Monday, January 30, 2012


Pollux and I are both sick.  I'll get caught back on blogging when one of us is well again.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Update from Artie

Mom's still workin'.  Dunno why she's messin' up my playroom though.  Hmph.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

This Is Going to Take A While

I may be gone for a couple of days trying to get this mess dealt with.  Life and Artan have been wreaking havoc upon my mini work area for weeks.  Artan is the most destructive though.

That printer's draw used to be filled with minis.  Artie dumped it for me.  He's also made a habit of reaching into mini scenes, around plexi-glass, and stealing minis to chew on.  Many things need to change.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I made myself some new things to wear to the concert on Saturday.  I'll have to manufacture a reason to wear it all now, but that's beside the point.

The quickest was the jewelry.

I started with an interesting kit, but the materials supplied weren't enough for the length I wanted.  I remembered the store had more kits and individual components for sale, so I went back and restocked.

Here are the results:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Close Enough for Jazz

FH and I are headed east to celebrate a family birthday.  We're all going to a big jazz concert, which promises to be lots of fun.

For any jazz lovers out there, if you follow this link it will take you to a news article that contains a link to the free live stream of the concert.

Catch you later!

So when were an hour or so from home one of the tires went flat.  We found a service station with a working air pump and the tire held air long enough for us to turn around and get home safely.  We'll be listening to the concert via livestream tonight.  Stupid tire. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Size Comparison

Something I realized whilst looking through last year's photos. 

We've gone from this:

To this:

In eight months.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Musical Roses: Piano Progress

I had a decent block of time to devote to the next section, so I was able to go from this:
To this:
I've crossed the center of the design now.  The piano is close to 75% complete.  I think I'll do some work on the bass next.  Maybe... we'll see.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rare Political Opinion - SOPA

I normally prefer to keep my political and religious opinions to myself, but circumstances being what they are, I feel I need to say something.

Many websites around the world will be "going dark" tomorrow, January 18, 2012, in protest of SOPA, the so-called Stop On-line Piracy Act.  A lot of folks don't know what this hoopla is even all about because it's not really in the news and I believe it should be.

Here is a link to the bill's text itself.  I urge you to read it for yourselves.  You can also read the Wikipedia article I linked in the previous paragraph.  However be warned that someone has called into question the neutrality of said article.  Hence whey I've linked to the bill itself.  There is more information out there and I urge to to read it and form your own opinions on the matter.

For me personally, I believe no good can come of SOPA.  Copyright laws have always been a civil court matter and should remain so.  I believe as currently written, SOPA violates the First Amendment Rights of all American citizens.  The language is too open ended and can easily become a slippery slope of lost freedoms.  Are there valid issues the bill is trying to address?  I believe there are.  But I do not agree with the current outlines and wording currently therein.

In addition to voicing my concerns with my Representatives, I'm going to do one thing.  Tomorrow I will "go dark" as well.  From Blogger, from email , from Facebook, from any form of e-commerce- really from the Internet in general.  I'll be watching the news on television for a change and working on non-Internet projects.

Again I urge you all, especially my American readers, to read the available literature (including the bill) while you can and form your own opinions.  If you agree with me please call your federal representatives' offices today.  Heck even if you don't agree with me, call them anyway so your opinion counts in the way they vote.  It's America after all.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Musical Roses: The Next Installment

I've been working in fits and starts.  Too many distractions and not enough time spent stitching.  Oh well.  Here's where we left of last time.
I've gotten a bit more of the piano worked up now.

You can see a few of the black keys now.  The bass also has the suggestion of strings. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Back to Musical Roses

Here's the last photo that you saw of the stitching.
And here are the next two progression photos.

You can see the neck of the string bass and the piano's keyboard starting to take shape.  I've also gotten a good start on one of the larger roses.  In the next pictures the keyboard will start to become more prominent.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Artan's First Snowfall

FH got home and it became possible to take Artie outside in the snow and get pictures.

I don't think he was amused.  ;-)

Pollux had the option to come out on the deck too, but he wisely abstained.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Puzzling Distraction

I wasn't feeling well yesterday, so I played with two of my new puzzles.  I picked out the two which are part of a larger set.  Eventually I'll have them all.
These are really unique because not only are they made from recycled plastic, but they attach with hinges.
So you can create a decorative piece to stand on a table or shelf.

They only took about fifteen minutes to put together, but I'm in love with the pictures.  I can't wait to have the entire series to display.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cute Wednesday Filler

I'm behind in my posting, so here's Artie asleep with his tongue out.  It's sort of dark because my hand got in the way of the flash, so I had to play with the brightness.

Anyways I'm off to work on things again.  Tfn.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Musical Roses Progress

We left off here New Year's Day:

Before I went to bed on Monday, Jan. 2nd, I had only managed to fill in a few places. 
At this point I can fill in with the yellow all the way to the tip of the rightmost rose before I need to worry about the neck of the bass and the lower music note that isn't finished yet.  I can also start the second to last rose any time.

I will probably switch between the yellow wall and the piano for a day or so, jumping to the rose for a change of scenery.  I doubt I will start the bass until I get to the part where it rests against the wall.

Monday, January 9, 2012

More Musical Roses

Here is where I left off in 2011. 

This is what I managed to get done during the football games and into the night New Year's Day (and early morning hours of Monday).
You can really start to see the piano taking shape.  More of the monotonous yellow wall is filled in as well.  What I'm doing there is counting over until I know where an object is supposed to start, parking the yellow thread, and working said object.  Then I know where I can just fill in around everything.

