Thursday, September 5, 2013

All Kinds of Stuff

I would like to start off by saying thank you to everyone who left a comment on my Heart Surgery Scheduled post last Thursday. I responded personally to every comment that I could, but unfortunately there were quite a few comments from followers who are no-reply bloggers.  I could not respond personally to those so I want to say thank you now.  I appreciate your kind thoughts & prayers more than you know.

I have been busy stitching & have finished 2 ornaments from back issues of Just Cross Stitch Ornaments.  I seem to be focused on these magazines lately which is a good thing. There are many lovely ornament patterns in them.  I finished the ornament you last saw me working on ... Winter Sampler by LHN. This ornament appears in the 2009 issue.  I either used the 32 ct Examplar linen suggested or substituted Lambswool ... I forget which.  I also used the DMC floss alternates.
It was a fun stitch, but not as much fun as this next one!  I really, really loved stitching this!  I wish there were more like it!
Designer:  Handwork
Design:  Rejoice (2001 JCS Ornaments)
Fabric:  36 ct something or other linen
Floss:  GAST suggested

Next I decided to stitch an ornament from the 2012 issue, Pomegranate Joy by Homespun Elegance.  I should have know better.  I have not stitched a Homespun Elegance chart since incinerating Along for the Ride in January.
However, I really liked Pomegranate Joy.  It looks lovely in the magazine photo.
Well, here's what I think happened.  Sandra Sullivan, or one of her minions, stitched this model but forgot to write down the floss &/or fabric used.  As a result, when it came time to go to print, they guessed.  Let me tell you ... they guessed badly.  To begin with, they suggested using 30 ct Putty linen.  I was filled with glee because I had 30 ct Putty linen in my stash!  I then assembled the suggested flosses & began stitching the white ribbon looking motif on the upper left side of the design.  The first thing I noticed was I couldn't see it.  The suggested Roasted Marshmallow GAST floss disappeared against the Putty colored linen.  The DMC alternate suggestion was Ecru.  I knew there was no way Ecru was going to show up any better.  Upstairs I went to choose another color of fabric.  I chose a natural colored linen & began stitching the white ribbon looking motif again.  It showed up beautifully. Next I started stitching the ABC area.  I finished the A using the suggested DMC 3046 & couldn't believe how light it was.  You could barely see it!  I decided to not stitch any more letters, leaving the A as it was. Maybe I thought it wouldn't look so bad if I looked at it the following day or something.  I don't know, but I moved on & stitched the little zig zaggy motif underneath.  It looks like a deep, rich red in the model photo, but the suggested CC German Chocolate, & the alternate DMC 300, are brown.  The same floss was suggested for the pomegranate motif.  A brown pomegranate.  It doesn't look brown in the model photo.  I pushed this thought aside & started stitching the numbers.  Once again, a washed out, barely able to be seen floss suggestion, GAST Apple Cider.  I stitched all 3 numbers but wasn't real thrilled with them.  I moved on to the star.  It looks like a lovely blended shade of yellow/gold, doesn't it.  It is stitched, so they say, with WDW Straw. I used WDW Straw. The color should have been more accurately named Apricot.  Apparently I was craving abuse because I frogged the star & tried the alternate DMC 3045.  I wasn't thrilled with the result but it was better than the apricot. I stitched the little zig zaggy motif underneath & then reached for the DMC 3346, Hunter Green, to stitch the tree.  I looked at it & wondered what color-blind idiot decided on that name.  It was bright green!  Bright I tell you!  Absolutely nothing like the subtle sort of green showing on the model.  I put it aside deciding I would later look for another green floss more appropriate.  I then started stitching the pomegranate.  Remember, the floss color suggested looked like a deep, rich red in the model photo, but what I held in my hands was brown.  I used to eat pomegranates when I was younger.  Where I grew up, they were called Indian apples.  I didn't remember ever seeing a brown one, but what do I know?  I decided to do a search & found many photos like these.

