30 April 2012

Blues and Bunnies

This is a picture of my Rabbit Alphabet WIP. I have worked on it a little more since this picture was taken and am enjoying it immensely. Particularly on this natural MCG Textiles linen. It works very well for this piece as the linen is particularly schlubby, and the elegance of the needlework against the coarseness of the fabric, which is also thick and another reason to love it, is perfect. It gives it a beachy, summery feel.

One warning I need to issue because I know a couple of people who want to stitch this. If you haven't picked out your floss, make sure you get enough. I have gone through at least 3 lengths of floss, and I'm not halfway through.  If you're shopping, go for 10 yards, or, to be safe, go for 15.  No one ever regretted having more than enough floss.

I may be tempted on this chart to restitch it. I never do that, I can count on one hand the number of times I have restitched a chart, but I might do it with this one. Why? Because I thought of another color combination that would be stunning. What do you think of a sunny yellow fabric, with navy blue over-dyed floss, and white bunnies? Very south of France, I think? Les lapins Nicoise?  I am going to have to think this one through, but won't be starting on it anytime soon.

That is all for this evening. I have some finishing to do tomorrow night, but will try to post pictures. I know I owe some photos of HoA, and will post those, but for now I'm off to hard-boil some eggs, my go-to breakfast these days.

Still here, just busy

I know I haven't been around much. This week and weekend were quite draining--spent yesterday boxing up basically everything in the sewing room to move it out. I have no idea what we'll do with my lap frame. I was quite shocked that I had so much stuff, and even more shocked that it fit into 6 18 gallon totes from Lowes. My back was killing me at the end, and I didn't even lift anything heavy, just reached and bent. It sort of bugs me that all my stuff is packed away, including my UFO box and kitted up box, and all my books, but I have to just understand it's temporary, and Left-brain is looking at the shed catalogue. I think we are the epitome of cheap. I don't want to pay to have the thing installed and painted, since my husband is pretty handy, and it can not be $425 worth of work to paint a shed (if it is, I'm in the wrong business), and he doesn't want to pay for a window or shingles (oh, surely the shingles can not be THAT much, if they are, I'm in the wrong business. OK, I guess I'm in the wrong business all in all).

Saturday was my last day at my part-time job, at least for now. I think I mentioned this (sorry if I did), but, instead of leaving permanently, I am taking extended maternity leave, at least til September. I crunched the numbers, I did a lot of soul-searching, and, as much as I hate to think of being away from the baby, this is what it takes to provide for my daughter. And I do admit, that job that I took to fill up my time and help me reach some financial goals, it's important to me to me now and it hurt to think I wouldn't be there in some way, contributing, when it's been such a part of my life the past 20 years (yep, saw my first show there in 1992, I was 15, I can even remember the dress I wore, black and white houndstooth coatdress, with a red patent-leather belt, black patent-leather wingtips, and white socks. The early 90s were a confusing time for fashion). I know the trick is to find the balance, and that will be my project for the next 4 months. I don't know what I'll do to have two days off in a row. I haven't worked a 40 hour week in 4 1/2 years. I'll get spoiled and lazy.

So that is where we're at for now. I picked up my needle this morning, and will try to get back into a rhythm of stitching. Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. We are looking at warm temperatures this week.  Today is chilly, but all week is in the 70s and 80s. Bring on the summer!

24 April 2012

Oh dear

I was posting last night with low blood sugar. I apologize now for some of the things I wrote. Trust me, they made sense in my head at the time.  Apparently low normal blood sugar makes me post like a drunk woman. Ooops. 

What I meant to say was that I worked on the edge of that section of Summer Ball to try to get it finished, so that it's complete the whole way up and all I have to do is fill in. I tried, but I didn't get it accomplished. I did get the blue girl's dress finished though. I think that makes 4 people who are now completely intact in the ballroom. And I almost have Seth Rogan/soldier guy complete, so that will be 5. Woo hoo.

