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.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Yee--HAAAAA, I did it!

I managed to post every day in November.

I think the purpose of this experiment is to get one in the habit of blogging and to increase one's writing abilities.

Not sure it succeeded--there were days when blogging seemed like just one more hurdle to overcome. As far as increasing one's writing abilities, well, I get paid to be a silver tongued devil and there are blog posts that did not meet that goal. A lot of them that didn't.

However, I will try to blog on a more frequent basis.

Now, to today's activities.  I had my class with Merry Cox this morning and of course, it is a wonderful set of smalls.  In addition, I have registered for next year since I will for sure be back.

This afternoon I have another class with Jackie du Plessis.

And the reason I am blogging now is that we are going to the Seafood Buffet at the Williamsburg Lodge for dinner tonight. By the time we waddle back from that, I will likely be ready to fall into bed fully clothed and just groan from the experience. I highly recommend it and hope the crab au gratin is on the menu again this time.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

First Full Day in Williamsburg

It was our first full day in Williamsburg.

We did some early shopping at the Visitor Center.  I found several things I hope Santa will go back and purchase.  Hint, Hint, Hint.

(Keep in mind that Dearly Beloved does look somewhat like Santa. However, he is referred to as Skippy, Santa's evil twin brother, in our household. Remember the man is not into "special occasions" like birthdays, holidays, etc, and you will understand why.)

We also went to DeWitt Wallace for a quick, very quick, dash by some of our favorite sections. There are some truly drool-worthy sweet bags in the current costume exhibit in the Textile Gallery. Dearly Beloved got to look at the firearms. I had a chance to visit the dollhouses on display.

And then back to the hotel for my early bird class with Jackie du Plessis.  As usual, it's one of her very ingeniously constructed smalls.  Here are some of the building blocks:

Aren't the colors absolutely yummy? Not that I'm partial to rose and green, of course.

We didn't get much stitching done in a three-hour class but we did take a lot of notes.  This will definitely show up on the blog in the new year. Best thing is that I got to catch up with an online friend who is also attending. We'll also have a class together tomorrow afternoon.

Then the boutique opened and there was stash acquisition. I found some of Eileen Bennett's charts that I've been thinking about for awhile, plus a couple of other things that have been on my list.

I replenished the store of little projects to do in between the monsters I usually want to stitch.

And I found a few buttons and baubles and bangles and beads that didn't photograph well at all.

Tonight is the banquet where Merry Cox will be honored and we've been promised a special treat. Tomorrow I start the two classes I'm taking, morning with Merry and afternoon with Jackie again.

This is one of my favorite times of the year. I'm in a place that I love, with a person I love, doing something I love, and it's the Christmas season. What's not to love?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Crab Cakes at Christianna Campbell's

We are in Williamsburg. We had a relatively uneventful drive (aside from the semi that tried to run us off the road).  We spent a couple of hours wandering around Jamestown, finding out what this season's dig has literally uncovered.  We have checked into our hotel room.

And we have had crab cakes at Christianna Campbell's tavern. It is a tradition on our first night in Williamsburg to eat there. Apparently we had done this often enough that the re-enactor who plays Mistress Campbell recognizes us.

I was going to take pictures, but I forgot.

The early bird class and the opening of the boutique are tomorrow. I am heading to bed to be ready for both. Dearly Beloved finds it dangerous to be around either.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Should she stay or should she go . . .

Martha Edlin is all ready to jump into the tote bag.

I'm trying to be realistic.  Seriously.  I'm trying.

The fact is that I am taking three classes, the first of which starts Thursday.  And there is a boutique. I can avail myself of a variety of needlework experiences.

But I will be there tomorrow evening and Thursday morning before the first class starts. Granted, we do have dinner reservations and chances to go hither and thither beforehand, but there could possibly be ten or fifteen minutes somewhere during which I could ply my needle.

It is probably better that I take something.

(I could probably think more clearly about this whole thing if I hadn't been awake since 3:30 a.m. No reason to be awake, just woke up and could not go back to sleep.  And had to go to work today, where I was suddenly very sleepy at about 11. This was not a good thing. Dearly Beloved is checking behind me to make sure I have packed bloomers and my magnifier.)

