God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cool ... but not directly pertaining to temperature although the temperature has been affected

There's a blog title for you ... lol!

When I got up this morning I checked Weather.com & was excited to find the strong storms they predicted for today were still being predicted & now included a chance of tornadoes!  Weirdo that I am, if I can't have a good blizzard then I'll take a good storm.  I've been through my share of strong storms in my lifetime including a hurricane when we lived in Florida.  Fond memories ... truly!  Well, at about 11:45 this morning the security alarm began beeping with a tornado warning.  I immediately looked out the windows, spotted the darkest area of the sky, & then went out into the garage & opened up the garage door to watch Mother Nature in all her glory.  I've never experienced a tornado before although I remember every once in a while hearing about one touching down in a nearby town.  So there I was standing at the open garage door watching the sky getting darker & darker in the west.  The clouds were gathering low & moving quickly.  There was a strange sound which I assumed was the tornado.  I've always heard that a tornado sounds like a train but this sound was more like a continuous whirring sound.  The next thing I knew the town turned on its emergency alert siren.  A little while later the wind picked up, the temperature dropped, & the whirring sound became a whining sound.  Very distinctive!  I guess you could say it sounded like a train.  The sky looked exactly like this but without the funnel.

The tornado appears to have been somewhere at the very end of the street, an area blocked by the neighbor's house & the hill it sits on.  At one point another emergency alert siren, much louder than the one in town, could be heard coming from that direction.  It was an exciting 15 minutes or so!  

As I've been writing this post there was another alert issued for the next half hour but it doesn't seem to be amounting to much.  It sure is dark outside though.  

Weather has always excited me.  I think my favorite part of Romper Room was when Miss Debbie or whatever her name was would choose a child to help dress Wendy the Weather Girl for the day.  

Romper, bomper, stomper, boo.
Tell me, tell me, tell me, do.
Magic Mirror, tell me today,
Did all my friends have fun at play?

Happy times   : )

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stuff

I don't even know what to title this post ... lol!  It's going to be a conglomeration of many things   : )

First of all, I did not do any stitching yesterday.  It was just "one of those days."  However, the day before I decided to stitch the Pineberry Lane Joy freebie again but on a smaller count ... 32 instead of 28 ... still stitched with 1 strand of floss over 2.  I didn't purposely choose to do this.  If the truth be told, I initially cut a piece of 32 ct fabric for the project & then after zig-zagging the edges & sitting down to find my starting point I discovered I should've cut 28 ct fabric.  Since the 32 ct was already cut  & zig-zagged & the stitching for Joy goes so very quickly I decided to have at it.  I think I like it better with the higher count.  As you can see I still have to stain the pieces & then stitch on the snowflakes.  In the future when I stitch this pattern ... & I will ... I will choose a darker color of fabric, maybe something prestained.  I might even "go wild" & change some floss colors!  What a wild woman I am becoming   : )

As you can see I have changed my blog a bit.  Although I love winter & snow, it seemed to be very out of place now that the sun is shining brightly each day & the magnolia bush & daffodils are blooming in the yard.  I did not really want to use the photo of our house again but that's all I can come up with at this time.  Maybe when I get my new camera (hopefully soon ... I see the Joys above are rather blurry) I will put some photos of my stitchings or something else up there.

If I owe anyone an email, please bear with me.  As I was going through some downloads in my inbox this morning I noticed several emails that got "lost" in between them.  I will respond as soon as I can   : )

I should do more work on insurance stuff today (yes, it's started to pile up again) but I think that instead I will have John bring in the flea market boxes from the garage, take them upstairs, & sit up there going through them all.  Hopefully I will find many things not worth trying to sell which will mean less work for me on down the line.  Whatever I do find worth selling will be divided into two categories ... eBay & yard sale.  The eBay stuff will of course be listed on eBay.  If there's enough yard sale stuff I will make the 7 hour drive to Pittsburgh & leave it with my aunt who loves doing yard sales.  It will be nice to see her again anyway & also nice to take a little trip out of town for a day or two.  If there isn't enough stuff then I will drop it off at the local Goodwill.    

Sunday, February 26, 2012

This, That, & The Other Thing

I have been absent for a few days.  Way too many things going on & YIKES!  I can't believe it's going to be the end of February in just a few days!  There is still so very much to do to get the house ready to sell in April.  I am fighting a constant battle within myself regarding this.  I know that hoards of people aren't lining up to move to Perryville, Kentucky.  I see myself putting all this work into getting the house ready & then no one is going to want it.  I know that's "defeatist thinking" & I need to be more positive.

Thanks to all of you who have voiced your concern & offered prayers for John regarding the need for 4 of his teeth to be pulled.  They were pulled on Friday & he was pretty miserable all that day & night.  However, yesterday he felt better & by late afternoon he let me make him some mashed potatoes & then later on he ate a bit of jello.  I think things can only get better from here   : )

Marly (Samplers & Santas) did a blog post yesterday & mentioned doing some shopping in Volant & New Wilmington.  I was rather excited because I have been to Volant & New Wilmington.  These are towns in Pennsylvania Amish country.  (John & I grew up in the Pittsburgh area.)  It turns out that Marly actually lives near these places!  Our blogging friends are just full of hidden surprises, aren't they   : )   Anyway, they are delightful towns.  I was last there in 2008 while visiting my brother & sister-in-law & oddly enough I had just come across a photo that was taken of Carol & I in Volant during that visit ... & here it is.  I'm the tall one wearing the John Lennon type hat   : )
Last week I posted that I was having a hard time finding some cross stitch fabric I needed.  My thanks to all of you once again for referring me to various suppliers.  Cathy B (With Needle & Thread) had one particular piece of fabric I was looking for left over from doing the same project I'm wanting it for & she very generously sent me enough to complete that project & then some   : )   Thank you again Cathy!  Blog friends are the best   : )   The rest of the fabric I was able to order from Lois at Elegant Stitch.  This supplier was suggested to me by Siobhan (Notes from Blue Hen Hollow).  Hmmm ... looks like I'm having a fun time with links this morning, doesn't it   : )   Lois is a delight to talk with & even though she was getting ready to leave for the Nashville market she got my fabric ready & sent it before she left.  It arrived 2 days later   : )

