May 29, 2013

Done! Pear X

Hi all.  June has three birthstones, one being alexandrite, a grayish lavender.  Since June is my birth month, I thought I would use that shade for the June pear. 
 Both 451 and 452 are very gray with a hint of lavender, which is why I chose them over my second choice of 3041 and 3042.  Hope you like it!
Chart is posted under the Pears tab.

A few new non-stitching things

Greetings.  We've gone from frigid to boiling and I'm on my way to the doc's, but wanted to show you a few things.  My favorite iris and the only one I have left.
Stray kitty #4 who is very timid and untouchable with the most beautiful green eyes.
And we found an Amish nursery that had the biggest hanging baskets I've ever seen.  Even in my color theme - yellow and purple!
Pear will be finished today unless I make changes for the fifth time.  Hopefully be posting it tomorrow.  Thanks for visiting!  Have a wonderful day.

May 26, 2013

Did you see this???

Hi everyone.  Hope you're enjoying the holiday weekend.  We've had temps in the 30's at night and very cold days but it's warming up a little.  We will be 90 by week's end. 
I was doing an online search for something (I can't remember what), when I spotted this.  Holy crap.
Immediately went to EBay and bought one.  Can't wait!  I had a subscription from the very beginning until I started caring for parents and quit stitching.  But when I saw this bag I was smitten and that hasn't happened since my last fried donut.  This morning.
I'm still completely exhausted, like I've never felt before, and have been working on the drywall.  The ceiling patch was not good and rather than wait for him to return, I've removed his work and am redoing it myself but it's a very very small area. 
Not much work on Eliza because I forgot about the next pear!  As usual, I came up with several options and wasted time.  It's free, everyone is tired of them,  pick the easiest one!  So I did and will stitch it tonight.  Here's Eliza's progress once again.
 And I wanted to tell you how touched I was that Denise emailed a photo of my free chart (here).  Dealing with the heartache of losing their parents, she stitched it for her sister who found it comforting to acknowledge them in this way.  The angel was added from her mom's jewelry box.  Thank you Denise for sharing this with me.  I told her that this is how I felt after our parents passed, along with our much loved Lab.  We may look OK on the exterior, but the grief is within.
Thanks for visiting - stay safe and enjoy the holiday.
Remember those that made the ultimate selfless sacrifice.

May 24, 2013

Never forget....

those lives lost in bravery and courage, conviction and virtue, duty and honor, to preserve the freedom and safety of the land they loved.
The number of American soldiers buried in foreign lands is much higher than I expected to find.
  WWI - 30,912 with 4,452 missing. 
 Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France, most from WWI, total of 14,246.
The foreign burials from WWII are a staggering 93,202 with 55,851 missing. 
Lorraine American WWII Cemetery and Memorial in France, 10,489.
 Information needed to find a family member killed and buried in a foreign land can be found on this site and by name here  Another resource is here
This is the list of foreign cemeteries where tens of thousands of American soldiers rest.
Click on any of the above to view a video of the grounds and information, or go to the website of the American Battle Monuments Commission,
 which is where I obtained the listing.
  Do you know that there are many cremated remains of veterans that were never claimed? They are sitting in beat up containers on shelves in mortuaries across the country. An article about a local cemetery preparing to care for some of the unclaimed remains brought this to my attention. How sad is this, that no family members came forward to respectfully bury these young souls. If you would like to know more about this, you can visit the Missing in America Project website.
Enjoy your freedom this weekend.

May 22, 2013

I've been working on the railroad

Greetings to all.  Prayers for Oklahoma.  I've mentioned before that we were 1/4 mile from the F5 that came through Wheatland PA in 1985, and took our best friend.  Seeing such destruction is mind numbing, and hard to comprehend.
I received an email from Beth, the stitcher responsible for the perfection in Kathy Barrick's post.  She mentioned railroading, a term I remember from my early stitching days.  After checking a few online sources, I thought I'd give it a try once again.  My sis in law used a laying tool to smooth her threads, and she was kind enough to gift one, which I considered a direct hint.  She was a top notch stitcher and rolled her eyes a bit at my style.   Using the stabbing method instead of the laying tool is my preference, and I tried it on my messy eyelet stitches. 

