Feb 28, 2018

The thrill of it all

I’ve purchased more linen, new charts, but for months I have not really had an interest in stitching.  And my tastes in decorating are very confusing right now.  I still like the stark colonial and shaker style, but lighter and looser is appealing to me more and more.  Sort of a mix of primitive, farmhouse, Pottery Barn.  An old pine table with galvanized dining chairs.  Adding more samplers to the walls is not in my vision.
My brother made a comment that struck a chord.  He has searched for and collected so many antiques over the years, one being oil lamps from the 1800’s and another, early Indian arrowheads and tools he’s dug for in the area.  Both are extensive.  Most were boxed since he and his wife were planning to move into a larger home (and open a shop), but life got in the way.  She passed and he has a houseful of boxes.  He recently emptied a group for display and felt very let down.  After some thought he came to a revelation.  He realized that the hunt for the lamps, proper period burners and chimneys, and digging for the artifacts was the thrill, not the display.  Got me to thinking about stitching.  Sort of what my brother is feeling.  For years, I couldn't wait to hang that sampler on the wall or Santa on the tree, but then slowly that became less important.  Searching for designs, choosing linen, changing threads, and creating the piece was the fun.  And now I am not anxious to, nor is it a goal, to create a sampler for display.  Many stitchers may feel the same because I read about dozens of completed projects languishing in drawers for years, no strong desire to see/display all that work.  So maybe for some, the process is indeed, greater than the result.  
 But when you lose the desire for both, it's tough baby!

Goodbye February.  How quickly you passed.

Feb 27, 2018


When you must struggle to pick up that needle, and it becomes a chore instead of a pleasure, it's time.  It happens, but when it continues for months, a serious reassessment is in order. 
I can't even finish this tiny sampler.

Feb 24, 2018

Bean me up Scotty

A big thank you for your help!  The black votes won and with more Bondo and a grinder, I am happy to say the bean has landed.  I thought about black knobs, but I put a lot of work into these wood ones, staining, painting, aging, chipping, sealing, so decided against that.  Using black handles on all the drawers would be too much.  Especially with the size of this handle, not the typical 4" but 7".  I wanted it larger to balance the 24" width and also to be able to hang a towel or cloth through it.  So with grinder in hand, Mark reduced the big bean to smaller beans and we are both feeling this is a much better look.  Baby bean.
The holes of the larger beans had to be filled and with a skinny dowel, glue, and Bondo, a fresh coat of paint covered those screw holes nicely. Even after sanding there will be some red Bondo left and I don't know if a stain will blend it.  Since we paint most all wood it's not a problem for us.
Doesn't look as bulky now does it?  And it still matches the bean towel holder.  I bought it so many years ago, probably at a shop in Volant, and haven't found another one even close. 
Found out that the last remaining antique market we had closed at the end of 2017.  There is nothing left around here.

And with the a few coats of matte polyurethane, I don't have to worry about the black finish wearing off or the iron rusting with a damp towel. 
DONE!  Except for the legs but with continual rain, it's hard to  do any cutting outside.  Sorry I've bored you with the bean saga but I've been using it as an excuse to not stitch and felt documenting that justified it.  Did it work?
Have a great weekend!!

Feb 21, 2018

Beans of a different color

Because of the towel holder,
and the closet door handles in other rooms (which is the same handle as the dishwasher),
and having black hinges on the cabinets, I thought the panel's handle should be black.  Mark always thought the knobs should be but I vetoed that from the start.  I have an extra handle (Gemini people always buy in two's) and painted it the color of the cabinets which Mark prefers over this....
It does blend in but now I can't decide if the black or painted would be better.  Would you mind offering your opinion to a fickle pickle? 
Same color as the cabinets or leave it black? 
We got my sister's dilemma resolved, she misunderstood and will be responsible for paying back a few months of help, not all those years.  She gets confused when she is upset.  I get confused all the time. 
We had another warm day but it's ending and the chill is coming back.  Can you believe next week is March already?  I really hate to change February's fabulous desktop calendar but I'll get over it.
Enjoy what's left!

