Friday, February 29, 2008


Darling daughter arrives home in 2 1/2 hours.

And for the first time in 19 years, she can pretend she's an only child as DS is off to Georgia on his spring break with the varsity crew team.

She turns 21 on Monday.

And we love her and are very happy she'll be home for her birthday.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Near Disaster

Last night I was innocently sitting there watching The Daily Show at 8 o'clock, when the little paranoid schizophrenic cat who lately has been making a bit of progress and showing her face in the living room, jumped up on my chair. And tried to drink out of my water glass. And tipped it over.


A full glass of water all over books, magazine, and two current projects. Fortunately for me, a chart took most of it. The canvas piece just got wet on one corner. And my model that I'm stitching got soaked only on one corner. But that was the corner with the stitching. Overdyed linen. Overdyed silk. I blotted as best I could and left it to air out overnight. Fortunately, it looks like the dyes held.

Lesson learned. Always put away the stitching. Always.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Yucky - Rainy

Could be worse I suppose. It could be cold enough to snow. Fortunately, we are going to be spared that today. I just need more sunshine.

Yesterday I did errands and shopping. Because I had a travel diary to fill out. DH did, too. He's the good guy - drives to park and ride to take public transportation. I'm the bad guy. Driving to Leesburg and back shopping for water filter for fridge and presents for someone's upcoming birthday. (Next Monday, my DD turns 21!)

Today is housework and stitching on the gingko leaves project. I started it yesterday. I can already tell that I will grow to hate this before I'm finished. Just going to be difficult to count and there's a lot of solid stitching where the edges cause problems because of the quarter stitches. In other words, it looks easy, basically at this point is easy, but I'll get distracted and make assumptions and mistakes and will have to frog a ton. That's my prediction. LOL

Monday, February 25, 2008

Let's All Go To The Movies

Let's all go to the movies,
Let's all go to the movies,
Let's all go to the movieeeeees,
And we'll have a wonderful time.

Once upon a time, back in the early days of our relationship, we saw nearly every movie that got released. The good, the bad, and the terrible. Sometimes the schlockier the better. Movies at the drive-in. Movies in the big old fashioned movie houses. Movies in the converted to two screens theaters. Movies in the brand new cinemaplex. We sat in the back and if the movie was boring, spent a lot of time making out. Sat down front when it was a scary picture and we wanted those monsters to be as big as possible.

Now I can't even remember the last movie I saw in a theater. I remember going to see Pan Labyrinth. Probably was Pirates of the Caribbean III.

We just wait to see them on DVD. And we're much pickier about what we watch.

But I miss that whole "going" to the movies experience. Waiting in line to buy tickets. Waiting in line inside the theater penned up like cattle at the slaughterhouse to see The Empire Strikes Back for the third time. Bad-for-you movie popcorn. Junior Mints. A half-gallon cup of coke and bladder that let you sit through the entire movie even though you drank the whole thing. Sticky floors. Broken seats. People throwing popcorn. Talking back to the screen. Being transported to another place/time.

This is all just a warm up for me to say that I don't think the Oscars are relevant. LOL

P.S. Did finish my mystery project yesterday.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Need Breakfast

But first.

Nearly finished my mystery project. I'll cross that line today.

Woke up dreaming about possible ways to go with my frame weight.

But what I really need to do is start the piece I'm stitching for a designer.

Here's her stuff: Merrey Designs

I'm working on a gingko leaves project.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Trader Joe's

I never play with things here. For some reason I just don't think to do it.

