Nov 30, 2009

Frank's britches

I got some stitching time in yesterday and managed to finish the lettering (I dislike stitching lettering) and give Frankenstein some shoes and his pants. (The buttons are just sitting on the fabric for show.)
This pattern is driving me nuts. It is a much-copied copy from an apparently low quality printer. JABC allows shop owners to make copies of this to give out to people who buy the button pack. The copy the shop gave me is blurry. I tried enlarging it, but it just made it blurrier.
Frankenstein is very difficult to read. I knew he had some shadows under his arms, but I couldn't read the pattern as the symbols are too similar. I found a picture online and after squinting myopically at it for several minutes, I think I managed to figure it out. We'll see once I get him stitched.

Nov 29, 2009

Name Tag FF

DH was happy to see that Texas Tech managed to win their game against Baylor yesterday. It was close.
I got my name tag finish-finished (FF). I used WonderUnder to iron it on some card stock. Here it is in the neck wallet.
I plan to get in some stitching this afternoon while DH putters in his shop working on bathroom cabinetry. I'll have to paint what he makes, but that's okay.

Nov 28, 2009


DH and I went down to Rockport for Thanksgiving to celebrate with his side of the family. My MIL had the misfortune of having her refrigerator die on Tuesday, so she was dealing with that (and five ice chests in the house).
Luckily, we had Thanksgiving dinner at DH's aunt's and uncle's house. As usual, we had a lot of fun. Dinner is always a very traditional and delicious meal, although this year a cousin brought some homemade tamales which were very good. We all cram around a couple of pushed-together tables in the dining room sitting elbow to elbow. At this table, if you ask for someone to pass a roll, they will - it will sail through the air down the table and you'd better catch it!
After we ate, Uncle Jerry and I by tradition washed and dried the dishes that needed it. (Aunt Sue is very sensible; we eat off paper plates!). This is always a hoot because Uncle Jerry is much more hard of hearing than I am, and doesn't wear a hearing aid in the ear I stand by as chief dish dryer. We yell at each other a lot. ☺
After all that, we all settled in to watch the Cowboys game. Go Cowboys! And later in the evening, we watched the Aggies and t.u. Boy! the Aggies really put up a valiant fight against t.u. this year - t.u. was worried! Gig 'em!
Friday morning, very early, DH and FIL went off to spend the morning fishing in the Gulf. They caught only one "keeper" and we had it for supper along with some previously caught fish and some fresh oysters as they're currently in season.
While the men were off catching supper, I went with MIL to continue her quest for a new refrigerator. She and FIL had found one at Sears the day the old one died, but the salesman called Friday morning and said that it couldn't be delivered until December 15th. Understandably, this vexed MIL, so we went in search of an acceptable "get there sooner" refrigerator. Happily, we found one.
We left for home this morning and we always stop at Turtle Bay Cafe and have brunch with MIL and FIL on our way out of town. This eatery is very tiny and it used to be a bait shack. It has very mismatched furnishings but really delicious food which is served on paper plates. The owner, Caroline, is a great home-style cook. MIL thinks she used to be a biker chick as she is a bit rough around the edges. ☺ DH had her homemade corned beef hash with eggs and a blueberry pancake that was at least 12" in diameter. I had ham steak, scrambled eggs, sliced tomatoes, and grits. Yep, that's a traditional southern breakfast.
After we got home, DH unpacked the car and then went off into the woods to hunt. The last thing he unpacked was Emma.

Nov 24, 2009

Fer cryin' out loud!

Yesterday I posted about my cute little name tag design. Afterwards, I sat down to continue stitching on it in hopes of getting it finished. At one point, I stopped and attempted to insert it in the neck wallet to see how it would look.
It looked too big. I tried again. Nope. Too big. Good grief! Did I measure the name tag area incorrectly? I got out my tape measure. Nope. I measured it correctly. Did I use the wrong dimensions while designing? I pulled up Pattern Maker to check. Nope. I used the correct dimensions.
Okay. It's not the neck wallet area and it's not the pattern. Therefore, logically it must be the fabric. So I pulled out my fabric gauge. Yep. The fabric measures 25.5 threads to the inch when it's supposed to be 28 count. Stupid fabric.
I stitch on Charles Craft Monaco a lot. I love it. And I also never check the gauge. I do all my own framing and rarely worry about dimensions. This time, it came back to haunt me. Or rather, it made me stitch something over. Fer cryin' out loud!
Not to be deterred, I spent the morning stitching. Here it is hot off the hoop. I stitched it on 32 count Lugana this time to be safe. I'll recommend that everyone use 16/32 count when they stitch it, especially if they have a long name. (Don't worry I35 Stitchers, your pattern does not include the Aggie emblem.)
I'll post a picture once I get it mounted in the neck wallet. It may be a few days as I've got Thanksgiving festivities to plan for and participate in.
May all y'all have a Happy Thanksgiving. Stop to reflect and give thanks for all your blessings in life.

