Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trick or Treat!

Sanger has what they call "Safe Spook" where the local businesses hand out candy to the children.  We only did the businesses that were on the downtown square.  But we had fun.  Zoé was a cat and Adèle just wore a Hello Kitty Halloween shirt because I did not think she'd tolerate a costume.

I went shopping yesterday (in the rain) and picked up some Christmas Stash at SCRAP.  The Tigger ornament is going to be one of the ornaments for Zoé's ornament box.  I don't know if I'll stitch it this Christmas.  I'm a bit behind on her stuff.  Not shown was a small roll of clear contact paper I got to laminate some flashcards for Adèle. Those Mill Hill kits were 50 cents apiece :)

I also finally found a swivel knife.  I picked up some Couzzle templates cheap at SCRAP and the best way to cut them is with a swivel knife.  

I just finished up the Christmas Rose.  I just have to figure out a backing fabric for it.  

And finally, I got Zoé's school pictures back today.  Boy, school pictures have changed since my day.  I actually got to pick her backgrounds in advance and I got the "pick your size" option and I got a photo CD so I can make reprints.  She loves pictures so I'm not surprised she was so cute in the picture.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Bunch of WIPs

The other day I had some time to cut the fabric for some upcoming projects.  And then I decided to work on them all at the same time.  There is actually a method to my madness.  Two of the projects are for people who live in the household so I work on them when they aren't home.

The first is the Nativity I previewed the other day.  I have the hay done and have started on the manger portion.  I'm missing a shade of peach (of course, just when I think I have all of DMC....)

The second is a Christmas Rose.  I think that's the title.  The descriptions say two different things.  It is stitched on 36 ct. linen.  This is the finest count I've ever worked with.  Needless to say, when it makes 32 ct look huge and that 14 ct. Aida is gigantic.  There were two different color schemes that you could use.  The purple was supposed to be done on gray linen but I think it looks just fine on cream.

Finally, today I just started the Gardener's Cottage that will be a Christmas present for my husband.  It's stitched on 32 ct linen and looks like it's going to be very fun.  Not much to show yet but don't you love the fabric?

Monday, October 28, 2013

A New Ornament and some Garters with Ruffles

I have been working on this Garter Amidst Ruffles scarf for about a month and I finally finished it last night.  It is set to be a Christmas present.  Here's what it looks like.

I picked up a Cross Stitch mag at Wal-Mart the other day because of one particular pattern I saw inside that I wanted to stitch.  I started it today.  It is going to be an ornament for the granddaughter.

Not much to see yet.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Some Finishing Work

I finished stitching the Rose piece today.  If you haven't stitched one of the Dimensions Daydreams Kits, it comes with a decorate mat and glass to finish the entire piece, which is really nice.  So, this is what it looked like when I finished stitching.

And this is what it looked like after I finished putting it in the frame.  It will make a nice Christmas present.

I also did the last bit of finishing work on the heart tin I stitched awhile back.  I had mounted it on the cardboard and laced it but I needed some ribbon to run around the tin before I glued it on top.  So, I found this great ribbon at Jo-Ann's and I decided to use this flower trim instead of the included ecru floss.  I think it looks great.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rose Start

I've been working on the Rose Dimensions kit for a few days.  I haven't posted a picture until now because there wasn't much to see but it's looking more like a rose.  It's on 14 ct ivory Aida but I'm only stitching with one strand so it's very light and lets the background show through.

It's about half completed and the backstitching is light so it shouldn't take too much longer to finish it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Last Bit of Stash (for now)

I ordered the last bit of stash I needed for my next round of projects off 123stitch.  I also got the DVD of the back issues of Just Cross Stitch.  Yeah, I'm makin' a list and checking it at least twice.  Plenty of stitchy goodness.

Christmas presents are coming along steadily.  I made it through my homework for the week, including the one class that had a midterm.  I just have one small paper to write before next Monday, which shouldn't be too hard.  I started a Dimensions kit today.  It seems to be going quickly.  Hopefully I can post a pic later this week.

This was the bit of stash I picked up at Jo-Ann's on Saturday.  I dragged my husband there (secretly, he likes my "string addiction").  Then I let him take me to Home Depot (which I don't mind going there, I even let him get the more expensive, better quality tools so I'm labeled a "good wife").  I did not get the correct kind of craft knife (I did need a new one, but I actually needed a swivel one, well, guess I'll be going back next weekend).  The Perle cotton is mostly for ornament hangers and they finally got the Sassy Fabric which I've been dying to try out.  The Starbella was on clearance.  I thought it was good colors for the girls.

And lastly, here is a picture of Zoé, plaing with my old HD7, which I wiped and put a bunch of learning apps on for her.  She has been enjoying it and has actually started identifying letters of the alphabet.  We had her ARD today and they are going to look into getting her her own piece of technology to use for communication.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Leafy Loomed Ruffle Scarf

Here are the instructions for the Leafy Loomed Ruffle Scarf.

