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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

And they came...two by two

By now, you all have heard of the massive flooding in Upstate NY. For the past 3 days we have been in a literal deluge. We received 6 inches of rain in a 24 hour period and that caused MASSIVE flooding. There are 2 confirmed deaths and many, many homeless people. Our river is to crest tonight 35 feet over flood level. It's a record. And it's so sad. Towns are literally lakes. The govenor of NY has declared us a disaster area and the local officials have declared the 3 counties that make up the tri-county area in a *state of emergency*.

Personally, we are ok. Our house is perched on top of a hill that my partner at work has christened Walton's Mountain. We had a little bit of water in our basement because the house has no gutters. And our new florida room got some water because the windows aren't adequately sealed because the siding isn't on the house just yet. Big deal. We shop vac'd the room, had the construction boys overlay the window with some tyvek and we were good to go. I can't imagine losing everything but the clothes on my back.

I haven't stitched at all this week, really. I worked a little on Nancy's piece and I got her name for the Birthday buddies exchange on Legacy. That's cool! I stitched a little bit more on John Foster, just another 1/4 of the center quaker medallion.

My class confirmation came for CATS in Hershey. I decided to treat myself to a stitching retreat. I hope to meet up with PattiH and her friends there. I am so looking forward to this trip. I signed up for a Hardanger class (I'm being adventurous!) and a beaded bracelet class. I am looking forward to shopping too!

I hope everyone is well who reads my blog. Thanks for the comments and thanks for taking the time to share a little bit of my world.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Where did the weekend go?

Wow, the weekend was such a blurr! Friday night, Dave and I drove to Syracuse to pick up Mike who flew in from his most excellent ROTC adventure! He got in around 11:30PM but his luggage decided to spend the night in Chicago. We got home around 1:00AM and we were all bushed!

Saturday was my birthday which started out very uneventful. Actually, I was somewhat put out because it felt like just another Saturday. You see, and I know this will sound conceited, I LOVE my birthday. My Mom always made such a fuss over my brother and me on our birthdays. We got to choose what kind of cake we wanted and we got to choose our birthday meal. There were no chores that day either. We never had parties and we didn't have a lot of presents but Mom always made it special. And that's how they've been for me all these 49 years, so this Saturday was a bit too *normal* for my taste. But Dave and Mike made up for it in the afternoon. They gave me a gift certificate to my favorite clothing store, Christopher and Banks. They let me be a slug for the afternoon. Then we watched soccer, it was a wild game between Argentina and Mexico. For dinner, we went to Texas Roadhouse where I got a lovely steak. Then we went to Circuit City to buy a wireless dodad for Mike's computer. Off to Wegmans for a cake, back home again for cake and a video. A very nice b'day indeed!

Today, I worked on LHN's Americana Sampling. I am about 1/4 of the way done with it. I like how it is coming out. The Cresent Color threads are great to work with and the natural linen is very sturdy and has an nice hand. I finished the top 1/2 of the border, the house, the word freedom and the flag. I like LHN's designs, in particular, a href="">The Rose Sampler. I have a number of LHN's designs in my stash. Home of a Needleworker,America,City Stitcher Country Stitcher and Two Red Houses.

I bought myself a punchneedle too and I like this design from LHN too. It's called American Saltbox.
I am so tempted to start a little punch needle design. I like the looks of the finished product, they are like little miniature hooked rugs. I know, I know, so many projects, so little time!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Home makeover - A disturbance in the Force

Here we go again, a week with little stitching and feeling out of sorts. The home improvement project is not coming along and the DH is getting rather (ahem) annoyed. That's an understatement. Hence there has been a disturbance in the Force (in Star Wars terms) and we are both a bit out of kilter over this entire thing. There definitely is an underlying tension because the house is less than a quarter done. Mainly, it has to do with the windows. There is no word from the supplier to the contractor as to when they will arrive. And that's making the DH cranky which causes a big wave of disturbance. Additionally, the weather has been less than ideal (it's been cold and rainy) and certain lawn tools are refusing to cooperate. It just hasn't been a good week in our household. On a good note though, my garden is coming along nicely. I filled in some of the spaces with new perennials and I cleaned out one bed that is up against the house that was all weeds. Surprise! There were shrubs in there! I left it go thinking that I would get to it after the siding was put on the house. But since that hasn't happened and I could not stand that bed a minute longer, I took a hoe and a shovel and hacked away all the weeds. It took awhile to clean it out and the plants are much happier!

