out, Sylvester. Sylvester is always running for the door. He's the first cat I've ever known to not be scared by "Tsssk, tsssk." Even my cats run for the hills at that. There's another one, we call her Charlie (Mom thinks that's her name), but she probably has another name. I know there's one named DG, and one named D-day. I don't know who is who. In true Pennsylvania barn cat fashion, none come for "Here kitty kitty." They just stare at you, like, "That's not my name." My cats do it too.

My mother is a worrywart. Her life revolves around making sure living things don't get out of the house. When they happen, I'm supposed to fix it. Remember this? Yeah, I do!

So when she wasn't able to see all of these half-grown, half-wild kittens, she convinced herself that at least four of them ran out of the house when she wasn't paying attention. I figured it was more like they got in somewhere and got stuck, but I did see vague shadows in the crawlspace, heard rumblings near the ductwork.

Last night, we were sitting very quietly in the basement, watching Might Be Charlie, Sylvester, one of the "Don't call me Kitty Kitty" kittens, Dinky, and the JRT, Delilah, playing. Somebody was in the opening to the crawlspace, looking. And then I found the featherstick.

One thing I've learned is that kittens LOVE feathersticks, by and large. Especially barn kittens. Gus has jumped in the air with Felix hanging off him for one. It's crack for kitties. And so I started playing with it. Just waving it. Occasionally letting someone grab it. It was a challenge. They were enraptured. Even Delilah.

And . . .

one by one . . .

they all came out.

I kept calling to Mom, "Hey, is one all grey? Does the fluffy tail look like Kody."

And soon, I was surrounded by them. All the big eyes looking. Whiskers at the attention. Paws up, in case it got close to them. Sylvester danced with delight. My mother couldn't believe it.

I've had a rough week. Sometimes, despite my best efforts to find the best parts of life, reality is harsh. But . . . I know that, when I look back to this week, to this month, the thing I'll probably keep in my heart longer is the look of sheer, utter joy on those little faces. We need to remember the moments of magic. They are fleeting. They get us through the bad times. They are important.

May we all dance with kittens more often.

18 March 2010

Is it the weekend yet?

Hope your St. Patrick's Day partying didn't leave you looking like this this morning!

Robbie is not a partier. He says he is Belgian, this is not his holiday. And, being a man of some repute on the international Schipperke scene, he requested no silly clothing. Puppakee didn't care:

It's probably for the best. She's a bit ill-tempered and would bite any leprachaun that dared to pinch her. I don't like leprachauns, but I don't want them hurt. I'm just saying . . .

Thank you for your kind words about my thrift store finds. I am tickled to death with them. I told HTB I may need his help engineering my shelf inserts. He said OK. I just have to get the first one done before summer. I know how I want to do it, it's the circle cutting that has me stymied.

Note: no Schipperkes were harmed in the creating of this post. Annoyed, yes, harmed no.

17 March 2010

My thrift store finds

I said I'd post these.

First, my cute (well, I think it is) fox music box. I also found some bowls made in East Germany. So they're at least 20 years old. Even on the off chance they're reproduction, they're pretty. Worth $1.

On my very dirty car hood are some of the books I picked up. I loved the movie of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, and thought I'd read the book. I wanted Revolutionary Road around the Oscars last year, but money was tight. Not so tight when it costs $1. And the 1776 book was $2. Not bad. I don't know about the Jane Austen book, but I'll try it. And the little angel pin was $1.

Stitching stash. $2 for the aida. I think the same for the kit. Not bad.

I found this nice little shelf. I think it will look really cute once that horrible Redskins stitching comes out of that center hole. Not that the stitching is horrible, it's just . . . did this person HAVE to stitch the Redskins? REALLY? They couldn't do a less distasteful team? I told HTB I bought it, just to warn him we'd have something Redskins in the house. I didn't want him to think I'd converted my loyalty. We just need to put something pretty in it.

And my carousel horses. I know they're not everyone's taste, but they're pretty to me. They just need a better frame. And they deserved to be somewhere other than a thrift store, with a price tag on them.

We stopped by the local quilt store. If you know Virginia Beach, it's in the same shopping center as Dyeing to Stitch, but we didn't go there. I wasn't in a cross stitch stash buying mood. I know . . . it worried me too. But I felt like fingering quilt fabric. I spent more there than at the thrift store, but it was worth it.

A bunch of fat quarters. Love love love the bunnies on top. And there's a plaid in there that I am DIGGING ON.

