Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Strawberry Blonde and Some Critter Cuteness

Can't believe it's already January 31, 2007. Where has this month gone? Time has flown by and I don't have a lot to show for it. Below you can see my progress on CHS Strawberry Blonde. This piece is being stitched on the unknown unevenweave fabric I picked up at JoAnn's. I feel a need to stress that as the large strawberry is looking a bit tomato like. Is it just me or does the unevenweave of the fabric give this a definite tomato shape? I want to stress, this is the fabric not Kathy Barrick's design. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that when I get more of this strawberry completed and the dark green around the bottom stitched the shape will be a little more strawberry-esque as Kathy intended. Pop over to CHS and check out the way it's supposed to look and you'll see what I'm talking about. I tried to post a pic of the model but Blogger gave me fits, so I counted my blessings I got the pictures posted that I did. I believe this is in her New Designs section.
One of the problems with being cheap innovative is that you don't always know what you're going to get in the way of a finished design. Using weird fabric can cause the design to take on a life and shape of it's own. It does make the whole act of cross stitching a bit more of an adventure than really "knowing" what it's going to look like. Sometimes that's good and sometimes that bad. In my stitching life I'm not usually a risk taker because the few times I've attempted to change something in a design it's been a disaster. I don't have a lot of confidence in my color choices and definitely not in my fabric choices. Once again the shape of the above strawberry is all the fault of the stitcher not the designer. Kathy Barrick is fabulous. I love her stuff and check out her News page when you pop over there and see her Market preview. She rocks!
Sue has been bitten by the CHS bug too. Sue is a wonderful crocheter who has recently been drawn into the cross stitch web. Let's keep encouraging her.
Life is Hard Out There for a Pimp Black Lab

Here is a glimpse into the daily life of our black lab Heidi. Here she's trying to rest, chew on her bone and what does she have to deal with? Miss Polly PrissyPants.

How cute is that face? What you don't see in these pictures? The shredded napkins, paper towels, toilet paper roll, and notebook paper all over the living room floor. The living room looked like Times Square on New Year's Eve after the ball dropped.

Just when Heidi thinks she can grab a quiet moment because Polly has been distracted by chasing her own tail, this happens:

Her couchmate would be Riley. He used to be part of the trio of kittens we called Charles, Nelson and Reilly(really showing my age here, huh?) but we found Charles a home and Nelson, it appears, is a Nelly. So we have Riley. Riley believes that Heidi is his best friend and he loves to cuddle with her. Like Polly he never gives her a moment's peace when she's trying to lay around and take a nap.

Do they blend or what? Where does the dog end and the cat begin?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Carol tagged me for the 6 Weird Things About Me Meme. Anyone who knows me will tell you there are a lot more than 6 things weird about me but here are the six that come to mind and they probably aren't all weird, just idiosyncrasies. After thinking about it, I'm not sure any of those fit the definition of weird, odd, maybe.

1) I can't leave the house without going through a check list in my mind and even when I know I did everything on the check list I have to go back in and double check. If, after heading out, there's the least little doubt in my mind that I didn't check everything on the list I have to go back home no matter how far away from home I am and make sure everything was taken care of or I am anxious, worried and miserable the whole time I'm gone.

2) I will not eat or drink after anyone. I don't care if I've kissed you for 25 yrs or pushed you out of my womb, it makes me sick to think of eating or drinking after someone(I was beat up every day in 5th grade because I refused to eat a pickle after this girl took a bite, seriously.). One of the biggest arguments around this house is when I'm not looking the spousal unit will drink out of my coke or water(he doesn't drink coffee or unsweet tea). I have poured out more beverages in my 20+ years of marriage than you can believe.

3) I have never smoked a cigarette.

4) I was a vegetarian for almost three years(I read Diet for a Small Planet and it made me think about the food I was eating and how it affected people on the other side of the world) until the craving for bacon did me in. I had to have it. Life was not worth living if I couldn't have a BLT.

