Apr 24, 2018

Finch me

Hey.  What's happening people?  Not much here.  Just a really bad entire afternoon wasted on this little fricking finch.  I've had distress before when a project would not cooperate, but this bird riled my feathers big time.  And every time I had to make an adjustment, he got a little bit smaller.  Much smaller.  Over and over and if the lighter was in my sewing room, well, let's just say the siren would have gone off.  Instead of discarding or destroying, I decided to allow him to fly elsewhere.  You want him?  Leave your email or full initials in the comments and Thursday evening at 9, I will draw a name, get an address, and set him free.
 
As the others, button on the back to hold a ribbon which can be removed.  The button wasn't sewn on until after it was stuffed and shut since I had planned on an execution, so it may not be dead center.
 
 
Enough ribbon to hang over a large knob.
 
Just untie and adjust to the length required, like shorter on a basket handle.
This is not a perfect finish, may have a little anger misalignment, a little spot of undetected glue, a cat hair, a few obscenities buried in the batting.  But it's free.
 
Fly away you little finch.
 
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Apr 23, 2018

Houston, we have a color

Eureka.  A powerful vacuum cleaner, a city in California and Missouri, a SyFy series, and my scream of the day.  Another gallon, another day, this time close enough.  I think I have finally achieved what I call a charcoal brown.  Not reddish not greenish not taupey not orangey not saturated, just a dark yet soft shade of gray in the shade and brown in the sun.
The trim and windows are waiting, the door is ordered, the stain is finally chosen, last step is having them match a flat exterior paint to it for windows and garage doors.  Tints are not the same for stain as they are for paint but I am assured the tweaking will not be complicated.  The contractor is coming this week to check what lumber is required and we're off to the races.
 
My girls are shedding their coats for summer and looking rather messy, but still cute as can be.  I am shedding the winter clothes in my closet.  When I find something that fits and I like, I buy different colors of the same item.  But this year, all those sweats and sweaters sat because the necks were fitted crew and I could not get them on or off with my shoulder problem.  Might as well pack them up and move on, especially since I believe spring is finally here.  Beautiful sunny and warm days gracing my section of earth.
Hope your week goes well!
 
Thanks for visiting.
 
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Apr 21, 2018

Beyond the crabby


Some needleworkers like to punch.   I would love to do that right now.

Some needleworkers prefer stitching.  It's what a victim of my ire would need.

Some needleworkers enjoy the finish.  Oh how I would love to get there.

Some needleworkers prefer a sharp needle.  Nothing can be sharper than my tongue.

Some needleworkers like a larger eye.  I'd like to blacken a few.

Some needleworkers like their linen to be soft in hand.  I'd rather have a rock in mine.

Some needleworkers have their threads wound.  Tight enough to break?

Some needleworkers are very nice people, with kind words, forgiveness, and patience.

And one needleworker is not.

But she will get over it.  Nothing is worth ruining a weekend, a day, an hour, when we don't know if it may be our last.  And if it's not (whew), starting it with an attitude sets the tone for a wasted day.  How many more do we have?   Daily trials and tribulations are a part of life and nothing compared to the life and death and suffering of others. Get angry, get over it.  Have an extra chocolate or two or three.  Pull up your brand new big girl panties.  Look up at the sky in the morning and start fresh.  And ponder why panties are so damn expensive.  I know why they're big.
 
Have a great Sunday folks.
 
I know I will.  Pen to paper (fingers to keyboard) does indeed help.
 
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Apr 17, 2018

Change is good

At least it was for the goldfinch.  Removing the 924 at the bottom, for some reason, made a big difference in the look of this tweet.  The softer neutrals worked out well and I think the yellow looks fine on this blue whereas before it was just too much.  I tried my best to make this little guy recognizable as the finch, he's a little too tall I believe, but I wanted to keep the counts similar.  Close enough.  I am thinking about a chickadee with his black accents on a pale yellow linen as a companion.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I changed the stitch pattern at the bottom and the two extra stitches are just that and will be within the seam.
 
Backing requires a decision, which requires too much brain space right now.
 
 
 
 
It's snowing.  Happy tax day.
 
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Apr 16, 2018

I found it

The tweety I was working on disappeared after I removed the 924 thread.  Being distracted by family matters, I didn't do a thorough search and assumed it would show up.  It did.  When I used the dusting mop under the sofa.  Since it was found in the area where Missy destroys my threads, I assumed the hole in the linen was caused by those mini mouth daggers.
 
