Nov 30, 2014

Snowless Sunday -

YAY!!  Hope your day went well.  I got some outside decorating done, which consists of throwing bundles of fresh greens in buckets and slapping a branch on the door.  Houses look handsome with their holiday finery and glittering lights.  But my beat up siding and sparse style does not.  I added a long neck gourd to the door greens one year and my neighbors had no idea what it was and thought it very odd.  When the garage door guy (yes he was cute and very nice) came inside and saw those grungy gourds hanging on my ladder, he did a double take...twice.  Finally I told him that they are dried gourds.  Oh......why?..he asked.  I don't know Buddy.  Please don't expect an answer as to why I have dirty looking gourds that serve no purpose.  I'm still trying to answer why I got lost on the main road in town.  That is still the running joke among husband's friends.  When he told them I lost my voice they said "how will she ask for directions?".  Men.  But he did tell me about two contractors that he has done work for and although there is no way they could squeeze us in right now, I am contacting them both tomorrow.
When shopping over the weekend we encountered an elderly gentlemen with his sons buying memory foam pillows, mattress topper, fancy pillowcases, and other comfort items.  He was getting choked up and then we overheard that they were Christmas gifts for his ailing wife in a nursing home.  To see his sons helping to shop and carry those large bags for him, thinking how upset and lonely he must be, brought a tear to the eye.  Just like in the hospital when I saw an elderly man sobbing in the arms of a priest.  I quietly watched him while feeling his sadness and shed a tear with him.  These touching moments were missed by everyone else around as they stared at the small screen in their hand.
I was blessed with a surprise package! And perfect timing.  For the first time in YEARS I was without Dove because my illness kept me inside for a few weeks and my supply dwindled.  My sister asked me (as every year) to get the gifts she needs for others.  I did, and forgot to stop for Dove.  When I got home, the package had two bags of dark Dove inside, another box of glorious candy that is already gone, and a pouch with her stitching and Faye's finishing.  Great fabrics inside and out.  I am one lucky gal. 
Mary Lamin hasn't been stitched much lately and I really need to get back to her.  When I break from a project, I lose the desire and that's what has happened.  I ordered two small Christmas designs and would love to get them stitched but am afraid to put the sampler aside fearing I will never return for completion.
More shopping for Carole tomorrow and I'll finish the outside decorating.  December 1 is the day mom passed away seven years ago.  So hard to accept how quickly time is passing.  Sometimes it feels like yesterday and other times, like it was so long ago.  December is already here with Christmas in a few weeks.  Summer is getting closer.
Have a good week ~ thanks for visiting.

Nov 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!  Mark is working, my sister is enjoying the day with her son and grandson's family, and I'll be dusting, sweeping, and drinking cough medicine.  Is this the correct spelling of relapse?  I put the rest of the paper mache away for another time, and decided to donate several dozen of the last shipment to the nursing home.  They are ivory inside and out and I think they would be perfect for craft activity, either applying stickers or coloring with highlighters, and residents could make a pretty little box to keep or give as a gift.  Maybe I'll get a few books of stickers for them too.
A few boxes are listed on the Sampler Box page if you are interested. 
When reading Ellen's blog With my Needle, I saw that she purchased sampler note cards.  Without local shops, I don't know if they are something commonly found but they sure aren't easy to find online.  Great gift for stitching buds and to have for personal handwritten notes which are always appreciated.  If you want to check them out you can find ordering information here.  The photo and offer is from Morven Museum in New Jersey.  Now I'm seriously considering using my sampler photos to make note cards and sets.
Wishing you all a great weekend!
Stay safe ~ thanks for visiting.

