Thursday, July 02, 2015

Old Sad Boring Ladies with Nothing but Time

It's a long weekend in America, so I know you'll need some extra reading.
Instagram/Eva Krbdk
Tattoos "grandma might actually approve of"...(Never mind the grammar, there's gramma!) I've lost count, in the past nearly twelve years, of how many times we've been likened to grandmothers. But the tattoos are cool.

More old ladies, lesbian old ladies even. Includes an interview with Julie Jackson that says she doesn't know what traditional cross-stitchers think of her patterns because she  doesn't "run in those circles." Well, really, why not? We're quite amusing, you know.

Guy cross-stitches new debit card in less time it takes his bank to send him a replacement.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Halfway There

We are officially halfway through the year. (How did that happen, amiright?) It's time to take a deep breath and see how I am doing on the things I set out to do in January.

My goals for the year:
  • Start 31 projects in Debbie's Ultimate Crazy January Challenge--I did it!
  • Stitch every day. --I fell down on this one in March. Damn, March! But I've definitely picked back up recently.
  • Complete stitching twelve pieces (in addition to the smalls)--I've done a whopping TWO finishes, the girls' samplers. I'm nearly there on the dude's anniversary sampler. That makes this goal 25% complete.
  • Stitch more smalls--Three so far this year, which is more than none but less than the six I had hoped for. {Bee Keeper, Slow Poke, October Sampler}
  • Craft Month with a new twist--It was a good one, I think.
  • Finish-finish 12 stitched pieces--March helped, and even though I didn't reach my lofty goal of a finish every day, I hit the mark on this one.
  1. Scissor Fob
  2. Tuck Pillow
  3. Jar Topper
  4. Hoop
  5. Bell Pull
  6. Mounted Flat Ornament
  7. Flat Fold
  8. Box Mount
  9. Tin Pin
  10. Applique
  11. Beaded Edge Ornament
  12. Scissor Keep
  • Hire a new cleaner. --She started in April with a "spring cleaning" and coming home was a joy!
If I redouble my efforts to stitch every day, I'm sure I can complete stitching more projects even if 25% is < 50%.

How are you doing on your annual goals?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Wrap Up

June Goals:
  • Wedding Row--I've finished the words and the hearts. I just have to finish the swirls and the dingbats, which I will work on until it's done, since I have to give it to someone on July 14.
  • Our Souls--didn't get to it.
  • Small: October Sampler, this was lots of fun to stitch with all the speciatly stitches. I do have to attach some beads in the center of the backstitches around the 14. Why 14? It's my birth date. I considered putting 15 there for the year I finished, but then I thought people who knew my birthday might question it. It makes it mine!
For July, I've chosen some Christmas designs to stitch. I don't know why I love the idea of Christmas in July so much. I remember the first time I was introduced to this concept. We were on a vacation in Upstate New York. Which was unusual because the plan had been to go to Washington, DC. And we did. But my father had voted* for New York wine country for our vacation and since he was driving, our last few days took us to New York. There was a little craft fair that advertised "Christmas in July!" and my mom was into crafts, so we stopped.

July Goals:
  • Shining Star, SamSarah (finish)
  • Tis the Season, Blackbird 
  • Wisteria Snowman, Shepherd's Bush
  • Winter Row, Bent Creek
  • Small
*We used to vote on where to take the family vacation. Everyone would make presentations about a place, and then we'd all vote. My mother always won because my sister always voted for her plan. I think she was worried if she didn't vote to go with my mother, she'd have to go somewhere on her own. I always presented on Mexico, which, you can see why nobody voted for (dead of summer).

Friday, June 26, 2015

Boys Boys Boys

You know how I'm always complaining that men get so much attention for doing "women's work?"

Brief review for those who answered no:
New York Magazine hates that too. (The video is kind of awesome, but you should read the article.)