5) I love airports. I don't mind delays. I spent 24 hours in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport a few years ago on my way to a stitching weekend. I flew on the cheap-standby- and couldn't get a flight out. I slept on a cot in one of the waiting areas. As bad as I hated not being with my stitching friends I didn't think it was a horrible experience. Oh and the coldest place on earth is the Dallas-Fort Worth airport at 2 a.m. in August. I'm talking teeth chattering, needing a parka kind of cold.

6) I try very hard not to be materialistic, one of those people that's happy with what she has(you know expensive furniture, nice cars aren't important), but I have several wish lists a mile long and if money were no object I'd buy everything on those lists.

and a bonus one:

7) One trait I've passed on to my kids--my food freshness issues. If I can't remember when something was opened or purchased, or cooked I throw it away. My kids take it one step farther, if it's a box of snacks and never been opened but they know it's been in the cabinet for a week they refuse to eat it and say it's stale.

Should have an updated picture of Strawberry Blonde tomorrow or when you see it, you may agree with me that "tomato" blonde is a more appropriate title.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Land Ho!

Our merry band of pirates are sailing into Port 1 of the 13th Colony Bay. They are arriving back from a Robin Hoodesque mission to retrieve some of the community members' property from their homeland. You see, when they left, it was the darkest hours of the night, they traveled light and fast. A ship brought them to the 13th Colony where they have started a new life. Eventually though one needs "things".
Tired of camping, only having one pot to cook in and wanting a few little luxuries pirates were hired to gather some of their belongings and bring them back. Tucked away on the ship are tools, dishes, pots, pans, silverware, fabric, threads, books, a musical instrument or two and a tea set. We might be on the run but we are civilized.
In payment our pirates only asked that new sails be made for their ship and the old ones repaired. They would also like to harvest some food from the island garden, and asked that a few pair of new socks be knit for them. These are good hearted pirates but they are pirates just the same and one never knows when they might need a safe hideaway. It's best to stay friends with the good people of the 13th Colony Bay.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Say Hello To

The reason I haven't blogged or stitched in a week. Her name is Polly PrissyPants and she's the newest addition to our family. No, she is not as innocent as she looks. This is the only picture I've been able to take of her because she's always on the move. Her current mission in life is to see how many times I can take her out to pee, call her a good girl, give her a treat, and then let her back in the house to immediately pee behind my back. The Dog Whisperer says that if you take your dog out and they have to go again real soon it means you didn't let them finish. My question is "How long is long enough to keep them outside?" She peed three times, pooped once and came in and peed about 2 minutes later. What am I doing wrong? I don't remember being this exhausted when I had a newborn. I'm definitely getting exercise, but the Pee/Poop Patrol is going to do me in.

In other news, The sample CD in the new issue of Paste(Shins cover) is great. I bought it because there's an interview with Lucinda Williams and she's one of my all time favorites. If you haven't heard her record Car Wheels on a Gravel Road I highly recommend it. She's a great songwriter. I'm also excited about the new Shins CD. I love the track included on this sample CD.

The sun is shining here in the Sunshine State so if I can I'll take an updated picture of By the Bay's 13th Colony Bay. I've made a little progress since my last photo. I will not get it finished this month like I had hoped but such is life. Why can't I finish it? Well we fell under the spell of LOST. It's the greatest tv show ever. Ok, maybe I just don't have much of a life but we have plowed through Season 1 and Season 2 on DVD and caught up with Season 3 at and I'm anxiously awaiting the new episode that will air Feb. 7th. Of course due to some kind of dispute we lost our ABC station so I'll have catch it on Feb. 8th at Can you believe we don't have an ABC station any more?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Strawberry Blonde

