Thursday, August 31, 2006

Random Thursday

Let's start this post of with a recap of last night's Project Runway.

First of all I'm glad Angela(Jubilee Jumbles) is auf'd. It's about time. Just because one doesn't "jet set" it doesn't mean one is clueless about comfortable and chic travel clothes. The fleurchon butt presentation was a hoot. What was she thinking? Definitely a "Glamour Don't". I can say this because I am always a "Glamour Don't" myself.

Kayne was dangerously close to being auf'd and that would have broke my heart. I adore him. Yes, he's over the top, but that's part of his charm.

Jeffrey should not have won. His jetsetter ensemble was him, but was it new, fresh? It was current. I believe NinaGarcia said it was "Now" so if it's now it's not fashion forward or new. Yes, I could see Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx, Sebastian Bach(anyone else love him on the Gilmore Girls?) wearing this outfit but they are all a little stuck back in the 80s. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Nikki Sixx. But isn't it all about new ideas?

Laura's dress was fabulous, so her, and she did venture out of her comfort zone, not far but she still tried something a little different. Did anyone notice in the interview sections that in some of them she looked like she wasn't wearing lipstick? Granted our tv is missing red, blue and green at the moment but even with the limited color palette I can usually tell Laura is wearing that blood red lipstick. It appeared that Laura was not as made up as usual. I was afraid that it might mean she was out. No way, I kept telling myself, her dress was too good to get her auf'd. (Vincent flash back right after I typed that, YIKES!)

Uli looked upset(mad) when the judges called her on her gown being the same thing she designs over and over. I didn't like that they did that because she was designing for herself. I expected more of the same. I love Uli's stuff and would love to own some of her dresses. I always liked those long gowns, what did we call them back in the 70s maxi length skirts? Uli wears them as comfortably as she would a short cocktail dress or her jeans. Uli is my favorite, I hope to see her in the final three.

Micheal's was very P Diddy(I know not an original description, everyone has said that about his design, but face he's more P Diddy than Jay-Z). He looked like he was ready for a weekend in the Hamptons. I didn't get the strappy things on the pants but it looked good on him and he took Tim's advice and immediately changed his ensemble. Loved him showing Kayne how to work the Runway.

Vincent=boring. I own that outfit. I did enjoy watching him trace his pants to create a pattern, working in his boxers. Wonder if that was payback for Laura's almost nipple action a week or so before?

My prediction for the final three Micheal, Uli and Laura. Yes Laura is boring and predictable but her stuff is gorgeous. If not Laura, Kayne, for entertainment value alone.

At first I thought it was cruel to toss Angela out in Paris but I read on Bravo or heard in Tim's podcast that she was able to spend the night in Paris and catch some of the sights without the stress of the competition. Very cool. Flying first class, even cooler! I loved how excited Tim was over the TV screen or remote on the plane. Over at Bravo they have lots of footage you don't see on the show. I enjoyed that more than the show.

Already counting down the hours until next week's episode.

Stitching Odds and Ends

I'm so uninspired with my stitching these days. I'm not sure what it is. Pulling out all the old WIP/UFOs has really opened my eyes to how distracted I become with projects. I remember back in the old days(when my mom bought my stitching supplies at Woolworth's) I was a one at a time girl. I don't recall when the whole chart collecting thing started. I think it was with Paula Vaughn charts or maybe Prairie Schooler charts or possibly TW. Sometime around 1987 I started buying charts just because I could. I had no intention of stitching them at that moment, just buying them and putting them up for a later date. My stash of stitching stuff is small compared to some people's. I tend to buy charts more than anything. I only purchase fabric and threads-unless it's DMC-when I'm close to starting a project. I also kit things up slowly, if a chart calls for overdyes it doesn't bother me to buy a few here and there and not start stitching it for a few months. That's easy to do when one has 11,000 WIPs. There is never a rush to start anything. There's a "want" to start stuff but never a need.

I want to say that I'm not going to start anything new until a few things are finished but I can't say that. I have a few things just begging to be started. If I can get Quaker Garden finished this weekend I plan to start CHS Haunting Mermaid.

Oh and I forgot to mention my in progress Mouline Rouge by Long Dog in my list of UFOs the other day, I can't remember if I added Good Huswife's With My Needle either.


I kind of slowed down on my warsh rags, I have one close to finished but haven't touched my knitting in a week or so.

I want to start working on my Alien Illusion scarf again, but am concerned I'll start knitting on the wrong side. I'm afraid to touch it until I'm 100% focused on it or I'll end up ripping out everything I've done so far. I've ripped this scarf out too many times to start it over again. Why would I have to start the whole thing over? Because I can't frog my knitting. When one doesn't know what they are doing and are a poser, it shows when a mistake is made and the only way to fix it is to unravel the whole darn thing.

I started crocheting an afghan for my mom months and months ago. I'm a terrible daughter and haven't done much of anything for her over the last couple of years. She bought a new house, new furniture so I crocheted all these blocks for an afghan, I freaked out trying to put it together, it's made with Lion Brand Homespun and for some reason I couldn't figure out how to connect all the blocks. This is not my first afghan by any means, I just had some kind of bizarre brain fart where I couldn't figure it out. Talking to my friend about it a few weeks ago, it hit me, I knew how to do it, I was just making it difficult. Connecting blocks with the Homespun is the same thing as connecting blocks with your basic acrylic. What threw me was that the blocks are connected along the bottom, bottom to top, then the long strips of blocks are connected to a long double crocheted panel on the side. There are two strips of blocks, three of the double crocheted panels. I kept telling myself that the blocks wouldn't hold together, well duh, to me, I connect the blocks, bottom to top, then to the sides, it'll be perfectly secure once connected to the solid strip. I don't know why I was so blocked on this other than maybe I wanted to work on other things and not that afghan. Which is entirely possible.

