Nov 17, 2017


Hiya folks.  I fought the crowds for more gifts today (at JCP and Kohls - all we have left) and stopped at Kraynak's which I've mentioned before.  Our local garden center and gift shop turns into Christmas land every fall.  I don't know if you have such a devoted holiday shop in your area, but the amount of decorations and ornaments and trees they offer is really something.  But, they do not have the feather style!  Just thought I would show you a glimpse (from a $5 phone) of trees (some almost $2000) and row after row of wreaths, snowmen, santas, ribbons, stockings, and almost anything you'd want.  Except feather trees or primitive ornaments.  Of course.  Their Christmas Tree Lane takes a path down a hallway of decorated trees and animated displays.  The lines on the weekend extend outside the building.
Here 'ya go, this is Kraynak's in Hermitage PA.  The first greenhouse of lights and collectibles, gadgets and candles,  novelty light strings and ceramics, is not shown.  Neither is the second greenhouse filled with succulents, poinsettias, and something flowering of which I have no knowledge.  The front and main store is gifts and tons of toys, especially trains and sets of all kinds.  You can see some of those areas on their website here.


These are really beautiful in person, many angels too, specific for family members or special people.

Beautiful bulbs from cute to exquisite, loads of baby's first Christmas, but nothing for me!
I'm going back tomorrow to get a few of the outdoor lighted wire trees for Carole. 
Sorry if I bored you, but for my area, a visit to Kraynak's is a holiday tradition for most.  Almost impossible to see everything in one visit. 

Nov 16, 2017


Chums part II is traveling home to Chrie.  Hey Chrie!  You're no-reply so please contact me with your address.  There was an entry from Cherie, but Random fell on Chrie.  Just wanted to clarify!  There were quite a few email entries to add into the comment names but I got them all and want to thank everyone for participating. 
Hope you're all having a nice evening.  I'm spending mine with Sam and Dean.


 So sad to read of Nancy Zieman's passing.  I watched Sewing with Nancy for many years.  Her touching note about her illness and sudden retirement to followers and admiring fans was posted to her blog in September.  We will miss you Nancy.

What I'm stitching..
Prairie Schooler #36 but only three of the designs.  Because of being sick for 3 weeks I never got around to listing all the PS books on Ebay.   Since I have duplicates of several Santa leaflets I will keep a few for myself. 
I had a doc appointment at 4:00, Mark was golfing (unless it snows, they golf) and I was just putzing around the quiet house.  We don't have a wall clock, I use the stove's digital.  As I passed and saw the time, I realized how late I was and grabbed my keys.  Once in the car, I wondered why the dashboard was reading 2:10.  ???  It was the same on my $5 phone.  So back into the house I go.  The 350 I saw was not the time, it was the oven temp for the cake I put in a half hour before. 
Last chance to enter Chums part II!  Make sure your comment is on the prior post, not this one, or an email (postcard top right).

Have a good day folks.

Thanks for visiting.


Nov 15, 2017

Chums part II

Yep.  I stitched two, gave one in gratitude, now giving one in celebration.  Although I certainly trust a CT, there is still a little anxiety in the back of my noggin which I'm sure will fade.
A tiny little lavender stuffed pillow. This time, it's voluntary!  Leave your name or initials if anonymous, I will notify the recipient in a post. Entries close Thursday evening 11/16 at 8pm EST.

We went to Jimmy's Italian market for good ricotta and pecorino romano and Meander Hill to see their Christmas wares. They once again have the 72" and 50" skimpy trees.  They mimic feather trees, single branches are fairly stiff with longer needles from the main trunk.   Perfect for loading with stitchery or family heirlooms.  The ornaments become the focus, hanging freely without lights and dense foliage.  I think Kraynak's have this one or similar and I will check it out this week.
Photos from my $5 cell phone - sorry!

A photo of the tree from last year, better than mine, is here.  They will ship if you can't find that style of tree near you.  $50 for 50" and $75 for 72" plus shipping.   All their contact info is on that link to their Facebook page.  Decorating was the last thing on my mind recently, but I am looking forward to getting the little trees out now.  I'm always asked where I find those feather style trees so I try to post any source that I know is willing to ship.  Click here to see some of their shop, all photos will enlarge.  They had huge mostly silver/rusty jingle bells (maybe 8" and 10" across) hanging from beams and I LOVED them but don't know where they would hang.  A covered porch ceiling - perfect!  Maybe a little hook in the ceiling for over the kitchen sink.  Hmm.  I-80 is an absolute mess with construction but I may have to go back!
Such a wonderful shop complete with original beams and charm.  This is on the second floor.
My favorite room on the main floor of this very large barn/shop.

