Friday, December 30, 2011

Last post of 2011

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

I got some wonderful goodies!

My husband got me this bamboo floss chest from DMC!

The chest is surprisingly heavy, and just a bit hard to move, so I have it still sitting in the plastic until I can find a good place for it. Of course it is already jam-packed with my floss and many duplicates! I also got Country Life from the Scarlet Letter. This definitely goes on my 'to do" list!

Meanwhile of course, I am still stuck in the middle of the green sea!

Doesn't seem like I have made much progress from the last post. This green stripey fill-in just takes forever!

Here is the whole thing: When I finish filling in the last bit around the tree, I will be able to start the last page, and more green sea of course!

Considering that I have been working on ATS since July, I could have had a couple more 2011 finishes, but this will be a big one for 2012 when it is done.

This year went very quickly!

Here are my 2011 finishes :

I think my favorite was This is the Day from Hands to Work.

I don't typically make many resolutions, but here are a few:

  • to frame more of my finishes (I didn't get one thing framed this year)!

  • to finish my ornaments

  • to knit a sweater - (I haven't knitted anything in decades)!

  • to find a picture or icon of some sort to replace that ridiculous google "head" as my profile

  • and of course "to get into shape" LOL Yeah right!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

This year, Christmas is a little low key for us. A lot has happened this year, and frankly it has left us just exhausted.
We did however cut down our tree, Usually we go upstate, but this year, we went to Vernon, NJ to get it. Our small living room has very low ceilings, so sometimes it is a challenge to find the right shape tree. I like the tall skinny "Charlie Brown" trees, and Keith prefers a fuller tree. We wandered around until we finally found one.
Keith cut it down.
It is Christmas Eve, and there is still plenty of this to do:
More trips to the attic are needed. We still needs more ornaments on the tree. Here is how it looks so far:
The cats have the right idea! They don't let things stress them out.



Merry Christmas everyone!

Some stitching and the LAST TUSAL of 2011!

Very hard to believe that the last new moon of 2011 has arrived!

Here is my jar:

I will wait until late winter and then sprinkle it about outside on the bushes. I hope the birds will use it in their nests.

A lot of it is filled with threads from this:
Just impossible to get a good shot of this!

I am stuck in this sea of green right now. IT IS TAKING FOREVER!!! I do not like this stripey bit in the grass at all! I like the other parts where the green looks more natural. I thought about taking it out, but I didn't want to do all that frogging. Not sure how I like the way this looks though.

Here is a close-up:

I have one more finish, to show you. I stitched First Snow, a freebie from The Drawn Thread. I love this design, but I am a little disappointed that the snow did not show up so well on the fabric I chose. It is on a pale blue. I may stitch this again on a raw linen or a gray color for more contrast.
I do not know how I am going to finish this one just yet.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

TUSAL and Some Ornaments

Meant to post yesterday, but a Dell update software for my printer managed to crash my computer. My husband recovered it, but only after hours and hours of effort. I think the end may be near for this computer! (If you have a Dell AIO 962 printer, watch out for that update. It's a killer)!

Here is my November TUSAL along with the Thanksgiving gang.

Soon it will be time to replace my fall tablecloth with a more seasonal one, but I just refuse to decorate for Christmas before Dec 1st! I try to hold on to fall as long as I can!

I have been working on some ornaments from an oldie but goodie, Prairie Schooler (#10 Prairie Christmas) from 1985. I stitched the cat as designed:

Then I stitched it again to commemorate Max ,who we lost this year.
I always forget just how long it takes to finish these ornaments. I only finished one of them so far. Finishing is not my forte to be sure, but I think this one turned out ok!

We miss you Max!

These are terrible pictures today! Sorry about that. I don't seem to be able to take a good picture to save my life! They really look better in person than they do here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Thanksgiving Friends

It occurred to me that I really don't have many Thanksgiving decorations. I usually rely upon natural decorations, pine cones, acorns, etc. I have always wanted to stitch something appropriate, but I was never able to get the timing right.

