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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Wouldn't you just know . . .

On the last night of blogging daily in honor of National Craft Month--I'm not going to have time to stitch.

There is ironing to be done, and I need to get organized for my sampler guild meeting tomorrow evening, and I promised to sew a button on Dearly Beloved's favorite sweater (and I don't count that as stitching, that's more like work) and by the time I get all that done, it will be time to go to bed.

Before I go, though, I have a question to ask of you, Dear Readers. As I've noticed fewer and fewer people blogging on a regular--or irregular--schedule, I've wondered. Do you prefer brief blog entries that appear more frequently, or do you like longer blog entries that cover more ground but appear less often?

Inquiring minds want to know . . .

Monday, March 30, 2015

A floating face

The shepherdess is taking shape:

We also have a blackbird singing in the tree and a flower blooming on the hill. I'm thinking this means spring is coming--at least in my embroidery!

I was planning to do some reading tonight, but I think I'd rather get my shepherdess a little more grounded. So I'm off to thread up my needle.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lazy Sunday

I was not quite as industrious today as I was yesterday.

First there was a long walk. Then there was a nap. Then there was a discussion about going to the nursery to look for plants for the planters on the patio when this cold snap we've had ends. Then there was some cooking and dining. Then finally there was some stitching. Not much, but at least a threaded needle was in my hand for a little while today.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


I had thought about working on the next bit of the Fair Maiden Etui finishing, but I wanted to embroider today instead.

But what . . .

A few weeks ago, I had made a little list of things I wanted to do and when I wanted to do them. As it always happens when I make a little list of things I want to do and when I want to do them, immediately I lost interest in everything on the list. It's as though writing things down means they're done and over with.  So nothing on the list appealed.

And then I rationalized that I really should start something new since I've finished the embroidery on Fair Maiden and the Tulip Tray.

This is what I decided to do:

I've loved this project since I first saw a picture of it several years ago, and I was lucky enough to receive the kit last year. It's a teaching piece from Barbara Jackson, and it just makes my heart sing. Today it made my fingers fly. All the lettering is completed and I may get the other side piece stitched before I go to bed tonight.

And that will be a good day's work.

Friday, March 27, 2015

off on a tangent

The way I thought I was going to spend the day was abruptly changed late last night.  Not to worry, we're all OK, but I had to deal with a matter in my extended family, and I just got home.

So there is no stitching tonight, but I did vow to post every day in March. (What was I thinking? March is one of the 31-day months!)

I do have something to show, though, that I pulled out of the stash the other night after my EGA meeting.

A guild member died and her husband donated her stash to the guild, so we had a sale and silent auction to raise funds for a workshop.  One of the things that was donated was a project we had worked on at ANG, and it was in my stash at home. And I wondered why I hadn't finished it before now.

This is Garden Community from Debbie Stiehler. And it is going into the sooner-rather-than-later pile.  I need to have some canvas in the mix, anyway!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Waiting, waiting, waiting . . .

It's amazing what you can do when you spend almost four hours in waiting rooms.

Last night I was eating a grilled cheese sandwich--not a caramel or bubble gum or anything sticky--and the temporary crown I spent Tuesday afternoon having installed popped out.

I already had my annual physical scheduled for this morning.

I called the dentist's office and they told me to come right in, they'd work me in. I explained I had another appointment scheduled. They said to come right after it.

So I went to the doctor's where (surprise, surprise) I was ushered in immediately and saw the doctor.

Then I had to wait an hour for my turn with the vampire who needed to drain my blood for various and sundry tests. And, of course, it took the vampire some time to locate my deep and rolling veins from which to extract the blood.

On to the dentist, stopping on the way for fast food since I had fasted the night before because of the vampire. Thank goodness I did, because I was in the office for over three hours before they could take me back.

It was good stitching time, actually.  I am so glad I shoved this baggie into my bag before I headed out. Otherwise, I would likely be a very cranky person at this point.

And I'm cranky enough as it is.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

One Step Finished

The outline part is done:

I woke up very early this morning and couldn't go back to sleep, so I got up and finished this part of the prework.