And I'll try to get a better shot of Arab. He is beautiful in person

I was also introduced to the new Blogger last night. Not sure if I like it too much yet. I know it will be a learning curve to figure it out. It's made some grammatical issues. I'm going to go in and fix that. Sorry.

Our plans for how to rearrange our house for Babygirl have taken a bit of a change. Left-brain realized it would be A LOT of work to empty the office, break down our gym, move the office downstairs, and then clean and paint in the office for her. So, he asked if I wanted to move my stitching stuff into that room, along with the dreaded couch, use that as a guest room/storage room/stitching room/office, and put Kaydence in my stitching room. While I don't really like the idea of losing that space, it's what is best for the family, and it works better. My little room is in the center of the house, gets good natural light and is warmer, so I won't have to worry she will be cold. The office is colder and this was a concern to me. Plus, whoever had the house before put closet systems in the master and the office, but not in the sewing room, so the closet didn't work for me. And it has been kind of funny to go in and see all these tiny little clothes hanging in this big closet with my wedding dress. So she gets a Kaydence-sized closet and I get a Mummy-sized closet. One thing,  Left-brain wants to stack coolers in the corner of the office. I told him that I would pay for a shed so that I don't have to see those--even that works out better because, for the price of the shed, I get an empty garage since all Left-brain's stuff (like the tires for vehicles we don't own anymore, and, in the case of the 1993 Pontiac Firebird he traded for a paint job for another job, won't be purchasing again)would go out there, and all the random boxes of stuff that are the plague of my existence go out in the garage. I'm not even worried about the Christmas decorations getting hot in there, because we installed an energy-efficient garage door two years ago, and it doesn't get hot in the garage anymore. So, I'm OK with all that. Hopefully, by giving a little, I get a lot more in the end. I  

23 April 2012

Wrangling BAPs.

I haven't been stitching the last week or so as much as wrangling large UFOs. For some reason I can't explain, I just haven't felt like working on ornaments lately. These big ones are much more my speed, at least for now. Give me a few weeks, I'll get over this, I know it. This is my Moby Dick, White Willow Stitching's Arab.
I need to explain that statement. I love this piece, I can tell it's going to be amazing when it's finished. I wouldn't have bought it if I didn't think that. BUT . . . I started this wrong when I started it in 2006, and I am spending time trying to fix it. And that ain't easy. Look, it doesn't even photograph right. I want to get it to a point where I can do the 10X10 square method on it. Hopefully, I can make some progress on it this year, but don't count on it. This is the Summer Ball update.
I tried to work on the edge to get it to match yesterday, but that didn't happen. It's OK. I am happy with my progress. Every stitch is one closer to the finish! In other news, I have started the gestational diabetes control program. All in all, it's not insufferable. I do have to test my blood 4 times a day, but that's not bad. I normally don't promote non-stitching products on this blog (because that's not cool, and they don't pay me), but I can say the OneTouch Mini the diabetes educator gave me to use to test my blood is as painless as they come. And I have given quite a few blood samples the last few weeks, so I am becoming an expert on the topic. It is pretty much the most pleasant part of this whole thing--I'm still adjusting to the food situation, but I have eaten so many hard-boiled eggs for snacks and breakfast that I gagged on the one this morning. And I had to have Crystal Light today--I've been drinking nothing but water since the meeting with the educator, and I wanted some flavor. But I'm going to get through this. It is "only" 10 weeks or so, and it's what it takes to get Baby Girl here safely, and I'd do anything for my girl. We did eat a smidge of a protein bar this afternoon, and, judging by her reaction, we will not do that again--so nasty! But she enjoys peanut butter; I see a future of us bonding over peanut butter eggs and pumpkins. And I am learning why exactly I am obese. Everything I love to eat is high in carbs; some of my favorite cereals have the same number of carbs in one tiny little bowl that I am allowed for an entire meal. I nearly flung my expensive, freeze-dried strawberries after finding out one serving is the same carbs as my cereal, and I've been eating them on cereal like crazy. Arrggh. Needless to say, I've lost 4 pounds since Friday, just by reading labels. I'm sure the nurse will be upset at my doctor's appointment tomorrow, but I'm following the diet. It's time for me to get my evening snack, so have to leave. I will try to post more pictures this week, since I've been remiss in posting. This is a start. Have a great evening. Stay away from protein bars. Read labels. Keep stitching!

