Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve in Arizona

Well, here it is, New Year's Eve in Arizona. As you can see, it's such a beautiful day that Bear just had to go out and enjoy the sunshine. It probably felt good on his old bones. It was about 75 degrees and the sky was a gorgeous shade of blue. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. This is why we live here in AZ. Well, not all of the reasons but it sure helps. As usual, we will have a quiet evening at home. Sherrie is going over to a friend's house so Dave & I will probably watch a movie and then watch the ball go down in New York at 10 PM. Then off to bed. Sometimes I wish we would do something a little more exciting. We thought about going to a movie tonight but Dave isn't feeling real well today so that has been postponed. Oh, to be young again and able to party half the night away.
Well, I hope everyone out there has a wonderful New Year. Here's to 2009!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

It's a Disease!

It's a sickness, I tell you. Just when I've made up my mind that there'll be no new stash in this house, along comes another must-have design. I saw the new design from Ink Circles called Cirque des Carreaux and just had to have it. It doesn't help when my friends at work tell me it has to be displayed as a WIP in the store. We sold an awful lot of patterns for Cirque des Cercles that way. So I agreed that it had to be started. I'm so weak! Of course, I'm doing it, once again, on 25 count lugana over one. I love this color fabric but what a pain it was trying to get just the right shade of thread. I first tried a rust and green but the rust faded right into the fabric. Then I tried a shaded green and pale green but the pale green muddied the pattern up. So now I have a really dark green/bright green and I think this is the one I'm going with. If it isn't then I'm going to go with another color fabric. Besides I've already ripped it out twice already and I refuse to do it again. Stitching over one is hard enough. Frogging it is the pits. I'll be posting my progress on this so we'll see how long this takes me. I can't work on this too much cause I still have the Chinese piece I'm working on for Chris for his birthday in late january. Must stitch faster!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to All!

Well, it seems like only yesterday that Thanksgiving was here and now Christmas Day is almost over. We had a lovely holiday with the kids and Brian's girlfriend. Then we watched a movie and am now contemplating dinner. I've been having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit but today was really nice and quiet. We also got a Nintendo Wii for the family and have been playing it today. Dave also gave me a Wii Fit and it looks like exercise will finally be fun. On the cross stitch side, he got me the kit you see in the picture. Now I know I supposed to be getting rid of stash but I have loved this design ever since I first saw it in a catalog a couple of years ago. So I figured it was okay to get it. How's that for justification?!
I hope everyone has had a Blessed Christmas with family and friends. Here's to the New Year!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Christmas Present!

Well, these are the storage units we're decided upon for my craft room. We were originally going to get one with space for a new TV but frankly I don't need a new TV. It would be nice but really, all I do in that room with the TV is watch dvds so there was no need to get a new one. I have the same amount of storage space with these 2 units as the other one had. The advantage of these is that they can be mounted on the wall and save floor space. I plan on putting one on the wall where the units are now and one on the wall adjacent to it. I've reduced the file cabinets from 2 to 1. Now I just need to find a spot for the boxes of stash I intend on rehoming. My plan is to get everything out of the garage into the craft room and moving the boxes out to the garage. Now the fun begins, organizing everything. Actually I'm looking forward to it. I'll get to see stash I haven't seen in a couple of years. Should be fun.
On a sadder note, one of my oldest and dearest stitching friends passed away on Tuesday not one hour after I had talked to him. He and his wife were 2 of my first customers ever when I started working at a cross stitch store here in Phoenix. I've known them for almost 13 years. He'd had heart trouble but recently had been doing well. It was just such a surprise. His wife came to see me in the store on Thursday (to pick up a piece I had borrowed for the measurements) and she was just so strong. She mentioned that he had a ton of UFO's (who doesn't) and said she might need my help in finishing some. I would be honored to help such a good friend. I know I'm at an age where this will happen more and more but it's always such a surprise when it does happen. I'll miss him. RIP, Haydn.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Little More Progress!

Well, I've given up on the idea that this is going to be a Christmas present for Chris. So Now it's going to be for his birthday in late January. I guess I didn't realize just how big the over-one section was going to be. I am quite pleased with how it's turning out so if it has to wait till his birthday, I'm okay with that.
I managed to get the floor of the craft room cleaned off in time for Thanksgiving. Actually I'm very happy with the progress I've made in the Great Purge. I ended up with 4 1/2 banker's boxes full of patterns and leaflets to be rehomed. All of what is left, including magazines and the patterns I've removed from them, will fit in one file cabinet. The TV and it's stand is going as well. Dave found an entertainment unit from Ikea that is going to fit perfectly in there. And my Christmas present will be a flat screen TV to go in that room. We hope to have it all done by the new year. I'll post pictures when it's finished. Now to decide what to do with the banker's boxes.
I hope this was a wonderful Thanksgiving for everyone. I know so many are enduring hardships right now. I feel so blessed to have a terrific family and home, a good job, and so far no money worries. Brian & Sherrie are home for the weekend and it's been great having them here. So I'm very thankful for everything God has blessed us with. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sad News Indeed!

I just noticed that I hadn't written anything since October 19. Haven't made a whole lot of progress on the Chinese piece either. I guess it will have to be Chris' birthday present in January. The sad news is that Dave's dad passed away 2 weeks ago tomorrow. We flew done to Florida for his funeral this past Friday and just got back late last night. The good part about all of this is he never had any pain. Tylenol was the strongest thing he had taken. That was a real blessing. It was a sad occasion yet it was sort of a reunion as well. I hadn't seen some of my nieces since they were babies and now they are beautiful young women. Chris managed to fly down from Minneapolis and I know how much David appreciated that. Brian and Sherrie were not able to go. I know Dave misses him tremendously but as Christians we also know he's with his Father now. It reminds me just how time is passing and how much we need to live life as fully as possible. I also don't want another 20 years to go by without seeing my nieces and nephew. So much is lost that way. So kiss your families and always remember to tell them you love them.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Progress on Christmas Present

Well, I've made some progress on my Christmas present for Chris & Annette. Believe it or not, I've accomplished quite a lot. The solidly stitched area in the middle is going quite fast and once that is done, it should be finished very quickly. I've actually had fun stitching on this. I love stitching over one. The Chinese characters are stitched in silk and that is a real joy to stitch with. The rest is DMC except for the gold. That is Petite Treasure Braid from Rainbow Gallery. I actually like it better than Kreinik braid or blending filament. It's much easier to use. I also might try to find an overdyed to stitch 2 long panels of the sides rather than using several different colors of dark red. I haven't decided about that yet. Hopefully this should be done in time to get it framed and sent off to Minneapolis for Christmas. Otherwise it will be a birthday present for Chris in late January.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

These Items for Sale!

