Sep 30, 2017


I removed the stems, leaves, and flowers, just weren't right.  I will probably stitch a simple branch with just a few twigs instead, but wondered if a mirrored bird would be too much for this very narrow piece.

To test this I entered Paint and pasted it.  Even though the linen shading doesn't match, it certainly shows me what I needed to see.
What do you think?  One bird with simple branch or two birds?  With the 3" width, I'm leaning toward option one.
My car is being located and I will have it Tuesday.  Here's the result from weeks of investigating.
The Rogue - nice vehicle, alloy wheels in top package only, but the seat height adjustment didn't raise enough for me.  I need to see the hood and couldn't.  Otherwise, it would have been my choice.
The Forester - you end up paying more after taxes than the sticker price, no real discounts, alloy wheels in Premium only. But the interior is very light and looks greenish, we do NOT like light cloth interiors. 
The Hyundai Tucson - great vehicle, alloy wheels, the best dashboard layout, more front seat room, only one light color (silver).  Two other colors were not available for us to see in person. The dark wine I chose came with light interior, and two colors on dashboard and doors.  I love spectator style shoes, but not two tone interiors. 
The Escape - bingo.  I bitched about this car for two years and then .... bought it again.  Alloy wheels, black interior, the quietest and smoothest ride of them all, 4 wheel (all wheel) drive, and a color I like with black pinstripe.

As with every purchase whether thousands or a few bucks, I always question my decision.  And I have.  But I'm fine with it.  The redesigned interior now offers several bins for storage which was my main complaint previously.  I so hate big purchase decisions and am very glad it's over.  I spent a month on this and can't believe September is gone! 
So what do you think?  One bird or two?
Oh - I am able to send mail through gmail now (today anyway), but not roadrunner.  Spectrum (Time Warner) has no solution or reason.
Hope your weekend is going well.

Sep 29, 2017

Car-less in PA

Hello people!  Been a rough week.  Something I ate declared war on my body which made me Governor of Grouch which outranks Commander of Crab.  Carole finally asked if something was wrong and became the Target of Temper.  Did she deserve it?  Yep. 
Going to buy a car this morning and I am at the point that I don't care what it is.  They all have a feature I like, and some that I don't, so what does it matter?  I just wish I didn't eat that entire watermelon half yesterday, because my healing body is making freight train sounds.
My emails can be received, but I cannot send or reply.  No way, even with the techs taking over my laptop and working on it.  My server is the problem and there is nothing I can do.  Even if I use a tablet or new laptop, my email addresses cannot be used for sending.  Great.  To those I emailed about purchasing the stitchery, sorry.  They have been sitting in the Outbox and I didn't know it.  Elizabeth, I would be happy for you to have the clothespin bag, but I can't contact you and even if it was working, you're no-reply.  I will keep trying to resolve this. 
This is as far as I got on the sampler.  Because I'm working without a chart, I ran a thread down the exact center and am working the bands out from that point so they will be centered.
Our leaves are browning and falling without changing to the brilliant golds and reds.  Long time without rain, none on the horizon, so blowing leaves is like working in a dust storm.  Terrible.  And dirty!
Have a great weekend folks.
Thanks for visiting.

Sep 24, 2017

The skinny mini

It's a start!  But how far will I go?

The bird was adapted from a Valentine free from Niky's Creations.  Link below.

Thanks for the mascara suggestion for emergency root touch up.  I've tried.  But my industrial strength sweat during a hot flash can disintegrate the waterproof barrier in a second.  I use a tissue to wipe my forehead while pushing my hair back.  The marker holds, mascara smears.  After menopause stole my eyebrows, the waterproof pencils did the same which is why they are now tattooed.  I don't make a habit of this and the marker doesn't touch my scalp.  The only way to grow out the gray is to heavily "frost" my hair and even then it would be very noticeable.  Except for one spot, the back is not gray but the front/top is almost solid.  If I looked good in very short hair, a cut would be best, but I don't, and am very uncomfortable being this tall without some volume on the noggin.
Have a good week!!

