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Friday, December 30, 2005

What I stitched over Christmas vacation

Some pictures :-)!!

Hillside Samplings, Hillside School of Needlework:

Prairie Schooler, Prairie Birds:
Cardinals (Sorry, it's a tad blurry)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Whew! This week is flying!

Last week when I was stuck at work, the week D-R-A-G-G-E-D...but this week, when we are on vacation, it's flying by! I haven't had a ton of time to stitch like I planned but I've started Prairie Schooler's, Prairie Birds and Scarlet Letter's, Sarah Tatum. Also, I decided to pull a wip from my enormous pile (ahem..) and work on it for a while. I chose Hillside Samplings, Hillside School of Needlework. I haven't touched it since 2004 (wince!) and I really don't have a lot to finish on it. I know I have finishing anxiety and I planned on adding a verse to the sampler instead of the personalization so that meant work, and as a result, it went into the *finish someday* pile. I dislike backstitching (ick) and the entire house is backstitched for bricks. Plus, I made a mistake in the fence area and it needed frogging, which I fixed last night. I love the sampler, so I decided to add it to the *finish now* pile.

I also thought about a rotation. I am not one to structure my stitching around a schedule, I usually stitch what's screaming the loudest, but as I looked back on 2005, I realized that I didn't finish any of my Wips. I just added to the *start pile*. This year, that's gotta change. So, this is what I decided to do...I will work on 5 pieces a month. One per week. This is what I've chosen:
1. Sarah Tatum - 1/2 page per month (one evening a week for the SAL plus a full week)
2. Prairie Year and Prairie Birds - 1 motif a month from each pattern
3. Hillside School of Needlework - Wip
4. Whatever screams the loudest - TBD (leaving some wiggle room..hee-hee)

Because I work full time and only have a couple of hours in the evening during the week to stitch before I go comatose, I tend to stitch more on the weekends than during the week. So giving 4 projects some focus time may be just what I need to do to complete SOMETHING in 2006. As one piece finishes another will take it's place. I haven't given up on the list that I posted earlier, I just am prioritizing a bit and tweaking it. Since Sarah and the Prairie Schoolers made the list, the others will just wait their turn. Eventually, they'll get some stitching time. And I haven't decided what to do about the strong urges to start a new project. I do know that I will be curtailing purchases in 2006 cause this week I spent a lot of time organizing stash and my craft room. I am overwhelmed by the amount of stash that I own and I should have plenty to choose from when I need a new start. I love all that I have too, there isn't a chart or kit that I wouldn't mind spending time stitching. I can't give up buying altogether, though, especially quakers and there are samplers that are on my short list too. But impulse buying has to be curtailed somewhat.

So what do you think? Doesn't this sound like a plan? Has anyone tried this method and was successful with it?

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Dear friends,

Merry Christmas! May you have a wonderful holiday, celebrating our Savior's birth! I wish everyone who reads my blog a great day filled with family and friends, much laughter and love. Oh, a bit of stitching time too!

Today, I started Prairie Schooler's, Prairie Birds. There is a SAL on the Friends Gather BB for this design in January but I couldn't wait. I am stitching all the motifs on a single piece of 32ct flax Belfast linen with DMC. I have a dilemna though, there are only 10 motifs and I am not sure of how to configure them.

I will post a picture of my progress tomorrow.

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas House Exchange pics!!

I received the coolest box design from Karin in NY for the Christmas House Exchange on the Legacy BB. It's the neatest thing!

Here's the pics!

Been thinkin'...

and as my husband says..."That's NOT a good thing! LOL!!!

I've been thinking about next year's stitching. Now mind you, I am a list maker but not everything gets done on my list. So, I guess in the spirit of *Pirates of the Carribean*, the list is just a 'guideline". At work, we call *guidelines* weasel instructions cause *guidelines* are *suggestions* and not RULES. In my job, I live by RULES, so my stitching plans are "guidelines*. *AHEM*'s my um-m-m-m *List for 2006 Stitching*.

After much consternation and pulling of patterns, current wips and just going back and forth with desires, wants and need to do's, I've listed the following that I want to work on in 2006. Notice, I didn't say finish...cause that would be a RULE.

1. SAL - Prairie Year - Prairie Schooler
2. SAL - Prairie Birds - Prairie Schooler
3. Bent Creek - Snappers
4. Lizzie Kate - Flip it's for the year
5. My Quaker RR
6. Time & Seasons - Moira Blackburn
7. A Drawn Thread pattern - probably nothing too big cause I have BAP wips now.
8. Something from my current Wips (that number 28!)
9. SAL - Sarah Tatum - The Scarlet Letter
10. SAL - Miss Mary Mack - to be made into a pin
11. An anything else that comes down the pike that strikes my fancy (weasel, weasel)

There. I feel like I should have all the legal disclaimers, void where prohibited, Do not remove this tag under penalty of death, the surgeon general's health warning and no shoes, no shirt, no service...LOL!!!!

And then there are 2 things that I must do - my Garden exchange and my *blush* very delinquent Autumn exchange...(yes, I am ashamed but when it's finished it's going to be spectacular!!!)

So, that's the list, um plan, um-m-m-m hope(?) for 2006.

What's YOUR stitching plan for the coming year???

Friday, December 16, 2005

No stitching tonight :-(

Whew, what a busy, crazy day! Woke up to 6 inches of snow, yucky roads and many, many accidents, including a fatality. Got to work ok but late cause of traffic and the road conditions. Work was busy but the day went fast. I walked to the LNS at lunch, yes, Stitchery Row is down the street from work..(yeah!!)and I bought (blush) MORE stash...oh, I am so bad. I bought a piece of Bonnie Blue linen to stitch "Bring it on". I also bought another set of buttons to make it again for a special someone. And Krenik braid and a BC Snapper "February". I put 2 patterns on *hold* too, Sampler Cove's Grace and Carriage House's Quaker Christmas. Then it was off to my 2nd manager's home for a Christmas party. We had a ball there. Got home around 6:30. Roads were dry but there was a ton of traffic. Then I put up the Christmas tree. David hates putting up the tree and getting him to put the lights on was a battle in itself. But the tree is done and it's so pretty. Now, it's Christmas in my house! My hubby wanted me to wait until tomorrow to put it up but Mike is coming home from college tomorrow and I wanted to have the house all decorated for him.

When I get up tomorrow, I have to bake 7 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange in the afternoon. I hope that they come out ok. I am going to make Chocolate Crinkles. Nothing like waiting until the last minute!!! LOL!!! I am hoping that on Sunday, I can relax and stitch awhile. That will be a good thing!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Taking a small break

I was at Barnes and Nobles the other day to pick up a book for my Son. I bought myself "Memoirs of a Geisha". I can't put it down, it is so fascinating. I wasn't sure that I would like it as it's not the type of novel that I normally read. But I love it. Has anyone read it?

I got word that Leena received my Sampler House II exchange piece. I am so relieved as I was going to start a new piece for her. It took a long time to go to Malaysia. Now, to finish off Nancy's pieces and I will be totally finished with exchanges for 2005. I have been working on my Quaker RR too, I put in a couple motifs in the border and I am planning on what to stitch in the interior sections. There are many Quaker motifs that I like so I am having a hard time deciding what to stitch next! I know I should not be stitching on the Quaker RR but I can't help myself. It's like eating good chocolate, I eat until I get a stomach ache. I am going to lock it in my cedar chest so I am not tempted to continue to stitch on it as I MUST work on other things!

One of the things that I want to start too is this little freebie from Just Another Button Company called *Brign it on*.

I think this little snowman is adorable, don't you? It doesn't look like a long stitch either, maybe I will work on it over my Christmas break.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Lizzie Kate Winter Boxer

I made this for the Sampler House exchange on Legacy. It's Lizzie*Kate Winter boxer made into a cube. I didn't put the bow on it yet. I want it to look like a Christmas present.

And with the bow, displayed on my mantle next to the Santa bowl that I painted.

I'm not saying where it's going and I hope that my exchange partner likes it. Do you?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Pictures Pictures!

As promised...Pictures!!

My Quaker RR. This sampler is stitched on 32ct Vintage Pearled Barley linen from Lakeside with Vicki Clayton premium silk in Basic Black. It's so graphic and I love it. The ladies who stitched on it did a fabulous job, and it's exactly what I envisioned it to be. I asked that the participants use only motifs from Quaker samplers in the style of M. Quetier or Good Huswife's, "1798 Quaker Sampler". My only regret is that not all the participants in the RR stitched on it cause it came home early. Honestly, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to work on it because this piece sums up a very difficult late Summer and early Fall. But now that it's home, I will finish it.

Moira Blackburn's "Time & Seasons". This is stitched on 36ct Lakeside Linen Vintage Light Exemplar with Vicki Clayton silks. The colors are very soft and nostalgic.

I will be working on this sampler during 2006.

Stash! I've been very bad stash shopping instead of Christmas shopping! In this photo is Lizzie*Kate's "December Flip-it", Elizabeth's Designs "Garden Gate" and "My Garden", Au Fil des Reves "Scissors and Needlekeeper" and a reproduction Quaker sampler, Sarah W. Rowland.

