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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Goodness, time flies

It's been a week or so since I posted. I hoped to be better about keeping you up to date on the minutiae of my life but well, life got in the way!

We've been busy. The Cadet had an other accident, this time with the DH's truck. So, two accidents in a month. We will be in insurance hell for quite awhile. Now we are dealing with repair shops, insurance adjustors, claims, the Cadet and the FILs. Fortunately, no one was injured (except for a certain Cadet's wounded pride). Unfortunately, the truck suffered a possible fatality. We are waiting to hear the fate of the dear vehicle. Will it go to the truck hospital for major reconstructive surgery or will we bid it a fond farewell as we send it to the junkyard? A few days will tell. The repair shop is evaluating the truck's injuries as we speak.
We've been truck shopping and if the truck is truly beyond repair then we've narrowed it down to a couple of vehicles.

I did breath a sigh of relief though, Jenna's parents were wonderful through this ordeal. The Cadet stayed with them for a week and they graciously offered advice and a kick in the pants when he needed it. Also, they fed, watered and sheltered him. I am grateful and very blessed by such caring folks. It had to be an inconvenience to them to have an extra someone living with them. If this is any indication of how they will treat him after he is married, the boy is all set!

On the stitching front, I've worked a little on Bea (I am getting a bit tired of her right now). I only have 7 motifs to finish. But they are big motifs. All along the bottom row and the rose one. I've been thinking about how I am going to frame her. I have to say though, the DH doesn't like her color. He isn't fond of burnt orange and he's wondering where I will hang her. He really doesn't think she fits in any of the rooms we currently spend most of our time in because of her color and I have to agree. So, I think Bea's going to live in the hallway to the bedrooms. There is a wall between the main bathroom and the doorway to our bedroom which is the perfect size for Bea. I threatened to hang her in his soon-to-be new office but I got that hairy eyeball. He said that Bea reminded him of a map of the world. I didn't even want to ask him where he came up with THAT analogy so I bit my tongue.

I also worked a little on some things that "Shall Not Be Shown". And I am planning The Wedding Sampler. I haven't actually worked myself up to starting the WS, mainly because it will be a BIG sampler and I am getting tired of big projects which require a ton of time.

Oh! We've got 13 stitchers signed up for the Blackbird Designs Exchange! Please, if you are interested in Round One, hurry and sign up! Round One signups close April 1st!

So that's about it from the corner of my world. Thanks for stopping by. I'll have some photos posted tomorrow, promise.

How's life in your space?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Love, love, love this!!!

I was out blog reading and I came across this post featuring this new design from Little House Needleworks:

I just love this piece! I am a sucker for house designs and I LOVE sunflowers! I can see this stitched over one, can't you?

This is going on my wish list definitely!

I've worked on Feed the Birds. The lady and the 2 birds perching in her hands are complete. It's moving along quite nicely and I am glad for a break from Bea and the hordes of Wips.

We have signs of Spring in upstate NY. Crocuses are popping up and the daffodils are finally shooting up in my flower beds. I am so looking forward to COLOR!

So that's all from here...hope you are having a lovely evening! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hey! I'm here!

I am sorry that I haven't been a good blogger recently. For awhile, I was posting fairly regularly and then I had my mini-meltdown and went and had a small pity party.

Life is sure interesting in Chez 90%. Huh, you say? Well, there's a story about the 90%. On Thursday, my company cut all salaried employees pay by 10% for this quarter and possibly next quarter too. Manufacturing employees didn't take a pay cut, they are working a 4 day week. The company took away their match on my 401k that went to a 101k after the recession hit and now, it's just a k. No raises either. I am glad though, it could be worse. I could have a 100% pay cut. I AM Blessed and I am thankful!

But hey! Let's talk stitching now!

Disclamer: Sorry about the crappy photos. I didn't drag out the iron. Please disregard the wrinkles and the hoop marks.

Earlier this week I worked on Bea.

Only 7.5 large motifs to stitch and 2 very small ones to go till I get to dance. Can you hear the bagpipes tuning up? And the tubas and bassoons? They're getting ready! I think I may have a happy dance by the end of May at this rate. Stay tuned. My band is!

Remember when I said I was stitching a pillow for Valentines Day? This is as far as I've stitched:


It should look like this sometime in this decade:

But I took some liberty with my version because the DH has been stitched in my heart for about 34 years now. This year we celebrate our 30th anniversary.
I have to say that the border on this little pillow gave me fits. And I'll have to do some re-arranging to get all the motifs in. So, I guess you could say that I used Beth's pattern as a springboard for something totally unique to me.
Lastly, I caved and started a new piece (rolling my eyes). I was going through my stash to decide what I want to sell and give away cause my tastes have changed and there are things that I know someone would love. I came across a bunch of Merrily Beam charts from the 90's. I love them! They remind me of Prairie Schooler and Mary Garry.
So, since we love to feed the birds and that special species of bird, I decided to start Feed The Birds:
It's a fairly fast stitch in DMC. I am stitching it on my 2nd favorite linen, Flax. This is 36 count.


