About Me

My name is Joy.  My nickname is Gadget, after Gadget from Chip 'n' Dale's Rescue Rangers (hence the title of the blog).

I am in my early 30's and I live in Texas with my two Autistic daughters (ages 8 and 9) and my husband of 10 years.  I am originally from Wisconsin so I am familiar with both the heat and the cold. 

My undergraduate degree is a B.S. in education and my masters is an M.A. in teaching with an emphasis in special education.  I currently work as an 8th grade math teacher.

Cross Stitching

I started cross stitching when I was 16.  My mother bought me a Learn a Craft kit of a frog and I learned to stitch by reading the instructions.  

After that, I started stitching using kits.  When I was 20, I started learning to stitch from pattern books.  These days, I mostly stitch from pattern books but I occasionally will stitch from kits.  

My taste in cross stitch is subject to change at any time.  I like to stitch smaller pieces because they are faster to finish and generally take less effort to frame.  However, I have learned to frame my own pieces and as I improve at framing, I have started doing larger pieces.

I have a collection of different books and leaflets that I have collected over the years.  My cousin also gave me several binders of old cross stitch magazines including Cross Stitch and Country Crafts (the first several years), Country Stitch, Cross Stitch!, Classic Cross Stitch and Cross Quick/Cross Stitch Quick and Easy.  I currently have a subscription to Just Cross Stitch and I enjoy the variety of patterns in the magazine.  

My main floss of choice is DMC, which I keep on bobbins in plastic boxes.  I will occasionally stitch using overdyed floss, metallic floss and beads.  I like evenweave and linen fabric but I do not mind stitching on Aida and I like stitching ornaments on perforated paper or plastic because it is easy to finish.  

I have also dabbled in needlepoint, traditional embroidery and latch hook but my main craft is counted cross stitch.  I have also dabbled with designing my own cross stitch but I am not much of a designer unfortunately.

See my finished work:


North Texas Fair and Rodeo 2014
Blue Ribbon
"God Is Love"
North Texas Fair and Rodeo 2015
Blue Ribbon
"Sunflower Sampler"
North Texas Fair and Rodeo 2016
Blue Ribbon
 "Gathering Honey"
North Texas Fair and Rodeo 2018
Blue Ribbon
 "Country Grace"

Knitting/Loom Knitting/Crochet

My mother taught me to knit when I was 10 or so.  I quickly gave up on it because I was always dropping stitches and I could never get an even tension.

When I was 21 or 22, I discovered Knifty Knitter looms.  I started with a set of long looms then bought the set of round looms and I was hooked on loom knitting.  It is difficult to drop or add stitches on the loom and the tension normally stays even.  In addition to the Knifty Knitter looms, I also own the Martha Stewart loom and the AKB sock loom.

This year, I found a how to knit kit at Dollar General so I decided to revisit knitting with needles.  I am much better with it now and I have knitted several projects.  I still save specialty yarns (like Homespun) for the loom.

When I rediscovered knitting, I decided to try crochet.  I had tried to teach myself with a book called Learn Crochet Visually.  I finally figured it out by watching a tutorial on YouTube (Mikey of The Crochet Crowd - check him out!).   I currently subscribe to Crochet World because I really like their patterns.

See my finished work:
Finished Knit and Crochet Projects


I picked up hand sewing at a fairly early age and I used to make little pillows and blankets for my Troll dolls (remember those?).  My mother gave me random sewing implements from her sewing box to use and eventually bought me my own little sewing box that was really a Caboodle (which I still use!).

I tried several times to learn how to sew with a machine.  My mother's friend gave me some machine sewing lessons, I took a summer school course in machine sewing and my Lutheran Girl Pioneer troupe taught us a bit about machine sewing.  Unfortunately, my mother did not really want me to use her sewing machine so I did not sew all that much.  I inherited my grandma's sewing machine after she died but it was old and I could never get it to sew very well.  My husband bought me a Brother Project Runway sewing machine a few years ago so I have taken up machine sewing again.

I do not have a designated area for my machine so I only use it once and awhile.

See my finished work:
Finished Sewing Projects