Saturday, March 28, 2009

I'm a cheater, yes I am

Boy I'm telling you the truth, what do they say about giving an inch? I'll want a mile. Being totally dissatisfied with my extremely limited number of stitching minutes on the 25th, I declared March 26th a Christmas stitching day as well. So there. I'm a big cheater, but a happy cheater. I've completed 4 whole bands, 1/2 of a 5th, and buttons fill two more of the bands in this area:

So, all in all, it's coming right along.

The photo doesn't do the fabric or thread color justice. I love the simple sweetness of the design. BUT, until April 25th, NOEL is going back in the PHF* and back to the peacock I go.

*Project Holding Facility

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Christmas SIG SAL

Wow, time flies! It feels like it was just yesterday that I was taking part in the February 25th Christmas Stitch Along. I'll only get an hour or so in on SABF (Sisters and Best Friends) NOEL tonight, so not enough to post any pics, but if I'm good, maybe I'll have something to show before the April Christmas SIG SAL. So, here's me, jumping off the computer to jump into some silk and linen! Ho ho ho!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

WIP update

It's been a "recovery" kind of weekend here at Marnie Manor. A nasty sinus/upper respiratory infection has had me sidelined for about 10 days. However, I am feeling nearly human again today. As for Carmen, we are pretty sure she had a few friends over Friday night while her Dad and I were out to dinner. This is what we found when we returned home:

We've told her lay off the bottle, but some dogs just have to learn the hard way.

On the stitchy front, I did put the final stitches in the Assisi section of my sampler today. Here are the photos as promised:

Next up is a withdrawn thread band. Six bands down, 7 bands to go. But, as you can see here, I have the majority of the cross stitching done. Lots of withdrawn thread to go. Onward and upward!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Four Wheeler Wednesday

What is it they say about men and boys? The price of their toys? Remember when I wrote about moving into my new office and how I was on cloud 9 being close to LNS and all? Well, I don't think I was even close to the level of elation hubby is enjoying tonight.

Hubby's first four-wheeler:

It's got a wench, too. Look out trees - I think 'Vengence' is it's name!!! ;-)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Free Willy Saturday

The call came just before 7 this morning.

Carrot answered, "Thank you for calling 'Lady and Carrot Rescue Service'. Lady can't come to the phone right now but if you're calling from the PHF, please begin speaking after the beep. BEEEEeeeeep."

(sniff, sniff) "Yes, hello, my name is Eliza Pinkerton Carnation, but my friends call me Pinky for short. I'm calling from the PHF and (sniff), I need your help. I used to be bright and beautiful, but my days have been dark and grey since the love of my life, Chocolate, escaped last month. (sniff sniff) I must be freed and find him."

Oh for Pete's sake Carrot, where's my cape?

Eliza's Pyn Pillow
With My Needle freebie

BE FREE little Pinky!!! Safe travels. May your days in Nashville be profitable!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

P is for...

PEACOCK, of course. Now, you are probably saying to yourself, "Not this chic with that stupid peacock, again!". I know it's hard to believe, but YES, it's me with this peacock again! It is the WIP I love to love so much. You may remember when we left off last, I was frogging and re-doing lettering because I felt it had too much pink in it. So as you can see below, lettering back in place with nicer, kinder, gentler color scheme. I'm leaving the pink in the plume, just because.

"Old Stitches of
Italian Embroidery "

When I complete the Assisi section, I'll post an overall shot, but not a minute sooner. I do want to share the progressive "top to bottom" with you but I figure I stand a better chance of getting some stitching done if I incent myself to stop typing and start stitching. Boy o boy, some days I'm more trouble than I'm WORTH!!!

I'm making great progress on my away game, the Dragonfly checkerboard. I'm within about an hour of finishing the horizontal rows, and I have two of the 9 vertical rows already done. Basically I stitched the outside perimeter, then started stitching left to right, right to left, so on and so forth. So, maybe after tomorrow, I'll just be stitching verticals. I know I'll be excited to see each square come to life as I stitch the verticals. Each block gets either a dragonfly or a filler stitch, so I still have a lot to go, but getting the grid done is, for me, the hard part because it's the boring part. Boring is the kiss of death in my WIP/UFO pile.

I've also had a lil' something something going on down in the stitching room. (Peacock lives upstairs). I wouldn't ordinarily be splitting my time so generously, but this lil' thing is committment stitching, and I'm enjoying it, and it's small, so it'll be done soon. As soon as I clip the last thread on it, I'm not looking up until I'm standing over this peacock at the frame shop!!!

Weather has taken another turn for the worse. They say more snow this weekend...Nice. Perhaps some quality stitching time will console me.

BTW, Lake Dave is down to two inhabitants. We are bummed.

