Saturday, December 30, 2006

One last ornament for the year.

Finished ornamentifying this one the other night. It is stitched on moss green 25 count lugana over one thread with weeks dye works overdyed fibres. It was designed by Val's Stuff, and the chart was in the Just Cross Stitch 2006 Ornaments Issue.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Meet Cassie!

Cassie is a 1 year old rescue. I thought she was just coming to visit for a few days. I was wrong, she now lives here!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Another ornament finished and mailed!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


One down!

Lots more to go! This one is by Val's Stuff, from the october 2006 Just Cross Stitch Magazine. It is stitching on 25 count moss green lugana, over one thread. (for you non-stitcher, that means the stitches are really tiny)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Winter Seasonal Exchange

In my last post, I showed you a picture of the piece I stitched for the above mentioned exchange. To explain further, the exchange was for a seasonal (winter) band sampler and there were four of us in the exchange. It worked like this: A sent to B, B sent to C, C sent to D, and D sent to A, so everyone was surprised by who their piece was coming from and what the piece was. I have done a bunch of this type of exchange, usually involving lots more people, and the stitched pieces were always wonderful and no two were ever alike.

That is until now. Imagine my surprise, when I opened my exchange package last Friday to find the same piece I had sent! At first I thought it had been returned to me and I was cunfused, but when I looked more closely, it was a little bit different. I was stunned! and I laughed! I don't think this has ever happened. Clare obviously has excellent taste!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Winter Band Sampler by Elizabeth's Designs.

It's finally finished! I had a real hard time getting this done. I had to wait forever for one of the Needle Necessities overdyed flosses, and working around was a pain. The floss finally came, and it is done! It has been mailed and is winging its way over to the Netherlands, as an exchange piece. Can't wait to see what I will be getting in this exchange.
It has been a long evening...

First, June the receptionist, took the day off, so I had to work the reception desk most of the day. I should tell you that June is a sweetheart of a little old lady, but to say that she is a bit beyond retirement age is putting it mildly. June is older than God's sandals. She forgets things, and doesn't hear well. She can't remember how to dial the phone sometimes, and can't tell the difference between the phone and the door bell ringing. She tries real hard though, and I hope that when I am her age, I have half of her spunk. But, the days she works, I spend most of the day fixing things she messed up. So understand that June having the day off, and me doing her job in addition to mine is almost easier than when June is at work!

The teen that was supposed to work the afternoon and evening at the reception desk called in sick, and she really was sick. All the other teens had things going on, so I had to work the reception desk for longer than planned. This too, could be considered a blessing, as I was supposed to take minutes at a Parish Council meeting all evening. This meeting was going to be very difficult to get through, as the decision was going to be made, whether to go ahead with the building project or not, and how much money to borrow, and more importantly, how we were going to repay the loans. Since the meeting was going to last late into the night, I was going to join them after I closed the office at 9 pm.

That didn't happen either. At 8 pm I got a call from my sister, Trudi. She was calling from the hospital. She assured me that she was going to be okay, but wanted me to come when I could. So at 9, I rushed over to Northwest Community Hospital emergency room to sit with her while she waited to be seen by the doctor.

Why was she there, you ask? She fell on the train and hit her head and split her forehead open. It was a very nasty cut, requiring over 30 stitches and staples. Although I didn't look too closely, I think they might have shaved a bit of her hair, too. So I held her hand for quite some time, until I lost my patience and started pacing in the hallway. The nurses got the message and the docs soon scurried in to stitch and staple her up. The doc felt it stitched together nicely and the scar should be minimal. The CAT scan revealed that her brain is still intact. Never mind that the entire ordeal took over 4 hours.

She is now at home, with a huge bandage around her head, and a big headache.

I spend far too much time in hospitals......

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Finally finished those darn gingerbread men!

Two of them have already been sent off to other stitchers as part of an ornament exchange. The other four will be gifts, but I can't tell you who will get them!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mail Art Received!

Just realized that I never posted the results of the mail art exchange I was in. The reciepient of my mail art "envelope" was very pleased with it, and it arrived in perfect condition. The mail art piece that I received also arrived without any damage.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Click for Cans......

One of the charities that is close to my heart it the Self Help Closet and Food Pantry of Des Plaines. I promote this worthwhile cause in my community whenever possible.

This is not the only food pantry! There are many in every community. Please consider supporting your local food pantry, not just during the holidays, but all year round. Hunger knows no season.

An easy way to support these projects from your very own computer is available to you every fall, during football season. Click for Cans
By going to this website, and clicking on your city's major league football team, you are adding one can of soup to the greater food depository in your area. These cans will then be distributed to all the various food pantries throughout your community. You can click once a day, from home and from work.

so...get your clicky finger ready and Click for Cans to help feed the hungry.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Cross Stitching Cruise....

Sue Hillis (a world famous cross stitch designer for those of you who do not stitch) and I are in the final stages of planning for our very first Cross Stitching Cruise.

Although this isn't the very first ever stitching cruise, it is the first one the Sue is sponsoring, and we are determined to make it THE best cross stitch cruise ever. Details of the cruise will be released on November 16th at Welcome Stitchery, and then simultaniously on Sue's website that same weekend.

So....whether you are a cross stitcher or not, think about cruising to Nova Scotia and the eastern seaboard for fall colors on the Crown Princess, September 22 to 29, 2007.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Some Random Thoughts on Mail Art.....

Those of you that are parents might understand. Remember when you took your child to school for the first time, and had to leave him/her there? The child was fine, eagerly looking forward to school, but you yourself were a wreck having to leave your precious child in the hands of others for even just a few hours?