Sep 23, 2017


Not a virtue of mine.  Not even close.  But this morning we drove to a recycling event for TV, tires, hazardous waste, paint, electronics, and appliances.  It is quite costly and I assumed not many would attend.  Holy kaboly.  It started at 10am and we arrived promptly, only to find roads blocked because of people trying to get into the fairground's event.  We were in our car for over 50 minutes before unloading.  For that, I have patience!  So happy to see so many turn out even though most people paid well over $100 for just a few items disposal.  It was well worth it for me to get rid of chemical strippers and gallons of paint.  I use the kitty litter and paint hardeners but full gallons need to be spilled into other containers for those methods, and I just didn't want to bother.  So all the smaller samples are poured onto cardboard and dried in the sun, other paint containers have the hardening products or litter dumped in and I've been working on that for a few days. Stirring constantly while slowly pouring these products was a lot easier.  The only paints left are extras for touchups.
My husband kept sniffing as we rode the half hour to the event and finally mentioned that he was surprised to be smelling fumes.  But he said it wasn't like paint, more like a magic marker (that's what we old folks called those big markers back when we were young'uns).  Oh, I said, that's me.  Remember a while back I mentioned that I use markers to color my roots in emergencies?  I plan to order the Madison Reed product for roots but haven't yet.  Leaving the cap off for a minute or two dries it somewhat and just touching the roots lightly is enough. My hair is messy enough to not notice a slight difference in color. 
I found an old one with a larger tip that is running out of ink, in black, and it worked much better than the dark brown smaller tip.  It doesn't take much, just enough to break that solid gray root line.  The smell left by the time we got there.  Personally, I love that smell.  I used to sit cross legged on the garage floor with my nose to the gas can when I was little.  That may explain a lot. 
I stopped shopping for a car.  We decided on the Rogue because of price and features, still not in love with it, but when we went to the dealer they had no recollection of the printed paper given to us.  Oh!  That must have been the gal that works the printer in the back and she just downloaded the internet price which had all sorts of incentives that you don't qualify for.  And geez, I don't remember saying the chrome bumper protector and appearance package would be thrown into that price, no extra charge.  And geez, I hate dealers that have the manager sitting right there so he can hear everything that is said by the salesperson.  Except of course when they are outside with the vehicle and promise you the world.  We left.  Back to Subaru and am still having a hard time with that very light interior (for all Foresters) which looks green because of the window tint.  And two tone doors and dash.  Seat covers?  That may work.  I even looked at the Escape which is what I have now and hate.  So confused and nothing is calling my name, so I give up for now.  Carole offered her car (which is mine anyway) since she has her son or us do all her errands and shopping.  She will need the car for lunch with the girls on Thursdays and dinners on Fridays though.  That's fine and probably what I will do until I decide.
The contractor to repair or replace the siding has not called for weeks so I am stopping that also.  We ordered the windows and they will sit in the basement until he can do the job in the spring, it's getting too late in the year.  He gave us no timeline at all and I do not want this happening close to holidays, probably won't be able to paint the siding before winter.  I am so tired of this and with all else, don't give a damn right now.
Bud, of course, could care less.
I found a shop that will take this vintage Champion clothespin holder (no consignment opportunities anywhere).   Hope whoever buys it will give it a good home.  There is really no where in this area to take vintage or antique items except Goodwill and Salvation Army which is where most of my items go.  My brother knew a man that picked up truckloads for them and both drivers sorted through, kept the good stuff, and sold the items on Ebay.
  Well folks, that's all I got.  A little stitching done, not enough to show, but now that I got the car and siding off my back, will hopefully focus more on down time.
Hope your weekend is wonderful.
Mine is nice and warm! 
Probably snow next week.
Thanks for visiting.

