Sep 30, 2010

Oh deer.

For those of you who are not married or acquainted with a hunter, bowhunting season starts on Saturday.  DH is chomping at the bit.  He spends a lot of time with his binoculars watching the deer on our property. 

I have always felt that the deer know when hunting season starts and enjoy taunting humans when they know they cannot be hunted.  Case in point:  three deer were foraging out by the truck and the woodpile this morning, not more than 20 feet from my window.  They could see me and often paused to give me, "Nyeah, nyeah, nyeah, nyeah, nyeah!" stares.  

I do enjoy watching them, too.  I spent about half an hour enjoying them before Emma noticed that I was staring at something out the window and and went outside to investigate.  Her ensuing barking caused all the deer to spook and run off, showing the white tails from which they get their name.  But I hope to have several of them in my freezer as food before the hunting season ends.


Sep 28, 2010

Monkey business

The Aggies and the Raiders had bye weeks, and the Cowboys finally put it mostly together and won a game.  So it was a good weekend for football.

I got "Nickademus" about 99% finished on Sunday.  I decided to use Mill Hill beads for the French-knots on the light-colored stars because I think they would look neater than knots and because I hate doing French-knots.  I had the right color in regular seed beads, but needed petite sized which I didn't have on hand and had to order from 1-2-3 Stitch!So "Nickademus" is hot off the hoop awaiting beads and ornification.  And no, I will not be adding the JABC mitten buttons as I like the monkey without them.

Since my "Tribal Seahorse" fabric hadn't yet arrived in the mail and I was itching to stitch, I started "Christmas Robin," another ornament from the JCS 2010 Ornament issue.  It's by Designs by Cathy Jean of The Victoria Sampler and is on page 14 of the magazine.

A small gripe regarding "DMC equivalents" in said magazine.  "Christmas Robin" was designed using a lot of GAST, Weeks, Kreinik and SJ Designs beads (which I've never even heard of), very few of which I had in my stash.  So I decided to go with good ol' DMC as I have all of the colors and a color card with real floss.  I pulled all the recommended DMC floss colors, then I did a floss toss on the fabric.  ACK!  I think the designer must have just used a conversion chart for all those flosses without actually looking at the colors.  No big deal, I fixed it.  I got burned by iffy conversions several years ago and always double-check, but oh my land!  What weird conversion colors! 

My "Tribal Seahorse" fabric came in yesterday's mail, but I will finish the robin ornament before starting on it again.  Yeah, I'm one of those kind of stitchers.  


Sep 25, 2010

What am I really stitching on?!

I happily started Tribal Seahorse on Monday.  I stitched seven of the "blobs" before I realized I had left out a two-stitch row on the first blob and the lack of those stitches had thrown off all the other blobs.  So I frogged all the blobs and started over.  I was five blobs in when I realized that I wasn't really enjoying stitching on my chosen fabric at all.  So I frogged all the blobs, cleaned off the fuzzies, stuck the fabric back in my blueprint flat file, and got on the internet and ordered different fabric.  It'll be here next week.

So, in the meantime, I'm stitching "Nickademus," the sock monkey design by Raise the Roof Designs (page 90), in this year's JCS Christmas Ornament issue.  Here he is after one night of stitching.

And I dabbled with the dark side last week.  I was surfing around on the internet looking at places that sell OOP or HTF or old cross stitch patterns when I came across a brand-new pair of Freedom Gingher scissors.  I thought they were kind of pretty and patriotic.  They appealed to me because they weren't all flowery and girly like so many of the other limited-edition Ginghers.  And they were priced...well they were priced low enough that a tightwad would buy a pair of scissors that she'll never use, but will enjoy looking at.  May the Force be with you.


Sep 20, 2010

Weekend doings

We won't talk about the Dallas Cowboys.

Nor will we talk about the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

The Texas Aggies won their game, the only saving grace to a weekend of football.

Saturday morning, DH and I went to Houston to a gun show.  It was interesting.  I think I got high on testosterone.  I did enjoy seeing all the guns and the people who love them.  And there seemed to be a freakishly high number of very tall and burly men there.  It seemed pretty crowded.  Men, as I have noted previously, shop different than women.  They aren't as pushy or talkative.  If a bunch of men are waiting to look at one item, they are patient and wait quietly.  

I was appalled to see a number of firearms that were PINK.  Get real.  Women have been shooting and bearing arms for centuries.  Making them pink will not entice new women to use guns.  Well, maybe a fashion-conscious gun-using woman might want a pink gun just for the novelty, but c'mon! get real! 

I have lots of tools.  They are a woman's tools because a woman uses them.  None of them are pink.  They don't have to be pink for me to use them.  You don't see tools made in baby blue, do you?!!  I rest my case.

My favorite seller wasn't selling guns at all.  An older gentleman was selling water color and pen and ink drawings of airplanes.  I was very impressed and spent several minutes talking to him about him and his art.  He flew planes in WWII and calls himself a pilot artist.  I always enjoy unexpected encounters such as these.

I finished "Hootzi Humbug" by Just Nan this weekend.  It was a bit fiddly to stitch together, but it came out nice.  I made the mistake of doing the outline assembly backstitching in the same color floss as the linen fabric.  When stitching it together, it was REALLY HARD to tell the floss from the linen.  Note to self: don't do that again.  I am now stitching on "Tribal Seahorse" by White Willow Stitching.


Sep 17, 2010

Before and after

Every now and then, usually about twice a year, we get Emma a haircut.  Today was the day.  Here she is before she went to the groomer - hairy, scruffy, and dirty from spelunking under the house and rolling in the dirt (why can't she roll in the grass?!).

