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

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Newest Freebie Links

Bee Happy - Crafts 'nThings - perhaps today only; Chart is a .pdf file you can save and print. The key is a .tif file that will open in Windows Paint or similar program. You can then print from your graphics program and/or save as a .jpg then print.

I've started adding the newest freebies or sites I run across at the top of the Freebies page. Check for recent additions.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

DFW Stitchers July 21st GTG

Just a few members of the diverse, international group of stitchers who frequent the 123Stitch Message Board. The GTG was hosted by Mary Ellen, who until last week I had no idea only lives 2 blocks from me. The GTG was to meet and greet Martha (turquoise T on right) from Galway, Ireland, vacationing in Florida who DROVE from Orlando to visit her. Other stitchers L to R: Jenetta, Leslie (who drove up this morning from San Antonio, Lynn's husband, Lynn, Bonnie, Me (up front on right), Mary Ellen, Martha and Melissa. After meeting at Mary Ellen's house, we went to Stitch Niche. While they shopped for fabric or fibers or charts, I was looking at frame samples for my ABC's of Aging Artfully. I was ONLY looking (you know where this is headed already, I'm sure), but maybe if I just got the frame I could do everything else myself. Needless to say, with their current 25% discount on framing and even though Doug offered to put the "sticks" together for me (which they usually charge for) ...  I haven't had anyone else frame anything for me since 1990. I recall that vividly because it was  a finished piece  with 9 different hearts that I was working on as a gift for Mom as I sat and watched TV when suddenly it was the first night of the Gulf War and CNN was televising live from Baghdad as bombs burst all around the American Hotel. Here 22 years later I can't look at the framed piece hanging on Dad's living room wall without thinking about it how surreal and disturbing it was at the time, stitching hearts while bombs dropped on strategic targets (and "collateral" civilians). Anyway, I haven't had anything framed since then.  (Here it comes, as you knew it would): Until now - that is when I get the piece finished. I know how meticulous they are with stretching the piece, something I could probably do but no where near as nicely. And, knowing me all too well, even if I had a frame specifically cut to order, the task of  actually mounting, stretching, etc. would probably take me another decade before I actually got to it. But I, who am usually so frugal that my brother frequently comments can squeeze the ### out of a buffalo nickel, can justify the whole schmooze since I opted for a frame that cost about 40% less per linear foot than the one I'd originally picked out (which actually looks just as nice or even better). So of course that reduced the total price by a full 1/3, plus the discount ..... Nonetheless, it is a splurge. I guess after 22 years I deserve one. :D  Above photo taken with Lynn's IPad and used with her permission.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

WIPs as of July 15th

See previous post for background info on my Sunflowers project. The stitches on the far right were those made by Mother before she passed away. I stupidly trimmed the fabric way too close. I wish I could have centered the design so that these would be with the center flower. Not sure what I'll do to accomplish  that, but they WILL be on the finished piece. There are only a few stitches here and there to complete it, but  I've been thinking I may instead just leave it as it is now, not quite completed. Just like my Mother's life.

When I set Sunflowers aside, I started up Lizzie Kate's ABC's of Aging Artfully. I'd bought the kit some time ago but couldn't decide what fabric to use.  This is Wedgewood blue, and I like it. With full crosses only it could go pretty fast if I didn't have to complete each stitch one at a time because of the overdyed threads. Until last night, I hadn't stitched on this since early June.

I hastily grabbed the "Bless This Nest" kit at Walmart to take with me to San Antonio in mid-June, but ended up taking ABC's instead - though I never took it out of the suitcase. I began stitching this end of June. Why I'm spending time even working on it I'm not sure as I not sure I'll ever finish it. I had a horrible time trying to sort some of the greens and I still have 3 strands of some green leftover that may or may not even go with the kit. I knew when I started should substitute an evenweave for the 14ct Aida because it is chock full of 1/2 and 1/4 stitches. Yet I didn't. Not sure why. Last night I FINALLY got around to setting it aside to finish ABC's of Aging instead - a much better use of my stitching time.

