Oct 20, 2014

Busy as a B

Greetings!  This will be a boring post about the chores that are keeping me too busy and tired to stitch. All about me.  Bitch bitch bitch. It starts with the leaves and several days this week will be cleaning jobs at my sister's house, and spraying for fleas.  The cats were always treated and have been gone for weeks yet she has them everywhere. Why now and not before?  The bombs are too toxic and leave a residue so we are trying a spray and I'll wear a mask.  Food grade diatomaceous earth will be sprinkled into the carpet after it's completely dry.  Cheap, non-toxic, effective.  But most of my week will be taken up with cleaning.  I'm not kidding - it looks like an auction house.  I tried to explain to her that your eyes are taking in the surroundings and when there is too much to process, it's very hard for your subconscious to be calm.  The more you have in your bedroom to stimulate areas of the brain that we are unaware of, the less relaxed you are.   I'm not referring to decorative pieces or furniture, this is "stuff" that should be put away.  Lots of stuff.  She admitted that when she walks into her room she gets anxious because she wants it to be organized and neat and it's overwhelming.  Exactly. That's why she has trouble falling asleep!  It should be a calming, peaceful scene, not clutter and distraction. In my sewing room, there is so much around and unorganized that I feel edgy and don't want to spend much time in there.  That leads to hurried sewing and frustration instead of patience. I purchased a slew of stacking plastic boxes with hinged lids and will get to that room this winter.  Ugh.  Winter.
I've been in the woods sawing and removing the large limbs and branches that were thrown in, plus all the small pieces.  A large fire is in my future.  In addition to chores, I'm trying to get boxes ready so not much stitching going on.  It's cold and raining way too much.  Can't cut the grass which is making leaf blowing difficult.  A trip to Dominic's is also on the schedule for him to remake all the pull outs since they are too tight.  Still with me?
 While I was washing clothes, I attempted to lighten my new overdyed black jeans.  Black black black.  Really black.  Not what I wanted but I have to take what I can find in a 34 inseam that fits. So I hand washed in several solutions and not enough dye was released so like a dummy, I used a little bleach thinking it would create a grayish black.  Nope.  My black black jeans are now bronze.  They're a nice color actually, but not what I expected.  {tap} {tap} Are you there?
And soon my Hallmark channel will be nothing but Christmas movies.  Boo.  I want half hour GG and Frazier on during the night not 2 hour movies.  I'll be switching to another network or channel, probably TV Land.  My laptop is failing and a backup plus file transfer needs to be done this week before I lose my labels.
Mama deer and her remaining fawn have changed since they lost a family member.  I can't approach them any longer and miss tossing the bread and seeing them so close.  I also see a path into the woods from the road behind me so I know there are hunters on POSTED property without permission.  Don't tell me to call someone, this community does what it wants.   HELLO???  Anyone left out there?
And that's what's happening here.  Working and bitching.
I got my buckets and rags ready, tall rubber boots on (no flea bites), mask on my face, ready to go.  This is when I usually run into a township police officer.  Never fails.

Have a great day!


Oct 18, 2014

Two more for the stash

Mary Lamin
 Homespun Elegance
Harriet Hazlin 1869
Sampler House
Nice, huh?
A long while ago, someone asked me for this tiny journal that was in a photo.  Who was it?

Have a safe and enjoyable weekend.

Mine will be cold.  From the weather?  Absolutely.  But also from the ice bags on my knees.


