Friday, July 10, 2020

Okay, yes. I've been offline.

Since I've last posted, here are a few things that have happened:

I've been promoted at work again. Can't help that, I'm a leader and a good one :D

I've come down with the "sickness" during this crazy covid  thing :(

Wearing masks and gloves at work sucks :(

Dealing with crabby, entitled idiots is a strain on my soul :(

My future daughter-in-law is so very wonderful :D

My children are all successful and healthy and for that I'm completely grateful :D

For my birthday I will have my daughters visiting :D

I have a four day, three night stay in Vegas for $100 which I'll do next year :D

Oh, I was promoted again...........yeah it happened for real and I can now move wherever I want to in the country with my beloved RV :D

I have not stitched a stitch in a few weeks :(

I have a plan to remodel my RV :D

Life is good :D

I really hope that for everyone reading this, you are safe, healthy and staying positive.  Don't let the sheep and rotten press get you down!

Until next time......Keep on Stitchin'! (even if I have no time to do so, I fully expect you all to pick up the slack!)  So much love to you all.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Carla and Leonore's Halloween SAL 2020!

We are announcing early this year.  We are starting early this year.  We are going back to how we used to do it with a little twist this year.

For 2020 we are doing the Stoney Creek Pattern of the Month!  If you would like to join our FB group please click here.

In 2015 Stoney Creek started a little piece by piece Halloween SAL.  The monthly patterns were free for the month they were released and you only had to pay shipping.  There wasn't another one in 2016, but with all of the excitement surrounding the 2015, Stoney Creek decided to keep up the great work!

2017, 2018 and 2019 all had the monthly patterns.  All of these patterns are still available, but the cost for each pattern is $3.95.  We are unsure at this time what month the patterns will be released for 2020.  It is safe to say it can be anywhere from March to May.  When they are released, it will be posted here.

Pick a year!  Stitch each pattern in the month they were originally released or just go hog wild!

Pictures are added of each year that are currently in hand and when the 2019 patterns arrive in the mailbox a picture of those will be added for your viewing pleasure.  

The following is the item number for each pattern for quick look-up:

2015 - PM901, PM902, PM903, PM904
2017 - PM6001, PM6002, PM6003, PM6004, PM6005, PM6006
2018 - PM1301, PM1302, PM1303, PM1304, PM1305, PM1306
2019 - PM1501, PM1502, PM1503, PM1504, PM1505, PM1506

Stoney Creek website is here:

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentine's Day Blog Hop

Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope everyone has so much fun looking for their sweetheart!

I also stitched up a cute little Lucky Star Stitches pattern a few days ago that could either be great for Valentine's or Easter.  Hearts and Flowers!

I'm thinking I should stitch a second one and make a heart ornament, what do you all think?

Have a beautiful day!

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Neglected Floss Stitch Along 2020

Had to put the knitting needles aside in favor of completing January's Neglected Floss SAL and gosh this was WONDERFUL.  Granted it is still too cold for my fingers to work properly but I did it just the same.

First up are the two borders.  For the NFSAL you get two borders and then the sampler style year border in Magical's blog post from November 2019 entitled ANNOUNCEMENT POST.  Not knowing what the patterns will be like throughout the year may or may not cause some pre-pattern post stress, but fear not!  I have determined that each month will go with each border if you chose not to do the year sampler type border.

Let us talk about the first border.  Here we have what may look like interconnected flowers OR interconnected acorns.  Because of the way they are stitched, I'm going with flowers.

This border is 65 x 65 stitches wide and high.  It's quick, it's easy...........until you hit that snag in the middle that might throw off your stitching by a stitch if you aren't careful.  Mind that middle flower!

I chose the Delft Blue combination as I love Delft blues.  The Navy Blue really gives this some WOW as you can see.  I have to apologize now for the darkness of the shot as it was night time and I couldn't seem to get a better picture.

Next up is the leafy border.  It doesn't look intimidating in the least and pretty straight forward until you start stitching.  Suddenly thoughts of WHY DID I?  and THE DESIGNER IS EVIL! come to mind, but in the end it really is worth the time.

I will honestly inform you that this border pattern is time consuming, but if you enjoy leaves, backstitching and having a fabulous final border, THIS is the one for you. not be deceived by either border.  Each one will add flavor to each month's patterns.

The finished piece for the January pattern goes VERY well with the second, more time consuming border.  As you can see, it literally is perfect.

Walt Whitman couldn't begin to describe the leaves in this finished piece!  It really is fabulous.

I will be starting the 12 month border soon and since that has already been shared I can show it as I go along.  Once it is finished I'll continue putting the monthly patterns in each square.

If you want to join the Facebook Group "Magical's SALs" clicky here.