So, that's all from Chez 90%. I hope you get a Stitchy Sunday. Today it's very sunny and it's supposed to be in the 50's so I may go out and clean out the flower beds. Yesterday, the DH and I steam cleaned the living room and bedroom carpets. Out with Winter! In with Spring!
Oh and one more thing!!! Please sign up for the Blackbird Exchange! We have 8 talented stitchers so far and it's going to be very fun! You do not have to commit for the entire year, just the exchanges you want to play. I am working out a couple of cool ideas for my piece.
So come on! JOIN THE FUN!!!
Once again, thank you all for following my blog and visiting. I am very blessed by my cyber friends! Have a wonderful week. I am going to count my blessings and my stitches. How about you?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Blackbird Designs Exchange Blog!

HI Everyone!

I've set out on a new adventure...Hosting an exchange blog. HOW EXCITING!!

Pop over to the Blackbird Designs Exchange Blog for all the details!

Sign ups are being taken now through April 1st. The exchange begins in May.

I hope you'll join us throughout the rest of the year. It's going to be fun!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

It's a better day

Thank you all, sweet friends for your comments on my um-mm-mm, Mini-meltdown. I appreciate and love each of you for your kind words of encouragement when I was a tad overwhelmed. I told the DH that I would not watch 3 hours of CNN a night anymore. I like Wolf Blitzer but after that, the TV gets turned to another station or off. It's just too much for me to handle right now. TOO MUCH GLOOM AND DOOM.

I should tell you all, we've faced hard economic times before. The DH lost his job at IBM 3 times in the last 10 years. We survived. Plans got put on hold, we tightened our belts and rode it out. We will do the same again. And yes, we will survive. We always manage. And we've come out stronger.

But thank you, thank you for your friendship and sweetness. I can't tell you how much those comments meant to me.

OK, on to stitchy news.

If you go to Words and Blooms you will see what a sweet exchange I received from Melissa. She had my name in the Prairie Schooler exchange. She stitched me the sweetest pinkeep that took the scenic route to get here. It was worth the wait. Tea for 2! In my email to Melissa to thank her for such a precious gift, I said that I love tea and I've spent many happy hours sharing a cup with good friends. When I see this little lovely, it will remind me of her.

Melissa and I were quite surprised to read each other's blogs. We have very similar tastes and we sound a lot alike. Kindred spirits, perhaps? Anyway, we said we'd keep in touch and maybe even SAL together. How cool is that?! This is what I love about blogging. I've "met" so many great stitchers, quilters, and crafters in blog-ville. What a community! I am blessed to be a part of it.

Last night, I worked or I should say, frogged on Bea. I wanted to finish the little swan motif but this motif is really given me a run for my money. I have stitched the outside border at least 3 times and somewhere, I've counted wrong. It's frustrating! So I put it away and told myself another time. Today, I've started a little spring cleaning. It makes me happy to sweep away Winter. After I cleaned all morning (the house smells great) I stitched a grand total of 15 minutes because Olivia seemed to want to occupy me and she made it quite difficult to stitch. So we took a nap together. Tonight, the DH and I are going to my partner from work's open house so I don't know if I will pick up a needle. That's ok, it will be a stitchy Sunday!

So no pics because we have NO sun. The lights have been on in the house all day. And my little camera will not even let me take a picture even if I try near the window. Stupid thing.

Oh, and I got an request from Craft-I-Leigh who asked "What type of fabric or fabrics do you prefer and why? Brands and counts?" Ok, here goes. I stitched on Aida when I first started to stitch but not for long. I graduated to evenweave and then to linen because I wanted to stitch samplers. I got a good book (I think it was a Ginny Thompson book on stitching on linen) to learn how to stitch on linen. Now, I only stitch on linen and if I am stitching "over one" then I will stitch on evenweave (28 count). I prefer a Zwiegart linen, I like tight weave and I like the fabric to feel substantial in my hand. I usually stitch on 32 count Belfast and railroad my stitches but recently I'm stitching on 36 count Edinburgh cause I want to stitch with one thread in my needle to avoid railroading. I am finding it hard to concentrate and I have OCD about how my stitches lay so right now it's 36 count for me. I like Lakeside linen in their neutral colors for samplers. I run hot and cold over vintage (over-dyed) linen. Right now, I am cold with it.

My advice to you is start with evenweave just to get a feel for counting. Remember to bring your needle up to the left of a vertical thread that lays on top of a horizontal thread. Once you find a rhythm you will not have a problem finding the next hole. I know if I've screwed up if my needle comes up next to a vertical thread with the horizontal thread on top.

Craft-I-Leigh, TAKE THE PLUNGE!!! Learn new techniques and use new fibers and fabric. You'll find your favorites really fast. That's what makes stitching so much fun! And isn't that what this passion is all about? FUN!

Ok, enough, I've got to run. Thanks for stopping by!

AND ONE MORE THING! Tomorrow, I am going to send out invitations for the Blackbird Designs exchange so please post on the post titled A Question For You if you are interested in joining. Come on! It will be fun! I promise!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Wigged Out

I am sorry to say that I am really wigged out. You see we are big news watchers. I think we watch 3 hours of CNN a night and I've got to tell you, I am to the point where I do not want to watch or read any more news. I know that it sounds like I want to bury my head in the sand or go to bed with the covers over my head. That's not true. I just think I am overloaded by bad news.

