Wednesday, April 27, 2011


 For someone who claims to not be doing too much stitching, I certainly do have a rather large pile of WIPs floating around here.  In the world of gymnastics, the European Championships ended a few weeks ago and the World Championships are long since over.  My gymnastics WIP is World Champion on Floor Exercise, Lauren Mitchell of Australia.

From the more recent European Championships I have selected a few more colorful and interesting leotards that are inspiring me to draw up some new designs.
 On the non-gymnastics front there is "Summer Jubilee" by Blackbird Designs
 and a lovely (if a bit complex) seahorse from the August 2007 issue of Just Cross-Stitch magazine.
Socky finishes included "Sweet Stripes" by Patons Kroy Socks.  Patons Kroy always seems to knit-up a bit larger then intended.  I also continue to find new colors at my local Hobby Lobby that I haven't seen on-line or in catalogs. 

The other pair of socks is Lion Brand Sock-Ease "Lemon Drop".

I'm still shifting around some doll dress ideas in my head with the assistance of these:
My dog-walking job is always a WIP, but a fun one with surprises from the giant beasts everyday.  Luckily the "surprises" haven't been of that variety lately........only good stuff.  Though they are someone else's pets, they seem awfully attached to me.  They are big and clumsy, but are very friendly and obedient.
The big day is fast approaching.  I can hardly wait to set that alarm for 5am so I can watch the BBC coverage of the Royal Wedding from beginning to end!  Finished up my Royal Wedding Sampler this morning.  Not quite what I thought it would be.  But since my only other ventures into cross-stitch design have been gymnasts, I think it came out OK.
Good Luck and Best Wishes to William and Kate!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Technical Genius or How to Make Use of a Yard of Fabric

How to fix a computer:
Step One:  Curse at the screen while numerous pop-ups , ads and spyware assualt you from every direction.
Step Two:  Yank the phone extension cord from the back of the computer to end Internet attack immediately.
Step Three: Totally unplug the computer and hook up the old Window 98 dinosaur from the attic.
Step Four:  Repeat Step one, only this time curse at the fact that no webpage created after 2000 will work with this system. No Facebook Chat, no Etsy shop, no uploading of photos...........
Step Five: Exile virus-ridden computer to under the desk.
Step Six:  Further exile virus-ridden computer to the trunk of the car.  Then drive it around for two weeks while deciding whether to pay the over-priced computer store to fix it or simply find a nearby river, lake or ravine to throw it in.
Step Seven:  Total despiration sets in.  While in near-darkness remove the dinosaur and re-attach the original computer.  Turn it on and.....................
Step Eight:  IT WORKS!  WTF!!!

Now on to more pleasant things.  No more holding my breath while down-loading photos from my camera to the memory stick, then hauling them down the street to the neighbor's house and putting them up on my blog and Facebook.  No more driving 15 miles to the nearest public library to use a hi-speed connection to check my e-mail and Etsy shop.   My sister-in-law just goes crazy if I "drop off the face of the Earth"(meaing if she doesn't see me on Facebook everyday).  Somehow I found a way to live without FB, but my blog?  That's a different story.  This is the "kinder/gentler" me..........if there is such a thing.  I find FB a little, well it may sound a bit harsh, but I find it a bit shallow.  I've found a lot of friends there, old and new, but some of the stuff is just plain self-serving trash.
 So, how do I make use of a yard of fabric?  You saw half of the results last time.  The circa 1860 gown for 16" Tess

The rest of the fabric was used for this circa 1857 dress for Amy (11.5" tall).  I've had this doll since 1977.  I think she was designed to be some sort of gymnast or aerobics instructor.  She came originally dressed in a hideous 70's floral polyester jumpsuit.  I liked her simple because she was so poseable.  She is a Dollikin brand doll and apparently they are quite the collectors item (according to eBay).  Then there is the circa 1911 gown that's been hanging out on the sewing machine for a while.  Here 16" Tonner Sydney named Louisa.

I'm not completely pleased with how it turned out.  The sleeves are too long and straight and the overskirt really doesn't drape as well as my photo inspiration.  I also think I need to re-work the belt to be a bit wider.

The weather changes from bright sun to high wind and heavy thunderstorms.  There are about 5 or 6 rounds of this everyday!  No chance to get out and work in the garden (aka The Swamp),
so the veggies hang out on the porch.

Striped Roma tomatoes

Chinese Cabbage, Red Lettuce and Red Cabbage

There are a few of you out there who will be quite proud of my next accomplishment.  Yeast is now my friend! From Food Network Magazine, the Macaroni Grill herb bread.
I've made several varieties (the original recipe is for Rosemary Bread).  This batch is garlic.

