Saturday, February 13, 2010

Starting March 1st

Starting March 1st, this blog will be by invitation only. It will not be public access. It will be mainly stitching projects and progress. I have no choice but to do this.

I will make a notation on paper and on March 1st put all the invite names through Google blogger to let you access the blog. I know this sounds restrictive but I have no choice in the matter at this time.

I have researched about Google Blogger and if you are interested in having an invite (the only way Google Blogger private will do this ), then send me your email address to:

jennifer.dalenberg@yahoo.com

I will add your information on March 1st, email to the invite and the blog will continue but only through private access. This should not affect your reading or visiting the blog if I put your name on the invite list.

Thank you for understanding in this circumstance.

You can still contact me through email after March 1st, and I will add to the invite. But unfortunately, this has to be adjusted.

Until March 1st I will continue to blog my progress on stitching and other stitching related issues.

I do apologize for the confusion and conflicting thoughts and feelings. I really don't know who else to vent too and it's really inappropriate for me to put this on a public domain. I realized that and have made plans to put stitching blog issues on a private blog. There should be no extra problem for you if you give me your email address to invite.

This should resolve any other conflicts or confusions on my or your part. I realize that personal journaling has no place in the public domain especially in my circumstances. I do still love stitching and plan to converse and share stitchy related issues. The rest will go unsaid.
Afghanistan thoughts will be kept inside. Thoughts of my life will be kept inside. I do apologize for being so aggressive with my opinions on the matter, my thoughts about life in general will be kept inside.
This is an unfortunate circumstance that I should have taken care of many months ago but I enjoyed hearing from people all over the world who also love stitching that I risked the negative for hearing the positive.

I realized last night that I was not only burdening my family but also probably hundreds of people who don't really know me. However, I would like to still stay a part of the stitching community.


Thanks,
Jennifer

I'm Ready for Spring


Literally and metaphorically, I'm ready for Spring.


I'm ready for a time in life when I'm good enough as I am and not a burden.


I'm ready for something more than just being.


I'm ready for being surrounded by people who are real. Flowers are nice but when the words that go with it are the opposite, what's the point? Most things I want in life are absolutely free but their not important to the most important people.


A new beginning, with the same me, because I know I'm a good person as I am. Not a perfect person but a real human being. I don't like to be reminded that I attach memories to certain things. I wish I didn't, but I've come to accept my disability.


I'm ready for physical interaction with people who think I'm worth their time in person.


I'm ready for the snow to go away and I used to love snow.


I'm ready for all the faults I have that seem to be major to others, to be just caveats of who I am and are not pointed out to me as severe flaws.

To be accepted by the ones we love is the most important thing in the world.

To not be is the most painful thing in the world.


I know life is what we make it but there are situations that occur and circumstances that create an environment where life is just a process not an enjoyable event. I don't believe we can make everything. We don't create deaths, we don't create lay-offs, we don't creat trajedies. Yes, we could all respond to them in a better way, that's the only part we can change. But's its aweful hard to respond in a way with no support system at all. For we are human, and we don't need reminding that our very existance is a burden.


I've never been accepted by my family, including my close friends and husband. To them, I'm just a nuissance and a dread. I know that, and they know that, and it's something I've come over the years kicking and screaming, but learning to accept.

It's surprising to me everytime I see that they have read my blog. It's usually a shocker as in person they really don't like to listen to anything I have to say. It's an irony that I'll never understand. It's a reason I've considered using the private blogging only feature on Blogger.


I've read several blogs in the past few weeks that are folks in the same situation in their own homes that I am so I know this is not rare. This is what stimulated my thoughts this morning to be expressed.


I know, as alot of other stitchers do, that part of our art is creating something worthwhile with our own hands, that counteracts all the negativity that continually is brought on through all directions. We create when happy, when sad, in good times and bad and it's the good part of life that balances all the bad. It's a time when we make choices.A time when we can make choices. The choices may be silly to most other non-artistic folks, but even its a choice of a red or green, or a certain linen, or ribbon, or fabric selections, it's a choice and that's something that is priceless.