Nov 26, 2014

Crabby is putting it mildly

Well, no one is coming to measure for the soapstone today.  Why?  We drove out twice, chose our slabs, paid for half, worked out the base cabinet and apron sink that would be made in their shop.  Right there.  Perfect fit.  I sent emails and photos, received calls asking for cabinet details, and talked to them four times. Yesterday, the day before they were to come out, they inform me that the sink cabinet needs to be in place before they will come out to template the counter.  What?  They're making both.  The opening is exactly 30".  What more do they need?  Almost $1000 to build one 30" wide, plank door, short sink base, before they come out.  Are you fricking kidding me?  After all these months waiting and now they tell me this?  If that's the case, the cabinet should have been built along with the fitted sink and delivered at which time they could have measured for the counter.  The new one will be exactly the same width as the current one and they also want the old top removed in order for them to measure. I don't understand.  I can't tell you how disgusted I am and honestly, I may get Formica and stainless steel which is guaranteed to be installed and completed in a week, and I'll have eight grand to spend on something else.  Sorry to bitch and rant and complain but nearing the end of this frustrating project, I didn't expect another contractor to fail me.  By the time Dominic builds this piece that will be out of square and foreign to his knowledge, it's installed, they reschedule for the template, I will never have it before Christmas. How do you install a cabinet with a plywood platform for a single bowl apron sink, into an existing double bowl/drain without cutting up the platform to get it in?  Remove the sink and water supply and wait for weeks until they fabricate the job?  No.  I'm not willing to do that while needing the kitchen for the holidays, just because they need a new 30" base instead of the 30" existing base in order to measure.  Matches will not be enough, I may invest in a flamethrower.
Yes I have much to be thankful for.  Do I feel guilty for being in this mood?  Yes.  And no.

Do we have to be in a good mood to be grateful?  No we don't.  We have many emotions, hormones or not, and they can't all be squeezed into one neat package of happy for the day.  Sometimes we're crabby and that's OK.
I will get over it, move past it, laugh it off, and come up with a solution.  In the end, it's just a kitchen.  I have a roof over my head and food on the table, clothes on my back, cats on my bed, family, and you guys. 

Ahhhhh. That felt good and the crab is slipping back into the water.  But he won't go too deep, he'll be back.
Be thankful, be yourself.
Happy Thanksgiving. 

Nov 25, 2014

Box info

Hiya.  I've been receiving emails about the box sale so thought I would update.  The quality of the mache is not what it used to be.  I have to purchase in sets of 3 and when I open the cellophane and see the insides of the boxes, I'm not satisfied.  Locally I have one store that carries boxes (in sets).  Hobby Lobby sells individually by opening the sets, and they won't open another set until inventory in depleted, which means I could wait weeks and get only one box.  Can you tell I'm disgusted?  So the amount for sale will be less than before and except for a special request, will be all Mary Antrim.  They will be listed on the Sampler Box page Thanksgiving morning.
I have received three calls so far from the counter top people who are also making the cabinet to hold the sink.  They don't seem to get it.  Photo after photo of the simple inset plank doors on a basic 30" apron sink base, and I got two more calls about it today.  Can't believe it.  Something tells me none of this will go right.
My sister is having more episodes of breathlessness and rate problems, won't call for an earlier appointment so she won't be seen until mid December.  I still have to take care of her house which was delayed because of my illness.
I went up to take a shower the other day and spotted something large and black on my bed pillows.  I kept trying to determine if it was a sweater or my jeans - until it moved and I almost dropped through the floor.  BUD!!!  How the hell did you get up here!!
Right now I am waiting for the garage door opener installer that was to come this morning.  It's almost 2pm.  God help him.  I am a touch crabbier than usual.  For his sake, I hope he's good looking.  I've been lucky for a while now so the odds are getting slim.
Have a great day, wonderful Thanksgiving, and safe travels.

