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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

In Praise of a Needle

I have just found something that has changed my (needleworking) life.

In other places at other times, I have ranted and raved about beading.  I have had a love-hate relationship with beads and needlework for years.  YEARS!  I love the way beads can add just the right amount of sparkle to a design.  I have hated what it took to get them there.

For one thing, beads are tiny.  I am a klutz.  I can knock a container of beads over by just passing within three feet of it.  I can usually manage to drop them, flick them across the room, spill them, or otherwise adorn the floor with them.

Several years ago, I was taking a class at Callaway.  The class involved beading.  I knew this when I signed up but I did it anyway.  I was doing my best to work with the beads (keep in mind that I do not stitch well at all in class).  I realized that I somehow was losing the beads on the way from my bead container to my canvas.

Then I realized where they were.  I was sitting behind a friend of mine, who had the most glorious mane of silver-white hair.  I realized that her hair was now adorned with shiny flecks of red, blue, and gold.  I was somehow flicking the beads into her hair.  This is not a moment for which Emily Post provides an appropriate behavior.

And then there are the needles, which I firmly believe are the work of Beelzebub.  They tend to be long, and thin, and excessively sharp, with eyes the size of subatomic particles.  I've never used a beading needle for more than fifteen minutes before I have managed to curve it into a nice "C" shape.  I've never used a beading needle for more than fifteen minutes before I have managed to stab myself in new and interesting places.

So, sigh, I was stitching pilot pieces that required many, many beads.  Many, MANY beads. When one is doing ones own work, one can decide to leave off beads and do something else.  When one is doing a pilot and the beads are an important part of the design to boot, one must bead.

So I was beading.  I was cranky. Dearly Beloved found it necessary to be elsewhere.

Then I had to go buy more beads (is that adding insult to injury or what?).  While purchasing the beads (and many other things that I've mentioned earlier), I happened to notice a package of Bohin needles marked "for beading."



You see, I have a passionate love for Bohin needles.  I apparently have quite acidic skin or a high level of electromagnetism or something in my skin--I can pull the finish off a needle in an evening's stitching time.  And I've tried every needle on the market.  I killed a platinum plated needle over Christmas vacation one year.  I cannot kill the finish on a Bohin needle.

(Disclaimer:  I do not own stock in Bohin.  I have no connection with Bohin.  I receive no financial remuneration for adoring Bohin.)

So I bought a pack.

And beading is now wonderful.  The needles are just slightly longer than a regular tapestry needle, so I don't tend to stab parts of me I don't anticipate having close enough to a needle to stab.  They are thin enough to go through beads, but thick enough so that they don't bend. AND I CAN THREAD THEM WITHOUT MAGNIFICATION!!!

I am so in love I am now looking for things to bead.  I haven't tried using them on purl purl yet, but I'm looking forward to trying. And I do believe I shall go and buy several more packs of them so I will have a lifetime supply.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Canvas, linen-linen, canvas

Gay Ann asked me to write about canvas and linen and the differences between stitching each.

There are two disclaimers I must make first.

This is the most important.

I am an embroidery floozy.  If a new technique or a new approach to an old technique sidles up to me, I cuddle right up and bat my eyes, allowing it to whisper sweet nothings in my ear and encouraging it to make improper advances.  A threaded needle is all it takes.  I'll try almost anything that involves one.  I tend to do mostly things that use tapestry needles since I am a klutz and I bleed easily, but I am never going to limit myself to tapestry needles.

Secondly, anything I say is my opinion only.  I take a lot of classes and I stitch things from a lot of different people, but what I'm going to say is based on my experience and mine alone.  Your mileage may vary.  This is what works for me.

The most obvious difference to me is the ground fabric.  Canvas (and I'm lumping Congress cloth in with canvas) tends to have more body, probably due to the sizing added to it.  In other words, it's stiffer.  Linen has a lovely, fluid hand--at least the really good stuff does.  Canvas tends to have more consistent thread sizes in both warp and weft, while the threads in linen have much more variance. There are some really good linens which don't have quite as much, but you will still find a thread that is thin as a whisper while the thread next to it may look like a tree trunk in comparison.

