Sharing my life and love of cross stitch. Thoughts about this and that.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wow - I Won a Needle-Minder for Christmas!!

From Handcrafts Online !! I've never had one before, and at the rate I misplace needles ... (photo by Kelmscott Designs)

Thank you, Mary Kathryn!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


We're going to have a WHITE CHRISTMAS!!!  The first we've had ... since before I was even born - a LONG time ago!! Of course that puts Christmas Eve plans perhaps on hold, but Christmas Day should be okay with temps in the 40's. I deliberately waited until it started snowing to do some last minute shopping, then took myself on a 20 minute drive in blowing snow. Love it!!  And since it was 75 just yesterday, the roads will be fine tomorrow.  ADDENDUM: The last White Christmas in Fort Worth was in 1926!! To give you a frame of reference, my elderly mother was a 2-year-old toddler at the time - but remembers it vividly!

Christmas Lighthouse Freebie

Get a head start on NEXT Christmas!

From my Lighthouse series. Please note Copyright Information on right, and please leave a comment if you download or check the Response box at the end of this post. Thank you!!

With this I thank you for dropping by my blog and wish each and all a very Merry Christmas and wish each one of you a healthy, safe and most marvelous New Year!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

With a New Camera Come Photos!!

Several years ago I was given a greatly overgrown orchid in a 15 inch clay pot requiring a hand ax to break pot and divide orchid into 5 smaller clumps, which were given homes in much smaller pots.. I decided the best place for so many new plants was my back patio. Squirrels ate 3 of them by the next afternoon. The remaining 2 still live outside in partial shade, in the front away from squirrels, but because I'm not good about watering they depend primarily on Mother Nature to see to their needs.  They do count on me to bring them inside when the temps drop. Last winter I forgot one night when it dipped into the 20's and, of course, they froze. I rationally and fully expected them to turn black and that would be that.  HOWEVER they stayed mostly green, and a couple of weeks ago one of these incredibly hearty plants presented me with THIS!! The two beautiful tiny blooms are only 1-3/4 inches from tip to tip and last only 14 days. Mother Nature did a REALLY good job this year! This is considered a "native" orchid because it is one that can be found in nature as opposed to the hybrids that retailers sell these days. It's of the cattleya family but I don't k now the exact variety or name. I do know it will survive temps from the 20's to over 100!!

This is a large photo and at 768x1024 is wallpaper size, if anyone is interested in d/l. If you do, please leave a comment. Thanks!

Flowers received from my BFF for my recent birthday! The bouquet ordered had a bear HUGGING the vase - a representation of all the hugs she's sent my way in recent months! I was just so surprised and honored she thinks of me in this way, and love the bear regardless! She's now sitting atop the CPU just to the left of me on my desk. 1-5-09 Update: I'm drying what's left of the roses and have clipped off the spent lilies, but all except one of the little pink carnations are still very lovely, as are the fern and greenery.

DD and DH (DD cooked Bobby Flay's Eggplant Parmesan for me, coating it with Doritos, along with a pan of roasted veggies and cookies made solely out of crushed almonds and honey with a bit of blackberry jam, and also a mug of tapioca pudding with crushed pineapple dessert for a gluten-free, sugar-free meal! - well, except for the bit of honey :D )

My Parents:

My new step-granddaughters:


DD reading Night Before Christmas to ... and this came as a sudden shock when I realized it only a couple of hours ago ... her grandson. Wish I had realized this at that sweet moment!

I don't have any intent to distract or take away from my DD's precious moment, but the truth is that the simple act of reading to a grandchild is something I will never get to do - as much as I have wanted grandchildren since I was a kid and had 2 of the greatest grandmothers on earth. I couldn't wait for my turn. But never to be, and I have reluctantly come to terms with that fact of life.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Recent Birthday Present from Dad

Yeah!!! Cannon Power Shot - 12.1 px, sound capabilities AND in my favorite color!! THANK YOU Dad!

Now back to my very delayed Christmas STITCHING!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Beautiful Sunday - I love pansies!!