No brown pomegranates.  I decided to keep stitching the pomegranate though.  Maybe it would magically look like the model photo when I was done stitching it.  It didn't.  I showed it to my husband & he said "Why is the pomegranate brown?"  I sighed, frogged the pomegranate, & went to look through all my flosses to find an appropriate substitution.  I thought I found a couple, but they were either too red or had a purple cast to them.  I picked the one I thought would work best & along with it I chose a new star color, tree color, & numbers color (the washed out look of those numbers bothered me).  I frogged the star & used the yellow gold shaded floss I had chosen to look more like the model photo.  It didn't.  I frogged it again & restitched it with the DMC 3045.  I then frogged the numbers & stitched the 1 & 2 with my replacement choice.  I didn't like it.  I moved on to frogging & stitching the zig zaggy motif above them with my deep red replacement choice.  It was much too red.  By this time I threw up my hands & decided to use the floss colors suggested in the floss key.  Maybe they would look okay.  I started stitching the tree. It stood out like a neon sign.  I decided enough was enough.  I frogged everything & will stitch something else on that piece of linen.  Many hours were wasted on this project.   Homespun Elegance strikes again.   Don't be surprised if you see my entire stash of Homespun Elegance charts in flames one day. 

I am now stitching another ornament but I can't show you this one as it's a gift.

Speaking of gifts, I sent an RAK to Sally recently & it arrived safe & sound.  I'm glad to say that she is very pleased with it   : )   Since Sally & I both love tea, I stitched her a design from Lizzie*Kate's Tea Crazy chart pack ... Little Cups of Friendship.  Myra finished it into a lovely project bag.
Although I stopped taking the higher dosage of my heart medication a couple weeks ago & returned to the dosage I've been taking for the past 10 years, I am still experiencing Parkinson-like tremors.  They aren't as bad as they were with the higher dosage, but the shakiness is quite annoying at times.  I should probably call the heart specialist's office to let him know about this, but I really don't want to.  The shakiness is not helping the fact that I recently had my hair cut again. The girl who cut it last time either quit or was let go.  Her partner was no longer there either.  I ended up with a new girl, Tabitha, & I love how she cut my hair!  She is most definitely a keeper!  I will need to tell her at my next visit to keep my phone number handy in case she decides not to work there anymore.  I will follow her anywhere   : )   My hair is much shorter than it has been in years & it is also layered.  I had no luck at all replicating the style with my blow dryer.  Tabitha used a flat iron & some kind of spray stuff.  I stopped by to ask her about it & she sold me a can of the spray stuff & then sent me off to the flat iron section of the store.  I probably stood in front of the display for a good half hour, longer most likely, trying to make up my mind which flat iron to get.  I ended up buying a medium priced 1-1/2" flat iron.  I came home & watched as many YouTube tutorials as I could regarding how to use a flat iron.  It took some getting used to but I think I'm maybe getting the hang of it although I need to make several passes over my hair sometimes to get it "just right."  I am uncoordinated in the best of times, but this shakiness adds a little something extra to it. Hair clips fly every which way, & placing a section of hair between the heat plates of the flat iron can be a bit tricky, but so far I haven't suffered any third degree burns or set my hair on fire or anything.

I hope everyone has been having a good week.  It  hard to believe that it's Thursday already.  Where did the week go?  I will be finishing the stitching on my gift ornament today & will start another ornament.  I don't know which one yet.  I really need to kit up a few things so I will have some stitching ready to work on when I come home from the hospital.  It looks like I'll be lying around for a while.  Having some things ready to work on is a good idea   : )  


Mii Stitch said...

Lovely stitchy finishes great RAK ;) Take care x

cucki said...

aww i love fav :)
i have a little tree in my house..i wish he bring the fruit soon.
sweet stitching and lovely rak
hugs x

Dawn said...

Shirlee, you are a riot, may I suggest you sell your Homespun Elegance charts, lol. the little HE angels are not on your shoulder! So glad you like your hair. My daughter had hers all cut off yesterday, she had intentions of donating to Locks of Love again, however, another stylist wanted to be helpful and grabbed her hair off the counter to put it in a bag and dropped it! UGH, she didn't even apologize, it turned into a giant mess, I don't know if we can send it now, I spent last night trying a few strands at a time to make a neat long pile and wrapped lengthwise in saran wrap to avoid another mishap. I was angry all evening, that an "oops" is all she said. I'm trying not to call and complain because I am angry.
I know you are thrilled when you find a stylist you love, especially with all the moving we've done.

CalamityJr said...

