Feb 26, 2014

Thanks...

for the emails about my sister.  She is in the hospital, irregular beat and Afib caused a clot, it's in the lung, and hopefully there aren't others.  This hit us all in the pit of our stomachs because of my dad's slow suffocation death by the same.  At least this time, the doctors and radiologists are not idiots without a clue.  She's breathless and not allowed to move much, ablation was mentioned, shock will be tried first, after they look for more clots.  I'll post again when she is well and home.  Thank you all!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Feb 25, 2014

Wonder clips

Hello people!   Hope you had an incident-free weekend.   Ours was a little anxious since my sister seems to be repeating her last condition.  We'll know more today.
I wanted to show you these clips that I found on Nancy Zieman's site.  My local JoAnn's doesn't carry them but their website does. 
 They are Wonder Clips made by Clover.  Great for holding fabrics when hand sewing (or machine).  They come larger, but even this small size holds the thick felted wool.  The bottoms are flat so your piece lays smooth and neat.  Now I can have small projects in my bags without worrying about getting stuck by a pin.  A very nice woman called to inform me that she had my package.  The post office delivered the 8 x 10 box with my name and address to another name and address, no where near close to mine.  I stopped at the post office and they never even scanned the box as received or delivered, so I'm grateful that she was nice enough to call me.
 
Work on the horses ... well... what can I say?  I started charting it the end of January, stitching the first of February, and it should have been completed by now.  Technically it was.  Several times. 
  Last night I starting removing the right side flowers to change the colors.  When that's done, I'm fairly sure that I will remove the large twisting center leaf for color too.  Both elements were fine, but too bright.  As the piece progressed, it was overwhelmed with the reds which is obviously not apparent on a black and white chart.  Going back to the photo showed them to be softer than the berries on the left.   To top it off, this color was what I used originally and thought it was wrong, not enough contrast.  Maybe holding off on the white outlines until the end wasn't smart.  What a difference it makes!
 
No reply from the kitchen guy yet.  I worked on these two boxes and they are ready for whatever paint finish I decide.  One will be in the foyer above this little pine chest that I had in the basement. Perfectly small and functional.  We will add a base with legs, change the knobs, add a new top, and some sort of aged paint.  Because of its small size (21" wide), proportion will dictate the changes.
 
 
 
 
 
Cold weather is returning and I once again have the visitor from hell.  I know this look well.  Good thing this chair will be reupholstered eventually because she uses the wing as a scratching post.

Hope your week is starting well, and gets better as it progresses.
Thanks for visiting!

P.S.  Francis Bliss and Lydia Hinckley Samplers from Scarlet Letter are on EBay HERE.  One is spelled wrong and the other doesn't have SL in the title so they came up in different searches.  Just in case someone is interested!
 
 
 

Feb 23, 2014

Carpal tunnel anyone?

Good day!  It's not snowing......yet......so it's a good day.  How's everyone doing?  Anxiously awaiting spring? 
Kathy left a comment about having carpal tunnel syndrome and since she's no-reply, I thought a post with suggestions might be a good idea.  I'm sure many of you are having the same pain and if anyone would like to share their attempt at relief, it may help others. 
My SIL, stitcher extraordinaire, had and treated it as long as she could to avoid surgery.  She took a B6 supplement and did stretching exercises (like Yoga) that she found online, all recommended by her doc.  Three days of an Advil regimen calmed inflammation flare-ups.  She wore a splint to bed to prevent more nerve pinching, and a glove when stitching.  Do you use a wrist support or glove (like Thera-Glove) that still allows stitching?    The wrist brace I needed after my cast came off was very cumbersome and uncomfortable but there are others with less bulk.  Can anyone recommend a favorite? 
 One that doesn't have a bulky thumb wrap and looks more comfortable is this one from DonJoy, Bell-Horn, and others.  All elastic with an aluminum support.  The affected nerve is really at the base of the palm which is why the stay needs to be up into the hand area.  You can find this one on Ebay here. 
 
Another that has no thumb strap and leaves the fingers completely free is the Carpal Mate.  It doesn't look like a good option for a very small hand.  Lots of places to purchase on Amazon, Ebay, and others.  I don't know if either are comfortable to wear, but they look the least confining and are not expensive.
 
