Friday, December 30, 2011

As Seen in the Paper

From the Baltimore Sun, a story of people recreating history with needles and thread. Read here.

The three women, part of a core group of about 10 needlepointers, are stitching the second of the three tapestries, each 3 feet by 6 1/2 feet, in a needlepoint project known as the Annapolis Tapestries.

And really? They needed to point out that tapestry needle are dull and there's no risk of newbies bleeding onto the canvas? How cute is that?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

End of Year Confessions

Let's start with the good news. The day before Christmas Eve I was able to spend a few hours in my room reorganizing. The major overhaul will happen in January when I return home. Elfa's on sale at the Container Store - which I have been waiting for since the last sale - LOL.

And though I had to go in the room on December 24th to locate some scrapbooking supplies for my DH at which point I knocked a bag full of supplies that I still haven't picked up, I was able to walk into the room on Christmas day and pack up a few projects to bring with me to New Hampshire. And I might have stashed a bag or two of things there for safekeeping. Still it looks way better than when I posted those ugly photos of my mess. 

Thus after a happy Christmas day, the next morning we woke up at o'dark thirty and packed up the car with presents and hit the road. The good news, hardly any trucks on the road and greatly reduced traffic. The bad news, lots of grandparents driving home doing 45 in the left hand lane of the interstate with their blinkers on and a twelve dollar charge to cross the George Washington bridge. 

I only managed to finish 6 of my 15 Crazy January Challenge. I've got a couple of them with me here, but I doubt I'll finish them before January 1st. I don't regret participating in this little experiment. I love what I did finish. And everything I started last January will just roll over into 2012's WIPocalypse, the details of how I'll be doing this won't be able till I get home in January. 

Yesterday I drove right past Yankee Cross Stitch without stopping. Bet you never thought I could do that. 

Well, there really isn't anything I need right now. OR WANT. Wow. Stop the presses. That's news!

Or maybe I should confess that I still have to order my Stitch of the Month kit from the Scarlet Thread and I have another secret which I will confess to.

And I'm telling you this because some of you might want this one, too. 

I signed up for Amy Mitten's Friesland Winders' Keeper. See it here. Don't forget to look at the other two versions

I have not stitched anything by Amy, but I might have a pattern or two in my stash. I love her Autopsy of the Montenegrin Stitch book. 

Between Stitch o' the Month, the Kimono class and Ms. Mitten's, I think I have a pretty full dance card. 

Lastly, January is coming. And with it comes the fun of a retreat weekend in Ocean City, Maryland. I will have a stash enhancement opportunity as I have a gift certificate that I won at Seminar to spend at Salty Yarns. 

2012 is shaping up nicely! If I don't get back here before December 31st, I'd like wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

The sun has set not long ago. We're all still reading and playing and contemplating pie. 

A lovely, joyous day.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Just the three of us this year. Our daughter is with her grandparents in New Hampshire. 

Dinner is finished and the dishes are done. And we're sitting here watching A Charlie Brown Christmas - the show that killed the production of aluminum Christmas trees. Not necessarily a bad thing. 

We'll be leaving in a couple of days to head north ourselves. 

No snow there either. 

Not that I'm complaining. 

Last year, I took my first stitches on my cajun Santa on Christmas Day. It's finished and hanging on my tree. 

 Kitty always has fun on any occasion that calls for unwrapping. 

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Finish And...

A finish and a start? 

Let's begin with Forever in Blue Jeans. 
Yeah for me! 

The real question is now how long it will it remain an unfinished finish? The plan is to make it into a purse with a beaded fringe. The potential hold up - am I experienced enough to do this myself? A question that will not be answered any time too soon.

And immediately after clearing a UFO from the closet, I started a new project. ROFL!

What am I thinking? 

Anyone recognize it? (No fair answering if you see it later today at Thursday stitching group.)


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stitching Update

Fabulously I did get to Tuesday Night Stitching. We were celebrating a birthday with cupcakes from Fluffy Thoughts - terrible name, isn't it? Every time I hear it, I think of Space Ghost. (Either you get it or you don't.)

And I got to see a very cute and extremely cooperative baby. Always a good thing.
And I mostly I got to stitch!

Hallelujah for that. 

This is where I am on my Viola Scissor Case. I was thinking I might finish this by Christmas, but now it's more likely that it will be New Year's Day.

 I found this project in my closet. I wanted to stitch on a canvas, but didn't want a BAP! This is Forever in Blue Jeans by Northern Pine Designs. I've made some changes and will make some more before it's finished. I love this piece and can hardly believe how long it's taken me to get this far. It will be finished as a purse backed with denim fabric. 

There's some huge crescents - count 1-64 with a five foot thread - that go in the blank space.

When I reached this point last night, that's when I put this down and picked up my scissor case. At 10 p.m. I knew I wouldn't be able to count that high correctly.

