Thursday, August 26, 2010

Open Letter to Deb, Sylvia, and Sylvia

Apparently I am unable to mail packages correctly. I received ALL THREE of your boxes back yesterday. (I must admit, they've been hanging out in my apartment's office for a week , I wasn't able to get there when they were actually open.) I am so sorry that they have been delayed for SO long. However, I'm hoping that you'll be willing to wait just a little longer, because I've learned something new, and I want to include it in the resending of your boxes. (Bigger is always better, at least here in Texas.) I plan to get them out to you by Monday at the latest, and I hope that you will feel they were worth the wait.

Additionally, Sylvia T, I received your LOVELY box on Tuesday, and I hope to get pictures up tomorrow. I just love everything you sent, thank you so much!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Tale of Two Kitties

All the family drama is over, and we're back to being loving happy bunch that we normally are. My husband's family understands my concerns and they're all being really sweet. For my part, I'm trying to remember that they love me, and aren't meaning to be hurtful. We're all just working toward a happy middle place.
I do want to say thank you to everyone's sweet sweet comments. They really lifted me up at a moment when I felt very low. You just don't know how much you all mean to me.

Now, on to our newest adventure, a new cat!

You may know that the love of my life is my 6 year old DLH cat Duke. He's a fluffy ball of 14lbs of love. He's also commited to being an only child, and is a complete attention whore. He and I spend our mornings cuddled up in bed, and the evenings with me feeding him lots of goodies. LOL

Last weekend my mother came up to drop off her 2 year old Siamese spitfire Tivoli. My parents are moving to Paris for 3 months, and in exchange for plane tickets there, we're watching Tivoli. She's really a sweet cat normally, but you wouldn't know it from the last few days. Mom was supposed to drive up on Friday the 13th, but her car competely died on her about a mile away from home. (That's what we get for a Friday the 13th set of plans.) So, after she picked up her rental car, we decided that she should drive up on Saturday. Then, on Saturday morning Mom woke up to find that the cat had knocked over her almost full jug of liquid laundry detergent, all over litter box. Mom noticed that the cat had detergent on her paws, and so of course she cleaned her up, and after keeping an eye on her for a couple of hours, we determined that it didn't appear that she was suffering any ill effects. So, Mom loaded Tivoli in the car and drove the 4 hours to Fort Worth.

When Mom got into town, she came straight to our apartment, and we tried introducing the cats. Duke was, I'm ashamed to say, less than a gentleman. Tivoli wasn't acting her normal self anyway, so we isolated Duke, and tried to get Tivoli to come out of her carrier and inspect the apartment. It was then that she started making this strange noise. When she breathed out, it sounded like an old coffee percolator. So, we packed her up and took her to the emergency vet clinic. They kept her overnight, because they suspected that she somehow inhaled the laundry detergent, maybe by creating bubbles as she tried to clean herself. She receovered quickly enough that they were ready to send her back to us the next morning, but it was a tense night for all of us.

Then on Sunday we went to pick her up, and the vet wanted us to keep her isolated from Duke for 24 hours. But, the vet did not recommend taking the cat back to Houston, and trying this all over again another weekend. Her reasoning was that it was so stressful for the cat to travel, that it would be better to get all this mess out of the way now. So Sunday the cat lounged at the hotel, while Daniel and I entertained Mom. The Monday I got to work REALLY early, so I could leave at noon, to help Mom introduce the cats. Tivoli promptly hid under my stitching chair, and Duke just sniffed her cat carrier.

Mom drove back to Houston, and that's when the real fun ensued. Of course poor Tivoli has been totally freaked out, but because of her detergent incident, I have to drag her out from under her chair twice a day to squirt medicine down her throat. She totally hates me at this point, and really who could blame her? I think we did the wrong thing letting her hang-out in the living room. I think it was just too big for her to feel comfortable. The first night, we locked Duke in our bedroom with us. (And his litterbox and food and water of course.) Then while I was at work, I kept him in our bedroom, trying to let Tivoli get used to the apartment. And while we saw evidence that she had come out for food and her litterbox, there wasn't much indicating that she did anything other than hide. I don't want her to hide in the bedroom right now because of the medicine we have to give her. I'm not dismantling the bed twice a day to try and grab her.

Last night we had a Eureka moment. My aunt is in town, so we were going out to have dinner with her, and we put Tivoli, her things, and her cat carrier in our bathroom. Then we covered the top of her cat carrier with a towel, and put her towel in the bottom, so it was nice, dark, and cozy. While we were out, she ate, used her box, and left some evidence of playing around. Then, while we were home, we left the bathroom door open, but kept Duke away, to see if she would want to go back under the chair. She didn't. So, we left her in the bathroom for the night. A couple of times I heard her messing around in there. We're just going to let her be the bathroom queen, awkward moments showering be damned.

Also, I got up this morning, and Duke was laying just outside the door, and I could hear Tivoli giving her normal meow, just sounding curious. When I went to open the door to go in, she was right there at the door. So, it seems that they get along when on opposite sides of the door.

They did manage to get at each other this morning, and Duke got a face full of angry hell cat, but he quickly backed down. I think Tivoli is going to be the alpha, and that's totally fine. We're just going to keep their meetings to a real minimum until Tivoli feels more comfortable. Once she's done with her meds, we're going to move her from the bathroom into our bedroom, so she'll get used to being with us. After she stops clinging to the bottom of the mattress, we'll have to just let her roam, as there are no other rooms that can be closed off in our apartment. (Yay for 600 square feet.)

Of course, I'll keep you more updated than you ever wanted while we go through this. We really just want Tivoli to feel happy and comfortable while she's in our home. And, I just have to remember that I can't make this happen any faster than she's ready for it. (Even if I just want to drag her out from under the chair and squeeze her. She's super cuddly feeling.) I have a feeling that in a month or so, Duke's going to be following her around, wanting her to pay attention to him. (She'll probably just laugh and hide on top of her tower, which Duke is too fat for.)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Well now

I feel like I woke up today, and have lost the past 2 1/2 weeks. I've been on an emotional roller coaster, and while I feel like I've turned a corner, I'm still wondering if there's another drop ahead. I have vertigo caused by stress. I also am pig headed, so I was dizzy for 3 months before I dragged myself to the doctor. Of course he wanted to prescribe some heavy meds, but I decided to try breathing instead. (And Dramamine for when it was too bad.) It seems to have worked, as I don't feel like puking every 10 minutes anymore. (And if that's what pregnancy is like, you can keep it.) But, because of the dizziness, I started pulling away from my local loved ones. (It's easier to be friendly with people who live out of town.) And it's been hard to come back. Mainly, because they're a totally different variety of crazy from my own family. At least with my family we're polite.

I married into a family that really loves to tease each other. Well, they call it teasing, I call it awful. My father's family likes to 'tease' as well, and normally I can take it, but recently my skin has become thin. I don't want to hear fat jokes, or jokes about my short comings as a wife. I don't want to listen to my niece tell me it's my fault she didn't have perfect attendance last year (because of my wedding). I don't want my sister in law to throw her snot rags at me. Most of all, I want my cousin in law to SHUT UP with the sex jokes/comments/general smut. Just because you're a sex maniac, doesn't mean I want to hear about it.

So, what do I do to keep away from this? I hide from the entire world. Because if I'm just totally depressed and crazy, then I don't have to admit that my problem is them. They love me, and I love them, but my in laws drive me up the fucking wall. I'm the White Devil to grandma because I don't go to church, and I'm an old fuddy-duddy because I like needlework and don't drink to my sister in laws. I actually hear from these people "you used to be pretty." WTF? I want to spend time with my husband, but I often stay home because I know he'll end up with them, and I just can't take it.

