Tuesday, May 26, 2009

When The Moon Hits Your Eye

Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope that you all had a great Memorial Day and got a lot of stitching done.

I'm doing a happy dance because I got Block 4 on Shores finished up this weekend. I don't know about anyone else that's stitching this, but this block was kind of ugly (sorry Kathy B). Is it just me? I couldn't get through it fast enough. Something about those squares inside that moon - kind of reminded me of the TV scrambling or something - you know - when pixels go awry. But I forged ahead. Actually, it wasn't that bad because it wasn't as stitch intensive as some of the other blocks!

So now I'm one-third of the way done! Ya Hoo! Quite honestly, I didn't think that I would get this far, but now that the moon block is done, I have a better attitude about the whole thing. Of course, my tune can change when I get to Block 5 - there's a whole lot of stitching goin' on in that block. I'm now back to the City Stitcher A&E. I am really hoping to get that one done in the next week or so.
I have to thank everyone for comments and emails about my oral surgery. Things went pretty well. The doctor was good - I didn't even know that he pulled the tooth. Now the sawing into my upper bone was not the most pleasant thing that I've been through, but it was more the noise than anything. I didn't have sedation for this, just a ton of shots. Only caveat to the whole thing is that the sinus augmentation couldn't be done because the root of the tooth in front of it was too close to the area, so the doc put a spacer thing in there and sewed me up. He's going to do the sinus thing when the implant is put in - a few months down the road. For all the anxiety he put me through, the office sent me flowers the next day.

I thought this was nice. DH's comment was, "With what the hell he's charging you for this, you better get something out of it". LOL Anyway, it was a nice touch. Never had that happen before, but DH has a point.

Cleaning of my craft room continues. Slowly, but surely. I've managed to get through the cross stitch books and to my sad realization, I only emptied out two binders, but yet have a whole Rubbermaid bin full of charts and kits. Of course, I came to the conclusion after I looked at the cabinet and saw no new space awaiting future stash purchases (I should be shot even thinking about future purchases), that I've just accumulated too much stuff (there was a lot waiting to be filed). So I guess I'm going to have to do another run-through here soon. I know that I did hang on to things that I probably will not stitch, but it's like a child going off to school - it's hard to get through the initial separation - after that - you wondered what all the anxiety was about. So I'm going to have to do Round #2 shortly.

I was going to reorganize all my threads. Something that desperately needs to be done, but instead I opted to start in on the cabinet where I keep the quilting stuff and came across some interesting things that I forgot I had. Some stitchery things. You know, for when you want a change from cross stitch.

Not the greatest picture. I had forgotten I had these patterns, but should have remembered. I've made a few of the angel pillow at the bottom of the picture. I think the little stitcheries are cute because they have some fabric applique along with the stitching.

Then I found this one too, and pulled it out because I figured it would be a really quick project. Looking at the pattern I realized that this was an old pattern from Brenda Gervais of Country Stitches dated 1999. It's also Pattern #250 so now I'm wondering just how many patterns she's done.

Sitting next to the patterns were these bundles of quilt fabrics:

Okay, be still my heart. I know the pile on the right was for a Buggy Barn quilt I wanted to do, but I can't remember what the other bundle was for. Further digging into the quilting stash will probably reveal the answer. I also found some more quilt tops that I did, but I'll save them for another time when I really don't have anything to write about
Yesterday I was reading Margaret 's blog and she talked about a contest that asked for pictures of collections. I don't usually get into doing this, but I was bored the other day - exhausted from gardening and didn't feel like entering the craft room, so I took a shot for the contest:

A Tempest of Tea Cups. Not the greatest photographic endeavor on my part, but I decided to take a picture of some of the teacups that I inherited from my grandmother. The one in the lower left (with the violets) is one of the ones that she painted. They're sitting in a large birdcage until I can find an antique teacart. Anyway, I didn't win the contest, but it was an opportunity to take a picture of them. Rechelle (the person who ran this contest) wanted to know why the teacups were in prison - what had they done? LOL
Well, that's it for now. I am realizing that the kids get out in less than three weeks, and I've got a million things to do. Life changes considerably when school lets out!
Have a great week everyone!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Master of Disaster

Does Miss Emmie look disgusted? Well, she does in my opinion. She's my sewing room mascot and has been watching me turn my craft room into a disaster area!