Hold on to that thought today. I know I will. No one can take that part away. But sometimes, they come close to taking it away with self-confidence.

They can try to take away my personality, my pride, my memories, and make fun of my faults and the situations that created them, even blame me for each and everything,
but the love of needle art will always be in my heart.
Here's hoping that this weekend you are surrounded with love and people who are real. Real in a good way, people who love you and like human touch in relationships, and accept you for the special person you are.
Stuck in snow unfortunately,
Jennifer

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Frosty Friday in North Georgia mountains

Long, long day.
Got home about 7pm. I had to drive at a snail's pace tonight.

The day started out ok and by the time I got to work, I was full of cafe mocha from home with a dip of cool whip and the temp was a little above freezing.

I jammed with the 80s and 90's channels for adrenaline. At my destination, Michael Jackson was playing on the 80's.

Then a quick click to Duran Duran, Come Undone in the 90's. I LOVE satelite radio!
Makes me feel young again! :0





Somewhere in between 8:30am and 4 pm and no lunch, the weather turned for the white stuff, coming down hard starting about 2ish. This didn't stop anyone from seeing the gynecologist today. LOL Yep, its that Valentine check-up.........the love bug check.
so on the way home, sliding on the road, I decided I was very hungry and turned into Walmart. Big mistake.
Never go to Walmart hungry. I had that nesting feeling of buying milk and bread and snacks, and wings, and crackers, cheese, dip, drinks, on and on, topping the day off with buying myself a houseplant for Valentines. They were too pretty to resist. ;)
Guess what? In the meantine, Bodyguard had the same idea and we didn't communicate and between the two of us we have enough food to last 2 months now. He also went to the grocery store....the other one.
I always buy alot of groceries when I go. And if it snows, more.
And, guess what? when he met me at the top of our iced road, sliding over, hoping we would be able to get out, but not lucky, I held on to his hand walking in boots to the car.
He loves storms. He loves emergencies, so his generators have been tested, he planned how we got into the road, and sighed deeply when I told him I had a trunk of groceries!
When I put the groceries up, I figured out why he sighed......he had also filled the refrigerator. We have 5 half gallon milks now. (We buy half gallons because it's hard for me to pick up the full gallon ones).
AND,
he got me Valentine flowers too! We laughed.
And through my ride in the country it was getting dark, but I took my camera with me this morning, predicting a bit of snow, but not knowing it would be this much.



The temp in the car was now below freezing and the roads were very treacherous. No salt trucks have been out yet.



Yep, only I would take pics riding down the road, driving with my knee on the steering wheel in icey weather listening to Duran Duran again.




Oops, a little slip and slide here.




About this time, I called Body Guard. He says the road to the house is almost impossible to go up.
Lovely.
But, I weaved through highways and then the ice ruts grew smaller with the roads until there were none and I crossed my fingers on the long road to the house. Now we are in for the weekend.
I fixed a pizza, a huge pizza, the deli kind and fed the chi's and now just taking a breather.
The cat is in the basement now and lounging on a sofa.
Ren has turbaned in his blanket after supper.
Abbie and me played "chicken 1 and 2" game of fetch and throw until she was tired.
Now, listening to world news and stitching in a second.
We have more snow predicted Sunday and all of Monday with the temps not rising above freezing so, Monday morning will be interesting. We tried to drive the car back up the drive and it's spinning to nowhere.
So, cabin fever begins.
Did somebody just say the phrase Global Warming on the news?

What's occupying my mind lately?

Busy at work, even though looming snow clouds are covering the gray earth here. Snow is supposedly to start this afternoon so we are working hard to get in work done through lunch and mid afternoon before the fast-moving storm will hit the mid-upper Georgia area. Still worried about the top headlines of this looming big battle in Afghanistan. Like I said before, this is such a mess!

I can't wait to get home and snuggle by the fire with my stitching. I almost finished the little sampler and have the perfect old frame I found at a thrift store yesterday. I will have lots of thrift store find pics later this evening.

