Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas? Did You Say Christmas?

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I can officially start singing Christmas carols. Every year, it seems that the season starts earlier and earlier, mostly pushed by the retail industry. A long time ago, I made a promise to myself that I would NOT sing a single Christmas song until after Thanksgiving. Almost slipped this year, Sirius Radio started their special Christmas stations almost a month ago!

On the stitching front, I finished a cute little snowman. The first picture shows my finish. I really didn't care for the bright colors, so broke out my walnut stain and did a little spray.

The second picture shows it grunged-up a bit. I like the second much better. As we speak, I've got some jingle bells brewing. I threw some bells into a bowl with peroxide, vinegar, and salt to get them to rust. Left it 24 hours, and wow, it worked! I will make some sort of flat fold or door hanger out of Mr. Snowman. Add a few bells, and.....Christmas! LOL

Got up early this morning (surprise, surprise) and have to tried to get a hand on my other craft projects. Finally started again on my pink quilt. I am having a horrible time staying focused on that quilt. I really, really (did I say really?) am not enjoying working with pink. I'm in it for the love, because I certainly wouldn't do this for myself!

Did a run over to a couple of quilt shops yesterday. They were doing a "Black Friday/Small Business Saturday" sale and give-away. One is my very favorite store, lots of civil war reproductions and the VERY nicest women that work there. If you ever get a chance to stop by The Quilter's Cupboard in Atascadero, CA, just do it! I would shop there anyway, but the 20% off made me buy just a "few" extra yards. LOL The other store is okay, carries a lot of batiks, but did find a few general prints that will work on the back. Their prices are better, but the ladies are not as sweet as the other shop. Customer service still counts for me.

No change on the Dad front. We have now hit month 18 on Hospice. Never ending sadness. He had a really bad night last week, choked on his dinner and I was pretty sure that it was time. But, we got his airway clear and the nurse said his lungs are still clear. I know that he is going to die, but I really didn't want it to happen in front of me.

Went to a friend's for turkey on Thursday, so I am cooking our turkey today! I will just be doing mashed potatoes and gravy, a veggie, and maybe a roll, not the whole shebang. We did pick up a cheesecake from Trader Joe's yesterday, so that will be our dessert.

Okay, gang, off to peel my potatoes and get back to that damn pink quilt. Enjoy your weekend and be kind to one another.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Here's Bunny!

Just a quick post. I finished my bunny and really like the colors. I will be doing quite a few designs out of this book.

Still plugging along on my ornament. I seem to have a switch in my butt. Every time I sit down, the switch puts me to sleep. I try and try and try and just can't to seem to stay awake past eight pm. I keep telling myself that I have to finish my ornament before I start any other projects. At this rate, I will NEVER start another! LOL

I have a four day weekend. That doesn't mean they won't call from work, but at least I won't have the forty minute commute! LOL I'll just run the program from my kitchen...

Off for Dad chores. Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Be kind to one another.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Just Another Quiet Sunday

Pretty quiet this morning. Dad had a bad night. Woke up to him coughing and coughing and coughing. Went in and checked, way too warm and had very labored breathing. Got him into dry clothes and settled back in. Had a bad feeling, but, it's not time yet...

Went to my birthday dinner with my sissy last night. Very nice, great food, and a welcome little break. We had not even left the restaurant and she had already had pictures posted. Granted, they were from my phone, her's was giving her fits. Guess that makes me an accessory! LOL

Working on a new punch needle. Pretty little bunny with a heart. Picked up a needle punch book on Amazon called Punchneedle Embroidery 40 Folk Art Designs by Barbara Kemp and Margaret Shaw. It really does have 40 designs, but the best part, it has very clear pictures, lots of instructions, and has the patterns at the back, so you copy them easily. I think I paid about half price on Amazon ($7.00), but it is worth full price. I know there are several patterns in this book that I would be punching.

I'm still working on my cross stitch ornament. Got the tree and bird done, now on to the snowmen. Lots of white...

So off to start my day, filled with chores and grocery shopping. A never ending circle. Be kind to one another.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Little of This, A Little of That...

Here are pictures as promised. I started doing a little punchneedle. Not because I have that kinda time, but I got that kinda time. LOL First up, my little pumpkin.

My own design, didn't want to embarrass any designers. LOL

Here is my poinsetta. Again, my own design. I mounted it on a paper box. I did the paint job several times. Didn't like ANY of the results until my son said that I should go with dry brush and add some black. Exactly the effect I was looking for! This was the first time that I made a twisted cord. Not as hard as I thought it would be.

Last punchneedle is of an oak leaf and acorn.

I used a combination of DMC threads and Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe overdyeds on all the projects. I don't care for the blob of green on one of the oak leaf edges, so I think I will rip it out and have a "do over". Just because I thought I should, I ordered some Valdani 3 ply threads from Anita's Little Stitches (It's a small ONS that I like to use that does discounts on thread), but haven't had a chance to use them. THEN, I found a book on Amazon that has primitive designs. It is on it's way as we speak. LOL

And as if I needed to do more, my newest project is an ornament from Little House Needleworks. All I have done is half of a tree trunk. I'll skip the picture, use your imagination. LOL

So that was a little of this, a little of that. I am still working on my pink quilt. It was really hot here a few days in October and since I hate working on quilts when it is hot, I just seemed to lose my quilting mojo. Hoping with the cold weather I will pick it back up and get on track.

Back to your regular programming. Be kind to one another.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

They Say It's My Birthday...

