Monday, October 13, 2008

The trials and tribulations of choosing a new project....

Greetings! As you can see from the above photo I finished
off Lizzie Kate's Bippity Boppity Boo. Another cute and
easy design. The best sort for stitching in the uncertain
light of hospital rooms. Today I added the spider button
that I had in my stash, although I decided not to add the
two candy corn buttons that are also suppose to go on
here. I thought it might be a little too much for such a
small design. Someday, if I ever get all the necessary
supplies together (plus some nerve) I might make this
into a pin keep.

After finishing Bippity (etc) I was in need of a new
project to occupy my fingers. With little time to
rummage in my stash I decided to grab my first
Waxing Moon Design and give it a go. I'd just
gotten the necessary threads for it, and I had a cut
of material all set to stitch on. I chose to stitch
Halloween Short Stack. I took it with me to the
hospital and after a bit of catch-up-chat with Mom
I got out my stuff and commenced to stitch. And
then I ran into a problem.

The design is stitched on a dark blue material.
The chart recommends using three strands of floss. I
don't recall the last time that I stitched with three strands,
but I do know that it was on Aida cloth, so we're talking
about 15 or more years ago. After stitching two short lines
of crosses I stopped in disgust. I did not like the look of
my stitches at all.

I don't know if it's just that I need to use my magnifier to
see my stitches properly (and admittedly the light in my
Mom's hospital room isn't the best for fiddly stitching) or
if I need to work on my technique for using three strands
of floss, but either way I ended up putting the project down.

Two days later I was heading to the hospital again, and again
I had a new project in my bag. Got settled in my chair, and
with Mom watching closely I pulled out my new project.
And then the debate began. The design is stitched with a
bright magenta thread and I chose a nice cut of pink even
weave to stitch it on. But then I started second guessing
my fabric colour. Did it really compliment the thread, or
did it turn everything into an ad for Pepto Bismal?

Mom and I dithered back and forth for awhile, and I even
put the whole thing back into my bag intending to rethink
my choice. But after awhile we decided to revisit the
problem, and so out the thread and the fabric came again.
Upon careful reconsideration we decided that maybe the
two colours just might work together okay after all, and
so I started to stitch.

The fabric is 32 count, as recommended on the chart.
After half an hour of stitching I sat looking (peering) at
what I had stitched thus far, and decided that I didn't
like my cross stitches at all!! Again, perhaps the light
is just not good enough for such a small (for me) count.
Perhaps I would need my magnifier to stitch this
design as well. Once again the project got stuffed back
into my bag to be reconsidered at a later date.

So my next visit to Mom at the hospital was Saturday.
I approached my stash with trepidation, and decided
that after two aborted efforts my confidence would not
recover from a third misfire. Therefore I needed to pick
out something that would be a sure fire success. So
what did I choose???

A Little House Needleworks design, of course. Stitched on
28 count Jobelan, using Crescent Colours threads. This is
a chart and thread set and is one of their Saltbox Scriptures
designs. Does anybody know...does Saltbox refer to the
style of house in the design??? Just wondering. As you can
see it's been smooth sailing with this one. I am relieved to
finally have something to stitch, and I'm loving the design
and the thread colours used to stitch this.

Does anyone else out there go through this sort of thing
when choosing a new project???

Since it just wouldn't be a post of mine without some sort
of stash enhancement, here are the latest additions to my
Crescent Colours collection, courtesy of Stitching Bits and
Bobs monthly bits service. Pretties!

This has been a long weekend here in Canada as we
celebrate our version of Thanksgiving. Due to things
being somewhat hectic around here lately (and I'm
not just talking about my frantic attempts to choose
a new cross stitch project) I had pretty much forgotten
all about it and had no plans to cook. Mom would
still be in hospital, and I would be spending my
afternoons visiting her as usual.

Fortunately we are blessed with wonderful friends.
We (DH and I, and my SIL too) were invited to share
Thanksgiving with our friends Pete and Terry, and
Terry's parents. Since they live in Georgetown too
we wouldn't have to travel far, and I could still spend
the afternoon with my Mom.

I baked for the occasion since I didn't want to go
there completely empty handed. I made the traditional
pumpkin pie, and a huge bowl of whipped cream,
plus I made Raspberry tarts with rice flour caps.
See picture above. Fortunately they all turned out

I say fortunately because I also made scones
on Saturday night to serve to some friends who came
for tea and a visit. Somehow I got the sugar bin
and the salt bin mixed up when making up the scone

You can probably imagine the results.

