Stitching Goals – Out With the Old and In With the New

  • Posted on January 10, 2015 at 1:36 am

First, a wrap-up of my 2014 stitching goals:

2014 wasn’t a good year for stitching but, in my defense, I did change jobs and move across the country, so some serious life goals were accomplished, at least! 😉


Nora Corbett – Bluebell Pixie — Complete stitching
** FAIL **
Nora Corbett – Bluebell Pixie — Send to Jill Rensel for framing
** FAIL **

Joan Elliott – Water Wonderland — Complete stitching
** EPIC FAIL! Didn’t even touch it **
Joan Elliott – Water Wonderland — Frame by Christmas
** FAIL **

The Victoria Sampler – Heirloom Memories Sampler — Complete stitching
** EPIC FAIL! Didn’t even touch it **
The Victoria Sampler – Heirloom Memories Sampler — Send to Jill Rensel for framing
** FAIL **

Passione Ricamo – Fairy Mystery SAL 2012 — Make significant progress on, if not complete, stitching
** EPIC FAIL! Didn’t even touch it **

Passione Ricamo – Mystery SAL 2013 — Make significant progress on, if not complete, stitching
** EPIC FAIL! Didn’t even touch it **

Giraffe Pillow — Make significant progress on, if not complete, stitching
** Stitching completed on December 20, 2014 **

Nordic Needle – Flower Garden — Make significant progress on, if not complete, stitching
** EPIC FAIL! Didn’t even touch it **

Dimensions – Bonsai and Buddha — Make significant progress on stitching
** EPIC FAIL! Didn’t even touch it **

Mirabilia – Fairy Moon — Make significant progress on stitching
** EPIC FAIL! Didn’t even touch it **

Complete stitching on at least 4 Just Nan designs in my stash.
** FAIL! Only one project completed. **


And now, the bright and shiny new 2015 goals:

I’m paring down the goal list this year so that I have a better chance of achieving them. 😉


Nora Corbett – Bluebell Pixie — Complete stitching
** Stitching completed on January 6, 2015 **
Nora Corbett – Bluebell Pixie — Send to Jill Rensel for framing (provided I can afford it)

The Victoria Sampler – Heirloom Memories Sampler — Complete stitching
The Victoria Sampler – Heirloom Memories Sampler — Send to Jill Rensel for framing (provided I can afford it)

Joan Elliott – Water Wonderland — Complete stitching
Joan Elliott – Water Wonderland — Frame by Thanksgiving

Jenna Magee – Purin — Make significant progress on, if not complete, stitching

Passione Ricamo – Mystery SAL 2013 — Make significant progress on stitching

Lizzie-Kate – Dog Lessons for People — Make significant progress on stitching

Nordic Needle – Flower Garden — Complete stitching

Teresa Wentzler – Sun Dragon (Turquoise) — Rip and restitch necessary sections; complete stitching
Teresa Wentzler – Sun Dragon (Turquoise) — Send to Jill Rensel for framing (provided I can afford it)

Mirabilia – Fairy Moon — Make progress on stitching

Complete stitching on at least 2 Just Nan designs in my stash. This includes new starts as needed to work through my Just Nan stash.
– Grow pincushion?
– Minerva Mouse?
– Lorelei Lamb?

Assessing My Cross Stitch WIPs and UFOs

  • Posted on January 8, 2015 at 1:07 am

2015 is one of those years where I have decided to go through my WIPs and UFOs and whittle them down. You probably won’t remember but back in January 2011 I tackled my pile of pieces that were completed, but not finished into their final form (i.e. biscornu, scissors fob, etc.). I cleared a heck of a lot of pieces out in the span of one month:

Obviously, completing the stitching on pieces will take a lot longer than just finishing off these pieces did, but it’s still reassuring that I have challenged myself to a somewhat similar effort in the past and been successful.

