May 27, 2012


The story of how Memorial Day came to be ..
US Memorial
This song makes me cry every time, but it needs to be listened to.  Sometimes we go about our lives and don't think about so many young people making sacrifices every day. 

 If you can, consider donating or becoming a member of the Wounded Warrior Project

Take a minute to listen and remember.  If you've lost a loved one, my deepest sympathy and gratitute to you and all who have grieved for them.  If you haven't, try to imagine what these families endure.  

I'm sure you've all heard the story of this loyal dog named Hawkeye, who wouldn't leave his Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson's side.
Have a safe Memorial Day, in large part because of these souls.

May 25, 2012

Lydia's new owner

Hello people.  Lydia will be going to live with ....
Linda in NE Iowa.  Please send me your email and snail mail address so I can get her to her new home.
Thank you everyone for participating and for all the touching compliments.  You made me feel really good!!  After this weekend I am finished driving my sister around.  Her second cataract surgery went well...MUCH better than the first and she is able to see pretty darn good!  We stopped at several nurseries on the way home from the early doc appointment and I still don't know what I want.  By the time I figure it out, the flowers will be sold.  I love to see colorful flowers decorating homes, but I also like it stark and with objects instead of flowers.  This year, I am in the middle. 
As for Lucy, I am still plugging away and I said I wouldn't show her until she is finished but she loves attention so here is the brat.


I had quite a bit of trouble with the stems and just have a few other colors to add to finish this area.  The houses are not filling in as quickly as I expected and frankly, I'm tiring of this project and afraid of an oncoming slump.  I do know that the next projects will be the BOAF Gold Santa and one of these Nash designs, probably Malabar.
I did a little cleaning organizing roaming in my sewing room and cleaned organized looked in the craft closet and found a book called The Liberty Collection.  It's our Constitution, Bill of Rights, Gettysburg Address, and such on beautiful sheer parchment. 
I'm going to look for plain black frames and hang the set in the stairway. 
I plan on using a red/taupe/blue bunting draped under the handrail which I think would be appropriate with these, but until I find it, I hung these pip berries which I also found.  I'm not a fan of these but when using the stairs and looking down at the steps, it's really nice to see some
focus and decorating that low. 
And here's the batch of raccoons that I am having a problem with.  They are lined up eating the deer's bread and corn.  I can't feed the cats with them around and since the cats are wild, they won't come into the garage or house to eat in peace. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful long weekend, with thoughts of those that so bravely and selflessly honored us with their service.
I got a little hot with my cousin's son who told me that he learned in school that all wars are fought for profit of big companies, and that the United States KNEW that Pearl Harbor was going to be attacked, yet let it happen in order to make money.  His insistence bothered me quite a bit.  He was not presented with facts and allowed to form an opinion.  He was made to believe that this was fact, not just the teacher's opinion.  Things have certainly changed since I was in school.
Enjoy the weekend, stay safe, and thank you very much again for participating and for your comments, compliments, and visit!

May 22, 2012

Baskets on my mind

Hi all.  Did you ever start thinking about an item and then get nutsy about it?  I found a cache of baskets in the attic, some are just ordinary baskets, and some are from many years ago at the shop where I sold items.    They carried only one source - Basketville.  The lady that painted the needlepoint canvases also painted the tops of picnic baskets and I think that's how it started.  I'm assuming the quality is the same as it was, all ash, and very sturdy.  If you're interested in a good picnic or pie basket, or any other style, check their site here
The little one in the first photo is from their site and it's their Treasure Basket.  Adorable. 
The mail basket is perfect for a small sampler display.  I have a wide variety of their styles and some I don't see offered any more, such as these lunch bucket or purse styles. The pie and picnic baskets are great for storage.  I planned on staining or painting them and never did.  Big surprise.  But in a way I'm glad I procrastinated because my choice of finish and color is different than it would have been years ago.

The garden styles are also very sturdy and the large size is where Fanny lives for now.

Picnic baskets make great wedding gifts as do many of their styles for any occasion, especially for those who have everything.   These are basic utilitarian styles, not the Cherokee Comb and other fabulous designs we see from basket makers. 

