Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

Warning, pictureless post ahead!

I've been pondering all day what to write about here today. 2009 was a pretty sucky year all the way around. It started out with so much hope and went down hill kind fast. I hate to rush through the years of my life but I am going to say a very happy "goodbye don't let the door hit you on the way out" to 2009. Nothing I planned worked out and I take responsibility for that. Bad management all the way around.

I want 2010 to be a year full of hope. A year when I work harder to be a better person, to be more thoughtful of my friends and family, and to get away from all the negativity that I have let take over my moods and emotions and surround me in it's darkness. Life should be a joyful thing. Something to celebrate. I haven't done much celebrating this year, mostly whining and I've tried to keep that away from the blog but the fact is I have been focusing a lot of energy on what I don't have instead of being very grateful for what I do have.

So 2010 is going to be, for me, the year of gratitude. I am going to try to focus every day on the things I'm grateful for and not focus on what I don't have and not let envy and jealously get a hold of my heart.

365 days of being grateful instead of the never ending whining I feel I have been doing for the last three months. I didn't realize how much the whining had taken hold until I just stopped. I stepped back and looked around my life and told myself to get the hell over it! Very liberating.

Today has been busy running errands and arguing with the spousal unit, yeah, we had a bit of a disagreement at the store who shall not be named and I'm focusing on the fact at least I've got him, someone I love, to argue with. So there's that. Gratitude.

I'm in the middle of dyeing some fabric for Plum Street Samplers' Garden of Eerie. I went a little crazy with the RIT Yellow dye and now my overdyeing with Tan is not grabbing on. But at least I have fabric and RIT Dye to attempt this with. Gratitude. I'm serious. Whatever happens I am a lucky girl to have the fabric to try this on. I'm honestly trying to give myself a serious attitude adjustment because I'm pretty sure I have not been too pleasant to be around the last few months.

Tonight we are staying close to home. On the menu:

Unless I can convince the spousal unit to pick up Chinese food for supper that is.

Cheese dip(1 lb velveeta, 1 can Rotel)
Bacon wrapped cream cheese stuffed jalapenos(check out Pioneer Woman, click on cooking, then click on appetizers, you will love me forever for this hookup, these are the ultimate in fabulous wonderful comfort finger foods)
Fried mushrooms
Chocolate Chip Pie
Reeses Peanut Butter Cookies

This will all be munched on while watching the Thin Man Marathon on TCM tonight-I really wanted to grow up to be Nora Charles or at the very least have her money! But she and Nick were and still are pretty awesome. Not a bad way to spend a New Year's Eve and I'll probably click over to Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin to catch the ball dropping in Times Square too.

Tomorrow's Menu:

Brats and Italian Sausages on the grill
Spinach Artichoke Dip(the green for good fortune)
Texas Caviar(the only way me or my family will eat Black Eyed Peas, even for luck)

Not sure what else, I haven't really thought the New Year's menu through at all.

Still trying to finish up an ornament so I'm not stitching on it in 2010 and my New Year's start is going to be Plum Street Samplers Garden of Eerie, the piece I'm dyeing the fabric for which is now in the dryer. Please let it work and not be too dark.

I will also put a few stitches in Enchanted Garden Storykeep, it's part of the SK SAL on the HAED BB. The link there takes you to the HAED website and the link to the BB is on the left hand sidebar.

Tomorrow, may be some goals, some WIP pictures. I haven't really given much thought to my 2010 stitching because I'm still stuck in Christmas 2009 at the moment but hopefully not for much longer!

Happy New Year Everyone. May 2010 be full of joy, happiness, good fortune, lots of luck, gratitude and most importantly to quote my good friend Siobhan, lots of Stitch Ass.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Year Without a Santa Claus

On December 23rd I recieved an urgent dispatch from the North Pole. Santa was running short of time and gifts and he wanted to alert me to the fact that my kids had been bumped from the list this year. The youngest is fourteen so it was just a matter of time. He said they had all been good but there is that whole recession thing and he really thought he was going to get by here but it'd be better if I could just hook up the fourteen year old myself just in case.
Fortunately for Santa, the fourteen year old's gift had been purchased the Sunday before so I grabbed one or two things to add to that and called it good. When presents were put under the tree on Christmas Eve, the nineteen year old said, "Presents under the tree before Christmas morning? What happened?"
It never dawned on me that my family even paid attention to our routine. Santa has delivered everyone's presents and come to think of it I have never ever put presents under the tree before Santa arrived because for years and years when kids were smaller I didn't want them messing with the presents and it was just easier to rely on Santa to do the work. I didn't have to yell at anyone over the holidays for busting into presents and it was then that I realized that maybe that rule of mine that saved me a lot of grief took a lot of fun out of Christmas for my kids. There was no package shaking and rattling and guessing because mom and dad didn't buy gifts, Santa supplied them and my kids believed in the miracle of Santa much longer than most because my middle son or maybe it was the oldest pointed out that "of course Santa exists because we didn't have the money to buy so many gifts". Even now I'm reasonably sure they all still believe.
As my family has grown older I have noticed a shift in our traditions and things that were once looked forward to with excitement have been greeted with a rolling of the eyes and a comment along the lines of "seriously?" Solstice for one.
I have always embraced the idea of Solstice. It was something that no one else I knew did(we also believe as deeply in the Great Pumpkin as we do Santa Claus and not too many people choose that path and each of my boys have a cross stitched Halloween stocking but not a stitched Christmas stocking, I guess you can see where my priorities lay). Solstice was something for just my family and while it wasn't celebrated like Christmas it was just one more day that was special, sometimes with a fire and roasting marshmellows, sometimes just with a yellow cake to represent the sun and the longing for warm temperatures once again. It was never a big deal but it was just something a little extra. It was also an attempt to keep my kids in tune with nature, the cycles of the earth, but now it's just one more thing they can't be bothered with and it could be that I didn't make it a bigger deal over the years, and this year it just kind of slipped by me before I knew it Solstice had passed. This has been a strange holiday season for me. While I'm not a big time Christmas girl I usually fall in to the spirit of the season before Christmas Day, this year I don't know that I ever felt the joy, not once.
As the kids have grown up our family celebration has become smaller and quieter, and this year it even felt a bit empty and I don't know if that was me or the family or just that 2009 sucked from the very beginning.
It was sad to tell the fourteen year old that Santa sent a message that he wasn't hitting our house this Christmas Eve, so he left it up to me. The fourteen year old looked at me and said with resignation, "Let's hope you don't screw it up". He's a funny one that kid. He got what he wanted so all is well.
I'm planning to do New Year's Eve right, not with a drunken bash, but with a feeling of joy. Joy that 2009 is gone and that 2010 will be a better year for my family and everyone else too. I am going to toast 2009 and kiss it goodbye, I am then going to toast 2010 and welcome it with joy and a prayer that we start the year out right. I'm going to spend this coming week trying to figure out how to start the year out right, because right now it appears that 2010 is going to begin the way 2009 is going to end so I have a week to fix the mess and get some kind of balance back because life has been kind of out of whack the last three months. Somewhere things got off track and I need to get things sorted and organized and all flowing in the right direction because chaos is just not working for me.
Speaking of chaos, I need to sit and organize my stitching and various other projects. 2009 was the year of guilt free starts for me and now I need to figure out where I'm out on several projects and get my focus back. I have had no kind of plan for the last six months and I'd love to see some finishes this next year.
We also have Winter Olympic stitching to look forward to and I'll open up the Olympic stitching blog sometime in January *ok just set one up, here:
and we can all plan what we want to stitch while watching curling.
Hey my mood has perked up a bit just thinking about some Olympic stitching. I am thinking that Sonne Spotte might be a good Olympic project. Good thing I have some time to figure it out.
I hope everyone had a Blessed Yule, a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday, and that 2010 will arrive with a sack overflowing with blessings and joy for all your families.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Eve of Christmas Eve

