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.

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