These differences tend to make you stitch on them differently.  Because of the uniformity of threads and the sizing, you can easily work over one intersection on canvas.  You can work over one intersection on linen, but the stitch is a little more likely to slip between the threads of the linen.  You also may want to compensate for the differences in linen thread diameters.  To overcome this, most people tend to stitch over two (or even three) threads--this helps hold the stitch on the surface of the linen and allows the differences between the sizes of the threads to average out a bit.

You can do most of the same stitches on both grounds, but some of the really heavy stitches--like maybe a big Rhodes stitch--may be happier on canvas because the body of the fabric will hold it better.   Some people say that cutwork and drawn thread works better on linen because of the fluidity of the fabric--don't know that I agree with that, but it is something to consider.

The one thing that I always do with both linen and canvas is mounting it tautly in some kind of frame.  Canvas pretty much has stretcher bars.  Linen can be mounted on stretcher bars, scroll frames, embroidery hoops, Q-snaps, and slate frames.  Actually, come to think of it, canvas could be mounted on slate frames, too.  I know people who do all their stitching in hand and do it quite well, but I find my stitches just simply look better to me if I keep the ground fabric, whatever it is, as tight as possible.  Plus, if it's mounted and the frame is held by whichever frame stand fits the frame, I have two hands to use.  I can stitch with one hand above and the other below, I can use my pinky for an emergency laying tool, I can hold the needle while I fiddle with the stitch with the other hand, I can control the tension of the stitch, I can do all sorts of things if I'm framed up.

There is one other difference I just thought of.  The charting for the two fabrics is usually different.  Both use graph paper.  For counted canvas, usually the lines of the graph paper stand for actual threads and the stitches are charted accordingly.  What you see on the chart is what your thread should look like on the canvas.  On counted thread charts, frequently a symbol indicating color is found in the block the grid forms, particularly if the design is primarily cross stitch. If your design uses something other than cross stitches, you may have two types of chart.  One has the color key, then you may have another chart showing how the stitches work using the lines of the graph paper as charts for canvas do.

Can you jump from one to the other?  I do it all the time and can't think why anyone would want to limit themselves to just one.  And then there's goldwork, and crewel, and needlelace, and silk and metal thread embroidery, and stumpwork . . .I really do need to live to be 385.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Nothing to see . . .yet

I am working on the last pilot, a small spot sampler--that I'm loving so much I don't want it to end.  I really want to get back to my group of regularly scheduled projects since I haven't made as much progress as I had hoped--but I love this little sampler so much!

Of course, that may be because it's small.

Hmmmmm . . .

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

And this is where I got distracted . . .

Here's another progress picture of Martha Edlin.

And this is where I got distracted by something else.  I cannot remember what.

She is a little over halfway stitched, if you go by the length of the linen, which is almost as long as I am tall.  I stitched this on 45 count, and I am going to go back to her.  Soon.  Very soon.

Meanwhile, I have the first three pilot pieces stitched and assembled.  Tonight, though, I'm taking a break and giving Ann Wheatley a bit of attention. And baking cookies for the annual EGA social.  The dough is chilling, just needs to be rolled out and baked in awhile. I can stitch a word on Ann, then do the next batch, stitch another word, bake another batch, etc.  In my next life, I'm going to have either double ovens or an oven big enough to handle multiple cookie sheets.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Accidental stash enhancement

Keep in mind that I am working on pilot pieces and that, as a result, I am forsaking all others until they're done.  Keep in mind that I need no further stash for awhile (I have a couple of stitching-related trips coming up before the end of the year--with new projects to stitch coming from both--and a boutique with things that are hard to find at one of them and a museum gift shop at the other.)  Keep in mind that I still have my group of projects that I would like to work my way through by the end of October.

Sigh . . .

I ran out of beads for one of the pieces I am doing, and I am missing one color of Elegance for another.  There are two shops within a reasonable distance of each other, but which require about a 45 minute drive from my house--so if I'm going to one, I could check the other.  So I persuaded Dearly Beloved that he would like to take a drive with me (and encouraged him to take a book to read while I was looking) and off we went.

The first shop was busy.  Very busy. There was a group of stitchers who had made a three-or-more-hour drive to visit and they were working on stocking up for a long winter.  The shop had only a couple of employees on duty and they had their hands full with both the group and a couple of other customers who were there before me.  So, I found my beads and decided to look a bit.

Bad move.

Temptation, so much temptation.