If you just want to follow "Magical Quilts and More" for all the patterns clicky here.

I recommend you join the FB group to see how everyone else is doing things in case you need inspiration.  There are some AMAZINGLY creative minds out there and I'm constantly blown away by color choices and end results. 

I'm taking some time away from stitching to rest my painful hands and have picked up my knitting needles again.  I expect it will take some time to use up all the cotton, but I'm okay with that.  Whatever makes you happy, right?

We are on the tail end of January and just around the corner will be warmer weather, spring, gardens being planted and the ability to be outside.  I can't wait!

Until next time my sweeties.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Obsessive Knitting?

Last time I was here bleating about what's new I shared the story of the washcloths, how they were wearing out and how I was making more.

There I was knitting away happily when the video chat with my siblings happened and next thing I know they all want wash cloths.  This makes me very happy as I really want to use all of the cotton I have to get it out of the yarn know the joke about the yarn stash that reproduces while you aren't looking and next thing you know there's a major motion picture about THE THING eating everyone and everything and the world ends in a vast explosion in an attempt to eradicate it from the planet?  That's how I feel about my yarn and want to get what I have made into the things it was meant for...........or die trying! 

A cone of cotton was a brilliant and inexpensive way to make washcloths.  I am guesstimating that a cone could make approximately 18 6"x 6" washcloths.  Each ball can make 4.  From the cone I made three terrible things that have since been banished to the garage for other uses, one too large cloth and 9 perfect ones with one being made on the needles currently with enough cotton left to make one last one.  By the time I'm finished with all of my balls of cotton I should have about 35 perfect washcloths.  

By now you are wondering if I have lost my mind......why yes I have!  I just cannot stop knitting them!  Not one, but all three siblings want some so why not?!  I swear they are my biggest fans of all the crafty things I do and if they want washcloths, then washcloths they will get.

My little ORT jar cannot handle the bits at this point, so that needs to be emptied tonight.  It will be full again in no time with all that's left to make.  Cannot wait to send them out.

Because it's January 15th, I have gathered the necessary items together for my model stitching for the 2020 NFSAL.  For those of you new to me or need a little updating:  I came up with the idea for the Neglected Floss Stitch Along a few years ago and asked my friend Galdra if she would design the patterns.  We first posted this on the first of every month on DeviantArt for our Stitching Pirates and Galdra has since been posting the patterns on her blog and now for her Facebook Group.  I handed it all over to her since she is amazing at keeping it all organized on her blog and I was taking that needed break from the world of internet, besides, she really has been designing her butt off for this and does deserve the credit here for her beautiful patterns.

Fast forward to November 2019 where the first post for the 2020 NFSAL went live with borders for each monthly pattern.  I have chosen the blues and will be using Sullivan's and Kreinik (hopefully).  Some of the patterns have the potential for some fun with beads, but mostly just pretty Kreinik for that bling.

After some discussion of color matching Kreinik to the Sullivan's and also using a conversion chart, the challenge is on!

I cannot share any more than this with you as the first pattern will not be released until January 24th.  I will be sharing my finished pictures with Galdra who will use them in her blog and after that I'll share them here and on the Facebook Group Magical's SAL's.  If you haven't joined yet, please do!  I'm the silent, lurking admin, but it shouldn't take long to get you into the group once you click join.  All patterns that Galdra creates are free.  She has many wonderful SALs in her group you may have to either join them all or pick one or two.

I did splurge on some needleminders I've had in my favs list on Etsy for quite some time.  The only reason I did the splurge is, believe it or not, I won $50 on the Colorado Lottery and felt I needed to do a little something to celebrate.

I have shared this on Instagram (@Akazaus if you are interested in following) and how could I resist nouveaux mermaids and had to have the set.  For some reason Denkai creates these light, wooden minders in sets and picking just one is too's the set or death!!  Her packaging is always a treat with the added candy and surprise minder.  

As is my new habit, my blogs have become ridiculously long winded........not apologizing since there's a pinch of good stuff in there somewhere.  I imagine it's the pictures and not the writing, ha, ha.

For now I'll share my latest fun with Lucy.  My son has been out of town for two weeks, will be back this weekend for two days and then gone again for another week which means it's Lucy with me all the time.  We are old ladies and do old lady of which is keeping warm in the chair together while I knit.

Serious love for the Lucy!

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

It's The Last Day of the...

...year if you can believe that.  I am excited, but kind of blown away.  I mean, how does a year fly by so quickly?  Very much looking forward to 2020.  When I was a kid I never imagined 2020, or 2000 for that matter!