Now that I've cleaned out the file cabinets, I've been trying to decide what is the best way to sell off my stash. A friend of mine suggested that I try to sell some of it on here. So I thought I'd try with a few items and see how it goes. I tried to post pictures but for some reason blogger isn't accepting them right now. If anyone wants to see pictures, I'll be glad to email them one. All of these items have never been used and are in excellent condition. They all come from a non-smoking home. I do have pets but they don't have access to my craft room so that shouldn't be too big a concern. Here's what I'm offering up today:

Remember the Ladies: Rabbit's Patch Sampler (includes the pattern and 10 half skeins of Silk Mori floss from Kreinik) $5.00

Remember the Ladies: Flowers for My Friends (includes the pattern and 9 half skeins of Silk Mori floss from Kreinik) $5.00

Sister's Needlebook Kit from Stitches & Spice (includes hand dyed fabric and floss, pattern and finishing instructions) $5.00

Pink Dogwood Sampler (OOP chart) from La Broderie $2.00

Garden of Virtues (includes pattern and button/charm pack) from Lorri Birmingham Designs

If interested, please email me and we can arrange for payment and shipment.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Our State Fair Is a Great State Fair!

My apologies for stealing a line from the move State Fair. I just couldn't resist. The weather was gorgeous here in Phoenix today. 76 degrees with a cool breeze blowing. Ok, it was a pretty hefty wind but I love windy days so it was fine with me. Dave and I decided to go to the AZ State Fair in the morning and beat the large crowds. We had lunch, as usual, at the Piggly Wiggly booth and ended the day with our usual massages. We are such creatures of habit! I did see something new which I thought was really cute. It was called the Banana Derby and had little cappucine monkeys riding really big dogs. Apparently the monkeys decided to ride the dogs first and the owners decided that maybe others might enjoy seeing them perform. Both species seemed to be having a really good time and I don't think it bothered either the dogs or the monkeys. My other favorite thing was the animal barns. They had some 3 day old chicks that were adorable. They were all huddled under the heat lamp to keep warm. I also loved the bunnies. I wonder what Squeak would do with a rabbit. I was really surprised that there wasn't more cross stitch on exhibit. There must have been over 100 quilts on display and maybe a dozen cross stitch and needlepoint pieces. I guess that's the way it's been for a while now. I believe cross stitch will make a comeback, It's just a matter of time. Well, the animals need fed and David's is (im)patiently waiting for me to watch a movie with him. Happy Fall, y'all!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Purge Continues!

Well, the purge here has continued. I admit it's taking longer than I anticipated but I don't have a deadline so I'm not too worried about it. I've cleaned out both file cabinets and I know exactly what's staying from my magazine collection. I had thought about keeping all my Treasures in Needlework issues and my Cross Stitch Sampler issues but let's get real. I've had them for over 10 years now and have never stitched anything out of them. And probably won't. So they are going. The first 2 pictures are what's staying (so far). The third picture is what is going. Now I've made a rule that whatever is in the going pile, then there's no second chances. Once it's there, it's gone. I do want to make one more pass at the things I think I'll be keeping to see if I can get rid of anything else. I've already gone through it twice and I figure three times should be plenty. Each time I go through things, it gets a little bit easier. Now I need to decide how I'm going to get rid of stuff. I think some of it will go to Big Brothers Big Sisters for their stores. The rest I'll sell, probably on Quin's. Ebay has just gotten to be too expensive with all their fees. I do feel good about what I've accomplished so far. Now to figure out how to store everything when I'm through sorting.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Change in Plans!

Well, the windmill is almost done. But I've put it aside in order to do this chart for Chris & Annette for Christmas. I thought they'd really like it considering their goal is to go to China as missionaries. It's all stitched in DMC but I've made (as usual) a couple of changes. I'm doing the motifs in the corners in cross stitch and the gold will be a bright metallic gold as opposed to a floss. I also got a black silk to stitch the Chinese characters. And I'm stitching it over one on 25 count cream lugana. I hope to frame it with red and gold mats and a black bamboo frame. I'm going to try to have it done in time to send it to them for Christmas. So I really have to get moving on this one. The windmill will just have to wait.

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Little More Progress!

Well, I thought I'd have this finished by now. Of course I couldn't take in on vacation with me. Then when I came back the Olympics were on and I couldn't focus on stitching when I was busy watching to see if Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals. I could only sit and knit so it wasn't like I totally wasted the time spend in front of the TV. Then I had to help Sherrie get ready to go off to school. Oh, by the way, Brian went with her and Dave and I are officially empty nesters. So we decided to spend Labor Day weekend painting the dining room and got a good start on the living room as well. We've only been living here 14 years and just now decided it was time. A little slow, I'll admit but well worth the wait. It's amazing how much a new paint job changes the complexion of a room. So now I've run out of excuses. I'd like to get this finished in the next week cause I found a design I want to do for Chris and Annette for Christmas. So my Highland Living will have to wait till that's done. But this one is going quickly (when I work on it) and I really like the look of the perle cotton instead of the floss.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Purge Part 2

Ok, this is really hard (yes, I am whining here). I finally finished going through the first drawer of my file cabinet. I guess the first decision I had to make was do I want to work on mostly BAP's from here on out or do I want to stitch short, quick projects from now on? Or do I want to mix it up and do a combination of both? I think I do want to mix it up a bit cause there's no way I only want to do the big ones from here on out. I do like the satisfaction of finishing something once in a while. So I found myself getting rid of lots of different graphs and patterns. As I was going through everything, I felt like I was revisiting old friends. I hadn't seen some of those charts in years and had forgotten all about them. I guess that's a good sign that I'm on the right track by purging them. I'm also having second thoughts about some of the things I swore never to get rid of. I found some Shepherd's Bush patterns that just don't appeal to me anymore. Now I still love all their kits but some of the patterns just seem kind of pale to me. So they went into the sell pile. As much as I dislike getting rid of all this stuff, I also feel good about taking back my space. It's like I have the proverbial devil on one shoulder and angel on the other. The devil is telling me that I'll need it someday and I relly want to keep it, so why not? The angel, on the other hand, is saying you didn't even remember you had it so why shove it back in storage for another 30 years (yep, some of my charts are really that old). I figure if someone can get some enjoyment out of them, well, that's ok with me.