Well I've hit the serious Christmas countdown wall. I managed to stitch and finish three of the ornaments you see below: Candy Cane Seeds
SanMan Originals
14ct White Aida
(yes, I went old school with the stitching of these ornaments)

These are for my three great nieces. Have I mentioned I suck as an aunt? These are the first ornaments I've ever made for them. I was sewing on the ribbon hangers while the spousal unit was hovering, he had to get to work you know? I only had time to take a picture of one, but I did indeed stitch three of the EXACT SAME ORNAMENT. I didn't think through the finishing so the tops are kind of unfinished. I folded them over and hoped that when I sewed in the ribbon hanger it tacked the front and back flaps of fabric down a little. On the positive side the bit of excess fabric should hold the peppermints in the pouch. I can't believe I let it come down to the last five seconds of overnight shipping. Every year I say I'm going to follow Tasha Tudor's lead and start planning for next Christmas on Dec. 26th.

We put the tree up on Sunday and added lights, ornaments were added yesterday when my little buddy John was here. I let him decorate the tree to his heart's content.

I'm still working on his ornament and because I didn't really think through the fabric thing, 28ct linen, it's going to be kind of the size of a sofa cushion. Let's hope their tree doesn't fall over when he tries to hang it, it's quite possible that could happen. But the kid loves everything I make him so he's going to get this ornament before Santa hits the skies tomorrow night. With any luck he'll get it this afternoon. His last year's ornament is laying around here in an unfinished state because I've lost the pattern, the PS freebie of Santa and the canoe. I don't know what I've down with the pattern so 08's ornament will remain unfinished until the pattern comes marching home. I did mention how I suck right?

Last night I made a batch of Chess Squares:

Chess Squares - 16978 - Recipezaar

I had these for the first time in 1982. I was working at the University of TN College of Dentistry and Mrs. Chapman, the cashier, brought in a pan of these and OMFG! I had never tasted anything so wonderful in my life. These quickly became a family favorite.

I wanted them so bad last night too, and I followed the recipe and then forgot, completely and utterly forgot to set the oven 25 degrees less for a dark metal pan. I burned up the crust like you would not believe. I'm going to make another batch today and PAY ATTENTION while they are baking.

So far I have purchased one Christmas gift, for the 14 yr old. It was purchased after being insulted by a salesperson at a big name appliance/electronics store. We got there at the butt crack of dawn, were the third and fourth customers through the door, ad in hand, freshly printed on Saturday night, and was told the item we wanted was not in stock as it sold out the week before for the $400 and really what did I expect four days before Christmas? Can you believe that punk salesman said that to me? "What do you expect four days before Christmas?" Well I didn't make up the ad, it was brand new, so I expect you to have in stock what your ad says you are going to have on sale four freakin' days before Christmas. JERK FACE! So I walked out of the big name appliance/electronics store that happened to be an hour from my house, I called the store in Pensacola to see if they had the item was told no that no one in our part of the country received their shipment so the closest store was Tampa. So headed over to the store who shall not be named and tried to work the price comparison deal. Unfortunately while it was the same exact item, it was one digit off in the old stocking number so we paid the regular price at the store who shall not be named but at least they didn't insult me and ask me what I expected four days before Christmas. The first guy is lucky I didn't try to cram the Gateway he was trying to sell me in place of the item I wanted up his cocky, rude nose. If I could have afforded the Gateway at $450 I reckon I would have purchased the item I really wanted the week before for $400 duh!

The oldest wants gift cards for clothes and that's what he'll get. He also needs a new DVD player so if I can find one on sale I may add that to the gift cards. The middle son, a.k.a. money bags, has been buying everything he could possibly want and I was in a serious depression about what to get him and then remembered a recent conversation with some friends about a Sonicare so he's getting one of those with the whitening setting. I'll probably pick up each of them a pair of PJ bottoms and some plain tshirts to wear around the house and we'll call Christmas done.

I've pretty much had a reindeer up my butt the last few weeks and have had wanted to skip Christmas altogether(just call me Mrs. Krank or Mrs Grinch either one fits the person I've been most of the holiday season) and someone recently mentioned a gratitude journal and whenever the waves of depression have hit I've tried to think of all the things I'm grateful for. Instead of fretting over the son I can't buy anything for and who has no need for extra cash, I should be glad that he's employed, he's a hard worker and saves the majority of his paychecks.

Instead of complaining over not getting the aforementioned item on sale, I should be thankful that yes, four days before Christmas I was able to get the 14 yr old what he wanted even if I did end up paying more for it than I wanted to. I was still able to do that and not at the big chain electronics/appliance store--I won't be going back there, cold day in you know where before that happens and that makes me sad because I do enjoy this particular store. Anyway, it's the only thing he asked for so it's bought and hidden and he should be happy on Christmas morning.

So in 2010 I'm going to focus as much as I can on the positives in my life and not the negatives. I just have to get through the next oh, 72 hours, and I can put this Christmas season behind me.

I want to wish everyone a blessed Yule and thank you all for coming here and reading and emailing. In case anyone hasn't told you all lately, You Rock!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Dark Side

Well a week or so ago I purchased a punch needle, just the Clover one, using a coupon at AC Moore, but I'm crossing a line. I never wanted to do the punch needle thing but I haven't been able to convert Carriage House Samplings punch needle Mermaid stocking to cross stitch and my attempt at embroidering it sucked, major, big time sucked, so I got a punch needle. That's as far as I have gotten in the process but it's that first step that leads us down the wrong path.

