Wednesday, August 31, 2005

SB Question of the Week

Today's "Stitching Blogger's Question" was suggested by Kim( and is:

What do you use to hold your fabric while you stitch? A hoop, a Q-Snap, a scroll frame, something else, or do you stitch in hand? Have you always used just the one thing or have you tried one or more of the others? Which do you like best? Why?

I have to say that I am an avid hoop stitcher. I have always used a hoop to hold my fabric. When I first started stitching I used a 4 inch hoop all the time. In the past year I have moved up to a 6 inch hoop. I like the hoop because I can keep my thread tension even and since I tend to stitch by areas(like an arm, a hand, etc.) it helps me keep focused on that particular area.

I have tried to stitch holding the fabric but I can't seem to keep the tension even. My attempts were only small projects that couldn't be held by a hoop. I envy the people who can stitch holding the fabric because sometimes it is a pain to keep track of my hoop and it takes a few minutes to set the hoop on the fabric and tighten it down.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Going Postal

I finally got my RR sent off to Renee in Germany. That was an ordeal getting it mailed. I had everything planned out and should not take but a few minutes. Boy was I ever wrong. It all started yesterday. I called ahead to see if they were closing early due to the hurricane and found out that they would be open. Mike had to get some paint from the paint store which happens to be right down the block from the PO so Mike dropped me off at the PO and came back when he was done. I was still waiting in line when Mike returned to get me.

Finally it is my turn and I take my baggies and address up to the clerk and told him I would like to send this Registered Global Priority Mail(GPM). Sounds pretty simple doesn't it? At first the clerk informs me that you know that is going to cost a lot to send it. I said yes that I knew and I still wanted to send it registered GPM as I wanted to make sure that Renee received it. After a few minutes he asks me what is so special about my package that I want to send it like that. By this time I was getting irked because he was starting to get snide with me. I told him I wanted to make sure that it arrived safely. I got a big "HUMPF" from him. That is when he decided that the PO could not send it to Germany registered. I simply asked "Why?" and this man started throwing a fit like a two year old. He turned his computer screen to me and yelled" You do it then!"

By this time I was ready to go postal on him but I managed to keep my cool. About that time is when another clerk tried to help me but she still couldn't get it to go into the computer. Finally I asked her what are they ways I could send it and still have it registered. She gave me two options, one being I send it air mail and have it registered that way or just send it GPM. By this time I had been there for over and hour and the weather was starting to get bad outside. So I took my stuff and went home and emailed Renee and asked her how she wanted me to send it to her.

After reading the email from Renee I headed back to the PO this morning. We had decided to send it GPM. I went in there thinking that I would be in and out in a minute. Wrong, again. First of all the same two clerks were working. I stood in line and waited for my turn. I had told the person behind me that if the male clerk came available before the female one did they could go before me because I was not going to deal with that man. So it was my turn and I stepped up to the female clerk and told her that I wanted to send it GPM. The lady scanned the bar code for the envelope and it would not take it again!!

I had been asking the past two days if I could be a bad code on the envelope and maybe I could try another one. That is when they told me they didn't have anymore large envelopes and I would have to go out to the PO on campus. First of all I avoid driving thru campus at all costs so I was not going for that idea. Finally they did let me see the small envelope and guess what?! My RR fit into the envelope and when she scanned the bar code it worked!! Before I left I told her I would be mailing packages about every other month so please keep the envelopes in stock because I don't want to go through this again. EVER!

I feel much better now that I ranted about my local post office. I have to file it with all those other lovely things about living in small town Mississippi.

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Worst Is Over

The worst of the storm is hopefully over. Right now the winds are about 60 mph and is still raining. Earlier this evening the winds reached up to 80 mph. We have been lucky and still have power. My boss lost their power around 5 pm and have not been restored.

To keep me from being a complete basket case I worked on Checkers. It is so much prettier in person than this scan. I am waiting on the last color of Kreinik to arrive. Hopefully I will get a call from the craft store this week telling me that it has arrived. If that happens then I will probably pick up my 32 count linen for SBRR(2).