18 April 2012

Wanna make yourself smile?

I don't know if I posted a reference to this before.

Natasha is someone I have known through message boards for a while. She sounds like a fun person, and has two really cute dogs. A few weeks ago she posted about a little family of dogs that were found abandoned by a church. She worked to try to find someone to take them and found a group of angels among us in the guise of a rescue group, not even the breed the mama dog is. The mama, who she named Trixie, and her babies are now safe and those puppies are adorable. It seems kind of prophetic for a dog found in back of a church; in the words of "Amazing Grace," Trixie once was lost, but now she been found. If I were closer to California, not pregnant, and didn't have the Mongrel Horde, I'd be applying for a puppy.

You can read their story here. There are a couple posts with these cuties.

I wanted to share this because it seems like we hear too many stories that don't have a positive outcome, or that don't serve to buoy our spirits. Trixie's story and the fact that people who had every right to say, "It's not my problem," or "I can't help," instead chose to make her their problem and helped her. That makes my heart sing.

And that makes all of you involved in this, in the words of an old college friend, "Awesome, Possum!" (I'd make an award, but possums ain't cute enough to be permanently affixed to anyone's blog sidebar) so you get the invisible "Awesome Possum" award.

I hope anyone still reading this will take a minute to head to Natasha's blog to read about them. I couldn't stop smiling after reading about them. If you can, think about adopting a shelter pet for your next furbaby; let their broken road lead them straight to you. Or, if not, remember to spay or neuter your pet.

17 April 2012

Life in Crazyville

This place is aptly named. It's been crazy here, and not in a good way.

As much as I appear to complain about how these pregnancy-related things annoy me, I deal with them. The things that drive me the craziest are when they start to affect Kaydence. And we had one of those in the last few days.

I am supposed to meet with the diabetes educator. I was told she'd call me, but she didn't. We'll set that aside, I called her on Friday to make an appointment for after my monthly U/S, because Left-brain was with me, and, if my head starts spinning too much, I can't deal with the information and it's good to have a backup person in him. She said she'd be out til this oming Thursday, so I've been kind of maneuvering this brave new world as best I can for a week and half. I even Googled the topic of what I can eat, and that didn't help. All it did was make me scared to eat anything. And, no one ever told me that I should be eating before those U/S appointments. I usually stopped and got milk or chocolate milk on the way down and then got a real breakfast afterwards, and she was hopped up for our visits, but then this happened and I was scared to drink that.

So, anywho, I ended up at the U/S appointment with no breakfast. And Kaydence wouldn't practice breathing. She took two single "breaths" in a 10-minute interval. And the tech said she had to let the doctor know. Which had me FREAKING OUT and in tears. They said it was "probably" because of the lack of breakfast, but, when it comes to Kaydence, I am Worst Case Scenario Wendy, and I was worried it was something else. Left-brain didn't say anything except, "You need to eat", but I could see he was more concerned. He hates the hospital anyway, since his last experience with it was a month spent there while his first wife was being diagnosed with liver failure. I was getting a little frustrated, because everyone keeps saying, "You need to eat," but no one was willing to say, "This is what you should be eating. The nurse finally told me to eat an egg sandwich.

Which I did do this morning. And she loved it. She started flipping and wiggling going down the road. I told her to make sure that she saved some of those flips for the U/S room, which, for once, she listened to. She did exactly what she needed to do, "breathed" well, moved well. She "breathed" the entire time they were monitoring her, the tech said she "breathed beautifully." She even said that she could look and see my baby wasn't sick. She was perfectly fine. It was such a relief, I started crying (I wish I could make money as easily as I make tears lately). We even got really cute shots of Kaydence. She has the chubbiest cheeks, I can see them even though it wasn't a 3D US. And she's so pretty. I texted Left-brain to tell him we make pretty babies!

