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I have been stitching Santas

February 8th, 2017 · Needlepoint

Not sure what’s going on these days.  I’ve been stitching a lot of Santas.  I think in some ways I’m going to my own little happy place.

Everytime I read the news or listen to it on TV I find myself closing my eyes, shaking my head and sometimes grinding my teeth. So I’ve been needing my happy place more and more these days.

I’ve finished (or near enough I’ll call it done) three standup Santas.


This is a Petei Santa. Not sure what it is called. I call him the Skiing Santa. He needs his beard and a background. I picked the stitches and pulled the threads from my stash.


This is my Bugsy Santa. It is a KS design. Bugsy is our Boston Terrier. I’m not sure what KS Designs actually calls it. I already have a Baloo Santa with a black lab instead of a Boston Terrier. (I’m sorry people, I looked on the web page and couldn’t find the link.  But there is so much fabulous stuff, you’ll get lost looking at it all and may actually find the standing santa with dogs.) The stitches are my own. The threads come from my stash. I’ve got a little ceramic bone to hang from the moon and I’m going to have the finisher add a bow where the ribbon meets the star.


This is the Zookeeper Santa. I can’t find my picture with the beard but I’ve stitched it. This is another Petei Santa. I still need to decide what I’m going to do for the background.  The stitch guide was done by the French Knot in Ft. Worth. I bought it as a kit. I did mostly TFK’s stitches with minor changes of my own. TFK has a sort of random zebra looking background.  I’m not good at random, so I will think about what I’m going to do.

Next up is probably going to be another Petei Santa: the Patchwork Santa.


I got the canvas and the threads from a class I enrolled in many years ago but could not attend. Just recently, I ordered the stitchguide from John Waddell in Texas who taught the class.  I’ve not looked at it closely, so I haven’t figured out whether I am going to follow it or just use it as a general guideline

I’m getting my own little collection of stand up Santas. And I hardly ever grind my teeth when I stitch.

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The Haircut

February 8th, 2017 · Family Life

Early in December,  I took Jacob to get a haircut.  He had a thing at school and had been needing to get a haircut for awhile.

This was the result:

I stayed in the car while he went into the barbershop.  I didn’t give any directions about the haircut.  Usually, his Dad takes him, but we have been busy and they hadn’t had time to go.

Despite that look, he was proud of his haircut.

It is a little sobering to me that my youngest child is old enough to go into the barber shop by himself and give directions on his hair cut.  I am further sobered by the fact that he will soon, much too soon, be old enough to drive himself to the barbershop and give directions on his haircut.

I suspect, however, I will still be called upon to pay for it for awhile.



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Pretty American Teeth

October 27th, 2016 · Family Life

The other night David and I were watching some show on PBS.  It was a mystery.  Set in Scotland.  Or maybe just the main character had a Scottish accent.  One of the characters has braces.  They are talking about them and why she has them.  I don’t remember the exact question but I do remember her saying, “I want to have beautiful American teeth.”

Not for the first time, I thought it bit odd that having nice teeth is an American trait.  Is it? Doesn’t everyone want to have nice teeth?  Isn’t nice teeth a part of having good, overall, health?

Several years ago I was in a book club.  I signed us up for a “meeting with an author” drawing.  If your group won, the publisher would send you this particular author’s book and then schedule a phone meeting.  I don’t remember what the book was.  The author was English but living in Italy somewhere.   One of the characters in the book had bad, nasty teeth and someone (my sister, I think) mentioned it.  The author laughed and said something like, “Oh you Americans, with your fascination with oral hygiene.”  I was a little taken aback by the observation but we quickly moved on to other things.

We have spent a chunk of money having Jacob’s teeth fixed.  Right now he’s in phase II (of what I hope are only two phases) and has a Herbst Appliance and braces.  I don’t remember when we had that put on but it has been relatively recently. It is designed to pull his jaw forward so his teeth meet properly in the back.  Jacob also has braces on his top and bottom teeth.

We first took him to the orthodontist when he was about eight.  They chastised me for waiting so long to bring him in.  When he was about nine they slapped braces on his teeth and straightened out his front upper teeth.  Now they are trying to line his teeth up in the back.  It’s more complicated than that but that’s the gist of it.

My understanding is that if we don’t do this, the back teeth will ultimately wear out from not meeting up properly.  If we don’t fix this problem now, the alternatives are (1) breaking his jaw after he stops growing and stretching his jaw or (2) pulling his teeth when he’s in his thirties because the enamel will wear off and his teeth will be yucky.  Neither of those seem to be viable alternatives when we can do it relatively painlessly and inexpensively now.

So.  Does anyone know?  Are “pretty teeth” a particularly American trait?

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Random Thoughts

July 22nd, 2016 · Random Thoughts

I have naturally curly hair.  I have read on the interwebs that wrapping your hair in a cotton tee shirt is a good way to dry it.  Mine tends to frizz and look generally funky enough that I end up taming it with the flat iron set at 450 degrees. I can’t seem to master this tee-shirt drying technique.  It sort of makes me feel like I do when something I see on Pinterest fails.


