My Wishlist

I will obviously be adding and/or deleting as I either get something, find something else I want, or change my mind.

Cross Stitch Kits
Mickey Sketch

Lanarte (Spring 2009):
Ballet Silhouette 1-4

Cross Stitch Patterns
Bent Creek:
Photobooth Snowmen

Passione Ricamo:
Little Christmas Angels
The Fairy Queen
A Christmas Spirit

Nora Corbett Designs:
All of the Christmas Couriers
Santa's Sleigh

Teresa Wentzler:
Needle Guardian
Miniature Autumn Sampler
Miniature Winter Sampler
Knotwork Bookmarks I and II
Castles by the Sea
Delightful Dragon Scissor Fob
Medieval Miniature
Celestial Sun
Sun Dragon
Tropical Dream

Margaret Sherry Collection:
Calendar Cats All Together
Moo Moo Moo
Bee My Friend

Just Nan:
Floral 15 with embellishments

Cat's Whiskers Design Studio:
Victorian Memories Chaise Lounge
Garden Chair

HeartBreak House:
Watercolor Tulips
Watercolor Pansies
Watercolor Daffodils

Amy Bruecken Designs:
Say Anything Alphabet

Cross Stitch for Photo Frames

Barbara Ann Richter:
A Treasure of Jewish Cross Stitch
Medieval Nativity (Treasures in Needlework 1.4 1992)
Medieval Manuscript I (CCCC Jan/Feb 1990)
Medieval Manuscript II (CCCC Sept/Oct 1991)

Patterns from New Stitches Magazine:
Henry VIII
Catherine of Aragon
Anne Boleyn
Jane Seymour
Anne of Cleves
Katherine Howard
Elizabeth I
Mary Queen of Scots


Red Barn Collections:
Snowman Sampler

Any and all Delica beads!

From johnnealbooks.com:
Century turned pen holder
Copperplate Nib Sampler
Copperplate practice pad
Century Oblique Holder
Spenserian practice pad
Learning to Write Spenserian Script
Elizabeth I: Her Life in Letters

Stamps Happen:
Camelot Alphabet
Celtic Alphabet
Camelot Borders
Celtic Knot Borders

Penny Black:
Angel Cat

I was thinking...

about making a stitching/crafting/calligraphy/beading/etc wishlist. Not that I'm going to be buying much stash for a while, as I have everything I need to finish my stitching goals for the year (with the occasional need for random floss for ornaments).

But everyone else seems to have a wishlist, and I would love to sit and stare and daydream over the yummy goodies on my list. I WILL make an attempt to be frugal, but...I have OCD and have a tendency to overcompensate when I'm depressed.

The positive side of making a wishlist is that when someone asks me what I want, I can direct them to the wishlist...um...YEAH!

Hopefully, I can just LOOK at the stuff I want, and buy once in a while as a treat for finishing a goal. Or, it could go the other way...

...and I'll end up with MORE stuff I don't really need...sheesh!


I hope everyone...

had a safe and happy Christmas yesterday! My girls didn't get much this year, but they were thrilled with what they did get. Aislin is only 4, but Alyssa is so understanding and mature when it comes to knowing that Mommy can't afford much right now.

I have been fighting a migraine all night. After all the presents were opened yesterday, we were sitting and watching a movie Alyssa got, and a migraine hit me so suddenly that I thought I was having a stroke. For those of you who get migraines, it was the type that no type or amount of medication makes it go away, and if you even blink your head throbs. I hate it when my head throbs with my pulse. It makes me want to put a gun to my head, it was that bad.

I still have it, though it's not throbbing. If I sit still and not move too much then it's ok. Although my neck hurts from having to sleep sitting up.

I decided to make resolutions for the new year, which is odd because I NEVER make resolutions. I have tried to make resolutions before, like quit smoking or lose weight or finish a project. I know my limitations, and I know that I will never follow through with them. I always had good intentions, but well...I'm a procrastinator. And let's face it, when the kids are in bed, I'm a lazy ass. Plus I get bored with my projects and always have a desire to start something new. But this year I'm going to try to make time.

