Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Cross Stitch Gods ... Nice Guys, or Sick Sense of Humor?

Good morning!

Before I begin my speech about the cross stitch gods, I must say that it is a lovely morning!  Not as lovely as it could be of course, like this ...

or this ...
or even this ...
but lovely just the same.  Lovely for the devil's playground anyway.  The temp right now is 46 degrees. I am wearing a "winter shirt" (long sleeved knitted henley) & my furry bedroom slippers & I'm still chilly!  I'm actually shivering!  We don't have a fireplace (I'm heaving a big sigh of regret as I type this) but I do have candles that smell like logs burning in a fireplace & I can light one of those & stand in front of the open oven door.  You make do with what you have   : )   I have decided that today is the day to break out the hot chocolate machine.  John bought it for me last year & it is one of my best gifts ever!  I will give it a go after John decides to crawl out of bed.  I'm rushing the hot chocolate season a bit but I've decided that a-rushing I will go.  Unfortunately I realized the other day that I've forgotten the hot chocolate recipe I created last year. Why in the world I didn't write it down someplace is beyond me.  Now I have to try to recreate it.  I know I use unsweetened dark chocolate bars (Ghirardelli) & some unsweetened chocolate powder & I adapt it a bit to be diet friendly (skim milk & packets of Stevia) but I forget the ratios.  I guess I'll have fun experimenting   : )

I have been stitching up a storm.  I don't want to brag but last week I finished stitching 7 ornaments!  This truly isn't bragging because they were quick stitches ... primitive things stitched 1 over 2 & I don't think the designs included even 100 stitches so definitely no bragging rights here.  They were/are, however, lots of fun to stitch & I'm still stitching them   : )

I also finished stitching my exchange piece that I mentioned a while back ... the one where the designer snuck in some specialty stitches.  You may recall me telling you about how especially sneaky this designer was regarding these stitches.  The model in the photo on the chart leaflet was taken from a distance which made it quite small. You really couldn't see the detail.  I foolishly did not open the leaflet to look over the directions ... I just bought it based on the model photo alone.  I won't be making that mistake again, let me tell you!  I did not even notice the specialty stitches when I made myself a working copy of the chart, figured out where the center of the design was, & counted up to my starting point.  Nope ... I was nearing the end & that's when I noticed the specialty stitches.  I found myself some online tutorials & thankfully the stitches weren't very difficult.  They weren't bad at all really ... just a bit time consuming.  

I finished the specialty stitches & the final contribution the designer called for was the addition of a few buttons.  I didn't catch this either when I bought the chart or began it. Of course they were "specialty buttons" ... Just Another Button Company buttons, which I love.  They weren't anything fancy ... small little 2-colored squares ... but the designer wanted me to stitch on 7 of them & they were $1.70 each!  I thought, all things considered, that this exchange piece had gotten a bit out of hand but I consoled myself by imagining the gasp of utter delight my exchange partner would give when she unwrapped the piece & saw all the work I put into it.  

Enter the cross stitch gods' sick sense of humor.  When I saw those specialty stitches my heart sank but I consoled myself with the fact that at least they weren't french knots. I have written before of the animosity there is between me & french knots.  Well, the cross stitch gods got the last laugh when I noticed the notation next to the button placement directions.  Did I mention all the notations & directions in this chart leaflet were written really teeny-tiny?  Anyway, the button placement notation said "Attach buttons with colonial or french knots."  I almost lost it right then & there.  What kind of cruel, sick joke was this?!?!?  Attaching buttons with french knots!  

I know, I know ... I didn't have to stitch those specialty stitches.  I could've just made a bunch of Xs in those areas.  If I had tried the specialty stitches & failed, I certainly would've done just that.  Likewise I could've just ignored the colonial/french knots notation & sewed the buttons on as one would normally sew on buttons, but of course I have OCD & my OCD would not let me do this.  I had to at least attempt those blasted colonial/french knots.  First I tried the colonial knots.  I have had success with them in the past but not recently & certainly not with these stupid buttons.  I then decided to bravely give it the old college try & I went ahead & attempted to stitch them on with french knots.  You can guess how that worked out.  Finally I sewed on the buttons the normal way & you know what? It looks just fine.  Why in the world this designer wanted them to be stitched on with colonial or french knots is anyone's guess. Was she experiencing PMS that day or having a particularly bad menopausal mood swing?  Did a customer tick her off & she decided to punish us all?  Did she really, honestly think that stitching on buttons using colonial or french knots was a good idea?  

I have designed cross stitch patterns in the past & I will do so again in the future, but I will not under any circumstance give my devotees anything but little Xs to stitch.  I admit to having a warped sense of humor at times but I do not have a sick one.

Today I will be stitching more of the little ornaments I stitched last week.  I am stitching a total of 10 so I have 3 more to go. Sorry ... I can't show them to you just now.  I can, however, show you a couple RAKs I sent out recently.  They were for July, August, & September (I was a bit behind) & 2 of the ladies have received them so I can show you those.  The first one (a Pineberry Lane design) I sent to Chris at Tot Hill Farm Stitches & the second (a Pine Mountain kit project) I sent to Dawn at In Stitches.

