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, May 31, 2016


Verily I say unto you, my friends, I am being tempted.

Tempted, I say, to fall from the path of Diligence and Discipline.

Tempted to pursue other projects, leaving my prework bereft and alone.

Temptation has reared its ugly head, borne in the leather satchel of my local postal carrier.

Basically, the mail has been very good to me lately.

Today, this arrived:

Early Spring Lambs, a needle book and scissor fob, this year's project offered by Catherine Theron to guilds around the country, arrived today from the Swan Sampler Guild.  It was bittersweet to open the package as it will be the last one I'll receive from the Swans. They are disbanding. They have been very good to away-Swans, allowing us to participate in all of their projects, including their workshops, but the core group is tired. There is no one local to them willing to take on the many jobs needed to continue operating the guild. I will miss their newsletter and their projects.

Last week, another package arrived.

Lovely, lovely threads and braids in such beautiful, rich colors, the DNA for a project from Tricia Wilson Nguyen . . .this will eventually become A Peacock for A Casket.

Now I wasn't tempted when the kit arrived, because this is an online class, and it isn't supposed to start until June 1. As I write this, June 1 is tomorrow. Suddenly I'm tempted. The people who went on the Casket Tour had the chance to take the project as they travelled, so there have been finished peacocks popping up online, each with its own personality.

I may end up with a pair of peacocks if I am industrious. The stash also holds the peacock thimble holder that Margriet Hogue offered as an online class several years ago. It is very tempting--there's that temptation thing again--to pull that out and work it along with this.

But I am trying to be Diligent and Disciplined--so it's back to the Nun Stitch for me!

Who said I have no will power?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Baby Steps

The framework for the first band of Behold Thy Beauty is worked. Because I still had thread in the needle after working the lower row of Nun Stitch, I started the Nun Stitch for the next band.

I am toying with the idea of doing the Nun Stitch for the rest of the second band, then I'll go back and embellish the first band.  I'm in the mood for some easy, rhythmic stitching, and Nun stitch fits that requirement to a T.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Zen of It All

The other night I finished the design for the lid for Behold Thy Beauty.

And then I immediately started planning out my attack on the panels that will make up the sides of the purse/box/basket thing that will hold everything else.

The calendar was consulted and the number of potential hours available to stitch this extensive section calculated. I was getting really close to running time tests when sanity returned.

I stitch for pleasure. I stitch for stress relief. I stitch for the joy of taking thread and needle and creating something that it will make me happy to give or to own or to display in my home.

Needlework is not a competitive sport, at least not to me. I do it because I love it. I talk about it and blog about it because it's brought me into a group of other people who are also as fascinated by this art as I am.

So I sat myself down and had a conversation about how deadlines and time tests are for work.  If I make this unpleasant by imposing both on this project, I will not enjoy one minute of the stitching or owning the finished project.

This is where I am today on the first band.  I am back to enjoying the process. Not surprisingly, I'm making much faster progress than I would have it I'd stressed about it.

I'm going to take the same approach to blogging. I've been so concerned about deadlines for the past few months that the blog has suffered from neglect. I've missed it, so I'm giving myself permission to spend time writing about stitching. I think I'll enjoy both stitching and blogging that way.

Now, with a lovely long afternoon ahead, I'm going to decide what I want to marathon on TV and stitch for awhile.

Monday, May 23, 2016

It's the Process

It's the process, it's the process, it's the process--this has become my mantra as I work on prework.

Please do not misunderstand. I love the project I'm working on. I will love it even more when I complete the stitching and put the little bag/box/purse together and store its bits and pieces inside and set it on its own little tray for display.

However . . .

I have the attention span of a flea when it comes to needlework, yet I have been focused on one project after another since the beginning of the year. It appears that I have at least another month of focus to go before I fling caution to the winds and start leaping from one thing to another in mad abandon. (If that doesn't bring a hilarious mental image to those who know me, I don't know what will.)

It's the process, it's the process, it's the process. . .

I'm working on the lid at the moment, filling in all the flowers. They are going to be absolutely delicious when completed.

And I'm having to be even more disciplined than before, because this lovely sampler arrived in my mailbox today--Mary Ann Hoover from The Essamplaire, reproduced from a sampler at Winterthur.

I had to take it from its manila envelope, drool all over it, and take it upstairs immediately to be stored in the stash room.

Because if it stayed anywhere close to the wing chair, I would not be responsible for my actions.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Little Bits, Here and There

I'm spending the week-end working on the prework for Behold Thy Beauty, the other class I'm taking in July.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Still Off Track

I have a workshop coming up in about six weeks, for which I have a tremendous amount of prework I'd like to have done before I show up. (And this is all I have done . . .)

Instead, Baby Girl and I took off on Saturday morning for a trip to Jamestown for the 409th anniversary of the landing of the first settlers in this part of the New World.

There was a ranger tour, and archaeology tour, and two re-enactors, one a Native American whose tribe lived in the area and one who was portraying one of the early adventurers.  Both were fascinating to listen to--and we did.

I also had the opportunity to go total fangirl over Dr. William Kelso, whose vision led to the knowledge about Jamestown we have today. I admit it. I gushed.

Yes, my name is Ann and I am a history geek.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Slightly Sidetracked

I know, I know, I should be working on prework for my class with Jackie and the Western Reserve Sampler Guild in Ohio in July.

I know.

I got slightly off target.

I may have mentioned a time or forty that I don't really like to stitch letters.  I don't know why.  And knowing that the verse on Sarah Williams was the next section to complete has preyed on my mind. So I decided to get it over with and done.

There is another mystery on this sampler.  Please note the wave motifs at the end of each line of the verse:

One of these things is not like the others. One of these things is not quite the same.

Was Sarah supposed to do them all like the first row? Did she make an error in the second row and decide she liked that better? Or was she supposed to do a different wave pattern on each row and decided that was too much thinking? Or is the second version of the wave supposed to be the way the first line should look and she didn't want to rip it all out?

Dearly Beloved wants to know why it makes a difference. What he doesn't get is that it's entertaining to try to figure out what the original stitcher was planning . . . or not planning, as the case may be.

Lest you think I'm not being disciplined and diligent, I did make myself sew the linen for the biggest piece of prework to the scroll bars last night, and I have started the first few inches of the miles of Nun stitch that will eventually be worked.

And here it is.

Did I say a few inches?  Maybe an inch and a little bit.

I think I'm going to need to marathon a really good TV show to get through this.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

One More to Go

I've finished the prework for the Un-played Piano Etui.

And now it's on to the last prework I have for this year, Behold Thy Beauty.

I would love to get started on it tonight, but my Domestic Drudge Diva has been put to work. The Saint is bringing Mother here for Mother's Day tomorrow. Instead of prestitching, I'm precooking.