Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The start of the new year...

I updated my blog tonight with a wintry theme using photos from our digital photo albums. DD is in the middle, snow people that she and her friends built last winter on the left, and on the right is a scene out one of our windows looking over the frozen herb garden. The little picture in the sidebar was taken by my husband last year while skiing in New Hampshire, where he was born and raised.

Stitching update to follow tomorrow. I have been blessed with new stash and I am so excited! The New Year for me starts out at 5am tomorrow morning. Must work an 8 hour day! Wish I could stay home and stitch, but that will have to wait until Friday :(

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My finishing problems...

It never fails. I am all enthusiastic about making Christmas gifts and I never give myself enough time. On top of that, my finishing abilities stink! My stitching is fine, it's the final presentation that stumps me. That is why I have so many projects just sitting in a drawer, offering no proof whatsoever that I actually do stitch.

I finished this little ornament for a friend at work the night before I needed to give it to her. Notice the lumpy filling, the crooked side seams and the bumpy bottom where I sewed the opening? I sure do! Never the less, she loved it and said it was the perfect gift. Maybe I can make her another cancer piece for her that looks a little more presentable.

Kylie's Heart (freebie found here)
DMC on 22 ct Congress cloth

So...I think I will get out some old linen pieces and practice a few techniques before I have to use them on stitched pieces. I have been harvesting finishing ideas from all of your blogs but I am missing a lot of the details. Practice makes perfect, right? Wish me luck!

I have signed up for the 2009 Christmas Challenge, so I will be motivated to stitch, finish and perfect. Watch for my progress details.

I leave you with a picture of our cat Cheddar under the tree.

Monday, December 22, 2008

More favorite ornaments...

It is a truly wintry day here in Ohio. Cold, blustery, gray...

My husband just emailed me that he is ringing bells for the Salvation Army today at Big Lots and again on Wednesday at Walmart. I told him I would probably selfishly not stay with him but I'll try to bring him some hot drinks. He tries to do this every year and I have done it quite a few times also. Just not my year to do this but I'll put a small bundle of bills in the bucket.

This is my one day off before Christmas and then I need to be there at 6am the day after. We had pot luck on Saturday and I was amazed at the quantity of food. I decided against bringing my vegetarian chili and brought a pecan pie instead which was hardly touched. There were so many sweets!

Wishing for gift certificates for cross stitch stash...

Peace and Joy,


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Some favorite ornaments...

In the last frantic few days before Christmas I start to lose perspective and all reason goes out the window. I have spent too much (there may be returns to make!) and I get that nervous feeling that I have forgotten something. I didn't get my mom's gift sent out to her and I feel badly about it. I decided to give her a digital photo frame, but began to have second thoughts about it while choosing the photos to upload to it. Is this something she would appreciate or would it be much better to make albums, something I think I will never get around to. I am hoping my siblings will add to the photo frame, but don't know if they will do it.

So I am holding off for a few days, and she'll have a nice late present if I do decide to give it to her. Money seems so impersonal, but I know she really can use it. I am 450 miles away, so there is little that I can do on a day to day basis except to talk on the phone at length, about current events, books that we have read and about life in general. It was difficult growing up our home. Lots of negative stuff with my father mostly. Things are better now, but I pretty much keep my distance from everyone. I don't have strong family connections like so many others do. No big family dinners or parties or reunions. It's just the 4 of us, and now our oldest is away at college and he has decided not to come home over break. That's OK...he is becoming more independent and has found a niche for himself that revolves around school, his friends and mountain biking.

My goal for the next week is to be a better person. No nagging or nit picking allowed!!! Sometimes I don't know how my family stands me :).

Peace and joy to everyone,


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Some stitching updates and other ramblings

I really haven't gotten the hang of blogging yet. It always takes me so long to post my photos! I have been using Adobe Photoshop Elements and it drains my computer of memory. I haven't learned the ins and outs of this program yet, so it is hard to play around with it when the program keeps freezing up on me. Time to install more memory? I think so...

Anybody out there use Photoshop Elements? Any suggestions?

I managed to stitch a few ornaments, all of which I showed off on Let's Stitch. May not seem like much, but it is a big deal for me to get these little projects done (well, almost done...need to sew them up). Since I haven't cross stitched for quite a few years, it feels great to have done this! Looking forward to larger projects after the holidays, including Me, Myself and I RR.

