Sep 30, 2009


Here's my current WIP. It will go in a tuck pillow so I had to change the design up a bit to get it the right size. I also changed a lot of the fibers as I won't stitch with Weeks Dye Works floss as it is not colorfast. And the design also called for blended threads with DMC and GAST! How weird is that?
Anyway, I've got the petals on the left flower to finish and then I have to stitch "Texas" at the top and add a few beads instead of doing french knots.
And here is the finished "First Christmas" ornament for my youngest nephew; I needed an example to show for my ornament finishing demonstration on Saturday at the IH35 Stitchtogether.

Sep 29, 2009

More tiling

I know I promised a WIP picture, but it's raining cats and dogs outside and it's too dark inside to get a good picture. Maybe tomorrow.
DH got a lot of tiling done this weekend. He wanted to get more done and wasn't pleased with his "lack of progress," but then he never is. Our chosen accent tiles really slowed him down a couple of times.
Here's what he got done on Monday morning. By the way, those little green dots are temporary tile spacers.
Here's where he was by Monday afternoon.
And here's where he ended up at the end of the day. Basically, he got the back wall done and most of the end wall done. It's hard to tell in the pictures, but the tile goes all the way up to the ceiling. He hopes to get the front wall and the rest of the end wall done working during the evenings this week.
I don't know how much he'll get done this coming weekend as hunting season is starting Saturday. Meat for my freezer!

Sep 28, 2009

Tiling continues

I had planned on arising and tackling the mowing this morning, but the riding mower is acting up again - something is wrong with the battery...AGAIN. Did I mention that we'd had the darn thing in the shop recently? As the grass just dried out from the last rain, and it is supposed to rain again tomorrow, the grass may be up to my armpits before I have a chance to mow again. Oh well.
DH is moving along quite nicely with the tiling. He had hoped to get the whole tub surround done by tonight, but it ain't gonna happen. He was proceeding at a rapid pace until he hit the row of accent tiles; he came to a screeching halt.
DH followed the manufacturer's instructions for installing the accent tile. As is often the case, they didn't work and caused a huge mess. So DH improvised. That worked, but after having installed the whole row on the back wall of the tub surround, he ended up having to remove and redo them as they spaced improperly. Oh well. The accent row looks so good that all the extra trouble was worth it! (That weird hole in the tile on the upper left below the accent row is for the soap dish; it gets installed last.)
A note from my stitching chair: I stitched a lot yesterday and hope to do the same today in between laundry loads. I'll post a picture tomorrow.

Sep 26, 2009

And it begins

After our tile buying expedition in town yesterday, we came home and DH began doing the tile layout in preparation for the actual tiling. You always "dry fit" or layout your tile before you begin installing it to make sure everything goes together and that there are no surprises.
He started with the bare Hardi-backer covered tub surround.
Then he screwed a "first row" board onto the Hardi-backer that was exactly one tile tall and level. Then he dry fit the horizontal rows on all three sides of the tub surround, then continued up the back wall in horizontal rows to make sure the tiles would meet the ceiling properly. (That's our accent row with small glass tiles in shades of blue at the top.) He'll start laying tile on top of the first row board. After all the tiles are laid on that wall up to the ceiling, he'll remove the board and lay that row last.
Of course, DH had to allow the inspector in at some point.
This morning, DH started tiling for real. He laid on some mortar and then combed it with a tiling trowel.
And then the he installed the first tile of many!
Look for more pictures and updates as the long weekend progresses.

Sep 25, 2009

At last! My own...

