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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.