Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Progress and Thrift Shop Find

Close up of an apron I found in a thrift shop for 50 cents. It's hanging in my kitchen.

Looking at it, I think it was a sold off the bolt and you took it home, cut it up and assembled it.

Morning Glories progress. I finished most of the over one yesterday. After I stitch the over two border, the year is supposed to go between the two borders. I'm thinking of my initials and the year. I'm loving the Glorianna.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Current Projects

This is my progress on Ruth Dilts' Mystic. Of course I changed the colors. And changed them again. I was using black, but there was too much contrast on the white canvas. So instead I'm using Folkstone, an overdyed gray silk from Thread Gatherers. Interesting.

This is a Betsy Morgan class that I took last year. I thought I'd finish this one before moving on to the All Year Square pin cube.

Over one on 32ct linen. I love it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

One Song

Some of you may not know of my musical tendencies. I grew up listening to country and western and 1960s rock and roll. One of those came from my parents. I think you know which one.

By the time I was a teen and could purchase music of my own, I had a wide range of things I would listen to with glee and reverence. The range only increased when I paired up with my DH as teenagers in high school.

I love music. Can't really sing on key unless I have someone to follow. But have sung in musicals and with choirs. Sang Cabaret in front of an audience. I'm enthusiastic. Even a performance of Handel's Messiah. Whatever. My musical taste are deep and varied. Thus we bring you:

Gakked from Livejournal:

1. If you can only hear one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Amazing Grace. I love this song. I sang to my babies as if it was a lullaby. Pretty funny considering my religious views. Or maybe that would be ironic.

2. What one song would you like to be played on your funeral?

Elbow's "Perfect Weather to Fly." I've already told my daughter.

3. What one song that is best to describe your feeling right now?

DH just came home and put on Thriller.

4. What one song would you like to hear when you're sad and depressed?

Depends. Do I want to wallow in the depression? Maybe the Dixie Chicks "A Home."
If I want to climb out, how about Aretha Franklin's "Respect."

5. What one song that you wished you have written?
Stairway to Heaven.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Because I Told Some People

Because I told some people about this and couldn't remember exactly where to point them to see it online, I will post links here.

Jane, of Chilly Hollow, posted a link to an absolutely wonderful carrot lady canvas. If you're interest in more of Ruth Schmuff's designs, look here.

The counting continues.


Today we get to attend a military retirement ceremony at Ft. Myer for some very dear friends of ours. We first met 23 years ago in Germany. We were privileged to watch these two people fall in love, marry, and have three terrific daughters. These ceremonies at Ft. Myer are always special as you have the Old Guard and the U.S. Army Band participating.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Just Sitting There Innocently Drinking My Morning Coffee

When wham. There goes the electricity. Fortunately, the coffee had just finished brewing and DH was already shaved and showered. I moved closer to the window and continued reading the newspaper. And then took DH to the Park N Ride and along the way we saw the source of the problem. Idiot driver had slammed into a transformer box. And that is about the only way we can lose power here as all our power lines are underground.

Fortunately the police were already directing traffic at the intersections. I came home. Finished reading the paper. Took the LED flashlight to the bathroom and took a shower. Opened the fridge quick and grabbed some leftovers from last night. And just as I was contemplating taking the laptop to a WiFi spot, the power came back on. It was off 1.75 hours and now I've run out of time here.

Off to Guild meeting. And then on to the shop to continue the process of counting. I spent almost 6 hours there yesterday counting threads.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Stitching Injury

I'm not entirely positive, but I think I managed to injure myself yesterday while stitching at the table. I was working on a canvas piece for many hours over the course of the day and then when I went to the grocery store later in the day, I peeled a piece of skin off my elbow. Like a blister had broken or something. Anyway I've got a big raw spot on my right elbow. I didn't realize how annoying it was until last night when every time I rolled onto my right side, I scraped that elbow across the sheet and OW! Today I am armed with a band-aid.

But the good news is that I started stitching on my Amybear "Night Flight" piece again. And painting the canvas underneath the bird was a terrific idea. I'm much happier with how that looks now. Of course I discovered a counting error. But I'm going to adjust this one on the fly, so to speak.

Earthquake in Alaska yesterday. But DD didn't feel a thing apparently. I thought it was funny that we found out about this while reading the news on the Wii...

The local news was monitoring the Metro train crash yesterday. Nine dead. I've always felt extremely safe riding the Metro here. What a terrible thing.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Passing into History

I helped out for the final 2 1/2 hours at the Scarlet Thread yesterday. At least the last hours the shop was open to the public. We've got a couple of days of counting ahead of us...

