Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What the?

Amazing things really do happen!

First of all, this is my second blog post this week! I used to post every other day so this seems like old times!

Second, how many of you on the east coast felt that earthquake yesterday? Weird! At least for our part of the country!

Third and last but not least, alot of us along the eastern coastline are getting ready for Hurricane Irene. She originally was going to make landfall and possibly come inland like Hugo did. Now they are saying that she made a turn eastward and we may just get a few storms but her arrival is not due here until this weekend so she has plenty of time to change her mind if she wants. And she is a woman (of sorts).

So far now, we are just hanging out and waiting to see what happens next.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday and All is Well

I am stitching again! And more than just a couple of xx's. The Mother's Tree was calling my name but I still had to gather up all my supplies and several WIPs, supplies and all, were in my basket within reach so I pulled out Marianne Wenn. Terri and I had started this back in January as a private SAL. She finished. I didn't. I do love the design. We both made thread conversions. On the borders and dividers, I stayed with my chosen thread colors but on the alphabets, I have been picking up whatever I think it needs for zing. I will say that I am very happy with my color choices so far. I was lazy and did not press it before taking the picture. Bad me.

I am sure you have been able to tell by now that I am notorious for making color changes. Pinks, Purples and some blues just don't set well with me. Pastels in general (except yellow) make me scrunch up my nose. Those are always the first colors I change out but maybe I am beginning to mellow as I grow older because I am thinking I will begin staying with chosen colors for a lot of designs. Pastels and all. Not all of them, mind you, but more than in the past. You can see that on Marianne, I began tucking more pinks in here and there (her original color chart does call for some pinks) so it would not be such a total shock to my system later.

I gathered up my threads and fabric for The Mother's Tree by Lavender and Lace. It is done in two colors. A dark green and a lighter green. Very pretty but I wanted more color. A special piece like this really needs to stand out! Did I just say I was not going to change colors? LOL. In my defense, I am not changing the colors of green. Just adding some new colors in other spots! I need my reds! I think this should be a quick finish. No borders (yea! They are beautiful I but cringe at stitching them) and only one motif at the top. The rest are words and dates.

Last weekend, we made the trip out of town to visit the cemetery and place new flowers on the graves. It was a hard weekend but there was a certain peace to it this year. Last Friday was the forty second anniversary of my mother's death and (the next day) Saturday was the second anniversary of my father's passing. While in my old home town we ate lunch at my very favorite BBQ place. I grew up loving it and when I would visit, my father always made sure I would get big plate of it before we left. The picture is how it looked back when I was a kid. Does that show my age?

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post! I did ramble on making it longer than I had intended. I was asked what DH's hobby is. He has loved astronomy since his youth but he bought the Mag Eyes for his side hobby of model trains.
Thank you for stopping by! I enjoy your visits and comments so much! Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

One Stitcher's Story

A lot of my stitching was done as gifts in the beginning and although I do have pieces hanging in various spots around the house, they just aren't all in one spot (thus looking like fewer). As for the quilts, I do have some. Ones made for me by friends and family, some I have made. Others were used so much by my boys when they were younger that they just gave up the ghost and couldn't take any more naps, picnics, tickle fights or washings. Before the final farewell, I always cut out the good parts to be saved for other projects or just keepsakes of sweet memories. Good enough.

When I was younger and had first started cross stitching, I did a few larger pieces but I mainly focused on smaller designs that I could finish up quickly for gifts. I remember sitting in my bentwood rocking chair (a gift from my dad) and stitching away each evening after DH and I got home from work, ate dinner, did a few household chores and then sat down for the evening as we both worked on our hobbies and caught up on our days. No kids yet. Just us.

Later, the kids came along. I began to stitch on pieces for them. Birth samplers, nite time prayers stitched to hang over their beds and I had to do things about being a mother! The migraines had started to happen before they born and working on any type close work was hard but I finally had children and just had to do some of these.

Then it just got to be too much for me. Each time I began to stitch I could feel the awful headaches beginning so I put down my needle and thread. For 20 years I took up a menagerie of other hobbies to fill the void but I never gave up hope that one day I would be able to return to the hobby that had captured my heart and still held it. At least twice a year, I would pull out my supplies and try to stitch again. It didn't take long for the migraines to start. Sad and frustrated, I would gently tuck it all back in the drawer until I tried again.

Around 8 years ago, I had pulled it all out again only to be disappointed once more. That weekend, DH and I went shopping for some hobby equipment he needed. He found a pair of Mag Eyes and said they were what he needed for his detailed labor of love. Then he said, they might help me and I could stitch again. I told him it was doubtful as I had already tried every magnifier on the market but he put an extra pair in the basket for me anyway. A few days later, I saw them sitting on a shelf and thought "what the heck" so I gathered up my stitching supplies, sat down, took a deep breath and began. As I stitched, I waited for the headache to begin. It never happened! I could stitch again!