Hence, the name Master of Disaster. Although I guess that should be Mistress of Disaster. You know, you think all this is going to go faster than it does, but then there is all the regular running, cleaning, cooking (why does my family need to eat), gardening (not too much of that - we had a hard frost again last night), etc. So this is a very slow go! Plus, you tend to take your time looking through everything that you've accumulated over a span of years and you come across some charts and wonder to yourself, "What was I thinking!!!!" LOL Then there are those charts you think, "Well, I'll stitch this, won't I"? I finally had to tell myself that with all the charts I love, I'll be stitching for the next bazillion years - so out go the ones that I sit on the fence with. Then there is just the sheer joy of fondling all the stash - looking at all the wonderful things you can stitch - if you only get the time! LOL And all this takes time.

I know that I'm going to be so much happier when this is cleared up. I have cleaned a little bit more since I took this picture. But there is an almost exhilarating feeling to destash the stash, so to speak. I've filled a whole Rubbermaid bin with things that are going to a new home. I'm not sure what to do with this stuff - Ebay or donate to the library for their booksale. I'd love to get some cash for the stuff, but some of these charts date back about 30 years (cutesy geese and bears, etc.), so I don't know if people would really pay money for any of it.

As a result of all the cleaning, very little progress has been on the stitching front.

I've made it over to the right side this week and almost have Eve completed (really need to fill in those leaves on A&E. This is not a hard stitch, except for the fact that there are quarter stitches (can't remember when I did those last), and backstitching in the leaves, etc. So, that, coupled with my not getting to sit down until later in the evening has made for a very slow go. I didn't pick up Shores yet, but I need to so that Block #4 can be finished before the end of the month. Although part of my crazy self has had strange urges to work on VoHRH, HoHRH or Ann Medd. Sticking to one project is something I don't handle well.

Since I've been so stitch-deficient, I thought I'd post a couple more of the quilts that I've done, mainly because one of them hangs in my craft room and since I was taking pictures of the disaster, I thought I'd take a picture of the one in there. I have had a tremendous urge to quilt lately - an overwhelming urge, actually. Probably brought on by all the blogs that I've visited recently. Plus I came across some great homespun and primitive fabrics and a pattern from The Buggy Barn (for those of you who quilt) that I can't wait to take the 'ole rotary cutter to. I'm hoping that my FIL is working on my table as I write this (of course, it would help if the room was painted too).

This is a wallhanging that needs to be backed and bound. I did this for a quilt shop that I practically lived in for a while (they have since gone out of business which makes me sad). I was cranking out quilts right and left and the shop owners asked me if I would do models for their shop. It's a great deal because they supply the pattern, I pick out the fabrics (with their guidance because they want a certain look), I sew it together, and after it hangs in the shop for awhile, it's mine to keep. Free to me except for a little bit of sweat labor!

This is another quilt I did for the shop. It was a Jinny Beyer kit called Mirage and believe me, this was not for the faint hearted. They convinced me that I could do it. Well, I was just stupid enough to believe them, but a couple of the blocks had to be almost all handpieced. Not my favorite thing to do as I've mentioned before. I think I also ran over their deadline by a couple of weeks because it was so complicated. This was a kit that retailed for $200+. Would I have purchased it? Probably not even though I was really drawn to it (I think I was remembering all the quilts I had cut out and that were waiting for me to sew), but since it was "free", except for my labor, I jumped on it. I think it's one of my favorite quilts.

And this is another one I did for the shop. I really like this one a lot. I actually hand stitched the applique onto this which is something I hate doing. It's made with Thimbleberry fabrics which I have a preference for. This is more of a wall hanging size quilt so I basically use it to cover my dining room table on and off during the year.