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina is making her presence known. It started raining about 6:30 am and has not let stopped. The kids got out of school today and more than likely won't have to school tomorrow. Allie's school had some roof damage today. It is ugly looking outside. The parking lot is flooded and the wind is blowing pretty hard. I hope this all passes quickly with little damage.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

SB Round Robin

I have joined a second SBRR. The theme for this one is seasons. The pattern I chose is Four Chair Seasons by Diana Thomas. It will be stitched on 32 count Belfast linen but I haven't decided on a color. I probably will go with white or antique white. I still have time to choose since the first post date isn't until November 15. The other stitchers in this robin are Renee, Nicki, and Laurie. I can't wait to get started on the RR!

As for my first SBRR (all my SBRR's could get confusing!) I got up and moving around early Saturday morning so that I could go to the post office to mail my package to Renee. Here is where it all went wrong. I called the post office that morning to make sure they had the envelopes. A lady answered my question which was "Do you have the envelopes that I need to mail international packages or did I have to purchase one from Wal-Mart?"
She replied that they had the envelopes and it wasn't necessary for me to purchase another one. I thanked her and hung up and proceeded to gather my stuff and run to the bank and then mail the package. When we (Allie and I) get there I thought the parking lot looked a little bare for a Saturday morning. I really didn't think anything of it UNTIL we walked into the post office and realized they were closed. I looked at my watch to discover that it was about 10:30 am! So, I look to see what the working hours are only to find out that they are not open on Saturdays. I was not happy about this. I had ASSumed that they would be open until noon at least but lady I spoke to on the phone could have told me they weren't open for business!

So now I have to go to the post office tomorrow and mail it to Renee. However if the weather is too bad I'm not going anywhere tomorrow. Vash sent her robin to me late last week. I can't wait to get it and start stitching on it for her.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Odds and Ends

This morning I started a new pattern called Checkers the Pumpkin by Pam Kellogg of Kitty and Me. I am stitching it on 28 count EW that is dyed golden yellow. I am going to give it to, Dayzia, my neighbor's 17 month little girl for Halloween. I am going to finish it by sewing it into a treat bag and I will have to fill it with goodies for her.

Last night I framed November Cherub by Dreamsicles. I will have to post a picture later since I had to use my camera with film. It turned out really pretty and is currently one of the first things you see when you walk in the front door.

I haven't been stitching much on Collecting Shells this week. I do like Carol's idea on using the blending filament and hopefully I will be able to try it out this weekend. Thanks, Carol! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

SB Question of the Week

Today's "Stitching Blogger's Question" was suggested by a Melissa( and is:

What's the largest project you've ever done? What's the smallest?

The largest piece I have stitched was The Bride. She is 10 inches by 16 1/2 inches. I stitched her on 14 count Oatmeal aida cloth. ( that was before I discovered that I liked EW) I stitched her for Renee when she got married but I am holding onto her until Renee can come visit.

The smallest piece that I have stitched would be my first stitched piece and those were little sailboats. They were about 1 1/2 inch by 2 inches. Generally I don't stitch small things but since I joined some Exchanges and Round Robins I have re-discovered the fun in stitching the small designs.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I have ran into a small problem with Collecting Shells. I shouldn't have used tan fabric! I noticed this when I was
stitching with DMC 738 for the sand on the right side of the pattern. Oh well, it is a minor problem that can be adjusted some way I just have not figured it

Sunday, August 21, 2005


I figured since it is getting close for me to start on the finishing of my Halloween Exchange I had better get some practice in so I don't messing up the end result. I worked on this early this evening and stitched this together in no time at all. It turned out fairly well or at least I think it did. My daughter, Allie, decided even before I was completely done with it that she wanted it for her door to her bedroom.

I didn't get any stitching done today as I spent most of the afternoon doing that dreaded task of laundry and cleaning house. At least that will give me some stitching time tomorrow afternoon before the kids get home. After I post this I am heading in for a long hot bath and if all is quiet when I get out I might do a little stitching on Collecting Shells.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Road Rage

I got a call from the craft store yesterday telling me my order had arrived. I was on very happy as I had been waiting for the last 2 weeks. I think I have said this before my little craft store is off of a busy highway literally in the middle of nowhere. The speed limit is 55 mph on the highway but the turn into the store is a complete mess. There are holes in the ground big enough to swallow my truck! There is no way to turn off the highway quickly you can only be going about 15 mph if you don't want to rip the entire bottom off of your vehicle.

