Friday, July 28, 2006

Updates, Get Your Updates Here

First on the list is HOHRH: House #6 is officially under construction. I tried to take a picture of the whole piece but it was a wrinkley mess.

Below you see a red warshrag as warsh rag mania is still going on here at the ranch:

And a pink warsh rag:
And below you can see the beginnings of the work area that the spousal unit is building for me. We need to add a support underneath which will be done tonight, Saturday at the latest. 12ft of Behr Brilliant Ultra White desk all for moi:
This picture is only half the work area. I couldn't get a full shot as the desk is too long. Is it going to be great or what? I think it's a beautiful first attempt at furniture building.

Today will be busy getting the boys haircuts and school ready. The greatest day of the year will be this coming Wednesday. Kids head back to school. It is so time. If I hear "I'm bored" one more time I'll go nuts!

I need to add some more links to my sidebar but I did update music yesterday. I'm enjoying The Wreckers CD. I've listened to it all the way through three times so far and it's pretty good.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Long Time No Post

I think this might be the longest time I've gone without a post. Things have been busy here at the ranch. With any luck I'll have pictures tomorrow of my in progress work area. The spousal unit built me a very cool desk over the weekend but due to the fact that we aren't carpenters or engineers we didn't take a few things into consideration before constructing a massive piece of furniture. As I told him, "I'm just the idea chick."

I hope to have a new progress pic of HOHRH to post tomorrow too.

Other things have been going on but boring and stressful so we'll just leave them to your imagination.

Summer break is coming into the home stretch and it's about time.

We did take the kids to see Pirates of the Caribbean this weekend. Good movie. Long, nothing resolved, but the 2.5 hours flew by. I think that means it was a pretty good movie especially since the youngest son is now watching the first movie over and over.

The spousal unit also gave me a few hours break from the incessant whining of "I'm bored" by taking the boys to see the movie My Super Hero ExGirlfriend or something like that. They all enjoyed it.

We're all looking forward to Talladega Nights.

Just recently I caught The 40 Yr Old Virgin on cable. Why didn't I see this movie sooner? It's great.

The way the world is right now a little silliness is a good thing.

I finished two books this weekend, if I'm stitching, I'm watching the news. If I'm reading the tv is off. So over the weekend I read The Eyre Affair by Jason Fford. Wonderful book, can't wait to track down more in this series. I also read The Diamond King by Patricia Potter. A very nice piece of bodice ripping, pirate escapism. It doesn't get much better than that. Aye!

Monday, July 17, 2006


Here's a much anticipated, I'm sure, HOHRH update: Why Melissa how did you do that? I'm not telling, but corners will now match and that's what it's all about right? Below you can see the boring ariel shot:
Is there any way to photograph large cross stitch pieces in an artsy way? If so I haven't found it but my attempt at the art shot is usually pretty dismal. As witnessed below:
Above you can see an inprogress Ballband Warsh Rag courtesy of Mason Dixon Knitting. The pic is the gratuitous book shot, below you can see some completed Warsh Rags in the gratuitous book cover shot.
To show that these aren't precious knits, here they are serving as a coaster for my morning coffee. It was starting to downpour just as I hit click, so much for an artsy fartsy still life. What you see is what you get.
Deep dark secrets revealed below:

I restarted the top warsh rag several times, every time I set it aside and picked it back up I began knitting backwards. Biggest discovery of the weekend, it might serve me well to pay attention to whether or not I'm on an odd or even row before I put it down and maybe make a mental note regarding right or wrong side. It will be a big help in the future. I finally gave up and let the warsh rag win. I stopped it three rows short of the length is should be. It's ok, it's new job in life is to be a spoon rest for my coffee spoon every morning. Much better than actually touching soapy water and washing icky food off of nasty plates and much prettier than a paper towel.