There will be no boring end of year in review.  It's the same old stuff anyway with three exceptions.  The first is "Anatomy of a Pew Pew" by Unconventional X Stitch.  I made this for my son (Veteran, US ARMY) in just a few short hours, hunted down some 45 ammo and glued it to the frame.  He seriously LOVES it.

What is even more entertaining is that after I purchased the pattern, my son comes to me and says, "Hey MA!  Have you seen this?" He then shows me the image of  Donna Watts's version which is seriously epic:

No photo description available.

He loved hers and I then explained how my girl Jody had created the pattern and it's an instant hit world wide.  If you don't understand how epic it is, allow me a moment to explain.

I work with young people and one of them is curious about the things I stitch, so I showed him the finished Pew Pew and he said, "I've seen that before but it was different" and he then scrolled around his phone and found yet another finished piece.  Of course, I had to educate him on who created the pattern and so on, but to have youngsters who are gamers and have no connection to the cross stitching community, loving a pattern this much they get excited every time they see a new version of it, brings so much joy to my heart.  

Then the snow storms started and my hands have been entire body has been unhappy...but I'm unable to hold the needle presently so I switched up to crochet and finally finished the main body of a Chickie Bag I've been working on for a year.  It doesn't really take long to make these, but when you put it down in favor of other takes about a year.  I believe I started this one in January.  It isn't completely finished.  I'm still deciding on whether to keep the "different" placement of the strap where it is or change it to the more standard method.

I seriously dig how this turned out.  Exploring color options is always a learning experience and this one just thrills me to no end.

After the Chickie Bag main body finish, I picked up those knitting needles and started working on my wash cloths again.  I had to dig through some pictures to find the original gift, but back in 2012 I taught a co-worker to knit.  For a gift to me for teaching and because she was moving away in May 2013, she knitted some wash cloths for me and found this super fun orange (literally looks like an orange) basket to put the cloths in.

As you can see, she did an amazing job and I had many lovely wash cloths that I used to death.  I think I mentioned last year that I only had two left........well now I'm down to one.  I seriously love these wash cloths and they last so long I'm shocked they have worn out.  I've only had one dishwasher in one place I lived in, but still (out of habit) washed by hand.  There's something ritualistic and relaxing about doing the dishes and at 54, it's safe to say I'll just keep doing them by hand.  I need to make more to fill my basket.  

I did try making more last year but wasn't happy with the result.  So, I tried again and am so in-love with these new ones I cannot stop knitting!

In case you are wondering about my needles, here's how I made them:  I'm using needles normally used for in the round with the attached wire.  I have to many wires I thought, "Hmmm, I could cut the ends on one and then block the ends with something.  I tried using the plastic ones that come with the wires and they were too bulky.  Cut those off because the wire was still too long, super glued some shiny crystal beads and now I have the perfect length for knitting washcloths.  This is a good thing since I have an ample supply of Sugar and Cream and Premier Home Cotton to make cloths with.  Crochet a clam shell edging and you have perfect cloths.  

The seed stitch is what I use for my cloths and had explained that to Melinda (the woman who made me the gift).  The seed stitch doesn't go flat like the garter stitch will over time and one rarely needs a scrubby pad because of the seed stitch in the cloth.  I'm hoping to make a ton of cloths and keep the last two that Melinda made in the bottom of the basket so I still have those precious gifts forever.

Some gifts really are that precious.  If a person knows me well enough, a gift that I can USE is far more precious than a knick knack.  Everything I own has a use EXCEPT for those dang knick knacks.  Well those collect dust so I suppose that's a use!

New Year plans?  Just keep working on one WIP at a time until they are all done.  The only new thing I'll be stitching this year is NFSAL as the model stitcher.  No SALs, no leaping up to do the next new WIPs need to be done.  I finished one this year for the Stitch9Challenge.  Maybe next year will see more than one?

I hope everyone has a fabulous New Year, be safe, stay warm and share your love.  

Until next year.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Was Totally Distracted... 1806Stonehouse on YouTube.  Seriously.  I've been trying to stitch while watching all the videos up to current and that's almost been a waste of time.  Look up, watch, look down...where am I at?  Stitch mistake, look up, watch, look down, figure out mistake, un-stitch, re-stitch, look up, watch..repeat.

House renovations thrill me as do some of the homesteading videos.  Who knows when this new knowledge will come in handy, but having lived on a farm as a kid, it is a lovely reminder of things I already knew but haven't used in so's kind of a bummer I haven't had a proper veggie garden in forever.

I also just remembered that I haven't shared my Timesheet pie in quite some time, so here is that for your viewing pleasure:

Of course, January 1st will see a few things removed from this list and a new pie begun.  Hopefully I can remember to take a screen shot of everything on December 31st for when I get back to some of the stuff I'm taking off.

