Wednesday, December 31, 2008

May you have a happy new year!

It's almost the new year, and I wanted to thank everyone who reads my blog. I appreciate your comments, every one. And if I've somehow missed your blog on my list of reading, please leave me a comment with the address and I'll add you.

Today is my birthday, and I'm 39. Yes, I'm a tax baby. I've had a lovely day so far. Matt, Logan, and I went to McDonald's for breakfast, first thing. I'm not a fan of McDonald's, but I do love their breakfasts, which I rarely get. We picked out a chocolate cake, and Matt's making me spaghetti for supper. I've already gotten stitching stuff for my birthday, but I couldn't resist Teresa Wentzler's latest release, which came out today, Delightful Dragon Fob. What a great gift to myself!

It's been a rough year for us with Matt losing his job, but I'm so excited that he's going back to school. Sometimes God has to kick you in the pants to get you to do what you should. Matt's a brilliant person, and it always seemed like such a shame that he was held back by a piece of paper. Now he's going to have the opportunity to go to college without having to also hold down a full-time job. We'll make it somehow, and the reward will be worth it. My son has been such a blessing. He's a beautiful boy who continues to amaze us with his intelligence (we have nothing to compare him to, but we think he's smart). He's only had minor illnesses, and I continue to hope he will miss out on the horrible ear infections his dad had as a kid. My mom's been a big help, and she's managed to sell her house even in this economy. Not too bad, actually.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yearly goals

Here's how I did, stitching-wise, in 2008 and what I hope to accomplish in 2009.

Pieces I finished in 2008:

  • Needle Guardian
  • Celestial Sun
  • Celestial Moon
  • TrickORTreat (finishing)
  • Lady Scarlet Box
  • Spring Peepers
  • Cherub Garden
  • Spring in the Square
  • Autumn in the Square
  • Winter in the Square
  • Summer in the Square
  • Mini Topiary Sampler
  • Ball Ornaments
  • Four Fat Friends
  • Boo Scissor Purse
  • Boo Scissor Keeper
  • It's Halloween
  • Bountiful Acorns Needleroll
  • Olde English Needleroll
  • Shamrock Needleroll
  • Remembrance Rose Needleroll
  • Blueberry Needleroll
  • Halloween Fob
  • Covent Garden Rosebuds
  • Holly Needleroll
  • Forget Me Not Needleroll
  • Exotic Butterflies (with MIL)
  • Little Lambs Needleroll
  • Best Wishes Bunny
  • Pig
  • Damier (Checkerboard)
  • Exchanges: Fantasy Triptych panel, For the Birds, Love Blooms, Heart Fob, Christmas Ornament, The Bakery, Halloween Night, November Harvest Pumpkin, Little Pumpkins, and Blessings Abound

Current WIPs:

  • Autumn Faerie
  • Rose Quilt
  • Maggie the Messmaker
  • Magnificent Wizard
  • Eternal Promise

Review of stitching goals for 2008:

  • Chatelaine's Rose and Butterfly Quilt--nope, though I did work on it
  • Maggie the Messmaker--nope, though I did work on it
  • TrickORTreat--finished
  • MIL's piece--finished
  • At least 10 pages of any HAED--nope, only did one page

Stitching/craft goals for 2009:

  • Autumn Faerie
  • Chatelaine's Rose and Butterfly Quilt
  • Maggie the Messmaker
  • Magnificent Wizard (work some on it)
  • Work on more Teresa Wentzler pieces
  • Start an embroidered knot garden
  • Try doll making/polymer clay
  • Make more cakes

Here are my life goals, which are always more difficult to achieve.

Review of life goals for 2008:

  • Lose weight--I wanted to lose 50 pounds but only lost 25. It's better than nothing.
  • Work--I'm enjoying work more now that I'm not alone in the house. I also think I'm doing a better job.

Life goals for 2009:

  • Lose weight--I'm a little over 300 pounds now. I'd like to lose at least 50 pounds in the coming year.
  • Family--Get involved with Logan's activities, support Matt while he's in school (doing the housework, etc.), and don't let my temper get the best of me.
  • Work--Do a better job and learn new things. Go outside my comfort zone.
  • Money--Keep the spending to a minimum. Don't buy cross stitch stuff and nonessentials if I can help it.

