Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Quaker Progress

 I got some extra stitching time yesterday and made this progress!  One more large motif to go. I stitched the butterfly, too. And the little flower. And two of three sets of initials. I wanted to keep going. But stopped to do some actual work. Today - no more progress. Field trip with friends and we had a great time. Found a wonderful place to eat in Madison, VA, too!

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Eighty Seven Days

Thanks to Anna, aka the Stitch Bitch, we all now how many days until Christmas. And like Anna I feel an impending sense of doom. 

I know I have purchased a few presents over the course of this year, but I don't remember what or where they are! 

A smart person would be making lists. 

I consider myself a smart person, but for some reason I totally fall down on this whole Christmas and present thing. 

Eighty seven seems like both a large number and small number. Quite the paradox. 

Of course, there is a part of me that says a week in New Orleans. I can find lots of presents there! But that's not till November. 

I'm not a Scrooge, but sometimes I would like to ditch this whole grand scheme of presents. Can't we just tell people we love them and wish them the best for the new year? 

Can you tell that I didn't really sleep last night? LOL

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Love and Live Quaker

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This is the motif I am currently working on. I only need to stitch one last color on this - oops and that green motif on the right needs to be mirrored on the left. The Green Tea will really make this pop. Will I get to it today? I don't know. Oh yeah. And there are three stitches missing. I can't believe I did that. This is what happens when you turn everything upside down.

The good news is that my DD found a job in Massachusetts. We're all very psyched for her to move on out into the "real world." And to my daughter who is probably reading this, I'm not just psyched because now I can claim your room as my own. I'm happy and relieved and just plain excited for you!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fiber Festival

DH and I went to the Shenandoah Fiber Festival today. Saw lots of sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, and very furry bunnies. Lovely animals. Lots of big brown eyes. And I got to keep plunging my hand into lots of fleece and roving. And the colors that these things were dyed. Amazing!

Now I want some goats. Specifically the ones that are a cross between the pygmy and angora goats - the pygora. Somehow I think I'm not allowed goats here at my townhouse. Bummer.

I bought some undyed roving to play with. And a cat toy. And a needle felting piece. And a skein of bamboo yarn that just said "take me home."

As these things go, it was probably a good introduction for me. We might go the sheep dog trials next weekend at Montpelier. 

edit: I forgot to mention my delight at realizing I was driving past Chilly Hollow Road! 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nook, Nook, Who's Got a Nook?

I've been planning this particular purchase for a while. Just biding my time and taking in recommendations. 

You know what's funny? No matter who you ask, they love their Kindle or their Nook. 

And today I bought a Nook. 

And she needs a name. 

And I'm thinking Nina. Short for Antonia. Means "priceless." 

Or maybe it's the Native American version which means "mighty."

Or maybe I just like Nina Garcia on Project Runway. 


I've been busy finding things to load on to said Nina. And now I need to actually go and pay attention to this baseball game that the Red Sox are winning against the Yankees.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Love and Live Quaker

Posted by PicasaSecond to last big motif on my Pam Darney Quaker piece. I think this might be the largest motif. It uses nearly every color. I've got two small motifs and the personalization to do also. This piece is so pretty to look that sometimes I'd almost rather sit and stare at it than stitch on it. But I know the stitching fairies aren't going to arrive in the night and finish this for me. The only way it's getting done is if I stitch it. 

I shouldn't even be here. I should be stitching.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Today is Photo Day!

Look! A post with photos! and they are all of stitching, too!

This is the mystery sampler from Needlearts that was published over seven issues in 2005 - 2006. We're are going to stitch this in my Guild in 2011. Seeing as how I can hardly ever leave well enough alone, I've gone and changed the colors. And frankly, I'm in love with color combo. Summer bright!

Yesterday I had to spend an inordinate amount of time just to get my tires rotated and have one checked for damage after DH removed a screw from it. I sat and stitched for two hours before they even moved my car. Ridiculous. But I did finish the motif on the left. And finished the over one stitching below.