Sep 20, 2017

Bake bake bake

Tuesday's breads were lemon zucchini with lots of zest and nuts.
There is a glaze of lemon juice and powdered sugar that I didn't add since they are going into the freezer. 
 Edit - here's the link for the recipe and of course - my changes.
I used canola oil, not olive oil.
I did not “rub” the zest with the sugar.
Used 2  1/2 cups zucchini.
Zest from 2 1/2 lemons instead of two and also used 2 Tbsp fresh juice, not 1.
(we like lemon!) Still isn’t too overpowering.
Added a heaping cup of coarse chopped walnuts.
 I use the shredding disc on my old Cuisinart food processor and it is so quick and easy.  Only takes a few minutes to do several large zucchinis and the shreds hold up well for days in the fridge without getting soggy.  But just because I have shreds at the ready, I can't keep making breads so this may be the end.  I finished the night off with two more Death by Chocolate.
The first breads were double wrapped in plastic wrap and then vacuum sealed.  Unfortunately, the wrap didn't prevent the machine from sucking all the air out of the breads which are now, bricks.  We cut off the packaging but the poor things never recovered.  I expected them to take a deep breath and fluff up a bit, but they are still bricks.
We're down to the wire on the vehicle and although I really planned on the Forester, the Rogue has front collision warning, blind spot detection, much more chrome, and with those extra features it is still cheaper because Subaru's discount is minimal.  To get those safety features on the Subaru would add a few thousand more to an already higher price.  But it is a reliable and safe car and I'm taking another test drive.  I don't really care for either model's red color, no sparkle at all, but if I get the gray or silver or white, I will be walking around parking lots of neutrals, activating the car alarm to find it. 
Hope your week is going well.  This week we are having the weather that should have been August's.  And leaves are raining down earlier than usual.  Can you believe we're heading into the end of September already?
Thanks for visiting!

Sep 19, 2017

The new project. So far.

Mary Halsey miniature sampler by the Examplarery caught my eye but I wasn't totally on board with some elements.  Hearts were a welcome addition to my stitching in years past, but not at all now, and that row could certainly be removed.  But for some reason .... I just couldn't click the BUY link. I do like stitchery sewn in the various heart shapes though.  LOVE the Ann Kitpin I just made.
You know I prefer the longer, thinner samplers and with my slump, this may be a perfect little stitch.  So I'm winging it.  I started one on 35 count Straw and then moved to my own dyed 35 count for a more subdued background.  I want the bird bright, flowers and berries, dark alpha, and a few borders.  We'll see how it progresses, maybe I will graph it first.  Stitched area will only be 3" wide.
It doesn't make any sense at all to me that I am not taking my own advice, well, par for the course I guess.  I hope it goes smoothly but shouldn't I be following a designer's chart and colors to avoid frustration?  Of course!  But this is from a person that blows up vanilla.  Must be the watermelon effect.
Have a great day!!


Sep 18, 2017

Explosive news

Got 'ya to look!  That's what TMZ and all those ridiculous ads and headlines do to pull you in.  I don't fall for it any longer.  But this unusual incident created a real mess and I thought I would mention it.
Today was load the freezer with zucchini breads, reruns tomorrow.  I needed to melt the coconut oil and proceeded to the microwave as always.  But this time, I had already measured the vanilla into the small bowl, then added the solidified oil over it.  It practically blew the door off.  Did anyone know that vanilla explodes in a microwave?  It rocked the oven and blew melting coconut chunks everywhere, right in the middle of mixing the batter and tending to a full batch in the baking oven.  What a fricking mess.  I've made bread pudding and other goodies containing vanilla in the microwave before without issue. But this time it was the only liquid and exploded before the oil began to melt.  In another bowl without the vanilla, no problem at all.  My assumption is that vanilla must be mixed with other ingredients, but I have no plans to back that up with documented experiments, nor would anyone be microwaving vanilla!  Just happened this way and thought I would warn you.  Scared the zucchini out of me.
And what the hell is this?

Sep 16, 2017


If you like red in a sampler, some eye candy for you...

I did not see information about using her photos so I hope I am not infringing, but her credit is on the photo.

Edges are turned neatly to the back, the original appears hemmed.  I don't remember seeing a piece framed on her site, but maybe because photographing is easier without.  Such a gorgeous blog.
My husband is amazed at the number of watermelons this old lady consumed. His last count was 25.   People often use the phrase "she has watermelon for brains" and now he believes that has happened.  He asked what I was doing with these two and I replied that I was considering selling them.  Yep, he said.  It's official. 
Have a good weekend.
I'm out of melon so a trip to Aldi's is on my list for today.
Thanks for visiting!

