Friday, November 28, 2008

PIG Update

I can't believe how long I've neglected PIG. By my best estimate, it has been well over a year since I've worked on it. The last photo of it was dated June 23, 2007.

I finally got back to work on it this past week. I didn't have a lot of stitching time, but did manage to make a little bit of progress on it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Better Late Than Never

As promised, a pic of the beautiful Halloween bellpull that I received in a recent exchange. I should have posted this well before Halloween, but I'm not doing so well at keeping up with these things lately.

This little bellpull is so cute that I really hated to put it away. Unfortunately, the Christmas decorations will be coming out very soon, and Halloween might look a little out-of-place then.

I also finally put the finishing touches on my JBW pumpkin pillow. I purchased the pillow and pattern at Hershey in 2006. The pumpkin was stitched not long after and has been sitting in a drawer awaiting finishing. The finishing on this was unbelievably easy and made me wonder why I let it linger for so long.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Where has the time gone?

I keep promising myself that I'm going to update my blog, and I keep breaking that promise. I seem to have gotten out of the blogging habit. The result is that I haven't updated anything here in more than a month. I also haven't been keeping up with reading the blogs that I've always enjoyed so much. I've been distracted by a lot of things, not the least of which has been Facebook. I found myself spending more and more time fiddling around with more and more useless applications. I finally got fed up with myself, and deleted most of them.

So, here I am... playing catch-up in blog-land.

Besides not doing much blogging, I also haven't done much stitching. That must change! I did manage a bit of Halloween stitching for an exchange. The design is Stitchy Witchy from Brooks Books. I also received a lovely exchange gift, but I am going to save that for another post. It's so nice that it deserves its own space-- don't want it to get lost in the clutter of my rambling.

While the sewing machine was out, I also made a bunch of tuck pillows. I've never made any before, but found that I really enjoy making them. I think this may be my new addiction! Two of these were for my Halloween exchange partner.

Speaking of Halloween...

The world's most tolerant dog! I know that most of the goofy dog clothes and costumes are really geared for tiny dogs, but I couldn't resist dressing Sadie up for Halloween. I was hoping she could be the "greeter" for Halloween night, but we only had one trick-or-treater. >:(

My current stitching project is an ornament for an exchange. It goes in the mail at the end of this week, so I need to get working! As usual, I managed to bite off a bit more than I can chew with this one. Sometimes, it's the finish (like deciding that the Halloween bag simply MUST be lined). This time, it's the actual stitching. The design looks simple-- because it is-- but it is all done over one, and there are a LOT of stitches in it. It's cute, though. I'm really excited about it and hope that my partner will like it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Mischief Maker

Little Sanford continues to thrive, and he is becoming a one-cat wrecking crew. Seriously. It sounds like there's construction going on in our master bathroom at night. He's very sweet and endearing, but he gets into EVERYTHING. Today, he found a basket of needlerolls. They were up high, well out of kitty's reach, but somehow, he got to them.

Oh, and the bits of debris that are on the floor around him are remnants of a potted plant that he attacked before his Great Needleroll Discovery.

Integrating him into the household with the other animals is coming along slowly. Zoe, our oldest and crankiest cat, is distinctly unimpressed. You might even say she's p***ed. Buddy isn't exactly thrilled either, but he's holding his temper a bit better. Sadie, however, is Sanford's new best friend. He chases after her non-stop and we're amazed at how tolerant she has been.

I had a stitching finish last week, but I'm not able to share. It's for a fall/Halloween exchange. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, but am unsure exactly how I will finish it. I have a few ideas, though.

Friday, September 12, 2008

More Updates

During my blogging hiatus, I actually did complete some stitching. One of the projects that I was particularly pleased with is this ornament, which I stitched for a Christmas in July ornament exchange. It is from one of the JCS ornament issues from years past.

I found the finishing fabric before I started stitching. I wanted to choose it first, figuring that it was easier to find an overdyed floss to go with a specific fabric, rather than doing it the other way around.

The stitching was easy, but the finishing itself was a challenge. It shouldn't have been difficult, but I am absolutely convinced that the instructions in JCS weren't quite right. When following their measuring and marking instructions, I ended up with a flap that was way too short to hit the correct place when folded over. Naturally, I discovered this *AFTER* I had already cut the stitched piece per the faulty instructions. >:( From there, I improvised.

