Apr 29, 2015

and then...BAM!

Hey.  What's happening?  Everyone OK?  Is it Sunday already? 
Not a lot of stitching going on here so what do I do?  Order more charts of course.
So here's how it happened.  Bonnie XLVIII, the stitcher who loves 48 count, sent me a photo of her Spot on 45 count before making it into a bag.  Here's a sneak peak of her 3 1/2" x 4" piece.  I said the size will make such a sweet bag.  Hmmm.  Sweet bag.  Sweet bag.  I remember such charts from years ago.  Sweet bag.  Bam!  Sharon Cohen!!!  And I'm off.  Drop everything and start searching for the charts like I have nothing else to do, no other charts in my stash, an urgency to have it now.  This is happening more often lately.  As luck would have it, Emlis had three of the charts and I was thrilled. 
 The English Rose Sweet bag.  I know this is embroidery or whatever but it's small enough to not be too challenging.  For some reason I swallowed hard after that statement.  It may not be as complicated as it looks, it's small, different, and could be truly enjoyable.  Or not.  Just in case I will hide the lighter.
The next one is the Sampler Sweet bag which was also featured in a magazine many years ago.  And rounding out number three is the Irish Pincushion #2.
Other Sharon Cohen Nostalgic Needle oldies I would like - 
I may have a source for the Tudor Flower bag, and I will continue the search for the Irish Pincushion #1.
Also in the search is the Queen's Sweet bag and the Tree of Life bookcover.  These two appear to be mostly cross stitch but I could be wrong.  They are my absolute favorites of the group and I would prefer stitching them first.  I have lots of time while working on Sally to hopefully acquire.
Can anyone tell me why I just had to have these projects that I passed on many years ago?  Especially since I am in a slump?  Maybe this is fresh and new from the usual for me and is just what I need.  In the search, I came across this book, looks interesting, will investigate.  The colors are gorgeous of course but I see them differently and on a darker background.
In keeping with this type of needlework, I was browsing the Antique Pattern Library which is such a great resource for older style needlework of all types.  You can view old publications and their patterns, one of which reminded me of these bags.
 This is from the Czecho-Slovakian Embroideries booklet.  Lots of beautiful stitching patterns and graphs for anything needle related that you can open in PDF to view, read, and print which is what I did with the drawing for this design.  And with my Frixion pen, I can trace it right on to the front of the linen and it will disappear when I want it to.
I am leaning toward a more early colonial look than primitive .... or something like that.  I just think that these bags would be wonderful showpieces and fit in nicely, something different than samplers. If I never stitch them, I will still have them to study and look over.
Being a long time award winning procrastinator, this impulsiveness is a mystery.
Quite time consuming too!
Does anyone know why I am missing new posts in the blog reader?  And still not receiving comment emails?  I sure hope they fix whatever is causing this.
Hope your week is going well.

Thanks for visiting.

Apr 26, 2015

Sally and I

Hello people.  How's your weekend going?  We've been cold enough to need coats, while younger folks were wearing flip flops and t-shirts.  I guess they can't wait and I don't blame them.
There's been more correcting and changing than stitching on Sally this week.  Not much progress.  I've been making errors on every single row and dividing band, many will stay.  Keeping my patience and not getting discouraged is more important.

The dividing band of buttonhole or blanket stitch (which I love to do) had a small area off one thread so I cut it in the middle and ran tails to both sides.  Haven't filled it back in yet.  A few letters above that area are up one thread and will stay that way.

Chain stitch on another dividing band was a nice change, kind of fun.  I seriously doubt I could have done this stitch on a higher count linen though (this is 28).
I'm almost done removing the rice stitch alphabet.  I didn't like the lighter thread and want to change to 433.  It looked OK, but I prefer the contrast of the darker shades.  I'm not really crazy about the rice stitch so I may even switch to regular cross.  It's going to be a really nice large piece with great colors....if I ever get involved enough.