I've also become obsessed with the idea of hooking rugs. It's all Lori's fault. I wander her blog, check out her rug patterns, click on links to other blogs and well, got lured in. I managed to score three 100% wool skirts at the thrift store yesterday for $1.50 each. Since wool off the bolt at JoAnn's is around $25 a yard I consider those skirts a serious deal. Now I'm researching wool cutters(expensive) although I found a much less expensive one but no where ever seems to have them in stock, it's kind of a rotary cutter deal, but designed for cutting wool strips, that will probably be what I end up purchasing as wool cutters are running $100+ on ebay. Not in the budget by any stretch of the imagination. I'm pretty sure our ancestors didn't have a wool cutter just for making rugs so I can adapt.

I also need to research the whole wool dyeing thing, as I will buy wool clothing and then overdye it the colors I need. Of course I didn't expect to find the wool I did yesterday, I mean this is Florida after all. I stopped in on a whim and I got lucky. I didn't even check out the men's clothing, there might have been some wool pants that I could take apart but $4.50 was about all I could spare yesterday so that was good, I stayed within my budget such that it is.

The ladies at the thrift store were ooooohhhhing and ahhhhing over what pretty skirts I was buying. I started to tell them I was going to dye them and cut them in to strips and turn them into rugs but somehow I determined that they wouldn't "get it" and it might be best to just nod and play like I was one of "them". Yes, they are pretty. These skirts sure will be warm during the next cold snap.

Another current addiction, Detritus bags from Vikki Clayton. I've ordered a few over the last couple of months and am using some of the silks to stitch an ornament right now. I love her silks. I recently tried another brand of silk thread and well it shreds like nobody's business. I am unimpressed and don't see what all the hoopla is about. Yes, I use shorter lengths but honestly for the price per skein it really shouldn't shred like that, in my humble opinion but what do I know?

I am also enjoying Vikki Clayton's linens. I've got a couple of pieces and have been real happy with the 40ct light coffee. At $11 a fat 1/4 it's budget friendly.

So that's where my brain has been the last week or so. Obsessing over rug hooking, buying a punch needle(I still can't believe I did that), trying 40ct linen for the first time and surprised that I can actually see the holes without the aid of magnifying glasses. Yay!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Five of Us Wouldn't Survive

If we had to depend on our gardening skilz for food. Last summer I had two tomatoes total. Not last summer but the summer before we planted a Key lime tree and a Satsuma tree(think Clementines). Last Autumn my Key lime tree was covered in Key limes, then we had a hard freeze and I didn't believe in that whole "oh Lordy it's going to freeze let's put quilts on our plants" and well the Key lime tree died, it's made a comeback, the leaves smell all limeyish but not one single lime or bloom. The Satsuma, all our hopes were in the Satsuma until the then 12 year old crashed into it while making a seriously awesome catch of the football. The Satsuma split, we tied it together with either bread ties or zippy ties, I can't remember and it's a pseudo-hurricane at the moment outside so take my word for it we tied this Satsuma branch together and while she didn't flourish she did produce a single Satsuma. Here's the citrus grove, a.k.a. our front yard.
Here's our harvest.

Here's the farmer and I use the word "farmer" very loosely.

And here's the crop. What should we do? Juice it, make an orange cake? Uh no.

We decided to cut her in half and eat her in wedges and she was mighty tasty. Yes she was. While our crop wasn't big on quantity it was one good quality Satsuma. We didn't even have to bring in the stunt orange and yeah, I had one ready to go because I could just see cutting into this baby and her being dry. Completely, utterly dried out on the inside but she wasn't. And we feasted. So our orange crop lasted from harvest to plate for about oh, five minutes and that's because we couldn't find a knife to cut her open with as I was in the middle of Thanksgiving cooking and every utensil in the kitchen was in need of a washing.

Thankfully we had chocolate chip pie and pumpkin pie to fill the lack of homegrown Satsuma void. And it was good.

And because doesn't everyone love seeing a nekkid Tom turkey here's mine, weighing in at just under 22 lbs ready to be tucked into a nice warm oven. Yep, that's a stick of pure butter poking out of his belly and globs of butter stuck under his skin. Butter is good, very, very good when it comes to turkey baking, almost as important as Tom turkey himself.
I hope everyone had a blessed and bountiful Thanksgiving and if you don't celebrate the U.S. holiday I hope that your fourth Thursday in November was good one.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tonight's Post

Is brought to you by the colors red and white and the numbers 8 and 27. Red and white seem to be the theme for the past weekend. Months ago I cut out lots of red and white squares with the intention of making a quilt for my bed. I cut them out and left them to sit and sit and sit. I thought I could turn them into a quilt top by astral projection but apparently it doesn't work that way.

White iPod = 35 hours of Stephen King's Under the Dome. King rarely lets me down and I enjoyed Under the Dome, I have the sore ears to prove it.

Spaghetti with meat sauce, courtesy of Real Simple's Easy Delicious Meals special issue. White plate part of my original every day dishes set when I got married, Sears Federalist, if I'm not mistaken.

Why #8? Well this is the 8th day my kitchen table has been laundry free. My family is shocked and falling into the routine of looking for their clean clothes in their rooms. No more half asleep staggering into the kitchen searching for jeans or t-shirts or work clothes, no more drips of water creating a trail from the bathroom to the kitchen in search of underwear. We are almost a normal family.

The spousal unit wants to know when the Mothership will be beaming the real Missy home. (Yes if you're my friend on Facebook you've heard that one before but it's no less true.)

Why #27? Well that's how many quilt blocks I pieced over the weekend. Yes, it's true, and I would say that I was channeling Kwilty Kim but my piecing is quite naieve compared to the quilt tops she makes so I'll just say I pieced in the spirit of Kim.
These blocks were pieced courtesy of Stephen King. I wanted to listen to my book and when the sewing machine was humming no one talked to me, I could plug up my ears and disappear to the Dome in Maine and before I knew it I had pieced all the little squares I cut out so many months ago. Not all my corners matched, but in my defense more seams lined up than didn't, and I'm quite proud of that accomplishment. I ripped back a few blocks and resewed and others that weren't too far off the mark, I left as they were.
This quilt top is handmade, it's homemade, and well it's going to look it. It's taken me a very long time let go of my desire to piece perfect quilt tops. That's what was taking the joy out of the process for me. If it wasn't perfect it wasn't worth doing. Don't get me wrong, I don't want tacky ass quilt tops but at the same time I want to enjoy what I'm doing and how many people are going to look at my quilt top on my bed and say "OMFG did you see that five of those blocks had seams that didn't quite meet up?" Yeah, I don't think anyone will notice but me. Although if I'm honest there are two blocks that are probably not so good but still it's not that noticeable unless you are looking for flaws and if you are looking at my quilt on my bed and wanting to see flaws, well you will be rewarded.
So this is where I've been the last few days, virtually under the dome in Maine, physically in front of my sewing machine or stove depending on the time of day, and mentally in a very good place in regards to the never ending laundry.
I think I'm seriously going to shoot for 365 days of no laundry on my kitchen table in 2010. I think that is one goal that is seriously doable and this is from someone who hasn't seen the top of her kitchen table since last Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Proof

