Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Post 2012

Well, this is the last post of 2012.  It is not quite midnight here in the Pacific Time Zone.  We just rolled in from our trip to Texas to visit family.  It was a nice trip but too short.  So, just playing a little catch up since I am seeing the year in by myself.  Hubby has been driving since about 1 AM this morning, we got in about 8:30 PM or so.  Unloaded the car.  Haven't put it all up yet.   Hubby took a shower and hit the bed.  Son, Mr. College, that is spending the Christmas break with us, slept all the way home, brought his stuff in, showered and headed over to his girlfriend's house.  She had some minor surgery done today.  Daughter, Miss Zebra, has gone to a friend's house for the night.

On the trip...I did a little shopping.  Here goes.
I cleaned out the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby, plus a couple that weren't on clearance, but had coupons for them.  I am planning on using these counted cross stitch kits for the Crazy January challenge.  Will be posting a lot more about that in January.
I bought some more purples for the "heart" quilt.  Plus one pasta novelty for me.
Also, some Texas fabric.  The UT fabric will be a quilt for my brother.  I plan to try out my AccuQuilt Go cutter with the tumbler die for this quilt. Not sure what I will do with the Tech fabric yet.  Also got extra UT fabric to make some pillow cases for grandson, Mr. T, or maybe some pajama pants. More about the quilt projects will be coming in January as well. I am challenging myself to make a couple of finished quilts each month.  Am also doing a crazy quilt journal challenge as well, which is only one block a month.  That will be easy.  In fact, for January, I need to make some "naked" blocks to embellish for a swap I am doing.
I also got this stocking kit, it was on clearance.  Not as discounted as I would like, but it is cute so got it to make for next year.  This is part of another challenge I joined, Christmas one, the goal of the group is to make one ornament a month instead of waiting until the end of the year to make them all.  I figure I can complete one ornament a month, but will adding in my stocking projects as well, I consider the stocking and ornament. I plan on eventually making each grand son one.  Maybe will be able to make one for a grand daughter, we don't know what is on the way yet. Just praying that this pregnancy goes well and both mother and child is healthy.

We went to a really neat antique store, more like a mall, each booth is a different seller.  This little glass tooth pick holder I bought for my oldest daughter.  She collects blue glass.

Bought this limited edition signed print portraying Texas.  It listed in the booth for $35, I looked up the artist and while she still has prints for sale, they are selling for $69 unframed.  The photo doesn't do it justice.  The glare plays with the colors, the frame is wood, not painted green as it looks and the mat is dark blue.  The print has a lot of blues in it which is my favorite color, and since we are from Texas, well just couldn't pass it up.
This unusually shaped shadow box was a real find as well.  I have needed to find a new one to replace the one ruined in the washing machine flood incident.  I can't wait to get it hung on the wall and load it up. Just don't know where I will hang it.
Last but not least, is this beautiful native American squash blossom sterling silver and turquoise necklace.  I have no idea how to determine it's value, but after looking at several over the last few years I felt like I got a real bargain.  It needs a little polish, but is just the right length, is not so heavy or chunky as most I see.  I just love it.

I also bought a new purse, but didn't get a photo of it yet. It's awesome.

Well, time for me to go enjoy my bath tub for a much needed soak.  I have a lot of work to do tomorrow.  We have to unpack, then hubby and kids will repack for colder weather and load up and go to Mammoth to snow ski for a few days.  I intend to get a lot of work done while they are gone around here.  Will post my progress, hopefully.  I need to do some deep cleaning, put up all the Christmas, start up my menu planning once again as well as get some organizing of my life and home done.  Wish me luck.

Out with 2012, thankfully I survived it.  In with 2013, prayerfully awaiting a better year.

Thanks for stopping by and come back soon.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Year is Almost Over.

Well, the year is almost behind us.  I am sure looking forward to the new one.
This is my new profile photo.

I have joined lots of online challenges with the intention of kick starting my crafting gear in to drive once again.  Gives me a reason to work on something, accountability in a way as well.  I am however determined to get some projects finished, some new ones started and finished.

Not that I have come up with a plan...for lack of better wording...I am on fire to get going.  I now know that while I can do a wide variety of crafts, and do them fairly well, I am going to concentrate on just the few that I really love.  I found that I was so busy deciding what to make, and time spent buying all the supplies and such that I would need to work those crafts, that I wasn't getting anything done.  Of course, my mom's illness, taking care of her, dealing with her death and trying to get my house back in order while going through her personal belongings all while carrying for my grand baby while they work, could also be the reason as well.  At any rate, I am going to attempt to sell off a lot of things after the first of the year, both unused and unneeded supplies as well as Mom's things that are left.

I have learned that my crafting is a gift from God, so I want to honor that gift by giving back.  I do a lot of charity giving in the way of my quilting and crocheting.  I want to expand that this year.  I have set personal challenges in these areas.

Quilting - finish projects that are in various stages of completion, X amount of quilts to be donated to charity causes, a few new projects that will be gifts.

Crocheting - finish projects that are in various stages of completion, X amount of crocheted items to be donated, some new items that will be gifts.

Embroidery - this is a broad category as it includes machine embroidery, hand embroidery and counted cross stitch.  The embroidery is not project specific, but used in the quilting projects.  Either as the center of blocks or embellishment for blocks.  The counted cross stitch is something that I enjoy, but do only for myself.  I am sure however that it will some how be used or incorporated in to the charity items in some form or fashion though, but most of my kits are all planned to be framed and hung in my home as wall art.

That being said, I went on a huge spending spree.  I went a little crazy when my oldest daughter that I am currently visiting took me to Hobby Lobby.  OH HOW I MISS that store, we don't have one where I live.  I also went a little nuts at the local Walmart, buying mostly fabric that has University of Texas theme to it.  I can't get that at home either unless I mail order (or online order I guess it should be called now days).  We also went to a wonderful antique mall and I was just lost in all the booths.  I came out of there with really more than I should have, but some wonderful bargains.  Once decanter that my son had me buy we paid $40 for and was listed on eBay for $169.  I found a wonderful signed limited print for $35 and that booth was 20% off, framed and all.  Online, the artist is selling her limited prints of that particular picture for $68 with no frame.  I found some other great treasures as well, but will post more about them with photos when I get home.

That's it for now.  Thanks for stopping by and come back soon.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Merry Christmas to everyone.  May you have a blessed day.

Today has been hard for me.  Missing my parents some thing awful.  However I know that they are in a much better place and back together.
Aren't they cute?

Now, just to bring you up to date on the Nativity project.

This is how far it has gotten for 2012.  We are leaving today to go visit the other grand sons and my oldest daughter, their mom.  I finally decided that I would not be taking the project with me.  So...this is the progress for the year.  At this rate, I may not finish it in 2013, but I will have a lot of fun trying. Not to mention, am excited to get to go to a Hobby Lobby while visiting, will be adding a few things to the stash.  Will post what I get.  Hopefully, they will be having a great sale on their Christmas counted cross stitch kits or clearance on some charts and supplies.

See you next year.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Addition of Challenges

I have decided to join in some challenges this year as an attempt to keep me motivated and on track. I am not the most computer literate person there is, but I am working on it.

Trying this out by adding a page element.  Need to figure out a way to list my projects and photos for the January Crazy challenge I am participating in for 2013.  All my challenges actually.  Will see how this works.

Well, it would seem that I have got this figured out, some what, so will try to get this a little better organized later today.  If you look at the top of the screen you will see little tabs, or boxes.  Home and Challenge.  You can click on them to see what is going on there. 

Have some last minute shopping to take care of, a return to make, and a trip to farmer's market so don't have time to play with the blog at the moment.  I will later this evening though with some new photos.

I am wondering if I can do tabs on each page or have to make a page for each challenge.  Will find out.  At any rate, this new design element, will new to me anyway, is quite exciting.

