Saturday, July 31, 2010

Back to Regularly Scheduled Programming

Who can identify exactly what this is? Anyone? Other than the person who was with me on Wednesday, July 28th, 2010. 

Now I'm having a very interesting problem here. I've got three needlework update photos to post my progress. Picassa is telling me what the file is on the disk, but when I click upload I get a photo that is a few photos earlier in that file. Let's see if I can figure this one out. 

Okay. I figured out why it's happening. But don't know how to fix it. I had photos on a card. I took the card out of my camera and put it in my son's camera. Those four photos are showing the same file number as the last four photos I had taken previously. Guess I should just go retake the photos. Which would be the third time. Because the first time I forgot to put my card in his camera. Argh. This is getting silly.

Ah. Now I found them. Okay. Let's try this again. 

First we have a Stars update. Clark Gable is the second square. See the lower left corner of Clark? That's my substitutions to make the corners lighter. Still not as light as some people's. But a huge improvement. 

This is the Captain's Rellek by Michelle Ink. Color's a bit off as the fabric is DaVinci and it should be reading purple. If you go and look at the chart, you won't really even be able to see this part. This is the ship at the top of the piece. The individual sails are filled in with different stitches. And I'm stitching with two strands of silk, rather than one. I like the filled in look. I still need to do the Hardanger wrapped bars and dove's eyes. 

And lastly we have, Constantinople. Last week I took out all my outer border gobelin with dark green in Pearl #5. Yesterday I started replacing it with six strands of floss. I like it much better. It's all about making me happy, isn't it???

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

If It Hadn't Been for My Horse...

I have finally cracked my color/texture problem of Clark Gable on Stars. I did have to resort to DMC floss. Which I am fine with, btw. So instead of Pebbly Perle and Grandeur I have Trebizond and DMC. Mostly it was getting lighter color in those corners. Too dark and the emphasis changes entirely for that square. 

And those triangles would be done and I would be looking at Clark in my rear view mirror except I've had company. 

I did accomplish one organizing feat before company arrived on Monday, in which I put away all my DMC floss and went through and made a list of what I am missing. I have to do this about once or twice a year depending on how much stitching I'm doing with DMC. I'm a DMC in floss away bags on rings person  with all them tossed into an Elfa bin along with my color card and notes about floss changes in the past twenty years. Good thing they don't change things often, that's all I can say about that. 

This week I will finish Clark and move onto more sashing and inner border squares. My stitching group is having a pool party tomorrow. I don't plan on bringing anything serious. Who knows if we'll actually get anything stitched. LOL

Something to look forward to:  Spool Magazine. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

EGA July Meeting Redux

I'm not certain we ever actually got to yesterday's forecasted high of 100+ degrees. But it sure did feel that way, especially if you had to make multiple trips in and out to the car to retrieve things. I felt like I was a melting wicked witch for the first two hours I was there helping to set up and even on into the beginning of class time. I know plenty of people who vowed last February that they wouldn't complain about the heat this summer, but I think everyone here has broken that vow. 

Bonnie wants to know how successful were we yesterday and what did I buy.

We brought in five outside vendors for the first time. And I'd say everyone was pretty happy with how things went. We had a good crowd and we did have some people from outside the organization come and shop. 

As for what I bought - 15 skeins of Glorianna. I won't tell you the price. Let's just say that Kathy Barrick was there and she's not interested in stitching supplies anymore. I also bought two more of her patterns - one a sampler and the other her baking and broiling apron which I saw as the framed version and it's so cute. She was also selling models and though I was tempted, I resisted. 

My only other purchases were from Catherine Jordan as I finally broke down and bought her Jamestowne map. I'm going to need good lighting for this. Browns on a tannish linen over one. And I weirdly bought a Clark's thread tin from her. I say weirdly because the color is a pale, pale pink and features a girl and a sheep. That parts not me at all. But it's the fact of the brand name Clark that made this a must buy. (DD's school - Clark University.)

Sara Leigh and Dawn were doing big business and I went through things one more time. The Jean Hilton charts are tempting, but I really should work my way through Stars first. 