The Putney Spoke bottom is closest to these old ones but the ash strips look narrower.  I've clicked on each category and found quite a few styles that I would like to order.   Think I have a problem?  See?  I told you I was nutsy.  Sometimes you are so used to seeing items that you forget to really look at them and admire their form.   I guess you could say I love these baskets.
This week is one of early rising.  Today at 5:30 am,  I finally caught the wild male cat we call Bud.  He is at the vet's right now getting a work up along with the latest little girl my brother found. We have to pick him up at 4.   She will be going to Petco and if not adopted in three months, he will take her back.  Thursday I have to take my sister for the other eye's surgery at 6 am (even though the first eye did not have good results at all), and then follow up Friday at 6 am.  I cut back on my chocolate intake and whenever I do, my flashes get more severe and often which doesn't allow for a good sleep.  Just the opposite of how it should be.  Good excuse for continuing the dark pleasure but it has to stop.  I'm tired of getting out summer clothes each year with the expectation that THIS year, they will fit.  They don't.  In fact, they get smaller every year. 
I worked out my kitchen cabinet plans and only have a few things to tweak.  This guy was kind of excited when I showed him what I planned and is anxious to work on the project which means I got the right guy!   He told me what the hourly rate per man is and although I expected it to be high, I was quite surprised at how high.
Remember, if you're entering the Lydia offer, it is for the finished piece, not the chart. 
Have a great week and if not sooner, I'll be back Friday!
Thank you so much for visiting!

May 20, 2012

A thank you gift!

EDITED ~ I'm sorry for not stating the offer more clearly.  The offer is for the pillow you see here, not the chart.  My fault for stating it the way I did.  You will get the stitched piece!
Hello all.  What a gorgeous weekend we're having in PA.  I've been working outside, realizing how out of shape I am!  I need to start exercising which is not something I enjoy.  61 next month.  YIKES!!  So I'll make this short and sweet.  To thank everyone for being patient with my ramblings and Lucy foibles, I want to gift one of you with Lydia.  She was an easy stitch for me and I can certainly make another.  I've received so many emails asking if I wanted to sell the chart or if I knew where to find it, so I thought she would be a good offer.  Even though I found my rag, no dusting is being done.  Guess what I've been doing?  Look how cute this mounted and ready for framing old piece looks on this crappy plywood box!  Lydia is in front.
I can attach the piece to the lid with the box closed and stand it like my sliding box which is one of my favorite sampler displays.

So there you go!  If you would like Lydia, leave a comment on THIS POST ONLY.  Open to all!  I'll have Random figure out the winner on Friday the 25th at 9pm.

Enjoy your Sunday ~ hope it's as beautiful as mine.

May 18, 2012

Thank You!!

Hi everyone.  A heartfelt thank you for all the comments.  Although my husband still denies it, I am normal.  Just like you.  Is it menopause related?  Age?  Or just human nature because so many other things are occupying our minds.  In my young days, I could look at a group of numbers and tell you that the total is not correct.  Such a shock to be absent minded, procrastinating, slow, and unfocused now.  I often thought that the years of stress from caregiving are what changed it all, but with all of you telling me your days are similar to mine, well hell!!  It's just us being us at a different stage in life!  So I think I may have an offer for you soon as a thank you. 

I was playing a little more and decided on a final place for Virginie Cochepin.  I think she is set off nicely with the darkness of this hutch, just hanging from the front of the basket on top.

And Lydia's friend, Frances Bliss, is tied to a basket with hemp cord found in the jewelry making sections of craft stores.  I decided against a sewn finish or frame, but folded the excess linen to the back just in case I change my mind.  WHAT??  
I also want to mention that I saw Examplar Dame's True Wisdom stitched on Barb's blog here.  What a gorgeous piece!  And if you haven't checked out Attic's newsletters for May, do so!!  I think this month's three are the best and you can go to their site here and click on each one for viewing.  Way too much good stuff!!
Now for all of you wondering where the dust cloth was.....
I have a lightweight fleece jacket that I throw on during the day, after having a severe hot flash that drenches me in sweat, making me chilled when it's over because I'm soaked, only keeping it on for a short period until my body temp evens out, or another flash starts the cycle all over.  Well it did.  I started having a flash and was ripping the jacket off as I was setting down the cloth and it got trapped in the sleeve.   I keep several of these cloths around and should have just looked for another, but it's doubtful that I would have found it.  They are really the best for dusting and I also have a glass cleaning two sided microfiber cloth that is amazing.   No chemicals at all, just a light spray of water and the glass sparkles.
I'm done.  Just wanted to let you all know that I appreciate your comments and don't feel as bad as I did before!  I'll be back in a few days ~ until then I wish you all a fabulous and safe weekend!

Thank you for visiting!

May 16, 2012


Hiya.  I'm typing this with greenish black cuticles, nail tips, and new skin.  I was dyeing again without gloves.  I really thought hoped that the new skin my body so graciously produced over my burns would be smooth and beautiful.  It's new.  Why wouldn't it be?  Well, it's not.  It's just as wrinkled as the old stuff was, and still very susceptible to dye.  Anyway.  I was dusting with my favorite microfiber dust cloth that I get for $1 at Staples, stopped to remove items in the way, and it was gone.  I just had it!  How could it have disappeared?  It's bright blue, can't walk, and has to be within 5 feet.  I was so flustered I starting tearing into things, making a complete mess, looking for the damn thing.   And where did what's her face go?  The one with the boat people.  I found her, and taped her up onto a cupboard door so she won't get lost again. 

