Friday, December 21, 2012

An Update

I just thought I'd give an update on my eye surgery happy dance.  So far the pressure is staying within normal range without any eye drops.  That to me is the most important.  That means I may not lose any more vision than I already have.  The other big news is that I now have 20/20 vision without glasses.  I can actually watch the TV without any glasses.  I am officially considered farsighted now.  It feels really strange to not wear glasses all the time but I suppose I can get used to it.  I do wear them for reading and close work (ever tried to file a nail when you can't see it?).  I have knit some and can do that without glasses but I haven't tried to cross stitch yet.  So I'm still happy dancing all over my house and this time I'm not tripping over the furniture any more!

Best Present Ever!

I want to introduce you all to the best Christmas present Dave and I have ever received.  Meet Elsie, our brand new little granddaughter.  She is, as a matter of fact, our very first grandchild.  Her daddy and mommy are our dear son and daughter-in-law, Christopher and Annette.  She was born a little early, hence her small size but she is perfectly healthy and beautiful.  So hello, Elsie.  Welcome to the world!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happy Dance With Me!

I'm happy dancing today!  Most of you who read this blog regularly know that I have trouble with my eyes.  I've been battling glaucoma now for nigh on 10 years now.  I've already lost a bit of vision in my left eye and so far my right eye is doing well.  I've also had cataracts in both eyes.  This past May I began seeing a surgeon and since then I've had 2 surgeries on my left eye and one on my right for the glaucoma to try and lower the pressure.  So far it's working.  Then in November I had cataract surgery in my left eye and I can see a whole lot better in that eye.  Well, today I had my final surgery for the cataracts in my right eye.  I fully expect it to be as successful as the one in my left eye.  Yep, I'm done, through, finite.  I'm excited to see how well I can see with both eyes fixed.  My surgeon believes I will be able to do away with the glasses all together except for the middle distance and that she thinks can be fixed with the peepers you can get at the drugstore.  I've worn glasses since the second grade.  I'm not sure I know how to act without them.  But I'm sure going to learn fast.  So happy dance with me as I celebrate my new freedom.  Oh and please forgive the typos.  It's hard to type with only one eye and that one half blind as it is.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blog Hop #13 My Stitchmas Wish

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop

The holidays are right around the corner and gift exchanges are happening everywhere you look. If an amazingly magical Stitchmas Santa were to fly overhead and bring you one stitching wish, what would it be?

Oh my, this is a very interesting question.  When I want something specific for Christmas, I usually just use a catalog and give it to David and he gets me whatever is marked.  I have floor frames and lap frames and q-snaps galore.  I have all kinds of fabric and threads.  In fact, I have enough stash to last several lifetimes.  I could give my stock answer of peace on earth but I don't think Santa can handle that.  So I thought and I thought of what I really wanted from Santa Claus.  Then I realized exactly what I wanted.  I want the gift of time.  See, as far as I'm concerned there are never enough hours in the day.  I allocate some of it for stitching and something always seems to get in the way.  Before I know it, my stitching time is gone and I haven't even picked up a needle.  Or I get working on another hobby and I never do get around to stitching.  If you look at my list of finished projects for 2012, you'll find there's one project listed.  One sad, lonely pathetic little project.  So Santa Claus, can you bring me some more time?  Please?  I've been a very good girl this year.

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's Over

Well, it's over for another year.  Nanowrimo is done.  And yes, for one more year I managed to write 50,000 words towards a finished novel.  Now it's certainly not my best writing I've ever done but I have the bare bones outline of the second book in a trilogy.  The first book, if I do say so myself, is pretty good.  I may even look into self publishing it on Amazon. This new one is nowhere near as good.  It needs lots of works but I think I'll wait the the first is edited.  But my work for November is done and I can enjoy the Christmas season.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Blessing to All!

I just wanted to pop in here today and wish you all a Blessed Thanksgiving.  This year I have so much to be thankful for: my faith, my family, my friends.  I'm grateful that I live in a country where I have the many freedoms that are available.  I'm grateful for the doctors who are working to keep my eyesight.  So my wish for all of you is to have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Blog Hop #12 Thankful Stitching

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop

When it comes to the stitching part of your life, what are you most thankful for?

I found this a most intriguing question.  I guess I just never thought of my stitching as something to be thankful for.  Oh, I loved it and it's probably the number one hobby in my life (and believe me, I've tried a lot of them LOL).  But being thankful for it?  That just never occurred to me.  Then I began to think about what stitching means to me.  It's a great stress reliever, except when I'm frogging something that's on 25 count over one.  It fulfills my desire to be an artist.  I've always wanted to be a painter but don't have a lick of talent in my entire body.  So putting colors on fabric with thread is one way I can fulfill that wish.  But I guess the most important thing I've gotten from my stitching and that I'm most thankful for is that it keeps me from eating, snacking noshing, whatever you want to call it.  See, I need to lose about 40 pounds.  Well, to be honest I actually would love to lose even more than that, but I'm going to be realistic here.  When I stitch, I don't eat. It's as simple as that.  Who wants grease stains on their stitching?  Not me.  So the potato chips have to stay away.  As I get older, it's getting harder and harder to lose the weight.  So maybe I should just stitch more and leave the snacking for someone else.  So this Thanksgiving, I'm going to be thankful for my stitching and see if helps me resist that extra slice of pie!

