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All of the cross stitch on my blog is copyrighted, and the designer is listed next to the pic. Please do not ask me to share charts, as I will not do so under any circumstances. All pics of my work and text, unless otherwise stated, are copyrighted by me and cannot be used in any other written or pictorial form without my written consent. Thank you.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A quick prayer request


     As I mentioned in my last blog, my mom had some heart monitoring done to assess her ability to withstand surgery.  Unfortunately, the tests indicated that there is a blockage in her heart.  Her surgery has been cancelled (which sucks because she has been in pain for quite some time) and she was told to make an appointment with a cardiologist within the next couple of days.  If her cardiologist can't fit her in within that time frame, she was told to call the hospital back so they could call him and tell him why she needs to be seem right away.  She was very blase about the whole thing.  I am, naturally, freaking out.  So I'm asking for prayer for her, and for this to be resolved in the most non invasive way possible.  Thanks to everyone out there who said a prayer for the surgery, even though those prayers were answered with a resounding NO!  I appreciate every good though, prayer, and healing wish that goes out to my mom from all you lovely ladies.  And say one that I don't totally lose my mind before we get some more definitive info!!!  TIA, and I hope you're all having a lovely night!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A big fat thanks, two SALs, and an apology (and more, lol)

     I have a lot to say today (and lots of eye candy, later).  As you all know, the last few weeks have been tumultuous for me.  Dad's birthday, my birthday, financial problems, Randi's vacation, the furor over my SAL.....  It's all been up and down and up and down.  I'm still alive though, so that's a good thing!!  And I'm getting back into my old routine, so that's a good thing too.  (And tomorrow is Sunday, whoo hooo!!!!)  So there are some good things going on for me.  It's not all doom and gloom, although some of it is.
     First off, a big, fat, HUGE thanks to all my stitchy friends.  With all that's been going on, numerous people have helped me keep my perspective.  I've been told repeatedly that I've not done anything wrong, not been rude or discourteous.  I'm so happy to have those people in my life.  Because I was starting to think that maybe, there was something wrong with me that I didn't see what all the fuss was about.  So thanks to all my supporters, who sent me emails and left me comments.  I'm totally feeling the love from my stitchy friends right now!!!  And it's making me feel as though I'm doing the right thing here.  So thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!!  All of you have just made my day!!  Also, I've found a couple of new groups.  Well, one, and one that I was somehow on no mail in.  IDK how that happened, but somehow I was on no mail.  Weird Yahoo!!!
     Now, for the first SAL.  I've decided, after much careful consideration, to go ahead with my SAL for Tree of Stitches, pattern created by Abi Gurden and offered on The Stitch Specialists Yahoo group.  I know several ladies who are well versed in specialty stitches, so if I have a problem, I can ask one of them (or all of them, lol.  After all, you never know what is gonna make it click!!!).  If anyone wants to join me, they are more than welcome.  Stitch day will be on Tuesdays, starting the second Tuesday in November.  As many of you know, the designer has tried to keep me from doing this.  Apparently, my friends are not good enough to be in her group.  So if you want to participate anonymously, feel free to email me.  I will say we have three anonymous participants, but won't give names or blog addys.  You can feel free to post your progress on the group, and just not mention you're in the SAL.  It takes some of the fun out of it, but I'll know you're joining me, and it's a way of getting in on some of the fun.  Plus, and honestly, I know I shouldn't feel this way, but I can't help it...  It would drive Abi and her mods crazy to see who was posting every Tuesday so they could figure out who it was participating anonymously.  (I'm sure if they figure you out, they'll ban you, but I have this great imagine of them wracking their brains to figure out who the anonymous people are.  It's a really funny picture, lol.)  So if you're interested, leave me a comment, or send me an email.  I'll probably be posting pics on Wed, because I never think to post Jesus pics on Sunday.  I always do it on Monday, and I've been SALing him for a couple of months now. 
     Now for the second (and previously unknown) SAL.  I'm doing a SAL with Charity (her blog can be seen here) for Christmas ornies.  I mentioned a while ago that I had the 2008 JCS ornie issue, and she happens to have it too.  So we're gonna be SALing ornies.  I know I'm doing Let It Snow by Casey Buonaugurio Cross Stitch Designs, Snowy Night by The Prairie Schooler, and Hardanger Wreath by Nordic Needle.  There are a couple of others that I'm considering, so I may do more.  IDK for sure yet.  If anyone wants to join us (it doesn't have to be JCS, it can be ANY Christmas ornie) feel free to comment on this post.  I told Charity we could start in November, but I don't get paid till the third, which happens to be a Thursday.  So I can't get the floss till then.  I guess we'll be starting on the next Wednesday, which would be the ninth.  So ToS (by Abi Gurden of the Stitch Specialists) on Tuesday the eight, and Ornie SAL on Wed the ninth.  To join either SAL, all you have to do it stitch on your designated project on that day of the week, and post a piccy to your blog with your progress that day or the next.  (Or the next, or whenever you get the time, lol.)  I'll be posting the blog addys of everyone who wants to join in so you non participants can go to their blog and be inspired!!!!
     And now the apology.  It's partly because of TSS, and partly because of Randi's visit, but I was very behind on my emails.  I just got caught up yesterday, so I haven't been reading or commenting on blogs (unless you posted to a group I'm in that you posted to your blog).  I'm really sorry.  I know you all look forward to comments on your blogs, and I feel bad about not being able to keep up.  I'm caught up on emails now, and so I'm hoping I can go back to doing blogs daily now as well.  (Blame Randi, everyone else does!!!)  JK, Randi.  It's not your fault as I invited you.  
     And now I'm asking for prayer, good thoughts, healing vibes, whatever you do.  My mom is going to be having surgery again this upcoming week.  Thursday she goes under the knife for a torn rotator cuff.  She had the other arm done last year, and now she has to get the left arm done.  Unfortunately, her family physician (PCP) said there is an irregularity in her heartbeat that needs to be dealt with first.  So she did  stress test Friday, and then wore the heart monitor for twenty four hours.  When they look at those two tests on Monday, they'll decide if she can have the surgery or not.  She needs it, as she is in a lot of pain.  So do whatever you do (send thoughts, vibes, love, prayers) for her that she gets though the tests and the surgery and that she heals up.  No more pain!!  Well, not from that.  She's like me, never pain free.  TIA for all of you who send her a good thought or a prayer.
