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, July 29, 2017

different direction

When I started home yesterday, I was positive I was going to pull something out of the auxiliary finishing basket to work on. After all, the lid won't shut any longer. If I were of a fanciful bent of mind, I would say that there are projects just trying to escape so they could become something, but as I am not of a fanciful bent of mind, I won't say that.

Instead, Frances Burwell was glaring at me.

Do you see this innocent-looking, very innocuous acorn band?

Let me tell you--if there were a way to miscount, I miscounted. There are only three colors in this band. I pulled the wrong color for part of the acorns and had to rip them out. I finally had to put Frances in time-out before she became a fancy dust cloth. She's been there for several weeks--or maybe a month or two.

So, last night, I finished ripping out what needed to be ripped out and restitched the sections I had ripped out. Today I finished the band.

I believe I will continue with Frances for another day or two.

Until those projects attempting to escape grab me and force me to take care of them.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Mutter, mutter

There has been a very small amount of needlework accomplished around here.

Isabella has her hem stitched:

Now she needs to be washed and pressed.

My lunchtime-at-work project has also been completed:

This, too, needs to be washed and blocked.

And I started a new crewel project for lunchtime-at-work:

Meanwhile, I've been feeling a little overwhelmed.

I have piles of projects I would like to start. I have way more UFOs than I am comfortable having. And the top of the auxiliary finishing basket won't close.

The problem is that I can't decide what I want to work on. Sometimes having too many options is worse than having too few.  I've spent a couple of weeks picking things up and putting them down without feeling a strong desire to work on any of them.

One of my professors in grad school said that when you can't make a decision, ask yourself, "what do I really want?"

And, as I was writing this, it occurred to me that what I really want is to have an empty bag, basket, box, or bin. I just want to have stuff done.  I doubt I'll pick one container and work my way to the bottom, but it would be a start.

So the thing I'm going to mull over now is determining what bag, basket, box, or bin is nagging at me most. And as soon as I get home from work tomorrow, I'm going to pull something--who knows what--out of whatever bag, basket, box, or bin I decide to tackle. And I am going to work on that something until I get it done.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


Since last I wrote:

  • I broke a filling eating a frozen fruit bar.
  • I threw out my back standing at the ironing board for too long
  • The back problem precipitated an attack of sciatica
  • I re-injured my almost healed Achilles tendon
I'm beginning to feel that all I do is spackle and patch my decrepit body.

I can already hear somebody asking how you can throw your back out standing at an ironing board. I have some age-related (there's that decrepit and aged thing again) deterioration of the discs in my lower back.

Actually, the doctor called it a degenerative disorder--but that sounds as if my back were doing something bawdy and naughty. I wish. Nope, it has to do primarily with age.

Anyway, I was fiddling with finish-finishing a silly little thing and the directions said to finger press the seam. Apparently my fingers are too cold to finger press anything because the seam was not staying where it was supposed to. So I decided to threaten it with a hot iron. It's a very fiddly little bit of nonsense and I fiddled and bent over and fiddled and bent over and finally my back announced that it was tired of being placed in such a position for so long and I got stuck. And it hurt to straighten up. And when I stretched to try to get the kinks out, something popped. And that was that.

Dearly Beloved said that I am the only person he has ever known who could injure herself trying to iron something. I asked him why he thought I keep saying that housework, done properly, can kill you. He said that I wasn't doing housework, I was doing needlework. Apparently the look I gave him was enough for him to decide to take a stroll around the neighborhood for a few minutes.

So my finish-finishing has not been touched. The only thing I've managed to accomplish this week is trimming, pinning, and basting the hem on Isabelle so she is ready to be hem-stitched.

I probably won't get this hem-stitched this week-end. We are heading to the mountains to visit The Flash and his parental units.

Right when I need to be in fighting trim.

Sigh . . . 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Deadly Dull and Boring (me, not the needlework)

Several times I've sat down to write a blog post this week--and nothing has come to mind to write about.

I attribute this to the heat.

It is hot. We're finally getting Real Summer with temps in the 90's and the heat index over 100.  And then there's the humidity. When you dare to go outside, the air feels like warm molasses, thick, soupy, and sticky.

Add to that, I've had one of those weeks when I wake up in the middle of the night and stare at the ceiling for a couple of hours before dozing off again.  This does not promote rational thinking, much less witty writing.

I have done a little stitching. Very little, but at least something has been done around here.

I was rummaging around in the Big Tote of Small Projects, looking for something else entirely, when this popped up. It's called Autumn Splendor, and it's one of Jackie du Plessis' small project kits. It may be wishful thinking, hoping for crisp fall days, but it appealed to me immediately, so that's what I've been stitching on.  It has been lovely and relaxing to work on and small enough to feel a sense of accomplishment.

And it may be all I accomplish until the temps start to drop.

And, yes, we do have AC and fans--but there is a point at which the world just feels stuffy, no matter how low you set the thermostat and how high you set the fans.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Baby Steps

After yesterday's disasters, I was almost afraid to thread a needle.

Apparently, I can still cross stitch over both one and two threads.

I can also back stitch.

I thought about doing some finish-finishing, but I think this is complicated enough for today. No use tempting fate.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Sidetracked, then off the rails

Yesterday I decided to do my usual Saturday domestic diva chores, which would then give me another two days for uninterrupted stitching.

I had some time last evening after finishing the last bit of spit-and-polishing I was going to do, and I picked up another of the small strawberry pieces from Barbara Jackson.

