Sunday, December 02, 2012

HOE Thanksgiving pinkeep received

I received this beautiful exchange from Kayona. She was very understanding about the move and waited to mail it once we were in the new house.

The piece is Thankful Quaker by Bent Creek. She added colors and buttons and did a really nice job with it. The finishing is perfect.

Saturday, December 01, 2012


I've decided to join the Austin chapter of the EGA; I love talking to other stitchers. I'm going to their Christmas party tomorrow. I see that they have a show in the spring. If all goes well and they allow it, I think I'll exhibit a few of my pieces. I'd like to solicit feedback on what I should show. What do you think? All my pieces are on my website,

I think I can part with my large HAED, The Awakening, for a weekend (that piece stayed with me at all times during the move).

I've considered my Chatelaine Rose and Butterfly Quilt, but it's unframed and so large. I don't know how I'd display it. It's too nice to turn into an actual quilt.

We've moved!

A lot has happened since I last posted. Someone made an offer on our house, which had been on the market for over a year (I was about to take the listing down so it would reset after three months of being down). They gave us about three weeks to move, which, as you can imagine, is not much time at all to pack up a fairly large house with four people living in it.

The realtor kept telling us that it wasn't a done deal until after the inspection, etc., and we kept saying we can't wait around until it is! So we had to pack even though we knew there was a chance the buyers would back out. We also had to consider where we would live. I didn't like the idea of moving into temporary housing because that would mean two moves. And our movers wound up costing $2,500! As it turned out, the temporary housing we were counting on was booked up, and we really didn't want to stay in an apartment for six months.

So we started looking at houses. Again, the realtor said we couldn't make any real plans until the option period passes on our house. And we said we can't afford to wait! So we looked at about 16 houses over two weekends. None really grabbed us except for one. Matt and I both decided it could be the one. Our realtor made a few inquiries to get more information and found out another offer had already been made on the house. I didn't like being rushed, but we decided to make an offer anyway. The sellers had a verbal agreement with some other buyers, but those buyers weren't getting back to them with a contract. In real estate, a verbal agreement means nothing. So we offered list price, which they accepted.

We also asked if we could lease the house for a month while our paperwork got processed. Amazingly, they said yes, but they wanted a huge deposit and would only let us move once our house was closed.

So there were quite a few dominoes lined up, and I didn't sleep this entire time (2-4 hours a night for a person who usually needs at least 7 to function--I didn't sleep until we spent our first night in the new house). So if anything went wrong with selling the old house, we'd have no place to live, and our furniture was all with the movers. We spent two nights at a hotel with no house. Scarier than you would think.

We also had to worry about the cats. At first, we were going to keep them in the hotel with us because I thought this would be less stressful. We found a hotel that took pets, and when we were checking in, they said they didn't take cats. What? You said you would--on your website and on the phone! I was so angry. So we scrambled to find a hotel that would take the cats, and then of course later I decided to board them anyway because I did not relish having to pull the wild cat out from under the bed (what hotel doesn't block under the bed?). (How wild is this cat? The vet couldn't give her shots because they couldn't hold her down.)

Another hiccup was that Fed Ex screwed up the delivery of some paperwork, but we closed on time, and we got to move into the new house. We have our closing Monday, and everything looks good. I'm looking forward to putting some nails in the walls!

I keep telling Matt how much I love the house. The exterior isn't my favorite, but the interior is gorgeous and roomy. I have granite countertops. I have more cabinet space than I know what to do with. I have a utility room and a sunroom. I have high ceilings again. I have my own sewing room, and my mom has her own too! There's a playground behind our house for Logan, and the neighborhood is great. It's only 30 minutes from work, instead of 60.

So it all worked out after a lot of stress and a lot of time. We still have a lot of work to do to get the house unpacked and like we want it, but we have time, and more now that we don't have to drive as much.

Just don't ask me how I'm doing on my diet.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Last Joan Elliott RR piece

I finished this petite angel for Melva's round robin piece. She's so pretty. I think this is the one of the four angels that I would have chosen anyway, so it worked out that she was the last one left. This is the last piece for the RR, and I should be getting mine back in a few weeks.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Received my Halloween exchange

Stephanie sent me this wonderful Halloween exchange. Isn't it great? I love the spider ornament. It's really detailed and has lovely beading.

