Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Summer in the Square HD

This is Just Nan's Summer in the Square. This is the last of the set! Hurray! Now I need to find some fabric that will go with all four seasons so I can make them into a wall hanging.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Picked out my Christmas presents

With money being so tight, we don't have the luxury of getting surprise gifts. There are definite things Matt and I want for Christmas, so we've bought them and will wrap them up. Is this less fun? Certainly, but at least we'll get what we really want for Christmas. Matt's getting a new laptop for Christmas and birthday since he'll definitely need one for school. We thought we could swing it with the old laptop, but after he talked to people--nope. He is going to be an engineering major, after all.

Saturday I was getting stir crazy, so Matt and I went in to Austin while Mom babysat Logan. We had a nice meal and hit the LNS, Ginger's. I found some fabric for Skeleton Crew, a few threads, and the chart for My Stitching Treasures Accessories (to go with the box I got one year). The fabric and materials for it are on order. So that's Christmas for me. Not too shabby, and I'm still excited to get my hands on the items come Christmas Day. And really, how would Matt know what to get me when I want stitching stuff?

I'm still trying to figure out what to get Logan for Christmas. I'm thinking some kind of big toy, something he can either climb on or fiddle with. Any ideas? Matt said Logan was fascinated by the toilet auger today when they went to Home Depot. Matt would let him go, and three times he ran back to the auger. I'm thinking that wouldn't be a good toy. Apparently dangerous = fun.

Speaking of the child, I think he's hit the Terrible Twos 10 months early! He's teething and not feeling well and generally just going crazy. He does the things that get his hand slapped, and does them, and again. He's bored with everything, will only eat if you distract him with something interesting, and is into everything. How many more years of this? THAT many?

I'll post a pic of my latest finish tomorrow....

Friday, November 21, 2008


I'm sort of bummed. The annual retreat that my LNS hosts has moved to a new location this year. It sounds nicer, but it's almost a three-hour drive! I'm inclined to skip it because it's so far away and I'd be driving alone. It's frustrating because I was really looking forward to it. I missed last year because I didn't want to leave Logan, who was just a tiny little thing. I suppose I don't really need to spend $225 either. Think of the stash!

A few housekeeping items: Sara asked how I got the hearts so even on my needlebook. I used BeckySC's tutorial, of course! :-)

I know a few people have tagged me and nominated me for blog awards. Thank you...I really don't want to offend...but I generally don't participate in those kinds of things. I doubt anyone would be interested in my answers to tags, and then I'd have to tag someone. There's a reason I could never be a salesperson--I hate asking people to do stuff! So, thank you, I'm highly flattered you thought of me; please don't be offended that I choose not to participate.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ort bag for sale

A shameless plug--I'm selling ort bags again now that I have a chance to breathe. I sell them for $20, which includes postage. This one is ready to go. If you'd like another color, let me know and I'll see what I can do. These make great gifts for stitchers. The pincushion is stuffed with half fiberfill and half doll beads. The bag has two pockets for scissors and such, and you can unbutton the bag for emptying. My mom has a sewing machine that does embroidery, so if you'd like a design or name, let me know (that's done before the bag is put together). My email's charmingtails@hotmail.com.

Also, my mom can stitch just about anything. If you have a request, send it to me. :-)

Daycare: The center checked out just fine. Logan was shy at first but smiled at the kids and liked playing with the outside toys. He may surprise us and just love being there. We know how much he complains when he's trapped in the living room at home. We plan to start him out half days the last week in December and then go full time in January. I'll be a basketcase for sure.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Harvest Time Exchange received

I received this cute piece from Su. It's Harvest by Shepherd's Bush. It's stitched on 32-count linen and is so cute. I love all things fall and winter, so I'm thrilled. Thanks, Su!

More family laid off: We heard that Matt's father had been laid off from a company he had worked for for 38 years, and with only about four weeks severance pay. What a damn shame. He's going to be visiting us in December, and he gets to meet Logan for the first time (and me too!). We'll be glad to see him, but what a sad time for him. He and his wife care for numerous foster children, too.

Daycare, ugh: We go today to look at a daycare center we're considering sending Logan to when Matt begins school in January. I'm so nervous about the whole process. Logan screams bloody murder whenever one of us even leaves the room. I know this is going to be hard for him, and I'm not looking forward to it. We plan to start him out a few hours a day in December.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Winter in the Square HD

I finished this Just Nan piece last night while we watched Lost. Next, I'm going to start on the last of the four, Summer in the Square. Then I can think about how I want to finish these. I know I want to do a wall hanging, but I need to find the right fabric, cording, and ribbon.

