Aug 28, 2016

The hornie winner

 Greetings folks.  Random selected Grand Mary as the winner of the hornbook.  She is not no-reply!  So I will contact her shortly.
Thanks everyone for the sweet comments, still surprised at the number of entries and thanks to all for participating.
We had a very humid day and now I have rashes wherever the electrode patch has been or is currently.  Too much sticky sweat with no where to go.  All was quiet for days and as soon as I get in a store, beep beep beep!  Maybe all my run-ins with mannequins and poles created repressed anxiety. 
I tried to give Nitzy his flea meds while he was sleeping on the garage floor.  All our steps were made 6" high so it would be easier for mom, and sitting on one that low was a big mistake.  As soon as my butt crashed into it and my knees were chest high I knew I was in trouble.  I didn't realize what a drop it would be to land only 6" higher than the floor.  But I decided to give the meds a shot since I knew I was stuck there for a while.  He looked at me, blinked, I started scratching and talking, and as I was contorting to get through the fat knees and bent legs, the monitor slipped out of the tshirt pocket and hit him.  So there I am, an open vial of flea meds, a cat hiding under a car, muscles screaming, knee joints ready to burst, and no way to get up.  Fall over and get up on my knees?  I couldn't.  My legs were locked (folded) so high I couldn't raise my foot off the floor.  So I leaned backward and spotted an umbrella by the steps, used it to extricate my foot from the floor and it sprung off like a snark-in-the-box.  I was fine, but Nit won't come near me for the next week.
One more thing- saw this on a Facebook page and thought it was a great idea.  Too bad I already got rid of my quilt stands.  With wire or regular baskets this would be great in a kitchen, pantry, entry (mail, gloves, glasses, boots) or a bath, even filled with fat quarters and supplies in a sewing room.  Original post is HERE.  It looks like the rails were unscrewed to loosen and then turned to an angle to hold the baskets.
Have a great week.
So sad August is over, and so hard to believe!

No takers

I guess we'll be handing them out at McDonald's this morning while enjoying our sausage gravy and biscuits.

Aug 27, 2016

A sampler and a santa

Hiya.  Remember the rust that I removed after I removed 4 other colors first?  Yes it looked good on the dark brown, but I just couldn't envision it with the red and blue at the bottom.  Thank goodness for linen's strength.  Because after I changed it to 632 which blended very nicely with the muted colors, I popped for red. 

Yep.  Something hit me (unfortunately it was right after removing the rust and completing the 632 replacement ) that 3777 was it.  I have removed as many stitches as I put in, over and over, same letters. Some evenings I looked around for Bill Murray because this project felt like Groundhog Day. Glad I finally hit on something I can live with.  I planned on the top of the piece being drab so the bottom pops, but it just wasn't working on this very dark linen. Now the large alpha is finally completed, the colors finalized, and I can move toward a finish. 
I hope it comes quickly because the mail brought another order and this guy was in it.  I didn't realize it required overdyed floss so I will have to make another order just for the threads.  I wish he was a little smaller.  On 30 count he is 7 1/2" x 6 3/4".  I also thought Cocoa linen (recommended) was very pinkish brown but this looks very Havana-ish.  I love the 3777 on my current dark brown linen and plan to use this combination for a few Santas.  I see another decision on the horizon.  Not good.
Have a great day!

Aug 26, 2016

Release the snark day

That should be on a Tshirt.  Well today is the day.  Mark is golfing so I can snark with no collateral damage.   It's a beautiful sunny day, but the last Friday of August.  I'm working inside to complete an order and found a few pieces of wood cut to 3" square. I labeled the back with the dimension and it can be a corner square or just a floss tag.
We have been giving away tomatoes as fast as we can but can't keep up with the bounty.  I do not like canning tomatoes so I will try making tomato soup and freezing it along with seeded tomato chunks for winter soups.  Love tomato sandwiches with mayo and also grilled cheese with thick slices.