Spent two days choosing wall colors and decided to go totally neutral and light.  Yellow casts, pinkish tones, too gray, too dull, too bright, yikes!  I think SW's Canvas Tan will be as neutral as possible and I was surprised to see their colors and some paints at Lowes.  Valspar's new Reserve claims to be completely washable and nothing will stick to it, so I decided to give it a try since we prefer flat paint.  
It will be May in less than a week.  Pretty soon I'll be complaining that summer is almost over!
I plan to show Ann's work on another one of her fabulous wallet projects, maybe this week.  The entire piece is done in Queen stitch.  I showed her work in this post last year.
 Have a great week.
Thanks for visiting.

Apr 24, 2015

Wax on, wax off

Good day to you.  We had a long one yesterday, very cold, and snowing.  Yes, snowing.  The installers left around 3:00.   Took hours to clean the dust from the cupboards and mop the floors, install and level the slide in range.  Removing the excess wax from the first coat took a long time and we'll add another coat today. This morning - plumbing hookups.  They did a good job except for the bar being 1/2" short in the overhang.  Didn't see it until they left and they couldn't have cut that much off in here anyway.  Their template must have been off.  Glad it's over and now we can finish the bar, the backsplash, the exhaust, 3 cabinets by Dominic, and the legs.  I really wanted the sink base to be different but even the lightest of reds doesn't show the dark sink as well.  May just paint it the same color as the others for now, crackle a little red over it. 

Sally has been worked on a little at a time, much slower than I would like.  Many errors, some corrected, most not.  I wonder if it was a mistake to start such a large piece, but on the other hand, I want a wall hogger.  Something that stands alone without other distractions and takes up a good portion of wall.  I know many of you have multiple ongoing projects but I can't do that.  If I stop this to start something else, I won't be able to go back and forth and Sally will be lost.
Carole is going out with her friends today for the first time since August.  She has so many clubs and groups that get together every week and she's really missed that.  We see a little more improvement every week.
Enjoy the week's end, Sally and I will be back Sunday.
Thanks for visiting.

Apr 23, 2015

The process

Sanding the stone inside - a fine gray fog everywhere.  The sink is already waxed - you can see it's black.  The counters are not yet.

 Two rooms away!!

Apr 22, 2015

A rat tale

OK.  So it's not a week yet.  Not Sunday.  And no important event to report.  But can you believe how ridiculous I am with making decisions?  How many months ago did I state that I wanted rat-tail hinges on the sink base?  And how many times since then have I reiterated that fact?  Down to the wire, sink is coming tomorrow, cabinet doors ready to go on, and what do I have?
Acorn's hammered iron butterfly.  The H are for the dry sink we're making.  Butterfly?  Since when?  Sunday when I ordered them.  What has menopause done to my once sharp and decisive brain?  All these months I was asked "did you order the hinges? did you order the hinges? did you order the hinges?".  No dammit I did not and stop asking me.  What do you not understand about procrastinators?  Feet to the fire I had no choice and what do I do?  Choose a butterfly, that I never liked, never considered, haven't seen on a cupboard, but hit me like a brick.  The same thing happened when I saw Mary Lamin.  What is going on?  Boxes of my favorite fiber bars are sitting in the cupboard expiring, Greek yogurt is being enjoyed by the coons, my favorite cheese went to mold.  Not even my long time favorite coffee tastes good and I've gone down to 2 Dove a day instead of 12.  Everything is upside down!!  Am I coming off the menocoaster and this is the downhill slide ending in my opposite?  I just don't get it.  I'm not reading as many blogs, answering emails, sending cards to friends.  The only thing that hasn't changed is my big girl panties that I was forced into buying months ago and are stretched to their screaming limit.  The stress has affected my health but I really don't see it as an issue now.  This is just like Seinfeld's The Opposite episode.  Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket. 
And didn't I say I would only post once a week?  Did I follow that last week?  Nope.  This week?  Nope.  Can I wait until Sunday to show you the soapstone?  At least I'm still sure that is what I want in the kitchen.  Maybe there's hope.

