Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Girl She is Cheap!

Innovative, not cheap, the word is INNOVATIVE! The other day at JoAnn's I was wandering the quilting fabrics and found a shelf with the words "Pillow Ticking" on it. On that shelf I found the fabric you see below. I don't know fabric, I know 100% cotton and I know upholstrey fabric, the rest is guess work and reading the end of the bolts. I saw this fabric and thought to myself, "Self, this looks a lot like linen. The holes are easy to see, it could be a 34-40 count. I think you can stitch on this. It's $3.99 yd. Worth a shot anyway."

I bring it home and decide to start Carriage House Samplings Tombstone design, Carolina Handley:

The only difference I see in this piece and the piece on the Carriage House Samplings website is that my Carolina has a rounder face. I had meant to upload a pic of the CHS piece for comparison but forgot. Arrrgghh.....This fabric is nice to work on, it's got little dark brown flecky things that are woven into it. I seriously don't know what this fabric is but plan to take a pic of the end of the bolt my next trip to JoAnn's. At $3.99 a yard well, for the frugal stitcher, it's a pretty good deal and my piece isn't distorted. Her face is round, the angel wings are more wide than long but unless you know what the original looks like you wouldn't know the difference. I'm stitching one over two and the coverage is not bad. I like the look of the fabric a lot, since I started this design with the selvedge at the top, I think the next piece I will start with the selvedge at the side and see what happens. I'm thinking some of the CHS stockings would look pretty good on this fabric.

The Hook is Calling

I've had lots of afghans on my mind lately. There's a nip in the air in the mornings and at night. It's time to start planning a few to crochet this winter.


Every morning for the past week or two I've been getting up and walking. I've been making myself do this at 4:30am. It's the best time of day because no one is up and the neighbors can't place bets on when I will have a heart attack. Actually my stamina is better than I thought. I try to walk every day, seven days. I don't walk the same amount every day but I walk. It's a start.


I'm reading Inkheart by Corneilia Funke. It's wonderful. Young adult fantasy, characters in books come to life, more to it than that but that's the simplest way to describe the story without ruining it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Random Thursday

In stitching news I'm working on HOHRH. Might have an update in the near future.

Our new favorite family meal is homemade pizza. I do not enjoy cooking at all but thanks to the discovery of Publix bakery's pizza dough, making pizza is now a pleasureable experience. I buy two bags of dough, bring them home, roll them out, and man does this dough roll out beautifully, and viola, homemade pizza pie. Below you see a traditional round pizza topped with fresh 'shrooms, pepperoni and Italian sausage:
Piping hot from the oven:
Below you can see a rectanglish pizza, 1/2 pepperoni and 1/2 pepperoni and 'shrooms.
And hot from the oven:
I'm not one of those people that gets some spiritual pleasure from cooking. I wish I did but making homemade pizza has become almost therapeutic for me. I'm working on my own pizza dough recipe but every time I try my own dough, everyone complains. At $1.65 a bag Publix dough is a steal and I still get the pleasure of rolling it out, shaping it the way I want, and the ever fun punching it down. We prefer this pizza to carry out. That's a shocker. Everyone in this family prefers food on the outside but this pizza, it's now our favorite meal.

Earlier this year after a post from Crazy Aunt Purl the spousal unit and I started pondering the possibility of growing square watermelons. Due to drought and not having a clue about what we were doing, we harvested nary a watermelon. The little guy you see pictured below was our last chance at a square watermelon for this year and he cracked. This happened to a lot of our watermelons and we don't know why. I plan to research this and see if I can avoid this problem next summer. Do watermelons often explode like this?
While driving down the highway the other day I saw a sign that said, "Tomatoes". The local miracle farmer is harvesting his second round of tomatoes, mine are still green. I don't see them moving beyond this point as we barely reach 70 degrees during the day and nights are in the 40s. He must have had a bit of a head start on his second tomato crop. I have two tomato plants and four tomatoes between them. I would really love to see one more red tomato before we get our first frost.
This was the sky over my neighbor's house yesterday. It reminded me of waves breaking on the shore.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Take the Girl's Camera Please

Here is my finished Carriage House Samplings Sarah Hook: Sarah was completed at approx. 4:30a.m. this morning. She is stitched on an unknown fabric, 32ct is my best guess. I used DMC and stitching 2 over 2 it took 1 1/2 skeins of DMC 844. I may or may not tea-dye this piece. I'm not worried about the fabric deteriation, my family won't be able to sell it at the garage sale following my funeral fast enough.