I know there's more stash stuffed someplace in my house cause each day I get envelopes in the mail and my husband just shakes his head in bewilderment. I also have stuff on order, Vero in France picked up Armada for me while she was at the big craft exposition last week. She is so kind. From Elegant Stitch, I ordered a Just Another Button kit, "Bring it On". It's the cutest snowman. Plus, Heart in Hand's "Snowman Medley".

Friday, December 09, 2005

My Quaker Sampler is home

I participated in a Quaker RR on the Legacy bb. Although my sampler came home early, it is truly beautiful and I love it. The ladies that stitched on it did a wonderful job and I will cherish this sampler. I believed that I would not be able to look at it or even stitch on it once it came home cause of the circumstances that surrounded it, my Dad's death and other things, but I believe that I will be able to finish it and hang it in a special place in my home. I know that when I look at it there will be bittersweet feelings and sadness but also healing and closure.

I will post a picture of it tomorrow along with the stitching that I've done this week. By the time I get home from work it's dark and there is never enough light to take pictures. My digital camera adequate but not terrific. It's the equivalent of a snapshot camera and it doesn't do well in low light situations. Tomorrow, we are to have a partly sunny day so I should be able to get decent pictures of my Quaker RR, my progress on "Time & Seasons", a Lizzie Kate piece and my recent stash aquisitions.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Snow's on it's way!

We are to get a snowstorm tonight, the weatherman is predicting at least 6 inches. That means we will have about 10 inches total after the storm.

I've been sick, I picked up a viral infection, so I've been home from work for the last 3 days. I did stitch a little bit during this time when I wasn't coughing or sleeping. I finished up my Sampler House Exchange piece, I just have to put it together. And today, I decided to stitch on one of my Wips. I figured that if I was well, I would be at work, so the time at home was bonus time. I worked on Moira Blackburn's "Time & Seasons". I started it way back in June but put it away while I was stitching on exchange pieces and dealing with everything else. I am stitching it on 36ct. Light Exemplar linen from Lakeside and using Vicki Clayton's silks. I like how it's coming out, it's very soft and vintage-y looking. I'll be putting it away after today, cause I am busy stitching last of my exchanges.
I don't think I will be working on any of my Wips until the first of the year. But that's ok.

I had S.E.X. too, I've gone overboard ordering things lately. I received a couple of Elizabeth Garden pieces, My Garden and Garden Gate, Lizzie Kate's, December Flipit and Acworth 3 from Historical Stitching. I also won a DAR sampler, Susan Rowland on ebay. I've ordered a couple of things from Elegant Stitch too.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My Christmas ornament for Katrina

For the Christmas ornament exchange on the Stitching Bloggers Exchange BB, I stitched a Prairie Schooler design for Katrina. It's from Book #33 Christmas Collection. I also sent Katrina a Bentcreek kit, Winter zipper.
I am glad that she likes my ornament and small gift. I had a great time stitching for her.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Extreme craft room makeover

NO, Ty and the crew didn't show up at my door to makeover my craft room. Although, I wished that he would show up many times today as I battled with 20+ years of various types of stash.

I know I am going to regret posting these photos of my trashed craft room because the room is really messy and cluttered. But it's the beginning of ORGANIZATION. I spent a lot of time today moving, toting, throwing out, and yes, cursing as well. So without further ado...H-E-R-E-'S Joanie's Craft room....! (Click on the photos to enlarge them.)

This a picture of the new storage units that I bought at Target. They are stackable and right now they are holding some painting supplies. They aren't as wide as I wanted but they will be OK. You can just barely see the bookshelf that holds binders of all my stitching charts. To the right are the plastic containers that held my fabric.

There's more to come, I bought 2 pantry units to go on either end of these storage units, as well as 2 drawer units to place on top of these double door pieces. The hubby got tired of assembling furniture and moving things around for me, he's such a dear.

This picture is of the top of the little dresser where I stored all my fabric. I moved the fabric to a nicer home than those plastic storage bins. This is the beginning of the mess.

A tiny bit of organization. I decided to make a stitching display on the top of the dresser. On the far right is my Mom's sewing tin. It was a Christmas candy tin that she used as long as I can remember to hold needles and various spools of thread to do mending. It still has all of her sewing stuff inside. The little candy jar on the left always held hard candy or jelly beans at Easter.

A closer image that shows all of my stitching treasures. You can see PattiH's little scissor fob.

To the right of the dresser on the wall is a display of some of the wooden miniatures that I painted over the years. I used to sell these at craft shows. I have eleventy-bizzillion of them that are unpainted hiding in the basement. I can't bear to get rid of them! Am I a sick puppy or what!

The only picture that didn't come out because it was back lit when I took it was the work table. I'm glad that it was too dark cause it was stacked about 3 feet deep with STUFF. Tomorrow, I will take a picture of it in the evening. Also, I am confessing that I moved a metal shelf unit out of this room and into the basement that held large pieces of unpainted wood. You didn't get to see those...LOL!!

Well, kids, it's a start. And I'm bushed.


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Mourning Samplers

I never really gave this concept a lot of thought but there is a thread on Legacy about mourning samplers. I guess they were, well, too morbid for me to even consider. I've never liked the *tombstone samplers* as my son refers to them. But recently I've decided that maybe I would *research* them just in case I wanted to memorialize my parents. I came up with the following samplers that I think I could live with and would reflect who my parents were when they were alive.

My Dad was a US Navy veteran, so I came across a French sampler called Armada. Here's a picture of it:

Dad never tired of telling Navy stories and he was quite proud of his service time. So I thought this sampler was fitting for him. I will lengthen the sampler and personalize it with his Navy service record.

I chose this sampler for my Mom from Homespun Elegance called Nellie's Garden Revisited.

Her name was Nellie and she was an old fashioned gal. This sampler, to me, has a very homespun quality about it. My Mom was a stay at home mom who lived for her family.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A gift from PattiNH

A few days ago, I came home to the nicest surprise. Patti in NH made me the teensiest scissor fob just because she was thinking of me. I admired her fob that she posted on her blog and wished that I had enrolled in the Essey & Friends club that Elegant Stitch was promoting for Breast Cancer research. Patti decided to make me one. I was deeply touched by her thoughtfulness. THANKS PATTI!!! Here it is...

I am very happy and touched that she would think so much of me. It came at a great time cause Thanksgiving was tough this year. My brother and his family didn't come here to spend the weekend with us. Usually, he would bring Dad with him to spend the holiday with us. So we went to friends for an early dinner and then home in the early evening to a very quiet house.

So you see, this little token of cheer did much to lift my spirits!

My contribution to the SBEBB Lottery

Here is my Lottery piece for the Stitching Blogger's Exchange BB Lottery.

It's a freebie design from Rainbow Gallery. I changed the fibers to Weeks overdyes. It was a nice piece to stitch. Finishing though, wasn't so nice. My sewing machine and I do not get along.

Do you like it?

Karin's Ornament

Karin in Ireland made me the cutest snowman ornament for the ornament exchange on the Stitching Blogger's Exchange BB.
Here it is! TA-DA-A-A-A!!!!

Isn't it adorable? I have it hanging from a peg on my kitchen shelf. Thanks, Karin, I LOVE IT!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Karin's Christmas exchange came!

Karin had my name for the Christmas ornament exchange on the Stitcher's Blogger exchange board. She sent me the cutest snowman ornament and a boatload of goodies! I got chocolate (yum), mauve fabric, mauve Threadgather silk and gold and mauve sparkley fibers, mince pies, cute candycane and snowmen charms and a beautiful card with a nice handwritten note inside. I was thrilled to get it and later I will post pictures cause it's very dark in my house right now. Plus, it's littered with boys. Mike had 3 of his buddies come over for a video game party and you can just imagine what my family room looks like. I think I am living in a frat house! Oh, I don't mind, it's been such a wonderful 10 days having Mike home from college. I can't believe he is going back tomorrow. But only for 3 weeks and then he will be home for almost a month for Christmas break.

Stitching wise, I finished my Lottery piece, I will also post pictures of it later. It's a cute snowman design. And I also finished my Sampler House exchange piece. I got word that Aniza received her redwork piece and I am waiting for Leena to get her Sampler House II piece. Nancy's autumn exchange should go in the mail this week too, I wanted to make something special for her cause she has been so nice to me. Then I will be ALL caught up and I can stitch a couple of small gifties for some special people. I may paint too....hmmm...

Well, stay tuned for photos!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a great day spent with family and friends! And LOTS of turkey! Please don't forget to give thanks for all the blessings that rain down from Heaven! I am particularly thankful for all the friends that I have met through the Stitchers Blogger Exchange BB and through my blog. I love all of you and my life certainly has been enriched because of all of you!

Our family went to friends for dinner, it was so nice! I brought the pies and one of their dogs ate the remainder of the apple pie! We all went down to the family room and we could hear doggie paws upstairs in the kitchen but we weren't sure what *Blue* was up to...well, he was up to NO GOOD! My friend found him sitting on a kitchen chair chowing down on the pie. He left not a crumb.

