Saturday, May 30, 2009

Writing N Reading N Stuffs

Hives! I woke up with hives all over my neck! (thanks mom .. this too shall pass!) Came to work armed with Extra Strength Benadryl AND calming Chamomile Tea!

Had some 'twitter' problems on the drive in this morning too.
About a half mile out of my driveway, out comes a wild turkey. Slowed way down .. they don't always travel alone you know .. then had to come to a complete halt. Turkey standing in middle of road .. staring me down! Then, it slowly started leading me, broke out into a gentle Turkey Trot while I idled slowly along. Finally after about 2 minutes decided it had toyed with me enough, crossed to the road side and down into a ditch, into the weeds, and ... freedom!
Got moving along again only to turn a curve and see a bird sitting in the middle of the road. I got closer .. it still sat. I got closer yet .. slammed on the brakes .. backed up, and yeah .. it was still sitting there. Upon close up examination through the windshield, I realized it was a very young bird that just didn't have flying down pat yet. Put emergency blinkers on .. got out of car .. walked up to bird, who is ruffling his feathers but still sitting there. Pushed him gently back to the shoulder of the road into some weed coverage. Apparently mom had gone to get breakfast and baby was waiting for her return. Back into car .. back on my way to work.

A bit further down the road .. right where I come into civilization (meaning where the road turns from dirt to actual pavement ... aka where Oakland county outbacks end and where Genesee county begins) .. there is momma and daddy swan swimming along at the side of the road ... and they had their three baby swanlings with them! (I know, they're called cygnets, but that's a stupid word .. I like mine better!) I had seen them earlier in the month from quite a distance and I was so glad to see babies .. we've had this pair in that small lake for several years now and this was a first!!
So .. stop the car, turn on the 4-ways, just happened to have my camera with me (for once) and got these pics before daddy swan got his family well away from the dangerous formidable 'me'.

Nice start to my morning ... still itchy though!
And .. not to help my mental matters any .. I just finished another book. Read about this one on Gloria's (Milady's Needle) blog, went to Amazon and downloaded a 'preview' of it to my Kindle, read that chapter, and bought the book to be downloaded fully. Called "Still Alice" by Lisa Genova .. it's a portrayal of the Alzheimer's journey from one suffering from early onset Alzheimers at age 50. From Publishers Weekly: Neuroscientist and debut novelist Genova mines years of experience in her field to craft a realistic portrait of early onset Alzheimer's disease. Alice Howland has a career not unlike Genova's—she's an esteemed psychology professor at Harvard, living a comfortable life in Cambridge with her husband, John, arguing about the usual (making quality time together, their daughter's move to L.A.) when the first symptoms of Alzheimer's begin to emerge. First, Alice can't find her Blackberry, then she becomes hopelessly disoriented in her own town. Alice is shocked to be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's (she had suspected a brain tumor or menopause), after which her life begins steadily to unravel. She loses track of rooms in her home, resigns from Harvard and eventually cannot recognize her own children. The brutal facts of Alzheimer's are heartbreaking, and it's impossible not to feel for Alice and her loved ones, but Genova's prose style is clumsy and her dialogue heavy-handed. This novel will appeal to those dealing with the disease and may prove helpful, but beyond the heartbreaking record of illness there's little here to remember.

Powerful .. disturbing .. I have symptoms (Dave told me to 'knock it off' LOL) .. and I'm so glad I read it (finished it last evening) Did that cause the hives this morning? (if so, thanks Gloria!!!) Or was it my mother calling my husband last evening to tell him her phone didn't work and she couldn't call anyone? (yeah, you read right .. and then when he called back, she didn't pick up)

Deep sigh .. off to immerse myself in WORK!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Stitching N Celebrating