We didn't get out of there until close to four p.m. Getting into that hot box of a car was painful. I didn't feel cool again until about ten miles down the road.
This morning I've already been outside watering and weeding. I feel like a limp dish rag already. I see a small break coming on Tuesday when we are not supposed to get be over 90 degrees. It's pretty bad when 87 sounds like paradise.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

EGA July Meeting

 Today was a Saturday meeting which means the people who usually meet in the a.m. can mingle with the people who usually meet in the p.m. Always great fun. 

We had a wonderful program on photographing your needlework with your digital point and shoot camera. I think most of us got something out of the class. If nothing else, turn your digital zoom off. You will never get a decent picture with it. 

Yesterday I was determined to complete some finishing in order to bring something to this meeting. You may remember my new mantra, "if you start something, finish it." Notice how I didn't put a time limit on it? This is a Shepherds' Bush kit that I bought back in 2001. The stitching was finished in 2005. I remember this project only took a week or two. And I put it in my finished projects box. Where it's been for the past four years.

Bee Scissor Fob - Shepherd's Bush

I love the back. The bees that stand for zero zero remind me of the bees on the Galaga game. I can hear the music in my head every time I look at this. 

But wait. There's more. 

This is a Textile Heritage kit from England. I can remember stitching this on my in-laws deck while we were home on vacation. Back in 2004!

It's a beautiful peacock piece based on a William de Morgan tile.

What is this? Hmmm. That's one of those secretive type projects I've been working on. Not a secret any more. At least not to those who sit and stitch with me. I'll give more information here as things progress. Let's just say, this is taking longer than I ever intended. 

Hope you are all having a cool and wonderful weekend. Meanwhile, I think I could go visit the Rain Forest Hall in the US Botanical Gardens just to cool off. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Alicia's Lace

I'm the worst of the worst because I don't have a photo. Or the time to go and take one and post it. 

But my Alicia's Lace variation stitch is the perfect solution on Constantinople. Way better than the original stitch. I stitched one box and I'm thrilled. Honestly, Sara Leigh can tell you that I couldn't stop congratulating myself. 

Unfortunately. I. Discovered. Another. Problem. 

Huge, heavy sigh. 

Talk about a roller coaster ride. I'm so happy, then boom, the bottom falls out. 

My next problem has to do with the border. Argh. I had stitched all my green pearl cotton upright gobelins and thought I'd see what the red metallic braid will look like on top of it. 

Color works fine, which I had been concerned with.

But I've got these gaping holes with the gobelins that the herringbone is only accentuating. All that pearl has to come out. The only decent solution I see is six strands of floss. 

Can I just say I hate taking out and restitching? I realize some people are much more in tune with this process, tweaking things until they get it just right. I'm trying to make myself okay with doing this. Maybe I'll always have those moments of agony first. But with some effort on my part I might be able to convince myself that it's all part of an experiment and sometimes you need a redo.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Solutions and Work of Art

I've been watching this newer show on Bravo called Work of Art in which a few "artists" have decided it would be fun to torture themselves for a chance at money and a modest amount of fame. I can't imagine trying to be creative on an extremely tight deadline - usually hours. Most of the stuff that's been produced is total dreck, but that's part of the fun. I'm enjoying it.

Anyway. My point isn't really about the television show. It's about solutions and time. 

See those rectangular empty boxes? 

This is Constantinople in my own colorway based on Watercolours Cheyenne. It's nearly finished now. Except for those rectangular boxes. (In other words, this isn't a recent photo. Small boxes are filled. And outer border is nearly complete.)

Those empty boxes are supposed to have a linen thread with a pulled stitch. So I stitched one box the way it's supposed to be. Hated the stitch. Disliked the color. And after thinking it over for 24 hours, I cut it all out.

Back into the pile of UFOs. Poor thing. I think it's really pretty and deserves some attention. 

I had played around with some other threads in my stash, but nothing really worked. And the playing was pointless because I had no idea what I was going to stitch in those boxes. 