No big deal.  I've woven a linen thread in a much longer area before and this was a very short distance to weave.  I removed the longer piece and started from the break working out, leaving a long enough tail to complete the other side.

The mistake I made was removing an end linen thread vertically when the patch was horizontal.  There may be a slight difference in the thickness, sheen, something, and although it looks OK I will pull from the same direction next time.  Just in case.

 
She is a stinker.  She was enjoying the two warm days we had and investigated a door she never entered through.
 
Can you believe April is half over? 
Have a great start to your week.
Thanks for visiting.
 
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Apr 15, 2018

One man's junk

is now my treasure.  I've been helping my cousins go through Aunt Helen's house, and brought home a few things they were throwing out.  We took a very large crucifix and other religious items the boys offered to Carole.  When delivering them, I mentioned to her that her bedroom is starting to look like a chapel.
 
This was a screened trough she was filling with corn for the deer, hasn't been used in several years since her boys blocked the steep steps to the back yard.  It was at the curb!  After lining the bottom with two layers of landscape fabric, I see a coat of white or bright blue chipped paint with Creeping Jenny and Vinca vines cascading.
 
My grandparents were from Italy and Poland, all came with nothing.  The only time there was a gift given was when they became citizens.   As time went on and the children became adults, that frugality stayed with them and rarely was anything purchased that was not necessary. 
 
So my mom's and her sister's rhinestone jewelry, rarely worn, are now with me.  The only glamorous items they owned.  Even when they could afford a little splurge, their parents' way of life was still a great influence, and if anyone got a gift or new shoes, it was the children.  Back then, mothers sacrificed all for their children.  It was understood that bringing a life into the world required 15 years of selflessness and total devotion, the absolute and most important task on earth.  So for me to own what must have made them feel as beautiful outside as they were inside, is a privilege.
 
I have Baba's and Nona's pearl collars that dressed their plain sweaters, and the other pieces were mom's.  When in today's world we get what we want, and credit cards make it all possible, can you imagine how meaningful it was for a woman back then to own a few special pieces?  So although they are costume jewelry and tossed aside by others, I can see how important and treasured this jewelry was.
 
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Apr 12, 2018

Shades of black

Am I the only one that is getting a notice stating a low threat virus is blocked every time I visit a blogger page?
To anonymous Carole, YES!  The Linen Sampler in Niles Ohio was a wonderful shop.  Loved visiting, probably my favorite.  A close second was Friends Count in Cortland Ohio, and runner up was Count on Cindy in Boardman/Canfield. 
For Amanda, I can't contact you, but wanted to clarify the paint samples.  The paper swatches at the store for stains are tiny compared to those for paint. You can have almost any paint color swatch mixed in a sample jar, but not for exterior stain.  Some do, but not the brands that the painter recommended for quality.  SW and Cabot can only be purchased in gallons.  That's an expensive test!
 
 Benjamin Moore may offer stain samples, but they sold my sister the wrong paint for her house.  Even after the painter questioned the new product (Advance) they insisted it was the latest and greatest for applying over oil based exterior paint.  It started peeling off in sheets within a year and we called, emailed, they did nothing.  The product was new and now is labeled for interior only. Too late.  Was it the clerk's fault?  No.  The store's OWNER is the person she and the painter spoke with. I was so ticked that they did not even offer new primer or paint or come out to look at the house, especially since the fault lies with the store, that I refuse to purchase their products.  Her house is a mess and she does not have the money for a remedy and new paint job. 
 
Almost every intense stain I've seen in photos has been on a saltbox, not our house style, but still doable. Black houses sound evil don't they?  But it's not a deep glossy black, the stain is soft and weathers.  If nothing else works out, I may just opt for it.  After seeing these (and all the others I've saved) I am leaning heavily.  For your viewing pleasure, here's a few of my favorites from Pinterest. 
 
 
 



 









 
 
 
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Apr 11, 2018

As small as a bird or as big as a house,

the color is always a problem with me.
Hello folks.  Been down my aunt's house with her sons, sorting through the household.  I am uncomfortable at times, because she was vibrant a week ago and we have been dismantling her house already.  I know people that have left everything as is for a year until they were ready, some remove it all days later.  Maybe that's easier to do, before the shock wears off and emotions muddle the task.  She had removed much over the years to make it easier when the time came, and her sons are thankful for that. 
 
