Monday, October 31, 2011

Before I Read a Word Anywhere Else

Just got on the computer at 4:30 p.m. for the first time today - how unusual for me. 

Before I entertain myself reading other blogs, I'll just say that I've had a horrible time finding a fabric to back my little Quaker piece. I thought I had some possibilities in my fabric stash, but no. I went out looking yesterday and everything that I thought would work made the linen look gray and dingy. 

I was getting a bit miffed. How hard could this be?

Took another couple of places today before I found something that's sort of suitable at JoAnn's. 

I also finished stitching my new hardanger ornament yesterday. And started the finishing, but then got involved in my fabric search. Etc. 

So after doing some work tomorrow, I may get to finish both of them and have photos!

Meanwhile all I want to do is sit and stitch on my big Quaker piece. I'm totally addicted...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Want to Attract New Young Stitchers?

Here's a topic that is creeping up frequently in guild discussions: 

How to Attract Young Stitchers.

It's very evident that our membership is aging. In my primary EGA chapter, I am one of the youngest - at 51! This just seems so wrong to me. 

But this isn't just about guild membership. As shops close and a certain amount of the needleworking population ages, the demand for products is reduced. As demand falls, manufactures have to take a hard look at whether to continue to produce. 

I am not saying that the industry as a whole has fallen on hard times. I'm saying that I don't want it to. 

And for that to happen we need more people taking up a needle and stitching. 

One way to attract the younger stitcher is ideas like this for embellishing phone cases:  weelittlestitches.

I followed some of the links on this post and found all sorts of interesting things. Now somewhere I already have Star Trek characters to cross stitch. Where did I put those?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

An Unfinished Finish

A Crazy January Challenge finish that I finished two weeks ago.

This is a freebie design from Queenstown Sampler Designs that Barbara gave out two years ago at Loudoun Sampler Guild meeting. 

I added this to the CJC because it's small and fast and even then it took me 10 months to finally get around to finishing it. Most of this project was stitched somewhere other than at home. I used it as a take-along. 

The fabric is hand-dyed named Peacock, but I don't know the manufacturer. It was a ornament cut that I bought at the Thistle Needleworks in Glastonbury on one of my trips through Connecticut that I used to do twice a year bringing and returning daughter from college. 

The thread is Silk n Colours "Granite." A total misnomer as I am a Granite State Girl and that's not a good representation of any granite I've ever seen!

Love how it came out. I've got plans for the finishing. Who knows? Maybe today?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Trying to Find a Routine

I can see now that is it was my trip to Florida back in September that has totally upset my usual routines. 

I have not been posting with any regularity and I regret it. And am trying to find a routine that gets me back in the groove. 

I certainly have been stitching. I've got progress to show. And things a-plenty to post about as I continue to take classes and read and discover wonderful things. 

We'll consider today a new beginning and here we go!

On Wednesday at a regular EGA chapter meeting we had a little hardanger class. This is a Victoria Sampler freebie called the Gingerbread Cookie ornament from 2005 or 2006. It's based on the Gingerbread Garden design. 
Thea's freebies can be found here at the Victorian Sampler.

I investigated some of these freebies and see others that I need to do! Time to fire up the printer!

Here's my progress from our Wednesday evening class. I also won a free finishing kit to go with this so I've already got everything except the trim. 

And here's the progress on my Guildhouse Sampler. It continues to seduce me away from other things that I SHOULD be stitching on. 

I don't know what it is about Quaker samplers, but once you start one, they are very hard to put down. Better than eating chocolate!

This morning on facebook all I'm seeing is posts from friends and family in New Hampshire about snow. The weather here says even we may see a few spare flakes in the next 36 hours. And thus it starts. 

DH and I had a little adventure on Wednesday. I was supposed to taking him to the doctors and then driving him to work. We made it to the doctor's office. And then detoured to the radiologist. And then the orthopedist. Seems he'd been walking around with a broken ankle bone for ten days. Silly boy!

Between medical visits we swung by the Amphora diner for food as he hadn't eaten because of blood tests (the original reason for the doctor's visit.) And I saw some cool berries in the parking lot.

(Good start, she says, patting herself on the back.)

Will attempt to be back here tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Who Did I Copy This From?

