Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I Like to Think I'm Alone but.....

This was the view from my lap yesterday. I didn't realize this pic was so blurry. Note to self: work on photography skills! At my invisible knee is the Super Sprinks, that would be the cat on the far left, the center cat is Sabrina, and the little one to far right is the Dread Pirate Patch.

So if you called my house yesterday and I didn't answer the phone you can see I was trapped and couldn't really move to answer it because when a cat has to sleep, a cat has to sleep.

I've Been Served!

By Carol and Anna! It's a good thing. I need to finish Fairy Grandmother, I should have finished her, oh, 4 years ago! This is a beautiful design, it's a gift for someone who means the world to me and was, in fact, my fairy grandmother when I was growing up.

Carol-is your Scarlett the OOP Charles Craft design you were working on a long, long time ago? Or did you start another Scarlet? You know the ones out a few years ago in her different gowns?

Anna-I love Souvenir Sampler! Did you get the special box to mount this piece in or having it framed? Then again I could have the DT sampler and the Jeannette Douglas sampler confused, it's early and I've only had half a cup of coffee.

I'll post my most recent pic of Fairy Grandmother on Feb. 9th and then start my race for the gold on Feb. 10th! This is the most excited I've been about working on FG in ages.

Blogger just did something weird, wonder how this post will publish?

Stitching Buddy

This is Sam(a.k.a. Loudmouth). This is the view from my lap the other day.

One of These Things is Not Like the Others

Sorry for the blurry pic, but which one doesn't belong?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

She's Such A Betty

Betty Broomstick that is. I have to check my December archives but I believe Betty is my third* U.F.O. finish of the year. She may just be my second, I know I finished Flip Flop Days. I think there's another one too, but my mind is blank. Not that that's anything new.

This weekend I plan a new start. My own design, or rather, something I saw, insisted the DH draw for me, I scanned it in to the Patternmaker software and now hope it will be the front pocket of a tote bag I plan to (brace yourselves) sew on the machine all on my own.

Last year JoAnn's ran some sewing patterns for 99c.I bought a lot of tote bag/purse patterns and even the fabric to make one of them. Well I stuck the bag in my closet and haven't thought about them until I wandered around craftster.org last weekend and got inspired. So this weekend I hope to start and finish this cross stitch pocket for the front of the bag and maybe, just maybe, be ready to sew up a tote on Monday. Keep in mind that I'm a big talker, love to talk about all these creative ideas I get and then they never see the light of day. I'm excited about this project though and even plan to crochet the design on the front of a crocheted tote too. I'm in the process of deskeining some Lionbrand Fisherman's wool, 3 skeins to be exact, turning them into hanks and then koolaid dyeing them. I am on a creative binge these days or what?

*just checked my archives, Betty is my second finish of the year. Must have dreamed up that mystery finish........

Friday, January 27, 2006

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

Not much has been happening around here lately. While catching up on some blogs I discovered that the Yarn Harlot has started the Knitting Olympics. Knitters are asked to challenge themselves during the Olympics, learning a new technique, finishing a project that is started during the opening ceremonies. You get the idea. Even though I haven't officially signed up, I do plan to master the purl stitch over those 16 days. Sounds too easy but for me the purl stitch is evil. If I succeed with that goal in the early days of the Olympics I plan start a Ribbed for Her Pleasure scarf from Stitch N Bitch.

Then while reading Crochetville there's talk of a Crochet Olympics. For that event I hope to spend a little time learning how to make a snowflake. I can't figure it out. Me and thread, crochet thread that is, just don't get along! But I will make Flake #1 from the 99 Snowflakes book by the end of the Olympics. A small goal for some but major for me as my Mondays have been snowflakeless.

Then I started to ponder what cross stitch challenges do I have? Xs on fabric pretty simple. I don't hate speciality stitches with the exception of the french knot and well after 30 yrs that dog don't hunt so I'm not going down that road. So I started wondering if cross stitch could lend itself to Olympic challenges, and yes, yes it does.

