May 19, 2015

The blues

Greetings all.  I just love these Blue Angels so much that I will continue to bore you with them.  I showed them on Saturday, this is Tuesday morning - they really sprout quickly.
Anxious to see how large they get this year.  I purchased them all at either Home Depot or Lowe's a few years ago, and the ones on the end that aren't pictured were from a garden center.  They have the same leaf, but are half the size.  Same card, same plant, different size.  My sister had that happen to her when purchased one year apart from our local hosta grower.  I just love the color and the thick wrinkled leaves.  Got most of the pinks planted yesterday, just a few left.  I may buy a shower chair to go with my bench.  Rustfree, comfortable, adjustable, and I can get up! Thought I could get away with a sandal after stitch removal but my toes look like our local meat market's garlic sausage.  Can't even get the swollen foot in the first strap.  It will go down and be fine, I just hoped to kick off the shoe earlier.
These leaves aren't the only thing blue around here.  I saw Ellen's post on Stitchville USA and got my email update from Country Sampler.  Both places were to be visited with my cousin (home-ec teacher and sewing fanatic) when I visited her in MN.  That was put off until we recouped from caregiving and all the losses.  Unfortunately, her early dementia came before I did and she continues to progress in the facility.  So when I saw the post, the special trip we would have had was another reminder of how she has lost herself.  She traveled the world and experienced so much before this and we're so glad she didn't wait until retirement for those joys.  And my friend Patti is slipping away.  How helpless family and friends feel.  She's always been private and not wanting Facebook pals and such to know so I don't mention her.  But she has been consuming my thoughts for weeks.  I finally went to the local antique mall that we both frequented, had not wanted to visit for a while.  The sadness overwhelmed me.  As soon as I walked in I felt it, and had no desire to shop.  She and I both love early pieces and her talent for decorating with them is evident in her home. 
Haven't picked up a needle either.  I keep looking through charts, reading their instructions, browsing for more online, but the needle has stayed ..... I don't know where it is.  Usually I keep it in the linen but because I started a second project and went back and forth, it's somewhere else.  I'll find it.  Maybe it's the excuse I'm using instead of getting a new needle - I do know where those are!  Tonight I will force myself to get a row in. 
Been visiting a doctor for a few months about the stomach and esophagus issues, was told last week - no more chocolate.  Already had to give up iced tea which I drank throughout the day even though it was decaf.  Good thing I hate the taste of booze.
Have a wonderful day stitching pals.
Thanks for visiting.

May 16, 2015

Pink overload

Hey.  What's happening?  What are you stitching?  I'm going back and forth, wasting time, and decided to stick with Sally but I haven't picked up a needle in days.  A small project (santa?) will be pulled for working while sitting outside.   I could start the Queen's bag which is mostly tent stitch completely outlined with black, and a bunch of queen stitches.   There's a lot of running/back stitching (a LOT) to outline all the details first.  Same with the other bags but they are mostly embroidery stitches.  So what is embroidery?  Does the term apply to all needlework?  What about crewel?  Or as I call it, cruel.  I guess I'll have to look up the terms but sometimes I'm too lazy.  This is one of those times. 
As for the flowers, once I set them into the dark barrels, I realized they would be great.  The color is vivid and the large barrel looks better with the larger flower.  We did go back though and got more for containers with impatiens and begonias that match.  And I don't even like pink but this shade really pops so I'm doing everything in it.  The shower seat is great for outside work.  Lower/raise for the task and wide enough to push off of to get up.  When did this happen? 
Here's the Blue Angel mammoth hostas starting out. 

I just love these leaves.