Monday, November 26, 2012


I am crazy.

Flat. Out. Bugnutz. Crazy.

Last June I was looking at Inspirations magazine. I had seen a preview of a book called "Home Sweet Home: An Embroidered Workbox" and I thought it was just about the sweetest thing I had seen in awhile. Right inside the front cover of Inspirations, there was an ad offering the kits for all the bits and pieces and the workbox. You could order them separately to be sent once a month or you could order one big kit at a somewhat significant savings.

I have no will power.

I ordered it.

Today it arrived. It took almost six months, but it finally made it.

I have not dumped everything out to see what's in it yet, mainly because the boxes that the Christmas decorations were in are still out along with the stuff Dearly Beloved is packing for our trip. In other words, currently we have no horizontal spaces large enough for me to play. Then, too, once I open everything, the surprise is over. I think I may wrap this up and put it under the Christmas tree.

Besides, if it's dumped out and sorted, then it's just more than a little tempting to stick a needle into it and I do not need to start something else at the moment. I'm going to Williamsburg and taking an early bird class and a morning class and an afternoon class and that's enough new projects for one week.

At least that's my thinking at the moment.

Subject to change . . .

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A flower and a stitch along

Early this morning I finished the second flower.

I am very pleased with this one! It does look as though the birds are perched on both a twig and a leaf, which makes the other poor little bird who lives to the left of this motif looking dangerously unbalanced.

I also started Ann Scutt from Scarlet Letter:

This new start is all Nicola's fault!

Nicola ( is sponsoring a Scarlet Letter stitch along to celebrate a milestone birthday this year. As I have quite a few SL projects in my stash and a list of additional projects from Marsha I want to add to that stash, this was a good reason to start. I also have a milestone birthday coming up in a few weeks (although mine is a bit farther along) so that's another reason to get moving on actually embroidering these treasures.

Nicola has the details on her blog. There is also an additional blog for those of us who participate to use to show progress and finishes.

2013 is shaping up to become another lovely stitching year!

However, the remainder of today I am decking the halls, running the Christmas dishes through the dishwasher so we can use them through December, and starting to get my supplies together to leave for Christmas in Williamsburg.  Dearly Beloved is already packing so he'll have time to remember the things that he's forgotten.

I don't question his logic, I just stay out of his way.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

playing with paper

The shop for the Cabinet of Curiosities class opened a few days ago and I have ordered threads and fabrics. And now that I have been able to see the color families and the types of threads already available, I'm able to plan my caskets--yes, I said caskets--I want to do both types--a little better.

So I've been playing with templates and motifs and ideas most of the day, interspersed with errands (now that the Black Friday crowds have calmed down somewhat) and laundry and housekeeping. The problem is that I keep coming up with way more ideas than I have places to put them all.

 I have decided that there are also going to be some embroidered pictures in my future with 17th century figures stitched in 17th century style. It's either that or I'm going to have caskets all over the house on every available surface.

Dearly Beloved says it sounds like that's already the plan. I should stop allowing him to read over my shoulder when I'm writing.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Puttering around

This was a lovely, lazy day with very little to report.

We did not participate in Black Friday madness. We did pack up leftovers and send Baby Girl on her way home this morning.  Poor baby, she had to go into work for a few hours this afternoon. At least she had reruns of Thanksgiving dinner and didn't have to worry about feeding herself tonight.

Then I did . . .basically nothing the rest of the day. I had plans when I woke up, then tossed them out the window and enjoyed doing as little as possible.  I did finish a book and start another. I took a nap, which felt like the height of luxury!  And I stuck a needle into Martha Edlin for a little while.

Flower #2, in progress:

This one is filled with satin stitch. You can't see it in the photo, but the silk sparkles. The majority of this sampler is stitched with Soie de Paris and while it can be persnickety to stitch with (if there is a rough place on any part of ones body, including the top of ones head and the bottom of ones feet--in short, places that don't come close to the needlework--it will snag on it), the way it glows in both daylight and lamplight make it worth the pain.