Well, that's it for now. I doubt I'll get much stitching done this week either. My dental surgery is on Wednesday. I've been told that I can't do much of anything for the next week because of it being a more complicated surgery. Plus I'm not suppose to bend my head for a few days! Now this doesn't bother me from the housework end, but not to be able to stitch! AUGHHH! So I'm on the search today for some things that are small and can be put into the Q-Snaps so I can hold them up and not bend my head. We'll see what happens.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week! And thank you again for all your nice comments!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Faster I Go, The Behinder I Get

Happy Mother's Day (albeit late) to everyone! Hope that everyone had a great day with their kids, grandkids, and families. I had a wonderful day. My DH bought me roses (pic is before I arranged them a little better)

and also the pair of trellises and clematis I wanted for the garden. And that's all I wanted. He thought that it was kind of a weird gift (you know, it's for the house, not me personally), so he bought me a trip to the spa too. This has kind of turned into an annual thing though. It started a few years ago when I had gone through kind a rough time with some things and my kids gave DH the idea. Since then, it's morphed into an every year kind of thing. Am I complaining - DEFINITELY NOT! I love having the whole nine yards done - the backrub, the facial, the lunch and manicure and pedicure. I always save it for when the kids go back to school because sometimes our summers can be daunting and exhausting with all their activities. Thank you guys - I love you all so much!

The past week has been an absolute blur. I have been flying around with my pants on fire trying to get things done, but I don't seem to be making as much progress as I would like. Almost like I'm going backwards, not forwards. But maybe that happens when you're trying to get things done. You think you're going to clean things out and make more of a mess than you started with. So my week has been a lot of spinning my wheels and not a lot accomplished. I got very little stitching done this week:

I got a little bit more done on the A&E sampler. I goofed up the basket - it's suppose to have dark brown in it. The symbols are small and difficult to read. When I realized my mistake, I just kept going with what color I picked and I think I like it better. I also got a few more motifs done and at least Adam is pretty much done except for his eye (a little french knot). Oh, I also got the snake in. I was going to stop working on this Thursday, but really didn't get much stitching done up to that point, so I'll just keep going until it's time to pull Shores out again (around the 15th). I did get a little bit of stitching done on my To Thy Self be True LHN piece while I was sitting through two recitals with my DD this weekend. Being a backstage mom when the girls are older does have its advantages. Actually I only sat backstage for one show - I watched the other one from the audience with DH and son. She was wonderful, by the way!!

Friday night, I did meet up with Terri and her friend, Julie, for Girls Night Out in Holly. It's a fun little town with antique malls, and prim shops.

That's Julie, Dawn (the owner of Holly Hills Primitives) and Terri. It was a fun time. Dawn's shop is so cute. She has so many things that will tempt you (and believe me I've been tempted)! I really didn't buy much that night, but I did come across a flower frog in one of the antique malls that I thought was a little different.

At first I couldn't figure out what it was because all the flower frogs I've seen have been made of glass. This looks like an artichoke. But I love it because it's deep enough to accomodate a variety of sizes of scissors. Obviously, I need to put a few more in here, but didn't want to shift through the mess in the craft room to get them out of the drawers. I think it's a great height too because the scissor fobs can dangle from the sides. I need to put scissor fobs on the ever growing list of things to stitch.

