Jan 29, 2012

The boat people

Hello everyone!  The sun is out, it's not snowing, the rain is over, and I'm finally having time to stitch.   The boxes are all completed and packed - I really hope you will be happy with them.  I know it's hard to purchase from a photo so I appreciate your confidence that they will be worthwhile. 

Not much progress since I've been busy, but I have done a little stitching and should finish the motifs this evening on the Woodlawn (Virginie Cochepin).  I have to say, I've seen a few ugly Adam & Eve figures, but this armless big white woman gives me the creeps.

  Can't wait to start the alphabet, which I prefer to stitch.  I know it's boring, but it requires less patience, a virtue I sorely lack.  Another would be restraint.  I ate an entire bag of Bliss chocolates this morning.   It seems when I'm busy, concentrating, relaxing, moping, crying, distracted, sitting, driving, cleaning, sewing, stitching, painting, blog watching, shopping online, or watching TV, I grab one.  Only those times, though. 
I was gifted with the chart I have been waiting for - Overshot Heart - and I so love it and plan on starting it as soon as Black Santa is completed.  I will sew it into the heart shape instead of framing.  Maybe do a few in different colors and sizes.  Just love it.  Thank you gifter!

A few other things you may not be interested in.  I've made several of those standard benches we all see but decided I needed a place to keep the growing collection of recipes so -
this one has a hinged lid with file hangers.  When I worked in the doc office, we had so many magazines for the waiting room and I copied thousands of recipes.  This is what's left and I need to sort and rid this pile again.  They are categorized of course!
When I took apart my samplers to photograph, I was surprised to find this..

Do you see the marks on the glass where the floss was touching?  It's pretty dirty in there, even though they had the back dust cover on.  Just to show you it's all inside, I made an X on the inside of the glass.  Granted, I smoked like a chimney for years and although I quit over 10 years ago, these were on my walls at that time.   Would that be the cause?  I'm sure it doesn't hurt the sampler, but I found it interesting.  So if you are cleaning your framed glass and it never looks sparkly, this may be why.
This little devil is the one that tore into my hand.  She's in the cat condo styrofoam cooler, napping with her mom.  They are both pregnant I'm sure, since there were several males attacking them a few days ago.  I have to take them in within two weeks and will use a net and gloves if I have to.

Finally, there's this..
Just what I need after a bag of chocolates.  But, there's always a bright side - I am so hyped up right now that I should be able to dust and sweep the entire house in record time.  Greek stew for supper is already done so I will be stitching away shortly!
Have a great week everyone!  Thank you again for visiting and another thank you to new followers.  I have a one year anniversary coming up, and if it wasn't for the encouragement I receive from you, I would have given up long ago.  I can't tell you how much this experience has helped me regain my stitching mojo, and also lift me out of the grief fog.  But it hasn't helped a bit with menopause - so people ..... work on it.  Sooooo......
does this mean there will be a giveaway?  We'll see!!

Jan 24, 2012

Box sale tonight

Hi all.  I just posted the page with box photos.  Click on "sampler boxes" in the tab bar under the header photo.  They aren't as nice as I would have liked, but it's been dark and rainy for two days so I apologize for the crap pics.  You can browse all day, and if you would like to make a purchase, I am opening the page for comments at 7:30 this evening.  Again, to purchase, enter a comment with the box # you would like.  If you see that number in a previous comment, it has sold.   I took off the word verification and made the comments visible (fingers crossed) so you should be able to see what has sold without opening any additional windows.  The first comment for a particular box # will own it and I will try to update the photos with that info.  Let's all hope it works!

