Aug 30, 2010

Biscornu finish and snacking

I finished my biscornu - finished as in it is all stitched together, stuffed, and buttoned.  It's a cute little thing.  You can't help but pick it up and fondle it.  I think biscornus are kind of like tribbles.  Maybe I could find one of those little buttons that you sew inside of things - you know, they make music or funny noises.  Only this button should purr.  A purring biscornu...what do you think?

DH was taking a break this weekend, eating a snack and reading the Nook.  Emma was very interested in his snack.  Obsessed.  But she didn't get any of it.  We're pretty strict about not giving her bites of this or that, which is probably why she is not overweight.  


Aug 26, 2010

Have you done this?

Last night I was working on the bottom part of my biscornu.  I was using the top part to cheat on counting the backstitching by holding the top and bottom alongside each other.  As I peered at my finished top, I thought that its square shape looked off.  So I started counting to check it.  

One side of the top kept coming out with the wrong count.  I was off!  Oh no!  I spent about 45 minutes of counting and muttering before I realized the problem; I had left a row of three stitches off one of the sheep.  My top is square!  (My brain, apparently, is, too.)  I got myself all worked up for nothing.

And though I think biscornu are kind of cute and challenging, I thing they're kind of useless.  I know some folks use them as pin cushions, but I already have a pin cushion I like.  You can make a really small biscornu and use it as a scissor fob, but I don't like scissor fobs on my scissors usually.  You can finish it with a hanging cord and make an ornament out of it, but I don't like a lot of stuff dangling around in my house.  

So, I'll probably stick the ones I make in a Longaberger basket that I bought in a moment of spendthriftiness at one of those Longaberger basket parties many years ago.  Right now, all it has in it is dust.  ;-)

We've had very hot temperatures down here in Texas lately.  They don't call 'em the dog days of August for no reason.  Emma likes to go outside and sit in the sun until she's panting like a maniac.  Then she comes in and finds the spot where the AC is blowing and goes belly-up.  Silly dog.  She's so lady-like!


Aug 25, 2010

Close, but no cigar

No new bathroom yet.  We're close.  DH ended up spending a great deal of Saturday on his tractor mowing.  Then he ran over some "bobwahr" and had to take the time to get it off the mower blade.  We did get the sink mostly set, but still need to set the side splash guard - no pictures until it is finished.  And the toilet is still on the porch as we had no wax ring.  A trip to Lowe's solved that problem, but then we ran out of weekend.  

So I ain't saying when the bathroom will be done; every time I do I jinx us.  Soon.  Real soon.  I'll post pictures when it's finished for sure.

I did finish stitching the top of my biscornu.  The pattern calls for the bottom to be plain, so I'm trying to come up with some little design to stitch on the bottom.  Then I get to assemble the whole thing and stitch a button in the middle.

Cow Patty is Emma's new friend.  She was out of chew sticks (she gets one every evening) and I ordered them online as these are natural and not made in China.  Anyway, they were clearing out some toys so I got her one (like she needs another toy).  I didn't realize from the picture how large it was!  But Emma likes it.  Each square of the body has a squeaker.  I wonder how many washes or Emma-chomps it will take before they all die.  ;-)


Aug 20, 2010

Biscornu and deer

I feel like I've spent the summer painting things.  This week I've been painting the bathroom cabinet.  I'm done.  I ain't painting any more.  DH will begin doing the last things to the new bathroom tomorrow - installing the sink, stabbing the toilet, etc.  We hope to actually be able to use our new bathroom by the end of the weekend.  *crossing fingers and toes*

We still need to paint the doors to the cabinets (four of them), but I've decided that I am not painting them.  We'll have our friend Billy spray paint them.  The paint we chose for the cabinets/doors sprays on really well and covers with only two coats (plus a coat of primer).  If you brush it on (as I did with the cabinets themselves), you must use at least three coats of primer and five coats of paint to get good coverage.  And then there's those pesky brush marks...

Sometimes it's worth the money to avoid the aggravation and time spent.

