Jan 31, 2010

A Finish-Finish

When I finished "The Boys Are Back in Town" last fall, I intended to frame it in a frame. I made a trip to both Hobby Lobby and Michael's; I found nothing I liked. So I decided to make it into a stand-up and here it is.

Jan 29, 2010

Friday WIP update

I spent yesterday afternoon covering a paper mache` box with fabric and then lining it with fancy paper. I got the idea and the instructions from the Blackbird Designs blog. You will need to start with the October 27th post, then read Part Two on the October 28th post. The post on October 29th is also helpful. The PVA glue used can be found and ordered from Paper Source.
And I can't post a picture until after next weekend's IH35 Stitchtogether as it is my turn to bring the door prize and the box will be part of it. So y'all will just have to wait.
Here is my WIP. Confetti stitches are such a pain. The main thing I dislike about them is they slow things down so much. You can sit and stitch for an hour and only have 15 or 20 stitches done. Oh well. Any progress is progress.

Jan 28, 2010

Knicker Knotter or not?

Do you attach your ego to the things you stitch for others? When you give stitched gifts, do you attach strings to them?
When I stitch a gift for someone, the fun for me is in the creation. Once I give it to the person, I figure that since it now belongs to them, they can do what they want with it. This includes using it as flooring in the birdcage, giving it to the local thrift store, or selling it in their next garage sale.
And yes, I'd rather that they not do those things, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it if they do. It's theirs. I gave it to them. It's no longer mine.
If I have given them something to hang on the wall and I don't later see it displayed in their home, I don't stress over it. I certainly wouldn't ask them why it wasn't hanging on a wall!
Apparently, some folks don't have this attitude with their stitchy gifts. They become all offended if someone doesn't appreciate the gift to the fullest extent. "Fullest extent" is defined peculiar to the person saying it. These folks have attached their egos to their stitching and it can be very painful for them. It can be very annoying to the gift's recipient.
Strings are another thing, "I'll give this to Aunt Frances, but only if she hangs it in the guest bedroom instead of that hideous painting she has in there now!" Never mind that Aunt Frances likes the painting hanging in her guest room and really doesn't care for the item stitched for her. This is decorating other folks' homes for them; most folks don't care for this - I know I don't.
While people usually appreciate the thought of the gift, it may not tickle their fancy even if you try real hard to stitch something you think they'd like. They can't really return it like they can a too-small sweater. And expecting them to display it prominently in their home or use it or wear it if they don't like it is kind of like holding someone hostage to me. It's that ego thing again.
It's a gift. Let it go! Give it freely! Don't attach your ego to it! And you'll add years to your life and save yourself untold aggravation. At least that's the way I see it.

Jan 25, 2010

Weekend happenings

On Saturday, DH and I attended the memorial service for my DSisIL's mother who went home to be with her Lord last week. It was a blessing to hear Mrs. D.'s children "...rise up and bless her." Mr. D. also gave a moving tribute to his wife of over 50 years. The two of them spent 42 years in Papua New Guinea serving as missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators. They translated the New Testament of the Bible into the native language of two different tribes of people. But Mrs. D's greatest accomplishment was knowing, trusting, and serving her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Sunday afternoon found DH and I cutting and stacking firewood. (Yes, we got out the tractor and used it.) We managed to fill the wood rack; it holds a rick of wood. After that, we watched what was left of the Jets/Colts game and then cheered on the Saints over the Vikings. Geaux Saints!
Today I hope to get in a lot of stitching in between loads of laundry.

Jan 22, 2010

WIP update

Here's my WIP. Yeah, it's wrinkled; I stitch with a hoop.