Speaking of Lost, Matt and I just aren't getting into the series. A friend lent us the first season. We're finding it--ahem--boring seven episodes in. A lot of people like it; I wonder why we don't. Probably not enough action and too much back story for our tastes. I like the little spooky bits, but there just aren't enough to sustain my interest. I think Matt's on the verge of putting the DVDs away.

Diet: I've done pretty well on the diet this week and have exercised every day for half an hour. That's a lot for me. I think I've managed to lose almost all the weight I had put on during my bad week around Halloween. I had to take care of Logan Friday and Saturday, and toting him around has hurt my back a bit. Matt's been incapacitated after having a vasectomy. He's been incredibly calm about the whole thing. I think I was more nervous about it than he was!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Autumn in the Square HD

I also finished this piece this weekend. I've been working on it a little at a time. So that's 2 out of 4 done so far. I'll probably start on winter next.

I also picked up Maggie the Messmaker last night while we watched The Da Vinci Code (eh).

The stores have been playing Christmas music.... My mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas, so I picked out the last of my charms for the Sweetheart Tree needlerolls and a few charts I've been wanting. Matt's getting a scientific calculator for school and a DVD of Forbidden Kingdom. I still need to figure out what to put on my wishlist for Matt to get me. We won't be spending much this year, as little as we can get away with. Of course, Logan will be getting toys. :-)

Covent Garden Rosebuds finishing

I turned my Covent Garden Rosebuds piece into a needlebook, which was this month's finishing technique on the Monthly Finishing Challenge. I didn't add any edging because I think my stitching is neat enough. And I think any cording would just get in the way. I have more pics if you're interested.

I got lots of housework done this weekend. My back didn't give me too many problems. I even got on the treadmill for a half hour this morning.

Reading: I finished Mercedes Lackey's Brightly Burning yesterday. Now it's on to the Oathbound series. I haven't read these for 20 years. No wonder they seem almost new to me. They still grab me and make me want to spend all my time reading, just like they did when I was 18.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Barnabee's Quest bellpull

I finished this one today. I stitched it up by hand, but it still came out a little crooked. I think it's the iron-on batting. It is very flexible, so it's hard to position when you're ironing it. I think the fabric followed the shape of the batting.

I'm considering what to put on my wish list for Christmas this year. Since money is so tight, I'm going to consider very carefully. I think it will probably be fabric so I can kit up a few charts I have. I still have enough ongoing projects to keep me busy, but a stitcher does not live by WIPs alone (at least not this one!).

I've been doing poorly on the diet this week. I just hope I haven't gained too much back! Matt and I are going to hit it hard this coming week. I saw a specialist for my back, and I really need to lose weight if I have any hope of getting my back to stop hurting. I could try physical therapy, but I've been through months at the chiropractor. I don't think it's going to do any good until I lose a good bit of weight. The only other option is surgery, and I definitely don't want that!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Harvest Time Exchange sent

Becky K received the Harvest Time Exchange I sent to her. The piece is Blessings Abide by the Cricket Collection. It was a freebie from the Cricket Collection website, but it's already been replaced with a Christmas piece. I used Gloriana Silk Apricot Grove for the words and then modified the DMC colors to match. I don't usually change colors, but I wanted a more autumn feel. This was also my first pouch finish (that I did myself and didn't get Mom to help with). I try to pick something I think matches the recipient's tastes...I hope I managed to do that. Becky said she liked it. :-)

This was a no goodies exchange, which is both a relief and a disappointment. I love finding extras to go with exchanges, but since money is tight, it's a relief that I have a reason not to spend. I'm going to hold off on exchanges until at least after the holidays. Even postage gets to be a bit much when you send off these exchanges nowadays. Sheesh. Having to economize really sucks. Not that I was profligate before, but now I have to really pay attention to each dollar.

Damier HD

Hurray! This one is finally done! I'm going to make a quilted wall hanging out of it, but not immediately. I'm sure the finishing urge will strike at some point. If you'd like the pattern for this piece, it's on Maryse's blog.

Right now I'm stitching on Just Nan's Autumn in the Square. I'm also going to work on a needlebook for the Monthly Finishing Challenge. Just two left for the year, and I've done all the others.

Longhorn in the family: Matt's now an official UT student! He starts classes in the spring. It means tons of student loans, but hopefully in two years he'll have his degree and can start making the big bucks, rather than the no bucks. :-) Logan had his "Future Longhorn" outfit on last night as we watched the trick-or-treaters come to the door. Yes, that's two college educations we're going to have to pay for.