...i am a princess on the way to my throne...


Love Your Friends 

I hate it when friends are hurting, especially when they are extremely close.

There are about six women that I consider my soul-sisters. One is living somewhere abroad, one has been around for about a hundred years, one lives in another state, two live in the city, and one is gone forever. Out of these women, one is in tremendous pain and I feel so helpless to do anything for her. I'll pray for her, I'll let her cry on my shoulders, I'll even give her coffee mugs to smash...but she still hurts and I hurt for her.

Love your friends by being there for them, folks. Sometimes the best thing we can give them is the comfort of knowing they have someone they can completely trust and with whom they can be themselves, warts and all.


The Mother-Load 

Remember me talking about the Victoria's Secret sale yesterday? Well, I went, I saw, I bought! I hit the mother-load. And forget the bras and panties, I'm talking about the sweet smelly stuff!

My purchases:
2 bottles Enchanted Apple body sprays
2 bottles Enchanted Apple shower gel
1 bottle Enchanted Apple body lotion
1 tube Enchanted Apple hand/body cream
1 bottle Dream Angels Halo body lotion
1 bottle Dream Angels Halo angel mist spray
1 bottle Dream Angels Halo shower gel
1 bottle Dream Angels Divine body lotion
1 bottle Dream Angels Divine angel mist spray
1 bottle Dream Angels Divine shower gel
1 purse size mini of Dream Angels Heavenly perfume
1 black bear plushie for Jessi
Birthday prezzies for Mom (not saying what it is in case Mom is reading today! *grin*)

Wow!! Sounds like a bunch, doesn't it? Well, that's the beauty of a sale. I got all of these at half off, sometimes even more for all of the Dream Angel products I purchased in sets, which made them much cheaper than buying them in individual bottles. Dream Angels Heavenly is my favorite, but I already have the set and was getting low on the perfume, hence the mini-bottle purchase. Halo is my second favorite of the series, but sometimes I'm just in the mood for Divine. As far as the Enchanted Apple goes, it's my favorite garden scent (next to Amber Romance) and VS only sells it twice a year, once in January and once on June. I figured if I stocked up on it then maybe it would last me until January.

Needless to say, last night after my bath I smelled *so* good! It was heavenly.:)

Yesterday I stitched a little on Fantasy Triptych and Mini-Mandala 2. I didn't get much finished on either, for I've been so tired the past couple of nights I can barely keep my eyes open. I'm also not feeling so hot today, so maybe I'm coming down with something.

I also woke up this morning feeling a bit nostaligic. I remember when there was pretty much just the TW board. Dana then created the Chatelaine board and I created the Mirabilia board so we could have places that celebrated those designers, but the TW board was still homeplate for so many of us. There were other board off-shoots that cropped up here and there, and there were general board dedicated to things other than stitching, and while it was nice to have new playgrounds to venture into, the TW board was home center. When it became an exclusive stitching board, things kind of splintered. Even more boards were created: some dedicated to just chat, others to both chat and needlework. While I completely support TW's decision, I am kind of sad that we have "lost" so many stitchers along the way. However, I admit I miss having one place where we can all be found. Each board has it's own personality and it's regulars, and while I appreciate the diversity it can take up a good part of the day just browsing the boards in order to see all your different friends! The ones I mainly visit are the ones in my sidebar, and while I do not always post I do lurk just to get a sense of what's going on. But still...I miss the Mother-Ship we once had and the umbrella of which we all met under. Don't get me wrong, I'm still enjoying myself and the wonderful boards, but there are times when I just miss the "old days".:)

I also did not realize how long some of us have been around. It shocked me the other day when someone did not know what LTDLTKDc was, but then I thought to myself, "Wait a minute, that was years ago!" It seems like yesterday. And in regard to that thread, I wish I had saved it, for I had some pretty cool 'reasons' for starting the thread, but the only one I can remember is "some of my WIPs are starting to roam the neighborhood". I can't remember the others, but if anyone does, feel free to let me know what they were!:)

Okay, I need to check my e-mail now...I've been getting much better at it, checking it every couple of days rather than every couple of weeks! One step at a time, yes?


Mall Shopping 

Okay, I'm so not into Harry Potter, but all I can say is what *fabulous* scarves! I started knitting my Cheshire Cat scarf based loosley on an HP pattern a scarf a long time ago, but I did not like the feel of Red Heart Super Saver yarn in my knitting needles. I do, however, *love* Lion Heart's Wool-Ease, and I'm hoping to get some fresh yarn and start over. Unfortunately, Michaels carries a very limited supply of Wool-Ease, so I may have to order the colors online.