I did order the WDW floss I need to complete my mystery project but the supplier forgot to send it ... lol!  So when I finished stitching Christmas Goose Pinkeep in miniature ...
... I started this Christmas Joy Pinkeep, a freebie from Pineberry Lane.  You can find it here.  
If you like primitive stitching, this is the freebie for you!  It is worked on 28 ct fabric over 2 with 1 strand of floss.  It stitches up super quickly & makes a delightful little gift for yourself or a friend   : )   I still have to stitch a couple snowflakes but the fabric I chose to use, Cashel Flax, almost exactly matches the DMC color used for the snowflakes.  Therefore I'm going to stain the piece first & then come back & stitch the snowflakes.  This is what the pinkeep should look like when it's finished.
I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I'm Sorry If This Makes You Unhappy

I truly understand everyone's frustration with the new word verification.  I personally don't have much of a problem with it.  Yes, that one word is rather blurry but I kind of make a game out of it ... see if I can get the letters right on the first go.  I don't think I've ever had to make more than 2 tries which is pretty surprising since my eyesight is not the best & my glasses are somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 years old.  Anyway, in an attempt to help my followers I removed word verification yesterday.  I try to check my computer a couple times each day for emails & blog posts.  After removing the word verification I came back later to find several emails in my spam folder.  Deleting spam is not a one-click thing because sometimes good emails end up in there ... therefore I have to open my spam folder, take a look at the sender & the subject of each email, & determine if it's to be kept or deleted.  A few hours later when I checked my emails again I had even more spam messages & a couple of them made their way into my inbox.  Once again I reviewed & deleted them.  I then thought okay, I'll adjust my blog settings so that all comments will need to be viewed by me first before being posted.  That did nothing to rid me of the multiplying spam messages & added the burden of having to locate them on blogger rather than them showing up in my inbox where I can respond to them.  Therefore I have once again enabled word verification.

Tomorrow John goes to the dentist to get 4 teeth pulled.  He is rather anxious about it so please do remember him in your prayers.

I have been working off & on upstairs.  Yesterday I took a big pile of stuff out of one corner & sorted it into 4 boxes ... good yard sale stuff, not so great yard sale stuff which is probably just going to get thrown away, stuff to try to sell on eBay, & stuff to give away.  Sadly out in the garage there are probably 8 boxes filled with more stuff that needs sorted through.  The garage is going to be "the last frontier" as far as cleaning goes.

My Christmas Goose Pinkeep is almost finished.  Last night I stitched 1-1/2 geese.  There are 2 of them.  I really have enjoyed stitching this even considering my error in pattern reading.  I have no idea what I will choose next ... maybe another prim design   : )

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Glasses, Or New Brain?

I need one or the other.  I suppose I could need both.

Last night I made some progress on my Stacy Nash design.
Fear not, the words are not really running uphill ... it's just the way my fabric is locked in my Q-Snap.  I got to this point last night & my next step was to start on the geese feet.  I was sure that the pattern directions said to stitch the geese after staining the fabric but I thought I had better check to make certain because I wasn't quite sure if it said to stain before stitching the "geese" or to stain before stitching "the white of the geese."  The feet & beaks, of course, are not white.  They would be a part of the "geese" but not a part of "the white of the geese."  I then noticed something ... the design appeared rather small.  The design itself is supposed to measure 6-1/2" square.  I grabbed my ruler.  It was no surprise that mine measured 3-1/4" square.  Uh-oh.  Why on earth I thought the directions said to use 1 strand of floss over 1 thread of fabric is beyond me.  I have been cross-eyed while stitching this thing & it turns out I got it all wrong!  Not only that but the pattern says absolutely nothing about stitching either the "geese" or "the white of the geese" before staining.  It simply says to stitch the design, make it into a pillow, & stain it.  So you tell me ... is it my eyesight, or is it my Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz brain (prior to him seeing the Wizard of course).  In my defense I did contemplate stitching various designs before settling on this one so I suppose the directions from all of them kind of meshed together.  What a world, what a world!  (Another Oz reference for you.)  I guess I will end up making a little ornament out of this & try stitching it again as the directions tell me to ... but why 1 strand over 2 threads?  Won't that be a bit bare?

Yesterday I received a little package from Italy.  I love Italy!  I love most countries in Europe.  Have you ever felt you "belonged" someplace else?  John & I feel we "belong" in Europe.  He worked there off & on for a few years before he retired.  I was able to visit him during those times.  We then visited various countries, some more than once, & went back after he retired in 2008 to visit again.  We haven't been back since.  Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco but John & I left our hearts in Europe.  I'm a European girl stuck in America.  That would make a good book title, wouldn't it ... Stuck in America.  I'll get right on that   : )   We actually looked into moving to Germany about 2 years ago but John (not me) decided we were "too old."  He sometimes gets on a "we're too old" kick & guess what I want to do at those times.  Kick  him.  So as I was saying, yesterday I got this little package from Italy.  Inside was some linen I purchased from Isobel at The Primitive Hare.  She designs the most wonderful primitive cross stitch patterns & the linen she uses for them is always stained to primitive perfection.  About 2 weeks ago she posted on her blog that she has received so many questions about her linen that she decided to produce it!  I of course contacted her & bought some & I can't wait to use it!!!  Not only is it wonderfully primitively stained but it is packaged so nicely & Isobel even included a little prim bookmark & personal note along with it!

I will be finished stitching the geese today.  As I mentioned previously I ran out of WDW Navy & had to put my mystery project on hold.  I did order the WDW Navy by the way.  It should be here Saturday.  Thanks again to those of you who offered to send me some   : )   Blog friends/stitchers are the best!  Anyway, after I finish the geese I will need to find a new project.  I can't sit around project-less until Saturday!  I have no idea what I will choose to stitch but I will most certainly read & re-read the directions before starting!  Hopefully that will make a difference   : )  

    

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A New Stitching Blog!

My friend Vickie has been a blog reader for quite a while & now she has started her own blog ... A Stitcher's Story!  Please pay her a visit & make her feel welcome.  Vickie is a very sweet Christian lady who enjoys cross stitching & quilting & is blessed to live in that little part of heaven known as Wisconsin   : )  

TUSAL & IHSW

TUSAL
(Totally Useless Stitch Along)

I really wish I could stage things real pretty like a lot of you gals but obviously my talents lie elsewhere. 
It doesn't look like I've done much stitching this past month, does it?  But I did!  There are a lot of white orts in that jar, as well as other colors, from my liaison with Frosty & the dreaded January Trip to Hell (aka January Word Play) ... & the blue orts you see are from my feverish stitching on my mystery project.  