Today was a beautiful 68, almost cloudless skies ... and seemed like everyone was out shopping or working in the yard!! After taking Mom to church and visiting for a bit, I checked out Home Depot hoping to find pansies and a poinsettia at a good price. Not yet. Then drove a couple of blocks to Calloways where I found a 30% off sale AND the very same varieties pictured as my header for $1.11 as well as a couple of new colors to try. The one on the left is Matrix Morpheus. Reminds me of very big Johnny- Jump-Up. (I love those happy little guys as well.) The one in the middle Matrix Blotch Colossus, and the one on the right is Matrix Sunrise, the variety seen in the header, which I was so happy to find. I keep wanting to call it a Tequila Sunrise. VBG.  I also got a solid velvety deep purple similar to the other pansy in the header. Colossus and Sunrise I planted in the same 18" round container (they may need to be separated), the purple sits in a window box shaped planter right beside them, and the Morpheus is by itself in a pot near the front porch. I suspect it will need to be moved to a sunnier area. When they finally got enough sun last year, the pansies bloomed and bloomed, only giving up when the temps neared 100 and the plants were so leggy and the blooms so little, it was time to give up - watering on a daily basis would have probably kept them healthier a week or two more, but when it hit 104 .... These current plants have 3"+ blooms!! Then a block further to PetsMart where the bettas were 25% off, so I came home with a gold one this time, and Purina One cat food for $2 less than Walmart as well. What I really wanted was a new puppy dog. Better sense prevailed, so it was a new betta instead. Before I even walked in the house, I dug the weeds out of the previous containers, added fertilizer and planted pansies! I finally fetched betta from top of car and came in house. He's still waiting for water temps to equalize before he gets his new home. Sam Too, the blue one, keeps eyeing the empty vase! This one is Sunny. Perfect weather for a tiny bit of gardening and a tropical fish!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Cactus Freebie

This was originally designed as an ornament for a charity Victorian Christmas Tree raffle back in 1996.

I've indicated the center of design with box around center stitch - don't stitch box.
Size: 49h x 51w
  • 14/28 ct:  3-1/2 x 3-5/8  in
  • 16/32 ct:  3 x 3-1/8 in 
  • 18/36 ct:  2-5/8 x 2-3/4 in
Merry Christmas Stitchers!!

    Wednesday, December 9, 2009

    Purrfect Tree Decorating 101

    A Cat's Christmas I've corrected the link. Who knew cats were so clever when it comes to decorating a Christmas Tree?

    Monday, December 7, 2009

    Continued Fruitless Job Search

    I have been submitting online job applications a lot recently. Friday I sent a couple to Bank of America. Despite spell check, repeated attempts at proof reading, etc., when I started on #2 what I had submitted with #1 was displayed. I about died. First, when I'd created my "account" I'd misspelled my name as Lidna (something my fickle fingers do all too often), and then there was the misspelled words that only NOW jump out at me. I corrected name, errors and resubmitted #1. I hope that wiped the first submission. Why is it only AFTER one hits SEND that the errors magically appear?? Can't begin to explain just how deflated and defeated I felt. -Lidna :{

    Saturday, December 5, 2009

    Frosty Bob & Cactus Pete Freebie

    Though it didn't snow today (well, actually we did have snow flurries - it's just that it evaporated before it fell low enough to see), and it being our first hard freeze (24.8 as I type), time for Christmas freebies! I guess I'll start off with Frosty Bob. Check back every couple of days for a new Christmas freebie.

    Size:  51w x 77h
    • 14/28 ct: 3-5/8 x 5-1/2 in
    • 16/32 ct: 3-1/8 x 4-3/4 in
    • 18/36 ct 2-3/4 x 4-1/4 in
    Stitching suggestions:
    • Use a dark fabric to emphasize the night sky
    • Use gold #4 very fine Kreinik braid for the star, Merry Christmas and tinsel, or loosely stitch the tinsel using a doubled length of gold blending filament then separate the threads to give more fullness
    • Don't worry about exactly placing the all the tinsel stitches - it's the overall effect that works
    • Substitute gold mini tinsel trim by couching or tacking the strand in place to give a sparkly 3D effect
    • Use beads or metallic threads for the Christmas lights
    • Go a shade or 2 lighter on the browns in Frosty's hat to help it show up better on dark fabric
     Frosty Bob as stitched by Johanna, and check out this interesting framed finish on Webshots.

    Thursday, December 3, 2009

    Michael Powell Freebie

    Christmas Front Door  - a .pdf file. I can't figure out why it has 8 pages and multiple chart versions, but you can print only the pages you actually need.

    Monday, November 23, 2009

    After spending part of Saturday assisting at the newest class for our Citizens Emergency Response Team, including an outdoor disaster exercise (I declined to be moulaged - made up to look injured) which was cut short when a trainee had a real emergency and was taken by ambulance (eventually) to hospital, I stopped by Stitch Niche (my local LNS) to give Kathy a copy of the Be Grateful freebie (scroll down). I stitched the less hectic variation while watching Christmas movies Saturday night on 14ct Fiddler's light using a single DMC Color Variations thread - 4090 (left), I  think. I don't keep up with those numbers. Took longer than it should because I started with 3 strands, then dropped back to 2, then frogged and went back to 3. Haven't stitched with 3 strands in a long time. It also would have been quicker except I realized about 1/2 way through "Be Grateful"  I was off 1 stitch starting the B so  had to frog and start over. Good grief! Looks okay, but would be better in darker shades - maybe GAST Autumn Leaves? (right) Don't know what I'll do with it. Sure wish my camera was working!!