I'm happy to have been able to be a part of it.

I don't get overly emotional at times like these because 20 years of moving around with the Army taught me that there is only one true good-bye. Everything else is simply a so long, I'll see you around the bend someday. A bientot, Scarlet Thread.

But I couldn't let the day pass without, um, you know, buying something. I purchased Marc, of Needlemania's Jardin d' Jour and several Soy Luster threads to work it in. And some 29ct Glenshee for good measure. I realized that though I had always admired Marc's patterns, I did not own one. And one more Halloween pattern from Val's Stitchin' Stuff - I'm Just a Little Batty. Got the bat buttons, fabric, and changed the threads slightly. Halloween projects always excite me, even if I don't finish stitching them until April.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. Where ever you are.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

This Is It

Today is the last day for the Scarlet Thread as an in-real-life needlework store.

I'll be going in later today to help out.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I Am Stunned

I am stunned to open my e-mail this morning and read the news of the passing of Marc Davis of Needlemania.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hands Survived

My hands survived because I didn't touch that many bricks. And I had a bit of help pulling that last shrubbery out. That might have taken me hours by myself. Got appropriately hot and sweaty. And I can't do anymore today because it's raining.

I stopped and bought an iced latte last night and joined the ladies at the Scarlet Thread for their last Tuesday night stitch in. Even managed to work with silks without too many problems. Except for one that I didn't cause. Hfffmm. Seems the lines on this canvas are not all in the correct place. And the designer told us she sprayed the canvas with Krylon to fix the pencil markings. Not entirely sure what I'm going to do. But I think I will try painting over the pencil with white paint. The pattern is such that the lines with the pencil would not be stitched over and would be visible.

Also pulled out my BoInk. Which I haven't done a single stitch on since I put it away last August. Mostly because it's over one on 32 ct. I realized that the first thing I had to do was frog the blue that I had stitched in the wrong place. Always fun to frog over one stitching. But I got it out and replaced with the proper color. That's progress. This may be my new ten year project. Goal is to finish it in 2018?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ruining my Hands

Every day I've been doing a sugar and olive oil scrub. Because I've been outside pulling shrubbery and laying bricks. And I'm mutilating my poor hands. I should just trim all the fingernails down to nothingness and start over. Doing this and working with silks are not compatible. The olive oil and sugar thing helps. But I've got terrible cuticles and they catch those pretty fibers.

I've ruined one pair gloves to the point of tossing them away. The other pair need washing which if I was motivated I'd go take care of this right now.

I feel better having removed some overgrown nandina shrubs. Today another bush gets whacked. I don't have any idea what it is. But this is going to be the difficult one to remove. Then it's on to trimming the boxwoods. The nandina could be pretty, but I feel like these things were just shove in the ground by someone with no thought to how they grow. And then they were allowed to grow unchecked by someone who didn't squat about plants. This is not to say that the other side of the walkway where I have been planting various herbs and perennials for a few years looks that much better. But at least my side is kind of pretty chaos. I like it. Who knew fennel could get so tall?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Playing Along with Book Questions

For those who are not avid readers, feel free to skip this.

Gacked from C in DC's blog, Pencil Crossings:

This week's Booking Through Thursday question is: “This can be a quick one. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.”

  1. Little Women
  2. A Prayer for Owen Meany
  3. Pride and Prejudice
  4. Jane Eyre
  5. The Yellow Wallpaper
  6. 'Salems Lot
  7. The Prophet
  8. Stranger in a Strange Land
  9. Time Enough for Love
  10. The World According to Garp
  11. The Bell Jar
  12. Woman on the Edge of Time
  13. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  14. The Great Gatsby
  15. The Monkey Wrench Gang
Okay. That was no particular order. Now on to the analysis.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I cry every time I read this and Beth dies. I first read it when I was in elementary school, maybe I was 8 or 9. I bought my own copy through Scholastic Books. It had a pink cover with an oval middle that depicted the four girls surrounding Marmee.
I always want Jo and Laurie to get together. I've read this book more than 20 times.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. This may be my favorite book of all time. First of all, it's the setting. That world is very familiar to me. He's writing about where I lived and went to school albeit in a slightly earlier time. The characters - what can I say? Unforgettable. The story arc. The weird game with the basketball. The death by baseball. Love it. But it's the philosphical stuff that cemented it for me. I read it as soon as it was published.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. If there had to be only one Jane Austen book in the world, this is the one I would pick. I think because it was the first one I read and I was eleven years old. Reading it as an adult, I appreciate Mrs. Bennett in a way I couldn't when I was young. Then all I wanted was more Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Read this around age 11 also. Wow. I remember reading the entire book in two days and wishing there was more. And reading it again. The first person narrative gripped me. I was Jane.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Read it in college for a class on Women Writers in the 20th Century. Okay so it was written in the 1890s. It was the introductory book for the class. Okay so technically it's a short story. But we read it as it's own little book. The essence of the entire class captured in one little 6,000 word story. Creative women have two choices - go mad or kill themselves.