This weeks read was a Jodi Picoult novel, the Tenth
Circle. This was another of her great "social issue"
stories, with an seemingly ordinary family who are
unexpectedly thrown into turmoil when tragedy

Fourteen year old Trixie Stone is an only child, who's
Mother Laura works outside the home as a tenured
professor at the local University, teaching a course on
Dante's Inferno. Her father Daniel is a comic book
artist and stay at home parent who has lovingly raised
Trixie and guided her through her young life.

At the start of the book Trixie is going through the
motions of her life, attending school, studying,
interacting with her parents, while trying to cope
after her boyfriend Jason suddenly decides that they
should no longer see each other. Trixie is devastated
by this unexpected and unwanted development and
is desperate to do anything to get Jason back, at any

But Trixie's efforts to regain Jason's love have
unforeseen consequences for her and when she
tells her father that Jason drugged and raped
her it sets a chain of events in motion that threaten
to tear their family and lives apart.

It seems that everyone in this family has secrets
which are revealed during the course of the story.
And Trixie's accusations against Jason, a popular
young hockey hero in their town, are not
believed by the majority of the students at her
school, and by the people of the town that they
live in. Her parents choose to support her in
spite of the conflicting evidence and find
themselves barely able to contain their own
anger as they fight to suport and protect their
daughter against the bitter disbelief around

Jodi Picoult writes a good yarn, and often she
excels at taking a black and white issue and
carefully pealing back the layers, revealing all
the grey areas that make the expected and the
accepted beliefs that people hold to be not
quite that clear cut.

I thought that some of the developments in
the story, most often pertaining to Trixie's
parents and especially to her father's past,
were a bit of a distraction from the main
issues in the book, but Picoult is all about
developing her characters and giving her
readers a deep understanding of why they
act the way they do.

This is the third book that I have read by
this author and I highly recommend her.


Mom remains in quarentine in the Georgetown Hospital.
She continues to battle C-Dificile although they seem to have
it more or less under control. It is a difficult infection to get
rid of though, and she must test negative for it in three
consecutive tests before she will be considered clear.
Mom is also having issues with medications and the taking of
pills, which has left her with a tendency to be sick to her
stomach and has put her right off her food. She's on a liquid
diet right now, which includes soups, jello and yogurt. I fear
that she has probably lost a lot more weight since the C-dif
infection began two weeks ago. When will they be able to
move her to a rehab place?? Who knows.

The long weekend is almost over. The weather for the past
four days has been incredible. More like mid August then
mid October. Hot, sunny weather of the kind we most
certainly did not have much of this summer. Weird.
Hope all my Canadian friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving
with their families and friends.

Tomorrow is Election Day and we get to vote for a new
Prime Minister, or vote to keep the old one. With the turmoil
in the world right now regarding the economy the past
weeks with the party leaders on the election trail has been
interesting to say the least. When all is said and done, I
suspect we'll end up with another minority government....
but you never know.

It's time to end this post and get ready for bed. Back to
work tomorrow. Sigh!! Thank you again for all your
words of encouragement and support during the past
month and a half. I can't tell you how much it's helped
to lift my spirits and make me feel a bit better about

Take care and have a great week!!


samplerlover said...

Hi Judy,
What a pickle you have been in with your stitching. I don't like stitching with 3 threads at all. Since I have been doing so much stitching with just 1 thread, I much prefer using that. I suppose if you are doing 3 threads you might need one of those laying needles or whatever they are called to get your threads to lay perfectly.

I think a Saltbox is the name of a style of house. I used to buy the US Country Living and they used to refer to so and so's house being a Saltbox. If I remember rightly a saltbox house is a Colonial style house from the late 1600's from New England. It is a timbered framed building with 2 stories in front and one in back. The roof is pitched with unequal sides. In other words it is a typical sampler style house.

Yep, your Mum definitely sounds as if she had what my youngest had when he was little. He was in quarantine in hospital as well and on a drip for nearly a week. I seem to remember them saying that if you and I go it we would be ok but it is a different story with small children and the elderly.

We have some lovely Spring days here, but yesterday we had the rain. Looks like we might have rain today as well. Good day for stitching except for that dreaded housework LOL.

Hope Mum is starting to feel a little bit better - Sandra.

staci said...