And two samplers I've been sorta thinking about for awhile, even to the point of checking the linen stash to see if I had what might be appropriate fabric, were sitting there.  And they only had one copy of each. And the shop gives a discount to members of my sampler guild.  And they had all the called-for threads. And I had found the fabric for each in my stash.

I now have two new projects to stitch: Melicent Turner from Little House Needleworks and Weeds Make Haste from Shakespeare's Peddler.  They are not being added to the current group, but may find their way into the next one.

And I did find the beads I need, and some interesting beading needles from Bohin (I LOVE their needles!  they go through fabric like buttah! and these are not long and dangerous like usual beading needles!) and some extra-fine needle threaders.  So I'm back to beading tonight.

And the color of Elegance I also need?  Struck out there, alas.  I may have to go stash diving and see if I can find a suitable substitute.  Thank goodness the other shop could answer the question very quickly before I had a chance to look around . . .

Thursday, August 18, 2011

and even more of Martha

Since I'm still working on pilot pieces, I can't show you current stitching--so here's more of Martha.

Have you ever stitched something that you looked at later and said to yourself--did I really do that?  That's where I am when I look at Martha.  And the more I look at the pictures--and the sampler itself--the more I want to get back to Serious 17th Century Stitching instead of getting over Fear of Finishing--but I am not going to be (too) distracted from the pilots pieces and the group of projects I committed myself to stitching.  I'm not.  I'm really not. Back off, Stitcher's ADD!  Back OFF!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Julia!

Tonight we are having Quiche au Fruits de Mer for dinner in honor of Julia Child's birthday.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit I used a frozen deep dish pie shell instead of making that from scratch, but the rest of it took less than 15 minutes to throw together and 30 minutes to bake.)

The first two cookbooks I ever bought were The French Chef Cookbook, the companion book for the early Julia Child series on WGBH years and years ago, and one of the many, many versions of the Fannie Farmer cookbook.  Later, I gave myself Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and this quiche recipe is the first thing I ever made from it.  It was a roaring success and has stayed in my repertoire ever since.

While there have been many versions of the Fannie Farmer cookbook and The Joy of Cooking and the Better Homes & Garden red plaid book (and I have a lot of them), there has been only one Mastering, volumes I and II.  That alone speaks to its success--after all, why mess with perfection? And I love the fact that if you do exactly what the book says to do, you will be successful on this day, in this kitchen, when nothing else is going well.

Several years ago, several compilations of the French Chef series came out on DVD, and they came to live with me.  On days when nothing seems to be going as it should, when the world seems off-kilter I can plug in one of Julia's episodes and feel that all is well, or will be, with just a few hours of slicing and chopping and stirring and mixing.  With Julia at my side, I do believe I could present a roast suckling pig to my household! (I doubt I would, but I think I could.)

From Julia I learned you can do anything if you have the strength of your convictions (even flip an omelet), that what happens in the kitchen stays in the kitchen, and that finding your passion, no matter what it is and when it appears, will enrich your life immeasurably.

So, Happy Birthday, Julia!!  Thank you for sharing your passion and your gusto.  And thank you for your crab quiche recipe that makes a Monday-after-work meal a pleasure.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Since I can't show you what I'm doing, I can show you what I've done

There have been several posts lately about Martha Edlin, here and on other blogs, since Margriet announced the release of the kit.

I started Martha several years ago when this was offered as an online class.  Since I can't show you the pilot pieces I'm working on (but I can tell you I am over halfway through on three different ones--I just have to bead and finish . . .), I thought I could show parts of Martha for a few days.  Please forgive the lousy picture-taking--it's a process.

So here's the top part, mostly double running and satin filling.

More later . . .


Saturday, August 13, 2011

St.Margaret's Star--a finish!

The first finish from my current group!!!

This was a project offered by Shining Needle Society and was a class offered by Carole Lake and Michael Boren.  A portion of each class fee went to one of several charities.  This, obviously, had funds sent for breast cancer research.

This was a fast and fun stitch.  Carole Lake is one of my very favorite people on the planet, and her classes are always the most fun--even online when you can't see her expressions or hear her tone of voice!  Adding Michael to the mix was brilliant.

You really can't tell from my washed out picture, but due to the structure of the stitches, the center is dimensional.  I realized just how dimensional when Dearly Beloved, instead of looking straight on, was holding the stretcher bars sideways and tilting the frame hither and thither at eye level.  He was fascinated. Considering how much I embroider, it's difficult to fascinate him any longer.