Anyways I was driving out there and I got to probably about a half mile before my turn and I turned my signal on and started slowing down. Meanwhile a very big semi is behind me I swear he was going about 70 mph and wasn't slowing down at all!! That wasn't the worst part. The driver was talking on the cell phone!! I managed to make the turn without killing the truck but the truck driver had the nerve to give me the one fingered salute and I was called a not so nice name.

I can see the guy being upset if I had just turned with no warning however I had my turn signal on for at least a half mile before. There are no other right hand turns from the point I turned it on and I made my turn so there was no way of being confused as to which turn I was going to take. Grrr!! At least it was made a little better when I got inside and found out that all but one of my colors of Kreinik had arrived. One is on backorder and hopefully it will get here soon.

So last night I worked on my SBHE. It is turning out really pretty! I can't wait to finish it and send it on to my person. I think she will like it. I can't post any of the picture until after she gets it. Believe me it is killing me to not write anything about it yet!

Friday, August 19, 2005

I am about halfway done with Collecting Shells. Last night I managed to finish up her dress and I started to work on her arm this morning. I got a good laugh from Mac last night. He had a rough day so he decided to sit with me in my stitching chair and while I was stitching away he asked me "Mama, why did you stitch her skull?" It took me a moment to figure out that he was referring to her bow in her hair. I tried to tell him that it was a hair bow but he insists that it is her skull. I will have to show him the bow after I have it all finished so that he can see that it is really a bow.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

SB Question of the Week

Today's "Stitching Blogger's Question" is was suggested by a Dawn( and is:

How often do you wash your fabric for each project? Do you wait until the very end until to wash it or do you wash it more than once?

I like to "prep" my fabric before I start to stitch. By "prepping" I mean that I finish the edges so they don't unravel as I am stitching then I rinse my fabric in lukewarm water with a mild detergent. Instead of drying my fabric with an iron I simply hang my fabric on a clothes line to dry. After it is dry I iron out all the creases and begin my stitching. If I get something does get on the fabric while I am stitching I will wash it but I like to wait until I am completely finished with the stitching before I wash it.

The only thing special I use in my washings is an infant toothbrush. If there is a spot that I can't get out by simple rubbing the fabric together I will gently scrub the area with the toothbrush. Occasionally when I get a stubborn stain I pre-treat it with Shout and then wash the fabric.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I didn't get a whole lot of stitching done last night but she is slowly coming alive. I am stitching her on 28 count Charles Craft Monaco evenweave fabric that I hand dyed using tan Rit dye. It is all Carol's fault. :) I really didn't stitch on anything other than white fabric until I started reading her blog. She has some of the most beautiful fabric that I have ever seen! Then after seeing Renee's and Christine's hand dye jobs I decided to try it myself. I found that I really like to dye my own fabrics. It makes me feel more like an artist.

The kids are back to their normal school routine. Krissy is waiting for her clarinet to be delivered from the music store in Jackson. She is excited and I am stocking up on cotton balls! Allie is getting all geared up for her VIVA/ARTS class. Mac has not got into trouble (yet) at school. He did bring home his first spelling test and got a 102%.

Things have been hectic at work lately. My boss finally clued me in as to what is going on and it is definitely a good thing. I can't say too much because nothing is definite and I don't want to jinx myself. :) Hopefully, I will find out for sure in the next couple of weeks but until then I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Progress At Last

Yippie! I made progress on Collecting Shells and no mistakes this time. I will stitch on Collecting Shells until I get to the backstitching and then set it aside for a little while and work on something else.

I have signed up for a couple of exchanges and another round robin on Becky's Board. I am in the Halloween Exchange which is moderated by Jo, the Birthday Exchange is moderated by Nicki, and a Round Robin moderated by Renee. I think these will keep me busy for awhile! I have already begun my stitching for the Halloween exchange but it isn't final until I get my person's name(should be in the next day or two) and make sure they will like the design.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Rotation Problems

I am beginning to think that I am not supposed to stitch Woodland Faerie! I pulled her out this evening to work on her when looking at the fabric I thought something didn't look right (again!) The first thing jumped to my mind was something Renee had asked me earlier today about how many strands was I using one or two. I had used strands and once I read the directions(when all else fails read the directions!) I discovered that I was supposed to use one strand for stitching over one thread!