I'm still kind of lacking the holiday spirit, as per usual. Glad to know I'm not the only one. Some years it's worse than other years. But I could give up Christmas entirely if not for the fact that my husband enjoys it so. 

Off for one more round of shopping now. 

edit - blogger only published half of this post. I hope I've fixed it. What a pain.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Naughty or Nice?

He looks naughty, but he's really nice. 

Elvis loves Christmas. And birthdays. Anytime you want to toss paper around he's more than willing to join the fun. 

There's a gift or two or seven under our tree. I'm making progress. But somehow I'm still not having fun. 

I'm trying to learn to let go of the crushing expectations. I know the other people will adjust, but can I? 

Anyway. I'm not going to wrap any more today. Beef stew is cooking. I've got a cup of Polar Bear tea. Elvis is snoozing in his rocking chair. Time for me to find some equanimity courtesy of a needle and thread.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Catch Up

On Wednesday we had a lovely luncheon at Mt. Vernon. As always the Inn was nicely decorated and the food was fine. 

Our lecturer was Susan Schoelwer who is now a curator at Mt. Vernon. Previously she worked for the Connecticut Historical Society and is the author of

Connecticut Needlework: Women, Art, and Family, 1740-1840

which I have a copy of somewhere upstairs. 

In this past year I discovered family roots in Connecticut that I didn't know we had. I did get to ask Susan after the program if she knew of any pieces associated with that name in Connecticut and the answer was no. Though I dream of one day finding a connection to a historic textile, I really don't think it's going to happen. 

Of course we made the requisite stop at In Stitches afterwards and I may have changed my mind about my colors for the Kimono class. Just call me crazy. 

It seems that I get stuck with a color palette in my head sometimes. And thus the colors that I'm working with for a design of my own on canvas, have become the colors of my Kimono. 

Which is what happened to me with my Molehill to Mountain. We talked about block 4 last night at our chapter meeting. I have on this project - 1 completed block, 1 block 2/3rds finished, and 1 block barely started. I know I need to work on this piece more, but it's not a casual pick up. Takes me a bit to reorient myself every time I do pick it up. And that means I need to stitch on it a bit more often. It's not a good project if you're not in the mood to make decisions, I do know that. 

I'm at the social obligations winding down stage of December. We had a marvelous potluck yesterday with my Thursday group. Now I just need to do a touch more shopping and plenty of wrapping. I'm not losing sleep over any of it.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Time for Fun

Today is the day for the D.C. Chapter's holiday luncheon at Mt. Vernon. These have been very entertaining for the past two years and this year looks to be as much fun as in the past. 

I'm carpooling with a friend and we'll fit in a trip to In Stitches on the way home. I will be auditioning metallics for my Kimono class.

Did not get to stitch a single bit yesterday, but while power shopping I stopped for myself at the used bookstore and found a few interesting finds. They are still in the car so the info will have to wait.

A Life Well-Lived

I am sad to report that famed needleworker, Erica Wilson, has passed from this world. 


Monday, December 12, 2011

Starting Over

It's Monday and we're starting new this week. Last week got rather involved and I never found time to post. 

I do have tons of fabulous photos to work with now. And knowing what people want to see the most I give you my latest finish:  from Little House Needleworks 2010 ornaments - Snowy Pines. I will be attempting to finish this before Dec. 25th, but I'm not holding my breath which is why I'm showing the stitchy finish. Looking back at these, I see that I want to do the majority of them. They should release a book with just the ornament patterns. I'd buy it even though I have several already.

Here's where I confess that I am officially jumping from the Crazy January Challenge. Why? Because Snowy Pines is one of those projects. And it's only the 6th one I finished!!!

I will eventually finish all that I started. But not in 2011. 

But that doesn't mean I can't start new things. (Oh the humanity!)

I won a door prize at the holiday luncheon and it was a Betsy Morgan project!

I started the outlining last Wednesday and yesterday I got to put in my first stitches with the Glorianna silk. It will be a scissor pocket eventually. 

The majority of the outline is in a Celtic cross stitch which I am officially in love with and need to find other places to use it. How could I not love this? It's based on violas. It's one of Betsy's retired designs which you can see here -

Sorry for having to give the whole url, but blogger isn't letting me insert a link right now. Always with the problems. (Okay. Just tried it again and it let me. Oh.)
I am now off to shop. I've caught up on some of my missing sleep hours and must go catch up on things that need to be done!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Tuesday's Terror

Self-imposed pressure. Hate it. Can't stop doing it. C'est la guerre, as we used to say. 

First musing for today:  Did you know that Kreinik is highlighting 25 projects for December, 5 at a time? The first one's can be found here. 

Second:  I ran into B & N on Sunday afternoon. Only bought the new issue of Mollie Makes. But I found an interesting book -

PUSH Stitchery: 30 Artists Explore the Boundaries of Stitched Art

See it here on Amazon. 

