In my part of the world we say you are a fool if your passion for a pursuit overcomes all practical sense. I am a stitching fool, and I stitch foolishness.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Up on the Rooftop

Mary Otter has a roof and chimneys. They are floating in mid-air, but the mansion is begun:

Meanwhile, in this household, The Great Christmas Tree Installation has begun.

We finally got our tree on Friday evening and have started decorating it today. Dearly Beloved is doing the light dance. He and the strings of lights get themselves all tangled about and then get untangled and he flails about and the suddenly they are wound around the tree.

I should not mention that there is a spot where the lights seem a little thinner than in other areas.

I should probably put more ornaments there and just not say anything about the light imbalance.

And on to the great event of today. Mother is 90. Dearly Beloved, The Saint, and I went to visit her in her retirement center yesterday. I asked her if she now planned to live to be 100. She said she wanted to.

Today when I called her to wish her a happy birthday, she very proudly told me that she is 100.

The Saint and I have decided that we aren't arguing with her about anything. She's very happy so why upset the apple cart?

So today is either Mother's 90th birthday (according to the calendar) or her 100th (according to her).

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Raising the Roof

Home again, and back to Mary Otter. She did not visit Williamsburg--she needs her own special tote bag to travel due to her size, and we already had filled up the trunk and the back seat with stuff that Dearly Beloved felt was necessary to take--just in case the zombie apocalypse occurred and we would need a case of bottled water, for example.

Anyway, I have started on the roof of her house.

I'm assuming her house had a slate roof that had a blue-ish cast . . .

Hopefully I can add some more tonight, but it may not happen. Along with delightful memories, I seem to have brought a head cold home from Williamsburg. I woke up at about 5 a.m. Monday morning feeling like my head was full of cement--and it had hardened--and sniffed and sneezed all the way home. Due to better living through chemistry, I managed to avoid sniffing and sneezing (too much) at work, but it appears that pill is wearing off.

Oh, well, 'tis the season. If Rudolph needs a night off, my nose will be red enough so that I can substitute.

Sunday, December 3, 2017


Well, I brought the laptop, fully intending to blog about this whole trip--but we were so busy and so much was going on that I'm finally putting words to computer on the night before we leave for home and reality.

We had what may have been the easiest trip ever--no wrecks, no delays due to highway construction, we rolled right onto the Jamestown Ferry without a wait, we picked up our annual passes at the Visitor Center, visited Haus Tirol, and checked in--everything smooth as buddah.

Early Thursday morning, we wandered around the Historic District for awhile--and found our favorite decoration for this year:

Here's the staff at the Weavers' Shop and their Sheep "Wreath." They were absolutely delightful to talk to, just like everyone else in Williamsburg always is.

That evening we had the opening banquet, where we received this year's special ornament:

Jackie du Plessis designed and donated the ornament--which looks incredibly complex. Looks are deceiving--it's another one of her very clever assemblies.

And the next day I had the first day of classes with two of my favorite teachers.

It occurred to me when I was taking pictures that I basically stitched squares for three days.

Catherine Theron designed a beautiful whitework sampler. I haven't met one of Catherine's samplers that I don't love, but I have to say this one has moved to the top of my list. Catherine goes over every single step of the instructions in her classes and she demonstrates the more complicated stitches. I'm looking forward to working on this one in the new year.

It was even nicer to have a good friend sitting beside me in class!

Then, in the afternoons I worked on another of Jackie du Plessis' lovely etuis--and stitched more squares:

This is going to become a pinkeep, also probably in the new year. Jackie also covers every step of the process in her classes and with every one of her classes I take, I'm more confident of my finishing abilities. And that is saying something.

Alas, we have to go back to reality too early in the morning. We have a stop on the way so we can take Baby Girl out for a birthday lunch--but then, it's the grind again.

However, I have already signed up for next year--something to look forward to.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


This lovely pink and green band marks the center of Mary Otter!

Now there is a rather large house with an even larger yard--and the yard is all over-one--to stitch.  I'm afraid it's going to take more time than the first half has, but I've decided not to think about it too much. After all, it's the bottom scene of the sampler that made me want to stitch it.

However, the rest of today is going to be devoted to preliminary Christmas decorating and preliminary packing. It's that time of the year--we're heading to Williamsburg so I can take classes with Catherine Theron (morning sampler class) and Jackie du Plessis (afternoon etui) at what I still call Christmas in Williamsburg although the new owners call it Annie's Needlework Festival. I'm not taking any early bird classes this year so that will give us a day to wander around the Historic District before the crowds that arrive for the Grand Illumination show up. I have a list of places I want to go.

And I've decided The Big Boot is going, too. My Achilles tendon is still acting up and I've decided to be proactive and protect it before I re-injure it further. Stupid Achilles tendon . . .

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thing Two and Thanksgiving

The second parrot on Mary Otter is complete and I'm on the band that marks the halfway point.

This parrot is much closer to both the verse and border than the first one. This is the second sampler I've worked that had a similar situation. Sarah Williams also seemed to run out of room for the motifs on the second side.  In addition, Mary had to cram some words together to get them to all fit inside the border she had stitched. So . . . that leads me to believe that at least these two girls stitched borders first and then made everything else fit into them.

I may take a break from Mary today to work on the 2017 ornament from Barbara Jackson. It's one of my favorites from the ones she has designed for SNS, and that is saying a lot since I've loved every single one of them.  I have started doing some Christmas decorating, and I want this one on the tree, so I need to get that needle moving, too.

Now if you came for stitching, you can stop reading right now. The rest is about our not-quite Thanksgiving.

For a variety of reasons, this year Dearly Beloved and I were planning to have Thanksgiving alone. Mother can't travel any longer, the Saint had an invitation from a friend, Baby Girl has to work Black Friday, the Big Kid not only was scheduled to work, but then his whole family came down with some kind of virus that we would really prefer that they keep in West Virginia and not bring to us.

So we decided we would have a turkey breast instead of the usual humongous turkey, the green bean casserole that only Dearly Beloved will eat, I was going to try to replicate Mother's macaroni-and-cheese with no one here to critique it but me, sweet potatoes, and whatever other vegetable I felt like throwing into the mix.

I went online and through several cookbooks and the general consensus on thawing out turkey is to give it 24 hours for every four pounds. We had a six pound turkey breast. That meant probably Monday evening until Thursday evening would be ample time, actually more than enough, for the thing to thaw out.


Either the "authorities" were all wrong or we have a wormhole to an Arctic planet in the back of the frig, because when I took the thing out yesterday to start cooking for our evening meal, it was still hard as a rock and had a chunk of ice in the middle.

So I did the thing where you put the turkey in the sink with water and change the water every hour and it finally thawed out. It finally got into the oven. It finally got roasted about 9 last night. At that point, we had had barbecue sandwiches from the barbecue we bought earlier in the week and Tater Tots and salad for dinner.

Tonight we're going to put the sides together and gently warm the turkey slices and try it again.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thing One

Short hiatus from blogging for few days--first I was under the weather for a couple of days, then I was out of town for a few more.

However, we now have the first parrot on Mary Otter!

Quite elegant, isn't he?

There is a second one on the other side, and that's what I'll start on tonight.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Little Posies, Part 2

All the little posies have their darker petals stitched, and Thing One has a hill and a tree to sit upon.

And since it has been Monday the Thirteenth all day, I am going to bed with my book.