I decided to take a break from And They Sinned, to work on these little guys.

Thanksgiving Friends is a design by Need'l Love from 1989. The Pilgrim Dolls were first published in 1989 and they were so popular that it was reprinted with the Indians and turkey in 1991.

The pattern called for 7 count Klostern. I only had a small piece of this which wasn't big enough. I got the idea to use a piece of burlap, which I had on hand. Admittedly, burlap is not the easiest fabric to work, but I got used to it as I went along. I like the rustic look of it for these designs.

The finishing was a bit fiddly. Their size was different than the base size given, so I had to play with it a bit. Not my forte, but by trial and error, I got it to work. I sewed solid fabrics to the backs and the stands.

Here's how they turned out:

Furrytail had to check them out of course!

By the way, I wanted to give a shout out to Sharon at It's Daffycat . She will be hosting the 2012 TUSAL. Hop on over to check it out!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October TUSAL and an Update

My favorite month of the year is all too quickly coming to an end.

Here is my TUSAL for October. Doesn't look too impressive, probably due to muted colors and single strand threads .

I have continued working on And They Sinned. I have been in a bit of a funk about everything. I wasn't sure I wanted to continue on this, but it actually seemed easier to keep going, rather than work on something new.

I ran out of GAST Cherry Bark, so I couldn't finish the fence. I have ordered it, and hopefully will receive it in a day or two. I think maroon is an odd color for a fence, but that is what the design calls for.

This is where I left off.

It is slowly creeping along. Here is the whole thing.
Not the best picture to be sure! These long ones are tough to photograph!

I want to thank everyone for your encouragement and suggestions. There is still no progress on the medical bill front. The insurance company has paid less than 10% of the bills. We are appealing this claim, but I do not have high hopes. They seem to do exactly what they please. I don't know what we will do.

Medically, I guess I am making some progress because I am to start physical therapy next week. I am not looking forward to adding more expense to this situation, but I guess it represents some measure of progress.

The bees did very well all summer, and then suddenly one of the hives died in September. A couple of the others seem weak. Normally we have our largest honey harvest in the fall, but this year. we only got about 20 bottles. Keith wanted to leave the rest of the honey for the bees, to help them get through the winter. We now have only 4 hives. He is going to order 2 more in the spring. I hate to disappoint people who come looking for honey. We have regular customers now who have come to depend upon us. Unfortunately there are only 7 bottles left. (Sorry guys)!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Troubling Time

The bills have started coming in from my back surgery as I knew they would. I was certainly not prepared for what I got however! I decided to have the surgery when things got so bad that I could no longer drive (due to working the clutch), or walk more than a short distance without assistance of some kind. We were told that the neurosurgeon was "out of network", but there were no neurosurgeons that had surgical privileges in my area. All the referrals that I got from my insurance company did not pan out. The one they gave me for my county turned out to be in his eighties and was no longer practicing surgery. The pain was getting worse fast, so at the urging of my husband, I decided to go ahead with it.

Had I known the cost however, I think I would have tried to get by with a cane, crutches, whatever. We have been presented with crushing six figure bills! This is truly life changing. My husband and I are within a few years of retiring, and have no idea how we can recover from this.

With a keystroke these insurance companies can change your life forever. We were told that we might have been better off if we had no insurance. We are people who have always paid our bills, but this! I have no idea what we will do. We are truly reeling from all of this! Has anyone out there had any experience with this sort of thing? Could use some advice.

During all this I have been plodding along with And they Sinned. Normally I find stitching to help with the stresses of daily life, but somehow this piece seems to be all wrapped up with the bad feelings of everything that is going on. I think it is worse because it is so huge. I am struggling to stick with it because I am afraid that if I leave it, I won't go back to it. I also worry that if I finish it, I will remember all this trouble everytime I look at it.

Has anyone else ever had this happen with a stitching piece? Did you finish it?

