Jun 30, 2014

Magma review

Hiya.  Just got my Magma today. 
Large enough for the entire chart with very small but powerful magnets, and one full width for keeping your place.  Pocket with velcro for fabric and supplies.
With everything in, it can still close but if you had a lot of floss bags, maybe not.
It took me a while but I finally realized the additional snap is for securing in an open position for standing.  It can be upright or angled on its side. 
I think it's a great piece for take a longs, and even the smaller version would be nice to have.  I like it!! 
Squeak seems to continue improving slowly.  Keeping my fingers crossed. 
My girlfriend in NJ just called and is so excited to early retire.  She found that she could get healthcare for $120 a month, $0 deductible, and max $500 OOP, considered low income.  Even though she has over a million dollars in IRAs and annuities.  I guess you only have to claim the interest or gains, most of which stay in the fund so her "income" is low. I thought open enrollment was closed but she said since there is a large discrepancy in taxable income (since she retired) she can sign up.  Lots of things I didn't know.  Our far from wealthy friends have high monthly rates and very high deductibles, so I was surprised.
It's hot here. Chance for storms off and on with high humidity.  I have gained a few more pounds but it could be my hair expanding.  Well, truth be told, that's not the only thing expanding.  I had to give in, again, and get my new big girl panties.  I tried the slimming stretchy jeans and they only move it all up to the diaphragm area and then I can't bend over.  I dropped my keys this morning and had to tilt sideways to pick them up.  Couldn't breathe.
Enjoy your week.
Thanks for visiting!

Jun 29, 2014

Wee Santa 2005

Good day all.  Just finished the Wee Santa and it was a really fun stitch. 
I changed his belt and hat, left off the border.  I usually don't stitch outlines on ornaments and don't know if it's laziness or aesthetics.  Here's lazy for you - I decided the belt needed holes and I had already stitched it solid.  I just went over the existing green stitch with brown thread.  It's fine.  Can't tell at all.  Well..... I just did.
Not sure of his finish - kind of liking the idea of fringed edges on the wool bag to fill with greens.  Or just backed with fabric.
When I lost my computer, I also lost the link to these knobs.  I found the source in only one place and new searches have failed.  Anyone know where to purchase? 
I tried the suggestion of turkey or chicken baby food for Squeak and he is eating it.  Still can only eat so much and then stops.  The other three were sleeping and as soon as I put the dish down, the aroma made them all converge on Squeak's dish.  Didn't expect that!  I picked up Bud to put him in the house and he tore up my right hand, one is between the fingers.  Still haven't patched the hole Missy put in my other shirt, and now I have one more to do.
Have a wonderful week that is ending a summer month.  If only winter went as fast.
Thanks for visiting!

Jun 27, 2014


Hiya.  Here's how I finished Fancy.
Press the piece including the bottom hem to be turned in.  Cut Mylar to the shape 1/2" smaller.

Insert Mylar and add quilt batting on each side.
Fold the pressed hem over the filling.

Glue shut.
Done - and ready to be packed for shipping to Anonymous Darlene.  Please email me with your address Darlene.  Thanks to all that participated and to everyone that opened heart and home to rescues.  For those of you that donate and volunteer, may your generosity come back to you. 
Squeak will not eat again tonight but wants to.  I actually scratched his head before he bolted.  I was told to try pure pumpkin as a food and unfortunately he turned away. But I'll be eating pumpkin pie for a while!
Have a great weekend!
Thanks for visiting.