Oct 16, 2014

Tougher every year

Greetings!   This Fall season is harder than last, and it gets worse every year.  It's the season my age shows more than any other.  After using the blower and raking, which I love to do for exercise, my damaged knees are killing me, arthritic hand doesn't close, and lower back is miserable.  Ah...Fall.  I hate it.
Because of the right hand stiffness, I'm not making much progress on Eliz.  I worked a little last evening and as you can see, found a length of threads that are the same shade throughout!  Got to use the loop and half cross sewing method in the dividing band.  Had to hold the stiff linen down with my pincushion.
About the Panera soup....a reader tried that recipe and said it wasn't as good so I searched for more and found another very similar here.  The Panera's website has recipes and I found one for curried pumpkin soup that is also similar (here) and I may add squash to it and give that one a try too.  I don't bother peeling and cubing the butternut squash.  I wash, cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise and put them in a roaster at 425 until soft and scoop out the flesh.  If it has a lot of moisture I let it drain in a colander.  Most is mashed and put in baggies for the freezer.  You can buy it in the freezer section already to go too.
Today will be doing my floors and taking a break from outside work except for an attempt to clean up the mess from the tree cuttings.  Two of the 60' ash were at the edge of the woods and we told them to trim off the limbs, and then let the trunk fall since a thick hairy poison ivy vine was attached.  Well they didn't.  They let the entire tree fall and it is a mess with limbs sticking out everywhere and it killed everything in its path.  The second tree, without my permission, they cut down an oak and a maple to allow it to fall.  I am furious.  They should have asked me and if it would have cost more to do it differently, fine.  But to remove two large healthy trees at the wood line was uncalled for. We didn't realize it until all the bucket trucks and chippers were gone.  The small limbs/sticks from the other six trees were raked into the wood line edges on top of smaller trees and growth, killing them and making a real mess.  I will try to remove them in the next few days.  My husband is telling me to let it go since it is done and nothing can change it.  Not always easy for me to do, but good advice.
Did a little decorating... my heavy as heck new wheelbarrow.

Front porch mums.
My front door has no pumpkins or mums.  Empty tub, drab and dull, that's what I like!  I use a length of rebar, pound it into the ground a foot or more, and slide the tied bunch of stalks on.  After all those winds, it's still standing proud.
Did anyone take a look at those scissors?  I browsed a little more - they have a pair with a witch!  Several with a crucifix too.  Never saw those before.  I'm excited that Jane will be arriving soon, but I don't know why since she will just be put with the others I won't ever stitch.  You never know though!  Maybe one day I will tire of smaller simple projects, get an Ativan refill, and go at it.
On a sad note, one of the fawns that allowed me to get so close and came twice a day for their food, was killed on the highway yesterday.  I was hoping it wasn't mine, but only one came this morning with mama.
Hope your day is going well.
Thanks for visiting.

Oct 15, 2014

Happy Birthday Sis

Today Carole is 76 and she is lucky to still be here.  It's already been seven weeks since her event.  There's 13 years between us.
I was browsing Silent Stitches to order Jane Ballard - the sampler I have always wanted, will never stitch, but have to have.  You can't copy any of the website photos or I would show a few, but if you have a thing for scissors, check out their Scissors page.  I also found a few designers unfamiliar to my aging mind.  
One is The Traveling Stitcher, her blog is here.  I like her Long and Lean A&E and the new M A Badger 1870.  The photo is of the antique and I'm loving the red. 
Today is calm and wet.  Lots of wind yesterday and a ton of leaves to blow, but I may end up with the rake since they were pounded into the grass by the rain.  After I make another trip to the Pet Store.  Squeak is eating anywhere from 4 to 6 cans of food a day.  And fussy!!!
 I can't stop craving Panera's Autumn Squash soup and found a copycat recipe but haven't tried it yet.  The recipe is here.  I've seen others but they didn't have the pumpkin and I think that's what I'm loving in its taste.  I've never used curry and bought the small jar of Tone's brand to test it out.  Farmer's market Saturday and I'll grab some butternuts, roast, and freeze them for future soup.
All I got today!
Have a great day and thanks for visiting.

