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.