Dec 30, 2011

Last finish of 2011

After stitching the reindeer ornaments for my nephews, I decided to stitch a little ornament just for me just because I wanted to.  This is "Hearts 'n' Stitches" cat from the Cross Stitch and Country Crafts Dec. '00 magazine.  I stitched it on 14 count antique brown perforated paper with DMC and Mill Hill beads for the french knots.  I hate stitching french knots and generally use beads instead.


Dec 28, 2011

The dregs of the old year

It's the tween week - the week between Christmas and New Year's.  No, I'm not making any New Year's resolutions.  And no, I'm not making any stitching resolutions either.

Okay, well, maybe I am making a sort of resolution.  I've decided to participate in my first ever stitch-a-long (SAL).  There's one going on at the 123 Stitch MB (actually, there are several going on over there).  On January 1st, I'll start stitching on "Crabby All Year" by Raise the Roof Designs, a four-part series of 12 monthly designs.  The goal is to stitch one design a month.  I think I can do that.  Maybe. 

My stitching buddy Gloria stitched this a while back and I really liked it.  Let me warn you that the buttons used for these patterns are expensive!  I ended up ordering mine off eBay where they were less costly.  I thought about leaving the buttons off and stitching something in their place, but after seeing Gloria's completed work, I agree that the buttons are a must; they make the pattern!

It is a large pattern so you will need a fat quarter of fabric.  But it is stitched with DMC, so at least the floss won't cost you an arm and a leg like the fabric and buttons will.

I finished my oldest nephew's Christmas ornament this week and here it is.  Now I just need to finish-finish this and his brother's ornament and get them in the mail.

DH and I stayed home for Christmas this year.  In 24+ years of marriage, we've stayed home only three times.  Twice when we lived in Dallas near most of our relatives, and once when we lived in Oklahoma.  We had actually started on the trip down to Dallas, but I got deathly ill halfway there and DH took me back home.  This year we enjoyed having a long quiet weekend together.  We watched a lot of football, read a lot, and ate turkey.

DH finished splitting and stacking all our firewood.  He filled the racks and then stacked the extra against one end of our loafing shed.  Hopefully this abundance of firewood is not an omen of a really cold winter.


Dec 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

John 1:14 - "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (KJV)

Dec 19, 2011

Help! I'm stitching and I can't stop!

I thought I'd better pause and make a blog post lest everyone think I've died and fallen off the face of the earth.  I've been stitching like a fiend on several Christmas presents, trying to get them done in time for Christmas.  I think I might make it.  And no, I can't show them until after Christmas.

DH has spent the last two weekends being a lumber jack.  The first weekend he spent with his chainsaw and the tractor.  He cut up several downed trees on our property and used the tractor to carry the logs to our wood rack area.  

Here he is getting the tractor ready.  Notice the chainsaw, etc., in the bucket.  Emma had to help and supervise.  You'll notice DH is wearing blaze orange accessories.  He was in the woods, hunting season is still going strong, and we have neighbors who hunt near our woods.

He was able to cut quite a pile of wood and began splitting it.  He spent this past weekend splitting and splitting and splitting, but is still not done yet.  All three of our wood racks are filled, and he is stacking the extra wood on one side of our loafing shed.  An embarrassment of woodly riches!

Hopefully I'll have some stitching photos to share soon.


Dec 8, 2011

Winter is finally here

Well, winter is finally here.  I know this because the temperatures have forced me into pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks and shoes.  Phooey.  It was sad when I did laundry on Monday and there were shorts and T-shirts in there from last week. 

DH will be cutting wood this weekend as our wood racks are nearly bare.  He reserved a log splitter for the next weekend and I will help him stack after he splits it all.  I may also get to drive the tractor a lot from the woods to the splitting area so DH can keep on cutting. 

It was nice to sleep in this past weekend as DH is done deer hunting for the season as he has bagged his limit.  He will still go out and hunt for pigs, but he took last weekend off.

And I've been stitching but I can't show you what I'm stitching on because it's for a friend and she reads my blog.

I'll leave you with a picture of Emma warming her butt in front of the wood stove.