One the stitching front, I've been working on my own design with themes found at this website.  Scroll down a bit from the most recent post to find a great selection of crowns.
In case you can't guess, it's a Royal Wedding sampler.  I've gotten a bt further on it, but haven't taken a new photo yet.  It should be done tonight.

Ok, I'm hating the new format for uploading pictures on Blogger.  I have to sit and wait while they all upload and can't go back to typing until it's done.  I'm also having a terrible time trying to align them correctly (notice how some are centered and others are just flying around the page) and inserting them into the typed area.  Oh well, at least I can actually get pictures on here.  Be grateful for the little things.................

Friday, April 22, 2011

Picture This.......

Picture a kind neighbor who has allowed me to use her hi-speed Internet connection.  Picture a sunny day...what would you do if you were a happy little kitty like Blacky.  Attack the cat-nip turtle of course.  Yes, TURTLE.  I found that a bit odd too, but she loves this toy. 
 Picture my own Roy enjoying a little "hunting excursion" in the old green shed.

 Picture lovely Mocha, outside of the barn for a rare moment.  I can hardly believe this sweet cat has been with us nearly 8 years.  My goal is to get her to be a house-pet, like the others.  But she's so shy.  I'm still the only one who can pet her.
 Picture Coal, helping me set up the seed-starting area on the porch.  Gone are the huge stacks of firewood, replaced by this lovely metal baker's rack bought at a yard sale for $1.  I really don't think Coal is actually helping though.  More likely he is waiting for me to put the cat-nip starts close enough for him to knock them all over and eat them.
 Picture Carmella napping on the swing.  It was a bit breezy, so she decided to go under the canvas cover for added warmth.
 Picture the approaching storm.  One can picture this about every 3 to 4 hours these days.  The yard is a swamp.  I even made the mistake of putting some flower seeds directly out into the plant beds.  I am sure they are all washed to one corner by now.
 So what to do when it rains?  Lounge on the porch of course (Carmella).
 Or check out the rain, hoping it will stop soon(Roy).  Maybe just hang out in the barn annoying Mocha.  Here Roy and Carmella listen to Mocha up above them in the loft.
Picture the Spring of 1861.  I've been watching the PBS series "The Civil War".  I've seen it several times before, but I never lose interest in it.  To honor the anniversary of that awful war the divided this country, dolly Tess had a new calico dress made in the c. 1861 fashion. 
 Picture some stitching getting done.  I've been working on some little Springtime freebies. This one is a Primitive Betty creation.
Picture a computer that works.......well, a friend's computer.  I can hardly believe a photo-filled update completed in less then ten minutes!  Happy Spring !!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Not Again!

My computer has died again! Flashing screens, constant pop-ups warning of impending doom if I don't download this or that spam virus protection program ASAP. I've taken the liberty of pre-deleting all the foul language I intended to write here. Suffice it to say that I can't upload a single photo or even stay on the Internet for more then a few minutes at a time. So if you comments, e-mails and Facebook posts go unanswered, please don't think I'm just laying around eating bons-bons and ignoring you. Now the bon-bon thing sounds pretty good right now, but a least the weather is nice and I can revert back to my 19th Century pursuits of stitching and gardening. Ah, the cyberworld moves to fast for me anyway................

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dare I?

With the computer acting strangely again, I wonder if it's safe to post? All sorts of weird viruses again. "It", whatever "it" may be this time, even stole all my Microsoft programs and left the computer "empty". Somehow all my files were hidden from me and I had to restore everything. Since I am far from the computer professional I am sure I have now exposed myself to even deadly viruses by opening up and "releasing" all my files. At least I was able to put all my precious photos and videos on to CD and everything seems to be working fine...........for now. I haven't even dared to upload the photos that are languishing on the memory card of my camera. Let's see what I can come up with from the archives:

It is a well-known fact that I am a collector of fabrics, threads and yarn, but Joe is a collector of these lovelies. He actually FINDS these arrowheads in the fields surrounding our property. Now I couldn't tell one rock from another in an endless expanse of dirt, but he just has an eye for it.

The kitties are doing well. Gray and white guy still won't come any closer to me, but I see him more often in the yard. This photo was taken at quite a distance...hence the zoom-in blurriness. Mel has her favorite new spot, a barley pillow I brought home from my parent's house to help my sore neck. I never use it though. Just can't stand the crunchy sound it makes. Roy's new spot is a down pillow up on a the dresser in the hallway. The sun hits it just right at mid morning.

Here's a book from my local libraryKind of a wonky photo though. Some great sewing and crafting ideas in here. Like these really neat colored-pencil holder!
Tons of dolly dress ideas running around in my head, but no needle put to fabric lately. Too much time spent cleaning up this old computer............