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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Stitcher's Wallet

I am really excited to start a SAL with Patti (Stitching in Lobster Land), Sue (Red's Thread) and Debbie (Stitch Wizard). We are going to work on *A Stitcher's Wallet* a really cool pattern from A Gift of Stitching.

This will be the first time I have stitched anything from this E-magazine, it's not that I haven't found anything in it to stitch, but I've been trying to curb the urge to start too many things. I couldn't resist this SAL cause I love the piece and my bestest stitching buddies will be working on it! I am excited!!!! Now, I am just waiting for my supplies to come from Australia and from Ginny Thompson's Flower Thread.

Also, Sue (Red's Thread) and I are going to do a very casual SAL on My Hometown. I am also excited about that SAL too. Lately, with all the things that are going on in my life, I haven't much felt like stitching. Life in overload. Hopefully, these SAL's will give me my stitching mojo back again. I put in a few stitches here and there but I haven't had Quality stitching time in the last couple of weeks. Maybe this

A lot of my stitching buddies have asked if I was going to attend the Celebrations of Needlework in Nashua. I am sorry that I won't be able to attend. I wish I could go but with my project at work, I dare not take off a long weekend. I am planning on going to Hershey in the Fall though and I hope to meet up with everyone there!

Oh, some other news, I am slowly making my way to Wordpress. I've created my blog and now I am slowly transfering my links. Once everything is in place, I will post my new address.

So, even though there isn't a whole lot of stitching going on right now, I am keeping up with everyone's progress on their stitching!! Just watching your projects come together is so inspiring!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

H-E-LL-O-O-O...Has anyone seen where the week went???

This has been the lost week. I don't know where it went and I know that I have nothing to show for it, other than wishing that it was OVER. Why????

At work, my partner and I rolled out some general Quality Systems training to the managers. ALL the managers, from the VP's down to the line guys. Twice a day, we held sessions at 6:30 AM and at 3:00 PM. So, I was up by 4:45 and not home until after 5:00 all week.

Suffice it to say that I was scared to death because A) I have never given a presentation before B) My partner put it together and although I am familiar with the concepts, I was unfamiliar with how exactly to deliver it. C) The managers. I work with all of them but to stand up in front of them for an hour really sent me into a tizzy. The first time I did the presentation, I BOMBED. It was terrible, so terrible, that my manager felt he had to give me a 20 minute coaching. He told me to go home and give the presentation to the DH. Well, the DH had no interest in listening to me drone on about Quality Systems, so I decided to give the presentation to the cat and the dog. Sweetie-girl promptly left the room and Chrissy was very patient, she really listens well but she doesn't give constructive criticism. Anyway, the presentations went better later on in the week, and I even got a complement from Mr. Manager. He told me I did a great job on Thursday. Woo!

As a result of the week, getting up with the chickens and worrying so much, I didn't pick up a needle at all. So there are no progress pictures this week. I did do a lot of stash fondling which made me happy and want to start just about everything that I put my hands on. I have GREAT stash!!!

But, the accomplishment for the week was that I didn't die during the presentations and I s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d out of my comfort zone.

Too cool.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I have a cold and I feel yucky...

What a great excuse to sit and stitch! I am gearing up to get cozy on the sofa with my needle and thread even though the house is beyond dirty right now. It's the mud season in New York and we drag in half the barn yard each time we come back in from being outdoors.

However, we did get a piece of that Nor'Easter that blew up the coast yesterday. I think we got about 6-8" of the white stuff, just enough to make driving interesting and now I get to add water to all the dirt that's infiltrated my house. Just fabulous!

I don't know what I want to work on now that John is finished. I put BOAF's Peace sampler on scrolls but the tension is bad so I don't want to stitch on it. The fabric is very soft and limp so the tension is not as taunt as I prefer. Plus, I have to make a color substitution for one of the overdye threads that is fading into the backround and I don't feel like dragging out all my GAST or Weeks to change it out. I know that I can not begin another project (not that I feel up to kittting anything right now) but the WIP pile is unusually silent. Something is always screaming, STITCH ME! but not today. Hmm-mm did they all go on vacation and left me here?

Oh, a couple of things...the Cadet's situation has vastly improved in the last 2 weeks. The ROTC decided to drop all the charges against him and his buddies for their *indiscretion* and altercation with the campus security. He and these boys are very lucky. Their Commander made strong recommendations to keep them in the program because they were nanoseconds from getting booted out. However, it's not completely over just yet, there's payback both to the school and to the ROTC. All this headache, anxiety and worry over a stupid decision.