Nov 23, 2014

The faucet

Hi all.  Happy Sunday of melting snow.  Are you having a busy weekend with all the sales?  "Preview" black Friday prices, but in effect now, a one-day only sale that started two days ago and another one-day sale starting tomorrow that also runs for two days, lowest prices of the season today only - until tomorrow when you'll get the lowest prices of the season.  On select items.  It's the lowest price on certain items and the next lowest price day is on other items.  Give me a break.  Put it all on sale and quit messing with our minds!
Let's talk faucets.  No I don't have the countertop yet and he is coming out Wednesday for the final measure which means another two weeks after that for installation.  They are an hour away so I hope weather won't interfere.  I studied all my favorite kitchen designer's photos and found the two faucets they use most often.  Herbeau for $1700 (with side spray, cheaper without).
  Moving on I found several others that I really like but my decision isn't easy.  Since I have to purchase online and have no idea how dark the bronze is or the difference between brushed, tumbled, rubbed, antique, and aged, I hesitated.  But my real question - would the darker browns look OK on a black soapstone counter?  And since I have stainless steel appliances and black hinges and accents, is bringing another metal into the small area a mistake?  Who the hell cares?  It's my kitchen. I won't know how it looks with the sink and counter until they're here yet I need the faucet for the installation.  What to do?
  I found a reasonable faucet in brushed stainless at Lowe's (Wetherly by Moen) in the pump style I prefer, and it goes perfectly with the appliances and also the new and old pewter.  I can live with it and always change my mind later once I see how it all looks. This came in bronze but I didn't like the streaks of red showing that are supposed to age it.  Every manufacturer has a different "bronze" finish and some I do not care for.

And this one is Squeak!  He always ends up with food on his nose.  We leaned a piece of plywood against the house for protection and he stays  here once in a while.  I've moved his condo to several places but he is still too skittish to enter.

Hope everyone's week gets off to a good start.  Thanksgiving!!!  Good grief it's only a week to December.
Thanks for visiting!

Nov 22, 2014

Mary's house

Hiya.  Another weekend already.  I lost two weeks to being fogged up on meds and can't believe the date.  Do you feel the year is ending way too quickly?  I hope winter goes as fast.
Mary's charted colors are GAST (not all of which I had) or blends of two DMC shades and because I'm lazy, I chose to use one. Just to make it easier.  I'm ready for the house which looks like this.
I have Blueberry GAST which has quite a bit of magenta/purple shading.  I'm not sure if I will use it or a DMC blend of 3860/3768. 
Her Lord's Prayer is not complete, words carry to the next line, rows touch, a little confusing to stitch, but hides a multitude of errors.  She's different and the house is really what drew me to the design.  But she kind of reflects many of my days.  The alphabet starts out uniform and neat (the first hours of my day), then a squirrely line ends that and letters become random and uneven like my schedule.  The bright colors represent the hot flashes and their slant shows I'm going off-balance.  Then all hell breaks loose and my words run together, bumping into one another, sentences aren't completed, and I lose all direction.  Hopefully I will finish her soon because I saw a few Christmas designs that I would like to work on and plan to order this weekend.
Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!
Thanks for visiting.

Nov 20, 2014

Just do it

Hello people.  Got snow?  Good grief!  Some areas have been hit hard so am I going to accept my few inches with a smile and be thankful?  Hell no.  I'm crabby and will stay that way.  It's the nature of the bitch beast.  Temps are supposed to rise which is good because every morning my pounding head has to search the house for escaped brats.
Yesterday I received a note from Jean at The Attic and the Nash bag is traveling to Mesa as we speak.  It was very quick, not much time to say goodbye, but I'm OK with it.  Adios!  You were a lovely visitor but a little too good looking and neat for me.  So here's the thing - I had a little pang of panic when I realized that really experienced and serious stitchers will see it, maybe look closely.  I think we all feel that our work is never quite as perfect as we would like, our errors are sometimes left in, our placement a few stitches off, the finished seams maybe not be straight.  Let it go.  It's from our hands and no one's hands are the same.  Never be embarrassed or feel it's not good enough.  There's nothing wrong with striving for needlework perfection and many of you achieve it, enjoy competing, and are very proud of your work.  Me?  When it's for my own pleasure, I could care less.  I drop it on the floor, eat while stitching, threaten it with flame, my threads are very uneven and twisted, tension depends on hot flashes......but it's me.  My handwork.  A reflection of my attitude toward stitching?  Yes.  I don't take it too seriously.  A reflection of my style?  Yes.  I prefer things that look old and used.  I've said before, the benefit of primitive pieces is that people don't know if your house is really dusty or if those pieces are old and actually look like that.  Same with my stitchery.  If anyone would criticize your work, just tell them you strive to be as perfect as they are but aren't there yet.
If your stitching pleases you - perfect.  If you would like it to be better - go for it.  But if you hesitate because you think it won't be as good as other's - let it go and just do it.  Don't ever think that it's not good enough because as with any work of hands, it will always be different than others.  With many reproductions having error after error of all sorts, we still celebrate it!  Were their stitches perfect?  No.  Maybe after many years they became so, but it didn't make their first pieces any less important. 
 Just do it.  Have fun.  Keep a match handy.

