Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Belated Holiday Wishes - End of Year Finishes

A belated Merry Christmas to all! I never expected to be away from here so long. I just got so wrapped up in the holiday, and it's still not over for us. We have more family to celebrate with.

I hope you had a lovely holiday. We certainly did! Great food, lots of family and friends, and way too many gifts - who could ask for more? The kids said their favorite part was giving the gifts they purchased or made, and watching the recipients' faces when they were opened. I can honestly say that they put a tremendous amount of thought into their gifts, as they were absolutely perfect for each person. I am also surprised that they would say giving instead of getting - and that was probably the best gift they could have given me!

My brother loved "Late Knight Snacking". I framed it in a brushed silver frame with a double mat - green for the main and black beneath. I was pleased with the results. I forgot to take pictures before giving it to him, so I need to take the camera up next time. DH wants to make a frame for "Bluebird of Happiness", so it will be a bit before he gets framed (ohhhh - did I say that?!). I gave my aunt a towel I did a bit ago. She collects chickens. I sent the "Garden Needleroll" with my aunt to give to my Godmother. She's out of town for a bit, and I didn't want to send it to her, not knowing when she'd be back home.

Everyone was so generous this Christmas, so I won't bore you with the list of goodies, but there is one thing to really brag about. DD bought me 2 of the 3 leaflets I'm missing to complete my PV collection!!! How's that for a real sweetheart?!! Like I said, she really put effort into her gifts.
With only one left, I'll be ordering the last leaflet soon. After working on the collection all these years, what am I going to do now that it's completed? Wonder if there's another designer out there that will "call" to me like PV did... LOL

Pam Kellogg's "Cupid's Garden Mystery SAL" started on the 26th. I got the first installment, and it looks like it's going to turn out quite pretty. I'm about half way through the first part. Love doing the blackwork that is in this one!

I've been doing a bit of stitching late at night, and have a couple finishes to share. These will probably be the last finishes of this year. First is Lizzie Kate's "January Flip-It"

It was stitched on an unknown piece of 14 ct. aida that I had in my stash using all the recommended GAST.

Next is a lovely freebie from Passione Ricamo called "Winter Postcard" and is part of their free postcard series:

I stitched it on 14ct. Dove Grey aida and used all the recommended DMC threads but DMC 5272 (because I had it in my stash) for the Rainbow Gallery Petite Braid PB10. Although it came out OK, I would not use the DMC in place of the PB10 again.

Friday, December 17, 2004

A Small Finish and A Pending Model

Question of the Week:
Obligation Stitching: Yes? No? Maybe?

Always! I love doing round robins and exchanges, and I seem to always look for stitching to do as a gift for someone dear to me. I've done model stitching on and off for a good 10 years now, starting out with the LNS's, and branching out into some major designers. I have a model that is on it's way right now, and have been contacted by a designer to do a large piece. We are in negotiations about that one right now, as it will take quite a long time to do, and I'm not sure I'll be taking it yet. It will depend on the final details and the complexity of the design. I enjoy obligation stitching, but I've learned how to say no to prevent burn-out.

Have you looked at the wonderful free French designs that are available? I've found quite a few mysteries, and one that is called a puzzle mystery that looks really neat. The designer has you grid your fabric, and then gives a chart that is numbered like a map (ie: A1, B2, C3....) and then she posts 10 pieces of the "puzzle" that are numbered to tell what part of the grid it fits into. Really neat way to do a mystery!

While browsing the mysteries, I came across a nice design by Anne Les Petites Croix that I had to do. It's called "Carré Noël " and was a nice quick stitch.

There's a number of nice freebies on the site. Definately worth the look around!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


I want to thank you all for your feedback on "Bluebird". I'll be pulling out the lettering and recentering it - but then again, I really love Ann's suggestion to add to it. I'm going to have to think on that a bit. You guys are such a great help and inspiration!

I have another small finish to claim for this year. I'm in the mood to do winter themed things, so The Trilogy's "Winter Spots" demanded that I stitch it.

I didn't have the Summer Khaki that the pattern called for, so I subbed with what I had in stash - 32ct. Parchment Jobelan. It's just a bit too light, but works. The primitives aren't normally my style, but I picked up some "cute" ones here and there, and for some reason, I'm really enjoying stitching them lately. I have LK's "Winter Sampler" and HIH's "Wee Winter" pulled to do soon. I'm now working on Passione Ricamo's freebie "Winter Postcard", and should have that done in a couple of days.

Today is UFO Tuesday, and you'll be happy to know I've dusted off my oldest UFO "North Woods Christmas" and am now going to be working on that every week. My goal is to put in 20 sts. every Tuesday. That is a very, very realistic goal, and normally when I put in that many, I continue on. It's one of those baiting methods for me. Twenty stitches is no sweat and I will do at least that many every week. But if I tell myself I'm going to put so many hours in, I avoid that project like the plague. (I'm a basket case, aren't I?!!) Here's a what it looks like now:

Look closely, as it won't be the same after today! LOL

As many of you know, I'm a collector of Paula Vaughan's leaflets. I'm so very, very close to having them all now. Today, the mailman brought me my lastest and probably most exciting find. I got "PV in Miniature" in a bunch of leaflets that were posted on ebay. I received a bunch of charts, hoops, kits, and the PV book for an enormous bid of $9.99!!!! That leaflet was one of those I had written off because it always went out of reach. Imagine my total delight when I found it in this lot of XS! The amazing part is, the booklet looks like it was never even opened. It is yellowed with age, but has that crisp feeling when you open up a new leaflet! That was the last OOP that I needed. I have only 3 more to purchase to make the collection complete. DH has those 3 on a list of things I gave him that I wanted for Christmas, so maybe....

Again, a huge thank you to all of you - your help was such an inspiration, and just what I needed!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Two Finishes Yesterday.... Need your feedback

Even with DH staying up and cutting into my stitching time, I still finished Bluebird with time to spare. Last night he was watching to see what I was stitching, but when I didn't appear to be doing something worthwhile, he went off to the other side of the living room to work on bills. He kept glancing though, and watching to see what I was working on. Yup - he knows. :-)

And here is my little bird with 'tude:

I would like some feedback on something if you have the time. I followed the instructions on where to center the words, and it said to center them in the center. That's what I did, and to me, they look "off" - too far to the left. So I move them more towards the middle of the stump? I know the center takes in account for the bird wing and the grass - but it just looks lopsided to me - because the bulk of the design is off center. Now, I know sometimes it's just me... But I'd love another opinion or two.

My second finish was a small one. Had to work on something while DH was watching me. Here's Dragon Dreams' Christmyth Pegasus. I'll finish it into an ornament to give for my brother's tree.

It's stitched on 28 ct. Bridal White Alma. I did a slight change to it. I used 1 strand of Rainbow Gallery's Whisper W88 on the stocking's cuff. It made it nice and fuzzy and looks more like my brother's stocking when we were little kids.

My thread order that I needed to do the designs I picked to work on in January came yesterday from Needlecraft Corner . While I was at it, I ordered a couple of extra so that I could work on the Trilogy's "Winter Spots" if I had some time. Since Bluebird was done quicker than I had expected, I started it last night. I didn't have any 32 ct. Summer Khaki Belfast in my stash, so I'm doing it on 32 ct. Parchment Jobelan. I toyed with the 1-over-1, but chickened out and did my normal over 2 stitching. The smallest I've done over one is 25 ct. and now is not the time to attempt anything smaller. I'm in need of a new eyeglass prescription, so maybe after that :-)

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Bluebird Update

DH didn't go to bed until late again last night. So, after he went to work this morning, I let the kids sleep in a bit and I stitched. I'm happy to post a progress pic:

DD really loves him! She says he looks just like her dad - "fluffy and with a 'tude". What a kid. LOL Now she say we should put "BUG OFF" for his caption, because that is the attitude her father has been coming home from work with these days. He's been under a lot of stress at the office, and the kids really pick up on it.

We are taking the kids to their last class of the semester tonight. They will be doing "Christmas Around the World - China". They will learn how China celebrates the holiday, and will experience food, crafts, lore, etc. Should be a fun time for all (it's a family night).