Until next time.  Have a great day.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Driving Myself Crazy

So, thought I would just pop in and do a little updating.

I am driving myself crazy with this Nativity cross stitch project.  I am just way to obsessed with it.  I worked on it for a while last night, went to work on it more today only to find that I had done a whole section with the wrong color.  I just left it.  I know that in the end, it will change the design's look a little bit, but I really didn't care.  I mean come on, the dark peach looks like light rust, the light peach looks more like a medium peach, the pale peach looks tan.  So shoot me, I mixed up the peaches.  It is the small amount of skin on one hand. Granted it is Mary, we are talking about, it just isn't going to matter.

Also, yesterday I answered an ad on Craig's list for a Christmas stocking cross stitch kit.  She had started it, but not stitched very much yet.  I was happy to get it.  Now, my only dilemma is trying to figure out how to classify the project.  Is it a new start for me?  I didn't really start it, although there is a very small portion of Santa's hat that she has worked on.
This what it will look like finished.  Why do they always have to have the stocking with the toes facing that way.  All other stockings the toes face the other direction. At any rate, here is what the project looks like at the moment.
It is the garland he is carrying. So, let me know what you think.

I have to decide whether to classify this item as a UFO to count when I finish it. Or count it as a current item then just count the finish, or count it as a WIP, or since I haven't done anything with it yet, will I count it as a new start.

Promised you it would be short.  Just leave me a comment If you like.  Thank you for the visit and come back soon.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wacky Wednesday!

Just no other way to describe today, just wacky.

First of all, I met a very nice young lady today.  She lives in the next town over, up on the mountain. She has her hands full, one boy is two years old, the other is 6 months old.  She listed an item on Craig's list that I bought.  It is a counted cross stitch kit for a Christmas stocking.  She had started it, but only got a little bit of the design stitched.  She did a good job, just didn't have time with the two kids to work on anything.  I told her I can totally relate.  The kit came with 28 count cloth, which I really don't like working with, so am thinking that I may just start over and use 14 count cloth.  It shouldn't change the size of the stocking since I would only be crossing on square instead of two like the higher count cloth.  Although the directions don't say anything about going over two threads or what ever you call it.  It may just end up being a miniature, but I am taking the chance.

I have been working like crazy getting my sewing room all organized back up from being packed up for a while.  I have the last of the furniture I am keeping from my mom in place now.  Just need to have hubby hang the mirror that goes with the little chest.  Have quite a few things to get hung on the walls as a matter of fact.  He did finally get my shelf attached to the wall in the living room.
Now I will just have to get a new curtain rod that is a little longer to go through the shelf.  You can't really tell from the photo, but my dad cut circles in the end pieces and a support in the middle so I could hang a curtain rod through it.  My previous house had a huge double window in the dining area.  Dad had made similar smaller shelves for me to use to hang quilts so I asked him to make a larger one that I could hang a curtain on.  He added a groove the whole length of the shelf as well so I could stand up plates to display them.  We brought the shelf with us to this house.  My dad worked hard to hang it in my daughter's room for an extra shelf to put toys on.  I had a large Sunbonnet Sue quilt hanging from it that my aunt had made for my oldest daughter.  Then we took the shelf down to repaint and moved daughter to another room.  I gave the quilt to my oldest daughter since it was hers.  Now the shelf is hanging in the living room.  The figures sitting on the shelf are all figures I had painted and given to my dad on different birthday's, father's day and such.  When mom moved out here, they came back to me.  My dad loved them.
This is a close up of the mountain man and his pack horse.  I added real feathers to his hat and horse's bridle and pack.  Dad found that dog somewhere and put him with it so I left him there too.  Dad also had some little stones around them but I didn't keep them.  My dad was very good with his hands and he built a wooden shelf each time he received one and they all hung in a cluster in my parent's living room.

Now, you all read about Miss Zebra, my youngest daughter.  Thought I would let you see what she looks like.

This was taken right before her ice skate performance this past week end.  She looked so festive, but unfortunately she fell during her routine and hit her hip hard.  It wasn't a competition thankfully, but she was still rather embarrassed and still sore.

This is her and Mr. M (my youngest grand son that I am day care for)
Can you tell she has a thing for zebra design.  Anything zebra.  I have loaded her up with zebra designed things for Christmas.  Zebra designed head band, hat, tank top, shoes, make up bags, coffee mug (hot cocoa in her case) even found a pair of footed pajamas that are zebra print with zebra heads on the feet.  Yes, footed, as in baby footed jammies.  Seems to be all the rage in the younger set. She is in the car and tells me, "by the way...hint, hint, wink, wink, Target has footed zebra pajamas.  I will acted surprised if you get them for me."  Isn't she so sweet?  Yeah right.  I had not been in a Target store in so long, I had no idea what all they have started carrying.  I saw a lovely little dress for Miss Zebra, wasn't zebra print but it was a purple that she would like.  I was in utter shock when I looked at it closer.  It was made from all cotton fabric, not the best quality in my opinion either.  They wanted $99.99 for it.  All cotton, would have to iron it every time she turned around, and a hundred dollars?  Well, it did have the Neiman Marcus name on it.  Didn't even know they had their own brand of things much less that Target would be carrying it. I did find a nice little corduroy jacket for her, purple with faux fur trim around the hood.

It just kind of worked out so that I haven't had Mr. M this week until today.  I was able to get quite a bit done around here.  Finished up my Christmas shopping, more about that in a bit.  I finally got the last few pieces of furniture in my sewing room that I want to keep that was mom's.  That includes her rocker, entertainment center (that has glass door and end cabinet) little chest and a matching wall mirror that will hang over it.  AND...everything is now where I can find it so I am ready to start sewing, embroidering and crocheting up a storm in 2013. I AM READY FOR THIS YEAR TO BE OVER.  I have inventoried my thread, have it all sorted and ready to go.  I will have to buy some more as I get started using it, but thankfully most of my projects are kits which come with the thread...and cloth and needles. I have also, after hearing that some others on my groups do it, made a list of all my kits and charts.  To make myself seem totally organized, I also made a list of UFO's, which is only down to one for cross stitching, since the other two cross stitch projects got tossed.  They will become a new start in 2013.  Made a list of projects to start as well.  You see, crazy me joined this crazy insane challenge that challenges each person to start a new project each day from Jan. 1 until Jan. 15.  That will be 15 UFO's to work on through the year.  If that isn't insane enough, a group of us are doing a dual challenge.  Not only are doing a new start for each day through the 15th, we are doing it through Jan. 31.  If that hasn't hit you, that will be 31 new UFO projects.  Which technically will not be a UFO unless I quit working on it.  So that will actually be 31 new WIP projects.  Works In Progress.  That is a big challenge for me as it drives me crazy to not finish up a project right away.

Speaking of work in progress, the nativity is actually starting to show a little structure.  Slowly, very slowly.  Now this is my only actual UFO as I started this back in like 1998 or so.  I really did not stitch this very logically, as at the moment I am stitching 3 in light peach, 5 in dark peach, 6 in pale brown, 9 in grey, 5 in light taupe...well you get the idea.  About ten different colors that are too far apart from the next place to use that color to park the thread.  This is the center of the design, big mistake on this project.  I will be able to roll it either way on the scrolls to a whole new set of the design.  You see, I had put the center of the cloth in a hoop, you can still see a little of the coloration from it to your left.  I started out with the brilliant idea to just do all stitches of one color all over the design area in the frame.  OH THAT WAS A MISTAKE.  I started squaring off, for lack of a better word, along the right side.  Line by line, filling in what I had already done.  I should have done that to start with.  I am right on track with the line at a time, but am finding that the little stray areas I had already completed are not always in their correct spot.  Frustrating, time wise, but easy to fix so have been correcting as I go.  I am learning a lot with this piece so that is the good thing.  It is the starting and ending of threads for each of the like thirty million shades for the shadowing effect that is driving me crazy.  I mean really, there is literally grey, then very dark taupe, dark taupe, medium taupe, light taupe, very light taupe and of course pale taupe.  All just a few stitches of each on either side of the that part of the design, then not used until another section of the design.  Then you have the same with the yellow, brown, blue, teal.  Well, you get the picture.