Summer Santa

Greetings!  A beautiful day here.  Lots of outside work to catch up on after days of rain, but I received more sclerotherapy and have the 40 compression stocking from toe to my hip.  Hard to crouch for weeds and keep it clean in this mud.  This is the first time ever that my leg is burning at every one of the twenty injections.  It will come off Tuesday. 
 Squeak news - he seems to be better.  Still not eating as much as before, but more than the last few days, and he's back to roaming.  There is improvement!
I purchased the large size Magma chart holder last night from EBay.  I was debating and then it hit me.  The fabric and thread go into the pocket, the chart is held securely, just open and stitch, fold when I'm done and snap shut!  I'll be spending another day at the hospital for the second cardioversion and this is perfect for take along projects.  Usually I carry a bag and it's hard to have the chart handy, all else in my lap, and the bag in the way.  So glad I saw this and still don't know why cross stitch shops (online) don't have it.
I got an email from a new follower mentioning her love of Santas.  Got me thinking about the fellow.  I happened to find this chart last week and decided he would make a quick project while deciding on another sampler.  Thanks Jackie!  The 937 green is much darker than the photo so I changed it to 3052 and the 520 to 3051.  I doubt if I will stitch the border. 
And I have to show this kitchen from Pinterest. I am so glad I chose the lighter color for the cabinets after seeing this. I wish there were more photos to show the entire room. And yes I want to know this paint color!  Just for future reference of course.
I'll be back tonight with Fancy's new owner.
Have a great day!
Thanks for visiting.

Jun 26, 2014

Getting a new board

Hi everyone.  Squeak update - no change.  He came to us very thin and never really gained, even after worm pills.  Over these last two years, we have tried the very large dog cage, carriers, and a few homemade traps, but he has never ventured into one, even for the 3 cans a day plus dry food he used to eat.
 We would have to literally grab him and try to get him into a carrier.  The only vet willing to take an unhandled feral is the 88 year old that saw Bud.  We waited an hour in the waiting room with Bud crying, and that is typical for his practice.  For the very first time in two years, he stayed all day.  Budman kept him company.  I got within 5 feet and he would try to get up so I left him alone and just offered food and drink, which was not taken.  Today, he ate a few mouthfuls and left, hasn't returned yet.
I would like your suggestions for a magnetic board to hold charts.  I use LoRan but it's not large enough at 8 x10 to hold the complete page.  I have to readjust if I need to make a note in the margin which I do often.  I have the LoRan stand and like it, but before I order the 12x18 size, I checked online for options.  I'm fairly sure Mark can cut the board in half and sand the edge which would give me two 9 x 12.  Perfect.  Is there a product you like better?  I found several nice options but all were on international Ebay.  I wonder why DMC's magnet board is only sold overseas? 
Anyway, I really like the Magma from Knitter's Pride (comes in two sizes). It folds and snaps shut and there is a pocket and pen loop on the backside. Very nice looking. The only places that featured it were yarn shops and I don't know why.

 They have two models, the Simplex doesn't fold and has an easel back.
This other (Prop-it) looks nice too but I don't think you can adjust the angle for viewing.  I'll probably get the LoRan large size and the large folding Magma.  Haven't found much else but I remember seeing other options on your blogs.  Of course I made note of the product, but notes vanish.  Always.
Please let me know of anything else you feel is a handy dandy upright chart holder, large enough for a full page.  Remember when charts used to be on heavy stock full size leaflets instead of regular paper?  Ah.  Days of old. 
Have a great day!!


Jun 25, 2014

Squeak update

Hello people.  I got quite a few emails regarding Squeak so I thought I would post.  He's no better.  A few mouthfuls of food and that's it.  I've tried tuna and several varieties of soft food, nothing.  He shakes his head and I'm wondering if there is a mouth problem.  I can barely touch him let alone open his mouth. Mark thinks they poisoned him but I don't.  I just followed him around the house with bowls of vitamin spiked cream, tuna, and catnip treats, but he is not interested.  Our mobile vet may work with a feral, but how can I have him here on a certain day at a certain time?
Nothing else I can do.  My brother has trapped and taken ferals to the vet when they are very sick and their anxiety and fear makes it cruel.  The vets need bloodwork, xrays, and such which is impossible, unless they are so lethargic they don't care.  I'm not putting him through that.  He is skeletal and weak, obviously something more than worms and very serious.  I don't know what he would do trapped in a carrier.  Maybe it's something that will resolve on its own, and I can only wait and keep trying to provide some nourishment.
You guys surprised me.  I love that stitched cat, even though samplers and santas are all I really care to stitch, yet entries are not what I expected.  To answer a few other inquiries, the chart is 30 years old from Stitches from the Heartland called C is for Cat.  Should be 18 count over 2 as is my original, but I do them on 26 to 30 count now.
Thanks for your concern.  I'll keep you posted, and hopefully there will be better news in a few days.


