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.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

How I Spent My Christmas Vacation

Once our family festivities ended, I planned to stitch and blog.

I stitched. I also did some stash diving, looking for projects I want to work in the coming year. I even finished the things I stitched this week that needed finish-finishing. But . . . I found that I wasn't spending much time online--so blogging fell by the wayside.

So to catch up on that, this is what I did this week:

From the left:

  • Winter Fun from Periwinkle Promises. I stitched the mini-sampler earlier this week but assembled it into a pin cushion the next day. The assembly took almost as long as the embroidery did.
  • Sheep May Safely Graze from Barbara Jackson, this year's SNS ornament. It didn't make it on the tree, but one of the beautiful days with bright sunshine we had mid-week gave me the daylight I wanted to work on 40 count. Now it's ready for next year.
  • Resting Pins and Needles, Jackie du Plessis mini-kit. It was so much fun to have a small small that stitched and assembled fairly quickly that I believe I need to do these more often. Since even my choices in smalls tend to be complicated and involved and large, it would be nice to have more frequent finishes, in amongst the gigundous things I tend to pick out.
Speaking of gigundous:

 Rebekah French now has all of her alphabets complete and only one more line on the attribution. The last bit of the attribution could have been stitched last night, but I thought I'd have an aneurysm at worst, a hissy fit at least, if I had to work one more letter or number over one thread. So I stopped. That was probably wise.

And, by golly, I got more background worked on Eve in the Garden. I am absolutely determined to work on this one evening a week until it's done. It may take all of 2017, but it's going to happen. I want to do some of the fun stuff, and I can't until I have the background worked.

And then there was the stash diving, where I decided on some projects I'd like to start for the New Year. But that is the topic for another day--like maybe tomorrow, if I can get my act together!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Day of Stitching

After the Christmas hustle and bustle--Christmas Eve and Christmas Day seemed to whizz by so fast I'm still not sure they happened!--I wanted a day to kick back and relax.

That means a day with a needle in my hand.

And I wanted something new to work on.

And I wanted something that wasn't going to take a ginormous amount of time to completely stitch.

This is what I found:

Barbara Rakosnik offered several series of small samplers, one for each month of the year, awhile back. Baby Girl originally planned to stitch this series, but something else caught her eye so they've been aging in our mutual stash for quite some time. I ran across them while looking for something else, and I've decided to stitch one a month for 2017.

For once in my life, I'm working ahead!

Friday, December 23, 2016

First Day of Staycation

I don't know if I mentioned this earlier, but I have eleven days before I go back to work. Celebrating Christmas was supposed to be the focus of the first three of them. Stitching was planned for the remaining eight.

Today I was planning to swipe at things with a dust cloth and do some pre-emptive cooking and get the laundry out of the way.

Some of the laundry is out of the way.

I made the mistake of thinking I would just put a stitch or two into the last angel.

You may notice that the last angel is completely stitched.

Ah, well, tomorrow I will bustle around. Today, I've decided, was my Christmas present to me!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Angel . . . and a little devilment

The third of my three "work" angels is stitched:

There is only one left to stitch. I sort of wanted to have them all done by Christmas . . . which is in three days . . .the fourth one may become a "nonword" angel.

I've also finished the satin stitch alphabet and started on the tiny cross stitch one on Rebekah French.

And I've run out of the white silk I'll need for part of the next step on this sampler.  In the grand scheme of things, running out of a thread is a minor irritation, but it makes me bugnutz crazy when it happens in a kit.

So I'm currently bugnutz crazy about this.

I am not bugnutz crazy about Christmas, though. I've just decided to enjoy what I've done and forget about doing any more. I told Baby Girl last night that you wouldn't know it was Christmas around here if it weren't for the tree in the corner and the wreath on the door.

About that wreath . . .

Because we frequently have warm Christmases, I gave up on "real" wreaths years ago. Without natural refrigeration, they tend to get brown at an alarming rate. So we've had a series of artificial wreaths over the last few Christmases.  The current one actually looks pretty good, with pine cones and holly berries and a little bit of very subtle glitter here and there.

I drove up the other day after work to find one of the hordes of neighborhood squirrels dangling off the hook that holds the wreath.  As I strolled toward the door, he said some quite unkind and unpleasant things to me and I said "shoo" which seemed logical at the time. He dangled for a few more minutes and I said "shoo" a little louder, and he finally took off.