Remember that tomorrow is the last day for the Valentine Give-away. Not sure why more people didn't post for it because it's a beauty! The earrings alone are certainly worth it. They are sterling silver and oh, so Irish......just like Katie Scarlett O'Hara!! Don't miss out and see the side bar to post.

http://news.yahoo.com/video/world-15749633/the-biggest-battle-yet-in-afghanistan-17954088

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100212/ap_on_re_as/as_afghanistan

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Taliban escape route sealed before attack - Washington Times

Taliban escape route sealed before attack - Washington Times

Sneak peak. Small project. Big colors.


So, I picked up a small project that I hope to finish tomorrow.
I'll add it to my basket of smalls this month.

It's 12:30am now and I'm still awake. Medicine to help but somehow my body fights it and I end up staying up anyway, maybe not quite coherent and humerous, scarey. This morning, I found a note in my email -----from myself-----to myself------thanking myself for all the kindness and and the colors of floss sent to me. I laughed when I saw it.
Ok, I think I emailed Jennifer H., that was who gave me those beautiful Belle Soie Silks but evidently I mailed myself one too. Now that is tired.

Wired and tired.

I'm guilty of being an avid Ebayer to find the best prices as I can for stash, even though I do also order online through some shops. You just have to in this economy today.
This week I found a great deal on a pile of linen, in various colors, 32 count, most larger pieces for the price of 1 small piece at a retail shop. I couldn't resist.
I saw this Antique Green 32 count and started substituting out some of the DMC colors for a few of the silks I got this week from sweet Jennifer H. I couldn't wait to use those colors. I also used a beautiful Red Current from Crescent Colors that is so complimentary to the antique green.
I'll save the designer and name until I finish this time. It's a small so a quick finish and I swear I will get finished with Emma then. My frame is in the mail, so time is of the essence. I work under pressure.

At first I thought I would never use this green color for anything and then an idea popped in my sleepy head last night.
Stay tuned. I love smalls. They just give that sweet quick sense of accomplishment that I sometimes need and also serve as gifts too.
Well, I better try to get at least 5 hours of sleep ........this morning.
Nite nite, stay warm.........I think it's too cold for bed bugs to bite! LOL

Jennifer

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It is so cold that..........

This is a pic from the internet of Switzerland. However.............................

Today in Georgia, snow fluttered across very faintly with a flirting 36 degrees when I left work.
Now, about 29 degrees and no snow but it's so windy and cold I bet the wind chill is below O.

So, I thought that I really couldn't complain as many, many people have too much snow.
But I thought it would be interesting to get your experiences all over the world.....so......

I'll leave it up to you to complete the sentence....

It's so cold outside that________________________.
I usually __________ and now I have to __________.


I know this is wide open for discussion..........so all the cabin fever can let it out!


I'll start it by saying:

It's so cold outside that I get dizzy when walking out in the wind.
I usually go without a coat and now I have to wear one even with hot flashes.
Jennifer

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Trying to distract but not accomplishing it today

Our front door always has a note just right under the wreath in case the military drives up to our house.

I have to remind myself why we are in this mess of a war.


Freedom is the opposite of terrorism.

And this is my little boy in the middle of it. He doesn't understand yet how as a parent, it's so painful for your child to be in harm's way but I think one day he will mature and will understand. I may be long gone, but one day he will understand.


Today I'm off and I had hoped for so many things to get done. My list was growing and it's mid afternoon and I'm still not quite together. I'm very distracted. Nothing is getting done.

I watched the news this morning and of course, I get online news every day and unfortunately, that's how we find things out.

I've done pretty good for a couple of weeks now and then it hit me all today, how scared I am.

I haven't cried in a long time but this morning as I watched CNN talk about this massive battle coming up in Afghanistan and the interview with a mother of an 18 year old boy in boot camp, preparing to go in the next few months, I broke down when she broke down and I didn't stop crying for 30 minutes. It just comes out sometimes and I'm thankful I was off work when it did.


I'm afraid for Brandon. Even though I don't agree with his coldness, he is still part of me.

This war is a mess. And scarier more is that we still have folks that are US citizens that don't want the war to keep going and don't even see that there is an end to it but we still are going at it. I really feel sorry for British mothers. And I know spouses are upset too as well but I'm here to tell you that it's different being the mother of a soldier. Way different.