Jun 24, 2014

The final June giveaway

  In honor of Squeak, Budman, Nitzy, Missy, the scores my brother has rescued, and all of the homeless abandoned cats that you have helped, may I present Miss Fancy Feral.

Fancy is hoping that everyone will give a donation to their local rescue groups, and is looking for a new home.  One of the prisoners at the vets with Bud was found in a tied plastic grocery bag along the road, and missing one eye.  Just one of many horror stories, most even worse, and these devoted organizations are always in need.

She's also my birthday (which is over) giveaway.  Stitched on linen with cotton backing, she will have a Mylar insert and thin batting.  Or not.  Haven't decided yet, but I've stitched many of these and too much filling doesn't look as good.
I hope Blogger gets fixed soon because I have only one blog in my reading list and it will not show any more.  I've checked their forums and it seems many are having the same issue and Blogger has not been able to correct the glitch. I've been munching on these while waiting and I can't stop!! OMG good.
So if you would like to give Fancy Feral a home, leave your comment (or email me) with your initials and I will have Random make the decision this Friday 6/27) at 8pm EST.  Don't forget to donate!! 

Jun 23, 2014

Distressed aging

Yes that applies to me.  But I'm referring to the cabinet doors that I finished.  How do you age them without using sandpaper?  If I want only the edges worn, what's the trick so the surrounding paint finish isn't damaged by the paper?  I tried folding it and using the block but it was still too tricky with a satin finish paint.  So I tried a knife. 
So far, so good.  I want more of a chipped look rather than the smooth and obvious even sanding.  I decided not to age as much as I originally planned but that may change.  To wear edges only, I held the blade at a steep angle so it only touches the edge, and used the blade tip to scrape more on corners. It's worked very well on this hard wood (oak) but on a softer wood it may gouge if done with too much pressure.  But at least I know I can add more aging later without worrying about ruining the finish.  I think I may coat them all with clear water based polyurethane for added protection.

My ingenious method of painting mitered corners.  I didn't know how to do the corner without having a crosshatch pattern of brush strokes.  Perfect!  I waited 6 hours for the paint to dry before taping the other edge to complete all 4 sides.
Many of you asked about sawdust.  I get it at my local lumber store (not the big box stores) or out of the bottom of our table saw.  Check with custom woodworking or cabinet shops.  Dominic said I could have his, but he uses a lot of plywood which is laminated with glue.  Truus said that she sometimes uses sharp sand or one that is used for bird cages.  I saw sand at the pet store for reptiles and may give it a try.
And Squeak got his pill today.  He only eats a little and then stops, his stomach must hurt, but I used Melinda's suggestion for tuna, only a little with the pill, and down it went.  I hope he kept it all down and it helps him.  And speaking of cats, that's what I'm stitching. 
Have a great day!
Thanks for visiting.