IHSW
(International Hermit & Stitch Weekend)

I did not get to do as much stitching as I would've liked to have done this weekend but I did accomplish something so I'm happy about that   : )   Of course I ran out of floss for my mystery project but I did as much stitching on that as I could on Saturday.  See my Sunday post for a photo of this.  Then I looked through my stash & decided to torture myself with a Stacy Nash design which requires stitching with 1 strand of floss over 1 on 32 ct linen.  Actually it's not really a torture.  For some reason I enjoy stitching like this despite the fact that I am way overdue for new glasses & feel like I'm stitching through fog most of the time.  I decided to stick with my decision to stitch Christmas/winter related things this year.  This design is called Christmas Goose Pinkeep.  This is how far I've gotten on it.
Please excuse the lousy photo.  Not only am I using my worthless camera but it's a dark, overcast day &, well, I'm taking the picture!  Here is the pattern photo showing how it will look when it's finished, Lord willing.

Q-Snap Huggies

Last week Dawn of In Stitches fame did a blog post regarding a tutorial to make Q-Snap huggies, sometimes called Grime Guards or Snap Wraps.  You can find the tutorial here.  Chris, the cowgirl from Hanna, Indiana is the person who posted the tutorial.  It is one of the best tutorials I have ever had the pleasure to view.  Every step on how to make these huggies is clearly photographed & described.  Even I could make them!  However, the thought of digging out my fabric, measuring, cutting, sewing, etc made me shudder.  I just don't have the time!  Well, luckily at the bottom of her tutorial Chris makes mention of the fact that she sells these ... $5.00 for the small sizes, $7.50 for the medium sizes, & $10 for anything larger than 11x11.  Beings that I've only seen these offered at Nordic Needle & their prices begin at $4.99 for the smallest size & go all the way up to $21.99 for the largest adjustable model ... & you don't get to pick your fabrics ... I couldn't send Chris an email fast enough to order a few.  I received them last week & am positively delighted!  I am not a rich person by any means but I will gladly pay someone to make something for me rather than frustrating myself trying to make it myself ... no matter how simple it is.  Chris has a website, Christine's Q-Snap Huggies, where you can see the huggies & all the different fabrics you can choose from.

Incidentally, some people think these huggies are used to avoid dirtying your fabric edges while you are stitching.  Although they do serve this purpose I feel their most important use is as a "tuck" for excess fabric you have hanging on the sides of your Q-Snap if you are working with a much larger piece of fabric than the Q-Snap size.  You just gently roll the excess fabric & tuck it underneath the huggie   : )

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Exchanges To Share

Last month I participated in my first Stitched With Love Exchange & I enjoyed it immensely!  I received a wonderful package of goodies from Tricia whose blog is The Stamper's Stitches.   As you can see in the photo below she stitched the most gorgeous pin pillow for me!  She also sent me a package of John James platinum needles, a little pair of scissors, & she kitted up a Trilogy design, Patriotic Tree:  Truth, complete with stitching fabric, backing fabric, embellishments & DMC threads!  She also sent me the cutest handmade notecard!  I love it all   : )

The package I sent went to June in the UK.  Her blog is Butterfly wings.  I stitched a little Pine Mountain Designs pillow for her, You're My Cup of Tea.  I also included a box of my favorite tea, a DMC thread assortment, a heart-shaped pot holder, a fat quarter of stitching fabric, a Lizzie*Kate chart, & a Bless Our Home dishtowel.   
Here is a closer view of the stitching I did.
I really, really enjoyed this exchange & I'm looking forward to the next one   : )

I ran into a bit of a disappointment with my current mystery project which I chose to work on for the IHSW.  As you can see it has moved along nicely since the last photo I posted.
Unfortunately I have run out of thread!  This is the first project I have ever done where you use just one color of thread.  Who knew one  hank/skein wouldn't be enough!  So I stitched as much as I could & then reluctantly removed it from my Q-Snap.  Does anyone want to venture a guess on the name of the design & the designing company?  There will be a prize for the first person who guesses correctly   : )   I will be choosing another stitching project today to work on until I get more of this thread (WDW Navy) which will hopefully be soon.  I am trying to decide if I want to drive to Lexington (an hour each way) to go to the stitching shop there hoping they have the thread or if I just want to order it online.  I should probably just order it online.  

Remember the other day John & I did a bit of shopping & I brought home a new set of sheets & new pillows?  I had purchased one of those primitive woven bedspreads earlier in the week.  Yesterday I replaced the old stuff with the new.  The sheets are going to take a bit of getting used to.  This may sound terrible but the sheets we were using on the bed, our one & only set of sheets, were I think purchased in 2004 & have been used constantly since that time being removed a couple times each week to wash & then put right back on the bed.  "Threadbare" would be the word to describe these sheets.  They were extremely soft & comfy from all these years of use but started falling apart, thus the need for new ones.  The new sheets are 600 thread count which I thought would be nice & soft as well but last night I felt like I was sleeping between 2 sheets of plywood!  They are very stiff & they make noise when you move around ... lol!  I'm guessing they just need to be used/washed a few times to soften them up & quiet them down.  I hope so!  

I am looking forward to snow today but then I'm always looking forward to snow, aren't I   : )   The weatherman says there's an 80% possibility of snow or rain today.  Rain, rain, go away!  Come on snow!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

You've GOT To Be Kidding Me!

Yes, two blog posts in one day ... but that's not the kidding part.  I'll get to that in a minute.

First of all, my waking up at 3:30 in the morning after 3 hours of sleep left me amazingly productive!  I made my sort of homemade loaf of bread.  It was edible but my aunt has apparently either lost her memory or her sense of taste because it tastes nothing like dad's bread   : (   Ah well, the search goes on.  Anyway, after my blog post I decided to tidy up my cross stitch charts & fabrics.  That led me to tidying up the dining table which really acts as a desk, file cabinet, & general catch-all as opposed to a piece of furniture where you eat meals.  While doing this tidying up I spied some long overdue insurance forms.  Yes, they truly are never ending.  I decided to tackle a couple of what I knew would be the simple ones merely involving the writing of a letter.  Finished those & felt a nice sense of accomplishment ... but did I stop there?  No ... I oh so foolishly decided to tackle "just one more."  Three hours later I was still struggling with this huge mess which I have been trying to get straightened out for 8 months now.  ARGH!  I swear this particular set of claims has traveled back & forth between our house & the insurance company office in Arizona more times than I used to travel back & forth to the neighborhood penny candy store when I was a kid.  John suggested we go into town for lunch.  Since at that point I felt like running out of the house screaming I thought it was a good idea to leave.  