But since I got up so early this morning, I'm cross-eyed tonight. So I'm not stitching. I'm going to bed.  Probably so I can wake up very early tomorrow morning. And maybe I'll stitch then.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

If it's not one thing, it's another

With better living through chemistry, my back is much improved.

Actually, I don't think I'd notice it at all anyway, since I had a temporary crown installed today in the very back of my head and I think my jaw was dislocated in the effort to reach the place it belongs. My dentist is very careful and caring about his patients' discomfort, but there's only so much that can be done.

In an attempt to distract myself, I've been stitching a little:

This may be all that my pointed little head can handle tonight.  I haven't done a lot of stitching lately and I miss it, but even I know when it's better to sit in the corner and rock and drool (literally--the corner of my mouth is still numb) than to make an effort that will only have to be unstitched later.

Truly, I did not plan to fall into pieces in 2015--even if it seems I am!

Monday, March 23, 2015


That is the sound my back made last night.

I was trying to reach something on an upper shelf in the kitchen when a muscle that runs along my shoulder blade went thwang and I decided perhaps I should call Dearly Beloved and ask him to get it down. After all, one of the benefits of marrying someone who is over six feet tall is that you don't really need a step ladder in the kitchen.

So he came and helped and I didn't think any more about it until about 3 a.m. this morning when the muscle spasmed and jerked me from a deep sleep.

Due to better living through modern chemistry, I was able to get back to sleep for awhile and make it through the work day, but I am finding the area a little tender tonight and not inclined to help my left arm and hand hold my work so I can stitch.

So this is tonight's pitiful effort:

I'm taking Betsy Morgan's Edinburgh classes in May, and we have a bit of prework to do. This is as much as I can manage for today.

This getting older and breaking down is for the birds!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Finished Fleur

The last motif on the spine for Eve in the Garden is complete:

That't the only thing finished. I was going to work on Fair Maiden, but then Dearly Beloved and I went gallivanting around town instead.  Now that we're back home, all I want to do is take a nap.

And the week-end is over.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Engineering, Phase One

I've spent part of the day finish-finishing the Fair Maiden Etui. I have these bits and pieces done--I have one more major component that has to be put together and then I can start part of the assembly process.

My new philosophy is that when I start feeling an uncontrollable need for chocolate, it's time to stop and do something else for awhile. 

I think I'm going to fold laundry and put it away. When I not only crave chocolate but am also willing to do housework instead of needlework, it's definitely time to change gears.

Friday, March 20, 2015


I love the colors in this flower.

You can't really tell it, but the clouds are filled in as well.

I'm trying to decide if I want to go ahead and do the background and then fill in the leaves or if I want to finish the motif and then fill in the background.

Or I could call it a day and go to bed with my book.

That sounds like a plan.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Beginning to Bloom

Things are starting to bloom:

All the outlines for the last motif for the spine of Eve in the Garden are complete and now I get to do the fun stuff.

Between the coughing, sneezing, dripping, and snorting that the pollen from the real blooming things is causing, it may take longer than I wish. However, after this winter, I am not complaining. I am so thrilled to see flowers instead of rain and ice and general yuck that I am happy to have a tissue permanently in my hand.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Nothing to see . . .

Again, no stitching to see tonight, so no picture, alas.

I went to my needlepoint guild meeting tonight. Not sure why I don't stitch while I'm there, other than I'm afraid I'll miss something.

Those who think that needlepointers are prissy little old ladies who sit with their ankles demurely crossed need to meet this bunch. We are a raucous crew.

About that, no more can be said. What happens at guild, stays at guild.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Happy Joy Joy

My casket carcass for my Cabinet of Curiosities arrived today!

I planned to take pictures and publish them on this blog.

I have yet to get my hands on the box.  Dearly Beloved unwrapped it, took it out, opened all the drawers, located all the secret hiding places, admired the workmanship, and wrapped it all back up to keep it safe and put it back in the box while I was looking at the hardware. He has now taken everything upstairs to my stash repository where it will be safe. Safe from what I don't know.

I have no words.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Big Fat Phooey

I decided to get the last motif for the spine of Eve in the Garden's box stitched.

I started.

I miscounted.

I've been ripping out.

