Thursday, August 30, 2007

Taken Down by a Bug

Help. I've got some darn pesky little thingies upsetting my digestive system.

At least this morning the Immodium seems to be working.

Poor DH had to make his own supper last night. (yeah, I know. It's good for him. Builds character and all. But I did feel bad for him. He's used to much better quality food.)

but I did finish organizing fibers, fabric, and kitted projects, UFO's, and miscellaneous stuff for stitching.

I went thru the ornament cuts and got ruthless. Way too many little pieces floating around with the idea that I could do something with them. Including plenty of Aida pieces from back in the day. They are no longer in my house.

I kept all large Aida pieces and I've got a rainbow of colors = blue, red, black, green, yellow, purple, all shades of white, cream, fiddlers and fiddlers lite. Lots of Hopscotch fabric. I've got Vinyl Weave, waste canvas. Prefinished items with Aida all set to have a design stitched on them.

And the linen. Oooh, the beautiful linen. Got a couple small pieces of 45 and 50ct. Italian stuff. I've got a rainbow of colors here, too. Belfast, Dublin, Lakeside, Picture This Plus. So fun to fondle.

All the DMC are back in order in their flossaway bags. Weeks, GAST, Crescents, silks, Needle Necessities, metallics, flower threads are all sorted. Their respective databases most likely need updating. But that is a project for another day.

Ultimate goal. Make a list of UFO's and kitted projects. Do not start anything new without finishing something from that list first.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Childless = not half bad

DD has the temerity to suggestion that without her presence DH and I will have nothing to talk about.

Phooey on you, girl!

Even if it has been more than 20 years since we had an extended period of time alone...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mirabilia Halloween Fairy


I've named her Priscilla. And I'm saving her mask for last.

I'm enchanted. Can hardly wait to use some of the orange and greens.
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Ginger and Spice


This is my butterlfy finish from 2 weeks ago. The design is in an old Ginger and Spice leaflet of Arts and Crafts designs. I changed the fiber from DMC to Crescent Colours. I have no idea what I'm going to do with this, but here it is.
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Monday, August 27, 2007

why my directv experience sucks

If someone from this company will provide me with a technician willing to go on the roof and check signal strength from the front of the house, I will delete this post.


DirecTv finally sent someone with a brain to solve my problem. He was wonderful. Personable, knowledgeable, and efficient. I wish I could say the same for the customer service runaround I got on the phone. I was on the phone, on hold from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00p.m. yesterday. I got cut off and hung up on numerous times. One lady refused to give me her extension in case we got cut off. Funny, it happened twice. She did not call me back. Either time.

My poor husband arrived home at 3:00 p.m. after driving from New Hampshire. He had flowers for me (our anniversary was Saturday.) I was in a rage. As he tried to hug me, I threw my planner and pens across the room. Poor guy. I think for a second he thought I was aiming at him. I had my hissy fit. And essentially gave up for the day. At 4:00 p.m. a customer service rep called me and said a supervisor would be at our house shortly. He showed up. Fixed all our problems. Amazing.

The side note: my second problem was a receiver that got caught in a loop. They shipped me a new one that arrived on Saturday. I hadn't even opened the box. DH opened it, hooked it up. And when I got through all the set-up menus and called DirecTv to activate the card, I got the following message: If you are calling to pay your bill, troubleshoot your system, etc. all our systems are down. All we can currently do is answer general questions. We expect to have this problem resolved in 2-3 hours.

So as I sat there at 7:30 last evening, on hold yet again with DirecTv, I realized that my issues had basically robbed me of an entire day. I only managed a dozen stitches on Priscilla. But now I've got a crystal clear picture.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Random Stupid Post

Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They have to be real places, names, things...nothing made up! You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question. It's a fun brain teaser!!