That's it for now, I'm pooped and need sleep.  I've had four luxurious days off and now it's back to the grind.  Have a lovely Sunday!

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Friday, December 13, 2019

I'm So Done With....

...Christmas ornaments.  I made enough for my siblings and my Secret Santa and one for me but I can't bring myself to make any more.  I have a stack of Santa ornaments to make for next year.  Here's hoping I'm up for the task next November!

I sent a rather large box to my brother who lives on his boat in Point Baker, Alaska.  I did have two boxes, but had to combine those with the larger box so he could have a little tree on his boat this year.  Here's hoping it arrives on time.  The weather is not cooperating and the float planes don't fly in nasty weather.  A fun fact for you:  Much of what you see on the NatGeo show "Port Protection" is actually filmed in Point Baker.  "Sam" and "Stewart" live there.  Everyone else lives in Port Protection, which is about 3 miles by boat from Point Baker.  If you watch the show, please enjoy it for the scenery and take what you are being told with a grain of salt...and maybe a beer...the BS gets deep on some episodes.

My other brother gets a package too, but that is a book and two ornaments so his boys can hang their first ornaments on the tree.  

While I was taking the large box, package and smaller package to the car, I lost the one for my sister and still haven't found it.  Where it went I have no idea.  It was there.  It was gone.  I'm going to keep looking around for it since I know it made it out of the RV.  I think I know.  Maybe it fell off again on the way out the door.  Now I have to look again.

More looking has revealed no sign of that small package.  I'm wondering if the wind blew it away?  Hopefully when I clean up this mess I may find it.  Cross your fingers!  It will be a bummer if I can't locate it.

Now that the ornaments situation has resolved itself, I grabbed up my Thordak (pattern by UXS called Fire and Ember) and plan on finishing that.  Since today is the 13th I still might be able to finish this by the New Year, but I'm going to be realistic and say sometime in January.

I have to be done with this by the beginning of January so I can work on, complete, frame and send Blue Mermaid to my brother for his birthday on March 3rd.  He is even changing the name of his boat to Blue Mermaid once he has the finished piece.

Another UXS pattern originally called Cute Angel Mermaid.  The lighting for that picture does not do it justice and hopefully I can snap a better shot before framing and mailing.

I'm going to start listening to The Gunslinger series by Stephen King today.  I may be able to finish Thordak by the time I finish the Gunslinger series.  That will be a fun goal!

I hope you and yours are warm and safe and surrounded by love.

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

There was a suggestion...

...about how to sew the Santas together properly and have them come out nicely.  My friend Galdra from Magical Quilts and More suggested I stitch the backstitching around the Santa like I'm making a biscornu.

So I did!  That was fun.  I cut off the excess corners and stitched the other side so I could have two sided ornaments.  It was easy to whip stitch them together too.  A quick stuff later and we have this:

Side one and side two.  I tried really hard to get that stuffing in the bottom tip but it wasn't having it as well as I'd have liked.  Time to make cording!  I love making cording.  I'll make it all day long.

Not too shabby if you ask me and now I can power on with the ornaments and package them up ready to send!  I'll share that tomorrow.

I missed the last few days of blog posting because I was working.  Seven days in a row is not a good plan when most of those shifts are 9 to 11 hours at a time.  Next three days off so expect some good stuff!

I hope you are all having a lovely day and get some stitching in.

Until next time......KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

So I Worked Like....

...10 hours yesterday and didn't blog because I was so tired and forgot.  A couple months ago I worked 17 or 18 days straight.  We had lost two employees AND the five people we were training for the new store AND I also had to travel to another store to help set up the Christmas stuff.

After that things settled down until two weeks ago when one guy got sick and didn't work and the other guy just didn't bother showing up or calling.  A new guy was hired on Friday and he kicked some freight butt.  I think he'll be great.

I have not had time to work on the Santa ornaments, but am hoping to do so tomorrow.  For now, here's a picture of Lucy for your viewing pleasure.

She is so adorable.  She's comfy to nap with, or sleep with.  She groans and moans.  She's opinionated. She knows I have to work today and is already playing the sad puppy card on me.

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Friday, December 6, 2019

18 Santas Aplenty Might Be...

...too many?  Maybe, but I'm sure glad I did 18 because trying to get the finished sewing perfect has been a serious challenge.

It all seems pretty straight forward until I sew up the first one.

To say I was disappointed in the end result of the first Santa is an understatement.  So I used a ruler and tried again doing it a little differently.

Wonky at best.  Feel free to laugh because I sure did.  It was at this point I realized I had not used fusible interfacing on the back and the evenweave is so floppy it goes where it wants and does what it wants.  

