Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Good Hair Day

I just got back from my haircut. There is only one person I have found that cuts my hair the way I want and let's hope she never retires. I usually say that I want a "shoulder length blunt cut bob". I learned that from InStyle Magazine's recommendations for very fine hair. She cut it like I asked. Great. Now I am ready to go to California.
Monday's are days I don't get much stitching done. I was delighted to start on Vierlande Winder Keeper. It is going great. My brain is slightly addled still. I don't know if it is aftereffects of the medication reaction or dehydration but I have to be very careful and go slowly to avoid errors. I made a few but I fixed them, no big deal. I am liking it!
The weather is crazy warm today. This is usually the coldest time of year. But there is no ice fishing this year. It feels like spring.
It is a great day!

Monday, January 30, 2012


It has been a busy day. My bathrooms are clean. Finally. I had to take a quick nap in the middle of cleaning because I ran out of energy. While I was resting, I had the idea to take stuff to make a smoothie with Dylan. I took yogurt, ice cubes, oranges, a cut up apple, banana and a bit of sugar. I have this Ninja thing I got for Christmas a few years back that works really well. The yogurt I took had the M & M's on top. I thought Dylan would just like to eat the M & M's and we could use the yogurt. No. He wanted to put the M & M's in the smoothie. Interesting. It was fun experimenting. We decided the apples were too strong a flavor and next time we should leave them out. I consider my activity a success if he wants to do it next time too. And he d0es. He wants me to bring stuff to make a smoothie next time I come. He knows that I won't be there next week - because I will be in California.
My Amy Mitten kit finally came today! Yeah! It is just linen and two colors of thread. But now I can get started. I'm beginning to hate Winter's Cottage so it's a good thing to work on something else.
I have a hair appointment tomorrow. I'm getting ready for California. I only have Jamie cut my hair once or twice a year and it is usually before going someplace special. My hair is especially long at the moment (which DH likes) and I just want to trim an inch or two so I don't look like a witch.
I am going to try to go to exercise tomorrow. I don't know if I have the endurance as I have been away a whole week mostly lying in bed. We'll see how things go.
All this week I will be getting ready for our trip. Exciting!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


We're getting a bit more snow today - up to 4 inches. But the snow I'm thinking of is on Winter's Cottage. I tried using 2 ply of white for the snow below the house and I think it looks fine. I'm not that picky. I'm not a purist. Today I will move on to the the snow on the roof. Does it look much different from the padded (stitched twice!) snow on the cover? Not in my book.
I changed the inside of the needlebook to say "Needles". I used a chart from my Blue Ribbon Sewing Box. Unfortunately I screwed it up several times and ended up stitching it about 4 times. Then I just put an "A" under what will be the needlepage. Done.
I interfaced the cover and scissors pocket side and started lacing them together. I don't like how these stitches lace together. I would rather lace back stitches or "Sam and Bertha" style or even long arm cross stitches together. But so far, so good. It is pretty stiff even without the skirtex in it.
I am a bit stronger today but hope to be "weller" before leaving for California. I have to behave myself and be very careful with what I eat this week.
I loved stitching and watching the US Ice Skating Championships on TV yesterday. I can do that today too.
My Amy Mitten kit didn't come yesterday. I know that things that come from Canada take extra time - like up to two weeks.
OOOh that itch to start something new....

