30 April 2014

WIP update

I am FLYING on this one. Surprising for how big it is--this puppy is 10x10, that's fairly substantial for me. And I still love it. I should probably have it finished by the end of the weekend, maybe early next week.

Not the best week for me so far. My parents' best friend, who was a lot like an uncle to me, passed on Friday. He was a sweet, gentle man who was a huge part of my hometown. He used to dress up as Santa to raise money to donate to local charities. For Kaydence's first Christmas, he was too ill to dress in his Santa suit, but he held my girl and be her first Santa--she loved "Uncle Bill".  He was very active in the local IOOF chapter, and a great person. He will be sorely missed, but Heaven gained a beautiful new angel.

I also somehow managed to get food poisoning on Monday from my lunch. It hit an hour before the end of work, and at least I was home when it started. I tried to work yesterday and just couldn't handle it, so I spent the day in bed, sleeping. I feel better today. I still have a bit of a headache, but I didn't have any caffeine, so that's probably the reason for that. I had food poisoning in college, so it's been 20 years. Crazy . . . I eat rare beef all the time, and I get taken down by a dang frozen burrito. I won't be eating Mexican anytime soon.

25 April 2014

WIP, and more thoughts on my adventures in Youtube

"Starlight Sampler"
Little House Needleworks
recommended DMC on Charles Craft Aida
My new WIP. Although UFO might be better, since I had actually started this a while ago, put about 10 stitches in it and set it aside (is there a minimum number of stitches to be considered a UFO? Or even a WIP?  Since a lot of my WIP/UFOs are things I have less than 100 stitches in, are they really even started. They feel almost like a blip on the radar than a start). It's an older LHN, and I put it on a piece of aida I had in stash--I think it was one of their Carolina line, but I am not sure. Don't quote me on that. It's got a nice heft to the fabric and feels kind of rustic, so it goes with the design. And the colors contrast nicely.

Have any of you ever ordered from One of the Youtube videos I was watching last night, she orders from them and the prices were low. Is it easy to figure out what you need?  I would rather hear from you guys before ordering.
And there was another ONS mentioned, Crazy Annie's. Anyone ordered from there? 

23 April 2014

Quick Easter pic

I just wanted to share this one. 

We did the town Easter Egg hunt on Saturday. She loved it. One fall because we were running, but she got back up and soldiered on. She figured it out really quick. I snapped this on the way back to get our Easter booty, a chocolate rabbit which she had open, out of the box, earts bitten off, and was attempting to wipe chocolate on her pretty dress.  At least it was white chocolate . . .

I didn't get much of anything else done in the past few days. With getting the house ready for Easter, and trying to finish this book, it's been a little crazy. I liked the book, but it was a slow, intense read, and, with it being a library book, and a popular one, I can't renew it, and didn't want to pay to keep it past the renewal date, so it was a sprint to finish it. I don't think I liked it as much as The Secret History, which I read in high school, and there was a vividness to her description of a terrorist attack that was upsetting to me, but it was a good book. I'm reading this one now; so far, it has my attention and it's a respite from The Goldfinch.

I guess, too, I'm sort of at ends with my stitching, trying to figure out what I want to work on next. Something big? Something small? An ornament? Start a large, meaty project? I've managed to misplace the calendar "Santa's Pets" was in, so that's on the back burner for the moment. I have a few LHN patterns I kitted up in the past, I could work on those if I can find suitable fabric . . . I just don't know yet

Have a great Wednesday

22 April 2014

Take a minute

Read this.

This is why I craft. And why I cherish the 1970s colors of my grandmother's ornaments.

I just hope, someday, Someone Small looks at the ornaments I made and cherishs them because they were things I touched. And made with love.

19 April 2014


Giving Us Spring
San Man Originals
14 ct aida and DMC floss, as called for
(BS changed to 3799 and Variations)
All done for Easter! 

Happy Easter from our house to yours!

