Monday, December 31, 2007

Take A Kayak

"Skip Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark’s New Year’s special. You’re a dork, not an idiot."

Hah! Read the entire article, Flying solo on New Year's Eve?

So far, my New Year's Eve has consisted of sharing some bad Chinese food with Maggie and listening to k.d. lang singing "Helpless" about 87 times. I found it while looking for some Neil Young songs on iTunes the other night. It could not be a more perfect song. I could listen to this woman sing the telephone book. (You know what I mean.) I'm also doing laundry. What fun!

Let's answer some questions from random MySpace surveys:

1. Do you know anyone named Amanda?
The woman who took my information for an insulin pump was named Amanda.

12. What comes to mind when I say cabbage?

24. Did you dress like Madonna [in the 80's]?
It was because of Madonna that I started wearing Victoria's Secret bras and boxer shorts. I drew the line at rosary beads around my neck though because my mom would have killed me.

8. I've come to realize that, somewhere, someone is thinking:
about pie. That would be me.

2.)Q. What was your dream growing up?
A. To be in a band

Good advice you wish someone would have shared with you?
Use your syringes until they get dull

28. Did you own a Trapper Keeper?
No but I had a Pee-chee (and, more Pee-Chee memories)

What is your weapon of choice?
Abrams tank

Do You Own Any Band T-Shirts?
I still have two REM, one John Mellencamp, at least three Replacements, a Thelonious Monster (thank you, Billy Ruane) and possibly two NIN

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Burnt sienna

17. I've come to realize that, I go on myspace:
because apparently some people I know refuse to use Blogger, Typepad or Wordpress

24. Have you ever kayaked?
Why, yes, I have. At Celine Dion's suggestion, I took a kayak and went into New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and rescued a ZILLION people. Obviously, I have a Titanic sized kayak.

Have you ever sat on a rooftop?
And, stared at the moon?

2. What holiday is your birthday closest to?
Labor Day and sometimes Rosh Hashanah

16. I've come to realize that, Babies:
are boring but two year olds rock

98. Whats the closest thing to you that's red?
The cover of NIN's . . . what the hell is the name of this cd? Looks like it's Halo Four. Excuse me while Google it . . . ok, it's a cd maxi single of Sin. Now, I'm thinking about maxi pads. Thanks, Trent.

Happy New Year, y'all!

Friday, December 28, 2007

I Must Learn How To Knit

Sarah at Penguin Knits is doing a craft-along for animal shelters. You can make things like blankets and toys, and then donate them to your favorite animal shelter. (You should contact your local shelter to see what they will accept.) It goes from January 1 through February 1, although Sarah says you can keep on making stuff to donate after that. She linked to a list of knitting patterns for pets and a list of crochet patterns if you need some ideas on what to make.

There aren't any details posted yet but earlier this month, Crafty Daisies asked if anyone would be interested in a learn to knit school. They have 55 comments so far so I hope they decide to do this.

I just found this blog, Crafty Beats, that has some nice tutorials, like this one for a crochet pig and for a puppet bear. I really like the flower pin and the t-shirt bookmark.

One Of My Presents

Look, what I got for Christmas.

No, not the Shih Tzu. The Chinese pincushion.

My mom had one of these when I was a kid. Actually, I think she had two of them because I remember a bigger one that had a lid that you could remove and there was a compartment in the middle where you could keep your sewing supplies. Every time I go to Sublime Stitching to buy one, they're sold out. (They're in stock now though.) So I was excited (it doesn't take much) to see Pier 1 had them. And, when my mom and sister went there for something else, they ended up getting me the pincushion. Yay! Unfortunately, mom doesn't know what happened to hers.

I just found a Chinese pincushion with lid on Cyber Import. It looks like they make them with different amounts of children/men/acrobats (I've seem them referred to as all three on different sites). Interesting.

I should start collecting them.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Finally. Another Pig Picture

I had my camera out Christmas morning to take pictures of us opening presents, and hardly took any, but I got one of this pig ornament that I've had for years. I think it came from a co-worker. I used to collect pigs and for awhile people were always giving them to me. If somebody knows you collect something, they really will think of you every time they see one, and often get it for you. This pig is made of some kind of stiff material -- maybe canvas -- but it's squeezeable too. It's always been one of my favorite ornaments.

