07 October 2016

Hospital stitching

I have been placed in the hospital for pregnancy complications. I will be here for the rest of my pregnancy, however long that is. Left-brain brought me some stitching supplies (see, it's a good thing to keep random stuff in bags around the house) and I stitched this yesterday. It's "friendsheep" by Shepherds Bush.  It was easy to do.  I am giving it to DD, since she is having a rough time with me being here. We talk about our hearts all the time, and she knows my heart is always with her, so now she has a heart she can look at from me, til I get home at least, hopefully with her brother.

As far as that, today is not a good day to talk about what is going on. I've been here since Tuesday with blood pressure. Yesterday was a good day, but I got very little sleep last night because Wee Man was being monitored and then, having nothing better to do with my time, I realized today is eleven years since the accident that took my gramma, and I got to freaking out that something is wrong with my baby and he will come today, way too soon.  We have 18 hours to get through so it will be a long day. I hate being here. I hate being tested all the time. I know it's for the best, but I hate it. Tomorrow will be better, I bet

02 October 2016

New Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Start

I realize this picture is truly awful, so my apologies. This aida, from a yard or so I had in my stash, is quite wrinkly. I joined the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery National Park Birthday Club this year. I thought it would be fun because we have spent so much time at national parks, battlefields and seashores, and I love so much that we have this access to these beautiful places. It's a Mystery SAL, and we have gotten the first two pieces. I haven't printed the second one off yet, I would like to get this first piece finished, at least the center, before doing that. I am not 100% sold on this fabric, but I had it, and I see people making adventurous choices with their fabric, so I am trying. If it's ugly in the end, I'll just hide it, right? I have to say, this has not been an easy stitch for me. I was pretty tired this week. I am getting to that stage of pregnancy where things start to hurt that usually never hurt. I had to tell Left-Brain I can't take our daughter to swimming lessons anymore because the chairs are uncomfortable to me and I can't lean over to help her get dressed if she needs help after classes. Trying to do that was causing back spasms and wears me out. I didn't have this issue with DD, but every kid is different--I just wish I could figure out how two pounds of person takes up so much room and weighs so much. And I just felt ugly this week and not in a mood to do anything but hide in bed and read. None of my pants fit and things were uncomfortable, but I seem to have pulled out of that. My mom took me birthday shopping yesterday and I own 3 pairs of jeans that fit and are cute and comfy, along with three new shirts. She told me to put on some perfume and lipstick today and feel good, so I did. And I do.

24 September 2016


 In My Daughter's Eyes
Custom Chart from  personal photo
stitched with DMC on 18 ct aida

After almost 4 1/2 years, I finished the photo of my daughter and I this past week. I really wanted to have it done before the Wee Man gets here, so I pulled it out Labor Day weekend and it's been my focus. I am quite proud of this finish. Not only because it is pretty, but it was also a lot of work (although when I look at how large it is, compared to how long it took, I shake my head). I just think when I started it, back in July 2012, it was a little beyond my skillset at the time. Finishing Santa's Pets earlier this year gave me the confidence to know I could finish this. Now, maybe, I can work on some of my other full-coverage pieces without getting so intimidated. But, I am happy that this was one of the 5 projects on my list that I determined I had to finish before starting Noah's Sub. The others were Soul Music by Dimensions, Sleepy Hollow by Cricket Collection, Santa's Pets, and the year of floss tags by Needle's Content. It seemed like a lot to ask of myself last summer, but, out of them, only the Needle's Content remains to be done, and I have 4 of those stitched already.  So, it's possible that Noah's Sub will get started next year, but later, probably. Heck, getting two large projects done in one year is impressive!

I thought I would rotate Little Wings back in and make that my weekday stitch, but I adopted a UFO from stitching group, a Precious Moments baby blanket, that would be nice to have for Wee Man, so that is going to be my weekday stitch. It shouldn't take too long, and it will be nice for him. The already-completed stitching is beautiful, so I am trying to match it.

