Friday, September 29, 2006

Fall TV Friday

Since TV and stitching go together like peanut butter and chocolate, or milk and cookies or if you're a Forrest Gump fan, like peas and carrots, a Fall tv post seems appropriate.

First of all, Project Runway. I didn't blog about the Sept. 13th or 14th episode when Vincent and Angela were brought back because I went and looked at the Olympic Fashion Week runway shows and thought I knew so much because Uli had Nazri as her model in her Runway show so I assumed Micheal's collection was the decoy. I decided to keep my opinions to myself and good thing too since this week all four finalists were left in. No one was auf'd. What's up with that? Did they want to auf Uli so bad and when she ended up winning this week they decided to just let all four do runway shows with no decoy this year? I thought Heidi was more coldhearted than that. Anyway, good show, never ceases to amuse me and even though they haven't had the season finale yet, I say bring on Season 4. I love this show so much.

Now for new TV shows, I watched Heroes on Monday night. I had a preconceived idea about the show, it surprised me and I liked that! I'm going to definitely be tuning in on Monday nights. The cheerleader kind of freaked me out, but I love that she's indestructible and has no feelings. Maybe she's going to have to the coldheartedest(is that even a word?) of all the characters. Ali Larter's character freaks me out. I can't decide if she can astral project herself or what but wow! Love that aspect of the story because I can't figure it out. I love the brothers and that the one brother was dreaming he could fly, but the other brother has the power. Love, love Hiro. I was prepared for this show to be lame, lame, lame. It's not at least not at this moment.

If you check out, they might have the first episode on the website in case you missed it.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip-my favorite show of the new season. I thought Matt Perry would be Chandler, he's not. His character seems kind of angry most of the time, I'm not sure how I feel about that. But they always say comedians and comedy writers are darker than you realize so maybe that's part of it with his character. I love Bradley Whitford. He's great in this role. I love that Aaron Sorkin is writing his own story into this series. The Harriet character, interesting, if she's written right. She's a Christian but not a Bible beater, she's human, and mainstream and I hope Aaron Sorkin doesn't villianize her because of the 700 Club(more of his personal story there). Her character could end up being one of the more interesting characters on the show. I don't think she has any chemistry at all with Matthew Perry's character. I don't like Steven Weber as the bad guy but he's playing it well. Amanda Peet, hmmm, not sure how I feel about her character. This is definitely must see tv for me though. I'm not sure Aaron Sorkin can write sketch comedy so I hope he leaves the episodes to the characters with the show as the backdrop. Love Timothy Busfield, wish he had a larger role but they do make the most of his camera time. D.L. Hughley, wonderful. Love watching him, another character that needs more screen time. I hope NBC stands behind this show because it deserves a chance to find an audience. Oh and I love the countdown clock!

Kidnapped-I saw the first episode, enjoyed it more than I expected to. Can you tell I don't really think I'm going to like the new tv shows? TV tends to let me down all the time. But back to Kidnapped, another must watch for me right now. I think the story has been set up to have a lot of twists and turns. Kind of 24esque but not as big a ripoff of 24 as some other new dramas like Vanished. Vanished did not hold my attention. They didn't make me care about the characters in the first episode or two. I just watched the second episode of Kidnapped at It held my interest and I'm looking forward to the next episode. I wasn't able to watch it in real time this week because of Project Runway. I love that is giving people an opportunity to view the shows online. I hope that it helps shows with good writing time to find their audience before they just up and cancel them.

Plan to give 30 Rock a chance and a family must watch is Deal or No Deal, but we're pretty evil and usually root against the contestant. Horrible I know. We were discussing the fascination with Deal or No Deal because it's just dumb luck plain and simple and the spousal unit brought up the movie Quiz Show and how one of the characters said that people didn't care how smart the contestant was, it was all about the money. I guess that's absolutely correct where Deal or No Deal is concerned. You can't plan a strategy, you don't have to be smart, it's luck and all about the money.

I missed the season premiere of the Gilmore Girls, I'm interested to see what path the show will take since the main writer and creator is no longer associated with the show.

I think I missed the season premiere of Veronica Mars too. It's up online somewhere.

I'm usually pretty bad about keeping up with things that are on tv but this year I do believe I might have some solidly scheduled tv time.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Missy-the Work In Progress Slayer

"Into each generation a slayer is born"*

This time it's Missy, SAHM.
And together with her stitching friends and blogging buddies,
and her watcher(i.e. bank account),
she's out to save her WIP from the UFO pile and
frogs and any other form of darkness
that might afflict the aforementioned projects.

