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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Good-bye 2006

Good-bye 2006...I will not mourn you. I dubbed you the *Year of Tears* and indeed, you certainly lived up to your name. 2007 is going to be the *Year of Healing and Being Good to Myself and Others*.

I know it's that time of the year when you are to let go of the past and ring in the new with all sorts of resolutions tied to that *new* like ribbons on a package. I tried that...resolutions do not work for me cause they last about as long as a gnat's attention span. I am not a resolution kind of person, I guess. The same with lists, there is something confining about listing things, something regimental about lists, especially things that go along with improvement. Now, I know that is contrary to what I do, I believe that I make many lists, grocery lists, to-do lists for work, I keep an appointment book and a journal. And I do find that listing things tends to keep me focused and at task. But I do not run my life by lists...that's why listing goals for needlework and that 10-25-50 challenge that I jumped into failed about 24 hours after I posted it. Must be the rebel in me.

I do have some things that I want to work on during the new year. I will be 50 this year. 50! I do not know where the time went, in my mind's eye I am still in my 20's, I feel good most days, although I creak a little more when I get up in the morning. So, I do know that this year I will be taking a greater interest in my health and upkeep. That means flossing and moisturizing more often than I do now. Eating less chocolate and less snack foods, good-bye Doritos. It means submitting to a battery of tests, those tests that are recommended by your doctor when you reach this age. And it means losing the last 32 pounds and getting to my goal weight by the end of June. There, I wrote it. I am declaring that I will be at goal by June
30th. Keep me honest and cheer me on! I also promise to walk on my treadmill daily for at least 35 minutes 3 times a week and for 15 minutes for the other 4 days.

Financially, I am going to start to save a bit of each paycheck. We live paycheck to paycheck and throughout our 28 year marriage, my DH and I have been diametrically opposed on financial matters. He's a saver. I am a spender. Although I do not shop as much as I used to, I am known to blow through a good chunk of cash in a very short amount of time. Taking stock of what I have recently made me realize that there is little that I want or really need. I have some long term goals for my house, there is a dining room I'd like to furnish and a floor that needs to be installed. But I am not in a hugh hurry for either of these things. After all, I've waited 28 years so far, what's a little more time?
Since the DH will be leaving a relatively high paying job and going to a high school teaching position in the next 2 years, we have actually banded together and decided that we will be debt free by that time. That means no more VISA, paying off the cars and the mortgage. We'd like to be in a position where the only debt we have is the home equity loan and the college loan we took out for the Cadet. I guess this means that I will have to work out a REAL budget instead of the one that I subscribe to now, which is pretty unstructured.

Work---hmm-mm. Well, there are so many things that affect me that I can not control so I've decided that I would go with the flow but work on getting some outside education that will further my career rather than just getting by with what I know.
Even if it doesn't get me a raise or a promotion, I've decided that I have to get to know and understand what the latest business trends are (lean manufacturing and Six Sigma)because my company is embracing both these disciplines and my job depends on being able to work with them. Also, this year I am contemplating getting my ASQ Quality Auditor's Certification.

And then there's my leisure activities. Horse, stitching, painting. I am not going to obsess about the size of my stash, the amount of fabric I own, or the number of projects waiting for needle and thread. I also am hoping that I can resist jumping on the latest bandwagon and buying just for having the charts. But if I do, I will not feel guilty or beat up on my self. This is my hobby and I will have fun with it. My horses are doing ok, I lean on the Dh to take care of them most of the winter cause I am not a cold kind of person...and I live in Upstate NY. And painting...well, that's been bubbling up more and more to the surface.

So hello to 2007. I believe it's going to be a GREAT Year!

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Here are a couple of pictures showing what I've been up to the last week or so...enjoy!

This is a Lizzie Kate piece that I started on Christmas Eve Day and finished Christmas afternoon. I painted the frame and the little cut outs.

This is the snowman candleholder that I painted up during the week. I had such fun painting it!

Do you like them?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

You know, I could get used to this vacation thing...

Wow, I've been off about a week and a half now and I am just loving it. It's been one of the most relaxing times in recent memory. I decided that I would not bug the contractor for these 2 weeks, it was my Christmas gift to him to lay off the badgering. So, Merry Christmas, John.

What have I done with the last 10 days, you ask? Well...

I got to stitch. I stitched an entire Lizzie*Kate piece (Santa, We've Got Cookies) in 2 days flat. World's speed record for the fastest finish. It's very cute. I even painted a frame and added very cute handpainted gingerbread cutouts to the bottom of the frame.

I stitched Hinziet's Air Force for the Cadet. I am now waiting for the frame and hopefully (crossing my fingers) it will be framed before he goes back to school next week.

I also painted a very cute snowman candle holder. It's adorable. And I painted 8 Donald Duck ornaments for a lady who's son was robbed in Phoenix AZ the night before he was to move back to this area. The robbers cleaned out the moving van. That's right, the van was EMPTY when he found it the next morning. Among the things that were taken were his Christmas decorations...including his Donald Duck ornaments that I painted for his Mom about 15 years ago. So, I replaced them for her so that she could give them back to him this Christmas.
And I started looking at my painting books again but not to recreate the pieces but to stir up the creativity pot since it's beginning to bubble again.

It was very nice to be creative again. I sorta lost touch with that person awhile ago but she surfaced during this time and we got re-acquainted. I missed her. For the last 10 days, I strangely feel, well...WHOLE. Stitching is a lovely past time and I am very passionate about it. But there's just something about paint and brushes. It's this feeling of being able to unlock something from a piece of paper, wood or canvas that really get's me excited. Stitching is recreating someone else's muse, unless I change the design in some way which I do, sometimes. But painting is as individual as my handwriting.

Which got me to thinking...
I am truly toying with painting some things up and putting them out on Ebay. Sorta like sending up a trial balloon to see what comes of it. I certainly could use some extra cash and it would keep the creative girl from going back into hiding. I only have one problem and that's TIME. How do I fit painting into a jam packed schedule that includes a 50 hour work week, exercising, stitching and keeping hearth and home?

Well, I don't know the answer to that question but I think I may try finding out.

I just hope that going back to work to lead two disfunctional teams and working with a drama queen won't push these plans back into the dark.

I can only hope not.

Monday, December 25, 2006


Merry Christmas!

Seasons greetings from the Roaming Gnome. The Gnome is the Cadet's mascot. In high school, he was known as *THE GNOME* because he was so short. But now he's just about 6 feet tall but the moniker stuck. This year, it was a Gnome Christmas for him.

To everyone who reads my blog, thank you for your comments and your friendship. I hope your day is filled with good food, family, friends, love and laughter.

Today, I will be spending the day with my David and the Cadet. It will be a quiet day filled with movies and food. Stitching too!

I hope that you found whatever your heart desired under the Christmas tree this morning!

I'd like to thank all who've visited this year and I hope you'll continue to do so in the coming year. I really appreciate all of you!

To all....Have a very, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

It's afternoon on Christmas Eve and I wanted to take just a minute to wish everyone who visits my world a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I wish all of you a very happy holiday, and for those who celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, the peace and joy of His birth. For me, celebrating His birth is what this season means to me.

And for the New Year, I wish all of you health, love, prosperity and a year filled with laughter, friends, family and STITCHING!!!! May the Giver of all good things, bless each of you and your families abundantly.

Today, I finished wrapping presents and putting them under the tree. Mike is off visiting his buddies from the Navy and from NYC, so he's gone for the afternoon. We will be going to candlelight services at 7:00 and then to our friends for the rest of the evening. I doubt that we will have an early Christmas morning, as the Cadet sleeps in - hopefully he will rise by 9:00. David will make our traditional Christmas breakfast, breakfast pizza and hash brown casserole. We'll have John Denver and the Muppets on the CD player and then we will open presents. I know I didn't get any stitching gifts this year, mainly cause I didn't ask for any. I do however, have some Christmas $$ so I am thinking of buying Maria Spence from Attic Needlework. Yes, another Quaker sampler. I plan on watching movies and stitching most of tomorrow, in between making dinner. Actually, I plan on stitching the rest of this afternoon away cause I have a last minute gift I need to finish. Isn't that the way? Always, one more!


Thursday, December 21, 2006 you like my new look??

Well, continuing in the effort to chase away the Bah Humbugs, I decided to change my template for the season. It's got a snowman on it so it's good til Spring. Do you like it? LOL!!!

Not much to blog today, I am almost finished with the Cadet's AirForce piece, unfortunately, I ran out of GAST Blue Jay which prompted a trip to the
I picked up the thread and some fabric (SHUSH UP, SUE!). And I had to pick up a framing job for my husband and it's the shop right next door so I just couldn't go to the framers without stopping by the LNS right? Right.

Short post, I promise more tomorrow, I have been painting Donald Duck ornaments for this lady that I did a home show for at least 15 years ago. They are cute but I am breaking eleventy-dozen copyright laws by doing it. Pictures tomorrow - I promise.

Off to the great WEIGH IN. It's going to be BAD. I am resigned. But the doctor read me the riot act on Monday, to WeightWatchers I go.

Talk with you all later!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

It's beginning to look like Christmas at Chez Humbug

Hello everyone!

