Sunday, December 31, 2006

December goals reviewed, January goals

I'm absolutely loving working on My Stitching Treasures! It's a gorgeous piece, and the silks feel great. There are some errors in the chart, such as the name of the color to use not matching the number they give, but I can figure it out. I have a good many blocks done so far, as you can see in the pic.

Also--happy birthday to me! Yes, I'm now 37. Bleh. I'll work on resolutions for the coming year tomorrow.

Now I need to review my stitching goals for December:

HAED The Awakening--finish current page and next small page Done, plus another page
TrickORTreat--finish making it into a box, correct problems if I can Nope
Gray Cat--stitch it Done
1 ornament to finish Done
Exchanges--finish up New Years piece and stitch small piece Done
Work on HAED RR (whenever it shows up) and next Just Nan RR Done. HAED RR never showed
No new starts, other than Generosity by Drawn Thread I started my Christmas present, My Stitching Treasures

I really don't want to mess with TrickORTreat, but I'll keep putting it on my goals list til I do it. Here's what I want to do in January:

My Stitching Treasures--finish stitching it
HAED The Awakening--finish 2 pages
Love Quilts square--begin working on it
TrickORTreat--finish making it into a box, correct problems if I can
Exchanges--Work on HAED RR and next Just Nan RR; do finishing of birthday piece

I'm a little overwhelmed with all the stuff I got for Christmas and the things I've bought recently. I'm going to try to buy less in January and start writing down my cross stitch purchases. We'll see how that works.

Friday, December 29, 2006

New TV

We got the TV in today, and Matt set it up a little while ago. There's a black line going down the left side of the screen. I'm so annoyed I can't even watch the movie with him. Can't anything for once go right? I'm so bone-numbingly tired of things screwing up. I'm just sitting here and crying about this stupid thing.

And of course since we ordered it online, we can't just return it to the store. I just don't want to screw with it.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Awakening Page 25

I finished page 25 today, which puts me at 58% done. I got to stitch a few waterlilies this time around.

I also mailed my package for the New Year's exchange on the Rotation Stitchers bulletin board Tuesday. I'm a little early--it wasn't due until the 2nd, but it's nice to get it out the door.

I have quite a few projects to work on now. My mom left me her serger so I can finish the edges of my fabric, but it's not working properly--I have to figure out how to thread it. I wanted to serge the edges for My Stitching Treasures, but I may just use fray check or whip stitch it instead.

I finally got my floss in from Wyndham today. I had already bought some of the floss since they were taking so long. Eventually I'll learn my lesson and just get stuff from Ginger's.

House guest: We picked up our friend Jon from the airport last night. We took him to Chuys, a Tex Mex restaurant in Austin. I didn't really care for my enchiladas, but I knew that was probable going in. Today we went to Dragon's Lair (a gaming store) and Freebirds (excellent burritos). Matt and Jon are playing computer games at the moment. He leaves Saturday really early.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas present from DH

So I got a nice haul from Matt yesterday! I did indeed get the complete kit of My Stitching Treasures by Jeanette Douglas. I have been wanting this since I saw someone stitching it at last year's stitching camp. That box is a nice chunk of change, so I didn't want to just go out and buy it. It's just as beautiful as I remember!

Sneaky Matt actually wrote to Jeanette and enlisted her help in getting me all the correct supplies. All he had to do was pay for it, and she even arranged to get the box shipped to him! She sent him that little card saying "Matt, Merry Christmas."

You can bet I will be starting this one soon!

He also got me tons of CDs, more than I thought he would. I now have lots of '80s music to listen to. And he bought a very funny book called Eats, Shoots & Leaves, a book about the hazards of misusing commas. As an editor, I can appreciate this! The panda eats, shoots & leaves. Ow! Much different from eating shoots and leaves.