Feb 20, 2018


is one of my favorite candies from the chocolate shop, it's what is happening to the snow, but unfortunately not to my hips.  I am so tired of following guidelines and getting no where.  Even started exercising (with one arm) and I gained two pounds.  Makes me want to stuff my face with Dove.
I still have not located my current tiny project but we've been pretty busy.  After waiting over a year to find someone that has the profile cutter for our raised panels (and then finding out the hundreds it would cost for them to set it up for only one door), we decided to wing it.  The cabinet doors and two top drawers from the old sink base were too large for the dishwasher panel.  Since we had no where else to use them, we cut them in half, glued, filled with Bondo, sanded and painted.  Voila.
We made one drawer front from two and cut the two doors to fit.  Bondo was new to us (it's for cars) but a cabinetmaker told us he uses it exclusively so we bought the smallest tube.  Does not shrink like every wood filler we have tried, sands so easily, and fills beautifully.  We finally have a dishwasher panel.  The hinges were cut down and attached and a bean style Acorn handle will go on the drawer front.  Right now we have a string applied to open in case it happens to close completely. 
The handle's beans were large and Mark ground them down somewhat, and the black paint is drying.  Tomorrow we will have it completed.  It was a real hassle for us to get it centered and lined up with the screw holes since this dishwasher moves.  It's a Bosch and having a stone countertop does not allow top clips to be screwed in, so the side clips were used.  Useless.  It can still move a little.  But it is what it is and finally finished.  All the little shaker knobs that I love (cabinet to the right) will be replaced with the shaker style on the new panel.  We've always found great wood knobs and screws here https://niceknobs.com/.
The leg/skirt on the right one with be removed and a new one made the full width to the sink.  I guess we will also need the wood stained board to cover the base.  After all this, a piece of cake!  Cake.  Yummo.  Make a pistachio 13 x 9 with the quick pistachio icing and it was light and luscious.  Just a small piece, it was taken to my sister's for her grandson's birthday.  Thank goodness.
Mark's MRI is Friday and we've been back and forth to the doc.  I bought a new wrist BP monitor from Target online (Omron 7 series #652) and it's so much lighter and easier than our old one.  This has a blue light that tells you when it is in the correct alignment with your heart for an accurate reading.  Many do not know how important that is and the older units did not have it.  Turns out that the Mr.'s BP was over 180/110.  Consistently.  Even when he doubled his BP meds.  All else is fine but even the new plan with two different meds are not working that well.  Back again!  Good thing we got the new cuff.  Much easier to use than our old one.
Hope all is well with y'all.  I plan to get back to ridding and I'm sure I will find my project.  But I really do not miss stitching at all.  So why did I rush to purchase SANQ hardcover volume 2 when I saw Melinda's huswife from it?  Who knows.
My sister is in a panic because she has been cut off from utility bill help.  She is well below the income levels and always received help with her power bill.  A letter came last week stating that she did not recertify in time even though she mailed it two weeks before it was due.  Guess who her postal carrier is?  (Has anyone read the comment left on the prior post from Penny?)  So now she is trying to rectify the situation but they don't really care and in order to get back on, she must reimburse the agency for all monies they contributed the last 10 years.  Are you kidding me?  Nope. 
I hope your week is going well.
Spring is coming.
Thanks for visiting.

Feb 15, 2018

Vintage ribbon

Hello everyone.  I have a little over eight yards of this 3/8" embroidered ribbon, white with pink and blue flowers, that I have no use for.  I purchased two cards of this decades ago, aged one to a nice beige, and have this original white left.  If anyone would like it for a little girl's dress or other projects, I will send in a bubble envelope for $5.00 which includes shipping.
Missy was enjoying the 60 degrees today and getting some fresh air. 
I haven't found the little project I have been working on since I last showed it.  It's somewhere! 
And about my mail carrier.  Complaints have been plentiful for years since she started as a fill-in.  She just doesn't have the common sense to do the job and hardly ever picks up mail from the box.  It's not that she doesn't see it, she moves it out of the way to throw in the day's delivery.  Today, she left my package on the front (uncovered) porch and exposed from beneath it on the WET deck I found the rest of our mail, bills and a check, sopping wet and smeared from the rain.  Too fricking lazy and stupid to put it where it belongs, IN THE MAILBOX.  This is so ridiculous that government employees incapable or unwilling to work cannot be fired or at least put in a different position. 
Turning the corner to February's close, before you know it, we'll be thinking of flowers.  But that is not what everyone's thoughts are of today.
Let me know if you would like the ribbon.
Thanks for visiting.

