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.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Spur of the moment

We had a chance to come to the mountains and visit The Flash.

So we did.

The Big Kid's schedule unexpectedly changed, we were able to find a hotel room (which is hard to do during the height of vacation season) and we jumped in the car and drove up. And it has been ever so much fun--we have been to his favorite place to eat for lunch, he and his dad came to our hotel and enjoyed the pool, I got to spoil him with Scooby Doo cartoons and oatmeal cookies and stories.  He was not so much interested in the Olympics this afternoon, but that will come.  I also managed to get Mr Independence to hold my hand while traversing a parking lot by asking him to hold my hand and keep me safe around all the big cars. His parental units were amazed that he was holding my hand willingly. The Big Kid seems to have forgotten that I used the same line on him.  Age and experience . . .

Have I stitched?


Will I stitch when I get home?

probably not.

Dearly Beloved called me at work Friday morning to tell me the dryer had simply stopped running. It didn't squeal, scream, smoke, or stink. It just stopped.

So I think we're going to be in the market to replace the dryer.  Which means I will be spending my evening hours once we're home looking at dryers, researching dryers, and arranging for a dryer to be delivered and the old one hauled away. Seems like I just did this--oh, wait, I did, with the washer.

At least we had a good week-end before we had to deal with reality.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stitching ADD

I have the fidgets. I can't seem to get settled down to any one project this week-end.

So far, I've put in a few stitches on Martha Edlin:

A very few stitches . . .

I did finish the border on the pilot I'm doing for Sue Reed, her Jewel of the Tsars.

It was quite pleasant to carefully lay the silk threads--haven't done that in awhile and the rhythm can be very soothing.

But it was almost too soothing, so I started on the stitching part of the two classes I'm taking from Jackie du Plessis through Shining Needle Society.

This is the motif that will be on the front of "My Plum," a pretty little drawstring bag to keep a "treasure" in.

And this is the beginning of "Remember Me."

The piece on the bottom will be solidly stitched.  Actually, according to the directions, the framework I started is done last. I tried doing the filling first and discovered that I can't count without making major mistakes, so I'm doing the outside lines first and will fill in last. This is going to be a good no-brainer piece on evenings after work when I need to stitch but don't have any higher mental functions functioning.

Assuming I can focus on anything long enough to actually get some progress made!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Essentials for Needlework

Occasionally someone will start a thread on things that are essential for needlework.

I usually snort and say, "A needle, of course."

I have that.

What I don't have are my magnifiers and a pair of scissors.

Which are also essential, if I'm going to stitch.

I am sitting in a hotel room, on a business trip.  I brought only one project with me since I'm here only one night. I very carefully made sure I had the complete instructions and the thread card in my travel tote.  I did not check to make sure that the scissors that are supposed to live in the travel tote were still there.  The scissors case I made for them is there. The little leather sheath that keeps the points of the scissors from poking through the scissors case I made for them is there.  The scissors are not there.

And I've dumped everything out to see if there is a crevice in this bag that I didn't know about.

There isn't.

My magnifiers are sitting by my chair at home because I was using them right before I went to bed.  As soon as I crawled into bed last night, I thought I should go back downstairs and put them in the travel tote.  Then I thought, brilliantly, that that would be the very last thing in the world that I could possibly forget to do before I left in the morning.

With my usual incredible brilliance, I forgot.

A couple of years ago, I was in the same location. That time I forgot the instructions for the project I was doing. I went out and bought a silk embroidery kit so I'd have something to do (it was the only thing I could find at the big box craft store that wasn't cross stitch on aida which I have never liked using and don't intend to start now).  This time, I have already taken a shower. I have on my nightie. I have the pillows plumped up just the way I want them. I have everything I need to work on my project.

Except scissors and a way to see the stitches.

I think I'll read instead.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Itty Bitty Bits and Pieces

I have not been able to settle down to anything this week-end.

I have several little bits of things done, but no real progress.

