Monday, February 27, 2006


That's me and Bode. Did. Not. Finish. But I made good progress on Fairy Grandmother, she will get a length of floss everyday and with any luck be finished soon. It's going to be good to work on something else. 13th Colony Bay here I come!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Words of Wisdom

And comfort found in a fortune cookie:

"Nothing is impossible to a willing heart"

Some weeks are tougher than others, who knew I could find what I needed in a fortune cookie?

Other News:

Fairy Grandmother will not be finished by Sunday. No Olympic medal for me, but it's ok. My attitude in regards to this project has changed a lot and I do see her being finished in the not too distant future and it's not an unreasonable expectation. Wow, I sound just like those Olympic athletes, when not performing at their best, stated it wasn't about getting a medal it was about the experience.

My fingers are itching to get back to work on By the Bay's 13th Colony Bay Parts 1-3. I would love to have this finished and framed by May 1st. Great expectations? No, I've reviewed the charts and the majority of the stitching is on the bottom portion of all three parts. The top half does not have a lot of solid stitching so once the bottom half is completed on the three parts, the rest should go smoothly. Of course I'm a painfully slow stitcher, real life gets in the way, and I do tend to underestimate the amount of stitching required for various projects, see above, but I do believe this is a perfectly reasonable goal.


My WIP pile is pretty big. One of the downfalls of guilt free January is a honkin' huge pile of projects with a few Xs here and there. One project I want to get back to once FG is closer to finished and I've made progress on my 13th Colony Bay is Goode Huswife's With My Needle. I barely got started on it when I found an error and wasn't in the mood to frog so it got set aside. I really love this piece and can't believe it's been left in a basket, ignored.

Mouline Rouge is also screaming at me from it's basket. I had intended to have page 1 finished before the end of 2005, yeah, right. I'm not thrilled with 40ct lambswool linen. I prefer 32ct but could only 40ct when I was kitting up this project. I didn't realize the huge difference in the stitch count at the time. I'm a dork that way.

Sarah Tatum is also in need of attention. My friend Siobhan started Sarah Jan. 1st and completed her just before the start of the Olympics. I'm still on the first motif, top left corner. I'm using two strands of DMC on 36ct fabric. It looks thick and sloppy to me so I'm probably going to frog what I've done so far and start over using one strand. I think it will give it a much more delicate appearance.

And They Sinned is another project that I want to focus on this year. I have yet to finish the angel at the very top, center of the design. This is another piece I had hoped to have at least pg. 1 of the chart completed by the end of 2005.

Houses of Hawk Run Hollow is on the list too. I have completed three of the houses and just have the cow to finish on a fourth house block. Finishing that cow is probably the first thing I will do after the Olympic's closing ceremony.

Some new starts I'm looking forward to:

Sonne Spot-This isn't kitted up yet but I hope to start it sometime this year.

Paradigm Lost-Is in the stash, not kitted but I think I'm going to stitch it in red instead of blue. Will probably go with a DMC variegated. My friend Sharon stitched The Hunt Homespun Samplar using a red DMC variegated and it is gorgeous! So when I get around to stitching that I'll steal her color scheme. Since she lives in NY state and I'm in Florida I don't think too many visitors are going to pop in and say "I saw that same picture at Sharon's!"

I want to start Tropical Dream(many thanks to Annette's Acre for thread enabling) and Teresa Wentzler - Mermaid and get back to work on Teresa Wentzler - Tradewinds and Teresa Wentzler - Fantasy Triptych. I'm looking forward to the end of the Olympics so that I can get back to TW Mondays. Or rather spend a little bit of time every Monday with TW. Check out Kiwi Jo's progress on her Tradewinds. Check out her gallery, she's stitched Mermaid and Romeo & Juliet too.

While I love TW's Romeo & Juliet I thought I was saved from having to stitch that until I read somewhere that someone was stitching that and Rapunzel, The Storyteller, and Fortunate Traveller and hanging them on a storybook wall. How cool is that? As much as I love TW designs I never knew what I'd do with them once stitched, now I have something to work towards, a storybook wall. Romeo & Juilet is a chart I must now add to the stash and I have a good reason to start some designs I was just hoarding. Yes, I'm sick, obsessed.