We had a nice lunch & then stopped to take advantage of a sale on sheets & towels, both of which we have been in need of for quite some time.  Found what I hope will be good choices ... including new bed pillows ... & came home.  Checked my emails & found one from my doctor's office.  I had some blood tests done a couple weeks ago & the email said they have called three times & left messages for me to call them back but I never have.  Well, I never got the messages!  I suspect they have been calling my cell phone number which I told them very clearly is a phone I do not use except for emergencies when I'm traveling somewhere out of town.  Grrrr!  And the reason they were trying to get in touch with me?  Are you ready for this?  I've got Lyme disease!  The doctor told me at my last visit that she suspected this & tested for it in a previous blood draw & the test came back positive.  I told her surely it was a lab error.  She didn't think so but she humored me & ordered several other tests to make sure.  All positive.  Now ... Lyme disease is pretty unusual, wouldn't you say?  Especially since it's been apparently lying dormant in me for years & now suddenly Whoomp!  There it is!  I swear, I get the strangest ailments.  First I was diagnosed with adult growth hormone deficiency.  A couple months ago I had a brain MRI & my pituitary has, in layman's terms, "shriveled up & died."  It's called empty sella syndrome.  Now Lyme disease.  I am actually laughing here.  What's next?

Oh!  Before I forget, I want to thank everyone for your concern regarding my doctor visits the other day.  The gyn appointment revealed nothing but some irritation.  Got a couple pills for that.  The blood tests were fine.  My pregnant eye turned out to be caused by backed-up oil glands at the base of my eyelashes.  Warm compresses & a gentle scrubbing with No More Tears baby shampoo should remedy it in no time.  John says my eye is looking better already although it is still a bit sore.

I did not get any stitching done today.  Thankfully the weekend isn't over & I have no set amount of stitches I have to do for IHSW.  I am going to try to put in a few tonight before I head off to bed.

And th-th-th-th-th- ... that's all folks   : )          

Linen Woes

I have been trying to buy some designer suggested fabrics for projects I want to stitch in the coming months but I am having a less than happy time doing so.  Quite a few of the fabrics I need are not to be found anywhere ... at least anywhere I have looked.  I've Googled them all without success.  The 35 counts seem to be almost nonexistent.  I therefore thought I would just go ahead & substitute with a 36 count.  I was able to find a fabric or two this way but the place I did find it only sold it in 1/2 or 1 yard cuts.  Since I only need less than a fat eighth size it really would not behoove me to buy that much even if I had that kind of money.  I have even thought of substituting with a like color of fabric but have likewise come up empty.  It's impossible to tell what a color is truly like by looking at it on a computer monitor.  Also, colors differ from one manufacturer to another so for instance the color "straw" could be a dark gold when purchased from one source but a light tan when purchased from another.  I once heard tell of a supplier who sold her fabric with DMC color comparisons noted in the descriptions.  What a godsend that would be!  Unfortunately I have never found her.  Does anyone know if this supplier exists?

In particular I am searching for WDW 35 ct Straw & Parchment (although I'll take a 36), R&R 36 ct Creme Brulee, & Lakeside 36 ct Vintage Examplar.  I'm also on the hunt for 28 ct Chardonay & 28 ct Cranberry Bog.  Does anyone know where I can get any of these fabrics?  I have no idea who the manufacturers are for those last two.

My WIP is coming along rather well.  Does anyone want to venture a guess yet as to what it is?  You need to tell me both the name of the designer & the name of the design.  Just saying "it's a howler monkey" or "it's a bowl of soup" won't do   : )

This is International Hermit & Stitch Weekend (see my sidebar for details).  I really enjoyed participating last month & have been looking forward to this month's weekend!  I can't believe it's the second IHSW already this year!  I'm telling you, before we know it, it will be fall again!  I plan to finish my current project this weekend & hopefully start another ... assuming I have the fabric!!!  Actually the next project I have in line is in kit form so the fabric is already there ... hooray!

I woke up at 3:30 this morning (3 hours of sleep) & finally got out of bed a little after 4:00.  True to routine I made my morning cup of Hot Cinnamon Sunset tea & a cup for John as well.  He will heat his up in the microwave whenever he emerges from the bedroom.  This is always a source of horror for me ... not John coming out of the bedroom but him heating up his tea in the microwave.  I try to be a tea purist ... certain teas are best brewed at certain boiling points & one should never, ever reheat tea that has cooled!  Of course if I was a true purist I guess I would be using loose tea rather than tea bags.  Anyway, what I'm trying to tell you here is that while the tea was brewing I popped a loaf of sort of homemade bread into the oven to rise.  All you homemade bread purists will shudder at the thought of me making homemade bread from a frozen loaf but I'm giving this a try because I miss my dad's homemade bread.  My dad was a cook & baker in the Merchant Marines.  He often baked while I was growing up, his specialties being nut horns & homemade bread.  The nut horns were only made at Christmastime but every Sunday he would make a huge batch of bread dough which would be turned into buns, breadsticks, & loaves.  I'm sure my chubby thighs & large behind are a carryover from my gorging on his luscious bread creations.  Dad stopped making bread when he got older & no one in the family, me included, ever had the brains to ask him for his recipe.  Honestly ... his bread would have been Jesus' choice at the Last Supper.  I'm sure dad is in heaven now baking it for God, all the angels & all the saints.  Well, I was talking with my aunt a couple weeks ago & she told me that the closest thing she has ever found to dad's bread is Rhodes white bread loaves.  I have searched every highway & byway I've traveled in & near my area & finally found a grocery store selling this bread when we went to Richmond the other day.  I just started the bread baking now so I will let you know if it is indeed close to dad's.  I hope so   : )    

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Wonderful Surprise!

Last month I was chosen by Cathy to be one of the Pay It Forward recipients on her blog, With Needle & Thread.  If you aren't familiar with Pay It Forward you can read Cathy's invitation here.  As you will note, the explanation stated that the recipients will each receive 5 stitching related gifts & examples were given as follows ...