The worsing job situation is going to visit my house soon. The DH came home today and told me that he will in all probability lose his job by May. Retirement will be 3 months earlier than we planned. He is hoping they will give a severence package but he's not holding his breath. My company has circled the wagons and there is no money for extras. This quarter will be soft. I am hoping the execs are right and we rebound in the 3rd quarter. But you never know what will come. We are better off than many companies right now but who knows how long that will last?

We've also are pinching pennies. I've been very careful with our money (except for that retail therapy lapse a few weeks ago) and I am planning our meals, eating leftovers and trying everything to save, save, save. There is no room for frills, vacations, movies. I know that we are like many others, we live paycheck to paycheck. Our 401Ks are now 101Ks and I am working hard to get out of debt.

I just wish I didn't feel so out of control. We've played by the rules all our lives and yes, we've made financial mistakes. I can live with that fact. I just feel like we are at the mercy of some boogie man who I can't see, name or run from.

Damn economy.

Monday, March 02, 2009

A Question for You!

Hi all,

First of all, thanks so much for visiting me at Joanie's World. I really appreciate all your comments and I love looking at the Feedit thingie, just to see where you are are located. Thanks for all the nice comments on Bea too. Tonight, she got a rest cause I picked up This is the Day. I am working on the alphabet on the top of the sampler. It's taking forever. I stitch a few letters and then do the backround stitching. Tedious, but good stitching when one eye is on the TV.

Anyway...
I love BBD and I seem to be stitching more and more of their designs so I was thinking...

I am thinking of starting a Blackbird Designs exchange group similiar to what BeckySC does for the Prairie Schooler exchange. I'd run the exchange very similarly to the Prairie Schooler exchange, you would stitch a BBD or a portion of one of their patterns, your choice of pattern and finishing. The stitching time would be an 8 week cycle through the year or even quarterly. You wouldn't be obligated to stitch the whole year, just during the cycle that you want. And maybe for the last exchange of the year we could stitch something holiday...I don't know, the ideas are churning and bubbling in the old cranium. The piece would have to be finished before sending and you would be responsible to replace it if it doesn't reach it's owner. I'd set up a special blog and it would be by invitation only.

So what do you think? Would you be interested in joining?

If you think you would be interested, please post to this entry. I'll check back on Sunday and if there's sufficient interest then it will be a go!

Thanks gang!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Bea & Stash Haul!!!

Before we get to my Stash Attack, I wanted to share my latest Bea picture.


Tonight,I finished the 3rd motif on the right side and stitched the tree in the swan motif that's underneath and to the right of the Token of Love motive. I love how this is coming out and I hope that I'll have a finish in the next couple of months.

Now,for my Stash Haul! My Stash Haul came yesterday from Stitches N Things. I really went overboard buying (it was retail therapy at it's finest) and I love, love, love all my purchases!

First of all, for many, many moons, I've lusted over Abigail Colby's Work Basket.
This is A Cheerful Mind:

The sampler goes underneath the basket lid.

And these are the smalls that go into the basket: And lastly, this is the Workbasket: I have a Nantucket Basket that I bought for a song at the Christmas Tree Shoppe. The only problem is it's a 9" diameter basket, not the 8" one called for in the pattern. It's ok, the pattern calls for 40 count fabric and I don't think I'll be stitching on such a small count. I am thinking 36 count. I hope it won't be too big to fit on the lid... Assembling this piece will be a challenge.

I broke down and bought most of the Blackbird Design pieces too. I didn't buy the stockings but I may break down to get them too. Next pay.


Wild Rose Journal Cover: Small Token:
My Heart is True:
Bluebird Thread Keep:

And I did refrain from buying Carriagehouse Samplings, Spot the Horse, and Salina Schultz.

One other thing before I go...I will have pics soon a pincushion that I made for the Prairie Schooler Exchange. Just waiting for my partner to receive it.
And one other thing, do you dream of having *collections* of stitched pieces? I'd love to have a sampler wall of Alphabets, School Girl Samplers and Quakers. And I'd like a wall of samplers that feature houses. And a Noah's Ark wall, a redwork wall and a featured designer wall like the Drawn Thread or Goode Huswife.
So what about you? Do you dream of walls featuring your *collections*? Do you have one now that you could share?
We saw the Cadet and the Lovely Jenna this weekend too. I didn't broach the Sampler Question yet. I am chicken. I am afraid if the idea gets a cool reception, I'll be heartbroken.
We went to lunch at Carraba's Italian Grille, so yummy! It was a very fast visit, the DH and I wanted to trade trucks with the Cadet so we could get his repaired here because he wouldn't have any transportation unless we left him our truck to get to school and to work. I think we spent 3 hours with him and 6 in the truck going up and back. At least there was no snow to deal with.
Anyway, thanks for hanging in here with me and my stash haul pics. I hope you have a great week and had a wonderful, productive stitching weekend. I did, I have Numb A$$ to prove it!