Today we made great progress getting into a Christmas mood. We put John Denver and the Muppet's Christmas CD on the stereo and David and I put up the Christmas tree this evening. He actually hung a good number of ornaments on it too! Usually, he just hangs the lights and the garland and then he leaves to do somenthing else. He's never been one to help decorate, I think it's cause he felt that I never approved or appreciated what he did. I used to be very Martha Stewart about my decorating and there have been years where putting up the tree was a very sore subject between us. We used to get HUGH trees too, we'd go tramping around some tree farm and cut one down. Then it would be tied to the car or stuffed in the bed of the truck for the ride home and then the poor thing would be left out on the front porch for days until we HAD to bring it in the house. And that meant a mess, pine needles and dirt tracked through the foyer into the living room. The tree usually was between 9-12 feet tall, we have a cathedral ceiling in the living room and it was a chore to it straight in the tree stand. By that time, the poor guy had enough and wanted to be left alone. Of course, I would insist that he do the lights and the garland so let's just say we didn't always have a Hallmark moment.

But three years ago, after fighting with a tree that was almost 14 foot tall and as wide as the room, I decided NO MORE. Neither Mike or Dave were interested in shlepping out to cut a tree down, let alone decorate it. So the following Christmas, I ordered a lovely 7.5 foot artic spruce tree from Tree Classics. It came in a box that looked like a coffin. Mike was appalled that we were bringing a fake tree into the house but I reminded him that he was of driving age and that meant that he could be the tree chauffer that year. He quickly decided that artificial wasn't all that bad.

I do have many, many ornaments. So many they can not all go on the fake tree. But all of my ornaments have stories to tell and I make sure that those that mean the most to my family are hung on it. I have Hallmark ornaments that are dated as far back as 1975 when the DH and I first began to date. Each year, I bought a new dated ornament. Our horses have rocking horse ornaments dated with the year that they came into our family. Every pet we've owned in the last 28 years have an ornament too. Then there's Mike's gradeschool ornaments, the one's that survived anyway. There's my cross stitch ornaments that I've received in exchanges and painted ornaments that I've done over the years. We have handmade beaded ornaments from Dave's auntie and I have ornaments from my parent's tree that hung on their tree 50 years ago. This year, I got out all the shiney bright ornaments, I remember them on our tree when I was a little girl. And then there are my snowmen, many, many frosty fellows.

I am sorry that I waxed nostalgic about my tree. It's got to be boring reading about it but at least now I feel like it's Christmas. Tomorrow, if the light is good (meaning if we get some sun) I'll take a picture and post it so you can see what I am going on about.

I did some stitching tonight, just a little on the Cadet's airforce piece. I only have the letter *E* to stitch and then the borders. After that I just have to sew on the charms and viola! A finish. All that will be left to do is frame it and maybe if I am lucky the frame will show up by the weekend so I can mount it before Christmas.

So, thanks for putting up with my Christmas tree story. I hope you are having a good week and I am SO glad you stopped by.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Chez Bah Humbug!

Sorry I haven't posted in a week. It's been pretty ho hum here at Chez Bah Humbug so I decided that a little Christmas Cheer was in order. I decorated my sunroom, no big deal, a Martha Stewart feather tree and 3 little snowflake candle holders grace my console table. The nutcrackers are in formation on the kitchen shelf. The snowmen are still snug in their rubbermaid box. And the tree is still in the basement. But it's a start.

I wrapped all the pressies today. They are ready to go under the tree on the 24th. Just a couple of last minute things to get this week and I will be done completely.

I just got word that Lisa received my ornament exchange on SBEBB. I was really getting worried about it cause sending things overseas really, really make me nervous. But here's a picture of what I stitched for her along with the little gifts I included:

I began some Christmas stitching this week too. No pictures yet, maybe tomorrow or Monday. I began a Chessie and Me ornament from the JCS 2004 magazine, it's the little kitty with the candy cane tail. It's going to be my 2007 tree ornament. David picked it out cause it looks like his Sweetie-Girl. It's 1/2 way stitched. Tonight I started Hinziet's AirForce for the Cadet. I've had it in my stash for awhile and while looking for something else, I stumbled across it. It's a fast stitch, so no problem getting it done before Christmas. I ordered the frame too but I doubt that it will get here before Christmas so the Cadet will have to wait for it framed and hopefully, it will be framed before he goes back to school. Last minute gifts, gotta love them.

Tomorrow, I am going to my girlfriend's house for the 3rd annual cookie exchange. Really, it's just an excuse to eat and drink for the afternoon. I'll come home with 5 dozen cookies as a bonus. So, I will only have to make the obligatory sugar cookies, chocolate chip and peanut butter blossoms for the Cadet and the husband. I haven't made my exchange cookies yet, I am going to make Russian Tea Cookies. They are my favorite and I am glad that I won't have them hanging around the house as I am trying to lose the 5 pounds that I gained over the last 2 months. :-(

Last night was our Quality Engineer's Holiday get together. The QE manager hosts it at his home. We have nibbles and drinks. He always does the 12 gifts of Christmas. He throws everyone's name in a hat and then draws for each of the days. I won the 9 ladies dancing pressie which was a nice bottle of wine and a pair of Dr. Scholls gel inserts for my shoes. I had to do the *Dance of Joy* for the wine. The party was pretty fun. We have a good group and have a great time together. It makes it so nice to work with such a friendly bunch of co-workers.

I officially have to work 2 hours next week and then I am off until January 2nd. My plans are to get some of my house put back together as I have been extremely lax in the housekeeping department since the construction started. Oh, we may have windows in February. The contractor went to the Pella store on Wednesday to discuss *arrangements*. The Pella guy needs authorization from his home office in Syracuse to process the *arrangements*. I am waiting for confirmation from the Pella guy that he placed the order. I am still frosted that the contractor had the money for my windows 5 months ago but spent it on other work and now since he's in a serious cash flow situation, he doesn't have it. We are very anxious to get this project wrapped up and be rid of him.

So, I just wanted to check in and say hi. Hope you are having a great weekend and are snug stitching on your favorite project. Thanks for coming by!

Monday, December 11, 2006

I do this to myself every year

You would think that I would know by now to plan ahead! I've been blog hopping and many of you have posted ornaments that you have stitched or have gotten in exchanges. ALL of them are so gorgeous and it made me think about how I covet all the ornaments that I've received through the years from wonderful stitching friends. But you know what? I haven't really stitched any ornaments for myself! I've made a few, but haven't even put them together! What's up with that?

So, I am thinking that for the rest of the year, yes, I know it's only 2 weeks, I will concentrate on stitching some ornaments. And then continue stitching them throughout next year too.

I think that's a great plan, don't you?

Care to join me?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

It's A Deal

Good Saturday to you!

Sue (Red's Thread) and I will be doing a SAL of Carriagehouse Samplings, My Home Town. The catch is that we will not begin until I finish one of my Wips. I could have chosen something tiny or something I am almost finished with, but to be fair, I told Sue that I would finish John Foster.

I have a new photo of my darling that I took today to show you my progress. I spent this week ripping out and re-stitching the right side of the sampler next to the Quaker medallion. All of it came out because I had mis-aligned the vine and that threw off the small motifs beside it. While I was removing some of the motifs, I did find a few other errors. I do not know why I am so mistake prone with John. Right now, there is a color error in the center of the Quaker medallion. I am still debating whether to leave it brown or pull it out and stitch it in grey like the original sampler.
This sampler has been a source of joy and irritation over the last 9 months. Honestly, I didn't stitch on him for quite awhile after I realized that I had made a HUGH error when I began him. But I was smitten by him and when I saw a finished John Foster sampler that was stitched by Danielle (The Peacock's Feather) and I knew I had to finish him. If it had been any other sampler, I would have cut it up and thrown it in the trash.

This is the latest photo of John taken today:

I also wanted to post my Christmas ornament from the ornament exchange on the Stitching Bloggers Exchange BB that I received from Cindy (Adventures in X-Stitching). It's very, very beautiful and will hang in a place of prominence on my Christmas tree. Cindy also included a piece of holiday fabric, a set of snowman note cards, a Christmas List notepad and a handmade (so creative) Christmas card that had 3 skeins of DMC in Christmas colors tied to the inside of the card. She certainly spoiled me!

I haven't stitched today though, David and I went to Lowe's and Staples this afternoon and I put out some of my Christmas table decorations in the sunroom. I am pushing myself to decorate. I have no Christmas cheer this year. I believe it's cause our house is not finished and next week, David is calling a lawyer to see what our legal rights are. I am so sad about this whole affair. I got a call from the Pella store and the rep said that the order for the windows has to be placed by the end of the month because the prices are increasing January 1st. If I can't get the contractor to put in the order, then I believe that all bets are going to be off and we will be going to court. I can not believe that what was to be a gift from my Dad could be such a nightmare. It has been a year since we signed the contract. I am sorry to write about this but I feel better when I share it.

So, I hope you are having a great weekend, filled with stitching! Soon, I will be getting cozy with John Foster.

Thanks again, for visiting!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Tempestuous Relationship - Indeed

John, John my darling, why is our relationship so tempestuous?

We have been together now for almost a year. I have stitched your motifs on John Foster 1885 using beautiful colors of DMC. Are you unhappy with my choice of fiber? Do you think that you are worth silks when your original stitcher used wool? Are you unhappy that I am using a limp linen, one who's color is grey flax and not a warm toned lambswool? Alas, I am heartbroken over our love-hate relationship.