Here is my most recent progress picture of CHS Strawberry Blonde. I've been working my way up to the large strawberry above her head because I'm using the unknown, unevenweave fabric from JoAnn's and want to make sure the strawberry looks like a strawberry and not some kind of deformed vegetation just waiting to fall off the vine and crush our heroine. So far it looks ok. I'm thinking it might be a little on the thin side, not as full, but I could be wrong, it appears to be shaping up nicely.
When finished and when I get Garden Glade, also CHS, completed I will hang these in my bedroom along with a few things from the Scarlet Letter that I'm currently obsessing over. Haven't stitched yet, haven't bought the charts yet, but I'm dreaming about them.
Thanks for all the comments regarding the walls. I know that eventually I'll get it all figured out. We do have a lot going on color wise in the main living areas of the house but the rest of the house is boring white. We have to paint the hall, our bedroom, and the front bathroom ASAP. They are looking mighty dingy. I also want get some pictures of the kids up on the walls. I had a stack of about six pictures of the youngest when he was 2 or 3 at the beach that I set aside for a collage frame and now I can't seem to remember where I put them. This seems to be a pattern with me.
My left eye seems to be twitching a lot these days. I think I'm overloading on TV. The spousal unit and I have become addicted to Season 1 of Lost and can't seem to just watch one or two episodes, we have to watch all four on the disc. I love that my video store has started carrying TV on DVD because let me tell ya it's the greatest invention ever. With any luck we'll finish up season 1 tonight and can start on Season 2 tomorrow. What we have noticed is that we find that the two main characters are the least interesting. We like Sawyer and Locke the best. Jack and Kate are boring us to no end. The flashbacks are getting a little old too. We know Kate was bad and Jack was and still is holier than thou. We get it. Give us more monsters, give us more Sawyer without a shirt-ok that's more for me.
I'm also plowing through Lee Child's Jack Reacher series. Once I start a book I can't put it down until it's finished. I read two in one day last week. We had pizza for dinner that night and I was lost in Reacherworld most of the day. Very good day that was too. After I pick up the one on hold for me at the library today I should be all caught up, then again I think there might still be one more, Echo Burning or something like that I need to find at the bookstore.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Sad State of My Walls

This post is a bit image heavy but here's a bit of a peek at my walls. Below you see L'Ete and Le Printemps. This is the wall behind my front door. You can see the way the ceiling angles up. I'm thinking about adding one of those big iron looking clocks to this wall, something. Lots of empty space. I would have taken a better picture but then you would have been privy to the Sunday newspapers and Pirates of the Carribean chess set piled on the couch. This is the wall directly across the room from "The Girls". From left to right you see, The Mermaid-CHS, below that Mairmaid's Song also CHS, then Mermaid and the Sea-Examplars from the Heart. Next to that on top, Northern Lights-EftH, and below that Sirens of the Sea-CHS and then on the end Good Things-BOAF. I'm pretty happy with the arrangement of these particular pieces, they need to be moved about a foot to the left because we rearranged the living room and they are now not exactly centered like they were before. The couch below it is covered in an Esprit quilt until I can make new covers for the cushions because it's pretty ugly. It was a junk store find a year or two ago and was in another part of the living room, now it's a priority to get it covered.

This little grouping is by the front door as you can tell. I should say that when I get HOHRH framed it will be on this wall. I'll then have to find something else to do with these pictures. "The Girls" are on the wall to the left of this picture. What you see in this group is Peace-BOAF, Halloween House-DT and Time has Wings-Sheepish Designs.

Now for the kitchen. Here's my Scarlet Macaw-Pegasus Orginals. It's hanging in the kitchen by the laundry room door above my orange hutch. We just hung it on an existing nail about six months ago and have been too lazy to actually center it above the hutch or find something to hang with it in this spot. I didn't take a picture from another angle because then you would see the laundry piled up on the kitchen table.

This wall is opposite the dining table. That's Lizzie Kate's Summer and to the right is a tea towel I have hanging from dowel, my friend Val in England sent it to me. It says "Many people have eaten in this kitchen and gone on to live healthy lives." Do you see how much wall space I have here? I plan to hang 13th Colony Bay on this wall when it's finished. The color of this wall is much fresher than the picture implies. It looks a bit like split pea soup in this picture and really is a bright zesty lime. Despite my issues with wall space and laundry on the table, I love this area of the house the most. When it's fixed up it's a very happy place. I plan to hang Midsummer Night Designs, Monkey Sampler near the table but until the laundry is moved you won't see a picture of that corner.

