Wednesday, December 7, 2011


And I thought I'd be right back! Honestly, what happens to the days/weeks/months? They just keep flying by, and there's so, so much to do. But I'm here now with some pictures to share.

Like many of you bloggy girls, I start projects and then set them down in favor of working on (usually starting) something else. I've never been very disciplined in my stitching endeavors, maybe because life requires us to be disciplined in other ways, and I need stitching to be fun. Whatever the reasons, here are some of the projects I've put aside to make room for new projects. First up is my Shepherd's Bush Neck Roll Pillow. No, the lace isn't sewn on yet, and this is where I left it last spring ...

... when I picked up the Yellow House Sampler again. It's an old Sheepish Designs piece from long, long ago. Isn't it pretty? I was feeling so great about my progress during the summer ...

... when this came along. I just couldn't resist starting (and foolishly thinking I'd finish) the Ann Wheatley 1829 Sampler, Attic Needlework's summer SAL led by Margaret. It's a NeedleWorkPress beauty stitched on the recommended 40-count Vintage Pearled Barley with Belle Soie silks. She's been a dream to stitch, and stitching with Belle Soie for the first time has made this project truly wonderful. I'm looking at this picture, and I could've sworn that I was farther along. No surprise there, huh?

Sadly, I set her down (sniff) when I figured out that I had not one, but two Shepherd's Bush stockings to stitch for some favorite menfolk this year. I'll show them to you next time. I know, don't any of you hold your breath!

One of the many chores that have kept me busy over the last few months is pictured below. Last summer, I had more wood flooring put into my little townhouse, and then painted the upstairs hallway and stairwell. The latest (and last until next summer) painting project was to update my two-story living room during the week I had off at Thanksgiving. In order to accomplish such a lofty (literally!) goal, it was necessary to rent scaffolding and put it together. Putting it together, with the help of my swain (the man in my life - thanks, Anna, for the suggestions to rename him), was a two-hour Laurel and Hardy film. Luckily, all we have are a few stills. The picture below shows the new color, a brownish taupe against the whitish ceiling and the top of the 12-foot scaffolding.

The most unexpected aspect of the scaffolding was the constant sway, which made me seasick on the first day. The height wasn't difficult to get used to, and we were able to do a great job, if I do say so myself. And my swain? He worked above and beyond the call! What a wonderful man! Not a cross word was exchanged during the exhausting two-day process, but there were many laughs. As we were taking apart the scaffolding (think of very heavy, six-foot, metal pieces), we forgot to hold onto the end pieces. To our horror, they fell away from us, making a perfectly circular hole in one freshly-painted wall, and taking out a chunk of newly-painted mantel. Oh, the naughty, naughty words that were shouted! But then we had to laugh at our own stupidity and get out the spackling. It could've been, should've been, so much worse!

I'm leaving you with my favorite picture of the season. Yep, it's 20-month-old Keagan and three-month-old Blake, Santa's helpers. The only safe way Nikki can get a picture of them side-by-side is to have them lie on the floor. It works pretty well, doesn't it? Although Nikki's are simple pictures, her method reminds me of that woman who puts her baby on the floor and creates incredible scenes around her while she sleeps. Check out her blog

That's Keagan's smile-for-the-camera face. What a little ham we've created! He loves his little brother, constantly offering hugs and kisses. The most wonderful part of my week is walking into their house. Keagan yells HI, runs to me, waits while I set down whatever I'm carrying and take off my coat, then holds up his arms for hugs. Together we find Blake and give him some kisses. Is there a better reward? No way!

I'll be back as soon as I can drag myself back down here to the computer (brrrr, the basement is cold) with pictures of stockings and my plans for WIPocalypse. I know, I just had to sign up for it. Doris, the undisciplined, attempts to pare the project pile.  We'll see what shenanigans follow a stitchy commitment. 'Til later, make some big fun.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

An Update? Really?

Are you surprised yet? I hope someone is, because I am! It's been so long since I updated pictures on my computer that I had forgotten how to do it. Where have all the brain cells gone (sung to the tune of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?")? I used to have some, right up until I went to college ... never mind. Anyway, I was successful at figuring out what I knew a while back, and here are some pics.

Keagan was the recipient of my first baby sweater. Do I have a picture of him wearing it? NO! Nikki has it somewhere, but she's a little too busy to bother right now. All I have is this knitting-complete-but-not-really-finished picture. You'll have to trust that it was finished and Keagan wore it and looked terribly cute (of course). I was amazed at how easy it was to knit. No kidding! I even knitted little button holes that worked. I feel smart every time I look at it!