High quality, DR Dimes, lighting, textiles, and smalls.  I so enjoyed our visit.
Don't forget to leave a comment for Chums II!

Nov 14, 2017

Good news

Hello everyone.  After my CT scan this morning in prep for the PET scan, a huge discrepancy was found.   Radiologist #1 that reported a 2cm x 2cm mass and recommended the PET, saw something that radiologist #2 did not.  It is a 5mm nodule.  5MM NODULE not 2CM MASS.  No further testing is needed and I am in the clear.  Whew.  I guess this is why a CT is done before a PET!   Fifteen years ago they said I had cancer and after the hysterectomy, they found none, so it's not the first time I am relieved after much anxiety and a drastic discrepancy.
Thank you all for those prayers and good thoughts! 

Nov 13, 2017


EDIT - I received an email from someone saying they got an email from me telling them they won Chums.  They are no-reply so I could not have sent it, there is no record in my sent file, and I am concerned about a hacking.  If any of you have received an email from me recently or a notification of winning Chums, please let me know by clicking the postcard on the top right. 

Dear Mindy,

Your comment matched the number drawn by Random for the tiny Chums.  Please email me with your address.  Since this was not a voluntary entry for a giveaway, if you would prefer not to receive it, don't like primitives, or the smell of lavender, I will not be offended!

Am I the only one that goes into a new Dollar Tree and leaves with tons of things she doesn't need, just because "it's only $1"?  I don't visit those stores often but wanted to grab Christmas wallet cards and a few sympathy cards to have on hand.  But I made the mistake of walking a few aisles and found plastic bins and baskets and notepads and pens and trail mix and figs and hotpads and spatulas and Pirouline sticks and foil containers and peanut butter filled pretzels and  .... well, you get the idea.

Thanks again for your encouraging words, good wishes, and prayers. 
Nitzy is doing better even though there are more bright pink amoxicillin drops on my walls than down his throat.

Nov 11, 2017

A tiny piece

for a huge thank you.  I am touched by all the well wishes from readers and fellow stitchers, obviously a caring and thoughtful group of wonderful people.  Thank you so very much.

Every day the hooked cat from Krissy B sits across from me and reminds me of the generosity of this sisterhood of ours.  And her tiny Chums stitch that I sniff (lavender) daily is still one of my favorites.  For some reason, it was calling to me.  Santa was put away, my next sampler is waiting, because this tiny piece felt right. 

So I stitched it, and stitched it again, and I may stitch it again.  Of course there is a slight change because of my failure to study the chart, but it's OK.  You won't mind will you?  It will be sent to one of you that commented on that last post.  All anonymous left an initial/name except one and there is only one unknown, making it easy.  I can include every single one of you.  It's a tiny piece, but with enormous gratitude.  
I will have Random choose a number and match it to the comments.  Densely filled with fresh lavender and ready to travel as soon as I get an address.  I will post the recipient and request contact if they are no-reply, probably Sunday afternoon.

My PET scan will be Thursday, only if they can somehow squeeze me in.  I will request another location if they can't since the unit travels bi-weekly to this area and I do not want to wait an additional two weeks.

Missy is doing much better and is back to destroying the house.  She snagged the top of this wing and made a hole just in the last few days.  Nitzy is sick and I don't believe it's just a cold/infection.  He just isn't well and seems to be going downhill with no real symptoms.  Even though it is very difficult to administer, I have given him four days of antibiotics with no change.  He won't allow me near him now.  If it continues, I will see if any of the mobile vets would attempt an exam.
Once again, thank you very much.  I'll be thinking of your kind words instead of the claustrophobia while lying in that PET tube.
Enjoy your weekend.
Thank you to all the veterans.

Nov 6, 2017


Hi everyone.  Just a quick post to let you know I will be gone for a while.  My kidneys improved but I just got word that they found a 2cm mass in my right lung.  CT scan in two weeks and until then, I won't be able to function or think clearly.  I will update when I have some answers.
Take care.

