Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

Do you do anything special to your threads before putting them throughyour fabric to make them more manageable?
I've tried Thread Heaven and don't know why, but it just doesn't do well for me. Personally, I've found the most effective way for me to get thread to lie flat and not tangle is to lightly wet the tips of my thumb and forefinger and run the threads through them, twisting them flat as I go, then run them through the dry portion of my fingertips the 2nd time. I've never had any trouble with even hand-dyed threads running colors this way, and I like the manageability it gives me on the fabric.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Back to the races! And a finish!

Here is a new PS leaflet I love, and to the right, a piece of 32ct lambswool linen for the larger sampler. I'm really in love with that fabric. It has such a homespun look. The next pattern is one I've shown before---Remember Me by My Big Toe Designs, and the spring green meadow linen it calls for, that, in combination with the 3 skeins of WDW Soot, and the 1 skein of WDW of Currant (all at right of chart), looks for all the world like an antique, and I love it.

I'm still throwing out, putting away, inventorying, taking pix (think I need a new digital camera), and stitching away.
Above you see one of those nice expensive Zweigart magazines (this one is fallish), of which I'm not buying anymore, LHN Scripture thread pack Faith, Peace, and Country Cottage Needleworks' Home Sweet Home. They're all so beauriful stitched up. Barely discernable because of my crummy camera, on top of the magazine are 3 little plastic boxes of Doodles (by Hobb-Nob) charts with buttons to use on fabric scraps.
These are a couple more stash pix I overlooked before, but I just received more in the mail since then. Got some things from a girl named Barb, I met at retreat who buys old charts, makes these great pillow covers, wallhangings for you to insert your own needlework, and Q-Snap covers. Now I see she has frame covers she designed for pieces left on your stitching stand when not working on them. Besides her Q-Snap covers (on sale this month), I found 4 old charts I was thrilled to get. She has a shop on eBay. Pix of that purchase later. I got my birthday order from Needlecraft Corner, and a very exciting order from Mary Kathryn, who wraps orders up like a present. All these things to be shown later. I'm working with my camera, which I'm ready to throw out the window.
I finished a piece for my DD, which is being framed, probably ready tomorrow. This is Trilogy's "Winter Line Up." Vanessa is a snowman and penguin collector. This one killed 2 birds with 1

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

What tips would you give to a new stitcher to help her stitch faster and neater while still keeping it enjoyable?
First of all, I would tell a new stitcher to count, count, and count again to save time frogging in the long run. If stitching a faitly simple stitch border around, I would tell her to cross every 10th stitch to help her keep track without having to count every few stitches, then go back and stitch back the other way, making sure the count is still coreect as she goes. I would also tell her that stitching the border first is a great way to get a foundation on which to use as a guide for the placement of the stitching inside. Railroading makes a big difference in keeping stitches flat, untwisted, and very neat. Another tip to share with her is not to cut her threads over 18" long to prevent fraying and knotting. The backs shouldn't be dwealt upon, but backs kept neat will also affect the good looks on the front. Using the loop method to start when possible keeps down bulk; also anchoring vertically as well as horizontally sometimes works better in some areas. To keep it enjoyable, practice these tips till they get to be automatic, and the speed will come naturally after a time. Look at the tachniques as a art to be mastered, and it will be more enjoyable than turning out a piece with twisted threads, messes on back, and miscounted mistakes that drive you nuts.
I think I need to follow my own advice, LOL. I have a piece right now on which I'm trying to deal with a counting mistake so that only I will know. My redemption is that it's a gift for my DD, and I know for sure she'll never know the difference.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Just Too Tired....

to take any more pix of stash or WIPs, or anything else, for that matter. I'm so disappointed in my pix of the framed pieces I got back, and I don't understand why the thumbnails don't lend themselves to larger pix instead of the opening or saving of the images, as they are now. I've tried to delete and start over, but it came out the same. I don't know what the hell I've done wrong, and I'm just burned out!

