Apr 30, 2017

Composition books

Slip a plastic bag over the inside pages for protection.  Spread glue evenly over the cover, attach a sheet of lightweight cardstock butted to the black binding (this is a kraft pack of 50 from JoAnn's), smooth out with a barrel ink pen or roller.  Open cover and trim cardstock with utility knife or scissors, remove any excess glue on the inside, do the same to the back cover, stamp!  You could also print something on the cardstock first.  If you do, make sure to protect it with Krylon's Matte Finish 1311 spray or ModPodge before gluing.  I'm sure I could do a sampler, but I have other journals for that and I like the simplicity of these.
Wouldn't the tiny ones make nice favors or place cards?  A verse or quote printed in a nice font?  Lots of possibilities and the best part - they are really cheap so mistakes aren't costly.  The only problem I had was using too much glue on the edges and it seeped to the inside of the cover, and while drying they warp.  I held them closed on the very edge with rubber bands for an hour or you could use a weight.  Centering a nail file or cardboard strip beneath the covers before this was helpful, makes the cover bend in slightly.  For my mache journals another paper glued to the inside of the covers prevented the warp.  Now.  Did you really need all these details? 
Absolutely not.

Apr 29, 2017

What's this?

Rebecca Hall on poorly cut linen.
Pineberry Lane is having a sale this weekend, ending Sunday 4/30 at 6pm.  I have several of her designs but one that I do not remember caught my eye.  Small and simple, chose the e-pattern, and decided to start it right away before the bloom faded.  But you know I am changing colors don't you?  Mainly because I chose 35 count Straw linen and this piece is pretty gold.  Changed the greens to brown but the blue will stay, and I may add more color into the motif body.  Reproductions are true to their antique originals but ..... I am not a purist and have no issue with making changes.

It will be another stuffed small to hang on a doorknob or peg, about 5.25" square on 35 count.
A cold and rainy Saturday brought the Nitster in for a snoozy afternoon.  He was curled up in the back of the box most of the day and I could not find him, thought Mark let him out.  Eventually his ornery little head appeared and he slept like this for another hour.
Hope your weekend is going well.
Thanks for visiting.

Apr 27, 2017

Miniature Sampler chart

Also posted under the FREE tab.
The spaces between each letter are not the same throughout so make sure you don't  just stitch away without checking.  Stitched over two.

Click on chart to open in a new window, then right click and choose Print.  If you have problems, let me know.

You can see how small it is compared to my needlebook and the last little sampler.  Maybe I should have used a 30 or 32 but I wanted to use one strand of floss.  I think eyelets look much better with one than two.


I will post the chart this afternoon.  Changed a few colors (few??) as I stitched and will make those corrections first.
Needlebook?  Ornament? 

Apr 25, 2017


Sun on a cardinal's red.
Spring colors, but I think it's too much in a small piece.
I like the purple of the eyelets, but may remove it from the body. 

Hope you have a great day.

Apr 23, 2017

Small and top heavy

Neither of which I am.  After removing Flora's error and preparing to start again,  I just couldn't do it.  I had a miniature sampler in my head for a while now and decided to chart it.   Not sure of the colors until I stitch it but so far, they're springy.  On 32 count it will be a little over 2 1/2" wide and I had not planned for it to be so small.  Counting as I was charting would have been smart but .....
I may start this evening, may not.  Today has been a real bitchy day.  I noticed that when I am ill, in pain, on meds, the hot flashes take a break.  I am greatly improved, but must have reached meno's cut-off point for sympathy because those rat bastards are back.  If I had not been in agony I would have enjoyed the break.  I stopped at my chiro's to give him a bag of hot sausage, hot sticks, and jalapeno sticks from the nearby meat market because without his treatments, I would still be bent over.  He mentioned how he and his wife enjoy hot foods and I knew raw meat would make it to his office, chocolate would have perished on the way.  Saw a lot of cat hair in that bent position that I had not noticed before.  I bought more Playtex gloves a few weeks ago and am so glad they take care of the furniture and bedding hair.
I am sticking to my Weight Watcher points but haven't lost any more than the first week.  I am hungry.  Really.  Even a Lean Cuisine (which is more like a snack than a meal) is 1/3 of my daily points and I am loading with fruit, but I may switch to the Simply Filling plan.  It's also a nuisance to run to the laptop to check and enter points every time something hits my lips.  A phone (that I don't have) would be easier and even though I updated, their website is an unreadable mess on my tablet.  It's a good plan, but I don't know if it's for me.
Enjoy the last week of April.  Time is flying.
p.s.  Yes I will share this miniature in case you are interested.