Yes, I am going to be thinking over the stitching process a bit more with the next projects I undertake.  Also, I have learned about gridding.  Will be doing this with all the larger projects for sure.  Also, some one suggested making copies of the chart before I start, enlarging them.  Now, I am not savvy enough in computer to understand the first thing about enlarging as described to me by one sweet group member, she explained how to do it in Adobe.  But as the saying goes, there are more ways than one to skin a cat.  I scanned a chart, cropped the scan to just a few lines over half the chart, then printed it out as a full sheet.  Then, cropped the other half picking up few extra lines and did the same way.  It turned out well. I have the same few lines of the chart on both charts to line up so I am on the correct row when I change pages.  OH MY has this been a saving of time and eye strain with this nativity project.  In fact, I have already done this with my next project I plan to start.
I am trying out the notebook plastic floss holder system.  I like the ease of having it all together.  I made the copies of the chart and they are in a pocket in the back of the notebook.  The front of the notebook has a clear pocket for the cover and I placed the book in there.  What I didn't like was how easy the bobbin's fall out of their assigned spot. I know it seems I am all over the board with my organization of things, but am really looking at what will work for me. Also looking at what is readily available for me as well.

I am in the process of listing my quilt projects in the same way.  While I was going through the boxes of everything I had stored while the sewing room was down, I have found quite a stack of UFO projects that will be top on my list of finishing.  They are all sizes and in different states of completion. About 98% of my quilts are for charity so to have so many unfinished is just totally unacceptable to my heart.  Our church has a quilt ministry that I am a part of.  Not as active as I should be, but no one's fault but my own.  Long story...for another time. At any rate, one of the projects is to make some quilts for an orphanage in Kharakastan. Some men from our congregation went there last summer to build a play ground for them.  Those men felt bad for the children's lack of bedding and ask if our group would make some simple quilts but colorful.  We are doing simple, 6 1/2 inch squares, 7 squares across and 10 squares down.  Tied for quilting. Scrap squares for the tops.  The brighter the fabric the better.  I am really looking forward to starting on this project. 

In fact I even bought a die for my AccuQuilt Go that cuts 6 1/2 inch squares.  Shhh....we won't talk about all the other dies I bought though.  I just ordered a new one today, of a little car. Can't wait to use them though, tumbler's block and apple core as well as Sunbonnet Sue.  So looking forward to actually cutting and sewing once again.  The group also makes baptism quilts, which I hope to work on.  I plan to push myself really hard to complete the UFO's in my closet and then I will start and complete at least 4 quilts a month.  These will be crib size.  I love to quilt and I think that getting back to it will be just the shot in the arm I need.  Of course I will make a few quilts for family.  Not many as they all have one already.

Also on my list to do is to learn to use my EQ 7 and PC Stitch 10 software.  After the first, I am also opening an Etsy store to sell of some things.  Mostly a lot of paper craft products and supplies.  I don't like it, have way too much of those things.  That being said, there are some of things I just can't give up.  Like my Cricut and Sizzix.  I have figured out that I will use them from time to time, cannot get near what I spent on all of it, don't want to chance finding that I need to replace it at some point.

But here's the thing.  Crocheting is a nice look, and while most find it relaxing it makes me a nervous wreck. But, it is portable so that it can be carried most anywhere I go, and it is quiet so I can work on it when everyone else is trying to sleep.  Same with counted cross stitch or hand embroidery.  While a little more difficult to take camping or such, can take it with me and it is quiet.  Unless I am cursing the chart or myself for loosing stitches, adding stitches or just plain putting them in the wrong spot. Like I said, I love to make quilts, but with the early to bed hubby I have, I try to not run the machine once he has gone to sleep.  That being said, I have purposely laid out my new sewing room with that in mind by putting the sewing machine and the sewing cabinet it sits on completely across the room on the total opposite corner so that it won't bump on the walls.  I can close the door some, but it is easier to close the bedroom door.  Plus, the later solves the problem of the cat showing up in our bed.  The hardest thing I am having to figure out is how to do anything with a toddler under foot.  I love taking care of him, but by the time he gets picked up, have the evening meal, there is a very thin window of time before some people hit the sack.  So, the plan is to get as much done with the machines as possible when I can and then build up a pile of hand work.

If I can make several tops at a time, then sandwich them, say once a week, then quilt them and sew bindings on over a week end when I have no toddler.  I may get something done.  I so badly want to just chuck everything around me and just start working on something, anything, everything, but it is just too close to Christmas and our trip to see family in Texas.  BUT...when I get back, get all of Christmas put away, I am doing a few things for me.  One of those is attempting fitness boot camp.  It may end up killing me, but I am up for the challenge.  Our church has a private school and one of the students mother is teaching the classes...for free.  It sounds ambitious but I have to make some changes in my life or go insane.

Emotionally, I was doing quite well until yesterday.  Hubby caught the delivery truck dropping off, which of course he would being that they can't come during the day.  No...they have make their drop, knock, run visits at 8:00 at night?  What was worse, was hubby yelling at me for buying him a gift.  Yelling at me.  Now understand, I have used my little inheritance monies to buy some gifts with some thought to it for him.  It's not like I am breaking us for this.  HOLY SMOKES, I can just imagine what he is going to do when he sees what else is under the tree for him. It is just really hard with out my mom.  I so want to talk to her, show things, I just miss her.  I know this will pass, time heals all wounds and such.  But it is just still really raw right now.

Okay, I promise to keep my post shorter from now on.  Thanks for hanging in there and come back again.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thread Purchase

I have been working to get a stash of thread built up.  I purchased one of each color, still don't have them all because the stores have been out of a few colors.  However, it was a big start.  I posted about it here.  I have also been buying some patterns and kits.  They are coming in a little each day, got to love it, looking forward to mail I mean.  Between my purchases and Christmas shopping for hubby, the postal person is being kept busy.  Fortunately, hubby is used to my craft purchases so doesn't even suspect that some of the deliveries are for under the tree.

At any rate, I won some auctions on eBay for some large lots of DMC floss.
All in all it was a good deal.  One purchase was for 100 bags, three skeins in each, had .10 printed on the bags.  The description told me that,  so I knew and expected 100 different colors, three skeins of that color, each sorted in to a small baggy with a sticker that reads .10 on it.  It was also in the description that they had purchased these from a craft store that was going out of business and that it was already packaged that way when they got it. Also said that there were no duplicates.  Well, to start with, there was only 98 bags.  When I sorted through them and inventoried the color numbers, 11 of those little bags were duplicate color numbers, and obvious duplicate numbers at that. That is what the empty baggies to the left are, duplicates.  Most of them are DMC brand.  A good number of them are American Thread, which I have never used before.  I am not sure, haven't done enough research yet, but about four of those colors look like duplicates, but have a different number so not sure.  For instance there is a color 1006 and another marked color 1006-A.  Most of these do look like they are just a subtle change in hue, but not a lot.  I wanted to leave feedback, kind of neutral, but it would seem that now on eBay you cannot leave neutral or negative feedback until 7 days after the purchase. That's a little ridiculous if you ask me, there is nothing that will be "worked out" with either of these purchases.  I got my money's worth so have no intention of asking for a refund or such. I did however email the seller through eBay, will see what kind of response if any I get. This type of buy just isn't worth that hassle and I know that on eBay it is sometimes just a crap shoot.  About 97% of my purchases have all been very positive with successful out comes.  My selling experience has been the same.

