Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

And Happy Birthday to Michael! Polar Bears anyone?

and just to reiterate:

I don't do goals.

LOL, that might explain a lot.

Stitching Bloggers' Best of 2008

Stitching bloggers Best of 2008

1. Did you discover any new (or new-to-you) designers in 2008? And your favorite was?
I discovered charted canvaswork in a big way. Current favorite, Laura J. Perin

2. Same question - New Fabrics?
No new fabrics, but I've developed a fondness for the Crossed Wing fabrics this year.

3. Same question - New fibres?
Belle Soie, the Crescent Colours silks. And thanks to the increase in charted work, I have great familiarity now with lots of Rainbow Gallery metallics.

4. Same question - New finishing techniques?
Backstitching the design and then whip stitching the right sides together.

5. Did you have a favorite "theme" in 2008?
Theme. Hmmm. I bought a lot of mermaid patterns...

6. Did you try any new gadgets?
No, I don't think so. But this question is nagging at me, like there's something I'm not remembering. If I do, I'll edit this post.

7. Did you discover any new (or new-to-you) LNS in 2008? And your favorite was?
The Waste Knot in Arlington, VA. Tons of lovely handpainted canvases and lots of fibers.

8. Same question: new or new-to-you online stores?
Nope.

9. Same question: new or new-to-you bloggers?
Too many to remember. I love reading everyone.

a) stitching bloggers
b) bloggers in general

10. Same question: communities/forums
The Shining Needle Society

11. Whose blog in 2008 was the Most inspirational for keeping you stitching?
Sharonb - The Pin Tangle

12. Whose blog was funniest in 2008?
Stitch Bitch - Anna, you're going to runaway with this one.

13. Which blog's posts did you "star" the most in your reader in 2008?
I don't star. Should I?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Serious Damage

The Stitching Post is having a sale.
The Stitching Post is having a sale.
(Um, that's supposed to be to the tune of the Prince is giving a ball...)

I've lighten my wallet by quite a bit. Went with a friend and had a great time.

In the 50% off pile - one art nouveau canvas from Heartland House, two punch needle pieces, The Heart's Content "Cherry, Cherry," Michael Boren's Arabella, and three samplers: Of Female Worth's Sideboard Sampler, Wild-Heart Design's Ann Lawrence 1837, and The Scarlet Letter's Sary Burditt 1755.

In the 20% off pile, various fibers, Whimsical Element and Olde Willow Stitchery's 2006 Christmas Ornament "Warm Wishes," The Cricket Collection's "Always Summer 1," and Permin's 1859 Anna Thies sampler.

And in other stitching news: made some good progress on In the Midnight Hour after I had to frog for stitching with the Waterlilies instead of the Watercolors. I'm seeing the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel on this one.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Some Stitching

I managed to get a little bit of stitching in on Christmas day. After opening presents and popping our Flintstone sized roast in the oven, I set up In the Midnight Hour on the dining room table, turned on the extra light in the chandelier, and set down my glass of champagne. I stitched about 20 stitches, went to reach around the back of the canvas and my hand hit the glass. But with lightening reflexes I grabbed it and thus did not dump the entire contents of the glass. Fortunately my fibers are in a plastic bag so they were safe. And only two pages of the chart got a tiny bit wet. Disaster averted. Yes, I continued to drink and stitch. But I moved my glass to a safer location.

Christmas night I pulled out Little House Needleworks piece that may be two hours from finishing. And yesterday I worked some more on canvas piece while listening to David Sedaris's Holidays on Ice which was in my Christmas stocking. Even though I read this book when it was first published, the best experience is hearing him read his own works.

We are now a Wii family. Oh my. What fun! We've got Mario Kart, Baseball Power Pros 2008, We Love Golf, a pinball game, and Boom Blox. If anyone has any favorite games they'd recommend, I'm listening.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holiday Meme

From Anna at the Stitch Bitch:



Candy cane or peppermint patties
? Candy cane if I can find some made in the U.S.

Sugar or gingerbread cookies
? Sugar cookies. As long as I don't have to make them.
Tinsel or beaded strands? Tinsel. Bright, shiny tinsel.
Multi-colored or same-colored lights? Right now, all white. In the past white and blue.
Flashing or still lights? Flashing lights induce seizures, I says.
Wreaths or mistletoe/holly? Both. Can't have too much green stuff.
Rudolph or Frosty? Give me the Heat Miser.
Sledding or snowball fights? Ice skating, sledding, and snowballs!
Snow or ice/icicles? Snow. Ice can be deadly.
Snow hat or earmuffs? Hat if I can find one big enough.
Getting or giving? Both have their merits.
Snow days or plow trucks? LOL
Stockings or presents? Both, please.
Cookies & milk or letter to Santa? Cookies and beer. That's what we used to do.
Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? I'm never sad on Christmas Eve. Same can not be said of Christmas Day.
Log Burning Channel or real thing? Please, the real thing.
Cards or e-mails? Handmade cards.
Shoveling or cleaning off the car? I will do either. It's the price we pay for the beauty of the snow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Frogs A-Visiting

I ran by my LNS yesterday before the big grocery shopping expedition to see if there was another skein of Belle Soie's Sandy Beach that matched the one I was using for the background on my dogwood canvas. No such luck. There was one skein, but it didn't even come close to matching mine. I don't know why I was thinking one skein might be enough, but after stitching three rows I knew it wouldn't be. I found some AVAS that was a close match and got two skeins of it. Last night I frogged the Sandy Beach, but didn't put in any new stitches.

Nearly have all the wrapping finished. House is getting cleaner. Even the gutters got cleaned yesterday - not by me as I don't do heights. My Christmas presents won't arrive until January, i.e., what DH is buying me. But I can wait. Definitely worth waiting for.

Today is a bit more cleaning. A little baking - too funny that both my sister and I have no idea what to make for desert on Christmas. We're both tired of pie. Will be interesting to see what we both come up with. And wrap hubby's gifts which need to come out of hiding.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Who Knew?

Who knew that Jethro Tull had recorded an album of Christmas music? LOL I gave to my DS, who is a huge fan, and I haven't personally listened to it yet. Also found a bargain copy of the Talking Heads "Little Creatures," which I love. Some how we had never purchased this on CD, it being one of the last albums on vinyl we bought. I think the absolutely last "new" vinyl album we bought was the Bruce Springsteen double album release in 1986? As for the Talking Heads - love it! Sounds as wonderful to me today as it did when it was new.

I started my border on the dogwood canvas last night. Doing a cashmere stitch. Love it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Busy Buying and Wrapping

I have been making stitching progress on my little dogwood canvas. It's nice having a project this size that my clip on light fits on and I don't have a chart to look at. I am motivated to keep stitching on this because I'm trying to get to the part where I can stitch the background. Wha? I have a few ideas I want to try out and I'm thinking of creating a border for it, too, and I just want to experiment.

We've got a mega wind blowing this morning and I had to take DS to work. Pretty darn cold out there. Later I have to take DD to work. Then 2 1/2 hours later I have to pick DS up at work. This could get to be ridiculous. But thank you, Target, for providing jobs to my home from college kids who need cash.

I need to go and put everything together for stockings and see how it adds up. I might need to find some more little things. I've had a hard time keeping track in my head this year. Too much junk up there I suppose.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thank You, Weather Gods

DD got home last night. Oh wait. Make that this morning. We picked her up at the airport around 1:30 a.m. Only nearly 6 hours late. She did not have a pleasant day. But she's here and that's what counts.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Plea

A plea to the weather gods - don't dump so much snow on Boston that DD can't fly out later today. She'd been stranded at Logan before. And we'd both like not to repeat the experience. I, frankly, just miss her and want her home.

DH set up his new toy, a Sony home theater system replacing beautiful sounding but ugly to look at nearly 23 year old speakers. Those speakers are so good that they are the only stereo component that he hadn't updated in all these years since buying them in Germany, probably at Mainz Kastell or maybe the Rhein Main Audio Visual Club. Now lots of wires of have disappeared from the living room and I've got a wireless remote controlled speaker in the kitchen. Cool beans. And we went with our traditional test - playing the Disney movie, Aladdin. Sounds great.

On the money side of this equation about buying electronics. I can see why Circuit City and maybe soon, Best Buy, too, will fail. These stores are selling this product for $499. DH bought it online for $349 with free shipping. We've taken to purchasing all electronic gear online - computers, cameras, MP3 players, etc. because of the price. Maybe every retail operation is going to become obsolete except for the ones that provide a unique hands on experience. I don't know. Hard to think of the mall as a place of the past. But I know I rarely go the mall. Any mall and I've got many to choose from here.