Here's the wall next to the coffee pot. I have Bent Creek's Rise & Shine hanging there and that white blob to the right is my kitchen cabinet. I will more than likely hang LHN Coffee Menu above Rise & Shine. Now I have Dragon Dreams Coffee is Magic in the Morning in progress and want to hang it somewhere in the kitchen but how does one make a coffee loving wizard work with Rise & Shine and Coffee Menu? See what I'm talking about here? I guess I could make Magic in the Morning into a pillow for the bed. It's one thought I'm tossing about. Just because it's a coffee design, I'm not limited to hanging it in the kitchen, but I don't want to fall into that "this doesn't work" mindset. I'm searching for some whimsy too.

Below you see my decorating conundrum. The beam. What to do with it? It's just there, this big empty spot between the living room and the desk/computer area which is more than likely supposed to be a dining area but the kitchen has room for a table so we did something else with this spot, but once again, what can one do with this spot? It's a barren wasteland of emptiness, so full of potential, so freaking hard to dust. Don't even ask about the layers of dust up there.

The needlework in the far right corner that you see is Barbara & Cheryl's South Battery View. I know that the needlework pictures aren't well done but that's not really the point, the point is what to do to make the walls talk? Of course right now the walls are saying to each other, "Can you believe she's got the nerve to put these pictures out there?"

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thinking Long and Hard About

The whole home decor situation. A few months back Jan at Be*mused wrote about living in a new house as opposed to her former older home. I wish I could find a link to the exact post because her words have stayed with me for months now. Ok, I found the original post, it definitely deserves linking to: Be*mused: Smoke and mirrors. In this post Jan writes about how her older home provided funky, unexpected display areas. How she could set up little surprises around this or that corner. It got me to thinking about our house and how in house terms it's a new house. There are no funky built in shelves, about the only thing funky in the house is the angles of the cathedral ceiling. We do have this odd beam that I can't figure out what the heck to do with. Some fake greenery? Some baskets? Right now it's an eighteen inch wide room living room divider that leaves me confused. There's probably a really good decorating use for it but I haven't figured it out yet. Of course everything about decorating confuses me. I stitch because I breathe but I tell the spousal unit I stitch so that we have art on our walls. He buys that excuse but wishes I was a little bit more productive with my art output as opposed to hoarding up "art" supplies. I like having my stitching on the walls. Of course it never looks quite right. We're back to that whole no inner sense of style thing. Some people, like Jan, I'm guessing, can hang stuff on the walls and it looks like it was meant to be there, it was made for that spot. I'm one of those people that has two styles. Style 1) She's been to one to many Home Interiors parties and the wall looks too set up, or Style 2) She just hung that picture on the wall-yeah, as flat as it sounds. Somewhere inbetween these two must be my happy medium. I can't seem to find it. Maybe I over think the whole decorating thing. I mean if you haven't vacuumed in three days is anyone going to notice what's on the walls over the animal hair on the carpet?

While browsing many of my in-progress cross stitch projects and the things I want to kit up for future stitching, I start agonizing over where I will hang this or that. Don't get me wrong, I'm not all caught up in what will work, I have no theme. No French Country, no Farmhouse, no contemporary, I have a house full of odds and ends furniture, I have tons of wall space and no theme. One thing about this house, we got a lot of walls. They are for the most part empty because a few years ago I watched a show on HGTV and the person being interviewed about his home said that they only have things on their walls that they made or photographed or friends had made or photographed. I took that to heart. Hey any excuse to hoard more stash and start more projects, that works for me. But while talking with my friend Siobhan, you want the stuff on your walls to mean something too. You want it be something you love a lot. So my walls are bare, I have a pile of pictures of the kids to frame and of course I either forget where I put the pictures or forget to pick up a frame or two here and there, but the point is, and I'm going to be very blunt here, my walls, for the most part, suck. Big time suck zone here. I'm not creating any kind of mood on my walls. I don't know how to do that. I can't seem to wrap my brain around it. I'm missing something big, something obvious, and I'm not getting it.