For me the Olympic cross stitch challenge to beat all cross stitch challenges will be working on Fairy Grandmother. It's not a difficult design, some beading, a few blended threads, but all in all a fairly easy cross stitch design. I have a huge block where this piece of needlework is concerned. I'm not sure if it's emotional, if it's the person I'm stitching it for, if I'm just pretty selfish and want to focus on my own projects. So I hereby proclaim that from the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics until the flame goes out, I will devote as much time as possible to Fairy Grandmother. I don't believe it's unreasonable to believe that I might actually get her finished over the 16 day period, but I do have a life and a couple of other events to participate in, but FG will get some TLC over those 16 days and if I'm determined, focused, I might just walk away with a gold medal in finishing for her.

So what cross stitch challenges are there in your life? A project you would love to see finished but just don't want to work on for whatever reason? Pull it out, put in one length of floss a day, just during the Olympics. Maybe you'll finish it. How about finishing something into a pillow, an ornament, framing a piece that has been in the fuppie drawer for far too long? That's an honorable challenge. What about those queen stitches, french knots, hardanger, is there a speciality stitch you avoid but would love to conquer, use the Olympic challenge to learn a new technique.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Finally Some Pictures

Here is DS#3's latch hook rug project that he completed in one weekend. The pic on the left is the back of his work and the one on the right is the front. It was made from an inexpensive kit that I purchased for him at the store who shall not be named.

Below you can see a pile of hexes for a grandmothers flower garden afghan. I officially joined the CAL over at Crochetville Forum - powered by vBulletin.(I'm just hoping these pictures publish the way I'm writing the captions, if not you're on your own dear reader to figure out what caption goes with which picture.) This project is a stashbuster so I'm using Red Heart(oh calm down, RH is much less scratchy than the acrylic used in some ponchos I saw and felt at TJ Maxx. Gave me a new appreciation for the minimal scratchiness that one finds with RH.) The green is med. thyme(my background color), the pink is fuchsia, and the purple is amythest. I have a few other colors selected from the stash and will hopefully make progress on this all week. The hexes crochet up really fast. I can do one in about 15 minutes. They're addictive.

Below or to the left(still wondering how these might publish) you will see a partially finished Betty Broomstick. I'm hoping to get her finished in the next couple of days and that will be one more U.F.O. I can check off my list of carry over projects.

I'm now trying to figure out what to work on when Betty is finished. I want to start my By the Bay 13th Colony Bay Parts 1-3 but I need to really focus on Fairy Grandmother, I just don't enjoy that project, but I guess that's not what it's about. It's a gift and I need to work on it, get it finished, and get it to my grandmother. But, right now, if it's work on Fairy Grandmother with no other option, I choose not to stitch, and that makes me feel bad. So I just don't know what I'm going to do. I'm planning on trying to put in one length of floss on Fairy Grandmother every day. That's not that much, and right now I'm working in areas with tons of color changes so I'm not going to see any dramatic progress no matter how long I work on her. I have to suck it up and get her finished.

Do you know how good I'm going to feel when Fairy Grandmother is finished? I plan to have one major chart burning party. Huge bonfire!

Groups of Four

While reading various blogs this meme keeps popping up so I decided to throw in my 4 cents worth.

Four jobs you have had in your life:

1. Hardware store clerk
2. Receptionist/Data Entry Clerk
3. Dental Assistant
4. Phlebotomist

Four movies you would watch over and over again:

1. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
2. A Walk on the Moon
3. Philadelphia Story
4. Practical Magic

Four places you have lived:

1. Memphis, TN
2. Lima, Ohio
3. Little Rock, Arkansas
4. Florida

Four T.V. shows you love to watch:

1. The O.C.
2. Gilmore Girls
3. Mythbusters
4. Poirot

Four places you have been on vacation:

1. Pensacola, FL
2. Toronto
3. Rochester, NY
4. Grand Rapids, MI

Four web-sites I visit daily:

1. GirlReaction
2. Doodle-head.com - Melissa's hobby site
3. Gawker, Manhattan Media News and Gossip
4. pinku

Four of my favorite foods:

1. Chile Colorado
2. Chips and Salsa
3. Combination Pizza from Exlines in Memphis
4. Fried Zucchini

Four places I’d rather be right now:

1. Key West
2. County Clare, Ireland
3. Paris
4. Austrailia

Hoping to get in a little stitching time today. Not sure what I'll work on. I'm kind of itching to get some U.F.O.'s out of the workbasket and into the finished pile. While Betty Broomstick isn't a fabulous project like say Mouline Rouge or And They Sinned or even Fairy Grandmother, she's very close to finished and I noticed in the new NordicNeedle.com catalog that they are carrying Judy O'Dells finishing books so if I get Betty finished I can order the book on how to finish her as a standup. A process I've been agonising over ever since I started her 4+ years ago. That's just way to long to let a little project like this sit unfinished.