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Two Nights No Stitching on DH's Present

Here it is, only a few days left until Christmas, and I swear that man knows I'm stitching something for him. Last night, instead of going to bed early, he decided to stay up and watch "Judging Amy" with me and then work on bills. He NEVER watches "Judging Amy"!!! So after realizing he wasn't giving in, at 11:45 I went to bed, with him following just a couple of minutes later. Hmmmmmm...... Now tonight, it's almost 10, and he's finding things to do again. I've been trying to get a few stitches in during the day time, but with housework, cooking, and homeschooling, there's really not much time. As for progress, I have most of the bird's head done. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have enough of it done to post a progress pic.

Well, I bit the bullet and went back to owning an online group. I used to have one a few years ago that traded leaflets and other unwanted stitching items, for wanted ones. The group was a huge success. We got so large and had so much fun, until the group slowly started to change. Looking back on it, I know where the problem was, but at the time, I had no clue. I had to leave for a while because of family matters, so I gave the group to a moderator, and when I came back, the group was not the one I left. So, after a while, I just decided it was time to move on, and had the group over to the moderator. I had it for a couple of years, and then it went through quite a few people, and then was deleted. I've joined and left a number of pattern trading groups, because of the attitude that came with them. People really didn't want to swap things - they wanted you to "buy" their used stuff with either a gift certificate or send them new stuff from a LNS. Quite defeats the purpose of a trading group, doesn't it?

Well, DH said, if you don't like it, then do something about it. ok - so I did. I started my old group again, under it's old name. With just starting it a couple of hours ago, there's already 4 members. Old members of the old group. All with the same problem with the other groups I had. We used to swap our gently used charts, or unwanted fabrics, etc. for someone elses - you know recycle. And boy did we have a good time. They are already chatting about doing the old secret sisters, exchanges, round robins, contests.... Like putting an old glove back on, it feels good!!! I think the thing I missed most, that I didn't find in the other groups, was the sisterhood we shared. When we traded, we usually tucked in more than the trade. One never knew what surprises they would find. And Secret sisters was so much fun - the $ amount was set, but everyone always went over it. One had a fire at her house, and the others gathered stash and sent it to her, one gave her a place to stay for a while. Things that I don't see anywhere else. And I don't know if I'll see it again, but I'm hoping with starting with a few of the old group, that we will succeed to be as good or better than before...

Now, off to go brood, while DH finds other things to watch on tv - UGH!!!!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Bluebird of Happiness Progress

Bluebird is starting to take shape and look a bit like a bird now.

I got the pattern out of Jeanette Crews "Omnibook of Winged Things". The chart is pretty small though, and I'm having a time following it. I should copy and enlarge it, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. With the bird about half way finished, it almost seems silly to do that now.

Misty's bread cloth went out in today's mail. I hope she likes it. It was a fun pattern, but I got hung up with my stitches not being very even because of holding the cloth in my hand, instead of using a frame. I'm a bit AR when it comes to stitching (just stitching? LOL)

I stopped by the TIAG website yesterday, and there's still no freebie for this year posted. I love Marilyn's freebies - they're so pretty. I hope she hasn't decided to discontinue them.

DH and DS are out hunting again today. So far this season, they have only seen deer during the "non-hunting" times of the day. But they still keep trying - Monday, Friday, Saturday, and today they have sat diligently outside in the freezing cold. Not my idea of fun, by no means. Today we are getting our first measurable snow - so I bet the guys will be happy to come home to a nice warm house and a hot bowl of soup or chili.

DH brought a 4-drawer filing cabinet home from his Great-Aunt's estate, and was so thrilled about the find. He had all these plans of putting hanging files in them and all he needed to do was buy the hangers to convert the cabinet. Last night, after we got the cabinet put into it's place, and filled the drawers with regular files, I pulled out some of my hanging files from my small cabinet, and oops - the drawers are too narrow for the hanging files. DH was not happy, and said he was going to toss this cabinet and get a cabinet that uses the hanging files. NOT! This cabinet has now been adopted by me, when the new one comes in. I will now be able to store my patterns in a nice and orderly fashion inside this cabinet. Oh, wouldn't that be nice!!! He doesn't care - he wanted to toss it, so as soon as he breaks down and gets the new cabinet, I'll finally have a nice place for my patterns. Right now they are stored in computer paper boxes, and although it works, it doesn't keep my charts as nicely as I would like them to be kept.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Breadcloth finish

First - thank you all for your comments about the dragon. I am just going to have to stitch another for myself, someday. I love Jennifer's dragons - they are just so adorable! I want to add a few more to my collection, and "Dragon Garden" is probably going to be the next one.

I'm saddened to see that others have had bad deals as well. Such a shame, because the exchanges and swaps can be so much fun! I'm still involved in them (they are addictive) no matter how many times I say that it's not worth it and this is the last one. LOL.

Yipee!!! The breadcloth is done - and it is as adorable as I hoped it would be. (IMHO)

Now all it needs is to be packed up and mailed on Monday. I hope Misty likes it.

I'm in the process of making "Bluebird of Happiness" from Jeanette Crews Designs for DH. It's been really difficult finding the time to work on it, as most of my stitching time is at night, so the process has been slower going than I would like. After finishing up my the breadcloth, I pulled out a Pam Kellogg kit "Winterlude" and started on that until he went to bed, then pulled out Bluebird. Here's my progress as of this morning:

He's being stitched on 28 ct. Bridal White Alma using the recommended DMC threads. I'm now up to putting color on the bird's breast.

Yesterday, DD and I went Christmas shopping. Sure did make that old credit card smoke, but we had loads of fun doing it! This is the first year since we got married (14 years ago) that I went shopping and bought what I wanted without tag shopping. I bought things I know the recipient would like. It sure put the fun back into shopping again. And for the amount of people that we purchased for, we really didn't spend a whole lot on each.

I then went to the LNS that is near the stores I went to. I never get up in that area except during the holidays, and had to make a point of stopping in to finger the threads and fabrics. Oh, what a treat!! I took a list of Mill Hill beads that I still needed for Mirabilia's "Blossom Harvest" with me. I love that design, but when I purchased the pattern, I didn't realize just how many beads were on it. There's over $40 worth, so I've been getting a pack at a time. I was talking to one of the internet shop owners, and she told me that Mill Hill was purchased by Wichelt, and the orders that normally take days to come in, are now weeks behind. When I tried getting the beads that I wanted for Blossom Harvest, she said they didn't have them, but could order them for me, but at this time, there were no guarrentees when they would be in. So at the LNS, I got all but 2 packs of beads for BH, and that was only because they were out of those. With Mill Hill being sold, I want to make sure I have those beads to do this design. I know how things change and get discontinued when companies change hands.

While I was at the LNS, they had a clearance table. I wasn't going to look - honest, but.... And boy am I glad I did!! I let all my XS magazine subscriptions go a couple years back due to cash flow (or should I say lack of) and there on the table were back issues of Stitcher's World, Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly, Just Cross Stitch, and Stoney Creek Cross Stitch all at 50 cents each!! I came home with 23 magazines for less than the cost of a year of the cheapest xs mag on the market!! All the magazines were new and in perfect condition. DH laughed when he saw them all remarking that I really blew my pattern diet. Yah - well, I'm going back on again - for another year. I've got a feeling of being overwhelmed with new projects I want to do. I will be kept busy for quite a while :-)

And speaking of more stash... I got my shipment from Needlecraft Corner today. My first Jeanette Douglas Design came! I can't wait to start that one. I hope it looks as good as it did with the original threads, though. I'm questioning the suggested substitutions. I'll have to look at things closer, though. In my package was also the threads I needed to do the Just Nan "Seasonal Gems I & II".

Last but not least, I finally got my progress update of TW's "Under the Evergreen". I'm in the SAL, on the TWBB, and our day was Nov. 27th to work on it. I didn't get much done, but a few stitches in. Now I'm a few stitches closer to being done.

Hmmmmm - maybe I should take that attitude with my oldest ufo. I used to have a UFO day, so maybe I should go back to that again. I would put in at least 20 stitches every week. The 20 would turn into 50, or 100... and my ufo's would get finished in no time. Sounds like a plan :-)

Thursday, December 02, 2004

A Dragon Dreams Finish

"Late Knight Snacking" is finished and he's going to be hard to part with! It's so darn cute!

The scan doesn't show the silver metallic on the knight's armor. It's too bad, because he really sparkles!

The breadcloth for the exchange is almost finished. I ended up having to rip out a deer, because I turned the cloth to stitch it and my top thread ran the wrong way. The deer is about half filled in, and then I just need to do tails and antlers plus the backstitching, and the cloth is done.