Friday, August 22, 2008

It Has Begun!

Well, I said about a month ago that I need to purge my stash and today was a good start. Both Brian and Sherrie are up at NAU now and Dave had to work, so I decided to take back my craft room. Sherrie had moved into it for the summer as her refuge so this was the first chance I've had to get in there and work. Dave and I went to Ikea last weekend because I still want to get an organizer wardrobe from there to organize all my stash. Dave said we needed to see how much storage I'd need before we went and bought anything (now why didn't I think of that ;-p). So today I started purging. I got about 1 drawer of 1 file cabinet done. Now that may not seem like alot but, remember, I had already started on the magazines earlier this year. I was ruthless. I know I'll never stitch everything I have so most of it is going to go. What I can, I'll try to auction off on Quin's cross stitch auction. I used to use ebay but their fees have become prohibitive for the small amount I price things at. That which I don't suceed in selling is going to go to Goodwill. I also went through folders and found articles I had printed off from Prodigy (that tells you how old they were) that I had forgotten I had. I recycled all those plus lots of free patterns I had printed off the Web. The recycling bin was full by the time I quit for the day. I also have quite a pile to sell. Once this drawer is finished, I'll only have 1 more partial drawer in that file cabinet, then it will be purged. The 2nd one is the one I'm dreading. The first drawer has things that have already been purged, so no problem there. The other 3 drawers have all my patterns and charts and books that I've collected over the years. Almost 30 years to be exact. It's gonna kill me to get rid of some of them but I need to commit to doing this. I have decided certain things will not leave the house. All my Shepherd's Bush kits and patterns, all my Drawn Thread kits and patterns are staying if I have to be buried with them. Everything else is fair game.

I mentioned earlier in this post that both Brian and Sherrie have gone to school. Yep, I now have an empty nest. It was okay today but last night was kinda weird. Now most of the time Dave and I would watch TV by ourselves anyway but we always knew someone else was in the house. Last night just felt... different. Not better, not worst, just different. I'm praying this time Brian takes full advantage of this opportunity cause I'm afraid if he blows this one, there may not be another one for him. Only time will tell.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Great Vacation!

Well, vacation has come and gone. I can hardly believe Sherrie is heading back to school this week (and with a lot of luck & prayer Brian will be going to NAU as well). We had a wonderful time on vacation. It had been years since Dave and I had gone to any amusement parks. Monday we stopped at the beach before we checked into the hotel. The girls had a fun time splashing in the water. Elizabeth (the tall gal in turquoise) had never seen the ocean before so it was quite a treat for her. After dinner at a nice Thai restaurant, we never saw the girls till it was time to leave on Thursday. Dave and I spent Tuesday at Universal Studios and Wednesday at Disneyland. I have to admit I liked Universal Studios better than Disney. The rides were so much more exciting. Dave started feeling ill on the first one we went on and didn't start feeling better till after lunch. So I ended up on the Jurassic Park River ride twice. The first time he didn't feel like riding and the second time because he did. So I spent most of the day wet but since it was hot, that didn't bother me. Wednesday we went to Disneyland. We enjoyed it but my knees and ankle really started hurting me so we ended up renting a wheelchair so I could get around a little better. Taking this vacation was like being a kid again. Now I'm not saying I would do it anytime again real soon, but it was lots of fun while it lasted. And we got to spend some quality time with the girls (well, while they were a captive audience in the car that is). So now it's back to a pile of receiving at work and a dining room that needs painted at home.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My Next Venture

First of all, it's been hard to imagine that a whole year has gone by since I began blogging. Where has the time gone? But it's been great. I've met new people, learned many new things and in general broadened my horizons and my outlook on life. So Happy Blogiversary to me!
Since I'm on the home stretch of my windmill, I thought I'd get my next project lined up. I really thought about doing another Michael Powell but decided to give him a rest for now. This is a chart from Mary Hickmont called Highland Living. I really like her designs because they are so dimensional. She uses 1 strand and 2 strands and half and whole stitches. I stitched a couple of her designs (when I model stitched from Down Under Designs) and really enjoyed them. This one was originally published in her magazine but I couldn't find it so ordered it from Britstitch. I'm stitching it on a hand-dyed fabric from Wichelt called Stormy Grey 28ct linen. I've pulled the Anchor threads (I really prefer to use them over DMC). I was originally going to use a hand-dyed fabric from Silkweavers but the only way it would fit was to do it over 1. Now I love to work over 1 but I was afraid it would lose some of it's texture if I just used one strand so I went with over 2 on 28ct. I thought about 32ct but couldn't find a color I liked in it. So hopefully I can start this before too long.
Well, off to pack for our vacation. Disney, here we come!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Slow Progress

Well, I've been making slow progress on the backstitching on this piece. I could have been stitching more on it but as usual, life just keeps interfering. I've been able to work on it a little in the mornings before work, but in the evenings I'm pretty tired, so I usually just knit. But little by little I am making progress. I'd like to get a little more done before we go on vacation. Yep, Dave and I are driving Sherrie and 2 of her friends to Disneyland on Monday and coming home on Thursday. It was supposed to be a road trip for the girls but no one wanted to drive. So I volunteered us. We're going to be pretty much on our own so it should be fun. But I can't imagine having a whole lot of time to stitch so maybe I'll get some done tonight and tomorrow in between packing and getting ready.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Almost There!

Well, as you can see by the picture, I finally finished the cross stitching for my windmill. I have also started the backstitching. Or I should be more accurate and call it the longstitching. I'm using the #8 perle cotton instead of the 2 strands of floss that the pattern calls for. In the 2 other Michael Powells I've done, I could never get the backstitching to look right. If I laid it or railroaded it, it separated into 2 distinct strands. If I didn't lay it, it looked twisted. Hence the perle cotton. I do like the way it makes things pop so I think I'm on the right track. I did experiment to see how it would work in real small areas such as around one single square (like the windows). I was worried that it might be too heavy but after staring at it for several days, I've decided I like the effect of the heavier thread. I did make one mistake already. I'm still trying to decide if I want to rip back to it and fix it. I'm sure it won't be my only one. But it does stick out in my eyes. Maybe cause I know where it is. I need to figure out if it will bother me every time I look at it. I guess I will fix it cause my eyes go right to it even in this small picture. Hopefully it won't take me too terribly long to finish this cause I'm anxious to work on something else now.

Friday, July 25, 2008

My First Award!

