Monday, November 30, 2009

Good Night Sweet Prince

Our dear friend Will Brown lost his battle with cancer early this morning. He is survived by his parents and loving wife, a dear sister, his wonderful so and daughter-in-law, a beautiful grand-daughter, and countless friends.

Will was a cabinet maker by trade, an incredible artist with wood. He built his home and much of the furniture inside it. It's truly a work of art. Never one for pleasure reading, the man was a tyrannical punster. No matter the subject he would always interject with an amusing and awful pun.

He loved to Rendezvous and reenact the Colonial American period. He'd don his tri-corn hat and visit with tourists and explain whatever he had an answer for. His camp was always an attraction because he built real beds, tables, and benches to use.

Will loved his family very much. He and his wife were still as smitten with each other today as they were went they met at a disco years ago. His son worked with him as a finisher at the shop. His father was often there as well. When his son married his high-school sweet-heart he gained the daughter he'd never had.

When his first grandchild came into this world in January of this year, Will seemed to fall in love all over again. The feeling from that tiny baby was mutual. She always had smile on her face when she saw him walk in the room, even after the chemotherapy took his hair and the cancer started eating away the years of toned muscle.

There are at least a dozen people my age who have called him "Uncle Willy" for years. That's where FH and I fit in. We were just two more of the "kids" and were made to feel like part of the family. So much so that we were there with Will when he celebrated his last Thanksgiving at home last week.

The world is a slightly dimmer place right now. I'm off to go let a new flood of tears have their way before I head out to meet up with everyone.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Finished Ornament

I just finished the stitching-themed Christmas ornament.
The tassels are home-made, but the buttons and cording are purchased. The ribbon is a scrap leftover from another project.

The chart is in the 2009 Special Christmas Issue of Just Cross Stitch.

Now to get it wrapped up for the ornament exchange next month. Eventually I will make one for myself.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I have to apologize for being MIA for a while. FH and I have a very dear friend who is fighting a nasty battle with cancer. We've been spending time trying to help him and his wife with whatever we can do.

I even cleaned the carpets in their house before a Stitcher's Guild event there. Luckily they are still clean in time for the holiday this week. We're still not sure if he will be home from the hospital to celebrate or not.

FH has started giving blood to replenish the local supply of their blood type.

I've been spending a lot of time with his wife. She's a very close friend and I hate seeing her go through this. It's been one heck of a year for them.

I'll be trying to check back in with several folks this week. I need to give Jill my address and get Marja's address for the Christmas swap.

Our plans for this week are dependent on him getting to go home for Thanksgiving. If he's still in the hospital we're going to get Chinese take-out and go sit up at the hospital with them. Otherwise we're joining them at their home for dinner.

Obviously, we're hoping the doctors release him so he can have a few days at home before his next treatment. Any spare prayers folks have laying around would be appreciated.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What to Do When the Kitty Is Cold

With Castor's illness he's lost a lot of weight. So much that he's starting to be very cold and hides in our bedroom all day, buried in blankets.

Being the clever and determined momma that I am, I decided to fix the problem.

He's been purring his little head off since I put this on him. I used a partial skein of something that I had in my stash. The pattern is by JoAnn Moser, aka the "DIY Maven" and can be found on her website. I didn't have the required colors to make it exactly like hers, but I may make him a couple more so I can switch them out for washing.

Happily it also hides his skeletal frame that he's been sporting since the weight loss. No matter what we try we can't get weight back onto him. I'm starting to wonder if his condition is marking the beginning of the end. :-(

But at least he'll be warm.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Beau's Vest

I'm now at the same point with Beau's vest as I am with Levi's. I need a zipper in the right color and correct size. Tomorrow I will continue my search after a stitcher's guild meeting. I will also be picking up the yarn for their older sister's vest.

Here's Beau's vest in it's current un-zippered, un-blocked state.

Here's hoping I can get Sadie's vest done, zippers installed, and all three blocked before Thanksgiving.

'Nuff Said

Because of You, Unknown Soldier

By Courtney Tanabe

Because of you, I am here

Because of you, I am able to live freely

Yet I do not know you

And I have not done anything for you

But there you stand, ready to fight

And there you are prepared to die

For me

You've fought before

And you'll fight again

For someone you don't know

So thank you Unknown Soldier

Fighting for me

I'm here because of you

And I owe my future to you

Monday, November 9, 2009

More Progress

Where's the kitty?
As you can see everyone loves FH's new hat. Confetti thinks it's nice and warm.

But you came for crafting updates, so here we go:

Yesterday I made this scarf for my mother-in-law for Yule. I have three more to make in different colors. I used Lion Brand's Homespun yarn and a pattern from their website. It took me about one and a half football games to get it finished. I don't think I'll ever use an acrylic crochet hook again. Ugh.
Here's a picture of the Frank Lloyd Wright cross stitch sampler. I'm trying to work on it in the evenings and leave the daytime for crochet and minis.
I did get Beau's vest started. The back and left front pieces are finished. I'm working on the right front currently.

I'm hoping to get at least halfway through the hood by tomorrow evening. I would like to get this one finished and the yarn purchased for the third one on Friday.

I can't show any minis right now. But I can say I've been coming up with ideas that meet the requirements of Rosana's swap challenge.