I started a new ornament this morning that I hope to finish up today, in between some more online shopping and household chores. I am so far behind this year!

My retail job has been draining this year. Many hours, mostly starting at 6 or 7am, dealing with customers or dealing with errors made by cashiers or managers. One of my managers, who I am quite fond of, broke down and cried yesterday. I think it was a good release for her ( I was the only one who was with her). We are short handed because they didn't hire as much seasonal help this year, so everyone is really pushed to the max. The day after Christmas I have to be there at 6am to start taking back the masses of merchandise that customers return. It is quite wild...we have piles of clothing to process and put back on the floor. Crazy!

Happy Holidays fellow stitchers!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Retail madness and another birthday

I updated my blog today to give it more of a Christmas feel. I had planned on stitching some tonight but I'm dragging right now, having had a late dinner and needing to get to bed at a reasonable hour. I could have been stitching instead of playing with the blog layout (!). I kind of forgot how to change things around on the blog and wasted time relearning. I will try to put in a few stitches on a Christmas ornament freebie I just started before nodding off.

I have been living retail "you know what" this past week. We opened at 4 am on Black Friday and the next day I had to be there at 5 am to balance the books from that very busy day. Then it's been early days for me since then with only 1 day off. I was going to go to an out of town LNS on my day off, but DH and DD had the cars, so I spent the day puttering around the house, which included some reorganization of my small stash.

I really need some stash therapy! I feel I deserve some now that I am actually finishing the stitching. Since I have been out of touch with the stitching world for some years now, I need to be able to see and touch the linens and fibers.

My husband and I are now the same age...for a few months anyway. I turned 56 (yikes!) last week! I don't feel old at all (except when I look in the mirror or do some deep knee bends). I use to torture myself when my birthday would come around because I would see that another year had gone by and I was still the same old person. I would look at all I had not accomplished instead of what I had accomplished and how blessed my life was. I am much more comfortable with myself now and at peace with doing the things I want to do or not do.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Six random things

I have noticed that people are getting tagged in the six random things about me tag game so I decided to play it by myself. I'm not quite a part of the stitcher's blogging community yet because I don't post often and I don't participate in exchanges (as of yet anyway). Basically I am afraid to try the exchanges because I think I will fail. I also need to learn how to finish small projects before I try my hand at exchanges. are 6 random things about me.

1. I once jumped into a hole in the ice (with just my panties on) in March in Maine and I have the pictures to prove it.

2. I have lived in 8 different states as well as numerous different cities. The longest I have ever lived anywhere is where I am now (since 1982).

3. I try to live a simple life and I don't buy much stuff. It has never made me happy to acquire a lot of things, so I just don't do it.

4. I love to read the New York Times and my mother and I often discuss what we read.

5. I worked at a sod farm for 2 years, mowing 100 acre fields of grass.

6. I went to school for "like forever" and due to my inability to never know exactly what it is I really want to do, I ended up, in my 50's, working for a major retailer that expects great things.

Ok, I am off to take some photos for the Let's Stitch blog to prove that I really do like cross stitch!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm still here!

I have been stitching away but don't have any good photos yet. I should be done with 2 or 3 small pieces this week which I will post on later. I need to increase my stitching speed. I never have used my stitching frame for small projects, but it might be a good time to do so. And I want to get some Q-Snaps. I also need to set aside some time to finish and frame. I think once I get into the habit of actually sewing up ornaments and other small things, it won't be so hard for me to get going. Just need practice.

I can't believe the election was just a week ago. Seems like forever. I don't want to turn people off because of my political views, but I am absolutely thrilled with the results of the election. McCain is a good man, but I am a life long Democrat and I was totally taken with Obama (after my initial letdown that Hillary wouldn't be running).

I worked at my precinct polling place on Nov. 4. It was only busy very early in the morning when we had a line waiting at the door at 6:30 a.m. Many people voted early and it probably wasn't even necessary to do that. Wouldn't you know that the very first person in line was not on our poll list, even though she should have been! She was able to vote provisional though, only 1 of 4 people that had to do so in our precinct.

We had an observer there all day long. I felt sorry for her because she didn't get paid like poll workers do and she hadn't brought much food with her. We were not to accommodate observers, except to give them a chair and answer questions as needed. At times I felt like she was stepping out of bounds and it was awkward because I have known this person for many years.