Dearly Beloved and I have errands to be run in the morning and there is laundry to be dealt with (the neverending story) and the house to be kept tomorrow.  Tonight, though, I am taking myself off to bed with my book and read myself to sleep.  I could get into living like this!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Best wishes to all for a Happy Thanksgiving!

We have feasted. We have collapsed on the couch. We have leftovers for the next few meals. We have perused the advertising and decided that there is nothing on earth worth staying up half the night or getting up at the crack of dawn to purchase.  Baby Girl and I, therefore, have spent some time stitching.

And, despite the carb coma, I now--and finally--have a flower on this band of Martha Edlin.

I have to admit that this almost caused a brain cramp. This flower is outlined and filled in with long arm cross that changes direction. The filling was not a problem but outlining all the spiky bits on the carnation and deciding when to change from working horizontal rows to vertical rows while attempting to keep it reversible . . .probably not the best thing to stitch when full of tryptophan from the turkey.

Speaking of which, there is a turkey sandwich calling my name . . .

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Just call me a Domestic Diva

We were given a wonderful gift at work today--we were told we could leave at noon!

This meant I was able to

  • run by the grocery store for one essential ingredient that had been forgotten in the three other grocery runs we've made
  • Iron
  • get three of the sides either completely done or done to the point that they will just need to be popped into the oven tomorrow
  • find the turkey roasting pan--this is one of those things that home de-clutterers always tell you to get rid of when they go through kitchens, but I am always thrilled I have it for Thanksgiving
  • get serving plates and utensils out
  • and eat dinner and I still have time to stitch a few minutes tonight.

I do still need to clear off the kitchen table so I will have a "staging area" for tomorrow. If Nature abhors a vacuum, Dearly Beloved abhors a clear horizontal space--he feels it needs to be covered with something immediately. We call it his piling system. I have been dealing with this for over 35 years and it isn't getting any better so I may as well tolerate it--but it does mean that periodically it has to be dealt with.  And I am dealing with it tonight. Bwaa-ha-haaaaaa!

Actually, I think I'm going to stack everything in one of the boxes I snagged from the office for a Good Will trip and let him sort it out later.

Tomorrow is reserved for feasting and stitching. I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Another Critter

I just finished stitching this one.

Please note the red eye.

Dearly Beloved is now referring to this as the Devil Rat Dog.

One more critter to go . . . then I get to stitch flowers!

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's a Critter

There has been some discussion in our house about the type of animal this thing is.

First impression said it was a rabbit, but the tail is all wrong--but the ears look like a bunny and hares have long legs.

The tail led Dearly Beloved to surmise it could be a long-legged rat.

I suggested it was a dog.

Dearly Beloved said it was obviously a rat-dog.

But the ears still look like a rabbit's.

Conclusion:  it's a Critter. We have wondered if little Martha got into the wine before stitching it.

I have two more of them to stitch. None of them is any more identifiable than the others. (And, yes, I know the stitches are going every which way. It is stitched in a reversible manner, a la 17th century.)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Good Grief!

I can't think of a thing to say. For those who know me, this is highly unlikely, but there it is. With twelve more days to blog in November, I am speechless.

I have not stitched a lick for two days, so I don't even have any meager progress to show on a project.

Pitiful, just pitiful.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Nightgown day

There are times when one must pamper oneself. Sometimes it's been a stressful week (or day). Sometimes one is unwell.  Sometimes one is just in need of pampering.

I call them nightgown days.

I stay in my nightgown, with my big thick robe and soft socks. All day.

There are other parts to this:

  • You have to sleep in, which, for those of us who are wage slaves, means either a week-end or vacation day.
  • Even if you wake up at the usual time, you snuggle down and doze for awhile.
  • This part requires some planning ahead: have food that is easy to eat, unless, of course, you really like playing in the kitchen. Personally, I think scrambled eggs and lightly buttered toast are the perfect start to a nightgown day. Soup is good for lunch on cold days. If you're doing this because you have a cold, getting someone to pick up egg drop soup for lunch for you is divine.
  • Do not even think about doing any housework, laundry, work-related emails, paperwork, paying bills or anything else that sounds even slightly like a responsible, adult action.
  • Have a pile of movies to watch in a variety of genres because you don't know what you'll be in the mood for.
  • Have that stack of magazines you haven't had time to even skim at hand.  A good trashy book is also a good way to while away the time.
  • Ignore the fact that there are things you could or should be doing.
  • Take a nap.
  • At the end of the day, take a warm bath with bubbles or a shower with a favorite shower gel. If you have scented powder or lotion that you've been "saving" (and I ask you, what are you saving it for?), use it.
  • Put on a clean nightie and crawl into bed. If you're really lucky, someone will have put fresh sheets on the bed.
  • Take a deep breath and drift off to sleep.

