Dec 29, 2016

Same old same old

Hi folks.  We had our Eve dinner Tuesday and all was tasty except the smelts.  The clerk said they were lake smelts, but I think not.  The spine was very thick and sharp, taste was very fishy.  Not our usual lake variety.  Next time, frozen, not fresh, since they don't know the difference.

Carole came and was feeling pretty good, I had to cut her hair after everyone left (and I was tired!).  Today, she is in bed, coughing her short-haired head off.  Forecast for freezing rain followed by snow, which means ..... yep.  We have to go get her groceries, again before the weather hits.  This happens every year, all winter.  She's only been shopping once since Thanksgiving, and relies on Chris to "pick up a few things".  So once again the list was long.  I am definitely cancelling the manicotti and shells dinner for Friday.  I'm not having Mark attempt that driveway to pick her up and she is too sick to be around us.  I'm wondering how many of us will come down with the same thing.  She sounded OK yesterday but maybe medication was masking it.

Nit has been coming into the family room and making himself comfortable as long as I don't touch him.  But this is the carpet where Bud lays for Mark to scratch him. 
And this is Bud giving him a stink eye warning to move or get beat up.  "That's my spot, my carpet kid!  Move it!" 
Neither are wondering where mom and wife Missy is.  I found her for them.  In the little parlor where I keep my stitching supplies.  I got pretty close to her before she woke up and bolted.  Damn brats.
This is the bag of linens sitting next to her that I no longer want.  I don't know why.  Wrong count, wrong color, wrong mood, been around for years.  I just hope I don't reconsider and put them back in the drawer.  Books and other items are going too as they have been for a year!  I hate that I never seem to complete tasks, plans, projects.  Hope to change that in 2017.  Sure I will. 
Without anything else planned, I can work on the Santa and hopefully finish it.  Once I am away from a project, I rarely go back, but all I have to do is fill in.
Just heard about Debbie Reynolds.  Wasn't expecting that.  But no one expected a 60 year old to have a massive heart attack either.  This is why I bite my tongue, we just don't know from one day to the next how lives will change.  But if the person is a rotten name-calling vicious judgmental prick deliberately doing harm, I really don't care if my tongue slashes through to their bone.  Is that insensitive?
Be safe. 
Thanks for visiting

Dec 27, 2016

Brown, bare, and bright

Here's the new LED tree out of the box.  My first totally bare tree.  Each limb has several branches that are movable and the brown is lightly flocked.  The LED lights are not as sparkly as the old ones, but actually quite nice in the warm white.  I think using it indoors with ornaments would be different, but I would love to have several glowing in the back yard or in the wooded areas. Haven't opened the twig one yet.  It doesn't have as many lights and looks more like a maple tree.  Who knows?  By next year, 2743 hot flashes from now, I may want a white one with multi colored lights and keep these in the attic.  But I've learned that if you like something, get it, you may never have the opportunity again.
I have to tell you what happened last week with the cookies.  You already know that my husband claims I am always right (or think I am).  After baking the snowball cookies, I put them in a container and placed with the others on the cold concrete floor in the garage.  It was really cold out but I didn't expect them to freeze.  The next day, Mark asked to test one so I brought in the container.  A few minutes later I asked how they were, and he answered, "frozen".  I barked that they can't be, not overnight in the garage.  He insisted.  To prove him wrong, I flipped the lid off and latched my fat crooked fingers onto the top cookie.  As I lifted that sugar coated ball from the container, the other four dozen came with it.  Firmly attached to one another in a frozen mass.  I felt like I was in an episode of Raymond.
The pressure to be right ALL the time is exhausting, so I appreciated the break.

