Jul 30, 2012

Fried salami and other goodies

Another two in a row!  Hi all.  Just a few things I wanted to show before I forget. 
First off, how the heck did I miss this opportunity?  This was my last basket purchase from James Creek and it's from Ragon-  the really stiff painted ones.  This one is a monster but I can't pass up an unusual size and shape.  I was getting some things ready for the framer and decided to do Fanny Erb when it hit me.  Here she is!  I'll show you how I did this one.
First off, fold the top down and press.  Cut a piece of mylar (the clear stiff stuff in the stencil section) to fit, and machine sew on a basting stitch.
If you do this on the outside, you can use a strong double back tape to hold it to whatever you are using for display without the tape coming in contact with the linen.  That doesn't bother me since I've never had a problem.  I sewed mine to the inside because I planned on pinning, but this hard surface was not easy to pierce so I may move it to the outside and end up with the tape. Just secure to the top  right under the rim and flip it over.  I used double back tape on the bottom edges since the basket is angled and Fanny was hanging out too far.  The tape really doesn't stick that well to the linen because of the weave not allowing complete contact.  Regardless, if and when I frame, this area would be turned back for mounting. 
 And I love what this little area did to Eunice.  I changed the 224 to 3772 in the body and decided to use 300 instead of the pink in the bottom area.  Love it.  Then that black border cinched it for me.  A motif, date, and over one in black is left and I'm going to have her

Do you remember the large cupboard we were working on months ago?   I finally made a decision on colors and am doing the painting to get another project completed.  I chose a dark taupe for the under color since I'm tiring of black, and a very dark brownish red for the top color.  I'm using a technique that is really primitive. Here's one of the small doors.

Now for fried salami.  I don't eat fried or greasy foods and was really disappointed when my 6 month cholesterol check came back with the bad number HIGHER, even with meds and fish oil.  I love salami and once in a great while, I sneak a few slices.  I throw the slices in a non stick pan and brown them (microwave works too and very quickly!) while they release a lot of fat.  A LOT of fat.  Dab with paper towels to remove even more.  They shrink and the flavor is intensified.  On garlic bread with Land O Lakes 5 cheese Italian blend....heaven!  Getting them really crisp and crumbling into a salad is divine too.  
And finally, the mushball and his last offspring, Nitwit.  You can tell just by looking at those eyes that he fits his name.
That's all folks!!!  Eunice will be making her final appearance soon.  Thank you so much for visiting with me - it is much appreciated - and have a wonderful week!

Jul 29, 2012

Eunice, Google, the cat, and the bird

Hiya.  I have wasted more than two days trying to get the Google translator box to appear and I don't know if it will be working so please bear with me if there is a problem. I have two "practice" blogs that are not published and there was no problem at all with the bar, but this published one was a pain. I ended up with my own fix and held my breath. It worked! But if the other problems continue, I will remove it. For the size and reach of Google, you would think they could have answers for us, but even the forums don't reply anymore. On to Eunice.
I made two errors that really aren't important except for sizing this almost perfectly square design. The last two lines on the rice stitched alphabet were to be two threads down, and I did four. I may compensate on bottom border since I am planning on a square frame. I haven't worked on Pumroy because I'm taking the smaller Eunice outside to stitch, which has become a little difficult.

My big old warrior has turned into a mushball of love since being snipped and won't leave me alone.

There's only a small area left at the bottom plus the limited over one stitching to the right of the Z, which isn't enough to get my feathers ruffled.

Now for my new bird. We've never seen this beauty before and after checking a few books, think it's a Prothonotary Warbler, but he doesn't have the dark beak. Photos aren't the greatest but take a look at this guy!
Isn't he beautiful? We may have the identification wrong but we're pretty sure it's a Warbler of some sort.

I made a trip to the Olde English Shoppe which closed this weekend and found another cupboard at half off.  I couldn't pass it up because I also learned that The Hidden Den, another great shop about an hour from here is closing.  I have no choice but to get back to making my own items.  This is a good sized corner unit and is tall enough to set on the floor.  I plan on repainting and aging, removing the half door and adding a full length, and possibly a top with moulding.

That's all I got!  I've been busy with the Google crap and spent a few days discarding craft items and such.  If I haven't used it and am keeping it only because I MAY use it in the future - it's out of here.  The less I have, the more I can focus on what I enjoy the most.   I want the background static to be reduced to a pleasing hum.  Or Elvis.  Toby Keith.  Chuck Berry.
Hope you're enjoying your weekend.  Stay safe, thank you so much for visiting, talk to you soon!

