Nov 30, 2017

Twelve days of Christmas

Stitched on various colors and linens and counts.  And honestly, some of them not finished perfectly.  I try to seam edges following a linen thread (or close) so that it is even on all sides.  A few of these professionally finished pillows are not, the corners are not stuffed tightly, and they aren't steamed (smashed).  All of that can be easily corrected if you are as fussy as I am.  For the price, I do not want to bother, especially since they are not mine.  The stitching is perfect though!  I have no idea why she chose pink for one and blue for another, but it is what it is.  Rather than sell them individually, they will be offered as a set of twelve.  IF anyone is interested, I will give details soon.

Off to the doc again about my arm.  Don't know what's next, no improvement.
Have a good day!!

Nov 29, 2017

Backyard decorating

We've had several very nice days for outdoor decorating and I took advantage of that today.  Since the front of our house is aged and sparse, I rarely do much other than boughs on the doors and galvanized tubs of fresh greens.  This year, I wanted to light the deck area that is seen from our kitchen and family room.   I like seeing the lights!   So glad I got these brown wire trees on clearance last year.


Hope to see your decorated homes on your blogs.  Let's make the weekend of December 9 and 10, Show your Home days.  Share your front door, tree, displays, any part of your home decorated for Christmas.  Anyone willing?

Nov 27, 2017

Thank you Joan! - chart correction

Joan informed me that two symbols were not in the key.  I have corrected this error and you can either change 315 to a solid square and 829 to an top right corner diagonal or reprint the graphs.  729 (the crown) was also changed.  Sorry!!  And thank you very much Joan!!

Nov 26, 2017

A little Skinny for you

I charted my Skinny Mini sampler for you.  I hope it's correct.  Since I didn't make any notes on color or changes, I tried my best to recreate this in a graph.  The length was a bit troublesome (a royal pain in the ass) and the symbols and print aren't crystal clear (I threw the printer on the floor) and there may be some errors within (who the hell cares) but I got through it (like hell) and here it is.  If you would prefer a colored graph, I will probably post that also on the FREE tab sometime today or tomorrow after I calm down.  I had to keep resizing because many of you mentioned that some of my charts do not fit on one page and you miss a row or two of stitches, so I sized this to handle the standard 1/2" printer margins (I changed my printer to 1/4" which is probably why I didn't notice this).  You MUST click on the graph to open in a new window and then right-click, hit print.  Then hit the back arrow to go back to get the other page.  'Nuff said!  If there are any issues, please let me know so I can correct them. 

Approximate size is 55 wide x 170 high.  I am cross-eyed right now and that's close enough.  Several minis can be done by just using sections that you like, deleting, rearranging, have a ball.
Note that the eyelet row is centered and one linen thread off from the other stitches.  Start that row by centering the first eyelet beneath the upper band's last stitch.  Does that make sense?

Nov 25, 2017

Santa Tending the Sheep

from By The Bay Needlearts.  Thank you for answering my query!  I will be ordering this chart when I exchange two pieces of linen I received, one for the color and one for wimpy.  I thought all the WDW would feel the same but this 40 count piece is sheer and very soft, not something I can stitch.   So I will stick to 35 count in exchange and add this chart.  I also received another's unbleached 35 and 40 that are so stiff they can stand!  Perfect.
There isn't a thing wrong with this Santa, but as you know, I'm weird and have a nasty habit of making changes to designs, samplers, and colors.  I shrunk his upper body in one, and kept the upper but extended the lower in the other.   The center is the original.  Why can't I leave it alone?  Anyone?  I have no idea which I will attempt until I see the graph.  How cute is that curly lamb and moustache?

