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Monday, January 30, 2006

Thank you

I want to thank everyone for their comments on my blog. They really cheered me up. I'm still not over my slump, I don't seem to find any pleasure in my stitching right now, it's just work. I am blaming the grey days and there's so much going on in my life.

The contractors are supposed to start the extreme home makeover next week. Wow. I can't believe that this is really happening. As much as I am looking forward to this remodel, I am NOT looking forward to the dust and dirt. It'll be a good excuse to do a *superclean*. And I know the house REALLY needs it.

Today, there was good news. My son was offered a full Air Force ROTC Leadership scholarship at RIT. I am so proud of him. I can't believe it! Mike is on cloud nine! He loves the ROTC program. Out of 40 freshmen, he was unaninimously chosen for this honor. Now, he has to maintain his GPA, stay in a technical program and he will graduate a commissioned officer. After that, he will serve in active duty for 4 years and then in the reserves for 4 years. He wants to travel the world so this is a great way to do it. I really am proud of him. He's worked very hard for this opportunity.

I think I need a good night sleep and I will be better tomorrow.
Thanks again, everyone!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah....

I want to apologize for those who read my very uninspiring blog. I've been in a stitching slump for the last week and there isn't much to show for any of my efforts. Mind you, I HAVE stitched this week but the results were less than exemplary and progress was slow and hampered by my lack of math skills. I CAN'T COUNT!!!

Plus, there is NO sun here to take any photographs, the last 2 weeks have been rather grey. I would have thought by NOW, I would be used to the lack of sun but it's damn depressing. The newpaper reported that we've only had 2 days this month of sun, and of course, the 2 days of sunny weather were during the week when we were at work. I don't get home until after 5 most evenings so it's getting dark and it's not conducive for photographing anything. Today, we are to have *partial* sun...I wonder which part is going to show maybe I will have an opportunity to snap a couple of shots of my meager accomplishments for the week and upload them.

Stay tuned.

Oh, I wanted to say to all of you that I am very inspired by everyone's blogs that I read. (And sometimes jealous too, cause I love all that you do.) I visit all that I list on my sidebar and more too! You've contributed to my recent increase in stash and I enjoy everyone's posts.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Meme of Fours

Got this from Nancy's Blog

The Meme of Fours

Four Jobs I Have Had in My Life
1. Quality Systems Coordinator
2. Optical Inspector (microscope inspection of circuit lines on computer circuit boards)
3. Stable manager (Cared for 30 horses)
4. Owner of Homespun Hearts (a decorative painting business)

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over Again
1. American President
2. The Italian Job
3. Pirates of the Carribean
4. Grosse Pointe Blank

Four Places I Have Lived
I have lived in 2 places, Pittsburgh and Upstate NY

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch
1. Mash reruns
2. Joan of Arcadia
3. Desperate Housewives (until very recently)
4. Extreme Home Makeover

Four Places I Have Been on Vacation
1. Atlanta, Georgia
2. Columbus, Ohio
3. The Outer Banks, NC
4. My hometown

Four Websites I Visit Daily
1. Legacy Embroiderer's Guild
2. Rotational Stitchers
3. Stitching Bloggers
4. Friends Gather

Four of My Favorite Foods
1. Cottage cheese and noodles
2. Good milk chocolate
3. Fruit of any kind
4. A great steak

Four Albums I Can't Live Without
1. Anything by John Denver
2. The Pretender - Jackson Browne
3. Home - Fernando Ortega
4. X&Y - Coldplay

Four Places I'd Rather Be
1. Budapest, Hungary
2. Ireland
3. On the Outerbanks
4. Boulder, CO

Four Bloggers I Tag
I don't tag.

In a bit of a slump

In a slump, a little one, but a slump none the less. I think I am a bit frustrated, the froggies visited all weekend and everything I touched has to be ripped out and done over. The final straw was the 3 hours I spent stitching a spiderweb rose and the decorative backstitching around it (sorry, can't share a's a secret) and when I put the anchoring stitch to secure the backstiching I pulled out the ending thread to the spiderweb rose. It was too short to weave back in so it was back to the drawing board to begin again. One spiderweb rose...3 get the wraps to lay right and the tension just so and to have it pop off the fabric right before I was calling it quits for the evening. Not a great stitching evening.

