Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas From Caiti

The colors from this cell phone pic aren't good, but you get the idea. Click on the image, and you can see a happy kitty better. This is my most immodest kitty, the fluffiest, with the thickest fur. She's not overweight at all, but she gets in front of the fireplace, just beyond the throw on the floor. She just lollygags in the heat of the fire.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Stitching Sisters' Ornament Exchange

Isn't she just the cutest lil ol' golfing gal, right down to her golfing saddle shoes?

This was stitched for me by one of my Stitching Sisters pals, Gis, as part of our
ornament exchange, in addition to a beautiful pewter piece. She did this, and
many other things, while on the run, with her husband recuperating from liver transplant surgery. What a gal....

I had posted this earlier, but for the sake of showing my part of the ornament exchange now that I have received mine from Gis, this is the one I sent to my recipient Stitching Sister, Debbie. I sent her some other stitching goodies also.

Then, I have finally sent a package to a friend, Dianne Collins, which turned out to be a birthday/Christmas gift with lots of goodies and this Autumn ornament. We share the same birthday month, November, and we both love Prairie Schooler. In fact, we lovingly call each other Coz, as it's a possibility we could be distant cousins with ancestors arriving here from England around the same time. We've found other parallels in our lives that have kept us friends, and we send each other packages now & then. The next PS ornie is in the JCS ornament issue, and I think Spring and Summer will follow.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week for Dec. 14

Do you have any good internet links to tutorials for your favoritefinishing techniques that you would like to share?

This question comes from Carol.

Yes, I do like Mary Kathryn's whom I know through though she is just beginning in this area and has a terrific little online shop

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Exhaustion Took Over Last Night

Doesn't this dog look happy playing Reindog? What we don't do to our pets to make them look festive, LOL! This dog belongs to a co-worker of my daughter's. She couldn't quit lauging at his expression, so she sent it to me.
Yesterday was so busy for me and so frustrating, I collapsed when I finally got home and watched my DVR'ed soaps and QVC shows I would have missed otherwise. Yes, I admit it. I'm an addict.
Anyway, after dealing with grandkids and their friends, driving all over town, finding out something cleared my bank that I wasn't expecting, and the overdraft protection kicked in with ungodly charges ($10 for each $100), then finding out my new glasses were the wrong prescription and have to be reordered. I told them something was wrong, and they kept telling me my brain had to get used to the new corrction. My brain doesn't translate total blindness very well. I was just totally out of sorts at the day's end, and I didn't think the day would ever end. I was not in the mood to do anything but veg. Any stitching I would have done would have been frogged anyway. Getting this dog's picture was a nice start for this day, so maybe I'll finish my little gift for my special friend.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Rotation of Sorts

I've long ago discovered that I'm a one-at-a-time girl when it comes to stitching. I'm actually working on 3 pieces at a time because of time constraints with gift giving looming ahead in very short order. I think I can make it! I have my ornament exchange commitments satisfied, thank goodness.

What I'm working on is actually a late birthday present for someone we all know and love. I'm combining a Christmas present with it so it will be a Bday/Christmas package.

I'm also working on an autumn Mill Hill kit for myself so it won't become a UFO. I have never been so frustrated with anything. I've broken all my beading needles at the eye portion if I use a wire threader. Also, the eyes are so small, the thread is shredding back into balls, and I'm about to give up in disgust. I have two of these kits from the Mill Hill autumn line, and I can't get the first one done, let alone even open the 2nd one. I wonder if there's such a thing as larger hole beading needles? I used to be so patient.... now I get so mad I throw everything off my lap onto the floor, scaring the cats into springing up mid-air. Don't know why I do that... end up having to pick it all up, stuff it back into my bag and reassure the cats it wasn't their fault.

The third thing I'm working on is a Tie One On by Pine Mountain called "Winter." Adorable! I was going to give it to my daughter, but the colors won't work in her decor. They will in mine though, LOL! She has a penchant for penguins, so I picked up a new Bent Creek sampler-type design "Winter Line Up" to do for my daughter. It has a snowman and one line of penguins (with lines of other seasonal stuff), both of which are her favorites. I should start that today, as I'm about finished with the little late birthday stitching, so I'll add this one to my Sorta Semi-Rotation. I don't time myself; just work in a little on each a day. I'm also trying to break time between each different one by doing a chore around the house to assuage the self-imposed guilt of stitching.

I'm not posting much here these days, as I've been researching alternatives to Blogger. I'm still so mad at 'em I could spit. And I'm really sick of people who tell me, "I'm on Beta and having no trouble at all." Well, bully for you. I'm happy for you, but if I didn't have bad luck, I would have no luck at all. And you just got lucky. There are forums FULL of people like me who are stuck in the abused "See How Long They Last" group. So don't brag too much. I went along just fine for awhile, then all hell broke lose, and I found myself on the end of a breaking branch. So there! And there is coming soon when no one will have a choice. Beta is going to encompass everyone on Blogger. Enjoy it while it lasts. But of course, I'm blazing the trail, so the bugs may all be worked out when you all get swooped into the mire.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

How do you secure your thread when you begin a new one? Specifically,do you or have you ever used a waste knot?