So, I need to go rifling through my stack of WIPs/UFOs and pull out what to focus on. I’ve already started by going through my storage bins and separating out new project kits from WIP/UFO kits. I’ve also taken a quick glance at what I have outstanding. Of course, it’s always horrifying. And I did myself a favor and didn’t count this time (last time I had over 40 pieces and I’m pretty sure I’ve added a few since then). Today I looked through the photos in my Works in Progress photo album to see what’s still an active project (WIP), what’s been completed, what’s been shelved (UFO) and what’s been abandoned. I came up with the following list from that album (which is nowhere near complete):

  • Passione Ricamo – Xmas Star — UFO (last progress 9 Dec 2013)
  • Nora Corbett – Bluebell Pixie — COMPLETE
  • Passione Ricamo – Mystery SAL 2013 — WIP (last progress 7 Sep 2013)
  • Passione Ricamo – Fairy Mystery SAL 2012 — WIP (last progress 7 Jul 2014)
  • Just Nan – Gingerbread Mouse — COMPLETE
  • Northern Pine Designs – Geometric II — COMPLETE
  • Tor Rhuann Designs – Snowflake — WIP (last progress 30 Dec 2014)
  • Just Nan – Grow Pincushion — WIP (last progress 13 Apr 2013)
  • Mill Hill – Flower Basket Fantasy — COMPLETE
  • Teresa Wentzler – Sun Dragon (Turquoise) — WIP (last progress 9 Sept 2012)
  • Jenna Magee – Purin — WIP (last progress 7 Jul 2012)
  • Nancy Pederson – Grapevine Sampler — COMPLETE
  • Jeanette Crews Designs – Computer Wizard — UFO (last progress 4 Feb 2012)
  • Just Nan – Grow – Tin Topper — COMPLETE
  • Mill Hill – Spring Weathervanes – Floral Vase — WIP (last progress 3 Jan 2012)
  • Chatelaine Designs – Micro #1 — UFO (last progress 3 Jan 2012)
  • Lizzie*Kate – Dog Lessons For People — WIP (last progress 3 Jan 2012)
  • Chatelaine Designs – Tiny Rose Mandala Garden — COMPLETE
  • Nora Corbett – The Sunflower Fairy — COMPLETE
  • Ladybug Designs – Picasso’s Rooster — COMPLETE
  • March Bookmark — COMPLETE
  • Just Nan – Sparkling Iris — COMPLETE
  • Ink Circles – Celtic Swirls (Teal version) — COMPLETE
  • Lody Steward – Pagoda Pincushion — COMPLETE
  • Victoria Sampler – Heirloom Memories Sampler — WIP (last progress 31 May 2010)
  • Giraffe Pillow — COMPLETE
  • Flower Garden — WIP (last progress 25 Aug 2007)
  • Bonsai and Buddha — WIP (last progress 7 Jan 2007)
  • Mirabilia – Fairy Moon — WIP (last progress 31 Jan 2006)
  • M Designs – Peace Tree — UFO (last progress 29 Nov 2005)
  • Sweet Dreams Afghan — WIP (last progress 6 Nov 2005; I’m pretty sure I’ve done some work on it since)
  • French Mystery Garden — ABANDONED

Of the WIPs on this list, here is what I’ve decided to focus on, in order of priority:

  • Victoria Sampler – Heirloom Memories Sampler (I’ve been stalling because I’m intimidated by bullion roses; I just need to get past it because there’s not much left)
  • Tor Rhuann Designs – Snowflake (once I get the Kreinik for the border, this will be done in a day or two)
  • Jenna Magee – Purin (I’ll rotate this in and out)
  • Passione Ricamo – Mystery SAL 2013 (I’ll rotate this in and out)
  • Lizzie*Kate – Dog Lessons For People (I’ll rotate this in and out)
  • Flower Garden (because I think it’s closer to being finished than I realized)
  • Teresa Wentzler – Sun Dragon (Turquoise)
  • Mirabilia – Fairy Moon (I may or may not rotate this in and out, depending on how much she grabs me once I dive in; needs to be re-kitted)

There will be others added to both lists once I catalog the other WIPs/UFOs that didn’t make it into the photo gallery.

A Funny for Coders

  • Posted on May 27, 2014 at 8:55 pm

So I was in cleaning out the oodles of spam comments that Akismet has accrued since I last visited this site and one in particular stood out to me, initially because it was so long. And then I took a closer look and realized that it’s a snippet (okay, not so much of a snippet) of someone’s algorithm used to generate the text for spam comments. Given that I’ve seen comments similar to many of the ones that could be parsed out of this, I just had to share it. While harmless on its own, it gives quite the insight into the time and effort that someone (or someones) have put into generating these seemingly random comments. Enjoy.