And yesterday it came to me. That convergence of ideas. I took Stars and my threads to Needlewoman East to see if I could find a lighter version for some of my neutral threads. Found some things to purchase and try. We'll see. And then I was walking around when it hit me that I should have brought Constantinople with me. But I hadn't. 

Off I go to find Cheyenne in Watercolours. And because it's there, I picked it up in Wildflowers, too. I try matching some Trebizond and some Mandarin Floss. But nothing seems quite right. And I decided to buy the Wildflowers and vow to make a return trip with the canvas and threads. 

Didn't have time to play with Stars. And off I went to our Stitch in Public night at Panera. I worked on my Ravish Me canvas until I ran out of my background thread. Pulled out a blackwork bookmark and proceeded to make it non-reversable. (I'll be frogging that, too.)

And then came home. Pulled out the canvas and threads. Pulled out the Wildflowers from its brown paper bag. And pulled out Stitches for Effect. I went right to Alicia's Lace Variation and there it was. My solution. That stitch. And the description even recommends using Wildflowers. 

Do I have a point here? Yes. Sometimes you can't force things. You just have to wait. Time is necessary. I had all the pieces, I just needed to put them together. 

Like Ryan on Work of Art said, sometimes you need to sleep on it. And when you wake up in the morning, there's the answer.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Intentions Are Good

I always have the best of intentions. It is my follow through that needs work. 

Case in point:

Tea cosy from an EGA GCC that I did in New York with the Mid-Hudson Chapter back in 2004? Designed by Dianne Lewandowski. Uses wool threads (mostly) on wool that was imported from Australia. I wish I had done a better job attaching the handle on the top, but otherwise I'm pleased with my tea cosy. 

This is not the tea cosy that I normally use. I use one that my DH brought back from Kuwait for me. Blue velvet. Stuffed the max. Stitched with gold threads and fake pearls. It can keep a pot of tea hot for an hour easily. 

The intent with my cosy was that we were going to start a traveling tea cosy and I offered up mine. See - I even took it out and about for photos. Here it is sitting on the steps near the fountain at the Reston Town Center. I intended to take it further afield and get photos of it at some of the monuments and memorials. Never did it. And that's as far as I got on this particular project. 
What to do with these good intentions? Finish what I start. I'm not saying I'm going to resurrect the traveling tea cosy idea. I'm just using that as an illustration. But I am resolving to follow things through to completion, at least more often than I have in the past. 

 And because I can show this, I will. This is a whacked out garden plot at Prescott Park in Portsmouth in 2009.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Every Day

 Every day since I changed my title photo, I have looked at that photo and wished I was there - seaside in New Hampshire near the end of the day. Being there after dark or at sunrise are also acceptable times...

I also wish that someone would release a Tai Chi disc for the Wii Balance Board. Seems like a natural combo to me. 

We had a downpour last night just as DH and I were getting home. This morning the backyard is filled with robins. Dozens of them. They are kicking through the leaves under the trees and having themselves a feast. 

I finished "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" yesterday - when I should have been doing things like planning dinner??? Which meant we swung by Whole Foods after I picked up DH at Park and Ride. I wanted Pesto. Real Pesto. Made with basil? I could hardly believe it, but that Whole Foods totally disappointed me. No pesto. Well, they other things masquerading as pesto, like a cilantro lime thing and a red pepper thing that they called pesto. But if it doesn't have basil, pine nuts, parmesan, and olive oil, it isn't pesto in my book. 

This totally threw off my dinner plans and I grabbed a thing of stuffed shells which were okay. But no way near as good as mine are. And I still want pesto. Gee, I wonder what's for dinner tonight?

Dragon Tattoo. Okay. It was good. But not as great as some people had me believing. I guess some people do not regularly read mysteries. It wasn't a waste of my time, but I wasn't surprised by any of it. And how conveniently ideal is that relationship between the journalist and the publisher? Fantastic sex any time both parties can agree on timing without any ties or guilt and the friendship stays intact. LOL - most unrealistic thing in the entire book. 