Naw, never used one in all my stitching years. Never made any sense to me, so I've always used the loop method or stitched over the beginning of the thread on the back for 3 or 4 stitches.

Still Having Blogger/Google Problems

I'll try to keep this short, as it's not too interesting, except that I'm a sheer genius. I found a Google group that is dedicated to posts about Beta Blogger. Many complaints; nothing answered by the "pros" who signed on to help with the Google accounts/Beta Blogger. One section is "Help! I'm locked out of my blog!" People just like me. I've lost my ability to leave comments on non-beta bloggers---so I'm not being unattentive to you who take the time to comment on my blog when I'm able to get in to post.

Screw the "pros" who don't know the answers. I spent countless hours figuring out how to beat Beta Blogger at locking me out, and I reported it to the forum who has the same problem as I. They were dumbfounded that it's the only thing they've found to work. Believe it or not, you have to sign up for a brand new blog everytime you want to access your own blog. It doesn't even give a message that the email addy or password has already been used. I've created several new blogs just getting into my dashboard. And another of the problems I noticed on the Google help group is that once they delete a blog, it comes back. Same thing is happening to me. I'm creating new blogs, and they leave for awhile, only to return like a bad penny. The group I helped who have been locked out of their blogs are next going to have a list of blogs like me. Hope Google has plenty of available space. The list is going to be getting longer every day. ROFLMAO!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Stuff I've Been Doing

A fall Mill Hill kit that I'm afraid is getting put away till the holidays are over. They are fun to do though!

To the right is Little House Needleworks' "Watermelon Thread Pack," the first in a series of fruits with Crescent Colours.

Left is Lizzie Kate's freebie "Let It Snow" with sterling snowflake. Looks crappy here and crooked here but turned out nicely. I braided DMC metallics in green, blue, and silver for the hanger. This was sent in an ornament exchange, along with some goodies.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Holy Cow! It's Working!

I'm not sure how I got into it, but I did. This blog has been dead, and I couldn't get into it. I had to get to it by way of Red Frederick's barn. Made that up because I can't remember the real phrase, but it doesn't matter. Hope you get the idea. Nothing is working right. I hate Beta Blogger, but I'm not sure this is beta any longer. Hope not, anyway. I may be wrong, but as I post this, I just see the plain "B" in upper left and no "Beta," which is the curse of the undead.

I've complained all over the Internet about my Blogger woes and was going to go to Wordpress. I now have about 4 Blogger identities and 6 or 7 blogs started. This is the one I wanted to continue with even though I may do a complete new facelift; however, all my posts from when I started are here, and I didn't want them disturbed. Starting completely over is difficult for blogger friends to change in their contacts.

If this posts OK, I'll be back to blogging, and I promise, dear friends, you won't hear me whining any longer. I'm so happy, I could poop my pants!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Good Stitching Day

I have to admit, I got this idea from another girl's blog, a Yahoo 360, which I think is fun and refreshing after Blogger's many problems. Although I do have a problem with freaks leaving their saliva all over my disgusting avatar (above) there and inviting me to a cyber roll. Just goes to show no matter how unattractive you try to appear on the Internet, there are abominations the world over who think you're a hottie. LOLOLOL!!!

Her name is Rene, but I don't have the link to her 360 blog. I loved reading hers and seeing her WIPs. She said what I thought was brilliant, and it doesn't take much for me to call something brilliant with my brain as its middle age peaks and starts its downward trend. Her words were, "I had a good stitching day." So simple, yet so complex to those who don't have any insight into the soul of a stitcher. Some people don't even know how to stitch and have never been exposed; some look at a large, complex piece and can't appreciate the hours spent in the making; some are afraid of it and would rather spend their time climbing their respective social ladders, buying expensive things; and some brush it off with one look, stating they don't have the patience. The last one really makes me mad. What a cop-out. That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. They say that about anything anyone does that's creative. I've heard that about sewing on a machine, crocheting, etc. Yet, they'll ask you to whip something up for them without a thought as to your own patience. Any skill takes patience. Patience is a virtue. Get a life....get some virtue.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Been Out of Commission

My back and neck have been giving me fits, but they're finally getting better, and I've cut down on the pain meds and muscle relaxants. I couldn't sit very long at the computer during the worst times, but I'm really in a quandery now, feeling sooo anxious with all that I have to catch up with. Why do I let myself feel this way?

I've been working on a couple of projects, hoping I could get one done before Halloween, but it's not going to happen now. My back didn't allow for too much stitching either. I need to get scans of what I'm actually working on. The other little thing has frustrated me to the point that finishing it is all I want for Christmas, kinda like the little boy who just wanted his two front teeth for Christmas. It's a small, simple Little House Needleworks design that I've started with wrong colors so many times, the fabric is starting to look like fuzz.