I decided to open my birthday present early since he said I'd then have more vacation time to enjoy it. I'm so glad I did. He bought me a new digital camera! I guess he got tired of my complaining about my old non-megapixel one that wouldn't hold a charge for more than a few seconds. The new one is a Canon Powershot S3 IS 6.0 megapixel camera. I'd link it, but I really don't want to know how much it cost. The pictures are lovely, as you can see. It has a nice zoom and flash, and can take little movies. I'm sure we'll have tons of movies of our pets soon.

Mom drove back to Louisiana yesterday. Matt and I had a quiet day home alone, watching the live action version of The Tick (one of his Christmas presents). We also played a little City of Heroes. Matt expected a call from his dad and uncle yesterday, but they never called. Surprising since it was his first Christmas without his mother.

I also stitched on The Awakening yesterday. Today I need to start working on cleaning up some clutter. We have a friend coming in to town tomorrow, and he's staying with us for a few days. At least Mom cleaned the house while she was here. :-)

Oh, and we'll probably get the TV in tomorrow!!!

I hope you all had a good Christmas. I'm just glad no one wound up in the ER!

Vandals: We did get in the surveillance camera, but it will not record hours of footage. It emails clips to you. Since lots of stuff moves in our front yard, setting up the motion sensor really wouldn't work. We're still trying to figure out what to do. Since it had been raining a lot, up to yesterday at lunch, we didn't have any trouble with them.

Dog: For some reason Lufy chewed a hole in one of Matt's shirts that was on the floor of the bedroom (a new one, of course). We let her sleep with us when it's cold or wet. We wondered why we had to put her out in the middle of the night to go hack! She also got very gassy yesterday, we think from ham scraps. She won't be getting those anymore. My poor girl's getting old.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas eve presents

We went over to see Marty, and he got me all three parts of Barnabee's Quest by Just Nan (part 1 is shown in the pic). It was on my Christmas list. I know someone whose blog I read was doing a SAL--I'll have to look it up. He also gave me my birthday present, which was 10 mesh project bags. Wow! I said a few, but this will hold every WIP I have even planned.

I also took home a few boxes of Matt's mom's cross stitch projects (she passed away a while back). Some projects have been started, so I may finish them and give them as presents to the family next year. I also have a Precious Moments piece that she had framed. I took it apart, and the acid paper has really yellowed it. I'll soak it in Orvus to see if I can get it a little cleaner. She was also a smoker, which I'm sure damaged it.

We had lunch with mom today. She returns home to Louisiana tomorrow. I'll get a wake-up knock on the bedroom door tomorrow morning at 4:00.

Last night we went over to see Matt's family--his aunt and her children, whom he hadn't seen in years. We had a really good time talking to them and catching up. They have a bunch of children. If we do wind up having a child, they won 't be close in age. Aw. We did a white elephant exchange, and I wound up with chocolate-covered pecans (yum), mom had two Hershey's cups with hot chocolate mixes (she gave me one), and Matt got a wooden helicopter you have to put together. They went by birthdays and went from December to January, so of course I was first. That also meant I got to pick last. I traded away a thumb drive and golf cooler.

I've been working on my birthday exchange piece, and I hope to put in the last stitch tonight. Then there will just be the finishing.

Friday, December 22, 2006

New Year's exchange piece finished, part deux

I finished up my second piece for the New Year's exchange. I kept stressing about the first piece, whether it fit the theme enough, so I stitched a second piece. I made it into a cube-it, and I think it came out rather well, if I do say so myself. It's all packed up and ready to mail.

Cutting the styrofoam was a nightmare. I just couldn't get it straight. I tried a paring knife and an electric knife, but what worked (mostly) was a very sharp knife my mom gave Matt. Someone suggested a hot wire tool, so next time I'm at Hobby Lobby, I'll give it a look.

Yesterday Mom and I went to Ginger's. Oh boy. I brought my two HAED quick stitches in to be framed. I usually frame my own pieces, but I want the mat to butt up right against the stitching. I'll leave that to the professionals! They're small, so they came out to be $100 each, which isn't too bad.