Jan 22, 2012

Box update

Hey.   How are you?   Did you know today was Sunday?  I didn't.   It wasn't until I was snarling about not receiving any mail that my husband said - there never was delivery on Sunday.   I got several emails about the sampler boxes so I wanted to update.   I couldn't figure out how to do this on a blog but did come up with an idea.  I plan on posting a number and photo for each box on a separate page tab (right under the header photo) and you can view to see what is available.  When all are listed to the page, I will post the time for the sale and comments on the page will be allowed at that time.  If you want to purchase a box, leave the box number you would like in a comment ON THAT PAGE, which will also allow you to see if that number was purchased before you.  I will update the page as needed when an item sells.  The photos I took today were really poor so I will try again tomorrow.   Here's a preview so you can see if there's anything you may be interested in beforehand.

Small 4" round boxes

Tall 6" rounds and large, medium, and small ovals

Hopefully I will start the listing tomorrow with decent photos.  Please let me know of any questions you may have before you purchase.  Prices range from $12 to $25.  Paypal, money order or check is fine. 
That's it!  I'm going to stitch the rest of the evening.  Hope everyone has a good evening.  Later...
Edited to add - I didn't state the details clearly.  I will start listing the photos tomorrow and will let you know when the actual sale will start.  It WON'T be tomorrow.  Probably Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday after all photos are listed and numbered and I will post the date & time before the sale begins.

Jan 18, 2012

Making progress

Hi everybody.  Thanks for directing me to Mozilla's Firefox.  Quicker, smoother, and I can view Amazon.  Haven't had too much extra time to view blogs today.  I finally, after weeks, have the labels photographed, clipped, cut, copied, pasted, moved, resized, yadda yadda.  Now I have to get my samplers back in their frames with new dust covers.  So this is what I got done today..
Postage is going up on the 22nd of this month or something close to that date.  I couldn't believe what it will cost to ship these lightweight boxes!  Oh well, maybe I'm wasting my time, but I think I will create a page on this blog to see if they would sell.  Probably Friday or Saturday.

I've also been working on the Woodlawn little by little.  I had a neck flare up last weekend and the tingling in my arms is finally better.  Here's my stitching progress.
I got a few emails about the Bird's of a Feather Santas.  You can find them
here.   Except of course for the Gold one.  I have no idea why it's not carried along with the others, but I emailed Attic Needlework and they were great as usual, and had what I wanted.    I had something else to report......but can't think of it.  Oh well.  I want to get some heat on my neck and get off the computer so this was to be short anyway.   Aren't you glad???  No ramblings!
Thanks for visiting and commenting and emailing and reading and following and making a menopausal maniac smile!

Jan 16, 2012

Sampler, santa, stash, shrivels, scarves, surprise, scratches

Hiya people.  This post will be all over the place, from stitching to scarf holders to dried oranges to brat cats to stash!  First up, the Woodlawn sampler I'm working on and the color changes.
The alphabet is charted for 223 which is also used in the motifs, and I changed that to 632.  The vine in the border was to be 3045 with 501 and 822 leaves, but I've changed 3045 to 3021, and decided all the leaves will be 501.  Those two color changes will be throughout the entire piece and all others will be as charted.

I also started the Birds of a Feather's Black Santa, and received my Gold Santa!!!  He is done in metallic gold which I will substitute with cotton floss.   Maybe 3045 since it was kicked off the Woodlawn team. 
These are the other charts from one order.  I've always loved the Tulip Heart so decided to try punch needle, and the other charts are mostly alphabet, which I prefer.  The miniature ABCD is done over one but I plan on stitching it over two.   The simple Hannah Haines from Hands to Work may end up on a basket.
 I've had several requests for information on how to dry oranges/lemons.   Here's how it started....I forgot about them in the fruit keeper.  One day I starting cleaning the fridge and found these rock hard orange balls stuffed in the back.  The left one has been drying (unbagged) in the fridge, the right one just sitting out, and either way works.   The one on the right has shrunk considerably and is already hard.  The center of the fruit takes quite a while to eventually lose all moisture.  If you try this, keep in mind that some will be wonky, shriveled, splotchy, and misshapen.  Unless they mold, just keep turning them.  Here are three from the same batch, and one that dried funky, which I don't mind.
 Now for the scarves.  I have a bunch so to keep them handy, I got a small towel rod to fit inside the closet door.  Hollow core doors only have 1 1/2 inches of support around the edge.  If your rod doesn't end in that area, screw it to a 1x4 board and attach that board 1/2" in from the door edge. I plan on a length of loose cord or elastic attached much lower so I can tuck the scarf ends behind it, keeping them from flying around when the door is slammed shut. 