I did make a couple of changes--I did switch the Rose Blush canvas for plain white.  My piece of Rose Blush had a slightly corally-pink tone.  My skein of Watercolours was on the bluish side.  When I stitched the Watercolours on the canvas, the canvas went orangey.  I set it across the room for a couple of days and looked at it in various lights and decided I really didn't want the orangey tone, so I swapped out the canvas.

And having stitched for the first time with Sparkle Braid, I was so totally in love with it, I used it for the tie-downs on the stitches on the outer border rather than the darker Kreinik braid that's used in the rest of the piece. The border is more subdued than the original, but I don't think it hurts.

There may be a lag in returning to the rest of my group projects.  I am working on some pilot pieces for Gay Ann Rogers and (phooey!) I can't talk about them until she holds her eWeek sale in October sometime.  I do have some other things to babble about until I finish the pilots and go back to my own stuff, but there may be some really random posts until then.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

More from Martha Edlin

If you looked at the video from the V & A with the Martha Edlin casket, you may have noticed her sampler also resides there.  Margriet Hogue of The Essamplaire taught her reproduction of the sampler as an online class several years ago (and yes, I have started it, and no, it isn't finished . . .yet).  Margriet's latest newsletter just came and the sampler reproduction is now available as a kit.

If you don't receive Margriet's newsletter, you may want to visit and sign up. This issue has LOTS of eye candy from various sources.

Ann the Enabler

Monday, August 8, 2011

Eye candy

Go immediately, if not sooner, to Tricia Nguyen's blog:  Follow the link to the V & A and their video of the Martha Edlin casket.  It is nothing short of amazing. I just wish the video were longer and I could dwell on each and every stitch of the entire project.

I want to know how she got the definition on the faces--hopefully someone will have an answer.

And she was only 11 . . .sigh . . .

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Best Laid Plans, Part Deux

I stitched yesterday and today.  I stitched my little fingers to the bone, but I don't have as much to show for it as one would think.  I spent a good bit of time experimenting, which means I will be happier with the final piece--but also means I don't have everything done I wanted to do.

I had done the minimum amount needed to do the next class for the Bluebird needlecase, so I was in good shape for the next class.  The problem is that I am a methodical and orderly stitcher.  I NEED to have all the steps for part A finished before I can comfortably go on to part B.  (This is one reason I don't get a lot stitched when I take a workshop--having threads going every which way all over my piece makes me bugnutz crazy, so I kind of meander along at my own pace and take very rigorous notes.)

I'm working on the Bluebird Needlecase, which has four classes.  The first covered all the counted thread on the piece, the second the surface stitching, the third will cover the stumpwork, and the fourth will handle the finishing.  I had the panel stitched that I needed to have stitched, but I had not done any of the counted thread motifs.

The only part of the design that didn't immediately appeal was the stencil-like pattern at the top and bottom of each panel.  I liked the design but thought the color was a little intense for my comfort.  So I spent some time trying different approaches--which meant that I ended up stitching, unstitching and restitching that motif several times.

The motif was originally cross stitched over one intersection.  That looked too heavy to me when I did it, so I tried the other alternates Marsha suggested--I tried tent stitch with two threads (still too heavy), then I  tried doing a blackwork version (it didn't feel like a good fit with the rest of the design).  I finally decided  it was the intensity of the pinks/roses that bugged me.  Cross-stitching and double stranding the thread intensified the color, especially the darker tones.

So, I tried cutting out the darkest shades, which made it too prissy-pink--it needed the punch of the darker shades.

I sat and stared for a bit, then tried something I should have remembered from classes with Marion Scoular and Gay Ann Rogers.  If you want to lower the intensity of a color, just use a thinner thread in the same color, or fewer strands, and you will have a lighter, more ethereal color.

Eureka!  one strand, tent stitch, and I had the effect I wanted. So then I had to stitch all eight motifs again.  I did think about color matching and coordinating the color flow but then decided that I didn't want it too matchy-matchy, so I let the shades fall where they may.  I'm very, very happy with the way it looks--but this all took most of my stitching time yesterday and part of today.