 The last one on the right is railroaded.  See the one above with the twisted thread?  This is how many of my regular cross are also.  I usually give the needle a quick twist in hand but it doesn't always work.  Sometimes it comes up through the linen with a bad twist and a laying tool doesn't even help. 
This is the stab method I tried on the eyelet.  Instead of the usual down stitch (on the right), 
 you lay the floss in front and insert the needle between the two strands before going down.  This prevents the twisting and both threads lay side by side (as a railroad track), which gives better coverage and a full flat stitch.
 The biggest problem I have with this method - I can't see the linen threads and end up in the wrong hole.  So I decided to scrap the idea of better stitches out of fear that frustration will add to my impatience.  Looking at these photos did show me another reason my eyelets are off. 
Take a good look - don't they look like they are all doing a Travolta move?  The top left corners appear to be pointing, don't they?  This is because I am starting the next stitch from that outside edge and it's being pulled from the left.  I guess I should start it from the center eye or a middle stitch rather than a corner.  Another color will fill between them and probably even them out but I should pay attention to that. 
Here's the railroad stab on a regular cross stitch.  I may keep practicing and see if it becomes a habit I can handle.  I doubt it, but it's only because of my lack of patience and absence of caring what anything thinks.  It bugs me that my threads are twisted, but not enough to be more careful.  Beth also directed me to this article on correct placement of the first stitch.  I can never remember, but this article used the term, "leaning on the post", and that was all I needed.  Thanks for your help Beth!
Ed left after what we hoped was the final sanding this morning.  For some reason, I am so exhausted I can't even go out for groceries.  This afternoon will be spent on the swing stitching, enjoying the beautiful day.  Eliza is turning out to be a fun stitch with the different dividing bands and bright colors.  I'm so glad I chose her.  In fact, I think my last few projects were some of my favorites.  Which brings up a question I may not be able to answer.  Can you?
What is your absolute favorite piece? 
Have a wonderful day and stay safe!
Thanks for visiting.

May 20, 2013

Two things you don't want to see

First is the cat you allow into your home participating in her favorite pastime. 
Dirt rolling.
The second is finding an impostor in your tray of sunflower seeds.  Yes, the ubiquitous stink bug.
The shower went very well and was really nice.  I cut the lawn with the little mower before leaving and everyone was picking the maples' whirly gigs from my hair, plus those other hangy things.  Hey.  I can't see the back and it's easy to get caught in this mess.  Having it at Pizza Joe's was brilliant!  Everyone likes pizza, there were several varieties, salad, drinks and cake, and a really nice private room perfect for a small party.  When I came home, I planted.  This year I decided on all bright yellow marigolds called Janie and I love the darker yellow.  This nursery had healthy bushy plants, 4 to a pack instead of 3 at our other place.  I'm tired of red geraniums and white petunias every year and like the pop of yellow.  When planting in my wheelbarrow, we have slits cut in the bed and I use heavy landscape fabric to line it.  Folding and stapling the corners makes it deeper so I can add more dirt and hold it all in.  Mulch and moss cover the edges when done.

I just love the Black Scallop Ajuga ground cover when it blooms.  They last quite a while.
My guy Ed will be here soon for the final coat of mud.  I wish all of this dust would be a one time deal, but hubby said to do one room at a time.  He knows that when I have too many decisions at once I get confused and it all comes to a halt, so his advice was spot on.
Thanks for all the compliments about my stitches being so nice!  The reason I removed that line of letters and stitched again, is because the rest of the alphabet was the same color for every two letters, and this line's error was each letter being different.  It bugged me. 
Ed's here.  Need to hang the sheets again.
Thanks for visiting - enjoy your Monday.

