Feb 1, 2015

It's starting

The snowstorm has begun. 
When will it be finished?
  Not until sometime Monday, long after this finish which will be today.
Several emails about the cabbage and sausage soup so I posted it to the recipe blog here.
I can't get reservations at the ridiculously expensive (to me) hotel attached to Cleveland Clinic by a walkway for the end of February-they're booked.  I won't have a car.  Not only am I a wimp in traffic, if I got lost here looking for the Ford dealer can you imagine where I will end up if driving in downtown Cleveland!   Buffalo?  Chicago?
Stay safe. 

Jan 29, 2015

My messy house!

Now I have two.  One in thread and one in person.  Wait.  Better make it three - add my sister's. 
I know many of you will cringe at this, but I did not want a perfect pink sampler.  I love the original, its messy house, and its stains.  Most of my reproductions are done as charted, stretched, framed.  The most recent have color changes, some design changes, a crunch for wrinkles, deliberate staining, hanging from horsehair braid.  Have I become a purist?  Are you kidding?  I don't care about authenticity or proper period style,  I like early and simple. 

I can always wash out the coffee or walnut to some degree, use a steam iron, mount, and frame.  But not now.  My last ten samplers would still be in a drawer waiting for a framer instead of on my wall.  The staining on Abe will be light, just enough to tinge the pink a shade or two darker.
I used more tension in some rows and very loose stitches in others.  I went over some areas, sliding the needle beneath a number of stitches and lifted.  I had to remove some tails beneath.
The original's linen color was similar to a piece I have, but I didn't like it.  Now I'm sorry my fabric isn't a little warmer. 
  Remember when I was bitching about the linen creases?  My yardage is from years ago and when I opened it to (AUGH!) cut a piece off, every crease in the unbleached fabric is light and permanent.  The dark unbleached is the easiest to touch up with the ink pad and a thin brush on the light lines, but I have washed, wet, steamed....no change in the crease.  It was stored in a roll but it was too long folded before that.  
Yesterday we had a little sun but cold temps.  I made the brats go outside for a while and Bud took his sentry post and rotated that head for an hour looking for Yellow Cat.  They have completely destroyed the five toy mice I bought them.
Freezing rain right now so I am stuck at home again.  Good day to make soup.  The one with Italian sausage, basil, cabbage, zucchini, white beans, tomatoes and carrots.  I shouldn't take me longer than an hour to find the recipe.
Not sure if I will be exercising today.  The piece of cartilage that broke off in my left knee from the fall, has moved to a bad spot and I can't even go up steps again.  Do not want surgery and will wait until it moves to a better spot!
Have a fabulous day.
 Thanks for visiting.

Jan 27, 2015

Messy stitches

Hiya.  Hope you are safe and warm!  We got our share but not as much as the east.  Mark has 4 wheel drive so we waited for him to take us to the lab and run a few errands.  The main roads were fine but not the side streets.
 I found my error on Abe and now I am trying to replicate the antique with messy stitches.  It appears she went left to right in some areas and top to bottom in others.  Many are tight thin rows and others are loose.  The linen and its age are probably why it looks this way and I doubt if I can mimic its appearance.
 But I'm giving it a go.  Stitching in two different directions and changing my tension might work or it may end up looking ....well.... crappy.  Think it will work?   I'll find out soon enough.  But what a darling sampler.
The boys are double decking for warmth.  Squeak showed up again this morning, only the second time in a month.  I can see his tracks in the snow and think he is staying at a foreclosed mess on the street.  They are poisoning the coons and opossums to get rid of them but Squeak looks good.  They are all still afraid of Yellow Cat.
I shoveled by hand yesterday instead of using the blower and managed 20 minutes of the 30 minute Leslie DVD today.  Took me a while to recover and I won't push it, but I'll get there eventually.  Cardiologist on Monday - wait till he sees I've gained 30# since the last visit.
Stay safe!
Thanks for visiting.

Jan 26, 2015

The heart box

Hey.  How you doing?  I was wrong when I thought we were going to miss the snowstorm.  Not as bad as other areas for sure, but still enough to create a problem.   If you're in it, stay safe and warm.  When I was young, we didn't have school closings unless we got two feet of snow.  In my area today, two inches and the doors are shut.  We didn't have buses either.
Remember my wooden heart box that I showed a while back?  Those quilt pattern designs would work very well on this, but I've decided to not attach a stitched piece to the top.  I don't mind using stitched pincushions but I think this will get more than the usual number of pin holes. 
After a lot of wasted time choosing, this is the fabric I decided on.  Well, two actually.  The same pattern, one a mid tone and the other a light neutral.  I want to attach the berries (treasures from a wonderful stitcher) and looked for an uncomplicated fabric. 
I'm having trouble with Abe.  I have counted and counted and the stitch numbers are correct, yet the house is over a little on the right compared to the chart.  The numbers are the same!  I want to make sure it's correct so the window placement fits properly.

