Random Thoughts

Famous Bloggers  I notice that all of the more famous bloggers do this:

  • blog daily
  • shamelessly pilfer material
  • eventually reveal themselves to be mentally unbalanced

I have my beefs with some of them but wth? They would be just as unbalanced and pitiable if they were not famous, so I choose to keep my opinions to myself.

Blogging Daily I used to do that. And it was good. There was a whole community of commenters that engaged with me and with each other. I still have great commenters but not so many. I was looking at a few old posts and I consistently drew 12-30 comments on each. That’s what makes blogging worthwhile – the feedback*. Can’t remember why I slowed down. I’m going to try and post here a little more often than I’ve been doing lately. What follows is quality examples of what you can expect.

Morning Prayer Dear Lord, Please give me the strength to stop buying vintage needlepoint pillow kits from eBay. Also the devil put before me the search term “vintage tapestry cushion kits” and now I need extra strength to avoid British eBay too because that’s where the good stuff is.

Actual purchases.

These should keep me busy through mid-2017. Or not. I think I can whip those bottom two out in about a month each. Better continue to stock up – maybe go full retail. Like this William de Morgan fishy charmer. 

Cabbage Steaks With Sour Cream  Hey, guys – I’m dieting again. For two weeks. It’s my own food plan called Mostly Aktins and No  Gin Mostly Aktins and Less Gin. But do you know that gin has no carbs? And do you know that a shot of gin is only 73 calories? And do you know that “a shot”= 25ml? Who is that for, 25mls – Grandma on her 100th birthday?

Temptation I have given up the world of blogging about Gross Democrat Women (because they make me sick) but man, how much temptation can a person take? Hillary’s coughing, a crystal encrusted MOO** and now enormous first daughter Malaria heading for that all-American distillery of knowledge, Harvard University. That last one is killing me . I envision a series called “Malaria Hits Harvard” perhaps written in the style of New England Journal of Medicine articles for all my medically-oriented readers. And a sub category called “Sausage Party; Teen Ho Down in the White House”. I could work up enthusiasm for that.


*Even from the pre-BLM era thugs who commented to insult me because I pointed out the truth about world Famous Fashion Icon and Busy Mom™ Michelle Obama.

**Who could use a little Mostly Atkins and Less Gin herself these days.

In Which I Am An Internet World Economy Expert

Based on my monitoring of a French tapestry kit I’m planning on buying, the dollar is weakening against the franc. The franc, for Dieu’s sake. When i first saw this kit it was $87.50 but because I am a wise consumer *cough cough * I resolved to wait until the price was 85.00 or less. But the exchange rate is not going in my favor and the price is now up to 90.05. I suspect the same thing would be happening if I sunk my discretionary funds into the stock market. I read this as the universe telling me to maintain my grasshopper lifestyle and forget about converting to anthood at this late date.

In other news, I can’t believe I survived flying though lightning last night to get back home from a week in Nashville. The plane between Newark and Nashville is always one of those regional Embraer jets. On the one hand, its more like sitting inside of a drain pipe than a plane. But on the other, the smallness/lightness of the craft means that there’s more wobbling which can be disconcerting. This trip, I imagined I was snowboarding and the swaying sensation became very pleasant. Except for the lightning part. (note to self: you’ve been flying too much lately)

Yesterday it was humid as heck in Nashville, Denver got more snow and NJ was cool and damp. DEAR SPRINGTIME, MISS YOU SO MUCH! HURRY BACK.

Also, I had to created a simple screen saver that says EVERYTHING IS AWESOME and I play the hour long version of that YouTube song to pep myself up for whatever the day holds for me so that I remember to avoid succumbing to a constant state of kvetching. This post doesn’t sound like a kvetch, does it?


*Sometimes I switch it up with My Perogative but that does not set me up in the proper mindset..




This Activity Is Supposed To Calm Me Down

In case you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to instead of blogging, here it is:


I’m having quite a terrible time coming up with a crisp iteration of my initials to work into my needlepoint pieces. Which I forgot to do on the first two things I made. Anyway, paper and pencil didn’t help me and this image and shape insertion on a PowerPoint slide isn’t much better. I was going for something tall, thin and severe but that R is tripping me up.