You will need:
  • A long loom (Martha Stewart Loom used in example)
  • Loom tool
  • 2 skeins ruffle yarn (Patons Pirouette used in example)
If using the Martha Stewart Loom, make two of these.
I think the Martha Stewart Loom makes making ruffle scarves so much easier.  There are no extra pegs to worry about.  There is no having the stuff the ruffle down through the center of the loom.

Keep in mind that not all ruffle yarns are created equal.  I found that Patons Pirouette was much looser with larger loops compared with Red Heart Sashay Boutique.  I have not tried Starbella yet so I cannot comment on theirs.  I could have easily spaced the pegs with two holes in between on the Patons but the Red Heart is a tight squeeze even with this configuration.  I had issues when using a Knifty Knitter long loom with the Red Heart because of the tightness.

Cast on 6 stitches by putting the top most loop on each peg.

Each row has four parts.

1. Put another row of loops on each peg.  There will be two loops on each peg.

2. Put yet another row of loops on each peg going back the other way.  There will now be three loops on each peg.

3. Knit the bottom two loops over the top loop.  This will leave one loop on each peg.

4. Transfer the loops to the other side of the loom (or other set of pegs, if using the Martha Stewart Loom).

Repeat steps 1-4 until scarf is desired length.  When switching skeins, no knot is needed, simply put the loops from the second skein on lop of the existing loops on the loom.  Add a skein on step 1 only.

When scarf is desired length, bind off with basic bind off.

I find that this makes a much bushier scarf.

For a video of this, watch this:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Working on Finishing

My pile of things to finish is growing so I decided to start the finishing process.  Here is one I finished just this morning.

Owls are in this year, so I made her an owl for this year.

This is the backing fabric.  I found it at SCRAP ;)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Balger Haul!

So, we stopped at SCRAP today and I walked away with a bunch of Balger for 50-75 cents apiece.  And also some backing fabric and a few skeins of variegated DMC.

When I was looking up their numbers and descriptions, I ran across this article about Balger and Kreinik that you might find interesting if you have an old pattern calling for Balger and are confused by why it's now Kreinik.  Finally, the mystery is solved!

Friday, October 18, 2013


Well, it's been a hectic week. The little one finally arrived Saturday afternoon after 24 hours or so of labor and a c section.  I won't post a picture because I'm not sure how my stepson and his wife feel about it.  It was a little girl (and I mean little, she was under 7 pounds) and they went home Tuesday and everything is fine.

I had to observe on Monday in the classroom.  I am required to do 30 hours of classroom observation this semester as part of my degree.  It is a challenge since the DH works and I have children and no babysitter.  I am in Kindergarten this semester and learning a lot.  Got to play with rubber fish in P.E.  I have a midterm coming up soon for one class

I am making headway on the Christmas presents.  I finished a set of Fingerless Mitts to go with the hat.  They would have been done sooner but I ran out of yarn with FOUR ROWS LEFT TO GO!  Worst feeling in the world.

I also finished the Dalek ornament.  The picture doesn't do it justice.  I used some DMC light effects and also several colors of seed beads to finish it.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Waiting for Baby

So, my daughter in law went into labor yesterday.  It's almost noon and we're still waiting.  Meanwhile, here's some stitchy distractions.

I have decided to postpone my Fall stitching in favor of doing Christmas presents.  My workload for grad school has been somewhat light and I want to take advantage while I still can.

I went to SCRAP Thursday night.  I picked up some backing fabric (sorry don't have a pic) and also some cross stitch fabric and a Daydreams kit.  I think I'm going to do the kit for my stepson and his wife (the ones who are in labor at the moment).

My order came in at Needleworx and my husband was in Plano so he stopped by and picked it up along with some 36 ct Edinburgh Linen and two rolls of #8 Kreinik.  He also got me a marking pen.  Haven't used it yet.

I knitted up a woven top hat for one Christmas present.

Then I used the Kreinik to finish up Zoé's Britty Kitty.  I just have to figure out where I want the personalization.

Now I've started up a Dalek ornament for my friend Shelly (the wife of my friend who committed suicide).  I found a pixel pattern for it but I've changed up the colors and stuff.  I'm using some DMC light effects and stitching it on gold perforated paper.  I intend to use some beads too :)

Friday, October 11, 2013


I am almost done with the ornament.  It's just missing some Kreinik bits and personalization.

Being a SAHM

I read a blog post today by Matt Walsh about how he had to defend his stay at home mom/wife to several female co-workers.  It's a very good read and you can read the entire article here.

I need to add my two cents.

