Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I am in total shock. I cannot think of a single thing to say about this.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Samplers And A Needlework SlideShow

Nancy has a collection of stamped samplers from Vogart on Flickr. I may have linked to this before but it's worth another mention. And, Floresita has an interview with Nancy over at Vintage Transfer Finds.

The reason I was at Vintage Transfer Finds was to find the pattern of the girl with the huge knife because I had just seen a finished version in an online slide show called Threads of Comfort: The Work of our Mothers' Hands from the Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles. There are photos of embroidered towels, dresser scarves and aprons, crochet potholders, quilts and more examples of vintage needlework.

Look at the pantaloons! I don't even know what this pretty thing is but I'd scoop it up if I found it for sale somewhere. Does anyone know what this was used for? I wish I could go see this exhibit in person.

Survey Or ?

I should be sleeping or answering my email or stitching something but instead I'm doing this whatever it is (survey? fill in the blanks? meme?).

I see: London, I see France
I need: a decent haircut and some highlights
I find: myself worrying that my dog is getting older
I want: some Starbucks iced tea
I have: to get someone to take my picture on May 12 (National Wear Your Apron Day)
I wish: I had a driver's license
I love: Barb's "Battling Stepford" post (go read it now)
I hate: child molesters
I miss: working with kids
I fear: kidney failure
I feel: like making potato salad
I hear: me typing on the keyboard
I smell: nothing right now
I crave: pickles after I eat cookies
I search: no more. Now I Google.
I wonder: who will stop the rain
I regret: I didn't have kids when I was in my late 20's

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Peony bud
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

I found a second bud on the peony bush yesterday.

I've been approving comments and then not responding to them. How rude, I know. I promise I will catch up with them and my email later today.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shorpy Pictures

I'm fascinated by the pictures on Shorpy. Today, I found a couple of shots showing a lady in an apron. According to the comments from her son on this one, she made the dress she's wearing so I bet she made that apron too. Check out her shoes in this picture.

And, even more pictures of Lynn and her husband are this board (scroll down a little). I especially like the photos of her kitchen.

You can also see a picture of Rose O'Neill, creator of the Kewpie doll, at Shorpy.

iTunes Meme

Let's do an iTunes meme.

How many total songs in your library?
250 (that's kind of sad)

Song By Title
First song: Accidents Will Happen - Elvis Costello
Last song: #9 Dream - John Lennon

Song By Time
Shortest song: Golden Slumbers - Ben Folds (1:41)
Longest song: You And I - Rick James and Bad - U2 (both come in at 8:03)

Sort By Album
First abum: A.M. - Wilco
Last album: 20th Century Masters - The Millenium Collection: Motown 1970s, Vol 2

Sort By Artist
First artist: Aimee Mann & Michael Penn
Last artist: X

Top Five Played Songs:
All These Things That I've Done - the Killers
Life In A Northern Town - The Dream Academy
Losering - Whiskeytown
My Bag - Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
Do You Wanna Touch Me - Joan Jett

First five songs that come up on Party Shuffle
Cherry Bomb - John Mellencamp
Buick City Complex - Old 97's
Confetti - the Lemonheads
I Say Nothing - Voice of the Beehive
(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes - Elvis Costello

Find the following words. How many songs show up?
Sex: 0
Death: 1
Love: 10
You: 10
Home: 1 (does "homecoming" count?)
Boy: 0
Girl: 1

Apronista Giveaway

Woo hoo! The Apronista is giving away a Flirty Apron. All the details are on this post.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Nifty Tool

There's a nifty tool at Stitch Point where you can type in some text and get it charted for cross stitch. There are six different fonts to use.

Here's Monaco:

And, here's Amsterdam:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My New Hobby

My new thing is asking my friends if they have any aprons and then requesting pictures of the aprons. So, here is Michelle's apron, modeled by her dress form, Caroline. It originally belonged to her grandmother and is at least 50 years old.

Thanks for the pictures, Chelle!

Blogger does something to photos to make them less attractive. I've noticed that pictures look clearer and brighter in Windows Gallery (it comes with Vista) than they do on this blog.

Speaking of dressforms, there's an apron giveaway going on at Itching 2 B Stitching. Tracey has a dress form that needs a name and if she chooses your suggestion, she will make you a craft apron. And, she will pick another winner from everyone who posts about the contest on their blog. All the details are at Give The Girl A Name.

At first, I misread that as "give that girl a name" and wanted to suggest Ann Marie.