I thought about taking a picture of my kitchen cotton stash and decided against it. Even though I have a lot, the colors are very limited as most of it has been purchased at the store who shall not be named(the in progress warsh rag should be evidence of how limited my color choices are at the moment). So I want to buy more, you know, broaden my color horizons, the spousal unit now reads my blog so let's just let him imagine how many balls of Peaches & Cream cotton I actually own. The store who shall not be named carries Peaches & Cream but only in a few colors. The majority of which are ombres, which is great, I love the ombres but the solids are very lacking on their shelves, that makes for some boring washrag knitting. On a positive note, you just can't go wrong with $1.27 a ball. For $2.54 you can easily knit two dish cloths prettier than anything you could buy and you've enjoyed some quiet, crafty time. The in progress warsh rag is being worked with Peaches & Cream light rose and darn it I can't find the ball band, but it's a pink varigated. The ones I've already knit are in Sugar & Cream Hot Pink and Play Time, Sugar & Cream Hot Pink and Peaches & Cream Lt Rose, and Sugar & Cream Hot Green and Splish Splash.

We watched no movies this weekend, how boring are we? We haven't even taken the kids to see the new Pirates of the Carribean movie yet. Just too many things going on at the moment. Next weekend should be a good movie weekend. Right now An Inconvenient Truth is showing at one of local theaters. I want to see it but the spousal unit says I'm the only one that wants to see it so chances are it won't be here next weekend. Funny, NOT. I also want to see Pirates of the Carribean and the Devil Wears Prada, and The Prairie Home Companion was showing at the independent movie theater but they don't keep those movies there very long. The chance of getting to see it has probably already passed.

This week will be spent cleaning out junk in the living room so we can paint this weekend. I think it will brighten up the room and just make it a much nicer place to hang out. Current paint choice is Kilz One Coat in Golden Margarita. So far we agree on it. I still have paint chips tacked up on the wall so we could change our minds when it comes time to actually buy the paint.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I had planned to "wow" you all with pics of my Mason Dixon Knitting Warsh Rags. Why can't I wow you? Well DS#2 likes to video himself for his My Space(he is so the kid in the You Tube video taping himself for his My Space page):

YouTube - My Space Movie

So I have no batteries in my camera. This is the story of my life. I buy batteries but when I need the camera they are as dead as dead can be.

Since I can't, at the moment, wow you with my own Mason Dixon Knitting let me hook you up with the Mason Dixon KAL. If you scroll down approximately four posts, give or take, you will see someone else's Warsh Rags. I'm on my fourth one. The first two I gave to my friend, I'm on my second one for moi. These are addictive and pretty much what my soul has needed the last few days. I've been restless and unfocused.

I'm trying to design a creative space in the house for myself. It's not easy when there are five people in a three bedroom house. Every inch of space is occupied by some thing or someone. I'm toying with the idea of creating my space in the very public living room. The garage is too hot, although they, whoever "they" are, are saying that Air Conditioning Can Make You Fat so I might be better served making my creative space the garage. No, not going to happen. So what am I left with? Creative space in my own bedroom? As much as I enjoy being alone, being hidden away in a cave isn't creatively stimulating for me. Creative space in the kitchen? Well even though we rarely eat at the table, that icebox with the tv in the door at Best Buy looks really good to all of us, the kitchen is another no man's land and even when I'm home alone I don't want to be hidden back there. So I'm left with using very available space in the main living area. Seriously no one else uses the living room except to watch tv so why can't my creative work space be designed for this area of the house? Is it possible to make a creative space that is pleasing to the eye, clutter free when not in use, and at home in main area of the house? I think with the right shelves and desk it can work. As it is, the fold out table in front of the living room window(pretending to be a desk) is piled with DS#3's latch hook project(that happened to get Koolaid dumped all over it so it's really just waiting to be tossed, I hate to throw it out, seems like some of it could be salvaged but truthfully not as far as I can tell and it's been a couple of months since the great Koolaid Disaster of '06 occurred. Time to let it go.), several photo boxes full of various cross stitch WIP, in front of the table there are two Rubbermaid buckets full of cross stitch stuff and underneath the table is a Rubbermaid bucket with all my family photos and my "rarely sees the light of day" scrapbooking storage cart. Next to that is my 1940s Singer sewing machine that needs some kind of electrical maintenance because every time we try to see if it will work(plugging it into the wall) we blow all the circuits in the house and smell smoke(we've determined that's not a good thing), on top of that stand is my pretty much useless modern day sewing machine and a pile of various electronic necessities, mostly iPods but also a Gameboy always charged and ready for a game of Spyro or Castlevania, oh and the Amish rocker piled with magazines, my grab and go tote, some yarn, some thread(DMC) and a couple of baggies of WIP. Yes it's as hideous as it sounds so seriously with the right furniture, some shelves and learning to put things away(or making a place for everything), maybe I could have a nice work space in the living room. Of course all this creative space creating will entail a major clean out of stuff and reorganizing my crafty storage space in my bedroom and probably cleaning the garage to make space in there if I'm actually to be able to find my stuff once it's put in there. Yes, I'm fortunate to have a husband that really doesn't care about the house, he just gets mad when I freak out when company shows up. Did I mention the four paint chips we have tacked up on the wall until we quit arguing over what color we want the living room to be? I'm all for Kilz Golden Margarita. I do worry that on a bad day I might resort to licking the wall in the hopes of getting a mellow margarita buzz going.

