Daffy's Stitchy Friends

Friday, December 30, 2011

Lavender Bliss

Went a did a little bit of stashing. I stopped by a local fabric shop called Quilting Post. I swear, I could buy a piece of every fabric I saw! I picked out a few I liked and settled for those. Too bad I don't have room for one each. As I was checking out I happened to look down and see this:

Ooo, Lavender, my favorite scent! Lavishea? I picked up the little sample tin and opened it. Holy crows, real Lavender bliss wafted out. I tipped the cake out into my hand and rubbed it a little. Smooth and buttery. "This is lotion?" I asked the lady ringing me up. It really, really was. I snatched up a tin and handed it over, only later thinking to ask how much it cost ~ not very much ~ as it turned out. Well, I did say if there was a Lavender lotion I'd buy it by the gallon tub, remember? 

This lotion is amazing! It isn't greasy at all, just the perfect stuff for stitching. It smells incredible and I mean like "you-wouldn't-believe-how-yummy" incredible! It does come in other scents and unscented as well. There is even a manly-flavored one. My hands are going to be so happy this winter! Don't you hate snagging threads on cracked, scaly fingers? Lavishea has a website so you can click here to see if some place near you sells it or you could buy it from there. I am not associated with Lavishea and I wasn't asked to write this post, I am just a happy customer!

Here are the fabrics I bought. Two possibles for the Prairie Schooler ornaments and three fat quarters of the sweetest Halloween prints ever. I simply adore that candy fabric ~ so cute! The red check is nice but I'm still looking for some that is yarn-dyed and not printed, although this is a good, high-quality print. I am hoping to go to the city to Jo-ann's Fabrics this weekend. Do you think I could convince Dash to buy a bigger house so I could have more room to craft and stash?

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Last Night...

...of Hanukkah. I don't celebrate but my sister, Carol, does. Every year I try to send her a little something, if only a greeting card. This year I decided to stitch her a card. It took some doing to find a design! I searched like mad and came up with this one. I had to change the colors since I didn't like the charted colors. It used 333 ~ purple? For Hanukkah? Really? Besides, my sister really likes blue and white, especially for Hanukkah. I also adjusted the design, adding in two more branches on the Menorah to make it a proper Chanukiah and changed the border design a bit. Carol seemed suitably pleased with her gift.

Design ~ Hanukkah
Designer ~ Maria Diaz
(From the book "Cross Stitch Greeting Cards)
Fabric ~ 32 count white Lugana
Fiber ~ DMC

When I finish greeting cards like this I add a tiny bit of fiberfill behind the design to make it a little puffy. I also iron on interfacing to the back side so the color from the card stock doesn't show through spoil the pretty. It has been a LONG time since I made a greeting card. This was fun!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

Sunday, December 25, 2011


...everyone a very merry Christmas!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Last ORT Report for 2011

With this post the 2011 TUSAL ends for me! I have lots and lots of Old Ratty Threads in my jar this month. It has been such a stressful month with the discovery of Sheba's illness. I tend to stitch more for stress-relief when I get like that. It is so amazing that I was actually able to post every new moon ORT report this year. I was a little bit late for a couple of them but they were all made! Wow! Have you made all of your new moon posts? Leave a comment and let us know! 

My ORT jar is pictured here with a sweet little handmade ornament that arrived in yesterday's mail from Annette. Thank you so much, Annette, this will be so pretty on my tree!

Can you believe our 2011 Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long is over? Has it been fun or what? I am looking forward to drawing a winner for that HUGE Totally Useless prize box of stash. I will be doing this sometime in January 2012, after all the hullabaloo of the holidays is over. Stay tuned!

Speaking of the Totally Useless Giveaway, I am dreadfully LATE in posting about the last parcel of stash I received from Marian of Gumbo and Grits. Sorry about that! Marian must have cleaned house and sent us half her stash cupboard!

 Just look at all the goodies! Loads of finishing fabrics, lots and lots of charts, threads, kits and even an adorable bunny rabbit. (The bunny is naked ~ hopefully the new owner will be able to stitch some pretty clothes for it!) Marian even stitched us a pretty Autumn ornament. Thank you, Marian!

