Jul 25, 2016

Did Ya Know?

Did you know today is National Thread the Needle Day?  Me either!  What better reason to thread that needle and get a few stitches in?


I challenged my followers on facebook to post a photo of their threaded needle.  How about posting on your blog, your threaded needle.  Here's mine:


THEATRE
Braving lightning, wind, and sheets of torrential rain, I made the trek to community threatre to see Sugar.   Based on the film “Some Like It Hot” (starring Marilyn Monroe), SUGAR chronicles the zany lives of two musicians, of the prohibition era, who witness a gangster slaying. In an effort to hide from the gangsters, they disguise themselves as women and join an all-female orchestra. Comedy unfolds as they try to integrate with the women and avoid "dirty old men".  Memorable musical numbers include Penniless Bums, The Beauty That Drives Men Mad, We Could Be Close, Doin’ It for Sugar, What Do You Give (To a Man Who Has Everything?), Beautiful Through and Through and November Song. 

For the most part, the play was entertaining, but it wasn't one of the better ones I've seen.  I didn't particularly care for the over-exaggerated gangster scenes.  In an attempt to make it seem humorous, it was over done and I didn't think it was that funny.  On the upside, it was impressive that most of the cast were from an area high school.

PHOTOGRAPHY
Long time readers know my other hobby is photography.  Recently, I found a new way to "display" my photographic talents.  I've shared the following scenic views in my past blogs:

Do any of them look famlliar?
 
Okay, okay... so what's the big deal?  (Yes, I can hear you tap-tap-tapping your fingers on the desk as I prolong the suspense, LOL)  Well... two years ago I opened a new bank account and just recently I *finally* used up all the starter checks and had to order new ones.  I searched and searched and searched for a company that sold checks at a reasonable cost with no shipping costs.  Gotta love coupon codes!  Just so happened that the company I chose not only had a big variety of check designs to choose from, they also allowed you to upload YOUR OWN photos to be printed on the checks.  How cool is that?!!
 
Behold....
my photos above turned into check designs!

I only ordered a box of 200, but I'm sure that will hold me over for years...  All for $6.95!  I was so excited to get my checks... Who knew?!!

STITCHY STUFF
Needle flying, I whipped up the Snow Foxy Sled Ornament. These sled ornaments are so fun (and quick!) to stitch up.  This makes three finishes in July!

Linked to Stitching Lotus Smalls SAL

Snow Foxy is a freebie chart I received with the purchase of the Snow Friends chart when I was at the PALS retreat in 2013. The design is stitched on 14ct brown perforated paper with DMC threads and attached to the sled with tacky glue.

As I contemplated what stitch project to do next, I realized I hadn't worked on Eight Immortals since 2014! ::hangs head in shame:: Hard to believe that I'm down to three... whoops... four WIPs.


• Elegance of the Orient

Decisions, decisions... What to work on? Since I really do like Eight Immortals (lovely colors, easy-to-stitch), I pulled it out and made some progress. Look... She has an entire face and more hair!

Linked to SuperMom Stitchery Party #68

Until next time....
 

Jul 18, 2016

Family, Finds, and Another Finish

FAMILY
My family had some sad news last week. My cousin had a heart attack and after being on life support for three days, the decision was made to let her go.  She was only in her mid 40's (a few younger than me.) and leaves behind a husband and two adult children. Even though we weren't close as adults, she and her siblings grew up with me and mine. We are all saddened by the circumstances and another family loss.

Last week was also the second anniversary of my Dad's passing. So many images of his last months still pass through my mind.  He showed a strength like no one I've known.  He wasn't the easiest guy to have as a Dad, but he taught us many things and had a quirky sense of humor when he let it show. We still miss him terribly.

TREASURE HUNTING
A couple of weeks ago, I went thrift store shopping to find a frame for Words 2016. While browsing, I came across a Keurig brewer for $30! It looked like it had been hardly used... No scratches, watermarks, or lime build-up. I plugged it in to see if it worked (i.e. could power up) and took it home.


The thrift store offers a 3-day return policy on electric items if they don't work. With that in mind, I attempted to brew something! No instruction manual came with it, so I had to wing it. (I did find a PDF of the manual online and downloaded it) When "Prime" showed up on the screen, I Google'd it and found that this was a common error message. I'm guessing this is why it ended up at the thrift store. Being the resourceful gal that I am, I turned to YouTube.  I watched three videos trying all the suggestions... the Keurig would NOT brew. Ugh. I watched another video and BOOM! It worked. I brewed coffee, tea, and hot chocolate just to make sure I really did resolve the problem. It's been working like a champ since. Thank you, YouTube!!

STITCHY STUFF
I did find a frame for Words 2016, but it's about 2" too large. I'm going to take it apart and cut it to the right size. It's on hold right now because my power compound mitre saw is at my parents' house being used for trim work. I may take the frame out there and cut it then bring it back home to reassemble.

I've had another finish! Here's what the original design looks like:


I'm not sure how I want to finish-finish mine yet, but it sure looks pretty. I've changed the colors to be more cheery and match the fabric.


Linked To: SuperMom Stitchery Party

Started: 3/14/2016 ~ Finished: 7/17/2016
Design: Promise Me
Designer: Lizzie Kate
Fabric: 28ct Luguna "Iris" by Hand-Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie
Fibers: DMC, GAST, WDW, and Carries Creations threads

Jul 6, 2016

Freebie, Finish, and App Review


FREEBIE
What screams warm weather and summer more than flip flops?  NevaSirenda at DeviantArt created this cute bookmark.  This design is simple enough that you could swap out colors you prefer. Perfect for summer reading!


Click HERE to download the chart.


FINISH
I have a finish!  This was a stitch-along hosted by Palko in Hungary.

