Monday, January 30, 2012

It's Naming Time

A few of you will have already seen this on facebook - sorry for the repetition. 

Yesterday we bought a new car. In the collage you can see our other car - a white 2011 Avalon which I have been driving with great pleasure. 

And now I'll be switching to the cute little red Versa hatchback that followed me home from the Nissan dealership yesterday. Isn't she cute?

So it's naming time at our house. Lucy, Pepper, and Ruby are the current top choices. If you have any suggestions, feel free to chime in. 

In stitchy news:  Stars is seeing progress. I did quite a bit of stitching on my purse project yesterday at the dealership. They can never seem to make that process go faster. Seems silly to me. 

My room has the bigger bookcase in it now. Not all my books fit and I'm considering a bit of downsizing. At least now I can get to them! I'll be working on moving a much bigger piece of furniture next. And frankly, I need to get this done for my own piece of mind as I can't find anything in the room's current rip apart state which is driving me crazzzzy!

I've received my instructions for Amy Mitten's Friesland Winders' Keeper class. The kit might arrive this week. I'm looking forward to this project as I have some friends who are also participating in this. 

And I might be finally starting my Kimono class today or tomorrow. Phew. Just in time to try to keep up. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Massive Effort

As in a massive effort is needed to finish what I have started. 

My studio is once again torn apart. Big time. Gone are major pieces of furniture. Now I need to move a Billy bookcase - this one is the old size 36" x 72" - which is 4" wider than the one that currently in the room. We bought it back in 1989 when we returned from Germany happy to find that IKEA now existed in the USA. And it doesn't need to be moved a little bit. It needs to come up two floors. And then the old one can go down two floors. 

And then we'll move the really big stuff. I can't do all this on my own. Going to try to corral my son. I believe he can be bribed with food. We'll see.

We did get our new entertainment unit, but there was a slight snafu. And now we're waiting on the pier for the right hand side. Seriously. Who would want to order the middle and just one side pier??? And now we are amazed at the difference in the television viewing caused by raising the tv about 8". Who knew? Of course, there's a new stereo to go with the new unit. And a new Blue-ray player. 

And that meant that I lost my Sony unit in the kitchen which was my music source. So someone bought me a Squeezebox Radio and now I have music- internet radio, podcasts, Pandora, our own music - all sorts of interesting things to listen to. Listening to the Splendid Table could keep me inspired for a year! 

And finally. I haven't been stitching much with all this activity. But I should be able to get a handle on things by next week. Stars is still staring at me and it will take another massive effort of will for me to finish it. I always drag at the end of a project.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Betty Ring Sampler Sales

The results from the sale of Betty's samplers can be found here at Sotheby's.

Total was over $4 million including one fantastic piece that went for over $1 million!

I don't know how long this link will work. You can just view it or you can download the info. 

I reiterate:  I am making future antiques. That's what I do when I stitch. Imagine how many schoolgirl samplers were stitched. Now think about how many remain. 

Now think about how many people are stitching such things today. And how many will remain in 100 years. Yup. Tomorrow's antiques. That's what I'm doing.

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Moon - Time for TUSAL

What is TUSAL? Why it's the Totally Useless Stitch-a-Long. For more info head on over to Daffycat's blog post about it.

 From the top and from the side:  that's my rose bowl vase that I found at an antique store in Rochester, NH while shopping with my sister after Christmas. 
The tag said it was Heisey. I haven't done a lick of research to see if it was true. All I know is it was a bargain. 

Those are my orts for the past month. Actually kind of impressive the amount I accumulated. These are only mine - I didn't let anyone else add to my total. And a few of mine escaped to parts unknown. 

I realize that if you work projects with lots of color changes you accumulate orts faster. Lately I've been stitching down to the end of the thread a lot. I see lots of pink from my Stars project. 

Still waiting for my furniture delivery. I guess the weather screwed them up today. Did get a phone call telling me they'd be delayed.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Evening Update

Okay. So first of all. Congrats to the Patriots who are returning to the Super Bowl. Vince Willfork - we love you!

I've been crocheting a hat that I started right before last weekend's game against Denver. I think I'll shoot for finishing it during the Super Bowl. Because I can!

I've done some more work on my Stars. Not the three remaining squares, but the sashing and border. I realized that I was stitching the sashing corners with different threads than I used on the first two. I like what I did recently better and the first two squares will be frogged. Also need to frog a square of the battlement couching - as all four should have a different orientation. Two of them are wrong, but if I remove one and change it, all will be okay. I hate to have reverse progress on this project, but I spent 24 hours staring at it and I know I need to fix it or else I'll be unhappy forever after framing. 

