Oct 30, 2013

Follow the rules - who..me?

Hello people.  How's your candy supply?  Mine is in my husband's car and he is at work.  At midnight, I unlocked his car and threw all of those treats inside.  It's what I do when I am desperately lacking any semblance of will power.  It's warmer today, the sun is out, and they will probably be a melted mess when he comes home.
I finished the patterned part of Santa and as usual, didn't follow the rule.  I don't know who told me or where I read it, but the lightest color in a pattern should be stitched last.  I think I see why.
Trying to stitch the background and leaving the pattern area bare wasn't something I could focus on.  I prefer doing the design first which makes the fill in so much easier.  But here's what I'm thinking - correct me if I'm wrong.  When you go down and come up with your stitch, it kind of overlaps or pushes aside the adjoining stitch's thread.  On higher counts with one thread, probably not, but I see where the 632 kind of prevents a clean looking 644 stitch.  Can you see what I mean?
The antlers and legs look like dots instead of connected stitches.  Am I making sense?  I'm going back to redo some of these areas, the legs and antlers for sure.  Unless I forget.  So what do you think?  Is this really a rule that I learned somewhere along the way and never understood why, or doesn't it matter?  Does it make sense that the existing stitches would not be connected because the final stitch would break the connection?  Have I had too much candy and just stitched poorly?  Regardless, this is going to make a sweet sack for greens.  I really like my color changes. 
Unfortunately, I can't say that for the new gallons of paint I purchased this morning.  The color I chose for trim is an old sample from Pratt & Lambert called Ventana.  They used to sell it locally and I have samples of wonderful shades of old colonial colors.  Lowe's mixed the gallon from my sample and got it pretty close. 
This is it on the top board, with the sample card on the wall, and my existing color beneath.  Not happy.  Beautiful color but much lighter than I expected.  They mixed it very close, and I like the soft shade, but it's too light.  I really thought I had this licked, but we are always fooled by those sample cards.  Ninety nine % of the time, it's much lighter than we expect.  The pinkish undertone to this neutral beige wall paint is being covered, again, tomorrow, with Benjamin Moore's 974.  Very light, no green, no yellow, no pink, more of a dull white like a whitewash.  The other neutral I found without a cast of any sort in my rooms, is Sherwin Williams Neutral Ground which will be used elsewhere.  Why aren't I using it in this room?  Because I gave them the wrong sample to mix.  That's OK.  They're both bland.  The foyer's doors and trim will get one coat of a shade almost the same as it is now, and I can start thinking about which stencils to use.  Good grief.  Choices.  Wonder how long this will take.  Wait a minute.  It's November in a few days.  Are you kidding me?  Didn't we all just post about starting the month of October?  November?  Now I'm really really not happy.
I can't email you Kristen but yes, chocolate (and caffeine) exacerbates hot flashes.
I don't drink, I no longer smoke, so I refuse to give up chocolate.  I enjoy it more than I detest the flashes.
Welcome to new followers! 
Enjoy your week and stay safe.
Thanks for visiting!


Oct 28, 2013

Sugar flash

Greetings!  Hope you are all having a good day.  In the last few days, I've consumed 2 entire bags of Mounds and 1 bag of Reese cups.  By the time the little brats come knocking on my door, I won't have any left.  With the additional hot flashes brought on by the chocolate, I am also experiencing  sugar flashes.  I can't sit still.  I have crap everywhere because I've started so many things and haven't finished one. 
While trying to decide on the wall color I pulled out my acrylics to mix a few for samples, and started painting boxes.  These are not for sale because they are gifts.
But I accomplished something!!!   I have so many things that need done in my mess but I left them to try stitching.  Holding a needle still while your sugar rush is affecting your hands - not happening.  Why am I such a pig?  It's like I have so much energy yet I'm tired and things to do but I'm not and stuff everywhere but I can't find anything yet I want to do chores and can't decide which but if I did would I finish it or move on to something else because I can't concentrate and how come everything is so slow but I'm so fast and who turned the heat up...wait...did I let the cats in...better not have because the barriers aren't up and they will be upstairs roaming and I'll bet that's where I left my camera when I went to use the bathroom but I ended up distracted which is another reason why I can't sit still so I'll go now.
Then I'll going outside to blow the leaves and something tells me it will be in record time.
Enjoy your day!