Apr 19, 2015

Sally and the sink

Hello all.  How was your week?  We've been having beautiful weather and there is an excessive amount of outdoor work to be done this year.  But I can't kneel since my fall last year and I can't bend over in the slightest because of the ongoing esophagus issues.  Good thing Mark retired!  But I really enjoyed outdoor work and am disappointed in my limitations.
Sally Fiske is disappointing too, but only because I want to stitch and can't seem to get involved.  Is this a slump?  Just growing tired of it all?  Another 180 caused by menoswings?  Whatever the reason, I am almost forcing myself to pick up the needle.  Not even a quick small is appealing.  Here's where I am today - not much progress.
 Before I forget again, I drew a name from the few asking for Sally Hunt and Sandra in Australia won.
The farm sink base

There are a lot of pictures, most of which are confusing, but it's a good thing we did this because the $750 we saved on a custom cabinet was needed to pay Carole's heating oil bill.  My husband overdoes.  The more support and nails, the better according to him.  He wanted the support to extend to the base of the cabinet instead of using shorter supports (like a 2x4 around the sides) to hold the heavy sink. We also wanted the inside of the cabinet to be finished and not have visible bracing pieces so we covered the entire side.  This is his way of supporting the sink, but there are other options depending on the strength of your cabinets. So here we go.
Let me explain it first and then again with the photos.  Our existing cabinets have stiles and rails, or a frame around the actual cabinet the doors close on.  They are 1 1/4" wide.  On the inside of the cabinet, we added 3/4" thick plywood to the sides, created a 3/4" ledge to hold the same material as a shelf for the sink to rest.  We knew the exact outside dimensions of the sink and how far back it would go.  The sides were cut 3/4" less than that measurement because the shelf added another 3/4" to the height.  Mark did the same to the back of the cabinet but it really isn't necessary.  For additional support, you can add an L brace or something similar beneath the shelf (and he did).  Our installer said it was more than what is necessary but since it's several hundred pounds, we feel better with the extra.  Once it was screwed in place, perfectly level, we cut the rails and stiles (frame) from the cabinet.  Since the sides on the cabinets still had the frame, we added 1 1/4" rail to the front of the shelf to make it even.  Using 1 1/2" poplar, we glued/nailed a new frame over the old because I wanted the base to come out further than the others by the 3/4" of the poplar.  The side pieces were cut to the floor with legs.  For the doors, which I wanted different than the other cabinets, we will just make flush plank doors and paint the piece a different color than the others.  The sink shelf only needs to go back as far as the sink, leaving that area open for faucet installation and piping.  Confused?  You should be.
Does this make sense?
Creating stability and support for the stone sink.
The sink sits on the shelf, front exposed, so the top section must go, but the SIDE stiles stay because the counter top will rest/end on that cabinet side.  Leave the outside frame, just cut the cross pieces.
Add the cross rail back to level with the cabinet sides, securing into the shelf with screws and nailing/gluing in the upright stile.  It MUST be level with the top of the shelf.

Now you cut the 3/4" x 1 1/2" poplar to lengths and attach to the front of the cabinet.  The little extra in the width prevents the old cabinet frame from showing.  You can use any width material if you want a wider frame.  They came out to measure again after this cabinet was finished to make sure the sink will fit perfectly into the opening without gaps.


Keep in mind that we did this to prepare for the sink, and needed to put our old double bowl stainless back into the old counter top until the new sink comes.
 Yes we did this at Christmas.  The counter top should have been installed in November but they screwed up so it's coming next week.  See how it comes out just enough?  That 3/4" won't interfere with the counter top overhang at all.  I think I finally decided on one of the 4,789 shades of red.
This is what it looked like before we put the old sink back in.  Again, not necessary to extend the shelf as Mark did.  I think the opening for the faucet installation will be too small and the entire back piece should have been shorter.
Although this is a pretty easy thing to do and you can pre-measure, have Lowes/Home Depot cut your plywood for you, it looks confusing.  I thought someone might be interested in getting a farm sink and the stores all tell you that you HAVE to order a new cabinet.  Nuh uh.  Next week at this time, You may be looking at our soapstone sink.  Not a finished kitchen, but at least a major part will be done.  After all this, I will probably find a salesperson that knows more than the others and tells me I could have purchased a farm sink base for cheap.  Nah.  How could it fit a custom sink?
That's all folks!!!
I'll bet you didn't know that boring can also be confusing.
Have a wonderful warm and sunny week.
Thanks for visiting.