     I got mail the other day.  And I have stitchy pics to show too.  At least this post isn't as long as the last one, lol.  I'll start with the mail.  One of my blogger friends, Bec, asked me to order a couple of kits for her since Joanns.com won't deliver to Australia.  I was all over that, lol, cause I'm such a rude person (snort).  I sent them off to her, and she sent me this!!!  
And I love it doubly because the only thermometer I have is the thermostat for my AC (which I think is broken) and I don't use it anymore.  So that makes it extra awesome.  In case you can't read it, it says, "Brisbane, Australia".  Plus, it's really pretty.  It's pink, and I love pink!!  Thanks so much Bec.  I would have done it for nothing!  I was glad to be able to help you out!!!  BTW, that Regal Tiger has me drooling!  And you all know I need another chart or kit like I need a hole in the head, lol.  I keep telling myself, NO!!!
     And now on to the other gift.  It's from another Aussie friend of mine, Kaye.  When I asked for birthday cards, Kay went over and above.  She got me a birthday card, and the cutest little kit!  It's absolutely adorable.  I love it Kaye!!  Thanks so much.  You can see it below.
  (Ain't it cute?!?)  Now I either have to find friends to SAL it with, or finish something up in my rotation so I have a spot for it.  (Soon enough, if I keep this SAL stuff up, I'm going to be doing a SAL for every day of the week, and my rotation is gonna be moot, lol.)  Thanks again Kaye.  Sorry it's a little bit blurry, but my camera wasn't liking the plastic cover of the kit.  Who knows, weird thing...  And I'm no camera expert, so I don't know how to fix it.  So this is the best of the bunch, and you're stuck with it!!!
     Lastly, some progress pics.  I finished working on May the other night at dad's house while I was dogsitting.  Vin and I had a good night, although he's a terrible, horrible, awful bed hog.  AWFUL!!!!!!  (Of course, I've been told all dogs are bed hogs, so I guess this shouldn't come as a surprise to me!!)  Anyways, I finished working on the weaving (and it is weaving and not wrapping) on May for this rotation.  I got some of it done, but not as much as I wanted to.  Piccy here:  
Hopefully, you can see all the green where I weaved the bars.  I can see it, but I know where to look, lol.  I did the top part and some of the left part too.  I'm working my way in that direction.  It was a nice, easy thing to do while watching the movie.  I took Fantastic Four with me, and watched that.  I got such a late start, I didn't get to watch the second one though.  So I'll have to catch that later.  Wrapping and weaving are pretty much mindless.  You do the same thing over and over, and all the bars have to be wrapped.  (The bars are the strands of fabby that are left where you pulled out some of them for the cut work.  You cut four strands at a time, and then skip, so you end up with a lovely pattern.  You wrap or weave the bars to give some color in between the holes.  It looks great!!)
       And lastly, the debacle of Shore Patrol.  Okay, sometimes I miscount a little bit.  This time, I can't imagine what I was thinking.  I started to do the bank below the foxes (it's a winter river scene with two foxes on the bank).  I used a light, light blue color to start.  Then added darker and darker blues to it.  So I went to figure out where I needed to start when I picked it back up.  I haven't worked on it since, oh, geez, 2006 maybe?  2005?  I'm not sure.  But I started counting from the foxes tail, thinking that would be a good start point as it was easy to count from there.  Well, I was off by not one, not two, but three whole stitches on where I worked the bank.  A little bit of it (maybe a hundred stitches) was okay.  The rest had to come out.  So here are before and after pics of the project.  Before frogging on the top, and after frogging on the bottom.  Can you see the huge area I had to frog?!? 
  Maybe four or five hundred stitches had to come out.  Ugh!!!  Took me several days, because I couldn't tell two of the colors apart very well with the light I had.  So I would be frogging right along a row, and suddenly, I 
would go to pull out the next stitch, and it wouldn't come out.  So then I had to figure out where the next stitch of the right color was (this was basically trial and error, until I found the right stitch).  So it took me a long time.  Also, I'm a little worried now as the floss is from a kit.  I had to pull a lot out.  Fortunately, I'm a floss miser, so I think I'll have enough to finish it up.  I hope so, anyways, as I wouldn't like to have to email JCA Creations and ask for more of a color.  (Note:  With my luck lately, I'll run out with three or four stitches left of one of the colors, and I won't be able to fudge it.  It would be my luck, lol.)  So I'm done with the frogging.  Since I have them on my eight inch Q-snap now, and I can't get to all of the area I frogged easily, I'm working instead on the foxes.  I have a part of the back of the center fox done.  I did have a couple of very small froggy problems with him.  It's my own fault, as I don't cross off as soon as I finish a row.  I wait until several rows are done, then I cross them all off my chart at once.  So on the first one, it didn't matter that I hadn't crossed it off.  It was a simple miscount.  I counted up to high the first time, two low the second time, and just right the third time.  They do say third time's a charm, lol.  It was only like six stitches, so nbd.  The second time, I somehow got it in my head that I had added three stitches to the end of a row that shouldn't have them.  I thought the next row should have them.  So I frogged about twelve stitches, took out the three, did the next row, and realized they should have been there after all.  (If I had marked off my chart right away, I wouldn't have fallen for myself, but I didn't, so I did.  Silly me!!)  Anyways, this is what it looks like now. 
 (I have put some of the snowy bank back in (about fifty or sixty stitches) but not a lot.)  I'm liking this color I'm putting in.  It's a great rusty shade, and I like the reds pretty well.  (Strange, because there is also some brown in it and I don't like brown.  Oh well, I be weird, lol.)  It was fun putting stitches in finally.  I was talking to Randi and stitching, and got quite a bit done.  It relaxes me to stitch, so I try to get some in every day.  Well, I try...   
     And last, but definitely not least, is a piccy of my poor Yes Dear sitting on the couch.  She's been giving me the poor, pitiful me face all day for some reason.  So I pet her and love on her and she turns tail and goes away, lol.  Gotta love her little heart!!  
     Hope you're all having a great night out there.   We're gonna just hang at home and chill for the rest of the night.  And that reminds me, I just ran out to the grocery store, and my cashier shared some disturbing info with me.  She saw a poll (I didn't ask where) that said the most popular costume for women this year is...  Casey Anthony.  I found that disturbing.  I guess she is scary, but I wouldn't want to give her any kind of credit for being scary.  No way, no how.  So now I'm just gonna chill out.  Hope you're all having a super night!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Disillusioned