DMC, other threads, stitching needles, straight pins, buttons, ribbons, scissors, etc ...
a combination of items such as 3 threads, 1 pack of straight pins, &  1 pack of stitching needles ...
or just 5 threads

I expected that I would receive a small envelope holding these types of things but this is what I received instead ... a small box with a card & wrapped packages!
And here is what was inside those packages!
I am overwhelmed with Cathy's generosity!  I apologize, as always, for the crummy photography.  I'm working on getting a new camera which hopefully will be both my salvation & yours.  Anyway, Cathy sent me a package of my favorite stitching needles in my favorite size (how in the world did she know this?), a package of R&R hand dyed chenille trim in a gorgeous blue color (we all know how much I love chenille trim!), 2 hanks of Crescent Colours hand dyed floss ... Manor Red & Wavy Navy (CC is another love of mine & I don't have these ones!), a very useful corner gauge (I've not seen these before ... very cool!) from her favorite stitching shop, Stitchville USA, a little bag of Lindt milk chocolate truffles (to die for!), & last ... but certainly not least ... one of her fabulous handmade cupcake pincushions with tatting trim made by her mother!  I swear, I couldn't speak!  It is gorgeous!  My pitiful photo in no way shows how beautiful this pincushion is so please do check her blog post showing a grouping of these lovely pincushions!  Even my husband commented on how very pretty this pincushion is!  She also included that lovely card you see in the above photo with a sweet note telling me a bit about each thing she sent.  (In answer to my question about the needles, it turns out these are her favorite needles as well!)  Thank you so much, Cathy, for everything!

Cathy's mom's tatting is, by the way, exquisite!  I used to teach tatting so I know my stuff   : )   How much do you want to bet that I'm going to be looking at this pincushion every day & before too long dig out an old shuttle or two & start tatting again!  You know how EASILY INFLUENCED  I am ... lol!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Yucky Doctor Appointment, A New Start, & A Big Fat Eye

John & I had a lovely day yesterday.  It was rainy & gray & overcast but not so much so that we couldn't follow through with our plans to go to Richmond, Kentucky which is about an hour from here.  We hadn't been there for quite a while.  We had planned to have our Valentines Day/wedding anniversary dinner at Red Lobster but strangely enough we both had a desire for pizza so we ended up eating at our favorite pizza place close to home   : )

I will be leaving soon for an early morning appointment with my gynecologist.  Even though I had a total hysterectomy back in 2010 my regular doctor wanted me to make this appointment.  I have dealt with her often enough to know that when she suggests something like this she has "suspicions" of one sort or another.  Hopefully they won't amount to anything.  My appointment is scheduled for 8:30.  At 9 o'clock I have an appointment for blood tests at the hospital 2 blocks away so hopefully the gyn will do what he needs to do & I will still be able to make it to the hospital in time.  After that I'm guessing I will probably have to stop by the eye doctor's office because this morning my right eye looks like it's about 8 months pregnant.  Hey ... I wonder if the gyn can help me with that???

I didn't do any stitching yesterday but on Monday I did start a new project.  Can you guess what it is???

I know, no fair ... especially since I'm using a different count of fabric in a similar but not exactly the same color & I've made a floss substitution   : )   However, if you want to venture a guess ... & you're right ... I'll send you a prize of some sort   : )   

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday? Really?

It's strange but I can't shake the feeling that this is Sunday!  I woke up thinking it was Sunday & I've been thinking that ever since although at one point I did realize it's Monday.

As you can see I have a new stitching finish to show you!  The Christmas All Year Round SAL theme for February is a Christmas tree ornament & I chose this one ...  

Joy & Peace
Designer:  Little House Needleworks
Suggested fabric & threads used

I enjoyed stitching this ornament even though I ended up having to take out one entire row toward the beginning of the tree because I missed a white stitch & made it green instead.  Thankfully it wasn't a huge undertaking to fix it   : )   The March theme is "your choice."  I have no idea yet what I'll be choosing for that one. 

Now that I've finished stitching my ornament I can start working on something else.  I will be looking through my stash today.  I'm sure something will catch my eye   : )

While I was taking photos this morning Sophie decided to keep an eye on me.  I couldn't resist snapping one of her   : )
I'm sure she is thinking "Enough with the photos already!  Get me my breakfast!"  

Tomorrow John & I will celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary!  We thought it would be romantic to be married on Valentines Day but it's actually been a bit of a problem.  Because it's Valentines Day just about everyone else in the world is celebrating by going to dinner or shows, taking trips, etc ... so places are often quite crowded not to mention things being quite expensive.  This year we will probably celebrate at some later date what with John's dental woes plaguing him.  That'll be okay though ... just being together is celebration enough   : )   I probably won't be posting anything tomorrow so I will take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Valentines Day as well as a very Happy Anniversary to those of you who likewise were married on this special day   : ) 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Upstairs Update

I have been working upstairs almost daily this past week & I've worked especially hard this morning.  I have been sorting things in order to put like items/boxes together, made a pile of boxes that need to be put inside other boxes & brought downstairs, made a mental note of boxes that need to be brought upstairs from downstairs in order to make room for the aforementioned boxes I'll be bringing downstairs, & marveled again at how very much craft stuff one person can accumulate in a couple decades.  It's hard to imagine that there was a time when John & I moved from Florida to Montana & sold just about everything we owned except our clothes & special momentos.  It's also hard to imagine that there were times when I decided "I don't want to do this anymore" & sold more crafting supplies than I can shake a stick at.  How is it that I have so much stuff?!?!?  I got to do a count of my huge Rubbermaid containers packed full of quilting fabric.  There are 13 of them.  There are an additional 5 smaller containers which are holding quilt tops I've finished but have never quilted, quilt blocks I've made but have never sewn into quilt tops, & various fabric pattern pieces cut out & waiting to be made into quilt blocks.  Then there is a huge container filled with quilts that are almost finished ... they only need the binding sewn on.  I'm guessing there's about 10 of those binding-deprived quilts.

I have the 4 huge containers crammed full of wool strips cut & ready to be made in to braided rugs.  I was surprised to find an additional container filled almost to the brim with yards of wool ... some solids, some herringbones, & some plaids.

There are a lot of boxes packed with things I know I'm not going to use but I really don't have the time to go through them all to sort things out right now.  My main focus is to get everything rounded up, looking neat, & out of the way for when prospective buyers come to look at the house.  I'm still flip-flopping on what to do with the yard sale stuff.