Funny, I was writing this blog and had to stop for a while so saved it as a draft.  When I came back to write it, I forgot about the draft and started a new post.  That's what happens in my life. LOL

On to the second purchase.  I won 100 threads already in a thread baggy with a hole punched in it so you can put it on a ring.  I had not seen these type of bags before, but had heard of them.  Anyway, it was described as 100 bags, one skein in each, a few bags had two skeins, marked with the color number, no duplicates.  These are all DMC.  So, I sat down with my paper and pencil to inventory record the color numbers, sort them in numeric order according to color number and inventory them.  Actually this was the first set  of the two I worked with last night.  I was very disappointed in this buy.  The description said nothing about being in a smoker's home.  I ended up having to put them aside and find my inhaler because the smell of the stale smoke was so strong it triggered my asthma, which I haven't had an attack in ages.  This buy too was short, only 96 bags and four of them were duplicates.  I didn't feel like writing to this seller, so I did leave a positive feedback since they shipped quickly and like the other purchase I did get my money's worth.  However...I did leave a remark about the smoke odor issue.  That is a big point with me, as every one in this household is asthmatic in varying degrees, my grand son that I care for during the day and his mother are too.  The grand baby was born early and so breathing issues are big with him.  Not so bad as it could be, but still something we have to be mindful of.

Anyway, at least now I have a stash to start with.  I don't have that many charts, but at least I will have thread to work on them.  Good thing is that the kits all come with thread for them.  My other little habit to feed is crazy quilting, which has a lot of embroidery embellishment to it.  My older stash of thread has been reserved for that since the color number is not important.  With embellishing, you just use a color of thread that goes with what you need.  Specialty threads come in to play with this type of embroidery as well.  Fuzzy threads, metallic threads, loopy threads, as well as buttons and charms. I love crazy quilting, it is so expressive and not really any real rules to go by.  You know, satin sewed next to velvet sewed next to cotton and so forth.  It is Victorian in nature after all and that whole period is wonderfully wicked eccentric.  Here is a lovely example of a crazy quilt that Renee found and pinned to her Pinterest board. You really should go look at it.  I have never seen a crazy quilt that was made like this.  Most crazy quilts are more random in their block shapes and sizes.  The history of the crazy quilt is really quite fascinating.  Victorian girls would collect fabric "charms" or pins or cigar wrappers which at that time were made of silk.  A charm is a piece of fabric.  Young men that would gift these things to earn a girls attention.  Traditionally, a girl would collect 999 charms and who ever gave her the 1,000 charm would be her true love.  Although, in reality, crazy quilts were traditionally made by upper class women because of the finer and exotic fabrics that were used while the charm quilts evolved in to a whole different type of quilt.

My new profile photo is a heart block I made in crazy quilt style.
I used to make them to trade.  I just couldn't give this one up for some reason.

This is a traditional block.
This was part of a round robin I participated in.

Then, there is also the world of the ATC.
These were for trade, but never did.  ATC stands for Artist Trading Card and they are the size of a business card.  Kind of a good way to practice a new stitch, but a challenge due to the small size.

Okay, so I have probably bored you beyond tears so will call it a night.  I had a small flood in the house yesterday.  A hose on the washing machine sprang a hole and I had a rain storm of hot water going.  All over the ceiling, the floor (which has a drain but apparently it is clogged) out in to the hall.  Water traveled under the walls into not one but three bedrooms.  All of the laundry had to be redone because of the water.  Lost some thread and lace that I had stored on a top shelf in there, even my little shadow box was ruined.  It was a mess.  Fortunately, no major damage that would cost to repair, just mainly lots of labor.  Hubby had it repaired yesterday right away, and today I have done load after load of laundry until I am tired of it, and still have more to do.  I don't mind doing the laundry you see, it is the putting up of the clean items. You know, if I didn't have to do laundry, clean house, cook or such idiotic things I would sure have a lot more time for stitching.

Thanks for stopping buy and come back again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Busy Day.

So...have laundry going.  At least enough to make hubby think I have done house work today.  Will be fixing spaghetti and meatballs for supper, unless that makes hubby take us to grab a burger.  Miss Zebra has her Christmas band concert tonight that we have to go to.  She actually requested that we come to it.  Mr. M is in a mood today, so he needs a little extra attention.  Fortunately, Miss Zebra is home today to help.

I stayed up way to late last night crocheting a scarf out of this new Sashay yarn made by Red Heart.
It comes looking like this.  This color is called Mombo. Rich colors that are berry, navy, olive green and magenta, all blending together.
It opens up to look like this.  A mesh, net style. Reminds me of the fish net hose I use to wear in my younger days.  The bottom edge of the mesh is wider with a metallic thread that runs through it.  I had never seen this yarn before, but found it on some posting somewhere, talking about the great scarves it makes.  I posted a photo of the scarf to my FB page and my oldest daughter Mrs. S promptly posted that there was several shades of the yarn with, and I quote, "rich hues that flow together" and she hinted that she would like some.

Like the loving mom that I am, I went online to search for patterns.  Apparently, this yarn is better used for knitting.  Which I can't do.  However, I did find some crochet ones.  I talked to a lady at JoAnn's who had used the yarn, she knits of course, but she was very helpful.  She suggested going on YouTube.  Which I did.  The few videos I watched had a little different crochet technique, but it seemed easy enough. One lady stated that the scarf would only take less than one skein and about 30 minutes to work up.  Another lady stated one skein would have yarn left over and only takes about 30 minutes to make if you are used to working with it, about an hour if you haven't.  She said the hardest part of making a scarf was pulling the thread out as you crocheted. is the finished scarf.  Pulling that yarn apart, or stretching it out, as you work it is a bugger.  The bottom edge, as I said, is a wider edge with a silver metallic thread running through it.  The top edge of this mesh yarn is narrower and that is the edge that you work with.  For the first time to work with this yarn it took way more than an hour.  Maybe I am slow stitching, but here's the thing, if you loose your stitch, it all comes out.  This yarn in my opinion is a real pain in the ass to work with and I would never become one of those people that makes them to sell.  I would charge way too much for them because I hate working with it.  However, that being said, this scarf will go to Mrs. S and I have another skein in a different color to make for her as well.  I will say, that I did have quite a bit of yarn left over and I made it longer than the one shown on YouTube.  I also have to admit, that after I dropped the stitch and had to start over...three times...I did hit a groove in working with the stuff.  I will say this as a warning.  Do not start this project unless you have a couple of hours to work it.  It is not like regular crocheting where you can just pick up where you left off.  I mean you can, but only if you have a safe place to store it that your hook won't come out.  Also, I would suggest using a bamboo handled hook.  The handle helped immensely in keeping the thread on.

I bought a wireless keyboard and wireless mouse to go with my new computer today.  LOVING them.  I am starting to get the hang of the Windows 8 thing as well and it is growing on me.  I was upset that I had some how lost my scanner, on every computer, but this morning I had an update waiting to be installed for my printer series and it seems that it is working now.  OH YEAH!  This is a big deal to me because I just purchased EQ7 quilting software program (rather pricey but I did get a good deal on it over on the Quilt in a Day site.  The main reason I bought this particular version of EQ7 is the capability of scanning my fabric to fill in the block in the quilt design.  That way I can see how it looks before I even cut it.

Speaking of awesome quilts.  Take a look at this Pinterest site. I love it when I can combine my hobbies into one project.  Like using embroidery on a crazy quilt. Well this quilt is a little different in that it is not your traditional crazy quilt that is built from odd shapes of fabric sewn together.  This quilt is what is known as an apple core pattern.  Very traditional, considered a charm quilt, dates back to the late 1800's I believe (late 19th century).  Victorian era ladies would collect charms of fabric, buttons and pins and such.  At any rate, this quilt is a great example of a traditional pattern, embroidery embellishment, happens to be a die I just purchased for my AccuQuilt cutter. 