{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online more than {three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. {It’s|It is} pretty worth enough for me. {In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers made good content as you did, the {internet|net|web} will be {much more|a lot more} useful than ever before.|
I {couldn’t|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting. {Very well|Perfectly|Well|Exceptionally well} written!|
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{It is|It’s} {appropriate|perfect|the best} time to make some plans for the future and {it is|it’s} time to be happy. {I have|I’ve} read this post and if I could I {want to|wish to|desire to} suggest you {few|some} interesting things or {advice|suggestions|tips}. {Perhaps|Maybe} you {could|can} write next articles referring to this article. I {want to|wish to|desire to} read {more|even more} things about it!|
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Ahaa, its {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious} {discussion|conversation|dialogue} {regarding|concerning|about|on the topic of} this {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} {here|at this place} at this {blog|weblog|webpage|website|web site}, I have read all that, so {now|at this time} me also commenting {here|at this place}.|
I am sure this {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} has touched all the internet {users|people|viewers|visitors}, its really really {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious} {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} on building up new {blog|weblog|webpage|website|web site}.|
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{Saved as a favorite|bookmarked!!}, {I really like|I like|I love} {your blog|your site|your web site|your website}!|
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Woah! I’m really {loving|enjoying|digging} the template/theme of this {site|website|blog}. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s {very hard|very difficult|challenging|tough|difficult|hard} to get that “perfect balance” between {superb usability|user friendliness|usability} and {visual appearance|visual appeal|appearance}. I must say {that you’ve|you have|you’ve} done a {awesome|amazing|very good|superb|fantastic|excellent|great} job with this. {In addition|Additionally|Also}, the blog loads {very|extremely|super} {fast|quick} for me on {Safari|Internet explorer|Chrome|Opera|Firefox}. {Superb|Exceptional|Outstanding|Excellent} Blog!|
These are {really|actually|in fact|truly|genuinely} {great|enormous|impressive|wonderful|fantastic} ideas in {regarding|concerning|about|on the topic of} blogging. You have touched some {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious} {points|factors|things} here. Any way keep up wrinting.|
{I love|I really like|I enjoy|I like|Everyone loves} what you guys {are|are usually|tend to be} up too. {This sort of|This type of|Such|This kind of} clever work and {exposure|coverage|reporting}! Keep up the {superb|terrific|very good|great|good|awesome|fantastic|excellent|amazing|wonderful} works guys I’ve {incorporated||added|included} you guys to {|my|our||my personal|my own} blogroll.|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Hey}! Someone in my {Myspace|Facebook} group shared this {site|website} with us so I came to {give it a look|look it over|take a look|check it out}. I’m definitely {enjoying|loving} the information. I’m {book-marking|bookmarking} and will be tweeting this to my followers! {Terrific|Wonderful|Great|Fantastic|Outstanding|Exceptional|Superb|Excellent} blog and {wonderful|terrific|brilliant|amazing|great|excellent|fantastic|outstanding|superb} {style and design|design and style|design}.|
{I love|I really like|I enjoy|I like|Everyone loves} what you guys {are|are usually|tend to be} up too. {This sort of|This type of|Such|This kind of} clever work and {exposure|coverage|reporting}! Keep up the {superb|terrific|very good|great|good|awesome|fantastic|excellent|amazing|wonderful} works guys I’ve {incorporated|added|included} you guys to {|my|our|my personal|my own} blogroll.|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Hey} would you mind {stating|sharing} which blog platform you’re {working with|using}? I’m {looking|planning|going} to start my own blog {in the near future|soon} but I’m having a {tough|difficult|hard} time {making a decision|selecting|choosing|deciding} between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your {design and style|design|layout} seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something {completely unique|unique}. P.S {My apologies|Apologies|Sorry} for {getting|being} off-topic but I had to ask!|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hi|Hey there|Hello|Hey} would you mind letting me know which {webhost|hosting company|web host} you’re {utilizing|working with|using}? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 {completely different|different} {internet browsers|web browsers|browsers} and I must say this blog loads a lot {quicker|faster} then most. Can you {suggest|recommend} a good {internet hosting|web hosting|hosting} provider at a {honest|reasonable|fair} price? {Thanks a lot|Kudos|Cheers|Thank you|Many thanks|Thanks}, I appreciate it!|