Sep 15, 2017

Decision made

My car will be a Subaru Forester.  Or a Nissan Rogue.  Yes I know that's two, but a decision was still made to narrow the choice.  Husband likes the Rogue styling, I prefer the Subaru for other reasons. 
Hope everyone is doing well.  Fall is here.  Leaves are already falling and September is half gone.  Damn.
Edit - I just found out that Thread Heaven is discontinued which most of you already know.  I found them on Etsy from several suppliers and ordered two, just because.  Can't stand it when an item that I may want/need in the future is no longer, so I buy more than I will ever use. 
No decisions about needlework but I think about it every evening.  It's a strange sense to feel the need to work on a piece of linen while at the same time not really wanting to.  Like choosing vegetables that you know are good for you but you don't want to swallow them.  Like being polite to a loud mouthed know it all but the words are getting stuck in your throat.   The right thing to do isn't always easy.  But the longer we delay, the harder it becomes.  There is no right or wrong when it comes to a pastime but not having one at all is not good.  Everyone needs a diversion to give the mind a break from the mundane and stress.  With all the decisions on a car and especially what to do with the house repairs, I think that sense of needing linen is my brain telling me it wants a little play time. 
You would think that small motifs would be a simple and easy solution but they are not.  I need to check every motif for stitch count, work out which linen count would result in the desired size, search for a scrap so I don't cut into a large piece, change threads based on the linen color, and it's just too much.  Not when I'm slumped to the floor.  A kit?  Much better.  But mine are all behemoths and at this time I have no interest for other than small projects.  This evening I will choose a small sampler and stick to the colors recommended.  All I need to do is go through the linens for count and color.  Even that is a chore, but I'll pull up my big girl gutchies and do it. 
 This is a piece I stitched decades ago on Aida that I no longer want but decided to keep the frame. 
When I removed it, the film was just as bad as from the linen.  You can see the cleaned half on the bottom.

I thought the Aida being cotton may not leave a film but it does.  My sister gave me several prints she found in her attic and there is nothing on the inside glass, so I guess the fabric is the culprit.  But what about off gases from the Styrofoam back board?  Mine have it, her prints do not.  Doesn't really matter but I'm still surprised.
 The dust cover on one was unreadable except for Cavallo, it's old, and she wanted me to search online for information before she donated it.  After a few days of no results for an artist named Cavallo, my brother informed me that horse in Italian is cavallo.  Yes, it was a drawing of a knight in armor mounted horse, that obviously rode off into the sunset because he is no where to be found.  Carole does not remember the print and thinks it may be from her late husband's parents who came from Italy.
Have a great weekend folks.
Thanks for visiting.

Sep 11, 2017


for anyone trying the zucchini bread.  I made a correction to the coconut amount in the recipe posted earlier.  I made four loaves for the freezer, kept half of one out, and it did not taste the same as Carole's.  Why you ask?  Because ditzy sister once again didn't pay attention.  I loved hers, she gave me the recipe, and failed to tell me that she increased the coconut to 1 full cup, not 1/2 as the recipe calls for.  And her 1 cup of sugar was heaping.  But of course, she didn't tell me that either.  So I made the four loaves as she instructed and they are good, but not as sweet and as flavorful as hers that we so enjoyed.  Next time, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup packed sweetened coconut.   My brother prefers less sweet and my aunt (exactly like her sister, my mom) criticizes everything, so they will get a loaf each.  Done!  Maybe I'll take the last loaf to the car dealer since the lease offer they gave us is $60 more a month for the exact car that our friend leased last fall, only $500 difference in sticker.  So the loaf won't be a sweet offering, it will be a projectile.

Zucchini bread!

Oh my oh my.  I've had several recipes for zucchini bread but this one shot to the top. (edited to add - nothing will top the death by chocolate, goes without saying)  The only change I made is noted on the recipe.  I started using parchment paper to line the pans so I can lift them out without breaking.

