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.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Very Little Labor on Labor Day

After working on finishing all day Saturday, I decided not to ruin spend the rest of the holiday week-end with the sewing machine and a sharp needle.

So yesterday I caught up on the stack of magazines that's been piling up for a couple of months and read almost half of the most recent John Sandford thriller and put away the left over threads from Journey and Morning Has Broken and filed their instructions.

This morning I decided on the current Ellie Plan projects.

Monday: Fair Maiden's Work Bag and accessories

Tuesday:  Betsy Morgan's Toy Chest, starting with the Jack-in-the-Box

Wednesday is Joyce Lukomski's Cashmir, a blast from the past. I took this class from Joyce at ANG National in 2001, held in DC.  The day after I returned home from that seminar was 9/11, and needlework took a back seat for a bit. I ran across the kit a couple of weeks ago and decided it would be my next canvas piece.

Thursday is still Eve in the Garden.

The week-ends will continue to be free time, although I'm going to try to force myself to do some finishing one day a week-end until the finishing basket is empty. It's so full it's pushing the lid up and things are escaping. Before they take over the world, or at least my house, they need to be put together. Otherwise they may unite and form a new life form, and we've all seen enough scary movies to know we don't want that.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

It's a start . . .

This was an absolutely horrendous week at work.

In fact, I just about decided to retire and join a contemplative religious order with a strict vow of silence so that I wouldn't have to talk to the public, which, for some reason, has been particularly difficult to talk to.

This was tempered by two things:  Presbyterians don't have contemplative religious orders, first of all. Secondly, Dearly Beloved pointed out I'd probably have to take strict vows of poverty and chastity as well, and he didn't think that would work out for me.

So I stitched instead. Every minute that I was not at work, I stitched. Stress relief, doncha know.

Today I started the finishing process for Pocket for Posies. I started with the easiest part first.

The carrier is lined and accessorized--now I have to start working on the smalls that it carries.

As usual, finishing has taken longer than I had hoped. I really think I start losing IQ points when I try to put things together. It doesn't stop me from trying, and it doesn't stop me from taking classes which will result in having to put things together, but there are days when I feel absolutely fumble-fingered and dimwitted.

And I really want to get this all put together. Jackie du Plessis is teaching the Fair Maiden's workbag at Salty Yarns and at Needle in a Haystack, and that's making me yearn to pull that kit out and work on it. I was going to slot it in on the next round of Ellie's Plan projects, but I'm sort of wanting to get it all done and assembled. I may have to modify the Ellie Plan again to make that happen.

And then there's Sherri Jones' Mr. Butters class though Shining Needle Society. The stitching directions are to be posted on Tuesday. There's another project I really want to do. And the friends who took Betsy Morgan's Toy Chest with me have been bringing their finished chests and toys to guild meetings, another reason to pull that out as well. I'd like to work on Eve in the Garden again, too.

Maybe I need to find a contemplative order that will allow me to stitch all day.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Journey's End

And Journey is now finished!

It's very sparkly!

I was hoping a closer shot would show just how sparkly, but sparkly doesn't really come through in a still shot.

I think I'm going to move on to Pocket for Posies, Posey for short, then decide on the next round of projects. I'm going back on the Ellie Plan, but I think I'm going to work on smalls for awhile. After two big projects, I want more immediate gratification!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Worth Every Minute

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present . . . Morning Has Broken!

If you've been reading along as I worked on this, you know that I have moaned and groaned, whined and wailed, stitched and bitched about the length of time it's taken me to complete this sampler.

Now that I'm standing back and looking at it, it has been worth every single, solitary second.

Every one.

And this isn't the only thing to see progress. Here are the results of my journey with Journey:

Not sure why it's so washed out--but you can see progress is being made. It's slower than I like--patience not being one of my virtues--like you hadn't already figured that one out--because each one of these sections is beaded. And since I flip about as many beads off the end of the beading needle as I manage to stitch onto the canvas, this is definitely taking time.

But it's getting close.

And then the mail carrier has been delightful this week:

I'm kind of thinking of dabbling with filament silk and sharp needles. I've tried lying down with a cold compress until the feeling passes, but it keeps coming back. Even if I don't go beyond reading about it, the books are gorgeous. And, by the way, these came courtesy of Ruth Kern Books. Ruth is a phenomenal resource and if you aren't aware of the extent of her offerings, go look at her blog:

And then there are the materials for the new class from Sherri Jones of Patricks Woods through Shining Needles. I've been collecting small kits with Mr. Butters for several years, and now we have a carrier and other goodies to stitch. I have to wait a couple of weeks for the class to start but the materials are here to fondle.

It's kind of nice that the evenings are getting longer--more time to stitch!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Planting Grass and Journeying On

This has been one of those weeks where I had time to either stitch or blog. So I stitched.

There's a lot more grass on Morning:

And two more motifs on Journey:

I think I'm going to play with Journey today since it's on the frame and the threads are handy. Besides, it's nice to work without the magnifier sliding down my head.

The Flash started kindergarten this week, and it's a whole new world for him. And I am now going to sound like the bragging grandmother I am--the teacher and principal are already talking about testing him for entrance into their enrichment program. On the other hand, he really needs to work on his appropriate school behavior skills--he's a five-year-old boy, after all, and the concept of staying in your seat even when you've already finished your work is alien. Come to think of it, I suffer from that as well, and I am not a five-year-old boy. This may account for the size of the stash--I'm terrified I might get bored!

Sunday, August 10, 2014


For the last several days I've been planting grass.

I love the stitch that is used for this, I love the way the green sets off the little lambs, and I love that I am so close to a finish.

I hesitate to mention this, but it's a wee bit tedious to stitch.

But there are some aspects of yardwork that are tedious, especially if you have a large yard.  And this is a large yard.

However, this yard is not subject to weather conditions or seasons, therefore I don't have to get all the work done within a specified time frame.  I have decided that I am going to play games with myself. Every evening, I'm going to work three strands into the yard, then I'm going to work on another project (probably Journey).

I have not just stitched grass this week-end. I spent the week-end with Baby Girl. We braved the rainy roads to go to the Piedmont Heritage Sampler Guild meeting Saturday morning for our second annual yard sale (where I increased the stash by about as much as I donated to the cause) and where we planned the upcoming year. There is an exciting year coming up!

Then I drove home this morning, and met a friend this afternoon to plan our Edinburgh Extravaganza with Betsy Morgan for the Carolina Sampler Guild next May. Betsy is coming to teach both her Edinburgh projects, the Etui and the Reticule, in a three-day workshop. This is the third workshop we've had with Betsy--just goes to show what a good teacher she is and what exciting projects she develops!

Of course, this means I really need to get the Toy Chest and toys from the last workshop stitched and assembled. I do believe that this project will move into the rotation when Morning and Journey are complete.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Liddle Lamzey Divey

There are lambs and a dog on the bits of lawn now:

Tonight I'm getting out the graph paper and charting the personal stuff. I'll get that stitched in, then start planting the lawn sometime this week.