So what does this mean? This means that there are some people that I have let down. I have hidden from everything, like a ostrich. I'm a jerk, and there's nothing else to be said. Hopefully you will forgive me, once I've rectified the situation.

Some days I really do wish I still lived with my parents. They never ever call me fat.

All that said, I must mention that my in-laws really are nice people. They're just nothing like anything I've ever met. They have no off button, no sense of formality within their family. And they're totally happy that way, it's just a serious adjustment. Plus, they were a lot more formal with me before I married my husband. It's as if I said "I do," and they heard "Give me more crazy." They aren't Jerry Springer crazy, and they literally would give me the shirt off of their backs. They're just going to make boob jokes while they're doing it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Two Handed Stitcher

Yipee! I am now a two handed stitcher. DH put together my needlework stand, and I was able to attach my scroll frame. The stand was a cheap one, mainly as a tester to see if I really like it before I get a good one. Thus, it's not really made for my heavy scroll frame. But, Daniel was able to tighten all the nuts and bolts enough to get it to stay in place. There's just one problem... it completely blocks my view of the TV. So I'll have to remember to keep one small in hand project around, for when I actually want to see what's going on. :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jesse's Baby

I just had to share that my BEST friend in the whole world, the only non family member I invited to my wedding, the woman who helped me survive high school (and I mean literally survive) has just had her second child, a bouncing baby boy! :)

Both little JM and his mother are doing well. Their first child, a girl, is surely pleased as she ONLY wanted a baby "bruzzer," no sisters. And I just know that his father is already buying out large amounts of Eagles football gear and camo colored clothing.

I fully intend to take all the credit for this baby, as Jesse is pretty sure he was conceived at my wedding weekend. :) All the best babies are conceived in New Orleans.

Of course, this means I've got to get CRACKING to get her present finished and "finished."

Congrats Jesse et all!

Monday, July 12, 2010

We Have a Runner-Up!

Well, my first winner of my first giveaway hasn't contacted me. :( However, I am determined that someone should get a nice package in the mail, so, thanks to Random.org, we have a runner up! (I don't know how to make the Random.org picture go from their website to this post, but I made my boss look, so I have a witness. :) )

Comment #3 - Deb!!!! - (Whose MIL is apparently also a July 4th baby!)

Deb, please shoot me an email at bemgelado (at) aol (dot) com or kgknitter (at) aol (dot) com, whichever!

Sylvia - Please feel free to still get in contact with me, I would like to send you something as well!

Cheers!
Claudia

Friday, July 9, 2010

Plum Street Giveaway

Paulette of the oh so fabulous Plum Street Samplers is having a giveaway on her blog. Click here to enter. She's giving away a $60 gift card to CSN stores, Yipee!! :)


As an aside, I'd like to mention that today is DH's birthday. 34 years ago, his dear mother brought forth what has to be the best man in all the world. Daniel, I am blessed to have you in my life, and I thank God and the Shamrock for you everyday. Today is your special day, so I hope you enjoy every minute of it. I fully intend for it to be a drama-free day. (At least until your sister and I start fighting over the cake at dinner tonight.)

Per his annual tradition, he has taken today off of work, and I imagine is riding around town with his top down. (Car top, not shirt top, although a girl can dream right? lol) Tonight we'll all head to his grandmother's house where she'll have chicken and rice and a choclate cake ready for us to eat. She has the greatest tradition of cooking for each of her loved ones on their birthday, and the birthday kid gets to pick the menu. I believe Daniel also chose enchiladas. She'll cook more than that, and it's all so very yummy. I don't know what else he has planned for himself this weekend, but I look forward to spending a weekend with him where he just does what he wants to do.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DANIEL!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July SBQ

Lake Stitcher has put up another thought provoking question for us this month. (Well, two questions.)

1. "Stitching is an activity that tends to be solitary. Sometimes I wonder if we choose stitching because we are more comfortable with pursuits that we do alone, or does our stitching cause us to loners?"

Actually, for myself, stitching is a way to be less of a loner. At my husband's family functions, I can be a bit overwhelmed, and my natural inclination is to stay at home. However, if I bring some sort of handwork with me, I find that I can retreat when the group gets to be too much. Then when I'm feeling less stressed, I put it away and rejoin the group. Also it has been a way for me to connect with my husband's nieces, as I've been teaching them to stitch and knit. When I go to visit my mother, as often as I can, I join in with her at her needlepoint class, which is a wonderful way to meet other people. My husband is very gregarious, and I usually am as well, but I find that when it's a struggle, my stitching often provides a way for my to be present with him, without feeling like I'm stressed.



2. "If you could create your own perfect stitching group, what characteristics would make it perfect?"

To be perfectly honest, I would prefer a group of all women. It's not that I have any problems with men, but for me, stitching has always been a way to connect with the women in my family, and so I deeply associate it with women. (Even though my husband knits, and I drag him to my LNS for help choosing colors.) I've always been a girls' girl and feel the most comfortable around other women. I would also be happiest if I was the youngest of the group. I have a hard time relating to people my own age. I guess I'm just an old soul, and have always been able to better relate to women my mother's or my grandmothers' ages than women of my own. In the summers when I would visit my grandparents, I much preferred the time I spent just hanging out with my grandmothers to the times I was taken to play with a playmate.

4th of July Surprise

I hope that everyone had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. DH and I spent July 3rd surprising my mother. I called my father in the morning to see where they were planning on spending the July 4th holiday (aka Mom's birthday). Since they were planning on being at home, Daniel and I packed up quickly and started driving to go and visit them. (They live 3.5 hours away, the way Daniel drives.) When we got to their home, Dad was out running last minute birthday errands, so Mom was alone at home. We snuck in the gate, and started obnoxiously ringing the doorbell. Of course Mom was a little flustered at the jerk who wouldn't stop ringing the bell, so she left the house through the garage, and walked over to the gate, not realizing that we were actually ringing the front door bell! She looked mad as a hornet, I'm assuming that she figured it was kids playing a joke. So when Daniel said "Don't worry, we let ourselves in," Mom got quite a shock!

I'm so glad we were able to go down and visit her, and I was even happier that we thoroughly surprised her! We went that night to a restaurant that was new to all of us, a Belgian bistro, and everyone really enjoyed their meal. Then Sunday morning we got up and went to a local cafe to have coffee and pastries. Mom isn't a big fan of cake, so she celebrated with a yummy sticky bun. Then it was back home to open presents. Mom's local yarn store was having a 50% sale, so I convinced her to take DH and I, and we all left with goodies, at WONDERFUL prices. I got 1 skein of Noro Aya, 2 skeins of Sublime, 2 skeins of Debbie Bliss Chunky Cashmerino, and 2 skeins of a Aimee by Louisa Harding for $35. I was SUPER pleased. (The Aimee was Daniel's choice, and I'm not allowed to touch it. It's in this really yummy mint green, and I'm excited to see what he's going to make with it.)

For Mom's birthday I gave her a red pincushion (BBD's Bluebird done in red) that was finished by Vonna, and a squirrel scissor fob with squirrel scissors (from a The Heart's Content kit). I think that she liked them. I know her dog thought that the pincushion was a squeaky toy for him, so she'll have to keep her eye on it! LOL

Also, on Sunday I had Mom do the drawing for my giveaway. She was tickled by all the great comments. I was sad that we had to leave on Sunday, but I was just so happy to be able to spend the day with my Mom. Of course, I'll have to be EXTRA tricky next year. :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

We Have A Winner!

Here are all the numbers, waiting to be picked.
The suspense is killing me.
Number 11!
It's Sylvia!!!! Woohoo! Sylvia, send me your snail mail address (kgknitter@aol.com). Duke and I will get cracking on choosing some great things for you.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July GIVEAWAY!