You may notice I have committed to finishing this by the end of 2010. It really shouldn't be a problem, but I continue to find ways to add things to my stitching schedule. Next year, maybe I will ditch all obligations? or invent time travel so I can add more hours to my days?

Constantinople finally off the stretcher bars and in an appropriate setting. This is a lovely cherry wood box whose opening is 7" by 7" that I got from Nordic Needle.

And here we have Odette's Diamond finally in a box, too. This is a Subberry House Donna's Box. (No comment.) I thought the canvas looked too white around the stitching so I painted it. Just got out the textile paints and had at it. Catherine Jordan has apparently made me fearless when it comes to stitching and paint. Looks better in person than in this photo.

P.S. Don't forget to scroll down to the September 16th post to post a comment and enter my blogoversary drawing.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The World from Tuesday

 I did not get around to posting yesterday as a friend and I made the always not fun trip to the Stitching Post. She's stocking up projects for stitching at their winter home. And I was just tagging along as I didn't really need anything. edit - What I meant was the drive is never fun - the shopping is tremendous fun!

That does not mean I didn't purchase anything. 

Let's see. I bought a frame and a bell pull for finishing a couple of things. Bought Little House Needleworks "Singing the Blues," Crossed Wings 2010 Hummingbird (someday I will stitch all of these that I have in my stash.), and Blackbird Designs "Splendid September" with the threads. I've got plenty of fabric for these smalls.

We enjoyed lunch at a new place -  Duesenbergs An American Cafe and Grill. This is right around the corner from the Stitching Post. The portions were in the ridiculous size and the food was terrific. 

Came home and did a bit a housework. And a bit of stitching. I somehow have found myself involved in teaching a piece next year and I started stitching it Sunday night. I've got the first part finished and it only took a couple of hours. I love what I changed the colors to and promise a photo after tomorrow - first sighting of this needs to be my fellow teachers. 

Hubby got home before 7 and had an uneventful drive down from NH. But he's still ill and this morning I find myself wondering if I'm getting it, too.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Forever In Blue Jeans Weekend

I finished my crescents yesterday and figured out something acceptable to me for the bottom two rows. And then I started the border around the outside at the top right because I already had that thread in the needle from the crescents. 

I thought about increasing the border to three plies, but decided to leave it at two. I did have to get a second spool of Kreinik #32, but that's probably because of ripping out twice. 

If you haven't entered my blogoversary drawing, don't forget to scroll down and comment on September 16th's post.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Forever in Blue Jeans

See what I dug out of the pile of unfinished projects? Forever in Blue Jeans by Linda Lachanche of Northern Pine Designs. When last I stitched on this, I frogged the bottom two rows which I disliked. Put in something else. And then frogged that! 

Of course, that's why I put the piece down to give myself some time to think about it. Must have done some heavy duty thinking as it's been so long, I can't remember the last time I stitched on this. Maybe a year and half ago? *rolling eyes at my own stupidity*

Well, it's out of the box now and I'm thinking again of what to do at the bottom. I've got some ideas. And I really want to finish this into a purse with the back side made of denim from an old pair of jeans. I think I even saved a pair of Levi's just for this purpose. I wonder where I put them?

And speaking of ruminating, I've thought and thought about the SB question about whether or not I have any strange stitching habits, and I have to say I don't think so. I do collect orts. But that's not that strange. I do sometimes lick my floss before threading a needle, but that's not that strange either. And apparently when counting long distances, I singsong my numbers. I'd say I'm a fairly normal stitcher without quirks. 

A shout out to all who recommended Library Thing for cataloguing my stitching library. It's been years since I've been there, but my account was active and the whole process works so much better now! I've made a small start on entering my books and I'm afraid the totals are going to scare me. 

And don't forget to scroll down and comment on September 16th's post to enter my blogoversary drawing!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Blogoversary Goodies!!!

