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?

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


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'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.