Over the weekend I went out of town with my husband to a mountain bike race called the "Iceman Cometh." There were 3000 bikers, including my DH, who did very well. He was disappointed he didn't make the podium, but he didn't need to be. He is in great shape for a 56 year old. We were in the Traverse City area of Michigan and it was lovely.

Overlooking Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes

DH in spandex (and ancient eyeglasses) and me at the Iceman

Friday, October 24, 2008

Some finishes!!!

Yea! A day off from work (I hardly ever get 2 days off in a row...that's retail for you). There's a lot of pressure in the retail world these days to out do the other guy. I don't mind the work and I love assisting customers, but I have an issue with a manager who can't keep his mouth shut and insults me whenever he gets a chance. Another employee said he knows just where to stick the knife in to make it really hurt. So true. If this continues, I will go to personnel to file a complaint because his insults are undeserving and unacceptable.

Enough of my venting. Stitching again has brought much joy back into my life. The sense of accomplishment with a finished project, the beauty of the fabric and thread and the companionship of all the online stitchers has really been helpful in these down times.

I finished up 2 little projects this week. My intention with this sampler was to give it to someone as a wedding gift. Unfortunately they are now divorced, but I still feel guilty that I didn't get it done and gifted.

Simplicity Goodness Truth - Heart's Content

over one with GAST

I started this sampler by Shepherd's Bush when my daughter was taking skating lessons and competing. She doesn't do this anymore (private lessons were costing me about $60-$90 a week!) but works at an after school program that is held at our local rink. She teaches basic skating skills so there's not much spinning or jumping involved. I'm not sure how I'll finish this but I'll be sure to post a pic once I do.

Skating Sampler - Shepherd's Bush
WDW overdyes and GAST

I have so much to learn about finishing techniques. I just have to jump right in and try some things. I do have a few Christmas ornaments that need finishing, so I will practice with them. Love the flat folds and pinkeeps I keep seeing. I think I am just a little scared, even though I can sew. Just not a crafter at heart.

Must get on with the day. Have to go to the Board of Elections to practice my poll worker skills, go to the library and framer, go to the gym and get ready for the stitch-a-thon tonight, the best part of the day.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Finally, a new post

It was kind of a stressful week for me, at least mentally. I really am taking this turn in our country hard, especially since our 401K's and our kid's college funds really took a hit. My husband says no matter what decision you make, it could be the wrong one. I'll be glad when the election is over. Tired of the TV ads and all the negativity. I also am physically tired when I have to be at work at 6 am and never feel right for the rest of the day. Thank goodness I don't work early again until next Saturday. Retail stinks.

But...I have been continuing to stitch, albeit at a slow pace, but motivated at least. I LOVE the Let's Stitch blog. It's been a big help to me. Thank you Becky!

I finished Shepherd's Bush "Bees Buzz Hive" but am waiting for the buttons to arrive. I am attracted to anything related to bees. Have some bee skeps in the garden and a little collection of decorative hives in the house.

I actually think I can get 3 other projects done this week. That is my goal. DH will be out of town visiting his mom in NH, so maybe I won't cook very much (not that I do anyway!).

Here's a photo of DD and her boyfriend before going to his homecoming dance. He attends a different high school so this was her 2nd dance.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Excuse my mess...

I am trying to learn how to change the template on my blog and stumbling along. I waste too much time since I do everything by trial and error. Hope to have a new look soon.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I haven't made any progress posting to my blog, but I have been making progress with stitching. I've been working more hours and feeling the pain as far as being tired, so I haven't been able to stitch every day. Also, a little preoccupied with financial concerns, given the state of our economy right now. Saps my mental energy.

Just a little to go on Heart's Content "Simplicity, Goodness & Truth." I am embarrassed to say that this was started as a wedding gift for someone some time ago. Since they are now divorced, I guess I am glad it never went to them since I will love to have this sitting on my mantle.

I joined Becky's Let's Stitch blog and it is perfect for me! Many thanks to Becky for coming up with this brilliant idea. I have always felt a little ashamed that I have trouble finishing projects and now I know that I am not the only one out there. It will feel so great to finally show some proof of my work.

I also joined the Me, Myself and I round robin. I had planned on doing our town, but now I am thinking this may be a little too ambitious, since I will have to come up with many of the designs on my own. Once I get a few projects done, I will put more energy into this.