Apr 17, 2015


Friday morning.  My husband is fixing an old barrel my brother found in a barn and gave to me, and then he'll be heading out to the golf course in the rain.  Unfortunately, it's loaded with powder post beetles so I can't put it close to the house.  I'm working on the kitchen's base cabinets today. 
We haven't removed Budette's box yet.  Even though she wasn't a "pet", we still miss feeding her every evening and watching her nap. 
And look who is coming around almost every day.  Squeak!  Still eat and run but at least we know he made it through winter and is back for good meals.
Nothing stitch related here - just wanted to share a few photos of the dreaded boring long as hell kitchen process. Since we raised the cabinets to make it more comfortable for me (I really DO hate being tall since forever), there is a higher toe kick area.  The legs I planned just don't look right proportionately.  So I'm playing with cardboard templates again and decided to mimic the curve on the upper cabinet sides.  Using different depths, legs, colors, and doors is great, but not in such a small area so this will work out for the better.
.  When we added legs to the vanity, we used 3/4" and then added 1/2" round to the top.  Here, I want the top edge of the leg apron to be flat, square like the edges of the doors and raised panels using 1/2" material.  Before he nails the toe kick board into place I think I will darken the paint quite a bit to recede.
Husband disagrees and likes the softer look, which could be achieved by using the correct height of baseboard and cutting the leg pattern.  If it looks bad when all is completed we could always add a quarter round to soften and even that would look better than the baseboard profile.  What a dust catcher it will be, but my paint color will hide it -that's the plan.
I also want to show how we modified our sink base to accommodate a farm style sink without the expense of a custom cabinet.  Since there is very little stitching happening, I'll add it to Sunday's post. 
 Haven't been feeling the sampler love lately.  I pulled several other projects and contemplated a switch from Sally, but haven't decided yet. 
I joined the Primitive Stitcher's Society on Facebook and don't have much to share because most of my stitching is reproductions, and I need to learn about bookin'.  I can't even figure out how to reply to messages - it wants me to chat.  No.  I want to write.  If Facebook has a tutorial for basics, I couldn't find it so I bought a book that still hasn't come in.  I wonder if the neighbor that received my wool shipment also has my book.
Enjoy your weekend - stay safe.

Apr 14, 2015

Goodbye sweet girl

Our sweet little Budette has passed.  We found her this morning in the sheltered box that she would nap in after her late night visits. 
Visiting while I stitched outside
Coming out to grab some food from the boys
 Bringing the kids for snacks and a visit
 Her last litter
She was small, docile, gentle, not at all like any raccoon we've encountered.  She was here for a number of years, we can remember back to 2009, a very long life for a wild coon.  We will miss her every evening.

Apr 12, 2015

The start

of weekly posts.  Sundays would be a good day to recap the week.  If there is breaking news, a new find, a dilemma, need for a rant, advice needed, or happy dance, I doubt I could wait but we'll see.  And I do have something important today. 
Do you remember Squeak?  The skinny cat that took me two years to approach and finally saw great improvement in his health?  The last time I showed him was in December during the Yellow Cat fiasco in this photo, the last time he was here was mid January.  We never saw him again and thought he was gone.  No way he could make it through that horrible winter, especially with heartless neighbors.  Guess who came to dinner last night? 
Well OK it was midnight, not dinner, but I was so excited to see him!  He devoured two cans of food while I stood watch for the big coons, and then ran back into the woods.  I don't know how, but he made it through.  Go Squeak!
Today was also the first day I was able to leave the house, and the start of floral dreams.  Some people like to put on the ritz, I like to put on the rust.  Waiting patiently to be brightened with color.  I drilled holes in the bottom of several old aluminum pots with handles for flowers. 

And the start of Sally did not go well.  Instead of coming down three stitches from the top border, I came down four.  Wasn't going to attempt moving the eyelet or the borders so the second alpha row is up one - good thing there was room in the design. I'm questioning my usual method of completing the left border and using it for row placement since it's such a large sampler. 
Hope you all have a great week.
Thanks for visiting.