      Before I say anything else, I want to say a big huge thanks to Mary, who scraped me off the ceiling.  Mary, I really appreciate what you did for me.  I wasn't in my right mind when I called you, and it's amazing that you were able to help me like that.  Thanks so much!!!
     And now to the reason for my disillusionment.  I'm absolutely shocked to report it, but Abi G has banned me from her group.  She again called me rude and disrespectful, and I'm tired of being called names like that.  I am so mad that she and her mods would call me names, and I'm tired of being nice about it.  I didn't ask to be flamed on The Stitch Specialists.  I tried to keep it private.  I did the best I could to keep it from affecting the group, but now I'm seething.  I don't see any disrespect in trying to promote a designer's designs.  I joined The Stitch Specialists because of Tree of Stitches.  I love the design.  I think it's gorgeous, and a great idea.  (I have a much less charitable impression of the designer, but we'll get to that.)  I posted on my blog (I'm sure some of you remember) that I had caved and was going to do it.  My friend Rachel had recently joined the group, and she was interested in SALing it with me.  So, thinking I would like Abi to have the biggest audience possible, I posted to my blog that I would be doing a SAL for the design.  And then began the debacle.
     It started with a comment to my Multiply site.  A nasty comment, IMHO.  Kay said the following:
     "This is not on Julie. Abi I am sure has not given you permission to run any SALs of her designs. They are copyrighted to her and the SALs appertaining to them are on The Stitch Specialists as you well know."
     I didn't want to make a disagreement public, so I personal messaged her.  This is what I sent her:  
     "Everyone in my SAL has gotten the design from the Stitch Specialists. I'm not giving away anything copyrighted, nor am I encouraging anyone else to give away anything copyrighted. I deliberately mentioned that it's her design and her group as she asks that we do so when mentioning her designs."  
     I thought I was fairly clear about what I was doing.  Instead, I got this back:  
     "I have been in touch with the other Moderators on The Stitch Specialists and this is our reply to you.

OK where to start. No, under the strict definition of the law you have not broken copyright.  However, you did not receive permission or approval from the group owners. It is an open SAL so that ANYONE can join. The SAL is current on the group and WILL NOT be discontinued even when the design is removed.  You are not being complimentary to Abi when we receive applications from new members asking to join TSS JUST SO they can get the design to stitch on YOUR group.  Some of these people have no intention of participating in our group, they just want to go through the motions of pretending to join in order to obtain the free design and then go to your group to stitch it.

You may not be breaking copyright, but what happens when the design is no longer available on TSS and new members want to join your SAL? What happens when members get stuck with stitching a stitch?  Where is your expert?

The correct procedure would have been for you to contact Abi with a view to setting up a sub group of TSS (if you really feel it is necessary to entice people away from TSS).  Abi could then co-own the group and give advice. TSS has two sister groups, one for Chatelaine and one for Drawn Thread, but we courteously asked the designers for permission to do this, and one of them joined the group.  This is the procedure you should have followed.

You have been discourteous and downright rude. This is an insult to both Abi and to the faithful members of The Stitch Specialists." 
 (I have corrected punctuation in this statement, but I copied and pasted the words exactly.)
      I sent back this, and got no reply:  
     "I'm not starting a group, nor am I encouraging members to join TSS JUST to get the pattern. I'm encouraging people to join and participate. Anyone who knows me knows I advocate participation and sharing progress pics in groups. I don't feel that it was rude or discourteous in any way for me to invite people to join me in stitching Abi's gorgeous design. If I have a problem, I'll ask about it on the group, just as other members of my SAL will do. I would think that Abi would eventually want to sell her designs, and this extra exposure would be good for her. The more people that talk about her and show piccys of her designs, the more interest there is in her work." 
     At this point, Kay decided to go public on the group with the disagreement, and she posted the following email to all group members: 
     "May I please remind you ladies that Abi gives her designs freely and without charge for stitching as SALs within this group.  To take her designs and set up your own SAL groups is not only infuriating but extremely discourteous and rude.  Its a bit like asking you for your Grandma's favourite recipe, obtaining it and then opening up a cookery school so that you can teach it.
 
Please remember that you are extremely privileged to be given the opportunity of not only stitching a very beautiful design but also have the benefit of being able to be guided through new and potentially difficult stitches.
 
At the moment Abi is away but I am sure she will have something of her own to say when she is back.
 
Kay - UK Moderator"  
     Let me take a moment to note some things here.  Firstly, I am NOT starting a group.  This is a group of ladies who all want to encourage each other to stitch this.  One of them is stalled on her tree, the others are like me.  Latecomers to the design.  Next, I'm not trying to teach anything.  I'm well aware that I'm no expert, and I would never try to teach specialty stitches.  My plan was for us all to post a pic on our blog on Tues night, Wed morning, then post to The Stitch Specialists (and possibly other groups (well, definitely other groups for me)) that we had updated our blog with our tree progress.  An added benefit of this method is that we're not using up space in the group's albums page.  I'm assuming that they're running low on space as Abi or the mods asked last week that we not post our ToS progress, or TGE progress, in both our individual albums and the progress albums for that project.  This is just my assumption, but I think it's pretty solid based on the request.)  I posted an email to the group to please not discuss it till Abi came home, as it's her decision.  I didn't want to see people fighting or arguing about who's right and who's wrong in this instance.  It's not good for a group to have all that drama.  Things settled down until Abi sent this message into the group:  
"Hi everyone,
 
Well I got back from my holiday yesterday, logged on this morning to find that things have kind of 'exploded' while I've been away, concerning an off-group SAL that one member began on her blog using Tree of Stitches, and the response of the Moderators to this.
 
I wish to clear this up now - please bear with me, I know there has been a great deal of upset over this issue and although I do not wish to drag it out again, it does need clearing up as there has been some confusion about what happened.  I hope this will be the last message on the matter.
 This problem concerns solely the announcement of an off-group SAL for Tree of Stitches, which I was not consulted about.  It has nothing to do with people talking about their own stitching on their own blogs, or sharing their progress photos on other forums (both of which are fine) or how often people should post to 'qualify' for SALs (the only set rule about posting is that you post an introduction to the group before you can apply for passwords).
 
