Aug 27, 2008

My upcoming Labor Day weekend

Tonight I have to disassemble and pack up my computer, and I won't be back on until Tuesday. I'll be too busy to go through computer withdrawal, thankfully. This is our twelfth move in 20 years of marriage. Hopefully, it will be our last for a LOOOOONG time!
I'll leave you with a picture of our dog, Emma. She is "killing" her favorite stuffed toy - a frog that croaks - by tearing the stuffing out of it. She allows Froggie to "live" for around six months, and then all of a sudden, she'll completely gut him and then I have to make a trip to Petco to get her another one. Silly dog.

Aug 25, 2008

Are we there yet?

First off, I'd like to thank Sharon and Rachel for nominating my blog for blog awards! Now, to participate fully, I have to pass on the nominations to other bloggers. And I'll do this in a later post. This will be a quick post to let y'all know that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth (although I might get some rest if I did!).
Right now, DH and I are so busy we're not sure which end is up. We have to be out of our rent house by August 31st. We're still working on the new house. I'm doing last-minute packing. The P.O.D.S. truck comes out to get the P.O.D.S. on Friday. DH is taking off work Thursday so he and I can finish loading it. We still have lots of work to do at both houses. We're tired. We're cranky. I haven't stitched hardly at all for nearly three weeks. DH hasn't had his bow out yet to practice and bowhunting season starts very soon. ACK!!!!
Here is our recently finished (all by me!) new 9' x 7' closet. Here is DH's side:
Here is my side - the funky grey thing at the right of the picture is DH's gun safe; it's built into the wall where my long hanging clothes will mostly hide it:
I'm off to the new house to unpack and organize kitchen stuff.

Aug 20, 2008


A friend shared the story of being in his first spelling bee in the second grade. He was given the word "wheel" to spell. He got so excited (he knew that word and could spell it!) that he skipped in place and blurted, "Whee-ee-o!" I thought that was cute. So whenever I get excited, I say the same thing. DH thinks I'm silly.
WHEE-EE-O!! I snuck in half an hour of stitching time this morning. I was even happy to see the frog when he poked his head up briefly. I think my project was purring while being stitched on, too.
As usual, we went out to the new house last night to work. DH was installing some door trim molding and accidentally stabbed himself with his Stanley knife. Dummy. Luckily, it wasn't bad enough for stitches. Once again I patched him up with a butterfly bandaid and tape. This time I actually had medical tape so I didn't have to use duct tape.
I've been packing up "last of" boxes. I hate packing "last of" boxes. They take more time than any other kind. For example, you have the last of the kitchen spice pantry to pack. You end up with the box being half full. So you spend 20 minutes running around trying to find other things to fill the space that's close to the same item category or doesn't grossly clash with it. Some people may pack kitchen spices together with bathroom toilet cleaning supplies, but this gal won't.

Aug 19, 2008

No, I'm still not stitching!

I still haven't stitched a lick since August 3rd. I do fondle my current WIP occasionally and promise it I'll be back soon. I just don't know how soon.
DH and I had a weirdly productive weekend. We finally finished our glue-down wood floor. It took us much longer than we anticipated. Then I began to laboriously remove the excess glue and I couldn't get it to come completely off with the recommended mineral spirits. DH called the flooring company and the guy said, "Oh. Y'all will need to get some Bostick Urethane Glue Remover. Nothing else will get it up." Gee. Why didn't you sell us some when you sold us the glue and the flooring? *sigh*
DH discovered some more electrical problems. So up he went into the attic to run more new wire. Then, as he was doing electrical work at the wall between the kitchen and utility/old bathroom, he discovered more problems. Up he went into the attic again with more new wire, and then he ended up tearing all the sheetrock off the kitchen wall between the kitchen and the utility/old bathroom. And he found MORE problems. But, he got them all taken care of. We'll slap some paneling up on the wall studs for now as we plan to gut the kitchen soon anyway. I feel much better knowing my stove will have a proper plug-in, and that the refrigerator won't need a 15-foot extension cord to reach a plug. Of course, this wasn't what DH had planned to do during the weekend, but it needed to be done.
Last night we drove out in the truck to spend the evening working and encountered a problem. Our 1000-foot driveway has a big and narrow hump at one place followed by a big water-retaining dip. It was raining hard and we slid right off the side of the hump and got stuck in the mud. DH had to call a tow truck to winch us out. I did manage to measure and cut closet rod cleats while DH waited for the tow guy, but otherwise, the night was a waste of time. Oh well.

Aug 13, 2008

What you orta do?

I recently learned that an SBQ is a stitching blog question, and I like this one: what do you do to your thread clippings? Do you just scrap them or do you use them in something else?
I was delighted when I learned that the common name for thread clippings was "orts." What a fun word! And I chuck 'em in the trash. I'm not sentimental about them. I use a small plastic Darice box to kit up my current project. If I have room, I stick the orts in one of the sections.
If I don't have room (HBP with lots of floss), I use a small plastic cup that I've elegantly suspended with clear packing tape that is held in place with my stone drink coaster.
When I'm done with my project, I unkit and throw out the orts.