And that's when I noticed that one of the holly sprigs was lying on the porch floor . . . and one of the pine cones was missing . . . and there are bite marks on some of the holly berries.

I do not wish that devil of a squirrel death as a result of his nibbling--but I do wish him a terrible tummy ache!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Puttering and ruminating

Today was my birthday.

I puttered around in the stash, I stitched a bit. I have legs and faces on the sheep appearing in Sheep May Safely Graze. You can't really see the white stitches on the white background and won't be able to until I get some more grass planted. I put several strands of gold into the background of Eve in the Garden. It doesn't look much different from the last time I published a picture. And I filled in some more sawtooth areas on the border of Rebekah French, which looks just like the filled sawtooth areas I published the other day. So I will not make you suffer from my lousy photography skills in this entry.

I felt I should do something significant, even though it's not a milestone date. And while there's nothing to take a picture of, I feel as though I made a breakthrough.

I've been trying to decide how to stitch my casket from the Cabinet of Curiosities class for years. Years and years. I could not get the design I wanted to put on the body of the casket coordinated with anything for the slopes and friezes--yes, I invested in the double casket. I had just about decided to use those designs with the flat top casket, and do something completely different for the double, even though the designs I wanted to use were ones that had meaning to me and I felt they deserved an over-the-top extravaganza of stitching.

And suddenly this afternoon, it came together. I was flipping through the slope designs provided in the class, and thinking a little, and inspiration struck, and I have my design. In my head, not on paper or linen, but I know where I'm going to go with it.

I think I scared Dearly Beloved when I was dancing around the living room.

So I'm adding casket stitching to the things I want to stitch in the coming year until the next birthday. I still want to work on samplers and smalls and goldwork and finish-finishing and my newly-resurrected interest in crewel, but there will be casket designing and stitching mixed in as well.

I made another important decision today, too, a birthday present to myself. Rather than allowing myself to pick up a needle only after I've done my chores, I'm going to plan on at least two hours of needlework every evening. I do believe this will make me happier and consequently healthier in the coming year.

Besides, would I rather be remembered as the stitcher with a smile on her face or the cranky old biddy with a spotless house?

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Circling Around

I picked Rebekah French up last night.

When last I worked on her, I had decided I probably didn't have enough silk to fill in the sawtooth border around her, and that I needed to order more. Since we don't have a shop nearby that carries AVAS, that meant I would need to add it to an online order. I didn't want to order it alone since I had a feeling that the shipping would cost as much as the silk, so I was going to add it to another order at some point.

I've placed two online orders since I made that decision.

I didn't remember to add the silk on either order.

Sigh. . .

Last night, my eyes were too tired to handle 40 count linen or white silk on white linen, so I was looking about for something else. And there was Rebekah.

The directions say to use two strands for the filling. Hmmmm, thought I, what I could do is work with one strand in the dye lot I currently have. Then, when I finally remember to order another skein, I could just go around again and add the second strand.

So I started.

And when I looked at it more closely, I realized that one strand was doing a very good job of filling in.

I thought perhaps I should try adding another strand just to see if it made a major difference.

It did.

The second strand made everything too tight and was distorting the linen--so out it came, and one strand it is!

I no longer need to remember to add this to a future order. This is probably a good thing, since I have enough things to remember at this time of the year.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Disembodied Sheep

The top and bottom of Sheep May Safely Graze are stitched.

And there are bits and pieces in the middle.

But for something focused on sheep, there aren't any yet. This must be rectified. Soon.

Meanwhile, the tree has as many ornaments as I can comfortably cram on it, the house smells like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger--I've been baking--and we're down to the last two presents to buy.  Notice I didn't say wrapped, but bought.

We're getting closer. Not there yet, but closer. And Christmas is going to happen, no matter what.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Still rocking' the Grinch

Still haven't found that Christmas spirit--although I was relieved to read some of the comments on the last blog--nice to know I'm not the only one this year . . .

I am trying.

There are ornaments and lights on the tree--not nearly all the ornaments that are usually there, but I decided to do that in stages rather than doing it all in one fell swoop.

And I'm working on this year's SNS Christmas ornament from Barbara Jackson.

