Sep 30, 2014

Stitch From Stash - September

It seems like I just reported for SFS duty not that long ago.  It seems to have snuck up on me for September... it's time once again to report on the Stitch From Stash challenge coordinated by Mel at Epic Stitching.  The idea of SFS is to stitch from our stash to reduce spending. 

I didn't fare so well during the month of September.  Brooke's Books Publishing had an overstock sale going on and I ended up spending $20 on bunch of charts.

I put away Eight Immortals so that I could make more progress on Heart of America.  Coincidentally, I finished the heart motif the evening before my Mom passed away.  I changed the bottom of the flag motif to extend the vine and flowers rather than have the year stitched twice on the design.  Currently, I'm working on the last motif at the bottom.  I hope to have a finish within a couple of weeks. 

Until the next SFS,

Sep 24, 2014

September 11th Has a New Meaning

My mother passed away in the early morning hours of September 11th.  She took her last breaths while I was talking to her and patting her face, trying to get her to respond to me.  My siblings and I have taken it very hard. 

Mom was always so vocal about how proud of us kids (and grandkids) she was... to anyone who would listen, lol.  She was our champion.  We miss her so much!

Her Life In Pictures
8th Grade - Circa 1958
She was a hairdresser before coming to the U.S.
Circa 1965 - 20 years old
Wedding Day - 1967
(Wasn't she beautiful?!)
Newly weds
New Mom (with me)
She worked on the assembly line putting curtain rods together.
Her coworkers said she was good, a harder worker... and tough!
Birthday Kiss
Mom loved to cook and knew how to put on a spread!
Aunt Emiko, Dad & Mom
(Aunt Emiko came from Okinawa for a visit)
2004 - Still beautiful!
(We used this photo on the memorial cards)
Mom and Me - 2007
Christmas 2013 - The last photo of my parents together
Mother's Day 2014 - The last photo taken of my Mom
If you remember, I had said in my Dad's pictorial that I had hoped my Dad was fishing and drinking beer with his brothers. Picture that, and then my Mom strolling up saying "Hi Hun". Then my Dad saying, "What the hell?!" (You'd have to know my Dad and how funny that scenario is to me.)

I know I should take comfort in the fact that neither of my parents are suffering anymore, and that they're together now. My emotions are just to raw right now to take any comfort...

Until Next Time,

Sep 9, 2014

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

My mother has idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

This is a disease that is 100 percent fatal for every patient. Have you ever heard of this rare disease? Did you know: 40,000 people will die from pulmonary fibrosis (PF) this year -- the same number of fatalities as from breast cancer.

There is no known cause or treatment for PF, and the disease is relentlessly progressive; average prognosis is two to five years from diagnosis. PF can be inherited, but most cases are idiopathic -- meaning the cause is unknown.  She was diagnosed almost two years ago.

She has been hospitalized three times since the end of June.  My father was at the end of his cancer treatments then.  To visit her, I had to push him in a wheelchair because it was tremendously painful for him to walk. 

Two weeks ago, the Palative Care Team called a family meeting for my mother.  She is at what the medical field calls "end stage."  There is nothing more they can do for her.  Two days later, we arranged for hospice to deliver equipment to my house.  My mother will stay with me until this awful disease takes her life.  The doctors think she has a matter of months.

PF patients gradually lose the ability to process oxygen as their lungs fill with scar tissue and become like concrete.  She's been on oxygen 24/7 since June.  She can no longer walk without her oxygen level dropping to 50% or lower.  Then it takes 20 minutes or more for it to rise back to 80%. 

Four times as many people have pulmonary fibrosis as ALS or cystic fibrosis.

Since 1999, the number of patients with PF has increased by 156 percent, to more than 128,000, and more than 50 percent of cases are misdiagnosed for a year or more.

A lung transplant is the only treatment option to extend life, but 50 percent of those on the list will die before receiving a transplant.  Because my mother also has COPD, we were told she is not a candidate for a transplant.

September is Global Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month. For more information go to

Read more here:

Sep 5, 2014

Show Your Stash: Threads

I first saw this on Sandy in Montana's blog, but it originated with Anna at Stitch Bitch.  I always enjoy reading about stitching memes and participating when I can, so here goes:

What thread do you usually stitch with?
Mostly I stitch with the tried-n-true DMC, but I'm no thread snob.  I'll stitch with anything... JP Coates, Anchor, cotton threads from kits, silks, GAST, Carries, and the list goes on.

When you shop for threads, do you buy on impulse or do you buy only what you need?
Since I have enough threads to open my own LNS, I usually only buy what I run out of. You know how it is, you can have a zillion colors but not the one you actually need.

How do you sort it? 
The DMC is in numerical order.  My Six Strand Sweets is divided into baggies by alphabet.  GAST,  WDW, Victoria Clayton, JP, and Anchor are each in a large ziploc bag, not sorted.  Really need to get a better system for those as it takes me forever a long time to find the color(s) I'm looking for.

How do you store your thread?
Back in the 80's when I first really got into stitching, plastic floss boxes were all the rage. Several years ago, I actually had ELEVEN boxes of floss.

Then I learned about the "Jammer" cases, which were storage cases for matchbox and hot wheels cars. The brand doesn't exist anymore, but there's been a resurrection of them in the craft area at JoAnn Fabrics.  Here's the kicker.... Jammer cases were less than $6 at Walmart.  At JoAnn's, the same storage cases are about $15.  Can you say ka-ching?! 

On the left are two cases I store my DMC. Some stitchers have been able to get all the colors in one box, but I wasn't able to do it. Maybe their floss bobbins weren't entirely full... dunno. On the right are duplicate DMC wound on bobbins left over from the 11 original cases.

On to Specialty Floss....

I store my Rainbow Gallery threads in an awesome embossed tin I found at a thrift store. I made a simple cardboard divider to keep the threads organized. Works perfectly!

Krenik spools (Yeah, I know *ewww*) are stored in Plano 20 gauge shotgun shell cases. These can be found at almost any store that sells sporting goods. I keep VFB in one, and all the other types in the other.

The different brands of hand-dyed/over-dyed floss (GAST, Carries, SSS, Clayton, etc) as I mentioned earlier are stored in gallon size ziploc bags according to manufacturer.

I organized some even farther by putting the floss in quart size ziploc bags alphabetically (A-D, E-J, K-M, etc). Inside each gallon bag is the checklist (from the manufacturer website) of colors available. I have a checkmark beside the ones I have, so I know at a glance and don't have to go digging through the bag only to come up empty handed!

DMC Light Effects are kept in a fishing tackle box. (They are such a pain to work with!)

What tips do you have for building a stash?
When I was building my stash eons ago, I would stock up every time JoAnn's had a sale 5 for $1. Then when Walmart decided to do away with their DMC section, I bought every skein they had for a nickel a piece. What a deal, eh?  My point.... stock up when it's on sale!  I've also accumulated a lot of threads I probably wouldn't have bought on my own by participating in floss exchanges.  Exchanges are a lot of fun!

How much is too much?
Really.... is there ever too much?!  Well, maybe if you run out of room. Nahhhh.... Okay, if you have tons of the same color, then maybe it *might* be too much. Maybe.

How do you whittle your stash down when it's gotten too large?
Actually, I've never considered whittling down my stash.  Maybe that means it's just not large enough... yet.

Do you have a current favorite in your stash? Let’s see it!
Gonna have to pass on this one, since I don't really have a favorite floss.

So what about you?  What's your floss collection like?

Until next time,