Dec 26, 2016

Brown wire trees

Hope you're relaxing today and still smiling from a wonderful time with family and friends on Christmas.  I went shopping.  Rarely do I visit Kraynak's (holiday decorations galore), especially the super crowded after Christmas sale.  But we stopped today and I am glad we did.  Years ago everyone had the tall white wire lighted trees for outdoors and they have become very difficult to find around here.  No longer the sparkly bulbs, everything is LED.  The old bulbs could be replaced in the cord after burn out, but not these. 
 Anyway, I saw those wire trees in brown which I preferred, about 10 years ago online but didn't buy them, haven't seen any old style lights since. But today, Kraynak's had the six foot tall, brown, with warm white LEDs which aren't that harsh bluish white.  Half price, bought two.  They had another primitive style also in brown, half price, bought one. Others in LED had tons of lights on the wire trees with clear flower shaped reflectors and they are so pretty, but not my style. 
So naturally, I sit here saying, so what?  Buy them anyway, they're beautiful!  Put them outside the kitchen window.  Will I go back tomorrow for more?  I hope not.  They also had the bristle feather tree in six foot for only $37.50 but the needles are a little longer than I like, and I don't need another.
Stopped in JCP for the big sale and $10 off $25 coupon, got Mark new underwear (BOGO) and myself a new coat.  I have coats.  They don't fit and may never again.  I hated to get the larger size but I can't keep kidding myself into believing I may lose enough to wear the older ones.  When I bought them, they were a little snug because at that time (back in the days of estrogen and jawlines) I expected to lose 10 pounds.  Why buy larger and give myself the leeway to gain even more?  Because I didn't realize that menopause encourages fat to stay, boogie down, party on, and losing becomes much more difficult.  How do you get party-goers to leave when they are having such a good time?  You give up and buy a bigger coat.  And panties.
Requests to switch the Italian and Polish dinners were honored so tomorrow I need to buy more kielbasa.  The links previously purchased are currently at a party and will probably stay for quite some time.
Enjoy the last week of the year.  Can't believe another one is over.
Thanks for visiting.

Dec 23, 2016

Christmas Bells

The kitchen (never to be completely finished) won't see action until Tuesday.  By then we're hoping Carole will be better.  The Polish dinner for Eve, also postponed, will be next Friday or Saturday.  I don't want to freeze the kielbasa so we'll have it Sunday.  If there is any left.  I've been alternating snowball, kielbasa, nutroll, kielbasa, almond crescent, kielbasa, butterscotch crunch, kielbasa, bobalki, kielbasa.  You get the idea.
Someone has been taking liberty with house privileges.  Her coloring is like camouflage and sometimes I am looking right at her and don't realize it.
I said I probably wouldn't be back until after Christmas and I've shown up three times since.  Can't trust me.

From four years ago

and still true for many of us today.

Carole has been sick, another incident with Chris this morning didn't help, and our dinners are on hold until the antibiotics kick in and she feels better.  Maybe by tomorrow, maybe not.
I finished the Christmas Bells free chart and will be attaching the bells this evening.
Merry Christmas to all.  Again.

Dec 22, 2016

The snark that stole Christmas

The good news, the daylight will start getting longer.  The bad news, it's officially winter.
I haven't worked on the bell, haven't finished Santa or the free design.  I'm tired.  I always bite my tongue when I want to say something about a family member because one day they may be gone, and what I'm upset about now will be very trivial and irrelevant.  But sometimes, human nature takes over and my Release the Snark bracelet is glowing red hot.  For many reasons, for several people.  But I do what I can for others and when I look back, that will be the thing I am OK with, no regrets, nothing to wish I could take back. 
I doubt I will return in time to wish you all a Merry Christmas so I will do so now.  May it be filled with the blessing of family and love and good will. 
 And goodies.  God bless you all.

Dec 19, 2016


Hello folks.  Seems like we've all been experiencing frigid temps and icy conditions.  Enough said.  Why give villains top billing?
First off, I can't answer your comments because everyone is no-reply.  I still refuse to join Google+ and Googlemania because I do not want my personal preferences changed and dictated by someone else.  That being said, I can't even leave a comment on some of your blogs because of it, forcing me to join.  Nope.
So here's the thing about the linen.  If you want printed linen, I suggest purchasing it from Kanikis ( or The Primitive Hare (  It is professionally done and a better option.  I'd been printing and transferring for a long time, for muslin sacks, sachets, labels, book covers, and had tried linen but wasn't happy with the outcome.  Linen is rough and the weave has too much texture to result in a crisp (or even close) outline.  Not with my method.  I purchased script graphics several years ago which is what I used for these and a piece of red script fabric I was lucky to grab on Etsy.  I have linen that I don't like for one reason or another so ruining a piece was no big deal.  And several attempts were failures, which can get costly.  Especially when you forget to reverse the image.

I have the few pieces shown here which will be used for hearts.  I'm not happy with the red, may try one more time on a lighter linen.  I have several pieces of antique white in a linen grab bag that I will sell in the near future, and one of those may be the ticket for the red ink. 
I need to focus on dinner here for Eve and Day, cookies/desserts, getting the house clean, and applying flea meds without bleeding.  Not to mention .. worm pills.  MEDIC!!!  I may be seeing one anyway if these extreme and sudden jolts above my ear don't stop.
Have a good start to your week.

Thanks for visiting.

Dec 18, 2016

I couldn't wait

when I saw The Primitive Hare's ( new Christmas chart she graciously offered to her readers.  The fabric will be available soon, but not soon enough for impatient crabs.  I had a little piece of 30 count in a very gray sage green, and went to work.  I may not even finish Santa before I start this.

