Friday, May 27, 2011

Cool Waves and Dark Waters

I've had a productive day or two. I managed to finish crocheting an afghan started many months ago. Just in time to welcome in Summer. DOH! I also pulled out a HAED project, Dark Waters. I'm actually stitching a triptyche of art, but started with the bottom piece, Dark Waters, an ocean of mermaids, there's a center which is just water and sky and the top piece is a sky full of angels. Not a lot of progress on Dark Waters, I'm trying to fill in areas of confetti which is wonderful for the detail of the piece but doesn't really show much for several hours of stitching. But I love this art and it's going to be freakin' awesome when completed. If it's ever completed that is.

Here's my Cool Waves throw stitched with the same exact colors as in the magazine because I'm unimaginative that way, actually I love these colors and I had them all right here in the stash so I went with what worked. Please ignore where Pineapple the cat has clawed up my wicker. She's evil. This pattern is from a Crochet Today special issue, Quick and Easy Gifts. The yarn is good old Red Heart.

I have more afghans planned, some using the exact colors from the magazines because I'm trying to deplete the Red Heart stash and mostly because I happen to like the colors the original design was created with. I suck at the color thing, when I attempt my own interpretation it's usually catastrophic, at least to whom ever is unfortunate enough to gaze upon it.

This is my current progress on Dark Waters. I love the detail in the fish to her left. That makes the confetti stitching so worth it. Yes, my fabric is dirty and believe me, over the next ten years of stitching on this I suspect it will get even more dirty. Such is the life of a slow work in progress.

Have you seen Tanya's new designs? Head over to The Scarlett House and show her the love! They are wonderful!

Hope everyone is able to spend many hours with the little X this weekend! Especially the Americans who have a long weekend, that's 24 extra stitching hours!

What are your stitching plans?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

M. R. M.

Or Mouline Rouge Monday:

Mouline Rouge

Long Dog

40ct Lambswool Linen

DMC 498

This sampler was started years and years ago. I love it and can't really say why I haven't been showing it love all this time, ok, I've got the attention span of a gnat and other more exciting projects screamed louder. It kept getting bumped lower and lower in the WIP pile and was forgotten. I have to say I'm lovin' my Mondays spent with this sampler. It's a nice change from what I normally stitch and it's entirely possible I'll finish page one next week.

My rotation as it stands now is:

Monday- Mouline Rouge

Tuesday-Miss Lila

Wednesday-Heaven and Earth Designs, I have several going and I miss them.

Thursday-Wild Card-Anything Goes Jane Atkinson Reproduction Sampler(another one started several years ago),Abécédaire Berthe Dupont - 18 Trésors de boites à couture Trésors de boites , Lisi Sloboda 1828 - Cross Stitch Pattern and any other number of projects that I have started and strikes my fancy.

Friday-Freebie Friday I'm working on a free sampler from a French site, Berthe Dupont:

Le site des Trésors de boîtes à couture click on blog, and check out Berthe Dupont, there should be the most recent part on the first page(or see link above) I am also participating in HAED Freebie SAL, working on QS Curl Up With a Good Book and the half year SAL is about to begin and I will be stitching SK Rapunzel.
Saturday/Sunday-Sonne Spotte

So far this is holding my interest. There's enough variety to keep me entertained and it's loose enough that I can pull out other projects and mix it up a bit.

Also On My Mind:

Crochet. I've fallen in love with several designs from this book:

My friend Pam scored it for me at Hobby Lobby, yay, to not having to order online!

I want to make some cushions for the wicker on the front porch and I'm loving the Sunburst pillow, the Hexagon Pillow, the Graphic Pillow, and the Pinwheel. I also want to make the rug for the area inside my front door. I'd call it an entry way but it's basically a 3x3 hunk of linolium. I'm thinking I'll do the background in brown and make the dots yellow, orange, lime and aqua. Would love to do the white but I'd have to wash it every five minutes. It would be brown before the first day is over, so I'll start out with where it would end up anyway. I have a huge bucket of Sugar & Cream and Peaches and Cream and all kinds of kitchen cotton so I can do a stash dive for supplies. I'm kind of wanting to order some of Knit Picks Dishie(Dishie Yarn Knitting Yarn from But I have way too much kitchen cotton in the garage to order any at the moment.