And fabric for my covered box. I decided my first one will be patriotic themed, but I didn't want fabric that screamed, "Happy 4th of July, y'all!" I thought these were prettier. Vintage-y and soft. I have my ideas of what to put on top of the box, but I really needed the fabric to make the choice.

On a side note, it's funny. I used to buy a lot of books at thrift stores and yard sales. I was a poor student with a minimum wage job and that was what I could afford. An expensive pleasure for me was to go to a used bookstore, but it was still cheaper than buying new books. And there was the added thrill of, "What will I find?" I could roam down those aisles and find amazing stories for next to nothing. And then I got that all-important "real job" and suddenly, I wanted new books. And the titles I wanted when I wanted them. And I've spent a lot of money on books I didn't like. But I was happy the other day in that book section of the DAV Thrift store. I was thrilled to be getting basically new books for so cheap (though the pesky used bookstore me reminded me of the addage, "If there are 50 copies of the book on the shelf, or they didn't crack the spine of this one, it's not a good book."), knowing this was all I could afford to pick from, and I was OK with that. And the best part, if the books are horrible, I'll just donate em back! Way easier to give up a $1 book than a $20 book. LOL. Anyways, I'll be back down that aisle. I could get used to a bit less choice and a lot more thrill.

Springtime talk

First and foremost, HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY! I hope everyone is celebrating as appropriate. I'm still on the fence about this holiday. I mean, I'm part Irish (my family is from Western Pennsylvania, and apparently my ancestors married whoever came into the holler, because I'm a lot of things, with a heavy dose of German), and HTB's family is part Irish, but neither of us really "know" how to celebrate. I don't drink beer, and I can't cook corned beef and cabbage, and he asked me the other day if Sunday was St. Patrick's Day. Somewhere, one of his ancestors is rolling over in his grave. I fully intend to learn how to cook traditional food, but, this year, we have opted to celebrate instead with that traditional Irish food, green and white sprinkle-covered donuts from Krispy Kreme. If I'm lucky, I may even score a green bagel. Woo hoo! And I am wearing a green sweater. I don't want to get pinched.

On to better things.

This is a new chart by Brittercup. And it's bunnies. How more springlike can you get than a basket of bunnies? I WUV them. As stand-ups. Backed in a happy spring plaid. With a crisp bow.Perhaps if I ask the Easter Bunny. He always brings good stuff. My first dog was a gift from him. And my Bearington bunnies. I think this can be arranged.

It's bright and sunny here today. It was a bit chilly last night, but they say it may be close to 70 this weekend. The dogs are all thrilled by the warmer weather; we're taking care of my brother's dogs and they have a bounce in their step. Even the big boys seem a bit happier. And the twins spent the weekend rolling in my aunt's grass and sneezing in delight--of course my thought was, "Fleas, they'll come home with fleas!" LOL. Then I remembered they're on preventative, and we can kill a few fleas if they come. After what they've been through this winter with all the snow, they deserve a bit more rolling, and a bit less helicopter mom.

16 March 2010

Rescuing stitching

I didn't have time to take photos of my thrift store haul from the weekend, but I made out pretty well. I've discovered thrift store and yard sale shopping seems to be a lot better in towns with a large military presence. I have gotten REALLY nice things in Virginia Beach. Marjolein Bastin things, primitive prints, lots of good stash. This weekend, I got really pretty music box for Christmas that had foxes on it. I have a lot of woodland-themed Christmas decorations, so it will fit right in, plus I LOVE foxes, and it was $2. Not a bad purchase. I take luck like this to happen because people get reassigned to new duty stations and have to get rid of the things they just don't think will go. Sad for them, but I'm happy.

Anyway, I notice people give away a lot of finished, custom-framed stitching. My aunt found a cute little nursey-themed piece a few years ago, and I found a really cool picture of carousel horses. Tall. Custom-framed (although it should be in more modern frame, it may end up in one if I hang it). Neatly stitched. For $7. I figured that was worth it to get it out of here. I know I found a kitchen piece one time, not my taste, but it was a dollar, and I sold it on Ebay to a person who loved it for $14. I felt good for that; it was a pretty piece, inscribed, "For your new home." It didn't deserve to be cast aside in a pile. I hope it's up in a kitchen somewhere.

