Friday, July 31, 2009

Progress Photos

Crazy Quilt Stocking. I've started adding beads. Need to go through fabric today for finishing.

My peony piece. Background is a diagonal mosaic stitch.

Arabella Reborn. I finally picked this piece up again yesterday and stitched 10 blocks. May push on and finish it today.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Trying to Get Over the Blehs

Yesterday's blehs turned into not feeling well. I went to the kitchen to make a blueberry coffee cake and suddenly felt hot and feverish and light-headed. Managed to get the coffee cake into the oven. Fever feeling passed, but my insides definitely didn't feel right. Went for the old stand-by, Alka Seltzer. (Side note: my aunt had a mynah bird that they taught to say "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" and "Try it. You'll like it." I can still see him bobbing up and down while reciting."

Still didn't feel terrific by time DH got home, but felt slightly more stable. So I tried something new for dinner. Which I can highly recommend. A sweet corn omelet.


Corn. Cheese. Eggs. Yumm.

Take one ear of corn and remove the kernels. Place a tsp of butter in small fry pan. Let melt, but not brown. Add corn. Cook for two - three minutes. Add two beaten eggs. With the corn it becomes slightly tricky to cook this in conventional omelet style, but I managed. You could always slide the omelet onto a plate and flip it over into the pan. I used cream cheese on mine and DH's. Feta cheese for my son's.

So today is about moving past the blehs. Need to pick out something to take to Thursday morning stitching group. Something new? or a WIP? Will bring needlepoint peony just in case as working the background on this is pretty brainless. I've had to backtrack some on the compensation, but have managed to get it right so far.

What feelings of accomplishment will I get for getting off the computer now and doing some housework before I go? (That's a rhetorical question...)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I don't feel too energetic and the weather outside is not helping. I've hardly accomplished anything today - chalk that up to waking up at 3 a.m.

At least our recently acquired black Mazda now has an EZPass to call its own. And DoD decal, too. I've gotten so used to my Toyota that does everything, that driving this Mazda can be a challenge. There was that moment approaching the toll booth when I had think - shift, change, window, throw, shift, window. Yikes. Too much to do. LOL

Been busy scanning old photos, etc. Mostly because it needs to be done, but also because I've been putting up stuff on facebook.

Been posting things like this. A photo from my party after high school graduation. That's me on the left, and my friends, Renee and Barb. Renee is wearing that t-shirt that says "A woman's place is in the House...and the Senate." And all three of us have on our Dr.Scholl's sandals.

I did needlework back then. Unfortunately none of it survives. I embroidered on my clothes. Did surface work kits. Stamped cross stitch. Even chickenscratch. I did get to see a piece I did in 1976 that I gave to my grandmother. It was a kit from Avon, I believe. The 13 original colonies state flowers and birds in crewel. My stitching was good. The framing was bad. The fabric was ruined, yellowed, and literally falling apart due to glue. I didn't bother trying to salvage any of it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More on Saturday EGA Meeting

I arrived early to help with set-up and stayed till there was only a handful of us left. Long day, but I had a so much fun.

Our first order of business was the social hour. Breakfast nibblies, juice, and coffee provided by the Board. Then we moved on to the stash enhancement time. I think most people left satisfied from this sale. My problem was deciding if I wanted to sell or I wanted to buy. You can see from the previous post which one I chose. Then came the short and sweet business meeting.

Next came the class for those who were participating. This was a Crazy Quilt Stocking taught by Lucy Edminson. Lucy had picked fabric by the color we had indicated and then let us swap from her stash if we wanted to. Then she had us jump right in cutting and sewing. Most of us got to the embellishment stage before the end of the day. This is mine at the start of embellishing. I've gotten to the point of sewing on beads now. And soon will be looking through my fabric stash for the backing and lining fabric. I might have some blue velvet leftover from Christmas gifts made years ago. Lucy shared with us some of her fabulous crazy quilting including a gorgeous white vest she made for her husband.

In the middle of day, we stopped for lunch. Which was catered by the French Connection. This included some terrific tiny pastries. Yum! I thought the yellow cake was lemon. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be pineapple! Still good, just a suprise.