Apr 22, 2017

Just in case

you don't receive the newsletter from the Essamplaire, the current issue offers links to some interesting sites showing beautiful antique pieces and files to open.  One link in particular could keep me busy for hours.
The files to browse are 100 year old pictures used for the 1921 American Samplers.  Another link on the page opens 473 pages of samplers, not very good photos, but you can click on any to enlarge for more information.  Just an interesting site with lots to view.
The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America's home page is http://nscda.org/

Very interesting reading about textile preservation here Museum Textile Services.
A major error (I left out the 9) in a completed row has brought me to a screeching halt.  Whether I continue or choose something small and easy will be determined this evening.
Look at the bellies on these three.  Fawns soon!
Have a great weekend!

Apr 20, 2017

A little mousy

Before hopping (dragging) into the shower, I checked a few blogs.  Vera (The Threaded Lane) had a mouse encounter and it reminded me of an incident 50 years ago.
Do you remember the net hair covers we wore to mass?  Back then, you dressed nicely for church and never would be without a head cover of some sort.  Mantillas, doilies, whimsies.  Mom was dressed and ready first, opened the front door and bent over to pick up the Sunday paper.  Hanging on to the brick directly above the door was a mouse, which happened to lose its grip when the door brushed him.  He landed in the netting of mom's whimsie.  Her extremely thick hair cushioned his impact and she felt nothing.  She sat down across from dad at the table, drank her coffee, and dad just assumed that little furry thing was part of the feather adornment.  It wasn't until she leaned over to buckle her shoe that the little guy fell off.  Not realizing what it was, they just looked at him until he ran under the fridge.   I left the room because I couldn't handle what may have followed.
One summer, I hit the button to light our gas grill and something fell out, blackened, and smoking.  It staggered away and I wanted Mark to find it and make sure it wasn't suffering.  He never saw it.  I lifted the lid and saw that she had built a nest in the briquettes.  We checked, no babies, and removed the nest.  Next day there she was, a little sooty but a busy builder.  I couldn't displace her again and two days later, babies.  Over the next weeks, I opened the lid daily and as they grew, they came up to the grates to say hello.  When they were big enough, we put gloves on and moved them to bales of straw in the back.  Two days later when I opened the lid to remove the contents, they were back!  This happened several times and finally, I gave up.  We just moved the grill to the wood line.  We mouse proof our grills ever since, and leave a cloth bag with moth balls under the hood of the lawn tractor, another favorite spot of theirs.  I leave the hood up to remind us to remove the bag before mowing, and no mice since.  I don't want them in my house, but I don't want any critter to suffer either.  Sometimes a quick end is necessary but only if it's quick and painless.  I guess I'm weird.
I saw Nina, who tattooed my eyebrows and liner, her hair is fabulous.  It is spiky on the ends and her bangs, yet soft to the touch.  I was impressed and she thought the product would help with my fuzzhead.  The product?  BedHead Manipulator.  So I ordered it.  The wrong one.  I got the yellow jar (a wax) instead of the blue jar (a paste).  It's a texturizer that separates your hair to give it that edgy look.  Well, the wax is ....... beeswax.  So now I can just pull my floss through my hair to wax it.  I ordered the blue jar and it will be here in a few days.
Well this was kind of long and boring wasn't it?  Still hopped up on Advil and hungry as hell.  Sorry.
Dear Brigitte, "crabass" is a person that is part jackass, part crab (a person that is in a bad mood).   They don't keep their crabbiness to themselves, they let everyone around them feel it too.  Therefore, a crabby jackass = crabass. 

I left a comment for Niky a while back that said "be still my heart" and she replied asking me what that meant.  No I don't want to die!  It just means that my heart is racing with excitement and pleasure, and I ask for it to slow down. 