Why it might interest you:  "Curated by Jamie Chalmers--aka Mr. X Stitch, a leading figure in the “new embroidery movement”--PUSH Stitchery profiles the cutting-edge creative work of 30 top stitching artists from around the world. Each designer is showcased with six to eight pages of gallery-style imagery. A fascinating question-and-answer section, along with bios, make this innovative and inspirational book a must-have for anyone interested in blurring the lines between craft and art."

Has such things as embroidering on metal and stone.  

Third:  Well. Yesterday was a mostly wasted day. Not enough sleep = no energy. Christmas decor is now in the living room awaiting unpacking. I thought maybe I'd go do the outside after dinner, but my sister called and I spent the 80 minutes chatting with her. Which is all to the good. 

Right now it's raining, but I don't think this is going to continue all day today. I may yet get the outside decorated while it's still relatively warm. 

All the stitching is done on my ornament, but I've got to retrieve the iron from the black hole and then add 16 or so beads. Which means, what? No photo.

Fourth:  the mistake on my blackwork ornament? Well, thanks to my friend, Sara Leigh, I now know there are two mistakes! LOL The left pomegranate is too high and right hand motif next to the lettering is too far to the right. 

My apologies to Amanda, who received my ornament. It's not perfect! LOL



Monday, December 05, 2011

Monday Musings

I have now fallen so far behind thanks to my battle with this darn cold. I have not spent an entire night in my bed for so long I can't remember which was the last night I slept all the way through the night. I find myself getting up some where between midnight and 2 a.m. and heading downstairs to fall asleep upright in my chair while watching television. (Last night's viewing chose - Criminal Minds - not conducive to falling back asleep.) 

Tree not up. Decorations still hiding the basement. I'm buried under a mountain of laundry as we figured out that the dryer vent hose is unhooked somewhere under the kitchen. DH feared critter damage. But I'm betting it's a remnant of the earthquake. We'll eventually cut into the dry wall in the basement to find out. Meanwhile I bought an indoor dryer vent thingy and I need to go install it. Now. (I know the hazards of using these, so no comments on this please.)

I did go and purchase more outdoor LED lights yesterday at two different stores. Thank you to the wonderful person who stole my cart at the hardware store. I'm sure the universe will figure out a way to even up the score. This means I bought more lights without being certain of what I actually have - a recipe for disaster. Worse case scenario will involve me making returns with what limited free time I have. Niece will be arriving on Wednesday and I'd like to have house decorated and cleaned by then. This is going to take a miracle.

Last night I was hopeful I would have a finished ornament to show off today. But I literally fell asleep while stitching some snow. 

Sunday, December 04, 2011

How I Do This

Every time I get to blogger I find myself faced with a choice. 

Do I post first or read other blogs first? 

I believe the majority of the time I read first. 

But sometimes, like today, I just need to write stuff down before I forget it!

And in no particular order:

I just printed out the introduction and first lesson for John Waddell's Kimono class on the Shining Needle Society. This is one new project that I have lined up for the new year. I was waffling between ground choices - 18ct canvas and congress cloth. But now that I've seen the thread requirements, I think I'll go with congress cloth as I have two large 18ct projects in the works. I have not yet purchased any supplies for this yet. And I may be able to kit mostly from my stash. LOL

Anyone else reading here who is doing this class, besides Stitching By A Cornish Sea Shore?

On Friday my sole Cyber Monday purchase arrived. Photoshop Elements 10 and Premiere Elements. Thank you, Newegg! That was quite a deal. 

I have been operating for a long time with Picassa. Does anyone have any tips for me as I try to learn this program? I know I'll be buying The Missing Manual book. 

Yesterday was a guild Christmas luncheon. Wooh! We had fun! A great meal. An amazing collection of stitched items to show off. A fabulous ornament exchange. And a terrific lecture by a fun and informative speaker who is a textile expert. 

Here's the ornament I stitched for the exchange. Blackwork with gold spangles. Yes. IF you are good at this, you may see my error that I didn't discover until after I had finished the finishing. 

 And here's a photo of something Dixie, our lecturer brought to show us. It's quilted sort of. And she doesn't know anything about it. 

Does this ring a bell for anyone? I know I've never seen anything quite like it.


Friday, December 02, 2011

Comments on Comments

I've been remiss on commenting on my comments. 

Today is time to update! I've only gone back a week, 'cause that's about all I can handle. I can't even remember who I replied to privately...

From Ann - Oh, how I would love to get to DC to see the hoard--I've watched every program Nat Geo has shown on it. And at least you got a needle threaded this week-end!

One of the cool things about this exhibit was talking to one of guides who wanted to share some updates. Literally they find out new things about the gold hoard every week. The craftsmanship is amazing. But the questions about who buried it? Why is everything bent and fragmented? Etc? may never be answered. 

From Lee -
Your list is pretty extensive! I was beginning to think I was one of only a few shop-hunters.