I am so excited. I received my my first blog award yesterday from Dawn of GoldenAngelWorks. It was such a surprise too. Now I know I'm supposed to pass it on to 5 other blogs I read and enjoy. I read alot of blogs but have been really to shy to post comments on most of them. So I suppose if I pass this award on to others, they may be kinda shocked receiving it from a stranger. But I do have several blogs that I read regularily and highly enjoy. Please don't ask me to do the blue thingy because right now that's beyond my scope of knowledge. So here goes nothing:
Sharon's Cross Stitch Obsession
Stitching with a View - Beatrice
Gone Stitching... - Martha
Stitching & Sharing - Karen
A Few of My Favorite Things - Lee Ann
What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day
Ok, so that's 6. What can I say? These are my favorites and I'm sticking by them. Ladies, you're all so very creative and I get inspired by your blogs all the time. Keep up the wonderful work! And, Dawn, thank you again for your wonderful thoughtfulness.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More of My Favorites

I didn't quite finish all of the cross stitching on my windmill last weekend. I got sidetracked by my family who wanted to watch movies on Sunday. Then on Monday Sherrie & I went to see Journey the the Center of the Earth with Brandon Frasier. Ok movie, yummy star. He's one of my favorite actors and I love how he can laugh at himself. Oh well, I digress. So I've been working on the windmill all the rest of the week and am almost done with the cross stitching. Hopefully I can finish it today or tomorrow. So since I didn't have that one done, I thought I'd post pictures of the other 2 I have finished already. The first one is called Street and the other is Lighthouse. I've had such fun stitching these and am already planning which one I'm going to start next (after I do Highland Living). He has a new one out called English Village I that's been calling my name and that may have to move to the top of the list. I also see that he has a new freebie on his website that's really cute that I may have to do as well. Thanks, Beatrice, for alerting me to that one.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Almost There!

Well, I've made considerable progress on my windmill since I last posted. I just have a little more of the sky left and then I can start on the backstitching. All the same color can get quite tedious but I've been doing it at night while watching TV. I no longer have to refer to the chart so I can concentrate on whatever I'm watching and it helps keep me from falling asleep. Sometimes when I'm really tired, I can even fall asleep while knitting but so far never while cross stitching. I plan on trying to finish the cross stitch part by tomorrow (we're on summer hours at the shop - closed on Mondays. Yeah!). Then it will probably take a couple of weeks to do all the backstitching. When this one is done, I plan on taking it and the other 2 Michael Powells I've finished to be framed. I'll probably use a black frame with some kind of mat. I have thought about a black mat with a gold metallic frame. We'll have to see when I get there.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Wonderful Read!

I just finished reading a book that should be required reading for everyone. I sure most people have heard of Randy Pausch. He's the young professor from Carnegie-Mellon who gave a lecture in their Last Lecture series. Only his really was a last lecture as he has terminal pancreatic cancer. I would say he's dying of it but from the book, you realize that he is living with it. Yes, he's living on borrowed time but he is making the most of it. The book, The Last Lecture, expands upon what he said in his last lecture. It's all about achieving your childhood dreams. More importantly, it's about how you live your life now. I'm sure all of us have unfulfilled dreams from the past. I know I sure do. But it's what I'm doing now, in the present, that matters. This is something I've only recently learned. Too many regrets for things unaccomplished can make a person restless and unhappy. There was a line in a movie I watched recently about settling. The one gal said she didn't want to settle and the other one asked her what was wrong with settling if everything still turned out well? That got me to thinking that she's right. Who knows where I'd be if I had taken another path? Back to the book. I laughed and I cried while reading it. But the one thing that really struck me was that I've been an Eeyore all my life and there's a Tigger inside just waiting to come out. You'll have to read it to understand what I'm referring to. It's a book I plan on reading several more times. And I plan on giving copies to my family and friends. Buy it, borrow it or check it out from the library. I dare you to read it!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Some More Progress

Well, I'm almost 3/4 of the way done with my windmill by Micahel Powell. I'm really enjoying this one. I wonder though if I've made a mistake by waiting until the end to do all of the backstitching. Normally that's what I do but there is a tremendous amount of it in his designs and for the other 2 I've done, I did it as I went along. I've no idea why I decided to wait on this one but we'll see how much I'm liking it when I'm done. I actually like backstitching but his is so strange, more like long stitches. I've also decided to do it with #8 perle cotton as opposed to 2 strands of floss. I really wasn't happy with the way the floss looked so I thought the perle cotton would look better. I'm really anxious to get this done so I can start on Shores of Hawk Run Hollow. I'm all ready to start it and I'm chomping at the bit to get it under way. My friend at work machine basted it on the scroll rods and finally brought them in on Thursday. But I am determined to finish the windmill before I start on a new project.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

I'm in a little bit of a quandry here. I've been working on Cirque des Triangles for a while now. I've been stitching it on Christmas Green Hardanger fabric with a multicolored Weeks Dye Works thread. When I'm at home, I really don't like the combination. When it's at work, it's not so bad. So I decided to start it over with a totally different combination of fabric and fibers. The 2nd photo is using a light pink 32ct linen over 2 threads with an overdyed thread from Thread Werks. Both the thread and fabric are actually pinker than they show in the photo. I'm really torn between the 2. My friends at work tell me I should stick with the green cause they really like that one. But I like the pink too. Maybe it's the lighting at home that's bothering me. I've done too much work to just chuck the green although I've been tempted to sometimes. I'm just not sure if I'll like it after putting all that work into it. I definitely will do the pink. I really like that one. I've never been one to stitch something twice but I may have to in this case.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Another One Done

Well, I finished another UFO. This one wasn't so old. I started it at the beginning of this year so really it's only been in progress for 6 months. It's a needlepoint piece that I took a class for in January. I learned about 13 different stitches that I can use in later pieces. The colors used in the original model didn't suit me at all so, as I usually do, I changed them. I had all but the braided border around it finished. I found it on my worktable last week and decided to get it out and finish it. Isn't it amazing how we can get so close to finishing something and then for whatever reason just stop right before it's done? I plan on having it framed. When my windmill is done, I'll take this one and my New Zealand animals and my 3 Michael Powells that I'll have finished and get them all framed at the same time. The framer is very inexpensive for custom framing and I really don't have anything fancy planned for any of them. I do have to say that he's rather opinionated and if I have something I have definite ideas for or feel very strongly about, I'll pay a little more and take it to the other framer I use. I was rather disappointed in how CDC was framed and I'm tempted to take it and have it reframed. But I'm flexible about this one (as well as the others) so I'll use the less expensive option.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I've Got to Stop!