The Needlework Show

The Needlework Show will be open until midnight on Monday, April 21. It's wholesale only but you can visit each vendor's page to see their new designs. The list of vendors is here (the names are clickable links that will take you to each vendors' show page). And, a list of registered retail shops are here so you can order through them.

Dinky Dyes is giving away a full set of their silk theads -- details are at the bottom of their page. And, Pine Glen Designs is having an interesting giveaway on their page (scroll down).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

No, I'm Not

You Are a Comma

You are open minded and extremely optimistic.

You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.

You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.

You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.

Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.

(But with so many competing interests, you friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.)

You excel in: Inspiring people

You get along best with: The Question Mark

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Aprons Are Mentioned A Lot Here

Thanks so much, you guys, for your comments on Monday's post! Sorry for my whining. I'm feeling much better today. Actually, I am pretty excited. Guess what I saw in my backyard this afternoon? A bud on the peony bush. It's the first one ever! A few weeks ago, I thought the peony was a goner because there were no leaves on it at all. It seemed it should have had some growth on it by now. But a week later, there were few leaves on it, then a few more, and now it has lots of them and this one little bud. As soon as I recharge my camera battery, I'll be taking pictures. FYI: I know nothing about growing peonies in Southern California. I just water the thing and cross my fingers that some day it will bloom.

I'm not too fond of the plants in the backyard. The previous homeowners put in a bunch of agapanthus and rhaphiolepis which would be ok if there weren't a gazillion of them out there. I did take some pictures last week. I have no idea what the pink flowers are. That plant was in a pot at my old house and consisted of two stems with flowers on the end. Now, it's in the ground and going nuts.

I wish the entire yard looked like this. Just flowers and flowers and more flowers. This is one of my favorite little areas.

Look what King Arthur has a recipe for: Tasty Toaster Tarts. Yes, you can make your own Pop Tarts at home. I have to try these. There are step-by-step directions on their Baker's Banter blog.

[::] <---- it's a Pop Tart, see?

Deanna over at The Apronista (blog) is looking for guest posters. So let her know if you have something to share over there, like a tutorial or an apron story. I think it would be fabulous if you went and guest blogged and held an apron giveaway. And, picked me to win.

And, speaking of aprons, you must read this loaded with aprons post over at thinking it out and writing it down. I always see aprons I like and I either forget to save the link or I do save a link and then can never find it again. This is a nice linkable list of some really gorgeous aprons.

For the fellow doggie embroidery pattern obsessed among you, Stitchy Britches has posted one of a cute little doggie threading a needle. And, look she is wearing an apron too.

If you take a sip every time I mention the word apron, you'll be drunk in no time.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Unicorns Make Me Happy

Today, April 14th, is Raise Your Voice For Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Day, a day designated by Kerri at Six Until Me to increase awareness of Type 1 diabetes since Type 2 gets most of the publicity. Honestly, I'm more excited about May 12 being National Wear Your Apron Day. Not that I don't think raising awareness about Type 1 is a good idea. I think it's a fantastic idea. But I wasn't sure about joining in since I just don't know if there is much I could say about being diabetic for 29 years without letting some pessimism, bitterness, and anger seep in, and really, who wants to read that? I sure don't. But then I realized it could be a chance for me to show my boobs and I signed on.

So, there's my insulin pump clipped inside my bra and working hard to keep my blood sugars under control. Go, Lil Pumpy! (Oh. My. God. I think I just named my pump. Please kill me.)

That was kind of a letdown, wasn't it? Trust me, the original picture showed more but I didn't want anyone to find it offensive or NSFW so I cropped most of the bra out of it. (And, isn't the rolled up shirt at the top a nice touch?)

Some diabetic bloggers used today to write about the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Or to blog about their daily experience with the disease. As I was reading some of them, I realized how tired I was of having diabetes. How sick I was of it. How I can't relate to those who say it's made them stronger or healthier. I wish I felt that way.

Then I was checking some of my favorite craft blogs and was once again reminded how I'm not working and have no idea when I'll be going back, thanks to my foot. No work equals no money to buy craft supplies (excpt DMC floss since it's so cheap). I can't even hold a giveaway because I can't get to the post office to send it to whoever wins since I don't have a car or a license anymore.

I know I'm just having a bad day and whining about it, and I apologize for that. I should be thankful that my "degenerative foot condition" can be treated (if I ever get a referral to a specialist -- tomorrow will make it a week since I saw podiatrist #2 and I still haven't heard anything) and isn't something like the dreaded kidney failure.