Huh. I thought everyone did I what I do. When traveling the first thing I'd do in a hotel is look in the phone book. Of course, these days I look online before ever leaving home. And I just realized I left out shops in San Diego and New Orleans. LOL

From Kathleen - 
That is quite a list with all of your worldly travels...and I thought for sure I would see "Wild & Wooly Needlecrafts" on your list of shops from Virginia!

Wild and Wooly. I'm not familiar with it.

As for showing photos of my very messy studio - Some friends were horrified, like my mother would be if she ever saw those photos. Some friends were grateful to find someone else whose room resembles their own. Some claim greater messes, but I'm not believing unless I see photos. And, Melissa, no offense taken. I know it looks bad. Because it is bad. 

The good news is I'm apparently recovering quickly. Maybe the Cold-eze worked! 

I finished an ornament yesterday but you'll have to wait until after our exchange to for a photo.  

Thursday, December 01, 2011


But just barely. 

After a totally miserable day yesterday, I broke down and medicated before toddling off to bed. I got at least four hours of sleep. Feel slightly better this a.m. but I feel now it's trying to turn into a cough. Yuch.

I've got things to do and can no longer afford to just lounge around in my grungy jeans watching old episodes of Mad Men. 

I did manage a few stitches last night on my Little House ornie. But right now I'm hurting too much to run upstairs to provide you all with a photo.

So if you'd like to see some pretty things, I'd go here. 

That's link to embroidery done for film and theater. Lovely stuff.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm Dying Here

I want to comment on my comments but am unable to string together coherent thoughts. Hubby has kindly given me his Thanksgiving cold and I am unable to breathe right. Or at all through my nose. 

Missed posting everyday in Nov. by one day.

But several of those posts shouldn't really count, like this one. 

I'll see you all as soon as long as I don't suffocate.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How Bad Can It Be?

My mother would be appalled to know that I am about to show you how bad things can get in my "room." When I was a young child, my sister and I were forced to keep things neat and tidy. All the time. 

When we got our own rooms, my mother didn't go upstairs that often. 

And thus, my room's appearance devolved into the total disaster state. 

I knew where everything was. In piles across the floor. I never lost anything. Periodically I was forced to clean. Which I did. And sometimes I even did it without prompting. 

But my natural state must be messy. Even though my brain feels calmer with a clean and tidy environment.

Thus we have the problem of running in and out of my studio. Grab something. Throw something in. 

It's been in quite a state since I returned from Seminar in September. I almost had it licked one day in October and then came another round of classes and things I needed to find and................

Here's a stitcher's unnatural environment:

                                               From the doorway looking in.

                                           The corner near the closet. 

                                       Heading down the wall towards the books. 

                                    Even my chair is occupied!

Now I've confessed my dirty little secret. I see canvases on the floor! Yikes. I have two cats. Even they aren't going in here right now. It's pretty bad. 

Today I'd like to right theses wrongs. But hubby has kindly given me his Thanksgiving head cold. I'd love to post a photo where we can see the rug tomorrow. But I may take an extended nap instead. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Back on Schedule with the Shop Meme

Just in time to do the shop meme that's floating around some of the blogs.

Alright. I'm certain I'm going to have do some updating on this due to my faulty memory. In other words, today's post is not final.

Needlework stores I have shopped at in person. I have to say that every single one that I ever visited, I at least purchased a few fibers. Some of them are unfortunately long gone. Some more recently gone. I've met some wonderful people in these places and I wish the ones that are still in business continued good health and prosperity. 

I'm thinking my list will be a sort of time order. It will be easier for me to remember that way. And if it's in italics, that means it's no longer in business.

1986 - before this year, I think most of my supplies came from Woolworths or other department stores like Ames and Zayre's. These don't really count on this list, but I just want to point out that I was stitching long before 1986.

The first shop remains unnamed because I can't remember it. Was run by some American woman living on a base somewhere in Germany. LOL That's vague. 

Second shop - and I still have supplies that I know were purchased here. I've never worked my way through that entire yard of Belfast driftwood. 
Cabbage Patch Boutique and Cross Stitch Shop. In Hanau, FRG. Some of us Army wives got tired of not having access to new things so we started a cross stitch shop inside the crafts consignment shop. 

Third - In Stitches in Alexandria, VA. Was located right up the road from Ft. Belvoir and when I first walked in I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. My first experience here though was unpleasant. It was 1989 and I was interested in some of the relatively new 16ct Aida in a multiple of colors. I was told they didn't have it and why wasn't I working on linen in a snooty tone. Fortunately, this didn't totally drive me off. I went back. Many times. Because we kept moving back here to Virginia. Lucky me.

