Saturday, December 31, 2005

Ready For Some Flakes

Starting Monday I'm going to attempt some snowflakes. Julie's Snowflake Mondays are going to be a part of my new year. Will I really have 51 or so by the time Christmas rolls around next year, probably not but I hope to be close. One flake a week, very doable. I also bought a ball of some white thread with silver metallic running through it but somehow I have lost it between here and the store who shall not be named. Julie also pointed me in the direction of the 99 Snowflakes book. I hope there's not another out there somewhere. This was the only one I saw at Joann's, had a 40% off coupon too. I'm hoping once I get a few snowflakes under my belt I'll feel confidant enough to attempt a doily or two.

Also planned in the crochet department for 2006, making DS#3 his own afghan. He insists on red, white and blue. He designed it himself, well inspired by the flag but he says skip on the stars. He's happy with one big ol' blue block then red and white stripes flag style. So I'll be figuring this one out as I go along. I'm wild that way. I'm thinking it's going to be pretty simple which means it's going to be a nightmare. For some reason I think before it's over I'll be searching for a star pattern I can crochet and sew stars on to the blue block of this afghan but I'll think about that some other time.

For dinner tonight I think I'm going to attempt this:

Williams-Sonoma Recipe View

A friend made it the other day and said it was great. I so love my crockpot. It's right behind the iPod and the computer as far as great inventions go.

We're planning a quiet New Year's Eve. Probably will watch a few episodes of Season 2 of The O.C. Although as much as I love The O.C. I'm not in the mood for teen angst at the moment.

Cross Stitching

Well, where am I? Let's see still no cow on Houses of Hawk Run Hollow but I'm getting there.

I plan to start Hands To Work-Bird In Hand sometime today because really shouldn't the year end how it began? Starting one more project that won't get finished in 2005. It just seems right.

Tomorrow I will start Sarah Tatum Reproduction Sampler-Scarlet Letter. This is kitted and ready to go. Some friends and I, Siobhan, Sharon, and Val, will be doing a SAL of this piece. With any luck we'll keep each other motivated and get this piece finished in 2006.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Works In Progress

With 2005 coming to an end and 2006 right around the corner it's time to own up to all the WIP I have going. It's kind of scary.

In no particular order here is the list of the projects that I have started sometime in 2005 or before. One project on this list was started as far back as 1985.

Fairy Grandmother-MLI
Lady of the Flag-Mirabilia
Deco Spirits-Mirabilia
Garner Dragonfly-Dimples Designs
Cowboy Boots-Design Connection
Dragon Isle-Stitchworld
Mermaid of the Pearls-Mirabilia
Three Pale Eggs-Shepherds Bush
Santa of the Forest-MLI
Serene Shores-Dimensions(started sometime in 1985)
Fantasy Triptyche-Teresa Wentzler
Tradewinds-Teresa Wentzler
Liberty Sampler-Hester's Needle
Klimt's Kiss-FAHS
With My Needle-Goode Huswif
Very Fine Sampler-BOAF
I'll Always Be A Wildflower-SamSarah
Santa B Good-Sisters and Bestfriends
Mouline Rouge-Long Dog
And They Sinned-Examplar Dames
Flip Flop Days-JABC Button Company
Betty Broomstick-Lizzie Kate
Wendell the Warlock-Mosey N Me
Vinnie Von Fang-Lizzie Kate
Remember Me On Halloween-BOAF
Romantic Rhapsody-JCS(this is from an issue in Feb. of '97 or '98)
Sanctuary-The Drawn Thread
Houses of Hawk Run Hollow-CHS
Change of Pace-Graphs by Barbara & Cheryl
Perfect Setting-Graphs by Barbara & Cheryl

If any of my stitching friends are reading this and you can think of a project I left off the list let me know. I kind of compiled it off the top of my head. No time to dig through stuff and pull everything out. I believe it's pretty close to accurate.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Morning Sky-Two Views

This morning when I looked out the kitchen window while waiting on the coffee to brew this is what I saw*:

This is close to the same view but using the dusk/dawn setting on the camera:

*I promise I resized these pictures. Not sure what happened.......

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas Is Over for Another Year

Boy am I glad too. This has been a particularly rough holiday this year with problems related to my grandmother. I'm starting to feel better about things after I talked to her and made sure that she was asking questions and getting back a little bit of control of her life.