Interfacing in place, I try using a ruler to get things right and it's almost there!

Slightly off.  But MUCH better than it was.  By the time I managed to get that one done I was tired and needed a sit down.  I ended up doing some crochet that I cannot share now because it's a gift but I finished that project quickly and happily.

Here is what I have to do to try for a more perfect seam.

After sewing it up, it is better but still not perfect.  So I'm thinking these will be "rustic"...let's have a giggle about that for a minute.

Not my best ornament making, but the stitching is lovely!  Once I get cording on the two that are pretty "okay" I'll hopefully be more satisfied. And then I tried to stuff the dang thing and that turned into a chore.  It is obvious I shouldn't have made them so small.  Maybe an extra inch of fabric all the way around would have been better.  LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES!

Cording has been made and sewing it on began.  I'm not going to say the cording fixed anything or made it so much better, but it's not as bad as I feared.  This ornament will NOT be gifted to anyone this year, it was the practice run on stuffing and cording.

Still wonky, but more presentable.  I'm supposed to send my ornaments today but it looks like that is not going to happen.

I'm at the point now that maybe instead of pointing the ends I just sew a rectangle and call it good.  I'll try that and see what happens.  Update on this progress tomorrow!  If you have suggestions, by all means share!  I have a bunch of these guys stitched as you know so testing ideas is always an option.

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

When I Did Start Stitching...

...things started happening in a wonderful way.  So now I can show you all of the wonderful things that were stitched, mostly during October while we were heavy into competing.  KLT vs Jodyri was at it again and between work and pulling my butt out of that intense ennui, it came out pretty good!

In July I found I have 5 days off in a row (it won't happen again but there it was) so I packed my stuff and headed home to New Mexico where I am from originally and most of my family is still at today.  I visited my sister and her clan, my aunt and her clan and then drove up to the four corners and visited my other aunt and my sweet, sweet Grandma.  I took along my Ink Circles Tapestry to show off.

A little back story real quick:  After 9/11 happened I had a lovely visit with my Grandma and my Dad who came to see me in Eagle River, Alaska.  Grandma demanded I come to Whittier to stay for a few days so I did.  Before leaving, I wanted to show my Grandma (she is a master quilter) that I had learned how to quilt.  I had a lovely topper finished with garden veggies and fun colors and she LOVED it.  She then thanked me for it and I didn't have heart to tell her it wasn't a gift.  She's so adorable how could I say no to her?

Fast forward to July of this year and I bring Tapestry to work on while we chat and catch up and she says, "Oh I couldn't accept this as a gift, I'm too old for things now."  I giggled, remembering the topper she accepted years ago and gently told her it's for my BFF Dee Dee and Grandma looked a little bummed by that but glad at the same time.  She's still spicy after all these years.  She is 97.  I spent an extra day with them because I could and wanted to be with Grandma a little longer. So, Tapestry got some love and was touched by the hands of my Grandma.  I love that and it makes it even more special when that happens.

When the ho hums set in I still wanted to stitch a little at first but not on anything I had going on, so I grabbed one of the freebie butterfly patterns from World of Cross Stitching website and stitched up this little butterfly.

It will eventually be made into a little ornament and I think I'll put it with my Spring stuff to display around Easter.  It turned out so cute!

Fast forward again (the gap of no stitching was going on) and now it's time to start the Halloween SAL, but I'm just not into it.  I am one of the admins of the FB group Carla and Leonore's Halloween SAL, but all I could bring myself to do was go in, make announcements, give love to posts and leave.  It was a struggle as you know from yesterdays post, but I did manage to start Durene Jones Haunting Night.  I finished most of the outer border during the competition in October.

It is a fun pattern and I'll get around to finishing it next year.  I now have three Halloween patterns to finish, but I'm betting next year I'll have these done no problem.

During the October competition, which started out slowly like it does, I had time to finish some odds and ends.  The Spring Mystery SAL was finished and it's so pretty.

There's a backside I'll get to eventually but this part is complete.  Then I moved on to the half finished #TeamJodyri large version and finished that.

Yes, I should have put that pinkie color by the letters, but I didn't and this is how it is, ha, ha.  I also finished the October version of #TeamJodyri and I have to say I Love the cat!

That grey at the bottom is just the month and year and my initials for me in case I forget when this happened and it blends so nicely with the fabric it's annoying.  But, it's done and I'm not changing it.  I might make an ornament out of this one too so it's been put in the "to sew" basket.

We were challenged to stitch on a penguin pattern.  I have never stitched a penguin pattern in my life and I've been stitching for over 30 years!  So I found a little freebie on Pinterest and stitched it up.  It's going to be an ornament for my sister since I was yakking on the phone with her while I stitched it.