Crossed Canoes - Alexandria, VA
Elsa Williams shop in Massachusetts
Yankee Cross Stitch - North Hampton, NH
Needlepoint shop in the Barnyard Village in Carmel, CA  
a cross stitch shop in Hollister, CA
The Fuzzy Penguin - Sacramento, CA
a cross stitch shop in Sacramento - was either on Sunrise or Fair Oaks Blvd.
Needlework Boutique in Carmichael, CA - the shop owned by LeAnn Bemis - I don't know if she still has a shop
the Elegant Stitch, Modesto, Ca
a cross stitch shop in Stockton, CA

Ruth's Stitchery - Colorado Springs
Needle Nuts - Colorado Springs
The Counting Bee - Littleton, CO

Needlewoman East - Falls Church, Va
The Scarlet Thread - Fairfax, Va

the shop in Center Harbor, NH that is now mostly Keepsake Quilting

Deer Hill Farm - Hyde Park, NY
Where Victoria's Angels Stitch - NJ
Edwardian Needle - NJ
there was one more shop in NJ, but I don't remember name or town

The Golden Needle - Port Charlotte, FL
Needlepoint Ivy - Venice, FL
Needlepoint in Paradise - Naples, FL

The Scarlet Thread - Vienna and Great Falls, VA
The Three Sisters - Woodbridge, VA
Everything Cross Stitch - Fredericksburg, VA
Threads - Charlottesville, VA
The Stitcher's Stash - Fairfax, VA
The Waste Knot - Arlington, VA

The Thistle Needleworks - Glastonbury, CT
The Stitching Post - Catonsville, MD
Bedecked and Beadazzled - Lutherville, MD
Needles and Threads of Ruxton - MD

Town Ho - Brewster, MA
The World in Stitches - Littleton, MA

The Strawberry Sampler - Glen Mills, PA

Not a bad list. I'm pretty certain I've forgotten some! Sorry, if you're still in business.

And though The Scarlet Thread is no longer a brick and mortar store, it exists today as a counted canvaswork internet store.

edit - December 2nd

While typing a reply to one of the comments here, I remembered some shops I forgot. 

In La Jolla, CA - Needle Nook of La Jolla. Love this place!

two other cross stitch shops in San Diego that I visited in 2004. Stitch-a-Cross and another one that I think is now out of business.

And in  New Orleans - The Garden District Needlework Shop - I had fantastic fun in here.

And the Quarter Stitch in the French Quarter which was quite charming.  


Sunday, November 27, 2011

House is Quiet

Darling daughter and her boy are experiencing the joys of Thanksgiving weekend travel as they are on the road right now probably in New Jersey. 

Have fun! Glad it's not me.

We went to see the gold hoard yesterday at the Nat Geo Museum. I had fun playing around photographing the fountain. Nothing like polished granite with a 90 degree angle for interesting opportunities. 

Fridge is still filled with food. I'm done cooking till Tuesday???

And here's my pitiful output stitching. Little House ornie that is one of my Crazy January projects. 
Never did get into my room. Sadness. I might find some time this week. At least I hope so.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Grinding Out These Last Posts

I wish I had tons of time. But I don't. 

Spent today in D.C. Saw the Ango-Saxon gold hoard! 

Supported small business Saturday by purchasing a bottle of German bitters and Luxardo maraschino liqueur in a small liquor store on 17th St NW. 

Supported small business yesterday with my darling daughter, too, as we hit up two needlework stores. LOL 

I promise I'll be good and detailed next week. When I'll have all the time in the world.

Just in case anyone is interested, I needed the maraschino stuff because last year and I read and loved Jason Wilson's book,

Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits

I do have a bar in my house. And mixing cocktails is a kind of like cooking, only most ingredients are a bit expensive. 

Now to go experiment while making turkey tetrazini and turkey chili out of the leftovers. 


Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Photos

The scene early afternoon on Thanksgiving. Mashing potatoes, making gravy. All the usual good stuffs.
Hubby and son dismantling the bird.
Final results!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Barely Keeping Up With November

The usual feast. Nothing extraordinary. But very satisfying. 

I did find a few moments to try and stitch on one of my Crazy January projects. I finished a thread, ended it, and only then realized I had made a mistake before I even picked it up. So on with the ripping. 

As the house is symmetrical, I don't know how I missed that before. I guess I was distracted while watching Don Draper and gang. I made very little progress on something I should be able to just bang out. C'est la vie. 

Here's a couple of photos I took a few weeks ago. This plant is called Beautyberry. I don't know if this particular one is a native as there are types both from the southeastern US and Japan. 

I do know I want to find one of these next year because it's so striking in the autumn. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Not A Stitch

Today was about catching up with DD and cooking. 

Not a stitch was taken. 

Tomorrow more cooking. And eating. But I should be able to sit and stitch. 

I did do one thing needlework related today. 

I signed up for the Kimono class on the Shining Needle Society. 

If you've never looked at these online classes, you should. This will be my third one. I'm very happy with how these work out. 

For more info.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Just In Case

Just in case I don't get a chance to get back here later.

I'm off this morning to take the kitties to visit the vet. Always an adventure - catching them once they figure out what's going on, that is. 

DD and her boy are coming late tonight. Yeah!