Now to share my feeble attempt at the "Blair Witch" shot, or why my neighbors hate me. Oh, you knew it was coming:

Ok, I was looking for a spooky graveyard at dawn kind of feel. Unbeknownst to me, with the onset of autumn, 4:36a.m. is no longer dawn it's still pretty much midnight kind of dark. The lighting was achieved with help from my Mighty Bright Craft Light hanging from a tall candlestick holder. What made me grab the Mighty Bright Craft Light, oh could be the fact that the two pictures I took before were completely black. Sometimes my stupidity amazes even me. I should state that when I snapped this pic, it looked much cooler on the screen on my camera.

Below you can see a ghostly kind of appearance surrounding Sarah. Is that an apparition passing in front of the grave stone? More than likely it's some dorky chick's shadow blocking out the light from the Mighty Bright Craft Light.

Added later to ask....is anyone watching Battlestar Galactica? I missed last week's episode. Was Starbuck only pretending to believe in a higher power?

What about Heroes? Anyone watching that show? It's GREAT! I'm so addicted.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Stitching? What Stitching?

Not one stitch has been crossed since my last post. Who's life am I living at the moment? Certainly not mine. I'm not even sure why I haven't picked up a needle. Yes, things are a bit hectic, but nothing to keep me from sitting down and stitching for a while.

I've more or less been in planning mode lately. Since I'm such a lamb I'm obsessing over the Dear Jane quilts people are making. To top it off I'm such a dork that I want to do two Dear Jane quilts simultaneously. One in hip, funky, modern fabrics(not sure how much of the fabric will show in 4.5inch blocks but that's not really the point) and then do one in Civil War repro fabrics. I figure the one in the modern fabrics will be my practice blocks and the Civil War repro will be the real blocks, two quilts, same style, different colors. I know that this will be a very slow process but I'm one of those geeks that actually prefers to handpiece. To prepare myself for the handpiecing ahead I'm going to start practice piecing some 12 inch blocks with some calico I have here from the 1980s. Oh yeah, I save fabric even if it's dated, and probably not even considered pretty any more. I have several blocks already pieced in these prints from my quilting class back in 1987. I think I've got enough material for three or four more blocks. I haven't really looked to see how much I have, I just ran across the fabric in the garage, and started thinking maybe I should put together that sampler quilt from so long ago. My color choices are hideous but that's the story of my life. I'm hoping to get a lapquilt out of what I have here, maybe perk up the blues and reddish burgundy, something like that, with some new fabric touches here and there.

My current cross stitch obsession is tracking down patterns for samplers with my last name or my maiden name on them. So far I've found four, two of each. Can you say DORK?


Yesterday I finished Book of Fate by Brian Meltzer. Not what I expected, plenty of twists and turns that I should have seen but ended up surprising me.

I also recently finished Kim Harrison's Dead Witch Walking. I enjoyed this more than the latest Anita Blake books by Laurell Hamilton.

Also started reading I Like You by Amy Sedaris. I picked it up at the library and think I'll end up buying it.

Project Runway

I can't believe Jeffrey won! I know that his collection was the most daring but I felt Uli's was the most wearable. I hate that Micheal kind of fell apart under the pressure. I'm wondering if he designed what he thought they wanted to see, instead of being true to himself? I think a weekend in the Hamptons collection would of worked for him and even an average person such as myself could have related to the ensembles. Laura's stuff, while pretty, there's just no need for that in my life. I guess maybe the occaisional Christmas party but seriously. I'm ready for Season Four. A lot of people have expressed disappointment with this season, just too nasty, too scandalous, I liked it! I think Alison was kicked off too soon and Vincent should have been kicked off much earlier--the recycling challenge. I don't think his insanity was good enough tv to keep him around. Maybe that's why I'm not a tv producer.