Oct 27, 2013

Christmas tree and cake

Hi everyone!  I've been freezing for a few days with our very cold temps, and I hope you have some warmth and sunshine this weekend.  I miss it!!!
We had to make another white knuckle (for me) trip and decided to stop at Meander Hill for a bit.  We didn't know it was their Christmas open house and it was packed.  It's a large shop in an old barn with DR Dimes' furniture and others, lots of accessories, and a ton of Christmas items.  I used to love crowds and hectic shopping but now, in my witchy older state, get the hell away from me.  I can't stand it!!  The flashes come on, I'm surrounded by warm bodies, I want to see an item and have to wait till someone moves.  It's not that people are rude, quite the opposite.  It's just that I don't want them in my way.  I'm a grab and go shopper and I can't do that if some putz is taking her time to look, answers her phone, takes a photo, asks the caller what she thinks, how about this price, do you think it will look nice in my home....  SHOP RAGE.  Get the hell out of my way!!!  I was a little disappointed with all the glitter this year, but they did have a few of my trees for sale.  They have many 3' and 4' that are not for sale and used for their wares every year and this is the first year in quite a while that I have seen an offer.  Here is their facebook page of photos, and if I remember correctly, they had a few 4' trees like this for $50, one that was lighted, and others that are frosted for a higher price.

 WeBeChristmas has these two and both are made with stiff branches for heavy ornaments.  They used to have the 7' also.
I believe this bottom one is the same as Meander has.
I had a few requests for the cake which is an old recipe from a beat up 1957 book that mom modified.  It's chiffon, not your usual moist and sweet cake, but we love it.  I leave out the lemon rind and I've added the chocolate chip instructions at the end.  Never tried the Maple Pecan version but may give it a try.  The Mahogany is my favorite.  Not overly chocolate, not too sweet.
Here's the pages with instructions if anyone wants to copy.
 Softasilk cake flour is still on the market along with another brand.  I purchase whipped cream icing from my grocery's bakery and one pound is plenty for this size.  This is the baking chocolate that I use.
The woodpeckers are having a party outside trying to get in, so my screaming jumping jacks are disturbing the neighbors.  Mark already put the water hoses away but with this wind, I would be spraying myself anyway.  They're so far up on the house that the water probably wouldn't reach them.
Haven't picked a paint color yet and I could probably open a little shop with all these color samples.  I just don't understand why I see PINK in everything!  Settle down Vickie!!
Enjoy your Sunday.
Thanks for visiting!


Oct 26, 2013

The thread race

The players are lined up, equipment checked, the race is on.  Stitch Hound is ready to start.  The goal is chosen, material in hand, supplies are ready.... AND THEY'RE OFF!  First phase of the race is completed and around we go.   But wait, #3045 and #738 are looking very pale and in need of reinforcements.  CLEAN UP ON TRACK #1!  Back into the stitch bay for a new lineup.  Stitch Hound is returning and entering the area with # 610 and #613, feeling confident.  AND THEY’RE OFF!  A few times around the track and something isn’t right, the Hound can feel it.  Oh no.  Disqualified!!  CLEAN UP ON TRACK #2!  Back to the stitch bay to regroup.  The coach doesn’t want to give up on #610 and #613 so calls in #3857 to replace #221, hoping this new # will finally satisfy the bitch owner.  AND THEY’RE OFF!  A few more times around the track, making progress, closing in .... and the Hound comes to a screeching halt.  CLEAN UP ON TRACK #3!!  All threads are disqualified and the race postponed. 
TIME-OUT for regroup.  The track is worn out from the changes so it's replaced with a new one of the same size and distance.  The old one will be brushed to remove the debris and given a rest.
Stitch Hound is now ready and anxious.  A new track.  New players.  In the lineup is #640 on the outside, #632 on the inside, and #644 is all over the place.  #844 is a no-show so #3021 is called in as a replacement.   AND THEY’RE OFF!   3021 completes in record time, 640 is on the outside of the group, 632 is coming up in the center and 644 is filling in nicely.   Here they come – no drop outs – no substitutions – Stitch Hound is holding on to those bags – SCORE!!!!!  We have a winner.

Give that Hound a big treat. 
It's been a tough race.
Enjoy your weekend!