I'm done! I finished Carriage House Samplings "Happy Hallowe'en" on the 32ct Black Gauze!
You'd think that with being used to 40ct gauze, that 32ct - even though it was black - would be easier! And you'd be wrong. At least .. it was a minor pain for me even with my Ott light over my shoulder and something 'white' on my lap. Not sure if I'll do black gauze again and Doug at Kreinik just told me he's having trouble getting it back into stock, so that may not be a problem to consider in the future. I can see where my stitches are not uniform in tension, but oh well .. I'm done, I'm happy with it and I'm on to new stitching - think I'll start "Hooked On Reading" tonight!
I'll have this one framed with a wide rustic frame and will have a black suede matt board under the gauze as a mounting board. The design really POPS!! (To take this picture, I put the suede matt board corner under the stitched design - the grey you see at the upper right is 'the chair' I had it placed everything on .. and of course, the quarter was placed simply to enable you to estimate the stitched size!)
I did some more 'painting with wool' pictures on Thursday. One is a branch of cherry blossoms against a blue sky but it's too pale/pastel/light/whatever to really show up. I've got to play around with that one a bit more to see if it can be rescued before I can show it to you here. The other is still drying .. vivid colors .. three doves against a sunset, one with an olive branch in his beak. I want to give that one to my mother's roommate at Crestwood .. I think Doris will be very pleased with it. She's been admiring the other two I did for my mother, and the strong colors and religious overtones (undertones?) in this one are right up her alley! I'll take a pic of that one over this weekend and share it with you here.
I am so looking forward to a weekend off .. Sunday and Monday .. to do whatever I want to do! What JOY!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Been feeling in a bit of a 'funk' lately. Not really sure why, probably stress with mom and all .. and I'm sure the economy is playing into that too. I know my shop is 'strong' even if it does feel from time to time like I'm bobbing in the water with an occasional wave breaking over my head .. at least I'm not going under! This too shall pass .. keep a positive attitude and keep on a' going.

It could be that in about 3 weeks I'll be going to another trade show market and really shouldn't be putting that kind of money out there. But .. if I don't go, I won't know what's going on in the industry. And if I don't know what's going on in the industry, how can I stay up to date with my shop? This is an 'order only' market, and will be a lot more needlepoint and knitting than counted thread, so I'll save some $$ that way. I'll be rooming with Theresa from Homestead Needlepoint too, so won't have the entire week worth of hotel bills to front myself .. and if I live on the chocolate and treats each vendor has in their show spaces, I won't need to worry too much about 'meals'! LOL

Looking forward to two days off starting tomorrow .. got a bit more cleaning to do, this time my bedroom closet, and want to do a small bit of felting and finish my silk gauze hallowe'en design. And, the weather is supposed to be fantastic .. so maybe .. just maybe!!! Then we've got a holiday weekend coming up (which I JUST found out about yesterday!) .. I thought I had weeks to go before Memorial weekend. Where IS the time going?!

Oh and yeah .. I forgot. I have another itty bitty design to stitch up on 40ct gauze! It looks like I 'may' be teaching a Silk gauze class at the St. Charles Market in September to other shop owners (IF anyone signs up for it, that is!). Since I like to do the gauze without doing the stitched background (boring to me!), I want another stitched model to take with me from the same design leaflet to show examples of this with. (The class model worked up to about 1 1/4" x 1" total in size ... it's the little red barn/house from Prairie Schooler's "Autumn Leaves" .. I think the other will be either the pumpkin or the owl, but without the background color done). Funny how my 'Hooked On Reading' project keeps getting pushed a bit further to the bottom. (deep sigh)

Well, I'd better get back to working here ... got some fabric to put away and some more to add to the Sale Page. Later!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stitching N Cleaning

I don't clean often. Oh oh .. that doesn't sound good, but talking about going into walk-in closets that have been used primarily for storage is the qualifier here! In my office .. bookshelves with more books than will fit on them, cross stitch storage areas that you no longer have any idea what could be in them .. under all that other stuff. Basically, a human could no longer 'walk-in' to that space! Mocha and Padme had trouble too.

