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.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A stitching Thanksgiving

I was thinking about today's blog and listing all the things I'm thankful for--like a warm home, food to eat, a job that supports my habit, modern conveniences like electricity and indoor plumbing--and most of all, Dearly Beloved, the Big Kid and his wife, Baby Girl, and the Flash--but then, I thought, we're all grateful for family and quality of life. And this is a stitching blog.

So here are the things in my little needlework world that I'm thankful for today:

  • Progress, again, on Morning Has Broken. These are the two center cartouches in the vine and leaf border, plus a little of the sawtooth border which goes around the whole thing. If I plop myself in the wing chair for the next few days and really work at this, I can get the whole border done and then can spend my time filling in the fun parts.
  • Enough stash to last several lifetimes, so boredom will not be an issue any time soon
  • Inspirations to try techniques new to me, found online and in magazines and books. This is truly an amazing time to be an embroiderer.
  • In-person guilds and online communities of embroiderers, all of whom have something to offer
  • Brilliant teachers and designers who constantly challenge and encourage with exquisite projects and techniques
  • Online classes that make it ever so easy to learn
  • Blogging, which has reconnected me to an old friend and brought me a new one who is just as addicted to all this as I am!
  • And my mail carrier, who delivers goodies that make my stitcher's heart go pitty-pat and my stitcher's fingers itch to pick up my needle.

Yesterday, my mail carrier brought me two wonderful new projects:

Peace on Earth, this year's ornament from Barbara Jackson. 

I stitched her "Merrily, Merrily" last year in time to get it on the tree. That's the goal for this year as well. Class starts tomorrow!

The materials for Jacobean Splendour, a cyber workshop from Alison Cole.

I've wiped more drool off the keyboard after viewing Alison Cole's website than I care to admit and I'm really excited to start this class as well. Periodically, I take my life in my hands and pick up a sharp needle, and this is one of those times. I will keep you apprised of my progress. I should perhaps buy stock in band-aids.

The needlepoint ornament series has not been forgotten. As we have already had our family feast, it's just Dearly Beloved and moi for Thanksgiving today, so I thought about setting up my assembly line on the kitchen table and starting.

The finishing directions call for use of a hot glue gun.

A klutz should never be allowed near a hot glue gun.

I rummaged around to find my Allene's thick tacky designer glue--the one in the pink bottle--since it holds as well as hot glue and doesn't run the risk of blistering my fingers or other parts--only to find that  I have a virtually empty bottle.

If you think I'm going to risk life and sanity diving into the post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy for a bottle of glue, you need to rethink. Instead, I'm planning to stitch until it's time to sling the turkey breast into the oven. And then I plan to stitch after dinner. And then I plan to stitch tomorrow. And the next day. And the next . . .there's a LOT to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Trudging along . . .

I did not mean to neglect the blog for a week, but it's one of the busier times at work for me. After spending the whole day staring at a computer screen, the last thing I've been able to do is stare at one again when I'm (finally, at long last) home.

In fact there have been a couple of days when I've arrived home, done the dinner thing, plopped down in the wing chair, and stared into space--or at the TV, which may be the same thing--until bedtime. It's been a little disconcerting.

That doesn't mean I haven't stitched at all. I've done a little . . .very little . . .especially considering that I'm currently working on little Christmas ornaments.  This is what I managed to do since the last posting.

There are two more in the series, but I had to stop stitching yesterday. Tugging the heavy metallic thread through the canvas was making my fingers sore--I am such a fragile flower!

I'm beginning to feel that linen is calling me. After all, I've now spent a couple of months playing with canvas. Morning Has Broken has come back downstairs, and I dug around in the stash until I unearthed Ann Lawle from Scarlet Letter. I think I'm going to stitch on samplers through the long Thanksgiving week-end.

After braving the grocery store this morning to get our Thanksgiving Day provisions, I'm not going out in a crowd on Black Friday, for sure!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sleigh Ride!

And another ornament--and again, it took only two evenings to stitch.