As far as stitching, not much was accomplished this weekend. I did knit a scarf. Pictures later since I can't figure out how to reduce the image size with our new camera software. I tried it in my old software and the picture looked horrible.

The holiday was quiet, which I love. I didn't over cook, actually I cooked way less than I normally do and it was the right decision. We had ham, two casseroles and some cookies and cupcakes and that was it. The leftovers of the ham will be made into some kind of ham and bean soup as soon as I find a good recipe.

Stitching: Looking Ahead

I hadn't planned to set any stitching goals but have decided that goals might actually be a good thing. Of course they will be more like guidelines, but you know what I mean. I refuse to feel bad if I don't achieve any of my goals. This is a hobby, it's supposed to be fun but I do have some things that need attention.

Priorities for 2006:

Finish MLI's Fairy Grandmother
Finish Mirabilia's Mermaid of the Pearls
Finish Stitchworld's Dragon Isle
Finish Mirabilia's Lady of the Flag

All four of the above mentioned projects are over half finished. Finishing them in 2006 should not be a problem if I work a little on each one every week. It will just take some discipline.

On the B* List:

Finish Houses of Hawk Run Hollow
Start and Finish By the Bay's 13th Colony Bay Parts 1-3 on the same piece of fabric.
Finish Mouline Rouge by Long Dog

New Projects for 2006:

sonne Spot Sampler by Long Dog
Sarah Tatum Reproduction Sampler-Scarlet Letter
Ann Medd 1742 Reproduction Sampler-Scarlet Letter
Mermaid-Teresa Wentzler
Tradewinds-Teresa Wentzler
Also on the new projects list for 2006 are Lizzie Kate's Block Its all stitched on one piece of fabric and Bent Creek's Monthly Snappers all stitched on one piece of fabric. I'd love to complete both of these by the end of the year but while I prefer my happy little dream world I'm reasonably sure that won't happen. I'll be satisfied to get half of each project completed.

There are other projects I hope to finish, many WIP that I hope see something other than the inside of a Rubbermaid bucket in 2006 and projects that aren't even kitted that I dream of starting in 2006 but I won't list them now.

Crocheting and Knitting for 2006:

I hope to participate in Julie's Snowflake Mondays in 2006. I'd love to make a snowflake a week. I'm in search of simple snowflake patterns right now. The patterns I have here are for someone with some thread crochet experience and mine is minimal. I'll see what I can round up this weekend in the way of easy snowflake charts and be ready to crochet my first one next Monday.

I want to finish an afghan for my mother that I started almost two months ago and set it aside for other things. It was wrong. It was supposed to be a combination housewarming/Christmas present so maybe I'll have it finished before the end of January.

I also need to crochet each of my boys new afghans. Just need to decide on colors and patterns.

I also want to get back to my 63 Squares afghan and start to work on several I have kitted up and ready to go.

I'm going to learn to flippin' purl in 2006. I didn't meet that goal in 2005 so I'm going to suck it up and practice. I want to knit my middle son a sweater, Jesse's Flames from Stitch & Bitch Nation.

Something that probably won't happen in 2006, but I'd really like to learn how to spin. I've been following some blogs Dave Daniels’ Cabin Cove Crafts, for one, the man has been spinning for what, 4 weeks, 5 weeks? Incredible! I want to do that one day.

Now what I need to learn is time management because I have a few other projects not fiber related that will be taking up a lot of time. It's ok, it's all good, I just need to learn how to organize my life so I can do a little bit of everything and not freak out.

I really want to be a better person in 2006 too. More thoughtful and caring, take a little time to make sure people know that I care about them. I tend to be a hermit and will go weeks without talking to people I care about, not the ones I live with, couldn't avoid them if my life depended on it but other family members I avoid calling for whatever reason. Time to get over myself and do the right thing. Life is short.

I also hope to plan for Christmas 2006 all year long so that I don't get all creative on December 23 like I did this year with scarf way back at the beginning of this post. I see some boogabags, some Sophie bags in my crystal ball and they will hopefully be gifts for next Christmas. I am going to do better all the way around in 2006.