I absolutely promise you will feel ever so much better.

I know I do.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Leaves (that don't need to be raked)

All the little bitty leaves are stitched and I've started filling in the rest of the knots. With any luck the rest of the framework will be done before the week-end ends and I can start on the flowers that fit in and around this frame.

I had planned to go to a stitch-in tomorrow, but I am in the red, drippy nose and nasty cough stage.  Therefore, tomorrow will be spent in my jammies and robe with juice and Kleenex in my wing chair.  Between sneezes, I plan to stitch.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Twigs and sprigs done

Although it's hard to see, all the little sprigs and twigs are done.  Now it's on to the leaves . . .

Sharp needle time again . . .

I had thought I would have more done by this time tonight. Of course, I had to remove a few stitches since I misread a symbol and stitched in the wrong color. For some reason, it can take as long to take stitches out as it can to stitch them the first time. And then it seems to take more time to re-stitch than it took to stitch at first.

And I am not staying up much longer.

This morning was my idea of perfect sleeping weather. It was pouring rain outside. Inside the bedroom was cool, almost chilly, but I had a nice warm nest under my layers of blankets.  Too bad the Nyquil wore off before the alarm went off. Since it was a choice between sleeping and breathing, I opted for breathing. So I think I'm going to bed early instead of stitching.  I'd rather stitch, but it is not a good thing to operate a very sharp, pointy piece of metal under the influence of cold meds. I've added enough DNA to this project already!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More twigs, sprigs, leaves, and knots

I finally got to stitch tonight.  I have been working on more of the twigs and sprigs on this band of Martha Edlin.

I was going to work on the flowers on the top of the band before moving to the bottom, but I have succumbed to the Company Cold and in my drug-induced haze, this is about what I can handle.

The Company Cold has been moving inexorably across our quad despite clouds of Lysol and oceans of hand sanitizer and soap and water (well, duh, no wonder my hands have felt like sandpaper!).  My cubicle sits on the far side and I kept thinking the virus would get tired and quit before it got to me.  Nope, it finally hit the three of us whose cubicles line up along this set of windows.

At least we don't have strep. That's hit the quad that sits catty-cornered to us.

I think I'm going to invest in a surgical mask.

Or a gas mask.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Deadly Dull and Boring

I decided I was going to try to blog every day in November.  Normally, once the evenings start getting longer and darker, I tend to stitch more--so I figured I'd have something to say.

Hasn't happened so far.

I thought, well, I could write about my day--and then realized just how deadly dull and boring my non-stitching life is.

Today . . .

I went to work.  Currently, the IT people are migrating a system that I use to a larger server which is supposed to have a larger capacity (we're overtaxing the one we're on) and increased speed.  They tell me that I can continue to use the system during the migration.  Apparently they are migrating via The Planet Originally Known as Pluto, since we are about three weeks behind the original schedule.

This means that I spent a ridiculous amount of time watching a little whirly thing whirl while it tried to connect me to the system, then I had to watch it whirl some more while it tried to do what I wanted it to do, and then I got a blank screen.  About every fourth attempt, I got where I needed to be and was able to do what I needed to do.  That makes for a very long day.

In the middle of it, I spilled yogurt down the front of my work sweater. Which I had just washed. So it has to be washed again.

At long last, I was able to come home.  Dearly Beloved met me at the door with the news that he had no shirts ironed.  Would I please iron if he cooked dinner?