Speaking of books, there's a new mystery coming out on August 3rd called "The Quick and the Thread: an Embroidery Mystery" by Amanda Lee. You can pre-order now on Amazon. I don't know anything about it - just that it is. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Weekend's Progress

I'm normally not one to give up. But give up I have. It became quite apparent to me that I had no chance of completing my President's Challenge piece by Saturday, the 24th. I will be bringing it in progress.

This freed me, both mentally and physically, to stitch on other things. Here's the progress on my Ravish Me canvas. I am so happy that I got the compensation around the letters correct and everything matches as it should. I realize that this is not my best technical work. And I don't care. I got this canvas from someone giving it away. I kitted with stuff from my stash, but now I need another skein of pearl cotton. 

I'm going to add some rows around the outside as this will be a pillow. It would be nice to get this to the finishers before the end of July. Though it may take longer if I decide I need to make tassels. 

More important than Ravish Me, I picked up Stars again. And immediately unpicked the last thread I put in - how did I miss that giant knot on the back? I've got to say that Clark Gable is killing me. I love how the couched triangles look - those pink ones, but absolutely hate couching with two different threads. I've got three needles going and I think towards the end of the third triangle I have finally figured out a rhythm. 

Those brown triangles have got to go. It was one of those triangles that I had to remove the thread because of the knot. Then I couldn't decide if I had flipped the Grandeur and Pebbly Perle. Pretty sure I did. But anyway. I've decided that these are too dark for Clark. Then I wasn't paying attention and stitched the layered triangles with too many plies causing me to unpick yet again. I will eventually finish this square and move on. And fortunately I feel motivated to move on quickly. No more futzing around.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Off to Montpelier

Some of the locals will be familiar with Montpelier Mansion in Laurel, MD. The Needle Art 2010 show commenced on Friday and I convinced DH to take a ride with me yesterday to visit. 

Let's begin by saying that for a Saturday, traffic was super duper pain in the @$$ here yesterday. Good thing we weren't in a rush to get anywhere. When we finished with congratulating ourselves for choosing to go around the Beltway in the long direction (Outer Loop as opposed to Inner where there had been a tanker crash), some other brilliant person then crashed right near where we needed to exit. The Inner Loop crash was still being cleaned up when we returned home hours later. Sorry, all you people who were just trying to drive the north/south corridor. 

This was my first time visiting Montpelier. The house itself is lovely. A Georgian mansion built in the 1780s. During the show you are still able to view many of the furnished rooms and they fortunately have many family pieces that were once associated with the house.

This year's show has 159 pieces entered. And it's terrific how close you can get to the majority of them. How amazing that I know so many of these stitchers. LOL. Been getting around, what can I say? 

It was really too darn hot to spend much time walking around the grounds. But I love the tremendous Osage Orange tree behind the house. It's huge and lovely. 

The show runs through July 30th from 11-4 daily.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Now I Know

I woke up this morning from a very sound sleep. Went to the bathroom and stumbled back to bed. Picked up the clock - 5:05 and tried to go back to sleep.
Got up and turned on television at 6:30 and found it was an earthquake that woke me up! Pretty funny. But at least now I know why I woke up.

Last night I added another guild - Potomac Chapter of ANG - to my let's join list. Right now they are meeting right down the road from my house. The good news is that we are going to stitch From Molehill to Mountain by Pam Gardner. I'm going to skip the Ro Pace piece and the offer to get the Jim Wurth piece. See, I can make tough decisions.

Today I'll leave you with two photos I took in March of the National Tapestry. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Almost Done

Somehow I developed time issues yesterday. It seems that I never noticed on Tuesday that some had left voice mail and that my hair appointment that I thought was next week, was actually yesterday. So I cleared the decks and stitched only a tiny bit during daylight hours. But after last night's board meeting and I came home and rocked out on my current mystery sampler project. I've got less than two hours of work left to stitch today as tomorrow is pass along the project day. Of course, during the process of clearing the decks I totally spazzed on returning a phone call. Fortunately I was caught on facebook later and though I missed the pleasure of vocal give and take, we caught up on a potential visit. Yes! 