Quilting and Sewing

I have several quilts planned in my head. That's about as far as they ever get. The same quilts I've mentioned here in the past. At least I'm consistent in my planning. I love planning quilts but the execution is usually years in the making. For example DS#1's Ohio Star Quilt(he was born in Ohio) has been floating around my brain for 15 yrs or so. I just can't find a color combination I like. He likes green. Greens are not my strong point. I've found it tricky to find colors that work well with the bright horrendous green he likes. I want to do each of the boys "Story of Their Lives" quilts. I think it's such a cool way to tell their stories. I plan the heck out of those quilts but never actually get around to making them. The other two boys were born in Arkansas and I don't want to make two of the same quilts so one would get an Arkansas Trouble quilt(I'll use the Kansas Trouble block and just call it Arkansas Trouble) and I found a quilt in an old, old issue of Quilters Newsletter Magazine called Jack's Circles or something like that but it's a tedious pattern, very cool, the circles are created with mini ninepatch blocks, I need to find that pattern again. I set it aside when I determined it would have to be pieced using a machine. I prefer handpiecing. So daydreaming about quilts is something I do a lot of, it just never gets much beyond that. But it's fun.

I have a purse pattern here, fabric, and I want to use my skull girl cross stitch as the outside pocket, my sewing machine doesn't want to cooperate so I'm kind of scared to try to sew a purse on a machine that stitches inconsistently, my luck the bottom would fall out or the sides come unsewn and my whole world would be on the floor. My friend who can fix anything borrowed my machine when her's broke, my machine frustrated her so much she went and bought a new machine for herself. I took that to mean my machine is a piece of junk.

Many, many projects running all around my brain these days. No wonder I can't sleep.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Updating Quaker Garden

As you can see, I've made some progress on Quaker Garden. Tried my best to make this a finished project pic but that didn't happen. I'm not sure how the colors show up on other monitors, the laptop I'm on is kind of blurry, so if you notice a discrepancy between the color on the motifs on each side(WDW Caper) and the wreath, the leaves across the top and the checkerboard at the bottom left, it's DMC 935. I was running very low on the Caper and there is no trip to the LNS in my near future, like this weekend, and I really wanted to get this done ASAP. What I've discovered is I like the look of the DMC better than the WDW. Now I'm starting to question all these pieces I've been waiting to start until I can buy the overdyes and am going to do a floss toss of DMC. I love the look of the overdyes, in many cases it adds a lot of interest to the piece, but I hate being a slave to those threads. Lots of stitchers substitute fibers successfully and I'm going to try to be a little more adventurous--my colorblindness makes subbing fibers a true adventure. I see color but have a lot of trouble seeing subtle shading. Browns and greens trip me up every time.

So tonight is a new Project Runway. As much tv as I tend to watch, I'm a news junkie, I'm not a tv schedule kind of girl, I'm a geek channel chick. TV on DVD has been a great thing for me because I miss all these shows during their first run and now I can rent them at the video store, it's like a whole new world of tv viewing for me. So this "we can't do anything on Wednesday night period" is a new thing for me. The obsession I have for this show is scary. I know my family is afraid, they are pretty sure I've lost my mind. They don't get the drama of this show or the creativity.

Carol-we started the M.O.P. a.ka. Sea Hag SAL in 1998? WOW! I think the last time I touched this one was 1998. When I showed it to my niece I wasn't working on it, it was just in a pile of stitching stuff. Do you know that at one time I was toying with the idea of stitching several of those mermaids on the same piece of fabric? I was thinking it would look great above my bed. So according to the Sea Hag's track record it would take me at least 32 years to get all four mermaids completed and that's only if I finish the Sea Hag this year. Fat chance!

Carol could you email me the link to your blog? All my favorite places disappeared.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Coming Soon!

A progress pic of BBD Quaker Garden. It has been the project of choice lately but not this weekend. I didn't cross one stitch over the weekend. Oh I had tons of tv time but just didn't want to stitch. I watched all of Season 1 of Project Runway on Saturday while the spousal unit was at his fantasy football draft. Yes, I watched the whole first season of Project Runway in one sitting. Yes, I'm insane and I didn't do any form of needlework the whole time. I was a vegetable. It was kind of nice. There were moments when stitching seemed like a good idea but for some reason it was just too much work. So I chilled to Project Runway. What a great way to spend 14 hours or so.

Some stitching friends, well one, Sharon, and I have been discussing UFOs. I have tons. Sharon put a list of a few of her's on her blog today and plans to update it with more later on.

I have too many to list, it's really embarassing. But I will list a few, at least the ones I still love:

Good Huswife's With My Needle

Design Connections Cowboy Boots-it's on aida but I don't care, I love this design

Stitchworld Dragon Isle-this is for DS#2. It's thisclose to being finished, I just need to get in the mood to work on it. It's on 14ct black aida and I'm avoiding fractional stitches. ICK

Mirabilia Lady of the Flag-I started this not long after the chart came out, broke my wrist, the fabric got inked by an unknown child or maybe one of my own, but I still love it ink spots and all. The bottom half of the chart is close to finished, I'm working on the banner at the bottom. Starting over due to fabric disasters isn't an option for me, unless I cut the fabric wrong, anything else I try to make it work because fabric ain't cheap. It's also a part of that piece's history.

