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.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

What a week

Mother was taken to the hospital on Tuesday. She was there until late Friday afternoon when she was released to the rehab unit at her retirement center, where she will spend the next two to three weeks.

All I can say is that little old ladies with mild dementia and issues of control do not make for cooperative patients.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

And now for something completely different

Bet you thought you were going to see a completed Virgin Queen's Stitching Wallet after this week-end.

Not so much.

I did get the Skirtex basted and linen and silk interfaced and things folded and pinned. I was planning to do the pressing needed before starting the assembly, but The Boot informed me that I needed to sit down and prop up my ankle before I sentenced myself to a longer association with said Boot.

So I did.

And while I was sitting there, I picked up Frances Burwell and finished one of the small dividing bands and started on the next big band:


And I do have the bits for the Virgin Queen corralled for the next time The Boot will allow me to stand for any length of time:


Obviously, I don't have time to get bored.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Small Ta Da


Now all the accessory pieces that will go into the Virgin Queen's Stitching Wallet are finished.

Unfortunately, the actual Virgin Queen's Stitching Wallet still needs to be put together.

I've decided I need to take a lovely Saturday afternoon nap before I tackle that.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Prep work

I've been cutting out stuff that will be used to assemble the Virgin Queen etui. I now have little piles of materials in a state of organized chaos on my worktable.


I had plans to do some pressing and folding and mitering, but The Boot had other plans.  It announced that I had done quite enough, thank you very much, and it was time to prop up my aching ankle with an ice pack. So I have.

Monday, August 7, 2017

filling and fobbing

I got a couple of things accomplished while I was propping up my foot inside The Boot yesterday.


The flowers on the band are now filled in. I don't know why it was such drudgery to get them done, but I was beginning to think the gremlins were coming in during the night to remove what I had already stitched.

There was also some finish-finishing.


The fob for the Virgin Queen is assembled.

Nothing else is.

Yet.

We'll see how The Boot and I get along tonight.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

What a week . . .

This has been a week . . .

There has been a little stitching:


Frances Burwell has been my focus project this week.

And that child has been messin' with me.

Some of those little sprigs coming off the vine line up with each other. Some don't. Some are stitched just like others. Some aren't. There have been times when I thought I needed to rip out--and almost did--before I discovered that Frances was not, perhaps, as careful as she could have been when stitching the band.

And then there is the decrepitude factor. This has nothing to do with stitching so if that's why you're here, you can go on to other things.

The wonkier of my wonky knees has been giving me problems. And I keep reinjuring my Achilles tendon. So I finally gave in and went to the doctor, who mentioned that perhaps I should come to see him when things start to hurt rather than when I can barely hobble.

I got a shot in my knee--which sounds much worse than it actually was--and I am now wearing a lovely boot that immobilizes my ankle so the torn tendon can heal.  And I am to continue to keep my foot elevated and iced.

Which means I should probably stitch rather than vacuum.

There's always a golden lining.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

different direction

When I started home yesterday, I was positive I was going to pull something out of the auxiliary finishing basket to work on. After all, the lid won't shut any longer. If I were of a fanciful bent of mind, I would say that there are projects just trying to escape so they could become something, but as I am not of a fanciful bent of mind, I won't say that.

Instead, Frances Burwell was glaring at me.

Do you see this innocent-looking, very innocuous acorn band?


Let me tell you--if there were a way to miscount, I miscounted. There are only three colors in this band. I pulled the wrong color for part of the acorns and had to rip them out. I finally had to put Frances in time-out before she became a fancy dust cloth. She's been there for several weeks--or maybe a month or two.

So, last night, I finished ripping out what needed to be ripped out and restitched the sections I had ripped out. Today I finished the band.

I believe I will continue with Frances for another day or two.

Until those projects attempting to escape grab me and force me to take care of them.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Mutter, mutter

There has been a very small amount of needlework accomplished around here.

Isabella has her hem stitched:


Now she needs to be washed and pressed.

My lunchtime-at-work project has also been completed:


This, too, needs to be washed and blocked.

And I started a new crewel project for lunchtime-at-work:


Meanwhile, I've been feeling a little overwhelmed.