I've been embroidering a unicorn from Andrea Zuill's blog, and even though I'm not usually a unicorn person, I can't wait until it's done because I like it so much. I'm going to go work on that now so I can do something fun and stop dwelling on stupid crap. Maybe for a little while I can forget the reason Lil Pumpy (stop it!) is snuggled all cozy in my bra and just focus on stem stitching that unicorn.

Hope your day is going way better than mine.

This post was inspired by Cats 'n' Racks at Cute Overload.

Guess Who Won

Guess who won two giveaways recently? Me! I'd do a happy dance if I could.

I won Vogart 192 from Heather at Heather Hales Designs and I won a book, The Uncommon Quilter, from Michelle at Studio 259. Thanks for hosting these giveaways, ladies, and for picking me to win!

So, now I can stop feeling bitter over never winning anything.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Regional Dialect Meme

Let me know if you do this one. I'm curious to know what your answers are.

Regional Dialect Meme

Age: 44
Where did you grow up? So Calif


A body of water, smaller than a river, contained within relatively narrow banks.

The thing you push around the grocery store?
Shopping cart

A metal container to carry a meal in?
Lunch box

The thing that you cook bacon and eggs in?
Frying pan

The piece of furniture that seats three people?
Couch or sofa

The device on the outside of the house that carries rain off the roof?

The covered area outside a house where people sit in the evening?
Patio (I'd say porch if I had one)

Carbonated, sweetened, non-alcoholic beverages?
Coke or soda

A flat, round breakfast food served with syrup?

A long sandwich designed to be a whole meal in itself?

The piece of clothing worn by men at the beach?
Bathing suit

Shoes worn for sports?
They were tennis shoes when I was growing up. Now they're sneakers.

Putting a room in order?
Clean up

A flying insect that glows in the dark?
Lightning bug

The little insect that curls up into a ball?
We called them pill bugs when I was kid but now I say roly-poly because I like to say roly-poly

The children’s playground equipment where one kid sits on one side and goes up while the other sits on the other side and goes down?

How do you eat your pizza?
With my hands

What’s it called when private citizens put up signs and sell their used stuff?
Garage sale

What’s the evening meal?

The thing under a house where the furnace and perhaps a rec room are?

What do you call the thing that you can get water out of to drink in public places?
Drinking fountain

If something is diagonally located, where is it in relation to you?
Kitty corner

What do you call the place where the water comes out of the sink?

For more dialect fun, take the Yankee or Dixie quiz.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Oprah And Sophie

I finally watched Oprah's puppy mill show that I recorded last Friday. I admit I rolled my eyes when I first heard she was doing a show on the subject but they truly did an excellent job. Oprah, Lisa Ling, Bill Smith (my new hero), Wayne Pacelle, and the other guests covered everything that people should be aware of: where pet store puppies come from and the alternatives to buying one from a shop, the awful conditions at the mills, euthanasia at animal shelters, and the importance of spaying & neutering. Color me very impressed, Oprah.

The show got me to search for a picture of my dog, Sophie, from when she was at the animal shelter. I tried writing a post about her but I couldn't get it how I wanted it. So I'll just share two photos of her. The before and after shots.

Sophie's picture on the animal shelter's website, August 2001

Sophie at my house, September 2001

More Needlebooks

Lil Birdie Stitches made an adorable needlebook with a cupcake on it. She also linked to a tutorial for Grandma's Needlebook from Vintage Threads, which you can make from items you have on-hand. There's no sewing involved and the appliques are attached with fusible webbing. Thrifty and cute!

The 1930s Paper Flower Garland from Vintage Threads is really pretty. Thanks, Lil Birdie for both links!

Caramel Corn

This caramel corn recipe was posted on Skip To My Lou some time ago. I absolutely love it. I just made a batch of this Tuesday night. On Wednesday night, I made another batch because Tuesday's was all gone.