Jun 22, 2014

Packing dust

Good day everyone.  I have a lot of household chores to do today, but I finished the heart and wanted to show you.  I put it on a sampler to give you an idea of its size.  Sawdust was my filling choice and I just love it.  The quilt batting is great for some items like ornaments (and pears), but the crushed walnut shells and sawdust have such a great heft and feel for pincushions.  I know that many are appalled by its use because wood fibers are acidic but I'll be long gone and this will be dumped in a box for an estate sale when I'm gone.  Let them worry about it.  I always use a very lightweight fusible so the fine dust doesn't release, and I have no idea if that protects the fabric from the sawdust.  It wasn't until I purchased a pincushion from Susan Hoover of Olde Threads that I fell in love with dust.  And osnaburg for stitching.  The feel of her work was unlike anything I had done and I just kept playing with my new piece, kneading and patting it like a monkey with a doll.  So I tried it.  Na-uh.  So I tried again.  Much better!  Now I use it more often.
 I packed and packed and smacked and pressed until it was nice and dense.  To give you an idea, this tall container was filled with dust, and all of it is in the top curves of the heart.  I use the bottom of my tack hammer, a large dowel, paint brush handles, paint can openers as a rake, fingers, anything without sharp points to pack it in. 
As I reach the opening, I keep a threaded needle going, and add a line of glue to close as I go.  I'm not a  neat stitcher when closing and the glue just assures that the dust will stay put.  But I have to work fast because once the glue starts drying the needle is difficult to pull through.  When completed, you can squeeze to shape, smack to flatten, or pinch to fill a wrinkle.  It's like silly putty in dust form.
Squeak was here this morning, tried to eat, stayed most of the morning, and wouldn't let me close enough.  I can't waste the pill in his food if he's not eating.   He stares at the house, wanting me to help and it's killing me.  I tried 5 flavors of food, put his vitamins in cream, but he only consumes a little.   On the other hand, this fat cat is doing just fine.
And Momma is bringing the babes for breakfast and twice in the afternoon.
I need to get my year older butt in gear and clean this house.  I was so glad to see Kathy Barrick's post on her studio mess.  I think we all need to share photos like that so we know we aren't alone.  You go first.
Have a wonderful day as the month of June slips by.  Damn.
Thanks for visiting.

Jun 21, 2014

Look who's here

The babes are out!

 Momma has been very friendly and I can get within ten feet of her and throw out her bread.  Skinny Limper was just as trusting last year.  I showed her fawns in mid July which was late, this year the babes are right on schedule.  I haven't seen her, Big Daddy, Young Buck, or others since fall, just this one doe that I named Millie.
Our other wild cat, Squeak, is still coming around.  I touched him gently and felt nothing but coarse hair and bones. He used to woof down food so I added a Drontal tablet in a tablespoon of canned a few months back and it disappeared.  Didn't help.  He wants to eat and never left a speck of food before (unless he smelled the liquid vitamins), but now his is.  He moves over to the dried food so I think he's just getting finicky.  I will withhold the canned for two days and then stick another pill in a small amount.  I hope it does the trick.  He seems healthy otherwise and this pill is for all types of worms including hook. 
My car got new shoes (tires), my husband's had almost a thousand in repairs, and my sister's paint job and replacement door will be ready Monday.  All at one time!  But they are all safe to drive now and that's more important. 
Hope your weekend is going well.

Jun 20, 2014

The next small

Greetings.  Another weekend, going into the end of June.  WAIT!  Where is summer going?  Why do cold months drag on and warm speed by? 
I'm taking a break from painting cabinets and thought I would show my latest quick project.  Country Sampler's club project, Heart Pinkeep and Strawberry Emery by Stacy Nash from years ago.   The photo is from Stacy's blog.
The vine shouldn't take too long and I have a fabric picked for the backing.  I followed the count (32) and the thread colors once again.  I was surprised at the size of this and once stuffed and sewn, it will be one of my favorite hearts.
That's all I have today!  Budman was in here keeping me company for a while until he got antsy and wanted to be out in the sun.  He allowed me to pick him up and hold him for a brief moment, which allowed his hair to be in the paint on the cabinets.  I never thought about it sticking to my shirt until I saw the outlines in the drying paint.  I'm used to thick coarse Labrador hair which is easily spotted, not this fine wispy stuff.  Too late.  He'll always be a part of the kitchen, just as our Labs will always be a part of our hardwood floors, trim, fireplace mantel, and base cabinets.
Have a great weekend!
Thanks for visiting.

Jun 19, 2014

The End

After realizing that I would have to wait a few days to allow time for entries if I started over, I decided to just use the same list for the final pear.  I had already closed Random's tab so I entered everyone again.   The last pear standing is the spring Rebirth, and the last number chosen belongs to Anonymous SAH.  Please email me with your address!
Again, thank you all for playing along and your sweet comments.  I hope everyone who receives a pear will be happy with my work.
One more time,
thank you.