Well, that's how I felt late this afternoon, at the post office. I stood in line, waiting for my turn. I was hoping I would get the woman clerks, the man probably wouldn't know what to do! Finally it was my turn, and I walked up to the window and handed the lady my 'baby', my lovely piece of mail-art. I said "could you please hand stamp this?" with a quiver in my voice and a lump in my throat. I was having separation anxiety, having to hand over this piece of myself to a perfect stranger. The lady was very kind, and commented on how lovely the piece was, and asked who did the needlework. She was a bit flustered, and said, "I can't stamp this, it will get ink on it and it's far to pretty to mess up!" I assured her that was okay. She tried to talk me into putting it into another envelope or at the very least into a zip lock bag so it wouldn't get dirty and I almost wavered, but in the end I said "No, it needs to go through the mail just like it is, and we will hope for the best."

I turned and walked away, trying not to cry. My stitched envelope will be fine, and I hope that every person in the US Postal System that encounters the envelope treats it with love and care until it reaches it's final destination.

Mail Art!

I love a challenge, and stitching a piece that is actually an envelope that goes through our postal system is the latest challenge that I have taken up.

It is not hard to do, but you can't just go out and buy a chart and start stitching. It takes a bit of planning, and common sense, so that everything is right side up when you put it all together.

Here is my latest piece, for a fall mail Art exchange. The name and address as well as the return address are all stitched but have been covered up to protect the innocent. The motifs were taken from Sue Hillis' It's Autumn chart. The leaves are stitching in Caron's Waterlillies "fiesta!" for the colorful variegated look. The 'envelope' is lined with fall fabric with pumpkins and cornucopia all over, and a postcard of Chicago is on the inside to keep it from flopping over. Those are real stamps on the 'envelope' with squash and Indian corn on them to complete the fall theme.

I will be taking it to the post office this afternoon, after work, and then it will be on it's way to the recipient.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sometimes it hard to be the boss.....

I had an issue with one of the teens at work on Saturday. He made some bad choices which resulted in a great deal of stress and inconvenience for a lot of people, mostly me.

When he didn't show up for work, I had to rush over there and work the reception desk all afternoon and early evening. (It seriously cut into my stitching time!) I caught him in a number of untruths. He lied to his parents that he had secured a sub on Wednesday already. He lied to his brother that he had called me and talked to me, and he lied to me first that he was sick, then that his home phone was out of order, and then that he was home in bed. He didn't get a sub, he left me a voice mail on Saturday, mid-morning, and he wasn't sick, he was out with a friend. When I called his home to see where he was, the phone was working, and he wasn't there. When I called his cell phone, he told me he was home, sick, in bed. Can you say BUSTED!!!!!

I have a real soft spot for all the teens that work for me. I find them delightful! I enjoy teaching them things, and watching them grow and mature over the years. I bend over backwards to help them out if they find they are in a bind and can't find a sub to work the shift they are scheduled for. If this kid had just told me on Wednesday or Thursday that he wanted to do something with a friend, I could have worked it out.

It is unfortunate, but I had to let him go today. This isn't the first time he messed up, and has received two warnings before this incident. I know I did the right thing, both for the office and to teach him a hard lesson, but I still feel bad........ I just hope he has learned something from this experience. But I still feel bad!!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Something Other Than Stitching....

My daughter has requested that I blog about other things besides stitching. When I started this blog I intended it to be my "stitching diary", but today I will take a detour from that original intention.

Today I contemplate why I volunteer. Why I spend almost every Friday evening of my life teaching children and teens to folk dance. Why do I do it? Of course, I enjoy working with the kids and the teens, but that's not the only reason. I do it because someone has to pass down the traditions of our ancestors. I do it because I love to watch the little ones dance and giggle. I do it because my heart swells with pride when the youth group does a series of energetic dances with complicated footwork. I do it because I have knowledge that I want to share.

What I have learned during my lifetime does no one any good if I don't pass that knowledge along to those younger than I. Many times I would rather go out to dinner with friends, or go out to the movies, or just go home after a stressful day at work and put my feet up, but I don't. I honor the commitment that I made to my heritage. Add performances on many Saturdays and Sundays, and I spend an awful lot of time volunteering.

But there is a problem. The problem is not the children or the teens that I work with, although sometimes they do try the patience of a saint. The problem is the parents. The parents who come to rehearsal to socialize and not watch their children, and when I have to repeatedly reprimand someone for misbehaving, I am accused of "picking on the child". The parents who are too busy drinking beer to listen when I make announcements, and then claim that I never informed them of changes, and I should have told them personally. The parents who are relatively new, and proceed to tell me how to do my job, a job that I have been doing for 24 years without pay.

I feel bad for the kids, but my days of volunteering are quickly drawing to a close.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Not much to report this week. I have been stitching away on the six Gingerbread Man ornaments that I am making, but they are nowhere near done, and I am getting a little sick of doing browns. I also started painting a frame for Lizzie*Kate's If the Broom Fits. Couldn't find a neon green frame anywhere, so I decided to make one. It needs another coat of paint. Once that is done, I will post a picture.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

My latest stitching finish! Two Hardanger and Crystal Wedding Pillows by Lorri Birmingham, stitched for my son Mark and his bride Karen. This was my first all-hardanger project, and I am quite pleased with the results. The photo does not show the pearls and crystals that are attached that make them sparkly! I will be starting the matching wedding sampler soon.
Stitching the Night Away describes what I do! I stitch! A lot!