I waited till midday for the weather to warm up just a touch. The ice fell right off the car so not a lot of effort was required to clear the windows. Stopped at the gas station for my Mega Millions ticket. $270 million would buy a lot of stash. LOL

My goal was Trader Joe's as yesterday the Fearless Flyer came in the mail and there were some new products I wanted to get. I didn't need a lot but still spent $90. Bought another recycled grocery bag and am getting back into the habit of remembering to bring my bags with me. Whole Foods is removing free plastic bags from their stores on Earth Day in April. It's a good trend that I can support. But if everyone starts doing this, I will be searching for something to use for cleaning the kitty litter box.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

From Monday's Walk

I'm certain my children are happy to be beyond my camera's lens. Now I'm into trees. LOL

Watched part of Some Like It Hot last night. Dang, that dress that Marilyn's wearing while on the yacht with Tony Curtis should be illegal. Still. More than 50 years later.
And all I can hear in my head is Jack Lemmon with the maracas - yut, dut, dut, dut, yaddada duh.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's a Mystery

Met with a friend yesterday and we stitched around my dining room table till my hubby came home. I'm a-working on that mystery. Pretty close to a finish.

Made spaghetti with scallops and arugula for dinner and then we went to our homeowners association meeting.

Where we learned the bad news about our former management company. The owner's son has been accused of embezzeling more than $2 million from his father's company. The company has declared bankruptcy and the insurance company is disputing the claim. Our homeowners association is most likely out $8500. I guess we should be glad it isn't more. But somehow this seems so wrong.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Was Lovely

Got up yesterday and realized that the predicted rain had already moved through for the morning and decided we needed to get out and take advantage of the lovely warm temperatures and abundant sunshine.

So off we went to Mason Neck State Park for a walk through the woods and around parts of Belmont Bay. We got there early enough so that there were hardly any other people there. My favorite way to enjoy the woods - without strangers mucking about. Did the Bayview trail and then decided to walk the Eagle Spur trail out to the observation point. Hardly saw a single animal. Strange. One squirrel. Even stranger. I was hoping for a bald eagle siting, but that was not to be. Just the pleasure of 3-4 miles of tromping through the woods. Which was nice. Of course, someone did smoke the requisite cigar on the first trail. But it wasn't enough to ruin my enjoyment.

Made a stop or two along the way home. And sat down and stitched some more on my mystery project. Then I realized that I really, really wanted some Thai Curry soup from Noodles for supper. I ran by the grocery store first to purchase the ubiquitous milk, bread, and eggs. I try to keep enough milk in the house for the occasional bowl of cereal for DH (I don't do cereal and milk. Hated it since I was little.) Some stores don't even sell quarts of 1% milk. Which means I often find myself making some meal to use up milk before it spoils. White sauce anyone? Cheese sauce? Pudding? Chowder?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

St. Patricks Day

I'll be stitching in the demo room at Woodlawn with my friend who owns the Scarlet Thread on Monday the 17th. Just in case you're planning to visit. Stop and say hi!

I got to work some yesterday on my mystery project. Which isn't a true stitcher's "mystery" project. It's a mystery only here because I can't comment or post pictures until after the gift giving.

Instead I give you a progress picture of my canvas work frameweight designed by a friend. I picked out the purple colors. Gotta reflect that February thing.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ice Storm Photo

From my birthday.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Who's Got It? ( the movie?)

In which I attempt to find my stitching mojo by attending my LNS's morning stitch in.

This should work. Always has in the past.

This is Catherine Agnes' beginnings. There's all kinds of fun stuff on this one - bullions, rhodes, algerian eyelets, reticello. I need to find a doodle cloth to practice my bullions on - gotta figure out how many times to wrap the needle on this fabric to cover x amount of ground. Fun, fun, fun!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My First Rock n Roll Sampler

This is the result of an EGA chapter challenge which was the view out my window. I went all over the place with ideas. Finally decided I wanted something that made me think of waking up at the lake in the morning in the bedroom with east facing window. Now it was all about sunshine and I started thinking I needed words. Hence, the line from the Donovan song. I designed and stitched in less than 2 weeks and if I did it again I would use Q-snaps because the bargello bands tilted the linen and no amount of tugging while lacing it would straighten it out.

The Past

The past is the past and I'm moving on.

But. It was a bit much when his boss called yesterday to plead for leniency.

Frankly, I think there's a difference between being forgotten and being intentionally ignored.

Horrible part was I had cleared my day so I could sit and stitch and I was too upset to stitch.

