Saturday, July 30, 2005

Here is my progress on Collecting Shells for the week. Last evening I posted that my camera was on strike. It wasn't on strike it was dead. This wasn't good news as I have already spent way too much money on getting the kids ready for school so there was no way I was going to be able to buy a new camera this week. We have at least 3 scanners in the house and since I am no computer whiz (that is Mike's area) at getting the stuff installed and hooked up so I have been asking him to do this for me ever since I started my blog.

Today I went to Wal-Mart and priced a scanner that is compatible with my PC. I did not purchase it but went home and told Mike that he had to come up with the money. Would you believe that 3 hours later I have a scanner hooked up to the PC?! Push came to shove and he just hooked up one we already had but I am not complaining. I will have to play around with the scanner to get it all figured out. So in the mean time, please bear with me if the pictures look funny.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Count Down Has Begun....

The countdown has begun! The kids have one week(Aug 5) until they return to school. Whoo hoo! This however, means I have been doing a lot of back to school shopping and since I have two girls that means we have had to endure a fashion show every night of their new clothes. I find it hard to believe that they are going to be in 6th, a 5th, and a 2nd grade.

I have been stitching on Collecting Shells this week. I got her face stitched and working on her hair right now. However, I can not decided if I like the colors of the hair of not. As it is right now it looks awful funny or at least I think it does. I would have put up a picture but my camera has decided to go on strike.

I started using a rotation about a month or so ago and I am not for sure if I like it or not. I am getting about the same amount of work done but I feel like I haven't accomplished anything. Before I started using a rotation I had 2 categories for my stitching......Stitching and Backstitching. I would work on a piece in 2 separate phases but I didn't place a time limit or goal for my self. I guess that was kind of a rotation itself. I don't know if I will stay with the rotation or not but you can be sure that I won't quit stitching!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

SBQ of the Week

Today's "Stitching Blogger's Question" is:

What is your most unique/interesting stitching quirk? (This could be something concerning the way you stitch, how you organize your stash,etc.)

This was a hard question this week! I would have to say my "quirk" would be when I stitch I sit Indian style. It doesn't matter if I am at home in my recliner or at work in the office chair I sit Indian style(with a blanket across my legs) with my floss and chart in my lap. Another little "quirk" I have is when I push/pull the needle with thread thru the fabric. When I push the needle thru the fabric I use my index finger and thumb but when I pull the needle thru the fabric I pull it out using my middle finger and thumb. I probably have a lot more but those two really stick out or at least I think they are a little strange.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Quick and Easy Snack

After getting off work this morning I was hungry for something sweet to eat. It is extremely hot outside and didn't want to be hot myself so I knew I wanted something simple and quick. Cinnamon Coffee Cake!! My mom gave me this recipe a few years ago and it is delicious! I don't know where she got it from but I am pretty sure it came off of the back of a box somewhere.

2 cups Bisquick
3 TBLE sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 TBLE shortening or oil ( I use oil.)

1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 TBLE Bisquick
2 TBLE butter(works best if chilled)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 in pan. Mix all the ingredients for the batter. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Pour the batter into the pan. Mix the dry ingredients for topping. Cut the butter and add to the dry ingredients. Sprinkle the topping mixture onto the batter. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Let stand for 10 min before serving.

So while I am reading some blogs I will eat my coffee cake and drink my Cherry Coke.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Starting Collecting Shells

This weeks' rotations schedule was to work on and finish SBRR. I knew that I would so I planned to stitch on ABC Bears as the back up. I managed to stitch almost 4 letters for a grand total of six letters stitched this month. My original goal for the month of July was to stitch 8 letters( 4 letters each week), however after stitching for 2 weeks regularly I decided that my goal of four letters per week was pushing myself to hard. So for next month I will lower my goal to 3 letters per week.