Today I'm jetting to the mall to return some things and to stop by Victoria's Secret for their bi-annual sale. For whatever reason, they chose to discontinue Enchanted Apple and only sell it twice a year. There are some other fragrances that crop up during this time, but the apple is the one I'm most interested in. We are leaving here at 9:45 AM sharp, for I plan to be at the mall no later than 10:15. I loooove fresh apple scents in fragrances, and I think VS has one of the best.

Short, boring blogpost this morning, I know, but everything I want to talk about will take too much time and I'm in a bit of a crunch. I'll update later when I have time.


Ultimate Compliments 

I talked to my Mom last night about the massive stash haul I have planned, and she was all for it. She was teasing me, saying, "You never know, I may end up stitching some of it!" I told her to have a party, she was welcomed to it! She is becoming quite a proficient stitcher. She's completed several projects, and most recently TW's "Above the Clouds". She's almost finished with the little castle petite and it's looking awesome. Although I love castles, I've never really considered that one until now. I didn't realize it was so lovely, but I'm learning chart photos just do not give justice to a design, no matter who the designer may be.

As we were talking, she told me about a new project she was getting ready to kit up. She said she had already ordered and recieved the chart, and it was a lovely chart at that, and it's name was the Two Loves of Arthur. It took me a minute and then realization sank in. "What?? Are you serious??" I half shouted into the phone. She laughed and said she ordered it from the HAED sale. I am tickled pink! She and Ginny were discussing this pattern at the GTG a week ago (Ginny plans on stitching this design as well) and I was teasing them saying they should have a SAL. And now Mom truly has the pattern! To me, this is the ultimate compliment, to have my mother stitch one of my artworks. And she's planning to stitch it on 14 ct Aida, so you can imagine how big it's going to be (try 28" x 36" finished design). Zoinks, Scoob! We are going to the Macon LNS sometime next week to get Anita to cut a piece of fabric for the project. Dad says once it's finished they are going to frame it and put it over the fireplace. To me that's a place of honor, and I'm so pleased.:)

I tell you, it's really nice having a stitching buddys in the family. As some of you may know my sis-in-law Rhonda stitches (one of her most recent completions was the behemoth Peacock Tapestry), but she manages a high-finance firm and her weekends are pretty tight. She was able to make one GTG, but she has not been able to make any others. Mom's been able to make two GTGs, and it's my goal to have all three of us attend the next one. It will be a blast. We want to hold one ourselves in the fall, and I can't wait.

Speaking of GTGs, only two more months until CATS! Woo hoo! I've let Jo know, and I'll be sending some designs for her later today, so there will indeed be some new Dinky-Dyes releases at Nashville. And yes, there will be more kitties, but I'm not going to tell you which ones! LOL Val and I will leave as soon as we can the Friday morning so we can milk it for all it's worth. It's my first CATS ever, and I know I'm going to be like a kid in a candy store. I'm planning on dividing my time between the DD booth, the stitching lounge, and the shopping alley. I'm going to start squirling away my pennies, for I know there will be stash coming home with me.:)

In non-stitching news, I have a lot planned today but little motivation to do it. I have to get some general cleaning done and start on the black hole known as my closet. I did manage to get some art cropped and copyrighted for the web site, so hopefully Robert can update it over the next few days. I will be adding new links to my links section. One of them belonging to the wonderful Teresa, whom I cannot thank enough for the lovely mention in her blog. Over 25% of my web traffic has come from her blog alone. Thank you, T! To say I'm thrilled and honored is an understatement. For have the Queen acknowledging the jester is one of the best feelings in the world.

So...Mom's stitching something I've drawn, I'm going to CATS with my soul-sister, and TW actually digs my work. Does it get any better than this?


Stash Thoughts 

Let me just begin by saying Happy Father's Day! to my beloved husband, my wonderful father, and my loving father-in-law: you all mean so much to me and continue to bless me in many ways. And may all fathers be blessed on this wonderful day!


Now...I'm having a thought here, Barbosa.