I hope, also, to get to all of you who have been kind enough to visit my outdated blog and leave nice comments. AND, I made a big mistake by going with the Beta Blogger. It's a MESS!! I have 3 identities now---a whole new one on Becky's Stitching Bloggers' Birthday/Christmas Club. I don't know how a person can get into such a mess, but I'm thinking of using a better identity than my own. Maybe one has more money and stitches faster than I do.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

If you were to come across a sampler chart that caught your eye and appealed to you, would you or would you not stitch it if it had a morbid or "creepy" saying on it? If not, why?

I might stitch it and work around the creepy saying, but most likely, knowing myself as I do, I wouldn't buy it to begin with. Some of the HAED designs are just a bit too creepy for me. I know it's beautiful art, and I love most of it - really, I do - but some of it leans toward the Satanic a bit too much for my comfort. Not that I believe in eternal hellfire and a red creature with horns and a tail, but I'm not taking any chances either, LOL! I would rather end up where I might be able to stitch!

Great question by Carol.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Boyds 'N Stash

Pictured are my most recent Boyds, though I don't collect like I used to. Cracker Barrel contracted with Boyds Bears to have a monthly Cracker Barrel exclusive, an animal that holds something seasonal for that month. There have been other animals, but I have only bought the bears and cats. I need to start ridding myself of my collective clutter, but it's hard for me to do, and I don't know where to start.
In front is my latest LNS purchases, with all being the latest Little House Needleworks designs. From left: Two Blue Houses, Music and Books, under all is a piece of summer khaki piece of fabbie to do one of Diane's gameboard freebies, and on the right is my automatic shipment from Down Sunshine Lane, Diane's (Little House Needleworks) Thread Packs with fruit designs. This month is peaches with a kitty, so I was ecstatic about this one.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

Which way do you stitch, i.e. do you stitch /// followed by \\\ on top, or the other way around \\\ followed by ///? Are you left-or right-handed and do you think that this affects the way that you stitch?

I'm right-handed, and I stitch from \\\ to /// as though I were a leftie.Go figure. I taught myself to do it this way in the beginning, and it's the only way it's ever felt comfortable. The only time it gives me fits is if I'm doing a round robin and have to adapt to the other direction, and it's very difficult to do.

This question submitted by Vash.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Little Stash And A Funny Story

Here is a smattering of my smaller (called "Piece of Cake") Little House Needleworks recently acquired. Lovely little designs!

The funny story was a result of reading
Meari's Oct. 13 entry. We were moving into this neighborhood 17 years ago, and they used to have a progressive Christmas party. You meet at one of the bigger homes for appetizers and cocktails, then branch out into many smaller groups for salad and bread at different homes. Then a different bunch meet at different houses for the main courses and potatoes or vegetables, etc., then all back to another larger home for cookies and wassail or booze. It takes tons of planning and preparation, and this neighborhood is a bit on the hoyty toyty side, except for the Joneses, who live in the high crime area of the neighborhood. They all decided long ago that anyone who decorates with bears, cats and such is their idea of riff-raff. Ask me if I care. I hate tinkling chandeliers, and I ain't got no class. Anyway, we owned the lot before we built our house, and I was invited to get the hang of the Christmas torture by participating as a co-hostess the first couple of years. I was to help out with the punch the first time and bake a few dozen cookies or dessert bars. My car, which was not a wreck, but did have a hole in the muffler, and it was noisy, to say the least. I traded it in for an SUV before we moved in, but that didn't help me out when I pulled up into the drive of the meeting of our planning group for the last stop of the Christmas Progressive Torture that year. Big house, big expensive house, several expensive cars in the driveway, and here I drive up, ducking my head at the noise of my muffler, my face red. I mustered all the dignity I could, walked into the house and announced how sorry I was about the noise. I said, "I have a muffler in my hole, and I have an appointment tomorrow to have it replaced."

Friday, October 13, 2006

I Have A Ghost....

Do you see it? There on the left of the picture is the dark shadow of my ghost. I was taking more pix of recent stash (not my haul from Mom & Me), and when I began to edit my pix, I spied the ghost. So I had to take another picture to see if it was still there. As you can see below, the ghost left the premises. Spooky......

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

As we all know, stitching in the winter can really be rough on the hands. What do you do to treat your hands well in the cold winter months? Do you have any suggestions for creams or soaps? Or perhaps a special regimen that you would like to share?

Well, I take Vitamin E all year long, but I try to remember to drink an extra glass or two of water when the weather is cold outside and warm and dry inside. I also use a humidifier for my Sjogren's Syndrome (secondary to Lupus). My eyes and salivary glands get special treatment, and my hands and feet get the generic replacement for a product called Eucerine, which is very expensive, and both covered at night to keep the bedclothes from getting greasy.