SALs that I design exclusively for TSS are not put up for others to use to run off-group SALs of their own.  AIthough it is not breaking any copyright law to do this (as long as you don't share charts/instructions), I would prefer SALs from TSS to be discussed solely on this group for reasons set out below.
 
Although ToS is due to be removed at the end of this month (October 2011), there is no official 'end-date' for the SAL itself; it's on-going.  Even if designs are taken down and new ones put up, people can still discuss them on this group for as long as they wish to.  We could, however, set up a sub-group for ToS (or any SAL that has 'finished' on the group), in the same way we have for discussing Chatelaine Designs and The Drawn Thread Designs, if members would prefer.
 
In dealing with this issue last week, initially the Moderators contacted
this person off-group.  They only addressed the issue on the group AFTER the person herself brought the subject up on the group, and even then, only after discussion and agreement that such action was necessary.  They felt it was important to make it clear to other members who may have seen the announcement that this SAL had been set up without my knowledge or permission, and that it was likely I would not approve of it.  Firm words were used on BOTH sides, but no rudeness and no flaming.  I fully approve of how the Mods handled this situation in my absence - they were entirely correct in their assessment of what my feelings on the matter would be.
 
I know that this person didn't act with any intentional malice towards me or the group, but nevertheless, it would have been a basic courtesy to contact me first, or indeed any of the Moderators.  If she had, all of this upset could have been avoided (though I would still have asked her not to go ahead with her SAL).
 
Off-group SALs encourage people to join the group purely to get
group-exclusive designs, when they have no intention of discussing them here because they already have somewhere else to discuss them.  Often, people taking part in an off-group SAL only want that one design, so they leave the group as soon as they have it - however, they might decide to join in another SAL later, and apply to join again to get the next design.  The result is we get people joining, leaving, and joining again, ad nauseum, generating huge amounts of work for the Mods and contributing next to nothing to the group in the meantime.  No chat = No Chat Group!   High group numbers do not necessarily mean a happy, chatty, friendly group - if everyone splinters off to discuss elsewhere the designs I create for this
group, the group itself will simply stop functioning!
 
But there is another reason why I would prefer discussions about my designs to remain on this group.  If I don't see what people are saying about my designs, then I don't know what they are enjoying and what they are not, what is working and what isn't - I have no 'guide' for future designs.  As the designer, I'm best placed to answer any queries, offer suggestions/alternatives or sort out any problems with the designs - but only on THIS group!   Also, if I'm up to my ears in "new applicant-questionnaire-PCI-Passwords-Unsub, repeat" type admin, then I've got less and less time to spend on new designs and chatting on the group!
 
Having said all of this, I have had an apology for any upset caused on the group from the person in question, and I am willing to accept this and let the matter rest there.
 
I hope this clears this subject up once and for all, and we can all now get back to concentrating on the really important stuff - stitching!
 
Abi
Group Owner"
     I have some problems with the issues Abi has with my SAL, and I'm going to air them here, as I can't go on the group and protest.  First off, Kay mentioned in another email that they have people who join the group just to get the design, and then quit.  Honestly, I can't say none of my friends would do this.  I don't think they would.  But I can't say for sure.  However, this is not something that I'm encouraging.  Anyone who knows me knows I advocate participation.  I love to participate.  I answer emails, I leave comments, I post pics and post to the groups that I've done so.  I don't understand why they're laying this established problem at my door.  I have not encouraged people to join to get the SAL and then quit.  Nor would I ever.  I think it's rude to join for the design and then quit.  Another thing I'd like to protest is the accusation is that we would have a forum to discuss her designs without her being there to see it.  A.)  It's a blog.  I post about what I've been up to, and people leave short, sometimes pithy comments for me.  It's not like a conversation.  B.)  It's a public blog.  If Abi wants to read what I've said about her design, or read the comments left by people who looked at my pictures and read my blog, she's welcome to do so.  Also, if one of my SALers had a problem or question, I would encourage them to post that to the group.  Abi would be our expert (as Kay says), and would be much better equipped to handle this sort of thing.  She would get the feedback she needed, my friend would get the help she needed.  That makes it win win in my book.  I did NOT advertise for members for my SAL on the group, as Abi says I did.  I deliberately waited until she was back because I wanted to ask her permission to do so.  If I had been as disrespectful as they say I was, I would have posted something on the group when I posted to my blog.  Instead I waited till Abi got back to check with her.  Lastly, I believe Kay owes me an apology for calling me rude and disrespectful.  I've been nothing but respectful.  In my experience (and I have nothing else to base my opinions on), designers are not contacted in this case.  On blogspot alone, I've seen SALs for HAEDs, Chats, Lizzie Kates, and Margaret Sherry's designs.  As far as I know, none of them contacted the designers about their SALs.  If I were a designer, however, I would be thrilled to know someone was hosting a SAL of my design on their blog.  I would know that word was getting out about my designs.  The more people that see them, the more interest is generated.  Interest means that someday, Abi gets an email from a publisher or a mag asking her to design something for them.  As Abi gets more popular, her designs become a household name.  (Okay, a stitcher's household name.  It's not like she's the next Stephen King!!)  This can only be a good thing.
     Anyways, I got Abi's email, and I was under the impression, because of the way she kept saying we were going to be discussing her designs, that she though I was starting a yahoo group still.  I didn't want her to have a wrong impression as Kay had seemed to, and so I sent her the following:  
     "I've told Kay repeatedly that I'm not starting a new group Abi.  I'm simply asking some of my blogger friends to stitch ToS on Tuesdays and post progress pics on Tuesday night or Wed.  No one is starting another group, and that was CLEARLY stated in the original blog that started this whole mess.  Also, I did NOT post anything on the group about the SAL until after Kay condemned me for doing something I'm not even doing.  I tried to keep it off list by replying to her public message privately, but when she flamed me on group, I felt the need to defend myself.  I don't think she should have posted anything on the group if she didn't know what was going on, as she clearly does not.  I'm going to assume you are responding to me based on her information.  Here is a link to my original blog entry, if you would like to read what I had to say about the matter.  http://mdgtjulie.multiply.com/journal/item/490/A_SAL  The first two paragraphs are about my SAL, and you'll notice that I clearly state that I'm running my SAL on blogspot.  Nothing is mentioned about Yahoo or a Yahoo group.  If I wanted to start a Yahoo group, I would have asked your permission, and asked you to join so we could get your feedback.  I think Kay owes me an apology for her public attack on me.  I don't know why she thinks I'm starting a group, and I don't think I deserve to be flamed in this manner.  I didn't say a single thing on the group about starting a yahoo group for ToS, and she had no right to call me names on group like she did.  As she STILL has her information wrong, I'm going to trust that you are as nice and as reasonable as you seem to be.  I'd like to hold my blogspot SAL with your permission, as it's no more than we would be doing anyways.  The only difference is that some people will be sending me their pics so I can post them on my blog, and everyone who's participating will be listed on my blog with a link so others can go to their blog and see their progress.  I hope to hear from you in regards to this soon.  TIA!"
      Honestly, from the way she was talking about discussion, I thought she was misinformed.  We don't have discussion on a blog.  I talk, people comment.  It's not like it's an email conversation or something.  She got nasty with me, and sent me this, 
     "Julie,

