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My mother told me about NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month. I was seriously thinking of doing NaNoWriMo this year, but I don’t think I have the energy. NaBloPoMo fits the bill in that it requires only that you post to your blog every day during the month of November. Since I’ve wanted to get back into blogging more regularly, this fits the bill! (And no, this isn’t my blog post for the day.)


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UPDATE: Free cross-stitch patterns are no longer available on MyCraftivity.com.
You have a few more days to catch this week’s free cross-stitch project at MyCraftivity. This one is a wonderful elephant pattern, very realistic and very attractive. Get it before it’s gone! (And check back Monday evening for the new free cross-stitch project of the week.

I have NOT been blogging much lately. I’ve gone through spurts like this since last September when I started this blog. I’ve been busy at work, and the Olympics haven’t helped! It’s been thrilling to watch the swimming races, especially Michael Phelps’s incredible, historic gold medal run (eighth gold medal tonight — yay!) and the gymnastic competitions. I’ve gotten a lot done with various needlework projects because I can’t watch the Olympics without something in my hands to work on. That doesn’t extend to writing and being on the computer, though. I’ll get back into the swing one of these days. In the meantime, I like the evenings I’m spending vicariously in Beijing.

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UPDATE: Free cross-stitch patterns are no longer available on MyCraftivity.com.

We had a serious glitch in posting the new free cross-stitch project of the week for 8/4 over at MyCraftivity — so we left the cute cow magnet patterns up for a bonus week. If you haven’t seen them yet and downloaded the charts, do it soon. If things go according to plan, I’ll be taking down that pattern on Monday evening and putting up a new one. (Here’s the problem: I’m out of the office all next week at a photo shoot for one of the books I’m editing. I’ll need to stop in the office Monday evening to get the post up, so we’ll see. Check late Monday or on Tuesday for a new post, just in case.)

For more information about the free cow cross-stitch patterns, see this post.

Stopped by the Stampaway USA convention today in nearby Sharonville (near Cincinnati). I don’t work with rubber stamps as much as I do other things, but the convention has tons of vendors with all kinds of stuff that makes for fascinating browsing (and buying). Did I spend a lot of money? By my standards, yes. I bought things to make some small books and to learn to do Japanese stab binding, acrylic blocks with handles (I love using clear stamps and acrylic blocks, but I always find the blocks hard to place and lift), and some great shrine kits. I could have bought double that, but I had to show some restraint! (Stampaway U.S.A. is sponsored by a shop called Stamp Your Art Out, which is near where I work in Kenwood and is my favorite destination when I want to treat myself or just see what new things are being done with stamps, paper crafts, and bookmaking.)

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UPDATE: Free cross-stitch patterns are no longer available on MyCraftivity.com.

The free cross stitch patterns this week at MyCraftivity feature some cute cow characters. The charts are to make refrigerator magnets, but there are lots of things you could do with them. Go see for yourself.
While you’re there, visit the Cross Stitch and Needle Arts blog. I just put up a post yesterday based on an article I found called “Winning Tips for Fair Exhibitors” in an old issue of The Workbasket (July 1953 — the year before I was born)  I provide a few quotes from the article as well as my own perspectives on entering needlework in fairs. I miss my old competition days.

I’ve been scanning years and years of The Workbasket this week, going back to 1948 and forward to the 90s. It turns out my company owns the rights to this beloved old magazine and its contents, and we’ve got some interesting projects ahead drawing on the treasure trove of embroidery transfers, crocheting and knitting patterns, and even recipes. Should be fun! (I have to say that glancing through those volumes of The Workbasket in succession is like watching my life pass before my eyes. My mother did some of the craft projects back in the 60s, and I delved into old Workbaskets myself over the years for great doily patterns — won quite a few ribbons with them, too. More than that, it’s fascinating to see the styles, hairdos, ads, and changes in culture and craft/needlework trends as the decades pass.)

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UPDATE: Free cross-stitch patterns are no longer available on MyCraftivity.com.

This is very late notice, so don’t delay if you’re interested in this week’s free cross stitch pattern at MyCraftivity. You’ll find a very nice flower garden alphabet chart that would be great for any number of uses.