Ironing is on my list of things I like to do about as much as I enjoy a dental procedure. However, I can whip through a shirt in ten minutes or less. Dearly Beloved takes at least an hour per shirt (I think he does it on purpose) and inevitably scorches something. It's easier to do it myself than it is to endure the pain of watching him.  Besides, he does a really good job on London broil, much better than I--so it was a good trade-off.

All of that meant that the start of the evening was delayed. I decided to go ahead and take my shower since I needed to wash my hair and it takes awhile to dry.  (If I blow dry it with the amount of static in the air, I look more like a deranged dandelion than usual.)  I showered, got out of the shower . . .and realized that I had not rinsed the conditioner out.  Senile, much?  Back into the shower.

Finally got out, realized that my hands were the general consistency of sand paper, and put the heavy duty hand cream on them so I could work with silk. However, the paradox of this situation is that it takes a loooong time for the heavy duty hand cream to sink in enough to be able to stitch.  So I may get to stitch for about fifteen minutes before I go to bed.

So I think I'm going to sit here, watching the hand cream sink in. I think I may turn on the TV and drool over Mark Harmon, after I throw my work sweater in the washer, that is.  Just one exciting moment after another . . .

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bah, Humbug!

Dearly Beloved and I went Christmas shopping tonight.


Please don't get the wrong idea. I love the people we were shopping for.  The things we wanted to get for them are things they would love to have.  We pretty much took care of our list.

And that's the rub. I hate Shopping With a List. It turns into a job. Whether it's a Christmas list or the dreaded Finding an Outfit for an Occasion, it becomes a pain.

Now I am the Queen of Browsers.  Give me a cute gift shop, a bookstore, an antique emporium, a pottery store, a boutique, even a big box store, and I will putter around for hours. I will even meander through a mall as long as my wonky knees will hold out.  If I find something I like and want by sheer serendipity, that's fun--it's the thrill of discovery and the joy of surprise.

But Shopping with a Purpose is just plain work.

And I am wiped out. I am going to bed with a good book.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Good Intentions

I planned to work on Martha Edlin all day today.

I got sidetracked.

In cleaning out my little corner, which was acting like the Blob and spreading out with the intention of taking over the world, I realized I was a couple of months behind in filing the information I've printed out for the Cabinet of Curiosities class. I had a stack of papers several inches tall. I also had some newsletters from the various guilds I belong to that I wanted to hang onto because of information about upcoming events and they needed to be filed.

So I started inserting pages into page protectors and putting them into their notebooks, and filing the pertinent parts of the newsletters away, which meant I had to scan each newsletter to figure out why I wanted to hang onto it, and then I started reading as much as I was filing and inserting, and the next thing I knew the afternoon had pretty much evaporated.

And I'm only about halfway through the stack.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Leaves and Twigs

While I had the sharp needle out, I decided to fill in some of the little satin stitched leaves on the vines.

This is another one of those little fiddly bits--again, spending more time starting and stopping threads than actually stitching.

I also spent a good bit of time today clearing out my nest so I don't have quite so many projects piled up around my chair. It was getting more and more difficult to crawl out of the corner over the stacks of instructions and rings of Floss Away bags and baskets full of stuff. I think that almost impaling myself on a scroll bar was the final straw.  So I have rearranged and moved some things that are currently inactive up to the Stash Room.

Yes, there is a Stash Room, sad to say.  I have always been prone to biting off more than I can chew and this room is a prime example. I have decided it's gotten overwhelming and it is on my list to deal with.  I am looking at cabinets at Ikea. I just wish they didn't have so many choices and combinations and permutations. Every time I think I have it all figured out, I find another "storage solution."

And this is one area that isn't being hit by the downsizing bug, sad to say. I fully expect to do every single project. All forty bazillion of them.

And with that to do, I'm going to go stitch some more.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Another Birthday

If my father had lived, today would be his 95th birthday.  He's been gone for over ten years, but I still miss him.

And as a true child of the South, I called him Daddy.

He was born during WW I.  His father died when he was four, leaving his mother with him, his younger sister, a crippled aunt, and his blind grandmother to support. Somehow they made it through those hard early years and then the Depression hit. They persevered.