Jan 21, 2010


...is happening somewhere else today. It's in the 70's and I'm running around in shorts, a t-shirt, and no shoes. I'm a happy camper.
I finished the never-ending border on the BAP. I'll post a picture tomorrow.
This afternoon I had to give Emma a bath as she was exuding an odor somewhat like funky socks that a teenage boy had worn at summer camp in south Texas in August for five days in a row.
There are two kinds of Jack Russell terriers - those with smooth coats and those with rough coats. Emma is a rough coat. She has an outer coat of longish hair and an undercoat of denser fur. We leave her hair long in the winter, but it sure makes getting her dry a pain. When she gets a haircut, she ends up looking like a smooth coat Jack Russell terrier.
Both kinds of Jacks shed like mad. After I get her as towel-dried as I can, I take her outside and brush her. This gets a lot of loose hair off her (and usually onto me!). I brush her hair against the grain to help dry the undercoat. She doesn't mind at all. She does look pretty after a bath and brushing. For a while.
What, you don't have a pile of construction stuff and boxes of shotgun shells by your front door? Why not?! (And while the shells may be by the front door, the guns themselves are under lock and key.)

Jan 20, 2010

You paid how much???

A while back, I bought all four patterns for the "Crabby All Year" series by Raise the Roof Designs. I had seen it on their website and thought it was right up my alley. I failed to notice that it had eleventy-billion expensive-but-cute JABC buttons.
At first I thought I'd just leave them off and stitch something in their place. Then I saw it stitched up on Daffycat's blog and really liked how well the buttons added to the design. So I gave in and decided to buy them.
I went in search of them on the Internet. I found sales in several online needlework stores, but shipping was a bit high, and I wanted to get them at a tightwad price. On a whim, I went to eBay. I found them new at about 25% off through a "stitchy" eBayer and shipping was very reasonable.
While adorable, the dang buttons were still over $45.00 bucks, though. *NOTE TO SELF - check all patterns for expensive buttons before buying them!*

Jan 19, 2010

Setting up the rack

I spent the morning putting together a fire wood storage rack we bought to hold our fire wood. I had to set six large bricks in the ground to set it on. Setting bricks and digging in wet south Texas gummy dirt is no fun and takes time. I had to make sure they were level. But I got it done. Now (if the weather will cooperate), we just need to cut some more firewood and fill it up.
This time last week, it was very cold; sub-zero temperatures at night, barely above freezing in the daytime. Today, it's about 70 degrees and I'm running around barefoot. It's only going to be down in the low 60's tonight. Gotta love the winter weather in Texas!
I'm still stitching on the never-ending border, but the end (of the page) is in sight!

Jan 18, 2010

Rooting the wrong way

It's that time of year - NFL playoffs. DH and I watched all four playoff games this weekend. Every team I was rooting for lost. This included the Cowboys. Poop.
When the Saints were playing the Cardinals, I was rooting for the Cardinals because I like Kurt Warner. I like the Saints, too. Now that the Saints have won, I will be rooting for them to go to the Super Bowl and win it.
My favorite pre-game, half-time, and post-game show is on Fox. I love "Kurt, Terry, Howie, Michael, and Jimmy." I grew up watching (and "hating") Terry and Howie as players as they played on teams that were rivals to the Cowboys (Steelers and Raiders respectively for those of you not into football). Now, I really enjoy them as analysts and they make me laugh. Terry is the biggest goofus ever and Howie is the brain of the group. Michael is fun and Jimmy is my favorite former Cowboys coach, second to Tom Landry. Poor Kurt just tries to keep them all in line (and not very successfully).
And speaking of Howie, I love the Chevy commercial where the guy tells him he has "cop hair."
Emma was very enthused about all the football this weekend. She did manage to steal a spot in the sun for a nap when it came out for about 3.5 minutes this weekend.
I did more stitching on the never-ending border on my BAP over the weekend. I'll post a picture more towards the end of the week.

