Feb 28, 2013

Pear VII

 Hi everyone.  I'm posting the pattern under the Pears tab and giving you a few options.  I had a difficult time choosing a green that I liked.  So you'll see a choice of two shades of green (or your own) and a chart that is over one (for words only) in case you would prefer that.  Changing the fancy heart to all pink is another option.  When I started this project (several times) I originally did the over one but this is the third finish and I had no intentions of repeating that chore.  Can you tell how indecisive I am?  
  I tried an easier method for the stem.  I pulled the fabric through the sewing machine to miss two stitches  leaving a hole for the stem.  Thin cinnamon sticks or grapevine pieces are what I usually use, leaving them long and inserting between the two quilt batt layers.
The mylar was inserted to help the batting slide easily into place, but I didn't leave it in.  Card stock paper can be used too. Interfacing on the linen and also the backing held the shape well enough. 
 Here is Bonnie's February pear done on 40 count.  This is very nicely shaped and I've seen quite a few that are beautifully finished in the various pear forms.  I'm using the same template for each of mine but maybe I should try something different.
Thank you all for the prayers and offers to send cards to my cousin.  I will check with her sister and get the address for the nursing home.  We've been sending greetings to her devoted friend's house who visits her every day and I'll check with her too.
I'm making some progress on Mary but having a flare-up of the neck problem and my arms are quite tingly.   The rest of the center is verse and all one color of basic cross so it should go without a hitch, but that stem stitch area doesn't look like it will go as easilyI'll show how Mary is coming on the next post and until then, have a wonderful and safe day.
Thank you for visiting!

Feb 25, 2013

Something new to me

Greetings!  How is everyone today?  My cousin in CA is on my mind continually, so regardless of aches and pains, numbness and restriction, jowls and fat, I am grateful for the day.  She is now realizing that no progress is being made on her right side paralysis and she will never be able to return to her sweet home, her flowers, and her much loved rescue pup.  Her hopes are fading as is her will and spirit.  
I am back to stitching on Mary and decided to complete the body first.  The stem stitch scalloped border will be a new adventure for me and having the center to line up with would probably be a help.   And I'm also delaying the unknown which is what I do best.
Here's what I did with the Rabbit Folk.  I found burlap ribbon in the floral department of Hobby Lobby and then saw it at JoAnn's.  I'm never in that section so maybe this has been around for a while but it's new to me.  It also comes in a much wider width which I plan on using for garland outdoors.
 Love this stuff.  How perfect for seasonal items.  Just pin or stitch to the strip and wrap around boxes, baskets, hang vertically down a door, side of a hutch, over a doorway.  Not too much fuss and finishing required of the stitched pieces, plus charms or sprigs, even photos can be mixed in on the strip.  I'm sure it can be stabilized with a fusible if needed. These are just quickly pinned and ....... that's right .......probably won't stay there. 
My dad smoked a pipe when I was little (well, younger - I was never really little) and I got to keep the red Prince Albert cans for crayons and pens.  They were flatter, shaped like a flask, but when I saw this rusted old round tin, I had to get it.  It certainly gave my fusspot clean machine brother a head turning when he stopped by.
Enjoy your day and stay safe.
Thank you so much for visiting and welcome to new followers!  I appreciate every one of you that take time from your busy days to see what the menopausal maniac is up to.  I wonder if the nickname Flash will stick with me for life!  That's OK with me.

Feb 23, 2013

Rabbit Folk

Hi everyone.  It's Saturday and warmer outside than it has been.  My new hard drive is here, I found the Vista recovery discs,  finally got my printer accepted with 7 (the router needed the MAC address for filtering!), so it appears to be the start of a good weekend.  I'm almost afraid to begin the installation and would like to float in the good mood for a while longer.  Hoping your days are going well too.  It seems the older I get, even crap days are to be appreciated, so as long as I am still here to bitch, it's a good day!
Haven't worked on Mary in a few days because I did the pear, again and again. This one is final.  Why do I get so involved with things that don't really matter?  You can change colors to your preference! 
As I looked for a backing fabric I came across a box with these little guys.  They are stitched on 18 count Aida that looks like oatmeal and need to be finished into ornaments.  Not sure if I will because they're so cute and not my style.  But maybe I could tone down the fabric a little and end up liking them. 
I didn't stitch them and can't remember who did.  They are from this OOP leaflet 19 from Prairie Schooler which is on EBay quite often.  Have you seen the BOAF Gold Santa prices after so many were offered for $15?