Are you ready for this announcement?
We have a contractor!!!  Yippee ki yay baby!!  The other guy that my first choice recommended, was very nice but never showed or called back.  So I called the #1 again and he offered another name.  And guess what?  This wonderful human being did not say - vinyl.  In fact, he recommended keeping the beat up, split, warped, and extremely weathered cedar.  He will try to replace the really (really really) bad boards with siding removed from the front porch.  The front porch will be sided with new cedar (I would like stone).  This will save a ton of $$$ instead of the doing the entire front.  The new product, Boral siding, which seems to be the perfect product, is only 10¢ a foot less than the cedar.  So we will get new windows and new trim, bad boards replaced, new siding on the single story front porch, and woodpecker nesting hole in the attic repaired.  This will be first thing in the spring so I have time to choose stain color and window color.  Not sure if we will stick with very dark siding and dark bronze windows, or red windows, or a softer neutral on all.  But I like him, he has worked with weathered cedar before, his brother is a master carpenter, and will help with the inside trim and moulding.  YAY!!!  If I knew how to whistle, I would.
Christmas giveaway coming soon.
My husband has been cooking sauce with pork spareribs all day, and I'm having my favorite spaghetti tonight with Locatelli pecorino romano cheese. 
Enjoy your weekend!

Nov 24, 2017

My thought for the day

After all the years of  pads and insertable tampons, menopause comes along and we are finally able to rid ourselves of those needs.  And then a few years pass, and once again, pads and insertables are needed again.  
And after standing in line at Kohl's for at least a half hour, happy to have them!  Unfortunately, the woman behind me was coughing terribly, no protection from that.  No way I was leaving my place in line.  I assumed I would be getting sick again anyway so I helped carry some of her cumbersome kitchen appliances (no carts were available).   Oh crap.  I hear a woodpecker on the house.  WOODY!!! 
123 order should come today and I will start Ellen Ford from Merry Wind Farm.
And I took this design photo and changed the body/head size in Paint.  See the red where his arm used to be?  I like it better, but it left my cart.  Now I don't know who the designer is.  Anyone help?????
Have a great weekend.
Let the decorating begin!

Nov 22, 2017

Wishing you

a Happy Thanksgiving, and more reasons to be thankful in the coming year.
One of mine is all of you, for your caring, concern, encouragement, prayers, and support. 
The last large sampler I stitched, Polly Cole, was done by Lori Rippey.  If you follow her blog Homespun Prims, you know the ordeal they have been through with her husband's surgery and complication, and how grateful and thankful they are.  A Go Fund Me page was started by their friend for the expenses to adapt their home to his new condition.
Our favorite bean casserole, cranberry salad, and sweet potato casserole, are all made and ready to bake tomorrow.  Apple pie just came out of the oven, gala apples are my favorite.  Personally, I would rather have spaghetti.  Always spaghetti.
Most of the trees are down from the attic but the ornaments and remotes are not yet.  I am so glad all the trees are plugged into remotes so there is no bending and reaching for a switch.  Not sure if I want to put out the brown wire trees we got on clearance last year.  I haven't seen them this year and am weird about using things I love for fear I won't be able to replace them in case of loss.  But it would look very nice on the front porch, or maybe in the yard off the back deck.
One of my favorite movies, Signs, has been on and I can watch it over and over.  Joaquín Phoenix, the children, and Mel are all believable and great.  Even though basically science fiction, the underlying theme pulled me in.  My cousins didn't get it, and I don't understand why not.  As Mel asks Merrill, "are you the kind that sees signs, sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way. Is it possible that there are no coincidences?"  The end answers it for many of us.  Good movie!!!
Have a wonderful day.