Nov 27, 2011

Sneaking up on December

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.  DH and I did.  We had a brisket for Thanksgiving instead of turkey this year and enjoyed it very much.

DH was able to hunt a lot and (finally!) got his spike buck.  Our freezer is well-stocked with venison for the year.  All that's left is to get a wild pig or two.

DH was able to get most of the trim molding installed in the kitchen.  We used the old trim molding as we didn't want to pay for new molding and I didn't want to paint it anyway.  Here are before, during, and after pictures:

We've watched a lot of football.  The Dallas Cowboys won, but my Aggies lost to t.u. and DH's Red Raiders lost to the Baylor Bears.  DH found time to clean up his shop and I've been stitching and reading.  And we think it is finally time to pull the A/C units out of the windows as the weather is finally somewhat "fall-like."


Nov 22, 2011

A Christmas ornament finish

I finished stitching a Christmas ornament for my younger nephew.  He will be receiving the "Candycane Reindeer" from the JCS 2010 Ornament issue, page 93.  It is stitched on a piece of 28 count linen of unknown color with DMC and Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid for the nose.


Nov 21, 2011


DH got the vinyl floor installed in the kitchen this weekend, and he even started on some of the trim molding - trim molding is all we have left to do before we're completely finished with this project.  Yippee!

DH started by making a template out of paper that fit the kitchen.  Then he laid the template on the sheet of vinyl with Emma's help.
Then he cut it out with Emma's supervision.

Next, he troweled glue on the floor.  He folded the vinyl in half and glued down one side, then glued down the other.

Here is the end result!

I've been stitching on Christmas ornaments for my nephews.  And if the pattern arrives in the mail today, I'll start stitching on a present for a friend that I need to get done before Christmas arrives, too.


Nov 19, 2011

Hoping again

DH is hoping to finish installing the kitchen floor this weekend.  If it goes without a hitch, we'll be able to install all the trim molding and call the project finished.  Then DH can go back to the project he was working on when this one interrupted it.

He is laying an "upper" subfloor of OSB sheets over the subfloor.  He will glue down the vinyl flooring to them.  We didn't want to glue the vinyl down to our "real" subfloor as it would probably get ruined when we remove the vinyl in the future when we do our "real" kitchen remodel instead of this "fix it enough to use it well until we do it for real" kitchen remodel.  

And then there's the fact that we calculated the height of the lower cabinets based on the height of the plank flooring we were going to install.  If we glued down the vinyl without adding the OSB sheets, my cabinets would be too tall for me.  Another plus is if this cheap vinyl gets really dinged before our "real" remodel, then it will be easy to glue a new sheet over it.

Hopefully the installation will go well.  Hopefully.


Nov 18, 2011

Oh yeah, I really DO have pink in my kitchen!

When DH and I first got married, we lived in Dallas for several years and developed the habit of visiting First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX every month.  We pretty much decorated our house with the treasures we found there.  

I was seeking to replace my kitchen canisters at that time.  We had received a set as a wedding present, but I found the canisters too small to hold baking supplies well.  I wanted large enough canisters to hold an entire five-pound bag of sugar, flour, and corn meal.  

On one Canton trip, we saw a reproduction Planters peanut jar and bought it.  Over the next several months, we acquired three more jars of different designs.  As I was able to find two of the jars in only pink, that's the color I ended up getting.  The other jars came in both blue and pink (and a really hideous red/yellow swirl), so I got them in blue (of course).  

They have served us well over the years and hold a lot.  And no, Gloria, you can't have them!  ;-)


Nov 17, 2011

Hate canvas, er...waste canvas

Way back when (like last year after Christmas), my DBro and DSisIL asked me to stitch my nephews' names on their Christmas stockings.  I said I'd be happy to, of course.

They sent the stockings to me this past January.  I just got around to stitching the names this past weekend.  No, I'm not usually such a bad procrastinator, but I just hate stitching on waste canvas.  I especially hate stitching on waste canvas when I have to have my hands up inside of something while actually stitching.  I had to cram my hands up inside the stocking cuff to get this done.  Thank goodness DBro and DSisIL requested that I stitch the shortened version of each boy's name instead of their full names!