I always wonder about the person who stitched these pieces. Did he or she sit up late at nights? Was it a gift for a first baby, stitched with joy and hope, and wrapped lovingly in pastel paper? Was it for a teenager who begged her mom for carousel horses? Would the stitcher have been crushed to know their work ended up in the DAV thrift store? Or would it be OK for them to know it's in a place where it will be cherished? I know how I agonize over my stitching. Was it the same for these people?

The funny thing is, I know I'm not alone in this. Cross stitch sells on E-bay. It's not a high-dollar segment of their sales, but it's there. People must want it. There was an older lady who saw my carousel horses, and said, "Oh, my. I wish I'd seen that. I rescue stitching when I find it. I don't hang it up but I can't bear to leave it here. I might donate it to a museum one day. " I like that idea. As a stitcher, I would like to hope someone might come up on one of my things and think it deserves a place in their home.

Does anyone else rescue stitching?

15 March 2010

What I've been working on

I was away all weekend with my mother on family business. It was a very stressful trip, but I did hit the thrift store and found some goodies. I'll share those in another post, but I did get a bit of stitching done. The humbug is coming along. I did a lot of frogging on Friday, but I have the big clump of lavendar done now, and I'm working on the side clumps. I should have this done this week, so stoked about that.

I also finish-finished a Lizzie Kate I started working on two months ago. I found the fabric back in October, and it just seemed to fit this one. HTB thinks the fabric is a bit busy, I told him I like it. My aunt made the bow for me. I need to pouf it a bit, but it looks good. The one bummer was that I bought some pony beads that reminded me of pumpkins, but there are only three in the bag--I didn't know there were just three of each style because there were a lot of styles mixed together. So, til I get back to Joann's to get more of those, my cube doesn't have feet. I know there are things I could do better about this cube, but it's a learning process, and it's pretty good for the first one.

And to leave you for the day, a bit of cuteness! My aunt's friend raises Great Danes, and this is her newest litter. They are 7 weeks old and already the same size as the twins. Their father is HUGE, so they'll get a bit bigger. It's maybe not the best photo, but trying to make 3 puppies stand still simultaneously is not an easy thing, LOL.

09 March 2010

Another freebie site

This site has some great seasonal freebies, if you like the Lizzie Kate style. I printed a bunch off--they were cute.

I guess a picture would help

I was flying through last night when I posted the photo of the little humbug, and realized that, without showing what it's supposed to be, it just looks like a funky blob. I apologize. So I took a new photo. I got a little bit accomplished on the ribbon. This is actually making up pretty quickly. That big blob of green stems only took an hour yesterday. For me, that's pretty fast. And it's pretty spring colors--rather fun to stitch with luscious pinks, and soft green. Especially on a pretty day like today. It's already 55 degrees this morning. Hard to believe 4 weeks ago we were digging out the car.

08 March 2010

WIP posting

Another quick post for the day. My newest start, the lavender humbug from WOXS 160. I started it Saturday. It's fun so far, and I think I figured out how to make it a humbug. I am stitching this as my March ornament for the Bride's Tree SAL, flowers or a flower basket. I know I picked something else, but I love lavender, and this is so pretty, and I use up some of the lavendar I bought on Local Harvest last year stuffing it. On the tree, it will be a reminder of spring and summer, and it will also help to keep the other stitched ornaments from smelling fusty when I pack it away. So a good choice, albeit a unique one.

Finally, an illustrated post

Pardon the poor quality of the photos. I didn't realize they were so bad. This is my current progress on M Designs' "H", stitched on 32 count linen with GAST Morning Glory. I haven't worked on this very much this week, for the simple reason that it's in our bedroom and my scissors are all downstairs. I'm lazy. I admit it. Betsy is here as well. I'm putting her away for a little while. I need to catch up on my SALs and work on some free charts to get them off the pile. But I'll shoot to have her finished before July 4th.

This weekend was busy. Not relaxing at all. I worked Saturday at the theatre. I woke up Saturday morning and was completely, utterly confused about what day it was. I thought it was Friday. I leaped out of bed and ran, screaming, out into the hallway,"OMG, I am supposed to be at work right now." I'm not exactly stealthy and, when sleep-drunk and upset, well, it must have sounded like a herd of elephants thundering through the house, because HTB growled, "It's Saturday, you don't have to be at work til noon." Never was a gustier sigh of relief heard. NEVER . . .

Yesterday, I fully intended to go to church, but I realized that being that tired was probably an indicator that I should relax. The priest and I have an understanding. I go on Wednesday and that's enough. So I slept in a bit. When I got up, we had a project.