 We've had some cold temps and drizzle and the brats were snuggled in for the entire day.  I've been allowing them into the house and Bud is always a good boy, but Missy and Nitzy are into everything!  I can't catch either one since they don't allow me to pet them.  As soon as my husband gets close, they run for the door.
I have to change the comments again since I'm getting hundreds of spams, so if you can't comment and want to contact me for any reason, please use the email link at the top sidebar.  I'll leave it open for anonymous readers when I am offering an item so everyone can enter, but it will change back right after.
  When our elderly dog was having hip and joint problems, I did some research since the dog meds were so expensive and not really safe.  Tramadol was the answer and Walmart was so very reasonable.  It's safer, it worked, and my vet checked into it and uses it now.  So how do the spammers know what I was ordering for years at the pharmacy?  Coincidence?
In answer to anonymous about the Postman Santa, click the Christmas tab beneath the header and the info is posted on the photo.
Wishing everyone a safe and peaceful weekend.
Thank you for visiting!

Feb 20, 2013

Where my mind is

Hi everyone.  It's cold, snowy, and bitchy here today, but I hope you are all doing well.  Most of the time when I can't think clearly or make a decision, it may be because I AM thinking.  When I'm posting, emailing, or not paying attention, thoughts pop into my head that are usually the answer.  I guess this means I'm trying too hard and over analyzing daily minutia.  Case in point.  When typing an email the other day, the statement that finally answers so much came freely.  I told her that for years, I've been giving people a piece of my mind, which is probably why I don't have much left.  Now I know where it is.  Small portions are floating around the patients, clerks, co-workers, contractors, idiot mothers, pet owners, nephews, sister, cousins, friends, who were told off, told what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and why I am right.  No wonder there's not much left.  I think my husband has more of my mind than I do.
I completed the bargello and after one more line in the body I plan on attempting the stem stitch.  I've been asked why I haven't joined Nicola's SL year.  First off, I don't play well with others (see above).  Second, I don't know if I will follow the pattern or change the design if I get frustrated with specialty stitches.  Except for changing a color, so far, so good!  Now I need to concentrate on stitching the next pear which I will start tonight.  It seems to be taking me longer each month to come up with something new in this shape!
On the computer front, I ordered a new hard drive and will install the operating system myself.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  I may be back to Vista!  Staples techs went over what my tech did ( the very polite kid I thought was wonderful), and I found out that I was ripped off.  If I see him again, it will be hard not to give HIM a piece of my mind.  It's unbelievable how you can't purchase or have installed the operating system you prefer because they push the newest on you.  The clerk said 8 out of 10 customers come back and want something done about Windows 8 because they hate it more than 7 and there are no options. I can't remove my 7 and have Vista installed.  Ridiculous.  Since Microsoft doesn't "allow" downgrades, they are forcing a lot of customers to Macs.  They should have a simple XP or Vista offer for old farts like me that don't game, video, or skype and want nothing more than simple programs for emailing (Outlook Express), photos (Picture It), and household files.  But I'm not giving them a piece of my mind.  I need to start conserving and it will not be easy.
Thanks for visiting!
Hope you all have a wonderful week.

Feb 17, 2013

Contrary Mary

Hiya.  Hope everyone is doing fine and dandy today.  Finally getting back to stitching after a few days of distractions. 
 I moved on to the body and made so many errors that I decided to start the bargello on the other side.   This stitch pattern is not difficult at all once you get it lined up properly.  The borders consisting of cross and stem stitch will be next.  When I encounter too many frogs, I will move back to the middle.
While making the piece look presentable for a photo, I noticed lines in the linen from a fold. 
 Since most of my fabric is more than 20 years old, this happens often.  I never even realized at that time the damage folds can do.  You can see the vertical and horizontal in this photo but they won't be noticed when stitched.  
Decision has been made on the flooring.  After visiting the only place that would offer pine, putting up with the looks and smirks, I decided to forget it.  It was split, cupped, and bowed and barely enough to do the project.  After seeing that, I didn't want to take the chance of ordering without seeing the final product.  So a compromise was found in knotty oak.  Yep.  Oak with knots and a few defects.  The width I wanted was 3 times the cost and at this stage in life and all the other projects coming up, not worth it.   Four week lead time which makes my hub nervous - way too much time for changes.  Nope.  It's done and I'm not even going to think about it anymore.  If the kitchen guy fails me again, I will need to hire someone else for that too. 
I came across the doilies and tablecloths that I had put away from mom, aunts, and purchases.  I need to get rid of all of them since I will never use them, except for the pieces mom made.  These weren't hers, but are a few of my favorites.