And now I wish I had taken pictures of each version I did.  Sadly, I'm not a natural picture-taker (note I do not say "photographer" because I am in no way close to that!) so I didn't think about illustrating the blog with different versions.  And it's been too hazy and cloudy today to get a good picture of the finished motifs--but there will be one as soon as the lighting improves.

The upshot is that I never got to my EGA correspondence course class or St Margaret's Star, but I am happy with what I did get done.  Stitching shouldn't be a race to a finish, but a pleasant journey, with interesting trips down paths you don't expect.

However, I think I can now stitch that blasted motif in my sleep!


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Best Laid Plans . . .

I had an incredible plan for the week-end.  I was going to stitch from Friday night when I got home from work until Sunday night when I need to get ready to go back to work.

This was determined by the projects that have new classes posting next week.  I would like to be ready for the new lessons. This means that I should get the previous steps before the new classes stitched and the pieces ready to go.

However . . .

Last night I was weary.  Weary.  Tired to the bone weary.  Not sure why, but this workweek was excruciatingly long and tiring.  So, last night I was moving slooooooooooowly.  I did get the Bluebird Needlecase linen out and I stitched a wee bit on it, but I was not working with my usual speed and efficiency.  Actually, I was not working with any level at all of speed and efficiency.

This morning, we went to the Farmers' Market and scored--oh, how we scored--peaches, blackberries, watermelon, tomatoes, summer squash--and okra!  Okra is the quintessential  Southern summer vegetable and it LOVES hot, dry weather.  We are planning for a fried okra fest every night until the supply runs out.  Sadly, corn hates hot, dry weather, so no corn on the cob for this week.  We also found a new bakery and a fabulous loaf of honey wheat bread, and I have already devoured my apple Danish from the bakery stand we usually visit--mainly so I can get an apple Danish every week.  Anyway, I am planning a tomato sandwich on the honey wheat bread for lunch and peaches and blackberries for dessert.

I just realized that there are only two things I like about summer. Just two.  It doesn't snow, so I can get to WV to see The Flash--and there is fresh produce.  Lovely fresh produce.

Anyway, I need to transfer parts of designs to a couple of the pieces I want to work on, so I got my makeshift light table set up.  It consists of two ottomans of fairly the same height, a piece of glass, and my Ott light.  The glass sits on the ottomans set several feet apart with the Ott light underneath.  It works beautifully and the glass is large enough so I can do large pieces of linen or canvas easily.

However, it is difficult to transfer if your pigma pen has dried out.

So this means a trip to the local strip shopping center where there is a Michael's which carries Micron pens.  This means finding the Micron pens in the disorganized mess that is this particular Michael's--most of the Michael's I've visited are clean and bright and neat.  This one is not, but it's closest.

This also means going out into the madness which is tax-free week-end.

So now I have the pen but I believe I need to sit for awhile with a cold compress from dealing with idiots driving like maniacs in the parking lot at the shopping center, spending a ridiculous amount of time looking for the Micron pens (while the store clerks looked at me vacantly when I ask where they might be-why ask me if you can help me if you have not a clue as to where anything in the store is located), and  standing in line while a woman argues with the clerk over what in her massive pile of stuff is tax-free and what is not.

IF I get my momentum going again, I will work on the Bluebird Needlecase, the Dresden Lace EGA project, and St Margaret's Star.  If I get the momentum going again and stop noticing the dust bunnies and piles of laundry . . .

More later,

Thursday, August 4, 2011

We call him "The Flash"

People keep asking me for pictures of Alexander the Great, my two-year-old grandson.  However, when you're dealing with a perpetual motion machine who has infinite curiosity about everything, and who likes to help, sometimes pictures are difficult to attain.  Here he was trying to help the camera take his picture.

And that's about the best I got.  All week-end.  I do have a series of lovely pictures of the back of his head from the times he saw the camera and ran away giggling and chortling.

On the stitching front, tonight I am working on canvas, St Margaret's Star to be exact.  Going from 40 count linen to 18 count canvas is quite a change!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rebecah is in time out

Rebecah French is back in the basket for tonight since apparently I cannot count to four if an alphabet is involved.  When you stitch in and then frog out the same letter three times, somebody is trying to tell you something.

I thought about blaming the heat--we hit 100 today--but I was at work all day.  My corner of the office could serve as a meat locker--you could hang a side of beef there with no problems.  Actually, walking out into the furnace was quite pleasant this afternoon!