I want to create a sense of place, a sense of home, but I seem to only be hanging pictures on the wall. So my question for all you readers out there, how do you do it? How does one make a Quaker Sampler work on a wall with a Teresa Wentzler design? How does a Mirabilia work with a reproduction sampler? You have to understand, I have lots of wall space, lots of different styles of projects going, how do I make this stuff all flow together? Can a Mirabilia design and an Ackworth Quaker work in the same room?

I know where 13th Colony Bay will hang, I think that's why I'm suffering from severe tunnel vision at the moment. I know exactly where I'm going to put it, I want it finished and framed like last week. So I'm enjoying it, but Moulin Rouge, I have no clue what I'm going to do with it when it's finished other than framing it. Takes some of the wind out of the sails you know?

In the next couple of days I'll try to take some pictures of where my stitching is currently hanging, no matter how ridiculous it looks, then you all will see the seriousness of my decorating situation. I appear to be beyond the help of the major decorating magazines. I'm pretty much hopeless.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Just Guidelines

So I recently stated here on this very blog that Mondays would be dedicated to Mouline Rouge, ahem....not this Monday. This Monday, as was Friday, Saturday and Sunday, was dedicated to By the Bay's 13th Colony Bay Parts 1-3 stitched on the same piece of fabric. Below you can see the shot I took a few minutes ago. What you are seeing is part 1 to the left and part of part 2 to the far right. I should be farther along but I'm a slow stitcher. Yes, I jump around. I started in the center and worked my way over to part 1. Now I'm working back to the center and want to get into a little of part 3. This is going to be by far one of the coolest projects I've ever undertaken. I'm so glad I didn't back out of stitching them all on the same piece of fabric. It's not difficult, just lots of solid stitching. After stitching with one thread over two on 32ct for HOHRH, two threads over two on 32ct seems so thick. I feel like my stitching appears messy. That being said, this will be one of my all time favorite pieces. I'm already plotting the china I want to buy to go with it. It's Lenox "British Colonial" Accent/Salad Plate. I "heart" it. It's a great match for this design. My boys might even fight over it one day. Now will I ever buy it? Probably not but I can dream and I can always add a few pieces here and there. I love that accent plate. Is it wrong to want to buy china to coordinate with your stitching? For family reading this I thought I'd share a picture of the middle son at the beach with his skim board. This was taken December 29th. Yep, it's winter and we're at the beach. He needs a wetsuit. The water was too cold to do much more than stand there and think about dropping the skim board in the water, the fact that he might fall in was enough to keep him out of the water.

This afternoon I finished my fourth Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child. I'm addicted to these books. This one was One Shot. Couldn't put it down. I also need to correct the title of another book from a previous post, it's Without Fail, not Final Warning. Not sure where that title came from, I just made it up. How I could forget the name of a book I just finished, I don't know, but I did.

For those of you looking for a tasty crockpot recipe, I have this one going right now: Williams-Sonoma Beef Burgundy This is the second time I've made this and the older kids are already asking, "When's dinner?" It smells that good. I didn't do the precooking this time because I had to go to the store and didn't get it started until 10am. So I just tossed everything in the crockpot. I also sub beef boullion granules for the demiglace. If I get to the Williams Sonoma store in Destin I plan on picking some up so that the next time I make this I can follow the recipe but it smells pretty darn tasty right now. On a side note, is it wrong to be frustrated that the Winn Dixie only has small bottles of Pinot Noir with corks? Where's a screw top wine when you need one. I thought I'd have trouble tracking down my cork screw but no it was readily accessible, shocking that.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Making a Case for


I know. Sounds strange doesn't it with everyone going into rehab these days? But sometimes addiction can be something positive. Like stitching. For me it's an addiction. I think about it 24 hours a day. Yesterday when I was scrubbing the bathtub(if you're family and reading this, yes I do occaisionally scrub the tub--even used the Magic Eraser--greatest thing ever)and thinking to myself, "When I finish this I'm going to stitch if only for a few minutes". Then I finished and stitched, got up again; if I finish cleaning out this drawer, I'll stitch for an hour while watching Veronica Mars. Never ending cycle.