Halloween cupcakes!

Logan found these cat cupcakes in a magazine and had to have them. So since his birthday is in October, I made them for his party at daycare. I did a little substituting -- black Twizzlers for the ears instead of the blackberry candy I couldn't find, and fruit roll-ups for the tongues instead of purple confetti candy. I also used crushed Oreos instead of black sanding sugar. Who wants to crunch into sugar on a cupcake?

They were a lot of work. Who knew? I guess I'll have to think hard before deciding to make homemade decorations. Logan was very excited about giving them to his friends (and was indignant when one of his friends threw one away). They meant something to him, so they were worth the effort.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New baby quilt

One of my cousins is having a baby, so my mom made this cute quilt. I really hope the ultrasound is right...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mermaid Song purse front

I've finally finished another piece of Mermaid Song by Victoria Sampler. I have two smaller items left to do. We'll see how long that takes.

I also finished a piece for the Hooked on Exchanging Halloween exchange, which I need to mail out very soon. I want to make another just like it for myself, so that's on the agenda too.

Oh, and I plan to stitch Logan a Christmas stocking. I bought a pattern that has lots of little cars, so I'm planning to arrange them on the stocking and add his name at the top. I couldn't think of anything more appropriate for a kid as crazy about cars as I was about horses at his age. Speaking of which, he's turning five next month. Can you believe that?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fairy Queen

I stitched part of Joan Elliott's Fairy Queen for Karen's round robin piece. Joan's faces are so pretty.

Another 5K: I signed up for the Sea World Race for the Fund 5K in October. Now to train, train, train...

Monday, September 03, 2012

Sizzle HD

I finished stitching this Just Nan piece a while back and did the finishing today. Very easy. This was a piece I bought at Ginger's when it was going out of business. What a bittersweet finish.

My first 5K: Sunday Matt and I walked our first 5K! I was so excited. I walked the whole way because it was very hilly, but I finished! I'd been walking for a few months and really buckled down with training this last month -- 5 days a week of walking 3 miles each, with a little slow jogging thrown in to help my breathing (my biggest problem is catching my breath). I think I'm hooked because I'm contemplating the Sea World San Antonio 5K in October.

Disney Cruise: Disney changed their 2013 itineraries, so we're going in January instead of February. Also, we get a day at Disney World. I'm very happy about this, except that now I have to figure out what all to cram into one day!

City of Heroes closing: City of Heroes was my first MMO (computer game). I haven't found one that I liked as much. Even though I haven't played it in a while, I've thought of going back. Sadly, they're going to be shutting down the servers. :-( The search for a good new MMO continues.

Reading: I'm still reading all the urban fantasy/romance I can get my hands on. I got to meet Kalayna Price and Ilona Andrews, and I was thrilled. Right now, I'm reading Kim Harrison's latest. Matt's laughing his butt off reading Jenny Lawson's book. I must get to that one.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Joan Elliott dragon for RR

I stitched this Joan Elliott dragon for Jacqui's round robin piece. This is the piece that made me buy Joan's book!

My first 5K: I signed up for my first 5K, the Burning Pines 5K in September. I'll be walking it. Matt and I walked it last weekend, and I can make it up and down all those hills, but I can't guarantee I won't come in last place! I still haven't gotten my weight back down to pre-vacation levels (2 pounds to go), but I've been sticking to the diet fairly well and exercising. It's all I can do.

25-year class reunion: I went. It wasn't nearly as horrible as I thought it would be. I actually had fun! I loved seeing my BFF from grade school again.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mermaid Song Purse (Back) HD

I finally finished the back of the the purse. The hardanger area is the flap to secure the purse. This is by far the largest piece in the set, so I'm hoping I can get the rest done in less time!

Weight Loss: I made my weight loss goal (for a total of 70 pounds lost since my highest), so the Disney Cruise has been booked! We're doing eight nights in the western Caribbean in February. My schedule says I can lose 50 pounds by then if I work really hard. I'm dreaming of being able to jog by then and using their track on the sports deck. Wish me luck!