Nov 23, 2009

Deer, dear!

It was a good football weekend as the Cowboys, Texas Tech, and the Aggies all won! Emma was especially enthused about the wins this weekend.
Wives of hunters are special people. They put up with a lot. This weekend, DH's alarm clock went off twice at five in the morning. This happens pretty much every weekend during hunting season from the first weekend in October until early January or until the hunter has bagged his limit on whatever he is hunting. DH's alarm always wakes me up. I don't sleep through alarms as they annoy me.
However, this weekend DH bagged his second deer of the season. It was a large spike buck that yielded a lot of meat for the freezer. Wives of deer hunters are special people because they allow their hunting husbands to put their clothes in the washing machine after they have field-dressed a deer in the mud. Thank goodness for the "extra soiled" setting.
Of course I heard the rifle shot at 6:30 a.m. shortly after I had fallen back asleep. I gave up and got out of bed as I knew I would soon hear the roar of the riding lawnmower putzing around in the woods. We have a pull-behind cart for our riding lawnmower and DH uses it to bring the deer in from the woods to the area near the house where he field dresses it. Modern deer hunters - don't let them kid you, ladies; it's all about the tools, motors, and machines.
We wasted a weekend on the bathroom. We tried to overcome the problem we had pop up by fixing it inexpensively and we were not at all pleased with the results. So we had to go with the $$$ solution and are pretty much right back where we started before the problem came up. Oh well.
I stitched a little bit on Saturday while DH was doing more cleaning duty out in his shop. I can actually see the floor of it now. I haven't been able to see the floor since shortly after I painted it in June of '08. ☺
At our last I35 Stitchers meeting, Cindy said we all ought to have I35 Stitchers name tags for when we go to stitching retreats. She thought it would be fun to identify our group and Lynn thought it would be handy for recruiting more new friends for our group.
So I pondered this and came up with a cross stitched name tag design for us all, and I found some neck wallets online for us to put our stitched name tag in. I've used neck wallets before at events and they are very handy. Ours have an extra pocket and a zippered pouch on the back - very nice for carrying money or your room key at stitching retreats instead of lugging around your purse.
I wanted to have my name tag finished for our next meeting on December 5th for the other ladies to see. So I put "The Boys" away for a day or two to stitch on my name tag. Here it is so far. I'm stitching it on a scrap of Monaco I had with NPI silks.
And here's a picture of the neck wallet. The clear plastic display area doesn't show up really well, but that's where the name tag will go. I'll post a picture when I get mine finished.

Nov 20, 2009

"The Boys" are a pain

For those of you that asked, I bought my little recipe binders (4" x 6") at Office Depot in the index card area of the store. They come in 3" x 5" also.
It's raining and it's gloomy, grismal, and glummy here today. The sun should be out tomorrow, but today just makes me want to drive to a sunny beach somewhere. It's starting to get colder (okay, colder for south central Texas), too. I may have to break out the long pants soon and put on shoes. Blech.
I've been stitching on "The Boys" and I have decided that I will never buy or use Weeks Dye Works linen fabric again despite how fabulous their fabric colors are. It's just too...too...too...limp and icky; you could strain tea through it. And yeah, that's just my opinion as many of y'all probably love it.
To me, it looks like I was drunk when I stitched on it, and I don't drink. Anyway, here is a picture of my progress. (The buttons are just sitting on the fabric for now.)
DH was a little late getting home last night and Emma was looking for him out the front window (ignore all the construction piles on the porch). That's the arm of our couch she's standing on.

