Monday, May 28, 2012

The Start of Summer

Hello, Everyone! Happy Memorial Day! Thank you for your service to those of you who have served or are serving in the military! My husband and youngest daughter and I went over to the Veterans Affairs grounds to the National Cemetery and watched a memorial service. It was very beautiful. We enjoy doing things like that.

 I have managed to get quite a bit of stitching in during the past couple of weeks. I have stitched a bit on the "Elephants", "Zoo Babies" and even got started on "Life's Little Tangles". I'll post pictures of all three.

First, here is "Elephants". I worked on it some, as you can see, but, not a whole lot, I guess. My material for "Life's Little Tangles" arrived and I have been anxious to start on that. Also, I really did need a change of pace. Working with browns and greys is getting old. I am thinking about altering the pattern a bit because I started wondering if I cut the material long enough to fit the entire picture in. On the far right of the picture you can see where I have started another elephant's foot. Beyond this elephant is suppose to be some of the same kind of scenery as is behind the smaller elephant. I am honestly not sure I have enough width of material for everything.   Jack mentioned to me how he has noticed how many different issues I have had with "Elephants". He told me that I really do need to finish it out, in nothing else because of the age of my Uncle who it is going to, but I really did need a change of pace and coloring too. Uncle Curt is 80+. I will probably do some measurements and figure out what, if anything, I did wrong. What I may do is put the scenery asked for around the smaller elephant and then go to the other side of the bull elephant and put the big tree and at least one of the two elephants the pattern shows.

I decided, because of the needing a change of pace in coloring, that I would at least do some on "Zoo Babies". Here is "Zoo Babies" thus far. I originally had the 'J' and 'K' in as well but when I started to put in 'L' I discovered those two letters were off, so I frogged them. I figured out where I went wrong. The top row of 818 (pink) was suppose to have one more stitch than I put. There is other areas that need that color as well, so when I go to do them I will put that stitch in. The hearts at all corners (like upper left) are all pink and the wheels of the wagon(?) the animals are in are that shade. I still need to put in the giraffe. He goes under the 'H' and 'I'; the hippo (which goes under the giraffe); the rhino (which goes under the blue bird at letter 'D'); the seal (which goes under the bunny right by the 'S', finish out the wagon, put the missing alphabet letters and then of course backstitch it aIl!

I  have also stitched probably nearing 600 stitches on "Life's Little Tangles". I started in the upper left corner as was recommended. This is the first pattern I have ever started that way. I have always started in the middle and worked my way out, but then I have never done a Heaven and Earth Design before either! The top picture on the right is my 'example' picture. What I have stitched so far is the picture below that. The top row is stitch 0 - 30. Then, going down I am also working on 0 - 30. When I have both directions 30 x 30 completely dome, I will have 900 stitches in. Page 1 is 80 stitches wide and 98 stitches tall. I'll keep you informed on my progress. When I finish this blog, I will be stitching on this. I think I'll end up stitching on this quite a bit this week. I feel good about my progress on "Zoo Babies", so feel like I can stitch something else. I really would like to make good progress on this pattern before my next posting. I have so many things I want to stitch!

I have been making time for myself to stitch. I really do feel less stressed, though I do not normally have this many projects going at once.

School is over. Rachel brought home her report card. Scanned it so you could see. Once again, Rachel was on Honor Roll. That means her entire seventh grade year she was either on High Honor Roll or Honor Roll. That is something of which to be proud!  The high school takes their finals during the last week of school so the high school mails their report cards. We have not received Sarah's report card in the mail yet. Then again, her last day was May 24. Rachel's was May 25.

I was told this morning by the other gal who helps take care of the woman I work with that they were taking her to the hospital via ambulance because she was unresponsive. The tests they did showed that she had another minor stroke. I know she is spending at least tonight in the hospital but do not know beyond that what will happen.

I go to the doctor myself Wednesday morning. This is the doctor in charge of my seizure medicine. I had a blood test last week, to see what my levels were. If everything goes right, he should fill out the paperwork that will allow me to get my driver's license back. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Rachel made this picture for her friend that moved to Nevada. We are considering getting her stuff to draw with...colored pencils, paper, calligraphy pens and such for her birthday in mid-June. She really enjoys drawing and we want to encourage her. This was just done with a normal pencil. She did it lighter at first and then, because it couldn't be seen real well on the scanner, she drew it darker.

