Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Grocery Shopping, UPS Visit, & Prim-ing My Cross Stitch

A lovely cool day today!!!
Only a heavy snowfall would've made it better   : )

I had to venture forth into the devil's playground to run a few errands which included a stop at the grocery store.  I think I've got all the staples covered for a couple days.
Note what's there on the right corner in front.  I stopped by the drug store thinking maybe they'd have the Peeps ghosts on sale but there were none to be found.  (They did have the Peeps orange pumpkins but they don't taste the same.)  I was, however, thrilled to discover that the Peeps snowmen had made their appearance   : )
Peeps white peeps at Easter time were always the best but the Peeps company no longer makes the white ones so I have to suffer   : (   My only chance of capturing even a bit of the white peep goodness is with the white ghosts or the white snowmen. While standing at the checkout counter the salesclerk said to me "The Halloween pumpkin Peeps are on sale."  I didn't want to go into a long dissertation about how the colors affect the taste so I just said "the snowmen taste better"  & she laughed!  Poor thing didn't have a clue.

After taking the above photo I prepared the Peeps snowmen for future eating.  First I took off the plastic covering.  (I don't know how those bananas got in my cart.)
Then I placed the open packages on top of the refrigerator to age for a few days.
Peeps are NOT good fresh from the package. They must age on top of a refrigerator first in order for them to dry up a bit on the outside & be chewy on the inside.  Any Peeps gourmet will tell you this.  

At this point I heard the UPS truck coming up the driveway ... always a wonderful anticipatory event!  What was he bringing me?  More stash perhaps?  I sent John out to get the package ... quite a large box which I began to open immediately.
Let's take a closer look!
What could it be?!?!?
Why it's my order of 2 boxes of flying saucers!!!  Joy!  Rapture!  I will try not to overdose on them tonight.  

Sophie passed out from the sheer excitement of it all.
On to the cross stitch portion of today's post.  Two days ago, after taking a heavy dose of antiemetics (barf prevention medicines) I stuffed 2 pinkeeps, stitched up the openings, & attempted to "prim them up." Last year a product called Distress It was highly recommended to me.  I found it to be a strange product.  I had to spray my pinkeeps time & time again ... & again & again & again ... to finally get them to look even remotely distressed.  I knew when I fetched the bottle yesterday that I was facing more stress to my spray pump finger.  Interesting thing about Distress It ... at least the bottle I have in my possession.  I could tell there was plenty of the solution remaining in the bottle but after a very brief period of time nothing was spraying out no matter how I positioned it.  I unscrewed the sprayer & that's when I discovered that the bottom of the sprayer did not reach the bottom of the bottle.  It was a good 1-1/2 inches too short!  What's up with that?  I didn't know what else to do so I dumped some of the solution onto my fingers & sort of patted it on the pinkeeps.  I don't recommend doing this.  It's messy & it doesn't provide you with any better staining results than if you sprinkled water from the faucet onto it.  With all the hype I read last year about Distress It I can't help but wonder if my bottle had been watered down although surely it had been sealed in some way when I bought it?  Anyway, the point is that the results of using the Distress It were again, well, distressing.  I then decided to try tea staining.  I did not want to try coffee staining because in the past my things have always ended up with an orange tint for some reason.  I boiled a cup of water & plunged in 6 tea bags, letting them soak overnight.  I anticipated amazing staining results but that was not the case.  I even took the wet tea bags & pounced them onto the fabric.  I've got a bit of light brown color here & there & that's it.  What in the world am I doing wrong?  My pinkeeps now scream "Not only is Shirlee a failure at finishing, she's also a failure at staining!"  (No, I'm not going to share a photo.  Just picture a little pillow with some light brown shading here & there.)

I know a lot of people swear by walnut crystals.  I invested in some of them last year & the results were as if I held them up for Inky the Octopus to have a shot at. Black splotches here & there.  



Kaisievic said...

Oh dear, Shirlee. Sorry, I don't do much staining but maybe the tea stain needs to be hot? Good luck!

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHHA I am not the only one! Peeps must be crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I slit the plastic a bit and let the air's a lot quicker and i don't have to wait too long. LOL

Alas, I have no help for your distressing dilemma...I do hope someone comes along soon and helps you out though. HUGS

gloriahanaway said...

I'm in the same distressing boat with ya! I have only tried tea and coffee- thanks for the info on Distress It and walnut crystals! Maybe I can find some black walnuts in the woods and try that (they always stained my fingers black)! ;0)

Carol said...

Who knew there was such a thing as ghost and snowmen Peeps! I'm not a fan, but I remember loving them as a child--perhaps I should give them another chance after hardening the outside like you do, Shirlee :)

Having never attempted to prim anything up in my stitching finishes, I'm no help at all to you. Hope you get some answers from someone...

Kim said...

You are a grocery shopper that warms my heart. Mmm, love it all....except for peeps. But I was very impressed with your Peep expertise :)

Mii Stitch said...

Awww sorry to hear about the staining adventure! I wouldn't know where to start on that... maybe a bit of googling could help?? Also, what are these Peeps things you're on about? Think about us Frenchy Frogs living in UK!!! Is this a marshmallow thingy? Come on do tell, I'm curious & greedy ☺ I did recognise the Reese's (orange pack) though, we tried some a few weeks ago... Yummy peanut butter but a bit too sweet to my liking!!! Good luck with the staining, Mii xx

Dani said...

