Feb 28, 2016

Mom's gloves

What do you do with the old white cotton gloves that our moms and grandmothers wore?  Personally, I love the look of that old style but can't get my swollen joints into them.  All are very substantial yet soft cotton.  I've already used her fancy hankies for sachets and envelopes, these items have limited fabric. So what can I do with them?  I think a heart shape would work out nicely for some of the glove designs.  Filling would be minimal since the hearts will be very small, maybe just a lining of cotton fleece layers.  Or maybe cut the backs into squares and sew into a pieced pouch or little pillow.  More likely, I'll put them back into the bag with her doilies and they will be hidden as they have been.  I'm all talk and no action.


The March box offer is Virginie Cochepin, sale starts March 1, photos on Sampler Box page.

Feb 26, 2016

Envelope revisited

Ciao!  Spring's 'a coming. 
How you doing?  Want to be bored again?  I showed this envelope method a few years ago, doing it again for the few emails from those that missed it. 
(note to no-reply Lisa B. - the sampler is ABCD 1817 from Scarlet Letter)
When cutting the backing fabric I add about 3"extra to the length.  Cut that piece in half and fold over/press a hem either sewing or fusing to finish.  Overlap these hems to create an envelope. This time, I machine basted the flap closed before sewing the backing to the front.  Better!  Removing the stitches is very easy and it holds the fabric in position, no moving or slipping, creating a perfect close.  I overlapped the flaps a little too much, it's not necessary.  Instead of hemming the edges I use the fusible hemming tape, but don't have it in the very edge of the fold in case I want to use a decorative stitch on it.  The tape makes it harder for the needle to glide.  For some reason, my corners are always bigger.  Looking at the piece, the sewing line is perfectly square, I use the machine's guide, but they still stick out further than the edges.  Very easy to turn inside out and run a few more stitches to pull them in which I did.  After pressing the seams open, I turned the tucked side (bottom side) out to stuff, then turned the top side and finished filling.  Steamed the filling to densify (yes it's a word), and I can sew a button, decorative stitch, add trim, or safety pin the back flap.  The trick to a crisp finish is to make sure the flap is not allowed to open, even slightly.  Pull it to where the fabric would be as originally basted, so it is perfectly straight across.  Easy peasy.  Here's the boring photos.
 Steamed and ready to secure the flap so it doesn't gap.

I have a hemostat or forceps that come in handy for filling corners.  You can grab a bit of stuffing and then clamp shut to hold it, push into corner, then unlock the clamp and pull out.  The nose end isn't sharp and can be used to pack the corners too.  Easy way to add a little to those pesky corners on small projects.
Too many photos! 
Just wanted to share my easy way to do smalls without the hassle of blind stitching or gluing them shut.  Easy to reopen too, when you forget to add the hanger as I did. 

Feb 25, 2016

Winner winner

Not only will one of you become a winner, I am too.  Because of all of you!
When Ann saw that I was having another giveaway, she thought it would be nice to make me a recipient too.  Nice is putting it mildly.  I received this in the mail the morning after the big tax check was written.  I've wanted this book for a while but would never think about it at the right time to search Ebay.  So thrilled and hoping this book will create some enthusiasm for my slump.  The fabric is fabulous, love that shade of blue, used it on the back of the latest project.  But the chocolate.  Oh my.  I am such a pig, really.  It's gone.  Who can consume a 12 oz box of chocolate covered (heavily!) potato chips and a bag of covered pretzels in two days?   Me.  Thank you so much Ann for being a friend and making me feel so special. 
And now for the winner.  Including the emails I received, there were 123 entries. 
After scrambling the names, Kathy R's number was drawn.  Please contact me Kathy before Saturday evening and let me know where you would like your GC.

Thanks to everyone for participating in this anniversary giveaway.  And welcome to new followers, or maybe you always were until Google cut you off! 
Received a few emails about the envelope and will post photos of that finish tomorrow. 
Thanks again everyone.  You've encouraged my stitching, gave advice, included me in your projects, helped with my decisions, listened to my rants, and contributed much joy to these five years.


A precise scientific method for the lazy

Want to know if your stitching is centered?  Fold it directly on the center line row, and see if the ends match.  Yep.  It looks off, I counted twice, but ended up using the more precise method for verification.  And it's perfect.
 See?  The two end motifs that are correctly placed are obviously the exact number of threads from the center flower which didn't look centered.  If they weren't I wasn't planning on moving the center flower anyway.
Here's the difference with my changes and the chart photo.  I used 3858 for the bottom flowers instead of the brown used throughout, subbed 370 for the very light, and used what I wanted for the ABCD.
 I will be finishing her today with a blue backing using the envelope method.  Or maybe a basic back if my mood and patience improve in the next few hours. 
And when you find out you owe a ton in taxes to the IRS and can't figure out why,
you fry yourself a few donuts.  Try not to bite one while frying, the melting glaze will burn your lips.
Be back tonight for the drawing.
Enjoy your day.