I cannot wait to get through the holidays so I can actually start working on something.  I added the last pieces of furniture to my craft room.
This is my mom's little rocker that she was so attached to.  She didn't use much, as she preferred the comfort of her Lazy Boy, but my parents bought this rocker in 1951 when they adopted my older brother.  Mom always talked about how she rocked her babies in this chair.  My brother and I were adopted, not blood related, but we were related in a loving family.  At any rate, while it is not the most comfortable chair to kick back in, it does fit the space perfectly. 

It is harder in some ways, easier in others, than I expected getting through the holidays with out mom.  They say the first ones are the hardest.  I know I am missing her terribly.  Christmas was her favorite time of year.  All the church services, celebrating Christ's birth.  Family getting together for gifts on Christmas eve and then again on Christmas Day for a huge meal.  It was just always on Christmas.  Growing up was my brother and I with mom and dad.  We never went anywhere for Christmas, never had anyone visit.  I think earlier, before I came along, there was Christmas with one uncle and his family and my granny (dad's mom) but I only know of it from home movies.  I don't ever remember it that way...and I do have a superb memory for that kind of thing.  Now my kids always had several Christmas times.  One with just us, then one with my parents, and one with hubby's parents.  I know I just want to make it through the holidays with out falling apart and that is getting harder each day.  I want to get past the holidays, get all the decorations packed away and get on with life and working on things. 

Speaking of which.
Update on the Nativity.  I have finally made the decision to start another cross stitch project (that is smaller) and quite pushing myself to finish the Nativity.  Now that I realize I will never finish it for this year. 

I hope hubby never finds out how much I have spent on quilting/stitching supplies on eBay. LOL  I am now feeling better about my stashes though.  Plenty of kits, plenty of patterns, plenty of thread (since I won some large lots of embroidery thread on eBay) and enough quilt fabric to at least plan a quilt.  I think also, after the first I will start selling off some of my paper craft supplies (rubber stamps, punches, papers) to feed the kitty so to speak.

Speaking of kitty.
She likes mom's rocker too.  I didn't realize when we took her in how much comfort it would be to have her around.

Oh...and also speaking of feeding the kitty.

Here is my change kitty (on the left) that is fed by all the change I find around the house.  The other decorative jar is what my mom used to keep cotton balls in.  I am going to use it for a TUSAL jar.  Found out about this on some blogs I read.  It stands for Totally Useless Stitch Along.  All the bits and pieces from cross stitch (ends and frogging) goes in the jar and I post a photo of the jar each new moon.  I always keep a baggy taped to the sewing table when I do machine embroidery.  I have used all those little pieces in other projects. I guess you can see one of my sets of machine embroidery thread in the background.  I only have three. LOL
This is a free standing lace cross that I stitched out on my embroidery machine a while back.  All the various colors you see in it was done by using two layers of tulle and placing the cut threads I collected between them then stitching out the design.  Oh I hope I can find those files on a computer somewhere in this house when I get ready to start doing some machine embroidery work.  I know I have a disk somewhere that has designs  to embroider out that are the cutest vintage children.  I hope to put them in to some quilt blocks.

Well, time to move the laundry around.  Thanks for stopping by and do come back to visit soon.  Feel free to leave me a comment.  I love to read them.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Oh What Fun!

Okay, so you know how you eat all the cake and cookies the week before you know you are starting a new diet?  Because you know that  you won't be getting any after that day? And you really want to get them out of the house?

Well, I am preparing for my diet date.  A stash diet that is. Jan. 1 will start a no buy, use the stash, finish the UFO's personal challenge.

For quilting, this means that I will only purchase what I need to complete a project.  I will be making a list of all my UFO's (unfinished forgotten objects) that are stuffed folded up neatly on the shelf. I will be feeding the PIGS (projects in grocery sacks) so that they fatten up in to wonderfully completed quilts to go to new homes.  I have an obscene amount of PIGS.  Good thing I love ham so much. I did find a great deal on EQ7, quilt design software, over at the Quilt in a Day site so purchased it...on Thursday, it arrived Friday.  I was in total shock at the speed. I can't wait to load it and start playing with it.  Next week though, I am going to play with my AccuQuilt Go cutter and the new tumbler die I bought.  I purchased fabric today for a purple and grey quilt to made out of the tumblers for a gift for youngest son's girlfriend.  I do suspect however, that in the not to distant future she will become family.  Think, hope anyway, they are planning on waiting until they are both out of college.  They have been together for like five or six years already.  Also, purchased some iron on interfacing to use for the t-shirt quilt I plan to make out of youngest son's t-shirts I have collected.  Actually he collected them, kept them stuffed in his closet, I found them when he moved out.  So, figured if held on to them, I can make them in to some thing he can really hold on to.

Now, the "Stash Diet" as it deals with my newest fascination of counted cross stitch.  For this re-visited hobby, I call it that because years ago (many, many years ago) I enjoyed this particular craft.  But, like so many things in my life it was boxed up, put away, not to be thought of for far too long.  Well, in the process of sorting through boxes in the storage to unpack and place in the sewing room that was no longer needed for a bedroom for mom, I found some UFO's that had not been touched in at least 12 years or more.  I have developed a new determination to finish all unfinished works in my life.  Guess it is a by product of the loss of mom, dealing with all the final disposition of her things and such.  At any rate, there has opened up a new window of interest again after being closed up for far too long.  Getting rid of the musty part of old I guess. with the quilting, I am going on a diet with this area as well.  Problem is, I haven't really got the huge amount of stash to supply my addiction with the counted cross stitching as I do with my quilting. But, I am in for the game.  I have only one project in the works currently, that will be an ongoing project for some time it would seem.  I stitch very slow.  Don't know why I can create a quilt in a day, two at the most, completely finished, but it takes forever to make all those little x's of thread everywhere.  On the agenda for this new project, it will be a lot of organizing, just like with quilting. I already have planned which project I am starting first.  I am so tired of working on my current project, the nativity.  Once I tasted reality and swallowed the sad fact that I will not be able to finish it for this Christmas, I immediately placed it at the top of my "ongoing finish for 2013" list. 

To "prepare" for my  upcoming stash diet, I have gone on a little spending spree.  Not a lot, but I did buy the thread for my next project, but forgot the cloth.  I will have to remember to get some.  I am thinking that it would be much cheaper to buy some cloth by the yard.  I have a serger and can finish off the cut edges.  Maybe though, I will just have to buy the cloth as I go.  Not sure which would make more sense, money wise, at this point.  Any way, at this time, I am really concentrating on building up my thread stash.  Last week, I bought a thread of each color, sorted it and have it all inventoried.  At the moment however, I think I went a little overboard on bidding on Ebay.  I will only have a problem if I actually win them all.  However, I have budgeted for just such an occasion. At least I will have on hand all I need to work with, supply wise. As with the quilting, as of Jan. 1 there will be no more purchases of thread, charts, kits to just stuff find a place to store away.  I will only use what I have on hand.  Of course, it doesn't count if you have to buy a few threads to replace what you use up, or run out of before finishing the project.  Yep, that's the story...I'm sticking to it.

Oh this is going to be so much fun.  Wonder if I can stitch while on the treadmill, which I will be starting back on Jan. 1 as well. Well, exercise anyway, thinking of getting some hand weights and a ball for scrunches.  Will start simple.  Also need to get back on track with my food as well.