This is what I've accomplished:

I'm back to the point where I made the error--apparently I could count to two, but not to three--and I think I'm calling it a night. Between having a doctor's appointment this morning and trying to track down a UPS shipment which UPS says was delivered but that I DON'T HAVE!!!!, this has been a stressful day and I am done with it.

Tomorrow I plan for everything to be flowers and unicorns.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Never Mind

Dearly Beloved and I have spent most of the day out and about.

(By the most amazing and unusual set of circumstances, at no time in our to-ing and fro-ing did we come close to a store that carried anything on my list of needed supplies. At no time. Weird, huh.)

When we arrived home, I had a couple of projects that needed me to unleash my inner Domestic Diva, so I did. We had cheese and crackers and fruit for dinner since we had a rather substantial midday meal. I cleaned up the kitchen, then plopped myself down in the wing chair to stitch for awhile.

And realized I was Not. In. The. Mood.

Not at all.

You may have noticed I've been blogging more than usual lately, and there's a reason. This is National Crafts Month, and I thought I would celebrate by blogging every day. As this is supposed to be a stitching blog, it follows that I would be stitching on a daily basis as well.

But not tonight.

Saturday, March 14, 2015


This is not the project I had hoped to post today.

You may notice this is the Tulip Tray and not Fair Maiden.

I started out with Fair Maiden this morning. The first task was to glue the batting to the mounting board and allow it to dry. I started to do this, thinking the glue bottle felt a little light, then realized it felt so light because it was so nearly empty.  I got part of one piece glued, and this is after standing with the glue bottle upside down for fifteen minutes.

Surely there is more glue that can be used, thought I, and went on a search. I discovered I did not have any more of the glue in the gold bottle, any more of the thick designer glue, or any more of the quick-drying glue. There was not even any Elmer's in the house.

I did have a glue stick (which is perfect for some things, but I've found it's not quite so successful for this) and Dearly Beloved has three unopened bottles of wood glue and a tube of epoxy.

Well, I thought, I'll just go to the next step, which requires Stitch Witchery. So I went to the drawer which holds interfacings and interlinings and other necessary things for finishing. I found the package, which contained exactly 4" of Stitch Witchery.


It was then that I remembered telling myself to make a mental note that I needed more Stitch Witchery when I was out and about. Apparently that mental note was stored in a deep and dark recess of my brain, because that was the last time--until today, of course--that I thought about it.

I also realized that my supply of iron-on interfacing was perilously low. After inventorying other supplies, I had a list of about a dozen things I need to pick up.

However, Dearly Beloved was getting the car serviced, therefore I had no wheels. And then he was planning to do some errands of the Home Depot variety, which I enjoy even less than he enjoys fabric store and needlework shop excursions. I had no idea when he might return.

So, I corralled some of the dust bunnies, and added vacuum cleaner bags to my list of things to get, and handled several loads of laundry. And, by the time he wandered back home, I was totally involved in this panel of the Tulip Tray.

And now all the stitching for the Tulip Tray project is complete.

Which means I need to put it all together.

I think I was planning to subtract a project from the finish-finishing list today, not add another one to it.

Sigh . . .

Friday, March 13, 2015

Getting started

This wonky looking thing is my first step toward putting Fair Maiden together.

I decided I wanted to pin the bits and pieces together to make sure they all fit before I started cutting anything.

It appears that they will, even though my pinning is not exactly exact.

So . . . am I going to start this assembly tonight?

Are you kidding? It's Friday the Thirteenth.  Even though I am not superstitious about that, I've decided to wait until Saturday the Fourteenth and a good night's sleep before I embark on this.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


I have stitched my initials into the fourth panel--now only one more to go!

I'm trying to decide if I want to start the next panel tonight or if I want to start getting organized for a week-end of finish-finishing. Or part of a week-end of finish-finishing. Or a few hours of finish-finishing over the week-end.

Whatever, there will be some finish-finishing accomplished this week-end.  Now I'm committed. And will be, in more ways than one.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Getting closer

I'm so close to having this panel for the Tulip Tray done . . .so close . . .

I need to count out the spaces and get my initials stitched--then there will be only one last panel to stitch and this project will be ready to assemble.

At the rate I'm going, the lid on the finishing basket is not going to close again. I have a feeling I know how my week-ends will be spent for awhile.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Still trudging

Yes, I'm still whining about the change in time.