I kitted up my heron that I bought in November. Was wondering what DMC #1 was until I realized looking at the chart that she meant white. Duh. White is not #1. It doesn't have a number.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Was Right

I stitched one of the remaining leaves with 2 strands of dark and one medium and it's more better! Yahaa! Now I've got three leaves to frog. Why does it take as long to take something out as to put it in? It should be easier and faster. Must be because I don't want to mistakenly cut the canvas. Sort of did a modified Hungarian leaf stitch, i.e., I am making it up as I go along. Will be interesting compensating the background around this. Especially the leaves I stitched that don't go over the canvas as she painted it. The smallest leaves were sort of palm tree shaped, not at all dogwood looking. So I stitched what I wanted. Big surprise.

Also bought a new project. *smirking* But I couldn't resist. It followed me home. Ink Circles "Much Heralded Sampler." Did not kit it up with Carrie's. I chose two blues (Mandarin floss) and an almost gold silk. And bought a piece of Crossed Wing's "Earth" to stitch it on.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dogwood Canvas

I definitely have to frog the leaves that I tent stitched. They look like zebra plant leaves, not dogwood leaves. I did an impromptu leaf stitch on another leaf and I like that better. Though I think I may try this one more time with 2 strands of dark green and one strand of medium. At least I committed to frogging those other two leaves.

Had a lovely luncheon with a few stitching friends. What a welcome break in this week that was.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Canvas Work

Saturday evening when I posting here my mind was somewhere else. It was dreaming of what project should I go pull out of the stash and start stitching on...

The winner is a hand painted canvas of dogwood blossoms. It's supposed to be a coaster, but I don't think so. I had already pulled all Splendor silks to stitch with and sat down and immediately satin stitched the branches with brown. Then tent stitched the leaves. I think if I hadn't anchored so many threads in the leaves, I would be frogging them and doing them differently. My first flower is nearly complete. Yes. It is possible to watch Superbad and stitch at the same time. It's very cute and I think I will have to create some kind of border for it. Lessons learned from reading Laura J. Perrin's blog.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

One Santa Down, Thirteen to Go

I finished my Greenskeeper Santa yesterday and started MacSanta. These things work so quickly I don't know why it took me years to finish that one. Maybe this year I'll get more than one newly stitched perforated paper Santa on the tree. Does it count if I get it up before the tree comes down in January? I think so. The holiday season is the holiday season. Making up my rules as I go along...

Had a quiet morning working in the shop by myself yesterday. Until suddenly it wasn't quiet. And then I almost forgot to leave on time to get my afternoon stitching buddies at the house of our recovering-from-being-hit-by-a-car president. She's stitching with longer lengths of floss and the slings are gone. But this is a long recovery road that she's on.

I even got in a little stitching in public today at the National Building Museum where they were rehearsing and setting up for tomorrow's Christmas in Washington D.C. program that I think is on TNT.

And, Anna. Thanks for the offer, but I wrote down the important stuff and think I can manage this knife holder without their directions.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Well, Wasn't that Fun? Not.

My normal trip time to the Fred is one hour. Last night it took 2 hours 40 minutes. I averaged 24 mph for the first two hours. Not too mention that I got seriously wet when I got out of the car.

But I had two great projects ideas arise from this trip. I can't write about either here because I don't want someone to know. One of them came from Inspirations magazine, that lovely, extremely expensive Australian magazine. Current price at Borders: $15.99! Yikes. I wouldn't have purchased it, but I think I need guidance of a sort I haven't seen anywhere else.

Plus side: I sat and read through Craft magazine. Another expensive little thing at $14.99. I was going to purchase this, too, but I put it back after finding a book or two on writing that I decided I had to have. This magazine had a great idea for making your own magnetic knife holder to hang on the wall. Had other great ideas, too, but this one is going to the top of the list. Though I thought the execution choices were a bit strange. I've got the general concept.

Did I mention that my sister sent me Red Sox candy cane ornaments? Ah, too funny.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Perforated Paper Santa Time

Been stitching on my Greenskeeper Santa and pulled out MacSanta to be next in the queue.

Anyone looking for a list of perforated paper santa kits, should start here: Sandy's Santas.

I've got five of these on my tree, one nearly finished, and twelve more that I really want to do.


Here comes the rain. Flood watch. And I have to go south to the Fred to pick up DS from school after his last final. This wouldn't be so bad, but rain and rush hour traffic may skew my timing on this trip. I should go early and hang out shopping or at Borders. Or something. 'Cause I-95 is going to turn into a parking lot right about when I should be leaving.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Can Has Gingerbreds?




Elvis trying to hide with the other animals under the tree. He's a bit obvious...

House is all decorated. Put up new LED icicle lights in the kitchen prompting a comment from DH about an eskimo whorehouse...Okay. I did not know that these lights pulsed on/off when I bought them.

I even pulled out one of my perforated paper santas last night and stitched a bit.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What I Learned

That I owe a thank you to Google alerts for keeping me from going to Incoherent Scribblings. And that I need to keep e-mail addresses for blogs I read. I can't e-mail her without going to her blog. If anyone has an e-mail address for the Blond Librarian, would you send it my way?

Apparently this was part of some time of organized attack.

No stitching. Only shoppping.

Monday, December 08, 2008

This Is a First

This morning my computer is telling me that there is malware attached to the Blond Librarian's blog, Incoherent Scribblings. I chose not to open the website. I'm certain it is nothing she has done, but something a third party has done. If the Blond Librarian is reading this, I'm sure she'll check things out.


So I did an extremely, there is no other word, dumbass thing yesterday. Put a staple through my finger with the staple gun while hanging lights outside. Only one side of the staple - middle finger, non-dominant hand. I immediately, without thinking, yanked it out and ran for the kitchen sink. Next time, I run first, yank second, if I can make my brain remember. I had a lot of blood in my hand by the time I got to the sink. DH went running for the first aid kit. And I was calling myself all sorts of bad names. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Pressure stopped the bleeding right away. I disinfected and put on gauze. This morning it's a bit sore. I think it's been a long time since I had a tetanus shot...Oh well.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

I Can Now Post the Photos

Maybe this post should be subtitled:

Two, new original designs!





This is an Assissi dragonfly I designed when the call went out for to our EGA board for stitching a small piece to part a present for the outgoing president. Love the color. I would rework the bottom right wing, if I had to do it again. All done with long-armed cross stitch and double running. And two little French knots at the end of the antennae.








This is a pendibule I did for the ornament exchange. Front and back.





Friday, December 05, 2008

Sampler Update



Sigh. It's lovely, no? I can see that when I finish this, I will move on to another Quaker style sampler. I'm thinking I should always have one of these in the rotation just for the enjoyment factor.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

First

I'll start with apologies about the sideways picture of the tree. Does anyone know how to flip these things? I can't flip them on my camera. I mostly use Picasa 3, now with a retouch tool, to organize my photos on the computer and though I can flip them on Picasa, they remain unflipped on Blogger. Flip = rotate. Whatever.

Even though the tree is up and lit and decorated all the rest remains. Outdoor lights, nativities, assorted angels, wreaths, greenery, etc. Just taking my time.

Before this one gets lost in the world of comments, I want to post my glee at Coni for referring to Congress cloth as stiff light. This has replaced "my gazebo is a pretzel" as the phrase of the month.

I finished with the dreaded Persimmon color yesterday and moved on to Tartan Plaid, which really is a blue. At least I think it's blue. Progress picture sometime this weekend.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Christmas Ornament Meme




How many angel ornaments do you have hanging on your tree? 1

How many star ornaments do you have? 2

Do you have a theme tree, and if so, what is it? Not really. Our tree is filled with ornaments from all over the world.

How many Santa ornaments? 7

How many ornaments were handmade by you or your children? 6

Are there any food ornaments on your tree? Yes. A German pickle and a snowman made from a s'more?

Are there any ornaments that betray your origins, i.e. where you're from? Yes. I have several New Hampshire Pewter ornies and, heaven help us, an Annalee Santa from back when they were made in New Hampshire.

What's the oldest ornament on your tree? This year, it's the painted sand dollar that DH and I bought in Florida in 1985.

What ornament do you have that is the least likely to be hanging on someone else's tree? Handmade in Kuwait ornaments of a man and a woman dressed in traditional garb.

And finally, do you have any new ornaments this year? A Democratic party donkey that I bought at the American History Museum last week.

The Bobs, Bobs, Bobs

This is the second time we've gotten to see the Bobs in performance. For those who love a Capella music, please check them out. Last night was a holiday show and we got to hear several of their Christmas classics like - Christmas in Jail,50 Kilowatt Tree, Christmas in L.A. and Too Many Santas. (Side note: blogger is telling me that santas is wrong. Apparently there is only one santa and thus it can't be pluralized. Screw that.) Anyway - they were great. Did White Room and Helter Skelter, and Dan Bob has come into his own. What a voice! Seriously, people, check them out.