So, my stitching has suffered because I can not concentrate. I put in a few stitches in a Little House Needlework pattern called Americana but not enough to be able to share a picture just yet. I started this pattern last year thinking that I could have it stitched for the 4th of July I like the design alot but of course, I didn't finish it before the fourth of July. Actually, I hardly made any progress on it. So it got filed away and forgotten. While rummaging around for something else, I came across it and decided it would be a cute addition to some July 4th decorations. That is if I can get the oomph to work on it. Hopefully, I can have it done before July 4th this year! Cross your fingers!

So to compensate for my lack of stitching, I've spent a lot of time blog surfing, and I am inspired by a lot of the French gals blogs. I can't read French but I can pick out certain words. But the photos! Oh, my goodness, they are beyond beautiful! The creativity and finishing of the needlework is superb and is something that I would love to accomplish. Go check out some of them, I linked Vero's and Tempest Fugit on my sidebar. And then go off to their linked blogs to see what I mean. You will be amazed at their work!

On another note, Mike comes home tomorrow from Spokane. He had a blast at this ROTC opportunity. The test fighter flight was beyond awesome in his words. He loved it.
I will be glad that he is coming home, but he isn't cause he starts work on Monday...poor baby. I don't think that I will see much of him anyway as he has plans for his free time. Looks like Hotel Lintz will be open for business come Friday night.

Saturday is my birthday. I hope that I will get to spend some serious time with John Foster. I know that we are going to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. Yum! Anyway...I got to go for now. Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

John Foster 1885 progress

I thought I would post a progress picture of John Foster, my current love. I've stitched just about as much as I had finished before we had our lover's quarrel a few months ago. I love this sampler and I find him very relaxing to stitch. The little motifs are just a treat to stitch. So, what do you think?

On another note, my son is spending a month with the AirForce ROTC shadowing commissioned officers. He's at Fairchild AFB in Spokane Washington. However, this week, they few to Houston to fly the trainer jets. He left this morning and will be there until Friday. To say he's pumped is an understatement. I am dying to hear how he fared during his time in the plane. As he said, GO JETS!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Dreaming, dreaming

Today is one of those days to daydream. I've been thinking of all the stitching things I want to make. I've been blog hopping again, and seeing everyone's beautiful work makes me want to go home and just stitch.

I worked a little on John Foster last night. I am 1/4 of the way done with the quaker motif in the center. This sampler is moving right along and I am happy that it's going well. We've patched things up - for now. You never know when things will go sour though. I have a tendency to get complacent so there may be frogging involved. I do love Von's comment about my linen. She always has a positive things to say. Yes, this sampler is a reproduction, so the linen will complement the design. You are too cool, Von!

I am on a house kick right now. I am planning on stitching Village of Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings. I also have been toying with BOAF's Peace sampler. I like that samper a great deal and it would go well with Hillside School of Needlework and John Foster. I would like to make a grouping of house samplers.

Also, I have bought quite a lot of sash recently. Blame it on---well, there really is no excuses for my lack of willpower. I bought a new pattern by Little House Needleworks called Seasons of Growth, a stitching accessory from Cat's Whiskers Designs called Feed My Soul, and all the NPI silks for Village of Hawk Run Hollow, a Chessie and Me design, Bunny Sampler. Bad Joanie, bad!!!

Also, before I forget, here is a photo of my Welcome Sampler. It was a fun piece and I really don't know why it took me 8 years (yes, that's right, I started it 8 years ago!) to finish!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Weekend work

It was a very cold weekend in New York. Gloomy and grey. My DH was beside himself because he couldn't cut the grass or go bike riding. It was 40 degrees. Was I complaing? NO! It was a perfect day to curl up and stitch. On Saturday,I was good and did some organizing in my craft room. I am rapidly running out of space though and that scares me a bit. Between painting and stitching, I don't have much room for any other hobby. Once upon a time, I thought about quilting, but I lie down until the feeling goes away. I did promise myself that one day, I will make a quilted wallhanging. I love Thimbleberries designs and I have a few of Lynette Jenson's books.