You most absolutely and emphatically do NOT have my permission to run your blogspot SAL using my design! 

Clearly you haven't even been bothered enough to read my message.  Where exactly did I say that the problem was you 'running a group'?  I said you intended running an OFF-GROUP SAL, using MY design, which is STILL RUNNING AS A SAL ON MY GROUP.  And that's exactly what you were doing!

I also explained quite clearly my reasons why I did NOT want you to do it - and you've completely ignored me!

I found your comment about 'assuming I was responding on Kay's information' insulting, and incorrect.  I have already read your blog and your mutiply site, including Kay's message, plus all the messages on the group, before I decided on what response I would send to the group.  I came to the conclusion that if you REALLY had any genuine respect for me, or my group for that matter, you would have (a) not gone behind my back to start up a SAL using my design, and (b) respected my wishes when I finally found out about it!

Kay was absolutely right when she said you have been rude and disrespectful to me.  You were asked not to run this SAL by my Moderator, and by me, and you chose to ignore us both.  Despite me explaining my reasons for why I've asked you not to do it, you have given my wishes in this matter no respect or regard whatsoever.

I can see no way forward from this situation, and therefore you have been banned.

Abi"

     I am at a loss, to be honest.  I'm sorry, Abi, that I said you must have been basing your objections on what Kay had said.  I freely admit, I thought you hadn't read my blog or my email.  I thought you didn't understand.  I partly thought this because of the language you used, and partly because I don't see any problem with a group of friends posting their piccys on the same day.  I honestly don't understand why you have a problem with my post bringing you more members and more notoriety.  
     I've been stressed over this situation.  I've lost sleep over it, I've stressed over it, and I've cried over it.  I don't feel as if I've done anything wrong.  I'm not giving away copyrighted material, I'm encouraging people to join the group to get the design, and I'm getting Abi's name out there.  I'm frustrated with the name calling that's gone on here, because honestly, I could have been a real witch about this.  I could have flamed back, I could have argued, I could have made this a huge controversy.  Instead, I did what I thought best for Abi and her group.  And this is how she repays me.  Abi is not the only person out there who's good with specialty stitches.  I may still do the ToS, I don't really know.  I do know this whole thing has really put me off.  Her group is filled with the nicest, kindest people you could ever meet.  I would have liked a chance to say goodbye to some of those people, and I wish I had been able to work this out with Abi.  (My brain still says she must not understand what I want to do, as there's nothing wrong with it.)  When I decide what to do about my tree, I'll let y'all know.  Again, a big thank you to Mary who listened while I cried and let me vent my frustrations on her.  It means more than you know, Mary

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's outrageous


     A friend of mine sent me an email tonight, and it's just ridiculous.  Apparently, lawmakers in California think they're God now.  They're judging some religions to be inferior, and are moving to have these religions classed as second class religions, no longer protected by the first amendment.  It's total and complete bull crap is what it is.  Who do they think they are?  Who gave them the right to judge others' religious beliefs?  Of course, the religions they're targeting don't have a lot of practitioners, so there aren't many people to protest them.  Luckily, you can do something about it.  There is a petition you can sign, saying you disagree with their judgement.  In this country, we are all supposed to be free to believe what we want.  We are not supposed to be discriminated against because of our beliefs, no matter how unpopular they are.  (Obviously, I'm not talking about religions that assert their need for human sacrifices.  I'm talking about well established religions, like Wicca.)  If you feel as I do, that ALL religions should be protected, then sign the petition here.  We need to speak out, or the next thing we know, we'll have an official religion, like England does.  It's a quick and easy process.  Enter you name, your email addy, and your zip code.  Then click the link in your email to prove it's a working email addy.  That's it.  (Feel free to opt out of updates.  I did!!)  I hope lots of you will sign this.  It needs to be brought to the attention of all of us who value our freedoms. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dogsitting again. And Updates!