I'm also interested in trying to make my own tote bags. That of course requires some machine sewing so I'm probably not going to get too far with that bright idea, but who knows, the need for a rockin' new tote bag might just hit and for what I have in mind I'll have to make it myself. I want to sew one and I want to crochet one. The crochet bag is what's on my mind at the moment, I know the image I want to crochet on the front of the bag, but I want to felt the bag so I'm going to have to make it a lot larger than the finished size. For the cloth bag, I want to cross stitch the same image on that bag, which in the long run even with my fear of the sewing machine, might be faster. I'm toying with options. I'm looking for cool not lame, so usually when I'm seeking cool, I end up with big time lame. I'm not a designer in any way shape or form, but I sure like thinking that I am. I also have to get the DH to draw the image for me.

DS#3 finished a latch hook rug kit this weekend. He took great pleasure in starting and finishing a project in the same weekend when so many of my projects have been in progress for years. If the sun ever comes out I'll take a pic. We're going to make it into a pillow, the sad part is that it looks nicer from the back than the front. I'm not sure if that's due to the fact it's an inexpensive kit or if he just worked it up so fast that all his stitches need to be tightened. I'm hoping with some fluffing the front will look like the same lion cub you can clearly see on the back. I'm really proud of him. He loves arts and crafts and I want to encourage it. I think it's a healthy way to spend free time.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Stitching? What's That?

Boy, I'm going through one of those phases when I don't have time to cross stitch. I hate it when life gets in the way. I am able to crochet but only because I've memorized the pattern and it's an easy one to set aside when I have to get up and do something productive.

I also am disenfranchised(is that a popular word these days or what?) with the current state of my stitching. It's in a bit of a mess. I have what seems like a gazillion projects started, ok, it doesn't seem like it, I have a gazillion projects started because I can't say "no". I'm an easy target. I see a chart, I buy the chart. The chart then calls out to me, "Oh, please buy fabric, you know you have the threads, go on buy that piece of fabric. Go on, do it, it's just a piece a fabric. One little ol' piece of fabric, that doesn't hurt anyone." So I'm weak, I give in, I buy the fabric. Once fabric is purchased there's no good reason not to start the project. I'm SO easy! (Hope the NSA has fun with that google search.)

So now I'm overwhelmed. This happens to me periodically and it usually coincides with a weekend spent wandering around craftster.org. I go into creative overload like you wouldn't believe. I get tons of ideas for designing my own stuff. Why do I do this to myself? I made a list of so many new cool ideas for cross stitch and crochet this weekend, pile those on top of the projects I've already got started, and add to that the 18x44 cut of 32ct Star Sapphire linen I have sitting here waiting on it's first stitches for By the Bay's 13th Colony Bay Parts 1-3, and what do you get? One completely frustrated crafty chick.

The most cross stitch I've managed is putting a few stitches in on L*K's Betty Broomstick.

If the sun manages to peak out through the clouds tomorrow I might have a pic or two to share.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Old Granny?

Over at Stitch Bitch and Lake Stitcher the current topic is the relevance of cross stitch. Apparently there are those that believe that cross stitch has gone the way of the dinosaur. No one does this any more because everyone with any sense of what is hip is knitting or scrapbooking(my take on the whole issue). Apparently those that think cross stitching isn't relevant haven't tried googling cross stitch blogs. My SILs did this very thing recently trying to find my blog and were shocked to discover that there is something like 63,000 cross stitch blogs. They had no idea that anywhere near that many people cross stitched, much less blogged about it. I think they were pretty sure that me and my SIL Becky(she also married into the family) were the only ones in the world who cross stitched. The sad part is that I had no idea Becky still cross stitched until she commented on my blog. Maybe I should talk to family a little more often.