Saturday, January 28, 2012


I am feeling better and stronger today. I'm still not totally out of the woods as my endurance is low but things are looking up.
I didn't want to start anything new as I am still waiting for my Amy Mitten kit to arrive. (Maybe today!!?!?!?) So I made myself work on Winter's Cottage. I decided to experiment and try the needlebook my way. So I did the four sided stitch around the outside. Then I used a stitch from a C.A. Wells project inside of that. I looked at it and thought, that's pretty, I like that. A small change can add so much. One side is supposed to say House of Needles. But the letters are just plain up and down straight lines(no imagination!)so I am going to change that. The other side has my initials. Again, I can find fancier initials or even a big swirly "A". Buoyed by how the needlebook inside turned out, I am going to try to adapt the outside house to a more cross-stitchy way of stitching - no padded stitches, what a waste of time. I also took a big chance and cut out the pieces I have finished. I am going to inteface them and then they are ready for assembly. I still have a little bit of that darn snow to do.
I wanted to explain why my photos are crappy. It is intentional. A designer friend heard that people were stitching her projects from my blog (how is that possible?)and asked me to alter my photos. So I did. I take smaller pictures and "mountain" instead of "flower" on my camera. Yesterday we had a problem with my picture files and I wasn't able to edit them before posting. So you kind of had to look at them sideways. Sorry.
It is a snowy day here. I haven't been out of the house since Monday. But in weather like this, that's okay.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Thank goodness it's Friday - or I'm thankful that I've made it till Friday. This week has been such a waste of time! Being sick sucks. I am feeling better as I would like to curse out my doctor for putting me on medicine that about killed me. I'm thinking about firing him. Anyway I'm better. Thank you for your well wishes, I appreciate it.
I finished B My Valentine. It would look nice framed. I order my frames from American Frame in Ohio. They have the cheapest prices and nice frames.
I didn't trust my addled brain to do any complex counting (no working on the BAP). So I worked on the snow on the inside of Winter's Cottage. I got the scissors pocket side done so that means I can attempt to sew it on. I know that there is an errant snowflake but I haven't decided whether to keep it or not. I still need to stitch the needlebook but I am going to make changes to the edge stitches. No nuns!!!! As you can tell, I'm feeling a little ornery today.
I'm hoping my mailman brings me my Amy Mitten kit. What fun! The thread name that is used mostly is called "Evil". Amy Mitten dyes her own threads and gives them scary names.
I found out that my niece is going to Nepal to hunt tigers. Wow. DH says, well at least she isn't hitch-hiking in Iran.
I can't upload my pictures. I'll have to wait for DH to fix this. Dang.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Inch By Inch

I am feeling a bit better. I've lost 11 pounds since last week. That's how sick I am. That medicine is a weight loss miracle. But I feel really weak.
I'm on the last row of B My Valentine. I think I can finish it today.
The Amy Mitten Vierlande Keeper supplies has been mailed and I got the chart pdf this morning. I am looking forward to this. I would be more enthusiastic but I don't have the energy.
Thanks for stopping by. I think I'll take a nap.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I'm very sick. I think I am having a bad reaction ("acute intolerance syndrome") to a medication I started last week. I've stopped the medication so I'm hoping to feel better soon. Mostly I have been laying down. So of course, not a lot stitching is getting done. I stitched a few boxes on B My Valentine. I have two rows left. I must be feeling a little bit better, as I didn't think I would post today at all. And I've eaten a whole snack size bag of Cheetos.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tomorrow's Another Day

I was not at all well yesterday. I'm a bit better today. I never take naps but I took one yesterday. I feel a little bit better today but I'm taking it easy. I'm just going to sit in my stitching chair and watch TV and stitch and read. What a hard day!

I only stitched one more row on B My Valentine. If I can get some momentum going today, I could finish it.
A picture of me and Dylan was requested so we got one yesterday. Dylan is such a nice kid. I found something he likes to eat!!! I got a Pizza Hut personal pan pizza for him. I was going to get two, one for me and one for him. But since I was feeling poorly I only got one. He liked it and he ate it. It's a miracle. Unfortunately, my goal was to find something that was more healthy than the school's crappy lunch. This really isn't as it is probably high in fat and salt. But it was so good. Dylan shared it with me. He's like that. I tried to show him how to do a Sudoku, but he was not that interested. We did a couple of boxes but he just wanted to play a game. Dylan is very good with numbers. He could tell with just a glance at the clock that we had 19 minutes left. That's better than other kids I have mentored. They have no clue. He can locate on a map of the world where we live. Also better than other kids I know. One of these days I'm going to see if he knows the continents. I got the latest book of the Wimpy Kid series, Cabin Fever, and I'm going to read some to him every week.
As the picture shows, I'm taller than a third grader.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Moody Monday