I was very bad and bought other things, like the Proper Stitch. I haven't gotten to read it yet, so no idea if I'll like it. I heard lots of rave reviews.

The pic below is a graphic of the border for the Chatelaine rose quilt. I bought my fabric for it yesterday. Because of the size (26.5" x 26.5"), I had to buy a full yard of cream 32-count linen. Yes, that was $60. Ouch! The fibers and such are also going to be a butload of money. I bought whatever floss Ginger's had, but it wasn't much.

I also found some white opalescent fabric for an ornament I want to stitch eventually (a freebie from Jean Farish's website). I bought a few yards of quilting fabric, too, one for a finish and one just because it was so gorgeous. I guess it's a good thing I don't get into Austin often!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Fairy prints

My mom gave me my Christmas present early. She found these three Amy Brown prints and thought of me. She had them framed at a local shop. These are now hanging in my dining room right next to the mantel I showed you a picture of the other day. She mentioned she wanted them in her bedroom (i.e., the guest bedroom), but I had other plans.

The prints are of Autumn Daydream, Firedance, and Fire Element.

The garland stayed up for a few days at least. One of the hooks came off, and now it's just dangling. If I could get to it, I'd fix it, but mom brought lots of boxes of her quilting supplies, as usual.

We also got in our new expensive office chairs. This is going to be so nice! Matt's going to have to lug them up the stairs.

We also treated ourselves to a new TV. It's a 52-inch Sharp Aquos LCD. We ordered it from after looking at it in Best Buy. We did buy a new TV stand there, which is sitting in the living room unassembled. We're thinking we're going to put Matt's old TV in the bedroom, but we're not sure how we're going to get a stand that will put it high enough to see in our huge bed. His TV is old, big, and heavy. That could be dangerous.

I took Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off work, so I'm free! I also have next week off. We have a full schedule. My mom is here, so we'll probably hit Ginger's tomorrow or Thursday. Matt's work's Christmas party is Friday, and we're going to see his relatives Saturday. We have a friend from out of town coming in next week, and I hope to see Cherylann (HasturTorres) at some point next week. I'm exhausted already!

Stitching: I'm stitching away on my birthday exchange piece, which of course I can't show off. I'm also waiting for some threads for the New Years exchange I'm doing. Ugh. They were supposed to be here by now. I received my Just Nan RR, which I need to take a look at.

Vandals: A police officer came by, and we had a good long talk. He was an interesting guy and made me feel better. I haven't been quite as stressed out, but we also haven't yet ordered the camera. I think I'm going to have to lean on Matt. We haven't had any more trouble since the police officer spent a good hour parked in front of our house. Maybe the vandals (i.e., kids in our circle) have gotten the message we're not playing around. Matt figured they hit us four separate times. I still want the camera.

Toe: My toe is healing, and I can just about walk normally. I can't spend too much time on it. We went in to Austin Saturday, and the shopping made my feet swell some. It could have also been the yummy but salty crab alfredo from Red Lobster. My birthday is on New Year's eve, I hate crowds, so we decided to have my special meal early. We'll probably also eat out in town on the day, but there's no place good here.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Vandals have struck again

Sometime between 8:00 and midnight, someone cut two of our Christmas light strings. So much for the street light being a deterent. We also think someone cut a light the night before. We're going to call the police again this morning and tell him to go talk to the neighbor we think is doing it. Enough is enough.

No one else is getting their lights cut. We've had a beef with those kids for playing basketball after 11:00, but that was months ago. I know the howeowners association is sending them regular notices about the basketball goal that they refuse to put away when they're done and the garbage cans they leave out all the time. They know Matt was on the board of directors; they probably don't know he quit, and he's the easiest target. If the parents flout the rules, I'm sure the children aren't going to be any better.

I am ordering the surveillance camera. This is stressing me out so much. My eye has been twitching again, which usually happens when I'm stressed. I sit and stitch and just stew. I feel my blood pressure rise when I think about these people who don't care who they hurt. I don't want them to ruin my Christmas, but as much as I try, I think they have.