Like Lee, I've pursued other crafty endeavors over the years, but my heart has always belonged to cross stitch. It's just what I do. Yes, I crochet, I quilt(saying I quilt is probably embellishing the truth just a little, I dream about creating quilts. I have a lot planned but have only completed three tops since I took a quilting class 18 years ago-so calling myself a quilter is reaching), I'm trying to learn how to knit(in my defense I did learn to knit as a child), but no matter what I do, how good I might get at that particular thing, I always, always come back to cross stitch. There's always a cross stitch project in the hoop, a hundred more in the planning stages, a long wish list of charts, fabrics, threads, you get the idea.

It makes me wonder why cross stitchers get a bad rap? There are those that will tell you that crochet gets a bad rap because crocheters seem to use cheap acrylic yarn and crochet air freshener cozies like the current commercial for an air freshening product would lead one to believe, and knitters are willing to fork over big bucks for expensive yarn and pricey patterns. I don't agree with this assessment of crochet but that's how it appears to be judged. It doesn't mean that those assessing the hobby have a freaking clue but that's just how it is. I'm a firm believer in the fact that if someone loves a hobby and they buy the supplies that they can afford and it brings them joy, "hobby on!" I say, no matter what it is. So back to cross stitch and why it's got this horrible reputation. Ok, back in the 80s a stitcher's choices were limited. I remember in high school buying most of my charts and supplies at Woolworths, it was my source. The LNS was out of my baby sitting money price range and I envisioned everyone in there would be the superior stitcher that my neighbor was. I was not worthy. Then after getting a driver's license, I discovered another LNS on the other side of Memphis. It was Heaven. It was also expensive, but you have to understand I was comparing the prices of a discount store to a speciality shop, and I was only 17. Apples and oranges. The chart choices were beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I didn't know this world existed. Things that I wished I could paint, I found them in the form of a cross stitch chart. Things that if I had the skill I would draw or paint myself, but now I could spend time creating them on fabric with thread. No more ducks, no more country 80s style cross stitch. There was glamour, there was ART! (Don't get me wrong I believe anything anyone creates is art, I just found things here that were so me. Things I drooled over, something that wasn't a Paula Vaughn and to this day I still love her stuff, there was just a whole new stitching world opened to me, other artists that also designed cross stitch).

So why does cross stitch have this antiquated reputation?

How did it happen? As Lee, Lake Stitcher asks in her comment on Anna's blog,
Stitch Bitch, has cross stitch always been on the fringe? I know for me it was never main stream in my world. Sure I tried to teach all my friends to stitch but they seemed to stitch their one little thing, to shut me up more than anything, and move on to something with instant gratification. Thinking back, my neighbor who taught me to cross stitch and my best friend's mom were the only women I knew that cross stitched. My grandmother handpieced quilts, two of my aunts sewed, my mom didn't have a hobby. I do remember when I was a senior in high school one of the girls in my class stitched a sampler as her project. She put it right out there in front of the whole class. Here I had been doing it in secret, and she thought of it for a project for school. That's it, the three people I knew in the 80s who cross stitched.

A few years later when I married and moved to Ohio, I had a group of stitching friends that I worked with at a local hospital. Yes, they stitched, but not obsessively like I did. I've lost touch with them over the years but I do wonder now if any of them might still be stitching.

So let's try to put cross stitching in the same context as some people like to pigeon hole crocheters. Just to see--is cross stitch not hip because of the whole aida cloth thing? Is it the fact that readily available cross stitch thread is inexpensive? Well let me wake up some of you who don't get the art of cross stitch. It's not about how much your fabric costs or how much you pay for threads. There are people creating stunning pieces of needlework on cheap aida cloth(just like there are people creating beautiful afghans with Red Heart yarn) It's not about what you pay for your supplies it's what you do with them.

Why is cross stitch seen as a granny hobby? Why isn't it seen as something hip? Do the people making these judgement calls ever wander around cross stitch websites? Have they seen some of the fabulous art out there that has been translated to cross stitch? Heaven and Earth Designs(I can't find the link right now) are designing some great charts for stitchers who want to stitch things off the beaten path. There are a plethora of designers working to bring cross stitch out from behind the granny label. People are stitching some amazing things and the crafting world is looking in another direction.

I think I'm a fairly hip chick. My tastes are all over the place, I'm not a granny and honestly I can't begin to think of what a granny might cross stitch that would make it granny cross stitch. Other stitchers reading this blog chime in. What are examples of granny stitching? I don't think I've ever stitched anything that could be called "grannyish". MLI's Amish pieces. Well I think Amish Quilt Sampler might lend itself to contemporary if you read some of the decorating books that emphasize the contemporary beauty of Amish Quilts. My Carriage House Sampling pieces aren't grannyish. I think my Mairmaid's Song is pretty freaking funky hip. There's even some boob action, in a totally artisitc and primitive way, of course.