I am also trying to follow the Keeping Christmas challenge, to stitch an ornament a week. It has not been easy--somehow I find myself wanting to do more involved ornaments. I have been working on Mitten Mitten, a freebie from Cricket Collection from 2009, it has taken about 3 weeks of weekends. Ooops! I am stitching it in Sullivan's floss. I have used that floss before, but I am still up in the air about it. Part of me really likes the colors--this ornament is very cheerful and luscious--and I like the way it feels. It doesn't feel like regular cotton floss, more like linen, and it just feels very crisp and nice, maybe a little fluffier than regular DMC or Anchor. But they don't have all the colors DMC has. Maybe if I ordered it from them, or bought at an LNS, but I got mine at Hancock, and, considering no one seems to use it for anything, every time I went in there, the floss bins were a horrible mess and they were missing colors. Even if it had the number on the bin. I wish my LNS would carry it, because I do like it for designs with minimal shading. As it is, I am being creative with this finish. But it will be personal! Do you all use Sullivans? Do you like it?

10 September 2016

A few WIP photos

I've been notoriously absent from blogging lately. I have been doing a lot of stitching, but the last few weeks have been a little weird. I ended up in the ER a few weeks ago in a panic, and the doctor asked me to take it easy and not do a lot of strenuous things. No heavy lifting, no travel outside the Baltimore/Washington area (though I can go to the Eastern Shore tomorrow for a reunion, but only because it would be close enough to get me to Baltimore if things got real), and just take it easy. After so many months going full-tilt, I've been in a daze. I am not used to not being able to do what I want, but it's for the Wee Man, so I have been listening. Watching a lot of Law and Order and movies. Last night, I saw "Joy". It was a really good, empowering movie.

I have three major projects on the go right now:

In My Daughter's Eyes
charted photograph from my collection
18 ct aida with recommended threads

I had been working on Little Wings like crazy since the 16th of July. I was starting to get burnt out on it, and I still have Mama's massive skirt to do. So I took a pre-Labor Day vacation from it to work on a smaller project. On Saturday, I pulled out this UFO for stitching group and decided I need to finish it.  So I have been working on it all week. I have almost completed two pages since I pulled it out--it helps that there is a lot of black, LOL.  I would like to have this finished before the baby gets here. That way, I won't feel guilty about having two kids with no birth samplers, it will just be him, LOL.  

Little Wings
Lavendar and Lace
16 count jobelan with called-for threads

I don't have the most current picture of this, but this is, I think, my favorite part of this chart. That little birdhouse is so sweet. It's neat and dainty and so, so pretty. I love it. I am doing this for Kaydence, so she has something Mom did just for her, a love gift. She told me it looks like her and I, so that is awesome. I hope I can get it done to hang in her room. I just need a break.

I have started thinking about my plans for 2017. So much depends on how well the new baby sleeps, my work schedule and when we start doing the remodelling on the new house, but I am going to focus on small things that i have already kitted up for the year. That has been another project for me. I sorted the ones i wanted to do into project boxes by subject so I can pull them out and work on them when the mood strikes. I know thinking I can do a big project is asking a lot, so that is OK.  I think my mistake with Kaydence was wanting to stitch big things and not accepting that I had the rest of my life to do that, to just understand my time is not my own for right now. I know we need to get the work on the house done, it's what is best for us and is a better, bigger house. More wall space to hang stuff, yay! I don't know how many more UFOs I am going to be able to work on this year, or that I want to work on next year. When that is all you can work on for 6 months, it gets to wearing on you. I have them in a box and will pull one out as desired, I guess. Or wait til 2018

So that is all that is going on in Crazyville. I am starting to be ready for Fall. It's 92 here today. Too warm for September!


14 August 2016

The Mobile App

for Blogger is annoying. For some reason, I can not post text and a photo in the same post on my phone. Arrggh!At least I know my password for the web version.

Thank you for the comments about the little freebie finish. I think it is adorable! I chose a scrap of that aida that DMC used to sell that came hand-dyed (do they even make it anymore? The blue was so nice and affordable.)   This was some sort of dusty brown, but I thought I could pull fabric from my finishing stash to work with it.

As far as the fibers, I used Crescent Colours (or Classic Colorworks, but mine are old, so are Crescent Colours). A few years ago, I stitched a design with Bunny Honey, but I had to get more for the project and then ran into issues matching dyelots, so, by the time I found some I could use, I had a bunch left over in a darker version of that color. It looked to me like the color whitetail deer turn in the winter, so it was an easy choice. The wording is CC Wild Berries--I had a maroony version of that color and thought it would look good. I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. The only change I made, and only because it annoyed me, was that I added a tail. I just always picture romping deer with their tails up, so I modified her ear by taking off a row and flipping it. I think it works, and I love it. I have a day off on Friday, so I am going to *try* to finish some things. I have a bunch of ornaments I have finished over the years that I just want to get done, so I can put it on the tree by the holidays. So hopefully, I can get them done.