Feb 13, 2018

A bag of rice ...

a little sewing, and a new neck warmer is born.  I used all cotton fabric for the inside bag, added less than 1 1/2 cups of rice in each of the four sections, and made a removable cover for washing.  Following my current ratty warmer, the fabric is 24" x 12", folded over and sewn with 1/2" seam on the long edge and one end.  Turned right side out, FriXion pen marked a straight line every 6 inches for seams, and cuffed it over on itself so there aren't any folds for rice to settle in.  After filling each section, I pinned as if I was quilting 1/2" from the seam mark, and sewed.  This kept the rice from moving into the seam and allowed enough room for the machine foot.
The final edge section was folded under 1/2" and sewn shut.  I used a checked linen dish towel which was two inches longer than the inside bag, seamed and trimmed to the right width, and added two handles made from the same.
I didn't want to use a heavier towel but a thin terry one works well too.  Any material used throughout must be 100% cotton, linen, or wool, no synthetics which may melt in the microwave when heating.  I need to attach and large wooden button and loop to prevent the rice bag from slipping out, or maybe just sew a few basting stitches across the center.  It's only a few inches to remove for washing and I doubt that would be frequent.  My next one will be buckwheat, assuming it would be much lighter than the rice.  Even though the rice sits heavy on my neck, that weight sometimes feels good.  I heat mine for 2 1/2 minutes on high in a small 700 watt microwave.
Mark's foot has suddenly flared up again, back in the boot, and an MRI will be scheduled.  Doc thinks surgery may be on the horizon.  As for my shoulder/bicep, one week after the injection and today it is very painful at the joint for some reason.  No change in the bicep yet, maybe this new pain means it's healing somewhat and I will soon be able to lift high enough to apply deodorant.  That would be nice for all concerned.
Hope the week is going well.
Thanks for visiting.

Feb 11, 2018

Findings at a new location

We were hit harder than surrounding communities with snow, but many of you were much worse.  Hope it was the last big snowfall of this lousy season.
My brother has been moving things around and came across a few more items from Pat's stitching. 
The first edition of The Proper Stitch which doesn't seem to be as popular as the revision.  Pat had many books and used these stickers inside of all.  She loved anything mouse!  Elizabeth, you're no-reply, and I don't really have a pattern for the mouse eyeglass case. 
The item that I am thrilled to have is this little pincushion.  Stitched on Congress cloth over one, the colors are beautiful.  Unfortunately, like many items finished locally, a horrible job.  The edges had stiff peaks sticking out and there was so much glue!  I put it in the freezer which many times allows glue to be removed easily.  It worked for removal from the wood, but not from the fabric.  My only option was to cut away the gobs, trim to the blue stitching, and sew to a backing.

I love the shape, although odd to me for a pincushion.  There isn't enough of a rim for securing needlework, hence the half bottle of Elmer's. The bottom label is Count Your Blessings in OR which I have not been able to find, probably closed.  Looks a lot better now.  When I use glue to close a seam on my stitching, it is a tiny amount (usually applied with a toothpick) and water soluble.  I've even been able to open a seam with a firm yank.  I was using a fabric glue but switched to Aleene's Tacky and much prefer it.
And what else did I come home with?  Four of the Leisure Art Christmas books.  One has the Postman Santa and I am amazed at the amount of charts in them.  Many are the Victorian postcard santas, very similar to Boyd's, some very large.  Charts to stitch Santa on sweaters and sweatshirts, ornaments, tons of projects.  Some I really like but I know I will never stitch.  More browsing will take place this afternoon and if not being kept, I may offer them for shipping charges.  
I haven't sold on EBay in quite some time and found it is such an easy process now.  Payment and shipping all done easily, no confusion.  But once again, my mail carrier refused to take them.  I had payment envelopes along with these two large envelopes (with my flag up) and she pushed them aside to throw my mail into the box.  Our PO is closed at noon and I rely on her for pickup. I am so tired of this and of course, she is protected and can get away with not doing her job.  We had one carrier that was arrested for DUI twice, reeked of alcohol, even ran into a woman with a stroller, and he kept getting his job back after being fired four times.  Oh how I miss my prior carriers!  They were the best and I still keep in touch with the last one who retired. 
Have a great start to a new week as we inch closer to sunshine and flowers.
Thanks for visiting.