Your Name: Donna

Famous Artist/Band/Musician:

Dada/DaVinci's Notebook/Donovan

4 letter word:




TV Show:

Decorating Cents



Boy Name:


Girl Name:


Alcoholic drink:

Dom Perignon


Ditch Digger

Something you wear:



Donny Osmond


doughnuts, mmmm

Something found in a kitchen:


Reason for Being Late:

drunk, can't drive

Something You Shout


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Surprise SAL!

Dear Jenn,

Go for it!

Anyone else holding a Halloween Fairy kit by Mirabilia that wants to stitch along?

I've got 4 hours in and head, shoulders, one arm and part of bossom is finished. She is a fast little thing, this Priscilla.

What Was Forgotten

Had an email from DS and now I know what we forgot. I'm going to be a good doobie and run the stuff down to him tomorrow. It's just over a 60 mile drive. I might try going to the back route just to check it out. Some times you just have to avoid the I-95 corridor and it'll be good to familiarize myself with that alternative.

I started the Mirabilia Halloween Fairy on Tuesday evening. I will freely admit that this is my first Mirabilia ever. But something about this little fairy spoke to me when I saw her as a work in progress by someone else. I also bought the Thanksgiving Fairy after much deliberation. Not impressed with the others. And will change some colors on the Thanksgiving one. Just don't like the mauvey stuff. Is that a word?

I'm about to name that Halloween Fairy. I think she looks like a Priscilla.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

One Gone, One to Go

DH and DD drove off on the long trip to New England this morning at 5:00 a.m. just like planned. They spend a few days visiting in NH before dropping her at Clark, with two cars full of stuff on Sunday. DH will then drive home on Monday.

Meanwhile, today is DS packing and I bring him to school tomorrow morning. That means tomorrow night, it's just me and the cats. Who by the way freak out around packing and suitcases. Don't want any more long rides in cars or being left with strangers for 2 weeks. I don't blame them. But they can be pretty entertaining in the middle of their anxiety.

Of course, somehow I'm feeling like we've forgotten something...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Textile Museum

A lovely place. It is currently in an older Georgian home mixed in among a bevy of embassies. But they will be moving soon into more space. It's a shame there isn't more room for them where they are because the building is charming and grounds are serenely beautiful.

The Tent Band exhibit was amazing. They are woven, some are embroidered, and most are about 40 feet long. The colors and detailing are impressive. And I'm glad some one has had the foresight to realize these are worth preserving. There was a video of a yurta being set up in the Mingei Museum in San Diego back in 1997. Absolutely stunning.

There was also an exhibit of Viennese textiles and a general textile exhibit. The hidden jewel would be the library which I perused quickly and will likely go back to and spend more time.

We then headed down the street to the Phillips Museum where there is currently an exhibit of American impressionism drawn solely from the Phillips collection. The painting chosen for the cover of the brochure is Gifford Beal's On the Hudson at Newburgh which was hidden under another canvas until 8 years ago. And there were our former views of the Hudson, Stony Mountain and all. Sigh. Made me miss NY. Very enjoyable. Plus the lovely pieces in the Phillips permanent collection - Renoirs, El Grecos, Goyas, Picassos, Klees, Kandinskys, Van Goghs, etc. The man had quite an eye for buying art.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

And We're Off

One last family day before both children head to college. And guess where we're going? The Textile Museum! Yeah! And then the Phillips or maybe the National Gallery because our son has this strong desire to see the East Gallery again for some reason. Maybe he wants to relive that moment when he was five and tried to ride a sculpture like it was a horse. I only took my eye off him for a moment when he mounted up! The security guard headed our way really fast and I had the boy off his "horsey" and out of there fast.

It's a beautiful day for a trip into the city - dry and a high of 81 degrees! I see a trip to the Sweetwater Grill for supper in our future, too.

Friday, August 17, 2007

ah ha moment

Hmmm. I just had an idea. Maybe I'll put together an ornament finishing class for my LNS. Look - a little success has gone to my head. And now I think I can do it all. LOL

I've now got a couple of "surefire" techniques up my sleeve.