At this point I can start filling in with yellow between the right side of the piano and the rose on the right.  There will be another few notes on the right side before I can fill it in all the way.  I'm almost to the neck of the string bass and the keyboard on the piano.  That lone cluster of yellow at the bottom of the picture is a piece of wall between the bass and a piano leg, so I'm about halfway to the center of the design.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Going Buggy

Baby Anna is a big girl as of today.  She's three!  I still have a hard time believing it and I saw her yesterday running amok with a new baby doll stroller.  *sigh*

Anyways I decided she needed something fun that wasn't awash in pink for her birthday since I knew everyone else in the world would take care of that for me.  So I dug through my pattern drawers and came up with these.
Adorable finger puppets of crawly things, complete with "bag basket" storage container.  The pattern is Butterick B4478.  I made a few adjustments here and there, depending on what looked good and functioned better.  Here's a better look at the basket.  It's made from felt and latch hook canvas.
Now for the cute crawly things:

Overall I'm not too pleased with the way the round heads (spider, dragonfly, bee) turned out.  The felt fabric wasn't the best quality (I'm not willing to spend a ton of money on 100% wool felt for a child's toy) and therefore was tricky to sew in a circle.  But I love the sweet faces.  The snail's eyes are even on the antennae stalks.

The wings and spots were supposed to be fused together with fusible web, but I haven't had much luck with that and this type of felt in the past.  Instead I glue-basted them in place and then sewed a zigzag stitch to hold them in place.  Not only does it hold better, but it looks neat as well.

I must admit I was sad to see the snail go.  He's the reason I bought the pattern in the first place.  I believe I shall make myself one to keep at some point.  I'm also fond of the spider and ladybug.

I'll have more pictures of Musical Roses on Monday.  See you then!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Musical Roses: Continued

We left off here yesterday, with the roses starting to take shape.

This is the next day's worth of work.  The piano is starting to show itself and the vase is almost ready to fill in.
Each photo is taken after one day of working.  I guess I should mention that I began this piece on the 28th of December.  So this bottom picture is the work that I did on the 30th.  I didn't get anything done on this piece on New Year's Eve, which had been my plan.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Musical Roses: The Beginning

As promised, here are the first two days worth of stitching.  The kit is by Janlynn and is called "Musical Roses."  The roses are really more of a highlight in the design, accenting the jazzy piano and string bass.  Various musical notes are peppered throughout the picture.

I did start in the center but quickly decided to take advantage of my grid and moved to the top to work my way down.  The color changes would be more interesting that way.

You will slowly start to see the vase of coral colored roses appear on top of the piano.  The piano has a neat curve to it, almost like it's dancing to the music.
More progression pictures tomorrow!  I will be spacing these out over time and post on the other things I'm doing as well for the next several days.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Stitcher's Lament

This applies to miniatures as well.  Every once in a while an event comes up where you have to put aside what you've been working on, or wanting to work on, and stitch something because it would be the perfect gift.  Perfect and sometimes the only affordable gift for the event and/or persons.  One can only hope that the project be interesting, fun, and comes together quickly.  I count myself lucky if I get two out of three.

I've got one of these currently (on top of everything else I'm trying to get done), so I'm working on it in fits and starts whenever a block of time is freed up.  I'll start posting pictures tomorrow.  Until then, enjoy these handsome guys.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

PASG Ornament Exchange 2011

I almost forgot to post about the Guild ornament exchange at the beginning of December.  Whoops!

I gave one of the thread crochet wreaths:

And received this lovely glass ornament draped with machine embroidered motifs.
The artist is a dear friend of mine and I was gleeful when I got hers.

The way the exchange works is everyone who wants to participate makes an ornament, wraps it, and brings it to Guild.  No one puts their names on them.  Then we draw numbers and whoever gets the lowest number goes to the gift table first.  When they open the package they've chosen, then we find out who made it.  It's a lot of fun!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Belt for My Dad

FH and I made this belt for my dad.  We used a pre-embosed belt blank to start off.  He did the color work, finishing, and added the conchos.  I picked the colors, did the sizing, and shaping. 

The conchos are riveted on and the buckle is removable/changeable.  He used a yellow leather dye with a brown hi-lite to get the warm brown tones.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Monday, Monday

Today is going to be filled with the usual cleaning, baking, and cooking.  Hopefully I'll get a couple of projects done/worked on as well.  I find if I just spend half the day on Monday doing chores I can usually work on projects or play for the rest of the week. 

See you tomorrow!

Puzzling Presents

Not really, but the alliteration was fun. ;-)

This Yule my stocking was stuffed with these fun little puzzles.  FH had some help from my mother in this, for which he is grateful.
I put the puzzle ball together after we got home from our 1000 mile journey.
It came with a little loop of cord so it can hang as an ornament.  So much fun with this!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Blue Streak...Or Flame Perhaps

Our little brother (little is an operative word, he's 27 and bigger than FH) has an old beat up wallet with blue flames stitches on it.  It's horrible looking but well loved.  When they were here for New Years last year I traced the flames and took pictures for color reference.  FH was supposed to make him a new one, but got distracted by another thought.  Instead he made a more grown-up gift.
 Here's a picture of the flames in better light, before the black hi-lite was applied.
This is another project that we both worked on.  In this case I painted the flames whilst FH was at work.  He did the remainder.