There are supposed to be snowflakes behind the sleighs. There used to be. I stitched them in and decided that my sleighs looked like they were dancing on dotted Swiss. It just looked a little too busy.

Why does it take longer to take stitches out than to stitch them in?

Anyway, this is going with the other one for a grand finish-finishing when I get a few more done.  The canvas for the next ornament is already on the stretcher bars and ready to go. And it's supposed to be a gray, gloomy week-end, so it will be perfect for stitching.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gettin' my Fa-la-la on!

Two evenings--that's all this took--just two evenings!

After I got the center motif finished--and remembered how much I despise working with Frosty Rays--this was a delight to stitch.

I was thinking about going ahead and finish-finishing, but then I came to my senses. I have seven more ornaments in this series, and it makes a whole lot more sense to wait until I get a few more stitched. Then I could do an assembly line finish of a bunch of them at one time.

(And this is absolutely not a way to avoid finish-finishing. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Doin' the Hokey Pokey

Dearly Beloved was both amazed and amused when I tottered from my chair and performed the Hokey Pokey this afternoon, with gestures, lyrics, and complete movement. I will never be on Dancing with the Stars, but it was definitely a happy dance.

In the Mood Blue is done!

I've been asked about the thread used for the "B's."  The blue one is worked in a metallic thread. The others are worked in AVAS and an overdyed silk. The strands were gently persuaded to lie parallel to each other by use of a laying tool. I've been thinking that they perhaps look a little too heavy and blocky, so I've been thinking of taking them out and either changing the alphabet or using only two strands to make them airier. I'm going to set this somewhere where I can look at it from a distance and see if it still bothers me enough to redo.

However, it's all beaded and bordered and I'm ready to go on to something else.

As I'm still in a canvas mood, I'm going to work on some Christmas ornaments that I found in the stash. They're part of a series designed by Tony Minieri. I stitched the first two years ago and then was distracted by something else. It's time to get a couple more done--I'm not going to say I'll get the whole series finished before this Christmas.

It's a good thing I had decided to do Christmas ornaments since my dear, faithful, and aged Grip-It frame stand has lost its grip. It's had a hard time holding up its head for awhile, but I could prop the edge of the stretcher bars on the arm of the chair and we could muddle along. Now the head  will only tighten up on one side, which meant that occasionally the frame would plunge to the floor, startling me and causing Dearly Beloved to wake with a start. Excuse me, he was not asleep on the corner of the couch, he was simply "resting his eyes." The man has the most rested eyes in the fifty United States.

Anyway, he has been tinkering with it for the last couple of days while I've been stitching away on In the Mood. He's swapped out screws and sanded things and fiddled with the joints and finally pronounced that it was beyond aid.

Somewhere there is a back-up stand, disassembled and in a box, that I can use for awhile. I'm leaning towards getting a K's Creations stand eventually, but that will likely wait until next year.

Meanwhile, I'm off to set up a new canvas.  Don't you just love starting new projects?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Lace and embellishments

Nope, I didn't stitch all of this. Most of it is a piece of lace that has been stitched down to the canvas, then held down by embellishing stitches.  It was a pain to do, and yes, I'm going to fix that corner with the loose thread as soon as I post this.

I wish we had had step-by-step photos showing the best way to stitch this. Actually, there are several areas where this kind of instruction would have been extremely useful. Most of the online teachers provide that level of information and it really helps when you're not in a face-to-face class.

On the domestic front, we now have a dishwasher that is installed and functioning. I almost kissed the plumber who hooked it up--then I almost kissed the dishwasher. I managed to restrain myself, but it was a close thing.

I may love to stitch things from the 17th century (the current project notwithstanding) but I definitely love my modern conveniences!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sneezing and stitching

Well, obviously I will not be posting every day in November.  I am not going to whine about my cold, other than the fact that I have all but lost my voice. This is entertaining Dearly Beloved to no end.

Despite having to stitch with one hand while I blow my nose with a tissue in the other, I have managed to stitch another section of In the Mood.

The end is nigh . . .not mine (I hope) but I'm soon to see the end of this project. The temptation is great to make a giant pot of vegetable soup for the week-end and toil on this until it is complete. There are two more motifs and a bunch of borders, then the beading.