...cordless drill! No longer will I have to suffer through using an overly-large man-sized cordless drill when I am carpentering. No longer will I tax the strength in my biceps in lifting a cordless drill with a 14.4 volt battery! No longer will I strain to reach the reverse button with my index finger! NO MORE!
DH is taking today and Monday off. He had planned to do the outdoor plumbing work for the bathroom. It's been raining off and on for a week and it is too muddy. So he is going to hopefully get the tub surround all tiled in instead.
We spent the morning buying tile and tiling supplies. I had planned to get the tile several weeks ago, but DH wanted to go with me. Sometimes we find a deal or have a creative idea when we search for DIY stuff together. We had planned to go with 4" x 4" tile, but at the tile store we found some "subway" tiles on sale (3" x 6") and went with those. Then we found some really cool 2" hexagonal tiles for the floor, also on sale. Next, at Lowe's we found some glass tiles in shades of blue that DH will use as an accent row.
While at Lowe's I went over and fondled and handled all the cordless drills while DH was looking for a tile mortar mixing blade. I found one with a grip that fit my hand perfectly and that had a smaller (and lighter weight) 12 volt battery. So I chucked it in our basket in amongst all the tile supplies and brought it home!
It's mine! DH can't use it. MINE! MINE!
A note from my stitching chair: I'm not stitching on "Mr. Bones." Even though I put a few stitches in him, I just couldn't get into him. I think I'm tired of the challenges of stitching on perforated paper. So I started "A Texas Garden" by Redbird Designs that I will stick into one of the tuck pillows I purchased at the stitching retreat. It'll look cute on our bed and it's small enough that it won't tax my too-many-decorative-pillows-on-the-bed tolerance.

Sep 24, 2009

If you give a dog a Milk-Bone...

...after her bath for being a good dog during her bath, she will go outside in the rain and bury it in the dirt.
"I'm not looking at you; you can't see me."
"What dirt?"

Sep 23, 2009

Have you ever done this?

As I was going through our monthly credit card receipts, I noticed a charge from Silkweaver. It was from the middle of August and I hadn't received the fabric which was most unusual as Silkweaver has great service. It was also unusual that I'd forgotten about the order.
So I e-mailed Silkweaver and received a prompt reply; they had record of the credit card transaction, but no record of my order, probably due to some weird computer glitch. But we got everything squared away and I got my fabric on Saturday.
I'd ordered 36 count linen in the Spanish Moss color. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember what project I had in mind when I ordered it!
I had to go through my stash and think really hard before I finally remembered the project. I had wanted to stitch one of the designs from the Prairie Schooler leaflet "Christmas Trees II." These are stitched on 18 count olive green Aida which is no longer made. So I tried to find a substitute color and found one at Silkweaver.
Forgetting about fabric you ordered must be another symptom of being cross stitch obsessed. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Sep 22, 2009

Another finish

I would have had this finished yesterday, but I had a prolonged visit from the his royal greeness, a very evil frog indeed. Besides wreaking havoc with my stitching, he also brought rain early.
The forecast said it was supposed to rain today late afternoon sometime. We need the rain and that was fine with me; I'd have plenty of time to do errands in town in the morning and then park the truck down at the end of the driveway.
The rain arrived sometime after midnight and it is still raining. DH barely got out of the driveway, and there's no way I can get the truck out and go to town. Oh well.
Sunday night, DH and I stayed up to watch the Cowboys game. *sigh* We were disappointed in them. However it was fun to see all the previous Cowboys that were there in attendance at the first official game in the new stadium. Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach, and my all-time favorite Cowboy, Randy White (aka "The Manster" - part man, part monster). We really got a kick out of seeing Former President Bush sitting in a box next to John Madden as the two of them talked and laughed. John, of course, was waving his arms around while he talked. I really miss his commentating.
Okay. I finished stitching "nuqneH" and finish-finished it this morning and here it is! The sun is not out so this is the best picture I could get. This is a name plate that is now sitting on my desk.
Next, I will stitch on a Halloween ornament - "Mr. Bones" from JCS Sept./Oct. 2008.