In honor of the GIANT celebrations held all over the US, just to commemorate the birth of my mother, I felt that it was only fair that I hold a giveaway. (She does just love those fireworks you know, but maybe this year we could have a rock concert on the mall? She's into the Kings of Leon right now.)


Wait, you mean those fireworks aren't because of my mom? Oh, the US has a birthday that day too? Well, that's just silly, why would a country need a concert on the mall? And isn't the red because it's my mother's favorite color? Oh, the flag, huh....
(That's about the conversation I had at age 8 or 9 when my parents finally told me that no, the whole US wasn't throwing mom a party. I was very gullible at that age.)

Actually, when my grandmother woke up from the morphine they gave her (that's the way to have a baby! lol), she was asked what she wanted to name her baby girl. Gramma asked "What day is it?" And the nurse responded "The 4th of July." To which my grandmother said, "Then name her Betsy Ross." Happily, the nurse was a friend of my grandmother, and went away for awhile, until the drugs had worn off, and my mother ended up with her name, which has nothing to do with Betsy or Ross.


But, seriously, in honor of my dear sweet mother. Ok, who am I kidding? I love my mother dearly, and she is truly my best friend, but sweet, that's a stretch. She's cool and acerbic, and a little jaded and totally sarcastic, and the best mother I could have EVER had. If I could have chosen a mother, I would have chosen her. And because of all that, I'm having a giveaway!

It's going to be a surprise in what you get, but I promise there will be new charts, new linen, and new threads in there. Plus, other fun goodies. (It probably won't have any patriotic stuff in it, just as an FYI.)


To enter, simply leave a comment on this post. For a second chance to enter, post about this on your blog, and let me know either via email or via comment on this posting. DH will draw a name on the 4th of July.
This guy is going be helping me decide what to send you. He's a thread snob, so he'll probably pick all silks.

Edited: Also, I'm happy to ship anywhere in the world. So, please, if you don't live in the US, still sign up!
Signups close at noon (Central Standard Time) on July 2nd.

Friday, July 2, 2010

June Goals ???

What happened to June? I woke up this morning, and it's JULY?!?! Already? The year is really flying by. However, my stitching is NOT keeping up. I didn't do ONE thing on my June Goals list. Not one blessed thing. I did finish the stitching for one exchange, and sent that with two other pieces I had previously finished to Vonna, the Twisted Stitcher, to work her magic. I made a million hexies, which I now have to do something with.... I sort of started the BBD Anniversaries of the heart, but I hate fighting with that 1/2 yard of fabric, and DH hasn't had the time to sort out a scroll frame for me. I think that I'm going to break out my quilting frame and give that a try. At least to get some progress, even if I have to dismantle it each time. (ugh!) I'm not posting any more goals. My only goal is to progress. It doesn't matter on which projects, just so long as at least one item gets finished per month, even if it's really small.

I know what the problem is, you see, I have an addiction. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Real Housewives.

I know, it's total trash. My DH thinks I've lost my mind, and I can't bear to admit it to my mother and father. (All that education to watch the Real Housewives?!) But, what can I say? It's like crack, or at least catnip. I find myself waiting for the new episodes to air, wondering what crazy thing they're going to do next. I've even watched the Bethany spin off show. I tried to explain it to DH by saying that it's similar to watching a soap opera. I'm enthralled with these women, but I don't actually think they live that way. I mean, it's not like you would believe that Beau really killed Hope, but you can't rip your eyeballs away, even as you hear the sound of your brain cells dying in agony.

So, hopefully the Housewives will keep the trash talk to a minimum so I can get some stitching done this month. (Although I don't think so... heehee)

I hope that our friends to the north had a wonderful day to celebrate their fine nation, even if McGill didn't let me in when I applied for college. ;-) I hope that all my fellow Americans enjoy either 4th of July celebrations, and that you stay cool in the shade!

Also, I'll be holding my drawing on July4th, and will hopefully post the winners that night. If not, I'll post the morning of the 5th. Good Luck!! Duke is looking forward to helping me choose your prize. He's been rooting around looking for the good stuff, and I think he's got a pile going. :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I'm a winner!

Melissa at Words and Blooms had a giveaway recently, and I was lucky enough to win! Last night, after my niece and I had dinner, she helped me open the package from Melissa, and look at the lovely charts inside! My niece has already requested that I help her stitch the Brightneedle chart. It's the Covered Bridge Sampler. For myself, I'm looking forward to stitching everything! (I also received The Workbasket's Pithies 3, and The Sampler Girl's New Amsterdam 1624 sampler.) Thank you Melissa for having such a lovely giveaway!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Niece

My niece earned straight A's this past school year, and as a reward, I promised to take her to the "meat buffet." (Churrascaria or Brazilian steakhouse) Today we picked up a new dress for her to wear. Then tonight I did her makeup as well, so she really looks like a grown up. After dinner we went to a local shopping area and got ice cream and wandered around the park like setting. Then off to Barnes and Noble to get a drawing kit for her.
This is her "I got straight A's smile."This is her uncle, my DH. He had to bend over to get into the photo, but I don't think it'll be long before they're looking eye to eye.
Wow, we look like part of a normal family.
Ah, that's more like the Uncle Danny I know.
Serena, I hope that you had a great time. I had a lot of fun with you tonight, and I'm so lucky to have a wonderful niece like you.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hexies!







I've been seeing lots of lovely hexies popping everywhere, and to be honest, I really wanted to get in on the trend. When I found Texas Freckles's site, with all its great video tutorials, and hexie templates, I knew it was a sign. So, I've been making 2" hexies, using my 5" charm square stash. I hoping to have enough to make a small lap blanket. (My goal is 300 hexies.) I'm pretty new to using a sharp needle and paper piecing, but I'm not beating myself up over anything, and I'm really really enjoying sewing these little guys up.
On the cross stitch front, my BBD Anniversaries of the Heart is moving very slowly. It's a lot of fun to stitch, but I'm still using a Q-snap, and with a 1/2 yard of fabric to contend with, it just is a bit of a mess. So, I've been working on Serena's scarf, and making hexies instead!
The cable guys were out today, and I worked on the hexies while they sorted out the wireless Internet. I think they thought I was pretty weird, but I was having too much fun to care! :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ball Game....

Last night, DH and I went to a baseball game at our local farm team the Grand Prairie AirHogs. Although the game itself was pretty slow, we had a good time. We were there with two other couples, and I think we all enjoyed ourselves.

Apparently QuikTrip Park is only 3 years old. It's quite a nice park, and all the seats were shaded, so that was great! The temp was 100 yesterday, and we would have melted without the shade and a nice breeze.
Moments later, unlucky number 4 got pegged in the rear by the pitcher. (The AirHogs are in black, the El Paso Diablos are in red.) One of the guys we were sitting in front of yelled "Don't rub it" as the batter trotted to 1st base. I asked DH about this, and his opinion was it's ok to rub the area where you've been hit, but you can't cry. Which then elisted "So, if you get hit in the face with a baseball while you're taking photos, you can rub it, but don't cry." So, I put the camera down for a little while. (Good thing to, because a couple of foul balls came close to us.)


After a few innings I felt safe enough to start taking photos again, but only for right handed batters. Those south paws were hitting them right to us!

All in all the game was really quite slow. When we left, at the top of the 8th inning, the score was 3-1 with the AirHogs winning. It was a fun night though, getting to catch up with everyone, and I really loved the family atmosphere at the park. DH and I fully intend to start going to more of these minor league games, as we had just as much as the majors, but for 1/4 of the price. (The pretzels were just as good as well.)



Mail!!!

