Category Archives: Stash


Don’t you hate it when you go to bed and your brain won’t shut off!?!?!  Sometimes, hitting “publish” on my blog has the same effect.  This post could probably be a result of both of those events.

While the title of this post is “Minutiae” the post is very long and tedious to probably everyone but me 😉


I’ve been trying to figure out a “theme” for myself this year.  For some reason in my mind I think if I have a theme it would be easier for me to stick to some goals I want to meet or improve on what I’m already doing.  The word “control” keeps popping in my mind.  I need to better control my weight-loss.  I need to better control my finances.  I need to better control my housekeeping. I need to better control my hobby stash.  Okay, maybe my theme should be “better” since that keeps preceding “control.”


I never discuss my weight-loss efforts here.  I don’t know why.  I know there are other people out there trying to fight the battle of the bulge. I use the online Weight Watchers plan so I can use the eTools.  I do not attend meetings since you have to pay for each one and there are no monthly passes here which automatically give you access to eTools.

My hobbies are very sedentary and I know they don’t help but I refuse to give them up.  I’m going to try to focus more on my weight-loss efforts in 2013.  I weighed less for my first 2013 weigh-in than I did for my first 2012 weigh-in but I’m not happy with that.  My 2 large hurdles are activity and Mister.

Right now it’s too cold to me to walk in the mornings and when the warmer afternoons get here I get too lazy because I’m enjoying snuggling with the puppies and a cup of tea while stitching.  Then the evening arrives and the cold comes back.  I do not have clothing (bottoms) to walk in cold.  I’ve been searching for sweatpants but am surprised at how hard it is to find any right now!  😆

Mister and I have one day over the weekend where we eat out.  In the past it was usually Friday since her didn’t have class and we’d go to the movies and out to eat.  Last year on that day I’d ask first thing in the morning where we would be eating so I could plan my points for the day.  It became quite evident very early on that the answer from him would be very unreliable as he’d quite frequently change his mind and it would be somewhere that was very hard for me to track points on.  I gave in and gave up too easily.  I don’t think he’s doing it intentionally because I know he’s concerned about potential health problems from my weight so this year I plan on being more assertive and in control.   Of course right now he has class 5 days a week 😉


I know.  It’s not polite to talk about money.  Nothing too lower-class here, though.

Once I stopped working and started getting an “allowance” I quit balancing my checkbook.  I am trying to get back into writing checks for two reasons.  First, it helps retailers (who still accept them) save money since they don’t have to pay a fee if I write a check.  I used to offer to use my debit card but these days so many banks charge fees for debit purchases too.  Second, I balance my checkbook religiously when I write checks and I keep a better handle on how I’m spending my money.

I got into a really bad habit this past year of charging things on my credit card and then transferring to cover.  There’s no need for me to be doing this when I don’t get any type of reward for charging on my CC.  I’m also going to increase the amount I’m putting on that CC and get it gone!

I’m also going to start putting some of my “allowance” into savings for “stitchy travel.”

It’s been a bit of a blow to my psyche to become “dependent” on Mister’s retirement pay.  I think doing the above things will help me feel a little more independent and in control.


I can remember in the not so distant past that every time someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up I would answer a stay-at-home-wife.  I did get to be that for a very short time while we were stationed in Okinawa and I loved it.  Such a shocker since I was raised to be an independent woman (by my father).  This past year has been such a learning experience for me and I can’t wait to see what I learn in 2013.

One thing that I absolutely swear by is FlyLady.  I don’t follow her routines or zones exactly the same as she publishes but I have taken what she’s given me and modified it to work in my home, which is what I believe she wants all of us to do.

Our new home — I guess I should stop calling it that now that I’ve lived here for a year — Our home is twice the size of any house I have ever lived in.  I knew immediately that I would have to change my housekeeping ways if I was to stay on top of utter CHAOS (can’t have anyone over syndrome) in such a huge place.  My home is not perfectly clean or perfectly decorated but I am not ashamed to invite anyone into it nor do I freak out if my doorbell rings.

When I lived in California my house was small enough that I could follow FlyLady’s zones fairly closely as to how they’re published.  This gave me the anchor I needed and the time I needed to learn the mindset.  In this house I’ve changed it.  I have a different “zone” every day, instead of changing zones each week.  Every Monday – Friday I do my daily routines and I “do” one room of my house.  Saturday and Sunday I do my daily routines but I don’t “do” a zone, and I rarely do laundry on Sunday.