But .. it's enter-able now! Two days of intensive re-arranging, throwing stuff out, sorting books to take to the used book store and to take to a goodwill type center. I still have to 'organize' the stitching stuffs .. books are done .. but that's for another day! What can I say .. I'm a pack rat ... I stash A LOT!!! (the design is my stitched version of Moonflower Designs' "I Stitch" .. I did it on 30ct St.Valentines Day Blend linen from R&R mainly as I didn't have the color linen the designer used and wanted to stitch it NOW.! I did use the fiber colors called for, and thought my fabric was an incredibly close color substitute.)
I have to take a shower - I feel incredibly icky (probably has a lot to do with my finding a huge mouse nest under and in the back of one of my bookshelves and having to dispose of that), and then get my butt in gear to go see my mom. Cleaning was the important item on my agenda today.
But before I do that, I'd promised I'd share some of my most current completed projects with you, and today's the day for that. I'm currently working on Carriage House Sampling's "Happy Hallowe'en" I'd mentioned last time I blogged .. the one on 32ct Black silk gauze. It 'will' look cool .. but I don't like stitching on black anything!

This is "Random Threads" from Erica Michaels .. mounted on a tiny Treasure Dowry Box from Olde Colonial Designs. And yes, it's a 40ct Silk Gauze design .. the box design opening is only 2" x 2"!
And the design at right is from Noveau Encore Designs ... I found this company during the online Needlework show. She has 'name trees' with state motifs for every state and a bunch of hobbies/professions too. Of course I can get you whatever you want from her! Can you see it says "Michigan" on the side? And incorporates our state bird, flower, fruit and tree into the design (although our Robin was depicted as a Bluebird .. I had to change the body color to brown/grey from the blue she had.)

OK .. so maybe I won't go see mom today ... I can call her and tell her I'll stop by tomorrow morning instead. Not that I don't want to see her, but I don't think I'm in the mood for sitting and staring at her while she doesn't want to talk to me as I don't agree with her these days. (deep sigh)
I think I should take my shower, put on clean comfy clothes, and stitch! What do you think? Sounds like a game plan to me! Dave's cooking tonight .. that would make it kind of like a little deb holiday,

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Reading N Stitching ...

.. Reading ..
I'm hooked on a new series now .. actually it's Dave's fault, but it started with my friend Diana .. by David Balducci. Diana turned me onto his series starting with "The Camel Club". I, in turn, introduced Dave to them, and had to download the 4th in that series to my Kindle as soon as it was released (and then in turn had to share my Kindle with the David). Dave wanted more of his books, so next door to Lizz's Used Books I go (it's hell having a source right next to my shop - with it's stitching addictions - for my reading addictions!!) and Lizz gave me books 1-3 in another series by Balducci: Split Second, Hour Game & Simple Genius. And then as soon as his 4th in that series was released, had it immediately downloaded to my Kindle. Can't wait .. must read now! Only problem with that is ... since the first 3 books were actual 'books', I let Dave have control of my Kindle so he could read "First Family" while I began the series. Now, since I'm still reading the paperbacks (I'm on book 3), he's still reading the Kindle. He's on "The Host" by the author of Twilight .. one I HAVE to read!! Kindle lets you download a couple of chapters for free to see 'if' you want to purchase the 'book' or not, and I was hooked on what I was able to read! I also have the 9th Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire book that was just released this week downloaded and waiting for me too!
Now I have to find Dave something NEW to read so I can regain control of my toy!!

