Apr 30, 2008

"Bandanna Stocking" WIP update

I did get some time to stitch this weekend, and I also found some time to stitch yesterday morning in between shuffling and packing boxes. Here's DH's stocking - it's nearly half done.

Apr 26, 2008

The long and the short of it.

DH and I made the two hour drive to Houston, Texas yesterday to visit Lumber Liquidators as they were having a clearance sale on flooring. We needed flooring for our "new" house. We've laid two wood floors in the past and the flooring we've bought previously came in four- or five-foot long boxes. So we felt confident in driving our VW Jetta as it gets much better gas mileage than Old Faithful the '88 Chevy truck; we were sure we could get 350 square feet of flooring into the Jetta.
Wrong, banana breath.
The flooring we chose came in seven-foot boxes and would not, could not fit in the Jetta. So, we either had to drive back on Monday in Old Faithful or have the flooring shipped. We had it shipped. All in all, about a forty dollar mistake. *slaps forehead*
But as we were near enough to 3 Stitches, I stopped for some S.E.X. and blew my stash budget for the month. Oh well. I got two Redbird Designs, some silk and some wool floss, and a pack of beads I needed.

Apr 25, 2008

"Bandanna Stocking" WIP

Here is a picture of my progress (slow) on DH's "Bandanna Stocking" in Texas Tech colors. I've only been averaging about an hour of stitching time per day this week. ACK! Hopefully, I'll find more time this weekend, but it looks doubtful. Anyway, here it is:

Apr 24, 2008

They just don't get it!

Recently, DH and his coworkers were discussing what everyone did over the weekend. DH reported that we had gone out and bought a refrigerator. One coworker commented, "Wow. I didn't think you tightwads ever spent money on things like that!"

*Mental sarcastic voice: Yeah! We have a magic frozen hole in the backyard where we keep our perishable food items fresh. Who needs a refrigerator?

The coworker just doesn't get it. Yes, DH and I are tightwads; we work hard at it. We are constantly improving and adding to our knowledge and use of tightwaddery. Tightwads DO spend money. We just spend it carefully and to our best advantage.

Because we are tightwads, we are financially able to do most of the things that we want to do. We have no debt other than a home mortgage, and we'll pay that off early. We buy nothing on credit. We are able to handle financial emergencies (like a dying refrigerator or car repairs). We have savings. When an old one wears out, we pay cash for new cars. I could go on and on about what tightwadding does for us.

Tightwadding is a discipline that gives us great financial freedom. Our money works for us, not the other way around.

Apr 23, 2008

Fabric for "Bandanna Stocking"

I love Silkweaver. I received the fabric I ordered for the "Bandanna Stocking" pattern. I'm doing one for DH and one for me. I'm doing DH's on Poltergeist 28 count Lugana, and mine on Sapphire Sky 28 count Lugana. I started on DH's and will post a picture later in the week.
(Hmmm...my camera makes the fabric look textured and it isn't.) I like hand-dyed fabric, but don't like it for everything. I think a stitcher should be careful in choosing to use it. Sometimes it seems like the fabric can overpower the design. But I think it works well for this pattern.

Apr 22, 2008

Moving on down the road

DH and I will soon be moving farther out into the country. This will be our twelfth move in 20+ years of marriage. We've been renting a house since we moved here for nearly two and half years, patiently (and not so patiently) looking for just the right home/land combination to thrill our tightwad hearts and pocketbooks. We found it a couple of weeks ago.
Way out in the country, surrounded by pastures with cattle, a long driveway off a dirt road, quarter mile to the mailbox, six acres, pond, trees, DEER, nice little fixer-upper house: perfect! The house is sturdily built, but needs updating. It spent most of its life as a recreational cabin. DH and I are looking forward to all the DIY projects that await us!
I'll post pictures off and on as we progress. Standing at the gate to enter our property, here is the top third of our driveway back down to the main road:

Apr 21, 2008

A quick little finish

While waiting for my fabric for the "Bandanna Stocking" to arrive, I stitched a quick little Altoid tin topper. *Note self: check colors of floss if pattern lists DMC equivalents from a GAST and WDW original. I started stitching without paying attention to the weirdness of the colors. But I decided that it added to the funkiness of the pattern.
I went on a stitching retreat in March, and this pattern was in a tin topper kit given to all attendees. Of course, the hostess provided us all with a lovely tin that had been spray painted pink. I immediately gave the pink tin to one of my stitching buddies. Mel loves pink as much as I hate it. My inner tightwad always feels good when I can re-home a pink item; the pink-hater in me always wants to chuck the item in the trash can. Luckily, my inner tightwad can usually beat up my inner pink-hater.

Apr 18, 2008

Finished February boot!

Yeehaw! I finished the February boot from Redbird Designs "Southwest Seasons!"
I'm still waiting for my hand-dyed fabric for DH's "Bandanna Stocking." So I think I'll stitch a little Altoid topper pattern I got in March at Camp Stitchalot - a stitching retreat put on by Ginger's Needlearts in Austin, Texas.

Apr 16, 2008

A recipe for CrockPot Candy

A year or two ago, I found this recipe for "CrockPot Candy" on the 123 Message Board. Everyone who eats it swears it has cocaine in it because it is so addictive. I've made several batches for DH to take and share with the guys at work. The recipe makes tons of candy and it never lasts for more than a day there. Usually, it doesn't make it past noon. DH delivered a request from the guys for me to make them a batch of this, so I'm indulging them. Of course, I have to taste-test it first!

CrockPot Candy
16 oz. salted peanuts or mixed nuts
16 oz. dry roasted peanuts
24 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
24 oz. white almond bark, chopped
1 Baker's German Sweet Chocolate Bar (4 oz.)
Place all ingredients in the CrockPot and cook on low for three hours. Stir to blend. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment paper and let cool. Store in airtight container.

Apr 15, 2008

February boot update

As promised, here is a picture of my February boot WIP. It is from Redbird Designs "Southwest Seasons." There are 12 months of seasonally-themed boots in the pattern packet. I love Redbird Designs as most of them have a Texas or southwest theme. And the designer designs out of McKinney, Texas.

Anyway, this is stitched on 25 count white Lugana with DMC and a specialty fiber for the boot vamp (not shaft). The pattern calls for GAST Cidermill Brown which I used on the January boot. I'm trying to find a different fiber for each boot. For February, I used Silk 'n' Colors Latte. I should get February finished by this weekend. I have no idea what I'm going to do with all of these once I stitch all 12 of them. A quilted wall-hanging comes to mind, but I'm not a quilter. However, I do know one!

Apr 14, 2008

A crusty situation

Yes, I know this is "mostly" a stitching blog. I promise to post a picture of my February boot tomorrow as I should be able to get a lot of stitching done tonight. But today I'm posting another picture of my cute and goofy dog.
I had leftover pizza for lunch. Emma loves pizza crusts. We usually only give her a tiny bite which she gobbles down immediately. Occasionally, it's fun to give her a whole piece-of-pizza crust. She is always puzzled about what to do with it. She wanders around with it in her mouth all around the house looking for a "safe" place to hide it. She will try to "bury" it on the couch under a cushion. She will then rescue it and try to "bury" it on her dog bed. Eventually, she will really bury it outside. At some point during the day, she will come prancing into the house with a dirt-covered crust. I will take it from her and wash it off, and then she'll settle down and eat it. Silly jert.

Apr 13, 2008

Another tightwad triumph!

For over a year now, DH and I have known that our 17+ year old refrigerator is on its last legs. It makes a clunking and grinding noise when the compressor comes on. It has too cold spots inside and the vegetable drawers are always too cold and dry. The door seal is going. The ice maker died last year.

Last week, I spent several hours on the Internet researching refrigerator features and prices. I made a list of our top three models based on the features and prices from my research. Yesterday, DH thought it might be a good idea for us to hit appliance stores and check out local models and prices.