I finished up the tree, and a very weird tree it is! There are three different kinds of fruit growing on it, as well as acorns dropping out of it for the squirrel! I finished the peacocks. I like them! Now I am working on the alphabet. I am hoping I make quick progress here, so I will be encouraged to finish it.

This is what I have so far:

Today is the new moon, so time for the TUSAL. Here is my ever-growing little jar.
I hope all of you out there have nothing but good thoughts to associate with your stitching!

Monday, August 29, 2011

It is wonderful to have the power on again!

I'm BACK! from surgery, earthquake, hurricane, tornados, floods, etc!

August is my least favorite month! And that is during a regular year!

This August has been the worst I can ever remember!

First of all, I had to have back surgery on August 9th. The initial recovery was pretty gruesome, but I am doing better now. I am finally getting back to doing some stitching again. At first it was just too uncomfortable to sit in one place.

We were fairly lucky during the hurricane. We did lose power, and get water in our cellar, but no other major damage. It is hard to look at all the mess, and not be able to clean it up (I still am unable to bend)! We certainly fared much better than much of our hamlet. Parts had to be evacuated, and now they are inundated with water. This includes our post office. The streets are all still closed. I have no idea when we will get mail again! Travel was of course impossible with bridges and the NYS thruway closed. Thankfully outside of our hamlet things are getting back to normal.

That said, I actually have a little finish to show.

I finished the little Mill Hill ornament Diamond Holiday, from the Christmas Jewels series.

I finished the back very simply with some purple felt.
Normally I'm not much for beading, and I don't really like to stitch on the perforated paper, but this little ornament just appealed to me.

I think if I did it again though, I would substitute some 28ct linen for the paper, perhaps some blue or lavender would be nice.

I made a little progress on "And they sinned".
Please forgive the wrinkles. It is just too hard to hobble off to use my ironing board!

This is a very slow stitch! I have been in that blasted tree forever! I am working on the spotted snake that is crawling through it right now.

Lastly is my TUSAL. Here is, showing lots of color!
I hope all of you made out ok in the hurricane, and are recovering from that or whatever other crisis you are facing.

It's always something. Isn't it?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another TUSAL and a finish!

Two new moons in one month took me by surprise!
I have been stitching, and here is my TUSAL jar to prove it.

I did finish the Shelburne Sampler. Actually, it has been finished for some time. I gave it a quick tea bath, but it didn't seem to do too much for it. Seems a bit more yellow, not particularly the look I was going for, but here's how it came out.

My new start is "And They Sinned". I have had my eye on this one for a while.

I am stitching it on 40 count lambswool with the suggested GAST threads.

This is what I have so far:
Actually, I am finding stitching on this to be a bit boring. There are many large areas of fill, which can be tough on 40 count. I will keeps going on it though. Maybe I will like it a little more as it takes shape.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

July TUSAL and close to a finish

June came and went so very quickly
Here is my TUSAL, still full of flower thread from The Shelburne Sampler.

This sampler has taken way longer than I ever believed it would, but now, the end is finally in sight. I have to finish one little tree, stitch 4 crowns, finish the border, and do the initials.

Wow! Maybe the end isn't all that close after all!
Some projects just seem to take longer than others.

Here is where it stands now:

Sorry about the wrinkles!

Hope everyone has a great time this weekend. It won't be such a fun one for us. We will be travelling to go to a memorial service. Not looking forward to the holiday traffic, but what can you do?

Will post just as soon as I finish this one. Soon I hope!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June New Moon TUSAL

Here is my June contribution to the TUSAL:

It is filling up nicely with a rainbow of colors!

I would like to thank all of you for your kind comments. I was not able to connect with some of you (no link), but please know how much I appreciate them!

I have been determined to work on whittling down my stash. The project I am working on now, is the Shelburne Sampler. I have had this kit in my stash for ages. It is stitched on what I think is 27 count linen, and, interestingly enough, Danish flower thread!

The picture included is very small, and not very good:

Nothing is known about the piece except that it was done in 1745, and was signed with the initials AWP.