It snowed here today too, so the roads were pretty slippery coming home. And cold too! It was 8 degrees!!! Once we got home, I changed into my jammies and climbed into my stitching chair. I am finishing up my Lottery exchange piece. I actually created a phototrail account so I can post pictures. The url is: WWW.joaniestitch/ Check it out! It's just a beginning but hey now that I figured out how to download photos from my camera and upload them onto this account, there should be pictures to view.

I am thinking about next year's stitching. I will be doing a couple of well spaced exchanges but I really want to concentrate on finishing up some of my WIPS. I also want to work on a couple of smaller pieces because most of my WIPs are BAP. I also will be working on Sarah Tatum as a part of a SAL on Legacy. It's going to be a fun stitch. Anyway...those are my thoughts for now.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Well, dear blog readers, I apologize for not posting much sooner than now, our family has been very busy this last week.

Mike is home from RIT for the holiday, he came in last Tuesday cause his quarter ended and he finished up his finals early too! Got grades, 4 A's, 3 B's and a (sigh of relief from all of us) a C in chemistry. Plus, he was nominated for Cadet of the Quarter in ROTC Airforce.

We are planning a large remodeling job for our house too, we met with the contractor to start to pick out things, wow, was I overwhelmed! Siding styles, colors, materials! We did decide on a type of siding and a beautiful front door with leaded glass inserts - it's gorgeous! But next is windows and tile...yikes!!

We went to see Harry Potter too, I loved the movie, it's very dark film...shot in greys and browns and blues...the acting is top notch and the cinematography is beautiful. I wouldn't take a child to see this one though, it's scary in parts.

On the stitching front, I finished my Christmas ornie exchange piece, it's going down under. The rest are in process. I am waiting for confirmation that my redwork and Sampler House II exchange piece made it to Malaysia. I hate mailing international. Once it leaves the States, the PO has NO control over it. So I am on pins and needles (no pun intended) waiting and waiting.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

It's been a good stitching weekend!

Over the course of the weekend, I have made a big dent in a lot of my stitching. I have completed and assembled 3 pieces! Woohoo! I hate to assemble anything, I am sewing challenged and they never look good enough to me. But each time I make something they look a little bit better. I am not posting pictures of them, they have to do a fair bit of traveling before I can unveil anything.

I bought a bunch of new patterns from Wyndhamneedlework. I really have no business buying MORE, I have such a stash now. But I couldn't resist. I bought Sampler Cove's new Quaker, Grace. It's very beautiful. I love Quakers. I also bought some Carriagehouse Samplings designs, those little alphabet ones, K is for Keys, Q is for Queen, the Goode Huswife's Pennsylvania Quilt Pincushion, One Blue Bird, Eliza Ann Pomeroy,Fanny Erb's Sampler. I would love to start all of them but I will wait until next year. I decided that I would just finish out the year with the exchanges. Upon much reflection, I decided that instead of obsessing over what NEEDS to be done I would treat those pieces with JOY and enjoy the process. They will no longer be thought of as *obligations*. Yes, there is a commitment that goes with them but I will not link *obligation* with work. I stitch because I love to and no matter if I am keeping the piece or giving it to someone who will enjoy it, I will find joy in my stitching no matter what I am creating.

Also, I am beginning to formulate a plan for my craftroom. The 3rd bedroom has always been my room to do decorative painting. Since I have my Dad's bedroom set now, I am moving furniture around. I moved Mike's dresser into my craftroom to store my fabric and I bought some storage units for patterns and paint. A bookshelf for a small library of stitching related books. There is much to do to get organized. It will be a good winter's project.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Biting off more than I can chew

I am still plugging along on my exchanges. I appreciate Leena and Nancy who are being very patient while I finish up their pieces and take care of everything else in my life. It's been quite a ride these last few months. I feel very bad that I got behind and I am worried about my stitching *reputation*. So to those stitchers, please accept my apologies and please realize that this has been one of the worst times of my life. I miss my Dad very much and there are days when I just go through the motions.

I've been thinking of my stitching goals for next year. Around this time of the year, I take a peek at my goals and accomplishments. I have to say, I am not really good at planning my stitching, I tend to go with the flow of things. I do a great deal of planning at work so I have a tendency not to *plan* things outside of work. It's not to say that I don't make lists or try to set goals but stitching is supposed to be relaxing and not work, right? So now, with all the obligation stitching, I am up to my neck in lists and goals and plans. It's a necessity for me to do that to stay on top of it all but I am not enjoying stitching right now. I am feeling a lot of pressure and that is sapping my the joy of stitching *lovelies* for my stitching pals.

So here is a listing of my stitching musings....tell me what you think.

1. I listed all my WIPS, I have 28! YIKES!!!!! I didn't think that I had THAT many! So one of my new goals will be to finish 2 of them that are closest to being finished. That would be Drawn Thread's Welcome Spot and Real Roses. Both of them only have about 8 hours of stitching to complete. I got hung up with the roof on the house on Welcome Spot and I wanted to make the boy into a man on Real Roses to represent our family.
2. Then I will pick out one that's not as far along and work on it. I would like to work on either Carriagehouse Samplings, Wild Roses, or Moira Blackburn's Time and Seasons.
3. I want to start Sarah Tatum on December 31st, I always start a new piece on New Year's Eve.
4. I want to also do a couple of small pieces.
5. I also need to limit my obligation stitching. I love the exchanges but I also have a ton of stash (and I recently acquired MORE!!!) so I need to concentrate on stitching it.
6. I have plans for *sampler walls*. I would like to have a Quaker wall, a wall of reproduction samplers with houses, a wall of samplers with biblical verses, a wall of the Chester County samplers and a wall of french alphabet samplers in red or black.

I didn't do well with accomplishments this year, I finished a few things but not as much as I would have liked to finish. I framed Drawn Thread's Happy Halloween and Bent Creek's Blackbird Sampler. But I've also decided that stitching is not a *goal oriented* activity so I'm not going to obsess over not completing as much as I would have liked to complete.

Monday, November 07, 2005

My Redwork exchange piece from Helene in France

Helene sent me the most wonderful little hangup. It's the cutest redwork piece ever, and I am so pleased to have received it from her. It's too precious!

Thank you so much, Helene, it came at a perfect time as I have been a little *blue*.

I LOVE IT!!! Don't you?

Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween Sweetbag on Legacy BB

This is my sweetbag that I made for Joanne.

I had a blast making it. I combined 2 designs from Blackbird designs Trix or Treats and I love how it came out. The black cat fabric is from Debbie Mumm and the other is a black calico. I filled it with a bunch of goodies, Godiva chocolate, Jelly Belly's Monster Mash jelly beans, a pair of spooky socks, a Brittercup Halloween pattern, WDW cotton in appropriate Halloween colors and 2 miniature halloween goodies that I painted.

I am glad that Joanne was happy with it. It was fun to be creative for a change!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Checking In

Right now, I am staying with my brother in Pittsburgh. I came here to finish cleaning out my Dad's house and bring back some of the furniture. Today, David and I went through just about everything, clothing, tools, drawers, closets...there's not a ton of things left but it was a very emotional day for me. I kept thinking that I shouldn't be doing this and that any minute my Dad would come through the door asking why we were going through his things. It was surreal and I got very emotional and cried more than a few times while we were working on it. Especially when my husband was trying on shoes that my Dad bought and never wore...I just kept thinking that this was so sad. I know that it had to be done, and yes, I have been putting it off basically until the very last moment before the weather got too bad or the house sold and I was forced to come in the winter to clean things out in a hurry. I still don't like it though.

Tomorrow, we have our first open house. Someone stopped by the house this afternoon to look at it while we were there, she has small children and seemed to like the house ok. She may have been put off a little by the price but she said that she was coming back during the open house with her husband. I would like a family to have the house. It would be nice to have children growing up in it again. I think the house would like it.

On the stitching front, I ordered more stuff, oh, I am SO bad. Samplers this time, some quakers and some schoolgirl ones from Threads Through Time and Samplerworks. I got my order from Silkweaver too for Sarah Tatum. I got inspired by the samplers posted on Legacy stitched by Carol (Samplerfarm).

I also want to thank everyone who came to read my blog about the Autumn decorating. I can see the photos just fine but apparently no one else can. I copied them from my blog, apparently blogspot doesn't approve. I guess I will have to break down and get a Phototrail or webshots account. I'll do that when I get back to New York.

Well, it's 2AM so I need to try to sleep. I can't seem to let my mind get quiet, all I can think of is my Dad and work and all the other thinkgs that go bump in the night.

I will post some pictures too, I received my redwork exchange from Helene in France. She stitched the cutest little chick and made it into a small wallhanging. It's so nicely stitched and made. There is such talent on the boards. I love it and I will hang it in my kitchen. I love red. It's my favorite color.

Well, good night all my stitching friends.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Blog hopping this morning

This morning, I went blog hopping. Oh my! I was overwhelmed by the posts of finishes and rooms and stash acquisitions. Mercedes in Spain posted pictures of her stitching room and I think that I could move in there! She has a beautifu library and has set up her room so creatively. I love the way she has displayed her finishes and I love her sampler wall. I must do something with my *craft room*. What an inspiration!

