Friday, February 27, 2009

Reasons 1,079 & 1,080

Why I should never be allowed near a sewing machine. This was how my sewing session went yesterday:

This is just wrong:

I was 100% sure that the ribbon was no where near my seams but apparently I was wrong.

(click to enlarge)
And because I'm 9 yrs old, seeing this receipt amused me. Do you see what I'm talking about....right there next to the word "homespun"?
Carol asked about my 100 Days commitment to Lady of the Flag, well let's say I'm behind a few days, like 20. I hope to get back into a stitching routine when everyone is well and my time is my own once again.
Have a great weekend everyone. It's a Lord of the Rings weekend on TNT so I will be chillin' with Aragon and the boys and working on various projects.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

13th Colony Bay?

More like Sick Bay.

A week ago the youngest son was sick. He had been coughing, running a low grade fever for a few days, Nyquil just wasn't working. I took him to the doctor. He was put on an antibiotic and then our real troubles begin. Apparently this child has been so healthy over his 13 years that he's never had as much as a dose of antibiotic-if I take my kids to the doctor they are seriously sick, I just don't believe in the liberal use of antibiotics because we have so much in our dairy and meat items and yes, I buy organic when possible but that stuff still sneaks into our everyday diet. OK he's put on Amoxil. He's fine for the first couple of days. Then he breaks out on his thigh. I can't imagine it really being the antibiotic, send him to school and call the doctor. They say stop using the Amoxil, they call in something else, he takes that, his lips and mouth go numb and from that point on he is hive boy. I take him into the doctor's office the next day, they start steriods, forget that whole congestion thing we have to cure the hives. His hives continue to get progressively worse and we end up in the ER on Saturday. They were great but no one could be this was just a drug reaction. Before the end of the exam I was beginning to question my mother's judgement. Anyway after numerous tests, a steriod/benadryl cocktail, he was told that he had influenza type B and there's just not a lot you can do for that so we have finally gotten rid of the hives but he's still spiking this fever. It's been a rough week for him.

The middle son is also coughing and feeling funky but I think he's just got a head cold no flu since he's not running a fever.

Yesterday morning I woke feeling like someone was ramming a knife down my throat. I've been drinking lots of hot tea, taking Claritin, and hoping this is just a sinus/allergy thing.

I had some questions from a new cross stitcher, Craft-i-leigh:

She asked about fabrics and that she is being encouraged to go from aida to linen.

First of all I want to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try lugana or jobelan or linen. I stitched for almost 15 years before getting over my fear of evenweave/linen and it was just silly of me. There are some wonderful linens out on the market today. I'm partial to Picture This Plus linen right now: Picture This Plus Their fabrics come in aida, lugana and linen.

Regarding aida, there are aida haters and aida lovers and stitchers like me who have been stitching thirty years but still occaisionally use aida. I have several huge projects started on 22ct aida. They are solidly stitched so the fabric won't show. But aida is durable. I have a piece I stitched many, many years ago and if fell off the wall when the kids were playing ball in the house. They hid it, the cats used it as a litter box. I am so not kidding. I found it when I was cleaning, no I didn't notice it was missing from the wall, you know when you are used to seeing something day in and day out and don't even notice it's gone until one day that light bulb comes on and you think so that's where that was? Anyway, the glass was broken, it was covered in cat pee among other things. I had framed this piece myself, mounted it on the evil sticky board and stuck it in a cheap frame. I was proud because I had managed to get it straight in the frame. So I knew that soaking it in a sink with some Dawn wasn't going to fix it. Also I needed a stronger cleaning barrier between me and the nasty stitching so I tossed it in the washer with Tide with color safe bleach and no I don't recommend this for anyone, it was the choice I made at the time because I was very close to just throwing it away but this was stitched on aida, using DMC and was from a now OOP Leisure Arts chart titled Home Again based on the artwork of D. Morgan. I just couldn't throw it away, so the washer and Tide it had to be.

It worked, the aida survived the harsh treatment just fine, the DMC did not fade or run. I took it into my LNS and had it framed properly and I will take a picture of it today and post it tomorrow. After this incident my respect for aida went up 100%. I probably would have attempted the same thing if I had stitched it on linen but this was at a time when I didn't sew around the edges of my fabric and I can just see the linen raveling pretty bad. The aida raveled but not horribly.