Nov 18, 2014

Box blahs

Greetings from a very cold and snow covered street on which a crabby sick lady lives. 
 I should have had boxes ready for shipping by now but it's not happening.  One reason is being ill, the other is the dwindling supply of boxes except for a few with warped lids sitting on the shelves.  My dozens of tall ovals are not what I expected, no longer available, and the reason I don't order online any longer.  For the few I have, I went Antrim nuts, modifying to fit shapes (you can see them under the Box tab). The other two are 5" squares with two lid designs.  If a sale will be offered, I will do a blog post with the date and time along with prices before listing them.

The 8" square and 6" round are not in stock at my local supplier and I'm still waiting.  Hobby Lobby breaks the sets apart and sells them individually, will not break open another set for just one or two and I need way too many of one size.  Aren't you tired of these anyway?  I want to do something different and when my brain is no longer fogged, I may come up with an idea.  Because of Jamie at Cricket Bug the only idea in my head right now is peanut butter pie.  I've gained over 5 pounds because ice cream melting in my mouth was the only thing I could swallow.  And I did!  Many half gallons of it but it really did help with the throat pain and burning. 
I emailed The Attic a while ago asking if they wanted the Nash bag or my Christmas pear for the auction but never received a reply.  Their newsletter said they were taking donations but I preferred getting the OK from them first before mailing.  They always have such lovely items from their generous customers and stitchers offered for bid .

 Time to drink another shot of bad tasting medicine and find a roaming brat.  I heard her jump the barrier so the hunt is on. 
Hope you stay well and have an enjoyable week.
Thanks for visiting.

Nov 15, 2014

Still waiting

to breathe normally, have my voice return, for tooth and cheek pounding to stop, for reduction of the two cold sores inside my bloated nose, to stop wearing three layers of sweats, to sleep through the night.  A trip to Urgent Care this morning yielded an Rx that makes you vomit.  Oh goody.  I'll have to do that standing up because the pounding pressure will create an explosion if I bend my head down.  Hopefully will start feeling better in a few days.  
Haven't done much at all including stitching.

We've had light snow and cold temps so naturally the brats want to spend all their time inside.  I forgot about how they cause a sore throat and sniffles since I was already experiencing much more.  My Land's End order makes me as happy as the Land's End box makes them.  Even more so when I crush catnip in the bottom.

I haven't been reading but did catch a few blogs once in a while.  Hope the week went well for everyone and the upcoming one will be even better. 

The wonderful show in Peninsula Ohio is today and looks like a fabulous gathering of talent.  If you haven't viewed the blog, take a minute to browse some of the showcased artists here.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thanks for visiting.



Nov 11, 2014


to all Veterans, to all who served then and now, and their families that support them.
Losing the WWII generation is one of our greatest losses.

I will be gone for the week.  I am so sick I can't swallow.  My glands are so swollen I no longer have a neck.  My husband is keeping the ice cream stocked.