If you would like to join the Totally Useless fun for 2012 it is so easy! Grab a clear jar, save your ORTs and post a picture of your jar every new moon. Sign up by commenting on this post. There are currently 240 participants for next year and we would LOVE to have you too!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I got presents! We are having a very quiet Christmas this year. With Sheba being ill and so many vet bills we agreed to not go crazy this year. So I wasn't expecting any presents. Then I picked up the mail ~

From Myra came this lovely threadcatcher. This will be so handy when I stitch in the living room. I am always saving those ORTs for the TUSAL, ya know. Thank you so very much, Myra. I will treasure this! BTW, Myra's house must smell heavenly...

Then came this pretty wrapped package from Shirlee. It "says" jingle bells on the wrapping. AND it jingles! *squee* What could it be?

I thought about saving this to open on Christmas morning but greed got the best of me and I opened it:

Oh, my. Isn't it pretty? You wouldn't believe how carefully and perfectly this ornament is finished. I LOVE the jingle bell accent too. Thank you so much, Shirlee. This will join my treasured stitched ornaments on my tree every year!

No stitching of my own to share yet. I started another project on Sunday and very nearly completed it! I want to wait until I'm done before I show it off.

Sad news. Sheba's biopsy indicated a malignant cancer. This means it can easily spread ~ to the other thyroid and to the lungs most likely. Our vet is researching our options with an oncologist and we will see. She did say it was a 50/50 chance of recurrence and it could be as long as two years or more before that happens. Of course, Sheba will not be allowed to suffer no matter how much we want to keep her with us. For now, we will enjoy her company and work on keeping her happy and healthy. Thank you all for the good thoughts and wishes in my posts on this subject. You have helped us so much. *hugs* to all.

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Seven Swans

The Prairie Schooler ornaments are still being worked on. I finished Seven Swans a-swimming this morning. Wait, I take that back. It was finished shortly after I started to take pictures of it. Realizing I had forgotten to stitch the grey in the wing, I paused my photo shoot. 

This project is over half way finished! Here are all the pieces completed so far. Sorry about the weirdly cropped picture. I had to edit out my ridiculously cluttered desk or you will know I'm a slob. I meant to clean it off this weekend but rather stitched in abandon instead. Now, it is even more cluttered. Life could be worse.

No, haven't found backing fabric as yet. I am not going to start any finishing until all the ornament pieces are complete. I want them all to be exactly matching each other and the only way I can pull that off is to do them all at once. That means there is no hurry to find the fabric.

Doggy update: Sheba had her stitches out on Friday. The incision looks good and although a very furry dog with a shaved neck should stand out ~ the long fur remaining hides it pretty well. There is still no word on the biopsy; the vet said she would call the minute it came back. We are also going to wait on the next blood test a couple more weeks. Sheba still has a heart murmur and the vet is hoping that it will go away after the high thyroid levels out. If it doesn't she may need medicine to correct it.

On the plus side, Sheba is slowly returning to normal behavior. The constant panting is gone and she is sleeping in bed for longer periods. Yes, I sleep with my dog. The hyperthyroidism made her so restless she would come to bed but then go sleep somewhere else, then somewhere else again. And this was the dog that never once got out of bed after we laid down. Really, that should have been my first clue that something was dreadfully wrong. Tennis ball fetching is slow to return but I've been able to toss a couple more each day. She will get more energy in time. It might be my imagination but I believe her fur is already getting shinier. She has put on a couple of pounds too, best watch that or we will be back on a diet!

Back to stitching!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

How to fake a French Knot

This post is for Chris who is having fits with his French Knots. I've never had to do this myself. I am one of those that learned easily how to make a French knot and quickly perfected them but I know many, many stitchers have trouble with them. No one wants to wait to finish a project until the stitch has been learned reliably, and beads sometimes look out of place. I am not advocating using this technique forever. Practise! Learn those French Knots! But until you do ~ here is how to "fake" a French Knot:

I stitched a block of cross stitches for my foundation. Take two strands of floss and tie a simple pretzel knot and pull it snug. I left it loose in the photo so you could see the shape I used to form the knot. When you pull it snug (not tight) make sure you have all the threads pulled in, with no little loose loops.

Thread one end of your floss on the needle and go through the front where your French Knot is supposed to be. Remove the needle from the floss and just leave the tail hanging loose on the back.

Now, thread the other end of the floss on the other side of the knot and go through very near where your first thread went through. Try to split a fabric thread and go through that for stability. Pull that end to the back and flip the piece over. Be careful not to pop the knot through to the back side!

Tie both ends in another pretzel knot. Again, don't pull so tight you pop your knot though to the back! Tying the back ends will give the knot on the front the round shape you are looking for.

