Saturday, November 22, 2014

Three Degrees of Separation


My current stitch mounted on my new Lowery












I know a gal, who knows a gal, who had a thing, that she didn't want so......I now am the proud owner of a Lowery Workstand.   OMGosh, not even the Cadillac of floor stands; this is the Bentley of floor stands.   It came with a corner clamp and I thought, hmmmm, let me order the side clamp.   After some considerable searching, I located a side clamp on the internet and quickly decided I will learn to love the corner clamp.   I am a two-handed stitcher and this is making my needle fly with the floss following behind it like the contrails of a jet.



Here is my progress on my La-D-Da name tag.   It is a quick stitch and should be done this weekend.   The finishing directions have me a bit confused so I have to put my head together with two fellow stitchers who have already finished this piece.

Starting Monday I need to get serious on my Christmas stitching.   I have a couple of smalls I want to get done.   Of course, I can't share them here but I can tell you one crosses over to another stitching genre or even two.

And of course, for those of you who have asked, my middle of the night companion.   Buddy, or often fondly referred to as Budders, is a fur ball that would prefer to ram around under the night skies and neighborhood waking me each night between 1:45 and 2:15 a.m. to go out.  It as been far too cold to put him out before I retire for the night.  Geez!   I tried shutting the bedroom door and there was such a CATaphony and clawing at the door off and on for hours it was deemed not a wise move.  
 I feel evil by thinking I should continually wake Mr. Nocturnal while he catches some rays and ZZZ's.

Here's wishing all a healthy and happy Thanksgiving.   May your homes be filled with family and friends, may your tables be flowing with yummy foods and may you sneak in a bit of stitching time while others take their post dinner naps.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Latest Start

Here's what I'm working on now.   This is a name tag from La-D-Da.     It is so nice to be stitching something small.    I can see this completed in no time.   as a completed stitch in the future.








I switched up the colors.   I first picked the fabric for the finishing and then pulled the floss colors.   The model is darker and drab and I wanted something brighter.

 I think I will be happy with my choices.  And I will be able to stop taking the ribbing on my guild name tag that is a color xerox of our logo with my name added.  From the top of the bridge, as we say, it appears as if I really stitched our logo.......reading ahead on the finishing directions I am a bit confused but I will just not worry about that until I cross that bridge.

And there must be something to those colors......this is a church window in a local Methodist Church.   One of my non-profits held a silent film fest last night.  It is annual event that brings a lot of laughter.   I am the driver for my elderly friend who enjoys these events and I take her to dinner with friends first.  This is a win-win for me because I am more enthralled with the windows and the architectural that the pipe organ -
 no offense to the pipe organ.

 While Roxanna mixed and mingled before the program, I put the camera to work.

This architechtural design is typical of Methodists is seems.    The open-air church I visited while in Martha's Vinyard in the Methodist Retreat was just like this.....on a much larger scale though.



I slipped outside to get the above window.






 Another view of the craftsmanship of the ceiling.

Oh and then there was the movie.   The organist always gives a little history lesson on the films before each movie giving us little insider tidbits and things to look for.  Such as, Buster Keaton was barely 5'5" inches tall; The General, a real Civil War train,  was a movie about a fictional Civil War train heist filmed entirely in Oregon on a logging train and roadways and not in the south; and more. The organist plays along with movie with all the dramatic flair you would expect that accompanied the movie as it originally was shown.   It is all and all an enjoyable, non-techno evening full of friends and laughter.....and if just for one evening, life is simpler.

And lastly, speaking of techno type things....my wiggly words that I was seeing on my blog....I have solved the mystery, sort of,  as to why only I see them.....as you know with Blogger, you need to do you design and updates through Google so that it where I view my blog.    If I look at my Blog in IE, it is fine, no wiggling or shaking words.   I am experiencing the same issues with some of my work websites and that's what made to try IE instead of Chrome.  At work, since an upgrade with one of the banks we deal with at work, I can no longer log on to the secure site through IE......and even though my IT Dept. told me it didn't make a difference what internet explorer I used, I use Google Chrome and was able to get right into my corporate interface.  Take that you IT Techies!  Those wiggling words were really getting on my last nerve and I am glad I solved that mystery.   Now on the to mystery of socks that go missing in the washer.....