Mirabilia-Mermaid of the Pearls, my niece Megan asked for this piece when it's finished. I told it was her's. I'm past the halfway mark, but I made a mistake in the fin and hate frogging braid. I need to be in the right frame of mind to start working on this piece again. She asked for this piece back in 2001. I started it in 2000 maybe 1999? YIKES!

Examplar Dames And They Sinned-OYE! I started this on 36ct dirty linen. I'm really not happy with the fabric choice, I thought it was a good choice but I think I should have went a little lighter, or broke down and ordered the Elegant Bean linen from Elegant Stitch but no, I decide to use what I have. Don't get me wrong the colors look nice on this fabric, it's very close to the java green that Quaker Garden is stitched on, it's just kind of dark. I don't particularly like dark fabrics. I also think I'll feel better about ATS when I get it in a hoop or smaller Qsnaps. I loathe the scroll frame. I keep thinking I'm going to break down and order a Grip-it Legend floor stand but $100+(Nordic Needle prices) is a lot of money and I don't think it will make me enjoy the stitching any more, but I could be wrong, it might be exactly what I need. I've just used a hoop for years and it's most comfortable for me, but I find with samplers where things need to match up the large Qsnaps and scroll frames tend to keep things lined up because I can see what I'm doing.

Indigo Rose Desiderata I started this in a hoop, I stitched on a slant. Yes, my backstitched verse was down hill. So I frogged and plan to restart it, this piece is one of the reasons I started tossing around the idea of a floor stand. It would keep that down hill stitching to a minimum because I can see the whole section I am working on.

Hester's Needle Liberty Sampler-started this because I have a thing for ships. Arrgghhh!

Teresa Wentzler Tradewinds and Fantasy Triptyche--very slow going, I'm hit or miss with my TW Mondays. I hope to do better now that the boys are back in school, but sometimes working on either one of these is a chore because of all the blended threads and as organized as I am it's still very slow going.

MLI Fairy Grandmother-my albatross

Samsarah-I'll Always Be A Wildflower-this is my to go project

Carriage House Samplings Houses of Hawk Run Hollow-just on hold for the moment, I wanted to have this finished by the end of the month which means as soon as I say that's something doable, I don't touch it for weeks at a time. I need to not "say things outloud" or write them down in a public forum and maybe I won't lose my interest in the project.

By the Bay-13th Colony Bay Parts 1-3. It's seen a lot of action the last week or two but I made a mistake and the spell was broken. I should have frogged during Project Runway but it was just too much work, the act of picking it up, sitting upright on the couch, and then frogging. I told you I was a lazy chick this weekend.

Midsummer Night Designs Monkey Sampler-recently started.

These are all the ones I can think of right off the top of my head. I know there are more but this should be enough, wow!

Wonder how many of these I might actually finish before the end of the year?Now that I've typed that, chances are I won't finish any of them and will start a whole new batch of projects long before Guilt Free January.

I need to pull out my Halloween Quilt and get borders on it. My sewing machine doesn't want to cooperate, the tension is all messed up and my friend said it probably came from the factory that way but since I'm uncomfortable with the machine to begin with I would blame it on myself which I did. I've only had it six years, wonder if the store would take it back? I'm kicking myself because Sears had some Kenmore sewing machines for $70 a few months ago and I never got one. My friend grabbed one and it's a great machine. Compact but she's sewed many layers of fabric on it with no problems.

It's not like I don't have plenty to keep me busy.

A few minutes ago on Tucker, a representative from the Farmer's Almanac was a guest and he said we're in for a cold, cold winter. I guess I need to start working on my Alien Illusion scarf again. Since I don't own a coat it might keep me somewhat warm.

Oh for your viewing pleasure check out my friend Siobhan's 2006 stitching album. The bottom of page one and page two show all her newly framed and pillowed stitching. It's just beautiful. The Victorine Bonne_____ can't remember the name, is now at the top of my list for new starts. I love it and will more than likely stitch it using GAST Cherry Wine. The link to her webshots is in my sidebar.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Quaker Garden Update

The colors in this piece are beautiful. The designers of Blackbird Designs are quickly becoming a favorite of mine. In case you all didn't know there's an article about Alma Allen and Barb Adams in the October 2006 American Patchwork & Quilting. I may borrow their idea of inspirational clipboards to hang above my desk instead of doing the decorative bulletin board I've been planning. I think they might add a little more interest to the wall, it seems everyone has decorative French style message boards or the painted cork bulletin boards. Just something a little different.

Project Runway

So last night's Project Runway was interesting. Maybe I'm a mean person but I don't believe Jeffrey was being unreasonable with Angela's mom. I don't care what the Bravo poll says. I felt that the moms and sisters were there and should have allowed the designers a free hand. Should Jeffrey send her down the runway in a Madonnaesque dress, no, and he wasn't going to, but she(Angela's mom) tried to sabotage him every step of the way. I'm sorry he made her cry, but she should have been a little more generous stepping out of her comfort zone. Jeffrey was right in that maybe someone saw something in her that wearing a color she didn't normally wear might bring out. I thought she was very uncooperative. The show wasn't about her. It was about a designer, seeing a vision and creating a look for her*. Yes, they were supposed to work together and most of the designers did work well with their partners. I guess if it was me, I'd expect from the beginning to be humiliated in whatever was designed for me, so that really wouldn't be an issue or I wouldn't do the show in the first place. But then again I have meltdowns in Target when I go in search of new clothes and nothing fits.