Nov 18, 2009

*rolling my eyes*

I'm an avid reader. If I pick something up to read, I generally read it cover to cover. When I read message boards (MBs), I'll read every post on the front page. And I read very fast, so don't think I sit for hours laboriously reading every word. I do read every word, I just do it real fast.
This morning I was reading a stitching MB and was amused and had to roll my eyes at the goings on. People just have to have any excuse to argue or be rude. Cat fights do not demonstrate any level of adult maturity. If you don't like or agree with something, back out of the post and get on with life. I do it all the time; that's probably why my blood pressure is within normal range.
And people bandy about the word "hate" with abandon. The Oxford American Dictionary defines "hate" as "to dislike intensely, detest, or be hostile to." If I disagree with you on an issue, I am not "hating" you, I am disagreeing. The two words should not be used interchangeably; they don't mean the same thing. It takes a lot of work to truly hate something or someone; most of the time it's not worth the effort. And frankly, there is very little on a cross stitching message board worth hating.
And another thing, "I seen" is not proper English. Now, I speak Texan and often butcher English with Texanese, but I'd never say or write, "I seen it." It is "I saw it." Or, "I have seen it."
I haven't stitched in two days. We ran into a snag with the bathroom and I had to make an emergency trip to town to Lowe's and Home Depot that ended up being useless. So then DH and I had to put our thinking caps on and come up with a solution. We did, but it involves more work and a delay. *sigh*
On a happy note, I found my recipe for Fool-proof Manicotti. I had made it once and we loved it. I recently got all my recipes organized into three little 4" x 6" card file binders and I labeled them with my label maker. (Yeah, I'm anal that way.)
For the life of me, I could not find where I had written down that recipe. I searched everywhere! In my mind's eye, I seemed to remember writing it on light green paper. Finally it dawned on me that I had written it down last summer in the stenographer's notebook we used to write down what we needed on our next trip to Lowe's. Why I wrote it there, I'll never know; probably because I had no other paper unpacked and accessible at the time. Anyway, it's found!
No, sorry, but I will not help you paint your house or dwelling. ☺ I don't really like to paint, but I learned to do it and do it well because I'm a tightwad and I'm picky. I don't want to pay someone else to do it because they probably won't do it as well as I could. DH hates to paint and has no patience with it. He'll roll on paint on big walls, but only under duress. Rolling is easy. It's the prep work and cutting in that take the most time, patience, and skill.
Well, I'm off to work on the bathroom - big surprise, eh?

Nov 16, 2009

Days gone by

What a football weekend - the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M all lost. Poop.
The bathroom is progressing slowly. I got the durn thing all painted. Now we have piddly finishing things to do. DH needs to install the sink and toilet (and thus will the new toilet be FINALLY off my porch!). And I hope he can get the outside plumbing done before 2050. At the rate we're going, we'll have a completely finished bathroom that we can't use because the outside plumbing isn't finished.
Here are some "before and after paint" pictures. Those two holes in the wall are for medicine chests (we need all the storage we can get). And the shelves on the other wall is another built-in storage area. DH has to make a door for it. It utilizes the space behind the bathroom door. We got the idea for it from The Family Handyman magazine, "Built-in Bath Cabinet," February 2005.
I'm still stitching on "The Boys." I stitched the full moon with that DMC glow-in-the-dark floss (E940). What a pain it was to use! The next time I need to stitch something with glow-in-the-dark floss, I'll try Kreinik's. But it does indeed glow in the dark!
I started stitching on the lettering then frogged it all and had another floss toss because I didn't like the way the floss looked on the fabric. Or rather, I didn't like the way it blended in and completely disappeared on the fabric. Frogs are ick.
This weekend, things came to a head. I sent DH out to his shop (in between bouts of deer hunting - no joy) and told him to clean it! He hasn't really had time to get it organized and he's just been piling things about and leaving everything here and there.
I built a rag rug frame in there a week or so ago and had to move piles to use the chop saw and move more piles to find a space to work. I was sorely vexed. I hate piles.
I spent thirty minutes in the shop last week looking for my dang spackle knife and I never did find it. I ended up swiping the one out of DH's tool bucket. One of my pet peeves is not being able to find something because it's not where it should be. I called DH and ranted. So we decided that DH must take some time to get his shop organized. It's been driving him nuts, too, but not as nuts as it's driving me. And believe me, neither of us has far to drive to the nut house!

Nov 10, 2009

Getting it done

Our weekend was fairly productive. DH took yesterday off. He got the tile all sealed with two coats of sealer (after I made an emergency trip to Lowe's as the sealer didn't cover as many square feet as it said it would - they never do). He also spent time installing the tub faucet and sticking up the soap dish and shower towel bar. Then he caulked everything and cleaned up.
I was happy dancing during the clean up. Some of the construction piles are getting smaller! In case you haven't figured it out yet, piles of stuff vex me. I tolerate them, but they vex me greatly.
Today, I will be doing prep work for painting the bathroom. I have taping off, spackling, and caulking to do before I can paint. But I hope to have all the painting done by the end of the coming weekend.
I managed to get my nephews' soccer pillows sewn and finished. I had two soccer ball panels to make one pillow, but by using different backing fabric, I was able to make one pillow for each of them.
I also stitched a lot on "The Boys." Don't worry. Dracula is not a bilateral arm amputee; he has his arms around the shoulders of Frankenstein and Mummy and I've not stitched them nor his hands yet (I'm waiting on some floss to come in the mail!). His head is a button and they go on last. And I'm thoroughly unimpressed with Weeks Dye Works linen fabric.
DH hunted most mornings and evenings all weekend but got nothing. At one point, he spied a deer out one of the windows, grabbed his rifle and ran outside. Alas, it was a buck with too small antlers.