Anyone watching Game of Thrones on HBO? OMG we look forward to Sunday nights so much now. I didn't expect the Spousal Unit to like it, it's not his normal show but he's addicted more than me. We discussed downloading the HBOGO app on the computer so that we could watch next week's show early and decided that if we did that we wouldn't have anything to look forward to next Sunday. I'm also listening to the book from For every four hours of TV show, I'm listening to about 9 hours of book.

Hope everyone is doing well and getting lots of stitching done!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesdays With Miss Lila

Or Revisiting the Whole Rotation Thing

I'm not much of a rule girl. I follow them because that's what one is supposed to do and it only took one ticket for not wearing a seatbelt to make me buckle up(but it still annoys me that in Florida people on motorcycles can choose not to wear a helmet but me, in a car surrounded by metal, am forced to wear a seatbelt and I don't want to hear all the benefits, I get it but I think helmets should be required on motorcycles if I have to be attached to my car, just sayin'). Anyway, I have started a new rotation that I don't expect to last very long because I'm a rebel at heart but if I can get some time in on each of these projects for a just a little while before breaking my own rules I might see some genuine progress.

Tuesdays are for CHS Miss Lila's House. I have an Aunt Lila and you'll be hearing more about her later on. Yeah, I know you are all on the edge of your seats!

Miss Lila's House

Carriage House Samplings

32ct black linen dyed by moi


I'm so very ashamed of the stitching you see below:

I have frogged this area four times. I have changed hoops, tried stitching in hand, used a Qsnap. Nothing will make this area look nice. The little X is going funky on me here. I am now referring to this house as the Amityville house. I'm pretty sure I'm going to wake up any morning and find it surrounded by flies. Check out the Amityville Horror movie if you don't know what I'm talking about.

I will admit that this linen is a cheap 32ct that I dyed myself, it's obvious that I got exactly what I paid for. I plan to frog one more time and also switch to DMC that hasn't been bobbined, just in case that is the cause of all my woe. I do love this piece, because as I mentioned I have an Aunt Lila, my Mamaw's oldest sister, so she is technically my great aunt and I loved her a lot.

Has anyone else ever had this problem when stitching 2x2? I can't remember a time when I have struggled this much trying to get the little X to cooperate.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dirty Laundry

With apologies to my Mamaw who I loved more than anyone on earth, I will, with this post reveal some family dirty laundry. It's only peripherally stitching related but since this may be the only public memorial to my dad's wife, I'm going to tell the tale here and I plan to tell it true. I will start with a progress picture of my Mouline Rouge. I haven't worked on this project in a month of Sundays. When I pulled it out of it's hidey hole, I remembered that I was stitching it using a wooden hoop my dad and his wife brought me back from Germany when they went to visit her crackhead idiot son who was being "kept" by a rich German woman. I think at the time she owned nail salons. They have since gotten married and it's entirely possible they were married at the time my dad and his wife went for their visit.
Jean asked me what I would like from Germany and I said "Oh some stitching stuff". When they came back they brought me this hoop and some Anchor threads and I think a big hunk of fabric to make into a tablecloth.

Here is MR out of the hoop. I'm stitching it on 40ct lambswool with DMC 498.

At the same time I am wandering down memory lane, looking at the hoop and wondering how Jean is, I get a call from my brother that our uncle had called him and said that Jean, my daddy's widow, passed away last Tuesday. This was the following Monday. So I call my uncle and try to figure out what's going on, there's no obituary, nothing online, except I ran across where her house had been foreclosed on and auctioned off on April 15. When my dad died her idiot son and his wife moved back here from Germany to live with her, to take care of her. She got my dad's pension, her pension from the Sheriff's Dept and I believe she got some SS disability because of a degenerative back disease but I'm not 100% sure about that but she was not hurting for money. She had been sick for many years with lymphoma, when my dad passed away and my brother and I got nothing and had to beg for the few things of my dad's we did get, well, we felt bad for her because she was ill. My brother mowed her lawn, did her grocery shopping and took care of the "Honey Do" list for her. I called regularly. My brother discovered while trying to help her manage her bills that she had been wiring her idiot son money by the thousands, double digit thousands, so that he and his wife could get out of Germany, I guess the rich nail salon proprietress had fallen on hard times. Anyway, it was her money, not ours so let her send it all to the idiot crackhead doofus.

