Friday, May 30, 2008

Dear Friend Pinkeep & Yo-Yo's

Here is Dear Friend, finished as a pinkeep. I am thrilled with the result! This is to be a gift for my stitching friend, Cheri. (Sorry the picture quality isn't real good; it's late and I didn't feel like continuing to snap photos!)

Did anyone pick up the latest copy of Creative Needle? I don't usually buy this magazine as I much prefer Martha Pullen's Sew Beautiful. This one caught my eye though, because of the article, Not Your Mother's Yo-Yo's. I just love what they've done with them! I recently purchased two sizes of the Clover Yo-Yo maker, thinking I could use the yo-yo's to decorate purses. I still have yet to try them, but this article might just be my inspiration.

Pretty Flowers

I managed to snap these pictures on a very windy Memorial Day. These are from our front gardens.

This one needs pruning and fertilizing!

(I can't remember what this flower is called, but I love it!)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Camera Woes

My plan was to share some pictures with you. But the camera batteries died, and so I'll have to wait until Sarah gets them charged again.

This is only one reason I've been contemplating the pros and cons of purchasing a new camera. Phil and I have looked at the one I want at WalMart twice, reviewing the features, comparing its ability to take good closeups with others priced similarly, and getting information about the batteries. I had talked with Sarah about her taking the Fuji we currently have; at first, she was opposed, wanting to hold out for a small digital, but we discussed it again on Wednesday while we were out shopping, and she said that she'd take the Fuji after all. So now I have to make sure there's enough money in savings to cover the cost above what I am willing to take out of the money my parents gave me for Mother's Day, and then make a final decision.

You know those decorative boxes - photo, suitcase, hat - that you can get at the craft stores? I finally broke down and bought two of the suitcase ones (two different sizes) for some of my cross stitch supplies that I keep in the bedroom, where I do a lot of stitching. They have white and white stripes and roses, with gold handles. One has charts, and the other, a bunch of miscellaneous supplies. They look much nicer than the tote bag and piles I had before.

I turned Dear Friend into a pinkeep today. It came out wonderfully. I only wish it didn't take me so long - probably 4-1/2 hours. Does that seem excessive?

Monday, May 26, 2008

To My Husband

24 years ago today, I said "I do" to the most wonderful man. He is the personification of Paul's words in I Corinthians 13: "Love is patient and kind." He has faithfully stood by me for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. Thank you for being a wonderful husband. I love you, Phil!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Floral Needleroll

It's been a quiet sort of day, cold outside and grey, so there's no incentive to get out and do something, even though taking a walk would be a good thing to do. Instead, I worked on Floral Needleroll, which you'll recall needed a tremendous amount of frogging. I stitched the entire right side again, then started on the flowers and my initial (which goes at the bottom center.) It was only when I completed my initial that I realized I had made yet another mistake! Fortunately, there won't be a lot to frog this time. Sigh. I do enjoy my cross stitch, but am so very tired of making mistakes. Some of it is due, I'm sure, to the pain I've been in of late, some to the difficulty in seeing clearly (dark, 28 count fabric, stitched over 2,) and some to my own stupidity.

Oh well.


Look what showed up in our neighbor's driveway tonight . . . sweet, huh?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Progress - and Unprogress

You know that feeling of excitement when you've made tremendous progress on a project, when you hope that the two sides will connect as they're supposed to? Yeah. I did some frogging and restitching, but . . . should I say it? . . . it's still messed up. This is Floral Needleroll -
The entire right side must come out because there's a mistake at the very bottom. One lousy stitch is only one stitch wide, instead of two. Darn.

On the other hand, Dear Friend is coming along well. Just a few more stitches and it'll be done. I loved doing those satin stitch hearts! You can see on the left side under the heart the two burgundy stitches: they are tiny Smyrna crosses. This is a great project.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Summer Quilt

This beautiful quilt was made by Phil's mom many years ago. If memory serves, she chose the pattern, not knowing it's one of my favorites (Grandmother's Fan), and she asked me about the colors. We have three quilts for our bed (you can see the winter one here), but none of them is wide enough to completely cover both sides due to the tremendously thick mattress on the bed, so I make it long on the side you see when entering the bedroom. The third quilt, which we received for a wedding present, and which I used for many years, has some tiny tears, so it's been sitting in the closet since we moved. If I had space, I'd buy a quilt rack. (If there's one thing we're not lacking for in this house, it's furniture! [No comments, Sarah and Grace.])