I just jumped right in--didn't baste, didn't even center, just threaded the needle and started stitching. Reckless, I'm telling you, just reckless. If it weren't for the fact that I decided I wasn't going to try to set any stitching goals for the rest of the year, I'd mention that I'd really like to finish this, stitch the Christmas Strawberry Barbara designed for Haus Tirol, and make the ornament Sherri Jones designed for the recent event in Williamsburg.

But as I'm not setting any stitching goals for the rest of the year, I won't mention that.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Missing Mojo

My Christmas mojo has apparently deserted me.

By now the halls are usually decked, we're eating from the Christmas china, and the tree is decorated. There should be Christmas movies playing on the TV and Christmas music resonating through the house.

Well, we have a tree.

It's sitting in its accustomed location in the living room. It's in the stand. There is water in the stand. There is not a light, an ornament, a garland, a bauble, an angel, or anything else adorning it.

I just can't get going this year on decking the halls and embracing the season. Not sure why, but I think I should just start answering to Grinchetta and move on.

And to top it all off, nary a stitch has been worked since I got home from Williamsburg.  This is the extent of my needlework thus far this week:

I've managed to get the linen attached to the stretcher bars for this year's Barbara Jackson ornament from SNS.

I haven't even gotten it basted.

Do you suppose there's a correlation between lack of stitching and lack of Season's Greetings?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Blink and it's over

I took the laptop to Williamsburg so I could blog while I was gone.

However, after very full days, my brain was applesauce. Blogging was beyond me.

So you're getting a very condensed version of the experience.

First and foremost, I had four fantastic classes with Jackie du Plessis, who can engineer the most detailed and incredible needlework pieces ever seen. I keep looking at the class projects and wondering how in the world she comes up with this stuff. Of course, it may have something to do with the fact that I think in two dimensions and she thinks in about five.

At least five.

Anyway, after the early bird classes (more about them later) the boutique opened, and this was my haul.

Catherine Theron of Theron Traditions offered several small designs, as well as a chance to catch up on her projects for chapters and guilds. I've hoped to find the strawberry kits for awhile--and was able to get them as well as several others. These will go in the travel bag.

You will notice that this is not my usual overflowing shopping cart. While there were more vendors than ever, there were only a few who had things I was interested in--and most of those things I already have. You realize this means that the funds budgeted for a blow-out at the boutique can now go elsewhere.

That evening we had the banquet, which ran overlong. The speaker was very entertaining, the mini-class for the ornament designed for the event by Sherri Jones of Patrick's Woods was thorough (and I definitely intend to stitch it before this Christmas season passes), but there was too much time allotted to door prize awards. And I say that even though I won one.

Ironically, the sampler chart I won was pretty much nothing but alphabets. We know how much I love stitching letters (insert sarcasm font here). So, although I was honored and amazed to have won, I was happy to hand the chart to another person at my table who really liked the design.

On to classes:

The first early bird class was the satchel to hold the Sweet Pea Sewing Set. The morning three-day class was the Sweet Pea Sewing Set. You will see what I managed to stitch in three days. Jackie had hoped we would all go home with a completed mini-pincushion, but that would involve cutting threads and finish-finishing--and I need to be home alone for that. 

The colors are wonderful, the design divine, it has a quote from Emily Dickinson. This is going in the sooner rather than later pile.

And then there was the second early bird class and the afternoon three-day class.

In the early bird class, I managed to get that ribbon doodad done, and I covered a button. That was the extent of the stitching on that.

And I got nothing stitched on Tribute. Do not let that innocent looking box fool you. It opens up and unfolds and there is an amazing structure inside. You have to see it to believe it. So that, too, is going on the sooner rather than later pile, so that perhaps you will have a chance to see the wonder that it is. Luckily we were able to make a paper mock-up so we'll know what to do with the stitched pieces--remember, I think in two dimensions, Jackie is somewhere way beyond me--and the mock-up made a major difference.

We didn't have much time for sightseeing this trip, since I was in class most of every day. We did go to a concert at the Governor's Palace one evening and then strolled down part of Duke of Gloucester Street, admiring the "candle" light and the decorations. Both went a long way toward getting me in a mood for Christmas.

However, after a very long drive home--we stopped on the way to take Baby Girl out for her birthday lunch, which has become an annual tradition--I have not threaded a needle. We're unpacking and doing laundry--and I have decided that next year I'm taking an extra day after we get home for re-entry. I have to go back to work tomorrow to earn my keep so I can keep going to workshops.