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thank You!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all our veterans out there for their service to our country.  We are the land of the free because of the brave.  There are so many unsung heroes that we never hear about.  My daddy was one of them.  He served in the army during WWII.  For his services he was awarded the Bronze Star and 2 Purple Hearts.  I'm so proud of the man that my dad was.  And I'm proud of all our servicemen.  I thank all of you.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Blog Hop 11 - Unusual Stash Acquisition

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop

What has been your most unusual or most interesting stash acquisition to date?

I almost didn't answer this question since I usually just haunt the normal places for stash.  You know the LNS, Michaels, Hobby Lobby,  I occasionally check out the thrift stores but only if I'm in there for another reason.  Then I passed by some pieces I have hanging in my hall and remembered how they came to be in my possession.  I work at a LNS and came to work one day and found a box on our front doorstep.  It was labeled Mom's Needlework.   I brought it into the store and opened and discovered about a dozen pieces of gorgeous needlework.  Some were unframed and some were, well, let's just say they were very badly framed.  When the manager of the store came in, we went through the box more thoroughly and divided  the pieces up among ourselves.  Now before anyone asks, we had no way of finding out who had left the box.  We could only surmise that someone wanted them to go to a good home.  So I took the ones I wanted and have since had them reframed and am now displaying them in my home.  Part of me is sad that the family didn't think enough of them to keep them.  To them they were probably just Mom's knitting.  On the other hand, they cared enough to take them to where they thought they might be cherished (which I do).  They didn't just take them to a thrift shop.   These works of art are very precious to me (even if I didn't stitch them myself) and I will always honor them in my home.

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here

Monday, October 29, 2012

Favorite Designers?

Do you often find yourself drawn to certain designers?  Do you find yourself buying patterns just because they're from a certain designer?  Do you have to have everything from said designer even if it means spending lots of money on ebay to get that one pattern that's out of print and you absolutely have to have it to complete your collection?  Well, I have done that in the past and it's sad to say I'm still doing it.  In the past I've loved Just Nan and had to have all her new patterns that came out.  Then all of a sudden, I lost interest in her work.  Maybe it was because the charts just became too expensive for me to purchase any more.  Or maybe it was the exclusivity she tried to push.  For whatever reason, I lost interest in her patterns.  I think the last one I bought was Hummingbead Heaven.
Then there was Prairie Schooler, another one that I had to have all the patterns they put out.  I still like some of their older patterns but I have plenty, I don't need any more new ones.

I still like Michael Powell and his quirky little houses but let's face it.  I really can't afford them so I'll just be happy with the ones I have and leave it at that.

Then there's Lizzie Kate, La Broderie, Shepherd's Bush,  Drawn Thread, you get the idea.  I've kept my favorite designs and kits but most will have to be weeded through and rehomed.

My current favorite has to be Margaret Sherry.  My normal rule for buying a magazine is that there has to be at least 3 charts in it that I would stitch.  But if the magazine has a Margaret Sherry design in it, well then that issue is mine, regardless if I never plan on stitching anything else in it.  Just a couple of weeks ago, I saw in this month's issue of World of Cross Stitching that a new calendar was coming out in the next issue with 6 new Margaret Sherry designs.  Yep, you guessed it.  I haunted Barnes & Noble until it showed up there.  The designs are so cute.  They make me smile just looking at them.  I think it will be quite a while before I get tired of her.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blog Hop #10 - My least Favorite Threads

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop

Gosh, is it that time already?  Time for another blog hop?  I guess it is but I want to know where the rest of my year went.  Anyway, back to the business at hand.  I can't wait to read everyone else's response.

What’s your absolute least-favorite thread to work with?

I had to think about this because there are not too many threads I dislike.  I'm a fiber junkie and I can usually find something to like about any thread I use.  But I do have one thread that I loath and that's not too strong a word.  I hate the old DMC metallics, you know the ones that came on a big spool.  To me it was like stitching with electrical wire.  I once almost threw out a project because it was all stitched in them.  It sat in a drawer until I discovered Kreinik's #4 braid.  I haven't tried the new DMC metallics but with so many other threads available, I doubt if I ever will.

I also dislike DMC black and white.  Both seem kind of thin to me.  I much prefer the Anchor varieties. (actually if truth be told, I prefer Anchor in general over DMC).  I'll use the DMC if I don't have the Anchor handy but really dislike using them.

I love Weeks Dye Works and Gentle Arts threads but sometimes they can be frustrating to work with.  They seem to have thin spots and tangle real easily.  But I love the effect they create so I'm willing to put up with a little frustration to use them.