Now about that tree...it's up. But not yet plugged in. And all 6 or 7 giant rubbermaid bins await me.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A New Blog

I'll be following this one closely as it's a history of English Embroidery - "History of English Embroidery 900AD - the present" - in which the author is attempting to serialize her dissertation in blog form. This, coupled with the tapestry/history book I am reading, should keep my researcher side satisfied for a while.

I pulled out In the Midnight Hour again yesterday. I need to make the big push on this if I stand any chance of finishing it and getting it framed in time for entry at Woodlawn. Tent stitching with two strands of Hi-lights was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Today I can basketweave with Waterlilies - nothing difficult, just time consuming.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Not Much from Over the Weekend

Let's see. We went looking at cars. Frankly, I'm appalled at what costs $30,000+. We are in no rush about finding a new car. We've got plenty of time left to drive our 2001 Protege and 2002 CR-V, both of which have been tremendous cars. The Mazda can get 36 mpg on the highway - that's what a little 4-cylinder with no pick up can do. And the Honda is my second favorite car we've ever owned. (My first favorite was our brand-new 4000s Audi we bought in 1985 - a five speed we took to Germany with us. I loved driving 100+ mph on the Autobahn. And let's not talk about the Alps...)

And we went furniture shopping. Seriously looking at china cabinets and sideboard/servers. We've found some things we like on the internet, but thought maybe we should check out what's available locally. I'm depressed that there is no oak in our local stores. I hesitate to add another type of wood to our house and would like to, in general, match an antique china curio that was my grandmother's. Again - no rush here. We can take our time and find exactly what we both agree on. There is some bickering involved, but not a lot.

Came home after dinner last night for DH to watch the Pats lose - he wasn't happy. I painted a snowman door hanger for his office and then put in two more lengths of Persimmon on the Quaker sampler. Poor DS went back to school with a friend and got caught in miserable traffic on I-95. Ah Thanksgiving weekend.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Moving Along

Was stitching on my Quaker piece yesterday and am still in awe of how meditative stitching on that piece is. I am halfway across the top and 1/3 of the way down the side, does this mean it's 1/6th done? This is gonna be a big one. Just trying to bust through this particular color right now so I can get to the blues and the purple. It's a Crescent Colours Persimmon which means it is kind of a peachy orange? A color that does not exist anywhere else in my house. And I'm not particularly fond of it.

Things I like about this piece - I get to stitch with a really long thread and just when I think this could go on forever, I'm at the end of the thread. Hmm. How does that happen? I'm creating a pattern, yet my mind can wander and there aren't any mistakes. Wow! How does that happen? Because this is on a 28" scroll frame, I end up sitting kind of funny with one knee up to prop up the end and then I can stitch two-handed. Yet I don't feel like I've been imitating a pretzel when I get up. Huh. How does that happen?

Lakeside Linens Magnolia is a splendid color supposedly equivalent to DMC 3865. I think I needs yards of this stuff.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Day After



The ritual making of the crescent rolls. These need to rise much longer than the recipe calls for. Four hours for the first rise, two for the second. A rich, brioche like dough. Yummy.




Where we were. First the American History Museum for viewing of the Star Spangled Banner flag and a copy of the Gettysburg address written by Lincoln himself. Cool beans. This photo is taken at the Hirshhorn - Roy Lichtenstein's Brushstroke.








The feast afterwards.



So we were eating our pumpkin pie at 10 p.m. What's wrong with that?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lard

You'd think with a choice of this many grocery stores where I live, I could find some lard. But no. I may try again today.

For pie crusts, of course.

It seems they nicely took the trans fats out of the crisco, but now the texture of my pie crust has changed. It rolls out beautifully. It looks lovely. It tastes blah. I'm going back to lard which is the ingredient I started out with oh so many years ago. If I can find it.

Meanwhile, one child home. Who has already beat me at gin rummy. And we had to kick him upstairs to bed as he was snoring in the chair before 8:30 p.m. I'm off to bake and maybe stitch today?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holiday Food Shopping

It wasn't so bad at the commissary. I even took a friend with me. They had plenty of cashiers available so I didn't have the usual long wait. And I did clean out the fridge first so I had plenty of room for things when I returned. This is me patting myself on the back for stating a plan and actually following through with it.

Also yesterday put together an IKEA Varde kitchen cart. What I really want is the Varde freestanding unit with two drawers and cupboards. But again, they were out of stock. Some day I'll get lucky and this will be there in the store.

And I started that new color on my Quaker sampler. Which I'm going to push myself through so I can get to the pretty blues and purple.

Pictures soon.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Amazing

I finished my ornament last night. Two weeks before I need it. I am properly amazed.

And then I rewarded myself with some Quaker sampler stitching. Until the cat decided that the couch currently occupied by two people and a very large scroll frame needed his presence too. I've got maybe 20 stitches to go before I get to change colors. Always exciting to change colors on this piece.

Instead of stitching this morning, I now need to go and clean out the fridge and run off to commissary to join the hordes of holiday food shoppers.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ornament Exchange

We've got this ornament exchange coming up. And at first I thought that maybe I wouldn't even participate. But. Then I dropped my NaNoWriMo and thought I'd channel some creativity this way.

And I decided an original ornie would be nice. And then a pendibule came to mind. And I was thinking all blue and white. And at first that meant white fabric. Until I went through the fabric stash and found a perfect small piece of Picture This Plus Midnight in 32ct. So I start doodling on the graph paper and searching for white threads. Just going to do some snowflakes, you know? But none of the whites I have are right except DMC B5200. Until I decide let's go with a metallic. So off I go backstitching my square and when I get around to the fourth side of course I'm off. Because the holes in this overdyed fabric are so freaking small due to the dyeing process. At this point I'm pretty confident that sides 3 & 4 are correct, so I start frogging side 1 and I keep stitching to see if I match up. I frog side 2 and keep stitching. I frog side 3 and finally match almost at side 4. It's like I stitched this foolish thing twice. Now time to go pick up those metallics and see if I can make it work on this overdyed fabric that must really be equivalent to 36 ct or higher. At least I had everything in my stash, beads and all. Only thing I bought for this is some blue silk ribbon to make a hanger.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Contemplating

Time for another non-traditional Thanksgiving Day. The best one of these we ever had was in the Muir Woods above Santa Cruz. I made the mashed potatoes and carrots ahead of time and we grilled steaks. Went for a hike in the nearly vacant park (there were a few non-Americans enjoying their day off from work) and then came back and had pumpkin pie and whipped cream and champagne. And then we drove down into Santa Cruz and saw Toy Story on its opening day.

Another favorite day - though this one was much more traditional - was DH was officer in charge of the mess hall in Germany. Wow! What a spread they put on. DD was a toddler and she actually was cooperative and pleasant. (Ah. She. Knows. How. Bad. She. Was.)I have other pleasant memories of DH putting on the dress blues to go the mess hall and put in an appearance before returning home to a family feast. I don't miss Army life except when I do.

I am contemplating exactly what we should do this year. I think I've got the beginnings of a plan.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Just a Quick Note

Unless I can suddenly write a bazillion words a day, NaNoWriMo is over for me this year. Not a great effort. November is truly a bad time for me to do this.

There. I've said it. Now back to my regularly scheduled programming.

Time to write newsletter articles.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's a Small World After All

Go watch this video. The eye of a needle, indeed.

Gakked from Anna:

1. Political show - The Daily Show
2. Picnic food - Italian Sandwiches
3. Mixed drink – Manhattan
4. U.S. President – maybe my son, one day?
5. Kind of student to teach – teenagers
6. Hobby you do or wish you still did - double duh
7. Sports commentator – Jerry Remy
8. Sport to watch on TV – baseball
9. Animal to have as a pet - kittehs!
10. Halloween costume you have worn – Fred Astaire
11. Kind of dessert - that chocolate creme brulee I had last week
12. Comic strip - Get Fuzzy
13. Style or make of footwear - barefoot
14. Ice cream flavor - any version of coffee
15. College or university president – Mary Hample
16. Internet news source – twitter
17. Vacation spot - New Hampshire
18. Wine – I am a sucker for champagne
19. Way to waste time instead of working – computer card games
20. Student excuse for late work – my grandfather died. No, really.
21. Reality show – Top Chef, Project Runway
22. Jewelry on a man – a wedding ring is nice
23. Pizza topping – mushrooms
24. Children's movie - Wizard of Oz
25. Celebrity you wish would retire - not a celebrity per se, but I hate a certain local traffic announcer - she distresses me to no end

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Will Finish This

I will finish this assissi piece today. Must finish. Have to get it to someone tomorrow.