Be sure to check back on Monday evening. I think there may be a magnet coming for next week’s project.

Last weekend the Hooligans, Diamondqueen, Mom, and I went to the Civil War celebration at Gorman Heritage Farm in Cincinnati. We found a small but impressive quilt show in the learning center; there was also a big piece of burlap stitched with appliques and stretched on a frame so anyone could try their hand at “quilting” (which was more like stitchery since there was no batting or backing, but it made a cute hands-on display for families).

I wasn’t surprised that Diamondqueen and even S.Hooligan wanted to sew a few stitches. J.Hooligan, though, tried it as well, and very conscientiously put careful, even stitches on the “quilt.” He wouldn’t be the first male in the family to be open-minded toward needlework. His uncle, my brother in St. Louis, did a high school project for which he embroidered a replica of a segment of the Bayeux Tapestry. I think he won an award of some kind for it, and possibly the teacher kept it, since I don’t recall seeing it since he completed the crewel piece back in the 70s.

It’s tempting to encourage J.Hooligan’s needlework, but he’s such a perfectionist. Diamondqueen envisions temper tantrums and fits of frustration every five minutes because some stitch didn’t turn out exactly the way J. wants. If he comes to needlework eventually, more power to him. For now, we’ll just leave him to his video games.

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UPDATE: Free cross-stitch patterns are no longer available on MyCraftivity.com.

I don’t always get around to blogging when I want to, so my reminders about the weekly free cross stitch pattern on MyCraftivity may not always be timely. Unless I’m on vacation or sick, the free project post should go up on the site in the evening on Mondays (with the previous week’s post getting un-linked about the same time); so if you’re interested, just set yourself a reminder to go have a look sometime during the week.

This week’s free project is very cool. It’s an Egyptian Eye of Horus pattern that can be used to make an eyeglasses case, or anything else you can come up with. Really interesting. Don’t miss it.

After six and a half months, I can finally make the announcement I’ve been longing for: I delivered my kidney stone at last!!! I first mentioned in this post my New Year’s ordeal with this unexpected medical development. If I’d had any notion at the time that I’d just now be resolving this problem, I would have opted for the procedure the ER doc suggested on December 30! (“Or you can go home and just wait for it to pass” — I was thinking in terms of days, not months.)

Fortunately, I had a long spell over the winter when I wasn’t bothered by it at all. In fact, I’d assumed it was long gone. A CAT scan in the spring proved me wrong. Shortly after that, I started having these “problems.” Nothing as bad as that initial agony, but I’ve gotten more and more uncomfortable over the past eight weeks or so.

And now it’s over! The thing that stuns me most is I didn’t even feel it come out. And when I saw it, I thought it was too “huge” to be the stone. Then I measured it, and it was less than a centimeter. When it was first diagnosed, the stone was supposed to be 3cm. I guess those herbal supplements I took DID grind it down a bit; just not enough over the long haul.

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UPDATE: Free cross-stitch patterns are no longer available on MyCraftivity.com, nor is there a community for Cross Stitch and Needle Arts at this time.

Because I’m employed by the parent company of MyCraftivity.com, I’m expected to post regularly there. I’ve started a series on my personal MyCraftivity blog called “My Needlework Journey,” starting with this post about how I started crocheting as a child.
As group leader for the Cross Stitch and Needle Arts group, I’ve been posting some items as moderator, too, including a weekly free cross stitch pattern from one of F+W Publications’ books. Check it out each week, because one week’s project comes down when a new one goes up.

If you’re interested in needlework, knitting, crocheting, quilting, sewing and fashion, mixed media and collage, scrapbooking and paper crafts, beading and jewelry, inspiration and creativity, painting and more (those are only the “official” groups), take a look at MyCraftivity and become a member. You can set up your own blog, participate in message boards, get weekly free projects and tips from experts , and sign up for a free e-newsletter. It’s a social networking site for crafters, quilters, and needleworkers — and beyond.

I’ll be linking in future posts to my MyCraftivity posts, and I’ll post alerts about new projects as I’ve posted them. In addition, I’m creating a MyCraftivity category as well as a “My Needlework Journey” subhead under the Needlework category. 

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