Bitch-slap is a term that has variations, none good.  Some definitions are to actually slap someone unworthy of a full punch.  I never did and never will understand that.  Others use it as a phrase, not intending a physical action, to indicate their displeasure toward a nasty person deserving a slap. 
Someone likes to watch it rain.

That's all folks.  Into the shower I go.  I wonder if hot steam will melt the beeswax.
Have a great weekend.
Thanks for visiting.

Apr 19, 2017

Slow progress

on all fronts.  But even slight progress is always good.

This reproduction is very basic.  The same alphabet we have stitched over and over until we no longer need to check the chart.  The bottom section's letters are slightly different.  Still haven't decided if the dividing bands will be light thread, red thread, or no thread.  I just hope I can finish it because the mojo is almost completely gone.  Strange how we turn away from things we have loved for so long.  Sometimes a break is beneficial, sometimes it's a death knell.  My longest was after the shops closed, my stitching friends passed, and there was no online shopping or browsing back then.  All sources and inspiration were gone.  Years later, I started seeing sampler photos on photo sites, and SamplerFarm's page of Carol's work pulled me back in.  Online sources were not as plentiful as today, but eventually I learned how to locate charts and supplies. Several years passed before I started blogging in February 2011 hoping it would be the final push I needed.
I am glad that I chose a small piece as this instead of the Ann Spence or another big girl.  That would have been it!  When the back is much better and I am in a comfortable stitching position, I'm hoping the needle bug will return.
Thanks for visiting.

Apr 15, 2017

Could not resist

I've been doing fairly well on the WW plan. Today I made this fruit salad (one of my favorites) and fell off the wagon.  Not too badly though.  Mark put it in the basement fridge but that never stopped me before. This is a simple dessert, made with light products, and no sugar added fruit.  You can of course use the original products, not the light.

1 can of fruit cocktail (15 oz. or close)
2 (15 oz.) cans mandarin oranges (no sugar added or not)
1 can crushed or tidbit pineapple  (15 oz. or close)

(I also add 1/2 jar of Maraschino cherries cut in half and set on paper towel to drain)
Drain all very well in colander.

Beat an 8 oz. brick of 1/3 less fat cream cheese
2 TBSP light mayo or Miracle Whip (the Miracle gives it more zip)
Then lightly beat in one 8 oz. container Lite or regular Cool Whip (NOT fat free)

Throw in fruit and gently blend.
This dish is a size down from 9x13
That's it.

You can throw a few cherries on top for color.
So refreshing and creamy and just damn good.  No added sugar, not very sweet.

Apr 14, 2017

Wheeling in PA

Hello folks.  Feeling a slight better today, thank you very much!  I hope all of you are doing well and feeling the warmer Spring breeze.
After a week of being restricted I decided to check out the sewing room mess.  You never know what you may find there.  I wasn't thinking and sat on the wheeled office chair at the sewing machine.  No arms, no cane for support, Mark is golfing, no way to get up.  But baby I got wheels.  That was fun except for the speed bump where carpet meets hardwood. 
I've been going through the old tablecloths as I had previously mentioned, checking to see what I could salvage and what was hopeless.  Many beautiful linen prints, very few cotton.  Some had areas that were just not acceptable, such a burn marks.  A beautiful pale yellow with gray and white roses was large enough for a shower curtain in Carole's bath and a little valance for the tiny window.  So I started wondering what I could use these vintage cloths for instead of discarding.  Curtains, valances, sachet bags, hearts, drawstring pouch for the bath or peg board, clothespin bag, lots of things.  A shame to trash a large old piece because of one area that can be cut away.  So that was my plan.  I have three cotton that will hopefully go to a new home, and eight linen prints for the vintage shop.  The rest are piled in my sewing room.   Since I couldn't get out of the chair, I just wheeled to the pile, then to the scissor drawer, then to the sewing machine, and back and forth to the ironing board.  Came up with these from Mom's red cloth with dogwoods that my Uncle Tony's cigarette burned decades ago.
I can see a bowl full of tucks and hearts and berries from various bright prints in a vintage kitchen.  I would like to continue this next week and should have plenty, maybe see if the vintage shop would be interested in them.  Aging was considered, but the bright colors and crisp white backgrounds shouldn't be messed with.
I needed to take more Advil, and was really hurting from sitting too long, so one set was all I did. The chair was already in the highest position so I hit the lever to lower it and (with my weight on it) came crashing down quickly!  I slowly slid off to my hands and knees and was able to once again become upright with the help of a doorknob.  Why that was possible on my knees but not while sitting is a mystery to me.  It's a common move when I forget that if I crouch down, I can't get back up.  Flopping on to my side in the store and then hands/knees works.  I also learned you NEVER try to hoist yourself up using the store's shelves as a aide. 
Have a wonderful weekend and a beautiful Easter everyone.