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cleaning Up

For several months now, I've been trying to clean up my craft room.  When Sherrie had to move from the house she was in due to the mold problem, a lot of her stuff ended up here at the house.  That meant a lot of stuff moved into the craft room and I just never got around to cleaning it up.  I spent quite a bit of the day Saturday just putting things away and re-homing other things that didn't belong there.  I also found that I had at least a DOZEN tote bags that had projects in various stages of completion in them.  Some I hadn't even started yet but they are fully kitted waiting for me to get to them.  It was pathetic, the amount of projects I have started.  I really need a better system for stitching.  My plans now are to finish the baby sampler for my new grandbaby, stitch a wedding sampler for Brian and his new wife, and then stitch a stocking for said grandbaby.  Then when those 3 projects are done, I plan to take a good look at everything I've started and see if I plan on stitching them or if I should find new homes for them.  This is what the room looks like after 
several hours of hard work.

And can someone PLEASE tell me why there's a didgeridoo in my craft room?!? 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Blog Hop #9 Stitching Must Haves

It's that time again.  Time for another blog hop.  It's a good one.

What are your must-have stitching tools and aides? Other than your trusty scissors, of course. Is there a problem you have had when stitching that you created your own solution for, or have you purchased a tool that helped?

I thought about this question and to be truthful, there aren't a whole lot of tools that I absolutely must have when I stitch.  Oh, sure, a pair of scissors is nice and I do have quite a few of those.  But when it comes right down to it, I've decided there's only 3 things I absolutely must have when I stitch.  The first is my Daylight lamp that sits right next to my chair.  In fact, I can't stitch without it.  I really can't see well enough to stitch without proper lighting or magnification.  So that's a must have.

The next item is my lap stand of my floor stand.  I tend to use the lap stand much more often than any of my floor stands but I just got a new K's metal ball swivel stand and I may have a new favorite.  It makes it so much easier on my back and shoulders if I'm not holding my work in my hands and trying to stitch.  

The last item (and I'm not really sure this is a must have) is my Q-Snaps or scroll frame depending on how big the piece I'm working on is.  I have stitched in hand before but lately as I get older, my hands get stiffer and it becomes harder to hold the fabric and stitch.  I also find I get a better tension when the fabric is stretched more.  

I do have a lot of little tools and gadgets which I love, but I don't really consider them must haves.  They're fun and I do use them occasionally but do I need them to stitch?  Nope, not at all.

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here

Thursday, September 20, 2012

We have a Winner(s)!

Well, it's my birthday and as I promised, I picked 2 winners for the Christmas kit and the Simple Treasures kit to celebrate.  I listed everyone who had entered for each particular kit, gave everyone a number then used a random number generator to pick my winners.  So without any further ado, drum roll please, the winner of the Christmas kit is Stitchinrose and the winner of the Simple Treasures kit is Mii Stitch.  So congratulations to my two winners and I'll be getting in touch with you in the next day or so to get your addresses for mailing.  And thanks so much to all who participated in my little drawing.  Happy birthday to me!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Blog Hop #8 - My Favorite Project

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop
 It's that time again.  Time for another Blog Hop from Stitching the Night Away.  It's a good one too.  

What has been your favorite project to stitch? (either finished or in progress)

I had to think about this one a little bit.  I've done a lot of different projects in the 30 some years that I've been stitching.  My tastes have changed a lot in that time.  Some of the stuff I stitched in the 80's is so elementary that I wouldn't look twice at it today.  I've loved a lot of designers that are no longer my favorites.  I currently really love designers like Michael Powell, Margaret Sherry, Lizzie Kate.  I have a few that have been my consistent favorites like Prairie Schooler.  But one company always consistently delighted me.  Color Charts.  I loved most of what they published.  I still have all of the charts I bought from them.  I may not have stitched them all but I still have them.  So when I thought about what my favorite project to stitch was I knew right away which one it was.  It was Portholes to Paradise by Color Charts.  It was stitched on navy blue aida and I called the technique I used on it stitching by Braille "oh, that feels like a hole, I think I'll stick a needle through it".  I used 3 strands (which I never do) and the stitches look a little bulky.  The chart was so well-used that it fell apart half way through stitching it.    Despite all these complaints, I still loved stitching on it and I still love it even today.  It's about 25 years old and it could probably use being framed again (okay, it absolutely needs to be framed again but there's not enough fabric on the edges to do it), but when all is said and done, it's still my all-time favorite project I've ever stitched.

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Giveaway!

I realized a couple of days ago that I had missed my 5 year blogversary (is there such a word?).  I had fully intended to have a giveaway in celebration of that momentous occasion.  But with all the goings here trying to get Sherrie moved (again! 3rd time, long story) and kitty sitting, I let it slide by.  So since my birthday is next week, I decided to have a giveaway in honor of both occasions.  I'm going to giveaway the two kits shown here.  One is a lovely seaside treasure kit and the other is a Christmas kit which could easily be done in time for Christmas.  It even has a mat and will fit into a standard 8x10" frame.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post.  No extra steps are needed.  You can even tell your friends about it.  Just tell me in your comment which kit you would like.  I'll pick the winners next Thursday (September 20) on my birthday.  Oh, by the way, the kitten is NOT included in the giveaway.  Oops, I almost forgot.  Don't forget to add your email in the comment.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Quick Update