I am also in awe of Patti in New Hampshires over one stitching. I don't do over one because I would get so frustrated frogging my piece. I can't seem to count even when I use my fingers so ripping out over one stitches would drive me nuts. Seeing how beautiful and tiny her finishes are makes me want to throw caution to the wind and give over one a try. I'm thinking seriously about it, Patti, and if I need help I'm calling you!

Danielle has posted stash acquisitions that prompted me to go out and buy, buy, buy too! Yesterday, the postman left me packages, YES! I got my order for some Goode Huswif charts and some Trilogy Halloween pieces. I am now waiting on an order from Silkweaver for Lakeside Linen.

I have to say that I want more time in my day. I need to stitch 24/7. There are so many cool things to create and I get such satisfaction from stitching. It's cheaper than therapy and I come away with beautiful things for my time. Thanks Ladies for enabling, inspiring and challenging me!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Autumn decorations

I love Halloween and I love autumn. Right now, my house is glowing in oranges, yellows, burgundies and reds. I wanted to share some of my decorating for the season.

My kitchen shelf:

My mantle:

Autumn / Fall Exchange

I received the most beautiful little tuck pillow from Sylvie in France, yes, the DESIGNER!!! I was overwhelmed by her work. The tuck pillow is her very own design stitched over one on the teeny-tiniest count linen. She also sent me some skeins of silk and French overdyed cottons. And a lovely card. And one of her patterns. I feel like the richest stitching gal on the earth!

Thanks Sylvie for a wonderful surprise!

Sampler House Exchange I

Many moons ago, I received a beautiful house plaque from JudyWI. The photo has been in my digital camera just about forever. I finally figured out how to upload the photos from the silly camera, so here it is in all it's glory:

She also sent me a number of other goodies, a little redwork tuck pillow. I need to take a picture it. (Sorry!!!) Plus, a large mesh project bag and a needleroll holder. I love everything that she made for me.

I apologize to you Judy, for my tardiness in posting your beautiful gifts to me.

Sampler House Exchange II

From NancyMA...a gorgeous Lilybet design made into a beautiful needlebook.

HalloweenExchange photos!


From Dawn for the Stitching Bloggers Halloween Exchange:


From Nancy in SanDiego, the Halloween Sweetbag Exchange on Legacy Embroiderers:

With all the goodies that she filled it with:

Ladies, I am so thankful for all the hard work and time you spent on making these gorgeous gifts! I am blessed beyond belief!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Got this off of Plush's blog

7 Things I Want to Do Before I Die:
1. Go to Hungary.
2. Make up with a friend who hasn't spoken to me in over 2 years.
3. Learn to play the piano.
4. Get to my goal weight of 127 and maintain it for the rest of my life.
5. Learn to speak publicly and not die of fright.
6. Not take my family and friends for granted.
7. Drive somewhere I've never been before and not be scared of getting lost.

7 Things I Can Do:
1. Draw,really, really well (and paint too!)
3. Embroider and cross stitch.
4. Ride a horse.
5. Compromise.
6. Listen really well.
7. Cry (I am an emotional person and it doesn't take much to make me boo-hoo)

7 Things I Can't Do:
1. Ride rollercoasters.
2. Watch horror movies.
3. Knit...I tried but I did it badly.
4. Save money.
5. Understand cruelty to children or animals.
6. Make someone like me no matter how hard I try to get them to like me.
7. Climb ladders or be really high up.

7 Things that Attract Me to Another Person:
1. The ability to see the wonder in everyday life.
2. Compassion
3. Creativity
4. Intelligence
5. Sense of fun
6. Gentleness
7. Conviction of purpose

7 Celebrity Crushes:
1.Johnny Depp
2.Richard Gere
3.Pierce Brosnan
4.John Denver (yeah, I know he's dead but I've loved him since I was a teenager!)
5.Garth Brooks
6. Paul McCartney (I was going to marry him when I was 6)
7.John Cusack

7 Things I Say the Most:
1.And then...
2.You're my woobie!
3.Is everything ok?
4. Are you mad at me?
5. What?
6. I should do that because...?
7. Bite me.

Well - Blech!!!

Ok, so I walk 45 minutes on my treadmill between 3.5 - 3.8 mph for the past 3 nights in a row. I didn't go overboard and screw up my diet royally, like I have in the past. So, I am thinking that I would have lost a pound, right? NO!!!! I GAINED A POUND! There is no justice in the world. I have been stuck playing with this yo-yo 2 pounds for the last freaking year. Up 2, lose 2..up 3 lose 2. I can't get past this weight no matter what I do! I journal, count points. Clean horse stalls, walk, paint an entire 16 x20 foot family room by myself and I gained a pound last week (which I deserved to gain cause I ate pie and Mike was home)and now, another one this week. I don't know what I am going to do! I am so frustrated right now. Yeah, yeah, I've lost 30 pounds...give or take that damn 2 pounds that won't just LEAVE! But I have another 30 pounds to lose to get to goal weight and be free of paying $12 a week to stand on the scale. I thought that this would be over by now. But NO! I just want to cry. Damn menopausal metabolism....

OK, enough ranting....

But I did get a lovely exchange gift in the mail. Sylvie from France made me the most wonderful little autumn of her very own designs. She stitched it over one on a very small count linen. And she sent me one of her heart patterns and some beautiful overdyed floss...made my day! And took some sting out of the weight gain. Thank you Sylvie, I love your beautiful gift to me.

I mailed my Halloween exchange today...I am glad that I finally got it mailed. It came out ok, I put a lovely ribbon hangar on the top of it and it didn't look bad after I finished it. I also included a couple of Halloween goodies, one that I painted. I hope that my partner likes it...

Now, I will be concentrating on my Legacy Sampler House exchange and the Stitching Bloggers Fall/Autumn exchange. I am really excited over the Sampler house piece I chose to stitch and I particularly love what I am going to do with the Fall/Autumn piece...hee-hee. And you know what the best part is about this? I have the same partner for both of these exchanges so I could do something related. And I want to spoil this person, cause she has been very, very kind to me.

Then it's off to finish my Halloween Sweetbag. I am 3/4 done with the stitching, so I am looking to finish sewing it together this weekend. I did take my machine in to be serviced but I have a back up if it doesn't come home in time. I got a bunch of really nice stitching treats to go in the bag this is a fun exchange too.
Actually, ALL of the exchanges are fun, I love spoiling my partners.

Well, I got to get off the computer now, my dog is freaking out. He is old and I don't know why he is whining....and now barking. He's deaf so I can't figure out what he heard...LOL!!!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Argh, what a weekend!!!

Sorry, dear blog readers, for my lapse in blogging the last few days. It's been a wild week.

First of all, the kid is doing great at school. One less thing to worry about. He loves it, has buckled down and is studying ALOT and loves AirForce ROTC. Yeah, Mike!

We had a contractor come out on Wednesday to take a look see at the house, oh, he came up with wonderful ideas and I really like him. This is going to cost big $$ I can feel it in my bones. It will be worth having it all done though, it will be the house of our dreams when it's over and done with. We are going to have ALL the windows replaced and the siding redone, some stonework on the frontporch wall and enclose the patio. The contractor wants to take my floor to ceiling front window and bow it out 2 feet and make a curved window seat. Wowser. He also wants to build a fireplace in the patio as we are going to have it be a 4 season room. I am excited and nervous about it at the same time.

The house in PA may have an offer but the couple is being a bit wishy-washy now, so that may have dried up. The house was shown 3 times in the last week, no takers yet.

On the stitching front, I received the most beautiful Halloween Sweetbag from Nancy K. She stitched a Trailcreek Farms pattern, and framed it with the coolest halloween fabric. I JUST LOVE IT!!! She also included 3 skeins of DMC in bright orange, green and purple, a pair of halloween socks, a sunflower scissor fob, an october ornament and a Twisted Thread Halloween pattern. Plus some candy. I AM so spoiled, I love it. I also received a beautifully stitched tuck pillow from Dawn for the Stitching Bloggers Halloween exchange. It's the coolest pumpkin, stitched in metalics (I don't know where you guys get the patience to stitch with that stuff cause it's the thread from HELL). I LOVE IT TOO!

I will post pictures tomorrow, it's been grey and rainy and there is no good light to show off my treasures. THANKS Ladies!!! I am blessed beyond belief.

As far as stitching goes for me, I worked on my exchanges. I finished my Halloween exchange piece, not happy with it, I should have just made an ornament out of it but I wanted to make a little pillow and the sides curved inward. I am tempted to take it apart and try again, but I am afraid that I will REALLY mess it up. Then I will feel really bad. I was trying to do a ruched ribbon around the edges, it came out badly, so I cut it off. Looks like cording for me.

I worked on my sweetbag too, it's coming out good, at least the stitching part. Construction may be another matter.

My autumn exhange needs to be put together and the my sampler house is almost done being stitched. I am a bit stressed right now with all the obligation stitching.

And I also have a cold.

