Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Friend Frosty

After realizing that I was taking my frustrations out on Frosty due to the green shading saga with GAST Shaker White ... & profusely apologizing to him for doing so ... we have become rather close & he has started to open up to me, telling me a bit about his hopes & dreams for the future.  Last night he became rather deep reminding me of such truths as "it's not what's on the outside that counts, the important thing is what's on the inside" & "we need to play the cards we're dealt."  It humbled me to be reminded of these words which we all know are true but are sadly all too often forgotten during times of stress.

Frosty confided that he has decided to have a go at acting in local theater productions & who knows where that might lead him!  He has an interview scheduled to try out for the role of Bert, the chimney sweep in Mary Poppins.  However, he is not putting all his eggs in one basket.  He has also scheduled an interview to try out for the role as Dipstick, the proud father dog in 101 Dalmatians.  He would be perfect for either role!

I think we can all learn a thing or two from Frosty.  Although some of us may have been stitched with less than perfect threads ... even with really crappy ones like GAST Shaker White ... we can still find peace & contentment in this world.

I am proud to call Frosty my friend.    

Friday, January 27, 2012

What would be wrong with a blue snowman?

This is the question I asked myself earlier tonight as I hung up the phone after talking with Selma, the staff counselor who answered my call when I dialed the suicide prevention hotline.  As you may have already guessed I dialed their number after having another visit with Frosty.

I was sure Frosty had learned his lesson after me giving him the silent treatment for a few days.  I have had other things on my mind this week which for some reason prevented me from stitching.  Okay, my FOFS (Fear of Frosty Syndrome) is what prevented me.  However, tonight I decided to be brave & meet with him again.

I have, of course, been blaming Frosty for my inability to happily stitch him.  I told myself it was Frosty's fault that my white threads weren't full & lustrous like the colored threads but instead thin as strands of hair.  It was Frosty's fault when these threads knotted & twisted.  It was Frosty's fault when I began my stitching in the wrong place & had to go back & rip it all out.  It was Frosty's fault when I saw colors on the white threads that shouldn't be there.

The colors on the white threads especially bothered me.  At first I thought I was picking up floss lint from Frosty's green scarf which I had decided to stitch before starting the body.  I lost count of how many times I went back & took out rows of stitching, certain that the green shading I was seeing mixed in with my white floss was appearing from my white floss brushing against the green floss, picking up green floss lint as it did & carrying it through my white stitches.  After several rips & restarts I decided to rip out the green floss & begin the body area with nothing but the white.  After two attempts at this & still seeing that green hue amongst the white threads I decided that green floss lint must be hiding in the holes of the linen & adhering to the white threads ... & here's where I felt I was really on to something!  I took a piece of tape & gently tapped around the areas where the green floss had been prior to my taking it out.  Loading my needle with virgin white floss I then began to stitch Frosty's body anew but then wait ... what did I see?  You guessed it ... green shading in the white stitches.  Rip-rip-rip ... tape-tape-tape ... begin again & then ARGH!!!  Green shading in the white stitches again & again & again!!!

Now ... Frosty's head gave me no trouble whatsoever.  I was happy with it my first time stitching it.  No odd color shading amongst the white fibers.  Frosty's head is, well, white as snow!  I then looked at the white floss itself.  It's what the designer calls for ... GAST Shaker White.  The word "shaker" got my attention & I did some research, & in my research I discovered that the English word "shaker" is taken from the Latin word "shaker" which, interesting enough, means to shake colored paint dust over white embroidery floss in order to have it show colors that shouldn't be there.  Okay ... I didn't really find that information in my research but I bet it's true nonetheless!  What other possible explanation can there be?  GAST floss is a 6-ply floss which has been precut into 36" lengths.  Each card of floss consists of 5 of these lengths.  Apparently the floss I used for Frosty's head ... & the snowflakes as well ... must have somehow been placed on my card before being shaken upon.