Oh, Shirley. I was going to say "only you", but that wouldn't be true. It happens to all of us, but you're the one who can write about our disasters and have them almost sound fun! Of course Sally loved her gift; it's gorgeous! Your two completed ornaments look great, and your hair sounds lovely. Take care of yourself, please.

Trace4J said...

Afternoon My Silly Stitchin new Dooo Friend!
I love the sweet rejoice.
Brown pomegranates? Lol
Thinking of you and praying for you while I mowed..
Could ya hear me singing?
Good thing know one was home. :)
Woolie Hugs

Vickie said...

Sally's gift is great! Your finished stitching look wonderful. So sorry about HE again! Maybe you should sell them?
Have fun picking out and kitting things up for next weeks' stitching. I am praying for you.♥

Linda said...

Adorable ornaments Shirlee. Sorry for the problems with HE again.


Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Oh dear, it never rains but it pours! Poor Shirlee, good thing you have some beautiful finishes elsewhere in this post.

Simply Victoria said...

Your finished ornies look lovely. It can be so annoying with photography on some charts. I agree with Calamity, we all have those issues but you do make them "almost" sound like fun. I love your gift for Sally! Could I borrow that chart sometime?
Your hair sounds pretty. Please share a picture :)

Pam in IL said...

Your finishes are lovely. Sorry you had troubles with the HE design. Isn't it the best when you find a great stylist!

Judy said...

Your ornaments will be lovely. Best not pick any HE designs--especially after surgery. Thanks for the heads up on all the wrong colors for that ornament--no need to stitch it! Prayers coming your way for your surgery and recovery.

Judy heartland stitcher

Annette-California said...

Beautiful rak you gave to Sally. Your Christmas ornaments you stitched are beautiful. Yes great idea to have a few charts all kitted up and ready to go. Praying for you.
love Annette

Chris said...

Hey Shirlee! Lovely ornament finish. So sorry about the Homespun elegance debacle. I hate that.
So a new haircut! It sounds great. I would not be good with the flat iron thing...but I have that flat ironed look naturally :)
I hope that you find the perfect projects in your stash to kit up.

Brigitte said...

Oh my, brown pomgrenates, I wouldn't have stitched them in brown either, lol. I often find big (and I mean big) differences between the colours on the picture and the real threads. Then it's time to change the threads the way I like them better.
You have two great finishes here, very lovely.

willmania said...

Once again, love your posts! So glad I was never drawn to attempt that pomegranate ornament . . . it was all because I don't get the connection between pomegranates & Christmas . . . grew up in the wrong part of the country, I guess. Oh, the joy of finding a good hair gal!!!!! Been thinking about you as your surgery approaches - hoping all goes well & that afib problem disappears forever.

butterfly said...

Shirlee you have been busy , love all your beautiful stitching. Soory about the HE charts some just happen to be a pain, big hugs to a very sweet friend.

Minnie said...

One thing is for sure you don't need to stitch anymore Homespun elegance, they can't be safe with your heart problems, but I love the other ornaments you've stitched. Careful with the flat iron, my ears are so glad I don't use the curling iron anymore.

Carol said...

So the HE saga continues?! I'm so sorry you had another bad experience, Shirlee! I find it so frustrating when colors look nothing like those shown in the finished pieces in charts or magazines. At least your other two ornament finishes turned out--very nice :)

Yay for a new hair cut that you love!! I'm sure you'll get the hang of styling it after a bit... Sorry to hear about the shakiness--is that something that will improve after your surgery?

Will be thinking of you next week--best of luck to you, my friend :)

Melanie said...

Lovely stitching...............even after all that frogging and color frustration. :)

Sarah in Stitches said...

Oh my goodness, I definitely think you and Homespun Elegance do not get along. I really hope this heart medication fixes itself or something - and you should post a picture of your new haircut soon!

Kaisievic said...

Shirlee, to relieve you of your Homespun Elegance angst I suggest that you banish them to an overseas destination - ie send them to me lol! An amusing post as usual. Stay well, dear friend.

Melody said...

Hello shirlee! I am way behind on blog reading... Wasn't aware that surgery is ahead for you. Hope everything goes well for you!

I think Homespun Elegance isn't your thing. (It's not always mine either, so don't feel alone here).

I know what you mean about choosing other colors, sometimes it's hard to find what works!!