As most of you know, I have been on a pattern diet for a year. Last year, DH bet me that I couldn't go a year without a new pattern - and that was any kind of pattern - XS, crochet, knitting... He said I could keep my automatic for Paula Vaughan and the JCS Ornie issue, and he would continue getting me the "Heel & Toes Gazette" but that would be all I could have. Oh, and he said if I came across any of the OOP PV's that I was missing, I was allowed to get them. There was one more exception, and that was I could get a pattern if it was to be stitched for a gift, and that needed to be done as soon as it came in. That would prevent me from putting more things in my pattern stash. So, the rules weren't bad and kept me mostly working from my stash.

Well, out of the blue, DH asked me what I wanted for my reward for sticking to my pattern diet. He let me loose and I had a ball shopping online. I purchased my first Jeanette Douglas design, "A Home in the Woods" with all the sub threads. Sadly the original threads used in the design are no longer available. I bought a couple of DMC Perle and a couple of Caron threads that I needed to stitch some of the Just Nan's I have in stash, and a JN snowflake charm. I also joined in Pam Kellogg's new mystery SAL that starts on the 26th of this month. I've been wanting to do one of her mysteries, and this one sounds like fun. I pulled the threads, and the colors are so soft and pretty. I have aida in a size that will work, but I would much prefer evenweave. I will probably just make do with the aida.

I have to take the kids to class this morning, so I will sit outside in the car for 2 hours, instead of driving back home. I have a book to read, and my needles and wool to start a new pair of socks. I'm going to use worsted weight wool for this pair, because the guys like heavy socks for outdoor use. I like doing socks in it, because it goes so quickly. My favorite is the beautiful patterned sock wool that I get from Germany. There is nothing that compares to the gorgous colorways and patterns that are produced, but it's so very expensive. I love Opal yarn, but it runs between $15 - $17 for a ball of yarn that makes one pair of socks. Because of the price, I haven't purchased it in a couple of years. PT Yarns used to have a Sock of the Month Club that used Opal - oh they were gorgeous socks! I was a member for a bit, but the club was cancelled when they went to a being a supplier for stores and stopped selling retail. Is the price as expensive in Germany or is it all the importation tarrifs that has driven up the price?

Warning - a bit of a rant...... I'm a bit frustrated with an arranged trade. It will be 2 months ago on the 7th that I entered a trade. I made arrangements to send a piece of fabric out for a kit that had some floss used from it. I sent my fabric right out, and never heard if it was received or not. I emailed and finally after posting on the board that I emailed, I got a response. Yes she got the fabric, she likes it, but hasn't had time to send out the kit - will do it in a coule of days. Never a word about the extras I sent or anything. I still haven't received anything. So a couple of days ago, I emailed and asked if it was sent yet. No response as of yet. It seems like when I get involved in the larger trades, those people get what I send, but don't send back. I had done a trade where I sent a TW Millennium kit for a couple of small JN kits. I never got the JN's. Another that I did was I sent a sweater kit in trade for some Lorna's Laces yarn to make DD a pair of socks she really wanted. The yarn never came either. In all cases, I know the people received what I sent, as they replied to my emails. In all cases, what I sent was more valuable than the trade - but it was something I really wanted to make someone else, so the trades were worth it. In all cases, all said they would post, but they were busy, and then stopped responding to my emails. If I ever did something like that, I could never bring myself to using the item - I'd feel so guilty that I'd just have to send them the item back or my original trade, plus something else for them waiting so long.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Been Awhile!

First off - happy belated Thanksgiving to everyone. I hope you had a lovely time with family and friends, and didn't pig out on too much delicious food. We went to my brother's house, and had a feast. If you took a little of everything (not including the desserts), you would need more than one plate! There was so much food - and everything was delicious!

I can't believe it's been almost 2 weeks since my last update. It seems like I've been running non-stop since my last post. Finally, this weekend has brought some peace and quiet, and I've been enjoying staying home. Yesterday I did nothing, except veg out. It was lovely! Last night after everyone went to bed, I pulled out my stitching and stitched away until 1am. Then the guys got up at 4 needing breakfast, coffee, and sent off for their day out in the woods for the first day of deer season. So after they left, I sat down with a cup of coffee and stitched some more. I have a small finish to report - started it last night and finished and framed it this morning. It's Lizzie Kate's December Flip-it

It's done on a piece of unknown 28ct. evenweave with the recommended GAST and DMC threads. I changed the heart charm to a yellow wooden star. I thought it would bring a bit more color to the piece, and tie in the yellow hanger on the ornament. The scan makes the star so much darker, but its almost the same color as the hanger.

The Flip-its go above my sink. I bought a frame (with glass to keep the water splashes off the needlework) and all I do is change the flip-it each month. I didn't do any lacing or anything fancy like that. I just cut the piece to fit in the frame, and up it goes. Then all I do is just change the piece every month. LK's are cute, but I won't go to the expense or time to do a good job framing them. They just go in a cheap Walmart or Dollar Store frame.

Dragon Dream's "Late Knight Snacking" is all finished except for the lettering. I put it aside to work on my breadcloth that has to be mailed out on the 6th. Late Knight is just so adorable! I need to get to AC Moore's and find the perfect frame/mat for it. As for the breadcloth, I found the cutest pattern on the net for it at Cross Stitch Treasures. The pattern is called Gingerbread Deer, which I thought was different. You always see gingerbread houses and men, but not deer :-) I'm about half way done. I don't care for holding the piece in my hand, though, so I don't work on it a lot at one time.

I'm waiting on a model to come. Yup - I'm back to model stitching again. I like the designer and her designs are fun with attitude. I can't wait to tell more, but you know how that confidentiality stuff works - so, I can't tell much now - but soon!!

On to more personal homelife stuff.... I had two really neat things go on here these past 2 weeks - first DS had his braces removed. He's a handsome boy with a beautiful smile now. It's funny, because he has to learn to whistle all over again. He was wonderful at doing bird calls, then he got his braces, and couldn't. He was just at the point of being good at doing them again, when the braces came off. Now he's has to learn again! LOL

Now for the other news. This is bittersweet, really. DH's great aunt died a couple of months ago. She didn't have any children, so all the things were to be left to DH's mom. She called DH and his brothers, and said she wanted them at his great aunt's house to pick out things they wanted. They had to tag what they wanted, and the rest was to go to auction. The following week, DH picked up the stuff he picked out. I didn't go, as I felt it wasn't my place. It's uncomfortable enough dispersing a family member's things, but to go into a complete stranger's home and taking would be totally wrong. I never met the woman before. Sadly I didn't get to find anything out about her until after she died. Anyhow, when DH came home, he had the most wonderful gift for me that he tagged.

As many of you know, I LOVE Paula Vaughan's work - makes me think of my childhood and my grandmother. As I get older, I want to add more of the older things to my home. I have a beautiful roundtop trunk and a have wanted to add a handmade quilt and a treadle sewing machine to my "collection" for quite a long time now. Well, when DH came home, he had a beautiful 1889 Singer Treadle sewing machine that was his aunt's! Not only was it in great shape, but it came with a stool, a wooden cover to protect the machine, a puzzle box full of attatchments, and even the owner's manuals for the machine and the attatchments!! The best part is, is the machine works!! I've cleaned it up, and after talking to a furniture restorer, I am now using Lemon Oil since the wood is so dry. It is looking better and better as I work on it. I still can't believe that I got so lucky!!!

On the topic of Paula Vaughan, I'm so close to completing my collection of her leaflets! I have 3 to get that are still in print, and "PV in Miniature". That one may never make it in my collection. It always goes out of my reach on auction. I asked DH for the 3 in print leaflets, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed he'll get them for me for Christmas. He's usually pretty good at getting things that I love and want :-)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


I've been stitching almost every spare moment I can get. And when I'm not stitching, I've been scouring the BB's. I'm a BB junkie at times and I hit them when I need someone to "talk to" about stitching, because it doesn't happen here. DH's eyes glaze over and he nods his head and Uh-huh's once in a while, but I know he's not listening. No complaints here tho. I dated a stitcher, and it seemed to be a competition for stash and who stitched faster and better. I didn't like the competition that he seemed to thrive on. He wanted to be better, faster and neater than I was. I stitch to relax - not to compete. Nuf said.