So we now return to my original question ... what would be wrong with a blue snowman?  There can be blue snow ... or what appears to our eyes to be blue snow ... because of the snow reflecting more of the blue light from the sun's white light.  So again I ask ... what would be wrong with a blue snowman?  Or a brown one for that matter ... a primitive looking snow dude!  A snowman could be yellow after being visited by a pack of dogs but I don't think I'd want to stitch that picture.  Why not a gray snowman?  When I was a little girl growing up in Pittsburgh in the late 50s/early 60s ... long before the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency ... we had black snow from time to time.  I think it had something to do with the pollution from the multitude of steel mills mixing with those big, fat, fluffy flakes of Prozac that I love so much & thus we ended up with black snow.  I don't know this for a fact but it sounds plausible to me & it could certainly back up my decision to stitch a black snowman.

I have decided to continue stitching Frosty tomorrow even though his white body is going to have this funky green hue here & there & people are going to think I'm a pathetic stitcher who doesn't know diddly squat about keeping colored floss fibers out of white floss.  Ah well ... we'll know the truth, won't we   : )

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pay It Forward ... Not Just for Cross Stitchers : )

Last week Cathy from With Needle & Thread posted an invitation to participate in her Pay It Forward.  I thought it sounded like fun so I said I'd be interested in taking part.  I was one of the stitchers chosen to play along.  Since Cathy will be sending a gift to me I have in turn agreed to "pay it forward" & send gifts to two other stitchers   : )  

Pay It Forward is open to all stitchers ... not just cross stitchers.  You must have a blog in order to play.  If your name is chosen I will send you a little stitching gift such as described below & you will agree to do the following ...

1.  If your name is chosen, you agree to do a Pay It Forward post on your blog & send a little stitching gift to at least two people.  

2.  You will send no more than 5 stitch-related items per person chosen within the next 365 days.  

3.  These items can be DMC threads, other threads, stitching needles, straight pins, buttons, scissors, ribbons or other trims, etc.  Just little stitching related items.  You can either send 5 different items; a combination of items such as 3 threads, a pack of stitching needles & a spool of ribbon; or 5 of the same item such as 5 threads.  

4.  All items must be brand new ... not used.

If you are interested in participating & would like to receive a Pay It Forward gift from me, please leave a comment on this post.  Make sure you include your email address or have it available on your Blogger profile.  If more than two people express an interest in doing this I will put the names on slips of paper & draw two of them.  Please comment before Monday, January 30.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

TUSAL, IHSW, & Catching Up

My most recent blog post was this past Friday & here it is Tuesday!  How can this be?  I have never let so much time go by without a blog post before!  Not only that but I only posted twice in the past week!  I'd say I need to see a doctor but I did ... yesterday ... although for some reason the subject of blogging never came up.  Go figure.

If the truth be known, the reason I was not visible on my blog this past weekend is that it was the first IHSW (International Hermit & Stitch Weekend) of 2012.  I just found out about this event last Friday.  The IHSW occurs the third full weekend of every month & the idea is for you to hermit yourself in your stitching chair & stitch.  There is no set requirement like you have to stitch so many hours or complete a project or anything like that.  You just stitch whatever you want, whenever you want during the weekend.  No pressure ... I like that   : )   Therefore I hermited myself in my recliner & stitched to my heart's content throughout the weekend.  I decided to work on my Santa ornament for the Christmas All Year Round SAL & I made great progress!  I only have a few tiny rows to complete & I will be done.

This was a really enjoyable stitch!  I love stitching letters for some reason & they worked up quickly.  Santa, however, was more complex ... or at least I made him that way.  I have this "thing" where it freaks me out if I have to stitch more than 1 color in an area.  I'm always afraid there are going to be noticeable lumps from running threads over or under other threads on the bottom, or that there will be darker colored threads showing through the lighter colored ones on top, or that some stitches are going to appear flatter than others because of running thread ends underneath them.  At one point while stitching Santa I had 5 needles filled & in use at the same time.  This turned out to be quite a pain though because it was difficult keeping the needles/threads separated.  More than once I found I had caught resting threads underneath working threads & had to then unstitch to free them.  I think I caused myself more problems than not.  How do you handle a design where more than 1 color is used in an area?  Stitch the biggest part of the design with your main color first & then add in the lesser used ones ... or stitch the smaller areas first & then finish off with the main color?