Look what was in my mail yesterday! Anna from Stitch Bitch had a giveaway for her Summer of Love, and I was the lucky winner! If you click on the picture, you'll be able to see the cute card she sent along, just perfect for the summer, and the pretty charts. I've got plans for these patterns. Thank you Anna!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Queen Elizabeth Thread Keep

This is just a quick snap of my Elizabeth thread keep. (From Plum Street Samplers.) I took this last night, and then ended up finishing stitching the crowns, and getting furthur along in filling in the black for the background. I had hoped to get the body of the dress finished tonight, but I was reminded that DH and I are going with his (and my old) boss and my replacement to a baseball game tonight. So, I'll probably take my knitting instead.

Monday, June 21, 2010

WIP/To Starts

I realized that it had been a while since I showed you what I'm working on. So, here you go! :)


This is Blackbird Designs Anniversaries of the Heart. Since my family doesn't know I blog (heehee) I can tell you that this is for my Aunt Paula. She's my father's sister, and the one who really taught me to adore over dyed cotton and linen fabric. (That's right Daniel, blame HER for the fact that my hobby cost as much yours, and that at the end ofthe day I can't drive mine to the store. It's all Paula's fault, hahahaha.) (I should mention here that Daniel always mentions Paula's parting advice to him when she moved away "Don't always let Claudia get her way" whenever he says no to something, so I have to mention when the Great Paula isn't perfect.) I've enlisted my grandmother's help to figure out all sorts of names, initials and dates for the personalization. At this moment, my only plan is to make sure that her immediate family members are represented on their birth months. (Ie, my father was born in November, so I'll use his information for that month.) I'm stitching the whole thing on a 1/2 yard of 30ct Irish Cream by R&R Reproductions. My LNS didn't have enough of the Old Town Blend, so I dragged DH along with me, since he's my color expert. The color in the photo above is pretty true to the actual color of my piece. DH has promised to make me a scroll frame big enough for this piece. (Which is good, because my scroll frame is promised to another project.)


This is Ink Circles' Fleur de Lis pattern. I'm stitching it with the recommended Carrie's Threads. DH and I got married in New Orleans last October, so I'm hoping to have this done in time to be on our Christmas tree. I was a lot further along, but then realized I had miscounted, and spent an evening unpicking about half of the purple. This is being stitched on a piece of 32ct Cream linen from Charles Craft. (I have a TON of that particular linen, so it's my go to for all small projects.)


I'm also working on Plum Street Sampler's The Queen's Sampler. I'm using the Elizabeth motif, and will have it finished into a thread keep. However, I had been stitching it over one on 32 ct Cream linen (yep, Charles Craft, you're so smart to have guessed it), but I realized that I was going to lose a LOT of detail in her dress. So, I scrapped it, and started over on the same linen, but over 2. I don't have a photo of this today though. I'm using Belle Soie silks in Icing, Butterscotch, Carrot Cake, Poison Apple, Black Crow (or Old Crow, I can't remember) and Beanstalk. I Love love love Belle Soie.



This is to be put under the needle sooner rather than later as well. It's By the Bay's 13th Colony Bay. I'm going to stitch them on 3 different pieces of linen, but then use some decorative stitches to rejoin the linens before framing it all as one.


And for my knitting.... This is Serena's scarf. It's for my niece, and it's 100% garter stitch. Now that I've learned continental style knitting, It's just FLYING along. I'm using Noro's Aya yarn. I think the photo below shows better the colors. I just love it, and I hope she will too!







Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Own Paradise



This is where I wish I was right now. This is the pond on my mother's farm. It's the farm where she and her brothers grew up, and where I tried really hard not to be a city girl. It's in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, in a tiny town where people know who I am, even though I've never lived there. It's a place where people remember my grandparents. A place where the air feels like air to me, not dusty and dry, but not soupy either. It's hot as sin in the summer, and just as sticky, but it makes me feel alive. It's the one place on earth that I don't mind hanging out outdoors. My mother has offered to let me live there with my husband if we would act as caretakers to the land. I can't even bring myself to tell my husband this. He cannot (will not) leave his family, who are all here in Texas. I love him more than this little piece of heaven, so I will stay here with him. But somedays, I miss it enough that I think my heart is bleeding. Today is one of those days. I miss it so much I feel like I can't catch my breath.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Serial Starting Jennifer's Giveaway

Jennifer from Confessions of a Serial Starter is having a giveaway in honor of her first blogging anniversary! Let's all wish her good luck on her second year!

You can find her blog here.

Bestest Husband EVAH!

I have, in my opinion, the best husband ever. I suppose I really should say that I have the best husband for me. I'm sure that your husbands/significant others, are really lovely people as well. :) But, since it's my blog, I'm just going to say that mine's the bestest.

I'm going through husband withdrawls. You see, we work for the same corporation, and used to work in the same office. However, since I work in payroll, we knew that was always going to be temporary. I've now been transferred to another location, and I can't ogle my husband all day long anymore. I have to content myself with photos instead.


This is obviously our cake cutting. This is the photo I have taped to my computer monitor for when I need a quick "Daniel fix."
This is Daniel explaining something to my grandmother. He gets that goofy look when he's trying to explain something complicated, such as engine parts, or why on earth he lets me buy more stitching stuff. (Grandma is VERY sympathetic to my collecting, she's got fabric enough to start her own shop.)

Ah, seriously, HOW CUTE IS HE???? I Know, super cute. :) I'm sure when I took that he was plotting something, I just can't remember what.
He gets upset, but I always tell him he's easy on the eyes. ;)

I get this look a lot. It's the look I get just before he decides to end a discussion with a totally outrageous comment. For example, when I'm complaining that we need another cat, he'll get fed up and tell me "If you get another cat, then I want a manatee for a pet. So, when I get my manatee, you can have your cat." (I'm obviously not sharing my bathtub with a manatee, so no kitten for me.)
Why the sudden outpouring of love towards my husband? Well, this weekend for once, we didn't have any plans other than getting his hair cut. So first he took me to Riscky's barbecue, where I've wanted to go for a LONG time. Then we took a really pretty drive down to Granbury and walked around their square. There was a Model A car show going on as well, so we checked out some really neat cars. Of course, I forgot to bring my camera, so no photos. :( As we walked around Granbury Square he let me drag him through a kitchen gadget store, a quilt shop, and a yarn store. (And he didn't whine, and even offered up thoughtful, reasoned opinions!) Then I remembered that there was a needlework store in Cleburne. I have NO sense of geography, and just figured they were super close together. (More like an hour apart.) But, without complaining, he drove me to Cleburne to Fancy Stitches. OMG, It's the best, but I'll write about that in a minute, we're still discussing my good fortune in husbands. While we were there, he found the Anniversaries of the Heart charts that I've been wanting to stitch up, and even noticed that they had the new Cross Stitch & Needlework and Just Cross Stitch magazines. AND, then he bought them for me!! I know he's been saving up for a new transmission for his Road Runner, and normally he lets me buy my own stitching supplies with my extra funds, so for him to get them for me, with no prompting, well, I'm a lucky girl! :) So, I just had to share.
I love my Dad, but over the years, when Mom asks him an opinion on her knitting colors, or something akin, he just tells her that it looks great. It's sweet, but I know it must be frustrating. Sometimes I imagine she really wants to hear if he thinks if the reds really match. Daniel is always very kind in his opinions, but he actually has them. He's my go to guy when it comes to whether one blue will look better or not. He has really great ideas, and a good eye for color. But, he's ALWAYS super encouraging. What can I say, he's the best! :)
As an aside, Fancy Stitches is akin to Mecca for cross stitchers who like needlepoint. They carry LOTS of both, and aren't snobby about ANY of it! Their thread collection is out of this world. They have a great selection of hand painted needlepoint canvases, canvaswork charts, and cross stitch charts. I don't know if they carry linen or evenweave, I didn't get that far into it, but I felt like I had died and gone to heaven when I saw their fiber selection. Between my regular LNS, Stitch Niche, and Fancy Stitches, I'll be able to buy just about everything locally. I really prefer to shop locally, and although Cleburne is probably an hour away from my home, it's a heck of a lot more local than a lot of places. I can't wait to go back. On the 26th, I'm having a day with my niece to celebrate her straight A's, so I'm thinking of dragging her there with me! :)
Oh, and watch this space, because I'm going to have a giveaway in the next few days, I just have to photograph what I'm giving away! :)



