Dec 31, 2013

2013 in stitches

This may be all of them, it may not be all of them!  And of course, they are not in order as to finish dates. As I looked back to find the year's projects, I saw my Interview with a Stitcher and don't even remember doing that!  Now that's scary.  The funeral procession photos of the firefighters lost in that horrific incident made me stop and remember them.  I also looked at my Pinterest album of needlework and found samplers I would like to stitch or an antique I would love to re-create in my own way, and once again, forgot about.   How much I would be missing if not for technology!  But I would give it all up in exchange for a sharp mind and good memory. 
Best wishes to all of you for a very good 2014.
Thank you so much for taking time to visit with me.
Whether you have a blog or just read them, we all participate in some way and bring knowledge, experience, inspiration, encouragement, and support.
Thank you.


Dec 30, 2013


Having no specific pattern, purpose, or objective, lacking any definite plan or prearranged order; haphazard.  This definition of random pertains to much of my days.  How's yours?  Ending the year with relief that it's over or sorry to see a good year pass? 
Here's the completed sampler with subtle ink aging.  I'm still not crazy about it but once I folded it back to framing size, I think it's more appealing.  I may look for a basket or box to use for display but if not, will frame the piece.  The initials and date areas were filled in with motifs and there are quite a few color changes.  I like the way the upright cross (a.k.a. my lazy queen) looks! Certainly different than my usual sampler project, and I would prefer motifs in a larger piece mixed with more verse or letters. 
Haven't chosen a new project yet. So many samplers I'd like to stitch and so difficult to decide on one.  Right now, these two smalls are in the running.  Always wanted to do Two Horses and the SL Miniature is so different.  It is to be stitched over one which finishes at 2 1/2" x 3 1/4".  Can I do that?  Probably not.  Over two threads would be double in size, still small. I think it will be the horses.
 Lots of returns and bill paying today, doc visits, and such.  Tomorrow will be a little shopping and apple pie making for a visit with my aunt.  My sister will have my car again but Mark is off this week so I still have wheels.  It's time for me to start working on the kitchen and order my sink, faucets, stove, and counter top.  I sure hope Ed will be around for the finish carpentry skills needed but I'm not counting on that.  The cabinets will be made in the next few weeks and that damn Pinterest has me thinking about more changes.
Enjoy the last day of 2013.
Thanks for visiting!
Note to Paula - I can't reply to your request - you are no-reply.  To answer - yes I will be doing more boxes and if you would prefer to place a small order, please email.


Dec 29, 2013

The Queen and I

Greetings!  Thank you once again for your concern about sis.  Her fib left, came back briefly, then left.  My mom had her dual chamber pacemaker "installed" during her fib which never stopped.  That chamber's lead wire never did get a chance to work!  My brother is plagued with this and has meds to control the episodes which usually work.  I have brief episodes and my sister's are lasting longer.  We're a fib family.  Fluid in the lungs and the inability to get enough air is terrifying, especially to a claustrophobic patient.  But it also brings back dad's panic and terror in the horrible two weeks he slowly suffocated because a pulmonary specialist didn't recognize a pulmonary embolism.  Enough. 
As you know, the Queen and I do not get along.  I've tried, believe me.  But she is stubborn and demanding and the two of us just can't make it work since I'm the exact opposite, regardless of what others say.  In this sampler, there are only a few queen stitches but I chose to make up my own. 

The square cross can't be substituted for the distinctive diamond shape so I just made an upright cross over two.  I tried that shape by overlapping threads but it was too thick and I kind of like the way this looks.  I've never come across a design that utilizes this stitch now that I'm thinking about it.   I have a Scarlet Letter project with a border completely done in queens I've been avoiding.  I guess this would work and go rather quickly.  Usually I try an eyelet stitch in a diamond but I didn't want to bother here.  Why?  Simple.  I don't like this sampler.  There.  I said it.  Be it the bird, the motifs with colors that didn't make sense (and I changed), or the entire piece.  I just don't like it.  It's finished and I will add some aging and ink for definition of the light threads, but I doubt if that will change my mind.

Mary Ann Hoover from Essamplaire was on Ebay tonight and with 30 seconds left it was $10.00.  YAY!!  I put my bid in and it wasn't even accepted because $45.55 was entered with a few seconds left.  Damn.  Isn't she a beauty?  Even though there are several areas of over one, I was smitten.  It's available as a kit with silk threads, but I never purchase kits.  Don't like working with silk and I prefer choosing my linen.  I will be browsing their site again after this.
Tonight I will think about the next project.  I decided to leave the other Santas for next year so I can have seasonal pieces to work on.  I could pretend I'm contemplating large sampler, small sampler, a small stuffed, but who would I be kidding?  It's usually what hits me in the final hour, or what I find on the floor under a piece of furniture.
I hope this final weekend of 2013 was enjoyable for you.  I'm not a big fan of New Year's Eve.  Never did party except for get togethers at a friend's house and don't do that anymore either.  It's just changing a number to remind us we are a year older.  Yes, I'm a stick in the mud, as they say.  My stick is heavy from Christmas cookies and the mud is getting deeper.
Stay safe - thanks for visiting!

Dec 28, 2013

Better late than never

Good day to you.  The sun is shining, it's not snowing, so my husband is golfing.  Yep.  He and six others are bundled up on the course.  I hope you enjoy this weekend doing something you love.
I finally found the little free design I stitched from Niky a few weeks ago.  The house is a mess from tearing it apart looking, but I found it.  When I visited my friend Patti yesterday, she gave me some ideas for a few very simple and primitive projects.  This is one of them.  This design is so small and I wasn't sure how to finish it.  Patti suggested a tiny bag or pocket, so I made a tiny bag with a little pocket!  Cinnamon sticks and a sprig of greenery and there 'ya go.  I used a green wool felt and rusty wire hanger.  I think I will have to make another one for her.