Though this one doesn’t actually look bad.  This was taken just before the cookie fell off the stick.


Recently, I got these in the mail:


I’ve had a Fitbit for awhile now but the band gave out last November.  Now I have the band that works as well as the Fitbit itself but I can’t find the Fitbit charger; a little USB do-hickey.  I know I have two or three.  Sigh.   Sometimes, getting all of the stuff I need together at the same time seems undoable.

Edited to add:  The BoyChild found one of the USB do-hickies for me.  Now I have my wearable stuff together again!



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July 20th, 2016 · Stuff I love

This weekend I went to the mall with my sister, so she could get her hair cut.

While I was there, I hit the Sephora store.

I replaced some of my eye pencils that I’d used up or that had gone missing.  I got a dark brown matt, café au lait and  secret boudoir.  I’m not very adventuresome.  That is brown, taupe and cream in normal person speak.  I like these stubby pencils.  They are waterproof  but they give you a minute or two to smudge them.  After that, it’s get out the eye make up remove!  It really comes in handy in this awful heat we have here.  I like to use these pencils as a base for my eye makeup.  I cover these with the same colors from my Urban Decay collections.  I’m thinking I may need to go back and get something with a little more color for when I’m feeling fun and need to wear makeup.  The greens and blues are striking and go with with brown eyed girls.

I’ve not worn or bought much make up recently, graduate school didn’t seem to require it or call for it.  I’ve not been replacing them as they’ve been used up or gone missing.  But now that I’m back into the ‘real’ world, as opposed to the ‘school’ world, I need to up my makeup game.

I’m really wanting to try these products:

Marc Jacobs Foundation.

Marc Jacobs Foundation

It has a very nice feel.  It is suppose to be long wearing.  When I’ve tried it in the store, it doesn’t look like I’m wearing any makeup at all.  It isn’t too yellow.

Sephora Cheek Ink Gel

Sephora cheek ink gel


This comes in six colors.  It reminds me of a stain/blush that Clinique had that I loved.

I hate it when makeup companies discontinue things I really like.

Kat Von D has some wonderful eye show collections.  I’m not sure whether this makeup brand even existed when I started graduate school.  I did try some of the foundation, but it seems to run a little yellow on me.  I read that KVD was reformulating her line, to make it vegan, I think.  Maybe she’ll go toward some more neutral colors.

Color correcting has become a thing.  I don’t think that was a thing, or wasn’t something I’d paid much attention to if it was, when I started graduate school.

Garv3YardGirl even has her own make up now!

I need a job stat, so I can go back to buying makeup!  I feel like I’ve missed so much.

Disclaimer:  None of these wonderful makeup brands knows me from Adam.  These just happen to be stuff I like and no one has paid me anything to say that.  I borrowed the pictures from Sephora.  I hope they don’t mind.


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My life for the last couple of yearss

July 19th, 2016 · Graduate School

I know I’ve mentioned a bazillion times that I just finished graduate school.  This is what it is like and why I keep mentioning I am done!

Grad school meme


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Another Finish

July 18th, 2016 · Needlepoint


Finished this Saturday night-I live a wild and crazy life.

This is a Designs by Heidi custom piece.  She doesn’t have a web page or even as near as I can tell a Facebook page but she does have photos posted to Flickr.  (Will someone let me know if that link doesn’t work?  I have a Flickr account and I follow Heidi there, so I’m not sure if this will work for the general public.)  If you like it, and want one with your own children’s name, drop me a note and I can send her your email.

I used #12 Kreinik braid for the gold #002HL , Vineyard Silk Classic in #C-110 Natural and Silk Lame Braid SL-28 for the Burgandy.  Used a whole card of the SLB, almost a whole spook of the braid and 2/3 a skien of the VSC.

Random thoughts about this piece.

Looks very elegant.  I think it will look good made into an ornament.

Not sure I shouldn’t use a #8 braid.  Need to figure out whether that will give the coverage it needs.  #12 looks a little thick.

Thinking this might look good done in Mosaic Stitch though the compensating might make me a little crazy and cause it to look clunky.

Next time I think I’m going to use Pepper Pot Silk for the natural.  Not anything wrong with the VSC but really loving the Pepper Pot Silk right now!

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One down, two more to go

July 15th, 2016 · Needlepoint

Last night (or was it the night before, my days seem to run together this summer) I finished the ornament stocking for my niece.


My general ramblings on this piece while I can remember it.

One of five or six ornament stockings painted by Anne Stradel from ABS Designs.  I do them for the children in my family.  Or I did.  Yes that says 2013, don’t judge; graduate school brought my life and hobbies to a screeching halt.

The cuff, toe and heel were the same thread but different colors.  Silk Lame Braid.  I think I should have done them in the same color and it would have tied it together better.  Not gonna take anything out though, just use it as a good lesson.

This is painted on 18 hpi canvas.  The name, scarf and date are stitched in Vineyard Silk Classic (the web site appears to be down, I’ll update with a link if I remember later).  I’m not sure of the color because I’ve already moved that thread to someplace else.  The penguin is done in Petite Very Velvet in V602-White and V-601-Black.  The nose and flipper are Pepper Pot Silk Clementine-32.