To motivate myself, I used silk floss.  I think they came out okay and they will go in the mail tomorrow.


Nov 13, 2011


Well, DH hoped that the floor would install quickly and easily.  No such luck.  He spent the morning getting the underlayment put down.

Then he started installing it.

Emma supervised.

The further along he got, the more frustrated he got with the cheap flooring.  After he had run through his repertoire of handy swear words several times, we stopped and discussed continuing or not.  We ended up taking the remaining boxes of flooring back to Lowe's and going with cheap vinyl flooring instead.

And DH is starting over.  Photos to follow.  We're "hoping" it goes well.


Nov 12, 2011

The last cabinet

DH is still hunting for that last deer (and a wild pig or two or three would be nice).  No luck last weekend and no luck so far this weekend, but the weekend is still young.

DH finally got the last kitchen cabinet remade/rebuilt and installed, and I spent the week repainting it.  DH took a badly made three-drawer cabinet and made it into a four-drawer cabinet, so the drawers are strangely sized and the knobs don't match.  It looks kind of weird stuck off in the corner of the kitchen, but I wasn't about to give up usable kitchen storage space so there it sits.  Weird is good.

DH is planning to install the kitchen flooring today.  He is "hopeful" that it will not take too long.  We'll see.  I'll take pictures of the progress and post them when he's done.  After the floor, all we have left to do is install all the molding.


Nov 3, 2011

This, that, drivel, and tractors

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth.  Thanks to everyone who inquired and expressed concern that I had.  ;-)   We've just been busy.  My days have been such that at the end of them I've muttered to myself, "Poop. Time got away again and I didn't get a blog post up."  Oh well.

I haven't stitched in over a week, and this weekend isn't looking good.  I don't know when I'll get "Bone Cheeks" done as I fear my Christmas stitching needs to take priority soon.  And that means that I'll have to decide what I'm stitching for my nephews and then get it stitched.  I also have the company Christmas party ornament to stitch, but I may wimp out and use an ornament that I stitched a while ago, but haven't finished yet.

My Dallas Cowboys are causing me grief  - as in "Good grief! What are y'all doing?!"  I may need to pull out that paper bag for my head that I used last year and wear it again.  

Have you eaten any of those Honey Crisp apples that have appeared in the stores lately?  I am hooked on them.  Our HEB either has regularly sized ones, or mutant ones.  The mutant sized ones are huge!  And yeah, I can eat a huge one in one sitting.  Emma likes apples, but I don't share my Honey Crisp apples with her. 

The soil in my part of Texas is clay-ey.  That means that the ground doesn't "perk."  It also means that by law, we have to use an expensive to maintain aerobic septic system instead of the usual anaerobic system.  Our system has three tanks, an aeration pump, and two discharge sprinkler heads.  It must be inspected and maintained yearly by law.  We have a company on contract that does this for us.  

Last week, the usual guy, Doug, was out for the inspection with a new guy.  The new guy was ogling the old tractor that we inherited with our house and land.  One of our neighbors thinks that it has been bogged down and sitting in our yard for about 15-20 years.  We've tried in vain to find someone to sell it to or even give it to ever since we've lived here.  When we lived in Kansas, our town used to have an antique tractor pull every Fourth of July - we learned all about old tractors and the people that love them.  We figured SOMEONE out there would want this old tractor.  Well, last week, we finally found him.

When I told the new guy that he could have the tractor if he would dig it out and haul it off, he was rendered speechless.  When he found his voice, he asked, "Really?  You'd just give it to me?!"  Yep.  Haul it off and get it out of the yard, please.  So he did!  When he hauled it off on Saturday, he was like a little kid with a new toy.

DH got a seven-point buck with his bow last weekend - three deer down and one to go.  Rifle season opens this weekend, so DH is hoping to get his spike buck.  Four deer is his limit by law and four deer will fill our freezer nicely.  We've already enjoyed venison steaks from the two doe he got in October.  And we're still hoping to get a few pigs.  DH has seen and heard pigs, but he hasn't been able to shoot one.  Now that rifle season is open, he should be able to get a few.