I heard the grand reopening sale at the Scarlet Thread went well on Sunday. Yeah and *clapping* I'll probably be stopping by today to see what she has in the way of fabric for Reflection. This piece is calling to me like Poseidon did. Must, absolutely must, stitch soonest.

Oh and I'm designing a new little pendibule for the Christmas ornie exchange we have at our EGA holiday luncheon. Now might be a good time to load that new designing software I purchased. Please let the learning curve on this not be too steep.

Now what to get my sister for her birthday?

And please visit latest addition to blog list - Stitching Up a Storm.

Monday, November 17, 2008

a Meta Post

On the Blog List - In a Minute Ago is now Pin Tangle. She's moved from a free blogging service to a paying service. Makes one wonder how heartbroken would I be if I lost everything here?

Well. I did lose everything once during a reformat. And it took me a long time to recreate stuff. Some of it I never did.

But I think I've got back-up on most of the info as I keep an IRL stitching journal.

So while I'd be upset. It wouldn't be the end of my world.

On To Stitching

It is impossible to stitch in the car when the car I'm in is a small Mazda Protege that bounces with every little bump. That means I didn't get much accomplished yesterday. But I'm nearly done with having to pay attention to the graph. A couple of hours and I should be finished with this gift piece.

Went by our favorite used bookstore while in the Fred. I did find one book to add to the library: Tapestry Mirror History by F.P. Thomson. I wish all the photos were in color. But still. I think I'll be sitting down and reading this one cover to cover.

And I did stop by Everything Cross Stitch. 'Cause how could I not, when we ate right across the street at Soup N Taco. Don't laugh. The food is terrific there.

I got the latest issue of SANQ. I really need to resubscribe. An older Fern Ridge kit of Daddy Long Legs pin made with buttons. Sekas and Co.'s Shamrock Heart. And a new designer for me - Designs by Kathy - this pattern is called Reflection and is a Great Blue Heron. Photo on package and on website is a bit gray. The real life model is much more blue.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Off to Visit the Fred

Leaving soon to bring relief to college boy in the form of food. We'll take him out for lunch/dinner/whatever meal he is currently on and then take him shopping for food.

But meanwhile. Is anyone out there working on a big project that called for 32ct Navy Bean? I've got this 1/2 yard that I know I bought for something last year, but I cannot recall what. Argh. I hate that.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Visit

A few of us went and visited with our friend who was hit by a car a three weeks ago.
The scrapbook of this is frankly not for the squeamish. One of her family took a picture of her the first day in the hospital. You wouldn't even know it was her. And the pictures of the staples from her shoulders down her arms are appalling. Nearly 30 on each side.

But the good news is she is sitting in her chair and stitching. So far she's been working on small ornaments that she can stitch in hand. She's got a terrific attitude. It is all rather amazing.

I brought my long-neglected quaker piece. Another 1/2 hour of work, I can pick out a new color! Working on this has made me realize that as much as I admire those huge samplers done all in one color, I don't want to stitch one myself. I'd go bonkers.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Procrastination

Mouse needs recharging so I may as well type now. I've been busy this morning cleaning. Even taking things off the entertainment center and washing them. Even changing some photos in frames. Next step involves a few trips up and down the stairs so I'm procrastinating by turning on the computer.

Yesterday I was looking for something for someone and came across a photo of a little piece that someone had stitched that said:

My gazebo is a pretzel. Thanks Ike.

Now today I can't seem to find that photo to share. If anyone has seen, could you point it out to me?

That's my new saying for the week: My gazebo is a pretzel. It sounds much like: If it wasn't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college. Well, maybe the Lewis Black line is just a terrific non sequitur. And the gazebo/pretzel is a good metaphor for how sometimes things change, not in a good way.

I guess I've procrastinated enough. Back to work.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ha!

I was right. I stitched yesterday. Working on my assissi piece that I can't post any more about until some time in December. DH came home and cat was behaving like the most neglected, ignored piece of fur on four legs. Just because I'd put his dishes in the sink to soak and sat back down with my stitching.

Got to say that felt good. I would have gladly stayed home and stitched more, but had an EGA board meeting to attend. Where our President who was hit by a car last month, came and presided. She's in two slings. Can't lift her arms much above her waist yet. But she's got this most amazing attitude.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chocolate

Not just any chocolate. But chocolate creme brulee! Last night at the Bonefish Grill my DH pointed out that they had forgotten to bring us bread. And then we got free desert because they like to make their customers happy! Wow. Amazing concept.

I'd never had chocolate creme brulee so that was my vote. OH MY! Can I pick 'em! Made with just a touch of Grand Marnier and real, honest whipped cream. It was like the world's best chocolate pudding with a crispy sugar crust on top. Excellent.

Now that I have everyone drooling...LOL.

That's it. Nothing new. I will stitch today. Absolutely.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Work is Done

That's it. I've put in enough time helping a friend. Time to get my own life back on track.

Which starts now!

Time to go write my 1,667 words and then see how many I can make up. Wait. Did I mention brunch with a friend? Maybe a little bit of shopping?

I am undone!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Confess

NaNoWriMo combined with helping my LNS move is kicking my butt. Haven't stitched in a week. How can that be? Oh and did I mention the arthritis in my hands?

I will get back on track this week. With everything. That's the plan. And Monday is the day for plans. One of those sleepless nights last week, I woke up (yeah, I had actually fallen asleep. Not in my own bed, but on the couch in front of the TV) and there was an old interview playing. Tiger Woods on setting goals. IF only I could be so motivated.

And then there's this. Was talking with DH over lunch. See the NaNoWriMo goal is to write 1,667 words a day - that gets you to 50,000 in a month. And I mentioned Michael Crichton's obit in the Post said this man wrote 10,000 words a day. And had his first novel published while he was in medical school at Harvard. First reaction from DH was imagine if he'd harnessed that output for good? What? Sorry. Someone who writes 10,000 words a day does it because they can't not do it.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Still No Stitching

But it's time to go into overdrive on this little Assissi piece that is needed as it is part of a gift.

News from Old Willow Stitchery from their website:

As our original line of cotton floss collection is depleted, we will not be restocking. We still have stock of most of the colors, but wanted to let stitchers and shops know of this decision.

We will continue to produce our most popular collections, the "Quaker Cotton Collection" and the Newer "Silk Collection".


Now it's time go and get ready for a Habitat for Humanity dedication ceremony. Our guild stitched 12 samplers for them!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Two Photos



My apple pie that I baked on Tuesday. Yup. I carved a flag on the top.




This is Forever in Blue Jeans, a Northern Pine Design. Absolutely love the colors. That overdyed blue that is a slanted stitch on the top was a Needle Necessities That is the Threadworx equivalent. Love it.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Big Time NaNoWriMo

Okay. On Monday I missed my writing time. I was too exhausted to think straight that night. I've spent the next three days catching up. And I am caught up again. But this writing of at least 1,667 words per day is taking a huge bite out of my stitching time. I guess November this is where my creative energy gets channeled. Though I do hear the siren song of my needles and threads.

For those who are unaware of the idiocy, google NaNoWriMO. It's 7 p.m. eastern time and I know I can't possibly get on the website to grab a link. That stands for National Novel Writing Month.

But tomorrow I may answer that siren call. Maybe even get around to updating the photo of Forever in Blue Jeans.

Homespun Elegance

Someone posted a video on youtube about their visit to Sandra Sullivan's shop in Fredericksburg, VA.

Homespun Elegance video

And if you check out the sidebar on youtube I'm sure you'll find some other interesting things. Video your stash anyone?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

No Stitching

But at least I made my apple pie. The knee thing did not get any better as the day progressed. Seems slightly better this morning.

I could not sleep. Got up and watched the victory speech. Stayed on the couch all night.

All my pretty yellow leaves starting falling in the night. Even though the sun isn't shining this morning it's very brilliant outside my window.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Okay

The good news is that I can move this morning. The bad news is that both knees are singing a dirge like song of pain when I move. I kind of expected that. But it wasn't as painful getting up as I thought it would be. Today we are taking a day off from unpacking. Maybe I'll actually get to hold a needle and thread...

But first I gotta go vote.

And you should too.

Because you can.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Surviving the Move

Any body want to guess how much stuff is in a needlework shop? I am certain you think never enough, but I've got to say today it was too much. Even with the before the move sales. I'm sure the owner and we volunteers will be sorting this out for quite some time. When Two Guys and a Truck pulled away this morning, I stayed behind at the old store to do some cleaning. Oh my. This place seemed so small with everything in it. Now it looks huge. Then we had lunch at the new store - carving out a space for a table and chairs. And then let's start attacking boxes. And moving furniture. And making decisions. We're all exhausted. I left at 4:30 to go home and stopped to get pizza on the way. I felt so gross, I took a shower before even one bite of the delicious sausage, pepperoni, and mushroom goodness. Tomorrow we're all taking the day off from physical labor. My goals for tomorrow. Vote and then come home and bake an apple pie. I'll be happy if I can move in the morning. That's why my goals are so high!