It is rainy and overcast today and I don't feel that great. I'm not even done with the bathrooms yet. But the sun will come out tomorrow....bet your bottom dollar.
I worked on B My Valentine and got a few more rows done. Four rows to go. It is sweet. I have found several mistakes in the chart. The "N" and the "T" are charted in the same color but on the sample they are not the same color. Too late now!
We had a nice visit with Claire and son#2 on the webcam. It works great. DH even admitted that it is a more intimate and dynamic way to talk and he had his doubts since he doesn't like to have his photo taken or be on camera. Claire's cousin was there visiting. She is 17 months old. I read her a book and showed her the dog I made. It was so cute. She blows kisses. I recorded the Goodnight Moon book. We go in 11 days.
I am gradually getting the snow done on the inside corners of Winter's Cottage. I want to attach the door scissors pocket soon. A lot of my problem with this project is the fabric I am using. Yuk. When you stitch, you want it to look nice and neat. This is a rumpled mess. I noticed the difference after starting B My Valentine and enjoying it soooo much more.
I was looking at the half done tape measure cover and wondering to myself, what is the hang-up? Why aren't you finishing this? You were dying for this book to get here so you could make it and now it sits. Well, I replied to myself, it is that strawberry. I don't want to use the waste canvas. So that means working on 40 count, which I have never done. Try it, you might like it, I said to myself. At least just do a queen stitch and see what it looks like and if it is really a PITA.
I read some more in Death Comes to Pemberley. A lot of red herrings are thrown in.
Looking forward to seeing Dylan today.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I had a great mail day yesterday. My Drawn Thread order arrived! As soon as it arrived I started B My Valentine. It is so pretty. I had admired Giovanna's Toccata 3 (I think) with all the cute squares. This is like that. Many 13 stitches a side squares. So easy to do just one. But it is addictive. Just one more square... I finished 10. Each one was a challenge and fun. It was so different than working on Winter's Cottage. I so enjoyed the great design. How many ways can hearts be used? Cynthia is a great needlework designer. I'm not quite half done. I think this would be a good design to frame and hang on the wall. Maybe in my bathroom.
I am up to page 50 in Death Comes to Pemberley. I didn't want to stop stitching, but finally I did.
I stitched a little before the mail came on Winter's Cottage. I tried out the corner stitches. Eyelets didn't work out. So I did round Rhodes stitches like are on the roof. I like how it looks. Unfortunately, some of the sparkly stitches were one thread off which threw a monkey wrench into everything. Not fun. So I have a little frogging to do.
I signed up for another class. I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I debated about it over a month and missed the deadline to sign up. But when I asked if it was too late, our registrar said I had one week to get my money in. It is through Kindred Spirits Sampler Guild. Amy Mitten is coming to teach a couple of classes in May. One is on 40 count, so that was out. But the other one I liked better and is on 32 count linen and it has a windmill on it. Mute But Not Silent. I must be crazy to take on another project.
I'm looking forward to a video chat with Claire tonight. She's twice as old as she was last week.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Finish

I finished up the Drawn Thread December Calendar cover. It turned out fine. I originally stitched the smoke coming out of the chimney in gray but it didn't show up very well so I went back and stitched over it in white. Now you can see it better. I put on the beads and that topped it off. I need to find a piece of fabric to line it with and then I can finish-finish it. So what to do now? Well, I know I should go back and finish that darn Winter's Cottage. I put in some of the sparkly corners last night. I have to go back and add the "snow". I am changing the stitches and have been thinking of how to do that. I think eyelets will do it. Of course I have to try out a couple to see how they look.
I put a few more stitches in the BAP. It sure takes a lot of time to do a few stitches. An hour's work looks like nothing.
I'm hoping my Drawn Thread order comes today. That would be great. Otherwise I might be tempted to start something else. I have Victoria Sampler's Ort container all ready to go. I may just have to put a stitch or two in it.
I was surprised to read that Elegant Stitch is going back to being an internet only shop. I admit I used to really look forward to their postings on a Friday. But then they got few and far between. They do have good service when you order something. Way faster than SBB.
Looks like a great Saturday.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Calendar Girl

