Fully Caffeinated Since 1982


Stitchers Five, Coming At Ya Live
After weeks of amazingly invigorating workouts (ha ha ha) with Leslie Sansone and my video machine, I am proud to announce I am 20 pounds lighter, albeit 20 muscles sorer. However, it feels good.

Only 60 more pounds ta go, chickies! I hope I can survive. Egg whites and chicken are starting to wan real thin.

I have been tinkering with ideas for my novel, and I hope to get Chapter 2 up sometime next week. This chapter will introduce us to the heroine (name change may occur, I'm still toying with the idea) and set up the culture of the land a little more.

Okay, 'nuff said on that: on with the Stitchers Five!

1. Do you like to use specialty stitches when you stitch?

It depends on my mood. There are times when all I want to work on is specialty stitches, and then other times when I think if I see one more specialty stitch I'll scream.

2. Can you do a perfect french knot?

I think french knots were created just to make my stitching life as miserable as it can possibly get. If I never see another french knot it will be too soon. I think they are the incarnation of evil, bent on destroying a stitcher's mind and soul. No. I cannot do a perfect french knot.

3. What is your favourite stitch?

Regular ol' cross stitch.

4. Are you currently working on any projects with specialty stitches and if so which ones?

I'm stitching Fantasy Wedding Blessing which contains a herringbone, and I'll be starting Victoria Sampler's Heirloom Anniversary Sampler this summer which is just about nothing but specialty stitches and hardanger.

5. Name a specialty stitch you would most love to learn how to do.

Hardanger, which I am currently learning. Tres cool.

Thanks to Hazel for the great questions!


To Whom It May Concern
Messrs and madams~

For many months now my inbox has been flooded with a tidal wave of mail from many of you concerning the most curious of matters. I have not met any of you in the flesh, and I do not know any of you, and yet you seem to think you know me. How you came across my e-mail address causes me great puzzlement, for I certainly do not frequent the places that your particular brands of services offer. That said, let me assure all of you once and for all that:

1) I am never going to give you access to my bank account so you can use it to deposit an obscenely huge amount of money from some obscure little city in Nigeria that probably does not even exist.

2) I do not want three different diet pills to choose from, all that will probably make me edgy, irritable, and addicted.

3) I am *not* looking for a "hot time with young college things" or any other "thing" you happen to mention.

4) I do not need anything enlarged, sucked, tucked, or any of the other ways you offer to misshapen various parts of mine or my husband's body.

5) I do not want to see pictures of naked men in simpering, "woe-as-me" poses with one hand thrown over the eyes and the other covering his apparently un-endowed genitalia.

6) I do not want to refinance my home or get a mortgage through you, your friends, your relatives, or anyone even remotely acquainted with you.

7) I do not want anymore of your whiney letters about how your self-esteem is attatched to the size of your you-know-what, nor do I want letters from your wife on how she could never please you until she took that "miracle pill'.

In short, I do not want, desire, covet, or ask for your wares. I am not even remotely interested in what you have to offer. If your services were the last available on earth, then I would die a rich person for I would never spend money again. If I never see another e-mail from you then it will be a moment too soon. In otherwords, leave me alone.

I cannot be clearer. Have a nice day.


Mornin', everyone.

I was surfing the 'net and I came across my high school alma mater: Marymount International School.

As I gazed at the images, a wave of nostalgia swept over me with the force of a tsunami. I had no idea I missed it so. Kingston-Upon-Thames had not only been my physical home, but I had made it home in my heart. How on earth this unsophisticated little American girl ever survived amidst the international wonders of such a place is beyond me, but survive I did. And, after one very rough first year, I thrived.

And I miss it. Dear Lord in heaven, how I miss it.

I miss my crumpets. I miss my porridge. I miss it raining one minute and sun shining the next. I miss Salt and Vinegar crisps, the kind so strong they sucked all the moisture out of your mouth. I miss clotted cream smeared on scones with sweet jam. I miss the Tube. I miss not having a car and still being about to travel all over the country. I miss 70 degrees being considered fine spring weather that calls the natives out to sunbathe. I miss the Body Shop. I miss seeing other people eat 'weird' like I do, with my fork in my left hand and my knife in my left. I miss the Oak Cab Company. I miss the accents. I miss coaches.