     I'm dog sitting again tonight.  David is having a big, huge bash for his girlfriend, Amy, and they don't know all the people who are going to be there.  David is afraid Vin will get too wound up and nip at someone, so he's dropping him off out at Dad's house, and I'm gonna spend the night with him.  Hopefully, I'll get the DVD player working.  I have Fantastic Four and Rise of the Silver Surfer to watch while I stitch if I can get the DVD player hooked up and running.  (I should be able to, no problem.  But I've never done it on a digital TV before, so I'll have to have a look before I say for sure I can do it.)  Anyways, I'm hoping for a fun night.  Dog time is almost always amusing.
     I've been working away on May these last couple of days.  I'm doing pretty well.  Just finished pulling the horizontal threads.  I need to pull the verticals, then there's lots of wrapping or weaving (I'm just not sure which).  I'm loving some of the simplicity.  It looks so complex, but it's really not, and I love that about it.  I'm taking it with me, and probably Jesus too.  I may watch our game out at dad's house if I get up to late, as I don't think I'm taking my alarm clock with me.  We'll see.  So you can see the pics of the calendar here.  Those are all the pics so far, including the pics I just uploaded of April and May.  Thanks Vicki for such a great project.
     As some of you know, there was a big controversy on The Stitch Specialists about my SAL.  For some reason, one of the mods has got it in her head that I'm starting a ToS Yahoo group.  I'm not sure why, as my previous blog about the SAL clearly stated that I'm doing the SAL on Blogspot.  To be honest, I'm surprised the mod in question flamed me on the yahoo group.  She made it sound like I was giving away the design at first, WHICH I'M NOT.  Anyways, because I have an email in to the group owner, Abi, I'm going to wait to start my SAL.  I've informed her that it's a Blogspot SAL that I'm doing, not a group I'm trying to start.  If Abi's the person I think she is, I won't have any problems getting her permission.  So the SAL is on hold for a bit.  Prayers for a quick outcome would be appreciated, if anyone would like to say one. 
     This whole thing has really thrown me for a loop.  I've had a bad time of it lately.  Sunday I was stressing about dad's birthday (it was yesterday), and I didn't get to sleep until about six thirty or seven PM on Sunday night.  I had been up over twenty four hours.  Then, after I was up for so long, I didn't get a lot of sleep.  I was up before seven the next morning (Monday morning).  And then all that stuff on TSS jumped off.  People were all talking about banning me and suing me for copyright infringement.  It was awful.  I felt so bad for causing such a mess, even though it was not me that posted it to the board, and it was not me that started the argument.  But I still felt bad.  I went to bed, and tossed and turned over it for hours.  I got up at three AM and took two sleeping pills.  At ten AM, I got mom to bring me over some Ativan (two mgs, which usually knocks me out).  Then at noon, I took two more sleeping pills.  At four, I was laying on the bed, talking to Julie M. about the hallucination I was having.  I finally fell asleep between seven and eight.  I slept sixteen hours once I got to sleep, and dreamlessly.  (At least, I don't remember any of my dreams.  Thank God, lol.)
     So that night, Julie gets home from work and sees the story of the exotic animals that got released.  She looked at Ansel, her bf, and said, "So Julie's gonna look out the back window and see a bear, and she'll think she's hallucinating again and go back to sleep."  I had to laugh at that.  Of course, I was out of sleeping pills, so no more hallucinations.  It only seems that I hallucinate when I've taken two sets of pills, but according to the pharmacist, they're out of your system after eight hours.  So I don't know if that really causes it, or if it just so happens that both times, I've taken two sets.
     Anyways, it's been a rough week for me.  I'm hoping for a better one this week.  Wish me luck, y'all!!  I'll let you girls interested in the SAL know when I'm ready to start it.  Thanks for listening to (and leaving comments about) my ramblings!  Now I'm off to dog sit!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

In Spite of Warm Welcomes


     Despite the amazingly warm welcome I've had at The Stitch Specialists Yahoo group, and the volumes of encouragement received from the group's members and moderators, I am choosing to abide by the rules, precepts, and dictates of the group owner, Abi Gurden in regards to a SAL for Tree of Stitches.  In inviting members to join her group, and stitch this gorgeous design, in accordance with Abi's dream of sharing her knowledge of stitchery with novices like me, I am dedicated to being a worthwhile member of the group and sharing my excitement over her incredible designs with others.  As I have seen a multitude of other members sharing their progress on blogspot, I too have shared my excitement and encouraged others to join and participate in The Stitch Specialists with the view of adding value to the group.  As most of you know, I enthusiastically respond to blog entries and posts in all of my yahoo groups.  I love to talk to other members, with an eye towards creating opportunities for dialogue.  I hope that this may put to rest ANY perceived ulterior motives that I may have in stitching this piece.  Anyone who is a slow joiner, like I am, and is also stitching this project, please remember that the The Stitch Specialists group rules apply.  This blog is not, in and of itself, a stitching group, just as the blogs where I saw the Tree of Stitches are not stitching groups.  This is merely a forum in which I, and others, may choose to share progress on this project as well as other projects.  My intention in offering this SAL is so that the latecomers to this design have some extra encouragement on a SAL that most members have completed.  The Stitch Specialists group has, in some ways, moved it's focus on to The Great Escape.  There may still be questions about Tree of Stitches, and I encourage The Stitch Specialists members on this SAL to post all their questions to the The Stitch Specialists group.  I am a novice.  Abi started this group so that stitchers like me could learn the stitches from her personally, and I, in no way, wish to overstep that relationship.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A SAL

     I'm going to be running a SAL.  And I'm nervous about it.  I've never run one before, really.  Some people on blogspot run SALs by listing the names of everyone doing it along with a blog link.  Others ask that participants send them piccys once a week so the leader can publish them all at once.  I don't know what I want to do, lol.  (Because I'm soooooo decisive, right?!?)  Anyways, I'm doing the SAL on blogspot, but if anyone from Multiply wants to join, fee free.
     And now, on to the particulars.  We're SALing Abi G's Tree of Stitches, from the yahoo group The Stitch Specialists.  (If you haven't seen it, it's gorgeous.)  The trunk is cross stitched (I'm using GAST Dark Chocolate for my trunk, as it's a nice mix of browns) and then the canopy is made from fifteen specialty stitches (I'm using DMC 125).  It ends up looking gorgeous (I know, I said that before, but it really is) and there's lots of texture in it.  I'm excited to start it.  If you want to join us, leave a comment on this blog entry and I'll put your name down.  I'll be posting piccys either Tuesday night or Wednesday (most likely Wed) and if you want to have me share your progress piccy, I'd be happy to do so.  Just send them to me at jnemitz@cinci.rr.com, and I'll add you to the list!
     On to other things.  I had a birthday party last night.  It wasn't a big one or anything, but my mom didn't want to let forty go by without doing something to celebrate it.  So we got together for dinner over at mom's house.  It was me, mom, Cathy (my sister), David (my brother), Amy (my brother's girlfriend, who's very nice) and Vin (David's dog).  It was lovely.  Mom made both lasagna and spaghetti and meat sauce.  I had spaghetti (it was a pre-made lasagna, and I DO NOT like ricotta cheese) and it was delicious.  We also had salad and bread with it.  She had chocolate cake and ice cream for desert, but we were all too full to eat it.  David and Amy took some home, and I hung with mom for a while.  Everyone but me and mom had wine (I don't care for anything alcoholic, and my mom is allergic), and it was fun.  David made fun of my couch being purple, and mom gave me a sort of gag gift.  Actually, I have pics.  I'll post them here.
     Okay, from mom, I got three things and money.  She gave me enough money to get my car tags renewed, and an outfit (T shirt and jeans) and (this is the almost gag gift) a box of Puffs.  Okay, a little background here.  I'm not the most couth person out there.  I sniff rather than blow, and I don't mind admitting it.  I have a
 box of tissues that I bought during the summer of 2008 because I had broken up with my boyfriend, and I knew I would cry a lot.  It still has about fifty tissues in it.  (Julie uses them every time she comes down as she's allergic to YD.)  So I'm looking at this box of Puffs and wondering if this is some sort of hint that I need to use tissues more often.  And David and his girlfriend are laughing (probably at the confused expression on my face as I'm looking at the tissues) and mom says, "I got them cause they're purple.  They don't make purple Puffs."  LOL, I cracked up.  I was like, REALLY?!?  Oh, geez, it was just too funny.  Apparently, this is the first time she's seen purple Puffs, and, since she knows I like purple, she bought them for me.  It was too funny.  The outfit 
I really like.  It's lovely.  Purple with shades of dark purple sort of swirled around on the front.  And then my cousin Beth, who lives in mom's basement got me a gift card to Amazon.com (which I used for the two new Lora Leigh books coming out in November and December (Tied in a Bow and Lawe's Justice)).  I pre-ordered them, which is even better.  By the time the first book ships, I'll have forgotten I ordered it, and by the time the second book ships, I'll have forgotten again.  Whoo hoo!!!  It's gonna be awesome.  And then David and Amy got me a gift card to Speedway for gas, which I can use.  All wonderful things.
     And now, I'm off to stitch or do email (not sure which, as I should be getting caught up, but it's IHSW, so I should also be stitching).  Hope you're all sleeping the sleep of the peaceful.  HAGN!!  (And last but not least, a piccy of the very adorable Yes Dear sitting in my mom's crock pot box.  Silly thing!)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Saying goodbye