 All of these are smaller pieces with really nice details.

Today is a family dinner with stuffed shells and cake with whipped cream icing. Tonight I should be back to stitching.
Stay safe everyone - enjoy your day - thank you much for visiting!

Feb 14, 2013

Tissue box winner

Hello all!!  Happy blogging anniversary to me!  
These boys had nothing to do with drawing a name, but isn't this father son duo cute?  I didn't use Random this time, I put names on paper strips as they came in and drew one from a bowl.  The winner is Anonymous Sandi Durkee.  I'll email you for your address Sandi.
Thanks to all who participated!  I greatly appreciate your interest!
Enjoy your evening and Valentine chocolate!

Happy Valentine's Day

Wishing everyone a love filled day,
and to all the two legged and four legged joys in your life.

Feb 13, 2013

Floss box source

Greetings.  Hope everyone is fine and dandy.  For those of you interested in ordering a floss box, I am happy to say that Firecracker Kid Primitives will take orders, and will customize for you.
 Here is a photo of one they recently made, a bit smaller than mine.  Several of you requested one from us and we won't be getting to that any time soon, so you can go to their blog here and contact them.  Their Etsy site is here. 

I want to show finishes of the February pear that I've received and since crashes seem to happen frequently here, thought I better do it now.  Previous pears were lost.
Murielle finished with double leaves and button and her blog is here.


This one is from Karen's Handiwork here.  She used cardboard to shape them and trimmed the edges.

This one from Lynda was stitched on both sides, one with III and the other with V.  If I missed any, I apologize. I know I had a few others and can't find them.  I can't find anything I save and I've had it.  I'm calling the tech so he can rid me of 7 and reinstall my old Vista. 
While I was doing this post, every sip of coffee I took poked me.  Yes, poked me.  I kept looking at the rim of my mug to see what was on it.  Nothing.  Poked again!  Thinking something may be stuck to my lip I checked the mirror. Nothing.  Look closer.....closer.....OMG.  There it is.  Menowire.  The eyebrows I've lost have been replaced with a few black wires hairs that I could use as needles, and are now spreading to my lip.  Right in the corner, hidden in that saggy folded lump of fat that used to be in my cheek.  Good grief.  I avoid my magnifier mirror but I think this calls for an inspection.  Maybe I should look into getting those cheek strings a.k.a. one hour facelift, so there will be no where to hide.
Have a great day!
Thanks for visiting.
x x x x x x x x x x x

Feb 11, 2013

What's your size?

Hi everyone.  The wind is howling, the brats are in their condo, and my wind chimes are singing.  But no snow!!!  Lots of errands to run today but thought I would show you what my husband came home with.  He heard me mention several times, the magnitude and my amazement of The Manifesto from Scarlet Letter.   Here's what I usually use...
His gift to me - 
I could never attempt a project of that size, so I'll probably use it as a towel ring.
Have a good day!

Feb 10, 2013

Mary and Sue

Good day to you.  Just a quick post to show Susannah French on the wall and my progress on the Bargello.  Sue fit perfectly on the wooden lid of a basket and I had padding and studs ready, but decided it wouldn't be practical.  Those baskets hold supplies and are used frequently and stacked. 

So I fringed,
 attached the stiff interfacing at the top for the nails and hanging stability,
 sprinkled her with some black coffee,
and stuck her on the wall with tacks to be replaced later.

Here's progress on Haslehurst.  I'm going to start the center now and then return to the Bargello on the other side.  I'm so glad I started this design.  Love it.  The center calls for 422 which is barely noticeable so I'm using the 434 that's also in the design.
 Thanks for visiting.  Enjoy your Sunday!