This is just a list I like to keep so I can stay on track. If I don't acomplish them all, that's OK. Life's a journey. :-)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Autumn Faerie Week 3

I didn't get as much stitching done as I had hoped, but I did get a whole day when Cheryl (HasturTorres) came over for a visit. That was so much fun!

After Christmas, I got to fondle my fabric for Skeleton Crew and the chart for My Stitching Treasures Accessories. I'm still waiting for the fabric and charms for it. As soon as I try out my mom's serger on the fabric, I'm going to start Skeleton Crew.

We had a nice Christmas. Logan enjoyed his presents, though he was a little nervous about climbing up on his Kangaroo Climber (one of these big plastic houses with a slide). That's OK because it can be dangerous without adult supervision. I really need to get rid of some of his old toys. The living room looks like his toy bag exploded. Oh, today was his first day of daycare. He smiled at the other kids, who mostly ignored him, lol. Matt and I snuck out, and we heard him crying when he realized we weren't there. It broke my heart. He's doing half days this week, and then we'll start him on full days next week. Matt's taking two weeks off before he heads back to college. That ought to be another gut-wrencher for me, sending my love off to college, but it won't be as bad. :-)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Autumn Faerie Week 2

Here she is. I just love the way the apple changes color. I did wind up having to redo part of the circular border. I had mixed up one of the colors. I guess there is a downside to trying to stitch while looking after Logan.

I work today and half a day tomorrow, and then I don't have to go back to work until January 5. Woohoo! We didn't get much Christmas decorating done, and I don't think we will. Matt managed to get the tree up and lit, but I never did get the ornaments on it. Oh well, I think it's better that way. We don't have to worry about Logan taking the ornaments off.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Autumn Faerie progress

Half the border in one week. That's not too bad. I'm enjoying working on this piece. I usually do the border first because it's the part that tends to get boring. This way I'm still excited enough to get it done and have some more interesting stitching to look forward to. Though really, when I'm looking after Logan, the border is much easier to stitch than anything that takes some attention. The boy is a handful. I may get another faerie ready to go in case I need some easy stitching.

I saw the neatest Christmas ornament on Su's blog. I looked for instructions and found some. I also found some other neat projects I may have to do.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Finishing of second Ball Ornament

So...I got the bug to finish this one last night after all. Piecing the border is a bit of a pain, especially when my machine decides to bunch up the thread underneath. Otherwise, fun!

I've been reading Embroidered Knot Gardens. It's fascinating. And it's something I think I can do. The only thing I can't do is knitting, but I think I could get the same effect from crocheting. And of course it takes money to buy these specialty fibers and other materials. I think in the spring I'll need to start visiting some gardens for inspiration and start my planning. Once that's done, maybe I can afford a few supplies. As Matt says, like I need another hobby! :-)

Speaking of reading: I finished Mercedes Lackey's Oathbound series. While I like reading the tried-and-true warrior and sorceress stories, the serial nature of the short stories is rather annoying when you read them all at once. I've moved on to the Alberich novels, which are good reading. I'm so glad I decided to reread her books.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ball ornament finishing

I completed this ornament today. It's taken me a while to figure out just how I wanted to do it. The fabric is a little bright for the piece, but it just felt right when I put it together. It's not stuffed, just quilted around the piece in gold thread. With all the layers (fabric pieces and interfacing), it's pretty sturdy. I still have the other one to do, but I'm in no rush.

The piece itself was a little off-square. I think when I stitched it, it wasn't properly aligned in the Qsnaps. It's sometimes hard with a tiny piece of fabric. I really need to be more careful about that. Sometimes I just plop the fabric in there any old way.

As for the finishing stitching, I just need to realize that sewing on the machine will not be perfect. Unless I buy an expensive foot (if they make one for my machine), where the needle goes will never be exact. Machine stitching is so different from hand stitching. My mom tells me that quilters like the puckering of the fabric caused by quilting. Cross stitchers definitely don't!