My Mermaid and the Sea picture - Webshots does that look grannyish? Not a great picture but does anything about this design scream granny? So I don't think there's anything about cross stitch that says this is an old lady hobby with the exception of people who don't have a clue saying that it is. Chances are they've never cross stitched, they are judging it by what they presume it to be. I think the same goes for crochet. I've always thought crochet was funkier and hipper than people tried to make it out to be.

As you can probably tell, I didn't really organize my thoughts before writing this entry, but this is, at it's most basic, a journal entry, so I rarely draft a blog post. This is just right off the top of my head, and I do think the comparison to crochet and cross stitch are valid. They are two forms of creative outlets that seem to get picked on all the time and I'm not really sure why. I mean ok I kind of know why, I get that. I don't live in a cave, but at the same time aren't we all artists? Aren't we expressing ourselves through needle and thread and hook and yarn and/or thread? Why is our chosen artistic endeavor seen as any less valid than scrapbooking or knitting? Why is it perfectly acceptable to insult people who choose to cross stitch or crochet?

If I'm not mistaken wasn't there a piece of embroidery found with a mummy that was like 800 years old? Maybe it was older than that. I do believe there's a cross stitch revolution and it's been around for years and years. It's just that cross stitch is relegated to the back of the store, but then again, when you really think about it, milk, eggs, they are kept in the back of the grocery store because everyone comes in the store for those items. It forces people to walk through the store to purchase those items, and then the shopper will see other things they want or need. If we look at cross stitch being stuck in the back of the store, maybe merchants are hoping that if we cross stitchers have to walk to the back of the store to get what we need we'll be inclined to spend money in other crafty departments as well. That thought is probably a long shot but it's in a lot more positive light than seeing it as a negative. I've given up wishing that the major market crafting stores would stock a larger more varied inventory. They are what they are and fortunately I have more options. If only the major crafting stores would see that their cross stitch customer base beyond the much misguided stereotypes. It seems to have happened with knitting which benefited crocheters, I can't begin to imagine what needs to happen in the cross stitch world to aid the choices of the cross stitcher. Let's just hope it happens before we really are grannies!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Wednesday was a wonderful day. I spent it helping to bring a new baby into the world and it just doesn't get better than that.

My friend asked me to be her doula. She chose to have her baby at a birthing center and she and her husband wanted me there and it was great. I did learn that no matter how well you think you know someone when labor hits you just have no clue how this person will react to it. My friend chose a birthing center and a midwife because she's very anti-doctor and wanted to have as much control over the delivery and her body as the impending birth would allow. It was a family birth and her three older sons were there.

Now that you've got a little of the back story, here's how it played out. Remember that whole "I Love Lucy" episode when Lucy had a Little Ricky and Ricky, Fred and Ethel practiced how things would happen when Lucy said, "It's time"? Well Wednesday morning started out a lot like that. I'm walking out my door and notice that my friend's husband's truck is still in the driveway, then I see her middle son putting something in the van, I holler across the road, "Is your mom ok?" Middle son answers, "She's fine we're going to see Miss Vicky" Miss Vicky is the midwife. So I run across the road, while my two oldest are getting in our car. I see if it really is time, they tell me to go on and take the boys to school and my friend wanted to wait until I got my youngest son on the bus, and this is a crucial bit of info, his bus doesn't arrive until 7:45(file this time away for later). Ok I get back from taking the older boys to school, run in the house to tell my DH what's up, run back across the road and am told we're leaving now. OK, I run back home, grab my bag, forget my camera, I couldn't pack it ahead of time because the whole family uses it, but I forgot it. Anyway, I do remember to grab some caffiene in the form of a coke and triscuits. So I throw my stuff in their van, help my friend to the van, and start timing contractions. They are 45 seconds long, and about 3 mins apart. This is where I should tell you that we live in the boonies and it's a 45 minute drive to the birthing center, and it's the morning rush hour. So about 10 mins into the drive the contractions are two minutes apart and coming oh, a minute or a little bit longer apart. I'm starting to get concerned. We finally get off the highway and are on the expressway, we're going 70. Breathing is no longer helping my friend, trying to talk is not distracting. I was pretty sure we were going to be delivering the baby on the I-10 bridge. So we get closer, the contractions are a minute long, a minute apart. I'm trying to remember why I'm there instead of worrying about delivering a baby in the car on the side of the road and wondering to myself if the car seat is already buckled in or will it be easy to throw up front if necessary. So finally we get to the birthing center, the midwife hasn't arrived yet. The place is locked up, my friend starts getting just a little bit scared because all she had to do was just not have the baby until she arrived at the birthing center and she didn't have a plan B. It's approximately 8:00am.