{I love|I really like|I like|Everyone loves} it {when people|when individuals|when folks|whenever people} {come together|get together} and share {opinions|thoughts|views|ideas}. Great {blog|website|site}, {keep it up|continue the good work|stick with it}!|
Thank you for the {auspicious|good} writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to {far|more} added agreeable from you! {By the way|However}, how {can|could} we communicate?|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hello|Hey} just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The {text|words} in your {content|post|article} seem to be running off the screen in {Ie|Internet explorer|Chrome|Firefox|Safari|Opera}. I’m not sure if this is a {format|formatting} issue or something to do with {web browser|internet browser|browser} compatibility but I {thought|figured} I’d post to let you know. The {style and design|design and style|layout|design} look great though! Hope you get the {problem|issue} {solved|resolved|fixed} soon. {Kudos|Cheers|Many thanks|Thanks}|
This is a topic {that is|that’s|which is} {close to|near to} my heart… {Cheers|Many thanks|Best wishes|Take care|Thank you}! {Where|Exactly where} are your contact details though?|
It’s very {easy|simple|trouble-free|straightforward|effortless} to find out any {topic|matter} on {net|web} as compared to {books|textbooks}, as I found this {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} at this {website|web site|site|web page}.|
Does your {site|website|blog} have a contact page? I’m having {a tough time|problems|trouble} locating it but, I’d like to {send|shoot} you an {e-mail|email}. I’ve got some {creative ideas|recommendations|suggestions|ideas} for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great {site|website|blog} and I look forward to seeing it {develop|improve|expand|grow} over time.|
{Hola|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Greetings}! I’ve been {following|reading} your {site|web site|website|weblog|blog} for {a long time|a while|some time} now and finally got the {bravery|courage} to go ahead and give you a shout out from {New Caney|Kingwood|Huffman|Porter|Houston|Dallas|Austin|Lubbock|Humble|Atascocita} {Tx|Texas}! Just wanted to {tell you|mention|say} keep up the {fantastic|excellent|great|good} {job|work}!|
Greetings from {Idaho|Carolina|Ohio|Colorado|Florida|Los angeles|California}! I’m {bored to tears|bored to death|bored} at work so I decided to {check out|browse} your {site|website|blog} on my iphone during lunch break. I {enjoy|really like|love} the {knowledge|info|information} you {present|provide} here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m {shocked|amazed|surprised} at how {quick|fast} your blog loaded on my {mobile|cell phone|phone} .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. {Anyhow|Anyways}, {awesome|amazing|very good|superb|good|wonderful|fantastic|excellent|great} {site|blog}!|
Its {like you|such as you} {read|learn} my {mind|thoughts}! You {seem|appear} {to understand|to know|to grasp} {so much|a lot} {approximately|about} this, {like you|such as you} wrote the {book|e-book|guide|ebook|e book} in it or something. {I think|I feel|I believe} {that you|that you simply|that you just} {could|can} do with {some|a few} {%|p.c.|percent} to {force|pressure|drive|power} the message {house|home} {a bit|a little bit}, {however|but} {other than|instead of} that, {this is|that is} {great|wonderful|fantastic|magnificent|excellent} blog. {A great|An excellent|A fantastic} read. {I’ll|I will} {definitely|certainly} be back.|
I visited {multiple|many|several|various} {websites|sites|web sites|web pages|blogs} {but|except|however} the audio {quality|feature} for audio songs {current|present|existing} at this {website|web site|site|web page} is {really|actually|in fact|truly|genuinely} {marvelous|wonderful|excellent|fabulous|superb}.|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hi|Hello}, i read your blog {occasionally|from time to time} and i own a similar one and i was just {wondering|curious} if you get a lot of spam {comments|responses|feedback|remarks}? If so how do you {prevent|reduce|stop|protect against} it, any plugin or anything you can {advise|suggest|recommend}? I get so much lately it’s driving me {mad|insane|crazy} so any {assistance|help|support} is very much appreciated.|
Greetings! {Very helpful|Very useful} advice {within this|in this particular} {article|post}! {It is the|It’s the} little changes {that make|which will make|that produce|that will make} {the biggest|the largest|the greatest|the most important|the most significant} changes. {Thanks a lot|Thanks|Many thanks} for sharing!|