Feb 9, 2013

Heft to my weft

Greetings!  I know it's the start of the weekend, but I didn't know the month.  When I listed the anniversary offer, I hadn't yet flipped the page on the calendar so I thought Valentine's Day was this Monday.  Wrong.  The drawing will still be Valentine's Day which is not until Thursday.  Good thing the doctor's office called to verify my Monday appointment or I would still be in January.
I started going through the RandR charts, Essamplaire's new order, and also Scarlet Letter's.  Do you have any idea how much time I can waste reading each chart, looking for those nasty over one stitches, Queens, and counting blocks when the stitch count isn't given?  The heck with it. 
Mary was still lying there and a close by piece of linen was the right size.  This Bargello or Irish stitch is easy.  I did have difficulty with the start position of the black floss.  When you are doing a straight stitch in each hole, where do you start the adjoining cross?  I thought it would be in the next hole but then the cross was not lined up with the over two backstitch in the border.  So I magnified the sampler from SL's website and it looks like the cross enters the same hole.  That makes sense since all the crosses use the prior stitch's hole.  What a putz.
 For once, I'm using all the correct colors and the linen is the coarse heavier weave that I enjoy.  I like heft to my weft.  The pieces that I have no desire (or ability) to stitch on have very thin threads or a thinner weft and I really can't see them even with magnifiers. 
This piece is the 25 count Scarlet Letter hand dyed green from years ago.  It has a bluish green warp and a yellow green weft.  I had trouble stitching with it and dyed it to a much darker green.  Didn't work. 
You can see there are still two different shades to the threads and for some reason, this throws my eyes into a tizzy.  White fabric in my lap or a lamp setting on the floor makes it worse.  I just can't see the vertical threads, and fabrics with a sheen are even worse.   It wasn't until I really studied the pieces I'm not comfortable with that I realized the reason for my difficulty.  I can tell right away if my vision will adjust to see the over two threads for stitching.  Whether it's a particular type of linen or just my aging eyes, I don't know.  Even if the dye is exactly the same on all threads, some seem to disappear and all I can see is one direction.   So the thick thread rough and ready linens are my choice. The mystery linen I'm working on is perfect for me. Sending a small piece of the texture and colors I like to a shop would certainly help them determine what would be best for me.
As for this computer, I am avoiding being online because of it.  I changed my settings to Classic Windows style, got my tabs back to separate listings in the bottom bar, shut off that ridiculous screen filter, changed the log on screen, but regardless of the touchpad setting changes, this constant clicking is insane. I click away and nothing happens, I don't click and tabs appear, pages scroll, I lose my place, I highlight text and sometimes it won't delete, and I hate being online now.  My labels - what a fiasco.  The photo gallery is a mess. Small changes from Vista are huge headaches for me with photos.  Find it if you can, then click to edit, do it again, another view! And why can't I have a desktop icon instead of right clicking?  Clicking seems to be a fixation.
That's the start of my weekend.  Hope everyone is safe.
Thank you so much for visiting with me.
Enjoy your weekend and stitch with gratitude, for two working hands, your sight, and your ability to be productive.  I think of my cousin in CA every day and what she lost from her devastating stroke. 

Feb 6, 2013

Third R&R finish

Greetings from Nitzyland.  What a wacko cat.  He's been running full tilt back and forth, jumping into snow piles, digging like a dog, sneaking up on his mom and dad, and attacking his catnip pole.  Boxes are sliding across the deck, benches bumping into the house, sounds like someone is trying to break in!  Anyway,  I wanted to show you Mary Moseley.  The linen is the coarse 28 count that I like and it never photographs well for me.
 I haven't decided (big surprise) on where to keep her but does it really matter?  She won't stay there for too long so why do I bother?  What surprised me, is that I love the bright color.  Usually I change the floss to muted shades but I'm liking this contrast.  Maybe Eliza Pumroy should be done in the charted colors.  If I could find her, I would check into that but I can't.  She was started, floss dyed with gray to tone it down, and she's obviously hanging with the other girls that are missing.  Mary in several poses....
Don't the brighter colors look nice for a change?  That means my last order from the Essamplaire will be stitched as charted.  The designs are all bright and I planned on doing a gray dip, but maybe not!  That of course, will depend on my mood at the time.  My mood was not good when stitching the over one numerals at the bottom.  Regardless of instructions, my thread disappeared constantly.  As long as I continue choosing primitive reproductions, my errors and lack of perfection won't be an issue.
My little tool was invaluable when turning under the edges to press. SO much easier to set the width instead of measuring.  Time to choose another project which won't be easy.  Another R&R?  Mary Hazlehurst?  A larger piece?  Search for Eliza?  Too many things on my mind that really need attention.  All the remodeling projects are top priority and I don't know how to handle this inability to make decisions.
The wood flooring needs to be chosen by the weekend and we'll be running around looking at options.  He is really against the pine but my biggest problem is finding lengths.  Even the local mill has bundles with pieces ranging from 12" to 48".  Requesting 5' lengths doubled the price, 8' tripled it.  You should have seen the look I got when I said I wanted to use finished plywood cut into 12"x 8' strips for the bedroom.   So confusion will reign for the coming days.

