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!
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