You are currently browsing the archives for June 2010.

Kindle Love

  • Posted on June 26, 2010 at 4:28 pm

I was having trouble getting out of bed Tuesday morning. I mean, SERIOUSLY having trouble getting out of bed. So, Terry comes up and tells me that he has something that might help wake me up. He happened to go out to and saw that they just dropped the price of the standard Kindle – by $70!!! So, yes, I have finally reached the breaking point, at which it makes sense to go for it. I have no more space on my bookshelves and no room to add more. And while I haven’t reached the end of the physical books that I have left to read, the significant change in price point and recent negative effect that holding physical books open has had on my wrists made it irresistible.

So, I have a Kindle, a case and a lovely skin for it, all for the same price as the Kindle less than a week ago.

So, here’s a shot of the front and back of my new (and newly skinned) Kindle:

The skin is called Moon Tree, from They have hundreds and hundreds of skins for the Kindle 2, so it was quite difficult to make a decision, but this one kept grabbing my eye every time I saw it, so I bought it. It’s not on perfectly straight, but it’s mostly close. There might be some sort of art to applying the decals, but if there is, I don’t know it. 😉

Anyway, I’m tickled with it. I loaded a ton of free books onto it and started one today, even though I have other things that I should be reading.

Stitching Update and Overdue Stash Haul Photos

  • Posted on June 20, 2010 at 10:53 pm

I started Hinzeit’s Brush Em a couple of weeks ago, realizing that it needs to be done and framed sooner than the Heirloom Memories Sampler. Besides, with the odd ways I’ve been feeling lately physically, I thought it might be better to work on something that doesn’t take much concentration. At this point, I’m more than 50% done:

Photo removed. See the finished piece here.

I can’t manage to get a decent photo, for some reason. I’ve used my floor lamp and a flash, but neither illuminates the piece well, especially when you consider that it’s stitched on white fabric. Maybe next time I will try laying the piece against a white background, instead of the dark blue of the sofa.

In other news, I went to Fireside Stitchery in Frazier with a friend on the 9th. Bonnie was nice enough to drive up from the DC area to spend time with me and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Bonnie has the patience of a saint, considering it took me hours to do a color conversion on a single counted canvas design. I may be good at changing colors in cross stitch designs, but with all of the manufacturers and types of fibers available for counted canvas work, it’s much, much more challenging! Add that to the fact that some of the colors were out of stock, especially right in the ranges I was looking at, and I’m not 100% sure what we pulled together will work. Only time will tell. Fortunately, Fireside is less than an hour away, so I can go back if things don’t look right once I get started stitching.

Since I’ve never done counted canvas work, I needed everything. I chose to start with a design from Deb Bee’s Designs since Debbie was the one who starting me down this road with her wonderfully designed panel for the Lady’s Reticule project for the Savannah retreat. I went with Aquamarine from her Glitz & Glamour line. The aquamarine colorway is really quite lovely, but I decided to work with purples, instead. I was rolling along, picking fibers in a light lavender that all worked well together, until I got down to the last few fibers and ran out of luck. I tried and tried for a while, then gave up and decided to try for a deep purple conversion instead. That was even harder, so I switched back to the lavender after a somewhat brief and feeble attempt.

Here’s what Bonnie helped to decide on, after I got stuck trying to choose an overdyed silk and a couple of solid colored silks to go with it to finish off the design:

The colors are very pale, so it’s hard to see them, even though this picture was snapped in good daylight. I think I’m going to have to adjust the white balance on my camera. I don’t think I’ll use the lilac Au Ver a Soie pictured under the skein of Waterlilies. I may not end up using the Splendor in the lower right corner, either. The remaining fibers work together fairly well, even though the sheen of the Fyre Werks looks like it doesn’t match anything else at all. Trust me, it does. 🙂

Bonnie and I spent about the same amount of money, which was alarmingly easy to do. And, of course, the store doesn’t have any sort of automation to their pricing or inventory systems, so we had to wait while the owner wrote up both of our orders by hand. While we were waiting, there were two spinner displays on the counter containing lovely hand-painted charms and buttons which drew my attention. I found several that I liked and I could have easily dropped quite a bundle on them, but I limited myself in the end to just two. I will probably go back for one of the dragonfly charms because they look like the ones that Just Nan was putting out for a while. This little frog button was just too cute to pass up:

But my favorite find was this dragon, lurking underneath another dragon painted in a different set of colors:

You can see why that fellow just HAD to jump into my basket. :mrgreen:

And finally, here’s a picture of the entire haul:

The three darker purple fibers in the top left area are a few from my attempt at the darker color conversion which were just too lovely to turn down. The tack kit that I found is awesome. The tack pusher is magnetized so that the tack heads won’t slip while I’m pushing them into the stretcher bars. Brilliant. And the canvas is what’s rolled up in the tissue paper. The last bit is the skein of Leah’s overdyed cotton floss at the very top left corner of the photo. I pulled it because I thought it would match some of the Leah’s pearl cotton that I had at home, but alas, it does not match. 🙁 For some reason, the color numbers of Leah’s floss don’t match the color numbers of their pearl cottons. Some matched, but some very obviously did not. Quite disappointing, really, but what can you do?

Now I just need a project bag for this whole design that will also fit the canvas once I mount it to the stretcher bars.

Thanks for coming up, Bonnie! I definitely needed your expertise and it was really nice to catch up with you again after Savannah. I’ll have to come down and return the favor sometime.

I Fought the Squirrel

  • Posted on June 3, 2010 at 9:03 am

… and I think I may have won! It’s probably too early to declare victory, but I put a paving stone on top of the seed pail yesterday afternoon. A couple of hours later, I heard Mr. Squirrel attempting another robbery. He was able to get the handle of the pail down (despite the fact that I had wedged the paver up against it), but no further. He gave up surprisingly quickly. I’m not sure if that’s because he knew that resistance would be futile, or if he needed to go off and hatch another plan. He did come back a little bit later, but his attempts were even more brief that time.

I may yet end up coming home to an open pail because he might conceivably get enough leverage on the side of the lid opposite the stone to flip it off of the lid, but I think that the weight might just be too much for him.

Honestly, I would just let him have as much seed as he likes, but when I went to fill the feeders yesterday, there was a solid layer of sunflower seed hulls at the top due to his piggishness. Having to scrape all of those hulls off and throw them away just so that I could get to the viable seed is what sealed his fate. I might consider getting a squirrel feeder at some point because I do love those wacky, clever little vermin, but for now, he’s going to have to find food elsewhere.

Sorry, buddy. Human: 1; Squirrel: well, I’ve lost count. You may have won countless battles, but you lost the war. You came close, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

The Unpicking is Done

  • Posted on June 2, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Is unpicking even the word I want to use? I guess technically it does meet the criteria of frogging. There was just no restitching involved afterwards, as would be implied by the term reverse stitching.

I know, I know, no one has any clue what I’m talking about. I’m referring to the decision that I made around the delicate question of what to do with Phoebe’s Christmas stocking. I truly appreciate all of the input that I received at that time. I’m almost afraid to say that I went against the majority and picked her backstitched name out of the stocking today. It’s been sitting on a chair in my little reading room for months now and I happened to walk by it today and thought “today’s the day.”

I know that I’m at peace with my decision because I didn’t feel any strong twinges or pangs of regret while doing it. While it’s not the decision that many of you would have made for yourself, it’s one that I feel comfortable with and that’s what really matters in the end. The only thing that I regret is not having a picture of it with her name still on it. I guess that was from the period before I became so obsessed with cataloging my finishes photographically. I am contemplating my options for the future use of the stocking. I had a brief thought of tacking a piece of fabric to the top where Phoebe’s name used to be, with the names of all of my girls, past and present, stitched on it. If I’m able to tack it loosely enough, then the personalized portion can be remove and replaced, as needed.

On a side note, I have to say that I am really impressed with my craftsmanship. The backstitching was nice and tight, with no gaps in the longer stretches, and was actually a little challenging to remove at some points. Go me. I’m also really glad that I thought to initial and date the thing in a very pale color at the very bottom of the toe. I almost didn’t even realize that it was there. It’s hard to believe that I completed that stocking in January of 2002 and haven’t managed to do a single one since. In my defense, though, I think that there is a HUGE difference between stitching a needlepoint stocking and a cross stitch stocking, especially considering that the cross stitched stocking kits I have for me and Terry are done on 18 count aida. That’s a whole lot more stitching.

At any rate, my final thoughts as I look at the stocking now are that there are 5 dogs in the scene. I hope to be so lucky as to be blessed with the companionship of 5 little furbabies through my lifetime, if not more.

My Stick Family from