I found myself holding my toothbrush in one hand and the toothpaste in the other and staring off into space this morning. For what length of time, I do not know. I do know that everyone in my office is drooping. In fact, one of the most put-together people in my department walked in with two different earrings on.  Two completely different earrings.

And I'm stitching very, very slowly.

I keep reminding myself that any progress is good progress.  And I will enjoy longer daylight hours eventually.

Even though we would have longer daylight hours anyway.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Trudging through mud

Metaphorically speaking, that is.

Daylight Savings Time is wiping me out. I don't know why I'm surprised because it does this every year. I feel like I'm jet lagged for a couple of weeks, then I finally begin to adjust--but I don't feel normal until we go back to standard time.

So this may be all that gets stitched tonight. I may go to bed early and try to recapture my lost hour.

I'm working on the Tulip Tray again. I do not dare try to assemble the Fair Maiden Etui until I feel less like I just flew on the red eye from California to the Carolinas.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


I had issues yesterday.

  • Panic Attack 1: I could not find the embroidery for May Your Hands/Shady Bower where I thought it should be.
  • Panic Attack 2: This resulted in excavating the finishing basket, which was more like an archaeological dig than I really wanted it to be. I did find treasures, but was also reminded I need to keep the sewing machine set up.
  • Panic Attack 3: I finished two more little sections of the Fair Maiden Etui, which resulted in the realization that it was now time to put it together.  This project is more of an engineering project than a sewing one, and I'm more than a wee bit intimidated by the finishing.

The last two bits, the top and the front of the drawer.

I've been asked why I don't just send my stuff off to someone to have it put together. I will admit, I've had a couple of bad experiences with finishers, but the major reason is that I figure if I can do complicated stitches comfortably, I should be able to master finishing techniques. And at some point, I will.

Probably by the time I get to the bottom of the finishing basket.

*If this is the worst stuff I have to panic over, I lead a charmed life.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

When your walls fill up

When your walls start to fill up, what do you do?

You start filling up boxes that can sit on tabletops and bookshelves.

This arrived today. It will hold the smalls from the Shady Bower/ May Your Hands classes offered by Tricia Nguyen.

Actually, it will hold them after I excavate the kits from the finishing basket and put all the bits together.

Don't hold your breath.

Friday, March 6, 2015


For a variety of reasons, my week-end plans had to change. I had planned a girls' week-end with Baby Girl and some social activities.  Instead, I'm home and will likely be a hermit instead of a social butterfly.

When I sat down to stitch tonight, I realized I needed to do something that required only about half my brain cells. As I was rummaging through my bag, it occurred to me that I need to stitch only two small bits and the stitching for the Fair Maiden workbag would be complete. Even better, I just had to backstitch stripes which will be filled in with broad chain. That doesn't even require half of half of my brain cells.

So that's what I did.

I am now trying to decide if I want to start the broad chain, or if I want to call it a night.

My pillows are calling to me. Loudly.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Bird and a Basket

Two more motifs on my workbox set!

I really like the basket--and that's a very good thing, since it shows up on the other pieces in the set. I think I would like the bird more if I hadn't miscounted and misread the chart and had to reverse stitch most of its little body.

I now have to spend the rest of the evening charting out my name and the date--within a day or so--since the rest of this side of the workbook is lettered. And we all know how much I love lettering.

Please note the sarcasm.

I wish someone would come up with a sarcasm font.

Baby Girl will likely soon inform me that someone has.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Look what they did!

For the past two years, the program committee for the Carolina Sampler Guild has been designing and teaching motifs for the Sailor's Huswif.

And tonight they showed us how all the pieces will go together:

Isn't this a wonderful project? 

Have I been stitching on this?  Uh . . . .not yet. Apparently I need to let it age a little more, the way I've been letting other things age before I pull them out and stitch my fingers to the bone.

And, since I had a guild meeting tonight, I haven't stitched yet today. I plan to rectify that situation immediately.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Time, time, time . . .

I've been thinking about time a lot recently.

I'm finding that it takes me more time than it used to take to complete anything.  I used to be a needle so electric I set off sparks.  Now I'm back to candle speed.  I've decided there are three reasons for this.