After lunch came voting on National by-laws changes and election of officers. Followed by awards for IFFs (our version of show and tell is
I Finally Finished It, which we exhibit every month and put an entry into the box.) Then the opportunity drawing. And the President's Challenge.

This year's challenge was a bookmark. We picked a floss from a bag and were supposed to use that color and stitch a bookmark of any size based on a favorite book using at least 3 different stitches.

For mine, I chose a book of poetry called the Far Field by Theodore Roethke. I gave this book to my husband for Valentine's Day in 1984 back before he was my husband. I know 'cause I wrote inside the book. I used one particular poem called the Rose and chose three short bits from the poem to create my own little poem. Stitches are cross stitch, backstitch, longarmed cross, 4-sided stitch, and hemstitching.

A wonderful day spent with lots of terrific women who appreciate needles and thread.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Haul

Saturday was our July EGA Chapter meeting. In addition to a class, business meeting, and luncheon, we had a stash sale. For $5 you could rent half a table and sell what you no longer needed. Also the sellers were donating 10% of their sales to the Chapter.

This photo is my haul.

Let's count it up. One large piece of yellow 18ct canvas that is perfect for my DebBee's Designs "Glitz and Glamour Topaz." Good thing I found the last of my thread requirements for this piece up in Connecticut. That makes 3 of her Glitz and Glamour designs that I have completely kitted.

One small itty bitty teddy bear hand painted canvas.

One handpainted canvas ornament of a flamingo.

One Stitch N Zip kit of sunflowers from Princess Cruise lines.

One crewel kit of thistles.

One DMC US Postage Stamp kit of a Reindeer with Flute. From back when stamps cost $.37.

One kitted design by Lucy Edmison - "Sondra's Pocket." One unkitted design by Lucy called Kaleidoscope One.

Two Rozashi kits by Margaret Kinsey. These have both been started.

One Jacobean Crewel Embroidery design by Nancy Williams that has been kitted.

One Elsa Williams Crewel kit that I have never seen before, involving foxes, hounds, and horses.

One Hemstitching class by Pat Donaldson called "Withdrawing the Mysteries." This has like a 60 page handout. Oodles of info.

One Kimberly Crum pin called "Earthbound" with canvas, beads, and charms.

One stumpwork course by Luan Callery "Fantasy Remembered." This piece was a prize winner at Woodlawn in 2008.

One sampler from A Stitch in Time called "Be Ye Thankful" with all speciality fibers.

Two issues of Piecework magazine, 3 issues of Needlepoint Now, and one issue of Threadneedle Street.

Five books.

And fifteen charts.

No. I'm not going to tell you how much I spent except to say it was well under $100. And slightly over $50.

A needlework shoppers bargain paradise.

Let's do this again next year!
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Not Everyone's Cup Of Tea

I realize that not everyone who comes here will be interested in this, but I was leafing through an issue of Maxim (please don't ask!) and found some info about this activity that seems to be trying to blend Stars Wars and stitching. Called Stitch Wars.

Stitching News

I did have one finish in NH, but I can't talk about it or show until after Saturday. It was our EGA chapter's President's Challenge. I'm thrilled with how it came it. And even remembered how to hemstitch! Which I haven't done in a quite some time. Maybe eight years???

Last night a group of us from my chapter went to Panera Bread for a stitching in public meeting. Was impressive that we had a group of fifteen! I stitched on the background of my peony canvas. Made fabulous progress.

all for now gotta run...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More NH Photos

On Star Island looking at the White Island Lighthouse. This was taken from the Caswell Cemetery.

The Fort Point Light at Fort Constitution in Newcastle, NH.

What to do after a trip out to the Isle of Shoals?
Why beer and lobster of course. Yes. I ate both of them.

Something I found in a consignment shop in Manchester while shopping with my sister on Saturday. Reminds me of my childhood hours spent at the public library.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Few Photos

So this is what we did today. Went out of Portsmouth on the Thomas Laighton to the Isle of Shoals.

Whaleback lighthouse in Maine at the mouth of the Portsmouth Harbor.

One of the cottages on Star Island.

Fishing boat returning to the harbor.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Quick Update

Running off with sister soon, so I only have a few moments of fast typing and probably typos...

