Friday, December 30, 2005

Our 40th Anniversary Today

Richard and I have high hopes for this anniversary. Lots of excitement planned for today (40 years is a miracle) and tomorrow night, New Year's Eve followed by New Year's Day. We always look so forward to the high life and tons of fun---NOT! We rented some movies and are going with our two best friends to Cracker Barrel for dinner. "Nothing but the best, Clark!" (Cousin Eddy said to Clark Griswald when Clark mentioned at the cookout of Hamburger Helper, "Real tomato catsup, Eddy?")

Richard already spent most of his day at the nursing home signing papers for his mother to get into a different part of the home, Medicare stuff, etc.

My thrill for the week was my Stash of the Month Silkweaver shipment, which you can see here. You get a partial glimpse at some ornaments that have yet to be sewn up (at top). I just dragged them out of hiding to remind myself. There's fabbie for a needleroll, beads, Stranded By the Sea hand-eyed fiber, beading needles, and a Tacky Bob box for the Mill Hill beads in the 4 pack at top. The pamphlet has a pic and chart inside to stitch, with instructions to finish into the needleroll, all designed to match the adorable little pouch at bottom.

I've wasted hours upon hours today surfing eBay and have the perfect anniversary gift for Richard coming. He loves the old Seinfeld series, so I found a cheap store to buy them on eBay. By now, I know exactly what's going to turn him on, so to speak (quit laughing), and this will. He's easily entertained, but put something on that I love, and he's asleep in a few minutes. Doesn't "get it." Farting salt and pepper shakers turn him on though. He bought some for the apartment where he and his best friend work (with whom we're going to dinner tonight) near Chicago in orthodontist offices. Bodily functions are his obssession. Whatever floats your boat. More excitement tomorrow! Living on the edge for sure, aren't we?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

UFO Progress and Stitching Bloggers' Question

December 27 was my UFO stitching day on the Friends Gather BB. Here is the before and after scan of a freebie panda by Karen Couchman of Couchman Creations of Australia, one of my favorite design companies, of which I have several of her autographed designs of native critters. I'm getting close to choosing my next-in-line UFO's to stitch. This is a very exciting venture for me!
BTW, if you read about my sick blog that puked, I gave it a little TLC, and it got over the vomiting.

How do you balance your stitching time with your other obligations such as work, household chores, etc.?
I've never claimed to be a good time manager, but I'm getting plenty of motivation from my stitching bloggers' ideas to help me turn over a new leaf. I don't like resolutions, as I always break them. I'm really working on goals, and this balance of chores and stitching time is an important one for me for 2006.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Planning My Work - Working My Plan

I had a wonderful Christmas, but unlike some hardy souls, I'm always ready for it to be over. Even as a child, I remember being happy when it was over, even though, greedy as I was, I'd make notes of things I wanted the next Christmas. We always celebrated at my paternal Grandmother's, and I remember packing up my stuff and being anxious to get it home to my playhouse in the basement. It was "all about me." That's why I very seldom talk about the gifts I receive at Christmas now because it always seemed to be a brag session when I was younger; a one-upmanship, which is not what Christmas is to me now, though in another post, I'll have to tell you about the most meaningful gift I received.

The promise of a new year being more productive has never meant as much to me as it does this year, and since I began blogging and reading others' blogs, joining the Friends Gather BB and Carol's Mirabilia SAL Stitchers Yahoo Group, I've really been planning and scheduling and hoping to make this new bloggers' ring with all my new friends a fresh new approach to my stitching. 2005 was not a productive year for me, but my blog friends have provided me with so much friendship, entertainment, and inspiration that I've become refreshed by my stitching; whereas, before, I was pushing myself to stitch and have now pulled out all my hidden UFO's with a renewed vigor and have even quit feeling guilty about getting new stash. I had slowed down to the speed of a slug, and the thought of buying new stash made me feel criminal.