I'm just a tad late. My first post was seven years ago on September 3rd. We were living at West Point in NY. And I think I get lured into this by a post on RCTN. (I can hear Annie's voice from Bull Durham telling me that women don't get lured...)

I was going to go shopping to find something for my blogoversary drawing, when it hit me.

I could go shopping right here at home!

What we have here from 12 o'clock and moving clockwise:
Cricket Collection no. 155, "Why Is It?" This piece comes with fabric and full skeins of floss, though I will admit I did not kit this. The verse reads: "Why is it when I'm halfway through creative joys diminish. It's more fun to start a piece than it ever is to finish." And then it's framed not quite finished with the needle in it!

Needlemania's "Jardin du Jour."  I bought this after Marc Davis passed away, but I realize now that I will never get around to stitching it.

Heartstring's "It's a Grand Old Flag."  This one comes with a fat 1/8th of lambswool and the called for GAST floss. I see from a little note on the inside that I bought this in 1998 at the Fuzzy Penguin in Sacramento. I've had it for twelve years and haven't gotten around to stitching it? Oh me. Oh my. There are multiple skeins of Cherry Wine, Midnight, and Oatmeal.

A DMC US Postage Stamp Kit - "Reindeer with Flute." Bright and energetic, that's probably why I bought it. 

And for sampler lovers who didn't give in when this came out and always regretted it:

A Most Noble Pursuit, a joint collaboration by ten designers. This one comes with the 36ct Light Examplar fabric by Lakeside Linens cut especially for this piece.

Please feel free to post a link to this drawing on your blog. 

I'll do the drawing on September 30th!

Whoops - just leave a comment to enter. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Outlet Shopping

I got to spend a little bit of time yesterday at the Outlets in Leesburg. Only had time to stroll one of the place, but found some terrific jeans in gray and these shoes at Clarks. Passion in black.  First time I've bought anything with a heel in quite a while. But they were very comfortable and will look great with jeans.

Also found an Ehrmann needlepoint book at the Book Warehouse for $5. And some doodads at Crate and Barrel. 

I'm home alone for a few days and plan on some major stitching time. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pennsylvania German Sampler Class

I promised to write about Pam Darney's class at LSG on Saturday. 

She so does not want us to be influenced by what she has stitched, that she still would not let us see the sampler the way some of us want to see and study it. *big smile* This made some people very nervous about the journey we're about to embark on. Not me. I have full confidence in my color sense as in I know what I like. And I know what I don't like. 

What we were given:

The chart with symbols delineating areas for different colors. The fabric, twenty-one different colors of Glorianna silks. And a photo of her nearly finished sampler done in sepia tone. Like this: 

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This is my Love and Live Happy sampler with the color removed as an example. Now stitch it in color. 

Bwah ha ha!

There's like 50 different motifs on this piece. An alphabet. A place for our name. 

The only thing that will be alike on these is a motif designed for the Loudoun Sampler Guild. 

I want to drop everything and start of this right away, but honestly I've got a few things that need to take priority. 

This is going to be so much fun!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Saturday is Sampler Guild Day

Once again, I will publicly castigate myself for not joining the Loudoun Sampler Guild sooner than I did. I can hardly believe that for four years, I resisted because I didn't want to give up one Saturday a month. What a fool! I am so glad that I gave in and joined. 

And tomorrow is the second Saturday of the month and it's LSG meeting time!

Class tomorrow is a Pam Darney sampler. No photos. She barely let us look at the finished project. In fact, she'd hold it up across the room from you and move it back and forth. Because she doesn't want us to be influenced by what she stitched. Expect an interesting report on this. LOL

To enhance the experience, I brought my Love and Live Happy sampler by Pam back into rotation. When last I stitched on this, I had just finished the bird. Now the entire medallion is finished. And I love it. 

Thursday, September 09, 2010

September SBQ

Is there anything that you do while you are stitching that is kind of weird or unusual?  A quirky habit maybe?  Or anything that you do that makes you think, Hey...I wonder if anyone else does this?