This SBQ comes from Lee.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Had A Lovely Journey

but didn't get far enough. I visited all you gals yesterday who've been kind and visited my out-dated blog that I want to give a face lift, but you overlooked all that and were kind enough to leave lovely comments. Now I want to venture further out and see some of the blogs I haven't checked out in ages. I find that reading what you're all up to is fascinating reading and soooo relaxing, especially in light of the fact that I'm a Fox News junkie and hear such disturbing news all day long. I can't seem to get along in the house without noise, and other than watching Days of Our Lives and One Life To Live and eating bon bons all day in my pink negligee (NOT), and my favorite QVC shows----yes I admit to yet another dangerous vice---just glad I'm too old for someone to lure me into the drug world and selling my body for a fix. Let me tell ya.... it takes a lot of quarters to get enough for a good high these days. DH tells everyone I make my money at the truck stops, but it's hard work. I respect all Lot Lizards. That's a hard way to make a living. I like my life at home beating him to the mailbox to get the squishy packages of stash and QVC stuff---jewelry junkie here too, but I also love the household and creature comfort goodies from QVC at my front door that are too big to stuff in my mailbox on the street.

I got a phone call yesterday while I was on my blog journey from my neighbor/best friend, who is also a stitcher (what more could I ask for?) who told me she'd heard from a gal at Walmart who used to work in one of the best LNS' in the state of IL till the new owner ran it completely out of business---bled it to death financially. This gal was agush with news of a new shop a couple of hours from here in Lebanon IL, about 25 hours from St. Louis. She said it was the best shop she's ever visited and totally worth the drive. It was a beautiful fall day here and worth the drive just to get away from here. The leaves are beautiful in color and the air is crisp, and when we pulled into Lebanon, we took a step back in time. I wish I'd had my camera and totally forgot about my cell phone taking pix, but no matter.... we're going back for sure. They have kept out modern stores like Walmart and are far enough off the beaten path to St. Louis that commercialism hasn't ruined the quaint, historically-kept little stores with the original brick streets, interior woodwork and flooring, etc. Mom & Me is the name of the LNS, and it was how our friend described it and much more. It's full of light and roomy, taking up two stores, organized into sections that make it very shoppable, and I've never seen such beautiful wall racks of completely stocked fibers of every kind you could possibly want. And the fabrics..... Oh My!!! My grandmother, whose looks skipped a generation and caught up with me, spent the latter part of her life with her mouth hanging open. I found myself looking up at all the models and wiping the drool off on the shoulder of my sweatshirt while shoving my jaw up to meet my upper mandible---hard---as a reminder to keep it shut. Richard gave me plenty of money, but I restrained myself because I was holding back a bit for a dash through the other stores, lunch at the place the Mom of the store suggested and the ice cream parlor that had homemade ice cream. I bought Sylvia's breakfast as we left town, and I bought her lunch and ice cream because she was driving. We take turns like that. Next time, the food will be her treat, and I'll do the driving. Lunch was charming and delicious, but neither of us were sure about the ice cream parlor chairs we sat on. We both hung over on both sides, and I prayed mine would stand up under my weight. I also said a silent prayer that the ice cream parlor would have something besides those chairs to sit on. Prayers were answered---a bar with the old-fashioned mirrored, woodworked wall behind the counter, tables with wide-load chair seats and also roomy booths. I ordered two dips of ice cream---one of monster cookie dough and one of Irish coffee, both in a waffle cone. I'm not exaggerating---the dips were 5" in diameter. They played 40's music, and everything was authentically 1940-ish. It was wonderful. I'll take a pic of my smaller stash haul, but Sylvia spent $150 without batting an eyelash. I asked the Mom of the store if they would ever have a website, and she said that no, she wanted to keep it brick & mortar only and not get into the modern aspect of shopping. The Me of the store was taking the day off, but that is her daughter, and she's a busy mom. We got on their newsletter list, and they have an 800# where they do telephone mail orders, but I can go to the store here in town for everyday stuff. We'll be driving there just to see what's new. It's an easy drive anyway. We had a great day, and it did me so much good to get away, and Sylvia and I laugh all the way to and from everywhere we go. Mom said she'd remember us.... called us Mom & Me virgins, and said she would remember our names cuz we're so much fun. She has a huge St. Louis trade, so that impressed me that she was so friendly with us. Oh, and I was also impressed with the fact that she cuts your fabric and writes the name of the project and color and type of fabric on the paper she pins on, then serges the edges for you on the spot.

When I got home, I felt like I had had a breath of fresh air and am looking forward to going back.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Back Soon....

