There's a blog title for you ... lol!
When I got up this morning I checked Weather.com & was excited to find the strong storms they predicted for today were still being predicted & now included a chance of tornadoes! Weirdo that I am, if I can't have a good blizzard then I'll take a good storm. I've been through my share of strong storms in my lifetime including a hurricane when we lived in Florida. Fond memories ... truly! Well, at about 11:45 this morning the security alarm began beeping with a tornado warning. I immediately looked out the windows, spotted the darkest area of the sky, & then went out into the garage & opened up the garage door to watch Mother Nature in all her glory. I've never experienced a tornado before although I remember every once in a while hearing about one touching down in a nearby town. So there I was standing at the open garage door watching the sky getting darker & darker in the west. The clouds were gathering low & moving quickly. There was a strange sound which I assumed was the tornado. I've always heard that a tornado sounds like a train but this sound was more like a continuous whirring sound. The next thing I knew the town turned on its emergency alert siren. A little while later the wind picked up, the temperature dropped, & the whirring sound became a whining sound. Very distinctive! I guess you could say it sounded like a train. The sky looked exactly like this but without the funnel.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
There's a blog title for you ... lol!
Posted by Shirlee at 2:31 PM
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I don't even know what to title this post ... lol! It's going to be a conglomeration of many things : )
First of all, I did not do any stitching yesterday. It was just "one of those days." However, the day before I decided to stitch the Pineberry Lane Joy freebie again but on a smaller count ... 32 instead of 28 ... still stitched with 1 strand of floss over 2. I didn't purposely choose to do this. If the truth be told, I initially cut a piece of 32 ct fabric for the project & then after zig-zagging the edges & sitting down to find my starting point I discovered I should've cut 28 ct fabric. Since the 32 ct was already cut & zig-zagged & the stitching for Joy goes so very quickly I decided to have at it. I think I like it better with the higher count. As you can see I still have to stain the pieces & then stitch on the snowflakes. In the future when I stitch this pattern ... & I will ... I will choose a darker color of fabric, maybe something prestained. I might even "go wild" & change some floss colors! What a wild woman I am becoming : )
Posted by Shirlee at 9:34 AM
Sunday, February 26, 2012
I have been absent for a few days. Way too many things going on & YIKES! I can't believe it's going to be the end of February in just a few days! There is still so very much to do to get the house ready to sell in April. I am fighting a constant battle within myself regarding this. I know that hoards of people aren't lining up to move to Perryville, Kentucky. I see myself putting all this work into getting the house ready & then no one is going to want it. I know that's "defeatist thinking" & I need to be more positive.
Thanks to all of you who have voiced your concern & offered prayers for John regarding the need for 4 of his teeth to be pulled. They were pulled on Friday & he was pretty miserable all that day & night. However, yesterday he felt better & by late afternoon he let me make him some mashed potatoes & then later on he ate a bit of jello. I think things can only get better from here : )
Posted by Shirlee at 9:55 AM
Thursday, February 23, 2012
I truly understand everyone's frustration with the new word verification. I personally don't have much of a problem with it. Yes, that one word is rather blurry but I kind of make a game out of it ... see if I can get the letters right on the first go. I don't think I've ever had to make more than 2 tries which is pretty surprising since my eyesight is not the best & my glasses are somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 years old. Anyway, in an attempt to help my followers I removed word verification yesterday. I try to check my computer a couple times each day for emails & blog posts. After removing the word verification I came back later to find several emails in my spam folder. Deleting spam is not a one-click thing because sometimes good emails end up in there ... therefore I have to open my spam folder, take a look at the sender & the subject of each email, & determine if it's to be kept or deleted. A few hours later when I checked my emails again I had even more spam messages & a couple of them made their way into my inbox. Once again I reviewed & deleted them. I then thought okay, I'll adjust my blog settings so that all comments will need to be viewed by me first before being posted. That did nothing to rid me of the multiplying spam messages & added the burden of having to locate them on blogger rather than them showing up in my inbox where I can respond to them. Therefore I have once again enabled word verification.
Tomorrow John goes to the dentist to get 4 teeth pulled. He is rather anxious about it so please do remember him in your prayers.