*Jeffrey's dress for Angela's mom was horrible. He shouldn't have called her a bitch either. I just felt if Angela's mom was a little more cooperative, she and Jeffrey might have been a little happier with the final garment and Jeffrey might have designed something with a little more heart.

I thought Kayne's mom was great and Uli should have won. I know that Vincent's last two designs have been failures and he did do a nice dress for Uli's mom but Uli nailed it. She really deserved to win.

Yesterday we found out that the owners of the next door neighbor's house are going to sell. They want $220,000 for the house. It's a great house(not a $220,000 house, though), unfortunately I live in an area where housing is overpriced by 44%. We're hoping they can't sell it and will have to come down a good bit, then we might be able to try to buy it. Right now if it were to sell for $220,000 the owners will be making a 100% profit! Our neighbors are just broken hearted. We're a pretty tight little neighborhood, all the kids get along and are best friends. They already have a new place lined up(yes, just that fast) but still, we like them, we all get along, that's saying a lot since I don't really care for neighbors, I'd rather be many miles from the nearest neighbor so if I have to have neighbors the two on either side of us are just about the best anyone could want. Back to the house, it's 4 bedroom, screened in porch and a pool. Yeah, I could live out my days there and that's saying a lot for me because I'm usually the one ready to move at a moment's notice. If I'm here forever that's not a bad house to be stuck in for years and years. Is it my dream house, no, but I could make it work. Unfortunately we didn't win the lotto last night and a money tree didn't sprout up in the yard last night. There are three other houses on our street for sale at the moment, all over-priced and all have been on the market for most of the summer, people refuse to come down off the price of their homes, one family was asking too much but they purchased during the pricing peak and are just trying to get what they paid for it since they only lived there 9 months. People just aren't going to pay $225,000 for a house that's worth $120,000 at the most, at least people that have lived here for any length of time. If you're going to pay that much for a house you can have a new one built for a just a little bit more in a much nicer neighborhood than ours. I don't begrudge anyone a decent profit but last year, your basic three bedroom ranch that went for $80,000-107,000 a mere 5 years ago were selling easily for $200,000+. So then everyone started trying to sell their homes and make a fast profit, not to mention all the brand new neighborhoods springing up in what were once empty fields, so the market was flooded and now no one is selling their homes because "so and so up the street got $250,000 six months ago and my house is better than his so I'm not taking a penny less". What people are discovering is that with 6,600+ houses on the market in our area right this minute, buyers have options now, that might not have been around 6 months ago.

To add to my neighbor's stress, the owner just showed up, "we're in town, want to sell the house, we'll be over with a realtor in a few minutes." They didn't even call the property manager to tell her what was going on. Oh yes, things were rocking in the 'hood yesterday. Fortunately my neighbor keeps an immaculate house, IMMACULATE. She has five kids, and no clutter. How do people do that? I'd need my 24 hour notice as stated in my lease and then some. Just this morning I filled up a Hefty bag with paper stuff. Back to school=tons of paper coming into the house every day. EVERYDAY.

Pictures of my in-progress Quaker Garden as soon as things dry up outside. Rained most of the wee hours of the morning and none of my indoor pics look decent. Either too dark or washed out.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Oh Tingley!

Ok, true fact that one never really believes but must find out on her own, if you seed a jalapeno without gloves, even after washing your hands your finger tips can indeed burn your lips, your cheek. Fun, fun, fun. My bottom lip is all tingley and I was even trying very hard not to touch my face incase it really was true that jalapenos are quite nasty to deal with bare handed. On a postive note I've made some fantabulous pico de gallo (sure hope I spelled that correctly).

Thanks to everyone for the input on the pink spots on the R&R fabric. I'm relieved to know that more than likely it's a fabric flaw and not a Melissa flaw. You see I am 100% sure that there is absolutely no way I came anywhere near this fabric with a pink Sharpie. I know this. I was willing to take the blame as at the time it was the only possibility but now that I know that I'm not the only one that sees pink spots on their R&R fabric I feel much better about it. I will take an updated pic of my Quaker Garden tomorrow. I've been working on it a little today. Not a lot of progress but it is noticeable.

I finished Season 2 of Project Runway today. I cried. I'm insane, but I loved it. Plan to watch it again because I know that I missed some stuff the first time around.

Be ready to be wowed with some fabulous framing and finishing in the next week. My friend Siobhan will be back home in Ireland from her long, long vacation here in the States(I only say long because it seems like forever since she and I have been able to go on and on about stitching) and will be updating her webshots album, and if she doesn't update her webshots I'll just offer up my blog as a forum for her to show off her killer stitching. She is indeed the queen of the turbo charged needle and our friend Sharon saw her framed Sarah Tatum and said it was just gorgeous.

Monday, August 21, 2006

13th Colony Bay

Yes, I've managed to do a bit of stitching. Above you can see my progress on By the Bay's 13th Colony Bay Parts 1-3. I've only stitched on parts 1 and 2 but it's looking pretty good if I do say so myself. I do have to frog a bit on the tippy top part of the tree in part 1, there to your left. That section is split over two pages and I'm a dork and wasn't paying attention, I was stitching to Season 2 of Project Runway(I'm so totally, completely addicted, it's awful), and not watching what I was doing and a few rows need to be corrected. It may not be noticeable but I think it will be and while I'm all antiperfection sometimes it's good to follow the rules.