Not much else is happening around here. I am almost finished with my first major band sampler in a few years. I spent all of last Sunday picking out and restitching the border. It has been pretty much par for the course with this project. The chart is not well-laid out, at least not in the way other band samplers have been. But, once I figure out the stitches, as long as people give me space I can get through it. I just have a few stitches to and a titch of beading, then I am done except for adding the charms, one of which is on order. I will try to post a photo.

24 July 2016

New starts

I could not wait to start something new this week. I actually waited til Saturday night, though. Went to my LNS and chose fabric and specialty threads for a few projects, but chose to start one I had in my stash. 

I did get fabric for L&L Little Wings. I realize in all my stitching life (27 years at this point), I've never done one. A Mirabilia and a Told in A Garden, but no L&L. This one looks like a romantic version of DD and I, so it was a good one for me to do. My progress has been steady.

The other one is an old design, Rabbits in the Arbor. I got it from a giveaway bin somewhere, all kitted up with most of the charms, the silks and the fabrics. I love how it looks, it's just a very tricky chart to work with. Instead of the blocks representing a stitch, they represent a thread. Its so counter everything that i know as a stitcher and different from other band samplers, which I love. I am relying on the cover photo to get me through. It's my weekend project and I work on Little Wings during the weekdays.

I came to another decision. I have a bunch of small designs and kits I have accumulated. Since I am trying to focus on working on stuff I have and I know a new baby won't leave me a lot of time to stitch large things, I think I am going to focus on 2017 as a year to stitch smalls and finish things.  That way, I can make the most of my stitching time.  Somehow, I have this vague recollection of picking up a needle for the first time the day after DD turned 1; I know this can not be true,  but it feels like that.  But we'll see.

Anyway, I hope everyone is making their way through this very hot weekend. Last night, I came home by 9 from work and was asleep by 9:45. And slept til 730 this morning. The last week or so, I have had more energy, so sleeping that long isn't normal, but I needed it, I guess. I drank a lot of water today, because my office A/C does not work, so it wasn't bad, but I still stuck to the chair. UGHHH. Supposed to be very hot tomorrow. They are calling for a thunderstorm: hopefully, it breaks the weather. If not, more water!

09 July 2016

End of Stash and Start Restraint

This week finishes my six-month participation in the Stash and Start Restraint challenge from Cross Stitch and Discuss. I started out with 80 or so UFOs and WIPs (mostly UFOs). In 6 months, I finished 19 of them.

2016 finishes
This should link you to my finish album on Facebook, even if you don't do Facebook. If not, let me know and I'll update it.

 I am pretty proud that I got so many projects finished in so short a time, but it was also pretty draining.  I have realized I don't like being restricted. Having all my kitted-up projects around and not being able to start them (the challenge involved only stitching things previously started) was frustrating. I like having the option to start new. What I did learn on a positive level is that I would rather stitch than shop. I used to prefer shopping and acquiring new things, but I have done an 180 degree shift in that regard in everything. And its helped immensely. Now, I just want to buy things when I want to stitch them. And only when I plan on starting to stitch them.

In other news, our family is expanding again. We found out a few months ago I am expecting our second child. It was a total surprise, but a very welcome one as we have been wanting another child for a few years now. We do know it's a boy--advances since 2012 include the ability to isolate the baby's DNA in my blood and tell, not only his risk for genetic disease, but also his gender. DD is still holding out hope he will be a girl, but she does love him and sings to him. He is due at Christmas; I did get diagnosed with gestational diabetes again, so he may come early. Which is fine--I am already mourning the loss of stuffing and cranberry salad at Thanksgiving, i don't want to do it at Christmas as well. LOL

So that is all that is going on here. I am planning a trip to my LNS next Saturday with all intentions of kitting up (and starting) Salem Remembered. I have grand plans of framing it and two of the Salem Sisters charts together for Halloween. I am not going to use the recommended fabric or threads for it though. It calls for 40 count and I did 2 40 count projects this year. not doing 3. Sorry.

Hope you are having a fabulous July.