That's today's Medical Matters.  And now a word from our sponsors.

Feb 22, 2014

Fusspotiness - quirk or issue?

Hiya.  I received a few emails questioning my fusspotiness on the horses.  It's because I have issues.  Many issues.  Some related to aging, some to hormones, some to bitchdom, some to personality.  Is issues a kinder sounding word than quirks?  Take your pick.  And before I show the horse's ass, I have a question.  Am I the only one that ends up throwing packaging across the room?  I get so angry at the boxes containing my snack bars and klondikes.  The first flap is bad enough, but the two little end flaps won't give up, they hold on for dear life, and I end up ripping those ears and the remaining flap into shreds and throwing them while grinding my teeth even shorter.  I keep the ice cream treats in the basement freezer as a worthless deterrent, and the husband will sometimes come up the stairs and ask "what happened down there?"  Am I doing something wrong or do the packaging people fear a bar may escape?
My horses are finally FINALLY close to the original.  At first, I followed Lisa's design and the more I checked the photo, the more I realized they weren't folksy enough.  The original has thinner heads, different hind quarter and rears, ears, tails, and hooves that are not defined.  The one on the left was after two tweaks and the right is now.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For as much as I've studied this, I just saw another difference.  The white spot on the head is actually a spot, not an eye and the black is part of the mane.  Hmm.  Am I being too fussy?  Of course I will say no, but I am.  They are both fine and dandy stallions.  So hard to visualize it stitched when looking at a piece of paper with x's which is why the changes came after.  A huge help would have been the #%&*#!% colored pencils that are misplaced.  Now about that large center leaf.  I was really torn between using 924 and 500.  My fabric started more blue and the choice was 924, but after the walnut dip and a little more teal, the lighter blues weren't as nice and I chose the 500.  But was it the right one?  Each looks good in certain lights, and not good in others.  I seriously doubt that I will change it at this point. (sigh)  I miss my alphabets.
I was so glad to read your comments about your benders!  I thought I was the only mad yanker.  Whew!  You really made me feel better. These new needles are bending more easily than my old favorites so I need to make notes for future projects.  If it looks like a battle may ensue, I will know which needle will win the war and which will surrender.
The sun is out and the fierce wind is giving my cathedral bell wind chimes a workout.  I love it.
The brats are out and about enjoying some fresh air but next week's forecast may bring them back in.  My brother happened to stop by when they were napping and since he is always taking care of strays and his own, I asked him to help with delivering worm pills.  Missy tore me up pretty bad but we got it down.  Nitzy went berserk and we failed.  I need a new pill popper after that.  They don't seem to have much to grab at the scruff so he used other techniques.  Eventually, I'll get Nit.  Squeak and Bud are butting and rubbing heads so I think they're finally accepting each other.  Missy swats him whenever possible, and although he pulls away I still pet him.
Back to the races!
Enjoy your weekend ~ thanks for visiting.






Feb 21, 2014

My bender

Greetings!  I'm starting with an apology.  My frustrations with the current stitching project, the lack of help with the house projects, a few family issues, and my failure to control my diet, has me in a snit.  I haven't been commenting, only catching a few blogs now and then, and I'm sorry.  I feel like I'm on the bench in the locker room instead of being in the game.  We all have these periods of disconnect and I'm hoping it ends soon.  My fear was that I will take a break from stitching which has led me to stop before, but that won't happen I'm sure.  I'm on the home stretch with the design after removing the horse's ass once again.  And the big flower.  I thought it would be a cinch to chart these simple flowers and such from a blurred photo of a folded piece.  Why yes, I am a naive twit.  Color changes and simple placements can look good on paper, but not on teal linen.  All the white floral and leaf outlines will be done last.  The top center area has spotted flowers?, strawberries? and a leaf with shading.  That leaf may be another color frogging marathon and I'll start that area after the horses are redone and the big teal leaf is finished.  The other MAJOR issue I've been having is the actual stitching.  The new needle's point is not sharp, yet I am splitting the linen thread one in every five stitches so the floss is not in the "hole", it's off and noticeable.  Sometimes I don't see it until the next row which leads to more frogging.  Lucy Redd tested my patience but wasn't even close in frustration and frogging.  I've never had a problem with splitting threads like this.  Could it be the new needle even though it's not sharp? 
 Whatever, here is the result.  And if I would ever consider a stitching related business, the name would be The Bent Needle.  Appropriate.  This isn't the first time, I've done it often.  I yank so hard when I try to backtrack a stitch instead of removing the needle and gently pulling out the misplaced floss, that this is the result.  
 