My plan has already been started, and it's working! I've been practicing, working my plan. I started Christmas Day after all the festivities were over and we were home. I stitched on a piece for two hours before my eyes said "sleepy time." I had worked so hard the day before making pies and other dishes to take to DD's house, and sewing up two gifts at the last minute for DD and granddaughter. After spending all day at her house with my grandkids, laughing, eating, watching new movies, playing their new video games, and watching fashion shows of their new clothes, I was beat. Stitching was the perfect unwinding after an exhausting day. Then, I turned off the lights and watched one of the movies I'd been given, "Brothers Grimm," which I had asked for. Richard bought it and hates that kind of movie, so he was snoring 5 minutes into it.

The grandkids were a joy to be with and loved all their gifts, but none are small anymore, so I guess I'll have to wait till I'm a great grandmother for the magic to return.Thought I'd share the two gifts I sewed up Christmas Eve. The one is a roll pillow; the other a wallhanging with rings sewn on back for hanging. You will also see my youngest kitty, Amber, who is my constant sewing companion, and has been instrumental in speeding up my cross stitching, as she chases the needle and thread from the underside.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Forgive Me My Stitching Transgressions

More dumb thoughts for today:

May the angels of cross stitch who hover around me forgive me my transgressions of greed or wishful thinking in my finishing abilities in this fleeting lifetime with the ever-growing piles of threads, fabrics and charts. May the angels also forgive and comfort me in my weakness with the growing list of groups I feel compelled to join and participate in. May they kick me in the butt to get my chores done before sitting down to stitch.

May the big stick Anne S mentioned and BeckySC affirmed in my last post's comments come down upon me and knock in some common sense. May my pile shrink with time instead of grow higher when my guardian angel of cross stitch whispers "you don't need it" into my ear. May I find the strength from within to call a spade a spade and a WISP a UFO after several years in denial.

But most important of all, may I have the courage to reach deep down inside myself and list my UFO's in my sidebar.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Just Thoughts As the Day Nears

No pix today; only thoughts, more for myself than anyone. I'm not stingy though. You can eavesdrop ;-). I talk to myself at home anyway.

Don't know why, but as Christmas nears, I always start reflecting on the year past and what high hopes I have for the next year. I've taken stock of all the stitching projects I've lain aside because I wanted to be sure I hadn't signed up for more than I could handle on BeckySC's Friends Gather board and my two most active Yahoo Groups, one unlisted and one owned by Shelleen, Faith, and me---Stitching Sisters. Holy cow! I counted up 18 projects, and I hate to use the acronym, but unfortunately, they've become the dreaded UFO's. The trick was to fit them into my sign-ups for the coming year on my groups. I believe that after being really careful, I have incorporated 4 into my SAL's, and I've added 2 new SAL's for interest. They were already in my stash, so no worries. I may add another to make it an uneven 7 to rotate.

What I'd like to do is figure out how to put them into my sidebar in a clever way, list all my UFO's in another clever way and show my progress in yet another clever way, the latter of which could be just a post with a pic, I guess. But I do love the bells and whistles of blogs I see around, LOL!

Don't wanna make this too long. Just a few thoughts and dreams I thought I'd pass by those of you who read this.