May 19, 2013

The letter game

Hey.  How you doing?  We've had wonderful weather here and if I wasn't cleaning every day, I would have been planting flowers.   If I wasn't so tired from cleaning, I may have paid more attention to Eliza's chart.  My final row of rice stitch was  V, W, X, Y, Z.

Take a look at the color key.  Notice anything?  Need I say more?   Yes, I removed the entire line and stitched again with the proper colors, but honestly, I kept being drawn back to the symbol matching the letter I was stitching instead of the actual symbol for that letter!  I felt like I was playing one of those trick brain teasers. 
This next border line is a doozy to start but obviously,  any errors on my part won't be noticed.   My eyelet stitches are usually too tense and I'm anxious to see how well I do on the next alphabet.  When I saw the perfect stitches in this March post from Barrick, I felt stitch envy. 
 Some women fear close-ups of their wrinkles, but I fear close-ups of my stitches.  Just regular cross, let alone the specialty.  The threads are not even, sometimes twisted, never uniform.  But that's me, no one looks at my stitchery, and I'm not fussing over it.  It is was it is and I refuse to make it a chore.  To many of you, it's not.  You have a method learned perfectly and many times use only one strand of floss.  My fabric counts require two and even using the secure needle method and giving the needle a twist, I have wonky stitches, so I don't fight it.  When taking my mom anywhere she would always ask "aren't you going to do something with that hair?".  No mom, it is what it is.  Same for my stitching.  I think Eliza is going to be fabulous and can't wait to get further down.
I haven't been keeping up with emails and blogs because of everything being covered, so I apologize for that.  I'm also trying to steer clear of Pinterest now that I've finalized the kitchen.  Too many ideas for an indecisive putz.
Enjoy your day - stay safe - thanks for stopping by!

May 17, 2013

Yellow shoes!

Hi everyone.  Just a quick post to say I'm still plugging away at Eliza, and still in a dust cloud.  He left early today and I have the computer out from the drop cloths.  He finished the drywall and the first coat of mud.  Tomorrow will be the second coat.
In case you're wondering what I'm doing, this was mom's dining room/kitchenette, and there was a wall separating it from her living room where she watched TV.  That area was carpeted and the wood flooring square next to my kitchen entry was her cabinet area for dishes and foods.
 The wall is gone, the wiring from it worked back into the walls, ceiling boxes moved, the carpeting will come up along with the wood, and a new floor running all the way into the kitchen and my family room.  My kitchen plans are completed and sent to the designer.  Mom's been gone for 5 years and that's how long it took me to change this.  I still have her 2 marble top provincial tables and such and will find a good home for them elsewhere.  This area will have a large table and chairs for dining, and a few cupboards.  Her bedroom and bath are off of this room.
 Now for my shoes.  I love red or yellow shoes.  Reasonable and comfortable flats are not easy to find here but I spotted these sling backs at Sears.  The store ordered them for me in my size with free shipping.  They are as comfortable as Bare Traps and look the same, but these are on sale for $24.99 and they're leather.  I love 'em!!!  If you want yellow shoes, they're here.
I'm attending a shower this weekend and it's a good thing I ran into my cousin yesterday.  She insisted it was Sunday at Pizza Joe's party room.  I said (and I know everything) that it is Saturday, at Pizza Hut.  So after my husband shook his head and walked away, I called my sister.  She verified Pizza Hut as the place, and when I said Bonnie is going to Pizza Joe's, she said - yeah, that's right.  No.  You just verified Pizza HUT!  Well that's not what I meant and they're all the same.  No.  They're not.  And is it the 18th?  Yes, she said, Sunday.  NO!!!  The 18th is Saturday, check your calendar and turn the page to the right month!  I wonder what she put on the invitations.  Now I know what my husband goes through.  He always says that you can put all females in a bag, shake them up, and they come out the same.  I say, you can put all males in a bag, shake them up, and they won't know how to get out.
Have a great weekend - stay safe - thanks for visiting!


