Monday, October 29, 2007

Tingling fingers and more...

I have had limited success with my CQ stitching this week. My hands have been giving me problems... tingling fingers and cold all the time. I have had troubles with carpal tunnel in the past so I knew I needed to be careful and limit my needlework time. I didn't even stitch until Thursday, and then I just did one seam. I managed a couple more this weekend, and here's where I am at this point:
Block 4 - partial
I like some of the seams and others are kind of "eh." I think I'm gonna pick up a couple of wrist splints from somewhere this week and that should help to alleviate some of the problems with my wrists.

Since I couldn't really do alot of stitching I've been doing other things that have come along. One of these was to work on the old display case that I refuse to get rid of. It's made of oak and has some lovely carving on it. Although it is certainly not Danish modern, it has a lovely patina and nice, square form that fits in despite itself. I wanted to put some of my vintage fabric in the bottom of the case, since the floor boards are just a tad bit warped. Placing my ceramic vases directly on them could lead to disaster. So, we ventured forth amongst the masses and returned with some particle board for the bottom and two red oak shelves for the top. We wrapped the board in the vintage fabric and here it is in the bottom of the display case. Click the picture to get larger sizes via Flickr.
Display case
Here's a closer picture of the fabric... I just love it.
Eames fabric - bottom of display case
I see this print and it's variations on eBay about once every six weeks or so. I have one other piece in a nubby green barkcloth with the same print and I'm hoping to incorporate it in this room, also. I have a collection of green/olive/turquoise/aqua ceramic vases, etc. that will be going in the display case when it is finished. It may be kinda weird but I like weird so it's OK with me! ;0)

Last Tuesday we went to a jazz concert at Arizona State University (ASU). Our nephew, Mark, was playing the sax in the Jazz Repertory Band. Although he isn't a music major, he made the band, a fact that makes his proud papa (my brother) very happy. Since Mark's parents couldn't be here I took lots of pictures for them. Unfortunately, only a few came out because apparently I don't know how to use my camera... guess I need to practice more! I got a few good ones and I'll share one of his solo with you.
Mark solo 10-23-07
It was a fun concert and we really enjoyed it. Later we went to dinner at a really fancy restaurant... not! Actually we went to the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) to eat. We each had a huge omelet... not a good idea at 9pm. We didn't get to bed till 11:30! We almost turned into pumpkins! LOL!! We don't get out much... can you tell?

I've also tackled my sewing room. It had gotten so bad in there that I could just barely get to the sewing machine. This is not a good thing. I picked up a lot of nice clothes (silks, rayon, linen, cotton and polyester) at estate sales recently for crazy quilt fabrics and they were just piled up in there. I got most of them ready for use and sorted by color. There's lots more to do but at least it's a start. My hope is if I rest my wrists this week and then use splints, the tingling, cold fingers will go away. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Well, that's pretty much a roundup of the week's happenings. I hope everyone is having a glorious week! See you in a few...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tagged Twice! Oh, My!!!

I have been tagged by Judy and Rissa to show 7 weird/random things about myself. Hmmm... my family would tell you that 7 things is just the tip of the iceberg!!

Here are the rules which you must abide by if you are tagged.
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs

And... here's my weird/random things...

1. I like to eat open-face peanutbutter and cottage cheese sandwiches... I have no idea where it came from but Mom used to eat them so I did.

2. I only own 3 pairs of shoes... I have chronic tendonitis in my size 11 feet, flat arches and I wear orthotics all the time. With all that going on, it's a wonder I can find 3 pairs of shoes that will work!

3. When I'm done cooking a meal and it's hot and perfect, everybody damn well better be ready to eat 'cause there's nothing worse than being late for a meal. (I think that one cames from my Dad.)

4. I love to re-purpose old things... such as make a table out of a door, a pot rack out of an old metal basket, a planter out of an old tub, etc. I just hate to see things go to waste!

5. In my life I haved lived in the following places (in chronological order):
--- Ohio
--- Pennsylvania
--- Colorado
--- Wyoming
--- Virginia
--- Puerto Rico
--- Hawaii
--- Wyoming (again)
--- Louisiana
--- Colorado (again)
--- Arizona

6. Knitting is a temptress who is about to seduce me... sigh... it's all those knitting blogs... and all those pretty colors... and it's easier to carry around than my CQ!! ;0)

7. I'm gonna be a grandma again... these two:
After wedding
are preggers!!! Yay!!!

I'm not gonna tag anyone; however, if you want to play please do so... weird things are good!!! ;0)

OK... that's all for now... some stitching was done this weekend but not enough to even post a picture!

Later, gators!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Block 4 of Midsummer Night CQ is coming along rather well... I think...
Block 4
I'm really not too sure about the curving french knot seam treatment. I love doing those off-the-cuff seam treatments; however, I think I may have gotten a teensy bit carried away on this one. It seems rather cumbersome, and is going to need some more finessing before I'm done. Oh, well... onward!

This block, so far, has french knots (lots of them), lazy daisy stitches, straight stitches and herringbone stitches. More seams to do, of course, as well as finish a couple that need some help. Hopefully by Sunday this block will be finished as far as the embroidery is concerned.