Maggie the Messmaker update

Last night as we watched Stargate: Atlantis and Sanctuary, I pulled out the stand and worked on this piece. I do that whenever I get a chance. Logan is now letting me stitch in his presence (thankfully), and I can usually convince him to leave my supplies alone. The stand, however, is another story. He loves unscrewing the knobs and does so constantly when I let him. So, the stand only comes out when he's in bed. I managed to finish up the windows and work on the box just under it. A bit more and I'll be halfway done. These Dimension pieces just take forever. TWs are a breeze compared to this!

Speaking of, I did start on Teresa Wentzler's Autumn Faerie. I've got a fair amount of the border done. I'll probably post a progress pic Sunday. I really like working on this piece. It's big enough to be a good TW and small enough to put on my Qsnaps.

Also, I received my books on gingerbread houses and embroidered knot gardens. The gingerbread book was underwhelming; I think it had one house that I'd actually like to build. But at least it gives directions on how to make one. I plan to try it when I have a chance. The embroidered knot garden book is fascinating. It looks like I may need to take up yet another hobby. I've never done some of the stitching the book discusses, but it looks like something I can handle. I just need to figure out what kind of garden inspires me.

Oh, by the way, no, we didn't get any snow. Towns near us did, but we missed out. Darn it.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Needleroll finishing

I finished off these two Sweetheart Tree needlerolls this weekend. I've done seven so far. Brenda Lou asked if I was doing these as presents. Nope, they're all mine. I'd like to finish the entire series someday, which means six left to do.

I'm going to work on finishing my two Jeannette Douglas ornaments next. Matt's dad is visiting until tomorrow morning, and Mom's in Louisiana until probably Thursday, so that leaves little time for stitching. We also need to dig the Christmas stuff out of storage and put everything up.

As I thought would happen, the Stitching Bloggers Exchange Bulletin Board (SBEBB) is no more. I joined Carol's Hooked on Exchanging board/blog to get my exchange fix. :-) Looks like fun!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Forget Me Not HD

I finished the stitching on this Sweetheart Tree needleroll last night. I didn't used the recommended beads. They were a completely off color, so I found some leftover Delicas to use instead. They're a little more squared off than the Mill Hill beads I used in the centers of the flowers, but the color matches much better.

Six more needlerolls to go...

I think I'm going to work on some finishing this weekend. Matt's dad is coming in to town from Ohio for three days, and I have no idea what we'll wind up doing.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ball Ornaments HD

I finished these Saturday. They're by Jeannette Douglas; one was in the Just Cross Stitch 2008 Ornament Preview Issue, and other one was in the 2008 Ornament Issue. I'm going to finished these for the Monthly Finishing Challenge. I'm thinking little pillow ornaments. They're really small pieces, in case you can't tell.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Spider from HasturTorres

Cherylann came over this past Sunday, and we worked on some finishing projects while the husbands played Left 4 Dead (a zombie computer game Matt loves but I find gross). One of the things we finished was this neato spider! And it's mine! What's really strange is that I hate the color orange but really love it on fall or Halloween pieces. In this case, I love it. Isn't it awesome?

So I of course had to show her all my stash, WIPs, and finished pieces (many of them sadly unframed). I kept finding stuff all over the house. Since my sewing room was converted into Logan's room, I've had to store my stuff all over the place.

We also decided to do a Teresa Wentzler's Autumn Fairy stitch-along once we finish our current projects (a Sweetheart Tree needleroll for me). Anyone want to join us? I'm going to do mine on 28-count antique white Jobelan, but I don't have enough for all four fairies. I think I'm going to have to go to the LNS and see if my color of fabric matches what they have in stock for my fourth piece. I plan to do all four someday, and and I definitely want the fabric to match.

Another obsession: I ordered two books: one on gingerbread house decorating and Embroidered Knot Gardens. I'm in the building mood. I've always had dreams (the sleeping kind) of huge, neverending houses that belong to me but I somehow have never explored. Hm, maybe I should have been an architect....