Off on a blogging journey. Coming to your blog soon.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Lousy Pictures But.....

the antics just crack me up. It never fails. When I'm trying to get pix of anything on a flat surface, at least one of my 3 cats shows up, and they rule. This is supposed to be an online Biscornu class I purchased from a friend who has a growing ONS. She offers free finishing classes, and she sells the kitted materials with a nice Dinky Dye freebie. You choose your color of the Dinky Dye silk, and she zig zags the edges of fabric so you're all ready to go. Mary Kathryn has a beautiful blog I love to visit when I have time, of which I've had none lately. I love shopping with her, as her shipping is dirt cheap, and she is an extremely fast shipper. Sweet as honey too.
As you can barely see my blurry image above, I have my printed class pages all printed, together with my fabric, new Dinky Dye scissors, Dinky Dye silk in beautiful variegated hues you can't see at all, and my chart propped against my sewing machine. Here you see my Caiti walking across my nicely laid-out stuff. Nothing is sacred in my house.
And here is my Caiti, who, after walking the length of my sewing counter and disheveling everything to suit her taste, plopped down and just looked into the camera as though saying, "C'mon, Mama! Take my picture!"

Sunday, October 08, 2006

S'more Stash

Several small Solos recently purchased from Silkweaver. It's always fun to see how close they are to the pix on the site. They're usually pretty close.

Then, there are accessories. I love gadgets. One can never have too many Piecemaker needles, and the scissors are one of Dinky Dyes' new scissor line. Then, there is that gadget I couldn't live without---a magnetic needle puller. Wonder if I'll ever use it, LOL! Had to have it though.

I really have been swamped lately, and I do so appreciate all your lovely visits and comments, so I vow to get around to visit all of you very soon. I'm still playing catch up with so many things in my life.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Finish

Stitching on this fabric was a bit of a challenge, so it took me longer than I had anticipated. This is Kitty Cottage Sampler by Little House Needleworks, and I stitched it on Terra Cotta Ragusa, a huge bargain piece from Silkweaver. I knew someday I'd be glad I had it for certain pieces, and I liked the floss toss of this design. I also think I'll do LHN's Thread Pack kit with "Watermelon" chart on this same fabbie. Lord knows... I have plenty of it! Trouble is.... if you've ever used Davosa, you know what I mean by this being a challenge. It's a nightmare to work on. Threads slip underneath so they disappear. But like the determined, petulant child I've remained, I persevered, and although my stitching is not as neat as I like, I do like the overall looks of the piece. There's a rustic nubbiness to the Ragusa that I love with the chart and thread colors.

If you haven't noticed, I'm really stuck on Little House Needleworks designs at the moment. I like the clean, simple looks, but I digress. I jump from one designer of the year to another. Quite a contrast to all the Mirabilias I've collected of which I haven't finished one yet. Oh, the pitfalls I wallow in.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Behind Again!

Holy cow... just can't seem to stay in the groove these days. Things are going well with me, but I got so far behind on housework, reading backlogged emails, and so many other things that need to be tended to, I just can't keep up with it all. I'm getting there though. At least, I got my kitchen sparkling and all 3 bathrooms. Yes, three.... what was I thinking when we built a house for two people? I'm getting the newspapers, junk mail, and other clutter out of the house just in time to bring out my fall decor clutter. Not much time to stitch, but I've managed a few stitches here & there and need to get pix of those. There are still more new stash pix to share......

Friday, September 29, 2006

Recent Acquistions

Here are a few of my most recent things. The Mill Hill kits for fall, and the freebie with buttons (lower right) made by Vikki Gable are from Shirley at Country Cottage.

The middle back Pine Mountain's "Winter Tie One On" is from Down Sunshine Lane. Also from DSL is Little House Needleworks Thread Pack, "Berries."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

When you find yourself making a lot of mistakes in various stitching projects do you find it better to muddle your way through or do you take a brief break from stitching? If you do take a break, how long do you take? This question comes from Sharon.
It depends on if the project is obligation stitching or just for myself. Most of my own muddled projects have become UFO's. If it's no fun, I may put it away and try days later, but usually, if it gets put away, that's where it stays, and therein, have I taken on the guilt of the whole blasted world of stitchers. Got a sin? Let me take it on and suffer for you. I'm great at suffering. I suffer better than I stitch!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Newest Magazines

I managed to continue buying stash even when I wasn't stitching. I'm on so many ONS' email lists, it's just too tempting to ignore, especially when I see the magic word, "sale."

I've gone on many stash diets, but they result in failure like all my other "I'll start Monday" diets do. But I'll fill in a few days here showing what has been in my squishy packages lately.