Now I know that non-stitchers wouldn't notice the mistake but to me that is a HUGE mistake. I was lucky to discover it right away but I still considered cutting the fabric up into a million little pieces! I am going to put Woodland Faerie back into my stash pile because I really like the pattern and don't want to end up hating it and just letting it become a UFO.

With all that happening I had to ask myself why have I been making some big mistakes lately on my stitching. My only answer to this I could come up with is I recently went from stitching one at a time to doing a rotation with 3-4 projects going. I think my problem is I can't focus on more than one or two big projects at a time. Coming to this conclusion I have decided to toss out my rotation system and go back to stitching one at a time. I might try a rotation system again later but for now I am going to stick with what works the best for me.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Woodland Faerie

Here is what I have accomplished on Woodland Faerie. The whole area of her skin is worked over one thread and let me tell you that is straining on the eyes! I will be glad when I get her face and arms stitched and can do the rest of the stitching over 2 threads!

Here is my latest dye job:

It is called Vivid Turquoise. I really like how this color turned out!

Friday, August 12, 2005

A New Start

Yesterday I pulled out Woodland Faerie by TW and started stitching on her. It was only after about 4 hours of stitching I realized something was wrong. I had been working on her arm and the size didn't look right according to what the finished size should be. It was then that I realized on the faerie's arms you are supposed to stitch over one thread and not two. Agghhh! So I spent the rest of the afternoon ripping out stitches. I would have just tossed the whole fabric but I hand dyed this fabric golden yellow and don't have anymore in my stash. Since, I got off to a bad start with the pattern I have already decided that I am going to keep this beauty when she is finished and frame her for myself. I even have a spot already picked out for her above my sewing/stitching corner.

Mike and I have agreed to let Krissy start babysitting with some conditions. First and foremost is that she has to maintain her grades and keep up with her homework. This year she has joined band and has been put in an accelerated math class. I just hope she isn't putting too much on herself. She babysat last night for the first time and did great. I checked on her a couple of times and everything was fine. The little girl lives right across the street from us so if anything should happen Krissy knows to come and get one of us. Krissy was on top of the world when she got home and had six dollars burning a hole in her pocket.

Thanks to all who commented on if she was old enough to start babysitting or not. It helped ease Mike's worries. Mike is VERY protective of his kids and is not ready for Krissy to be a young lady any time soon.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Last night Mike and I had one of our "discussions". When I use the word discussion it usually means that Mike is being unreasonable and I am trying not to lose my temper with him. I have to say that Mike is a wonderful dad. However, since Krissy hit puberty it is like he has lost his mind.

We are disagreeing about if Krissy(she is 11 soon to be 12 in Oct) is old enough to babysit. Last night Krissy was offered a regular babysitting job. It is 2 nights a week for about 4 hours a day after school. Mike doesn't think Krissy is old enough to watch the little child. I, on the other hand, think that Krissy is old enough. I was babysitting my neighbors children when I was that age and if anything it made me more independent than I was before I started babysitting.

Krissy is a good person. She has been on the honor roll for the last 3 years and has gotten several awards for her grades. Last year in early 2004 she even was accepted into the Duke University TIP program. I feel that if she can accomplish all that, she can handle watching a 4 year old girl a few hours. Most of all is Krissy wants to babysit so she can earn herself some money.

Am I being to laid back as a mother or is Mike right that Krissy is too young?

SBQ of the Week

Today's "Stitching Blogger's Question" was suggested by a reader of my blog and is:

What do you do with the framed stitching that you keep? Do you hang it up and leave it in one place, never to move it? Or do you have a rotation, where you have one place for stitched pieces and switch them out according to mood or season? Maybe a mixture of both?

