"Who gave you your name, and how did they choose it?"

Today's topic courtesy of Daydreaming on Paper (link over there on the left).

Ah yes. My name.

My name(s): Cheryl Annette (obviously my husband "gave" me my last name, so I won't include that in the discussion).

Chronologically is probably the best way to tell the story (and believe me, I've had plenty of practice telling it! That's the curse of using your middle name!). I was born in 1965, so that's when it all started...

My parents lived in Duluth, MN where my father was finishing up his tour of duty in the Air Force. Approximately six weeks before I was due (end of February), Mom travelled down to SW Michigan to be closer to *her* mother when she had me. Dad stayed up in Duluth, Mom's in New Buffalo...got that? It's important to the story ;)

Now, before she left, they discussed names and it was decided I was to be named for two members of the then-cultural-icon-group from the 50's "The Mickey Mouse Club" - Annette Funicello and Cheryl Holdridge. Ok, great...off Mom went.

So, the big day arrives and it's time to put pen to paper for the birth certificate and Mom thinks "Annette Cheryl" - but that doesn't exactly *trip* off the tongue, now does it? Evidently she took the fact that Dad mentioned "Annette" first meaning that's what he wanted me to use....so she makes "executive-mom-decision" to reverse the order to "Cheryl Annette" (sounds much better, eh?).

Now, we live in a pretty small town. New Buffalo, MI was not the "Chicago Vacation Destination" it is today. In fact, I was actually *born* a few miles away in Michigan City, IN as that was the closest hospital (and that's where the closest fast food and movie theatres were too..) My grandparents were department heads in the local high school, so we knew lots of the town residents. So it wasn't really any bother to put "Cheryl Annette, but she'll go by Annette" on the birth announcements. Most folks kinda already knew anyway .

When I started school, I don't recall having to correct the teachers on my name past the first day, if at all. Again, my grandparents were high school teachers and all grades were housed in the same building (which is now a condo building, but I digress). Heck, I spent early mornings before my kindergarten class started sitting in my Granny's first hour typing class...I could type before I could write in cursive...

However, this all changed when we moved to Albuquerque in the late 70's. I spent the first several days of each school year answering roll with "Here-but-I-go-by-my-middle-name-Annette." Invariably at least one teach each year would respond with "Oh! Were you named for Annette Funicello?" and of course, I'd have to answer "yes" and then they'd get lost on the "Cheryl" part..LOL.

So that's my name. I kinda like have a "legal" first name and then using my middle name for friends and family. When the phone rings and the question is "Is Cheryl there?" I know it isn't someone I know....and on more than one occasion I've responded with "No, she's not, can I take a message?" ;)

Of course, the irony of it all...I married a man that goes by his middle name as well...LOL


Where has the week gone?

1. How many have you framed on the wall?

12 in my house and another half dozen between my Mom and Granny

2. How many do you have finished in other ways?

2 Bellpulls, 4 needlerolls and various other soft simple finishes

3. What was the most expensive finishing?

I think TW's Egyptian Sampler; just over $200 with triple mats and an awesome frame

4. Have you finished anything yourself?

Yes The easy stuff! LOL (pillows and such)

5. Describe your favourite finished piece

Emie Bishop's Warm Christmas Wishes. It's got a gold undermat and triple mats on top: red/gold/green with a burnished gold frame. What *really* made it special was when I showed Emie herself during an evening class at my LNS. She loved it! Egyptian Sampler is a very close second

Otherwise, I've managed to start this month's ornament for the Ornament RR I'm participating in. It's probably 10-hours tops and then I'll be on to Dani's Wee Beasties RR (I know what I'm stitching and it's already kitted and waiting!). Then I should have a few days before the model job comes in to finish off Chatelaine's Mini-E and Victoria Sampler's March Needleroll.

Yes, I'm going to stitch a model. I stitched models several years ago when DD was small (and I lived in a *very* small town) essentially enough to never want to do another one especially if it was a Southwest design! But now I'm ready to do them again and I've made a few designer friends in all my various and sundry trips that when someone needs my stitching time, I'll give it to them. I don't intend to make a living at it, or abandon the projects I have started for me but it will be a nice way to help out some friends

Only 5 weeks left of school..I can't believe I've started my very last graduate class!