Well, I haven't updated my blog here in a while because... there just hasn't been anything to post.  I'm still dealing with a lot of blurriness in my eye due to the surgery and it's really hard to stitch when you can only see out of one eye.  I'm also having fine depth perception issues and that makes it hard to even thread a needle.  So my stitching has been at a standstill lately.  But I really wanted to work on the baby sampler for my son and his wife so I decided today was the day.  It is on 14ct aida cloth and that's okay with me.  Sure, I'd love to be stitching on linen but right now I'll take what I can get.  So here it is.  Doesn't look like much for several hours of stitching but I feel good about it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's Just...

too hot!  I've been in a little bit of a stitching slump.  Heck, I haven't even done any mindless knitting lately.  The temperatures have broken all kinds of records here in Phoenix.  I get in my car to drive home and the thermometer reads anywhere from 115 to 118.  That's just too hot!  I so want to work on the baby sampler and blanket for my new grandbaby but just haven't found the energy.  It doesn't help that my recovery from my second eye surgery has been slower than the first.  Let's hope for a break in the weather cause I want to get back to stitching!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

What To Do With Leftovers

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop

This is a very interesting subject for a blog hop.  I'll be very interested in seeing what others do with their leftovers from a project.

What do you do with the floss, thread, beads, and other elements you have left over from full project kits?

I don't often use kits.  Not because I dislike the idea of kits.  It's just that I have enough charts and patterns to keep me busy forever.  But I do have a fair amount of them.  Okay, I have a lot of them, I'll admit it.  If I like the design, I'll get the kit.  Simple as that.  And I use all the elements in the kit.  I'm basically cheap and hate the idea of wasting the fabric and the floss.  But the leftovers?  I have to be honest, I don't save the leftover floss.  I just add it to my ort ball that I've had since 1992.  Wow!  That's over 20 years ago.  If it's a Mill Hill kit, I'll sort any leftover beads and store them for later use.  Other beads just stay in their little bags and get stuck in a drawer somewhere.  I usually just toss the needles.  By the time I'm done with them, they're unusable.

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Survived

my second surgery for glaucoma.  No scary pictures this time.  I promised Sherrie that I wouldn't post any pictures of me post surgery.  So you'll just have to use your imagination about what I look like.  This surgery was much easier on me this time.  I didn't feel a thing unlike last time.  My surgeon said the difference was the anesthesiologist.  I told her to tell him I loved him!  Seriously it made all the difference in the world to not feel anything.  The prognosis is still good and hopefully we have prevented any more damage to my sight.  Now I just have to have cataract surgery later in the year.  My doctor tells me that's a piece of cake compared to what I have already had done.  Oh, the things we do to be able to keep stitching!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

First Finish of 2012

Okay, I'm going to count this as my first finish for 2012.  Who knew it would take me until July to have my first finish?  Of course, I lost a lot of time with my eye surgery and with the other eye scheduled for next week, I'll lost another chunk of time.  So since I've done all the stitching on this as I am going to do, I thought I'd count this one as my first finished project for 2012.  It's by Ursula Michaels of Imaginiating and I honestly do not remember the title of it.  It's going to be a Christmas gift for the owner of the shop.  Hopefully she will appreciate it but I honestly have my doubts.  But it wasn't my choice so I just do as I'm told and did what I could before next week.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Perfect Baby Sampler

Okay, I think I mentioned in an earlier post that my son and his lovely wife are expecting their first baby in either December or early January.  I fianlly found out what they are decorating their nursery in and I wasn't sure I could find any baby sampler that might fit their theme.  They're using forest animals and they found some lovely items at Ikea that they are going to use.  Now I've been stitching a long time and have, well, let's just say I have LOTS of patterns.  I've collected a few baby samplers in anticipation of this very project.  But did I have any thing even remotely resembling forest animals?  Of course not!  I had jungle babies (which I love) and I had Noah's Ark (which has animals, right?) but no forest animals.  So I went searching on the internet and wouldn't you know it?  I found exactly what I was looking for.  It's a European kit so I had to order it from Sew and So.  I've dealt with them before so I wasn't worried about that.  Well, I received it in the mail the other day and it is, as I said, perfect!  It has a fox and a bunny and a squirrel.  It has a bear and a hedgehog and a deer.  All of these were specifically mentioned by Chris as being a part of the Ikea set.  So here is the sampler that I'm going to start stitching just as soon as I finish my part of the Christmas presnt.  Chris and Annette, if you're reading this, back out now please.  I want this to be a surprise so go find something else to do now.  I'm going to assume you still listen to your mom, Chris, so I'm going to post the picture now.  Remember no peeking, you two!

The kit is from Vervaco and uses DMC thread.  It does have aida cloth but frankly it's getting hard for me to see evenweave or linen, even with a magnifier, so I'm kind of glad it's aida cloth.  I can't wait to get started on this. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Stitching Rituals

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop

Is it the 15th already?  If it is, then I guess it's time for another blog hop.  This one's about stitching rituals.

Some of us have a favorite chair that we sit in to stitch, others prefer to enjoy a steaming mug of tea while they stitch. Maybe you need to get comfortable and put on your pajamas before you pick up your needle or you simply must rearrange all the sofa pillows before you sit down. Sometimes the ritual is in the clean up when we’re done and everything must go in a certain place. What sort of stitching rituals do you have when you sit down to work on your projects?