I'm older and I don't do anything as fast as I used to.

The things that I stitch now are generally more complicated than the ones I did when I started stitching, with the exception of the crewel pieces I did then.

I've discovered that my stitching is better overall if I take my time.

The last one is probably the most important. I can tell if I just want to get something done and over with and when I care about it.  It has occurred to me that I'm happier with the results if I care about what I'm doing.

Well, duh.

At the same time, I have stacks and stacks of things I want to finish, finish-finish, and start-and-finish.

So I need to use the time I have better. Which means that I am not allowing myself to get online until I've stitched, since I can fritter away hours and hours and hours looking at what other people have stitched on Facebook and Pinterest and various and sundry sites. As we were driving home yesterday, I started wondering why I was looking at needlework when I could actually be doing needlework.

So tonight I managed to get a little more stitched into Merry Cox's Young Lady's Workbox project, a class I took in 2012.

Now I'm going to thread up another needle and do a little more.

Monday, March 2, 2015

back to the grind

We are home again.

Ironically, within minutes of crossing the James River, the sun came out and the temperatures began to rise. By the time we arrived home, it felt like spring.

This is not fair.

I have unpacked, done five loads of laundry, cooked dinner, and made an appointment with the dentist to see about the tooth that broke while we were away.  We made such good time getting home that I've even had time to stitch.  The critter now has a background.

I have another motif to stitch for the spine, but I think I'm going to play with something else for awhile. I don't do well with rotations, but at the same time, I think I'm going to alternate several projects for a bit. I took four different things with me to Williamsburg, but worked on this one for most of the time. The other things are jumping up and down and begging for a turn.

So they each will get one.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Retreating, Part Two

As we had snow, our plans were, once again, somewhat topsy-turvy--but our fearless leaders, who went to great trouble to plan enjoyable additions to the retreat, made it all work. I'm not sure how much they actually were able to enjoy themselves, but they did a tremendous job to make sure we were able to do all that was promised--and in some cases, like the trip to the textile storage area, provided so much more!

Friday's excursion was to Agecroft House in Richmond, VA. Agecroft started its life in England during the Tudor period, and was home to landed gentry for hundreds of years. However, the land under it was mined for coal and the foundations of the house were in danger. An American businessman heard it was up for auction, bought it, had it disassembled, and shipped it to the US, where it was reconstructed on the banks of the James River. He left a trust so that it could be turned into a museum, and, after his wife decided to move after almost forty years of residence in the home, this happened.

The curators scoured the UK and the world for furnishings and accessories that would have been found during the Tudor and Jacobean periods.

And they found them and brought them back--including embroideries. Once again, we were not allowed to photograph the pieces, but if you have an interest in 17th century needlework, there are some exquisite items on display. We were also lucky enough to see some pieces brought from storage.  Again, we could not touch, but there was drool.

Yesterday we had a chance to take some special classes. One of our participants led us in an introduction to bobbin lace.  I flunked bobbin lace. I learn much better if I have printed words and diagrams that I can study and digest, rather than oral instruction.

I was trying to explain what we did to Baby Girl, who came to take the second class which involved wiring our needlework for sound, light, and motion. She looked at what I had done in the bobbin lace class, put all of it into the tote bag I brought to carry the materials home, and kindly informed me that she would figure it out and either do it or show me what to do.

There are times when I wonder who is the parent and who is the child.

And I did not take the wiring class. I knew my limitations before going into that one.

I stitched instead.  And here is what I managed to get done between yesterday afternoon and today:

It's a critter. We had some discussion about the type. The tail is definitely beaver-like, but the body looks more squirrel-like. The fact that it is sitting in a tree would tend to identify it as a squirrel rather than a beaver since beavers are known for gnawing trees down rather than sitting atop them. I'm just thrilled that with several more hours for the background, I'll have another motif finished.

Other retreaters were working on samplers, both repro and contemporary, men's pocketbooks, casket toys, bits and pieces from the Cabinet of Curiosities class, quilt blocks, smalls of various types and styles, and I heard mention of beading. It was absolutely inspirational to see what was going on around me in the stitching room.

And I wish it didn't have to end, but we are heading home at o'dark-thirty in the morning, if Dearly Beloved has his way.

Sigh . . .