Thursday, June 10, 2010

Swap from Valerie



Yesterday I got a WONDERFUL package from Val in the Netherlands. She and I were in the Color Swap 7 on Ravelry.com, and she was given my name. (It was a secret swap.) She chose some lovely things in purple for me, and I can't wait to use everything!
We were to include something handmade, and Valerie made me a WONDERFUL headband. (I know the picture is terrible, and I'm sorry. My camera is being weird, so I was stuck with my camera phone.) She also sent some fun roving in a grey and purple stripe, and some really pretty lace weight purple yarn. The box was full of purple goodies, a bag that folds into a tiny pouch, a little bag that will be perfect for holding scissors, a new loofah, two really pretty placemats, chocolates, licorice, lavender incense, a set of circular needles, a seam ripper (which I REALLY needed), sesame candies, the waffle cookies that are so Dutch (and so yummy), and a really pretty card she made for me!

I feel completely spoiled rotten! DH and I delved into the waffle cookies immediately, and I spent the evening looking at lace shawl patterns for the yarn she sent!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

BBD Exchange

I just found out there's going to be Round 5 of the Blackbird Designs Exchange. I, of course, have now signed up, and \ am eagerly awaiting the assignment of partners. Deadline to join is June 12th, and the mailing deadline is August 12th. The pieces are to be finished, so I'd REALLY better get cracking so I can get it all done. :)

If you want to join in, check it out here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

June Stitching Bloggers Question

Lee at Lake Stitcher has posted her next monthly question. This month, it's all about Dads! It's also a two-parter.

Tell us something that you have stitched or plan to stitch for any father in your life. Why did you choose this particular piece of stitching? Tell us the story behind it.

The VERY first thing I ever stitched was a bookmark for my father's birthday. I was 13 and living in Libreville, Gabon. (In Africa.) I was there over the summer, and all my playmates had gone home to the US, France or South Africa for the summer. The wife of my dad's boss was a really nice lady, who missed having her own girls around (they were in college) so, she took me under her wing that summer. She would pick me up a couple of days a week, we'd go and have a ladies' lunch, and then would go back to her home for an afternoon of needlework. She loved to cross stitch, and she set me up with needle, Aida fabric, and a book of alphabets. I decided to stitch a simple bookmark that said "SUPER DAD" in big bold block letters. Once I was finished, Mrs. Abrahamson took me to the local market, and we found a fabric that matched the blue DMC thread I used. My father was thrilled, and for years it was his ONLY bookmark. He always used it. Then, one trip to London, he forgot his book in the hotel where he was staying, and lost the bookmark. When my mother told me, I stitched up a new one for my Dad, which he is still using today.

My father is a man of simple tastes, and he doesn't ever really use the things that my mother and I make for him. He has a box full of his treasures, and that's where the things we make end up. It really just warms me up when I think of him using my bookmark.

Often times we identify our love of needlework and our skills with our mothers and grandmothers or other women. It's understandable because they were often our first teachers or role models. Now, let's think about our stitching life as it relates to our dads. Is there anything about our approach to stitching that we can recognize as traits of our fathers? For instance does your dad (or any other important man in your life) have an approach to one of his interests that you can observe and think, "Hey... if I substitute the word needlework for fly fishing we'd be pretty darn similar!" So tell us about it.


Well, this one is a little tougher for me. My father has only one hobby, gardening. He enjoys fishing, but for him, that has more to do with going out and staring at the water. Drives me nuts! LOL I haven't lived with my father full time since I was 14. For more than half of my life, I've lived away from my parents. First it was boarding school, then college, then just being grown. Now, when I go home to visit, my days are spent with my mother, and my nights are for my father. (They are still together, they just have WILDLY different interests, and my father still works, whereas my mother is a homemaker mainly.) I would say that my project planning comes from my dad. He stares at a spot in his garden, and sort of chews over it in his mind. Then, he comes up with something that he just knows will be perfect in that spot, maybe a stand of bamboo? Then, he goes to his favorite nursery and stands around staring at the bamboo, but his eyes keep being drawn to a lovely lantana plant. He's trying to make a decision about which bamboo to choose, but he just can't rip his eyes off of the lantana. In fact, the more he looks at it, the more he realizes that his whole plan is off! He must have that lantana for the right corner, so he'll have to rip up EVERYTHING and start again! He then comes home with a truck bed full of lantana and roses and other hardy flowers, and starts digging up the back yard, for the 5th time since he's been living in the US again.
Me, that's my approach to choosing colors for a piece. I just KNOW that I want to stitch that Quaker medallion in a ruby red. A yummy, bright ruby red. But, when I toddle down to my LNS, I see this gorgeous peacock blue. It's so deep and shimmery, and then I realize that I don't want to stitch this in reds and browns, I want blues and purples! So, I buy up everything, and go home to frog.

Of course, I could also say that I'm like my father's father. Actually, I'm nothing like either of my grandfathers. They were products of their generation, and while always loving towards me, not exactly close and cuddly. They are men to be respected and obeyed. I never ever feared my grandfathers, but I have always been closer to my grandmothers. (My father's parents are both still with us, while neither of my mother's parents are.) All that said, I've tried to be a good granddaughter and live up to the high standards they set (and met) for themselves. My father's father is a perfectionist. I am not, but I understand the impulse in my needlework, as he does with his watercolors. When we are doing work we like, we both show it off to everyone who stands still long enough. However, if we're not pleased with the work, we redo it, over and over and over until it's right. While we're in a redo phase, we don't show our work to anyone. If we miss a mistake, and realize it later, we're horrified.




One note, I was always happier when I was hanging out with my grandmothers, or my mom. I enjoyed their hobbies so much more. I have always been proud of the women I have been fortunate enough to be related to. I have picked up their traits over the years, and I hope to be a credit to them. That said, when I consciously tried to emulate my relatives, it was the men that I chose to imitate. I have a really weird walk because I tried to walk like my dad. My love for Afghan food comes straight from my paternal grandfather. And, just like my maternal grandfather, if I'm going to drive a tractor, it's going to be a John Deere.

I have been blessed with my family. We're all completely insane, and don't even get along all the time, but I have never questioned that I am loved. I see in my husband's family that love is not always guaranteed. I can honestly say that if I had a choice in family, I would choose mine, even with the crazy aunts, estranged in-law's and that bootlegger cousin we don't really talk about. (We're pretty sure it was the revenuer's fault and Jimmy Stewart did play him in a movie...)


Friday, June 4, 2010

June Goals

I meant to mention this in my last post, but I got sidetracked with the whole, dying of a cold thing.

I'm still coughing like I have the plague by the way, which is nice because my co-workers are still avoiding me in the same manner. I've been quite productive. With work that is, I feel like I haven't done ANYTHING crafty. Although, that's not quite true, I've just started a bunch of stuff, I haven't really finished anything yet.