'Salems Lot by Stephen King. I read it soon after it was published in 1975. My parents came home on a Saturday night to find me curled up in a corner of the sofa with all the lights on as I had finished reading the book about an hour earlier. The beginning of my Stephen King addiction. Horror novels at their best. He is a genius. How does he think up these things?

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. Discoverd this book in high school. Have given it as a gift many times. Yes. We used a reading from it at our wedding. How trite, but fitting.

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. Read it in high school. Then promptly found everything he'd ever written that I could find and read all that, too. If the movie version ever gets made, please in the name of all that is holy, don't ruin it. I don't want another Dune stuck in my brain.

Time Enough for Love by Robert Heinlein. Ah Lazarus Long. Enough great quotes in this book for a book of their own. Every scifi or fantasy author that follows this man owes him a tremendous debt.

The World According to Garp by John Irving. Large, bizarre, complex. Rich with lunancy and sorrow and humor. Read it in 1978 when it was published.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Read it in high school. Was reading before English class started and the teacher noticed what I was reading and told me that girls that read that book killed themselves. WTF??? She really freaked me out. The teacher, that is. But I continued to read as I already owned a copy of Ariel and here was insight into the author's mind.

Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy. I *heart* this book. I want that alternate world to be real so badly. Read it in college for a class.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. There is enough philosphical meat in this book to read it every year. Read it in high school and several times since then. Let's all muse on quality.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I don't know how I missed having to read this for a class. But I read it on my own in high school. Have read it several times since then, including when my kids had to read it in high school. Like it even more now that I've read a bio of Zelda.
Too bad he had to burn himself out with booze, etc.

The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey. Read it in high school. Surprised to find that I'm not serving time in jail somewhere for environmental activisim.

There are way too many books out there that have stayed with me through the years. I guess the difference with these 15 is the multiple readings. I used to read more than I do now. I think the internets have taken away some of my reading time. As I used to routinely finish 3-4 books a week. Now it's more like 1 a week.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Stitchy Nest Photos

View entering the bedroom. That's my chair and light over their in the corner. See that expanse of bare wall above it? I've got two projects that would be perfect for that space. Let's see if I can stitch them before 1) I move the furniture again or 2) we move (not planning on this for years).

Not sure what the spots are about in this photo. View from the chair. The blue paint is darker than it appears.

View from the chair looking towards the bathroom. That's all good stuff behind the magic curtain. And that's my Poseidon hanging on the wall in the bathroom.

Two Elfa carts filled with fabric and fibers and stretcher bars and scroll frames and Q-snaps and various other stitchy items. Canvas in the basket on the right. Kitted projects in the big plastic bin in the middle. More kitted projects, some in progress to left of the box.

The works in progress keeping going up the wall. Along with the rest of my fibers. I'm much happier now to have all of this within easy reach and organized.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Second to Last Week

Yesterday was second to last meeting for my Thursday morning group at my LNS which is closing.
I think I was having trouble concentrating and didn't accomplish a whole lot of stitching.

I dunno. Maybe 13 women mostly all talking at once was the problem/joy.

Yes. I bought some more threads. Yes. I found another pattern or two or three that had to follow me home.

I got The Victoria's Sampler Letter L with the accessory pack. I won't be stitching the "L is for Librarian" part. Instead will use our last name.

I just reread that first sentence. We will be continuing to meet. But not meeting at the shop will be different. First of all, no shopping after stitching. Mostly, no shopping. We're hoping the shop owner will continue to meet with us at our new location, if another job doesn't interfere. We even have found some new friends in the past few weeks who are willing to join us in our journey to a new space.

Fortunately within our ranks, is a wonderful woman who has found us a space to meet. The community room in her condo building. Complete with valet parking. We can have food. And there's a television if anyone needs to show needlework videos. Or maybe indulge in a chic flick or two.

It will all be fine.

Still it feels like an end of a era or something.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Have a Good Time in Columbus

It's time for market. Jiggety-jig.