Friday, December 16, 2005

In the True Spirit of the Season

I just couldn't pass up posting this beautiful story as a reminder to slow down and just remember what it's all about:
In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies andjust 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone. The boys ranged fromthree months to seven years; their sister was two. Their Dad had neverbeen much more than a presence they feared.Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway theywould scramble to hide under their beds.He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings,but no food either.If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at thattime, I certainly knew nothing about it. I scrubbed the kids until theylooked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress, loaded them intothe rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job.The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in oursmall town. No luck.The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while Itried to convince whomever would listen that I was willing to learn ordo anything. I had to have a job.Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out oftown, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to atruck stop. It was called the Big Wheel.An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out ofthe window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on thegraveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 centsan hour, and I could start that night. I raced home and called theteenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her tocome and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with herpajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a goodarrangement to her, so we made a deal.That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, weall thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the BigWheel.When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and senther home with one dollar of my tip money--fully half of what I averagedevery night. As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to mymeager wage.The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons andbegan to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and againevery morning before I could go home.One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home andfound four tires in the back seat. New tires! There was no note, nonothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken upresidence in Indiana ? I wondered.I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for hismounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took mea lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn'tenough. Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toysfor the kids.I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting someold toys. Then hid them in the basement so there would be something forSanta to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a worry too. I wassewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would betoo far gone to repair.On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in theBig Wheel. These were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a statetrooper named Joe.A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion andwere dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all justsat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then leftto get home before the sun came up.When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning,to my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to thetop with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver'sside door, crawled inside and knee led in the front facing the back seat.Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was whole caseof little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: It wasfull of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of theother boxes. There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries.There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes.There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There washole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toytrucks and one beautiful little doll.As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on themost amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. AndI will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that preciousmorning.Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And theyall hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop....THE POWER OF PRAYER. I believe that God only gives three answersto prayer:1. "Yes!"2. "Not yet."3. "I have something better in mind."

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Finish For My Daughter

Just finished the stitching on Stitches N Stones "Cuz I'm the Boss of You" for my daughter. Poor thing has 2 teenagers and a lazy, slovenly 12-year-old. I help her all I can, but it's useless. She'll crack up when she opens this. I'm making it into a pieced fabric wallhanging.

Please help! The woman is holding us hostage and sticking things on our heads now.

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

Take a minute to reflect on your blog reading habits and preferences. What do you prefer to read in stitching blogs? (Progress, tips, family life, experiences, etc.) How much do you think you are influenced by other stitching bloggers? Question by AngelSan
Personally, I tend to be very influenced by other stitching bloggers, and I really prefer reading tips on finishing or seeing new stash with which I'm not familiar, but most of all, I really enjoy watching progression on WIP's.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Holy Cow, Another Package!

I swear that this is the last of my new stash for a very long time, except for thread and my Silkweaver Stash of the Month shipment. These all came from Stitching Bits & Bobs from her last sale, waiting on an out-of-stock chart, and I had forgotten all about it, LOL! The kitty charts speak for themselves, but the two designs from White Willow Stitching are something new, and I had to try them. They're great charts, in multiple pages like HAED. I don't have a lot of fantasy, but I was smitten with "The Guardian." And "Herb Goddess" also speaks for itself with the cat in it. The colors are gorgeous!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Shopping Nearly Done

Well, the day is nearly upon us, and ahead looms a brand new year... fresh start.... time to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. I followed in the steps of a long-time stitching, blogging friend of mine and yours, Shelleen, who said that since BeckySC started her new BB, Friends Gather (which is just wonderful, BTW, if you haven't already applied for membership), she wrote down all the SAL's and sign-ups she'd committed to and all the things she was already working on. I think she has squeezed in as many things as her little fingers can stitch. I wrote down all my UFO's, formerly bragging that mine were paltry compared to many's, but as I went through all my project bags, I was surprised at all the things I had forgotten I started. I was appalled to count 18 things to be finished before I start another thing, and yet I have committed to more. However, I'm not completely daft... I'm fitting several of my ongoing WIP's into some of the categories on Friends Gather; therefore, killing two birds with the proverbial stone.

This year, there will be no resolutions made. My only resolution is to have fun and stitch whatever is calling to me; also get some long-standing UFO's into a rotation.

We're finishing up with a few more gifts to buy tomorrow and Monday (Richard has been a big help to me by being off for a week), then the shopping is over. I have a couple more posts with some pix in the next day or two of some things I've received lately. Just have to get my camera back.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Last of My Birthday Stash

I hesitated to even post this, and I've had it since before my birthday. I just didn't want anyone to think I'd lost my senses, which some would tell you I have. The reason being, I'm a slow stitcher, and I'm a sucker when I see someone else with something that blows my mind. These blew me away, and I couldn't turn down the two on the outside at 30% off for the large print charts, and I signed up for the birthday club that allowed me to buy the middle one for $10, also the large print, which is more expensive but worth it. If I never do anything with any of them, I love 'em just the same.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

Have you done any charity stitching, been in one, or would like to organize one?
No, I'm sorry to say that I'm such a slow stitcher, it takes all my time just doing things for my family. I've just never had the inclination to do anything for those I don't know. I know---not a very charitable person.