Well her oldest son pages the midwife who just pulled into the parking lot, we get my friend into the birthing room. The midwife examines her and she's at 6. My friend is saying, "I want to push, I want to push", the midwife is saying "Not yet it's not time". My friend says, "You don't understand I never wanted to push with my other deliveries, I want to push." My friend gets down on the floor, I guess to get more comfortable, she's on all fours, trying to relieve some pressure, trying to brace herself through the contractions. I'm laying on the floor in front of her talking her through each contraction and wave of pain. She keeps saying, "I want to push", finally the midwife says "Push" and there was a head, it's exactly 8:24(now you know why that 7:45 time is important, had we waited one minute later to leave than we did, the baby would have been born on the side of the road). Then there were shoulders, and then there was a baby, and then there was me sobbing because it was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. As soon as she had the baby, she picked him up and put him to her breast. He was nursing only moments after his birth, oh did I mention the baby was a boy? A beautiful, healthy, 8lb 14 oz baby boy. She sat on a birthing chair and started nursing, the umbilical cord was still attached and the placenta hadn't been passed yet. It was awesome for lack of a better choice of words. In a little while it was time to take care of business and pass all that stuff(for lack of a better word) and then my friend moved to the bed, the baby still at her chest, mom and baby skin to skin, the first two hours of this baby's life was exactly where he should have been, next to his mother, his skin touching her's, nursing. No one interfering, no one giving him a bath, no other hands touching him but his mother. It was one of those moments, one of those pure moments in life when there is nothing but good, nothing but pure joy. A moment that stays with a person forever. All of her older boys witnessed the birth and I was wondering how they would handle it and they were in awe and happy to have a little brother. It was such a gift to be a part of this experience. I've witnessed other births but none by a midwife in a homey atmosphere and none were natural. If I ever get pregnant again, I'm seriously considering this alternative because it felt so right, but maybe it felt right because she knew exactly what she wanted.

In less than 6 hours she and the baby and the rest of the family were home. We even stopped by her work so her coworkers could come out to the van and see the baby. How amazing is that?

She is my hero. I thought this would cure me of baby fever, now I want another baby more than ever. This is not a good thing.

Did I mention that I was my pjs because there was no time to change? Yes, I had on pajama bottoms when I took the boys to school. Kids can do it, why can't a 40-something mom do it too?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Weekend in Review

What isn't pictured below are DS#2's Friday night basketball game(they lost by four points) and DH's Saturday night company Christmas party. Don't ask. But the rest of the weekend was spent with simple pleasures.

A little cross stitch, a little crocheting, a lot of Spyro and a lot of coffee.
For some unknown reason I became addicted to Spyro over the weekend. I had the game packed in my bag to take with me when my friend Pam goes into labor. In a moment of insane boredom I pulled it out and couldn't bring myself to put it away until DS#3 decided this was now his favorite game(he hasn't touched this Gameboy in months, and I had to borrow a neighbor's charger cord because I couldn't find ours) and took it over from me since it is technically his Gameboy, my game but his electronic device. Told the DH I needed my own Gameboy DS, preferably in pink so the boys wouldn't take it away from me.
Since I was relieved of Spyro I had two free hands and decided that I'd work on Hester's Needle's Liberty Sampler. This has been a U.F.O. for a very long time. I love this sampler and hope to see it finished sometime this year.
While bored out of my mind I started catching up on all my favorite BBs and ran across a CAL thread for this PatchworkCrochet.com - Grandmother's Flower Garden over at Crochetville Forum - powered by vBulletin. I didn't officially join the CAL but have made a small pile of light fuchsia flowers or rather petals. What attracted me to this pattern is the fact that it's a great take along project. Since you need so many of each color one skein is all you need to throw in your bag and one can make these little petals all night long. The pattern is one that is easy to memorize too, so you don't have to worry about always having the pattern with you. I'm going to crochet mine in light fuchsia, lavendar, orchid, amythest, and med. thyme for the background color. All the yarn is Red Heart and the only color I needed to purchase was the fuchsia. I'll probably do the center of most of the flowers in a gold color and I might add an orange flower or two also. I'm just going to play around with the colors. The ones I've chosen work well with each other, but I figure I'm going to have to add another color here and there just for balance. This will be for the girly end of the living room. Living in a house with four guys I need to infuse a little more girliness into the household every chance I can.