On a whim, we stopped by Best Buy. In the past, we have never found a bargain or an appliance there that we liked. But today, they had a clearance on floor models. We found the second model on our list at $200.00 off! And the optional ice maker was on clearance also! Another tightwad triumph!

Apr 12, 2008

"Jert" Alert!

We call our dog, Emma, a "jert." This is an acronym for Jack Russell terrier - J.R.T. = "jert." She loves to lay in the lap of whichever of us is being a couch potato. She especially loves to lay in a lap that is covered in a lap throw. And she does NOT like to move if you have to get up for something. We try to accommodate her and it usually looks like this.

Apr 11, 2008

The Seven Levels of S.A.B.L.E.

I came across the term "Seven Levels of S.A.B.L.E." (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy) and couldn't find any official list, so I decided to come up with my own. Each level must be reached in its entirety and maintained before moving up to the next level. Levels may not be skipped. *Note: I have not reached any of these levels and don't intend to. Tightwaddery always trumps acquisition greed. Usually. Mostly.

The Seven Levels of S.A.B.L.E.
1) On a monthly basis or more frequently, you buy patterns, kits, floss, fabric, or magazines that you already have.
2) You have over 500 patterns, including all of the patterns of at least one designer.
3) Your stack of fabric is taller than you are.
4) You have over five 20-gallon Rubbermaid tubs of kits.
5) You have complete sets of at least ten different brands of floss.
6) You have more stash in your craft room than your LNS has in inventory.
7) You don't believe for a moment that you have enough stash.

Apr 10, 2008

Slow progress

I'm making slow progress on my "February boot." I usually stitch in the evenings, and DH and I have been on the go every evening this week. This project is stitched on 25 count Lugana over two with three strands of floss. Railroading three strands is a pain, so I'm slower than usual.
Pardon the lousy picture. It's been rainy, "glummy," and "grismal" here all week. I'm part plant and I'm starting to wilt - I need sun! It also makes it hard to get a decent picture, even with a flash. This one was taken with a light and a flash. The fabric is actually white. And the floss is actually pink and red. This is the shaft of the boot. I should get to stitch a lot this weekend, so a better picture will be forthcoming next week.
I'm very glad to have the pink portion done. Those who know me well know that I LOATHE the color pink with a flaming blue passion. Nothing in my house is pink. Nothing in my closet is pink. Nothing growing "flowerly" in my yard is pink. I do not wear pink. I do not stitch projects with lots of pink and I will not stitch on pink fabric. My dog does not own a pink collar. If you give me something pink, it will go immediately into the current "going-to-Goodwill-soon" box. I HATE PINK!

Apr 8, 2008

Ah ha! I finally found it!

DH and I (and the rest of the family) will be welcoming a new nephew sometime in late June or early July. I've been looking around for just the right cross-stitch birth announcement to do for him. And today, I found it! It's "Baby Boy," a Heritage Stitchcraft pattern from a Margaret Sherry painting of a teddy bear. I love her patterns, especially her cats! Here's a picture of it, and it's on sale today at 123 Stitch.

I stitched Dimension's "Sweet Ducky Birth Record" for this child's older brother and wanted to find something similar, but not the same. Cutesy and kiddish, even though I usually don't like to stitch cutesy and kiddish. But hey! This is for a new nephew! He's family! The ducky pattern can be found at Dimensions. I don't have a picture of the one I stitched as I did it before I took pictures of my finishes and before I had a digital camera. This one is a kit and comes with the mat.

And no, I won't start it until after he arrives. His older brother didn't get his until he was darn near close to a year old!

Apr 7, 2008

Knicker Knotter #1

What's a knicker knotter? It's something that annoys you or gets your "knickers in a knot."
Tonight, DH and I decided to eat out for dinner. We usually do so about once a month. After being seated and getting our drink order taken, I soon noticed that DH and I were having to shout at one another in order to carry on a conversation. Yes, the music in the restaurant was THAT LOUD!
Why in the world to restaurants do that?! And it's not just restaurants, a lot of retail stores crank up the music really loud, too. Often, I walk into a store and turn off my hearing aids as it's the only way I can stand to be in there to do any shopping for any length of time. FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD!! TURN IT DOWN, WILL YOU?!!