I was pleased with Tuesday's weigh-in with Weight Watchers since I hadn't been there for 3 weeks, ate like a pig Thanksgiving and didn't too bad afterwards either. I had a big mug of coffee before the meeting, which I never do. Not even a sip of water, usually, and gave into the deep freeze temps we're having in the Midwest and wore my jeans and thermal top---plus my jewelry, which I nearly always take off. Hey, it weighs something! I still lost and was extremely pleased. Here's my weight ticker:

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I'm So Disappointed

I received notification from Silkweaver that there would be no shipment for their "Stash of the Month" subscribers. They're still waiting on things they ordered for that shipment. I soooo look forward to that little "lift" every month.

It snowed in the night, and it's still spitting a bit today. The ground is so cold, it's actually sticking, and it's beautiful. Very festive!

I'm cleaning my entire downstairs today, then picking up grandkids from school but hope to get some stitching done later this evening. We're getting down to the wire for Christmas stitching, especially if it needs to be framed. Yikes!

I have to take some pix of the stash I just received, and I'll get it posted tomorrow.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Birthday Gifts From Another Friend

A Yahoo stitching group I co-own with Shelleen and Faith, Stitching_Sisters, has a birthday DMC exchange every year. Faith and I have developed a bad habit of sending each other more than a couple skeins of floss. Just look at the yummy M Designs she sent, plus a card with rabbits, which is her obssession, like my cats are to me (that and my Boyds collection), with pretty DMC and one of the cool new needle threaders and those wonderful John James needles. I've found that with all our rotations these days, one can never have too many needles. Thank you so much, Faith! I have the sweetest friends....

Saturday, December 03, 2005

YNR@Blogthings - What Flower Are You?

You Are a Carnation

You are down to earth and grounded.
You tend to be more traditional than trendy.
Your confidence gets you through anything.
People trust you and are very loyal to you.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

Do you have rules in the way you stitch? (i.e., Do you start in the middle? Do you determine which blocks to stitch first? Do you always start from the top or the bottom? Do you have special paths to prevent wasting thread?)

I know this is weird to most of you, but I start in the upper right hand corner and stitch to the left \\\\ and back right ////. I'm not a leftie, but it has always been most comfortable for me and perfectly acceptable. I always look enough ahead to plan the shortest way to economize on thread, mostly because of the look of my backs. Great question, San!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Getting Back in the Groove and Giving Thanks

I have to remind myself now & then just how very fortunate I really am. We just had a lovely Thanksgiving, and though all of us have things to be sad about, we all have so much more to be glad about. Without my family and friends, I am nothing. Here are some examples of two of my friends who sent me birthday gifts, and I've never met either one. It's not that I treasure the things so much as the gesture, though I really do love the things too. The top and middle picture is of the package Dianne Collins sent me for my birthday. I don't even know how she found some of the kitty things. Look at the 3 brass kitty plaques on the 3 frames for my 3 kitties. There's an organizer for the most disorganized gal in stitching circles. Look at the larger picture of the outrageous "witchy" cat I LMAO at! The Liz Claiborne pin has the citrine stones on the bee and is the moss green of the bulk of my clothing. She made the mushroom-shaped pin cushion I had admired on her own blog. The "flaky" snowman is a Boyds, which I collect. You can see it all for yourself---chock full of goodies for a crazy cat lady---even the Charles Wysocki card. Words cannot describe how humbled I was by the care with which these things were chosen for me.

Then, there is a lady I love whose name is Ruth Carlos. I've known her as long as I've known Dianne. I would love to meet her, especially since 1.) she's older than I, and 2.) she lives in Australia. Ruth is a kindred spirit. She's a generous spirit with a twinkle in her eye and an Erma Bombeck-type sense of humor. Right up my alley!