Rachel's first softball game is tomorrow evening. With as much as they have practiced, I would be surprising if they didn't do well. I have not been told when Sarah's games start.

Sarah is in a horse riding competition this coming weekend. She is very excited. She has been working with and riding horses now for a couple of years and is quite good. I am not sure if she is riding just one horse or two different ones, but I do know her dad and I will go see the competition!

Sarah is also working quite a few hours at her job. She works for Subway,.

Jack is doing alright too. He and I have been doing various tasks in the yard together. We are liking how the yard is looking. I mowed part of the lawn Saturday and finished it up on Sunday evening. We have a pretty big yard and with the heat this weekend didn't want to try and do it all at once.

Well, that is about everything I can think of to tell you. Take care of yourselves.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stitching, Stitching, Stitching!

I thought it may be time to show you an update on my elephant project for my Uncle Curt. I am excited about my progress. I am completely done with the bull elephant, except for the backstitching. There are a total of five elephants, of various sizes like the side view elephant, in this project. I started working a bit on the ground beneath the bull elephant. Maybe next time I'll have quite a bit of that done as well as some of the shrubs and trees.

I called the material shop yesterday that I ordered the material for "Life's Little Tangles" from (my HAED). I had not received the order yet and I had written the check out on May 1. They did a bit of researching and called me back. The check ended up postmarked May 9. They said they would put the material in today's mail, which means I should have it by the end of the week! That means I can start the project, again! I am excited about starting it, especially this time, because I know how to do 'over two' and the piece I ordered is big enough to have four inches on every side, extra. I also requested that they serge the edges to prevent freying.  I ordered it that way so I'd have plenty of material for framing at the end. I guess my only question about the project now is, "when a project is done on 25 ct, over 2, which is what I'll be doing, do I have the thread two thick or three thick?"

 Now that I have the bull elephant done, I am seriously thinking of starting that giraffe for my Great-Nephew. He was born in January and I have been wanting to stitch him a Noah's Ark giraffe. With everything else going on though, it just hasn't happened. I want and need to do it for him though. I did the "Precious Moments Praying Girl" for his sister. Here is that one when it was very close to done. Danielle never did get the framed picture to me, so I do not have a picture of this projects completion. I need to ask her about it again. I know she is very busy right now though. She is going to school, works and is raising two children, only 13 months apart. The project for Caleb is not just a Giraffe, but Danielle requested a Noah's Ark themed picture that had a giraffe in it.  So here is what I finally decided on. It is called "Zoo Babies". It has several different animals in it, as well as the alphabet. I was originally looking at a different  project in the book I have, but I have decided that the project I was originally thinking of would take quite awhile to do, it was good size (108W x 110H). "Zoo Babies" is smaller but still nice.(88W x 62H). this picture is "Zoo Babies", this picture is what the book has it on, a bag of some kind. I will just make it a project to be framed though.

I also what to start gathering the materials needed to stitch the roses in a vase or bowl.  (Pictures on the left here). I was thinking of giving that to my Daughter-in-Law. I will probably stitch it on 14 count Adia. I could also do it on the piece of 25 ct evenweave on which I was originally going to stitch "Life's Little Tangles" . The finished size of the project, if I do it on 14 ct will be right about 12.22 x 15.58. If  I go ahead and use the 25 count evenweave, the project size will be  13.58 x 17.5. Some of you may recognize this pattern. Dick, in ILCS has also done the project. The more I think about it, the more I am thinking of using the 14 ct adia. I have another HAED pattern that I uploaded for free and will probably use the 25 ct for it. It is of several animals around a Christmas Tree. I uploaded it quite awhile ago and I want to stitch it for my house.

I think between all of these projects that I want to do, both for my home and family, I should be able to stay out of trouble and stress free. What do you think?

I have great news, not related to stitching, but still...the job that I had taking care of a woman who had a stroke has started again. She was released from the nursing home yesterday afternoon and I had my first shift with her again this morning. I will be with her two hours in the morning and then two hours in the evening on the days I work. There are two of us helping her. One week one of us will work three days and the other four and the next week it will reverse. I can stitch all I want, once I have done everything she needs done.