I ordered a Dragon Dreams pattern called "No Late Night Snacking". No, I haven't fallen off the wagon - as it's a purchase for a Christmas present for my brother (according to the "Wagon" rules LOL). My brother likes dragons which is one of the reasons I bought it. The other is Dad lives with him and is a diabetic who won't stay out of the fridge at night. So it's more of a joke than anything :-) It arrived, and I started on it right away. Here's my progress as of this morning:

Sorry about the scan. I was too lazy to take it off the q-snaps. It's about half done, now. The next time you see it, it will be finished.

I am in a breadcloth exchange on The Worldwide Round Robins BB, but sadly, only 3 of us signed up. I have narrowed my choices down, but still need to pick that right one.

The Sweetheart Tree BB is discussing a SAL for 2005. I'm looking forward to that one. You pick 12 designs you want to do, post them, and then stitch one a month along with everyone else. I'm going to need all the motivation I can get. I have a ton of them in my stash, but have only stitched a couple. I'm hoping more people will join in. There's only 2 of us right now.

Stitching Bloggers QOTW:

Do you find that having another distraction (music, movies, people to talk to) while stitching helps you make progress or make mistakes?

I don't have problems stitching to music, tv or movies, and I actually prefer it, but when I'm talking to someone, forget it. I lose count and easily get distracted making me frog more than I get done.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Question of the Week:

"What project has been a WIP/UFO the longest? Or what project took you the longest to complete?"

Oh goodness - I really have to admit to that, eh? It's the first stocking from the CS&CC series:

It's call "North Woods Stocking". I started it back in 1985 - 19 years ago!! I'm stitching it on 25 bone Lugana using DMC floss. Design also came be found from the book called 'Heirloom Christmas Stockings in Cross-Stitch'.
Another STRiP Finish!!

Oh yeah! Another off the list is finished. Yessiree - I'm doing well :-) That makes 16 finishes from my Strip list. And here is my last pride and joy:

It's Winter Wonderland from Mill Hill and as from the Buttoned and Beaded Kit Holiday II Series. It was stitched on perforated paper, and there's where I had my problem. I'm not fond of working on that stuff. I do love the piece done though. I think this has to be my favorite MH kit so far. The snow sparkles so much - has an ice quality to it. Actually, it makes me think of how snow sparkles in moonlight.

I'm now working on Marquoir Story I'm working on part 2 now. Here's part 1:

I changed the colors since I used a 28 ct. creamish color evenweave fabric that is just a little lighter than DMC 746. The floss colors I chose were 520, 814 and I stayed with the original 3852. I think it's about time I picked it back up again :-)

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Pictures - as promised

As promised, I'm posting pictures today. I got the JN "Love & Roses" in it's final resting place - another totally finished! Well, maybe not. The picture shows gold braid around the top edge of the box, and I haven't decided it I want to add it or not. I might take it with me on my next trip to the fabric store and try some out to see if it's the look I want.

I also put a few more stitches in L&L's "Celtic Spring" taking me up to 18 hours now. I had to do a little frogging though. I was off one stitch and just decided to pull the whole area out and do it again. I love doing these designs. It always amazes me that those blobs of color actually look like fabric from a distance. I certainly wish I had the talent to be able to design like that.

And for my last photo, my owl dishcloth. If you'd like to knit your own, the free pattern can be found at Dishcloth Boutique:

Friday, November 05, 2004

Down for the count

Wouldn't you know it - I hurt my leg somehow and couldn't walk on it for the last couple of days. It also kept me from putting weight on it, so I couldn't sit at the PC either - hence no blog update. Things are getting back to normal now - still really tender to walk on, but better. It's been a nice couple of days - no cooking or cleaning - just stitching time :-) This was good, as I got a couple of finishes - a knitted owl dishcloth, and Just Nan's "Love & Roses". I still need to mount in in the satin box. I'll post a picture soon.

I pulled out L&L's "Celtic Spring" yesterday, and am now working on that. I haven't decided if I want to put the border on it as I don't like how the word Spring was done. It looks like it was a goof that was fudged. Maybe if I rechart it. I'll have to look at the L&L gallery on Taneya's website again. I do love stitching this piece. Updated wip photo soon!!!

Monday, November 01, 2004

eBay Feedback....Skunks

I love eBay - in some aspects, but I think the feedback thing is wrong - especially when unwarrented negative feedback is left. When that happens, there's no way to remove it. How do I know? Recent experience!!! I went to purchase a book off (one of my favorite sites) and saw my feedback looked like it dropped. HUH? Ok, so I click on it, and sure enough I have a negative!!! So, I start look, and find it's from the last auction I won. Now, I'm totally confused, because the seller emailed me a couple days after the auction saying the book I bid on was lost, and he was sorry. OK - no biggie. These things happen - end of story. Or so I thought. A month later, this sweet seller leaves me negative feedback with "OK" as the comment. I've emailed him - with my emails ignored. Thought maybe he accidently left the wrong feedback, as I really shouldn't have gotten any - since the sale didn't go through, and the comment doesn't match the rating. Well, nothing from him. I went looking at his information - as when I bid, he was a new seller. He lost a few people's books, has a few negatives, and seems to love posting negative and neutral feedback for those that purchased from him. With that all being said, there's nothing eBay will do, except for me to leave him a negative and then have him mutually withdrawl his comment.

DH says it's no big deal, but I think it is. It has a reflection on my trading/buying reputation. I have always both bought and sold with the thought that I would treat all the way I would like to be treated. I have always sent the payments and packages out when I said I would - and if something did happen, where I couldn't, the recipient knew - as I emailed RIGHT away. I let the person know when things are sent, and received, and it takes a lot for me to grumble about a bad trade, as I am very slow to grumble and don't find fault with charts that have bends, marks, etc. as long as I can read them. I have had a few people take me for a ride, and not send their trade to me, and stop emailing - so I do know how that feels, but keep my fingers crossed that something happened and they will get it out ASAP. Well, some haven't in more than 4 years, so I guess those ones aren't coming :-) Well, I just hope they enjoy what I sent, because if I traded it, I really must not have needed it.

On to more fun stuff.... For the last few months, DH has found something nesting in our outdoor boiler. It is insulated, and something made a home in the insulation. He figured it was a cat or something of that nature. What a surprise we had, as our guest was none other than a sweet striped skunk. We came home one night and pulled into the driveway to see it run into its nice nest :-) Well, that then explained the times we went out and thought we called our cat, and it ran the other way.... why the cat dish was always knocked over, and why the nasty yellow jacket nest next to the horseradish was dug up and all the larva gone. That last was a blessing, as we garden organically and didn't know how to get rid of them without putting something offensive in our garden. Well these guys did it for us.

The skunks have been around for months and have never sprayed or be offensive in any way toward us. In fact, they are quite tolerant of us. Here's a picture of on that visits our patio to munch on the bird seed the messy birds dump every day:

And here is the same one, after cleaning out the cat dish some, and having a drink:

Now when these were taken, I was no more than just a couple feet away - I was on the top step of our porch landing, and he was only 2 steps down. The flash didn't bother him, nor did I. He just goes about his business every evening, and watches us as much as we watch him.

If you notice, I did say they a bit before. Yes, there's another that is about twice the size of this one, that is almost pure white on the top - including his tail. It looks like someone held him by his nose and tail and dipped him in black paint up to his chest. That one is a little more skiddish of us, but still doesn't bother.

We snicker about how many times we've all been out in our yard after dark - kids playing and running around, and us just enjoying the evening - and never being bothered. Makes one wonder what we pass in the dark every night!! :-)

The kids are back home and playing catch up. They did do their schoolwork while they were away. That really is a nice surprise. Wasn't sure if they would or not. Even with all the work they did, they didn't want to come home. My brother received a call from a neighboring farmer that needed help loading some hay, so my brother took DS and went up to help. The farmer was impressed by DS and told him that he'd like to hire him next summer if he was available. DS is in 7th heaven - as he's been wanting to get a job. He's saving for a car and that will help. Our kid is 13 and already saving for a car. My brother and DH both like rebuilding wrecks, so DS will be able to end up with a very nice car with minimal amount of $$ into it. His goal is to buy a wreck and work with DH and DB and do his own. I'm all for that, as with working on a car that way, he'll appreciate it a lot more, and know how to fix it when something goes wrong.

