Sep 17, 2013

WIP - "Cats, Bats & Pumpkins"

The weekend got away from me.  DH was laid low by sinus problems so we spent most of the weekend watching football.  The Aggies and the Cowboys were a disappointment to us.

I was able to stitch on my WIP "Cats, Bats & Pumpkins" from the JCS 2013 Halloween issue, page 64.  It's stitched on Charles Craft white Monaco with Sullivans floss.  I find it a very fun stitch and look forward to Annie-free-lap stitching sessions whenever I can get them.

I'm stitching the top pillow with the bats.

Design 1 as of 9-17-13

The pattern called for Sullivans metallic floss.  After using DMC metallic floss and loathing the experience, I discovered Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid.  Once I found RGPTB, I never looked back and I refuse to use anything else when a pattern calls for metallics.  

As my LNS is 2.5 hours away, I had to buy a couple of colors online.  My favorite online cross stitch store 123 Stitch doesn't yet carry RGPTB, so I used Needle in a Haystack instead as they carry the full line and have pictures of the colors on their website in addition to giving excellent service.


Sep 12, 2013

Improper supervision

This past weekend, DH decided to continue doing electrical work in our den.  He pulled a few wires and wired up a few switches and plugs.  He installed the overhead light fixtures we bought five years ago.  ;-) 

Annie was interested in what he was doing, but her interest quickly faded.  She is not a good supervisor as she often grows bored or distracted.  But she likes to be near DH and this proved to be a problem as she decided to play with a toy right at his feet.  DH is having to learn to look behind him before he moves when doing inside DIY tasks.  Goofy dog.

Wiring a switch
Playing with her Duckie behind DH.


Sep 10, 2013

A bluebonnet finish

I managed to have some uninterrupted stitching time on Saturday afternoon with an Annie-free lap, so I finished "Bluebonnet Blooms" by Redbird Designs.  It is stitched on 32 count raw natural linen with DMC.  I'll probably make it into a little pillow.

"Bluebonnet Blooms" by Redbird Designs

I've started stitching on another Halloween design, one from the 2013 JCS Halloween issue. Unfortunately, I haven't had an Annie-free lap much since Saturday, so I haven't made much progress on it.

The design (on page 64 of the magazine) uses Sullivans floss which I've never used.  I decided to stitch the project with Sullivans to give it a try instead of converting it to DMC.  My local Hobby Lobby has started carrying some of it and I was able to buy about half of the colors I needed there, the rest I ordered from  The floss seems to have less of a sheen to it than DMC, but what of it I have used has been fine to stitch with - no excessive knotting or tangling.  The colors are bright and crisp. 

I wind my floss on bobbins and while doing so I noticed that a few of the labels were stuck to the floss as the glue used on them had leaked.  Not a huge problem, but I did have to take the time to get the glue off the floss.  Also, some of the labels were glued sloppily and the color numbers were partially covered.  Again, not a huge problem, but it shows a lack of attention to production detail.

I will stitch this project with the Sullivans, but I have no plans to acquire and collect the whole set of colors at this point.


Sep 7, 2013

What are you really saying?

DH and I were raised in homes where swear words or profanity were rarely - if ever - heard.  

However in today's society, if you watch television, listen to music, participate in a conversation, or read a book, you run across them constantly.  I've observed that most swear words are substitutes for a more formal or scientific word.  Would swear words sound as shocking or startling if the speaker used the formal word?

Take the F-bomb for instance.  How effective would it be to have a television actor shout, "Sexual intercourse you!" at an antagonist?  Or how about, "You're an absolute mothercoitusing idiot!"  Sounds pretty stupid, eh?

Then there's the word "sh*t" which can be a verb or a noun.  I can't remember having heard someone say, "I've got to go defecate."  And I've never heard a person say, "Holy bowel movement! Would you look at that!"  (Actually, if I heard someone say that, I'd die laughing.)

If you're really trying to shock or startle, then you shouldn't use a swear word all the time as it loses its effectiveness.  It becomes boring to the ear or eye.  I don't know how many free books I've deleted off my Kindle after reading a few pages because nearly every word out of a character's mouth is profanity.  Maybe the writer thinks that is defining for the character.  I think it's boring and shows a lack of imagination.

And I'm not saying that there are not times where the use of a swear word is justified.  I was recently describing a person and his despicable actions to my parents and the only word I could think of to accurately characterize him was to call him an a**hole.

Yeah, I have a weird brain and think about weird things.  Oh well.


Sep 6, 2013

Friday WIP

I managed to frog all the wayward stitches on my WIP.  I finished stitching all the white swirls in the design and started on the bluebonnets.  I'm enjoying stitching this one (at least when I can keep Annie out of my lap long enough to stitch).

"Bluebonnet Blooms" 9-6-13


Sep 3, 2013

How was your Labor Day weekend?

DH and I traveled up to Dallas for part of the weekend to visit our relatives.  We greatly enjoyed visiting with my Mom and Dad.  We also visited with my DBro and DSisIL and our two ever-growing nephews.

The rest of the weekend was spent on finishing up the patch on the inside wall where the old air conditioner leaked.  Instead of cheap, thin paneling painted a gross khaki color, we now have a couple of scrounged pieces of OSB in that area.  It's temporary until we can renovate the entire wall sometime in the future.  

I actually like the OSB better than the khaki-colored paneling.  I really dislike the khaki paint and the corresponding avocado green trim paint around the window trim that makes up the front and back walls of our den.  I have to remind myself that it is temporary, although with DIY projects, temporary can last a long time.  ;-)

DH did another thing that made him nearer and dearer to my heart this weekend.  While he was in the process of patching the wall, he decided to go up in the attic and pull wire for a couple of plugs for that wall as it had none.  My stitching lamp was powered by an extension cord that ran into the bedroom, and the window AC was powered by a heavy-duty extension cord that ran across the entire width of the den floor; we were constantly tripping over it.  Thanks to my handy-dandy DH, the extension cords are gone!

Annie weathered the trip to Dallas well and was glad to get home to sun herself in the yard.  For the first several weeks that we had her, we did not allow her to roam in the yard by herself as we took her out on a leash.  We wanted her to get attached to us and the house before we allowed her full freedom of the yard via the dog door.  She has now earned the privilege of full yard freedom and can come and go out the dog door as she wishes.

I didn't stitch much on "Bluebonnet Blooms" this weekend, and what I stitching I did manage, I had to frog, so no progress pictures, but one should be forthcoming soon.