We are the ones that taught them that the stove was hot, that outlets are dangerous, that seatbelts were necessary, that drugs were bad, and on and on. We changed their diapers, we birthed them. We watched them graduate, kindergarten and high school.
We clapped when they took their first step, when they sat up the first time, cut their first tooth, celebrated their first birthday. We were there in parent teacher conferences, and Boy Scouts (even though I did iron on too many patches LOL). We aren't perfect as parents but we sure as heck know them a little better, I think.

When I read that a battle for Marjah is imminent and McCrystal is fixing to put an offensive bigger than any since 2001, I'm scared. Even though Brandon is in his last 7-8 weeks there, I'm even more scared. Complacency can set in in the last weeks and this is exactly when they need to be acutely more suspicious and quick.

Here are some pics of British and U.S. marines getting ready for this big assault. Britain is getting hit hard over this past year. They said they have now reached more casualities since the 1982 war.

This was yesterday, getting ready in a sandstorm, for the battle that no one knows when it's going to start.

Their jobs are never-ending now.

And here is the mission here for NATO. To train Afghanistan army. Doesn't he look ready?

For this imminent battle, they are talking to the villagers to flee or hunker down.
This area in particular in Helmond Province is where 90% of the world's opium is grown.


So basically the mission of this war is to train Afghanistan (drug users) to be a united force and take over their own country's defense. And Obama says we can do this in a few months and start exiting in 12 months...........is this crazy or what?




They are after the Taliban who so totally disrespect and hate Americans. This picture is sickening to me.


Boys falling out of helicopters, getting ready.

Boys that didn't make it and are touching the name tags of their friends.


Fighting through sandstorms, pic from yesterday.

And snow storms


And an Afghanistan soldier praying in his tent yesterday for this battle.



This man, one of the main leaders hit by a drone awhile back was pronounced on the news today as dead in Pakistan.




Army getting ready


while Afghanistan villagers are fleeing out where ever before it starts.
This is a mess.

I'm journaling today just to make awareness, not for any pity parties, but just keeping it real here. There are alot of "I should be doing this and that" today for me, but I can't stay focused.

I got a DVD in the mail of Gone With the Wind and I watched half of it. Stopped it, to move on to something else, whatever so as not to think about what's going on "Over There".

"Over there" it's 7am and I'm wondering what today will bring for them.

It's another gray day here, no sunshine but no snow. It did rain a little today and I think more is forecasted tonight.

This has been the longest winter I can ever remember.

US troop surge focuses attention on roadside bombs - AP World - Ledger-Enquirer.com

US troop surge focuses attention on roadside bombs - AP World - Ledger-Enquirer.com

Marines brace for new push in southern Afghanistan - AP Nation/World - Ledger-Enquirer.com

Marines brace for new push in southern Afghanistan - AP Nation/World - Ledger-Enquirer.com

Monday, February 8, 2010

Yep, starch is the answer

I like to iron. I know that's crazy. I don't like to do laundry but I like to iron, so my only choice besides tossing this fabric to the side was to try this. I thought, what could it hurt? If it scorches, it'll be more "primitive"! (just joking)

And it seems to put some mojo back in the fabric.

I just sprayed alot of starch on the back side of the linen and steam ironed the heck out of this fabric and it is muuuuuuuuch better. It doesn't look stretched out all wonkers now.

However, I won't steam it after I finish with that red overdye NOT colorfast floss...........wouldn't that be a mess?