    Friday, November 20, 2009

    Ornament Finishing: Ladder Stitch Tutorial

    Ladder Stitch

    Used to stitch up the seam left open for stuffing. Description and photos. Very good!

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    Happy Harvest Freebie

    Happy Harvest Freebie from The Cross Stitcher Magazine.

    Sunday, November 15, 2009

    Thanksgiving Freebie

    Size: 66w x 32h
    • 14/28 ct - 4-5/8 x 2-1/4 in
    • 16/32 ct - 4 x 2 in
    • 18/36 ct - 3-1/2 x 1-3/4 in
    Stitching suggestions:
    • Want a tiny bit quicker stitch? Try the variation below. Actually, I think I like the variation better! Click here for alternate chart.
    • Lay your threads out on different fabrics before you decide which to stitch on and choose the most pleasing to your own eye
    • Stitch with a single overdye or silk
    A freebie to say thank you for visiting my blog. Happy Thanksgiving fellow stitchers!!

    Saturday, November 14, 2009

    Chanukah Menorah Freebie

    Chanukah / Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 11th.

    Size: 66w x 38h
    • 14/28 ct 4-5/8 x 2-5/8 in
    • 16/32 ct 4-1/8 x 2-3/8 in
    Stitching Suggestion - Be Creative!:
    • Stitch on french blue, denim, white, ivory, antique white fabrics
    • Choose your own blues or other colors
    • Substitute gold or silver metallics for the back stitch "frame" and flames
    • Use a DMC color that is reminiscent of tallow for the candles
    • Stitch candle holder in 762 or white on darker fabrics
    Can be used as a small decoration, ornament or card insert. Please post a comment and link to your blog or web album if you stitch this!

    Happy Hanukkah and Shalom.

    Monday, November 9, 2009

    Actually Stitching!!

    Finished the Bastin piece in 4 days (I went back and added an extra 1/2 cross to the flower colors to make them stand out better!), then partially designed, stitched and finished a calendar cover insert between Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Love the result! The center Eiffel Tower design I thought I had found on a French site. Wish I could remember where so I could give due credit! The rest is me filling in the rest of the space. I'm hoping the words translate as: Things to Do. It's stitched on 14ct Ivory Aida. I sealed the cut edges with Fray Check. Nothing lasts forever anyway. Here's hoping it's appreciated by a 14-year old!

    A big THANK YOU to Mylene for correctly identifying the Eiffel Tower as being from a freebie offered by Blackbird Designs!! Here's the link: Souvenir de France

    Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    Finally stitching again - Nice freebie site with tutorials

    I finally completed this Janlynn Flower of the Month freebie last week! Sorry my camera isn't working so this image is from that website. Stitched on 32-ct potato linen. Haven't decided whether to make into ornament, put in small circular frame, or maybe make a 2-year calendar cover out of it. If the cover, then I'd have to add fabric to top and bottom to fit. If you haven't seen instructions for that simple project, read through the 123MB posts here.

    I have wanted to stitch this Marjolein Bastin design for years. It only came in a kit, and I don't care for kits. I had posted a ISO post on the 123MB for just the chart with intent to purchase or trade, and was amazed to receive not only the original chart, but in its original kit (minus threads and fabric) as a PIF! Thank you! Thank You, Carry!! I started it Saturday and am already about 1/2 way through. I don't know if it's because I'm stitching on white 32-ct linen, or because I decided to stitch with just one thread over 2 (which has worked well for me with other florals), or simply the difference between the visual printed or .jpg image and the stitched version, but the colors just aren't as vivid nor are they the same shades as those pictured either here or on the glossy print part of the kit. What appears to be dark greens behind the flowers are actually 413-414-3799 dark grays. The blue in the flowers are the 341 cornflower series. The lightest "blue" is really 762 silver and barely visible. What appears to be white, is in fact white. The vase colors are 930-932. I'm seriously considering going back and adding an extra top cross to the single threads in the hopes that the colors differentiate a LOT better and hopefully stand out more. I've already done that with the few 3345 & 3347 green stitches, as well as the yellow and golden flower centers already. Or maybe I need to add some back stitching - even less thrilled with that idea. Like I said, I have to admit at present I'm somewhat disappointed in the design color choices as well as my stitching choices.

    Cross Stitch Pro: Here's a site with many freebie of charts and instructions for making check book covers, book marks, a new no-sew vase cover and no-sew flat fold, etc.!! (06-13-2011 Link no longer works and am unable to google site so it may have been taken down. If you can connect, please let me know.)

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    More Online Freebies

    May Sampler - from With Thy Needle and Thread
    Welcome October - from With Thy Needle and Thread
    C'est l'automne - from Gazette 94 - and many other freebies
    Pinwheel's Ornaments & Tutorials - NOT freebies, but great ideas for finishing smalls!