Also been playing with the stain colors again.  I like the color but would prefer it be darker.  I am really irked by the paint companies not offering sample sizes (or even quarts) for customers to test on their house without spending a fortune.  Sherwin Williams guaranteed to match the Cabot color, they didn't come close, and failed to tell me that was the last day of the 30% off sale.  When I walked in the next morning I was shocked to pay almost $60 for a gallon.  But the painter's estimate came in lower than I expected so I'm very relieved.
 
 As for stitching, I did not like the yellow bird on the blue and started another on the flax Belfast.  I haven't given up on the blue just yet.  The bottom area is stitched in 924 which I'm removing.  The yellow bird may look better with a softer neutral there.  I think there are times when introducing a color that doesn't work may be because of color in another area.  Does that make sense?
Whenever in doubt, I freeze.  Solid.  I stare at it for way too long, trying to visualize a change, which accomplishes nothing. 
 
Hope the week is going well.
 
Thanks for visiting.
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Apr 8, 2018

Chirp

Hello people.  How has your weekend been?  I saw a post about a new season, Sprinter.  The spring that can't let go of winter.  We had 4" the day of the funeral, and it snowed again this morning.
 
 I want to thank everyone for the kind words of sympathy. The mass for my aunt was very nice and we gathered the rest of the day to celebrate her life and reconnect as cousins.  We learned that Aunt Helen knew.  She did.  She made a few comments the day before that looking back on, were intuitive.  There is also evidence that she awoke during the night, combed her hair, put her dentures in, and went back to bed in a perfect position with hands across her chest holding her blanket.  They say that some people can sense it, others not.  There is no way to know if that's true.  And although she is reunited with family now, I am still having a difficult time. 
 
So what's up with stitching?  Tweets.  I just love those hearts and decided to make a few more and if I do not want to display any more needlework, I will offer for sale. 
 
This piece of gorgeous dusty blue was to be a pastoral scene sampler.  I thought the blue would make a beautiful background of blue sky.  Ain't happening.  This was from a fabulous shop in Niles Ohio years ago.  Good price huh?  I decided to try a goldfinch with its striking yellow body and black wings, even though the proportion and shape won't be correct.   Close enough!  Not sure which DMC would be best. 
 
It is not easy to cut into a larger piece of linen, always been a problem for me.  But the only large projects I am keeping charts for would not be using this fabric.  No regrets.
 
Another painter came for an estimate.  We have always had a crew do the entire house in one day.  This outfit will use a cleaner, do some sanding, apply two coats to the front, all taking a full week.  I can just imagine the difference in cost.  We never had issues with the weathered wood being recoated before and don't know if I want or need the additional prep, nor am I comfortable with a washer being used on the brittle siding.  But he is highly recommended.  We shall see.  He also agreed with me that the dark bronze windows have a  reddish purple cast and need to be painted more of a neutral brown.
 
Hope your week starts swell!
Thanks for visiting.
 
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Apr 6, 2018

Threes

Some people believe events happen in threes, especially deaths.  That has always been the case with our very small family.  The last three were my sister in law, mother, and mother in law within a month.   Before that is was Aunt Kay, my father, and Aunt Sugar within 6 months. 
 
My only remaining aunt passed away early Thursday morning.   Although her passing was unexpected, it was peaceful and without illness or suffering which is a blessing, and for that everyone is grateful.  We are all devastated at losing her and the last family member of that generation.  Now my sister is the oldest, my brother second.  As you can imagine, everyone is remembering the losses that came in threes.  And the odd fact of the threes, is that the first was always unexpected, in their sleep, as was this.  She was my mom's youngest sister, who at 92 did not have a bag or wrinkle on her sweet face, but always a smile.  I can't believe she is gone.
 
We made the trip to pick up our gallon of stain that afternoon, and just missed being in a dangerous situation.  On the route we traveled, a suspected drive by shooter was being followed by police when the suspect started shooting out his back window into the police cruiser.  State police got involved and the person attempting to kill the officer died at the hospital after a shoot out.  Ten minutes earlier we were at that location.
 
It will snow again tonight, and really, does it matter? 
 
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Apr 5, 2018

Breakfast

on another snow day.  They have been coming several times a day, eating the corn, and then staring at the doors until I give them more.  We're going through 50# every few days.  Soon they will have sprouts and greenery to munch on.  Our swamp of a yard is completely torn up.


The broken leg is healing in a deformed position, she is starting to put a little weight on it.  The limp is pronounced and she is easy to spot in a crowd.  But then again, when you see them several times a day, you get to know who's who by the color of their coat, face, and slight markings.  She keeps to herself somewhat and is with another group off to the right.
Taking a long ride this afternoon to the closest Cabot stain dealer, hoping to find what I'm looking for.  Lowe's carries the brand and has the deck stain in store, but not willing to order the siding stain.
 