I bring it up now because on Christmas Day I made a last minute trip home to Memphis, I squeezed in a few hours to visit my mom who lives 2 hours outside of town. My brother drove me there. I was able to see my mom and probably the very first cross stitch addict that crossed my path, our neighbor Doralyn, who is once again my mom's neighbor. She stitched models for the LNS back in the 80s. I have never known her not to have several projects going, cross stitch, quilting, crocheting. She does it all and her work is amazing. I mention this now because when we were leaving my mom bought my brother some Copenhagen, yes, he's addicted to dip, snuff whatever you want to call it. A few years ago when they visited us down here for Christmas she bought him like $50 worth of the stuff and explained to me since she's a smoker she understands addiction, well my question is, "Where is my $50 for DMC?" Cross stitch for me is an addiction. I need my fix. I truly need it or I would be looking for some blow to snort. It's that basic for me. The few times I haven't stitched have been very dark times in my life. When I don't feel the urge to pick up a needle something serious is going on. Why is my addiction poo-pooed and everyone else's much more serious?

Like a junkie passes out dreaming of their next hit, I go to sleep dreaming of my next project, the next time I get to sit and stitch. My next hit if you will. I remember when I mentioned to my mother, "Hey, where's my $$$ for my stitching addiction?" She pointed out that an addiction to a drug like tobacco was more severe that if you don't get it, you feel like you will die. I tried to explain to her I feel the same way about my cross stitch addiction. If I can't stitch I'll die.

I know in this world when there are a lot of more important things to focus on than a silly addiction to needlework, it doesn't make a lot of sense, but for me it's truly what keeps me sane. You see when the world closes in, things are tough, I can pull out a project and lose myself in it. I can put all my energy in making those little Xs on the fabric. I can see the picture form before my eyes. I can see myself somewhere else, in Hawk Run Hollow, I can take a vacation from reality, isn't that what drugs do? Take you some place else? Cross stitch is my drug, plain and simple. Please understand I'm not making light of someone with a drug problem, not at all, I'm just saying that some addictions can be positive. Well, except for the effect it has on my behind. I'd rather stitch than exercise, maybe that's the negative side of this particular addiction.

I do fall asleep dreaming of projects, those started and those I haven't even purchased yet. I see them finished and on my walls, I see myself stitching, finishing those projects, feeling that high. And let me tell ya, finishing a project is a pretty fine high if you ask me.

I don't think non-needleworkers get it. I don't think they understand the feelings stitchers get from the needle and thread. Does my stitching life take over? Sometimes. Yes it does. Sometimes I can see where this can be a problem, like not wanting to go to a movie with the family when I could stay home and stitch. That's probably not healthy. I've learned to bring balance into my stitching life. I can let it go, sometimes, for a short period of time. I'm not saying that while I'm at the movie I'm not thinking to myself, if I were at home I could be making so much progress on such and such project. Of course I am. But I've put the hoop down and stepped away for a little while. You see I could easily stitch 10 hours a day and not think anything was wrong with that. I'm going to admit a terrible secret here, I live three miles from the beach and sometimes I don't want to go to the beach because I could be home stitching. Ok, that's just wrong. So I'm trying to put my stitching into some kind of perspective. I should go to the beach on pretty days. My argument this year for not going to the beach when I wanted to stitch was "I'm protecting my skin". Made sense at the time. Are you beginning to see just how serious my addiction is to needle, thread, the hoop? We're talking big time serious.