Anyway, I digress. I didn't stitch Saturday night as my DH and I spent the evening curled up on the sofa watching movies. We watched John Grisham's, Runaway Jury. John Cusack stars in it and I just LOVE him.

Sunday, the weather wasn't much better. So after Church, I plopped down on my sofa determined to finish SB's Twined Hearts. All that's left was the beading and the withdrawn work. I got through the first 2 areas of hemstitching but I royally messed up the last section. Grrr-rrr. I will need to remove and reweave new linen threads as I made a mistake somewhere in the borders. Two hours later and a lot of frustration, I put it away for now.

The evening stitching commenced after supper. I worked on John Foster. I really hate the linen that I am stitching this sampler on, the weave is very inconsistent. The threads vary in thickness a great deal and if I wasn't as far along as I am, I would begin it again. But as of today, I am about a third done with it. It's a great sampler and I find it relaxing to work on it.

I will post pictures of my progress and happy dance later. Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

My heart is skipping a beat

I was perusing the bb's this morning and came across a post for the new Carriagehouse Samplings pattern, Village of Hawkes Run Hollow. This is a beautiful pattern and yes, I will be purchasing it!

I already pre-ordered the NPI silks from Stitching Bits and Bobs this morning cause there is a 25% sale going on right now. I have been pretty good about buying new things, I promised myself that I would only buy those things that I know I will stitch, I can't be collecting patterns just for the fun of it.

I have village of HawkRun Hollow in my stash on my short list of Big Projects. I dragged it out to look at it and at one time I thought about using DMC on it. The AVAS was way beyond my wallet and honestly, the AVAS still is too rich for my blood even though I love stitching with it. NPI is probablly a better way to go for this chart. I did read that some of the silk colors didn't convert well so I am sure there will be some substitutions going on.

Danielle also posted this cute finish of Prairie Schooler's bee hive gardening glove on her blog .
I also have this pattern and her finish is so cute, it made me want to stitch it right away. I resisted this urge for the moment, there are other things that I want to finish first and need my attention before I start another thing. If I finish Twined Hearts from Shepherds Bush then I will allow myself to start another small piece as a treat. Cause then I will have 2 UFO's finished and well, I deserve it, right? LOL!!!

Let's see how the rest of the weekend goes. I won't be stitching much this afternoon because I am working on my craft room. I want it to be picked up and organized before the new window goes into that room. The room got a little discombobulated when the in-laws came last week. I shoved a bunch of stuff that belongs in there but didn't put it away. That's what I am doing right now. Stitching will be this evening.

Hope everyone is having a good Saturday, today it's so cold, it's like March. I bought plants for my flower bed, a bunch of perennials and a few annuals but I can not go out and play in my dirt. It's just TOO cold to dig in the cold earth!!!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Happy Dance!!

For all of those who've asked if I got a chance to stitch last weekend, the answer was a resounding YES!!!!

Oh happy dance!!! I finished Drawn Threads, Welcome Spot sampler. I got bogged down with the satin stitched roof. I made an error while stitching on it and got frustrated so it went in the UFO pile. But it's done now! I was inspired by Danielle who decided to pull out some of her WIPs and complete them. I have 3 pieces that fit in that category now...and when I looked at them, I shook my head and said, why didn't I finish them?

For a variety of reasons, obviously.

This is the list of *almost dones* and the reason why they aren't finished:

Real Roses - The Drawn Thread - I decided to personalize the sampler at the bottom with our family. On the sampler, there's a lady and a girl and a boy. I thought it would be cool to have a lady, a man and a boy to represent our family. I recharted the man but he looks like a clown with balloon pants. I don't want anyone to think that my DH is a clown, now do I? So into the UFO pile it went while I worked out what to do with the man. Additionally, there is a hugh error in color on the band with all the Queen stitches. I mis-read the pattern and stitched 2 full rows of those icky stitches in the wrong color. I decided not to rip them out cause I absolutely abhor them. It's not like the original so another reason not to finish this gorgeous sampler.
What's left? The spiderweb roses in the tree and the last band with the figures.