I also had trouble finding a button to finish the ornament. It was impossible to find anything in stores out here, so I ended up going through my large collection of antique buttons. Luckily, I found just the thing. All I had to do was clean it up... a LOT.

My current WIP is Souvenir Sampler. At the time I started it, I was bored to death with neutral fabric colors. Instead of the recommended neutral, I chose a pretty 36 ct. Edinburgh linen from Silkweaver that was in my stash. The fabric is actually a lovely pale green... not that it looks that way in the photo. I really need to remember to take pictures in better light. LOL I'm using DMC rather than the called-for silk floss and tweaked the colors just a bit, so that they would go with my chosen fabric.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Has it really been so long??

It seems as though I haven't posted anything here since the end of June. It's now September. Where did the time go? Way too much has happened since then to bother posting about it all now. Lots of work on the soap business-- which, by the way, appears to be causing me a bit of plumbing issues. It seems that my garbage disposal (new, just installed in December) does not care for the lye solutions that occassionally get poured into my sink. Expensive lesson, yes, but cheaper than what it was going to do to my pipes if the disposal didn't corrode. Ouch!

The kitchen plumbing issues have me seriously considering having the garage converted to a soap lab. I don't think there would be too much plumbing work to do, and it already has gas heat and cable. Not a bad idea, but we'd need to clear a LOT of stuff out of there first. So, I think that is a bit off in the future, and I'll need to find a way to dispose of my soap bits and lye that does not involve pouring things into my kitchen sink. Sigh...

In the meantime, I finished stitching Tradewinds! I'm so happy with the way that this turned out.

There's some other stitching going on, as well as other crafty stuff, but I think I will save that for another post. ;)

In other news-- Sadie rescued a kitten... sort of. BF had been hearing odd cries outside for several days, but we couldn't locate the source. We were afraid that something was injured. So, I brought out the hound (on a leash, of course), and she led us directly to a tiny little kitten. It was frightened and gave us a hard time in trying to catch him. But, catch him we did. It was a good thing, too, as the poor thing was half starved and had some kind of respiratory infection.

The poor thing was wheezing horribly and frightened out of his mind. Eventually he calmed down, and was very happy to have some food and kitten milk replacement. Two vet visits, assorted antibiotics, shots, prescription kitten food, and countless hours of nursing the poor little creature has produced a more robust and healthy kitty.

And yes, we're keeping him. We named him Sanford.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I originally started this blog to keep track of my stitching projects. I'm bored with it. Not with the stitching, but with the blog itself. It feels like I'm writing about the same ol' thing every time I post. Perhaps it was a reflection of life at the time of the blogs inception. At the time, I was working a regular Monday through Friday job, doing about half of that viat telecommuting, so my days were all pretty much the same.

And then it all changed.

I quit my job, moved back to my hometown in the "country" and filled my days with things more fulfilling than work. My life changed, but my blog didn't. It's time that this blog caught up with the rest of my life. With that in mind, I'm going to make some changes. I'm not entirely sure at this point what those changes may be. There will still be stitching (of course!!), but I will also focus on some of my other interests.

In the meantime, I do have some stitching to share! First up is my Itty Bitty America by Twisted Threads. I finished the stitching ages ago, but only assembled it last week. I'm really pleased with the way this turned out. The backing fabric was already in my stash, but I really had to search to find the navy blue trim.

I also completed two LHN pieces-- Pumpkins and Peaches.

I have mixed feelings about Peaches. It's a cute design, but the colors don't show up very well on the fabric. The color of the cats doesn't show up on lighter fabric, and the brown disappears on anything darker. It would have worked better on a color (floss toss was nice on Twilight Blue), but I'm doing the entire set of these, and I want them all on neutral fabrics. I originally planned to do them all on the same color. Unfortunately, that simply isn't possible with the Crescent Colors threads. Speaking of the threads, I am unimpressed with Crescent Colors-- there simply isn't enough color variation. These kits were my first exposure to these threads, and I won't be purchasing them in the future. I much prefer GAST or Weeks for overdyed cottons.