10 May 2016

Finish #13 for the year

Birdsong 1, by Prairie Schooler. I started this while pregnant, and just got overwhelmed by the 40 count. Y'all that work on that count, I bow to you. I determined to finish it and did. It felt quite satisfying to put the threads in the box after this one. I wanted to do the companion, Birdsong 2, on 40 count. Not happening. I just won't hang them together!

23 April 2016

Latest finish

Another finish! I am pretty impressed with myself this month. In addition to this -I don't know of sweetly Gothic is the right word, but it reminds me so of those late afternoons right before Halloween, so it is wondrously lovely to me--lovely finish, I completed "The Gift", by BlackBerry Lane. I have backing fabric picked out for that one and am just waiting for maybe next week to finish it.  I also got two pages done on "In My Daughter's Eyes". I only have four more to go.  I am hoping to get those done before the end of the year, but they won't be as quick to do.

I also decided to give up the new job. I have 9 weeks service in,  but it just has been too much. I have worked harder for that paycheck than any other job ever, and it's a lot of work for the money. I like our customers mainly (except when they leave random crap in our department), I like most of my coworkers, but I just can't do the level of exhaustion I deal with. So I an getting more hours at the theatre and whatever the difference is, I put my faith that we'll get through. My manager is understanding, he said I always would have a job if I needed one. So that makes me feel like I accomplished something.

Anyway that is all from here. I hope your weekend is going well

31 March 2016

Soldiering on

I know that it's been a few weeks. I have been busy at work. Still doing the extra part time gig. At least for now. But 4 days a week is a lot of time out of my schedule. Next week, it goes to 3 days, but I'm going to use that evening that I am not working to work on the house we're moving into. Another project for me (because I don't have enough things to juggle, right), but, it's what is best for our family, so it's what I have to do. After finishing "Santa's Pets," I thought I would spend March doing smalls. I did manage to get that little Just Nan finished, but then I picked up PS Bunnies and that took most of the month to finish. I've been working on that project for 3 years, but I didn't enjoy it. And I don't know if I would have finished it had I not set one of my goals for the year to be to make an effort to finish projects that I don't enjoy as much or are challenging. And some of the colors on this one are . . . challenging. I have all the supplies to finish the designs into ornaments, I just haven't had the chance this week to do the washing and finishing (but I did paint the backing, so I am trying! I won't post a picture of the full project til it's done, but this is a sample of the end result:
Prairie Schooler
called for threads on 14 count black Charles Craft Aida
They are very sweet little guys. And they will be very cute next year for Easter. And I feel quite accomplished that I finished all 9 designs. I don't know why I didn't finish these sooner. I like Prairie Schooler (anyone else seriously bummed they went out of business? I will miss them) I like bunnies. I just . . . that red was not spring-y to me. and it felt like I was doing the same design over and over. 8 times. And maybe knowing that I have 9 things to finish now, that probably scared me. Anyway, it's very cute.
And my latest WIP:
The Gift
2011 JCS ornament issue
Blackberry Designs
stitched with called-for threads on 16 count aida
I have been itching to stitch this design since the magazine came out. I love it--it's the design of the sweet lamb. Very shaded. The original is supposed to be stitched over one on fine linen. As you can tell, I am not doing it that way. Mine is on 16 count linen. I agonized over this, but I don't think I see that well and I don't think I would enjoy this project if I was having to stitch it so tiny. I think this will work out. It's going to be a big ornament, but that's OK. You need something to fill the holes or for the bottom of the tree and it's so pretty.  I just want to have this in a form I can use.
I also wanted to share this picture. 

We went to the National Zoo on Saturday. My brother has been wanting to take my daughter since she was tiny, but he wanted to wait til she was potty-trained. And he knows I have been having a rough patch, so we all piled into my mom's car and went downtown. We discussed the subway, but due to terrorism and the fact that my mom is 81 and my daughter is 3 and there is a long walk between metro stops when you are 81 or 3, it was better to drive. And parking is not bad--we parked at the Marriott Wardley Park, 2 blocks away--and it was affordable, but there is an app, Parking Panda, that also gets you  discount parking. (In case anyone is visiting DC and is interested)

Left-brain and I took Kay-kay back in August to see "Bamboo"--her name for Bao Bao. Bei Bei had just been born, so we couldn't see him, but he recently made his public appearance, so we had to see him. Although I don't know if you call this seeing him. He was in a tree, sleeping. Apparently he does this a lot. He falls out every so often, but it doesn't hurt him because of his fur. He went inside, and my mom waited in a long line to see him. She was in paradise. We, however, chose to go look at other animals, but it was a nice day.