Drove up to NH on Tuesday. Uneventful. Did manage a side trip to the Thistle Needleworks in Glastonbuy, CT. I love this store. Only get to it once a year, but it's definitely worth the slight detour. Scored 11 back issues of Needlepoint Now. Got the rest of my fibers for DeeBee's Designs - Glitz and Glamour Topaz. And the last skein of Threadworx that I needed for an Amybear piece. Did not purchase anything else, though I had fun looking. Ate lunch at the little Chinese place next door. Very inexpensive, yet quite good.

Wednesday was all about moving DD into her dorm. Called sis on way back to NH and we went for supper. Was going to eat at the beach, but it was an hour wait. Moved inland, ate a place called Wings Your Way and after eating I was too tired to continue so we went home. This place really piles on the food. The buffalo wing sauce hot version was almost too hot. I can't imagine what the extreme version is like.

Thursday went to Londonderry to visit a friend from RCTN. We talked, had tea, did a garden tour, shared WIPs, went to two bead stores and two yarn stores. Yeah, I found a few little things. Had some terrific Mexican food for lunch and talked a lot more.

Friday - spent the day at the lake. I cannot possible put into words how relaxing and stress relieving this is. Then did the redneck NH and went to the stock car races. DS got to spend the night in a push jeep racing around the track after crashes. He had an amazing evening. I had fun watching, sitting in the beer tent drinking with my sister.

Today? Who knows?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Erratic Posting

My ability to post will be erratic for the next week or so. Not just because I can't seem to hold a thought in my head these days for longer than 30 seconds. But because it's time to take DD back to school. Ah the graduate student life. She and I had a lovely day yesterday power shopping.

I think the list of things acquired goes something like this:

For both of us - a pair of leather sandals, a pair of shoes, a coffee pot.

For me - two bras, two pair of capris, a pair of leather flip-flops from the Gap Outlet, two bags of wood chips for the BBQ @ 99 cents a bag from the William Sonoma Outlet

For her - iced tea spoons, two pair of jeans, several shirts from the Gap Outlet, a red apron, a dishrack, a pyrex loaf pan

Wasn't that fun? Forgot to run one important shopping errand so I've got to take care of that today. We got so caught up we didn't think about lunch until 4:20 p.m.

My only stitching yesterday was the beginning of my bookmark challenge piece for our July meeting. I almost forgot about this until I was reminded Wednesday evening at the board meeting. Now this may seem nearly impossible, but I had graphed nearly the entire thing and forgotten all about it. Like I didn't even remember that I had done this. Somewhere in the back of my mind a little voice was saying, go find your graph paper. Remember you changed your original design idea to something else. And I couldn't recall what I had changed it to. Was happy enough with what I found, tweaked it a bit, tried to make a clean copy to stitch from and left out an entire line. Duh. I was too tired to really work on this, just made a start after I took my linen from the freezer and ironed it.

Yeah. For those wondering, that trick of washing your linen, rolling it up in a clean white towel, putting it a plastic bag and freezing it, and then ironing it really works to remove folds. I only do this with linen that is colorfast.

My little foray to the Stitching Post on Saturday morning netted me the latest issue of Jill Oxton's Cross Stitch and Beading magazine from Australia. This is the Christmas issue. Sometimes I'm not sure why I like this magazine so much. But I do. Maybe it's just the glossy format. Oooh. Shiny. Pretty.

Also bought threads. But no new patterns. Proving I can resist. I picked up many things, carted them around, and put them all back. Practicing restraint. Something new for me.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Successful Transition

I would say that our Thursday morning group that was displaced by the closing of our LNS has made a successful transition to a new meeting space! Thanks to a member who got us into a community room in her condo building here in my hometown of Reston. Plenty of free parking and lots of places from which to procure lunch. Opportunities to shop (though unfortunately not for stitching supplies) after stitching. Even a farmer's market if you stay late enough. Eleven of us made it, including one new friend to the group. I'm happy everyone seems to be happy.

