May 31, 2017

The new project

came in the mail today.  Homespun Elegance's Simply Red and three 35 count pieces of linen.  The two finishes on the cover are done differently, and I may try the very tiny method.  The larger one is done over 2 on 28 count (about 5" x7") and the miniature is also on 28 count, stitched with two strands over one thread in tent stitch.  Hmm.  That's interesting.  It looks wonderful in the photo, but I didn't think tent (or the first half of a cross stitch) would show enough detail of a letter.  Using two strands must be the trick.  So should I try that?   It would go quickly without having to do a full cross and 28 is easy to see. I plan to follow the detailed instructions sent to me for over one stitching and that will ensure my floss doesn't slip behind the linen threads.  Originally I expected to use one thread over two on 35 count, but I'd like to try this other method first.
Many of you mentioned how quickly I stitched Flora, but she was started and left behind a while ago.  When I picked her up again and failed to regain interest, I just added a few bands.
You know it's summer when your deer turn a beautiful shade of rust.
Thanks for visiting.

May 30, 2017

Flora unfulfilled

Yep.  Did it again.  My apologies to Miss Flora Dellow.
I picked up half completed Flora Dellow and just couldn't bring myself to continue, so, she's short.  I didn't want to do the dividing bands in the light color, or any color. 
So I just added a few more stitches to even it a bit, a few straight bands, and I think she will make a nice small.  Also did a star on the same fabric and may hang it from Flora.
I've been reading posts from several of you about your weight loss.  Good for you!  Then I see Miss Patty posting about her exercise progress.  She mentioned holding a plank for over 15 seconds which piqued my interest.  Heck, I can hold a wood board for that long.  Was it 10 foot long?  A 4x4?  Nope.  Further investigating showed a video of what looked to be a very easy position, beginners on their knees.  It didn't take long at all for me to crash to the floor, roll over, pull off the bed quilt trying to raise myself, followed by two well deserved M&M's.
Hope everyone had a very nice Memorial Day.

May 28, 2017

Did you see this?

I have searched WTNT's site and others and have not found any other information.  This is from Needle Case Goodies Facebook and Etsy post.
It looks to be over one but maybe can be converted to over two?  We'll see!  Love this sneak peek, may be just what I need for massive slump recovery.  And maybe it's time to put my big girl (cotton gutchies) panties on and stitch over one.  Anxious to see the whole design.
I haven't found it elsewhere as of yet.  If you want to learn more, here is the link to the Etsy site..... Needle Case Goodies, or check your local shop for more info on the June release.

Update - Bonnie showed me the link to Brenda's Facebook page - I checked under her name not the business like a stupe (a stupid person) so didn't see it.
With thy Needle & Thread on Facebook

May 26, 2017

Lone star

I chose to stitch only the star from the chart, on 32 count Gunmetal linen.  This lazy stitcher didn't want to fill in the blue so this fabric does the trick.  The alphabet could still be done in 822 or 676 on this color and I think it would look really nice.
My plans for finishing?  I want to use the same linen on the back, outline stitch the star shape and fray the edges of the linen.  It will be very small and I doubt I could sew right sides together, turn, and stuff.  A small square ornament would be fine too.  But I'm showing it now because something tells me it may never be seen again once I start the finishing.  It's been a long time since I've set a match to any linen, but my moods lately indicate the time is drawing near.

Enjoy your weekend.

My apology

As I was stitching the Gold Star chart this evening, I realized the chart on the blog post was not the final.  It's OK but I enlarged the gold star and saved it, then somehow managed to post the wrong one.  I'm sorry!  The correct one was posted on the FREE tab and I corrected the one shown on the blog post.
We are so ashamed!!

