Oct 31, 2012

Japanese Garden: In Need of Desperate Help!!

Years ago when I kitted up the Chateline Japanese Garden, I decided to go with the Victoria Clayton Hand-Dyed Silks. Vikki suggested the conversions and I went with it. I recently visited her website to order the colors I was low on and didn't see them. So, I emailed Vikki and found out that the colors I need have been discontinued! Yikes...

I am enlisting the help of you, my devoted readers and vistors. Do any of you have some of her silks in your stash that you're not using and would be willing to trade or sell to me??

These are the colors I need:

(Photo clickable to enlarge)

Irish Moss Found!
Lichen Found!
Mint Found!
Pine Found!
Ocean Found!

Vikki is trying to find substitutes that are a close match, but isn't sure she can since she doesn't dye greens or browns anymore.

If anyone can help me, it would be greatly appreciated!!

Oct 29, 2012

Marvelous Monday Update 10/29/12

I saw an orthopaedic surgeon last Thursday regarding the carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndromes I have in my right hand/elbow. According to the EMG (nerve conduction) tests, I have moderate-severe carpal tunnel. Neither syndromes require surgery at this point, which is good because I didn't really want to have surgery! Basically, I have to deal with the symptoms.

If you've read some of my previous posts, you'll recall that I use MagEyes when I stitch. I wear glasses and the Mags allow me to stitch and see the TV or read the chart without switching glasses or taking the magnifiers off.  Over the past month or so, I've been annoyed that the foam strip on the inside of the Mags kept slipping up. My forehead would heat the foam, which would then heat up the glue and slippy-slide it would go.  I was constantly readjusting the foam!  I decided to make a removable band to replace the foam.

Isn't it cute?  It's lined with a piece of felt and held onto the Mags with velcro. That way, I can wash it if necessary.

A while back, I showed you the mailart I made for Connie in WV.  I received mailart from my partner last week.  Look what Chris B sent me:

See the little bottle?  That's a bottle of sand and seashells.  Chris told me, "The shells are from my mom  when she went to Bermuda. The sand is from Pensacola Beach which is about 20-30 minutes from my home."  Isn't that cool?

And for your viewing pleasure, I thought I'd share a photo of all the mailarts I've received over the years. From Finland, Malaysia, Florida, West Virginia, Nevada, and Australia...

(Clickable for larger image)

The postman must've really liked me because I got another package. This one was from Lisa (The Social Cross Stitcher) in the UK. I was the winner of her first ever blog giveaway!  She sent me a lovely pillow that she made:

Don't you just love the saying?

A couple weeks ago, I finished a prize gift for a winner of the box finishing contest held earlier this year.  I have received word that it has arrived at its new home with Debbie B.  Here's what I sent her:

Stitcher Sampler
found HERE.
Fabric: 22ct Hand-Dyed Purple Hardanger
Fibers:  Anchor 112
Embellished with handmade cording and tassel
Edited 2/23/2017: I researched to figure out where this freebie came from... The blog is called Nuestras Miniaturas. It was posted on December 29, 2010. The post can be seen HERE.
I put the fob together at the stitcher's GTG so Nancy, Mary, and Faith (as well as all the other attendees) got to see it in person.  I still want to make one for myself.  However, after making three fobs I need a break from making them for a while, lol.

I didn't think I'd be able to do it since I got started late... I finished the Autumn Mystery SAL!  Instead of the WDW called for in the chart, I subbed blended GAST Buttercrunch and Burnt Orange.  I also changed the ecru to white.  I created 3-D pumpkins with Rhodes stitches in DMC 640.

Autumn Mystery Sampler
Fabric: 28ct Mocha Linen
Fibers: DMC, GAST

Until next time,

Oct 22, 2012

Marvelous Monday Update 10/22/12

There's been a whirlwind of activity at The Homestead. The past week involved pulling all the plants out of the garden and raking the leaves to the garden area. I then used the mower and mulched up the leaves. In the next few weeks, the leaves will be tilled into the garden.

A new dryer vent was intalled out one of the basement windows. New window well covers were installed. I talked to my "good" neighbor about not blowing snow into the window where the dryer vent was intalled. Guess what I found out? She hires the "backyard breeder" neighbor to clean her driveway! Great... Any bets on whether snow will be blown on that window?