And then I get to decide what project to bring downstairs next. I am leaning towards Christmas ornaments. As I have already had my Thanksgiving, I'm getting in the Fa-la-la mood early.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday and Achoo!

If it weren't November, and if I hadn't committed to a fellow blogger that I, too, would blog every day in November, there would be no entry tonight.  I believe John succeeded in sharing his respiratory malady since I now have a scratchy throat and runny nose. I'm sneezing. A lot. To the point it feels like my eyeballs are rolling around in my head with the force of the sneezes.

His has metamorphosed into laryngitis--or he talked too much this week-end. It could be either or both.

Meanwhile, I'm going to chug some orange juice and go to bed.

Needless to say, there is no stitching tonight.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


We have had our very, very, very early Thanksgiving, and it was lovely.

The turkey was absolute perfection if I do say so myself. And almost everything else was devoured down to the flowers on the plates.

I'm not sure if I'm happy about that or not, as I was hoping for leftovers to take care of meals for the next few days. However, I do have enough turkey for several sandwiches and possibly a pot pie.

The Flash absolutely charmed his great-grandmother. This is no surprise. She was prepared to be charmed.

And now,everyone has cleared out, the kitchen is clean, the turkey roaster is soaking, and my feet are up.

I've even managed to stitch for about an hour.

I have three sections left to stitch, then the borders to fill in, then the beads to add at the very end. This section does have stones attached, but they needed to be added before the area behind them was filled in.

And, thanks to a friend who came up with a spool of the border thread I had run out of, I can see that finish in the very near future.

I have to say, that extra hour came in very handy this morning! But now, I think I may be heading to bed. The last three days have been packed to the brim and I think I'm ready to fall back into a routine for awhile. Who knew that going to work could seem restful?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

SO glad there's an extra hour tonight!

I went to the workshop this morning, leaving Dearly Beloved to launder towels and sheets and to run the dishwasher.

The Big Kid, Wife, and The Flash went to the Renaissance Festival, where the Big Kid came in second in the archery contest.  Those Welsh genes came in handy!

Dearly Beloved discovered that the dishwasher was pouring water all over the floor. He called for aid and assistance.

We need a new dishwasher.

I arrived home a little early from the workshop. That helped since the stuff that was in the dishwasher didn't get clean before the dishwasher pooped out on us. I washed dishes.

Baby Girl arrived and was swept into this latest Domestic Disaster.

She observed that this should be it for awhile. First the water heater flooded the hall, then the next door neighbors flooded the living room, and now the dishwasher flooded the kitchen. If things come in threes, we should have had our water problems resolved.

The kitchen floor is cleaner than I think it has ever been before. Apparently dishwasher detergent and extremely hot water is the secret. I have been scrubbing a grape juice stain for years with everything known to mankind including straight bleach. It's gone now.

The Big Kid family arrived triumphant and were fed dinner.

We have chopped and mixed and baked and chilled. All we have to do tomorrow is take care of the turkey.

And wash dishes.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Busy, busy day . . .

The Flash is in town and in bed, much to the great relief of his parental units.

Their trip down was punctuated by heavy traffic and heavy rains. It is nothing that a good night's sleep won't cure, so they have been sent off to rest and recuperate.

While they were traveling, I was attending a workshop with Betsy Morgan.  And I came home with something totally stitched and assembled.

 This is the thimble holder that goes with The Toy Chest Etui. It's a stitched version of one of those ball and cup games. I need to redo the hedebo loop that holds it closed. The first time I made it, it was too small. The second time it was too big. Hopefully the third time it will be just right. If not, then Goldilocks has some explaining to do.

Tomorrow I have another day at the workshop, and the Big Kid is taking his family to the Renaissance Faire.  Baby Girl is arriving sometime tomorrow afternoon. We are having dinner together, then we're going to start putting together our very early Thanksgiving feast, scheduled for Sunday.

Given all this activity, I do believe I'm going to settle down for some rest and recuperation myself.