DD is saving for a trip to NYC. She wants so badly to go to the Big Apple and see life in the city. I've been to Detroit, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Nashville, and found all of them OK - fun to visit, but not for me. I'm much happier "watching corn grow" than being in all that "hustle and bustle" that I found in the city. I wonder if she will like it as much as she thinks she will.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Mrs. Productivity Came to Visit

With the kids gone, I have gotten quite a bit done here, and that even counted time for "just ME" stuff as well. It's been a quiet and relaxing time. Something that I've needed to get centered again. I've cleaned things I have put off, I've sorted those things that I didn't want to get near, and I've even dusted of the sewing machine and fixed things. GASP!

Best of all, was my time stitching. I pulled out a Mill Hill pin kit that I've wanted to do for a couple of years now. I can now say that it's not only finished, but it's also put together and ready to wear!

He's called "Mr Twinkle Flake". I was very pleased with how he turned out. This is my first pin that I've ever done, and I'm so happy with the results.

My other bit of productivity was getting the umph to dig out all the fo's that I have in my box, and actually finishing a couple to be able to display. I sewed up Lorri Birmingham's "Gardener Needleroll" and the "February Fob" that was stitched a couple of years ago.

I still have a few tuck pillows I want to make, but for the life of me, I can't remember where I put the fabric to make them. Where it normally would be, it isn't. Guess I put it somewhere where I wouldn't lose it! LOL

DH has gone hunting today. He left early and will go to my brothers and get DS to go along with him. I don't know if he'll be bringing the kids home tonight or if we will be getting them tomorrow, since we'll be going to my brother's tomorrow. We are gathering for "Hoagie making night". We will be taking all the "fixings" up to make hoagies. It's a nice treat for everyone - we all make the kind of hoagie we want, and then we play games afterward - which usually turns out to be "Uno" :-) I'm looking foward to that - cuz I'm finally gonna whoop them and win (like that will ever happen!! LOL)

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

A Little Finish

The day was so chilly yesterday, and leaves are falling like giant yellow and orange snowflakes, that it put me in the mood to want to stitch a fall design. Wouldn't you know - there was nothing on my WIP list that qualified for fall. So, I got to play in my stash a little and chose a small freebie design that would be both fast and fall-ish

This cute little freebie is from Waxing Moon Designs . I found I was missing 2 threads and the recommended button, so I substituted WDW Whiskey for the GAST Tarnished Gold, WDW Carrot for the GAST Pumpkin Patch, and the squirrel charm for the recommended Crow button. The design called for black for the binding on the shook, but I thought that too drastic with everything else being in the oranges/yellows/browns. I chose DMC 780 for it instead. You know, I love freebies. They are so small and I almost always substitute something on them. I have the "guts" to play with them, but not the larger designs. One of these days....

The kids will be staying at my brother's for the next couple of days. He needed some extra help there on the farm, and they love helping him out. They have to take their schoolwork with them and I hear lots of "OH MOM! Do we really have to?'s". Mom's so mean, isn't she?! LOL I'm hoping to get caught up on a few things here with them gone, and to have some "me" time during the day will be an unusual treat.

Now off to make sure the kids are packed with everything they will need - including school books...

Monday, October 25, 2004

Another One Bites the Dust...

Another WIP has been finished. Not a big one, but still one that was started.

Just Nan's Christmas Rose is a freebie pattern. I used Eterna silks in the colors 3920, 2020, 2150, 2170, and white and stitched it on 32 ct. raw Belfast linen. The scanner didn't do very will with the beads, and mushed them so they are in a disarray from what they really look like. I will be finishing this into an ornament for my brother's Christmas tree.

I also made a dishcloth using Lily's Sugar 'n Cream in white and varigated yellows. It was just the plain old "Granny's Dishcloth" that can be found at Dishcloth Boutique . I love looking through that site and trying to decide on what dishcloth I want to make next. So many fun patterns, and all instant gratification!

What are you working on right now?

Today, I'm working on my WIP list (like normal) and pulled out Mill Hill's "Winter Wonderland" - a Buttoned & Beaded Kit from the Holiday II series. Since the weather has cooled down, I've been in the mood to work on fall and winter things.

On to a more personal note, the kids each got a 3 week old hamster last week. They are having such a blast with them! Surprisingly, DH loves those little critters, too, and every evening after work, he sits down on the living room sofa and plays with them. DH is a big 6' tall and strong and husky type that certainly doesn't look like he'd play with a little critter like that. It's quite comical to see - this huge guy with a baby hamster crawling all over him and giggling when it tickles him.

Friday night DD and I were watching Joel Osteen on TBN, and he was doing a sermon on appreciating others and planting "seeds". DD thought the sermon was fantastic, and on Saturday she decided to let the mail delivery person know how much she was appreciated by baking and putting out cookies with a nice note attatched. She then put them out in the mailbox and when she went to get the mail that afternoon, she found a very nice letter in return with a couple of lollypops. A nice surprise for DD as well :-) Today, she has done the same thing for the regular mailman - and they are sitting out in the mailbox ready to be picked up. So often we do take advantage of those that deliver our mail, or parks our cars, or picks up our garbage, etc. I'm hoping that our children will see those people as someone who deserves to be thanked and treated like the wonderful people that they are. Since we homeschool, those values can be inground more and hopefully will stay their entire lifetime. Maybe we can instill the values from past generations that seem to have all but disappeared.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Finding More WIPS

Being on "The Wagon" has made a great difference in how I look at my stitching. When I see someone's postings now, I don't drool and don't get into the "have to have it" mode any more. There are things that I like and some I may even buy one day, but I don't put in huge orders at Needlecraft Corner any more. There are times that I do send a nice order in for supplies, but only for patterns that I have on hand. I do miss talking with Drema - she's such a sweetheart, and my goal is to one day go to Baltimore to see the shop and say "HI!!" to her in person.

After lots of ripping on the White Bindweed Fairy I needed some quick gratification, so I went to my WIP box and dug out the Mill Hill Strawberry Basket that I had about 3/4's finished. I was chugging right along, doing the flowers on the basket, when I found that there weren't enough beads to do all of them. No biggie. Since it's a Mill Hill product, I just might have these beads in my stash. The number sounded familiar, so I went looking. Yup - got 'em! So I went to work on it more, and found that even though they are the same number, the beads are a different color!! Hmmmm.... Will this now be a UFO - not on your life! So, I just bit the bullet and did it in the different color, hoping the flowers in the basket would be far enough apart from the one in the corner to not really show up. Well, it does to me, but DH didn't notice, so it can't be too bad. And here's the finished product:

Yup - to me it shows up like a sore thumb. I may just rip out the corner flower. I'll just have to see if it's something I can live with. I guess the fact that Mill Hill either didn't get their directions correct, or has changed the color of their beads makes me a little TO'd, but it is an old kit. I'll have to keep an eye on my older beads in my stash to make sure there isn't a color change on some of my larger projects. Either that, or just buy all the beads that I need at the same time.

While being on "The Wagon", I've also found out something else about my buying habits. I buy to medicate myself when I'm feeling down or stressed. It was a hugely difficult year this year with 4 deaths in the family, a flu that turned into a month and a half sickness for all here, my father going into the hospital/nursing home for more than 3 months and with his amputation, his lifestyle has changed, and in turn, changed ours somewhat. Plus the normal everyday routine stresses that become bigger when something something else is going on. Yah, I could have spent a bundle this past year, and really wanted to some days. That's when I realized that stress causes me to hoard.

While searching for the beads for Strawberry Basket, I came across 2 more WIP's!! That pushes my WIP's back up to 36 but this is the first year I can remember where my WIP's and UFO's have actually been the same amount as my FO's and soon to be less. That is a major accomplishment for me!!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

OK... Who Sent the ?!

I have been happily plugging away with my White Bindweed Fairy, when I found that everything to the right of the flower I'm working on is one stitch off! Yah, I knew it - Murphy's Laws just had to get involved here, as things were going so smoothly. That's one heck of a lot of stitches to rip out, but hey - that's half the fun, right? DH said that since it's just one stitch, I can compensate for it with no problem - heck what's one stitch matter? Well it isn't so much one stitch as one row of 197 stitches is off, so if I compensate for that one, I must do it for the next row, and the next.... and it would be more work trying to compensate than to just and do it correctly.

Even though I need to do that, I'm still loving this piece so. With all that said, here's a pic of the flower I'm working on. that's located at the bottom left hand corner. I'm very pleased with the results.

So everyone can rest easily for a while, as that pesky little will be keeping residence at my house for a while.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Still on the "Wagon"

The rain is falling temps are hanging in the 40's this morning. Brrrr - it's hot chocolate weather!!! They are calling for flurries this weekend. Nothing new for October, but it just seems that fall shouldn't be here yet.