That I am on Day 4 of a kitchen table that is no longer covered in people's underwear, socks and t-shirts. This is a remarkable thing around here because it really doesn't take much to lure me back to my lazy, slacker ways. It's so easy to pile up laundry on the table and go about my business, but now, after four solid days of a cleaned off table, having laundry on it seems wrong. I do fold clothes here but they are put away immediately because leaving them there would be wrong. I never wanted to become that person, but where laundry is concerned, it feels pretty good. I'm not obsessed, I do my one load a day, I put the stuff away, and it's done. Not piled there waiting on me to do something with it. I hate that it feels so good and that maybe my mother was right. I really hate admitting that. You see my mother has a laundry obsession. Laundry must be placed in the washer just so, whites must go it alone. You have to use Tide and Downey. You must remove the clothes from the dryer and fold them or hang them up immediately(I am still not there, we are so very much that wrinkled family from the Lowe's or Home Depot commercial. I may have changed a few bad habits but I have not lost my mind, yet!) So I don't know if I have spent the last 25 years of doing my laundry my way to show my mother that it doesn't have to be that way. So what if all our white underwear and t-shirts are gray. Gray is a good neutral color. Take that mom! And Tide, that is not always in the budget, Arm & Hammer and Publix laundry detergent are just fine thank you very much--or even homemade with Washing soda, Borax and Fels Naptha. (Ok I've been buying Tide with Bleach Alternative lately but I do not do whites in a separate load, it's just wasteful--unless it's something red or something I absolutely know will bleed on the whites) oh and I do not wash whites in hot water, all my laundry is done in cold water. My mother would cringe at that.

My Pistoulet Chicken makes me happier than it should. Granny Smith apples, buy a bag, get a bag free at Winn Dixie, also have two bags of Red Delicious, same deal. I see apple pie in our future.
I'm currently coveting Amanda's new breadmachine. It looks awesome on Amazon.
I did two batches of pizza dough in mine yesterday and I think the motor was about to give up, it was hot, hot, hot and that was just on the dough cycle. I like that the Cuisinart makes long regular loaves. Very cool.
I made these cookies this morning:
Not bad but do not in any way overcook them. I did my first batch, decided to let them go another two minutes and that was a mistake. I also think I went a little too heavy on the cardamom and I tried to be careful to use the exact amount but it's a pretty strong spice and mine was from a freshly opened jar.
I've read a few reviews of this book and had hoped my library would have it but they don't:
The reviews I've read have all been positive. Although one person does point out that girls get hungry too, yes we do! And the text is a bit annoying about cooking for men and boys but that is the point of the book, but we girls we like us some food too! But reviews of the recipes I've read on various blogs have all been good.
I've also been wanting this cookbook for a while:
And my library hasn't gotten it in either. Another book where the reviews have all been good.
Something about the holidays and a bit of a chill in the air that really gets me in a cooking mood.
Seeing Knitting Iris photos of recent meals really makes me long for wide open spaces, a large garden and cabin in the wilds of Montana. Although I don't think I could eat a heart sandwich. It looks good in the picture, but I'm not a vital organs consuming kind of girl. My friend Cassie used to force me to eat liver and onions once a month because it was good for me. Hard to believe we're still friends after that gastronomical torture.
Recently I rearranged the living room. I set up a new stitching area and once I get the Rubbermaid bucket out from under the table and replace it with a basket of some sort with a lid to keep the cats out of the yarn I'll take a picture of the whole corner but for now you get Sabrina:

She took my spot. She likes curling up on the unfinished Vintage Vertical Strip blanket that I folded up and use for a cushion.

She is annoyed that I interrupted her bath and she's not impressed. The Breeze as we call her runs the house. She terrorizes Pineapple and Naomi the two other cats and pretty much scares my Polly Prissypants too.

Here's the queen telling me to go away, leave her alone, let her cuddle up and lay in the afternoon sun.
I am currently listening to Stephen King's Under the Dome. I love it. I am up to hour twenty something of thirty five and I don't want to stop listening. I think that's what has aided my cleaning mojo.
The Spousal Unit says I will not be able to stay up until midnight to see New Moon tonight. It's going to be hard, I'm usually asleep by ten, I hope I can get a nap in today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You Are Going to Want to Kiss Me Right on my Mouth

When you make these cookies:

They are Surprise Cookies from Martha Stewart's Cookies cookbook. The recipe is also online. It can be found here:
Don't the cookies look like they are bathed in celestial light?(works for me, much better than saying my photography sucks, doncha think?) But they do taste heavenly. Trust me on this.

Even Rachel Holmes wanted a piece of this action. My fabric is not touching the chocolate I promise, but come to think of it that might add to it's aged appearance.

Speaking of Rachel, here's a current pic. Yes it's washed out, I tried several different spots outside and this was the best. Click the pic to enlarge.
In other late-breaking news, I am on day three of absolutely no laundry on the kitchen table. People wander through the house towards the kitchen searching for shirts, underwear, socks, then they remember, "my clothes are in my room". Twilight Zone music then begins to play because they have obviously been transported to some bizarro land where clean clothes are exactly where they are supposed to be. It's difficult not to take the stuff from the dryer and toss it on the table and move on to the next load, but I'm slowing down, folding, hanging and putting things away. This is huge for me. All the laundry put away, freakin' awesome!
In Thanksgiving news, the turkey is purchased and in the freezer temporarily, got a 20 pounder. Started to go for something a bit larger but good grief we don't need that much turkey. I already see a couple of turkey pot pies in our future and I'm pretty sure this year I'm going to toss the carcass in a pot with some water and make turkey broth to freeze for the Yule bird. We do a ham on Christmas Eve and have a turkey on the big day.
I'm pretty stoked about the new more organized me. Never fear, Casa de Dog Hair is still alive and well but there is not one single piece of laundry on the kitchen table. I'm super serial.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Got Excited

And made this:

Ever since I saw this poster project this has become my life's philosophy.
Sure I could probably pursue something more profound but this is way more "me".
Stitched 2x2 on 28ct antique white lugana with DMC 4210.
Charted by Pam and me using my Patternmaker software.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

By the Dawn's Early Light

I have rediscovered my love of 28ct lugana. I know, it's not fine linen, but it was my first foray into over 2 stitching, my first step out of the aida comfort zone. It was soft and silky and it was so luxurious compared to my good old Charles Craft 14ct and 18ct aida. I spent hours in my LNS, it was either Creative Critters or the name had changed to Crown Thistle Needlework, it was within walking distance of my house in North Little Rock and I'd put the kid in the stroller, we just had one kid at the time, and walk to the LNS. The shopowner promised me if I'd just give evenweave or linen a try I'd never go back to aida. I bought a piece of 28ct ivory lugana and Sheepish Designs(I am 99% sure that's the designer) Virtuous Heart Sampler(and I'm less than 20% sure that is the correct name of the sampler) and I don't have it handy because it needs to be reframed after one brother slamming another brother against the wall in a WWF moment(back when it was the WWF not the WWE) but they could have been impersonating a lion attacking a gazelle so that would fit with the WWF(World Wildlife Federation).