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

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.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween exchange received

I received this lovely piece from Judith the other day. I know she was getting worried about it. It's part of Just Nan's Witch Way. I've always loved this piece. I stitched it a while back but never did the finishing. Her little pillow is just adorable! Thanks, Judith. I appreciate it very much.

I've also been baking again. I made this cake and a bunch of chocolate mice for a bake sale at work (the full story).

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin Patch Exchange received

Isn't this a great exchange I received from Carol? I think this is the third time she's gotten my name. I get excited every time I see her name on a package. :-)

The mattress is from Scary Crows by Holiday Sparrow, and the floss ring tag is Boo! by Barbara Ana Designs. The more Barbara Ana pieces I see, the more I think I need to stitch some!

The package also had some ghost peeps, but my mom scarfed them up before I could take a picture.

In other news, my sewing machine is giving me problems. At least I managed to finish my Harvest Time Exchange piece before it started acting up. I'm hoping Mom can fix it tonight for me.

I've been working on the border of Damier. A little more and the piece will finally be done!

Diet: I've lost 25 pounds so far. Yay me! This week's been a little bad since I've been making sweets for the bake sale at work. Of course I have to sample them to see if they're good!

City of Heroes MMO: The Halloween event continues. Matt and I now have six characters that are up to level 50. This latest one is my oldest character who had been kind of languishing. I'm so glad to see her "retired." We've been playing for almost four years now.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spring in the Square HD

I finished Just Nan's Spring in the Square last night. I like how it turned out. I just happened to grab spring; maybe I'll go for fall next, which is my favorite season.

City of Heroes: Matt and I have been playing City of Heroes as time permits. Right now there's a Halloween event going on. At certain times, the zombies invade. They pop up out of the ground, and everyone goes to work on them. It's sometimes a lag-fest, but it's fun. You can also click on doors and get a trick (more bad guys) or a treat (a Halloween costume or loot). I can tell we're going to be spending as much free time as we can on it.

Warhammer Online: I considered trying out this MMO (massive multiplayer online game), but they don't have a free trial, and the one trial I found at a LAN center (which Matt had to go into the city for) you have to play at the LAN center because there's no way to download the program. Argh! I probably wouldn't like it anyway because of the plaver versus player emphasis.

Going back to school: Matt's been officially accepted back to his old university. We're going to have to take out student loans and such (ugh), but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. It doesn't look like he'll get a good job without that engineering degree. It's going to be a rough couple of years for all of us.

Reading: I finished rereading Mercedes Lackey's Mage Wars series (I love griffons). Now it's on to the Last Herald-Mage series. Yes, it still makes me cry.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pumpkin Patch Exchange sent

Chris let me know that she received my Pumpkin Patch Exchange. I think this was one of my favorite packages to get together. It was a challenge to find pumpkin things, and I'm rather proud of what I came up with. Chris said she liked it too, so that makes me happy.

The main piece I stitched was November Harvest Pumpkin, a freebie from the Rainbow Gallery website (I substituted for all the colors, mostly WDW). I made it into a box, my first. More pics.

I also stitched another little piece. This is the one I was tempted to keep for myself because it was so cute. More pics.

As for the extras, I made two hand-made items. One was a stuffed pumpkin. My mom sewed it on the machine, and then I put it together. My machine can't do fancy curved stitching. Or maybe it's the operator.

Lastly, I made some polymer clay magnets. Yes, they're slightly different, but then pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pig tin

I stitched up this little tin for my mom. It's from 52 Pigs by Jeanette Crews Designs. Mom's weight-loss group back home collects pigs. She wanted me to make 10 others for her friends...but I declined. I'm not keen on repeats.

I'm still working on Just Nan's Spring in the Square. Pics when I'm done.

Thank you so much for the kind comments on my blog. I know how hard it is to keep up with blogs, much less leave comments. :-)

Baby...toddler? Logan got his first haircut the other day. Matt had to hold him down, so I hear. The hairdresser cut his hair way too short. My little cutie lost his few curls and looks like a little boy rather than a baby. Aw. He's getting the hang of walking without holding on, but he's still very wobbly.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Finishing of It's Halloween

Here's my finish of It's Halloween by the Drawn Thread. This is my second flat fold, the first for myself. I'm getting less nervous about using glue in my finishing, though it can be messy if you're not careful. I used a piece of fabric I received in an exchange, and I had just enough. I like it with this piece, and it has the same elements that the piece does.