I'm ashamed to admit that the projects listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. My stitching list is long. My U.F.O. list is ridiculous, but my new project list is worse. Market did me in. I hadn't expected to like so many of the new designs out there.

I haven't sat down and dreamed about stitching in a while, but being forced to focus on FG, made me really appreciate so many of my WIP and things I have in the stash. I'm one of those people that will stitch anything just to be able to stitch, but there was a time when I thought I could be a one at a time project chick and well, the last two weeks have showed me that I do need the variety. When forced to focus on only one project, when I tire of it, I tend not to stitch at all which is what has happened the last two days. I want to stitch but not on FG, I need a break from her, so I don't stitch. I've learned it's ok for me to have several projects going, I just don't need 40 WIP. It's too overwhelming. Hopefully I'll have a finish it in 2006 kind of year and won't add too much to the WIP pile. I'm working on kitting up several things, some older Mirabilia's are definitely on the list. I think they will be a nice diversion from all the Quaker style samplers. Garden Verses Mirabilia has been in my want to start pile for years.

The scary thing about this post? I could go on for forty more paragraphs about things I want to stitch. I'll spare you that insanity.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

It's 3:30 a.m

The dog sticks her cold nose in my mouth because she has to pee. I stagger into the living room in my t-shirt and underwear, open the back door and she runs barking like a maniac and the creature below waddles away from the back door to the tree:

The camera was on the night landscape setting, did I mention it was 3:30 in the morning?

Miss Heidi had her prey pinned to the tree but then remembered she had that whole bladder thing going on, so stopped mid-hunt to relieve herself. She wandered back to check on Petey Opossum, then realized she wasn't quite finished with the whole bladder business and took another pee break, during the second pee break is when I remembered to get the camera. Yes, I probably should have used a flash but both neighbors have windows that overlook my backyard, the barking was bad enough but a 3:30 a.m. laser light show was probably not in their plans.

This was without a doubt the biggest opossum I've ever seen. Anyone see the cat from Japan that has a 36 inch waist? Not quite that big, but he didn't walk, he waddled. Instead of playing dead like usual, this particular marsupial actually had some fight in him. Makes me wonder if it was pregnant. I can't believe in regards to opossum I actually used the words "like usual". My family, we are without a doubt, opossum magnets. Seriously, how many people do you know that have the odd opossum story? I have several stories of intimate encounters with opossum. Intimate you ask? How about an opossum behind my toilet at 4:00a.m.? Intimate enough for you? Just call us the Clampetts.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


February 16th was my two year blogiversary. It came and went and I didn't even notice. I did notice that The Crochet Dude and I share the anniversary. My blog is a year older than his.

People(my mother) have asked me why I blog, and that is usually followed by "what is a blog?". Well I blog because I needed a reason to write everyday. I write everyday but usually in composition books and no one ever reads them. A blog is a great way to write everyday and put it out in the universe and let it go.

A blog is also a way to reach out to people with similiar interests, make connections, new friends. In the simplest of terms Blogs Rock!(apologies for my inner 15 yr old) I love reading blogs. I love seeing pictures of people's stitching, of their pets, what they have hanging on their walls. I really love seeing what people have hanging on their walls and how it's all displayed because as I've mentioned here before I have no inner sense of style. I get something framed and hang it on the wall and wonder why it doesn't do anything for me. Yes, I'm the one squinting to see what's on the wall, on the table, what ever is behind what you are really showing. Freak, me? Yeah.

Vero,* has a list of stitchers' stitching rooms/corners. I love browsing those pages, seeing where everyone stitches, stores their stuff, displays their stitching. Why this obsession? Well when no one you know stitches, there aren't a lot of opportunities to see stitching displayed in homes and stitching nooks. The only time I see stitching on anyone's walls is when I'm at one of the LNS. The greatest thing about blogging was discovering that yes, there are people that believe stitching is a priority, it's something important in their lives, to most people it doesn't make sense. It's boring, it's tedious, it takes forever to finish something but another stitcher, they get it. They understand the obsession, the need to pick up a needle for a little while everyday.