Anna - thanks for the "ladder" stitching idea. I'll have to give that a try.

Now to go see what else is in my finished stitching but not "finished" box.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Another finish!

I finished my easy project - an older Ginger and Spice chart on Aida of butterflies. Does not look like something I'd choose to do. But I did. And I'll try to post a picture tomorrow. Woohoo for me!

That means - I really need to pick up Agnes Scott if I'm going to finish her in time to frame her and enter her at Woodlawn next March. It sounds so far away, but it isn't. Next easy project is a zippered case with roses that I picked up last year after Christmas to do as a holder for my Nintendo DS Lite. But I've purchased a case in the meantime. Eh. Good planning.

Monday, August 13, 2007

That's Better

don't know why the pic I posted yesterday wasn't there. Watch, now it will show up twice. LOL

I should have another finish by the end of the week. Even though it is a busy time, getting two kids ready to leave for college. Need to wash new sheets, dishes, etc. Still have some shopping to accomplish, too. DD leaves with DH next Tuesday. And on Wednesday I bring DS to school. Then it will be majorly quiet around here. And cats will be freaking out at being alone with just me. They should just be thankful we're not leaving them with a pet sitter again.

It was a quiet weekend at our house. Watched the Red Sox win one and lose one. Had dinner at Big Bowl -yummy Crispy Orange Chicken and their homemade ginger ale. Last night I made spaghetti frittata and salad. I found some file cubes at half price at Target that hold 12" x 12" paper. Managed to put one together before dinner. Weeded the front yard. Decided to grow lots of begonias next year as they seem to be thriving with the heat and sun. This year I bought a flat of them whose name is Senator White. I'm thinking red, pink, and white begonias. Will have to decide if I want something behind them for height.

Next weekend. We are finally planning on going to the Textile Museum! Every time I plan for this, something happens to stop me from going. But not this time. It's the last weekend for the Afghani tent bands on exhibit. What I really want - to get a job there!

trying again

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Side Two Quaker Heart

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I finished the stitching on this back in June. But needed to buy some fleece for the finishing. This was a new finishing technique for me and I think it worked fabulously.

Goes like this:

Backstitched with one strand of pearl cotton around the design (two sides must be the same) over two threads. Cut a piece of white fleece just barely smaller than the backstitched design - a piece of tracing paper works to figure this out. Cut out stitched piece leaving a 3/4" border around the backstitching. Finger press in along backstitched line, clipping as needed. Pin fleece to wrong side of design. Baste fleece to linen on backside, being careful not to go through linen on front. Do this for both sides. Now pin wrong sides of linen together and with pearl cotton stitch the two sides together by whipstitching the backstitches. Leave a 2" opening. Turn right side out. Stuff with fiberfill. Continue to whip stitch closed. Bury thread along edge under the whipstitches. Was a little fiddly at the top of the heart, especially as I added a hanger.

I'm such a wuss when it comes to finishing that I'm awfully proud of myself for doing this with a minimum of fuss and bother.

Quaker Heart Ornament


For any who are interested, the pattern is available online at Piecework magazine. I believe it is the July 2006 issue.
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Thursday, August 09, 2007


Got up at 3:00 a.m. again. I'm thinking I'll rename this blog, the Insomniac Diaries. The funny part was, as I was laying there watching Roseanne on Nick, I heard someone upstairs get in the shower around 4:00 a.m. At 5:00 a.m. my DH comes walking down the stairs dressed for work and I ask him what he's doing up so early. He walks into the kitchen, then walks over to me, laughing. And says - I thought it was 7:00. His alarm clock battery needed replacing and it went off 2 hours early. At least he could laugh about it. He sat down to watch ESPN with me and we both fell back asleep. At which point I had some bizarre dream about the Junior League...