And I'm stitching on my first biscornu.  It's a pattern by Barbara Ana Designs from Creative Poppy Patterns called "Blacksheep Biscornu."  You order online and they send you .pdf patterns.  First time buyers get a discount.  I really like her patterns as they are colorful and quirky.  

DH is gearing up for hunting season which starts October 2nd here in our part of Texas.  He put out his deer corn feeder several weeks ago and the deer come in the early morning and early evening to feed.  DH was practically happy dancing around the house last night when he realized there were two bucks at the feeder for the first time.  

Emma finds the deer annoying and spends lots of time barking at them when she sees them.  


Aug 16, 2010

Wow! A couple of finishes!

I'm not a fast stitcher.  This doesn't bother me as stitching is not a racing sport.  Although if I could stitch faster, I could get more of the things done in my stash that I want to get stitched done sooner.  ;-)

I was pleased to get the six-shooter finished in five days!  This is "1858 Remington .44 Revolver" in the OOP booklet Antique Handguns (it was printed in 1978).  I stitched it with DMC on 28 count cream Jubilee.  Now I am waiting on DH to make a frame for it.

I also stitched a Halloween ornament this weekend, "Jack O'Lantern" on page 27 of the 2010 JCS Halloween Ornament issue (Sept./Oct.).  I'll make it into a pillow ornament as soon as I get some backing fabric.  It is stitched on the fabric called for with DMC (it's really kind of a pumpkin orange; the flash washed out the color).  I substituted Mill Hill beads for the eye french knots as I hate doing them.

We've had a heat advisory here in our part of Texas all weekend.  So DH spent most of the weekend working outdoors.  Yeah.  He changed the oil in the car and truck.  Then he had to fix a bulb in the tail light of the Jetta, so he drove to town to buy the bulb.  When he got home and got the bulb replaced, he discovered that the Jetta's battery had died (it has been limping along for several months now).  So he drove back to town.  When he walked up to the counter in the auto parts store, the clerk gave him a funny look.  "Yeah," DH said, "I'm the guy who was here less than an hour ago buying a tail light bulb.  That's fixed.  Now my battery is dead."  The clerk said, "It's just not your day."  

Yesterday, DH communed with his man toys.  He cut down a few dead trees with his chainsaw, and then used the tractor and chainsaw to clear out some underbrush.  Oh, and the weedeater got a good workout, too.  Eventually, we'd like to get our land clear enough of underbrush that we can see from the house to our pond.  Someday.

I'm now stitching on my first biscornu.  I plan to make biscornu for my nephews as their Christmas ornament this year, so I figured I'd better make a practice one first for myself.  


Aug 10, 2010

GTG, Cowboys, enabling, and a finish

The I35 Stitchtogether Saturday was a blast as usual.  We had two new ladies (and we think we didn't scare them off!).  DH came with me and spent his time at Cabela's.  He didn't find anything for himself, but a couple of the guys at work sent him with a shopping list for them.

On Sunday, I finished "America" by Blackbird Designs.  I stitched it on 32 count Exemplar linen by Lakeside Linens and DMC.  I found a complimentary frame in our pile of frames and am now waiting for DH to cut it down to size for me.

I finished the Tom Landry book.  While it started out with his firing by Jerry-the-jerk Jones, it then went on to cover his life both before, during, and after his time with the Dallas Cowboys.  I found it a most enjoyable read.  Now I'm reading another biography about the guy who founded Kinko's.  It's turning out to be a very fun read, too.

And of course, it was great to have NFL football start up this weekend.  DH and I watched the Cowboys pre-season game on Sunday night.  (Yes! I'm ready for some football!) 

A lot of people equate the starting of NFL pre-season with the beginning of fall.  Maybe that happens up north, where the leaves begin to turn and temperatures get much cooler.  Here in south central Texas, we don't get fall until about mid-November.  I'll be running around in shorts, T-shirt, and barefoot at least until then.

