In my part of the world we say you are a fool if your passion for a pursuit overcomes all practical sense. I am a stitching fool, and I stitch foolishness.

Monday, July 28, 2014


I didn't do any of the things I said I might do yesterday. Instead, I did this:

The second half of the verse . . .which I now need to fill around with tent stitch. Over one. This may take awhile.

And then, today, I got home, and found a delight from the Swans:

The 2014 Swan Sampler Guild ornament kit

Every July the Swans have Christmas in July, with a special ornament designed just for the Guild. There are also surprise presents--and this year I was one of the lucky recipients of a special notebook in its own little case!  

I am so very, very tempted to put a stitch or two into this, but I'm going to take a deep, deep breath and start on the tent stitch around the verse.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Birds and Bees and Trees and a Shed

I did some landscaping for the house yesterday.

Today I can either start planting grass, or I can chart what I want to stitch in the cartouches and stitch that.

Or I can take a nap.

Decisions, decisions. . . I could do all three . . .but in what order?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Building a House

For the past week, I've been building a house.

As with every building project I've been involved in, there were unexpected delays, cost overruns (when we called out for Chinese delivery so I could stitch), weather delays (when the power went out during a thunderstorm for a couple of hours), things that were installed incorrectly and had to be reinstalled, and decisions that have been second-guessed.

This week-end, I plan to plant some trees and start some landscaping.

Obviously I am not following the Ellie Plan this week. I am so very close to finishing Morning Has Broken that I'm going for it.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Making Progress

Well, despite pitching a hissy fit earlier this week, I'm still making progress.

I have the first step of the roof on Morning Has Broken filled in, and I started on the second step, after I built the chimneys.

It would have helped if Dearly Beloved hadn't looked over my shoulder and asked if I were going to stitch flowers or if I was just going to leave those dead branches in the flower pots. It took me a minute to figure out he was talking about the smoke from the chimneys.  I have no comment about this, simply reporting.

Another section on Journey is finished:

I realized as I was stitching this section that I won't have enough of the Neon Rays I need for the next three sections.  I have ordered it and hope it will arrive fairly quickly. I had just been thinking how nice it's been on the last several projects to have more than enough thread, and, of course, immediately I run out of something vital.

And after I calmed down from my conniption, I managed to get almost the whole next section on Posey stitched.
I still love the colors.

Tonight I go back to Eve in the Garden. Hopefully I'll get farther this week than I did last!

Monday, July 14, 2014


If you look at this, you will notice that one of these things is not like the others. One of these things is not quite the same.

I will admit, I had a feeling that something wasn't quite lining up as it should but I counted and looked and really couldn't see it until I started getting the darker colors stitched in.

And I had a tantrum. I flung invective and vitriol. I stomped around. I wove a tapestry of profanity (with thanks to Jean Shepherd and A Christmas Story for that image).

In short, I had a hissy fit.

The loony tunes part of my Inner Perfectionist declared that I must immediately take the scissors and cut the whole section out and restitch it. Now, not later.

The saner part of my Inner Perfectionist suggested that it might be wiser to wield a pair of scissors with sharp points when I had calmed down a little bit. Otherwise, I might also have to reweave a linen thread or more if I cut the fabric.  So I went off and did other things for awhile.

Then I came back and looked at it. Hmmm, the sane part of my Inner Perfectionist said, I could just remove the rows on the left side, weave those ends in, and restitch only that section. It would make a bit of a lump if I didn't stagger the rows a little--well, actually there would still be something of a lump  from weaving all those ends in, but this part will be on the bottom of the pincushion.

Wait a minute.

This part will be on the bottom of the pincushion.

And the pincushion is attached to the case.

So that no one will ever see the bottom of the pincushion.

I think I'm going to embrace my wild and crazy self and just leave it. Life is too short to worry about perfection.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

More and more and more teeny tiny stitches

I spent my Saturday making more itsy bitsy stitches over one thread on Morning Has Broken:

I had started the strawberries Friday night, but then the Big Kid called and we had a nice, long talk, deserving of my full attention. 

I have now completed the first half of the central section. That would be cause for great rejoicing, but I looked at the next section and it is pretty solidly stitched. As I am realizing that everything takes much longer than I think it should, I'm resigning myself to many more hours of work before I see this finished.

The night before, I had also worked over one.

Poor little bunny did not get much love Thursday night. We had gone out for dinner, which was quite disappointing--service was slow and food mediocre. I do not believe we will be dining there again. But we got home later than I would have liked so I barely had an hour before I needed to fall into bed.

And, still on the Ellie program, I spent Wednesday on Journey and managed to get another motif completed:

This bit is the first of the section that uses overdyed threads to show the direction or flow of the design, and is structured to produce diagonal stripes. I think the next section will create vertical stripes, but I'll find out on Wednesday.

I'm not quite sure what I'm going to work on this afternoon. It's a free day, so I can play with whatever I want. It will not, however, be anything worked over one thread. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I've decided I don't want to be an adult any longer, but I've had to be the last couple of days.

Monday . . .well, the first day back at work after a three-day week-end or a vacation is always tough, and it was Monday. 'Nuff said.

I came home to find a minor Domestic Mishap, so I had to be an adult and take care of it. And there were a couple of household chores that were not handled over the week-end that required handling.

I did stitch:

This is the beginning of the pincushion that fits into the Posey needlecase. It's so pretty and so much fun to stitch I hated to go to bed and leave it.

Yesterday required a trip to the grocery store before I came home for an essential ingredient for a new recipe. The new recipe took much, much longer to do than the estimated time in the kitchen the recipe gave and it was not the tastiest thing we've ever cooked in this abode. In short, it was not a keeper.  In fact, Dearly Beloved ceremonially took the print-out of the recipe to the paper shredder and shredded it.