Socks have been a big item for me since I started knitting, so I have to show you the few pair that I've completed. This first pair are top-down socks made of wool.

By the way, the pair I had started when I left you a year ago (the post before last) were finished and have been worn by the man in my life (there has to be something better to call him) for a year. He wears them and tells everyone that I knitted them. I think that's a good thing.

Next up are some toe-up socks. My first pair of this type worked out pretty well. The yarn is wool and a little bamboo, so they're very soft. They're mine ... heh, heh, heh ... and I'm very happy with them.

The lovely camo socks below were also toe-up using the same pattern as the pretty purple ones, but I had an issue. I knitted them for the man in my life (really ... new name needed), but they won't fit over his heel! The only way I know to fix this problem is to pull the bind-off out and bind off more loosely. Or should I pull out the ribbed part, add some stitches and re-bind off loosely? Staci, queen of knitting, if you're reading this, please give me a hint. I thought about screaming and ripping them to shreds just tossing them in a drawer, but they're a wonderful blend of wool and cashmere, so they're stupidly expensive incredibly soft and cozy. The color ... eh, not so great for me, but someone loves them. Suggestions about how to handle the too-small bind-off would be appreciated. I suppose I could take them to the LYS where I've spent a crapload of little money on yarn and ask for some help.

Finally we've arrived at some stitching. I finished the Ewe & Eye & Friends Small Sampler #6 and personalized it for a happy anniversary. I used the recommended DMC threads and 40-count Sandstone, and it turned out great. Oh wait ... I used an overdyed floss for the alphabet. It's hard to tell in my bad picture, but I satin-stitched the insides of the leaves and put my own stuff in the cartouche, including a queen-stitched heart. I used to think these pictures were all clickable to make them bigger, but that hasn't worked lately. Figuring it out doesn't fit into my plans for the evening. ***Edited: The clicking does work! Holy cow! As usual, I'm in the dark.***

That's enough stuff for now. I've got some stitching to do! Next time I'll show you what I've been working on but haven't finished (evidence of ADD).

Tomorrow would've been my mom's 75th birthday. The special day reminded me that a few of you have asked about my dad. He's doing rather well, despite the case of Shingles he has. If, like me, you've had them, you know that isn't a happy way to spend your time. He's been dating, which is fine but weird. I could tell you stories, but you'll have to wait for my book to be published (don't tempt me). Life changes often, and we adjust in whatever ways we can, right? For those of you who have asked about him, thank you. That was extremely kind of you to remember him.

TGIF tomorrow! Is it just me, or do these short weeks seem long? Enjoy your weekend and make some fun.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wonders Never Cease

That's one of my favorite quotes.  The first, but not most important, wonder is that I'm posting (holy cow)!  I know you thought you were rid of me, but I've returned from real life to blogland.  I've been hanging around here and there when I have time, commenting on a few blogs, but until today, I haven't felt the urge to get back to writing with the community.  My excuse?  I don't have one.  Life here is busy, just as it is for all of you.  Maybe the urge just wasn't strong enough to drag me back.

The next wonder, which is far more fascinating, is a new grandson.  Blake Michael introduced himself at 4:27 pm on August 18.  He's another little precious for this grandma to spoil rotten, and I'm getting started right away.

Below is big brother Keagan (today's wonder #3) pictured with his mom a couple of months ago (a while back as toddlers go, but it's one of my favorites).  He's now a big 17-month-old wild child, as he should be.  Since Blake came home to join him, he's been the sweetest big brother anyone could ask for.  Contrary to what you might be thinking, Nikki does know where babies come from.  We're not the type of family to shy away from a gift.  Considering that Nikki spends her days (and nights) with a newborn and a toddler, she's very cool, calm and collected.  Their dad works long hours and comes home ready to hold whoever needs it. 

So, yeah, life's busy.  I've been back to school for three weeks, so there's much less time to spend with Keags and Blake than I'd like.  That lottery win still hasn't materialized!

It's been so long since I've posted that I don't know where to start on the stitching and knitting front.  I thought about starting with what I'm working on now, but I've been very lazy about taking pictures of the few (remember ... I'm the world's slowest stitcher) things I've done.  So I'll leave you with a pic of Keagan's stocking, completed in November 2010.  It's a Shepherd's Bush, of course, to match the others.  This one is Brett's Stocking.
I'll give you a few more looks in my next post.  Hopefully it'll be less than a year away!  Make some fun.