And while putting away the Christmas trees, covered with huge black plastic bags and looking like pod storage from a horror movie, I was surprised at finding a box containing this...

Remember when I showed the original box, but couldn't find the contents?  Well, I found the little Singer, but now can't find the box.  I also found a little quilt that I did along with a bunch of precut squares and strips that I have no use for. 

And finally, the surgery day for the female brat cats hasn't happened, but I came close!  A little too close.  These brats won't set foot in the trap or a carrier (yet they love their cat boxes!), so I grabbed the little one.  The little devil lets me pet her but when I picked her up, she tore into me so fast I never had a chance to wrap the towel around.  I'll keep trying.
That's about it.  I've been working on the sampler labels for the boxes and will have them ready soon.  And something tells me I should be looking at new laptops.  I'm having more problems viewing blogs, freezing screens, and have tried unloading, reloading, update removals, update renewals, tight security, no security, and nothing is making me happy.  I bought a stick-in-the-side-thingamabob and downloaded my photos to it just to be safe.  I asked the Staples guy if any were menopause-proof and he said not to his knowledge.  So until next time, if there is a next time, stay safe, thank you for visiting, and have a great week! 

Jan 11, 2012


Hi all! Here's the Random Generator's number assignment to the 37 participants, and the number drawn out of those 37....... and it's Peggy Lee!

She was hesitant about being the first entrant, but everyone is mixed together for the drawing so it didn't matter.   Her blog is Kentucky Sampler, so maybe we'll get to see the finished bag one day.  But of course, no pressure Peggy Lee!
I started on the Woodlawn piece tonight with help from Lauren.  I had much difficulty re-charting and trying to determine which yellow was which shade!  She sent me a photo of her finished piece and it really helped.  After all that, I decided to change the color in the border to a brown vine instead of the gold, with all green leaves instead of green and beige.  I got one side completed, and then ripped half out because of a major error.  Not a good start!  I chose a darker unbleached linen.  Well, let's tell the truth here.  There is no piece of linen in my cupboard that is the same as I received it.  They have all been bleached, dried, dyed, bleached again, dried, stained, dipped again, dried, shrunk, pressed, and stored.  Poor things.  The only ones that are untouched are the small pieces of the linen I love the texture, weight, and color of which probably isn't identifiable or made anymore.   I did accomplish something I had planned for today without incident....

Straight from the freezer to hot pan, quickly making a thin crunch of glazing....oh baby.  Almost makes up for the border incident and the fact that Woody Wood****** is back.  Obviously, he's done with football season because he's making the hole large enough now for a basketball. 

This chart has nothing to do with anything but I found it in the linens tonight and think he's a cute fellow. 
 He could be pretty handsome on a nice shade of linen.  I gave away a bunch of these designs with my Ebay sales, but somehow he managed to hide and stick around.  I'm glad he did.  I get rid of too much and then I'm sorry later.

That's it for now.

Enjoy the rest of your week, stay safe, and thank you thank you to new followers! 