I was stitching on another Betsy Morgan project - All Year Square. And then realized I'd made a booboo somewhere in the rabbit. Put that aside and frogged it when I got home. Someone else was knitting a gorgeous pair of socks. I've not been keeping up with the yarn world and suddenly I'm sorry. I was very impressed with this Kaffe Fasset yarn. Fortunately I had brought other things with me and continued crocheting my navy blue MP3 holder. I'm working on the strap now and soon will be finished.

On the home front: DD leaves Alaska today and arrives home tomorrow. She's in a for a nice, long trip. But we'll be happy to have her back for a few days. Then she's off to graduate school at Clark University. Some of us are driving north to NH, but not all of us. Unfortunately the simple recharge the AC system in the car we are giving her has turned into a money pit. Oh well. At least the car will be in tiptop shape.

She's flying into Baltimore and that gives me an unexpected opportunity to stop by the Stitching Post. I can finally use my punched discount cards. Though this store is at least one hour's drive away from me, it is the best fit for my shopping needs since the Scarlet Thread has closed. I've always found something there that I have to have. Plus for added pleasure there are two other stores right beside it - a quilting store and a yarn store. It's a trifecta of epic proportions. Now to go check the master list and see what else I need...if anything.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Customer service is apparently dead. Long live customer service. Wait. Make that decent customer service. Someone pull the obit from the file.

I had an appointment for between 8 and 12. Guy calls me at 1. No apologies. Just verifying my address. Walks in the door. Drops tool box. Starts asking questions, giving me no time to answer. As soon I say I have hit the reset button on the water heater. He says he knows what's wrong and heads back to the truck for parts. I'm pretty sure this does not bode well for others who have purchased the same water heater. (Major dept. store brand...I already went and posted a review.)

He correct in his sight unseen assessment. Needs new thermostat. Twenty minutes. That is the total amount of time he's at my house. Goes out to the truck. Comes back and tells me how much to write the check for. No bill. I ask. Where's the bill? I'm not used to writing a check to a repairman without seeing a freaking bill first. He doesn't understand my reluctance. And now neither of us remember the total either. So I follow him out to the truck. We finish the transaction outside. At least he didn't ask to use my bathroom like so many repairman do. So for even less than 20 minutes of actual work time, I pay $168 for labor. Yup. Those "free" parts are so free.

But, hey, I've got hot water.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Nantucket Morning Glories

Finished the stitching on Friday. Here it is with a nickel for perspective on size. Over one on 32 ct Belfast with Glorianna silks and a bit of perle #12 for the outside border.

Here it is all assembled on its little Nantucket type basket. I'm fairly pleased with myself.

Now if I only had hot water...


No hot water for me! Repairman won't arrive until tomorrow.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Dear Husband

Come home soon and teach the boy how to drive the stick shift before I die of laughter. No way am I going to do this with our daughter. There are too many stop lights where we live...

'Nuf ced.

Started organizing the basement. It doesn't seem right to call this a basement. Really it is the bottom level of our townhouse. Fully finished. With a walkout in the bar. Haven't parted with much on the paper crafting side of things. You know I'm plotting to keep it all. I might need it! Someday. Argh.

All the rubber stamps fit into 9 drawers of two Anchor floss cabinets. That leaves me with three drawers for oversized paper? or whatever. Felt good to toss those dozen or so acrylic picture frames that I had my stamps store in. I probably should have kept one for transportation to and from the cabinet to a work area. I can always buy another one as the garbage has already been picked up this morning.

I think I will continue to put most of this away for evaluation on another day. I need to go through and find out which ink pads are dried out, which pens no longer work, what stickers I have that I absolutely don't need, all those stencils, etc. I've already gifted a teacher with nearly my entire collection of foam rubber stamps. I kept one alphabet.

I can probably make the most room by removing old magazines. My goal is to leave nothing stacked on the floor. Not sure if that is attainable. But I feel like I'm making headway. It's the two boxes of stuff that came from the desk that are challenging me now. All those odds and ends. Do I really need multi-colored staples and paper clips? Microbeads? What fun!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Funny, Not Haha Funny

This morning I was reading the few blogs that people posted in the past 24 hours and facebook and I was struck by something.

The 4th of July holiday has made a great many people realize that they live in the best place on earth. I love this. I am happy that you are all happy.