Still ridding and this batch, most all new (and small) will go to the gal I'm paying to clean Carole's house.  She is a worker!  Inside outside basement closets windows yard work you tell her and she'll get it done.  Her beloved dog died over the weekend, best bud and constant companion to her horse.  All are mourning the loss.  So glad we found her because there would have been a few altercations if I did it.  More than a few.  
Disappointed to find out that the old comic books, Star Wars first issues, are not the high high high priced ones.  If the price is in a diamond and there is no UPC code at the bottom, it was second printing.  Damn.
Spitini (spidini) for dinner with first year Roma beans, bacon and garlic.
The beans and tomatoes are finished, as are my petunias from the weeks of cold temps, but as long as the zucchini keep coming there will be bread in the freezer.

Sep 8, 2017

Post #2

but I couldn't wait to show you what I just made.  This one - I'm keeping!  For now anyway.
I started Ann Kitpin from Threads of Gold a long while ago and recently found her in a folder with threads, and no chart.  It's somewhere, but since I will probably not go back to it, I decided to make something with the completed section.  Beautiful colors.  And perfect for a large heart.


A few stragglers

I've decided on a few more pieces to sell.  Lydia Broome will probably be included also but not a definite yet.  Neither of these pieces is overfilled, just light batting.  I will give details next week if anyone is interested and let you know when they will be offered.


I've been car shopping.  You would think the beginning of September would not require a heavy jacket but the cold and wind on those lots was brutal.  Decision time, not my forte.  Do I get the Subaru Forrester with it's cardboard looking interior and flat exterior or a much nicer interior and more beefy exterior of the Ford Edge?  Do you judge a car on whether the door feels wimpy or strong?  Surprisingly, very little bottom line difference since Ford offers deals and Subaru does not.  The Nissan Rogue is in the running too, all were checked on IIHS site for crash data and did well.  Are you tired of dead red, flat white, boring black, faded silver, chalky charcoal, and one yearly offer of an odd-ball color?  Where are the rich colors of yesteryear?  Maybe those old colors are not appealing with black plastic trim compared to the chrome that used to be.  I have two weeks to decide.
Hope you have a good weekend.
For those in harm's way, stay safe, our thoughts are with you.

Sep 6, 2017

Very difficult

for me to start a project.  Even as small as a single motif.  I've been putting it off, dragging myself to the stitching parlor (sounds better than the room full of stitching stuff thrown everywhere) and the only task accomplished - ridding.  I decided to browse the huge file of printed freebies looking for motifs and smalls.  One by one, these pages kept for a decade or more, went into a pile for burning.  This was the third and last pile.
There were many working copies of previously stitched pieces also, and my own freebies.  Some of which I actually looked at and thought - this might be nice stitched.  You already did and gave it away Hotflash Harriet.  They are your designs.  Putz.
Mary Monier was passing by and although I do not like script letters, it is a very narrow project which is good.  Short rows don't test my patience which is really an issue during a slump.  Hurry up and complete the row, move on, get this damn thing finished.  That's my mind set and it has never lasted this long.  I took a little break, got a haircut, ate another watermelon, and not much has changed.  But as the sweat is rolling from my brow on this chilly morning, we all know that when I reach a certain number of sweat fests, I change.  I do know one thing that will not change, I just can't seem to go back to double thread.  It always humped and twisted with uneven tension and after several projects on high count and one thread, I'm hooked. 
The pin stitch that was foreign to me until last year (this post), has made it much easier especially when only a few stitches of one color is needed.  I saw Nicola's video on YouTube for the stitch (here) and tried that method of horizontal and vertical instead of diagonal and those threads show.  I prefer the diagonal but maybe the linen count makes a difference in how visible the horizontal pin actually is.  That would make sense, right?  Her videos by the way are better than some movies I've seen.  The method I posted about uses two threads but using one is just as easy and covers the middle break perfectly.  It can be worked from the top and trimmed as her video shows, just stitched diagonally, or the tail left to the back as the diagram shows. To end, I usually loop the back and run the thread through for that naughty knot we are told never to use.  I always do.  There is no bump, there is no long tail, there is no loose thread.
What I don't understand is why a pin stitch is needed when using a double thread because the loop method is just as secure and much easier.  That's just me.  I am certainly not a needleworker remotely close to the caliber of instructors. 
Well my forehead is now dry, I am chilled from being wet in a cool house, and I hate the thought of losing summer.  I do not notice the flashes as much since my body is warm to begin with, but during the cool months, yuk.
Hope you had a nice weekend.
My thoughts are with so many people and animals suffering through terrible conditions right now in several states.  And now, more coming.