I have been working off & on upstairs. Yesterday I took a big pile of stuff out of one corner & sorted it into 4 boxes ... good yard sale stuff, not so great yard sale stuff which is probably just going to get thrown away, stuff to try to sell on eBay, & stuff to give away. Sadly out in the garage there are probably 8 boxes filled with more stuff that needs sorted through. The garage is going to be "the last frontier" as far as cleaning goes.
My Christmas Goose Pinkeep is almost finished. Last night I stitched 1-1/2 geese. There are 2 of them. I really have enjoyed stitching this even considering my error in pattern reading. I have no idea what I will choose next ... maybe another prim design : )
Posted by Shirlee at 9:28 AM
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I need one or the other. I suppose I could need both.
Posted by Shirlee at 8:58 AM
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
My friend Vickie has been a blog reader for quite a while & now she has started her own blog ... A Stitcher's Story! Please pay her a visit & make her feel welcome. Vickie is a very sweet Christian lady who enjoys cross stitching & quilting & is blessed to live in that little part of heaven known as Wisconsin : )
Posted by Shirlee at 5:17 PM
I did not get to do as much stitching as I would've liked to have done this weekend but I did accomplish something so I'm happy about that : ) Of course I ran out of floss for my mystery project but I did as much stitching on that as I could on Saturday. See my Sunday post for a photo of this. Then I looked through my stash & decided to torture myself with a Stacy Nash design which requires stitching with 1 strand of floss over 1 on 32 ct linen. Actually it's not really a torture. For some reason I enjoy stitching like this despite the fact that I am way overdue for new glasses & feel like I'm stitching through fog most of the time. I decided to stick with my decision to stitch Christmas/winter related things this year. This design is called Christmas Goose Pinkeep. This is how far I've gotten on it.
Posted by Shirlee at 11:37 AM
Last week Dawn of In Stitches fame did a blog post regarding a tutorial to make Q-Snap huggies, sometimes called Grime Guards or Snap Wraps. You can find the tutorial here. Chris, the cowgirl from Hanna, Indiana is the person who posted the tutorial. It is one of the best tutorials I have ever had the pleasure to view. Every step on how to make these huggies is clearly photographed & described. Even I could make them! However, the thought of digging out my fabric, measuring, cutting, sewing, etc made me shudder. I just don't have the time! Well, luckily at the bottom of her tutorial Chris makes mention of the fact that she sells these ... $5.00 for the small sizes, $7.50 for the medium sizes, & $10 for anything larger than 11x11. Beings that I've only seen these offered at Nordic Needle & their prices begin at $4.99 for the smallest size & go all the way up to $21.99 for the largest adjustable model ... & you don't get to pick your fabrics ... I couldn't send Chris an email fast enough to order a few. I received them last week & am positively delighted! I am not a rich person by any means but I will gladly pay someone to make something for me rather than frustrating myself trying to make it myself ... no matter how simple it is. Chris has a website, Christine's Q-Snap Huggies, where you can see the huggies & all the different fabrics you can choose from.
Posted by Shirlee at 11:15 AM
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Last month I participated in my first Stitched With Love Exchange & I enjoyed it immensely! I received a wonderful package of goodies from Tricia whose blog is The Stamper's Stitches. As you can see in the photo below she stitched the most gorgeous pin pillow for me! She also sent me a package of John James platinum needles, a little pair of scissors, & she kitted up a Trilogy design, Patriotic Tree: Truth, complete with stitching fabric, backing fabric, embellishments & DMC threads! She also sent me the cutest handmade notecard! I love it all : )
Posted by Shirlee at 9:25 AM
Friday, February 17, 2012
Yes, two blog posts in one day ... but that's not the kidding part. I'll get to that in a minute.