Long ago, she found out that I love Karen Couchman's designs. She's a native Australian, and I've always been in love with her critter designs. I told Ruth which designs I had, and she was supposed to let me know something from the USA not readily available to her. I never heard another word till just before my birthday, here comes these two lovely charts autographed by Karen herself. I wrote to Ruth to thank her and ask her what I can send to her. No response. All three of us---Dianne, Ruth, and I, have November birthdays, and now that I'm shaking off my pity party, I'm going shopping for these two lovely gals. November is pretty much over, but no matter. The holidays are upon us and 'tis the season for giving. My ideas are starting to come for Dianne. What about Ruth? Any other ladies from "down under" who can give me ideas as to what is difficult to come by in your corner of the world? And what a wonderful world it is when you have friends!

Updating in the next few days

Life has not been very kind to my family of late. I've had a mother-in-law put into a nursing home on my birthday, and at the same time I heard that I had an aunt dying of cancer she beat 11-1/2 years ago, my mother and her siblings left for CA to be with their dying brother whose terminal cancer turns out to be a result of an autoimmune familial illness that begins with Celiac Disease, which is a nutritional and autoimmune response to the ingestion of gluten, which is present in most foods and some medications. It can cause tumors which lead to the type cancer my uncle died from while my mother was there.

It turns out that this autoimmune disease runs in families and his younger brother has it, as well as one of his daughters. His mother, my maternal grandmother, had rheumatoid arthritis, as does my mother, which is also an autoimmune disease, but it's even more closely associated to what I have, which is systemic lupus erythematosis. It happened that a week after my uncle's death, my mother and I went yesterday to see our rheumatologist 45 miles from here. She told him of her brother's death, and he became very concerned about all the immunologically-damaged family members on that side of the family. CE is strongly associated with a group of genes on Chromosome 6, so my mother and I are being tested for any signs of this disease. They took 9 vials of blood yesterday from me yesterday, and 7 from my mother, and we were both checked for tumors. I exhibit many more of the symptoms than my mother, but he could feel no tumors. Should the blood tests show anything, I'm sure we'll be checked by more revealing tests for tumors than just the doctor's touch.

My heart just hasn't been into the computer, blogging, or anything else, for that matter. It has been the week from hell. I just hope my aunt's kids get home in time to see her alive. They're all coming Dec. 3, but I don't think she'll see another Christmas.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

Do you always sign your projects? If not, why? If so, do you use your first name, initials or what?

I used to forget to do so, but as I grew older, I realized what an important thing it was to sign and date needlework for posterity, no matter how small and insignificant the piece might seem to the needleworker. Now, I always put my initials and date each piece. If it goes to my daughter, I put "Mom;" to my grandkids, "G'ma;" to my parents, I put "Nancy." If it's in my home, I just use my initials.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A Finish For Granddaughter

This will be framed for my granddaughter, Moriah, for her room. It's almost a joke, but she'll love it. She is nearly 15 years old, but everyone in the family has called her "The Princess" since she was very young, and still do. Is she spoiled? Yes, but in a good way.

It has been a long few days since I've blogged. My mother-in-law became very ill and was hospitalized. She's nearly 93 years old and refused to leave her home or have any help come in. Now, it has reached the point that the kids had no choice but to put her into a nursing home. The doctors would not release her to take back to her home, so she was sedated and taken by ambulance to the home. The kids are very shaken up because she has called the shots with them their whole lives, and they feel so guilty, they're nearly sick. We'll see how it all plays out, but when she gets her wits back, and any of them are there, I'm afraid she's going to make it even harder for them. It has been very upsetting for us all.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Gift From Dianne

Today is my deceased daughter's 39th birthday, and I was overwhelmed when a beautiful floral bouquet came to my door this morning. My husband's Bday is Nov. 14, Tiffany's is today, and mine is the 22nd.

I cannot tell you how much this precious friend's thoughtfulness means to me. Her birthday is tomorrow, and I think many of you know her for her giving nature and unending talents. She's known as Dianne Collins from PA. We both had the maiden name of Knowles and have so many similarities that we have always thought we are related somewhere along the line. I wish I were half the person she is. She does so much for others and is so full of energy, she puts me to shame.

