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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Whine, whine, whine, whimper

Thanks everyone for posting comments to my blog. I really appreciate them and it's nice to know that I have wonderful stitching friends around the world.

I feel bad that my recent posts have been so depressing. It's just that I am so frustrated. In fact, in preparation for the in-laws visit, I put my stitching basket in the closet. And my DH put my magnifier out of the way just doesn't feel right.

I never realized how much stitching grounded me. I get really cranky when I don't get to do even a little bit of stitching and recently there has been NO stitching in my life. Creativity is a big part of my psyche and personality and I just don't feel like me if I don't do something creative at least daily. Seeing a wonderful design grow on fabric with a length of fiber makes my heart sing. I never would have thought that such simple items would bring me so much pleasure. But that's what stitching does for me. I read that doing this form of craftwork actually produces dopamine which combats depression. Isn't that cool? The repetition of making x's relaxes your mind and takes your mind off of your troubles. I can relate totally!

With all the stuff going on with our remodel and getting ready for the visit, with Mike home too, my routine has been shaken up a bit. But that's ok cause I'll find my rhythm again soon.

Thanks for your patience!!! And for putting up with my rants!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

When will I stitch again...

Remember that song from the 80's that went...When will I see you again? Well, just insert stitch and there you have it for me! I haven't touched a needle in 2 weeks. It's been insane!

I went to a class in Jamestown NY for auditor training. I thought that I would have some time in the evening to stitch a little bit cause there's nothing to do in Jamestown. The sidewalks roll up at 7:00PM and to be perfectly honest, I am not that adventurous when I am in an unfamiliar place so I tend to stay close to the hotel. So I figured, hotel room = evening stitching. Wrong! I had HOMEWORK that took most of the evenings to complete and there was a TEST at the end of the class that I had to study no stitching for me.

Because I have been away for a week, this three day weekend has been spent preparing for the in-laws to visit next week. Add my son to the mix, he descending on the house, dropping off a year's worth of stuff from college. Well, you get the picture, I've done nothing but laundry and getting the house ready for company. No stitching again.

So, I go blogging and I see everyone's creations and finishes and I am green with envy. I am living vicariously through everyone's needlework.

Ok, can I have some WHINE with my cheese?

Maybe I will get to stitch NEXT weekend. Ya think?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Pictures say a 1000 words

I wasn't going to post this progress picture but I felt that I should just because I wanted everyone to know that I DO keep my word. I am working on this for Nancy K. She has been so gracious about waiting for this very delinquent exchange piece. I want to publically thank her for her patience and friendship and kindness shown to me during the past year. So Nancy, here's a progress picture of your exchange.

I know that life certainly gets in the way of even the best laid plans and I've certainly had my share in the last 9 months. Nancy has been the most sympathetic stitching friend. Anyway, I have been posting and telling Nancy that the piece is coming. It's now about 1/2 of the way done. And here's the proof! I am still not saying how I will finish it. But it will be very, very nice.

There is a story behind this piece. Originally, I started to stitch Indigo Rose's, Catherine's Armchair Pinkeep. I changed all the colors and modified it to an Autumn theme. I changed the colors and the blueberry motifs to autumn leaves. Unfortunately, the spider web roses and my live-in frogs had another plan. Frustration ensued and I put the piece away. I started anew and changed all my plans to the current one. Then work and the remodeling got in the way, along with a healthy dose of guilt. So today, since my DH and I decided to be slugs and stay in, I picked it back up and made good progress.

Then there is the house makeover. Here are pictures of the door, the staircase in the new room and the spot where we are going to install a pellet stove. Just wanted to share...

The door:

Where the future pellet stove will live:

The staircase to the kitchen. Picture a french door replacing this ugly thing:

And the barn cat who desperately wants to live indoors:

And lastly, the rainbow over the pond. Isn't it gorgeous:

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Temptation Eyes

Remember that song from WAY back? Well, I am and continue to be sorely tempted by all the new designs out there. And I came across this one from Exemplars From the Heart.

I promised myself that I would put myself on a stash diet, as I could open my own shop with all of the stuff I own. But that sampler is just a must have for me. Vicki Clayton has a conversion for it and I LOVE using her silks.

I am toast.

I have to confess that I made a visit to Stitchery Row last night. Mind you, I only went there for one skein of linen thread because I misplaced the skein for the Merry Cox piece. I ended up buying the fibers and the linen for the new sampler in the Summer edition of Sampler and Antique Needlework magazine. It's an absolutely beautiful 4-part sampler called "The Old Aviary Sampler". The fabric is 40" x 17" on 40 ct. ivory linen. But I bought the linen in 32ct because working on 40ct makes me a little bit edgey. The fibers are AVAS and Glorianna silks in the softest peaches and creams. I must be nuts.

And there's the Merry Cox purchase from the Bay of Evil. I paid way too much for it. The pattern is Merry's Accessories. It's a collection of smalls. Looks like a quick stitch. I told myself that I bought it for the finishing instructions..yeah, right!!!

Then there is one other thing that I am wanting:

Her name is Blue. She looks a lot like my Aussie, Fraggles. I've been watching this site for awhile and last night I emailed her owner to see if she was still available. She is. The only drawback is that she is in Virginia about 10 hours away according to map quest. I am in New York. My husband isn't too keen on driving to Virginia on a dog run. I don't know what the rules are to adopt her butI am hoping that we could work something out because this is a private adoption and her owner just posted through the rescue site. Maybe I could meet her 1/2 way or we could have her shipped. I've had horses transported across the country but never a dog. Her owner says that she is sweet, moderately active but chases cats which will be a little bit of a problem. But she is a house dog and likes other dogs too so maybe the pecking order in my house wouldn't be disrupted too much.