 Carole heard from the Clinic and her surgery date is not until 2/25.  The surgeon has changed also from the TAVR procedure guy to the open heart cardiothoracic woman.  All appointments scheduled have been canceled since she saw this surgeon while there.  So unless the CHF takes over again, we are clear until the 25th.  Now I can schedule my procedures around her. 
 These cats are still in here and driving me nuts.  They play, but get antsy and jump the barrier.  All I see is a tail whizzing by.  I catnipped them to calm them down and well.... you get the idea.
Thanks for visiting.
Stay safe.

Jan 25, 2015

When is enough enough?

Hello people.  How's the weekend going?  We had freezing rain with a light dusting of tiny ice balls.  Since my knees are not yet and will never be completely healed from my face plant onto granite, I plan on buying those elastic spike strips to put over my shoes.  Don't need another scene flying through the air.  Easy to slip on over any shoe and when I browsed Amazon, I found IceTrekkers, Stabilicers, Hot Headz traction cleats, Yaktrax for hikers and outdoor workers, a whole mess of styles and options starting here.
But here's my enough.  Floss.  One of every color up to 3830 in a bag, several of each color in envelopes in boxes, and the same in the floss box.  The boxes contain the very old skeins with the black labels and some of those are also in my wood box.  The new ones don't match the old in some shades.  I need to get organized.   I have two more of these wicker trunks, empty and collecting dust.  Why do I have three of them ?
Would I ever use all these colors?  Haven't yet.  Floss is expensive overseas, right?  I thought about a giveaway for shipping costs ($30) but many boxes are lost in transit.  The first time I mailed fabric there, the post office said I must use an international priority mail box.  Wasn't true. It may take some time to go through the old boxes to check inventory and if I decide to offer a set, you'll be the first to know.

I emailed the new owner of Shaker Cat and was surprised to see that the 1985 chart is still available.  Look how cute he is stitched. 

Cedar Hill has a lot of nice small designs, mostly floral with alphabet, none of which I had seen before.  There are so many designers and new charts that most of us miss without local shops.
I'm going to the sewing room to count floss now which takes me two stairs away from the chocolate.  Leslie Sansone and I didn't get along at all.  Starting with the easiest DVD, I was out of breath after 5 minutes. We were close years ago.  Keep going!
Thanks for visiting.

Jan 24, 2015

The next little project

Greetings to all.  How's your weather?  Some areas will be hit with a storm today but we are on the edge and being spared. 

I waffled between Abe and Queen Esther while adding another small to make it harder to choose.  But I did.  I chose Abe but only because I don't have the correct linen shade for a quilt pattern heart.  I stitched two of these years ago and haven't seen them since we started the house mess a year ago.  The shape of the heart would be the longer skinny version that I prefer so extending the stitching area would be necessary. 
 These are the two that I would like to do.  The one on the left was previously stitched using that same rust color.   Eventually I will find it but I would like the shape and color to be different anyway.  I considered doing a monthly heart design as I did for the pears, but there has been too much going on to concentrate.  Odd as it seems, my favorite pears are the designs that were done quickly and required no tweaks. 
 So Abe it is.  Since I'm not using the charted silks, I chose my DMC colors and found myself following the photo instead of the chart.

There are a few spots of pink in the grass area - I'm assuming pink because it's the same symbol as the house - and I didn't want that so I chose to use all green with a few lighter areas.  The fence is charted as all one color but the original looks like there may be two shades of pink, which is what I'm doing. I may use two shades of pink on the house too wherever I see a darker area. 
This project shouldn't take too long and the hearts will probably be next, but you all know how that goes. 
I plan to start using my Leslie Sansone exercise videos today because - I've gained another 7 pounds.  This has to stop.  I needed hypnosis to stop smoking and this addiction seems even stronger.  I've tried the protein shakes and they are terrible.  Horrible!  The only one I can tolerate is Special-K's vanilla cappuccino.  Does it make me feel full and not want to eat?  Not a bit.  Not a bit!!!  But I'll keep trying. 
Have a safe and stitchy weekend.
Thanks for visiting.
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