Today's stitching will be all about seeing if I have a prayer of making the deadline for the President's Challenge. I can't believe I got bogged down again on this. As this is a problem of my own making, I don't deserve the opportunity to complain. Let's just say that some sampler stitches take longer to stitch than I ever imagined...

Time to start the second half of the season. 

We are dedicated fans. 

Given how much time we spend watching and reading and talking baseball, amazingly little of it bleeds over into this blog. I'm aware not everyone shares our obsession. You're welcome!

And finally - my historic photo of the day:

I imagine there are quite a few people who live in my hometown who do not know this exists. It's a plaque on a rock in a field. Love the lichens on that good NH granite boulder. I stopped here a couple of years back to snap this photo. Poor DD got eaten alive by mosquitoes!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Last Days of Sale

I needed to go to south county yesterday so I planned in a stop at In Stitches in Alexandria. I had totally forgotten that they were having a Christmas in July sale!


I broke down and bought Arelate Studios book "Here be Wyverns." I did this backwards as I've owned "Here be Drolleries" for years now. Funny how I could have used this book a few months ago. But it's mine now. And I got it on sale. For less than a used copy on Amazon, 'cause I just checked. 

Bought one Christmas pattern - Little House's Snowy Pines ornament. I'm not interested in owning them all as the only other one I have is Fa La La. I will no longer buy all just because I must. I won't. No. I won't.

The rest of purchases were threads for the ANG Workshop by Mail project, Carlene Hardwick's "Royal Wind." My sister donated a pin to this project that I'm going to use in place of the sequin and this required a slight changing of the colors. I've replaced the purples with a green and will stitch it on light blue congress cloth. Then I realized I needed to change the gold metallics, too. But now I have everything. Plus I got to spend a quiet hour in a needlework store and that's always a good thing. 

Oh and I picked up the Fall issue of SANQ. I just had a little debate here about linking to their website as they show there current issue as Spring. As a quarterly magazine, this makes them six months out of date? I just wrote to them about this.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I have the time. I have the required items. What I don't have is a clear day with no rain expected. 

We need to do some painting of the deck fence according to HOA. And I'm willing. I even bought some boards to replace what is beyond just covering with paint. Yesterday I trimmed the azaleas and scraped in preparation. But now the weather is being uncooperative. Not much I can do about it. 
Yesterday's crossed fingers seem to have worked. Either that or the fact that after being on the market for 21 months, my sister finally buried a statue of St. Joseph beside the for sale sign. Really? The day before the buyers approached my sister's realtor, she dug a hole and planted Joseph. Let's just say I am amused. Also sad and relieved. My grandparents bought this property the year I was born. I grew up thinking everyone had a summer place. Or if they didn't have one, they rented one. I think I was ten or so before I realized I was wrong. 

Here's a salute to the hours I spent lying in the sun. Swimming. Fishing. Water skiing. Boating. Eating. Playing. Reading in a hammock under the pine trees. Cooking. Ice skating. Playing with fire. Sledding. Enjoying thunderstorms. Marveling at the damage a thunderstorm can do. Drinking. Playing cards - oh my - whist anyone? Making mud pies. Playing whiffle ball. Frisbee. Tag. Hide n Seek. Jarts. Badminton. Croquet. Taking a boat ride to the State Park for ice cream. Watching the next generation enjoy the place as much I do. 

  Here's a little tribute to our camp that I made a while back. It has forget-me-nots, cattails, blueberries, lily pads and lady slippers on it. I couldn't figure out a good way to do white Mayflowers on this.

The original design is by Lucy Edminson and we got to choose how to embellish the pyramid. I chose to remember a place that I love.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Keeping My Fingers Crossed

My sis and I have been talking. She holds the title to a lake front property that has been in the family since the year I was born. She put it up for sale two years ago, right before the economy crashed. Bad timing.

There is someone who is interested in buying. And we hate to let go, but this is for the best. Keeping fingers crossed that they can come to an agreement. 

I'm glad I had one last 4th of July there. 

