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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.