I have piles of projects I would like to start. I have way more UFOs than I am comfortable having. And the top of the auxiliary finishing basket won't close.

The problem is that I can't decide what I want to work on. Sometimes having too many options is worse than having too few.  I've spent a couple of weeks picking things up and putting them down without feeling a strong desire to work on any of them.

One of my professors in grad school said that when you can't make a decision, ask yourself, "what do I really want?"

And, as I was writing this, it occurred to me that what I really want is to have an empty bag, basket, box, or bin. I just want to have stuff done.  I doubt I'll pick one container and work my way to the bottom, but it would be a start.

So the thing I'm going to mull over now is determining what bag, basket, box, or bin is nagging at me most. And as soon as I get home from work tomorrow, I'm going to pull something--who knows what--out of whatever bag, basket, box, or bin I decide to tackle. And I am going to work on that something until I get it done.




Thursday, July 20, 2017

Crankypants

Since last I wrote:

  • I broke a filling eating a frozen fruit bar.
  • I threw out my back standing at the ironing board for too long
  • The back problem precipitated an attack of sciatica
  • I re-injured my almost healed Achilles tendon
I'm beginning to feel that all I do is spackle and patch my decrepit body.

I can already hear somebody asking how you can throw your back out standing at an ironing board. I have some age-related (there's that decrepit and aged thing again) deterioration of the discs in my lower back.

Actually, the doctor called it a degenerative disorder--but that sounds as if my back were doing something bawdy and naughty. I wish. Nope, it has to do primarily with age.

Anyway, I was fiddling with finish-finishing a silly little thing and the directions said to finger press the seam. Apparently my fingers are too cold to finger press anything because the seam was not staying where it was supposed to. So I decided to threaten it with a hot iron. It's a very fiddly little bit of nonsense and I fiddled and bent over and fiddled and bent over and finally my back announced that it was tired of being placed in such a position for so long and I got stuck. And it hurt to straighten up. And when I stretched to try to get the kinks out, something popped. And that was that.

Dearly Beloved said that I am the only person he has ever known who could injure herself trying to iron something. I asked him why he thought I keep saying that housework, done properly, can kill you. He said that I wasn't doing housework, I was doing needlework. Apparently the look I gave him was enough for him to decide to take a stroll around the neighborhood for a few minutes.

So my finish-finishing has not been touched. The only thing I've managed to accomplish this week is trimming, pinning, and basting the hem on Isabelle so she is ready to be hem-stitched.


I probably won't get this hem-stitched this week-end. We are heading to the mountains to visit The Flash and his parental units.

Right when I need to be in fighting trim.

Sigh . . . 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Deadly Dull and Boring (me, not the needlework)

Several times I've sat down to write a blog post this week--and nothing has come to mind to write about.

I attribute this to the heat.

It is hot. We're finally getting Real Summer with temps in the 90's and the heat index over 100.  And then there's the humidity. When you dare to go outside, the air feels like warm molasses, thick, soupy, and sticky.

Add to that, I've had one of those weeks when I wake up in the middle of the night and stare at the ceiling for a couple of hours before dozing off again.  This does not promote rational thinking, much less witty writing.

I have done a little stitching. Very little, but at least something has been done around here.


I was rummaging around in the Big Tote of Small Projects, looking for something else entirely, when this popped up. It's called Autumn Splendor, and it's one of Jackie du Plessis' small project kits. It may be wishful thinking, hoping for crisp fall days, but it appealed to me immediately, so that's what I've been stitching on.  It has been lovely and relaxing to work on and small enough to feel a sense of accomplishment.

And it may be all I accomplish until the temps start to drop.

And, yes, we do have AC and fans--but there is a point at which the world just feels stuffy, no matter how low you set the thermostat and how high you set the fans.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Baby Steps

After yesterday's disasters, I was almost afraid to thread a needle.

Apparently, I can still cross stitch over both one and two threads.


I can also back stitch.


I thought about doing some finish-finishing, but I think this is complicated enough for today. No use tempting fate.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Sidetracked, then off the rails

Yesterday I decided to do my usual Saturday domestic diva chores, which would then give me another two days for uninterrupted stitching.

I had some time last evening after finishing the last bit of spit-and-polishing I was going to do, and I picked up another of the small strawberry pieces from Barbara Jackson.