I'm glad we got through that today. It was a pretty rough night to worry. I tried to remember that, prior to U/S, they didn't test to see if she was practicing breathing, and that she has good guardian angels in my aunts and my gramma, and that we do have people who pray for us, but, in the moment, it was scary. I hope the next 11 weeks go quickly for us, I can't wait to see my girl.

12 April 2012

Checking in . . . is this week over yet?

I know I haven't been around lately. It's been a blah-y week. Healthwise, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes on Monday. I have to set up a meeting with the diabetes educator for next week, and am not looking forward to that. I do know that I have to deal with this, but it's still difficult for me to wrap my head around having to be so closely monitored, when I was a person who hadn't had a sick day in 7 years, didn't go to the doctor unless I absolutely had to, and fought taking medication. I'm trying to silence the eternal 5 year old who is throwing a temper tantrum in my head, yelling, "But I don't want to . . . ", because it's for the best, but it doesn't make it easier.

I finally found a color combination for the rabbits that I like. Aqua blue letters, white rabbits on a heathered brown fabric. It's very fresh and crisp-looking. It was not my idea, someone suggested the aqua and blue on a chocolatey fabric, but I don't have that color in a size for this project, and so I used what I had. It's a piece of MCG Textiles linen. I know . . . as a good cross stitcher, I should shy away from that fabric, but I had it, and I like it. I like the weight of it, it's quite sturdy and is refreshing to work with after that darn Wichelt linen that I used for HoA. I haven't made a lot of progress with it, but I like it.

Since my startitis has held off for 3 months, I also pulled another kitted-up chart out of storage, just so it will be there, in case I want to start it. Mosey N Me Veggies--I am jonesing for some rabbits, I guess. It's a band sampler of sorts, and I've had the chart since I saw the model in Stitching Pretty, a shop that was in Laurel, MD, and has now closed--the owner still designs under "Stitching Pretty Presents," but it was better when she had the shop. It looks like a fun chart to work on, and I have most of the supplies. I just ordered the beads and #12 Perle cottons it calls for, so it will be waiting for me. I think I need a reward for having 17 finishes so far in this year, not that my UFO box is getting lighter. Oh, well . . .

So that is all for now. I'm going to try to post some pictures of things I've done, but I have been working late this week to make up for the time at the doctors' and so, am pretty tired when I finally get home.

08 April 2012

My Easter Exchange was recieved

My partner let me know she got everything. I didn't take a pic before I mailed, but this is what she got.

The chart is by Cosmic Handmade and can be found on her blog: along with other really cute freebies.

I also sent her that pretty bunny in an egg ornament. I have three of these for my tree, two I bought last year and one I just bought, and they are so pretty. The monkey bunny socks were from Joann's and I thought they were too cute! But I think the best thing I found was that marshmellow gummy Peter Rabbit candy thing. It was a work of art, and quite hard for me to let out of my pudgy fingers, but better that it's out of the house, right? I am so happy it made it to New Mexico intact, since it could have melted.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter. I did not go to Easter dinner, because I am in the middle of a sample collection for another test--I'll skip the details on this one, but it's kind of annoying and I didn't feel comfortable doing the test at my in-laws' house. My parents were going out to lunch, so it's just Beazer and I at home. I put bunny ears on him this morning. He actually wore them long enough to get up on the bed before he shook them off, LOL. S'OK, though.

I survived that glucose test, though my poor arms are like a pincushion. 3 pokes in one arm, one in the other, but I learned the location of another vein on my right arm--they had to find a new site after I got poked in the same arm two times in a row, which made it bleed profusely, then went to my left arm for the 3rd poke. I was a little worried about that left arm, the last time I got blood drawn from there, I ended up with a fist-sized bruise right under my elbow, not a fun look for me. It's much better this time, no bruise on that side, small bruise on the right elbow. I get the results tomorrow.