Nov 9, 2014

Not much progress on anything

Hello people.  It's a spaghetti and sausage Sunday afternoon for my tired old body.  Exhausted is more like it. My carpet machine is really hard to push and pull and it made no difference in the heavily soiled traffic areas in Carole's upstairs.  It all needs replaced.  I told her to let it go since it's only storage and she can't get up there anyway.  I will have to hire out the first floor including walls because I'm just spinning my wheels.  Her very limited income doesn't allow for a cleaning service.  If she can't get it in order for them to come, then it doesn't get done.  This isn't the first time I've gone through this.
My progress on Mary Lamina..
I will be working on boxes this afternoon and will not have as many as I did before along with a few mini, medium, and large journals.  This was an order for Mary Antrim and I only have one more box for this one.  The sampler sold for over a million and the image is in public domain.
Spaghetti is one of my favorite meals, but I already ate two donuts and a bunch of ranch Doritos.  Such a pig.  I've been talking about seriously trying to lose weight but always put it off for tomorrow.  Mark and I just cleaned the yard of leaves again but there's no calorie burn calculator on the rake handle or blower.  No idea if it cancelled out a donut.
Hope your week will be a good one.
Thanks for visiting.

Nov 7, 2014

Got mail?

Greetings!  The weekend is already here - hope it's a good one for you.
Just wanted to share a few crappy beat up items I found.  The first is a slanted old wooden mail box with full lid and rusted strap hinges.  Probably not too old but I like it anyway.  I have a thing for boxes.
Naturally I thought about adding one of my unframed samplers to it.  One fits perfectly.  The inside of the lid has white stains from a previous paint job or what?  I could sand it off I guess.

  While I was playing with it, I thought the sampler might look better on the underside of the lid, and the box filled with smaller pieces, dried oranges, or gourds.  I also found this very long and thin sliding lid box that had a label at one time. Another dirty crappy piece that makes my sister nuts. Really? I've seen your upstairs lady!!
I was upset to learn that my favorite quilt shop in New Wilmington is closing.  Very surprised.  I purchased all my fabrics there and she carried the styles and patterns I love.  The other local shop is mostly bright calico, batiks, and nothing I can use.  So disappointed.  Many of the fabrics were already gone because of the closeout sale but I managed to find a few.

 My husband is at a retirement get together for a co-worker.  The man owns a large piece of property and like many around here, became an overnight millionaire.  His royalties alone on the ten gas wells will be anywhere from $100 to $1000 per well per day.  They told him to expect around $3000 - $5000 per day but he turned 65 and was planning to retire regardless. 

As for the bag I showed last post, I may email The Attic and see if they would like it for their breast cancer auction. The samplers I no longer cared for and sold, were stitched on linen and custom framed.  One went for $10.  I should have kept the frames!
Lots of rain and darkness added to the cold temps and yep, possible snow showers. 
I'll be working on boxes this weekend for sure!
Have a good one!
Thanks for visiting.

Nov 6, 2014

Thinking of....

selling this.  Maybe.  I don't know.  Why?  Don't know.  Just been thinking about it for months.  The last time I sold several samplers on Ebay, the bids didn't cover the cost of the project.  Have you sold stitchery and then regretted it because of the low selling price?   Have you ever loved a design and then not cared as much about seeing it displayed?  Well I guess the fact that I sold off some samplers for cheap years ago answers both questions.  I didn't think a reserve price would have been necessary.  And how do you calculate the value for stitched pieces anyway?  What's too low and what's too high? 

The sun is out and it's a very nice day before the cold and rain start again tomorrow.  Decided to not spend the day cleaning carpet.  She's waited this long, she can wait a little longer.  Would love to make a roaster full of stuffed cabbage this weekend for the freezer.  Sounds like a plan.

 To no-reply Jackie - my walnut juice is made from the black walnuts I gathered in the woods. You can break and remove the outer green hull and throw it into the pot or use it whole.  The stain comes from the lining of that green hull.  Cover with water and simmer for an hour, some do it much longer, and it will stain your pot, countertop, hands, anything it touches.  Wear gloves!  Strain through cheesecloth or fine strainer and store in fridge.  The squirrels will gladly take the discarded nuts. 
Enjoy your day!!
Thanks for visiting.