To explain the picture:  The challenge was to post a picture of the penguin, how many stitches and with a sock.  Funny right?  If you aren't part of this challenge you might want to be just for the pure fun of it.  The October Challenge was full of socks:  show us what socks you are wearing, put a sock in the picture, etc.

We were also introduced to Circus Stitches.  The designer is the sister of either KLT or Jodyri, I can't remember which, but I did find a pattern that I LOVE and snatched it up, picked out fabric and floss and was so pleased with it because I was able to use this one pattern for several daily challenges throughout the month.

The fabric is more purple and the floss colors stand out more in normal light, this picture is just terrible but that's what I have at the moment.  I LOVE this pattern....I'm a Firefly fan (brown coats for life!) and to be able to do so much stitching on this one pattern during the month was a treat.  I might hold on to it for March's competition.  It's the only unfinished thing I have from the competition because I kind of refused to do a new start.  I have too many WIPs and didn't want yet another one, with the exception of this one.

After the competition ended, of course it was November and time to start stitching Christmas ornaments.  I started out with a pile of patterns that I wanted to stitch and ended up doing one leaflet.  Homespun Elegance "Santas Aplenty", but I decided to stitch three versions of each pattern.

They don't look like Santas, but more like Wise Men.  but they all came out super cute.  I'm on a time crunch with these guys and since I'm only sending out five ornaments, once I figure out how to make them perfectly, I'll be done with them for this year.  More on that tomorrow.

I've still been using the cute little jar for my ORT jar.  It's good for one project at a time.  Not like my old one that broke which could handle a year's worth of orts.

As you can see, the ornament project has almost filled this jar!  It's so darned cute!  I am keeping it.  It fits nicely in the glass thing I use to keep all of the stitchy stuff together so why not?

Not too bad for working on things so slowly.  Today started out rainy but it's snowing.  Winter came early this year and I'm thinking it will be a long one for sure.  Never fear, I will be warm and dry here in my 5th Wheel with plenty of things to stitch, knit and crochet.

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Suddenly, I Lost My Mind....

...for a few months.  Essentially, this is what happened to me.  I even had a dream about it. Should I tell the dream first or the reality that happened?  Better start with reality and then save the dream for last.

From the beginning of my being here in Colorado I have been battling a strangeness about myself that, up until recently, did not have a name.  I had effectively ditched my old life.  A life of security, a job, my condo, my beautiful Alaska.  I lunged forward into the unknown to try and achieve a goal I had been planning for about six years.  

The goal was tiny house living, a nice job, and happily ever after.  What I ended up with was a giant 5th Wheel that was broken before it even arrived at my son's house, no job, and serious money issues.

Well, that's all my fault.  I planned up to the goal and didn't think further than that.  I really like my 5th Wheel, but the term "living simply" is very real in this case.  No running water in the winter.  My water tank has a broken nozzle so water won't stay in the tank.  The hot water heater is fried so completely I have to replace it.  Propane is expensive and without my electric heaters I would freeze to death (kind of like I almost did last winter when the propane froze).

On the plus side, I live in my son's back yard and can go in the house to shower, do laundry and get water.  Of course, there is a down side to living in my son's back IS his back yard.  I can't blame my son for this.  He wanted me here.  He said it was his turn.  He took my money and bought my 5th Wheel for me.  Now he's suggesting I go on to other things....he's been suggesting this since he met his new girlfriend and I get it.  I made the decision to move here, and I made every decision since on how to fail miserably at life.  No one to kick but myself.  So I kicked....harder and harder.

Knowing all of this now, you may begin to understand that mentally I hit a wall.  I was pushing myself to get on with it.  I pushed too hard apparently.  One day I just..........stopped.

I went to work.  I came home, sat on the couch and let movies play while I stared off into space.  I felt useless, unwanted, unneeded, unnecessary.......seriously a waste of space.  The honest truth is I had told myself that ceasing to exist completely would be the better action, but, more honestly I really didn't feel like ceasing to exist even if logically it made perfect sense.

You are now thinking, "Wow, she was so depressed!"  It really didn't feel like true depression.  It was just nothing.  Kind of out of body most of the time, except I wasn't looking at myself from outside, I just wasn't inside.  Seriously nothing.

I didn't cross stitch, sew, crochet, knit or get on the internet much.  If I did it was just to see what chats were happening which really didn't do much for me.  If someone asked me a question I would answer and then log off.  I know being offline actually helped me since I wasn't "involved" with life on the internet and could continue to internalize about nothing.

It took some time to come out of that nothing and start socializing more, picked up some stitching, started planning my one WIP at a time situation and getting myself back together.  