I put Miss Mary away for now and Sarah Tatum too. I have to stitch my Lottery II exchange piece and continue to restitch my boo-boo project. I like the *boo-boo* project so it's not a chore. I have to figure out what I want to stitch for the Lottery II piece. Something spring-y or friendship related.
Planning is half the fun!

Sunday, January 22, 2006



Can you tell I am a FAN!!! Oh, right now, my blood runs black and gold.

My only sadness is that I can not share this football triumph with my Dad. He always called me when he knew the Steelers were being televised nationally. I can still hear him say, Joanie...Are you going to watch the game? I'll call you after it's over...yeah Dad, I heard you asking today too. I hope you had the best seat in Heaven watching your beloved Black and Gold roll the Broncos.


Oh, on the stitching front, I am working to fix a section of a long overdue piece for Nancy...I made a HUGH boo-boo and it required re-stitching and re-assembly.

And as a diversion, I worked on Sarah Tatum for a little bit when the *delinquent* piece developed a bad case of the frogs and I got a tad frustrated with it. Sarah looks good, I got 3 of the upper left motifs finally finished and the letter *A* too.

The fetching Miss Mary didn't see a needle this weekend as she is the *fun* piece and I would love to stitch on her no matter what. But I MUST, MUST, MUST correct my hugh blunder and get Nancy's piece finished before we both turn 100! I had to bury Miss Mary under a ton of Wips as she whines incessantly.

How did YOU fare this weekend with your passion for needle and thread?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I am in love, love, love...

I love over one stitching....I am now looking for designs that would be nice stitched over one. It's all because of Miss Mary Mack...she's adorably small.

I stitched on her last night. She's about 1/3 done now, her head and hair are complete, and her bodice is stitched. I outlined her to make sure that she will fit the pin and I stitched her left foot (she can do the hokey-pokey!) Her hair and head are complete crosses, her dress is in 1/2 cross stitch.

I am thinking that my next over one design will be Little House Needlework's, Two Red Houses. I won't start it for a while yet, I have too much on my stitching plate to add another Wip....but I can dream and plan...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Some musings...

First of all , thanks to all who visited and commented on my Extreme Home Makeover. It's an exciting time for me and I am looking forward to sprucing up the place. It's been a dream of ours to finish the house the way we want and my Dad came through in a big way. So, Dad, thanks!

Here is a photo of what I will be looking at from my *Florida Room*:

Isn't it a gorgeous view?

I've been thinking about stitching today, you know, just daydreaming and I got to wondering why I love to do needlework and why does it give me such satisfaction.

I pondered it for awhile and I think that I love it because it is relaxing and I love seeing a design develop. Plus, it's a creative process and I feel very productive. And I can spend time with my family when I am stitching. Before I took up needlework, I painted and drew. I would hole myself up in my *studio* (the 4th bedroom - LOL!!) and not come out for hours. I literally get lost in art and to come out is rather jolting. But my family never saw me and would complain that I was never around. So needlework provides me with most of what I crave, the color and creative process. I don't mind working from a designer's work, I've been known to change things and make a piece my own. I've dabbled in designing and maybe I will continue down that path but for now, I am content to spend time with a needle

SO this question is for all of you:
What makes you love to do needlework (or any hobby for that matter) and why does it give you such satisfaction?

I would be interested in your answer.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Get ready for the Extreme Home Makeover

Well, this ain't about stitching, it's about remodeling. This is the year that we decided to completely re-do the outside of the house. Our house is in dire need of a makeover. NO, Ty and company are NOT coming to do the remodeling. John from Advantage Home Improvement is doing the work. We finalized everything this week, the financing came through (oh it's a BIG number)and we are going to get started in a couple of weeks.