Yes, the DMC is wrapped around a wooden spool. How precious is that?
The spool was in a baggie with some others that my Mamaw gave me years ago for some project out of a Leisure Arts Spirit of Christmas book which apparently I never got around to actually making. I have maybe five or six and these were my great grandmother's wooden spools so I'm careful with them. But I've been stalking eBay and thrift stores hoping to score a mess of these old wooden spools for not so much money. I've developed a love for embroidery over the last couple of years, thank you Jenny Hart! And want to keep my embroidery floss separate from my cross stitch floss and I think these wooden spools are kind of funky cool for that purpose.(Dork alert! I get it)
But you ask, "If you want to keep your embroidery floss separate from your cross stitch floss why do you have floss you are obviously cross stitching with on a spool?" Well I thought it'd be different and I had the spool right there and the cardboard bobbins were in the shoebox in another room and the cross stitch only uses one color. So I thought I'd just be wild and crazy and spool it. "Spoolin' on a Wednesday afternoon". That should be a song.
The design is one that was run through Patternmaker(Thank you Pam for your technological help, ok for doing it for me because I am so incompetent) and makes me very happy. I have a companion piece already charted and it makes me even more happy! Happier than this even:
Sue Hillis Cross-Stitch Designs Blog » Final version: “Women who behave…” (although I believe the real quote is "Well behaved women seldom make history" Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
With any luck I'll have a finished project to show tomorrow.
No, that's not coffee in my cup but Adagio's Earl Grey Bravo. I feel really contintental when I drink hot tea.
Is everyone in full speed ahead holiday mode? Yesterday I cleaned out my kitchen pantry. I had a lot, A LOT of expired canned goods. I discovered maybe two years ago that canned goods actually had expiration dates. I'm pretty sure growing up my mom would occaisonally open a ten year old can of Campbells soup and not think twice about it, or maybe Dinty Moore Beef Stew. I thought canned goods were supposed to last forever, you know you fill up your 1950s bomb shelter with Mother Campbells and you can survive any catastrophe.
I'm now working out what I need to buy for Thanksgiving dinner. I've learned over the years that keeping it simple is the best thing for my family. The husband will eat anything these days, even onions as long as he doesn't know they are in the food he's consuming. For years he told me he was allergic to onions, only to find out years later he's a big fat onion hating liar! The 14 year old won't eat anything but turkey and mashed potatoes and the two older sons will eat pretty much anything, the middle son prefers pumpkin pie only but now that he's 18 if he wants pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dinner more power to him.
Tentative Thanksgiving menu:
Dressing(really bad dressing because I do not have my Mamaw's dressing making gene, my dressing sucks, major big time suckage)
Green Bean casserole(I'm southern, it's got cream of mushroom soup and french fried onions on top, it's what we eat ok?)
Swiss Vegetable Medley (great casserole, probably my all time favorite)
I may or may not make a squash casserole, maybe to spruce up the leftovers on Friday night. I use this recipe only I add a can or two of diced green chiles. It's mighty tasty:
Mashed potatoes
I want to make a sweet potato casserole but I'm the only one that eats it so like the squash casserole I might make this over the weekend to freshen up the leftovers.
Pumpkin Pie(recipe straight off the Libby's label)
I've been reading a few books and articles about survivial preparedness. I've sufficiently scared the ever lovin' pee out of myself and I think I don't want to read about that stuff so much any more. I think my goal is to keep a well stocked pantry, enough food for five for a couple of weeks and hope by then any national crisis will have worked itself out. Oh and a well stocked project pantry because the best thing to take the edge of the world as we know it ending are a few projects. I remember a time on RCTN when something bad happened and someone suggested why don't we stitch blocks for this or that and someone said, "Do you think cross stitch makes everything better, don't you think there's something better you could do for these people?" Well I didn't step into that, but trust me when I tell you when my world is crashing down around me, some needlework in hand at least makes me feel better so yeah, for me a project of some kind does make me feel better. A bit of control in the chaos around me. It's such a small, small thing but offers so much comfort.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Ida, Ida, Ida

Here are some pictures taken at various points along the Gulf this morning, around say 11 a.m.

Yes this picture and the one below it look alike but they aren't the same picture I promise. The surf was really starting to kick up.

This is from a park along the beach highway, my favorite road in the world. It will be breached if it hasn't already and then be closed for the next two years because my county officials suck.

Here's one of the lifeguard stands on my local beach. You can click on any of these pictures to enlarge, or biggify as Annette would say.

These storms bring out the surfers. This guy was just sitting on the beach and then walking on the beach, I never saw him actually get in the water but trust me there are several surfers out there.

The county just recently started rebuliding our pier after picking their noses over it for quite a few years and of course that decision alone puts us in the path of a tropical storm. You see that big blob of white foamy surf? There are three or four surfers just behind it. The waves are that big.

Dinner is done, I made these:
Going to make a batch of banana bread in a few, using this recipe:
And will probably make one of these too:
Because that's just how I roll.....
Tonight's plan: stitch the night away. No school tomorrow, no where to be, the dogs have special chewy bones for later when the storm comes ashore and makes everyone a little jumpy. The rain is coming down pretty hard right now and I'm guessing the winds will pick up in a few hours. I'm one of those dorks that likes tropical storms, as long as I don't have to leave the house, and I don't so *all is good.
*that feeling is subject to change if we have a lot of tornadoes around 2a.m. and we're sleeping in the hallway.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

From the Gulf Coast Lab

Over the last few days I've become obsessed with the whole natural dyeing process. I love the idea of dyeing my own fabric and sticking it to "the man". What I mean to say, I don't always have the recommended fabric here and sometimes I want to start something right now instead of waiting to order the fabric I need. Learning how to dye my own fabric, it gives me some hand-dyed options, gets me out of the "I must absolutely use the recommended fabric" frame of mind.

Of course I have no sense of color, I have no patience, I want to dunk my fabric and call it good. I'm learning but it's a chore. That being said these berries were hanging over the fence and I thought they would make a nifty purple dye. They don't, they make an amber colored liquid. But that didn't stop me.