I have thought of purchasing some eyelet to baste to the binding on the two long sides so the quilt would be wider, but I don't know if that's a tacky idea or not. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Today ended up being somewhat productive. I did three loads of laundry (still need to wash my comforter), changed the sheets on my bed and put on the summer quilt, and put up two shelves in my laundry "room" (more like an alcove.) We used Closet Maid shelving, cutting a six foot piece into two. My laundry room is part of our powder room - closed off by bifold doors - and is just large enough for a washer and dryer side by side. We purchased a stacked washer and dryer, so I have room for a little cart on which I keep my detergent, iron, bleach, and the like. I also have a Closet Maid basket system that I use for sorting my laundry. What I lacked was a good system for storing my hangers; I had put a tension rod between the wall and dryer, but it had a tendency to fall down randomly. Enter the shelving, which allows me to hang the hangers, and gives me storage. I need to purchase one more package of wall clips for the upper shelf, then I can put things on it. First to go up there are my extra laundry baskets, which formerly lived on top of the washer/dryer.

Mary Katherine at eHandcrafts Stitching Room posted pictures taken with her new Kodak Easy Share camera. I am amazed at the clarity of the closeups! I told Phil that we ought to consider giving Sarah our old camera (a Fuji Fine Pix, which was top-rated at the time we bought it) and purchasing a new one for ourselves! I have a feeling there'd be some sharing no matter what we do.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hoping for a Better Week

This is my 100th post! When I started my blog back on September 6 of last year, 100 seemed so far away.

It's been a tough week. I learned I now have arthritis in both my knees; my right knee developed it back in 1993. I also spoke with my doctor about my worsening depression, and I am now trying an anti-depressant, hoping it will work. I think everything has just caught up with me, and I am unable to handle it. And Phil seems to be tired most of the time now. It's difficult enough to recover from surgery, but going through chemo on top of that is awful. We expect blood test results sometime this week, but the oncologist told us that the numbers probably won't show any improvement, and may even be up again, as Phil had only three treatments before these tests.

Despite these things, I have done a bit of cross stitch. Floral Needlerolls is coming slowly; I am having trouble seeing the darker fabric. I also started Dear Friend by Elizabeth's Designs, which I will finish as a pinkeep for our Thursday night stitching buddy. I will probably make another one for a good friend.

Sarah and I went shopping on Saturday. One of our stops was JoAnn Fabrics, where I got fabric to make a shirt, a pair of capris, and a pair of culottes. I need to have a cutting out session, not something I enjoy.

This week promises to be rainy and cool, but we are hoping to go to the Lilac Festival on Thursday after Phil's chemo, provided it's not pouring rain. As of tonight, they are predicting a "few showers", which doesn't sound bad. I desperately need to get out and do some gardening, but it looks like Tuesday or Wednesday might be the only possible days out of the next 10! (This rain is more like April than May. But that's the way our springs have been for the last I-don't-know-how-many years.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Last night, I put the final few stitches on Country Garden. Once again, I'm in a quandary about how to finish-finish it. The final size is approximately 4-1/2" x 4-7/8", a bit large for a pinkeep. Maybe a tuck pillow?

I pulled With My Needle's Floral Needlerolls out to work on. I may switch off with another project.

Deby asked me about selling the purses I make. Unfortunately, the patterns I like the most are protected by copyright and the finished product cannot be sold. I would need to come up with an original pattern - not something I have ever been able to do - or find a pattern without restrictions. BTW, Deby has been urging me to open an Etsy shop for a while now, but with Phil's relapse, I haven't felt the time was right, although I've been contemplating starting to make some of the Christmas ornaments I gave as gifts in 2007.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Weekend Crafting

Yesterday was a cool, drizzly, and somewhat windy day and we needed the rain. It was a good day to hole up in the craft room and finish what I started on Friday: I tried to rearrange all the stuff I have on the craft table. The table is L-shaped, the longest part of the L is where Sarah and I have our sewing machines and sergers, but I have so many things in back of my machine that it's sometimes hard to sew because things hit the various containers. While I was working, I listened to Pride and Prejudice (on cassette tape) which I had borrowed from the library; I wanted to finish the story, so a rainy day seemed perfect to do so. Here's what I created:

Miranda Day Bag
Lazy Girl Designs

Here's the inside of the bag:
This is the first Miranda bag that I made using coordinating fabrics I bought back in October.

I love this pattern! The bag is roomy enough to easily hold everything normally I carry with me (including my iPod and cross stitch project), plus my Day Timer, leaving my hands free. I can also slip in a bottle of juice or water.

Country Garden is nearly completed. I am loving the variegated thread effects, which, unfortunately, do not show up well in the photo.
Phil is recovering slowly from his surgery. It's been ten days, but he's still sore. Part of that is his fault as he hurt himself working on the lawn mower a few days after the surgery. I think he learned his lesson. He had his chemo treatment last Thursday, and is feeling its effects (he seems to be falling into a predictable pattern with the side effects; at least he knows what to expect when.) His hematocrit (a measure of red blood cells) took a big hit, so I now get to give him medication (by injection) to increase his red blood count every 14 days instead of every 28 days. This is a normal response to chemotherapy.

I'll leave you with a picture of my kitty, Callie, right before she fell asleep.