I am maybe done upstairs for today.  John is having a lot of pain with his teeth so he wasn't up very long this morning before he went back to bed.  He has been sleeping for about 2 hours now & I don't think there is much more I can do up there without making too much noise & disturbing him.  I'm therefore going to treat myself to some lunch, maybe read a bit, & take it from there.      

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bakeries, Biscuits, Scroll Frames, & Selling Stuff

I love a good bakery but I haven't had the pleasure of finding one for more years than some of you are old.  The only exception has been a few bakeries we frequented while visiting Europe.  The pastries & cakes that John & I have had in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, & especially France still make us drool when we think of them ... especially the patisseries in Metz, France!  Well, last month we discovered there is a Whole Foods grocery store in Louisville, Kentucky.  Whole Foods has delicious organic meats, eggs, & breads as well as other yummy things.  We usually go to the Whole Foods store in Lexington but since John had a doctor appointment in Louisville we decided to see if there was one there & there was, just 8 miles from his doctor's office,  so we made it a point to stop by.

Whole Foods in Louisville is larger & has a wider variety of things to offer than does their store in Lexington ... most especially their bakery.  The Lexington store has a teeny, tiny little bakery which is barely worth a second glance whereas the Louisville store's bakery is at least 10 times the size!  They have more than a dozen different varieties of cookies to choose from (& not always the same kinds), just as many different varieties of cupcakes, & then lots of breads, coffee cakes, pies, bundt cakes ... you name it!  We brought home one of each of the cookies that day & an almond coffee cake.  They were not with us for very long.  It was like eating homemade baked goods!  I thought about them every day since that time & yesterday when we had to go to Louisville for John's dental appointment we first stopped by Whole Foods to buy more cookies & another almond coffee cake.  Right next to the cookies they had little packages buttermilk biscuits.


Can you see how HUGE these things are???  And it turns out they are just as delicious as they are huge!  I am a biscuit lover from way, way back.  Sweets are yummy but I will opt for a good loaf of homemade bread or a few luscious biscuits any day!  There were actually 4 biscuits in a package.  As you can see I've already eaten one   : )   They are the best biscuits I have ever eaten in my life!!!   Thankfully Louisville is about an hour & a half from here or I would be putting on a lot of weight in no time   : )

Does anyone have any recommendations for a good scroll frame?  I used to have a beautiful wooden one years ago which I loved but of course it was sold along with all my other cross stitch stuff during my time of insanity.  I have several large samplers that I want to do.  I know that some of you stitch without a frame or hoop but I feel very uncomfortable doing that ... like I'm getting uneven tension.  If you use a scroll frame, could you please tell me what it is & if you'd recommend it?

Yesterday I did not get a chance to work upstairs because of our trip to Louisville & the stops we made along the way there & back.  Incidentally, John's dentist merely met with him, had some x-rays taken, & scheduled him to have 4 teeth pulled on February 24th.  This surprised me since two of John's teeth have been causing him a lot of pain lately.  The dentist told him to just take Tylenol & Advil till his appointment & if anyone cancels before then they will call him.  They only do oral surgery on Fridays so if no one cancels today or next Friday then he will still end up waiting till the 24th.  Anyway, during the 3 days I did work upstairs this week I decided that I am definitely going to sell some of my crafting supplies.  I just don't see myself doing these things anymore so it's really silly for me to keep them.  I have therefore decided to sell all my bobbin lacemaking things (bobbins, books, pillows, pins, etc), all my wool rug braiding things (books & a ton of precut wool braiding strips), & all my candle/tart making supplies (molds, wax, & fragrance oils).  I'm toying with the idea of selling my shop equipment, wood, & painting supplies as well.  Will definitely be selling a bunch of patterns.  So ... if I have mentioned anything here that catches your eye, just drop me a line & I'll let you know what I've got.  I'm going to either try to eventually sell on Etsy or maybe make a blog sales page.  For now I've got to keep plugging away at getting the house ready for sale.   

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A WIP, A Giveaway Win, Gifts, & Other Stuff

Frosty & I would like to thank everyone who has come to attend his week long celebration party!  I thought I would break away for a moment to share some long overdue photos, a stitching update, & other stuff   : )

When I finished stitching the January Trip Into Hell (the designer calls it January Word Play) I immediately took it out of my Q-Snap hoop & replaced it with this ...

This is the start of my February ornament for the Christmas All Year Round SAL group.  This month's subject to stitch is a Christmas tree.  I decided to stitch a Homespun Elegance ornament pattern, Joy & Peace.  I stitched what you see here in a matter of just a couple hours.  What a difference when compared to the January Trip Into Hell!  Not only is there a difference in the time it's taking to stitch it & how smoothly it's moving along, but the white floss  the designer suggests has got to be the best white floss on the market!  It is Crescent Colours' Bamboo.  Just look how nicely it stands out ... & the end stitching result doesn't look like a piece of bread with penicillin growing on it!  I could've finished the stitching by now but I've had some other things needing my attention.  I do have that big snowflake finished & maybe 1/3 of the tree.  What a stitching joy! 

Nancy over at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe has had a string of giveaways over the past few weeks.  If you aren't familiar with Nancy's trims & patterns you really need to pay her a visit.  She has the loveliest things!  Anyway, I was lucky enough to win one of her Black Crow Spice Bag kits last month!  I am using one of Nancy's photos of 2 of her finished spice bags rather than horrify you with my photography when it's not absolutely necessary.  I chose her Cinnamon spice bag since I have a "thing" for cinnamon   : )   I'm really looking forward to stitching it   : )
A week or so ago I received a lovely gift from my blog friend Trace ... one of her fabulous woolly creations, 3 fat quarters, a valentine, & 2 little packages of candy which disappeared before the photo was taken   : )
And here is a very cute magnetic photo frame gifted to me by my blog friend cucki.  I have a tiny pumpkin chart to stitch that will fit this frame perfectly ... or maybe I will look for a small autumn leaf to stitch for it?  Decisions, decisions   : )
Today I took John to Louisville to see a dentist.  I don't know about you but thus far 2012 seems to be The Year of the Dentist.  Several blogging friends have mentioned since the beginning of the year that either they or one of their family members are dealing with toothaches, infections, & even the need for oral surgery, dentures, partials, etc.  I am dealing with dental problems myself & now John is as well.  Of course things could be worse.  Heaven knows I'm not complaining ... just making an observation.  

Uh-oh ... the party sounds like it's getting a little out of hand!  I'd better get back in there   : )

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

CELEBRATION CYBER PARTY INVITATION!!!

