You are currently browsing the archives for January 2010.

And Again

  • Posted on January 30, 2010 at 6:57 pm

I hacked the code of the theme that was the closest to working the way I wanted it to, so now I have a working new theme. I still have at least one more issue to tweak on this one before I’ll be satisfied enough to leave it alone. Then I might start tackling some of the other themes to fix their issues. Or maybe I’ll actually sit down and try to create my own theme from scratch. In my spare time… 😉

And I’m Right Back Where I Started From

  • Posted on January 30, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Every new theme that I tried failed on some point or another. Some of them were such epic fails that I can’t believe someone would have even submitted them as a viable theme. Seriously, some people didn’t deal with even the most basic situations. Grrrr… So, I ordered them into a Fail folder, a No folder and a Needs Work folder. I’m hoping that I can dig into the code in a couple of them to fix the few little issues that need to be tweaked. Until then, you have to deal with the same old look I had before. Fortunately for me, the old theme still works!

Trying a New Theme

  • Posted on January 30, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Barbara was kind enough to remark that there was no apparent way to comment on my posts with the theme that I had chosen last night. Actually, there was, but you had to click into the actual post to be able to comment, which is annoying. So, I’ve switched to another theme, but it has a couple of major flaws in it that I don’t care for, so I’m going to keep looking. I noticed that my old themes actually still work in this version, so I may switch back to one of them until I can find an updated one that I like. So, you can now comment more easily, but the look is probably going to change a couple of more time before I settle on the right one. Thanks for the catch, Barbara!

Blog Upgrade Completed

  • Posted on January 29, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Terry happened to ask where I was with upgrading the test copy of my blog, so I went ahead and upgraded the test copy tonight. Everything went well, I settled on a new theme and customized it the way I wanted it (well, almost… I would prefer the sidebar to be on the right side), so I went ahead and upgraded my blog for real. Feel free to tell me what you think!

A New Finish – Even Finish-Finished!

  • Posted on January 29, 2010 at 2:26 pm

A quick post today. I’ve been having severe muscle spasms in my neck, shoulders and back and am now on a muscle relaxant and a pain killer to try to manage whatever is going on. I’ve also been told by my doctor to stay out of work until at least Monday. So, I am trying to limit my computer time a bit. In addition, I’m a little fuzzy, so I can’t work on my model stitching right now, which means it’s only personal stitching for me right now. Bummer. 😉

As a result, I finally finished that stupid little Just Nan design that I keep having problems with. Okay, I shouldn’t call the design stupid, I think it was just me who was stupid. Anyway, it’s done and while I was at it, I decided to go ahead and finish it. So, here’s Just Nan’s Cherub Garden:

Finished into its WhimZi frame:

I also finished another WhimZi into its frame. I completed the stitching on this one months ago, but didn’t finish it for whatever reason. This is Just Nan’s Flower Girls:

That’s it for now. I have ideas for a couple of more posts, so you’ll continue to hear from me, hopefully regularly.

Meet Abby and Lily

  • Posted on January 27, 2010 at 6:34 pm

As many of you know, my heart was truly broken when we had to let our dear Phoebe go this past August. Despite the incredible pain that her passing brought us, we knew that we would get more dogs. Having a beloved furbaby as part of your family brings so much joy to your life that it becomes incredible empty without one. Our poor, dearest Phoebe had been sick for quite a while and I had been doing research off and on for years, looking into Pomeranian breeders. We stumbled upon Phoebe quite by accident. We were living in our first apartment together at the time and were fairly fresh out of college. Our downstairs neighbors bought a Pom named Daphne who was just the cutest thing and we decided we might like to have one of our own. Of course, Daphne turned out to be a drastically oversized Pom purchased from a pet store (gasp!) who, while we moved away before she reached full size, had to have topped out near 20 pounds. Definitely not within the breed standard of 2 to 8 pounds. Of course, Phoebe topped out at 10 pounds, so she wasn’t withing the standard, either. But I digress. We just happened to pick up a newspaper, looked at the ads and found some Pomeranian pups for sale not to far away. We went to see them one night after work and there were only two left by that time, both females. One was a red sable (I believe) and the other was a lovely orange who came home with us that night. I remember that she was much more energetic than the other, more friendly and more outgoing. She chewed a little bit on the tiny Nylabone that I had brought with us and she peed on the floor near me. Little did I know that was most likely a sign of the housebreaking battles that lay ahead of us. Here’s a hint – don’t bother to paper train a puppy if your end goal is to have them go outside. Just take them straight outside. You’ll save yourself a lot of hassle. Phoebe paper trained immediately. The transition from there to outside was a nightmare.