Today I am starting a new pattern that I got from my kids. It is called Collecting Shells by Nancy Cole. The finished size will be 12" x 16 1/4". I am stitching it on tan evenweave fabric. I dyed the fabric myself using Tan dye from Rit Dye. This pattern has a lot of 1/2 stitches so I will have to double check my work often to make sure I get it right other than that I don't foresee a whole lot of trouble...but you never know!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

SBRR is Done!!

Here is my square for my piece in the SBRR. I have been going back and forth about putting our names in our squares. I really wanted to since this is something that is going to be special to me. Once I put my name on the left side it was lopsided and I did not consider that before I started to stitch my name. I quickly came up with stitching the element the dragon is representing.. I used the Kreinik VFB #4 thread to stitch and the backstitching. I really like how it has turned out so far. So it is all ready to be sent to Renee to stitch her dragon. That is not the impressive part. The impressive part will be when I actually get it mailed to her.

SB Question of the Week

Today's "Stitching Blogger's Question was suggested by Zohrah:

Have you ever done a color conversion? If so, what did you think about your results and would you do it again? If not, would you like to try someday?

I have done simple conversions of two or three colors but I have never attempted a complete pattern. I do not have the patience to try and visualize how I want it to look and to have it come out like I want. I am not for sure if this would be something I would be interested in doing or not. I think I would consider it more if I designed my own patterns.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Snow White is Complete!

When I went to the craft store the other day I finally found some fabric to finish Snow White! The picture does not even come close to showing how pretty the fabric really looks. I made it into a pillow for Dayzia, my neighbors' 18 month old daughter. Dayzia loved it! She instantly picked it up and has not put it down since Saturday when I gave it to her. The smile on her face and not to mention all the kisses I got was worth the time it took to make it for her.

This morning I finished my square on my SBRR. I am still deciding if I want all of us to stitch our names in the squares that we stitch. One minute I do then I put it away and look at it again and I change my mind. I choose the 2004 Generosity/Elemental Dragons from Dragon Dreams. I am stitching The Dragon of Fire. The post date isn't until September 1 so I am confident that I will have it in the mail on time.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

A Good Afternoon

Yesterday was a good day for me. My floss that I had to order for the SBRR-dragons finally arrived. I was starting to worry that it wasn't going to arrive in time but it is here now and I am going to start stitching on it tomorrow evening. It has been killing me to wait until tomorrow to finish the stitching and backstitching but I won't get a free moment until then. Tonight I have 2 extra girls spending the night with Krissy and Allie. Mac is spending the night at his friend's house tonight and then we have to go out to his house at lunch time for a birthday party/cook-out. So I don't foresee a quiet moment from now until then.

While I was picking up my floss I was looking at the cross stitch patterns and I found a new pattern that I just had to buy. I bought Teresa Wentzler's Woodland Faerie. I was having a hard time choosing between that one and The Fortunate Traveler. I probably will end up going back and buying The Fortunate Traveler when I pick up some more floss that I ordered.

I wanted to thank everyone for commenting on Allie's piece. She is giving stitching a break and is now making some pillows. When I went shopping I had to buy some fabric and Allie saw some Bratz fabric and bought it with her allowance. She has one finished and is working on another pillow. She has me running to the craft store more for her than I do for myself.

I worked on Geisha this week and am pleased that I finished the girl. I would like to have her completely finished by August 17. That is when Anna will be back from her trip and since Mike and I are taking care of her puppies while she is gone I would like to have it done as a surprise for her when she comes home.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Drum Roll Please.....

I am proud to show to every one Allie's(she's 10 yrs old) very first (completed) stitching project. I am extremely proud of her! It's not only because it is something we have in common and can do together but that she actually sat still to do it. Allie can not sit still for more than 30 seconds most of the time without doing something that involves some kind of jumping involved. She is a very energetic child. I have to admit she is the spitting image of me physically and in attitude. Poor child not to mention poor me during the teenage years.

Allie has already finished another small piece and wants me to post it. I think I have created a monster! I will have to post it later as I have to go pay bills and maybe make a quick trip to the craft store.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

SBQ of the Week

Today's "Stitching Blogger's Question" is:

What do you do when you have some sort of obligation stitching to do, but don't want to do it?