May 25, 2017

How many times

do I go through this process of sorting linen?  Too many.  It seems the organization plans last as long as a Dove chocolate within sight.  For some inane reason, even though I am fairly sure stitching is ending, I almost ordered more fabric. 
I saw Homespun Elegance's Simply Red Sampler and do need it in the stash, so I thought adding a few pieces more wouldn't hurt.  I filled the order previously but obviously did not send it (???) so removing the extra linen was possible. 
Going through the stash I see that I DO have 35 count in raw which surprised me.  The written inventory would have clearly shown that fact, but where the hell is it?  And guess what else I found? 
TWO pieces!  So I filled the smaller zip envelopes and have the tags visible front and back, making it easier to keep them neat.  When I had them all rolled they would be pulled out and a mess ensued.   I love these pouches.
The 32s and 30s are in the large size , but I still have the greatest amount to sort, 28 count.  I no longer like that count.  When I started dyeing my own, washing, and drying, some did shrink to a tighter weave.  Not sure if I will attempt that.
Some look very tight, I guess because of thicker threads.  The BOAF (Linens by Design) in Meadowlark and Sparrow are 28 but look like my 32 count piece. 
It's another dark rainy day and I may finish the inventory while watching the baby vegetable plants sink deeper into the mud. 
An added note about the glue method.  The trick is pressing the bottom fold, creasing it to where the seam will be. I always did this when hand sewing too.  Creates a perfect guide to spread a thin line of glue so the closure is directly on the crease.  You don't have to fold the backing over the fill either, just push it out of the way or add a thin strip of muslin over it to keep the fuzzys away from the glue.  Here's the way mine looked.
We haven't identified the birds that nest on our downspout every year.  They are two shades of brown, not large, the nest is mostly mud and moss and a real snark to remove when they leave.  Looks like the babies are pretty well packed in!
Have a good day folks.

May 24, 2017

The lazy close

Greetings!  My furnace is still running!  Days and days of more rain coming so Mark is planting the garden today, in the mud, before it turns to swamp.
Several of you asked over time about gluing the seam instead of hand sewing. My closing seams never look good, always a little open and thread is usually visible.  Pushing the needle through linen and backing is also hard on my arthritis, so glue to the rescue.  Many posts ago I told of the brand I always used, but no more.  I switched to Aleene's Tacky and find it superior in many ways.
Since I fuse interfacing, it is easy to fold over and finger crease the edge to the inside, and once measured correctly (with the Dritz sewing gauge Sherry, found on the notions wall), I fold and press the backing too so it is creased and ready to close. 

Most times I pull the backing fabric over the fill because it gets in the way of the glue.  Using an artist brush or any narrow applicator, apply the glue directly beneath the crease on the back's fabric.  Push the overlap/fill down inside so the creases line up, use the little clips to hold. 
The clear side has more grippers which indent the fabric so I use the red side on the linen, the very very edge. 
Only takes a few minutes, remove, and then push the fabrics toward the seam to release any outside fabric that may be caught in the glue.  Done.  Any missed spots or corners?  Add a tiny bit with a toothpick and clip.
Perfectly neat seam with no gaps or wonky threads.  The piece is already steamed lightly to create the density, and I will add a little more fill for the bottom corners before closing,
then use a long and sturdy needle to push it in place from the back.  Just stick it in at an angle and bend back to move the fill.
That's the way of the lazy stitcher.
I have all Vista Bubble Gum petunias but also purchased one in the new brighter pink.  It also kind of glows at dusk.
Have a good day!

May 23, 2017

The chart

if anyone would like to stitch.  Approximately 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" on 35 count. 



May 22, 2017

Miniature #2

Hello people.  Just finished the second tiny and I think they are still too large for my feather tree.  But stinkin' cute regardless.  The threads are dusty and muted and even though different from the first mini, they look the same.  Here they are together.
I used cotton candle wick braid for their hangers after lightly washing the package and dipping in my tan dye. 
I will post the chart maybe tomorrow.  Once again, I am feeling like stopping it all including the blog.  This minute, I am saturated in flash sweat and they are starting to get to me again.  The diet, being hungry, and not losing is adding to my bitchdom.  Yes, I have moved up a notch or two from crabass.   I gave it two additional weeks and nothing has changed so I am moving on to my own plan or low carb.  The WW Simply Filling plan that allows all meats, is a little deceiving.  Not all cuts of meat are allowed without points and everything needs to be looked up and counted.  Moving on.  A good plan for many, but not for me.  Yes you can have anything you want, but the rest of the day becomes very limited and that can be applied to any diet plan.
Be back with the chart in a day or so if anyone is interested in stitching it.
Have a good day.  My furnace is still running.