I finally got to start working on DMC's "The White Bindweed Fairy" yesterday. I put in about 500 stitches, maybe a little more. I'm really happy with the progress, and had a hard time putting it down to go to bed last night. It was a good piece to work on during the Presidential Debate as it was both pleasing to work on, and the area that I was doing didn't need much concentration.

I love some of the patterns DMC puts out, but don't care for the size of the charts, and don't like having my patterns folded. They always wear, no matter how well you take care of them, or store them. I do make working copies though, so that I can mark them all up. But on the flip side of things, DMC makes their symbols large and easy to read. I do like that about them.

I've signed up for another few months of Stash abstinence on the The Wagon BB . I haven't been buying patterns for the last 10 months. The only thing that I have received were the items I get on automatics - the JCS Ornament Issue and Paula Vaughan's new releases. That is approximately 1-2 patterns a year from PV and the one Ornie issue. Some may say that's cheating, but DH told me NOT to cancel the automatic shipments, so... who can argue with DH?

I will say that jumping on the Wagon has been the best thing I could have ever done. I've finished more pieces that I've started than ever before. I also am stitching from things I have and not buying more stuff to start. The most amazing thing is, the first time I sorted through my stash after deciding not to buy any more patterns, was all the things I had that I forgot that I purchased!!! Wow! It was like browsing a LNS!! I was ooohing and aaaahing over things that I wanted to stitch and forgot about. Some even were kitted. So, I've decided that when I do get off the Wagon, that I probably won't be going hog-wild and buying things except for something exceptional or something that will be going out of print and I really would like to stitch it someday. So far, things that were on my wishlist that was created before I went on the Wagon, really don't interest me any longer. I was to the point, if it was posted on a BB, I usually wanted it. Now, it's only the exceptional pieces that impress me and make me want them. However, I'm NOT making a wishlist anymore. The only purchase I will be making any time soon, is to buy what I need to make up what I have. I have a lot of patterns that use specialty items, be it threads, fabrics, or buttons - and they sit not being touched because of the lack of those items. My idea was to buy all the patterns on sale (heck most I have I paid 50% to 75% off retail) so I'd look at my money and see how far I could stretch it. Frugal? Not really, as most of those patterns required stuff I didn't have. So instead of buying the items I needed to stitch them, I'd buy more patterns on sale, because my money went further. See the problem? With eliminating the pattern purchasing, I have the money to buy the specialty items - or better yet, I'm becoming a bit more creative and subbing buttons, colors, and threads.

With all that being said, I'm really much happier working on what I have. Amazing, isn't it?!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Another Finish!

Another finish for me today! I'm happy that this one is done, as it was a gift from a dear friend of mine. She sent me the pattern and the fabric a couple of years ago, and I've had it on the back burner, as it seems other items need done before something for me does. So, since I've been down sick, I thought I'd take "me" time and work on something for "me". So I dug it out and have finished it. It's an adorable pattern from Bent Creek called The White Cat.

The middle where the flowers are is somewhat blurry. Sorry about that. The buttons held the fabric off the glass when I scanned it, and I don't really know how to fix that problem.

QOTW: Stash enhancement
You've just been given a $100 gift certificate to buy anything cross stitch or needlework related - what would you spend it on right now?
Ohhhh! What a wonderful gift! If only that happened in real life (grin). I've been wanting a mat cutter, so I'd blow the whole thing on a pretty decent one. I would love to be able to cut my own mats. Then I'd be able to finish more of the projects I have sitting and waiting to be framed.

DH and DD are away at a star gazing class tonight. DS and I were supposed to go as well, but DS seems to have caught the same thing I have and he really didn't want to go and hang outside with the temps dipping into the 30's. Can't say I blame him one little bit! We were supposed to do an overnight thing, get breakfast in the morning, and then come home. Well, DH & DD are doing that anyhow. I'm sure they are having a great time. Maybe it's a good thing DS didn't go. DD doesn't get enough alone time with Dad.

We collected all the seeds from the garlic chives. They are just starting to open, so we brought them in to finish drying. My chives just aren't multiplying fast enough, so I thought I'd plant some more next year. We are slowly collecting the seeds from our Grandpa Ott's Morning Glory. That was planted years ago, and it reseeds itself every year. I'm making sure I have some seeds on hand just in case it doesn't come back for some reason, or someone decides to mow it down or something. I had those Garden Huckleberries planted at the end of my garden. They came up every year, until one year DH decided to till in that area. I have no idea what posessed that man to do such a thing, but he did, and all the little seedlings that he thought were weeds were gone.

DH and DS are building a rabbit cage and boy is that thing huge! It's 4 times the size of the one the rabbit is in now. I hope he doesn't get lost in it! (giggle) DS is having a great time making the cage. In fact, he went and took his bunny out to it so he could see just how small the rabbit looked on it. They have 2 more cages to go after this one.

The leaves are turning and falling off the trees. Soon the trees will be bare. I can't believe it's already the middle of October. Soon it will be Halloween, and we'll be off on our day out. Every Halloween, we go out for dinner instead of the kids going trick-or-treating. They prefer doing this, as they get to try a new place to eat every year. This year we will be going to The Outback. That should be fun! And we hear the food is good, so the kids are anxious to go. Plus, we'll make a good day out of it, and we'll have to make a stop at Sam's Club and a few other stores we don't go to very often. Sam's Club is usually a $400+ trip that we do twice a year. We save quite a bit by buying in bulk. We have changed our eating habits, going mostly with whole foods, so we may get out of there cheaper this time.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Two Finishes Today!

I'm down with a miserable cold, not wanting to do any housework. So while the kids and DH were out cutting wood, I sat watching movies and stitched my little heart out. It paid off with 2 finishes:

The first one that I finished was the Lynn Walters Busa "Little House Sampler".

Now I need to get to A.C. Moore's and pick up a frame for it.

The other is Lorri Birmingham's "Gardener Needleroll" kit.

I had a hard time finishing this one - it's been in progress for quite a long time. Not because it was hard, but because the bees were all French knots. UGH! The wings were also supposed to be done in white French knots, but I didn't want the wings white. Instead, I pulled out my Krenik 032 blending filament, and did a sort of padded satin stitch to make the wings irridescent.

Now off to the sewing machine to finish my needleroll and I also have a scissors fob that needs finished as well. I usually get a few things together to sew at once, as I hate getting the machine out just for one thing. Oh to have a craft room where things can be left set up!

Friday, October 08, 2004

White Bindweed Fairy

Here's my lasted WIP:

It's DMC's "White Bindweed Fairy" that I had so graciously adopted from J.S. Cooper. It is being stitched on an ivory/off white aida. I'll be putting more stitches in it as soon as my Little House Sampler is done. I'm itching to start!!!
Cross-Stitching my little heart out....

Finally life has wound down enough to allow me to take some time to cross stitch and enjoy the process. XS is my first love with knitting and crochet a close second. I love painting with threads, metallics and beads and it always amazes me how the picture just forms - going from splotches of colors to a picture!! Knitting and crochet are amazing as well, creating a useful object with loops/knots in a string. Imagine being the person that thought up all that stuff and how it must have amazed their peers. I see how people are amazed at how a sock is made, and that's "old hat".

Currently, I'm working on Lynn Walter Busa's "Little House Sampler" and I'm coming to the home stretch on it. I haven't touched it since April when it looked like this:

I should be posting a finish soon :-)

Stitcher's QOTW: Thread organization: plastic bobbins, yes or no? How do you organize your threads? Shhhhh - don't tell anyone, but I still use those little cardboard bobbins except with the more used colors like white and black. With those, I use the more durable plastic. Someday I'll find a better system to use, but until then, I'll just keep winding. Now, if only I could find a better way to store my speciality threads....

Last month we went to see a concert by Scott Krippayne. It was outstanding! I'm not one to go to concerts because they never sound as good as the recordings. However, Mr. Krippayne's concert was fantastic. That guy could actually hold a tune and not make one cringe from going off key. And personality? What a personable guy he is! Amazingly enough, he traveled here from Washington state right when we were flooded from Ivan. He came through all the rain just to put on the concert. I was so sure it would be cancelled, but nope - it went on as planned. He came in with his piano, and a drummer. That's it - and those two held us entranced through the whole concert. This guy is a must-see live. He is just incredible!