I mailed off my exchange for the SBEBB Pumpkin Patch Exchange and am looking forward to getting my Halloween Exchange package. I'm working on the finishing of my Harvest Time piece right now.

I also started Just Nan's Spring in the Square. It's smaller than I thought. I plan on stitching all four seasons and doing a wall hanging of some sort. I have lots of larger things I could be working on, but it's still difficult to get a chunk of time worth hauling out a larger piece. There's no way I can stitch with Logan in the room. He always wants to play with Mom's toys.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Typo Hunt Across America

I enjoyed Typo Hunt Across America, the blog where the author and his friend find typos and then fix them (usually after asking permission). I checked it today, and apparently it's been taken down. This was in its place. I could only surmise that they fixed a typo on public land. While I agree you shouldn't fix historical signs, this statement made my blood boil: "It is absolutely egotistical for one to think that one can tell others how to spell." TEAL obviously did not write this. Egotistical? Really? Ever heard of a DICTIONARY? There's nothing unequivocal about a misspelling on a modern sign.

I found this at the Laughing Squid: "On August 11th Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson of The Typo Eradication Advancement League (TEAL) plead guilty to conspiracy to vandalize government property at the Grand Canyon National Park. They were sentenced to a year's probation and banned from National Parks for a year." Someone commented that "The 'Government Sign' they 'Corrected' was a historical hand painted sign by the builder of the lodge it was in."

Defacing any historical item gives me the heebie jeebies (I can't watch National Treasure without wincing the whole way through, and that's not just because of Nicholas Cage's acting). They did go too far there and should pay the consequences (though I don't know how "historical" this sign is). But I think the spirit of what they did was right. People are much too complacent about typos in what should be a finished product (and if you find a typo in my blog, I'll fix it). I read the other comments, and it amazes me that people think TEAL should have gotten harsher penalties or that they should "leave people alone." They're not mass murderers; they actually want our world to be a better place with correct grammar and spelling. Apparently some people are so defensive about their mistakes that they want those mistakes to live forever.

And I'm not just saying that because I make my living by finding typos. ;-)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Halloween Exchange and updates

Donna received the exchange I sent her for the SBEBB. I stitched Halloween Night by Helga Mandl (from This was my first basket lid. I learned a lot doing it and look forward to my next one. Yes, I designed a basket liner and stitched it myself! There are more pics on my website, which is finally up again! My mom sewed six Halloween placemat for me. One side has fabric that matches the basket, and the other has orange. The little spider is cute. You rev it a few times, and it will run on its own. Donna said she liked it. I really enjoyed getting this one together.

I also really had fun with the Pumpkin Patch Exchange. That one is packaged up and ready to be mailed off next Monday.

I think I've figured out what to stitch for the Harvest Time Exchange. I'm going to cool it after that one. We'll be going into the busy holidays, and I need to spend even less money than I have been. Matt's planning to go back to school in the spring, even without a job, so money's going to be tight. Especially after his unemployment runs out....

I stitched the last row of Damier and then realized I didn't like the three letters clumped together. So I ripped a little and did some restitching. Here's the product, which I like better. All that's left is the border, which will be released at the end of this month.

And lastly (for now), here's my Maggie the Messmaker update.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

My website's down

We're going on the third day that my website has been down. GoDaddy says they're moving my site to a different server for improved performance. I've never had any problems with my site until now! I am really not happy about this, but they say they're working on it.

So the pictures I wish I could show you are my Halloween exchange that my partner received, an update on Maggie the Messmaker, and the last row of Damier (I just have the border left, which will come next month).

I'm sure I also have a photo from Logan's birthday, where he's covered in chocolate cake, as is usual for baby's first birthday. He goes in today for his one-year shots. Oh boy.