But, again, I digress. When Phoebe passed, I began the search in earnest for a local breeder who might fill the huge void left in the wake of Phoebe’s death. Through the wonders of the internet, I found a woman who lives an hour and a half away from us. I began a series of regular phone calls with her to discuss our situation, see if we might be acceptable, potential parents to two of her pups and what stock she had available. Yes, you read that correctly, I said two pups. You see, we decided a couple of years before Phoebe died that it would be really nice if she had a companion. However, we felt that introducing a new puppy at that point would be difficult and unfair to Phoebe, not just because of her age and her condition, but also because she was used to be an only “child.” So, we decided at that point that when we got our next addition to the family, there would actually be two additions. The breeder I spoke to had 3 females available when I spoke to her. At that time, I wasn’t ready yet to reintroduce dogs into our home. The pain was far too fresh and we were about to go to Disney for a week and a half, so the timing just wasn’t right. When we got home, though, the house just felt far too empty and I figured it was time to go see what the breeder was like and meet her dogs. We scheduled an appointment for Saturday, October 3rd.

When we left that morning, I was still quite uncertain about the prospect of new pups. I wasn’t sure that the breeder would accept us (she’s notoriously picky about who she sells her Poms to) and I wasn’t totally sure I was ready. Nonetheless, we packed up Phoebe’s crate and traveled north, even stopping at the local pet store to grab another crate for a second pup and a couple of Nylabones, since they had worked so well with Phoebe. I was incredibly nervous, unsure of where we were going and what to expect once we got there. We parked and went to the gate of a nice-sized, fenced in yard with a Pom garden flag and dog warnings posted. As soon as we reached the gate, there was an absolute swarm of fluff balls there to check us out, all barking at the top of their lungs. Opening the gate and pushing out way in without managing to let any of them out was quite a daunting task. She has over 20 dogs at her place! What a sight! We introduced ourselves, met a few of the dogs and, before I knew it, we were sitting in the yard with a dog in each of our laps. The two she had waiting for us were named Lily and Minibites. Yes, Minibites. Don’t ask. Poor girl was in heat for the first time and the males were absolutely frantic. They wanted her like you wouldn’t believe, so Terry served as her protector the entire time. I held for a little bit, at one point, only to have one of the males suddenly jump into my lap with her. I had Lily in my lap for a while, but once I put her down, she was quite aloof and wouldn’t come over to me. We spent several hours there and I still wasn’t certain, but Terry had known all along that we were coming home with two girls that day. And so, finally, we did. The breeder was incredibly generous, giving us everything to get started, from food, to bowls, to a bigger crate that could carry them both at the same time. We packed them up (having to run after Lily, of course, the little bugger), said our goodbyes and started the trip home. Oh my, was it a nerve-wracking trip. I was so nervous! Poor Lily, having never traveled in a car before (as we later found out), threw up 7 times on the way home. So, her joyous homecoming was being pulled out of the crate and plopped straight into a bathtub. No chance to get acclimated first; she was coated, and Abby was dirty, too. Welcome home, kids! LOL. The second thing we did, after getting them cleaned up, was to rename Minibites. Terry looked on the internet for female Irish names and quickly settled on Abby. So, Abby it is! Abby is a red sable who weighs in at around 4 pounds and Lily is an orange who weighs about 3.5 pounds. Itty bitties, but true to average breed size!