A Great Time Had By All...

I survived my vacation!

I'm tired, my credit card has officially melted and I'm in desparate need of a weekend to recover from my weekend, but all in all, it was a fantastic trip.

The flight Thursday evening was fairly uneventful (other than the child seated behind Mom that came close to bodily harm when he wouldn't quit kicking her seat - the "adult" with him finally got smart and moved him to another seat). Made it to San Jose, a familiar destination, though with construction at the airport it always seems like a new set of directions are needed to navigate around to find the exit!

The hotel, thankfully, was construction-zone free and still easy to find. We stayed one door down from our room last year and still only a few doors down from the Stitcher's Lounge (*perfect* placement, in my opinion!). We arrived late on Thursday and dinner was found at the deli (closed) at a nearby Safeway. Who would've thought that pre-made sushi and rolls would taste so good at 10:00 at night? LOL

We did splurge for room service on Friday morning and had a visit with Ann (WhizGidget) when she arrived at the hotel prior to the CATS Shopping Mart opening for the day. She delivered a package from my Secret Stitcher that was simply awesome: Mirabilia's Emerald Mermaid, *fully kitted* along with 2 great bead tins (similar to the Lee Valley watchmaker cases) and a bit of chocolate all packaged in a gorgeous sheer green/purple bag. This was the way to start a stash-enhancement weekend!

We made it down to the Mart by 10 and perused the list of available Make-It, Take-It classes, with Ann and I finding one to take almost immediately. Liz Turner Diehl taught a very popular "Magnetic Bead Bracelet" class that involved stringing magnetic beads with regular sead beads to make a "wraparound" bracelet that is held on with the magnets - no clasp. I not only finished the bracelet during the class, but proudly wore it for the remainder of the weekend.

And then...the shopping started...

First stop, Dracolair for the new "Phoenix" design. A gorgeous piece of rich russets, golds and hints of blue and gold. Also the accessory pack for the upcoming "Medieval Tiles." While the chart wasn't available, Sarah was working on the model at the show and it is going to be stunning...heck it already *is* stunning. Sarah & Alex's new son, Aidan, was also a looker. Though, considering he's only 7 weeks old, he didn't have much to say!

Next stop was Laura at Enchanting Lair to discuss the recently completed Two Hearts Unite (she'll be changing the chart to include the "u" in surrounds for the next release). She was surprised but also glad I'd brought it up..lol. Also picked up two of her new designs: Be a Dragon and Highland Memories. Over the course of the weekend, I added a few more to the pile: Gargoyle the Kiss, Above the Trees, Lans the Guardian.

Laura also had the Picture this Plus fabric and I am now the proud owner of Monet (Lugana), Moonglow (Belfast) and Relic (Belfast). For Emerald Mermaid, we chose some DaVinci (Cashel) as the colors look stunning on the blue/purple/green/tan blend.

Fantasy Crafts, being right next door, had a long visit to catch up with Letha and meet her new associate, Ken. Along with three of the most amazing blackwork charts of Arthur, Guinevere, and Merlin by Tom Pudding, I indulged my Textile Heritage addiction with a couple small kits (St. Paul's Cathedral, Celtic Beast). FantaCat's recent release "Dragon Medallions" found its way into the pile as well.

Cross My Heart was across the way and while I resisted their beautiful charts (having already collected quite a number during previous CATS visits), I couldn't resist one of their stitching-themed t-shirts "Queen of Unfinished Projects" LOL

Marc Saastad (Silver Lining) had an abudant display of gorgeous models (as usual). I picked up his newest release, Melody Rose, and pre-ordered the Chateau piece in progress (I hestitate to post the name of the chateau as I'm sure I'll butcher the spelling...but it began with "C"). He had a model "in-progress" for drooling purposes.

A break for lunch was in order and two cars headed over to In-n-Out burger for lunch. Even though they are in business here in Arizona, an original double-double in California simply cannot be beat!