And the house..well, the lawyer sent a letter to Mr. C. outlining a schedule for completion. No response from him whether he can make it or not. I smell lawsuit, even though I am PRAYING that we don't have to go that route.

Well, I do hope all of you are having a great Saturday. I've been blog hopping, catching up with everyone and drooling over WIPs and finishes. Gosh you all are so inspiring!!!

Friday, March 09, 2007

New Look

Well, even though it's still very cold outside and I haven't felt warm in weeks, I decided that my blog needed a change so I re-did my template. I am not thrilled with it but it'll do for now. I wish I understood HTML a little better to make my blog look really good. Eh... Anyway, I was out trolling again and I came across some studio pictures that I absolutely wish were my space. To have such a creative workspace...oh heaven. My room is cluttered and it lacks style. I hope that once the new window goes in it, I'll be a little more inclined to paint it a nice color and add some interesting accessories. Maybe then, I would use it as a creative space instead of my storage / catch-all space for the many crafts that I have dabbled in over the course of the last 25 years give or take 24 years. Art and creativity have always been a part of me and I am so surprised that for all these years, I have squelched that creativity because it wasn't *normal*. If a room wasn't boring beige or off white then it was out of the box and weird.

So take a look at these photos. They are from a blog called Hello, My Name is Heather.

Wouldn't you love a space to work in like that?

I am jealous!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Maria Short Sampler

I am totally in love with this sampler. It's by Moira Blackburn and it's titled, Maria Short. I love that verse from Proverbs. I believe I have to stitch this sampler.
I saw it on Cross Stitch Samplers and Such blog (yes, I pinched the photo from it).

Funny though, there's no house on it. What I like about it (besides the bible verse) is the variety of motifs and the unusual border. It's stitched in DMC on 36ct creme linen. Criss Cross Row has it in stock and I am very tempted to buy it. Should I?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Monday Musings

HI everyone...I wanted to thank you all for your comments on my darling, John Foster, and on our house situation. I appreciate all of you very much and the DH and I are pursuing some of your suggestions. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. Please continue!!!

Well, now that John is done, what have I stitched since yesterday? I worked on March Hare for a bit and then I worked on a pattern that I am putting together for a wooden tea box that I bought at AC Moore. The tea box top is about 9" x 7" and I thought it would be perfect to fill with some smalls. So I am stitching a Quaker design of my very own, over one thread with Gloriana silk in Autumn Foliage. Really it's just a start and most of what I've done looks like a bunch of dashes and dots. Once the design grows a little bit, I'll share. The bunny on March Hare has a head and part of a tail and the curve of his back. March Hare is teeny tiny over one thread, about 2.5" x 4" overall. I'd love to find a shabby chic frame to mount him in.
Tonight, I began to stitch the charms on Hinzeit's Air Force but I only got 3 sewn on. They are really heavy and it looks like they need a bit of reinforcement as they sag a little. But I am tired and I put it up cause I am just getting frustrated.

What I wanted to do so badly today was just to stay home and stitch away the day. I believe I want a respite from my world right now and home on the sofa sounds like a nice place to park myself for a day or 2 or 12. HA! If only I could. I am planning on a long weekend toward the end of the month if my DH goes to Washington DC. It will be just me and the critters, if I can swing a day to make a long weekend. But, I have to confess, there is the Celebrations of Needlework in Nashua NH in May. I am sorely tempted to attend. Carol (A Garden of Stitches), Patti (Stitching in Lobster Land), Sue (Red's Thread) and Jo (Kiwi Jo) will be there...oh, it would be such fun to see all of them again. We had a blast in Hershey last fall and I am hoping that they will meet me there in September as I am planning on going. Ok, girls? What do you say? Chocolate in the Fall, anyone?

Speaking of stitching festivals, go check out Vero's blog. She's posted pictures of a wonderful stitching festival. Oh my, I would go BROKE there! I have such a fancy for redwork designs and I love those European designs. Danielle (A Peacock's Feather) has posting photos of the a French redwork book by Muriel Brunet. It's now on my wishlist!

Anyway, I think that as far as stitching goes, for the month of March, I am going to stitch whatever catches my muse. In April, Sue and I are going to start Carriagehouse Samplings, My Hometown and I want to be able to put some serious stitching time on that piece. I don't anticipate beginning any thing new this month, I have plenty of in progress pieces that are holding my interest right now. I can stitch rabbits, and Quakers and houses and alphabets.
Whatever my heart desires, cause isn't that what this hobby is all about?
Stitching what your heart desires.

