Dancing Backwards in High Heels

Living La Vida Loca with varying amounts of grace….


Succumbing to Maynia…

I’m sure we’ve all had at least one person admire our work and then say something like “I would never have the patience for that..” And I’m just as sure that I’m not the only one who finds stitching to be relaxing or a form of stress relief. I started stitching “seriously” after I graduated from college and it’s been a part of my life since. The amount of stitching I’ve done has waxed and waned through the years, but I’ve always stitched at least a little. For me, the repetitive motion of pulling thread through fabric is soothing, and I can become absorbed and clear my mind of everything else, at least for a while. It’s no surprise, then, that my stitching has increased dramatically in the past couple of months. (Unfortunately my blogging has not kept pace with my stitching!) Eliminating the two hours that I spend in a car each working day has also given me more time to read blogs and get hooked on FlossTube… and become mesmerized by everyone’s plans for StitchMaynia.

At first I was more then happy to just let Maynia be a spectator sport for me. I’m not ready to admit to my actual number of WIPs publicly, even to a sympathetic audience. I will say, though, that the number is large enough that adding another 31 or even 15 starts to that number would stress me to the point where I would probably avoid stitching because I was overwhelmed. I’ve also been enjoying the fact that I’m stitching on what calls to me without any firm plans or rotations. The more I saw about Maynia, though, and the variety of ways that stitchers are embracing it, I decided I wanted to be part of the fun… but how? First I thought about doing what I’ve seen some FlossTubers doing and working on WIPs during the week and new starts on the weekends.. but that still felt like more structure than I really wanted right now. So, in the end, I decided that my form of Maynia is that I want to stitch every day in the month of May. Admittedly, this has been a bit easier this year due to a plethora of conference calls, less than fabulous weather and the dearth of activities outside the house. But it’s still a huge increase from my stitching norm for the first 2 1/2 months of this year. My only goal was to stitch – I’m allowing myself to stitch on whatever calls to me, whether it’s a WIP or a new start.

Soooo.. I’ve met my goal to date… and here are the results. I have one project that I don’t have a currently photo of. It’s my main project that I’ve been working on at home in the evenings; Letters from Nora letter C. It will be a gift for one of my adopted nieces. (I finished S for her sister in February.) I’m hoping to have a finish on this by the end of the month as I’ve been making decent progress.

Tempest in a Teacup by Teresa Wentzler. This was a finish on May 1st. It’s stitched on a piece of 28 count Quaker in a Limited Edition color from Silkweaver. Stitched with the called-for DMC and the following substitutions: Mill Hill 0557 beads for the outermost border, beads for the steam puffs, Kreinik #4 braid in 002 for the back-stitching on the border and the top of the dragon’s head. Kreinik #4 braid in 012 for the lettering on the teacup and Kreinik #4 braid in 032 for the lines between his nostrils and the steam puffs. I’m pretty pleased with the way this came out, and I’ve wanted to stitch him since he was published in 2006.

Hope by Rosewood Manor from the 2016 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue. Stitched on 32 count Platinum Lugana by Picture This Plus with the called for DMC. Beads were subbed for a complimentary color from my stash and the stars were changed from a combo of floss/blending filament to Kreinik #4 braid in 3214. I also changed them to Rhodes variations as the strait stitches charted did not work well with the braid and fabric count. This was a new start on May 1st and finished May 5th.

Blue Snowman by Little Stitcher from the 2016 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue. Stitched on 32 count Platinum Lugana by Picture This Plus with the called-for DMC and Mill Hill beads. This was a new start on May 8th that seemed appropriate for the snow that we got on Saturday. It was finished on May 9th.

Quaker Floral by Midnight Stitching. This is my piece for while I’m at 911 and the phones aren’t busy since it’s all using one color. Stitched in Weeks Dye Works Peacock on a 28 count linen that is only listed as “Vintage” on my receipt that was in the chart. This is another piece that I’ve had kitted since 2006. Anyone who has seen my progress photos on Facebook may notice that the right side of the alphabet has become unstitched. I have a couple of errors in the middle block; two of them I was easily able to compensate for, but I was one stitch too far to the right on the right column of letters and there was no way to deal with it except to frog.. it will be re-stitched tonight and hopefully there will be more forward progress. This was started in April.