And just so you don't think it's me, here's what happens when I pick a paint color and purchase it.
The first is Windsor Greige (SW) from a sample jar, and the fricking pink corner is what the $40 gallon looks like.  I gave it to a girl at McDonald's drive through when I got coffee. Why?  Because they don't know how to adjust a color.  
The next is Khaki Shade (SW) also from a sample jar, so I brushed it out for a computer match this time instead of using the sample formula, and there's that fricking pink again on the bottom.  Under store lights, it's not as bad as in my house but they still act like you're crazy and a PITA.
And the biggest disappointment of all, this is SW's Relaxed Khaki sample card, and the sample jar that was mixed.  Its' green and no where near the card!  These are all from Home Depot and Lowe's.  Benjamin Moore can only mix the lighter shades in Advance, the water based oil that I hate, unless I want a wall paint.  Is that ridiculous?  They don't recommend it for cabinets/trim.  So I will wait for SW's sale, go to them, at least they can make adjustments.  Their sample jars are around $8 which is why I was going to the others and I like the other paint just as well as their $70 cans.
Stitches out Monday and the shoe for two more weeks.  I think not. 
It was chilly the other day and these little brats that once lived outside with nothing, are now a bunch of wimps.  It's sprinkling - let me in!  It's below 70 degrees - let me in!  The grass needs cut - let me in!
Have a good week.
Thanks for visiting.

May 13, 2015

Did you ever...

try to exchange flowers?  I let the Amish owner with the ice blue eyes, chiseled jaw, and v-shaped body, on his private breathtaking acreage and enormous white farmhouse with wrapped porch, majestic birdhouses in rows, floral landscaping, and hanging baskets bigger than my ass, influence me.  I don't know why. 
So instead of getting the pink mini supertunias, I got the bigger Bubble Gum supertunias.  I want the minis.  Saw this same plant in large hanging baskets this morning and they were very nice but the centers were empty and bare.  Not so with the mini supertunias I've had before.  How foolish would I look if we ride out there tomorrow and ask to exchange $70 worth of 4" pots?  Mark said he will drop me off and stay in the car which I already knew.  Flowers have been the only items that didn't beg his question, " are these going back next week?".   No longer.  I am the Queen of Returns but is it really my fault?  Has not menopause created a hesitation, confusion, lack of self assurance, indecisiveness?  No?  Well it sounds like a plausible excuse to me and I'm sticking with it.  I'm sure their response to my request will be "we don't know - no one has ever asked to exchange flowers before".  Either I will end up a happy crab or have more pink petunias than any one person should.  And I should have bought the yellow.  I don't like pink.  See what I mean?  It's like living with two people!  One's a crabby bitch and the other is a weepy wimp.
I've set aside Sally for the time being, almost started a few others, but decided on Mary Kiptin/Kitpin, whatever her name is.  Not being a border stitcher, this may create some frustration but it's not the size of Elena Tratman which was my other choice.  I am studying the packets for the sweet bags and the stitches required, mostly detached buttonhole, and although anxious to start I know I don't have the patience right now.  Even been thinking of a Santa.
Went to the doc for my after surgery check and dressing change, the gauze was fixed to the stitches from dried blood and pulled out a few when he removed it.  Yikes.  He said to let it go as is, and start following his instructions.  What?  ME?  Not do what I'm told?  How the hell did he know?  My swollen ankle is bigger than my shoulder...may have given him a clue.  So I am to elevate and stay off it.  OK.  Next week, after the paint is remedied and flowers are exchanged and planted.  Lowe's was very nice about the paint and we were there forever getting the sample formula entered into a gallon.  So sure it would be right - got home - it's pink.  Don't know what else to do except buy two dozen samples. 
After the high 80's and humidity of the weekend, the furnace is on.  39 tonight.  Right now I'm going to make a cup of coffee, pull out the sweatshirts that are neatly packed away, and elevate my foot for a while.  Sad nephew and his long time love have split, and the blind groundhog that my brother has fed since last year disappeared two weeks ago.  Something must have chased him into the woods and Ron hasn't been able to find him.  He will not survive.  And, the primitive shop in Ohio that opened in 2012 has decided to close, to my surprise.
That's it boys and girls.  I know it's not Sunday but I am very unreliable.  Can't blame that one on menopause.
Have a great week.
Thanks for visiting.