HTB has been wanting a camper for a long time. We borrowed the pop-up we used for our engagement trip. It's a nice camper. But both of us never want to go through another storm with hurricane-force winds in a pop-up again. He freely admits had he known it would last that long, we wouldn't have stayed in that camper all night. So he's been looking. He had some strict requirements, so I figured we were going to end up having to order the camper and finance it. He came home Tuesday and said he found a camper and he wanted it. So we are now the owners of a 1997 30' long Mallard travel trailer, that he bought for the price of a new pop-up. I like it. It's nice and spacious, we have a sofa, and a table, and a real bed. We even have a stove. More than canvas between us and the elements. I told HTB that, if we'd had this when we got engaged, it would have made the first night of the trip a hundred times better. He agreed, even though the story of our engagement wouldn't have been the same had we not been through that. But, like I told him, I prefer to be a little more secure now. An engagement can be traumatic, a vacation needs to be restful.

So yesterday we had to outfit our vacation home. I told him just to upgrade the stuff in the house and move the old stuff out to the camper. He wanted it all to match. So we went to Walmart and went crazy. Their prices were far better than at the RV store. I did have to hold HTB back from buying a set of dishes--he wanted Corelle, which is a smart move, since, from personal experience, you have to be really trying to break a Corelle dish, but I have service for 16 that my mother bought me when I graduated from college, in a pattern I liked at 20, not so crazy on at 33, but it will do for in there. If my mom can't find it, then we'll figure it out, but I'd rather save spending money on dishes for the last try than as the first try.

After we finished the camper stuff, I wheedled HTB into going to Sonic. There are no Sonics in Maryland. HTB has never been there; I only get to go if we go to Lancaster, PA, or go South, and there was no way I was getting within 5 miles of a Sonic and not going. HTB was not that impressed by their food, but he did like the cherry limeade; he drank mine while I was getting my nails done. BOOGER MAN! He was impressed that the waitresses were on roller skates, but didn't know we were supposed to tip them. I said it was worth it.

We did finally relax when we got home. I made Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken from the Full Bellies blog (on my blog list). So good--I was worried it was going to be one of those recipes that sounded better than that it tastes, but it was good. Nice mix of salty, garlicy, spicy, smoky, and sweet. HTB even liked it, and he's picky about meat. It wasn't fancy, but it wasn't the same ol', same ol' and, now that my mouth is getting back to normal and it doesn't hurt to get food near it, I want to eat again.

We ended up watching TV the rest of the night. We tried to watch the Oscars, but I ended up falling asleep. It was just too much.

How was your weekend?

05 March 2010

Let's talk Rabbits (updated to fix the link)

It's getting on springtime.

It's getting towards Easter.

I loves me some rabbits.

This is the time of the year that the rabbit freebies are multiplying like, um, rabbits.

So I thought I would share with you some of the ones I have been finding, in case you feel the need to make your own warren!

There is a lovely sampler on this page, particularly if you prefer your rabbits to be French. Click on "cadeaux", get out a spring-toned floss, go to town! Bonjour cher lapin!

Some more in various styles. I still don't know how this site works, they have cute charts .

More adorable bunnies by various designers. I searched by rabbit, you may also want to put in "bunny." So glad that you no longer have to have PCStitch to get your bunny on !

By the Bay Needleart, rapidly becoming one of my favorite designers because their designs feel like what life on the Chesapeake used to be like, offers us this elegant freebie. In the same vein, but with a really simple whimsy is this offering from The Sampler Girl.

Mosey N Me offers us Bad Hare Day, definitely on my "To Be Stitched" list, as soon as I figure out a fabric to put it on. There are others if you go to their main page and click on free stuff. Mosey and Me are generous to the bunny people.

Another fantastic Mosey n Me that I hadn't seen before is in the Stitchville USA newletter. If you don't get this newsletter, it's worth putting on your list. They have great freebies included. A lot of newsletters no longer include those, and that's kinda sad . . .

This blog is FULL of bunny freebies. There's even a brand new St. Patrick's Day freebie. St. Patrick's Day is do-able when the design features bunnies, not leprachauns. Not to mention, she's a terrific designer and blogger.

Kustom Krafts' newsletter is another fantastic newletter and their freebie this month is a bunny!

Pretty freebies for biscornus and scissor fobs are a gift from

Lastly, we have The Stitcherhood. Click on the link that says freebies! Cute little bunny!