Sep 20, 2009

Comments and pigskins and needles

Wow! I received some great comments on my last post. Great minds think alike. I just have to post the comment Jade made; she states her position much more eloquently than I did. Bravo, Jade!
"Whenever I bring up these ideas, I get slammed with the "function before form" argument. What they fail to see is that form *is* a kind of function. It declares the writer's level of education in basic English as well as his/her dedication to the project by displaying how much attention is paid to detail. It also shows the writer's respect towards the reader. At least that is how I feel about it. I am a foreigner, it took me years to learn English properly, and I love this language. I hate to see it misused because of mere negligence."
Last night, DH and I sat down and watched the Texas Tech/Texas college football game on TV. They played in Austin at Texas and my eyes were burning from all that orange. I was hoping DH's team would prevail and give me taunting rights toward my Austin buddies, but alas! they did not. Texas won with a little help from the officiating staff.
"Uh, no Mr. Referee, you don't blow the play dead when the quarterback fakes putting his knee down on the ground in a play designed to trick the defense. Apparently, the play was so good it tricked you, too."
"Mr. Referee, if a defensive player tackles the quarterback while leading with his helmet in such as way that said helmet strikes the quarterback's helmet and causes it to COME OFF and said quarterback subsequently drops the football, you do not rule this a fumble. Where I come from, it is considered a personal foul on the defender!!"
I now have a new favorite needle. My all-time favorite is Mardina's "My Favorite Needle" but Mardina Enterprises no longer makes them. I have two that I guard jealously and use sparingly. These needles are petite with small, smooth eyes and they glide like silk through the fabric. They were also five bucks each.
My next favorite needle was "The Perfect Needle." These come in packs of two for six bucks. They come in gold or platinum. They have long, narrow, easy-to-thread eyes. My only complaint about them is that the eye is sometimes "draggy" on the floss. They're about six bucks for a package of two.
Recently, I bought a package of Mary Arden needles. These are made in England in the town where Shakespeare's mother lived, hence the name. They are smooth, have a narrow eye that is easy to thread, and the eye is very smooth, too - no "dragginess" on the floss! I love 'em and they are my new favorites.

Sep 17, 2009

You expect me to take you seriously?!

Okay, y'all all know that I'm a grammar and spelling nut. I think being able to write well is very important. People judge you on how well you write, especially if you are a white-collar professional.
And I don't usually hold typos or the occasional spelling error against writers; they happen to the best of us.
I read a lot of blogs and frequent a couple of message boards, one of which is for people with sleep apnea who use CPAP machines to control their condition. Most of the people on this board are patients who manage their own care because we can't find answers (or because we get bad ones) from professionals in the field of sleep medicine. This includes sleep doctors, Respiratory Therapists (RT), and sleep lab personnel. The experienced CPAP users on this board are able to help the new people.
In the last couple of months, we on this board have been joined by a couple of RTs. One young man - to his credit - came on seeking how to better serve his CPAP patients. Another RT came on this week and took the position of superiority and knowledge in her field of RT over those of us who are merely patients (which never, ever goes over well on this board).
What astounded me (and many of the other board members) was how badly these two professionals wrote their posts. To be a Respiratory Therapist requires a four-year college degree and the passing of a national and/or state examination, so they were supposedly educated. The posts were full of spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation errors.
Several board members made pointed comments about the errors. Both RTs replied that it didn't matter how they wrote or typed as long as the person reading could understand what they meant and to get over it.
Excuse me? You want me to take you seriously as a professional and you don't care about how you write? You send letters like your posts to doctors, patients, and insurance companies?! And it's my problem that you can't write correctly because I should just ignore it as long as I can figure out your meaning??!!
Maybe I'm of another generation (and I am), but I believe this comes from the "modern" schooling thought that you shouldn't correct students because it might damage their self-esteem. Baloney.
It's really sad because these folks are being judged. And they will always be judged. But they won't believe they might be losing jobs or business over it because it's not their problem. And that's a bunch of baloney, too.

Sep 15, 2009

My latest WIP

I started a new WIP last week. I'm stitching it on painted perforated paper with DMC. It's a small sign that will go on my computer desk in an acrylic name plate holder I bought a while back.
If it doesn't look like any letters or language you recognize, it's because it's a word in a Klingon font. The word in English is "nuqneH" which is "hello" in Klingonese. Actually, the literal translation is "What do you want?!" which is how Klingons say hello.
I'm a Trekker from way back and Klingons are my favorite aliens. As I'm usually overly focused and task-oriented when I'm on my computer, the phrase "What do you want?!" is appropriate. I should get it finished soon.