And finished the stitching:

This may be the last thing I ever stitch.

Today, I have just about decided to sell my stash, turn in my needles, and take up parasailing instead of needlework.

Everything I have touched has been a disaster.

I was going to work on the casket toy.  Detached buttonhole is one of the those stitches that I can generally do with my eyes closed. Today I couldn't do one with both eyes open, with additional magnification, in broad daylight.

So I decided to thread up my sewing machine and do a wee bit of finishing. The less said about that experience the better. The sewing machine is among the things I was thinking of selling.

I usually have very good luck stitching samplers, so I pulled Frances Burwell out of her pillowcase. I miscounted within the first four stitches. So all that I did had to be ripped out.

I was stomping around, flinging invective (which was safer than flinging other things)--Dearly Beloved suggested that perhaps it would be a good idea to do something else before I made decisions I would rue.

So tonight I am going to leaf through a few of the magazines that have accumulated beside my chair.

None of them will have any needlework in them.

Friday, July 7, 2017

seeing quadruple

Yesterday I spent my stitching time setting up the pieces for the second Winter Casket Toy.

The base set-up for all four pieces is the same so I figured I may as well do them all while I was in the groove.

They kept bothering me, though. I keep thinking they reminded me of something else. It finally hit me. They look like the BB-8 Droid from one of the recent Star Wars movies.

I'm not sure I'm going to do the next step in this project today.  My current book, which started off very slowly, has suddenly picked up speed and I don't really want to put it down for long. I may spend the day with a tall, icy beverage and the book.

The joys of free time . . . as much as I like the structure of a working life, I think I could very possibly enjoy being retired.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

And now for something completely different

I bet you thought you were going to see the next step on a casket toy.

Not so much.

Early this morning I was seeing my doctor because I was hit with a case of vertigo last night. Apparently the slightly nagging headache I've had has not been eye strain from stitching myself silly, but the beginnings of an inner ear infection. My ear never hurt. I have meds and the headache has already disappeared, although the anti-vertigo drugs make me a little drowsy and apparently a little loopy.

Then I spent the middle of the day with the AC technician since the hall in front of the closet where the AC unit lives became squishy at some point. He called the plumber. The plumber came and cleared out the drainage pipe. The AC guy came back and fiddled for awhile. Then he left and Dearly Beloved had to excavate the swamp fan (aka big honkin' fan) to blow over the squishy parts of the carpet and dry them out. I've wanted to replace the carpet for awhile, but would prefer to do it on my timetable.

After all this excitement (and unexpected expense) the last thing I needed to wield was a sharp, pointy object.  A pointy object with a blunt end might work, which meant stitching not on silk fabric but on linen or canvas instead.

And I came up with this little lovely, which I started a couple of years ago. At the time, I had the flower at the top and the ABC. I stitched the rest this afternoon after all the excitement died down.

It will become this:

Barbara Jackson's colors are so joyful that they make me happy.

And who's to say I can't put strawberries in my casket, too?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

My Heart Beats True for the Red, White, & Blue

Happy Fourth!

We have had a quiet Fourth, thus far, although I expect the neighborhood pyrotechnic display later tonight will take care of the festivities.

And I have been stitching.

I have the second side of the first Winter Casket toy done up to the point that the Fray Stop has to finish drying.

I'm trying to decide if I want to skip ahead and do the finishing on this toy, then circle back and work the embroidery on the other one, or if I want to work in the order in which the directions are given. That means that I'd do the embroidery on the second toy in the set, then do the finishing for both pieces.

I'm delighted that this is the most difficult decision I have to make in the next day or so.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Light My Fire

Today I started my stay-cation project.

Amy Mitten's Casket Toys have been aging in the my stash since she first introduced them.  This is the first of them from the Winter Toy set.

It is quite possible that they would have continued aging, but two dear friends have both been working on them lately. One of them has completed the Winter Set. In fact, I had an email from her almost-but-not-quite suggesting a throw-down.

Well, what other kind of motivation does a Stitching Fool need than to know that her good buddies are having fun without her.

And I have to say, this has been a lot of fun. I started the first lesson this morning--all about the prep work. By afternoon, I was stitching. At the moment, I'm waiting for the Fray-Stop to dry so I can move to the next step.

I've been very lucky to have classes from excellent teachers who give incredibly detailed directions, but Amy Mitten is one of the very best. Having detailed, step-by-step photographs make all the difference in the world. It's like literally sitting next to her and working together.

I plan to continue working away during the Fourth celebrations tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that. Who knows--I might even get something finished before I go back to the paying job!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Close but no cigar

I made plans for the week-end.

I was going to come home from work on Friday, start the laundry, and get the living room and kitchen in order. I was going to set Virgin Queen aside for a few days while I started the project I've been planning to stitch on my stay-cation.

I do not know why I bother to make any kind of plan for anything.

I came home from work on Friday, and Virgin Queen was just sitting by the chair--and we were allowed to leave early because of the long Fourth week-end, so I still had daylight--and I stitch best by daylight--so I thought I'd get a few stitches in before I started all the other stuff.

Forget the carefully crafted plans.

I got so much done Friday afternoon and evening that I thought I could surely finish the last panel and the scissor fob pieces on Saturday.

And I almost made it.

And a close-up of the center part, which is my very favorite part of the design--why did it have to be on the bottom?

I'm going to finish up the last bit of bargello and stitch the scissor fob pieces and then go back to the original plan.

Until something else comes along and changes the plan.