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Friday, November 28, 2008

Prairie Schooler - Can you help me??

Hi everyone!

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving Day with family and friends and you "gobbled till you wobbled"! I did!
We had a great time with the lovely Jenna and her family. And seeing the Cadet too! It was very fun talking with her sister and grandparents. The food was wonderful and it was a grand time.

Well, I need some help from you, friends. I am desperately seeking out these OOP Prairie Schoolers:

I can trade or purchase from you. Or if you'd be willing to lend the patterns to me (I promise to take really good care of the patterns) that would be fine too. I have OOP Mary Gary and Good Huswife and other OOP patterns too. We can work something out.

If you are willing and interested, please leave a comment and I'll get in touch with you. I really, really appreciate it!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Amid all the morning preparations to drive to the lovely Jenna's parents home for the feast, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to say Happy Thanksgiving to all my American internet buddies. I wish you a day filled with family and friends, love, laughter, good times and great food. And to my international friends, I want you to know that I am especially blessed by your kindness, generosity and friendship through the internet. And everyone, please spend time with your needles today!!! LOL!

I have much to be thankful for, a great husband, who loves me in spite of all my shortcomings and flaws, and a wonderful son and soon to be daughter. A home filled with light and love, a GREAT job (even though I complain about it a lot) and a country that I love. And a God who has provided wonderful gifts far beyond my wildest imagination. To Him I give all the glory and my heart swells with thanksgiving.

I am grateful.

I am blessed.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Message from SweetieGirl (aka Miss Sourpuss)

Tap, tap...Is anyone on??

This is a message from Sweetie Girl.

Two nights ago, there was a disturbance in the force. An intruder entered into my domain. My people are smitten by her. I however am highly disturbed by the intruder. She must go.

This morning when I came into the kitchen for my morning treat, I found the big yellow fuzzyball (the wonderdog) and the little intruder snacking on turkey. When I was served my piece of turkey, the little twit actually STOLE it out from underneath my nose. SHE DOVE ON IT AND WOULDN'T LET ME HAVE IT. Well, I started swatting her HARD on her thick head but all she did was hunker down and GROWL at me. The brazen hussy. Well, being the lady that I am, I let her have the scrap but I did let her know that I was highly peeved at her antics. I retreated to the back of the sofa where my Mom let me eat my turkey out of her hand.

I am pretty annoyed.

Later on during the day, the little twit had the audacity, the nerve, to fall asleep in front of the wood stove. The Wonderdog knows that only I am allowed to nap in front of the fireplace and if she wants to have some of the heat, she has to stay at least 3 feet from me. I am going to have to put that kitten in her place. Doesn't she know that she's napping in MY space???

I know that Mom wants you to help name her. I have a name for you all to consider.


Sweetie Girl
A little pissed off

That's all for now.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We have a new acquisition...

We got a gift last night: This cute little bundle of fur came to live with us last night. Our friend, Mark, discovered her while walking one of the gas lines about an hour from here. Mark works for the gas company and while he was out checking the line, he heard this plaintive sound. When he went looking for whatever was making this noise, he discovered this little kitten. She was a drop off, left to die on a country road. And Mark, kind soul, couldn't leave her to fend for herself on a road where the houses were few and far between. She never would have made the night, either she would have died on the road or from exposure. We got 6 inches of snow last night and the remote area Mark was working at was forecast for 8-12".

Mark packed her up in his truck and brought her home. When he got home, his wife Karen, called and asked if we knew of anyone who wanted a kitten. My DH said to bring her over. She's coming to live with us. (He's such a softie.)

Sweetie girl isn't too thrilled, she hisses and swats at her and Chrissy the Wonderdog isn't phased by her. Right now all she wants is to be held. And she is very vocal. Right now she is perched on my shoulder. If I put her down, she cries and climbs back on.

She looks to be about 8-10 weeks old. She is weaned. We haven't named her. I am at a loss. She doesn't look like a Cloe or an Abigail or a Sophie. I'd like a pretty name but her personality is all tomcat. She's not afraid of anything. Last night she tried to climb into the woodstove when Dave was putting logs on the fire. I don't think she's litter trained because I found a present in the back of the closet in the bedroom we are turning into an office. She's got to learn to use the box, otherwise, she will be a barn cat before she knows it. If anyone knows how to box train a cat, please let me know!

She's the sweetest thing and I am happy we've taken her in. I always believed that strays find the homes that God wants them to have and the folks that take them in and give them love are richly blessed.