I tossed 3787, dark red, and sage green on this odd shade of linen and I believe 3787 will do it.  I don't care for printed, dotted, checked linens, but her design on it, and the simple designs on the dotted hearts, spoke to me.  Loudly.  The print is not as prominent on this color linen as the tans I tried, and I prefer it.
 Ignoring the pile of large sampler charts may be a key to feeling needle love again.  Just don't think about them, feel pressure to stitch them, and put them away.  Work on the smalls until I'm ready, and if I don't want more small pieces in my collection, I can always enjoy the stitch and then see if they would sell.  Sounds like a plan.
No comment on the weather.

Dec 17, 2016

The bell attempt

Feeling a little better. My family tells me that once germs enter, if the hot flashes don't fry them, the bitchy will have them running for an exit.
 I played with the bell a little and wanted to share with you for your thoughts and suggestions before I go any further.
The shape is rough, basted, and just for sizing.  I used a heavy canvas on the back for body and am finishing it as I would any other to be stuffed, but I'm not stuffing it.  Let me try to explain my reasoning and method.
Making it into a true bell shape would mean that both back and front would be rounded, preventing it from laying flat on a wall or door.
It would be nice hanging freely, but where?  And with no extra linen in this color, the back would be a contrast.  So I'll sew a backing to the stitched piece which will serve as the lining and finish off the edges. 
This is the very thick felted wool product I chose for the back.  The color blends nicely and the edges need no finishing.
So the plan is to hand sew the finished Santa on to this wool back, raising the Santa to create the bell with the curved front.  I don't know how else to do it.  Once the back of the bell is attached to the finished front, I may have to stuff with fill half way down to keep that shape, and probably need a piece of mat board/cardboard cut to that half circle arc pushed up inside to hold it.
This way, it will lay flat on a door and have the shape of a bell (well .... half bell), and I can have the jingle bells extending down.  I can add a trim of some sort to the hand sewn edge, but I think I will sew the front edge over the thick wool edge to hide it.  If I get that far.  But really, once the bell shape is tweaked and the backing sewn on, this shouldn't be difficult at all.  The wool (Michael's, Hobby Lobby all have it) which is super thick, can be trimmed easily. 
  Do you think the backing material of the Santa front will be sort of loose and maybe hang?  I hate to fuse it.  Wait.  How about using Mylar (stencil blanks) inside the bell part, cut the same shape as the front piece?  Yep.  That's what I'll try.  I can poke a few needle holes on the sides and stitch it to the front's backing.  When I sew the front to the wool, the Mylar will bend also and keep that shape, and also press against the front's backing so it stays in place.  Hey.  Everything sounds good, but that doesn't mean it will work.  We'll see. 

 Any suggestions? 

And I thought my snow was bad

Good morning.  I came down with a head bopping sick day yesterday and woke up this morning to find a comment from the winner Krissy.  YAY!  But the poor girl lives in Minnesnowta, is experiencing outages, heavy snow, and well below zero temps (-37!).  I am complaining about the additional snow overnight, the crunchy kind, that needs to be pounded with a pipe to clear.  Expecting a 1/4" of ice buildup from freezing rain (the warm temp I was looking forward to), and then more white crap.  And look what others are having to deal with.  What a whiny wimp I am.  And probably always will be.
Chris was here yesterday and we were on speaker phone with his pump people for an hour.  FINALLY have it all worked out, it is still under warranty, the transmitter is being overnighted and he will have it today at noon.  One mixup after another but everyone that we talked to yesterday was so nice, so helpful. 
I tried to stitch last night but if I move my head, the dizziness ensues.  So I won't be working on the bell finish right now either. Just sitting upright, not moving much, watching three brats deposit hair as they buzz by chasing their toys.  Too cold for them outside.
Christmas is in a week!  Haven't made the dry cottage cheese pierogis yet for Christmas Eve.  Making meat manicottis ( and ricotta stuffed shells, meatballs and sausage for Christmas.  Today will be the cranberry pork tenderloins
Hope you have a safe weekend! 
Stay warm, pick up any strays and give them shelter from the cold.
Buy the ice grippers for your shoes.
Be careful!

