Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Everything is new....

Well not really. The house was built in 1951 I believe.

Anyway, I have not been able to do anything crafty due to all the packing and moving and cleaning and painting and carpet removal and electrical work and whatnot. We are almost entirely in the new house--we have a few things to get out of the garage at the old place. We are also awaiting the arrival of some of Grandma Phyllis's furniture so that we can properly put things away.

But it almost feels like home--sometimes I can't believe this beautiful house is ours. I can't wait to get the kids play area set up and my play--err--craft area established. Chas's play area will take longer to establish, but we have plans for that as well.

I love that new house sensation.

Other new things:

One of my favorite cross stitch designers (Martina Weber of Chatelaine of course) has a few new designs in the works: a classical mandala and a peacock mandala. I have two thoughts:

1. I can't wait until I'm done with boxes because my hands are so dry that I do not want to stitch and snag all the silks.
2. I will need more walls to display all the mandalas. Or maybe I just need to rotate them. Of course it would help if I would actually finish one.

Also, one of my favorite fabric designers (Lila Tueller) has a new line and is having a giveaway on her blog. I love her Santorini line--lavenders, greens, pinks and olives (not the color--actual olives), and the new Eden line looks pretty as well.

I can't wait until I can start being crafty again.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gone Moving

We are eyeball deep in moving stuff to the new house.

Two floods + one house fire and we still have a lot of things (mostly books--how can we get rid of books? They aren't luxuries; they're bare essentials).

Here is my little tidbit to you: Pack things you don't like as much on the bottom of every box you store in your home. Then, when the flood hits, the things you least like are destroyed first.

What's that? Most homes don't flood regularly?

Oh. (so that is why the air quality is better at our new home.)


Thanks to our friends Cathy and Steve for putting in monumental work to help us.

My Dad has been up to help. My Mom and StepDad are here now too.

Thanks goodness for that. We have lots more to do, but it is ours at last.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Keys in Hand

We have the keys.

The house is ours!

Excuse me because I have a lot of work to do.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

I know what is wrong with me.

Okay, well maybe not completely, everything that is wrong with me.

But I know why I am so stressed about this house thing.

Almost two and a half years ago, once Kian was actually born after our house fire, I remember I was still on the operating table and I looked at Chas and thought, "We did it. He's here. He's healthy. Everything is going to be all right." I thought we could ride off into the sunset, a happy little family with no big worries except needing a bigger home and the usual worries about parenting decisions. I know and I knew then, that life isn't really like that. It is full of struggle and setbacks in addition to the love and joy. But I wanted to believe that things would, mostly, be fine.

Then two and a half weeks later, we discovered his heart problem.

Now, I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop right now. I'm waiting for the bad hiding in the great good thing that is about to happen.

I hate feeling this way. (in the sense that I can't protect my family from everything and also that my happiness is tinged with some anxiety over some nameless fear that is baseless other than the fact that life is full of hardships and they happen at some time or another).


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Holy Mortgage Batman!

I hesitated to post this, because we're not quite there yet. But I think we will close on the house tomorrow and have the keys by Monday. We have been up and down several times in this whole process and, typical, we were up and down several times today.

When we woke up, we thought I would need to sign some things today and do the final close tomorrow. By Midday, it seemed more paperwork had failed to arrive where it was needed (we are an emergency rush so usually it takes much longer) so the closing would be shifted to next week.

By 5:30 and after many phone calls, we coordinated it so that we could doe everything tomorrow. We had to see the house for the final walk-through while the current owner was moving out (and I felt bad about that--but I think he really wants out quickly too).

So as long as I can get the cashier's check tomorrow, we should be good. I hope nothing else pops up to delay us. I hope nothing else crazy happens.

I hated to get pushy, but I really needed to just have the house transfer rather than remain on this roller coaster we've been on the last few months.

It has been such a rough few years. I became a little teary on the way over to the house because it is such a big wonderful thing that is happening. It is a little overwhelming.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

SO we think we have the house....

Stuff has been approved.

I apparently need to go sign some things tomorrow, but the actual closing won't necessarily be until Friday. Pause.


And we'll squeeze your walk through tomorrow night.

{what am I signing? Haven't a clue, my realtor, has yet to answer that question. Apparently I'm to walk in to an office tomorrow to sign random things.

Our realtor, was great about showing us houses, but she has done a terrible job of explaining the process.

Our former neighbors told us that home buying was much simpler in Scotland (their point of origin).

My State, however, has perfected the art of making the process so random and painful that some of the excitement gets sucked right out.

I will be deliriously happy once we close and start moving in. I'm just more than a little confused. And a little annoyed that my very straightforward questions go without an answer most times.

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

State of the Stitch: HAED Case

Well, as a reward for letting him play with the boys (college buddies) all day yesterday (read from before the kids awoke to just before bedtime), Chas has taken both children to the grocery store and I get some silence for a few brief moments. How do I spend my time? Not stitching--that would require clean up first. Not packing--that would be too much like cleaning up. Scanning. Yes, scanning.

I had been planning to post cross stitch wips by designer for some time. So sad that I have so many wips that I can do it this way. Or wonderful. I guess it depends on your perspective. I'll go with wonderful.

I chose HAED not because they are the fast favorites (I love my wips pretty much equally for different reasons just like my real children). Merely because my actual progress is so minimal for each wip that I can fit them all on the scanner bed, though not at the same time. So bear with me, brace yourself and buckle your seat belts....

