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


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


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


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 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


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.