16 April 2014

WIP photos

The latest progress photo on Giving Us Spring.  It's almost finished. I have to do a few more leaves and I think a purple flower or two more, and it's done. It's taken longer than anticipated, but I hadn't planned on losing a day cleaning the garage when I started it either.
The Lord may have given us Spring for a few days, but he seems to have taken it back. It rained all day yesterday; by the early evening, there was sleet coming down. And guess when the gas light came on in the car?  So I was out in the sleet, in my sweatshirt, pumping gas . . . I am so ready for summer. This morning, it was 29 when we left for school, 55 degrees colder than it was on Sunday.  I think they are calling for a warm up, but Easter weekend won't be super warm. At least it did not snow. I was worried about that, after how they messed up the forecast on March 30th--called for snow showers and we got a lot more than showers. But my daffodils are looking worse for wear.
We also made the very hard decision that, financially, buying a house is not the best idea now. It's been a roller coaster, but I'd rather we live in this perfectly lovely house for a year or so more, get our financial house in order, and be able to buy whatever we want than to be constantly worried about how the bills get paid. I was upset Monday, because we actually found a lovely house with room for us, but Mom told me how, when they bought their first house, they looked at ones that they liked and couldn't get approved for, and then ones they didn't jump on quick enough, and it hurt, but now, they can see that the house they bought was better in the long run. I watched Someone Small run around that yard of that pretty house, and she was laughing so big, and I pictured her being so happy in that yard, and whatever it takes to get her that, that's what I am willing to do.  I still have a tremendous sense that it will work out in the end, but I'm putting it in the hands of God (I seem to put a lot of things there, but he has a good track record of supporting me), and hoping that, whatever happens, it's for the best. But I'm also working on what I can fix.

14 April 2014

Spring! (pic heavy)

I got a gift this weekend. My father's mother was a crafter. Always into every kind of craft and proficient at most of them. My mom's mom was always a little jealous of her for her talents, but she said she was not a good cook (the highest slam my gramma could make). If that talent is inheritable, I got some of it. My parents had a lot of ornaments she made, but not many Easter ornaments. My uncle and his wife got the handmade Easter eggs she made. As time has passed, she decided to offer them to us, since I have a daughter, so they came:
I thought there would be maybe a dozen, there was a whole box of them.
I wish I could show you the sides of this one, but I have to fix it. After 40 years, my kid got a hold of it and tried to pull the chick out. What can I say, she's my child. I would have done the same thing at that age.

Pretty in a 70s kind of way

None of them will light the art world on fire, but it's having something that was my grandmother's that is thrilling. Hopefully, Someone Small learns to be gentle, so she can help hang them up.
Speaking of her, we went to see the Easter "butty" this weekend.  My husband does not understand this, but it's fun, and, judging by the line, I am not the only parent doing it, so we had a good time. She gave the bunny a hug and blew a kiss, and didn't want to leave. I told her I didn't think the other kids would be happy to have her in their pictures.

My mom bought her the dress. She looked very cute in it. I also put sandals on her, since it was warm. She liked them, but she was quite worried about leaving the house without a "tote".  I told her it was so warm we didn't need to wear a coat--I forget how, at this age, her realm of knowledge doesn't go back far enough to remember it's not always cold and snowy.
And when we came home, we cleaned, but she was so tired, she took a LONNNNNNG nap

(And we won't discuss why she has a sunburn on her face from Friday)
Ohh, and I wanted to thank you for the responses to my post yesterday. Sometimes, I feel very alone in matters of money and guilt, but it's good to know I'm not the only one out there who is trying to do better or at least live a little simpler. But a new day, new chance to start fresh! (Although I opened the closet in Someone Small's room this morning to get something and discovered more stuff . . . I'm starting to think I dance a lot closer to the land of Hoard than I admit I do, but that is not today's issue.)

13 April 2014

The cold hard truth . . .

The task of cleaning the house has started. We spent yesterday afternoon going through boxes in the garage and moving the ones that we don't think we will need any time soon to the storage unit. I know the clutter needs to go so a new buyer can see how the space works for them, but it's still hard to see my stuff loaded up and taken away. I get an idea of how hoarders feel when they see their belongings taken away.  I did tell Left-brain I was NOT, IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM, allowing my wedding dress to be put in storage. He tried to tell me it would be OK because there are rafters to hang it from, but NO.  My mother's wedding dress got ruined by being stored in less than desirable conditions, and I will not have that happen to my beautiful dress. I'll make room in the closet or store it at my brother's house, but it is NOT going to the storage unit.