Even though I have enough in the stash to keep me going until I'm 385.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

On the Last Day of November . . .

Since 5 a.m. this morning, we have

  • loaded the car with all of our belongings (it looks that way, at least) and driven to Williamsburg
  • had lunch at The Carrot Tree
  • enhanced the stash at Haus Tirol

  • checked into the Kingsmill Resort and unloaded all of our belongings
  • headed for a special tour of the needlework drawers at DeWitt Wallace
  • realized we had left our annual passes at the hotel and returned to get them
  • went to DeWitt Wallace and found two samplers I really wish someone would reproduce

  • visited the Visitors' Center to pick up our new annual passes and tickets to an evening concert
  • dined at Christiana Campbell's
  • tottered back to our room, where I plan to collapse in a heap as soon as I hit Publish

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Today and tomorrow, and I will have blogged every day in November.

And I have decided that, until I retire or find at least four more hours in a day, I will not attempt daily blogging next November. For one thing, my daily life is deadly dull and boring, even to me. The more important thing, though, is that some days I either have time to stitch or time to blog.

Tonight I have neither. I'm trying to get the final stuff packed for our trip to Williamsburg. We have a jam-packed day planned for tomorrow and need to leave at 0 dark-thirty in the morning if we hope to do half of what we'd like to do.

So I need to get back to throwing things into the suitcase.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Seeing Stars

Between trying to do some Christmas decorating and starting to get ready to leave for Williamsburg on Wednesday morning, I did manage to get part of the background stars on Key to My Heart stitched.

I'm hoping to get the rest of them added before we leave.

And now I'm trying to decide if I even want to think about taking a stitching project with me. I'm taking four classes from Jackie du Plessis, starting at the crack of dawn on Thursday, and there is the boutique, so it's not like I'll have nothing to stitch.

But there is always the fear of having time and place to stitch, and nothing to work on.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

ooh! Shiny!

Amazing what a decent night's sleep will do for one's attitude!

So we started moving things around to do a little bit of Christmas decorating today. We have a small-ish living room and generally we have to move furniture to get the tree in. We won't get the tree until we get back from Williamsburg--by the way, we're going to Williamsburg--but we decided we may as well get ready for that before we go.

So things are moved, and boxes have been pulled from closet shelves, and the Christmas china is sitting on the counter ready to go into the dishwasher.

No actual decorating, however, has occurred.

After a certain point, we start to get just a wee bit cranky with each other and it's best to go to our opposing corners and ignore each other for awhile.

So I started another new project.

I'm taking Key to My Heart from Michele Roberts through ANG's cyberworkshop program. This teaches traditional raised English goldwork techniques, which I have enjoyed doing in the past. Actually, at one point, I think I was taking an average of two goldwork classes a year, so this is like a needlework homecoming of sorts.

It is quite possible that I may be finished with the first lesson before the second one is posted.

And I may have just jinxed myself.

I should know by now not to make plans.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday

This is where I stopped on Ann Almy last night.

It's a good thing I have a picture to show you, because a needle has not been threaded today.

I went to bed about midnight.

I woke up shortly after five.

I was unable to go back to sleep.

I am not a pleasant person to be around when I don't get enough sleep. I also can't stitch. That may contribute to the unpleasantness.

So I believe I will take my cranky self upstairs and put me to bed.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

As predicted, we're having a lovely, quiet Thanksgiving Day. I've had my turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce, left over from Saturday, talked to Baby Girl who is cooking a feast with her housemates today, and pulled the meat sauce out of the freezer for our lasagna dinner tonight.

It isn't the traditional day I grew up with, but it's working out this year. And what's wrong with new traditions?

And I decided what to do with my long holiday. I'm going to work on something (or somethings) different every day.

Up today is a project that I sewed to the scroll bars months ago, then never stuck a needle into.

Here's Ann Almy after a couple of hours:

For someone who doesn't enjoy stitching letters, I seem to be doing a lot of it lately.

Maybe that's another new tradition  . . .

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What to do, what to do

I'm having a little bit of a dilemma.

I have four whole days with few or no responsibilities. We've had our Thanksgiving Feast, so I'm not up to my elbows in turkey and dressing. I have four lovely days for non-stop stitching.