I must link to this cute ATC. It was made for a weekly challenge and the theme this time was cross stitch. I just love Kewpies. Well, I don't love the actual dolls. I guess I should say that I love images of Kewpies. You can find a few free ones here. My personal favorite is the Kewpie with the hatchet. (WTF?)

That Kewpie with the axe reminds me how my foot is still swelling every day and I'm about ready to just have Kathy Bates come by and chop it off. This has been going on for over a month now and I am really sick of it. Some days it's just really uncomfortable, and other days, it really hurts. It's annoying and frustrating. And, many times, I can't even get a shoe on. I now completely understand why people go to rehab for an addiction to pain killers. If Percoset didn't make me dizzy and nauseous, I'd be popping them like I do butter mints.*

The orthopedic surgeon said if the swelling in my foot and leg wasn't being caused by a blood clot, he didn't know what else it could be from. Well, I don't have a blood clot, although the woman who performed the ultrasound to rule that out was in still in training and had no idea what she was doing so maybe I do have a blood clot and she was just too inexperienced to catch it. My diabetes doctor thinks the swelling is from the knee surgery, and I find it odd that the orthopedic guy wouldn't feel the same way. I wish I had said no to the surgery and just worn a cast for three months, I would have had really bad B.O. when it was time to remove it but at least I wouldn't have had all of these other issues. There is some good news though. I am able to move much better nowadays. I can use a step stool now and I'm able to sit on the floor with both legs bent at the knee and off to one side -- something I couldn't do two weeks ago. Last week, I went dancing. Ok, it was just me and my iPod, but it was so great to be able to do that without any pain, and to actually move around the room. I haven't been out dancing in a club for like eight years but it's nice to know I could go if I wanted. (Except I couldn't wear a shoe on my swollen foot.) The last time I tried dancing, my knee began to hurt within minutes and the pain lasted for days. I still can't jump and I will always feel the plate in my leg when I kneel on it, which creeps me out, but it's so good to be able to do some of this stuff again.

How did I get on that subject?? Oh yeah, it's that Kewpie with the hatchet's fault.

I added a header (thanks to the Blog Header Generator) and realized there are way too many dog pictures on this blog. Hello, there are four of them in the header alone! No, I'm not obsessed at all. Later, I will make a new collage to use for a header and will not include a single dog. And, then that pig ornament will take flight.

Maryse posted some details about her 2008 Stitch A Long and Frimousse has a free chart for another stuffed little building. It's a boulangerie. Speaking of Maryse's charts, last night I started this heart for a friend. It's going really quickly.

*the best butter mints ever

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I was at Niki's Ventures earlier this afternoon and there was holiday music playing. It was The Waitresses doing "Christmas Wrapping." And, it wasn't a crappy Muzak version. It was the real thing. So, I went to Project Playlist, created an account, and made my own playlist of some Xmas tunes. (Thanks, Niki!)

When I clicked on the entry later in the day, the playlist wasn't working. And, it still wasn't working now. So, I got the code for my lists again and added it to this entry. And, once again, I get a message from Blogger that a tag wasn't closed.

People, if you're going to generate code, and offer it to others for use on their websites or blogs, please make sure you write it correctly. It's really annoying when it's wrong.

I don't know if my playlist will work now. If it's not below this paragraph, it means I removed it because Project Playlist sucks. If it's showing up, that means it's working. I got it to work and I love it. I may not be much of a crafter but I have good taste in music.

P.S. RIP Patty Donahue

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Charts From Les chroniques de Frimousse

I love French cross stitch blogs. They have some of the best freebies out there. I love the amazing 3D designs at Frimousse but it can take me forever to track down a specific chart on her blog so I'm making a list fi them in English. I'm doing this for myself but I'm sure someone else will find it helpful as well.

My list of house/pincushion/I'm-not-sure-what-to-call-them charts from Les chroniques de Frimousse (all names are mine):

house with red shutters

house with blue shutters


little blue house

bee hive


cat in basket


school house

house with Santa

Halloween house

house with snow covered roof

house with snow and people with gifts


cheese wedge with mouse


dog house

bird house

chicken house

baby in basket

cow house






church wedding


flower shop

post office



Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Printable Images

Ten Two Studios is having a countdown of 46 printable images through December 25th. To download them, you must link to the page with the printables on your website or blog, or to a message board. So far, there are some fantastic images of vintage postcards, ATC backgrounds and faux postage stamps. There's even a cool alphabet that looks like movie tickets.