The garden was the best ever since we installed two Enforcers - it definitely keeps the deer out even though we feed them several times a day in the yard.  And of course, I never remembered it was there and got squirted numerous times.  Felt pretty good in this heat!  The short plastic fence is to keep the cats from using the garden as a litter box.
I'm almost 6' and the tomatoes grew above me since this was taken over a month ago. But now, the blight has taken hold and there are no leaves left, just green and red globes.  Breaded and fried green tomato slices drizzled with reduced Balsamic are heavenly.  Lots of various peppers are being canned and made into pepper butter.
Bud is enjoying himself on the new gingham oilcloth I found for the little table.
 They are all past due for flea meds but these brats have turned into summer snots and won't let me apply it.  I've been buying the PetArmor Plus through Walmart online, six pack for $40.  They had it for $32 which is great for 6 vials but the price changes all the time.  Free ship to store too.
I've decided to send The Attic a box or two for their auction instead of stitchery.  I hope that's OK.  This is one of my favorites (had to redo it since the file disappeared) and I think it came out better than the first time.  I can't get these 8" squares so I found an 8" round that I will use.  I wish I knew what equipment was needed to do the videos.  I can show you how I manipulate these.  For example, the large box has the original stitchery in the grass, but look at the round.  The bunny is now behind the peacock because I wanted the blue instead of brown.  Anyone can do this and so many have emailed to request instructions but I can't explain, it has to be viewed. 
That's all I got.  Back to snark central.  I think I will designate a day each week as release the snark day.  We'll see how that works.
Have a great weekend! 
 I am really surprised at how many have entered for the hornie!
Be back on Sunday, all snarked out, with the winner.

Aug 25, 2016

Hornbook offer

Greetings folks.  After many hours (days, really) working on only three little labels, I have given up.  I don't know if the new inks in the printer have changed formula or what, but they are giving me fits.  Changing to pink or green tones when glued, changing again when sealed, so I am using the design I had printed a while ago when I thought about making these before the ink cartridges were replaced. Whatever the reason, I can't waste any more time on a little inexpensive item.  And after staining them all, I realized they look so much better on a solid background, so I am doing a paint wash in dark brown over the stain. 
 Because of all this trouble, I wanted to burn them, but decided to calm down and grow up.  Things happen, go wrong, create more work, require more patience, cause stress, but they are things.  Things.  Not my health, not my family, not those fricking brat cats, just things.  I am heartbroken at the news of my cardiologist, a wonderful kind man, and also a friend's DIL at 46 years of age.  Devastating and unexpected diagnoses that leave very little hope.  And I'm going to get upset over little hornies that I want to be perfect for my stitching buds?  Cause myself to become Velcro Velma 24/7 with these hot flashes?  Make my monitor beep again?  No.  I'm calming down, enjoying the crock pot's kielbasa and peppers aroma.  So.  For you.  A very small offer.  A little hornbook giveaway.  They will be available when I list the boxes in a few weeks, but thought packing one and shipping it away would be a small symbolic get the hell away from me and satisfy the snark.  I can be thankful, I can calm down, I can accept the insignificant annoyances, but if menopause has taught me anything, it's that the snark must escape or there will be consequences. 
If you would like this small offer (these are printed labels, not actual stitchery), you know what to do.  We've done it enough times!  The 3-in-1 hornie measure is 2" across, 3" to the top, and 4" with the handle to gauge your project's stitching or linen margin, but please don't expect them to be exact!  After sanding they may be 1/16" off.  I know it's not even worth mentioning but I don't want any emails correcting me.  Yes, it happens!
Leave your initials in your comment, email me if you are unable to leave a comment, and I will draw a name on Sunday 28 at 8pm. 
Have a great weekend,
stay safe, snark with a thankful heart.
You can quote me.

Aug 22, 2016

Two steps forward

ten steps back.  Do you have any idea how many times I have removed and restarted with different colors on this sampler?  I lost count myself.  Yes the pumpkin looks great on this brown linen and it goes very well with my sampler sack, but I want the stronger colors in the bottom section.  So for the last time, I am removing the latest choice of pumpkin and replacing it with the 612.  I'm sticking with three colors in the alpha and it will take a while to remove the pumpkin, but I may continue with the rest of the project first and go back later.
Hornies are a real bitch.  To size something so small has not been fun and quite time consuming.  I like seeing "bits" of samplers but for some reason, I have to have it more concise and balanced.  Geez.  I wonder what that reason could be.