Dad went back in the hospital to get therapy to learn how to use his new leg. He did very well, and is now back home and has a visiting therapist coming in 3x a week. While he was in the hospital, my FIL had a heart attack and was admitted. You'd think after his triple-bypass a few years ago, he'd learn and stop smoking like they told him to, but... So, he had his last untouched artery taken care of and opened. He's back home with lots of instructions, including the no more smoking one, but you know how stubborn those old FIL's can be.

Our house is almost half painted now. Looking pretty neat, but the new blue paint with the old yellow makes one wild contrast. Hopefully we will have time to get the rest painted before the really cold weather sets in. We had to take a break to help my brother with his roof as it needed fixed more than our house needed painting. Of course, you know they ran into a lot more than just patching - replacing one whole side and realizing that next spring the other side will need done. I don't think any of us have run into simple fixes when it comes to house repair. Why is that?!! grin

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

One Quick Sad Note

At 4:40 am the last little mouse died. They were way too young, just as we were told, but we tried. DD will be heartbroken when she finds out, but we had warned her again that none may survive, especially since we were given the slim to none chance.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

October Already?!! Where has September gone.....

Here it is - October and we aren't near ready for fall yet. We went out yesterday to collect our first batch of firewood. Nothing like putting it off, is there? So here we are, out minding our own business getting a load of wood, when I saw this mouse run away from one of the logs we cut, with the dog in hot pursuit behind. No sense calling the dog, as it won't listen to a word you say when it sees a running meal. Yup, my brother's dog loves to eat rodents. Well, off we go toting these logs to the trailer when I notice a tiny pink body laying in the trailer. OH NO!! Daggonit! It's a teenie tiny baby mouse, still alive. Crap - we must have hit a nest. Sure enough, on further examination, there was a nest with 4 more babies besides.

Now, I think mice are cute, make great pets, but I also know that they are nasty little creatures when they're in your house or garden. So here we were with 5 innocent baby mice that were in their log minding their own business when we chopped up their home. Mom was long gone or eaten, and there was nothing I could do with them except... give them to DD to see if she wanted to take care of them. What's the chances of pink ones living? Slim to none, but right now we have made it through 24 hours of feeding every hour. Yeah, you did see we. Since DD is still young, I'm not making her stay up all night. That's what mom's are for.

DH isn't very happy about the situation, and he's hoping they all die, which means they are sure to live :-) I was about DD's age when a friend of mine came to me with a bundle they found in their stove pipe while cleaning it out. She said her parents were going to kill them, and she talked them out of that because she knew I'd take care of them. She brought me 8, and out of them, 5 survived with the help of my mom. So, I'm honestly expecting a couple out of this batch to live.

DD is already feeling the pinch of motherhood, as she has to take care of them during the daytime, and with hourly feedings, she's not able to do much. In less than 3 weeks they'll be weaned, but right now, 3 weeks will be like 3 years. :-)

Since I was up last night, I pulled out an old cross stitch piece to work on. No way was I going to get out my knitting as tired as I was. I hate ripping out knitting mistakes. I'm intimidated by all those loops that can get lost. Being so tired though, I didn't stitch much. Seemed like what I did do took forever.

My pantry shelves look pretty good. Not as full as I would have liked them, but darn good for our growing year. They are calling for frost early this week, so I should head out to the garden and pull the bean plants that we were saving seeds from. They aren't dry yet, and at this point I don't know if they will get there. I've never pulled plants like this before. A new experience for us, but one that will be a learning one!!

Our friend gave us some hot peppers on Friday - so I have to can them yet. And here I thought I was done :-) We have them canned, BBQ'd, pickled and dried. So what should I do with these ones? I'll have to dig out my canning/freezing books and see what looks good.

Well, that catches up with what's been going on for the last couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to things calming down so I can have some knitting, crafting and PC time.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Busy! Busy! Busy!

That time of the year again, when harvesting, canning and freezing take over our lives. Now, I'm not complaining, mind you. I love to put things up and have some of that home made taste over the winter. Our garden wasn't very big, and went in late with everything going on with Dad. DS pretty much did all the gardening. He has truely been a blessing!

So far we've canned:
6 pints peach jam
3 pints spiced peach jam
8-1/2 pints barbequed hot peppers
7 pints pickled hot peppers
3 half-pints banana butter
7 pints stewed tomatoes

and frozen:
16 quarts of our own beans
7 quarts corn
10 quarts sweet Italian peppers

I have a ton more stuff on the porch waiting to be taken care of so it's back to the canner again today. I bought a bushel of hot Hungarian peppers and a bushel of sweet Italian peppers, so I'll be working on them today and making more BBQ'd hot peppers (YUMMM!!!) and pepper rings, plus some salsa.

Weight hasn't dropped much more - just a half pound, but it's still coming off. With that I'm pleased.

On the needles, I have a CIC sock, but I'm starting to worry I won't have enough to finish the second sock. Not sure what to do there, as I 'd hate to put another color on the foot of the second sock - think it would look silly. Trying to figure something out - but at the same time, would really hate to rip out that toe on the first one. Might have to to make them match somewhat.

Not much else going on here except getting ready for our long winter....

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Last week was a great week! I hit my 30 pounds lost goal and passed it, put a lot of beans up for winter, dug some yummy fresh potatoes for dinner, worked on painting the house, and even finished my DD's "Grow With Me Afghan". I was a productive week with lots of odds 'n ends finally finshed. Now, just the ambition to throw out more clutter.

I received my Heels & Toes Gazette from Dawn Brocco. That is one awesome magazine! It has 4 beautiful sock patterns and a pattern for leg warmers that would be perfect for one who wears dresses or wide leg pants in the wintertime. I sure wish I could do the warmers in cashmere, but I had better think of learning how to spin - as that's the only way I'll ever get it! There's also a gorgeous pair of stranded socks that look like they could have come out of "Folk Socks" but they are worked from the cuff down, instead of toe up. That's a must do for me! They are awesome!! But then again, all Dawn's issues are nothing less than awesome!!! I have every one of her gazettes and some of her patterns, and and one day hope to have them all.

Well, Labor Day has come and gone, and it appears the hummingbirds went with it. I haven't seen any for the past couple of days. There may be a straggler or two left, but it appears the majority is gone. I always hate to see them leave, but I know they'll be back next year. Their migration blows my mind. Those tiny little birds go for more than a thousand miles, and then in April, make the treck back, and the wildest part is, I really think the same ones return. They fly to the exact spot where we hang the feeders looking for them even before we put them out. Yes, some years they appear early, and they were the ones that alerted me to realize they must be the same ones! I can't find my way out of a paper bag, and these little critters can come back to the same nesting spot?!!!

Monday, August 23, 2004


Here I am trying again to post to this possessed blog. UGH! I'm half tempted to never post again. Yah, right. What is it about these things that makes one have to post so that there's a chance that others may read it? Who in their right mind lets their diary sit out so that all can read their private thoughts? Yet, here we are doing the same thing. Is it because we aren't to be really ever seen face-to-face so it's safe, or are we secretly into wanting others to really know us?

Now that I've pondered the universe, I can now get on with my blogging. The last time I tried to post, I had a huge entry that disappeared when my connection was lost during mid-publishing. So, bear with me while I try to remember what I've been up to.

I broke my pattern diet with a couple of auction wins. They were just too good of a price to let go, and they are patterns I'll use. I am already using one: "Many Mittens" that is a pattern for two-needle mittens by Leisure Arts. I've finished my first one for DD using Bartlett Yarns Royal blue. Although it fits well in the hand, the thumb is too large in circumfrence and she doesn't like it. Sure, after I get it all done and woven in, then I hear the complaints. Not before when she could have, as we were trying it on through all the stages. I'm not sure how to fix it now - maybe just rip the thumb out and knit it again - but it's going to be so hard to find my woven ends as I do a good job getting them in so they won't come out - now I'd say too good of a job!

The other leaflets I received were "Jean Greenhowe's Bazaar Knits" and LA's "The Complete Book of Raglan Sweaters". I was thrilled about these wins - all totalled $3 with shipping! Now could I really have passed that up? Especially getting the Gean Greenhowe's book. I've been wanting one of them for a very long time. There are so many adorable patterns in it, and one that is especially cute is "The Cozy Family". They are a cute family of egg cozies - Mum, Dad, Boy, Girl and Baby (complete with pacifier/soother)!! Now I want MORE of her books!!!