Feb 23, 2016

Forcing myself to stitch

Greetings.  Making some progress on the little sampler, glad I decided to stitch over two.  This would be really nice over one, but I wouldn't be.  Am I enjoying it as expected?  No.  I am still not feeling the pleasure of the needle.  Maybe I should stick myself with it.  Sometimes a nasty jolt makes me see things differently, sort of like a reset button.
I haven't been looking for antiques at the mall too much since Patti died.  Not as much fun when there isn't anyone to share your finds.  I did a quick run through the other day and grabbed two tall thin jugs, one from Holland and the other is new with a bird.  I'm sorry I got the smaller one but I saw the shape and didn't look further.  The tall one is over 12" and I do like it.

Yesterday was another appointment for my sister.  Her dentist's parking lot is down a hill from the entrance and she can't walk it so I've been taking her.  It's a year this week she had the valve replaced but is still very limited.  We're getting her new bridgework.  She lives on very little so we don't have much choice and it's been like this for a long time with credit cards, repairs, maintenance.  Not easy with one income and now SS but we manage, mainly because I'm a cheapskate and live frugally.
When you mentioned about the blog being my stitching journal, it's true and could be.  But I prefer having a record at hand instead of looking up post after post of changes.  A tiny swatch of the linen would be a good reference too.  When I went back to see what I was stitching last year at this time and what I took to Cleveland, I came across the details of my Menocare card.  I got my Medicare card in the mail and will probably choose an Advantage plan (much cheaper), but this Menocard is still in effect.
 "This cardholder reserves the right to bitch regardless of situation.  There will be no debate, no rebuttal, no questions. To anyone finding female with this card in an emergency, take extreme caution with subject.  Do not offend, contradict, patronize, look at, or touch.  Stand at arm's length, if body contact is needed, guard your privates.  If emotions take over and subject starts to slump into a puddle, lift quickly, secure, and get the hell away.  For more information, take a hike to the library.  If there was more room on this card I would really tell you where to go."
I think I will print some of these and sell them.  I should open a Menoshop on Etsy.
Have a good one!

Feb 21, 2016


Hello people.  First I'll show you the project I've chosen and then the details of the giveaway. 
Scarlet Letter's ABCD 1817 miniature sampler which is to be stitched on 30 count over one.  Finished size would be 2-3/4" x 3-1/4".  It would be amazing in that size.  My choice is over two on 35 count to finish a little under 5"x6".  Still small but not miniature.  I chose the colors in DMC, (I never use silk) and this piece of 35 WDW's beige linen will be the fabric with not a 1/2" to spare.  I still detest cutting into a larger piece and try to buy and use the smallest cuts.  I've also decided it's well past time to start a stitching journal.  I have nothing recorded for any finished piece and that's pathetic.  No idea what that color linen is, what count, what changes were made. 

I like this linen color very much, wish the texture was a bit coarser, but would use it again.  If there is a small swatch left, I can start a linen journal to refer to, but then again, these colors may not be the same in a year or two but at least I will have something to refer to other than a computer screen.
The gift certificate will be $50 and you can choose from
http://www.silentstitches.com/ (free Kelmscott Needle-Minder as bonus)
http://www.needlecraft-corner.com/ (20% sale until 2-29)
Some really great and unique items, special scissors, and options at each of these.
The list could go on and on.  They all ship overseas, but if you have a shop locally, or a favorite online, I'll try to accommodate your request.  International will be whatever $50US dollars are worth in EUR or C$.
So the rules are simple.  Leave your comment on this post only, email me if you can't leave a comment, make sure I have your initials or email in the comment. Winner will be drawn this Thursday 2/25 at 8pm EST.  Please don't spread the word, this is for readers only.
Good luck! 

Feb 20, 2016

Four things. Four fricking things.