After simmering the Beautyberries in the pot for a while I poured off some amber colored liquid and went foraging in the freezer for a package of three year old freezer burned blackberry/blueberry mix. I dumped those in the pot and brought it back to a simmer and then let it steep over night. This morning I cut two small rectangles of white muslin and stuffed them in these jars. I decided the dye might work better if it was heated so I put each jar in the microwave for five minutes, then took them out, set them on the kitchen window sill and left them alone.
Here's the fabric soaking in it's warm dye bath. The jar to the left holds the Beautyberries and the blueberry/blackberry mix. The jar to the right is just the Beautyberries. They smell wonderful when simmering like an herbal tea. I kept having to tell people the stuff in the black pot is not edible. I was relieved after doing some research to discover the beautyberries weren't toxic and someone even made jelly from them, and they pointed out they were still alive but I'm still not so sure about that because most sites I found weren't sure if these berries were toxic or not which I thought was strange since someone did indeed make some jelly out of them.

And here are my test squares. The pink/purple hued piece is from the berry mix and the pale yellow is from the beautyberries alone. The muslin was bright white like that paper towel. I do not have a clue what I'm doing so I'm going to do more research and find out about setting the dye or using vinegar or alum as a moredant. I did add a bit of vinegar to the amber liquid just to see what it would do. It just made it smell vinegary as far as I can tell.
Today I plan on trying my hand at turning Goldenrod into a pot of yellow dye. We'll see how that goes.

Here is my start on Heartstring Primitive's Rachel Holmes. Yes the picture sucks. Click it on to enlarge and it's a bit better. The fabric is 32ct MCG white linen that I coffee dyed and baked. The threads are not the ones Beth used but my own conversion using threads I had in the stash, I was shocked to discover that I didn't have any of the called for WDWs.
I'm stitching Rachel, 1x2 and liking the look more than I expected. This is the second chart I've used stash threads for and I think I'm getting better at matching my colors. It helps that Beth had a DMC conversion on her chart. I appreciate that a lot! This is a mix of GAST, CC and DMC.
I had been charting something out by hand and my friend Pam helped me with my Patternmaker software so that I would quit banging my head on the table from the chore of charting by hand. Maybe I'll have that to show tomorrow. Ok Pam didn't "help" me, she pretty much did it all. I have so many technical issues and once again no patience.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

WIshing You A

Wicked a free chart from Primitive Betty. Quick stitch--it's not finished into anything yet because I couldn't find any trim I liked at JoAnn's. Was searching for a beaded trim and just found tiny pom-poms. Not what I had in mind.
May all your pumpkin patches be sincere and may the Great Pumpkin bless you all with lots of toys(a.k.a. floss, fabric, and charts-STASH!) and candy!
Head over to Missy Ann's for the grand finale to her 13 Days of Halloween Extravaganza!

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Package

In today's mail I received a package from Beth Twist of Heartstring Primitives(you can find a link to her Etsy shop at her blog). I won her pin pillow giveaway on Facebook. If you are on Facebook, become a fan of Heartstring Primitives. Beth's designs are very nice, I have With One Accord, Rachel Holmes 1842 and Ann Taylor and I don't know which I'm going to start first but back to the package:

See that strawberry? How sweet is that? I have a jar of these that my Mamaw made. Yep, the ones she made by hand in a Mason jar like a jar of strawberry preserves.
Here's the front of the pin pillow. I think it's a Williamsburg print, is that what those fabrics are, my mind is blanking at the moment. It'll come to me as soon as I hit publish.

Here's the back.

And here's a close up of the strawberry. Sweet! Thank you so much Beth!

And because it's the day before Halloween I thought I'd share my progress on HAED A Night in the Pumpkin Patch based on the art of C.C. Kuik. My goal had been to have her finished by tomorrow but as you can see that ain't happening. I'm glad I pulled her out because I had forgotten how pretty she is and now I want to stitch on her all night. Sorry the picture isn't any better it was cloudy when I did her photo shoot.

Don't forget to check out Missy Ann's 13 Days of Halloween......

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Migas for Brunch

Or the episode where I pretend I'm sitting in a cafe in Austin having brunch with Missy Ann and Michelle. Music, food and friends, Austin is one of my dream of moving to cities and it's in Texas which I think is extra cool because it just is.

I discovered migas via Homesick Texan and whenever I want something extra tasty for breakfast other than oatmeal or skillet potatoes and onions which is then turned into a breakfast burrito, I make a pan of wannabe Migas. Cause I'm not from Texas, never been to Austin and never had the real thing. My Migas are a lot like Homesick Texan's(type in Migas in her search field). Her recipes are my guide for all things TexMex.

First you cut a few corn tortillas in strips and pan fry them in a bit of oil:

I drain my pan, growing up with heart disease in the family you learn the importance of draining off as much grease as you can. I then put the corn tortilla strips back in the pan with a smidge of butter and a bit of chopped onion and fresh jalapeno:

I let the onions and peppers soften up a bit and then pour in my eggs, this is three eggs with a splash of half & half. I let the bottom cook a minute or two then give it a stir, then when the eggs are almost done I top with some cheese, I used four cheese Mexican this morning because it was what was already opened.

Is there any way to make eggs look pretty in a skillet? They really are just a slimy, yellow blob.

I was out of salsa because we had tacos and enchiladas for supper last night so I topped my migas with some Rotel. When we moved from Memphis to Lima, OH back in 1986 I had a meltdown because the grocery store didn't carry Rotel and not only did they not stock Rotel they didn't know what it was. Did these people not know the joy of Rotel cheese dip made with a can of Rotel and a pound of Velveeta? How did they get through Friday nights? The horror!
My mom sent me a case and when anyone would come to visit they would bring a few cans of Rotel and some Pancho's Cheese Dip.
This is an easy filling breakfast and would be really good with refried beans on the side. I wish I had some this morning, actually I just made them so it's practically lunch. I learned to love beans for breakfast when I read Tassajara Cooking years ago. They are an all day food, ok, maybe that's a stretch.
Clutter report:
We can see the top of the coffee table, the three top shelves in one of my bookcases is pretty well organized, the dining table in the family room, great room, space that no one has a clue what it's for since my kitchen is an eat in kitchen, is decluttered enough to see the wood. My sewing machine is still out and will be until I get a fold out table for the bedroom and we paint. No, we haven't painted yet but the room still feels good even with disgusting walls.
I've started putting the granny square afghan together but putting together isn't near as much fun as making the squares, baby steps, baby steps.
I'm really in no hurry to make the two ugliest ripple afghans in the world and I'm not starting them until the granny afghan is complete. Yes, it's a plot to put them off but it's like 80 degrees here so the boy will not freeze in the next few weeks.
I haven't crossed a stitch since Sunday so I plan to stitch this afternoon and watch horror movies on AMC.
Don't forget to head over to Missy Ann's and enter her 13 Days of Halloween giveaway!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's Wednesday Already?