I'm sorry for the rant. I hate that this negativity is taking me over, but all I can think about is catching them and making them pay compensation. If I get them on tape, I'm pressing charges, and I'm taking them to small claims court.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Too many ornaments

Yesterday I bought some 3M hooks and put up my Christmas garland and ornaments. I prefer to have more uniform ornaments on the tree itself, which we haven't put up yet. I'm just thinking that if I stitch anymore ornaments next year, I won't have any place to put them.

I'm also waiting for the whole thing to fall off the mantle....

I'm working on an exchange piece right now. I ordered the chart and fabric but didn't know that the chart was 4 threads over two, and the fabric was 20 count. Bleh! Instead I'm doing it 2 over 1. I think it's OK, but I'm still stressing about it. I guess I won't be convinced until I see the finished product.

Computer stuff: Matt's taking today off as a sanity day. He got in new parts for his computer and will work on that. Hopefully that will fix his problems. The guys are supposed to come over for some gaming Saturday.

We're also going to Best Buy Sunday to look at HD TVs. Yippee! We've put off buying a new television for a while now.

My toe: I went to the doctor yesterday, and the broken toe is healing. It's going to be crooked, though, which feels really weird because it pushes up against the other toe. My only alternative is to have surgery so they can put a pin in it. I don't think so. There goes my foot modeling career!

Rotten kids: The kids were playing basketball in the circle again last night, after I so kindly got the city to fix the burnt street light. I need to find out the time for the curfew and the noise ordinance. I used to know it but can't remember. Fortunately they had stopped by the time we were ready to go to bed. I swear, I'm going to call the cops if they don't. I'd talk to their parents, but they don't seem to be the type to care, and I get so nervous and stuttery during confrontation. I guess I'm out of practice. I used to verbally fight all the time with my dad and ex, but that was a long time ago, fortunately.

Matt doesn't think we should buy a surveillance camera since we're hoping to move in the spring. Ugh. I really want to catch the scumbags that cut my Christmas lights. We're also having to pick up every single package from the post office because the rotten kids have broken off the keys in the package lockers. The camera won't fix that because the mailbox is pretty far away (that's another rant).

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas exchange revealed

Leah received my package for the Christmas exchange, so I can finally reveal what I stitched! This is Just Nan's Christmas Hearts. It's a freebie pattern, but I do like it a lot. I must have stitched that middle heart five times to get it right. I may have to stitch another one for myself--only this time get it right the first time!

I think I should have used a more glamorous bow. And maybe I'll start taking pictures with a little more interesting background like I've seen on a few blogs. That might mean getting a better digital camera (and one that holds a charge for more than 5 seconds). Hm...

I also stitched Santa Keeper scissor fob from Drawn Thread, another freebie. This is the mystery item that I used the fuzzy stuff on. I finally took a pin and scraped it across each stitch. That sure fuzzed it up. I've also seen a wire brush on a store website, but I don't know if it's worth the investment. This is one I definitely want to stitch for myself, even though I don't use fobs on my scissors. Not bad for my first stitched fob!

In her package I also sent a variety of pecan candies from a local place, a University of Texas coaster for your car, and a Don't Mess with Texas magnet.

In other stitching news, I got my stuff and started working on my birthday exchange piece. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but I improvised. More on that later.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

In a Stable finish

This is In a Stable by Shepherd's Bush. I finally finished off the last of the Christmas ornaments I had stitched during the year. Major HD time! I wasn't looking forward to making a tuck pillow--not my favorite thing, for some reason. I think it looks OK. I do really like the fabric I used. The gold is a metallic, which looks good against the vibrant green.

So what to work on next... I've almost finished my December goals, except for finishing up TrickORTreat, which I don't feel like working on. I'm sure I'll find something.