Some of you may be suggesting empty nest syndrome............totally not the case.  It's more like my children are all adults (35, 31, 28 and 27).  Three of them are married.  Three of them own their own homes.  They all live far away (except for son #2).  Doesn't this sound like empty nest?  Seriously it's not.  I'm proud of them.  They are successful adults living decent lives.  I LIKE THIS.  What I don't like is the part where I'm not needed or necessary.  What do I do with myself now that I'm finally alone?  My Baby Bird was the last to leave me and she waited until she was 25 to do it...pretty nice of her really.

Finally, feeling too pathetic about myself, and everything in life, I realized that without someone to take care of other than myself, I wasn't driven to excel or aim higher. I honestly don't want to.  But is that true?  I don't know what I want to be now that I'm grown up and alone!  I doubt I'll ever know.

My children suggested I start doing charity work.  The local places all have power craving lunatics trying to be in charge with no concept of what charity work is about....they just want to be the boss of something.  We have to be real here.  It's hard enough to get along with stronger personalities in the work place, but to try and do charity work with a rampaging controlling monster on the loose is just too much.  So that is right out the back door.

I did find a little job at a store here in town.  Minimum wage, was recently promoted to a lead position and it's generally fun.  Not enough pay to move into an apartment or even rent a room.  So, rock and hard place for now.  

The financial mess I got myself into after I moved here has not helped my mental health whatsoever.  With this little job I'm managing to pay off my debt and most of it will be done by April 2020.  I'm at that part right now, like when we all are stitching and we are about 2/3rds done but can't see the end anytime soon and just want to throw it across the room...yeah, that's where I'm at financially and mentally.  Soon I'll get that last wind in and will be able to breathe.

When I finally started dragging my butt off the couch and doing things again, that's when I had this dream.  It made me cry because it was so.........strangely intense and sad.  Describing the dream to you will be difficult.  You all know how dreams can be........all over the place and incomprehensible, but I'll stick to the main parts.

The dream begins with me standing in the lobby of this giant hotel.  I'm alone but surrounded by people coming and going.  I realize I'm waiting for the elevator so I can go to my room but the elevator only takes so many people up or down at a time so it will be a long wait to get on the elevator.  i am not sure if I'm purposefully not being allowed on the elevator so I wait.

I am across the street from the hotel in the lobby of another hotel where I am asked if I would like two standing lamps.  They are either gold plated or brass, but pretty with the golden metal swirling around the frosted glass lampshades.  I take them and go back to the lobby of my hotel.

Standing there I see my friend Vanessa (a person I actually do know) and she is talking to me and trying to convince me to be her girlfriend (yes, this is pretty accurate too, and part of reality, although she's not my type, I don't date anyway but I still think she's great) and somehow she's gone and I'm still standing in the lobby with my two lamps.

A man walks up to me and asks if I'm okay.  (For you readers, he looks like Chris Pratt but isn't.  This is so you have a good idea of the man talking to me)  I look at him slowly and say, "I think I have lost my mind."

It is at this point in the dream I realize that I was feeling nothing during the entire dream to this point.  I realize I had completely lost my mind, my sense of self and was a walking ghost.  I had been NOTHING.  The man has lovely brown eyes that convey sympathy very well, honest feeling was in those lovely eyes.  

I'm also wearing a hospital gown.

The man hugs me and looks at me with the saddest eyes I've ever seen and I could tell he felt love for me and sorrow.

After he stops hugging me I felt...FELT...better, like someone has re-lit the candle in my heart.

There's the dream in summary.  I could go on with more of it, but that's it in a nutshell.  If you are anything like me you would want to research the symbols in that dream to see what might be happening in my sub-conscious....and yes, research was done.

Clothes make a statement about how we want people to perceive us. If your dream symbol is shabby clothing, you may feel unattractive or worn out. Changing what you wear may reflect a lifestyle change.

Faulty machinery in dreams is caused by the language center being shut down while asleep, making it difficult to dial a phone, read the time, or search the internet. It can also represent performance anxiety.

People (other dream characters) are reflections of your own psyche, and may demonstrate specific aspects of your own personality.

Sex dreams can symbolize intimacy and a literal desire for sex. Or they may demonstrate the unification of unconscious emotions with conscious recognition, showing a new awareness and personal growth.

Lamp. To see a lamp in your dream symbolizes guidance, hope, inspiration, enlightenment and reassurance. If the lamp is dimly lit or unlit, then it suggests that you are feeling overwhelmed by emotional issues. You have lost your ability to find your own way or see things clearly.  It is also symbolic of disappointments, misfortune and bad luck.