I've spent the whole day at the computer, entering piled-up stash, visiting blogs, leaving comments, and trying to catch up with emails. It's overwhelming, and I must take a complete day off tomorrow to just relax and work on my stitched gifts. No pix, no computer tomorrow. I have laundry to do to get Richard ready for his work week north of here, and I have a few little chores here at home, but my meals are simply planned, and it's going to be a "me stitch" day. Maybe from that, I will have some WIP pix to show at the first of next week, along with the remainder of my still-ample stash to show.

I can barely see the monitor, and I'm looking forward to going to bed and forgetting about my sewing room and organizing for at least 24 hours. Oh, soooooo tired..... off to bed.... in the wee hours. As you may, or may not, know, I'm a night owl.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

This question would have been impossible to answer out of context, and it would also be impossible to understand the answers without including the context out of which the questions arise, so.....:

What would your stash tell others about you?
Most of us stitchers joke about having reached SABLE (stash acquired beyond life expectancy), but have you thought about what you’d like done with your stash after your death? Do you want it to reach other stitchers who will love it, too? Would your family know what to do with it or recognize its value?
How well organized is your stash –would someone be able to come in and put together a sale easily, or would it require lots of organizing work ahead of time? What would you like to see done with the funds collected from such a sale, i.e., should funds go to your family, to a charity or charities of your choice, to a charity or charities of your family’s choice, etc.?
Are there certain items in your stash which are rare and highly desired by stitchers that might make a much larger amount of money if sold on eBay? Have you done anything to designate which items these more valuable ones are to guide your family in how to handle them? Who would you tell your family should handle such a sale so that they don’t have to do it themselves? Have you done anything to make these thoughts known to others, either through discussions or through a codicil to your will?
Have you ever attended a similar sale of a passed stitcher’s stash? How did it make you feel? Did it encourage you to make any changes in your stitching lifestyle?

I was delighted with the question, as it was ironic that for at least the last week, I've been doing just what part of the discussion covers---the organization of my stash, in the event of my death or debilitating illness, in a way that would lend itself well to a special sale which would not only be profitable, but would not be a huge undertaking for a non-stitcher to come in with ease and confidence of one who is not savvy of the contents' value.

This has helped me immensely in preparing more as I go in doing things differently than I have been undertaking thus far. I now have plans to attach information to the stash that would bring more cash, in that its value is more because of the element of retirement in some cases, such as Prairie Schooler patterns that fetch a pretty penny on eBay, and in various cases of kitting of fibers, fabrics, and expensive embellishments in some designs, all tucked away in their own bags, none of which may, or may not be, valuable designer patterns, but the sheer expense put together in one container would make their value considerable. Online mysteries that will not be reprinted should also be taken into special consideration for more value and marked as such. Chatelaine mysteries purchased as kits would be of considerable value because of expensive components' however, her designs are reprinted when the online mystery ends. In another example, although Pamela Kellogg is not as revered as a designer as Chatelaine, but I own all her online mysteries, and they will never be reprinted, as far as I know, so that should be taken into consideration as well. Many don't know she designed those, as she has never had the attention in the stitching world as Chatelaine for her mysteries. Pam's were not marketed through Yahoo Groups as have been the Chatelaines, but went though her bulletin board at one time. I don't think they were as profitable as she had hoped, so it ended in about a year, but I own her lovely designs, one of which is a framed pride and joy for me. She's really quite a talent.

I've never had the pleasure of going to such a sale, though I have been to auction sales of women who were needleworkers of other needlearts, and I was fortunate to acquire some of their antique fibers, gadgets, buttons, scissors, and such, including those of one of my grandmothers. Holding and looking at these items is a feeling of reverance as you wonder what garment of piece of home decor was made with this or that; how old she was; if it was appreciated; if she enjoyed making it, etc.

I would want my own daughter and her daughter and/or sons to handle the sale of mine, for I know my two girls would smile as they went through my things and read my notes, and would think of me with love as they spoke of me to those who came to the sale and told them of the things they loved so much that I made for them that they yet hang onto for a link to our past, and the love with which it was made for them by me. And I would want my grandchildren to profit from the proceeds for education for themselves or their children, and I would want pictures to be taken of the sale. I would want my offspring to know of the sale and how the woman of their past was still full of love for them, reaching from the past to spread her love of pretty things was helping them to reach the goals of their lives with whatever she was able, or not able, to finish. Whichever, her supplies, gone unfinished, were readily able to fetch enough money to help them fulfill dreams, if in only a small way.