Nov 21, 2017

A putzy start

A few years ago I made a fool of myself in this post office when I tried to reason with them, that Canada should not be an international rate because it's attached to the U.S.  And to get to Alaska you need to cross over Canada and Alaska is not international.  So what gives?  This morning, at that same post office, I was told that the Andrew Wyeth stamps are not offered in books of 20 as the others, there are only 12.  "So they cost that much more?  I will only get 12 for the price of 20?" this idiot asked.  "Ah, no ma'am, stamps are 49 cents.  You will pay 49 cents for each stamp, pay for 12 or pay for 20." 
Looking to purchase work boots for my nephew's son, I asked Mark to slip on Matt's size 11 to see if they have a comfortable insole.   ????  "Why don't I try on MY size instead of his?  Wouldn't that be a better way to see how they feel instead of a size I don't wear?"  That one was really hard to argue and my reasoning to save face fell flat.
Later this same morning, I was searching for the big square eyeglasses that I see celebs wearing but have yet to find locally.  I heard the same comment as every office - ma'am ... those are men's frames.  Well you don't have any for women that are the size I want, I am not as petite as Blanche Devereaux.  I came out of the optical store to get into my new white gold car and proceeded to try to enter a same color GMC something or other.  I did that several times with the prior car, but at least this incident did not set off the car alarm.
Tuesday November 21, going well.

Nov 20, 2017


I don't think I want to stitch any others from this leaflet.  On 35 count it's a nice size for a small tree.  The hanger is hemp cord that I twisted using the same method as for floss.  Wasn't sure it would work but it did and I like this heavier look more than a single strand.  Attaching to front or back hasn't been decided but I will probably use a dab of Tacky as I did to close the ornament. 

Prairie Schooler book 36, St. Nicholas II with a few changes.

Nov 19, 2017

Giver's remorse

Back in 2013, I gave away these Santas that I had no plan to ever stitch.  Well guess who just bought some of them on Ebay?  Yep.  I have no idea how this brain works but I do know these designs have been on my mind for a few weeks.  Did I see them somewhere?  Nope.  Why did I start thinking about them?  Your guess is as good as mine and probably better.  They are pictured on what seems to be white Aida and look pixelated like bad digital reception on an old TeeVee.  But I am imagining them cleaned up and stitched on aged high count linen.  Maybe I'm wrong and I will never stitch them, but when something gnaws at me, I can't let it go.  Three leaflets for six fellows will arrive next week, they are not plentiful, and I did not see many of their other Santas offered.  No sense searching for more until I test my patience and vision on this purchase.

Thank you Carol for mentioning Log House in New Castle.  I will call to see if they are still open!  Their bio says they have been in business for 32 years and my SIL knew every place within 50 miles of here, so I am surprised I have never heard of it!  I wanted to get your opinion on the shop but you're no-reply.

Thanksgiving week.  Geez.  Seems like Fall has been a blur and I still have a lingering cold.  It spit snow this afternoon and while using an electric blower on the leaves, I had so many cord hangups, twists and trips, that my vocabulary turned very unpleasant.  Well, vile actually. 

Hope your week goes well!
Thanks for visiting.


Time to get it done

After MANY changes, I can proceed on this little Santa.  Maybe it's because my other PS Santas were on the lower count linen with two threads, but this single thread on 35 count was not to my liking.  The 501 tiny pattern in his coat did not show well at all on the 221 background.  So I brightened the red, removed it.  Changed the 501 to a different green, removed it.  Decided gold would show better.  The outline wasn't much different than the gold, removed it and used the gold.  Decided to keep the 501 beneath the coat, but the 221 for the cardinal was blah, changed it to 321.  I don't like the darker pinks for flesh, used the perfect 3864 but the ivory beard didn't contrast enough!  That became 3773.   And after all that, I think I may remove the pattern in the coat and make it solid red.  Will it ever end???
The problem could be the change in linen and thread count.  I love it for samplers, but there doesn't seem to be enough fill for me when using darker colors.  Just me I guess.  New order at 123 is all 35 count and one 40 piece.   Even though I am still struggling with this lingering slump, I order more fabric.  If I would have kept a journal on the Santa pieces, I would know what count I used previously so counting their stitches will have to do.  The little white field at the very top left of the blog allows for a search of all posts so I can easily go back for reference, but what would I enter?  Maybe the PS book # or title would bring it up. 
Hope your weekend is going well!  Ours was continual rain and cold temps.  At least it wasn't snow!
Thanks for visiting.

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!
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