He went to war in WW II and we're still not quite sure what Daddy did during the War.  He let it drop one time that he had to write letters to his mother for weeks ahead because he wouldn't be where she thought he was, and that he had met Ike and Winston Churchill.

He came home from the war and found a job. A few years later, he met my mother, who was ten years younger.  He fell in love at first sight apparently--she wasn't so sure because he was an "older man." She finally came around to his point of view.  They were married for 48 years.

In that time he worked for the same company for decades, bought his dream house, had two children, then doted on his two grandchildren.  His ancestors came from Wales, and he had a glorious bass singing voice.  Actually, he had considerable voice training before the war broke out and he was called up.  He had a wicked sense of humor, a strong sense of responsibility, and a desire to continually better himself. He was a voracious reader, especially history and biographies, and literally wore out his library card. He created the best Saturday morning breakfasts ever, he loved Christmas and Thanksgiving and any other holiday that brought the family together, and he took care of everyone.

Sadly the last few years of his life were difficult. After a series of mini-strokes, he was diagnosed with senile dementia and he forgot who we all were. He knew we were supposed to be familiar, but he couldn't quite place us.  We missed him and mourned him for years before his physical body finally stopped.

But, as the years have gone by, those hard times have passed away and we remember the Daddy who read to us for hours at a time, acting out the characters. We still hear the booming bass voice singing in the choir and around the house. We can almost hear his voice as he figured out the best route to go when heading on vacation (we never went to the beach or the mountains--we always travelled to historical sites and significant places). We remember the gentle hands that cradled his grandchildren and  the smile on his face as he talked to each of them as if they could understand every word--and I sorta think they did.

So, Daddy, I think of you almost every day and wish you were still here as you were when I was little and you called me Cottontop because of my curly, blond-almost-white hair.

(However, I have to admit, I do not miss being called Cottontop, loudly and in public, when I was a grown woman with children of my own. Somehow fathers never quite believe their baby girls ever grow up.)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Stalking the mail carrier

I've been stalking a representative of the United States government.  I have been less that frugal lately, and I knew that the delivery of a number of things was imminent.

Not that I need to add to the stash or the library, but the allure has been great and I am weak.

On my flying trip by the house to throw my computer case in the door and pick up my stuff for sampler guild last night, I found that Gloria Seaman Allen's latest opus, "Columbia's Daughters," had arrived. I ripped it out of the mailer and threw it into my sampler guild basket for Show & Tell. After I made it back home, I sat down for a minute and glanced through.

Add it to your library. Even though I have fallen into the 17th century and don't really want to climb out, the books that have come out in the last ten years on American schoolgirl samplers have been phenomenal.  You better get 'em while you can--they don't have enormous print runs and once they're gone, they're gone. Except on the secondary market where they can be quite expensive . . .that's my rationalization and I'm sticking to it.

Then today, my order from Gay Ann Rogers' eWeek sale arrived. In a bit, I'm going stash-diving to pull threads since I daresay I have most of what is needed for at least two of the projects. If you're curious, I ordered Oriana--I have Flora--the perforated paper sampler garden box--the little flower in its pot--and the Winter Garden geometric.  I think Gay Ann still has the pictures on her website (  Mary and Bess had already come to live with me, and I piloted Echoes of Elizabeth and the Townhouse etui and Ruskin and Roses, so I was able to economize this time around. And that's another rationalization I'm sticking to.

And finally, the new issue of Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly arrived. I do believe it's my favorite needlework magazine of them all.  And while I am stash diving, I plan to see how many threads I have to work the purse on the front cover. I do need 50 count linen, I know I don't have any of that. 

It appears that that will lead to another rationalization.

Sigh . . . 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Drive-by posting

I told myself that I would try to post every day in November.

I had a sampler guild meeting tonight. Consequently, I have not stitched a bit.

Ironic, huh.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A knotty situation, part II

And here is a completed knot:

I will tell you a little secret--I use a sharp needle when I do satin stitch on samplers and pierce the ground fabric if I need to to get a smooth look.  I've had teachers tell me that I shouldn't do that for conservation purposes since it could weaken the fabric.

To them I say, "Nay, nay."