     I didn't blog about it before, but I lost my great uncle Elwood a couple of nights ago.  I'm not sure what happened.  They moved, about six months ago, into an assisted living facility because my uncle wasn't doing too well.  He passed on the night before Randi left.  I found out about it, but didn't talk much about it with her.  I'm very sad to have lost him.  I haven't talked to him much lately, as he's mostly deaf, and I couldn't go over there where he could read my lips.  I'll miss him though.  And (of course) I have a great uncle Elwood story.
     In the years that I turned thirteen and fourteen, my parents allowed my grandparents to take me fishing with them to Canada.  The first year, Uncle Elwood and Aunt Carol came with us.  We had a great time.  Uncle Elwood was a great joker, and scared the crap out of me for a few minutes.  (Alert!!  The following story involves leeches.  Just warning you now, so you can skip over this paragraph if you so desire.)   There were a bunch of kids there that were close to my age, and had been coming up with their parents for years.  There were Tom and Lisa with one family, and then Michelien, Michael, and Jay with the other.   It was love at first sight.  We'd go out with our respective families during the day to fish, then the men would clean the catch while the women watched us.  Then the women would cook while the men watched us.  (Sometimes, if the men were on duty, we got to go out and ski.  It was awesome!!)  Anyways, one night that summer, we all came out of the lake, and I had somehow managed to pick up two leeches.  Not knowing anything about them, I calmly picked them off and tossed them.  My grandpa and my Uncle Elwood were sitting there near the dock watching.  So I come up to them, and my uncle is all concerned.  (My grandpa wasn't, which should have been my first clue.  They (my grandparents) doted on me, and I on them.  So if something was wrong, grandpa should have been worried.  But that's neither here nor there.)  Uncle Elwood:  Saw that you got some leeches.  Me:  Yep.  Uncle Elwood:  Too bad  Me:  What?  Uncle Elwood:  I was really sorry to see that.  Me:  What, what (starting to get nervous)?  Uncle Elwood:  Well........  Me:  What is it?  Uncle Elwood:  (very solemnly)  You're gonna die.  I laughed so hard I peed myself, y'all.  So he kept kidding me about that, joking around with me, until a few days later, when I turned the tables on him.  He got a fish hook caught in his hand, and so I started doing the same thing to him.  Of course, he knew what I was doing, and he played along, lol.  So I kept joking with him and he kept joking with me.  So I saw Aunt Carol at the visitation today, and said, "So that fishhook finally got him after all, huh?"  And she just laughed with me.  So that was nice.  I had a quiet moment to say goodbye, and I hope he's at peace.  He was a great guy, and was always involved in disaster relief efforts.  Katrina was their last big disaster, and after that, his doctor said no more.  He was a jokester, always laughing and joking with people.  He was one of the nicest people I've ever met.  The world lost a great man, and I was lucky enough to know him.  I feel bad for his family, but they all seem to be dealing with it well, which is good.  So it's a bit of a drag on the soul to know that he's gone...  I love you, Uncle Elwood!!  
     This isn't from our trip to Canada, but Christmas of that year.  Aunt Carol and Uncle Elwood in our basement (ignore the awful wallpaper, it was the seventies).  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Vacation is almost over

     And boy am I broke, lol.  It was sooooooooo worth it though.  We had a great time while Randi's been here.  (I can't wait to drop her off at the airport though.  I told her as soon as I drop her off, I'm turning up the radio and singing along with every freaking song!!!!)  For two people not used to living together, we did good.  A couple of small disagreements, but nothing major.  She has to be at the airport tomorrow morning at nine ten, which is gonna be ugly for me.  I got up at three today, so nine am will take forever to get here.  She sort of packed up some of her stuff today.  She still has to pack up her book and meds and stuff, but that's no big deal.  It can't be done till she takes her pills tonight though.  She's currently napping, so I don't feel like I've abandoned her to blog, lol.
     I have progress pics.  And an invitation, and an ornie, and a winner, and a friend's call, lol.  It's been busy here.  First, the piccys (cause I know that's why y'all read my blog, lol).  I have progress on both Jesus and Story Keeper today.  Not too much progress on either, though.  I worked some on Story Keeper this week, but not much.  I spent a lot of time getting my flosses organized that I just bought.  It took me several hours.  And then I was afraid to stitch Friday when I was up for so long, cause I knew I'd just have to frog it.  So I didn't get a lot done this week.  You can see the piccy here:
Story Keeper 10/8/2011
     And I worked on Jesus yesterday.  I watched my beloved Bengals win their third game yesterday, against the Jags.  It was a really close game until the last couple of mins when we scored both an offensive touchdown and a defensive touchdown.  So the final score was actually twenty to ten, even though it was close for most of the game.  Our QB, Andy Dalton, is doing pretty well at managing the game.  It's exciting that we haven't lost every game, lol.  (And speaking of losing every game, the Colts have not won a game and the Lions haven't lost a game.  At the end of last year, if you'd told me how it was gonna go, I would have laughed in your face!!)  Anyways, I watched that at one.  Then, my mom called and offered to buy me a tank of gas cause I'm so broke.  I was all over that.  I needed the gas to take Randi to the airport, and I'm broke.  (Rolling pennies for gas broke, as Jeff Foxworthy would say.)  So we went out during the four fifteen game yesterday, and then I did some emails till the eight thirty game was on.  Then I watched the Atlanta Falcons lose to the Green Bay Packers, whoo hoo!!  And the Steelers won too.  I had a good football day, lol.  Jesus was a good boy.  I only had to frog once, and even then it was only about ten stitches.  You can see him here: 
Jesus 10/9/2011