First up is what I believe to be the first HAED I put needle to: Nadia Tate's Quick Stitch Star Fae. Still love the colors, but I don't think it has been in actual wip rotation since probably 2006 or so. I hate, loathe and despise stitching with that awful sparkly stuff listed in the materials. I started it and although the shine is lovely, it is too bulky for the fabric, which if I recall is 32 count. I obviously used half cross stitches as you can see in the outline of the wings. Not entirely sure how I feel about how that looks. Still the colors are pretty and the finished size with all the stitches in may cause it to turn out just fine. Several HAED stitches have very strong positions regarding the use of half versus whole crosses.

Someday I will finish it. Or maybe Angie will.

The next design up is Nadia Tate's Quick Stitch Buttercup Kitty Fae. I can take credit for helping to inspire this one as I had described wanting a buttercup fae in great detail. Turned out great for very personal reasons and I won the original ACEO. I am woefully uncertain about the hair and face, but many long time HAED stitchers reassure anyone who asks that the colors will be phenomenal when the project is complete.

Regardless, I do love just stitching Nadia's backgrounds. It is so pretty don't you think?

Moving on to Josephine Wall's Pegasus and Castle Bubble Quick Stitch. Stitching the solid color was very soothing actually. I am still using half stitches for this one, which makes the corner look odd. I had plans for fixing it.

But really, I should just have plans for stitching it.

Then I have Scott Gustafson's Frog Prince 3 (another quick stitch--I could comment on the misnomer, but I believe the fault lies with the stitcher not the chart). I started this one ages ago for Angie. When she was smaller, she called the princess "Angie" and kept asking when I would finish the picture of her with the frog.


I love the image, but I loathe the confetti stitching, but it is somewhat more bearable by my use of the half stitch.

However, I am so very, very, close to finishing--relatively speaking of course.

Next is an out of print HAED by Sara Butcher (soon to be something else as I believe she is getting married). I am so happy I bought this one ages ago. It is my first attempt to use a whole cross. I dislike the whole cross even as I appreciate the fact that it does not distort my fabric (half crosses tend to pull the fabric in one direction--a problem I now handle by using Q-snaps when I use my half cross). The coverage with one strand in a half cross on the higher count fabrics is just fine, even for these darker colors. I resent the incredible amount of time it takes though. Still, Angie's face lit up recently when she saw this chart, so I need to get back to it.

Another full cross is next: Automne by Christopher Vacher. A friend saw this and admired it. I was grateful for the excuse to stitch it. I love the vastness of this piece and the knotwork. The solitary figure (and no I haven't reached it yet) speaks volumes. It is a lovely piece of art.

Page one of the chart is finished and I have moved on to page two. On page two, I decided to go to using all of one color before moving on to another color. I was hoping that this would help me avoid missing a stitch here and there. I looks great, but I don't know if my theory will work since it has been at least a year since I touched her last.

Finally, this next chart has been my primary HAED in 2009, a quick stitch of Citrine by Rachel Anderson. It is part of a stitch-a-long and I have been a most miserable participant: rarely posting and seldom stitching. I returned to my half stitching ways with this one on belfast linen. I love the large blocks of colors and came up with another ingenious way of gridding: changing thread colors for the grid of each new page. You might be able to see it in the picture. I have big plans for this design once it is finished. I had hoped that a SAL would keep me motivated to stitch. Nope. I was distracted by my new found love of quilting.

This list, I believe, covers every current HAED wip. I am fairly certain this statement is accurate, but let's just say I have some wiggle room just in case I find another long lost HAED wip.

I have finished only one HAED design: Ballet Pigs Quick Stitch by Sara Butcher. I still haven't finished it so that Angie can have it in her room, but the stitching is done.

Future State of the Stitch posts will include Teresa Wentzler and Chatelaine.

I will wander through the rest of 2009 as I please, crafting here and there as the spirit moves me. In 2010 however, I need to develop a plan to balance quilting with cross stitching and perhaps the occasional clothing-sewing.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

because I'm forgetful

Second Grade started this week--I finished Angie's supply bags just in time. But of course there are no pictures. Hubby made a snide comment (I hope they fit) and I cut him off by saying, Are you really talking like that about what I just spent my entire afternoon working on?" Then dear daughter saw them and started to say "I like them..." in that tone that indicates there may be a but lurking. I repeated what I said to her father minutes before.

She promptly said, "Oh no Mommy. I like them."

Sometimes gratitude is spontaneous. Sometimes gratitude is earned. Sometimes gratitude is learned. And sometimes gratitude just has to be enforced with a stern tone of voice.

Also, just in case anyone still reads my blog and recalls our discovery of Kian's heart condition shortly after his birth (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here): We received great news from his last cardiology appointment! He has had no significant change since his procedure two years ago. This is a really good sign because babies with his problem usually require multiple procedures in a very short time. He has tripled his birth weight and we have only needed one procedure. The Doctor was actually a bit giddy--how often do you see a giddy specialist?

This does not mean that he is cured. She described it as, "He has a defect, but no disease." We will go to yearly monitoring and just watch for obvious signs of trouble. We can also expect something to happen when he is a teenager--the next big burst of growth.

For now, we are extraordinarily grateful and sometimes I just tear up when I watch him play with his sister.

I'm such a goofball I completely forgot to post (well didn't forget--life just got in the way). But I'm on a bit of a posting jag tonight so I thought I should tell you all. If you're still reading.

Thanks as always for the good thoughts and support.

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Being greedy.

If you like me, even just a little bit, could you please go to this nifty blog and post a comment that I sent you ( Holley at ). I promise I'll do the same for you if you like.

I seriously desire this fabric line in the worst way and I am trying to be so very good with our move hopefully happening by the end of this month. My clicky finger has added it to many online baskets only to be unceremoniously dumped when another inspection/insurance/tithe to the realty company has appeared.

I'd ask dear hubby to do it, but he would probably ask me how I would fit in sewing on the new fabric if I won when I still have piles of fabric laying around.

Silly man.

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