Jan 10, 2012

Batting, bargains, and brains

Hello everyone.   Hope you're having the wonderful whiteless winter that I am.  I haven't been stitching, just ordering!  It certainly takes a long time to view all designers online and even then you can't possibly see everything you would like to order.  My "want" list of projects that I've seen on your blogs is still missing so I just browsed and placed orders for what I saw, assuming the list would appear soon after.  Nope. I am really pleased that I found the elusive BOAF Gold Santa to complete my series of four.  I'll show him as soon as I get him! 
I went to JoAnn's today because I ran out of the fill I use only to find it's no longer available.  The wall area had large bolts of batting so I checked them out and found exactly what I wanted.   I'm not keen on loose fiberfill and lumps.  This is a smooth and dense thermal bonded quilt batting 48" wide.  It's a thick even density and perfect for the envelope method, cutting the edges on a slight bevel.   I purchased the 7 ounce and 9 ounce, so I can use two layers, or just one, and it is really nice stuff.  I may still use the loose fill in the corners first but between the stiff interfacing and this dense batt, I doubt if it will be necessary.
I also bought these see-through envelopes to store the interfacings with the instructions for each type easily readable.  I got tired of searching for separate instructions (some are steam, some not) and wondering which I was using. 
I visited James Creek after Christmas and got what I thought were some real deals on a few items.  These metal candle holders were only $5 each!

The reason I haven't started the new sampler is mainly because of working on the sampler labels for my boxes.  I wanted to have them on Etsy by now, but my goodness it takes hours and hours to get the changes and sizing right.  The other reason - I can't find a postage scale!  Not even Staples has any in stock and my local post office has none at the time.  I need to figure weight for the various sizes for shipping charges.  I tried ordering through Amazon and the same settings that prevent me from leaving comments on some blogs is also preventing me from viewing Amazon.    I think I will take a break tomorrow, choose a linen color, start the sampler, and grill a few donuts.  
I need to make a few extra $$$ to feed my herd.   Hard to take a decent photo at dusk through a window!  There are three over on the left by the trees.  They eat shelled corn and 2 loaves of white bread daily.  No wheat or whole grain!  Only white, even bagels and pita bread.
  A note on the stuffed cabbage.....I was reminded by readers that there is another method.  Core your cabbage and freeze the entire head.  Whenever you decide to make the dish, take the cabbage out to thaw a few days in the fridge or overnight on the counter.  The freezer softens it and there is no need to boil!  Just carefully peel your leaves and roll.  Much easier.  But of course, I forgot!  Oh wait.  That reminds me.  I've been wacky since menopause but this memory thing is getting bad and worrisome.  I did some investigating and found a technical report on how your body uses and needs cholesterol.   Your brain is only 2% of your body weight but contains 25% of your cholesterol.  It affects memory and if you are interested you can read the reports here.  I started a statin 5 months ago, the first month it reduced my numbers by 70 points.  Maybe it's now too low, and even though doctors are not pharmacists, they usually dismiss side effects.  Every body is different and therefore no drug reacts the same in each patient.  I am definitely checking into this. 
I'll be back tomorrow (if I remember) with Random Generator's winner.  All the names are randomly assigned a number and then one will be drawn.  Tomorrow is the last day to enter, so go to the previous post and leave your comment!  Have a good evening.... 

Jan 6, 2012

Before I misplace it again....

I've decided to post the magazine offering.  Today's mail delivered the issue I was missing and I recognized the projects so I DID have it....at some point.   I'm not taking any chances!  The three are going in an envelope and awaiting a winner's address, but there is always a chance that the envelope may disappear.  This is post 98 and I will announce a winner on post 100.  So here's the complete offer....
Cross Stitch Sampler Magazine Summer 1994, Fall 1994, and Winter 1994.

The Bargello Sewing Case is not an easy beginner project, but you can change all specialty stitches to basic cross.    DMC is used except for 4 colors of Needle Necessities overdyed floss (no longer made).  I found small skeins of the NN colors which I will include, you can decide whether to use them or choose the DMC equivalent.  I'm sure there is enough for the heart if not the entire project.  The first issue is stitching the bargello heart, the second installment involves small algerian eyelet, algerian eyelet, queen stitch, rhodes stitch, spray stitch, satin stitch, and petit point, and the third is for the inside of the bag and includes those same stitches.  The border along the bottom is strawberries of queen stitches.  All specialty stitches are illustrated in addition to each issue offering an instructional article on a specific stitch.  First is bargello, second is queen, and third is petit point.  It's a beautiful bag, and I'm hoping that some of you would be interested in owning these issues, which include many other charts and specialty stitches, with interesting articles, and great instructions.  I was sorry to see this magazine end.  The contents are shown below and you can click on each photo for a closer look.