Now, you have thwarted my efforts of stitching happiness because last night I discovered that all the work I did on you over the last weekend was for naught. The right side of the Quaker medallion is off by 3 stitches and the doves, dovecote and the words, Foster 1885 must be removed and restitched in their proper locations. I have stitched the upper portion of your sampler 2 times now.

Why oh why, John are you being so cruel to me?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

It has to be contagious

The DH is almost back (HA) to normal. He's still taking it easy but pretty much he's doing what he loves which is taking care of the horses and bringing in firewood. He hasn't done anything strenuous, other than pick the horse's stalls. And (for once) he's doing it slowly and carefully.

I have picked up most of the heavy work in the barn. Which basically is hauling water. 5 gallon buckets of water to fill up the 5 gallon buckets hanging in the stalls. There are 2 each in each stall. Fortunately, the horses only drink about 5 gallons between the morning and the afternoon chores and then just about the same over night. I don't have to haul 30 gallons of water 2 times a day. But I still have to haul water. Which brings me too....DUM, DUM, DUM, DUM-M-M!!!


Yes folks I twisted my body just the right way when I was hoisting a 1/2 bucket of water to top off Peaches' stall buckets. I didn't feel anything right away but tonight, my back has gotten stiffer and stiffer. The big muscle on the left side says Ow-wie when I move and it is beginning to ache. Guess who's become my best friend? THE HEATING PAD!!!

Just goes to show you that after 27.5 years of marriage, you share everything. Even back pain...pff-t-t!

I did get a lot done stitching wise this weekend! I am really happy. I didn't do any house cleaning (S-h-h-h...), I only cleaned the bathrooms and tidied up the kitchen. I did laundry too. But...I stitched....John Foster on Friday & Saturday night. On Saturday afternoon, I picked up my paint brush for the first time in, umm, 5 years and I painted some Christmas ornaments for a lady that I did a home show for about 15 years ago. And, I painted a paper mache box for Secret Garden. First I decided to sponge paint it and it ended up looking like granite. Pretty cool but it really didn't go with the stitching. So this morning, I repainted it and distressed it, antiqued it and varnished it. The box looks like very old wood. It's pretty nice and I am happy with it. However, I am not so happy trying to mount the stitchery to the top of the lid. It's not cooperating. So I gave it a go and put it up for now. I'm going to have to come up with a different plan of attack.

This evening I picked up Prairie Year I and stitched June. I got the border done and the leaves and stems before I couldn't see anymore. I am very pleased with my progress and the stitching looks pretty nice for Miss Perfectionist.

I got to talk with Sue (Red's Thread) today. She called me to *chat*. I had a lovely conversation with her and I was very pleased to hear from her. Thanks for calling, Sue, you made my afternoon!

Well, I gotta go to bed. I can't believe the weekend is over.

Talk with you soon!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Whine, whine, whine...

I would like a little cheese to go with that WHINE...omg, my last post was SUCH a WHINE!!!! I am so sorry that I invited you to that pity party...really, it was fatigue that was talking and take it from me, I am one tired puppy. I have only been sleeping about 3-4 hours a night since Dave hurt his back (this is from a girl who NEEDS at least 6 hours to be functional). Not that I am not DEAD when I go to bed but once I am there, my mind takes off and all the thoughts I've suppressed during the day just gush out and I can't turn them off! And 5:00 shows up really fast. So, most of the week, I feel as though I am in a fog. Thursday night, I fell asleep on the sofa at 9:00. I slept like the dead. But when I woke up, I felt like I hadn't had a restful night. I know this will pass once things pick up here.

David's back is getting better. He has overdone it these last few days and of course, I am annoyed at him. He's so frustrated that he can't do the things he normally does around here. So he tries and then pays for it. He's only got one muscle relaxant pill left..this will be the test. Will he go back into spasms or is he truly mending? EEK...stay tuned.

I worked on John Foster last night for about an hour. I stitched the word Foster, 1885. I really wish I would have started him over on a different fabric. I so dislike the fabric I am using. It's just limp. And with the varying thicknesses of the horizontal threads, it's a pain to count to be sure I am truly over 2 and not over 3 threads. But he's 1/2 way done so I don't think I'll be starting him over. In spite of the fabric, he's coming along nicely and I really LOVE him. I am smitten. I am hoping that I will get a lot of him stitched during my Christmas hiatus (yea! 2 weeks from work!!!) and either be done with him or almost finished.

I have put some thought into what I'd like to stitch next year. I know it's going to change, but do you want to hear my plans? I pulled out a bunch of patterns that grabbed my attention when I was filing things away during my Thanksgiving break. I have WIPS to work on too, and these are the ones that I'd like to concentrate on.

The Castle - Theresa Wentlzer
Normally, I do not stitch her patterns. But Mike asked me to stitch the dragon for him a few years ago and I started it for him. Really, I have it 1/2 finished. But see, I am not into dragons so I am having a hard time working on it. But for the sake of the DS, I'm going to give it another go.

Sarah Tatum - a hugh Quaker Sampler.
Sarah is my first Quaker. I've been collected Quaker sampler patterns ever since she became the rage last year. I love her too and I vow that I would finish her. I don't know if I will frame her cause I'll have to take out a loan to do it. She's a big girl!!

Beatrix Potter - another Quaker.
Beatrix is slated to go into my new room. I am stitching her with this glorious terra-cotta AVAS silk. She will look stunning in the room as terra-cotta is an accent color in there. I don't have a lot done on her, just a few motifs.

Prairie Year I - Prairie Schooler
This started as a SAL. I am stitching this pattern over one thread, my very first attempt at over one. I am on May. Got bogged down on all the color changes in the flower. I don't know how you ladies do HAED's over one. Saint-hood for YOU!

John Foster - of course.

And the wish-list patterns:

My Hometown - Carriagehouse Samplings
I am trying to entice RED to join me in a SAL. So far, she's tempted but hasn't committed...Come on Sue, you KNOW you want to stitch this with me next year!!!
(A little public goading may just do the trick...hee-hee!!)

Peaceful House - BOAF

Two Red Houses - Little House Needleworks
This is slated as my next over one project. AFTER Prairie Year is finished.

Armada - This is a french sampler
A memorial sampler for my Dad

Nellie's Garden Revisited - Homespun Sampler
A memorial sampler for my Mom

Elizabeth Pusey - Chester County Collection
Forever, I have loved this pattern. It's a safe bet that I'll start Elizabeth after I finish John.

March Hare - A Fine Collection, Blackbird Designs
There is something so whimsical about this leaping bunny that I need to stitch him.

Farmer Bunny & Mrs. Farmer Bunny - Fanci That
Another whimsical rabbit couple that's been on the list to stitch for forever. They are just too adorable and I'd like to stitch them together so they look like the couple in American Gothic.

I know there's more designs to choose from that I pulled out of my stitching closet but right now, I am somewhat brain dead and can't remember them.

There are an assortment of little things too that tempt me, and I am in one exchange this spring. And of course EVERYTHING is subject to change (and they probably will).

So what do you think of my plans?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Well, sorry that it's been a couple of days since I last posted.

I want to thank all of you who emailed, left comments or just kept us in good thoughts and prayers over the David's back adventure. I appreciate all of you and it's so nice to know that there are those who care, even though we've never met face to face. I think that's cool and I AM BLESSED!!!!!!!!!

The DH went to the doctor on Monday and it went just like I thought...the doctor didn't know what happened but suspected that Dave slipped a disk because of the sudden onset of pain without pain in any other part of his body...but the doctor couldn't be sure..the diagnosis given was to take it easy and come back if the pain persists...DUH. And no, David did not meantion that he was sick a couple of weeks ago...MEN.

Dave's got a few days left of painkiller and muscle relaxant. He's still snuggling with the heating pad too. In the morning, he is quite stiff and he hurts alot. Then his back gets progressively better and the pain subsides to a dull ache. We don't know if that's happening because the pain is being masked by the meds or if he's really on the mend. Time will tell. Being the girl who's glass is always half empty, I believe that once the meds are gone, we will be right back to the doctor and then maybe we will get something more than a vague, *Gee, I don't know why this happened*. Like and MRI.

Anyway, he is getting tired of taking it easy. My hubby is fairly active, he does a lot of physical stuff and this is just killing him not to be able to do the barn work or bring up wood or do whatever manly things he does. Not to mention he's not happy that he's put on a few pounds since he's been couch ridden for the last week. Now that the feasting is over, we've both turned into bunnies because both of us have put on a few this last few weeks. He because of inactivity, me because of stress and not knowing what to do besides eat when I am anxious, depressed and scared. One would think after all the Weight Watchers meetings I've attending over the last 4 years I could figure out a way to substitute food for something else to give me comfort. Nope, this back thing combined with Thanksgiving gave me a liscence to eat. Somehow, I doubt that James Bond would be impressed and no, I will never be a Bond Girl.

I am really tired. Keeping hearth, home, husband, horses and job is a lot of work. I've haven't had a lot of down time this last week and I am getting crinkle-y. I am not complaining, mind's just taking a little bit to get used to doing everything. I never realized how much work the DH actually does around here until he couldn't do it anymore. And I'm impressed!!! And grateful for all he does.