Generally, when I have an extended period of time off, I have planned what to stitch and what to marathon on TV while I'm stitching. This time, not so much.

I could easily stay with Early Spring Lambs. I could potentially finish the whole project if I stuck to it. And I'm loving the border, which has a tapestry-like effect.

(Hopefully I can get a better picture tomorrow when I have daylight.)

But I could also pull out a sampler or I could do some finish-finishing or I could start decorating for Christmas. Or I could dive into the stash room and start reorganizing so I can find things without a major search-and-rescue mission.

Or maybe I'll just jump around from one project to another.

At any rate, it will be just as much a surprise to me as it is to you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


The sheep now have grass underfoot and are no longer floating mid-air.

And I've started on the framework for the back panel of the needlecase.

Who would think a simple repeating border would make ones eyes cross?

I'm having to be very, very careful with the thread. It's an overdyed cotton. Overdyeing cotton tends to weaken it a little. And the linen is very rough, so it's abrading the cotton even more. So, I've switched to a larger needle to make the hole a little larger so the thread can avoid as much of the linen as possible, and I'm being very careful to stab the stitches straight up and down. It's helping--there's not as much fraying.

Also not as much speed . . .

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Little Sheepish

We now have two sheep, currently floating about the ground, on Catherine Theron's Early Spring Lamb's pin pillow.

And then Barbara Jackson's annual ornament for SNS arrived in the mail.

I am very tempted to locate stretcher bars and mount the linen for this so I can start basting.

And then I would have three starts in three days.

And that way lies insanity.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

About Face

I know I said I was going to work on Christmas ornaments yesterday, but last night I had a very vivid dream about taking a class from Catherine Theron.  This morning the first thing I saw on top of the stitching basket was the project she designed for guilds for 2016.

I figured all this was my subconscious trying to tell me something, so I found scroll bars that would work, ironed the linen and sewed it on, and I was off.

Between domestic interruptions, I got this much stitched today.

Who knows what I'll stitch tomorrow . . . apparently I shouldn't plan on making plans. So I won't.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

So, our Thanksgiving has happened . . .

We had our family Thanksgiving today with our very small family, and it was delightful.  As usual, everyone ate just a little too much, and Dearly Beloved had to take a nap, and Mother was ready to go back to her retirement center the minute she swallowed the last crumb of her pumpkin pie.

Once the kitchen was semi-restored to normalcy, Baby Girl and I spent the afternoon hanging out. She was playing games on her computer and I was stitching.

And I have the beginning of "Three Laying Tools" started.

I know the rest of the world still has Thanksgiving coming, but I feel like I can legitimately start watching Christmas movies and listening to carols and doing some decorating. Since Dearly Beloved has issues with people doing all that before the Fourth Thursday in  November, I can at least stitch something Christmas-y.

Friday, November 18, 2016

More good mail

More good mail arrived today:

This is part of the Frostings club that was available through Tricia Nguyen's Cabinet of Curiosities online class.

I had signed up for this the minute it was first offered, and received the shipments. Then I was looking at the contents, and looking at what was still available in the Thistle Threads shop and what I want to use on my casket. The more I looked, the more sense it made to join up again and get a second set of threads.

So I did.

Again, this is probably the closest I'm going to get to threads again tonight. We're having our family Thanksgiving get-together--here--tomorrow. I am cooking.

So far the desserts are almost done. Obviously we agree with the philosophy that life is short, eat (or prepare) dessert first. I have one of the side dishes done and the sweet potatoes are baking prior to their transformation into a casserole. Baby Girl is bringing veggies.  The Saint is bringing Mother. That will leave roasting the turkey, heating the sweet potatoes, and baking the rolls for tomorrow. Dearly Beloved is running the vacuum cleaner for (hopefully) the last time this week-end, and I'm making a valiant effort to do the last bit of de-cluttering (which means moving most of my needlework projects upstairs).

And what will Dearly Beloved and I do on the "real" Thanksgiving?  I'm thinking lasagna.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Crewel Irony

And, yes, the pun was intended.

While I still can't settle down to a stitching project for the evenings at home, my lunchtime work project has been humming along.

And now she's complete:

So, two down, two to go. I may actually have the whole set stitched by Christmas.

Now if I could just find the frames to put them in . . .