Yes, it's that time of the year, the time when stitchers look at their pile of WIP and UFOs and cringe. They review the projects they've started during the year, what they had hoped to accomplish, and how far they have fallen behind because they have to have a life.

Here's a list of projects that I have started, I think it's probably missing one or two but I hope to slay quite a few of these before the end of the year. I have included every project that has been started even if the only stitches in them are the center start stitches.

It's ugly, prepare yourself:

WIP as of 9-26-2006 in no particular order

Houses of Hawk Run Hollow-Carriage House Samplings
Dragon Isle-Stitchworld
13th Colony Bay Parts 1-3-By the Bay
Lady of the Flag-Mirabilia
Mermaid of the Pearls-Mirabilia
Coffee Menu-Little House Needleworks
Fantasy Triptyche-Teresa Wentzler
Trade Winds-Teresa Wentzler
Liberty Sampler-Hester's Needle
Sarah Tatum-Scarlet Letter
Mouline Rouge-Long Dog
With My Needle-Good Huswife
And They Sinned-Examplar Dames
Fairy Grandmother-MLI
Wendell the Warlock-Mosey N Me
Vinnie Von Fang-Lizzie Kate
Remember Me on Halloween-BOAF
Always Be a Wildflower-Samsarah
Sunflower House-Blackbird Designs
Monkey Sampler-Midsummer Night Designs
Magic in the Morning-Dragon Dreams
Desiderata-Indigo Rose
Cowboy Boots-Designworks
Folk Heart Needleroll-ShepherdsBush
Arabian Woman-Lanarte
Garner Dragonfly-Dimples Designs
Haunting Mermaid-Carriage House Samplings
Two Shall Be as One-Lizzie Kate
Medieval Mermaid-Midsummer Night Designs
A Very Fine Sampler-Birds of a Feather
Sarah Hook 1824-Carriage House Samplings
Bird in Hand-Hands to Work
Home of a Needleworker-Little House Needleworks
Celtic Banner-MLI
Monthly Snappers-Bent Creek
FInger Lakes Sampler-Bright Needle
1798 Quaker Sampler-Goode Huswife
Border Study in Red-Heron House(old issue of Stitchers World)
My Needle Doth-Bright Needle

That's 39 WIP! No I'm not promising not to start anything new before the end of the year because I have some ornaments I want to stitch, a few smalls, you get the idea. I'm not pledging to not buy any more stash because when I finally get over to Needle Delights, I have a long wish list to make a dent in. But I do plan to work as hard as I can on the projects listed above so I can have a fun, fun, fun, guilt free January.

Let the slaying begin.

*my sincerest apologies to Joss Whedon

Thanks to everyone for the comments on my previous post. They are appreciated more than you know.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Letter From:

Property Owners
Lot 6
Hawk Run Hollow
North West Florida Development

Dear Melissa

Back in July you confidently informed us that an August completion of our house was easily doable. Here it is September 21, and you have virtually abandoned our property. The first floor appears completed but the stairs lead no where. You've partially landscaped and the vegetation appears to be dying from your neglect.
We have been in contact with people that are informed as to your most recent movements and it appears that you have abandoned this development for a new career in signmaking:

The progress on the development was so close to reaching completion that we can't believe you have left us hanging like this. Please, come back, finish the job, we need a roof, we need another tree. I know that the constant darkness on this particular lot (we were told the trees shaded the property well but we had no idea we'd never see the light of the sun, ever) can be a problem but there are quite a few artificial lights that can aid you in the completion of our house.

Please do your duty, finish our house. The neighborhood has said that if you just complete our house, no one will stand in your way when it comes to the development of the Village of Hawk Run Hollow. We don't approve of your work habits. You tend to get distracted much too easily, but if you will please finish our house, we will over look that and promise not to shop at the Store Who Shall Not Be Named in the next town. We will give all our business to the Village and will support you 100%, just please finish our house. The neighbors are complaining about the couch on the front porch and the tent in the front yard.