I have more to share with you but this post is probably long enough   : )   I wish you all a fabulous week filled with many accomplishments & happy surprises.  Have you noticed my Christmas countdown thingie?  We now have 78 days till Christmas! I am smiling a great big smile as I write this even though the pressure is on, but it's Christmas pressure.  That's a good pressure  : )

I welcome all my new followers!  I'm really glad that you came to visit & decided to stay.  And as always I send big hugs to my continuing followers & thank you for coming back time & time again.  Your comments & friendship are real treasures   : )           

20 comments:

Krista said...

Those RAKs are so pretty, love that Wool one especially, I saw that at Chris's blog. Looking forward to seeing all the ornaments you made. Have a great day and stay warm!

Vickie said...

Shirlee, you are a treasure!! Wow! That first picture is really something! Could you imagine that much snow!!
You have made some very nice gifts Shirlee.

Carol said...

Hi Shirlee--I'm so far behind on my blog reading after being away last week!! Glad to know you're finishing some things and what cute things they are--the little sheep is adorable and I'm sure Chris and Dawn were both thrilled with their little gifts...

Not sure about those snow photos--they are lovely IF you don't have to venture outside!! It's 46 here, too, no sign of the sun at all. Enjoy your hot chocolate maker--sounds like just the ticket for a day like today :)

butterfly said...

Can I come over for hot chocolate sounds wonderful.
Beautiful RAK's Shirlee and wow you have been a busy stitcher. It's getting cooler here now , but I do get more stitching done in the winter, hugs.

Catherine said...

Oohhh....I'm ready for cooler weather, but nothing like in your photos! But, the hot chocolate, I'll take that any day!! Love both of your finishes ~ especially the sheep! Looking forward to seeing the others!

TheCrankyCrow said...

I beg to differ....Your sense of humor is definitely SICK!!! I almost wish I had listened to my first instinct that told me NOT to read this blog post when I saw the snow....Not funny. Not funny at ALL. Then, end it with the Christmas bit. Sick I tell you...SICK. It snowed off and on here all day yesterday....and that made for one CRANKY crow.

LOVE the PL "Wool" tuck....but you knew that already.... ;o) Turned out awesome.....

Hope your Sunday is good to you...Sorry I'm so far behind... :o( Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

Judy said...

With an early start you'll have that hot chocolate reciepe ready for winter! Hopefully nothing like any of the photos in this post.

Your RAK's are very cute! And I agree about the buttons..french knots--really? I don't mind a few french knots, but seems a bit tricky to attach butttons.

Have a nice week

Judy heartland stitcher

cucki said...

and i am missing my cold weather..
lovely rak..love that wool one so much..
big hugs xx

Kaisievic said...

Hi Shirlee, as usual your post is tres amusant. I am with you - speciality stitches leave me cold. Love your two RAK finishes - both gorgeous. The weather is warming up here in Melbourne - do you want me to send some of it your way?

Nancy said...

Shirlee, I love reading your blog. I love how you turn your issues into fun to read blogging. Your stitching is beautiful and I do agree with you as to why anyone would want you to sew buttons on with french knots. To me they are French NOTS!!!

Mouse said...

oooo sending some candles over toot suite .. and have you worked out that hot choccie recipe yet >>>>????
glad you attempted to do the speciality stitches well done you :) and I am with you on the sewing buttons on normally ....love french knots but wouldn't do them on buttons ..lol
gorgeous wee raks you did too :)
love mouse xxxx

April said...

I am laughing at the lighting the candle and standing in front of the open oven!!! lol I have some candles that smell like baked sugar cookies.. Everytime I light them I get hungry and have to go find me something to eat!! lol Boy yo have been stitching away!! to me finishes are finishes. 7 Are great!!! Happy stitching this week!

Carolyn @ The Baseball Stitcher said...

LOVE your blog and so happy I found it! We get weather just like your first three pics and I am looking forward to it! It's great to be snowed in and I work at a college that will cancel classes when the weather creates difficult driving conditions. Can't wait!

Nicola said...

78 days !!! Where has this year gone?

I am always amazed by how much these little buttons cost.

Annette-California said...

Why would someone even think that stitching buttons on with colonial or french knots even look pretty? Gezz. Oh My heart went out to you:)
I have never seen such huge amounts of snow before. We are just getting some cooler weather in the 70's finally. Your RAKS are beautiful. Lucky gals. now I want some hot chocolate - going to store tomorrow to stock up. I so needed to laugh thank you for your wonderful humor.
love Annette

Maggee said...

Your posts are something else! Though I am with ya sista' on doing specialty stitches, especially when trying to put on buttons! Really?? What was the designer thinking?!? The Wool pillow is my fave! Keep stitching! Look forward to seeing more finishes. Hugs!

bettyj said...

Your ornaments are beautiful. I am behind on blogs, as I have had out of state company. It is very quiet here this morning. Have a wonderful week. I admit, I have the electric fireplace on as I am drinking my coffee. Have a wonderful week my friend.

marly said...

Wow. You're leaving us all in the dust. Small projects or not! I guess I better look up the difference between colonial and french knots.

Sally said...

I am looking forward to some snow but maybe not quite as much as in your photos!

Lovely pieces you stitched for Chris and Dawn :)

Joysze said...

Yowza!! That's cold!! We're in the 80s here, I think. LOL!!!

Awwww... more french knots trouble? BAH!!! Can you use beads as substitute? ;)

Finishes are lovely.