I bought a roll of insulation to put into the perimeter of the rafters in the basement. Two hours later, the roll was used and only one wall was done! A job not finished... *sigh*

Menards (cue music... "Save Big Money at Menards") had a Price Pfister dual shower head on clearance. Since I had been debating getting a new shower head for over a year, I decided to go for it. Sadly, it wasn't meant to be. Despite wrapping the joints with plumbers tape and following all the instructions, all 4 joints leaked! And leaked terribly. It was returned to the store, and I picked up a Waterpik head that didn't require tape or putty... just install and go. So far so good.

While out killing time, I found a couple of "treasures" at a thrift store. First up is a vintage sewing box... only 89cents!

There was some kind of adhesive around the panels which leads me to believe someone stuck something over those areas. Why, I'm not sure since I like how they look. A bit of Goo Gone and I have an awesome sewing box.

The other thing I picked up was a complete Daydreams kit featuring a Cardinal. I couldn't believe it was only 54cents when these kits sell for over $10.

I've been a busy little beaver working on three different projects in the past week.  First up is the BTB Mystery Autumn SAL.  Here's Parts 1-2½:

I had planned on getting Part 3 finished, but I got sidetracked by an ornament I started... and finished. Can't show a pic since it's for the SNS2 Ornament Exchange.

Japanese Garden now has complete bamboo trees!

For the past 5+ years, I've been using Multiply to host my photos. When I found out they will be doing away with the social media (i.e. photos and blogs) portion of their business, I scrambled to find a site host my photos. I've tried a LOT of different free sites: jalbum, flickr, photobucket, picassa, myalbum, photoape, flashmint, shutterfly, picturetrail, and on and on.

When I couldn't find a site that I liked, I started to use Webshots since I've had an account there since 2001 but never used it. After uploading about 12 albums worth of photos over the course of a month, I was notified that Webshots was becoming Smile and would be a paid service. Argh!! So, the search was on again.

There were either limits on the number of photos, the total size of all photos, no space for additional information (important to me because that's where I keep the details of my projects), no ability for actual photo albums, or the ability to change the names of photos, ability to rearrange, etc. I wasted spent a lot time signing up for accounts, uploading photos, and trying the sites out.

Enter Ipernity! They allow up to 200MB of photo/video uploads each month for free. I can upload photos into albums and rearrange them. I can also add notes to them. It's very similar to Multiply in that a user can have a network of friends, and people can leave comments to the photos. A user can also set up permissions for the photos limiting who can see what, who can "tag" or add notes. There is also a blog feature like in Multiply. I don't plan on using it so I can't comment on how well it works. The user's "homepage" can be customized and a "web ID" can be entered in order for people to find the albums easier. It's got a light background (unlike webshots). There are no ads like a lot of other photo hosting sites (ahem... Webshots, Shutterfly, etc). You can also upload music files to be connected to slide shows. I haven't used it too much yet, but so far I like what I've seen. My new albums are located HERE: www.meari.ipernity.com

Until next time,

Oct 17, 2012

TUSAL 10/15/12

I'm a few days late. Did anyone notice?

The Totally Useless SAL is coordinated by Daffycat.

This month, my ort pile features threads from:
• Japanese Garden
• Scissor Fob #4 (Can't show a pic yet)
• By the Bay SAL - Parts 1 and 2

Oct 16, 2012

Do I Love Thee, or Do I Not

The blogging prompt for blog hop #10 is:
What’s your absolute least-favorite thread to work with?

I would have to say it's Eterna silks. They are slippery and are similar to DMC's satin floss. When I kitted up JG, I bought Eterna mini-twist and HDF. Mini-twist is better than the other line they have, but had I known... I'd have used DMC for the solid colors.

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.

Until next time,

Oct 15, 2012

Marvelous Monday Update 10/15/12

The temperatures are getting cooler and the rain has set in.  The leaves are changing and the cold winds have picked up.  Fall is definitely in the air.  Two weeks ago, my only tree in the backyard was filled with beautiful golden leaves. Now all the leaves are on the ground soaked with the rain we've received over the weekend.
When it's cold, rainy, and dreary outside, what's better than some yum-yums in the tum-tum? I made a humongous crockpot full of soup. What kind of soup, you ask? I call it my "everything but the kitchen sink" soup. I pulled all the vegetables out of the refrigerator and freezer and threw them in -- broccoli, green pepper, potato, spinach, onions, mushrooms, green beans, tomatoes, celery. I also added a can of rinsed chili beans, a couple chopped chicken breasts, beef broth, leftover crushed tomatoes, a handful of barley, along with various spices. As the BF put it, "It's awesome!"