I just recently re-subbed to "The Cross Stitcher" magazine, but for the life of me, I'm not sure why. Just sounded like a good idea at the time, I guess. Why does anyone do anything stupid. I have years of this magazine stored and have yet to stitch a design. I quit my subscription for a reason, but I forgot why when I sent the check.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Lousy Weekend

I love this Dear Diary series of Little House Needleworks, and this is the first one. I managed to stitch this while I was dealing with family hardships and my own demons. I went through a really dry period and just this weekend picked up my stitching again. I think this time was a record for me not stitching---two months, I think.
This was another difficult weekend for me. My brother went back to his home and family in Richmond VA after visiting with us, and I had a really hard time upon his leaving. He's precious to us all, and we really need for him to be closer.
I did have the pleasure of seeing my youngest grandson play well in his last home football game, but later on, I got a call from my daughter to come over and help. She and her husband have an impossible situation with his, mine, and ours and all of them teenagers with all the problems both those things bring with them. They were fighting, and I was ashamed of them both. It was midnight, and Richard and I both went to try to calm ruffled feathers. The kids were up so Richard took them to McD's because they were hungry, and they really needed to hear something besides arguing for a while. I don't think we solved a thing, but at least I haven't heard from our daughter today, and I don't want to. I figure "no news is good news." It's just so depressing, and we keep telling them that raising kids is hard and that this will pass. It will, of course, but it's really hard on everyone, and I'm under a psychiatrist's care (THERE! I said it!), so I literally forced myself to get out my cross stitching and actually stitch. First time in at least 2 months. I did have a very nice mail day today, and I'll show a pic tomorrow. My house is a pit because I've been so unwell, and I'm just overwhelmed with it all. I think I haven't felt that I deserved the luxury of stitching. At least my kitties got their litter pans cleaned regularly, even if Richard and I didn't fare so well. ROFLMAO!!! At least his mother was a slovenly housekeeper, so it is of little concern to him, LOL! I need to get around to all your blogs and comment, and I've managed a few, so that's a good thing! "Baby steps," as Fly Lady would say. I'll make it. I have wonderful friends here and you all out there, and I have a wonderful family. My mom & dad are alive and well and the most wonderful parents anyone could have. I'm very blessed!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

How many pieces have you stitched? Out of these, how many have been for you? How many have had specialty stitches or other techniques besides cross stitch?

This question is from Elisabeth and nearly impossible for me to answer exactly, but I'll try. Since I've been stitching for 25 years and not only stitched gifts and things to decorate two homes and a family business, the number of things I've stitched would be only a guess. From here, I'll go by percentages. The number I have done and kept would probably be 85%. The percentage with cross stitch accompanied with other stitches would be very small. I would estimate 2% because most of my stitching was done before those stitches were introduced into cross stitch.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Does Sewing Up Jeans Count?

My spoiled 15-year-old granddaughter brought me a pair of Hollister jeans, labeled "destroyed" when I bought them for her. Trouble is, she takes the scissors to them when she gets 'em home, and they fray to new levels---to a level with no crotch, a level of indecency, and resembling a banana peel in 16 pieces. Putting them together is like working a jigsaw puzzle. She told me not to touch anything but the crotch, just so she wouldn't get sent home from school. I spent 3 miserable, overwhelming hours putting those suckers together, broke my machine, and had to hand-feed nearly every stitch. I ended up reinforcing every hole so they would fray no further and seaming up some that I just couldn't leave as they were. I was sweating bullets when I took them over to her house so she could wear them to school the next day. I held my breath as she held them up and inspected them, then was tickled to death with what I'd done. Whew, what a relief!

I don't buy all my grandkids' clothes, but when I do, I treat them to Hollister. It's my perogative as a grandma to spoil them now & then, and they love it!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Blogger Problems

And I didn't think the pix would ever come up. I'm beat and need sleep, so I'll post more about this tomorrow. I lost a nice long post about several things, and I'm just mad now. But looking at my little nuisance, Amber, with her little butt planted right on the stitched part of my fabric just cracks me up. Boo, Blogger!
These pix are of a RR that has been a long time coming after getting hung up. I've written about this before, but after two years, I actually got my piece back from the stitcher who never followed through, so my Prairie Schooler is going to my Australia friends (not bloggers to my knowledge), Samantha, whose RR is the one below with her Tempest and my panda (theme - My Favorite Things), Sam's sister Jo, and Michelle Legge. I've always been able to depend on my Australian friends, and I'm so glad to have this moving along again!

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Little Thing Done

What's up with Blogger? Seems everyone is having problems uploading pix, so I also did the Photobucket thing.

This is the 2nd pillow design that comes with all the Little House Needleworks "Dear Diary" series designs. Rather than making a ton of little pillows, I'm stitching them onto a large piece of 28ct. Lambswool Linen, and I'm going to love it! There is a diagram on Diane's webpage of where each pillow design is placed on the fabric.

This is one of the little things I was able to do during my non-blogging, little-stitching days over the last 3 months.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I've Lost My Momentum

So I'll start off slowly and visit all your blogs, post comments, and start getting back into the swing of things. I've missed all of you, my dear friends, and I've thought many times of diving back in again, then something else would sweep the rug out from under my feet.