Welcome home, little kitty!

Oh, if you come up with a name, please post it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Broken teacups and friendships

Today, I ventured out for awhile to the mall to return some drapery rods that I bought at JCPenneys. While I was there waiting to be waited on, I turned and saw a lady that used to be my best friend looking at the shoes.

This lady was my closest friend for 25 years until 5 years ago when a silly misunderstanding and jealousy stepped in between us. Harsh words, silence, and then our friendship was broken. I don't remember what came between us, I know that during the that time we didn't spend much time together like we did when our kids were growing up. I think that we both neglected our relationship and I in particular, because I thought that no matter what time or distance was between us, she would always be there, even if I didn't make time for her or our friendship. But one day in July, she decided she had enough. And we no longer spoke to each other. I hurt her deeply, to the core, and even though I tried to reach out to her by email and snail mail and by phone, to make things right, to apologize, to explain, she has not responded to me.

And I miss her. Terribly.

Our boys are grown. And she was not there when the Cadet graduated from high school, when my Dad died, when things went south with our house. She didn't share the Cadet's engagement with me and she will not be there to celebrate his marriage. I was not there for her when her in-laws moved here from California or to help her with her aging Mom. I don't know what else in her life I wasn't part of.

It makes me sad.

I am ashamed to say that because I was so wrapped up in ME that I neglected a very important thing. A thing that I will never get back.

Today, while in Penneys, I wanted to go up to her. I wanted to look her in the eyes and tell her how sorry I am and ask her for forgiveness and the chance to begin our friendship again. But I didn't.


I was afraid. Afraid of what she would say to me, how she would react to me, if she would be rude (not that I wouldn't have deserved it) and tell me to leave her alone. But what if she would have reacted differently? Made small talk. Accepted an invitation to meet over coffee?

I'll never know.

So I stood there and watched her shop for shoes and then leave the store.

And my broken friendship and my broken heart is like this broken teacup. Unmendable.

Friendships are fragile...I should know, I broke mine.

Blessings & Kind Wishes - Progress

Good Monday! I am on vacation, YAY, this week so I thought I'd post a progress picture of Blessings and Kind Wishes. I was a good stitcher on Sunday and worked on it during football and in the evening.

Here's my progress:

You would think that I would be further along after approximately 5+ hours of stitching. But No--o-o-o! I am the world's slowest stitcher. Oh well, steady wins the race, right?

I know I've been crabbing about the WDW thread, it seems to be only the greens (and this whole pattern is green) that are thin and crispy (sounds like a pizza!). The GAST thread is nice to use, they are behaving properly too. The blue diamond shapes are stitched with Cresent Colors and oh my! they are really nice to use! They are smooth and they behave wonderfully. I railroad and the threads don't need much coaching to lay beside each other. I can't wait to use them again (on Strawberry Garden (snicker)). And no, I haven't started it yet. I am waiting until I get more done on Blessings cause if I begin Strawberry Garden, Blessings will fall into the black pit of misfit stitching projects never to see the light of day until I feel guilty and drag it back out into the light of day.

Well, I've procrastinated enough. I promised my house that I would do some heavy cleaning and possibly some painting while I was home. So far, all that has been is promises. I am unmotivated by housework and if I don't get busy, I'll be kicking myself into next week for putting it off. The house certainly needs some TLC. There is a reward at the guessed it, my needle and stitching.

So ciao, friends, it's off to find the broom, bucket and mop. Sigh.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pictures as promised

Thanks to all of you who've left me comments on my insomnia. Yes, I did go to sleep around 2AM and I slept until 6:45 when I woke up with a start thinking that someone was calling from the sunroom. The DH was up already, taking care of the critters and I thought it was him. But I was dreaming. So I got up and started the day. Tired.

Are you afflicted with the disease known as "Your eyes are bigger than (fill in the blank)"? I know I am! This morning while perusing the blogs as I drank my cuppa joe and ate my cereal, I came across this beautiful picture on Aline's blog.

And now, it's on my very short list of things to stitch. You have no idea how close I am to starting this. I must have bought it when this piece first came out and I stashed it away. I do know that I was a bit put off about all the lazy daisy stitches (not a big fan of that particular stitch) when I first got the pattern but now I'd just tough them out if I started this piece. I have the required Cresent Color thread and the pattern. I just need to go fabric diving for something suitable. Tell me I should start it. I usually wait until Christmas Day to begin the first new piece of the year but this is calling my name so loudly. (Tell me to start it.) And it's the perfect gift for someone I absolutely, tell me what I should do! (Start it.) Be strong and resist or be weak and begin it? (You know which way I am leaning...I just need that nudge over the edge, hee-hee!). Leave a comment, thumbs up or thumbs down.