Lot 6 Property Owners

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Playing Catch Up

Things have been a little busy around here. Thursday was our 21st Wedding Anniversary. More on that late. Below you can see my progress on LHN Coffee Menu. Here it is posed with cilantro and an unhealthy looking basil plant. A few years ago I spent a summer stitching all kinds of Halloween designs and then didn't really know what I was going to do with them. Inspiration hit, I turned them into a quilt. I tacked it up on the wall to admire my handwork, see where I needed to even things up before adding a border and backing and was horrified. You see, I knew it looked a little wonky. It's a wacky Halloween quilt but I never dreamed it was wonky as what you see in the picture. The saddest part is that while I say I wasn't being anal and wasn't really trying to get it exactly straight, I lied. OMG! I had no idea I sucked at quilt making this much! I really was trying to sew straight rows even though the blocks are all different sizes. I WAS TRYING!
Yes, I'm still knitting warsh rags. Here's the latest one in progress. I think I'll probably knit these things forever!
For family reading this blog who probably don't care about my crafty endeavors, some kid pics. Here's the spoiled one on the first day of school.
Here's the oldest on the first day of school. I didn't edit out the cars in the back so that people can see that not all of our cars are in the same condition as the dearly loved improbability drive in the background behind the spoiled one.
Since the middle son refused to let me snap a first day of school pic of him, here he is concentrating on his newest obsession, making the weight lifting team come January. The spousal unit would also be pictured but he was shirtless since he had just mowed and no one really needs to see that!
Everyone say "Bonjour Claudette!" No wonder this geranium hasn't survived. It's a kitty bed.

Coming Soon Project Runway chatter!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Coffee and Tomatoes?

In my constant search for the cross stitch action shot below you can view my current WIP, Little House Needlework's Coffee Menu, posing with my new round of tomato plants. And if you care to actually see the stitching, below you get the zoom shot:

I think the shot with the tomato plant has more personality but it doesn't show the stitching.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Finished Quaker Garden!

Finally I have a finished project to share. Above you can see a completed Blackbird Designs Quaker Garden, finished while watching today's Project Runway marathon. This was a fun stitch but took me much longer than I anticipated as my stitching time has been hit or miss lately. I plan to have it framed very close to the stitching to cover up the pink dots on the fabric. And yes, my usual disclaimer, please excuse the poor photography, it was starting to sprinkle just as I snapped the pic.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Trying to photograph cross stitch in new and interesting ways is pretty much a waste of time. There's just no way to add interest to the picture(yes, I know the French stitchers manage to do beautiful still lifes-lives?), the stitching must speak for itself. But I'm always willing to showoff my lack of photography skills in an attempt to showcase my stitching. I can't seem to have one without the other. No matter how hard I try to become a better photographer, my photos seem to be lacking some kind of artistic quality. Below you will see my lame attempt at photographing a scarlet macaw in his natural habitat, duh, a tree. I told you it was L-A-M-E. Birds in cages seem to enjoy swings so here's another shot, he's just a swingin'. No I'm not on crack. Shame on you for thinking that.

Is he one handsome guy or what?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Proof I Have No Life

Snagged this from Sue:

Instructions: Bold (or change the color) of all of the following TV shows which you've seen 3 or more episodes of in your lifetime. Bold and Italicize a show if you're positive you've seen every episode of it. If you want, add up to 3 additional shows (keep the list in alphabetical order).

My results are a little scary.

