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.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A little bird told me

that I would have a wonderful time in Williamsburg.

Here's my rendition of the embroidery that is sent if you express an interest in working on the Jamestown Jacket.

This jacket will be worn by the re-enactor who portrays Pocahuntas the first week-end in April on what would be the four hundredth anniversary of her marriage to John Rolfe. It is a magnificent design that consists of the New World flora and fauna as they were illustrated at that time, all stitched in black silk. Most of the stitchers attending this retreat volunteered an afternoon to work on various parts of the jacket, and we literally had all the frames occupied.

And I've now had the opportunity to embroider both on it and the Plimoth Jacket! I feel so incredibly lucky to have had both experiences.

That is not all. This morning we had a behind-the-scenes tour of some of the 17th century embroideries in the Colonial Williamsburg collection. Unfortunately, we couldn't take pictures, but I have increased my store of inspirations for my Cabinet of Curiosities. I definitely will wait until completing the second part of the online classes before starting my embroidery, though. There are some needlelace stitches that were used on some of the pieces we saw that will be taught in the second part of the class, and I want to incorporate them into my design.

Little kids may have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads on the night before Christmas--I have visions of stumpwork flowers and bouquets in ladies' hands and lovely draped gowns dancing in mine!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Before we left . . .

In between packing and laundry and lists, I did get a couple of things stitched:

Two acorns from the very top band of Ellenor Wyckes, which I'm doing as a stitch along with several people who have met through Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year. They are all farther along than I am, of course. I am going to try to work a band a month, along with the band a month I want to do on Anne Lawle, in hopes that both will be finished by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, we have journeyed to Williamsburg so I can attend a stitching retreat and Dearly Beloved can wander around and eat his way through his favorite restaurants. We have made a good start on that.

Tomorrow those of us attending the retreat will have the chance to view some pieces from Colonial Williamsburg's textile collection in the morning, then we will gather to stitch on the Jamestown Jacket in the afternoon. I think all of us participated in the Plimoth Jacket project, and I am very excited to have the opportunity to work on this as well. In fact, Baby Girl and I hope to come back in a couple of weeks and stitch on this project together one afternoon.

Sometimes I think the best part of my needlework life are the people I have met through it. And I treasure the fact that Baby Girl enjoys plying her needle, too.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Olympic stitching

During the past few days, I either had time to stitch or I had time to blog. Since this is supposed to be a needlework blog, I stitched.

And I have finished the stitching part of my Olympic stitching!

I have not done the finish-finishing, obviously, but I'm amazed that I actually managed to get this whole project worked.

I could start the finish-finishing but Dearly Beloved and I are officially on vacation, and we are getting ready to go gallivanting.  This means that I need to make lists and pack and organize myself.

The needlework bags--note that I said bags--are already packed.

I probably didn't need to tell you that.  I imagine you already knew.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Slow going

While the athletes in the Olympics seem to be going faster and faster, I seem to be going slower and slower.





No more needs to be said.

No more may need to be said--but I just noticed the "y" at the end of "thy" is missing a piece.

Sigh . . .

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A little bird

There  is now a little bird singing on the back of the stitching envelope.

Actually, I think my favorite part are the rosebud bands at the top and bottom of the panel. I may have to find somewhere else to use this motif.

Back to the Olympics and more stitching . . .

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

And I have a heart!

I just realized that statement makes me sound like the Tin Man. Or the Grinch (wrong holiday).

Anyway, this part of Barbara Jackson's Sweet Heart of Mine is all stitched. And now I will start work on the back part of the envelope, assuming, of course, that I can stay awake. Dearly Beloved took me to dinner for Valentine's Day and it was lovely, especially since I had a pack of crackers for lunch. But I am not accustomed to big, rich meals, despite my large and lovely self, and I am about to nod off.

Snow report:  it's melting. It was beautiful while it lasted, and luckily our power stayed on despite flickering a couple of times,  but I think this is about all I need. The last time we had this much snow was ten years ago and I believe that we in the Carolinas can only cope with lots of snow about once a decade.  And this is after I declared I was done with winter several weeks ago! 

Actually, I think if I could have had a snow day or two, I would have enjoyed it more. Telecommuting can be a pain, especially when some of the resources you need are not where you are. However, I'm glad I didn't fall behind on the workload, especially since we're going on vacation soon. And, given the way the winter has gone thus far, I have a feeling we're heading into more snow.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Half Hearted

Between the Olympics and the weather, I've managed to get almost this entire side of Sweet Heart of Mine worked:

I really love how rich the bargello heart looks. Actually, I can't think of anything on this section that I'm not fond of. The blank stares of the birds and bunnies will eventually be covered with beads, but I'll do that last. Otherwise I will spend a lot of time fussin' and cussin' every time the thread catches on them.