Here's a bit of the prework for Betsy Morgan's Casket Class:

Here's the beginning of the next band of Martha Edlin:

And tonight I started a pilot for Sue Reed.  Sue is teaching Jewels of the Tsars at ANG's National Seminar in Philadelphia soon.

I think this may become the top of a box--and the box may become my mother's Christmas present.

Note that I didn't say which Christmas . . .

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I have spent the last few evenings hunched over a hot printer, downloading and printing out directions and information about the online classes I'm currently involved in.

Reams of paper.

Oceans of ink.

Bazillions of page protectors.

I've spent so much time getting lessons downloaded and organized, I haven't had time to stitch in the evenings after work.

Somehow, that doesn't seem right.

(However, my ideas for my Cabinet of Curiosities, as the Casket class is now being called, are starting to come together.  Tracing and sketching are soon to occur. As my drawing talents are pretty much limited to stick figures, there will be more tracing than sketching.)

Tonight I'm going to stitch on something--not sure what yet, but a needle will be threaded.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Nary a stitch . . .

Not a single, solitary stitch was stitched in this household today.

I think the double trauma of getting up to an alarm clock to get to the Farmers' Market before the heat of the day really got horrendous (and it didn't take long to get there) AND wearing shoes for the first time in a week did me in.

Actually, I think the shoes were more traumatic. I hate wearing "real" shoes. I'll do slippers or socks if it's cold, but shoes drive me crazy. The minute I can take them off, I do.  And that is why there is a pile of shoes immediately inside our door.  Dearly Beloved apparently suffers from the same ailment, as do the Big Kid and Baby Girl.

I did spend some time straightening up a part of my corner. It mostly consisted of restacking a pile of needlework books and magazines, which led to visiting Jane Nicholas' and Alison Cole's sites online ( I was diverted and influenced by Inspirations magazines--I really do need to live to be 385 to stitch even half of what I want to stitch).

Tomorrow, though, I'm stitching on Martha Edlin again.

I swear I am.

Because I am NOT putting shoes on these feet again until Monday morning.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Last day of stay-cation

Yes, I know I still have the week-end before I go back to work . . .but we'll probably have the usual week-end routine, so it feels like my vacation is over.

I do believe I will enjoy being retired in six or seven years.

Today I finished the book I started reading last week-end and started another band on Martha Edlin.  I have three bands, then three alphabets, then a section with spot motifs, and then Martha will be done.   There will be a picture of the band I'm working on as soon as the battery for the camera is charged.  Meanwhile, I need to inventory the frig and make a "hopeful" list for the farmers' market trip in the morning.

It will be the first time we've set the clock all week.

If I weren't such a grown-up person, I might cry. I hate getting up to an alarm clock!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Double Ta-DA!

And this is what I did to celebrate the Fourth of July:

Merry Cox's Fourth of July pinkeep. This is the front.

And this, obviously, is the back.

And (Hallelujah!) Band 16 of Martha Edlin is now complete!

If it weren't so hot, there would have been a Happy Dance.

Now I have to decide if I want to start Band 17 of Martha Edlin or pick up Mary Atwood or go back to the prestitching for Betsy Morgan's casket or do something entirely different.  Dearly Beloved spent some of his vacation printing out the templates for the Cabinet of Curiosities class, so I could start sketching things in.  I could pick up the instructions for one of the many online classes I'm currently taking.

Or I could do something necessary, like fold laundry and put it away.

Nah . . . .I'm still on vacation!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth!

Thanks to all the members of our Armed Forces--and to those who keep us safe here at home--the firefighters battling the wildfires in the West and the linemen who are working through the holiday to restore power to those suffering through the heat in the East.  Many, many thanks--words are too small for the enormity of the job you all do.

In my mundane little world, I've continued to stitch through this holiday.  This is where I stopped last night with Martha Edlin (who was much more cooperative yesterday).

However, I also decided I needed a break from Martha for a day or so before Stitcher's ADD kicks in--this can happen all too easily when I focus too intently on one project for too long.