I worked on something completely different yesterday. I dug in my basket and found Drawn Thread's December Calendar cover. I had Drawn Thread on my mind since I ordered her new designs which are on their way to me I might add. So I dug through my leftover Drawn Thread threads and found most of the ones I needed. Designers tend to use the same colors over and over. I'm going to fill in the colors I don't have with my Hand-Dyed Fibers. I made good progress and can finish it today.
We are expecting between 3 and 7 inches of snow today. So we made a trip to stock up at the grocery store.
I started reading "Death Comes to Pemberley". P.D. James writes like she is Jane Austen and it is an easy enjoyable read so far. Hope to do some more reading today.
DH is bugging me so I'm off to stitch.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Yes, I was brave this morning. Even though it was very snowy I went to aerobics class. While I was there, three inches of snow piled up on my car. I made it back home fine and am going to stay nice and cozy for the rest of the day.
I had a wonderful mail day yesterday. The darling cardigan that my friend Margaret's HDHBEM made for Claire arrived. But in the package were some things for me! A tangerine chocolate bar (one of my favorite things is orange flavored chocolate, how did she know!?!), a sheepy bookmark and an embroidered hankerchief. Thank you Margaret for all the nice gifts. You are too sweet to me!
I finished the Claire pillow. It seems like it took a long time but I only found our her name ten days ago. I used to finish needlework for a local shop and have made tons of pillows but I haven't made a pillow for several years. It was like riding a bicycle to make this pillow. It went together well and I am happy with how it turned out.
We got our webcam yesterday and hooked it up. We tried it out with son#1 and he helped us work out the kinks. Right now the webcam is sitting on top of a Kleenex box. DH is going to make a small shelf for it to sit on. I'm not sure I know how to initiate a video call. I'm want to try it out with my sister.
I spent way too much time yesterday choosing a hotel and making reservations for our trip to see Claire. We are going in two weeks. So today I am going to stitch like crazy.
I put interfacing on the back of the door/scissors pocket of Winter's Cottage to give it more stiffness and protect the back if you actually put scissors in it. Just have to stitch the corner decorations and I sew it on. I don't really understand the sewing on directions as the diagram doesn't really show how to do it. Do you go through loops on the door edge and then loops on the nun stitch rectangle? I going to have to work that out.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Compare and Contrast

That was a dreaded question in English class: compare and contrast two pieces of literature. Luckily, I don't have to do that any more. Although I would be much better at it now than I was then.
I did the border of the inside of Winter's Cottage in two different ways. On one side I did the called for cross stitch over one (top square). On the other side(bottom square) I tried a variation of long armed cross. I like the long arm cross better. It can be seen more easily as going over two threads makes it larger and darker plus I like the woven braided look of it. I am thinking of doing a four-sided stitch on the edge of the "house of needles" as right now I don't feel like facing hours of nun stitch over nun stitch. In fact I got out another project to work on as this one was driving me crazy. But I'm almost done! I should finish!
I worked a bit on the BAP. I am close to finishing the first page. This is very slow going as well but I enjoy it more. It is kind of fun to fill in the "blanks".
My goal for today is to finish the Claire pillow since I have the backing fabric. I don't know if I have enough stuffing but I'll go get more if I need to.
I am wondering about blog etiquette. Is one supposed to reply to all comments left on one's blog? I wanted to let people who leave comments on my blog know that the comments are sent to my email and I receive and read all of them and appreciate all of them too. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

To Jane

I can't seem to leave comments on my own blog which means I must post to answer questions. Jane, when you leave a comment you are listed as "no reply" so I can't email you. I read somewhere that if you don't give Blogger your email information you are listed as "no reply". Just to let you know, the Merry Cox retreat is called "Squirrel's Nest Getaway" and is the third week of June in Cincinnati. I can forward information to you if I have your email address. One of my goals this year is to stitch Palais Royale so I sent in my registration form. That class is also being offered at The Attic in November (I didn't want to wait!) Wouldn't it be great to meet there?


There are certain things I am just a sucker for. Like Drawn Thread designs. I ran across some new Drawn Threads designs and I just couldn't resist. I ordered them. B My Valentine is darling and I want to stitch it and I want all the right thread colors. I love the flower designs too. There are three similar designs but I wanted them all. Especially Butterfly Garden. Too sweet. The threads were kind of pricey too. I want to see what I have in my stash before I spend the money.
Celebration Of Needlework is starting to post teachers, classes and vendors. It is fun to check back every day to see if anything new has been posted.
I got some fabric to finish off the Claire pillow. It is just a pink with white dots but it will go with the front fabric and Claire's room which is brown and pink.
I got some more done on Winter's Cottage. It doesn't look like much since it is white nun stitch over white nun stitch on white linen. I am changing the border stitch a bit. I took out the squares of white and think I will do the round stitch that is on the roof of the cottage in the corners instead.
Dylan and I had a good time playing three different games yesterday. I want to show him how to do an easy Sudoku. I took couple of pictures of him to put on his valentines. He had chicken nuggets for lunch. Next week I'm going to take some personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut. It's one of my guilty pleasures.
It is raining outside but that is good. It is warm enough to rain instead of snow or hail.
Now to stitch!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Google Chatting