It's been a long and difficult summer, and I poured out my heart to Anne Shackles yesterday and some time ago, before everything hit the fan, to Dawn Bowers and Dianne Collins. I know for a fact like I know my own heart that when times get hard, it helps to stitch, but even that went by the wayside. I did two or three little things and felt selfish for doing even that. With all that was going on with my family, I didn't think I deserved to feel any better. The good news is that no one died, and life does go on. The one thing I've learned about life when it's particularly difficult is that if you can hang in there, it always changes.

You want to hear the weird thing about all this? I never quit buying stash. Wasn't stitching a lick, but I have an LNS here in town who kept asking a best friend about me, so I'd go in and buy something, and I had a couple ONS's I get automatic shippings from. Both the sweet gals would email and ask if there was anything else I needed before sending the auto shipments out. Well, that's a given.... a little squishy package in the mail was always a happy moment, though there were a couple of times that I would make myself wait to open it cuz I felt guilty when my sister was having problems or my granddaughter was in trouble, etc. I won't bore you with the details. It's quite a long story, and Anne got the whole sordid truth. I felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders just telling a special stitching friend my troubles.

So, please be patient with me and give me time to get around and visit your blogs. You're all such inspiration to me and your friendship warms my heart. In the meantime, should I take pix of my acquired stash to share here since I've been un-blogging, and should I answer all the SBQ's since my absence, and should I share the few little things I managed to stitch? Should I trash this blog and start with a totally new look? Is the cat thing passe'? I've even lost my confidence and need suggestions. What I really need is a kick in the rear end to get me going again!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Bear With Me, Please - Family Problems Here & SBQ

I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth, and I savor every comment left here, but I'm waaay behind in reading your lovely blogs and leaving my own comments. Believe me, it's not because that's what I want. I'm waiting till the storm passes (and it will), but I'm fighting what life has thrown my way at the moment. Life is hard (no duh...) and family problems abound since six weeks ago. I'm waving the white flag by not worrying about this blog. Family comes first, and I'm not feeling much like posting.

I just want all of you who have been gracious and interested enough to post that I truly appreciate it, and I'll get back to reciprocating and drooling over your blogs. You have all been so kind to show your appreciation for my blog, and the feeling is mutual. I just need some time to gather my spirits and strength so I can get back into the swing.

Love you all so much!!! You're the best!!!

Killing two birds with one stone, the SBQ this week from Vash:
Have you ever used a magnifying glass while stitching? If so, did youfind it helpful?

Actually, I use my Dazor lamp (magnifier and light ring) every time I stitch, and I've had it for about 20 years. Couldn't stitch without it!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Answering A Request

As per request from Nancy Norris who is a member with me of the Yahoo Group, Little House Needleworks, here is most of my collection of Nancy Ann (her name) Storybook Dolls, except for the ones I'm restoring. I guess the least I could have done was stand up the ones who toppled over. There are some Madame Alexanders in the back, and the little mocassin front and center was worn by me as a baby.

I also wanted to include the image of the May/June 2004 "Ye Olde Coffee House" design by Diane Williams of Little House Needleworks which we've been discussing on the group for those of you who don't have the issue. It's a blurry picture I took, but for those of you who want to buy it when Diane is able to publish it for purchase, you get the idea.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

How many cross stitch books do you own and how often do you use them?
I didn't count, but these bookshelves were built into the corner of my sewing room (to ceiling and around corner to the left). These two shelves are the mainstay of XS books, but I have a bag from BH&G Craft Book Club full of the ones I use the most. The other shelves here hold stuffed magazine holders, baskets with fabric, etc.

I use the Stitcher's Bible regularly, but I found the one dog-eared book I've used the most is the one below, Basics and Beyond, which is how I taught myself hardanger. Great book!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Sad Tale

I once gave a whole bunch of framed pieces to my daughter to decorate her house when she was married to moron #1. She was a very unhappy camper, and we didn't get along too well in those days, mainly because she married the moron. I didn't even go to the wedding, but that's another story entirely. I babysat with my granddaughter while she and the moron went to the courthouse. She was still immature and didn't care about the time and $$$ I put into my stitched, framed designs. So the only other people at her wedding were the couple who stood up with them---the moron's brother and a good friend of my daughter's from 1st grade on, who also fell for morons and was married to moron #1's brother. Sad story, but you know the old cliche' about misery loving company.... best friends married to morons.

My daughter thought so little of me at that time, she gave all those framed pieces to her new sister-in-law, who hung them in her house, and I swear her kids cut their teeth on the frames and puked on the stitching. I nagged my daughter till she got them back, thrown in a dirty box, unwrapped, and looked as though they'd been stored on an open porch. Turns out, they had. When the girl bought a house, she decided to ditch my treasures when she moved in and get all new stuff, so the box got left out and not even put away before being given back to my daughter. I recently decided to try to restore what I could. It happens that the one I'm showing here was an old Prairie Schooler for whichI had a frame made out of barnwood. The linen will have to be soaked to get the tobacco smoke out, but the rest is really my fault. It was stitched in the early 80's, and I framed it myself with sticky board before we knew the dangers of it. The board absorbed the DMC colors, and I was very careful peeling the linen off. The stitching was surprisingly intact. Now, when I frame my own, I use the acid-free foamcore and lace it.