I've been blogging for so long now I can't imagine not blogging. Over the last few weeks I've been reading people's blogs that I always find inspiring and it seems like the new has worn off the blogging experience for the writer, or maybe they are making it too much like work. Please don't quit blogging. I find all blogs inspiring in their own way. Even if it's a blog about someone's frustration with a project. We've all been there, and we've all been in slumps. It all goes in cycles and I believe that's where blogging helps. If you're in a slump, you're only a click away from someone in the same boat, someone who has kicked a slump, or someone who can bring you out of the slump. Inspire you to pick up the needle, that old WIP or that piece with the error in it that you haven't wanted to frog. You know you're going to run across a finished pic of that piece somewhere on the internet and then you have to finish it because error and all, you remember why you bought it in the first place.

So what happened on Tuesday? Let's see where do I begin? No stitching on Fairy Grandmother, I needed a break. What do they call it in sports, a bye? I needed one of those. I managed to flood my bathroom yesterday morning. I knew the toilet didn't sound right when I flushed but I went on my merry way only to discover about 10 minutes later two inches of water on the bathroom floor. Hmmm what else happened? My fridge has decided it wants to be an oven and doesn't want to get cold any more. Here's an interesting twist, the hot dogs that have been frozen in there for a while are thawed as is the ice cream, the chicken I bought the other day has ice on it. Cokes won't freeze, half and half won't freeze, but the ice and popsicles are frozen solid, as is the imitation crabmeat. The chicken salad I popped in the freezer to keep it colder than the fridge, it froze. What is freakin' up with that? So I don't know what's wrong but today I'm cleaning the grill underneath and in the back and cleaning out the inside too. Oh and I found out that a new fuel pump for the car is going to be quite pricey. $600. Holy crap! So the garage will be holding the car hostage for a little while until we come up with the ransom. So yesterday I was not in any mental condition to work on FG. Bad things come in threes right? It should all be up hill from here right?

When I did my FG pictorial I didn't bother to mention that her hair took forever to stitch because it has 6,597 color changes in it. I didn't mention that her big wing on the bottom has 54,943 color changes in it alone. Ok I didn't exactly count the color changes but it felt like that many.

Thanks for the comments, they are appreciated.

*edited to correct the url for Vero's blog

Monday, February 20, 2006

Melissa's Anatomy

Of a cross stitch project. The subject of this blog entry is Fairy Grandmother. Below you will see the before pic of the subject:

Next you will see a close up of the head, arm area, before Olympic stitching was begun:

Now if you will please turn your attention to the below photo you will see a close up of the head area as of 4:30 CST Feb. 20, 2006:

Now in the following picture you will view a close up of the wing area prior to Olympic stitching:

Next you will see a close up of the large wing belonging to Fairy Grandmother as of this afternoon:

The picture below is an overview of our subject as of 4:30 CST Feb. 20, 2006:

I stitched on this old hag 8+ hours today, 8 flippin' hours and all I have to show for it is her hair, ok I have an arm too. Some more progress on that wing and the center wing, but egads! 8+ hours and I still feel like I'm accomplishing nothing!

On to happier subjects, something I actually finish, books.

This morning before my stitching marathon, doncha love it when TNT does those Law & Order Marathons? I've seen them all, don't even have to look up, I finished Janet Evanovich's Eleven On Top. Funniest quote from the book:

"I don't mind being a teenager", Grandma said. "Better than thinking I'm an old lady. Maybe I should get a boob job, and then I could wear them sex-kitten clothes."

"Good God," my mother said. And she drained her glass.

This quote is on page 226, you need to read the book to put it in context.