On the stitching front, I am reporting that I have stitched a teeny bit over the week...I completed my ornament for the SBEBB exchange just about 10 minutes ago. Now I have to put it of joys, finishing is SO much fun! NOT...
And I worked on my love, John Foster, a bit...not a lot but just enough to give him those warm fuzzies and to let him know that he is still the cat's pajama's with me. Sarah Tatum saw my needle for the first time in forever too. I finished stitching the motifs about 1/2 way across the top of the sampler and almost 3/4 down the left side. Some of those motifs are hugh(!) and they are taking quite a long time to stitch. I read on Legacy that someone has finished the new Sarah Moon sampler in RECORD time and has begun to stitch Hannah Hicks, making great progress on that sampler too. I am shaking my head in shame cause I started Sarah T. in January of last year...and I am not even an 1/10 completed. I am a slug stitcher...slow as a sloth. I do not own turbo needles what so ever.

But it's the journey, not the destination, right?

I would like to post some photos of my progress but it's so dark when I get home that photo taking is somewhat futile. I am hoping for the weekend to at least grab a sliver of daylight. Even if it does snow (like the weather man is predicting) at least I should have some light to get a somewhat decent pics of Sarah and John. Guess you'll all have to wait until the weekend to see my updates. I have been living vicariously through all your blogs though, you guys do great work!!!

Well, I do have to go to bed, 4:45-5:00 AM rolls around very fast.

Thanks again for the good wishes and prayers and thanks so much for visiting my little corner of the world.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Update on the David

First of all, thank you for your prayers and well wishes. They are greatly appreciated!

After spending a restless night, David got up about 4 AM to try to get some rest on the sofa. So he propped himself upright with the heating pad and went to sleep. When I got up at 7:00 to take care of the animals, I found him lying down sound asleep. That's a good thing.

Right now, he is sitting at the kitchen table working on a presentation. The heating pad has become his best friend. He is able to sit ok and he is walking very, very slowly. But he can not stand for more than a few minutes. He says his pain level is about a 3 which is a great improvement over the last 24 hours when it varied between an 8 or a 10. He took a shower and is eating ok.

Me, well, I am still scared and we do not know what why this happened. He thinks he over-did it when he and Mike were out splitting firewood on Tuesday. I am not so sure.

He was sick a couple of Sunday's ago, he had a terrible headache and he was throwing up most of the evening. Right after he felt better, he started to complain about his back, not a lot, just to say that he was sore. We chocked it up to throwing up so much, that he strained muscles from up chucking. Now I am wondering if all this is somehow connected. He doesn't think so and of course, he never told the ER doctor that he was sick 2 weeks ago.

And I am now paranoid. There is a man that I know from work who picked up a bacterial infection that settled in his spine. He told me that it began with a stiff neck. Two days later he was in ICU and his prognosis was not good, it was either death or becoming a paraplegic. Fortunately for him, his doctor discovered the infection, his surgery was a success and the super-antibiotics worked. He has only lost the use of his left arm. See why I am so scared? I am trying not to compare my DH to Brian, but it sure is hard not to connect his symptoms to my DH's.

I was very surprised that the ER doctor didn't do a blood screening. I guess she figured that David probably just wrenched something so it wasn't necessary. I hope that when he sees our primary care physician on Monday, he does a blood panel to rule out infections. I know David will not tell him that he was ill a couple of weeks ago.

Well, I have to go now, I just wanted to keep you all updated. Continue the good thoughts and prayers, K?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday

It was a Black Friday of epic proportions. And I didn't step near the Mall or any store for that matter. The plans I had made for the day was to go to the Animal Care Council and adopt a cat. An adorable calico cat. But no....

I spent the entire day...12 hours long in the ER.

My DH has been having back pain off and on for the last week or so. He's been dealing with it. But yesterday, it got worse. He couldn't lay down. He could hardly walk. So he parked himself propped up by 4 pillows in bed and slept upright most of the night.

This morning, he hobbled out of the bathroom to go feed the horses and I told him that I would do it. And he readily agreed. So, I was about 10 minutes behind him and I figured that he was already outside. But, no, I found him sitting in a chair in the sunporch. Looking very scared. He could not move. He couldn't stand up. He couln't lift his foot without crying, and I mean crying out loud. So I went out to feed the horses at his request. I was just finishing when my cell phone went off. He was calling to tell me that he needed me right away. So I sprinted to the house to find him in the same position but shaking uncontrollably. Get an ambulance right now was the words I heard.

In 15 minutes the EMT's were at the house, the DH was bundled onto a gurney and we made the trip to the ER. We got parked in the hallway. The ER was packed.

The DH was in such pain that every move was excuriating. But he couldn't stay in one position more than 10 minutes. And we waited and waited. Off to the get a lumbar x-ray. The nurse came by and he asked for pain meds. My husband, asking for demoral. This is the guy who won't take an asprin for a headache. About 3 hours later she came by and gave him a shot of something. Didn't touch the pain. Finally, the doctor came and she examined him. He had reflexes, no radiating pain, no fever, normal vitals, the x-ray was ok. HMMM-MM.
So we waited another couple of hours and they decided to let him go, only if he could stand and walk on his own. So he painfully gets up and then gets nauseous and collapses in the nurses arms. Back onto the gurney. They decided to give him an IV of something, they hooked him up to a monitor and gave him another pain shot. And they leave us again for another couple hours. I needed to go home to take care of the horses so I go...and within an hour and a half I am back. They want to keep him, he wants to go home. So the doctor said...if he could get up and walk then she would let him go, although they felt he should stay...
He got up and we are now home 12 hours later with a mega-dose of ibuprophen and a muscle relaxant.

And me...I was scared and I AM scared. Neither one of us know why this happened or what he did to his back. All I know is that I prayed all day. I could not believe how much I love this man and how much I depend on him.

Black Friday...and my credit card is whole, my husband not so much.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

G is for....

Red posted this little meme called Alphabet Soup on her blog. She assigns a letter to anyone interested and you have to come up with 10 words starting with that letter. She assigned me the letter *G*. I am glad she didn't assign me the letters of DOOM...

So here goes...

1. GOD - The supreme being, creator and ruler of the universe. I have a very strong belief in God. I see evidence of His work everywhere. I am a Christian and I do not know where I would be without His presence in my life.
2. Gratitude - This is something that I am working on. It's not that I am ungrateful, it's just that I don't express gratitude for all that I have. I need to give thanks for all the blessings are mine.
3. Glutton - That's what I think of when I look at my stash. I've recently beat myself over the head about my stash, but no more. My stash is a blessing that I am grateful to own. I love it and I am very happy to be able to choose wonderful patterns to stitch.
4. Gloriana Silks - for a long time I didn't like them. They felt *scrunchy* in my hand. But now I'm a convert as I've been using this glorious color for a set of smalls that I am stitching. But because they are so expensive, I only have a few skeins. Recently, I purchased 2 skeins of In the Burgundy...scrumptious, rich, deep burgundy red....YUMMY!
5. Grace.
6. Groovy - There is a girl at work who uses this word as an adjective in just about every sentence. Everything is groovy to Melissa. She's pretty groovy herself and I am glad she is my friend.
7. Glad - experiencing pleasure, joy, or delight. I am VERY GLAD that I do not have to go to work until Monday. Need a break.
8. Gusto - as in Go for the GUSTO! I equate this with Passion. I am passionate about my family, my house, my horses, my job, and my life. Going for the gusto means giving 100% and enjoying it.
9. Gorilla - I like this word. And right now, I am ignoring an 800 pound gorilla in the room. I just don't want to face it - so there.
10. Graphic - I am a graphic designer. Once upon a time, I wanted to be an illustrator. I have a BFA in graphic design and I wanted to work in advertising on Madison Avenue. Big dreams. Life is funny. I do not work in advertising nor do I do any graphic design work. I work in Quality Engineering. But I look at everything from a designer's eye. I have a great sense of color, an eye for detail. That training has served me very well.

SO there... the letter *G* has been brought to you by....ME!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Just a quickie

Ok...get your minds out of the gutter!!!! LOL!

The cadet is home!!!!! YEAH!!! He looks great and is very happy this trimester is behind him. Grade wise he didn't do as well as he hoped..he's worried about his programming grade. Seems that the policy at RIT is even if you are carrying an A average, if you flunk the final, you flunk the class. He can't afford to do that and he's a bit worried. If his gpa falls below 2.5 the ROTC will put him on conditional status which means he'll lose his scholarship for next quarter and his stipend. He definitely can not do that!

Me, we are totally busy at work. And nothing is new with mr. contractor. Grrr.

Oh, I have been stitching, just a bit. I picked up my love, John Foster the other night, we are still arguing a bit....I realized I used the wrong color for the motif inside the Quaker should be grey, mine is DMC 420, a burnt golden brown. I am not sure if I'm going to leave it or not. I have to stitch the bird in the center and then I'll decide. Normally, I would leave the error, I don't think that it is going to stick out like a sore thumb, but this is a reproduction sampler and I have this anal retentive thing about doing reproductions exactly as they are I nuts?

I'll post a picture tomorrow and you can take a peek and tell me what you think.

