Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Posted by Shirlee at 4:44 PM
Monday, October 29, 2012
After spending part of the morning upstairs attempting a few more finishes, I've decided that this is the best I'm going to be able to do for my cross stitch ornament tree.
Posted by Shirlee at 11:24 AM
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Posted by Shirlee at 10:52 AM
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Posted by Shirlee at 7:51 PM
I should have posted these gifts & exchanges long ago so, without further ado, let the posting begin : )
Posted by Shirlee at 8:53 AM
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Posted by Shirlee at 8:37 PM
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Since Mr. Sensitivity began to go into fits of dramatics a few months ago whenever he even sees me with a bag of tarts in my hand (the scented wax kind, not the ones the Queen of Hearts made), I no longer use them & have moved on to candles instead. I love candles burning but the scents, no matter which type of candle I buy, are barely detectable. The best "big business" candles I have found are by Swan Creek Candle Company. You can actually notice the scents & I have been happy with those I've tried thus far.
About 2 weeks ago I decided to order some Christmas scents directly from Swan Creek. Unfortunately they did not have a description of the scents on their website so I just ordered 5 candles based solely on their Christmas-themed names.
I love spicy scents & some (not all) baking scents. At this point I've tried burning 3 of these candles & it turns out they are sweet scents. I did not burn them for very long ... maybe 15-20 minutes. The wicks are burned but trimmed neatly & the candles themselves are clean. I can't return them to the company based on my not liking the scents so I am offering them to anyone who might want them.
There are 3 candles & I will give one to 3 different followers. The scents are Mistletoe Kiss, Gingerbread, & Christmas Cheer . If you would like to have one, just comment on this post & let me know which scent you would like. If more than one person chooses a scent, I will do the hat thing : ) You will need to leave a comment no later than 12:01 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time) Saturday morning, October 27.
I am sorry to say that this offer is only available to my followers in the US. The candles would be too heavy to mail overseas. Also, this offer is only for current followers of my blog so please do not post about it on your own blog.
Posted by Shirlee at 9:09 AM
Monday, October 22, 2012
Posted by Shirlee at 9:22 PM
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Posted by Shirlee at 9:23 AM
Thursday, October 18, 2012
For several reasons I have gotten to be sort of a recluse here in the devil's playground. My house holds many bad memories for me & I don't really like being here but over the past almost 3-1/2 years I have noticed that it takes a huge amount of effort for me to go anywhere. Our cupboards will be almost bare before I will grudgingly go with John to the grocery store to pick up a few things. If it weren't for medical & dental appointments ... which I literally force myself to go to ... I would probably not go anywhere. Even going out in the yard or onto the porch is becoming a rare occurrence. Sometimes John & I will go somewhere & on the way to wherever it is I will realize that it's been a week or more since the last time I was out.
Psychiatrists would probably say that this is not a good thing but I am not staying in because I'm depressed or because I'm afraid of what's out there in the world. I am actually quite comfortable. I enjoy my own company. I have plenty of interests & things to keep me busy. There are times when John & I go places but there are other times when we plan to go somewhere & then as the time gets closer we decide to just stay home.
Weirdness abounds in the devil's playground : )
What has prompted this introspection? I was sitting here this morning, drinking my cup of tea & reading blog posts, when I glanced out the window & saw this.
Posted by Shirlee at 10:56 AM
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
I recently mentioned the hot chocolate machine my husband gifted to me last year. I had devised "the perfect recipe" for hot chocolate but neglected to write it down somewhere. I realized this a week or two ago when the first cool morning arrived in the devil's playground. I got the machine out of the cupboard & thought "what now?" I took a guess & that first mug of HC was pretty good. A tad too chocolaty perhaps but drinkable. I'll ease up on the dark chocolate next time.
My next attempted recreation was white hot chocolate. I didn't recall expending much effort on this version last year. Milk & chopped Ghirardelli white chocolate. It seemed to be missing a little something though but it was likewise drinkable. Not enough white chocolate perhaps?