You are cordially invited to a
CELEBRATION CYBER PARTY
in honor of the completion of
this blasted January Word Play!!!
Guest of Honor - Frosty

There will be plenty of drinks ...
... yummy food ...
... a delicious cake ...
... & Kool & the Gang (Frosty's favorite group) will provide the appropriate music for dancing!
Frosty really hopes you can attend his party!

Where  -  The Easily Influenced Stitcher's blog
When  -  Wednesday, February 8th through Wednesday, February 15th

Quickie Question Regarding Stitching With White Floss

I have started a new project which calls for some white floss.  Thankfully it does not call for GAST Shaker White ... it instead calls for CC Bamboo & I must say that I feel like I'm stitching with the floss the angels use!  I swear it's almost like using pearl cotton rather than floss!  It's so lush & thick compared to that horrible GAST Shaker White ... & it's WHITE too!  Beautiful, beautiful white without splotches of mold growing on it here & there.  Oh happy day   : )

Anyway, I wanted to ask you stitchers how you go about stitching a design when the pattern calls for white to be used.  Do you stitch all the other colors first & then stitch the white last, or do you stitch the white whenever you get to it?  It seems to me that once long ago I read that you should stitch anything white last so as to avoid getting the white dirty or picking up colors of floss dust on it as you stitch.  This pattern design includes a large snowflake & a little mound of snow.  It also includes little patches of snow on a pine tree which is stitched using a hand-dyed dark green.  Some of the white on the tree is in little confetti stitches.  I'm not sure if I should stitch the green first & then try to go back & fit in the white stitches ... or if I should stitch all the white & then go back & stitch all the green.

I did have another successful day of "doing something" with our Fibber McGee-like second floor. I have dreaded working up there for months now but between yesterday & the day before I actually accomplished a few things that have already made the place look better ... at least in one little corner!  Of course there are those spots which I dread more than anything & they will undoubtedly be pushed aside until last ... most of all the mounds of yard sale stuff.  Yard sales don't do well around here ... at least I rarely see any.  I was going to box everything up & take it to my aunt in Pittsburgh who loves-loves-loves doing yard sales but that would be a 7-hour drive one way & it would involve pricing everything, wrapping it, & probably spending whatever amount I'd make from the yard sale on gas for the trip.  Some of it is "good stuff" but you know how it is trying to get a good price for "good stuff" at a yard sale.  I'm tempted to just drop it all off at Goodwill or even just take it to the dump just to avoid the hassle.  Will have to think on this a bit more.  Whatever the decision, these yard sale things do not have priority at this time.  

Believe it or not it SNOWED last night!  Yes, it's the usual "God shaking His talcum powder can" snow that plagues central Kentucky ... at least 40% of the grass is still visible ... but snow is snow so I am doing a happy dance   : )


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

First Step

As many of you know, my husband & I are planning to sell our home this year.

3 bedrooms & 2-1/2 baths sitting on 17 acres.  There is, as you can see, an upstairs.  The upstairs consists of 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, & a huge room which the previous owners used as a playroom for their children but my intention was to make it into a craft room.  Since we decided pretty quickly that we weren't going to stay here for very long, that room & the 2 bedrooms were never developed into what they were intended to be.  Instead they have been serving the purpose of being a dumping off place of sorts ... a catchall for anything & everything that doesn't have anywhere else to be, doesn't have any use at this time, is intended for a yard sale or intended for "the next house," etc.  Remember Fibber McGee's closet?
Walking up our stairs to the second level is akin to Fibber opening that closet door, but of course you have to multiply it at least 1000 fold due to the fact that I'm not just talking about the little hall closet up there ... I'm talking about the entire upstairs!  Needless to say I have my work cut out for me.  Yesterday I took my first step.  I packaged the rolls of remaining Christmas paper & put the Christmas bows & boxes into their containers & brought them downstairs.  A baby step for sure but a step nonetheless.  

I know the housing market is still depressed which is, of course, depressing for those of us wanting to sell.  There are 2 homes on our street that have been for sale for over 2 years now.  I have jokingly said to John that perhaps we need to make a website offering our home for sale or trade.  Surely there must be someone, somewhere in some frigid, snow-covered land who desperately wants to live in central Kentucky (?) ... so much so that they would be willing to swap houses?  I really need to look into this.  If you should happen to know or ever hear of such a person, do send them my way.  In the meantime I will continue taking my baby steps ... maybe even graduating to giant steps once in a while.  Time, after all, is passing by quickly.  I will clean & sort & pack & fantasize about the moving truck coming up the driveway & whisking us away to Lapland or some such place.    

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Still Stitching Away on Frosty

I wish I had kept track of the hours ... which have turned into days, weeks, & nearly months ... that I have been working on this blasted January Word Play.  Some stitchers do that.  I've seen them post a photo of a completed project & make mention that it took them a total of 19 hours, for example, to stitch that particular piece.  I have thought that it would maybe be a good idea to do that & to perhaps include the information on a little label attached to the back of a framed piece or note it in a little stitching journal.  I imagine it would be interesting to someone one day.

I've also seen stitchers just make a general note of their stitching time.  They will, for example, post a photo of something like this & add a caption similar to the one below it ...

Start Date:  2-3-2012
Finish date:  2-3-2012

Okay ... maybe that's just a wee bit exaggerated but trust me ... these people are out there.  And God bless them!  We all have our talents & certainly in the world of cross stitching this speed, precision, & perfection comes in handy ... especially when you consider the hundred or more projects we all want to accomplish in our lifetimes with ever more projects being added to them thanks to our finding new designs or designs that are new to us.

I have said before that I am not in any kind of stitching race.  I enjoy the process of stitching.  If it takes me a week or a month or several months to stitch something it's not going to make me love it any less.  My projects may not be falling out of my hands like chocolate chips passing by on an assembly line but I still love & enjoy each & every one.  

Almost.

Enter the January Word Play.