Houses do not work well on these because of the size and after finally uncrossing my eyes yesterday, I am limiting the sampler designs to three of these four. 
Everything will be for sale at one time.  Because these horny hornie measures are made of 1/4" thick wood, they must ship with the package rate of $2.60.  I was going to take one of my many Death by Chocolate Zucchini Breads down to Bruce for sympathy, but my favorite postal guy follows the rules.  No bribes. 
Have a good week.  So upset that we are in the 20's of August.

Aug 20, 2016

Hornbook measure

Good idea?  One cute little hickeymabob instead of several for corner measuring?  I thought about this when working on my hornbook and the corner tags (which I still love) and finally got around to having Mark cut a few. 
Each side is a measurement so you have 2, 3, and 4 in one piece. A hole will be drilled in the handle for hanging.  Didn't get that far yet.  Not easy making such a tiny label.
What do you think?  Should I make a few for sale?
Have a good weekend!

Aug 14, 2016

All alone!

EDIT - That's why my blogging break is always interrupted.  I've been working on my long list of things to finish, but there are no stitchers to share it with but you!
Remember the stitching journal I wanted?  Searched and searched, found none, and I know that most people use their "devices" to store info, but I'm a limited device person.  Besides, you can't save a linen swatch in them.
I wanted flexibility (since the body lost it I need it somewhere in my life) so that I can move, add, store.  Bound journals are just paper. 
My ARC from Staples to the rescue.  Martha Stewart also has this system and it's her inserts that I am using.  All from Staples when they have the 20% off bag sale.  I am such a coupon addict.
You can get dividers, plastic pockets perfect for swatches, even zippered inserts.  The plastic discs can be purchased in a larger size if the journal becomes thicker.  This is the medium size but it also comes in full size.  The littlest one would be sufficient for project notes and color changes, but there are no inserts offered, just paper.
I have a mid sized 3-ring binder but I prefer this for its flat shape and convenience. 
I glued a label to the front so I know which one is for needlework (I have several), and this will work out great.  The acrylic/vinyl cover warped/curled after the glue dried which also happens on the paper mache journals.  Always glue another piece (heavy card stock or light cardboard) on the inside of the cover to stabilize it.
I also have the special paper punch (the small cheap one) so I can use card stock to make my own dividers or pockets if needed.  A small swatch of linen counts and colors will be stapled to a few heavy pages and kept in the back for reference. The plan was to print my own pages with headings but it's not necessary.  I'm lucky I got this far. 
And I couldn't wait to share!  Maybe this will excite the mojo and lift me a step higher out of the slump.
My SIL purchased a needlework journal from a shop many years ago, and it was really nice.  She took a photo of each finish and included that on the page which offered areas for changes, designer, fabric, threads, dates, and recipient.  I need to remember to ask her daughter (who now has it) to bring it with her next visit.  I would love to see it again.
I'm leaving now.
Have a good one!

EDIT - Christine mentioned that she has one from Yarn Tree which never showed up in my searches.  Here is the link if anyone is interested.  Read the shipping page, there is a charge for orders under $25 and also under $100 for wholesale orders.  Not sure if an individual can order but your local shop can get it for you too.

Aug 13, 2016

Lost and found

Yep.  This sampler was completed in 1990.  I forgot about it, recently found it, worked the design for one of the corner squares, lost the file, found it again, and now it's on a box.   It would make a great corner if I can't find decent square boxes. 
I love it.  At the time, I was using Scarlet Letter's 25 count, and discarded all the charts since no one around here stitched.  I may have to locate another and try again on a higher count.  And a different color house.  Sorry Vickie.
The house reminds me of Merry Wind Farm's Elena Tratman.  I think it is also done in a satin stitch but I'm too tired to get up and look for the chart.  I think this sampler is one of those that looks spectacular when stitched compared to the photo.  I see many charts online and think they're very nice, but when I see someone stitching it, wowzer. 
Enjoy the end of summer days. 