Apr 6, 2008

Chucked a WIP, new project

I've been stitching on DH's "Bandanna Stocking." The more I stitched on it, the less I liked the fabric (14 count Aida). I just couldn't see it finished out as a stocking. So, as my distaste grew, I decided to do something about it.

I chucked the stitched-on fabric in the round file.

I then spent about half an hour online searching for something different to stitch it on. I settled on Silkweaver hand-dyed Classics Poltergeist and Sapphire Sky in 28 count Lugana. I'll stitch DH's on the Poltergeist, a medium grey with red and black (Texas Tech colors) DMC floss, and I'll do mine on the Sapphire Sky with DMC white and a brownish-orangey floss. As this fabric won't arrive for a couple of weeks, I needed something to stitch on. So I started the "February" boot from Redbird Designs "Southwest Seasons." It'll be a quick stitch, and then I may start back in on "Wild Things" for my MIL. Below is the "January" boot I did last year.

Apr 5, 2008

April edition of the IH35 Stitchtogether

Sorry, no pictures. None of us remembered to bring a camera today. But we had myself, Lynn, Mel, Marilyn, Diane, Christina, and Amy (with her new little son, Salvador) in attendance. Salvador was by far the cutest one there. We stitched, and grazed, and stitched, and nibbled. I gave a lesson on framing. DH wandered in just before quitting time to graze from the food table (as is his custom) after spending his day checking out hunting stuff at Cabela's and Academy.

Let's see, I was working on filling in a border on my PS Country Seasons bellpull, Lynn was working on a Nouveau Encore anniversary sampler for her parents, Diane was working on a "redwork" embroidery piece, Marilyn was crocheting quilts for her grandchildren, Mel was stitching one of those French cows (the Texas flag) for a round robin, Amy kept Salvador happy and fed and we all got to smile and go, "Awww..." at a beautiful sleeping baby, and Christina was working on a SanMan pattern for her soon-to-be-arriving baby. It was a good day! *Note: stitching did actually occur at this stitcher's meeting.

On the drive to Austin, I enjoyed seeing my very favorite flower of all time, the Texas Bluebonnet, a wildflower that grows along highways and in pastures this time of year. They are simply stunning. Below is a bluebonnet picture taken by a fellow Texan and stitching buddy, Shannon. She was driving along a local Texas highway and stopped and took several great pictures. The photos are displayed in her Photobucket album, and she graciously allowed all who desired to save any of them for their own personal use. The orange flowers are Indian Paintbrushes, also a wildflower.

Apr 4, 2008

My Stitching Statistics

As an experienced stitcher, I often have other stitchers ask me questions regarding my stitching habits and preferences. Some of the answers to these questions are hotly debated amongst us. Some folks even get snobby about their preferences. And there's no need for that. Hey, we all thread our needle the same way. Wait. We don't. (And yes, the pattern on the right is in my to-do pile.)