The other day on her blog Anna suggested we show what's in our stitching bag. Here's mine:

From left to right: ever present old school iPod(iPhoto, I thought I was so cool at the time, LOL), gum from my trip in July (I only chew gum when I fly, it aggravates my TMJ, TMI?), lipstick, my Moleskine-my constant companion, highlighters, pens, A House by the Sea/Midsummer Night Designs, Monkey Sampler/Midsummer Night Designs, Strawberry Blonde a.k.a. Tomato Blonde. What I didn't show, the overnight Kotex, again TMI?

My question of the day, how do you organize your spices? This is my spice cabinet next to the stove. Spices are just kind of flung in there hit or miss. I tried putting my baking spices on the second shelf with the baking soda and powder but it all gets mixed in together. A spice rack seems a waste of space and I have no where to hang one near where I cook, this is a perfect spot I can stand at the stove and just reach up for what I might need, if I could only find it.

I've thought about getting some of those small plastic baskets, you know like baby doll laundry baskets, I think they are really drawer organizers or something like that, and organize them that way at least they'd be a bit contained, or maybe if they make small wire baskets like that, I don't think a clutz like me needs wicker/bamboo near the stove-I am trying to get away from plastic in the kitchen but I don't think BPAs can leach from the basket through the bottom of the spice bottle and unfortunately many of my spices are in plastic I'm starting to buy the spicesin the glass bottles but seriously the price on spices at Dollar Tree and Dollar General are too good to pass up and I've had no problem with the freshness or quality of them.

I've been looking at spice racks that come with the glass bottles that you fill but seriously wouldn't any BPAs already be in the spice from the previous packaging? Maybe I'm over stressing over this BPA stuff because the damage was probably done with the first microwaveable plastics that my parents brought into the house back in the day.

But any organizational ideas would be appreciated. The basket idea is the best I can come up with at the moment and I'm not even sure how I'd organize them in the baskets.

Don't forget to enter Missy Ann's 13 Days of Halloween extravaganza.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pretty Sure I'm Not Me

The Pod People have taken over my body because first a finished project, then a cleaning frenzy, and now yet another finished project. But the comforting news is that all cleaning ceased as I finished this piece:

There are errors galore in this little piece of needlework, all the fault of the stitcher not Blackbird Designs. I would tell you exactly where they are but since I'm the only one that knows where they are, maybe you won't notice them.

This cross stitch chart appeared in one of the BBD quilt books, Summer Weekend. The quote really moved me when I saw it originally in KwiltyKim's webshot's album.

I can't wait to find the perfect frame and hang it in my soon to be painted bedroom right over my work area because the words are true. If you don't begin you can't succeed or fail. Powerful words they are, at least to me.

Don't forget to check out Missy Ann's 13 Days of Halloween giveaway. She's giving away some pretty awesome prizes.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Cleaning is kind of awesome. I can't believe I just wrote those words but under a pile of papers and catalogs and magazines on a shelf I found this:

It's my missing Carolina Handley by CHS. I can't remember when I framed her but it was months and months ago and then I got distracted, must have laid her on the shelf and poof, she disappeared until a pile of crap. I'm working hard to change my evil ways of paper piling, stacking, hoarding. I'm getting better about tossing junkmail the minute it enters the house, but the catalogs and magazines, they are my Achille's heel. I've cut way back on the magazines I buy, and stopped all my subscriptions, except Everyday Food but that was a fundraiser for a friend's son, I mean I had to subscribe to something, and I love me some Everyday Food. Best cooking magazine ever. JMHO of course.

Also while cleaning I found a much beloved yet forgotten WIP. Picture tomorrow, it's yucky here at the moment so no good light.

Don't forget to head over to Missy Ann's and check out the 13 Days of Halloween.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oh No She Didn't

I was so excited, I thought I finished Simply Live on my birthday but yesterday morning while patting myself on the back I noticed that I missed two of these little four diamond thingies that are scattered around the words. So in fact I was 8 stitches shy of a finish but that's ok.
And so that Lisa does not have to take responsibility for my color choices--I'm not thrilled with the blue I chose for the words- here are the colors I used in my conversion:
P8-CC Plum Paisley
P11-CC River Rocks
P10-DMC 316
P2-GAST Dried Thyme
P7-DMC 4240
P5-WDW Schneckley
P6-DMC 433
P12-WDW Chestnutt
P1-CC Just Rust
I really struggled with the DMC 4240. I think if I did it again I would cut away the purple parts of the thread and go with just the blues I just didn't think about it at the time and I really wasn't in the mood to frog and honestly I love this particular DMC Colour Variations thread.
I'm so excited to have a finish, it's been forever!
Thanks for all the birthday wishes.
Don't forget to head over to Missy Ann's for her 13 Days of Halloween giveaway!

Monday, October 19, 2009

On This Day

46 years ago I made my debut. 46. Ouch! I feel sixteen inside, ok 21 since I really don't want to have to sneak around to drink.

Questions I'm pondering today:

If I finish a cross stitch project on this, the first day of my new year, does it mean I'll have many finished projects over the next 365 days? And yes I plan on finishing Simply Live before midnight today. I am going to do it.

If I start a new project on this, the first day of my new year, does it mean I'll be starting many new projects over the course of the next 365 days? I plan on starting Near Halloween by Primitive Needle as soon as the last stitch is in Simply Live.

And lastly, that whole Simply Live philosophy, it in no way relates to stash right? I mean stash is well security for those rainy days, hard times, comfort food for the soul right?

I've been fall cleaning for the last week. We have some painting to do and then other than the disaster that is our carpet I'll be ready for the Wheel of the Year to turn on Halloween. I love that back in days of yore--olden times if I didn't use "yore" correctly--Samhain represented the new year. The hard work of harvesting, food preservation, repairing roofs for the coming snows, all done. Time to settle in for long winter nights. Life slowing down just a little bit.

Autumn arrived on the Gulf Coast this past weekend and it's been glorious, days just warm enough and the night air with a bit of a bite in it(and not of the mosquito kind)--makes a cup of Tazo's Calm very welcome late in the evening. The days are getting just a bit shorter and it's nice to see darkness fall a little earlier.