Consider yourselves warned: there are going to be lots of boring peacock update photos from now until it's framed. I'm on a mission!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Red Rover Ruler

Thanks go to Staci (again!) for sharing this great idea on her blog. I hardly ever think of taking smaller motifs from large pieces to create those wonderful smalls we all love so much. The flower motif is from Mary Garry's Forget-Me-Not sampler. I stitched myself a mini-ruler for the reverse. LOVE IT!!! I'll never be without a ruler again. And as long I need to only measure 3 inches at a time, I'll be fine. As soon as the new wears off, I'm thinking I should stash a couple of gold needles in it, for safe keeping.

It's Official

In a simple, short ceremony, Cindy the Fish was laid to rest this afternoon. Survivors include her big furry sister, Carmen, and her three swimmy siblings, Claudette, Ralph and Andy. Cindy came to live in Lake Dave about four years ago, when she was barely bigger than a tadpole. She enjoyed eating, floating and sunbathing. In her later years, she also enjoyed modeling for her shutterbug Mother.

We'll miss you Cindy!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

O Happy Day (sort of)

Well today brings a mixed bag of fortune. For starters, hubby has gotten his truck back!!! For the most part, it's all better now. It may never run exactly like it did before, but at least it doesn't have a tree growing out of the middle of it!

The revenge:

The sorta sad news today is that I think we may be losing one of our four pond fishes. Although they have individual names, collectively we call them "the Brothers and the Sisters". Why, you ask? Silly people. Obviously, we had to explain these living beings to the d.o.g. somehow! So, they are her brothers and sisters (she bought it so don't tell her any different, k?). They live year round in the pond and have done so happily for several years. They hibernate (a.k.a. freeze) during the winter and thaw out in the spring. Well, we've had a particularly harsh winter and I'm afraid one of our big guys just isn't going to make it. With a heavy heart, I thought I'd spare hubby the pain of the actual removal, but when I scooped that big boy up, he started flipping around! So, now I don't know. Half dead is kind of like almost pregnant, but I think he's half dead.

Here are the active ones:

Pretty, huh? This is the same pond where the waterlilies bloom in the summer. Fred the Turtle has even spent some quality time in the upper pond (or his Jacuzzi as we say) with some lady turtle friends. A-hem.

What I'm saying is the pond is a source of joy for all of us and I hate to lose one of our guys, but, that is the circle of life; you win some, you lose some.

On a happier note, it's Thursday which means one thing. Grey's! The sorta sad thing about that is tonight's episode is a re-run. But hey, I could probably watch some episodes over and over again without ever getting bored. If you are a fan too, did you know Grey's has a blog? When time permits, I love to hear Joe the Bartender's take on the happenings at Seattle Grace.

Lastly, on the stitching front, all frogs have left the building and the lettering for my Assisi Peacock sampler has been re-stitched. It helps if I talk about it in the third person. Like someone else did it. Just humor me.

Happy pre-weekend to you all!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Big Reveal!

In the interest of modesty, I normally wouldn't gush about something my hubby has done for me, but I'm making an exception this time.

He loves to piddle in woodworking (and stained glass) and has created some amazing pieces when he puts his mind to it. For Valentine's Day, he made for me a "sweetheart" thread board!

At first, the heart shape at the top was just blank, but immediately I could see our initials in it, just like a boy would carve into a tree. When I started to say, "Oh honey, wouldn't it be cute if you...", he interrupted me and said, "I know, scratched our initials in the heart, like on a tree. I already thought of it!" He just read my mind, just like that. So he took it back to the workshop, broke out the Dremmel and free-handedly scratched our initials in it, just like on a tree. I love it.

Right away, I began brainstorming what kind of "sweetheart" design I could stitch up for it. After much trial and error, I came up with this:

Most of the motifs hold some significance, such as the key represents our home, where we got married. The number 2, is our house number. All the little creatures (bee, bunny, turtle) symbolize the wildlife we are surrounded by, (and yes, we have a special turtle friend named Fred who lives in the woods about our house but has been with us for over a decade). The Roman numerals above the heart border is our anniversary date, 6/21/1997. I made sure that I would run out of room for the words, just to remind all who see it that in Love and in Life, nobody's perfect. I'm "wearing" a silk peacock colored skirt (my favorite color on even numbered days/red on odd). Hubby is "wearing" his most broken in cotton blue jeans. I've had a blast thinking about and stitching this little guy!!! Can you tell?

It's all so romantical!!! Didn't I tell you? Sweetest thing ever.


  • Wendy Willows for the man, woman and dog motif
  • The Drawn Thread "All you need is Love" for random hearts
  • Special Occasions by Dale Burdett for the heart tulip, Love word and bunny rabbit
  • The Sampler Girl for the key (freebie)
  • a 1992 Wichelt Imports freebie for the red heart border (at bottom)
  • JABC bee and turtle buttons