Then thread the ends on your needle again and secure them underneath stitches like you would to finish off any other stitch.

Can you tell which of these is a "real" French Knot and which is "fake"? No? The one in the middle is the real French Knot. Yes, this is troublesome and fiddly but it could get you through until you learn that stitch!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

Friday, December 16, 2011

For Jessie

I have been meaning to post all week but stuff got in the way. It's been one of "those" weeks for me. I either did things perfectly or made royal screw-ups over and over. The topper was waking up today at the time I usually LEAVE for work. ACK! I took the fastest shower ever, threw on my clothes and zoomed in the door at work only a couple of minutes past when I usually arrive. WHEW!

More ornamentifying: I took this little beauty...

...and created this little beauty:

Design ~ Fill With Love
Designer ~ Designs by Cathy Jean (of Victoria Sampler)
Fabric ~ 32 count tea-dyed Jobelan
Fiber ~ DMC
This one was for my daughter, Jessica, to hang on her tree. She said it looks strange and out-of-place because all the other ornaments are baubles so I need to stitch her some more soon. Probably won't get to it this year but I will be creating her some more. You know I wouldn't be able to resist.

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Design ~ Friends #F47
Designer ~ Lizzie*Kate
Fabric ~ 28 count unknown/unlabeled Linen
Fiber ~ DMC

I spent some time working on ornamentifying this weekend. The little Friends design from my last post was "framed" with some pretty green & white gingham check print fabric then stuffed and edged with loopy cream ribbon tacked on with green Mill Hill beads. This fabric was quite thick and I nearly didn't leave enough space to easily stitch the backing fabric on! I was a being stingy to keep the ornament on the smallish side and it ended up at 3.5 inches square. This turned into quite a sweet ornament and I am pleased. 

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I had a little finish over the weekend. This was a quick and fun stitch. Snowmen and Cardinals? Two of my favorites and I know many of you love them as well.

Design ~ Friends #F47
Designer ~ Lizzie*Kate
Fabric ~ 28 count unknown/unlabeled Linen
Fiber ~ DMC

Of course, I have news of my best-est friend ~ Sheba! Her surgery went very well. The vet was able to remove the enlarged thyroid without a problem. She left the other, normal-sized and normal-looking, thyroid and this is good news! That means Sheba probably won't have to be on thyroid supplement medicine for the rest of her life. Results from the biopsy come in a week. The vet said her heart rate was already lower and I haven't seen her panting at all. It should take a week to ten days for her thyroid levels to come down to normal. She will need periodic blood tests to see where it's at.

Poor Sheba came home about five o-clock this evening. She took a ten-minute drink of water and laid down in a favorite spot in front of the door and hasn't moved. We coaxed her into eating some boiled chicken, rice and yogurt and she's had a pain pill. It really hurt to swallow. It breaks our hearts to see her in so much pain! I'm hoping she bounces back quickly. More news when it comes.

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Reveling in not being obligated to post after NaBloPoMo I find myself behind in a few things!

First up is some giveaway winners! Winners, you ask? Wait, wasn't there only one giveaway recently? Officially, yes, but the Joy scissor fob I posted about was a hidden giveaway post. Surprise! Everyone that commented on that post was secretly entered to win the fob. The lucky winner this time is Meari of Meari's Musings. Congratulations, Meari!

The other giveaway was for the Lizzie*Kate Snowman '10 chart. The lucky winner of that cute snowman design is Judith of Judith's Needlework. Congratulations, Judith!

I will contact both winners to find out where to mail the prizes!

For those of you asking after Sheba, she is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday, the 6th to biopsy her thyroid and to remove it if possible. We will find out about a week later if the growth is just a benign tumor or if it is a malignant cancer. Sheba will be feeling pretty poorly after the surgery and until her thyroid levels go down. The high thyroid levels make her metabolism run very high, that's why she has lost weight and is always panting. She doesn't play ball but she wants to: she brings the ball, you throw it and she runs to get it and lays down to rest. It makes us very sad that she doesn't feel up to playing ~ that isn't my normal Border Collie! Since the thyroid is in the neck she won't be able to wear a collar until she heals. I went to the pet shop this morning and picked up a step-in harness she can wear if she needs to go somewhere. When I got home and tried it on her she looked so sad and confused as if I was strapping her into a torture device! Silly old girl! I will keep you updated as I know more.

Thank you for visiting my blog today!