Back for more shopping and visiting in the Mart after lunch. I made sure to catch up with Carmen Wyant (Columbine) and Sandra Murray (Needle & Frame) as they are two of the most fun-loving ladies you can meet at CATS! I suppose that as this is my third year for attending these shows, I really can't be *too* surprised that some of the regular designers know me on sight...LOL.

Mom had a class that included a Longaberger basket (the stitching was on the liner and smalls to go inside) that afternoon, so K and I headed up to the Stitcher's Lounge to relax before dinner. Around 6:20 we headed to Pedro's for some tasty Mexican food with a group of TWBB Members and guests. Very tasty!

While the original intention was to return to the lounge for more stitching and chat, a few of us got waylaid in our room and ended up talking until 11:45 before we kicked a very tired Texan and a couple Californians out...LOL.

Saturday morning started a tad later and Mom, K and I managed to make it to the mart in time for another Make-It, Take-It class from Judy Odell. K had asked to take the "Royal Bookmark" which was a finishing class for a ribbon bookmark. We did finish our bookmarks in class (woohoo! 2 for 2 on finishing!) and Judy was so impressed with K's aptitude and demeanor that she gave her a second bookmark kit later that day (which K proceeded to work up that night in the lounge).

K and I spent the afternoon helping out Letha and Laura in their booths to provide them some much-needed breaks for lunch and such. I had a great time helping several ladies pick hand-dyed fabrics for designs and "steering" some more down the path to Textile Heritage addiction .

Of course there's always time for a little more shopping and before leaving the mart I managed to stop by Judy Odell's and pick up two of her finishing books (Christmas Ornaments and Flat Folds) and hit Something Different to get Evans-Morris Band Sampler and Tiles 3 & 4. (I was on a shopping mission and couldn't resist adding a couple designs for myself). Last stop on Saturday was European Cross Stitch to ogle several Chatelaine models, but I kept some restraing and only picked up some linen banding for a baby piece.

Saturday night in the Stitcher's Lounge found many of the TWBB group sipping on Mexican Coke with smuggled mexican limons. There was also some mexican rum around, but that didn't make it into my glass! I made good progress on Mini-Mystery E and K finished off her second Royal Bookmark and started a Textile Heritage kit: Bagpipes (gotta start her early). We also had a visit from Carmen and her mother and learned that Lois (Carmen's mother) was teaching a "Sea Urchin Bracelet" the next day. She had her model on and it was a beautiful piece consisting of dozens of bead loops that made for a soft overall appearance. Ann and I immediately expressed interest but learning that the MITI was scheduled during our registered class, made arrangements to pick up the kit but skip the instruction. Essentially the bracelet is bead-knitting with some tiny knitting needles, perle cotton and sead beads.

Another late night. Back to the room to pack and get some sleep before Sunday's 8:00 class with Martha Schmidt (a fantastic teacher!).

I was up early and out of the room leaving a sleeping mother and daughter at 7:30. Class was good, but long. Thank heaven for a couple breaks (during which we ran out to get our bracelet kits). Afterward another quick turn thru the Mart to be sure we hadn't missed anything (K found yet another necklace at Fantasy Crafts and I picked up a Lord Melton laying tool) before heading out to grab lunch and head to the airport.

As I wrote when I started this "book" - I'm tired (it's now past 11:30), scared to touch my over-used credit card and SO glad I took Monday off for recovery! I had an *awesome* trip and am definitely going back next year! Of course, between now and then there's Hershey to look forward to...lol.


Of haircuts and vacation plans...

This weekend I'm off to Santa Clara for CATS.

I'll be going with my mother and daughter again this year and a good time should be had by all. While I'm the only one taking a "registered" class (Sampler of Unpublished Insertion Stitches II), I fully expect Mom and Kylie to make good use of the Make-It-Take-It schedule. I'm sure I'll find one or two myself. I spotted a reference to a Liz Turner Diehl class held in Dallas that I'm hoping she repeats here....

Another big perk for the trip is getting together with northern Californa BB members and even a few Texas ones that are making the CATS pilgrimmage this year. I admit that one of my favorite things is spending time in the Stitcher's Lounge chatting with folks or grabbing lunch or dinner with a couple. It's so different from my "normal everyday" life that it makes the vacation special.

