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

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Another Finish from Years Past

Probably from CS&CC.
The fabric is actually that nice soft 14ct Aida baby blue - likely Charles Craft. My DD's favorite colors were peach and blue. She was already in college at this point.

I LOVED these type of rubbery / stretchy frames that didn't require anything more than just enough fabric to gather and baste on the reverse so it would hang flat against a wall.  I haven't seen any in a very long time.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Long Ago Stitching - Zodiac Mug Insert

A year or 2 or 3 after I opened my law practice in 1981, I spotted a chart of well-designed Zodiac signs. I have no particular interest in astrology but was drawn to the Scales of Justice - Libra. I'm Sagittarius. I'd already hung some small cross stitch florals on my office walls and had been looking for something lawyerish to stitch. A bin of stitchable-insert coffee mugs was next to the chart rack. Light bulb moment! Otherwise, I wouldn't have bought the chart. I changed "Libra" to "Law," created a more formal font, stitched the letters in green to go with the gold scales (green & gold = Baylor) and changed 2 or 3 things about the scales as well. Sagittarius is as charted - though later I wished I'd changed the purple to gold and the aqua to blue, or vice versa. Next time.

I'd never stitched on plastic canvas before. I HATE stitching on plastic canvas !!! Consequently starting over a couple of days later, these are stitched with 3 strands of DMC on 14 count white Aida, treated with Fray Check, trimmed very close to the edges, then tacked to the plastic with a single thread and a bare minimum of stitches. Once sealed between the clear exterior and inner lining they have been perfectly protected from wear and tear and are as bright and colorful today as they were almost 30 years ago.  I fully intended this to be my coffee mug, but it was immediately apparent I was allergic to the plastic! Burning rash on lips and around mouth is not a pretty sight. It's been a pen / pencil / marker / ruler / scissors / etc holder ever since.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What is it with Kids?

My great-nephew was missing for over 5 hours yesterday.  My nephew was out of town and his usually SAHM  wife had to pick her Mom up from the hospital. The 4 boys, ages 10 to 16, were instructed walk home from school. They've done it before, the older ones making sure the youngest one gets safely home. It's only 4 blocks. #3, the 12-year-old whose school is a bit further away, never showed up. You can imagine the increasingly frantic phone calls and searches, and the growing panic. A notice was posted on #3's FB page that he was missing and asking for help to find him. One of his friends finally tracked him down and told him to call home - just before an Amber alert was on the verge of being issued. It was after 9pm. He'd just decided to go home with someone else and told that kid's Mom his Mom knew where he'd be and had given him permission. NOT. I can't figure out why the other kid's Mom hadn't called by at least dinner time to see if it was still okay. #3 had even gone to church with them! Probably a good thing a police officer answered the phone, after which they went to pick him up and he rode home in the back seat of a squad car. His brothers were so scared and angry the 10- year-old threw something big at him when he got home. I can only imagine how relieved and furious his parents felt.  #3 was too embarrassed to go to school today - like that stopped my niece from making him face the consequences. My sister was still so upset her voice was shaking when I talked with her this evening. It will be interesting to see what possible additional punishment could be more effective than having 2 older brothers and 1 younger take their fright it out on him, having the police lecture him all the way home, and getting heck at school. I'm sure he won't like what Mom and Dad mete out either. Thank God he was ultimately safe. BUT WHAT IS IT WITH KIDS???

To make this more horrifying for the parents is that 3 or so years ago a boy on one of the kid's soccer teams went missing along with his Mom, whom my nephew and niece also knew. It was learned 3 or 4 weeks later that both the mother and child had been bludgeoned to death by her ex-boyfriend, their bodies dumped in a shallow grave in the middle of a field. Had the man he persuaded to help dispose of the bodies not been arrested on another matter and then confessed his role when questioned about this one, they likely would not have been found for months, if ever. The murder of their young friend deeply upset and affected my nephew's family for a long time. I'm sure the memories of that horrible time made this situation that much worse.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Self-Portrait 1965

From 10th grade art class.  I'd just turned 16. The assignment required us to stare in the mirror, sketch quickly and not lift the pencil off the page. Consequently, my self-portrait is one single really long line. I have no idea where I started or stopped.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mojo Still Missing : { Untrained BIG dogs.