The book was pretty good. I haven't read any Stephanie Plum mysteries in a while, it ended up being a real treat and a very fast read. Started it last night, finished it this morning.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Fairy Grandmother

Here's the promised updated photo of FG. Apologies for the poor scan. No sun around here in the last day or two so I just scanned the pertinent area on my trusty scanner after removing a most comfortable cat. I didn't bother with a scan of the dress, the area I stitched doesn't show up too well. The lower wing area though, if you compare it with the small pic in the side bar, progress is quite obvious if not as much as I would have liked. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, not while stitching, that I get the wing finished today. The color changes are slowing me down. I've tried the prethreaded needle method and that just doesn't work for me so it's stitch, snip, rethread, stitch, snip, rethread. But can I say again how beautiful this is. The color changes are so subtle, they flow so quietly into each other, just gorgeous!

Now for a quick book review. I went to the library on Friday and checked out a few books and some books on tape. I started Alice Hoffman's The Ice Queen Friday night and finished it last night. Alice Hoffman is a gifted storyteller. This story had me from page 1. The book jacket describes the story this way, "Be careful what you wish for. A woman who was touched by tragedy as a child now lives a quiet life, keeping other people at a cool distance. She even believes she wants it that way. Then one day while standing in her house she is struck by lightning. But instead of ending her life, this cataclysmic event sparks a strange and powerful new beginning."

I had been unconcious for thirty two hours, hence the IV in my arm. Naturally things were fuzzy. Of course my brother and Nina looked concerned. And so I didn't mention anything when the nurse came in with a dinner tray and didn't say a word when I noticed the Jell-O I was being offered was the color of stones. The nurse herself, not more than twenty-five, appeared to have long white hair. The flowers my brother and his wife had brought me seemed dusted with snow. I understood then. I had completely lost the color red. Whatever had once been red was now cloudy and pale. All I saw was ice; all I felt was the cold of my own ruined self....Why the absence of a color would affect me so deeply, I had no idea, but I suddenly felt completely bereft. I had lost something before I'd known it's worth, and now it was too late.

This paragraph haunted me. I thought about it often yesterday. When I finished the book last night, I cried. I don't want to tell any more of the story, even parts mentioned on the book jacket, the story is so powerful, I'll carry it with me for a long time. The Ice Queen : A Novel: Books: Alice Hoffman

This is the best book I've read in a long time. I don't know if there's some deep emotional connection I made with the main character, if the story really is that powerful, for some reason, it touched me, moved me. If I even let on why I cried at the end, it will give the story a way and I don't want to take that moment from anyone who hasn't read this book.

Question of the Day:

Do you all think NBC knows that their Olympic coverage sucks?

Let's be clear, they have 5 or so channels, the Olmpics are in a part of the world that is oh, 7 hours or so ahead of us, it seems like something other than hockey could be shown in real time. Seriously. This is a big event, doesn't it make since to show some of this stuff when it is actually happening? I get the whole "prime time ratings" stuff. I understand. But why not show the events in real time on all five of your channels so we can flip around, watch the events we want to, then show your packaged prime time extravaganza at night. We'd all watch again. Not everyone works during the day, some people work at night, give us all a taste. We get the scores. You may have the tv coverage but you don't control the news. Don't you think you are doing your viewers a disservice having Chris Jansing say, "Big happenings on the slopes today. Tune in tonight to your local NBC affiliate to see what happened." Hello, it's happened, you aren't showing it, don't you see something wrong with that? All I have to do is flip over to ny other news channel and find out what happened which I'm going to do because of your stupid tease. 5 channels!!! 5 Channels and we can't get one flipping thing in real time. Even on the stupid weekends! Why were cartoons on instead of the biathalon on Saturday? Why not catch adults when they are lounging around on Saturday morning before taking kids to basketball games? No you wait to show them later in the afternoon. You have 5 channels and there's rarely Olympics on any of them.
You're showing hockey this morning over skiing. You can't show skiing or bobsleding on a Sunday morning? SUNDAY MORNING!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Olympic Stitching

Coming later today a progress pic of Fairy Grandmother, but for now a few reflections on stitching her and major miscalculations.