And the kitchen is nearly done.  I know, I've been saying that for weeks.  I was hoping for and end-of-October finish, but now I'm hoping to get it finished before the Thanksgiving weekend.

The weather here is turning.  We've had nights in 40s - cold enough to fire up the wood stove.  And I had to wear shoes last week one day.  I hate shoes.  I put on a long-sleeved shirt, but kept to the shorts.  I cling to shorts, T-shirt, and bare feet as long as possible.  How's the weather in your neck of the woods?


Oct 10, 2011

A wet weekend

Hunting season (bow hunting) started last weekend.  After bow hunting season comes rifle season (early November) which lasts until January.  This means that until he bags his limit (two doe, one spike buck, one antlered buck), DH is out hunting every morning and evening of the weekend.  While I am thankful that I have a DH whose hobby can provide food for us, said hobby seriously cuts into our home remodeling time.  ;-)   Oh well.

DH harvested two doe on Saturday morning and he worked quickly to get both doe field dressed so that he could take them into town to the meat processor before they closed at noon.  Just when I was down to the last pound of venison from last year, our freezer will get replenished!  (Two deer down, two to go.)

On Sunday, we got rain!  It rained about 1.5" at our house.  In this drought, we'll take all we can get!

I've got about 90% of our kitchen stuff back in its proper place in our kitchen.  DH got the last drawer installed.  Before we can declare the kitchen "done," he has to rebuild a cabinet (which I may have to paint or polyurethane) and make drawers for said cabinet, install the trim molding, and lay the new flooring.  I am hoping that we get all this done by the end of October as we'll need to cut and stack firewood in November.

And I'm posting my progress on "Bone Cheeks" which isn't very much because all that I stitched on Saturday morning while DH was hunting and field dressing, I had to frog.  It was a very extended frog visit and not at all appreciated.

Oh, and my Aggies beat DH's Red Raiders on Saturday.  Gig 'em!


Oct 4, 2011

Woo Pig misery

What a weekend for football.  DH's Texas Tech Red Raiders did well and beat Kansas.  My Aggies lost to the Woo Pigs (Arkansas).  

And the Cowboys...oh my!  I think I've got that paper bag for my head left over from last year here somewhere...

DH's hunting weekend was a bust which made him grumpy.  His mood did not improve when he learned that one of the guys at work got an eight-point buck on Saturday.  But there are many weekends left to hunt, so we'll fill up our freezer eventually, and I'll have a happy hunter around the house.  Grumpy ones are a bummer.

DH is still doing battle with the raccoons.  One gnawed through the top cover of his deer corn feeder, so he had to do a "weirdly" repair.  Then he caught another raccoon digging corn out of the feeder from the bottom.  That raccoon won't ever do that again.  Next year, DH will get an all-metal feeder with a better varmint cover.  At least we haven't had them waking us up at night trying to get in the trash lately.  Darn varmints.

DH got all the doors put on the kitchen cabinets and we are in business!  I only have one drawer left to polyurethane as DH just made it on Sunday afternoon.  DH still has another small cabinet to rebuild and make a drawer for, and we still have trim molding to install and the floor to put down.  But at least the kitchen is much more usable and stuff is making its way back into the kitchen from the den.  YAY!

We ended up buying an eight-foot counter top to finish out our long counter top.  DH was going to use some solid maple counter top that he had in his shop, but it would have taken him about a day to get it to work.  Right now, his time is more valuable than that.  And we also got to thinking - once we get done with the kitchen, DH will get back to working on the utility room remodel.  One of the things I want to do is unstack my washer and dryer and put a counter top over them.  So we bought enough counter top to do this and to finish up the kitchen; we cut two feet off it and will have plenty left over for the utility room.

I think I put maybe eight stitches in "Bone Cheeks" this weekend.  Hopefully I'll have some time to work on it this week.  Mostly I'm working on getting all the kitchen stuff back in the kitchen.


Oct 1, 2011

'Twas the night before...