I use walnut crystals to distress with..the problem you had in the blotchy appearance was probably do to not getting the water hot enough to dissolve all the crystals...they really have to be all dissolved. I made that mistake several times before I got it I like it alot better than tea staining as it gives a really nice even color. hope this helps!

earlene said...

Love peeps!! Dried out ones and I crave them at Easter.
I have never seen the snowmen.

butterfly said...

Sounds like you are still having fun Shirlee , sorry can't help you out with the staining.. hugs.

Annette-California said...

I have done tea staining. Not knowing what I was doing, even though I had Googled and followed instructions, I tested a strip of fabric first. I wet the tea bags with some very warm water (water heated in microwave. Then squeezed them some of the sink. Took a glass towel (something of thin fabric and wet it and rung it out. Took the tea bags (2) and put them in the middle of towel and twisted the towel around the tea bags. Said a prayer...Then pounced some on the stitching fabric. Played with that till I liked it.
Overall it was fine but I prefer dyeing. You could try this. Don't forget to say a prayer:)))
What are flying saucers? Candy?
love Annette

Maggee said...

yes Ma'am!! Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside! Yummmmmy! Quite a stock for the storm! Oh wait, that was just staples... oh okay... I have to tell you, I can get fabric that is already distressed because R&R is also the owners of my LNS Dyeing to Stitch in Virginia Beach! But, I am not so much into the distressed look, so plain jane for most of my stuff. I do have some in my stash tho. Not much help, I know... Hugs for warming my heart as always!

Sabine's Harz Quilt said...

I also love Peeps and I also love them crispy on the outside ;-)
Unfortunatly they aren´t available here in Germany. But I have a good friend who is sending them to me fromt time to time. And believe me, I love them so much that I eat them all at one and don´t share them :-)
Greetings, Sabine

cucki said...

oh dear.. sorry to hear about the staining part...good luck with it.
hugs xxx

Chris said...

Sophie is still loving that box :)
I have never dyed anything and now I will be less likely to try,lol.
I am sure things look fabulous. We are our own worts critics.
I now know about Peeps. Rich likes them. I would rather have the chocolate :)

Janet P said...

Hi Shirlee, if only knew what Peeps are. You certainly sound like a gourmet,

Vickie said...

I am no help for staining Shirlee. I have never stained fabric. =)
Peeps are yucko for me. Chocolate all the way!! ;)

Michelle said...

One word - yummy !!! xx

Peggy Lee said...

I've used Distress It and the only way I got it to work was to slap the iron on it immediately after spraying. It also worked that way for me with tea bags. My tea was very strong but it wasn't hot. I bought the cheapest iron I could find at Wal-Mart just for staining.
Hope that's a help!

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

You are killing me with the snowmen! My MIL use to always say that the only Peeps worth eating were the flat bunnies in the color of yellow. She would not eat any other shape or color. She's looking down on you from Heaven and smiling now...probably up there munching on a few of the snowmen as we speak! I, of course, am gonna have to hit the streets and find these yummy snowmen...I did not even know they made snowmen...hmmmm.

I haven't dyed any fabric but it sounds like it's quite an ordeal. Hang in there. :)

Oh Sophie is so adorable! :)

Hugs and blessings always

Kathy L. said...

LOL your blogs are so great.
I found the distress spray to be kinda weak too and when spraying it would leave too many drip marks. The best method I ever found for staining was to use instant coffee, mix in a hot water dip your piece to your satified color and if you want some splotches on it rub some crystals in areas with a wet finger. Dry and viola done.

Have fun eating your peeps

TheCrankyCrow said...

Yes, I'm still here - still procrastinating.

First off, have to ask - all that packaging stuff for two stinking boxes of saucers??? Holy moly.

And peeps? I'm not a fan - but I am peep-savvy. I had several employees who loved their peeps a bit old and wised up to their ways when I needed to get on their good sides.

And now for the confession. Twas I who proclaimed the wonders of Distress-It to you. Sorry you haven't been happy with it. (And, for the record, I too have had problems with the bottles suddenly stopping spraying - but it wasn't because the tube was too short - it was just defective. Luckily, I had a spare spray bottle to transfer what was left in. (Hoarding has its benefits, see?) Anyways - Distress-It comes in different strengths - I believe they have three strengths -"Slightly Distressed" is the weakest version. Check your bottle and see what strength you have.

There is also another product that I have used which is similar, but more intense - it's called "Instant Antique" by Primitive Gatherings in Menasha, WI - bigger bottle, better value and more intense.

But, with that being said, I have tried almost every form of distressing out there. My current favorite is walnut crystals....I dissolve them in hot water, let stand for a half an hour, and use a spray bottle to apply (but you can also use a paint brush). If THAT doesn't get things dark enough, I take the filter with the grounds from my coffee pot (after it's cooled, but still damp), wrap a paper towel around it and "blob" it on the fabric. I also sometimes use tea bags in this manner (although I don't usually wrap them....) My favorite prior to the walnut crystals was a handmade solution as follows: 1 quart hot water, 2 cups instant coffee and 2 tablespoons vanilla. Dissolve the coffee in the water and add vanilla. Let cool. Add your project and let soak for several minutes. Squeeze out most of the liquid and put your project on a lined cookie sheet and bake in a 210 degree oven until dry. REPEAT until you get the result you want...???s? - just email me. that I've confessed and shared my secrets, I gotta get back to criminal negligence....

Hugs ~ Robin