Anyway, tonight, I am stitching the soft, soothing colors of Ann Wheatley. I'm using NPI on 40 count linen--and so far, not a stitch has been set amiss.  At least, not that I can tell--of course, if there are stitches set amiss, it won't be the first time I haven't noticed until a day or so later.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Carolina Sampler Guild

Tonight I had the pleasure of spending time with the other board members of the Carolina Sampler Guild, as we look forward to our new year together.  We talked and laughed and planned--just as we do in our regular meetings.

This is a very special group of sampler lovers, as members of all sampler guilds are.  Some of us love the 17th century, with its over-the-top materials and elaborate stitches.  Some of us love the simplicity and naive joy of schoolgirl samplers.  Some of us spend our time stitching smalls, others of us become involved with large and long-term projects, and some of us do both.  We have members who are collectors, we have members who are stitchers, and we have members who are both.  Some of us travel long distances to take classes, others of us are happy with our projects at home. Whatever our inclinations, we have found a home with like-minded people.

So, if you're ever in Charlotte, NC, on the first Wednesday of the month (September through April--we take December off and have our end-of-year social in May) please join us.  We'll be happy to have you.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Stitching Nerd-vana

This has been a reeeeeeeeally good day for a stitching nerd!

For many online classes, new classes are posted around the first of the month, which means I can print out and organize the new lessons in my notebooks.  (I love notebooks.  I'm still in elementary school, doncha know, and notebooks and new pencils and subject dividers and pens and rulers just make me giddy!  Back-to-school sales mean that I can prowl the aisles looking for notebook paper and notepads and gel pens in wild colors.  Ok, TMI, but you get the point.)

So I have printed out the classes for Rebecah French and Tricia Nguyen's Masterclass in Gold & Silver (and she just started a new round with that one, so there is probably time to sign up--more in a minute).
I printed out the class notes for St. Margaret's Star, and YAY, Michael Boren, there were photos of the various ways to start a thread if you can't use a waste knot for whatever reason--and that's always a good reminder to have whether you're stitching on canvas or linen--they work for both.

And then the mail carrier came and the little tray ordered from Miller Carpentry arrived.  And let me say this, the man is a fine artist and master woodworker.  Dearly Beloved likes to make sawdust and he is impressed with the quality of this piece and told me he would not have had the patience to make this lovely little piece to add to my collection (and why do you think I ordered it from Miller Carpentry?)  There will be a picture coming as soon as we unpack everything from the week-end (more about that later) and I locate the camera cord.

And then I got online and discovered that Jeannine has a new website for the Gathering of Embroiderers with a list of teachers--and Scarlet Letter just announced that a kit and chart for Ruthy Rogers will be available in the fall--and I have the whole evening to stitch and watch SyFy (which still bothers me--when I see it I see "siffy" and had no problems with it when it was SciFi).

If SANQ had shown up, there would be no containing me.

So back to earth . . .

I promised to say more about the Masterclass in Gold and Silver.  If you're not familiar, go to and click on Online University.  If you have ever thought you might want to go a step beyond in your stitching life, this is the place to go.  You will use exquisite materials the likes of which you will not find in the local chain store, you will learn how to use them in stitches you never knew existed, and you will have upclose and personal views of pieces of historic needlework that are not ordinarily available for view.  Because I am a history nerd as well as an embroidery geek, the sections on history are fascinating reading and have led me down a number of byways and highways.

Anyway . . .

How am I doing on the group approach to stitching my stash?  well . . . we went to see the Grandson this week-end.  We are now calling him The Flash--the child is in constant motion and constantly curious about everything.  When we finish unpacking and I have the camera out, I will show you one of the typical pictures of him.  It's a blur.  It is not my less-than phenomenal picture-taking, it is the fact that he is faster than the camera can catch.

I took embroidery with me.  I stitched approximately 24 stitches.

Why is it that if you take only one small "traveling" project--or, horrors, nothing to stitch at all--you have endless hours to stitch and run out of anything to do and end up scrounging around the local big box store for something to do--if there is a local big box store to scrounge?  whereas, if you take a tote bag full of goodies, just in case of rain or downtime, you never get anything done?

So, tonight, while the washer is washing and the dryer drying, I am stitching.