I still have not had the time to get into my studio. Gah. It's now a total wreck. *shaking head* at my bad self. 

So I'll leave you this morning with some interesting upcycling:

vintage needlepoint reuse

"Each work is a celebration of color and the whimsical craft of embroidery, offering a sense of nostalgia from a skill that has since  gone to the cultural wayside."

Hey. I resent that.

Monday, November 21, 2011

What I Saw

Gutters are now clean of leaves, thanks to Felix. Wish I could this job for myself, but two and three stories up gives me the willies. LOL

Yard is cleared of leaves and nearly everything outside is finished for the year. I've got two more pots to empty and I need to pick up the leaves under the far side of boxwoods which finally got trimmed. Had a busy day outside yesterday. I love that this year the weather cooperated. 

After supper, I did manage to put some time in on my red rose canvas. But right now a photo is pointless. I've almost got myself all the way across the top, but I was too lazy to get up and set a up a stand because those reverse scotch stitches need to be laid. Instead I plugged along with some rice stitches and smyrnas which I don't want to be bothered laying. 

Last night we watched Part I of the American Masters special on Woody Allen. 
I get that he's not everyone's cup of tea. But at our house, we love his work. 

One of the first scenes they show is filmed in his bedroom where you can see that he is a collector of schoolgirl samplers. There's another one that hangs to right of the desk where he types everything on his old manual typewriter. 

Who knew?

Woody's bedroom.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Knew It Was Going to Happen

Okay. I made it 18 straight days. Why did I forget to post yesterday? 

I spent all morning working on a special project. Had to go to an afternoon meeting. Came home exhausted. Too much fun, I guess. (Actually, I do not adjust well to the autumnal time change. Can't we just leave the darn clocks alone???)

Sat down and finally beat that level in Plants and Zombies on my DS that had eluded me for various reasons. DH wanted me to drive him to the computer store - yes, we still have one of those here. And then we stopped for Mexican food on the way home. I only had one margarita, but was totally stuffed and when we got home I sat on the couch, the cat climbed into my lap, started to purr and I fell asleep before 8 p.m. 

Elvis kind of has a magic touch that way. 

When I woke after my 15 minute snooze, I totally forgot that I hadn't posted. It didn't even occur to me. 

I guess that makes the new goal, 29 out of 30 days of November. 

Very little stitchy I can show here from yesterday. That's what happens this time of year. Things that must not be revealed publicly.

Friday, November 18, 2011

How Pretty Is This?

Today we're going to talk about an interesting possibility. 

The idea of joining two or more linens together to create a new piece of fabric.

Last Saturday I was in a class with Pam Darney of Guildhouse Samplers as she was teaching for the Loudoun Sampler Guild. Our class was about joining two colors of linen together and then even being able to stitch over the join. 

Now I already have a project that uses a joining technique for mating linen.
This is a needlebook project by Cindy Valentine that was in the July/August 2011 issue of Needlepoint Now. 

At seminar in Florida, I bought the kit from Cindy. How pretty is this? Three colors of linen, pearl cotton, one very lovely Glorianna overdyed silk, three overdyed cottons, and mother of pearl thread winders and beads. 

Look for this to join my rotation soon.

Now Cindy and Pam have slightly different ideas for joining the linens. Cindy employs pulling a thread from the linen. Pam joins without this guide line because she wants the fabric to have integrity when framing. 

While mulling about these differences I've had some thoughts. One- while trying hard to keep my linens on the horizontal line for Pam's piece I realized that a basting line on both pieces of linen would help keep things on the correct lines. And the other I need to talk to Pam about before commenting publicly. It's only fair. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Almost forgot again! This gets harder as the month goes on...

Today I'm showing an original bargello design. I was working on this last fall as a possible class. I never finished it and went with another design. 

This is on congress cloth and the fibers are Carrie's Creation Caribbean Laney and DMC 3814. Mostly I was experimenting with using an overdye in bargello. I pulled this out tonight so I'd have something to take to an ANG chapter meeting. We had a wonderful potluck tonight and everything was delicious.
I had a purpose for this though I think that purpose is now unnecesarry. We'll see what I can do with it when it's done.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Favorite Places

Lee, of the Lake Stitcher, may have helped more than one of us today with inspiration for posting. 

On Monday a nice man came with Two Guys and a Truck and took away our entertainment center which was large and heavy and made of oak in the Mission style. I'll miss it. 


Our living/dining room suddenly seems so large. And I have to love that. 

Here's a photo of a corner where it was. 

First, I agree. The faux painted walls have to go. It's been 6 years and it's time to move on. Though I do like the glow on certain mornings, when the light is wrong, it looks kinda orange. 

Second. Now the couch is over where the entertainment unit was. Look, I've already got a project sitting at my favorite spot ready for stitching. And there's my Amethyst Dreams hanging on the wall where it used to be in a dark corner that's now well-lit.