Di's Caramel Corn:

12 cups popped corn (I no longer have a popcorn maker and I refuse to be all Alton Brown and make it on the stove so I just use two bags of plain microwave popcorn)
One stick of butter
1 cup of light brown sugar (my box says "golden" so that's what I use)
1/4 cup of light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt (I thought this made it too salty the first time so I use 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda

This is how I make it: Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt, and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Stop stirring and let boil for five minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda. Be careful because it's very hot, which is the only reason I haven't eaten any caramel when it's at this stage, but dang, I sure am tempted. Pour caramel mixture over the popcorn and start mixing -- I use two big spoons -- to coat the popcorn. Don't wait to do this because the caramel will start to harden. Place the popcorn in one layer on a cookie sheet. You may need two baking sheets to do this. I find that if you eat a significant amount of the caramel-coated popcorn after mixing it, you'll only need one baking sheet. Bake popcorn in a 225 degree oven for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. I use a spatula to turn it over and mix it around. Then I eat another handful before putting it back in the oven. Eat them up, yum!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Emily's Hosting A Challenge

Emily over at The Floss Box is starting a monthly challenge. For April, the challenge is to create a postcard. All the details are here and here.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Motto Samplers

If you love motto samplers, you have to see the vintage ones they have for sale at Wiswall House Antiques (link via Country Home magazine). They were made in the late 1920's and 30's, stitched on linen, and apparently, a hot collectible these days.

One of the samplers looked familiar so I checked Flickr for a photo of one I did about 20 years ago and found it's the same design as one the antique store is selling. Mine was a stamped cross stitch kit complete with floss and needle. I wish I knew where I got the chart. I'd love to see if they produced any more reproductions of these kinds of samplers.

Home Sweet Home
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

This kitchen sampler is one my mom did back in the 1950's. (Can you tell I'm not into ironing things before I snap a picture?)

Kitchen Sampler
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

A couple of years ago, I saw the same sampler on sale on a website and bought it. It had been started already and some day I hope to get around to finshing it.

Another Kitchen Sampler
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sheep SAL Ornament

Sheep ornament
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

For March, one of the themes for the Christmas Ornament Stitch-A-Long was sheep. I found a cute chart by Barbara Ana on Cyberstitchers that I really liked. I only stitched part of it to keep it small and I changed it around a little. I even manged to put "08" on it -- I usually forget to add a date.

Barbara has some really fun charts. You can see them on her website.

Bride's Tree SAL Finish

Flower ornament
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

The March theme for the Bride's Tree Stitch-A-Long was Flower so I stitched up a freebie from The Prairie Schooler found on this list. I still have to turn it into an ornament. I really like this design. (I pretty much like all of PS's stuff.) This was done on 18 ct white Aida with the suggested colors, except for the dark green and dark pink. I used something similar.

For April, the SAL theme is Rabbit. I may cheat a little and just make ornaments out of several small designs with rabbits that I finished last year.

"Embroidery Is The New Black"

It's time for the Second Annual Softie Awards. There are new categories this year, including one for Embroidery. You have until Friday, April 18th to add your softie's picture to the group on Flickr. Then voting starts the week after that. Read all about it here.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Stitch N' Pitch

I just checked the Stitch N' Pitch schedule to see which Major League Baseball teams are participating this season and once again, the California Angels (I know that's not their name anymore but old habits die hard) are not part of it. That's too bad because I think it would be totally fun to go to a baseball game and embroider or cross-stitch (or knit, crochet or needlepoint). At a Stitch N' Pitch game, you can sit a special section with other fans and work on a project while cheering on your team. This year, some Minor League Baseball teams are also hosting Stitch N Pitch events. These events are put on by MLB and The National NeedleArts Association to increase awareness and raise funds for the Needle Arts Mentoring Program, a needle arts not-for-profit program.

Oh, this is good: there's a mentoring program at a school in Anaheim yet the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (as they are now known) are not hosting a Stitch N Pitch event.

Friday, April 4, 2008

I'm Drooling Over This

Look at this needlecase. It has gingham, polka dots, rick-rack, a heart, a flower and buttons. It's perfect!

And, she has a blog too.

Today's Oprah Show

I was going to let it go without mentioning it here but I have to say something about Oprah doing a show on puppy mills today.

For years, people have been contacting Oprah the dog lover and asking her to do a story on puppy mills, so itt's terrific that she is finally doing it. But -- and there is always a but -- the first thing I read about this show was that Lisa Ling had some undercover footage of a puppy mill, and that if you couldn't watch the episode, you should tape it because you HAD to see it.

Personally, I would be just fine without ever seeing another video of a puppy mill. But I know that some people don't know what a puppy mill is and watching the Oprah show will make them aware of their existence.