Time to get back to the grind. I want to get as much done on the right front portion of Beau's vest before dinner. Then it's back to the sampler.

Friday, November 6, 2009

More Mixed Media

The Cthulhu toque for FH is finished.I will have to do at least one more. I have a feeling the "where's mine?"'s will start soon. I've got supplies for a second that's already spoken for, but I can get more easily.

The zippers I ordered are here with one caveat. Somehow I measured wrong and none that I purchased are long enough. As you can see, I need another 1 to 2 inches for this vest. I checked the website where I ordered the other ones and they have the longer zippers, just none in the correct color. Currently I'm waiting on an email back from the company with an answer about the color and size I want. Worst can scenario is I order a bunch of even longer ones and cut them to size. It's not difficult, but it is annoying.

The stitcher's guild ornament is currently in the dryer on my drying rack (love that feature!) getting to a damp dry so I can iron it. I'm going to rummage through my stash and find some fabric to back it with.

I'll be doing that, some stitching on the sampler for my dad, and starting Beau's vest tonight.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Multiple Projects in Different Media, Me? Never! ;-)

Stitching and hooking. That's what I'm doing currently.

First is a piece that will become an ornament for my stitching guild's ornament exchange.
I have some buttons to sew on in a few places. Then I can turn it into an ornament.

Next is the first of two hats I have to make. One for FH and one for his best friend. Anything that can be considered geeky I have to make two of. It's about like giving gifts to children. This hat pattern is based on H.P.Lovecraft's Cthulhu. I bought the pattern from this nice lady on Ravelry.
I'm about 60% of the way through it. I needed something to keep me occupied while I was waiting for the yarn shop to be open so I could buy:

The colors I needed for Baby Beau's vest. I will hopefully be starting on that either tonight or tomorrow.

I've started another stitching project that I do not have a picture for yet since there are only 120 stitches in place. It's base on stained glass window designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I'm working it up for my dad.

To sooth the lack of picture for that project, have a look at a piece that's in hibernation (pardon the soon-to-be obvious pun). I started it last summer (2008) for FH and got about this far before the kit ran out of the dark grey and black I needed to finish filling in the bear.

Luckily I figured out which DMC color I needed for the grey. Now If I can just get done with all the other stitching and such. It's easier to rotate between one stitching project and minis. It's harder when there's lots of non-mini projects. Not to mention that I will eventually have to get back to the period clothing. I was all too happy to put most of it away when my parents came for a visit in September and I've gleefully not drug it back out. ;-)

That's it for today. I've got to get back to it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Amnesia Lane

It never ceases to amaze me how a random sensation can take one back in time. This morning I was driving back from dropping FH at work. "Machine Head" by Bush came on the radio and I had a flood of memories from another life...

One where I was a high school gear head dreaming about becoming a mechanic on the Indy 500. I was quite good at turning a wrench back then. As long as I could fit under something I could work on it. My favorite vehicle to work on was my mother's truck by the simple virtue of it being tall enough for me to slide under without needing to lift it. Back then I discovered very quickly that it was possible to become stuck under shorter cars when one's decolletage refused to squish down enough to get back out. That got annoying very quickly. I'd been spathic* since the 5th grade, which made being a tomboy a bit difficult. Of course this was before I knew that it wasn't normal to have as much back pain as I did. But back then I didn't care. It was fun.

I changed an alternator in the parking lot of a gas station. Once we had to rig a shift linkage with a zip tie, peanut butter, and bubble gum just so we could get to the parts store to purchase a new linkage. I helped replace a broken axle on somebody's mother's car in February and after it got dark the only source of light and heat we had was a living room lamp, sans shade that was strung out from the house on two long extension cords. Rebuilding small and large engines was a given at that point. Simple things like oil changes could be done in my sleep.

Of course being female, there were boys involved. Boys that thought it was both cool and intimidating that a girl worked on cars alongside them. Silly boys.

There were four of us from school who had a plan. We wanted to get into the competitive program at Lincoln Technical in Indiana together. That way we'd have friends on campus already. Sadly half of our quartet dropped out of school. The remaining boy and I weren't as close without the other two around. He went one direction and I went another. He did become a mechanic though. In fact, so did one of the dropouts.... but that's a different story.

By next year that old truck will be ours and once again I will be able to work on a vehicle that isn't computer controlled and is tall enough for me to get underneath. The question is will I want to? ;-)

*Spathic- geological term for possessing good cleavage

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Waiting on Parts

The crocheting is finished but I'm waiting on a zipper I ordered to get here. (Actually I'm waiting on several zippers to get here. I got a deal on them and decided having extras for future projects wouldn't be a bad thing.)

One down. Two more to go.

Giveaway at Marigold Manor

Happy November, everyone! Just a quick post to let everyone know that Teresa at Marigold Manor is having a surprise giveaway for her birthday.

"Here's what you need to do; leave a comment on this post telling me what your two favorite colors are . . . that's it! Of course, if you'd like more than one chance to enter you'd be kind to post about my give-away on your blog or sidebar, and if you're a follower I'll enter your name again (please be sure to tell me if you're posting and if you're a follower).

You have until November 12th to enter and again, I'll make the winning announcement on Saturday, November 14th!"

There you have it. Please visit her blog for more details and to sign up.

Happy early birthday, Teresa!