As I mentioned last week, Frosty & I have developed a close friendship.  He & I are comrades in arms in  this hell known as January Word Play which I began stitching on January 12.  Now take a look at this thing ...
Honestly, how simple can it be?!?!?  This would've taken a normal stitcher what ... 2 days at the most to stitch?  (The term "normal stitcher" does not include Speedy Gonzalez, the stitcher who would whip out the sampler pictured at the start of this post in a day or two.)  But not me!  Not Shirlee the Slug!  Yes, I've had some frustration along the way (curse you, GAST Shaker White!), but that frustration ended last week when Frosty & I became friends.  Up to that point I had a good deal of this design stitched ... most of the words, all but 2 of the small snowflakes, the holly branch on the left side of the cart, all but 1 of the trees, 2 of the birds, & Frosty from the neck up.  Since that time I have spent two full days attempting to complete this design.  Two full days of stitching, interrupted only for meal preparation & enjoyment, bathroom breaks, & a small bit of housekeeping (dishes, a load of laundry, etc).  But is January Word Play done?  No.  What do I have left to stitch?  One word, the wagon wheel spokes, & Frosty's arms.  After my many hours of stitching yesterday ... which included a bit of frogging from time to time ... I began to fantasize about putting the January Word Play out on the lawn, dousing it with lighter fluid, tossing on a lighted match, & dancing around in a circle singing "I've got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart" while the flames consumed it out of existence.  What stopped me?  Frosty.  I can't do that to Frosty.

I propose a name change for January Word Play.  Something along the lines of ...

January Hell on Earth
January Mental Institution Admission Prelude
January Kill Me Now

... or quite simply ...

 It Will Take You Longer Than the Month of January to Stitch This Blasted Design! 

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Finish (sort of) & An Exchange Gift

My camera seems to be working semi-well this morning although it wants to make the color of the linen in my first photo appear white instead of the antique copper lookalike linen (kind of tea dyed looking) it is in real life.  Sigh ... you never know how a picture is going to turn out when I get a camera in my hands   : )   Anyway, this first photo shows my finished stitching of Homespun Elegance's Santa Sampler design which I chose to do for my first Christmas All Year Round ornament.  I still need to attach a little stocking charm between Santa's hands & then make him into an ornament but that is going to have to wait a while.  We all know how I dread finishing a stitched piece   : )

And this next photo is the exchange piece I received in the Winter Seasonal Exchange!  It is from Conny in The Netherlands & I absolutely love it!  She couldn't have picked a better design to stitch for me & her stitching & finishing work is beautifully done!  I will treasure this always   : )
I am kind of laying low today as it is John's birthday ... a very special one as he turns 60 today!  He was 15 when I met him.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  It's hard to believe that so many years have passed by!  I am so thankful to have him in my life!  He just wants me to watch a couple movies with him today & make taco salad for his birthday dinner ... something I haven't made for quite some time ... so that's the plan   : )         

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Groundhog Day!

First off I want to say thank you for wishing me well regarding my upset tummy yesterday.  The peppermint tea actually did help!  I only had this one tea bag which was sent to me as a little thank you gift when I ordered some of my favorite tea (Hot Cinnamon Sunset by Haney & Sons) from a supplier on Amazon or eBay.  I usually buy directly from the company but went through this supplier instead for some reason.  Anyway, he included the peppermint tea bag (organic) so I had it here to try sometime.  It was actually very good!

I decided to lay low yesterday so basically my day was spent in the recliner stitching on the January Word Play.  I learned, if nothing else, that my stitching is even slower than I thought it was.  I really should have called my blog The Slower Than Molasses Stitcher or something like that.  After several hours of stitching all I got done were the 6 bottom rows that were still remaining on Frosty, a couple small snowflakes over on that side, the leaf, vine, & berries to the right of Frosty, & maybe a little over half the cart.  I still have several words, a bird, Frosty's arms along with his scarf & buttons, & the cart wheels/handle to do.  What's that going to take me ... a week of constant stitching?  I know I've said in the past that I don't care about the time it takes me to stitch something ... it's the process of stitching that I enjoy ... but it's like I've been working on this thing half my life!  My goal is to finish stitching it in the next day or two & then have a big cyber party celebrating it being done   : )

I have several things to take pictures of but my new camera, purchased in October, is driving me nuts.  It has this built-in stabilizer thingie in it & that is one of the reasons I bought it.  It's supposed to keep things steady so your pictures don't blur.  It was doing that for a while but the other day I tried to photograph my progress on Frosty & I got blurry photo after blurry photo.  Grrrrr!  If anyone has any suggestions to remedy this ... or suggestions for a replacement camera that will take a good picture even while you're galloping around on a horse ... please let me know.

Today is Groundhog Day.  I have heard that the famous Phil saw his shadow so we are in for 6 more weeks of winter.  However, Gracie ... the groundhog who lives underneath a small grouping of trees in our front yard, has been roaming around for at least 2 weeks now so she obviously does not agree with Phil.  All this talk of groundhogs today made me think of a wonderful movie ...

John & I love this movie & watch it every so often.  Very funny!  I am going to have to ask him to get it out today so we can watch it again.  I highly recommend it!  Happy Groundhog Day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Finish (A Good Thing) & An Upset Tummy (A Not-So-Good Thing)

Good morning ... & Happy February!

I woke up early this morning not feeling too well & things have not improved.  I have been eating things best left alone for about the past week & I think it has finally caught up with me.  What has this experience taught me?  It has taught me that when you've been off sugar for 8 months it's not smart to decide to give yourself a few days of a sugar binge.  Not smart at all.

On a happier note I can share a finish with you!  No, it's not Frosty.  We are on friendly terms but I haven't been stitching for a couple days now.  My lack of motivation to do anything is probably tied into the sugar overload.  Anyway, I did accomplish 4 finishes in January.  Two of them I can't show you yet because they were for exchange gifts.  Once my exchange partners have received them I will post pictures for you   : )   Another finish ... as far as stitching is concerned anyway ... is my Santa ornament for the Christmas All Year Round SAL.  I haven't taken a photo yet.  Our assignment for February is to stitch a design featuring a Christmas tree.  I've got mine picked out & kitted up & am looking forward to starting it.  What I can share with you today is this little Pine Mountain Designs pillow I made for Shar over at Sharlene's Stitching Site.  Shar & I decided to do a monthly friendship exchange this year.  I thought this Making Friends design was perfect to stitch for our first exchange   : )

See the snowman's eyes?  If you remember me talking about my difficulty with French knots a couple weeks ago, these eyes are what I was referring to.  Some of you suggested I do colonial knots instead.  I had never even heard of colonial knots but I looked up how to do them & fell in love with them!  

And that's all for today folks.  I think I will go make myself a cup of peppermint tea.  I've heard that peppermint tea will settle your stomach.  Me & my tummy sure hope so.