There's lots more to report on, but I have other things to do today. Most importantly, I need to watch Wimbledon, which I have been devoted to for the past week. VAMOS RAFA!!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Flosslady Original

Okay, so it isn't stitching. But it is an original, by me.

I've been on a scone kick recently, and I decided that I needed some with cinnamon and toffee chips. I didn't have a recipe, but I've made enough scones this year that I was pretty sure I could do it by "feel". Sure enough, it worked! In fact, they turned out so good that I thought I'd share my new recipe.

Cinnamon Toffee Scones

2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter
1 c. toffee chips (Heath bits, usually found on the baking aisle)
1 egg. slightly beaten
1/2 c. buttermilk
Cinnamon Sugar (you can purchase this premade on the spice aisle, or
mix up your own to taste)

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder,
baking soda, and salt. Cut butter into pieces and add to food
processor; pulse until coarse crumbs form. Transfer mixture to a
large bowl and stir in toffee chips.

In a small bowl, mix buttermilk and eggs. Add egg mixture to dry
ingredients and stir just until dough forms. The dough will be
sticky, but should be firm enough to handle. If not, just add a tiny
bit more flour.

Lightly flour your hands and work surface. Divide dough in half and
form into two balls. Place both on the prepared baking sheet and
flatten until they are about 1" thick. Use a large knife to divide
each round into 6 wedges, but leave the wedges in place. Sprinkle
the tops with cinnamon sugar mixture and bake for 20-25 minutes,
until the tops are firm to the touch.

Scones can be served plain or with sweetened whipped butter. To
make: soften 1 stick of butter, add a bit of vanilla (1/2 tsp.
maybe?) and confectioners sugar (about 1/4 c.?) and whip with a
mixer. I don't have exact measurements for the butter, because I
generally mix it to taste and add whatever I'm in the mood for...
honey, GFIC coffee drink powders, etc.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Have You Ever?!!

Have you ever been so close to the end of a project that you can literally imagine it in a frame and hanging on your wall, but you just can't seem to finish it? That's the point where I am right now with Tradewinds. You wouldn't believe how close I am to a finish and yet I just... can't... get on with it. It's the first time in a while that I truly feel like I've lost steam on this project. I'd share a photo, but I'm singularly unmotivated today and don't feel like fooling around with the technology.

In the meantime, I got a BIG shipment of candle supplies today. Up to this point, I've only played at making candles. I've been getting a lot of requests for them, though, and have decided to try my hand at making some for sale. So, there is a giant box of soy wax sitting in my den, along with new fragrances, piles of wicks and oodles of containers for the candles.

Little Miss Sadie Mae had a "doggie spa day" this morning. She badly needed a bath, and I didn't really want to do it myself. I did that once, and it was a lot of trouble. My tub is set up for people, not animals, which means lots of bending and stooping, plus a ton of clean-up afterward to make the room fit for human use again. So off we went to the groomer this morning for a bath and assorted aromatherapy treatments. She loves to be fussed over, so I'm sure she was delighed with all of the pampering. I heard that she especially enjoyed the blueberry facial. LOL

I promise some pictures with my next post. I've got several FUFOs that I'm working on, plus a few other things to share. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm Back... sort of

I spent a good part of today trying to get all of the hardware and such re-installed on this stupid computer. This is NOT how I want to spend my time!! When I wasn't busy with that, I was busy trimming and cleaning soap for packaging. It's the not-so-fun side of having a soapmaking business. I'm horribly behind with all things soapy, so at this point, I really don't have a choice. Well, I guess I do, but part of being your own boss in a tiny two-person operation means that you have to do everything, whether you feel like it or not. So, I spent my morning scraping soap. Ugh.

Yesterday was two weeks since Sadie had her surgery. What a difference a fortnight makes! :) She was back to her old self and ready to have her stitches out, which we took care of this morning. She has healed nicely and it was an extremely quick procedure at the vet's office to have the stitches removed. We celebrated the event by stopping by the local doggie salon & spa to make an appointment for early next week. We couldn't bathe Sadie until after the stitches came out, and she is... How shall I say it? "Ripe." Seriously, I can smell her from the other end of the sofa. :^o

Stitching-wise, I was able to put a bit of time into Tradewinds over the weekend. The French Open finals were on, and tennis tournamnets always translate into stitching time for me. This one was no exception.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Back Again

Did you hear the big CRASH coming from my little corner of the internet? It was the sound of our laptop going belly-up. We hauled it to a repair shop, and they confirmed that the hard drive was fried.