This could have been a tale of woe, but all turned out well. She divorced the moron after having a son by him who, thankfully, has his mother's brains. She married the father of her first born, my granddaughter, and I was so happy. I even went to their wedding, which was a wonderful event! I had known Craig forever and had always liked him, and all the time of moron's reign as my SIL, I never gave up on Vanessa getting back with my present SIL, who can sometimes be moron #2, but all men are idiots, and I married their king.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week (for last week)

This is a two part pictorial. The first request is from Vash of The Seaside Stitcher, who is requesting picture of the back of your stitching. Are you brave enough to give this one a shot?

This is my latest finish. All mine are about the same---very mediocre.

The second part comes from Lynn of Singular Stitches, and she is asking for" a pictorial tour of the special place where you go to create your wonderful stitched creations."

This is where I get a bit nervous. This is in my basement, which is comfortable, my favorite place to be (I'm a homebody), and is huge, but my area is cluttered for my "wonderful creations." BTW, these are all thumbnail pix, so you can click for a better view of the insanity.

I have a wonderful soft throw over my recliner and another throw folded over the right arm for covering up when I sleep (yes, I also sleep there; helps my arthritic back). Two shots of the back of my chair show the tables on either side. The little table on the left is a drop leaf and holds my cordless phone, phone books, tissue box, a Longaberger basket with TV Guide and other junk, and my PDA and orchid cell phone. The shelf below the table top holds a divided basket with various medications, lotions, etc. You can see my Udder Cream toppled against the wall. Nice effect. Beyond that along the wall is my curio cabinet jambed with collectibles---another sin, but this is confession time, right? There is the ever-present Dazor lamp, my stitching stand, which has an attachment for use with a recliner, and the big screen in the distance. Can't stitch grandly without a TV. From this image, you can also see the antique round table (gift from my mom - we grew up with it) where sits my little lap stand with my centerpieces, one being one of many Longaberger baskets (have tons from selling them at one time). Still from the back of my chair, which is much less scary than the front, is the little table on my right. On the front is my Irish Belleek decanter and cup set (cup upside down over decanter) in which I keep my ice water. It has shamrocks on it and matches my Longaberger Shamrock baskets hanging from a little wall cabinet on the left of my chair. Beside my decanter is a Longaberger Loaf basket, perfect for my eye drops (dry eyes have to stay moist for grandiose creations), nail file, pen, paper, Vaseline for dry lips (gotta lick 'em when drooling over brilliant creativity), etc. These things show better from the frightening front, but you don't really wanna see 'em. Behind the decanter are my Floss-A-Way bags for my current project, and on top is my Lizzie Kate strawberry scissor case and fob. There is an old, beautifully primitive bowl to the right of my scissors where I save my orts. On the back of the table is a tall generic, but adorable, sewing basket decorated with spools and stuff where I keep my bookmarks and various remotes, some of which are a mystery. Then, to keep me company when my 3 cats aren't readily available is my Boyds Patton Q. Jodibear by Jodi Battaglia, which means absolutely nothing to you.

On to the horror show from the front. His and her computers along the wall 10' behind the chair, then around the corner to the bathroom and my sewing room, where I keep all my stash, sewing machine, serger, shelves, cabinets, etc. Maybe another time for that. Curio cabinet is on the far right with a larger Boyds bear on a little stand up against the curio cabinet. Below that is a pretty, but generic, basket holding mesh zipper bags with various WIP's. To the left of that is a pretty quilted bag holding my most current projects, also in the bags. Down in the middle of it all is a beautiful Longaberger Craft Basket (retired) with two divided, stacked inserts, holding needles, Thread Heaven, and gadgets galore. To the right is a large, light-colored generic basket with liner ($1.77 on sale) where I keep my current book and others I plan to read soon.
I think that's it, except for my purse on your left (more like an overnight bag) and in the background is a tied-up bag of trash.

I hope you all enjoyed seeing this tour of the environment of an enlightened artist.

Monday, June 12, 2006

My 24 Hour Challenge Piece (for June)

Actually, I went over by a couple of hours, but hey!.... just glad to have it finished. I didn't start till very late Saturday night and was interrupted several times. Doesn't everyone know stitching can't be interrupted?

This is the Patience Pillow from the "Dear Diary" series from Little House Needleworks. There are nine in the series of samplers, along with a little pillow chart, which are cute made up seperately as "smalls," but I decided to do them altogether on one piece of 28ct Lambswool Linen, which you see here.

I'm currently working on the first diary sampler of Abigail Winslow. I'm in love with the idea and having a tiny key to stitch into the sampler. It reminds me of my childhood when I kept a locked diary. My daughter has it now, and she loves it---thinks it funny.