First of all, my waking up at 3:30 in the morning after 3 hours of sleep left me amazingly productive! I made my sort of homemade loaf of bread. It was edible but my aunt has apparently either lost her memory or her sense of taste because it tastes nothing like dad's bread : ( Ah well, the search goes on. Anyway, after my blog post I decided to tidy up my cross stitch charts & fabrics. That led me to tidying up the dining table which really acts as a desk, file cabinet, & general catch-all as opposed to a piece of furniture where you eat meals. While doing this tidying up I spied some long overdue insurance forms. Yes, they truly are never ending. I decided to tackle a couple of what I knew would be the simple ones merely involving the writing of a letter. Finished those & felt a nice sense of accomplishment ... but did I stop there? No ... I oh so foolishly decided to tackle "just one more." Three hours later I was still struggling with this huge mess which I have been trying to get straightened out for 8 months now. ARGH! I swear this particular set of claims has traveled back & forth between our house & the insurance company office in Arizona more times than I used to travel back & forth to the neighborhood penny candy store when I was a kid. John suggested we go into town for lunch. Since at that point I felt like running out of the house screaming I thought it was a good idea to leave.
We had a nice lunch & then stopped to take advantage of a sale on sheets & towels, both of which we have been in need of for quite some time. Found what I hope will be good choices ... including new bed pillows ... & came home. Checked my emails & found one from my doctor's office. I had some blood tests done a couple weeks ago & the email said they have called three times & left messages for me to call them back but I never have. Well, I never got the messages! I suspect they have been calling my cell phone number which I told them very clearly is a phone I do not use except for emergencies when I'm traveling somewhere out of town. Grrrr! And the reason they were trying to get in touch with me? Are you ready for this? I've got Lyme disease! The doctor told me at my last visit that she suspected this & tested for it in a previous blood draw & the test came back positive. I told her surely it was a lab error. She didn't think so but she humored me & ordered several other tests to make sure. All positive. Now ... Lyme disease is pretty unusual, wouldn't you say? Especially since it's been apparently lying dormant in me for years & now suddenly Whoomp! There it is! I swear, I get the strangest ailments. First I was diagnosed with adult growth hormone deficiency. A couple months ago I had a brain MRI & my pituitary has, in layman's terms, "shriveled up & died." It's called empty sella syndrome. Now Lyme disease. I am actually laughing here. What's next?
Oh! Before I forget, I want to thank everyone for your concern regarding my doctor visits the other day. The gyn appointment revealed nothing but some irritation. Got a couple pills for that. The blood tests were fine. My pregnant eye turned out to be caused by backed-up oil glands at the base of my eyelashes. Warm compresses & a gentle scrubbing with No More Tears baby shampoo should remedy it in no time. John says my eye is looking better already although it is still a bit sore.
I did not get any stitching done today. Thankfully the weekend isn't over & I have no set amount of stitches I have to do for IHSW. I am going to try to put in a few tonight before I head off to bed.
And th-th-th-th-th- ... that's all folks : )
Posted by Shirlee at 10:56 PM
I have been trying to buy some designer suggested fabrics for projects I want to stitch in the coming months but I am having a less than happy time doing so. Quite a few of the fabrics I need are not to be found anywhere ... at least anywhere I have looked. I've Googled them all without success. The 35 counts seem to be almost nonexistent. I therefore thought I would just go ahead & substitute with a 36 count. I was able to find a fabric or two this way but the place I did find it only sold it in 1/2 or 1 yard cuts. Since I only need less than a fat eighth size it really would not behoove me to buy that much even if I had that kind of money. I have even thought of substituting with a like color of fabric but have likewise come up empty. It's impossible to tell what a color is truly like by looking at it on a computer monitor. Also, colors differ from one manufacturer to another so for instance the color "straw" could be a dark gold when purchased from one source but a light tan when purchased from another. I once heard tell of a supplier who sold her fabric with DMC color comparisons noted in the descriptions. What a godsend that would be! Unfortunately I have never found her. Does anyone know if this supplier exists?
In particular I am searching for WDW 35 ct Straw & Parchment (although I'll take a 36), R&R 36 ct Creme Brulee, & Lakeside 36 ct Vintage Examplar. I'm also on the hunt for 28 ct Chardonay & 28 ct Cranberry Bog. Does anyone know where I can get any of these fabrics? I have no idea who the manufacturers are for those last two.
My WIP is coming along rather well. Does anyone want to venture a guess yet as to what it is? You need to tell me both the name of the designer & the name of the design. Just saying "it's a howler monkey" or "it's a bowl of soup" won't do : )
Posted by Shirlee at 7:12 AM
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Last month I was chosen by Cathy to be one of the Pay It Forward recipients on her blog, With Needle & Thread. If you aren't familiar with Pay It Forward you can read Cathy's invitation here. As you will note, the explanation stated that the recipients will each receive 5 stitching related gifts & examples were given as follows ...