Reading: I got to meet Kalayna Price at the Barnes and Noble in Austin the other day. Check out her books if you like urban fantasy. I like them a lot!

Monday, July 02, 2012

I'm working on Mermaid Song and just finished the hardanger portion. Then I noticed I hadn't done my dove's eyes consistently. Sometimes the thread is over, and sometimes it's under. Sigh. I'm a perfectionist, but I'm not inclined to redo them. What would you do? I don't think it'll drive me too crazy, but it is annoying. I decided to redo them. Some of the dove's eyes are ugly. Argh.

I'm not as in love with this piece as I used to be, which is a shame. It's very pretty, but I'm just not feeling it.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Enchanted Swans and Frightful HDs

I finally found a charm to go on this piece, Enchanted Swans! This is a Just Nan limited edition that someone passed on to me (generously!). It didn't have the charm, of course, so I had to find a replacement. I tried painting a brass one I found, and it came out all blotchy. I think this silver one goes pretty well, better than the brass.

This is another Just Nan piece that I finished, Frightful. I think it would look good on a box, so I'll need to keep a look-out for a good one.

I visited Ginger's again and bought more fibers and beads. I also got a beautiful Christmas quilt/table runner for $40; I couldn't make it for that (and probably couldn't make it, period). It's so depressing seeing Ginger's almost completely stripped. :(

So does anyone remember my rant about losing weight? I sure do. The good news is that I've lost 20 pounds since mid-April. How? First, I set a goal of booking a Disney Cruise once I got to a certain weight. I have 2 pounds to go. Vacations are a big motivator to me. Also, I joined My Fitness Pal. It lets you track food and exercise, and you can get support from your online friends, kind of like a Facebook for being healthy. If anyone wants to join and add me, look for Arthemise1. I still have a long way to go, but I'm finally thinking it's possible! And I can now walk 3 miles in an hour -- pretty good for me.

Next bit of news... My 2002 Mazda Protege got rear-ended and totaled. I wasn't hurt, but it's very depressing to lose a car not by choice and acquire a new car payment. The new car is helping me ease the hurt. It's got as many dials as a space shuttle. OK, maybe not, but my engineer husband is loving it. It's by far the nicest car I've ever owned. It's a 2012 Infiniti G37, by the way. We got a great price on it.

I've been reading and playing Diablo III more than stitching lately, but that'll change at some point. It's a temporary slump.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I stitched Rose for Jo's round robin piece. I really like the pinks and purples in this one. Red roses are so boring.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Butterfly Fairy

I haven't posted in a while! My hobbies wax and wane, and lately it's been playing computer games, first Star Wars: The Old Republic and then Diablo III. I'll get back to cross stitching and reading, I'm sure.

In the mean time, here is a section of Butterfly Fairy I did for Debbie's piece for the Joan Elliott round robin.

I do have sad news: Ginger's in Austin is closing. Her landlord raised the rent higher than she could afford, and she has to close shop. I am devastated. Ginger's has been around since I started stitching and has been my haven for cross stitching. I will miss being able to browse and find exciting new things to stitch. She also won't be having the stitching retreats any more. There's nothing like getting together with your kind of people and talking about your passion. This makes me so very sad. Ordering materials online just isn't the same.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Almost Halloween HD

I saw a model for this piece at the Houston Quilt Show last year. The Silver Needle had it stitched on 40 count, and I fell in love. It looks so delicate when stitched with such tiny stitches (I stitched it on 40-count dirty linen). This was a fun, quick stitch. It looks like my mojo's back!

I visited the eye doctor recently, and he told me my near vision is going to be going soon (I'm 42). My options will be bifocal contacts or reading glasses. Ugh. I have contacts so I don't have to wear glasses!

I'm almost finished a Just Nan piece too. I just need to paint the replacement charm and affix it. In the meantime, I'm working on a new Just Nan Halloween piece. I have lots of old WIPs, but that's how I lost my mojo. I don't want to lose it again, so that's my excuse for some new starts.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Band Sampler Round Robin - Autumn

My piece returned home from the Band Sampler round robin, and here it is! I finished up the border, and someday I'll make a wall hanging out of it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Joan Elliott round robin

I'm doing a new round robin, and this one's theme is Joan Elliott designs. Stephanie's is first up.