Oct 22, 2013

Source for book 88

Hi. I've been asked through emails if I know of any places that have book 88. Here's a few.
Silver Needle -  Scroll down to the bottom and click the box with "92 welcome home" to see the drop down menu, and click on 88 to order, $7.00.

Down Sunshine Lane - Scroll down the page. $7.00

Stitching Bits and Bobs has book 88 on sale for $5.60

Wyndham Needleworks -  $7.00.

Don't know how many they have in inventory or how long they will last, but thought I would mention these sources.  Quite a few have sold on EBay since the beginning of August for under $10 (seen on the completed listing page) so there should be more coming up along with a few other older Santa leaflets.  Good luck!
I was looking through my other PS Santas and decided on a few from #62 Kris Kringle.  Look at the designs on his coat - several have him holding a bird.
And the big guy in this one, book #58 Old St. Nick, will be done on 28 count as a skinny sack to hold greens.
Thought I would tempt you - just in case you could find these while browsing for the Old World!   You may even have these and forgot about them, like I did. 
Gotta get moving to the torture chamber this morning.  And BTW - they were sold out of donuts.  BOOO!!
Thanks for visiting!

Oct 21, 2013

Bored yet?

Hiya.  I'm starting to rush through these just to finish because I'm tiring of them, but there are three more designs I like and want to complete.  All of them have Santa facing to the left which was also the case with this one, so I scanned and flipped him to face right.  The symbols are then backwards but since I'm not following the colors it really didn't matter.
I need to go back and fix the wimpy tree and change his buttons to black.    His coat is 3051 and the greenery 469.  The next ones will be different reds.
I had a few requests for instructions on making the little brooms from corn husks.  Since I didn't have any more I checked at the craft store and the closest to husks were palm leaves.  This swag was less than two bucks and I just cut the ties off.  Soaking them for a while may help if yours are too brittle, the same goes for husks. 
Whatever you're using, lay it a few inches up on a straight branch facing the wrong way as shown above.  Use a strong wire to attach them tightly to the branch.  If the material is really thick, attach one layer and then wire another layer over it.  The trick to getting it tight is using pliers, pull and twist, pull and twist, until it is so tight there is no slack left.  The wire will break is it's not sturdy enough.  A little at a time, fold the material down to make the sweep, wetting to soften if necessary. 
 Do the same method of wiring again,  and continue wrapping the wire over in opposite directions, and twist again, hide the ends.  Drill a hole in the top for a hanger.  This material doesn't accept dye and is almost waterproof, so I watered down some craft paint and brushed it on to make it look older and dirty.
I made this one for a friend and I may do another for myself to hang on my exterior door, maybe a little shorter.  This one is 32" total.  
I had to take my brother to the doc this morning and need to take my sister this afternoon.  Minor procedures but not allowed to drive.  We have to pass an apple orchard that has fresh cider and home made donuts so that takes care of dinner.
Enjoy your day.
Thanks for visiting!  

Oct 20, 2013

The countdown continues

Hope your days are warm, safe, bitchy, stitchy, and fun.
 From book 80, changed red to 632, 422 for trim, 3820 for moon, no cheek color (that wasn't planned but this one will stay anemic).  Left off one star, the bottom border, and changed the moon face to a simple crescent.
I added a few more stitches to his beard  right under his nose.  This was on the unbleached linen that became bleached.  I'm very pleased with the result, and it goes well with the lighter pieces from book 88 which are the same size.  Really?  Are you sure?
  Both are marked as 32 count, but did it shrink a little after bleaching?  I'm going to continue stitching these series as quickly as time allows, because I will be getting bored real soon.
Enjoy your day..
thanks for visiting!!