In stitchy news:

Nothing I can report. I'm working on two projects, neither one of which can I share here. I will say that I made good progress yesterday and should be able to make my deadlines. And then it will be back to my bargello piece that is currently languishing in a Strand Bookstore green canvas bag. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stitching Bloggers' Question of the Month - July Edition

Stitching is an activity that tends to be solitary.  Sometimes I wonder if we choose stitching because we are more comfortable with pursuits that we do alone, or does our stitching cause us to be loners?  So what do you think? 
And you know that I can never stop with just one question or thing to think about, so here’s something else that’s been on my mind. 
Since we’re stitching alone most of the time, it seems to me that we get great joy from coming together with other stitchers.  It can be such a good feeling when we find a group of people who speak our language and understand our stitching excitement and passion.  But since not all stitchers are perfect, not all groups can be perfect either.  So…if you could create your own perfect stitching group, what characteristics would make it perfect?
For instance, would you all be near the same age, or would you like your group to span a generation or two?  Would you enjoy political or religious discussions while you stitch or would that make you shy away?  Would you like a big group or a small group?  Those are just a couple of variables in groups…tell us what’s important to YOU.

You know as I read this, I thought some of you are going to hate me. Well, I guess hate is a really strong word. But you might be very jealous. And if you are, please remember that it hasn't always been this way for me...

Let's take this one step at a time. Am I more comfortable with solitary pursuits or did my stitching make me this way? Kind of a chicken or the egg type question. First, for those of you who ever took a Myers-Briggs test, I am an INTP. When I first took this test back in 1989, I ranked fairly high on the introvert section. And funnily now, when I tell my friends I'm an introvert, their first reaction is "You? Ha!" But truly I am an introvert. Twenty years of traveling courtesy of the US Army taught me that life is too short to hide in your house unless you want to be miserable all the time. I have learned to go forth and put myself out there. Would I sometimes rather be home reading or stitching? Yup. My answer to this question is that yes, I was more comfortable being alone and stitching alone can be a tremendous pleasure. The aloneness came first for me. 

As to the stitching group question. I don't have to theorize. Or fantasize. 

I belong to two different groups that meet every week for stitching. Some people who belong to those groups read this blog. I love every one of you!

I've been stitching with my Thursday morning group since 2006 if I've got my dates correct. This group started at the Scarlet Thread in Vienna. When I first showed up, it was the store owner and one other person, with an occasional other person stopping by. Within a year, we had grown into a group of regulars with a few occasional drop-ins. The store moved 2008 and we moved with it. And when the store closed in 2009, one of the members offered up a conference room in her condominium building. 

Our oldest member will be 83 this fall. And right now she's in Australia. Sometimes the group gets a bit too loud for her to understand exactly what we're all saying, but I'll look up and see her looking around and smiling, enjoying the energy. That's what happens when you've got ten people all talking at once.

We have some newer members who weren't ST customers. The group has remained fluid. We've had someone move away this year, which we all regret. And we have a couple old time members that we haven't seen in a good long while. But we stay in touch and they say they will stop by sometime. Not everyone makes every Thursday. But we all want to.

As stitchers, we work on everything. There is no end to the variety of things that people are working on. One of the hugest joys is seeing what others are making and then celebrating the finishes. We also talk about everything. I know we don't all have the same politics. Or the same religious viewpoints. But we've managed to hold discussions on issues without being insulting. We do talk about families and husbands. But not all the time. We talk about books and movies and current events. We bitch, because we can, and we know that no one in the room is going to judge us. 

When I have to miss a Thursday, my week is incomplete. I can arrive here in a crabby mood and I know I will feel better by the time I leave. I think we've grown from a casual group of acquaintances to friends who love and support each other. 

Now, not only do I have my fabulous Thursday friends, I have also have a group of Friday friends. We all belong to the same EGA chapter. And we meet after lunch on Fridays. I'm so happy to have joined with these ladies. Earlier this summer we had one of our members move away and again, that is heart wrenching. There is a totally different feel to this group. Not better or worse. Just different. Maybe a little more discussion here about families. But we still can and do talk about everything. And love and support each other.

