Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Cat's Cart

I want to thank you all so much for your kind, encouraging, and empathizing comments on yesterday's post; my spirit was so bolstered by all of you!

I "sewed" most of the grass in yesterday, and my plot is now almost solidly green. I didn't think much of the Kudzu until it was all done and I stepped back, but now I can see the variegation and I think it's just quite subtly perfect.

Next will be more of the personalization, along with a band that I'm considering working in purple--which would push this design more towards Hallowe'en--good or bad? Should I make the band with one of the colors already in the design or into one (which?) of these purples (they are WDW Concord and Eggplant, respectively. I know you can't see what the band is like, but that's the way it is! :P (It is very simple, though.)

Enjoy your Saturday, everyone! It's beautiful, clear and cool with breezes--I feel like we've really lucked out!

Yours Happily,

Friday, July 30, 2010

"Autumn Apace!" -or- "A Fungus Among Us!?"

I'm adding in a signature section at the bottom of Delivering Autumn, and thought you might like to see the development. :D

Meanwhile, a lurker in our midst: this morning Marc is calling me from the Bathroom asking if I've seen "This"; seen "It". I kept replying, "No, what is it?" and only got the same question from him. Finally, he told me.

It was a Mushroom. Growing. From. A. Crack. In. The. Ceiling. Of. Our. Bathtub.

Now, we live in an Apartment, which means that there's probably some leak from the neighbor's pipes above. I just cannot tell you how bad things like mold are for your health. I've been doing so much research for this lately (Knowledge is Paranoia, as Marc says) surrounding my detox diet. After obsessing and working and tracking and dosing and God knows what for weeks, I had just had it.

I asked Marc to stay home for a bit and deal with the Landlord when he arrived because I knew I'd either cling to the poor man and weep inconsolably in my panic, or shred him mercilessly with my razor-sharp claws. Neither seemed like a viable interaction for solving this problem. Thankfully, he was able to do so, though with 3 or 4 anxious you're-on-the-road-in-right calls from the office.

Folks, I've been on a special diet for weight loss before this for about a year, but now the delightful "New Features of the Last Several Weeks":

* No sugar or starch (from one year ago, but done with breaks and exceptions, now, no exceptions.)

* No sugar substitutes/artificial sugars.
* No Caffeine (I do love my tea.)
* I can drink only room-temperature or warmer (not cold) distilled water.
* No fermented products (Vinegar is a no, unless it's unpasteurized. EVERYTHING has vinegar in it. I can't even eat mustard, folks).
* Maybe I could eat some dairy, but probably not. So, I'm not.
* Oh, yeah, No sugar means No Fruit (though I can eat about a handful of berries occasionally.


* No Mushrooms.

I need a moment. Like maybe one that lasts about a week and is located in a posh spa, lol. Where there are no mushrooms growing from the sheetrock.

Let's ALL have a great weekend, folks. For now, I'm off to stitch and Ignore the Fungus. Which was dutifully removed by Marc, but...well. Define "removed".

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Delivering Autumn, 2nd Edition

As I finished up the cart on DE I realized it was kinda small for what I was wanting. (I'd calculated the size of the finished product at 36, and that's what I'd settled upon.) Turns out that tightly-woven 36 count linen was actually 40 after all--even though the tag it came with ID'ed it as 36 and I ordered 36, lol! I don't mind in the end--it's nice linen and now I have an excuse to re-stitch in 32 count!

The plan is to make the first one, which is only cat, jack, and cart into a needle keep of some sort, so here's the re-start! I couldn't get a decent pic, so here are 3 sub-par ones which will hopefully serve.

Stewebs in again for size comparison with the last iteration.

Colours are better in this shot.

One other deja-vu event this week: Again, I ordered from Besem Soaps, and since I talked a friend into trying it with me, the order was for 6 large soaps. Last week's order was 6 small soaps. 0_o Spooky. They've arrived and are heavenly. Last time I recommended the Ultimate and Anise variety for their awesome effects. This week I'll plug the Pink Grapefruit (nice for shaving) and Old Hippie for no other reason than their heavenly scents. There's no love lost between me and anything even remotely "hippie", and I can't abide the reek of unadulterated patchouli oil, but this stuff smells great. Treat yourself to some Real Soap. The Rustic Pine (or Rusty Pine as my friend mis-typed in the chat), Cinnamon Spice and new Granola are just the thing for a case of "Fall Longing" induced by Summer's heat!