I haven't been stitching much lately, but I enjoyed stitching on this. I've been reading instead of stitching. I even started writing fiction again, though I don't know if it's going to go anywhere. Writing is work for me, and it's not the most relaxing thing in the world. Not like reading or stitching.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Sophia's RR

This is what I stitched for Sophia's round robin piece. Her theme is Teresa Wentzler borders, and the entire piece is so incredible. This is the second RR for this piece, and it's got more to go!

Friday, January 27, 2012

New author

Felicia Day is doing a "Hangout on Air" on Google+ Monday night. The first book is Grave Witch by Kalayna Price. I've read it and the second in the series, plus started on her Haven series. I can't put them down. Granted, it may not be to everyone's taste, but if you're interested in urban fantasy, you might want to check it out. Once Bitten is free on the Kindle if you have Amazon Prime (and here I thought I'd never read a book from the Kindle Lending Library!).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Slow quilting

Someone wanted to pose with Mommy's "awesome" quilt pieces.

I finally finished the piecing of the small squares for my Halloween quilt. My mom called me the slowest quilter ever, so I figured I should get on with it. The next step is to sew the blocks into rows (and then sew those rows together).

Even though I measured everything, the squares I sewed together don't align perfectly on the outer edges, though I did get the centers to match pretty well (after redoing a few). I'm concerned that when I sew the rows together, the squares won't match up because of the cumulative effect of being just a little off. Ugh. The first quilt's not supposed to be perfect, right? (I knew there was a reason I wasn't a quilter!)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mission: Organize My Mom!

I've been working on getting my mom organized for a few weeks now, doing a little at a time. That's the only way I can manage it because my mom is my complete opposite when it comes to organization. My first task was organizing her fabric. Should be simple, right? Not so much. She had fabric in boxes, scattered across her bedroom, the garage, and storage. And the boxes weren't just fabric. Often the fabric was buried under other stitching supplies and random items. Foot cream, thread, sewing machine oil, and fabric in one box? Yep.

So once I dug out all the fabric, I had to figure out a way to organize it. Some of my mom's stuff was in plastic bins, but the bins themselves were a mishmash. You really need to have your boxes match somewhat so they stack properly and look good, so I asked her to buy bins. I think she bought three different kinds because she got them at different times. Sigh. I went through her fabric and organized by type and color and tried to use matching bins. As you can see in the first photo, her quilting fabric is organized into red and pink, orange and yellow, green (two boxes), blue, purple, pictures and rainbow, and brown, beige and black. She must like green!

She also had tulle, muslin, and other non-quilting fabric that I stored separately. In the second photo, they're to the left.

Next came organizing the projects. She has some projects in progress and others just kitted. Of course, most of them were mixed in with the other fabric. With her help, I got them organized and boxed up. The small projects went into Ziplock bags and into that big bin. Larger projects got their own small bin. Oh, and we never did use those new bins she bought. Organized fabric takes up less room that crumpled fabric. I'm sure we'll use the bins for the next step in the process.

Yes, I will be policing any new fabric she buys and will put away scraps for her (she keeps everything). She just made Logan some new pajamas, so...

I'm very proud of my work, and I'm very proud of my mom for letting me touch her precious fabric and organize it for her. My next task is to organize her stitching supplies, which will be an even harder task. I'm sure once we go through her other boxes we'll find more fabric.

My mom retired at the beginning of this month, and Matt and I are enjoying the freedom. She drops off and picks up Logan at daycare, takes him to his appointments, and does more of the housework now. And as a crafter, I can appreciate that she has time to do her sewing, which mostly stopped once she moved in. I can cross stitch with Logan around, but using a sewing machine? Much harder because he wants your attention.

We're still trying to sell the house and have gotten not even one nibble. And I start going in to my Austin office two days a week next month, which means a commute, after nine years of telecommuting. That's going to be rough, but at least my mom's in town in case Logan gets sick.