Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Behind the String: An Ornament for Dad

I blogged about my dad back in 2012.  He died when I was 21.  Even though I was technically an adult at the time, it was still difficult.  He missed both college graduations, my wedding and both kids.

A few years ago, I made an ornament to memorialize my friend who had committed suicide and I wanted to do something similar. 

I just never could find the right pattern.  Then I realized I was looking for the wrong kind of pattern.

My father was born with a hole in his heart.  Today, this is easily fixable, but in 1949, it was a major issue.  He had surgery to fix it when he was 13 but his life expectancy was a mystery.  The originally said 25.  Then they said 40.  He died at 56 so he doubled his original estimate.

Because of his experience, he collected heart memorabilia.  Especially heart stamps.  Lots of heart stamps. 

So, I decided, his memorial ornament should have a heart also.  I quickly found one.

 "Christmas Love" by Lizzie*Kate
I put his name and dates on the back.  Found an appropriate font.

Now, 12 years after his passing, he is finally a part of my Christmas tree.  And that's the story behind the string

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Some Ornament Stitching and Reading

I decided to stitch some ornaments over break.  All are from the 2018 JCS Ornament issue

First up was one for the ornament box for Adèle.

Let it Snow, Man!
Cross Stitch Sanctuary
28 st navy blue evenweave
Next was a bird one.

Winter Bird's Home
The Little Stitcher
32 st petit point linen

Last was a Joy ornament because I couldn't resist.

Joy Ornament
Turquoise Graphics and Design
28 st natural linen
Obviously, they all still need finishing.  I also want to do a memorial ornament for my Dad.  I may also do a few ornaments for the grandkids.

While I stitched, I listened to some Audible.  I may be Audicted.  I like that I can read while doing other things.

I finished Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson.  I've been listening to the series this fall.  This installment was 55 hours long, so it took awhile.  I can't wait until the next book, but there is not a release date yet.

Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3)Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

55 hours later, I have finished this book, wishing there was a release date for the next book.

The king and Dahlinar have hatched a daring plan to take back their city. A team of soldiers and Radiants travel to the city to open the Oathgate. However, conditions in the city are horrible and executing the plan will be extremely difficult.

Meanwhile, Dahlinar is working on forging alliances with the other kingdoms. It is not an easy task as his reputation as a general causes the others to fear it is a ploy to take over their lands.

Everything leads up to a desperate battle for survival at the end of the book.

View all my reviews

Currently, I am listening to Radium Girls, a non-fiction about the dial painters in the 1920s who sustained Radium poisoning and died awful deaths.  

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Catching Up Part 2: Some Ornaments

When I got laid off back in 2012, I started making ornaments for my daughters for each year.  There's more info on the Ornament Box Project page.  I updated my albums with the most recent ones.

I've made some more as well not related to that project.

I made these for my math class!

My finishing is not nearly as good as Carol's.  (Check out the Stitch Stitching Dreams blog).  I have improved with time.  It maybe it's just desperation. :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Catching Up Part 1: The Largest Piece Ever!

When I was subbing, I ran across a teacher who was cross stitching an Afghan.  She had crocheted the blanket and was cross stitching on it but she had made a mistake.  So like many of us, she put it aside (because sometimes you have no time for frogging!).

She gave it to me and asked to see what I could do.  I found the mistake, frogged what needed to be frogged and set to work.  It took about 2 months of work.  We were in the process of packing to move so that cut into stitching time obviously.

This is the result:

The feet were done, the rest was me.

It was an awesome opportunity.  First, to help her out.  Second, to do something new.

Hello Blogosphere!

I have been away for awhile.  I've still been posting my work on Instagram. 

A lot has happened.  We bought a house at the end of 2016.  I took a long term substitute job in 2017 which turned into a paraprofessional job.  This fall, I got hired for my first ever teaching job!  I now teach 8th grade math. 

This has drastically cut into my stitching time.

And also blogging time.

So, I'm going to do a few catch up posts of some of the work that I have done.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

And the Winner is....

I picked up my cross stitch from the fair today.  And here's what I got....

I was shooting for "grand champion" this year but apparently there weren't enough entries so blue was the highest ribbon.