So week one of the Olympic Stitching challenge has come to an end. While working on Fairy Grandmother yesterday I realized that I made a grave error not touching her last weekend. Friday passed, not one stitch, Saturday, not one stitch, Sunday, nada, Monday, zippo. Ok fast forward to Friday of this week, I've worked on her every day since Tuesday, right now I'm enjoying her. I like her, I really like her! When you turn the piece a certain way and all the shading is evident, it's just breathtaking. Breath taking to the point that I suck in my breath, let it out and say to myself, "You are creating this, freakin' gorgeous piece of needlework, you, just someone with thread and needle." Amazing. The DH was home Thursday and Friday and it cut drastically into my daytime stitching time, but yesterday when I pulled out FG he kept commenting on how pretty she was and how he bet I really hate giving her away. I looked at him and said very clearly, "I can't get this out of the house fast enough!" So yep, she's gorgeous, I'm loving her again but nope, don't want her around. I can very easily part with this piece of needlework. Believe it or not I have a long long list of larger projects that I want to stitch and give away to people, the problem is that FG has taken about 5 yrs, not of steady stitching, there were two false starts(one where I actually believed I knew more than MLI about fabric choices, boy did that bite when I accepted the fact that I'm colorblind and it's best for the profressionals to do the color choosing and I'll just be a little lamb following the pack, the second false start was when I cut the fabric wrong, I hate that), and of course there was the bitterness surrounding my hatred of the color changes, not so much the color changes themselves, let's face it I have a gazillion TWs in the stash to keep me stitching and changing colors for another lifetime, but with MLI's patterns there are usually nice big blocks of color but not with FG, the color changes are tedious, and when you aren't mentally in the zone for frequent color changes it can be disheartening. I've given away very few larger pieces mainly because I'm a very, very slow stitcher. I have umpteen hundred WIPs, I stitch to decorate my house. It's my art. For years I stitched for the sake of stitching, then a few years ago I started being fairly picky about what I spent my time stitching. I spent one summer stitching only on Halloween things, which became the quilt top from last summer-nice, easy stitching, good for lazy summer days(hope to do the same with Christmas pieces I have in the stash this summer), then I spent a few months working on pieces for my boys' bathroom. It's got a sea theme, so I stitched a Stoney Creek fish design and a turtle piece, and the Rainforest Frog. Oh and I stitched BN's Key West Sampler but it was hanging near the sink, the cats got in a fight, knocked it off the wall, it hit the floor, glass broke and then one of them peed on it. So it's kind of a do-over at this point.

Then I started focusing on the living room and stitching things I loved. I have a vision but no inate since of style. That makes for lots of stitching hanging haphazardly on living room walls with no sense of place, they create no, oh, what am I trying to say, no feeling of comfort, just of cross stitch chaos. I have this huge, huge wall by the front door and three approx. 8x10 cross stitch pics hanging on it. They look like 3 little fish in a 100 gallon aquarium. It doesn't work but I can't figure out what to do with them at the moment. I hate to hide them away in the bedroom. I'm hoping that eventually they'll tell me where they belong. My Le Printemps and L'Ete would look great on that wall. They are larger designs but I have them hanging on the girlie end of the living room on my tropical punch painted wall. They work there, but somehow I feel they deserve a more prominent place.

Anyway since getting a rythmn going with FG I do believe I'll get her finished this time, maybe not by the end of the Olympics but in the not so distant future. I'm not giving up, I may surprise myself, I just seriously underestimated the amount of stitching I had left. It really didn't look like a lot but, we'll see how it goes.