Ok, enough complaining, it's almost Monday and it's back to work. We had to move to a new location, so that's what I've been doing for 2 days. I am all moved into my new desk. Actually, I like it. I am by myself and I have a window. I don't like the fact that my back is to the aisle and I don't hear anyone coming up behind me, so I get startled when someone comes in the cube. I am going to have to change that, otherwise I am going to die from fright. Plus, I am afraid that I am going to get caught surfing the 'net...

Well, enough, I hope everyone had a great weekend and a lovely new week. Pictures soon.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Oh, I am SO behind!!!!

The college guy came home this weekend and we had such a wonderful time with him! The weekend went so fast and we were busy every minute of the day so I got absolutely NO stitching done! On Saturday, the guys went to play paintball for the day and I decided to re-paint my family room. I didn't like the lighter blue that I chose so off to the Home Despot to get a gallon of a darker shade of light blue. Doesn't that sound contradictory? But that's what I did! I painted 2 of the 3 walls and had to quit cause I was go with my friend,MaryEllen to a Chris Rice concert (he's a Christian rocker)that evening. But before that, I took the cat to the vet in the morning, cleaned the horse's stalls, made an apple pie from scratch and a lasagna.

On Sunday, Mike and I went to see a local production of Annie Get Your Gun. Mike's best bud, Charlie, sang in the production, so we went to see him. He was fabulous!
Then it was off to RIT...and back home again. In the car for 6 hours...whew, I thought I was going to go nuts in the car. We got home at midnight. I went to bed but couldn't sleep. Blech. I listened to the chimes until 2AM. Boy was I ever tired in the morning.

Anyway, on a stitching note, I have to finish my Sampler House piece, my Halloween piece and finish my Fall/Autumn piece. I have to stitch my Halloween Sweetbag piece...I am going a bit nuts now.

We also have a contractor coming to the house tomorrow for an estimate on some extensive remodeling. We want to replace windows, put siding and new gutters,enclose the patio. Big dollars. Let's see Joanie have a heart attack from sticker shock!

Also, I got an email from the realtor, there's an offer coming in ALREADY!! The sign went up on Monday. I can't believe that someone is serious so soon! I hope it's a good offer too.

Well, off to do some stitching. Then off to bed. I am going to post pictures tomorrow of a couple of things that I bought and some progress stitching.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Quaker Friendship Album

I thought I would post the link to the Quaker Friendship album so you all could see the lovely samplers that we are stitching. They are very beautiful and each one is so different. All are heirlooms in the making! Look on the side bar under Quaker Friendship Sampler.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

My Quaker Friendship Sampler

A picture of my Quaker Friendship Sampler that is making the rounds with the Quaker ladies on the Legacy Embroiderers BB:

I am so thrilled with it! I can't wait until it comes home and can join Anne Grimshaw!!!

What do you think of it?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Been MIA

Sorry for the lack of updates, this past weekend, I spent painting my family room. I never thought it was so big until I was faced with on l-o-o-o-n-g wall. I am almost done with it. I have to put the 2nd coat on and will be moving the furniture back in before the weekend.

I stitched a little on my Sampler House exchange piece, I am working a Prairie Schooler design and that's all I am going to say about it. My halloween piece is done now, I just have to put it in the mail. I have some cool goodies to go with it so I am really hoping my partner likes it!

Then it's on to the next exchange piece. I am itching to work on some of my Wips but I have too many exchange pieces to get out. That's ok though, I love stitching for my friends so it's not a chore. Hey, stitching is stitching, right? Whether I put needle to fabric for myself or for my friends, it's still stitching. I really enjoy the process especially when the person I am stitching for loves what I made.

On another note, I had my parents photos framed...ouch, it cost $200. But the frame is fabulous and it was well worth it. I blew all the $$ I saved for needlework framing on this job but this truly is an heirloom. I have a bunch of really old photos of my aunts that I would like framed too, but that's going to have to wait until after the holidays. I'll post a picture later.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Silly Quiz

I took this silly quiz and these are my answers. Click on the link below the take and see *The Keys To Your Heart*....So's fun!

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.

In love, you feel the most alive when things are straight-forward, and you're told that you're loved.

You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was emotional, moody, and difficult to please.

Your ideal relationship is open. Both of you can talk about everything... no secrets.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage something you've always wanted... though you haven't really thought about it.

In this moment, you think of love as something you can get or discard anytime. You're feeling self centered.

Stitching away!

Taking a break from the needle and floss to read everyone's blogs. I just love doing that, it makes me think that I am on a little visit with each of you. Wouldn't it be great to someday get together? How cool would THAT be!

I have been working on my exchanges and the Quaker RR. I started my ornie, I am working on my sweetbag and Halloween exchange. Picked out my House exchange and I am finished with my Autumn/Fall piece. I am 75% finished with the redwork exchange too. The only one I have to decide on is the lottery piece. I am burning up the floss!

In my last post, I told you all that I bought stash. I forgot to mention that I also bought a Just Nan's exclusive from The Silver Needle. It's that too cool Halloween ort box. And I won some things on ebay...I gotta get a grip, but I am having so much fun and I LOVE everything I own, even the stuff that I sold, I loved those things too. Anyway, yesterday, I was pawing through my craft room. I got looking at my painting books and very old magazines and charts. I love them all! There is so much I want to stitch and paint, it can be overwhelming but not in a bad sense. It's a feeling of oh, I can't wait to start this and then that, and oh, I forgot about that piece... Do you ever feel that way? Like you want to start EVERYTHING? And then I go blogg-hopping and see all your work and I want to do even MORE!

There is a thread on the Legacy bb asking if you could have a sampler wall (or a needlework wall) what would you hang? I want a Quaker wall in my upstairs hallway. I want Schoolgirl samplers in my family room. I would like samplers with Bible verses in my family room too. And french alphabets in red or black in my dining room. In my craft room, I would like all the whimsical pieces, Lizzie*Kates, Bent Creeks....a Drawn Thread wall...a Shepherd Bush wall. And seasonal pieces for the kitchen. What about you? Do you have a sampler wall already? What do you have hanging already? I would love to know all your plans...and maybe I'll steal an idea or 2 from you!

I think that next year I am going to put some of these wants into my stitching plans. Definitely I want to work on Quakers (I love them for their graphic quality) and I would like to work on a red alphabet piece. And I want to finish up a couple of Wips. And of course, start a bunch more!

On another note...
I decided on a sell price and the realtor is overnighting my contract. I have come to a place of peace with everything. I placed it in God's hands and it's going to be taken care of. The realtor is very nice and I feel like I *know* her. She is very capable, has a sense of humor and will give me advice when I want it. One less thing to worry about.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Got to see the kid today!

Mike's computer came on Friday. We've been waiting for it for a few weeks now and UPS gave us notice that they had it. So, off to the *hub* to pick it up, I went.

We decided to go to RIT today to drop it off and take Mike shopping for a winter jacket and some other things. It was great seeing him! He's doing wonderfully and it was such a nice day spending it with him and 3 of his friends. We took them to the mall, Target, Best Buy and then the grocery store. I miss him a lot but it's great knowing he's adjusted well to life as a college guy.

On another note, I contacted a realtor on Saturday to put my Dad's house on the market. It was quite an emotional morning for me. My Dad owned that house for over 40 years and there's a lot of memories attached to that house. I was nervous about obtaining a realtor, and really I just shut my eyes and picked one out of the realty book that I picked up when I was home for the funeral. I got a very nice lady realtor who seems to be capable. I am glad, because this is a long distance deal since I am in NY and the house is in Pittsburgh PA. She walked through the house today and sent me an email of her thoughts. She said that the house is neat, clean and tidy and it was evident that my Dad took care of the place. Had positive things to say about the location, the porches, kitchen and garage. Negatives were the bath (no shower) and the house needs a coat of paint. The painting probably will be the sticking point on a sale. I am now debating on whether to have it painted to up the sale price but I run the risk of not recovering that $$. It's a dilemna cause I really don't have thousands to put into it. Blech.

On a stitching note, I finished the stitching part of my autumn/fall exchange (sorry NO PICTURES). Now for the assembly part. I am almost done with the stitching on my sweetbag for the Legacy exchange cause that's due in a couple of weeks. I have to concentrate on the Halloween piece for Stitching Bloggers and my Quaker RR. Then, it's the lottery piece (that's going to be FUN!) and my ornie which is all kitted up and ready to be stitched. I will have a busy 6 weeks stitching up a storm for all my friends. Then I am going to take a break and stitch for me (and continue with the Quaker RR) over the holidays. I have the Gardening exchange to work on over Christmas but that's fine cause I am off 10 days and I get a ton of stitching done during that time. Usually, I kill off a Wip or 2 during that time.

Speaking of Wips...Karen V and I made a deal to stRIP this month, I haven't been good about it unless you count that I LOOKED at my almost finished Drawn Thread piece. I promise, Karen, that I will at least work on it before the end of September. K?