I did have two finishes this weekend. I started the April Itty Bitty square while sitting in the lab on Friday, and finished it yesterday, and then finished CCN's JCS ornament this morning. I guess I am making up for the few finishes in March? My camera needs to be recharged, but I'll get pics of them and post, along with a pic of my "adora-bull" Easter Beazer.

Happy Easter or Passover to everyone celebrating from our house to yours.

05 April 2012


I finished it too late last night to get the photo, but, after 4 years, mostly of inaction, two months of action, a tremendous amount of frogging, and a wee bit of frustration, Hearts of America is done. I would like to say I happy danced, but I think the visual image of that would be shocking.

And I think I may have finally gotten to the point I would like to start something new. After 14 "structured" finishes, I think I have earned the right to have a project that has been a UFO since Never, didn't come from a magazine, and that isn't a monthly project (and I haven't started the quilt square for April, it's killing me).

And that project will be JBW's new Rabbit Sampler. I bought it right after the Nashville show (I know, I seem to be doing a lot of shopping for someone on the wagon. In my own defense, at least it's less than I HAD been doing), and it's been in the scrapbooking folder I carry my current WIP in since it came. Egging me on, you could say. It's a very pretty chart and I think it's just what I need to perk up my spring.

I was looking at floss this morning. I'm not sure I know what color I want to do it in. And, of course, being me, I can't do it in the color the model was done in--too predictable. And I don't have that color, don't have a lot of hand-dyed pinks anyway. Then I looked at Needle Necessities. There are two that strike me as suitable. 178 (Covent Gardens), which is a purple/green, but I know I bought that for a Stoney Creek sampler (this is why I will never write the Great American Novel, or figure out a way to broker world peace, whatever parts of my brain should be taken up with those issues is filled up with cross-stitch details and tidbits of pop culture). or an aqua blue. At least that one, I didn't buy with a specific project in mind for, I just bought it and covet it, like Golum (Ohs, the precious). And there is always my Dye Shop floss or the stuff I bought from Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe. I could use that, but can't seem to definitely pick a color. I know I want to use white fabric, but can't decide if I want to use a traditional red, a nice pale purple, a green, or, if I want to do teal/slate blue, with brown bunnies. That last one is my go-to color combo, but not sure if I should be going spring-like or have something we can have up all year. Any suggestions?

03 April 2012

Thank you!

Thank you for the nice comments about my stitching, and the generous comments about my finishing.

Archangeldecker asked about the bunny design, where I got that from. It came from this site:

which is no longer available. I didn't bother to print it off the site when I stitched it, but, if you have access to the Wayback Machine (not a snark, there's a site that lets you go back in a site's history), you may be able to find it.

Someone (Annie, maybe?) asked about the comic book board. It's an OK way to finish, but I think it works better if you do a running stitch and tighten the stitching that way instead of trying to pin and center a design, which was what I did. As far as cutting out, it was A LOT easier than foamcore and I would not hesitate to use it for oddly-shaped ornaments. I haven't tried cutting matboard, but this has to be easier than that. The only thing that I hesitate about is that you do end up with a lot of small pieces, since the individual sheets are the size of a notebook, and most ornaments are larger, but it's not that expensive, and for the same price, you would get more ornaments than for the same dollar amount of foamcore. (At least this is what I tell myself to make myself feel better). I did glue batting onto the board, though, that makes it a little more sturdy.

I still have not finished HoA. Yesterday was a pretty bad day for me. I had my gestational diabetes test. The test itself was not bad, the drink they give you tastes like orange Triaminic, or overly sweet Kool-aid. And, of course, I failed. Miserably. I now have to take a 3 hour test. And my blood pressure was up, which I don't understand because it was perfect two weeks ago, and I am religious about taking my medicine. I understand, academically, that this isn't my "fault", a lot of times, a pregnant body just can't make enough insulin to keep up, but, teamed with this blood pressure situation, I feel like I was letting my child down. All she asks for is a safe place to be for 12 more weeks, and it didn't feel like I can provide that for her. I've calmed down a little bit, a lot of people don't pass that first test, but they do fine on the second one. But, if I don't, and I have to see a nutritionist, and take shots, then that is how it is. I'd give my life to see she is here safely, so, next to that, the rest is cake. But I don't know if it was just a reaction to the test, a bit of depression, or being tired from watching the game on Monday, but I was in bed, asleep by 8:30, and I didn't wake up til the regular time this morning. I know everything will be OK, it was just overwhelming to deal with.