Some Thoughts On Project Runway

Yes, I'm late to the party on this one and over the weekend I realized why. I always thought it was a show to find a model, not about fashion design. I'm loving the creativity that is shown on this show. Sure some of it is truly crap but that's not really the point. The point is that they are putting it out there for better or worse.

I've been dragging my feet on a quilt for my bed. It's one I've been playing around with about 4 yrs or so and I've been afraid to even attempt it. Thanks to Project Runway, I'm letting go of my fears and plan to give it a go. It doesn't have to be perfect, it might not be as beautiful as I hope, but it's all about the process. I've spent a few years being afraid of the sewing machine because I didn't want to waste my time on something that was probably going to look like crap when I was finished. Well how will I improve my skills if I don't practice? I'm not an expert, I've only had a few quilting classes but I know the basics and that's a starting point and if I'm ambitious so what? It's really a fairly simple combo applique/pieced quilt top that I've sorta made up in my head and in various notebooks all over the house. The hardest part will be my lack of drawing skills for the applique pieces but after seeing Vincent's horrible gown last week, I think I can get beyond that and broaden my horizons. I even have a good bit of the fabric purchased because as I mentioned, this has been in the planning stages for 4 yrs or so.

So I owe a big thank you to the Project Runway folks for helping me get over myself. It's sewing, it's not brain surgery.

Seriously I need a 12 step program for my Project Runway addiction. I got Season 2 on DVD and am obsessing over tracking down Season 1. Do I need to mention how many times I've rewatched Season 3? I can't wait for Wednesday night. Why does a week have to be seven days long? See, I'm obsessed!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday Morning

I saw this on Sue's blog and decided to steal it:

1. FIRST NAME? Melissa
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes, some little girl my dad and mom knew in Florida when my dad was stationed there.
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Last week during a PMS meltdown
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? No. I always got Ns in penmanship, even though I'm right handed, I was supposed to be a lefty and my handwriting slants the wrong way. You can make a girl a righty but can't make her write properly.
5. YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Boars Head Rosemary Ham or Cracked Peppermill Turkey.
6. KIDS? Three boys
8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? My blog and piles of notebooks all over the place where I work things out
11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? If I were 50lbs thinner
15. DO YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE A STRONG PERSON? Yes, but only until whatever crisis is over and then I fall apart.
16. SHOE SIZE? 7. RED OR PINK? Pink.
19. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My grandfather.
20. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? No, but feel free to put up on your blog.
21. WHAT COLOR PANTS ARE YOU WEARING NOW? Denim capris and a Florida Seminoles shirt covered in bleach stains.
22 YOU COULD BE 18 AGAIN WOULD YOU? Yes, another chance to get it right
25. FAVORITE SMELL? honeysuckle
28. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON THAT SENT THIS TO YOU? Stole it from Sue and yes I like her
29. FAVORITE DRINK? Coffee or Unsweet Tea with lemon(tie)
30. FAVORITE SPORT? If I'm forced to watch it's a tie between baseball and basketball
31. EYE COLOR? green.
32. HAT SIZE? ? One size fits all
34. FAVORITE FOOD? Enchildas
37. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? faded pinkish tshirt.
40. FAVORITE DESSERT? brownies
42. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? See question above.
43. WHAT BOOKS are you READING NOW? S Is for Silence
44. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? A lot of doodles
46. FAVORITE SOUNDS? My 10 yr old's laugh
48. THE FURTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Toronto, Ontario, Canada
51. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Snagged it from Sue

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Stitching With a Plan

Not too long ago I had a conversation via email with my friend Siobhan. We were discussing why it is that I stitch so slow. Other stitchers seem to accomplish so much even during short stitching sessions and, me well, I never seem to make progress even when I set aside whole days for stitching. Why is that? Siobhan suggested that when I start stitching I plan what I want to get completed during that session. A stitching friend of her's applies this philosophy to her stitching. I thought "Ok, what can it hurt?" Yesterday I pulled out my long ignored By the Bay 13th Colony Bay Parts 1-3 all on the same fabric. My goal for yesterday was to finish the water on page 2 of Part 1. I managed to complete about half of the water. So today I pick it up and am tired to death of DMC 502 or 503 and I decide to work on the tree on page 1 of Part 1. I think I'll get all of the 731 stitched, I didn't even get all of part of one section of the tree stitched. Was it doable? I think so, my excuse for today is cramps. My excuse for not meeting yesterday's stitching goal was that there was a whole lot more stitching in that section that I thought.

By The Bay Needleart-13th Colony Bay

If you scroll down on the page at the link you can view By the Bay's 13th Colony Bay and their other designs.

Stitching with a stopping point in mind is good, but I always seem to minimize the area I plan to stitch and I need to rethink my goals for any stitching session. It seems I always believe I'll get much more accomplished than I do. From now on I'll set a goal, then cut it in half and maybe then I'll get more done than I anticipate, then it will feel like I managed to actually make progress instead of not reaching yet another goal.

I'm not racing with anyone, I stitch for myself, my pleasure, but it sure would be nice to rack up a few finishes in the next couple of months. I'm overwhelmed with WIP and UFOs at the moment and need to see a smaller pile in the work basket as opposed to a growing pile of projects I love but lose interest in when another project gives me that "come hither" look.