A week or so ago, I was rummaging through the stuff I brought home from the boutique at Christmas in Williamsburg.  Yes, it's mostly still in the bag I brought it home in. And, yes, I have pulled a few things out and stuck stitches in them, so it's not just a case of Stitching Hoardom.   Anyway, before we go down that path too far, I found a little pinkeep kit from Merry Cox that--guess what, celebrates the Fourth.

Oh, ho, said I, this could be a fun project to do on the Fourth. And I stuck it in the basket by the wing chair, where I promptly forgot it--until I tore up heaven and earth at midnight last night looking for it again.  I really need to make notes on where I put things. And no, this is not a loss of memory coming with age. I have always been this absent-minded. Ask my mother.

And this is what I've done with it thus far today:

I need to figure out the personalization and put it together--and that may just happen before I go to bed. Hopefully, the next photo won't be so fuzzy. . . don't count on it, though, I stitch much better than I take pictures! (like you didn't know that already)

Anyway, Happy Rest of the Fourth to you. We're going to settle in to watching the fireworks on TV later on, after the ribs and corn on the cob and watermelon!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fighting with Martha

Martha Edlin and I went several rounds yesterday.

After working satin stitches in the "fountain flowers" you have to weave a pattern over and under those long satin stitches. The stitches tend to wiggle and move as you attempt to weave the pattern in, much like a wet toddler wiggles and moves after a bath.  You think you're getting everything taken care of, only to find a stray bit un-taken-care-of.

It's not particularly easy to see.  That's quite all right. I'm not sure I want it to be seen. I'm also not sure it's going to be left as it is, but after reverse stitching and restitching a number of times, I'm going to leave it alone for a day or so.

Hopefully it will grow on me.

And not like a fungus.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Satin, lots and lots of satin

After one day of fairly consistent stitching, I'm about a third of the way through with the satin stitching.

There's a lot more to do. So I should go do it.

Would someone please explain to me why it takes me ever so much more time to do something than I think it should?

Sunday, July 1, 2012


No schedules, no deadlines, no voice mails or emails that have to be answered (for at least a week)!

I'm on vacation!

Usually we go somewhere when we take time off, but this time, we're hanging out at home.  I have announced that we are not doing any Projects Around the House beyond basic maintenance. We are feeding ourselves, doing only the laundry that must be done to keep us decent, and otherwise doing all those pleasurable activities that don't get enough time.

Which means that I am stitching.

Martha Edlin came out of her pillowcase. I thought about Mary Atwood but I wanted something with a little more color and Martha is definitely colorful.

This is where she was when I pulled her out:

I'll post an update tomorrow showing what I did today.

Yesterday I worked on the prework for the Betsy Morgan casket class.  And this is what I have done on that so far:

If my eyes get tired of 45 count, I'll go back to this.

On to more serious topics--our thoughts and prayers are going out to all the people who have lost their homes in the wildfires, and to all those who are suffering through this heat wave without electricity.  We had it brought home yesterday just how dangerous this heat can be.

I went to a stitch-in yesterday at the home of our sampler guild's hostess with the mostest. Those of us who are stitching ahead on the casket class wanted to get together to work together and compare notes. As usual, Sharon was so welcoming and generous with her hospitality, and we had the most delightful day of stitching and conversation--it's so much fun to do things like this in a group.

About an hour before we had planned to leave, we heard a big clunk. Sharon looked to see if she could see what happened, but from the front of her house, nothing was apparent. Not until we walked outside did we find that the lamp post at the end of her walk had been destroyed, as well as the shrubbery around it.  A pick-up truck had come to rest against the wall of the (luckily unoccupied) house next door.  There was no one in the cab.

911 was called.  Police and a fire truck appeared. We explained what we had heard and found. The police started searching for the driver--and found him, passed out on the other side of the house.  He was disoriented and collapsed again.  The EMTs from the fire department started checking him and paramedics were summoned.  It appears that it may have been a diabetes-related situation, but heat stroke could have played a part.

So stay hydrated and as cool as possible. If you don't have AC, find out if there's a cooling station you can go to. And please watch out for each other.