Normally when I choose a pattern to stitch it is mainly because I like how the pattern looks and seldom have a problem finishing. Once in awhile I do get asked to stitch a design that I just plain don't like. For instance, my brother loves eagles and had me stitch him a bald eagle and make it into a throw pillow for him. It took me 4 long months to complete it. When it was finally finished I told him that he had better like it as it was such a pain in the you-know-what to stitch. However, within 2 months of completing the pillow his dog shredded it into a millions pieces of fabric.

The only was I know how to deal with not wanting to stitch a pattern is just to dive in and force myself to get it finished. I don't like to force myself to stitch a project but if I don't it will never get finished. I have been fortunate and can count on one hand how many times I have stitched something that I didn't like. I have been even luckier with the SBRR and that I love all the patterns every one has chosen. Maybe it is not luck, maybe I am just not a picky stitcher.
I saw this meme on Zorah's blog and I thought it was neat.

A is for age: 30

B is for booze: Strawberry Daiquiris

C is for career: Full time wife and mother of 3 kids and part time office manager

D is for dad's name: James Maurice

E is for essential item to bring to a party: got to love those candid shots :)

F is for favorite songs at the moment: Baby Girl by Sugarland, Some Beach by Blake Shelton, and What's a Guy Gotta Do by Joe Nichols

G is for goof off thing to do: go shopping

H is for hometown: small town, Iowa

I is for instrument you play: Flute

J is for jam or jelly you like: Strawberry

K is for kids: Krissy 11 yrs, Allie 10 yrs, and Mac 7 yrs

L is for living arrangements: A 3 bedroom apartment

M is for mom's name: Virginia Elaine

N is for name of good friends: Renee and Mike

O is for overnight stays at the hospital: 2 times for natural childbirth(one night each), 1 time for C-section(two days), 1 time for torn placenta and to be given blood(one week), and 1 time for viral pneumonia(one week)

P is for phobias: Heights and flying

Q is for quotes you like: You can not out run Death but you can sure make the Bastard work for it.

R is for relationship that has lasted the longest: Currently been married for 12 years and have been together for almost 14 years.

S is for siblings: one older brother

T is for Texas: Went and visited some friends when I was 12 in Garland.

U is for unique traits: I can "tune out" my kids and Mike when I want.

V is for vegetables that you love: potatoes and lettuce are about it for me

W is for worst traits: I hold grudges for a long time

X is for x-rays you have had: Way too many to list.

Y is for yummy food you make: Homemade Lasagne

Z is for zodiac sign: Scorpio

Monday, July 11, 2005

ABC Bears was in the rotation to be stitched on last week. I didn't get as far as I had planned which isn't too big of a surprise as it is summer break for the kids and they have me running here, there, and everywhere.

Allie is still working on her cross stitch project. I have to admire her determination. She has ripped out more stitches than are on her Aida cloth. Her main problem is keeping the tension even. She was happy to find out that I had dyed some of the Aida cloth for her to use on her next project. She is already looking at patterns to decided what she will stitch next. She is a cross stitcher at heart!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Another Dye Job

I wasn't in the mood to stitch last night so instead I decided to dye some more fabric. I had finally found some Rit dye and chose the color Rose Pink (the one on the right). They also have a teal and a turquoise that I think will look good, maybe I will do them next weekend.

I stitched on ABC Bears this last week. I did not make my goal of 4 letter stitched by the end of the week. I only got 2 and a half letters stitched. Last week was a busy week for me with getting the kids off and home from all their trips and camps. Things should slow down as only Mac leaves for camp tomorrow that is if Hurricane Dennis doesn't blow us away.