The construction on my version of HOHRH has stopped for a little while. I'm in the middle of a "fear of finishing" attack and have had to step away from the project to get some perspective. Oh, who am I trying to fool, I've actually got a honkin' big case of startitis and want to start some new projects and am trying to have some discipline so I'm taking a few days off from stitching so I will appreciate it a little more when I pick it up again. Hence warsh rag mania.

In all seriousness I feel bad for those projects that make us weary. It's not their fault. They don't mean to be so big, they don't mean to cause us pain(even though that pain is caused more often than not by human error), I'm reasonably certain that any project would rather be on a wall being adored than crunched up in someone's hand, stretched in a hoop or Q-snap, so as we become tired of them, resentful of them, they probably feel a little bit of that. No I'm not off my medication, I've just been spending some time with my WIP and wondering why they have been lingering for so long. They deserve better. They feed my soul, I should do something for them, like work on them occaisionally. One long ignored project is Designworks Cowboy Boots. I had forgotten about it and saw it in the new Stitchery catalog, seeing it made my fingers itch to pull this out and work on it for a while. It's colorful, happy, and I love me some cowboy boots. Good Huswife's With My Needle has been nagging at me from the workbasket too. It captured my fancy a couple of years ago. I got the chart, just a few weeks before it went out OOP, how lucky was that? Anyway, I put a few stitches in and then moved on to something else. Just that fast.

I do plan to pull out Quaker Garden and put a few stitches in it, maybe as soon as tonight. I need to harness some energy and get my focus back. Starting VOHRH is not going to happen for a couple of weeks, maybe a month. I'm saving for the NPI silks, it's a luxury to even contemplate using them, but I'd love to give them a spin and this project seems like the place to start.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

No Pictures

Yes, we all know that blog posts are more entertaining with pics but I don't have any at the moment. Who really wants to see an almost stitched Block #7 on HOHRH? I've tried to come up with some interesting way to display it but you know cross stitch just doesn't pose well. It's happy doing the "mannequin" shot and being done with it.

On the gardening front I've discovered that I really should have kept an accurate journal so that I can learn from my mistakes. So one purchase this weekend will be a notebook dedicated to the whole gardening experience. Maybe one day the boys will find it and be inspired or maybe they'll just toss it out who knows? I've had relatively good success with my tomatoes but the size of the individual tomato is small and I blame that on container gardening. I'm going to go the Square Foot Gardening route next time. I hope to get some boxes built in the next week or so and create some raised beds. My friend who started her garden along with me is struggling like I am. Since her garden is in the ground she's had a little more success and after determining that raised beds was the way to go and building a few boxes, her garden is going like gangbusters now. She has pulled up a few things and roped off the square foot sections and is going to try again in one of her beds. Since we're in North West Florida we have an extended growing season so a late garden is possible. Well unless a hurricane wipes it out.

