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

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Not Stitching Again, Rain at Last, Wills & Probate

No Mojo: The PS Santa I need to finish is sitting there in a Ziplock bag with various threads - only some of which are necessary for this design. I THINK about stitching, but I'm once more totally mojoless. Instead I've been avidly reading the Agatha Raisin mystery series and only have the newest of the 22 novels to read. But after Agatha, THEN what will I read? Don't know yet. Maybe I'll get some sewing done.

Rain: Like all of Texas, we've been in moderate to severe drought conditions for the past 18 months. I finally received 4.83" over the last 2-1/2 days. That goes on top of the 1.10" earlier this month making this the rainiest January on record. But I have to wonder how many more weeks and months it will be before we get more.

Mom: My mother died 7 months ago tomorrow. Can it have already been that long? Dad is ready to probate her Will. As the "family attorney" it will be my job to prepare the paperwork and appear in court with him. He may be ready to probate her Will, but I'm not sure that I am. I'll have to put brain on auto-pilot and just do it. If only I didn't have to ...

Teaching in Thailand - Not: After much research, crunching the $$ numbers (especially taking into account the fact that neither my expensive private health insurance - which I would have to keep paying just in case - nor Medicare would pay a cent for medical services rendered or drug purchases outside the US), as much as the idea of living abroad intrigues me (I'd love to actually) and the fact that I probably SHOULD do it, it's a no go. Even if there were no other factors (believe me, there are many), I can't afford it. But keeping an open mind to that end, I've recently been doing a bit of volunteer work with the church sponsored ELS classes, and have discovered that I'm not that interested in being an ESL teacher in the first place.

Volunteer Stuff: In 2011 I logged over 200 volunteer hours, not including prep or travel time. Felt like a lot more. I sure wish I got paid for any of this. January has been a busy month. First I helped with ESL registration (3 days / twice a day / 3 hours per shift). Then the 14th I helped with RACES training in Fort Worth. On the 21st I took an all day formal FEMA Damage Assessment course at the behest and request of the Arlington Office of Emergency Management. The 28th is the all day NWS SKYWARN storm spotter training. Next month is a POD (Point of Distribution) course in conjunction with the Tarrant County Health Department. IF we ever have a large scale emergency or disaster, I'll at least be trained to help - provided I can get my car started.

So now what do I do with the rest of my life?  I've been trying to figure this one out for the past 5 years. I honestly have no answers.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Samplers, Stitches and Techniques

A fascinating article from the Victoria & Albert Museum about how types and complexity of stitches have evolved over the centuries. The site includes a history of samplers going back to the 14th century.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Free Medieval Designs

Just added to Freebie List:
  • ^ Designs, Period - by Carol Hanson; originally published in hard back the entire book of over 250 patterns and historical information is now free to copy and save courtesy of the author who describes it as "A Book of Medieval, Renaissance, and Heraldic Patterns for Needlework, with Many Charted from Original Embroidery Pieces of the Period." If for no other reason, as a stitcher who may want to know from whence our craft came, take a look at the designs and read a bit of the history. Current "primitive" designers still utilize many of the exact same motifs already being stitched over 500 years ago. Includes Medieval alphabets. Combine some of the motifs, choose an alphabet and create your own "historical sampler."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wow, I read a lot of books last year

Between late 2010 and the end of 2011 I read 65 books. I've already finished 3 novels this year! I haven't read this voraciously in ... well, ever. Most are of the "cozy" mystery genre and of various series featuring the same characters, their lives moving forward in each following book. Some were pretty good. Some were generally okay. Others readers may prefer expensive new gadgets to read on, but I find there is something solid and comforting and very tactile about holding a book in your hands. So I'm checking these out from the library in good old-fashion, hard cover form. Of course this means I'm not stitching while I'm reading. And yes, I know I could get many of them in audio form, but I still prefer a good book. How about you?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Some New / Updated Freebie Links

Check out the Freebie Links page for the following:

Appleseed Prim - small primitive designs
Permin - tiny birdhouse (new design every month)
Stickerin MB - fobs, biscornus, ornaments
Jane Greeoff - small crocus
Martha Stewart

ADDED 1/7:

Cosmic Handmade Breast Cancer Freebie
Cosmic Handmade Blog - several small designs, some similar to LHN

A few others. Look for the symbols in front of the link for newest additions.