It’s been over 3 months now and I think we’ve finally gotten them settled in. We’ve been learning their personality quirks and their habits, teaching them how to play, trying to housebreak them, etc. I think we’re fairly well into a routine, now. They are unhappy when we leave and quite ecstatic when we return. Oh my, you should see them when we get home. They get so excited, they are nearly beside themselves. And so different in their personalities. I could go on and on about their quirks. Crazy kids. But, this post is already long enough and I haven’t gotten to the pictures yet! The full album is located here in my photo gallery, but here are some highlights of what we have so far:

Lily and my hand:

Abby and a keyboard:

Lily and Abby on the couch:

Lily and Abby sleeping on the couch (Terry calls this one “the double-headed dog”):

Silly Abby sleeping on the arm of the couch (yes, her eyes are partially open, but she is asleep):

AND the requisite post-bath photos:

Welcome to our two new little sweethearts! I love you, girls!

Catching Up on Blog Reading

  • Posted on January 25, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Some of you may have already noticed by the sudden surge of comments, but I am really trying to catch up on everyone’s blogs. I am trying to comment as much as I can, but I do blitz through some posts (okay, a lot of posts), so don’t be too upset if you don’t hear much from me. Hopefully, I can try to keep up with your blogs on a more regular basis once I’m caught up! Normally, I would be totally buried under unread posts, but my FeedDemon is apparently starting to purge really old entries. I might be upset if I hadn’t come to realize that the posts it’s rolling off really are old and while I hate the thought of having missed anything crucial, I’m sure I can get the gist of things. As for me, I’m really going to try to blog more often, thanks to a well-landed blow from Anna at the local stitching get-together the other Friday. 😛 She’s probably cringing her way through all of my grammar mistakes, as well. Sorry, Anna! At any rate, I have one big post that I really need to bite the bullet and write, then I can start to let more regular entries flow, even if they are as dull as dishwater. Until then, dear readers (any who are left, that is), happy stitching! Or whatever it is that non-stitchers do for fun. 🙂

Attack of the Killer Frogs

  • Posted on January 24, 2010 at 10:54 am

Well, not so killer, unless you count my ego. I’m stitching away today on something I’ve been working at in a very piecemeal fashion and I get halfway around and realize that something is off. There are four sets of stitched hearts, with colors building on each other in a gradient. I look at it carefully and come to the ugly conclusion that I’ve built up the motif I’m about to work on one thread off from where it should be. Which brings the inevitable question of how the heck did I manage to do that? I mean seriously how? This is a small piece, folks. A Just Nan WhimZi that is 2 inches square. How do you screw that up? But somehow I managed to do it. So, I rip it out (fortunately, there were only two colors laid down so far), all the while berating myself in my head. I restitch it and get it back to where it was and lay the color that I had been working with when all of this started in its place below the others. I get to the fourth side of the square, only to find another problem. Oh come on! Seriously? What is my problem? This is not a complex design I’m working with. Sheesh! The best I can figure is that when I was counting out to the middle to do this new mistake I’ve found, I must have started the count from the side that was off. I hope.

My biggest concern now is not just what other stupid mistakes I will find as I continue, but what did I do wrong today that I’ll find the next time I sit down to put the finishing touches on this piece?

I mean, really, it’s a 2 inch square of stitching. Two. Inch. Square. What the heck?

Blog Upgrade Imminent

  • Posted on January 21, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Yes, folks, I am on a very old version of WordPress. Haven’t updated in who knows how long. Mostly because I didn’t want to lose my theme, which is inevitable because the authoress has dropped off the face of the earth. Such a shame because she was awesome at elegant, free WordPress themes. I think I’m ready to bite the bullet, though. I have a backup copy of my blog to fool around with, a handful of new themes to try and the latest version of the code ready to install.