For example:  Monday – Friday I do my daily routines (make my bed; shower and dress; swish and swipe master bath; take dirty clothes downstairs; start laundry; swish and swipe downstairs powder room (next to laundry room); eat breakfast while watching the news).  It takes me less than 20 minutes to make my bed, swish and swipe both bathrooms, carry the laundry down and start it, and make my breakfast and start unloading the dishwasher — I usually have oatmeal for breakfast so while that’s nuking I’m unloading the dishwasher.  It all sounds and looks like a lot when I write it and read it back but I’ve been doing it so long now that I don’t even think about it anymore.  If I’m going out of the house it’ll take me longer since I’ll be doing more than slapping on some moisturizer.

Then I spend approximately 30-60 minutes each morning on my zone; rebooting the laundry; plan/start prep for our evening meal; and, spend 2 15-minute sessions decluttering.  These days the decluttering is strictly in my stitching room.  The length of time in a room depends on that room.  If it’s my living room then I dust my furniture and shutters and vacuum.  This might take me 30 minutes if the dogs are in there helping by bringing me toys.  Same goes for my dining room.  If it’s my kitchen it can take me an hour since I have to also damp mop the floor, wipe out some of the shelves in the refrigerator, etc. while I’m purging leftovers.  Plus, it’s a much larger room than my dining room or my living room.  It only takes me more than an hour if I don’t stick to my routines.  This is how I get so much stitching done.  I feel guilty if I sit down to stitch and I haven’t done anything in my house.

Where I can improve is starting myself a control journal as suggested on FlyLady’s site.  She publishes missions (chores) to do in each zone and I think I’m going to start printing them out and putting them in a control journal so when I get to that room in my house I can do them.  There are some things she talks about doing that slips my mind (like dusting the ceiling fans and baseboards).  The nice thing about these missions is they never take very long to do and make a huge difference.

By this time are you (if anyone is reading this) thinking I’m anal or OCD? I’m not, but I do have ADD and this helps me from being overwhelmed.  If you’re not familiar with ADD, sometimes tasks get so overwhelming that we don’t know where to start, so we don’t start, then the task gets even more overwhelming and it’s a vicious circle that will cause a melt-down.  When I start on a room I start at the left and work clockwise around a room.  Every single time!

Hobby Stash

We sold a commercial grade ladder on a local Facebook group on Saturday.  It was like winning the lottery!  Our first piece of “clutter” gone in 2013.  Mister has started gathering the bike parts he no longer needs/wants to sell on eBay.  I have been decluttering my own hobby stash for over a year, but haven’t put any of it up for sale.  That’s about to change.

I have been stitching for 35 years and rarely got rid of any of the designs that I’ve already stitched.  I currently have 3 copy-paper boxes full of patterns, kits, etc., stuff to sell.  I’ll be listing it on my blog first, then on a couple of Facebook groups (and my own page), then I’ll go the eBay route.  I did think of opening an Etsy shop so I’ll have to look into fees, etc., for that.  I have blogged this before, but I also have very few of my stitched pieces hanging on my walls.  I’m going to first use whatever funds we generate to finish buying the framing supplies I need and get a lot of those pieces framed.

Getting rid of excess stash and having my beautiful crafts on display will help me control the clutter in my stitching room and not be so overwhelmed by how much stuff I have that I don’t use.


This last bit is hard.  I want to blog more and share more photos of what I’ve been doing.  My computer is upstairs in my stitching room.  My stitching is done downstairs, but all my other “crafting” is done upstairs in my stitching room.  I’m trying to figure out a way to get myself in front of the computer more.  I actually miss blogging!


Had a hair cut this morning.  For the first time in my adult life I have tons of layers.  My stylist blew it out straight and choppy.  It’s kind of funky and I haven’t decided if I totally like it or not.  I am, however, in love with the color.  I’ll play with it some tomorrow with the straight iron.  Mister says it’s very 60s looking.  At least he did not say it made me look 60.

Worked on entering my half-sized charts today.  I seem to really like Little House Needleworks and I have a teenie The Sweetheart Tree obsession!  Of the 161 charts that I entered today, 26 were LHN, and this doesn’t count the ones I’ve already stitched.  23 were The Sweetheart Tree.  Who knew!  Well obviously I would have if I had done this a long time ago.  The great thing about this is it’s showing me just how many possible ‘smalls’ I have to work on in 2013.  By the way, am I the last person to know that The Sweetheart Tree is in Arizona?

Harley is getting better.  The swelling has reduced, her eye is completely open again, and she has even been sassy with Jasper and running circles in the backyard.  She still has a huge knot on the side of her head that’s very painful and Friday can’t get here fast enough.