Twined Heart - Shepherd Bush - For the life of me, I don't know why this is left undone. The bands are less than 3 inches wide. I do know that I struggled with withdrawing and re-weaving the threads on the first section of withdrawn work. That put me off so it was retired to the UFO pile. All that's left is the beading and the 3 sections of withdrawn work.

Charmed Hearts - Shepherd Bush - The center hearts, the top floral vine border and 1/2 of the rice stitched white border are done. All that's left to stitch are 3 sides of the rice stitch border and the floral vine border and the beads...this will take longer than the other 3 I've listed but I think it could be finished in a weekend.

So what's next? Right now, John Foster 1885 Sampler is calling to me. I've frogged and restitched the bee-hive and the finished off the floral baskets at the top of the design. I subscribe to Ellen Chester's, With My Needle, newsletter and this sampler is being done as a SAL. I really am not that far away from being caught up with the group. I would have to complete the Quaker motif, the dove cotes and the personalization. They have stitched the entire border first and I am stitching it as I go. It would be really nice to finish this sampler off this year. I would like to try hand graining a frame for it...wouldn't that be cool?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Good things come out of a visit from the In-laws!

One thing for sure, preparing for an in-law visit can be a good thing. It really forced my DH and my DS to get organized and clear some of the clutter they have left in various spots throughout the house. The biggest accomplishment was my kitchen table. You can actually see that we HAVE a table! My DH uses it as a desk. He is studying for his Masters in Education and is currently reviewing Euclidean geometry. Additionally, he is involved in a number of Christian organizations, so all that stuff finds a place on the table too. I told him that he could have 1/2 of the table but it creeps and eventually, the kitchen table becomes his workplace. I have promised him that once the window is replaced in the 3rd bedroom, we will paint the room and replace the carpet. Then we will purchase a desk, a bookshelf or 2 and a comfy chair so that he can use it as a true study. I wanted it done for Father's Day but since the home improvement is terribly behind schedule, I think it will be an anniversary gift instead.

Now that the house is in better shape, I am hoping to maintain it. It is so much more relaxing not to have all that stuff hanging around. The trick will be changing the DH's behavior. He is such a pack-rat. Never throws away anything. I on the other hand, tend to be neat. Not obsessively so, but I do put things away after I use them and I do my best not to let my clutter get out of hand. I am a magazine junkie as well as a stitching junkie, but even so, my stitching has a home and I regularly go through my magazines and purge them. It has taken me years to get to this point, but I realize that mentally and emotionally, it helps me a great deal to have a clean, clutter-free environment. A less chaotic environment actually helps my mood.

So, the next step is to clear out the 3rd bedroom to begin it's transformation into a retreat for the hubby. I have started it but it seemed that everything that we didn't have a home for made it into that room. This weekend, I plan tackling it. I already have 3 piles going, keep, give away, and throw away. The keep pile is pretty small, the give away is by far the largest and the throw away is really just made up of junk that we've kept throughout the years. It'll take me most of Saturday to go through. The biggest task I have is finding a home for the Snowmen collection. I have a couple of containers that contain my snowbuddies. Storing them in the basement is a bad idea because the basement is a bit damp and most of the snowmen are stuffed. Not a good environment for the frosty fellows.

I am hoping to stitch this weekend too. I will be working on whatever calls the loudest. No matter what, just stitching will be wonderful as I haven't worked on anything for at least a month!

I did receive some new stash in the mail. I got the new Essy & Friends piece from Elegant Stitch. It's an adorable scissor case designed by Indigo Rose. I love these little pieces as they are quick stitches and I am supporting such a good cause, Breast Cancer Research.

I also received the fabric, NPI silk and chart for the Lois Minshall Sampler from Threads of Gold. It's a pretty sampler and the colors are very soft and delicate. I don't plan on starting it right away but it has made it to the short list. Threads of Gold has a number of samplers that I would love to have in my stash. One in particular, Caroline Braden 1801, has my attention.
Another sampler to add to the ever growing list of *wants*!