Eventually they arrive, at this point my brother and I can no longer get through to her on the phone as crackhead goober doofus wants to chat us up. We know his mother's schedule better than him, we know when to call, but both of us finally gave up. My brother quit going over doing chores because he and the doofus goober crackhead would get into fights. So we both went on disconnect with her which is how we ended up out of the loop at the time of her death.

I have known Jean for most of my life. Her first husband and my parents were best couple friends. They rode motorcycles together, we went camping together as families. We spent a lot of time with them for several years. Then one day, they are gone. Their house is empty, they vanished. A few years later my dad gets a call from her husband and they are living in some middle of nowhere place in Mississippi. They want to see us. We head down there and they are living on a farm and telling stories of their time in South America. I never got the true story of how and why they ended up there, if they were running from something or to something but they did come back quietly and in the shadows. Well Jean eventually divorced her first husband, got on the Sheriff's Department, I think she was a sargeant at the time she retired but I'm not sure about that. She had remarried to another Sheriff's Deputy. She divorced him. And now I'm not sure if she had a third husband or if my dad was number three. So we will go with my dad being husband number three but how does my mother's former best friend in the whole wide world end up being married to my dad? Well, as best as I can tell, Jean's oldest son committed suicide and somehow she got a hold of my dad and they started talking, renewing the friendship. My dad, God love him, was always chasing the dream and unfortunately the dream was never my mother. Any woman that wasn't my mother seemed to be who he wanted to be with. Other kids other than me and my brother were kids he wanted to be around. I don't think he could help it. But he and Jean reconnected, apparently on many levels and when he and my mother finally divorced, curiously right about the time my brother turned 18 and child support would no longer be an issue, they married.

As far as I can tell they had a happy marriage and were probably soulmates. They indulged each other's whims, neither one could do any wrong in the other's eyes and in a weird crazy kind of way they embraced each other's conspiracy theories and had guns all over the house and bought groceries like they were buying for an army because what if Armageddon arrives and we can't get to the store and they were extremely private and guarded and in this whole wide world is there anything else anyone can ask of a marriage and a partnership?

My daddy and Jean

Jean was always good to me. She had known me most of my life and while I wanted to hold her accountable for my parents horrible marriage, it was horrible way before she came along. My dad, he just never met a woman he didn't like. It's a sad thing but it's true. Over the years I've come to accept this part of him and forgive him because while his choices hurt us, he was a dreamer. I loved my dad, I loved his kooky, wonderful artist side. I loved how quiet he could be and then out of the blue be so unexpectedly funny. He grew his hair long, got his ear pierced, was covered in tattoos, grew a fu manchu, and rode motorcycles until his health wouldn't let him do that any more. He was my dad, and I loved him, so I loved Jean.

I spent a week with them when my Mamaw passed away. The room I stayed in looked like Marie Antoinette threw up all over it. Their doberman slept with me(probably to make sure I didn't try to steal anything) and I was surrounded by Jean's collection of dolls. Some Marie Osmond dolls, some very fine porcelain dolls, I'm not up on my collectibles, but there were dolls every where. She had a little log cabin in the front yard, the size of a child's playhouse, set up like a life size doll house. She loved her collection, they made her happy, maybe filled that void for the little girl she never had. Everything was very feminine and ruffledy all over the house except for the few spaces that housed my dad's odd collection of things.

Daddy and Jean and Harrison

November 1995

I don't know how Jean's life has been since her son and his wife moved in with her. We lost contact. When he(doofus, crackhead son) called my uncle he didn't know what to do about burying her. She had been gone a week and was still laying on a slab in the morgue. She had wanted to donate her body to science but it was so full of disease they turned her down. There was some nonsense about a cemetary and it being underconstruction, and then "I want to cremate her but don't have the money, but it's okay the county will bury her". That is so very wrong. She had her life together before all this. She had money, her house was almost paid for if not paid for, good insurance, and to end up like this. My brother talked to some people at the Sheriff's Department and they told him if her son would contact them they would take care of her. My brother was going to tell my uncle who could then maybe contact her son and hopefully she will get a proper burial.

Jean, may you R.I.P., tell my daddy hi and give him a hug for me and I hope that you are now at peace and pain free for the first time in many, many years.