And finished the stitching:


This may be the last thing I ever stitch.

Today, I have just about decided to sell my stash, turn in my needles, and take up parasailing instead of needlework.

Everything I have touched has been a disaster.

I was going to work on the casket toy.  Detached buttonhole is one of the those stitches that I can generally do with my eyes closed. Today I couldn't do one with both eyes open, with additional magnification, in broad daylight.

So I decided to thread up my sewing machine and do a wee bit of finishing. The less said about that experience the better. The sewing machine is among the things I was thinking of selling.

I usually have very good luck stitching samplers, so I pulled Frances Burwell out of her pillowcase. I miscounted within the first four stitches. So all that I did had to be ripped out.

I was stomping around, flinging invective (which was safer than flinging other things)--Dearly Beloved suggested that perhaps it would be a good idea to do something else before I made decisions I would rue.

So tonight I am going to leaf through a few of the magazines that have accumulated beside my chair.

None of them will have any needlework in them.

Friday, July 7, 2017

seeing quadruple

Yesterday I spent my stitching time setting up the pieces for the second Winter Casket Toy.



The base set-up for all four pieces is the same so I figured I may as well do them all while I was in the groove.

They kept bothering me, though. I keep thinking they reminded me of something else. It finally hit me. They look like the BB-8 Droid from one of the recent Star Wars movies.

I'm not sure I'm going to do the next step in this project today.  My current book, which started off very slowly, has suddenly picked up speed and I don't really want to put it down for long. I may spend the day with a tall, icy beverage and the book.

The joys of free time . . . as much as I like the structure of a working life, I think I could very possibly enjoy being retired.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

And now for something completely different

I bet you thought you were going to see the next step on a casket toy.

Not so much.

Early this morning I was seeing my doctor because I was hit with a case of vertigo last night. Apparently the slightly nagging headache I've had has not been eye strain from stitching myself silly, but the beginnings of an inner ear infection. My ear never hurt. I have meds and the headache has already disappeared, although the anti-vertigo drugs make me a little drowsy and apparently a little loopy.

Then I spent the middle of the day with the AC technician since the hall in front of the closet where the AC unit lives became squishy at some point. He called the plumber. The plumber came and cleared out the drainage pipe. The AC guy came back and fiddled for awhile. Then he left and Dearly Beloved had to excavate the swamp fan (aka big honkin' fan) to blow over the squishy parts of the carpet and dry them out. I've wanted to replace the carpet for awhile, but would prefer to do it on my timetable.

After all this excitement (and unexpected expense) the last thing I needed to wield was a sharp, pointy object.  A pointy object with a blunt end might work, which meant stitching not on silk fabric but on linen or canvas instead.

And I came up with this little lovely, which I started a couple of years ago. At the time, I had the flower at the top and the ABC. I stitched the rest this afternoon after all the excitement died down.


It will become this:


Barbara Jackson's colors are so joyful that they make me happy.

And who's to say I can't put strawberries in my casket, too?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

My Heart Beats True for the Red, White, & Blue

Happy Fourth!

We have had a quiet Fourth, thus far, although I expect the neighborhood pyrotechnic display later tonight will take care of the festivities.

And I have been stitching.

I have the second side of the first Winter Casket toy done up to the point that the Fray Stop has to finish drying.


I'm trying to decide if I want to skip ahead and do the finishing on this toy, then circle back and work the embroidery on the other one, or if I want to work in the order in which the directions are given. That means that I'd do the embroidery on the second toy in the set, then do the finishing for both pieces.

I'm delighted that this is the most difficult decision I have to make in the next day or so.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Light My Fire

Today I started my stay-cation project.


Amy Mitten's Casket Toys have been aging in the my stash since she first introduced them.  This is the first of them from the Winter Toy set.

It is quite possible that they would have continued aging, but two dear friends have both been working on them lately. One of them has completed the Winter Set. In fact, I had an email from her almost-but-not-quite suggesting a throw-down.

Well, what other kind of motivation does a Stitching Fool need than to know that her good buddies are having fun without her.

And I have to say, this has been a lot of fun. I started the first lesson this morning--all about the prep work. By afternoon, I was stitching. At the moment, I'm waiting for the Fray-Stop to dry so I can move to the next step.