Incidentally, I know I am a Q-Snap lover but Frosty has taken up residence in my Q-Snap.  That is why you see me using a round hoop for Santa ... & a Morgan hoop no less because I didn't have a regular hoop big enough.  I'm sure the hoop marks are going to be permanently embedded in the surrounding linen but that's okay ... the linen inside the hoop is large enough so that when I make Santa into a finished ornament the hoop marks won't be an issue at all.  

To the right of Santa you will see my TUSAL.  TUSAL stands for Totally Useless Stitchalong ... or is it Stitch Along or Stitch-A-Long or ???  I don't think anyone really knows & that's how it got shortened to SAL.  Anyway, this is the first TUSAL I have participated in.  It is the brainchild of Daffycat & what you do is as you stitch you save your thread ends (orts) & put them into a jar.  Each month at the new moon you take a photo of your jar & post it for all the world (or at least all your blog followers) to see.  It's a fun little thing to do & practical as well.  If you have enough of these orts you can use them to stuff a little ornament or pinkeep!  Recycling ... I know some of you like that   : )  By the way, yes ... ort is a real word although it actually refers to crumbs of food, but these are crumbs of threads so the same principle applies   : )

I plan to finish Santa today & then revisit Frosty.  I hope he's taken our time apart to think about the stress he caused me last week & that he has decided that his white threads will now lie smoothly & his stitches will start & stop just where they are supposed to   : )    

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pride Goeth Before A Fall

When we left our easily influenced stitcher on Monday she faced a dilemma.  Continue to stitch on her SAL or get going on an exchange piece due the end of the month.

I had every intention of continuing to stitch my SAL.  I am, after all, a one-at-a-timer.  Just the thought of stitching 2 cross stitch projects at the same time makes me shudder.  I even told myself that the deadline I needed to meet for the exchange piece would spur me on to completion.  

Although I did not think I would stitch any further after my post on Monday I had a bit of a surge of energy after dinner so I decided to pick up the SAL & have at it.  However, I took one look at that white snowman & got cold feet.  I considered the possibility that I would run into problems with Frosty, get hung up on the SAL, & then be faced with racing through the exchange piece or, heaven forbid, being late with it.  I decided to put Frosty aside & stitch the exchange piece.

I must admit that stitching the exchange piece was the proverbial walk in the park.  I concentrated all my efforts into it & within 2 days' time it was done!  (Imagine strains of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus accompanying this announcement.)  After the heady success of completing the exchange piece I loaded my needle with the dreaded white floss & immediately began giving Frosty a head.  Imagine my delight when I saw that it didn't look too bad!

See!  What did I tell you!  Not too bad!  Not too bad at all!

This is as far as I got on Tuesday night.  Wow!  I was on a roll!  I pictured myself in a cape & spandex body suit with the words SUPER STITCHER emblazoned across my chest!  Finished the exchange piece, Frosty was going well ... all was right with the world.

Dateline:  Wednesday - It was a cold, overcast, rainy day ... one of those days when you just want to crawl under the covers & sleep.  I did manage, however, to begin Frosty's body that evening with the confidence that all would be well.  It wasn't.  I was tired ... never a good time to stitch.  I ended up unstitching Frosty's body & starting over again 3 times.  The third time I was more than halfway done with the body when I discovered a huge mistake at the beginning of it.  I decided at that point that it was time to give up & go to bed.  I haven't met with Frosty since.  

I am not giving up on Frosty.  That just wouldn't do!  I am, however, considering putting him aside & starting my Christmas All Year Round ornament.  Yeah ... that sounds good.  Take a bit of a vacation from Frosty & at least get a start on something that's supposed to be finished this month.  Frosty, after all, has no deadline.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More Than Just A Cross Stitcher!