May 15, 2013

A good day

Hi everyone.  Hope your day went better than mine did.  It started off with my guy trying to drill the top plate between studs to drop a wire for an outlet.  He couldn't figure out why the wire wasn't showing up in the designated area.  Tried again.  Nothing. Got a two foot long drill bit and tried again.  I finally told him that it has to be going on the other side, in the closet.  Impossible.  Not so.  Yes, so.  Now everything that was in the closet is removed and under a sheet too, so he can repair this.
I've been wrapped in drop cloths unable to find anything and my printer and computer were kind of lost in them for a few days.  I finally ran out for a bit today and when I came home, he was using his wet/dry vac and not realizing that it was exhausting the drywall dust into the air.  What a disaster.  It carried into the dining room also where I had items stashed to stay clean.
This was everywhere and see where it's missing?  That's because it stuck to his boots so he could track it wherever he went.  I immediately decided that I would stop my plans and be satisfied at this point.  One short wall needs to come down in the kitchen and I'm not sure I can deal with it.  Drywall dust is never ending and I hate it.  He hasn't even started sanding!  Then he shows me that the long wall is over 2" out of square, and the drywall will have to bend which will eventually crack, in order to match the other side of the door opening.
I dropped a large container filled with change and it went everywhere, spilled the washing detergent down the front of the washer onto the carpet and it splashed the clean pile of clothes, tripped on the brat's water bowl and it soaked my good loafers, missed a step coming down the pull-down stairs, couldn't find the tags I set aside for an order that needed mailed, nor the rings, and have a mess with all my box and tags supplies that were stored in that closet.  When the drill came through the drywall, it was spinning the dust everywhere and the entire closet contents are covered with it.  I did find the tags safe and sound, bought new rings because I gave up looking, got out my little fry pan, set it to high, smeared a little butter, and watched three of these babies sizzle to crispy.
 I'm OK now.
I'm still here to bitch.
I still can see, hear, feel, walk, and stitch.
It's still a good day.

May 13, 2013

Little by little

Greetings.  My week is starting out with more confusion than menobrains can handle.  But first, here it my slow progress on Eliza the Colorful.  There are four colors in the border I'm working on now and one final row of rice stitch before moving on to the eyelet alphabet.

My nephew will be here shortly with his tractor so we can cut our grass this evening.  No decision on a new one - I'm glad to see a man in his 60's is just as incapable as this woman in her 60's when it comes to choices.
I got a call this weekend that my guy can give me a day to start our project which means this will be hit and miss.  This of course, is my fault.  Same old problem with deciding on the kitchen, where the ceiling light should be, do I want a header over the doorway, beams....??????  And so it starts.
My husband found this very large funnel in a pile of junk at work and thought I would like to line it with landscape fabric, fill with dirt, and use as a planter.  I said no, I'll turn it upside down.  This size is very hard to find so I would like to make it into a hanging light.  It needs more rust though.
And will you look at these paws?  They want to come in the house for a snooze and then I can't get them to leave.  All my family member's cats are clean!  These little pigs play hard.  The back of their white legs have never been clean and their fur is filled with outdoor particles.  The new cat has brown stripes and I got within five feet of her today.  The others still circle with threats, but no fights recently unless she comes closer to the house.  Wonder how many kittens I'll be dealing with.
Here's my brother's little girl after her spaying.  She's gained weight and the vet said she is very healthy.  A recent article in our local paper was focused on the huge number of strays and kittens our valley has.  Terrible.  They try to trap and spay, then release.  I don't agree.  They are starving and homeless with no protection.  Euthanizing them would be more humane to me, but they claim it is more expensive than spaying. ?????? 
I hope she finds a home.
The tractor just arrived and my guy is ready for his break so I'll close for now.  There's nothing like the smell of burnt wood from a dull drill bit mixed with a little drywall dust.
Have a great start to your week!
Thanks for visiting.