Jan 15, 2010

Those with "Y" chromosomes need not read

This post is about bras. If you are male, this post will probably bore you, so reconsider reading it.
For me, my choice of clothing is all about comfort. I like clothing that is not too tight made out of mostly cotton. Comfort, comfort, comfort. This includes bras.
I'm an average size and I don't like extra padding, underwires, itchy lace, or itchy and bunchy seams, or straps that chafe. I don't like nylon or polyester, only cotton with a bit of Lycra thrown in for helping the cotton keep its shape. I don't want my breasts mashed, squooshed, pushed up or over, or perkified. I just want them to sit on my chest in relative comfort. Bra manufacturers don't seem to understand this desire.
When I find a comfortable bra (an oxymoron, I know), I buy up a bunch of them because, inevitably, the manufacturer will quit making them as soon as I decide I like them and need more. This vexes me.
My DH has been wearing the same brand and style of underwear since he was 16 years old. It hasn't changed or been "new and improved" or discontinued. This is unfair. Manufacturers don't seem to mess around with men's underwear. They figure they have a good product because the men are buying them so they leave well enough alone.
For years, I wore a bra made by Dillard's. Then they quit making them. After my supply wore out, I tried in vain to find something similar and couldn't. So I decided my sports bras were comfortable enough to wear for everyday. Then the manufacturer quit making them, too. I was able to find a different decent bra for sports, but not for everyday wear.
As clothing will, my everyday sports bras began to wear out and I began looking EVERYWHERE for a suitable and comfortable replacement. Did I mention that I loathe and despise shopping for bras? I went to the mall. I went to department stores. I searched the Internet. I googled. And finally, I ran across an Internet store called HerRoom that advertises "Lingerie we buy for ourselves."
So I checked them out. For each item, they have several pictures, front, back, and measurements, along with an excellent zoom feature. I felt like I could really get a good idea of what the bra really was like. They also have sizing guides and customer reviews.
So, as they have free shipping for anything over $70.00, I ordered five likely candidates in several sizes (because we all know how accurate bra sizing is - NOT!). I tried them on and found one I liked. After recovering from the near heart-failure from my great surprise, I ended up with a new comfortable bra. The company that makes it has been in business since1860 and this style has been made for over 15 years. It ain't going anywhere.
The only drawback is the price. As we women well know, a "good" bra can cost from $25.00 and on up. This one is in the "on up" category. But it is comfortable (for a bra) and so I'm willing to pay for it. So I'm good to go for now.
I've been stitching on the BAP. I gridded the edges for the pages I'm stitching on next. That took a while. I usually don't grid things because gridding makes me crazy. Anyway, I'm now stitching on the wide border (over on the left lower side) that goes around the entire design with a boring light peach color. I've stitched and stitched and it doesn't look like much. This is gonna be a loooooong stitching year. ☺

Jan 13, 2010

Copyrights and Wrongs

I'm one of those people who won't knowingly violate a copyright when it comes to cross stitching patterns (or any other printed media for that matter). Yes, I do make working copies of patterns when I am stitching them, but the copies get run through the shredder when I'm finished stitching from them.
Don't ask me for a copy of one of my patterns; I won't give it to you. Don't offer to give me a copy of one of your patterns if I express appreciation or desire for it; I won't accept it. Even if it means that I have to spend exorbitant funds on eBay to get a legal copy. If you give me a copy of something and I discover later that it is illegal, I'll run it through my shredder.
If something is out of print (OOP), this is not an excuse to make copies. I won't even try to rationalize that copying is okay because the pattern is no longer in print. Copyright laws still apply! I'll spend my money on eBay or peruse garage sales and thrift shops in search of OOP patterns I'm wanting.
Today, I was reading a cross stitch message board and noticed a post from a designer. She had discovered a picture of a finished project on a blog stitched from one of her patterns that has not been released to the public yet!
The designer had posted a picture of the pattern on her website, and this thieving blogger had made an illegal pattern from the picture! The thieving blogger had then given the pattern to her friends and posted it on a disreputable message board for further distribution!! And she bragged about it!!!
The post also included information about how some designers had backed off from the business due to losing money from copyright infringement. ACK!!
If you aren't sure about copyrights yourself, read this article about "Copyright Basics" from Yarn Tree.
Now, on a lighter note, here is Emma desperately begging (albeit mostly politely) for a chip from DH as he eats his "watching football snack" of chips and hot sauce.