There is simply not enough space on Blogspot to accommodate ALL the WIP's I've got in my stash, some going back almost 3 decades. Some I lost interest. Some the reason for stitching long since disappeared or was outright rebuffed, and even if completed would have no home to go to. 

Nonetheless, I've had Prairie Schooler's Birds and Berries kitted up since last fall to work on, but haven't yet, I have a LONG overdue wedding sampler to design and stitch for my DD and SIL, who will celebrate their THIRD anniversary in a couple of months, and because they are BIG Halloween people, I recently bought Whooo's There to stitch for them as well.  It would help if my eyesight were a LOT better and I wasn't the slowest stitcher in the entire world!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Another unexpected honor

Arlington Volunteer of the Month

Was just made aware by the Office of Emergency Management, in a simple "FYI" email with the just the link. Not complaining, mind you, but, uh, don't they let people know in advance or at least with a phone call? I wonder what, if anything, comes next, and wish I had a decent "publicity" photo. What an emotional roller coaster this past month has been.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Sampler Girl Freebie

Reading with Jane - a chart listing Jane Austen books; check out Tanya's other designs as well!

Monday, July 9, 2012

RIP Sweet Little Smidge

RIP sweet little Smidge 7-8-12

I have had an emotionally intense weekend after finding a 7 or 8 week old feral kitten laying under my bedroom window late Friday. I did post about him on FB and the 123MB, and you can read a bit more about him under his photo on Webshots. But I am so emotionally drained by the loss and experience I no longer want to go into details other than say I tried my best, I so hope that what I did didn't make him worse rather than better, that he died while being held by someone who truly cared for and already loved him dearly, and that others who found out about him cared very much as well. Smidge did not die frightened, alone and anonymous. He was beloved, and he has a forever name.

RIP, dear swet little Smidge. I will miss you.

Friday, July 6, 2012

OFFICIAL Press Release re Award

July 2, 2012
Arlington Fire Department Volunteer Awarded State Honor 

Linda McMillen, an Arlington Fire Department Office of Emergency Management Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteer, was awarded the second annual Jack Colley Award for Volunteerism last month at the annual Texas Unites Citizen Corps/Volunteers Organizations Active in Disaster Conference.  The award was presented by Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, and Penny Redington, executive director of the Texas Association of Regional Councils.

The award honors an outstanding volunteer who exhibits leadership, dedication, self-sacrifice and service to the State of Texas in the field of emergency management. This statewide recognition is the highest honor presented to a volunteer by the state’s Citizen Corps Program.

McMillen has been instrumental to the success of the Arlington CERT program since 2007. During her time with the CERT program, she has participated in numerous training classes, exercises and emergency responses. McMillen was vital to the response following the April 3 tornadoes through the organization of more than 40 volunteers to support the Arlington Emergency Operations Center and the city’s Tornado Recovery Center.  She also participates in several monthly tests of the outdoor warning system and represents the Arlington EOC on the Tarrant County RACES radio net.  McMillen has volunteered in many special events and EOC activations, including the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, Super Bowl XLV and a full-scale exercise at Cowboys Stadium.

The Jack Colley Leadership Award was established in honor of Jack Colley, chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management from 1998-2010, for his unwavering support, dedication, and service to the citizens of Texas during times of crises and for his outstanding leadership in the profession of emergency management. The award is given annually to recognize the outstanding leadership and service of a Citizen Corps volunteer.
Media Contact:
Rebecca Rodriguez
Manager | Office of Communication
Rebecca Rodriguez
Marketing Communications Manager | Office of Communication
101 West Abram Street, Arlington, TX 76010 | P.O. Box 90231 MS 01-0370, Arlington, TX 7600-3231
office: 817.459.6412 email:

And with that I expect that my 15 minutes of fame are officially over. July 4th I served as Net Control for a couple of dozen radio operators staged along the big Arlington 4th of July Parade Route. Except for a couple of minor medical issues and one stalled vehicle, everything was totally and completely uneventful. Just the way we like it. My computer has been on the fritz again, so wishing everyone a BELATED Happy 4th!