How long did I stitch yesterday? Well there was about 6 hours of Project Runway on starting at 4pm yesterday afternoon and I stitched away most of the evening while catching up on Season 3 of my new obsession. How is it that this show is in it's 3rd season and I'm just now jumping on the band wagon? Well, I refused to watch it the first two seasons and then I kept reading about it on blogs and had to give in and now I can't stop watching this show. It's great! It's just fun tv. I can't believe I'm so obsessed, obsessed I tell you, with this show. The spousal unit who will watch any kind of competition will not embrace Project Runway. What is up with that? I try to explain to him these people are mean! Give it a chance. No, I'm on my own.

Tomorrow I'll post a progress pic of 13th Colony Bay, I had intended to this afternoon but can't find my camera cord at the moment.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Let Me Introduce You To

The Monkey Sampler: The Early Years:

Anyone who reads this blog with any regularity knows that I rarely finish things in days or weeks, it's usually years and years before anything I start in good faith ends up framed or pillowed or gifted.

The sampler above may be the exception since so far it's been a pleasure to stitch on. What I think might bog me down is that the green grass covers the bottom half of the sampler. Yes, that's a good bit of solid stitching I see in my future, but sometimes that's a wonderful thing. It makes watching tv and stitching much more pleasant. Then again it can get a bit boring, but I've never really sought out stitching challenges. Life is challenging enough without seeking it from a hobby. Nope no rock climbing here, a walk on the beach is adventurous enough for moi. The counting alone keeps me on my toes. Oh and the Sharpie and highlighter gnomes too.

The rabbits are centered, it's my intials that are off just a bit. Since I'm just a bit off it seems to suit, I also don't want to rechart them a gazillion times before I get it right. We'll call it creative license, or maybe we should just call it lazy, but perfection, it's boring. Or is that what all slackers say?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Quaker Garden Progress

Yes, I've managed to get a few stitches in here and there on BBD Quaker Garden:
Can you see the pink ink spot near the top left portion of the pic? I do believe it's there to stay.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Help Me, Somebody Help Me*

Major case of startitis going on here. After rootaling through the stash I've decided to start Midsummer Night Designs-Monkey Sampler-yes, it reads, "Monkeys steal my underwear at night". Found a piece of fabric large enough, not the 28ct Sandstone linen called for in the chart but a piece that seems to work ok with the DMC colors in the design. I think it's the same thing I stitched "Needlewoman" on, the autumn blush lugana--at least I think it's lugana.

I also have Midsummer Night Designs-Mideval Mermaid and House By the Sea in the stash, just no fabric appropriate for either design. Love the House by the Sea.

Other projects that need some attention:

By the Bay-13th Colony Bay Parts 1-3. I love this so much and had hoped to have it finished by the end of the summer but it's so honkin' big. I hate the awkwardness of my 11x14 Qsnaps. Just makes my hands hurt thinking about it. The stitching is really fast, big blocks of color nothing too challenging. I'm considering taking it out of the Qsnaps and using my hoop. Yes, my hoop, I love my hoop. I always have. I stitch much faster using a hoop than any size of Qsnaps. It's just a lot of fabric to try to control because Parts 1-3 are all on the same piece of fabric so it's very long.

Good Huswife's With My Needle-Love this design, just haven't felt like working on it lately.

Mouline Rouge-My friend Sharon has finished this-there's a pic on her blog, just scroll down if you can get past the absolutely adorable pictures of her granddaughter playing in the rain. I have this started, haven't even completed one motif and I know it's because I'm using 40ct fabric. My eyes aren't bad, yet, but egads those holes are small! Takes all the fun out of stitching it.

Anyone other than me addicted to Project Runway? I'd never watched this before the other night and I watched three straight hours of it. I couldn't stop. It's great! I'd been reading about it on other blogs but never gave in to the curiousity and after having a couple of bad days last week it was a nice bit of brain candy. Just what I needed to lift my spirits. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I'm hooked.

I want to thank everyone for the compliments on Needlewoman and the work area. The spousal unit is quite pleased with himself and he's been using it more than me due to the fact that he's been drawing logos for his fantasy football league. Yes, I'm married to one of "those" guys.