May 20, 2017

Gold Star

I'm stitching the other ornament now but wanted to do something for Memorial Day next weekend.  It started out with the center, and since the miniature I'm working on has an alpha outline, decided to add it.  You can leave it off if you choose, stitch the blue center, or just the two stars on a very dark linen.  Full size is 51 w x 59 h, blue center is 33 w x 41 h.  Haven't stitched it yet, but the colors are simple.  One to print in color, and one in black and white.  Any problems or errors, please let me know, but you should be able to click on the photo and then right click to print.   Would love to see photos if any of you decide to stitch all or part.

As you know, Gold Star families are those that have lost a loved one in service to country.  Seems appropriate for Memorial Day.


May 18, 2017


And it isn't adding up.  I was attempting to work the new mini sampler's colors on to a piece of raw Belfast.  Looked bigger than it should for 32 count.  So I measured.  It's marked Belfast 32 but it is not because my work came to 15 stitches per inch or 30 count.  Does it matter?  If it didn't, we wouldn't have the option of 28, 30, and 32 counts offered.  On a small piece even a half inch makes a difference so yes, to me, it does.  I took a piece of Tin Roof in 32 count for testing, and it was worse that the Belfast.  It's 28 count.
Looking at the 30 count, I can see it is tighter than the 32, which is really 28, so the 30 is probably correct.  Follow me?  But both the Belfast and Tin Roof 32 count pieces are not.  I wanted to use 35 to keep it very small but I have no unbleached or darker neutrals, and do not want to start messing with the dye jars.  I'll do a more thorough search through the mess for 35s.
When you are slumping along and not feeling the needle love, all it takes is a little bump in a road to make you ride away.  But I will try to keep the pedal to the metal.

I was hoping to have something worked out last night because today I have to spray the weeds and grass around Carole's house before the landscapers come.  All that trigger work will most likely make the finger worse, but if I eat a Breyer's low carb fudge bar, I will have a stick to tape on for support.  A damn good means to an end don't 'ya think?
Have a good day folks.

May 17, 2017

That damn finger

Greetings folks.  Hope all is well with you and yours.
The condition I have on all my finger's first joints is called Heberden's Nodes.  I don't know the criterion for removal, but immobility and pain sound like good ones to me.
Not stitching, but thinking about more miniatures for the feather tree. 
As soon as I decide on colors...


May 16, 2017

Rebecca Hall finished

With a sueded cord attached.

We got all the shrubs for my sister's house today, Mark said get the big ones - she's 78!  Don't make her wait 10 years to see them.  Hopefully the landscaper will show up before they croak.

May 14, 2017

So now what?

Not only is my long slump still an issue, now my crooked finger won't bend.  Not one bit.  I never had much pain before, but now that the tooth is under control until extraction, my joint decided I am not deserving of a break from pain.  The back was horrible, then the tooth, now the finger, with a side of knee and ankle.   All of a sudden!  Now what?  Certainly can't stitch without using my right index finger.

I think there was another cat ruckus in the few hours I was gone today.  Benches were moved, water dish upset, didn't see any fur clumps.  So as soon as I could entice them inside with treats, I slammed the door behind them.  They cried at the door for a while until I tricked them into the garage.  Then they howled in there.  Old man Bud will still come in and sleep most of the day but Nitzy, forget it.  He cries until I put his food outside, will not come in.  No way can I get the flea meds on him let alone the worm pill down his throat.  I've wasted so many in food, bacon grease, chicken fat, but that tongue can lick a dish clean without touching the pill.  If I crush it, he leaves it all.
I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day. 
Thanks for the help with the 1820 piece finish.  Still undecided but I am leaning towards the red.  Four other pieces were sewn, some re-done from their original finish, and little Rebecca is really sweet.  I'll show you, as soon as I find her.  She is cavorting somewhere with Martha Hards and Anna Eliza Abe.  They get a new outfit and all of a sudden it's party time.