Yes, from looking at the fine things I've purchased through the years, those who see and handle my things are going to get a feel for the type of person I've been---simple, fun, loving, and all with a laugh and a touch of class. My daughter already knows that she is to have control over selling my beloved bear collection, Madame Alexander dolls, dolls from my childhood, Longaberger baskets, and my stash. I've told her how to go about getting an idea of how to educate herself on just how to get a start determining the value of each collection. I have books on many of my things, which, though wouldn't be updated, would give her a start on how to get updates. Slhe knows it's going to be a big job, but she is as loyal a daughter as I could be blessed with, and she'll cry as she goes through it all. It will be her last labor of love for me, and I will be smiling and kissing away her tears.

Just Showing Framing Sent Back To Me

All from Shirley's Country Cottage in Adolphus, KY. I was quite limited on time, and there are lighting and reflection problems, but I wanted to get them posted so I can either put them in storage for next season or hang a few up. More will be sent shortly for more framing that has been put off for too long.
Organization continues. Whew!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Got A Lot Done Today, So Tomorrow, I Stitch!

I got so much done before Sheila got here, I made her able to tear through here like a white tornado. With all the cleaning and organizing in my sewing room, I'm going to be very pleased to spend time in there when it's done, and it's going to be easy to locate what I need. My Stash Can program is filling up, but it's about as much fun inventorying as fondling (I guess I do both at the same sitting). Shelia is even venturing in there with the sweeper and dust rag now when I get done a bit more each time she's here. It's beginning to look like a work area rather than a pile-up of crap. I'm able to use my sewing machine and serger, but the sewing machine needs to be worked on, then I'll be set.

I received a big box of my framed items I left at Shirley's Retreat last October. She not only has the shop, but she does custom framing as well. One of the girls I went with (a very good friend) told me not to be surprised if they just take off and run with it, then if we don't like it, we just send it back for them to send scans or pix of changes we'd like. She does framing so much cheaper, I decided I had nothing to lose. I was very pleased with what they did, with the exception of one, which I think I can live with. It's a little crooked, but I don't know if I wanna mess with the sending it back, etc. I liked their ideas and materials they used. I'll get some pix of my framed pictures maybe tomorrow and see what you think. I probably wouldn't have done anything quite so fancy with the Bent Creek dancing bugs, but they really do look cute! Cheap too!

With all the work I did on the house today, I only got about an hour's stitching in on a piece for my DD, and I went to my LNS and got the frame ordered so it will be done for her for Christmas. The design just calls her name. I tried stitching on it, but my youngest kitty decided to make my lap her playground and kept catching the thread in her mouth underneath the fabric. I just had to put it away and did some more filing and snapping shots of stash in my sewing room instead. Every minute I spend makes the next time a bit easier. One of the pix is of a late summer grab bag contents from Shirley's Country Cottage, and the other was an order from Stitching Bits & Bobs about the same time. I don't spend much on my stash---always on sale, grab bags, trades, clearance bins, etc. An exampler are the little leaflets that were $1.88 each at SB&B. Caron is discontinuing their Watercolour line, so I bought a few skeins to add to what I presently have.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Working Hard On This!

I had no idea how much stash had built up when I was not feeling so well, and I'm going through tons of things I'd forgotten even came in the door. It's too easy to just go online and order it sent to one's house! I think during this digging-out process and during the time when I was not well, I forgot to post a couple of finishes, so I'll have to go through those and see what I haven't posted. Here's one I know I haven't yet posted, which was for a very recent SAL with my Little House, Country Cottage Needleworks Yahoo Group:

And here we have what is truly just an evil indulgence on my part, a coveting, a silly thought of a collection that I think I may "someday" stitch. I have a plethora of lovely Mirabilias and Lavender & Lace, as well as Told ln A Garden (the latter being some of those of which I've actually stitched, as they slip into my decor without eyes bulging as though I'd taken leave of my senses, trying to sew a silk purse of a sow's ear). It's a weird magnetism I have to (especially) Mirabilias. There is a poutiness, mysticism, and in some cases, an Old World Renaissance look to each and every one---in such contrast to Nora Corbett's mother, Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum's realistic and detailed faces, m so much contrast to some of Nora's obvious interpretations of the human personna. I see some of her ladies' poses looking awkward, and some of her faces looking a bit off, as though I could improve a bit myself. I'm in total love with Marilyn's Amish Told In A Garden series because of my rich history of living near the IL Amish community nearly all my life and living among the "Plain People," who tip their hats to me in my car as I drive past their horse-drawn buggies going to the Rockome Gardens Counted Cross Stitch Show in the summer, or going to the Pumpkin Patch in Arthur IL in the fall.

Getting back to Marilyn's art as compared to her daughter, Nora's..... I think Nora is just as talented as her mother in some regards, although she doesn't defer to the unusual in form as Nora does. You won't find one of Marilyn's ladies in the style of Art Nouveau or mystic mermaids of enchanted, fabled sunken cities. It is those designs that draw me into a fascinating study of every detail and carrying me away to somewhere I believe existed in my childhood. So I get my Mirabilia fix every now & then, though I still have yet to finish the first one I ever started, quite some time ago.. I think it will be one of my 2008 goals. Now, on the other hand, I bought Lady Claire by MLI's Lavender & Lace, and it's possibly the most beautifully serene and realistic piece of art I've ever beheld. I got it at a bargain bin price of $3, and it's worth it just to hold and admire. I really want to stitch that one before I can no longer stitch. Here are the Miras I bought at bargain prices while I was recovering from outpatient procedures in the lsat few months. I'd forgotten I had them and all the lovely embellishments. I just dream of someday having them hang in a smaller, more traditionally decorated home.

It's feeling good to get all this organizing done, and I've been cleaning up around the house, putting away Thanksgiving decor, and pulling out the Christmas decor I'm going to use this year, getting ready for my cleaning girl tomorrow. It's so nice to light a seasonal candle when she lieaves and brathe in all the cleanliness after she leaves. I have such a tough time doing it all at one time, and though I do some work work while she's here, and we talk and laugh (great friend s for 20 years), she ends up telling me to sit down and cross stitch, seeing the pain on my face when I've had enough. She is a gem, and I enjoy so much having her here with me. We even exchange Christmas gifts. I have to get busy and find the perfect design to cross stitch for her. She loves my cross stitch, which is so gratifying!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Got Some Stitching Done And Quite A Few Other Things...

plus some stash organizing. I came up with a few pix that I actually made the time to do, and one was so interesting, I had to share.

As I've been unearthing piles of grab bag stash and trades, etc., I found a very sweet Thanksgiving design by Ladybug Lane Designs. It has her trademark ladybug button attached, and mind you, I was sitting in my basement with the fireplace going (it's been cold, and dreary here most of this month), and here comes a little whisper from above, which could only be a little sign from the Almighty or from my dear, departed Tiffany, on whose 41st birthday was that very day, November 18. I can't even believe the name of the design, which is "Family Blessing." It startled and shook me to my core when, out of nowhere, this very real ladybug landed on the graph when I opened the leaflet to see the chart. I couldn't believe I got a snap of it before the little ladybug flew away, never to be seen again.

Then, I've recently bought some very nice stash and seasonal signs, already stitched by my hometown friend, Susie Q, on eBay, and the Pine Mountain pillow kits speak for themselves (such nice kits at a great prices), but I have a special idea to add to her seasonal signs to make a personal touch for myself.