Apr 13, 2017

Thank you

for all your kind words, offered prayers, and best wishes.  Chiropractor three mornings in a row, still miserable and will be for weeks.  I told him no more until next week because in and out of the car is excruciating. Orthopedic appointments are available (weeks from now) and no PT until a doctor orders.  I can sit, no more than 10 minutes at a time, the pain and strain from trying to rise takes an hour to ease.  So.  Mark is out getting things for Easter brunch (cold smoked kielbasa, ham, fresh oatmeal bread, Hawaiian rolls, cwikla, eggs, swiss cheese and our pepper butter.  Everything can be sliced and ready to put out, no dinner to prepare.  Carole is making one for her grandkids and we are invited afterward to give the crew their new shoes.   Maybe, maybe not.
The SANQ downloads offered a while back contained this little primitive red sampler, Flora Dellow.  With all the back aids and pillows around me (that mesh lumbar support is from heaven) trying to stitch several colors would be frustrating. Flora offers another simple monochromatic design, good for a crabbeast.  The dividing bands are ecru, not sure what I will do with them.

Wishing everyone a joyous Easter.

Apr 10, 2017

Holy sacrum!

This will be short, but not sweet.  This weekend, I bent over to get something from a bottom drawer while in an off balance position.  I could not return to an upright stance.  Doctor feels it is the sacrum, the bottom part of the spine that takes the weight and distributes it through the hips and pelvis.   Believe me, it is distributing.  The pain is unbearable, I cannot sit, lie, or bend, getting in the car requires Mark to lift my legs and wipe my tears.  Going again tomorrow morning, but not much he can do.  I am exhausted from standing. 
Can't do much stitching or sewing that's for sure, but I went through charts and decided on Ann Stone (oldie) from R&R Reproductions, or Mary Monier from The Examplarery.  When I subscribed to SANQ before it discontinued, they offered downloads of prior issues and there were several that I liked.  But all were lost when the Dell bit the dust.  I don't know how long I will be in this condition, but I do know that Advil for the first time, is not helping.
We've had warm and sunny days,  I can't even sit on my swing.  I walk around outside with a cane, hunched over as if I am looking for bugs.
 Hope everyone is doing well.

Apr 9, 2017

A little red pouch

That's what I'm leaning toward for a finish.  I already counted and removed a linen thread, planning to finish this into a little something-or-other to hang or set.  When I reached the top of the stairs to my sewing room, I saw this red wool bag and of course, it created confusion and doubt.  But the pouch would be wider to accommodate the stitchery and that shape may not be as attractive.  
The only darker red wool I have is speckled and I prefer the solid so I will need to order online, taking a chance on what shade of red it will be.  By that time, I may just sew it into a little tuck and be done with it.  You know .... patience doesn't reside here.  But I do really like the red background so I'm hoping that will work out.
The diet is very difficult for me but easy for others.  I eat a lot.  And often, always did.  So counting every single item makes those points add up quickly for me and I am hungry.  Really hungry.  I did find two dressings (Walmart) that are helping and am very surprised at the taste.  Most fat free sugar free are blah but these two are really good and zero points.  Sandwiches and veggies taste a lot better with them, not to mention all the salads.
I forgot to mention how pleased I was when I remembered that a latex glove is fantastic to remove cat hair.  I used a Playtex Living glove and just kept swiping the furniture, the hair was pulled from the fabric's weave and just rolled up, easily picked off.  I vacuumed first and was surprised at how much hair was left and removed by the glove.
Have a good day and thanks for visiting.

