Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jury Duty

I'll be at the Federal District Courthouse in 1 1/2 hours. Which means I have very little time here.

But. That said. I must get Laura J.Perin's new design, Pacific Coast Collage.

SL, are you reading this?

Order me one!

Friday, March 27, 2009


"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives." - Hedley Lamar

Now who would have thought that when I looked for this quote from Blazing Saddles I would find that tons of political bloggers have employed it? Interesting.

Tonight I get to call the Courthouse to find out about jury duty. Better not forget.

And this is why I have been unable to purchase plane tix to Florida to visit my mother. I'm in this black hole until I know and I can't schedule anything.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Blogger

Please check our my friend and shop owner who is new to the blogging world:

Confessions of a Remedial Stitcher

Satisfying Day

Yesterday I attended both our morning and evening EGA meetings. That was fun! We unfortunately had to cancel the intended program as not enough people signed up. We were supposed to have a presentation by a lawyer on copyright for needlework. I wanted to hear this so much I paid twice. Oh well.

In between I went to lunch with two of my morning friends. We were the last of lunch crowd left after sitting there yakking for nearly 2 hours. Then two of us went on to Michael's - both of us having a paint acquiring mission in mind. I needed paint for my canvas piece, Night Flight. And she needed a stencil brush and paint for some Raggedy Ann dolls. Reminded me of the "old" days when I used to frequently Michael's with my neighbor back in California. I still save my Michael's coupons every month, but hardly ever use them as there is not really anything I need in the store anymore.

Ended the day by coming home and finding DirecTv was showing the first episode of season 3 of the Tudors. Okay. Time to Netflix the first two seasons. I guess my affair with King Henry last year isn't over yet.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Three years I did pilot stitching for a canvas work piece for a designer hoping to teach at a national seminar. (Which she did.) I had tons of fun. Learned some new things. Probably wasn't as helpful as some with my comments as I didn't have as much canvas experience as some of the other pilot stitchers. But I digress.

One of the things I was most interested in at the time was - where did her ideas come from? She couldn't really answer that question. They just were there.

I have finally found the answer. At least for me.

I've pushing myself this past year into designing my own pieces. I can't draw worth a lick, even though I've had art classes. But I think I have a pretty good sense of color. I certainly know when something doesn't work, even if I cannot always verbalize why it is wrong. But I've developed an ability to chart just by making myself do it. And the more I do, the more inspiration I see. It is kind of strange, but I guess I've trained some pathways in my brain and some connections happen automatically. I saw some bookend paper and woke up with a canvas work version in my head this morning. It's almost as if I opened a faucet and now there isn't enough time to capture all the designs I'm seeing everywhere. I guess that's why she couldn't tell me where her ideas came from. They are everywhere.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Quick Trip

A cold day along the Hudson River. My plan was to wander around and take some photos. But it was 20 degrees and the wind was blowing. I hadn't prepared for that.

Looking up at West Point from the river. This is the boathouse below all that granite wall.

The new library. I'm sorry I didn't get to walk across the plain and get a photo that puts it in perspective. I was standing on the sidewalk across from the West Point Club.

Had a good time driving and riding in our new car. I think we've got it mostly figured out now. Laser cruise control not a good thing to use on the Beltway. Someone will cut in front of you every time. Saw some old friends. Saw a massive bus stop constructed in our old yard. UGLY! I guess some parents complained about the wind up there on Stony Lonesome that hardly ever stops blowing because these huge bus shelters have sprouted up everywhere. Wimps.

Did a little bit of stitching in the car. But it wasn't as easy as I was hoping it would be. I guess the winter weather has taken its toll on the roads. I'd be counting and my needle would just fly across the canvas and I'd have to start all over again whenever we hit a bump.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Return Trip to Obtain a DoD Decal for Car

On Wednesday my problem was that my official spousal ID card is set to expire this summer. The nice lady at the Provost Marshall's office (read police station for you non-DoD people) told me they couldn't register the car because the ID was going to expire within 10 months.

Today I return to the ID card section to get a new ID with that magical piece of lawyerese, my Power of Attorney. With this magical piece of paper I can actually do things without the physical presence of my husband. (In fact, I could sell everything he owns and take off for parts unknown, but I love him, so I think I'll stay.)