Here she is after her bath and trim, and after I "touched up" her nose and chin area.  Most groomers don't seem to know how to properly trim the face of a Jack Russell; I've given up.  So I just tell them to cut it like a fox terrier and then I finish the job.  

I'm still working on "Hootzi Humbug."  I've just got the beading and some of the backstitching left to do. 


Sep 16, 2010

Getting plastered

My DH is a Certified Prosthetist - he makes custom-made artificial limbs for people.  As part of the fabrication process, a mold is taken of the patient's remaining limb and a plaster model is made from it using No. 1 Molding Plaster.

There is no local company that stocks this plaster.  The closest company that carries it is in Houston and they won't ship it up here.  So every time the company gets low on plaster (it comes in 100-pound bags), someone from the company drives down to Houston in their truck to fetch it.  It's about a four to five hour round trip, depending on traffic.  

I didn't think this was the best use of company time.  And, sensing a stash opportunity, I told DH's boss that I would be happy to fetch the plaster for them in my truck if he would pay my mileage and buy me lunch on the road.  Oh, and the mileage would include a trip to 3 Stitches, my not-so-local LNS.  The boss thought this was a great deal, so yesterday, I fetched 12 bags of plaster up from Houston. 

And I got some stash at 3 Stitches.  I indulged in some NPI silk floss for "Tribal Seahorse" and got several cards of Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid.  I also found some needles I'd never tried out before.  And I found the pre-made pillow for the Homespun Elegance ornament in this year's JCS Christmas Ornament issue (picture on page 50, pattern on page 52).  Actually, Pam, the owner of 3 Stitches, dug the pillow out of a pile for me.  A nice little haul; I had to refrain from fondling the silk on the drive home.  ;-)


Sep 13, 2010

Warning - long post!

It was a short work week last week, but it seemed to last forever.  And my computer connection has been painfully slow.  I don't know what is going on with that - I need to get my GSM doohickey checked out I guess.

DH got the propane installation for the stove finished.  Then this weekend he wire brushed and treated the outside of the propane tank with a rust arrester.  I bought primer and paint this morning and will paint the tank this week.  Then all it needs is to have a broken/rusted-beyond-use gauge replaced and it will be ready to be filled with propane!  Yippee!

I finished "By the Full Moon" but didn't get it ornified in time for the I35 Stitchtogether.  This month's meeting was fun.  Mary brought a huge tub of unwanted stash and we had a stash-enhancing frenzy.  We were missing a few folks but fun was had by all.  The library we meet at is near several homeless shelters and there are usually a few interesting characters on the street and in the library.  We meet in the back Meeting Room which has one wall that is all window.  We were "treated" to the sight of a scruffy dude urinating right outside by our window.  Thank goodness his back was turned to us!  Egad!

DH and I bought a Sonicare toothbrush about eight years ago upon the insistent recommendation of our dentist.  We loved it and could definitely tell that it kept our teeth cleaner and gums healthier.  When we moved into our house, our old bathroom had no place to plug it in so we couldn't use it.  When the new bathroom was finished, we eagerly plugged in the Sonicare toothbrush only to discover that the internal battery wouldn't take a charge.  So we had to buy a new one and have been waiting for it to come in the mail.  It finally arrived on Friday afternoon and boy are we happy!  Normally I won't rave about a product, but this thing gets our teeth probably 50% cleaner than normal.  Here is the model we bought: Sonicare FlexCare Plus.  Yeah, it's a little pricey, but we figure it will save us in future dental bills.

I finally got a copy of the 2010 JCS Christmas Ornament issue.  As usual, there are a lot of things I like but wouldn't stitch, and several things I like and plan to stitch.  I think it's a great issue.

I got some stash in the mail this week.  Jamie Larson and her daughter, Skyler, over at White Willow Stitching have been designing a series of tribal-style animals.  She recently released two new designs and I decided I wanted to stitch "Tribal Seahorse" for our new bathroom.  I ended up also getting "Tribal Fish" and will stitch it for the bathroom, too.  Since our towels and accessory colors are mostly darker blues and we have white walls and white tile, I thought the monochromatic designs would work well stitched in a shade of blue.

And I'm currently stitching on Just Nan's "Hootzi Humbug."  It's been a fun stitch and has stitched up pretty fast.  I've got pumpkin leaves to stitch and then backstitching to do, then I'll assemble it.  After Hootzi is finished, I'm starting "Tribal Seahorse."

Hopefully, this week will be calmer, my internet connection will be faster, and I'll be able to post a bit more.


Sep 6, 2010

Labor Day

We've been working on hooking up the gas to our stove this weekend.  Plans, as usual, have gone awry.  How many trips to Lowe's/Home Depot does it take to hook up your propane tank to your stove?  You don't want to know; trust me.  'Nuff said.

I've been stitching on "Full Moon" and have it about 2/3's done.  I hope to get it finished this week and ornamentified before next Saturday's I35 Stitchtogether.


Sep 1, 2010

TA DA!!!!!

On Monday evening, August 30, 2010, we used our new bathroom for the first time.  Yep!  It's finally finished!  Well finished except for painting the four cabinet doors - our friend Billy will do that next week and then DH will install them.

Here is a picture from the bathtub.

Here is a picture from the doorway.

Now it's time to move on to the next DIY project which is going to be (FINALLY!) hooking up the propane to my stove.  I have a dual stove; electric ovens and gas burners.  I've been using my ovens, but I've been cooking on an electric hotplate which I hate because I hate cooking on electric burners.  So I'm really looking forward to getting to cook on gas again.  DH hopes to get this task done over the Labor Day weekend.

I am now stitching on "By the Full Moon," one of the Halloween ornaments from the 2010 JCS Halloween issue.  It's on page 27 of the magazine.