 And I'm running out of time. Need to run someone to the airport. So here's a quick shout out to the Tuesday night group that I sometimes drop in and visit. I should be able to stitch with them this week! High energy and fun. 

I am tremendously fortunate to have developed all these real life stitching friends. Nothing is more fun than being with other people who share this love of mine.  

Friday, July 09, 2010

Back to our Regularly Scheduled Stitching

We had a wonderfully lively Thursday morning stitching group yesterday. I started the day by finishing a crocheted cozy for my water bottle. I'm tired of it dripping and they had kitchen cotton on sale for $1 a few weeks back at Michaels. It is not elegant, but it fits and will suit my needs. 

Then I moved on to a project that again - I can't show! But I'm trying to finish something quickly and I'm making it up as I go along using many samplers stitches. Darn thing is larger than I thought and I may not make my deadline. Especially as I've still got friendship mystery sampler stitching to do. 

Anyone who surfs the stitchy blogs knows the east coast is having a heat wave. We're gonna improve today with a projected high 92 degrees. A little rain might be a good thing and we may get some tomorrow. My DS didn't do a commendable job of watering my plants while we were away and I went out yesterday and replaced my hanging basket of petunias. Also bought more basil as I think those may not survive being ignored either. And then there's the matter of the two perennials he may have killed. Argh. Was not a happy person when I saw the destruction upon arriving home. 

I'd love to go the farmer's market in the a.m. but it's Sampler Guild Saturday tomorrow. 

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Tyeing up the Loose Ends

This will be my only photo from the 4th of July. I've been through my pictures several times and decided that most of those people don't really want to be featured here. 

Let's just say there was lots of food, lots of drinking - excuse me? did I really drink half a bottle of 1800 tequila by myself? How did I manage to feel okay the next day? Wow. I had a great time. Yes. Indeed I did. Apparently. Lots of swimming - so much  that my back muscles were complaining the next day when I stretched. Fireworks. Music. Fun and laughter.

Ended the evening with a phone call from DD - she was stranded by the side of the road with a blown out tire. Will the auto expenses never end this year? Two new tires purchased the next day and then her gang was on its way back to Worcester. 

We went out for seafood one last time before going to visit with some old friends. Had a very hot and long drive home on Tuesday. If you are someone who ever drives the northeast corridor, I can highly recommend a stop here for food:

Reins is located in Vernon, Connecticut just outside of Hartford. We've been stopping here for years. I had a reuben and side of pickled beets. DH had the brisket and side of heart stopping Mac n Cheese. No blueberry shortcake on Tuesday. Darn. I was just going to order that and skip the sandwich.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Home Again

La. I've been sitting here uploading photos to the desktop and trying to catch up on my blog reading. I really should keep this short and go run the errands now, before it gets any hotter. We saw temps of 106 in NJ on our way to Virginia yesterday. It was 97 when we pulled in at home. Anyone for a chorus of "It's Too Darn Hot?" I'll sing it, but I'm not tap dancing today.

Instead of recapping our last few days and hours in NH - I'll post a few photos of some things I found antiquing with my sister.

I wonder if this was a published pattern or if some clever person didn't just figure out how to knit an owl. There were two more of these in dark olive green. Most likely a product of the 60s/70s. Also two strands of yellow buttons that I picked up on a whim. I have no idea for them. They just yelled at me to bring them home.

A rescue job. The work on this piece of hardanger is gorgeous. It has a couple of loose threads on the back, at least that's the side I'm calling the back. Someone did exquisite work and it deserved to be freed from a box of miscellaneous junk.

This pattern is called "needlepoint" on the back. Made in the USA. Cost me a whopping $3. Finding pieces of china/pottery with needlework motifs on them is my way of incorporating stitching into my kitchen. I won't be eating off of this. For display purposes only. Now where did I put those plate hangers that I bought last year?

Sunday, July 04, 2010

3rd of July

What to do? We decided not to go to the mountains or down Maine. Time, logistics, etc. So Saturday was for hanging out and running errands.