Oh, does anyone who reads my blog subscribe to Ellen Chester's, With My Needle? If you do, have you saved any of them on your computer? This year, John Foster (my darling) was their year long stitch along project. I think I want to use the monthly assignments as a way to keep on track stitching John. I need July, August and September's instructions. If anyone can let me know if you've saved them, please comment and I'll get in touch with you. It's not life or death but it would be nice to use the assignments as a guide to stitch him. According to what I've saved, I am just about 5 months finished. Woo who! And that's about right because I have stitched the entire upper left corner the central medallion and some of the right side. I have to finish the right side's bird, dovecote and words. I am almost down to the house. It's exciting to see the progress. Also, I am not looking forward to stitching the roof. It looks tediouly boring. I don't think I'll stitch it in one session, I'll do a little bit at a time as I stitch the bricks on the house. And maybe save it for when I want to watch TV and don't need to concentrate.

Well, I have to go to sleep. Thanks for visiting!!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

I hope I know what I'm doing

I just posted my 10-25-50 challenge rules. Now, I am having some second thoughts. Will I be able to meet this challenge? I have to be strong though and I know that it's something I should do just cause I would feel better to stitch my stash instead of just collecting it. I do love collecting though, I like thinking about where I'd hang it and what fiber and fabric I'd use. If only thinking about stitching would fill my walls and empty out my binders.

I already have another exception to my challenge rules. I will allow myself to purchase patterns that I know will go out of print and become hard to find. Mainly, those will be Quaker samplers, as there seems to be a lot of one and only printings happening. Prairie Schoolers seem to be that way too and some of the Drawn Thread patterns but not so much anymore. You can't get your hands on some of the earliest Drawn Thread patterns but I have most of those.

Everyone who's commenting on that challenge post has wished me luck. Thanks so much for the encouragement. I will try the challenge. And I will give it a good try too. But if it gets to feeling too restrictive, I'm going to give it up. Veronica is right, this is to be a fun thing, not a diet. I just want some of those patterns I've bought to see the light of day and this may be one of the ways that I will do it. Really, when I was filing patterns there are so many that I just love, I loved them when I bought them and I love them today. I am surprised that my tastes haven't changed over time.

Honestly, completing 20 patterns before I get to buy ANYTHING is like when pigs fly. It's a plan, really guys. I do want to finish my 5 WIPS and there's more that I'd like to stitch too. If it gets me to stitch some of the stuff I've bought and just put away, then good for me. I just know that this challenge will bring to my attention my blooming stash and perhaps will stop me from purchasing patterns *just because I can*. Give it a go, that's what I'm going to do.

I do want to comment on someone's post to me. Barbara said that I was sensible. What a nice thing to say about me, Barbara. You absolutely made my day. WHY? Because all my life I've been told by people who love me that the only sense I have is what I got from a book. That I only have sense because I learned it, sense is something I do not come by naturally or intuitively. So that comment meant so much to me. It is sorta like validation. That yes, I can trust my judgement and no, I didn't have to read about it in some book to execute it.

I know I am blonde...and yes, math is hard Barbie! LOL!! Thanks Barbara for telling me something about myself that I knew, but never truly believed about myself.

Lena, yes, Autumn Leaves is over one and I am enjoying stitching it a lot although I do not like the way that some of my stitches look. That's the perfectionist in me...Yes, a perfectionist control freak...YIKES what a combo. But that's me.

So the net of all this rambling is that I am grateful to all of you...and in this season of Thanksgiving, I am glad that I know you even if it's only through a sentence or so...I am grateful for ALL of you.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Uncle, Uncle!!! I give!!!!!!

So. A few days ago, maybe a week, I posted that I was going to think about joining the 10-25-50 challenge that so many of you are participating in. Yesteday, while I was filing away things from my recent binge (Hey! I'm stressed, ok?!) I decided, enough is enough. I have to get control of something in my life cause certainly I feel that everything right now is out of control. It's a control freak's worst nightmare, not to be in control, and I am the ultimate control freak in my world. YOU may think YOU are the ultimate control freak but step aside, cause I OWN that crown.

But I digress...

I was filing and sorting and going through piles and getting very antsy and frustrated cause I LOVE every pattern that I laid eyes on. I thought to myself, SELF, get a grip. Exactly how many patterns do you think you will actually stitch in this lifetime? Golly, I hope to live to be a crotchety old lady with cats and God willing the eyesight or the means to purchase the world's highest magnification light. But there ain't no way that I am going to get around to stitch all my stash and I continue to buy more. So...I decided to toss in the towel and join you all in this challenge.

Here's MY rules. I pinched some of them off a few blog sites cause they just made sense. Thanks to those who saved me from burning brain cells trying to figure out what's best for me. You did all the work so props to you.

I have decided to join the 10/25/50 projects challenge.

The Rules:

Have fun reducing your pattern stash.
There is no time limit- I have different size projects I would like to work on.
But with that being said, the first commandment shall be:

Thou shall not purchase any new patterns until 5 current completed WIPS are stitched and the remainding 10 are chosen and stitched from the stash that's taking over the universe. I must stitch the first 5 before I begin on the next 10.(Did you hear God's thundering voice proclaim the first commandment? I did.)

Pattern size does not matter.

EXCEPTIONS...(Ya gotta have loop holes)

1. I may buy stash for inclusion in exchange packages and I can buy supplies needed to complete projects on my list as long as I absolutely can't substitute something using my existing stash.

2. Gifts, gift cards, trades, RAKs (stash sent by others randomly) and patterns bought with gift money are not a violation of this challenge.

3.Freebies count as part of my total and I may aquire them at any point.

4. I do not have to declare the projects I intend to work on. (Listing makes me feel's like journalling in Weight Watchers, that I've had good success with when I've faithfully done it. Plus, listing the projects keeps me focused and accountable.)

The offical start date of this challenge will be January 1, 2007. (I have some things that I MUST finish prior to Christmas and I could cheat and count them but I want a new start for the new year, so there!) Prior to January 1st, I will review my list and make any changes, corrections or updates.

My list consists of WIPS and wants. The first 5 entries are wips that I am currently working on exclusively to finish. I will not begin a new project until the first 5 are completed.
The next 10 on the list are designs that I want to begin. They are in no particular order. However, I reserve the right to swizzle this list based on which patterns are screaming to be worked on. So those ten future WIPS are subject to change during this challenge. But, once I begin to stitch a pattern, I can not abandon it in favor of the pattern of the moment. Once it's started, I must finish it. I do not want to have a gazzillion new starts and eventual UFOs.

I also reserve the right to work on any of my current WIPS in any order that I chose for however long I want to stitch on them. That's the screaming part of my modus operandi.

I am committing to stitching and completing 15 of the projects listed before buying any new stash for myself.

Oh God, please help me.

1. Autumn Leaves - The Prairie Schooler. A SAL with Patti & Cathy
2. John Foster - Historic Stitching
3. Beatrix Potter - Quaker Sampler
4. A Prairie Year - The Prairie Schooler (currently UFO, wince)
5. Real Roses - Drawn Thread
6. BOAF - Peace Sampler
7. Chester County Collection - Elizabeth Pusey
8. Nantucket Needlecase - the Drawn Thread
9. Armada
10. Nellie's Garden Revisited
11. My Home Town - CHS
12. Rose City Sampler - EE&F
13. Atelier de Brodeuse - Au fil des Reves
14. Friendship Sampler - Plum Street Samplers
15. An opern slot just because I want an open slot

So there you have it. It's posted and I expect all of you to keep me honest.

Let the games begin.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Autumn Leaves & Screamer

Just to let you know that I haven't totally abandoned stitching I am posting my progress on Autumn Leaves...yes, Cathy and Patti, I am still working on it and no, I haven't ripped out the center motif, although the desire to do so is very strong.

I am sorry that the picture is a bit blurry, the snapshot digital is on the fritz and this is the best photo I got out of like eleventy dozen pictures.

I haven't worked on Autumn Leaves for about a week, if I stitch at all, I've been working on Beatrix Potter, the Quaker Sampler. But even then, I only can stand to put a few stitches in at a time cause I've lost my mojo right now.

And this is a photo of our barn cat, who desperately wants to be a house cat. Her name is Daisy (don't ask) but we call her *Screamer* cause she meows at the top of her little voice until she is hoarse the entire time we work in the barn. She just loves attention and feels that the world should be paying attention to her and not those big clunky horses. We let her into the new room last week cause it was cold out and she was meowing pitifully at the door. David has a soft spot for her.

Oh, news from the contractor for those who care.
He called Thursday saying he was ordering the windows on Friday.

He didn't.

So, I believed him..NOT!!!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Tag, I'm it!

Seven songs...Veronica from Senorita Stitches tagged here's the rules and my songs....

Here are the rules: List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre. Whether or not they have words or even if they are any good but they must be songs you’re really enjoying right now! Post these instructions in your blog along with with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.
I am not really into top 10 music, I tend to listen to old things...
And it's hard to pick just seven...

1. Speed of Sound - Coldplay. Listening to this all the time.
2. Oceano - Josh Groban
3. 100 Years - Five for Fighting
4. Nothing without you - Bebo Norman
5. Sand in My Shoes - Dido
6. Take Heart My Friend - Fernando Ortego
7. Free Man in Paris - Joni Mitchell

Ok. Well there's my seven. I'll have to figure out who to tag. Be on the look may be tagged!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It just isn't happenin' here

Well folks, the mini-slump continues.