I know that many of you have come to know me primarily as a cross stitcher but there are those of you who are also aware of dalliances with other crafts in the past such as quilting, weaving, spinning, bobbin lace, lampwork bead making, tatting, knitting, painting, woodworking, etc.  But how many of you knew that I have a gift for interior decorating???  Well, feast your eyes on these!

Have you ever in your life seen a diningroom chandelier adorned in this way?  I have actually been hesitant to post these photos because you know how it is sometimes when you post things on the internet ... people or companies are able to track you down & well, I just didn't want HGTV to be bombarding me with requests to hostess a decorating show!  I just don't have the time right now!

What I am actually showing you in these photos is my collection of WDW & GAST Simply Shaker & Sampler Threads collections & the artful way in which I've been storing them.  Back in late summer when I returned to the world of cross stitching I decided that I needed to replenish the specialty threads I had sold for a mere pittance on eBay back when I convinced myself for the second time that cross stitching was not my main focus in life.  I had no idea how to store them ... there are so many ... but someone on a cross stitching forum indicated that she sorted her specialty threads by the name of the company, alphabetized them by color name, stored them on large binder rings, & hung them on a rod in her closet.  I have no closets with available rod space so when I was standing at the dining table sorting & alphabetizing & binder ringing I just hung them on the chandelier to keep them out of the way.  They have remained there ever since.  

Sometimes the most creative decisions are stumbled upon unintentionally   : )     

Monday, January 16, 2012

SAL Day 4

I was lucky enough to make yesterday a stitching day ... most of the afternoon & evening.  This is the progress I've made on my SAL ...

Alas, I do not feel as if I'm really ahead of the game in any way because I haven't stitched at all today.  It's been one of those overcast, rainy, windy days where you just want to curl up underneath the covers & sleep.  I did do some laundry & some dishes & worked a wee bit more on my stash inventory & yes, I did take a nap ... lol!  As you can probably tell there are 2 words not yet stitched on this piece ... one on top of the large white snowflakes & the other to the right of them.  I am going to try to adapt the design a bit so I'm leaving these areas till last.  I'm to the point where I've started the snowman's hat & of course next is a huge amount of stitching with white which I am dreading (see previous post).  I realize my snowflakes look nice in this photo but not so in real life.  I did discover something though.  I have to stitch with a magnifying light & of course any little imperfect stitch shows up like a flashing neon sign when I'm looking at it through the magnifying lens.  When I look at it with my naked eye it looks a lot better.  Of course my eyeglass prescription change is about 6 years past due so what I see with my naked eye isn't much comfort to me ... lol!

I am now faced with a dilemma.  I need to get started on a second exchange piece.  John went to check the PO box today (he hadn't been there since last Friday) & he came home with something I needed for it so it's a go.  However, do I continue along with the SAL & the dreaded white snowman or do I put it aside for a bit & work on the exchange piece?  Decisions, decisions!  I don't think I'll be making any decisions tonight however although I like to start one project & see it through rather than bounce between 2 or more.  I will probably stick with the SAL.  Knowing I have the exchange piece to do will maybe give me the courage to persevere?  We shall see   : )  

White Floss is the Bane of My Stitching Existence

Yes, white floss is indeed the bane of my stitching existence.  This is not good considering the fact that I LOVE winter & I LOVE snowmen & of course winter/snowmen designs usually call for the use of a good deal of white floss.  I can stitch with any other color of floss on any type of fabric & get marvelous coverage.  Not so with white.  Is there a brand of white floss ... or even off white floss ... that actually lays nicely on the fabric & makes stitches that don't look like you made them using 2 white hairs plucked from grandma's wig instead of actual floss?  Or is it possible, when the design calls for you to use 2 strands of floss throughout, to use 3 strands of white for better coverage?

I worked some more on my Word Play yesterday.  I will post a photo later when it's daylight   : )    

Saturday, January 14, 2012

SAL Progress

Day 2 of working on my SAL resulted in this ...