I have decided to re-organize my day a bit and starting on the first of the new year I plan to sew during the day. much as I can around Mr. M and his needs that is. Cross stitch when everyone has gone to bed and it needs to be quieter.  By that I mean I won't disturb hubby who goes to bed at 8:30 each night.  I have to fit in menu planning in there somewhere as well. It seems to really run a lot smoother at meal time if I have planned it out a bit.  We eat out way too much, my fault, and since I am the largest instigator of it, I will be hardest to push for home meals.  It is better all around financially to plan out the meals and eat at home, emotionally I don't have to worry what is for dinner, and physically is much healthier for us as well.  Hubby eats out a big meal every day for lunch with his job.  Miss Zebra eats at school each day, she tries to make healthy choices but sometimes that is really hard with what the school offers up.  It makes sense to make the evening meal more nutritious for all of us.

Pulled some more items from mom's storage out today and brought them to the house to go through.  I finally got the furniture I want for the sewing room all in place, just need to clean it back up as every thing was just kind of piled here and there willy nilly to change out the pieces of furniture.

Cross over between these two crafts will be the crazy quilting projects.  They are both quilting and embroidery and they are embellished with all kinds of embroidery stitches and decorative pieces.  I have a box of my mom's clothes that I saved, her more favorite pieces and a sack of my dad's neck ties.  I will cut them up and make a crazy quilt for myself and my brother, just throw size, and then will make smaller pillow or lap size projects for each of the grand kids to have. This project will take a long time I am sure, but that is okay too.  This project will not go on any list, no deadlines, nothing but time to heal and remember.

The other craft that I enjoy, or hobby, but I just hate the word hobby because to me it conjures up time spent doing some project that is of no use to anyone.  When you say you have a craft, it sounds more artsy, more special.  Regardless, I also crochet.  Love the things I create, but like with cross stitch, am totally at a snail's pace with it.  I will never be able to understand how someone can sit there and tell me how relaxing, calming, crochet is.  I can only work so long, by that I mean not long at all, for I become a nervous irritable wreck.  So, because I have a weird sense of need to punish myself, I bought some this new yarn out to make a scarf for my oldest daughter, Mrs. C, the teacher.  You can crochet with it, but it has a net, much like the old fishnet hose, built in to it.  Apparently, it makes really great scarves because the yarn design naturally makes a spiral or ruffle.  I talked to a woman at the store that has used it quite a bit.  She knits though, will never be able to learn that, and she showed me a little of how to do it, but with wanting to crochet it she advised me to check out YouTube for videos on working with the stuff.  Mrs. C has already hinted that she would like one.  She finds things on Pinterest, then lets me not so subtle hints...that I should make it for her.  She has a lot of misplaced confidence in her mother's abilities sometimes.  But hey, makes me try new things...once.  If you haven't looked around that site, you really should, it is amazing.  Make sure you lots of time when you do.

Well, it is late and I have written a book in this post.  Thank you for dropping buy and listening.  I have a year's worth of cleaning to get done tomorrow.  Hubby loves me so much he had to share his little bug with me.  I have been sick for a week or so.  So...nothing has really been done around the house because as you all know, only mom can do it.  And, even if she can't really hold her head up, is sneezing a storm, coughing up a lung, it will all be alright when ever she does get around to it.  Come back and visit soon.  Will be updating later in the week the nativity progress.  I kind of hit a sweet spot with some large areas of the same color to stitch.  Oh my stars, that doing three or nine stitches of a color at a time just kills.  I should just nickname the project Small, because, "you're killing me Smalls).

That being said, I am off to soak and then to bed.  Have a really full day waiting for me tomorrow.  Will see how much I can get done.  Have you finished your Christmas shopping?  I am about a fourth of the way done.  Need some online orders to arrive, then wrapped, and one more shopping trip with hubby and we will be finished.  I am so excited that we are heading to Texas to see family right after Christmas.  I will have to pull some photos off Facebook of Buddy, Mrs. C shelf elf.  If you haven't heard of this craze you really should look it up.  She is so creative in story ideas that I just eagerly anticipate reading each day's post about what he was up to during the night.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday Wrap-up Workings

I came home Monday night and found that hubby had loaded Office 2007 on my computer. I am so happy to have my Word and Excell back, especially my Office photo manager.  YEAH!  It is so much easier to work with photos now.

Speaking of which, here is how the Nativity is looking.
At least this project is coming a long with out any problems.  As you know it is a UFO that I am determined to finish.  As slow as I stitch I am confident in saying that this will not be finished in time for Christmas.  Maybe by Christmas...2013?  It is fun to work on now, I can actually see some of the figures coming to life.  A wise man kneeling, the manger, an angel, a shepherd looking on.

Also, if you followed any of my postings, you would know that my "house" project was scrapped and am now going to scrap the SW Angel.  There is just way more work to taking out stitches and correcting stitching mistakes than is worth.  While I dearly adore the elderly friend that gave it to me, I have decided to just start from scratch and make a new one.  I will start on her after the holidays are over.  I have a few kits as well that I plan to work on.  I must say, the hands free embroidery stands are working quite wonderfully.  Just need to get the hang of tying off when I end a color.  It is awkward and bothersome to loosen a screw, flip the frame over, end that color...or start one for that matter...then flip it back over to work on.  I did see a neat YouTube video that is a basic how to for counted cross stitching.  It is really quicker stitching, with an in and out in one motion of the needle, however, with all the work I have already done on the piece it is a bit difficult at times to work the needle in and out from the same side.  But...that may be due in part to the fact that the cloth is loaded sideways in the scroll.  The cloth is way more wider than it is tall, so it only fits in a scroll frame sideways.  I am tempted to go back to a hoop frame and then place that in the floor frame.

Last night I made soup for supper.  We are all sick to different degrees.  Hubby has had it the worst, so he wanted to pass it on for our enjoyment.  I have had it, while my throat isn't so sore anymore, I have lost most of my voice, nose is running like crazy and I am so tired.  Taking care of Mr. M is not helping the matter either.  Miss Zebra has so far gotten by with barely any bug effects at all. Anyway, I made Enchilada Meatball Tortellini soup.  OH WAS IT GOOD! I really need to get my but in gear and get back to organizing a menu plan, start posting again on MPM and get this house cleaned up.  I still have stuff in a storage unit from mom.  Speaking of which, I need to make myself sit down and fill out forms for her insurance, social security death benefit, and finish up her personal papers to get ready for her final tax return.  So much to do, that I just don't really want to deal with.  And, especially this time of year, I miss them both so much.  I just get this overwhelming feeling of being an orphan.  Even though I am a grown woman with a mostly grown family of my own.

Now, hubby wants us to go camping and dirt bike riding with a dirt bike club this week end.  I am thinking that none of us are well enough to do this, and I can only think of all the things I need to do to get ready for Christmas.  I really do need to some how organize myself so that I can find time to not only stitch on my counted cross stitch project, but also on my quilting.  In January I will be building three crazy quilt diamond shapes and embellish them with embroidery and such for a swap.  The embellishment will take a little time to be sure, fortunately I sew really fast so building them will only take one evening. We will see what happens I guess.

Thanks for dropping in, come back often.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Update - Trying it a new way

So...hubby let me buy this new computer...frustrating and neat.  Mostly frustrating.  I love that it is an all in one design.  Large screen, no tower to find room for.  It has Windows 8 on it though.  I am doing better with navigating through the system, which by the way means that I have to use Explorer for my browser because Windows 8 does not play well with Google Chrome.  However...I no longer have any word processing program, spread sheet, or photo editing capabilities.  I can download photos from my camera, can scan photos, but have no way of printing them.  The system is set up for me to use Flickr, but you are charged for printing.

As it all stands now.  I can read blogs, emails, Facebook and such really well because of the better screen, but have to use my laptop for Excel or printing photos.  I can use our old PC for doing that, which has a larger screen, but it is so freaking slow.  I have my mom's PC in storage, may just bring it in and replace ours with it.  But, then I have to take the time to copy all the photos, favorites and such to a disk and then load on her system.  I have had to restore this new computer so many times just to get to this point, that I am glad I didn't have a bunch of programs and such installed yet.  It would seem that even though it isn't supposed to, it lost all my programs in the restore.  The new system picks up my printer, but under a different name and setting, so it doesn't quite work the same way either.  The scanner is next to the PC, so that is a little bothersome when I want to work with the scanner, but guess that is how it will have to be. 