Design: Words 2016 SAL*
Designer: Palko
Fabric:  32ct Dusty Rose Evenweave
Fibers:  DMC
Started: January 22 ~ Finished: July 5, 2016
Other SAL projects can be seen HERE.

*I created the border using a portion the chart,
Argentina.

XSTITCH APP REVIEW

Words SAL is the first project I started and finished using the Xstitch app by PerformTec Ltd on my smartphone and tablet.  It's very easy to use.

Designed by cross stitchers for cross stitchers, it has three modules:  journal, inventory, and shopping list. There is also a search feature for when you need to look up a particular item or project. Price for the app is $2.99 -- well worth it, in my opinion. 

You can use the journal module to categorize and track all your projects, add photos, document the start and finish dates, and keep detailed project notes. It also allows you to keep track of a wishlist.  We all know how important that is! With the tap of a finger, the status of a project can be changed from Wishlist to Kitted to Started to Finished and moves to the correct journal "chapter". As I progressed on the Words SAL, I updated the project photo. That way I had the latest WIP photo in my journal.  I only have three WIPs in my app so far, but I could see how this would be handy for those who have a TON of WIPs.  (Yes, you know who you are!)  Something I'd like to see with this app is the ability to print out the journal. 

(Click to Photo to Enlarge)
Just a note on the Journal Details page:  Below Linen Notes, there is also a Project Notes section.  I use it for any details I want to remember such as who/what the project was made for, embellishments and unique supplies I used, etc.

This is a screenshot of the finishes I have entered in the app.
You can keep track of your charts, threads, and fabric with the inventory module.  The app comes loaded with hundreds of chart designers and over 6,000 thread selections to enable you to quickly add information.  The app-masters (Is that such a thing?) will also take suggestions for adding new designers and threads.  I wish there was an option to add threads to inventory that are not mainstream (i.e. Carrie's Creations, Six Strand Sweets, etc.). 

The homepage can be customized by adding a photo of your choice.  I have Japanese Garden on my homepage ::big grin::  The only issue I have is that when I access the app on my smartphone, the "Journal Entries" text wraps around and is overwritten by the "Charts and Kits" text line.  This only happens on my smartphone. It's fine on my tablets.


Photos of your WIPs and Finishes can be uploaded free of charge.  If you want to add photos of your inventory charts, these are not free. You can purchase credits to upload the photos. Photo credits can be bought in increments of for 99c, 50 for $1.99, or 100 for $2.99. The credits aren't re-usable (i.e. If you use a credit for a chart then get rid of the chart, you can't re-use the credit for a different chart photo.) For me, this is a downfall since I have lots of charts and kits I'd like to inventory.

Edited: Thanks to Nancy in MI and Pam in SC, I have learned a work-around to adding photos with my charts and kits without having to pay for the credits.  I add them to the "kitted" section of the journal. When I get the urge to start a new project (C'mon now... you KNOW you do it, too!), I can scroll through the "kitted" section and see what strikes my fancy.  I rarely kit up projects ahead of time, but when I do I can note the supplies in the project notes. Then when I get ready to stitch, all I need to do is change the status to "started".

Floss can be added to the shopping list from the floss inventory module by simply tapping the shopping basket next to the individual floss items.  Items can also be added to the shopping list manually.  I haven't used this part of the app, but it seems pretty easy.

X-Stitch uses cloud technology so you have the ability to securely access your data from all your IOS and Android devices. I like the fact that I can log in to my tablet or smartphone and be able to access the app without having to manually sync the data.  I have the app on an iPad, an android tablet, and smartphone... the data syncs to all of them.  Very convenient!

Have you tried the app? What are your thoughts?

Jun 30, 2016

Summer... Lots of Activities

NATURE
One of the birds built a nest on the backside of the birdfeeder I have hanging near the window of my four-season room.  I've been documenting the babies over the past week.

June 20th
June 24th
June 27th
This week both of them flew the coop.

THEATRE
I've recently attended two plays at local community theatres. Both were a bit controversial, but the actors/actresses did a great job.


“Over the Tavern” is a comedy set in Buffalo, NY during the Eisenhower years of the 1950’s and introduces the audience to the Pazinskis: Mom, Dad and their four children (Eddie, Annie, Georgie, and the hero of the play, 12-year old Rudy).  Rudy is a precocious kid who starts to question his family values and the Roman Catholic Church.  He believes God put us on Earth to “have fun” and tries to figure out why his family isn’t having any.  There is a lot of interaction with Mother Superior at school and dealings with living over a tavern owned by Dad and Grandfather. 

Some people left at intermission due to the Catholic portrayals.

“I Never Sang For My Father” is a drama that probes the epitome of a dysfunctional family… disquieting alienation that can exist between a father and son, a separation that time and old age can sometimes only deepen, despite the best intentions of both.  Gene, a college professor, has tried all of his life to find love and acceptance from his father, a successful, highly respected man, who is sometimes callous, unloving and selfish. Upon the untimely death of his mother, Gene is forced to help his father through his dark days. His sister urges Gene to break the ties for good, or else he’ll wind up as bitter and cold as their father.

The play hit some areas close to home for me that I actually cried.

 
CARS AND BALLOONS
The weather was sunny and hot, but I still ventured out to enjoy the activities offered in my area.  Two car shows and a hot air balloon festival with blues music.

Car Show sponsored by local classic car club
 
Car Show at Blues & Balloon Festival
 

STITCHY STUFF
Part 7 of the Words 2016 SAL seemed to go much faster than the previous two sections despite having to frog part of it. Who sent out the frogs?


I've finished the final section - Part 8 and am working on finishing up the border.  The frogs came to visit twice!

FREEBIES
Combine a dream and flowers, what do you get? A pretty freebie offered by DMC.



Click HERE to download the PDF.



Until next time....