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