{I really|I truly|I seriously|I absolutely} love {your blog|your site|your website}.. {Very nice|Excellent|Pleasant|Great} colors & theme. Did you {create|develop|make|build} {this website|this site|this web site|this amazing site} yourself? Please reply back as I’m {looking to|trying to|planning to|wanting to|hoping to|attempting to} create {my own|my very own|my own personal} {blog|website|site} and {would like to|want to|would love to} {know|learn|find out} where you got this from or {what the|exactly what the|just what the} theme {is called|is named}. {Thanks|Many thanks|Thank you|Cheers|Appreciate it|Kudos}!|
{Hi there|Hello there|Howdy}! This {post|article|blog post} {couldn’t|could not} be written {any better|much better}! {Reading through|Looking at|Going through|Looking through} this {post|article} reminds me of my previous roommate! He {always|constantly|continually} kept {talking about|preaching about} this. {I will|I’ll|I am going to|I most certainly will} {forward|send} {this article|this information|this post} to him. {Pretty sure|Fairly certain} {he will|he’ll|he’s going to} {have a good|have a very good|have a great} read. {Thank you for|Thanks for|Many thanks for|I appreciate you for} sharing!|
{Wow|Whoa|Incredible|Amazing}! This blog looks {exactly|just} like my old one! It’s on a {completely|entirely|totally} different {topic|subject} but it has pretty much the same {layout|page layout} and design. {Excellent|Wonderful|Great|Outstanding|Superb} choice of colors!|
{There is|There’s} {definately|certainly} {a lot to|a great deal to} {know about|learn about|find out about} this {subject|topic|issue}. {I like|I love|I really like} {all the|all of the} points {you made|you’ve made|you have made}.|
{You made|You’ve made|You have made} some {decent|good|really good} points there. I {looked|checked} {on the internet|on the web|on the net} {for more info|for more information|to find out more|to learn more|for additional information} about the issue and found {most individuals|most people} will go along with your views on {this website|this site|this web site}.|
{Hi|Hello|Hi there|What’s up}, I {log on to|check|read} your {new stuff|blogs|blog} {regularly|like every week|daily|on a regular basis}. Your {story-telling|writing|humoristic} style is {awesome|witty}, keep {doing what you’re doing|up the good work|it up}!|
I {simply|just} {could not|couldn’t} {leave|depart|go away} your {site|web site|website} {prior to|before} suggesting that I {really|extremely|actually} {enjoyed|loved} {the standard|the usual} {information|info} {a person|an individual} {supply|provide} {for your|on your|in your|to your} {visitors|guests}? Is {going to|gonna} be {back|again} {frequently|regularly|incessantly|steadily|ceaselessly|often|continuously} {in order to|to} {check up on|check out|inspect|investigate cross-check} new posts|
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{Hi|Hello|Hi there|What’s up}, just wanted to {mention|say|tell you}, I {enjoyed|liked|loved} this {article|post|blog post}. It was {inspiring|funny|practical|helpful}. Keep on posting!|
{Hi there|Hello}, I enjoy reading {all of|through} your {article|post|article post}. I {like|wanted} to write a little comment to support you.|
I {always|constantly|every time} spent my half an hour to read this {blog|weblog|webpage|website|web site}’s {articles|posts|articles or reviews|content} {everyday|daily|every day|all the time} along with a {cup|mug} of coffee.|
I {always|for all time|all the time|constantly|every time} emailed this {blog|weblog|webpage|website|web site} post page to all my {friends|associates|contacts}, {because|since|as|for the reason that} if like to read it {then|after that|next|afterward} my {friends|links|contacts} will too.|
My {coder|programmer|developer} is trying to {persuade|convince} me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the {expenses|costs}. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using {Movable-type|WordPress} on {a number of|a variety of|numerous|several|various} websites for about a year and am {nervous|anxious|worried|concerned} about switching to another platform. I have heard {fantastic|very good|excellent|great|good} things about Is there a way I can {transfer|import} all my wordpress {content|posts} into it? {Any kind of|Any} help would be {really|greatly} appreciated!|
{Hello|Hi|Hello there|Hi there|Howdy|Good day}! I could have sworn I’ve {been to|visited} {this blog|this web site|this website|this site|your blog} before but after {browsing through|going through|looking at} {some of the|a few of the|many of the} {posts|articles} I realized it’s new to me. {Anyways|Anyhow|Nonetheless|Regardless}, I’m {definitely|certainly} {happy|pleased|delighted} {I found|I discovered|I came across|I stumbled upon} it and I’ll be {bookmarking|book-marking} it and checking back {frequently|regularly|often}!|
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Stitching Progress (Warning: This Post is Photo Heavy)