 
 
Always in a hurry, I  end up catching or splitting something on the backside, get frustrated, and yank until I distort the linen and bend the needle.  Whew.  That's hard to admit.  But it happens.  Never have the linen threads been damaged or broken, but I do have to give the fabric a snap to realign. This is another one that I keep just to remind myself to be more patient.  Doesn't work though.  Here's so far, done over so many times that I'm surprised the linen color has held.

 
 
 I think hope the next few days of working on this will be the end, and all the white outlines will be an easy relaxing finish.  Good.  I don't want to enter into a new project with this bad attitude.

I'll leave you with a cat puzzle. Took me a while to figure out whose paws were where.
We've had a few days of warmer weather and the snow is melting, along with rains, lightning and thunder. It won't last though. More bad news coming for next week.
Enjoy your weekend.
 
Thanks for visiting.

Feb 18, 2014

Two horse finish

Hello people.  Hope all is well.  We got hit again last night with ice, winds, and snow.  My painting hit a snag because my original custom mix was never put in the computer, so I had to scramble to find the original swatch.  Since she made two adjustments after the first mix and never added them to the label, we had to start over.  This time, the computer read it completely different and it's green.  Green.  The paint department regulars have been off and will continue to be, they apologized, but have fill ins from other departments and they are not familiar with formulas.  I decided to paint the wall beneath the chair rail and don't have enough left so I'm not happy.  What else is new?  The kitchen guy won't return my calls.  Is this ridiculous?  I am so tired of this.
Anyway, under the pile of fabrics I was rolling, I found the Two Horse finish that I took off my box. 
I would prefer hanging this piece and since this coarse wool reminds me of horsehair, that's what I plan on using.  Leather laces will be the hanger.  I get these rolls of various colors at Hobby Lobby or Michael's.  Even though it's thick, it stretches easily and I doubt if I could use a fusible stabilizer so I may get a black sew in piece. 
 
 
   
 I cut it into two pieces to fit the stitchery and allowed an inch border.  Should I leave it open as a pocket, or sew around all four sides?   If I leave the top open as a pocket, I think it still needs a decorative stitch so either way, a contrasting blanket stitch will be sewn on all sides. 
 
 
 
 Decisions decisions.  But I do like the rough wool showing rather than the usual pillow/pinkeep finishing.  Normally, I don't like fabric borders. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Last night, I worked for hours on one lousy flower outline on my attempt of the original.  I'm going to keep at it as much as I can because the frustration is tempting me to quit.  I've come too far for that and don't want to set it aside.  
 
Enjoy your week!
Thanks for visiting.

Feb 16, 2014

Jobelan

Hiya.  How are ya? Got snow?  I just came back from the market and some side streets are just inches of ice.  Warm up is forecasted for mid week.  Yeah right.
While checking my linens for fold marks, I came across the sage Jobelan that I used to use for ornaments.  If I ever saw a fold line in this blend, it would easily wash out or disappear when mounted for framing or fused with interfacing.   Since I am only interested in samplers and santas (really?) on linen, I planned on selling these pieces.  Guess what?  I washed them and some folds are still there, not that bad, and not a problem if stretching for framing.  No color fade as with linen and not an actual crease, but there nonetheless. 
Now I'm wondering if the Jobelan I offered was a problem for the recipients.  It is certainly usable between the folds or if you plan on mounting but I'm not comfortable selling it.  They are larger pieces (32 count ~ 18x28 ... 28 count ~ 18x54, 26x35 ... and 20? 25? brown? 18x27) and if someone wants them for postage, they can have them all.  They weigh a pound so Priority envelope would be $5.50.   Edited - didn't expect them to go that fast, but they're gone.  There is plenty of fabric for smaller projects and dozens of ornaments. I received an email from Paraclete Designs letting me know that they will take unwanted stitchery items for teaching and I already have a small package for her since the reformatory never replied. If you are interested you can contact Charlene here.  
And this beauty is from Amy Mitten.  This is her Ann Wade sampler wallet tutorial and you can see the inside and information on it here.  Is this gorgeous or what??  The photo is from her website.  Ann is stitching it and will share with us when completed.
 