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Freebies from UK's Cross Stitcher Magazine

    Best with color printer!

    Margaret Sherry's ABC's - entire alphabet! - whimsical & delightful!
    Scrolled alphabet
    Christmas Pudding
    Mini Dandelion - very quick stitch

    Stitch a Star page includes (all are sepia-toned - click on the underlined "here" in each section): John Wayne, Michael Jackson, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Bruce Springsteen, James Dean, the Stig (?), Zac Efron, Keira Knightley, & Barack Obama


    The Toymaker: Came across this DELIGHTFUL site by a fantastic illustrator who features freebie toys, boxes, etc for you to print, cut out and glue together. She also publishes books of her designs.

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009

    Post Halloween Freebie

    Jack takes a well-deserved beach break!!

    Size: 34w x 43h
    14 ct: 2-3/8 x 3 inches

    Click here for chart. All downloads are subject to the copyright information on the right.

    Monday, October 12, 2009

    Beach Wedding #2

    Forecast was for lingering clouds and showers to completely clear by afternoon before the wedding with lovely clear weather near 70 on Saturday. Instead it was heavily overcast, damp and 53 degrees! At least the wind was calm and it didn't rain - though the ground was mushy from rain all week. Two of DD's friends of 25 years held a Bride's breakfast, then most there headed immediately to help set up decorations and put out the tables and chairs, etc. Large tent was erected in my parents' back yard, DD and friend of bride spent all day Friday cooking. He brought his huge cooker with racks of BBQ ribs, chicken and brisket, etc. LOTS of food. I guess it's not unexpected that many who RSVP'd didn't make it, but DD was disappointed nonetheless. Ceremony was again wonderful. DD left her vows "script" in the house yet recited it perfectly. Groom was in strong voice and equally happy to relate how he'd fallen in love with her blue eyes, and the minister was wonderful. Food was great. They decided not to serve alcohol and even forewent the champagne this time. They'd already arranged for an "after party" being held at the Karaoke bar where they met. The owner had ordered a cake and 2 dozen roses for them! I trailed in later, having taken left-over potato salad and their wedding cheese cake home to my fridge when I discovered they'd just left it sitting outside (plenty cool, but too risky - and then there was the possibility of hungry critters - not to mention rain.). Groom loves to sing karaoke. Those in my family took over the pool room, but I mostly sat and talked to the family from Germany who flew all the way to Texas to come to DD's wedding. Before we left, I was talked into joining Nephew, Groom, Sister and her DH for a go at Margaritaville.

    Tuesday, September 29, 2009

    Heather & Dan's Wedding

    Before the Minister:

    A Kiss for the Newlyweds:

    The Sun Sets on Cue:

    The Moon Approves:

    Mom and Radiant Daughter:

    First Dance as a Married Couple:

    Embroidery on the Wedding Dress: I was asked to embroider highlights on the wedding dress, which made me rather nervous. I got the dress only 2 weeks ahead of the time she needed it back. Once in hand I had to figure out what to do and where. After a few days I started with the design on the lower right of the skirt (so any rethinks wouldn't be as obvious) and began to satin stitch, but quickly decided to limit that because of the strong color and the detail. I used outline/stem stitch around the rest of the design. For the design on the shoulder, I decided not to compete with her lovely face and only to outline most of it. Because the dress was lined I had to carefully avoid catching lining by passing needle between the layers as I stitched. Took a LOT longer than it looks! The design on groom's pocket is the lower portion of gerbera daisy petals, which I had DD preapprove. I'd started on a separate piece of linen I intended to tack over the top of the pocket with designs similar to those on her dress ... but I got about 1/2 done and just did NOT like it. Plan B - what DD had suggested as an alternative - something like petals in relief. Because by then I had to have the shirt back to her the next day. I actually brought it home again to start over, and stitched it over-night - again stitching only on the top layer of the folded pocket hem. I intended to add an additional row of satin stitching to that area to the left to balance the design and weight of color, but she called to say a friend was nearby and going to pick up the shirt several hours before I was told she needed it back. Yikes. Which mean a RUSH job on the bit I still had left when I'd crumpled over sound asleep, shirt in former lap and needle still in hand.


    Just got back from Florida from my daughter's almost perfect beach wedding in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. The weather was perfect, if breezy. The bride was radiant and so very happy. She had waited a very long time for that day. The groom became so emotional he could barely read his lovely tribute and vows. I didn't flub my "who gives this bride away?" line, nor did I drop the flowers that were unexpectedly thrust in my hands. The sun was low over the Gulf of Mexico, suspended it's descent a few moments to allow photos to be taken, then went down on cue leaving a warm afterglow of both light and emotion.