I've been very lucky to have classes from excellent teachers who give incredibly detailed directions, but Amy Mitten is one of the very best. Having detailed, step-by-step photographs make all the difference in the world. It's like literally sitting next to her and working together.

I plan to continue working away during the Fourth celebrations tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that. Who knows--I might even get something finished before I go back to the paying job!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Close but no cigar

I made plans for the week-end.

I was going to come home from work on Friday, start the laundry, and get the living room and kitchen in order. I was going to set Virgin Queen aside for a few days while I started the project I've been planning to stitch on my stay-cation.

I do not know why I bother to make any kind of plan for anything.

I came home from work on Friday, and Virgin Queen was just sitting by the chair--and we were allowed to leave early because of the long Fourth week-end, so I still had daylight--and I stitch best by daylight--so I thought I'd get a few stitches in before I started all the other stuff.

Forget the carefully crafted plans.

I got so much done Friday afternoon and evening that I thought I could surely finish the last panel and the scissor fob pieces on Saturday.

And I almost made it.


And a close-up of the center part, which is my very favorite part of the design--why did it have to be on the bottom?


I'm going to finish up the last bit of bargello and stitch the scissor fob pieces and then go back to the original plan.

Until something else comes along and changes the plan.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Pride Goeth Before a Fall

Monday night I got the ropey thing stitched (and did a very happy dance) and then started on the leafy stalks from which all the other bits and pieces rise.

I got all the leaves and stalk on the left side and the center worked in before I needed to go to bed.


If you look at the picture, you will notice that there is no stalk in the center.

I came home from work last night and finally had a chance to plop myself in the wing chair to stitch.

I looked at the piece.

I looked at the chart.

I looked back at the piece.

I looked back at the chart.

I looked at the piece again.

I looked at the chart again.

No matter how many times I looked back and forth, the piece did not match the chart.

I had made a counting error early on the base of the stalk. So I had to rip. And believe me, ripping out double running worked with a sharp needle so the stitches can be pierced and therefore look more even--it is not easy nor is it fast.

This led to more fuming.

OK, deep breath time.

I wanted to get all the pieces stitched before Friday so I could take them to work and photocopy them so I could make the paper patterns needed for finishing-finishing. Normally I would have not worried because I could do that at home. However, our printer/scanner/copier has turned itself into a door stop and Dearly Beloved has not completed his research and deliberations into a replacement. He may never complete his research and deliberations, but that is a rant for another day.

And I wanted to get that done by Friday because I am giving myself a stay-cation next week. I will have nine days in a row to do what I want (within reason) which includes not setting an alarm clock and stitching myself silly.

I had also planned a very specific project to work on next week, which is not Virgin Queen. I wanted to get Virgin Queen finished before I started the new project.

So random thoughts about this current first-world dilemma:

  • Why I won't allow myself to start another project before I get this one done?
  • I start new projects all the time without getting previous projects finished and it doesn't bother me normally.
  • If I don't do the project I planned, the world will not tilt on its axis and throw everybody off.
  • I don't have any deadlines or any reason to follow a set plan
  • First born girl children who feel responsible for the world turning on its axis set up too many rules and regulations for themselves.
I'm going to trot off to my EGA meeting in a few and not think about any of this for a couple of hours.

After all, it's just stitching.

And since I want to do it all, it really doesn't make any difference in what order I do it.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Triumph!

OK, it may not look like much to be proclaiming a triumph over--but this little bit of this project gave me fits yesterday.


I kept getting off track--couldn't count to two because I kept counting to three--ripped out more than I left in--accidentally cut threads that should not have been cut--yesterday I could not do a single thing right.

And it's ironic because I have stitched virtually this same pattern on samplers and other projects before. In double running. Without trauma.

Consequently, I finally put it in time-out and sat and fumed until bedtime.

Today as I was driving home from work, I decided, no matter what, I was going to get this done and move on.  And I did.

Now I'm going to work on leaves and flowers and pretty things.

And hope I can continue to count correctly.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Wine & Roses, Two

After a long day of stitching, all the leaves and vines on the back of the second band on the second panel of the Virgin Queen are done.