When I notified Parsley that Random chose her, I was saddened to learn that she had just put down one of her much loved dogs.  We all know that pain.
Still cussing at the ponies, and after seeing a few new sampler releases, Eliza may be dethroned.  This is Pineberry Lane's new Elizabeth Smith.
Ever since I mentioned that Zilla brand would be better for strawberries, I can't stop thinking about two recipes.  One is for a jello with the frozen berries and tiny cream cheese balls that are rolled in chopped nuts.  The other is a punch recipe that I could drink by the gallon, which led me to search for the recipe, and I found Orange Julius.  Love that stuff.  And right there next to it was the home made super rich eggnog, Amaretto cakes, Italian love cake, bobalki  .......  this is not good. I posted both drinks on the recipe blog here
Enjoy what's left of your weekend.
Thanks for visiting.

Feb 14, 2014

Winner and some nuts

Hello everyone.  This is my foyer's new tall sconce from The Tin Bin that took me months to decide upon.  As for the stencils, I have them narrowed down and will order this weekend.

Hope you're having a wonderful Valentine's Day.  I was at the doc's this morning and a husband called in asking them to change his wife's appointment to later in the day.  He hired a string quartet to serenade her at work and wanted to make sure she would be there.  How sweet.  They obviously know each other well and this is something she would love.  My husband knows me well enough to know that this is something I would hate.  I am not a romantic.  I'm the get-away-from-me type.  The only mush I can handle is cornmeal.
I'm still working on charting and stitching the pony bag.  I can't begin to say how many times that one flower was frogged and redone, but I do know that number is three for the horses.  I'm finally pleased.  Because of the problems I have with my hands from painting, and now dyeing (which involved strong bleach) they are similar to Velcro.  Terrible.  The doc took a look and said it is winter hand eczema and no cream will help. That surprised me because there is no itch, just sandpaper rough dryness.  I have to use hydrocortisone cream on them two to three times a day, and until they are better, the stitched areas on the piece are getting fuzzy.  My left thumb holding the piece is like sandpaper on the floss and I tried using a left glove when stitching but it didn't work.  Not really noticeable unless I'm putting new stitches in next to the affected ones, and at first I couldn't figure out what was happening.  I can't wait to be done with this.  I found Eliza what's her name and she will be next.  Fuzzy or flat.
And the winner is ....Parsley.  Thanks to all for entering.  I was a little surprised that I got more entries for my box than $$$.  I'd prefer the dough.  I may have a few pony boxes for sale next week.
Now for information that you already know or don't care about -  a comparison between crushed walnut shells that we use for pincushions.  I used to get Kaytee in the bird section of my pet store but it's no longer carried, so I purchased Zilla in the reptile section.  Here's the difference between the two.  Kaytee is on the left and more coarse.  I like them both but the Zilla is better for the small strawberries.
 
 
And here's two more nuts.  Can you tell the difference between the two?  Dad Bud is closest to the door and son Nitzy is front and center.  We didn't get the latest snow storm since we are almost on the Ohio border. 
 
 
 
 
 
So that's it.  Haven't been online much so I hope I can catch up one day.  Until then, enjoy your weekend, stay warm and safe.
 
Thanks for visiting!!
 

Feb 10, 2014

Your offer and my thanks

Greetings!  Thank you everyone for your suggestions and encouragement!  With great embarrassment I admit again that I can't swallow pills.  Choked once when very young.  I think that's when the claustrophobia began and a deeply embedded fear persists, even after several hypnosis sessions.  I chew, cut, or open capsules, many have taste that's bearable, but most are intolerable.  And with a family history of breast cancer, I can't take estrogen. My doc checked a while back and found that bioidenticals were not offered locally and testing and such was not covered by my insurance.  I do believe it's better.  Really. My long rides are less frequent, but my Jekyll/Hyde moments aren't!  But hey, who wants to be nice all the time anyway? 
Two other things that are none of my business.
 1. if you get those PITA emails from gmail about "following" someone, don't open them.  If you have, search "flipora - infoaxe" and get instructions how to remove them from your computer.
And 2. we have another friend whose dizziness ceased when he stopped all aspartame (Nutrasweet) products.  After years of doctoring and tests showing nothing, he heard about someone else, and gave it a try.  We always advised our patients to not consume diet products during pregnancy. It doesn't affect everyone, but could very well be responsible for the rise in ADHD and depression.  It reduces the serotonin level causing an imbalance that affects mood, learning, memory, and behavior.  Young children are especially susceptible.
 My cousin's step daughter was diagnosed with MS, only to find it was the aspartame, and she is now fine.  Her classmate had seizures which stopped after removing all diet sodas, and my nephew's grandson is not as wild.  If you have any of these symptoms and consume aspartame, take a break and see if it helps.  It may not be the cause, but it's an easy fix if it is. 
 
On February 14, at 8 pm EST, I will have Random draw a name for a $30 gift certificate from 123 Stitch.  Make sure you leave your initials if you're no-reply or anonymous.  I won't be back until then.  I need to stay off Pinterest and the computer until I finish a few things.
 
Stay safe!  Thanks for visiting!!



Feb 9, 2014

A heap of weep

Good day to you wonderful readers.  I am grateful for your interest, kindness, support, your help, and the letters I receive validating menopause as a functional disorder.
val·i·date
1. To declare or make legally valid.
2. To mark with an indication of official sanction.
3. To establish the soundness of; corroborate.
We need to move on this.  Can you picture me before Congress, wild hair, mascara running from tears, pounding my hand of crooked fingers, swearing like a rap video.  Trying hard to refrain from climbing the table to grab a silk tie and twisting it around some smug hypocrite's neck.  It would be corroborative evidence in making my case.  And as I walk out, head held high, Elvis would be singing You'll Never Walk Alone in the background.
It all started with my new linen order and trying to get the color adjusted close to my prior fabric, which did NOT resemble what I saw in baby Matt's pants at the party.  Drives me nuts to order the same color and there is no consistency. Using the walnut dip did nothing because yellow is invincible. Remember to buy blue dye today.  I'm finally getting out on the ice packed side streets and skating rink parking lots.  The van in front of me is from our local pet cemetery, obviously going to pick up a deceased furbaby.  That started the memories of when it came to my home, and back to the loss of our first Lab who suffered terribly because of her vet, then memories of my dad's suffocation because of his clueless doctor.  So rage once again had me shaking inside while weeping outside.  My first store was Walmart.   Walking from my car, I see a Cadillac Escalade pull into the handicapped spot. Out comes two young women, neither handicapped, and eight children under five.  It's starting to build.  As I loaded my bags' handles over my arms in the self checkout and started to walk out, I passed the little service desk at the end.  My hair was falling over the side of my face - that did it.   I sent my bags crashing to the floor, asked the clerk for scissors, and lopped off the offending hunk. Not many customers throw their merchandise down in a hissy fit to cut their hair, and I'll bet they have new rules regarding scissors.  Next stop, JoAnn's for blue Rit.  They moved the display.  I'm trying to stay calm, up and down each aisle.  Customers throughout the store then heard, "WHERE THE HELL IS THE RIT?".  Purchased a dozen storage containers for an organization attempt, later found a 20% off coupon I had planned to use but the Rit fit trumped.  Costing more $$ is now involved and I'm on an unstoppable course. On to the pet store for brat food.  A girl on her cell phone, relaying a crying friend's pleas for help because her house had no heat and laughing about it, blocked the aisle with her cart.  The insensitive bitch wouldn't move.  I said excuse me!  Nothing.  With one shove, I sent her cart about 25 feet.  As I turned and looked at her, she took a step back.  Next to JCP, where I planned on using my $10 reward on 2 sweatshirts.  Where the hell is it?  I just printed it!  Did it fall out at the other store?  Slam the hangers back onto the display enough to make it wobble.  Last stop was McDonald's for 2 cups of coffee. While getting my money, I see the JCP reward that I failed to see in multiple searches.  Steam coming from me is not related to the weather.  They know me at McD's, but this kid was new.  I opened the lid to check the drink and then told him to fill the damn cup.  It's funny how deep your voice gets when your teeth are clenched.  He'll remember me next time.  I pulled safely into the garage, threw all my packages out of the car and left them there, came inside and baked cake and cupcakes, ate them hot.  Everyone experiences what I encountered, feels the sadness, gets angry, but the van started the menomotions and there was no going back.  They aren't easily ignored, their edges are sharp and barbed, sticking in me, not wanting to let go.  It's like I become extremely sensitive yet angered at the same time, wanting to pick up and toss a car while falling into a heap of weep.  I used to be reasonable. Sharp. Diplomatic. Patient (within reason).  Now I can't remember the word I want, where I left my scissors, the name of my friend's street.  I have trouble staying calm during a debate, get unreasonably upset at small nuisances, cry when a baby cries, and get overly emotional at sadness (or some commercials).  Hot flashes have finally become less intense, less frequent, and tolerable.  And it's not every day that becomes an emotional coaster, but when it's triggered, the ride builds speed and lasts all day!!  I've always had a temper, but not this type of rage which has me torn between crying and throwing.  Maybe that conflict can be managed and choosing one or the other would be less upsetting.  That calls for reasoning.  Ain't gonna happen.
These are the colors I chose for Eliza Pomeroy to use on Copper Penny linen.  I would show you the design, but I can't find it.  Ann Wragg, first runner-up, may take the crown from Eliza if she doesn't fulfill her duties. The ups and downs of yesterday are upsetting, but the memory problems, misplaced items, lack of patience, and indecisiveness, are the most annoying symptoms of this disorder.  And with that in mind, I don't want to offer the planned gift in case it doesn't materialize, so the upcoming post announcing the giveaway will be for a gift certificate.  If the pincushion box is made in time and you would prefer a choice, we'll do that.  Don't enter yet!  I will have a separate post with details, when I calm down and think clearly.  Until then, thanks so much for reading my menotale.  I think it does help to write it out, because I got a chuckle when I remembered the pet store girl's look of fear, and can imagine how bitchy I looked to others.  But menopause also allows an arrogance, so I don't give a rat's tail what they thought.
 