So that is all for now. I hope everyone had a nice Easter!

11 March 2016

Small stitches

I have been working on some little stitches since I finished Santa.  They were both kitted up on the same day, right after DD was born, and I want to get them finished. The black is PS bunnies, which I would like to get done for Easter, and the other one is "In My Daughter's Eyes".  I envision the bunnies mounted on wooden egg shapes, but I will have to see if AC MOORE carries those. 

06 March 2016

A small finish

Frost is on the Pumpkin
Just Nan
stitched with called-for threads on unknown fabric with rainbow blending filament
Yesterday was stitching group day. It was also my first real day off in 2 weeks--I started a new job on February 20th, and have been working that and the two existing jobs every day since.  I have been very stressed out--coming home at midnight means I don't get to sleep til 1AM and then get back up at 6 to start the day means I am running on caffeine and determination. I don't know how long I will keep this job, though. When I took it, I told them one weekend day per week and, low and behold, I am scheduled both weekend days for the upcoming week. I am going to try to resolve it today, but I don't know. . . If it has to be, then I will work until I find something else, or get fed up. I don't mind working, I do mind working 70 hours a week when I explained I couldn't do that.
Anyway, I started this project in 2015. This picture shows how quickly I abandoned it:

I think the store didn't have 970 when I went and I couldn't find it in my stash, so I gave up and put it away. And then, yesterday morning, stressed out over this new job, I pulled it out and decided I was finishing it. And I did. It took next to no time. Kay-kay helped pull a few stitches.  I know I will finish it as an ornament, but not sure when it will be appropriate to display it. The snowman kind of throws it into a weird place, since I don't have Halloween snowmen, but I guess I could always start  with this.
Hoping everyone is having  great weekend so far.  And that this week brings some progress!

05 March 2016

Major Happy Dance

Santa's Pets
2009 Better Homes and Gardens Cross Stitch Calendar
stitched with called-for threads on called-for fabric

After a little over 4 years and 3 months, this is finished. I am in awe of it. 17 1/2 by 11 1/4 inches. 39445 stitches. Fractionals and blending filament. In the course of stitching it, I have bought a house, had 3 employers, and had a baby. I have also learned a lot about what I am capable of; when I started this, I didn't think I'd ever finish it, because I never finished anything this large and fully-covered. Now I know I can do it, a plan which I plan to extend into other areas of my life.
But I won't be stitching with blue for a while.
Or grey.
And I am currently working on a conversion for Celtic Spring. I don't like the colors she chose for Spring, Summer and Autumn. They don't feel "of" that season to me. But I want to step outside the colors others have chosen. So, I decided to start with Spring. Once I am outside the time for Stash and Start Restraint. I thought about a green colorway for her, but I am not sure I could deal with that much green.  Then thought about incorporating a colorway from my college costume design days, a design of pale pink over salmon, but again, too much pink. So it struck me. What about a colorway that pulls its inspiration from the DC area's cherry blossoms? Pale pink gown, with a beige-brown top coat-with small green flowers. And black/brown hair for the girl herself, for a Galway kind of look.
What do you think?

26 February 2016

Ever closer


Creeping ever closer to the end of this project. I can not wait, but it stille feels so very far away. I am hoping to have the actual stitching finished this weekend, but I have to work both days, and I need to get new tires for my car tomorrow, so not sure if I will be able to complete it. Fingers crossed!  I know it should take another week to do all the backstitch, but I can't wait.

And I am adamant, when it's done, I will spend 30 days working on small projects, without a lot of color changes. And probably nothing in cool tones.

14 February 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope, if you enjoy it, you are having a day worth enjoying, and if you don't enjoy it for whatever reason, you are at least spending the day doing something enjoyable. Here in Crazyville, we spent it quietly inside. It was 9 degrees in Maryland most of the weekend. Not exactly run around and play weather.