*really the "A+" list but I have got to focus on the first 4 projects and get them done!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

2005-The Stitching Year in Review

In this post and previous ones you can see pictures of the things I managed to finish in 2005. I have no hope of finishing anything else before the end of the year. Not a very productive year but maybe that shows that I do have a life away from needle and thread. The picture below is Lizzie Kate's Welcome All Seasons. I have the frame purchased and maybe the DH can frame it for me this weekend. He gets things a lot straighter in the frame than I do. This particular framing project will be a little different though as he needs to add some brass cup hooks to the bottom of this frame and some brass eyebolts to the smaller frame I plan to hang from the bottom of this design. I will change out the month in the bottom frame using Lizzie Kate's Monthly Flip-It designs. I plan to just mount the monthly designs on *gasp* sticky board and pop them in and out of the frame as each month arrives. I'm also hoping to keep them organized in a nice little plastic shoe box so I'll know where each month is when I need it.

Things That Remind Me of What A Loser I Am:

Reading through the 2005 archives I had such high hopes in all my crafty endeavors. I had hoped to be able to knit socks for family members, crochet a baby blanket for a new niece, cross stitch a picture for a great niece, do something special for another niece I adore but never get to see, finish Fairy Grandmother for my grandmother who will now probably be going into a nursing home, finish Mermaid of the Pearls for another niece, finish the very easy and what I assumed was a quick afghan for my mom's Christmas/housewarming present. All in all I suck. Maybe it's great expectations, maybe it's poor time management. My heart is in the right place but nothing ever seems to work out the way I plan. Can I flake out and say I'm an artist and things will get finished when they get finished? No that's a selfish excuse. In my heart I'm not selfish, just bad with the whole timing thing.

My hopes for 2006 are that I finish some long overdue projects and that one will not be too late. That is where I am selfish. The project for my grandmother, I started getting all superstitious about it. If I finished it, she might die. Weird, flakey, I know, but I started to not be able to even look at it much less work on it. I'm an idiot. So the rest of 2005 will be spent working on this for my grandmother. She's so deserving of it. She gave me everything when I was younger. Comfort, love, a sense of place. There is so much emotion and love tied up in the cross stitch piece, that it breaks my heart to work on it and think of her and all my shortcomings and how she always deserved so much better in a granddaughter. I know that I always fell short of her dreams for me. Always a constant let down. I only hope that she knows, truly knows how much I love her and what she means to me. I only wish I had taken the time to be more of the person she hoped I'd be.

2005-The Stitching Year in Review

2005-The Stitching Year in Review

2005-Stitching Year in Review

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Shortest Day of the Year

So why does it seem like the longest?

The kids have been out of school less than two days and the whining and "I'm boreds" have already started. This does not paint a pretty picture for the rest of Christmas break.

We're going to bake cookies tomorrow. Maybe even attempt a gingerbread house. That will kill, oh say, 5 minutes and then I'll be doing it all by myself. The 10 yr old gets bored with the whole baking thing. He prefers the eating thing.

The 10 yr old also informed me that instead of turkey for Christmas dinner he wants Hawaiian Chicken on the grill. Since we live in the Sunshine State grilling outside in December isn't a horrible thing. Don't get me wrong it's a bit nippy around here but nothing compared to what's north of us. So maybe we'll have a late Turkey dinner and Hawaiian chicken for lunch. Then again DS#1 says he wants a Ham for Christmas dinner. I see that maybe for Christmas Eve instead. Only because I haven't even bought a turkey yet so it's no where near thawed as it's still in my grocer's freezer, I'll need the extra day to thaw the stupid turkey.

Today I called my mother and told her that I'd drive the 8-10 hours to Tennessee tomorrow and bring her down here on Friday so she can spend Christmas with us. She turned me down. My brother is going with his family to see my SIL's family in Mexico so my mom will be alone. I think Christmas with us scares my mom. She said something about bad weather and not being able to get back home, but I think we are too loud, too rowdy and basically just too wild for her. It's a loud house, ok. We like it that way. We are so loud that we are constantly asking neighbors if they hear us and begging them to tell us if they do. We tend to crank up the music, the tv, so that causes us to have to talk very loudly to each other because we can never find the remote to turn the tv down. I meant it when I told her I'd drive up there and get her and bring her back. I've got cabin fever at the moment with everyone home, but she turned me down and the oldest son and the husband were very relieved. I guess I should be insulted because I'm 99% sure that if it were my brother offering to bring her to his home however many miles away she'd jump at the chance but it's ok. I did the right thing and if she's alone it's her own fault.

