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.