So here's the deal.  Leave a comment stating "include me" on this post only, and I will use random generator as before, and announce the winner on the 100th post.  That is, if anyone is interested!  Today is 1/6 and I will draw the name on 1/11 at 11pm (ET) and announce the winner on 1/12.   Hope they find a good home......before they disappear.  Talk to you later!

Jan 4, 2012

Santa finish! Stuffed cabbage!

Hello!  I've finally removed all the Christmas decorations and have them boxed and bagged, ready to go back into storage.  Well, except for the new teeny light strings that I searched high and low for and can't find.  I'm still trying to find a shipping box for the new 3' tree, but no luck so far.  I quit working on re-charting the sampler because it requires concentration which is difficult with crap everywhere.  I should be able to work on it tomorrow and in the mean time, I'm back to Lucy.

 So today I completed the finishing on BOAF's Red Santa, brother of Green Santa who is mysteriously larger.   ????  The Santas in this series are the same stitch count so what happened here?  Well, I measured from the stitched edge for the seams but didn't realize that the linen stored with these charts and cut to size are not the same.  After measuring, Green is 28 count and Red is 30.  I opened the bottom on Green and ran new seams to size him equivalent to Red.    I used the envelope method on Red and added a small piece of quilt batting between the two front facing pieces.  Machine sewed with the linen side down and flat, the batting lifting the back fabric slightly to create a little excess.  I prefer the stiff and interfaced linen front to appear flatter and thought this might help.  It did, but I added a little too much so next time it will be less.  If I remember.  I so wanted to win a bid on Ebay for Overshot Heart (Carriage House/Barrick) and completely forgot this morning.   Just another instance of my memory being a real problem for me.
Something else I forgot - I'm offering the 1994 magazines for the Bargello Sewing Case and there are 3 issues, not 2.  I didn't remember that!  Where's the third?  Gone.  WHERE???  I found one online and ordered it so there will be three complete issues offered for post 100. 

Today, my posts number 96, but dashboard shows 97, yesterday it was 98.  Does Blogger have no sympathy for menobrains?  As soon as I get the magazine, we'll be close enough.  Here's the inside of the bag. 

And now the stuffed cabbage.  It was outstanding!  Boiling the cabbage heads are the worst part.  You have to core the head, simmer and remove outer leaves as they soften.  Cut down the thick center rib.  The filling is easy easy - roll in the leaves, and bake.  I chop extra cabbage to line the bottom and top of the roaster, pour my mom's recipe for the sauce/juice (tomato soup and tomato juice with water), and bake covered for 4 hours.   Sliced or slab bacon can be added on top but.....I forgot to get it.
 Our local grocery's deli has the cabbage stuffed and rolled, ready for sauce and baking, so I freeze some of the sauce for those.

The cabbage flavored water after boiling had carrots, onion, crushed tomatoes, basil, and Italian sausage added, along with the unused cabbage and extra rice for a great soup.  For dessert, after a week of cookies, I made 2 boxes of sugar free jello and let it set, but not gel.  An 8 oz. Cool Whip Lite beat with 3 - 4 oz. cream cheese was whipped into the Jello and made a very refreshing and light dessert.
My husband's grandmother had a remedy for bland beef or cabbage based soups - a squirt of ketchup.  That's all it takes and it makes such a difference.  I added a squirt (1 Tbsp?) to this one too. 
I'm done.  I'll be posting the Bargello Sewing Case magazines offering as soon as I get the missing issue in hand.  Until then, stay safe, enjoy the first week of 2012, and thank you for visiting!
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