The laptop is home now and is functioning well. The only problem is that we've lost EVERYTHING that was on the old hard drive... including all of my stitching progress photos. I still have most of them on my camera cards, but I will need to reload all of them onto the laptop. Before I can do that, I need to install the camera software. So for now, I don't have any updated photos to share.

Most of my stitching efforts have been devoted to Tradewinds. I'm getting very near the finish line on this one. Wish I could share a pic, but that will have to wait!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Sunday Stitching

I whipped up a little project yesterday, "All You Need is Love" by Sweetheart Tree. The design called for silks that I didn't have on-hand, and I couldn't see buying all of them for something this tiny. So, I converted the colors to DMC that was already in my stash. I'm not sure what the original is supposed to look like, but I suspect my color choices were a bit brighter.

I'm hoping to use this as a tin topper for this month's finishing challenge, provided that it is the correct size. I don't have any tins in the house, so we'll have to get some Altoids to find out. ;)

Thanks for the comments on the animals. Zoe's mother was a purebred chinchilla. It's strongly suspected that the father was a Maine coon, but we don't know for sure. She definitely has the Maine coon coat. You know... a double coat that is a horrendous pain in the summer because she sheds horribly and has a tendency to develop mats. And yes, she is chatty! She starts her squawking first thing in the morning, voicing her list of demands, which begins with "pick me up... NOW" and moves on to "worship me, you peasants". LOL I wish I could get a better picture of her, but she really doesn't like cameras. The result is that she is always scowling and looks p***ed off in just about every photo. She's not really as cranky as she looks. ;)

Sadie is getting over her dramatic phase, but I'm sure it will return next week when I have to take her back to the V-E-T to have the stitches removed. Oh, what fun!!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Tough Week

I haven't been particularly busy, but I also haven't had time to do much. How did that happen? Well, Sadie had to go to the V-E-T this past Tuesday to be spayed. Most of my free time since then has been devoted to nursing the poor girl. At her first vet visit, the vet warned me that beagles tend to be "drama queens" when it comes to things like surgery. She wasn't kidding!

As far as I can tell, Sadie's surgery and recovery has been perfectly normal, but she has demanded a LOT of attention. The first day or so was absolutely miserable, for her and for me. She was on pain meds, but was still clearly uncomfortable. It has improved quite a bit since then, although she continues to be rather clingy and needy. She also can't go on any car rides until the stitches come out (in another 8 or 10 days). She doesn't like this one bit, as car rides are one of her very favorite things.

I've gotten some stitching done this week, but don't have any photos to show for it. Tradewinds got a little attention... not enough to photograph, though. The only real progress I made this week was on a Christmas ornament. I completed the stitching on Friday, but can't show a picture of it, because it is for an exchange. I still need to put it together, along with a bunch of other projects in the FUFO pile.

Since there are no stitching pictures to share, here's a gratuitous kitty photo. The box had been used to move a few things from my condo to the house, and little Zoe took possession of it before we had a chance to get it out of the room. She likes it so much that we've just left it where it is. Maybe she'll tire of it eventually, but for now, we have a new "cat box" in the den. LOL

And of course, I can't resist posting a photo of Sadie with her favorite toy. She doesn't know that it's meant for the cats. LOL

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Their Song Chart Update

Rosa in Iceland was the first to email me about this chart. It will be on the way to its new home this week.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Dance!!

I finished Their Song this morning! I was expecting to finish this on Friday, or at least over the weekend. I was so close that it really didn't need much work. But life (read: "gardening and animals") got in the way and I didn't have time or energy to stitch until this morning.

This was such a fun stitch that I put everything else on hold and worked obsessively on it until it was completed. I rarely stitch anything straight through like that, unless it is something tiny. If you would like to stitch this, send an email to me at flosslady99 @, and I will be happy to pass the pattern along.