Aug 12, 2016


Between the hot flashes and the humidity, I keep sweating the electrodes off and beeping like crazy.  Did a little shopping this morning at JCP (no incidents with mannequins or posts this time) and started beeping.  Reminded me of the time my cousin's dog swallowed the little squeaker after tearing into a toy, and started squeaking with every step.
Not getting much done, but did manage some larger boxes. They raised the price again, 75¢ each, so between the postage increase and that, they will be higher in price.  And I may use Etsy since I hope to have the berries offered too, along with a few other box sizes and labels.

Thunderstorms make these guys crawl on their bellies and howl to get in.  Once here, they decide to park near a register for the cool air.
August is half over.  Can't believe it.
Hope all is well with everyone.
Have a great weekend.

Aug 9, 2016

Zucchini cakes

This is the recipe we use for wild mushrooms and call them pizzarelles.  Mark just changed the recipe to use zucchini instead.  I love them and devour as he is making them, and then grab a few from the fridge later.  They don't last very long.

The zucchini is shredded and must be drained and toweled or they are too soggy.  Adjust with more bread crumbs if too runny or start with one or two less eggs.  Mark makes them often and adjusts but I asked him to try measuring.
Recipe is .jpg file so you can click on, right click and print if you want to, or save.



Aug 8, 2016

Third time

damn well better be a charm. 
 I was stitching last night when I noticed a very large slub running vertically.  As I always do, I try to pick the fuzz to the back.  This was that rottenrat linen with synthetic feel to its threads which I realized as soon as I tried to pick.  It wasn't a slub, just a piece of rope pretending to be a thread that immediately broke under a slight tug.  I removed it all and rewove another thread from the edge into the empty space, but it wasn't right.  That piece of rope left a space too vast to fill.  That's right.  Vast.  At midnight I was grabbing more linen and dyeing.  Sprayed with the darker solution after drying and it spit.  That's right.  Spit.  Several times.  Spit spit spit.  So I have larger spots mixed in with the fine.  I like it.
This piece is 12" wide and a lot longer than needed, so I will start on the rows and not worry about stitching the vertical border to make sure the length is proper.  That's right.  Proper. 
It's still not the warm happy golden brown of Sparrow, and very close to the first two failures. 
Tomorrow I am posting the recipe for the zucchini pizzarelles or pancakes that everyone loves.  And then I may be taking the rest of the month off.  Unplugging completely to enjoy the last few weeks of summer.  Still not feeling well and the monitor goes on Wednesday.  My cardiologist is on indefinite leave because of a sudden diagnosis and both Carole and I need to see someone else. 
Have a great day!
Save a big zuke for tomorrow's recipe.

Aug 7, 2016

Thank you Lynda!

She hit the nail on the head.  She asked "is the fabric the right way up?".  Being upside down and sideways myself, I had no idea.  So I got out my trusty sewing gauge, and looky here.

Going horizontal, I have 29/30 count.

But going vertical, it's only 26.
233 stitches ÷ 13 would be 18" length.  That's still smaller than I would end up with, but explains the mystery.  But doesn't explain why the weave looks even while being 3 or 4 threads off per inch.
I started on another piece of linen that I dyed in that group of browns, and checked the count both ways before starting.  I should have enough and the colors I chose should be fine.  The linen is warmer and happier than the crabass I wanted but that's OK.  What will I do with this piece?  Wet it and throw it in the dryer.  Usually, it comes out smaller with a tighter weave, maybe it will correct this.  Maybe I caused it when dyeing.  Whatever, I would never have thought to check this had Lynda not mentioned it.  So thank you again!
Have a great day everyone.

Aug 6, 2016

It doesn't take much

to turn a slump into a suspension for me.  After all the dyeing and adjusting to get the deep crabass brown shade I wanted, took the time to work out the best colors for it, even ran the red thread to make sure the border will be in line, and I'm screwed.  Maybe you can tell me why.

This is the chart and the count is correct. Using the 30 count fabric, it should be 16 1/4" and it states to cut the linen 18".  My piece is 19 1/2". 