Feb 8, 2018


I actually had no trouble removing those letters and it ended up being a good thing, because I did not like their color anyway.  This is a very very small piece, not enough room for several colors.  I did use the recommended threads the first time I stitched it and this one will be very different.

For those that didn't see the error, here it is!  I was down one thread on those four letters and the dividing band beneath would have made this more obvious.  This is a simple design and in my opinion, anything off a little would not have the charm of a reproduction's misplacements.  It would look like some old lady had the wrong glasses, messed up, and was too lazy to correct it.
I so wish Bud would allow himself to be bathed.  This guy has such odd and dirty hair for a cat.  It seems these three ferals never had the time to clean themselves, staying alive took precedence, and bathing just isn't something they do.  He and his girl heard about the Olympics and are practicing synchronized sleeping.

Have a great week's end.  One more closer to spring.
Thanks for visiting.

The trouble with 40

I took this photo to show my wonky 4-sided stitches in the first dividing band.  But when I looked at it closely, I saw that I K L M are one thread off.  How could I miss this?  For me, it's very easy on 40 count.  My 3.25 glasses broke, I can't find the 3.0, and have been using the 2.5 which are not quite strong enough.  But getting back to the wonky, I always had trouble with the very easy 4-sided stitch looking very messy.  After completing a short section, I decided to do a running stitch the entire length, then went back to do the vertical part, finally completing the row with another running stitch on the bottom.  Well that worked.  Doesn't it look neater than the first part?  This ain't your momma's 4-sided stitch, it's a counterfeit from the reckless stitcher.
So now what do I do?  Removing four letters on 40 count will be tedious.  Changing the G H would be less work but the next row is in place and will be off.  So here's the plan - stop it.  With my desire to stitch still lacking, any stumble turns into a full face plant.
Woke up Wednesday to another 6" of snow and not one of the brats had any intention of walking in it.  The day before that we only had 2", which was still too much for the Budman.
Have a great day friends.

Feb 6, 2018

A few things

Hiya.  Not much going on here other than doctors and very sick family.  Chris is very sick again (and refuses to miss work), his son Matt also (not at work and can't afford that), and little boy Matt is recovering.  I hope Carole doesn't catch it, haven't talked to her yet this morning.

The new doctor, an orthopedic, diagnosed my arm problems.  The bicep tendon is the culprit, extremely inflamed with possible tear, and the swelling is causing the impingement of the shoulder (not impingement from injury which is the therapy I received - no wonder it made the bicep pain worse).  Received injections to calm it and will return in 3 weeks, MRI if no improvement.  Since the shot, my entire arm including thumb is feeling weird so no stitching today either.  (Do I really care?  No.) 

But I want to share a few things I found online and also remind you to visit https://circahomeliving.blogspot.com/, click on the desktop calendar, then right click and chose Set as Background.  It's fabulous!  Too bad it will be a short month.

Also found a site https://noramurphycountryhouse.com/magazine/ that offers e-magazines (mostly of her Connecticut country home) that showcase her style of decorating.  Very light, mixed with rustic, kind of the direction I am leaning.  I especially enjoyed the issue featuring kitchens.

They are free for viewing, and you can subscribe for future issues.

Two other sites I discovered through a FB post are for framing.  Many of you have projects that are very costly to frame, and if you can mount them yourself you can order the wood cut to fit your project.  https://www.pictureframes.com/ and https://www.americanframe.com/.  There are many YouTube and video tutorials on mounting and lacing, one I liked is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGajH991q_c.
After the dentist and running errands I will probably do more browsing since I am to "take it easy" for three days.  That's all I've been doing for months! 
Have a great day folks.