Oct 13, 2014

Two old men and a sink

After a few mishaps, limb whacks, black eyes, sore backs, and cuss words, the sink is here. 
 It's heavy.  My brother needed ice over the lump on his forehead, a bandaid on his torn cheek, and my husband needed the back massager and a few Advil.  It didn't look that big in the woods but it was half covered with dirt on the edge of a ravine.  So here is the cast iron bottom leaning against the tree, still filthy, and almost 5 foot wide.  It has some rust on chipped edges but most of the porcelain is intact.  Two hole high back and good size drainboard.
 What will I do with it?  I can't use it in the kitchen, I don't have an actual laundry room, so we may build a support with wood legs (with casters!) and put it against the house off the deck. The sink can be filled with flowers in the summer, gourds in the fall.  I have no idea how we will lift it onto a base but we'll figure it out.  The dolly did most of the work coming out of the woods and it was slid out of the car to the ground.  I'll scrub it after the tree guys are gone.
 Squeak is trying to figure out what it is while Budman does his yoga moves. 

And that's my sink rescue! 


Oct 12, 2014

Learning to use overdyed

Good day to you.  Weekend going well?  Mine started early Saturday with the sounds of chain saws and shredders.  Eight of my huge ash trees are dying because of the Emerald Ash Borer.  Too bad our yard is still a swamp and the trucks are tearing the crap out of it.  But I have to say, whenever we need to hire someone for outdoor work, I luck out and get really good looking young guys.  Hard working too. 
I don't often use overdyed threads, mostly because I never see them and ordering that type online is a shot in the dark.  When I got Harry Tyler's Lion from Heartstring, I purchased several skeins of the Uniform Blue.  I love that design and really want to stitch it, but every time I pull it out, the alphabet pulls me back.  Maybe that will be the next project, I'll order more blue.  Anyway, since I'm not familiar with overdyed stitching, it never occurred to me that my way of starting a new thread would be wrong.  Well it is.  Now that I have two sewing methods for full stitches, I though that would be all I had to change.  While working on Eliz last night (using two threads on 28 count), I noticed that one end was very dark and the other very light. 
Certainly not the color placement it should be.  How could I get the light to dark variance when they are both in the same stitch? 
 I have always used the loop method when starting a new thread - folding over one long thread, two ends into the eye and then through the loop behind the fabric to secure instead of having tails.  No can do!  When I fold the thread, the shading doesn't line up and it just doesn't work.  Now I will use two single threads from the same piece and the varied shades will line up, the stitches will reflect the variance.  You know what I mean?  Of course you do, but I hadn't a clue.  But of course if I see a piece that when folded, lines up with the shading, I'll use my loop.  I'm set in my ways and do NOT like change!  There's a difference between experienced stitcher and knowledgeable stitcher.  I've been stitching samplers for over 30 years, but still lack many of the tricks, tips, and basics.  I'm still learning. 
On my way back from my injections Friday, I came across a farmer selling dried gourds he found in the barn's attic.  This was what he had left and wanted rid of them, I got a good price.   Their dried skins are still on, not cleaned at all, and I haven't decided if I will or not.  Maybe just a good brushing with stiff bristles.
You saw the inside - this is the outside of the finished fridge cabinet.

I also wanted to mention that if anyone would like the Sampler/Antique Needlework Quarterly but shipping outside the USA is costly, you can get the subscription digitally for $21.97 here. Access to two years' prior issues included. You can print the charts or view them on the screen while stitching, even enlarge them. 
So that's it boys and girls!  Oh.  I'm sorry.  According to a school in Nebraska, we have to be gender neutral.  No more ladies and gentlemen or boys and girls.  The kids must be addressed as purple penguins or campers, and not line up as boys and girls - instead, by their preferences such as Summer or Winter, bikes or skateboards.  And what if the kid likes Fall?  Or doesn't bike or board?  Aren't you excluding them?  I'm tired of hearing about agendas instead of education.  Just call them KIDS or CHILDREN instead of making the majority feel there is something wrong with them for being who they are. They are also rethinking gender bathrooms and locker rooms. Make one gender neutral and leave the current set up for those kids that are uncomfortable without privacy.  I don't know how an 8 year old would feel, but as a 63 year old, it's confusing ME!!
Have a great week purple penguins!!!

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