I decided this afternoon to treat myself again but really "go wild" with the experimentation. Milk? Check. Ghirardelli white chocolate? Check. But this time I added a bit of stevia sweetener & half a teaspoon of french vanilla extract. Hot lusciousness!
Posted by Shirlee at 2:00 PM
Sunday, October 14, 2012
I have been stitch-stitch-stitching. I know. Just what I need ... more stuff that will need finishing. What can I say? I'm addicted : )
Have a wonderful day, one & all : )
Posted by Shirlee at 1:35 PM
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
If this were true, I know without a doubt that living in central Kentucky would be Level 8, but what about the other 7 levels? I can't help but think the next 2 levels would be as follows:
Level 7 - Here the demons will howl with maniacal laughter as they bring you floss, needles, fabric, & charts which require you to stitch more french knots than there are stars in the heavens. No cross stitches, mind you. No half crosses or back stitches. Just french knots.
Level 6 - Here you would have satan's minions constantly bringing you cross stitched items to finish into ornaments, pinkeeps, cupboard tucks, etc.
Levels 6 & 7 are probably interchangeable. At this moment the remaining 5 levels are up for grabs.
Can you guess that I started work on some finishing today? A week or two ago I estimated that I must have about 2 dozen stitched items to finish into ornaments or pinkeeps or whatever else you can think of. A few days ago, after a week of prolific stitching, I upped that estimate to 3 dozen. Well, I went upstairs this morning filled with good intentions. I uncovered my stitched projects awaiting finishing & began to press them. I counted as I pressed. My heart grew heavier & heavier as the number climbed. I finished counting at 42. 42!!! Did those little elves or fairies I've mentioned in the past decide to stop by & stitch up a storm just to see me run for the Xanax bottle? Well, hold on to your hats because I then noticed something odd sitting on a box where nothing should've been sitting. I went over to investigate. It was 9 more stitched items ready to be finished! That's 51!!!
How in the world am I going to finish 51 stitched items (52 if you count the one in progress in my Q-Snap right now) when I detest finishing?!?!?
I turned off the iron, headed downstairs & baked a batch of sugar cookies & then whipped up a batch of brownies. The sugar cookies got burned & they taste like feet. The verdict isn't in regarding the brownies. They are still cooling in the pan.
I wonder if 51 of my dearest friends & most beloved family members would like a "Finish It Yourself Cross Stitch Kit" for Christmas? I could fill some sort of decorative bag or box with FIYCSK supplies which would include a completed stitched item, a backing fabric, a little baggie full of batting or sawdust, & a sheet of directions! Who wouldn't love to find something like this under their tree?!?!? Okay, nobody would. I don't have 51 dear friends or beloved family members anyway. Damn!
I don't think I can accomplish anything else today. I think I'm in shock. I need to be kept calm. Perhaps I'll try to ignore the horrific reality of this morning & instead do something to relax. Perhaps read a book while I munch on what will hopefully be yummy brownies. I have 2 Miss Read books that I got for Christmas last year. Miss Read is my favorite author. I've never read these 2 particular books. They are both Christmas books & I decided last year that I wanted to wait to read them until this next Christmas season. In retrospect that was probably a dumb thing for me to decide to do because I may have died already this year & then I would have gone to my grave without having enjoyed them! Anyway, Miss Read's characters don't do cross stitching. They have no worries about finishing or french knots. Lucky fictional folk!
Posted by Shirlee at 1:19 PM
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Before I begin my speech about the cross stitch gods, I must say that it is a lovely morning! Not as lovely as it could be of course, like this ...