On to some updates.  We will see how it works to post the photos, may have to switch over to the laptop, but would have to download my camera card on there before I start.  On to the main thoughts.

I finally received my embroidery frames.  One is a floor stand, one is a lap stand.  I got them put together and have scroll frames with projects on both.
They are not attached to each other, just looks that way in the photo.  They are two separate frame systems.  On the floor model is my Nativity.
I am coming along with it, slowly, frustratingly slow, but progressing.  It is only slow because I am slow at stitching.  Maybe the hands free will help me go a little faster.  Although, while I find it comfortable to work with the new frame, I find it quite awkward to go back an forth from the front to the back of the work.  There fore, starting and ending colors are bit hard for me.  I am sure it just a matter of getting use to how it works.  I saw a different kind of frame on a blog I was reading and am going to see if I can find one like it to purchase.

The other frame is the start of South West Angel, that I was given, mid progress.  I thought it would be simple to just pick up where my friend had left off and continue.  Not so it would seem.  First I had to find a replacement chart, which was simple enough thanks to  Then I put it on the scroll frame that came with the lap stand. Simple enough as well.  She parked her threads, which is something I just learned about, so I figured I would just be able to thread a needle and get started.  Now, it has become painfully obvious that this is going to be a lot more trouble than I first anticipated.
This is what she should look like when finished.  I just love her.  Well, love most things South West or Native American in design.  However, in looking over the chart to see where to start stitching, I was completely puzzled by what I found stitched.  It would seem that Yvonne, the lady that gave this to me, didn't use the colors listed, and it would also seem that she just picked up what she had on hand because she doesn't use the same color number for the symbol consistently.  Would also appear that she has added stitches where they don't belong. 
You can see for yourself.  Guess I have some frogging to do.  Just not sure how much I want to frog and which colors I want to change.

Now, as you can see, I have finally got a good thread stash.  I may have mentioned my shopping trip.  Well, okay two shopping trips.
This is my first trip.  I felt a little funny coming out of Walmart with this yard long receipt (literally) and this one small bag of thread.  Okay there were like over 200 skeins in that little bag, but fortunately skeins of floss do not take up nearly as much room to store as sewing thread or fabric.  After sorting and making a list of what I bought, I realized I was about half way to having all the colors.  At least the colors on my old swatch card.  I like my old swatch card because unlike the new ones which have images of the thread by it's color, this one has actual swatches of the thread.  So, a trip to JoAnn's and I found most of the rest of the colors I was missing. Actually, 205 plus about 11 that I duplicated...on purpose...because I love shades of blue.  Really love them.
Now, they are all in their proper place.  I sorted them by column on the swatch chart.  There are eleven columns in all.  The case to the left is taller, so each compartment holds a column.  The case to the right is half as deep, so it took two spaces for each column and then I have a space in the center for threads that are color numbers that are not on my chart.  Probably some of the colors that have some out since the chart was first published.  My next project will be to check the newest list of colors against the older one to see just how many colors are not listed.
This is my other big purchase.  I had a 50% off coupon and got it for less than one kit.  I have already found more projects in it than I will have time for, but I am up for the challenge.  Oh my, samplers, an angel, some really nice charts by some of best designers.  So exciting.

Guess that is about it for now.  Thanks for stopping in and come back soon.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Week End

Well we survived another Thanksgiving in the desert. It was a lot of fun and no one got hurt.  We took all the dirt bikes and both quads. At one point, had three of the four kids with us.  Oldest son and his wife and Mr. M came up there, so did Mr. College (youngest son) and of course, Miss Zebra (youngest daughter).  We did some riding, did some eating, even did a little shooting.  That was fun, first time in many years that I had fired my dad's pistol.  Thanks to my daughter in law's uncle, we had targets that looked like a masked intruder to aim at.  Once I remembered how to hold the pistol, I have a tenancy to let the barrel angle high instead of straight, I was all about hitting that dude.  I got him straight in the chest, the middle of the throat, and right between the eyes.  Would have aimed between his legs for the fun of it, but that part wasn't on the target.

I did some work on my cross stitch project.  I only took one project this trip to work on. I normally take several with all the best intentions, but only really work on one, so only one went with me.  I stitched like crazy though, when we weren't out shooting or riding.
It drives me crazy how slow this goes, as compared to a quilt I can start, make, complete in a couple of days time.  But, at least it is starting to show at least one shape.  The wise man is looking pretty solids now as is the manager.  I find that I am not really agreeing with the names of the colors, and they are a little bit confusing as I have a really hard time telling the slight changes in shades.  Such as the difference between dark taupe, medium taupe, light taupe and pale taupe.  Now the difference between the dark taupe and pale taupe I get.  The difference between the light taupe and pale taupe...not so much.  In fact, some of the colors seem to be the same even next to each other, but then when I do a larger portion of the design that is all the same color, I tend to see in my mind that there are two different colors.  I know it is just a trick of the eye, and lighting, but it still BUGS the crap out of me.

If you look close at the photo, the right side of the project has a straight line except for one lone stitch by itself.  That is not a mistake.  The straight line happens to be where that page of the chart ends.  The little stitch by itself is where I will line up the next page of the chart.  This is the project that I thought I would never be able to finish because I had lost the chart.  I had all the thread, but no directions.  On eBay I found a few kits, but they were wanting on average $30 to $35 for the kit.  Now, that really isn't that bad for this type of kit, but I just needed the chart.  A very kind internet friend of mine wrote me that she had that exact kit, but had not started on it yet.  She scanned the chart and mailed it to me.  It scanned a little weird, in several letter size sheets, but that made the chart larger and easier to read.  I picked the middle sheet of the design, since that is where I had already worked a good part of the project.  It worked out so well that from now on, all my counted cross stitch projects I am going to scan this way to work on them.

I have also learned that I am going to identify my threads a bit better from the start.  I saw this really cool thread organizer, came with symbol cards to place in it with the thread.  I am however wondering if the same symbols would be used all the time. I guess there is a common set of symbols, just change the color.  The cards are black and white so any color could be delegated to any symbol.
My only problem is that I would want an organizer for each project and they are a bit pricey to get more than one.  However, if you were only taking one on a trip with you, or only working on one at a time, it would be great.

I do have a major complaint with Herrschners though. Two weeks ago, I placed a few orders with them.  They were having free shipping for orders over $35.  And by a few I mean four.  The first order I placed was for an embroidery stand.  I have really been looking forward to having it arrive since I am sure it will be very helpful with handling a project while I work on it.  I ordered it, thinking it would be processed the following day.  This was my first time to order with them.  It was not even processed until 5 days later, and then it took another 5 days for it to be shipped.  The crazy thing is, the fourth order I placed was processed and shipped the following day.  I was emailed confirmation and tracking number for that order.  So I called and was told that I had hit during inventory on the first orders. I told her that this was my first time to order with the company and asked if this was common for the processing to be delayed and the shipping.  She was rather rude to me, just saying that it was not.  The other three orders were for some kits that were on sale.  Like I really need more projects.  But I am sure that when I am ready to work on them they will either have been discontinued or out of stock.  So, I jumped on the chance to get them at a sale price.  The kits will be hitting the first part of the week, according to tracking the frame is still in IL.  I just don't understand why the first order was the last to be processed and sent.  Makes me think twice about doing much more business with them.