This week I will be stitching on Geisha. I know that in my goals I wanted to be finished with all the cross stitching this month but I will be happy if I just finish all the cross stitching on just the girl. Meanwhile I am starting to get annoyed at the craft store. When I ordered my floss they told me it would be in by last week. Well, it is Sunday and it still isn't here. Grrrr! I absolutely hate waiting!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Star participants

Okay I know that this is not cross stitch related but I am extremely proud of my two daughters,Krissy and Allie. My girls have been participating in NYSP,a 5 week long day camp (7:30 am to 1:30 pm), and both of my girls were chosen as Star participants and their reward is that they get to go to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville Alabama!! They are leaving Friday morning and will be back late Saturday night. The best part is it is an all expense paid trip for them.

There were a roughly 300 students that attend and only 50 got chosen as a Star Participant. Out of those 50 students they will choose 11 students as Ambassadors of NYSP and they will get to go to Disneyland (at no cost to me!). However, I have told the girls to not get their hopes up about the Disneyland trip. It would be awesome but our luck just doesn't run that way.

SBQ of the Week

Today's "Stitching Blogger's Question" is:

Do you think that you stitch neater on Evenweave than you do on Aida cloth? If so, why?

I started stitching on Evenweave(EW from here on) a few months and had only used Aida up till that point. I think I stitch better on EW. I have several reasons why I prefer EW over Aida and they are:

1. Aida cloth is a lot more stiffer and harder for me to work with in a hoop.
2. Sometimes it is hard for me to get the needle thru the aida when doing a 1/4 or 3/4 stitch.
3. The holes on Aida are more visible and a non-stitcher can easily see them where on EW the holes are smaller and not so noticeable.
4. I think that EW looks more "professional" in my opinion.
5. I just like it!

I have not used Aida cloth since I converted to EW. I have lots of Aida in my stash and I don't know if I will use it or not but I will save it for my daughters to use in their stitching adventures.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Update on Geisha

I worked on Geisha last week in my rotation. My goal for this month on this project is to finish all the cross stitching and (hopefully) start on the backstitching. I have decided to give this to my friend, Anna. From the first time she saw what I was stitching she has commented on how pretty it looks. She does not have any idea I'm going to give it to her when I finish it.

This week I am stitching on ABC Bears and I already have stitched one complete letter. My goal is to stitch at least 4 letters each week I stitch on it or 8 letters stitched by August 1. I feel pretty good about achieving this goal.

I am patiently waiting on my thread to arrive so I can work on SB RR. I am making sure that I have it all ready to be mailed a little early so that I won't forget to take it to the post office. I am terrible with mailing stuff! I have marked every single one of the calendars with the post dates and when I should have it mailed by to arrive on time.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Hand Dyed Fabrics

The dying bug caught me! After reading Christine's blog and seen that her fabric turned out great I decided that I would try my hand at dying some fabric. Yesterday, I went to Wal-Mart and bought some fabric dye by Dylon and of course since it was Wal-Mart it was a hair pulling trip. They only cost about $2.00 a package and one package does a 1/4 pound of fabric. The fabric I dyed was a 28 count white 20" x 24" white evenweave fabric by Charles Craft.

The whole time I was dying the fabric everything was going smoothly. I did feel like a witch stirring her brew in the sink. I went to hang them up in my bedroom. I have a mini clothes line in my bedroom for my crafts to hang on and dry. Mike was trying to be helpful and placed the two fabric right next to one another so that the deep purple bled on to the lime green fabric. I was able to save it by cutting about two inches of fabric off so that the purple is gone.

I really love how the fabrics came out. I almost don't want to stitch anything on them. I guess I will put them back in my stash pile and wait till it calls out to me. I am definitely going to dye some more fabric.

July Goals

Since I have started using a rotation for my projects it has become apparent to me that I am going to have to start setting some goals.

July Rotation Schedule:
July 3-9: ABC Bears
July 10-16: Geisha/*SB Round Robin
July 17-23: Start new project/*SB Round Robin
July 24-30: ABC Bears

*SB Round Robin will be stitched when the floss arrives.

July Goals:

1. Stitch at least 8 letters(if not more)in ABC Bears.
2. Finish the cross stitching on Geisha and start the backstitching.
3. Finish the SB Round Robin.
4. Start either Collecting Shells or Four Seasons Chairs.