So, now I'm off to season the meat for tonight's grilling at a friends and I must also chart-up the signature which I'm putting below the grass on this piece. Friends, I've already been procrastinating doing this for too long. If I still haven't done this by next week please come after me with the wet noodle; or whatever effectual motivator you can devise!

P.S. Sandra Sullivan of Homespun Elegance now has a blog! With Sneak Peeks! And New Releases! Thanks to Myra for linking me to "Delivering Tricks"!

Spice-ily Yours,

Friday, July 23, 2010

100 Days 'till Hallowe'en~*

Last night while browsing blogs, I saw a countdown ticker informing me that we've only got 100 days and 3 hours until Halloween. Yikes! Here I thought I was early breaking out Homespun Elegance's Delivering Autumn, but there you go. I had a minor overload considering all the stuff I want to finish for this year's season. ;)

"Proof" that even in the heat, Autumn is coming, bringing Halloween, Harvest, and Thanksgiving along with it! (Now if only we could toss "Shorter Days" out of that wagon, it'd be perfect!

Looks like he's leaping over a candlestick!

Still giddy over the Stewebs Christina sent; I seriously took about 15 shots deciding which arrangement of the scissors I liked best. :D

In closing, the post brought these babies:

A sampler pack (minus Ultimate Travel and Sweet Anisette and a couple more) from Besem Natural Scents, which I've wanted to try ever since Edgar first posted about them; I think it was back in February! They are to-die-for. I tell you in all seriousness that the Anise is hands-down the best face cleanser I've tried, and the Ultimate Travel DOES, as reported, make an excellent tooth soap. I'm finding it very useful on my current detox mission. I completely recommend them to anyone, and if I could send ever reader a sample I totally would!

Speaking of detox (which is somewhat serious for me)--between that and Marc's workflow (he's a freelancer these past 18 months) we could definitely use any prayers or quiet-time thoughts you could send our way.

I so appreciate all of your friendships; please know that though I've not been Commenting, Blogging, or even Reading as much as I'd like this Summer that you are all in my heart. Thank you, Everyone! Have an awesome Week's End. =^.^=

Yours Dash-ily,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

An Autumnal Harvest of Stash Arrives

Greetings, Stitchers, from Hot, hot, hot Northern New Jersey. How hot is it? Well, only 100. And the humidity's not too bad...I keep reminding myself that it's like this for 3.5 months straight in Tulsa, Oklahoma (my hometown). But, enough of that, to put things in perspective, it's:

• 30 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than it's been for the past 10 days. (Well, starting on the 4th it reached that mark.)

• So hot that Friend Greg had to shamble over to Friend Tak's place yesterday because his power went out. Nary a cloud in the sky--so I was confused. Tak patiently explained that it's because it's hot and our power grid is old.

• So hot that the 2 window units are just barely passing muster--which means the one in the bedroom will frost up (humidity's climbing) soon, freeze over and refuse to work.

In conclusion, it's just Too Hot for New Jersey. I'm still amused that the NYC mayor declares a "Heat Wave" and talks of things like free city pools, "Cooling Centers" and ice creams in an address to the city when it gets like this.

Now, suddenly, I realize that I've got a strong Fall Longing. :P

So, if you're like me, and wishing to escape the heat then Look On to enjoy a (Happy Thing) tour of my recent stash acquisition.

After agreeing to take part in a private exchange (had been planning to take a break, but it was a Special Invitation! For Autumn! I was weak. :D), I dug in and looked deeply into the recipient's blog. I do know of the person, but not well, so it was fun catching up. But, not everyone loves Hallowe'en stichign as I do, and I pretty much reached that conclusion for this person. So, what to make. I really wanted to make something nice, that they would like, that also tickled my fancy, too! Searching and searching on the 'net brought Homespun Elegance to my attention. Now, I have an ornament (Santa Arrives Tonight 2009 WiP from them, but nothing else). I think I've become minorly obsessed. Do any others of you also hear their siren call? I don't usually see too much buzz around them on my blog wanderings.

This is an order from Anita, along with the OoP Fruit Sampler Salad: Cherry from Sisters and Best Friends(Hi, Sadie!) and a piece of WDW 30ct.Straw from an LNS. Please, please try her--you will not be disappointed. There are some great service places out there and then there are Disappointments. I don't wanna sling any mud, but if you've been recently let down, do try Anita. It couldn't be easier--you can just email her about what you are interested in and she communicates lightning fast. Only 1 of the 3 charts that I got were ones she "stocks" but the others were no problem for her to get and she did it so fast!

