Thursday, March 17, 2011


In my usual way of being at least a decade behind the times with technology, I have discovered the "Stats" feature on Blogger. I check it several times a day now, fascinated by being able to "see" who is viewing my blog, how they found it, and what they find most interesting. I have noticed a regular reader from cool is that! I wonder what this person stitches, do they have cats, a garden, perhaps a doll house. Viewing these stats has opened up a whole new world for me. Although the majority of the viewers remain anonymous, it is still nice to know there is someone out there actually reading all of this.
Continuing with the theme of "stats", I have noticed that the yellow socks I am working on will be pair #35! Another good stat is the fact that I have now sold 4 items from my Etsy shop. Any other Etsy shop owners out there? How do you do it? I know my items are designed for a very focused and limited audience, but I would really love to give sales a jump-start. Maybe my things are just too "modern" for the average Etsy shopper.
Again sticking with the "stats" theme, we have increased the cat population by one. This is not official yet because this guy doesn't have a real name, I haven't petted him and he won't even come up to me yet. This is actually the closest I have seen him so far. Right outside the kitchen door on the patio, just lounging there, quite relaxed. Of course I am taking the photo through the window of the kitchen door. If you look carefully you can actually see little Roy sitting rather close by under the red wagon. I spotted Grey Guy in his usual hang-out yesterday, the old office chair in the shed but, to my surprise, there was Coal sitting right next to him. No time to run back to the house and grab the camera to capture that moment. I am pretty sure they weren't fighting since the "Bud Alarm" wasn't sounding. Bud goes absolutely nuts when he hears the cats make that high-pitched howling (speaking in tongues) that they do when they challenge each other. Tails were twitching though, but this may be the first step to accepting a new friend into the group. Since Sammy has passed away I notice the others stay a bit closer to me, even when we are outside. Especially Roy, my shy boy. And here's an odd twist, Coal and Carmella rolling around together. They have always gotten along, but Coal has shown a marked preference for Roy (and his best friend Sammy) and Carmella has been a bit of a loner.
On the stitching front, not many stats to report there. At a stand-still on the 1911 gown. I changed the idea a bit when I found this fashion plate drawing. I have altered a store-bought doll pattern of a modern gown with similar cut and style. I've cut it out and have all the pieces marked for stitching, but I'm a bit afraid of making a total mess of such nice fabric. I finished knitting this cowl (sp?). My mother has been after me to try this freebie pattern from Lion Yarn. She even picked up the recommended Lion Brand "Amazing" yarn on sale. Her hands don't move as quickly with the needles anymore, so she wanted me to give it a try. Circulars are not my strong point, but here's the results. An easy cast-on 80 stitches. 1 1/2 inches of ribbing (K2,P2) on either end of a 9" knitted tube. This uses two balls of Amazing knit with two strands held together ( also a first for me).
Looks like it will be more of an outside day anyway. Already 56 degrees F and sunny. Before I head out I want to say "HELLO" to my reader in Iran. Thank you for visiting and brightening my day!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sunshine On My Needles

There certainly is no sunshine outside lately. For nearly a week it has done nothing but rain. The Little Miami River near our house is about to hit flood stage, as are the Great Miami and Ohio Rivers. Then, just for a change of pace, it decided to snow like a blizzard this afternoon.

Being trapped inside has made me restless and creative. Not a good mix. Lots of ideas, but very little work actually getting done. I started this pair of sunny socks, Lion Brand Sock-Ease "Lemon Drop". I dug up some fabrics for a bright evening gown circa 1911 for one of the 16" dolls. Here's the inspiration dress. Although the line of these Edwardian dresses look quite simplistic getting those skirts to drape properly in dolly size certainly is not an easy task. Luckily the border-printed fabric will do most of the styling work for me. The underdress is going to be made of pale gold satin.

The pets enjoyed a few moments outside on Tuesday, the only partly-sunny day this week. Poor Bud is getting pretty old. His face is nearly all gray. But he still loves to go for long walks, although his pace is much slower these days. Roy and Carmella were scheduled for their annual Vet check-up today. Only Roy made it there though. Once he let out those incredible howls as I loaded him into the pet carrier, Carmella headed for the this case the farthest reaches under the bed. She is rescheduled for next week.

As the wind and snow blow outside, I look forward to Springtime and Easter............

Friday, March 4, 2011

Those Of Us Left Behind

It's been a hard two weeks since Sammy died. He was with us nearly 12 years and suffered from FIV/Feline Leukemia. He had rough times with the upper respiratory disease and spent days at a time with his head down, nose to the floor looking as if Death was ready to claim him. On three occasions he even vanished totally....the longest stretch being for 17 days. But he always came back to us. On that fateful Thursday he had gone out to enjoy the first warm day of the year after spending most of the Winter inside. He was always an adventurous cat, but as he got older he spent more and more time inside where it was warm and dry. He was brutally struck down by a speeding car within 30 minutes of going outside. That is what made it all the more sad. The fact that he had survived FIV to be taken from us in such a cruel way. We all miss him terribly, but I think it was the hardest on his closest friend, Coal. There is a new friend who has come around lately. Actually there are three: a black cat who I had mistaken for Coal until he took of running at high speed when I approached him; a small and extremely shy brown tiger striped cat; and this guy. Mr. Gray and White has been around for about a month now. He sleeps on this discarded office chair in our old green shed. He also has become good friends with Mocha. He still runs when I get too close, but he's been letting me get closer and closer these days. He and Coal don't quite hit it off. They do that odd little dance of side glances, posturing and speaking in tongues. Hopefully all will settle down and I will find a suitable name for Gray and White.

On the sewing/crafting front I've made quite a bit of progress on many different projects. It all came to a screeching halt on Wednesday when I was informed I had been REJECTED for the Warren County Arts Fair. My booth-partner was accepted, but not me. Some how coming from an organization with the words "Warren County" on the front of it I really don't find this rejection too surprising. So now I have a kick-ass supply of really nice Birthday and Christmas gifts. Things were put sharply back in persepective when I read of the tragic death of The Primitive Needle designer Lisa Roswell. Although I did not know her personally, she is a fellow Ohioan and I feel such sorrow for her family. I am participating in a SAL organized on Facebook to honor her. I've started stitching "Hornbook Angel".

Some socks have been finished. Mary Maxim brand Gemstones in "Peridot" and a collection of tiny little socks made up of my left-overs. They fit my American Girl dolls perfectly, but they have another purpose.................

The 18" dollies also got two new Spring gowns. I love these organza's from JoAnne Fabrics, but I could never afford enough to make myself a garment. I did dig up 3 yards of this lovely Oriental cat print that I had stashed away for several years. I am plotting to make this Simplicity jacket with it. Maybe a nice red satin for the belt? I need to buy some lining though before I get to cutting. It will certainly be an indoor style jacket, paired with a black skirt and maybe some red heels. Such ambitious plans!
Than you so much for all the kind and heart-felt comments about Sammy. I appreciate each and every one.