I did get in the car, yesterday, to go downcounty to see my mom. She had some things for Kay-kay for Valentines' Day and I thought I would surprise her by cleaning her mudroom. We had 5 inches of snow on Wednesday and about half an inch Friday night and it was not well-behaved snow that is heavy and wet and sticks to the ground. This crap blows around. I had to drive into the next big city for a job interview on Friday morning for a new part time job (which I got) and I swear, it was like ice-skating. My car badly needs new tires--for whatever reason, the front ones wore funny, so it's like running on racing slicks. And I don't like driving in snowy conditions anyway, but I figured it was for my mom, and for my daughter, so I got in and went. And then hit a freaking white out. High winds blowing that snow all over the road (and buffeting my car), and I thought about turning around. I thought I would give it another chance. The next time I hit a patch of snow, the traction control light came on. I thought I would soldier on, because I am determined. The third time, I turned around because I didn't want to go careening off a hill or get hurt for a day that, in my realm of holidays, doesn't rank in the top 3.  So, instead, I came home through town and stopped at the grocery store.

I could say a lot of things about how conflicted Valentines Day makes me feel. It's another holiday that makes people feel the need to compete to show how much they care or are loved. It was a bummer in college to walk by the front desk of the dorm, loaded down with flower vases, knowing that none of them were for me or probably ever would be. And the same for work. Left-brain brought me flowers our first year of dating, and that was the only time I ever got flowers at work. He doesn't like the holiday because he feels that people shouldn't have to set aside a day to tell each other how they feel. I have tried to tell him that there are relationships where people don't say that every day, we just have a relationship where we do. It would be nice to get a piece of jewelry, but, when it comes down to it, I only wear my bridal rings and the necklace they picked out for Christmas, so it would just be spending money we don't have to. But if he brought me a puppy,  . . . .  But I do enjoy it because it's a fun day we spend as a family. We snuggled this morning and opened cards and gave kisses. And we're having a nice family dinner tonight. So, it's a good day, a day to remind me how truly loved I am.

I did spend a good portion of today stitching.  I have been hearing really good things about War and Peace, so I watched that Ondemand. 4 hours of gorgeous costumes. I have never read the book, but I did buy a copy of it last year and it's in my ever-expanding TBR pile. I have to watch the rest of it, but it makes for good stitching backdrop. I will post a picture of my progress later, I managed to do about 500 stitches in that time. I feel like I can get Santa's Pets done in the month if I have decent things to listen to while doing it.

I did pull another project from the Bin of Good Intentions this week:

 photo IMG_20160212_185421_zps7bn5kojs.jpg

Cats Baskets and Quilts
Cross Stitch & Needlework Magazine
called for flosses on 28 count Monaco

Cats, Baskets and Quilts was a series from Cross Stitch and Needlework in the 80s. I started it a few years ago and abandoned it about 10 stitches in, but it's a very quick stitch, though slightly squirrely with the fractionals. This is the section called Amish quilts and it has a lovely black and white cat washing his face. He looks like my Flicky, and I don't see a lot of black and white cat designs, so it's fun bringing him to life. There is another section, Appalachian, with a ginger tabby, like my Gus, but the last section, Nantucket, has a Siamese, and I am too untalented to try to convert that to a black Lily cat. Otherwise it would match the Three Musketeers.
So that is all for this week. Its been such a cozy, do nothing feeling week in Crazyville. I hope next week is more exciting. Just think, we're five weeks from Spring!

09 February 2016


Does anyone else just not seem to be able to do it? I am messing around with it for Santa's Pets, since it takes so long to change out the colors, but I just can't make it happen in a way that makes sense. I thought my stair-step method would make it easier, but do you stitch every square of that color in the box with the same length of thread? How does that affect the way the back looks?  And if you don't, do you work every vertical row? 

We watched Paddington tonight. I had attempted to take Kay-kay to see it when it first came out in theatres last year. She was too young, though, so we left about 30 minutes into the movie. (She did the same with Inside Out, the reason we won't see movies in the theatre til she is 6 or 7; the surround sound is overwhelming to her). It was pretty good. Strange to see the Earl of Grantham not at Downton, LOL. Not sure I like Nicole Kidman as a villain. She was so good in Cold Mountain, even if that wasn't how I pictured that character. I should have paid more attention to my stitching, though--I had to unpick about 50 stitches for watching the movie, not counting. Oops. And I seem to have misplaced my bobbin of 841. How did that happen? I know I have more of that color, though.

Not a long post. I am very tired, so am headed off for bed. I hope everyone is having a great week.

07 February 2016

February is one week old!