I've been on both sides of the fence.  My husband and I have three children ages 2 1/2, 3 1/2 and 16.  In 2010, when the 3 1/2 year old was about 8 months old and we found out that we would be having another child, we decided that one of us should stay home.  We both worked in the same call center but customer service is not my husband's employment strength so it was decided that I would work and he would stay home.  During that time, he was looking for a different job and if he found one, we would switch and I would stay home.  That didn't happen until this spring.

When my husband was a SAHD, there were people who thought it was cool and people who thought he was a deadbeat for making me work while he stayed home.  It's more "acceptable" for me to be a SAHM I guess. So let me give you a glimpse of a typical day when I was working and a typical day now that I'm a SAHM/full time grad student.
The Working Mom

9 am - wake up (husband has been up since 7 am since he took the stepdaughter to school), shower, eat breakfast
9:45 - leave for work
10:50 - arrive at work, get ready for day
11 am - start work.  If calls are not back to back, I can expect about 2-10 minutes inbetween calls downtime
1:30 pm - 20 minute break
1:50 pm - back to work
4 pm - hour lunch
5 pm - back to work
8 pm - 20 minute break
8:20 pm - back to work
10 pm - down with work, drive home
11 pm - arrive at home, children are still up, help husband put children to bed
midnight - go to bed


5:30 am - husband gets up for work which wakes me up
6:15 am - my wake up call, wake up 3 1/2 year old
6:40 am - put 3 1/2 year old on school bus
6:41-8 am - clean kitchen and start on homework while I wait for the 2 1/2 year old to wake up, perhaps get a shower maybe
8 am - 11:10 am - continue working on homework.  Throw a load of laundry in the wash.  Vacuum and clean table.  Feed 2 1/2 year old breakfast.
11:10 am - 3 1/2 year old comes home.  Start making lunch
Noon - 2:30 pm - play with children.  Continually yell at the 3 1/2 year old for spitting/climbing/playing with cords/grabbing things/throwing things/hitting sister.  A therapist for the 2 1/2 year old may come over at this time.  Attempt to keep 3 1/2 year old from interfering
2:30 pm - attempt to get both girls into car to go get teenager from school
3 pm - arrive home, think about supper.
5:30-6:30 - serve supper, such as it is, husband may come home at this time
7 pm - bath time
9 pm - bed time
11 pm - 2 1/2 year old finally passes out

The 2 1/2 year old has made a habit of waking up in the middle of the night and staying up for hours.  That kind of throws a wrench in the whole thing.  Plus, if a child is sick, I can plan to be up all night too.  There is some downtime but not a ton of downtime and it's sporadic.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My First Britty Kitty!

I've been eyeing up several of the Brittercup Designs (especially the Britty Kitties) and I decided to do one for Zoé's Christmas ornament for this year (she isreally into cats this year).  The one I am doing is "Cat Christmas Tree" out of the JCS 2011 ornament issue.  This is also my first try working with WDW threads and I am enjoying it. I'm stitching diagonally and I like the effect.  I am using some kind of 30 ct white evenweave.

This is where the Autumn piece stands.  I love it, except for the small Symrna crosses that make up the acorn caps (I like the stitch just fine but the small ones really get tight, stitch wise).  I am using a 26 tapestry.  I may switch to a 28 for the crosses and see if that helps.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Super String Saturday!

Today, we drove out to Plano to get a few stitchy things.  My Just a Button Company order was not in yet but here's what I picked up:

Then, when I got home, my 123 Stitch order arrived too!

Now, I have enough materials to make several projects that I have had on my stash list but could not start because I did not have the funds for materials.  Yay!  I"m excited to be working with overdyed stuff and specialty fabrics.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Autumn Progress

I got a bit done on this today.  Quite a bit more to go, I'm afraid.

Weekend Wedding

This weekend was my brother-in-law's wedding in Johnson City, TX (the birthplace of LBJ).  His bride's family has a ranch there and their plan was to have the wedding down by the river.

It was about a 4 1/2 hour drive so we set off in the truck.

There's Zoé on the left, Emily asleep in the middle and Adèle over on the far right.

On the way down we stopped at the Czech Stop.  They have an awesome bakery.  Didn't get a snap of the sweet treats though but I had a huge German Chocolate cupcake.

We made it to our hotel around noon so we checked in an went looking for food.  It wasn't a large town so there weren't a lot of restaurants so we found the local barbecue joint.  Texas does know its barbecue.  They chopped the brisket right in front of me and I am sure that the barbecue sauce was home made.

After that we drove down to the ranch.  It was off road most of the way and there had been intermittent showers.  They were planning to have the ceremony by the river but chose to move it under the tent due to the rain.  Here's a pic of the river.

Just to make y'all jealous, we got gas here on the way down:

The price is not a mistake
We were only able to stay for a little of the wedding because the girls are hard to handle in public.  And then Zoé started screaming at 2 in the morning so we had to check out rather early.

I got the scarf done on the trip.  Here's a picture: