Jan 29, 2015

My messy house!

Now I have two.  One in thread and one in person.  Wait.  Better make it three - add my sister's. 
 
I know many of you will cringe at this, but I did not want a perfect pink sampler.  I love the original, its messy house, and its stains.  Most of my reproductions are done as charted, stretched, framed.  The most recent have color changes, some design changes, a crunch for wrinkles, deliberate staining, hanging from horsehair braid.  Have I become a purist?  Are you kidding?  I don't care about authenticity or proper period style,  I like early and simple. 

I can always wash out the coffee or walnut to some degree, use a steam iron, mount, and frame.  But not now.  My last ten samplers would still be in a drawer waiting for a framer instead of on my wall.  The staining on Abe will be light, just enough to tinge the pink a shade or two darker.
 
I used more tension in some rows and very loose stitches in others.  I went over some areas, sliding the needle beneath a number of stitches and lifted.  I had to remove some tails beneath.
 
The original's linen color was similar to a piece I have, but I didn't like it.  Now I'm sorry my fabric isn't a little warmer. 
  Remember when I was bitching about the linen creases?  My yardage is from years ago and when I opened it to (AUGH!) cut a piece off, every crease in the unbleached fabric is light and permanent.  The dark unbleached is the easiest to touch up with the ink pad and a thin brush on the light lines, but I have washed, wet, steamed....no change in the crease.  It was stored in a roll but it was too long folded before that.  
 
Yesterday we had a little sun but cold temps.  I made the brats go outside for a while and Bud took his sentry post and rotated that head for an hour looking for Yellow Cat.  They have completely destroyed the five toy mice I bought them.
 
Freezing rain right now so I am stuck at home again.  Good day to make soup.  The one with Italian sausage, basil, cabbage, zucchini, white beans, tomatoes and carrots.  I shouldn't take me longer than an hour to find the recipe.
 
Not sure if I will be exercising today.  The piece of cartilage that broke off in my left knee from the fall, has moved to a bad spot and I can't even go up steps again.  Do not want surgery and will wait until it moves to a better spot!
 
Have a fabulous day.
 Thanks for visiting.
 
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Jan 27, 2015

Messy stitches

Hiya.  Hope you are safe and warm!  We got our share but not as much as the east.  Mark has 4 wheel drive so we waited for him to take us to the lab and run a few errands.  The main roads were fine but not the side streets.
 I found my error on Abe and now I am trying to replicate the antique with messy stitches.  It appears she went left to right in some areas and top to bottom in others.  Many are tight thin rows and others are loose.  The linen and its age are probably why it looks this way and I doubt if I can mimic its appearance.
 
 But I'm giving it a go.  Stitching in two different directions and changing my tension might work or it may end up looking ....well.... crappy.  Think it will work?   I'll find out soon enough.  But what a darling sampler.
 
The boys are double decking for warmth.  Squeak showed up again this morning, only the second time in a month.  I can see his tracks in the snow and think he is staying at a foreclosed mess on the street.  They are poisoning the coons and opossums to get rid of them but Squeak looks good.  They are all still afraid of Yellow Cat.
 
 
 
I shoveled by hand yesterday instead of using the blower and managed 20 minutes of the 30 minute Leslie DVD today.  Took me a while to recover and I won't push it, but I'll get there eventually.  Cardiologist on Monday - wait till he sees I've gained 30# since the last visit.
 
Stay safe!
Thanks for visiting.
 
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Jan 26, 2015

The heart box

Hey.  How you doing?  I was wrong when I thought we were going to miss the snowstorm.  Not as bad as other areas for sure, but still enough to create a problem.   If you're in it, stay safe and warm.  When I was young, we didn't have school closings unless we got two feet of snow.  In my area today, two inches and the doors are shut.  We didn't have buses either.
 
Remember my wooden heart box that I showed a while back?  Those quilt pattern designs would work very well on this, but I've decided to not attach a stitched piece to the top.  I don't mind using stitched pincushions but I think this will get more than the usual number of pin holes. 
After a lot of wasted time choosing, this is the fabric I decided on.  Well, two actually.  The same pattern, one a mid tone and the other a light neutral.  I want to attach the berries (treasures from a wonderful stitcher) and looked for an uncomplicated fabric. 
I'm having trouble with Abe.  I have counted and counted and the stitch numbers are correct, yet the house is over a little on the right compared to the chart.  The numbers are the same!  I want to make sure it's correct so the window placement fits properly.







 Carole heard from the Clinic and her surgery date is not until 2/25.  The surgeon has changed also from the TAVR procedure guy to the open heart cardiothoracic woman.  All appointments scheduled have been canceled since she saw this surgeon while there.  So unless the CHF takes over again, we are clear until the 25th.  Now I can schedule my procedures around her. 
 These cats are still in here and driving me nuts.  They play, but get antsy and jump the barrier.  All I see is a tail whizzing by.  I catnipped them to calm them down and well.... you get the idea.
Thanks for visiting.
Stay safe.
 
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Jan 25, 2015

When is enough enough?

Hello people.  How's the weekend going?  We had freezing rain with a light dusting of tiny ice balls.  Since my knees are not yet and will never be completely healed from my face plant onto granite, I plan on buying those elastic spike strips to put over my shoes.  Don't need another scene flying through the air.  Easy to slip on over any shoe and when I browsed Amazon, I found IceTrekkers, Stabilicers, Hot Headz traction cleats, Yaktrax for hikers and outdoor workers, a whole mess of styles and options starting here.
But here's my enough.  Floss.  One of every color up to 3830 in a bag, several of each color in envelopes in boxes, and the same in the floss box.  The boxes contain the very old skeins with the black labels and some of those are also in my wood box.  The new ones don't match the old in some shades.  I need to get organized.   I have two more of these wicker trunks, empty and collecting dust.  Why do I have three of them ?
Would I ever use all these colors?  Haven't yet.  Floss is expensive overseas, right?  I thought about a giveaway for shipping costs ($30) but many boxes are lost in transit.  The first time I mailed fabric there, the post office said I must use an international priority mail box.  Wasn't true. It may take some time to go through the old boxes to check inventory and if I decide to offer a set, you'll be the first to know.
  



I emailed the new owner of Shaker Cat and was surprised to see that the 1985 chart is still available.  Look how cute he is stitched. 

Cedar Hill has a lot of nice small designs, mostly floral with alphabet, none of which I had seen before.  There are so many designers and new charts that most of us miss without local shops.
 
I'm going to the sewing room to count floss now which takes me two stairs away from the chocolate.  Leslie Sansone and I didn't get along at all.  Starting with the easiest DVD, I was out of breath after 5 minutes. We were close years ago.  Keep going!
 
Thanks for visiting.
 
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Jan 24, 2015

The next little project

Greetings to all.  How's your weather?  Some areas will be hit with a storm today but we are on the edge and being spared. 


 
 
I waffled between Abe and Queen Esther while adding another small to make it harder to choose.  But I did.  I chose Abe but only because I don't have the correct linen shade for a quilt pattern heart.  I stitched two of these years ago and haven't seen them since we started the house mess a year ago.  The shape of the heart would be the longer skinny version that I prefer so extending the stitching area would be necessary. 
 These are the two that I would like to do.  The one on the left was previously stitched using that same rust color.   Eventually I will find it but I would like the shape and color to be different anyway.  I considered doing a monthly heart design as I did for the pears, but there has been too much going on to concentrate.  Odd as it seems, my favorite pears are the designs that were done quickly and required no tweaks. 
 
 So Abe it is.  Since I'm not using the charted silks, I chose my DMC colors and found myself following the photo instead of the chart.

There are a few spots of pink in the grass area - I'm assuming pink because it's the same symbol as the house - and I didn't want that so I chose to use all green with a few lighter areas.  The fence is charted as all one color but the original looks like there may be two shades of pink, which is what I'm doing. I may use two shades of pink on the house too wherever I see a darker area. 
 
 
This project shouldn't take too long and the hearts will probably be next, but you all know how that goes. 
I plan to start using my Leslie Sansone exercise videos today because - I've gained another 7 pounds.  This has to stop.  I needed hypnosis to stop smoking and this addiction seems even stronger.  I've tried the protein shakes and they are terrible.  Horrible!  The only one I can tolerate is Special-K's vanilla cappuccino.  Does it make me feel full and not want to eat?  Not a bit.  Not a bit!!!  But I'll keep trying. 
 
Have a safe and stitchy weekend.
 
Thanks for visiting.
 
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Jan 23, 2015

Project Portfolio

Hello hello hello.  Squeak was here!  I stayed in bed a little longer this morning and Mark came back in to tell me that he was here.  He fed him two cans of food and off he went!  He looked good and I hope he comes back tomorrow.
 
Trying to organize the linen mess and everything else stitching related, I came across this Project Portfolio by Courtney Creek.  What a well made organizer.  I checked online and couldn't find the company so maybe they are no longer.  Here's what this heavy nylon piece looks like inside.
 
 Pockets on the inside, pockets under pockets, zippered and not....
 
 
 
 
 
 
Plush spot for glasses with Velcro closure, little needle pocket...
 
 
 

 
 Heavy clear zippered pouches for seeing your projects....
 
  
 
Pockets on the outside too and thick enough to hold a lot.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
You probably have one and this is nothing new but I'm really impressed with it.  It was buried in the back of the hutch and every time I pull it out I get excited all over again.  Do I use it?  Nope.
 
This little thimble holder is new to me.  Found it on the floor when pulling supplies out so it was hidden in something.  I did not make this.  Sweet, padded, holding a painted thimble.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And then the mail came.  YAY!!  Look at my gorgeous wools!  I would like to try wool applique and also a few Christmas items so I placed an order and I can't wait to get more.  Even if it just sits there with all the other fabric and is never used, I WANT IT.  Rose (Three Sheep Studio) and of course, Rebekah Smith, make me swoon with their work.
 
Feeling better today and the doc appointment went well.  Mark wheeled her up the ramps since I visited the chiropractor the other day to help with my back.  She is anxious to get this over with and start feeling better.

Have a great weekend everyone.
Thanks for visiting.

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Jan 21, 2015

The Harriet two pouch


hanging thingy?  Two pocket hanging pouch?  It's not open on top like a pouch, so that isn't correct.  It's a two pocket hanging flat thing.  I used linen on the front and osnaburg on the back.  I didn't think it would have the look I prefer if I used a print fabric. Whatever it is, I sewed once again without measuring or taking the time to do it properly.  I don't know why I refuse to use the tools to prepare the piece for the sewing machine.  I used to.


I just decided I have enough little pillows, didn't want to frame, tried to come up with something different or odd.  I like it.  The bottom is fringed and open so I can slip in a piece of Mylar if I want.  Right now I have a piece of cardboard in the top pocket to keep it from collapsing.  What do you think?
 
I have eight names for the Cat chart and have been sick since last night so I may do it tomorrow.  I will email the stitcher after pulling a name.  Being frustrated with this sewing project was enough for today and I'm going to bed early.  Mark is home tomorrow and can take Carole to the doc if I'm not up to it.
 

I got an email about the Pineberry Lane free chart I did and I wasn't able to pull it up on her website, so I wanted to mention that if you are looking for the Pineberry free & fabulous little goodies, you can find them at Pattern Mart here.
 
That's it.  Going to sleep and hopefully it will be in the bed instead of the bathroom. 
 
Thanks for visiting!
Have a good weekend.
 
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The Harriet split

I'm done with the divided Harriet Hazlin and it looks like my seams will be quite short.  I guess I misjudged but it will work out.  I tried to chose a fabric that goes with both floss colors and this is the best I can do.   Looks good in the photo but the green in the print is really green.  This size works great for a drum but I'm doing two pillow/pincushion finishes.  Or should I do something odd and sew them together with a decorative stitch and then frame?
 