There. That's the end of that.

P.S. Thanks for the compliments about Agnes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I've Thought About This

I wasn't going to post this. But. I am seriously trying to make myself feel better. It's my birthday and I'm allowed to say what I need to say.

Sunday, on our way home from visiting with our younger college student, we stopped at the Marine Corps exchange at Quantico. Like many exchanges the first thing you encounter is the jewelry department. It is here that I find out that my husband hasn't bought me a birthday gift. It is on the remainder of the ride home that I find out that he decided that I had spent enough money Agnes Scott and that was my birthday present.

Yesterday if that lovely framed piece hadn't been in someone else's possession, I would have thrown it off the balcony.

I've never felt less special on my birthday than I do today.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Best Photo I took Yesterday

This is Chatham, a Virginia plantation home built in 1771 on the banks of the Rappahannock River overlooking Fredericksburg. It's one of handful of homes in the U.S. that there is documented evidence of visits by Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln.
It's my favorite photo that I took yesterday. Maybe a bit darker than it should be.
Care to Know the Motivation Behind That Gift, Love? by Shankar Vedantam

from 2/11/2008 Washington Post

Some recent psychological experiments found that shoppers respond much more to positive messages when they are shopping early, and to negative messages when they put off shopping until the last minute. The research suggests that stores selling Valentine's Day gifts in January are more likely to persuade people to buy when they sell the idea that their products will make gift recipients happy. The last-minute marketing messages, however, are more likely to succeed when they focus on the negative.

the negative being - trying to stay out of the doghouse by buying your sweetheart a last minute Valentine's Day gift.

Now I've got no issues with Valentine's Day. The reason being my birthday supercedes some trumped "love" holiday. But for you sweethearts out there - it isn't so much the gift, as that there was some thought behind it.

What are Birthdays About?

JMHO, a birthday should be about being made to feel special. If only for a little while. Maybe even as special as your parents made you feel when you were a kid.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

My Opinion on Colorwash Silks

Colorwash is a 12-ply silk by Glissen Gloss from Japan. Thinner than I'm used to working with, but I've just taken to using 3 plies instead of 2 and this stuff is so smooth. I'm loving it. I've made some progress on Indigo Rose's "Catherine Agnes." So I may as well declare this to be the year of Agnes.

Our EGA chapter is hosting a class with Catherine Strickler of Indigo Rose this summer and I'm planning on taking it. It'll be fun to show her a slightly different color choice.

In other Woodlawn news - I don't think I stopped to sing the praises of a certain 80 friend of mine who brought three pieces into the shop last week. Two of them I watched her work on - a crewel bellpull and matching stool. Both amazing. But it's the third piece that's the stunner. A huge piece from a kit of a white heron in a tree surrounded by purple flowers. It's absolutely gorgeous. I meant to ask her if I could take a picture and post it here, but now that will have to wait as she's gone off on a cruise with her sister.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Agnes Scott Framed


Here she is. This is Roma molding - a handmade Italian olive wood with an added gold fillette.
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A Phone Call

Just got my phone call from the framers and I'm off to pick up Agnes Scott. Unfortunately there is no time for her to live with me. I'm dropping her off for the Woodlawn show. Waaa. Oh well. I'll try to get a good photo.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Ah. Me and my copy of patternmaker didn't see eye to eye yesterday. So my plan to rechart the remainder of the chart didn't pan out. I suppose I could get out the graph paper and do it by hand. But I think I'll just move on and wait for the teacher to do it.

I was looking for a photo to post. But I got nothing. Need to get my camera out more often.

Maybe I need a project.
Like my daughter who's trying to post a photo a day of a certain statute on her college campus. It's been entertaining so far. I could do the cat. I'm sure that would turn into plenty of pics of him snoozing.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Not Feeling My Best

I was not feeling my best yesterday and didn't wander far from my stitching chair. I ripped out the bottom row on my frame weight and restitched it. Then did the next motif in on both sides. Now comes the fun part. Because my friend was charting this as she was stitching it. So not all parts match. I could wait for her to finish charting or I could just move on my own.