DD and her DH got home safely last night from an 11-day driving trip half-way across the country  for his mother's funeral. I am relieved in more ways than one. I spent 90% of that time at her house babysitting her 4 big untrained and undisciplined dogs and a sweet chatty cat. I've kept or looked after mamadog and the cat for a decade as she's taken frequent business trips in  years past. I baby sat for cat, mama dog and 4 pups since they were literally 2 weeks old, but not all together at her house since she got married almost 2 years ago. My biggest gripe is that they are not obedience or leash trained and just getting IN the house is having to shove through all 4 of them just to get in the door and pray one or more of them doesn't take off in the process, then enduring 15 or 20 seconds of big dogs jumping all over you ripping whatever you're carrying out of your hands in the process. It's literally a physical gauntlet. Same for letting them back inside even after just a few minutes out. They will sit for a couple of seconds but then jump when you reach over to pat their heads (knocking you in the chin) or into the middle of your back if you turn away to "ignore" them. It makes me so angry I want to slug or kick the dogs (and DD), though I would never do it, but I feel like it just the same. I am furious with daughter who just never took the time to train them. They are big, happy dogs who don't know any better and it infuriates me to no end. I've tried unsuccessfully when I was around them for a few days in the past, but working with 4 of them together is something I can't do, which is her excuse now that they're grown. For Christmas after the pups were born I'd bought DD 3 different dog training books. I doubt she ever looked at them. Don't get me wrong. I love the dogs, but am furious they've never had even basic training. I WISH, WISH, WISH that the lady who trains dogs would visit DD and get DD and the dogs in order. Long before now I was at the point of "Don't ask me to sit with them ever again until or unless you get them some basic NO JUMPING training!" I was very reluctant to do it this time for that very reason, but under the circumstances felt I had no choice.

I'd taken several small cross stitch projects with me. I read 4 or 5 Aunt Dimity books, but did no stitching. I just never felt like it. It's not like I was doing much of anything but sitting there most of the time or letting the dogs in and out, but the fact that I ended up sleeping there all but one night and the fact that even being there disrupted my own life - even if I had nothing else planned or had to do ... it wore me out. Still I was sad to leave the dogs since it'd been so long since I'd been with them, and the dogs were very sad and morose and dejected when I left barely an hour before DD arrived home. My cats, left alone 90% of the time in return, are very  very happy to have me back. It's only a 20 minute one-way drive, but in another city, and though in years past I was willing to make that trip 2 or 3 times a day, not so any more. I find it just to wearing to go back and forth and try to "live" in 2 places at one time, as "near" as they may be. Now back home, I've got to tackle MAJOR cleaning and organization. That'll consume my free time (or at least as much of my "free" time I am willing to give it), for the next several months - or years.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hopeful My Stitching Mojo is Back - Dog/Cat Sitting - Again

The only thing I've stitched on since Mom passed the end of June was the start of a Britty Kitty for a breast cancer quilt. It was due August 1st. I did email and tell them it would be late. I'm sure they've given up on me, but I will get it finished and sent. I got cat stitched, then boom - I just haven't been able to stitch at all. Instead I have been doing a LOT of reading, which I don't do when I'm doing a lot of cross stitch. My eyes will only focus for so long.  I'm hoping at some point to get some stitching done while dog-sitting.

Today was the last 100+ degree day, for a bit at least, and made the 68th day 100+ this summer. This is just 1 day less than the all time record of 69 in. However, when one compares the mean day and night temps between 1980 and 2011, because our night time lows have been 2 or 3 or more degrees higher than in 1980, actually 2011 is already the hottest summer on record. Hopefully, the only importance this has is that 2011 remains the hottest summer on record forever!