The lovely lady at the ID section (where most people are waiting for their CAC card and these people shoot daggers at me when I get called in within minutes of arriving -
I feel so special) tells me they don't renew ID cards until within 60 days of expiring.

Hmmm. I think we have ourselves a little catch-22. Two months vs. ten months. Can't you people get on the same page.

Lucky for me, I've landed a person with enough authority to issue me a new ID card now. Hurrah. After that everything is simple. Except that the new ID card photo is atrocious. I liked the last one. This one makes me look Mr. Clean after too many steriods with a bit of hair and glasses. Golly, I don't think I look that bad. Even on the worst of days. And I have a lot more than a bit of hair. I have, if anything, too much hair. Great. This is my photo until 2013. Sigh.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Picture Time

Progress on my Tsunami Charity sampler by Martina Dey. I love working on this. I'm about halfway across the top. Large piece when stitched over 2.

First colorway for Laura J Perin freebie - Grandma's Flower Boxes. It's on her website. This is a SAL with some online friends.

Never happy. I kitted the SAL up a second way when I saw this piece of dark green canvas. Started stitching last night.

Look! our new car. Now all we need is a name. Color is Cocoa Pearl. Was lovely listening to our Italian salesman say the color name.

New chair purchased at antique show for the cat. That's right. We bought a chair just for the cat.

Happy Spring everyone! Hopefully a few days of sunshine here and the area will be looking like it. Right now we're still kind of blah.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Woodlawn Again

Third time I've been this month. Funny how you end up seeing new things every time. There are over 600 pieces to view, so I guess that makes sense.

We were a slightly rowdy group of eleven. Kind of split up. Lots of people there this morning including two other sizable groups. Some people apparently feel overwhelmed when confronted with all that evidence of finished stitching. Me, I just feel inspired.
I'm back to planning what to enter next year.

At In Stitches, I kitted up, for the second time in a few days, the Laura J Perin freebie "Grandmother's Flower Boxes." LOL Once wasn't enough. Apparently I must be thinking of presents. It's a small piece - only 77 x 77 stitches so I don't think I'll have a problem stitching it twice. One version on pewter, second one on dark green canvas.

I know I owe photos here.

Will remedy tomorrow or Saturday.

Ah Bureaucracy!

Yesterday I was rudely reminded of times past (or the VA DMV!) when I attempted to do something that should be simple and straightforward and run smack dab into unexpected rules. I went to the base to register the new car and get DoD decal. I checked online for requirements and hours they do registration having learned from past experiences. But no where online did they say to check the expiration date on your ID. Because mine expires this summer, I can't do the registration until I get a new ID card. The lovely woman cannot tell me exactly what I need for renewing ID. As it's been a few years since I've done this, I'm fuzzy on the details. Head across the base to the ID card section. Only to confirm what I suspected. Without my "sponsor" I need my Power of Attorney. The man at the ID section is extremely patronizing. I was just trying to explain to him that I had left home with no intention of finding myself at the ID section. Blah. People can be mean.

This means I have to do this return trip again on Friday as it would be nice to have the car registered as we are soon taking a mini-trip.

Can't go today as I am meeting friends at Woodlawn for the Show and lunch. This is my regular Thursday stitching group. Wonderful ladies. We'll have a blast. Hope we aren't so loud as to get kicked out. I assume a stop at In Stitches in Alexandria is also in order. Those ladies should have been warned...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Further Research

Wow. Anyone with any info online at SECINFO?

Seems that because the law didn't change until 2007, the SS#s of many people remain online. Unless the person requests a redaction.

Sometimes you have to wonder. This is why I routinely google search our names. Not just for the fun jolt of seeing who shares our name. But to make sure there is not anything out there, that doesn't belong out there.

Looking For

I was looking for an old family friend. Just poking around the net trying to see what had happened to him.

And quite by accident I have stumbled onto a website with a court case. And the two parties involved in the lawsuit have their social security numbers right there out in the open. The case is from 8 years ago. I don't even know if this is the family friend, I suspect not, because the SS # looks like it originates in California.