Meanwhile, the weather report:  The powers-that-be actually closed our office at noon today. The snow has been beautiful to watch as it falls, but the temperatures are also falling--into the 20's--and all that moisture on the ground is going to freeze.

Anyway, I am telecommuting for the next day or so. We're supposed to have phase 2 of the storm arriving tomorrow morning, and where I live is on the line between mostly snow and lots of ice. I'd rather be on the mostly snow side because lots of ice bring down power lines. And it's a little difficult to telecommute or stitch with no heat or light.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Olympic Stitching

Much to my surprise, I have managed to get quite a bit stitched during the very early days of the Olympics:

This is the front of of Barbara Jackson's Sweet Heart of Mine. Thus far, anyway.

I pulled this back out of the stash when it was offered as a project for SNS. I had said, jokingly, that it would be my Olympic stitching project, knowing a finish couldn't possibly happen. But now, maybe it will, if I forsake all others.

My own personal Olympic challenge . . .

Friday, February 7, 2014

Almost . . .

I almost have the band I wanted to stitch for February completed. Almost . . .just the rest of the Montegrin row . . .

(Not sure why the weird lines are showing up on this picture and the one in the last post--if you click on the pictures, the lines disappear. There is probably some technical reason for it that is beyond my understanding.)

Ellenor Wycks is on the scroll bars and ready to go as soon as I finish the Montenegrin, but I'm still thinking about doing Barbara Jackson's Heart of Mine as my Valentine/Olympics stitching. For a brief and completely insane moment, I thought of challenging myself to get the whole thing stitched by the time of the closing ceremonies of the Olympics.  Then I remembered that I really don't get a lot stitched while the events are occurring. Things happen very fast in the Olympics. (Well, of course they do, that's why they're the Olympics.). If you look away to do something like, oh, say, check the graph, you'll miss whatever you're watching the Olympics to see. So we'll see what actually gets done over the next couple of weeks.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Named and Dated

Well, I have managed to get the rest of Ann Lawle's name stitched in tonight.  And I've started on the dividing band--all Montenegrin--and the alphabet--all cross stitch.

There won't be much of interest to see on this band for a few days. I will most definitely need to alternate this sampler with something else just to keep myself awake.

(Apologies if you like stitching letter after letter after letter. I don't, even though I appreciate the graphic beauty of different fonts. And that is why I will never stitch a Bristol sampler, no matter how much I admire them and would love to have one hanging in my home.)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Stitching in "Februar"

Just by coincidence, the band I'm stitching on Ann Lawle this month was originally worked in February of 165-something. We seem to be missing the last digit in the year and the last letter in the month.

I've also decided I need to call the Overly Ambitious list the Ridiculously Overly Ambitious list since I've now added yet another project to it.  Not only do I have Sweet Heart of Mine on the list now, I also have decided to join the SAL for Ellenor Wycks. I think she was the first SL kit in my stash and apparently I've been "saving" her for some reason. The SAL may be it.

And this means that I really need to get off-line and stitch between the commercials on the Super Bowl. No, I'm not really watching the game. Dearly Beloved has it on.  He is disgusted. And I'm still waiting for this year's most memorable commercial--haven't seen it yet . . .

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Back in the habit

For the last couple of weeks I've been out of the habit of both stitching and blogging. This must stop immediately. I have missed both.

I will say it's hard to string two thoughts together after working a ten-hour day but I am going to do my best--that work schedule is going to last for another couple of weeks at least so I may as well  figure out how to deal with it.

Anyway, I had planned to do a lot of needlework both last night and today. Best laid plans, which will be rectified immediately.

I am straying a little away from the Overly Ambitious list for a bit. SNS recently offered Barbara Jackson's Sweet Heart of Mine set as an online class. Oh, said I, that's in my stash. I took that class last year at the last Jeannine's Gathering of Embroiderers that offered classes. And seeing it again, with the colors and motifs that I love and that Barbara puts together so well, started me thinking about it. Then, I needed to have a small piece that will travel easily since I have an upcoming week-end with Baby Girl. So out it came.

Plus it's February and the design has a heart in the middle so I can justify it as a Valentine.

When it comes to needlework, there is no one who can rationalize as well as I.

This is all I got done in class last year. We spent a lot of time in class basting so I didn't get to do as much of the pretty stuff then. Now I can enjoy doing the pretty stuff. And I am. Starting now..