Posted by Shirlee at 6:43 PM
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
John & I had a lovely day yesterday. It was rainy & gray & overcast but not so much so that we couldn't follow through with our plans to go to Richmond, Kentucky which is about an hour from here. We hadn't been there for quite a while. We had planned to have our Valentines Day/wedding anniversary dinner at Red Lobster but strangely enough we both had a desire for pizza so we ended up eating at our favorite pizza place close to home : )
I will be leaving soon for an early morning appointment with my gynecologist. Even though I had a total hysterectomy back in 2010 my regular doctor wanted me to make this appointment. I have dealt with her often enough to know that when she suggests something like this she has "suspicions" of one sort or another. Hopefully they won't amount to anything. My appointment is scheduled for 8:30. At 9 o'clock I have an appointment for blood tests at the hospital 2 blocks away so hopefully the gyn will do what he needs to do & I will still be able to make it to the hospital in time. After that I'm guessing I will probably have to stop by the eye doctor's office because this morning my right eye looks like it's about 8 months pregnant. Hey ... I wonder if the gyn can help me with that???
I didn't do any stitching yesterday but on Monday I did start a new project. Can you guess what it is???
Posted by Shirlee at 7:37 AM
Monday, February 13, 2012
It's strange but I can't shake the feeling that this is Sunday! I woke up thinking it was Sunday & I've been thinking that ever since although at one point I did realize it's Monday.
As you can see I have a new stitching finish to show you! The Christmas All Year Round SAL theme for February is a Christmas tree ornament & I chose this one ...
Posted by Shirlee at 10:03 AM
Saturday, February 11, 2012
I have been working upstairs almost daily this past week & I've worked especially hard this morning. I have been sorting things in order to put like items/boxes together, made a pile of boxes that need to be put inside other boxes & brought downstairs, made a mental note of boxes that need to be brought upstairs from downstairs in order to make room for the aforementioned boxes I'll be bringing downstairs, & marveled again at how very much craft stuff one person can accumulate in a couple decades. It's hard to imagine that there was a time when John & I moved from Florida to Montana & sold just about everything we owned except our clothes & special momentos. It's also hard to imagine that there were times when I decided "I don't want to do this anymore" & sold more crafting supplies than I can shake a stick at. How is it that I have so much stuff?!?!? I got to do a count of my huge Rubbermaid containers packed full of quilting fabric. There are 13 of them. There are an additional 5 smaller containers which are holding quilt tops I've finished but have never quilted, quilt blocks I've made but have never sewn into quilt tops, & various fabric pattern pieces cut out & waiting to be made into quilt blocks. Then there is a huge container filled with quilts that are almost finished ... they only need the binding sewn on. I'm guessing there's about 10 of those binding-deprived quilts.
I have the 4 huge containers crammed full of wool strips cut & ready to be made in to braided rugs. I was surprised to find an additional container filled almost to the brim with yards of wool ... some solids, some herringbones, & some plaids.
There are a lot of boxes packed with things I know I'm not going to use but I really don't have the time to go through them all to sort things out right now. My main focus is to get everything rounded up, looking neat, & out of the way for when prospective buyers come to look at the house. I'm still flip-flopping on what to do with the yard sale stuff.
I am maybe done upstairs for today. John is having a lot of pain with his teeth so he wasn't up very long this morning before he went back to bed. He has been sleeping for about 2 hours now & I don't think there is much more I can do up there without making too much noise & disturbing him. I'm therefore going to treat myself to some lunch, maybe read a bit, & take it from there.
Posted by Shirlee at 12:38 PM
Friday, February 10, 2012
I love a good bakery but I haven't had the pleasure of finding one for more years than some of you are old. The only exception has been a few bakeries we frequented while visiting Europe. The pastries & cakes that John & I have had in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, & especially France still make us drool when we think of them ... especially the patisseries in Metz, France! Well, last month we discovered there is a Whole Foods grocery store in Louisville, Kentucky. Whole Foods has delicious organic meats, eggs, & breads as well as other yummy things. We usually go to the Whole Foods store in Lexington but since John had a doctor appointment in Louisville we decided to see if there was one there & there was, just 8 miles from his doctor's office, so we made it a point to stop by.