I had told myself that I would not be indulging in the JCS Halloween issue.  Unfortunately, Mel showed up at the stitchtogether with a fresh copy and I made the mistake of looking through it.  So I had to go by Ginger's on the way home and get my own copy.  I even bought a piece of pumpkin orange linen to stitch the little pumpkin face on as Ginger's was selling ornament cuts of it.


Aug 6, 2010

What I've been reading lately

(Blogger is being a pain today - trying to post again.)

I've been reading a lot lately thanks to free and really cheap books I've downloaded on our Kindle or Nook.

If you have an eReader, check out these websites:
Books on the Knob.
AddAll Ebooks.

This week, I read Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, advertised as a funny book.  I must say that my tightwad and frugal self was not amused by the main character as she spent the first nine-tenths of the book running around buying name-brand items with abandon with no concern for her growing debt.  She also threw away her bills so as not to face the music.  The ending was okay, but for crying out loud!  Are people really that stupid?

Currently, I'm reading Landry: The Legend and the Legacy by Bob St. John, a sportswriter who covered the Dallas Cowboys during Tom Landry's coaching career there.  As a long-time Dallas Cowboys fan, I've always admired Coach Landry.  The book covers events after Jerry-Jones-the-lunatic-slimeball-team-owner fired Landry after buying the team.  Let me tell you, Tom Landry was a class act and a man of integrity.  Too bad there aren't more coaches - or men - like him.  (I was astonished to learn that Coach Landry played football for t.u.; I'll forgive him for that.)  

Tomorrow is the I35 Stitchtogether and I'm not taking the BAP.  I'm stitching on "America" as the BAP is annoying and and I chucked it in a corner.  I may not take up the BAP again until January of 2011 as I've got some upcoming Christmas stitching to do and I'm a slow stitcher anyway.


Aug 3, 2010

Afghan: Part Two

Now for the tale of the afghan DH uses; it was knitted by his grandmother.

Grandmom was a master-class knitter and crocheter.  She pretty much spent all her time knitting and crocheting.  She was also very proud of her grandkids and great grandkids.  Every new baby in the family received a knitted or crocheted blanket, and if you married into the family, Grandmom knit you a Christmas stocking.  The newly-married couple also received a large two-person afghan (which we still have and use a lot in the winter).

Anyway, somehow, Grandmom heard through the family grapevine that DH and I were pregnant.  (We weren't; we have no children.)  We receive this beautiful knitted and cross-stitched afghan in the mail.  We had no idea why it came as it wasn't near Christmas or one of our birthdays.  However, we noticed that it had suspicious colors - baby pink, blue, white, and yellow.  After a call to DH's mom, we got all the facts were properly straightened out.  Grandmom was sorry to hear that she would not be a great grandma again, but she did graciously allow us to keep the afghan!

Here's a close-up of the back and her neat yarn cross-stitching.  All of the flowers in the afghan are cross stitched!  And no, she didn't like regular cross stitching, but didn't mind doing it with yarn on an afghan - go figure.


Aug 2, 2010

Afghan: Part One

Happy Birthday to my DBro!

DH and I have been laid low by our sinuses.  We have done nearly nothing on the bathroom remodel.  I haven't stitched much.  DH has not puttered in his shop much.  When you live in a valley near the Texas coast and your weather is affected by Gulf hurricanes, you also have worse sinus problems.  Oh well.
We had our first day over 100 degrees yesterday, with more to come.  The dog days of August (along with August) are here.
This morning, as I was making the bed, I folded up a couple of afghans.  DH and I always have two afghans folded up at the foot of the bed over our feet, even in the summer.  My afghan was made for me by my Mamaw when I was in high school.  She was in her late sixties when she learned to crochet, and she made each of her three grandkids an afghan.  My afghan went to college with me and has covered me during countless afternoon naps.  Its been on my bed every night for years.  I treasure it and want to always be like Mamaw, who was interested in learning new things all her life.  She taught grade school - mostly fifth grade - for fifty years before she retired, mostly in the small Texas town of Caddo Mills and also in Greenville.  She felt that she was never too old to learn something new.  May we all have that attitude.

Tomorrow, I'll tell the tale of DH's afghan.