I did have a bit of a meltdown when confronted with the amount of stash I have in boxes in that garage. I return to this topic fairly frequently, I know, but, before, I never had all of it in front of me, and it, quite honestly, annoyed me to see what I have chosen to spend my money on for all these years. And to think that I chose to put it in boxes and shove it in the garage instead of using it . . . shame on me.  Now there are things I would much rather use the money for, and it's sitting in plastic bins. I told Left-brain even if I tried to sell it, I wouldn't get the money out of it . . . and would be mad about that too.

I know the forces that led me to be this way. I was single for so long, and so not happy about it, that I chose to spend money to try to buy happiness (when what I really should have done was stop tolerating pi$$-poor behavior from men well before I did). And I figured because I didn't drive an expensive car, didn't wear expensive clothes or shoes, didn't party, and stayed with my gramma to take care of her, I deserved to spend the money on stash. And it wouldn't have been so bad if I'd. Just.Used.It. At least a car I could have driven. And shoes I could have worn.

But, really, I'm getting tired of kicking myself for past slips in judgement. The question is: How do we move forward? And that's been something that I'm working on. At least I'm not continuing to buy, not like I was; mostly I've been buying floss and fabric, really the only stuff I've bought in a year was the stuff I used my Christmas gift cards for. There are times when I'd like to go to the LNS and shop, but then I realize I'm not shopping because I NEED something, I would be shopping because I want . . . and now is the not the time to want.

And I did consolidate some boxes--thank God Left-brain is strong, some of them like to stagger him when he was carrying them out to the van. I didn't have the heart to tell him there is a really heavy one in the office that he's going to need the dolly for. And, because he asked nicely, and because it is a reasonable request that moves us forward to having a home with a nice yard for my daughter to play in (and anything that makes her smile gives me more joy than anything else),  I created my ONE box of stash that gets to stay at the house til it's sold and we move. It's not a small box, and I reserve the right to purchase fabric and floss as needed without argument, but it's ONE box, crammed with a lot of stuff. If I can work through that box, I can do pretty much anything!

10 April 2014

Getting there

More progress photos on "Giving Us Spring".  It's almost finished, and has been a really fun stitch. The colors are really pretty, the 200-level purples and 3838-3840 blues, which are my favorite shades of DMC.

Big news in our world: We are starting to get our house ready to put on the market. We love our house, but we've outgrown it. Someone Small needs a real yard to play in where she isn't 15 feet from a busy street. Our hope is to stay in the county, since we love our life here. But we'll see. And I'm hoping someone wants our house; it's a good starter home, it has stood us well in this first part of our marriage, and it's really a pretty, calming house inside. I have always loved how the skylights throw this amazing soft light into the rooms, and I hope someone else can see that.  Keep your fingers crossed we can find a buyer.

So this means boxing up our life, which is a daunting proposition. Most of my stuff is still in boxes from moving in, but what isn't . . . ugh. Left-brain asked me to keep out only enough of my stitching stuff to fit in one box, but what if we don't sell the house for a while?  And what about toys? What about the pictures of Someone Small. I probably have mentioned this before, but we didn't take a lot of pictures of us growing up, and what we took, we rarely got developed, and I LOVE being able to see my little girl's face, knowing she'll have pictures from her babyhood. And I know that they'll still be there in the storage unit, but it's not the same as having them there to look at over my shoulder. But I know it is how it has to be to sell this house.

And I do worry, what if no one wants our house? The neighbor had his house for sale for 6 months with no interest. I don't know if it was just because their house was very customized to them (red walls, and black countertops and cabinetry in a small model, very claustrophobic) or if people just don't want to live here. I don't want to put my life on hold forever.

So that's that. I am going to put it in God's hands that we find a place to call home. Hopefully, if it's meant to be, it will happen.  