Aug 12, 2008


I haven't stitched a lick since August 3rd. ACK!
Working on the new house is wearing me plumb out. We've come so far on it, yet still have so far to go. We have to be out of the rent house by August 24th. We'll deal with it and survive, but right now all I want to do is sit in my rocking chair and stitch. Oh well. *puts on big girl panties*
Even though DH and I are veteran wood floor layers, this one is taking a lot longer than planned. We've worked two and a half days on it and we'll still need two more evenings of work before it's done. Then I'll spend half a day cleaning all the glue residue off of it before we can do the trim molding.
It's a glue-down wood floor which a lot of people don't like because of the mess of the glue. Even though it is VERY messy to install, we like it because it gives a very solid floor underfoot with low noise. And for a wavy or uneven floor (thanks to our contractor), it's the only way to go as the glue is very elastic and forgiving; it helps hide the imperfections.
Unfortunately, due to these desirable properties, while this particular glue dries, the wood planks can move around. So you have to tape each plank to the previously set one as you go. All this taping takes tons of time. And then you have to remove all the tape within 24 hours. It means we're spending lots more time down on our knees than we planned. Even with knee pads, DH and I both have blisters on our knees. We still have a small alcove and half the closet to finish.
Here are progress pictures. DH is getting ready by fueling up on Gatorade.
DH troweling the glue.
One-third done - DH removing tape from the day before.
As of last night.

Aug 10, 2008


As I read several stitching message boards, most of which are international, I love it when I learn a new non-American word. I recently learned the word "whinge." It is pronounced hwinj and is used in the U.K. and Australia to mean "to complain annoyingly or continuously about something relatively unimportant." It's pretty much the same as good ol' American whining, but with an over-the-pond flavor.
Today I am whinging about not stitching since last Sunday. I may run off to a desert island somewhere to hide and stitch. I am going into withdrawal. I'd go fondle my stash but it is all packed up in boxes. True, this is not important in the overall scheme of things, but it is important to me! *whinge*
However, work on the new house is going along. DH and I started laying the wood floor in the bedroom yesterday. We should finish it today. Pictures later as the camera is out at the house.

Aug 8, 2008

Knicker Knotter #5 - Peace in washing

On a stitching message board, I recently read what turned into a rather heated discussion among stitchers regarding washing their finished projects.
For the record, I wash everything I stitch. I hand wash in cold water with Dawn dish soap. I rinse thoroughly, then roll the project in a clean white towel to absorb excess water, never wringing the towel. Then, placing the project stitched-side down on another clean white towel, I iron the project dry with a dry iron. I am at peace with that.
I am aware of a couple of ladies who chuck their finished projects in the washing machine and the projects come out clean and unscathed. It makes them happy and works for them. I am at peace with that.
I wash all my projects because I know that my body oil is more acidic than normal. I stitch in hand with a hoop using the stab method, so my skin comes in contact with the fabric and floss. This is the way I like to stitch. Stitching is my hobby that I do for enjoyment. Yes, if I used Q-snaps or scroll rods and stitched two-handed, I might minimize the skin contact. But I don't like to stitch that way. I am at peace with that.
I take care to wash my hands before stitching and I don't eat while stitching. Unless it's M&Ms - melts in your mouth, not in your hand! Because I have a hairy dog who sheds, my stitching may occasionally acquire "pet hair specialty fibers." I am at peace with that.
I know stitchers who are meticulous to use the no-soap hand cleaner on their hands before they stitch (but it only kills germs and contains alcohol). They are happy with their choice. They don't feel their stitching suffers. I am at peace with that.
Because I wash everything, there are some fibers and fabrics that I won't use because they are not color-fast. That is my choice. I am at peace with that.
And normally, I can read these types of posts (while gleaning worthwhile information from them) without getting my knickers in a knot. But this one person posted a response that bugged me. She sanctimoniously stated that she NEVER washed her projects as she took great pride in her work as a true craftswoman and took great care to keep her work clean. She went on and on, basically bashing the rest of us as filthy and uncouth droolers who could barely thread a needle. This gave me the urge to whack her upside the head; I had no peace with that.
I have news for her. Unless she only touches her floss and fabric while wearing unbleached white cotton gloves, she's leaving body oil on her projects. If her projects do "last for generations" as she proclaims they will, eventually, the oil will show up. And unless she's an alien, she's got body oil. I wonder if she knows how many of her shed dead skin cells end up on her projects? How does she avoid that? Hee hee! Let's not tell her about it! I am at peace with that!