Cross-Stitch:
Finish stitching 1 Baby Gift
Work on This is the Day
Finish BBD's Easter Parade (not too much to go)
Sort out fabric for and start working on 3th Colony Bay

Knitting:
Work on Serena's scarf
Work on my scarf


Lofty goals, I know. I just don't want This is the Day to become a UFO, so I want to be sure that I stitch some on it. The babies are due sooner rather than later, so I really need to get cracking on that!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Goals

First off, I'm dying. Well, I feel like I am. I have the flu, or allergies, or something. It's settled in my chest, and as long as I'm not breathing, I'm not coughing. I think my co-workers are beginning to notice. No one is stopping by my office today. That said, my current illness is totally worth it. I went to Houston for the long weekend and took "Total Immersion Continental Knitting" at Knitting in the Loop. Rose was our teacher, and seven of us spent from 10a-3p last Saturday turning our English method knitting into Continental stitching. If you don't currently stitch Continental, I tell you it's worth learning just for when you're ribbing. Since you hold the thread in your left hand, you don't have to keep swinging it over each time you switch from knit to purl. I'm telling you, that alone is worth the price of admission.

Our teacher, Rose is a sweet woman, but I have to say, we all had a little dislike in our hearts when we were learning how to purl. But, once we got over that, discovered ribbing, and learned to hold one color of yarn in each hand for stranding, we were all converts.

I did a little stash enhancement as well. (Of course!) I picked up 4 skeins of Debbie Bliss Amalfi yarn. Each skein is a different color, but all have the same saturation. (I chose brown, green, blue and pink.) I intend to knit a scarf. At the moment, I'm working on a garter stitch scarf for my niece in yummy Noro. It's going a LOT faster with the Continental stitch.

I do feel bad for my father who has NO interest in knitting what so ever. Mom and I did spend most of Saturday night and Sunday trying to explain to him why we were so giddy. He didn't care. :)

Well, it's time to crawl under my desk again. The icepick in the eyeball feeling is back, and I'll probably murder the next person with a problem, so it's best that I hide.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Startitis

Oh, I have startitis soooo bad. So very very very bad. I had my LNS call me last week to tell me that my By the Bay Needleart 13th Colony Bay series were in! I had also ordered the fabric for that project. While I was there, they're in the midst of a JBW Designs trunk show, so of COURSE I just had to pick up the Sweet Dreams Baby pillow design they had. (My boss's wife and best friend are pregnant, which means baby stitching!) Of course, I also had to pick up some thread for the baby pillows. My boss and his wife are having a girl, whereas we don't know what my best friend is having, so I wanted something that would fit for both. I chose Caron Waterlilies's Succotash. It's mainly green with purple and pink. I figure it's the kind of thing that just screams baby, and is fairly gender neutral. Recently I ordered from the Bay of Evil 21 pieces of Charles Craft 32 ct. linen in cream. They're meant for all the little ornaments and gifts that I stitch. I really like working on cream, and I'm ok with 32 count.

So, when I got home from work yesterday, I had the two projects I already have, BBD's Bluebird Thread Keep, JCS's This is the Day, and then now two new projects to start. I must mention that I also have recently purchased my first scroll frame (by K's Creations). I bought it for working on the 13th Colony Series which I'm going to stitch in three pieces, but then reattach using ribbon and decorative surface embroidery before framing.

ANYWAY, where I'm going with this is that I knew I didn't want to stitch on This is the Day or my Thread Keep last night. I knew that I wanted to start something new. I also knew that I really wanted to start 13th Colony, but I also knew that DH would throw a fit if I started another big project, when I've still got This is the day taking up room in my stitching corner. So, I started the baby gifts instead. I'm totally not satisfied. First off, I'm already going to have to frog because I'm not pleased with some of the color variations, and I'm too OCD just to leave it. Second, it's not 13th Colony on my scroll frame. So, I'm getting ready to head into uncharted territory. I'm getting ready to have 4 active WIP's. All the threads are owned and available, all the charts are ready, and I'm plunging in.

I think I'm going to have to start a stitching rotation. Of course, I'm going to have to put up a large wall calendar just to remind myself. Also, what do I do on the nights when DH needs my attention and I don't stitch on anything? Do I just skip that night and move on, or adjust my rotation? I'm probably over thinking the whole thing. But, I'm really looking forward to starting 13th Colony tonight. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Vonna the Miracle Worker

I know my stitching isn't the best. I plead the fact that I really haven't been seriously doing it for all that long, just a year or so. But when the finished product looks like below, well I think anyone would like these as a little gift. (It's all due to the finishing, I can assure you.)

I sent Vonna from The Twisted Stitcher Finishing Service a few of my pieces to be finished. They arrived to her last Saturday, and by Tuesday we were discussing what fabrics to use. I ended up going with her ideas, because, frankly, she's brilliant. I had stitched BBD's Bluebird twice, once in Aqua for my grandmother, and once in red for my mother. I asked Vonna to turn them into pin pillows. I wanted the one for my mother to be very plain, whereas I was wanting a more finished look for the one for my grandmother. I also sent along LHN's Queen Bee that I did for my sister in law. I don't have the items in hand yet, but Vonna said that I could share her gorgeous photos with you! (I'm drooling over them, and fully intend to stitch another Bluebird and Queen Bee for myself, just so I can have them in my home too!)

The Red Bird - for Mom. I asked for a more "minimalist" finish, as that's what my mother prefers.




The Bluebird - for my grandmother. I love the buttons Vonna chose.


Queen Bee - for my SIL. The colors are all Vonna, and I think they're perfect!



Don't you just LOVE Vonna's work! The Redbird is for my mother's birthday, in July. And, Queen Bee is for my sister in law, as a just because. So, thankfully I won't have to wait too long to give them theirs. It's going to just KILL me to wait on giving my grandmother her's though. Maybe I could give it to her for Grandparent's Day... I'll probably just send it on a Tuesday, and then have to come up with something else for Christmas. Although, I know that if Vonna finishes it, what I stitch will be gorgeous!

If I sound like I'm gushing, it's because I am. I could NOT be happier with these finishes. There's just no way to put how excited I am about the WHOLE thing.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bzzzz... A Red House Giveaway

Erynne of Red House is having a contest for a chance to win her latest design. All you have to do is guess what brand of threads she used to stitch her pretty little bumblebee!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

DH and I went to see the new Iron Man 2 movie tonight. If you go, stay through the end of the credits for an Avenger surprise. DH and I are such geeks. LOL

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Houses of Hawk Run Hallow

I really really really want to stitch the Houses of Hawk Run Hallow by CHS. (Actually, I want to stitch the entire series.) But, I'm a broke newlywed. ;-) My mother mentioned once something about marrying for money first and then marrying for love, but I wasn't listening.

Not that she did that either, Dad was pretty broke when they first married. Grampa sent them money for winter coats one year, and Mom ended up buying a dog instead, so I figure money wasn't too important to her either. ;-)

Anyway, I've seen various HRH's done in the NPI silks called for, but they're out of my price range. Gorgeous, of course, but I'm pretty sure my new husband would murder me in my sleep if I spent $218 on thread. And, to be honest, DMC isn't my favorite. Some of the dyes feel weird in my hands. It's probably psychological, but I can't help that. So, I'm putting a question out there. Has anyone ever used some silk and some DMC in the same project? How weird would that look? Obivously I'd use all of one or the other for each color, but overall can you tell a difference when you're looking at it?

Or, is there another, cheaper solution to NPI?