So then while stitching I started thinking about other WIP close to finished. I have DS#2's Dragon Isle, I haven't underestimated the amount of stitching on that, it's just 14ct black aida with fractional stitches. ICK, ACK, PTUI! Then there's Mirabilia's Lady of the Flag. She's not quite at the halfway mark but close. I still have the banner at the bottom of her dress and the flag on the bottom half of the chart and then I think that page of the pattern is complete. I do believe once FG is completed, LOTF will get a lot of attention. Next is Mirabilia's Mermaid of the Pearls which I promised to my niece Megan because she asked for it when she saw me stitching it, what was I supposed to say? There's an error somewhere in my stitching and I just hate to touch it because I'll obsess over the error. Then I'll whine about frogging, then I'll hate to part with her because I do love me some mermaids. But there are a ton of other Mirabilia Mermaids I want to stitch and have been sort of planning to stitch 3 or so on the same piece of linen, but then I decided if I did that I'd never finish them. Better to stitch one at a time, but wouldn't a few of those mermaids look great all stitched on the same piece of fabric? I had always planned to do this and hang it over my bed.

That was just a glimpse at what's started and remotely close to finished. Then I have my 13th Colony Bay Parts 1-3 on the same piece of linen(I love stitching on big pieces of linen). I want this finished by the end of March so I can get it in for framing and up on the wall ASAP. The stitching on that piece does go quick, talk about big blocks of color! I think it really is doable, if I forget that I have a life, family, commitments. But isn't the whole goal to get it finished and on the wall?

Then there's my dream of a Quaker wall, my dream of a wall of all redwork pieces, can you tell I'm a theme stitcher?

My friend Siobhan has finished Sarah Tatum and Victorine Bonnegent already this year. Can you believe that? I started Sarah Tatum New Year's Day and haven't finished one motif. Victorine was Siobhan's Olympic project. She's definitely gold medaled in her event.

My friend Sharon finished Homespun Samplar's The Hunt. She finished it in record time. I had planned on stitching this with the recommended threads but am going to steal Sharon's idea and stitch it in red. Her's looks fabulous.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

How About Some Pictures?

The picture above is the little bit of progress I've made on By the Bay's 13th Colony Bay. I'm stitching parts 1-3 on the same piece of 32ct Star Sapphire linen. That's one honkin' big piece of linen. Once the Olympic Stitching Challenge is over I'm looking forward to getting back to this design. I think the stitching will go pretty fast. Can't wait to get it framed and hanging in the kitchen.

The DH was greeted by the above snowfall when he reached Memphis Friday Morning. Since he hadn't seen snow in years and years it was an added bonus to seeing family.

The picture above is what he left just prior to flying into a snowstorm. Do you know what's the best thing about this picture? No people! I had the beach all to myself on Friday when I took this picture. That ROCKS! There is nothing like February on the Gulf Coast, the beaches are their prettiest and there are no people here. Some times it's even warm enough to wear shorts and get a little sun.

The picture above is of my current knitting project. Taken from a distance to show off the tulips the DH gifted me with for Valentine's Day.

Above is a close up of the knitting. It's my first attempt at a baby sweater. It's all in garter stitch because I can't flippin' purl. The long thin piece to the left is the front panel, the big square is the back, and on the needles is the other front panel. Only a few more rows and it will be finished then all I have left to knit are two sleeves then sew it together and block the you know what out of it. The friend I'm knitting it for will forgive any mistakes, I'm knitting it with TLC Cotton Plus but I can't remember the color. Yes, the one front panel looks a little longer than the back but I'm hoping blocking will fix that. It's my first sweater, give me a break.

Market Reports

Shakespeare's Peddler1 has a market report up. Two pages of cross stitch goodness.

There are also market reports up at Elegant Stitch.

Some friends and I are planning a SAL to BN's Ezmeralda's House. A must have for me is Workbasket's Mermaids Singing. I also like Hands to Work Harvest Blooms. Love those flowers in the shoe. I also like BOAF's Spring and Summer Gardens. Those will make great pillows. I love CHS Tombstone Angels and Scarlett Berries. I also like all of the new Blackbird Designs. One that caught my eye that is a must have is Victoria Sampler's Heart's Secret. It went right to the top of my wish list when I saw it.

Coming Soon:

A current pic of Fairy Grandmother, bet you just can't wait......