I also found this sock shaper (in Dawn's shop) that will look cute in my craft room, although I'm going to paint it when I reach the point of putting my room together. I've had a monkey wrench thrown into that though. But a good monkey wrench. The room I'm in is a great room, but there is also another bedroom in our basement which is larger. I gave it to the kids to do their thing in because there is a large L-Shaped table in there that is a monster to move (actually was an old secretarial workstation from my old job), but made for a great craft table when the kids wanted to paint or when DS was in his car model stage. Anyway, while I was down there cleaning out my room, my DH ventured in (something he never does) and mentioned that if I wanted he would move the monster table out and I could take over the larger room! Do you think I was doing a happy dance or what! So, the gears in my head take over. The room of my dreams. I proceeded to run to the book store for plans for a cutting table! And this is what I came up with:

Not the best picture (my FIL has the better one), but it's the cutting/craft table of my dreams. Actually it's the cutting table from Bunny Hills craft room (she has a blog). She was featured in this month's American Patchwork and Quilting. I gave my FIL the good picture and the plans yesterday, along with plans for a lower unit to sit on the adjacent wall. He said, "No problem", bless his soul. He's going to be 83 and goes like the Eveready Bunny! Anyway, it's going to be bigger than the one in the picture - about six feet long. As my kids used to say when they were excited - I'm Excidedly! Now I really have to ramp up my attack of the room and get the painting done!
This week in my adventures of cleaning out the craft room, I came across this sampler that I started eons ago, Sheepish Designs, The Sarah Pope Sampler.

It's a shame that I put this one down because it's so pretty, but there was a good reason. There is a lot of queen stitch in this sampler and at the time, I absolutely hated queen stitch. Since that time I've had more experience, through doing needlepoint and Chatelaines, with different stitches and they don't seem so bad anymore, so this is definitely one that I think that I need to finish up.
Well, that's about it! I've got to run and catch up on blogs. I don't think that I've had much time to catch up everyone else's lives since probably last Tuesday or Wednesday. Hope that everyone has a great week and thank you, again, for all your great comments!

Monday, May 4, 2009

And All I Wanted Was A Flippin' Thread

Happy Monday everyone! Hope everyone had a stitchy weekend! I'll explain my title to this entry in a minute! This may be a long entry (with pictures, of course), so grab some coffee (or tea).

It's been a busy week around here! Cleaning, and more cleaning. I actually got to spend more time in my stitching room. I took pictures of the god-awful mess I've made down there, but I'll hold those until I don't have anything to talk about (like that's really going to happen - LOL). Okay, since I know you want to see it - I'll show you a pretty clean closet.
Well, it's prettier and more organized than it was before. I'm kind of hoping that I can convince DH to build shelves in here instead of using the wire shelving, but it works for now. It's been a lot of fun finding things I've completely forgotten about. And also going through some boxes that haven't seen the light of day since we moved almost four years ago. I haven't even started going through the charts yet. DD keeps saying "Oh, I like that Mom", everytime I'd put something in the donation/Ebay pile. Can't get rid of stuff like that!
Anyway, let's get to the stitchy stuff so if you get bored with the rest of my ramblings you can high-tail it off to another blog!
Block #3 is done! YES MAMA! I like this block the best so far! I had the fleeting thought of going on to Block #4 as it doesn't look too stitch intensive, but decided to get out of the water before I turned into a pruney mess. So I picked up The City Stitcher's Adam and Eve and made a little bit more progress on it.


I absolutely love stitching this. Yes, it was some wonky quarter stitches and backstitching, but I am really enjoying this! I'll probably work on this for a few more days and then put some time into Cape Cod Girls.

Okay, now I'll explain my title to this entry. I needed a thread. Just one stinking thread. Yes, I probably could have subbed in something else, but I'm anal (yes I'm the one with the alphabetized spice rack and my charts alphabetized by designer and then all the designer's charts alphabetized), and I'm damned proud of it. Anyway, I needed the thread so I jumped in my car and drove at least 50 minutes to the LNS. I did try the two needlepoint stores in the area for naught first, though! Anyway, you just can't go into this store (The Rocking Horse) and just buy thread. You just can't. The store has floor to ceiling framed pieces of cross stitch. Next time, I'll take my camera. It's unbelieveable.