Ok, I just left my craft room and there's hardly room to turn around in. Now admittedly, a lot of the stuff that is currently residing in there is my daughter's stuff from college. So it's not totally my fault. But I do have to admit I have way too much stash. I have been taking patterns out of magazines that I want and getting rid of the rest of the magazine. That has emptied out about 2 drawers of the filing cabinet. Now I need to organize the loose patterns. The other file cabinet has 3 drawers full of patterns, leaflet and charts. For a while I was selling things on ebay but their fees have gotten so outrageous that I need to find another way to sell them. I have so many old patterns that I love but I know I'll never stitch them. I think it's time I got realistic about what I can do. I've moved them from Florida to Pennsylvania and finally to Arizona. I think it's time for them to find a permanent home with someone else. It's so hard though working in a shop. You want one of everything that comes in the door. Multiply it by 13 years of working and well... you get the picture. Not only do I have cross stitch stuff all over the place (in my craft room, the family room and the garage), I also have a yarn stash I started (again) 3 years ago when I went to work for this other shop after mine closed. They have yarn everywhere, some of it old and discontinued and some of it gorgeous and new. My yarn stash isn't yet so out of control. And the neat thing is that after years of protesting she'd never learn, Sherrie has started to knit. She is working for the summer at the same shop I'm working at, helping to organize their yarn shop. They told her if she was going to work there, she was going to learn to knit and, believe it or not, she has. And seems to be enjoying it. She's also been eyeing my yarn stash and pointing out the yarn she would like. Now if I can just get her interested in cross stitch. Anyway, I need to start being ruthless about what I buy and what I keep or soon there won't be any spare room in the house.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fun Day at the Zoo!

When we lived in Pennsylvania, Memorial Day was a really big day for our little village. The fireman had their carnival that weekend and their parade was on Saturday night. But the big day was always Monday. Boalsburg claimed to be the unofficial birthplace of Memorial Day. I know there's a town in New York which has the official designation but that's because they have written records to back their claims. Boalsburg has an oral tradition that goes back 2 years earlier but because they cannot come up with the written records to back them up, they can only claim be the unofficial birthplace of Memorial Day.
So what does this have to do with the zoo? Well, Dave and I decided to do something special, so we thought a trip to the Phoenix Zoo was in order. Now we've been to Tucson's Reid Park Zoo to visit Boris the polar bear quite often. And we really like the World Wildlife Zoo but we hadn't been to Phoenix in years. Sherrie decided to come with us (Brian had to work) and we were very pleasantly surprised. My major complaints about it in the past was that there was not enough water fountains and hardly any shade at all. Well, they must have added water fountains and the trees must have grown up quite a bit because it was rather pleasant there this time. Now I'm not sure I'd go in the middle of the summer, but the weather on Monday was perfect. I still think you can see the animals better at the other 2 zoos but we had lots of fun there. I think one of my favorite exhibits was Monkey Village. You actually get to walk in among the monkeys and get fairly up close to them. I've also posted pictures of my other 2 favorites, the otters and flamingoes. There's no polar bear and no penguins which are my all time favorite zoo animals. As long as I can visit them at the other zoos, I'm happy.
It also gave me a chance to try out Sherrie's camera. I've wanted a camera of my own for a while now and Dave wanted me to try hers out to see how I liked it. I liked it alot but I also wanted longer zoom length so when we came home, he ordered me the next model up. That should be here this week and I'll be able to take pictures any time I want without hauling out the bigger camera.
We left the zoo about noon and decided to stop at Fuddrucker's for lunch. Love those burgers!
Came home and did some stitching and relaxing. What a perfect day!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

More Progress!

Well, Ive made more progress on Michael Powell's Windmill. I'm a little bit more than half way done with the cross stitching. I've been debating whether to do all the backstitching at the end or do some of it now and the rest later. I think while I'm on a roll, I'll just keep on with the cross stitching. I'm really pleased with the way this one is turning out. And I have to admit I broke done and bought his newest design called English Village I. I really, really like his designs and can't seem to get enough of them. If it hadn't been for them and Ink Circles, I'd probably still be in my stitching slump. Now I haven't had any of them framed yet (they're hanging in the shop with thumb tacks in the corners) but I still enjoy looking at them. I didn't get much chance to stitch in Minneapolis due to lack of time but also because the lighting in the apartment was really bad. Most of my recent progress has been made in the last week or two. This one makes me happy just looking at it. Wouldn't you love to live in one of his pictures?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Trip to Minneapolis!

A couple of weeks ago, Dave and I went to Minneapolis for a long weekend. Our son, Chris and his wife, Annette, were getting their Master's degrees from seminary and we went up for the ceremony. I'd never been there before. They have visited us since they got married almost 3 years ago and, of course, we went to Wisconsin for their college graduation and wedding. I had never been to Minneapolis before and made all kinds of plans for sightseeing. The only thing I got to do was a trip to the Mall of America. We spent most of our time just visiting with them and her sister and her family. We also helped set up a reception for the kids after the ceremony. We are so very proud of both of them. They both graduated with honors and Chris won the Faculty Academic Award for having the highest GPA among the Masters of Theology students who graduated with honors. That came with a $500.00 prize which will really come in handy. Chris has worked at 2 jobs in addition to going to school and has earned everything he has worked for. He and Annette eventually want to go to China as missionaries or perhaps to teach English there. Ultimately he would like to teach in a Bible college over there once they open the country to missions.

Sunday there was an interesting day. It was Mother's Day, the first one I had spent with him in 5-6 years due to school. He and Annette came over to the apartment we were staying at (her parents' who were at her brother's college graduation) and made breakfast for us. Then we went to the church where Chris is the youth pastor. It's a Chinese church and most of the service was in Chinese with a translator. So Chris gave the sermon and it was translated into Chinese. The hymns were sung in English and Chinese at the same time so you needed to lip read the translator's lips to make sure you were on the same verse! Then the 4 of us went out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant with the pastor and elder and their wives. It was quite enjoyable.

I really liked the Mall of America but I'm not sure I'd go back and spend a few days there just shopping. There were some different stores there but I only bought one thing. Well, 2 if you count the lego set I bought for Chris. There was an Alpaca Only store where they sold sweaters and scarves and such for very inexpensive prices. I bought a long-sleeved hoodie for only $29.00. It was knit by someone in Peru. I hope it's not a sweatshop type thing. I'm hoping it's more a co-op where women are empowered to help themselves and their families.

