Sunday, November 01, 2009


Finally! An update... of sorts

Hail to all who are brave enough to check out my 'blog!
(Or patient enough to keep checking back for new posts...)

First off, I just want to send a great big THANK YOU to those who have been here in the past and have decided to come back after all this time (last post was in February of 2008!).

Secondly, (as mentioned by the caption for the pic above)
I want to welcome all of you who have decided to give this 'blog a look-see. Men do stitch, and I happen to be one of them.

Okay, back to the aforementioned update...

Back in my last post, I mentioned that I had started to work on 'Liberty' by Lynne Nicoletti. Needless to say, I have since completed it. Below is a framed pic of it:

(Yep, it really is BIG)

For review, here are some specs: 15" x 18" 18ct tea dyed Aida fabric (Kim dyed it for me), stitched over 1 with 2 strands of floss, and framed with a 14" x 18" frame from Hobby Lobby. (And yes, the finished project just barely fit properly.) Oh, and for those who are curious about how long it actually took me to stitch this beauty, the answer is 31,320 minutes or 21 days, 8 hours, 10 minutes. (Really! I tallied all those minutes myself...) I initially intended to enter this into a charity auction. However... At the moment, it is still hanging on my wall and looking nice. Still trying to put a 'minimum' value on it, you know how that goes... That, and everyone says that -after all the time I put into it- I shouldn't let it go. We will see.

What else can I say? Well, I have made a few more pieces for charity auctions that have brought in pretty good results. A small one -about 3" x 3"- brought in over $100! It wasn't very big, but it sure created lots of interest...

Oh, and I bought a new recumbent too! This one is a little bit more upright and easier to transport in my car. Take a look at it Here. Nice little bike. I have ridden it on 2 longish (20 to 30 miles) rides as well as a bit of around town riding, and it held up very well. I must say that it did take a while to get used to, but you get that from any new thing. And for the record, my other 'bent is a little bit more laid back -read "way comfortable, bordering on sleep inducing"- so anything else was going to feel a bit different... All and all, (here comes the Promotional Moment:) if you are looking for a good, comfortable, and reliable new bike, get one of these. (Just my opinion, of course...)

Well, I am sure there is more to say but I can't think of it right now. I hope you all liked the update. Thanks again for coming by and I help to 'blog at you soon!

(How'd it get this late again?!?)


Thursday, February 21, 2008


Whatcha doin?!?

Just sitting around here on the couch... ;-)

Hello again everybody! Sorry for the delay in yet another post. I confess, I have just been plain lazy since the last time. Lazy, hardworking, stitching, preoccupied, and -most recently- sick. (That's partly why I am posting in the middle of the day...) So what do I have to show for all this time? Well, let's see...

First off -and you probably already know this if you have looked at Kim's blog recently- I managed to finish Autumn In My garden. In fact, here is another picture for you. Just in case you haven't been over to Kim's lately:

...the picture that Kim has may be a little bit better, but you still get the idea. Oh, and below is a picture of both Evangeline and Ms. Autumn in their final display location above our bookcases:

...this was part of my original idea as far as how to display these 2 beautiful projects, since they are both about the same size. Oh, the item in the middle is a mirror that I found at a previous job of mine. I had my father help me make a funky frame for it and I have had it ever since. Methinks that they all look pretty good together, don't you?

What else? Well, those of you who have been here before are aware that I have done various charity stitch projects which I have donated to events at my work. I am still churning them out. In fact, here are a couple that I am going to be donating to a raffle in April:

These are actually 2 of the same thing, a freebie from Lizzie Kate that we picked up from our LNS a while back because it was free. ;-) I stitched them on white 11ct Aida with 4 strands of the appropriate DMC flosses. Quite a change from stitching on 18ct, believe you me! Anyway, I had an idea for a frame that I wanted -and still would like- my sister to make for me to put these into, but things never got together in quite the right way to make that happen. (She busy, me busy, we busy...) Not a problem, thanks to our good friends at Hobby Lobby. As I was looking at the finished projects wondering what to do with them, I just happened to decide to go there and BEHOLD! Not only did they just happen to be having a sale on frames, they also had the adorable baked enamel frames that you see above. Ya just gotta love Hobby Lobby...