P.S. to Anonymous. I didn't sign any contract that said this blog was about stitching only. I've talked about baseball, my kids, other crafts, moving, museums, concerts, health issues, work, writing, etc. This is my quilting bee. And the conversation is fairly one sided. It will go as it will go.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Da World Redux

Here's an anonymous comment to my blog post titled Da World:

"I sure wish you could just leave out the politics altogether-- I read blogs precisely to stay away from all that stuff. It's going to make it difficult now for me to enjoy your blog the way I used to."

And here's my comment on your comment. It's your prerogative not to read my blog. I wasn't trying to insult anyone. Nor was I trying to drive anyone away. I try not to rant here - at least not often. I try very hard not to post about the Red Sox, just three or four posts in a 162 game season because very few of you are as interested in them as I am.

But given where I live in northern Virginia, it's impossible to ignore politics. It's what people do. It's what people talk about in line at the grocery store, or at the bank, or anywhere at least two people gather. It's on the news, both local and national. And it's the favorite topic of my two college aged children.

I don't think my post was out of line. Sure. Now my readers probably have guessed which party I'm voting for. Okay. I can live with that.

What I can't live with is the subject of my original post - having my patriotism questioned because of whom I am voting for.

I was going to say more. But not now.

Tomorrow I will return to posting about needlework, if I survive the moving of my LNS.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Do You Wordle?

Go play here.

A fun place to waste some time if you like words and color and graphic design.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween


Some of us grew up in areas with slightly different traditions. We used to trick-or-treat on October 30 and this was called Beggar's Night. And this meant that sometimes parents would take us to another town on Halloween that held trick-or-treat on October 31. Imagine two nights of dressing up and getting candy. What a racket.

When I got old enough to trick-or-treat with my friends and not my older sister, we had a blast. Right down to daring anyone to try knock on the door of Mary Moonshine. Mary lived in what was essentially a falling down shack on what we used to call Dump Road. No houses near her, she didn't have a car so there was no driveway. Just a ramshackle building twenty feet or so from the road. I don't believe she was on the grid for water or sewer. I know for a fact she didn't bath often or comb her ratty gray hair. Because occasionally you'd be in the corner store and she'd come in clutching her coins. Her appearance would always make us kids abandon our candy buying shopping spree. If you walked by her place in a group, you felt brave and would maybe shout out comments. But if you alone, you walked on the other side of the street and walked really, really fast. Looking back, I'm sure she was mentally ill or developmentally challenged. I have no idea what happened to her. I never knew anyone who took the dare to knock on her door. Just one day the town crew knocked down her shack and hauled off the pieces to the dump.

Just a random falling down shack photo I found on the 'net for atmosphere...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I've Had Some Comments on my Canvas

First - Odette's Diamond. The designer lives in Africa. She apparently made it to an ANG seminar and someone saw this piece she had done and asked if it was okay to make a chart and use it for the guild. So that piece isn't available commercially that I know of. I got to pick my own colors as the original threads are not known in this country, even using the internet. The Jessicas all have a smaller Jessica inside done with a metallic and Petit Treasure Braid was way too thin to show. I found some Silk Lame that goes with my particular color scheme. I was fortunate enough to take my 21 year old daughter to this class and we made her a red colorway. She got to start it before she left for school, but left it at home knowing she'd need guidance.

I put some time in yesterday on Forever in Blue Jeans. I love it. Works up quickly. I may hate it when I come to the rice stitch as she uses like 4 different fibers in that one stitch.

The dogwood canvas - I love. What I dislike is the idea of using it as a coaster! This little gem will deserve framing. Some century.

That's my quick update. I'm cooking a meal to bring to my friend who was hit by a car last week. Apple pie should just about be done.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Did I Mention?





DH is out of town - gone to share knowledge with some peoples in Nashville this week. Which means I spread out a few canvas work pieces on the table.

First is Odette's Diamond. I found a new metallic to use on the inside of the Jessica's. Got a little more bulk to it and should show up better.



Next is a handpainted canvas of dogwood blossoms. It is supposed to be a coaster, but that doesn't thrill me.




Next are the colors for "Forever in Blue Jeans" by Northern Pine Designs. Look - I didn't make a single color substitution. Amazing. The directions - less than ideal. I started it last night and made a mistake in which color goes where, but I'm keeping it that way.



Last is DebBee's Design's "Glitz and Glamour - Peridot." Yup. Those colors aren't peridot. Because peridot would not live well in my house. But these aquamariney colors do.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Da World

According to certain someones, I live in the unreal Virginia as opposed to the real Virginia. As illustrated by this quote from Joe McCain, John's brother:

But since I'm a Virginian and I've lived here for the last 10 years and before that about every third duty I was [inaudible] in either Arlington or Alexandria, up in communist country, sorry [Crowd laughs]. We, I am a Virginian before I'm anything else and I think it's crucial to take this state, don't tell the campaign I said that and let's do it.

Apparently those of us who don't hold the correct views are not just having our patriotism questioned. We are being called communist and unamerican. I never wished to have lived through the fifies and the McCarthy era. And I still don't. If I'm displaying the wrong button/t-shirt/bumpersticker/sign in your opinion and you question me, you'd better be prepared to get unloaded on by an Army wife whose husband served 20 years.

P.S. Joe McCain has resigned from his brother's campaign. Why? Because he called 911 about a traffic backup on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and then apparently told the dispatcher, "*%$@ you!"


Now to continue:


What we did was take a drive yesterday to the real Virginia. Visited with some cows. Bought some apples and cider. Ate a local sandwich shop. Admired the scenery.

Came home and finally found where I put that little handpainted canvas of a dogwood. I'd been searching for it for 30 hours and was getting kind of obsessed. Located it in the box with the silks. I'm not sure why I put it there - maybe I was going to recheck my green colors? Figured out I'd finally collected all the fibers for another canvas piece, but I don't have 10" stretcher bars. I thought I had a better metallic blue for another canvas piece, but it's too dark and would throw everything off so I'm still on the hunt there. And I mounted the canvas for yet another canvas piece - these stretcher bars were so hard that I bent four tacks. Had to resort to using a hammer. It's looking like November may officially become the month of canvas.

And the other thing that November is, is Nanowrimo. Ever thought that maybe you could write a novel? Well, here's how to do it in 30 days. This will be my third year. This year I think maybe I can actually get to 50,000 words. Last year, I petered out somewhere around 30,000. In-laws visiting was not conducive to creating.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Store Moving

For anyone living in my area, or coming to visit:

This is a public service announcement for needleworkers.

The Scarlet Thread of Vienna, VA will be moving soon to Great Falls, VA.
Info is on the website: Scarlet Thread

I went in to the shop yesterday to help because she's having a sale trying to reduce inventory. Came home exhausted. I'd say the inventory reduction is working.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Blackwork Pumpkin



While teaching the class twice on Wednesday, I managed to whip up a version in black on white. Original is orange with a green stem. I think I like it best in black. I tried a white on black fabric, but that did not fare so well and I abandoned that version. I even tried it with glow in the dark thread - that didn't work either.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

can't even think of a title

Now I know you all are reasonable people. And you don't dream of driving and yakking on your cell phones.

Our EGA chapter president was hit by a car yesterday while crossing the street with her 3 year old grandson. He was bruised, but okay. They had to medivac her and she had a 6 hour surgery.

The driver - a teenager on a cell phone.

Monday, October 20, 2008

This Week in Sports

No repeat this year for my Red Stockings. At least we didn't roll over and die. Made a series of it. And now I'll be rooting for the Phillies.

Coming up this week - I'll be teaching for the first time at my EGA guild meeting. Cross your fingers for me that this all goes well. I'm a bit perturbed as I ordered new (professional) charting software on 9/23. Well, I still do not have said software. It took a few e-mails to even get a reply from the vendor. That means today that I have to chart this piece of blackwork on my old, non-professional software. The new software should be arriving soon - watch - it will be here on the day of the teaching. I'm not frustrated by this. No. Kits are partially made up, but that doesn't take long.

And for fun yesterday, DH and I went in to D.C. for the annual booksale at the Department of State. First time either of us had been in that building. Interesting place. I bought an 8 volume set of Edgar Allen Poe, Randall Jarrell's collected poems, Maggie Lane's Gold and Silver Needlework, Needlework Masterpieces from Winterthur, and one other general needlework book. I had nice conversations with two of the lovely volunteers about needlework.

And lastly, in other sports news, I got to watch UNH play BU in ice hockey on ESPNU. Love that the pep band plays "How much is that doggie in the window" to needle BU.