Of course, there are a bazillion bunny patterns for sale out there, and I encourage you to support designers by purchasing their charts, but, for a quick fix of "spring", and a way to explore new-to-you designers, or become reacquainted with old friends, you can't beat this bevy of bunnies.

04 March 2010

This and that

Last night was church night, and it rained, so I didn't get home til 8:30. Til I settled down, it was 9:00 and a little too late for me to stitch. HTB was watching the Maryland game, so I just kinda vegged. He was trying to figure out where our schools ranked in the standings. I am, as always delighted that my beloved Kentucky Wildcats are ranked #3, his Maryland Terrapins are #23. We bicker frequently about this; he feels that, as a Marylander, I should be a Terp fan. You would think after all this time, he would know this is an argument he will not win. My argument was a) this Marylander didn't go to U of M, my degree is from UK, my loyalty follows the tuition, b) I sat in line for front row, lower arena tickets for the 1996 Championship season, and c)royal blue is a lot better color than that hideously blinding gold color they've adopted, better being a subjective term.

I did start looking for my ornament for March for the Bride's Tree SAL. The theme is flowers or a basket of flowers. We had a bit of a discussion as to whether a Diane Graebner ornament with a girl holding a basket of greenery constituted a basket of flowers. We decided it really didn't go along with the theme, but there is a pretty poinsettia biscornu ornament in the 2008 JCS ornament issue, and so I think I'm going to do that. I think it's good practice for stuffing the ring pillow. I have to go through my stash and see if I have the right fabric for it.

When I was at the dentist yesterday, there was a chart for a humbug. It looked cute, but what is it? The sewing instructions were not that clear, so I don't want to start something and not know how to finish it. Are there specific guidelines? Do they have to be a certain size? Has anyone stitched one?

03 March 2010

Back from the dentist

Good news and bad news from today's visit.

The bad news, I developed dry socket. I've heard lots of horror stories about it, especially . . . THE PASTE (which I always picture them saying in hoarse whispers, LOL). People said it hurt just a little less than childbirth. Well, I'm here to say: either they had a really bad case of this, or childbirth isn't nearly as painful as it looks on TV. I mean, it hurt, but a gallbladder attack hurt worse. This was more like a really really bad abcess tooth. Which is still under a gallbladder attack as far as pain goes, at least to me. And THE PASTE wasn't that bad. It's made from clove derivative and covers the bone or nerves so that it can heal. It's not the most pleasant thing I've ever tasted, and it smells strongly, but it tastes like clove cigarettes (do they even make those anymore?), and, since I have nothing but positive memories of those, this does not bother me. I imagined it tasted vaguely of strawberries and rubber, and that would stink, but this is tolerable. Anything is more tolerable than pain.

The good news in all this? I took advantage of being numb to acquire some hot Krispy Kreme donuts. If you're going to eat after eating very little for 9 days, it needs to be something decadent, right? Plus, they're soft, no sharp edges to scrape sore teeth, and they melt. Soooooo goood.

(UPDATED: THE PASTE does not taste so hot 3 hours later. It tastes a bit like one's mouth tastes after smoking a clove cigarette, after the clove wears off. It just tastes like a cigarette now. Still not worth uttering the name in a horrified tone, but a bit nasty. But I can say, my mouth does not hurt. I'll smell like an ashtray mouth to be pain-free.)

trading stitching for a floor show

I didn't stitch last night. I'm off to the dentist today with my tooth. I woke up at 2:30 with it throbbing. HTB must have woke up too, because he ended up holding my hand. My mother found out how much Advil I have been taking and told me something is very wrong and this is not normal. We both know it was a difficult procedure, but the pain is so bad that I don't want to eat anything, and that is off. So I'm hopeful that my dentist will figure out what in the name of God went wrong and fixes it.

So, instead of stitching, we watched West Side Story last night. I did not know HTB was so into movie musicals (he loves Sound of Music, but I figured that was a fluke), but he knew all the words and was singing along with them--you have not lived til you've heard a 6'4", heavily tattooed man singing, "I Feel Pretty." I guess I burst his bubble when I told him Natalie Wood didn't actually sing in this movie. Apparently no one in this movie sang their own songs. He wanted to know why they cast them if they couldn't sing. This launched us into a discussion of the studio system. He thought about it for a while, then wanted to change the channel right in the middle of the last scene. I squalled like a cat! I told him he was missing the best part of the whole movie. I guess I looked a bit wild, so he flipped it back. I never really thought about how odd it would be that they used stand-in voices, I was just more impressed that you really can't tell it's not Natalie Wood singing, the dubbing is pretty flawless. And it was a powerful movie. It was a nice change for us.