I also spent some time removing things from my studio today. All the paper crafting stuff is gone. And I assembled a new Elfa cart. All my beading is in there now along with a collection of pearl #12 and #8. What else to put in there? Tomorrow we get the delivery of our new entertainment unit. I haven't been able to paint the walls in the living room, but I'm willing to let that wait for warmer weather. I see the orginization happening that I envisioned. Slowly, but surely. 

Lots of lovely things coming out of the Phoenix trade show...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Seeing Stars

Brava for me! I've managed to finish another square on Stars. This one is Deborah Kerr. Another square without any of the green accent color. The battlement couching was fun! That's the four corner squares. But this whole square doesn't come alive until you add the pink long stitch outlining at the very end. 

This puts me at about 75% completion. And because the Woodlawn Needlework Show has been delayed this year, I should be able to finish this in time to enter. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Photo by DH. Things to do while wife is stitching:  go to Assateague Island and visit the ponies.

If you haven't noticed, both Jan and Liz have finished their Stars for a New Millenium. And here's a link to a pinterest board with a bunch of Stars photos!

Stars on pinterest 

It's always amazing when my group gets together and you see many of these pieces in progress in all different colorways. I may have a couple of hours later to work on my 9th square. We'll see. I need to force myself to push through the end of this project.

Now. I know from comments that some of you really like my Garden Gate Quaker. Unfortunately, this was a teaching piece. The designer made a limited number of kits. And I bought the last one. 

Woodlawn has shifted the dates of the 49th annual Needlework Show:

Yes, Virginia, there is a Needlework Exhibition!

Due to our window restoration, the Needlework Exhibition has been shifted from its regularly scheduled March appearance. The show will go on, but not in March. Please come see us from May 12 – June 10, 2012. This gives those of you entering the show a little extra time to finish your pieces.


This gives me some extra time to maybe finish some other things for the show. Intake for pieces is in April so anything that may need framing needs to be finished by March. Now what was I saying about Stars???


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Weekend Fun in Ocean City

This weekend was our first trip to Ocean City, but it won't be our last one! DH was the only man who stayed the entire weekend and he found plenty of things to do to keep entertained. It didn't hurt that it was a NFL playoff weekend. 

Takes about 3.25 hours for us to get there. We took the GPS recommended route through Delaware and were rewarded with a major find - Jimmy's Grille in Bridgeville. This is one of those places were you can order a meal of side dishes. I had the turkey and dressing with collard greens and lima beans. Yum! DH spent so much time raving about the fried chicken that I knew we'd be stopping here on the way home. Also bought a couple of bags of cookies on the way out - I still haven't tried a chocolate chip one, but the oatmeal raisin are better than mine. That's right. I said they make better cookies than I do. 

I was second member of our group to arrive and around 2:30 p.m. I was sitting down organizing my projects for stitching nirvana. 

Others of us trickled in until we had 10 people at 2 tables. There were over 60 of us altogether. 

I won a door prize Friday night, but as it was the Just Cross Stitch Halloween book that I already have, I passed it to another Halloween lover and she already had it, too. So she passed it to my new friend, Jean, who was finishing up a Sleepy Hollow piece. 

Because it was stitching at the beach, I started with by finishing one of the turtles on my Pischke Pocket. How silly of me to put this down for so long. 

I will have to remember to bring this out more often. Oh, and I started crocheting a hat in the car, too. 

Here's Matter's Choice by Carriage House. It's Atlantic Blue silk on Autumn Gold linen by Lakeside. I didn't do much on this - finished the squirrel and started the deer and duck. I only picked this one up once. 

I had 5 projects that I rotated through the weekend. I brought nothing that was close to finishing. My goal was to make some progress on my WIPs. 

I spent a lot of time stitching on my American Beauty Rose. It's slowly starting to take shape. But I find working on this for any amount of time tiring. And I think it's staring at all that red. 


Here's my Pacific Coast Collage. I've got an otter looking back at me now. 
This seemed like a fitting project to bring to the beach. And I picked up a shell on the beach that I like better than the one that came with the chart. 

And lastly, the project that I wasted so much time hunting for:

My Garden Gate Quaker. I finished the blue motif. Now where to go next on this one??? It's just so darn pretty. 

We had lots of good food. Walks on the beach in the wind. Shopping at Salty Yarns. For all members of the Mid-Atlantic Region of EGA who haven't been to Camp Wannastitch before, what are you waiting for? We've already got plans for next year!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thursday Fun

Today was a break from my usual Thursday schedule. Our group was asked if we could meet on Wed. or Fri. because of a wedding. Not a normal thing to get bumped by. And I already had made a doctor's appt. Then I needed to go pick up DH from work as he had a pair of doctor's appts.

