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, March 27, 2016

Mini Happy Dance

I'm not quite through with the prework for the Garden Variety Long Pocket, but I'm close.

There are a couple of bands to be worked above and below this design that are involved in the finishing, and there is a seam that must be sewn on the fabric of the bag itself. I've decided I need a long expanse of time to do both of those things, so they will wait until next week-end.

And there is a confession I feel compelled to make. I have a custom cornucopia. Somewhere I got off on the outline. I have counted and recounted and ripped and restitched and I can't locate the oopsey. I have a feeling there is either a very thin thread I've missed or a very thick thread that I may have thought was really two threads. Whatever it is, I have declared my independence from the tyranny of the chart (actually, I got tired of trying to figure it out) and declared it done.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Green, green, and more green

All the leaves and stems and bits that are green are now stitched for the Garden Variety Long Pocket.

I have been asked why I stitched all green all the time and left the flowers out. The truth is that green is not one of my favorite colors, and I wanted to get it all done.

However, where you have flowers, you have foliage. And foliage is green.

Suddenly a couple of phrases have taken up residence in my head:  "tangerine trees and marmalade skies" followed by "a girl with kaleidoscope eyes."  I hope they shake loose fairly quickly, or I may be compelled to sing, thus creating dismay, distress, and consternation in Dearly Beloved and all the neighborhood dogs.

I digress.

Now I get to stitch the colors that I prefer. I started to say the "pretty colors" but there are those who really like green, and I would prefer not to offend.

And, believe it or not, I'm on track to reach my goals and get prework for this project finished. Soon. Very soon.

And now another phrase has entered my head:  If you want to make God laugh, make plans.

Sigh . . .

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Prework and more prework

What with Daylight Savings Time leaving me feeling vaguely discombobulated and my sleep schedule out of whack, I've had time to either stitch or blog.

And I have lots of prework to do.

This is where I am on A Garden Variety Long Pocket, one of the two classes I'm taking from Sherri Jones at Salty Yarns in April.

I also have the prework for this project to do, also in April.

And then the prework for two more classes arrived this week:

Luckily these classes aren't scheduled until July, and the piano doesn't have a tremendous amount of embroidery, but they still have to be done.

And then Barbara Jackson's classes for Celebration of Needlework were posted and I am in mourning. I can't go. My vacation days are already assigned for the year. Rats!

Isn't this adorable?

Isn't this even more adorable?

I am keeping my fingers crossed that these will eventually become Shining Needle Society classes because I am absolutely craving them. I haven't met a Barbara Jackson design I didn't like--part of it has to do with the colors, part has to do with the little worlds she creates, but they always make me happy.

But then, what needlework doesn't make me happy?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Wonderful Week-end

After wrestling with taxes, I really needed a break and I got one this week-end with a workshop taught by Jackie du Plessis for the Virginia Guild of Needlewomen.

As always, Jackie's class was thorough and informative, and I got two pieces from the prework put together.

They still need embellishments, but the hardest part is completed.

I also took copious notes on all the other bits that are part of the Hands to Work, Hearts to God set of smalls. I've taken a lot of Jackie's classes (with more to come), both in person and online, and she always has a trick or technique that helps me improve my finishing.

I can't say enough about the warm welcome I received from the other ladies in the class. I was included in everything, and made to feel a part of the guild. Our hostess with the mostes' opened her home (and her stitching lair)--it was just a delight in every way. I look forward to many more trips  to join in the fun!

Of course, I really, really want to work on this set immediately. Somehow, though, it always seems as if there is something compelling that I need to do before I can do that--and it's the prework for the next workshop I'm attending.

Could someone please just give me another 24 hours to a day?

Instead of ripping an hour away?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

And one more thing . . .

When you spend a couple of evenings with your knee elevated and iced, you can get more stitching done than usual.

Now it's on to the big pocket panel.

I have a feeling it's going to take a whole lot longer than the little bits I've been stitching.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Best Laid Plans

I was planning to bake cookies tonight for a potluck on Saturday.

I even zoomed by the grocery store on the way home from work to pick up chocolate and butter.

Then I tripped on my own front steps and twisted the wonkier of the two wonky knees.

Consequently, my leg is propped up on the ottoman with my brace on and an ice pack, Dearly Beloved cooked dinner (and loaded the dishwasher!), and in a fairly short amount of time, I am going to take a pill and hobble off to bed.

However, there is some stitching to show--the other piece of the needlebook is outlined and ready for color.

Whether it gets color tonight or not is currently debatable.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Royal Goodies

And this is what appeared in the mailbox today:

The Queen's Crown Etui is the first in a series from Amy Mitten.

There is an entire package of bits and pieces that will be used in its embroidery and construction. Actually, because there are so many bits and pieces, I decided not to dump everything out until I have an expanse of time to ooh and aah over each little bit.