This morning, while we were getting ready for work, we found that Priss had decided that a big pottery bowl with a blanket in it was the perfect place for a morning nap.
Priss inna bowl
This is in the guest/music room so it tends to collect things as we rearrange furniture. I started talking to her and she put out a paw... then started kneading ever so slightly in response...
Priss - relaxed Priss - dug in
I think Miss Priss needs a manicure!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Block 3 of Midsummer Night

Thanks for the comments on the last post, ladies. Unfortunately, threadspider, my kitchen isn't always this tidy! That was part of the problem, I had stuff just sitting around without a home. I have actually managed to keep it clean and tidy all week, though, a major accomplishment for me. ;0) It's easier to keep clean when I use everything that is in the kitchen... I've moved all the items that I don't use on a regular basis out into the shed. If, like so many of the other items now residing in the shed, they don't get used this year, they're going on eBay. Meanwhile, it's sure been nice coming home and making supper!!

Allie, I think you are right in saying we are preparing for winter, although winter down here is pretty nice! We spent this weekend moving furniture around to make the living area flow better. It hasn't been working very well for us and we had a display case that we wanted to bring in and use. I think we've come up with a solution, but only time will tell. Pictures when it's all together!

So, I finished block 3 this weekend...
Block 3 - seams done
Stitches used in this block include cretan, herringbone, french knot, slanted buttonhole, back stitch, straight stitch, laced back stitch, and half buttonhole wheel.

Here's a close-up of the cretan stitch from Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST) ...
Cretan stitch 2
I've been wanting to use cretan stitch in this way, with 4 threads in progressively lighter colors, for some time. I love the way it looks and it's very easy, too.

I've decided that I'm going to start doing the beading at work during my lunch hour. The beading is slightly more portable for me, because I don't need to use a hoop. Doing this will enable me to keep doing seam treatments in the evenings and play with beads as a break from work. Sounds like a win-win solution to me!

Later, gators!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Kitchen Reorganization and TAST

Warning: Lots of pictures ahead!

Last weekend was spent doing some much needed reorganizing in the kitchen. I want to remodel it (soooooo bad) but finally decided (after much wailing and gnashing of teeth), that now is not the time to do it. In a few years we'll revisit the idea. Anyhoo... I decided that a hanging pot rack was the best way to go to get some much needed extra storage. I could get all the pots and pans out of the cabinets which would leave me room for other things... like food! ;0)

We headed out to find the perfect pot rack, with a stop along the way at Guitar World so Glenn could do a little drooling over the guitars. He had a great time playing all the REALLY nice guitars and we are hoping to be able to get him a good Martin acoustic in the spring. We liked it best, it had a nice, deep, rich sound. While we were there, Glenn looked up from his guitar and said, rather quietly... "There's Randy Johnson." I peeked around the corner and sure enough, there he was, all 6'10" of him. We kinda grinned and went about our business but the teenagers in the room about had a fit. As soon as he walked out of the room they all got on their cell phones, calling their friends and letting everybody know who they just saw... kinda like I'm doing now, come to think of it! Oh well... we don't see celebrities too often (since we never go anywhere) so I guess I'm allowed!

So, back to the pot rack. We finally found what I wanted, a for real, honest to goodness Calphalon stainless steel pot rack, with room for all my pots and pans. I put it together while Glenn watched the game and then he hung it from the ceiling. I like it where it is, although the huge overhead light is really close by.
Pot rack - 3

It hangs right over my work area, which is a 2'x3' storage rack covered with a nice piece of white cutting board that we got at a restaurant supply store. It provides lots of space for prep work and is right in front of the stove, very convenient.
Pot rack Pot rack - 2

With the rack up, I was able to spend the next few hours rethinking how I wanted the kitchen to work. Now that it is done, and everything has a place (and is actually IN that place) I think it will work just fine.
Range wall Pitchers
There are a few more pictures on my Flickr page if you want to see more and/or bigger pictures.

I did manage to get some stitching done. I finished Block 2...
Block 2 - seams done
adding a seam treatment using Arrow stitch... part of
Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST)
Arrow stitch
and also Portuguese Stem Stitch (also from TAST)
Portuguese Stem Stitch
The Portuguese Stem Stitch is snuggled in between two lines of back stitch wrapped in perle cotton.

These blocks seem to be getting done so slowly... I need to push a little bit more and get them done and quit messing around. I keep wanting to make intricate seam treatments, forgetting that the ones on the outer blocks need to be kept simple and streamlined so they fade into the background a bit. If I keep telling myself that little fact, maybe I'll actually remember it!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Midsummer CQ and TAST

I've been able to do quite a bit of stitching the past few days. I finished all the seam treatments on Block 1 (click to embiggen, as usual)...
Block 1 - seams done
and then I got started on Block 2. This one seems (I typed "seams" first, LOL!) to be flowing better. I've been able to move from one seam to the next without staring blankly at it looking for inspiration! ;0)
Block 2
The feather stitching in the upper left corner of Block 1 and the upper right corner of Block 2 will merge into one motif when I'm done. I only did a tiny bit of green on these seam treatments; however, I think it will need some more green to make it look like something other than a mistake.

I've used two TAST stitches on block 2 (so far). First we have the Reversed Buttonhole Bar from Week 39...
Reversed buttonhole bar
The buttonhole stitch was done with black #3 perle cotton and the overstitching was done with grey #3 perle cotton. Then, as usual, I didn't leave it to hang out all by itself... I added some lazy daisy stitches in silk floss.

Then we have the the Sheaf Stitch from Week 28...
Sheaf stitch
On this stitch, I made it larger and larger as it went up the seam, instead of making all the stitches the same size... I like the effect and will use it again. I'm sure this seam will have beads added to it at some point.

That's all for now... I'll be back in a few days with more gripping updates! ;0)