I do a lot of stitching sitting on the couch. Some sitting at the dining room table. And some upstairs in my nest. And quite a bit in other places - which are my stitching groups. And we won't even talk about my stitching in public habits. 

Right now there are only 3 projects not in my room which is due for organizing today. 

  1. The Rose which you can see on my library table
  2. my school Quaker
  3. Molehill to Mountain
Time for me to go run errands. Then it's home to swap my winter and summer wardrobes. And play organizer.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stolen from Anna @ The Stitch Bitch

Like Anna, I am a world-class procrastinator. In school I perfected the glory of the one draft wonder - typo free in the age before computer made things so easy - finished at 5:00 a.m. on the due date. 

But I've not been trying to let the passing time apply pressure to me here on posting. Honestly. I just don't know where the time has been disappearing to. So here I sit again. It's getting late. I've got dinner to put on the table. I want to go to Tuesday night stitching group. If I put this off any longer it'll be midnight before I get around to posting. 

Due to lack of stitching progress today and yesterday, here's a meme I stole from Anna.

1. Have you ever discovered a betrayal? If so, did you ask, “How long has THIS been going on”? 
Yes. And I really had no interest in knowing how long. It would not have made things better. 

2. What is the longest line you've ever stood in? Would you do it again? I've always tried to avoid crowds. And I still try to. 

3. Someone has hung a sign around your neck, and you have to wear it all day long. What does it say?  Immoral Majority Member

4. As the Christmas season approaches, what song is it that you just can't wait to hear?  Wait. We're supposed to wait till the season to listen to this stuff? Oh.

5. What Christmas song do you dread to hear? Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer.

6. How often do you read the last chapter of a book first? Maybe once every 500 books?

7. Do you have a favorite movie that you just love to see each year during the holidays? Nope.

8. Do you enjoy winter in the area that you live? I enjoy the winter. I don't enjoy the idiots who don't know how to drive in snow.

9. At holiday I think we all show more kindness. In your opinion, is this a “concept” that has value (like money or other tangible things) or does it exist as simply emotion? Why?  I think I'm kind all year long. And I don't understand people who aren't. The world's a crowded place and we can all use some kindness.

Tomorrow is reserved for putting things away in my room! Who knows what I will find.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Quaker Motif

Okay. So I finished this motif yesterday. It's fun finding out what a few stitches in Gloriana Baby Corn add. They're in the urn and the top flower and the bud on the lower left. It really adds life. 

I thought I was going to continue stitching on this last night, but I was too lazy to go upstairs and find graph paper. I need to figure out some word placement. And then I went on the laptop to see if I could do this in Easy Grapher, but I'm having problems with the program. Tried downloading the last patch and had problems with that, too. Another day I'll figure all this out. 

No stitching today. Raking instead. And we got rid of our large oak Mission style entertainment unit. Which meant I had to start rearranging furniture. But really what I need to do is find a temporary home for all the stuff that was hidden inside it. 

But here it is and it's perfect for autumn!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November in Photos

Finally. I'm home and have time to catch up here. 

Though I should be outside doing leaf removal and putting the garden to bed while it's nice outside, I'd rather sit and write a nice, long post. 

Let's start with some recent pics. Last Sunday afternoon, I went for a walk in a wetlands remediation area not far from my house. It's tucked in between some major roads and large office buildings. If I worked near here I'd be walking through here every lunch hour. I had a feeling that if I had walked off the path into the woods, I would have disturbed a few deer. Saw lots of turtles enjoying the late autumn sun. But not a lot of birds.

Now to share some needlework.

This is the photo of the strawberry class I took on Friday with Barbara Jackson. Also here's my start:

We began by stitching our linen onto a piece of muslin. And then came the appreciation of the Heathway wools. These are on the Tristan Brooks website. I can't say enough about how lovely they are. Currently there are 20 color families available with 9 color values in each family (plus whites and black.) A total pleasure to work with. You really should go look for yourself at Tristan Brooks. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I Am Barely Meeting Requirements

So. National Blog Posting Month. 

I guess I need to be home to post. 'Cause I haven't entered the smart phone world. Yet. 

I am barely able to keep up. Because I haven't been home. 

Today was a Pam Darney class at the Loudoun Sampler Guild. This one was about joining two different colors of linen together and then stitching right on over that seam. 


Go ahead and try it. I'll just sit here and wait. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Drive-By Friday Night

Been away from home all day. Today was my crewel class with Barbara Jackson of Tristan Brooks Designs.

If you follow the link, right there on the home page is the Succulent Strawberry on the left hand side. That was my class. 

I'll catch up with photos in a day or two. 

'Cause tomorrow is Loudoun Sampler Guild and I've got another class!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stitchie Day Thursday

Well. Let's see if I can write more or less today. 

I get to slow down, but not till Sunday. LOL

Thursday is a regular stitchie group day. We've gotten a few people to join us and they are mostly knitters. We already had several people in the group who knit. And somedays, we stitchers are outnumbered by the knitters. 