...the start of bowhunting season, and my kitchen was piled with hunting paraphernalia.  DH got up this morning at the ridiculous hour of 5:00 a.m. and went out to his tree stand to hunt.  He puts all his stuff in the kitchen so he can get dressed without waking me up too much.  He saw six deer, but couldn't get a shot.  He is out right now on an evening hunt.  I hope he gets a deer as I'm down to four pounds of venison left in the freezer from last year.

I've been a polyurethaning machine this week and have finally finished as I got the last coat on the cabinet doors this afternoon.  After DH gets the doors hung back on the cabinets tomorrow, I can start moving my kitchen stuff out of the den and back into the kitchen where it belongs.

I haven't stitched much this week.  Emma got a haircut.  It wore her out so much that she felt compelled to take her ball to bed for a nap.


Sep 27, 2011

WIP "Bone Cheeks"

We're really enjoying having our kitchen sink back.  And the bathroom sink is once again just a bathroom sink.  ;-)   DH got the cabinet doors fit to the cabinets.  Now I will polyurethane both the cabinets and the door fronts before we put everything back in the cabinets.  

Sometime in the past, a previous owner of our house stripped most of the paint off the lower cabinets and put some brown stain on them. They left them that way with no protective coating of polyurethane or lacquer.  Which means they had a lot of water and food stains on them.  I am going to scrub clean both the doors and the drawers within an inch of their lives and then polyurethane them.  I've already done the drawers and now must do the doors.  They still look pretty ratty but at least they will be easier to keep clean.  Here is a picture where you can see the polyurethaned drawers next to the unpolyurethaned doors.

And here is where I am on "Bone Cheeks."


Sep 25, 2011

Happy dancin'

No, I didn't finish "Bone Cheeks."  But DH did get the sink installed and the water hooked back up - it works!  WE HAVE OUR KITCHEN SINK BACK!

Determining the placement.

Cutting the hole in the countertop.

DONE! (Do ya see the running water?!)


Sep 21, 2011

Are we sinked yet?

No.  We are still sinkless in the kitchen, but we're getting close!  

DH got the face frames done on the cabinets.  He got the countertop pieces joined together after a trip to Lowe's to buy special glue as the glue that came with the joinery kit set up about 3.2 seconds after we mixed it.  Here's a progress picture:
You'll notice that the long countertop is not long enough.  We actually needed a 12-foot countertop, but Lowe's and Home Depot don't sell them that long; 10 feet is their in-stock maximum.  Well, they do sell 12-footers if you want to special order one and wait three weeks for it at an exorbitant price.  We decided that we didn't want to do that.  We have a old piece of solid maple countertop in DH's shop.  So DH will use that to extend the long countertop to its proper length.  Creative scrounging and repurposing - it works for us. 

Here is a picture of the inside of one of the cabinets.  Those vertical slots will hold my cookie sheets and shallow pans neatly upright instead of one big crazily leaning heap.  Cool, eh?  DH will fit and mount the cabinet doors after we get the sink installed. 

DH was using the nail gun a lot on the face frames.  Emma hates the nail gun.  At one point, DH was leaning way over nailing a small piece and Emma came over and nibbled on his nose after barking at him a few times!  She also pawed at the nail gun and growled at it a lot.  Silly dog.

Hey! Stop using that infernal contraption!

We might have gotten farther along on the kitchen if we hadn't stopped to watch the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday afternoon.  But you gotta do what you gotta do.  And it was a great game!  Go Cowboys!!

"Bone Cheeks" is turning out to be a really fun stitch.  I'll post a picture of my progress this weekend sometime.


Sep 17, 2011

"Liberty Lane" finished!

I put the last stitch in "Liberty Lane" by Country Cottage Needleworks this afternoon.  I stitched it on 28 count tea-dyed Monaco with DMC.  

I used RitaD's color conversions:  420 to 420, 640 to 3031, 937 to 3051, 3023 to 611, 3031 to 3371, 3347 to 3052, B5200 to 3865, GAST Liberty to 3750, GAST Rhubarb to 3777.


