Friday, February 27, 2009

Old Schoolmarm, That's Me

Yep, that's how I'm feeling today ... like an old, old schoolmarm. It's the end of the work day, and I can't leave school without telling you the kid story of the week. I was with a first-grade group, and Aden was reading to us. I excused myself to jump up and grab a kleenex because I sneezed and my nose started to run (so attractive). Erin asks, "Oh, do you have a cold?" Without missing a beat, Aden answers, "Nah, she's just old." Does it get any better than that? My ego will never be out of control as long as I have first-graders to keep me in my rightful place.

Now the weekend begins! I'm off to have a very adult beverage and a pedicure. Even an old schoolmarm can have fancy toenails.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

And They Sinned and Sinned and Sinned

Before I get started on ATS, I need to answer a question for Jennifer (no blog), who is interested in acquiring the Lo How a Rose chart. Jennifer, go to Staci's blog and try the link she gives on this post. If that doesn't help, please get my email from my profile and send me a note. We'll discuss.

Last night at the folks' house was not just a birthday dinner (with absolutely fabulous red enchiladas and tacos made by Mom), but a true ATS fest. My mom, sister and I all had our samplers in tow so we could examine and compare. First, here's a progress pic for my ATS:

The instructions (I love this design, but I'd really love to edit those instructions) say to use two colors of green and work diagonally to fill in the grass. The diagonal idea just wasn't working for me, so I knew I would fill horizontally. Then I tried the GAST Green Apple, loved it, tried the Shutter Green (I think), and watched parts of the motifs fade into the background. Out came the Shutter Green! So I'm ending up with my sister's choice ... Green Apple it will be. Below is a close-up so you can see what it looks like.

After dinner, we cleared off the big dining table and laid out the samplers. I think I got a pretty good pic, but I'm not sure it's clickable. So sorry if it isn't.

Mom's (Estelle) is on the left (and she started it last Thanksgiving!), Sharri's is in the middle, and mine is on the right. Mom and I are both using lambswool linen, hers in 36-count and mine in 40-count. Sharri's is on an unknown 36-count R&R fabric (which tells you how long ago she bought it). I hadn't realized how much smaller mine is until we had them all together. I love that 40-count fabric. We're all using GAST, and the color differences are really interesting. Even the men in the house were talking about the color differences!
By the way, watching the men (aged 18 to 75) was hilarious. We girls were completely excited, but they didn't get it at all. They looked and tried to appreciate, but they think this stitching thing is just so silly. Go figure ... they like guns. In a rather disgusted voice, my dad said, "It'll probably cost $500 to frame all of those." None of us dared to mention that it'll almost certainly be more than that. Shhhh ... what he doesn't know won't hurt him.
I took a closer picture of Sharri's so you could see the last section. I really wanna catch up. Why? There's no hurry, except that I have a long, long list of can't-wait-to-stitch projects calling my name. And it's not a race, except that I really wanna finish first (not a chance in hell). Mom will probably finish before either one of us. She's not known as Super Stitcher for nothing. So that's the ATS tour. Hope you've enjoyed it. Of course, I'll get a picture when they're all finished so you can celebrate with us. Now I'm off to work on Lo How a Rose because I didn't get to last night. And then tomorrow's Friday!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Good Advice for a "Foblem"

You bloggy girls rock! I got so many sweet compliments and good ideas that I needed to let you know how much I appreciate you all (insert big wet kiss here). Annemarie had the perfect solution to my "foblem" (fob problem that wasn't much of a problem, but this is obsessive stitching, after all). Her suggestion is to use the big fob as a pin cushion and make another smaller one for a scissor weight, making a matching set. How smart! To that end, I made a little call to the Needle in a Haystack girls (love those girls) who are putting a little piece of WDW Seafoam (because the fabric makes the fob) into the mail for me tomorrow. How easy was that?

Because I have the "O" word (obsession for those of you with other things on your minds) and because of the BBD girls (who we all adore), I started searching for crushed walnut shells to stuff my new pin cushion and fob. When I googled said product, I found Sharon's blog, on which I learned all I needed to know about buying bird litter in seven-pound (weight, not sterling) bags. Even though I had an idea about what seven pounds of something would look like, it was still rather shocking, so here's a pic of Merlin (my little old man cat who refused to cooperate as I took his picture ... maybe next time you'll see his face) next to the bag.

Like Sharon, I now have what could be a 20-year supply of pin cushion and fob filler. Since I won't be asking a bird to join Merlin and me at home, I reckon we'll have to get busy producing cute little things that require crushed walnut shell filling. I think I just gave myself permission to acquire more stash! Did you like how I quickly justified future stitching expenditures? Please feel free to use that method at home.

Finally, thanks to Deb who sent me some new friends. It's always fun to meet and visit new bloggy buds.

Tomorrow night we're having a double birthday (sis and nephew) family dinner (yay, Mom), which just might provide a multiple ATS photo op. I'll do my best to get pics. Until then, make some fun!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The "O" Word

I know what you're thinking, but you're wrong. It's not "O" for orgasm (although I could go on about that for a length of time), and (as I've already gone on about in recent posts) it's not "O" for odor. It's the "O" in OCD ... obsessive.

I got a wild hair at about 10 o'clock last night and decided to start something quick and cute, Shepherd Bush's 2009 fob. I'd been stitching on ATS, of course, and I wanted just a little bitty break. Here's a pic of my progress and a few of my pretties, so you can see that I'm a small fob (scissor weight, to me) girl. This cute SB fob is gonna be way too big for my usual stuffed-with-rice kind of fob. I'd already planned to try crushed walnut shells for a filler this time, but at the size this is turning out (ok, I figured out how big the design size was, but I was in denial), it's still gonna be heavy. I like some weight to my scissor weights, but this would be a little too much. I've been resisting the obsessive urge to pull out all the stitching and start over ... over one. Don't get me wrong ... I love Tina's and Teri's designs. I just don't like 30-count over two. So, after several large cleansing breaths, I've decided just to look at it for a day or two and then decide what to do. I'm gonna do a few little over-one practice stitches on the fabric, just to see how they look. It would be really cute over one, and leaving half an inch or so all around the design, I'd end up with about a two-inch square fob. Can you say obsessive? I knew you could! I'll keep you posted, but you can tell that I'm dying to unstitch it, can't you?

On a saner note, here's my progress on Lo How a Rose. I stitched a little on Thursday night and a tiny bit on Friday, because it felt like I was on roll. All letters again! It's kinda fun to think about getting all of the letters done and then having a free-for-all with the flowers.

While ranting about odors the other day, I completely forgot to tell you how much fun I had with my sister Wednesday night. We laughed at everything (it's what we do) for a couple of hours, saw a few old friends, avoided being asked to dance by a man who kept lurking threateningly by our table, and made fun of the pub clientele. That probably sounds mean, but we make the most fun of each other and ourselves, so it's fair.

Back to school tomorrow as the Sprink Break countdown begins ... four weeks to go, which include CSAP testing (a rant always on the tip of my tongue) and parent-teacher conference week, which is brutal. I love time off!