I'm American, but I'm also very, very British. My teenage years have sealed that forever within me, and England will always be home away from home.


Chapter 1 Is UP!
I just spent the last hour finishing and getting Chapter 1 up on the LOtWK (as Shalini refered to it today!:))

It's interesting how many changes the story goes through in my mind until I get it on paper, and then the changes it goes through before it gets to the site. Of course, it will go through changes further still with some decent editing, but at least this is a start.:)

And now? I'm going to go *stitch*!!! Yahoo!:)


Meet Gwenifyr
I got my digicam software installed, so I can start taking pics again! Whahootie!:):):)

Here is the sketch I did last night:

I had a hundred names picked out for her, but Gwenifyr just seemed to speak to me the loudest. She was all set to have firey red hair, but once I drew her I saw her as having pale red hair, the shade that borders on blonde. It never ceases to amaze me how an image can be crystal clear in my head, and then when it gets on paper it has a soul of its own.

Very cool.

I've worked a little on Ronan today, but I still have some shading and line work to do. As you can see, I am a shade freak. I can't just do a rough copy; it has to be a full render of I'm sunk. I will probably work a color version of Gwenifyr, just to have an excuse to play with some brand new Prismcolor pencils I bought from Michaels yesterday.

I am so happy to be drawing again. One day I'll share my testimony on why I stopped, but for now I'll just say I'm glad to back in the swing.:)

Inner Yearnings
Sometimes, in the far reaches of our souls, we yearn for those things that have not yet come to pass but could if we but said Yes to them.

My problem has never been saying Yes...it's always been saying Until The End.

I am a perpetual starter. It matters not the project, I will start it but I always have a hard time finishing. I do not want to do this anymore. Not only does it stiffle creativity, but it creates a sense of failure that, over time, becomes impossible to live with.

I have failed at too many things, merely because I would not take the time to succeed.

I no longer want to live with this energy-zapping ghoul embedded within me. I realize for many creative spirits the drive to creaet is the heartbeat of life, not the drive to finish. For me, it's death. I need to finish. Creating for the sake of creating no longer satisfies me. There must be consumation of the creator-spirit with the creation for a true birth to take place.

It's the same in every aspect of life: spiritually, physically, emotionally. As creations, we must connect with our Creator to understand, to dream, to be made complete. On this plane, I must connect with my creations so that I may be made complete. The way I desire to do this is to bring them to full fruition.

Please pray for me so that I can do this. I don't care if I die a starving artist, but I don't want to die an unfulfilled one.

River of Stars Resurrected
I'm drawing again. It feels good.

Last night I worked on a pencil sketch on my heroine, She-Who-Has-Yet-To-Be-Named. I wanted to capture a personality more than a face, and despite the simplicity of the piece I think I've done just that. Unfortunately, I have no way to share it with you for neither my scanner nor my digi cam is hooked up.

Which reminds me...I do not even have a link to my artwork on my blog. Shame on me. It seems I've got links to just about everything else (even Perpetual Bubblewrap, for cryin' out loud!) but no Prin art. So, without further ado, here goes:

River of Stars: The New Romantic Art of Stacey Giadrosich Tippin

Keep in mind the site is in serious need of updating, but now that I'm drawing again (and once I get some scanner software installed) I hope to remedy that...


Huge Blessings Come In Tiny Packages
God has been very good to me.:)

I have recently become an Elan lap stand convert, a major deal considering I have always stitched in-hand. I decided to work on Weeping Willow Keep a bit, but as I was putting it in my Q-snap I noticed the fabric was doing a bit of nasty stretching. I knew that Jobelan has a propensity to stretch, but I was really wanting to stitch on it in my Qs. I have not stitched that much on it, so I went to the black hole I call my Stash Drawer and plunged in head first. After a few breathless moments, I emerged from the deep, triumphantly waving a piece of Rainforest Color Blooms of perfect Lugana.