Take care and finish the weekend with a smile.
 

Feb 8, 2014

It's just a teapot you twit

Hello all.  Hope your weekend is off to a great start.  Mine, not so much.  I will explain in a boo-hoo post next time. 
While running errands today I blew through the antique shop at the mall, and found this. 
 
I never look for glass or tableware, just wood and pewter primitives.  I spotted this little guy and - yes I'm that stupid - didn't know how it was used.  I thought it was so cute, and it's pewter, so it came home with me, after I asked the owner what was brewed in the other two little pots. I have never and will never experience drugs, but I thought for sure this was something for cooking 'em. I've been at that counter during hot flashes, temper tantrums, and crying jags, so he is quite used to me being a little off.
The top is a creamer and the middle bowl is for sugar.  But you knew that.
 It was well used from the looks of the inside and is marked W.S. Co.
If you're wondering what I'm stitching, I haven't started the new sampler and the current choice is Eliza Pomeroy.  Or Ann Wragg.  I heard from several stitchers that washed their stiff linen and it became much softer.  So what makes it stiff?  Is there a finish such as the sizing on clothing that is removed with the soap wash and if so, why?  I've had unbleached that didn't soften, even after a dryer tumble with softener so I assumed it's inherent to that linen, but not all. 
 I think I am finally past the worst part of my pony wall bag.  That large #&%* flower was stitched four times.  I'm surprised the linen held up as well as it did because I started yanking those threads pretty hard.  The ruffled outline will be next and then I can move on to the easy florals.  Almost threw it all out the window but it was so freaking cold I didn't want to open it.
 I just took a cake and cupcakes out of the oven, and there are already three empty liners on the counter.  When you have a bad morning, baking should not be considered.  But I'm the official caker in the family and there is a birthday party in a few hours.  Hope there will be enough left for the guests.
  It always helps when I write down what's bothering me so I can read it and realize how trivial it all is.  But at the end of the next boring poor me post, there will be information about my upcoming anniversary giveaway, and also for reaching 500 posts.  The plan was to make a shaker box pincushion but that totally depends on mood so it may be a gift certificate.  Much easier during menomotions, my new word for emotions brought on, amplified, controlled, and ambushed by menopause.
Enjoy your weekend.
Thanks for visiting.

