June 24, 2008

Will I Ever Learn??

...Not to work on projects when I'm tired? Last night I thought I'd get the paper strips torn to the right sizes for the bunny ear flowers. For some reason there were 2 sections of white paper. I (wrongly) assumed they were both the same. Today I made the larger flowers and realized that it wasn't white, but silver. I glued them together anyway, and once they dry I'll see how they look with the frame.
Does anyone else out there do things like that? Or is it just me?

300 Hat Project

Kristy from Ok! What's next?? started this project. She will be visiting and helping at several orphanages in the Ukraine in September/October. One of the orphanages cares for special needs children, and ..."if I could round up 300 hats, it would be like Christmas for these kids. This is a very poor area and these orphanages get very little funding, they rely almost completely on individual support."
I won't be knitting a hat a day, like Kristy, but I do want to make at least 10. RC at Rabies on my shoe is collecting hats from knitters on the East Coast to send to Kristy. She is also hosting a contest. The Hooks & Needles yarn shop is offering a 10% discount on yarn for the hats to local shoppers, and free shipping to those of us who aren't local. There is also a group on Ravelry called Kristys Hat Quest.

I just finished my first hat. I used Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends in Persimmon. The pattern is loosely based on this one, but I made several changes. I will try it again, and once I get it just right, I'll post the pattern. Thanks to my Mumble from Build-a-Bear for helping model the hat.

June 22, 2008

Padded Hangers

*Because of the poll associated with this post it will stay at the top of my blog until it's over.*
I finished them in time for the bridal shower! Everyone thought they were really cute. I made up a muslin of each front to make sure I had the right size pieces. Since I designed the pattern myself, I'm thinking of selling it in my Etsy shop. There is a poll on my blog - please participate, comment, or send me an e-mail. Because of the poll, this post will stay at the top of my blog until it's over.

June 16, 2008

Buying Incentive

Mom and I visited the LNS and I bought some fabric for my next large cross stitch to help expedite my Ruth 1:16 cross stitch. See, the bonus (or downside, depending on your point of view) to having one large scroll frame is that you can only have one project at a time going. My Mom thinks I should just take one off and put the other on, but that's too much work. Besides, I'd never finish the current one if I did that. I have issues with DMC color 311, and that's the only color left. Let's just say I have some bad cross stitch experiences associated with the color.
Back to the fabric; yes, it's 28 count black linen. No, I'm not insane. I own three Lavender & Lace patterns. This is the only one on black fabric. I have a friend who just finished a project on black aida and nearly went cross-eyed. So, being younger than my friend, I figure that doing the black now while my eyes can cope is a good idea. And to really prove my sanity- I was originally going to get 36 count, but realized that I would only be able to work on it in front of my Mom's Ott-Lite. The design is Lady of the Thread - and guess what? It's got color 311 in it. It's only in three spots though, so I think I can handle it.

I also bought a chart that came with a pre-cut piece of linen. It didn't come with a photo, so here is a picture of my progress. Yes, I started it, and to help myself deal with the guilt of starting a new cross stitch without finishing one, I finished the Honey Teapot, sans backstitching. I'll post a picture after I finish the backstitching. I'm planning to do that after I finish the quilled picture for my friends.

Stitches of Life

What do you get when you avoid your computer for a week? Over 200 blog posts to read, library fines (because you didn't get the e-mail reminding you the books are due), and lots and lots of e-mail and junk mail. I keep 'winning' gift cards, lotteries, and ipods. I'm convinced that if I'd really won all that stuff, I'd have enough money to pay my parents' medical bills for them.

Ok, moving on. After much debate, I've decided to expand this blog to include stories about my life and pets and anything else that strikes my fancy. Think of it as 'stitches of my life'. If you're wondering what all this is leading up to....

My Mom and I went to the NYS LEAH Homeschool convention's exhibit hall last month. Thursday night they open the exhibit hall for several hours so you can browse without having to miss any of the sessions on Friday and Saturday. The vendors range from colleges, to used curriculum, to brand new curriculum, to books. I was hoping to find an interesting study guide to work at, but the ones that caught my attention (Chronicles of Narnia) were for grades 4-7 - that would be way too easy. At some point Mom and I got talking about my success (or lack thereof) in arithmetic. (And spelling - what would I do without spell check??) Anyway, I mentioned that I wished we'd been able to get into geometry a bit, and we decided to start looking for some geometry books. (Preferably used.) I rather quickly narrowed it down to two - the expensive new book that made a lot of sense, and the cheaper, used A Beka book. Having inherited my mother's sense of frugality, I went with the A Beka book. So far, it's gone well. Hopefully it will stay that way, because Mom doesn't remember much about geometry, and what is taught has changed drastically over the years.

Among other things, we also bought a book called Do Hard Things. Although it was written by teens for teens, anyone could benefit from reading this book. Alex and Brett Harris started therebelution.com in 2005. Their official definition of the word 'rebelution' is "a teenage rebellion against low expectations." Even before reading this book I had realized that many young people have extremely low expectations placed upon them, and that they frequently excel at meeting those low expectations. By consistently doing hard things, and rising above the expectations of irresponsibility, low expectations can become the exception, rather than the norm. Doing hard things is different for everyone. For myself, sticking to a schedule is my hard thing. I have always enjoyed making lists and schedules, and from years of practice can make them very strict (minute by minute) or very broad (to do today or this week) or anywhere in between. The trouble is following them. As a result, I waste an incredible amount of time doing fun things rather than the things I know I should be doing. That is not to say that I won't allow myself any fun, but right now I have too much fun.
I highly recommend this book to anyone dissatisfied with the low expectations of society. Some more reviews of the book can be found at the following blogs:
How Great is His Faithfulness
Maidens of Worth
If you would like to be added to the list of reviews, leave a comment with a link to the post or web page.

June 11, 2008

Awareness Ribbon

Since I'm a bit late picking an awareness ribbon for this month, I'm picking an awareness week. I have no idea if purple is the correct color, so let me know if it's wrong. I have chosen National Headache Awareness Week. I suffer from moderate to severe migraines several times a month. I've been working with my doctor to find a medication that will help.
For more information, got to the National Headache Foundation to learn more.
Awareness Ribbon