So these are my resolutions for 2008:

Stitching Related
1. Finish Guardian, which is my longest running TW wip.
2. Finish Desiderata, which I just started.
3. Finish my neice's birth sampler by her 1st birthday in May.
4. Stitch 1 ornament a month.
5. Join the local EGA and go to the meetings/stitch ins. There's a chapter right here in town! I need a night or two a month to myself.

Work Related
1. Teach at least 1 class a term with UOP online.
2. Pick up at least 1 more freelance editing job.
3. Get my beading and calligraphy businesses up and going. My brother-in-law really needs to send me the logo that he designed for my beading business. I have a logo and business card designs for the calligraphy, I just need a brochure to go to the local stationary stores. The websites also need to be designed. Obviously, right now this won't be a full-time thing, but one day I hope that I won't have to work full time, and I can just freelance and have my businesses.

1. Continue in my dance class. I'm having a blast in there and I can feel my muscles getting stronger.
2. Join a gym. There's 1 here in town that's only $10 a month. I think I can afford that. I was also told that a good exercise regime consists of a mixture of cardio (dance) and muscle training (weights).
3. Lose 20 pounds. It seems I can't write that without laughing for some reason!
4. Pay off 2 credit cards.
5. Save at least $5000 by the end of the year (not including what I get back in taxes).
6. Probably the most important of all: Have at least 2 Alyssa-only dates a month. She feels resentful sometimes that Aislin takes up so much of my time. So even if it means that Alyssa and I go to the movies, or out to dinner, or to her favorite store, or whatever, I'm going to make time for just us two.

I think that's it. It seems like a really tall order when I read back over it, and I think I may have to adjust it in places as the year progresses. There's only so much I can do when I work full time, and freelance, and have kids to take care of. I wonder if I'm asking too much of myself?

I guess we'll find out at the end of 2008.


We saw Santa...

and Alyssa actually sat on his lap. She refused for the last couple of years, but I told her I would probably be asking her to when she's an old lady.

I think the picture turned out really nice and cute:

So anyway, I finally finished my mom and sister's ivy bowl snowmen, after...2...3(?) years. They take forever to do, just because of the painting. Plus, you have to sew a couple of seams on the little hat. And since I'm so great at sewing, I put it off as long as possible.

I feel a little down today. I love Christmas, but I always get depressed around the holidays for some reason. I should be excited because my kids are excited. It's hard to explain I guess, but I get mad at myself because there is no reason at all why I should be depressed.

My parents went to visit my sister and her family for Christmas. My brother in law's parents moved back from Indiana, and this is my neice's first Christmas, so I don't blame my sister for wanting all of the baby's family near. Plus, my parents are going to drive down and visit my grandmother, as she is in the hospital riddled with cancer. My dad wanted to see her one last time. I wish I could have gone to say goodbye.

I think my problem lies with my mother. We were talking, and she said that my sister wants to have all the grandparents there for the baby's first Christmas. No problem. The issue is that my mother then said, "Can you blame her?" First of all, my mother missed Alyssa's first Christmas AND her first birthday (they are only 2 weeks apart) because mom was in Saudi Arabia at the time. Not her fault by any means.

Then she missed Aislin's first birthday because she went gambling in Vegas with her friend, and refused to come back one day earlier for the party. Aislin's other grandmother is Jehovah Witness and doesn't celebrate birthdays, so Aislin didn't have a grandma at her first birthday party.

What kills is that my mother's response was that it was Aislin's first birthday and it wasn't a big deal for her to miss it because Aislin would never remember it. So why is it different with my sister's baby? Shouldn't it be the same that Annika wouldn't remember her first Christmas, so what does it matter?

Now don't get me wrong. My parents have not seen their youngest grandchild since she was born in May, and they HAD to go visit my grandmother. I'm happy that they will get to see everyone. I'm just tired of my mother having different ideas for me and my sister. She doesn't even notice that she says these things. She's constantly on my ass about things, but would never dare talk to my sister the way she talks to me.

I'm sure that's most of my depression problem right now. I feel selfish and stupid and immature, but I think after 30 years of my mother doing that has gotten to me.