In the area of stitching I've done absolutely no stitching in the last week. Time to get back in the habit. I miss it, but have just been too overwhelmed to drag something out to work on. Too many other things to do. Winter basketball has started for DS#2, the kids had exams all last week, the house looks like Christmas on top of a landfill, my grandmother is in the hospital in Tennessee and no one is really sure at this point what to do with her. She keeps falling for no apparent reason. It's to the point where she can't live alone any more. This is one of the times I hate being 8 hours+ from home. My mother is going to be alone for the holidays and my dad's wife is sick again which means he's stressing big time having a wife and a mother that aren't doing well.


Solstice: The View From Florida

Monday, December 19, 2005

Easily Amused

A friend sent me this link:

Holiday Snowglobe

And I find myself wasting quite a bit of time......

Another nice, ok not really nice, but fun:

SCARED OF SANTA GALLERY: Tis the season to be scared witless

Countdown YIKES!

Well it appears that Christmas is truly right around the corner. YIKES! I'm not ready. Honestly I'm never ready. I'm closer than normal at this time but I could use an extra week or two.

A shout out to Carol of the comments: Yes we still have the surburban. Can't seem to part with the thing. The DH is planning to paint it himself, we may go really artsy with it. We were thinking clouds might be a nice alternative to the rust on the roof. We do love it. Wish we had some extra money to really invest in it. DH's buds love it when he drives it for the carpool. They can all stretch out, have room for all their stuff. Of course with gas prices what they are these days he can only afford to drive it once or twice a week. We're going to get some new seat covers after the holidays since our upholstry has seen better days.

To Kiwi Jo, did you really have to mention Peppermint Mocha coffeemate on your blog? I had no idea it existed. I'm an Organic Valley Half & Half girl. Since reading about this on your blog I've been on a tricounty search for that tasty concoction and found one, ONE, at a local grocery. It's so good. Now when I find it I plan to hoard it up to get me through the first of the year. I wish Coffemate would add this to their line of regular flavors.

We had a busy weekend, took the kids to see King Kong. What a great movie!

Yesterday I started pulling out some thisclose to finished cross stitch projects to try and figure out why they are thisclose to finished and have been left to linger in Rubbermaid buckets. I found my Dimple's Designs Garner Dragonfly, Wee Beasties 5
Three wings are stitched and a good part of the body. So why I wondered to myself did I not finish this? Well it appears that I've lost a page of the chart. The page of the chart with the unfinished wing. ARRGGHHHH! I have no clue where it could be. I dumped out the bucket I had it stored in and found the chart with that page missing. I'm going to resume my search later today but I can't imagine why the chart wasn't all together in the same spot, I have the partially stitched design, the bag of floss, the chart, makes no sense why it wouldn't all be together. I'm scatterbrained and can be careless but I'm usually very good where my stitching stuff is concerned.

Then I ran across a kit I had started several years ago. It's a special kit by BrightNeedle that I bought at Expressions in Needleart in Canadaigua, NY at my very first stitching retreat. It's a sweet design. The verse reads, "My needle doth dance o'er the linen." The title of the design is Lake Country Spring and is a tribute to the Finger Lakes region of NY state that they both love. I picked it up and started working on it again and immediately knew why I haven't finished this quickie design. I dislike the linen included in the kit a lot! I'm too cheap to replace it so will work on it here and there and should get it finished in a timely manner. I don't hate the linen so much that I would start the design over but the holes are hard to see, it's almost like stitching on clothing linen. (Don't ask me how I know the difference in stitching linen and clothing linen--sometimes I get a little creative where fabric is concerned and I have no money). It's 32ct so it really shouldn't be a problem but this is a really tightly woven linen.

So it appears that my plans to zip through the Dragonfly and Lake Country Spring designs before the end of 2005 are on hold for the time being. That's what I get for being cocky and thinking I could just whip these finishes out and start 2006 with two less projects in the pile of UFOs I have here.