May 12, 2017

Heirloom Weavers

I purchased several placemats and small squares of various colors and patterns when I saw them on sale, for this purpose.  Backings, sewing pouch, small hearts.  And after much wasted time, remembered that I had a red and taupe piece ..... some where in the house.  Found it and it's perfect.  But now I don't know which side to use or what manner.  I don't want it hidden on the back, but really don't have it in me right now to create a pouch or anything else.  Maybe I should set it aside for a while.  I prefer the prominent red but also like the subdued taupe, a little more primitive feel.  So as usual, totally confused and will probably change my mind several times.

Enjoy your weekend and Happy Mother's Day to all.

May 11, 2017

The Costco plan

Received a few emails about not being able to find info about the Costco dental plan.  Here's what to do to find a dentist in your area. 
I'm in PA and couldn't get info on providers through Costco's website so I called the phone number and found that the plan is Delta Dental USA through Costco, not Delta Dental PPO.

Go to this link

Option 1.
Under MEMBERSHIP PLANS go down to Costco and click on that. 

When the window opens, go to the right hand column "find a dentist", enter the mileage you are willing to travel, and then your zip code.  You should see a listing of providers.   Print the page or make a note of those available.  I entered a zip for other states and chose a 60 mile radius and got lots of hits.

Option 2.
Click on above link and just enter your zip on the right column, chose DeltaDentalUSA in the Select Network drop down menu, hit search.

It's not easy to navigate but you can call the customer service line 800-422-4234 and request help, you can also get an application to fill out and mail in.  If it is received before the 21th of the month, you will have coverage the first day of the following month.  It's confusing.  Please call the number and get help if you have questions.  Well worth it!

Hope this helps.

The sad, the good, and the boring

I happens in three.  Seems that is what everyone says about deaths.  And so it goes.  One of Mark's golfing friends, a co-worker's son, and my cousin's in-law and friend of ours.  The first was someone who gave up on life.  The second was to drugs which is happening every week in this area, and the last was a beautiful woman who took one step in the wrong direction causing a backward fall. 
I know many of you enjoy walking through cemeteries and taking note of the old stones and dates.  I've lived here all my life and have never driven through this one, the largest I've ever seen, set behind homes off a narrow street.  The monuments are amazing, the hills, landscape, the stone chapel.  I should have taken a few photos while the pink dogwoods were ablaze.  Maybe tomorrow.  The wealthy families from years ago to present day whose namesakes are streets, banks, and stores, and unusually shaped stones that I have never seen before dominate.   Need to return. 
Here's some information for you about dental crap.   Are you a Costco club member?  We weren't, but are now.  The closest one is over an hour from here but items can also be ordered online.  Basic membership is $55 a year.  But.  A benefit of that is their dental plan. For two people, $135 a YEAR.  $0 deductible.  The catch is that you must go to a participating dentist which you can find on their site or call.  Once you choose, if you change your mind and prefer a different participating dentist, you must call with the change.  The amount you pay for crowns, cleaning, fillings, dentures, is drastically less.  Really.  $200 for the first year (membership+plan+$10 fee) is still less than $20 a month for two people.  There are also family options.  For the cost of dental work, well worth looking into and having to go to a participating provider.   Go to their website for details, click on SERVICES, then dental.  It's not an insurance plan with co-pays, it is a discount plan that accepts specified amounts. 
My tooth seems to be electrified from some unknown source, but the severe pain is gone.  Next Tuesday I will see my perio guy (I like him) and he will evaluate the possibility of an implant.  He also agreed to do the extraction in a week or so.  I'm more comfortable with him and will be glad to wait. 
No projects started yet.  I am thinking about charting another miniature.  If I did the odd shape of a pear once a month, why not a miniature?  A little late in the year to start a monthly ornament for a feather tree but what the hell?  If I do I do if I don't I don't.  To me, a sampler contains the alphabet and trying to vary that over and over for such a small design may not be easy. 
Bought flowers today wearing a heavy jacket in cold winds.  Got Carole's for her, and decided to stop procrastinating, over thinking colors.  I just bought what I always do - Vista Bubblegum Petunia.  The pink is outstanding, the growth better than any other petunia, and one fills a barrel.  So I bought 3 hanging baskets and one in fuchsia, that's it.  I waste too much time trying to mix and plan when in the end, half do not do well.  I can always count on the Bubblegum.
Jean Bee, you are no-reply, no email listed in your profile, I cannot answer your inquiry.
That's it.  Hope your week's end leads to a fabulous weekend.