By the time I was able to resume, the stitching world had changed so much! So many new designers and wonderful designs to choose from! Even all the new designs in frames were exciting to me. And the fabrics! Linen? I thought linen was for tablecloths but why not try it like everyone else was doing! It made the pieces look even more stunning. I bought a piece of linen and shortly after beginning I felt the headache starting. Oh no! I returned to working my trusty Aida and no more problems! Life was good again.

It didn't take long for me to catch up on the new lingo and catch phrases of stitching, learning about new designers or even building my stash back up. Even computers with online shopping and blogs were new to my stitching world but how neat that I could share it all with other stitchers now. And I just love you all to death! You made a wonderful hobby even better!

Years had passed and my taste in stitching designs had changed just like with so many other things. Since that lucky day, I have found that I prefer the medium to larger designs. No more quickies. Samplers and inspirational pieces are my favorites. Something that touches my soul. Of course I still get those "blocks" when my stitching sits untouched longer than I would like but what's several months compared to those years before.

Some things never change though. I still sit in the evenings with DH as he works on his hobby while I stitch or go through my stash and I still have that cup of coffee (sometimes tea, now) on the table beside my chair! Sometimes I think DH might regret putting that extra pair of magnifiers in the basket for me since I can spend hours and plenty of money on it all but I am still grateful to him for that one spur of the moment action!

Thank you all for stopping by to visit while I tell my story. And thank you for being a big part of my stitching. You bring smiles, encouragement and friendship to my life!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Same ol', Same ol'

The old saying tells us that bad luck comes in three's. So far this summer, our dishwasher has died so for now I am using the old standby method of handwashing in a sink full of sudsy water. Not something I want to do forever and we will get it fixed when we can but for now it has actually been soothing. As I stand at the sink and wash each cup or plate, I am flooded with memories of helping my mother with the same chore when I was younger. She would wash. I would dry. Sometimes I begged to help and other times she had to insist I get in there and do it.

Next on this round of bad luck, we got a flat tire that had to be repaired. We walked in to the tire shop, expecting some outrageous bill that would make us walk away mad and feeling like we had been taken advantage of. After the tire was repaired, we were handed the receipt. No charge. DH and I just looked at each other puzzled. No way. No one does work for free anymore. So we approached the counter and asked if they possibly made a mistake. Nope. They just smiled and said "tell your friends about us". Sure thing, you bet we will!

Bad luck #3 has yet to hit but if it's no worse than #1 and #2 we can say this was a mild round. But wait, maybe it already happened and we just didn't realize it! No harm, no foul.

Moving on to my hunt for family history, I hit a road block on my side of the family for now but found out some wonderful new information for DH's family history! I see a road trip in our near future! I could not wait to tell him all the news. He was just as excited to find it out.

We have another trip to make this month. It will be a hard weekend for me. The anniversary of my parent's deaths. The days fall side by side and I am going to visit the graves, make sure the care and upkeep is being taken of, put out some flowers and while there I always visit with my infant brothers buried just a few steps away. When I was younger, my mother would take me out to the cemetery with her to put flowers on their graves then she would go sit in the car and let me have some alone time to visit with them. I always missed not knowing them and having siblings. Little children commonly have imaginary playmates. Mine were my brothers.

Over the weekend we did our chores and errands. The lawn was mown just in time before a big wave of humidity hit the next day. The grocery shopping was done. No exercise program can beat this task for a good work out! Walking around the store, putting all the bags into car, taking them out and carrying them in then putting them all away when you get home! Stretch, bend, walk, lift weights (heavy bags of food), squat and repeat then fall into your chair totally exhausted and unwind with an ice cold beverage! And since we only shop every other week, we have twice the groceries and twice the workout! The rule of thumb at our house is that mom does NOT cook on grocery shopping day. Everyone fends for themselves. There is plenty of food and they are big boys. Make a sandwich, nuke some leftovers, whatever. Just don't ask me "what's for dinner". But they still do except for DH. He understands. Bless his heart.

Sunday was ours. No chores. No major errands. Just time. Time to sleep in a little later than usual. Time to get online and catch up on some reading or visit some favorite sites. Time to watch a movie. Time for doing absolutely nothing.

The picture posted is one of me and my dad taken years ago but brings back memories for me. Sorry for the lack of pictures again. I promise to make up for it very soon! Thanks for stopping by! Your visits and comments always make my day!