All in all, it was wonderful to see the kids again. I hope the next trip I can see a bit more on Minneapolis.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Making Progress

This is the Michael Powell design I'm currently working on. I guess I'm almost halfway done with it. It's amazing how fast a piece stitches up when you consistently work on it. I actually started this last year but like so many of my projects, it got set aside when something new caught my eye. Then about 3 weeks ago, when I had my revelation about only stitching one project at a time, I pulled it back out and decided to finish it. So most of it has been stitched in just the last 3 weeks. I've been stitching at night while watching TV. It helps keep me awake. I have a tendency to fall asleep when I'm watching a program. That's when DVR comes in real handy. Don't know how many programs where I missed the end before we got the DVR. Anyway I digress. It drives David nuts when I fall alseep like that so if I stitch while I'm watching, I can stay awake. I haven't even begun to think about the backstitching involved. I do like backstitching but his designs use more of a long stitch technique. Just need to get some black #8 perle cotton before I start it. My goal is to have this done by the end of May. We're going to Minneapolis on Thursday for Chris & Annette's graduation from grad school and we won't have a car. I expect to have lots of time in the evenings to stitch.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy Anniversary, David!

29 years ago today I married the most wonderful guy ever. Now he wasn't the man of my dreams. That guy was tall, blond and British (or Australian or Kiwi - I wasn't particular). David is not so tall, dark hair (whatever is left) and solidly American. But I'm convinced God has a sense of humor and gave me just who I needed and not what I thought I wanted. Now we've had some rough times(his layoff which led us to AZ, my miscarriage) but through them all, we've stuck together and only loved each other more. He was a saint when my dad moved in three years ago. He probably handled his living with us better than I did. He is, in a word, a good man.
For our anniversary he had already given me a new Daylight lamp for my craft room. Yesterday he brought me flowers. He said they had to have lots of daisies cause they were our wedding flowers and the rest had to be yellow because that was one of our wedding colors. So he bought the gorgeous bouquet you see in the picture. I truely have been blessed to have married such a great guy.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Favorite Designers

I've noticed in my stash I have several designers where I have a TON of their patterns or kits. Yes, I buy kits when I need to and yes I actually use the materials in the kits. I guess I'm too thrifty to pay that much money for a kit then throw everything out but the chart. I do prefer to stitch on linen or lugana but I'll use aida cloth when necessary. Actually as I get older, I find myself using aida more & more. I can stitch on it without magnification and that makes it nice in the evening when I'm watching TV. Anyway back to the topic. Some of my current favorite designers are Ink Circles, Papillon Creations, Full Circle Designs, Crossed Wing Collection (which has the best birds ever) and my absolute favorite Michael Powell Designs. I adore his whimsical style and his use of bright colors. His designs look like pen and ink drawings colored in with watercolors. The backstitching takes some getting used to - it's not the normal way of backstitching but uses long stitches instead. I really don't like using embroidery floss to backstitch it so I've decided on this one (my third kit) to use #8 perle cotton when I backstitch. I'm on my third kit of his and I only have 22 more to go! ;-) I said he was my favorite. The kits actually use quality fabric and Anchor floss (which I prefer), so I've been happy with them. They're very expensive though, especially with the exchange rate so I think I'm through buying them for a while. They do have one more design coming out that is a must have for me so I'm saving my pennies for that one.

What's most interesting to me is how my tastes have changed over the years. I used to buy every Just Nan that came out (and actually stitched them) but haven't bought a new one of hers for years. I love the old Shepherd's Bush but when they changed their style of writing, I quit buying them. I love the older Bent Creek designs but not the newer ones. So maybe it's not so much my tastes have changed but the styles have. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I know change is necessary or designers run the risk of getting stale. So for me, change is a good thing. Means I can buy more stash!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Revelation!

I think I'm finally out of my stitching slump. I guess there are a couple of reasons for this. One is that I've decided to send Gabriel to Ghost Stitchers. Life is too short to spend time working on something I absolutely hate. There are so many patterns that I want to do and I'm beginning to resent the time I spend on stitching a project I so dislike. So I'm mailing him off tomorrow.

I've also decided that I need to return to the idea of stitching one project at a time. I've tried stitching multiple projects but I never seem to get anything done. I worked hard on finishing my NZ animal piece and found I really enjoyed seeing my progress. The same thing is happening with the Michael Powell piece I'm stitching. In just 2 weeks I've managed to finish more than 1/4 of it (it's solidly stitched). I'm getting such a feeling of accomplishment that I want to stitch all the time (hard when you have to work). I've done the rotation thing (stitched 10 hours on each project) and found I was getting frustrated when I switched projects even when I only had an hour or so to finish a project. so I'm turning over a new leaf and am going to start enjoying my stitching again!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

More 4-Legged Members!

Since you've already met Squeak, I'd thought I'd give equal time to the doggies in our family. Bear is the handsome fellow with the scarf around his neck. Rosie is the lovely lady on the floor. Bear is my daughter's dog. From the moment they laid eyes on each other, they knew they belonged together. Bear is the gentlest dog I've ever seen, but he would give his life for her. He regularly gets beat up by Squeak but has never retaliated. In other words, he's a wimp. ;-) But he's a very well-loved wimp.

Rosie is the newest member of our family. We found her through a rescue organization at Petsmart. Remind me NEVER to take the kids with me when I buy dog food. She was in a crate and everyone was loving the cute little puppies that were there also. She was older (but it turns out not as old as they thought she was). She had been found wandering in the Grand Canyon by herself at about 2 months of age. She was in a rescue organization in Flagstaff and they thought she would have a better chance of being adoped her in Phoenix. So she was fostered in a home with 17 other dogs. I called David cause I was sure he would say no but to my surprise, he decided we needed another dog for Bear when Sherrie went to college. There have been times in the last 2 years when I was sure I was going to get rid of her. She wasn't housebroken and had a real chewing problem (the foster mom had said she had none of these problems because we specifically asked about them). But I'm glad we stuck it out cause she is a great dog. Sweet, smart and funny, I'm certainly glad we kept her.

What's this got to do with stitching? Not much but they are a part of who I am and they are friends I cherish.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Another Finish!