Apr 6, 2017

Be afraid.

Be very afraid.  I know I am.
My mother saw this t-shirt box online and made one for us.  It's the perfect place to hide when she is "moody".  That word doesn't really come close to her attitude and I can tell you, I don't like it one bit.  Not one bit!   I don't really give a catnip rip about what's causing it.   Can't tell you how many times I hear the door fling open and I see her standing outside, rain and all.  Clothes come off, too.  It's a scary scene folks.  So I'm staying in here until things improve.  I thought it would be better in the evening when she is busy with that little piece of cloth.
But then she starts counting and obscenities ensue.  "Another error!!  Dammit!!" (That's not the word she used.)  Things go from bad to worse and I'm afraid to even look out the hole.  I can't tell you how many times this has happened, and for such a small piece of cloth!  What's her problem?  I heard her say something about developing a new method called "error stitching" instead of frogging.  I've heard of frogs, Nitzy got one last year, but I don't see anything hopping up and down except for her head.   The guy that scratches me told her that it isn't noticeable, she looked at him without saying a word, and he quietly got up and moved to another room.  Personally, the way she stains and beats up those cloth things I don't know why it bothers her.  I think it's because the more errors, the more corrections, the more frustration, the less fun.  Best I stay in my t-shirt box until this blows over.
Have a nice day.

Apr 3, 2017

Worn out

Greetings folks.  Hope everyone ended March with no issues.  Our visit was exhausting but enjoyable.  Cousin's husband makes donuts so ..... we went all over testing.  Research and development you know.  The winner was Apple Castle in New Castle PA, glazed honey wheat, by a landslide.  I had no choice but to join Weight Watchers when they left (Dove minis are 2 points each and oranges are free, not bad together).  Too much good food, ridiculous amount of donuts, desserts and snacks galore.  An old favorite was made by my sister, (who never invited them for a meal which I had counted on), but she ate more than half of it before bringing it to my house, so I had to offer other options since we had ten people for dinner.  Loved seeing them, but glad to be quiet and alone for some rest. 
So what am I doing now?  Ridding closets of excess and being a total P.I.T.A. to all.  I don't know why.  Stitching and blogging are not of great interest to me but I started another small in my continuing effort to regain mojo.  What a pleasure to be off the grid for 10 days and away from the vile hatred taking over this land.  
I've stitched this before for a friend and have always wanted one for myself.  Handwork Club 1820 Redwork Pinkeep from 2011 by Stacy Nash.  Not easy to find and I've seen other club pieces released after a period of time, wonder if Stacy will.
Simple and small, good choice for a crabass.
While ridding the linen closet, I came across the same old table cloths that I continually put back, never use, and several are not wanted.  This one was my mom's, the heavy wrinkle free woven cotton and openwork.  I used several applications of Biz for spot cleaning food stains, Lestoil for grease, oil, butter, and found that the orangey looking stains are ..... rust!  Bar Keeper's Friend in a paste, applied several times and rinsing between.  Gone.  A few spots were missed but hopefully I will get them all.  It's hard to see yellow stains on light fabric but holding it up to a bright window shows even the slightest which I mark with a piece of blue or masking tape.  I hate to see these wonderful heavy linens thrown out because of stains but that's what happens to most.  I'm taking the Battenburg to the vintage shop, no desire to iron. 

I'm hoping someone can give me information about this cloth.  It presses easily, white on white, 52" wide (selvage edge) by 48" (hemmed).  Very heavy cotton.  I had to tilt it in order for the light to hit the satin stitched design.  A coat of arms (?) with three arrows, U.S., many stars, and outlined on selvage edges by three solid rows.  I have not been able to find anything about the emblem.  Is it just a design and not representative? Anyone know?

A few years ago I showed several vintage print tablecloths and was emailed by a reader that she collected them and was interested.  The saved email was lost three crashes ago.  Please let me know if you are still interested.
That's all I have.  Dental visit I am dreading tomorrow.  Cats are slowly coming back in after retreating from the visitors.
Have a good one folks.
Thanks for visiting.
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