Which LOLcat are you?

Your result for The Which Lolcat Are You? Test...

SurpriseAdoption Cat

36% Affectionate, 52% Excitable, 44% Hungry


Calloused. Heartless. Exuberant. You carry the heavy burden of informing children that they are adopted by jumping out of their birthday cake. A difficult task, but somebody must break the news to children on their only day of happiness.



To see all possible results, checka dis.

Take The Which Lolcat Are You? Test at HelloQuizzy

Saturday, October 18, 2008

a book to look for

A friend has recommended this book to me:

Reading the OED by Ammon Shea

I might find more good information like this:

"Tricoteuse" is an even less useful word than peristeronic, in that it means "a woman who knits; specifically, a woman who during the French Revolution would attend the guillotinings and knit while the heads were rolling."

Things to aspire to be??? Ah Madame DeFarge, I presume.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thursday a.m. stitch-in

I went. And worked on my assisi piece for a bit. I fear I may need to go hunt down another card of Splendor. I picked this color from my stash - it's a pretty blue.

And then I purchased a DebBee design's piece - Glitz and Glamour Peridot which is canvaswork. But I'm not thrilled by the peridot colors and have already changed them.
Funny, I can't find a photo of this design online yet. I guess it's that new. And DebBee's website is woefully incomplete. I also purchased a copy of Jean Hilton's Needlepoint Stitches. That woman is officially crazy smart when it comes to a needle and thread.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

In the Midnight Hour Question

First off, if by any chance Laura J. Perin stops by to read this, yes, I have, in my mind, renamed Amethyst Dreams while I'm working on it black/silver/gray. I hope you don't mind. But I just have a hard time referring to it as amethyst. Not that I don't love amethyst - it being my birthstone and all.

So Linda asked about maybe including a pop of red in this color scheme. I have to say that I don't see it. Maybe as the center motif where the little diamondy thing goes? That would be small. I think I just can't picture it because I see this as monochromatic. I can't wait to see what you decide and how it looks.

No Stitching for Me

But I did take my son to vote absentee before returning him to school. So it's official that he voted in a presidential election before his older sister did. There was a pretty fun group of mothers all doing the same thing here in Fairfax County, VA yesterday.

Over the weekend I started a piece of Assisi work as a part of gift. A bunch of us are stitching pieces and some one else is doing the assembly. I managed to graph out a *&%$%&*@*. (Can't say what it is. That's giving too much away, just in case.) There's tons of half stitches, but as I'm doing the filling with long-armed cross stitch, it's working out. My only problem may be the parts between the &%$@*. My original piece was a bit larger, but as I started I realized that this might kill my hand - having arthritis issues. It looks great, but no pics until after the gift giving.

I did finish an in my purse project just over a week ago. An Alice Peterson Stitch N Zip of roses. And then I started a new Stitch N Zip on Sunday night while sitting outside listening to a funky zydeco band. They were quite good. I'd never stitched to zydeco music before - probably made me go faster. I did quite a bit finished. These are terrific carry around project as they are needlepoint and you don't need a chart.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Blog Added

I just added Laura J. Perin's blog - two handed stitcher - to my list. Some of you might want to go and check it out. Link is on the right. I especially love that she'll finish a canvas with colored pencils. I'm going to have to try this.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Promised Photo



Updated photo of In the Midnight Hour, aka Amethyst Dreams. According to the substitutions made, I started the outer border on the top at the right. And I don't like it. Will be experimenting with this one.

Friday, October 10, 2008

In the Midnight Hour

aka, "Amethyst Dreams"

Moving right along. Will post a progress pic sometime this weekend. Got sidetracked by a project some people are doing as a gift and I had to sit last night and go through my patterns. I came up with 4 candidates and will have to choose today.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Nice Combo



A photo from the rally at my son's school and lyrics by the Who.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Canvas Time

I continue to find tiny errors in my "In the Midnight Hour" piece. And even though I didn't want to, I spent the afternoon stitching with Hi-Lights. Blech. Yucky acetate based fiber. Looks good. Just not fun to work with. And I prefer stitching when it's fun.

No New Orleans

Due to someone not getting his new work credit card, DH has decided not to fund this little trip to New Orleans on his own dime. Smart move. Maybe another day. And maybe I'll get to tag along.

Without revealing political leanings: We watched the debate last night. We watch them all. Politics is a spectator sport here. And I have to say that I am sick and tired of politicians sidestepping the question. The reason Sarah Palin looked bad in her debate was that she wasn't practiced in the fine art of avoiding the question and turning your turn to talk into your own little soliloquy. I'm tired of fingerpointing and accusations. I want to hear concrete explanations of positions. I want to hear plans for improving this mess we are obviously in. I don't want to hear this guy was friends with that guy so he must be bad. I don't want to hear you voted this way or that way when we all know that the reasons for voting one way often have nothing to do with the original bill because Congress allows legislation to be hijacked by special interests. I want to feel hopeful, but I don't. This whole election process has turned ridiculous.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

It's That Time of Year

Some of you knew that the Red Sox would be mentioned here sooner or later. Nice to see them celebrate making the ALCS. Now on to the Rays. Who knew that dropping the word Devil from your name could make such a difference?

And I did get some stitching in my Spooky Hill last night. And first thing I realized was that the chart is missing a symbol. I'm pretty sure she meant that part to be symmetrical.

Yesterday through the miracle of Freecycle I removed one hanging lamp, one computer desk, and 3 bookcases from my house. Now before anyone thinks I'm nuts parting with bookcases, these were small ones that have long since been replaced by bigger models. I'm not foolish.

Off to find travel size shaving cream and toothpaste as DH is leaving for New Orleans for a few days. I still can't believe he's going and I'm not. One of these days...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Not Much Accomplished

Did not do much over the weekend. So I'm off to a better start today. Been listing stuff on Freecycle. Time to move some more junk out of the house.

We had a neighborhood potluck on Saturday evening which was nice. It's the first one they've had since we moved in 3 years ago. I brought my artichoke dip which disappeared right away. And a chocolate rum cake for the desert contest. I got beat out by an all organic banana trifle. I'm okay with that. The good news is the one foreclosure in our cluster has been sold to a nice young couple who immediately started taking care of the yard. Yahoo! I hated going by that foreclosure sign every day.

I tried to do some stitching yesterday afternoon. But ended up frogging half of what I put in. And then it was time to make dinner. I won't make the mistake of not checking the direction of those stitches again. Can't believe I made that mistake in the first place. That was an error born of someone paying too much attention to her MP3 player...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Thought I Was Going to Stitch

I truly thought I was going to stitch my way through the VP debate which is what I did with the 1st presidential one. But I didn't. Couldn't get motivated. I didn't entirely tune it out and I didn't entirely pay attention. After browsing through some catalogues I picked up the next thing to read sitting on my side table. Which was the Last Lecture. Somehow these two things hardly go together. But I muddled through. I love multitasking.

Found an almost new two drawer filing cabinet for DD at an estate sale this morning. Continued the search for a dresser for DS. No luck. And I stopped in all the usual places. One of these days I will find what I am searching for.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Look, Here, Pictures!





Here we have:

Progress being made on my Quaker sampler. Pretty, no?

The start of Spooky Hill from By the Bay. This is one where the color photo of the design is way off - it's gray, but in the photo it looks blue. Very blue. Hmmm. I hate these types of quality control issues.

And lastly, my Drawn Thread freebie Autumn scissor fob that I whipped up in a day last week.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Thanks, Dear!

Someone posted a link on her livejournal to the Tom-Tom Club - all day long I will hearing it in my head. Thanks for the earworm.

I rearranged some furniture (it's a disease that runs in my family - skipped from my grandmother to my sister and I and missed my mother entirely), cleaned including windows. I love clean windows. Now if only the sun would come out so I can admire them. Then sat down to watch two episodes of Mad Men. I love this show. It's all pretty and alcoholic with amazing dresses, skinny ties, and way too much cigarette smoking. But it felt so good to sink into the newly cleaned living room with my Quaker sampler and stitch while watching such high class trash.

Then I made a new dish - chicken with pancetta and figs. I added mushrooms, of course. And though it was good last night, I just had a nibble of the leftovers and it's better this morning. The sweet taste of the figs has permeated the dish. I'd eat some more, but I'm meeting some people for breakfast.

Monday, September 29, 2008

D.C. Photos



From our last trip into the city. East Building National Gallery of Art. I love how if you go up to that sharp edge, people have discolored the stone by touching it and have even started wearing it away.