Dianne, how can I thank you for the bright spot in my day? Tiffany is smiling down upon us today. Thank you, my dearest one, Dianne.

Oh, and you can't really tell in the picture, but my inspirational calender is set to November 18, and the basket beside my sewing machine has some "smalls" I stitched, then finished. There is a little tin heart with fancy letters tied to a bouquet of fake flowers, just to be pretty, and a scissor holder and pincushion with spools of thread XS'ed on each tuft.

I can't think of a better place to put the lovely gift from Dianne than in my sewing room. Thank you for saving my day, Dianne!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Word of Advice

and a word to the wise. Last night, I was posting to my blog, and I thought I'd lost it all. I was sick overnight. I was so sick about it that I just went to bed on it and got up to fix it very easily this morning. My sidebar was fine and situated where it was supposed to be, but my recent posts were clear at the bottom and all screwed up.

I didn't panic, as I had copied and pasted my template just a few days ago, and all my posts were still intact when I went to my control page to "edit posts." That's why I could go to bed and sleep. It was all still there, but I had to figure out how to get it back together as it was originally. I discovered I'd made a little mistake in adding an image, and it really fouled up the works. When I saw it, I immediately recognized the cure, and sure enough; VOILA..... I'm back in business today.

So, if you gals haven't done so lately, back up your blog in whatever fashion you do so, and when/if things go awry, you won't be panicked and are only a step away from restoration.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

How do you feel about staying totally true to a pattern? Do you feel that you have to rip out stitches to fix a mistake or do you feel it's acceptable to incorporate a mistake into the design?
It all depends on where it is in the design, how far along the design is, and if it will affect future stitching. I find it hard to live with an error, no matter if I think I can make up for it or not. It's the only perfectionism in my life. The house can go to hell, but when I clean it, it has to be perfect, as I like my stitching to be. I will obsess over a stitch and leave the laundry piled up. When I clean a bathroom, you could eat off the toilet seat, but I wouldn't take less than a million dollars to lick it. Yuck.... how'd I get off on this tangent?

What Kind of Princess I Am

The Traditional Princess

You are generous, graceful, and practical with both feet planted firmly on the ground. You tend to be a little on the old-fashioned side. You value home, hearth, and family life and love to be of service to others. Role Models: Snow White, Maid Marian You are most likely to: Discover a hidden talent for spinning straw into gold.

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Another Birthday Stash Shipment Arrived

My stuff from The Needlework Shop came Saturday and was on my front porch overnight. My niece found it yesterday when she came to have a car title signed by DH. We never use the front door, so I never thought to check for it yet.

The limited edition of Mirabilia's Christmas Elf Fairy is just so sweet, and I got it 30% off because of my birthday. The rest are just adorable little kitty designs. I especially like Val's designs, but the two cat samplers are cute as a bug too. Perhaps instead of saying bug, I should say mouse?

"This woman has really crossed the line this time."

Friday, November 11, 2005

Stash of the Month Shipment

This month I received two pieces of fabric, one Confederate Grey 32ct Belfast Linen, and the other is one of Silkweavers' Solos unusual hand-dyes, and I have the perfect pattern in mind. Also, there were four limited editions of their Stranded By the Sea hand-dyed fiber cards, and a wonderful leaflet from Zweigart with six really nice Christmas designs by Ursula Michaels. It's always fun to receive these stash packages from Silkweaver.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

It's Wednesday - SBQ Day

When comparing large projects versus small projects, which do you get more excited about finishing?

My first inclination when I read the question was to say, "Definitely large projects." But when I thought about it a bit longer, I realized it depended upon the design itself. It it's something close to my heart, or the perfect gift for a friend or family member, a small one is just as exciting as a large one. I find gathering the materials used in a large one very exciting though.

Amber really doesn't care whether I get excited over my projects. She like to sit on my lap and chase the needle and thread, which is why I like to take advantage of times like those upper right. She likes to nap in my wastebaskets when they're empty.