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Still Fusing

about a bit with my blogger issues.   Everything looks fab while in the design screens but as soon as I apply changes and move to the live screen I get the wiggly letters again.  I think I am done messing about here!     This issue must be giving me bad mojo since I have been frogging my latest start.   Drat!     It is from La-D-Da and I will share photos tomorrow.   Too cold to get out from under my blankie and out of my comfy chair and away from my 2nd  3rd cuppa to drag out the camera.

Real quick, Nancy at Victorian Motto has launched her 25 days of Christmas give-a-way again this year.   Check out her site, register for the days/prizes you like and good luck!

For today, I am off to put a dent in my Christmas shopping and then a olde time Silent Film Festival tonight with one of my non-profits.    Tomorrow, I have sewing room plans to work on pulling threads and fabrics for some holiday stitching.   Plans and pix to be posted tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Santa Claus Made It To Town

I have a UFO Finish.   Yeah!   Double reward.   A finish = a new start.

Santa was stitched pretty much as charted.    I think I will fluff up his beard with a brush.   It was stitched with whisper.  I am not framing this but rather mounting as a stand-up Santa or rather flying Santa.

My Favorite Things, by Pat Thode, Heartstrings, 2002




Iron not even cooled and Santa not even wrapped up and I am pulling threads for something new.....such an obsession this cross stitching is!

Veterans Day

Hug a soldier.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Have you ever.....

run amok?    I mean for me, it is a weekly occurence.   Here's the deal.    I hate looking for things.   I mean to say I despise the total waste of time.   There is a place for everything.   If I could I might be tempted to draw an outline of everything hung on my pegboard to have a visual of what may be missing.  (I hold myself back as it just wouldn't go with the rest of the decor.)  I have been called Anal by the most retentive of people I know.   And there are only certain places I put things, especially a project I am working on.   So needless to say I was at least one glass of Kendall Jackson level of frustration as I searched for the threads to my current project.    You know how you retrace your steps and keep looking in the same place like something will magically appear?   Yeh, that was me walking in circles Friday night.  I must have added a half mile to my Fitbit total for the day.  I also spent time looking for the spray bottle I use on my ferns now that I have brought them inside for the winter.   I guess I was on my way somewhere and got sidetracked and put it in a 'safe' place.   I felt like one of those internet puzzles where you have to find things that are in plane site.




I keep my floss on what I have decided are those nasty little cardboard cards and usually put them on a ring for the project at hand.   That is until the holes rip and you can't put them on a ring any longer.  I have these nifty little pencil boxes (thank you Diane from Tennessee!) that fit so nicely in my stitching bag and I can use for project threads.  After looking in the same places at least twice each, I resigned myself to be satisfied that my threads fell out of my bag under
my desk at work and that there they would remain until I return to
work on Wednesday morning.   Imagine my surprise when I found them - in a place I swear I looked in the way a woman looks and not in the way a man looks for things - and they were not there.    My other complete waste of time was that earlier in the day I had to drive right past Strawberry Sampler so I thought.....I need to stop and pick up more WDW and Crescent threads for my Chester County Sampler.   One small problem, I brought the stitching bag for the Santa with me and not the Sampler.   Crap!    But wait, any visit to a stitching shop could never be a waste of time.   It is time spent soothing the soul for sure.   Heck I almost was convinced someone was trying to tell me to start a new project!

But enough......I have since found the missing floss, I have returned to shop at Strawberry Sampler with my proper list of flosses needed and I have started on the path to replace those nasty cardboard cards with floss bags!









After all my ups and downs, I did make progress on my Santa.    I have all the embellishments and beads on the coat complete and I am liking him a lot more.  I am working on the beard now even though I should be stitching the 'moon' first.   Since I took Monday as a vacation day and Tuesday I am off for Veterans Day, I think I can squeeze in some extra stitching time.   Because, like it or not, I do want to start something new....finish a UFO/start a new project.