Reading: I've been collecting fantasy novels since I was 13, but I rarely reread books. Matt suggested rereading them since we can't afford to buy many new ones. So I started with my favorite author, Mercedes Lackey. I decided to read the Valdemar books in chronological order, not by publication date as I originally did. I've started on the Mage War series. It's surprising how much I've forgotten about what happens. I'm enjoying them so far. But then I really like gryphons. :-)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cherub Garden framing HD

This took a minute or two to frame today, no sweat. I'll have a new pic on Maggie the Messmaker soon.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cherub Garden HD

Continuing my streak of smalls, here's Cherub Garden by Just Nan. I still need to put it into the cherub Whimzi frame that came with it. It's amazing how much I have to frog when I don't highlight the chart, even for tiny pieces like this.

The last row of Damier just came out, so I'll be working on that next. There will still be the border to do next month, but it will be great to see the whole picture. I'm debating about moving the letters around. We'll see.

It's been a crazy weekend, very busy. Logan's birthday is this week! What a year it's been. He's a high-maintenance baby, needing attention most of the time (thank goodness Mom's here!). But he's such a cutie, and I wouldn't trade him for the world.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Holly Needleroll HD

I finished the stitching on this needleroll last night. It's really more magenta than the picture shows.

I received some fabric from Threadneedle Street, so I started working on Just Nan's Cherub Garden for When Pink Matters. I really like that I can buy small cuts of fabric and not spend a ton just for the various colors I need. Right now since money's so tight, that comes in handy. Matt still hasn't found a job yet, other than being a full-time daddy. He does a great job, but the pay's kinda shabby. ;-)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Think Pink Exchange received

I got the most wonderful Think Pink Exchange from Carol. The piece is Red Desert Scissor Pocket by Cat's Whiskers Design Studio. It's stitched on 28-count Bo Peep pink Cashel linen with Victorian Motto sampler thread in antique pink. She also sent a bunch of pink goodies.

Carol's stitching and finishing are just perfect. I'm a little envious. The delicate pink shading to blue that she used is just my taste. I love it all. Thanks so much, Carol! You've done it again. :-)

On the homefront: Now that Matt's better, Logan's gotten sick. Poor little guy has an ear infection in both ears, and his nose is running green gunk. We wondered why he wasn't sleeping at night (again), and now we know. It's going to be a hellacious week. His birthday (already!) is next week, so I hope he's all better by then. If it were Matt or I, that would not be the case, but I hope his system is stronger than ours. I can hope.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Maggie the Messmaker update

I guess it's time to post another progress pic of this one. I stitch on it here and there since I don't have big blocks of time like I used to, and I've been working on smalls lately. I finished a few rows above the kitty's head this time around. I still have more than half left to stitch.

I finished off a small piece for the Pumpkin Patch Exchange and am almost done with the finishing on the main piece. The small piece turned out so nice I wish I could keep it! I may need to make one for myself. I gave in and signed up for the Autumn Exchange too. I just love fall and couldn't resist.

Check out Becky's newest endeavor, When PINK Matters. I had a grandmother and aunt who had breast cancer (on opposite sides of the family, yikes). One survived and one didn't.

Many thanks to Barbara who pointed out that my exchange partner was Cathy, not Chris. I'm just horrible with names!

Matt's been feeling better and having no nosebleeds, so the household is finally getting back to normal. Yay!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Think Pink Exchange sent

Cathy emailed me that she received the Think Pink Exchange I sent to her. I stitched The Bakery from Country Cottage Needleworks that I made into a wall hanging. This is not something I would stitch for myself, but I think it's really cute and I like how it turned out. The finishing isn't perfect, of course, but I'm getting better! This was the first time I did a bias edging. Well, my mom did some of it. ;-) I had some problems with the blue marker ink that's supposed to disappear when you wet it. I kept wetting it, and it kept reappearing! I would have just dunked the whole thing, but I used Crescent Colors for the green border, and it's definitely not colorfast. I substituted a few other colors to make it more pink. I really should have done a floss toss because some of the colors got lost on the cream linen.