May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Wishing everyone a Happy Mother's Day.
My mom with hers, 75 years ago, and my mom with me, 61 years ago.
Missing all the family that has passed, and I know that mom and the pups will be watching, waiting, for me.
If I had the chance to repeat a part of my life, it would be the years I spent taking care of you.  I miss you every day.

May 10, 2013

Two summer tips

Hi everyone.  This isn't a stitching post. 
 Just wanted to remind you of this product, invaluable for sandals and summer sling backs, tank top and spaghetti straps, and peeking bra straps.  My legs are crossed and I'm twisting my ankles, and look how the straps still hold.  I was never able to wear these because of the sling constantly falling down.

You can buy it wherever they sell support hosiery or at a home health care store.  Water soluble, easy to remove, doesn't stain.

My other tip is how to cut your or your kid's bangs.  When you pull from the sides to the center and make one cut, the center will be shorter and the edges slightly longer, so you don't have that straight across chop look.
I just killed this little devil in the kitchen.  Having a husband that goes into prophylactic anaphylactic shock,  I can't mess around and need to kill every one whether I can identify it or not.  Some are wasps, some yellow jackets, some hornets, and they are entering the house from a location we haven't determined.
We have the tractor narrowed down to three choices and no idea which we will choose.  I've gained 20 pounds since fall and nothing fits, so to burn a few calories, I will try cutting the yard with the little push mower a little at a time until we decide.  I hate to exercise but Leslie Sansone and I need to get back together.

Enjoy your weekend - thank you for visiting!


May 8, 2013

Leftover tags

Good day to you.  My baskets are dyed and I moved on to the next unfinished task.  Leftover tags from the last batch.  I will probably be making more but the orders have slowed down considerably so I may take a break and move on to the boxes.  I've listed what I have left - no orders - on the Box/tag page.  If you're interested, please leave your purchase in the comments on that page.  All the old comments have been deleted so you'll be able to see if the number is available. 
Here's the baskets after their Rit dye bath of Pearl Gray, Black, Orange, and a touch of green.  Rit's brown and black have a red tone which I don't like, therefore, the green to tone it down.  Each basket dyed a little differently.
This basket that I wove 25 years ago came out beautifully.  The material took the dye in sort of a striated pattern - hard to tell from the photo but you can trust me.
And my Sargent Crabs made it!  They were almost dead last summer so I was hoping to see blossoms this spring.
My brother's little cat was spayed yesterday and she is doing better today.  I need to take a photo of her to post at the local pet stores and vet offices.
That's all I got!  I'm on a roll of getting these small tasks completed that have been hanging around for some time.  Feels pretty good.
Thanks for visiting - stay safe - enjoy the blooms.

May 7, 2013

It's gone!

Greetings!  The garbage pickup was this morning and it's gone!  There's no getting it back.  I deliberately toss right before pick up, otherwise, I'm second guessing and dumpster diving.   The usable items are already at Goodwill.   I always get sidetracked when I'm unsure what to do with items.  Then I  get an idea for a project and start playing. 
 Isn't this cute?
I burned a dozen very small wood boxes that I planned on painting and was tired of storing, and found this little dome in with them.  I covered it - sidetracked.  Now I'm playing with the large heart boxes and some others instead of completing my work.  Which led to another idea I'm working on and can't wait to try.
I've been holding on to a dozen Currier & Ives calendar prints from the 60's and 70's.  They've yellowed but are still nice.  I will never have them framed and matted.  Why have I kept them?
Then I found these two tall baskets with wood lids, the small market with divided lid, and some others waiting for stain and paint.  I'll do that today.
Not much stitching or blog reading lately, and this is all the progress I have.  The letters I and J are the dyed 351 and it's beautiful!  I switched back to a 24 needle and like it much better.
 I'm heading out with a tub of dye for the baskets and hope to also get some weeding started.  Our lawn tractor died yesterday and we'll be shopping for another this evening.   The kitchen man is waiting for the final drawings and hopefully that will be started in July.  I'm trying really hard to put an end to procrastinating.
Thanks for visiting - hope you're having a great day.
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