Jun 18, 2014

The final two

Hello people.  Coming to the end here!  But I'm getting an urge to stitch those two charts I found and see what they look like.  Might be two more if they aren't too corny. 
This small center pear is not a puffy piece because it has the Mylar insert but I can insert a little more fill if you'd like.
Capecodgirl565 - I can't contact you -  please email me with your address and choose between these last two. 
I have decided to list the final pear as a separate giveaway.  Whichever is left standing, you may not be interested in.  So I will show the lone survivor, and ask you to enter on that post.  If you're as finicky as I am, you only want what you like!
I hope you all enjoyed playing along with my giveaway and I so appreciate the participation and interest.

I had a few emails asking about jean pockets. Leave extra fabric around the pocket when cutting off the pants. To sew on to an article, fold the top edge to the back and stitch, trim the back fabric right up to the outside stitching on the pocket's three sides, and machine sew following that stitching line. You can use a backing fabric with right sides together, sew leaving a margin of denim or right to the pocket edge, turn, finish off the top. Add a button, snap, trims, velcro, strap, and you have a cute gift bag, note pad holder, coin holder for tolls, hanging pocket for your car. Nail several to a board in your sewing room and each pocket can hold different aides.

Answering questions here that I cannot reply to because of no-reply status.
Martha - my yellow flowers close at night and are Evening Primrose.  Several buds on single stems and prolific spreading.
Frances N - yes that's the Budman that was so ill.  He's doing great now thank you!
Lynda Ruth - the Ajuga is very hardy and went through our horribly cold winter just fine.
Truus - I have a disgusting method of slug control.  Early morning (6:30 - 7:30) I would go outside and see them everywhere.  Garden, sidewalk, and especially in the grass, heading back to the shrubs.  I use the side of a hoe or an edger, and cut them in half.  Gross!!  But after many times and hundreds of slugs, I don't see any this year.
Mary - My local hardwares never heard of Sum&Substance or Empress but I'm checking with a shop owner that has a huge variety of hostas.  Thanks!
Anonymous - I know that all written word should be credited to the author.  I didn't do that because I am the author of the Father poem and didn't think it necessary to credit myself.

The End.


Jun 17, 2014

The Next Step Sampler

Hi ho people! While you're picking pears, I'm stitching a little. And I mean little! I want to stitch a few of these for gifts and the chart is an oldie from The Needle's Prayse called The Next Step Sampler. It uses a variety of stitches (instructions included) without getting involved in a large piece. The outside border is rice, first band is 4-sided, another is herringbone, then there's reversible, the dreaded Queen, a few eyelets and Smyrna cross.  A nice project for trying new stitches in very small sections.

Or substitute regular cross for most as I did.   I'm a lazy stitch wimp as we already know.  All I want to do is make little crosses on a simple marking sampler without fancy stuff and constant thread changes, so I stitched what I wanted and even left off the Queen band completely.
I think this one will stay with me.  I plan on using it as a pocket on the outside of my old jeans pocket and adding leather lacing for a hanging strap.  I always cut off my pockets as a memorial to a once smaller behind.  I use them for a variety of projects and even sew them to sweatshirts.  This one is larger than the standard jean pocket.
The finished size of this design on 30 count with my changes is 3 ¼" x 4" -  a perfect size to hang from a cupboard knob.  Hmm.  Maybe I'll ditch the denim.
I didn't get a reply from CalamityJr about her choice so I can't draw another name yet.  While looking for the next project, I found two other pears that I charted but never stitched.  Maybe I'll stitch them and offer the charts. 
Enjoy your hump day!

Three left!

Tired of this yet?
   CalamityJr will be choosing one of these three.
Another favorite plant, the Black Scallop Ajuga.  This fast growing ground cover has beautiful blue flowers in spring, and one little plant can fill in like this in one year. 
It forms a really dense mat, so thick and low that a chipmunk can't get in to hide.  I had to rescue three babies from the brats.  Nitzy is the worst and most wild of the three.

Speaking of them...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...