Mister just left for his class tonight and I’ve finished inputting for the day so I’m dragging Haiku back downstairs and catching up on my DVR.

Tomorrow is Bag Ladies at Attic Needlework.  I can’t wait to see all the beautiful items that have been donated for this year’s breast cancer fund-raiser auction.  If you get a chance check out the newsletter at the link above.  You will be amazed at the generosity.


It’s just turned 3:00 p.m. here.  With the exception of breaks for breakfast, shower, lunch, 2 15-minute email checks, and 2 15-minute blog reader checks, a half hour wasted surfing quilt fabric sites, and a couple of “important” interruptions by Mister, I have spent my day entering 439 charts into an excel spreadsheet.

Full-sized charts

I pulled my patriotic designs and Halloween designs put them in a separate piles to create a box each specifically for them, plus I pulled some charts that I want to work on in 2013 if they fit into my “goals” that I’ve been working on. I have also culled what I know no longer interests me (which is probably why it’s taken so long).  I’ll be offering them up here before putting  them out on the various Facebook groups I post on.

I still have a very long way to go, but at least I’m working on it.  I finished sorting through my quilt fabric several days ago.  Of course, this doesn’t include the fabric shopping I’ve done over the past couple of weeks.  (It’s a sickness, I tell you!)

I’m waiting on some comic backing board to arrive and I’ll start better organizing my fabric.  For now it’s folded the best I could get it to get the most to fit in there.  The refolding won’t happen until after the first of the year though since my goal is to be finished getting my room organized before Thanksgiving so I won’t be too embarrassed if a couple of stitchers happen to drop in for some stitching and finishing fun.

Blog woes and needlework stuff

I broke my blog 🙁 I don’t know what I’ve done but my right side bar is now showing up under my posts. I futzed with it all evening and I’ve done everything I can think to fix it, but one. We’ll see if that works, if not, I don’t know what I’m going to do.

I have not gotten all of my fibers put away. I still have a few odd ones and HDFs and DMCs, but they’re now separated into “designer” and now I just need to put them away. I haven’t figured out what to do with my HDF silks. I have many from when she first started her FOTM so the dye-lots are old. I am going to be installing peg board on the wall between my two cabinets to hang my fibers on. For now the already sorted ones are living on quilt ruler rings.

The only stitchy thing I accomplished yesterday was to empty my stitching bag from Thursday night. Today I need to work on my quilt squares for next Wednesday, but I’m hoping that won’t take all day. I’m working with triangles, though, so you never know with me. I had so much trouble with them on the other quilt. I have the charts I shared with you to put up, then I’m dragging out my sewing machine and getting to it.

Thank you for those of you who have voted on my sampler choice.

Market report, anyone?

Better late than never I suppose:

Prairie Moon – “no…..MINE! IS THE TRICK AND THE TREAT”
40 ct ColorScapes “Brash”
Needle Work Press – “Commemorating a Centennial”
40 ct Newcastle “Days Gone By”
La-D-Da – “Wicked Witch”
30 ct Weeks Dye Works “Tiger’s Eye”
With thy Needle & Thread – “House of Blues & Browns”
Cottage Island NeedleArts – “Where My Heart Is…”
JBW Designs – “Rose Motif Sampler”
La-D-Da – “Alone in the Garden”
Plum Street Samplers – “Brother’s Keeper”
Lizzie Kate – “Less=More” (first two installments)
NeedleWorkPress freebie – “Summer”
The Bees Knees Stitchery Alphabet Necklace
Kelmscott Designs Fleur de Lis needleminder (surprised, right?)
This next item was not a Market release. For the longest time, before I even moved here and could call Attic Needlework my LNS, I gazed fondly on this design when I was in the shop. It’s behind the counter. I finally asked about it at Market and was told that it was still available (woohoo!) and that the model was stitched by Jean on 28 ct. I was fortunate enough to get the last copy! I’ll be stitching it on either 36 or 40 ct.
Canterbury Designs – The Plantation Sampler

Happy New Year

Have you ever noticed when you thank someone, and use their name, it makes them smile?    I have been experimenting with this off and on the past couple of months.  I am going to start reading name tags more often.

I am very happy today is the last day of 2011.  While I know it could have been a whole lot worse, and many, many people did have it worse than I did, 2011 was not kind to me.  I am not going to dwell on it a second past midnight tonight.  What I am going to dwell on are the good things I want to happen in 2012.