Sep 14, 2009

Back from the stitching retreat

Friday, at 5:15 a.m., I got myself up and hied myself off to Austin to meet up with Mary, Lynn, and Jennifer at Mary's house. Mary drove us all to Bandera to the Purple Sage Ranch where we spent the weekend at a stitching retreat.
The accommodations were high class, the food was gourmet level, and the stitching time and camaraderie was wonderful.
I started and finished a small freebie project. It is stitched on Monaco with NPI silks. This will be used when I demonstrate making a scrapbook page with small stitched pieces at the IH35 Stitchtogether in November.
I bought some stash from the sales table that Stitches From the Heart - an LNS from San Antonio - had in our stitching room and also picked up a few treasures from the orphan pattern table.
One of the gifts we received was a pillow from Linda of Pillow Talk. She makes pillows for stitched pieces. We were given one, and then I ended up buying three more. Linda displays them in albums with recommended stitched pieces for the fabric. She doesn't have a website yet, but is working on it. She currently sells her pillows through Stitches From the Heart in San Antonio. They were VERY reasonably priced - less than ten dollars a pillow! They are eight-inches square with a 4 3/8" opening.
DH made some floss sticks for me to donate to the live auction we had on Saturday night. Here he is spraying them with lacquer. He rigged up a floss stick spraying station on the front porch. He made two long floss sticks and then two that folded.
We met a lot of new friends and talked with folks we met at the last stitching retreat. We are planning to go to the next one in March.
DH says he really missed me while I was gone, and so did the dog! I really missed them, too, but I had a great time and am looking forward to the next retreat in March.

Sep 9, 2009

Where will "The Alamo" go?

Thanks to all of you who read my blog and leave me comments; I appreciate it and enjoy reading what you've written.
Mary asked me where I am going to hang "The Alamo" once I've framed it. I plan on framing it myself, but I may frame it with a mat, which I don't often do. So I'll have to get a mat cut at the framer's.
I plan to hang it on this wall at the foot of our bed. It is large and blank (the wall, not the bed). It is going to be my Texas stitching wall; all the Texas-themed pieces that I stitch will go here.
Two more sleeps until the stitching retreat!
DH has been busy making me some floss sticks to donate to the retreat auction like he did for the last one I went to. He has them all finished except for putting the folding ones together. I'll post pictures of them tomorrow before I pack them away in my stitching tote.

Sep 7, 2009

Christmas Ornaments for the nephews

I finished stitching two more Christmas ornaments, but I haven't finish-finished them yet.
Here is my oldest nephew's ornament:
And this ornament is for my DBro and DSisIL. Our second nephew's name is really Zachary Keith, but DH and I started calling him "Zeke" while we were waiting for his arrival. Now that he's here, we call him Zachary or Zach most of the time. I meant to make this for them last Christmas, but my stitching stuff was still out in the P.O.D.S. then.
My oldest nephew's middle name is Paul after his grandfather and great-grandfather. My second nephew's middle name is the same as his dad's, who has the same middle name as our uncle (my mom's brother). I think this male generational naming thing is kind of cool. I myself was named after no one in particular; my mom just liked the name and my dad didn't object.
Now I have to go figure out what to stitch next...

Sep 6, 2009


Yippee skippy! I put the last backstitch in on "The Alamo" this afternoon and it is finished at last! (Yeah, I know; I took the picture crooked.)
Next, I'll be stitching on a car for a Christmas ornament for my oldest nephew. It should go fast.
We had great plans for working on the house this weekend, but DH was attacked by his allergies and has sat around in a drug-induced stupor lamenting that he feels bad and can't do all the stuff he had planned to do.
But we did make some progress on the bathroom as our friend Billy was finally able to come out and do all the tape and bedding yesterday. Now if DH could just get the pesky plumbing done...

Sep 3, 2009

I need a cat like this

I love cats, but I'm very allergic to them which is why we don't have one. But I think I really need a cat like this...

Sep 2, 2009

Are we there yet?

I'm going on a stitching retreat the weekend after next; I am SO ready to go. Are we there yet?
I'm also trying to decide what to take to stitch on at the retreat. I have a couple of Christmas ornaments I need to stitch. I also need to stitch something for another IH35 Stitchtogether demonstration I'm doing in November - this time it's mounting small projects on a scrapbook page. Maybe I'll just take something fun.'s all fun. Decisions, decisions...
Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon reformatting a patient evaluation form for DH's work. I've been using MS Word for so long that I can bully it into doing just about anything MS Publisher can do, only better. DH now tells me there are other office forms that need updating, too.
Today was my shopping day and I had to reevaluate my previous post regarding shopping basket contents. I mail goodie boxes out to a couple of college kids who are friends of the family on occasion. I pack the boxes full of stuff a college kid would eat on the run or for a snack. My basket was full of junk food. There was not a single vegetable or fruit in it. Wait - it did have a box of All Bran cereal in it, but that was for me. ☺