Second is the fallen officers' memorial right by the Judiciary Square Metro. I was waiting for DD who had spent a few days in Richmond and came back to D.C. on Amtrak.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mountain Festival

Yesterday DH and I went to the Arts and Crafts Mountain Festival in West Virginia. Had a terrific time listening to the bands and munching our way around the food vendors. And whoever does the job of handling the vendors is doing a fantastic job. A great variety of different vendors, not just all photography and jewelry (anyone in Reston listening?) And some vendors were actually producing art, not just crafts. Oh. What a concept! Fresh roasted peanuts deserve 4 thumbs up! Especially when eaten while sitting on hay bales listening bluegrass music.

And there was one vendor that deserves mention here. She was selling framed cross stitch. Big pieces costing $500+. I read her posted info and was not happy that she made it seem like these were all her original designs. I recognized 2 Drawn Thread pieces and several others were eerily familiar. Like things had been changed, but were based off the work of some other designer. Sigh.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Writing Mojo Gone

Sorry I've been channeling my inner blogger into writing actual letters to some relatives. I mean real letters on paper with pens and everything. I've got to say my handwriting sucks. I mean really sucks. This is why I tend to write a rough draft and then try for a clean copy. Doesn't always work as my brain goes much faster than my hand and I sometimes drop little words like "the" and "to." Which makes me sound like an idiot. Which I am not.

Weather is yucky, but we're going to try to go to an Arts and Crafts Festival anyway. DS came home for the weekend, but is going to drive himself back to school today because he can't resist the pull of Obama and Biden coming to his school and speaking.

I worked on Spooky Hill while listening to the debate. I guess that was good timing because otherwise I would have been watching the Yankees clobber the Red Sox which is never good for the blood pressure.

So off to find some fun!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday Class

Had a nice class about embroidered buttons. Best part was the gorgeous ivory vest the teacher brought. She said this was once an EGA class. Holy smokes, this was beautiful. A quilted, satiny, all embroidered dream.

I made my button and then started doodling around on my fabric and came up with a new stitch involving lazy daisies and spider webs. Too funny.

And when I got home last night, I finished my Drawn Thread autumn scissor fob. Very cute. And how nice that I had that skein of Needle Necessities in my stash. As per usual, photo to follow.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Boring

Just being honest. Nothing at all new here. Nothing to see. Move along, people.

Just trying to get my act together before going to my EGA meeting and then hitting the road for Fredtown. Got some stuff to gather up and I'm pretty sure I've forgotten to do something. Well, I can think of one big thing. But I'm hoping a phone call will take care of that.

Why does it seem harder to hold multiple things in my head these days? Is it the lack of decent sleep? What was up with this morning's dream about forgetting the tickets to a play and we had our friends' tickets, too? I could see them so clearly in the envelope on the fridge. Great - even in my dreams I'm haunted by the things that I've forgotten. No escape.

It's nearly October so it is time for a shout out to the boys of Fenway Park and to the clinching of a playoff berth. Would be sweeter to win the division, but it's way better than not making it all. Like the Yankees.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Young@Heart

This is my public service announcement for this DVD which was released last week. We saw the movie in the theater on Mother's Day. And it's just as wonderful the second time. Go out and buy it. You won't regret it.

And as a companion to Young@Heart I finally bought a copy of "The Last Lecture."

But right now I'm totally into this book called "Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin." It's about Edna Ferber, Dorothy Parker, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Zelda Fitzgerald in the 1920s. Very entertaining.

Went back to organizing yesterday afternoon and took care of the piles of stuff that had been, well, piling up, around my stitching supplies. This means that at the end of organizing I had to kit up some little tiny projects for the beginning of autumn.
A Drawn Thread scissor fob freebie, the Jolly Roger Cat freebie, and Spooky Hill from By the Bay. This last one has a photo whose colors do not match the real colors. I hate that.

So designer's - what is up with the bad photos? By bad I mean - out of focus and with untrue colors. I tend not to buy if the photo is out of focus. I mean who produces a chart with a horrible picture? Trust me, lots of people. If you want to increase your sales, provide a great photo. And the color thing really bugs me. I'm drawn to a design first by its color. And when the colors are untrue to the actual stitched piece, sometimes I feel ripped off.

And let's not even talked about by framing. There's a current magazine out there with a piece that is so badly framed - it's all warped and wobbly. This had to pass muster with a framer, maybe the original designer or stitcher, and the magazine staff. Unbelievable.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Diamond Dance

No. That's not the name of my new ring. But it is the name of my new project.

I have already forgotten the designer's name. But apparently this piece was originally designed in 1994 and released or rereleased by Kreinik in 2000. Diamond Dance is meant to be a scissor chatelaine.

I've got my first two rows of satin stitches in and would have finished more, but I was extremely tired and fell asleep yesterday afternoon. So it was good that DH and I came home from shopping and didn't go straight to the movies. Instead we went to a late afternoon matinee of Ghost Town with Ricky Gervais. Parts of this movie are very funny. But unfortunately not all of it is. I still *heart* Ricky.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A New Start

For, B., who is probably wondering if I started that scissor chatelaine that I bought on Thursday. Yes. Last night. This could be a fast little piece, but I don't know how much time I have for stitching this weekend.

Can't remember the designer's name...will post info later on.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Next Question

Okay. I was having some difficulties posting. So below is the first question and now comes the second:

"And if the same magic applied to going home tonight and putting the last stitch on some WIP or UFO of yours....?"

Let's clear Celtic Christmas from the rotation. Now if only this magic worked...

Stitching Bloggers' Questions

"Choosing right this very minute -- If you could go home tonight and put the very last stitch in one piece that you have NOT yet started, what would it be?"

This is a tough question because so many things that I want to stitch, I have at least put in the first stitch. I am assuming that I have to have ownership of the piece.

Wait a second while I go review my database...that's interesting. My databases may have been lost when DH did a software update. And I can't find the jump drive that might still have them. So I'm going to wing it. (And that becomes a problem to solve later.)

So this morning in honor of today being Talk Like a Pirate Day, I'll say the Cricket Collection's Skeleton Crew.

Not to Whine

But this morning the toaster doesn't seem to be working. It's a stupid toaster oven and I won't mind replacing it with a regular toaster. It's the DS who is the major user of the toaster oven part and when he left last year I threatened to replace this piece of equipment. I think he was surprised the first time he came home and I hadn't.

All I wanted was the Geico's gecko's special - a warm muffin with butter and jam. Ooh, tasty.

So I split the darn English muffin and buttered it and used a frying pan. Now I've got a pan to clean, but it is tasty.

They play this darn advertisement on my local traffic and weather radio station and it makes me want one every time I hear it. A total dramatization. Too bad I can't type in accents.

And thanks to the latest Rachael Ray magazine I remembered someone that I hadn't thought of since probably 1985. My DH and I listened to WBCN in Boston a lot the first year we were married. We even used to record Mishagash because it was so hysterical some days. But the person RR made me think of was the Cosmic Muffin, Darrell Martinie, who did an astrological bit on the radio. I was sad to google him and find out he'd passed away 2 years ago. Here's to the Muffin and his closing line - "It is a wise person who rules the stars, a fool who is ruled by them - Over and out."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday

Tried to called Macy's to see if my new ring was back from being sized, but no one would answer the phone. So I went. And was told to call first. Duh. You people, um, suck. No ring. And no, they haven't called me. I was told the jeweler comes in on Tuesdays. I guess I'll go back to trying to call them.

Picked up some Splendor for continuing to stitch pendibules. And then stopped by the Container Store for, well, containers. Now all the overdyed cottons are in one big bin with half of them ringed. And all the silks are in one big bin. What is up with this addiction I have to plastic? Walking in there is like an invitation to a cleaner, more organized life. But not really. Must resist. Christmas season will upon us soon and I won't be making any trips to Tyson's Corner. That should help until next year.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday Night

I got to visit with a friend yesterday afternoon (which was great) and DH beat me home. He fed the cats so I wasn't attacked the second I walked in the door. I made a new recipe involving grits again. This one was a Rachael Ray recipe. Was okay. I can see ways to improve it. Tasted good for breakfast this morning. (I am not a breakfast food person. Cereal, blah. Real food, good.) While I was doing the dishes the phone rang and DH handed me a towel and said I needed to talk to S, who was one of our roommates after DH and I got married. So we had a nice chat and then I gave the phone back to DH, finished the dishes, continued watching the 6 home run performance by the Red Sox, and kept designing pendibules. I now have the colors green, blue, gold, and red charted and started purple.