I don't have a huge shopping list this year (unlike previous trips) but I will be looking for new releases from Dimples, Dracolair and Silver Lining. After helping Maureen Appleton pack up after Hershey CATS last year, I found myself thinking back to many of her spectacular models (I got a REAL up close and personal look at them!) and will probably add a couple to my stash :) The Picture this Plus booth is going to be taking a chunk of my budget as well....

Yes, I'm really looking forward to this orgy of stash shopping and spending time with my BB friends from California (and Texas!).

In preparation of this....I "made an appointment" for a haircut this weekend. See, my husband cuts my hair. He went to cosmetology school in a "former life" and spent a few years working in a nice salon in Tennessee. He cuts my hair and the kids hair and occasionally Mom and Granny's as well.

The nice thing about the spouse doing the haircut: I don't have to be *too* specific in my request because he already knows the basic requirements (long enough to put behind my ears and must have bangs) and he's been pretty much cutting the same basic style for a couple years now (a chin-length bob with a few layers around the face to make it stay back).

The bad thing about the spouse doing the haircut: I don't take the time to be specific in my request.....

Sunday night after dinner I wet down my hair (I'd washed it a few hours earlier), grab a chair and head out to the garage (easier to sweep up out there). Sit down, put the glasses aside and close my eyes. There are no mirrors, ya see. I'm blind without my glasses...so I just close my eyes.

He starts cutting....and cutting....and cutting. I remark on this. "You're cutting an awful lot," I say. "Just making it lighter for summer," he says.

Oh yeah. It's light all right. It's GONE! I don't have to worry about putting it behind my ears...there's NOTHING THERE! I have a super short haircut! NOT what I wanted! Not what I expected!

Oh, don't get me wrong...it looks quite good. He did an excellent job shaping and layering it. I've had more comments on this cut than on any in the past months (of course, the fact that it's a drastic change *could* be part of the reason). But it's definitely taking some getting used to.

Heck, I can skip the blow-dry in the morning...towel-dry, comb and spritz with hairspray and I'm ready to go.

Men. Gotta love 'em...cause you can't *kill* them....


Stitchers' Five and a Happy Dance

First, must start with the Stitchers' Five:

1. Do you keep a wishlist?

Oh yes! A couple, in fact.

2. If so how many items are on it?

My Amazon Wish List currently has 85 items - a mix of books, DVDs and a couple other odd items.

My Stitching Wish list lives in two places - and they are *pretty* similar. The one on The Wagon is updated whenever I receive/buy stash or spot something online to add to the list. It's much more fluid than the one kept on the Secret Stitchers BB. That one also gets updated, if necessary, when something is received or when a new round is about to start.

There are a dozen specific charts/kits and general designer/fabric/thread wishes on these.

3. Name three of those items

Brightneedle - Can You Spy?
Bleu de Chine - Halloween (heart-shaped design)
Lanarte - Lady with Lilacs

4. Do you let other people see it?

Absolutely :)

5. How often do you add to it?

As often as necessary!

And now for the Happy Dance... behold the completed Two Hearts Unite by Enchanting Lair:

Fabric is white opalescent cashel, threads used were Waterlillies Midnight and Stormy Skies and Kreinik 060 (a dark blue...). Beads are 40479 (small pearl white) and 374 (? - the blue/purple/green/gold iridescent ones). I made a few changes to the chart - didn't use the honkin' big heart treasure at the top (two rows of beads instead) and took out rows of eyelets under the names & date (looked too busy).

It went to the framers on Saturday - no glass, no mats (not needed with the sparkly fabric), "puff" stretch over some dark material (really brings out the sparkle) and a simple navy frame (1.5" wide).

I'm looking forward to presenting it to the groom - I've worked with him for about 2 years now and he's a great fellow (the bride ain't so bad either...they are lucky to have found one another!)


Warm Fuzzies

Here is today's "Daydreaming on Paper" question:

What gives you the warm fuzzies?

Attending my daughter's band concerts...

A sleepy "Good Morning" kiss from my son...

When something finally "clicks" at work and I recognize "I get it!"