I also had a few bananas that needed to be used up so I made banana crunch muffins. Out of two dozen, I have none left! No, I did not eat them all... I sent a few home with my Dad and some home with the BF.

For the past 5-6 months, I've had numbness in my thumb and pain in the medial area of my palm. Last Friday, I had an EMG done on my wrist and found out that I have carpal tunnel syndrome. While performing the test, the neurologist asked me if my elbow had been hurting me. When I told him it hadn't, he touched my elbow by the funny bone area and asked me again... "Yeah that hurts!" He did some testing of my elbow and told me that I have a compressed nerve in my elbow. Ya know how it feels after you hit your funny bone on something? Well, that's how my elbow feels almost all the time. The neurologist wants me to see an orthopaedic surgeon to determine the next course of action. She offered to prescribe me some drugs, but I said I'll just manage with ibuprofen or motrin like I have been. The drugs she wanted to give me are also used as anti-depressants. She also said to continue to use the wrist glove and ice, if necessary.

Last week, I forgot to mention the backyard breeder neighbors. The female dogs were in heat again and for over a week, I endured the whining and carrying on by the males. After calling the police 5-6 times over the course of a week, I finally signed a complaint against them. Now we'll all have to go to court over it. The last officer I talked to "said" he was going to get animal control involved. My guess is that it didn't happen. However, while I was away at the stitching GTG last week, the neighbors decided to move the plywood in this photo:

They moved it to the fencing between the two kennels that butt up to each other (Ever see a male try to hump a female through a chainlink fence??) so that males can't see the females, and the females can't prance in front of them or stick their hoo-hoo's in the males faces.

It looks terrible! I feel like I live next door to a bunch of rednecks! We'll see if it works... and BTW, the neighbors don't look at me or say anything to me, LOL.

I did do a bit more on JG, but not enough to warrant a photo. I have a new start to share, though. Donna at By the Bay Needleart is hosting another SAL. I did the summer and now the autumn one. I started it a week late, but am almost caught up with Part 2 already.

I did a few color changes: I swapped the WDW for two GAST that I blended together. I also changed the Ecru to white for the clouds so they show up better on my fabric.

Until next time,

Oct 12, 2012

My Stitching Corner of the World

Over the past couple of months, I've made some changes to my stitching area so I thought I'd share.  I used to sit on the end of the sofa with all my stitchy stuff spread out.  Now, I've moved to this:

The chair is a recliner and SO comfortable
and doesn't take up much room. 
(I have a small living room)

The lamp I use for stitching is a daylight lamp that I got at Shopko on clearnace several years ago.  It also came with a table top version that works really well, too.  (I took it with me for the first time to the stitching GTG last week)  The cord is long enough that I can move it to either side of my chair... convenient with I'm stitching two-handed with the lapstands.

To the right of my chair, I use a collapsible music stand to hold my magnet board, working copy of my chart, and a highlighter.

On the left is the cabinet I recently upscaled (not pictured).  On it, I have my scissors, needlebook, an ort bag/pincushion, floss, and usually a beverage.  In the cabinet, I keep the "glove" and Mag Eyes...  mentioned in my stitching must haves post.

My stash collection is in various rooms of the house, but mostly concentrated in the spare bedroom/craft room and 4-season room.

In my 4-season room, I have a 5-shelf unit that contains cross stitch books, binders of freebies and tutorials, older magazines, some charts, and other stitchy odds/ends.  A photo of the partial shelf can be seen HERE. The photo is older -- the top shelf of reference books has been replaced with xs ones, lol. There is a huge plastic bin of Pine Mountain kits/pillows that I won from a blog giveaway last year. In the same room is an antique "library desk" (That's what my Dad always called it) that I used to do my homework as a kid when I still lived at home. On top and underneath are boxes of fabric, kits, and charts that I haven't put away yet. There's also a huge box that I throw stash in that I eventually get listed on my FSOT blog. I really need to clean and organize that room! Thank goodness, I can close the French doors so no one can see in there.

In my living room, I have two small baskets that hold stash that I want to do. Remember the storage ottoman I re-upolstered a while back? I keep my current WIPs in there. It's really big enough to store a lot more stuff, but let's not go there, ok?