May 9, 2017


Greetings to all on this sunny but cold day.  As I sit with racing heart and a case of the trots from strong meds for excruciating pain, I am awaiting a call from the dentist as to whether a root canal can save a large molar or if an extraction is necessary.  Since my TMJ issue prevents my mouth from opening wide enough, or for any period of time, and has locked (panic!) in the office before, I seriously doubt the root work and following crown will be possible.  Why do I have this jaw joint issue?  Because the hygienist I faithfully visited every 6 months for 12 years told me all was well, never recommended perio surgery and because of her negligence I lost a tooth and now another.  I did not sue for either of my falls (and the hardware store owner will not even pay my doctor/x-ray co-pays) both of which left me with damage to knee and ankle, but I am so sorry I did not sue her for negligence.  I could have used the funds to replace with implants.  But then - could I open my mouth wide enough for that work?  Not only did she cause the loss, she caused the reason I can't have them replaced. Pain for years, life changing, my cheek is indented where the tooth is missing, my speech is different, my entire mouth is suffering from my jaw swinging to the right and affecting all the other teeth.  The tooth I lost is the last molar on top, above a permanent bridge, which caused the bite to change and throw everything off.  Four bite adjustments and my top lip still doesn't align with the bottom.  Freaking pissed?  You bet.  Now this molar on the other side and I will be sounding like Daffy Duck.  Looney Tunes forever.  Well, looney.

Anyway,  Carole now has sciatica and we have to go shopping for her again this afternoon.  But when I get back and if I can stay awake from lack of sleep, I want to work on these finishes.  Fabric choices whittled down to one or two.
There is no where locally to find wools and what I have isn't the right shade for the red pouch, so the hell with it.  When going through the fabrics I came across the script designs and sampler fabrics that I don't seem to like as backing.  Thought I would.  But I don't.  Then I decided to make a stitching bag with them, and shit-canned that idea too.  I like my clear zip folders so I can see at a glance what a mess I have in there.

Really like this red script and would like to age it, but will I ever use it?

What's left of Blackbird Designs (?) sampler prints.

I bought this postcard/telegram print in beige, brown, and red.  Only used the red.

And more script.  I also have pieces of smaller script and sampler prints, may use those for something.

Well, it's time to chew down the meds and get to her shopping.  I really hate to make that appointment with a new doc for an extraction.  What happened to the old days when our dentists did it?  Maybe I will hold off.

As my pal Porky Pig would say, "that's all folks!".

May 7, 2017

Rebecca Hall

from Pineberry Lane.
DMC color changes and others on 35 count WDW Straw linen.
 Will be sewing into a small hanging pillow along with several of the previous projects that are not completed.
I wanted to mention about the composition books.  I was making a few for my notebook loving sister, color coded for each room with scrapbooking papers.  For some reason, I was able to peel it off.  The kraft paper stuck with ModPodge but not these.  And I'm finding that the covers are still warping somewhat.  Just so you know!
Have a good week.
Thanks for visiting.