Ok, I linked. Now I can download.

My Dog House

A couple of weeks ago, I made the dog house from Les chroniques de Frimousse.

I had read on her blog that she puts "canvas thermocollante" on the backs of the stitched pieces before sewing them together. Google translates that to "heatsealer" so I guess it's like a stabilizer. I didn't do that so no wonder mine sags on the side. Look at that roof line. My dog house should be condemned. In this entry (translated version) there's an explanation on how to put these little houses together.

No Elf Clogs Here

Amy over at Angry Chicken has a bunch of gift tags you can print out. My favorite one says "I made this, just so you know. So don't say anything mean about it." I need to print that one out for future use.

There are some very nice free embroidery patterns at Down To Earth. [link via Craft N Cutie] I love the "Monday Is Washing Day" one (scroll down). There's some really interesting stuff at Down To Earth. I had no idea where luffas (or is it loofa?) came from or if they were made or what, and did not know you could eat them, until I read this. I think I finally found a subject Martha Stewart has not tackled yet.

I made an elf clog last week and my blanket stitch around the edges scared me. So I took it apart and last night I just whip stitched it together. I swear my stitching looks like a 2 yr old did it. I'm not sure if I'm going to dismantle it and sew it together one more time or what. Looking at all the pictures in the Flickr Elf Clog pool inspires me to keep at it. Some of them are freaking gorgeous and so cute. Maybe after I make a few dozen more, one will look halfway decent. (Proof I know how to do a blanket stitch.)

Here's a nifty idea for recycling leftover Xmas wrapping paper: weave it into new stuff. I think even I could do this one.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Picasa Collage

I just made a collage with Picasa (link via Bunny Tales).

Picasa is a photo organizing program.

Ok, I have no idea how to explain it better but hey, you can make a collage with it. And, it's free.

All of the images on my computer were put into Picasa and now I have questions.

Whose bedroom is this? I seriously have no idea. I love the windows, the light fixture, and that dresser, but who sleeps in this room? Anyone I know?

Posted by Picasa

And, this one. I have no clue how I got this picture back in May 2006, if it was sent to me by someone or if I downloaded it from somewhere. There's a lot in that kitchen that I like (farmhouse sink, glassfront cabinets, open shelving, the drawer pulls) so I could see saving the picture for when I hit the lottery and need ideas for my dream kitchen in my dream house.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My Gingerbread Man Had a Lobotomy

We have so many ornaments at my house that I glued a bunch of them on a wreath awhile back. (And, trust me, there are still plenty of them on the tree. ) I believe this gingerbread man is about as old as I am (44 yrs). The pin in his head that held the thread to hang him up had come out and been stuck back in so many times, that some of his poor little styrofoam head is missing.

I forget where the guy in the red knitted cap came from but I know he's been around for awhile. The little horse is from a trip to Germany that my mom and I made over 20 yrs ago. I think the red bow on the right is another one that's my age.

And, remember my lop-sided biscornu? I ended up sewing the pieces together to make a square ornament instead. (Except we all know it's not really square, now don't we?) I think I need to add a button in the middle since I left a space for it. A few years ago, I attached beads to a cross stitch and wasn't happy with how they looked, but I gave it another try with this one. The beads could be sewn on tighter but I'm ok with how they turned out. You can find the chart for the Xmas tree biscornu here. By the way, Emily at The Floss Box has a Christmas tree biscornu chart for you too.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Biscornus and a Super Cute Princess Leia

I don't think I've linked to this list of free biscornu charts before. Entwurf 13 is of white daisies with a blue background. And, Entwurf 2 looks like poppies. I like those two the best. Entwurf 23 (on page 2) is a multi-colored caterpillar. Or maybe it's a worm. It has antenna. There are also six free cross stitch charts on this page. I wish there were images of them on the main list so you don't have to click every link to see the charts. EDITED TO ADD: There are pictures here. Thank you so much, Kissy, for that link!

And, here's another list of craft projects links. This is a huge list with links for knitting projects, recipes, bags, costumes, accessories, etc.

So it's not a hedgehog with a broken leg or a baby badger or even a baby Beluga but this picture so needs to get posted on Cute Overload.