Friday, December 16, 2005

All Kinds of Stuff

Last night while on my way home from going to see the midwife with my pregnant neighbor and her family--I'm invited to participate in the birth--I was talking to my best friend Cassie on the phone. Her mother is one of the artsiest people I know. When we were growing up she would go through phases, cross stitching, crewel, making pillows, teddy bears, porcelian dolls, baking extravagantly decorated cakes, homebaked bread, sketching plants. You name it she did it. It was always fun hanging out at Cassie's house because you never knew what her mother would be doing on that particular day. Last night Cassie told me that her mother had taken up sketching portraits and that she was sketching pictures of all the family. Very cool. She also told me that right now her house was pretty much an art gallery displaying all her mother's artwork. Is that not the coolest thing or what? One of my goals with my home is to not have the same stuff on my walls as everyone else. I have a print or two, but for the most part the stuff on our walls are things I've stitched, photos we've taken or family has sent us, and I'm working on the DH to do a few paintings for me. I've seen some great paintings in Coastal Living on other people's walls and I think he could create a reasonable facsimile for me. If I could paint like my husband I'd have an easel set up in the living room all the time, drop cloths over the floor and furniture. Yes, I would. But he only makes time to paint when football season is over and softball hasn't started yet. Ok, back to Cassie's mom, I think she was the one that opened my eyes to the art of cross stitch. Sure my neighbor stitched shop models and had some awesome Paula Vaughn's on her walls that she had stitched but Cassie's mom always made it feel like art instead of needlework. I guess I notice the difference in her feelings about it and my aunt's. My aunt loves to sew, she teaches it at the high school level, but she never understood the attraction to handwork when she could create some pretty awesome artwork using fabric and applique on her sewing machine in a fraction of the time it takes to cross stitch something. Cassie's mom on the other hand just embraced the act of cross stitching, saw it as art and it'd get finished when it got finished. It wasn't a race to get it finished and up on the wall, it was a process, and when it was finished, then she'd decide what to do with it. She's one of those people that embraces her hobbies, her art, as obsessively as I embrace cross stitching. I stitch because I can't not cross stitch. It's a huge part of me. So much a part of me that even people that know don't know me that well but know my husband know that I stitch. Kind of freaked me out the first time one of his coworkers who I know but don't really "know" mentioned my stitching to me. So either my DH can't think of anything to say about me to his friends other than I stitch or he thinks it's pretty cool. I was so glad I called Cassie yesterday, I needed to be inspired and whenever I hear what her mom is doing, I get motivated to start working on my own stuff again.

The last few days have been busy with holiday stuff, cleaning up a flooded bathroom(that seems to be a continuing theme around here, 2005: The Year of the Constantly Flooded Bathroom), going to see a midwife, and having not one, but two Starbuck's Peppermint Mocha coffees. Are those things to die for or what? Those are definitely worth $4 a cup. Tastes just like an Andes after dinner mint. Fortunately for me there are no Starbucks within a 15 mile radius so I only get to treat myself to those when I venture into the big city, but then I treat myself on the way to where ever I might be going and then again on the way home.

We woke up this morning to a flat on the car, let me tell ya how fortunate I feel that this did not happen when I was cruising along the scenic highway in Pensacola yesterday about 6 pm. YIKES! Then the truck wouldn't start this morning so the DH missed his carpool and had to drive the Improbability Drive(85 Surburban and we've been calling it the Improbability Drive since the early 90s. I read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy long before it was a movie.) all the way to work, $20 worth of gas barely got him there. So instead of more cleaning today, a goal and yes I used the "g" word is to have a clean house by Christmas Eve and keep it that way through the end of 2006, 2 0 0 6! All the clutter is stifling my creativity. I don't need that right now but I digress, I'll be at the store that we shall not name getting a new tire put on the car. What a waste of $100 right here at the holidays. Oh and to add to my loser image at the moment I completely forgot to get a teacher gift or anything for the bus driver. The kids have school on Monday so I hope to get something together for DS#3's teacher over the weekend.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Guilt Free January

Well Guilt Free January is just around the corner and I have big plans. For those of you not familiar with Guilt Free January, I believe the concept comes from the TWBB Not sure if that's where the idea originated but that's where I discovered it. The idea is that in January a stitcher can start as many projects as she/he wants guilt free. No worrying about finishing any of them or all those other WIP sitting around the house. It's a new year, start as many projects as you want. I believe one year I started a new project almost every day. I have the piles and piles of WIP to prove it but that's a story for another day. Anyway this year my main big huge project is By the Bay's 13th Colony Harbor Parts 1-3 all stitched on one piece of fabric. Below you can see the individual designs. Aren't they going to ROCK all stitched together? When this is finished it will hang on my honkin' big kitchen wall. I'll take a picture of that wall and the one piddly little picture hanging there right now and you'll understand my excitement over this new project.