Here's a picture of the before:

As you can see the siding is cedar. It's in need of a good staining but we decided that for the price of staining and having to redo it every 5 years, it would pay to just vinyl side the joint. The big front windows are going to be replaced with three arched topped windows in the same size. The garage door is literally rotting away. I am ashamed of how the house looks now but by March it's going to be gorgeous!

On the agenda for the makeover:

Replacing all the windows, doors and garage door. The windows are going to be trimmed in white and will be paned double hung.

Siding - we chose dutch lap siding in a walnut color for the majority of the house and as an accent Cedar shake for the 2nd floor

Gutters, soffit & fascia - white trim

Fieldstone the wall the front door is on as an accent

And the best part, we are going to close in our covered patio in the back of the house and make it into a 4 season room. Windows all around to take advantage of the beautiful view we have, tile floor and pellet stove to heat the room.

I am pretty excited and nervous too, the estimated completion date is 6 weeks. Stay tuned for further developments.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Don't ya ever wish....

That you could stitch (and finish) all the pieces that you see on other's blogs? I've been blog-surfing for about an hour now and there are so many nice *happy dances* and *works in progress* that it makes me want to start them. Now I feel like chucking my plans and starting over.

Do you ever feel like doing that?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Alphabet about me

Lifted from Patti's blog...

A is for Age: 48 (YIKES!!! Last time I checked, I was 25!)
B is for Booze: Gin & tonics!
C is for Career: Quality Systems Coordinator - I LOVE my job!!! Really, really!!!
D is for Dad’s Name: Joseph
E is for Essential Item to Bring to a Party: A nice bottle of wine
F is for Favourite Songs at the Moment: 100 years - Five for Fighting
G is for Goof-off Thing to Do: Web-surfing (usually stitching-related)
H is for Hometown: Monaca, PA but Binghamton, NY really is home after 28 years!
I is for Instrument You Play: None but would love to learn piano
J is for Jam or Jelly you Like: Strawberry
K is for Kids: One - Mike!
L is for Living Arrangement: 2 story house in the country, my dream house!
M is for Mom’s Name: Nellie
N is for Names of Good Friends: Penny and Beth and many stitching friends from around the world
O is for Overnight Hospital Stays: Kidney Stones (ouch!!!) Maternity too!
P is for Phobias: Clowns and praying mantis and stuck elevators
Q is for Quotes you Like: No matter where you go...there you are!!
R is for Relationship That Lasted Longest: Hubby - 30 years strong!
S is for Siblings: one - my brother, Joe
T is for Texas: Austin...old friends live there
U is for Unique Trait: Loyalty and Compassion
V is for Vegetables You Love: Everything!!!
W is for Worst Traits: Lack of confidence/self-esteem
X is for X-rays You’ve Had: ankle and teeth!
Y is for Yummy Food You Make: Brownies and cookies and lasagna
Z is for Zodiac Sign: Cancer

It's Only 13 days into the new year...

And I've broken my New Year's resolution not to buy any more stash except for fabrics and fibers to kit. Blew that resolution out of the water with a couple of purchases from Stitching Bits and Bobs, Elegant Stitch and Ebay. My husband, who pulls the mail from the box each day marvels at the number of envelopes I get during the week, he commented that I get something *stitching related* just about daily.

From Stitching Bits and Bobs, I ordered all the BC Snappers after seeing how cute Karen's perpetual calendar came out. Then I got the new Drawn Thread patterns from Elegant Stitch. I love the redwork needlecase
and the oriental flavored piece,
Three Friends,is nice too.

And did you see the new Quaker needle accessory pattern, Accessoires Quaker AMAP, from Amon Ami Pierre? Oh, ordered that piece too. And on Ebay, I won a Quaker design called Elizabeth Sharpless from the Chester County PA Historical Society. (I wish I knew how to link all these websites so you could see what I am talking about).

Ordered fabric from Silkweaver, bought thread from my LNS too.