Went to a friend's BBQ yesterday and had a wonderful time. Even made some new friends. Always good. Had great food.

Came home and started stitching on a patriotic Bent Creek Zippies. One of those over one on 18ct linen stitched with perle cotton.

Went to dinner and to the Town Center to listen to big band music. Group was excellent. But I was unappreciative of their renditions of Beatles song. Especially Octopus's Garden. I had some crochet cotton and a hook with me and am working on another MP3 holder. This one in blue. The color says Navy, but I say more Royal Blue.

P.S. To Anna - glad I wasn't drinking my coffee when I read your sleeping with the enemy comment.

P.S. To Sara Leigh - The way I looked at it, that wall unit would take up less space assembled. Will continue cleaning that room and will post a photo sometime this week. My basement might be worse than yours!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day

Of all the holidays, this one for me has only terrific memories associated with it. Maybe because it's summer. And we were always staying at the lake in NH.

We'd all meet at the fairgrounds on July 3rd for horseback riding, carnival rides, turtle races, bingo, and the world's best French fries. At midnight the local volunteer fire department would light a huge bonfire topped by a car. I think I always fell asleep on the way home and my father would carry me into the house. On the 4th we'd go back for more fun and fireworks.

As adults, I've managed to be back in NH for the 4th and my sister's fantabulous parties at the lake. Too much terrific food and drink. And boating, swimming, and socializing. And great music provided by my BIL. Cannon fire and maybe slightly illegal fireworks. Gotta make noise.

Not a bad memory in the bunch.

Even the year we watched the fireworks on the beach in Monterey and the fog was in so we couldn't actually see the fireworks was great. Just big explosions and vague lightbursts in the clouds.

All to celebrate a bunch of dead white guys being smart enough to strike out on their own away from Britain.

Have a safe and happy holiday, citizens of the United States!

Friday, July 03, 2009

New, Gentley Used Car

Ah. Finally solved the car problem of what to get to replace our 2001 Mazda Protege which we are handing over to our DD. Very soon. This is our "second" car. The one that makes it so I'm not left to mercy of my feet and public transportation. Not that I'm knocking public transportation. I just have occasional issues that make waiting for buses not a pleasure.

We found a 2003 Mazda Protege5 with only 42,000 miles on it. Black. Fog lamps, roof rack, privacy glass. Oh and it's a 5-speed and I'm happy to report that in 11 years I haven't forgotten how to drive a stick.

Problem solved.

Yeah. That means we don't need to waste any time on this issue this weekend.

So I can go and meet with my Friday afternoon friends.

And yesterday, some members of our displaced Thursday morning group met at my local Panera. Stayed for nearly 3 hours. I didn't get much stitching done. But it felt much better than staying home by myself.

As for the 4th, we have an invitation to a traditional cookout. And tomorrow evening it's either brave the crowds to view the fireworks on the Mall from the Pentagon. Or stay here in town and go to an outdoor swing concert. Hmm. Oh the possibilities.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Yeah. Like What I Need is More Furniture

Okay. I've gotten myself into a bit of a pickle. I took the oak wall unit from my closing LNS. I just couldn't see it go into the dumpster.

DS and I went and got it yesterday. Came home and set it up in the basement bar room. Looks great. So what's the problem.

The other side of the room.

I seriously need to downsize the paper crafting stuff. I've got too much stuff. That's it. Plain and simple. Too many cookbooks. Too many magazines. Too much furniture. Oh this is going to be fun.

I see some potential solutions. But this is going to involve carting things up and down stairs.
Gee. That thrills me.

In Stitching News:

Morning Glory basket. Argh. I started the over two border with Perle #12 and realized I was off. It doesn't help matters that I'm stitching not over the vertical thread - that's just how it worked out with where I started with the over one. Drives me nuts to not stitch over the vertical thread on linen. I had to rip the Perle and count carefully. I counted carefully many times. I think I finally have it correct. So that finish is delayed by a day.

Meanwhile, happy healing thoughts to my friend, Joan, who broke her arm this week. Her upper arm. On her dominant hand. Can you punch left handed? I bet you can, Joan.