I know parents aren't perfect and I don't expect them to be...

...but they shouldn't expect their kids to be perfect either.


They're ornamentified!...

meaning they actually look like ornaments now.

Thanks to Sweet Pea for providing me with a link to make braided cord, that actually *looks* like braided cord...and even a blind monkey can do it! Which is great, considering that I was definitely questioning my IQ!

Anyway, first is my dear sister's ornament. As I said in a previous post, it's Teresa Wentzler's Intermediate Whitework Ornament stitched in DMC Color Variations. I did a snazzy fringe-y type thing around it. It actually turned out pretty, even though my stitching skills are really non-existent, and there are some places where I look at this ornament and gag. But my family knows how bad I sew, and they overlook it.

But doesn't the braid look awesome? Yes, I really do have to pat myself on the back, as my first present of the Christmas season is discovering that I can make something that's up to par with what a blind monkey can do!

Next is my darling little neice's ornament. Once again, my lack of sewing skills really came into play on this one. I can barely sew a straight line, and I had to sew an oval! EGAD! It was a total nightmare. It's a good thing no one can see the side where it was hand stitched together after being stuffed!

And yes, I made the cord and tassel myself! I'm not as happy with the cord on this one, but I think it's because of the #4 braid...it didn't want to play nice with the rest of the thread.

So now, I'm going to finish my brother-in-law's and Aislin's dance teacher's ornaments. It's a good thing that my parents are going to visit my sister for Christmas, because I can finish their ornaments for when they get back. So many ornaments...

...so little time!


What is up...

with this crazy weather? Last week it was in the 20s. This week it's in the 70s. Tomorrow we are supposed to get a cold front to come through. But this is definitely NOT Christmas weather!

I finished my sister's ornament and have gotten about 3/4 done on her hubby's. I don't really feel like posting a picture right now. But I'm going to actually finish sister's and my neice's ornaments into actual ornaments sometime today (I hope).

Not much going on other than that. What an exciting life I lead...



Can you hear...

my sighs of frustration? I'm trying to put together my neice's ornament. I bought some fusible webbing to put on the reverse of the front of the ornament to keep the single stitches of braid from coming through the front. Ok so far.

Then, I thought I would be smart and make my own cord and tassel. It's cheaper than buying them, and I can use the threads that are in the ornament. I see other ornaments all the time where the stitcher has made her (or his) own braid and tassel. Genius, right?


It seems that I can't even make the cord. It's a "simple" twisted braid that apparently only people with IQs over 200 can do. I can't get the dang thing to stop twisting up on itself.

I did manage to make a little tassel, but it looks...stupid...I think my little one can do better.

In between working on this stuff, all the while swearing up a storm (I'm so glad no one is home), my Dad's dog decides that today is his day to be really sick. I've been cleaning up runny poop all morning. I finally got out the carpet shampooer and threw the dogs outside. They can stay there.

Anyway, if anyone knows of a source called "Braid and cord making for dummies," would you please pass it along? Meanwhile...

...I need a nap!


I'm happy dancing...

because I actually FINISHED an ornament. Meaning stitched, beaded, put together, and ready to hang on the tree!

It's Christmas Cardinal by Mill Hill.

I think the stitching slump is over, and I'm back into it full-speed ahead! I know this will probably sound silly, but I think I stitched this ornament as a...I don't know...memorial...to my Shadow kitty. I had no desire to do much of anything the last year since she died. I just realized how funny it is...

...to have a bird as a memorial to a cat!


I finished stitching...

my neice's first Christmas ornament, but I have to figure out how I want to put it together. I found some instructions on how to make twisted cord and tassels, but I'm not sure if I want to make a pillow or flat type of ornament. I suppose I'll get a picture up when it's completely finished.

I am working on the first of TW's ornaments for Christmas presents. I started with my sister's, and it's really pretty. The thread that I talked about in a previous post is really nice thread with a good color change. It's subtle but not, if that makes any sense. Anyway, DSis's is in blues and purples. I hope I get them all done before Christmas! I think I have about 7 to do (8 if I do one for myself!).