Dec 16, 2016

The worst is over

Greetings folks.  Is everyone freezing?  Bone chilling winds and snow?  Yikes.  Our snow was so fine it looked like fog, Carole didn't make her appt. again.  Chris was out of town for a few days and came home late today, scraped the drive, and it will be 50 Saturday so we should be OK for a few days.  Can't wait till Saturday!
I worked on the Santa of Change, my latest one.  And since the hood, shoulders, width, forehead, and height changes weren't charted, it was a little difficult to say the least. 
 Outlining was easier to change and I did, many times, but it worked out well.  Now the fill is all that's left, sew his coat buttons on, and finish!  I think he looks a little odd, either the coat or legs need lengthened, but I may not mess with it.  The photo I manipulated looks good so maybe once the fill is completed it will all fall into place.
I saw a chart that was really cute and thought the name was All Through the Night.
Well that's the name of the company!  So when searching for that title, ended up seeing all their designs.  This is Harry ..... and Smitten. 

I will be ordering a few of her designs from her site.  She has other needleworks too including really nice quilts and wool applique designs. 
Krissy B!!!  Please contact me! 
Thanks for visiting.

Dec 14, 2016

Winner winner

Sorry it took a while, but quite a few names to enter.
First, a few other things.

Merry Wind Farm is having a great giveaway of one of her sampler reproductions.  Go to her blog to enter and view her charts.
Second, if you all think I can handle a bell, I'll give it a try.  I won't trim away any of the linen, just in case. 
Third, no stitching to show.  We had another issue with Chris at the time Carole was getting picked up for her doc appt., which she did not make.  It's been very cold and snowy, she can't get down (or up) her rotten driveway, so I've been doing her errands and shopping.  Tomorrow Mark will attempt the drive for her rescheduled appt. and take what she needs. 
Sun doesn't reach her drive and it's too cold for the salt to work anyway.  The slightest bit left on that curve is enough to create a hazard. Our drive is fine because Mark shoveled three times, and every time he cleared the paths and decks, there it came again.  The winds blew the snow inside the grapevine tree and made the lights really sparkle, then it all fell to the bottom.
So here we go, Random chose Krissy B. from the scrambled names.  Please contact me before Saturday with your choice of local or online shop and we'll set up your gift.
Thanks to all that entered. 

Dec 11, 2016

Merry Christmas

Before I get into details, I wanted to share what a silly duck I am.  You know I am not feeling the love for a needle, short on patience, not to mention crabby, and I wasted a few hours trying to come up with a solution to the second Santa finish. 
After all edge trims were rejected, I started working on a different shape.  A stocking finish was nice, but a little too wide, a pear shape worked great but it was too large, so I ended with a bell.  I used a Frixion pen so this will disappear when the iron touches it.  A round ring at the top, lightly padded bell shape backed with a nice fabric, and another padded piece for the back. With the two finished shapes sewn together, the center would be open and I can hang two large jingle bells on ribbon from the inside and hanging out.  Not explaining it clearly - The bell would be like two square hot pads sewn together on three sides (in a bell shape) with the bottom open.  Then the large jingle bells would be attached at the inside top and hang down like a clapper in a real bell.   Wouldn't that be really nice?  Different?  A royal pain in the ass?  Yepper.  Don't even think about it girl.  Stick a chocolate covered pretzel in that mouth and iron that Frixion right out of sight.  Why would I even consider such an involved finish?  But it would be nice.  Maybe just a padded bell shape, top ring, and two bells at the bottom?  Stop it right now.
So here's your gift.  I will purchase a $30 gift certificate for the winner, shop of their choice.  As long as they will accept purchase of a gift certificate through Paypal, you get to choose.  I use 123Stitch for the majority of my linen, but you may have a local shop you prefer.  If the winner is international, a shop there would save high postage.  So as long as it's OK with the shop, you can pick your favorite.
Leave your INITIALS, or LAST NAME in the comments on this post.  I will post the winner Wednesday evening the 14th at 8pm EST.  You will have until Saturday the 17th at 9am to contact me, if not, another name will be drawn.  If your email is available, I will contact you.  So that's it. A small token of my appreciation for your support and friendship, your help and ideas, your purchases of my items, concern for my family, and uplifting comments.  Thank you.
 I'll be back on Wednesday.

