Mar 26, 2012

Marvelous Monday Update 3/26/12

For the past couple of weeks, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous for this time of year. We've had above normal temps which has made everything grow and turn green... including the grass. I actually had to mow my yard yesterday, and it's only March! It was so tall, my yard now looks like a harvested hay field, LOL.

Last week marked the official day of spring, and I actually saw a robin on that day. I filled my bird feeders and have already attracted cardinals and other birds.

Thank you all for your concern regarding my suicide attempt puncture wound by way of pruning shears. It's healing up nicely. No sign of infection, so I think I will live.

Last fall when I was finishing up school, my laptop started acting up. Sometimes, it'd tell me I didn't have an operating system. A couple times I got the BSOD (blue screen of death). Other times, it would boot up and just give me a black screen. I invested $150 to keep it going... only to have it die last week. In talking to the IT guy at work, he said it sounds like something went bad on the motherboard and that it died a slow death, LOL.

What's a girl to do? She used what is affectionately called the dinosaur (i.e. "dino") computer. It's a cast off from work pre-merger... probably about 8 years old, and slowerrrrrr than molasses! Doing digital manipulations is like pulling teeth with a pair of needle nose pliers. I spent 9 hours last Friday transferring all my data files and photos from Zip 100 disks and 3.5" diskettes to my hard drive. I had 19 Zips and about 25 diskettes. I was ready to pull my hair out by the time I got done. It took what seemed like F-O-R-E-V-E-R! The other problem I have is that last year I bought a new wireless laser printer. My dino doesn't have wireless capabilities! So, I'm not able to print anything.

I couldn't take it anymore, so I started doing research on a new laptop. If you know me, you know that I will research a product to death before I buy. Since it has been almost 5 years since I bought my last laptop, I had a chat with the IT guy about what specs I should look into. It helped me make my decision.

It's only a matter of time before I get a new one. Cuz I just can't take it anymore! Once I get a new laptop, the dino will be going as well as a 15yr old Gateway that the kids used when they were little.

I would like to send a big THANK YOU to Maggee of Stitching Devotee for giving me a K's Creations Lap frame which adjusts to hold 22-34" scroll rods. It's perfect for the Japanese Garden project I'm working on.

I was so excited when I got it, I put JG on it right away even though I knew I wouldn't be working on it until this week.

Front View

Back View

What's great about this lap frame is that when I'm not using it, it folds flat for storage. Other than being a few inches longer than my other scroll rods, it doesn't take up extra room.

Folded Flat

Now, I just have to learn how to stitch two-handed!

Until next time,

Simply Elegant Scissor Case and Fob

Simply Elegant Scissor Case and Fob are finished... Woo Hoo!

Designer: Lorri Birmingham Designs
Started: February 2009 ~ Finished March 2012
Fabric: 28ct Zweigert Cream Linen
Fibers: Needle Necessities, DMC, Kreinik
Embellishments: Satin Ribbon, Pearl Beads, Crystal Heart,
Czech Crystals, and Handmade Cording and Tassel

The pink fabric is what I used for the lining and the back of the fob. I think it looks really good with the stitching. These projects contained several specialty stitches I'd never done before: Rhodes Butterflies, Queen Stitches, Diagonal Queen Stitches, and Hardanger. While I think both turned out beautiful, the instructions on how to assemble each one left a lot to the imagination. I think someone with little finishing experience would've been extremely frustrated.

Now that I have another UFO finished, you know what that means? It means I am starting some new projects!!

Mar 21, 2012

TUSAL 3/21/2012

I know, I know... I'm a day early. Since I probably won't be doing any stitching in the next day or so, I figured I'd post my TUSAL. The 2012 Totally Useless SAL is coordinated by Daffycat.

My jar contains threads from:
• Japanese Garden... LOTS of black and a couple shades of green
• Simply Elegant... Needle Necessities Rainbow, lots of ecru and green

Mar 19, 2012


Since most of the U.S. had above normal temps, my area included, I decided to take advantage of the nice weather by cleaning the flower bed on the north side of my house. I was on the homestretch when a stubborn sedum decided to strike back almost caused me to commit suicide.

Scenario: I had my pruners in my right hand. With my left hand, I grab dried sedum flower stems and pull. Hard. Said sedum didn't come out of the ground. My hand slipped off them and into the pruning shears. I impaled my wrist right below the palm, smack dab in the middle. Can you say OUCHIE?!?

I had a puncture wound that didn't bleed right away, but then it did... and did some more! That put an end to cleaning the flower bed for the rest of the day. Boy, was it tender and sore. I'm just glad my wrist didn't slam any harder into the pruner. The first thing I thought was that I could've cut a vein!

Over the past couple weeks, I've been doing some updating around The Homestead. First up is some new lighting fixtures that Menards had on sale: Two for $19. Normally, I would've gotten light fixtures at the Habitat for Humanity store, but I don't think I could beat the price.

Previously, I had brass and glass light fixtures.
The glass parts are a PITA to keep clean.

I like the new modern look of these:

Next, the BF and I (OK, he did most of it. LOL) replaced my kitchen sink faucet. I had to fiddle with my previous faucet to make sure it didn't drip, drip, drip after each use.