Oct 19, 2013

Strike a pose and pick a handful

Hello people.
Three down - ???? to go.
  Changed the green pants to gray, blue cape to gray, face and beard colors, and didn't follow the handheld items.  The same pose is used several times in books 80 and 88, so I just choose the items I like best for that particular pose.  This lantern is a smaller version of one that is hanging in book 80 and I just put it on top of a staff that is used several times.   I don't like to stitch small cute things, so I'm leaving the dolls and toys out of this series.  In the last one, I added some twigs instead of stitching the toys in the back pack.   There's not a thing wrong with these designs as they are charted, but I prefer a simpler look.  This week.  Maybe before I finish them into ornaments, I'll add a few toys!  I also don't know if I want to add the backstitched border.  I'll wait until they are all completed to decide, and hopefully not want them changed after they're hanging on a tree.
I think the furnace starting up again has triggered a competition with my hormones for the heat index.  It seems whenever there is a season change, my flashes feel the need to adjust, just to make sure I'm not comfortable.
Lots of stuff to do today, have a great weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Oct 18, 2013

New colors on an old favorite

Greetings.  Having a good day?  If you're reading this, you're still with us = a good day.  I finally gave up on summer and changed the closet from lightweights to heavyweights, and while sorting through sandals, came across a very old fashioned looking comfortable pair that I never wear.  I said to myself that I should hold on to them because I'll soon be the old lady with the sensible shoes in the nursing home.  Don't know where that came from but it really threw me off balance for the rest of the day.
My attempt at the more subdued Santa is a toss up.  This is the photo from the leaflet and my finish.

I used a design from #88 which is on the lighter linen since I will be changing many of those too.   I like the softer look and think it will be even better on the darker linen.  But to tell the truth, I like them both.  I lightened the face from 407/356 to 3773/3772 and changed the beard from white to 3866.  His coat is 3860/3023, gown 3045, boots 3787, and greenery 3011.  I'll probably continue changing some of the colors in the others, but maybe not the entire piece.  Or maybe the entire piece.  Or not at all.  Depends on the mood I guess.
Went to the chiropractor this morning and my left side trapezius and upper back is nothing but knots and much higher than the right side.  He never felt such tightness and I have to submit to the torture of a myofascial release on Tuesday.  She tried a few weeks ago and I couldn't take the pain so she stopped.   The procedure is done by a therapist and they go deep into the muscle to separate the layers, releasing the trapped chemicals and knots.  Yoi.  Just press lightly and I see stars!  Digging fingers deep into it ..... may not be able to handle it again.  There isn't anything you can take beforehand topical or otherwise since it is so deep into the muscle and trigger points.
My sister's birthday was this week, she turned 75.  This was a few years ago - I'm the one with the dyed hair and the empty plate that contained four different desserts.  She's not worried about comfortable shoes.  She thinks she's moving in here for me to take care of her. 
Think again sista!!
That's all I got today.  I had a few emails that are no-reply and I wanted to respond here, but can't find them now.   I did have a few questions about the book I showed, and if you would like more information you can find it on Scarlet Letter's website here.
 There are two dozen sweet potatoes in the oven.  I buy them on sale, bake, peel, wrap individually with Saran, and freeze in a large freezer bag.  I hope to have some time left to paint a few boxes.  Really want to get them posted for sale soon.
Enjoy your weekend and stay safe.
Thanks for visiting!


Oct 16, 2013

Why did she ask that?

Hey.  What's up with your bad self?  That's what husband always asks Bud, our warrior cat.  He comes in every night for a good back scratching.   My morning is dark and rainy which makes the newly painted room look even darker and although the wall color is very light, I think it's too dark.  Does that make sense?  I picked up more samples and may have it redone lighter.  If I won't be happy, now is the time to change it before the trim goes on.
Jeanne asked me if I used the recommended colors on the PS Santa, which I did, surprisingly.  Well that jolted my brain into its revision mode.  Right after I replied that I didn't change any colors, I did. This guy's pants are now gray instead of green.  So I'm glad she asked because I think it will lead to some Santas that are more my style.
 I pulled another piece of 14" x 18" 32 count which was unbleached, and bleached it.  I cut a small section to test because sometimes the warp (weft?) lightens and the weft (warp?) doesn't, leaving striations that I don't like.  This piece did just fine, better than fine in fact. Just a little lighter but enough.  Didn't want to push my luck.  This is it compared to the current linen for #88.  I wanted eight more pieces for the next series and am anxious to start. 
The plan is to do book #80 with completely different colors than I've ever used for Santa, and the darker linen would contribute to the look I'm going for.  So here's the choices so far. 