In the spare bedroom, I have my stash armoire that I picked up at a thrift store. It pretty much looks the same as in THIS blog entry that explains what stash is where, with the exception of the bottom drawer... it's full. On top of the armoire, I have self-made storage boxes that I store my various types of fabrics and ready-to-stitch items (towels, coasters, afghans, etc). In the closet, I built shelving on the left side to store my sewing machine, charts in smaller bins, and beading supplies.

There are also two medium sized bins... one for charts and one for magazines (mostly UK ones).

I probably have enough to open a small LNS... LOL... but it's nice not having to go to the store every time I need something. 

Oct 10, 2012

I Was Grabbed!

I almost forgot that I was grabbed last week by Gail! She featured my cabinet makeover on Catch As Catch Can 91. How exciting is that?!

As you may have noticed my Marvelous Monday update is missing.  Last week was a bit crazy busy, and I'm still trying to play catch up.  Last Thursday night, my Mom was admitted to the hospital with bronchitis and pneumonia.  They let her go home on Sunday with an oxygen tank in tow.  The tank is almost as big as she is!  Home healthcare also delivered one of those oxygen making machines.  She has to be tethered to it until she has a follow up appointment with a lung specialist.  While in the hospital, they found scarring in her lungs and think she has some sort of lung disease.  There was also blood in her urine so she also has to see a kidney doctor.  Since Mom never gets sick, she didn't have a primary care doctor.  The hospital gave her one of those, too, which she has to go see.  The only time she's seen a doctor is when she had babies, appendicitis, and a tonsilectomy.  She just hasn't ever been sick in the past 45 years.  Mom always took care of Dad all these years (Yes, he is/was spoiled!) and I was worried that he wouldn't pick up the slack.  I actually woke up at 1am on Tuesday thinking about it!  After visiting my parents last night, Mom said Dad was helping her so I feel better about it.  Mom said she's feeling much better.  So now, we just have to wait to see what her three doctors have to say.

Jennifer of Feathers in Nest hosted a blog giveaway a few weeks ago. Guess who the winner was?!?

(If you guessed it was me, you were right!)

The middle part says:
I still find each day too short for
all the thoughts I want to think,
all the walks I want to take,
all the books I want to read,
all the friends I want to see.

Jennifer sent me the cutest little Storklette scissors (2 pairs!) and a chart called Each Day.  If you're not familiar with Jennifer's blog, click on over and check it out.  Her Mr. Darcy recently refinished an antique baker's cupboard that is just awesome.  Jennifer herself designs primitive style charts.  If you're into those, she puts her freebies on her blog.  She also has the cutest little white dog... Abby.

Last Saturday, I had the honor of meeting three stitchy ladies I have known online for many, many years.  The four of us along with at least 10 others from a Facebook group met up in Arlington Heights for a day of laughter, stitching, and snacking.  It was so much fun meeting everyone!

Mary and Nancy
The four of us
Some of the other ladies

While at the Stitching GTG, I finished yet another scissor fob.  Right now, it's winging its way to Canada so until it arrives there, I can't show a pic.

I also worked on JG's one-over-one stitching (32ct fabric) while at the GTG.  I'm finding that I have to do that section in shifts otherwise I think I'll go blind.  Thank goodness for the MagEyes I talked about in my previous post!

(Proof that I worked on JG!)

Here's what it looked like last week:
What it looks like now:

Last Summer, Donna at By The Bay Needleart has designed a Summer freebie SAL that I participated in.  If Multiply and Webshots wouldn't have changed their policies I could link up to the photo finish.  Donna has designed an Autumn SAL that started last week.  I finally got around to pulling the fabric and floss for it and put a few stitches in last night.  I'll take a photo as soon as I'm finished with Part I.

Lastly, I was behind a car in traffic and saw this bumper sticker.  I burst out laughing.

And to go along with it:
Until next time,

Oct 3, 2012

Stitching Must Haves - Blog Hop #9

 The blogging prompt for blog hop #9 is:
What are your must-have stitching tools and aides? Other than your trusty scissors, of course. Is there a problem you have had when stitching that you created your own solution for, or have you purchased a tool that helped?

Lately my must haves are my Mageyes and the Rejuvenating Glove. I use the 2.5 lens which magnifies my stitching. The mags allow me to wear my glasses to stitch.

I've been wearing the rejuvenating glove for a couple weeks now. It has relieved the aching I've been experiencing in my wrist.

Other important "gadgets":

• My K's Creations stand that I use for Japanese Garden

• My generic daylight lamp

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.