The one bit of bad news I have this week is that my daughter's drive line on her pick-up fell off as she was going down a country road last week. We are going to be able to fix it at the beginning of next week. My parents have agreed to help with the initial cost. We are still having the attitude with our van, not wanting to start when it is under 60 degrees, but now that it has turned warmer that isn't as huge of an issue as Sarah's pick-up.

The other bit of great news I have is that Wes, the young man whom we consider like a son, will be coming home from Korea (he is in the Army and based there right now) on leave for a couple of weeks in June. His Tour of Duty will be over in Korea in October, if I remember right. We are all counting down the days. We miss and love him so much!

Well, I think that is all I have for you right now. Please take care and have a wonderful week!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Been Stitching to my Heart's Content!

I have been doing a fair amount of stitching over the past couple of weeks. I am sorry that I haven't updated sooner, but I was debating myself on one issue in particular, related to my HAED, but I will get to that in a bit. Meanwhile, I wanted to show you I have managed to get what I'd call a good amount done on my elephant since I started restitching on him after finishing up with the cats.
Here is the picture I took today next to the picture I took when I put the elephant down to complete the cats.I am proud of the amount of work I have done on him. The first picture of Re-Stitched Elephant was done on March 14. So, the stitching I have done on the elephant has been since I finished "Rough Day Cat" which was April 16, the day of my last blog. The biggest elephant of the picture is basically done from the bottom of his ears up. There might be 10 stitches in his right ear, but other than that completed from the ears up. There are five side views of smaller elephants and a couple of trees and some bushes on this picture. This project is long and tall (219W x 116H). With the size of the rest of  this bull elephant verses everything else in the picture, I am tempted to say once I finish the bull elephant, the project will be about 35-40% done. I do feel much better about how this project is turning out since I completely changed the material.

Now back to my HAED, "Life's Little Tangles". I had actually managed to do a fair amount on this project. I am between 300 and 400 stitches, if  I remember  right. I guess 'fair' is a relative term, but considering the size of the finished project I think it was a fair amount. remember, this was my second start on this project because I didn't like the thickness of the thread the first time around and frogged before I got too far(I was under 50 stitches at that point). This picture shows how far I am right now. I am not really liking the way it looks doing the project over 1, so I decided I will go ahead and do it over 2. I know this means that a big picture to begin with will be double the size, but I think if I feel better with the stitching of it that will be fine. Jack and I were talking about the best place in the house for it, and decided proudly on the Living Room wall. I do give away a good part of what I stitch, but this one I want to keep!! I went ahead and ordered the proper amount of material for over 2 on 25ct from Silkweavers. She is charging me one third less than another on line material store and she is cutting the piece to exactly what I want and serge the edges all the way around to prevent freying! The other store wanted to sell me a piece that I would have ended up wasting a few inches in each direction.

I did start in the upper left corner, and I will do that when I restart (for the third time). I really think it will look better over 2 instead of over 1. I know it will be much easier on my eyes!

As far as what will I do with this 25ct material that won't be used for the HAED? I have the project for my great nephew (The Noah's Ark Giraffe picture requested) as well as the roses in a bowl that I want to do (possibly for DIL) and needed material for. I was originally going to do both of those on 28ct evenweave, or 14ct adia,  but 25ct evenweave would work too. Or, I could save the 25 ct for maybe a smaller HAED. I have a freebie from them about Christmas Animals that I am not sure the size of but really want to stitch. On round three of  "Life's Little Tangles"  I ordered enough material to have 4" of material on all sides to allow for framing. That was another issue I was thinking about. On rounds one and two of doing this project I was allowing for 2" on every side. I started thinking, "is that really enough allotment for proper framing?" I wasn't sure. I really want to be able to frame this when I'm done with it and would have been beyond sad if I couldn't. I think 4" on each side will be plenty to frame it though.

Jack and I started talking about, "should I enter any of my stitching in the fair?": He said he has seen other stitching projects at the fair and he believes that mine are worthy of ribbons. The two he is talking about the most are:

"Isaiah 40:31" (the picture on the left) and  the other one we are talking about is "Jesus in the Garden". I actually stitched the second one twice. Once for us, it is in our dining room now and once for my sister-in-law and her husband. There are other possible candidates too, but honestly, I give away a good part of what I stitch. I don't think my mom understands why I stitch just to give it away, but I get pleasure in making projects for others to enjoy as much as I enjoyed stitching them. I have spoken with a woman who told me she'd get back to me on how I'd go about possibly entering some of my stitching.