Then of course, moved her to the outside of the door.
Back to searching for my duster, and I spot a few baskets recently brought down from the attic.  Hmmm.  That looks to be about Fanny Erb's size.  Here we go.  Out comes the hammer, a few nails, and I ended up playing around with a wall of samplers without frames.
Back to searching for whatever I was looking for and I found a bag that contained new fabrics I had forgotten all about.  I don't know what it is about fabric, but it's almost like stitching stash....just gotta have it whether you'll use it or not.  I was so excited to see what I had and didn't remember that I did.
So I took some pictures, had some chocolate, decided the wall was too much, took everything down, left a bunch of new holes, had some chocolate, went to the sewing room and couldn't remember why, came back down the stairs and saw the fabrics, took them to the sewing room, spotted an unfinished sewing project, got out the machine and completed the project, had some chocolate, came down the stairs, was shocked to see a total mess, returned everything to its former place, realized the afternoon was gone,  never found the dust cloth, and fed the cats. 
The End.

May 14, 2012

Lydia has a home, small Scottish sampler

Hello everyone.   It has not been a good week and this is just a quick post to show you two projects that I've sewn into pillows or ornaments or whatever the heck they should be called.   I'm making progress on Lucy and continuing with errors that have become the norm with this project.  I still love her.  I'll show her when it's complete.    This is Lydia Hinckley finished.
She is hung over a pretty large basket that I purchased recently at James Creek.  I also visited another shop that I love, The Olde English Shoppe, which I am afraid is closing.  Their place is fabulous, prices too high, but their buyer brings in some unique pieces.  I heard another shop in Boardman Ohio that I didn't even know existed, closed two weeks ago.   The basket is from Ragon House Collection, painted, and very stiff, but it's large and only $20.
The second finish is a sweet little delight with some over one stitching.  I used my standard 28 count and it would be very tiny on a high count linen.  Because of its size, it looked lost on this basket so I moved it to a cupboard and chose Lydia instead.

This design is older from Chessie and Me but still available.
I purchased a few new charts and when things get better I will show my new stash.  Oh.  One more thing.  I got a lovely letter from Barbara Blundell who stitched my last freebie (memorial) for a friend who had just lost her father.  If you would like to see Barbara's finish for her friend, visit Aimetu's Stitching.  She did a lovely job and it's the first time I saw this chart stitched ~  it looks as I imagined it when charting.  Barbara wrote that she will post her own photo of her finish to her blog later this week, and I want to thank her for writing and showing her work.
That's about it.  Hope you had a great weekend and all the Moms had a wonderfully special day!
Stay safe, talk to you soon. 
Thanks for visiting.

May 8, 2012

Lucy, cats, and dyeing to change

Hi everyone.   Ever since I did the sampler bag on my persimmon linen, I've been moving it.  This is certainly not unusual, but this particular piece was not sitting well with me.  I hate it.  There.  I said it.   An offering would probably not garner many entries, so I figured, what the hell.  Dye it.  I've never dipped a completed piece!  What would happen?  The floss obviously would accept the dye very well and end up the same color, but I didn't like it anyway so I dipped.  Because of the orange/red in the fabric, I used green with a touch of black. This color showed very nicely on the open blister in the palm of my hand, plus all the loose skin and blisters on my right hand from a  bad burn.  No, it wasn't fire, it was boiling water.  So my cuticles, wrinkles, blisters, and peeling skin are a very dark green, but it was well worth it.

 I'm surprised and happy with the result.
As for Lucy, I'm still making so many errors it's becoming ridiculous.  You can see in the photo that both lines start with "that mercy" so naturally, I reversed them and had to remove and start over.  Along with the front windows and door on the house.  But I'm continuing and will finish the lettering tonight.  Tomorrow I hope to get the second house outlined.  My sister is having cataract surgery Thursday and I can fill in the houses and roofs while I'm there.  You have to appear 2 hours before surgery, then wait another hour because they are never on schedule, then another hour before going home so I should get quite a bit completed.  Their cafeteria and coffee shop has decided to only have "healthy" items so I could have decaf black coffee with lettuce on the side, not my usual cappuccino.  Bad news - there is a pharmacy across the street that has Bliss chocolate on sale and I have a coupon.  I may buy a bag and take it into the eating area and see if they arrest me.  This won't be pretty. 
We had a bad storm last night that flooded our yard, and the hail looked like it was from an ice cube tray.  Really big, and enough to tear the leaves on all my hostas.  I'm upset about the Blue Angels on the side of the garage.  Huge sturdy leaves and a real mess.  These are a different variety and were affected too.