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Happy Mail

After an inauspicious start to the day, and a very long day at work, I arrived home to find this lovely, lovely thing in my mailbox.

Amy Mitten has done it again!

If I weren't so tired, I'd be tempted to leap in.

But I've been up since 4:38 a.m.

And I was sleeping last night, after a couple of nights when I didn't.

Yesterday the community maintenance man arrived with new triple threat alarms--good for smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide. He installed one upstairs and one downstairs, told Dearly Beloved that they have batteries good for ten years, and left.

I may have mentioned before that Dearly Beloved works nights. And, as usual, if anything weird happens, it happens on those nights when he's at work.

In the middle of the night, something started chirping upstairs.

You may not have heard, but the mountains in the western part of North Carolina are on fire, and the smoke has drifted our direction. My first thought (when I roused enough to identify the sound) was that the alarm was so sensitive it was reacting to that smoke. Not so. It turns out that the batteries that were supposed to be good for ten years actually weren't. So upstairs I had chirping. Downstairs I had a very supercilious voice telling me that the battery was low.

So, before 5 a.m. I was teetering on the step stool trying to punch buttons or open the things to exchange batteries (assuming that I could manage that while mostly asleep). I finally gave up, put a pillow over my head, and tried to sleep for at least another 30 minutes.

It didn't work.

And then I had a major report to write at work--no stress there--and I was getting just a wee bit cranky by the time I headed home.

And dear Amy Mitten had sent me a box of toys, and all the cranky went away.

And now I'm going to bed.

(The maintenance man came by and swapped out the defective alarms for other alarms. Apparently he got a bad batch. I was not the only one roused in the middle of the night. Apparently, though, I was one of the few who didn't call him, starting at midnight. I think he was probably crankier than I was.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

And now for something completely different

This is what I intended to work on tonight.

It's the third in the Twelve Days of a Stitcher's Christmas series--Three Laying Tools.

I was intending to start it until I was putting the stretcher bars together.  And one of them split. Completely, from notch to notch. I asked Dearly Beloved if he thought it could be glued back together, but he explained that it was along the grain line, so no.

It appears that I will have to go back upstairs and stand on my head in the stretcher bar bin again.

Sigh . . .

Monday, November 14, 2016

Breaking up?

Or taking a break?

I came home from work, fell into the wing chair, and stared at Rebekah French.

And I absolutely could not pick up a needle to work on her tonight.

Now part of this may be due to the fact that I woke up at 4:18 this morning and could not go back to sleep, so I've been dragging all day. Part of it may be due to the fact that we're having our family Thanksgiving on Saturday, and I am not ready for Mother's white glove inspection--she may have had a stroke, but she can still spot a speck of dust from the length of a football field. And part of it may be due to the fact that I've already finished three big samplers this year and I need to play with something else for a few days.

However, what I believe I will do is go to bed early tonight.

As soon as I dust again. And vacuum. And dust again in case the vacuum stirs anything up.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Making myself stitch

Well, there is one good thing about blogging every day in November--it also means that I need to stitch every day.

Today wasn't a big stitching day.

The basic vine now reaches across the sampler. It still needs the colored leaves along the top filled in. I still have the fidgets, though, and I'm not sure that will happen tonight.

BTW, we went to see Dr Strange this afternoon. If you're into Marvel movies, this is the most visually amazing of them all. I want to go back and see it again. And there's a new Guardians of the Galaxy movie coming in late spring. And a new Pirates of the Caribbean out next year.

I guess my Geek Flag is still flying, despite my advancing years . . .

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Little bits

I have managed to get a few more stitches into Rebekah French today:

Do you see the rust color at the beginning and end of the first row of the satin stitch alphabet?

That's used to fill in the sawtooth border all the way around--double strands of it.

The more I look at the amount of thread I have, the more I believe that I don't have enough.

Now, it's been five years since I started this sampler, so the dye lot has surely changed, and I am not inclined to mix dye lots. I have already decided I will need to order more thread, and I have also decided I won't start filling in the border until I have the new skeins. And, I'm also aware that it may take awhile to get the silk, since very few shops carry a full range at all times, so it will likely have to be ordered. And those orders take time to arrive.

So I'm trying to decide if I want to put Rebekah back in her pillowcase until the silk arrives, or do I keep on working on her, only to have the whole, entire, endless border to do in one swell foop.