Finishing a stitching project...

A sexy smile from my hubby...*any* time of day or night!


Obligation Stitching

I really dislike obligation stitching.

There, I admit it. I won't say I 'hate' it, because if that was the case, I'd somehow manage to avoid it altogether...and some is *far* worse than others.

I classify obligation stitching in 3 categories:

Something for me with a deadline
Something for someone else (may or may not have a deadline)
Something for someone else, that *they* selected

Something for me with a deadline
Round Robins go in the first category. I know that two is the limit for my personal tolerance at any one time. I'm currently in....two. I know, big surprise..LOL. The first, based on the Wee Beasties designs of Terry Nolan (Dimples Designs) has a wonderful loooong window and as long as I choose wisely, I don't feel a lot of pressure when the mail date is looming. First piece - I chose not-so-wisely and the pressure was mounting (I finished in good time, though, and Thyridia looked good). For the current piece, I have made a better choice I'm not telling though...you'll just have to wait!

My second RR is a little different in that everything I stitch (Christmas ornaments in this case), stays home with me. We're mailing supplies only. I'm *really* liking this! If I don't finish in the allotted time, I just have to spend the $$ to get the supplies myself.

Something for someone else (may or may not have a deadline)

I've got a couple things here. The wedding sampler that lacks only beading (hope to finish this evening, if not, Friday for sure) and some baby-related items for a new baby or two that's due in the next few months. One afghan was started yesterday and I procured supplies for a second one. As both babies are due later this year, I'm just trying to get going early.

Not sure if I'm going to stitch for any of the expected little ones. If I do, I'm sticking with the "by the first birthday" deadline!

Now, yes, I do have a few WIPs that are designated for my children/husband. But those don't really count as "obligations" as I figure the deadline is "before they move out" and I've got a few years to play with (at least with the kids..LOL)

Something for someone else, that *they* selected

This is the category I avoid as much as humanly possible. I actually have one kit that my mother asked me to stitch a few years ago....now that she's stitching I should probably turn it back (and free the guilt!). I did do a Footprints design for my brother that my mother had selected (on 25-ct Dublin Sand linen - I will *never* stitch on that stuff again...waaay too open weave!)

Heaven knows I've got enough to stitch for me that I certainly don't need to add anymore guilt or deadlines to the fray!


Stitchers' Five for May 10

A quick post this morning...more later!

1. Which type of beads do you prefer Mill Hill, Delica or other brand?

If I get to choose, Delicas.

2. Why?

The size and shape make them *ideal* for stitching. You can use a regular #28 needle to stitch them on due to their cylinder shape. Now if I could just fine a comprehensive chart for subbing them...I go by eye now :)

3. What do you use to stitch beads on with?

Usually white Nymo thread, but I'll pull out white or ecru floss if it's handy. I try to match the fabric color, but if it's solidly stitched, it doesn't show anyway...

4. When to bead..as you go or at the end?

Nine times out of ten, at the end. On the rare occasion when I bead as I go, I regret it when the beads start catching the floss! LOL

5. Do you bead only with cross stitch or do you use them on their own?

I love doing peyote and brick stitch beadwork. Also been dabbling with bead crochet thanks to my last Secret Stitcher.


Goodbye Friday Five....Hello Daydreaming on Paper

The Friday Five is no more...isn't that always the way things work for me? Find something fun...get in a habit...*poof* it's gone!

However, thanks to the "Memes List" (link on the left there) I've found a suitable replacement in Daydreaming on Paper. It's not specific to Friday, so depending on the question, may make the odd "guest" appearance during the week.

Today's Random Inspiration: What role does technology play in your life?

Ha! It might be easier to describe the few aspects of my life that technology does *not* play a role! This blog - perfect example! I've never been much of a journaler - I have numerous blank books with only the first few pages of writing. Yet I've managed to keep this going for several months...granted not always posting multiple times per week, but then I never committed to a daily entry...

Technology has fueled my stitching habit by granting me easy access to new designers, old favorites and supplies. Just this week I ordered fabric from halfway around the world....and in an instant thanks to the handy online shopping cart.