Her owner emailed me back and posted a bunch of photos of her. This dog is speaking to me. She has a companion Aussie too, his name is Cisco but I couldn't bring both of them back. Especially since we are hip deep in remodeling.

Say a prayer for me and this dog. I really really like her and I would love to adopt her.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What do you find most challenging about stitching?

Since I am not making significant stitching progress, I thought I would post a question that Cathy posted on the Legacy BB. So, dear reader, what DO you find most challenging regarding our passion for needle and thread?

For me, the biggest challenge is time. I am finding that I have less time to stitch and when I do I am SO tired that I don't really want to pick anything up. Now that the weather is getting better and the days are longer, I am outside more and playing in my yard. My stitching time usually decreasing this time of year and it picks back up again in the Fall.

Also, there are some techniques I find truly challenging, hardanger is one, as well as, some cutwork. I've tried hardanger and I really like it but I have to take a deep breath before I cut my fabric. Does anyone have scissor anxiety, like me?

Then there is the sheer cost of supplies and finishing. I've found myself thinking twice about beginning a project because the silks, fabric and linen were quite expensive and then there is framing costs. I never really cared about how much things actually cost until recently. Plus, I have found myself actually passing up patterns that I love cause I would have to be a cat (with 9 lives) to stitch everything found in my stash. Is this a sign of maturity?

Lastly is finishing. I am truly finishing phobic. I can sew reasonably, I can follow a pattern. But the thought of making an error cutting up a project or messing up the finishing after putting in hours, months and sometimes YEARS of stitching, makes my blood run cold. Also, since I am a visual person, I like a lot of pictures, clear pictures of how things are assembled. Some finishing instructions are very vague or are incomplete in some way.

So, gang, what about you?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Well, I wasn't going to post but....

It's been a less-than day. I would elaborate but I am afraid that I wil post something that I would regret. Suffice it to say that work proved to be a disappointment today and I haven't picked up a needle and stitched a significant amount in the last week.

However, Mother's Day was very nice. Got flowering shrubs for my back yard. Was made to feel special and loved. It was very nice.

I did get a Merry Cox pattern in the mail today...I won it on Ebay. I paid too much for it.

And I am lusting after the Brightneedle class posted on Elegant Stitch. It's adorable, I love the little girl.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Thanks for all your lovely notes

Thanks for all your notes and words of encouragement. I am really fine, just working through quite a busy time. I got to stitch over the weekend and it felt SO good! I am working on finishing the piece I have promised Nancy almost a lifetime ago, I am so excited about it cause it's coming out just perfect! It's a very functional piece and it has Quaker motifs...that's all I am going to say cause I don't want to give it away. I know she will like it cause she loves Quaker things. There aren't medallions on it but different little motifs from Quaker samplers and one motif from the Ackworth Pattern book. There, that's it, no more or I will end up posting a picture!!!

I did read the instructions to the Shaker Spool Holder too, I just want to be sure that I understand it fully before I put my first stitches in the fabric. I understand that the linen thread is somewhat fiddly. Hmm...well, I won't know until I use it...

I've been reading all your blogs, it's nice to *visit* with you. You have no idea how I enjoy reading everyone's entries. I sit with a cup of tea and wish that we were face-to-face instead of face-to-computer! Maybe someday we will all be able to meet. Now, wouldn't that be nice?

Well, it's late, I have a full day tomorrow, so it's off to bed...Good night all. Happy stitching!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Wow, the week is finally over!

What a week! Our audit was this week and it was a killer. These assessments are nerve-wracking enough without the addition of an assessor who had his own *opinions* and interpretations of the standard that we comply with. All went well until the very last day, the very last item to audit. We ended up with a minor nonconformance and a ton of opportunities for improvement. The number of OFI's indicates to me that there are stresses in our quality system that need to be addressed....oh well, that will be next weeks battle.

SO, 3 major things are accomplished in my life now. We got through a brutal assessment with one of our Customers, my Dad's house is in the hands of a very happy couple (yeah!) and our reassessment audit is done. Whew! Now maybe I can relax a little and get back to my regularly scheduled life!

Because of all these things on my plate, I haven't stitched much at all. Last night, I picked up Prairie Year long enough to finish May's border. And I picked up Sarah Tatum but only put in a couple of strands of silk. On my Quaker RR, I started to stitch another motif in the border and realized that that motif was already stitched. So I ripped it out. Not a good start for me since I haven't stitched much at all in April or now May.

Today in Binghamton, the weather is damp and grey. A great day to stitch but my house still looks like a cyclone hit it so I spent most of the morning going through the stack of stuff next to my bed and sorting paperwork. I need to go buy a file cabinet. I really don't want to go anywhere today so maybe I will just put everything in folders and buy the filing cabinet early next week. DH has given the go ahead to re-carpet the 3rd bedroom but I want to wait until the contractor boy's put in the new window before I try to paint and carpet. We want to make the bedroom an office/study for him. That way, all his books and papers will be off the floor and properly stored. And we can actually file away important things and be able to find them when we need them. Gee, what a concept! Duh~Organization 101!!!!

On the Shaker Spool Holder, I only got as far as stitching a center line in both directions and mounting it on scroll rods. I am not sure about how to handle the silks, it annoys me that I will have to cut away the colors I am not planning to stitch with. What a waste of silk. But hopefully, since most of the stitching is over one it won't seem like I am wasting as much. I hope to put my first couple of stitches in on Sunday. Tonight, I plan on working on something else, maybe John Foster, who has been whining at me...I am playing hard to get ever since we had our initial disagreement. Or something else that is quietly sobbing in my basket. Who knows, whatever grabs my attention will be the one that I work on.

I hope to be able to post some pictures of something soon!

Have a happy Saturday everyone!