Feb 4, 2018

Ebay offers

Hello people.  For those of you planning to enjoy the Super Bowl, have fun!  I'll be going through more charts to offer on Ebay.  Right now I have three, and it just happened that Goode Huswife released one of them in a reprint the same day.  PA Beehive, Fanny Erb, and Eliza Low Pumroy.
After seeing many fabulous craft/sewing/stash rooms shown on FB's needlework group, I realized that my stash is a mere drop in a bucket.  And why am I keeping charts I will never stitch again?  There are unstitched big girls in the stash and I considered relinquishing them, but one day I may feel like tackling a large project so they will stay.  Some are favorites that I would not mind stitching again and those I will keep also.  The way my mind has been operating lately, I may choose them for a new project, not realizing they are already on display somewhere.  The scariest situation is searching for the correct word which is happening way too often.  More so in thought than speech, but still unnerving.

I haven't stitched anything because of my neck and shoulder.  Tomorrow is the doc appointment and they were really surprised that I was sent for weeks of therapy without an xray first.   A little work with the sewing machine for now, until a tantrum strikes.

Little boy is finally down to a 100 degree temperature after ER visits to two separate hospitals.  The first did nothing but bloodwork, said it was fine, and sent him home.  His doctor who recommended the ER said to take him elsewhere (fever was over 104) and the next day at the other facility (we only have two) they did film and ultrasound, hydrated him, double dosed for the fever, a shot for the inflamed appendix, diagnosed the strain of flu, and instructed a return if no change within 24 hours.  It dropped to 102 yesterday and this morning he is 100 and taking fluids.  Whew.  But now his dad is sick and it seems like this will be passed from children to adults and back.
I put my bear on the steps and he makes me smile.  Glad I kept this pattern.
Enjoy your Sunday!
Mine is spitting white crap.

Feb 1, 2018

Bye bye January

Hello folks.  We made it to February, getting closer to spring.  Do you have cabin fever?  Winter doldrums?  Or are you a crabass like me and always in a snit? 

We went out today to investigate house products before the bitter cold returns, and that wind felt like (my mother's description of me) "in one ear and out the other".  The contractor called and instructed us to order the windows.  He's actually coming!  We have conflicting descriptions from several dealers of the exterior finish on the Andersen A series so we are ordering Marvin, which clearly states that information.  We also found extremely heavy/strong vinyl 2'x4' panels that are cast to mimic stone and brick.  Cool beans baby. 
I received a gift in the mail today, a chart I previously stitched.  Perfect size for a cabinet knob or basket handle gimcrack.  Yep.  Gimcrack.  Similar to a gewgaw.  Definition of both is "a showy, useless trifle".   It's not too showy, not a bauble, but I like the goofy words I found when searching for ornament synonyms.  So I'm doing it again, this time on 35 count with one thread.  I changed the bottom on this first one because I saw the queen stitch and bolted as usual.  This time I will do the specialty stitches in the border and MAY consider the queen.  If you're a betting person, don't put too much down. 

Got my hair cut to blend with the burned areas, a little too short and skimpy on the bottom.  But really, who cares?  It grows back.  She showed me a product that is new to me and a real gem for those with thinning crowns or spots.  It's available at Sally Beauty and many other places online, called Toppik, and another product at Sally - Ion Hair building fibers.  She lifted my hair and sprinkled a very small amount on my thinning top and I was amazed at how it covered my roots and scalp.  I plan to buy the Toppik in gray for Carole and found several sites with a decent price.  If you're interested, this is the link, https://gettoppik.com/how-to-use and you can visit Sally for the ION brand.  She said application should be in sections and very light, takes a little practice.
Still disposing of supplies that can't be donated for various reasons.  Many places here will not take items unless they are new, especially the day care centers which I thought could use my acrylic paints and TONS of card stock.  Nope.  I guess I will store this for a while longer.
Also came across hand made paper with leaves and stems, others with metallic threads on paper with matching envelopes.  Lots of linen paper sets.  Years ago I made a lot of cards and stationary, very simple, because the paper was the star.  The card stock was used for a presentation of Carole's angel pins with a printed verse.  Amazing how much I have that was forgotten.
I found the pattern for the only two face painted dolls I ever made and the only teddy too.  He is such a sweetheart and I will save this one.  I did not plan to sew his clothing so discarded that part.  My little guy is naked.
We have a very sick 4 year old at the hospital again tonight, hoping there are answers and help.  Not only the flu, but terrible stomach pains too.  Carole is scheduled for another stress test, they feel her symptoms are a sign of cardiac something or other, just not sure what.
Hope your weekend goes well!
Thanks for visiting.
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