02 March 2010

Roaring like a lion

I would like to say that I had a good extended weekend.

There were parts that were good. The priest gave a wonderful sermon in church on Sunday. My faith has been waivering a bit since the beginning of the year for several different reasons. Like a kid at Christmas, I've been wanting to know what the future holds for me and have been upset that I can't see that the journey is going to get easier any time soon. And the priest talked about Abram and the Lord talking to him about the stars. He asked us if we ever took the time to get away from the city and look at stars. Did they ever fill us with wonder? Or belief that there was something greater out there? And I was reminded how we sat on Assateague Beach, and counted the stars and watched them move across the sky and how beautiful it was. And the priest said, "Look to the stars and believe." And that took my breath away. I actually started to cry a bit, which is odd for me. So, when I'm in doubt, I'm gonna believe things will get better.

The twins would tell you they had a bad extended weekend. They were overjoyed to see me, though I ratted them out for getting into my mother's fabric cooler, and strewing the leftovers she had brought home across the living room floor. My mother was trying to figure out who did it. I know who did it. Chancey. Robbie looked at me with abject horror when I asked him, as if it was just not mannerly to chew open a bag and eat leftovers when not given permission. I believe him; he's too lazy to actually chew a cooler open. His sister had an expression of, "If you didn't want us to eat it, it shouldn't have been on the floor." And she's a chewer. She didn't even have the shame to lay her ears down when I called her "BAD DOG." An unrepetant sinner! They were still happy the next morning, at least til I herded them in the bathroom and put the babygate up. They thought that a bit wierd, but figured out the deal when I took the collars off--they only get naked one for one reason. To give them their credit, they were wonderful in the bathtub. I guess humiliation is more bearable when you're with your family. Even the shaking was kept to a minimum, LOL. I gave them a soft treat to share, and told them they smelled like beautiful dogs. Then I had to go home, which dismayed my boy, because he must have figured I'd play all day with him, but there were things to do at the house. And we can play next week!

I was off yesterday but didn't go anywhere. The garage door is broken, and it's too heavy for me to lift, and, with the melting snow making our yard a mudpit, the dogs have to come in through the garage, so they had to wait til Daddy came home. And I had to wait til he got home. One of the cardinal rules for the big boys is that they are NEVER outside if someone is not on the property. You hear too many stories of people saying, "My pitbull would never do that. I've had him since he was a puppy." I love my pits, I think they get a bad rap.I know their limitations and their skillsets. They probably wouldn't chew through the fence to follow me if I left them out in the yard, but they are able to (Beazer has attempted to because someone came in the yard to talk to Daddy), and I'd rather be overly cautious than overly-trusting.

But it was good that I stayed home. I cleaned the sewing room. It had gotten far too out of hand. I put all my drycleaning in a pile, so I can take it on payday, threw out a bunch of stuff that I brought home from work, and then didn't deal with, went through the drawers in the closet and pulled a bunch of stuff to take to Sue Hillis' get together in May. I pulled some freebies, and also found a couple charts I had misplaced. One of them is the JBW Country French Dog, which I intend to make into a cube, and have the fabric for, I just haven't stitched it. And I found a bunch of stuff of my mom's to do for her. I really need to get started on that. I am really not being fair to her to leave so many of her projects undone. Something to think about . . .

My tooth has been aching really bad the past couple days (I know it's not supposed to be doing this still, but it is, if it doesn't feel better tomorrow, I'm going to the dentist. I have a high pain tolerance, but I can only take so much), so I did lie down for a while yesterday. Surprisingly, I did not nap. I did stitch a bit on our wedding pillow, though. It's a fun stitch, and I'm making good progress. It still doesn't look like an H yet, but it's getting there--I was watching MTV trash shows and they're perfect for stitching, you get the noise, but you don't have to pay attention, LOL. I am happy that I bought more than two skeins of floss for this, since I've already used up a whole skein, and I wouldn't want to be in a situation where I don't have enough floss. I will probably end up using 3 or 4 skeins, but I'm OK with that.

Does anyone know how fat you're supposed to stuff a biscornu? Mine have always been a bit understuffed, but they LOOK full when I'm stuffing them. Then I finish, and they look gooshy. I want this to be fat and full. How do I perfect this? Is it an issue with the kind of stuffing? Any help would be great.
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