Oh Judy! I'm sorry that your mom is still in the hospital and having issues with the meds! And the lighting is awful in hospitals isn't it? I think it makes everyone look ill.

And Sandra is right about the Saltbox being a Colonial-style house. I do think that's what the LHN series is refering to.

Happy Be-lated Thanksgiving. Take care.

Barbara said...

I'm so glad your third attempt to pick a hospital-visit-project was so successful. We have this problem whenever we go away, also because of lighting issues. You're not alone!

I'm sorry your mom isn't doing so great with the meds necessary to clear up the C-Diff. It's not an easy illness to cure - Aunt Hattie was plagued by it during her final hospitalizations. I'm glad your mom's hospital is so strict though - if you stop the meds, assuming it's cleared up but it hasn't, it's so much more difficult to treat the 2nd time. Best wishes for your mother, and of course for yourself.

Kathy A. said...

Oh hon - what a dilemma trying to start a new stitch. glad you were able to find one that works. And three strands - just use two - you will like it much better.
Glad to hear your Mom is progressing although slowly. Hang in there

Lili said...

Well, I love stitching with just one thread on high count fabric because this gives dainty stitches. But dark fabric is hell. What count were you using? I think that two threads on 32 count would look right. I love this Waxing Moon design, I have it in my stash.
The pink issue is a tough one. I love pink and I am having the same exact doubts at the moment so the design is staying there, unstarted...
I'm so sorry to read all that your mother is going through lately... I am sending you comforting hugs and I hope everything comes back to normal very very soon.
I haven't read any Jodi Piccoult novel yet, though I have heard good things about her books.
Take care,

Lynn said...

Sorry I've been away for so long. Just not much time for the computer lately.
I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom and especially that she's fighting C-diff. It's certainly a difficult bacteria to shake and definitely a risk during hospital stays anymore. It's just so easy to pick up. I hope her recovery continues to progress well.

I love your LK finish! It's just so cute. Is this a fairly new pattern of hers. I don't recall seeing this one.
As for stitching with 3 strands, I'm currently stitching an ornie on Aida with 3 strands. I haven't used either in so long and I really wishing I'd stuck with the 2strands. I think it will be the last time I use 3.

Saltbox is definitely a style of Colonial house. I love any design which uses them.

I finished that JP novel during the summer. I love her reads. I think if I remember correctly that they are planning a movie version for this particular one. Have you read her Nineteen Minutes yet?

stitcherw said...

Bippity turned out very cute. I'm having a hard time picturing it with the candy corns as well though, it does seem like it would make the piece quite crowded. I like the way you decided to do it, it will make a cute pin keep. Sorry your next new start had such difficulties. However, the LHN one you finally landed on is looking so pretty. Glad you found one that is working so well for you after the rocky start.

Glad you were able to get together with friends for Thanksgiving, all the food sounds quite yummy. That's sounds hopeful that they are finally starting to get your mom's condition under control. How rough though that the meds are upsetting her stomach so much that she doesn't want to eat. What a difficult time all around. Hopefully the can get the one issue resolved soon and then maybe the meds can be reduced to help her feel less sick.

Pumpkin said...

LOL! You did get yourself into a stitching pickle didn't you! Glad you finally worked things out and found something that agreed with you :o) I don't tend to have that problem because I usually pick something that I really want to do and it's been planned ahead of time.

Those tarts look yummy! Is there a recipe to go along with it? ;o)

I wish your Mom would get better at a faster rate but I know the older you are, the slower it is to get through these things.

I love the picture of your kitty. I can spread my toes like that too and DH hates it ;o) LOL!

Sonda in OR said...

So sorry your mom came down with C-diff. That's a big worry these days, but I'm glad the hospital is taking it seriously. With luck, she won't be having to fight it off a second time.

Your Bone Appetit and Bippity Boppety Boo are so cute. I might have to get that chart.

I love your orange kitty. Orange kitties are my absolute favorite.

Shannon said...

Hi Judy;

Just checking in to see how you're doing. I've been thinking about you and your Mom. Take care of yourself !

Michelle said...

I love your little Halloween finish - so cute! I agree with you about not adding more buttons though. I often have trouble with stitching not working out, or I make a huge mistake and then just put it away. That may partially explain why I have so many WIPs. Love the Saltbox piece though - and yes, I believe that is a reference to a type of house.