Hey. I copied this off a blog a while back thinking I play along. Today I'm finally ready:
Regional Phrases Quiz:

1. What term do you use to describe a sale of unwanted items on your own property? Yard sale. 
2. What do you call the area of grass between the sidewalk and the road? ???Don't know as I don't remember there being anything like this in my home town.
 3. W hat do you call the area of grass that occurs in the middle of some streets? A median. 
4. What do you call the long narrow place in the middle of a divided highway? A median. 
5. What do you call the drink made with milk and ice cream? A frappe.
6. What do you call the long sandwich that contains cold cuts, lettuce, and so on? An Italian or a sub or a grinder. Depends on where it was procured.
7. What do you call the insect that flies around in the summer and has a rear section that glows in the dark? A Lightning bug.
 8. What do you call the miniature lobster that one finds in lakes and streams for example (a crustacean of the family Astacidae)? Crayfish. 
9. What do you call the kind of spider (or spider-like creature) that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs? Daddy-long-legs. 
10. Are there very specific names used for paternal vs maternal grandparents in your area? No. 
11. What do you call the big clumps of dust that gather under furniture and in corners? Dust bunnies.
12. What is your *general* term for the rubber-soled shoes worn in gym class, for athletic activities, etc.? Sneakers. 
13. What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket? Grocery cart. 
14. What term do you use to refer to something that is across both streets from you at an intersection (or diagonally across from you in general)? Kitty-corner. 
15. What do you call the activity of driving around in circles in a car? Doughnuts.
16. What do you call paper that has already been used for something or is otherwise imperfect? waste paper
17. What is your *general* term for a big road that you drive relatively fast on? Highway. 
18. What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining? time to look for a rainbow
19. When you are cold, and little points of skin begin to come on your arms and legs, you have- goose bumps. 
20. What do you call the gooey or dry matter that collects in the corners of your eyes, especially while you are sleeping? Sleep
 21. What do you call an easy course? a gut class
22. What do you call a traffic situation in which several roads meet in a circle and you have to get off at a certain point? a traffic circle
23. Do you use the word cruller? Yes, doesn’t everyone? 
24. Do you use the term "bear claw" for a kind of pastry? nope. I'd rather have a maple square anyway.
25. What do you call someone who is the opposite of pigeon-toed (i.e. when they walk their feet point outwards)? knock-kneed
26. Can you call coleslaw "slaw"? No. 
27. What do you call the box you bury a dead person in? A coffin. 
28. Do you say "vinegar and oil" or "oil and vinegar" for the type of salad dressing? Vinaigrette.
29. What do you call it when a driver changes over one or more lanes way too quickly? Around here an everyday occurrence.
 30. When you stand outside with a long line of people waiting to get in somewhere, are you standing "in line" or "on line" (as in, "I stood ___ in the cold for two hours before they opened the doors")? In line. 
31. Do you say "frosting" or "icing" for the sweet spread one puts on a cake? Frosting if I have to spread it on, icing if I can pour it on.
32. What is "the City"? Boston.

Thanks to whomever I stole this from. 

Will try to return to posting with photos by Friday!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Still Stitching

I'm still here and still stitching. 

I've got a variety of things to update and I'll start today with Mountain to Molehill. 

Here's the progress on my second block. 
The second block is based on cross stitches. I've done my usual experimentation with threads on this one. If you look closely you'll notice that the two pink triangles are not the same. In the bottom left one, I followed the directions. And in the top left one, I brightened things up. I think the top one is better and will rip the bottom one, even though that means reanchoring other threads. 

And as per a posting by Jane of Chilly Hollow last week, I do coordinate needle minders with projects, sometimes! This gold and black one was meant to be the centerpiece of a challenge project, but I changed all that this summer. In reality I do not like the dome shape of these Kelmscott minders as much as flat shapes. In fact, my needles are on the back of this project which is where I usually put them when I finish my stitching session with a project because they are less likely to get caught on things. 

I have started the third block on this one, too. But just barely so no photo. I've rearranged the block order because I decided to only put black threads on three of the blocks, not all six, so only the odd numbers will have black. This project is just full of decisions. Love it!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm Still Here

Been busy with the dreaded painting of the window trim. Saving bucks by doing it myself. But it is killing my knees. Will I get this project finished before winter sets in???

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Good News

About my penchant for misplacing things. 

It continues. 

Yeah. There is that.

But occasionally that means there is great rejoicing when lost things are found.

So my telephoto camera lens that I first noticed was missing back in August, has been relocated!

Frequently the cause of this problem is cleaning. You know how you've got to pick up before you can clean? And sometimes you have short notice on this whole process? 

My lens, in it's Vera Bradley bag, was located this week behind the door in the middle of my sideboard. I know I looked in both drawers below the cabinet, but apparently I never opened the door. 