3rd Rock from the Sun
7th Heaven
Aeon Flux
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Allo Allo
American Idol/Pop Idol/Canadian Idol/Australian Idol
America's Next Top Model/Germany's Next Top Model
Arrested Development
Babylon 5
Babylon 5: Crusade
BattlestarGalactica (the old one)
Battlestar Galactica (the new one)
Beavis & Butthead
The Ben Stiller Show
Beverly Hills 90210
Bosom Buddies
Boston Legal
Boy Meets World
Brady Bunch
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Bug Juice
Chappelle's Show
Charlie's Angels
China Beach
Commander in Chief
Cowboy Bebop
Crossing Jordan
CSI: Miami
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Dancing with the Stars
Danny Phantom
Dark Angel
Dark Skies
Davinci's Inquest
Dawson's Creek
Dead Like Me
Deadliest Catch
Degrassi: The Next Generation
Designing Women
Desperate Housewives
Dharma & Greg
Different Strokes
Doctor Who (new Who)
Doctor Who (series 1-26)
Due South
Dungeons and Dragons (old cartoon)
Earth 2
Everybody Loves Raymond
Facts of Life
Falcon Crest
Family Guy
Family Ties
Fantasy Island
Fawlty Towers
Flamingo Road
Full House
Get Smart
Gilligan's Island
Gilmore Girls
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Green Wing
Grey's Anatomy
Growing Pains
Happy Days
Head of the Class
Hill Street Blues
Hogan's Heroes
Home Improvement
Homicide: Life on the Street
I Dream of Jeannie
I Love Lucy
Invader Zim
Iron Chef (Japan)
Iron Chef (USA)
John Doe
Kath and Kim
Knight Rider
Knots Landing
La Femme Nikita
LA Law
Laverne and Shirley
Law & Order
Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Law & Order: SVU
Little House on the Prairie
Lizzie McGuire
Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Lost in Space
Love, American Style
Magnum P.I.
Malcolm in the Middle
Married...With Children
Melrose Place
Miami Vice
Mission Impossible
Mork & Mindy
Murphy Brown
My Family
My Favorite Martian
My Life as a Dog
My Mother the Car
My So-Called Life
My Three Sons
My Two Dads
Mysterious Cities of Gold
Night Court
Northern Exposure
One Tree Hill
Parker Lewis Can't Lose
Perfect Strangers
Perry Mason
Picket Fences
Pirates of Darkwater
Power Rangers
Prison Break
Project Runway
Quantum Leap
Queer As Folk (US)
Queer as Folk (British)
Queer Eye For The Straight Guy
Remington Steele
Rescue Me
Road Rules
Samurai Jack
Saved by the Bell
Scarecrow and Mrs. King
Scooby-Doo Where Are You?
Sex and the City
Six Feet Under
Slings and Arrows
Small Wonder
So Weird
South Park
SpacedSpongebob Squarepants
Sports Night
Square Pegs
St. Elsewhere
Star Trek
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Enterprise
Stargate Atlantis - New season
Stargate SG-1 -Newseason
Teen Titans
That Girl
That 70's Show
That's So Raven
The 4400
The Addams Family
The Andy Griffith Show
The A-Team
The Avengers
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Bionic Woman
The Colbert Report
The Cosby Show
The Daily Show
The Days And Nights Of Molly Dodd
The Dead Zone
The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Flintstones
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
The Golden Girls
The Jetsons
The L Word
The Love Boat
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Mighty Boosh
The Monkees
The Munsters
The Mythbusters
The O.C.
The Office (UK)
The Office (US)
The Pretender
The Prisoner
The Real World
The Shield
The Simpsons
The Six Million Dollar Man
The Sopranos
The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
The Twilight Zone
The Waltons
The West Wing
The Wonder Years
The X-Files
Third Watch
Three's Company
Top Gear
Twin Peaks
Twitch City
Veronica Mars
What Not To Wear (US)
What Not To Wear (UK)
Whose Line is it Anyway? (US)
Whose Line is it Anyway? (UK)
Will and Grace
Wonder Woman
Xena: Warrior Princess
Young Hercules


Last night's Project Runway challenge was to design a couture gown in two days. The definition of couture according to Webster's is the "business of designing, making, and selling fashionable custom-made women's clothing". Tim Gunn added to the definition by stating it should be handmade, beading and embroidery could or should be used.

My thoughts, well if the definition of couture is completely unwearable and designed for shock, and really, if Gwyneth Paltrow wore Jeffrey's dress on the red carpet it would be to quote Micheal Kors from last season's Nicki Hilton challenge, "a what was she thinking" moment, then Jeffrey deserved the win. It definitely looked handmade. Marilinda rocked the heck out of it though. She sold that dress. Talk about "making it work", she did. The real question is if Jeffrey hadn't had immunity would he have taken his idea this far?

Uli's dress was definitely her same pattern, but while she cranked that dress out probably from memory, the halter was handbeaded and embroidered. I need to see a closeup but according to Tim's definition of couture Uli did a beautiful job and was once again robbed of a win. It not only included handwork but it was wearable, it was gorgeous, was it a museum or gallery gown, no, but handmade and handbeaded, yes.

Laura's gown, definitely been done before, and unfortunately she didn't do it well. It looked great on the Paris model but the collar lost some volume on the trip back to NYC and definitely lost something in the translation.

Micheal's gown, I had flashbacks of Malan during the second challenge. Micheal did manage to do it better than Malan even though this was his first attempt at doing anything by hand. I couldn't get over the change in the gown just from tucking the cups in. Completely changed the whole feel of the gown. I knew he wouldn't be auf'd because he's been a solid contender every week.