May 10, 2015

The errors continue

Hello everyone.  Why does it seem progress is slow?  I'm not stitching much, that's true.  But the errors have really cost time and I'm taking one step back for every two forward.  I finished the brown eyelet top row of that section, corrected and completed the green dividing bands, haven't corrected the chain stitch row, moved an entire row to compensate for a placement error, and now can't even spell correctly. 
I was working on the A in AD and realized it wasn't under the prior row's c as it should be.  Forgot the u in wrought.  It's not a lot to remove but I am tiring of doing so row after row.  Good thing I checked when I did.  Many times my mind is on something else and I just stitch blindly, following the entire row without checking placement.  Haven't decided if I will switch to an easier and smaller project.  This is way too cumbersome to take outside or to appointments.
I won the only bid on Ebay for the Queen's Sweet bag from Sharon Cohen so the book cover is the last of her designs I am watching for.  I ordered this book too, and it has great directions for constructing bags, but I don't care for the designs. 
While in Lowe's this morning, a gentleman pointed to my legs and asked, "accident"?  I said "no, intentional".  He looked at me rather odd, didn't understand that I meant the medical procedures were necessary and planned. 

Now what was I doing in Lowe's?  Getting the gallon of paint for the cabinets and trim in the lighter color that they mixed for me last week.  And here it is.  Even my husband who believes there is only one beige can see the difference and the PINK!  I am so ticked.  Why bother mixing samples if you can't follow that same formula for the gallon?
Two appointments Monday morning, then a haircut, then off to the Amish greenhouse for a few flowers with husband and sister.  I seem to not be lifting my foot high enough and catching this thick shoe on everything and anything.  I sure hope I don't catch a water hose and take a header onto his flats of flowers.  I could just see the domino effect leading to the eventual collapse of the greenhouse tent.
Have a great start to your week.
Thanks for visiting.

May 9, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Wishing everyone a beautiful day filled with joy, memories, love.

As with so many of you whose moms are gone, the memories are met with tears. 
Her favorite trees are glistening like white lights in the sun.


May 8, 2015

Tiny bubbles

It's Friday.  Surgery went well except for a little too much bleeding.  Injections went well and I baked a cake for them to celebrate the end of treatments.  But the waist high stocking and the foot wrap with the big shoe is not comfortable on an 88 degree day.  That's OK!  It's done.  The endoscopy and stress test will come in a month or so.
I'm working on the sink base, finally decided on color.  Cranberry beneath Kodiak Gray, a greenish brownish grayish neutral.  How does it go with the other cabinets in Studio Taupe?  Not good but it doesn't matter.  I'm repainting.  Yep.  Idiot.  Can't help it!  It just doesn't look good with the soapstone in my dark kitchen so after viewing a Facebook entry on Primitives in Pine, I ran out to get the Behr Riviera Beach that was used.  Love love love.  Light, but not as light as the samples I had before.  The Kodiak Gray, a Pratt & Lambert older color, is soft and fabulous.  Just enough contrast for the sink base to be different.  It's what I used for these samples. 
I wanted to show you a trick that you might already know about to get a primitive paint finish.  It requires - not the blow torch - but a heat gun.  The standard heat gun for removing paint.  If you heat the gun first, brush on a thick coat of paint, then gun it while wet, you get this.
The paint will start bubbling very quickly and you need to move the gun away or all the paint will become one bubble.  You can push down the bubbles with your finger and when dry will be a rough finish, or wait until it's completely dry and scrape off the bubbles for this finish. 
The paint beneath doesn't get a chance to bubble and the top ones will scrape off exposing the under color.  This area on the top left is a basic thinner coat and it won't bubble at all, not enough paint and it dries too quickly.  As soon as the tiny bubbles started I moved the gun away and this creates just a rough aged looking finish without the really primitive mess in the above photo.
That's it.  Haven't decided if I will crackle or scrape but wanted to show this trick.  You can add an additional coat over the area and do it again if it didn't bubble as much as you wanted.  The paint must be a decent coat, but not real thick, and wet.  Once it dries the bubbles stop so if you use the gun before it is hot enough, it will dry the paint instead of bubble it. 
 Be careful!!  Have a silicone mat or something non-flammable to set the gun on, watch where you point it (wild hair sets to flame quickly - trust me), and you can also burn the paint.  Practice, be careful.

Edit - received a few emails from readers that have used this method and found that the hardness of the surface will vary with the new super wall paints.  Their bubbles did not harden to "crispy"!  Best test the brand you are using on a sample. It works really well with the acrylic craft paints but I can't vouch for the difference in Behr, BM, Valspar.  I use flat and haven't had a problem.
Enjoy your weekend - ours will be a hot one.  Yay!!!
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