My Stitching Statistics

1) How do you hold your fabric? I use a five-inch wooden hoop in hand. Yes, I've tried scroll rods, Q-snaps, and a stitching stand. I don't like them.
2) Floss licker? No.
3) How do you thread your needle? I fold the floss in half over the needle and then poke the fold through the needle's eye.
4) What needle do you like best? I prefer Mardina's My Favorite Needle, but they stopped making them (again). My second favorite is The Perfect Needle.
5) Are you a needle loser? No. My needles cost me three to five bucks each. As a tightwad, I am extremely careful about keeping up with them.
6) What fabric do you prefer to stitch on? I'll stitch on anything. I prefer evenweaves and linen, but will use Aida if it is warranted. The only fabric I don't care for at all is Jobelan.
7) Bobbins or floss bags? Hobby Lobby-brand bobbins for DMC. EZ-Bobs for my specialty floss. Floss bags for my Rainbow Gallery threads.
8) Are you a scissors collector? No. I am constantly dropping my scissors and either chipping the point off or springing them so they don't cut on the point. Expensive scissors would be a waste.
9) Do you do your own framing, and if so, do you lace or pin? Yes. After researching the topic to my satisfaction, I prefer to pin.
10) Are you a floss floozy? Probably not. I'll try any type of floss. I will use it loyally if it is colorfast. I have a full set of DMC. I buy specialty floss as needed for a pattern. I am not driven to own full sets of everything.
11) Silk? Yes. If it is colorfast.
12) Railroader? Yes. I railroad both legs of my stitches on everything I stitch. It does slow me down a bit, but I'm a slow stitcher to begin with.
13) Are you a pattern or designer snob? No. I do have a few designers that I seem to consistently like, but I'll stitch anything by any designer that catches my rather eccentric eye.
14) Do you get antsy when you give someone a stitched gift? No. The joy for me is in the creation of the gift. What they do with it after they receive it is their choice, and I am at peace with that.
15) Have you reached S.A.B.L.E.? I don't think so. My tightwad instincts probably override any S.A.B.L.E. instincts.
16) Do you wash your projects? Yes. Everything and always. Fifteen-minute cold-water soak with mild soap (never Woolite), roll up in a towel, then iron dry stitched side down on a fluffy white towel.

Apr 3, 2008

General amokness and a recipe

Thanks to all of y'all who have taken the time to read and leave comments on this blog! I appreciate it and I'm enjoying the feedback.

I didn't get to stitch at all yesterday. *deep sigh* But I did find a great new recipe for cooking asparagus!

Baked Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus (about a pound)
1 bunch green onions, sliced (with green tops to taste)
2 medium roma tomatoes, diced
garlic salt or powder (to taste)
parmesan cheese (to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and trim asparagus to fit neatly in 8" x 8" Pyrex dish. (Feed a few bits of the end trimmings to Emma as she loves raw asparagus!) The asparagus will be in two layers. Add 1/4 cup of water to the dish and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for two minutes. Remove plastic wrap and drain water from dish. Remove top layer of asparagus. Sprinkle bottom layer evenly with garlic salt or powder, and parmesan cheese. Replace top layer of aspargus, sprinkle evenly with garlic salt or powder, tomatoes, onions, and parmesan cheese. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve.

It's amazing to me that I can find a picture of asparagus on the internet for inserting in a blog post with an asparagus recipe.

Apr 2, 2008

What a lovely spring day!

Our dog, Emma, thinks she is part cat. She loves to walk and lay on the window sills. Here she is lounging on her favorite one. She waits expectantly every morning for me to pull up the blinds in this particular window so she can check out what's going on in the front yard. This window is essential for watching the road in case she needs to bark at the propane, FedEx, trash collecting, or UPS truck. She doesn't bark at any other trucks, only these.

DH's Bandanna Stocking

I saw these stockings on another blog (Michelle's blog), and decided to stitch them for DH and I. DH's will be done in Texas Tech colors - red Aida with black and white floss. I'm doing mine on denim-colored Aida with red and white floss. This pattern was published in an old "Cross Stitch & Country Crafts Nov/Dec 1993" magazine. I got my copy from The Old Stitch website. Hopefully, DH's stocking will be a quick stitch and then I will go back to working on the HBP for my MIL. I'll stitch my stocking later.

Apr 1, 2008

A deer in the frame is better than one in the headlights!

I stitched this for my DH. He is going to take it to work and hang it where his deer hunting coworkers can become green with envy. I will not, however, stitch it again for anyone, no matter what they offer to pay me. This pattern was very boring to me to stitch. It came out great, but I didn't enjoy it. It is "Touch of the Wilderness" by Brittercup Designs. It is stitched on 32 count antique white lugana with DMC and GAST (leaves and grass). It is framed in one of the frames DH made this past weekend. He chose the frame style and didn't want any matting.