Ooooo, ooooo, A Birthday-Treat-Myself Arrived!!!

After all my talk about how much my birthday was costing Dianne wrote me that her birthday month is also filled with offers of discounts that cost her also; then Kim said she'd rather treat herself and get what she wants. So, thanks to you, ladies, I'm rejoicing that I've indulged myself.

Cool little lapstand by Images, now adorned with a project that I'm going to do for my granddaughter for Christmas---"Flip Flops" by Hinzeit. It's difficult to see, but as with all Hinzeits, there are little charms---transparent hearts in green and pink, the fabric is a Silkweaver hand-dyed, and the specialty fiber colors are going to be so much fun to work with, especially the Needle Neccesities.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

My Birthday Month

Holy cow, I like to have my birthday recognized, but not in a way that it's going to cost me a ton of money! Yes, cost ME!

Recently, many of the ONS' had links and took orders from their customers to the Needlework Show online. I decided to treat myself to something for my birthday. It was so much fun looking at all the designers' new stuff. I have so much stash, and I was looking for something really special and practical. I already have a Legends Grip-It Plus floor stand, which I can convert to use in a recliner or sit-on-it style. I started with the latter because of its portability and eventually kept adding things to it. Well, I found this really cool lap stand, and I asked my ONS lady about it, and she had seen it at a show and really liked it, as the man who makes them was just singing along with it. I can't even remember the name of it. So Shirley, my ONS lady, tells me mine is on its way, but it came to her first. She has decided she has to have one of her own, so I think I made a good decision. I'll always use my Grip-It, but this adds a new element to my stitching convenience and is really more portable than anything I have to date.

Then, I get a card from QVC telling me that if I choose an item over $50, they will defer interest if I make payments. Great. Another money-making scheme. I haven't yet chosen anything, but my sister has a gorgeous watch from there that is sterling silver and has a turquoise face, and I'm a Southwestern jewelry fanatic. So.....

Then (oh yeah), I get a letter from the Needlework Shop telling me I get one item at 30% off, and the rest at 25% off. Yeah, I bit on it.

THEN (afraid so), Heaven and Earth Designs has a birthday club that if you pay $10, they send you the pattern of your choice, even in the large print format ($4 more per pattern), and no shipping. Yup, you guessed it. I just sent them $10 via PayPal. OMG, did I have fun choosing my pattern. They're to-die-for, literally, for me.

None of this stuff has arrived yet, so no pix, but you can be sure when it all arrives, I'll be showing it off. In the meantime, I can't afford any more recognition of my birthday!

Here's a cute link for a little Thanksgiving fun. It brought back memories of this one.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Just Received "Pumpkitten"

And here it is the day before Halloween, having received it yesterday. It reminded me I had a couple of other kitty Halloween "smalls," which I dug out and got a picture of what I want to do next year. I should have pulled out my piece of Bittersweet Jobelan that Pumpkitten calls for. I couldn't believe my luck in having the fabric also.

I have tons of other Halloween charts, but "Pumpkitten" reminded me of my kitty charts, and "Pumpkitten" is the cutest thing I've ever seen! I love it

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My Babies and DD's "Mama"

My daughter, Vanessa, emailed me the picture at the bottom left today. She and I both collect cats and Longaberger baskets. She has four cats to my three, and the one on the bottom left is the Mama of my kitty, Caiti, two years old, upper right. Mama's name is actually Tigger, but she answers to Mama. See how much Caiti looks like her Mama.

Anyway, Mama decided recently that she likes the looks of Vanessa's pantry basket between the top of the cabinets and the kitchen ceiling. She's a petite springy little thing, but after her jump, she was a bit tired, so she just took her nap in the basket. They all say she's dumb, but I think she's just a bit accentric. Hey, there's nothing stupid about getting nice and toasty on a cool day up near the ceiling where it's warm and no one can bother her. Besides that, she made a lot of pretty babies and brought a lot of happiness to several homes before she was spayed.