And I had *clicky-finger-itus yesterday too (hanging my head in shame) and I ordered a bunch of things from Lois at Elegant Stitch. After I talked to the realtor, I was in desperate need of retail therapy. (HEY, at least I didn't turn to food like I would have 30+ pounds ago!)
I bought the a few Lizzie*Kates...October Flip it Stamp, Pair O' Pilgrims, Balanced Diet (I'm going to try to stitch this up for my Weight Watcher leader, who's a friend of mine.), Cricket Collections...In a Nutshell I, Ghost Ship, and Sampler Cove's Quaker, Grace Sampler. My credit card is whining but I do feel a little better. Really, I do. And I AM collecting for retirement, right Becky???!!!

So that was MY weekend, how was yours? How is your stitching coming and what did you stitch on this weekend? Enquiring minds would love to know! Have a good week everyone and thanks for reading my thoughts!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I'm feeling the pressure!

I just realized that I only have 2 weeks to finish my Halloween Exchange piece. Then, I have a 2 week break and have to finish my Autumn/Fall piece. Then it's the Halloween Sweetbag exchange and the Redwork exchange! YIKES!!!! I have to get busy!!! I am way behind!

My halloween exchange piece is 3/4 stitched. I am just about done with the Redwork piece. I haven't started the Autumn piece cause I am having a hard time deciding what to stitch. And I am trying to make a special design for the Sweetbag. Too much planning, not enough execution.

It doesn't help that I am in a minor stitching slump. My DH is working a ton of overtime, so that leaves me with the barn chores on top of all my regular after work stuff. I am tired! Last night I went to bed at 9:30. Also, I am feeling a bit blue, it's been a month since my Dad died. That alone sapped most of my energy.

Talk about retail therapy!!!! Yesterday during lunch, I went to the framers to have my parents photos framed. I found pictures of them when my Mom was 19 and my Dad was 21. My Mom's picture is hand tinted and my Dad's is just black and white. I framed them together with a suede mat. Each of the pictures have a filet around them that matches the frame. Then it was off to see Kim at Stitchery Row. (She's next door, so it wasn't a far walk.) I bought 2 patterns, The Artistic Collection's Bittersweet Season and Homespun Elegance's Summertime plus a couple of GAST thread that I need for Summertime. Then, I went to the fabric store after work yesterday and bought some halloween fabric some autumn-y colored fabric and some wool felt. The fabric is for a pin cushion that I want to make for the Autumn / Fall exchange. It's going to go nicely with my stitched piece. Now, I just have to stitch it! HA HA!!

And I just remembered that I MUST take my sewing machine to the shop to be serviced. Ouch, that may put a crimp in some of my best laid plans. I'll have to check and see how my back-up sewing machine is...maybe I will just have to replace the needle in it. Anyway, I am not planning on creating anything too fancy, just straight seams so the back-up machine may be all I need in a pinch.

And now, I am fighting the strong urge to add rug hooking or punch work embroidery or some felt projects. At the fabric store, there was textured and untextured wool felt in such yummy colors . I had this moment of wanting to buy a yard of each to create some of those cute autumn-y table runners...I had to be strong and I and tell myself that I don't need another project!!! LOL!!! Although, I have been trolling the websites looking for that perfect pumpkin table runner...

It doesn't help that I am at work and would rather be home playing in my stash of fabrics and cross stitch things. I keep telling myself that this job is very worth it cause it allows me to have the cash to do the fun stuff with out much question. (Although, there is GUILT involved because I have accumulated much in the last 5 years that I began stitching again. And, we shall stay away from my years of decorative painting and acquiring cute wood cut-outs, paint and pattern books.)
But without this job, I would not be having 1/2 as much fun as I am right now, nuturing my creative side. There's an up-side to everything - even WORK!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

TA - DA - A - A!!! Pictures!

Here ya go! Lizzie*Kate Autumn Boxer made into a cube.

And Drawn Thread's Happy Halloween.

And a closer look, sorry that the picture is a little skewed...

I bought an 8x10 unpainted frame and painted it black. Then I added the skeletons. I think it's pretty cute. Don't you???

Friday, September 09, 2005

Feeling better today

Thank you everyone for your comments regarding my *rant*. It's nice to know that you didn't think I was over-reacting. It happened again today at work. I didn't get upset, I just felt...weary. No one knows what it actually feels like unless you've gone through the loss of a parent (or both!) or a child. The emotions and feelings are always going to be there and it's always going to hurt when that wound gets bumped.

Tonight I stitched on my Halloween piece. I am not making much progress, I am using GAST and the threads are very thin in spots so the coverage isn't like I want. I forgot that overdyes vary in thickness because of the way they are processed.

Tomorrow, I am going to a crafters paradise with my friend, Penny, and some of her friends. It's called The Windmill. It's in Upstate NY about an hour or so from here. I am really looking forward to a *girls day*.

Hope you all had a great week and a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Ok a really big rant

I am very angry right now, so if you are disinclined to reading about my anger, please stop reading now.

Fair warning.

Tonight I went to Weight Watchers. I gained another pound. One of the ladies that sits near me asked how I did. When I told her that I was up another pound (5 total now :-( ) she whispered to me, you're up another pound, I know you've had a rough couple of weeks but you need to get over it and take control. TAKE CONTROL!!! GET OVER IT!!! My Dad died 3 weeks ago and my son left for school 2 weeks ago. AND I SHOULD GET OVER IT?!!! I politely but firmly told this woman that I didn't think that I should be over it yet cause it's only been a few weeks and in all honesty I doubt that I would EVER *get over* it.

Then another lady sitting in front of me told me I should go on anti-depressants because clearly I was depressed. I am not depressed. If anything I think I am suppressing my grief and doing my very best not to fall apart.

Another lady overheard this conversation and proceeded to tell me that I should be glad that I had my Dad for as long as I did, and even though this was hard I had to realize that he was 86 and had a long life so I shouldn't be so upset that he died. Like THAT was supposed to make me feel better.

Then I went to the grocery store and ran into someone who knew about my Dad and that my Son went to school. This person told me to *Buck up* this was life.

Do these people think that they are being helpful?

This is what I would like them to do....If they can't say something a) Nice b) sincere c)or truly helpful then I would like them to SHUT UP!

And to top it all off, Post cereals changed the AlphaBits formula and they are not the same. They taste like wet cardboard. And I loved AlphaBits. I'm sad.

Rant over.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I am losing my mind

I misplaced Indigo Rose's *Four Little Acorns* freebie, as well as, 2 SANQ magazines. I am going nuts trying to find them. See, that's what happens when you decide to CLEAN! I have torn apart my craft room and searched everywhere I can think of where I would have put them. I can hear them laughing at me as they play hide and seek with me. It just highlights my stash gluttony.

Tonight, I do not feel well, I feel a cold coming on. I should stitch but I am so aggravated I would just mess up whatever I touched. I am going to go to bed soon.

I know the pattern and the magazines are going to show up AFTER I decide and start something new for these exchanges. That's the way it always goes.

On another note, we talked to the DS today, he had his first physical training session with the ROTC. He did fabulous. He is the most physically fit on his dorm floor. And of course, he is estatic. However, he is not estatic over Chemistry. He doesn't like Chemistry and he sees no value in 3 hours of Chemistry a week. Or US History for that matter. Oh, to be back in college again!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Labor Day

Today, we cleaned out the rest of the garage. And TA-DA!!! we got to put both vehicles in there! The first time in 14 years have we actually used this garage for cars! It's clean and tidy.

You have to understand that the DH is somewhat of a packrat. He throws nothing away. It's genetic, his parents are the same way. The garage was his domain and he used it mainly for outdoor thingie storage, you know, car stuff, lawn care, the mowers, etc. He also stored lumber in there and a wood planer cause he was into woodworking for awhile (and wants to get back to it). Therefore, the garage was used for everything but CAR STORAGE!!! He started to clean it out so that we could put the Explorer in there. So in June, right before Mike's graduation, 1/2 the garage was cleaned out for the Explorer. We made progress.

Then he decided that he should clean out the other half for the little truck we have so that in the winter he won't have to clean off the snow. Great idea. And today, we have a very neat and tidy garage. SUCCESS!

As for me...I cleaned out some of my stash and put away some of the painting things in my craft room. I actually listed stuff on Legacy, but only the more recently published charts have sold. I have to do the photo thing and then the ebay thing for them. And after that, I don't know what to do with them. Any ideas?

Then, I started a new piece (ok, I hear groaning)on Saturday. I began *Light the Way* from Blackbird Designs new book Trix or Treat. I really couldn't resist, honest. I got the entire border done last night. BUT, horrors, today I realized that I mis-counted the entire border. Instead of only stitching 13 stitches on each of the zig-zags in that border, I stitched 14!!! The entire border will have to be frogged! Groan and moan. I would just start it over, but I am using an R&R fabric that is perfect for it. So I am ripping it out a little at a time. So much for a quick finish for halloween. Serves me right! I should be stitching on the exchange pieces anyway....

Well, that was my Labor Day, with the exception of speaking to the kid on his first day of classes at RIT. He had calculus and Theatre Arts today. Tomorrow, he has Physical Training with the AirForce ROTC, a leadership class with them and then Chemistry, American History and Freshman Practicum. He's busy.

Take care everyone...hope your weekend was splendid.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Some things about me....

About me....just for fun!