    The wedding party was small and mostly family. His live in that area. Bride and groom made the 12 hour drive from DFW, and bridge Mom flew in for a couple of nights. They stayed on a very nice condo on the beach. We all met at the condo, then walked out for the wedding. Onlooker peered from balconies and beach goers politely kept their distance. Afterward one family walked up to congratulate the couple and offer to take a group photo. Although very informal, my DD spent weeks getting everything ready. I kept asking what I could do to help, and finally she asked me to embroider something on her while sundress and groom's shirt. Yikes. I haven't embroidered in years and even after she delivered the dress to me in early September, it took days for me to get up the nerve to actually stitch on it. What I had planned for groom's pocket did not work, so DD suggested something and I stayed up all night the day before the left to stitch it. Not exactly what I wanted, but okay with them.

    However, the weather was perfect, and the sun went down between them on cue. The bride was beautiful. The groom was besotted with love. It was a small ceremony with only family and her college roommate and child in attendance, however I noted several people on balconies watching as well as some people further down the beach. In fact one family came up applauding and to give their congratulations. Then the husband asked if we would like him to take a photo of the entire wedding party. Everybody was smiles, and by then the "minister" had wisely ducked out to make "another engagement."

    Groom's sister and niece prepared far too much food for the small reception back in the condo, then plans to go out to party were scrapped and everyone went to bed before 9 ... BECAUSE ...

    Earlier that day we'd been looking at the local sights, including the fishing and tourist docks. My sister's DH and imminent Son-in-Law decided on the spur of the moment that we should all go deep sea fishing the next morning. I've never been fishing, and DEEP SEA fishing was never on my list of top couple of million things to do in life. But it was either sit alone for 8 hours in the condo waiting to be taken to the airport, or tag along (despite the fact I was swigging Pepto Bismol before I even left home) and taking even a short ride on ANY boat was way against my better judgment. So the 5 of us were all up before 6am, my not-even-married-12-hours DD fixed a quick breakfast (of which I wisely only nibbled), and we were roared away from the dock at 8am for a 6-hour fishing trip to a secret spot somewhere 12 miles off-shore. I've been on cruises before with no problem, and the trip out and back didn't bother me but even large party boat endlessly rocking and rolling ... So was DD. It also played total havoc with my already iffy sense of balance to the point it was all I could do to stand, and sat as much as possible. But the weather was nice and not too warm, The Gulf apparently pretty calm (surely they were kidding!), and I fished for the first and last time, actually catching 3 fish - one that was under size and another much smaller one keepable, but with filets probably smaller than a fish stick. Mostly, however, we baited double-hooked lines then fed 95% of the bait to waiting fish and dolphins, who I swear heard the boat and wheeeed "Lunch is here," - then giggled when we reeled up heavy but empty hooks. It was not a good fishing day. I wasn't aware of how much all that rocking and rolling affected my balance until I took a quick shower before we left for airport - and almost fell over sideways. Less than 3 hours after getting off boat, I was on plane flying home. It took 2 days before my floor quit rolling and my TV and computer screen to cease rocking.

    My DD and new SIL stayed another week for their honeymoon. Now they get a second opportunity at the wedding of their dreams when they repeat their vows in my parents' back yard on October 10th for a much larger group of family and friends that could not make it to Florida. Crossing fingers the weather is just as perfect, and that this time new Husband can sing the words he'd intended to before he was too overcome with emotion to do much more than whisper them.

    Friday, September 4, 2009

    CAL fires for brother / Mixed Bag for me

    From Pasadena looking north. Mt. Wilson is just out of photo to right. Station Fire is just getting started. Later flames were seen above the ridge line and the fire moved eastward behind all of these foothills and Mt. Wilson, with the historical observatory and all those critical communication towers.

    FINALLY STARTED STITCHING Pansy /5 cents, 1 over 1 on I think 28ct linen, but could be 32. It's tiny. I'm thinking little needle holder or maybe a fob.

    I FINALLY had a job interview yesterday. It lasted 2 hours and was actually enjoyable, but whether that translates into a job offer, I have no idea. I have to provide a transcript from 1980 to insure I will even be considered. But I have to ask (and did) HOW is a transcript of courses I took 30+ years ago possibly relevant to what I've learned and experienced since?

    Today is Mother's 83rd birthday. Last week Dad turned 85. I am so blessed that I still have BOTH parents around nearby. Mom's health could be a LOT better, but she will hardly eat anything and has become so frail. However, she still gets out to work in the yard. I found out Sunday, following a large family BD party, that she'd fallen twice in the past week, once off the thankfully low back porch. I know my heart skipped a beat when I found that out!