I'll leave you with a snow covered  Nitzy taking a break from beating up his fish.
Thanks for visiting.
Enjoy your day and stay safe.

Feb 5, 2013

An anniversary is a'coming

Greetings from snowy Pennsylvania.  Not much.  Just enough to aggravate me.  Nitzy (short for Nitwit) loves it.  Since all three love cardboard boxes, I open the flaps and tape them at the corners so they have a deep box to play in.  Some are completely covered with large plastic bags and taped to stay dry.  My deck looks like inventory day at Wal-Mart.  

So here's the deal...my blogging anniversary will be February 14 and you know that means another offering.  I clicked on my blog archive and went back to the very post here.   One thing about that post is not true.  I was ashamed to admit it in the beginning, but I DO eat treats and chocolate while stitching!  I guess I've come a long way, admitting to a multitude of needlework etiquette failures through this last year.  I continued reading and saw that some finishing methods changed as did my attitude about stitching properly.  The only constant has been menopause, my love of samplers and santas, and I still have trouble cutting into a full yard of linen.
  My side bar shows 16 giveaways in these two years, but I can't remember to always label a post and I think there were more. 
 This one will be for the tissue box, since I received so many nice emails and comments about it.   I can always make another for myself.

It's dark brown with a tiny bit of red, some dark blue, and natural wood showing through the primitive paint finish on  1/4" wood.
 If you would like to enter for the drawing to be held Valentine's Day at 5pm EST, please leave your entry in the comments on THIS POST ONLY.  No-reply must leave email or name and initials.
I want to sincerely thank you all for the friendship and help through blogging these last two years.  I was so afraid to start, and now so glad I did.  I seriously doubt that I would have started stitching again without feeling this connection to others who share their needle's work and inspire many.  For us gals without a shop, your blogs are our source for new items, and old ones we've missed, ideas for finishing, along with the sharing of your tips.
So again I thank you, not only for your visits with me, but for inviting me into your stitching realm.

Feb 3, 2013

Mary Haslehurst 1776

Hi everyone.  I received my SL order and wanted to show you this unusual sampler. 
None of my pictures are clear so I apologize, but it seems every piece of computer related equipment is becoming menopausal.  I didn't know it can affect inanimate objects. 
 I was intrigued by the top of this piece and knew the stitches would be specialty, but I wanted it before it is no longer available.  Has this happened to you? 
Thinking the chart will always be there and one day it isn't?  When I purchased Eunice Birchard it was only a matter of a few months before it was removed from the catalog.  So glad I purchased when I did.
This top zigging and zagging is done in Irish Stitch, a straight stitch over 4 threads offset by 2 threads to create the pattern.  Easy enough - that I can do.
The sides are very strange and consist of cross, stem, satin, with a blue stem creating the scallop outlines.
The bottom is another story.  Freehand stem stitches all the way.  Lots of instructions and I hope I have the patience!  It's a relatively small sampler (7x11 on 28 count) and each scallop is done separately, so this is a good project if you want to try something different.  I'm talking a good talk but I have to say, the more I read it, the more I'm wondering if this stitch wimp can handle it.  I really like to buzz along with my alphabet and not have to constantly check the chart so this is really on the opposite side of comfort for me.  But I have it and will certainly give it a try.  Most all of the samplers were done by very young girls, but this all over the place piece could very well have been an older gal.  Each scallop is different, the top zig zags differently on the opposite side, the stitches change constantly.  She obviously couldn't make a decision.  Hmmm.  Menopausal?
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Stay safe.
Thank you for visiting!
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