I have no willpower...(hanging head in shame...) and when will I stitch all of this???? Only heaven knows. LOL!!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Ok, a rant. I HATE Finishing. I hate my sewing machine and I hate that I spend HOURS working on something only to MESS IT UP when I am trying to turn it into something. This is why I like samplers. They get framed. Can't mess up a cube. I hate needlebooks, pincushions, fobs. Anything that requires 2 pieces of fabric sewn together and finished with cording, ribbon or any other decorative do-dad.

I love my stitching, I hate my finishing. It always looks so amateurish. I envy those who finish things so beautifully and they make it look so effortless.

Rant over.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Thank you!

Thank you dear friends for such nice comments about my stitching. They make me glow! I never thought that sharing my stitching would make me so happy. I appreciate all your comments very much.

The Drawn Thread is my all time favorite designer. I think I have most of Cynthia's patterns with the exception of those that are so OOP and difficult to find and there are only one or 2 that didn't really appeal to me. I still may add them to my stash just because I would like a complete collection.

This weekend is *supposed* to be sunny, so I will take more photos to share with you all.

Thanks again for visiting my blog.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Show and Tell

Today, there was actually LIGHT in NY. Lately, it's been rather grey and gloomy, so my picture taking opportunities have been almost non-existant. So, I decided to take advantage of the light and snap some of my previous finishes and a couple of UFO's that I put away.

The finishes are from 1999-2005. I can honestly say that I haven't finished anything for myself in 2005 since the Spring. The last finish I had was Hillside Samplings, Button Sheep. The other finishes were exchange pieces.

Drawn Thread:

ABC Sampler

Random Thoughts. I changed the verse to one of my favorite Psalms.

A Christmas piece:

A Drawn Thread oop:

Shepherd Bush:
A Christmas piece:

A Halloween piece that's got to be at least 10 years old. I need to sew the buttons on and make it into a wall hanging. Didn't I say I have finishing anxiety?

And a Prairie Schooler WIP that's as old as dirt.

Prairie Village:

There are more Drawn Thread and I will have to take pictures of my active Wips over the weekend when I have adequate lighting. I hope you liked my show and tell.

More Pictures

I thought I would post some more pictures of what I've worked on during New Year's Day. I didn't stitch ALL day like I thought I would, there is just too many things to do to get ready to go back to work tomorrow. Least of all is the mountains of laundry created by my DS, I've forgotten how much laundry a *cool* guy generates. LOL!!

So, I worked on Sarah Tatum, I only completed 1/2 of the first motif. Well, the photo was way blurry so I have to take another one...sorry. I am designating Sundays as *Sarah Sunday* cause I took a look at the pattern and if I don't spend a full day with her then I will not finish in a year. Especially when the weather gets better and I go back to doing horsey stuff. This year, I am hoping to put an outdoor arena in, nothing fancy just a big rectangle with sand footing. Then I can exercise my horse properly and get him to use his mind some, instead of being the paddock potatoe that he currently is. That's the plan anyway, let's see if the husband is in's going to take a lot of persuasion and negotiation.

But here's the picture of Prairie Year.

I started Prairie Schoolers, Prairie Year over one on 28ct Lugana in Lambswool on New Years Eve. I spent a great deal of time frogging this little motif and I hope that it's not an omen for future stitching. I am part of a SAL on the Friends Gather BB and we are to do a motif a month. I have to say that once I got the bugs out and found a stitching rythmn, it was enjoyable. I do like the look of over one and it's going to be a very tiny piece. I need to think about a border design to frame it and something to separate all the motifs, like a grid. I wish that I had thought of using a patterned fabric like Becky. She's doing hers on a piece of tattersall linen and I think it's going to look fabulous. And there's an instant grid! You are so clever, Becky!!!

Also, I worked on a special piece that I can not show you. It's for Nancy and I know I keep teasing her about it and I am having so much fun with it. I hope the assembly goes as well as the stitching. I will give a hint though, I am stitching with Threadgatherer's silks in the most lush colors.