I do not believe that 17th century embroiderers thought about conservation and long-term survival. I think they thought about how the finished embroidery would look. I think they put the stitches where they looked best.  And if it takes a sharp needle to do that, I will use a sharp needle.

Notice I did not say that this was a safe pursuit. I have left my DNA in a number of projects in which the sharp needle pierced not only the thread but my tender and delicate personage as well. However, I do like the way my satin stitches look.

And on a totally different topic, today is my Little Sister's birthday.  Granted, she's been much taller than I for years, but she will always be my Little Sister. And I love her. So, Happy Birthday to you!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A knotty situation

And tonight I'm creating knots:

This is one of those fiddly parts. It takes about as much time to start and end the threads as it does to stitch the bits.  The insides will be satin stitched, which is the next step. I've decided to work from the top down instead of completing all of one type of motif before going on to the next. I think it will be a wee bit more interesting that way.

(Please note that I have managed to avoid referring to Chris' comment on gaseous clouds. Until now.)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Birds of a feather

There are now two birds perching on Martha Edlin's sampler:

Both of them flew exactly where they should . . . this time.

And, as promised, pictures from the week-end.

Three generations investigating the box.

And two of the four cats also assisting.

I did not get a picture of the completed structure because I was too interested in the way it worked.  The reason people have children, I have decided, is so you can play with their toys without being considered strange. Or stranger than usual.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Evil Grandparents

The Flash turned four a couple of weeks ago and we felt that we should celebrate HIS birthday even if Dearly Beloved wanted to ignore his.

So we went out and bought a gigundus Thomas the Tank Engine set of tracks and tunnels and collapsing bridges and all kinds of things.

Which required the Big Kid to spend about an hour or more assembling with the assistance of the worst set of directions ever seen and the supervision of Dearly Beloved.  The Flash, of course, wanted to start playing before all the assemblage was constructed. Then the battery had to be inserted inside the Thomas that accompanies this set (we thought it was going to take a trained neurosurgeon to accomplish this) before The Flash could actually play with it.

And once it was functioning, The Flash was mesmerized.  I do not believe I have ever seen this child as transfixed by anything.  He was most distressed that we could not take the whole thing (including 4 feet of tracks) out to dinner. Bwa-ha-ha-ha--the evil grandparents have struck!

(We explained to the Big Kid that at some point, it would be his turn to do things like this to his progeny, as it was done to us.)

There will be pictures. I remembered the camera and forgot the camera cord.

And our programming will return to stitching once we are home again.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Shhhh, don't tell anyone . . .

(It's Dearly Beloved's birthday.)

He does not like birthday celebrations. At all. Period.  He is the Grinch of birthdays.

A couple of years ago, I told the kids to not even call him on his birthday. So they called the day after.  I thought it was hysterical. He was not amused.

The man has issues.

Obviously this is a case of opposites attracting. I love having birthdays. I want people to let me know how glad they are that I've tottered and trudged through another year. I want flowers and balloons and devil's food cake with vanilla icing and sprinkles.  Oh, and presents. Lots of presents.

And if this is the only thing that we don't agree on, we're doing well.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Too Much and Not Enough

Lately there has been too much going on--too much work at work, too much stuff to go through at home, and not nearly enough needlework to compensate.

There has been a little:

And there was a little more accomplished this past week-end when I ran away from home and spent the week-end with Baby Girl. I threw a bunch of little projects in my tote bag and took off. It was lovely. Those projects, however, are in the finishing basket and Not Ready for Prime Time.

We hope to run away again this week-end. It will be our last visit to The Flash and his parents until after the spring thaw next year. Assuming, of course, that we can get there. We have to traverse the mountains of West Virginia, and they have been slammed by blizzard conditions. says that tomorrow afternoon will be much better, the highway patrol says the interstates are clear, and we are stubborn and want to go.

It's important even more so now, as we look at the devastation Sandy brought, to be sure to make contact with our loved ones. And to remember that material things can be replaced, that memories are what's important, and that everything can change in minutes.

So I've stopped complaining about work or going through 20 years of accumulation at home or the lack of time to stitch. I'm thinking about all the people who wish they had that normalcy. And remembering to send a check to the Red Cross.