And speaking of adorable -and wanting to segue a bit too- here is a current pic of the next little darlings that I am stitching for that upcoming charity event:

These little cuties are "Golfing Teddy" by Lynne Nicoletti. I decided to stitch them with 2 strands of floss on this 14ct Hunter Green Aida fabric that I got from Joann Fabrics. Joann's doesn't tend to have much in the line of cross stitch stuff any more, but they almost always have a little bit of cross stitch fabric; usually the prepackaged stuff. Anyway, it has been going well with these guys -I am stitching 2 of them at the same time- but I am running into small problems with the colors fading into the fabric. As you can see, I have changed some of the colors. But I am going to try and see what the actual colors will look like on a piece of scrap fabric before changing them again. More updates to follow...

In other Lynne Nicoletti news... back in January I began my biggest charity project yet:
(I told you it was big!)
Above is 'Liberty', which is one of Lynne Nicoletti's Hidden Image designs. The fabric that I asked Kim to tea dye for me is 15" x 18" 18ct Aida. I had her tea dye it in order to give the finished project a more 'aged' look. I have already found a frame for it that will help add to that sense of age. (Think old farm house windows...) I have decided to stitch this with 2 strands of floss as opposed to the 1 strand that Lynne recommends. (I'm sorry Lynne, but I just don't have the fingers to work with just 1 strand of floss unless I am working on 22ct...) I have some pictures here, here, and most recently here to give you an idea of the progress I have made since last month. I have been keeping track of how long I have actually been stitching on this and -as of February 11- I have about 2830 minutes into it so far. (That's almost 4 straight days!) Lucky for me the event that this will be going to isn't until September or so. I am sure that I will get it done in plenty of time. The to other good thing about this project -and, frankly the impetus for me to actually decide to take the plunge with it- is the fact that I am pretty sure that there are at least 2 ladies at work who will be wanting to bid on it, auction style! ;-) That is the plan at least. I will make sure to keep you all informed...

WHAT?!? It's that time already? Sheesh, I sure do get wrapped up in my postings! ;-)
I better let you all get back to whatever it was you were doing before you started to read my latest blog post. (I swear, I will try harder to post more often!) Until then, keep a happy head and heart and keep on stitching too! I need a nap...

Sunday, January 06, 2008


It's Starting to Look a Lot Like... Autumn?!?

Hello again everybody! Welcome to The 'bent Needle, 2008 style. (Okay, so it is still the same as the 2007 style, but it is the thought that counts...)

Things here have been a bit hectic and busy and -especially around Thanksgiving- a bit messy too.

Let me explain... Like I said in my last post, we recently switched to DSL. We were ready to speed up things and it was time. Little did we know that it was the beginning of a lot of headaches! The short version goes something like this: we get DSL, we get a nasty virus, it bogs us down, we get it fixed -or so we thought- it bogs us down some more, we get it fixed again and again and again and then FINALLY we get the computer to work in a way that we don't feel uneasy about using it.
Grrr, arrrgh!!! Needless to say, we have been tip toeing around this thing for a while and have only recently started feeling safe again. Oh well, at least I have been able to get in some good stitching time.

Well, sort of...

You see, last month was December. (I bet you didn't know that, did you?) Anyway, Kim and I had been planning on taking time off around Giftmess... er, Christmas. Well -at my work at least- December is "let's hurry up and get all this stuff done right now because it is the end of the year" time. Needless to say, it was the most hectic 3 weeks of the year for me. Okay that aside, things ultimately went... well... and Kim and I went on our time off. (Much needed, as I said before.) We went to spend time with Kim's kin and got to see her nieces and nephews and brothers and spread all kinds of holiday cheer too. (See more below...) The girls REALLY liked the personalized books we got for them! We spent a grand total of 3 days there. Plenty of time to stitch, when the nieces weren't having us play with them...


Towards the end of our first visit -yes, we went back later the next week- Kim started to not feel so good. No wonder, considering that the girls were at the tail end of the colds that they had. (Uh oh...) Unfortunately, it turned out that Kim had caught their cold. (The one gift that she wished she could have returned...) Kim ended up not feeling good -okay, her coughing and hacking were rather scary at times- for the remainder of our vacation. Not at all the way we had planned on spending our holiday. (Side note: she went to the doctor and was told that she had viral laryngitis. She is feeling much better now...)

