Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sporadic Postings

 I know I've not been posting regularly. But it's summer and things are happening. I will be back to a more normal schedule in about three weeks. 

Next week I leave for EGA Seminar in Naples, Florida with some visiting time also with my Mom and step-dad. I'm not sure how much the internet situation has improved at my Mom's, but I should be able to post from hotel. 

Meanwhile, here's a photo of the fun thing I've been stitching. Oh, how I love that basket of apples. This is a Quaker design by Pamela Darney that was created for the Carolina Sampler Guild. I purchased the last kit of this design from Pam back in late 2009. And I decided of all the designs of hers that I have I wanted to do this one the most. I'm changing all the words on it and I'm not saying exactly what I'm doing. You'll see it as it happens. 

Last week I finished stitching my flamingo. Today I start the process of attaching it to the canvas tote. I don't know if you can see in this photo, but I added Naples, EGA, and the year to this piece. 

I'm using the new interface page here on blogger and there's so much white space it reminds of that blank piece of paper in my old electric typewriter that would mock when I sat down to write. I think I can get past it though!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Good Morning Monday!

Let's start by asking forgiveness in advance for any typos. This laptop sometimes does crazy things. It's a 5 year old Sony and lately it seems to have a mind of it's own leading me to watch what I type and I spend a lot of time going back and correcting things. Most frustrating is when entire lines disappear and I realize I'm now typing in the middle of a previous sentence.

Queen Irene was basically a non-event here. Though we did see some trees down yesterday coming home the back way, in our neighborhood it's just small branches and we never once lost power. My sister in NH did have a car taken out by a tree. But she never liked that car anyway...LOL.

So given that the sun was trying to shine yesterday morning, DH and I decided to take advantage of two free tix to the Baltimore Antique show. Did not purchase one single thing. But saw lots of lovely stuff. The absolute first thing to catch my eye was a 18th century man's wallet done in crewel work. With an $11,000 price tag. I have to admit it looked to be in flawless condition. There were two more wallets with it done in flame stitch that were much more reasonable at around $1,000 a piece. They both had a few tiny condition issues. I saw about a dozen schoolgirl samplers ranging in price from $1,000 to $30,000. And visited with a few textile dealers. DH and I did some fantasy shopping. Had fun. But can't afford the Tiffany prices.

I've been collecting my supplies for Seminar and I think I have everything now. Just need to decide what I'm mailing to my mother's in Florida and what's traveling with me.

I've finished my flamingo and need to attach it to its bag. And mostly I've been doing pleasure stitching this week. Not a whole ton of progress, but I've been enjoying what I've been stitching. I do have some obligation stuff that needs attention and I should sort that out today or tomorrow. 

I've been living vicariously through the people reporting on ANG seminar going on now in San Antonio. This morning I was perusing the photos of the class pieces for next year in Philadelphia. There are some things that might be calling my name.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Enough with the Disasters

Alright. It's not even here, but I've had enough natural disasters for one week. Now we have to go through hurricane preparedness?

It's raining out right now, just a little warm up to remind everyone of what's coming. No sunshine on our anniversary? Come on. I admit utter defeat in the face of rain. As much as my daughter loves a cloudy, rainy day, that's how much I hate it. I know it's necessary. But I want my environment to be like Camelot and only rain after sundown. 

Yeah. That's right. Today is our anniversary. Twenty-seven long years ago we got hitched in front of family and friends. This year, they tore down the building where we had our wedding reception. Who knows? Someday they may close the church and tear it down. Or turn it into condos. Or a bar. All interesting prospects. 

It's been an interesting twenty-seven years. I'm ready for twenty-seven more! I'll readily admit that I'm still a sucker for this guy. He makes laugh. He makes me sigh. Sometimes he downright drives me crazy. And I love him.

No stitchy gift for him from me. But he did identify something he likes that would look good above the new 50" television. It's Carriage House Samplings "My Home Town." As I already have this piece in my stash, the least I can do is stitch it. I need to find it and see if I have a big enough piece of fabric in the stash and then I can set about stitching it. Yes - the name Manchester will be replaced with the name of our home town. 

Here's one more NH photo for you. From the antique truck show in Barrington:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Alright. Move Along. There's Nothing to See Here

Who felt the earth move? 

We felt the earth move!

Home Again

I'm home and boy do I have tons of stuff to do. But let's stop here for a moment and look at some more photos of NH! 

We went and walked the Flume Gorge. Sunlight and shadows played havoc with my white balance. Was a very warm day in the Gorge and it's usually much cooler.

Mmm. Had a lobster roll at the Beach Plum in North Hampton. Okay, I've already eaten about 6 ounces off the top of this. Mmmmm!

 A little further north in Rye looking out at the Isles of Shoals 6 1/2 miles off shore.

Let's just get on a boat and go out there! Seas were as calm as I had ever seen them. This is Whaleback light on the Maine side of the Piscataqua River.

And looking on the other side, this is the Portsmouth Harbor Light at Fort Constitution.

We did the stopover tour and stayed on Star Island for nearly four hours. Here I am relaxing on the veranda of the Oceania Hotel with my stitching. 

And because I might never see one of these again, a Concord truck manufactured in NH by the company that made Concord Coaches taken at the antique truck show in Barrington.

I've got lots to do so that's all for now, folks!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Vacation Stitching Update

We took a quick trip up to the White Mountains to do one of the quintessential New Hampshire things that I had never done - go to the top of Mt. Washington. We stayed at the Lodge across the road from the Mt. Washington Hotel at Bretton Woods one of the few grand resorts left. For the history buffs, this is the place where where the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund came into existence.

We went up with the biodiesel trains - it takes about 45 minutes to reach the top and then you're up 6,288 feet, the highest point east of the Mississippi River. (edit:  I was waiting for someone to call me out. Not the highest east of the Mississippi. But the highest in the northeast.) You can see one of the trains leaving to head back down the mountain.

We had the best weather ever. Clear and warm. Many people get up here and see nothing but clouds.

Any way, that's enough NH scenery for the blog. If you've never been here to this fine state, consider making a trip someday. You won't regret it. 

I have had some time to stitch. Here's the Count. It took a full skein of Burmalana to do his hair. 

I also brought a Pam Darney Quaker sampler with me. I've been doing some stitching that will allow me to stitch the fill in portions in the car on the way home.

My flamingo. He's going on an LL Bean canvas bag and going to Florida with me soon.

i think when I finished this Laura Perrin freebie I forgot to take a photo of it in its box and then I gave it away.

Having a great time. Weather's been fantastic. Etc. Got a few more days of enjoyment!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

John Paul Jones House

On Friday we visited the John Paul Jones House in Portsmouth. He lived here for 11 months while supervising the construction the America. (For those non-history buffs he is commonly known as the father of America's Navy.)

Now the reason I wanted to go here is well, it's a lovely old house, but I knew it held some treasures that I wanted to see.

It's a self-guided tour and you wander the main floor with its period wallpaper and furnishings among them this wonderful crewelwork chair.

It appears to be mostly chain stitch!

Upstairs there's a wonderful exhibit about the Peace Treaty that was negotiated and signed here in the Portsmouth area between Russia and Japan in 1905. 

In 1996 the Portsmouth Marine Society published a book, In Female Worth and Elegance, about the Portsmouth samplers and sampler teachers and stitchers. 

They have republished the book in softcover.  And even better many samplers have been donated to the museum and now they have a permanent exhibit. 

Here's some of what you can see:

This one is a favorite of mine as it has a family name on it. I've yet to make the genealogical connection, but someday!

Elizabeth Lake on this wonderful brown fabric has an interesting band up there above the house. I've never seen a band like this one (that I can remember.)

From the cover of the book. Two houses with a lovely floral bouquet between them.

Some imaginary castle? There was no house like this around these parts. What I really like are the two little floral motifs on either side. This was one very talented schoolgirl.

A close-up of a house and the pot of flowers.

This sampler was meticulously stitched. And it's in extremely good condition.

If you're ever in the area, it's worth a stop here to see these treasures.

Hi! Ho! Miss Me?

Here I am in lovely New Hampshire. The weather's been beautiful till today - 70s and 80s with very little humidity and lots of sunshine and soft breezes. That alone is a vacation from the steamy suburban jungle I usually reside in. 

Today - no sun, tomorrow maybe some rain? But we'll be fine. DH is fighting off a cold and I am hoping not to succumb myself, 'cause that would kind of suck.

Had an uneventful drive, always a good thing. Been enjoying the hospitality of my in-laws and visiting with relatives. Yesterday was Old Home Day in my hometown and got to see and chat with some old friends and relatives that we don't always get to see. 

On Friday, we had some spare time and I convinced DH that we should go the John Paul Jones house. I'm going to write a separate post about our visit. 

Let's just say I've been making some stitchy progress on a certain piece and I'll have photos for you soon.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Things Are Ordinary

I went outside yesterday in the a.m. while it was still cool enough to week the garden. And upset the two sparrows who have a nest in the boxwood. Turns out one baby bird had left the nest was in perched on the side of a pot of petunias. I backed up and returned two hours and many degrees later to do the job. Baby bird was now huddled in the coleus and the sun had found him so he was trying to hide under a leaf. Those parent birds chittered and flittered all around me while I weeded. (Normally, I would have taken a pass, but the garbage truck hadn't come yet and I'm leaving on vacation soon!) I did the quickest weeding/trimming job ever and left the front yard after 20 minutes. This morning Ma and Pa Bird are still flitting around chirping. I don't know if the first bird made it back to the nest or away into the wide world. I'm pretty sure there's at least one more in the nest. Fly, baby birds, fly! 

I'm hoping someone out there in the cross stitch world can help me. 
I had an issue of Cross Stitch and Needlework that had a Mirabilia Halloween fairy in it. The year must be 2006 or 2007. I seem to have misplaced my issue. Can anyone tell me the exact issue so I know what to search for? Thanks!

Like I said, time for vacation to the land of the 603. Just taking works in progress with me. Nothing new. Nor am I looking for stash enhancement. May be able to post a photo or two while gone, but don't be surprised if you don't hear a lot from me. 

Today - time for more laundry and cleaning. And a much needed pedicure!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Stocking Finish

Here's my Cajun Santa mini-stocking all finished. I did take this for finishing, but I'm feeling confident these days and the next one I might try to do it myself. Makes me want to set up the tree right now.

A very good friend of mine found me some non-ultra pasteurized heavy cream at a farmers' market. Here's what I made with it last night. Blueberry shortcake. So very yummy. Thank you, Ferol!!!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Good News and Stitchy Update

Updates first. Here's where I am on the Count of Needlemania. I was very encouraged about this piece when I got to see a version of Janet Zickler Casey's Bone Jangles finished this week. He's looking mean, but he's really very Count Chocolua.

This is the flamingo design I'm stitching to attach to a canvas tote bag that I'm bringing to Seminar in Naples. I love flamingos. In fact, I love most birds. Don't why it took me decades to figure out that I should have majored in ornithology.

And here's the good news. I found my lost project!!!

There was this medium sized white shopping bag on top of a bookcase where I never, ever put projects. And every time I looked at it I thought it was a needle felting kit that I got at Maryland Sheep and Wool. Well, on Wednesday I found out I was wrong. And I'm so happy to have located this as the chart's not inexpensive. And I had some money invested in threads. I didn't realize it was missing until two weeks after I bought the threads when I bought the canvas. 

Here we see one possible color way kind of based on my Vera Bradley bag. I may or may not stay with this plan. But I'm thrilled to be able to contemplate it again.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Finished - 2007! Framed - 2011!

Some of you have been reading here long enough to remember when I rechristened my Mirabilia fairy and called her Priscilla. She's my first, and thus far, only Mirabilia that I have stitched. It was way back in 2007 when I finished her. And now I'm very happy to have her framed. 


If you're local to northern VA, you might like to use Brit's Gallery for your framing. I love how the suede mat echoes her wings. It's absolutely perfect. Now where to hang her???

Stayed tuned tomorrow for good news!

Monday, August 01, 2011

The Count

One. One photo. 

Two. Two photo. 

Ah. Ah. Ah.

Current project - the Count of Needlemania by Janet Zickler Casey which was on the cover of Needlepointers magazine last year. 

 He's looking a bit serious here. But once you add his mouth with the fangs, he starts to look a bit more goofy. 

We've been stitching this in my ANG chapter. I'm playing catch-up! But the basketweaving has been great no sweat stitching. Like our leader for this project, I'm using Splendor instead of DMC. I've also ditched the Highlights 'cause I hate that stuff. The photo on the cover of the mag is not very true to color. The inside of the collar on his cape is red and the ribbon holding his bat medal is orange. But whatever. Stitching on him has all been happy time!
 I admit to working on him on Friday instead of Stars. Bad girl. Bad. And I didn't stitch much at all last week. 

But I have gotten stuff off the floor of my studio - one more time - and now I'm contemplating a rearrangement of furniture. After more than half a year, I can see what's not working. I may not get to this until after Seminar in September. But thinking about improvements is a great past time. And I'd like to get it right this time. 

Also spent a couple hours yesterday going through stitching magazines. Yikes. Did some judicious ripping and came out with 12 lbs of Needlearts for the recycle bin. All is not yet in order. I could spend more time on this today. Someday I'm going to have to create a database of these projects. There's a project for when I break a leg or something!


Lynn asked what I'm using instead of Hi-lights (look I can spell it correctly when I look it up!) I'm using a Treasure Braid size 8 that was a recommended substitute in my LNS.