In a few days we'll see what new wonders the designing world can present for us.

For those who don't normally follow along I give you what TNNA, or The National Needlearts Association, is all about:

Established in 1975, TNNA is an international trade organization representing retailers, manufacturers, distributors, designers, manufacturers' representatives, publishers, teachers and wholesalers of products and supplies for the specialty needlearts market.

These businesses create and market hand painted needlepoint canvases, hand-dyed and specialty crochet and knitting yarns, embroidery, needlepoint and cross-stitch materials, kits, furnitures, notions, gifts, books, publications, accessories, tools and more.

I think having a professional trade association has benefited the industry greatly.

And now I'm off to wash my hair and run errands before going to Thursday morning group.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Donna '78

I was sitting right here at the computer yesterday afternoon watching the skies grow darker, the wind start to blow, the rain begin to pound the ground, the lightning flash and the entire time I was hoping that this front would move through quickly because I had tickets to Wolf Trap. For the lawn. Where we usually sit.

DS and I went and voted in the primary for the governorship of the commonwealth of Virginia. I've never been in a polling place before without any other voters. Was a bit eerie. I guess everyone else was waiting for the downpour to pass. Nevertheless. We did our civic duty and went to pick up sandwiches at Jerry's, a source of decent Italians once you add on the pickles, banana peppers, and red pepper spread.

Got to Wolf Trap. Not to many cars there yet. Ate half my sandwich. Had a beer. Decided to go and upgrade to seats inside. Came back to the car. Had another beer. Or two. (We took a little trip last weekend to Total Wine and bought some interesting bottles of brew. What can I say...)

Then dodged a few raindrops and we found our seats inside. Tenth row. Not to shabby. And we were blown away. Opening act - Sneakin' Out. Their mash-up of the Stones' Paint it Black and Beethoven rocks. The percussionists came out in cowboy boots and red fluffy tutu-like skirt and he even plays an old-fashioned typewriter! They were awesome.

And Pink Martini. What can I say? If you haven't ever seen them perform live, you need to.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A New Nest

On Sunday before the Mystic class, I dropped my DH at the airport. He's off to Dallas for a few days. (Dulles to Dallas - I can't resist...)

That meant that yesterday was time to rearrange the bedroom. My problem was that the telly was on the same wall as my chair. Now you'd think I could move my chair. But no. It's a large chair. Made of ash. Heavy stuff. And it only fits in that one corner of the bedroom.

I cleaned everything off the dressers, the nightstands, and moved the other miscellaneous stuff out of the way. Then woke up DS to help me with the heavy lifting. Thus the bed and nightstands have moved to the opposite wall. And telly and two dressers had a similar journey. I'm still in the process of using the vacuum and will take photos later. I had to stop to meet with a friend for lunch. But everything is now is the proper place.

This meant I needed 3 things yesterday:
  1. a cord concealer for the floor for that short run of cable from the bed to the telly
  2. a tension curtain rod for my closet
  3. an extension cord with a slimline plug that can take a 3 pronged plug
I started at Target. Found an extension cord, not with the extension cords, but in electronics. A surge protector with a slimline plug. Yeah! Found the curtain rods. Found the right size on the display. Bought the wrong size, but didn't realize it until last night. Someone had put a shorter rod in the longer rod holder. Duh. Return trip to Target today.

Now is when I start thinking that maybe a swivel for the telly might be a good idea. And I need a cord concealer. Went to Best Buy. Nothing. Went to Office Depot. Nothing. Decide to risk the afternoon drive to Tyson's and the Container Store. Nothing. (At least this lady tries to be helpful, unlike the previous two places. She suggests the internet.) Finally arrive at Staples where they are undergoing a major renovation and nothing is where it should be. The cashier finds me a manager after I have I searched the entire store. The only reason I leave with a cord concealer is that he recognizes the bottom of the green box up higher than I can reach on a shelf. Thank you. Drive home of course now puts me in rush hour traffic. Always fun on Route 7. But I've got good music on my MP3 player and I plug it in and while away the time in the left hand lane singing along to Prince and Patty Larkin.

No swivels to be found in stores. Everyone's is selling things to mount tellys on the wall. Maybe here online. Or I could see if my oak lazy susan that my sister bought for me after she won the raffle at the furniture store that I made her drive to so I could use her truck to bring home my dining table is strong enough. (See. She never would have entered if it wasn't for me. Nice of her to buy me a gift. I don't remember what she bought herself as this was years ago. I'll have to ask her.)