This isn’t my biggest problem but it is the one I prefer to spend my time on. Also, those rose bushes aren’t going to prune themselves.

UPDATE: I spent an hour practicing stitching this onto a canvas scrap until I got it right, then another two hours modifying it. This is the least objectionable configuration also I’m tired of ripping it out and starting over.

I’m letting this alone for now but I am considering taking on a professional needlepointing name with more cooperative initials. Something like Ima Freak or Etta Tater.


Duck Season Rabbit Season Duck Season Hare Season

Out with the old …

okay. maybe it’s not so bad after all.
In with the new …

the hares are black. that’s the tablecloth pattern showing through the mesh.

I must admit that I did enjoy working on the edges of the Bargello – maybe because it meant that I was nearing the end of this project. I’m very proud of myself for sticking with this awful repetitive exercise  until the end. For the sake of my mental health, I had to make a black border stitch as a visual finish line. 

This hares thing is going to be a totally different experience. First, the canvas is a mono mesh meant for needle point not the fine double thread cross stitch stuff of the Bargello. Secondly, the yarn is much more finely spun. English tapestry yarn – not like the thick fuzzy big ‘Murican yarn I was working with. Also this is done in a tent stitch – I anticipate that it will be far less challenging than the long stitches of the Bargello. I was surprised how challenging it was to make groups of ten stitches each covering four spaces of the canvas. 

By the way, those are hanks of yarn. Hanks. Not skeins. Hanks. I love that.

Update on the crystal-eyed stork scissors: you cannot believe what a solid, satisfying sound these make when you clip a strand of yarn. * snip * Just like that!

By the way, I invested in a fancy magnifying floor lamp (made for old people. “grandmothers adore this“) which was the best decision ever. However, looking at my magnified fingers, cuticles and nails under it as I work the needle is a ghastly experience. 

Enough With The Damn Bargello Already

When I decided to take you needlepoint again, I bought an inexpensive kit in a simple design. It was just to see if if still liked the activity before I plunged into the fancy big ticket  kits. Here’s how far I am on my self-administered tolerance test:


Is this enough? Can I quit now? This repetitive pattern is killing me. I wasn’t built for this – I’m more of a flaming star. A creative butterfly, flitting from project to project. I’m not kidding – I might actually die of boredom by the last stitch .

Dear Readers, I have spared you the extensive agonizing over whether or not I should buy a pair of French embroidery scissors to snip the single threads on the back of my work when i come to the end of a section. For $120.00. But they’re shaped like a rabbit. A Hare. So, tough decision but I snapped myself out of it. Well, I didn’t snap myself out of it exactly. A cute little pair of stork scissors WITH A RED CRYSTAL EYEBALL won my heart.

Tool Tron Red Ruby Swarovski Crystal Stork 3 1/2  Inch Scissors. This photo does not do justice to the translucent quality of the bird eyeball. It’s utterly fascinating in real life.
Here they are nestled in a 2-for-$1.00 snack box from Dollar Tree. I’m completely pleased with these – sharpest scissors I’ve used (admittedly, the previous thread snippers were my old bandage scissors from nursing school back in the previous century). They appeal to the snob in me because of the ruby red Swarovski crystal eyeballs and the fact that they were made in Italy. All this for less than $15.00. They are pictured with my other needlework accouterments: two needle threaders made out of strips of paper and an upside down magnet in the shape of a vintage Tupperware lid, gifted to me years ago by a member of my adoring public. Who was cleaning out his basement. Who looked at his trash and thought of me. (Hi Rocket!) . So, still classy for minimal expenditure.

The snack box is temporary. I bought a scissors case to needlepoint. I searched mightily for images on the internet so I could see what the inside looked like but I couldn’t find anything. I will now do the needlepoint-scissor-case-loving public a favor and post an image here:

This kit is advertised as “no finishing required”. That is not how I would describe it.
So, the Bargello work plods on its boring way to becoming a 12 x 12″ pillow. I’m in the final throes of deciding what my next work will be. It’s a toss-up. Which one of these do you prefer?

These are all ~ 16 x 16″, roughly the same price and equally hypnotic to me.