I was nominated by Lisa for a  Liebster Award. I was surprised and honored! Thank you, Lisa!

When receiving this award there are four conditions:
1 – Choose five up-and-coming blogs (with fewer than 200 followers) to pass on the award.
2 – Show thanks to the blogger who passed on the award by linking back to them.
3 – Post the award on your blog, list five bloggers you are giving the award to with their site links and leave a comment so they are aware.
4 – Share five random pieces about yourself that people do not know about you.
Now I need to honor 5 fellow stitchers with blogs who have under 200 followers. My nominees are:

1)  April in Alabama
2) Patty - the compulsive crafter
3) Nancy -Nancy's Needle Notes
4) Katie - Kate's Floss Box
5) Pam in IL - My stitchin-n-stuff

The person who nominated me was Lisa. You can get to her link at:

As far as 5 random pieces about me that people probably do not know:

1) I am told my homemade peanut butter cookies are the best
2) I am a totally left handed person.
3) I have lost a huge amount of weight since May 2009 and kept it off
4) I love the outdoors
5) I love mystery kind of shows

Now on to non-stitching news.

I told you how we were told that everyone was going to go into what the softball league termed "the draft" so that no one could have the same team, basically, this year. Rachel was a bit worried because usually if a girl goes into the draft it is by choice so she can get off of a team that she and the coaches have problems. Rachel and one coach definitely have personality conflict, as that coach downgrades his players regularly. Also, she really loved her coach the past couple of years. He made her feel good about herself. She did not get back on the team she was in the last two years (Police) which is where she really wanted to be, but, she also didn't get that horrible coach either. She is back on the team that she was on when she first started playing softball (Jorgensen Electric). He is a great coach. He listens to his players and the parents. He also works them hard and teaches them. She is getting ready to go to what I think is the third practice of the year.

I finally won the battle with my doctor over my medicine for my seizures. His office called me, I think the day after my last post, and told me they were going to allow me to go ahead and take the medicine I want , the strength I want. I must go in a couple weeks now and have a blood draw to show him the levels are right and then see him the last day of May. I want Jack to go with me to the appointment. He has no problem with that. If everything stays good, meaning seizure free, I will get my license back in mid-June. BTW, his office gal told me I basically wore him down to him finally giving in. You know what? That's okay though, because as the patient, taking this medicine before, I know it works for me! I have not had any problems since returning to this medicine.

The woman I work for every day (two hours in morning and two hours at night) should be released from the hospital any day. When she is I will get back to work :) The little bit of income I receive from her does help a great deal with the extras, like the girls softball and my car arguing with us.

Since it has been warmer, the car has not had  any problems starting, but when it is under 58 degrees, the radio will play but the crazy thing won't turn over. The thing is, as long as it is running, the shop says that can't try to fix it because there is no way to diagnose! Maybe, by the time it gets cool again, I can have enough money set aside to see about a different vehicle all together!

Jack is doing well physically. We have been doing some of the yard work together. Yesterday, while I mowed with the gas mower, he used the electric weed trimmer and took care of some of those as well as watered the plants and flowers and such. He cannot use things like gas mowers because of his pacemaker. Those little machines could screw up his pacemaker. That would be horrible!

Sarah is getting more hours at work again. She was bummed when her hours were cut, but then everyone's were, not just hers. She went and told her co-workers if they needed her to work, she'd cover their shift. She closed last night, closes tonight and will close tomorrow.

Rachel's band got low scores in the competition  last week. She was disappointed but we told her that it could be because the kids did harder songs than her school or even got more practice time in. Rachel is musically inclined. She plays the piano and euphonium. She and her sisters also have guitars, like dad, but they haven't practiced them very much. Sarah is better on her guitar than Rachel, but still, neither girl has touched their guitars for months.

Well, I should be signing off for now. I have spent all day away from stitching. Today I have paid  bills, gone to breakfast with Jack and been on my computer, mostly doing this blog during the computer time. Now I want to go stitch for awhile. I am debating on starting the Noah's Ark project for my Great-Nephew.  Haven't decided. Really want to do the elephant for my Uncle as well. I guess you could say I'm torn. I know when the material gets here for "Life's Little Tangles" I will be working on that one too. I guess my real question should be, how many projects of lage to huge, should I have going at once?