But I'm ok with that. I love this part of my life. It pretty much defines me these days. There are worse things than being called a "stitcher". Yep, I'm one of those people.

And I really, really like doing it* in public.

*stitching.....what did you think I meant?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Year, New Stitching Plan

This stitcher doesn't like goals or deadlines. I stitch for pleasure and to hang really cool stuff on my walls. I believe this to be a noble endeavor.

So 2007 is going to start with a wee bit of a stitching rotation but nothing set in stone. Rules are made to be broken and most of my stitching plans are all out of whack a couple of weeks into the year but I believe this "rotation" I've got planned will work out fairly well for me for a little while at least.

Mondays are for Mouline Rouge and a TW project. Chances are the TW will only see an hour or two at the most on Mondays. I have to be in certain frame of mind to work on a TW. I would love to have MR finished sometime this year. On Tuesday I completed the first motif in the top left corner that I started last January. I do believe devoting one day a week to this project I'll make good progress. I've spent the last year following Carol's and Jo's progress on their various SALs and they've both finished several good sized projects this year.

Tuesdays are for By the Bay's 13th Colony Bay, Parts 1-3 all on the same piece of fabric. I want this to be my first big finish of 2007. I want it on my kitchen wall like yesterday.

Wednesdays are anything goes.

Thursdays-By the Bay's 13th Colony Bay

Friday-wild card, anything I want

Saturday and Sundays are for My Missouri(Florida) Home SAL I'm in with some friends from my email loop.

I feel this is a pretty stick to it kind of rotation, not too disciplined, room for other projects, but enough of a plan to maybe keep me focused because my goal is to get this stuff on my walls! Stitching is supposed to be fun so I don't want to suck all the joy out of it but I do need a few guidelines or I'll never finish anything.

Along with the above mentioned projects I'm also working on CHS Strawberry Blonde and trying to get it finished ASAP so that I can start CHS Garden Glade. I'm obsessing over these designs at the moment. Not sure why, but they are what I want to be stitching and I will not start Garden Glade until I finish Strawberry Blonde.

If you want to see some walls full of major stitching, check out the Samplerfarmer link under "People who inspire me" there in the sidebar. Wander around that Webshots album and prepare to be awed. That's some serious stitching on those walls.

I read two great novels on my trip home to Memphis. My new favorite character, Jack Reacher from the Lee Child novels. All I can say is "Wow!" great books. I read Tripwire and Fatal Warning on the plane to and from Memphis and laying in bed when I was the only one awake in my dad's house and pinned in bed by a 150lb doberman. I became his new best friend. I'm currently reading The Enemy. I'm enjoying these books a lot. Great stories, good character development, love everything about this series.

I'm saving for a new sewing machine, my friend borrowed mine and told me it was beyond repair. She said it probably never worked when I got it but since I don't sew that much I didn't realize it-assumed it was my incompetence. I want to learn to sew. I want to do it well. I want to make the zippered clutch from Amy Butler's In Stitches book. I don't know why I have decided that I must sew, that my life will not be fullfilling if I don't conquer my fears of sewing and the sewing machine but I am going to be miserable until I rectify this situation. That's just all there is to it.

My knitting skills are improving and that makes me happy. I can set a project aside for a while, pick it up, remember to check right side and wrong side before I start knitting and manage to make my new stitches flow into my old stitches. That's pretty cool if you ask me. You see I used to forget to check the sides and just start knitting, that doesn't work out too well. It's kind of important information.

Thanks to everyone for the nice comments about HOHRH. Kathy Barrick just rocks doesn't she? I love all her designs. I mean seriously, I can't think of any of her designs that I won't stitch. They are all fabulous.

Also thanks again for the sweet comments regarding my grandmother. This year will be rough. I talked to that woman a lot more than I ever thought I did. Apparently she was who I called for just about any information I needed about cooking or family gossip, so I reach for the phone often only to realize she won't be on the other end of the line. Breaks my heart, but that's life.