While wandering some blogs, I ran across a phrase that I've been pondering ever since. Someone wrote that they went into "Walmart, even though it made them uncomfortable". (Yes, I did just type out the name of the store who shall not be named). At first I didn't think too much about it and then I started dwelling on it. Has Walmart been villianized so much that people feel uncomfortable when they shop there? What is there about a Walmart that makes anyone uncomfortable unless it's in a bad neighborhood? I find it fascinating that people are so torn about their feelings regarding this company. I'm not anti-Walmart by any means. I think it's crazy that certain areas of the country are forcing them to pay higher salaries or contribute more to people's insurance plans if they aren't making all the other companies who hire people at minimum wage follow the same policies(McD's, KFC, et al). Especially since our Congress couldn't see fit to raise the minimum wage but turned around and gave themselves a pay raise. Why isn't that on the news every day? I was upset when Walmart decided to invade my area. They are building the biggest Walmart in the history of the world only five minutes from my house. I didn't want one that close, not because I don't shop there, let's face it, if you're near a Walmart and need toilet paper, cat food, laundry detergent, hot dogs and DMC well you have to go to Walmart because Target and Kmart don't carry DMC. Sure I could go Target for the necessities and then JoAnn's for DMC but one stop shopping, with gas prices what they are, it makes more sense. But I don't feel guilty shopping at Walmart. I love my Publix, I shop at Winn-Dixie, and believe me I support them, but I'm not going to apologise for shopping at Walmart once or twice a month(at the moment the closest Walmarts are 20 mins in either direction) and I won't abandon them when the new Walmart opens. Yes, I go to Bed, Bath and Beyond, look at the comforters and then pray I find something close to that at Walmart in my price range, does that make me a horrible person? Am I supposed to apologise that while I'd love to buy the $450 comforter at Bed, Bath & Beyond, I have to be realistic and purchase the one very similar to it at Walmart for $99(or less). Now if I win the lotto, Bed, Bath & Beyond here I come! I just find it interesting that people have a love/hate relationship with Walmart. Ok, so you walked through the doors of a Walmart, I promise no one will ever know unless you tell them or run into your neighbors(who also hate to admit they shop there on occaision). I don't love Walmart, but I don't mind shopping there either. I know people who have worked for them and didn't hate the company like you hear on the news, at the same time it was always a transitional job, they knew they wouldn't be there forever. I'm not defending Walmart, don't get me wrong, I do believe they probably could pay people more, but couldn't just about every other company on the face of the earth, and yes they do underprice everyone else, but so does Dollar General and boy, those are popping up as fast as Walmarts down here. Anyway, I just thought the words, "made me uncomfortable" were interesting. Then again maybe I was just trying to avoid thinking about icky things like laundry or scrubbing the toilet.

*don't you just love Little Richard on that Geico commercial?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thursday and a Finished Project

So let's start with the finished project because there are so few of those around these parts. Below you can see my finished Carriage House Samplings Needlewoman from the Tavern Signs, Too chart. Very quick stitch and I mean quick. I'm a slow, slow stitcher, think molasses in January and I completed this in about a week. Since I'm all about the art shot, here's my Needlewoman still life shown with basil and parsley, and the ever lovely orangeish-peachy bath towel because we can't get the morning dew all over the stitching can we? Yes, that is a dead patch of grass you see in the background. Thankfully we are getting over our drought and with any luck that will be green in no time, and hey wouldn't a lush green backyard just be so expected? This adds interest to the stitching shot, right?
And here is a recent shot of my new work area. I'm considering adding another layer of shelves where the long shelves are, maybe even another shoe cubby because I'm loving the organization. A slot for the iPod, a slot for the camera, a slot for envelopes, who knew organizing could be so addictive. I need one on every flat surface in the house. The cat snoozing under the desk is the Loud Mouth. Noisy kitten=very quiet adult cat. Unfortunately we never got around to giving him a real name, Sam was my choice but Loud Mouth stuck. His sister lives with Kathy at Needle Delights. Link is in the sidebar and she has cute cat pics up on the shop site. Sam is Loud Mouth's sister and Boots is their cousin.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Check This Out

OK, you just have to GO over to Terri's blog and check out her post with the OK Go Video. It's a hoot! I love these guys, I have their CD but have never seen them perform. I've watched this video several times and enjoy it more each time. This post is the second on her page so just scroll down and prepare to be amused.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Random Tuesday

First of all, a long overdue thanks to everyone regarding the desk. I need to take a better picture now that things are sort of set up on it, but can never seem to get the lighting right. There I go back to the ugly pictures. The color on the wall is Fruit Punch and I can't remember if it's a paint made by the store who shall not be named or if it's a Glidden paint. Being the only girl in a housefull of guys, it's nice to have a wild pink "sorta" room.

I've developed an addiction to Fresca. That's something new for me. I normally can't drink things with aspartame in them and I'm a Coke Classic girl all the way but the Fresca has been a nice change.

I'm also addicted to the Lipton Green Tea with Citrus. Not the diet version, fully leaded. It's wonderful. Pretty doggone refreshing.

Family guilty pleasure: Gene Simmons Family Jewels. What a great show! I like it a lot more than the Osbornes.

Current must watch TV show: The Closer on TNT. At first I thought Kyra Sedgewick's fake Atlanta accent would offend me, but I've grown to adore Brenda Lee Johnson. We actually look forward to this show every week. It took a while for me to watch it the first season, hit or miss, but then I caught all the reruns, and now I don't think we've missed an episode since the start of the second season. That's a record for us.

Ashamed to admit I like it: Dog the Bounty Hunter. I know, I know...I can't not watch.

Movie Review: Talladega Nights. I loved it. It had it's stupid moments but over all I thought it was pretty good. I had to laugh when some news person reported that Talladega Nights has the most product placement ever in a movie. UH, it's a NASCAR movie, and what is NASCAR all about? Product placement, that's the point. I had to assume that the reviewer had no clue about real life NASCAR. Although Sunday when NASCAR was on I kept waiting for someone to crash, get out of their car and run around in their underwear. I mean something like that, I'd watch NASCAR every time it was on. I also saw on the news where another reviewer said the movie was anti-southern, anti-Christian, and a whole plethora of other horrible things. I didn't see it. As a southerner I wasn't offended. I got it. I know these people. Not necessarily in a NASCAR sense but I know people like the characters in the movie.

Speaking of movies, I read recently that you had to stay through the credits on Pirates of the Carribean. We didn't, someone want to tell me what I missed? Email me at gulfskye at aol dot com.

I finished CHS Needlewoman, well the charted part. I still have to chart out my name and get that stitched. I plan to sit down tomorrow and get it all charted out. I hate doing that. It's so time consuming.