But I did get to see her again yesterday. She's so pretty, and so amazing. And it was so mind-blowing to see her move an elbow and get a bump. Seeing her gives me so much comfort, I think my ideal existence would be to see her all the time, just have a monitor propped up, have the US wand on all the time (even with the gnarly goo) and look at her. At least now I know what those feel like! And she's a big girl, a little bit over 2 pounds now. Still obstinate, though--she in in breech position, but then again, she's got three months to figure out how to get herself situated properly. She was just chillin' out, sitting up, probably in the midst of a sugar rush. LOL.

02 April 2012


Finally, enough time to post pictures!

This is the finishing I did last weekend. I think they turned out pretty nicely.

From the top, there is a pretty Easter freebie. I backed it with pretty Japanese-style chrysanthemum fabric in spring colors. It's on my Easter tree. The BOAF freebie cat is backed with orange fabric and edged with Victorian Motto Shoppe hand-dyed ric rac. If you have not treated yourself to her wonderful trims, treat yourself! The bottom ornament is from a Christmas issue of TGOS. I will miss that magazine immensely. It was an easy finish and I like the effect.

My pretty tulips. This is probably a week old, and they've been blooming like mad since then. DH spread mulch in the bed to make it look a little nicer, and I put an Easter flag out. I pulled up this evening, and felt such a sense of pride in my beautiful flowerbed. Our home looks so much more like a family house now, with a little whimsy.

And my WIP, Hearts of America. It is quite wrinkly and will remain so til it's finished.

I can not wait til this thing is done. How does that song go, "I don't like you, but I love you?" That's how I feel about this. I thought I'd be further along, but I've been fighting with this computer for 45 minutes, so have not made a lot of progress tonight. Hopefully I can get some done before I go to bed.

Checking in

I know I have been promising pictures, but this weekend, it just did not happen. I had a long day on Friday, started at 4AM with my beloved Beazer needing to go potty RIGHT THEN, then continued on Saturday (had to be up at 6AM so he'd have time to go do doggie things outside before I left for work at 7:30), I didn't get home til 6 that evening and was so tired, I slept through the Kentucky/Louisville game. I know, that is a cardinal sin (forgive the pun), but I did occasionally wake up to check the score. We won. The baby leaped and kicked with delight, the dog apparently celebrated by getting one of my Easter decorations down and chewing it up, which, and this is probably hormonal in origin, really upset me. I haven't had a dog chew something of mine up since Chancey was a teenager, and I don't like losing my things. I put him outside for a while to think about what he had done, since he does know better.

And the capper of Saturday was finding out I have miscounted Hearts of America. and it was off. I fudged it, which I HATE doing, but I am mad that I have made so many mistakes on that project. It's not centered on the fabric, and miscounted. I know that no one is perfect, but I try to be with my work, as much as possible, and it annoys me. I figured out how to get it fixed so you can't tell the problem unless you are close, but I know now I can't work projects like this in a start and stop fashion. Therefore, I am not working on ANY OTHER stitching til this is finished, which should be tonight or tomorrow. Probably tonight, but I do have to stitch a house, and I'm not that fond of stitching houses, so I'm allowing for a stop from disillusionment.

And finally, a quick wrap-up of the month. March was kind of a dud. I only had two finishes the entire month of March, my Itty Bitty Kitty square and the one ornament finish. Kind of a bummer. I did have three finishing finishes, a great improvement since I didn't really finish ANYTHING last year, but that doesn't make up for the lack of progress with stitching them. Hopefully, that will change with spring coming. I know we have so much work with the baby's room, but, once that is finished, my fingers are crossed that I'll have some time before she gets here to work on things.
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