This has not been the best week. I haven't felt well--Kaykay brought something home from daycare and we've both been sneezy. She is the lucky one; she gets it, has a few days of runny nose and then goes back to normal. Mommy, on the other hand, ends up needing a z-pack. I am hoping it doesn't get that bad. I ended up with bronchitis for 5 weeks in November (and that was with a z-pack). I don't want to repeat that. Anyway . . . I decided to focus on finishing Santa's Pets this month. Why I decided to pick the shortest month of the year to do this, I don't know. But it is my focus. I finished the right side upper section this week. I know the bottom is going to be tricky to finish because it's a lot of confetti stitching. I spent this morning starting and ending threads. Fortunately I got up early and had time to do this.

This is the progress so far:

Santa's Pets
2009 Better Homes and Gardens calendar
stitched with called-for DMC and fabric

I apologize for the quality of the photo. My camera takes good photos, but this one is pretty challenging for it.
And this is what is will look like when done

I decided I will frame it under glass, with a barnwood frame, and probably mat it. I think it needs a little more of an finished edge than the model shown has. But it will be really pretty. The house we are moving to has a fireplace and this will look so lovely over the fireplace (after Left-brain makes a mantle, since my dad never got around to installing one). If you see this calendar on Ebay, it's worth the money to buy it. there are several really pretty designs in there.I would just recommend making a working copy. 4 years of holding this has left fingermarks on it--my copy is unshareable because the page is pretty much see-through, but at least it doesn't affect any other design.

I did pull out this small UFO to work on when the puppies get me frustrated. Maybe not the best choice. It frustrates me too. It's not quite confetti stitching, but it just barely rises above it. No rhyme or reason.  But it will be so pretty on my tree when it's done.

Winter Animal cards
Cross Stitch Gold December 2007
called for threads, unknown fabric

Thank you to everyone who is hanging in with me. I know I am not stitching anything really current and "fun", but I do think it's always kind of interesting to see "vintage" stitching. And next year, I can stitch something more current, except I looked through the newest Stitchery catalog and didn't see anything I couldn't live without. Hmmmm!

Anyone have any fun plans for tonight? I work til 6, but went out yesterday and got some goodies. Left-brain got a small convection oven for Christmas and has been using that to cook chicken and it's so tasty. I also bought a schmearkase cake after stitching group. Now, growing up "schmearkase" was a way of doing cottage cheese. My great-grandmother used to make it fairly regularly with the new milk on the back of the stove, but when the family moved out of Pennsylvania in the 60s, neither new milk or time was available for this. So Gramma just made it by running cottage cheese through the potato ricer, mixing it wuth some heavy whipping cream and serving with apple butter. It's so good! But when I searched it out to find out the proportions to make it for myself (because I didn't learn a lot of my gramma's recipes, which i kick myself for), there is a cake by the same name. Not the same thing, but I never took the time to make it. So when I saw it yesterday, it looked good. And tastes good!  Like cheesecake, but with a base made of the same dough that makes raisin-filled cookies (another PA thing, LOL). I plan on getting more of these. Along with bigger pants! So we have that for dessert. If the game is not close, I am watching Downton Abbey, although it was a little shocking last week!

So, i know everyone is prepping their Super Bowl menus and donning their team's colors, so will let you go!  Have a great week!

31 January 2016

Santa's Pets--nearing the end of the section

I am almost to the corner on Santa's Pets. At least for this section. Yay! I am determined this piece will be done by the end of February, so have been scrabbling all weekend to make some progress on it. I would like to hope I could get this portion done by the end of the evening tonight, but work interferes . . . I may be able to get most of it done, since a lot of the squares I have left aren't complete and I don't have any fractionals left on this part. Then, onto the last little bit and I'm done!

28 January 2016

January was a very productive month!

I am quite impressed with myself! I'm two weeks into the Stash and Start Restraint Challenge and so far so good. No new starts, no new shopping, even though I did find some kits I would like. I am keeping my head on straight. I can't afford new stuff, and I have so much that needs to be finished. Not the least of which are the 4 afghans in various stages of completion. But that is another story for another day. Look at all these lovely finishes for me this month!