DS#3 came down with a nasty stomach virus yesterday and wanted me near for most of the day so no stitching was accomplished but I did make quite a few of the petals for the afghan. It was easy to crochet those while sitting in bed beside him while he slept because every time I tried to get up to leave he'd wake up and ask where I was going. He seems to be feeling better now and we might take the dog for a walk over at the beach in a little while.

To Kiwi Jo, I feel your pain about washing the luck out of the Redskin's jersey. My DH is the same way. I tend to wash anything that I believe to be dirty. He's taken to hiding his football related clothing so I can't wash the luck out of it before the next game. I'm pretty sure I'm responsible for the Raider's having such a horrible season.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

January Blahs

I guess I really shouldn't write January Blahs. The weather in my part of the world is pretty fabulous right now. One of the warmest winters I remember. Usually this time of year, well from early January to mid-February, we're in pants, long sleeve shirts, socks, heavy coats, you get the picture. We're having great temps right now. Wearing shorts, going barefoot, even went to the beach the other day. The Gulf is stunning right now. It's this time of year when I remember why we moved here in the first place. The bad part is that lots of people are discovering our area for winter vacation homes and I really hate that. While we still normally have 30 degree temps down here this time of year, there's never a chance of snow, it's nice for people used to 40 feet of snow from October to April. I prefer they go a little farther south.

My kids have downloaded a nasty computer virus. No one will own up to anything but I had to run system restore, lost 50 pages of a project I've been working on, lost 1,500 music files, ARRRGGHHHHHHH! Now that I've run system restore it's still not back to normal. I haven't reloaded a lot of stuff back on the computer yet so I may run system restore one more time, and from now on I'll do all my work from the lap top. So annoying. But of course they kids say they didn't do it. Well of course not they are little angels. (insert sarcastic tone of choice)

So on the stitching front, I've worked a little on Moulin Rouge, a little on Sarah Tatum, but after my exhausting spring cleaning frenzy last week, all I've really been able to focus on and enjoy is Lizzie Kate's Betty Broomstick. It's easy, mindless, and a carry over project from 2001. When I finish it it will be the second project from my end of year WIP list to be completed. Since it's been around since 2001, I'd say that's a good thing.

On the knitting front, I've been knitting a garter stitch baby jacket. I've never knitted anything other than scarves or purses(booga bag to be exact) so this is new. I have no idea how to put the thing together. The chart is a freebie from a local craft store. As novice a knitter as I am I found errors in the terminology on the chart. That is not a good thing. But it's going to be cute and will be for my friend Pam's baby. I'm going to be at the birth and I'm so excited about it. Should cure me of my baby fever. I've finished the back and am working on one of the front panels. Any other person would have this finished in one day. Me? I 'm just hoping to have it close to finished before the baby arrives. Which could be any day now as my friend is starting to lose her plug if you know what I mean.

On the crochet front--snowflakes aren't my friend. I'm still trying to finish one stupid snowflake. At this rate I will never achieve doily making competence.

Tonight is movie night around here. I rented The Constant Gardener, Fantastic Four, and The Island. We haven't rented movies in ages so it'll be nice to just hangout and watch movies all night. The Constant Gardener is due back tomorrow but the other two are 5 day rentals. Should keep us entertained.