With Their Song completed, I plan to get back to work on Tradewinds and Adia, plus a few small things that I want to start. I need to spend some time clearing out a few FUFOs, too.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A New Project

Joanie was kind enough to pass along her pattern for "Their Song". It arrived a week or two ago (I've totally lost track of time recently) and I couldn't wait to start it. I went through my stash and found a lovely piece of fabric for it-- Antique Gold 36 ct. Edinburgh from Silkweaver. After selecting fabric, I set about pulling threads. I changed the colors just a bit, so that they would show properly on the fabric. I started on Monday, and here's what I have so far.

I really don't like the way this photographed. It's so pretty IRL, but doesn't look so great here. The photos I took of Adia today aren't much better.

Speaking of Adia, that project got a few beads recently. That's about the only thing that is left on this project, and it is slow going.

Here's how she looked before my most recent beading session.

Sadie is still settling in. We've had a few "accidents" since bringing her home. I do believe that she is house trained, but I don't think that I've gotten the right schedule for her yet. (Obviously. LOL) This is made worse by the fact that she gets very distracted when she goes outside. There are so many new things to see and smell! We got a kennel for her a few days ago, and that has helped quite a bit.

She's still learning about her new home, and has started to investigate her "room mates", also known as The Cats. This has been entertaining for me, but I'm not sure the animals are finding it quite so humorous. We've also discovered that Sadie likes to open our mail... with her teeth. She chewed up part of an envelope today. Fortunately, it was junk mail and not anything we needed. I'd hate to call the phone company and explain that the dog ate our bill. LOL

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My First Biscornu... and a note on the cardinal nest

I completed the second piece of stitching, Green Moroccan Tile from BH&G, this week. Both designs were stitched on 28 ct. colonial blue lugana, with "Waterfall" floss from Carrie's Threads. This was my first time using these threads, and I must say that I really like them. The variegation is nice and there were no tangling issues. I only have a few of these threads, but I will definitely be getting more of them.

With the stitching completed, I immediately got started on the finishing. It was really easy. I understand now why other stitchers say biscornus can be so addicting.

As for the cardinals, I think the eggs must have hatched, but I haven't actually seen the babies. The nandina bush that contains the nest has gotten a bit thicker since I photographed the eggs, and it's nearly impossible to see anything now. Getting a view of the nest at this point would require too much disturbance for the birds. I have seen both the female and the male back and forth a lot around the bush, bringing food for their offspring.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Meet "Sadie"

She's the newest member of our family. I brought her home from the pound on Tuesday, when I went in to drop off some blankets that we were donating to the shelter. I had been planning to get a puppy, and they didn't have any, so I thought it would be "safe" to go there that day. Wrong! I was just going to look at the dogs, but the instant I got to this one's cage, I thought "that's my dog!" It wasn't a puppy (she's 2 years old), but I was sure it was supposed to be MY dog. The big concern was how she would work out with my cats, so the shelter workers took her into the room where all of the kitties are kept... no reaction whatsoever. The only time she paid any attention was when one hissed at her, and she scrambled away as fast as she could. :)

Sadly, this poor little dog has been at the pound before and was adopted. Apparently, she got loose a couple of times and was recently picked up, but her family didn't want her back. :( She's well socialized though, and was clearly treated well, except for the fact that at two years old, she still hadn't been spayed. (We'll be "fixing" that in two weeks.)

She has done extremely well with our cats, and oddly enough, they've done quite well with her. They've never actually encountered a dog before, so they didn't know quite what to make of her. They don't seem afraid, just a little cautious, and I think with time that they may actually become friends. She doesn't bite or chew, and hardly barks. The only "negative" we've noticed so far is that she loves to dig. But, she's a beagle mix, so we expected that.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Tradewinds Update

I haven't worked on Tradewinds in a week or so, but it has been even longer than that since I've posted an update. During my last Tradewinds stitching session, I completed the ship's compass.

I've also made some progress on the biscornu for May's Monthly Finishing Challenge. I completed the stitching for the first side last week. The design is Orange Moroccan Tile, a freebie from BH&G.