Nov 3, 2017

A tisket a tasket

a big ass basket.  Meander Hill in Youngstown, big flat door basket.  They don't lay perfectly flat and are all a little wonky but I soaked it in water and shaped it.  I like BIG on the doors, not a wimpy wreath.  Still not the one I am looking for which I thought I spotted on Pine Cone Gift Shop's FB post, but I have messaged them for info twice in the past, and never receive an answer.  For now, this will do.  But how do I keep it from scratching the dark paint and leaving those ugly marks?  Usually a piece of felt, of which I have none, so I used a piece of old sweatshirt fleece that is tucked inside and hanging over the back of the basket.  Soft and scratch free.  The high strength magnet can't hold it to the metal door because of the heavy weave.
And this brat sat there for almost an hour, as if he knew how handsome he looked against the bright leaves.
Missy seems to be somewhat improved and so far, no blood has been dripping while administering the liquid antibiotics.
And in the mail today, dried oranges for my little tree from Monahan Papers Etsy site here.  Could I make them?  I have.  Do I want to?  No.  Why bother when you get perfectly dried and beautifully colored online?  Simplify.
Do you remember the in-store incidents I've had in the past?  Walking into mannequins, mirrored columns, falling in the dressing room?  Here's another tip for you to avoid these unfortunate and embarrassing mishaps.  Always have your purse strap on your arm or shoulder.  Never hold the purse itself and allow the strap to hang loose at your side, unless you are in a wide open aisle with no center displays sporting large hooks holding small items. 
Have a good weekend!

Nov 2, 2017


That was close!  After soaking some gourds for the final cleaning, I realized one took on water.  Just a few tiny holes in the bottom drained the water but Mark suggested putting it in a warm oven to dry the inside thoroughly so it wouldn't mold.  Preheat to 175 and then turn it off.  This morning, I cleaned a few more and stuck them in the oven with the waterlogged one.  The oven stayed warm and then ..... I forgot about them.  Burgers on the grill and fries in the oven, which was preheated to 425 and emitting an odd odor.  OMG!!!  The gourds!!!  Thank goodness for the odor or they would have eventually exploded.  How do I know that?  Back many years ago when I painted santas on them, I threw the very large ones into a burning barrel.  No longer wanting to paint and no shops interested in plain gourds, burning was (still is) my go-to disposal method.  Kaboom baby.  Scared the hell out of me and rocked that metal barrel.  With three of them, might have blown the oven door open.  I must say, they did brown nicely, except for a few rack lines.  I didn't make it to the shop and decided to keep six out of the twenty. 
 I was holding my breath for the last few days after my preliminary test results were in.  Today, it was stamped Final Results.  I can happily report that gallons of water indeed helped and my kidney function is up.  And I don't remember who it was that suggested drinking water through a straw and I can't tell you how that has helped me.  I have no idea why, but I can suck it down much easier than drinking from a glass.  Thank you thank you!
I'm going to take a Tylenol this evening so I can stitch, hope I get a decent amount completed.  I saw Plum Street's Kringle and Woolard on a stitcher's post and think it's adorable.  May have to check into this chart.  I must miss a lot of designs!
Hope your week's end spills into a great weekend.
Thanks for visiting.

Nov 1, 2017

Gourd cleanup

How's your week going?  It's November, no need to relay how I'm feeling about that.

Still not right (and may never be) but I am feeling a little better.  Except for the neck and palpitations.  I suspect the Afib is full blown because I actually feel weak when that tap dancing in my chest takes place.  I guess another monitor is in my future.  My arm's pain is affected by more than 15 minutes of stitching so that has slowed down.

I am taking more primitive items to the local shop (donations) and plan to ask if they want my gourd excess.  These I will charge for so maybe they won't want them.  I found a bag in the attic and also a tote in the basement, all in natural state (grunge fest) so I am scraping and then will wash a few for a variety.  Something for everyone from smooth and clean to rough and dirty.

Little girl Missy is sick.  My brother got amoxicillin from his vet for me, it's all respiratory.  I got the dropper into her once yesterday and can not approach her since.  It's cold and rainy and she took off when the door opened.  She's finally back and sleeping with Bud inside.  One way or another I will get her on that table and she will get dosed again.  I can't get on the floor since the fall in Sears.  That reminds me.... the next time I fall and it is because of negligence as the Hubbard hardware store was guilty of, I will take photos and names of those around me.  That bastard would not even pay my co-pays or answer my phone calls after I sent doc reports of not one, but two sprained ankles.  Was not easy walking!  But without evidence except for one employee and two men whose names I don't have, nothing I can do.  I did not intent to sue but next time, I will at least have evidence if I am treated as this owner did.
Woody is moving from house to mailbox and over the summer, the corner trim boards suffered extensive damage as did the chimney surround.  The hole into the attic is still covered with the metal sheeting from two years ago and so far, so good.
Still waiting for my test results and hoping for the best.
Have a good day!