Another thing I've been working on is this....
The doors are done also.  I leave the back off so the interior is accessible for painting.  That's the part I do not enjoy.  After the dreaded sanding, I'll age the wood and then paint a light tan under a darker blue.   Trying to make a piece look peeled and old is not easy for me but when it's done, I'll show you how it came out.
I have a few photos of cats.  First off is Junior (real name is Nitwit) taking a snooze on my swing.  He just loves getting up on the rocker or the swing and rolling to make it move.  Odd for a cat, but that's why we call him Nitwit.

My brother kept 5 from the stray litters of prior years and  it's starting again.  He can't afford to keep having all these strays neutered, nor can he keep them all.  His neighbors are not animal lovers at any level and don't help, nor do they want any more cats around their yards.
  This little girl appeared and she is less than a year old, skin and bones, and probably pregnant.  Lovable, very affectionate, and sociable. 
One of the strays he kept is very odd looking.  When she's in the driveway, cars slow down and look, not knowing for sure what she is.
Her long hair is so thick and full, she looks like a circular brush on legs.  He just finished combing her in this photo so it's a little tamed.  What's also odd is her legs which are WAY too short, with only about 2" visible when she is standing.    She is over two years old and from the very first stray litter.  Her name is Peanut.
She and her siblings love the new little girl and my brother is upset about this starting again.  He knows of a farm that will take her but this guy does nothing but put food out in the barn and she will be alone.  She's too sweet and affectionate to be a lonely barn cat and he doesn't spay his pets either.
A note for Tina - I can't reply to your question about the Simply Samplers design since you have a no-reply setting, but doing a search on Google would be the best way to locate Hannah Gibson.
That's all I have to report!  Hope everyone is doing well - stay safe and enjoy your week.
Thank you very much for sticking with me and Lucy.  The end is coming!

May 3, 2012

Collar your hoodie - the end!

Good day to you.  This is the last episode of "Get this fricking thing off my neck" in the series "Things I can't wear since menopause".  This was my first attempt at a zippered front and I will make some changes for the others.  First off, each one of the four I plan on changing is different.  One will need to have the back seam of the hood taken in slightly in order to achieve an even front.  Regardless, I will wear them now.  They aren't wool blazers, they are sweatshirts, so I wasn't too concerned about the finishing, but I think they are pretty neat looking for former hoodies.
Start off with folding the hood down inside, leaving several inches for the collar, and pin the back center seam of the hood to the neck. 

Then keep smoothing and pinning as you go along toward the front, working only one side. 

When it looks good, use a fabric marker and run it along the neck seam, remove the pins, and do the same to the other side.

After marking, lay the hood on its side, lining up the neck seam, and pin your mark.  Look at the other side and see if the pins are close to that line.

Mine wasn't, so I moved the pins to be between the two side's lines, splitting the difference, which was even enough for me.  If you need to do this, erase the old mark and make a new one along the moved pins. 

 Take the pins out and open the hood, measuring (or eyeballing) the lines from that top center seam to see if they appear even.  They did!! 

I should have done this inside out so the marks would be on the inside, making it easy to sew on the double fold bias tape before cutting, but I didn't,

so I just cut off the hood at the line, and encased the raw edge into the tape.  Cut the bias tape longer than needed, fold over on the edges, and this is what it looks like with that step completed.

Now I folded over the collar, pinned the tape just below the neck seam, and sewed on the outside just below the neck seam. 
Done.  I don't know if it will be this large on the next one, and I am thinking of doing a stand up collar instead.   I'm not too happy with the seam binding showing at the front edge and may line the top front corner with the fabric from the hood's top, or angle those front inside corners slightly. 

The ties are still working so here it is gathered a little and also the back.


Looky here - two baskets I grabbed at Pat Catan's for $6 each.  LOVE them.  I'm a Gemini and usually buy two when I find something I like.  I also got 3 galvanized tubs at the flea market for $15 total.

Perfect for hanging from the stair railing.

What a test of my patience.  Really putting me into a slump.  I was so excited about doing the smalls I have waiting, but I'm really getting discouraged.  I know that if I put her down, she will never be finished.  The vase had to be removed and redone because I messed up the right handle and counted over from it, making everything way off.  I quit the stems for a while and decided to run the bottom border so I can line up a house and start mindless stitching for a while.  When I see all the gorgeous samplers with lots of motifs and such, I am more convinced now that they will not be in my future.  I have many plus sized girls kitted and waiting, but they will need a second look.  Maybe the problem is just with Lucy, who had many many misaligned stitches.   Usually I follow a repetitive stitch or border without checking the chart and that was not a good idea with this design. I really love it and the colors ~ the errors have been my fault.  I'm sure I will attempt another after doing a bunch of smalls, but I also have many medium sized charts that I will enjoy. 
That's all I have! 
Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend.
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