The happy dance has been celebrated.


I think it looks very William Morris-ish, and I did finally figure out a pattern I could follow, so it wasn't quite as painful as I feared.

And I decided which thread winder designs I wanted to use and got those stitched.


I went with darker values than the original designs on both of these because I have left my usual rut and gone wild on the lining fabric.

Please keep in mind that going wild is relative.

We had a choice among a yellow-green, blue (my usual option), and a rusty, cinnamon-y red. The red made me think of Elizabeth I more than the other two, so I threw caution to the winds and opted for it. Actually, I think I'm going to like it a lot.

I have already outlined the last panel and the two halves of the scissors fob, so I'm going to thread up my needle again and see what i can accomplish before bedtime.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Wine and Roses

The grapevine band on the second panel of the Virgin Queen is stitched, but the flower panel is taking me a little more brain power than I have at the end of a work day.


Betsy warned us that this was the most difficult band for double running, so I was prepared to work at it.

Usually I can figure out a double running pattern just by studying it. Not so much with this one--so I used my fallback method. I enlarge and photocopy the pattern and try to follow the pattern with my pudgy finger (that's one reason I enlarge the pattern). If that doesn't work, I get out the colored pencils and try to work out the outward path and the return journey.

There are a lot of dead ends on this pattern.

And I think I need to wait until the week-end to actually stitch it. Meanwhile, last night I very carefully counted out the locations of the centers of the posies and I think I'll go ahead and plant those flowers on the band. That way, there will be progress made.

Unless, of course, my counting wasn't quite as careful as I am assuming it was.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

And there was much rejoicing

I managed to get the Vanilla thread on the Cream background band stitched on Virgin Queen.

It was a beast to stitch. And you can barely see it, even in person.

Oh, and I finished the rest of this panel as well.


Usually, when I'm stitching a double running pattern, I figure out where the border stitches are and start working across them. When I come to a place where the inner bits of the design intersect, I meander off and do those parts of the motif, then return to the border stitches and go along until the next intersection.

On this pattern, that was not working. I was so totally lost I would have needed pebbles or bread crumbs or something to get me back to where I was supposed to be.

So, I did all the border stitches along the bottom border, both outbound and return trip. Then I went all the way across the top border and, on the return trip, filled in the squiggly bits in the middle. That way I had guidelines on both top and bottom as reference points.

That worked.

And this is not the section that Betsy says is the hardest to do in double running.

I'm not sure if this is going to build new neural pathways or destroy the ones I have.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Baby Girl

I have been asked what Baby Girl does while I'm taking classes--other than acting as driver and hauler of suitcases and tote bags.

She is quite an accomplished needlewoman in her own right.

Before we left for Salty Yarns, she created a new watch band.

 

Her watchband broke. Instead of buying a new one, she made one instead. It started out to be sort of steam punk with bobbin lace (which I can't do) and metal bits, but she decided that would be too fragile. So she designed a beaded band (I also can't bead).  I like the offset clasp, so that she had more design area for the beaded band itself.

And while we were there, she threaded up her electric needle and did the outlining for the Halloween etui that came from Blue Ribbon Designs several years ago.


And why isn't she taking the classes with me?  Who do you think is going to end up with my stash anyway?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Obsession

I came home yesterday after leaving Salty Yarns on Monday and spending Monday night at Baby Girl's home. Both legs of the trip were much, much easier than the trip up on Saturday--the longest delay we had was the fifteen-minute wait for a table at The Carrot Tree in Williamsburg.

What I was going to do was unpack, throw some laundry in the washer, catch up on the newspapers. write a few entries in my journal since I forgot to take it with me, blog about the class and the trip, and maybe stitch for a little bit. I also fully planned to go to bed early to make up for not sleeping as much as I usually do.

I unpacked and threw a load in the washer.

The sun was shining and I had daylight for stitching, so I thought I would just stitch for a little bit and catch up on the newspapers, journal, and write a blog when I started losing the sun in my corner. And I could still get to bed at a reasonable hour, since it was back to work today.

I started stitching.

And that was it. There was Chinese for dinner. There were a few loads shifted from washer to dryer. A couple of them even were folded up, although they're still sitting on the kitchen table.