Then I decided I needed to go through my silk stash which meant I really should sort the fibers that had been piling up and were homeless in various bags. I got everything done except the silks! But they are waiting for me to play with them today and I will be able to see them better in daylight. I can see that the silks now need to be divided into two categories - solids and overdyeds. You think that picking up a skein here or there that this is a casual collection. Until you put them all together and start seeing dollar signs.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Another Monday

Not manic. Just Monday. Going out for a short bike ride soon. It's already very warm outside. Last week I managed to make DH's mountain bike ride-worthy again. I did a cleaning job that removed most, but not all of the mud. I took off the rear tire and changed the inner tube. Yeah for me. But doing that does leave one with residual grease stains that don't look so nice when you're holding $120 a yard linen. I'm not saying that biking and stitching are incompatible. But one must clean carefully. Chain still needs a meticulous cleaning. Of course this bike is ill-suited for my purposes. First and foremost, it's really too big for me frame-wise. I need to get the toe clips off the pedals before I kill myself. And I'm not going off-road. Ever. I'll be happy with eventually being able to get on the W & OD trail and maybe get as far as Herndon and the Great Harvest Bread store.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Yeah, I Feel Like Julie on the Loveboat

Been busy making plans and buying tickets. Starting to feel like a cruise director. I went and suffered through the disorganization of presale, but I've tickets to the Bobs and The Reduced Shakespeare Company. Going to get tickets for Christine Lavin at the Barns at Wolftrap. We can go see the Uppity Blues Women again at the Virginia Wine Festival. There's a trio of authors that looks interesting, more interesting than the line-up for the National Book Festival. I guess I'm just spoiled because in the past I've seen or met some literary heroes of mine and this year there are no literary of mine in the line-up. Can't win 'em all.

No stitching this weekend. But I've designed two more pendibules. That counts for something.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Better Late Than Never

I'm 10 days late to my own celebration. I've been blogging here since September 3, 2003. I was terrible at posting with any consistency in the beginning. But I think I'm better at it now. If it wasn't for Dani noting her 5th anniversary, I might not have remembered at all.




This is my progress on Odette's Diamond, a class from our EGA chapter. I decided to do blue. To match my bedroom.






Front of my pendibule - isn't it cute? Don't you love pink?










The back of the pendibule with the words "Pink 'cause you are so very." Who knows where that comes from?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This Morning

This morning I have erased the entire post that I wrote.

My sympathy goes out to all who continue to suffer because of the events of that tragic day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Stitching Time

So yesterday I sat down with graph paper, pencil, white Belfast linen, a needle, pink Splendor, a few beads, scissors, and some fiberfill.

And two hours later I had stitched my first pendibule.

(Again with the no photo. Sorry.)

It's pink and white. Duh. And needs a ribbon to attach to my new Hardanger only scissors.

Links to other pendibules - not mine.

Pendibule

Pendibule

Pendibule After the stitch diagrams, she gives pretty good instructions.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Stitch in Public Day - I'm Bedazzled

Here's a link to the Fox affiliate in Louisville and the video from the park the morning of stitch in public day. I hope this link stays current long enough for some of you to see it.

The poor woman who was demonstrating her technique for threading a needle misses the first two times - oh the pressure of live TV coverage.

But I leave my comments on the rest of this pathetic mess unpublished.

Monday, September 08, 2008

A New Week

That was a fairly uneventful weekend. We stayed in Saturday while TS Hanna dumped somewhere between 7 and 9 inches of rain on us. Fortunately our townhouse seems to be watertight. The only water problems we have are internal. In 3 years of ownership, we've had 3 emergency visits from plumbers.

Which leads to me a realization. That we live here. Now I am not just stating the obvious. You have to realize that I have moved so many times in the past 24 years, that the 3 years we've lived here is the longest I've ever been in one place. In my head, I am finally starting to refer to this place as home - as opposed to referring to NH as home. I guess that's a good thing.

Late yesterday we drove down to Fredericksburg to visit with DS. And to bring him some stuff. Of course I forgot to bring his last check from work. And the presents I bought him in NH. How typical.

Which leads me to getting my act back together week. I've been sitting here writing out my to-do list for the day. I'm pretty sure something's missing. Just remembered two things. I'm off to get the oil changed, the drycleaning dropped off, the packages wrapped and mailed, the bike checked out, the thing returned to Target, the check to the bank, and maybe for fun I'll stop by the library where I probably owe a huge fine (not to worry - should be less than $10, but still.)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Crazy Quilt Pyramid Photos







I think they speak for themselves.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A Finish!

Photo later...but I finished my Crazy Quilt Pyramid ornament. This is a design by a member of my EGA chapter that was a class shortly after I joined the group - maybe spring '06?

I've had the stitching finished since the beginning of the summer - it looks like a four-pointed star on Congress cloth. Yesterday I cut it out, sewed up sides, did the chain stitch over my sewing, stuffed it, made a hanger and sewed it shut.

With this design we were able to embellish it in colors and fibers of our own choosing. Right from the beginning I knew I wanted to commemorate a special place - the camp my grandparents bought the year I was born. (Just a side note for fun - the last name of the people they bought it from, is now my last name. My parents bought a house from these same people at the same time so I grew up in a house with green shutters with an "L" on them. And our last name started with a "B.")

Eventually after stitching the background which is meant to mimic different fabrics, I stitched lady slippers, a pine branch, waterlilies, forget-me-nots, cattails, and a blueberry bush.

This summer my sister put the place up for sale. Sad, but true. She's not any great rush and has turned down a developer.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

One Way to Recover

One way to recover one's stitching mojo - get a call from your local shop owner asking if you can come in and cover the store for a bit so she can run some errands.

That kind of puts you in the middle of a lot of inspiration.

I brought my Hardanger learning piece with me and finished it last night. I can see that I need to do a lot of practicing with my picots and Dove's eyes.



While there I was visited by my favorite 80 year old stitcher who is getting ready to go on vacation to Cape Cod to visit her sister. This lady is a fabulous crewel work stitcher. She hung around waiting for the shop owner to return, but hadn't brought any stitching with her. So I gave her the Helen Stevens books we had in the shop to browse.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Absolutely No Stitching

I seem to have misplaced my stitching mojo again. But will search for it today. I think I had car lag. I did accomplish things, but picking up a needle just didn't seem like the thing to do.

I did laundry and changed the sheets. Straightened DD's room just a little. (Note to her: I had to create access to the window for Zoe.) Vacuumed. More laundry and now I'm all caught up. Picked up dry cleaning. Stopped at Michael's and remembered why I haven't yet framed those two photos of bluebirds in the hills of Tennessee - because they are an odd size. Watered the plants. Cleaned the bird bath. Made two new recipes for dinner. Did the dishes. All the usual stuff.

For dinner I made grilled salmon with cucumber salsa. And creamy grits with sweet corn. I have no problem admitting that this was the first time in my life that I have ever cooked grits. One bite and DH said this is what he wants next time he gets sick. What I think we have here is a comfort food.

And smooches to my honey. Today is the first day of his new job. He's back in the employ of the federal government. Now, go kick some ass.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Gentle Reminder

Public Service Message brought to by the letters EGA

Do you stitch in public?

Presenting a perfect opportunity to demonstrate your beautiful needlework:

September 3, 2008

is

National Stitch in Public Day

We are commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Embroiders’ Guild of America

by inviting everyone to show off their skills and make new friends

On September 3rd, stitch on a plane, train, or bus

Stitch in a mall, bookstore, or park

Stitch in a coffee shop, a waiting room, at the DMV

Call friends and invite them to join you

Go anywhere and enjoy yourself while you

Stitch in Public!

Back Home in Kidless House

The good news is that the gas prices were apparently high enough to keep a lot of folks home on Labor Day weekend. I arrived home last night right around 7:30 p.m.

DD and I moved her stuff in stages. The school set aside two days for arrivals, so we took her bike, fridge, bookcase, tv, tv stand, etc. to school on Sunday and checked in. She referred to last year's single room as a coffin. This year's is much better. It's bigger. Has sliders leading on to a balcony (which is locked.) Has room for her bike in the room. And we even went shopping and found her a comfy chair and another lamp. Then we went back to NH. And got up yesterday and did it all over again with her clothes and assorted boxes. This time we were met by her boyfriend that she hadn't seen since April/May? I let them move everything in, took her to the grocery store, and then left so they could enjoy some time together.

On the way north, DD and I did make a side trip to the Thistle Needleworks in Glastonbuy CT. So many fibers. So many books. So many crewel kits. What's a person to do? I left with a Hardanger book, the Mary Gostelow cross stitch book printed in 1982 that has everything in it that I eventually learned on my own, but here it is all in one place. Also a pair of scissors that are earmarked strictly for Hardanger, two Mill Hill Santas on perforated paper, a couple of black fibers, some Hardanger fabric, some perle cotton. I think that's it.

On Thursday, I tried using bicone crystals in the corners of the Color Tile III piece, but I hate the way they lay. I tried some other things with the stuff I had with me, but didn't like any of it. Between my stash and what I picked up at the Thistle, I am hoping to find an alternate solution to these corners.

It's pretty quiet here this morning except for Elvis' snoring.