I have absolutely no idea what to do.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Had a lovely day yesterday with my friend in the demo room at Woodlawn. Saw lots of people. Didn't even matter that it wasn't sunny outside. Only 3 more days till the official start of spring and the blossoming are woefully behind here. Usually the tulip magnolias and daffodils are in bloom at Woodlawn. Right now there's just a few crocuses showing themselves. And the forsythia started blooming last week. I think a few days of warm weather and everything will explode forth with color.

This also means for anyone planning, that the cherry blossoms will be bit behind normal. Will try again this year for sunset pictures to match the sunrise ones I took a few years back. This time definitely taking the metro...

Not sure exactly what this means - the end of Dimensions altogether? Anyone know more?

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I was trying to print a free pattern from the Laura J. Perin Designs website. I swear I hit current page. But I'm getting oh so much more. Some are better quality than others. I don't understand this. OOPS. I know I've made my printer quit in the middle of a page. Cancel print job, please.

We didn't have anything better to do this weekend, so we bought a new car?

I need the sun to come out so I can take a decent photo. It is a chocolate brown Avalon. All nice and shiny and comfy enough to stitch in. Will try this out next weekend as we are going to West Point for a day. See some friends. Eat decent Mexican food at this place we know. Poke around old haunts. DH is giving a guest lecture.

But I will admit to sitting in my Honda with tears in my eyes. I drove it to the dealership today. A stripped down version of its former self. Minus the college stickers. Minus the Red Sox sticker. Minus the four teeny Beanie Babies that represent my family. Minus the Go Army, beat Navy blanket. Minus the hatchet and 550 cord that remained in the car from a camping trip and have been used on occasion. Minus the tons of maps. Minus the menu to Reins Deli in CT. Minus the menu to the Peking Cafe in Annandale. Minus the plastic tic-tac-toe game. Minus all the music and sunglasses and ice scrapers. My poor car is probably feel cold and lonely and abandoned right now. I hope someone nice comes along and adopts it. I'm sure they'll love it as much as we did.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Master List

I made a master list of the 6 biggest priorities in my stitching world. But I still need to decide which is the biggest priority. Right now they all seem to carry about equal weight. Which probably means I haven't thought about it enough. I guess these two things: recharting a chart on my newest graphing software and the teaching of a biscornu that I have in my head, should be one and two. Then comes a gift that I can't discuss here, but involves designing and stitching and has a deadline like the first two. Number 4 should be working on my Mastercraftsman project for the EGA. And 5 & 6 which I apparently find the most fun, are at the bottom of the list.

The truth is any progress on anything on this list is a huge positive. So the list is going to stay here by my elbow on the desk. As long as I'm typing, I'm not making progress. (Or doing housework, but who cares about that?)

Alas, Coni. Woodlawn's needlework show doesn't involve tons of technology. The best they have managed is that this year there is a list of the big winners on the Woodlawn website. Some of us enter in the spirit of competition. And some of us enter just because we want to see our work hanging in a historic and beautiful location where people will pay money to see it. The lesson I have learned is if I want to enter something, I should be working on it now for the following year. LOL

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Yes. That is a second place in canvaswork on my In the Midnight Hour. I don't even mind losing out a first place 'cause it was to someone I know and her piece was technically harder with those Jessicas and woven Neon Rays. I didn't stay long as I am going to the demo room next Monday and to luncheon with friends there next Friday.

The sampler competition continues to baffle me. And the overall best in show this year was a blackwork piece. Apparently the docents are spending oodles of time explaining to people why this won. The back is exactly like the front. So what I heard one woman say. She didn't like it. At all. I think the quote was, if I don't like the front, why should I like the back. Too funny.

The canvaswork category had lots of strong entries. Saw some beautiful original crewel pieces. My favorite room is still the room with all the animal pieces. Makes me smile.


I think I spent the entire night dreaming of Quakerish southwest America designs. I know that what was going through my head at 12:55 a.m. when I woke up. I know I was still dreaming it 1/2 an hour later when I woke up for real and started to read. I know I was dreaming it when I woke up just before DH got up at 6:00 a.m. And I was still dreaming of designs at 7:45 a.m. when I actually got up. This is a sign that I had a successful day of putting things done on paper yesterday.

Of course, I also walked into my kitchen yesterday morning and had an absolutely brilliant idea. So brilliant that when I told my shop owner friend her eyes got big and she said OMG you have so got to do that.