Well, that's not exactly the way that song goes...LOL I am a big 54 today. And, it is my 34th wedding anniversary. I didn't mind fifty and really not much bothered about 54. I guess that inside I still see myself as a youngster. LOL My hardest birthday was 25. Not sure why...sat and cried for hours. Looking back, can't find a reason. Guess I just thought that 25 was a quarter of a century and it deserved to be cried over! I was supposed to be off today, but since most of my vacation was cancelled, I will be at the grindstone all day. No big plans for the night. DH has a doctor's appointment and with caring for Dad, well, a little hard to find time to celebrate. We picked up a pumpkin cheesecake at Trader Joe's, so that will be a bright spot. I managed to get DH's "yuk", so not much done in the craft arena this past weekend. Between trying to not throw up and keeping my eyes open, I spent most of my time in a prone position. LOL I finished another punch needle and as soon as I get it mounted, I will get a picture posted. With working on so many projects, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. I've got a punch needle, several cross stitch, and two quilts. I don't know what I was thinking. I know better, but I did it anyway! Off to the job. Have a great day and be kind to one another.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

No Vacation In Sight...

Here it is November and my usual vacation time. But a bit like last year, my vacation is being "rescheduled". Really only partially rescheduled since I get one out of four days. It's not that I don't have the time. LOL I work for the state and have not been taking regular vacations. I could walk away from work, and with a doctor's note, take ten, yes TEN, months off with a full paycheck. Work has been a bear. Both my boss and my co-assistant have family illnesses and are in and out at work. It's just not possible to take a full week since my boss could be out for one day or one week. But on the other hand, my life is pretty chaotic, with my dad and hospice, and I really need some down time. I am trying to keep up on my projects, but cannot seem to stay focused. I had planned a trip down south to visit a friend, but even that seems like too much trouble. I would drive for four hours, have dinner,stay the night, have breakfast, and then drive back home the next day. Without an extra day off, it would be difficult and I would be more tired than before I took the trip. I know that I am depressed, short-term, but am so very tired. My husband is still sick. He started antibiotics yesterday for an infection, but if they don't kick in soon, we may end up with him in the hospital. I tried to tell him that I really don't have time for that, but it just came out sounding bitchy. I didn't mean it that way, but I am so overwhelmed with care taking that I don't think I can add one more thing to my plate. When is the hard part over? How long can your body and mind take the constant stress? I am grateful that I am not dealing with cancer, or another horrible disease that causes pain, but crap, I need a day for me that doesn't include caring for another person. I used to take a few days every three months to visit my son and that helped to get me over the bump, but with him in Iowa, that just isn't an option anymore....

Is there an answer? Do we just keep going until we fall down? Have a stroke? I tell myself everyday that there is an end, that I am doing all the right things for my dad. But as I fall into bed every night, I can't remember why I'm doing anything, just that I am so damned tired that I can't think at all. And then I wake up six hours later and start it all over again.

I think I need to take a walk and cut back on the sugar. Will it help? Probably not much, but it definitely wouldn't hurt. I will take a few pictures of what progress I have on my projects and post next time. Hold your loved ones close and be kind to one another.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Companion For Brothers...

Quick update on yesterday's surprise. A few months ago, my cousin gifted me a very special painting of my dad and uncle.

I had contacted the artist and told her how special this painting was. How it made me remember better times with my dad. How it reminded me of how he was before dementia clouded his mind.

Forward to a few days ago...I received an email from the artist, telling me that she had a gift for my family, a companion piece to "Brothers". She wrote that as my cousin had gifted the painting to me, she was gifting me a painting for my cousin. This painting is of my uncle alone. It is from the back, but for those of us that know him well, there is no question of who it is. It is in the way he sits on the horse, the turn of his body. This painting is done during the same era of round-ups. The best part of the story is that it is not my uncle's horse. He had woken up early that day and loaded his horse in the dark. As the day lightened, he realized that he had loaded the wrong horse. He would be working off of his granddaughter's green-broke horse that day!! The painting is wonderful, but the story makes it even more special.

I am so thankful to the artist for sharing her memories of my family. She said that the painting is mine to do with as I like. If I decide to keep the painting, she understands. I think that I will keep the second painting for a while, add to my memories, and then gift it to my cousin. I will always remember the amazing kindness of the artist...

On the stitching front, I finished my coffee pattern. I will swing by Michael's today and see if I can find a frame. The colors in this pattern are great. This is by Barbara Ana. Cute, cute, cute!

Be kind to one another.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Here Comes the Rain...Here Comes the Rain...

Woot, woot! After 190 days of nothing, rain, beautiful rain...I watched the clouds come in yesterday and held my breath. And the rain came. And came a little bit more. By 9 pm last night, we were at half an inch. Three quarters of an inch by this morning at 7 am. I know, lots of places get lots more rain. But when you've been in a drought for over 5 years, it is wonderful!! There is a chance of rain today, but it's not looking that promising. Hoping for more, but happy for what we got. Hey, is that sound of more rain? Yes, yes, yes! Rains hard for a few minutes, then nothing. Rains hard for a few minutes, then nothing...and on and on and on.

Other than that, kind of quiet. DH has had a virus for the past 4 days, so on my own for Dad duty. Makes for a really long day. I'm usually asleep on the couch by 8 pm, so not much stitching. I did have training last week at work, a little bit of stitching on breaks. Not a lot, but have finished a few more words. I will get it done, yes, I will! Still working on my cancer quilt. I wanted to have it done by the end of October. laid plans and all.

Ok, need to finish my chores and it's lunch time for Dad. I should have a visitor today, very special, ties in with the painting that I posted about a few months ago. I will post more after their visit, very exciting! Have a great day, be kind to one another.