It's off to Thursday morning stitch-in. I've got the fabric to finish the 3rd chair. And is an amazing twist of events, I may have a piece of linen the shop owner can use.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I Managed

I did muddle through yesterday. Dropped DD off at work and went to my LNS as I had offered to recover some chairs for her. Got 2 out of 3 done. Didn't quite have enough material for the third one. I had found this lovely Waverly fabric - black with orchids as the chairs are black. I guess that means I'd better hurry back to Joanne's today 'cause this fabric was on clearance for $6 a yard.

As I didn't have anything better to do, I hung out at the shop. Frogged some more. Restitched part of what I'd frogged. Helped shop owner with a fabric/thread issue. Which meant she changed fabric and had this little piece of an overdyed already cut. So I found a pattern and changed some threads and voila, I've got a new shop model to stitch.

Earlier in the day I had been watching Bobby Flay's Boy Meets Grill. Which translated to brats, German potato salad, green beans, and red cabbage for dinner. Yum.

See I did managed to muddle through the day. I didn't forget anything important. And I managed to fall back asleep last night when I woke up at 2 a.m. Yeah for me!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Second Day

Day two of not sleeping. Yesterday I got by with 4 hours of sleep. Today I woke up at 1:00 a.m. Went downstairs. Read. Turned on TV. Turned off TV. Read some more. I think I fell asleep again sometime around 4 or so. I can't really stitch when this happens. I make bad decisions when deprived of sleep.

I know there are things I should do today. But darned if I cant think of them!

Monday, August 06, 2007

frogging on current project

My current project - or the most current - is an old Ginger and Spice chart - Arts and Crafts designs. Unfortunately if you go looking for it, you cannot really see the picture of the design I'm working on because it is the butterflies on the box and tray and the photo shows them at a terrible angle.

I never would have picked this leaflet up if I hadn't seen this piece stitched at the PictureThisPlus booth at Celebrations of Needlework back in May. As it was, I had to ask what this design was. Of course, I could not be content with DMC, so I changed things out to Crescent Colours. But apparently had a brain cramp the day I picked colors. I've decided to frog two colors and replace them. It's all blues and violets and purples with a tiny bit of green and yellowy golds. I started frogging last night, but still have a ways to go. But I definitely made the right decision.

Now the truly odd thing about this piece is that I'm doing it on 18ct Aida. To those of you who choose to be snobby about the linen, evenweave things, just stop right now. I had this perfectly good piece of Aida that someone gave me as part of a gift. And I started this project right before I got my Daylight lamp. That meant I could see the holes at night. What's amazing is how darn fast I can stitch on Aida. I wouldn't recommend doing this all the time, but for an occasional change of pace, try it. You might be surprised.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

my Challenge Piece


not the best photo in the world. And if I was going to do this again I would definitely use q-snaps or a frame because the montengrin stitch pulled the linen out of alignment.

This is my piece for my EGA chapter's annual challenge project. The challenge theme was the view out my window. I designed and stitched it within one week. It's my first rock n roll band sampler - yes, that's a Donovan lyric.
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These butterflies love my salvia - an eastern tiger swallowtail.
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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Woke Up

I woke up at 4:41. Finished reading my current mystery by Charlaine Harris at 5:50. Got up. Made coffee. Read the paper. Started the Saturday Sudoku, which is of course a hard one. Fell back asleep curled up in the chair sometime before 8:00 holding the paper in one hand and the pen in the other. Woke up at 9:00. Finished the Sudoku quite easily. Bleh. Now I'm tired.

Not much happening today. Maybe some stitching.

Couldn't stay awake to watch 300 last night. Action, no plot. I was bored.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Forgot to Post

I forgot to post my last big smile yesterday.

