Thursday, July 10, 2008

Blatant Self-Promotion

Yes, I have gotten to that point...........8 days until my Birthday. It's not a big milestone birthday like Sweet 16, or the Big 4-0, it's just awful old 44. It lands on a Friday which makes it gym time that day. I am planning a "Me Day" of shopping at all the far away shops filled with the goodies I like so much. Beads, fabrics, threads, patterns, books, dolls, etc. Of course this is all just in the planning stage as I am overwhelmed with anxiety every time I think about going out. Not so much an emotional fear, but more of "financial anxiety". Do I really need to be wasting expensive gas driving around and then spending more money on myself for things I really don't need anyway? I should save the money and gas for the more important day; the following day 19 July. This is our 20th Wedding Anniversary. Yes, Joe planned this out perfectly to be a "one gift/one card" sort of occasion to cover both birthday and anniversary. Actually we have given up on the card and gift exchanging over the years. We usually save up for something nice for the house and buy it during the year, rather then wait for a certain day. I am a big gift/card giver, but this method takes the pressure off of Joe who is not either one! This year we are thinking of investing in a new mattress. I think 20 years is about the lifespan of the average mattress, don't you?

On the sewing front I am still working on some 1912/1913 doll clothes. The pattern drafting is a bit of a pain and I seem to waste more fabrics in valiant attempts rather then actual finished outfits. Luckily the amounts of fabric are very small. Here is a 1912 daydress. It is a shiny peachy-pink with gold diamonds on top and the matching peachy-gold skirt. The fitting is not as exact as I want it to be. It seems the patterns I bought from eBay, though I love them and they are worth the money, need to be re-sized. They are advertised to fit this Alex/Tyler brand of doll, but the tops are always too small, the sleeves too long and the skirts too short. A bit of fiddling around and I can usually get it right. I end up using the purchased patterns as my base to work from and then draw all new pieces and throw out the originals. A waste of money perhaps, but I don't think I could have come up with the designs from scratch. Right now there is a little grey light-weight wool suit waiting to be finished. I am on jacket version #2 with just barely enough of the remnant wool to finish. Hopefully there will be a photo of that outfit tomorrow.

Here is Quaker Cow in all her glory. OK, no pun intended as the thread is Carrie's Creations "Glory"! My first exchange arrived to my partner, Irene, so I guess I can show it now. I was so glad she liked it. It is stitched on 16 count hand dyed Aida in a lovely shade of mauve and cream done by Barbara Ana in Spain. He is stitched with Weeks Dye Works "Mulberry and finished as an oval box. The fabric covering the box is actually the same fabric used to cover the cushions on my rocking chair! It ended up being a perfect match to the Mulberry thread so there was very little shopping involved in this exchange. I must thank the wonderful Edgar for helping me out with the patterns and relieving some of my "financial anxiety" on this project.

A day full of blessing yesterday. Our older black cat Sammy has FIV which is the feline equivalent of AIDS. Much like human AIDS the FIV virus can stay dormant for many years(or entirely) without any outward symptoms or illness. Sammy, for the most part, is 100% healthy. On a few occasions he has had "episodes" where he becomes very weak and just sleeps for two or three days. he also has trouble breathing and refuses to eat for this period of time. The worst episode was in 2001 when he vanished for 18 days! We assume he spent this time hiding in the upper floor of our barn simply "sleeping out" the illness until he felt better. Well, yesterday he came inside at about 5am and went to nap on the little doormat between this computer room and the living room. His nap turned into one of those episodes. It is hard to explain but I can tell the difference between a napping cat and one who is totally exhausted and just laying there in a rather odd, uncomfortable position for many hours. Luckily Joe was home yesterday and stayed with Sammy. He actually got him up and made him play a bit and for some reason this worked! Thanks to Joe and God's watchful eye on the whole situation, our Sammy is back to normal. I know this disease will always be with him, but he seems to know his limits and when to rest.

