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.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

One down, two to go

The first "chamber" on this band is complete!

I had to use a sharp needle to work the satin over the double running stitch outlines, but I am happy to say that I have left no DNA behind.

I realize that I have now jinxed myself and will stab myself with my needle repeatedly and painfully throughout the rest of the band.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Back to School

First, the obligatory stitching content:

Here is where I am on Frances Burwell. I need to work the double running outline of a big flower and then I'm going to cover all the double running up with satin stitch. This may mean a sharp needle. As I haven't left any DNA on this project thus far, I suppose it's time.

And now the Back-to-School part:

Our local schools went back into session today. The start of the school year always feels like it should be the real start of the year. I have managed to restrain myself from buying notebooks and markers and a pencil box (do people even use pencil boxes any longer?), but it's been a close thing. I want stickers!

The big thing is that I've decided it's the perfect time to give myself a kick in the posterior and restart the year.

My stitching has been drifting all over the place this year. With a couple of notable exceptions, I haven't been passionate about anything I've worked on. Don't get me wrong--I love the things that are in my stash and I want to stitch every single solitary one--but I can't seem to settle on anything. The number of things I've started since January--and that have never seen the light of blog--is a little scary. And I've spent way too many evenings staring at the TV without working on anything--a most  unusual waste of time for me.

Because I tend to make lists, just for the sake of making lists, I started listing things I want to do. Everything falls into one of five categories:

Seventeenth Century
Special Stuff (like whitework and goldwork and my lunchtime crewel projects)

I've made the decision I need to get into a routine. Notice I'm not saying "rotation" or assigning projects to specific days of the week, but a simple routine that I can follow without feeling constraints. I don't do well with rules, even the ones I make for myself.

So, the plan at the moment is to use my weeknights after work for a project that is ready to go when I plop into the wing chair after the dinner dishes are out of the way.  It can be anything in one of those categories that is ready to go when I am.

When I have a long expanse of time--like Saturday afternoons while the laundry is churning--I'll do thing like all the cutting and pressing and sorting of bits as needed to assemble the smalls I stitch, then don't get around to finish-finishing.   I found that worked really well on the Virgin Queen's Stitching Wallet--I got everything cut out and sorted so all I had to do was pick up a piece and sew on it. This also includes sewing linen to the scroll bars or tracing designs to be worked on later.

I think I am going to reserve Sundays for pieces that need real concentration. That worked well on Eve in the Garden.

Holidays and vacations--anything goes.

And I am going to try blogging more often. If I blog, I stitch. I will not even try to blog daily--last November showed me that won't work with my life as it currently works--but I'll try to blog more often--maybe because I might have more to talk about if I'm stitching more.

I already feel better about getting some things done.

Baby Girl says that I'm overthinking. She is probably right.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

More pretty little things

While the Finishing Fairy seems to be smiling on me, I thought I would start putting together all the pretty pieces for the Afternoon Leisure Basket, designed by Sherri Jones. I took the class last year at Salty Yarns, prepped most of the pieces, and then (what a surprise) was distracted by something else.

I put the basket pieces together in class. In the last few days, I put together the two needle books.

I still have to do the mattress pin cushion, the pin keep, the strawberry, and the scissors sheath. I believe that may keep me out of trouble this week.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Big Ta-DA

The Virgin Queen Stitching Wallet is complete!

I'm very happy I chose the red for the lining:

And for once, I am very, very happy with my finish-finishing!

I didn't expect it to go so smoothly because I'm still a little weary from Mother's hospitalization. She's in rehab now, but there was a period last week when I went 34 hours more-or-less awake.

24 of those hours were spent in the same clothes and I only got to brush my teeth once during that time (yuck).  20 hours of those 24 hours were spent in hand-to-hand combat with my supposedly frail and fragile 89-going-on-90-year-old mother.  She was absolutely determined that she was going to disconnect and detach every monitor, IV needle, and oxygen tube.  I was determined that she wasn't.

She managed to break the oxygen tube. I was the one who got bruises.

(Is it elder abuse if the elder who is abused is abused by an even more elderly elder?)

She is giving them a run for their money in rehab. 

And the Saint and I are even more convinced that she's going to outlive us both.

Bless her heart . . .

Sunday, August 20, 2017

What a week

Mother was taken to the hospital on Tuesday. She was there until late Friday afternoon when she was released to the rehab unit at her retirement center, where she will spend the next two to three weeks.

All I can say is that little old ladies with mild dementia and issues of control do not make for cooperative patients.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

And now for something completely different

Bet you thought you were going to see a completed Virgin Queen's Stitching Wallet after this week-end.

Not so much.

I did get the Skirtex basted and linen and silk interfaced and things folded and pinned. I was planning to do the pressing needed before starting the assembly, but The Boot informed me that I needed to sit down and prop up my ankle before I sentenced myself to a longer association with said Boot.

So I did.

And while I was sitting there, I picked up Frances Burwell and finished one of the small dividing bands and started on the next big band:

And I do have the bits for the Virgin Queen corralled for the next time The Boot will allow me to stand for any length of time:

Obviously, I don't have time to get bored.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Small Ta Da

Now all the accessory pieces that will go into the Virgin Queen's Stitching Wallet are finished.

Unfortunately, the actual Virgin Queen's Stitching Wallet still needs to be put together.

I've decided I need to take a lovely Saturday afternoon nap before I tackle that.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Prep work

I've been cutting out stuff that will be used to assemble the Virgin Queen etui. I now have little piles of materials in a state of organized chaos on my worktable.

I had plans to do some pressing and folding and mitering, but The Boot had other plans.  It announced that I had done quite enough, thank you very much, and it was time to prop up my aching ankle with an ice pack. So I have.

Monday, August 7, 2017

filling and fobbing

I got a couple of things accomplished while I was propping up my foot inside The Boot yesterday.

The flowers on the band are now filled in. I don't know why it was such drudgery to get them done, but I was beginning to think the gremlins were coming in during the night to remove what I had already stitched.

There was also some finish-finishing.

The fob for the Virgin Queen is assembled.

Nothing else is.


We'll see how The Boot and I get along tonight.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

What a week . . .

This has been a week . . .

There has been a little stitching:

Frances Burwell has been my focus project this week.

And that child has been messin' with me.

Some of those little sprigs coming off the vine line up with each other. Some don't. Some are stitched just like others. Some aren't. There have been times when I thought I needed to rip out--and almost did--before I discovered that Frances was not, perhaps, as careful as she could have been when stitching the band.

And then there is the decrepitude factor. This has nothing to do with stitching so if that's why you're here, you can go on to other things.

The wonkier of my wonky knees has been giving me problems. And I keep reinjuring my Achilles tendon. So I finally gave in and went to the doctor, who mentioned that perhaps I should come to see him when things start to hurt rather than when I can barely hobble.

I got a shot in my knee--which sounds much worse than it actually was--and I am now wearing a lovely boot that immobilizes my ankle so the torn tendon can heal.  And I am to continue to keep my foot elevated and iced.

Which means I should probably stitch rather than vacuum.

There's always a golden lining.