Vandals: Matt found that the vandals who struck Friday also cut up our outside extension cord. He's going to have to get another one at the store tomorrow. The electric company came out today to fix the street light, but they have to come back tomorrow with parts. Now that's service! I'm going to order a surveillance camera just as soon as I find the right one.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Gray Cat HD

I finished this tonight. It's a silk gauze kit (40 count) by Kreinik and was very quick. Of course, it's not centered because the instructions are wrong. Argh. I might be able to get some more framing tape and move the gauze, but that would be a royal pain. I guess it depends on how much I hate it being off center.

The Awakening Page 24

I finished this on my lunch hour, sooner than I thought. Click on the pic.

I'm happy to have finished this row. Only 3-1/2 left (haha)! I'm 55% of the way done, though it looks like more than that. I'm getting to some interesting parts, and I'm finished with all the background trees (whew!).

I think I'll work on Gray Cat now since that's one of my goals for December.

Credit card HD

Yes, we paid off ALL the credit cards! We had been working on them, but with the insurance money from Matt's mom, we paid them all off. What a nice feeling. We may be getting a bit more insurance money, but we don't know yet. We'll probably even have enough to pay off the pricey office chairs we ordered.

I was feeling very angry yesterday over the cut Christmas lights. I don't want to be that bitter person who hates everyone, but I just really wanted to make the people responsible pay. I simmered all day yesterday until Matt fixed the lights. That made me feel a lot better. He said he wasn't going to let them ruin Christmas, so I guess I shouldn't either. He used some plastic shrink wrap (electrical stuff) and worked on them for a few hours yesterday. Now lets just hope no one cuts them again. I'm going to call the city today about getting the street light fixed, and then I'm going to order surveillance cameras.

Saturday we played City of Villains with the guys. Matt's computer is giving him a lot of trouble, so we admitted defeat, and he's ordering a new motherboard and a few other things. More money. At this point, we just want it fixed.

We watched Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest last night. It was OK but not nearly as good as the first one. I stitched for 14 hours straight on The Awakening yesterday while Matt did chores (poor guys). I should finish the last half page on that row tonight. New pic soon!

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Like DH and I don't have enough trouble right now! DH left the Christmas lights on last night, and someone cut them in several places. We called the police, and DH talked to them. We've had problems with some teenagers in the circle when they were playing basketball at all hours of the night this summer. I bet it was them. I am so furious right now it's not even funny. The street light is burnt out, so I'm going to call about getting it fixed on Monday. Then I'm going to get surveillance cameras. I want them to pay.

We're selling the house in the spring. Period.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Generosity HD

I just finished Generosity by Drawn Thread. There are two little buttons, a tree and a birdhouse (which are apparently fragile because I had to get the tree replaced). This was such a fun, quick stitch, and it's so cute. Hm, scan's a little crooked. It's so long it barely fits on my scanner. You'll have to click the link to see a proper picture of it.

I'm thinking of making it into a big wall hanging, kind of like a big Christmas ornament--front and back laced to matboard and stitched together, with a ribbon hanger. I haven't seen anyone do it that way, but it should be possible, right? DH is taking me to Wal-Mart tomorrow morning, so I can see if there's any fabric to match. I didn't manage to get there today.

Computer woes: Matt's having a time of it. His computer crashed, and he's trying to at least get it running for tomorrow's gaming session. I know this really gets to him.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Two little Cthulhus

I finally broke out the polymer clay and made some eyes for the Chthulhu dolls. I have two finished and two others mostly crocheted. I wanted to crochet some Santa hats for them, but I don't have any red yarn. I may make a Wal-Mart run (hobble) tomorrow.

I have new respect for people who make polymer clay buttons. It's harder than it looks on TV. It was rather difficult to make the eyes match and look decent. And you can see my fingerprints in the clay! I also made some heart buttons, pink on the inside and purple along the edges. The purple's not a uniform width because I don't have a roller (or pasta machine) and had to form it by hand. I don't know if I'll actually use them; I made them kind of thick.