Looking for autumnal napkins has its perks!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Bits and Bobs

There's a few little tidbits floating around in my brain that need a place to rest and I choose here!

First - air travel. Argh. That one word can encompass it all. I had a triple treat on my flight home from Florida. Security, maintenance, and passangers. Stepped into the booth and raised my arms at the security check point. Stepped out. Next thing I know I have a woman in my face, literally inches away from my nose telling me she needed to pat me down and detailing the manner in which this would be accomplished. You know, back of the hand, etc. She asked me if I would prefer to do this in a private area. I'm standing there my eyes riveted on my possessions (laptop, back with expensive camera, purse, etc.) on the conveyer belt and I tell her to just get it over with. She does exactly what she told me she was going to do and as she steps away I see the body outline on the computer that was showing her where to feel - top and side on my right breast. Well, I guess that study I saw from Germany was correct. Sweat can be identified as a potential bomb. Of course I was sweating - it was already 90 degrees outside in Tampa and I had been walking/standing for a 1/2 hour. Got my hands swiped for bomb making residue, too, just for good measure. In short order I was found to be a non-threat and was on my way. 

Next - I like window seats on planes. I like being able to see out. I like the extra light for my stitching. My seat mates were two young Russian women. I don't think they spoke much English at all. No problem as I am not a happy chatterer on airplanes. I prefer to listen to my music. We start to taxi down to the runway for take off. Captain's happy. We're second in line. And boom, we veer off to the left. Captain's not so happy. There's an instrument reading that shows something not right. Now we are sitting on the runway. In Tampa. In the 90 degree heat and sunshine. We're told to close our windows in an attempt to keep things cooler. My Russian seatmates are getting visibly upset. I can't say anything to help keep them calm because I apparently only speak in vernacular English and they only know textbook English. I give up trying. It gets hotter. And hotter. Too hot to stitch. And just when I think I'm going to start screaming because I need out of this hot little tin can, Captain comes back on and we've been given the go. Phew. I do not need this particular experience again. 

Third - my Russian friends. They start this weird game of up and down. Middle seat gets up and heads to the back of the plane. And stays gone. Aisle seat leaves, too. One comes back. One goes back. Both come back. Both go. It's some strange airplane musical chairs game? Flight attendants come by with beverages. Aisle girl gets an apple juice. Middle girl is still gone. She comes back. Decides she wants apple juice, too. She finally gets a can of her own, but instead of opening hers, she's going to drink her companions. So she takes the gum out of her mouth and puts it on the back of her left hand. Drinks her juice. And then cannot find her gum again. Looks at the jacket she's been holding across her waist, half stands up. No gum. Not in the seat. Not on her pants. Not on the floor. Where oh where did the gum go? She never found it while sitting next to me. They both finally sit down and do not move again until the plane lands at Dulles. I have no idea where that gum was. 

Not that driving is so much better than air travel. Some idiot tried turning into our off ramp the other day. You know? Like he was going to attempt traveling in the wrong direction on the toll road? Yikes. He drove around us and pulled up now on the right hand side of the exit from the toll road. But it was quite apparent to the three cars who were waiting for the light, that he intended to turn left and get himself onto the toll road. He was going to run the red light to make sure he could get to where he wanted to be - you could see he was moving out into the intersection to do this illegal move, when along came two firetrucks foiling his plan. The three cars at this intersection - we all let him go - but one new car had moved up on my left and had no faffing clue about the idiot. There was an almost collision. And finally idiot is positioned in the correct lane to go where he wants to go. And all I could think was - is he just clueless or is he drunk or stoned or something? He seemed to be in full control of the car. Always fun to drive 80 miles only to run into the idiot a mile away from home. 

Don't mind me. I'm just rambling today. I've got some painting to do and I'm procrastinating.



Monday, October 03, 2011

Could This Be October?

I don't know about where you live, but it's at least 20 degrees cooler than it should be here in the DMV. Like highs of 50!?! I am not ready to start wearing shoes and socks so early. Did I fall asleep and miss the entire month of October or what?

If I missed October, I'd missing some fun. Next weekend we're having a class on the Agecroft Sweetbag designed by Catherine Jordan. 


This was featured on the cover of Needlearts last spring. It's not large and should be fun and fast. And look at those yummy colors. 

Of course this makes me want to drag out some of those other surface projects that I've neglected. Who knows what you'll see pop up here in the coming week!