... & here's my progress after Day 3 ...
I thought about giving myself a stitching day today but that didn't work out.  Instead I filed my new stash & went over the list of fabrics I have versus the list of fabrics I need.  That took quite a while as I had to go though every file to see which fabrics matched up with which pattern(s).  I then had the bright idea ... which I should've had to begin with ... to make note of this information on the lists.  That should help quite a lot the next time I get some fabric.  

Tonight is movie night so I don't know how much stitching I'm going to get done.  It's been snowing (talcum powdering) most of the afternoon but of course there's not much in the way of accumulation.  Still, snow is snow.  Makes me want comfort food so I've got a meatloaf in the oven & we'll be having that with some mashed potatoes for dinner.  Can't wait   : )     

Thursday, January 12, 2012

SAL Progress & More Stash

As I have mentioned before, Shar & I are doing a January Word Play SAL.  We started yesterday.  This is as far as I've gotten ...

For some reason I enjoy stitching letters so thus far I am having a good time with this   : )

I also was going to begin working on my Christmas ornament SAL.  Two projects going at once ... something unheard of for me.  I haven't altered my OOAT tendencies yet, however, as the ornament remains unstarted.  I just can't seem to bring myself to do it ... lol!  I did get it ready, though.
I promised sometime in the recent past to post more photos of my recent stash acquisitions.  Some of the photos turned out pretty clear & in others the stash may as well be sitting behind a closed door with a blanket over it but hopefully you can get a little idea of what has come in the mail for me lately   : )

These first 2 photos are items in 1 order received from 1-2-3 Stitch ...

 ...& these 4 items are from another 1-2-3 order ...
I know I bought those Crescent Colours for a specific project but heaven only knows what project that is.  I suppose I'll figure it out eventually   : )  

These are  2 no longer available Pine Mountain Designs kits that someone was selling on Etsy.  Both are cute but I love-love-love that mitten one!
These next 2 charts were purchased from Teresa.  She was selling them on her blog but unfortunately I can't recall the name of the blog!  I think the Sue Hillis design on the left will break down to make some really cute ornaments!
Here is another order from Anita at Anita's Little Stitches.  It's a 4-parter by Raise the Roof Designs called Christmasland.
The above photo doesn't really show you much but this is how the picture looks when it's finished ...
This photo isn't "staged" needless to say (lol!) but here's a pile of cross stitch fabric that has come to live with me recently.  I bought it for the specific projects for which it is needed.  It would've been a smart thing for me to make note of what those projects are.  Right now I have no idea.  I will probably go through everything at some point & try to figure it out.
And last, but not least, is a bunch of stuff I bought from someone on Etsy I think.  I can't remember if she was getting rid of unwanted stash or what but I am excited with what I got from her   : )

And there you have it!  In addition to participating in bad photography I finished putting away the Christmas things today, with the exception of 2 signs which are still hanging on the wall, & did a bit of dusting & laundry.  Our "God shakes the talcum powder can a bit" snow came down with a vengeance for 10 minutes or so but of course there's just a little bit of a dusting out there with most of the grass still visible.  Stupid central Kentucky snow.  I hope others are having a totally white experience tonight   : )

I had better get back to my SAL!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Finish (Which I Can't Show You Yet), A Just About Finished Finish (Can't Show You This One Either), & A Start

Good morning!  The rain is, as the old saying goes, coming down in buckets!  The school bus will be going by any minute now but I suspect they might be using the school ark this morning instead!

I went back to the oral surgeon yesterday for my postop check.  Thankfully I am healing well.  She told me that she ran into a bit of a problem during the surgery.  She usually doesn't need to stitch anything but with me she did.  That is why I was having more pain than anticipated.  I still need to be careful how I eat ... not directly biting down on anything with my front teeth.  She says I am now free to eat anything though, with the exception of popcorn, just as long as I cut it up first & use a fork.

I indicated in my title that I have a finish which I can't show you but actually I do need to make 2 French knots on it before I can technically consider it finished.  I'm not exactly the French knot making champion.  I tried doing them last night a couple times.  My first attempt resulted in what looked like 2 door knobs.  Way too big.  I figured I wrapped the floss around the needle too many times so I tried again.  My second attempt resulted in one tiny French knot & a much larger one.  Since they are very near each other they just couldn't stay that way.  I'll try again later today.