1 . What time did you get up this morning? 8:00AM - SLACKER! (Hey it's Sunday!)
2 . Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds!
3 . What was the last film you saw at the cinema? That Sean Penn & Nicole Kidman film. The title escapes me right now.
4 . What is your favourite tv show at the moment? Desperate Housewives
5 . What did you have for breakfast? Yogurt and a banana
6 . What is your middle name? Michelle :)
7 . What is your favourite cuisine? Italian? Chinese? Mexican? Italian
8 . What food do you dislike? There isn't much I won't eat...
9 . What is your favourite crisp flavour? Fritos Honey BBQ Chips
10. What is your favourite song? Anything by Coldplay
11. What kind of car do you drive? Ford Explorer
12. Favourite sandwich? Turkey on 12 grain bread, lettuce, tomato, Emerils Horseradish mustard.
13. What characteristic do you despise? Dishonesty
14. Favourite item of clothing? My maroon sweater
15. If you could go any where in the world on vacation? Budapest, Hungary
16. What colour is your bathroom? PeptoBismol Pink, Black and Dove grey (YUCK!!!)
17. Favourite brand of clothing? Coldwater Creek or Christopher & Banks
18. Where would you retire? Right here in good ol' Upstate NY.
19. Favourite time of day? Morning
20. What was your most memorable birthday? This year's birthday.
21. Where were you born? Monaca, Pennsylvania
22. Favourite sport to watch? FOOTBALL!!!
23. What fabric detergent do you use? Wisk
24. Coke or Pepsi? Coke!
25. Are you a morning person or a night? Definitely morning.
26. Do you have any pets? Yes, 3 horses, 3 dogs, 2 cats...
27. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? No, I want boring, right now.
28. What did you want to be when you were little? An artist - ever since I was 3 years old.

There, now you know some trivia 'bout me.

I am so overwhelmed!

Today, I am working on my craft room. WHAT A JOB!!! I am totally overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things crammed in that room. Between the cross stitch patterns and books plus all the decorative painting books, patterns, wood and paint, I can hardly stand to be in there from the sheer volume of it all. I am truly a craft addict. I really have to go through all of it and Ebay it or sell it off on the boards. There is no way I will ever live to stitch paint or craft all that I have purchased in 15 years since I began crafting in earnest.

I am beginning to think that this is truly a sickness. What void am I trying to fill up in my life that would require me to spend so much money and effort on all of this stuff? Does anyone have an answer?

Ok, here's the question:

What makes you purchase more when you have plenty already?

Did I do this cause I felt isolated? Lonely? Bored? Motivated? All of the above?
Is it the desire to have the latest hot charts or books? To belong to a group even though I probably will only know you through email or the internet?

Anyway, watch out for my stuff on the boards, girls.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Today is my Dad's birthday

Today, my Dad would have been 87. I had planned to go to Pittsburgh to celebrate with him over the weekend. But, as anyone who's read my thoughts posted here, he has gone to Heaven. I still can't believe it.

It's really strange how the tears come at such strange times. I was listening to the soundtrack of Love Actually and one of the songs made me cry. Up until then, it was just another Saturday and even though I miss him and feel so flat, I thought I was doing ok.

I am glad that we have a 3 day weekend. Today, I cleaned the house. I want to do something productive here too, I wanted to either clean out my craft room or work some more on the basement. I did clean out some of the paper, I can't believe how much paper we have in this house. I started in the craft room. I need to get this room organized so that I can use it the way that I want. Tomorrow, I will be able to stitch all day. Monday, I am not sure what we are going to do.

I stitched tonight too on my Halloween exchange piece. It's coming along nicely. I am pleased with it.

I also walked on the treadmill tonight for 30 minutes. I gained another pound this week, I am up 4 pounds! GAH!!!! So, I am committed to get back on track. I did well today and stayed on the program. I am pleased with my effort. My goal is to lose 20 pounds by January - there's 16 weeks. I want to drop another size by October 15th. So, that's just about a pound and a little more a week. I can do it. I KNOW I CAN and I WILL succeed. Care to cheer me on?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

August Goals

First of all, just GETTING THROUGH August was a major accomplishment for me. Most of the month was spend in grief and anxiety over Mike and college.

As far as stitching goes, I did manage to accomplish a couple of things. I made my commitment for the Quaker RR. YEAH.

I finished stitching my Lizzie*Kate Autumn Boxer and finished it into a cube. (It's too cute!)

I started the redwork exchange piece, but may do something different than what I originally planned. That's ok. Same with the Halloween exchanges.

I signed up for 6(!)exchanges...the redwork exchange, the halloween exchange, the Christmas ornament exchange, the Autumn exchange, the Halloween sweetbag exchange and the garden exchange. YIKES!!! But I am really looking forward to this.

And Mercedes, I agree with you! We are hopeless. I am planning on stripping a couple of my almost dones with Karen. I don't have alot of stitching to go on Drawn Thread's Welcome Spot and Real Roses.

I have top post photos this weekend. I have a ton of them to upload, I took photos of all my finished pieces. I am planning to stretch and frame Drawn Thread's Happy Halloween. I bought a frame and painted it black. Then I painted skeletons on it. I may paint some candy corn too but I want to see what the stitched piece looks like before I go nuts painting the frame and take away from the stitching.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

In an attempt to cure my Start-itus

Here's my list of Wips to try to curb my urge to start NEW pieces. In no particular order of completeness, here is what I am working on right now.

The Castle - Teresa Wentzler
Twined Hearts - Shepherds Bush
Real Roses - The Drawn Thread
Welcome Spot Sampler - The Drawn Thread
Tocatta I - The Drawn Thread
Quaker Sampler from SANQ magazine
Heirloom Wedding Sampler - Victoria Sampler
Gingham Hearts - Twisted Thread
Time & Seasons Sampler - Moira Blackburn
Wild Roses - Carriagehouse Samplings
Hillside School of Needleworke - Hillside Sampling
Charmed Hearts - Shepherds Bush
Tree of Life Sampler - Hillside Samplings
AY's 1801 Sampler - Historic Stitches
Plaid Heart - Shepherd Bush
Autumn Sampler - The Drawn Thread
Scared Silly - Birds of A Feather
Gentle Harvest - The Cricket Collection
Stitching Chair Necessaire - Hillside Sampling
Halloween Flipit - Lizzie*Kate

I don't have a rotation except for a screaming one. Is there anything calling my name to work on right now from this list? Maybe Scared Silly, the Bird of a Feather piece cause it's that time of the year. Maybe Time and Seasons Sampler by Moira Blackburn since I love the colors. Don't know. But I am doing ALL I can not to start the new pieces I kitted up. There is an acorn clock pattern in SANQ that I want to start (I have the clock, so that's how I am justifying that urge). There's the Lizzie*Kate boxers that I want to make into cubes. And Fouroaks, Rapsody in Blue, which I kitted to be Rapsody in Red. I want to stitch it on 32ct Creme belfast linen with Vicki Clayton's Garnet premium silk. BE STRONG, Joanie!!!

I just know I can't start anything new. I will really be overwhelmed then!

Stash reduction dilemmas!

I have start-itis - I am feeling stressed. It's an off-shoot of clickyfinger-itis because I am doing my best not to buy any new charts. I want to buy more charts but I have so much now that it's making me feel guilty and more than gluttonous. I even went as far as adding things to my cart at one of the online shops. It didn't make me feel any better even when I clicked off the website without completing the transaction.

There was a thread on Legacy about stash elimination and how freeing it was to be rid of things that you won't stitch or don't fancy anymore. Because I felt guilty about the sheer volume of patterns and kits I have, I started going through my stash to sell some of it off. What a dilemma! It's hard to decide what to let go though, cause I love all of it and there's not much I wouldn't want to stitch at some point during the next 50 or so years I plan on spending on this earth.

I only found a handful of things I would not mind parting company. A couple of kits and Rapsody in Red. A bunch of really old charts. I culled out a bunch of things about 6 months ago, I threw most of it in the trash, the patterns were so old no one would want them now - especially the geese charts (WHAT WAS I THINKING?).

I would have to live 5 lifetimes to stitch everything I have collected over the last 20 years.

Even my tastes haven't changed in the last 20 years. I still love samplers, I still love holiday stuff. I love alphabets. I have plans for alphabet sampler groupings in my dining room, a Quaker Sampler wall in my upstairs hallway, American School-girl style samplers in my family room. Drawn thread designs in my foyer. And then there's the holiday things, little cubes for my kitchen shelf, ornaments to hang from the pegs. Snowmen for my collection and snowman christmas tree. Prairie schooler santas. Needlerolls and smalls. And I am even looking at the elements in designs and dreaming of how I can use them in other creative ways. And the exchanges! I am so bad!