 

 
 
 

Feb 6, 2014

35 count close up

Hiya.  Quick post.  Received my fabric order today and as usual, not the same as my first piece.  But close!!  I think all they will need is a dip to darken and they will be fine.  That's sometimes hard to do because the tone can change depending on the dip. 
  I was really surprised at how easily I could stitch on the higher counts with one thread.  Really surprised.  Those numbers always scared me!  I use Dollar Store magnifiers for all stitching and didn't change the strength as I thought I would need to do.  Trying something new is so hard without being able to feel the texture and weight which many of us shop-lackers can't do. So I thought if anyone would like to attempt a piece of 35 count I would show the difference in these two from my order. One is 35 count Lambswool (Wichelt), and the other 35 count Beige (Weeks Dye Works).  123 Stitch offers smaller pieces to try and reasonable shipping rates.
 
 
 
 
 
Although the same count, one looks more open and easier to see.  So I will show a few photos for you to get an idea of weave in case you would like to try either.
 
 
 
 
 
As for texture, the Wichelt Lambswool (right) is stiff.  So is the 40 count and if you like a very soft hand, this isn't it.  But the weave is easier to see.
 
The Weeks Beige (right) is softer and has a more dense weave, not as open, but still fairly easy to see for stitching.  A little darker than the Lambswool.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I like both of these pieces for color and also their feel.  I have a 28 count piece of 18th C. Rook, soft and not the dark bronzey green, that I may offer for sale along with a Fossil iPad easel that I found at their outlet.  She told me it was universal and would hold my Samsung 10" tablet but it doesn't.
Gotta run.
Just wanted to have a show and tell for 35 count newbies like me.  If you're considering an online order to try out a 35 count, I hope this helps a little.

Spooning on a snow day.
 

Feb 5, 2014

Rolling and drumming

Greetings!  Lots of computer issues and memory lapses for passwords had me throwing things for a few days.  Still having a few problems and haven't been online much.
Since the post on linen folds, I decided to check my inventory.  A few readers commented about using skirt hangers for their finished pieces until framing, and I really like that idea for even linen stash.  So I unrolled my yardage but because I prefer the stiffer linen, they just weren't cooperating.   You don't have to have a paper tube for larger pieces, so I decided to get all of the pieces out of plastic bags, check them for marks, and roll.  Usually it's the hand dyed or colored linens that fade on the folds, but this time I found an unbleached piece of 35 count with the mark.  So the first photo is before, and the second after I VERY GENTLY and randomly used the archival ink.  It's not a match but close enough and it breaks up the line.











When I unrolled an older yard of unbleached, I found so many thread breaks I couldn't believe it.
 And the mother of all slubs.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
So I rolled and rolled and rolled and I'm still rolling.
  Remember my free sampler bag chart? I couldn't stand it - had to try another drum. So here is the tiny 2 1/2" x 1 1/2" little bugger.
 
So cute!  I used the Mylar inside because it was hard to keep the shape when sewing on the top and bottom.










I sewed muslin strips first, then the side seam, used wool felt, and this is weird - a very flimsy little plastic bag inside to hold the walnut shells.
 I'm still ridding excess from my sewing and craft room.  And I have to do a little rant here.  I contacted the Women's Reformatory about donating stitching supplies, AWARE about dozens of new bras, nightgowns, books and exercise videos, two charities about new craft supplies, and no replies or return calls.  I'm so sick of people not doing their jobs and no one seems to care.  We went to Goodwill with new bags of fiberfill, quilt sized fleece, natural cotton fleece, and other craft items and were turned away because someone had brought in a fiberfill item loaded with bugs.  I didn't ask what kind, but they infested the store so stuffed items are no longer allowed.  Pulling out of that plaza, we saw an Amish man working for a contractor and stopped, offered, gone!  Took everything so I hope some young girls are practicing on my old stash.
Several more drawers to roll and cupboards to purge.
Stay safe (I refuse to mention this white crap again).
Thanks for visiting!!