Jan 12, 2010

Tractor pictures

DH had to come home early yesterday to fix a PVC water pipe that had sprouted a leak under the kitchen from all the sub-freezing weather we've had. The longer we live in this house, the more we learn just how much the previous owners had run water all over the property.
We have hot and cold running water coming out from under the house near the kitchen. Who needs hot water in their backyard?! Maybe the hot water was for an outdoor shower before the house had indoor plumbing - who knows?!
We also have water (vertical black pipe) near an old iron stand that is now grown into two trees in the backyard. We think - as this house was originally a hunting cabin - that the water near the trees was used to clean game.
Anyway, DH was able to fix the leak quickly and easily and had time left before dark to cut more firewood with the chainsaw. Of course, he HAD to get out the tractor to move the wood from the wood pile to the log rack using the front-end loader. ☺
Here's the tractor with the front-end loader and brush hog (mower) attached. DH is loading the "bucket" with logs.
Here's Emma "inspecting" the seat. This was right before she discovered the rabbit scent in the wood pile and bolted off to investigate.
A happy tractor owner. It's all about the power tools.
And I haven't stitched a lick since last Friday. Maybe I can get some stitching done this afternoon.

Jan 11, 2010

Wild Card weekend

DH and I watched three of the four NFL Wild Card games this weekend - we love football. Way to go, Cowboys!!
The tractor arrived on Saturday morning. The delivery guy was a hoot. We stood around freezing our butts off talking for about half an hour after the tractor was unloaded and we received "tractor driving lessons." After he left, DH put the finishing touches on the wood stove and went out to cut firewood. He also spent a bit of time puttering around on the tractor.
I ended up going outside and helping because 1) it was a nice sunny (although very cold) day, and 2) I wanted to play with the tractor, too. ☺
Here is the stove all finished. Yes, it looks off-center between the windows. We will be gutting this wall and moving and replacing the windows, so we installed the wood stove based on the future window placement.
Here is Emma inspecting the inside of the stove before DH put in the firewood. Yes, she is always this nosey. I often find her "snootling" around in the lower kitchen cabinets if I forget and leave a door open.
Firing it up!
Here is the first fire! It is so nice waking up in the morning to a warm house! On Saturday when we got up, the temperature inside our house (with three space heaters on full blast) was 48 degrees!

Jan 8, 2010

The last start of '09 or the first finish of '10

I finished the March boot from Redbird Designs "Southwest Seasons" today. It's stitched on 25 count antique white Lugana with DMC, AVAS, and MH beads for the cactus flowers. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the set after I get finished stitching them all. Oh well. I'll figure it out. Here it is before washing and ironing.
We're having arctic weather down here in south central Texas. Our wood stove is not usable yet. The company we ordered everything from was supposed to help us make sure we ordered all we needed. DH was about to put the last piping together when he realized that he needed "fireplace caulk" which we didn't know to order and don't have. Lowe's and Home Depot don't have any such thing.
After calling the wood stove company, DH learned that an equivalent could be had from an auto parts store. Then he had to find an auto parts store that carried it in the color black instead of vivid blue. I like blue, but not on black stovepipe. Anyway, he found some, the pipe will be put together this evening, and then the caulk will be allowed to cure overnight.
DH will cut firewood tomorrow after the tractor gets delivered in the morning. Hopefully, *crosses fingers* we'll have the wood stove fired up tomorrow afternoon. With three space heaters going, the dial on the electric meter is spinning like a top.
I'm next getting out and stitching on the BAP I promised to stitch for my MIL, "Wild Things" from Cross Stitch Pattern Gallery. (This was a limited edition pattern, so don't look for it.) I'm planning to stitch on it until it's finished. Or until it makes me crazy. I've done two pages out of fifteen.

