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Friday, March 2, 2012

Problems Focusing... hmmmm - what!?

Happy Weekend Everyone!  I am sitting here, huddled up in the basement together with the rest of the family (read "zoo").  I hope that all of you are all right and that you were not hit by the crazy weather this evening.  We were very lucky that it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be, but we didn't take any chances.  I have worked for my current employer for 7 years now and this is the first time e-v-e-r that they have announced three (#3!) times over the PA system that we'd better get ourselves home before the storm hits.  They Mayor shut down town, so after 3 PM you pretty much had to be a fool to still be outside.
I rushed home, woke up DH and we brought down every single pet (17) and every single cage (8).  DH set up the TV-system so that we could follow what was hitting outside and we brought down food, water, and strapped down all the out-door furniture. 
Some of us (me!) did also bring down all the laundry (our washer and dryer are down here) - you gotta think ahead, right?   Others (still me) brought down about 10 WIPs to stitch on...  Yep, I do take the Apocalypse seriously... I won't be bored, that's for sure!  The predictions were dire; golf-ball sized hail, 80 mph winds, and the perfect parameters to match the storm of 1974 (not even kiddin', this is what was announced on each and every TV/radio station).  Two hours later, the sun came out and we could relax.  Thank goodness!  I hear that everyone was not so lucky and I really feel for them.

Other than that, the week was as usual.  Work has been fun,  even though I am still in a state of exhaustion when I get home.  I really need to look over my sleeping habits - they are poor!!!  Part of the problem is that I am back to really enjoying stitching.  I am currently suffering from the "just one stitch more" syndrome...  It has been a pretty productive week, but I keep straying of the WIPocalypse path...

Here is a little cutie that I just stitched up for myself.  I stitched another one for L-Bug a while back, but never got around to stitching up the second kit.  I love all of the designs from Les Brodeuses Parisiennes - they have the cutest designs, color combinations and finished  pieces to stitch on!  I am already using this baby - it is much roomier than it looks!

To decrease my level(s) of guilt, a portion of time was spent on the pre-stitching for the Blue Ribbon Box.  Class is next Saturday, so there is not a whole lot of room for procrastination.  I must admit that all the pieces stitched up surprisingly fast.  Part of the speed was thanks to the fact that most of the stitching over one is made with tent stitches.  I can not wait to get the beautiful box in my hands! 

I was toying with the idea of "cheating" and start finishing up what can be done before class, but I decided to "be reasonable" and stick to the pile of WIPs on hand.  I started assembling the Clamshell Etui smalls instead.  It would be fun to have that one slapped up and ready to come with me next Friday.  Well, I'll see... no promises.  :-)   I started with the easiest pieces, but I am not thrilled with the fiberfill I used.  It feels so "fake", if that makes sense?  I wish that I could find some of that lizzard sand that everyone keeps talking about.  5 pet-stores later and still not a lick of crushed walnut shells in sight.  Anyway, two more (much trickier) pieces to go before I can sit back and enjoy the finished project.  (For those of you who don't know, Sherri loves gussets... interesting pic on the Wikipedia link btw, I admit to doing a double-take on that.  LOL)

Then some well needed time was spent with the unfinished sampler clamp from Heart's Content.  Part of why I never got around to finish this pretty little thing was because I didn't like the construction and the border patterns was blah.  Inspired by the Blue Ribbon Box pieces, I decided to do a drawn thread border with a woven ribbon - I love it!  I ignored the finishing instructions and did my own thing, or I would still sit here, with a confused and unfocused stare on the directions. 
Here is the finished cushion part, with small blue glass-headed pins:
Voila!  Glued down and clamped to the table. When I proudly handed it to DH to show it off, his only comment was that it is not to be clamped down on any of our furniture.  Well, that order was placed a tad too late... LOL

What more could I accidentally start on that is not on any of my 2012 Stitch Lists?  Well, the first Prim Sisters kit arrived with the mail earlier this week.  I love it!  Needless to say, this one could not wait for next year to come around.  The stitching took a quick three evenings with a very comfortable over-two stitch on 30ct linen and it is adorable! 
The lining cottons are sooo pretty, but they are cut to a very frugal size, so I will have to come up with some clever way to adjust for my elongated finish (I decided to add my initials, so it is now taller than it should be).   I added the year too and I like the "curvy shape" of the stitched part - I will try to use that to my advantage when I get around to finish it up (in 2013...?).  I love the prim style - I stitched in a blatant error, but does it matter?  No, it's prim - it's not supposed to be perfect!!!  (I am sticking to that excuse, so there!  :-))

What else can I report?  Well, I have been running amok on Etsy lately.  I am in a MOP button phase, thanks to Giulia's Shabby Chic pendant (don't get me started on the fiasco with those non-existing kits, though...).  After some dangerous browsing, these beauties came home to live with me.  I adore the flower branch in the center.  The large button to the right used to have something glued to its top in an earlier life, but I like it just the way it is.  We are taking Sherri's Button Brag Book class next Sunday and I have a feeling that my book will be dedicated 100% to MOP buttons - I have been collecting them for years.  There is something about MOP - not only the soft sheen and the elegant color variations, but also that it is cool to the touch and tough and brittle at the same time.  So pretty!

Speaking of Etsy, I found another cool shop: BeadLady.   She is selling tons of pretty pewter beads.  Here are just a few examples of parrots, bunnies and berries, but she has plenty of other neat stuff like mermaids and ocean themed beads.   I was good and didn't buy any of them.  Yet.