CHS Frederick: I finally got a copy of this goofy bird just under the wire. His mate, 'Rika, is on order for me as well, so soon they will be united in my stash. I've been agonizing for months over wanting to also get CHS "Designs from the Washington Post December 2005" before the OoP but just wasn't able to scrape it together in time. Hey; you can't win 'em all, right? ;) The straw and those flosses peeking in are a teaser for my autumn exchange--but the pattern's still a secret! I SO hope my partner will like it. I've already begun the stitching, and am second-guessing a part of the design, so we'll see how it works out as I go along. Do you also get So Nervous that your exchange will not be loved?

And This is the "Exchange for Me". I had it narrowed down to this or the one I chose, and I just kept fighting for Delivering Autumn even though it has a Black Cat and Pumpkin, inventing all sorts of rationales: "Well, this one's a little more complex so I should pick it; don't want Dear Partner to think I didn't care and just dashed it off." (Less is More.) "It's only ONE Jack o' Lantern!" (If one doesn't fancy jacks to begin with, how can it matter how many ?) "The orange isn't too saturated; it's not too loud, really it's very muted..." (I'm pretty sure that D.P.'s tastes are not much orange...)

Finally, I realized that what I really wanted was to stitch this baby and put it out at end of August to herald the Harvest Season and Hallowe'en. I could put it out WAY before it would be "okay" to bust out the Hallowe'en stuff...Yeah.... it's another LOL if I think I can get it done and dusted by August 1st, but I may yet! Wonder how I should finish it. could it be time to attempt a long cube? Or is this a wall hanging? Hmnn. I've got several other long-pillows in queue, so I'm shying away from that.

But, back to the point: Do you not LOVE these colors!? It's all the recommended except for 3 I already had. Now, I need to decide what count: do I go 1/2 on 36-40? Or do I do a 32 or 28 (as charted) with 2/2? I'm pretty sure I want to dye my own linen for this one as well--just a bit of some tan Rit crinkle-ings.

Well, I'm off to move away from the Hotsy PowerBook Screen to a Stitching Seat closer to the Air Con!


May your hands stay cool and dry
As your needles swiftly fly~


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ever-clear, Ever-green

Instead of letting my perfectionism get the best of my blogging, I'm going to take a page out of Staci's book (yet again!) and in tough-ish times make a nice blog to share some Happy Things. :D (Please don't compare my photography to hers though as it won't show favorably on my part! ;)

Happy Thing No. 1:

Marc and I have been members of the local YMCA for about four years, and I can't say that we've been regular attendees--I know for certain that that the months in which we darkened their doorstep are fewer than those in which we Stayed Home, but I still wouldn't un-join. It's a great community place with something for everyone. I've been having a great time swimming in "Adult Lap" and also attending 'Water X"-type classes for the last couple of weeks. I love the Montclair YMCA; I call their pools Legion, for they are Many. lol. I remember the YMCAs in Oklahoma were just as nice, if not as "historic" in their housing. Give your local Y another look--they are cheaper than you think, offer more, and generally don't require the contracts that fitness clubs do. Sure, there's generally a "joiner's fee", but it's a cheap health investment in the long run. It's like a mini-vacation/spa. The whole place is full of towels--more than one could ever use and not a one will you wash! They have a steam and sauna room! :D I can't say whether or not it's fun to live at a YMCA, but it IS good times to visit!

Happy Thing No. 2:

I finished the re-stitch of my ill-fated Arbor Exchange, so now I gleefully started what I wanted to since it was released in April: Sweet Bird freebie from The Sampler Girl. I Love this pattern! "Sweet Bird; thy bower is ever green, thy sky is ever clear"--how refreshing these colors are! How lucky is that sweet bird! A nice collection of waste knots are dwelling on it; I usually stitch and stitch one session, and then when I pick up for the next round I weave in before starting--I'm always impressed with how much I must have done last session. But, to stop stitching in the midst of a nice groove just to weave in--Oh, Never! :D

Happy Thing No. 3:

The not-quite ever-green flowers that SB was propped against. These came from Dear Marc (first ones I've ever received from a Boy! :o), and here's a fresher pic. :)

Whew; I have many more, including the Arrival of Stash! :o But the "Blogging Hour" has long since passed--what is it about this weather that makes it difficult to stitch and harder to blog? But we do love it. :D

For the US readers and everyone else, enjoy this weekend; Independence Day aside--just this idyllic breezy weather makes it feel like a holiday here!

May your bowers be ever-green; your skies ever-clear,