I was also blessed yesterday with a doctors appointment. One of the "women's variety". Not mush of a blessing you may think, but without health insurance it is next to impossible to get my former doctor to see me. Infact, he no longer does and has left me to the care of a nurse practitioner. She is a wonderful lady but the fees charged by the medical group are outrageous. They ran a bunch of test during last year's check-up that I had not requested and I'm still paying for them. I finally got an appointment with the county women's health center and it was FREE! Aparently I am now poor enough to qualify. I feel a bit guilty though as I do have a job and so does Joe and I know there are people out there who do not have jobs. The very nice people at the Health Department checked all our records and said yes, we do qualify. Anyway, I am set for another year and even got my sugar and iron levels checked which is something I never had done before. I am loaded down with pamphlets on dental care and other health services that are available to us. After years and years of being bled dry financially by the private doctor I am finally able to use the services that are available...and they are only right across the street from the gym! I am considering looking into someone who can treat my back and shoulder pain, but that is still in the thinking stage right now.

I am also blessed with a telephone again. Not telephone service; that has been fine and the Internet has not been interrupted. It seems the hand-set of our phone/answering machine has been dead for about 4 or 5 days and we didn't even realize it. I swear this house is the Bermuda Triangle of phones. We have never had one that works properly or lasts more then a few months. so last night we went to Wal-Mart and got a phone for $5.97 and it works fine. So all you telemarketers out there, we're back in business so you can start hounding us again.
I close with the view from my patio chair. This is what I see when I sit and stitch outside.

STOP STOP WAIT WAIT.................The mail has just arrived!
Not only did the doll pattern from Etsy arrive, I also got a letter from my Cousin Denis in Ireland, my favorite gymnastics magazine, and Quaker Animal Exchange. I almost cried when I opened it. My first exchange and my stitcher was none other then Veronica, the leader of the Quaker Inspired blog. I am so honored!! Isn't he lovely? It was so hard to part with my sheep and now I have one of my own. The finishing is superb. The border fabric is soft, like a sheep and inside.......oh, I can hardly contain myself. Lovely wooden rings for my floss(Veronica included these lovely linen flosses) and pockets for scissors, needles etc. The isdie fabric has has little sheep on it. Veronica, it is so beautful. Thank you so much for making my first exchange such a delight!


  1. Oh my gosh! What a wonderful coincidence that you recieved the same design that you sent out?! I love both versions of it - the one you sent, and the one you received.

    Now, Jennifer, I have to make the humbling confession that your birthday snuck up on me. I have some little gifties but the stitched gift is ... not stitched. LOL. It will arrive late, but it's from the heart. I'm sorry I'm such a total failure on getting anything out on time this year.

    Love your outside stitching view. My heavens, what I wouldn't give for that!!

    As for feeling at all guilty about qualifying for low-cost health care - banish those feelings immediately!! We in America have some of the most messed-up ideas about health care. I didn't realize it till I moved over here and saw how different it can be. Just enjoy finally being able to see a doctor without needing a year or longer to pay for the experience!!

    BIG hugs from me ... your tardy friend.

  2. I'm glad you liked it :)

  3. Now we both have wonderful sheep ! Veronica did a lovely finish.

  4. Quaker Cow is cute! I love the floss you chose.

    Try not to beat yourself up for going to the free clinic. My husband is now disabled because of cancer & kidney failure, and I don't work (couldn't if I wanted to because of my health) and I've felt terrible for living on Social Security Disability. It seems so unfair to have to do that when Phil paid into Long Term Disability insurance for years. But they only pay a part of what they could. Sometimes we are forced by circumstances beyond our control to rely on the help of others. Someone told me that's what makes this country so great - we give to each other in our time of need. We should be glad such services are available to us. Look at it this way - you could be paying out 1/6 of your income for medical insurance like we are! (And no, my opinion is that government health care would not help. I know someone in another country who has to wait 6 months for thyroid surgery.)

    Keep up the good work with your projects!

  5. Loved reading your post. It is like reading a letter from home.

    Love your cow and the sheep you received. The purple one is my favorite one too.

    Hope you enjoy your "me day". Everyone deserves to have one of them. You should not worry about finances. It is a type of therapy and it is cheaper than the dr. type. Go for it.