Aug 7, 2008

New Blogs

I enjoy finding new blogs to read and I found a couple recently.
This one, Acerca del bordado, is in both English and Spanish. The author, Aury, has some cute Quaker-themed animals and stitch-along (SAL) patterns for download. Her site also has tutorials for various stitches and techniques.
I also found Ginnie's blog because she found mine first! Ginnie's Cross Stitch!!. I think these two blogs are my first "non-American" blogs. We truly live in an international age via the computer.

Aug 6, 2008

Freshly decanted kibble!

Emma was out of dog food and DH poured the new bag of food into the airtight container. We call this The Decanting of the Kibble. Emma gets very excited and loves to try and eat as much as she can as it pours out of the bag. Maybe it tastes better, who knows? This ritual never ceases to amuse her humans!

Aug 5, 2008


DH and I took delivery of a P.O.D.S. (Portable On Demand Storage) container today. We saw one in our local Home Depot parking lot and investigated them. As we are having to move in before all our remodeling is complete, we looked into renting storage space for a lot of our stuff so it won't be underfoot. All of them wanted at least a six-month contract. And we would have had to make repeated trips in our pickup truck to the storage place twice - once to take all our stuff there and once to pick it all back up.
Enter the P.O.D.S.! You have these delivered right to your door/driveway and load them up with your stuff. Once loaded, you call the P.O.D.S. truck to come and pick it back up and take it to your new home. The mechanism for getting it on/off the truck is cool. The P.O.D.S. is never tilted or tipped, so your stuff won't get damaged (unless you pack it wrong or too loose). If you don't want to or can't unload it right away, you can continue to rent the P.O.D.S. monthly for as long as needed. They rent for about what a storage place would cost. Cool, huh?! One of the guys DH works with said his brother used them to move cross-country.
They come in 8'x8'x12' or 8'x8'x16'. They have a tambor door that you can padlock and the containers themselves are impervious to rodents and insects. Here is the website: P.O.D.S., toll-free 1-800-776-7637.

Aug 4, 2008

House progress and a little stitching

During our usual weekend of new house remodeling, we had a friend from DH's work drop by to help for a couple of hours. (And to check out locations for tree stands and feeders on our land for deer hunting with DH.) As he was capable (taller than me and male) and interested in a little demolition, he and DH (FINALLY!!) removed the railroad ties from around the kitchen doorway. Then, he and DH had fun removing the peninsula bar at the end of the kitchen counters. All of my kitchen counters are made of concrete and I do not like them. But the guys had fun with the sledge hammer, crow bar, and Sawzall. Removing the bar and the railroad ties really opened up the kitchen and made things more roomy.
I apparently never took a picture of the kitchen entry - probably because I disliked it so much - but you can see the railroad ties in this picture at the end of the cabinets. The rustic star is hung in the corner two of them make. You can see part of the bar, too, right underneath the little cooler.
Here is the after picture:
Here is what the end of my counter looks like for now:
And I stitched while keeping an eye on the Redskins/Colts game on Sunday night. I've been so "ready for some football!" I love watching football! I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan from childhood, but I'll watch just about any football game as long as it's not boring or too one-sided.

Aug 2, 2008

A WIP and stash

I'm making slow progress on my WIP. Here it is:
Here it is the last time I posted it: July 18.
Here's my new stash:
This is called "Singin' the Wash Line Blues" by Dimensions, designed by Adele Earnshaw. I love the colors and can picture it hanging in a lot of places. Only the birds, quilt stripes and clothespin is whole stitches, all the rest is half stitches. Even though it is 16" x 8", it should stitch up quick. I'll substitute Monaco for the Aida.
I blame its acquisition on an evil-enabling blogger who shall remain nameless. She posted photos from her new "The Stitchery" catalog, and I just HAD to go online and look at the clearance items. Normally I don't buy kits, but I found two I really liked. I ordered them, but only received one as the other was sold out.

Aug 1, 2008

Rolling, rolling, rolling

For the last three days, I've been rolling paint on the bedroom walls and ceiling out at the new house. In hundred degree weather. Without air conditioning. Up and down the four-foot ladder. I am one tired woman. And I'm really tired of drinking Gatorade. However, the bedroom is all painted and looks lovely.
Last weekend, the tiny little water heater in the new house died. Whee. We get to buy a new one. Heavy sarcasm intended. It began leaking through its rusted out bottom and made a huge puddle outside of its lean-to home. The dog found the puddle and had mud up to her body (armpits?) on all four legs. She did not take kindly to having them washed off.
Once we get our new bathroom done, we will gut the old bathroom/utility room and redesign the space for more efficient usage. We will remove the water heater lean-to and put the water heater in the house where most normal people have them. I'll be glad to have the lean-to gone; I think it looks like a wart on the front side of the house.
I haven't stitched since Tuesday, but I did get stash in the mail! I will find time to post a picture this weekend. I had time yesterday to take a picture of my WIP, but the camera was out at the new house.