It's a huge piece as you can tell so I need to cut it down to size but really, try starching the back of your linen. It's not as stiff as R and R linen but not as limp as a rag either.
I know I'm weird.......LOL

I'm not so sure on this Premium floss though. I read back through it and it says that it can be used only 1 thread over 2 from 28-32 count fabrics. This is 32, marginal for coverage but
I need to focus on getting the other one finished before I stress over this so............I can see how it would be nice for maybe a 36 or 40 count but.........I'll sleep on it. Not literally, or I'd have to re-iron it........LOL
I'll put my starch up and save it for ironing lab coats tomorrow.
Hubbie probably thinks I've lost my mind by now but hey, it keeps my mind off all the Afghanistan stuff, so delimmas are good sometimes............. ;)
Speaking of Afghanistan, the news in the past few days is the big NATO buildup for the biggest battle since 2001 and they've already named it. The Battle of Marjah. They are bracing up to invade 80,000 people and I can only imagine that they will be running out of the province like a hornet's nest to other provinces so I'm very concerned. No. I'm very worried.
No, I'm extremely stressed over this.
Scarey. Says it's imminent and they are warning family of high casualties with this one. "The country is braced for a surge in casualties". Not good.
So ironing the heck and running up and down the stairs tonight is a good stress reliever.
Tomorrow I'm off and I plan to look at the correct episode of the Emma conclusion part 3..........I watched Jane Austen Regrets instead by acccident but........again, it was a good movie, so I'm glad they put these online. With my new lap top, they really play well.
And so does The Young and the Restless........from time to time, I like to lose myself into replay episodes of Victor and Nickie Newman, the couple that has been apart and then together about 52 times in 30 years. LOL
Till later,
Jennifer

Surprises

Lovely mail surprise today! Jennifer H. sent me these absolutely gorgeous silk BelleSoie floss colors. Oh, how special I feel!!!!!

What a sweet, sweet (way too much but I love it!) surprise!

Seriously, the card was so pretty and when I opened that floss, OH MY! LOVELY colors and soft! I can't thank you enough and will definitely use these. I don't have but about 5 silk colors and now, this is an awesome and luxurious stash addition.....THANKS, Jennifer H. I so appreciate this.




A happy dance!



Now, I can share with you this linen and floss. I ordered this pattern from Vicki Clayton's website because I had used the regular silk floss there before once. The pattern is Exemplar from the Heart and is an old reproduction Dutch sampler in a monochromatic tone.
Today, I brought my stitching for lunch at work and sat in the sun outside and stitched.
Well, first frustration was that I tried to stitch in hand, no frame and usually I can do that for short periods of time. Ummm.......not this linen.....no way. I don't know if it was the type of linen, the premium (bigger) floss, or the fact I didn't have a qsnap frame but all in all I was so frustrated I could scream.

This is the first time I ordered the linen on the website and I know there are various kinds but I'm used to Belfast and this is so .......soft, not in touch, but like no structure that I couldn't stitch too good, at all.

I tried, I really did for 45 minutes. I stitched with 1 strand, because the Premium floss (not standard) is supposed to be a little thicker. Well, my linen is 32 count. One was not enough. Two was too much.

Here's one over two.


And here's two over two and I see that it's way uneven.
I have two choices. I'm fixing to go starch and iron the heck out of this linen (not on the stitched part) and see if it gets a little firmer, then I'll use a qsnap.
If I'm still frustrated, then I give up and will scrap the fabric and try 35 or 36 count with 1 strand.
The 2 strands were too much I think. I like 32 count fabric but recommend if you order V. Clayton silk floss, get regular not premium and use 2 strands regular.

And to top it off, when I unfolded the chart it started to tear in the creases, making it hard to read already.........and I'm one rough chart handler, so this will be fun.

Nice picture though.


This is the Premium floss vs. the standard. Vicki Clayton.
It feels very cord-like to me and not like Belle Soie. I know I'm confusing this but I like firm linen with soft floss.
I got limp linen with firm floss.......LOL

And last night I did another happy dance......I had been looking for this for about 3 years, going through stash boxes on rainey days many times with no avail.
I found it incidentally in the basement for some odd reason.
But, anyway, I found it! I had it kitted already with the 18th Century Brown R and R and the blue Belle Soie silk for a monochromatic piece. Little House Needleworks, Always and Forever.

My heart stopped beating when I found it. I love this little piece.



But, I resisted starting another one till I finished with Emma sampler.

I'm not sure I want that V. Clayton fabric to be as stiff as R and R fabric here but I'm fixing to put some starch in this piece.

Do you iron your linen before you start stitching? Is it ok to starch the linen before stitching?

I'm heading for the ironing board right now.

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