The just about finished finish needs some buttons sewn on it ... then it needs to be finished into something.  I think I will try to frame it as the cover model shows.

I can't post photos of the above two items until the people receiving them actually do receive them.  I have one more item I need to make for an exchange, an ornament for a SAL, & today I will be starting the January Word Play SAL which I am doing with Shar.  This will be the first time I will be working on more than one project at a time & it is freaking me out.  I am going to try working on the Word Play during the day & the exchange item in the evenings.  I'm afraid the ornament SAL is going to have to be delayed.  Of course it's only the 11th of the month ... I might actually have time to finish that too.  Hope so!  Otherwise I will double up & make 2 ornaments next month   : )

All but 2 of the Christmas things are now put away & I've gone as far as I can go at this point with the insurance paperwork.  Today I need to finally take my new laptop for a test drive.  This was another Christmas gift from John & I think he's thinking I'm not happy with it.  I am ... it's a lovely laptop ... but I just felt I had to get all this other stuff taken care of first.

Tomorrow I will try to post photos of my Word Play progress along with maybe a photo of two of some more stash enhancement.  Yes, there is more   : )   I think 1-2-3 Stitch probably has my picture up in their office ... maybe with candles in front of it & incense burning ... lol!  By the way, have you noticed that there are a lot of great cross stitch shops & designers in Utah including 1-2-3?  I told John we need to take a look at moving to Utah when the time comes   : )      

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Stash Addition??? Really???

You would think that after the stash addition Santa gave me for Christmas that I not only couldn't possibly find but also wouldn't possibly need even one more chart or kit.  That's what I thought too although I wasn't totally disconnected from reality & knew that I'd probably find a chart or kit every once in a while that I would fall in love with & didn't already have.  One day last week I was perusing eBay & what did I find but an auction for 4 out of print Prairie Schooler Santa charts ... 1984, 85, 86, & 87.  I placed my bid ... then someone overbid me!  How dare they!  I placed a higher bid & even though I was having my oral surgery done when the auction ended & thus was not able to monitor things I was not overbid & here they are safe & sound in my humble little home ...

Also on eBay that very same day was an auction for three Pine Mountain kits.  A great deal & no one else bid on them so I've got these too   : )
The next thing that happened was a new post for Anita's Little Stitches came up on my blog feed.  I've been following Anita's blog for a while now but for some reason never noticed the link to her webpage on her sidebar.  When I went there I was in awe not only because of the vast array of things she has for sale ... charts & threads & scissors & charms (lots & lots of stuff!) ... but also the great deals she had!  I was delighted to find 3 more old PS Santas I didn't already have plus a couple BBD charts & Homespun Elegance's Snow Babies ornament.  
Anita is very nice to deal with, provides excellent customer service in addition to what I mentioned above, & she packages your purchases carefully & gets them in the mail to you quickly!  I am definitely a happy customer & am sure I will remain so   : )

Is this the end of my after-Christmas purchases?  No, it's not.  I revisited 1-2-3 Stitch (twice!) & found a treasure trove of stuff in someone's Etsy shop & then 2 more Pine Mountain kits in another Etsy shop.  I also ended up ordering something from an online shop which for now will remain nameless.  I truly hate to order from that shop because their customer service is terrible & you wait forever to receive something after you order it ... but sometimes it's the only place you can find something you're looking for so I bite the bullet & just accept the fact that I'm going to be treated poorly but I'll get what I want in the end.  I will share these other purchases with you at another time.

So did I need all these additional things for my stash?  Of course I did!  They all pretty much revolve around my stitching for winter/Christmas theme & many were out of print!  I did good   : )     

Friday, January 6, 2012

No Reply Issue

I have received some really nice comments on some of my posts that I cannot respond to because the people making them have their Blogger account set to not reveal their email address.  When I try to respond, the address I get is "no reply."  I have started going to people's blogs to see if their email address is there.  Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't, & sometimes these people don't have a blog.