Whole Foods in Louisville is larger & has a wider variety of things to offer than does their store in Lexington ... most especially their bakery. The Lexington store has a teeny, tiny little bakery which is barely worth a second glance whereas the Louisville store's bakery is at least 10 times the size! They have more than a dozen different varieties of cookies to choose from (& not always the same kinds), just as many different varieties of cupcakes, & then lots of breads, coffee cakes, pies, bundt cakes ... you name it! We brought home one of each of the cookies that day & an almond coffee cake. They were not with us for very long. It was like eating homemade baked goods! I thought about them every day since that time & yesterday when we had to go to Louisville for John's dental appointment we first stopped by Whole Foods to buy more cookies & another almond coffee cake. Right next to the cookies they had little packages buttermilk biscuits.
Posted by Shirlee at 10:58 AM
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Frosty & I would like to thank everyone who has come to attend his week long celebration party! I thought I would break away for a moment to share some long overdue photos, a stitching update, & other stuff : )
When I finished stitching the January Trip Into Hell (the designer calls it January Word Play) I immediately took it out of my Q-Snap hoop & replaced it with this ...
Posted by Shirlee at 9:52 PM
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Posted by Shirlee at 1:46 PM
I have started a new project which calls for some white floss. Thankfully it does not call for GAST Shaker White ... it instead calls for CC Bamboo & I must say that I feel like I'm stitching with the floss the angels use! I swear it's almost like using pearl cotton rather than floss! It's so lush & thick compared to that horrible GAST Shaker White ... & it's WHITE too! Beautiful, beautiful white without splotches of mold growing on it here & there. Oh happy day : )
Anyway, I wanted to ask you stitchers how you go about stitching a design when the pattern calls for white to be used. Do you stitch all the other colors first & then stitch the white last, or do you stitch the white whenever you get to it? It seems to me that once long ago I read that you should stitch anything white last so as to avoid getting the white dirty or picking up colors of floss dust on it as you stitch. This pattern design includes a large snowflake & a little mound of snow. It also includes little patches of snow on a pine tree which is stitched using a hand-dyed dark green. Some of the white on the tree is in little confetti stitches. I'm not sure if I should stitch the green first & then try to go back & fit in the white stitches ... or if I should stitch all the white & then go back & stitch all the green.
I did have another successful day of "doing something" with our Fibber McGee-like second floor. I have dreaded working up there for months now but between yesterday & the day before I actually accomplished a few things that have already made the place look better ... at least in one little corner! Of course there are those spots which I dread more than anything & they will undoubtedly be pushed aside until last ... most of all the mounds of yard sale stuff. Yard sales don't do well around here ... at least I rarely see any. I was going to box everything up & take it to my aunt in Pittsburgh who loves-loves-loves doing yard sales but that would be a 7-hour drive one way & it would involve pricing everything, wrapping it, & probably spending whatever amount I'd make from the yard sale on gas for the trip. Some of it is "good stuff" but you know how it is trying to get a good price for "good stuff" at a yard sale. I'm tempted to just drop it all off at Goodwill or even just take it to the dump just to avoid the hassle. Will have to think on this a bit more. Whatever the decision, these yard sale things do not have priority at this time.
Believe it or not it SNOWED last night! Yes, it's the usual "God shaking His talcum powder can" snow that plagues central Kentucky ... at least 40% of the grass is still visible ... but snow is snow so I am doing a happy dance : )
Posted by Shirlee at 9:25 AM
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
As many of you know, my husband & I are planning to sell our home this year.
Posted by Shirlee at 9:59 AM
Sunday, February 5, 2012
I wish I had kept track of the hours ... which have turned into days, weeks, & nearly months ... that I have been working on this blasted January Word Play. Some stitchers do that. I've seen them post a photo of a completed project & make mention that it took them a total of 19 hours, for example, to stitch that particular piece. I have thought that it would maybe be a good idea to do that & to perhaps include the information on a little label attached to the back of a framed piece or note it in a little stitching journal. I imagine it would be interesting to someone one day.