Missy-I tried the alcohol on Quaker Garden. Didn't work. Didn't even fade it, but I think it'll be ok. Thanks for the tip. With all my stitching mishaps, I'm sure I'll have another chance to give it a try. I wish I was joking. I'm so careful with my stitching and I always manage to do something stupid to the fabric, to the thread, without even knowing it, usually I discover it when it's too late.

I got highlighter on my TIAG Amish Quilt Sampler and my Mirabilia Lady of the Flag, I had broken my wrist and was using a floor stand, one of the kids had a friend spend the night, the kid marked all over it with a marker. Too much work to toss, as a friend told me, make it part of the story of the stitching of the piece. So there ya go. Chances are when my time on earth is up my kids will be selling my stuff at a yard sale for $5. Although, there are a few things that they like and I believe they'll care about, but having boys, it's hard to know. I can see them dismantling my frames and trying to figure out how to get my name off the stitched piece so it might be more buyer friendly. Yes, they're that dumb. I have to remember to tell them that my name being on it might make it valuable to whoever buys it one day. Yeah, right. What ever works to make the handmades treasures for the family.

We're still trying to get in a school routine around here. No one seems to have a regular bedtime and it's a struggle every night. My middle son seems to have insomnia and will get up and go outside at two in the morning to skateboard. I've had to start guarding the door to keep him inside. We've cut the caffiene, started having dinner earlier, and he's bad about coming home from school and taking a nap. I've put a stop to that. The youngest, he's turned into a computer addicted maniac, he plays some game online. I'm fairly lenient with him when his brothers aren't around to bug him about computer time but now it seems that no matter how long I let him play after school there's always one more thing on the game he has to do, just one more thing. It's getting old and I'm to the point of taking the keyboard to bed with me at night. At least until everyone gets into a good routine. I also need to set up a computer schedule. There's one computer for three kids.

In knitting news, I'm still knitting warsh rags like there's no tomorrow. I'm still adding to the kitchen cotton stash, I heard Hobby Lobby has a sale this week,I can never seem to find a good range of colors, I want to add some more basic colors to the stash. Hope to get over there on Saturday and see what they have in the way of colors. I can't begin to say how addictive those warsh rags are. Yes, I should progress with my knitting skills, but I'm not really a knitter, I'm a cross stitcher, so why make knitting frustrating when this warsh rags bring me so much joy? I do need to pull out my Alien Illusion scarf and do some more work on it. I'd like to have it finished by the time winter sets in full force down here. I'm in Florida but extreme northern Florida, we can get down to the 20s at night sometimes around here.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Quaker Garden SAL

Proof Is In The Sauce*:
I started BBD Quaker Garden. Horrible pic, I know. You know people all over the blogosphere seem to be gaining notoriety for one thing or another. Is it possible I could become famous because of my ugly photography? My lack of picture taking skills?

Or it could be that I shall become known as the blogger who does the stupidest things, makes the dumbest mistakes and is clueless as to how that happens. You see, or rather what you don't see in the above pic is a that just above the little Quaker motif to the left of the butterfly is a little dot of bright pink Sharpie. How did it get there? Who knows. Yes I used a pink Sharpie earlier in the day. The key words in that sentence are "earlier in the day". My stitching was no where near it. It was on the other side of the room. No, I didn't have one drop of pink Sharpie ink on my finger I even washed my hands, not one trace of Sharpie, yet there it is right there at the tippy top of that Quaker motif. Hopefully I can get it framed close, very close to the stitching.

So shall I be the worlds most famous blogger because of horrible photography or really stupid stitching catastrophes. Take your pic. I can handle my 15 mins. Bring on the papparazzi.

*Not sure why I just had to type "proof is in the sauce" other than without the picture no one would believe I really started this project finally. Or maybe I've seen Fried Green Tomatoes one too many times.

On the afternoon agenda, a few hours spent with Ricky Bobby. It has to be good right?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Random Things In No Particular Order*

First we have my special weekend project: This is Carriage House Samplings Tavern Signs Too Needlewoman. Why is it a special weekend project? Well this weekend some close stitching pals gathered a long way away and I couldn't go so I let that be an excuse to give into startitis and start something new. They all hooked up in Wisconsin and had a blast. Sob! I was happy for them but had a nice little pity party for myself, I did start a new project so that's usually good for lifting the spirits.

Speaking of CHS, my friend Siobhan is featured on the website in the News section. How cool is that? Siobhan is the one in the middle. Enjoy your vacation Siobhan! Can't wait to see all those framed projects. WOOT!

Scenes From the Hood:

I believe this is an imperial** moth. I could be wrong, I haven't had a chance to look it up but it's pretty cool.

Can you see the rainbow? This appeared in the sky Wednesday morning just as the kids were leaving for the first day of school. Yes, a symbol of hope!

Would someone tell how the week could go downhill after such a beautiful hopeful morning?

Quaker Garden SAL

Technically I'm participating in the Quaker Garden SAL. So why no pics? Well, uh, I haven't started it yet. I keep thinking I'm going to get to Pensacola to Needle Delights to pick up the Red Pear WDWs and things keep getting in the way keeping me from my trip. So I think I'll just give in, use the DMC and call it a day. Of course this means that now that I'm finally starting the project I'll actually get to Needle Delights this weekend. So it's a good thing all the way around right?

*code for I have no idea what order these pictures will post themselves.....

**edited to correct my error. The moth is an imperial moth not a luna moth.....