Apr 10, 2015

Thank you

Wow.  The personal emails I received really touched me.  How thoughtful of you to take the time to let me know how you feel.  I don't count readers by comments left, but by the stats on the dashboard, and I also noticed many of my favorite blogs aren't posting as often.  But it's spring, season changes bring on additional chores and we're all more busy.  Blogging is also a record for me since I lose everything.  All I have to do is enter a chart name or subject in the top left box and I can search the entire blog.  Results are easily found instead of looking through paper files that are not where they should be. I do this on your blogs too to find older projects and info.
The last nine months of anxiety have been tough, but I also came home from Cleveland to learn that my sweet and wonderful friend has entered hospice.  I wasn't expecting that and needless to say, I think about her all the time.
Physically, I've been sick from something I ate that doesn't want to leave.  Nothing serious, just keeping me from doing things and going out.  Until it's completely gone, we're not lighting any candles or matches for fear of an explosion.  Mark is looking for a sign like this for the bathroom door.  Better today finally but it doesn't always last.
I started Sally last night on 28 count unbleached.  My 30 is lighter and the floss colors were not good, plus I want to use up the rolls of 28.  So I have a piece of 28 x 30 linen on my lap, a rice heating pad balanced on a spot of my back, my surgery foot elevated on a pillow, and a heavy cotton lap throw because of chills.  Bud will not stay away.  He comes out of nowhere, a fat black ball of fur with muddy white paws scaring the hell out of me, lands on the linen, the floss, the rice pack slips out, the pillow under my foot moves, and I have to start all over again after I remove his claws from the layers on my lap.  It's a slow process and getting pretty annoying.  At the same time, Missy and Nit know that Bud hurdled the barrier and they follow.  One runs upstairs, the other in mom's old rooms, and I have to get up and search for them.  By the time I get positioned and put all the layers back and grab that huge piece of linen, I have to pee.  Here we go again.
Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your kind words and compliments.  You made my day and I thank you.

Apr 9, 2015

It's time

Greetings.  Been under the weather, not stitching, not doing much of anything.  Mark will take Carole to her appointments, even though it's been 6 weeks and she is allowed to drive but won't.  Nor will she attempt a short market trip that I tried to take her on.  She hasn't since August 2014 and something tells me that unless it's lunch with friends, she won't be.
I've been debating lately about stitching.  Most of you have gone through slumps but this isn't the same.  It's more about display. When we finally finish the house projects, I want an early but sparse look.  I'm not crazy about lots of wall items, and I am tiring of my wood bowls being obscured by smalls.  I like a stitched piece hanging from a cupboard door or knob but every one?  What am I going to do with all of it?
So I put away the three smalls I chose and pulled out a big girl.  Sally Fiske.  It's time I moved on to a larger piece.  And since I have yardage, I will use a 30 count unbleached.  The 18x27 pieces aren't big enough - she will be 22 x 21.  One large piece would appeal to me more than lots of smaller samplers.  This week anyway.  I want to start working with all the wools I bought and get boxes ready for sale to rid the closet of them.  I guess I'm just feeling out of sorts, unsettled, not really wanting to get involved in a project.  We still have the damn kitchen to finish too.
I did make some progress on the linens.  I have three drawers of unbleached/tans.  One in 28, 30, and 32.  The other drawer contains colors in clear pockets, mixed counts.  I think this will be the answer.  But what about these mystery pieces?  They're going in a box to be stored.  Do not have the ambition or the patience to figure them out.  I may give up stitching again before I would even need them.
  For a project this large, there won't be much progress to show except for a new row of alphabet, so I think I will only post once a week.  Unless I fall again or cut my hair in Walmart during a hot flash.  From the stats, it seems less and less are visiting blogs these days so once a week will be better.
Nitzy feels like I do.  Upside down and cover your eyes. 
  If anyone would like the tedious Sally Hunt chart, let me know.  It's yours.  Lots of over one and tent stitch, which I will never do.
Until then, take care, stay safe, and enjoy the stitch.
Thanks for visiting. 
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