I never really thought about if what I do when I stitch is a ritual.  I guess it could be since there are certain things I like to do when I'm stitching.  First of all, I always wash my hands before I pick up my stitching.  And I never eat or drink while I'm stitching.  One time I had some coffee and took a big swig and had a coughing spell at the same time.  The stitching went flying across the room to prevent it from getting coffee coughed all over it.  I decided then and there that no food or beverage would ever come near my stitching again.  

I also like to stitch with the TV on.  Specifically something I've taped, like an older movie or something from the Syfy channel.  Don't know why but the monster movies just seem to be better when I'm stitching something.  I can't not stitch without the TV on.  I've tried just music but it doesn't seem to work.  

The only thing I need to have in close range are my scissors.  Other than that, I use Q-Snaps or a scroll frame, whatever fits the project.  I don't have any special way of starting or finishing a project.  

So I guess I have a few rituals but generally just like to stitch when the mood hits.

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here

Grandkitty Part 2

Okay, meet Gracie (at least that's what her name is today, it may change tomorrow).  Gracie is my daughter's new kitty.  Now I know I posted about Moe about a month ago but due to circumstances beyond our control, she wasn't able to complete the adoption.  I won't go into the reasons but Sherrie was heartbroken at having to give him up.  Since then she's moved and her new landlord has told her she can have a kitty so off we went last Monday and got Gracie.  She's part Maine Coon (just like Moe was) and who knows what else.  She looks all black but she has brown highlights in her fur.  She is a real sweetie and very playful.  David has already fallen in love with her.  The dogs are okay with her and Annie has actually allowed her to play with her tail.  Squeak (my cat) is the only one who's not sure about her.  I'd love to get another cat but Squeak is my baby and I don't want to upset her any more than she already is.  So I'll have to be content with kitty sitting.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Quaker Gone Tropic and Other Things

Here is Quaker Gone Tropic for this week.  I've made very little progress on it.  Frogging the boat is taking longer than I thought it would.  It's so tedious when it's over 1.  But I do plan on finishing this year if nothing else comes up that I absolutely have to do.  Like this next picture for example.

Every year we stitch something for the owner of the shop.  The last 2 years we did a counted needlepoint piece that was made into a pillow.  This year the PTB decided that we needed to do a cross stitch picture.  Now for some reason I never get to help choose what we do;  I just get to stitch on it.  This year I get to stitch first because of my eye surgery.  So this is why I haven't had much time to stitch on QGT.  And I'm waiting for a baby sampler to arrive from England and when that arrives, everything and I do mean everything will be on the back burner for a while.  Nothing will interfer with that.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Holiday Stitching

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop

It's time for another Blog Hop.  I think it's a very interesting question.

Do you find yourself stitching seasonally or do you just stitch what moves you at the moment? What’s your favorite holiday or season to stitch for?

In the past, I have stitched ornaments, stockings and gifts for my family.  I do try to start in the summer because I hate to feel rushed when I'm stitching something.  Last year I made a cute picture for my daughter to commemorate her first year of teaching.  I guess it took me about 3 months to complete.  I gave it to her unframed because I wanted her to pick out the framing.  I don't stitch for Halloween.  I do love Thanksgiving and have stitched a lot of turkeys and pumpkins.  I have a few 4th of July items.  I do try to change up my decor to coincide with the holidays but I haven't been so successful at that lately.  This year I won't be doing any holiday stitching.  My son and his wife are having their first baby (my first grandchild) and I'm stitching them a baby sampler.  I found the perfect one and am just waiting for it to be delivered from England.  I'm also knitting a baby afghan for the little one.  So, no, this year is the year of the baby for this stitcher.  

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.  

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Another Thing I like

I love daisies.  I have always loved daisies.  Oh, I know there's been times when I might have thought some other flowers were my favorite.  Like roses.  Everyone likes roses.  Aren't they supposed to be the queen of the garden?  So I went through a period when roses were my favorites.  I'm even considering planting roses along my back wall.  But they'll never have the place in my heart that daisies are occupying.  Deep down I never gave up the lowly daisy for the queenly rose.  They're so sweet and fresh and innocent.  Daisies were my wedding flower and even now for all special occasions, I still get my daisies.  Besides what other flower can tell you for certain if he loves you or not?  So I'm gonna take a moment and stop and smell the daisies today.  No mores roses for this gal.  I'm Team Daisy all the way.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Starting Over