The 233 stitch count ÷ 14 (28 count fabric) would be 16.6". 

For 30 count, 233 ÷ 15 would be 15.5". 

This is 30 count and I'm already at 17" and I have 26 rows to go!  What the hell?  What did I do?

I have counted over and over, have no more room, and (I'll say it again because I need it to sink into my brain) still have 24 rows to go.  Can anyone figure this out?  Do I have watermelon brain from eating too much of it?  It doesn't make sense.  I'm putting it aside and will try to figure this out tomorrow. 
Mark just told me that Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is on the tv.  The movie that makes me laugh until the tears come and the mascara runs.  Half over and I'm starting with the car rental so the best is yet to come.  After all the stitching issues, the day will be ending with laughter. 
Hope you're having the giggles too.

Aug 5, 2016


Linen.  All started with Rit's Dark Brown (too reddish for me) and each took the color differently even though they were very similar to start.  After drying, I put the solution in a spray bottle, added a little more of the brown (and also a drop of yellow and orange) and sprayed the linen to create an almost invisible mottling.
I'm using pieces that I did not like for one reason or another but if any result in a great brown, I'll stitch with it.  I usually save the dye solution but didn't this time. I already have several jars in the basement.
The darkest piece I have right now is the Birds of a Feather Sparrow and I may end up using it for Nan's sampler.

Hours later...
here's what each piece looks like after the process.

Not as dark as the Sparrow, but plenty dark enough.
 This is a piece of unbleached linen which is what I usually grab for a sampler, and you can see the difference.  I may get another spray bottle with a touch of yellow to brighten the two outside pieces.   The Sparrow is really nice, REALLY dark, and I'm still not sure which I will use, but leaning toward the center piece.

Sparrow is a happy brown.  I want a crabass brown.  Can you imagine the color names if I sold hand dyed linen?

 Crabass Brown.  Bite me Blue.  Miserable Mauve.  Cranky Coral.  Whiny wine.  Grouchy Green.  Nasty Red.  Irascible Iris.  Peeved Pink.  MenoMelon.  Bitch Ball Gray.  For now, Crabass Brown sounds just perfect.
Enjoy your day - thanks for visiting.

Aug 3, 2016

Grab 'n go

got up and went.  I have been so thoroughly discombobulated lately that I can't focus to think clearly.  I think Mary Ann needs different linen and the stash is such a mess, I don't know where to start.  All the recent orders for more fabric is my way of trying to muster interest in continuing to stitch.  I took out all the big girls that I really would like to do, but just can't bring myself to start.  So when all else fails, go back to the pile. 
For right now, this is my choice.  Tonight anyway.  But I see this on a darker bronze/green/brown linen with not many floss changes in the body.  But wild birds.  Red, bright blue, gold, lots of color at the bottom.  So that's the plan today.  We'll see what tomorrow brings. I so hate pulling out linen for color and size.
Budman has been enjoying the hot lazy days and is usually on the swing with me.  Yesterday he kept head butting me to scratch him, so I did.  He reciprocated.  I should buy peroxide in a gallon.  

Have a good day.
Thanks for visiting.

Aug 1, 2016

Starting over

Something just didn't (still doesn't) feel right.  I didn't know if it was the backstitched border, the Broom Stick Brown, the thread, or the color.  So I grabbed another piece that I believe is 32 count and started over.  But something still isn't right and the first try border and linen are gone so they weren't the problem.  The blue may be too strong for me (it's brighter than the photo).  The linen too light.  Something.  May do another grab 'n go later.
I had one tiny tiny cap and didn't think I could make a berry small enough.  But I did, all 2" of it.  I know many of you are asking for sources but it took me quite a long time and many hours to find them, and I plan to sell the finished berries.  I am not offering the seller as I did with the other caps, not now, but maybe soon.  I did not order through Etsy.  As I continue to rid the supplies in my sewing room, I may just decide not to bother with them.  You'll be the first to know.
August.  Augh.  Can't believe it. 
I am bitch, hear me roar.
Have a great start to the final weeks of summer. 

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