Monday, June 22, 2015


I keep meaning to do a Work in Progress Wednesday post because I'm making progress. But two Wednesdays ago my phone died and for some reason, my will to be online died as well. And I couldn't take a photo without it. But I got a new battery* and all's right with the world. Then I missed a Wednesday for no reason whatsoever. Suddenly I realized next Wednesday is the last Wednesday of the month, time for the Smalls SAL. So here's my Work in Progress unalliteratively on Monday.

I've finished the lettering on Wedding Row by Bent Creek and just need to fill in the hearts and swirls and dingbats. I'm trying to decide if I should put in our wedding details (this is the dude's anniversary gift) but I think since it is an anniversary gift "Of my love be sure" is enough. What do you think? Names and wedding date? Initials and wedding date?

*You probably thought I just got a new phone. That's what the girl in the Verizon store said I needed to do because, you know, they don't fix phones or even sell batteries. But a recent reading of 37 Ways to Shrink Your Use of Plastic coupled with the dude's general anti-capitalist tendencies ("why do they make it so expensive to just fix things?") meant we went in a different direction.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

June Blooms

In May, I tried to get myself back on track by making these goals:
  • Finish (and frame) the babies' birth samplers for their birthday next month. I finished both, even though I had to almost completely restitch one. They are with the framer.
  • Knit the damn baby dresses. Yeah, not so much. I resolved today as I walked by the knitting store where I took the class to go discuss this with the shop owner. She's away until next week, but I'm thinking maybe we can use the yarn for baby sweaters?
  • Entertain my MIL while she visits. We had a great visit and really miss her since she left!
I also finished a small! Yay, back on track. 

And there was gardening.

For June:
  • Work on anniversary sampler
  • Allium schubertii
  • Work on small
Yeah, let's start there and see how we do...

Friday, May 29, 2015

Garden Guru's Visit

My MIL was here, as I said, and we did lots of fun things. I'm sure you don't want the whole art and garden tour of Southeastern Pennsylvania,  but I will say that on Thursday, when I had finally finished the second baby sampler (without taking a photo) the dude and his mum brought it to the Strawberry Sampler on their way to Longwood Gardens. While there, she bought a project to work on. She was really enamored of the shop. (She knits, but cross stitches occasionally.)

Mothers' Garden before
About halfway through her visit I got sick with a horrible summer cold. But I rallied on Saturday to clean up the Mothers' Garden--that's what I call the side garden because our mothers helped us dig and plant it. The grass and weeds had taken over, and it's always the last garden I get to, so we three focused our efforts on taking it back.

We had to move four plants--a lacecap hydrangea planted too close to another hydrangea, lirope that had gotten buried under that same hydrangea, a tiny hosta that had been overshadowed by the one you can see here, and a maidenhair fern that was being overshadowed by that pretty rhododendron. I pounded in some edging and we mulched. It looks so much better!

I've always talked about connecting this garden and the front garden. I'm sure I'm confusing some of my British readers, so when I talk about a garden think "border" and when I talk about the yard, think "garden." Okay, onwards. The two planting areas needed connecting, but the bit that was unplanted was like a desert, a desert we had thrown all the rocks we had dug up from our yard, which was like a million. So we decided a rock garden.

We planted with fire spinner delosperma, sempervivum (two varieties), leucanthemum (dwarf), scabiosa knautia macedonica "Thunder and Lightning." I'm probably confusing some of you with the Latin names, but since my MIL is Scottish and gardens in England, we have to speak Latin to understand each other.

That geranium sanguineum was already there. I had bought it from the library plant sale. I planted it late and forgot about it for two years. Three years ago, my MIL was helping me weed, and she found it. It's spread a little since then.

All this work just about did me in, though. Sunday was horrible with racking coughs and more snot than you knew was in a human being. The dude kept asking me when I thought I should go to the doctor. In the end, it was Memorial Day and seeing someone was going to be more trouble, by Tuesday I was much better, although I still cough impressively if you make me laugh.