Tree of Life Button and Beaded kit from Mill Hill. This was a new start on May 3rd. It’s my first stitch on perforated paper. So far it’s going well, and the colors are much prettier than the cover art. This is the piece that I’m working on during conference calls.

I have a few other projects in mind that I’d like to start, but I’m almost afraid to set aside the momentum that I have going for the pieces I’m working on. Possible starts before the end of May are:

Leeds House Sampler by Rosewood Manor. I have a plan to tweak this a bit to make it a wedding sampler for DH and I.
Coffee Quaker by Heartstring Samplery
The WInter is Past by Blackbird Designs.

I’ve acquired some stash while I’ve been at home, justified of course by the fact that I’m not spending money on my commute. More on that another day.. or if I get brave and dip my toe into the pool of FlossTube. I’ve been considering it…

In the meantime, I can’t wait to see what else everyone is up to and what IHSW brings next week!


Valentines Day Secret Stitching Sweetheart

Jo from Serendipitous Stitching hosts several blog hops throughout the year. For Valentine’s Day, she set up a Secret Stitching Sweetheart “exchange”. My SSS sent this adorable picture.. I love the owls and the colors! I can’t wait to head out to find out who my Secret Stitching Sweetheart is.. and to find out who received my picture.


You can find a list of participants with links to their blogs over at Jo’s blog, here: http://www.serendipitousstitching.blogspot.co.uk/


WIPocalypse 2020 Intro

I’ve been following several folks who have been participating in this for the past few years and I’ve decided to jump in myself. I’m sure that most who will read this already know what it is, but the WIPocalypse is a fun SAL hosted by Measi’s Musings. The aim is to work on those projects you’d like to finish before the end of the world.

As for me, I’m 52 and live in upstate New York with my husband and our two dogs, Zoey and Cheeks. I work full time for a cablevtrleviion company, managing the billing system. I also work part time as a 911 dispatcher, My stitching time is also limited by the fact that I’m working toward a second college degree.

I love cross-stitch and crochet, but also dabble with knitting and other forms of embroidery. I’m also a reader and a runner… I’m doing my first half marathon next month.

I’m hoping that joining in here will help me to make time for stitching as it helps keep me centered. I’m sure I’m missing projects from this list, but these were the projects that I could locate easily. (One of my major goals for this year is to get the room I’ve designated as my craft room set up and organized so I can find things when I want them!)

These are my current projects with pictures:

Christmas Spirit Double Flips by Lizzie*Kate
Toys and Hobbies Stocking -Better Homes & Gardens
Smoke – Fire Wing Designs
Autumn in the Meadow-just Nan
A Sparkly Christmas -Waxing Moon Designs
Earth Dancer -Butternut Road Designs
Peacock Tapestry -Teresa Wentzler
Heirloom Nativity -Victoria Sampler
English Garden Sampler -Teresa Wentzler
Mystery IX – Chatelaine Designs
S Letters from Nora – Mirabilia

I’m going to stay pretty basic with goals for this year. I need to get my stitching room set up. I need to finish S and C from Letters by Nora which will be gifts. I also want to finish-finish at least 6 of mybpreviously stitched items. I’d also like to get back to blogging on a weekly basis.


You know how it is with an April day….

APRIL this year, not otherwise
Than April of a year ago
Is full of whispers, full of sighs,
Dazzling mud and dingy snow;
Hepaticas that pleased you so
Are here again, and butterflies.

~Edna St Vincent Millay

So, for March, I said that I was going to…

Keep working on Earth Dancer – I put some stitches in, but not really enough to be picture-worthy

Keep working on Candy Heart – it didn’t get a bit of love in March, although I did get the Kreinik braid that I needed

Start Daffodil Run by Just Nan – a finish would be nice, too, since I have the Whim-Z frame for it too – started AND finished AND framed – go me!

Finish at least one of my stitched pieces – how about three of them?