My kitty family is as follows:
My newest, whom I featured in a previous post is Amber, right, and I adopted the little doll from the Care Shelter this month. She's pretty much calling the shots with my oldest, top left, Pibbie (short for Pib---meaning Pain In the Butt), who is nine, and last, but not least, is my two-year-old Caiti (pronounced Cat-Tee). They're equally precious in their own ways and are so completely different that it's amazing they do so well together.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

You Know You Have Too Much Stash When.......

you start buying little splurges like hand-painted needle and scissor magnets. The scissor magnet at top is painted with a kitty that says "Meow." I love it!

At the bottom of the same card, I just stuck my needle magnet, not hand-painted, so you could see it too (my first initial).

I'll have to gather my scissor collection I've been acquiring from eBay and use them in a later post. Little indulgences....

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My Happy Stitchin'

In these, the low days of catastrophic tragedy that break our hearts and make us want to quit life as we know it, run to help our fellow Americans who are hurting in a way we can't imagine; prices at the gas pump that make us wonder if we're going to be able to leave home; and just stressful news at every turn, making us all wonder at our futures, it's nice to have some happy stitchin' like my little Bent Creek "Dance of the Bumblebee." He was a delight to stitch, and I have his mate, "Jig of the Ladybug," kitted and ready to stitch for my therapy. Bless their little hearts for gracing my life. This happy little guy's lady will be joining him soon. For now, he has a sweet, little bee fairy flitting around.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Who Says A Blog Has To Be All Business?

Your Brain's Pattern

You have a dreamy mind, full of fancy and fantasy.
You have the ability to stay forever entertained with your thoughts.
People may say you're hard to read, but that's because you're so internally focused.
But when you do share what you're thinking, people are impressed with your imagination.

And how about a Birthdate Calculator and how the moon looked on that day; then an analysis of your name as it pertains to you personally? Awesome!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Vikki's StitchnButtons

I have acquired the above buttons made by a very talented friend, Vikki Gable, who is now selling her handmade polymer clay buttons through a favorite online LNS of mine, hers, and a lot of other people on several of my Yahoo stitching groups---Shirley's Country Cottage. She continues to dream up new designs, but with a family and full time job, she finds herself pressed for the time and energy. I would love to see her business pick up to the point where she could spend more time creatively. I adore her buttons!
I guess I should give credit to my little Boyds squirrel, Merle B. Squirrel, with the beautifully carved acorn around his neck. My house is filled with critters, both alive and of the stuffed variety. Hey, Vikki! How about an acorn button???

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Mail Stash Day

I ordered these things from Bobbie at Stitching Bits & Bobs during her Autumn Sale, all at 25% off. From left to right, An October Box by Cherished Stitches, Bent Creek's "Let Us Be Thankful Row (sooo cute), "My Favorite Primitive Stitching Bags" by Hands To Work, and the newest surprise Mirabilia, "Garden Beauty;" at the bottom is "Shawnon's Travel Sewing Kit" by Keslyn's (really pretty). Bobbie included a skein of green Rajmahal Art Silk as a gift, which you will see on the Bent Creek leaflet. I love getting stash in the mail!

Monday, October 10, 2005

New Family Member

This is the newest addition to my kitty family, and she gives lots of kitty kisses. She has stolen our hearts and adapted to our home so quickly, I can't believe it! Now, that's not to say the other two have adapted to her. No, it's still hisses for them, but it takes the cats who've been around a while to get used to a new one. This puts my kitty family up to 3, and that's just perfect. We adopted her from the Care Shelter, so she's not a tiny kitten, but we feel really good about giving her a loving home.

Everyone, please meet Amber. Cross stitches and kitty kisses go together like needle and thread in my home.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Dab of Christmas Stash

The 2005 Christmas ornament issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine and my monthly Stash of the Month shipment from Silkweaver. The fabric is Ivory Reflections (you see the sparkles if you click on the image), 4 spools of Kreinik Blending Filament, and assorted buttons from Just Anther Button Company.