Kayne's gown, I didn't see the problem that the judges had with. The flow of the gown was perfect, the bustier looked good, not tacky, IMHO. He held himself back and I really didn't think the gown screamed "pagent". Are they trying to beat him down as they did Santino in season 2? I thought they would have learned that if you beat someone down enough they start to lose their point of view and that's what happened with Santino's runway show. He went for safe instead of Santino which should have had tons of handwork, embellishments and gathers in the final products. Kayne does have "taste" issues but pagent gowns are almost always a bit on the gaudy side. Did he deserve to win, no, but I think he did much better than the judges gave him credit for.

Vincent's gown, what can I say? I'm so glad to see him gone. He deserved to be auf'd during the Recycling challenge, was given a win for the Everyday woman challenge that was so wrong on the judges part, and his gown, the front was a rip off of Laura's "down to the Bermuda triangle" neck line. He had a huge fleurchon on the waistline in the back, (was he channeling Angela?), and the sleeves were crazy. When Heidi asked him what he did by hand, he avoided the question. I have to wonder if the judges knew about the glue. Very couture glue is, NOT. Yes there were time constraints but good grief, he did no handwork at all that I could tell.

One thing I know, I know beading and embroidery and handwork. Uli did it right, same basic pattern but she managed a beautiful gown with handwork in two days. I could go to the machine and sew Jeffrey's gown right now with no pattern. Half the crap I manage to sew, when I'm trying to do a good job, looks like Jeffrey's "couture" gown. What am I missing?

So in the previews for next week, Laura has a meltdown. It made me sad. She's tough, she's woman hear her roar! Her quote about "designing for the Olsen twins" wonder that "Olsen Twins" is code for? Surely it can't be literal. The woman is looking so pregnant. I don't care how many kids you have, she has to be farther along than three months. Even as slim as she is, she's just really popped. I'm guessing 5 months, if so that would put her in a bad position trying to get ready for Fashion Week if she's in the final three. They usually give them 6 months to design a collection, if she's really three months that puts delivery right around fashion week, if she's farther along, while creating emotional havoc right now, she'd been in a much better place physically for fashion week.

I'm glad Jeffrey didn't get immunity this week because then he would have been assured a spot in the final four. That spot should have to be earned.

How many hours until next week's Project Runway?

Friday, September 01, 2006


This picture was taken in 1970, it was summer, and my grandparents, my uncle and I were vacationing at Pensacola Beach. The cottages in the background were where we stayed, the Sunray. It was a dump in 1970, it was a bigger dump when they tore them down a few years ago. I sobbed when I found out that those cottages were being destroyed to make room for a resort. Many happy sunburned vacations were spent at this dumpy little motel right on the Gulf. The summer of 1970 is also known in my family as the summer Missy tried to commit suicide twice in the same day. I was six. I didn't know how to swim, I didn't know that I didn't know how to swim. The first attempt was when I floated out on a raft until I was as my grandmother says, "a speck on the horizon". My uncle who had just gotten home from the marines and had had an appendectomy had to swim out to bring me back to shore. For years everyone wondered what kept me on that raft, what made me stay there, floating out to sea, my family dots on the shoreline. One day it hit me when we talking about this, what kept me on the raft was the shadow of the raft, I thought it was a shark. It was only a few years ago when floating around on a raft in a pool, I saw the shadow, that day on the raft so far from shore popped into my head, the shape in the water was the same. I do believe in a Higher Power because something held me on that raft. I even remember being hot, but the "shark" made me afraid to move, much less jump in the water. So Nickey swam out, brought me back, Mamaw was crying so Papaw took me to the pool. What's the first thing I do? Go down the slide into the deep end and suck half the water in the pool in my lungs. Fortunately a teenage girl saw me, saw I couldn't swim, remember I didn't know I didn't know how to swim, she saved me, handed me over to Papaw who took me back to the cabin and said, "Take this child this is the second time she's tried to kill herself today."

Amanda over at Soulemama has had a theme this week of "What* I Love". The two people in the picture with me, I love more than anyone on this earth other than my kids. My grandfather passed away when I was a junior in high school. It still breaks my heart. My grandmother has given me so much, so much, that there is nothing I wouldn't do for her. When I saw the picture of Amanda's grandmother's hands, I cried. I haven't seen my grandmother's hands in several years.

This is what happens when moms have to go digging through photos looking for the perfect baby picture for the oldest son to submit to the yearbook for his senior year. Memories come flooding back, happy, heartbreaking, the yearning for home, a grandmother's arms around you, the swing in the yard at twilight, quiet moments, family stories, crying from laughing so hard, chicken & dumplings, molasses cake, and hugs that heal any hurt.

*edited to correct my mistake, it's What I Love, not Things I Love....