However, I am still spending $$ on stitching stuff so the desire is still there, thank the good Lord. Cause I have eleventy-thousand hard earned dollars (and no sense) tied up in this hobby and I would hate for it all to be abandoned like my bizzillion painting patterns and paint and painting supplies that have been banished into the dungeon, um-mm, I meant basement. I just hope that my small flame stays alite cause there's nothing sadder than all that stash just going to waste in my dungeon of a basement.
So, I went to the LNS today to have Kimberly help me match a fabric scrap that I began to stitch some smalls on and I needed MORE to make a needlebook and a scissor keep...and I walked out with that $20 piece of fabric, a pattern and the silks to go with said pattern for an additional $56. Add that to a mail package from Wyndham, The Twining Thread and Stitches N Things...gosh, I will hate see my credit card statement next month but it sure was fun getting those packages.

And the stress levels are increasing. We just got a phone call from the Air Force cadet who has finally told us that he and his room-mates are not getting along. I suspected that all along but the cadet would not admit it to me. Hasn't he realized by now that I am a MOM and on the day her child is born she is equiped with radar, eyes in the back of her head and a sixth sense regarding her child's happiness? So he is avoiding his apartment and his room mates and is spending a lot of time away from an apartment that I am paying almost $400 a month for him to live in. Doesn't that boy have any sense of how much stash I could be buying with that money?!!! (just kidding, folks...)

Just add this to the stress of my contractor, my job, my weight, my life...shake well and you have one overwrought, insomniac who is developing an eye twitch and acne (at the ripe old age of 49!!) who just wants her kid to be HAPPY.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Not much stitching going on here

So, I posted photos of my house. Not so much for my stitching. Why, you ask? Because I am in a mini-slump. It's ok, it's just the time of the year. The holidays are coming. Have I told you how much I dislike the holidays? I dislike them because I never feel that I've done enough, made it special enough, kept tradition...I don't think my family really cares one way or the other, if I do anything for the holidays. I think that's the main reason I dislike them cause I work hard trying to make them special and it doesn't seem to matter.

Work has gotten very busy. After months of looking for work, I have enough to keep me busy for weeks now. Part of that is because my partner has dumped his grunt work onto me. I am not's better than trying to look busy.
I did have homework this weekend, my boss asked me to put together a couple of charts for him to present to his manager, the CEO. It took me a couple of hours to do but I fretted over it for 2 days. Go figure. He'll use them as a starting point for what he really wants, which when he gave me this mini-assignment he didn't have a clue. He'll tweak them. I may have totally missed the mark, which in all honesty, is possible. Then he'll tweak them and send me scrambling to fix them.

I did stitch a little bit. I worked on Autumn Leaves. I am working on the center motif. It's coming along slowly.

I have seriously been considering joining the 10-25-50 challenge that so many bloggers are participating in. I've been hesitant to take it on cause I stitch SO SLOWLY. But if I do the challenge, I will first work on my WIPs. I have around 5-10 that I want to finish. Some Quaker, a repro or 2 and some holiday pieces. Give me a couple of days to think about it and if I decide to accept the challenge then I will post my WIPs and those patterns I want to stitch in the near future. I don't believe I will take the 50 challenge. If I did I would not be able to buy ANYTHING for the rest of my life! Maybe that's what I SHOULD do!
Recently, I have slowed down with buying charts. I've only bought those that I think will be scarce and hard to find when they go OOP. I seem to go in spurts, for months I will not purchase anything then I go on a binge. I've spent a lot of money this year, mainly on Quaker samplers which I can't seem to get enough of. I bought all the new Quakers that Judy Holdingworth has put out and I also bought the new Quakers on Historischestmuster. I've toyed with stitching nothing but Quakers next year but that's unrealistic too, I think. It sounds nice but I will need a variety just to keep my interest. I'll have to come up with a good mix of things to stitch. This should be interesting.

Oh, I want to thank you all for visiting my blog, even if you don't comment on my posts. When you do though, I feel like we've talked and that's really nice.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Just so you can see...

that I am not completely insane....this is the state of my house after a year of construction. Sorry they are a bit on the dark side, I took them at dusk...

The fireplace side of our house:

The front:

The sunroom:

The back of the house:

The garage side of the house:

So am I nuts to be upset???

Blogger has been giving me fits

I don't understand what has happened to my blog. Blogger posted my latest post way down the template. I didn't change any settings and I only edited the last post. Sorry for the inconvenience to have to scroll 1/2 way down the page to hit my posts.


And another thing... I can not post comments to anyone's blog now. I get the comment block and the word verification but when I click to save the post to the blog it just won't save it. My ID is not present, I have to choose whether I have a blog account or Google account. I choose blogger. No place to identify myself or my url. So, be assured I am reading everyone's blog but I just can't comment on your posts. I'm sorry, I really WANT to say nice things about everyone's stitching. Don't think I'm ignoring you!!!

I wonder if it's cause I haven't committed my blog to their beta site. I have heard mixed feelings about the beta blog. I like my template and I want to keep it but I am not sure if the beta version will allow it. I am not html savy and although I understand a little bit about customizing my blog, it's not enough to make wholesale changes.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Blogger is being a pain...this is just a test post to see if my blog loads correctly....

It didn't.

How to set your contractor on fire

There's nothing like a good rant to clear out frustration.

Today, I called Mr. Contractor on his cell phone and of course, his voicemail was full. So, I called his office and his secretary answered. In my most pissed off Customer voice, I curtly said to her...this is Joanie L. and I want John to call me immediately. And she said OK, she'd pass the message on to him. Honestly, I didn't think he'd call back but at 12:45PM my cell rang.

It was John.

So, my heart was racing and my mouth got dry, but I remembered the cardinal rule when talking to a man who thinks he's got the upper hand:

Lower your voice an octave.
Talk to him as though he is stupid (which most of the time they are.)

And I confidently, calmly and forcefully told him how I felt and how I would not put another dime into this job. And for MY PAIN, the least he could do was cover the difference for these windows. I didn't even have to use the *L* word...

I held my breath. (I figured he would tell me that he was packing up his tent and refunding my money.)

But...I heard a long sigh.

And then the words...

Yes, you are right. I will eat the 5K and give you what you want.

I feel vindicated. Today, John was on the receiving end of my Hungarian temper and trust me he didn't like it. He knows that I mean business.

So, on Friday, I will have a new contract that spells out exactly what I expect from him, firm completion dates with penalties if he slips the dates, a provision for reviewing all records of my job to ensure that material is correctly ordered and I can SEE that the order has been placed.

My DH is skeptical and believes that John will not hold up his end of the bargain and we will be letting the lawyer loose to make his life more miserable than it already is. Actually, I am not holding my breath for a new contract. Historically, he hasn't come through without a lot of phone calls and threats. But it's the principle.

But I feel better letting out what I've kept inside for the last 9 months. :-)

On the stitching front I worked on Autumn Leaves. I still am experimenting with over one techniques and I did find a mistake but I am not ripping out this piece again. I will live with it. I do not like how some of my stitches appear smaller. The green DMC I am using is thinner than the black DMC so the green stitches sink into the black and don't show very well. It's frustrating and I am not sure I really like how it looks. I refuse to rip it out. No, I am not going to rip it out and begin again....OK, I need an INTERVENTION...Please tell me NOT to rip it out cause it's fine!!!

Well, I gotta go to bed. Thanks ladies for all your comments, I really appreciate them! You've all made me feel like I needed to light up my contractor's life and not in a good way...hee-hee...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I'm really, really tired. Tonight is my sal on Autumn Leaves with Patti and Cathy. I haven't picked up a needle in a week or so and I am in a bit of a slump. It'll pass. I know's this damn house. The contractor called today and basically told us that he can not purchase the windows that I chose at Pella because I chose the most expensive ones and they will eat his profit. house has been in a state of disrepair for a year. A YEAR. The contractor has not worked on my house since July. He came at the end of August and said that he is out of control, took too much work and doesn't have enough guys to handle it. My husband gave him a pass. Let him off the hook. And now...not only do I have to pay MORE, I get nothing for my aggravation, frustration and time. Penalized not only in time but in my pocket. I do not have 5K extra to throw at this project and I think that I deserve some sort of compensation. He sounded so smug on the phone. I am mad and completely taken back because I have been nothing but kind to him and we put up with lies and excuses for the last 9 months.

I am sorry for the rant.

I have been blog hopping though, reveling in everyone's accomplishments. It's nice to see all the great things everyone's stitching.

Tonight is Halloween. We do not get any trick or treaters because we live on a country road and there are not many kids that live on the road. I miss Trick or Treaters. I love the holiday. It's really one of my favorite days. When we lived in Apalachin, we'd get the neighborhood kids and I couldn't wait to see them. It reminds me of my childhood. My Mom liked Halloween too and she made it a fun time for my brother and me. Gosh, I miss my Mom.

So, Happy Halloween....enjoy the ghosts and goblins, princesses and superheroes.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Correction to the bourse instructions

Sorry for the inconvenience....I found a typo...and I wanted to add an additional instruction.

1. After you stitch the backing fabric to your linen and before you turn the piece inside out, trim the seam about a 1/4 inch and clip the corners on a diagonal so that the corners will be square.

2. THIS IS THE BIG CORRECTION. Turn down the corners 2 inches. In the instructions, it states to turn the corners down an inch. That's too small. It should be 2 inches. Otherwise the corners will look really wonky and your bourse won't look right closed.