One more thing I'll add for today is the fabric I ordered from my LNS here in town. I had already put my pix of stash I bought at the stitching retreat I went to in October, but there was one sampler in particular I loved, and though the colors were totally unlikely to go totether had I not seen it hanging in My Big Toe's trunk show at our retreat, but Iwas besotten with the model done on the wall and the antique look to it. I ordered the weird Spring Meadow Green linen from my LNS, and here, with the GAST threads called for---3 Soot and 1 Currant (weird combo, but lovely done up), is the pic of all together, and it still doesn't show the true beauty. I guess I'll just have to do it in 2008. I'm getting some ideas of what is going on my 2008 goal list. I still want to do tons of my older stash too. Ohhh, what to do, what to do????? There is also a piece of what has become my all-time favorite color of linen, Lambswool, for a Prairie Schooler sampler and one of the newer Prairie Schooler design leaflets, "Pumpkin Patch," which I picked up at my LNS at the same time my fabric came in. Can't get out of there without spending more than what I had intended.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Haven't Been Good About Blogging, But....

I'm working on cataloguing stash I've acquired the last few months, and I'm going to try to get pix of it as I file it away after putting it into my Stash Can program. I'd like to get it all inventoried and stashed away before the 1st of the new year. A little better organizational skills would help me with getting more done this year. I've had too many health problems to do things right this year. Looking forward to a healthier 2008.

I have several things I'm getting stressed about doing, such as gifts and exchanges, and I also wanted to join a SAL of Country Cottage Needleworks' "Gingerbread Cottage" on my Little Works, Country Cottage Needleworks Yahoo group. However, I do have till January 15 to finish Gingerbread Cottage, so I guess I shouldn't stress so.

This is a bad picture of my project with the DMC and Crescent Colours. I've done a little stitching on it, but I'm still working on several other things at once. For some reason, taking pix seems to take a bit of effort I have trouble working in, but I'll try harder in the days to come.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week, Nov. 8

When you have to frog out stitches, do you reuse that thread or do youstart over with a new strand?

I depends. If the thread is still in good condition, I use it. If it starts balling up and/or shredding, it goes into the pile of threads I save for the birds to use in their nests.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

More Retreat Pix With Purchased Stash

These two gals sat on the floor both days and stitched away, almost non-stop. Can you tell they're mother and daughter? Holy cow! They look more like sisters than two generations! They were very sweet and quiet, unlike moi, who makes herself known. I'd have to ask someone their names, as I just didn't get to know them, being as busy stitching as they were. I'd have been better off if I'd done that myself.

This is part of the framing section of Shirley's shop, There are piles of stitched pieces several girls brought to have framed. Some of the girls have already talked to Shirley's son, Troy, who does the actual framing, to let him know their choices.

These are the things I purchased from Shirley's shop. That beautiful large piece of fabric, folded under everything is called "Jazz" by Picture This Plus. The red things I bought with exchange plans in mind. My recipient doesn't read my blog, so it's safe to say that since she loves anything red and "loves Christmas to pieces (her words)," there is a pair of red Dinky Dyes scissors, My Big Toe Designs red pin markers, My Big Toe red thread pickers (great for frogging), My Big Toe beautiful red and crystal scissor fob with ladybug charm (she's also a ladybug lover), and Kelmscott Candy Cane needle minder. I have her for a birthday/Christmas recipient, and her birthday is just a few days from Chirstmas. I have decided on two stitched and "finished" things I'm making for her (will post when ready). To the left are 2 My Big Toe Designs I fell in love with in her trunk show; "Remember Me" and "Cheaper Than Therapy." On the far right is Little House Needlework's newer "Cabin Sampler," all for which I picked up specialty threads I was missing. Propped up in back are both thread pickers and stitch markers from My Big Toe Designs that I chose for myself. I've already found I'm using these little gadgets a lot. I love stitching gadgets! Everything but the red stuff I bought for myself. The stash is nice, but the retreat memories are nicer.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Another Couple of Retreat Pix AND My Doorprize!

I realize these aren't the clearest pix I've ever taken, but you can at least get the idea. This picture is at the hotel's breakfast room, and just a few of us were still lingering at the time, but there was always some coming and going. This was the beginning of our day before going to Shirley's. One of the girls, Dee, had a monochromatic (all red) antique reindeer sampler-type finish the night before this. After showing it off and doing her happy dance, she went back to her room, so she isn't present here either. She stitched into the night, long after our P.J. Stitch-In broke up.