I try to respond to all comments I receive so if you have not received a response to me then please know that I am not ignoring you ... you are just one of the "no reply" people.  Here's how to fix that ... if you want to.

1.  On Blogger you need to choose "Create A Profile."  This is somewhere in your initial blog settings.

2.  Once created, you need to activate it ...

Look to the upper left
Select "Edit Profile"

Under Privacy ...
Select "Show My Profile"
Select "Show My Email Address"

Under Identity ...
ADD - your desired online email address

Click "Save Profile"

People sometimes think that where it says "Show My Email Address" it means that it will show on your blog.  It does not ... it just means that it will show in the "To" section of an email if someone chooses to respond to a comment that you leave on their blog.

I thank Robin at The Cranky Crow for this information   : )   

Thursday, January 5, 2012

And the stitches are in!!!

Despite a return of pain & the lingering "yuck" associated with oral surgery, I did put several stitches (more than I anticipated!) into my new project yesterday!  All is well with the world   : )

I woke up at 3:00 a.m. this morning & finally got out of bed at 4:00 to start my day.  Heaven knows I have plenty to keep me busy.  I was up pretty early yesterday too, although not this early, & John got up shortly after.  This is unusual for him ... he is more the sleeping in type.  Anyway, where I sit at my computer there are no windows facing the sunrise.  The bedroom windows, however, give a clear view.  Since John was up early enough & I can see one of the bedroom windows when I'm in the kitchen this is what I got to see ...
I know it's hard to tell but that's a neighbor's barn & silo in the center of the picture.  A sunrise such as this is one of those "God's gifts" we often hear about.  Isn't it wonderful how He made all these colors, all the flowers, all the different animals ... all these things of beauty for us to look at & enjoy?  

I will be working on more insurance stuff today (I swear these forms multiply at night after I go to bed) & yes, doing more stitching.  Hopefully by the time next week gets here I can begin cleaning & organizing & eliminating & packing in preparation for listing the house for sale in March.  This will be my part-time day job for a while.  If by some chance you know of any saltbox homes for sale ... doesn't really matter where just as long as snow is a frequent visitor ... do let me know   : )  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 4th & Nary A Stitch

I can't believe it is January 4th & I have yet to make one stitch in a new project!  Granted I have some good excuses.  I've been taking down Christmas decorations (still have a bit of that left to do), filling out a beaucoup of insurance claims (oh what fun ... not!), & getting back on the diet bandwagon after taking a nasty fall off over the holidays.  Granted I did have some fun organizing my stash & yes, taking advantage of some after-Christmas/Happy New Year sales ... but actually stitching?  No.  I thought that last night would be the night. Yesterday I got my fabric ready, put it in my Q-Snap, gathered the necessary floss, & placed my needle where my first stitch will go.  However, yesterday I also had oral surgery.  I had no idea it was going to be as involved as it was.  I was pretty doped up on pain medication afterward so attempting to stitch anything would've resulted in something quite alien looking.  I am feeling much better today so come what may I am going to get started on this project!  Unfortunately I cannot share with you what it is ... it's an exchange gift ... but I'm looking forward to doing it.  It is quite cheery   : )

I can share with you that I will also be stitching the January Word Play.

I love this!  It has all the best things in life rolled into one   : )   Shar & I are doing this as a SAL.  She is ready to start but I am waiting for my fabric to arrive.  I anticipate it will be here before the end of the week which will hopefully be right after I finish this other project   : )

We actually had some snow the day before yesterday!  Really!  Kentucky snow (God opening up a can of talcum powder & shaking a wee bit out) but snow just the same!  It's a lovely 26 degrees right now with the day's high predicted at 43.  For some reason the site also gives me the temp in Iron Mountain, Michigan where we lived a few years ago.  Right now it is 3 degrees there with a prediction for flurries & a high of 30.  That's more like it   : )