Jul 23, 2012

Some new found freebies

 Two in a row!   These are the other mentions I left out of yesterday's post.  Many of you may be familiar with Sub Rosa but for the rest of you - it is certainly worth a look.  How did I miss this blog????  I found a free design called Birds of a Feather in my files and had a hard time deciphering the web address.  But am I glad I did!!  This page HERE has wonderful free smalls in a more primitive style and I like them all.  I translated the blog so it may come up in English but she has a translate button at the top for you.  Her main blog page is HERE and certainly one I will be following.

I've obviously visited before since I have the Birds design but as with many of my bookmarks, must have been lost.  This is Birds of a Feather.

And this is Locks and Keys.  Two of my favorites!  I will need to spend some time this evening going through her blog and see what I've missed.

I was at JoAnn's last week and the quilting supplies were all 50% off.  I've been wanting the Stitch Starter little corner thingy for marking your fabric and came across this similar item from Omnigrid.   Mark will drill little holes through the 2 and 3 inch corners.  I don't know if the original has them but I would like to pull a strand of floss through the measurement to mark the spot.  Plus it has a larger hole from displaying in the store, which can be threaded with ribbon to tie or hang on a bag.
 I can make my own padded case for it (but will probably clip it to something) and thought it was a good substitute.  I figured I would lose misplace it eventually so I was being cheap cost-effective since this was cheaper than the shipping charges alone.
And I was right.  I just looked for the darn thing to take a photo for you and couldn't find it.  I tore up the sewing room, the stitching mess in the parlor, and found it in the family room on top of the pie safe.   Why there?????  When they are again at half off I will get another and tape it to the back of the TV.  Just in case.  I always know where the TV is.

Enjoy your day!  Thanks for visiting!!

Jul 22, 2012

Olde Santas, Eunice, and a decision

Hello friends.  Another not so great weekend so my progress on Eunice isn't as much as I would like. About all I can do today is stitch so I'm hoping to complete another two rows of the slow rice stitch.   I'm so frustrated with not being able to locate items, and the mess I have with craft stash that contributes to it.  So I'm donating many items to the local pre-schools and nursing homes.  Lots of Mom's knick knacks were taken to the homes since they can give them as prizes for bingo, and some of my craft kits were accepted too.  In the past I've also taken various items to local flea markets and asked vendors if they wanted them to sell.  I better warn you, this is kind of a useless post.  Here we go.
 My decision is that I'm giving up painting.  Making a decision feels good, making more will feel great, and I plan to continue.  The shaker boxes left over will be used for pincushion or stitched tops.  Wooden heart boxes will be crackled and all others will be donated.  I have small and medium gourds that will be used for display or garland, no more Santa gourds either.  So these photos of two boxes are all that's left, since I only kept these two small gourds and didn't photograph my works.  I didn't expect them to sell so well and should have kept a journal of designs.  A big seller was a  large gourd of him in long underwear and suspenders with a cup of coffee.  Formal Santa wore a red sport coat with tie and wedding ring.  Others had a stethoscope and clipboard for a doctor, and camo boots with a license on his back for an outdoorsman.  I enjoyed creating him in different styles and I have some sadness but it's time to empty these cupboards of paints, supplies, and items I am not using.


Even though they took forever to do, since I've had no training or proper supplies, they were both fun and frustrating to paint.  Goodbye Santa!  I'll see you in stitches!
Wouldn't these little ring boxes make cute thimble boxes?  I also have two basket kits from 25 years ago!  They should be complete, I will never use them, so out they go.
 And here's my new pincushion along with an old coverlet piece pillow that I found for little $$$ yesterday.

  Back to stitching.  I bought this pattern years ago from Fanci That and get a chuckle every time I look at her.  This is Stella's Brooms n Brellas and Mom was named Stella.  I was looking through some Santa charts and think this may be my next one.

This series of charts from the 80's are all adopted from antique post cards.  They range from 39 to 63 stitches wide, and 85 to 97 high.  I put them on EBay a while back and no one bid so I decided to keep them mainly because of their detail and small size. 
Wouldn't they make great ornaments for a feather tree?  As you know, I have plenty of trees, so these 14 would be perfect for a postcard Santa tree.  Fourteen????  Maybe not.  I'll be in that home getting a knick knack for a bingo win before those are completed.  I have a few more things to show but that's way too much already. 
So I will close with a thank you to everyone who commented on the needle cards.  I'm glad you liked them and it gave you an idea for displaying your collections.  One more photo - this is the wall in my sewing room and I love how they look.

