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.