  • Posted on November 22, 2013 at 7:51 pm

And now, the progress I’ve made on WIPs since March.

Just Nan – Grow Pincushion – April 13th:

Tor Rhuann Designs – Snowflake – April 13th:

Northern Pine Designs – Geometric II – April 27th:

Passione Ricamo – Fairy Mystery SAL 2012:

This was my progress as of April 2nd:

Then I decided that the background was going to be too much to stitch so I ordered a piece of dark blue overdyed fabric and started over. This is the only progress I’ve made since the restart, as of July 7th:

Passione Ricamo – Mystery SAL 2013 – September 7th:

And finally, all of the progress that I’ve made on Nora Corbett’s Bluebell Pixie since my last update:

And that’s it for the stitching, folks!

Stitching Finishes (Warning: This Post is Photo Heavy)

  • Posted on November 22, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Given I haven’t posted a stitching update in exactly 8 months, I have a lot to report. So, enough words, let the pictures begin. First up, the finishes I’ve had since March.

Mill Hill – Flower Basket Fantasy, finished May 27th. This is a long term UFO that I am happy to have finished. I think I’ll send it to Jill Rensel for framing.

Just Nan – Heart Butterfly 2008, finished June 9th. I’ve stitched many versions of this one, but this is the original, including beads and charm. I wish I could find the frame that was sold for it, but it was limited edition and I may never get my hands on it. For now, it will remain unframed.

Just Nan – Lady Scarlet’s Secret Garden. The stitching was finished on July 13th. I finished it into its final needle keep form the next day.

Just Nan – Heart Butterfly 2008, finished into a hanging ornament on August 11th. I completed the stitching on this dusty purple version some time ago, but it got dropped from my rainbow wall hanging lineup because the hues of purple in this didn’t meld with the colors in the others.

Dimension – Happily Ever After Wedding Record, finished and framed on August 12th. This was stitched from a kit, but I like the simple swirl pattern so much that I will likely change the colors and stitch a version for me and Terry in the future. The bride picked out the frame and it’s absolutely gorgeous!

Teresa Wentzler – Needle Guardian, finished August 18th. I adapted the design to fit on a stitchable iPhone 5 case. Unfortunately, the act of stitching on the silicone case stretched it to the point where it doesn’t fit the phone very well. I still use it sometimes.

Nancy Pederson – Grapevine Sampler, finished September 28th. This WIP was hanging around in one of my travel project bags for quite some time. It saw action on the drive to and from Walt Disney World in late September and during our stay there (it POURED one of the days, so we stayed in the room). I was able to finish it up pretty quickly after we got home.

Passione Ricamo – Fairy Celebration V, finished November 16th. This piece is a Christmas gift for my mother. I didn’t finish it early enough to get it framed, so I had to talk my mom into allowing me to send it off to Jill Rensel after Christmas. She’s not overjoyed, but I know that Jill will do a great cutout in the mat to follow the contour of the bottom of her skirt. I think it will be well worth it.

And finally, Lizzie Kate – Dance in the Rain, with charm added today. I unpicked the backstitched dragonfly that I had done in place of the recommended charm and added a charm that was sent along by one of the other stitchers of this traveling pattern. It was a button, but I cut off the shank and attached it to the piece with dark navy thread.

The Rumors of My Disappearance Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

  • Posted on November 22, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Okay, so there have been no rumors (at least, none that I know of), but some of you may have wondered where I’ve been.

I can assure you that I’m alive and well. 😉 Life has been busy and in the last couple of months, it’s been downright fascinating. So much going on in my brain, I cannot contain it all. I think there might be some bits of brain escaping from my ears. Unfortunately, much of what is happening is still hush-hush, so I cannot talk about it publicly… yet. Give me a couple of weeks, at most, and all will become crystal clear. Are you intrigued? You should be. So stay tuned.