Nov 4, 2014

Auto pilot

Hiya.  How's your day going?  Can you believe it's November?  Aren't you glad the political ads will end today?
I've mentioned before that I am directionally challenged.  In other words, can't find my way off of a one way street.  Yesterday morning, my car was being dropped off at the dealers for a recall.  My husband said "go by Walgreen's" as he got into his car to follow me.  So I went by Walgreen's which happens to be the way to the hospital.  The only time I go that route, is when the hospital is my goal and since July, have been there way too many times.  So I'm at the intersection of Walgreen's and I turn left.  Auto pilot.  I've never turned to the right at that corner and wasn't even thinking.  As I proceed down past the hospital, it dawns on me - where's Ford?  I'm in downtown Sharon and I know it's not this far so I must have passed it.  So I turn into a driveway and see my husband flying by at a pretty good clip.  I go back into traffic toward the hospital I already passed once and realize there is no Ford dealership!  Damn.  Pull over into a parking lot and there goes my husband at 50 mph again.  He was many cars behind when we started this journey and only caught glimpses of my bright yellow car as he sped by, would turn around to catch me, and by this time I was off again!!  I knew it was somewhere around there - I've been there before and can picture it!  So I pull off again and see my frantic husband coming up the street and he stops in the middle, waving for me to pull out and keep going PAST Walgreens.  In other words you dipstick, you should have turned RIGHT!  Sorry.  Auto pilot took me left. The scary thing, it never dawned on me that it's in the opposite direction and I've been on this main road thousands of times over the years. This proves that any deviation in my routine - I get lost.  Mark was so upset because he honestly thought I was having a small stroke, confused and lost.  I started laughing at myself and couldn't stop.
 Just like the time I was at another car dealership oblivious to the fact I was wearing these, (story here), this incident has had us laughing till we choked and will continue to do so.
After leaving my car at the elusive Ford dealer, I was dropped off for errands while he waited in his car. When I would exit the buildings he would be waving wildly in the parking lot shouting "over here over here!".  Smart ass.
And what else have we accomplished?  Demolition and more rejection.  We need to have an exhaust installed over the range since we switched from a downdraft, and no one will come out.  I was sure heating/cooling guys would do the duct work but no, they won't. 
We cut the hole and checked for clear access to the exterior and the only people that will do it require us to purchase the exhaust from them.  Well they don't carry the one that I want and couldn't come until February anyway.  We're replacing areas of drywall bit by bit and the rest will be beneath wainscot or soapstone.  I will never ever do this again without a contract, but I've heard many stories about workers not showing up to finish even with a binding agreement.  Nothing is going right with boxes either.  The shipment is not up to my expectation and will require a lot more work.  I'll be shampooing you-know-who's second floor carpeting in a day or two and there is still too much stuff to have someone come in for wall washing/cleaning.  And it's cold, dark, and November!  With all the disappointments, uncontrollable laughter from my left turn is welcome.

You would think someone else would be giddy because of the new mouse toy you can see behind her, but one look and you know what her mood is.

And the start of Mary Lamin.  Color changes?  Of course!
Today we are taking down another cabinet and replacing the drywall but the sink and counter top must be removed in order to do so, then going to vote, and then to the doc's for ..... are you ready ..... injections in my armpits.  Yep.  Hyperhidrosis.  So I get Botox injections, about 20 in each underarm every few months.  Does it hurt?  Are you kidding?  Does it work?  Only for a few months.  Is it worth it?  Absolutely.
I see the hunter pulling away from the road's end and as usual, it's a company van.  I've had gas company, power company, phone company, and now private company vehicles sneak into the woods to hunt on company time.  They must tell their boss they're on the job somewhere.  If they have GPS, no one in charge must check it.
Better get moving.  I'll be a passenger and Mark will be driving. 
Have a good day.
Thanks for visiting!
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