May 6, 2017

The plan that worked for me

Greetings folks.  Lots of crazy weather across the country.  We had terrible winds for two days and very low temps.  Back in the sweat clothes and the furnace is running.  I hope you are all safe.
 Note - I received a few emails about the miniature sampler chart not printing on a full page.  It is corrected now in both post and FREE tab. 
Now.  About the "plan" I followed that several readers requested.  First of all, I am a piggy.  I don't have one piece of pie or cake, I have two, and another later.  So giving up sweets was extremely difficult, but after four days, I was OK.   I baked pies for mom every week, cake every few days, (glucose level was still respectable) and was able to take a bite and nothing more after the first week.  I learned a little about the glycemic index and how high simple carb foods can turn into fat quickly, and how the low are digested and absorbed differently.  So I checked online for some guidelines and food lists, cut out all boxed and processed foods (man foods) and ate more natural and simple foods (God foods).  I ate Hodgson's (hot cereal) oat bran and also oatmeal, eggs, nuts, things I like but in moderation.  Will never give up pasta, do not like the whole wheat varieties, started using Ronzoni brand "Smart Taste" with 2.5x more fiber.  But I also would eat a 1/4 cup of dry Fiber One cereal (original) before a high carb meal.  I reasoned that it would slow down the high glycemics, worked for me!   Fiber One was not the best tasting shredded cardboard I ever had, but I could handle 1/4 cup.  And when we had a loaded dinner, I would try to balance the next day with a large salad for dinner.  Light and heavy were figured in the same day too.  Birthday cake?  Light lunch and dinner that day.  Simple.  The hardest part is staying accountable for what goes in my mouth.  When you aren't counting calories or points, you can get off track easily, but cutting out processed foods, sugar, and junk makes it fairly easy.  There are also calculators online to figure foods. Splenda was my sweetener of choice for bad fruit (which we seem to always have locally) and anything else.  High fat and fried foods were avoided and I had no meatballs with my spaghetti so I could eat more pasta (homemade sauce).  Nickles' 35 calorie white bread and the Arnold brand flats were my breads.  My only processed meats were Hillshire Farms and Oscar Meyer reduced fat turkey, chicken or ham in the tubs but no other deli meats.  Home cooked shredded chicken breast and beef roasts made excellent sandwiches.  The big question - chocolate?  Of course, but reasonable amounts.  Snacks?  Popcorn, home made pita chips, hummus, nuts.  When I really needed a treat, Blue Bunny no sugar added ice creams (fabulous!) or Klondike 100 calorie fudge bars.  NO Aspartame (NutraSweet) drinks, only those with Splenda or Stevia.

Moderation of low glycemic foods, very little processed (boxed) food, big reduction in sugar, added fiber, and balancing.  I guess that's all I needed to say instead of the long winded version, huh?  When will I learn.



May 5, 2017

Still changing

Decided to do the lion in a gold/orange and the majority were either too bold or too close to the linen and unnoticeable.   Rebecca had mostly green threads and used them throughout, but I didn't want green lions.  For as small as this piece is I wanted a little more definition  Also changing the bottom's 503 to one of the other greens.  Not sure I will stitch all the hearts, maybe just one or two.  I was trying to finish before I totally lost interest but when I change the colors as I am stitching, I end up doing it two or three times.  But making those choices before I start usually doesn't work either especially using one strand.  The floss skeins look dark and shiny, but soften when actually stitched, so there are always changes with that idea too.  But close!  Usually only a few shades different from the floss toss, like I am in the right church but the wrong pew.
Ain't she sweet?  The bottom border is one full stitch off in width, and one thread higher.  Since both errors are in the same row, I may remove and re-do, but at this point probably not.  When it is hanging from a peg somewhere, I will certainly not notice.  But I may remove the barely noticeable flowers and do them a little brighter. 
Have a good weekend.

May 2, 2017

Strut your stuff

He's a big boy.
Progress on Rebecca Hall.  Not much contrast shows in the photo but there is enough between the Straw linen and the flowers.  822 was too light, other light beiges were too pinkish against it, so 738 worked the best.  I like it.  Instead of doing prominent colors, I decided to keep the soft look of the original, so I went with a muted brown and green.  Still may have some changes in the bottom.

Am I enjoying this little sampler?  Well, yes and no.  I really like it, I don't like to stitch it.  I told Mark I am about ready to stop the stitching and he encouraged me to continue small projects, and not to take a break.  We'll see.
Four weeks on WW.  The first week was five pounds, and I finally lost ONE more.  Three weeks. Sticking to points, not using the extras, hungry.  Everyone else is dropping weight more quickly.  I'll see what happens next week and if there is no more progress, I will return to my own plan that shed thirty pounds ten years ago.
Have a nice week!
Thanks for visiting.
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