The faceless one at left edge is Donna. She and I split a big piece of fabric from Picture This Plus, then everyone was wanting some of it. I was smug and gloating that we got it all while everyone drooled over it. Pix of that another time. Next after Donna is Peggy, then Faith, and Barb, whose hand-made items, like Q-Snap covers and tuck-a-ways, I must order! The Q-Snap covers are wonderful and very reasonable. On the right wall is part of My Big Toe Designs' trunk show. The girls all really took to these designs, and I bought my share as well (later picture). I already knew I liked her designs, but to some of the gals, these were new.

Holy cow, I won JBW's doorprize in the Online Needlework Show! I have several of Judy's designs, mostly her monochromatic French designs, so it was wonderful to get these that I didn't have. I was so excited when this package came in the mail. She's a very nice gal. I told her I never win anything, but come to think of it, I have won a few things in my life. This was a lovely surprise!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Trades And Retreat Pix

I took quite a bit of very nice stash to be traded and left it all there for those who stayed longer the last day than Faith and I, and I chose very little in trade to take back home with me. All I took in trade was brand new, other than the Glory Bee "Don't Make Me Call My Flying Monkeys," and I've always loved that one! Others have loved it also; it's pretty well-used. I was very pleased to bring these things home with me. The idea is to take one's trove of once-loved stash and give it to a new owner who will love like you once did, right? I've been admiring the Mirabilia I got for years (my daughter would love this for her snowmen collection, all of which I've stitched). Not that I'll stitch it, but collecting is fun. ROFMAO! Pix to come of what I bought new from Shirley. Can't post it all in one day, though I'd try ;-)

These are just a few of the many candid pictures I snapped when no one could pose. The framed pieces on the one wall belong to a wonderful friend of mine, Di Fane, who had sent in her things to be framed. Here they are, ready for her to pack up and take back home with her. Her stitching is just lovely. You really can't appreciate anything from these pix. Wish you all could have been there!

Some of the most wonderful memories are the laughs, the breakfast each morning at our very nice Days Inn's continental breakfast, which really was lovely, and quite a nice surprise when compared to some of the crappy, skimpy free breakfasts I've had in other places. After partaking of the yummy variety of things, including yummy cheese Danish that I ate too many of, we lingered over coffee and juice, and chatted about our plans that day and gossiped about the day before. And especially memorable, were the P.J. Stitch-Ins in Pam and Dee's room. Leave it to me to go upstairs in my nightgown and knock on the wrong door and get some macho college boys I had to face at breakfast the next morning. I'm just seasoned enough that it was hilarious to me, but he was mortified to have a granny in her size 2x nightgown come to his door.

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

If you were a cross stitch designer, what would your design style be?

To be frank, I would totally dislike being a designer, as it's so much fun just stitching. I feel it would take the joy out of my hobby. I love designing buildings and houses, and I designed two houses we've lived in, one being home to us now, and the 10,000 square foot office building our business occupied before we retired. Designing cross stitch is a totally different story in my mind. I love to admire it by collecting and stitching it, but I don't want to ruin my fun by having to design it, which makes it a job; however, I've said a lot without answering the question. I would design primitive, country, or traditional still life.

This question submitted by Ternezia.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Few Things From Shirley's Retreat

I have more to share about our wonderful stitching retreat to Shirley's Country Cottage, but I thought I'd post a few pix of a prize I won in one of the games we played and the contents of a grab bag we all got. Some of the stuff was her gotta-get-rid-of, but when you're stashing, you'll take anything and be happy. We even had a trade table, and I got a few charts that I really like, and got rid of stuff of mine. I forgot to get a pic of that..... later, and I also have to take pix of my stashing treasures I bought from her place.