The results of this are that I have a new stitching nest in my bedroom. I moved my daylight light upstairs. And with the sliding doors providing wonderful afternoon light, I should be able to stitch to my hearts content. And all my supplies are mere steps away. Except for the books. Which are two floors down. I'm going to have to ruminate on this. Maybe just bring up certain reference books?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Tried to Post Yesterday But

Something was definitely wrong between my computer and blogger. As everything else on my end was working fine, I kind of have to assume a problem on their end.

First off - a thank you to my wonderful blogger friend, Anna, of the Stitch Bitch. I was the lucky winner of her May anniversary prize! Scored some fabric to help me with this big push I'd like to make on finishing projects. A lovely beaded fob. And a beautiful handmade card.

Don't remember what I was writing yesterday and my draft didn't save...let's see.

I finished the stitching on dragonfly fob on Thursday. Now to finish it.

I finished stitching the design on my hand-painted canvas and now need to do my background.

Wait. I remember. Yesterday I was trying to post about the fact that I'm taking a class with Ruth Dilts. It's her Art Deco piece called Mystic. Imagine this - I've gone with different colors. I managed to kit this in red with black. Not easy. No DMC perle 12 in red. I have instead a Mandarin floss that I can strand or Soie 100/3. One of these should work. I still need to find beads in black. Last two places I looked were out. And apparently Michaels no longer has Mill Hill beads? At least mine doesn't.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Not a Stitchy Kind of Day Yesterday

After a day with no car - and I can't remember the last time I was carless - I spent the day running errands.

Library - Oops. I owe them a tiny bit of money. Express check out said $.25, but I think it must be more than that.

Dry Cleaning - where I was asked if my hubby's pastel dress shirts were ladies' shirts - oh no!

Wal-Mart - I haven't been here in months. And this store is under reconstruction. Just tell me where they've moved the propane tank exchange to...

Lowe's - where I buy my refrigerator water filters - I know Sears says buy only from them, but I save ten bucks this way every 3 months.

Gas station - DS took a trip to Charlottesville to visit a friend and now the gas tank empty light is on

Trader Joe's - Did I need orange blossom hand soap? Nope. Did I buy it? Yup. And a few other necessities. Like tri-tip for tonight's dinner. And peppers for last night's peach salsa that I put on the pork chops that I cooked on the grill.

Early evning - Just sitting there calmly watching the Red Sox beat the Tigers on ESPN. It's 5-0 in the 5th when the announcers have to start talking about Josh Beckett and the fact that thus far it's a no-hitter. Sigh. Shut up. Don't you know that dooms it every time? And then a storm blows in and there goes the satellite feed. And not just any storm. It's pouring buckets. And the sky keeps lighting up like someone is popping flash bulbs. (SO I grew up in the 60s...) This is when DS calls for a ride home from work. It's only a couple of miles to Target, but those were a fun-filled few miles. Lots of standing water. And vision problems from the lighting. But we made it safely and the game came back on just as we got in the house. Red Sox went on to win, but guys, what's happened to the fielding??? Three errors in one inning. That's shameful.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Hand-painted Canvas

This is where I am. Main blossom finished. Leaves started. Reminds me of Berlinwork. But I'm very happy with Vineyard silks. These are proving to be an absolute joy to work with. No tangling or knotting. Just pure pleasure.

This is my next hand-painted canvas in the line-up. It's a j.child design. I've forgotten what Jennifer called it, but in my mind it's Lotus Serene or something like that. I admired the simplicity of this design. Has an Art Deco quality to it. But that large leaf may be a bit too large. We'll see.
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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Most Definitely Still Shopping

Went to two needlepoint shops yesterday with a friend on a fiber quest.

I got some missing silks for two canvases. And pulled fibers for two alternate colorways of a piece I'm about to take as a class. (Info will be forthcoming.)

Pulled some off-white Splendor for the background of the peonies.

And found a pair of scissors for the fob that is almost finished.

Would post more, but gotta run. DS is dropping me at the grocery and he's heading off for the day.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Am I Still Shopping?

Yes. But only for fibers. And maybe some plain canvas. Oh, and another pair of scissors???

For all who are interested in the Swedish Weaving thing, the latest issue of Mary Hickmott's New Stitches magazine on the newsstands now, has an article on it. She calls it Swedish Darning. And adapts it to other fabrics like Lugana or Aida. Probably not the latest issue in the U.K., but it is here in the states. It's the one with White Cliffs of Dover on the cover.

Just been plugging away at my own hand-painted canvas. Need to decide on a background. No way am I tent stitching the entire things.