The original hang in the Hat and Fragrance Unit of the Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont.

Here is a black and white picture of the original:

The colors in this sampler are very limited, and in some cases a bit odd. There is a stag at the top, but it does not show up very well.. The antlers are stitched in white and don't show up against the linen. I can only guess that this is an attempt to reproduce the fading on the original.

It seems very light and bright. I may give it a tea bath when I am finished to age it a bit.

This is what I have so far:

Until next time, wishing you all nimble fingers!

Monday, May 30, 2011

A couple of finishes to show

May has been a very difficult month!

Just two days after losing Max, we had to bring Furrytail (our Maine coon) down to NJ to have surgery for a gigantic (non cancerous) cyst (or collection of cysts) that had attached to his liver.

Fortunately everything went well, and he is back home with us! In fact, I have never seen a cat recover from surgery so quickly! He had a huge incision, from top to bottom! You would never know it to look at him now though!

Of course all of this was quite unexpected and quite expensive!

Now, it seems to be my turn to have health issues, mostly with my back. I am hoping to be able to avoid having surgery.

Good thing I had my stitching!

Margaret Ledden has actually been finished for a while now. I just haven't had a chance to post the photo.

Here she is:

I love the trees! They seem strangely art deco-ish to me.

Then, I turned my attention to an older kit that I had in my stash. This was a kit for a pin cushion doll. The kit included a half-doll, but when I looked at it, I was disappointed that it was rather modern-looking. I was really going for an antique look. So, off to ebay I went. I found the perfect little half doll. I love the coloring in the cheeks. The only problem was that it was considerably smaller than the one included in the kit. I scaled it down by stitching it on 32ct instead of the 25ct that was included, but it still came out a bit big.

The verse says

Pins and Needles
Needles and Pins
My Sewing Friends

It was an easy stitch, but gathering the fabric was quite a chore!

I also decided to make a little strawberry emery that was not included in the pattern. Luckily it turned out ok. I was fortunate to find a bit of wool left over from my rug that exactly matched the green floss.
I decided to give it to my mother-in-law for Mother's day.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Thank God for stitching! If not for that I might not have any mind left!

It has been a great de-stressor for me.

I do have a finish as well as some other projects I have been working on, but I will have to post them later.

For now, here is my May TUSAL.

I would like to thank all of you who offered your kind comments about Max. I really do appreciate it!

Monday, May 2, 2011


We lost our little Max this weekend.

About 14 years ago a scrawny, young male cat with a gorgeous black coat, wandered into our yard.

My first reaction was to ignore him, thinking he would soon return to his home. Max however had no intention of leaving. We had an old shed at that time, and he hid from the cold November weather by curling up on an old rug that we had stored in there. During the day he came out and sat at our back door. He had no intention of leaving. Eventually we let him in, much to the protest of our other cats. At night we put him in the cellar for the sake of peace and quiet. Max got to know this routine very well, and one night he hid just before bedtime. He was not going into the cellar! With the same remarkable determination, he made his way over to the place of honor on the couch. Max was here to stay!

Though he was ill for sometime, he never complained. We gladly took care of him.
I have lost many cats over my lifetime, and each time I think my heart could never break like this again, not until the next time.

Animals teach us how to live and how to die. I am a better person for having known Max, but there is a hole in my heart that will never heal.

Here is a picture of Max in better days:


1996 - 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

TUSAL and Corrections to Margaret Ledden

Wow! It's already April's new moon! This year is just zooming by!
Here is my TUSAL jar:

Now, if you compared this picture to last month's, you might think that I have really been making great progress. Unfortunately, that large yellow layer comes from frogging Margaret Ledden, and replacing the yellow with gray.

At first I really hated the gray compared to the yellow, but I am slowly getting used to it, though it is quite a bit drabber.

It certainly gives it an entirely different look.

I still have a ways to go before I catch up to where I left off. I have to do one more dividing band (between the H and the Q), and fill in the borders.

Hopefully this will go quickly so I can feel like I am accomplishing something again!