Last weekend was fun - we celebrated Laskiainen in the Scandinavian Heritage Society.  I baked Semla, which Swedes in accordance with tradition only eat once a year, on Fat Tuesday (except that the bakeries start selling them weeks before the official date).   They are very easy to bake and there are plenty of recipes on the net.  Here they are in progress:
Simple buns have been baked and are ready for spa day
Cut off a "lid" and pull out the inside with a fork
Mix inside with almond paste and milk (Kroger carries almond paste)
Do a turkey and stuff mix back into bun
Top with whipping cream and "lid" - eat and think of home

Speaking of eating, here is my little Princess, eating and using the bathroom at the same time - and they say that men can't multitask - totally unfair!  Funny how something that should be gross is totally adorable as long as a bunny does it!
This is another Princess hobby - finding stuff that mom dropped and eat it.  Look how he has eaten the upper part of the bobbin.  And he was careful enough to make sure that it was the side where the floss number was written too.  As you can see, the floss has had better days as well - here it is, gnawed and slobbered on.  Princess also gave me a bundle of WDW that can not be used for anything anymore - what do you do with floss that has been cut (and slobbered) to about 6 inches?  Princess is teaching me to keep track of my stuff, that's for sure!

Well peeps, time to get to the stitching.  Looks like I am all alone tonight - everyone else has passed out here (except probably the mice - ugh).  That means that I'll get the bed and the entire upper level all to myself!  Bwahahahaaa....
BTW, how come that I can only see the dirt and the dust when I am in the process of uploading the pics to the WWW?  Apparently I am in blissful ignorance in real life.  Odd indeed...

Finally, I managed to track down a design that I have been chasing for years - feels great!  Just learning the manufacturer and the name of the design made my entire day!  Here it is; Country Life Calendar by Pako - isn't is a beauty!?

G'night and Happy Stitching Dreams,



  2. Glad you're okay Jenny! Things weren't as bad here as they predicted either. We had a couple of "iffy" occurrences but otherwise were fine. Love the projects you're working on. I am drawn to MOP buttons as well. You got some beauties there! Blessings, Shirlee

  3. Glad the storms were uneventful for you. Lots of great projects you are working on. I think you are right that bunnies can do lots of things that are cute.

  4. Oh my goodness! What a post packed with goodies and news! I'm so glad the storms weren't bad for you. It's so scary when tornadoes go riot like that! I love all your stitching projects! Wow! Especially your stitching clamp (lol about DH prohibiting clamping it on your furniture!) and your Prim Sisters piece! I'm trying so hard to resist that Prim Sisters club. I think I might be too late now so the temptation might be over. lol! Those MOP buttons -- wow, so gorgeous! And the pewter beads -- you're trying to enable us, right? Is that the plan? lol! Those Semia look yummy! And lol about Princess and his destructive, multi-tasking ways!

  5. Love all your stitching!! Can't wait to see your BRD box finished!! Those Semla look divine! Care to share just one?? (j/k :D) Love the pewter beads - will have to go check out her shop!! Glad to hear that you survived the weather!!

  6. Dearest Jenny,
    Love your stitched pieces. Can't wait to see how your box looks make up. I am not familiar with this design.
    About the walnut shell. I don't know if you have a PetCo store near you but they do carry the walnut shell. It is marketed a bird litter. I did look online and there is a 7 lb bag on sale for 7.99 right now on the PetCo. websight.
    (Kaytee Walnut Litter for Birds)
    I purchased a bag from the store near me about a year ago and 7 lbs is a lot really when you start filling pin cushions.
    Good luck :)

  7. Wow, I love the projects you're working on. The pincushion clamp turned out beautiful. those MOP buttons you picked up from Etsy are gorgeous.

    I'm glad you and the pets survived the bad weather well.

  8. blimey I am exhausted just reading the post .. glad you got your priorities right for the storm shelter .... and well done on the beautiful stitching and making up too ...love your finds on ebay with the beads etc and way to go on finding out the name etc of the chart you've been wanting :)
    off to go and make a restorative cuppa .. want one ???
    love mouse xxxxx

  9. I am glad that everyone at your place is safe. It has been a very scary couple of days.
    Your stitching mojo is definitely back! I can't wait to see your finished Blue Ribbon Designs class piece. I really like the prim sisters piece too. Everything is lovely.
    Have a great week!

  10. For someone who's been drop dead tired lately, you sure look like you've been stitching up a storm! Love all the finishes. Can't wait till Friday!

  11. I really enjoyed reading your long post. Your needles sure have been smoking. Tons of beautiful stitching! I love that antique clamp pincushion. So pretty!

    Prim Sisters looks great. Congratulations on the finish. Princess is too cute.


  12. Hmm..vad tusan! Skrev en lång kommentar som försvann :( Prövar igen....

    Läskigt med ovädret, tur att det inte blev så illa. Var ni oroliga? Märke husdjuren av något?

    Tycker Princess är mycket söt. Han får bajsa hur mycket han vill, när han vill så länge han fortsätter vippa sådär kaningulligt med nosen :)

    Du har verkigen legat i med pysslandet. Förstår inte hur du hinner? Alltid så fina saker. Jag gillar när du gör lite egna varianter på designerna! Den där "pressen" eller hur man nu säger blev superfin!

    Wow, vilka semlor. Är det dina egna du fotat? Till och med jag som inte gillar semlor blev riktigt sugen :)

    Stora pussar till dig, Princess och alla de andra :-*

  13. What a great post - truly something for everyone!!

    Glad you're all safe, the stitching is looking good too.

    Thanks for the bead link, I've found a great UK place on Ebay, their shop is only in the next county to us so I may even visit in person one day!

  14. You are such a good girl being so prepared for the storm with clothes (and mostly with WIPs =).

    I am in complete and total awe of the sampler clamp!!! That is SO gorgeous and wonderful and I love the way you finished it. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

    The buttons are gorgeous, I want to eat Semla right now, and I am already plotting which beads to order. ;)

    Ear rubs to Princess and Bubba!