We had a discussion about whether or not the leftovers would ever be eaten and decided that they would likely be pushed to the back of the refrigerator until they turned into an alternate life form. Therefore, despite the fact that we were both reared by children of the Depression who learned that we do not waste food, the leftovers were sent to their reward in the garbage disposal.

So by the time I sat down to stitch it was later than usual. And the next thing I needed to do on Morning was long-arm cross and diagonal cross stitch. The transition from one to the other is something I have to think about--no auto-stitching--but, by golly, I was going to do it.

And we have a sideways picture. If you look closely, you may see that the diagonal cross stitch looks the way it should on the front. On the back, not so much. I realized this after I got all the way across the row.

I throttled my inner perfectionist and decided to let it stay. After all, who would know other than myself and all of you? And we'll never tell, will we?

Tonight I am supposed to work on Journey, but I may be submerged in technology. I have a new camera. The old camera decided it was a filmmaker and kept insisting that it was supposed to make movies rather than take pictures, no matter how it was set. It will only take a picture if you manage to snap it at a critical moment after shaking the camera. That may account for the sideways picture that I can't get to rotate--anyway I have figured out how to point and click with the new one, and I have downloaded the 109 page manual that will hopefully help me take better pictures, but it's going to take some time to figure all this out.

And I just remembered that I need to write a couple of checks tonight to pay bills. Adulthood really is not fun at all.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Perfect week-end

I declared my independence from adulthood this week-end and decided I was going to indulge myself. Obviously this meant I stitched and read and looked at blogs and websites having to do with needlework.

Saturday I announced that I was going to work on Morning Has Broken until both of the over-one motifs next to the bee skep were finished.  And they are.

I can't tell you how nice it will be to turn the rods on the scroll frame. I have no idea why this section caused such angst--over one usually doesn't thrill me but it doesn't kill me either--maybe because I started it when I really had problems with anesthesia brain--but I am relieved it is done.

Today I decided to work on Journey for awhile, and totally impressed Dearly Beloved with the Fleur de Lis.

Journey is almost halfway completed, and I may spend some week-end hours with it to see that finale sooner rather than later.  

There are still a couple of hours before I need to go to bed. I could go ahead and pack my lunch for tomorrow and balance the checkbook and fold two loads of towels that are sitting on the kitchen table--but I think I'll avoid adulthood for another evening!

Friday, July 4, 2014

It's the Fourth!

And the neighbors have started their fireworks display. Who needs to leave home when almost every man in the community turned into a thirteen-year-old the minute it got dark! I will say they have good taste, and I'm enjoying the display through my living room window . . .but as I am getting old and cranky, I hope they are through before midnight this year!

Last night I was thinking about what I wanted to stitch today. Some of my friends always start new projects on holidays, particularly when those holidays mean a day off from work. At the moment, I think I have enough going on, so that idea wouldn't work for me.

I was rummaging through the project basket, and lo and behold, the project I stitched during the Olympics was staring me in the face--stitched but not finish-finished.

And now it is,

Sweet Heart of Mine
designed by Barbara Jackson of Tristan Brooks
class from Jeannine's Gathering of Embroiderers

 I love Barbara's designs and the colors she uses so I'm always happy when one of her classes or designs come my way.  And the inside has one of my very favorite sayings:

"Count that day lost whose low descending sun . . .views from thy hand no worthy action done"

This was one of those rare finishing projects in which I did not leave any of my DNA. There may be hope for me and a sharp needle after all.

I will probably rework the button loop on the needle book (it's too long) and I haven't decided what kind of closure to put on the case. Barbara suggests twisted cording ties, but I'm not sure it really needs anything.

Last night I kept to the Ellie Plan and worked on Eve in the Garden.  I now have a butterfly.

I love the background stitch used for this part--I may use something similar to it on my casket.  I keep finding design elements that I want to use and making notes and planning and dreaming, but I still think I want to wait until I have the actual box in hand before I start stitching.

And I'm already thinking about what will go on the flat top casket, after the slope top one is complete.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


I've been totally discombobulated since Tuesday morning, when I realized it was July 1 and half the year is gone.

Where did it go?

I'm even more confused because I usually have more finished projects by now. This year, not so much.

Mary Corbett wrote a blog entry several days ago about being overly optimistic about how much she can stitch--and she stitches full time! I suffer from the same problem. I never think things will take nearly as long as they do, and that I can stitch faster than I actually can. Apparently, as I get older and creakier, my turbo needle is rusting along with me.

However, I have been stitching this week.

 This little tag will adorn the flap of the Posey Needlebook. Notice the date. I'm at least optimistic about this piece.

This pretty piece will become the thimble well that fits into the pin pillow.

This was the MOST fun to stitch! I love the way the wool thread lofts up and covers the linen threads and I love the soft pastels. And it went FAST!!

Tuesday, the day of my discombobulation, I finally managed to get the blue flowers finished and one of the strawberries stitched. I have to finish the berry on the other side of the flowers, and then I'll have to do the whole thing over again on the other side of the bee skep. I'm going to use a sharp needle for the backstitch in the flowers, hoping that it will make that process a little easier. Backstitch over one is a pain.

And last night I finished this motif. I had time to work on the next section, but I had totally run out of gas and stumbled off to bed. Actually I'm enjoying this series of motifs. The couching patterns are very interesting visually, although, sadly, you can't see the sparkle the metallic thread provides.

Tonight I work on Eve in the Garden, and then, to celebrate the Fourth, I plan to spend the next three days with needle in hand. I haven't completely decided which project I'll enjoy over the three-day week-end, but I'm looking forward to it. I'm also looking forward to playing with some new recipes. I may even run the dust cloth around the most obvious places!