My job is technology. Effective next week I have a new title here at work: Technical Analyst III. The description matches much more closely what my job actually is and the long-term plan is to grow my skills and swap to Database Analyst. As long as my job title has "Analyst" in it somewhere, I'm a happy camper...lol

The biggest impact of technology, though? I found my wonderful husband. Ten years ago I was in a horrible mess of a life and now I'm happier than I ever dreamed possible


"Music hath charms....

...to soothe a savage breast, To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak." (William Congreve)

That's always been one of my favorite quotes.

Lately I've been listening to a very eclectic combination of music. The regular sources : car radio, CD's playing in my laptop at work, CD's on my home PC, music soundtracks (movie and tv show) have been joined by two new sources: a new under cabinet radio/cd player in the kitchen (my birthday present from DH) and a new record player in the living room.

Yes, a record player. Something my 14-yr-old DD had never seen. Made by Denon, record players have *ahem* slightly increased in price. This one cost us $150 and it was the *only* one available at our favorite electronics store. Thankfully, it was the "correct" brand (all our audio stuff is Denon).

Personally, I owned only a half-dozen records growing up. I know they are in our storage unit so their current condition is questionable at best. DH, however, ever the audiophile, had "trimmed" his collection down to 2 boxes before moving to Arizona, around 100 albums by my estimation. These lived in storage as well, and surprisingly, after seven years of upwards of 120 degree temperatures, most have lived to be played again. In the last two weeks I've listened to Men at Work, Disneyland (songs from all the Disney rides, circa 1980), Journey, Lionel Ritchie, Star Wars, and various other artists that I can't recall offhand. He has quite an eclectic collection...sadly most of the classical stuff didn't survive the Arizona summers.

There's not much better than a good clean vinyl LP and a sharp needle. There's no static, no skips, just a full rich sound - fuller than anything I've heard on CD either. There's rumor that Mick Jagger will be releasing his next album on vinyl. That would be awesome!

**steering back to the original topic**

Music selections...yes...one might think that having satellite radio in the car would encourage one to listen to a different station everyday. Not in my case. I stick with the favorites! On the way to work it's a local station's morning show. Not much music there. On the way home it's "When Radio Was" - a mix of old-time radio classics like The Shadow, Green Hornet, Richard Diamond - Private Eye, Burns & Allen, Abbott & Costello and many many more. No music there either. On the weekends it's one of the "decade" stations - 50's, 60's or 80's (I skip the 70's - can't stand disco).

Now, I do surf thru my channels on occasion (I never dreamed I'd use the remote that came with the radio, but it is handy while driving). I hit the "Broadway Hits" channel and listened happily for about 10 minutes...then a song from an unheard of show came on with the subject of...well...something I would NOT have wanted my kids hearing (if you're really curious, email me...I'm warning you, though, it's bad) and I doubt I'll be surfing back any time soon. I love the various Jazz stations and the Big Band music, skip thru the country stuff and anything labelled "Hip Hop." Sorry, I just don't get it!

My work CD pile is another interesting grouping: Marc Cohn, Journey, Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack, Jimmy Buffet (essential Friday afternoon music), Kenny Rogers, Elvis, Craig Chaquico, and the BeeGees. Very handy for reviewing documentation, cleaning up email (on tomorrow's to-do list), writing reports or digging thru databases. The recently acquired Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean soundtracks made "guest" appearances but went back home for evening listening...

Music is one of those things that I take for granted, yet I can't imagine my life without it.


The Wedding Sampler Saga continues...

As the happy couple are off on their honeymoon, I do feel just a bit of pressure to finish off the sampler prior to their return. Or at least prior to my coworkers return to work on May 17th. I usually give the framers about two weeks, which would make my "end of May" deadline feasible.

So last night I worked a bit more, taking the time to rechart "surrounds" and finishing two complete lines of verse:

When souls eclipse
and love surrounds

Next line - the bride & groom names. I borrowed DD's pencil and drew out the names using the backstitch alphabet included in the chart. I'll be recharting with a different alphabet Wednesday night..... I'm not sure if I'm going to mention any of this to the designer. I love Laura and will be seeing her in a couple weeks at Santa Clara. I'd hate to walk up to her and say "I stitched the wedding sampler...with some rather significant modifications...."