Now way back when I was a wee one, my grandmother taught me to knit. She taught me to crochet. She taught me how to use the old wooden Singer sewing machine. In fact, anything remotely connected to textiles, I first learned about it from my grandmother. It's not that she sat around crafting. She was a working woman her entire adult life. But she was a never-ending bundle of energy and she certainly wasn't going to just sit still after supper and watch television like my grandfather. (Did I mention that I grew up next door to my grandparents? My parents bought the house next door when I was three months old.)

You'll notice that I didn't say that I learned any of these things from my mother. Because the woman could barely thread a needle. She thought the buttoneer invention thingy was a tremendous boon to mankind. Use a piece of plastic to attach buttons. I sewed on my Girl Scout badges. Though my mom did go through a phase where she was knitting slipper sox and that's the only crafty textile thing I remember her doing. 

Decades pass and when I used yarn in that time, it was always with a crochet hook. Never with needles. I gave away every set of knitting needles that I had. I ended up with more, usually acquired with crochet hooks from a yard sale or thrift store. And there those needles sat in a work basket. Unused. And unloved. 

Until recently when someone gave me a mission of knitting a few stitches on a communal piece. 

To practice I pulled out a set of those needles. And a hank of yarn. And even remembered how to do a long tail cast on. But then fumbled about how I used to hold the yarn. It's those 30 years of crochet instead of knitting. (I can date this pretty accurately. The last time I remember using knitting needles was in a scene in The Music Man in 1979.) 

Anyway. I've been working my way back to muscle memory on the whole knitting thing. Even went a bought a pair of nice wooden needles. And maybe even some more yarn. 
I'm not saying this is leading anywhere. But there's so much pretty wool and other stuff out there. All those colors and textures. And it's way faster than stitching, too. 

See. Here's what a couple of days of casual stitching gets me. A little bit of a progress on my rose.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Drive-by Posting

Heck of a day. And we haven't even had dinner.

Went to a chapter meeting today and heard a lecture on birds in needlework by Barbara Jackson of Tristan Brooks Designs. I've got a class with her on Friday. It's a crewel strawberry! 

Tried to shop. Came home with a migraine. Roused myself enough to get potatoes and meatloaf in the over. 

And next I'm off to a board meeting. I'm sure I've forgotten something I was supposed to do. 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Tuesday Bluesday

Wait. I was going to title this post Red Tuesday and then I remembered it's Election Day. 

So even thought my post is red, I've turned on Bluesville for some red, hot music. 

Remember I got a new light? Well, I had to try it out. And the first thing I saw in my room on stretcher bars was my rose. 

This is the American Beauty designed by Debbee's Designs. I started this last January right around my grandmother's birthday. She truly loved her roses. Was disappointed that when she moved to Florida she couldn't grow them.  Her secret? She used to empty her coffee grounds and tea bags on them.

Eventually this will be one permanent rose in memory of her.

 I have put in about two more hours of work since last we saw it. This is the upper right. I've been working on this part upside down so I don't have to reach too far. Don't know what I'll do when I reach the middle. Eight different overdyed threads, each thread has its own stitch so eight different stitches. If I remember correctly it's 54 squares by 54 for a total of 2,916 four by four squares.

There's the new light. Perfection! And because Jane notices these things, my rose is dressed up with a bee needle minder. Yes. I bought that just for this piece. Seemed fitting. I promise better pictures next time. I only had my telephoto lense and was too lazy to go get the regular one!

Monday, November 07, 2011

What a Nice Boy!

In a world where all children are above average, you occasionally get a treat!

DS was helping friends and they need to visit IKEA. 

So he asked me if there was anything there I needed. 

My first thought was that I needed to go visit IKEA myself. It's been so long since I've been. Months and months. Maybe nearly a year?

Then I remembered glimpsing something someone had a meeting. 

And I went online and asked him to get me one of these:

Jansjo clamp light.

He even called me from the store to ask if I preferred black or white. 

I told him to surprise me.

Woke up this morning to find a black one on my counter. Fits perfectly on stretcher bars!

The bulb is not meant to be replaceable. But aren't these LED lights supposed to have a 20-30 year life? 

(Snuck away for a quick check - "When a manufacturer says that an LED lamp will last 25,000 or 50,000 hours, what the company actually means is that at that point, the light emanating from that product will be at 70 percent the level it was when new." ) Says one NYTimes article.

Okay. I think that works for me!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Gingerbread Ornament Finish

And to think that I almost didn't take this class. 

 This was taught at our Guild meeting in October and finished stitching it two days later. 

Last night, I finished finished it. It's a freebie on The Victoria Sampler website. Go and stitch one of your very own!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Ornament to Finish

It's been a week since I finished this hardanger ornament by The Victoria Sampler. 

And here it sits. 

There's the backing all laced. There's the front all laced. There's the pearl cotton to make the cording and the cording maker. 

You'd think I could get my act together and assemble this. LOL