In the department known around here as Crafty Endeavors, as I mentioned yesterday I'm on overload. There are so many, many things I want to do and have overwhelmed myself. My organizational skills beyond suck so chaos surrounds me. I'm on a mission to get my house in order, you know be company ready all the time. Not because I'm big on the whole clean thing but because I'm tired of all the piles of this and that and most of it is mine. Between all the WIP, the yarn, the magazines, the books, and that's just all the craft related books, the living room is a mess and continues to be a mess. I can't paint or do anything to make the living room nicer until I get the crafty stuff under control. I have tons of binders in the garage so organizing the magazine stash isn't that big of a deal, although those plastic magazine holders for binders get kind of pricey when you need, oh, 10 packs or so at $3 a pack. I'm not sure that would even begin to wrangle the magazine stash and no, I'm not tossing them out. At least not the quilting mags and most of the cross stitch mags. You just never know. A long time ago, when we had our first experience with a basement when we lived in Ohio, my whole JCS collection was stored in a copy paper box on the floor of the basement. It flooded I lost all my JCS magazines. The CS&CC survived, well a good bit of them, only because they were printed on a better grade of paper. I also lost all my Leisure Arts the Magazines and For the Love of Cross Stitch, so no, I have an unusual attachment to the magazines I've collected over the years. Eventually I might be able to toss out some I know I'll never stitch from but for the time being I'm holding on if only for the inspiration value. I've been trying to come up with my own homemade magazine binder holders and well I think I'll just buy a few packages a week and go from there. Should I mention that I already have 4 binders full of magazines on a shelf in the garage?

I have plans to make some covers for a couch in the far end of the living room. Should really spruce it up as it's one ugly couch. Even with my minimal sewing skills I think I can snazz it up quite a bit. I found some great fabric on clearance at JoAnn's a few weeks ago but there wasn't enough to cover one cushion much less the whole couch. I think I might end up mixing a couple of different fabrics but anything will be better than how it looks right now.

I have so many designs I want to stitch and unfortunately I'm the slowest stitcher on the face of the earth and I should really quit whining about it but it's a fact. You see I have this pile of WIP, I have this stack of charts, I already know where I'm going to hang most of the stuff, it's just not anywhere near "hang me on the wall ready" yet. Most are still in the "I dream of starting this one day" phase. I also have the "I couldn't wait to start this so I'm going to put in a couple of stitches even if I don't touch it again for years months" project pile. Can they even be considered WIP? They are more like projects with oh, 10 stitches in them total. Technically not even a WIP since the whole "in progress" thing isn't really happening.

Then there's the quilting, the knitting, the crocheting oh and my obsession with learning embroidery. I don't have time for all this stuff. Whine, whine, whine, yes, but I do love to dream about it all. In fact I day dream so much that I'm always shocked when I walk in the bedroom and the handmade quilt I've pictured a 100 times or more in my mind isn't already on the bed. Am I the only one that does this?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Brain Overload

You know you have too much on your stitching plate when you avoid stitching to work Sodoku puzzles.

I get all these ideas about what I will finish and when and then when my expectations aren't met, I want to work on something else because it all seems so hopeless. The finishing of the focus project that is. I've been working away on House #7 on HOHRH and it's still not finished. It's the neverending block. I'm filling in the last house and then have the flowers in the top left corner of the block, and the ecru along the bottom. Not really a lot of stitching but if I look at it any more I'll hurl. Since the finishing of this blocks seems like it will never happen, cleaning almost sounds good. At least with enough Soft Scrub and good sponge my bath tub will eventually be clean. I don't know if House #7 will ever be completed. The more I stitch the more there is to stitch. How does that happen on some projects? You're cruising right along, feeling cocky. "I'm going to finish this project in the next week, oh yes I am." Then all of a sudden no matter what you do, no matter how long you sit and stitch, there doesn't appear to be any progress. I expect this on Fairy Grandmother, so many color changes in tiny areas, but not with HOHRH. It's pretty straightforward.