    Sunday, August 16, 2009

    Prairie Schooler Releases & Update

    The expectations were high for the new PS releases and they didn't fail. There was a flurry of activity when they finally arrived. In fact, I couldn't get to my LNS that day but was there early afternoon the next. They only had one complete set left and owner was already reordering! Spent a lot of time the past week or so doing things on the PSFans Yahoo Group. Uploaded photos for an album for the annual Santas, then Friday spent a LOT of time setting up an album with photos of most of the PS Freebies. We're looking now for photos of stitched designs that were published in other sources.

    Tuesday I was asked to assist the Salvation Army take some children to Target to buy school supplies, new shoes and a set of pants/top at Target. I never go to Target. I was assigned a bright 8-year-old and quickly felt the effect of having not shopped for same in at least 25 years! I was so stressed, I went from SA to Walmart to wander around in a familiar environment.

    Sent off more resumes. No results.

    With all the PS stuff I've done this week, I found myself AT LAST fondling my stash overnight, sorting and dismayed at the number of finishes I've never done anything with, putting thread bobbins back in the boxes. I intended to finish up a couple of things that wouldn't take an hour, but I couldn't decide what PS to stitch next!!

    Monday, August 3, 2009


    I'm getting a trial prism for one of my lens with hope that it will help vision problems. However, I did this once 30 years ago and I tossed glasses after a week. My eyes are very sensitive to even minimal prescription changes, so I'm pretty sure they won't adjust to this at all!

    My sister and I went to a heavily advertised Job Fair last week at new Cowboys Stadium. WHAT A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME!! The ONLY thing they were telling people was: You'll need to go ONLINE to check on openings and make applications.

    The past two Sundays I've spent in Dallas at an ARRL (national amateur radio group) sanctioned/sponsored Em(ergency)Comm(unications) course. EmComm trained volunteers are deployed all over the world to set up emergency communications to augment limited or totally destroyed communications systems using often very expensive but self-owned radio equipment, towers, generators, etc. for hours to days, or more. While one of the presenters travels frequently on the behest of the US Govt and military, most of those taking the course only expect deployment in the local area or state. It was extremely interesting. Since I am the asst EmComm radio volunteer at my city OEM/EOC, and occasionally do that solo, I am trying to learn every thing I can so that I will be far more effective and useful in an emergency situation.

    I should probably take often-redone resume to Workforce Commission to see if tweaking it yet again would make ANY difference. Besides the age and over-qualification issues, what would be the most useful is availability of actual JOBS someone with my background and education would even be considered for. I've seriously thought about out and out lying about what I've been doing for the past 30 years. Seem no one wants an employee with a post-grad decree, more particularly a JD, hanging round. The majority of available jobs require only a high school diploma or GED and a couple of years experience in that particular type job. It's been very discouraging, and I really wonder why I ever worked so hard to get through both college and law school as a single parent working 20 - 25 hours a week. It took everything I had in me to do it. Now I only wonder why I ever bothered. If it paid enough, had health insurance coverage, and there was an opening, I'd be perfectly happy working at my LNS!!

    Saturday, July 25, 2009

    Hydrangea Freebie from Cross Stitcher Mag

    Check out a beautiful extract from a floral kit by Maia: Moonlight Hydrangeas at . Click "here" just above the photo. The chart is for the blue hydrangea on the right. Charted for Anchor/DMC/Maderia

    DD's wedding colors

    Beach wedding. I spent hours trying to put together email with Pantone (print) colors vs DMC colors for her. The email is somewhere in cyberspace. I stopped by LNS to look at silks and ended up with Soie d'Alger #113 and 123.

    Of course neither of the above look exactly like the actual color, but gives the idea. Seeing as how she's since decided to use a rose red as an accent color, she picked out a red for her cake table cloth and decided on a dark blue for her table toppers ... My immediately thought was RED WHITE BLUE, and started to mention those will overwhelm her pastels. Rental houses don't have anything like the above colors except for bright turquoise or sea mist(too green). I've looked online, but nothing. I may look for plain polyester weave fabric and see if I can find anything closer for about the same price as renting. Suggestions appreciated!! She took home a Key Lime Cheesecake from a local bakery to try out as her wedding cake. It's going to be large single cheesecake on top of tier of tower, then individual slices on the lower tiers. I'm going to try to talk her out of luminaria along the aisle as well. I can envision pants legs and kids on FIRE! ACCKKKK!!!

    Saturday, July 18, 2009

    Wedding & DMC colors - Teaching Cross Stitch

    Still NO response re job apps and resumes! Pretty depressing. Most of week spent researching the cost of tent & wedding rentals for DD. She's asked me to stitch something on the white sundress she's chosen for her beach wedding, so took my entire box of blues with me for dinner Wednesday night. She'd made a mock up of the invite she's making herself and to go with the other blues she'd already chosen. She kept picking up DMC 517. I had 3 of them in the storage box and that's what her eye was drawn too, but I'm thinking it's a bit dark and you won't be able to tell what color it is, except it isn't black. I'm going to try to talk her into a lighter shade in the same family. OH.... doggone it, phooey, and FIDDLESTICKS!!! I just discovered the very long email I spent 2 hours putting together as I researched DMC .jpg's to compare with a PMS color chart I found online, and making suggestions is NOT in my sent box. WHERE IS IT???