Thanks for the birthday wishes and comments are always appreciated!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Stitching, Dreaming, and Not Making Much Progress

I say I'm not making much progress but Sarah Hook is very close to finished. Horrible weather down here at the moment, dark clouds, lots of wind, huge, huge surf, so maybe a finished pic sometime later in the week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Lately friends and I have been discussing future projects, there are so MANY!

I try hard not set goals where my stitching is concerned because I never keep them and then feel like a loser and this is supposed to be something that enhances my life, not adds more stress. Sometimes I set a few goals because it's the kick in the pants I need to get a long term project wrapped up.

This time of year I find that I fall into a depression and my stitching is my escape. I beyond hate the holiday season. It's just a stressful time and on a very selfish note, I'm sick and tired of eating my own cooking every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course those that know me would say I hate eating my own cooking on a daily basis. It's not because I'm a bad cook, just sometimes when the holidays roll around someone else's green bean casserole or hashbrown casserole or cornbread dressing would be pretty darn tasty. My mom's chocolate pies are something I've been missing lately. That's the taste of home to me. I make her chocolate chip pie but her chocolate pies with meringue topping, I can't duplicate.

I go into a stitching frenzy, it takes me somewhere else, I don't think about the impending holiday season, greedy children, and all the food I like to eat but am tired of cooking. I focus on my overwhelming list of projects I have started, I start obsessing over the finishing, I start competing with myself to see how many things I can finish and put in for framing before the Christmas rush. Is that sick or what? But it takes my mind away from home, from holidays spent with extended family, and for a little while nothing else matters but making those little Xs on fabric and watching the design unfold.

I have to wonder yet again, what in the world do people who have no creative outlet do to get out of their heads for a little while? Without my stitching I'd be insane.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Keeping Busy

This year my seasonal stitching has been all out of whack. Normally I stitch Halloween and Autumn related things over the summer but this year the summer just kind of flew by and nary a pumpkin or witch has been stitched. I also have a gazillion projects started and after listing them all it was a bit overwhelming and believe it or not I had trouble starting something new. So last week I pulled Carriage House Samplings' Sarah Hook out of the started projects basket and worked on her. All I had completed when I picked this up was the word "and" right there on the second row. The fabric I'm using is strange at least to me. I found it in my fabric drawer and can't remember exactly where I acquired it. It's got what appears to be a white thread running one way and a raw or flax colored thread running the opposite direction. The fabric is thick but not difficult to work on. I believe it's 32ct. After reading through the chart(what a concept) I saw where the model had been tea dyed. I think I will do that to this piece. At first I wasn't thrilled with the thought but this is being stitched on an unknown fabric with DMC, I need to be a risk taker. I don't see how it can hurt the appearance of the piece. I'm hoping for some nice blotchy goodness when it's all said and done. Since it's autumn and Halloween is upon us I thought this tombstone design would fit in with the mood of the season. I have several other tombstone designs in the stash and want to stitch them and scatter them through the house. I have some morbid fascination with them. Love, love, love Kathy Barrick's designs.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Get That Brady Bunch Tune Running 'Round Your Brain

Here's the story
Of a dragon named Grady
Just looking for a keep of his very own
All he wanted was his moat of fire
and a wall of gray stone

Here's the story
of a stitcher named Melissa
Just wanting to finish a project for her son
She had fifteen projects already started
and left Grady undone

Til the one day when the guilt over came Melissa
Grady deserved better than being crammed
in the hutch
She released him from his prison
But finishing him was too much

Finishing him, finishing him, finishing him was just too much!

Blogger's giving me fits so I hope the pic shows up......

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Yes, I'd Like*

A Pumpkin Spice Latte.

"Sorry ma'am that's not on our menu."

Ok how about a Cafe Carmel?

"Once again, ma'am, that's not on our menu. We only serve what you see on the menu. So what can I get for you?"

Ok a Mocha Cappuccino.

"(Sigh) I can order you a mocha or a cappuccino but not both together. One or the other."

Bring me a double shot Espresso.

"I can bring you two Espressos. Double shots aren't on our menu."

Just bring me a Dark Roast.

What does a girl have to do to get a cup of coffee?

*edited to add project stats:
Coffee Menu-Little House Needleworks
30ct Old Dominion Blend
recommended fibers with the following substitutions:
DMC 433 for GAST Sarsparilla
DMC 523 for CC Joshua Tree