During what’s left of April, I want to:

Spend some time with Earth Dancer; and put in enough stitches to be able to see what I got done in a picture

Start Fabulous Fall Biscornu by Dinky Dyes

Finish a previously stitched piece

All of that might be a bit ambitious, considering that we’re half done with the month already, but I’ll give it a shot!

Without further ado, here are the pieces that I finished last month…

First up is Daffodil Run. I bought the Whim-Z frame when I bought the chart and fabric, which is a good thing, because the chart is long OOP and I’m sure the frame is hard to find as well. It’s stitched with the recommended fabric and DMC. The charm was included with the chart. I’m not thrilled with the fact that I had to take the glass out of the frame to mount the piece; the charm just won’t fit into the very narrow rabbet in the frame. I also managed to mess up my cutting a wee bit, but I’m still pleased with the result:

Daffodil Run

Daffodil Run

Next is a piece from a Design Connection booklet: Victorian Christmas Treasures. She’s stitched over 2 on antique white Monaco using the recommended DMC and beads. She was a bit bigger than I’d like for an ornament to start with, but in addition, I found some neat wooden plaques and frames in Michaels. They’re unfinished, so I bought some craft paint, and here she is. I’ll get a small easel to display her on. The paint is white with a Rose Gold metallic and then a glitter paint both sponged over the top.

Angel finished

Angel finished

Frame detail

Frame detail

This ornament used a smaller one of the frames from Michaels; it’s pretty thin, too – most likely balsa wood. I used an antique gold metallic craft paint, and here it is. I don’t remember where the pattern for this one came from. I have a funny feeling it was a freebie somewhere.

Blackwork Stocking

Blackwork Stocking

Last, but definitely not least is Scots Bonnet by DebBee’s Designs from the 2005 JCS Ornament issue. I love how this one looks when finished, but I hated almost every minute of stitching it and finishing it. I bought the recommended congress cloth when SIlkweaver was doing the ornament cuts around that time, and the fabric was so stiff that it kept shredding my floss no matter how short the lengths were. It’s stitched with the DMC alternative fibers, the recommended blending filament and beads.

Scots Bonnet

Scots Bonnet

That’s it for now; I’m off to get the biscornu started while I’m at 911; I’ll post some pictures from our weekend adventure tomorrow.

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A sad day indeed

RIP Princess Molly (1999 – 2015)

Office buddy, constant companion and Mets fan extroadinaire….


Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Author unknown…



Springing Ahead

So far it seems that the time change hasn’t hit me as hard as usual. Putting the clocks ahead usually wipes me out for a week. It’s just so nice to see more daylight after work, even if it was a bit harder to get up in the morning this morning. And our temperatures are warming up here in Upstate New York, too, so there’s way more pluses than minuses.

Partly because I’m so ready for winter to be gone, and partly because I was waiting for more silver braid, I laid Candy Heart aside for a bit and started Daffodil Run by Just Nan. It appears to be out of print since I can’t find it listed on her site. Fortunately, I also bought the cute little Whim-Z frame for it, so I’ll have no excuse for laying it in the “to be finished” bin. Here’s where it was as of yesterday. It’s my travel/911 project, so there was more progress made last night while I was working and hopefully will be some more tonight too.

Daffodil Run 03/09/15

Daffodil Run 03/09/15

I did get some more done on Candy Heart, too. It’s staying in my travel bag, and I’ll be going back to it as soon as I finish up Daffodil Run. By my best calculation, I’m just over a third finished with this one. Pardon the weird lighting in these; I took them at the 911 center console yesterday and the lighting is weird here, and I haven’t totally figured out the flash on my new camera.

Candy Heart 03/09/15

Candy Heart 03/09/15

I did get a wee bit of progress in at home on Earth Dancer, but not enough to take a picture of. I didn’t have all that much time to work on it, and yesterday morning I didn’t feel like working on something that required a lot of counting. Instead I pulled out an ornament I started a while ago: Scot’s Bonnet by DebBee’s Designs. It was in the JCS Ornament issue in 2005. It’s a 3D ornament made of 4 pieces. I got two stitched before I put it down, and it’s been sitting on my stitching table waiting for me to get back to it. I didn’t get a picture of this one either, but I will for next week. It’s on Congress Cloth, so it’s an easy stitch, and it’s got a nice rhythm to the pattern.