I finally figured out that part of the problem regarding my lack of self-discipline in stitching is the fact that I have too much accesible stash. I have charts, kits, fabric, at least three (more like four) sets of DMC, one set of Anchor with extras, specialty threads galore, scroll frames, lap stands, q-snaps, and enough bobbin boxes to open my own store. It's just ridiculous, considering how little room we have. Right now most of my stash is overflowing in my clothes closet, with other parts camping out in the drawers of my Oriental secretary's desk (that's an actual type of desk, and not to say that I have Asian office staff at my beck and call, or the fact that I would even entertain the thought of stuffing stash in their undergarments. Simply ew. But I digress).
I do not want to part with any of it, but having it around makes it all too easy to start a new project when the whim strikes. I'm really tired of living in the Land of the Perpetual WIP, and I've decided it's time to take action.

So: I'm going to box up the whole kit and caboodle and send it south to live with my Mom in the cozy, comforting glow of her huge upstairs spare bedroom, where it will rest nicely and neatly against a wall until I either get a bigger place to keep it in or get my WIP-fetish under control.

Here is what I will be keeping at the homestead:
TWs: Mermaid, Fantasy Triptych, Princess and Dragon (sans dragon), Milennium (thanks, Pat!), and Lady of Shalott.
Miras: The Kiss, Deepest Love, Christmas Flourishes (I've decided this is my all-time favorite Mira).
Dracolair: Gaelic Banner, Jeweled Celtic Cross.
HAED: Magic Moonlight.
Lavender & Lace: Celtic Arwen, Celtic Autumn.
General stash:
One set of DMC (in skein form)
A few pieces of fabric (for emergency stashing.:))
My set of Dinky-Dyes (gotta keep designing!)

As far as charts go, I will probably keep around my TWs and Miras, just so they don't get crumpled in the boxes. I will also keep some smaller designs on hand, such as some of the Dragon Dreams castles and the Camelot Designs castles. These projects tend to be much smaller in scale to some of the ones I'm currently working on, and will make for nice relief stitching when I need a break from BAP-itis. Right now I'm determind to go through a massive WIP-killing spree, and considering the size of them it may well take me into the next two years to do it. However, with my massive stash out of the way I'll be much less inclined to kit up whenever I want.

Of course, I haven't actually put this insane idea into practice, and I just may forget it once I'm fumbling through all that luscious stash. All I know is that I'll be much happier having space in my closet to walk and projects that might actually get finished.

The good thing is that I can visit my stash any time I want when I'm jonesing, and that is a small comfort indeed.


Well, I thought I found them all... 

...but it seems I found a couple of more WIPs lurking deep within the recesses of my closet.

A looooooong time ago (so long ago that she's now nearly finished) Glenda and I were stitching Gaelic Banner together, albiet loosely. I would tease her, telling her that she would finish hers waaaaaaay before me, and I would be lucky to finish mine by the time I was a grandmother. Ha! Ha! we both laughed. Harumph. Seems I wasn't kidding, as she's practically finished and I have yet to even start a splash of green. To make matters even more obscene, I've even raped my GB floss box to provide colors for other projects, so right now I have nothing left but the sad remains of what was once a proud, strong project.

How sad.

So, I was going to restore it to its past glory, until I found yet *another* WIP that lay calling from the ashes of UFO-dom; TW's Princess and Dragon. I had forumlated a way to shrink the piece to include only the princess and the castle (sorry, draggie!), and had already started the border. This all sounds very nice, except I didn't keep very good notes and now I'm puzzled to death on how I was going to do it! I've been tinkering with it since last night, and stitching on said border (and if I can't figure out the center configurations, at least I'll have a smashing border) and I think I *may* have a way to bring princess and castle together in a way that looks like something other than ick. We'll see.

I'm rather behind on Stitching Blogger's Questions, so I thought I answer another one until I catch up:

Do you collect charts by one particular designer, yet have never stitched anything by that designer? If so, which designer and why do you collect the charts but have not yet stitched any of them?

Hmm, good question. I collect charts from a lot of designers, but the question is not have I stitched any of them but have I finished any of them!
The designers I collect extensively are as follows:
Teresa Wentzler (Queen of Blends!)
Mirabilia (my all-time favorite)
Lavender & Lace (one cannot have too many Celtic maidens)
Chatelaine (I would have them all but I don't want to be broke)
Camelot Designs (the best castles in the business)
Dragon Dreams (love the castles!)
Dracolair (the non-draggie ones)
Long Dog Samplers (some of the best samplers in the business)
Victoria Sampler (just gorgeous!)
Heaven and Earth Designs (like chocolate, you can't have just one!)