I Hope This Isn't Copyright Infringement

Here are a few more vintage greeting card images of dogs for Christmas. (Click the picture to see a larger version.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

More Links For Vintage Embroidery Patterns

I was all set to go to bed and then I saw a link for Sweet Bee's Vintage Finds on Craftster and now I must read the entire blog because Sweet Bee posts vintage embroidery patterns (she also shares some vintage crochet ones too) and I'd never be able to get to sleep if I didn't see was posted there first.

Thanks to Sweet Bee, I've also discovered Mrs Stitchy Britches who led me to a master guide of Vogart patterns at Sewing Palette (there's also a great article about vintage embroidery transfers there and one on Vogart) and the Vogart Wiki.

Yeah, I'll be up for awhile now.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Maggie Barks (pure excitement)

I couldn't get this video to work on YouTube and since Blogger lets you upload them, here's my dog Maggie barking.

Yeah, that's it. She is barking. At nothing.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Time For Some Links

Kissy left some comments and said my biscornu turned out lop-sided because the fabric was not woven evenly. I totally agree with her about that. If every side had the same exact number of stitches, what else could it be? In other words, I didn't screw it up! It makes sense that my last biscornu was also lop-sided since I used the same material for that. By the way, the Aida I used is made by Charles Craft and sold at Michael's. I won't be using it for any future biscornu. (And, check out Kissy's cute snow people freebie. I love the snow lady's hat. I should stitch them on my uneven Aida.)

Thank you all for the recent comments!! It's so great to read them. Most of my visitors end up here after Googling for free charts and they never say anything.

TipNut has posted another DOW embroidery pattern. This one is for Friday Grapes. She also has a post with links to 56 free apron patterns (egads!). I haven't been through them yet but can't wait to start clicking.

Has anyone else printed out the chart for these ornaments? I can't get it dark enough to see the grid lines. Both my sister and I played around with it -- we made it bigger and darker -- and still couldn't get a decent copy. I guess I won't be stitching these now.

Cross Stitch Happy has a chart for a cute gingerbread man scissors fob and also another gingerbread man that you could make into an ornament or gift bag.

I didn't keep track of how I found the website for New Stitches magazine but thanks to whoever it was that had it linked on their blog. They have several free Christmas charts on the site, including Santa and a reindeer, some Xmas stockings, and a little house with "Happy Christmas" above it. There are also flowers and a set of Halloween patterns. They're all really nice.

One of the best tips ever from Martha Stewart was to use a thumbtack to hang a wreath on a door. Tie some ribbon on your wreath and put a tack in the ribbon and stick it into the top of your door. This way, you don't have to put a nail in your door.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Old Xmas Cards

A few years ago, I got a CD on eBay of images from old greeting cards. They were all of dogs. I hope it's ok to share some of the holiday ones here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Lop-sided Biscornus

I put a biscornu together the other night and it came out lopsided. I knew all the sides were 46 stitches wide and 46 stitches high, both from counting them on the chart and from counting them out after I was done stitching it. I took the thing apart and I lined up the two pieces side by side. As you can see in the picture below, they're even.

But if I turn the tree design to another side, the length is not even. The tree one looks two stitches too short. I don't get it at all.

I've counted and re-counted the top and bottom pieces about 17 times and I keep getting 46 stitches on each side. I can't figure out what I did wrong when I sewed it together. The same thing happened with the last biscornu I made. The top had the exact same stitch size as the bottom yet they didn't look even when I lined them up. It's put me off making any more biscornu.

By lopsided, I mean, one side is longer than the other. See?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hello Kitty Has No Mouth, But She Always Eats Her Vegetables

Just in time for Christmas: A Christmas Story re-enacted out by bunnies. I haven't been back to Angry Alien Productions since August 2004. (I know that because I had a link to the Jaws bunny movie on my old blog then.) There's a ton of bunny movies there now. I think my favorite is Pulp Fiction but they're all worth watching.

For months, I have been clicking the link on Sis Boom Day Dreams to get to Jennifer Paganelli's video tutorials on Country Living but could never find them on the site until last night. Jennifer shows you how to make a Holiday Pin Tree here (I love these!) and there's a video for making yo-yos here. Well, I officially hate the Country Living website now. It looks like you need to go here and then click the yo-yo tutorial from the list on the left (it's the fifth one down). I absolutely hate when you can't directly link to something.

Be sure to check out the Sis Boom website if you haven't been there yet. There's so much gorgeous stuff there.

Oldie but goodie link: Hello Kitty Has No Mouth