I didn't know there was so much hard water scale on the underside. Nasty. Who knows how old the old faucet was!

I just happened upon one that was on clearance for $100 OFF! For $59, I now have this beautiful Price Pfister stainless steel faucet:

Not only do I have a new high arch faucet, I also have a sprayer... which I didn't have before. The nice thing about it is that it comes with a lifetime warranty. Big THANK YOU goes to the BF for installation.

I now know the trepidation of making that first cut on Hardanger stitching! Yikes!! I bit the bullet and did it, though. Apparently, I did it correctly since the Earth didn't shatter or anything like that.

I finished up the stitching on Simply Elegant scissor case, and started the beading. I may just keep working on it until it's done since I'm soooo close anyway. Then I'll be back to working on JG.

Clickable for larger image

Until next time,

Mar 12, 2012

Journey of the Needle

Sounds like an interesting blog title, doesn't it? I bet you're wondering "Hmmm, wonder what she's going to to talk about now?" Well, let me explain...

When I stitch, I sit on the sofa usually covered with an electric blanket. On more than one occassion, I've temporarily stuck the needle into the blanket while I switched thread colors. On more than one occassion, I've lost said needle. Usually, I end up finding it. On more than one occassion, the BF has teased me that one of these days he's going to be the one to find it and it probably won't feel good, LOL.

See said needle above?

Apparently, it was one of the ones I lost and never found. It survived a go-round in the washing machine when I washed the electric blanket last week. It even survived a windy day of riding the coat tails of the blanket hanging on the line to dry!

Imagine my surprise when I went outside to take the blanket off the line and I saw something tiny on the blanket. Thinking it was string, I grabbed it. Whoa, it's a needle! Now, it's back nestled safely in my needlebook.

Victorian Motto Sampler is hosting another giveway for Easter charts. Hop on over and check it out.

I hadn't been treasure hunting for quite a while, so I took a journey through the local thrift stores. A few nice things found their way into my cart. Imagine that!

First up is a stainless steel strainer. This steal-of-a-deal was only 99cents! Not a scratch on it. It's a little smaller than the 20+ year old aluminum strainer I've been using, but perfect for draining washed vegetables and smaller servings of pasta.

This is a Leisure Arts book filled with beautifully stitched Christmas stockings. It also gives alternative ideas if you don't want to stitch the entire design, which I thought was really neat. Harcover books were only 50cents. Not bad, eh?

Last, is an embroidered, pearl-embellished velvet covered journal. I was thinking this might be a neat way to chronicle my finishes. There's a price tag inside: $14.99. I picked it up for $1.99! Another awesome deal!!

Isn't it beautiful?

Have you ever heard of Doughnut Muffins? I read about these on Evalina's blog, This and That. She read about it on Pea's blog, Pea's Corner. Pea read about it on Zoey's blog, Perrenial Passion. Zoey found the recipe on the King Arthur Flour website. How's THAT for a traveling recipe?

Since all the ladies gave it rave reviews, I had to mix up a batch and try them out! I didn't dip mine in sugar/cinnamon or glaze them. Instead, I used a crumb mix left over from a dutch apple pie.

The crumble makes a huge mess while eating, LOL. Next time I think I'll do the glaze or cinnament/sugar dip. They taste better cold than they do warm.

For our Saturday night meal, the BF and I made spaghetti and meatballs. I made the meatballs out of ground turkey. They taste just like sausage meatballs! The BF is not a fan of ground turkey, but he really likes these.


I didn't get much stitching in last week... I think I was procrastinating because I didn't want to work on the specialty stitches involved in my next UFO/WIP. Turns out it wasn't the specialty stitches that gave me nightmares, it was the regular cross stitches! I had to rip a set of leaves out THREE times. They're still not right, but I'm not about to frog them again. Can you tell which ones are messed up?

Here's what it looked like before:

(Yeah, it's been THAT long!)

Here's what it looks like now:

Other WIP pics can be seen HERE.

I worked on Forgive Quickly, too. I only have the right border to stitch up, then the final finishing. I've been struggling with how I wanted to finish it, but a light bulb came on last night... so I think I have it!

Until next time,

Mar 5, 2012

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Read all about it! Stitching News is in...

Black, black, and more black! I worked the entire north black border and northeast corner ornament. Here's what it looked like before:

And now:

Other WIP pics can be seen HERE.

I've been working on this one when my eyes (and brain) needs an easy project to work on.

A while back, Emily of Emily's Everyday Life stitched an ABC Sampler. She doesn't have a sewing machine, so I offered to make it into a wall hanging for her. The tab hangers were a bit fiddly, but I think it turned out nice. Not bad for my first one! What do you think?

Darlene of My Life in Stitches is trying to get a group of stitchers together for a cruise to the Bahamas. If you'd like to go, check it out on her blog. The cruise is May 27-June 2. I went on a cruise to the Caribbean in 2001 and it was a lotta fun!

Lynn at Happiness is Cross Stitching is celebrating 2000 followers. 2000!

I received a wonderful RAK from Sue. She is such a sweetheart and very generous.

Thank you, Sue!