I'm still stitching on Generosity and waiting patiently for a bunch of things to come in. I did get my purple eyelash yarn to make some hedgehogs. It's so soft! I also ordered a bow maker because I'm really tired of my bows looking off. Hopefully it will actually work.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas exchange received!

I received my exchange package from Leah yesterday! The exchange is from the Needle and Thread Bulletin Board. She said the piece is from the Cross Stitch Christmas 2002 magazine. It's stitched all in metallic braid and is really bright. I hate stitching in metallics, so I know the work that went into it! It's very cute, and I love it.

The candies are made of maple sugar. Matt is from Ohio, so he loved these. They were nice and crunchy on the outside and soft and smooth on the inside. I say "were" because the box is mostly empty now. I'm saving the rest for Matt. He'd better eat them soon!

I also received my package of 30 blocks of Sculpey clay. I'm almost afraid to open them because they're so neatly packaged.

Strange dream: I had a very disturbing dream last night. I dreamed that I was working on a few round robins, and I made a mistake or two. Then someone showed me that I had stitched "county" as "couty." She was very angry, and I said I would withdraw from the round robins. Now I've never made a mistake on an actual round robin that I know of, so this was very disturbing! I felt so bad! I guess it could have something to do with work issues (something where I didn't do what they were looking for). I was feeling very inadequate yesterday, so this all got jumbled up in my brain apparently.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Awakening Page 23

Hm, I forgot to blog about this yesterday. I finished another page, and it seemed to take forever. That's what happens when you play computer games! I've also been dabbling in other projects, which takes time away from this. Ugh, and my shoulder's hurting from the stitching and marking my chart.

So here it is (click on the pic). I hope to finish the next half page this month.

This morning I completed the finishing of my New Years exchange piece. I hope the recipient likes it! I'll show pics once she receives it (mailing is January 1). I also want to stitch another little piece, so I'll start that soon.

Yesterday I worked on Generosity some. I really love this chart for some reason. I don't even wear wool! Or know any sheep!

I received my person's name for BeckyBee's birthday club. I ordered some items--one to stitch for her and some to give as gifts. I probably ordered something for me in there somewhere.... I really need to work on a wishlist. I'm afraid the list I sent for the club was rather short and vague.

The little Cthulus are waiting to be stuffed and have their heads sewn on. I haven't received my polymer clay yet to make the eyes. Are eyeless Cthulus scarier? Oh, and I also haven't heard back from the pattern designer who promised tech support...grrr...

Dog: Lufy's off at the vet's today to get her teeth cleaned and to get a bath. Matt had to bring her in. I miss her already. :-(

The toe: The toe's not hurting unless I flex it. The mini migraines have gone away now that I stopped taking the birth control pills (we want to get pregnant, but I was taking Meridia so had to go on bc pills again). I guess it was the bc pills doing it. Very strange...I took bc pills most of my adult life, until just recently.

Friday, December 01, 2006

December goals

I hope to do more stitching in December. I'll have a week off, so that should help.

HAED The Awakening--finish current page and next small page
TrickORTreat--finish making it into a box, correct problems if I can
Gray Cat--stitch it
1 ornament to finish
Exchanges--finish up New Years piece and stitch small piece. Work on HAED RR (whenever it shows up) and next Just Nan RR
No new starts, other than Generosity by Drawn Thread

Health stuff: I'm still getting headaches, but they're a little better. I've stopped taking the Vicodin and ibuprofen since the foot isn't hurting much anymore. I guess the headaches could be from the Vicodin, but I've never had that reaction before. It could be caffeine withdrawal (had lots of Diet Cokes Saturday), but I've never had the headaches be this bad. I could also have a virus since I was a little hot a few nights. Whatever it is, it's bad, and I wish it would go away. You would think that Vidocin and huge ibuprofen pills would knock out any headache. The only thing that helps is my two Diet Cokes during the day. Oh, and my back is starting to hurt from walking funny. Lovely.