Well, you know how it is, you see a chart and think - UGH!!, and then you see it in person - stitched and framed! Well, that's what happened to me.
First off, a couple La-D-Da charts. The Leaping Cat one I saw stitched one-over-one on 40 ct. silk gauze. Now, before you think I'm some kind of nut case, I don't think I'm going to go there, but maybe one-over-one on 32 ct. In The Forest was also hanging there framed and both pictures combined into one. Kind of made me think of Adam and Eve of the rabbit world, so...........need I explain myself here?

After seeing that evil enabler (opps - did I let that fly out of my head), pardon me, Stitching Sister, Siobhan 's Stories to Live By - Eve, I knew that it would be an excellent addition to the A&E wall. But I couldn't stop there, I also got Jonah, because, well......you know.....it goes with the nautical bathroom theme!
Moving right along with the religious theme, I also picked up these two. The one on the right is a book put out by Leisure Arts quite a few years ago, but what makes it cool is that Diane Arthur of LHN did these and for $4.00 and eight designs, I had to have it.
Okay, now this one I ordered from the Online Needlework Show. Sorry the picture isn't better. Have to tell you, that I can't wait to start this - I found a piece of fabric in my stash. But if any of you are familiar with Heaven and Earth Designs, well, that's what the chart is like. But at the rather moderate size of about 5" x 10", it is highly doable. When it's doable is the question.
Then, like I think I'm going to have all the stitching time in the world, I had to pick up these - French Heart and Thoughtful Heart. Mainly because the guest suite is Shepherd's Bush and these are not the normal long samplers. I needed some smaller pieces to balance out the wall. Then there was the To Thine Self Be True by LHN that I just had to have. A quickie is a good thing once in a while! (Okay, get your minds out of the gutter)! DH asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day. No, I didn't tell him a quickie (may hamper my stitching time). I handed him the bag and told him the wrapping paper was in the closet! LOL

This weekend I missed my monthly Guild meeting. Dang, and they had a lot of fun too as Terri mentioned in her blog. Check it out. They had a class project of a Mermaid pinkeep. Our Guild President designed it. It's so sweet! And then one of the women brought her almost completed Dutch Beast, oops, I mean Dutch Beauty. It is truly stunning! But it looks big enough to sleep under. Anyway, the meeting sounds like it was a lot of fun, but I had my reasons for not going. This weekend was the first of my daughter's recitals. She has three.

Here she is in her Jazz costume:

Such a sweetie! That make-up is a little bit over the top though with those cat eyes!

And in her ballet costume. She's been dancing with most of these girls since she was three years old. I remember her with a pull-up on under her tights just in case she got too excited dancing and had an accident! And by the way, for those few that haven't seen her in a while - she's 5"1" tall and her feet are as big as mine! Where did my baby go???

Well, if I haven't bored you enough, I'll probably bore you with this one. It's the continuing saga of my tooth and the cracked root. I finally had my periodontist appointment this week. Prognosis - remove the tooth, do a sinus lift due to bone deterioriation (okay what the heck is a sinus lift - I'd rather have a breast lift, butt lift or face lift - not something that no one is going to see). Then they will implant bone crystals. After a few months, they will put in the implant post so that the new (read: fake tooth) can be put on. Now the total cost of this (and you will understand why I went on the stash splurge now - there will be no money later)- are you sitting down????? $6,700!!!!! For one FREAKIN' Tooth - of which my dental insurance only covers $600. Also, not included in the cost of this is the actual fake tooth that goes on the implanted post! Oh, my aching mouth. Or it will be aching. I'm now on my third round of antibotics and the surgery won't be done until May 20th! Definitely not something I'm looking forward to.

Okay, I hope that I haven't bored you too much. Maybe I should learn to post more often. But I always think that I have nothing to say, and then suddenly it's like I can't stop! Like eating potato chips.

Anyway, hope that everyone has a great, stitchy week! It should be a fun one here - Tuesday DD and I are going to a sheep shearing at a local farm, and Friday I'm meeting up with Terri and a couple of her friends for Girl's Night Out in Holly (antique city). So have a great week and thank you for all your wonderful comments. I love hearing from you and visiting your blogs too!