If this is the most difficult decision I have to make this week, I'm doing well.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Move along now

Nothing to see here.

There has been no stitching tonight. I had a daylong, off-site meeting at work that ran long, then when I got home, we had conversations with The Flash who wanted to wish Dearly Beloved a happy Veteran's Day--then I decided to start the laundry, only to have the handle on the less-than-a-year-old dryer break off in my hand--then the pizza we ordered didn't come so we had to deal with that--and at this point, I think trying to stitch would be a grave mistake.

When you say you're going to blog every day, you have to blog every day. Even when you have nothing to say.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Best laid plans

The plan was to finish this row of satin stitched letters tonight.

The reality is that I apparently can't count to four this evening, since every single letter I've started over three threads rather than four. This has resulted in ripping and roaring.

 So I'm going to bed as soon as I show you what I've done--so close to the end, but I'm afraid to even try another letter.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

More Angel

I feel in need of some angelic intercession tonight, so my office angel now has her halo and wings.

This is the only stitching I've done today. I've had the fidgets--I've picked up and put down half a dozen things since I got home, and nothing works.

So I'm going to call it a day, totter upstairs, and read my book.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Office Angel 2

Since I never threaded a needle last night, I wasn't sure what I would blog about today. Then I thought about my office project.

I haven't had as much time during my lunch hour to stitch as I did with the first little angel, so this one is taking longer.

I am surprising myself, though, by how much I'm enjoying crewel embroidery, even if I have to work with a needle the size of those spears they threw at Moby Dick.  A sharp needle, I might add. However, I haven't added any DNA to either of these pieces. Yet.

I think I just jinxed myself.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Technical Difficulties

There almost wasn't a blog tonight, and there won't be much of one since our internet connection has been in and out all evening.

I have torn up one corner of the living room getting to the equipment carefully hidden behind furniture so we don't have ugly cords running every which way.

I may give up on gracious living, and just leave the cords hanging out, fully exposed.

Anyway, here is a bit of the next alphabet on Rebekah French.

I think I'm just going to sit here and mutter about technology until bedtime.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Eyelets? Check!

All the eyelets are stitched, including the ones in the dividing band below this alphabet.

And there was much rejoicing.

The next alphabet is all satin stitch, which I enjoy, so I may stay with Rebekah for a few more days.

I am still thinking about a rotation, even if it never seems to work out well for me. This may be the only time the schedule I made sees the light of day--or it may make me decide to try it.  I can be more than a little fickle when it comes to planning where my needle will land.

Anyway, here it is:

Sunday: Rebekah French
Monday: background on Eve in the Garden
Tuesday:  Barbara Jackson's projects for SCR through EGA
Wednesday: Tend Thy Sheep, workshop from Merry Cox
Thursday: Behold Thy Beauty, workshop from Jackie du Plessis
Friday: Key to My Heart, cyberworkshop from ANG
Saturday: finish-finishing

Now that I see it in print, I am totally overwhelmed. I think I'll mull it over for awhile longer. Meanwhile, Rebekah is right by my chair with all her supplies.

Inertia may win this one.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Not what you'd expect

Last night I pulled several projects out and lined them up. I even made a list, assigning each to a day of the week for a rotation.  And I rummaged around in the auxiliary finishing basket and pulled out a stack of things to work on today.

And this is what I ended up stitching.

I know, I know, I said I didn't want to do any more eyelet letters.

And I wasn't gonna, at least not for a day or two.

But I have a philosophy that if you have something you really don't want to do, but that you really should, for whatever reason, it's better just to do it and get it over with.

So I hitched up the Granny panties and did more eyelets today.

I have to admit, though, that I am through for tonight. The "W" just did me in.

Friday, November 4, 2016

What to do . . .

The dividing band between the two rows of eyelet letters is now done.

I was very sorry to see it completed, because it means that it's time to work the second row of letters.

I don't wanna!  (whine, whine, whine)

I generally don't mind eyelets but there seems to be an excessive number of them. Rebekah must have loved them to have worked such big letters in them.

And I could be very easily distracted. I have the first lesson for an ANG cyberworkshop, Key to My Heart, all printed out. I just need to find stretcher bars and my goldwork toolbox to start on that.

I have the auxiliary finishing basket to empty--we're not even talking about the main finishing basket.