Now I think I mentioned a small something like a new grandbaby.  So I have all these plans to cross stitch and knit  lots of stuff for my first grandbaby and those plans are still in place.  I just have to change the materials I have to use.  I was going to knit a circular afghan in a gorgeous pastel striped yarn.  The yarn was about 5 different colors including pink.  Now apparently pink is and will forever be forbidden in my dear daughter-in-law's home.  She hates the color pink.  So I had to abandon the first yarn and set out on a quest to find new yarn.  Now I have a big yarn stash.  I bought LOTS of yarn when we closed our yarn department at work.  So I did what any respectable knitter would do:  I checked my stash first before I went out to search for the new yarn.  Guess what?  Most of what I owned is, wait for it... pink!  Yep, I didn't have a single baby yarn that would work.  So I set off to Hobby Lobby first.  Nope, nothing suitable there.  I went Michael's.  Do you know how hard it is to find a baby yarn without pink in it?  It's almost impossible.  I was about to give up when I discovered this yarn in Michael's.  They only had 5 skeins of it but it is just enough for the afghan I'm knitting.  And best of all, there's no hint of pink in it.  It's lavender, sage green and taupe.  All pastel.  Now it won't give me the striping effect that the original yarn would have but I'm going to use it anyway.  Maybe I'll whisper the word pink over it while I'm knitting. : )

PS Chris and Annette, if you're reading this, remember I love you lots!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Stitching and Stereotypes

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop

Loretta at Stitching the Night Away has an interesting question for Blog Hop #4.  It's one I've never asked myself before and I'm not sure what my answer is going to be.

Do you experience this same assumption from society in general that just because you’re being crafty you’re also driven by some unseen force to be in constant 1950s housewife mode? and then…. Who actually does the cooking and the cleaning in the household? I’d also really like to hear some words from the men in the crowd who stitch on this topic. What sort of societal reactions do you get and what ridiculously wrong assumptions do people make towards you when they see you working on needlework?

I don't think anyone who knows me considers me a 50's type of gal.  I'm pretty independent and take care of a lot of things on my own.  But my husband and I usually share the household chores.  Usually whoever sees that a job needs done just does it.  No job separation here.  Sometimes he cooks, sometimes I do.  If one of us sees the dishwasher needs emptying then we just do it.  I keep track of what maintenance my car needs.  There are certain things I really don't like doing (like vacuuming) but I do it anyway most of the time.  A lot of this stems from the fact that David traveled a lot when we were first married.  He was sometimes gone for several weeks at a time.  So I either learned to do certain things or they didn't get done.  So some of this was out of necessity.  But you do what you have to do when you have to do it and honestly I'm not too concerned with what other people think.

My "craftiness" comes from a frustrated desire to be an artist.  I would love to have the talent to create beautiful paintings but sadly I'm missing that gene.  So I cross stitch and pretend my fabric is a canvas and my threads are paints and I can create works of art that way.

This was a good subject to discuss.  I hadn't really thought about this before and it made me think about my perception of what I do and other's perception of me.

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Okay, here is my update for Quaker Gone Tropic for this week.  Now it looks like I did get more than usual done this week.  Well, guess what?  The entire boat has to be frogged!  Oh, I think I can salvage the top 5 rows but the rest has to come out.  See, I'm not just 1 or 2 stitches off.  And I'm not just 1 or 2 rows off.  I could live with that.  No, I'm 6, yes, you heard that right, 6 rows off!!!  I suppose I could just fudge it, but I would have to really adjust the other side of the sail, which I haven't even started yet.  And that is more of an undertaking than I wish to start.  So it has to come out.  And lest we forget, it's over 1 which makes it even harder to frog.  So when I finished banging my head against the nearest wall, I decided to frog it in stages.  2 - 3 rows at a time.  That way it won't seem so overwhelming.  I'll start on another section of the chart so I don't fall too far behind on this one.  I was hoping to get this one finished before too long cause I want to start on stuff for my new grandbaby (and that's a whole nother post).

Monday, June 11, 2012

Guess What?

This is my newest project that I've started.  Yes, I do have hobbies other than cross stitch (hard as that is to believe) such as knitting.  I bought this afghan kit from Mary Maxim last year and stuck it in my stash closet.  I didn't have a particular use for it at the time.  I just knew I really liked it and best of all, it was on sale!  So I figured if nothing else I would knit it up and give it to charity if I couldn't find another use for it.  Well, I found another way to use it.  Can you guess what it is?  Yep, I'm going to be a grandma!  My youngest son ( and middle child) and his lovely wife are having their first baby and our first grandchild.  They've been married for 7 years and I can honestly say, we never bugged them about it.  In fact, we had sort of given up any thought of having any grandbabies in the near future.  But they called us a couple of Saturdays ago and gave us the good news.  It looks like the baby is expected either around Christmas or New Years.  So I finally have an excuse to knit this lovely blanket.  The yarn is very soft and of course it's washable.  And I love the colors.  So I'd better get knitting on it .  I'd love for them to have it in time to bring the baby home from the hospital.  And as cold as it gets in Minneapolis in the winter, I suspect they'll need more than one!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Quaker Gone Tropic Update

It looks like I've forgotten to update my QGT project for a few weeks.  I am making slow but steady progress on it.  I think I have finally found a way to stitch it at night without my magnifier light reflecting off the TV.  I'm going to try it tonight and see how it works.  I also discovered that I have a hard time following a chart that has so many pages.  I had a lot of trouble with the mermaid motif being charted across 4 pages.  I actually ended up cutting the chart up and taping it together so I could finish it.  But I'm very pleased with how this one is working out.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Goals? What Are Those??