Look at these cuties!  I love ribbon candy.   Not to eat but the look of it.   They bring back memories of my mother's apothocary jars  filled with ribbon candy at the holidays.  I have always wanted to stitch some Christmas ornaments but I have never seem to be able to decide on the 'theme'.
Of course this pattern just had to jump in my basket when I was at SS.   These will be EZ-PZ......maybe not my next start, but on the list for soon.

Happy Stitching all!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sorry Peeps!

Sorry for the multitude of changes to my blog layout.   I don't know if this shows up for others but I am having issues with Blogger.    When I view on my blog, all the items down the right sidebar are 'wiggling'.   It is very annoying to try to type, read or access links with jumping letters.    I have tried different templates, uninstalled and reinstalled the 'gadgets' and 'widgets' but still get the dancing letters.   Maybe this is yet another issue I have developed since my latest Apple Update.   I know my iPad has been acting less than stellar since 8. whatever has been installed.

Anyway, that's my story and I am sticking to it!

Get out and exercise your right to vote today!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Just sometimes

There are those times when I actually don't dedicate a time to stitch each day and so I don't make so much progress by the end of the week.   I rue the day I thought I couldn't wait to stitch the Chester County Historical Society Sampler.  I savored the wait with joyful anticipation to start this on retreat.


I never even noticed the ka-billion eyelets.  It is surely slow going and it is eating up the floss.  I guess I'd better get online and order some more floss.  I don't want any excuse to put this one down for fear it will land in the UFO pile.

I am not faring any better with my Pat Thode Santa that I thought I would love love love.....I am growing weary of.  I started this on my Fall 2013 Retreat and managed not much more that his boots before I strayed to start something else.   I am not finding the surface stitches that enriching to the design or to my aesthetics.....or maybe it is the flipping of the multitude of pattern pages for the stitch placement......but then again maybe I should reserve judge until the beads are attached.
 Oops!  Don't know why Santa decided to fly south in this pic! Perhaps a Freudian slip.

Sorry, he is a bit rumbled from the hoop.  The open space is where I will stitch in his beard with some white whisper.  I do need to back stitch his arms and mittens too.    I copied the cuffs of a previous Heartstrings Santa and decided to do them with french knows in black alpaca.  You would think it should have used white but the pattern actually called for DMC-310 on the cuffs and hat so I followed with the black alpaca instead.

One more section to add the surface stitches, then beads and beard and I can move this WIP to the done column.   Assembling him is a whole other story.

Perhaps my weariness is because so many other patterns are calling to me from my stash whispering 'stitch me, stitch me"!   Got ideas swirling through my head about stitching up some quick Christmas things for some favorite people.  Here a stitch, there a stitch, I guess I will trudge on with my current WIP's with maybe a small detour for those Christmas smalls I want to make.   But that will need to wait because I do desperately need to sort out my craft room which is where I am head this afternoon.   I had been just dumping things in there for the last month.   I need a grand sort out.....which will lead to a lost day....but what a place to be lost....

Thanks for stopping by and have a happy stitching week!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

I JUST HAVE TO GET THIS OFF MY CHEST!

And I know I am not alone in this........

You know those irritating telemarketing calls for donations to charities........the ones my husband doesn't answer?   But, not answering means they just continue to call and load up my mailbox.  So, yes, it is my choice to answer.  

My approach used to be to answer, listen to their spiel, and tell them either I am not able to give at this time and/or to remove me from the list.    Part of me sympathizes that this is just some yahoos job to sit in and make these calls and that other part of my is afraid of karma if I say I am blind and cannot read the magazines, letters, papers, or whatever they say they will send me.

And why do they waste so much money  on these mailings and not put it into the charity is my thought?

LA at work gave me an even better idea.   I now let the caller go through their script and right when they ask...."Mrs. Thompson can we count on you again this year?" - which would indicate that in an alternate universe I had donated to them in the past and they didn't get my name off an mailing list which is exactly what they did...  I ask - "Please tell me the percentage of my donation that goes to the charity and what percentage goes elsewhere?"    More often then not, the caller hangs up.  If they don't and remain on the line to answer I believe they must be governed by some FCC rule to answer truthfully.  And you would be amazed at the percentages.