Side two will be the "Green" tile from the same series. I'm stitching them with "Waterfall" floss from Carrie's Threads. The fabric is 28 ct. Colonial Blue lugana.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Brace Yourself!

I have a feeling this is going to be a long & rambling post. Lots to share today. LOL

Thanks for the comments and emails regarding the "Family Heirlooms" question. I knew I couldn't be the only one who didn't really have immediate family to pass these things on to. ;) I do have members of the extended family who would probably be delighted to have my stitching, and of course, there are always my stitching friends.

I also realized that I posted a pair of assembled needlerolls and neglected to give any design details. So, I'll try again...

The one on the left is Pansy Sampler, by Victoria Sampler. I finished it some time ago, but the assembly was on hold until I could find something to line the hardanger area with. The one on the right is Little Gift Sampler, a freebie by Indigo Rose. It was a recent finish.

Speaking of FUFOs, I finished another one today. This is a Sweetheart Tree heart that I stitched ages ago. At my used-to-be LNS, there once was a little Christmas tree decorated with all of the Sweetheart Tree hearts stitched and sewn into ornaments. The patterns were on little cards that didn't have photos, so this tree really helped to sell those designs. I collected most of them, but have only stitched two so far. This one was meant to be a Christmas ornament, until I found a little heart-shaped box at a craft store that looked about the right size. It was perfect!! Unfortunately, I only got one of the boxes. :( I may look for more of these, but I'm not sure I'll be able to find them.

I finished the box using coordinating paint colors and simply dabbing it on randomly. It took some time to get it just right, but I'm quite happy with the end result.

The last of the tulips are blooming. The blooms on the doubles are so large and heavy that they fell over. Can you believe this is a TULIP blossom?

Happy Generation is also in bloom. It's the one with the red stripe. Daydream is fading, but a few are still holding on. I've really enjoyed watching the colors change on that one. I really need to find more bulbs for these and the doubles this fall.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

SBQ - 4/30/08

This week's SBQ is from Jennifer:

Do you have any pieces that you would liked passed on to future
generations as family heirlooms?

Well, yes... all of them!! Everything I've stitched, or that has been stitched for me, has a special significance to me. That said, I don't that any of them will become family heirlooms. I don't have children... and I'm not going to have them in the future. And I have no siblings, which means no nieces or nephews. I do have a very large extended family, though, and some of them may appreciate my stitching after I'm gone.

I just hope none of my stitching ends up at a yard sale.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

More FUFOs!

I recently joined the Monthly Finishing Challenge blog, and it has already had a great effect on my FUFO pile. This month's challenge was needlerolls. I had already completed two just before joining the blog, so I felt that I should do at least one more. Doing "just one more" led to doing three more.

These were the last of the pieces in my FUFO pile that were designated to be finished as needlerolls. Now, if I want another needleroll, I'll need to stitch it! :)

May's finish is supposed to be a biscornu. I've never done one of these, and I don't think I have anything stitched that will fit the bill. So, I'll be stitching one soon. It's a finishing technique that I've wanted to try for a while, so I think it will be fun. I'm not sure yet if I will pull a freebie pattern from the internet, or if I might go ahead and design something original. I haven't spent nearly enough time designing since leaving work, so maybe this will be a good opportunity.

I had a nice surpise a couple of days ago. For the third time in a week, I had a female cardinal fly out of one of the nandina bushes as I was making my "rounds" through the flower beds. Detecting a pattern, I decided to do a bit of very careful nosing around. Yep, it's spring, and the cardinals are making new birds. :)

I couldn't quite tell if there are 3 eggs or 4, but as of yesterday, they haven't yet hatched. I'm able to see the nest from inside our sunroom, so we're able to watch without disturbing the little mama.

MY babies are doing quite well! The garden still doesn't look like much, but the bits that I've planted there are growing and appear to be happy.

Friday, April 25, 2008


The laptop is currently out of town with BF, which means I can't post any stitching progress. So, I'll share some gratuitous flower pictures instead. ;) I had excellent results with the bulbs that I planted last fall-- 100% success! They're blooming in stages, so we've had continuous color ever since the first crocus peeked through the ground.