 Thank you again for staying to the end of a kind of useless post, but I was up all night so please excuse the mishmash.
Have a great week!  Thank you for visiting.

Jul 20, 2012

On pins and needles

Good day to you!  Just wanted to show you what I came up with for the wonderful Sajou gifts I received.   Since I have a terrible habit of losing misplacing items in my own home and I want to view these lovelies, I framed them.

The inside is just as pretty as the outside, so I photocopied the basket onto heavy cardstock, folded and cut it to shape, so I can have a display of both.  Cool, huh?  I used colored cardstock and printed the stripes for the background and sprayed the frames black to match.
My mom's sewing box contained these old designs so I opened the "Atomic" card and placed the folded "Rocket" card on top.  The other is torn and falling apart but I love the "ladies" looking all excited at the task of sewing.

This little grouping will be hung in my sewing room, safe and enjoyed, reminding me of mom and stitcher's generosity.

I ran through my local antique store and found this double bucket - must be dairy related - and it's perfect for a few tattered geraniums.

It has finally cooled down and we were lucky to receive rain buckets a torrential downpour.  My Pink Diamond hydrangea trees open white and eventually turn a beautiful dusty pink.  This is the smaller of the three and the first to open.  The cats enjoy tearing up the bark so I need guards on all three.
That's it my friends.  I thought you would enjoy seeing the Sajou items.  The wooden tape measure spool will be attached to the outside of the frame's corner with a very large pin and hung also.
Thank you for visiting - hope you're having a wonderful and safe day.

Jul 18, 2012

Lydia for now and the dress that just won't leave

Hello dear people.  Hope everyone is well and able to tolerate this weather in the states.  As humans (most of us) we are able to find help of some sort through neighbors and family, so I become upset about the poor animals, wild and strays, that have no help and no water.  The older I get, the more it bothers me!

On to sweet Lydia.  There are only two colors in this design and after completing 3021, I found my 640 and remembered that this is one of the colors that has changed quite a bit over the years.  The newer is the greenish hue and I chose the more brown.  Here she is for now, in the box that I made years ago.

She fits perfectly and may just stay here, but we all know what a ditz I am.  I was considering a pocket with a thin rope handle hanging from the last monster basket I purchased.   I'm really liking this for now and at least she is displayed while I decide.  I think that's what is great about finding something different for display. They aren't hidden away while awaiting their final resting place. 
My iron's plate was all burned and gunked from interfacings and scorching, so much that even Bar Keeper's Friend wouldn't help.  Bar Keeper's is the absolute best and really cleans stainless cookware and sinks, so I tried it since the soleplate is also stainless.   Nothing.  So I got out this product and couldn't believe it.  Gone.  Easily!  I put a little on a Q-tip to get into the plate's dimples and all is now shiny and clean.  The iron is very hot while cleaning so I used a spray bottle and kept spritzing water until all residue was removed and it had cooled.   Beautiful!
And now for the dress that won't leave.  I've had it for probably as long as I've been married which is 42 years.  It was so hard to find clothes back then long enough for my height and I found this to the floor halter dress in a specialty shop. 

It's fabric is crisp, kind of seersucker, completely wrinkle resistant, and has a bottom sweep that makes you feel like Ginger Rogers.  I just can't bring myself to get rid of it!  I considered having it shortened to mid calf but I'm afraid it will change the fall of the permanent pleats.  So it lives in my closet, can be rolled into a ball, and open up as fresh and crisp as can be.  Maybe that's it?  I'm fascinated by the fabric?
One more thing.  Please do not order shark fin soup.  I caught the extremely disturbing video of cutting out the shark's fins while they are alive, and dumping them back into the ocean to sink and die.  Their fins are to them as our arms and legs are to us.  Horrifying.  No creature whether I like them or not should be so brutally mutilated.  I'm sorry to bring this up, but I was completely unaware of this and thought I would pass it along.  I'm done.  
I hope you're having a good week and staying safe.
Thank you for visiting, back to Eunice!