Now: I have started at least two projects from all of these designers. How many finished? Three. Yep, that's it, just three! One Mira and two TW freebies. I'm almost finished with Dracolair's Celtic Cross, but since it was kitted up with Gaelic Banner the flossies are probably lurking in a Mira box somewhere (see above blogpost). I'm hoping to have two TWs, one Mira, and possibly a L&L under my belt for this year, but that may be a little ambitious. I've got to stop this insanity called rotating and stick with one project until I'm done, because I find when I rotate I lose all discipline, or at least when I rotate more than three projects. My goal this year is to not only cater to the stashoholic in me by collecting some of my favorites, but to also buckle down and actually stitch some of them. Now, that's a novel thought, isn't it?

Oh, one more thing: Singular Stitches asked a while back for a visual of our working space, and I've enjoyed looking at others so much that I thought I would post mine:

This is the left hand corner of the couch. I've tried stitching in other places, but this place feels the most comfortable.:)


Hey Kids 

Long time no see.

I'm back from a very extended vacation, one I needed quite badly. I had so many internet-related things going on that everything was beginning to seem like a chore, especially my blog. Not to mention the past few entries were so raw and so personal that I felt like I split my soul open for everyone to see. While it was dearly needed, it also left me numb and vunerable. I took some time out to reflect, recharge, and emerge renewed.

One of the things I've decided is to use this blog the way it was originally intended, and that's primarily as a stitching blog. (Since I don't have a place to store my WIPs yet (my stitching section on my web site was accidentally deleted when we updated my art stuff), so I will be setting up a Webshots album as soon as I can). My deepest apologies for those dear readers who want to read about the 'dirt' of my daily life, but I just don't want to write about it anymore. Things are going quite nicely, and I want it to stay that way in both real life and the written word. Fear not, however...I won't leave you in the dark of what's happening around here, it will just be condensed versions instead of long drawn out soliliquies. I hope everyone understands. It's either this or close 'Fully Caffeinated' down indefinintely, which is what I do not want to do. As many a blogger knows, our blogs can be great sense of comfort to us when we need them and I'm not ready to let go of it, not yet.

The stitching GTG on Saturday helped me realize how much I missed stitching. My stitching time has been limited lately due to some crunching art deadlines (those of you who follow my art journal know what I've been up to), and I'm anxious to get back to needle and thread. I've been working on Fantasy Triptych every night for the past few days, and when I get to the 20 hour mark I'll post a WIP.

One of the things I've been doing is taking inventory of my current works-in-progress. The list is as follows:

Fantasy Triptych
Lady of Shalott
The Kiss
Deepest Love
HAED's Magic Moonlight (which I've renamed Firefly Fairies because they look like little fireflies. So cute!:))
Celtic Arwen (a conversion of Celtic Christmas)

Now...at heart I truly am a LTDLTKDchicker, and it's going to be hard to continue being that with all these lovelies vieing for my attention. However, I believe if I stick with one TW, one Mira, one HAED, and one misc I'll be alright. As it stands, I may rotate Fantasy Triptych and Celtic Arwen. The other two that I may work in are Deepest Love and my HAED, but I'm pretty happy chugging away on the TW at the moment. I'm doing a fall conversion, and while things are looking nice at the moment I have no earthly idea how it's going to turn out. I'm going for an 'autumn-Rivendell' feel, but we'll see. I'm using 32 ct Amsterdam Blue lugana fabric and I plan on adding stars in the sky to give it the feel of night. The maiden panel will be a conversion of Arwen riding Asfaloth. I'll have to de-uni him, and I'll be adding pearl blending filament to his mane and tail. I was planning on putting Arwen in red, but I think I'm going to put her in silvery-blues to contrast with the bold autumn colors of the trees and leaves. If it comes out as planned, it will be stunning beyond all belife (well, at least for us autumn freaks). And if it doesn't, then it will be the biggest mess since the ick my cat yakked up on the bathroom carpet yesterday morning. Either way, I'll roll with the punches and take my chances.:)

Coffee, stitching, chocolate, and friends...it sure feels good to be back.:)

Now for the SBQ of the week:

How many cross stitch books do you own and how often do you use them?

This is so cool, because although I have several stitching books I've never stitching one thing out of them until now: I'm planning on starting TW's Unicorn from The Best Of book once I get the working copies made! I know, I know, I said I wasn't going to start anything new, but I'm a woman and I reserve the right to change my mind.:)

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