How 'ya doing?  Happy?  Crabby?  Snarky?  Sad?  All of them?  Welcome to my world. 
1.  If I see another politician wildly waving their signature arm movements, screaming to crowds of how they will solve all problems without one solution spoken, I will choke on my chocolate. 
2. And.....when did the meaning of hack become a "tip"?  Hack always meant a skilled person who does horrible work or a computer invasion.  Now it's "check out these cleaning hacks"  "cook quicker with these hacks"  "101 of the very best hacks".  What the hell?  I don't like changing word meanings.  Make up a new one and leave my old lady vocabulary alone.  
3. I purchased a calcium supplement (gummy since I can't swallow pills) and didn't read the fine print - "Processed in a facility with products that contain egg, fish, shellfish, soy, and tree nuts".  Put it on the front label, don't hide it in the fine print.  I'm allergic to shellfish.  Chances would be minuscule to have a reaction but I take no chances at all. 
4.  Finally.. KALE!!  That bitter crap is everywhere.  Kale has always been known to be a healthy vegetable.  But all of a sudden, marketing has taken over and it's everywhere and in everything. It's the same green that it was 10 years ago.  It's extremely high in vitamin K1 for coagulating or clotting your blood, so anyone taking Coumadin or anti-clot drugs, it will change the PT/INR blood work unless you eat it every day.  Many veggies are higher in Quercetin and other flavonoids than kale.  I'm not saying you shouldn't eat kale, if you can handle it, eat it.  It's good for you, has lots of other healthy benefits, but so do other cruciferous vegetables. Give me a break and quit pushing it.  Eat a cup of blueberries, a banana, and a sweet potato, they taste 684% better and are just as loaded with vitamins and minerals.  Get the kale away from me!  Geez.
You see how little things that should have absolutely no effect on my mood can turn me into a wolverine?  In another few hours, I'll be laughing hard enough to need a mini pad.  I'm out of control people.
Tomorrow... Sunday right?, I'm posting the giveaway and my new project.
Have a good evening.  Snark away.

Feb 19, 2016


Greetings folks.  Have I started another project?  Nope.  Why?  Slumpola.  The longer I wait, the worse it gets, but I had another issue.  I was using my heat gun with the metal extension, trying to correct the warped box lids.  This time, I was in a different room and forgot where the cord was, walked into it, and grabbed the metal part of the gun as it was falling.  The burn was really not as bad as I expected, the scream was no higher than my usual, and the healing was pretty quick.  It's fine and I can certainly start another sampler this weekend.  But which?  A little freebie?  I have many small marking sampler charts and yet a few very large projects are calling my name but it doesn't sound like marly.  Might be a clue that they're calling someone else.
When I was posting my seven days of samplers on Facebook, I also showed my smalls and fell in love with them all over again.  Especially this tiny Scottish Initial Sampler from Chessie & Me.  I've found that years ago, over one was not a deterrent as you can see in the first row.
I want to thank you for the uplifting comments about my blogging anniversary.  Your kind words and friendship are cherished.  For my anniversary giveaway, ten bucks for each year, a $50 gift certificate.  I will probably give you a few shop options as I did before because places like Nordic Needle offer storage chests, quilting, sewing, just about everything (not everyone prefers cross stitch).  But maybe I will choose one shop and stick to it like people that have focused fogless brains do.  I will think long and hard and post the official giveaway notice either tomorrow or Sunday.  Do not post about it to others - this is for my readers and followers.
Until then, eat cake, stay safe, be well.

Feb 17, 2016

Five years and three days ago

I started this blog.  And I forgot all about that.  How strange to go back over the years and read through the changes, the feelings, moods, strange times when I was all over the place and silly, reckless.  I'm feeling more settled.  I know the moods and uncomfortable lack of control were mainly menopause coupled with grief.  Today, it's the after effects of fried brain cells from too many years of intense heat and rage. Anyway, this was my first post...

Feb 14, 2011


Well.   It's about time.  I could have started posting quite some time ago, but as with all my projects, put it off. I'm having the same problem with stitching.  For a number of reasons, some.....excuses.  Long ago, in the land of tight jawlines and balanced hormones, there were a number of wonderful needlework shops.  About a 30 minute drive, the best were set in old homes flaunting every count and color of linen you would want.  The worst was a sterile single building, smelling of smoke, with very few models, one unknowledgeable clerk, a vast number of charts in no order, and mostly Aida.  It was the last to close, over 22 years ago. Scarlet Letter's catalog became my only source and over the following years, I lost interest.  I never lost my love of samplers or the feel of the linen, and held on to my supplies.  About 12 years ago, I started spending a lot of time helping my elderly parents with house and yard chores.  Two years later, my claustrophobic Dad slowly suffocated for two weeks in a hospital and died, after a "specialist" failed to diagnose a pulmonary embolism after he suffered a bad fall.  I was so angry and hungry for vengeance that it consumed me.  The man that caused my Dad's horrific suffering and panic, was off the hook, because my parents' generation did not embrace today's litigious mentality.  It wasn't closed for me, and affected my ability to focus on projects.  From then on, taking care of Mom in my home kept me busy enough, and stressed enough, that stitching was more a frustration than a joy. Once she became bedridden, I wondered why I didn't stitch away while sitting with her.  But I never did.  Stress? Menopause was raging as were my moods.  When she passed, the suppressed grief and anger returned, in addition to grieving for my Mom.  That was 3 years ago and I think the grieving will never end, but I am beginning to feel like I could relax again.  I need to get my supplies in order so I can find what I need without getting snarky and causing a wave of hot flashes.  I plan on starting with small projects rather than picking up a large sampler, and am hoping that keeping a blog will give me a push.  Another benefit of stitching - losing weight!  If I am holding a piece of linen, I certainly can't allow my hands to get greasy from chocolate and treats that I consume every evening.  As for blogging - not sure it will always be about stitching until I get several projects going.  So here I go....starting again.....hoping you will join me in rediscovering my passion..... and hoping that passion is still there.  What if it isn't?  Stay tuned.....
I can say without doubt, that my expectation of the weight loss was highly over blown.
I can't come up with anything for a anniversary giveaway.  I only have one red box left (the prototype), gave away all the pears, the last little project, so I'll have to think about this.  Maybe by Friday I will have an idea.  I've done gift certificates before and that is the easiest and probably most useful offer.  I know international readers are reluctant to enter giveaways because they are kind enough to be concerned about the high shipping costs, but that wouldn't be the case with a GC.  Hmmm.   As I said five years ago, stay tuned!!