Listening to:

Stevie Nick's Timespace

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Olympic Progress

Anna asks how I'm doing with the Olympic stitching? Well this weekend I was Michelle Kwan. Out for the count, due to kids with too many commitments, and one unexpected basketball game so Sunday was a rain out. But today call me Emily Hughes. I'm back in, put in several lengths of floss. Unfortunately the progress doesn't show, the stitched piece still resembles the pic in the sidebar but hopefully by this weekend I'll be able to take a progress pic that will actually show some progress.

Lessons learned over the years I've spent with Fairy Grandmother:

1) Never ever tell anyone you are stitching something for them. NEVER EVER!

2) Sometimes doing the majority of the background stitching in the beginning because the stitcher believes it will lend itself to boredom during the last leg of stitching is a mistake. God help me but I'd love me a big block of the same color right now.

3) Always, always make a working copy of the chart for a long term project and make it at the start of the project. To someone who can't see shades worth anything and the chart is falling apart, a working copy at this point doesn't offer much of anything but confusion and wasted time trying to mark out what has already been stitched. My time is better spent stitching and working it out as I go. But I will never again start a project without a working copy.

4) Try not to get emotionally attached to the project. This project is kicking my ass. I can't stress enough that it will be one of the prettiest things I've stitched in my lifetime of stitching but I truly, hate the Grandhag. When I started it for my grandmother it represented to me who my grandmother has always been in my life, a fairy grandmother, the stitched fairy even reminds me of my mamaw in her younger days. She is everything a fairy grandmother should be, my mamaw saved me, she always made me feel valued and loved. Living in a home with a revolving door and I won't go into it but use your imagination, revolving, someone going in and out, my grandmother kept things stable. She was a constant in a dysfunctional family. She offered unconditional love, support and always believed that I was somebody special. So this piece is just an emotional mess where I'm concerned. There's so much more tied to this piece of cross stitch than some thread and fabric. A lot of baggage if you know what I mean.

So while going is slow, uphill all the way, if I can get the cross stitch finished by the end of the Olympics the beading should be a breeze. Truthfully I enjoyed stitching on her this afternoon. It felt right. It's the first time working on the grandhag has felt right. I hope to put in a few more stitches tonight, and get right back on it first thing in the morning. I believe I've found a rythmn and think I can keep it up. Then again I could have just jinxed myself.

In other news, I've been listening nonstop to Cat Power The Greatest and Lucinda Williams World Without Tears. Do I need to say how much I *heart* Lucinda Williams?

From Righteously:

You don't have to prove
Your manhood to me constantly
I know you're the man can't you see
I love you Righteously

Why you wanna dis me
After the way you been kissin' me
After those pretty things you say
And the love we made today

When you run your hand
All up and run it back down my leg
Get excited and bite my neck
Get me all worked up like that

Here's a little taste of Ventura:

I wanna watch the ocean bend
The edges of the sun then
I wanna get swallowed up in
an ocean of love

From Cat Power The Greatest -Islands:

The captain has a treasure
Says I hold the key
But old mangroves
And sweet winds blow
Songs of you and me

I haven't had time to read lately, but if anyone has read Stephen King's Cell leave me a note about your thoughts on this book. It's the first book I've wanted to run out and buy in a long time. I read some reviews on Amazon and can't determine if people liked it or not. I came very close to buying it last weekend but decided that even with 40% off I shouldn't spend the money right now, but I sure wanted to curl up with a good Stephen King novel last weekend.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I'm Here, I'm Here!

Thanks to everyone for your encouragement regarding Fairy Grandmother. I feel that before these 16 days are over I'll be ready to stab myself in the eye with my #26 Piecemaker's needle.

I spent the better part of the day running errands and tonight will be spent at DS#2's basketball game. Not one stitch will be crossed until later this evening. The DH went to Memphis to visit family and took my camera. I assure you that I have made no progress on Fairy Grandmother since I placed the most recent pic of her in the sidebar. I'm going to attempt a pic in the morning with the old camera, it's kind of duct taped together but I think it will make a decent pic for my purposes.