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop

Do you set stitching goals for yourself and how do you plan them out? (Weekly, monthly, annually?) What are your current stitching goals (if you don’t mind sharing)?
In addition to setting goals for yourself, do you have a special reward that you reserve for when you reach a stitching goal?

This is the question of the day.  Do I set goals for my stitching and if so do I reward myself for reaching those goals?  To be perfectly honest, the only time I set goals is if I am stitching a gift for a specific occasion.  For instance, Christmas or birthdays.  One time, my cousin's daughter was getting married and DH suggested I stitch them a wedding sampler.  Well, my deadline was 2 weeks so I told him I would do it only if he agreed to do everything else around the house.  Well, he agreed and the sampler was finished in time to have it framed and mailed and sent off to the wedding.  I wouldn't make a habit of that though.  I do find if I put goals out in front of me that I begin to resent the time I'm spending on that piece.  I'll find any excuse not to do it.  So I generally don't make goals for myself.

As far as rewards go, I don't usually do that either.  I don't know why I just never considered rewarding myself for doing what I love to do.  Now I do use cross stitch as a reward.  If I get my chores done, then I can sit down and stitch to my heart's content.  So I guess in that sense, I do reward myself.  Just not for stitching.   

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A New GrandKitty!

Yes, you read that right.  I have a new grandkitty.  I do not have grandkids yet and really don't expect any soon but I do have furbabies that I call my grandkids.  My oldest son has 2 dogs, 1 kitty and a lizard (which I really would rather not like to think about).  Unfortunately I don't think I have any pictures of them yet but I can show off Sherrie's new baby.  She has wanted either a kitty or a puppy since she left home last August.  After talking about it, she decided that a kitty would be easier for her to take care of.  So off she went then her roommate/landlord put up so many obstacles about getting an animal that Sherrie decided to move into a more pet friendly home.  So yesterday we went with her when she picked out her new kitty.  Now I didn't realize this before, but a lot of rescue organizations will not adopt out single kitties.  They want you to take a pair of them.  Well, Sherrie could only have one so she was getting pretty discouraged.  But after visiting three different stores and talking to the gentleman who was in charge of this kitty, he agreed to let her adopt only one.  Actually it's not final yet.  She's fostering to adopt to see if the new kitty gets along with her new roommates/landlords' cat and dog.  So if all goes well, at the end of two weeks, she'll be a proud kitty mama.  The kitty's name currently is Bandit (although that may change) and is a Maine Coon mix.  He's so cute and playful and his favorite thing to do is curl up on Sherrie's lap.  She originally wanted a calico or a tuxedo breed but fell in love with this one's personality.  I told her it just proves that God always has our best interests at heart and what we want may not be what He has planned for us.  Even kitties!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quaker Gone Tropic Update

I just realized this morning that I haven't updated Quaker Gone Tropic in a couple of weeks.  So here it is in all its glory.  Sometimes I look at it and think I haven't gotten anywhere on it at all.  Other times I look and it and think "Wow, you've made a lot of progress".  Don't know where I stand today.  I do really like most of the colors (yes, the jury is STILL out on the color of the large motif.  But guess what?  It's not getting changed.), especially the pink and the green combination.  And I'm still planning to stitch a secret into this.  I wish I could stitch on it more but my eyesight still isn't cleared up enough to stitch over one yet for more than a few minutes. Today I thought my vision was much blurrier (is that a word?) than usual.  Then I realized that it was a combination of my vision, my glasses being dirty and the magnifier I use also needing cleaned.  So it was a triple whammy.  But I'm happy with my progress.

Stitching Stands

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop

Do you use a stand when you stitch? If so, tell us about it and share pictures if you’ve got them. If not, would you like to try using a stand? Do you have any tips or tricks around using a stand versus not using a stand?

Do you use a stitching stand?  I sure do.  In fact, I've used one for the last 25 years.  I have a beautiful floor stand which frankly I hardly ever use.  It's to be used with a recliner but quite frankly, it just seems too unstable for me.

I think it's called an Ergo but I'm not sure of that.  

My favorite stand are my lap stands from K's Creation's.  I have all three of the sizes of the original frames but my favorite one to use is their Z Frame.  I'm still using the original one that they came out with probably about 15 years ago.  I love it!!  It can be positioned any way you like and it can hold scroll frames, q-snaps, or stretcher bars.  It's just a wonderful frame.  The only problem we have found at the store is that their customer service has really deteriorated since Kay died.  And that's so sad cause they have a wonderful product.  

Another advantage I've found with using a stand is that you can teach yourself to stitch two-handed.  It took me a little while to learn the technique but it was so worth it in the end.  Takes the strain off of one hand and allows you to stitch so much faster.  

So if you haven't tried using a stand, you might want to try it.  You may just surprise yourself.

Visit all the blogs in this round of Stitching the Night Away blog's blog hop.