    My DD's fiance' has a 14-year-old. Knowing she would be at dinner I got inspired (or maybe crazy), hunted down a DMC mentor kit I'd ordered in 2005 but had never had a chance to use, and took one of the small stitching kits with me. While DD and fiance' were cleaning up, she showed me her scrap-booking (she's crafty!!), I asked if she'd ever heard of cross stitch, showed her the things I'd stitched for my DD, which she liked, so I pulled out the little kit and taught my first cross stitch class. I figured she was being polite to sit there and let me encourage her (she was very focused and doing amazingly well, if very slow - like I'm not). Those few stitches took well over an hour. I would have shown her some other things, but just putting needle and fabric in hand and making crosses (all going the same direction!!) was an accomplishment. My DD told me that she had worked on it some more later. Ok, where's all my stash that I can foist on her?? : ) Nope, I'm thinking she'd probably like Lizzie Kate, which I have none of. Or maybe a simple LHN. Not sure of her style. She had some plumish purple in her hair - but it was a temporary wash. I was trying to decide if I had been brave enough to put a strange color in mine, what color that might have been - or be. : )

    Check out the freebies at DMC!

    Saturday, July 11, 2009

    Freebie Link: Frank Leads the Crusade to Save Cross Stitch - Learn How Free!


    Direct link to Hoffman for standard and color charts - right beneath video.

    Shop locator - I suggest you call your LNS first to verify they are participating in this promotion.

    Thursday, July 9, 2009

    Embroidery on Wedding Dress

    My DD called yesterday and said that she would like to to add blue highlights to her casual wedding dress and the same to groom's shirt. I'm HONORED, but suddenly I'm very concerned about my skills! Been a long time since I did straight embroidery. I'll wait to see what type of pattern is on the dress, then attempt to duplicate on shirt. I'm already debating the wisdom of stitching directly on the shirt vs stitching on fabric to tack on to it - just in case Mr. Frog comes for a long visit. I've already decided it's going to be washable silks!

    Monday, July 6, 2009

    Frustrating eye problems

    I test at 20/20 vision with my glasses, HOWEVER that is sooooo not true. I spent almost 2 hours at my long-time eye-doctor's office this morning with intent of getting new prescription that will help with vision issues and relieve eye strain. I've never been able to wear the ones I got 18 months ago, which are too strong - the focal length too short, they magnify toooo much, or something. My 5-year-old pair suffer from badly scratched (scratch resistant) and foggy lens, not to mention they've been slept or sat on a few too many times. At the end of appointment: 1) there's such a slight change in prescription I could keep the old prescription - the one in which my right eye is never in focus at any distance , 2) maybe a slight prismatic correction to help my old eyes from the constant need to adjust up and down to correct focus and the resulting double vision when they get too tired to work together any more, and 3) have cataract surgery for tee-niny little ones, the real purpose of which would be to remove the lens to both reduce (but not cure) problems with glaucoma AND my prescription strength by at least 1/2. I'd still need drops and glasses. I say - WHY BOTHER? I agreed to see if sample stick-on prisms on my old glasses would help -and more importantly whether my sensitive eyes could even handle it. Not hopeful as I dutifully wore a pair of prismatic lens for a full week 30 years ago, but had such MAJOR problems I dropped them in the nearest Lion's club collection box then wore my old beat up ones for 2 more years until they fell completely apart. In the meantime, I continue in my old bent, scratched and cloudy glasses. Reading text or stitching just isn't what my eyes want to do any more. It's incredibly frustrating.

    Friday, July 3, 2009


    From Bits of Floss & LMc Designs

    Thursday, July 2, 2009

    Current plans - Updated

    Late September on the beach near Ft. Walton Beach, FL Infomal / barefoot

    I'm thinking beach-themed wedding sampler. Wonder if I can design one I'm satisfied with by then? Forget about having one stitched on time. Maybe wait until after wedding photos then recreate the setting? HMmmmmm

    Update: Since no one in our family could attend a Florida wedding except me, and her still not wanting to miss out on her dreamed of beach wedding, they will get married in Florida as planned, stay for a Honeymoon, drive back to Texas and in October will repeat their vows in a slightly more formal setting in my parent's back yard. I get to be in charge of the tent and party stuff, arrange for the cake - which will be gluten-free CHEESE CAKE, and figure out where everyone can possibly park! That last part might be a problem. She's talking 100 guests. And since her best friend since junior high has been a guy, she's having a Man of Honor. I think it's absolutely great! I'm going to have to do something about her idea of o'dourves from Sams. LOL

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009


    I didn't even know she was dating someone until Saturday!