Sorry, sorry.....

Friday, October 27, 2006

How to make a bourse

I've had a number of requests for instructions on how I made my Halloween bourse. Making a bourse is so easy!!! I hand stitched mine cause I hate my machine.

You need:

A piece of cotton fabric in a print of your choice
Your needlework
Thin cording or ribbon
4 buttons

Essentially, the bourse is a square with the corners turned down (like dog ears)so the linen is showing.

Stitch something about 4-5 inches in size (about the size of an ornie or just a bit bigger) My design was about 41/2 inches square. I decided that I wanted about 4 inches of linen around the design to make the bourse. So, I cut my fabric 12 1/2 inches square.
I also cut my cotton fabric the same size.

With right sides together, I backstitched a 1/2 inch border around the entire square leaving an opening for turning.

Turn your piece right side out and press.

Stitch the opening closed.

Fold down each corner about an inch so that the linen is showing. (like a dog-ear). I used a ruler to measure each side of the triangle to make sure that the corners were even.

Stitch a 3/8" channel across the dog ear corner to thread the cording or ribbon through. I marked a line with a hard pencil and backstitched across the line.

Stitch a button on each corner. Don't stitch the button on the corner to the purse though.

Thread a 2 lengths of ribbon through the channel on each side so that you can draw up the bourse. Knot the ends and add a charm or button to the cording or ribbon. I used a couple of ghost charms that I picked up at the craft store.

When you gather up the bourse tuck the ends in so that they aren't *open*.

There ya go! You have a bourse!

If you have questions, let me know and I will try to explain. If you look at the pictures on my post and I think you'll understand my instructions. If not, I'll try to take some photos to illustrate it better.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Dining Out

Yesterday, David and I drove to Rochester to attend the ROTC Dining Out. It was great! The dinner was delicious and the guest speaker was very motivating. The guest speaker received the Medal of Honor for his service in Viet Nam. Hearing him speak was something! He spoke on leadership and the group was mesmerized by his account of the circumstances that lead up to receiving the Medal of Honor.

My son has turned into quite the cadet.

He had some surprises for us, because he is the highest ranked Cadet, he got to sit at the head table. He was part of the 4 cadets that performed the MIA ceremony which was very moving, participated in the skit that the Cadet's put together and he had to drink from the *Grog* bowl 2 times. Yuck. The grog is made out of whatever the senior cadets decide to put into at stainless steel toilet bowl. The cadets are *called out* by someone who has *witnessed* a social faux pas or a breach in protocol. The infraction is descibed by a poem. The person called out has a chance to rebut the request to go to the bowl. Most of time they have to go to the bowl anyway. The drink had gross things mixed together, olive oil, V-8 juice, a jar of pickles, molasses, honey, a malt drink, coffee, a candy bar described as doggie get the idea. They must drink at least a 1/3 of a glass of this stuff after saluting the *Mess*. Better him than me! It's all in good fun though and even though the concoction is gross.

Mike and Matt:

All of us...

We had a great time!

Today, we took Mike shopping and to lunch. All too soon, it was time to head home and leave him at his apartment. I miss him very much but he's doing well. And before I know it, it will be Thanksgiving and he'll be home for 2 weeks!

I took Prairie Schooler's Autumn Leaves with me to stitch in the car but who was I kidding! Over one in the car with a clip on magnifier equals car sickness. So no stitching for me on this trip. I worked a little on it at the hotel, I am not sure I like what I've done, I don't believe that I have the correct tension. Filling in colors doesn't look right, so I think I am going to try to park threads instead of doing an area of one color and filling in the blank stitches with another color. If any of you over one experts have any tips, please leave comments!

Thanks again for visiting, I look forward to reading your posts!

Friday's news

sorry that this post is in lower case, my computer's backspace key is stuck and i spend an inordinate amount of time correcting my typing. i don't type well to begin with so this is an added frustration.
i didn't do much stitching this week, i've been in a rather cranky mood and stitching would have frustrated me. the only thing i've done was put together my bourse and worked on the prairie schooler design. it's coming along nicely and i am finding it quite relaxing to stitch. i am almost 1/2 way done now and it's really hard to put down. i'll post a picture soon.
tomorrow, we are going to rochester to mike's rotc detachments dining out. it's where they teach the cadets how to behave at a formal Air Force function, there's a flag ceremony and an mia ceremony too. we get a great dinner, a presentation, a skit and the cadets get called to the *grog* bowl. it's a garbage drink (literally) served from a toilet bowl. better them than me! but i am looking forward to seeing the kid and spending time with him on saturday. i hope to get some nice photos so i'll share with you. i have a lot to prepare for though, i have to get our clothes together and i must find a suitable project to stitch on during the ride up and back. something on a large-ish count fabric because i have old eyes. it's always fun picking out something new to stitch!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Halloween bourse & other photos

Before I share some photos, I want to tell you that as of right now, the only credit card that was compromised was the one I wrote about in the previous post. I talked with the Credit Union folks this morning and there was no activity on our joint card this weekend. What a relief! Plus, I was worried about our checking and savings account but they are safe. Thanks for the prayers and thoughts. It's been a roller coaster of a day...

Now, for some photos...

This is my Halloween Sweetbag that I made for the exchange on Legacy. I don't believe my partner reads my blog so I decided to post it early. I just wanted to share! It's a Halloween bourse. I love it. It's so small. I hope my partner likes it as much as I do! I had a great time making it. It's all handsewn cause I hate my machine with a passion. It wasn't difficult to sew either which is always a plus! (Oh, and I painted the Halloween pumpkin patch in the backround.)

The bourse closed:

The bourse opened:

I stitched that cute witch from Mary Garry's Seasonal Momentoes again. I just love that little witch! She is pretty sweet.

I've made some good progress stitching Prairie Schooler's Autumn Leaves. Cathy, Patti and I are doing a SAL together. I worked on it tonight, even though our day to stitch this design is Tuesday. Tomorrow, I have a hair appointment and won't be home till late in the evening so I allowed myself to stitch on it. This photo is my progress from last week.

Tonight, I finished up the words on the top 1/2 of the design. I am doing it over one and I absolutely love how it's working up. I am using Ruth Sparrow's over one method and it's a fabulous technique. I loathed over one stitching but no more! Ruth's method is super easy and I am stitching on evenweave so my stitches are fairly uniform. I have to work on my tension a bit and I also have to let my needle drop to untwist. Over all, I am very happy with how this piece is coming along. What do you think?

Next up is our little Sweetie...I caught her napping in the sun on Sunday and I just had to take her picture! Isn't see adorable?

Lastly, this is my hubby and Anantha with our horse, Joey. Anantha is from India and came here for a month to learn part of David's job...yes, outsourcing to India. She is a sweet girl, very soft spoken and quiet. She was a delight! We spent the evening and have dinner together. She never saw a horse up close and personal and she was a little scared. But in the end, she touched Joey's nose and gave him some carrots. Joey loves to have his photo taken, the big ham!!!

So that's what's cooking at my house. Thanks for stopping by and leaving me comments. I love visiting with you!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Well, what a weekend...

I had a good weekend, up until 3:30AM Sunday morning when the phone rang. Hearts in our throats, David got up to answer it. It's very unnerving to be woken up out of a dead sleep, clawing out of that dreamland state to consciousness - to that spot where you aren't sure if you still are sleeping or if you are actually awake. Once you realize that you definitely are awake, many thoughts assault Mike OK? Is it the police calling to tell you that you need to go to the hospital or that he's dead? GOD FORBID! Or that something terrible has happened to your in-laws, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters? No, nothing that bad happened last night. But it wasn't a wrong number either, which one hopes it is at 3:30AM.

Western Union was calling. To ask if we had a particular card because there was a suspicious transaction about to occur or had already occurred.
Someone overseas has my credit card information. My DH doesn't know that I have this card so he told the person on the other end that he didn't have that card. He came to bed, and me..realizing that I didn't lose someone dear to my heart, sorta fell back to sleep. He told me what happened and said we will have to watch the transactions on our credit card. I sorta remembered what he said but sorta didn't. It didn't dawn on me until the next morning (get the pun?) that the card that was compromised was MINE.

A quick call to the card company at 8:00 AM confirmed my fears. There were 2 transactions that happened around to a music download site and the other to a place where for 39.99 you can get all sort of legal, police and other records. THAT'S the site that scares me the most. The credit card company cancelled my card. But now, I must contact the other credit card companies about our other cards and I need to call the credit reporting agencies too to issue a fraud alert and make sure that there hasn't been any suspicious things going on with our personal and financial information. Plus, I must contact the bank to ensure that our money can't be spirited away.

Oh, and the credit card company is now investigating cause it's truly a case of credit card fraud.

Honestly, I am frightened.

But thanks for reading, cause it helps me to write about it.

If you are a praying person, please send up one for me. I can use all of them right now....

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Windmill - a great day!