Here’s a before picture of my January 1 start 😉

Petite Mexican Sampler
40ct Lakeside Palomino
Au Ver a Soie “Soie d’Paris” silk

I’ve been sneaking looks at the Eagle cam the last few days.  The nest is being constructed but I’ve yet to see either of the Eagles.  This evening, though, I was blessed with the view of a tiny field mouse flitting here and there!  All I could think was she/he better get a move on before someone shows up and makes dinner out of her/him 🙂

Tonight M and I are staying in and gorging ourselves on Pollo, Pork tamales, salsa, guacamole, tortillas and rice.  There will probably be beer and margaritas involved, too.   Most definitely there will be some Whipped Cream Vodka and hot chocolate 😉  Don’t know if we’ll make it to midnight or not, but here’s hoping!  We’re watching football right now, but I think I’m going to ramp up the other TV and get him to watch a movie for the rest of the evening.

I also found 1 more WIP so I’m up to 35.  My kits stand at 26 but that’s only because I haven’t finished adding them to my spreadsheet.

I’ve been enjoying catching up on my blog reading and seeing everyone’s stitching year in reviews.  It’s been making my clicky finger itchy though 😀

The fireworks have started around here.  The dogs aren’t exactly sure how they feel about them.  It is a little strange living in the desert and having fireworks going off all around.  They were illegal for personal use in Oceanside.

Tomorrow I’ll post my ort jar for December and my whole year collection.  I’ll also post a progress picture of Hannah Beeby since the light is so dreadful in my house this late.

Another week gone

It’s amazing to me how little I’ve gotten done since my last post!  😆  I still have 20 boxes to unpack, although I only have 2 that have not been opened.

I made it to Attic Needlework for their Thursday evening stitch-in.   Didn’t spend a dime either!

Son and Girlfriend arrived early Saturday morning.  We spent a whole lot of time doing nothing while they were here.  Son has been working 60+ hour weeks and he napped quite a bit while he was here.  No problem to me, it was nice just to have them here.  I feel like Girlfriend is more of a DIL each time we’re around her.  She’s so good about texting and emailing me and I’ve given up on trying to not like her!  😆  They’ve been a couple for 5+ years and I still get an “eek” moment when I think about that, since that made her still 16 when Son met her.  He had just turned 22!   There was one thing I noticed while they were here.  They are always laughing!  I think she has had to be the adult in her family for a long time and I think Son is as good for her as she is for him, since she straightened him out 😉

Their visit was way too short, and they left late Monday night since Son had to be to work on Tuesday.

M and I headed out shopping on Tuesday and came home with our Christmas presents.  (We always wait until after to get good deals).  He bought me a chandelier for the laundry room.  I absolutely love it!

We got him a WiFi BD/DVD player for our living room and we’ve been streaming Netflix and Amazon since he got it hooked up.  The puppies are enjoying it as well since they love sitting on top of us while we’re watching movies in the dark.  Right now we’re watching Firefly.

Annette came to visit this past Wednesday and we opened my stitching fabric boxes to find a perfect piece for my January 1 start, Petite Mexican Sampler by The Samplar Works.  It’s stitched with Au Ver a Soie “Soie d’Paris” silk, on 48 count “Napery Light Examplar” Lakeside linen but I (we) decided on 40ct Lakeside linen Palomino.

Since she’s left, that box has been screaming at me to come back and play! 😉  I purposefully left the fabric boxes to last because I knew I’d want to dive into them.  So far I’ve been strong and left them alone, but I feel myself weakening.

I’m still tweaking my WIPocalypse list for 2012.  Not so much the WIPs, although I did add in Hannah Beeby, but the new starts.  (In addition to the Petite sampler above, I’m thinking of adding in Queen of Hearts by Twisted Threads.)  I went through my two “retirement” boxes and pulled out the WIPs so I could list them (again, thanks to Annette).  I ended up with 34.  That seems like such a low number to me.  I just knew when it was all said and done I’d have 50!

I’ve also started listing my kitted items.  They are taking a bit more sorting since some of them are lacking fabric.  I know I have the perfect piece in my stash (again, the box is calling).  There are a couple that are missing embellishments (I know they’re in my “bits and pieces” drawer.  While I’m listing all of them, I’m sorting them into separate piles based upon what they’re missing.  Once I get them all sorted, I guess I need to start back through the pile and decide if I’m still interested in stitching them.  I have always been pretty picky about what I kit before I stitch, so I’m suspecting there will be very little weeding out.  I do, however, refuse to cut any fabric until I’m actually going to stitch.

All of the above was my taking a break from putting things in their proper home in my stitching room.  I got to the point where I felt like chucking it all since I was so tired of organizing.  I’m over that now, and am back to spending time organizing after I get the rest of my “chores” done and before I sit down to stitch.  Keeps me from feeling guilty about not doing it while I sit there doing “nothing.”