Where did the time go?

You know how old you are, but it's just a number.  Your life continues with your routine and although years are going by, the reality of it also becomes routine and you don't feel it's really happening.  Like the slow process of gaining weight, you see it everyday and don't really notice it.  But it's very obvious to someone who hasn't seen you in a few years.  I guess the aging process can be ignored also.  It's not that we don't realize we are older, but we are detached somewhat from the tangibility, the actuality, the perceptibility.  Until we get this in the mail.  Like a slap in the face with a cold wet rag.

Feb 14, 2016

Shelf hanger

Happy Valentine's Day everyone.  It was too cold here to go out so instead of ice cream, I made the peanut butter pie filling.  And ate it all.  Spaghetti for dinner, another favorite.  Hope you've all enjoyed the day.
I was sewing the latest finish, Martha, into a small pillow hanger and came down the stairs for the final spoon of pie filling.  The phone rang and I went into the little parlor to talk.  The more bored I became listening to tasks everyone has chosen for me, the more I tossed Martha around.  Not throwing her, just tossing her up and catching her.  Gives my hands something to do while I'm rolling my eyes.  My cousin has decided that I should go out and purchase new clothes and new draperies for my 90 year old aunt (his mother).  Her two daughters-in-law are ?????  On the space station for a year?
Martha landed on the hutch filled with brown jugs. So I turned down the top edge with a crisp crease and she set very nicely on the shelf edge.  Will she stay here?  Probably not, but maybe for a while.   I used to think I was a bit odd with my ways of displaying stitchery, but I see so many online photos of pieces on boxes, in baskets, on wood items, wrapped around jars, and sack finishes that I am feeling normal!
What I've noticed is how the single strand of thread washes out compared to the ABC that is stitched with two threads.  It's not very noticeable in the photo but it is in person. This linen has been very difficult to photograph.  It shows regardless of size, like screening.  That wonky little pattern of tiny distortions.  Because of the overdyed color?  The sheen?  Both maybe. 
I have other finishes on 35 count done with one thread and they seem fine, but this one on 32 count is bugging me.  Could be the color and variations of the linen are contributing factors, but I think I may stick to two threads on 32 unless it's a small tuck or bowl filler that won't be viewed from across a room.
We have warnings for a ton of snow tonight.  Better not!!! 
Thanks for visiting.

Feb 13, 2016





 That Larry is such a crabass.

Feb 12, 2016

I was ready this time

Started entering the names in Random early and then waited for any additional entries.  The number generated belonged to Ann K. 
Thanks to all who participated. 
Very cold here, but I'm going out for ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery tomorrow.  Still haven't chosen a new project, maybe this weekend.
Happy Valentine's Day to all!!

The chair

Here it is.  It. is. primitive.  Will I ever spend this much money again without seeing the product first?  No.  
We have much work to do on this piece, but as I said, I love the look and it is very comfortable.  Sitting in DR Dimes, Treharn, and other top makers is not, because of my long torso, big arse, or maybe because they are reproductions which require a shorter seat.  I also have no intention to spend close to $1000 for one chair.  Once we are finished cleaning this up, it will be perfect for me, as long as the pine seat doesn't crack.  You can see the edges from the wood chisels, paint drips on the back, very sharp edges, spindles beneath that weren't trimmed, but a nice wide and deeper seat for my wide and deeper seat.
The look I wanted, the fit I wanted, and willing to put the work into it.
With just a flat paint finish, it will be easy to repaint and touchup after sanding and scraping so that's another plus.  I will not varnish, but wax it with my favorite car wax, Collinite paste.  Good stuff.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...