08 April 2014

Boo hoo Blue

It's a yawny day in Crazyville. We stayed up late to watch our beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats play in the National Championshop game (OK, Someone Small didn't, she is too little to stay up till all hours) . . . and they lost.  It was a good game, but we just didn't win.

It wasn't our year.

Maybe next year.

I feel bad for the students. I remember how, during my time in college, I lived and breathed UK basketball. If they won a game, we were happy, if they lost, it was a bad day. One poor little girl looked so devastated last night when it was clear we weren't going to win. I wanted to tell her, it'll be OK. When you have losses in these games, it makes, when you do win, the victory that much sweeter. And I remember how crappy it felt in 1997 to not win the game, but I can't remember who we played. And I do remember how good it felt in 1998 when we won the championship.

And, if the great freshmen that we have stay in college and choose not to go pro, we have the chance to do something great.  Celebrity is fleeting; one of the "great" players of my Kentucky years squandered his fame and fortune. They did a story on him a few years ago; 10 years or so down the line, I was making more money than him, we own a home, and I have a better car than he does (and that is not saying much). Stay in school, guys.

But today's a day to be a little glum. But it's also a day to realize that, just because we lost, it doesn't mean we failed. We climbed a lot higher than anyone expected, and there were plenty of other teams who would have loved to have been runner up.

So, we'll see ya next year, tournament. Thank you for the invitation to the big dance. We'll be back, new dress, new shoes, new attitude.

07 April 2014

Harbingers of Spring

This is my new WIP. Giving Us Spring, by Sanman. It's an older freebie, not sure if it was for the message board or a website freebie. It has such pretty colors of floss. The only changes I am making on it are in the backstitching. The outlining is supposed to be in black but I think that is too harsh. I am changing the wording backstitch to a DMC overdyed and the outline in 3799. I think it will work better.

We did get to Hobby Lobby this weekend. The weather was so nice for once. It was cool, but it was sunny. Cabin fever was so overwhelming, it was good to get out. We went to Hobby Lobby, sidetracked to Sonic for some lunch, and then hit Walmart. I didn't get any great deals at HL, but they put their 4th of July stuff out, so I treated us to that, and then a few small things. I'll do a post about that later. We actually got to the SuperWalmart in Hanover, and, after our rinky-dinky Wallyworld, it was a nice change. Someone Small is now obsessed with "feesh", so we spent some time in the fish department, waving to them and blowing kisses.  When we had to pull away, she yelled, "Bye, feesh!"

It was kind of sad, as we were driving up there, to see the extent of the damages from that terrible ice storm. There is not a single willow that I've seen that survived unscathed. Most are as bad as ours are, but, the branches are broken so high up that it doesn't seem like an easy job to trim them. So who knows how long it will take for the branches to fall and the trees to stop looking like they have been chewed. It is such a shame.

We got a pleasant visit yesterday afternoon. I was in Baltimore, and, coming back through Metro  Crazyville, I saw these two balloons. No big thing, we get them a lot, because it's pretty rural out here and they can take off and land. It's very calming. 

One was up high:
But this one went right over the development, at one point less than 20 feet over the houses. I think he was having some issues, because he was calling down to someone in a truck.

Someone Small kept yelling, "Hi, B'loon." and "HEYYYY!" and waving frantically. She loves "b'loons" anyway, and I think she thought some kid let go of the string on this one. I never realized how LOUD they are. Probably because I've never been this close to one (the idea of being up in the air, sans bathroom, with just the basket floor between me and the ground, is too much for me. I like to look at them, not big on riding in one). 

And it drifted off into the sunset. Just a kind of cool way to end the weekend.

I'll do a post about the stuff I got at HL a little later. I did find some nice jewelry fixin's and charms--they are, quite honestly, much better for that than the other stores. Til then, have a great day!