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year & A New Name

Good morning!  I guess the holidays aren't technically over yet since just about everyone has a day off from work today.  However, I felt motivated to put away the decorations yesterday so in that respect the holidays have gone away for a few months.  A few months, you say?  Well, I was thinking ... it seems that Christmas arrives in the stores sooner & sooner every year.  I remember my husband & I taking our daughter trick-or-treating at the local mall when she was 4 or 5 years old & getting a photo of her & her friend standing in front of some decorated Christmas trees.  This was back in the early 80s.  We couldn't believe we were seeing Christmas trees on Halloween!  Some years back Hallmark started getting their Christmas ornaments in the stores in July.  I know Christmas came to the stores this year at least in September so there you go ... it has gone away but it will be back in a few months   : )

And what's with the blog name change?  I've been thinking about this for quite some time now.  "Farmhouse Ponderings" will soon be obsolete what with our selling our house this year & moving only God knows where.  Someplace that is cold a lot & gets a lot of snow, that's for certain.  Anyway, I wanted a new name to reflect my passion for cross stitching in some way but something like "Farmhouse Stitching" would again be obsolete when we move.  I came up with "The Easily Influenced Stitcher" because that says it all really.  My cross stitching passion was reawakened by Betty over at Thru My Back Door.  Betty had posted a time or two about her love of pinkeeps ... in particular cross stitched pinkeeps made by Deb at Pilgrims & Pioneers.  I decided to have a surprise giveaway & I drew Betty's name.  I like to tailor my giveaways so that they are a bit personal for the winner.  Knowing that Betty would be thrilled with one of Deb's pinkeeps, I found Deb's site & chose one for her.  Now ... as you can probably guess by the use of the word "reawakening," I had a history with cross stitching.  You can read a bit about it here if you'd like.  I think Betty only mentioned these pinkeeps in her blog posts two, maybe three times tops but I felt myself being slowly drawn back to cross stitching.  When I ordered Betty's pinkeep from Deb I also ordered a pinkeep pattern for myself.  I stitched that little pinkeep, then another, then got another of Deb's patterns & stitched one of those, & then another, & now here I sit surrounded by more cross stitch stuff than I can shake a stick at.

During these past few months after returning to the world of cross stitching I have noticed something about myself.  I am easily influenced.  I must admit that I was not clueless to this fact but the proverbial ball rolling down the hill picking up speed surprised even me with regard to my return to the cross stitching life.  I guess you could again say that it all began with Betty.  She did not set out to influence me in connection with cross stitching at all but once I returned to the fold I was hooked "big time."  I began looking for stitching blogs & found a few.  One of these blogs was Marly's Samplers & Santas.  I had always wanted to stitch a few samplers for myself ... no influence there ... but I had never been a Santa person.  As you can probably guess by her blog name, Marly is.  She would post a few photos of her Prairie Schooler Santas from time to time & I thought they were nice & that's as far as it went.  However, the closer it got to Christmas the more PS Santa photos she posted & the more she talked about them until finally ... breathing rapidly, hands shaking ... I rushed to the 1-2-3 Stitch site & ordered every PS Santa they had.  Another case in point ... a week or so ago a new blog friend posted some photos of cardinals she had been stitching & talked about how much she loves cardinals.  I thought to myself "Hey!  I love cardinals!  These charts are fabulous!"  Once again I rushed to the 1-2-3 site to buy those charts.  And I think it was yesterday ... or maybe the day before ... when another blog friend posted a Lizzie*Kate chart she had just finished into a small pillow.  Before I knew it I was once again on the 1-2-3 site, adding that baby to my cart.

See what I mean?  Easily influenced.  And I haven't even mentioned how I just have to try punchneedle again after seeing some patterns on various sites ... not to mention rug hooking!

Easily influenced?  Ya sure, you betcha!  So welcome to The Easily Influenced Stitcher!  I hope you enjoy visiting & sharing in my weakness   : )        

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Giveaway at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe

Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe is having the most wonderful giveaway!  Four lucky winners will receive one of her Primitive Black Crow Spice Bag Kits!  (Are you seeing this Robin???)  You have until January 16 to enter!  Please tell her when you enter that I told you about the giveaway as I will get an extra entry for doing so   : )

Many thanks!