Monday, March 17, 2008

The Sweetest Thing

I'm not the best at finishing things to give to my friends. I'm still behind on Sharon, Siobhan, and Pam's Christmas ornaments from December 2007. I'm not happy about it, but I do have a plan. Everyone seems to understand my issues with finishing and I appreciate very much that they don't care if they get Christmas in July. It's also why I'm not going to participate in any more swaps because I do have issues and if I want to stitch something for someone I'll just do it in my own time and hope they are pleasantly surprised.

My current list of things I'd love to finish as gifts is quite long but well intentioned(we shall not speak of the amigurumi bunny I want to make for my little bud John). That being said, the other day my friend Pam came over and gave me a gift. A handmade gift. A handmade gift that she managed to design, stitch and finish all on her own, in the meantime managing a home, four kids, a husband, and I should let you all know, unlike me, her laundry is not on the kitchen table, it's in drawers and closets where laundry is supposed to be. So I'm honored to be the recipient of this most wonderful of gifts and I will get her backlog of Christmas ornaments finished this year. Really I here we have Biscornu by Pam:

The waves and the fish she used so that I would always stay connected with my mermaid heart(I know I was one in another life, I really, truly was) and that the waves will always lift my spirits.

The compass on the back is so I always find my way home--back to the beach....the anchor, so I'll be anchored here, roots you know?
She beaded the edging along the sides. Do you all know how much work that is? I was gobsmacked by this gift.

There's more I'd like to write, but I start to cry.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Random Things

Here is my progress on my current "to go" project:

It's BBD Beneath the Sunlit Sky. I had stitched most of the flower on the top left and had to frog it because I wasn't paying attention. The frogs are alive and well in North West Florida.

Here is my minimal progress on Fenech's Sampler Large from HAED. The stitching is slow for many reasons. The "A" block has a gazillion colors in it and and I haven't found a rythmn yet. I'm looking forward to seeing the design come to life but feeling a bit of frustration at the moment.

I am surprised to discover that I really love 1x1 stitching on 25ct Lugana. I can't believe how much I like it. When I was stitching on Beneath the Sunlit Sky over 2 on 32ct, it was like needlepoint or rug hooking. The #26 Piecemaker needle felt so big in my hand, the the two strands of GAST was so thick! My stitching felt sloppy even though I was careful to railroad my stitches. My only regret with this project was not waiting to start it until I could order a hand-dyed Lugana from Silkweavers but it really wasn't in the budget and I'm sure this cream Lugana isn't looking bad, I just think some splotchiness would have enhanced the picture a bit. Maybe that's just me. Some folks like the left in a leaky attic look(I would be one of them) and others like the appearance of crisp, fresh fabric, and I don't mind that either.

I have been giving DMC's Stitchbow system a trial run on Sampler Large. I kitted it up using a DMC Large Travel Bag(thank you AC Moore 50% off coupon) and the binder sheets. I don't think using the Stitchbows is that much more time consuming than bobbins, but I'm lukewarm about the system at the moment. I love the bag and really want to like the system so I can kit up more projects in these bags. It appears to be well made and looks so much nicer than a two gallon ziploc baggie peaking out of the top of a tote bag or backpack. I thought after stitching all weekend on Sampler Large I would decide if I loved or hated it but I'm still lukewarm on the whole product. Must be the Libra in me.

The other day I pull in the drive and see this sign in my neighbor's yard:

( click to enlarge)
My one neighbor who thinks every man is looking at her, well who wouldn't when she mows the yard in her bikini, I find myself staring too(not that there's anything wrong with that), was talking to them while they were cleaning the retention pond. Uh, did she miss the sign, and on top of that they were prisoners with chainsaws. She must not have seen a little movie called The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I went in and locked the doors I have seen that movie one too many times and it doesn't end well for anyone except maybe Leatherface. Did you all know that Viggo played Leatherface in a later version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre?
This is the sky yesterday afternoon:

I wish my crummy photography could do it justice. The pink just shimmers from behind the darker clouds. I know the sun sets everywhere but we have the greatest sun sets even being three miles from the beach. Sometimes in the afternoon the sky is just glorious, the colors all exploding in a hundred different directions. Makes me tear up. And speaking of tearing up, from the PMS files: the other day I'm driving down the road and Trace Adkins' song You're Gonna Miss This comes on and radio and I start sobbing. I thought I was going to have to pull over. You can find it on Youtube with a video from some girl from One Tree Hill. Two other songs make me cry and it's Randy Travis' He Walked on Water and Andy Griggs' If Heaven. The line in If Heaven about, "If Heaven were a town it would be my town in 1985, when all my hopes and dreams were out there waiting on me and everyone I loved was still alive." Breaks my heart every single time.
So this is the state of my life at the moment, a little stitching, some picture taking, and breaking down to songs on the radio. Perfectly normal!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Simple Pleasures

Just call me the Bobbinator. The first craft box I pulled down, brand new, had a cracked bottom. Bummer.

Salvadged wicker, I am not kidding, two chairs, side of the road, now on my front porch along with ideas for cushions. Thank you 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton and Vintage Crochet by Susan Cropper and the finally found a use for it Red Heart stash. Surely it can handle afternoon sun and harsh temperatures if only for one summer. That's probably how long these exceptionally pretty and in perfect condition junk chairs will survive. It's amazing what people decide is no longer functional. Just call me Fred Sanford.

Best ever......