And I got this much done before I forced myself to go to bed. Later than usual.


I had to go back to work today and I had to be a responsible adult tonight and make grocery lists and do more laundry and pay a couple of bills and do all those deadly dull and boring things.

I'd much rather be stitching.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Mojo Lost, Mojo Found

OK--earlier in the week, my stitching mojo vanished in a puff of smoke. Gone. Move along, nothing to see here.

I tried. I sat with the threaded needle in my hand for about an hour one night while watching reruns of Big Bang Theory. Not one stitch was taken, and they were episodes I had seen multiple times before.

And here I was on my way to Salty Yarns to take a class from Betsy Morgan, and it's a project that I've wanted since it appeared on her blog. To say that I was afraid I would be a bump on a log in class is an understatement.

So I travelled to Baby Girl's last night and we got up bright and early to make the trek to Maryland from North Carolina.

And if there was ever a trip that would make a person reconsider taking a class, this was that trip.

  • There was a horrendous accident on the interstate that meant it took us twice as long to reach the Virginia line as usual. It looked like it had happened hours earlier, and the road was still blocked.
  • We missed the Jamestown Ferry and had to wait for the next one.
  • We decided to have a leisurely lunch and it was delightful and I do not regret one moment of the time we spent off the road.
  • For some unknown reason--and we have never figured this out--the traffic on I-64 is always slow and bumper-to-bumper. Today it was worse than usual. It took two hours to go forty miles.
  • The rest of the trip was fairly easy, but at this point, we were so far behind our usual schedule and so road-weary it was hard to maintain our cherub-like demeanors.
  • And we got the very last parking spot in the hotel parking lot so we are about as far away from the lobby as we could get. We may actually be in Delaware.
But then we arrived at the Lankford and Salty Yarns, and we have been welcomed with their usual gracious hospitality, and once again, Sara provided the absolute best goodie basket.


It is all housed in this perfect box:


And I'm feeling the urge to stitch again.

But if you think I'm even going to attempt that tonight, after 11 hours on the road--forgive me, but are you insane?

Monday, June 5, 2017

Temptation

I have the eyelet band on Frances Burwell stitched.


Of course, I could continue with this tonight, but the mail carrier brought me something today that is very, very tempting.


The linen and Gilt Silk Twist for the Harmony Casket arrived, and I am so very, very tempted to set it up. I'm not sure that's a brilliant idea after a very hectic Monday at work, but I might get myself organized to set it up,

Actually, I just need to get some things organized. I'm leaving on Friday for Salty Yarns and a workshop with Betsy Morgan, and I should decide what I'm going to take to stitch before the workshop starts.

One way or the other, something is going to be organized tonight!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Letters and numbers, letters and numbers

I've finally finished the alphabet and number band on Frances Burwell:


It is all stitched reversibly. The second alphabet is worked in the reversible cross that results in a four-sided stitch on the back.  I could have stitched half a dozen alphabets in the time it takes to stitch two reversibly.

So, you might ask, as a friend did--if you're not going to frame the sampler so the backside can be seen, why do it?

Well, for one thing, when I'm working a reproduction, it just doesn't occur to me to stitch it other than the way the original embroiderer worked.

And that includes strange things, like the green lines running from top to bottom along each side. Sometimes the sampler runs into and over those lines:


It all adds to the charm--at least, that's how I look at it.

The other thing is that, judging from the brain cramps that have occurred as I've worked, new neural pathways are being created inside my head. At least, that's the hope.  I'd hate to have the brain cramps without some benefit from them.

At any rate, it's now done and I can go on to the pretty parts.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Well, That Happened

Last night I had determined I was going to work on Frances Burwell this week-end. I even pulled her out of her pillowcase and did a few more letters on the second row.


But then I wandered into the stash room to look for something and discovered what had made the thump in the night.

Background--a week or so ago, Dearly Beloved and I had just gone to bed and turned out the lights when we heard a thump. It wasn't a loud thump, but it was a thump. So Dearly Beloved hauled himself out of bed and went on a tour of inspection to see what had happened and if we were being invaded. He found nothing. We decided it must have been something outside and went to sleep.