Wish me luck! You’ll know if I’m successful if the blog look suddenly changes radically. 😉

2009 Stitching Finishes

  • Posted on January 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Here they are, all of my stitching finishes for 2009. Some of them were even finish-finished! Those are the four Princess Alphabet pieces, all of which I framed, the two Summer Biscornus by The Victoria Sampler, Happy Heart by Shepherd’s Bush, Celtic Jewel Keychain by Textile Heritage, Lody Steward’s Pagoda Pincushion, Fall Biscornu by The Victoria Sampler, Mauve Heart Sampler from a Mill Hill kit, the two Just Nan Whimzi designs, and the last 5 finishes, one of which was framed, one finished into a bellpull and the remaining three were finished into ornaments. That’s 22 finishes out of 39 items stitched this past year. Not too shabby!

I’m not going to bother linking to the pictures. If you want to see them, you can look at my 2009 Finishes album in my photo gallery.

  1. Dimensions – Princess Alphabet (E) — Finished March 2009
  2. Dimensions – Princess Alphabet (M) — Finished March 2009
  3. Dimensions – Princess Alphabet (G) — Finished March 2009
  4. Dimensions – Princess Alphabet (R) — Finished March 2009
  5. Ink Circles – Celtic Ice — Finished April 2009
  6. JBW Designs – I Love to Shop at the Silver Needle — Finished April 2009
  7. JBW Designs – A Very Merry Summer — Finished April 2009
  8. Just Nan – Jingle! Biscornu — Finished April or May 2009
  9. Just Nan – Jingle! Tin Topper — Finished April or May 2009
  10. Just Nan – Crystal Heart — Finished April or May 2009
  11. Lizzie*Kate – Woof Blocks Flip-It — Finished April or May 2009
  12. Just Nan – Flower Girls — Finished May 2009
  13. Lorri Birmingham – Irish Needle Roll — Finished May 2009
  14. Lorri Birmingham – Crystal Pink Pincushion — Finished May 23, 2009
  15. The Victoria Sampler – October Birthday Needleroll — Finished May 24, 2009
  16. The Victoria Sampler – Summer Biscornu (Purple) — Finished June 26, 2009
  17. The Victoria Sampler – Summer Biscornu (Pink) — Finished June 26, 2009
  18. Just Nan – Ornamental Treasures III – Rosebuds
  19. Sue Hillis – Wine a Bit
  20. Shepherd’s Bush – Happy Heart
  21. The Victoria Sampler – Summer Biscornu (Purple #2)
  22. The Victoria Sampler – Summer Biscornu (Red)
  23. The Sweetheart Tree – Halloween Fob (Front)
  24. The Sweetheart Tree – Halloween Fob (Back)
  25. Textile Heritage – Celtic Jewel Keychain
  26. Lody Steward – Pagoda Pincushion (Top)
  27. Lody Steward – Pagoda Pincushion (Bottom)
  28. Lorri Birmingham – Sarah Belle Scissor Case
  29. Just Nan – Frost on the Pumpkin (Whimzi)
  30. The Victoria Sampler – Fall Biscornu (Pumpkins)
  31. The Victoria Sampler – Fall Biscornu (Leaves)
  32. Mill Hill – Scissor Pocket Treasured Stitching Band Kit – Mauve Heart Sampler
  33. The Sweetheart Tree – Hearts & Flowers
  34. Just Nan – Winter Violets (Limited Edition Whimzi)
  35. Dimensions – Gold Nuggets – Pansies on Toile
  36. The Victoria Sampler – Forever and For Always
  37. My Big Toe Designs – Cross of Christmas (Blue)
  38. Ladybug Lane Designs – Plaid Greetings
  39. My Big Toe Designs – Cross of Christmas (Pink)

My Stick Family from