Have a great day!  My sister is.  Her appetite is back and she is showered and dressed and so happy to be feeling better.
 
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Apr 3, 2018

What is this?

I found this ???? and before I throw it out, does anyone know about it?  Does it belong to a larger device?  It has Yarn Winder in raised letters on both sides with lines and an open center that is immovable.  Just thought I would check in case it's a part or an item someone would like to add to a vintage collection of .... ????  It makes no sense to me!
 

 
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Apr 2, 2018

Progress

Hey!  Finally.  She is better today and although still sounding like she is coughing up a kidney, the doctor said it will take time but she is progressing toward recovery.  I know her well, and waited for the right time to brighten her day.
 She loves bright colors and sparkle, so Saturday with coupons in hand, I found a few new things to lift her spirits.  Bright is putting it mildly.  Found a scarf to go with both and also a few sequined tees.  Took them over when I picked her up and bingo.  A smile, the first one in two weeks.  Topped it off with a celebratory triple pump mocha iced coffee which she enjoyed.

I so miss shopping for my mom and seeing her face light up when I came home with new bargains.  I detest shopping for myself and always have, but do enjoy picking for others. 

The paint sample I worked on was a bust.  The computer custom match was no where near and that is the seventh time at bat.  I did find another color card that I liked, previously hidden behind another because of a misfile.  It happens.  So I decided to give in and now I only hope that Sherwin Williams can match the Behr color.  Cabot was always used, but I can't get samples, and the Behr does not cover well at all for being solid. 

I do love the monotone flat finish throughout, and the new shiny finish on the windows will not do.  Plus, and the main reason for painting them, is this.


See the red/purple cast?  I certainly don't want to match that on the entire house and I do not like the clash of the two browns.  The windows are very very dark, but when light hits the shiny finish that red really comes out.  Do.not.like.  So now I am ready to change the weathered look and am anxious to have this done. 


So all in all,  a pretty good day for a change.  Even the morning view wasn't that bad since the sparkly white crap didn't stick to the road.

Hope your day went well too!

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Apr 1, 2018

April

Already.  Hope everyone had a very nice Easter.  I made kielbasa and kraut with potatoes and carrots in the Instant Pot, it was so good.  So we took the silk flowers to the cemetery and then delivered the meal to brother and sister.  Another trip to the drug store for more cough syrup and had to try several stores since the shelves were bare.  Lots of people sick around here.  Did I ask her Friday when we delivered pizza if there was anything she needed?  Did I ask her Saturday while I was out if she needed anything?  Did she call Easter morning and tell me she was out of cough syrup?  Of course.  There is some improvement in her voice, and she ate the dinner today.  Tomorrow it's back to the doctor.
 
We had sunshine today, something we hadn't seen for a while.  Nit was wondering where that bright light was coming from.
 
His father, Budman, tried to jump on me this morning while the computer was on my lap, and after an awkward landing, turned and quickly jumped down.  His sharp claw landed in that ditch where my skin meets the side of my thumb nail and slit it open from top to bottom.  I have never had that much pain from a cut.
 
First thing Monday I am going to Home Depot for a color match, the only place that offers sample cans of exterior stain.  I played with my craft paints until I got a color similar to this photo.  Dark brown, but not warm golden dark brown, more of a ashy gray brown, but not gray, and not brown, and not golden, not rusty, not anything really. 
 
I mentioned in a prior post about the thrill of the stitch compared to enjoying the display.  I love the birds, not sure I want them.  This is really weird isn't it?  They are so sweet and I enjoyed creating them, but the thrill is gone.  So if I stitch again they will also be for gifts.  I'm thinking the blue bird and maybe a goldfinch.
 
I had a long and busy day, haven't read much, may catch up tomorrow.  I saw a large iPad while careening my buggy around Walmart and really like what I saw.  That's a ton of money while doing house repairs though.  And how does it work? Like my tablet that keeps telling me my browser isn't supported so I download another and get the same message?  What I need to flash across my screen is PUT DOWN THE CHOCOLATE.  WALK AWAY.  I used my nephew's smart phone and did not like what I saw.  The screen for phones does not have the same display as the laptop and I like seeing it all so I need to get to a Best Buy or somewhere these things can be explained.
 
Have a good week.
 
Thanks for visiting.
 
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