While I don’t officially participate in the WIPocalypse, it’s been popping up in a lot of the blogs I read, and they’re doing a topic of the month question for discussion purposes. This month’s question was intriguing as it was “If time or money was no object, what would you stitch?” If money was no object, I know that I’d definitely collect and kit more Chatelaine mandalas.. especially some of the earlier ones like Convent’s Herbal Garden, Indian Summer Reflections and Misty Morning Vineyard. I also suppose that if time were no object, I’d actually get them stitched. The truth is, however, that I still really love the pieces I have in my stash for the most part; so I’d spend my time working my way through what I already have. What I’d spend my money on, though, is having Jill Rensel framing them all.. So what about you? If time and money were no object, what would you stitch?

In another sure sign that spring and summer are on the way, I bought my season pass to Bethel Woods and the concert announcement are coming in more regularly. It’s going to be another good year; Kid Rock/Foreigner, Bryan Adams, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire are a small handful of what’s been announced so far. It looks like it will be another fun summer! We’ve also got our tickets for the NASCAR race at Pocono in August and will be going to the race at Watkins Glen again this year. Fortunately, I’ve gotten a lot better about living in the moment and enjoying each one, or the summer would fly by and I’d be wondering where it went and what I did!

Have a great week everyone!


Coming in like a… Lion? Snow Leopard?

It seems that Mother Nature is making up for lost time and making sure that we get our full winter’s allotment of snow and sleet and the infamous “wintry mix” even if she didn’t really get started until February.. we had a storm on Sunday, another tonight, and supposedly yet another on Thursday. I know it’s the northeast.. but I’m really looking forward to spring and warmer weather!!

Anyway.. we’re at the beginning of March, and I did set some loose goals for February, so it’s time to see how I did… all I said was that I wanted to keep working on my current projects, and I made suitable progess on both.. here are both Candy Heart and Earth Dancer as of Sunday. (Pardon the picture of Earth Dancer, I grabbed it with my phone as I ran out of the house this morning)

Candy Heart 3/2/2015

Candy Heart 3/2/2015

Earth Dancer 3/2/2015

Earth Dancer 3/2/2015

For March:

Keep working on Earth Dancer

Keep working on Candy Heart

Start Daffodil Run by Just Nan – a finish would be nice, too, since I have the Whim-Z frame for it too

Finish at least one of my stitched pieces

I’m thinking that should all be pretty doable. I have some extra 911 shifts this month, so I plan on splitting my stitching time there between Candy Heart and Daffodil Run. I had wanted to pull the threads and start it tonight, but I walked into a mess created by two apparently very bored dogs yesterday when I got home and all bets were off.. (sigh)

Reports and pictures are starting to come in from the Needlework Show in Nashville. I’m doing my best to confine my stitching this year to my already-embarassingly-large stash, but there are a few things that I like; most of them from designers I’ve enjoyed for a while. I’m listing them here, mostly so I can refer back to the if I decide that I need to shop sometime down the road 🙂

Canterbury Rose Sampler – The Sweetheart Tree

Canterbury Rose Sampler

Dreaming of Tulips – Rosewood Manor

Dreaming of Tulips

French Country Elephant – JBW Designs

French Country Elephant

Glitz and Glamour – Silver and Gold – DebBee’s Designs

Glitz and Glamor - Silver

Keys of Love – Needle Bling Designs

Keys of Love

Love You – Love You More – The Swetheart Tree

Love You - Love Your More

And in other news from February, a very good friend got engaged on Valentine’s Day. They haven’t set a date or a location yet (it will be in either Illinois or North Carolina), but she asked me to be in the wedding… I’m so honored! I’m in the process of hunting for a perfect piece to stitch as a wedding gift.. which I should probably start sooner rather than later!

Have a great week everyone!