 My Squeak is still missing.  I wonder if he is trapped in someone's shed.  He was here several times when the orange one showed up and was afraid of him, but they didn't fight so I doubt there is a connection. 
 
My sister heard from Cleveland Clinic and they can't do the TAVR, which is the valve-in-valve replacement done through the groin with a catheterization.  Her femoral artery is not large enough for the valve delivery so they are going through the chest directly into the aorta to reach the diseased valve.  That's a big hole!   I guess they stitch it closed after the valve goes through.  We'll find out more end of the week.  At least it's still the same method, just a different delivery point.  Much much shorter and easier recovery.  Her son is still not doing well and is seeing the specialist this morning.  Hopefully a change or addition of medication will help him keep food down.  He's lost almost 30 pounds in three weeks.
 
Got the Thread Heaven and Queen Esther chart, may start that instead of Abe.  Depends on what I pull out of the linen pile.  And I do mean pile.  What a mess.  The whole house has been a mess for so long, why not my supplies too? 
Got several names for the Shaker Cat and will pick from the hat tonight.
 
Have a good hump day.
 
Thanks for visiting.
 
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Jan 19, 2015

Shaker Cat anyone?


 
 
Good day to you.  I have this little 1985 chart from Cedar Hill - Shaker Cat - and after being scolded by many readers about burning charts, thought I would offer it instead.  The chart is a single card, instructions on the back.  If anyone would like this project, email me (top right column).  If more than one, will chose randomly. 
And speaking of cats, still cold, still snowing, still inside.  Driving me nuts.  Missy ignores me when I call her so I don't think she would mind me changing her name to Midge(t).  She is so tiny. The yellow cat is here every evening and eating the dry food left for Squeak (three days missing).   Bud and Nit are just as aggressive, even though they are neutered.  Bud was older when we trapped him so I didn't expect that to change much, but Nit was snipped at 6 months so I'm surprised at him.  My brother said neutering doesn't change them if they are territorial.  Hmmm.  I'm neutered and have the hysterectobelly to prove it, I have "issues", I get aggressive and snap at people.  I am not a bitch.... I'm territorial! 
 
I wondered why I kept finding loose cloves from my pears and things being moved.  Now I know.
 
Thank you for letting me know I am not alone in my feelings of the future.  I will be 64 this June.  My maternal grandmother died at 64 of a massive stroke, my mother had a massive stroke at 64 and survived, forever changed.
 
 Stay safe.
 
Thanks for visiting.
 
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Jan 18, 2015

Hidden away

Hiya.  How many of you have a display or corner for enjoying your Christmas stitchery all year long?  My friend's mom used to have a tiny bedroom with a television atop a dresser, one large comfy chair, and a large corner hutch.  The wallpaper border had some red in it, the large chair was red piped in tan, and the walls and hutch were filled with her Christmas stitches.  It became her stitching room, the dresser drawers held her linens and threads, and it was a place she retreated to even when she wasn't stitching.  When I entered the room, I didn't feel it was Christmas, just a cheerful room.  I've considered doing a display in my sewing room but there is no organization or plan at this point.  Maybe one day?  The other bedroom is filled with fat quarters and fabrics in a chest with the rest strewn about.  Every year when I put these pieces away to be hidden for 10 months, it's a real shame.  I love these guys!  But once again, their room is not ready and my procrastination skills continue to be honed. 
 
These are the pieces that were never even put out this year.  I kept thinking things would settle down and we would feel like celebrating the Holiday and would decorate then.  Today I decided it's time to pack them.  I don't use tissue paper around them because I usually tear through the box to see if I have that design or gave it away.  This year I tore everything apart looking for the cardinal pillow, finally went back to the blog to check and yep - gave it away!  I need to keep a notebook.  My sister in law had every single piece she ever stitched, fabric color, count, thread, date, and where it went.
 



So with sadness, I packed them three layers high, ending with the larger pieces on top,
and then realized I didn't even finish the three designs I made in 2014.  Before the box is put away, I should do that.  Never got around to stitching a few more of Pineberry Lane's free design that I just adore, but maybe it's best to save it for next year.  Hopefully, next year will be the first time in three years that everyone will be healthy and not hospitalized!
I know it's morbid, but am I the only one that wonders if I'll be here next year?  Will I get to enjoy my Christmas projects in 2015? Whenever I put away seasonal clothes, I wonder if I will be pulling them out again.  I know they won't fit but that's a different story.  I've been packing away capris every year, expecting that next year I will be thinner and get to wear them.  But the spread between the sizes grows larger just as my rear does and my addiction to sweets is worse than ever.
 
I haven't started Abe yet because I want to finish Harriet.  I chose my favorite 632 for the red.  Anxious to get these completed and move on. My side is killing me and I can't get comfortable to sit for very long.  Probably pulled a muscle or something.  I took an adjustable padded strap off a travel bag and plan on strapping Carole in tomorrow.  She's never come out of the chair but it may help the bounce when I hit a bump.  Should get a standard wheelchair instead of our transport type with those small wheels.

Enjoy the coming week, stay safe and healthy.

Thanks for visiting.

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Jan 17, 2015

Grainy videos

This tree at the Clinic can be seen from one end of the large lobby area, on the wall of a wide walkway.  It is a moving image that changes for seasons, projected from the ceiling and about eight feet tall.  The video is grainy when loaded to Blogger, full page is worse.  Too bad - looks great on my tablet!  My favorite is the winter tree.  Why such a simple distraction fascinated me is easy - I don't get out much.


video
 
This is a close up of the detail, the autumn tree.
 
video
 
In an adjoining sitting area, they have images of fish projected.
 
video
 
 
Carole's doc appt. went as planned and they are watching her closely for congestive heart failure which is the greatest danger during the wait time before surgery.  Remember when I rammed the pavement bump and almost flipped her out of the wheelchair?  Mark was pushing her through the snow and when he hit the threshold of the doc's door - deja vu.  After wetting our pants from laughing, he had to wheel her backwards to get over that obstacle.
 
To Jean Bee (no-reply) - that pincushion was purchased.
To sheravery - you can purchase all Threads of Gold charts including Abe at Em-Lis website.  Abe is not shown but you can call or email to order.  Did Jingle Bird arrive safely?
 
Enjoy your weekend!!
 
Thanks for visiting.
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Jan 15, 2015

Another new small

Hello people.  Hope you're safe, warm, and dry. 

Trying to visit new followers from Bloglovin or Google+ is frustrating.  Am I doing something wrong?  Are there no posts or photos to see?  I was always left out in school and I'm beginning to feel that rejection again.  Anyway, I did find another blog - Scattered Seed Samplers, loved her latest design, pictured here from her Etsy site.
 
So I ordered it along with Thread Heaven.  Never heard of it before, or any other thread conditioner except for the beeswax that Miss Notforgotten recently posted about.  I added it to the order and will test them both.  The reviews of Thread Heaven are that it is .... well.... thread heaven.  I don't want "nice" or "elegant" but it may help with my eyelet and satin stitches that are usually lumpy bumpy threads of tension.  If it's a sort of silicone treatment, would it protect the threads from accepting dyes or stains when I age the piece?  That would be nice for Santa's beard.  We'll see.  It makes the thread glide smoothly, lay flat, no tangling, perfect for all needlework, quilting, embroidery, yadda yadda.
My next project will be Anna Eliza Abe.  It calls for Soie D'Alger but I would choose my own pinks anyway so I'm not bothering with a conversion.  Already know I want 500, 501, 503, 950, 3064, 3772, 632 and whatever else I think will work.  Not a fan of pink at all, but I like the series shown here, and I wish there was a little more intensity between them.  You can barely see the difference.
We're taking Carole to her local doctor this afternoon and I have to stop at Rite-Aid and replace the M&M peanuts bag.  I not only ate the peanut butter bag he bought for me, I ate the peanuts bag he bought for himself.  Maybe that's why I hate pink - like pink on a pig - me.
 