The inspiration for stitching these designs comes from this Lenox accent plate that I love:

Here's hoping that picture shows up, I forgot to upload it to the photobucket album before I started writing this post. If not I'll figure it out later. Anyway, I'd love to design my kitchen around that plate. If we ever win the lotto my first major purchase is the whole set of the Lenox British Colonial Tradewind china. Having three sons, there aren't a lot of china patterns out there that they might want to inherit so anything girlie might just find itself a yard sale bargain one day but these dishes, the boys might actually fight over. So I'm hoping the new year find's me starting this project and it's one of those I will finish and that's all there is to it. Write it down, Melissa WILL finish this cross stitch piece in a timely manner so I can get it on my wall and my reward will be the purchase of a couple of those accent plates. Then I get to start working on TW Tradewinds again.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Several Posts in One Day

What's up with that? Well things are on my mind and I'm feeling restless, so I come here. It's a nice quiet place, no one whining for something at the moment although that is subject to change at any time.

Last year around this time I posted my progress on Stitchworld's Dragon Isle. Since I didn't put one stitch in on this project all year long I'm posting last year's pic. I wish I was kidding but I'm not. I refuse to set a goal, but I am hoping to finish this project sometime in 2006(this is not a goal but a guideline). DS#2 would be really, really happy if  I did. He's been quite the patient kid for oh, 8 years. I'm pretty sure I started this sometime in 97 or 98. If you compare my stitched piece to the chart, there's only a couple of weeks worth of work left to be done, of course there's buttloads of backstitching, but what, you may be asking yourself, is my hold up? Finish the stupid dragon/castle already. The hold up is 1/4 stitches on 14ct aida! When I started this project, oh, so many years ago, I didn't think there were a lot of 1/4 stitches and I could deal with it. Well I was wrong. Way wrong! Would you believe that most of this piece was stitched in just a few months? Four at the most. It was a focus piece, then I get to the castle and the rocks and it's a nightmare. So I'm going to suck it up and work on this piece as much as I can. My reward for finishing it will be starting TW's Mermaid. Ever since I saw Kiwi Jo's finished Mermaid I've been itching to start this piece. So all I have to do to start TW's Mermaid is finish up the minimal amount of cross stitching left on Dragon Isle. It really is pretty. The colors are great, the dragon is beyond cool.

After going through last December's archives I have discovered that only one project from that end of year list was completed. It was my gemstone and black single crochet Q hook afghan. To top it off that was just finished last week or maybe the week before. Visualize me holding a big old L in front of my face using my thumb and forefinger.

I'm a fabulous project starter. How I love choosing a chart, buying the fabric, gathering the threads! What a rush! What joy there is in finding the top left corner or the center point of the design, threading the needle, pushing it through that first hole. Those early hours of continuous stitching so that I can see some actual progress after my first stitching session, WOW! I'm one of those geeks that loves to wake up at 4a.m., brew a pot of coffee, and start stitching. That is the best time of day.

The subject of starting new projects brings me to Guilt Free January. Boy do I love January, Guilt free and all. I have some ideas about what projects I'll start in January, Scarlet Letter's Sarah Tatum and The Ann Medd 1742 Reproduction Sampler are at the top of my list. I also have another big project planned and if my charts and supplies are here on time it will be my New Year's Day project. I'll share the project and my plans later.


Framed Stitching Witch

As you can see this is a picture of my framed Stitching Witch, excuse the glare this is the best picture I've been able to take. The design is from Branson Country Stitching. She's stitched on 18ct raw linen and the pumpkin's eyes, cat's eyes and the brim of the witch's hat are all stitched using Kreinik Glow in the Dark thread. She will hang all year in my bedroom. I was really going for more of a Goth look for the frame, something Dracula might have in his castle, but when you live in a little hicktown you have to work with what you've got.


Happy Belated Birthday

Yesterday was DS#2's 15th birthday. I haven't even had time to search for pictures of him to post here, he's probably very happy about that. Maybe I'll post some later today.

DS#2 is an amazing kid. He decides he's going to do something and be good at it and he practices and practices and practices until he drives us all crazy. He decided at 13 he wanted to play basketball. Had never ever stepped on a basketball court, had no clue about the rules or how to play the game, but he went, tried out and made a team. I would wake up in the middle of the night, check his room and he'd be gone. I would open the front door and there he'd be, shooting hoops at 2am. I'd make him come in, go to bed, apologise to the neighbors the next morning and they all love Jack. They said anyone with that much determination can practice outside their bedrooms windows as long as he needs to any time day or night.