... N Stitching ...
One of the ways I deal with stress, other than to make a lot of jokes, is to hide myself away. That's what I've been doing lately ... reading like a madman and stitching to beat the band! I've stitched more in the past month and half (or has it been longer??) than I have in a year I'm sure!
Finishing up "Picasso's Rooster" on 40ct silk gauze, and then will either start Handblessing's "Hooked On Reading" or Carriage House Samplings' "A Happy Hallowe'en". I had taken that one with me on my last flight to San Diego and found out that despite a good magnifier, airplane lighting is just not conducive to stitching well on 32ct Black Silk gauze. sigh I was going to post pictures of my completed works, but since I left my camera at the shop, that will have to wait until another day!
Since this is Mother's Day, and since I've been under such stress and yet able to complete so many stitched projects, I'll give credit and say (humor, arr arr) .. Thanks Mom!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

SNT Guest Blogger

Good Morning to my mom's blog followers.
My name is Eddie's Frosty St. Nicholas, but you can call me Nick. I'm a 4-year old Golden Retriever and if you know about us Goldens, you'll know that we're usually too busy having fun to do anything else but this issue demands that I speak! (woof)

Everyone is concerned about this Swine Flu thingy and since no one else has spoken up for us dogs yet, the mantle has fallen on me and I'll gladly wear it. Wait! Mantle?? That isn't that thing they tie around your neck when you get your haircuts and they make you all nice smelly, is it? 'Cause if it is, I will NOT wear the mantle 'cause I hate those things! It makes me look like a sissy to all my posse .. I'd rather just have my collar with jingles on it, if it's alright with you! (oh .. that's called a neckerchief .. dumb sissy name .. OK, one mantle wearing dog right now I'll be then!)

First there was Mad Cow disease and all you humans got all upset about that. Those cows weren't mad .. they were just dizzy. Well, maybe some got mad when they fell down a bunch of times, but my mom falls down all the time and SHE doesn't get mad! (dad says she has low blood sugar/low blood pressure and should know better than to jump up out of her chair, but I think she watches me and I jump up all the time and I don't fall down! )
Now all you humans talk about is Swine Flu.

Have you ever seen a pig sneeze? Have you ever seen a pig with a thermometer? I don't think so! Swines do not get the flu!! Even when there was all that uproar about that about Bird Flu and that the birds all got it from the pigs .. have you ever seen a bird and pig talking together and sneezing and shaking hands without that goop you humans put all over your hands? I think not!
Pandemic .. shamdemic! It's People Flu and that's that!!!

If you want to talk about potential pandemics .. have you seen the amount of squirrels around lately? Now there's an epidemic!
First there were just those little chippymunks .. the cats should have kept those under control, but apparently those fuzzy mices mom gives them that smell so funky are distracting them. And those suckers are quick .. have you seen how fast they run? Once big brown squirrels were all we had .. now there are black squirrels. And then some of them stayed out in the sun too long and bleached out to grey, so you see those all over the place now too. And don't get me started on those ground squirrels .. I think those are the result of the big brown squirrels and the chippymunks getting together. I don't know for sure, 'cause that would be a result of S.E.X, and dad says I don't know anything about that 'cause I'm neutered (whatever that means!)
I digress (quickly licking self)

Those squirrels are everywhere ... whenever you look out of those see-thru doors .. there they are! Trying to take over the NW corner of Oakland County and it would appear, it's all up to me to control them in my yard .. no talk on the big grey box about squirrel pandemics .. not yet anyway!I try! I really do! I can almost climb the apple tree when they run up there, and if that oak tree was lower, I could try to climb it too. (I really don't mean to run into it from time to time, I just run so fast I can't help it!)

Mom and dad DID put in a 'squirrel dispenser' for me a few years back, but they don't keep it filled like they do the bird feeders. If you chase the squirrels just right, they'll run up the bird feeder and hide under that big black thingy. Then .. when you peek under the black thingy thing, and if you bump it upwards with your nose .. sometimes a squirrel falls out!! It's really cool .. but they SHOULD keep it filled more often for me.
OK .. Big Chocolate Lab is at the see-thru door and I have to go sniff him and then we have to run around and pee on things. Important Stuff (woof woof)
So .. dogs of stitcher's unite .. together we can fight off this squirrel pandemic!