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.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Tons of things to tell you, but

this month has been topsy turvy. I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm starting to get caught up, but we've been treated for termites and had workmen in and out, repairing any damage. Thenk goodness, it wasn't extensive, but it is expensive and messy. I'm hoping they will be finished and have their crap outa my house early this week.

I want to participate in last week's show & tell for the Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week, but because of the wrecking crew running me out of my chair and my normal routine, but as soon as I dust and run the sweeper down here tomorrow (they're working upstairs now), I'll get busy with my camera and chatter like a magpie.