It works wonderfully. Happy, happy camper.

At least, I was a happy camper until I caught the time out of the corner of my eye and realized it was after 11pm. All that fiddling with Q-snaps, diving for fabric, and adjusting lap stands had eaten up all my stitching time.


Defeated and dazzed, I slumped over to the computer to do my nightly e-mail check before slinking off to bed. What I found rejuvinated me in ways I cannot describe.

Someone had written me and said she had been on her way to bed as well when she found my Lords of Willow Keep site. She said she stayed up to read the whole thing and that she loved it. Her exact words were "absolutely incredible". She then proceeded to tell me she came to my blog and read the 100 Things About Me section, and was touched by one of the things she found there. This amazing e-mail ended with her saying she couldn't wait to read more of the novel and that she would purchase a copy once it was published.

Color me stunned. I sat there in disbelief, feeling a mammoth grin spread across my face until I felt like the Grinch-Who-Stole-Christmas redeemed. What touched me most about this whole letter was the fact that she had purposely taken the time out to write me and let me know what she thought. This one gesture did more to encourage and strengthen me in regards to my writing than anything has in a long time. And the fact that someone really likes the story and the way I write was a major boost in itself. I know it's going to need editing, but if readers can enjoy it in it's raw format then the that's something to celebrate, indeed.

I was truly humbled by the letter, and I only pray that this venture lives up to such a worthy expectation.


Harumph, Blegch, and All That Rot
I've done a little bloggity house cleaning today, so if you can't find your blog in the sidebar, fear not: it means it's been added to the Needlework Bloggers page which is under my "Blogs" listing. I have not dumped anyone, so be sure to check the page.

Alas, I wish I could say the same thing pour moi. It seems I have, indeed, disappeared from some blogs lists of links. I can't really say I blame them, for I have taken a pretty hearty hiatus as of late, but it seems if that was the only criteria for the dumping then other MIA blogs would have been dumped ages ago. Granted, my blog does not only concentrate on needlework, especially as of late, so that may be the reason for some of the removals.

Of course, some may just think my blog sucks, which would definitely put a kink in my day. Either way, I shouldn't worry about it but I guess I'm just too blasted thin-skinned.

Oh well...viva la difference, sez I.
A New Section Added To Da Novel!
I did it! The History of Willow Keep is up!


I started working on this last night, and I was so tired the words kept jangling around in my head like an over-rated jigsaw puzzle. Nothing was clicking and I was getting discouraged, until I realized I was trying to hard. With that in mind, I simply sat down and wrote whatever came to mind. A little editing later, and voila!~~a small section of my novel was done.

It's uploaded to the Table of Contents if you want to read it. I also had a name change from Toric to Ronan...Toric was just too many shades of 'Conan the Barbarian' for my liking. Comments are welcome!
Notes to self:

Never try to blog when your children are still hyper from the weekend trip

Never take your dreams seriously when your writing a historical romance.

More at noon.

Thinking Exclusively About In-Clusive Meanings
I'm back from cleaning and eating the most gaggy wheat bread sandwich in my life.

Egads, it was nasty. Talk about wallpaper paste...

I have wielded my ostrich-feather duster with the flair of a swordsman, wrestled an unruly string of Christmas lights, debated tackling that elusive monster known as "Painting The Kitchen Cabinets", and fed my wayward children peanut butter sandwiches. All I have left to do is vacuum the rugs and finish this mountain of clothes known to all as Laundry.

Man, I'm beat. I am Woman Hear Me Snore. This time change has affected my body to the point that I feel like a walking zombie. Normally I enjoy cleaning, but today the Cinderella gig is wearing me out. And as much as I'm sure you love to read about my cleaning episodes, I think I'll skip to something else that has been on my mind over the past couple of days. A couple of bloggers have already touched on it, but I feel it's worth my time to add my own two cents.