Oct 30, 2017


That damn bird is now trying to nest in our mailbox!  We need to find a metal plate for the side, he is almost completely through.  But will that stop Woody Wood****er?  Probably not because he is tearing it up on all sides including the door. 
We have sun this morning, blustery winds, and wet leaves covering the yard.  I pounded a long piece of rebar well into the ground and slid the cornstalks over to secure them.  The high winds bent the tops on one but the stalks themselves stayed upright.
You may be growing weary of Mr. Blue by now, but Linda Mckenzie's finishing method for him is something I never thought of, and a great idea for holiday displays.  Hers is on 35/36 count, nice tight coverage.  I asked her if it was OK to share her finish and she gave permission.  The fabric colors are perfect!  I do prefer this darker blue as Lori intended but will continue on with my lighter version.  It will give me something more to crab about later and we must feed the crab.  But there is plenty of food right now and I really really like the darker blue.  Really.
I've already had some frogging on him because I don't pay attention to the chart when there is fill work.  So I stitched the outline which I should have done before, and now I don't have to worry about those errors.
Have a good day!
Thanks for visiting.

Oct 29, 2017

Continuing with one thread

Instead of 924, I moved to 930 and then tried one shade lighter.  The 931 is still strong enough in color yet not as sharp a contrast with the linen, and coverage looks much better.  Looks even better than the craptastic photo.  I am really surprised this worked because the other lighter shades did not, glad that I continued messing with it.

These mundane posts have been showing up because I am not able to do much other than bug you.  The good news - there is now air flowing through one nostril.  Progress!  The bad news - not much left for the trick-or-treaters.  Snickers peanut butter bars are much better than I expected.  Reese cups never make it to the treat hour so I do not buy them, but these won't either.  I'll put on my red rubber boots, the sunglasses with only one lens, my red paint stained sweatshirt, and with my bulbous red nose, 28# cold sore, and unwashed wild hair, they will forget all about a treat when the door opens. 

Oct 28, 2017

As the optician says

One?  Or two? 
One?  Or two? 
I have the same question.
Thirty count used to be my favorite and I do have some left, but followed the chart with thirty two count.  Those two threads per inch make quite a difference and cause me quite a dilemma regarding floss threads.  I do not like the sparse look of one thread on 32 count, but two threads are heavy and bulky.  At least mine are.  And I really don't like stitching with two strands any longer.  The stag is one, and it's OK I guess, not as large an area as his coat.  But the dark blue contrast on the lighter linen is too open for me.  I tried a lighter blue for less contrast but it wasn't enough color.  See the heavy thread over his back compared to the single thread below?  It's raised like a little sausage roll.  My SIL used two strands on 32 Belfast almost exclusively and her work was perfect, no sausages.
 Linen to thread contrast would not be as noticeable on a darker linen but neither would this design with its dark thread.  (sigh) (nose blow) (cough).  I need to order 35 count raw/unbleached linen which is perfect for one thread, but I don't think there are too many options for that, most are dyed.  I will stitch a larger area of the blue before deciding if I want to start over on my last piece of beige 35 count.  Hoping I can put on those big girl panties and continue on this piece because I'm sure when completed, it will be just fine.  And it's seasonal, not something I will look at every day.  There 'ya go.  I knew if I yakked about it, sensibility would prevail.
I'm not sure if I will order all 13 skeins of wool needed to stitch Ellen (unexpected car bill for Carole) but did find a decent sale price for them.  Most online shops had the GASWT thread for $3.20-3.35 and Stitching Bits 'n Bobs has them for $2.64.  Simply Wool Threads. That's a really good price.  Ellen calls for Buckeye Scarlet (4 skeins) Dried Thyme (3) Grecian Gold (2) and one each of Harvest Basket, Driftwood, Dark Chocolate, and Forest Glade.  I may use the GAST cotton, but who knows?
I'll leave you with another one of our visitors.

Enjoy the last few days of October.  I'm still in shock!