When I look at him today, it's hard to believe that 15 yrs ago the doctors couldn't tell me if he was going to live or die. He was a preemie, 6 weeks early but weighed in at 6lbs 9oz. The emergency c-section was routine, but he swallowed amniotic fluid and his lungs were just underdeveloped enough that he had to be put on a vent for a few weeks. I can't even begin to write my feelings about this time of my life and his. My emotions were all over the place. Fear, love, lonliness, and a pain and aching for my child that I hope to never ever feel again because I don't know if I could ever handle that kind of pain again. My doctor kept me in the hospital as long as he could, but finally he had to send me home. I still find it hard to write about the weeks he was in the hospital, but to see him today, healthy, happy, well as happy as any 15 yr old can be, my heart is so full of love for this child of mine. I hope that one day he knows, truly knows, how much I love him and how much he means to me.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Framed Mairmaid's Song

Below is a picture of my framed Carriage House Samplings' Mairmaid's Song. Sorry I'm not a great photographer, this is the best I could do this afternoon.

This is pretty close to being one of my all time favorite designs that I've stitched over the years.

I tried to take a picture of my recently framed Stitching Witch but  the picture I took was a mess and my camera battery was dangerously low so I'll put in some new batteries and give it a try in the morning light tomorrow.

The last few days I've been going through my WIPs, UFOs, and charts for projects I want to start in 2006. I didn't finish anything I had intended to this year. I don't like to stitch with a goal in mind, I never follow through. It seems like when I set the goal, the project loses it's magic. So one plan for 2006 is to not really plan to finish anything, I just hope, HOPE to get a few longtime projects out of my house and into their new homes.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

I Got Nothing

Not much to write about the last few days. I still have not finished my cow house on CHS Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. For those of you familiar with the chart it's House #9. The house is close to complete, with any luck I can start the cow tomorrow.

I did manage to finish a crochet afghan I started sometime last year. It was a basic single crochet afghan only I held three strands together and used a Q hook. I'm a dork, and clueless about just making it up as I go along so I chained oh, maybe 100 chains before I started the single crochets so it's pretty big. That Q hook with three strands of yarn held together makes some mighty huge single crochet stitches. I tried to take a picture but it didn't turn out too well in the house so I'll try again tomorrow if the sun is out. It's got a nice tiedyed appearance to it. I held together two strands of black and one strand of Red Heart Gemstone. I can't take credit for the idea. I borrowed it last year from someone, Kristy maybe, over at Crafty Blog. If I were to do it again I would only chain 60-70 in my foundation chain. This afghan is really wide, really, really, seriously wide. It almost covers the top of our king sized bed. DS#3 tried to claim this afghan but I'm going to let him choose some colors and make him his very own afghan.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Couple of Small Finishes

Below is Brittercup's Britty's Christmas Kitty from the 2005 JCS Ornament issue. This will be DS#3's ornament this year.

And here is Houses of Hawk Run Hollow House #9. Whew! I never thought I'd finish this house. Each house is like it's own project. A lot more work intensive than I ever expect them to be. I'm not thrilled with the coverage of the DMC 310 using one strand of floss but I tried using two strands and it just looked too bulky. Only 9 more blocks left to stitch. My secret goal had been to finish this project before the end of the year but I'm reasonably sure, well 100% sure that ain't going to happen. Next up, finally, the cow house block.

I only have one more ornament that I have to stitch for a swap and then any other ornaments are just bonus ornaments for the year. Since I'm 17 yrs behind stitching my oldest son an ornament for every Christmas, and very close to 15 yrs behind stitching middle son an ornament to represent every Christmas of his life, and only, well now, 9 years behind on youngest son, I have plenty to keep me busy. My goal is for each of the boys to have a box of mom's handmade ornaments to take with them when they eventually leave home and start homes of their own.

Yesterday I pulled out the bread machine and baked some chocolate chip bread. I don't know what happened, maybe I removed it from the pan too soon but as soon as it cooled it deflated like a balloon. I thought maybe the chocolate chips made it too heavy, or maybe it wasn't completely cooked all the way through. I can't find my bread machine cookbook to check my troubleshooting so this doesn't happen again.

The baking fun has slowed down but it sure was good to have some home made enchiladas Monday night and crunchy taco shells. Amazing how happy the little things can make you sometimes. I have learned over the years to never take the washer, dryer and dishwasher for granted, now it's time to appreciate the oven just a little more.