I have to be honest and say I don't have any of my projects that I have framed up on my walls. The main reason is that when I do frame a project it is because I am giving it to someone special. However, I do have a few wall hangings on my walls. Once my wall hangings go up on a wall they are pretty much set there for life. My throw pillows I do change out according to the seasons but not because I want a different decor. It is simply because I finished a new pillow and want to show it off to people.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Weekend Stitching

As luck would have it I was able to work on Collecting Shells on Saturday evening. Normally I watch PBS from 9:00-10:30 pm but this week they decided to show a Bruce Springsteen concert. So instead of watching May To December, Are You Being Served?, and My Hero (my all time favorite shows) I stitched.

I have put C.S. away for awhile and have been working on the SBHE. I really wish I could post a picture but I won't until the person I send it to receives it. I can't ruin the anticipation of waiting now can I? :) The stitching on it is coming along great. I am almost to the point of where I need to start stitching with Kreinik floss. However, they are on order at the craft store. After losing my last order, I explained to the owner that I had a deadline with this order and to please make sure it gets placed. I hate playing the wait and see game!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Normal Day

I did get some stitching time in yesterday before the kids got home from school. So far I really like this pattern. My only snag is since my digital camera died I won't be able to show the whole picture right away. I have a really nice Cannon camera that I use to take the final pictures. Then I have to get the pictures developed and bring it home to scan them to the computer.

The kids' first day of school went okay. Allie did manage to rip the entire sole apart from her shoe. They were a brand new pair of shoes too! It was obvious once I looked at the shoe that it wasn't Allie's fault. So this morning we went and had them exchange them for a new pair. Krissy tried to wear a white tank top with a blue bra showing to school so we had the normal "Why can't I wear?" argument. I won that small battle and she wore a denim shirt instead. Mac got his stick moved (they have 3 to pull before I get a call) for talking out of turn. Basically everything went normal

Friday, August 05, 2005


This just wasn't my week for stitching. I figured that after losing Geisha it couldn't get any worse. It didn't dramatically get worse it just slowly slid downhill further. I had ran out of 310 that I am using in my SBHE so I started working on Collecting Shells and was running low on white. I made a quick trip to Wal-Mart to pick up some floss. Wal-Mart was out of both colors I needed. That didn't surprise me too much so that is why I was planning on a trip to the craft store this week.

The first sign that things weren't going to go well was I had to wait 30 minutes in the drive thru at the bank to get my check cashed. I decided to go out to the craft store to pick up some Kreinik floss that I had ordered over 3 weeks ago and to order some more for my SBHE. When I arrived and inquired if my floss arrived I was informed that my order had either got lost or not placed at all. The only reason I wasn't totally upset was that they were for Krissy's pattern that she is stitching and not mine. The owner was very sorry about the incident and said that she would reorder them for me. I gave her a list of all the floss that I needed ( a total of 9 spools!) and she promised me that it would placed and should be back in about 3 weeks. We will see.

After that minor let down I went to go get the 310 and white I needed for my projects. Can you believe that they were out of 310?! I double checked because she usually has 2 slots full. Nope, both were empty. Agghh!! So far I had not got one thing that I needed for my projects. That is the very moment that I decided that I was going to buy a new pattern. After the week I had, I deserved a treat for myself. I knew immediately which one I wanted. It is TW's The Fortunate Traveler.

I can't wait to stitch this one!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Back To School!

Tomorrow is the first day of school for the kids. Whoo hoo for me. I will get some peace and quiet even if it is only a few short hours. I spent most of the afternoon at Open House for my son's second grade class. The teacher he got this year is a good teacher. Allie had her when she was in second grade and we didn't have any problems with her. Allie got the same teacher as Krissy had last year. Her teacher is also a good teacher. In case you are wondering, the school allows for the parents to choose their child's teacher. You get to choose 5 teachers and they will try to place them in the class you choose first. We have always gotten the teacher that we have choose as number one. My kids have had all the same teachers for every grade so far. This year Krissy gets to switch classes so I don't get to choose her teachers anymore.