 All of the pieces in book #80 are red which I don't want, so I will try these colors instead, or maybe incorporate a few into the current work.  I'm anxious to see what they will look like subdued and dusty compared to the red and green I'm used to.  May not be nice at all!
In Scarlet Letter's October newsletter, she offered this book to the first person who could identify the flower in the photo. Me!! I won! What a lovely book it is.
 I also received my two SL samplers from Ebay and am thrilled with Mary Elliott.  She's a big girl! 
  I'll have to make some adjustments to Sally Hunt.  The body of the house and everything beneath it is over one.  The background around the bottom verse is filled with tent stitch.  I'm sure I can change the stitching for the house and grounds, but the verse will have to stay over one, and I will probably not fill around it.  I know this bothers those of you that take pride in reproductions, but it doesn't really matter to me if changes are made.
Thank you for the compliments on the header photo.  Two of the samplers are from many years ago, Scarlet Letter's Lydia Bond and Chloe Lincoln, with Mary Haslehurst in the center.
We'll be busy the next few days but I should have a few more ornaments done by the weekend.  I hope the new colors work out and I'm not wasting my time, but this will be interesting!
Hope your week finishes with good stitches and great pie.
Yep.  Making another today.
Thanks for visiting!

Oct 15, 2013

Just like a potato chip...

you can't stop at one.  Hiya!  Just finished this little guy and now have the Santa bug.   
This is from Old World Santas II,  Prairie Schooler book #88.
And here's stray #4 - Squeaky.  He doesn't meow, he squeaks. 
Another dirt roller.
I can't touch him but he rolls for me and cries.  Bud has really laid into him several times and I'm not sure if it will stop, but he seems to be tolerating him.  Sometimes.
Have a great week.  Thanks for visiting!

Oct 14, 2013

Good grief. Linen. Again.

Hello people.  I'm having a bit of a stash fit.  For a few days, I've been trying to organize the mess in the room where my charts and supplies are kept.  I've done this before.  And before that.  But nothing changes!  I keep sorting and folding and rolling and putting the material back in the drawers.  Half of if is mystery linen that I've bleached and dyed, much of it is soft and silky, and some are new pieces gifted to me or purchased that I love.  Is it a sin to burn linen?   I made a small pile of bad dye jobs, flimsy see through pieces, and small counts, and topped it off with my lighter.  The way I was told to check a piece of fabric to see if it is wool or a blend, was to take a match to a corner.  If it curls up and melts, it's not natural fabric/wool.  Then why did some of this linen melt? 
I have it narrowed down to several bags by counts, which on some is just a guess.  Is this the right way to find the count?  I go over and under every two threads and then measure.  What's the easiest way?
  Here's the results after the fire.  But I was missing my yardage from Scarlet Letter.  Unbleached and Golden Streak.  And where were all the larger pieces?  I forgot that I have two boxes, one holding larger charts and one for smalls, many with the linen.
I think my option right now is to box the pieces I don't plan on using and store them in a place I will never remember.  Can't put it behind the TV.  But at least I won't be sorry that I pitched it all.  There isn't much difference between 28 and 30, but I still prefer 30 or 32 and 3/4 of the pieces are 28.  I'm hoarding some smaller pieces of fabulous colors in 35/36, and look forward to using them.  So not only do I have a problem cutting into a yard or large piece of linen, I can't let go of the outcasts. 
 I started on book 88 and cut eight pieces from a 14 x 18 piece of 32 count and I love it.  Great texture and heft.  I will finish the first one this evening.   
Not many were interested in the santa charts so I just chose a name and will send those off tomorrow.
As I'm typing this, a headline is glaring from the nearby newspaper.  I don't bring up things like this, but I'm getting sick of these types of findings, and this disgrace was committed to VETERANS.  I am livid.
"A two month Pittsburgh Tribune-Review investigation found Veterans Administration workers or contractors committed 14,215 privacy violations at 167 facilities from 2010 through May 31, victimizing at least 101,018 veterans and 551 agency employees.  Some had photos of their anatomy posted on social media; others had their stolen IDs used to make fraudulent credit cards." 
How many do you think will lose their jobs?  None.  Never do.  You won't even hear about it on the network news.  Just move them somewhere else.  I think the government should stay shut down and start paying firms where employees are supervised, have consequences to actions, enough work to keep them busy so they don't have time for this garbage, and the managers in charge of them can also be fired.
I was going to leave you with a photo of cat #4 but I'm too angry now.  I think I'll grab some linen and a lighter.
Thanks for visiting. 
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