Today my friend, Penny, and I drove an hour and a half to The Windmill in Penn Yan, NY. It's a Mennonite market and craft market. The crafts are pretty kitsch-y but we go for the fresh produce and baked goods. Nothing like homemade goodies, especially when they are baked by someone else!!! It was very overcast, windy and down right cold. We had periogies for lunch from the Periogie Princess' Periogie Palace and we sampled mustards and pickles and dips. I bought apples, a purple cauliflower, brussel sprouts, some spices and homemade noodles. Plus, Amish Butter cheese, yum, and a very nice Angus chuck roast that probably was home grown down the road. It was a nice day to get out and get some fresh air and lay in provisions for the winter. (David wasn't too impressed with my purchases, he hates cauliflower and won't go near a brussel sprout. He did perk up at the mention of the roast though.)

Then, Penny and I drove to the Quilt Barn. What a treat for the eyes. This lovely Mennonite woman makes these gorgeous quilts and wallhangings and they are all hand stitched. I swear, before I die, I am going to make a quilt. I must! I love everything about quilts, and every time I see a very well executed, and handcrafted quilt, I just want it! But, alas, these are quite pricey...the one that I wanted was about a grand.

So, it was a good day. Fresh air, a great friend, periogies and quilts...only thing that's going to make this day better is stitching, which I plan on doing right after dinner. Good times!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Sampler House Exchange

Just a quick post, I wanted to upload a picture of my Sampler House Exchange from Annemiek! She stitched me the most adorable little pillow and added some scrumptious fabrics and a hank of Gloriana silk to round out the exchange. The little pillow is stitched on a gingham fabric over one thread in a very cool plum color silk. I love it! Annemiek, I will treasure it always!

I will do my best to get a closer picture of the pillow, I tried and the camera will not focus

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Halloween Exchanged Received!

I wanted to post a quick note about my Halloween Exchange for the Stitchers Blogger Exchange Board. I made Cathy a cute little doorknocker and I wanted to share the photo....

(I pinched the photo from Cathy's blog cause our camera is acting quiet wierd and I didn't get to take a snapshot before I mailed it to her.) I hope you don't mind, Cathy.

Anyway, I had a great time making it. I re-combined Lizzie*Kate's, Halloween Sampler into a one of a kind piece. I stitched it on 32 ct Silkweaver linen called *Poltergiest* with Weeks and GAST thread. I took it to CATS to work on in the lounge and I couldn't cause Cathy was sitting right next to me and I didn't want to spoil the surprise.

I am very glad it arrived in good shape and that she liked it! I think she likes the fuzzy batty socks that I included in the package the best though. They are quite stylish in a Halloween-y way.

Baby it's going to get cold outside

I just listened to the news, we are supposed to get very cold and have snow flurries! I am NOT ready for snow! Not by a long shot! I am still living in late summer and I haven't put my shorts away yet. It's too early!

So, here's some photos of the autumn hillside that I took last weekend. I bet that by this weekend, most of the leaves will be on the ground and the trees will be bare.
This is a picture of our horses grazing in the pasture.

Maggie and the hillside vista:

The view from my sunroom:

And progress on Autumn Leaves by Prairie Schooler, an SAL that Patti and Cathy and I are working on.

It's too early for WINTER!!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

How to tell if you are truly obsessed....

Obsession...the dictionary defines obsession as:
the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.

I, however, describe obsession the following way...

1. Need one skein of DMC 3011 to completely kit a project.
2. Rip apart every kitted project and every bag of DMC that's stashed in the closet and rummage through all the plastic shoe boxes of specialty fibers because I am sure that I HAVE that color someplace in my stash, because afterall, I own EVERY color of DMC ever created, RIGHT?
3. After searching for what seems to be hours, finally give up and admit that no, I don't own every color DMC ever made. I am missing the number 3011.
4. Make the decision to go to AC Moore after work to pick up 3011.
5. Breath a sigh of relief cause now, I can rest easy knowing my kitted project will be complete after work on Monday.
6. Leave work and drive the dreaded parkway which has a billion loonies driving on it during rush hour and road rage is rampant.
7. Drive into AC Moore's parking lot, which is really WALMART's (that should give you a clue as how full the lot is) and 30 other stores parking lot.
8. Play dodge cars with old folks on their way to the Country Buffet for dinner, who should have their licenses revoked because they are ancient and besides all that, the Country Buffet serves bad food. (Country Buffet is affectionately known in our house as Country Barffet).
9. Realize that it's a school holiday and everyone is shopping with their kids - at WalMart.
10. While dodging parents and kids, circle the lot near AC MOORE and FINALLY find a parking place.
11. Go into AC Moore and fight the parents and kids to walk down the aisle to the cross stitch supplies conveniently located at the rear corner of the store.
12. Eureka! 3011 is in stock! Hear the angels singing?
13. Dig deep in the bin to find a *clean* skein. That means one that you believe no one or their kid has handled besides you.
14. Fight my way back to the register with that ONE skein of floss.
15. Get to the register only to realize that there are 3 open registers each with 4 people in line. Did everyone in the store decide to checkout at the same time?
16. Try to get in the line with the people that have the least amount to purchase. (I think you know that I picked the WRONG line.)
17. Stand in line while the cashier messes up a gift card / credit card transaction and now has to void the purchase to begin again.
18. Begin to wave that lonely skein in the air hoping that someone will take pity on me and let me go ahead of them. FAT CHANCE.
19. Twenty five (!) minutes later- leave the parking lot (after dodging traffic, kids and old people) with that lonely skein of 3011 after refusing a plastic bag the size of a small country and the AC Moore sale flier. (I know that I will not be going back there anytime soon.)
20. Pull into the driveway a full hour later than normal, all because I wanted a skein of 3011 that I paid 31 cents for so I could rest easy knowing my project is complete and ready to stitch.

THAT, my friend, is OBSESSION.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

It was a beautiful day!

Today was a great autumn day in Upstate NY. The sky was a brilliant blue and the hillsides were ablaze with oranges, burgundies and gold. It is so pretty here during this time of the year. Autumn is my favorite time.

I uploaded a couple of pictures from CATS. Patti, Nancy and I spent Saturday morning at Chocolate World. I felt like I was 9 again! Too fun!

Another must have!

Have you seen this from Carriagehouse Samplings?!!!


I had to post this find.

It's going on the wish list...Attic Needlework is offering the chart, the fabric and the silks as their October's so tempting to order it but I'll be good, I promise.

I am an Autumn lover, pumpkins, sunflowers, leaves, the colors, smells, the crisp air....maybe that's what my Heaven will be like.

Today in Upstate NY the weather is's cool but not cold and the sky is that bright blue color that you only see during this time of the year, the leaves are at their peak and it's a great day to be putzing about the yard. David has been mowing the lawn, hopefully for the last time and I've pulled out all the tomato plants from the garden. We had a frost last night and they didn't survive it. That's ok though, cause they are spent.

I've done some laundry and housework and now, I am taking a break from Fall decorating. I've done my porch, I've put my sunflower wreath on the door and put a large pot of silk mums and my fake pumpkins next to the door on an old wooden chair I salvaged just for that purpose. And I dragged up the box of autumn / halloween goods from the dungeon, opps...I meant basement..Ahem. I'm going to work on my kitchen shelf next. After I get through puttering about with that, I may take a nap or sit down and work on a bit o'needlework.

Thanks everyone for your comments on Welcome Spot and Light Your Way. I love the way they came out and I appreciate all the good things you say about my passion.

Talk with all of you again soon!


Hi again,

Thanks for all your nice messages from yesterday's post. When I am sick, I like to be coddled and sympathized in all my misery. You guys are amazing when it comes to making me feel better!

Patti, I didn't get my cold from you. My partner at work passed it on to me prior to CATS, I had a scratchy throat when I was with you so it was a matter of time before this blew up into a full head & chest cold. Tom was hacking up a lung at work and there were a number of others who I sit near that were snuffling and sneezing too. You were not contagious when I was with you cause your cold was in full bloom and you were well past the incubation period for me to pick it up from you.

My main source of frustration for the post was that I was looking for stuff and I couldn't find what I needed. I am also frustrated at the lack of construction on my house and with the holidays approaching, it's going to put a damper on the decorating. I usually go all out during the Fall and Winter months with all my decorations, this year I've only put things out on my console table in the new room. I am wondering where I am going to put my Christmas tree. Usually it goes up Thanksgiving weekend and it's set up in front of our big living room windows. This year, God willing, we will be in the throes of window installation, so I'm not sure where I am going to put it so that I don't impede the construction guys. My DH says that I should make the guys work around the decorations but I have ornaments on that tree that are antique and some that mean a lot to me and I don't want to run the risk of having them broken. I am very tired of my house being in such a state of dishevelment and disruption.

Ok, enough whining...onto the photos (blogger willing)

Light Your Way:

Welcome Spot:

I will take a better photo of Light Your Way, I want you to see the cool frame. It's really neat and I love it!

I also tried to post photos from CATS but I'll have to later. Blogger isn't letting me upload more than 2 images and I'll have to mess getting them into Picture Trail and uploading them from there.

I also started a Prairie Schooler design, Autumn Song. Patti, Cathy and I are going to do a SAL and I began it yesterday..OVER ONE. Oh, it's really teeny and I am happy with how it's working out. I am using my magnifier and it's on 28 count fabric so I am not burning my eyes out of my head trying to see where to place the stitches. Plus, I am taking my time and being really careful. I don't want to frog this at all!

Ok, I have to attack Mount Dirty Clothes and I have to vacuum cause we have enough dog hair blowing around to make a chihauhua...see you later!

Thanks for the comments, it's nice to hear from all of you!