Currently, I'm working between a CIC sock and getting ready to either start the new mitten or the big thumb. I keep telling DD that a large thumb might be good because the wool will felt as she plays in the snow. Think she'll buy that? LOL

Monday, August 16, 2004

Two Finishes!!

I finished 2 hats - both came out nicely. The first was the Adult Size Pumpkin Hat by Sarah Bradberry. My DD just loved how it came out. She has decided that it will be perfect for both halloween and Thanksgiving.

My second finish was Dot's Ponytail Hat pattern. I made it from Red Heart's Plus in French Blue. I used an "H" hook and got a gauge of 3dc = 1" and 2dc rows = 1". Since I made this for my 11yo, I added 4 rows of double crochet at rows 4-8. The rest of the pattern needed no alterations. My DD just loves it! She likes that it can be worn with or without a ponytail with the way Dot designed the frilly opening that allows the ponytail to come through. This is really a neat hat - THANKS DOT!

I've looked at the newest hat Dot has posted Sarah's Shells and that is another that has my DD's name written over it. Another must to make. First I have a pair of mittens to make for DD. I'm going to try a 2 needle pattern instead of my usual 4 needle one, and will be using a Royal Blue from Bartlett Yarns.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

You know, it amazes me - summer is supposed to be a time to relax, but it seems that I'm usually busier at this time of the year than any other. I guess it's catch up time, as when we are seriously homeschooling during the school year, I put things off when I can, and do them at this time of the year. Yes, we do homeschool all year, but we go easier over the summer.

I've been taking some time for knitting and getting mittens and hats for winter done. I am working on Sarah Bradberry's Adult Size Pumpkin Hat for DD. I'm knitting it with size 6 circulars in Bartlett Yarn's Hunter Orange and haven't decided what to use for the stem color yet. I have a couple of different color greens, so I'll figure it out when I get to that point. I started it yesterday, so I only have 2" done. The pattern is easy and I think it's going to come out really cute.

I finished a dishcloth type shawl for DD in a variegated blue/green/purple that she picked out. I used Red Heart ww and 12 oz. and size 13 needles, which made the perfect size shawl for a 5'1" girl. The shawl was a breeze - adapted from one of the favorite dishcloth patterns.

Dishcloth Shawl

Cast on 1.
Row 1 - Knit (1)
Row 2 - Knit in front and back of stitch. (2)
Row 3 - Knit in front and back of stitch. (4)
Row 4 - Knit (4)
Row 5 - Knit 2, yo, knit to end. (5)

Repeat row 5 until you have desired size shawl.
Cast off LOOSELY. Weave in ends.

See how easy?!!! And DD LOVES it!!!

I've been spending a lot of time sorting and throwing things. The clutter here is driving me crazy. Don't know how I got so much, and worse, why I've been keeping what I have been! Does everyone keep so much, or am I just weird?!

We are coming down to the wire to be totally approved for being able to adopt. I'm so excited!! We have a couple of classes to do, and then the home visit, and that's it! Then we can finally get to start looking for a child. It's been a long road for us - and we are so close finally.

What a noise! I turned to look out the window next to me, and there are 8 mourning doves at the feeder by the window. Such beautiful birds and it's so exciting to me to see them bring their babies to the feeder. Finally they are trusting us. We've had the feeder up for 3 years, and they have only sporadically been here - until just this past month. They've been here every day, and now bringing their young ones. We've seen quite a few unusual birds this year. Ones normally not for this area, and some not this region. It is a good year to do a unit study on birds. We will be starting it soon. Waiting for the bird book that out state DCNR puts out to arrive. I ordered it a few days ago, so it should arrive soon.

Well, guess it's time to get back to decluttering. I need to hire a maid and tell her to throw all that she deems not worth keeping. Man - would I have a clean house after that!!! LOL

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Doggone it! I have no clue what is up with blogger, but I couldn't ftp for anything - so I moved to a new home. We'll see how it all works out, and if it does, maybe I'll just have to stay :-)
Now to catch up on things, a new school year has started, Dad is getting better and is learning to hop on one leg, and I've been knitting my little heart out. Yes, you've read it - KNITTING!!!! And crocheting a bit, too. The summer here has been cool and wet, and I just had the urge to pick up my needles and get busy again.
So far, I've done up a pair of mittens, and 4 dishcloths. I'm on dishcloth #5 and am half way through a hat for DD.  I guess I'm weird, but after a dry spell of not doing any knitting or crocheting, I always start out with small things to get back "into" the rhythm of things.

So good to be back!!!

Monday, June 21, 2004

For about a month, I've been bogged down with personal things. Not much in the way of stitching, knitting or any crafting. All my time has been divided between Dad's situation and getting all my stuff straight in the homeschooling department. This year will soon be finished, and we'll be starting the next school year. July 1st marks our 9th year of homeschooling.

With that said, I must get back to all the paperwork that waits piled here on my desk.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

What is it about these daggon quizzes, that I have to take them every time I see one? :-)

You are Barefoot!

You're a total free spirit, go with the flow girl

You can't be restricted by shoes for very long

And unsuprisingly, the same goes for men

Your match is out there - and he's as carefree as you are

What Shoe Are You? Take This Quiz :-)

Find the Love of Your Life
(and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.

Erica Michaels "Summer Sun Square" freebie. I stitched this on 7 ct. cream Klostern using my own choice of size 3 DMC Perle. I'm waiting for the Royal Blue FyreWerks to arrive, so that I can fill in the sun's sunglasses.  Posted by Hello

Freebie from Indigo Rose called "Four Little Lady Bugs". I stitched this on 28 ct. Bridal White Alma using the recommended DMC colors.
 Posted by Hello
It's already Tuesday - man! Time really seems to be flying! All the trips to the hospital really have distorted my sense of days/weeks. Amazing how that happens.

I've started my summer stitching, and have found a real joy in stitching the freebies I get from Needlecraft Corner with each order. I've been putting them aside for quite a while, for the time I could afford to play with them and buy the recommended threads, buttons, etc. Since I've been keeping with my promise of not buying any new patterns, I've found that I have a lot more $ to spend on supplies and honestly, I've never had so much fun!! In fact, I'm considering not buying any patterns next year either. I have so much stuff to stitch up now, I really don't miss getting the newest stuff. Weird, eh?

I've started my first Chantelaine Design - a dragonfly freebie that came in one of my packets from Drema. I'm just loving the colors, and I so love Caron's Waterlilies thread. Ohhhh! So nice to work with and the colors are so vibrant! I think this is going to be just gorgeous when it's finished.

Anyhow - here's two pics of my latest finishes: (One's not quite done, am waiting on one color of thread.)

Sunday, May 23, 2004

I finally figured out how to post the pictures. I tried yesterday w/o success, and discovered why. I was under the impression that there would be a host for my pictures, but instead, they are uploaded to Fortune City - and of course, Fortune City was down yesterday... So no successful uploads. The case of the missing pictures is solved! So - you will find them at the end of this post.

I took some time today to sort and list my flosses - matching up my charts with the threads I have in stash. I have another huge list of supplies to order from Needlecraft Corner someday soon. I love playing with all the wonderful specialty threads and fabrics. Speaking of fabrics, Silkweaver has a 3 day sale going on. I ordered a hand-dyed piece that I hope will work for one of the space designs that I have to make for DH.

I'm stitching "Party Mario" for DD's birthday. I'm doing it on Silkweaver's hand-dyed Opalescence in skye. Those shiny threads make it a little more difficult to stitch on, but I think it will be really neat when done. So far, all I have is Mario's hand stitched. I'm not pushing hard, as I have till mid-August to finish it.

Today, I decided to do something for me, so I started Indigo Rose's freebie "Four Little Lady Bugs". I'm done with 3 of the four "legs" of the design that separates the bugs. Pretty neat! I wasn't sure I'd like the golden yellow that is used for the "legs", but now, I think it will look OK.

I love freebies - if you haven't noticed. I'm on my 50th freebie (that's if I haven't forgotten to count any - LOL) I enjoy changing threads or using the new ones in the freebies - it helps me decide if I really want to go to the expense of buying a large pattern and using all the specialty threads/beads/charms that many of them call for. I also like to substitute things for them - and if they don't come out great, well, I really haven't lost a whole lot of time or money. They also make nice small gifts and ornaments. Yup - freebies are the best thing since buttered toast!!
JBW Grandmother: A Special Love Posted by Hello

Sugarplum Wizzers Watermelon Posted by Hello

Dale Burdett Sugar and Spice Posted by Hello