So, what have I been up to that I can share? Well, my weekly music lessons continue. I alternate between voice, theory and guitar now. And my music teacher talked me into buying a second guitar – classical, this time, so that I can learn Spanish guitar. Of course, in the middle of paying off the guitar, I had a flare up in my wrists, so I haven’t been able to play in a couple of months. Speaking of flare ups, I’ve been dealing with an IBS flare up, as well. Ended up in the emergency room at one point. Had two -oscopys, one from each end. Found pre-cancerous polyps that were removed. Still haven’t gotten the IBS under control yet, but it’s a syndrome and the doctor has no answers, so I’m looking for triggers to avoid and hope to manage it homeopathically, if possible.

The wrists have settled down, at least. I’m still having to wear fingerless elastic gloves when I’m on the computer for any extended period of time, but that seems to be keeping things in check. The same gloves allow me to stitch without adding to the ruckus, as well.

I have stopped volunteering at the children’s hospital. It broke my heart to do so (and I still haven’t been able to bring myself to mail my vest and badge back in, though I need to do so ASAP), but between health issues, vacations and work (mostly work), I just wasn’t able to get there very often. I will miss the people terribly, but there isn’t much to be done about it. It’s time to “woman up” and admit to myself that period of my life has ended. It served its purpose. I volunteered to see if I would be able to handle a career working with ill and/or abused children and I learned that I cannot. I couldn’t help but become too attached to the kiddos and took their problems to heart. You can’t do that and be a successful therapist or social worker. So, toss that career idea to the curb. 😉

Let’s see, what else? Vacations. Several of them. Went up to Maine in what, July? To visit with Terry’s parents and I was able to sneak in two quick visits with Angi Esch (one on the way up and again on the way down, over her lunch break) and a visit with Barbara Chatterton-Luuring and the farmette that is the new Chateau Chaos. We went up for Terry’s grandmother’s 80th birthday and it was lovely to see her again. I love that woman to pieces! She’s so sweet and loving. In late September, we went to Walt Disney World – yes, again. We have a timeshare down there and the goal is to go annually, if possible, or bi-annually at the least. Then at the beginning of this month, we flew into Los Angeles, picked up my friend Karyn, drove to Las Vegas for the SEMA convention (a third-party automotive manufacturer’s mecca) and the Global Rallycross finals, drove back to Los Angeles for Terry to attend a one-day workshop, then flew home. It was a fun trip! Oh, and I got to meet Juls Iannotta and visit the fabulous LNS that is Stitcher’s Paradise in Las Vegas. Of course, I bought stash. That I didn’t need. That Juls is an enabler!

I think that pretty much brings us up to current and the end of what I can reveal at this moment. Watch this space. 😉

A L-O-N-G Overdue Stitching Update

  • Posted on March 23, 2013 at 11:50 pm

I managed to finish all of my Pay-It-Forward gifts and sent out the last two in February, before we left for vacation. One went to Nancy and the other went to Bonnie. I’m ashamed to have discovered that Nancy’s had been finished for a year before I actually send it. All it was waiting for was two f-bombs. So, basically, it took me a year to make up two f-bombs to include in her package. Shameful, shameful, tsk-tsk-tsk. Bonnie’s didn’t actually get finished until February, so I wasn’t behind in shipping it from that standpoint. Just behind in stitching it up. Probably because I stitched all 5 gifts over one. I must have been a glutton for punishment. I’m not horribly well-versed in stitching over one, so it was quite a crash course.

Anyway, here are the results:

The Sweetheart Tree – Teenie Tweenies – Wild Violets:

Just Nan – Floral Sunshine (finished as a biscornu pendant):

Then, I stitched up Lizzie*Kate’s Dance in the Rain, which was kindly sent to me by Michele:

I had to whip this one up before we left for California so that I could hand the chart over to Mel when I saw her. Yes, I finally got to meet Mel in person! YAY! We got along even better than I would have imagined. She’s just as lovely as you think and more, I assure you. :)

I’ve also stitched up another Christmas ornament from Tor Rhuann Designs. This one is from 2008, named Christmas Candles:

I’ve started on the 2009 ornament since then, but I have managed to remind myself that I actually had some stitching goals for this year and I need to get back on track if I want to accomplish them.