To end on a bright note, I played a little more with my PC Stitch 10.  I want to convert a photo into a counted cross stitch chart, but am still trying to figure out how to do that.  I learned some new things this morning, but need to work through the tutorials a little more before I try a chart of my own.  Oh well, just takes time I guess.

Thanks for stopping by to visit, come again soon.  I have to get off the computer and put some work clothes on and go unload the food from the trailer.  I am hoping that hubby will get the RV put back in storage soon. I am tired of it sitting on our curb.  High hoe, high hoe, it's off to work I go so I can spend the evening stitching til I drop.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Showing Progress...A Little Anyway

Thought I would just post an update on my progress for the crafting home front.  The room is almost finished.  I brought in the new rocker, only to find it was busted.  The wood frame was broken completely apart in one section.  I took it back to the store and was refunded the money.  Since that store didn't have any more, was going to go to a different store location to get the same chair, but ended up going to the storage unit and brought home mom's little rocker.  It fits the space perfectly, but doesn't quite fit me.  Not sure exactly what it is, but my legs just don't quite fit, not long after sitting in the rocker, they feel like they are going to sleep from the knee down.  Reminds me of sitting too long on a tail gate or the top rail of a fence.  At any rate, I moved it closer to the wall, not so much room to rock, but seems to let my body sit better.  Will give a few weeks to see how it works out.  Maybe I just need to get used to it a bit.

I was having a heck of a time with the lighting as well, so bought one of those clamp on lamps and moved things around on the shelves so I could clamp it on with out it getting anything warm. You know, books or fabric or machines.  That part is working really great.  I still have to remove one chest of drawers to make room for a smaller chest and mirror set in mom's stored things.  Then, it will be pretty much a matter of boxes to go through and will be done with all of mom's things. That will be a good day when all of that is behind me.  

On to other news.

Both of these UFO projects are now trash.  The mailboxes was a crewel embroidery kit that I bought and started in the late 70's.  I had changed the address on the mailbox twice.  Thought about trying to finish it up, still had all the thread for it and the directions, but on closer inspection found that a significant amount of the stitches had worn apart and broken at the edges where it came in and out of the fabric.  The thread for the project was not in any better shape so...I dumped it all.  It had some sentimental memories attached that I didn't want to carry around either.

The second project, the hose, after doing a considerable amount of work on I found that I had stitches several rows off from where they should be, rows missing completely and sets of stitches where they shouldn't be.  The whole thing was going to end up looking like a photo torn apart and put back together...but not quite matching. So...I scrapped it as well.  I still have the chart and most of the thread, so went and bought some new cloth and will start over from the beginning, but not until I get a few things finished up.  I didn't toss it though, there is quite a bit of empty cloth at the bottom that I can use for some smaller designs.

Besides, I went a little nuts and bought several kits that were on sale so now have enough to keep me busy for about three years.  Longer, considering how long it takes me to stitch.  Also, since I have the PC Stitch 10 software, am thinking about using some family photographs to make some charts.  Since they are my photos, am thinking about making them in to charts and with the addition of cloth and thread, sell as a kit.

On a more positive note.  Thankfully a very kind person was able to provide me with a chart to finish my Nativity project.

My camera has quit, bought a new one, but it is not raking a very clear image for some reason. However, you can see that there is not a lot of progress, considering how long I have been working on it, but there is some positive progress.  At least this project has had no major mistakes on it.  Everything has been where it is supposed to be.  With the exception of one little set of stitches, about four all together, so I just stitched the correct  color thread on top of them.  It will be my humility patch so to speak.  Yes, I know that one is not supposed to do that, suppose it can be stated that it would break down the threads, warp the weave or such, but I just don't mind.  The finished project is for me, for my own personal use after all.

I wonder, when I am dead and gone, what my kids will think about all the stuff their mom has attached to and whether or not they will just end up trashing it all, or some of it, as I have been doing with my mom's things?  That thought would have bothered me at one time, just as it has bothered me to discard some of my mom's things.  But in the long run, the grand scheme of things, it just doesn't seem to matter any more.  Maybe that is what I am telling myself to get through the holidays.  I think that Christmas is going to be very tough.

Well, off to get a little something done while the grand baby sleeps.  Thank you for stopping in and come again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Busy Bee I Am

Busy as a bee I have been.  I have gotten all the fabric from storage shed and storage unit all refolded to match the shelf size and organized by color, cottons and flannels.  I found so many lost projects that I will not have to start any thing new for a year or more.  Of course I will, but just saying. It sure feels good to have it all where I can get to it and use it.

Now, to update things.  I have received some of my quilt book purchases.  One book in particular I am extremely well pleased with.  It has 101 patterns to use with rotary cutting, I have put sticky tabs on about half of them to make in the future.  I also received my calendars form Piecemakers.  I can tell I may have bitten off a bit more than I can chew with them, but I just love them and of course it is not so overwhelming when you look at it being a block each month.

My PC Stitch arrived and is loaded on the computer.  Will have to work a bit to figure that one out, but I will.  For the moment, I have a half dozen counted cross stitch projects in various stages of completion, none of which are really very far along actually.  Also have about five or so cross stitch kits as well.  I have quickly come to the conclusion that I need a lap frame, or hands free I think it is called.  I would get the floor model, but feel it would be make me have to lean up or such and make my back hurt.  I also need to head to Jo-Ann's or Michael's and buy a couple of more hoop frames.  Yesterday, I was actually able to sit and stitch once again and choose my Victorian house kit to work on.
I worked a few hours, over a hundred stitches.  Yes I know I am slow.  At any rate, after finishing a good little section I realized I used the wrong color thread.  Thought about leaving it, just changing from that point on to the correct color, but in the end decided to do it right and play frog and stitching in the correct color, so went to bed at 2 am thinking I just wasted the whole evening. Today, while Mister M was sleeping, I was able to get back to the point I was at before ripping out, and added a good amount more. I must in all honesty admit, it makes a dramatic difference in the look of the project.  It doesn't seem like much more has been added since this photo was taken, but I know it has.  I even found a small section that I had done back when I started and that was about 2 rows off in one direction that I decided to rip and do over to get those stitches where they belonged.  Something like that could throw off the whole design, and I just couldn't figure out a way to correct it other wise.  I am well pleased with what I did do.  I would have kept going a little longer tonight, but I am rubbing my stitching arm raw moving it from front to back of the frame and my free hand is holding the frame, my wrist is going out with it.  That is why I am getting the hands free frame.  I do have a project on a scroll frame that I have not started a single stitch on as yet, and am thinking I will put it up for a while and then transfer the house project over to it.

I received my AccuQuilt Go and finally able to play with it a bit.  Took it to the quilt meeting last week and used it to cut 6-1/2 inch squares.  There is a bit of learning curb with that thing, but I do like it so far.  In fact, will be placing an order soon for some more dies, shapes actually.  I will be using it a lot though, I can already see. Just need to figure out how to place my fabric so the print or design of the fabric is cut straighter.  My stripes are running a bit wonky on some.

I have also bought a new table and rocker for the sewing room.  I was using a card table, which worked fine, just a little too big for the space.  I went cheap and bought a plastic folding table, it is a rectangle and working so much better.  I will be moving the recliner out to the garage tomorrow and bringing in my new one before I go get Mister M.  I am also working on storage options as I want to get rid of a set of dresser drawers that I have full in this sewing room.  A lot of the stuff can go to storage, some can go to Goodwill.  I have a little chest and mirror that was mom's that I want to bring in to replace it.  Much smaller, more compact.  Speaking of the craft room, I will go looking for some fabric some time this week to make the long curtains that will close off the closet instead of doors.  Plan on getting a little extra to make a little window treatment for in here as well.

I will post photos of the sewing room when I get it all finished. Now, I am going to take a bath and get some sleep.  I hurt my foot, twice, same foot, in two days time and I am going to soak it before I hit the bed.  Thanks for stopping in and come back soon.