Oh, my. This is going to take some thought and reflection. I think I might even consult some stitching friends. And DH. 

It's September and that means it's time for the all the guilds to get back into the swing of things. Yesterday was our D.C. Chapter meeting. And holy Toledo. I added more books to my library. And to be good, I even started a database of my stitching books when I returned home with my new treasures. The first nine are logged in. Of course, it's on the laptop and this morning, I'm on the desktop. I figure sometime soon to take the laptop to the bookcase and start typing. This promises to be a monumental task. 

As for how to organize my database, I started with title, author, date of publication and technique/subject matter. I think this will suffice for my purposes, but if anyone has any other suggestions for what to include, I'm all ears. 

My book bonanza arrives courtesy of the estate of another stitcher. I didn't know her. But I'd say from her books, she was mostly a canvasworker and she had a huge number of books about designing and stitching inspiration. What would your stitching library say about you? 


Tuesday, September 07, 2010


 How I know I've been paying close attention to the blog posts and other writings about seminar? Last night I dreamed I was there. Right down to that anxious, excited feeling at the beginning of the first class. Which was a four-day class in some exotic, incredibly difficult technique. Did I wake up wishing this dream was true? You bet I did. 

But before I get to go to EGA National Seminar in Naples next year, we're going to New Orleans in November. Happy Days! DH asked me if I wanted to tag along on this trip and that would be a huge YES! I'm not certain why I have a fixation with this place, but I have always wanted to go and I'm not passing up an opportunity like this. Just bought my plane tix this morning. 

Anyone with any advice/recommendations on this trip, please feel free to comment or e-mail me. Thanks!


Monday, September 06, 2010

Saturday at the Scottish Games

We went to the Scottish Games of Virginia on Saturday. Listened to some great music. Had some good food and good drink. This is a view of the games in the distance. The wind was making the caber toss extremely difficult.

One of my favorite parts - the pipe band competition.

We even saw DH's school's band competing. I don't know how they did, but they sounded great to us.

And without even planning - this is what was in my purse. So I put in a few stitches while listening to the Glengarry Bhoys - a Scots/French-Canadian band that I fell in love with.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Meme from the Stitch Bitch

1. What craft sound or smell do you love?

Sound - laughter because that means I'm stitching with my friends. 

Smell - my first thought was Thai food because it's lunchtime! 

2. What craft sound or smell do you hate?

Sound - tears of frustration

Smell - there once was this dyed linen that smelt like used coffee grounds and burnt chocolate that was pretty darn revolting. 
3. What career other than your own would you like to try?

I would like to own a needlework store big enough to employ many of my friends. I've got the floor plans somewhere that I doodled one rainy day. 

4. When you have a craftastrophe, what is your favorite exclamation?

I go for short and to the point - fuck! Usually under my breath. I probably say shit, shit, shit! more often out loud. 

Friday, September 03, 2010

Friday's End

I'm not usually here posting this late on a Friday night. I went to Fredericksburg today to pick DS up from school. He wanted to come home to pick up some more things, but mostly I think it is to visit his girl. Okay. I remember my own road romance. I'm willing to do what I think is reasonable. 

I did some antiquing, but mostly without success. If I had a large house with space to fill, I would have had the deal of a lifetime. A huge oak victorian hall tree at 50% off. But instead I bought a Staffordshire teacup of Monticello. For $7.00.

I stopped in at Everything Cross Stitch and I now have the Christmas ornament issue of Just Cross Stitch. I've looked through it quickly once and can't say I'm overly excited. But I was rushed and will it give a more thorough examination later. 

Tomorrow we're going to try attending the Scottish games. This will be our first time here in Virginia. We went years ago in California and it was great fun. 

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Yippee for Me!

Before I explain my "yippee" I'm giving the answer to a question.