Jul 15, 2012

Love made me do it

Hi everyone.  This is a short post to let you know that I have put aside Miss Pumroy, and Miss Eunice in favor of Miss Lydia Broome.  I couldn't help myself.  A first for me too, because I always worked on one project only, recently graduating to two.  But THREE!?! 
 Love is a powerful force.  So is that damn frog.  I was coming to the finish line and regardless of my count twice efforts, was two down and 1 over.  Goodbye tail.  That potted plant should have six sets of leaves but if I don't tell anyone, no one will notice.  I plan on finishing this before returning to Eunice, if she'll forgive me. 

I was making a path putting fabric away and decided to put the homespun checks together.  I love checks.   Too bad I can't find the black ones. 
One more thing.  I was very surprised to see that this sampler done long ago on Lugana fabric, coffee stained to the same color as Malabar's linen, expecting only pure linen and cotton to take the stain evenly.   Ewe & Eye's Peacock Spot, Malabar, and Lydia would make a nice grouping but I love the frame that Pineberry Lane used and may do that. 
  It's been a rough week for several reasons, no decision on the kitchen, and I came up with a third layout.  Not good.  If there was a pill for memory,  procrastination and another for decisiveness, I wouldn't be able to choose a pharmacy, then put off getting them ordered, and ultimately forget where they were.  I can't swallow pills anyway.
Hello to new followers!   Putz that I am didn't even know you could click Followers on the Dashboard and see who they are.  I'm finding WAY too many blogs to read but so enjoying them all, and way too many ideas on Pinterest. 
Thank you for taking time to stop by.  I appreciate your visits!
Have a safe coming week ~ talk to you soon.

Jul 11, 2012

Cake, rice, and sweet potato

Hiya everyone!  Hope all is well with you and yours.  We've had major repairs to do (septic and pumps) along with family member projects (hot water tanks and spigots) so we've been busy and I haven't done too much stitching.  But we finished yesterday so I'll return to Eunice today.  Every once in a while I get a bug to work on something that is time consuming and often never even materializes to my satisfaction.  These did.  I made a set with houses for a friend but needed to replace an older order that has bugged me.  It ended up that I remembered how much this friend loved A&E's, and since I was working on one anyway, voila!!  She will be getting these and I get to keep the houses!  One of these is only reproduced because she is a friend of the designer and it can't be done again or sold - I know someone will ask because of its popularity, but no can do! 
I'm going to have to stitch a lot more if I want to come up with some new labels. In the Company of Friends (click on) is doing printed sampler labels on boxes and other items and a wonderful site to browse.  Lots of great items and fabulous gifts for stitchers.  And here's my first attempt at the rice stitch.    
It's going to take a while to do the entire alphabet in this but I will.  I was going to use eyelet in one row but this linen is coarse, yet soft, and the tension will be tedious.  So far I think I've come up and gone down with that needle in every possible direction.  I need to look it up again and follow a stitch pattern.
I want to mention that if you plan on using the pearl gray to tone down your floss, use a tiny bit of the powdered in a cup of hot water and test the intensity.  I just tried it again and used a sprinkle of the powder, maybe even less than 1/8 tsp.  If you need more you can always add but start with the tiny amount, and if too dark, add more water and dip quickly.  My reds needed a soak time and the yellow - one quick dip!

Now for a few pictures of my favorite summer plant - the lime sweet potato vine.  Since the house is bare of shrubs in the front and very stark and primitive, I don't like a lot of flowers and use the vine for color, and simple white miniature petunias.  The back is loaded with flowers and color and that's where I spend time.

Now for the cake.  For those of you with gardens, another way to use zucchini.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Preheat to 350 degrees.
In large bowl combine 1 double chocolate (or dark chocolate fudge) cake mix, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 1/4 cups of black coffee and blend.  Beat 2 minutes at medium speed, then fold in 1 cup shredded unpeeled zucchini, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, and 1/2  cup chocolate chips.  Pour into a greased and floured 10" tube pan or bundt pan and bake for 50 - 60 minutes.  You can add a chocolate drizzle or glaze but it's not necessary.  Very moist and delicious!

That's all I have to report!  Today will be a day of a little rest and I MUST make a decision on this kitchen layout.  Both plans are good and each has pros and cons so how do I decide?  I've drawn the plans, like them both, and will of course want the one I didn't choose when it's finished.  But this time, picking #2 first is too risky!!!  And I also need a haircut.
Have a beautiful day and thank you very much for taking the time to read this sometimes boring and not very stitchy blog of mine. 

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