1.Cindy2.Stands - Love 'em or leave 'em?
3.Stitching Stands

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Surgery Update

Well I survived my eye surgery.  It was as hard as I thought it would be and it was easier than I realized as well.  Doesn't make sense I know but while the surgery itself was uneventful, I found it really weird to be awake and hearing all that they were saying.  I also kept making random comments like, "What pretty colors."  The surgeon just told me to keep watching the colors and it would all be over soon.  I think I also told her that I was hungry.  I guess they hear lots of strange things like that.  LOL!  Anyway, I can't believe I'm going to do this but here is a picture of me yesterday before I had the dressing removed.  The next picture is of me today.   Okay, normally I look A LOT better than this but hey it is what it is.  Good news is that they were hoping my pressure would drop to 17 but yesterday when I had my post-op appointment it was actually at 14!  I honestly don't recall when it was ever that low.  So I am thrilled even if I do look like someone out of a horror movie.  I just keep telling myself this too shall pass.  So hopefully I will lose no more vision than I already have.  I'm going to try to stitch a little later.  That may have to wait but I'm going to give it a shot.  So happy dance with me for my great news.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stitching Blahs

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop

I saw this on another blog and decided to participate.  It's a blog hop where everyone blogs on the same topic. This first time it's the stitching blahs.

Have you ever had a case of the “stitching blahs” where you just didn’t want to stitch? Or maybe it was more like you didn’t get to stitch because you were busy and that created a chain reaction sense of the “blahs” and led to even less stitching…. sort of like a case of “the Mondays” that we are all familiar with. How do you handle your stitching blahs and get back into stitching mode?

The last time I had the stitching blahs was when I had my dad living with us.  I spent so much time taking care of his needs that stitching went by the wayside.   I have no regrets taking care of him but it wasn't easy.  After he passed on, I really didn't stitch for about 2 years.  What got me back into stitching was blogging.  I figured if I was going to blog about something, I'd better be doing it.  I started out slowly and then worked up to where I was stitching every day.  I'm still not finishing as much as I was before he lived in with us but I'm stitching what I like And having fun.  And please forgive the change in the font here.  I just had eye surgery yesterday and having a little bit of difficulty seeing the keyboard.

Be sure and check out all of these wonderful blogs which answer the question of what do you do when the   stitching blahs hit.

1.Stitching Blahs? Who, Me?2.Losing the Stitching Mojo!!
3.My Life and Stitches4.Stitching the Night Away Blog Hop
5.It's a Blog Hop!6.Linda K's Creativity Works
7.Dealing with the Stitching Blahs8.Cindy
9.Faithfully Stitching's Blog Hop10.Blog Hop? Sure, I'm in!
11.STNA Blog Hop @ Handmade Redhead12.Einschies stitching blog hop hop #1
15.Milly's Stitches16.Cathryn's Place
17.Stitching Blahs18.Who's Lost that Stitchy Feeling?
19.Stitching Enui20.Blah blah? Nah Nah!
21.Blog Hop - stitching blahs

Monday, April 30, 2012

Quaker Gone Tropic Update

This is the latest update for Quaker Gone Tropic.  I finally finished the large motif at the top.  I'm still not convinced I like the color of it but it's in there to stay.  So I just better get used to it.  Surgery is tomorrow so I'm not sure when I'll get back to stitching on this.  Hopefully it won't be too long before my vision is back to normal (or as normal as mine is right now).

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Happy Anniversary to Us!

33 years ago today I married my best friend.  He's my lover, my soul mate, the love of my life.  We've had our ups and downs but they've mostly been ups and together we got through the hard times.  We have 3 great kids and now 2 wonderful daughters-in-law, numerous dogs and 2 kitties.  Everyday I thank the Lord that He blessed me with such a good husband and family.  So, David, here's to the next 33 years.  May they always be as wonderful as the first.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Quaker Gone Tropic Update

It occurred to me yesterday that I hadn't updated Quaker Gone Tropic in a couple of weeks.  Here it is in all its glory.  I was able to get quite a bit more stitched on it last week.  I even managed to finish one whole page of the chart.  I've been tweaking the colors as I stitch it.  I'm still not convinced 100% that I like the color  of the large motif but it is starting to grow on me a little.  I think I like it better with the brighter colors around it.  I've been trying to get as much stitched on it before May 1.  I'm not sure how much I'll be able to stitch after that.  But I am liking this more and more.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Stitcher's Bucket List

Do you have a Stitcher's Bucket list?  You know, the designs that if you could only stitch 1 or 2 before you had to hang up your scissors that would go right to the top of the enormous pile of stash you have hidden in your back closet.  I've been thinking a lot about this lately.  Maybe it's my impending eye surgery (it's scheduled on May 1st) that has me contemplating this.  I have lots of designs I'd really like to stitch but what would the pinnacle of my stitching lifetime?  It was hard to narrow it down but I think I would have to say it would be The Shores of Hawk Run Hollow and 2 of the Chatelaine Designs.  One is the Taj Mahal Mandala Gardens and the other is Desert Garden Mandala (which I'm sorry to say I don't have a good picture of).  I also like her Safari Mandala but I have to be reasonable.  I just can't afford too many of her charts.  Now I do have the fabric and the silks for the Shores.  The fabric is even already attached to the stretcher bars.  So why haven't I started it yet?  Good question.  I also have the fabric and fibers for the Desert Gardens.  I'm thinking I don't have to wait till I'm ready to put down my needle.  I just might get them out and do them now.  So what's on your stitching bucket list?