I'd like y'all to meet (from left to right) Woody, Bandit and Fred. They've come to live with me here from New Zealand. The Otago Peninsula to be exact. This was a kit I bought when I was there about 4 years ago. One of the things I really liked about that country was the different animals that live there. I especially like how much of the land is set aside in National Trusts. We went to one of them on the Otago Peninsula. It is called the Penguin Place. You actually got to go out in blinds and the yellow-eyed penguins would parade past you on their way to their nests. We were literally only 2-3 feet away from them. Anyway this kit reminds of the wonderful visit we had. It needs washed and ironed but I was so excited about finishing it that I just had to post it. I'm also making good progress on my windmill from Michael Powell. I have had to chase that stupid frog away all morning. I've ripped out different parts of the fence several times now. BTW, my husband insisted that the animals needed names so he got had the privilege of naming them.
April started out the way March ended. We had a power failure that turned out to be caused by an underground cable failure. APS came out Friday to fix it. They dug their neat little holes and thought they would be out of there by noon. Well, what they (and the city) didn't know was the the water main was not where it was supposed to be. Instead of being under the street, it was under the sidewalk. To make a long story short, they punctured the main and 150,000 gallons of water went flowing down the street before they could turn it off. We had about 4-5 inches of mud on our driveway. The city has promised to make everything like new again. We'll be having 2 slabs of the driveway replaced (there's no foundation under it anymore) plus about 6 slabs of sidewalk and the road in front of our house will also have to be replaced. Now I'm sure not much more can happen but I've learned not to tempt fate.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bette's Horrible, Terrible, Not-So-Good Month!

Have you ever had one of those months that you just wish would disappear? Well, march has been like that for me. If I could go back and erase it from the calendar, I'd do it in a heartbeat. First, we found out that Dave's dad has inoperable lung cancer (has never smoked but lived in coal country for years). He's been given about 6 months. He also has dementia so we're not sure how much he really understands. But the blessed thing is that he's in no pain whatsoever. His only symptom is hoarseness. Dave plans on arranging some business trips to Fl to spend some time with his parents.

Next I got a very bad case of the flu while Dave was in Fl earlier this month. Sherrie was worried about getting me to the ER cause my fever was so high (almost 106). Fortunately I was able to get it to a more manageable level. It still took me almost 2 weeks to fully recover.

Then I got some bad news about my eyesight. I've been treated for glaucoma for about 6 years. Then 2 years ago I was put on a beta blocker to control my heart rate. It turns out the oral beta blocker nullifies the beta blocker eyedrops I was using. So when I was at the eye doctor last week, she discovered I had pinpoint hemmoraging around the optical nerve in both eyes. So she switched my drops and have to go back in mid-April to have the pressure checked again. It's really scary to think I'm really close to losing some of my vision.

To top everything off, we thought my oldest son was finally back on the right track after have strayed about 5 years ago. Now he tells us that he may be back in trouble with the courts and may have his probation revoked. I'm not sure how much we can or should help. I'm afraid we've only been enabling him for several years and it's finally catching up with all of us.

All I can say is I'll be so glad when this month is over. Lots of prayers have gone up for lots of different reasons. I know God never gives you more than you can handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much. But maybe my lesson is that I need to trust in Him more to take care of things in His way and His time.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

My Next Big Project!

Well, I bit the bullet and ordered the silks for the Shores of Hawk Run Hollow. I prices them at work and even with my employee discount, it still cost me almost $35.00 more than using Vicki Clayton's premium silks. So I decided to indulge myself and am really pleased with them. They are really lovely. I also got the fabric from Lakeside Linens. I did not get what the pattern called for. I just can't work on 40CT even with magnification. I'm not even sure I can work on 32CT but that's what I got. 32Ct Sand Dune. It's a vintage shade and it is offered as an alternative to the Autumn Gold (which I believe is what is called for). The Autumn Gold is also more expensive because it has to be dyed twice. But I'm happy with my choices. I'm anxious to get started on this. I found my large lap frame and I'm pretty sure I have a scroll frame that's big enough. If not, I'll have to order one. I use K's Creations frames and I was really sadden to read that she had passed away on the 5th. She was a delightful lady and one who will be missed. She held her company together and was the driving force behind it. I've heard that her family hopes to keep things going but I'm sure they will need to time mourn.
I think I need to go hug my family. Life is very fragile. We need to embrace our family and friends and let them know how much we love them. The day will come when they aren't around for us to tell them.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Making Progress!

I'm finally getting back into my everyday routines since coming back from Nashville. It's always amazing to me how long it takes to get back into the habit of doing something, whether it's making David's lunch or regular stitching. I did make a paper pin from Handblessings and actually finished and wore it. It's a monthly program where she supplies the free pattern and we kit it up. March was, of course, a Celtic Cross shamrock. April will be a tulip. They're quick to stitch and a cute idea. I've also been doing some knitting. I'm making a wrap to wear at work when everyone wants to turn the AC to freezing and I have icicles hanging from my nose. But the project I've been trying to work on consistently is Cirque des Triangles. The picture didn't turn out very well but it's better than the last one I took of it. I'm stitching it on 22CT hardanger fabric over one. The color is Christmas Green. I'm using a Weeks Dye Works thread called Calypso. It's multi-colored in yellow, red, pink and green. It's so different from CDC. I've had a lot of nice comments on it so far so I guess it's working. It's funny though. I like the looks of it when it's at work better then I do at home. The only thing I can figure is the lighting is different.
Oh, and I was a bad girl last week. I bought new stash from Vicki Clayton and Lakeside Linens.
I fell in love with the design Shores of Hawn Run Hollow and decided to get the linen and some silks to stitch it. The linen I got was 32CT Sand Dune. I really couldn't enjoy it if I had to stitch it on the 40CT it called for. I was going to use the Needlepoint Inc silks the pattern calls for but I saved almost $30.00 by using the hand-dyed fibers. And that's taking into account my employee discount and before tax. Also the colors are a little brighter and I like that. I knew I couldn't go on a stash diet for very long. But I have to start this as soon as I can.
Well, the race is almost on so I gotta go watch it and eat pizza with my guys. Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Nashville Part 2

I really have mixed feelings about the classes I took this year. The whole point, in my opinion, is to find out ways to make your business better. The first class I took was taught by a designer. It was a lovely design but I learned squat about anything that could benefit the shop. Some designers should just not teach. I guess by the same token not all teachers can design either. I came home with a lovely project to do and no way of using it in the business end of the shop. The second class was much better. I had a class with this teacher/designer last year and still haven't figured out how to do tubular peyote beading. But this year was much better. I learned how to take cross stitch charts and use them for beading. We learned how to do the herringbone stitch. Much easier than the peyote stitch. Anyway now I can take a cross stitch chart, sell you some delica beads and help you bead a beautiful bracelet. The third class was absolutely outstanding! Lynda from Forever in my Heart is an awesome teacher. She took one of her small free charts and kitted it up a dozen different ways. She then showed the models that went with each kit. It's a wonderful way to demonstrate how to step out of your box and use materials not specified by the pattern. I can't tell you how many customers want to use exactly what is called for by the pattern. I can show them fabric that's very similar to what's called for and nope, they'll insist on ordering the other. I plan on stitching all the kits and having them on display to show people how to use their creativity to make a design all their own. I say it's time to step out of our boxes and make each design our own!