Frogging

I've been thinking about frogging. I had knitting and cross stitch that all required extensive removal. I had been working on Little House Needlework's Lavender's Blue onver one, but hated it, and realized it should be over two. I completely screwed up on Plum Street Sampler's The Queen's Sampler - Elizabeth I. Apparently counting is NOT a strong suit. I even managed to mess up on a project from Just Cross Stitch (I can't remember the name for the life of me.) I also was taking a motif from the Sarah Moon sampler to turn into a pincushion for my sister in law, but I used a bad thread. I used Soy Luster on a 40 count fabric, and it's just too thick. And last, but not least, I hated the edges on both scarves I have on needles. They were ratty and gross. I needed to re cast them on with an extra stitch so I could slip the first of each row.

It was to the point that when I finally got home last night, I didn't want to sew on anything. I didn't want to knit, purl, or put in an Algerian eyelet. (Actually, it was French knots, and I really hate French knots, so that probably doesn't count.)

So, I frogged it all! I spent all evening frogging my knitting, and picking fuzz off of my linen. I rewound my yarn, and put my stitch markers away. (I also realized that I have only one needle minder, and that is NOT enough.)

I have NOTHING to show for all those hours and hours of work, but I feel REALLY good about it. I cringe a little when I think of the wasted silk, but oh well. It's kind of like starting all over again. I get to sort out which project I want to work on first, and shop from the little stash by my chair.

That said, I will probably start on something entirely new tonight, just to be contrary. I'm thinking Tracy Horner's The Huddle. Unless her Fleur d'Orleans comes in the mail today. (It probably won't, but I can hope.) I'd start that first. DH and I were married in New Orleans (where I was born), and we're starting a Fleur de lis wall. My first piece on the wall is a needlepoint project my mother did for us. It's in my wedding colors of purple and cream, with our "monogram" of a fleur de lis over a Texas star. So pretty. I cry fairly often when I look at it, I just love it so much. (That part sort of terrifies my husband. LOL)

Anyway, so I won't have pictures for a while. It's a little weird feeling, not having anything on needles or on linen at the moment. (I'm NOT counting anything in the UFO pile, because I usually don't admit to their existence.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Stitching Bloggers Question

Lee from Lake Stitcher has posted this question on her blog. I've actually thought about this a lot in my life...

Suppose we say that there are two types of stitchers.

There are those who enjoy the “process” of stitching. They stitch for stitching’s sake and if something gets finished, so much the better, but it’s not necessarily the end goal. Primarily, it’s the application of needle and thread to cloth that makes them happiest.

Then there are those who are “project” stitchers. They move steadily through their projects, certainly enjoying their stitching time, but finding their greatest joy in the completed stitching.

If you had to pick one to describe yourself, which type of stitcher would you be? I imagine that we could all say that we fall somewhere in between, but really think hard about this and try to pick just one. And once you’ve decided whether you’re a Process or Project stitcher, tell us if your recognize that approach in other parts of your life.


I am a process person. Whether it comes to knitting, stitching, or even my attempts at quilting, what I enjoy is the act of making something, not the finished piece itself. I give you this example. I have often talked about how I really enjoyed stitching Blackbird Designs's Easter Parade. And I did, I thoroughly enjoyed the stitching of the basket, and the bunny. Well, imagine my surprise when I ran across my work the other day and saw that I never finished the bunny. Apparently I didn't enjoy stitching the border. That said, I'm not concerned that I didn't finish it. I will probably get back to it eventually. But, I still find it to be one of my favorite things that I've stitched. With my knitting, it's the same. I have 3 projects on needles, and they're all destined to be VERY long scarves. I love each stitch I make, I love the feel of the yarn under my fingers, and the click of my needles. I even love winding the ball when I begin. I will probably finish these scarves, but I'm not concerned if it takes me three years to actually get to it. I'm having fun after all. :)

Friday, April 30, 2010

New Stash

The mailman has brought me an embarressment of riches this week. In addition to my great swap from Becca, and Cathi's perfect scissor fob, I also got some new stash! I ordered Tracy Horner's (of Ink Circles) the Huddle kit, which I fully intend to make into Christmas ornaments for everyone in the family. Well, almost everyone. I just can't wait to get started!


In addition, I finished stitching what will become a pin cushion for my grandmother. It's Blackbird Design's Bluebird, but a little modified. I wanted it to be a little bit shorter, and I added an extra letter, J for my grandmother. The C is for me! :)
I stitched this on 40ct something over one, using Soy Luster's Soy Silk Shadows in Bayou. I love Soy Luster, it feels sooo good. :)

Swap from Australia

I received my package from Becca in Australia yesterday! She sent some gorgeous yarn, a book I can't wait to read, a beautiful book on Australian wildlife, 3 Violet Crumbles, and a wonderful bracelet. The color of the yarn doesn't show too well in my photos. It's a rich purple, but one with a lot of red in it. She hand dyed it herself, and I think the color is wonderful. I can't WAIT to stitch it up. Becca also sent me a pattern and the needles for a scarf to make with it, and although it's a bit beyond me, I'm ready to give it a try. I spent a long time last night fondling the yarn, it's just so yummy. :)


I don't know why this ended up looking so blue, but you can see how generous Becca is!


This is the yarn that Becca hand dyed, this doesn't show how deep the color truly is, but I'm really excited to start knitting it up!


This is a closeup of the bracelet that Becca made and sent to me. When it's on, the white beads end up looking a like bits of coral. It's so pretty and feminine. I just LOVE it!!!!!

Duke thought that the package was for him. I think he has designs on my Violet Crumbles!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Plum Street Samplers

Paulette at Plum Street Samplers is starting a new blog (yay!) and to celebrate is having a giveaway! You should head over there now. ;)

If you haven't checked out Paulette's blog, you really should. It's always engaging, and full of gorgeous photos. Of course, I adore stitching her designs. I'm currently working on her The Queen's Sampler - Elizabeth I, which is a joy to stitch. I haven't done anything except the words, and as soon as I have something a little more interesting to show, you can be sure there will be pictures.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bored At Work

Just for fun

One Word, No Explanation

You.
Can.
Only.
Type.
One.
Word.
No.
Explanations.

Not as easy as you might think...

1. Yourself: A-
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend husband: husband
3. Your hair: brown
4. Your mother/stepmother: artist
5. Your dog: feline
6. Your favorite item: ring
7. Your dream last night: family
8. Your favorite drink: dietcoke
9. Your dream car: sexy
10. The room you are in: office
12. Your fear: burning
13. What you want to be in 10 years: mother
14. Who you hung out with last night: Lisa
15. What you’re not: organized
16. Muffin: cinnamon
17. One of your wish list items: maid
18. Time: afternoon
19. The last thing you did: payroll
20. What you are wearing: pants
21. Your favorite weather: cold
22. Your favorite book: history
23. The last thing you ate: popcorn
24. Your life: frantic
25. Your mood: detatched
26. Your best friend(S): far
27. What are you thinking about right now? sleep
28. Your car: husband's
29. What are you doing at the moment? listening
30. Your summer: hot
31. Your relationship status: newlywed
32. What is on your TV? NBC 5
33. What is the weather like?: gorgeous
34. When is the last time you laughed?: morning

taken from Crafting with the Stitch Witch

Sad Weekend

Sadly, this was not a great weekend. My DH had a cousin of his pass away on Thursday, so much of Sunday and all of Monday was spent with family. Sunday we went to the Rosary (a viewing with a collective prayer of the Rosary, for those not Catholic). Then Monday morning was the funeral mass, then the graveside service, and then dinner at a local hall. Death is always sad, but this was especially hard for DH's family as the cousin was only 19 years old. Her death was unexpected, and it was horrible to watch her mother and step-father at her funeral. I had never met the dear girl, but from what I hear she was a lively, sweet girl who really loved spending time with her large extended family. Please, if you can spare a moment, send up some sweet thoughts both for Nicole, and her grieving family, particularly her mother, step-father and siblings.