Santa's moves

Greetings folks. 
 It's snowing, adding 1"-3" this afternoon and much more overnight.  And you know what that means.  So I'll try to keep it short and sweet.
First off, giveaway post will be this evening, and I'm leaning toward the GC.  Many of you are international and don't enter the offers because of the high postage costs, and I appreciate that, but you are always welcome regardless. 
A gift certificate = no shipping = more entries!
My mind has been really scary recently, like forgetting to put my cup under the Keurig and searching for that coffee because I knew I brewed a cup.  Yesterday I saw a sampler snippet on Facebook that I found interesting so I wrote the name on my pad to check for a full view later.  Well, later, I wondered who the hell Esther Coggeshall was and sprained my brain trying to remember.  Was I to send her a card?  Did I owe her money?  Was that the lady from Medtronics?  No you dipshit, she's a sampler!!!
I searched and searched but could not find the plaid wool originally to be used on Santa's' backside so I sewed a fine wale dark red corduroy.  I didn't stitch the side twigs in this design so centering it was a problem.  His base would have been more to one side, so I added another star on the right side and that evened the side margin.  I added a red velvet hanger with little brass safety pins because I like to have the option of hanging or setting.  The steam 'n smash was pretty brutal on him but I prefer a flatter, harder finish which really helps prevent those corner peaks.  The more the center poufs, the more it pulls the sides in, the more the corners point.  So here he is, the blue I hated, the blue I now love, and he is a great addition to the other Santas.  In fact, I would like a few others with the dark ground.
I am glad I added the wrought iron hooks to the interior doors, great place to hang stitchery and so easy to move things around (as I continually do).  So this guy will probably be in a different spot every day.
The other completed Santa isn't sewn yet.  He just looks too bland and needs piping or a stitched border, neither of which thrills me.  But I will decide while the soup is simmering on the stove that is working.
Mark will have to take Carole to her appointment tomorrow and hopefully will not go over the ten foot drop at the curve of her luge track driveway.
Hope your weekend is going well.
Back later tonight.
p.s.  I get a few questions in comments but you're all no-reply so I can't answer!

Dec 9, 2016

Just hanging

Finally sewed a couple ornaments from last year.  Or longer?
Changed the inside door display to the checkered stag.  I don't usually use ribbon/velvet for the hanger but I thought this needed red.
This is Tina Woltman's Comet's Feather from 2014, but of course, I changed his body.
I don't remember these two, but I think the Yule stag was a free design.
I hope to also sew the two larger Santas I recently completed. 
Have a good weekend.
I will return Sunday with the Christmas giveaway.  I wanted to make something.  Berries, journal, ornament, but things have been so .... off..... that it may be a gift certificate which requires no concentration.
See 'ya then stitching buds.

Dec 7, 2016


Took the baskets off the doors and hung fresh branches tied with upholstery jute webbing, as I've done before. 
 I was looking through prior year photos and saw that last year, Bud decided to participate in the display as Nitzy did this year.  
  Repairman was here for hours trying to determine the cause of the weird actions of the range, nothing was making sense and diagnostics showed nothing.  As he was leaving, he wanted to check the back of the stove just for the heck of it.  There it was, black charred wires and melted plastic at the connection.  Could have started a fire and we can't figure out why the breaker wasn't blown since this was happening at least 20 times a day on a 220 line.  So, it will be repaired with new parts for a few hundred.
Did a little decorating, simple simple.

Stopped at Walmart for a few things and got my favorite spread for toast.
And for the brats, this little guy.  You pull out a little tab to activate and this thing squeaks like a mouse.  Missy is going nuts.  They don't have to squeeze it, it makes the sound with almost every swat.  But I feel bad when I hear it.  The other day, I had to distract two brats from a little mole that they cornered.  It was cold, but I ran outside and coaxed the little guy all the way across the yard into the woods.  Moles are blind and the poor thing was squeaking and running all over.  But he made it!
Have a great day.
Thanks for visiting.

Dec 6, 2016

Have a heart

Hello people!  How's everyone?  Hopefully well and safe.
While browsing Pinterest, I saw a few heart finishes for Christmas and thought .... as Arsenio does .... hmmmmm.  Not a lot of stitching involved and easy to choose the heart size with linen counts, small for ornaments and large ones for knob hangers.  For me, that's a good thing since my stitching desire does not seem to be returning.  I started this blog for encouragement to return to the needle, and if I close it, I will stop stitching.  At this point, it's keeping me going, not ready to throw in the towel yet!
You've probably already seen this one online but in case not, you can follow this link and scroll down
register with Better Homes and Gardens, and have access to the chart and other projects.
These others may also have been seen before, but as always, new to me!  I don't care for printed linen but these dots make an adorable heart, so I'll be ordering some along with the checked.  Just throw it on the pile of counts and colors that are sitting, waiting, hoping to be made into something glorious (or grungy).  You can adapt or use any design for a heart as shown in these great pieces.  So if you're tired of the Prairie Schooler tree, how about a heart tree?
 So many more on Pinterest but I should finish the Santa first.  Not an easy stitch since I am winging it.  I played with the photos but never created a chart to follow so ..... he will be a combination of all three choices in the end.  Just working on the outline in half cross so I can easily remove or change as needed. 
Have a heart!
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