So here's a toast to my new year(feel free to use this as an excuse to pop a cork in your world and celebrate on Monday night--we all need a reason to just randomly celebrate don't we?) and please can I just finish this one project today? Is that too much to ask?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Autumn In All Her Glory

Autumn has finally arrived on the Gulf Coast. Warm days, chilly nights. Perfect time of the year. Another sign of Autumn? My first cup of Earl Grey since March. I tend to only drink hot tea when there's a chill in the air. Yep, that's an IngenuiTea tea pot(click on teaware). The only bad thing about it is that it's plastic and unfortunately there is no where on Adagio's site where they state it does not contain BPAs. I'm phasing out plastics but this is an exception. If you aren't familiar with this little teapot, do a youtube search for "ingenuitea" and watch the videos, pretty nifty little device, possible BPAs and all.

And yes, that's knitting you see, maybe I'll finish my Alien Illusion scarf this year, it's only been four years since I cast it on.

I have completed all 80 squares for the 18 yr old's afghan and am in the process of crocheting them together, it's not near as much fun as making the squares but I'm getting there.

The chick cave is coming along nicely. Rearranging the furniture changed the whole feel of the room and I really can't get over how moving some things around can make the air feel so much better. I was so excited about the change of the aura of the bedroom that I started rearranging the living room and even though there's still piles of clutter, some stuff I can't move to the bedroom until we paint, no sense moving it twice, and some stuff needs to be tossed and some stuff just needs a place. I'm working on it and actually feeling good about it.

My vacuum cleaner is gasping for air, it will suck a little but really not so much. It's a year and a half old and has sucked up about 34 dogs worth of dog hair and we can't forget the cats. There is so much hair, I don't think any vacuum could last more than a year or two around here. I'm thinking I might as well just buy the $40 vacuum if I'm going to have to toss it in a year. If this had been the Dyson Animal and it only survived a year, I'd be heartbroken. I don't think even Dyson Animal could handle the animal hair in this house. But hey, Mr. Dyson, if you'd like to send me one to test for a year or a two I'd be glad to. If your appliance can survive this house, it would be a serious testimony to the quality of your product, so I'd be glad to test one. Just sayin' or as Butters would say, "Do you know what I am saying?"

Another sign of Autumn? Pot roast in the crockpot and the first homemade loaf of bread in ages. It's been too hot to bake, so I'm excited to have homemade bread again. Little pleasures, little pleasures.

No Simply Live is not completed yet, but as with the crocheted afghan I'm getting there. I had hoped to have moved on to Halloween stitching at this point but maybe by Monday.

Check out Missy Ann's blog, for her 13 Days of Halloween.

Annette(Annette's Acre)is having three separate giveways, so check them out too.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Blocks left to crochet for afghan-1 1/2

Simply Live-need to stitch letters R-Z numbers 1-0, a bit of border and a few minor motifs.

Quilt-squares cut(months ago), still not sewn together. Just do it already. Plan to lame out and tie it instead of quilting it but I need a cover for my bed, period. Tying(tieing?) is just fine with me thank you very much.

Rearrange bedroom, give it a studio apartment feel. Sleep on one side, create on the other. Paint, make it look nice yet functional. Turn it into a chick cave because I need my own space. Spousal unit just sleeps there anyway. He doesn't care what it looks like as long as his side of the bed is sleepable.

Paint chili pepper red dresser white, acquire cubes with baskets to place on top and store various stash related stuff. Find new drawer pulls or knobs-something funky and cool if budget allows.

Move work table from living room to bedroom, look for prettier work table in the future or at least one that might fold out for sewing, fold up desk like for soldering, laptop, other desk related functions--maybe one of those sewing tables at JoAnn's. Hmmmm.....

Clean out closet, find mini dresser to fit inside closet to store underwear, pjs, tshirts.

Get some under the bed boxes for stash. Space that is completely unused and wasted, make it functional.

Find some wood, paint "Always Kiss Me Goodnight" on it(or maybe just order one premade from etsy or ebay), hang above the other closet door, viewable from the new bed position. Maybe crackle it. Try to ignore the fact that penmanship sucks(see "maybe order one").

Going to be busy around here for the next week.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cross Stitch

Very inspired name for this post huh?

Well I have some cross stitch to show, not finished but oh so close. Below you see a blur of Simply Live, but there, holding it down, keeping the wind from blowing the fabric off the table is my Eldreth Pottery Mermaid. When she was packed in my bag on the trip home the guy working the Xray machine at the airport asked me if I had a vampire in my bag. I didn't have a clue what he was talking about until I remembered she's holding a star. I tried to explain that I had a piece of pottery in there and please do not ask me to unpack my bag because I would never get it back in there safe and sound or be able to zip my bag. But he shook his head and waved me on through. She's a lovely momento of my time with Sharon and Siobhan and boy did I ever fall in love with Pennsylvania.

Here is a close-up of the stitching and of course using my camera skilz super power I chopped off part of the letters I have stitched but you aren't missing much.

I've been thinking a lot recently about the whole "simply live" philosophy and what that means. I've also been thinking about the Slow Year that Riana writes about on her blog.

Honestly I'm not a big consumer. I buy clothes only when I need to because it's a traumatic experience. I don't think about being 60 lbs overweight until I need clothes and then it slams me right smack up side the head that you aren't Kat Von D. You are a 45 yr old, 5'2", 60 lb overweight woman.
Damn, that realization hurts every single time.
Which then causes tears and me to leave the store, trying not to snot all over everything. You think I'd eventually get a clue but I don't. So clothes shopping is not in my retail therapy arsenal. I tend to buy groceries(see 60 lbs overweight) and stash. Not even a lot of stash. I've done very well the last few years sticking to stitching from the stash, using what's on hand and over all not helping the economy out too much but it's not with any kind of plan, believe me, if I had the money, I'd spend it all on stash. Seriously.
But as grocery prices continue to rise I find myself pulling out my whole foods cookbooks, Moosewood, I had forgotten how much I love you, and Laurels Kitchen too. Time to once again reclaim my good habits and go back to a more vegetable based diet, not giving up meat entirely like I did when I was pregnant with the 21 yr old but definitely focus on better meal planning. I have done none of that in the last six months. I went on strike because I honestly got tired of all the complaining about how "I don't want to eat this or that" so screw them all, order a $6 Howies pizza every night as far as I'm concerned. The other night I made eggplant/zucchini parmesan using a mix of recipes from the original Moosewood cookbook and Laurel's Kitchen. It was killer. Probably just as high calorie as a burger since the eggplant is fried before being parmesaned but OMG, it was incredible and worth the effort, even in 300% humidity with the stove and oven on, worth the effort, the sweat, the extra heat in the house.
And because we all take our celebrity where we can find it and I'm shameless. Have you all got your Primitive Needle Witches Hollow chart? Have you? Here's the faraway shot with two pots I found in the garage, purchased years ago at the flea market for like a $1 a piece, they were misfires. I think that's the term.

Anyway if you remove your chart from the package and read through it, you might just see this:

Yep that's me! Thanks for the shout out Lisa! I know, obnoxious much? That's me.