I hope that your week has started on a good note and once again, thanks for the *chat*. I'll talk with all of you soon.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

May I present John Foster 1885!

Here he darling, John Foster 1885....completed on the first anniversary of our meeting. Isn't he just grand????

John Foster 1885 - Historic Stitching
36ct Belfast Linen
Antique colorway - Weeks Dye Works cotton fiber & DMC

The pattern had 2 colorways, an antiqued palette (which I chose) created from the front of the original sampler and a brighter more colorful palette of the original colors taken from the back of the sampler. The color of the linen is a little more grey than I would have liked, I think that he would have been better stitched on a warmer toned fabric. But at the time, I was being frugal with my purchases and I wanted to stitch him on a 36ct fabric...flax was what I had on hand. The floss toss wasn't bad but the floss is in warm tones and I think overall it would have been better not to have that warm-cool tone tug-of-war that's going on now. It's ok, though, I love him and it's such an accomplishment for me to finish anything anymore, I'll take my happy dances anyway that I can get them! I got such pleasure from stitching him once I got over the initial bumps in the road with the miscounting threads and stitching with the wrong colors. The second half of the sampler went surprisingly fast and even though I thought I would get bored stitching the house, it was actually the vines and fir trees that got boring at times.

One of the things that attracted me to this sampler was that it was stitched by a man (or boy) and I wondered if this was John's home, a school setting or a product of his imagination. I won't really know, cause the information with the sampler had little to say about John and his life. I was particularly interested in the upper section of the sampler, I imagined that John loved animals and gardening. Two of my favorites!

As far as framing him goes...that's going to have to wait a little while, the DH and I have to work out what we are going to do with the contractor...we got a contract from the lawyer - his initial retainer is $3K...just to get started and the cost goes up from there...we are discussing cashing in stock now. I can't even think about all of this now. I get stressed and I just cry. I am doing a lot of praying for this situation, so if anyone believes in the power of prayer, please add me to your prayer list!! And if that's not your thing, keeping me in good thoughts would be just as appreciated.

Next will be another project from my WIP pile, not sure what I'm going to focus on just yet. I started BOAF's Peace Sampler (another house themed sampler) and I do have Martha and Beatrix on deck if I want to stitch a Quaker girl. Right now, nothing is saying STITCH ME! so I'll just wing it today and stitch whatever I feel like for now.

I should finish up Hinziet's Air Force for the Cadet, I only have about 2 hours to go on it, finishing up the borders and stitching on the charms. I have the frame too, I wonder how much it would cost if I mounted it and took it to the framer to add a piece of glass and spacers.
The Cadet is coming home this Thursday for his between quarter break and it would be nice to have it all finished for him to take back to school the following week. He was to come home yesterday but decided to go skiing in Quebec for a few days with 3 other ROTC buddies. (Lucky him.) His situation is smoothing out somewhat, he's not completely out of the woods yet.

Oh, I should mention this, if anyone wants this pattern, please post and let me know. The pattern is in excellent shape, the original was kept in a plastic sleeve and I made a working copy of the pattern to use when I stitched him.

I hope you are having a great weekend and thanks so much for visiting!!!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Love conquers all...

Well, on the first anniversary of beginning John Foster 1885, I have completed my darling. I took him off the scroll rods about an hour ago to press him and give him a once over with at lint roller for the dog hair (it's just a fact of life at Chez Fuzzballs). Do I love this sampler? Oh my yes, but I have to be honest, right now, I am pooped so my happy dance is just a couple of hops around the family room. Maybe tomorrow, I'll get a little more excited that he's finally complete and off the scrolls.

I'll post a picture tomorrow.

On the house front, we saw a lawyer...essentially we are S-C-R-E-W-E-D. The legal beagle said that we should start thinking about getting another contractor to finish up the house and basically we should come to terms that this is a job gone south ...we will never see the results of the job, ~60K for services and goods that we contracted for purchase but never were bought and we probably will never ever see them finish the work. I am sick over it...just sick. Suing Mr. Contractor...well, it'll be a battle and we will have to weigh the cost of legal services with the very real chance that going to court will net us - zero. If Mr. Contractor doesn't have the assets, there will be no recompense. So, I am stuck with a second mortgage and nothing to show for it.

This remodel was the last gift my Dad gave me, the $ was his life savings. I do not know how someone could take $ from someone and just walk away....

So, I hope that you are having a great weekend and stay tuned for a photo of John Foster.