Yes, I am talking about the "In-Crowd" syndrome that comes up from time to time on the BBs. I don't have much to say on it, but I've heard enough about it to warrant that my opinion, however important to some and meaningless to others, shall be heard.

Yes, there is an In-Crowd...there is *always* an in-crowd. This is the way it has been since the beginning of time. The in-crowd are those posters who have established a presence on the board over a period of time and have actually formed friendships with other like posters. The *difference*, however, of this in-crowd verses other in-crowds (think high school, if you will) is that *anyone* can be part of the in-crowd. No one is excluded, no one is left out. There are some posters who may seem more 'popular' than others, merely because their names are instantly recognizable and they have spent time 'developing' themselves. This is what makes them and their friendships magnets of tidings good, or for ill (for it is also human nature to want to hurt those things one thinks they cannot be a part of). I think what people miss in point on the BBs (especially large BBs) is that everyone really can be part of this elusive 'in-crowd'. I guess in someways if everyone can be part of the in-crowd then there really isn't an in-crowd, because by tradition in-crowds are exclusive by nature, but I choose to think of the BB in-crowd an a shortening of "inclusive" crowd which, in essence, means it includes *everybody*.

Am I making sense or am I just spoiling your lunch?

Either way, that is my take on it. I've been posting for several years, and I've made some pretty good connections with people. Some of my friends would be considered by some as traditional "in-crowders", while others might be considered those who wonder about the "in-crowders". They are all one and the same to me. I tend to flow where I will and enjoy the company of those who will receive me. I consider myself a part of the in-crowd as I consider *everyone* to be part of it, and I think that is a pretty good way to look at it. I don't know what people think of me, but I hope at least my friends enjoy our time together.

You know...there has been too much gloom-and-doom around here lately. It's Spring, for cryin' out loud, and I'm in the midst of writing a clean romance. I don't want to wallow in woes, I want to spread a little sunshine!

To Ann: Joo are veeeery cool. Don't worry jour head 'bout 'nuthin'. Inigo Montoya loves ya, and so do I. Keep writing, keep reflecting, and keep on keepin' on.

To Angi: Your calls mean more to me than you'll ever know. Don't ever stop!

To Suz: Ah, my gun-totin'-rootin'-tootin' Texan, keep smiling. The Good Lord knows we need more smiles in days like these!

To Laura Leigh: I feel like I've known you for years, and if you had a dime for every time I visited your web site you and Neil could retire and move to Mexico and eat all the guava and cheese dip you want (but no Japanese food, yes?)

To Zena: One day, baby, I'll be riding the Plains of Rohan with you. Maybe we'll see David Whenam about somewhere, or at least a very good imitation...

To Valerie: Sister-mine, meeting you for the first time was like meeting an old friend. I can't wait until the next Georgia GTG.

To Annette: You are just too cool. 'Nuff said.

There are so many more I want to recognize, but I think this will do for a start...


I Got My Coverpage Finished...
...and *what* a coverpage!:)

You know, I used to think I went for blondes, but my husband, who has the same intense dark good-looks as these guys, has spoiled me off them forever.


Still mourning the loss of Paint Shop Pro 8, I am not able to make a tiny banner to go in my sidebar, but I was able to play with the HTML to get one of a fairly decent size. I have the site up (along with the prolouge), and eventually I will add a notify list so people won't have to keep checking to see if I've added another chapter or not. If you want to take a peek, click on the picture and it should zoom you there.

I honestly don't know why I'm doing this; talk about pressure! I am exposing my writing skills (or lack thereof) to everyone before anything has even been edited or checked. I'm even exposing ideas and dreams that are very, very private.

Oh, well. There must be a reason, and if I can deal with it I don't see why others can't.

Note to Whiz: you may be getting a call as an editor and note-keeper if I get too overwhelmed...

Two Brothers And Broiled Chicken
I'm going to do something really brave and vunerable, and I hope I don't regret it.

Yes, I really am going to write that story I was talking about, and I'm going to do it on line. Nope, it won't be here in Perle Moon, but it will be on it's own little site.