Stay safe!
Thanks for visiting.
 
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Jan 14, 2015

Much better

When I was mixing Rit colors to create the shade I want, I saved the dye baths in large glass canning jars.  They last forever.  For a small piece of fabric or linen, I can stick it in the jar and shake, or add some to a spray bottle.   Much quicker and easier than another mess in the sink.  I used the soft brown all over and the greenish gray around the edges, then a light mist of it over the brown.  Poured the sprayer back into the jars and I'm done.  Much better.
I didn't want to give you the impression that I am critical of my finishing, I just don't care.  Really.  Why is that?  I feel I need to make excuses for destroying a piece for the sake of appearance which is not what most needleworkers do!   When I want a really aged piece, I'll run it over with the car if I have to.  I'm not that drastic with larger samplers (thank goodness) but smalls are usually bullied by me.  So what do you think makes a piece look older?  I should think about this before starting a project with that goal.  I guess first off, coarse dark linen which I failed to use here.  Most of the antique samplers have fine and high thread count linen......am I correct?  But that scares me. 
I think the only sampler I have that looks older to me, is Eliz Laidman in GAST Uniform Blue.  I really really like the look and it only needed a few stains, darker around the edges, and overall light aging.  If I would have used 3768 or 930, would it have turned out as pleasing?  I'll bet not.  So the threads also make a difference.  I'm considering pulling out my flower thread and testing the results of that matte look.  This isn't rocket science - we all know that the fabric ground and the color of thread would certainly change the look.  But it's hard to visualize the completed piece, just as I thought 3011 would be perfect for Harriet.  It isn't. 
I wasn't going to tell you but I will.  I tried Krylon Matte Finish spray #1311 on stitchery.  It dulls the shiny but also protects from dust and moisture.  Since most of my projects are not protected by glass, many smalls lying around are being handled, I wanted to test it.  If I could remember which pieces were sprayed, I could determine if it worked.  I think I showed it before when I used it on shiny braid trim to dull it.
 
Since giving away or selling lots of charts I knew I would never stitch, my stash isn't overloaded.  But I realized that I have very little in kit and ready to go.  Maybe I should take the time and get the linen and threads ready, keeping in mind my vision for the completed piece.  Not throwing linen rolls all over and making myself nuts trying to chose a piece every time I start a new project will be a big time saver.  I just have to grow up and cut into that yard.  Damn that hurts, but as a reader commented - I can always buy more.  It's hard when you can't see the browns of the unbleached, raw, natural, for each has its own shade.  But I have my dye jars, walnut stain, and leftover coffee.  How much easier this will be!  Just chose a design - the rest is in the  file, the linen drawers will be lighter, and less chocolate will be needed.  Husband picked up Carole's meds and while waiting, came home with M&M peanut butters.  Gone in a day.  I wish I could control myself.
 
I  found that the new verification for comments isn't necessary.  I don't prove I'm not a robot and the comment posts anyway.
 
Baby it's cold outside!!!
 
Have a great day!
 
Thanks for visiting.
 
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Jan 13, 2015

Done...



with disregard to proper sewing and measuring,  lack of respect for the stitching, and reckless use of sandpaper. 120 grit.  I created a few broken linen threads to mimic worn areas, roughed the fabric, tore some floss, and I'm still not happy. I think the linen is too light for the look I wanted.  There was no time to look through fabrics when I left for the Clinic.  A complete dip in a darker dye will probably help, and next time I want it to look old, I will use 535 or 844 instead of black. 



 
I'm on edge as I have been for quite a while, waiting for the phone to ring, which it does regularly.  I see her number on the screen and wonder what I will hear.  Six more weeks!  That restlessness and anxiety makes me careless and unfocused, but I would have treated this project the same even without the stress.   Menopause did me wrong years ago so I can't blame it on my sister!
Enjoy your day.

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