I wish we had a local LNS! There is nothing like lingering in a good needlework shop. Of course, the downside is the urge to buy, buy, buy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Some comments on blogging and stitching...or stitching and blogging

My, I didn't realize what a world it was out there! Where have I been all these years? I have always been a computer geek, but somehow missed out on the blogging craze. This has opened up a new world for me, since I only know one person in my town that stitches.

So, my question is, how does everyone find a balance between all the blogging and all the stitching? I could be getting much more stitching done if I wasn't perusing all these wonderful blogs. I am so eager to be able to post some pics of my finished projects.

My distractions over the past years have been typical. Very involved in daughter's ice skating, getting my son ready for college, repairing this old house we live in, supporting my husband in his work and hobbies, and working. I did do some knitting along the way. Also tried rug hooking.

Thanks to all of you for providing me with great inspiration and companionship.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Back to the routine

We're back to Ohio from our quick trip out to Colorado to take our son to school. 4 days of driving is just too much for me!!! Of course, DH did most of the driving. He's way better than I could ever be going over all those darned mountains.

I tried stitching in the car. It's just not for me. And there wasn't any time in between sight seeing and eating out to do any. Saw some awesome stuff out there. Completely awe inspiring. I'll be posting some pics on my personal blog as soon as I get it together.

I wish there was a needlework shop in Durango. There is a yarn shop, but didn't go in for fear of making a purchase. I need to go shopping for new stash!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A short history

What got me into this blogging thing was first of all because of my son's blogging, and 2nd, because of all of the awesome blogs out there on stitching, whether it be cross stitch, knitting, rug hooking or any other kind of hand stitching. I was amazed by what's out there on the internet. Always been an internet junkie, but never really searched out the blogs.

It looks like everyone absolutely stitches up a storm while I plod along. I did start a new little project which is almost done. I think I am a slow stitcher, but I don't really know. I got all my tools of the trade organized once again, took inventory of the charts I want to work on, as well as my stash of fabrics and threads. I have tons of DMC floss but not a lot of overdyed fibers. We don't have a LNS in our town and the nearest ones are about 40-45 minutes away, so there isn't much temptation to buy a lot of stuff I don't need.

Shepherd's Bush, a Monthly Musing

Where I did get a lot of my stash was at a Spirit of Cross Stitch Festival that I attended in 1998 in Hershey, PA. I drove out there alone from Ohio in our un-airconditioned 1970 VW Golf. Some of the things I purchased have been stitched. Others, I wonder, what I was thinking?

I also bought many charts at the Charlotte Needlework Market about 5 years ago. At that point, I wasn't working a career job (left that to stay at home with kids) and was feeling unsatisfied with my job. I was looking into opening a shop in our town, and the owners of Needlework Markets were kind enough to let me attend the trade show. Ultimately I decided that the venture was just too risky. Rents are very high and the market probably just not big enough. I had fun checking it out though, and learned a lot about retail and how to start a business.

So, now I feel that it's time to get back to my roots. As a teenager I sewed constantly and then got into knitting sweaters. Cables, fair isle, pullovers, cardigans, vests, etc. I worked at a needlework shop in my home town in my early 20's, worked at 2 fabric stores later. I am drawn mainly to counted thread work. I like the concentration it takes and the process of putting something on fabric where nothing existed before. And it is all so beautiful....

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Some more UFO's

Ran out of thread
So close!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Here are a few of the UFO's that I have had stashed away until I get around to finishing them. Just a few stitches and they will be ready to frame! I think the framing thing is intimidating, being so expensive and all. Also, finding a good framer in town can be a problem. Not everyone is good with needlework.

A Walk in the Woods, Cricket Collection

Here is the reason why this sampler was not finished...I miscounted somewhere along the line and went over by 1 little stitch on 2 motifs. I was thinking of fixing this, but have decided just to let it be.

Shepherd's Bush...I made this
early on in my daughter's skating.
Just Nan, Catnip Tea
Heart's Content, over 1 on tea dyed linen.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

This is going to be my stitching blog. I am hoping this will help to keep me motivated to stitch, especially to finish projects. I am known for starting and not finishing, whether it be a stitching project (knitting, counted thread or sewing) or a household project, or any number of things I have tried.

As I get older, I am going to refocus on doing the things that have meant so much to me over the years. I am making my own so called "bucket list." There won't be anything outrageous or daring on the list, just simple things that will help me to feel better about myself. Maybe as time goes by I will broaden the scope of this list.

Pics to follow shortly...