Kitty's Life, Prairie Grove Peddler
recommended threads on Wichelt linen
This was a Crazy January 2011 start. I have to say I am really glad to see it done.  Not just because of the Wichelt linen. It was large blocks of color, writing, and long lines with overdyed threads. My favorite combo. And I do like the design. I just . . . I'm glad it's done. And, I mean to make this clear. I know I express a certain amount of loathing for Wichelt linen that borders on obsessive ("I should say so, if you hate it so much, why do you keep buying it?) I think I had this in my stash, but I realize that Wichelt linen is like that super-hot person you liked in high school. You know better, but they look like Paul Rudd and have a motorcycle, and they let you wear the helmet when you climb on up with your fake-Bennetton bag, and you can't help yourself. So you ride home, and court the wrath of your mom, knowing they will just stand you up for your senior prom.  And that is how Wichelt works, it's so pretty, but so skimpy and stiff.  But I keep finding myself looking at it on the bolt. I am trying to use only Zweigart, but I think I just bought some for my CC Dickens ornaments. Oh well . . . .
Whiskerkins, by CM Designs
stitched on Monaco, with the recommended threads
I started this last spring.  I love this line of designs. So cute and not that hard to stitch. This ended up a UFO because of the greens she chose. 3815 and 3816. These are not Halloween-y greens, although they do photograph darker. I am happy with the finished project even if it was disconcerting to work with that green. I think this would be so cute as a grouping of pillows across a sofa for Halloween, don't you?

freebie, Kissycross
stitched on oatmeal aida, with customized colors
I changed this one a lot. I started it this fall, but I put it aside because I did not like the colors the designer chose. They were very light, and I love my foxes red, so changed that out, then realized it's not really fall if the leaves aren't different colors!  So I changed the colors around. I love it!  Oatmeal aida is so nice to do prim autumn designs on. It just feels like a warm and comforting color, and I use it a lot. Over evenweave, but you know me, I stitch on anything!

All Dressed up for Christmas
Vermillion Designs, 2005 JCS Ornament issue
called for DMC and Kreinik 102 #4 on Jobelan
This is probably my favorite design ever from the JCS ornament issues.  I loved it the second I saw it, even though there are a few errors. One of the symbols shows as a grey and it makes no sense, so I changed it to the darkest gold. I enjoyed stitching this, even though it was a challenge. But it has made me happy during a time I am under a lot of stress. 

The Language of Flowers
UK Cross Stitcher, May 2006
called-for threads on Monaco
This is another design that ticked all the boxes on first view. Gorgeous colors, delicate design, lovely font. I just enjoyed every second I spent on this. I don't know what I'll do with it, maybe a pillow, but it just enchants me.  
Not much else worth discussing is going on. We got 3 feet of snow last weekend. The snow was so heavy on my car that the driver's side mirror broke off. Left-brain Gorilla Glued it on til I can call the junkyard and get a replacement shipped, though, really, if the glue holds and the mirror still works, do I really need a new mirror? I mean, do I really want to spend good money on that car? 
I have been doing really well this month with not spending money. Christmas sort of reinforced to me that things have to change for us to have a better life. I  made a resolution that this would be the year I got myself out of debt, except my job cut off our overtime. I have been bummed out about that, but I realized that that was no reason to stop my efforts to improve our life, so I just have to get a new part time job. And it would be a lot easier if we just stopped shopping and only bought what we needed, got rid of what we didn't need, and appreciated the time we have together. This is quite a shift in my thinking and one I have never been able to keep at this long, but I really feel like this is my time. 2016 is my "fight song"; I don't really care what anyone else believes, cause I still have a lot of fight left in me!
So that is that for this month! I hope everyone is having a good week!

15 January 2016

Another finish

Happy New Year!  Sharing a finish for today. I have had it kitted up for a few years, pulled it out before Christmas, and finished it this morning.  It's from a 2006 issue of UK Cross Stitcher, using the called - for DMC on white Monaco. It was fun to stitch and will be so pretty.

Today starts a 6 month period of Stash and Start Restraint for me.  No new stash,  no new starts. All I can work on are my UFOs.  All I can buy is the materials to finish those UFOs. Now that it's here, I'm a little worried I will cheat, but I can do anything for 6 months, and it comes at a time when we are feeling a money pinch, so . . . It will have to do til things get better.  Which, in an eerie coincidence, I heard my phone go off at 5AM with a FB notification, and it was some random message from a FB friend I don't talk to that much and it said, "Trust in God". Since I had asked Him to help us get through this last night, I choose to take it as a message. 

I have a few more finishes to post. I have 3 for the year so far. Nothing major . . . But they're finished. And 2 were UFOS, so they're out of the Bin of Good Intentions!

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