I finished this piece awhile back but the frame I had bought would not let me drive nails into it.  So long story short, I hot glued the backing on and it fell off the wall.  I was able to repair it and used command strips to put it on the wall this time.  It's nice to have it hanging back on my wall!

I was a bit naughty and picked this up at Build a Bear.....  I had a coupon for $10 off so I added the sound effect.  It was buy one get one so I got Luna the My Little Pony too.

I also finally finished this great piece "Trimming the Tree" from Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe.  It turned out great with the bells and fusible fleece.

In not so great news, I discovered at the beginning of the month that my oldest had head lice.  Eeew!  My youngest also had it, I had some and so did the stepdaughter.  Everyone but my husband!  Fortunately, I think we've killed them all.

My suggestions for dealing with lice!

  1. Don't panic. Lice can't jump or fly.  They are spread by head to head contact.
  2. Lice can be anywhere on your head but look for them by the ears and back of neck.  You can tell nits from dandruff because nits don't just brush off but you can slide them off with fingernails.
  3. Tea Tree Shampoo.  My husband thinks he didn't get them because he had been using tea tree soap in his hair and I didn't.  
  4. Hair Dryers. Lice can't stand heat so blow drying your hair is a great way to kill them.  My hair dryer is the kind with the brush attachment so I thoroughly ran it through my hair after each wash.
  5. Combing. I suggest a good leave in conditioner (I'm loving Ion Moisture Leave in from Sally's Beauty Supply) and detangling comb because a lice comb needs to have tangle free hair.  A comb with metal tines is essential.  I got a nice double sided one at Walgreens with a light.  Combing works best if the hair is wet and conditioned.  A spray bottle like beauticians use is great for wetting down hair (under $5 at Sally's).  There are good videos on how to comb on YouTube.
  6. Benadryl Cream.  Lice can cause a rash around the ears and neck (I reacted pretty badly).  The cream helps with the itching.  
  7. Gin. A cheap and effective alternative to Nix/Rid/pesticides.  Put the gin in the spray bottle.  Wet hair thoroughly and put on a shower cap to prevent evaporation. Reapply every hour for 4 hours.  Wash hair.  If you can't get the person to wear the cap, you'll have to keep reapplying every 15-30 minutes for 4 hours (Zoe wouldn't wear it).
  8. Prescriptions. Adele would not let us comb much due to her sensory issues so I got a prescription from her doctor. It was $161 but it did kill everything and didn't require nit combing.
  9. Clean up. After treatment, you'll need to clean stuff.  Fortunately, lice don't survive long off the human host (24-48 hours).  Boil any brushes/combs that have been used. Wash all bedding and towels.  Pop anything that cannot be washed in the dryer for 15 minutes. Vacuum carpets and mattresses. Put anything that can't be washed or dried in quarantine for a few days (or vacuum it if possible).

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Catching up!

I've been off the blogsphere quite a bit this year.  Sorry.  But here's a run down of what I've been up to recently.


I'm still seeking a full time teaching job.  I've had one interview so far and my local district has several positions open so I'm hoping to get one.  If not, I'll be subbing.  I also have been grading standardized tests and found out I'll be scoring leader for the next session.


My girls will both be full-time in school next year!  Finally!  My six year old passed Kindergarten reading on grade level!  That is incredible since she really didn't start talking at all until age 4 and didn't say a sentence until age 5.  We are also expecting another grandchild (a boy) so that's more ornaments to stitch.

My daughters are into Tsum Tsum (these adorable little Disney plushes).

The Five year old's collection

The Six year old's collection
We also have some Build a Bear Ponies which have recently joined us.  


I have had a few small finishes, but I am mainly working on Gathering Honey which I plan to enter into the fair in August.

A finished Long and Winding Road

A finished Dandy Wishes

A baby shower present
Work in Progress: Mini Twist from Stitchybox

My fair piece: Gathering Honey


My husband, who totally understand me, let me get stash at the LNS for Mother's Day.  I picked up an 11x11 QSnap and a needle keeper (which I love) as well as the fixings for the bird ornament out of last year's JCS Ornament issue, some Kreinik and silk for another WIP and the GA Chalk for the Winter Chalkboard.