So nothing was really normal about today.  

I didn't get to stitch with my usual group. They're meeting tomorrow and I won't get to stitch with them then either. 

Because it's time to go to Ocean City for Camp Wannastitch!

That's right. Friday - Monday with 60-70 stitchy women on the ocean in Maryland. 

This retreat is a Mid-Atlantic EGA sponsored event. And this is the first time I'll be attending.

Did I mention that I'm bringing my hubby? Can't go to the beach without him. 

Now here's where I get to confess how my idiocy caused me to waste about 90 minutes. 

I went upstairs to pack some projects for the weekend. Oh the tough decisions. 
My original plan was a heavy rotation of canvas projects. But then I thought about my Garden Gate Quaker piece. That would be nice and relaxing and I haven't stitched on it since November. And then I started looking for it. And looking for it. And looking for it. I thought I knew where it was. But I was so wrong. 

Once around the room. Twice around the room. Looked in the bedroom just to sure. Panic started to set it. 

Third time looking through boxes and baskets of projects. I found all my other Pam Darney pieces. (Side note:  that's quite a little collection I've got going.)

Put all my chosen pieces and gear in my bags. And gave up and went downstairs. 

Where I immediately started looking again. In the kitchen. I knew this project was still in its original bag. I knew I last saw it in November. 

Walked into the living room. Okay. This was right around the time we rearranged furniture. And viola! There was my project in a bag between my chair and my library table. Been sitting there untouched and unnoticed for about 2 months. 


Now I don't have to spend a long weekend away from home wanting to be at home tearing my house apart to find this!

In other news, I've been rethinking my Kimono thread choices. I've dumped my other colors in favor of this peacock flavored plan! 


Monday, January 09, 2012

Monday Morning Progress Report

Quiet and productive. That's how my weekend was. House is officially dechristmasfied. A few things still out because I like lighting candles. But the majority is put away till next November and the house feels cleaner and less cluttered. 

And in the less cluttered vein, my son spent the weekend moving out and moving in with friends. When he finally clears his room, we will have a bona fide guest room. And then I can solve my studio problems by simply moving the papercrafting stuff out and into his room! In a week or two with a little bit of effort I'll be ship shape. (There has to be some benefit to "losing" a child - I'm gonna miss him.) He's not going far. I'm sure he'll be by for regular feedings...

I'm sure that my Sunday evening was spent the way many of you spent Sunday evening - watching Downton Abbey. For some reason, I don't think the men in those show are as compelling as the women. I can't take my eyes off Violet, Cora, Lady Mary, and Anna. Even Edith is proving interesting.
So while watching, I managed to stitch a bit more on my Pacific Coast Collage.

Though Ms. Laura J Perrin recommends stitching the boxes first, I just can't do that. I'll just be bopping around as it suits me. I realized I hadn't read everything before beginning the watery background behind the otter. (Note to Bonnie:  read everything first paying attention. Bad me.) Now I'm going to continue along the path I have chosen because I like how the water is looking even after one thread. 

In bigger stitching news a WIP has reemerged from the darkness:

Yesterday we got together again to work on Stars. Several people are approaching the end with only sashing and borders to go. 

This is my Gregory Peck. He started out looking very light and then suddenly went all dark on me. How delightful. He's square number 8 and I have all the border finished except the on the bottom. 

I'm ready to make a serious stab at finishing this piece. Seriously. I am.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

First Finish Finish of 2012

Looks like I just learned a new trick. 

I took these photos on a piece of blue foam core board and wow! That looks fantastic. 

I spent the better part of yesterday finishing my Viola Scissor Case designed by Betsy Morgan of Willing Hands. 

Before you get too excited, Betsy's kits are still only available through taking a class with her. And this particular one is retired, also. 

Color me proud! 

I've got enough leftover silk that I've been contemplating the creation of a companion piece. And I may even have more of this fabric in my own stash. And I've got this fabulous button that Betsy found after the piece was designed and included in the kit. 

Could be fun!


Friday, January 06, 2012

More Progress and Decisions

I haven't totally given up on last year's Crazy January Challenge. Here's where I'm at on my Little House piece. This will eventually make it's way into my purse as my travel along project. As soon as I finish "Waiting for the Harvest."

Another CJC piece. I think there might be a mistake in it. Or I am counting wrong. Anyway, I plan on looking at it and the chart with a highlighter in hand later today to figure it out. 