All this means is that the things I have to do are being shunted aside by the things that are calling to me from some strange, creative recess in my brain.

Am going in to work in the shop for a bit this morning and will consider second idea some more. Maybe look at fibers and fabric even. Then maybe a quick dash down to Woodlawn to the needlework show.

I hear I won a second place in canvaswork. But I need to see it. That old 80s slogan, trust but verify.

Monday, March 09, 2009

I Hate Time Change

Why do we subject ourselves to this twice a year? My brain is currently not functioning optimally. And I have the grand task of taking a PDF file and altering it. I wish I had the original file, but I don't. That makes life fun. DH provided some assistance on this yesterday so I should be good to go. But I can't seem to jump start the brain cells. Fell asleep on the couch last night. And when I woke up I could hear someone upstairs snoring like a pack of lumberjacks so I shut my eyes and stayed where I was.

Had a fun weekend of shopping at the D.C. Big Flea in Chantilly. On Saturday DH and I bought two oak plant stands to use to hold our rear speakers in the living room. On Sunday I went back and bought an oak rocking chair for the cat. Yes. For the cat. Now I have two IKEA chairs I can sell on craigslist. That should almost cover the cost of the rocking chair. Then I found a Marx tin barn:

My sister has the house. Will continue to look for this stuff. Harmless past time recreating your childhood toys.

Then I went to the nursery to purchase some cactus soil to send to DD at school. And of course some plants followed me home to those oak plant stands. Such fun! We've got a great nursery here complete with free popcorn. I wandered around and wasted a lot of time just soaking in the beauty of the plants.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Brideshead Revisited

I was fortunate enough yesterday to have lunch with a friend and when I mentioned my evening's plans included watching Brideshead, she whipped out her i-phone and shared her pictures of Castle Howard with me taken on her anniversary. Such a beautiful place. And oh how I love this show. Last year DS and I were listening to Brideshead Revisited being read by Jeremy Irons while we were doing a lot of riding in the car. And as much as I love his voice, he couldn't begin to capture the magic that is John Gieguld as his father. Rapture.

Meanwhile I've been browsing my collection of Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly looking for Quaker things. And instead I am finding dozens of other things I want to stitch. I shouldn't buy anything else and just start stitching my way through all 50+ issues of this fine publication.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Handy Dandy Link

Ever need perle instead of floss? Well, here's a place that shows you how to make your own. Handy for those of us doing Hardanger and canvaswork.

Make your own perle

I Admit It - I Bought Something

Couldn't help it. This pattern just followed me home. In a red bag. Didn't bring any fabric or floss with it. Quaker Gone Tropic. Okay. The color reproduction is not the best as this is stitched on L & L 32ct Lemon Ice. That's right. The fabric is actually yellow.

Anyway. When I saw this I kind of had an idea. And while dropping something off at the Scarlet Thread today, I picked up some fabric and fibers to do something else a la Quaker. I guess because I've been working on Tsunami Charity Sampler by Martina Dey I definitely have Quaker on the brain.

Girls have started the return trip home. DS leaves today to take the train south to visit a friend before returning to school on Sunday. All will be quiet again tonight. And then it's on to watching Brideshead Revisited. Ah, Jeremy Irons' voice. Love. Love. Love.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Aw. Isn't he cute? Elvis sunbathing.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Quick Update

Been hanging with the college kids.

Yesterday we celebrated darling daughter's 22nd birthday. She requested an orange cake. Okay. Orange cake it was with chocolate/orange frosting and a Tinkerbell candle.

Today they go off for more touristy things in downtown D.C.

I have a problem with my Night Flight. I started stitching the interior of the bird that is silhouetted against the moon. The canvas is a blue color, the thread is a single ply of Watercolours Midnight. The stitch is straight. And the canvas is showing through. What to do? Any suggestions?

All advice welcome. I'm thinking of changing the stitch.

Monday, March 02, 2009


This is the most snow we've had here in two years. Now. What great timing. College kids have decided to stay in and work today. Me, I'm stitching on Amybear's Night Flight. Got some issues to work out. But I'm getting on track.

I went out and shoveled the walkway and sidewalk. About a 6 inch total accumulation.