Which means I'm about to sit down with my charting software and see if I can make this work. If not, I'll stitch the middle parts and wait for her to complete the rest. I need more of the chart charted to make my color choses work for me so I will not just "wing" it.

In other news, my daughter got to hear Hillary Clinton speak at a rally yesterday. Obama did not go to her school. Instead the governor went - Deval Patrick. A couple of weeks ago, Chelsea Clinton came and spoke for her mother. How did Clark come to be picked? Maybe this has something to do with it?

Chelsea Clinton's boss, a billionaire Wall Street fund manager, is an alumnus, and an ex-trustee. There's a bioscience building named for him and his wife, a current trustee.

Hey, honey, did you know that?

Monday, February 04, 2008

No Such Thing as Perfection

It would have been wonderful. But it was not to be. Okay. I'm okay with that. It was a great season. And now I may never watch a football game again.


On Saturday I pulled out one of my older UFOs - Celtic Christmas. She really is quite pretty and deserves to be finished. The beading on this has totally slowed me down. But I did spend an hour or two working on her. It would be nice if I could devote one day a week to this piece.

Then my friend called me Saturday night to beg me to come to her frame weight class on canvas the next morning. Which I did. I even learned a new stitch. And came home happy with the colors I had picked based on my birthday month of February - a purple Watercolours called amethyst. I counted down the side three times, but apparently I should have tried one more, 'cause I'm a row short. Which means I have to rip out my bottom and move it down one thread. No problem. I'd just like to try to match my work that's already there. I checked to see if I could fudge this, but I don't think so, Boo Boo.

While at the shop I bought a large handi-clamp scroll frame to put that Martina Dey piece on. After all, it was the Superbowl Sale.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Okay - A Decision Was Made

I sat yesterday and played with all kinds of thread combinations for Indigo Rose's Catherine Agnes.

I eventually have settled on a combination of 5 Glissen Gloss Colorwash silks and 3 Waterlilies. I think I'm finally at a point that I like the colors well enough to proceed.

I rinsed and ironed the linen for this piece - Light Exampler - and for the Martina Dey piece - a large swath of Lakeside Linens Magnolia.

Going now to see if I have scroll frames to fit these. I've been slowly converted from an in hand stitcher to using frames.

Also played with my design for my second rock n roll sampler. While playing came up with ideas for like 3 more, plus I would like to do a sampler that pays homage to my husband's love of single malts. (Side note: I don't get Scotch. Not only do I not get it, when I smell it, it makes me recoil in distaste.)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Slowly I Turned

Step by step. Inch by inch.

Anna at the Stitch Bitch hit 1,000 posts. You go, girl! I'm not too, too far behind. I'll get there sometime this spring. I think I started my blog the month after she did.

While doing inventory in the shop I started to admire Glissen Gloss' Colorwash - a 12 ply Japanese silk. Yesterday I bought some, thinking I would use them instead of Waterlilies on Indigo Rose's Catherine Agnes sampler. See the picture? Aren't the colors lovely? Well, the photo and the actual threads do not match. In reality, the colors are much more muted, some even pastel. As I was drawn to the piece by seeing its picture on the 'net and I purchased online without ever seeing it, I was somewhat disappointed when I gathered the color for fibers. This piece has literally been hanging out in my stash all kitted up, but I just couldn't bring myself to start it. I have seen an real life model and it's lovely, but I'm still stuck on those brighter colors. So I tried several times to match it to some brighter overdyed silks, but it's like the color combinations I'm looking for don't exist. Thus the purchase of the Glissen Gloss. But when I laid things out last night, I'm still not satisfied.

A big shout out to my friend who suggested I dye my own silk. Like that's happening. LOL

Maybe I should be looking in the overdyed cottons instead of silks. There are definitely more options available there.

On the plus side, I did rethink my Crescent Colours that I have picked for Martina Dey's Tsunami Charity sampler. I brightened those up considerably, too. What can I say? I know what I like.