Tonight is week 4 of my current class.....tomorrow I'll be down to 8 weeks left!


Stitchers' Five

1.)Which is your favourite brand of speciality thread?

For silk - ThreadGatherer's Silk 'n' Colors. Cotton - Needle Necessities. Metallics - Rainbow Gallery


SilknColors has a satisfying "crunch" when handled. The colors range from soft pastels to bright combinations and I have yet to be disappointed in their effect stitched vs. on the skein.

Needle Necessities can't be beat on quality, color or cost. I've never had trouble with fuzzing, breakage or "thin" strands (unlike some of the other specialty cotton threads), their color range is spectacular and the cost per skein is one of the lowest out there. I will say Dinky Dyes and Six Strand Sweets are close competition in my stash ;)

Rainbow Gallery has a metallic for virtually every application. Their other lines are nothing to dismiss either. I will use Petite Treasure Braid every time I can over Kreinik.

3)How many other brands of thread do you have in your stash?

Let me preface these lists - they are all from memory!

Silks - Vikki Clayton, Caron Waterlillies, Stef Francis, Dinky Dyes, Needlepoint Silks, Silk Mori, Silk Serica, Au Ver au Soie, Soie Crystale, Madeira Gumnuts, Leon Conrad, Rainbow Gallery (Splendor, Grandeur, etc)....

Cottons - Gentle Arts Sampler Threads, Caron Watercoulours, Caron Wildflowers, Weeks Dye Works, Dinky Dyes, Six Strand Sweets, Candy Floss (Sugar Maple), Stranded by the Sea

Metallics - Needle Necessities, Glissengloss, Madeira & Vikki Clayton along with the standard Kreinik and Rainbow Gallery

Various and sundry other RG fibers - Wisper, Fuzzy Stuff, Tiara, etc.

4.) How do you store your threads?

Anything other than DMC is in either a true Flossaway bag or a reasonable facsimile. I have a few plastic drawer units (hold mostly cottons, metallics and a few silks) and photo boxes (hold most of the silks)

5.) How confident do you feel at substituting between thread types and colours compared to what the chart calls for?

Fairly confident. For a wedding sampler I started this weekend I'm changing all the threads to better represent the colors of the wedding. Instead of Dinky Dyes and Six Strand Sweets cottons I'm using two colors of Caron Waterlillies and I've not made the final choice between a Kreinik metallic or a Rainbow Gallery. I have no trouble doing that kind of "wholesale" change to better match my final project vision.

But I'll do some other not-so-creative subbing as well. A thorough search in my stash would not turn up a bobbin of 452 for a small RR piece - so I used a blend of 451 & 453 instead. I've subbed other colors (using my DMC color card) when I needed it *right now* and didn't want to make a special trip to Michael's!

Speaking of that wedding sampler.....

I did finish my Ornament for the RR starting today and got everything packaged to mail out to New Zealand. This meant I successfully marked off 2 of the 3 prerequisites for my upcoming "finishing frenzy" (last week's blog entries) and was ready to get the third one under way.

I pulled the chart, candidate fibers (for substitution) and fabric out Sunday late morning. Decided on how I was using the silks and put off the metallic decision until I had more complete (right now the Kreinik is winning). Counted in 4" from the corner and started the simple outer border. No problem.....when I came all the way around it matched up perfectly! I was feeling rather proud and counted in to the first word of the phrasing "When..."

At this point I perused the other areas of the chart and noticed a couple things. First, the names are backstitched on a row of modified eyelets. In the model, none of the letters used have a "tail" - you know, like "y" or "g" or "j" that would extend below those eyelets. I have a "Y" to account for in the bride's name *and* they were married on May 1.....another tail. The key, I think, is lining up the tail between the eyelets....or using another stitch....bother.

However the big "gotcha" and the one that's going to take some serious modification to correct - there's a spelling error in the chart. "Surronds" - in *my* dictionary, there's a "U" in there - "Surrounds"

It may be time to break down and buy some charting software....my "simple but elegant" wedding sampler is going to take way more time than I thought :