One of the first tulips to bloom this year was Fosteriana "Red Emporor". The petals of these were so shiny that it made the flowers difficult to photograph. I did the best I could, but had to do it in a hurry. Then, we got a lot of rain, and the blooms were ruined before I could take more pics.

"Orange Emporor" came next, followed by a Darwin hybrid "Daydream". Funny thing about "Daydream"... it has turned sort of orange. It was a sunny yellow when I took the photograph below, but the color has changed considerably as the bloom has matured. I'll need to take another photo, if the rain we're getting doesn't ruin them first.

These are more Darwin hybrids, but I can't remember their name.

Gardening chores are multiplying quickly around here. I'm exhausted from it most of the time, but the results are worth it. The weed patch is slowly starting to look more like a garden. I got the tiller out the other day and worked on another row. Ordinarily, we would have worked the soil for the entire garden at one time, but it was neglected for so long that we can only manage it piecemeal. I doubt we'll get it entirely back into shape this year, but at least we're making progress.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

SBQ - Week of 4/23

This week's SBQ is from Christine:

How do you handle blended threads? Do you kit the blends up before you start a piece, or do you grab what colors you need and blend when the need arises? If you kit up the blends beforehand, how do you store them? Do you have another option for blends to share?

I blend the threads when I need them. If it is a project with a lot of different floss, I put the threads into Floss-Away bags by number and pull from there as needed.

For projects that have a lot of blends, like Tradewinds, I create a sheet with all of the blend symbols. Then, when I don't use a full length of a given blend, I can "park" the threads in the sheet of paper. It saves a bit of time on projects where I need to change threads frequently.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My "To Do" List

Sometimes, I need a reminder...

Completed April 20, 2008
Design: Big Girl Panties
Designer: Janlynn Kit
Fabric: replaced the 14-ct. aida with 28-ct. something-or-other from my stash
Floss: DMC

This has been such a busy week. I'm exhausted from it, and even managed to sustain very minor (but painful) injuries in what could only be described as a freak accident. A large glass measuring cup fell, hitting me in the head before landing on my thumb. It would be funny if it wasn't so painful. >:( Nothing serious, but painful enough that it disrupted my sleep last night. So, instead of throwing a pity party for myself, I finished BGP. Much better! LOL

I'm also feeling very pleased with myself for a "work" acheivement today. I *finally* got around to trying the new body cream formula that I've been working on. I still have a hard time thinking of these things as "work", but I suppose that's what it is. The cream is a basic Shea & Cocoa butter and jojoba oil combination, lightly scented with lavender essential oil. It's really thick, which is what I was going for. It turned out GREAT, if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

FUFOs and Gardening

Spring has definitely "sprung" here. The daffodils have mostly faded, except for a few strays. Our poor little gnome is looking a bit beaten. The oddly-painted concrete yard art isn't really my thing, but my mom had a few of them, so they sort of came with the house. I guess I'll need to touch-up some of the paint this year, before they look any worse.

I did a bit of planting this morning, starting with this "Bag o' Blooms" kit that I picked up at Wal-Mart a while back. I'm not sure it's going to work... the plants in the kit looked pretty sickly. But, I just had to know. It will be a fun experiment, if nothing else.

Experiment #2 for today was rhubarb. I remember my dad growing it when I was a kid, and I don't think it was particularly difficult or demanding. I got a pair of roots and we've planted them behind the garage. The next task will be finding or making space for tomato and pepper plants. I went a little overboard in my seed starting. I didn't really expect them to grow so successfully, so I planted lots of them. We currently have 72 tomato plants (4 varieties), and around 100 assorted peppers, both sweet & hot. There's no way that we'll have the time or energy to make space for all of these plants. And if we did, we'd have to open a farm stand at the end of the driveway. LOL

The weed patch is slowly starting to look more like a garden. It has suffered so badly from neglect over the last several years that it is going to take a LOT of work to get it back into shape. This year's garden is mostly experimental, more learning experience than actual garden. We're feeling pretty successful even now, just for having cleared some of it off and setting a few tiny plants in.

Stitching has been practically non-existent this week... too much other stuff to do. I did manage to hemstitch a couple of needlerolls, which I assembled this morning. Two less projects in the FUFO pile. YAY!!!