Feb 2, 2014

Drum roll please!

Hello!  Forgot to show my drum finish.
I will definitely make more, but maybe not the same method.  Next time I will sew the top circle by machine and attach the muslin strip to the bottom. The bottom board can be added before closing if needed.  I doubt if others will be this tall so I won't have to use two different fillings, and maybe not even the Mylar although it does help the shape. 
 
 
 
  The strawberry I made for the top looked lost because of the drum's height, so I added mom's hat pins, her old fancy buttons, and one of her wooden thread spools. 
  
This is what the top looked like before the finish.  I removed the gathering and just hand sewed it shut, using the batting beneath to hold the walnut shells.

Do you remember my sampler bag freebie? I made a long pinkeep from that and use it all the time. I'm wondering what it would look like as a miniature drum. Maybe too small for machine sewing but one day, I'll find out.








 
 
 If you haven't tried making a drum, give it a chance. Once the sides are evenly matched and sewn, the only critical part is having the circles the correct size and marked for your seam.  If you have trouble with that, sew the edge with a muslin strip and finish with lined top and bottom circles, or Theresa's method of using a piece of wool.  Or..sew the top and bottom on but leave an opening in the center of the drum's side seam for turning and filling, then sew shut.  Or.......follow Stacy's instructions in the chart!
Have a great day.
 
Thanks for stopping by!




 

Feb 1, 2014

Linen folds

Hello people.   Decision time - next project.  How the heck can you choose one sampler from the dozens that wait patiently in your stash.  We love all of them, or we wouldn't be holding on to them.  I'm preferring a greenish linen for the fabric so that narrowed the field.  When I pulled my recent online purchased fabric I was a little disappointed. 
 
It came folded in a little bag as always, but when I opened it, the fold lines were obvious because of the faded color.  Hand dyed so I can't wet or wash it.  A little hard to see in the photo but believe me, those horizontal folds are light and the vertical line is really light.  On top of that, it's not 13 x 18 as I ordered, it's 16 1/2" on one end and 17" on the other.  That means my 15" project that could squeak by on 18", will not work.

To prevent fold lines, I use the cardboard rolls from wraps for storing hand-dyed linens and others, but keeping them from unrolling was a problem.  I was concerned that tight rubber bands would leave marks and certainly didn't want tape, so here's my solution.  My Walmart brand premium stretchable wrap!  Just roll it over the linen and it sticks to itself, keeps the linen clean, and I can grab the tubes during searches without worrying about lotion sticky or chocolate smudgy hands.
Darth Vader has his wand, I have mine.  Mine is from the wide roll of foil and holds five colors of smaller 35 count pieces.  You could use pieces of plastic pipe too.  I have another with 30 and one with 32.  A few pieces of the wrap hold them on and I can pull this out and check the size and color on the tag, without having to rummage through all the shorts.  These were gifts and I loved the colors so much that I ordered larger pieces in two different counts.  I need to make a notebook with sample scraps clearly marked for color reference.  My paper rolls are wrapped with plastic wrap, sometimes muslin, to prevent contact with cardboard that isn't acid-free.  I have pieces from years ago that are not protected and are still fine, but it's a concern to many stitchers.
I pulled the colors (along with my changes) for Harriot and this may be the next start. But that usually changes the last minute. This linen color is the same as the fold marked piece, but larger and from a different source.  The more I look at this, I'm changing my mind.  We'll see.  I think I need a small. 
 
It's in the 30's and 40's this weekend. Usually during a hot flash, the cold outside air is refreshing, but those frigid temps made me feel like a bonfire in an ice cube.  Unfortunately, the brats don't care about the warmer weather, they want back in.  Forget the padded outdoor condos, the heated box, room to run and play.  Look at the pitiful stare I'm getting.  This little one (who is afraid of the litter in the box) is hurdling the 4 foot plywood barrier without a sound and we've found her in closets, under the bed, in the basement....and she is not catchable.  Right now she and Bud are playing hockey with the leather toys and if they don't nap afterwards, back outside!
Enjoy your weekend!
Thanks for visiting.
 
 
 
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