Friday night is basketball. DS#2 has a game at 8:30. Don't they know that's my bed time? Makes for a long day, especially when half his team doesn't show up. They had to forfeit last week's game. Not sure what will happen tomorrow. I hope he gets to play, but I think they may end up just cancelling out his team's season. There are only three teams in his age group and I think his team was the odds and ends players, people that signed up late and don't really care about it as much as some of the other boys. DS#2 really looks forward to basketball, I hate that this season looks like it's going to be disappointing for him.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

In the Blood

To show that my love of handwork comes quite naturally, I thought I'd share a picture of one of my priceless treasures. This is obviously a shirt. My grandmother embroidered this for me when I was around twelve years old. This means the world to me. Believe it or not there's a little bit of symbolism here. The little house is supposed to be a log cabin and is in honor of my Little House on the Prairie obsession and the fact that Laura Ingalls Wilder has always been one of my heroes. The rainbow represents my being a Rainbow Girl. The flowers on the collar and cuffs are in honor of my grandmother's love for every kind of plant imaginable and the umbrellas are for my love of the rain, wading through mud puddles, and loving nothing better than sitting on the swing in her yard watching storms move in across the sky.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Corners of My Home

Over at SouleMama she's showing pictures of her favorite nooks and crannies of her home. I decided I'd post one of my favorite places in my home.

The pictures above are of a corner of my kitchen. The colors just make me happy.The chicken in the center of the table is the Chicken on Wheels from

Pfaltzgraff.com Pistoulet Dinnerware - 1

When I purchased my Pistoulet dishes, the husband had to have the chicken. Sure the plates were nice but we had to have the "bread stick" chicken. The theory being that we could just roll bread sticks around the table to each other. He's a funky, happy addition to the kitchen table. The bowl holding the oranges is one of the Pistoulet cereal bowls. These bowls make eating a bowl of fruit loops a true fine dining experience.

The orange hutch in the background is about 100 yrs old. Since there is screen on the back across the bottom we think it was originally a pie safe. The area where the cook might have rolled out pie crusts or biscuits must have rotted and not wanting to toss the cabinet, it was repaired by adding a top from one of those old 30s tables with the metal top and pull out metal sides to make the table larger. The reason I know this is because I have one of those metal tables too. My grandmother(my mother's mother) gave me this hutch several years ago when she was moving out of her house and into a nursing home. It was boring white when I first got it. It's got about 15,000 layers of paint on it so I didn't worry too much about preserving the authenticity of the piece. The cross stitch picture to the top left is a piece from a friendship exchange back in 2000, my friend Connie stitched it for me. The wine glasses are painted with palm trees and were a Dollar Store find. The chairs around our table are all different colors and somewhere in my archives I wrote about painting them and recovering the seats. The scarlet macaw hanging over the cabinet doors needs to be framed but I love looking at him so much I hate to hide him away until I find a frame and also get his mate stitched. I attached ribbon to each side with pins and just stretched him across the doors. Every time I see this corner it makes me happy. It's cheerful and bright. A happy place.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy

No I haven't forgotten Snowflake Mondays, I'm just having a hard time with the thread. Thread crochet is very new to me and I've been kind of distracted, so I might just have a Snowflake Saturday instead.

Thanks for the kind comments about my Flip Flop Days Finish. The fabric is JABC Green. It was a fabric of the month selection from my LNS and the chart was free with the purchase of the buttons.

The Great Cleaning Adventure is just about over. All that's left to do is to get all the laundry put away. It's a never ending job, some of it is stuff that the boys have outgrown so I'm washing and storing in the garage, but still you'd think after four days of steady washing and putting away you could see the top of my dining table.

I hope this killer cleaning frenzy will be a lesson for me to stay on track with the house. I think it's going to be fine. Ok there are some dusty baseboards, some spots on the carpet but sheesh, what do they expect on such short notice. We also need to paint but there's no time. We have spackled everything that needs repair.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

First Finish for 2006

Didn't get a lot of stitching in this weekend but managed to finish up a little project from the summer. This project was started in August when I was stuck in the Dallas/Ft Worth airport overnight while on my way to a stitching retreat in Grand Rapids. How did I come to spend the night at the airport? Flying on the cheap. Stand by tickets are only good when you are flying on planes with more than 50 seats. The bottom word is Days. Excuse the wonky button. The design was a freebie with my fabric of the month club from the LNS. Yes, I just realized the bee button is turned wrong.

Everyone goes back to school and work today! Unfortunately I can't spend the day doing what I want, it must be spent decluttering and cleaning for a house inspection. Ick! Got a lot done yesterday, today it's the laundry room and mopping the kitchen floor.