My real treasure was a kit that everyone ordered before coming when we committed to the trip. We got to choose our fabric type and whether we wanted the buttons. Of course, I wanted the evenweave (prefer it to aida or linen because it's softer), and I definitely wanted the buttons. My Big Toe had her trunk show there, and she had taken this appropriate and whimsical pattern of hers and put "Shirley's Retreat 2007" at the bottom when she got a count of the girls coming. I bought several designs of hers. She does everything from whimsical to antique and sampler styles. I was thoroughly impressed. I got quite a few of her little gadgets. I'm really a "gadget girl." That's when you know you have too much stash when you start going for scissors, needle minders, beaded scissor fobs, and gadgets you'll never use. Grab bag contents is the picture with the stash layout with a lovely 2008 calendar, a tube of pillow fabric with ivory aida center and plaid with green and brown. On the calendar is a Trail Creek Farms candy cane design, along with a couple tubes of Kreinik and a couple skeins of GAST threads. Next to that is a Cindy Valentine hardanger heart design. Lovely, and I do love doing hardanger. Then, there is this little hen hanger type kits.... you know... gotta-get-rid-of, but HEY! Above that are some cute little metal charms I can use on various things. In back right is the very nice clip-on magnifier I've been wanting but didn't want to pay $29.95 for. I won that in a game! It's very good quality and has the little white drawstring flannel cover (propped up on my sewing machine in back of it) for the wonderful manifying glass, which has a smaller circle inserted with more strength than the bigger glass. I was so happy with that win. The Boyds Bear propped up on my machine overlooking my stitchy stuff is just Gourdie Pumpkinspice. I really get into fall decorating, which includes my sewing room---my haven.

Then there is the front of our special retreat design, and I've shown the back with my fabric, over-dyed threads and flower buttons used on the middle pot of flowers in the design. It's a nice momento of our memories there. Shirley is a warm and very caring person. She was a joy to finally meet. I hope to go again. I have some candid shots of her shop in her house and the girls milling around. It was just wonderful meeting some of the gals I've only heard of and chatted with on Yahoo groups, and the milling around was so relaxing and just plain fun. There's nothing like meeting gals from out of the country and different areas of our USA.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I Haven't Been On the Computer Much....

because of my eyes. Yes, again..... will it never end? Yes, it will. I have to have cataracts removed as soon as I say, "Please Doc, I can't see any longer!" He told me just to call before my 6 month follow-up if it comes to that, and they're growing fast now, so my sight has been terrible. The monitor is a challenge.

Yesterday, I went in for yet another outpatient surgery. I had my tear ducts permanently closed by having them cauterized. The shots were the most painful thing. He went into the soft tissue in the inner part below the lower lid and up toward the tear ducts. Not just the needle hurt, but the solution burned like fire. He told me it would, and he was right. I had expelled my 3rd set of silicone plugs, which had been a great help to me when they were inserted by preserving moisture in my painful, dry eyes. I lost the last set when I was on a stitching retreat the weekend of Oct. 12th. I nursed my eyes as well as I could with artificial tears and ointments, and when I came home, I used a humidifier and did my hot compress oil duct message every night as the doctor had taught me to do. I even did it in the hotel room on the retreat. It was a while before I could get in, but I mostly stayed home and protected my eyes; even wore a padded patch over the driest eye (left). The cauterization went fast and took no longer than 5 minutes... tops! I got a little stiff when the nurse said, "Now you'll hear a little sizzle and maybe see some smoke up. I felt a little warmth, but no pain, heard the sizzle, and saw the smoke rise on each eye.
Today, I'm feeling wonderful. I have no pain at all, and my eyes feel like they're completely normal, but it was difficult before the procedure to fight being on the computer. I'm so glad I elected to have it done. My eyes are nearly as moist as they were when I was young and healthy. I never used to think of it till I began having problems. You've all seen me at my worst, so here is a picture of me the day after the cauterization. No makeup for awhile, so here I am with a freshly scrubbed face and only a sheer lip gloss. It ain't pretty, but I'm feeling good. I've quit worrying about pretty and seek comfort more than anything. Click on my picture if you dare, LOL!

I'm not having problems seeing my stitching, and I've been doing that all along, sometimes with one eye. I have done quite a bit on my WIPs, which I'll shoot pix of later, but I had this one on my lap today and just gave it a click

You can even see my bead containers and Lizzie Kate Autumn Scissor Case with Kelmscott's Halloween needle minder all balanced on my jeaned leg. Hey!! One good thing about all my health problems---I've lost 28 pounds and just bought new jeans 2 sizes smaller. I have a My Big Toe design ordered from the Online Needlework Show that says, "Miracles Happen. Keep the Skinny Jeans." And I have, LOL! But I like the new boot-legged jeans, and all my skinny jeans are tapered legs. Whine, whine.....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week

I missed this one on October 10. What for you means to achieve mastery as a stitcher?