The cuff is Silk Lame Braid in White.  I did Basketweave around the name and then Nobuko around that.  Probably more work and effort than actually shows up, even in real life.

The background is Scotch Stitch in alternating colors; Vineyard Silk Classic-Lavender-#-C-097 and Neon Rays+ in NP07.  I like the color combination.  I like the Scotch Stitch because it stitches up quickly and is easy to compensate.  Took less than a full skein of the VSC but a whole card of the Neon Rays+.  I only had about six inches of the stuff left.  I’d bought another card a week or so ago because I was afraid of running out, but I didn’t.

The packages are done in Fyre Werks in F-36 for the blue and a red ribbon that comes on a long cardboard spool and doesn’t have any identifying information on it.  Annoy only if you run out.  The ribbons on the package are Kreinik 002HL and Petite Sparkle Rays-PS28 pulled from my stash.

20160521_131756_26547735524_o 20160521_130755_27084992901_o

These are the two I’ve already done.  Besides taking me a lot longer than I’d anticipated,<ahem, graduate school> I’m please with the ornaments.

What do you think?

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First World Problems

July 14th, 2016 · Family Life

I had to get a replacement phone recently.  Actually I’m on my second replacement phone.

I have a Samsung GalaxyS 5.  There are several iterations of this phone and I’m thinking it’s on number 7 now.

Jacob and David have Galaxy 4’s, so we don’t frivolously exchange phones.  I have the five and they have the 4 because I did something to mine; dropped it and broke the screen or dropped it in the toilet or something equally silly and had to replace the 4 when it sighed and died and wouldn’t work anymore.

When we bought my phone, David said he thought since I’d had bad luck with my phones, that I should buy insurance.  You know, pay them $10 a month and they agree to replace it if I do something, like drop it in the toilet.  And lo and behold, that was just what I needed.  I’ve gone a long time (almost 30 months I think is what they said) with this phone without using the insurance even once.  Jacob on the other hand promptly dropped and shattered the screen on his phone, but it was not insured.

Anyway, I went by the T-Mobile store recently because I wasn’t happy with the battery performance on my phone.  No matter what I did.  Not matter how many apps I deleted or forced to turn off, the battery would be gone by mid-day with just a regular amount of use.  Turns out the T-Mobile warranty doesn’t cover the battery.  But  it does cover that little do-hickey at the bottom of the phone that is suppose to make it water resistant.  So the guy at the store recommended I replace it because that’s the bit that keeps it watertight in case I drop it in the toilet again.

They overnighted me a phone.  A “new” replacement phone doesn’t include anything except the body of the phone.  I had to use my phone back, my sim card, my battery.  Nothing was new except for the body; my guess is that was refurbished.

So, I began the process of moving everything over.  Downloading apps.  Deleting apps from my old phone.  Wiping that baby clean.  I got the new phone on Tuesday and by Thursday, I’d gotten it all done.  I boxed the old phone up to return it to T-mobile and dropped it off at the UPS drop-off on my way out of town to pick up Jacob from STEM camp at OSU.  By the time I’d returned from Stillwater my screen had gone yellow.

So, I went back to the T-Mobile store to ask them what to do about it.  They said I needed to request another new replacement.  Which I did.  But it didn’t come on Monday when they promised.  When it didn’t arrive on Tuesday I called bout 9:00 pm Tuesday night.  They told me they didn’t know what they problem was (I get that a lot from T-Mobile whenever a problem crops up) but would put in a ticket to find out.  Interestingly, the tag says it was packaged and shipped yesterday over-night and arrived the afternoon of the same day.  Coincidence?  I’m sure my T-Mobile rep would say so.  Me?  Not so much.

So I’ve picked up another “new” replacement phone.  I’ve not had the time or energy to do everything that needs to be done.  But I’m working on it.  Then I will begin the process of removing the old stuff from my phone.

First world problems, I know, but it is what it is.

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Confession Time Here

July 13th, 2016 · Family Life

Last night Jacob and I went out to play Pokémon Go.

I will be honest.  I’m not particularly interested in Pokémon.  Never have been.  Never fully understood the fascination with the cards, or what my kids did with them.

Jacob downloaded Pokémon Go on his phone.  Last night he asked me if I wanted to go play it with him.  I’ve been complaining that I’m not getting enough exercise.  There are a couple of problem people in my neighborhood that have kept me from wanting to go out by myself.  Plus the awful, surface of the sun, heat.  But last night my son volunteered to go outside to walk around with me and look for Pokémon’s.

I jumped at the chance.  I found a few.  I’m not very good at catching them, but I had expert assistance.

It was fun.  Walking around the neighborhood.  Talking to Jacob.  Getting exercise.

As we were heading home, after walking around for about 30 minutes and finding a couple of Pokémon, a young couple drove by and the passenger leaned out the windows and asked, “Are y’all playing Pokémon Go?”  And when I replied we were, he said, “That’s awesome!”  I beamed and wanted to say, “I’m that fun kinda Mom you’ve always heard about!” But instead we just waved.


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