I just got a call from Fire Burn Victims of South Jersey.   They sound all official but......you need to listen to what they call themselves.   Adding "Cancer", "Fire or Police", "Children's" to their name does not make them worthy of my or your money.   Today's answer to my question about percentages was 11% goes to the actual charity.  So to verify, I said "if I give you $100, only $11 goes to the Fire Burn Victims".   "Yes", the operator said.....to which I replied...."I prefer to give directly to my local fire department!"   Click!!   Shame on them!   Using all this jargon about recovery, therapy, help for lodging for the family, blah, blah, blah to make me visualize this poor family in this horrible situation.  I don't know how far they can go on 11% of each donation!

What I can tell you is that I am not getting repeat calls and overall I am getting fewer and fewer calls. I definitely prefer to donate my money where it has the better value.  So speak up and ask the caller the percentage.  You will be horrified!

OK, I am better now.   I was just so mad and had to get this off my chest!  Thanks for letting me rant.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pressure Starting to Build!

Albeit self-imposed.   Right about this time of the year I start to silently freak....how will I get the shopping, decorating, cooking, wrapping, etc., etc., all done?  Factor in all the fun things to do like house parties, dinners with friends, and Holiday Christmas Tours!   I have already crossed a few needed gifts off my list but still the task is daunting.   Fortunately (or unfortunately) you are all in the same boat with me.   But enough......

Fall is in the air and after loosing two - three days this week to a fever and sinus infection it felt good to get outside yesterday.   I felt so crummy I didn't even stitch or read so you know I was down for the count.   I slept on the couch for two and a half days!   Still have some sinus pressure but hope my doses of Alka Seltzer Cold & Sinus will knock it out.   I really hate being laid up with a cold or similar.....such a waste of valuable time!

So what have I been stitching......first is the new start from my retreat.   This is the Elizabeth Pusey sampler from Chester County, PA.   All I can tell you is that this child must have just learned the eyelet stitch.....this design is overrun with them.   I thought about changing some to mosaic but decided to hold as true to the pattern as is humanly possible for me.   You can see I grow tired of the eyelet and have worked downward in order to get in some variety of stitching.   I am also finding that lighting is more important that magnification for this and any project.


The chart called for DMC but I converted to WDW.   I like the color gradation I am getting on the satin stitching.   I guess I really should concentrate on that two toned braided band first before continuing with the lettering.

My other current WIP has taken a back seat since retreat.   Here is my progress on my current Pat Thode/Heartstrings Santa.    I have another arm, a beard, and surface stitching to do to complete him. If I only put my mind to this one, I could wrap it up this week.  Starting with a breakfast with a girlfriend this morning, dinners out on Monday and Tuesday, nails on Wednesday, hair appt. and Stitching Group on Thursday (you know how you gab so much you sometime end up taking out anything you accomplished so stitching group = no progress!  LOL).....I don't see much stitching time in my future.   And just how is a girl to loose weight with all this eating out!   Geez!



I did a little Halloween decorating....


And I got Grace Mason back from the framer and on the wall.   I really like the frame I choose and I am very happy with this finish.  My goodness!  In retirement I think I need to take up framing!  It can really be expensive but some pieces, like Grace, deserve professional framing.


I need to carve out some time to stitch since I have signed up for the Lizzie Kate Mystery Sampler - Things Unseen.  I am so excited!  The first mailing is at the beginning of November.  I always catch on to one of  these mystery stitch-alongs well after it has started and then I don't sign up.   This one - by some weird aligning of the planets - I knew about ahead of time.  It has been fun to follow the progress of the design, gathering of floss, buttons, etc., on the L*K blog.

So that's where I am this week.   More enjoyment of the crisp fall air and the rustle of leaves;   bringing my deck plants inside to winter over; hoping to get back into that treadmill routine (so easy to get out of ;-| ); a 6 a.m. airport run this week; planning to be a better co-worker after having words with a fellow employee this week (She deserved it! but it is not my style and I blame it on the medicine head I had); catching up on my other blog and two websites with some much needed updates; and saying prayers for a dear friend in Charleston, SC who underwent surgery for a brain tumor this week.  (I think a road trip south to make a visit may be in order!)