04 April 2014

Smokin' needle

Bent Creek
stitched on mystery fabric with DMC,
 with a few conversions

I finished this last night. I found the threads and chart from when I previously attempted to stitch it, and just decided to bite the bullet, restart it, and get it finished. If I remember right, I bought the chart the last day I worked for my former company (also Prince William's wedding day). I had to drive to our head regional office down by Dulles Airport and hand in my computer, and then stopped at the LNS in Fairfax on the way home. So I've had it a while.

I stitched it on some mystery linen-y fabric I got at one of the stitching group meetings. I got a bag of small cuts that someone didn't want, and I've used quite a lot of it so far this year. This one just went with the country tones of this little patriotic piece, so it was a good choice. I used most of the colors that were the DMC conversion, but I did change at least one of the reds. They are now 814 and 815; the original color for the top stripe was supposed to convert to 3802, and that doesn't go at all with this other colors, so this was a better choice. 

I think if I were a professional designer (and I am not, because I can not draw. I just stitch and critique . . . liberally) I would stitch one version in the hand-dyeds I designed with, then another version in DMC. I think they all realize that not every stitcher can afford hand-dyeds ('cause buttwipes and Sofia the First pajamas do not pay for themselves!), but it would be nice to know consistently, that, if you convert it over, you'll get a picture to be proud of. Because sometimes my color theory skills are off and the floss aisle at Michaels is not the place to be figuring out how it's going to look.

But anyway . . . it looks good and I am very proud of it. My plan is to make this into a painted box. I have some long overdue housecleaning to do tomorrow, and then, hopefully, our plan is to go to Hobby Lobby. They seem to have a better selection of boxes and things to paint like this, so we'll look there. Maybe we'll get lucky.

 It's finally starting to be liveably warm here in Crazyville. My crocuses popped the other day--I forgot I planted them. There is a bunny who has been pestering my tulips--back off, dude! I bought some sunflowers. We'll have to see how well those grow.

That's all from here. Have a great weekend!

02 April 2014

Blew the budget last night!

This year, the theme of my stitching seems to be "Stitch your Love".  I have been picking charts to do that have been in my stash forever and just haven't been stitched. Not that I don't at least have abiding affection for the majority of my charts, but there are some that make me smile more than others, and those are the ones I have been choosing.

Last night, Someone Small and I went to our little local Joannes. A few months ago, I bought a pattern and some fabric to make her a little shift for summer, but she took the pattern and I haven't seen it since, and I misplaced the fabric (I think I know where it is, will have to look a little harder, I vaguely remember buying Halloween fabric at the same time), so the idea was to regroup, rebuy the pattern, and the fabric. I always carry charts in my bag, in case I feel like kitting up. Did not find the fabric I wanted, and the pretty dress pattern I liked, that they had made up, the smallest size it came in was a 7. Someone Small is not a big kid; she's tall, but she's skinny (she still fits her 12 month clothes, so I at least have some shorts she can wear for the summer, at least the early part). I don't try to buy her clothes that are too big (I do buy bigger sizes on clearance and put them away for the future, but I don't put them on her til they fit right). But a 7 would be way too big to try to buy and alter, my costume professor in college always said if you try too hard, you ruin the line of the garment, and I can see. I may buy the pattern and put it away for when she's bigger.

So, inevitably, we went down the cross stitch aisle. And I kitted up. Someone Small and I had a conversation that I am sure anyone listening to was laughing about, but it is fun to talk to her, now that she is able to express herself. She kept asking what other people were "dew-an" (doing).  She asked me for her book (another thing I always have in the bag), then decided that was not good enough, so spontaneously started crying.LOL. She got over it.

I bought scads of floss, much more than I normally buy, but I should be good for a while on projects. The things I kitted up were

Just Nan Peter Cottontail
By the Bay Halloween Cove
Calico Kittens Boo, a freebie
Sanman Giving Us Summer and Giving Us Spring
Sanman Recipe for A Perfect Night
Flower Thread Jack and friend

and Sanman Pumpkitty, Kitty Magic, and Boo Kitty

I've been in a Halloween frame of mind.

I am going to have to try to find the right fabric for the kitties, but I am sure I have something in my stock.

None of these seem to be too hard, and I should be able to stitch them easily.

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