I had the most amazing conversation yesterday. Using Google Chat, we talked to son#2 and DIL as they were holding Claire. Talking face to face is like almost being there in the same room with them even though they are thousands of miles away. We quick ordered a webcam to put on our real computer (as opposed to the Chromebook) so we can talk there too. Are we tech savvy or what? Claire is filling out and growing so much in just a week.
I finished the door scissors pocket to Winter's Cottage and cut it out. I am working on finishing the inside of Winter's Cottage so I can attach the pocket to it. I officially hate doing nun stitch over nun stitch. ARGH. There just has to be a better way! I know it will be cute when it is done but it isn't much fun.
I sewed fabric on all sides of "Claire". It looks good but I am trying to decide how to finish the back. My sister suggested a plain fabric (pink?) and I may have to go with that as I don't have enough of the front fabric to do the back. I think I will put a contrasting cording around the edge.
I go see Dylan today. I have to break it to him that I will be gone for a Monday in February. We have finished 10 practice readers and are ready to start a new set today.
I have to get back to bathroom cleaning.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


It is a chilly 7 degrees this morning. I can't believe Christmas was three weeks ago. Time flies. Today Claire is one week old.
The top photo is the one I used for the butterfly chart.
I didn't work on Winter's Cottage at all. I just goofed around with the BAP all day. I enjoyed myself. Stitching and seeing what emerges is fun - to a point. You probably can't even tell that I did any work on this. It is so interesting though to see what a blend of one ply of red floss and one ply of green floss looks like when stitched. You are probably saying, what the heck is this anyway?
For a break from the BAP I will try to get that scissors pocket done today.
I made a list of the stitching classes I want to go to this year. I've included ones that I will be or are thinking about taking. So far the list for the first half of the year is:

Amy Mitten's Vierlande online tutorial (January )

Singing to the Moon kit ordered through the Kindred Spirits Guild (February)

Spring Fling put on by Stitchville USA, a shop in the Minneapolis area (April)

Maybe Celebrations, I am waiting to see what classes and projects will be offered (end of April)

Cabinet of Curiosities, an online class by Thistle Threads (18 month class)(May)

A Merry Cox getaway, Palais Royale and Petite Treasures (June)

I am so lucky to get to do even half of these. What a year it is going to be!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Happy Dance

Finally! The kitchen floor is done. We are putting stuff back in place. It looks great, we are really happy with how it turned out. It is more than fabulous to be done with this whole process.
It is still snowing - lightly. So far we have had 11 1/2 inches of snow. I'm just hoping driving isn't too dicey on Monday so I can get out to Dylan's school.
I worked on the scissors pocket for Winter's Cottage. It is the the door to the cottage. It is coming along nicely and I think I can finish it today.
I also worked on the BAP. I like seeing how this is coming along. Most of the threads are blended. That gives the design some depth.
For dinner last night, I tried the Upside Down Chicken from With Thy Needle and Thread blog. It turned out great. Very tender.
"Claire" is done and I have been thinking about how to finish it. I have a jelly roll of Kaffe Fausset fabrics and they don't look too bad with it. They aren't my style but I think DIL will like it. I think I'll make a small rectangular pillow.
It is a hot chocolate kind of day.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Today is the the first snowday of the year. Schools are closed and we have had 5 inches of snow with a few more to come. I'm skipping Step class as I worry about the ice under the snow since it rained, got cold and then snowed.
Joe showed up at about 2 p.m. yesterday. He came by to give the boards another coat of urethane. When he found out DH had already done that, he went home. He wasn't feeling well, he thought he was coming down with the flu. Who knows if he will show up today?
I'm on the "E" of Claire. Yeah! Almost done.
Today is the end of the Stitching Tour of the Sewing Room's Unfinished Drawer. Here are five bellpulls. Four are Shepherd's Bush and the Halloween one is a Drawn Thread design.
Oh my goodness, Joe's here. We could finish!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

C is for Cookie

I worked on "Claire" yesterday. With diligent work today, I can finish it. I'll have to see if I have some fabric that looks good with it.
Joe showed up around 11 which is typical. It's like he's on a two hour delay in the mornings. He says he will be here at nine but never gets here until 11. Things are getting back to normal though. Only the trim boards are left to install. We got them all stained and urethaned yesterday.
The Stitching Tour of the Sewing Room's Unfinished Drawer continues with bell pulls. I used to have a hook that I could hang up a bell pull and change it monthly. Now they are at the bottom of the drawer. I should put up another hook and continue that tradition. Also there is one last Shepherd's Bush kit.
I didn't include the picture of the butterfly yesterday in hopes that someone would want to stitch a mystery.
We got our airline tickets to go see Claire in about 3 weeks. It will be so fun to see her in person and hold her, and rock her and sing to her and take endless pictures.