Oct 27, 2017

A slump slows you down

but doesn't prevent you from acquiring new projects.  Not when they are this great.  I haven't received a new sampler chart in a while and don't really need any, but when I saw this from Merry Wind Farm, I couldn't pass it up.  Different.  Small.  Not complicated.  Fits a standard frame but would make an excellent sack too.  Plus, wool threads.  I tried them once and my uncontrollable tension caused issues and breakage.  Being sick has made me weak so maybe now's the time to try again!
I pulled colors for Notforgotten's Blue Belsnickle and will start after meds kick in, followed by Melinda's Ellen Ford.  Click either title for their Etsy sites.  I will order the wool threads this afternoon.
I want to mention that several readers have told me that they are no longer getting post updates through email.  I have no idea why, but if you are having this problem, add your email again in the right side bar, or email me and I can add it to my settings so you will receive the posts.
Have a good day folks.

Oct 26, 2017


That's what a whitetail deer with black hair is called, and rare.  First one either of us has ever seen!  Some have black faces but this one was marked on the majority of his body and neck.  Not a very good photo, taken at dusk through a window.  He is quite skittish and when he came back for more corn, my movement scared him off again.  I hope not into the path of a hunter.
Remember the old cast iron sink with drainboards they took out of the woods?  That's the back of it you see leaning against the tree behind him.  No place for it and no ideas for a outdoor stand/display.  It's quite large and very heavy, Mark said once it's in place, it will never be moved again!   I have two words for that.  Locking casters.



and getting ready to pick a linen for Belsnickle.  You know I always change a few colors, haven't really decided if that will happen and I am fairly sure Mr. Blue will stay, but the border may end up green or brown.
I had a difficult time discerning the symbol patterns so I colored them, but then enlarged to make it easier yet.  With my stitching attitude still snarky, I need to avoid any little frustrations.  I've done this with many samplers and designs, always a huge help.
It's turned chilly, so that means I'll be hosting three flea ridden brats more often.  I want to buy a cat tree for them but haven't seen one that has removable/washable covers to the perches.  These cats are filthy and always leave a dirty spot wherever they lay.  And this gives new meaning to the term, face plant.
Starting to feel human again - thanks for your well wishes.
Have a good day!

Oct 24, 2017


I started stitching a few Christmas related words to sew into tiny hearts or squares for the small trees. Yule, Wish, Hope, Eve, Jolly, Star, Bells, Holy, Noel, Joy are some that I may use.  I should of course have the fabric cut first because I may be limiting the heart shape, but then again, I want them very small for a feather style tree so hearts may not work.  Whether I stitch a green sprig of holly or gold star will be determined later.  I didn't realize when ordering this linen online that the pattern was actually .... paint?  I wanted to age the fabric and darken the white but it won't take.  Anyone have a suggestion?   Maybe the Ranger ink pad will work, haven't tried that yet.
I should be getting Belsnickle in a day or two but I am still pretty sick and not in the mood for following a pattern.  I may have to go to the doctor again. 
Weather changed!  My warm days are over replaced by a blustery wind.  I like wind and after raining the sun appeared, leaves were blowing down against a dark sky but rays of sunshine were breaking through.  Sounds idyllic for a fall day.  Eh.  I'm just trying to talk myself into it.  A week from today will be November and I will need something sweet to get me through.
Hope your week is going well.

Oct 23, 2017

The robe

Thought I would share a vintage robe that my sister found in her downsizing attempt.  She dated a serviceman that was stationed in Japan late 50's (?) early 60's (?).  He bought her many items there, pearls, ivory, silk scarves, and this robe.  What exquisite workmanship.  There are no tags except for the Trademark Made in Japan but I believe it must be silk.  Fully lined to the edges throughout, even the sleeve seams are covered in tape. I tried finding something similar in online vintage shops, hoping to sell it for her, but haven't found anything close.  Most are kimonos. 
 Isn't it gorgeous?  The inside impressed me almost  as much and I wonder if it was handsewn.
Funny, I don't ever remember my sister being thin enough for this.  There isn't enough to wrap around me but oh so luxurious and light.  For now it will hang in the closet and I will look through the silk jammies and scarves for more treasures.  The ivory carved daisy necklace was a gift he sent to Carole's little sister (moi) and it is sized for a girl.  I have since removed the yellow ink from the centers.  It's real ivory from 50 years ago before they banned it.  So sad and disgusting that majestic animals are mutilated for profit including removing the shark's fins and putting it back into the waters to slowly suffer and die.  Uh oh.  SOOT!!!
This wasn't very interesting was it?  But I thought you might like to see a beautifully made article from over 50 years ago.  
I didn't start any stitching and probably won't until my right hand is without tissue held to my nose.  Don't worry Roann!  I used a Clorox wipe on the pillow, packaging, tape, and box!
Have a good day!
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