    She's 37, and only this past weekend I was lamenting to a close friend that I really worried she would never find someone compatible, be amenable to her strong, independent personality, and I was worried that she wouldn't have anyone to care for her as she ages (the discussion started with us commenting on caring for our elderly parents, then who would take care of us ... and my comment that she would have no one to take care of her). I was apparently writing that email about the same time he was proposing, which caught her by surprise as well.

    I only met him Monday afternoon (was that just day before yesterday?) for a quick 3 or 4 minutes, and today she calls me on the cell phone. She never calls me on the cell phone. Couldn't be good. I listened waiting for the shoe to drop. I should have told her I'd call her back. I never talk on the cell phone while driving. After telling me about some business issues she drops the bombshell. I literally stuttered for the 7 or 8 blocks home, carefully focusing on my driving until I could pull in the drive, then said "Would you repeat what you just said!" Did she say what I thought I heard? She did. I said "could you hold, I'm going to get out of the car and go in the house now." LOL THAT'S how stunned I was. After asking her to call back on the land line and talking to her for an hour, then talking to my friend for almost an hour, then talking to my sister for almost an hour, then calling DD back and the phone being handed to her .... OMG she has a Fiance'!! I'm in an adrenalin rush overload aftermath stupor.

    All our lives just took a 90 degree turn. Some really really good, some ... well, I'm suddenly going to be a MIL, and I'll have a SIL, and since he has a step-grandaughter (who may live with them), I'm going to be ... a step-GRANDMOTHER IN LAW, or is that step GREAT GMIL ... all in the same day. My brain just can't wrap around this totally out of the blue turn of events.

    And, because I'm a family lawyer and tend to think this way, I asked her about a pre-nup. When I talked with him this evening I told him I expected him to be loving and kind, patient and respectful. I'm saving the, "if you do anything to harm her I'll ... " (fill in blank) til later, just in case he really is a really good guy - don't want to scare him off. :D Anything I missed? As excited as I am for her, there are some downsides. She'll have to deal with them for herself. If she needs help, she's never hesitated coming to Mom. I suspect that's one of those things that will change.

    I haven't a clue what to stitch for them. I bought one of those intricate L&L bride designs and a lot of French blue linen many, many years ago when she was thankfully only temporarily engaged. Just so NOT her! She wants to get married on a beach, preferably barefoot.

    Oh, the possibilities!! Any suggestions?

    Since I want to wait for her to tell other family members, I HAD to tell SOMEONE how excited I am for her! How about the whole world? !!!

    One Final Patriotic Freebie

    The last of my patriotic Freebies. I really wish those who download would leave a quick comment so that I'll know the level of interest in my designs. Like many freebie designers I harbor the faint notion that perhaps there might be enough stitchers such that taking the time and going to the expense of printing and distributions might actually be feasible. Thank you in advance to those that do. Download subject to Copyright information on the Right

    Happy 4th!

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009

    My Brother Jim duets with James Galway!

    My Dad has recently started a private webalbum on and has been uploading a mere fraction of his photos and slides taken over a life-time. I ran across this photo a bit ago that I didn't know had been taken. My brother Jim is a professional musician/composer/arranger/conductor/producer, etc. One of his regular gigs is in the orchestra at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA. He's also been their Asst/Guest conductor for several years. About 9 years ago the Cathedral's special guest was James Galway, there to play an unusual duet with a trombone. However, the person who normally played it with him (I think it was his wife) was under the weather, So Jim got the unexpected and thrillling opportunity to fill-in at literally the last minute and ended up sight-reading music he'd barely had time to quickly scan and had never heard before while standing next to the best-known flautist in the world! Jim's a consummate pro and unless you knew he was sight-reading you'd never be able to tell. It sounded wonderful! Galway turned and mouthed GOOD JOB! Because the services are taped a week in advance I was able to video tape it. Jim later asked if I had, and I ended up sending him the tape I would have loved to have kept! Occasionally the TV ministry "Hour of Power" still uses it as background music for various purposes, and I aways smile when I hear it. On Saturday evenings or Sunday mornings the current services air here, so when I catch them and spot my brother I always say aloud - "Theeerrre's Jiminy!" Always good to see a brother who lives so far away!

    Tuesday, June 23, 2009

    Freebie: Patriotic Elements

    Just some doodling patriotic designs to mix and match as you choose. Enjoy.

    I know a lot of stitchers are looking, but I have no idea how many might be downloading designs or whether I'm wasting my time posting some of these. If you've d/l a chart, I would really appreciate just a quick comment. THANKS!