Since Geisha got ruined I have had a hard time getting motivated to start stitching again. I did manage to get some stitching in on Collecting Shells this morning at work. I was going to work on Geisha for the next 2 weeks but since she is gone I am not for sure what I will work on. Maybe I will start TW's Woodland Faerie, I do have some fabric I dyed Golden Yellow that it would look great on. It is something to think about but hopefully tomorrow afternoon before the kids get out of school I can make a run to the craft store. Since I will already be there I might just have to browse around the patterns and see what treasures I can find.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

SBQ of the Week

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

Have you hand-dyed your own fabric? Why or why not? Would you like to try to do so?

I have recently started to dye my own fabric and I love it! Unfortunately, my little craft shop here doesn't carry anything but white, off-white, and blue colors of fabric in evenweave. I don't have a credit card to purchase from online shopping which of course doesn't help matters. The owner of the craft store will special order stuff for me however, it takes them 3-6 weeks for it to get it back to me. I have said before that patience is not my best virtue so I began tossing the idea around about dying my own fabrics. After I read Renee's and Christine's blogs about their attempts at dying I was ready to try dye my fabric.

My first attempt was a Lime Green and a Deep Purple. They turned out great so that was all it took for me to get hooked. Since then I have dyed fabric Rose Pink, Golden Yellow, and Tan. I have some other colors in line to try like Teal, Turquoise, and Wine. I can't wait to see what they look like when they are done!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A Very Bad Afternoon

I have had better stitching days than I did today. After I posted earlier I went out to my stitching chair and began to work on Geisha. I had been working at a pretty good rate when all of a sudden my cat, Kitty, jumped directly on top of my fabric and wanted me to pet her or so I thought. I was trying to get my fabric out of the way when to my horror Kitty starts having a seizure on top of me and my fabric.

I am used to her having surprise seizures however, this time Kitty lost all control of her bodily functions all over Geisha! I did not notice it until later when I was done comforting Kitty. Agghhh!!!! Yuck!! I did attempt to try and clean it but my queasy stomach could not handle doing that. I want to scream at some one or something and I can't. It isn't the cat's fault that she had a seizure but she doesn't normal jump on me when she is going to have a seizure.

I am so frustrated that this happened as I had planned on giving it to a friend when it was done. I think I will just look for another pattern to do for her. I like the pattern and really would like to have it displayed in my apartment but right now I think I will lay it aside until the memory of this little episode fades.

Halloween Exchange

I have never been a patient person when it comes to doing things. Once I get something in my head I am ready to start it right then and there. The same is true when it comes to stitching. When I finally choose the theme for the SBRR I didn't waste anytime getting started. My only hold up was waiting for the Kreinik thread to arrive. Once the thread arrived I had it whipped together and ready to be sent on in a couple of days.

The same thing is happening to me with the SBHE. I had been trying to wait until I received my name before I picked out a pattern to stitch but I found one that is screaming to stitched for this exchange. I instantly new what color would look good for the fabric. I have some 28 count evenweave fabric that a had dyed deep purple.

After those two things were decided I could not do anything but think how neat it will look. Last night I finally could not take it anymore and I had to start on my exchange. Since it does require some Kreinik threads I will have to order those this weekend and wait for them to arrive.

Here is the fabric I am using.

Monday, August 01, 2005

July/August Goals

It is hard to believe that it is already August 1 and that means I need set some new goals for this month and to see if I made my goals or at least most of them for July.

July Goals:

1. Stitch at least 8 letters(if not more)in ABC Bears.
**Stitched 6 letters, lowering it to 3 letters per week instead of 4.

2. Finish the cross stitching on Geisha and start the backstitching.
**Finished the girl but still have the background to stitch.

3. Finish the SB Round Robin.
**Finished my little dragon and is ready to mail.

4. Start either Collecting Shells or Four Seasons Chairs
**Started Collecting Shells

August Goals

1. Stitch at least 3 letters on ABC Bears
2.. Finish stitching on Geisha and frame.(August 17 is when I would like it completely finished)
3. Mail SBRR to Renee.
4. Work on Collecting Shells.
5. Start Stitching Blogger's Halloween Exchange (SBHE).

August Rotation

August 1-6 Geisha
August 7-13 Geisha/SBHE
August 14-20 ABC Bears
August 21-27 Collecting Shells
August 28-31 SBHE