Added to the confusion of the whole no progress thing, I've been itching to sew. Sew? I hate sewing. But my friend told me my hatred of sewing was my machine's fault not my lack of skills. My sewing machine apparently is a piece of junk that probably never worked right but since I'm such a dork I assumed the machine was good, I was just doing it wrong. So now I want to sew but can't until I buy a new machine and I can't buy a new machine until that money tree blooms in the backyard. Sears had a mini machine on sale a few weeks ago, it might be a possibility, but looks like the layaway at the store who shall not be named will be my best bet especially with the major purchase of new school clothes x 2 hitting me in the face this month. The one positive is that with the purchase of school clothes it means the start of school is right around the corner. Sweet.

I also pulled out Debbie Stoller's Happy Hooker book and started obsessing over various crochet projects I'd love to start.

Not to mention several quilts I want to make. Some pieced, some with embroidered blocks. Yes, I'm still obsessing over embroidery.

There's not enough time in the day for every thing I want to do.

Monday, July 03, 2006

You Know You Need A Life When

You dream about your stitching. Yes, stitching has invaded dreamland. I'm not sure what this dream was about other than my friend Siobhan and I were talking about stitching and Alma of Blackbird Designs was there. I can't figure out where Alma fit in the dream but there ya go.

Karen-I've been thinking about what you wrote as a solution to my error on HOHRH and what I think I'm going to do is finish stitching the piece and then see if frogging that bottom row will be easy. I know I started at one corner and worked my way up, but it's possible I worked my way down on the other side, which would mean more frogging than I want to do but you're right, frogging that bottom row wouldn't really throw the design off at all only someone that knows the pattern would notice the error. Like anyone examines any of my stitching that closely anyway.

We had semi-unexpected company this weekend(my brother said they might stop by on their way home from Rodent World and they did) so I didn't get any stitching in on Saturday and yesterday was hit or miss which means Block #7 isn't finished yet. Hopefully by Tuesday it will be finished. See why I never set goals? I never seem to meet them.

I watched Failure to Launch this weekend. What a funny movie. There were parts that made me cringe because they were just stupid, but then I told myself, "Self get over yourself, this is stupid but funny stupid!" So I did and I think it's a pretty good summer movie to pop in over and over and stitch to. I also watched Casanova, enjoyed it. Will definitely be added to the stitching DVD rotation.

On top of my obsession with finishing HOHRH, I discovered this:
Counterfeit Crochet Project through pinku's blog and wow! Now I have this itch to crochet some counterfeit bags. People are so creative! Here's a link to the blog where you you can find more pics if you check out her archives:
anti-factory .

Now getting back to cross stitch, I'm so close to having HOHRH finished, 2 1/4 blocks away from completion is a good estimate, but now I'm wanting to start something new. I want to start CHS Haunting Mermaid. I've had this kitted up since last year and never started it because I couldn't decide if I'd do the beaded swags above her head or just stitch the border. The beaded swags look cool and it would definitely make the piece stand out but I was undecided about what I wanted to do so I never started it and now she's "haunting" me so to speak. I've been thinking about this project for the last week and it's making me nuts! I refuse to set HOHRH aside this close to being finished but I'm such a project ho I may break down and put a few stitches in her every day, I mean what harm can one length of floss a day on a new project do? Who does that hurt? It's a CHS design too so it's all in the family right?

It's the first of the month, well the third, close enough. Here's a list of things I'd like to accomplish in July. Not goals just muses:

1)Finish HOHRH
2)Work on a TW project every Monday if only for an hour.
3)Work on BBD Sunflower House
4)Start Haunting Mermaid
5)Start Village of Hawk Run Hollow(this is a maybe--need to gather supplies)
6)Kit up several projects so they are ready to go when I finish a few things.
7)Finish a crocheted afghan I have thisclose to finished for my mother so I can once again be on the good daughter list.

None crafty related things:
1)Spackle the walls and paint living room, bathrooms, hallway and my bedroom.
2)Get rid of clutter so someone can come in and clean the carpet in the living room and hallway.
3)Figure out a way to hang things on the wall so that they are pleasing to the eye and not just a jumble of cross stitch stuff.
4)Get some pictures of the boys framed and on the wall
5)Try very hard to keep the house company ready--quit being a lazy slug and do it!