For me, mastery of stitching is the joy in stitching something. No worries, only the concentration in creating something I'm proud of. That, to me, is mastering my stitching.

This question submitted by Ternezia.

This question was posted on October 24. Do you railroad?
My answer is quite simple: Yes, I do---both ways. The stitches lie so much more neatly, and no twisting.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week, Oct. 17

What proportion of your stitching is for your own personal use versus gifts?

I'm pretty selfish about who I stitch for, and it's mainly limited to family only---the ones who love it, and of course, the occasional exchange, which I usually buy-as-I-go to suit the recipient. Therefore, the lion's share of stash I've purchased for myself personally, but I would say that approximately 10% of my stash is with loved ones in mind, and I do buy little clever gadgets along the way for exchanges that any stitcher would love to receive. No more than 10% would include all I've mentioned.

This question submitted by Jennifer.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Been Really Busy Lately

I've had a lot of fun and spent a lot of time going through my fall ornaments, weeding out, throwing out, figuring out where I'm going to put them this year (sometimes I forget year to year), and doing some much-needed cleaning along the way. Since I've developed some scary health conditions, DH has told me to try to get my former cleaning girl back for just a couple days a month. Surprisingly, she called me and said she would work me in but that there would be times when she would have to change days of the week. Fine with me. I had her when I was working all the time, but when I had to quit work because of my health, I felt I couldn't justify paying her any longer. I also couldn't clean very well. My 81-year-old mom was willing to help, but my pride just wouldn't allow that, so Sheila coming back was a Godsend, and she was happy to come back with me. She's a very special girl, bless her heart. They don't come any better!

I have new stash and WIPs of which to get pix, but I've been slowed down quite a bit after surgery and a damaging fall. Oh, I have managed to get a fun little finish that goes with an older partner to it. I'll show my older finished Bent Creek "Dance of the Bumblebee" along with my latest finish of his partner, Bent Creek's "Jig of the Ladybug." They're so cute! They're actually on the same fabric---just different times and different scanners.

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week for Oct. 3

What are your favorite online stitching supply sources?

I have several, and there are others I'd like to use but just haven't yet. I like: Country Cottage
Stitching Bits & Bobs
Down Sunshine Lane

This question submitted by Jennifer.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Wish I Had More Ummph! (AKA Mojo)

I hate reporting nothing but gloom & doom, but I've had another procedure done on my eyes, and it's taking its toll. I'm not doing well emotionally because there is very little I can do. I'm just going to have to take some pix of things that I was working on before this last setback and call it good. Oh, and I can always take pix of things I keep on buying, LOL! What for? Don't even know! Duh is me......

What really hurts is that my 81-year-old mother is coming this afternoon to clean my 3 bathrooms, and the big one is a bitch to clean, with the jet tub and big shower. Don't know what we were thinking when we built this monster of a house 18 years ago with no children running around. I could have used all this room when the kids were home. That's the way it goes, but oh well, the resale value will be good.... if anyone can buy it, LOL! Here is a pic of me right after my black eye healed when I was feeling great (wishing I felt half that good now), and my doctor told me to exercise, so I included a pic of my new exercise program. Enjoy ;-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Week for Sept. 6

Would you ever stitch one of your BAPs a second time? (This does not include starting over because of mistakes, bad fabric, etc., rather stitching something from the first stitch for a second time.)

OMG, NO!!!!! I don't even like doing small pieces more than once. Now, that I think of it, I might do one 20 yrs. after the first time. It would be like reading a long, family legacy more than once. You sometimes find you enjoyed it more the second time you read it.

This question was submitted by Jennifer.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

What Is Wrong With These Pictures?

Nothing... if you don't mind a cat in your cabinets.
Are we having oatmeal or cold cereal for breakfast this morning?
Think I'll just hang out here and watch you for a while.