I won best cross stitch piece in my LNS' customer show in July. It was for Poseidon. Fitting win as I stitched a good portion of this piece at the shop on Thursday mornings. Immediately turned my gift certificate into Crescent Colours...LOL

In Other News

At yesterday's stitch-in I finally worked a bit on the shop project - Rosewood Manor's "And a Forest Grew," which can be seen here:

This project was kitted, gridded and put on scroll rods. Anyone who comes into the shop is welcome to work on it. Unfortunately it keeps getting put into a corner. Someone was working on it Tuesday night, which is how I was reminded of it. I thought by pulling it out on Thursday morning, maybe someone would work up a bit every week and we could start making some progress. The idea behind the piece is to eventually donate it to charity.

This is the first time I've ever worked on a piece that has been gridded. I've got to say it's a marvelous idea. There are blue threads running through the center of piece horizontally and vertically. And white threads that make up blocks of ten by ten stitches. Saves a ton of time on a piece like this. Only need to count to less than ten in either direction.

I did stitch a tiny bit on my current project. And then picked out Crescent Colours to kit up Martina Dey's Tsunami sampler that is in the autumn issue of Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Big Smiles

I don't know how well this vinyl peel n stick floor will wear, but every time I go into my kitchen, I'm smiling. I still have a some fiddly bits to lay along the edge of one wall - the very not square wall - all the cuts are on an angle. But DS came home yesterday and I put him to work mitering the shoe molding. He made a cut on his first piece wrong - LOL - I knew he would. But we were able to salvage that piece and he sat there puzzling over which way to cut each piece and figured it out. There is still a bit for him to cut. But between the clean floor and the unmarred molding, things look terrific.

I had a moment yesterday when I started to cut the edge pieces when I thought this was going to be a long, tedious process of making templates and I was going to want to shoot myself. But then I went online and found the trick for laying one tile on top of another to find where to cut. After that things moved right along. Even cutting for the floor register wasn't too bad. But I've got the curves at the door still to deal with and those aren't fun.

In other news: Big Smiles for my former professor, Charles Simic, for being named Poet Laureate of the United States. I will be going to the National Book Festival in September, even if it's just to see him read.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I See Some Agreement

I see some agreement on my opinion of Home Depot. I think it's unfortunate that mine is 10 minutes away and Lowe's is more like 30. Yesterday morning found me back at HD to buy a piece of molding for underneath the cabinets. Now I know there is a place where they will cut lumber for you so I take my 15 foot long wobbly piece of wood to the cutting area. Finally find someone to ask for help. He calls someone. Meanwhile, I realize there is a self-service cart for cutting molding. Fabulous. I don't need to measure it. I just need to cut it approximately in half so it will fit in the car. Which I do. When finally someone shows up to ask if I need help. Duh. A little too late. Now I go off to find a miter box. And I buy a cheap wood one. But when I get it home I realize my problem. The box is too short for the molding to provide guidance in the first 1 1/2 inches of cutting. And the guiding cuts don't go all the way down to the bottom of box, so I can't cut the shoe molding either. What kind of f#$%*@& is this? I go back to HD. And lo and behold, there is a plastic version of a miter box with a backcut saw. On a display all by themselves. No where near the other mitering products. And don't get me started on why they only had blades for utility knifes in packages of 100.

Finally got my molding cut, but not the shoe molding yet.

DS left with a friend. And I lost my helper. He didn't come home till like around 4. At which point he and I moved the cabinet from the room, he pulled the last piece of old molding and I washed the floor. Turn on fan. Then start to lay tiles. Good thing I fought the impulse to not start in the middle. My kitchen wall is so crooked it isn't funny. Then I had to go pick up DD at work. And DS finished laying all the whole tiles.

Which finds me today cutting the perimeter tiles. Ugh. Hard. Not fun. And I sat on my glasses and bent them. Fortunately I have new ones ordered and they should be here any day now.

So it's going to take longer than I like to put this kitchen back together. Children ran off with a visitor to D.C. to go to the Spy Museum. No help there.

But I did get to Tuesday night stitch-in last night after dropping them off at Wolf Trap to see Guster. I had a lovely time. And made more serious progress on current project. Which I don't believe I've said a word about here. Soon.