From the ASPCA's web site:

For one, that cute little puppy [at the pet store] most likely came from a large-scale, substandard commercial breeding operation, commonly known as a puppy mill. Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and often unsanitary conditions, without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization. The breeding stocks at puppy mills (possibly your new puppy’s mom and dad) are bred as often as possible in order to increase profits. Unlike your lucky puppy, the mom and dad will probably never make it out of the mill.

I don't doubt this show will do some good. It may make someone think twice about getting a puppy from a pet shop. It might also inspire some people to adopt from their local shelter or rescue group instead of going to the pet store. (And, just for the record, purchasing puppies through classified ads, over the internet, or from some guy at the swap meet are not good ideas. Let's hope Lisa and Oprah touch on all of that as well.)

The second thing I read about the show was an article which contained this quote from Oprah: "I would never, ever adopt another pet now without going to a shelter to do it. I am a changed woman after seeing this show."

There might be more to what she said than that but she makes it sound like going to a shelter is the ONLY way to get a dog. Perhaps Lisa didn't fill Oprah in on what makes a responsible breeder. Puppy millers are not responsible breeders. The guy at the swap meet selling puppies is not responsible breeder. Your Uncle Phil who bred Fido and Fluffy because they are just so dang cute is not a responsible breeder. But there is such a thing as a good breeder and it's perfectly fine to seek them out and purchase one of their puppies or other dogs.

Also from the ASPCA (because they say it so much better than me):
If you’re looking to make a puppy part of your family, check your local shelters first. There are so many amazing dogs who need homes. If your heart is set on a specific breed, keep in mind that one in four shelter dogs is a purebred. Additionally, you can do an Internet search for breed-specific rescue organizations. If those attempts still don’t give you the purebred puppy you’re looking for, you’ll need to learn how to choose a responsible breeder.

Once upon a time, I volunteered for a dog rescue. After the whole thing with Ellen and that dog she adopted and then gave to her hairdresser -- what was his name? Sparky? Skippy? Buehller? -- I read a lot of comments on websites about rescue organizations and many of them were incorrect. I wouldn't want Oprah saying the only way she'll get another dog is to adopt one from a shelter and influence a bunch of her viewers to write off all breeders. Yes, go to an animal shelter, by all means, but don't forget there are responsible breeders out there too.

Ok, I'm jumping off my soap box now.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday

I was invited by The Apron Queen to join Vintage Thingies Thursday. There are still four hours left in the day so I'm participating this week. Except I don't have a vintage kitchen towel to show & tell. I mean, I have one but I don't have a picture of it and by the time I go and take one and download it and edit this post, it will be Friday already. (I really need to stop whining.) So, this week, I'm going with an apron.

This apron was made for me by a blogging friend of mine after I told her how I didn't sew. She used vintage fabric and made it even more sweet by putting an old hankie in the pocket. I really love it.

Next week, I hope to post a Vintage Thingie before the sun sets.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

One More Giveaway

How many times have I posted today? This is the last one of the day and it's about another giveaway. Heather over at Heather Hales Designs is giving away an uncut rooster embroidery transfer. (It's Vogart No 646, in case you've been searching high & low for it.) For all the information on entering, go here.) There are some free patterns on that post too. And, be sure to take a look at the adorable tote bag she made, and the cute pattern she created from it and is now sharing with us. Thanks, Heather!

More Cow Bell

I really like that cow. I think I'm going to embroider it on something.

Cow close-up
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

Sharing Sassy Apron Swap Info

I've seen the Sassy Apron Swap button on several blogs but never knew what it was about until now. The sign-ups for the summer swap are open. You have until April 15th to join. Details are here.

Needlebooks and Cases

There is no longer any reason for you not to make yourself, or a friend, a needlecase or needlebook. TipNut has put together a list of free needlebook and needlecase tutorial links on her site. (I love the one made from a cigarette case on Whip Up. I saw that a little while ago and wondered if I could use an old compact instead. I think I could.)

I found a few more in my archives:

Sewing Needle Book from knitting-and.com. (And, remember there are embroidery patterns there too!)

Bonnet Needle Book

Bunny Hill Needle Case

And, my all-time favorite: "Forget-Me-Not" Valentine Needlecase from Pattern Bee.

Didn't you make one of those, Patty? Why, yes, I did. And, then took a blurry picture of it. See?

Doesn't Take Much To Make Me Happy

And smile with glee.

What did it this morning: the 90th anniversary KitchenAid mixer will have a glass bowl [link via Not Martha].