Thank you

Friday, April 23, 2010

Two Swaps and a Win

I'm so excited for my mail in the next couple of weeks. First off, my swap partners and I for the Book and Yarn Swap on Ravelry have posted our packages. I had to delay the sending of mine due to being out of town, and I really appreciated my partners' kindness about the whole thing. I sent mine out yesterday, and I believe theirs went out either yesterday or the day before. I hope they like what I've sent, and I know I'm going to be thrilled with what I receive.

Secondly, Cathi had a giveaway if you could guess the name of the pattern she was stitching. The answer was Grille Gratuite 86 from Gazette 94. Since only 3 people had the right answer, Cathi has been sweet enough to send us all a little something. I can't wait to see what it is!

I also plan on stitching Grille Gratuite 86, so thank you Cathi for the inspriation!

You should check out how Cathi finished the piece. I think it makes a super cute wall hanging.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter - Stitching Plans

Did I mention that I cross-stitch? I'm new to knitting, but I've been the "cross stitcher" in the family for a while. Actually, that's totally a lie, my Aunt is the cross stitcher. She does gorgeous work, and has, IMO, great taste. That said, my DH and his family don't really know my aunt, so they think of me as the cross-stitcher. I feel like a cheat whenever they say that.

That said, I've made a decision. I have a project that I've been working on for my SIL that I keep picking up and putting back down. I have not admitted to my SIL that I'm working on this for her. SO..... I'm going to tell her (and show her) at the Easter dinner we're all going to this weekend. Then, I'll have to be good about working on it so that she won't be upset! It's the Queen Bee by Little House Needleworks. I'm doing it over one, so it'll be nice and small. I'm not sure how I'm going to have it finished yet, but probably not as a framed piece.

Queen Bee - Cross Stitch Pattern

Also, I had a project I had started as a commission, but the woman who asked me to do it has backed out. Which, isn't a bad thing, because I'm going to alter it to suit my own taste. I think that I'll change the woman's dress to be white and gold (with Kreinik) and call it a wedding dress. My wedding colors were lavender and cream, so I think that it will look nice. I'm also doing this over one, as that was what the woman wanted, but I may frog what I have and do it over two instead, we'll see.
Lavender's Blue - Cross Stitch Pattern



I plan on working on cross stitch, but also my nieces' surprise this weekend. I'm knitting covers for their DS lites. I found a cheery baby worsted weight acrylic by Bernat to stitch them with. The colors aren't too babyish according to Eldest Niece, so I'm in the clear there.

Ok, I just had to take a break because the Operations Manager is apparently a yellow chicken livered IDIOT. I work in HR, and I'm supposed to just do payroll, but for the moment, until the HR Generalist starts next Wednesday, I'm in charge back here. I have been for almost 3 months now. One thing that I have NEVER been in charge of is the hiring or firing of our employees. I just process the paperwork. We recently had a series of group interviews, and extended tentative offers of employment to almost everyone. However, we interviewed more people than we have spaces for, and we decided not to hire everyone. (Big surprise right?) Well, one of these people that I called last week to say Thanks, but we're not interested at the moment, stopped by today to plead his case. He went and spoke with the Operations Manager, who was NOT involved in the decision not to hire this person. She sent him over to me and told him that I might be able to make a decision for him WHAT?!?!?!?! OMG WTF, this is SO above my pay grade. I foisted the whole thing off on the GM (who is out today) and said that I would talk to him on Monday, but that I could NOT promise that the GM would change his mind!! (And seriously, I'm kind of creeped out now, he was totally in my personal bubble, which I defend very strongly.)

I fired off a fairly angry email to the GM letting him know what happened, and that I didn't think that the Operations Manager needed to be sending this kind of thing to me. She's a big girl, and she's FOND of telling me that she's in charge, so she can tell Mr. Creepy Applicant that he's not hired. Either that or give me a pay raise and the HR Generalist's job, but as official Payroll Clerk, this is NOT my job.

**Update, the GM called and said that he agreed, it's not currently my job, but that now he thinks it's a great idea for me to learn how to fire and not hire people. I feel that I may have shot myself in the foot....**


*** Both photos were filched from 123 Stitch's website, where you can purchase the patterns if you desire. I'm not affiliated with them, but I believe in giving credit.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My TRUE Love

I don't know if you recognize the style of blankets we have going on.... the white one with the flowers... a quilt made by some lovely Amish women. It's applique, so it's not authentic, but it's still precious. The blue and white blanket was made by Oleana, you know, the Norwegian knitted goods company... you know, the REALLY expensive knitted goods company.

My cat has decided that these items are his... ALL his! :)


Thursday, March 25, 2010

I am so very stupid

My husband and I work in the same office. In fact, we sit within 10 feet of each other when we're both actually in the office, and I'm actually sitting at my desk. (Instead of sitting at the desk of the HR Administrator, who doesn't actually exist except for when I pretend to be that person.)

Anyway, since we work together, we share a lunch bag. However, we have different hours, so we do not carpool. (My butt isn't even out of bed when he clocks in at 7am, so forget coming into work with him.) When I finally drag in (usually 9-ish), I am lugging our lunch box. I slip my car and house keys in the side pocket and go on with my day. I always leave before DH does. He is a workaholic, and I am allergic to work, so I am out of here at 5pm at the VERY latest. He stays on and pitches in until at least 5:30, usually 6, often later.

Today however, he had to change the plan. DH decided that he needed to work on my car and his grandmother's car, and he was going to do all this at his grandmother's house. (I'm guessing because he wanted food from her.) Anyway, he left work at 4:30 today, with the lunch box in tow. (He takes the box home, because he's usually here later, and might need a snack.)

Did you catch that... with the lunch box in tow?!?!? OMG, I am here at work without house or car keys. I can't even beg a ride off of someone, because I have NO WAY to get in my house! It's not DH's fault, I don't think that he's aware of where I keep my keys during the day.

Now, I know what you're thinking, just call him up and get him to come and get you. Here's the BEST part! My cell phone died yesterday. It's a touch screen that now won't respond to the gentlest of my caresses or the hardest of my pokes. It's dead dead dead, so I sent it to the people at Sprint this morning, and I am carrying my husband's cell. Ok, I know what you're thinking now, why didn't you call the house? Because we're some of those super cool people without a house phone. Yeah, I wanted to be high tech and just have cell phones. I AM SO STUPID.

Let me guess, you're wondering why I don't call a family member/friend to come and get me? Right? Well, I have no friends. Well, no friends in this state that I feel I can call and have come rescue me. I do have a sister-in-law that I could call, but I'll get to that in a moment. I also have NO family of my own in this town. ALL family members in town are my DH's family, and I just don't feel comfortable calling on them to rescue me. They're not my family, and I couldn't tell you half of their names. It's my job to deal with my family, and his job to deal with his family.

The glaring exception to that is my sister-in-law. She is the BEST. I would honestly consider her more my actual sister, or my best friend than my sister in law. She is the sweetest, coolest, smartest woman I know, and I just think she's the bee's knees. That said, she is a single mom of two gorgeous little girls. I did call her to see if she could rescue me, but she had literally just put dinner in the oven. I can't ask her to pull dinner out, ruin it, and come and save me. No way. So, that's out.

I also called DH's grandmother to see if he was there yet, but alas no. He's supposed to call me as soon as he gets there, but he hasn't and it's been WELL over an hour, so Lord only knows where he's at.

So, for now, I'm eating my weight in mints and gum waiting for my SIL to finish dinner or for DH to get to his grandmothers. I have tomorrow off since my mother is coming into town, and I'm surely going to need it!

House phone will be added next week, and I'll be getting a spare pre-paid cell so that when I do something like leave my keys in the lunch bag, I will still be able to leave work.