Other news, I also need to take a pic of my pile of hexes for the Grandmother's Flower Garden Afghan CAL over at Crochetville Forum. My intention is to get a few flowers sewed together before taking a pic but who knows when that will actually happen? It's a good project when the eyes are too tired to cross stitch. The pattern was easy to memorize, I seem to be meeting gauge with each one, so it's a pleasant project to work on. Those hexes are addictive.

With DH gone this weekend I hope to get to stay home and stitch the weekend away but so far today was too busy and tomorrow morning we will be busy with haircuts, a little running around, but hopefully when that is all done I can stay home the rest of the weekend and do as I please. The kids can eat frozen pizza three meals a day for a day or two. I mean it's got your dairy, wheat, meat, vegetables. Everything is covered. The perfect meal!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Radio Silence

Thanks to everyone for the compliments on my skull girl. She's still just a cross stitch piece, haven't turned her into a bag yet. Too much going on, health problems related to my mom. Sometimes being 600 miles away isn't a good thing. 99% of the time it's the best thing, but that other one percent can really bite.

Not much of anything has been accomplished around here in the crafty endeavors department. I did start my 13th Colony Bay Parts 1-3 last weekend. The stitching is going a little slower than I'd like but that is more due to the aforementioned family issues than anything. I kept waiting to write until I took a pic but decided picture taking just wasn't in the cards any time soon so there you have it.

I've made quite a few more hexes for my Grandmother's Flower Garden CAL over at Crochetville. I've been working on the 63 Squares CAL for over a year and keep setting it aside because I become disenchanted with my color choices. I've restarted this afghan several different times. I think I've finally come upon a color scheme that I might actually follow through with. Ever since discovering Celestial Creations, I've become obsessed with the Espresso color in Caron One Pound yarn. It's a beautiful, rich brown. I'm thinking the 63 Squares afghan might look nice in the Cream and Espresso colors. The pattern calls for three colors but I don't see why two colors couldn't work just as well. After looking at the few afghans I've made, we're hard on them. Celeste mentions in her blog that the Caron is an ultra-washable yarn. It's probably not as soft as Caron Simply Soft but for an afghan with cream as one of the main colors I think ultrawashable is a positive. At first I was worried that the Espresso might be too dark to really show the difference in the stitches of the various blocks but Celeste has a picture of an aran tote bag she's making and the stitches show up nicely on that bag. So I think I'll restart this afghan sometime after the Olympics. That'll give me some time to gather up the Caron I'll need for the project. I just got the new Valentine's flyer from JoAnn's and they'll have the Caron One Pound for $3.95 a skein. Pretty good deal.

I'm psyching myself up for my Olympic stitching. It's going to be the longest 16 days of my life, but I have to get that out of my head and look down the road to it being the 16 days of my life that get this Fairy GrandHAG out of my stitching basket and off to the framers. How's that for putting a positive slant on the project?

Once this albatross is no longer hanging around my neck I see lots of fun stitching ahead. Fun, completely and utterly selfish stitching, the best kind!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Adventures in Cross Stitching

Or maybe I should say designing. I have a favorite t-shirt, I've been wanting to make something else with this design on it so I begged the spousal unit to draw it off for me and he did. His artwork is shown below:

I scanned his interpretation of this design into Patternmaker and printed out a chart and stitched the design on 28ct Mulberry over 2 using two strands of DMC 3716:

Now I plan to turn the cross stitch piece into a pocket for the front of a bag. The fabric underneath the cross stitch design is the outside of the bag and the lime fabric will be the lining. I'm also hoping to add inside pockets like you will find on my favorite brand of tote bags and purses.

I will use either the pattern for the red bag shown at the top left of this pattern or

Bag C, shown at the top right of the pattern shown below, it's the pink bag.

Now I'm planning to crochet the same design to the front of bag that I will then felt. I'm trying to decide whether to do a burgundy bag with a pink design or take it to the next level and crochet a lime bag with a pink design. I have wool almost ready to koolaid dye but if I decide to go with the burgundy bag I may just use wool I can buy already the color I want.

I hate sewing so this should be another adventure. I've been inspired to try this thanks to all the creative people over at