Drove by the Toyota dealer to check out the 2011 Avalons just for fun. Only one fully loaded one - there's a difference between here and metro D.C. 

DH stopped to replenish the cigar supply. Nasty hobby. But it makes him happy.

Stopped by Doc Green's for some gifty type things and to replenish our own supply. Last night I tried (ri)1 - look I can't type that correctly here - it's pronounced rye one. Smooth, slightly spicy with a nice cotton candy sweet finish. 

We stopped for lunch at one of our newer regular stops:  The Holy Grail. 

 Used to be St. Joseph's located in Epping, NH.

 I apologize for not taking photos of the inside. They've done a beautiful job. All the windows are intact. The baptismal font is still there. And there's a gorgeous mural on the back wall behind the bar.

Here's my meal. Bangers and colcannon with a side of rings and a Shipyard summer ale. 

On the way to pick up some veggies and beer for today, we stopped by my old school.

They renovated the Academy Building and even better cut down the trees so people can see it. 

 This is where I used to live - the Library. Day students had carrels in front of each of the windows. A place to park one's books and allegedly study. Okay. we did study some. But we did spend a lot of time screwing around and annoying the librarians. 

Today we are off to the lake for food, drinking, and fun. 

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The Living is Easy

Yesterday I ran off with my sister to do some antiquing. I found a few interesting things. Including a dinner plate whose pattern name is Needlepoint. 

Later my hubby and I went to the beach. No trip home is complete with sticking feets or maybe fingers in the Atlantic Ocean (fingers only in December - brrr!)

 The newish take-out place on Route 1-A in North Hampton that everyone is raving about. Why are they raving? Next photo:

See this lobster roll? DH had already eaten half of the lobster! Nom. Nom. 

After many noms, we took a stroll along the beach across the street. For the Friday of a holiday weekend, the place is nearly deserted. This does not bode well for the tourist industry. 

Here is my progress on my Beth Russell kit that we bought in London. It is a good thing I love the color blue, because the background is going to be endless.

Progress on my Pamela Darney sampler. I'd say I'm about halfway finished...

Close-up of my name. Scissors are there on purpose...

It was Pam's idea for me to stitch the letter "a" over one and that way I could fit in my initials with my last name. Elegant solution and I love it. 

Today we're off to run errands. Look at cars. Prepare for tomorrow's festivities at the lake. Might be able to get some interesting photos...

Friday, July 02, 2010

Today, Alas No Photos

Spent yesterday with brother and sister-in-law and had a great day. Started with lunch at Bob's Clam Hut in Kittery which will soon be featured on Guy Fieri's Dinners, Drive-ins and Dives. They did the filming in early June so it should air soon for all you New England seafood fans. 

We left there for the lake and boys proceeded to get ignorant while my SIL and I went to buy ice and take a little shopping tour of Ben Franklin's. Later we went back for pizza and pizza related products at our summertime place, Pizza by George. Their pepperoni rolls still rule! Tons of garlic and pepperoni and a bit of melted cheese. Yum!

Went back to their house to watch a Jeff Beck dvd. 

Lovely to spend time with them and we're all getting together again on Sunday for the Fourth.

I am getting absolutely no stitching done. I did not realistically think I would, so I am not disappointed. 

And in stitchy news:  Betsy Morgan of Willing Hands has started a blog to highlight her teaching pieces and schedule. Go look and drool!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

When in Boston

I can wholeheartedly recommend the Fenway tour. Got to sit in the grandstand, the Budweiser party deck, the State Street Pavillion, and the Momster seats. 

Of course, what I would really love is the opportunity to walk out of the field. 

Teddy Baseball with the banners. 

It's a party in the street before the game. Get a sausage, listen to the Hot Tamales. Admire people's choice of clothing. I liked the Red Sox Aruba shirt.

Youk at the plate with that crazy stance. Too bad Delcarmen blew the game. But we had a great time.

Also got to stop in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.   It nearly killed me that I couldn't take photos in here. Bummer. The textiles in this museum are in sad shape. There are many tapestries. Some family crest pennants from the Italian Renaissance. All are extremely faded and some are damaged.