HotelTo see a hotel in your dream signifies a new state of mind or a shift in personal identity. You are undergoing some sort of transition and need to move away from your old habits and old way of thinking. You need to temporarily escape from your daily life. Alternatively, the dream may imply a loss in your personal identity.

Elevator. To dream that the elevator is out of order or that it is not letting you off symbolizes that your emotions have gotten out of control. It may be a reflection of your life or your career. You are feeling stuck in some aspect of your life, whether it is your career, relationship, etc.

Crazy as all of these symbols sound, they all have a bit of accuracy in how I was feeling and what I was thinking.  The big NOTHING.  It makes sense.

I read a book about parents who are estranged from their children that talks about loss of identity and it made sense as well.  Luckily I'm not estranged in a bad way, just by life and distance.  What the book absolutely was firm about is how it is now time for me to live my own life.  No more service and sacrifice for my offspring, just make my own way from here on out.  I like that very much.

So, I asked myself what I would like to do.  Pay my bills, which I AM doing...check.  Listen to more audible books while I stitch (I've gone through six recently)....check.  I need to move, but where?

Ahhhh, THAT is a darned good question.  Do I stay locally since I'm here?  Do I go back to Alaska?  Do I move to Arizona where I have friends?  Research suggests that regardless of which way I go, it will cost money.  Better make some money.  Luckily I have a little job and once winter is over, I can get back to doing some contract jobs to make more money.  I have time to figure out the where.

I have also challenged myself to planning some trips for 2020.  I will visit my Baby Bird in Florida the end of January.  Go to Seattle for a girl's weekend with my friend Cyndy in May.  July I will be in a posh hotel in Denver for a convention and a lovely reunion with my friend Nancy who is coming down from Canada.  Once again I will be her tour guide in the area in which I live.

You see?  I have begun to plan MY life.  The adventure begins so slowly you would think it hasn't even been planned! I actually like slow.  Slow is fine.

One plan at a time.  One WIP at a time.  One stitch at a time.

And all of that, my dearest darlings, is where I have been.....nowhere, doing and being nothing.  Luckily for me and for you, I am real again all thanks to a hug given by an imaginary man with incredible brown eyes.

Now, go get a candy cane, get your stitching and lovely warm drink and dry your eyes.  It's time to continue living.  

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

And Then There Was This Finish.....

Oh yes, another finish.  Last time I mentioned this one was for the March Gifted Gorgeousness post  where I managed to get a nice start to Odd Clover.

Let's go back in time to New Year's Eve 2010 right before it turned 2011.  My daughter, Baby Bird, was in her bedroom talking to herself.  Put aside the fact that she looks like me a bit, that talking to herself is definitely a naturism thing right up front for all to see.

So she's in her bedroom, talking to herself ( like I said ) and she's getting a little more frustrated as the minutes pass until finally she's yelling at herself.  I venture forth into her domain and ask my sweet, angry bird what is wrong.  She says that she wants to draw a particular piece of artwork so when she goes to see her eldest brother (My Sweet First Bjorn) she would like his wife to tattoo this artwork on her body.  So I ask what is it she would like?

Baby Bird explains she wants a clover, knotwork-ish style with the number 13 in the middle but she cannot make it work.  I fling my hair back and take colored pencils in hand ( I am a fabulous knotwork artiste once in awhile ) and proceed to draw ( according to Baby Bird ) exactly what was in her head.  The end result was this: 

I also know that a great tattoo artist will make it better so I'm pleased that Baby Bird is pleased and know that my daughter in law will make it perfectly.......and she did:

She cleaned up the lines, made the colors blend better and I am so pleased with the end result I could cry.  This is actually the second  of my children to have my artwork on their body.  Makes me feel....super gushy.

Onward to 2017 when my Baby Bird asks me to create a cross stitch pattern out of my artwork to make a patch for her vest.  If you have been reading this blog for awhile you know that 2017 was a year of travel and re-location. I coordinated with a friend on a pattern, however, the Baby Bird did not approve, so I threw the darn artwork into PC Stitch and came out with something she DID approve of.

It was November of 2018 when I actually began stitching the clover.  One year later I finished it.  It is AWESOME!

The patch was then created with fabric glue and sewn on to my daughter's vest and promptly sent to her. This might be one of the good pictures I took that shows actual colors.  The next picture is a bit washed out.

It really is a fabulous vest.  Should have taken a picture of the front to show all of the other patches and flair.  You get the idea here how wonderfully "her" this vest is.  

I don't know if you noticed that my progress bar for Odd Clover is full, but it is!  I'm leaving it until January 1st when the new WIP list with progress bars will be put in place.

I do hope your day is beautiful.  Tomorrow may see a more explanatory blog about my absence from here and Floss Tube, so hopefully you will stay with me a little longer.

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!