I want to give you a recipe for my favorite salad.  Spinach, sliced mushrooms, shredded cheddar, crumbled bacon, shredded hard boiled egg.  The dressing is very thick and rich so you don't need much.

Spinach Salad Dressing

1 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar (could use less to taste)
1 Tbsp grated onion
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp Colman's dry mustard

Whip together and enjoy!

My sister just called to tell me she is in A-fib again (which can cause fluid in the lungs) and has had it since 6 am.  She was told months ago to go to the ER if it continues for longer than a few hours yet she is stalling.  I could smack her.  Her grandson and his baby are to visit today since she wasn't home for Christmas but if she is still in it by 2 o'clock, she's going in the bright yellow car if I have to drag her.
I better get ready.
Thanks for visiting!

Dec 27, 2013

Love gourds!

Hiya!  Thanks again for your kindness regarding my sister.  She got a call today to set up home health checks, because they feel she will have another episode within 30 days.  Now we are more concerned than before.
I wanted to show you what I found online at Fanatic's Country Attic.   Primitive gourd spoons and bowls.  Love them. Be sure to click on My Spirit of Seven in her sidebar to see her rescued pets.
With or without dried beans.  Those are dried turnips that come with the spoons.  I restrung the gourds to hang lower.
As for stitching, this damn bird has been a real chameleon.  He's been rust and gold and beige and pink and I haven't been pleased with any.

  It's a small sampler and this guy seems to be where the eye focuses.  I don't want it to be gaudy, yet that's what I see. 
There are no other colors that appeal to me with the blue, so 928 was substituted for 407 and I am using the 950 as charted.  Instead of 2 shades of blue and 2 shades of pink, he will be 3 blues and 1 pink.  I think I can live with this. 
I'll be really ticked and embarrassed if I remove that third blue and put the charted pink back.  Any bets?  As I look at the photos here....hmmm. The other motifs are bright but small and I like them.  Maybe it's the bird's pose that's bugging me but something is.  He's not the only thing.  One more intense flash at the wrong time and there will be a wicked rant post of all the minor yet annoying nuisances that have really chapped my hide in this last week of 2013. 
Which means it's the last weekend of 2013 already.  Enjoy it ~ stay safe.
Thanks for visiting.

Dec 26, 2013

Thank you!

Greetings to all.  Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and prayers.  I just got a call that she will be released today.  Tests showed no change in her heart and all other results were good.  She put out over 3 liters of fluid in 24 hours!   They feel that danger is over and will check into her aortic valve problems with follow ups.  Whew.  Thank you all again so much.  She's 75 and every scare adds another gray hair which will be quickly covered with dark brown #28.
She was fine at dinner here on Christmas Eve.  We had our traditional meal of smelts, pierogis, nalesniki filled with cottage cheese, cole slaw, spinach salad.  Christmas day was the turkey breast that was frozen twice and transferred from Thanksgiving.  We hadn't planned on hosting another dinner but the breast was thawed (second time) and a real monster so we ran over to Carole's house and picked it up along with the preparations, cooked all afternoon and had a traditional Thanksgiving meal. 
 I made an extra recipe of the nalesniki (crepes) for Mark's friend and they filled some with the cheese filling and the rest with jam.  The right temperature and pan and you can crank these beauties out in no time.  They freeze very well and can be filled and rolled with a variety of goodies.  So thin you can see through them.
I only made three cookies and this one used to take hours.  Now, I use Pepperidge Farms frozen puff pastry.  Slice into strips, roll to twice its length, wrap around the form, bake.  Easy!  The filling is only three ingredients, piped from a plastic bag with a tiny corner cut.  Did you ever have Barry's Bakery's French twists?  Frozen puff pastry, egg white wash, load with cinnamon sugar, cut, twist, bake, eat. 
This is the wrap I prefer, found at Walmart, because it stretches and clings great.  Their regular stuff doesn't but this "professional strength" works well.  And there's an added bonus.  I save the empty roll for wrapping linen pieces.  No folds.  These tubes are so sturdy and strong - no bending or caving ever.  I've never come across a tube this sturdy from other products.
So there you have it.  Waiting for the call that she is discharged and ready for pick up, relaxing the rest of the day.  That includes some stitching on Random Thoughts. 
Squeaky hasn't been here in a few days, and the others were afraid to come in for their evening snooze with company here.  Last night they did after everyone left, and as I picked up Missy at midnight to put her out, she drew blood again.  This time from my chin but it's minor and not noticeable.  It was not intentional, her legs were flailing trying to get away from me.  None of them have ever hissed at me to stay away, or deliberately grabbed me.   It's always been from an attempt to tame their wild little ways.  Except for Bud, not sure that will ever happen.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  For those suffering through a loss and experiencing great sadness, I hope there was a little glimmer of joy in memories.
Thank you again so so much for your prayers.  They were appreciated and answered.
Thank you for visiting!

Dec 25, 2013

Prayers for Christmas

Wishing you joy, peace, and love this Christmas Day.
Asking for your prayers please. 
 Early this morning we rushed to the hospital. 
 My sister is again in congestive heart failure.
She is able to breathe now but this is her second episode and it came quickly.
She is responding to treatment but they don't know how long that will last.
Hopefully she will be home in a few days and the next time will be many years from now, but we've been there before and know better.
Count your blessings not only this day, but every single one.
Merry Christmas

Dec 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

A little sampler as my gift.   I truly appreciate each and every one of you.
Wishing you a joyous Christmas.
I hope you like it!

Stitched on 30 count linen over two threads, aged and stained.


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