I was going to answer this week's SBQ on this post, but it's a fairly complicated topic dealing with death (which I don't deal well with at all). So I need to do a great deal of thinking about it, and if I come up with something worth posting, I will.

I have also been on the hunt for an urn plate for my Shadow's urn. I have probably until after the new year to find something because the pottery maker who is designing it is busy with orders for Christmas. But none of the plates that I've seen seem to suit me or do justice to what Shadow meant to me. I would like to have something etched, like a picture of me and Shadow, or just of Shadow herself. But everything I see is so...business-like...and dull. I don't know. Maybe I'm just too picky. If anyone has any ideas please let me know!

Oh, and because I am so dense sometimes I didn't think that designers would take designs off of their sites. So I went through my WIP links and updated them.



I seriously do NOT know...

what is wrong with me. I feel like I can't even follow a pattern anymore.

I put Desiderata away for a bit so I can get some ornaments done. I am doing a baby's first Christmas ornament for my sister's baby, and there's a simple rhodes stitch done in an oval shape. Of course it doesn't line up when I get all the way around. I'm getting seriously concerned about my brain...I don't think I'm processing things the way I should. Either that, or I just can't concentrate because there's so much going on. I'll go with the latter.

I have several ornaments planned for my family. I think I'm going to do TW's Intermediate Whitework Ornament for everyone in different colors of DMC's Color Variations. Instead of just sewing printed fabric to the back like I usually do, I'm going to put the person's name and the year on the back. I hope they look ok, and if I can get started, that would be even better!

The SBQ for October 10th is very interesting:

What for you means to achieve mastery as a stitcher?

Mastery as a stitcher means that a person can do all the stitch types equally well, without having to refer to a diagram for every step. The stitches are neither too tight nor too loose, and they all have the same tension. It also means that a person finishes projects, not necessarily fast finishes, but finishes just the same. Finishing also means framing, making into ornaments or bellpulls, etc. There is a completed, finished product to display, not something that is languishing in drawer or closet. I only know a few people who I would consider master stitchers. Unfortunately...

...I'm not one of them.


I finally started...

Desiderata Sampler after drooling over it for a few years. I'm doing it in DMC except for the Waterlilies and Wildflowers it calls for. Of course, after not stitching for a while, I messed up on the very first stitch in the border around the illuminated G. I did the first rice stitch over 5 threads horizontally instead of 4. At least it was an easy fix, because I hadn't gone all the way around the box yet. But still, what a pain!

I also got a Mill Hill ornament kit. Actually, it's a pin kit, but I make them into ornaments. I love their little beaded kits! It's a Christmas cardinal and has fuzzy stuff to go around the outside. So cute! I'll definitely post a picture when I'm finished...

...that is IF I finish!


And now, the SBQ...

for November 8. I hope to be finding time to catch up on the two years I missed *grin*

When you have to frog out stitches, do you reuse that thread or do you start over with a new strand?

This is an easy one. Unless it is 24 carat gold thread (which it usually isn't) I would prefer to just cut out all the offending stitches and start over. Obviously, the thread is no longer useable, so I just start over with what might have been left over on the length I was stitching with. I have found that in my old age of 37, I have no patience to try to save the thread.

It's been two years...

and I've finally gotten back into stitching and working on my blog. I had a very difficult year. My beloved Shadow died at 16 and I went into a severe depression. It has been over a year now, and I still can't get the hole in my heart to fill up. They say that time heals all wounds, but I feel like I will still feel empty for the remainder of my life.

I haven't been stitching at all. I just haven't had the motivation to even pick up a needle. But I did get the JCS ornament issue for this year, and I think there are a few projects in there that caught my eye. I also started Desiderata, which is something I've been trying to get kitted up for a few years. I have started the rice stitch around the illuminated G, and it was very cathartic to put even a few stitches in.

On the home front, it seems that my baby might have ringworm. Apparently, one of the parents at Aislin's preschool didn't think it was worth telling the teachers that her child was being treated for it. So it cost me 200 dollars for the doctor visit and the medication. So thanks a whole hell of a lot lady...

...I hope your hair falls out.