And here's my progress on my newest start - Laura Perrin's Pacific Coast Collage. I know she says to stitch the boxes first, but that's just too boring. So I set the first box and moved on to the upper right and then start the fill pattern which is supposed to be ice plant. Ugh. Ice plant for anyone who has lived on the coast is an imported scourge. I used to pull 100s of pounds of that stuff from yard every week in an attempt to remove it. 

And here's where I currently stand on picking colors for the Shining Needle Kimono class with John Waddell. I have posted a photo of my colors on the yahoogroup looking for opinions. I continue to second guess myself on this. I want to be super happy with these colors as I may be looking at them for a while. 

I love the colors in the photo on the book. But I did one project last year with this palette and have another in the works. 

I had picked out three overdyed silks to use as a base for this piece. But when I went to my needlework store, I came out with different overdyeds.

Now I fear I am too easily influenced by how I am feeling on the day I pick colors. LOL

All I really knew is that I did not want to work with a pastel palette. 

I do have one other batch of threads that I had picked last year to do the Stitch-O-the-Month that I didn't do. I may look for them later...

And speaking of Stitch-O-the-Month, as much as I was attracted to this year's red colors. And as thrilling as the line-up of designers sounds - I won't be stitching 2012's project either. No hearts for me. I'm too busy to create an alternate design and that's that. I will check the stitches and follow what others are stitching, but I was disappointed by the actual design. 

Hey. As Ricky once sang, you can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Home Again

Here it is January. After having a lovely time in New Hampshire complete with cooperative weather, we are back in old Virginia. Things were very calm and relaxing in NH. And for the first time since I can remember there was not a lot of noise and signage for next week's primary. 

Growing up in the state with the first in the nation primary is most likely the beginning of my following politics with any degree of enthusiasm. (Which living this close to D.C. nearly kills. The enthusiasm, that is.) In 1976 and 1980, I managed to see every politic candidate. Except Mo Udall - he sent his daughter, Bambi, and Cliff Robertson to stump for him. Gerald Ford did not stop to speak, but did a sort of drive-by from his limo. No one knew who Jimmy Carter was. 

Anyway, it always an interesting process to observe. 

And it seems quite absurd. There has got to be a better way of picking a president. Isn't time to enter the modern age? Can we not get electronic communication involved? It is silly that mostly white people in two states have such power over the process. 

But I digress from my stitching blog. 

And you noticed, too. 

Enough of that. 

I'm still playing catch up on things here at home. No stitching yesterday. Maybe not today either. I'd like to get to the finishing on my viola scissor case, but might not. 

It is time to get serious about picking threads for my Kimono project. I've got two choices going and the one I like the best, I can see having some problems with it. It's a teal, brown, white and silver combo. Not sure if the answer is to add more colors, but that might work. Maybe some greens and purples? I'm going to spend a few moments here google imaging kimonos to see what I can see. 

Well. That was not helpful. All I really know at this point is that I want to avoid pastels. Because I'm not a fan. 

In fact, cross stitching a pastel piece once drove me away from stitching for nearly three years in the 1990s. Yup. I hated it that much. Someone I love picked it out. And I stitched it. But it was large and I was very, very unhappy. 
I see this piece a few times a year. This year I got to see another version of it framed and hanging in an antique and collectibles shop. LOL

After that experience, I no longer take requests. If you get a stitched gift from me, that truly is something special. All my stitching is for me. 

I might get an opportunity to stop by Needlewoman East this afternoon and look at threads in person. We'll see.

Monday, January 02, 2012

New Year, New Finish

I was joking to friends that maybe I would have this piece finished by Christmas and then I realized that I really could finish it by New Years Day. 

It's all the stitching done on a retired piece taught by Betsy Morgan of Willing Hands called the Viola Scissor case. 

I have some serious finishing to do. But I've had enough classes now with Betsy that I am no longer intimidated by the prospect. I could have finished on NY's Eve - all I had to do was the over one in the middle of back panel. Not a good thing to try with less than ideal lighting.

While I was stitching on my scissor case, my daughter was stitching on this:

She finished the wording:  le couchon yesterday. And then gave the piece to one of her cousins. So sweet. 

Off now to drive home to Virginia. Keep cool everyone!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year

We stayed in last night. Three generations being boring watching various performances on the television with two females stitching. 

I almost have a finish here to show you, but at 10:30 I knew that if I continued I would pay for it by having to frog this morning. My eyes were getting just a bit tired. 

Shortly I'll have a finish to ring in the New Year. Always good.

Here's to best wishes for everyone to have a happy and healthy 2012!