Oh, and the messy part? Well, that was mostly just around Thanksgiving. To try and make a long story short... it was Thanksgiving night, we were cleaning up after our turkey and so forth and then suddenly... (play scary music here) I happen to see that the sink is close to overflowing. (Click on above link.) Suffice to say, it was VERY STINKY in that sink!!! Well, it turned out that the plumbing was way backed up. We called the building maintainence guy and -after quite a bit of persuading- he came over and tried valiantly to unclog it. When he couldn't get it unclogged, he called in The Big Guns at the local plumbing company and -within 15 minutes- things were cleaned out and ready to go. Lots of stuff backed up in the pipes, apparently. Sometimes it can be a real bummer living in a basement apartment... ;-) Oh well, it all worked out in the end and that is the main thing.

And that -in a rather large nutshell- is what has been happening since I last posted. (And let's face it, I just plain ran out of words...)

Everybody have a good week and a happy new year too!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Stumbling Towards Updates

Nice Dress!

Hello again, folks! Thanks for coming back and seeing what I have been up to. As you can see, things are progressing nicely. I am roughly half way down Ms. Autumn's dress. If you look for the pumpkins and vines on the model stitch, you will get a better idea of exactly where: I am about even with them at this point. I am really happy with the way things are going.

However... I must admit that all this progress -and this post showing it off- hasn't come without a cost...

First off, the posting part. To start with, we recently got DSL here at The 'bent Needle. Sounds like a good thing, doesn't it? Well... at first it wasn't all that great...

To try and make a long story short (well, short for me at least) it took us an extra week to get it running -read: clerical error- and then a week later I managed to pick up a nasty Trojan Horse virus -read: nasty (censored) thing- while using it, which we found out only a couple of days later was imbedded deeper in The Machine than we had first thought -read: we should have done a 'deep scan' with the Super Anti Spyware program the first time out- so we had to redo the fix we had done to get it up and running again in the first place! Needless to say -as a result of all this higher speed fun- I have been a little bit leery of going online. But, we now have a plan of action to keep us 'safe' from the 'bad guys' (which one Tech we spoke with said was just the cost of having DSL) and things are running smoothly -for the most part- yet again.

Although I have to say, the fact that Photo Bucket was kind of bogged down earlier this evening did kind of freak me out yet again. Turns out they must have just been busy with folks wanting to post their Weekend Adventure pics or something...

The other, less dramatic part of the slow posting thing, is a simple case of overusing my stitching hand the last few days -Big Push time at work- and suffering from a bit of repetitive motion uncomfortableness as a result. What can I say? It slows down my stitching AND my typing as well... :-(

But enough of me for now. I want to say thanks to Joanne over at Periwinkle Ink for helping me find an error in my last post. It turns out that yes, I am still a bit rusty in my posting skills because I mistakenly made the link for Marita over at Stitch Pink a link to her (Joanne's) blog instead. Could have sworn that I copied that link right... Oh well, all is as it should be now with credit going where it belongs.

Well, that is all I have to say for now. I am thinking about updating my blog a bit to reflect all of the nice folks who have come by here with a link to their blogs listed under my Links column on the left there. (It's the least that I could do...) Wish me luck with that little bit of remodeling. :-)

And with that, I better head off to bed. It has been a long weekend and a short work week starts tomorrow. (How can it be Thanksgiving time again already?!?)

Happy Stitchy and I will type at you all later!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Evangeline's Journey: Episode 11

Endings and New Beginnings

Welcome back!
Sorry to all who have been patiently waiting for me to post again. Suffice it to say, I haven't been able to get myself to put 2 moments together to do a post. Of course, I had been busy feverishly stitching other projects for charity (see Kim's blog for some info about that) so I sort of have an excuse. Anyway, on with the post...

Above, you can (finally, for some) see the completed Evangeline project that I started almost a year ago. Officially, I finished this on October 6. I was more than pleasantly surprised to see it completed. Especially after doing the Cameo project based on the Over 1 version of her face. Also, those of you who have been following Evangeline's progress may notice that I did not go with the old bubble glass oval frame when I finished this one off. It just didn't look right when the time came. It might have been that the squared off tree top detracted from the oval shape... The frame that I did finish this project with was actually the original frame that I had picked out for it. So everything ultimately ended up the way that it was meant to. It should look pretty good on the wall next to...