Jan 7, 2010

Tightwad versus pink

I was the lucky recipient of a Hobby Lobby (HL) gift card at Christmas. I also noted that HL began selling online as of January 1st. This gave me the opportunity to check out whether they had something I've been wanting to add to my stitching tools.
Those stitched floss tags are cute and I'd like to stitch one. (I don't use floss tag rings; I store my WIP floss in a Darice box.) Still, I'd like to stitch a floss tag. You need some way of installing an eyelet on your floss tag if you are actually going to use it on a floss tag ring. (I plan to string ribbon through the eyelet and hang the floss tag as an ornament.) Anyway, I'd read about the Crop-A-Dile, a tool that installs eyelets and snaps used by scrapbookers.
HL carries them, but only in pink. I hate pink. Did I mention that it's also a 40% off coupon week at HL? I hate pink. I looked around on the Internet for a lower-than-40%-off price. No joy. But I did find that the Crop-A-Dile is also available in a nice green color. But not at HL. I hate pink.
If I ordered the green Crop-A-Dile off the Internet, I'd have to spend ten more dollars plus the value of my HL gift card. My inner tightwad beat up my inner pink hater. My new tool and case, complete with 400 assorted eyelets, cost me $1.56 after using the gift card. A tightwad triumph!
But I still hate pink!

Jan 6, 2010

Pipe up but not down

Thanks to all of you who read and who comment on my blog. I appreciate your notes and enjoy reading them!
DH took part of the afternoon off yesterday and came home to work on the wood stove. He got all the pipe installed from the ceiling upward. Tonight he hopes to get the pipe installed from the ceiling downward. Then he has to get all the firebricks placed back into the stove before we can have a fire. Of course, we don't have any firewood yet, but DH assures me that with his trusty chainsaw, getting usable firewood won't take long. Uh huh.
I won the door prize at our stitchtogether last Saturday. It was a stitchy door prize. I got some GAST floss, a piece of Charles Craft linen, a sampler pattern, and three fabric fat quarters that will work nicely for finishing the backs of ornaments. Next month, since I won for this month, I will bring the door prize.
Some stitchers don't care for Charles Craft fabrics because they tend to be stiff with a lot of body. I like stiff fabric for certain projects. When I stitch on Aida, I always prefer Charles Craft. For years, before I learned to stitch on evenweaves, all I ever stitched on was 16 count Fiddler's Lite from Charles Craft.

Jan 5, 2010


Well, we are still wood stoveless (with a major cold front on the way). DH was making great progress on Sunday afternoon. He was just about to go up on the roof to cut the hole for the stovepipe when it started to rain so he had to stop working. (Never mind that rain was not in the forecast - dang ol' Texas weather!) It rained for the remainder of the afternoon until after dark.
The only bright spot was that the Cowboys won their division and are in the playoffs!
Here is DH using his new palm nailer. You can see why it is called a palm nailer. And the second picture is of "The Inspector." She was trying to climb the short ladder to get at all the wonderful new smells coming from the attic and DH decided to indulge her.
I stitched on the March boot a bit this weekend and am close to finishing it. I can't decide if it's the last 2009 finish or the first 2010 finish. I'll probably count it for 2010.

Jan 3, 2010

Into the New Year

DH and I went to bed at our usual time on New Year's Eve and were awakened by shotgun blasts and fireworks at midnight. We're boring; we rarely engage in NYE revelry.
On New Year's Day, DH continued with the wood stove installation. We made two trips to Lowe's/Home Depot. DH acquired another power tool - a pneumatic palm nailer. It allows you to nail in very tight spots without swinging a hammer.
Here is DH cutting a hole in the ceiling sheetrock. The second picture is DH reframing and cutting rafters so the stovepipe can go through the ceiling and on through the roof. It is very important to do this correctly or your ceiling/roof line will sag at best or collapse at worst.
Yesterday, I went to the IH35 Stitchtogether and DH stayed home to continue with the wood stove installation and to hunt. No joy with hunting and instead of working on installing the stove, he spent the day cleaning out the drain to the toilet in the old bathroom. This is the only working toilet in the house, so understandably, it must be kept in peak working order.
The pipe under it is very badly done and will be eventually replaced. But the pipe clogged and DH ended up having to uninstall the toilet to clean it out. He also had to make two trips to town for supplies. It was a very yucky job. I arrived home to a working toilet and a very disgruntled DH.
The stitchtogether was a blast. There were many show-n-tell pieces to admire and we all managed to stitch while we discussed things of great importance. ☺ We also ate a lot. And laughed.