I am thinking it will work like this: I'll have a cover page (you all know how I love to mess with graphics. Anyone who has been around the stitching boards long enough knows I can't keep the same sig line for more than a month. I'm always changing, always different. I think I digress...), and then I'll just start writing. I might do a little editing, but it will be pretty raw. I may write a chapter a day, a week, a month, I can't say, for I never know when the muse will hit me. All I know is that if I don't at least try, this story will rattle around in my head until either my head explodes from the comotion or I'll collapse in an expiration of unfulfilled creativity.

On a very cool note, I was hunting around for for a picture of Weeping Willows and possibly two brotherly-type figures, when I stumbled across these two pics:

Aren't these gorgeous? They belong to an artist named Catherine Karina Chmiel (a super cool name for an artist, by the way), and I think they are perfect for a cover page. The top one would represent older brother, and the bottom one the younger. They both could use haircuts and shaves, but I love their expressions and age difference. Perfect. And no, I haven't come up with names for them yet; that will have to come to me in due time. Which, if I may state the obvious, will be kind of essential if I'm going to write a story surrounding these two men. I'm certainly not going to take the Artist-Formerly-Known-As-Prince approach and assign them symbols. How gaggy would that be? Not very romantic.

I'm foaming at the mouth to get started, but I've got to get Paint Shop Pro 8 reloaded on my system. I had no idea how much I used that program (affectionately called by me as "Jasic"), but it's more than I thought. I feel quite bereft without it.

Well, going off to Henry Town Center Shopping to eat something delicious in the form of poultry and spend some money. See you soon.

I'm back and stuffed with steak and potatoes. Believe it or not, it's allowed on my eating plan. Yay me!

I've been browsing the blogs, and I've noticed a lot of blog links have these cool looking little icon thingys next to their name when they get updated. Okay, how come mine never does? Does Blogroller have a beef with me, or do I have to change my settings?

Tis these little questions of life that make the world go 'round.


Simple Pleasures
I just took a shower with Oil of Olay's Olay Complete Body Wash for Normal Skin.

:::::::: sigh:::::::::::::

Manna from heaven.

Happy April Fools...NOT
There was an April Fools joke on one of the BBs today, and while I don't need to go into detail I do want to write here what I was going to post before the thread got locked:

Three things:

One: Okay, it was a joke: not a very wise one, granted, but I can live with that. I still love those involved, and figured they just wanted to give a good joke. I'm sure they didn't want to hurt anyone (even though I, for one, spent the better part of the morning fretting and privately comiserating with the damaged stitching and, more importantly, with what I thought was a damaged friendship. But I digress).

Two: Some people may be upset, but they will move on. They don't need any more help from those who tell them to "get over it, you're being too sensitive," and so on.

Three: Whenever quoting the Bible, please do so in context and in a situation that has to do with what one is quoting, and please remember to include all of the text, such as "And go forth and sin no more". This is very important. Also, please remember that just because someone has done something stupid in the past does not mean they can never ever recognize or comment on something stupid someone else has done in the present, especially when the first party no longer does similar stupid thing. To expect someone to never do so is, in itself, stupid.

It wasn't the joke or the responses that irritated me and sent my eyes rolling as much as it was the jerk young man who tried to look all with-it and throw the "cast not the first stone" line in people's faces. His whole post had a "you idiotic slags" flavor to it that bordered on the line of hysteria. Frankly, I love it when people quote the Bible, but I wish they would at least quote completely and in context instead of trying to look all "see, I sure told you!" and scholarly. And trying to make people feel bad because they were upset? Talk about getting a grip! Not only is that tacky but it's downright vicious. I'm sorry to see that he, along with others, found those that were genuinely upset so entertaining.


Yeesh, man.

Anyway, it's all over and done. I bet by tomorrow this will all be forgotten. Of course, I don't think I can say the same thing about this same time next year...

The Lords of Weeping Willow Keep
I'm thinking about writing a book.