Sep 3, 2017

One motif at a time

Looking through sampler charts, not finding Mary Monier, I came across Elizabeth Wipp.  Several motifs in this work are the correct size for a 40 count ornament.  This is the first.  If I continue with motif ornaments (IF!) I will wait until the group is complete before finishing.  They may need a little sprig of holly or something.  Leaving them simple and ageing the edges may be the better look for a primitive feather style tree.  Getting ahead of myself here, let's see how far I get on stitching first.
I only found four photos of this sampler on Pinterest, I don't know who to attribute this photo.  The designer is The Goode Huswife, stitcher is unknown.
Edit - Stitcher and owner of this sampler is Carol Iverson.
Looks to be any easy stitch, and I am considering this.  I do have a box it could be mounted to, and also a flat wall basket the correct size.  But framing would be the best option.  Maybe I would like to stitch it, but not keep it.  Maybe I won't stitch it at all!! 
Fried green tomatoes.  Hot from the pan, I plated with crumbed Feta between two layers and drizzled with reduced balsamic.  I reduce the vinegar by half, doesn't take long at all in a small hot pan, and also tossed our green beans with garlic in the same pan.  Thick and syrupy, so good.  We have a local shop that carries Ariston balsamic and I use that most often, no reduction necessary, but I ran out.  I use it all the time on avocado salads and fresh tomatoes.
And I took a reader's advice by storing other bowls inside the monster.  Lifted the gourd perfectly.  Thank you!
 Our furnace has been running for two days.  So disappointed it's over and really ticked that it wasn't even a summer. 
We went to the animal donation trailers leaving for Texas and I got choked up when I saw the number of people bringing medical supplies, bedding, food, litter, everything.  I just saw that they need pop up tents, crates, and fans.  There was a sweet
Chihuahua shown for adoption at PetresQ inc. in NJ from Harvey that was shaking the entire time.  So sweet and calm, just breaks your heart.
Stay safe, thanks for visiting.

Sep 1, 2017

The fringe, final episode

I wondered where Miss Lydia Broome was hiding, and today lost was found.  For those of you on the fringe with samplers, here's a way to achieve that look on smaller pieces.  Once again I am posting something you already know about, probably more so.

Miss Lydia (Pineberry Lane) has been in various poses of different settings and I was sorry I did not frame her in a dark rustic wood, but it was too late.  Once sewn into a pillow with edges trimmed there is no going back.  Not with this linen.  It is thick and nubby yet soft, and attaching a muslin border for mounting would probably have worked, but I had no intentions of trying.  The fabric threads just seem to be ... I don't know .... loose?  Like they would pull out of alignment easily with any tension. 

Instead, I backed her with the same linen, machine sewed the edges in a matching thread, stuffed, sewed the opening, and fringed.  This linen is perfect for it.  Using both sides it created a thick nice finish.  A stiff and thin linen, no way.  An option for any size pillow, tuck, ornament.  I may look for the chart and stitch again on a high count for framing.  I believe this was 28 count.

This Jingle Bird (Tina Woltman) was finished using the same method, used two linen pieces (different shades) on the back for thicker and variegated fringe, a tiny zig zag machine stitch on the very edge here.  Neither of the linen backs were to be used for stitching, didn't like the odd color and the other was 25 count.  No wonder I can't find this bird - another giveaway.

Remember the Turkey Trot? 
here and here
A heck of a lot of work for a contrast fringe, but fun to do.
Freezing my butt off today.  We have never had such a chilly August.  No warm evenings or hot days, just light jackets and closed windows.  The entire month!  September is starting off like October.
And I thanked Donna for her suggestion of using small motifs from other pieces for my little feather tree ornaments.  Thanks again Donna!  That will be my plan.
Have a good one!
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