There is much, much, much more gold thread to stitch into the background of Eve in the Garden.

I could start on the projects in Barbara Jackson's design for EGA-SCR's online class.

Apparently, though, I'm leaning towards taking my book upstairs, crawling into bed, and going to sleep early. This is when you know you've become "mature." A book and early bedtime on Friday night sound very, very appealing.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Crossed Eyes

Rebekah French came out of her pillowcase tonight so I could work on the eyelet alphabet.

It is a little possible that my stress level is higher than I thought, and I may have taken it out on the eyelets. They seem to be pulled just a wee bit tighter than perhaps would be optimal.

However, I do not believe I am going to remove them, try to smooth out the linen, and restitch.

I think that would send my stress level into the stratosphere.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Stitching but No Stitching

Instead of plopping in the wing chair and stitching tonight, I went to my sampler guild meeting, where I saw some exquisite embroidery, and talked about needlework, and thought about future projects--but did not pick up a needle.

In terms of blogging every day, this is about the most pitiful entry ever--but you really needed to be there. You would have enjoyed every minute and hated to see the evening end.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


So tonight I came home, plopped down in the wing chair, and tried to decide what to work on.

While I was contemplating, I realized that Eve in the Garden was sitting right there, so I picked that up. And worked a little more on the background.

Now if I blog all of November, watching this happen is going to be boring to both you and me. So I'm still trying to decide what else I want to stitch.

But I still can't decide. It's likely made worse by the sugar buzz. There was leftover Halloween candy all over the office today. I have been introduced to Life Saver Gummies. This was probably not a good thing to have happen.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Not exactly Halloween-y

But a finish nonetheless:

Two Golden Birds
David McCaskill
part of the  12 Days of a Stitcher's Christmas series

Yesterday I decided just to go ahead and finish the background since I was sooooooo close.

And then, after Dearly Beloved mentioned, yet again, that the garland looked like the bird had a fuzzy green worm in its mouth, I decided to add the beads.

Of course, now he says that it looks like a fuzzy green worm with measles.

I am ignoring him.

And with the background and the beads completed, it just made sense to add the box and the second "scissors." And with that, there was a finish!

I have to admit, I'm feeling a little scattered at the moment, trying to decide what I want to work on tonight--or tomorrow--or for the next little bit. There are still a lot of scroll bars to empty and there are still some projects that have suitably aged in the stash and there are some new projects arriving as we speak. I just can't decide which one to start on, or how to organize a rotation of sorts (although we know how poorly I handle rotations), or if I want to give up needlework and start baking bread or training for Ironman.

At the same time, I'm also trying to decide if I want to blog every day in November. When blogs were bigger than they are now, it was a tradition to do this. It doesn't seem to be happening very much any more, but since I am stubborn and tend to enjoy the customs and traditions of the past, I feel as though I should try.

But if that's going to happen, I need to get un-scattered.

Sunday, October 30, 2016


I've been puttering around the last few days, trying to decide what I want to work on next.

So, I put a few strands into the background of Eve in the Garden.

What I had already stitched has already tarnished, so it's very easy to see what I added. I'm not worried about the differences in shading. I had done the other areas at different times, and they have all turned the same shade, so I don't think there will be a great difference when this is finally completed.

In puttering around, I found the kit for this year's Catherine Theron project for guilds.

This may go on scroll bars today.

And then, night before last, I decided to put a few stitches into the background of this ornament, which has been sitting on the stand since the first of the year:

So, I moved that stand in front of the wing chair and started filling in the background. This is the second of David McCaskill's 12 Days of a Stitcher's Christmas. You may remember I had fantasies of doing the whole set this year. Those fantasies were first derailed by prework for workshops and then I decided to work on samplers and have actually finished three of them this year.

That is nothing short of amazing.

However, speaking of samplers . . .

I came home from my EGA meeting Wednesday night all fired up to stitch, which is usually what happens when I go to any guild meeting. I had some time before I needed to go to bed, so I pulled Rebekah French out and worked on the next letter in the eyelet alphabet.

And I had miscounted the number of threads between letters.

And the "H" was going to run into the "G."

So I had to pull out what I had done--and since I tend to pull eyelets tightly, try to smooth the displaced linen threads back into place.

I believe Rebekah is going to wait awhile longer to be completed.