..."Autumn In My Garden" by Miribilia. (Nice segue, wouldn't you say?) This is my current project. We originally got it for Kim and -after I did all of those charity projects- it was time to do a project for Kim. And since Kim is working on another project, well there we go. Below is my current progress on Ms. Autumn:
I must have gotten pretty good working on those other projects, because I was able to get this all done in the space of about 2 1/2 weeks. Not to brag or anything... ;-) At this rate, I am guessing that my original estimate of 'done by Christmas' may be a little bit over conservative. (Crosses fingers...)

In other news, I just want to send big CONGRATULATIONS! out to Mr. and Mrs. FLYBYU over at BENTUPBIKE on their impending babyness!!! Whoo hoo you two!!!

Also, I want to send a big HI! out to April at Periwinkle Ink since she took the time to comment on my seemingly abandoned blog last week. Not to mention Greg from Ohio, Marita, Martinha, Michelle and her bunch, Neuza, and of course Ann of Belgium; all of whom took the time to comment while I wasn't posting. Thanks to any new visitors and not to worry old visitors, I haven't forgotten any of you!

Thanks again and I will post more in the not too distant future!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Evangeline's Journey: Episode 10

Day 206: The Sun Has Come Out!

Although you would never guess it from looking at the weather around here!
(It has been kind of dreary for the last couple of days...)

Not sure if you can see or not, but the sun (as I call it) behind the tree and some more of Evangeline's shawl is starting to take shape. It is kind of a shame that the color of yellow that I was working with is so close to the fabric color, as I would love to be able to show you the detail of the accents on the shawl. (You can see them if you look really close...) Okay, they may not be all that much to look at but the little buggers took forever to stitch! I think the phrase is 'confetti stitches'... lol Anyway... Things are going well with Evangeline and -I dare say- progressing very well.

In other news...

Everyone will be happy to know that Kim has not fallen off the face of the Earth. Without going into too many details, suffice it to say that she will be going on a Business Trip in a couple of weeks and she has been trying to get everything ready and set so she can go. ;-) It is going to be a lonely week :-( but I am sure Jessie and I will be fine.

But before that, she and I will be going on a week of vacationing! YIPPIEE!!! I know that we both have been needing some down time, and this will be a good time for it. We will be on a whirl-wind tour of Stevens Point, Wisconson (well, it might be windy then...) and then swing through Des Moines, Iowa on our way back home. It should be fun and interesting and all that good stuff too.

Oh, and I turn 38 in a week. But don't tell anybody... ;-p

Okay, time to go to work. I hope you all have a wonderful day and no frogging!

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Evangeline's Journey: Epoisode 9

Day 200: So close, and yet so far...

(Or: Why I have been in a 'blue funk' for a while now...)

Good morning, everyone! I hope all of your days are starting out good so far. ;-)

As you can see, I have made some fairly good progress on Evangeline since last we spoke. I can't say it enough: the more I finish, the better this project looks. ;-) Anyway... as you can see in the pic, there are about 4 shades of blue in Evangeline's dress but to be honest, it took seeing each part as it was completed to get the full effect of the shading. Needless to say, it all worked out good in the end. (But I said that already, didn't I?!? lol)

As of this point, I can officially say that Evangeline is half finished. (The bottom half, obviously...) Since taking this pic, I have started working on the rest of her 'shawl'. You can't quite see it yet, but that is the flowing looking stuff to either side of her. It should be an experience, since the part that I am currently stitching is the accents (or 'sparkly bits') in the shawl. In other words, they are like the red accents in the dress and spaced just as far apart. Combine that with the fact that I almost always have problems with my yellow flosses loosing their fluff (for lack of a better word) and getting extra tangled... Well, I am sure you get the idea. I will say that it should look extra good once it is done though. Watching the subtleties of the colors coming out as this project progresses has been an extra special treat. ;-)

Well, it is getting close to time to leave (and my 'carpal tunnel syndrome' is starting to kick in...) so I better make some closing remarks:

To Greg of Ohio: I peaked at your Wish List. :-O Did you ever get you hands on the "Frederick the Literate" project? I was wondering because we have it in our stash pile (got it from Kim's mum and haven't done anything with it yet). Let me know and I will see if we can gift it your way or something... ;-)

To Lili in regards to the Q-Snaps mentioned last post: well... I could do the leaning thing with the 'Snaps, but since I cart my projects around with me a lot it wouldn't be practical. Maybe for the smaller projects, but then my trusty 4" hoop would get all lonely and that wouldn't be fun...

To everyone else: have a good day, happy stitches, and sunny skies too!

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