Here's my progress on Blessings and Kind Wishes. See I got some of the leaves stitched and my storks grew legs. And I added a word or two. But this piece really is a struggle for me. Sorry for the wrinkles, I don't iron my pieces to take pictures of them.

And lastly, is my progress on Beatrix.

I stitched the floral motif next to the vine-y circle this week and the lower left 1/2 medallion yesterday. I also worked on the motif under the vine-y circle a late last night. She's being true to her word, the AVAS is luxurious AND she wasn't a bit of trouble.
Well, my oven timer just went off, I am making a pumpkin pie. Today, the DH and I are celebrating our Thanksgiving. Turkey breast with all the trimmings. We are going to the lovely Jenna's parents for the big day so the DH wanted a "test run" before Thursday. I know I'll be good today cause pumpkin pie isn't my favorite. Now if it was apple pie, then I would be in trouble!!

So thanks again for popping in, leave a comment or a dozen. I LOVE hearing from you!

Mr. Sandman, where are you? Plus stitching news

It's 1 AM in Upstate NY and guess what, gang! I'M AWAKE!!! Oh gosh, I've got insomnia. Again. More frequently then I've had in the past too. It's stress and about 12oz of caffeine too many. So, here I sit, cruising on the computer, waiting for that Mr. Sandman. It's cold here too so that's not helping. I went to bed, realized that a) I was cold and b) I was hungry. No point in tossing and turning. So downstairs I came, woke up Chrissy the Wonderdog when I turned on the light and proceeded to boot up the computer. Next I went and got a banana. But it's not enough and I am seriously contemplating making hot cocoa. You know the warm milk, sleep inducing aid but I can't decide if I need the extra calories right now. See, I went to WW on Thursday and I am ashamed to say and honestly, I can't believe this either, I GAINED 4 pounds in a week. Yea, yea, I was not a good Weight Watcher during the week but I didn't think I was SO BAD to have put back on EVERYTHING that I lost over the previous 3 weeks. But I did, the scale doesn't lie, and I am sad and upset with myself. So now, I am watching and journaling and walking on the treadmill...and praying that I stay in control over Thanksgiving weekend which will be a veritable food fest.

Anyway, I got a ton of stitching done tonight. I broke my promise and stitched on Bea for almost 5 hours even though I should have worked on Blessings and Kind Wishes. Yes, I didn't do too much today other than fight the crowds at the grocery store and do a couple of loads of laundry. But in my defense, I needed to just decompress and she softly whispered, "Me, stitch on me, I have luxurious silk and I promise I won't give you trouble." The little hussy...yea, she seduced me and we shared a lovely evening together. I completed an entire 1/2 motif on the left side and started a second. I am almost at the 1/2 way point with her. Picture tomorrow, promise.

On Friday, I stitched on Blessings and Kind Wishes but for only an hour or so because I really wasn't enjoying the process AT ALL. My storks have legs now and there's a little more done on the vine encircling them. I am thoroughly disappointed with the Weeks Dye Works thread I'm stitching with though, it's very thin and well, crunchy to my touch. The floss is not covering well (actually it's skimpy) and it's knotting up terribly even though I ran it over a damp sponge before using it to see if I could get it un-kinked. I got so frustrated with it that I put it down. I have to work on it though, it's a gift. And even though I am 1/2 way done with it, I'm not feeling the love. I don't want this piece to be a chore because it's a gift and I don't want to resent having to stitch it.

I've got a question for you stitchers out there....I want to bead the edges of an ornament. I backstitched both the stitched piece and the backing piece and I will lace them together. When do I add the bead to the lacing? After I lace the backstitch or as I am lacing? Or in the middle, after I put my needle through the first backstitch then add the bead and finish lacing the 2nd backstitch? Help! Describe how you add beads to a laced edge.

Well, I broke down and made cocoa. And after I drink it, I'm going back to bed. Hopefully, the DH hasn't hogged all the blankets. He does that, you know, and I get left with the sheet. It's not warm enough even if it's flannel. So thanks for stopping by and tomorrow, I'll post some stitchy pictures. Stay warm.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Stitching pictures!!!