Oh, and Cathy also got one of my ort bags, other goodies, and another Country Cottage Needleworks chart that was on her wishlist. If anyone would like the chart for The Bakery, please email me. It would be nice to trade something, but it's not necessary. Just please make sure it's something you really want to stitch! (Gone)

I also have some Boxtops for Education up for grabs. I keep saving the things, and Logan won't need them for a while. (Gone)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Covent Garden Rosebuds HD

I finished this sweet little piece this morning. I bought the chart from someone who was cleaning out their stash. I didn't know if I would like the hearts that Sweetheart Tree does, but I do really like this one. I used some DMC variegated instead of the Needle Necessities it calls for, and the colors work great. I also found some substitute beads in my stash. I'll probably turn this into a pinkeep later, but I'll hold onto it for a bit and see if I can use it for the Monthly Finishing Challenge.

I'm a little "finished" out right now anyway. I completed the finishing of my Halloween Exchange piece Friday. It was a new finish for me, and I learned a few things, mostly what not to do. I like the way it turned out, but of course I keep seeing the flaws, things I should have done differently. Someone smack me a bit.

I started working on my Pumpkin Patch Exchange stitching last night. I had to find my own colors for it, and I'm not sure I like the ones I picked now that I see it taking shape. Color is always difficult for me. I think in black and white--literally. I can't really fault my brain for working like that. I've been blessed with a pretty good one otherwise. :-)

Oh, here's a pic of the ort bags Mom and I make, as requested. If you're interested in buying one, please email me.

Hurricane Ike: We got not a drop of rain, even though everyone was preparing for the worst. Matt was disappointed because he was looking forward to a good storm. We just don't get that many where we are in Texas. He was also looking forward to monitoring it with his weather station.

My sick husband: Matt's starting to feel better. It's about time! His nose is still bleeding regularly. I normally think of nosebleeds as no big deal because I had them a lot as a kid (hereditary thing), but when you think they might not stop, they can be scary.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Working on my Halloween exchange

No pictures at the moment because I'm working on my Halloween exchange piece. It will involve some sewing, which I'm excited/nervous about. Then I need to work on the Pumpkin Patch exchange. I'm contemplating the Autumn exchange, but I don't want to get overwhelmed. I just love fall!

I'll mail my Think Pink exchange this week. I'm having some problems getting the blue marking pen out. I can't immerse the piece because it uses noncolorfast floss. I'm in a quandary.

Matt's sick...again: So today I'm home taking care of the baby and Matt. Last night I took Matt to the emergency room because his nose had been bleeding for an hour and just wouldn't stop. They put some Afrin on a gauze pad and stuck it up his nose. Apparently that's the trick to getting nosebleeds to stop. He went to the doctor again this morning and got different antibiotics and a referral to an ENT. The doc said he might need tubes in his ears, which he had when he was a kid. Just lovely. I don't like missing work again, but I took pity on the poor hubby. Not to mention I'm not feeling all that great after missing half my sleep and maybe getting sick again. Oh, and yesterday was our five-year wedding anniversary. We've had a wonderful five years but not-so-wonderful anniversary. Oh well, we have our entire lives to celebrate!

Hurricane aftermath: All the relatives made it through the hurricane. My mom's house in Louisiana had some missing shingles, and a bunch of bricks from the chimney came down. Katrina and Rita did worse damage to the roof (which needed to be replaced), but the chimney may be a mess to fix. But then it's at least 100 years old. The relatives said they're supposed to be without power for several weeks. When I was a kid, it was never more than a few days, but apparently the hurricane knocked down most of the power lines.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Bunny floss ring tag

When is a happy dance not a happy dance? When you screw up the finishing at the last minute. Ugh! I checked the eyelet placement on the front, but I forgot to check it on the back. I noticed as I was cutting the hole through the back piece. How aggravating! Sorry to be so negative, but this kind of thing drives me nuts. Not enough to redo it, of course.

This piece is called Best Wishes Bunny by Debra Page. It's a freebie from I've wanted to stitch it for a while. I charted out the back and designed the carrot myself. I used some Crescent Colors and Weeks Dye Works, in addition to DMC.

This was my floss ring tag for the Monthly Finishing Challenge. Ring tags are cute, but I doubt I'll do this finishing again.

My mom and I stitched up some ort bags and are selling them, $15 plus postage. Email me if you're interested.