Anyway, my advice, if you want to try linen do it! It will change your life. There are so many beautiful linens out there and there's nothing to fear. It takes a few stitches to get used to the fabric and where the holes are and then you find your rythmn and you will think why did I ever stitch on aida?

But if you find that linen doesn't make you happy for whatever reason, keep on going with the aida, then try linen again another time, and if it still doesn't make you happy, go on stitching on the aida because it is not a crime against the little X to stitch on aida. It is all about being happy when we sit down in our chair and start stitching. If we are miserable with our supplies then it sucks the joy out of the project. Someone who hates using aida would be miserable stitching on it and would choose not to stitch at all and someone who loves aida but feels she has to stitch on linen but doesn't enjoy it will find herself reading a book instead of stitching. So it's really all about what you love, what makes your stitching time the best part of the day.

I really love 28ct and 32ct lugana. The holes are easy to see and unlike linen which sometimes has thick and thin threads, lugana is very evenly woven, all the threads are exactly alike and there are no slubs(thick places in the fabric that sometimes makes it hard to see the hole).

Thanks for reading and I hope I've helped in some way.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Did You All Know

that Kathy Barrick has started a blog? Pop over there and show her the love:

Kathy Barrick

And have you heard that the blogless Siobhan now has a blog?

Notes From Blue Hen Hollow

Siobhan does some absolutely gorgeous stitching. If you don't know her you are missing out!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

February Creative Brain Overload

Why haven't I blogged?

First of all 13th Colony Bay is still in progress.....crap, crap, crap.....but I'm getting there.

Second, I'm thinking about the following projects:

I want to make each of my three boys one of the 63 Squares afghan. (google Leisure Arts 63 Squares afghan or do a flickr search)
I want to make each of my three boys a quilt.
I want to make sure each of my sons has a cross stitched Christmas ornament for every year they have been on this earth, that's 21 for one, 18 for another and 13 for the youngest. How many have I made so far, ZERO, big fat goose egg. If my math is correct I need to make 52 cross stitched ornaments. Hmmmmm......interesting one a week should catch me up but I'm already behind by five weeks now.
I want to make a quilt for my bed.
I want to hand embroidered a bed skirt to go around it.
I want to make this really cool hopscotch afghan for my great niece Alli Mack(do little girls even know what hopscotch is any more?) I saw this afghan in the Herrschnerr's catalog, I'm in love and I have to make it for someone, so she's my victim.
I want to make granny square backpacks for her two older sisters Laney and Harleigh(also found in the Herrschnerr's catalog)
I want to make my little buddy John an elephant/monkey afghan I saw, yes, in the Herrschnerr's catalog. It's not really practical for cuddling under but cute as all get out.
I want to frakkin' learn how to knit socks.
I want to knit dish cloths.
I want to make or even buy cool new living room curtains and really sweet lace curtains for the kitchen window--I'm totally down with buying these items already made.
I want to finish the dragon I started cross stitching for Jack sometime back in the 90s. All I have left is backstitching and fractional stitches on 14ct black aida(that's why it remains unfinished, fractional stitches on stupid 14ct aida)

I want to start The Primitive Needle's Talking Board, NOW but I can't start anything new until 13th Colony is done.

Other than the dragon and 13th Colony every project mentioned above that I want to be working on now is a new project. 52 Ornaments, 5 afghans, 4 quilts, yada, yada, yada.....

No wonder I can't focus on anything at the moment. No wonder my head fills like it's going to explode whenever I sit down to work on 13th Colony, I want to be working on a gazillion other things.

I'm not even going to mention the clothing patterns I want to cut out and sew up, and that probably won't fit. I won't mention that I've been searching thrift shops and Craig's List for cheap dress form just to play around with because we all know I'm not a seamstress, and nothing will ever fit me because I refuse to see how fat my ass really is. All I know is it's a long way from being a 36.....

And to just show how insane I have become, I had a dream last night that I was hosting a crafty reality show on Bravo. It was way cool.....