I’m still working on Hannah Beeby.  I’ve completed all of the top “letter” rows and am more than half-way through the 3rd motif on the top row.

I’ve also decided to participate in some exchanges this year.  I’m hoping to get into the Fair and Square group since I think those will be perfect for working on my sewing machine making pillows, ornaments, and other smalls.

Stitchy Saturday of a Sorts

Man is it ever raining here!  And lightening.  And thundering!  In fact, I’m wondering just how smart it is for me to be even on the computer right now.  The puppies, especially Jasper, are not happy right now.

The postman brought me my one and only, so far, Market purchase today.  The Goode Huswife’s Book of Designs Vol IV.  I’m ready to whip out some fabric and get stitching on more than half of the designs!  😆  I don’t recall seeing what was going to be in the book so I thought I would share the design names here:  Priscilla Sharp 1821, Quaker Friendship Sampler, Quaker Marriage Sampler, 1809 Quaker Sampler, Quaker Four Corners, 1798 Quaker Sampler, Julia Iden 1804, Companion Quaker Christmas Tree Two, Anonymous Quaker Sampler, and The Little Red R Sampler.

This makes 3 of her compilations that I own now.

I’m totally in love with the picture of the girl on the front and would love to get my hands on a little larger version to frame for my house.

I called my LNS yesterday to see if she went to Market, and alas, she did not.  She is willing to order for me what I want to see, with no obligation to purchase it if I don’t like it and I’m going to take her up on that offer if it doesn’t take too long for the order to be placed and received.   I want to purchase local before I order online – and I told her this.

I just finished reading my current book and as soon as I hit ‘publish’ I’m off to stitch on Summer Queen.

What are you itching to buy?

So Market is over and the pictures are popping up here and there. I have only seen one or two designs I think I would actually get around to stitching in this lifetime. Keeping in mind my wanting to thin out my stash (of what I know I’ll never get around to stitching) I’m in no big hurry to buy everything, but would like to know what you’re interested in, just in case you’ve seen something I haven’t.

Will you share?

The postman has been kind

Yesterday I came home to a wonderful box from Vonna!  It was late when I got home (side trip to the grocery store) and I was too tired to open it.  I sent Flying Monkeys to her for finishing and she did a bang up job.  I was tickled pink by the photos she sent me but they were nothing to the actual piece.  Kahuna was there when I opened the box tonight and he likes it too!

These are the pictures she took (her photography efforts are better than mine!):

I highly suggest you think of Vonna if you need some finishing.  I have been reluctant to stitch so many ornaments because of my poor finishing skills, but now Vonna better watch out, she may have let loose a monster!  😆

The next package I got arrived tonight.  I mentioned on February 14th that I had ordered some more stash.  It was originally requested in January but was never ordered.  I fell in love with Rosewood Manor’s Quaker Diamonds when Becky featured it on her blog as a giveaway.  I wasn’t crazy about the fibers though until I found out from Melissa and Margaret Bendig that they also came in 6 strand floss.  I did a little internet research and found both the pattern and the fibers on sale at Anita’s Little Stitches.  I’ve been reading this lady’s blog for awhile and took a chance placing my first order with her.  I did this over the long weekend and couldn’t be happier with the customer service.  The only reason I didn’t have it earlier was because Monday was a mail holiday.  Let me tell you the Valdani fibers are scrumptious!  This will be high up on my to-do list.  I also ordered LIttle House Needleworks’ Battle Hymn of the Republic to add to my American flag designs.

Work is crazy.  A new person started this past Monday and between helping her learn the ropes and trying to learn new ways to do things myself I feel like I’m running in circles.  Throw in the fact that I’m still sick (8 days now!) and I’m exhausted in the evenings when I get home. 

I got an email from the Fair yesterday telling me when entries were going to start being accepted and they’ve moved it up from May to March!  Eeeeek!  Looks like I’ll be doing a bit of exclusive stitching on Summer Queen to get her ready.

Jasper is 100% officially mine!  We went over to his foster mom’s Tuesday evening and retrieved all of his clothes (yes, he has clothes) and toys.  Poor baby had 2 toys.  You should have seen him when he unearthed his hedgehog.  He was a crazy man and didn’t want to share!  Harley is in love with one of his fleece ‘jammies’ and we’re going to be getting her one or two to wear.  My change in attitude toward him has made a huge difference in how I’m feeling about him.  He really is a sweetheart (I know I keep saying that).  He just came in for an ear scritch 🙂

Guess I’d better get off the computer and settle in for some Olympic stitching.  Ciao!

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