     And now for the invitation.  I'm inviting those of you who are in the Yahoo group The Stitch Specialists to join myself and Rachel in a SAL for ToS.  I've seen the Tree of Stitches on a lot of blogs, and I think it's just gorgeous.  So I finally gave in and joined up.  Rachel mentioned that she hasn't done hers yet either, and would I like to SAL it.  (Of course, this allows me to start a new project without finishing something in my rotation, so I jumped on it, lol.)  If anyone is interested, leave me a comment with the day you prefer.  I'll post pics on my blog if y'all want to send them to me.  It doesn't have to be on the same day every week, but I'm thinking I'll probably post at least one photo per week of my non SAL project, and will post a piccy of the ToS progress the day after the SAL day.  I.E.  SAL is Wed, I'll post a piccy on Thursday of both my rotation project and my ToS.  So whether this is your first tree, or you second, or if you're halfway done, feel free to join us!!
     Okay, next is the ornie.  Karen sent it to me.  If you follow Karen's blog, you know she does an ornie giveaway every month.  I won for September.  Basically, Karen makes two identical ornies.  One for herself, and one for the follower who wins the giveaway.  I'm a follower, so I was automatically entered.  It's too cute.  I put a piccy in my last post with all the pics, but I'll put another one here.  I wish I had her finishing skills, is all I have to say.  It's wonderful.  Thanks so much Karen, I love it.  I'm getting rid of my big tree, but I have quite a few handmade ornies so I'm gonna get a little two or three footer for the desk so I can put up a few ornies!  Piccy is here:
Ornie from Karen front (on the tissue paper she wrapped it in)

Ornie from Karen back


     I also have a winner of the Traveling Stash Box.  I was hoping it would be Randi, so I didn't have to pay for shipping, but it wasn't.  It was Vicky L.  Grats Vicky.  Depending on financial concerns, I'll get the box out to you.  (I have a birthday dinner with my brother and sister Friday night.  When my brother gets me a gift, he usually gets me a gift card to the grocery store.  If he did, I'll have the money this month to ship it to you.  If not, then I'll have to wait for Novembers check to send it out.)  I hope you can find lots of things you like!!  I got some awesome things from it!
     And lastly, the friend's call.  I talked to my gamer friend Freak for about an hour and twenty minutes the other day.  It all started with Randi (thanks Randi) telling me she was gonna move here.  I wanted to check something with my Internet and phone provider.  So I called them, and their computer was down.  So since they couldn't look up my bill, I was asking them general questions about service.  I asked about digital phone for Randi, and they told me twenty nine ninety nine for unlimited long distance to the US, Canada, Guam, and American Samoa.  So I asked if I have that, and she was trying to figure it out when the computers came back up.  So she checked it for me, and said yes, I do have that.  And I was thrilled with that news, cause Freak lives in Canada.  So I called him on his cell phone, and we had an absolutely crappy connection.  So I tried again a few minutes later on his home phone, and that one was crystal clear.  It was great.  He told me something that almost made me cry, y'all.  I was sitting there one day, chatting with the guild and stitching, and he asked where I was.  So I told him I was stitching and chatting and my character had her shop open.  So he was all interested in what kind of stitching I did.  So I told him what I do, and told him to go look at my blog to see what it looks like.  So he did.  He told me a few weeks later that he thought my stuff was cool.  I didn't think anything else of it.  We've talked about different things before, and one of the things we talked about was my love for wolf artwork.  I love wolves.  I can't remember how we got on the subject, and I'm honestly wondering if he maneuvered it.  He told me he's making me a wolf cross stitch.  I was so excited by that.  I love to get handmade gifts, and it means a lot to me that he would do something like that for me!  I almost woke Randi up to tell her when I found out, lol.  He said it's about four inches by four inches, and I assume he got a kit, but I don't know which one.  He hopes to have it done for me for Christmas.  (BTW, if anyone has any ideas of what I could make him, besides something framed, please let me know!!)
     So that's about all that's going on around here today.  We're having pot roast for dinner, yummy!!  (With mashers and gravy and ketchup.  Delicious.)  I haven't had a good pot roast (with the exception of mom's a couple of weeks ago) in a long, long time, so I'm really looking forward to it.  Thanks to everyone who posted a comment on my last few posts.  I really appreciate each and every one (especially the mean ones, lol).  Hope you're all having a great night!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Columbus pics (very piccy heavy)

      Multiply is not playing nice today for some reason.  It won't let me post the rest of my photos from my trip.  So I'm posting them all here, so y'all can see them.  Be warned, there are a lot of them!!  Most of them are at Keepsakes, and pics of the walls there.  Lots of finished pieces hanging!
Keepsakes
Keepsakes


Keepsakes

Keepsakes

Keepsakes

Keepsakes

Keepsakes

Keepsakes

Keepsakes

Keepsakes

Keepsakes

Keepsakes

Keepsakes

Keepsakes

Keepsakes

Keepsakes

Julie M at her house

One view of Randi's stash

Another view of Randi's stash

Card from Julie M (inside says, "I know how easily people your age pee their pants").

Card from mom (Inside says, "Wait, no...  Hairball.  NM.")

Card from Julie W. (inside says, "...but you're certainly high enough to get nosebleeds!")

Card from my sister and Jim (inside says, "We ran into a little snag with the entertainment.  Happy birthday anyway.")

My floss from Keepsakes, Grape Soda