Posted by Shirlee at 9:34 AM
Friday, October 5, 2012
Maggee! Maggee is the winner of my Lizzie*Kate giveaway! Thanks to all who entered ... I wish you all could've won : )
Posted by Shirlee at 10:23 AM
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Brenda at The Rusty Thimble is hostessing an awesome giveaway for the holiday season! You will have a chance to win one of 24 prizes offered by various crafters who are all beyond generous in their donations! There are several ways that you can garner extra chances to win ... doing a blog post about the giveaway, adding the giveaway to your side bar, & more! This has got to be the biggest giveaway production in history! Click on the button below to find out more : )
Posted by Shirlee at 8:10 AM
Monday, October 1, 2012
This morning I read yet another wonderful blog post by my friend Marly of Samplers & Santas fame. Marly's blog posts are sometimes informative, sometimes hilarious, sometimes inspiring, & sometimes all 3. The most recent post I'm referring to is most definitely inspiring.
Marly will not do anything unless she enjoys it. She also will not force herself to do things the way someone else has determined they should be done. She states that she has not always been like this. She too was once anal about doing things in what someone else determined was "the proper way." However, the passage of time & all that comes with it ... joys, tragedies, MENOPAUSE ... made her decide to either march to her own drummer or not march at all. She chose to march to her own drummer ... & all of us who know her love her for it.
It was strange for me to read this particular post of hers this morning because I have noticed myself changing over the past couple years. Change is a bit difficult for anyone with a high level of OCD mixed with perfectionism. As the old song states, I got it bad & that ain't good. I won't go into all the aspects of my life where these traits fight for dominance. For this post I will only focus on one area. Cross stitching.
As many of you know, this is my 3rd life as a cross stitcher. I wrote about this in a blog post last year when my 3rd life began (click here if you wish to read this post). In my prior 2 cross stitching lives as well as as the beginning of this 3rd (& final) one, the OCD & perfectionism ran rampant. Choose a different color floss than what the designer called for? Never! Use a different fabric ... maybe even a different count? Unheard of!
Little by little I have mellowed. Aging does that. It mellows you. It reveals to you the things that really matter. Perhaps it's because you realize you don't have a lot of time left & you decide you don't want that time spent in worry, anger, & doing things you really don't want/have to do. I'm not being maudlin here. After all, I could have another 40 years ahead of me ... maybe more ... but the first almost 60 years have flown by & so I know the rest of them will fly by as well.
I've noticed since beginning this 3rd stitching life that I have taken what for me is a giant step toward doing things rather outside the box. On more than one occasion I have substituted my own choice of fabric for the fabric recommended by the designer. Once or twice I've changed a floss color or two. I've even taken to tying knots sometimes on the backs of my stitches to secure them rather than trying to hide the ends like we are "supposed to do." There is even this one particular design that I am thinking of adding something to in order to make it more personal! I'm still having a bit of trouble with substituting stitches that a designer calls for (curse those French knots!!!) but I'm working on it : )
Yesterday I began a new stitch ... Lizzie*Kate's Come Let Us Adore Him. I think L*K's designs are fabulous, but they really aren't "me." I don't like "cutesy" & most of her stuff fits in that category. I do, however, have quite a few of her charts & even a few of her kits. I have these to stitch for others who adore her designs.
As I was saying, I began this L*K stitch yesterday. My intention was to give it as a gift. However, the more I stitched on it, the more I hated it. I didn't really hate the design. The stitching itself was going along nicely. I just was not having any enjoyment stitching it at all. Whereas in the past I would've continued stitching it with the mantra "finish what you start" repeating in my brain, last night I decided no. Life is too short for me to be stitching something I am not enjoying. Therefore I am not going to put one more stitch into this piece. Not one. What I am going to do, however, is offer it to anyone who wants it. I will give you the chart, the fabric with what I have finished stitching thus far, & the floss the design calls for. Note that some of the floss skeins are slightly used. I hope that is not a problem. So ... if anyone wants this, let me know & it's yours. If more than one person indicates they want it, I will throw names in a hat & draw one out at the end of the week. This offer is only for my current followers. Please do not make mention of it on your blogs.
Posted by Shirlee at 8:28 AM