But when I opened the door to the stash room (for obvious reasons, I keep it shut) I found that there had either been a Disturbance in the Force or a small earthquake--or something had just shifted for some unknown reason--and one of my storage tubs had tumbled to the floor.  The lid had popped off and the contents were strewn across the floor.

You can't leave needlework strewn across the floor--or I can't--so I started picking up and sorting and of course, I found treasures. And now I want to work on every single one of them.


Here's a silk and metal thread design from the much missed Jean Taggart--probably started twenty years ago.


And another silk and metal thread design, this one from Sue Kerndt.


And this adorable snowman from Jody Adams.

When I took the classes, I was doing a lot of pilot stitching with deadlines all over the place, and I didn't get back to them after the seminars were over. But now that I've found them again, I want to stitch them.

I'm a little concerned, though. I think my stitching was better then than it is now so I need to up my game to go back to these.

Anyway, while I was trying to decide which one to tackle first, the mail carrier delivered this to my door.


I found this on the Bay of Evil. I've wanted this piece for years and years and years. The grandmother of one of my best friends had this stitched and framed on her kitchen wall--and by the time I saw it, the kit had been discontinued. I don't know why it appealed to me so, but I've been searching for it for over forty years--and there it was at a reasonable price, so I grabbed it.

Which just goes to show, if I'm meant to have a needlework project, somehow it will eventually come my way.

The only problem is that I'm back to where I was before. What am I going to work on first?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Little Lambsies

Catherine Theron's Early Spring Lambs needlebook is done!

And here is the outside:


And here is the inside:


And here is the pocket between the inside and the outside where the scissors live:


I think I need to press the needle page down--it accidentally got bent up when I tied the case closed. And I think I may make the ties a little shorter--they're very long.

So what do I pick up next?

I'm really not sure. There are samplers and smalls and new projects and old projects and projects in a variety of different techniques and they are all calling my name. What a wonderful dilemma to have!


Monday, May 29, 2017

I Know my ABC's

I haven't worked on a sampler since I went to the retreat in February, so I decided to pull Frances Burwell out of her pillowcase.

And then I remembered why I hadn't worked on this since.

The next thing to do was an alphabet. In reversible cross. And I don't like stitching letters.  I have no idea why I don't like to stitch letters, but I don't.  But the next thing to do if I'm ever to finish stitching the sampler is to work the alphabet, so I got it started.


There is also a lower-case alphabet after the upper case alphabet is finished. And then there are numbers.

I don't like stitching numbers any more than I like to stitch letters, but I will struggle through so I can get to the fun stuff.

And if this is the worst struggle I have to overcome, I lead a charmed life.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Black and (off) White

So I sat down yesterday after a morning of errands and picked up the prework for the class I'm taking from Betsy Morgan at Salty Yarns in a couple of weeks.

And it's done.


If working out the double running patterns doesn't create new neural pathways and help to stave off dementia and Alzheimer's, I don't know what will! I'm still getting over the brain cramps.

And I don't have a clue what I'm in the mood to work on next. There are more than enough projects in the stash to keep me busy until I'm 462, but I can't decide which one is the most enticing.

Back to closing my eyes and grabbing whatever is in the basket by the chair, I guess.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Now what

I finished the last two little bits of the Cotton Fields set, so it's going into the finish-finishing pile.


And, after two attempts that were frogged, I have the fourth band of Isabella finished. Actually, I'm still not happy with it, but I'm afraid the linen is getting tired and it's going to give up completely if I rip again. So the third time is going to be the charm, whether it really is or not.


And here I am with a three-day week-end. Three lovely, lovely days for stitching.

There is a project I've wanted to get some traction on, and I originally planned to plop myself in the wing chair and work on it from sunrise to way after sunset for the next three days. I really believed that I could get the whole thing done from start to finish.

As often happens when I make plans, something interferes.  It would appear that Someone has Other Plans for part of the week-end, so I won't have long expanses of time. I'll have chopped up sections of time. So now I'm trying to decide what to do.

I do have prework for Betsy's class at Salty Yarns in a couple of weeks. I could do the hemstitching on Isabella. I certainly have a stack of finish-finishing to do. Or I could start the original project I had planned to do, despite the fact there will be interruptions.

I may just flip a coin.