Thanks to Let's Stitch, I've been more diligent about taking pictures of my progress and I am more inclined to post them too. Here are some pictures of my stitching adventures from this week.

Blessings and Kind Wishes and the ornament from the 2008 JCS.

My storks are re-appearing with the correct color of tail feathers, I might add. The little ornament is such a quick stitch. If I get off my fanny and go upstairs and retrieve the thread for the bird, this ornament could be completed in an hour or so. But I am lazy right now, so it'll wait.

The piece below is a Quaker piece of my own design, stitched over one on 28ct Lambswool Lugana in Silk N' Thread, Autumn Foliage. About 5 years ago, I and many other stitchers got caught up in the Quaker frenzy. And yes, I still like them and snap the patterns up regularly, especially if they're reproductions. I decided I wanted to try to design my own sampler and stitch a box lid for a wooden tea box I picked up at ACMoore. And being the over-acheiver that I am, I decided to stitch the sampler over one thread to fit the box lid. This is my progress so far.

This week, I finished the 1/2 medallion on the bottom and started the 1/2 flower basket above it. I do not stitch regularly on this (or any Quaker for that matter) because after awhile, I find them monotonous. But it doesn't stop me from starting new Quakers (I think I have 6 Wips). You'll have to excuse the grey photo, it's raining terribly here in Upstate NY and the light is terrible. I don't know why I chose to stitch on it. I was going through my Wip stack looking for something to catch my fancy and this piece rose to the top. I don't know when I'll stitch on it again either cause I've had my fill of over one and Quaker motif monotony.

I am in the mood to stitch Christmas ornaments though. They are addictive. It's given me a boost in the happy dance department and it feels nice to finish something relatively quickly.

Well, I should stop rambling...I need to get on the treadmill and walk off the bagel that I ate this morning. The DH and I are going to go see Quantum of Solace tonight. I should say, we hope to see it because it opened last night to a lot of buzz so it may be sold out before we get there. I hope not cause a night out (even if we really shouldn't go because of our tight budget) would feel nice for a change.

So thanks for dropping by. Leave a comment! I like to hear from you!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Random Facts - I've been tagged and I'm IT!

Sue from Liv "n Laf tagged me to respond to this little questionare. Actually, she DARED me into responding by saying, C'mon Joanie, you KNOW you WANNA...ok, I'm game...Here goes.

The rules are as follows:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

Random things about me:

  1. I do not like enclosed spaces or heights. I get sweaty palms on an elevator especially if it's full of people. I'd rather take the stairs (and I usually do) unless it's like 25 floors. Then I swallow hard, get on the elevator and pray we don't get stuck.
  2. I have a fear of clowns and praying mantis. OK, yes, I am weird. Just don't put me in an elevator with them. Because I'd turn into a quivering mess and be scarred for eternity.
  3. I don't like to walk across bridges, especially high bridges. (See #1.)
  4. I cry at the drop of a hat. Doesn't matter if it's a happy or sad thing. If I get moved by it, I'll cry. It's a given. I've watched You've Got Mail and Homeward Bound (the dog movie) and it's a sure bet that I'll cry at the end. My Cadet just rolls his eyes. When he was younger, he'd put those movies on the VCR just to laugh at me when I reached for the tissues when Tom Hanks called his dog at the end of the movie right before he met up with Meg Ryan. And in Homeward Bound when the old dog comes over the hill, that's when I start blubbering . The Cadet was amazed that I had the same reactioneven after the 500th time I watched those movies. Goodness, I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about those movies. Pass the tissues.
  5. I love popcorn. And I'll eat it until I get sick. When the DH and I go to the movies, he buys the BIG bucket otherwise he won't get any popcorn. He thinks I am a pig because I'll eat the entire container if he'll let me.
  6. I love the Kentucky Derby, I've watched every race for the last 45 years (and not the replays either). And I've never missed watching all the Triple Crown races (the Derby, Preakness & Belmont) for at least 30 years. When I was a little girl, my Mom would call me in from playing with my friends to watch the race. And on the Sunday after the race I cut the winner's picture out of the paper and put it into a scrapbook. In college, my friends thought I was nuts cause I'd drop what I was doing to go sit in front of the TV.

Ok so there you have it. Weird Facts about Joanie. Hope you got a chuckle...and I don't think I'll be passing this on cause all the bloggers that I would tag have participated. Sorry...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

An ornament stitched and a progress picture too!