The photo above isn't quite Wallis Sands. It's the North Hampton State Beach. And right across the street is the Beach Plum, a place with a very yummy lobstah roll. And their Orange Freezes aren't too shabby either. 


I did my early registration for EGA National Seminar this morning for 2011 in Naples, Florida. 

This will be my first EGA National Seminar. I'm happy for my friends who are leaving for San Francisco's Seminar tomorrow, but delirious for myself. And I get to look forward to this for a whole entire year. 

All About the Mystery

Blogger is telling me that this is my 1700 post. It's also September and blogaversary time for me. I've been typing here with regularity since 2003. *Patting self on back*

I'm gonna have to come up with a good giveway for this. Let me ruminate on it for a while, but don't forget to check back and see what I've come up with!

Wednesday was all about the mystery sampler stitching. So I can't talk about it. Or show photos. Or nuthin'. 

I can't decide if I need to bring this with me to Thursday group. I'm trying to figure out if I've got enough done so that I can finish it by 1 o'clock tomorrow. Well, twelve thirty if we're counting travel time. I will say that I still love stitching with Au ver au Soie silks. Especially when you get to stitch in a light color background and that stuff just starts to shimmer and glow. 

I think I'm approaching one of those revaluation times when I go through my projects and decide what I feel like stitching. Always a good time! Especially if I go through everything! 

I know I need to get a moving on my bargello teaching piece. And somehow I've gotten involved with the teaching of a mystery sampler next year. I think this is it for obligations. And I feel like I've got some canvas pieces that need to come to completion so that I'll feel free to move on to new canvas pieces like my Lost River Canyon from Joan Thomasson.

Yesterday while listening to the Kojo show, I heard a new author, Thomas Kaufman, and ran to the library to put his book, Drink the Tea,  on hold. Also picked up some George Pelacanos and Edward Jones, both write about the D.C. area. Got these in both book form and on CD so I can stitch and listen. First, though, I need to finish Dreams from my Father by Barrack Obama because DH needs to return it to its rightful owner in another two weeks. Thus far this book is a lesson in how adults can shape their children. Listen. Maybe some of us can still hear voices from our pasts.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Not Done For Today

I came downstairs to the office to cool off after vacuuming and remembered something that I meant to post about.

Has anyone else seen the Where Women Create magazine? Last week I leafed through one at the bookstore. The one with Amy Butler on the cover and I think it was the colors that grabbed my attention. Admirable idea and all. 



Not a single space was not overly staged for the camera. How am I supposed to apply this to my life if all you show me is perfect vignettes of antiques and fabrics and paper? They are selling a lifestyle. Not showing real life. Where's the mess that is the creative process? 

I'm a Virginia Woolf girl myself. All I want is a room of my own. And then don't bug me about how messy it looks to you.  

Sweet September

Sweet September - where it's still above 90 degrees and there is a hurricane taking aim at us. 

I have a childhood memory of September hurricane in New Hampshire. I think I may have been in first grade even. They released us early from school telling us there was a hurricane coming. (What? huh? I think some older kids walking home with me and my first grade new to school friends explained about hurricanes to us.) I walked home (Yes, it was over a mile. Uphill. Both ways.)  Found the hidden key and let myself in. Wondered where my older sister was. I think this was the first time ever I was home alone in the house. Then my grampa called to see if we were home and safe and he must have known I was scared. And he stayed on the phone talking with me until I wasn't alone any more. I don't know exactly how he knew to call our house at that moment, but I was extremely thankful.

Here's hoping Earl stays far out in the Atlantic. 

Last night I went to Tuesday night group stitching because DH wasn't feeling his best - he even took a sick day yesterday and lounged around like the cat. I finished all my nun stitching on Echoes of Elizabeth. The inside pieces only take an evening. Now it's on to over one stitching on congress cloth. 

And I made serious progress on my mystery friendship piece yesterday. It's all graphed out and now I get to adjust my colors as I go to best make this work.