Since putting myself back on the straight and narrow after that ornament finish, I have completed two items on the list:
Lody Steward Pagoda Pincushion Complete stitching
Lody Steward Pagoda Pincushion Complete finishing

And here are the results:

This week, I’ve been making progress on these two goals:
Nora Corbett Bluebell Pixie Complete stitching
Mill Hill Flower Basket Fantasy Make significant progress on, if not complete, stitching

Here’s where Bluebell was the last time I posted progress in early January:

I didn’t pick her up again until more than 2 months later, but here’s where she is now:

And here’s where Flower Basket Fantasy was when I last touched it in January 2012:

As of today, it’s here:

I should definitely be able to finish this one with a few more weeks of work.

Normal is a Four-Letter Word

  • Posted on March 6, 2013 at 11:43 am

Some days I despair of ever being normal. But what is normal, really? Normal for me is not normal for others. But is normal for others normal for all? Is there such a thing? I’m starting to think that normality is a myth. I should rejoice in what is my normal and not worry about whether or not it meets up to society’s definition of normal.

Are society’s accepted norms really realistic anyway? Look at what society considers beautiful. Stick-thin, anemic-looking models are the unhealthy aspiration of many a little girl. But why? That is not normal and that should not be the goal for which every woman strives. Trust me. I’ve been unhealthily thin and still would have been told to lose a little bit of weight by a top modeling agency. I’m serious. Those woman are put through hell. Their self-worth is continually challenged. They are told by one client that their hips are too big, by another that they need to lose a little weight so that their cheekbones are better defined. They are taught that they never live up to the standards set by others. They develop body image issues on a scale that most of us will never even begin to comprehend.

Why does a woman’s stomach have to be flat? How is a woman expected to be as thin as a rail and still somehow have curves? Why are implants required to be desirable? Why should lips be fuller, eyes rounder, teeth whiter?

Who decided that this is good? Who decided that this is the standard to which all others should hold themselves? Who decided that this is normal?

Perhaps “they” should be taken out of the equation and replaced with “we.” For “we” are far kinder and more fair than “they.” Even better, we should replace “they” with “I.” Because we really shouldn’t care what anyone else thinks anyway.

Hmm… somehow, what I had intended to be a post about my current state of mental and physical well-being turned into a reflection of my own continuing struggle with body image issues. Isn’t that interesting?

Book Review: Kiss Me Hello by L.K. Rigel

  • Posted on March 2, 2013 at 3:41 am

Kiss Me HelloKiss Me Hello by L.K. Rigel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I stayed up until 3:30 in the morning (with a horrendous cold, no less) to finish this book in one sitting because I just could not put it down! I absolutely devoured it and wanted more once I had finished, even though L.K. completed the story lines in a wonderfully satisfactory manner. In my mind, this is the ultimate romance story – just a little bit of steaminess, with plenty of intrigue, a touch of history and a ghost! I’m a fan of L.K.’s work overall, but I think that this is truly her best work to date. It’s a quick, beautiful and seamless read. Brava, L.K.! You have outdone yourself!

View all my reviews

A Nifty, Gifty Finish

  • Posted on January 27, 2013 at 1:57 am

I have now had my first official stitching finish (not just a finish-finish) of the year. When I was putting away some stash a few weeks ago, I found that I have my own copy of Lizzie*Kate’s Good Things design. You may remember that I stitched a version for myself as part of a traveling pattern group a couple of months ago. Once I found that I had a copy, I decided to do it again for a fellow stitcher who lost her stash in a house fire. I was told that she likes peach tones, so this is what I came up with:

I had to leave off the border because I stitched it on 28 count fabric instead of 32 count fabric and I still wanted to fit it into a 5×7 inch frame that I had on hand. I actually framed it properly, lacing it to a piece of mat board instead of just ironing interfacing to the back. It definitely turns out nicer when laced, but if the frame is just a standard picture frame, there isn’t really enough room for a laced piece. Trying to put the easel back on afterwards without flattening the stitches isn’t always possible. The corners of this one are a bit squashed, but over all, it’s not bad.

The recipient emailed me today to let me know that she received it and was pleased with it, so I’m happy. :) After completing that project and framing it, I found and brought out my last PIF piece and put some more stitches into it. I should be able to finish the stitching on it over the next week or so, depending on what things I have scheduled after work.

Speaking of schedules, it is WAY past my bedtime and we have places to go later. Happy Sunday!

My Stick Family from