Sunday, August 28, 2005

It's a big day here

Today, we take the kid to college. I can't believe this day has arrived. I am proud and happy, scared for him and excited all at the same time. Oh, and a bit sad but not TOO much. Just enough to say that I am a Mom.
Last night, we took him and his best friend, Charlie, to Dead Lobster (that's what we call Red Lobster) for a feast. Then back home for cake and a movie. Charlie spent the night and I know that Mike and he worked out all the kinks and trials of a 17 and an 18 year old. I know they talked about girls and I am sure Mike talked about school. Mike is excited but a little scared. He told me that he was worried that he wouldn't be able to keep up with Calculus (he has 6 hours of it a week!). I told him just to seek help and he will be fine.
It's hard to see him all grown up and ready to be on his own. He is a great kid and I know David and I did our very best by him. This is what we worked 18 years to accomplish. We did a good job.

I will miss having 8 or more boys here on the weekends for marathon video games and finding them sleeping on the sofas floors in the morning. Cooking 2 dozen eggs a pound of bacon or 2 batches of pancakes or waffles for them. I'll miss the paintball games that he organized. I'll miss the hoots and hollers and the general *macho* guy noises and the laughter that would wake me up at 3AM when they played video games all night long.

The house will really be quiet.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Tuesday Musings

I started my Halloween exchange piece. THEN, the new Blackbird Design booklet, Trix or Treat came in the mail with a ton of Brightneedle designs. (Have I told you that when I am stressed I get *clickyfinger-itis*)? I used to eat when stressed but I lost 30+ pounds and I will not gain any of it back! Anyway, I I was looking through the Halloween booklet, I decided that I wanted to stitch one of those designs instead of what I chose! AND there is a PERFECT piece for my partner...hee...hee....

Now, I have to make a run to the quilt store for appropriate halloweenie fabric (aw, poor me!)for this lovely vintage design. The started Halloween piece will be used for something else so it's not a waste.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A stitching post

Since this blog is supposed to be about stitching, I thought I would post something about stitching. Go figure.

While I was at my brother's house, I did have a lot of time to stitch after the funeral. Because we had legal stuff, banking, insurance things to take care of (gosh, there's a lot of work to dying!) I spend the rest of the week taking care of what I could before I came home to NY. Friday was the worst day, we went running around to the insurance agent, the Triple A for the car, the bank and to the funeral home. But Wednesday and Thursday were down days for me. My SIL was home too and she also stitches. She decided to work on a Fanci That Halloween piece, BOO, for her daughter. By the time I left on Saturday, she was 3/4 done with it! It's really cute.

I mainly worked on my Quaker Friendship RR and the Redwork Exchange piece. I am very happy with what I am stitching on both of those pieces. I am a bit nervous about finishing the redwork piece as I have a ton of ideas and I can't seem to narrow it down to one thing. Do I want to make a pouch, a scissor case, a needlecase? Do I want to start over (NO!)and make something else?

The Quaker Friendship sampler that I am stitching on is very beautiful. It's mainly stitched with the softest moss green silk. The accent colors are a soft burnt red-orange and a light brown that reminds me of chocolate milk. The colors are muted. I chose to stitch a medallion and a small motif. I would have loved to stitch more on it but I think it needs to go to Mercedes this week. I promise pictures before I mail it off to Spain.

I have to start concentrating on the Autumn and Halloween exchanges. Plus, I signed up for the Legacy Halloween Sweetbag exchange. I AM insane. But busy hands are good right now. Oh, did I mention that my son leaves for school this coming weekend? Another big thing to deal with.

For the Halloween exchange, I am thinking of making a cube. I haven't made one yet. I took the class from Elegant Stitch a few years ago so I have the instructions. I won a piece of Silkweaver evenweave in a very muted pumpkin color and that's what I will stitch the design on. I do hope the receipient likes what I stitch. I better get busy!

I love Halloween, not for what it stands for and not for the scary stuff either but because it's just FUN. I love the quirky pumpkins and the colors and the bats and smiley ghosts. Cute things. This will be a fun exchange!

Enough rambling. I have to get some things done before I go to church. More later.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I am back

I am home now. The funeral was everything that my Dad would have wanted. Actually, it was more than what he would have wanted because it was a celebration of his life. I know that he is in Heaven with Jesus. And even though this is so hard for me, I am standing on my faith as a Christian and when I leave here, I will be with him and the rest of my family praising my Lord.

Even so, I am still raw and very emotional. Leaving my brother's was hard for me. I felt like I was leaving most of me behind. I am a changed person now. And I know that's really hard to describe but I feel that things have shifted and I feel very empty. The hardest thing for me was to go to his house to collect some of the small things that I could bring back home with me. Stepping into the kitchen, I could have sworn that I heard the TV. He always had the TV on for company.

I am really going to miss the weekly calls from him that happened on Sunday afternoons. I am really going to miss our football discussions. We were both rabid Pittsburgh Steeler fans. When the Steeler's were televised nationally, he always called to remind me. And when they lost, he always called to tell me what the team did wrong.

While I was in PA, I did get a lot of stitching done. I worked on Shelly's Quaker sampler for the Quaker Friendship RR. I will post pictures tomorrow.

I do want to thank all of those who sent me emails and posted to this blog. I love and appreciate all of you. Your expressions of sympathy were such a comfort to me. I will always cherish each and every one of those posts. Thank you so much!

Friday, August 12, 2005

My Dad

My Dad passed away this afternoon. This wasn't supposed to happen. I really don't know what to say, I am really numb.

I don't know how I am going to get through this funeral. We were close. There is a large Dad-sized hole in my heart now, and the world has changed again.

The doctor thinks that he had a deep blood clot because he was bed ridden for a week in the hospital. They released him today and he made it to my brother's driveway where he collapsed and died. Apparently, because he was mobile, the blood clot broke away and either went straight to his heart or brain. He didn't suffer. It's strange because he made it through surgery. He had a party in his hospital room last night, he was going home.

Tomorrow, I will be traveling to Pittsburgh to my brother. Most of the arrangements have been made, he took care of a lot of it. For that I am thankful.

I hope that he is in heaven. He can party there.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Yesterday, when I said that I wasn't going to stitch, I was wrong. I decided to start stitching my redwork piece. I am using Vicki Clayton's Turkey Red on 32ct Antique Ivory linen. I really like what I am stitching. I think I know what I am going to make, too. At least at this moment, as it changes as often as I change my socks!

Tomorrow, my Dad is going to have his gall bladder out. The one surgeon didn't think that it was necessary, but the primary care physician wants it taken care of now. They are doing it laproscopically. He will go to my brother's after it's over for a couple of weeks. I want to thank Becky and Karen for their kind thoughts and wishes for him (and me!). It's nice that they thought to comment about him.

Mike and I went shopping after work tonight for school clothes. I was looking forward to it all day, but unfortunately, Mike really had no interest in this excursion what so ever. I wanted to be able to spend some one-on-one time with him and take him to supper at Ruby Tuesdays. He, however, wanted to get what he wanted (and even then he was blase about it) and we ended up at Subway for supper. Blech. We were home within an hour and a half. Even David was suprised that we were home so soon.

I am going to post my Bent Creek piece this evening, I want to learn to upload pixs from my camera, so I am going to play a little and then see if I can work the camera. It's not really difficult, there's just a bunch of steps. So, stay tuned!

Here is the Bent Creek's Blackbird Sampler. I stitched it a couple of years ago.

And a picture of it in the stock frame that I painted. I still want to paint a couple of primitive wooden cutouts and glue them to the frame or paint a few autumn motifs on the frame as an embellishment:

This picture is of a sampler I completed in 1998.

It's called Be Ye Thankful and it came from Cross Stitch and Country Crafts magazine. It has some meaning for me since I was in the middle of stitching the sunflowers when my Mom died in 1996. I didn't pick the sampler up again until 1997-98 when I worked 2nd shift at IBM in Manufacturing. When I came home from work, I would watch Bill Mahr's Politically Incorrect and stitch on it. I finished it at the height of Monica Lewinsky and President Clinton's little scandal.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Today's News

My Dad had gallbladder surgery today...finally. He is 87 and has been in very good health in his golden years. He doesn't look like he's 87 and he has a very sharp mind. He has been in the hospital for almost a week now. The doctor did a scope procedure 4 times to remove 4 stones. The first 3 times were unsuccessful, either the scope was too short, his oxygen levels fluctuated too much or the attending surgeon didn't show up...grrr-rrr. But today, they caught all 4 of them and he is resting comfortably. The doctor is erring on the side of caution (for which I am very grateful) and is postponing the actual removal of his gallbladder until they can determine if it was the stones that caused all the problems.

This is his picture with Mike at his high school graduation.

So that meant today at work, because I was worried (he is in Pittsburgh and I am in Binghamton, NY) I was a total slug...shh-h-h, all I did today was surf the news, the forums and the bloggs...don't breath a word of it to my boss...

I just got off my treadmill, I walked for 45 minutes at 3.5 mph. Not bad. I was listening to Coldplay on my MP3 and planning my redwork exchange piece so the time went quickly. I may scrap what I originally wanted to do on the redwork piece since the initial project was a box. I am afraid that it would get smashed in transit. Back to the drawing board. I have to thank Vero though, for the links to that redwork site. There is much to contemplate there. HMMM...
I don't think that I am going to stitch tonight, I did so much this weekend that I want a break. (Blasphemy, I know!!!) I think I will work out the redwork design and think about ways to finish it. Maybe a bit of TV if there's anything good on...