Nov 8, 2009

Stitching and grinning

Our IH35 Stitchtogether yesterday was a blast. We had a large group there and we laughed a lot and had a great time. There were a lot of show-n-tell projects to see; Mel has been VERY busy stitching ornaments for a craft show. And Mary brought her stash haul from vacation; she was able to go to Dixie Darlin'. I remembered to do my ornament finishing class and managed to get glue everywhere as usual. And of course we had a lot of food.
We discussed sewing machines at length. One person (who shall remain nameless) became very excited to learn that many of the newer digital machines will automatically do buttonholes. She became so excited that she exclaimed, "I'd love to be able to do butt holes automatically!" Well, my mind took that and ran with it. I had mental images of some poor person up on a sewing machine table getting a new one sewn.
DH went hunting in my absence. After his morning hunt, he noted that a tree had fallen in the last couple of days, so he spent the rest of the day cutting it up so as not to block the game trails. He had fun with our new chainsaw, even if he didn't get a deer.
Rifle season opened yesterday, and due to regulations this year, DH may from now on only shoot bucks on our land. He will be able to shoot does again over the Thanksgiving weekend, but bucks only for the rest of November and onward. And bucks must have antlers of a certain size. Last week when he hunted, all he saw were bucks with too small antlers. Yesterday, all he saw were does. Go figure.
I received the sewing table I ordered at the quilt show a couple of weeks ago. It is really cool and I love it! I'm posting a couple of pictures of it, but if you want more information, go to the SewEzi website.
The whole thing will fold up nearly flat and can be stored in the included cover. It has built-in wheels on one end so you can take it places easily. I'm sure it was designed for quilters on the go, but I was enamored of it because it can be easily stored in a small space when not in use.
And before anyone asks, my machine is a Janome HT2008LE, a limited edition machine sold last year that promoted healthy hearts for women. It is the exact same machine as the Janome DC2010.
DH is out hunting in the rain right now. I hope he gets something. The Cowboys are on tonight; I hope they do well. If the weather cooperates and the sun comes out tomorrow, I'll post a picture of my progress on "The Boys" as I've finished stitching Dracula and have moved on to the tombstone.

Nov 6, 2009

Meandering mind

No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth, I've been a little under the weather. But I'm all better now. DH brought home from work some lovely disease for us to share over the weekend. It wasn't the flu, but it definitely had us out of it and tired.
After the great start on the bathroom on Saturday, we felt so lethargic on Sunday that we OD'd on football all day. (I think there's hope for the Cowboys!) I knew DH didn't feel well at all because he only went hunting once this past weekend.
I've been trying to get some pants/jeans hemmed on my sewing machine this week. I LOATHE hemming pants/jeans. I try to buy them with the proper inseam length to avoid hemming, but sometimes I can't.
As I tend to buy clothes in batches, and had worn out my last batch of jeans, I had to go in search of new ones. I hate shopping for and buying clothes. Anyway, I found a good deal on jeans and pants, but they did not come in inseam lengths.
Well, they did come in lengths, but they also downsized the overall fit of them when they shortened the inseam. I've been caught out by this before and knew enough to try them on. Some manufacturers don't understand how to shorten inseams in women's clothing correctly. I've given up on it. Just because you need the inseam shorter does not mean that you need the entire garment smaller.
I had to wrestle with myself: did the really good price on these garments outweigh the extreme annoyance I'd have in doing my own hemming? The tightwad won out and now I'm sewing. Whee.
A weird thing happened yesterday. As I was drying the lid to my Crock-Pot, the handle on the lid fell off. My Crock-Pot is over 10 years old and it's one of the ones with the one-piece plastic lid. And super glue is not an option on something that receives high heat near food so I couldn't just glue it back together.
As the Crock-Pot itself is still working fine, I thought I'd look into replacing the lid. They no longer make that lid, and with shipping, a new glass lid would cost about twenty bucks which is more than the cost of an entirely new Crock-Pot at Wal-Mart. So I had to toss a working Crock-Pot in the trash and will buy a new one because I can't get a replacement lid inexpensively. That's just plain silly.
Oh, and if you tend to go crazy with dark chocolate and mint truffle, don't buy Hershey's Kisses in that flavor. They'll disappear way too fast. Don't ask me how I know.
Tomorrow is the IH35 Stitchtogether and I'm looking forward to it. I haven't stitched a lick since last week, so I'm hoping to get a lot done on "The Boys."