Well, I guess it's time for me to get off my soapbox and finish my homework for the needlepoint class I'm taking at work. I'm almost done and when I've finished I can return to working on Cirque des Triangles. That's incentive enough for me.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Well, we had a wonderful trip to Nashville. It's always so inspiring to go and see all of the wonderful new designs being introduced. It's also like a mini vacation for Merry & I. Especially when someone else is paying the bills. ;-) Where shall I start? I think my favorite piece I saw was the new Shores of Hawk Hollow Run (or is it Hawk Run Hollow? I can never remember). It's spectacular. I'm planning on ordering the silks from Vicki Clayton and using them on it. I was also impressed with a new designer from the other side of the valley called Courtney Creations. We flew out with them and spent some time visiting over the weekend. Courtney has a wonderful pelican that is to die for! I picked up her Bird of Paradise for myself and she gave me a chart called Nightmare. It's a knight's helmet that's kinda fantastical. I told her I really loved it but didn't think I would ever stitch it and she gave me one as a gift. It makes me smile when I see it. We also got the complete set of Dinky Dyes overdyed silk threads for the shop. They are so soft and lovely. If you ever get the chance to try them, take it. They're really wonderful. I also really liked the new designs from European Cross Stitch. There were just so many things to see. Saturday we completely forgot about lunch and suddenly realized it at around 4 pm. But it was a great trip and I felt it was a real privilige to go. Now the hard work starts. We had everything shipped home and it arrived there on Friday. So today I spent all day getting the info into the computer. Still have quite a bit to go. That doesn't count the stuff we had mailed to us. And I still haven't finished processing the new stuff from the show in Long Beach in January.

I'm sure there are lots more stuff that I'm forgetting. Tomorrow if I can, I'll let you know how I did with the classes.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Finally A Finish!

Well, here it is. My first finish for 2008. This is a little freebie I did from the Michael Powell BB. It's called Little Cottage. The exchange required that the item be finished. That's just not my strong point. So I decided a bookmark might be fun. I used a rectangle Token & Trifle and stitched the design on it. On the back piece I put all the pertinent info about the exchange. Glued them together with a ribbon between the pieces and viola! a bookmark. I do think it's a pretty cute way of finishing something when you don't exactly have the sewing skills that others might have. Anyway it's a start, albeit a small one. Today I'm going to work on Cirque des Triangles while waiting for the Super Bowl to start. And, yes, I only watch it for the commercials.
I'm really excited about my trip to Nashville this week. It's so exciting to go and be the first to see (and buy!) all the new stuff the designers are offering. I'd like to start carrying the Lakeside linens in our store and also some of the new linens from Weeks Dye Works. They also have a new line of threads. Well not new colors but older colors wound on spools for punchneedle embroidery. Plus all the new designs that are offered. Merry & I also are taking 3 classes each on Friday and that's always fun for us. So when I get back I'll have lots to talk about.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Making Progress!

I haven't been able to stitch as much as I would have liked. We've been swamped at work and I've been working to cover for the manager who decided to take some extra time off over the holidays. By the time I get home at night, make dinner and do all the rest of the stuff that needs done, I'm pretty pooped. But I did make a little progress over the holidays. I worked on my animals of the Otago Peninsula and made progress torwards finishing it. I also started the Michael Powell cottage for the exchange that takes place at the end of January. The item has to be finished and that is definitely not my forte but I think I found a way that's cute and and I can do and not have it be messy or falling apart. Will post a picture of it when I'm finished. It doesn't look like it will be slowing down any at work either. I usually only work the sales floor on Mondays (when the manager takes her day off). I normally do inventory work but she's going to the TNNA show in Long Beach this week so I'll be out on the floor again this week. Meantime all the inventory is piling up in my office. I try to do it as I get a lull in the sales traffic but sometimes I just sit down and rest my little feet. But business is good and I should not be complaining at all. I also get to go to Nashville again in February and that is a highlight of my work year. Merry & I treat it like a vacation but it's also a big responsibilty to do all the cross stitch buying for the shop. It is fun to see all the new stuff coming out. For the two of us, it's like a 3 day long pajama party!

Well, have to go sew a button on Dave's shirt. Does that count as stitching?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

10-25-50 Projects!

Well, I've spent a couple of days trying to come up with my list of 10 projects to do for the 10-25-50 project. I came up with quite a few but decided to stick with 10 of them for now. I mean it's hard enough working in a LNS without bowing to temptation, but knowing I can't buy anything until I finish 10 projects will be pure torture! 8 of these projects are WIP's (actually if I were honest I'd call them UFO's) so my rule of finish 2 before starting a new one should be easy to keep. So here they are in no particular order.

1). Michael Powell free cottage from his website for an enchange I signed up for.
2). Gabriel (of course, he has to be on the list)
3). Animals of the Otago Peninsula (a kit I bought in New Zealand almost 4 years ago and never finished)
4). Peace on Earth by Theresa Kogut and Stoney Creek.
5). Cirque des Triangles
6). Windmill by Michael Powell
7). Midsummer's Eve Fairy by Mirabila (just need to finish beading this one)
8). Highland Living from New Stitches magazine.
9). Pots of Love from Michael Powell
10). This Heart of Mine from Ink Circles

Michael Powell is probably my favorite designer and I have many of his kits to stitch. They're fun to stitch and I love the colors he uses so those should be very easy to get back to. I did get out Animals of the Otago Penisula over the holiday and started working on it agin. I actually finished the animals and am stitching the background. I should be able to finish that one in a week. I'm very motivated to finish these and not just to be able to to buy new stash. I'd really like to get back into stitching big time and I think this might help.

As far as the organizing goes, I have maybe 2/3 of a drawer of magazines left to go through. This has also been really helpful in motivating me. I've found so many patterns I'd like to do. I go back to work tomorrow (after being home for 5 days) and hope I don't lose the momentum that I've gained.

Oh, I also finished knitting a scarf for my daughter to take back to Flagstaff when she goes back to school in 2 weeks. So I'm feeling pretty good about this week's accomplishments. Will let y'all know if the good time continue.