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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!

IS THERE NO END?!!!

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 digress...as 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

Tuesday...

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...

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sunday stitching

Today, I finished stitching Lizzie*Kate's Autumn Boxer. I think it's adorable and I want to make it into a cube. I have to go fabric shopping now, for appropriate Fall fabric to back it. Then I think I will display it on my mantle over the Fall season. I will be able to leave it out until the Snowmen come out after Thanksgiving. That's too cool!

I also did some framing too, I framed a bent creek pattern, blackbird sampler that I stitched eons ago. In June, I went to a framing class at my LNS. It sorta was an overview, but once I realized how easy it was to frame things, I went and bought a stock frame at Michaels, painted it a brick red, stretched the piece and popped it in. Actually it came out pretty good!

I also bought a stock frame for a Drawn Thread Halloween piece too, Happy Halloween! I didn't frame it yet though. I need to get more pins! Pinning the needlework to the foam core took a lot of pins! I painted the frame black and want to paint some small wood cutouts to embellish the frame.

I went surfing and came up with a few sites for frames, so now I will be able to frame some of the seasonal pieces that I stitched. The samplers and some of the larger pieces will get framed professionally because I want them to be framed under glass and I want a decent selection of frames. I will at least stretch them and have the framer finish them off. The framer that I deal will discount the framing job if the piece comes in ready to be framed. It'll save at least $20.

I also bought a few things online...bad girl. I ordered a ton of Brightneedle patterns and the new Blackbird Designs Halloween book, Trix & Treats from Elegant Stitch. And I was on the Legacy forum and there was a post about a Homespun Sampler design called Nellies Garden Revisited. It's a gorgeous sampler. My Mom's name was Nellie and she has been in heaven for 9 years now. I thought that I would stitch this in her memory, as I never found a sampler that I wanted to stitch and dedicate to her.

Other than that, the weekend was beautiful. Mike's buddies came Saturday afternoon, spent the night and played paintball all afternoon today. He has a great group of buddies. They laughed and laughed and joked around. They even picked up after themselves! Who hoo!

David and I went to church and afterwards I did laundry and some light housework, but other than that I had no energy for much else. So the weekend really was just to relax and stitch and watch the kid have fun. Now it's back to work and to a psychotic week.

Well, it's getting dark and I still have clothes on the clothesline outside. I better go get them now or I will be taking them down by flashlight. And I need to water the flowers too. Hope everyone who reads this has a good week!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Quaker Friendship Sampler Round Robin

Here is my Quaker sampler after Round 2. It's stitched with Vicki Clayton's Premium Silk, Basic Black, over 2 threads on 32ct Lakeside Linen, Pearled Barley. I had a very hard time deciding on what I wanted this sampler to look like. I took inspiration from M. Pollard and Ann Grimshaw.



I just love it. I am anxious to get it home to hang with Ann Grimshaw, as she is getting awfully lonely in the hallway by herself.

MORE CROSS STITCH PICTURES!!!!

A few anyway...

Lizzie*Kate Autumn Boxer WIP which is almost done. I stitched the upper motifs last night. The only thing left to do is the large leaf on the left side, the basket on the lower left side and finish the corn on the lower right side:





The Drawn Thread's Teaching Band Sampler:



SEE, I told you I would add pictures...now to go take MORE!!!

Sampler House Exchange



I wanted to post pictures of my exchange piece for the Sampler House exchange on Legacy Embroiderers forum. I chose the house from The Drawn Thread's Sunflower Sampler Bellpull. I love sunflowers and during the exchange my miniature sunflowers were blooming in my garden. Sunflowers just make me smile. My recipient said that she liked it, I was concerned over the finishing of it since I had to stitch it all by hand since my sewing machine is on the fritz. I know that the next piece I make I will do a little differently.

It was a great exchange and we have some very creative ladies who participated in the exchange. This is why I decided to join the Stitching Blogger's exchange board, I had so much fun with it.
Here is the exterior:



Here is the interior:




I hope these pass muster for the Stitching Blogger ladies!!!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Some Musings

I discovered a new forum the other day and as a result I am participating in 4 exchanges. The forum is Stitching Bloggers. I am participating in the Halloween exchange, the Redwork exchange, the Autumn/Fall exchange and the Christmas ornament exchange. I am really excited about them and I have everything all picked out. I am going to stitch a Lizzie*Kate snippet for Halloween, a French design for the Redwork exchange and a section of Fran Russell's Autumn sampler that was in a back issue of SANQ. And, I know how I am going to finish all of them too!

Today, I mailed the Quaker RR piece to Mercedes, and the Strawberry pattern to Karen in England. I will begin to stitch Sherry's sampler now. Not sure which motifs or medallions I am going to work on her sampler. Cindy's sampler is beautiful. I haven't seen a picture of mine yet for this round. I am anxious to see it.

This weekend, I want to return to stitching on Time & Seasons Sampler. I love the colors. And I am going to finish up the Lizzie*Kate Autumn Boxer too. I don't know how much I will get stitched though, Mike has the weekend booked with his buddies to come over on Saturday night for a video game party and on Sunday, a paintball party. David and I are going to the movies on Saturday night.

Weight Watchers wasn't really great last night, I gained a pound that I lost the previous week. Blech! Gotta get with the program! Or better yet, I gotta stick to the program....

Oh well, tonight I think I am going to take some pics (I keep promising to do that) of my stitching so that all can see. No one has commented on my blog so I am not sure if anyone is even reading it. But I am having fun writing it!