Don't look now but I actually stitched a freebie! This little snowman is from a little promotional card I got for buying all of the new Prairie Schooler patterns when they were released earlier this year. Since I am such a snowman nut, I KNEW I'd be stitching him up soon. There's just something about snowmen that make me smile and think all is right with the world.

Prairie Schooler - Snowman
32ct Rue Green linen
This is the progress picture. It's a Blackbird Design's Loose Feather pattern, Blessings and Kind Wishes stitched with the recommended thread but on Lambswool linen instead of the recommended R&R linen.

I am having the dickens of a time trying to keep the frogs away from this piece. I messed the birds twice, the border and the placement of some of the words. Honestly, I would be done stitching it if it wasn't for those contemptable frogs. But, I persevere and rip out my mistakes and try again, sometimes more than once (my stork had a rust color butt for pete's sake until I looked at the picture on the front of the pattern and found out that the feathers are grey not gingersnap) and move on, trying all the while not to loose interest or throw the thing in the trash. So the bird's are reappearing without rust color feathers on their behinds, in the correct place and with the right words.

Gosh, I hope that this business with the frogs are past. Hop away, hop away to a knitter (no offense all you yarn-lovers, but us poor stitchers have frogs 24/7 and it's time for a vacation) for goodness sake!

I did start another ornament and kitted up a third. I am working on yet another Blackbird Design, the stocking ornament from this year's JCS ornament issue. I've kitted up the 2006 Quaker design from them too, in Mulberry GAST on my favorite linen, Lambswool. No progress pictures on either of them because they are in the early stages of stitching, one is a blob and the other is unstarted.

I've started to paint again too, I am painting a very cool Christmas cookie plate that I will share with you when it's done. I will either Ebay it or put it on Etsy. And I have a few other ideas floating in the ol' noggin on some other painted pieces too. Stitching may slow down a little because I need to make some cash for a few unexpected expenses and I am hoping painting will be profitable enough to pay those bills.

Well, it's off to make some lunch and get dinner in the oven. I'm making pot roast and want to put it into a slow oven for a long time so it's melt-in-your-mouth tender. So off to the kitchen with me!

Thanks for stopping by this Sunday afternoon. I hope football is on and your needle is in your hand!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A small update

A small update for you...I am not in the best of moods so I wanted to blog a little bit of stitching.
Below is La-D-Da's, Something Wicked. I started this for my SIL a few weeks ago and believed (erroneously) that I could get it stitched in time to send it to her as a pick-me-up for Halloween. She likes Halloween, she gets a chuckle out of it and God knows she certainly needs a cackle right about now.

I made a counting error near the instep of the boot which meant a run in with the FROGS. I had the entire top of the boot outlined including the curling toe. When I started stitching the sole of the boot I realized I made a mistake because instead of 3 stitches where the boot thins out, I had 5. I really thought about leaving it or fudging it but my anal retentive self stepped in and forced me to pull out at least 200 stitches. I am really glad I am using DMC instead of NPI silk that the pattern calls for. I would have been doubly mad at all that waste of silk thread. All that's left to remove is that black blob on the right. I couldn't stand ripping out any more stitches so I ended up fixing the error and restitching the top portion. And it was worth pulling out all that black DMC cause the charm of this boot is that L-O-N-G, thin section. And yes, I've counted correctly this time. And no, my darlin' SIL will not get this for Halloween this year. Sigh...until NEXT Halloween.

As part of the stitching challenge on Let's Stitch, I started a little freebie by The Prairie Schooler. It's one of those little freebie cards. This one is a snowman. I need to make some ornaments. I want to give the Cadet and the lovely Jenna some handmade things for their tree. I thought the snowman was cute. It's stitched on 32ct Rue Green linen with DMC.

Well, I think that's all I'll post for now. I was going to bitch to you all about my frustrations with this house and the fact that nothing is 100% complete and what is, is not right and that we have 12 windows to install, 1/2 the siding to re-buy, trim and moulding to install and NO MONEY to do any of it because my no good contractor fleeced us for an obscene amount of money and left us high and dry. But I decided not to pour out those feelings to you cause a) you can't help me b) I am trying to stop complaining about everything that's not right and just be grateful and thankful that I have what I have. It's not easy. And I took out everything on my poor DH who is just beginning to thaw out after my unlady-like outburst complete with angry words and tears.
Sometimes it just goes that way.