Sep 14, 2011

Let's talk stitching

I recently received the Just Cross Stitch 2011 Special Christmas Issue, otherwise known as "The Ornament Issue," in the mail.  Every year I look forward to getting this issue and have stitched many an ornament from its pages.  This year, I was a bit disappointed.  There were no ornaments that jumped off the page screaming, "Stitch me!"  In fact, I had to go through the magazine several times before I found even one thing I'd consider stitching, mainly because it looks fun to finish ("Peace on Earth" purse ornament by The Victoria Sampler on page 13-14).

Oh, don't get me wrong.  There are a lot of beautiful and wondrous ornaments in the issue, just not anything I'd stitch.  Do you ever do that?  You see a pattern and say, "Hey! I like that!  But I'd honestly never stitch it."  I do that a lot.  It saves me from being buried in stash.  ;-)

In the same stash package, I received a quirky pattern that recently caught my attention, "Bone Cheeks" by Prairie Moon.

It looks fun and colorful, and it appeals to my love of skeletons.  I've always been fascinated by skeletons, even as a kid, far beyond their usual Halloween appearance.  I never wanted to be a skeleton on Halloween, I just wanted to learn all about them.  I guess I've always loved learning about anatomy, even as a kid.

I remember a grade school science lesson where we each laid on a big piece of paper and a classmate drew an outline around our body.  Then we drew a skeleton inside the body outline and had to label the bones correctly.  I was totally engrossed in this project and my finished product graced the door of my bedroom for months afterward.

So I'll be stitching "Bone Cheeks" after I finish "Liberty Lane."  I don't have the fabric or fibers in my stash, so I'll be using what I have.  The model was stitched with Gloriana silks, which I like, but I don't have all the colors called for and don't want to spend the bucks.  Besides, the designers included a DMC conversion so I'll take advantage of their thoughtfulness.


Sep 12, 2011

Drawer drama

We watched the Cowboys snatch defeat from the jaws of victory last night.  Bummer season opener.

DH got a lot done on the cabinets this weekend, but we are still without a kitchen sink.  It took a lot of time for him to get all the old drawers fit into the new cabinet.  The old drawer slides are very old and poorly made and DH had quite the time with them.  Of course, an unexpected trip into town to Lowe's didn't help either.  (A trip to Lowe's for us takes at least an hour and 15 minutes.)  Next weekend, DH will finish the face frames and hopefully get the countertop installed along with the sink.

As of Sunday afternoon.
Emma made herself comfortable while she supervised.


Sep 11, 2011

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


Sep 7, 2011

WIP "Liberty Lane"

Here is my "Liberty Lane" WIP by Country Cottage Needleworks.  I'm stitching it on tea-dyed Monaco with DMC.  I'm using different colors than what the pattern calls for.  RitaD came up with the color combination I am using.  In fact, I wasn't interested in this pattern at all until I saw hers with the - in my opinion - better colors.  I'll post Rita's color changes when I finish stitching it.  And no, she won't mind as she's been very gracious in sharing them.


Sep 6, 2011

Close but no sink

DH got a lot done on the cabinets, but not enough to get the kitchen sink put in.  So we're still washing dishes in the bathroom sink.  Oh well.  

These cabinets will certainly look eclectic.  DH is scrounging in his shop for usable wood.  Paint would cover a multitude of blemishes, but we're not painting it.  Hey! Maybe we can start a new interior decorating trend - we can call it the "Scrounged in the Shop" look!
Adding the partitions.
Working on the face frame.

As of Monday night.

DH was sitting down on the floor checking some measurements when Emma decided to make herself at home in his lap.

I got some stitching time in on "Liberty Lane."  This project was mostly a UFO because it had bored me so deeply that I thought I'd never finish it.  I dislike stitching the same thing over again and this pattern has a lot of repeats.  But after ignoring it for nine months, I like it again and will finish it.  I'll post a picture tomorrow.

And we seem to be starting 'coon wars.  DH chased a family of raccoons out of his deer corn feeder yesterday.  This morning at about 4:00 a.m., DH chased another raccoon off the porch where it was trying to get into the garbage.  We keep our garbage in a big trashcan with a lid, but the raccoon was still trying to get into it.  Emma slept through the garbage can incident.  Some watchdog, eh?