The problem is that I have started upteen books in my life, and either I get so bored with the story I chuck them, or I can't stay focused on what's going on. I am not an organized person by nature, and I really have to work at getting things together--including my writing.

I know it's been a while, but let me fill you in on the muse that has inspired this writing spark:

This amazing picture is not my work, but the finished model for Chatelaine's Weeping Willow Keep, the incredible new design whose forum I have the priviledge to moderate. Long before Martina officially named it, I called it Romantic Castle because I find it one of the most romantic pieces in the world. Because of this, a story was born in my heart that may need to be told.

Despite my burning desire to write and create, I'm feeling rather lazy this morning so I'll just share what I wrote in my forum. Since I wrote it I'll just copy and paste instead of providing a link, for I won't be suing myself for copyright violation.:)

...so I'll share a little bit of the story I envision surrounding this piece with you. Keep in mind I'm a writer so I tend to "think outloud" when I write, and sometimes odd ideas come before good ones, so if you think it's cheesy bear with me!
Okay...there are two brothers, the Lords of Willow Keep. Willow Keep is their ancestral home and it's symbol is the huge, magnificent willow tree that adorns the main courtyard. It is also the symbol that emblazons the armour and heraldry of the family.
The brothers are very close, and very handsome (think Boromir and Faramir ). The eldest is a general of the Keep's army and heir to the Lordship, and the younger a scholar. Both accept their roles with fortitude and are pretty satisfied with life.
Enter la heroine.
She is the blacksmith's daughter (I couldn't think of anything more original, but this is only a work in progress ) and frequently goes with her father to take any custom forged weaponry to the Keep. On one such outing, she (quite by accident) meets the eldest brother. He is polite, she is smitten. Time passes, and their paths somehow keep crossing. Through all this, they both fall in love.
They do not tell anyone, however, for he is nobility and she is common and Father has made it pretty clear he has "noble" ideas for his heir in regards to marriage. They continue to court secretly. In the meantime, neighboring lands become aggressive and older brother is to lead his army to war. Before he does, he vows to her when he gets back he will reveal the severity of their love to his father and wed her whether Father agrees or not.
He leaves the next day. It is not but one week later a bloody helment is found on the battlegrounds, bearing the willow crest of the Keep. Older brother has been killed.
Flash forward three years: the blacksmith's amazing work has become known throughout the lands and he has made a fortune in commissioned weapons. He retires his shop and becomes in charge of the Keep's weaponry. Due to his "exaulted" status, fair maiden is now accepted at court and becomes eligible for a noble marriage. Younger brother and her meet, and he falls in love with her. Although she is still not over the death of older brother, she does find herself beginning to love younger brother. Father is approving of the match, and they become engaged.
All is well, until one night two servants appears at the Keep; it is older brother and his servant. He had been taken captive and kept in an enemy dungeon for two years, by a man who let everyone believe he had been killed. Although the war had ended, the enemy who had him imprisoned was not only a sympathizer with the warring land, not the noble of the land himself so his castle had not been searched. Out of vindictiveness, he kept older brother until a kind-hearted servant took pity on him and released him one night. They bribed a fellow servant to tell the master that older brother had died and had been buried. They fled the enemy's castle, taking refuge in the servant's home village nestled in the hills. It was here for the next year that older brother gathered back his health, his strength, and his determination to get home.
So...this leaves us with a dilemma. Here is fair maiden with two men that she loves, and she know she must choose one. Here are two brothers that love each other, and now they find they love the same woman. Here is Father who denied her to one brother but offered her to the other. What do you think is going to happen???
And just for fun...thinking Boromir and Faramir, which one would *you* choose if you were fair maiden?

As you can tell, I am a sucker for the world of castles, knights, and romantic settings. While the story would contain romance (clean romance, thank you very much), it's theme would center on more than just the love between a man and a woman; it would engulf the relashionship between two brothers and their duties to each other and the land they serve.

Should their story be told? Could I really do it? Or should it just be something tucked away in my mind, gorgeous memories of people and places that never existed, but really could have once upon a time?...

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