Because I still have prework to do, and I must get to it.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Another pretty flower . . .

There isn't much to show tonight. I had to come home from work and be a Responsible Adult.


Anyway, I have another flower outlined and ready to fill in with color. I kinda like it with just the outline, but I think I'll kinda like it more with the color.

And that won't happen until tomorrow. Being a Responsible Adult is tiring!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Black lace . . .

Well, that's what it looks like to me . . .

I like this border stitch--a lot--and have been trying to think of a possible place to use it in the future.

Anyway, I made today's goal with time to spare, so I may do a little more while Downton is on for (sob) the last time.

I didn't give myself a big goal today because I wanted to go on a search and destroy mission in the stash room to find my old clip-on magnifiers.

I have been using one of those green headband things for awhile, mainly because I had small glasses frames that the clip-ons didn't fit very well. However, I have found over the last year or so that the headband would start to slip--I've been wondering if my head has been shrinking--the rest of me certainly has not.

Anyway, my stitching would go something like this:
  • take two stitches
  • push up magnifier
  • take two more stitches
  • push up magnifier
  • take three stitches
  • find that magnifier had slipped down and I was looking over the lens rather than through them
  • push up magnifier
  • take two more stitches
  • push up magnifier
This has most definitely cut down on my efficiency and irritated me no end. I have new glasses frames that are much larger than the previous ones, so I decided to see if I could locate the clip-ons and discover if they would fit.

I did and they do.

(I also found some more things in my stash that I want to pull out so they can see the light of day and I can get them stitched but that is a story for another day.)

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Meeting a goal . . .

I did it--I got exactly what I wanted to stitch today stitched--and I'm feeling a little better about getting all the prework done before the class!

I love how rich the colors are on this design, and can't wait to get to the big pocket panel, although I have two more smaller areas to stitch before I get to that.

Of course, I had to stay off the computer all day and have been suffering Pinterest withdrawal.

Which may indicate an unhealthy obsession with it.

Which may mean that this stitching plan is overall a good thing.  We'll see how long, though, that I can withstand the temptation of pretty pictures and lovely inspiration.

Friday, March 4, 2016

First Pretty Flower

I'm thinking this is a camellia.

Whatever it is, it's a very pretty flower, and the first piece of the Garden Variety Long Pocket prework that I need to accomplish before I go back to Salty Yarns to take a class from Sherri Jones.

There is a border that goes around the flower, but it involves a stitch that I don't recall working before. I believe I should do that after a good night's sleep, rather than at the end of a very long day.

So I am heading to bed soon. I plan to stitch as long as my eyes and hands hold out tomorrow--it will be interesting to see how much I can get done if I really focus.

And can manage to stay off the innerwebs.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Another retreat . . .

I need another retreat.

Not just for mental health (although going back into work after a week away was hectic and crazy) but because I have a lot of prework to do in the next six weeks.

A lot of prework.

A whole lot of prework.

But tonight it was started:

The current plan is to stitch every minute I possibly can--and I've decided that this week-end, I'm declaring that I am on retreat again for a couple of days.

Besides, I need to catch up on episodes of Agent Carter.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


We are home again. We like our home, don't get me wrong--but when you have a lovely, relaxing vacation, reality is tough.

I had plans for this evening, which included going to my sampler guild meeting. But after a long, leisurely lunch with Baby Girl on the way home (which was long and leisurely because the service was so slow) and extremely heavy traffic (I can understand why people who live in snowy climes might want to head south, but did they all have to come today?), we arrived home a couple of hours later than anticipated. We've been playing catch-up ever since.

One of the things I was going to do when I thought I would get home at three instead of five was to set up the next prestitch for one of the classes I'm taking from Sherri Jones at Salty Yarns in April.

This is as far as I've gotten:

I've identified the colors, pulled the fabric out to iron and sew on the scroll bars, and found the scroll bars.

And now I'm going to bed.

Tomorrow is a work day.

Sigh . . .

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Trudging to Victory

As predicted, it has taken me just about the entire retreat to finish this one relatively small bit of prework for a workshop taking place in less than two weeks. I have been calling it the Green Thing; one of the others in the class named it The Green Mile, and that may be a more accurate name.

I got the last stitches placed in the last few minutes of the last day of the retreat.

At one point during the week, I felt as if my head would explode if I did one more pea green stitch, so I managed to work the first line of the verse on Sarah Williams:

Most of this was cross stitch over one thread, and I'm not sure it was any more relaxing than the Green Thing.

However, just getting away, solely for the purpose of stitching with friends who get what you're talking about, is simply amazing and a wonderful way to spend one's time.

We have tentative dates for next year, and I've already pencilled them in on my calendar. Dearly Beloved has been warned.

And next year, maybe the other four projects I brought will see the light of day while I'm here.