I've also seen stitchers just make a general note of their stitching time. They will, for example, post a photo of something like this & add a caption similar to the one below it ...
Posted by Shirlee at 9:45 AM
Friday, February 3, 2012
My camera seems to be working semi-well this morning although it wants to make the color of the linen in my first photo appear white instead of the antique copper lookalike linen (kind of tea dyed looking) it is in real life. Sigh ... you never know how a picture is going to turn out when I get a camera in my hands : ) Anyway, this first photo shows my finished stitching of Homespun Elegance's Santa Sampler design which I chose to do for my first Christmas All Year Round ornament. I still need to attach a little stocking charm between Santa's hands & then make him into an ornament but that is going to have to wait a while. We all know how I dread finishing a stitched piece : )
Posted by Shirlee at 2:42 PM
Thursday, February 2, 2012
First off I want to say thank you for wishing me well regarding my upset tummy yesterday. The peppermint tea actually did help! I only had this one tea bag which was sent to me as a little thank you gift when I ordered some of my favorite tea (Hot Cinnamon Sunset by Haney & Sons) from a supplier on Amazon or eBay. I usually buy directly from the company but went through this supplier instead for some reason. Anyway, he included the peppermint tea bag (organic) so I had it here to try sometime. It was actually very good!
I decided to lay low yesterday so basically my day was spent in the recliner stitching on the January Word Play. I learned, if nothing else, that my stitching is even slower than I thought it was. I really should have called my blog The Slower Than Molasses Stitcher or something like that. After several hours of stitching all I got done were the 6 bottom rows that were still remaining on Frosty, a couple small snowflakes over on that side, the leaf, vine, & berries to the right of Frosty, & maybe a little over half the cart. I still have several words, a bird, Frosty's arms along with his scarf & buttons, & the cart wheels/handle to do. What's that going to take me ... a week of constant stitching? I know I've said in the past that I don't care about the time it takes me to stitch something ... it's the process of stitching that I enjoy ... but it's like I've been working on this thing half my life! My goal is to finish stitching it in the next day or two & then have a big cyber party celebrating it being done : )
I have several things to take pictures of but my new camera, purchased in October, is driving me nuts. It has this built-in stabilizer thingie in it & that is one of the reasons I bought it. It's supposed to keep things steady so your pictures don't blur. It was doing that for a while but the other day I tried to photograph my progress on Frosty & I got blurry photo after blurry photo. Grrrrr! If anyone has any suggestions to remedy this ... or suggestions for a replacement camera that will take a good picture even while you're galloping around on a horse ... please let me know.
Today is Groundhog Day. I have heard that the famous Phil saw his shadow so we are in for 6 more weeks of winter. However, Gracie ... the groundhog who lives underneath a small grouping of trees in our front yard, has been roaming around for at least 2 weeks now so she obviously does not agree with Phil. All this talk of groundhogs today made me think of a wonderful movie ...
Posted by Shirlee at 10:10 AM
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Good morning ... & Happy February!
I woke up early this morning not feeling too well & things have not improved. I have been eating things best left alone for about the past week & I think it has finally caught up with me. What has this experience taught me? It has taught me that when you've been off sugar for 8 months it's not smart to decide to give yourself a few days of a sugar binge. Not smart at all.
On a happier note I can share a finish with you! No, it's not Frosty. We are on friendly terms but I haven't been stitching for a couple days now. My lack of motivation to do anything is probably tied into the sugar overload. Anyway, I did accomplish 4 finishes in January. Two of them I can't show you yet because they were for exchange gifts. Once my exchange partners have received them I will post pictures for you : ) Another finish ... as far as stitching is concerned anyway ... is my Santa ornament for the Christmas All Year Round SAL. I haven't taken a photo yet. Our assignment for February is to stitch a design featuring a Christmas tree. I've got mine picked out & kitted up & am looking forward to starting it. What I can share with you today is this little Pine Mountain Designs pillow I made for Shar over at Sharlene's Stitching Site. Shar & I decided to do a monthly friendship exchange this year. I thought this Making Friends design was perfect to stitch for our first exchange : )
Posted by Shirlee at 6:53 AM