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, November 26, 2017


This lovely pink and green band marks the center of Mary Otter!

Now there is a rather large house with an even larger yard--and the yard is all over-one--to stitch.  I'm afraid it's going to take more time than the first half has, but I've decided not to think about it too much. After all, it's the bottom scene of the sampler that made me want to stitch it.

However, the rest of today is going to be devoted to preliminary Christmas decorating and preliminary packing. It's that time of the year--we're heading to Williamsburg so I can take classes with Catherine Theron (morning sampler class) and Jackie du Plessis (afternoon etui) at what I still call Christmas in Williamsburg although the new owners call it Annie's Needlework Festival. I'm not taking any early bird classes this year so that will give us a day to wander around the Historic District before the crowds that arrive for the Grand Illumination show up. I have a list of places I want to go.

And I've decided The Big Boot is going, too. My Achilles tendon is still acting up and I've decided to be proactive and protect it before I re-injure it further. Stupid Achilles tendon . . .

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thing Two and Thanksgiving

The second parrot on Mary Otter is complete and I'm on the band that marks the halfway point.

This parrot is much closer to both the verse and border than the first one. This is the second sampler I've worked that had a similar situation. Sarah Williams also seemed to run out of room for the motifs on the second side.  In addition, Mary had to cram some words together to get them to all fit inside the border she had stitched. So . . . that leads me to believe that at least these two girls stitched borders first and then made everything else fit into them.

I may take a break from Mary today to work on the 2017 ornament from Barbara Jackson. It's one of my favorites from the ones she has designed for SNS, and that is saying a lot since I've loved every single one of them.  I have started doing some Christmas decorating, and I want this one on the tree, so I need to get that needle moving, too.

Now if you came for stitching, you can stop reading right now. The rest is about our not-quite Thanksgiving.

For a variety of reasons, this year Dearly Beloved and I were planning to have Thanksgiving alone. Mother can't travel any longer, the Saint had an invitation from a friend, Baby Girl has to work Black Friday, the Big Kid not only was scheduled to work, but then his whole family came down with some kind of virus that we would really prefer that they keep in West Virginia and not bring to us.

So we decided we would have a turkey breast instead of the usual humongous turkey, the green bean casserole that only Dearly Beloved will eat, I was going to try to replicate Mother's macaroni-and-cheese with no one here to critique it but me, sweet potatoes, and whatever other vegetable I felt like throwing into the mix.

I went online and through several cookbooks and the general consensus on thawing out turkey is to give it 24 hours for every four pounds. We had a six pound turkey breast. That meant probably Monday evening until Thursday evening would be ample time, actually more than enough, for the thing to thaw out.


Either the "authorities" were all wrong or we have a wormhole to an Arctic planet in the back of the frig, because when I took the thing out yesterday to start cooking for our evening meal, it was still hard as a rock and had a chunk of ice in the middle.

So I did the thing where you put the turkey in the sink with water and change the water every hour and it finally thawed out. It finally got into the oven. It finally got roasted about 9 last night. At that point, we had had barbecue sandwiches from the barbecue we bought earlier in the week and Tater Tots and salad for dinner.

Tonight we're going to put the sides together and gently warm the turkey slices and try it again.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thing One

Short hiatus from blogging for few days--first I was under the weather for a couple of days, then I was out of town for a few more.

However, we now have the first parrot on Mary Otter!

Quite elegant, isn't he?

There is a second one on the other side, and that's what I'll start on tonight.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Little Posies, Part 2

All the little posies have their darker petals stitched, and Thing One has a hill and a tree to sit upon.

And since it has been Monday the Thirteenth all day, I am going to bed with my book.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Little Posies, part 1

Today was gray, gloomy, cold, yucky--so I spent the day wrapped up in an afghan and stitching.

All the itty bitty leaves and the last blimp leaf are stitched, and I've made the first circuit with the lighter pink for the posies. My needle is threaded and I'm going to start on the next go-round with the darker shade of pink.

And then I get to start on Thing One, aka big honkin' parrot.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Big Mouth

There is no stitching to report on today. We went to visit my mother.

She is getting more and more confused as the days pass, but she's happier than I've ever seen her, so we're taking that.

However, my big mouth got me in trouble.

Dearly Beloved took a few moments for a pit stop and while he was gone, Mother asked if I were planning to marry That Man.

I said I thought he was already married.

Fifteen minute lecture, during which time Dearly Beloved returned to the room and was totally confused by the lecture.

Keep in mind, this is not the first time he's been tarred and feathered through no fault of his own. When it became obvious Mother should stop driving, we bought her car. Dearly Beloved drove it home.  I called later that evening to let her know we had arrived safely home only to hear this:

"Some old man stole my car! I stood on the sidewalk and saw him drive it away. I was waving at him to stop and he just waved back and drove on!"

I'm not sure if he was more insulted by the thought that he would steal her car or by the fact she called him an old man.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Friday Flop

As I was driving to work this morning, I was planning my evening stitching. I had Mary Otter all set up with needle not only threaded but also placed in the appropriate spot to start all those itty bitty leaves. Based on the length of time it took me to work itty bitty leaves across the top of the border for the saying, I had a strong feeling that I could get just about all of them worked tonight before heading to bed.

Not so much.

I came home and flopped into the wing chair and that was pretty much it.

About an hour ago, I forced myself to stitch a bit.

I'm down to the next big blimp leaf on this side.

But that's it for tonight. Dearly Beloved and I have been yawning at each other all evening, and we've decided it's time to head to bed.

And it isn't even 10 p.m. For people who at one time were the last to leave a Friday night shindig, this is really sad. The fact that I used the word "shindig" is probably very sad, too. I'll have to ask Baby Girl if this is even an acceptable term any longer. I will likely get a blank look.

How the mighty have fallen.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Going Around the Bend

I made it all around the saying with the vine and the ends met up!

Given some of the other stitching problems I've had lately, I feel a great sense of relief.

Now I have to get all the little bitty leaves and stems stitched and then add the flowers. That will be a good thing to do while we're visiting Mother over the week-end.


Today is a special day for me--had he lived, my father would be 100 years old. The older I get, the more I appreciate all he lived through, and what a gentleman and gentle man he was in so very many ways.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Change in schedule

It's cold. It's raining. I've reached an exciting point in my book.

Therefore, I am not stitching tonight. I am crawling into bed, pulling the covers up to my chin, and reading until it's time to turn out the lights.

And I have hereby kept to the letter of the law for daily blogging in November.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Definitely Crazy

I was going to say that maybe I am crazy.

No, I'm definitely crazy--but I'm very, very happy.

Here is the carcass for another Cabinet of Curiosities.

I know, I already have one and I haven't stitched a stitch for it yet--but Tricia Nguyen offered a class to work a small stumpwork casket. I absolutely was not going to take the class--then I saw the design and it sang to me. And it's different from the design I want to stitch for my big casket. And I love 17th century embroidery.

I'm definitely crazy.

And I'm going to live to be 485.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Less than Before

Last night I was slipping Mary Otter into her pillowcase for her well-deserved rest when I noticed something.

An egregious error.

A major mistake.


And this after staring at her for two days.

Foul language was heard throughout the land.

Anyway, I have taken several deep breaths. I've slept on it. I have taken several more deep breaths. I put it out of my mind all day while I was at work.

And tonight I took up the pointy scissors and the sharp tweezers, and I have very carefully removed the offending stitches.  All of them.

And tomorrow I will put them in. In the correct spot this time.

Sigh . . .

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Move along--absolutely nothing to see here

Unless, of course, you want to see more Queen stitch border stitches that look just like the Queen stitch border stitches on the other side.

I'm not finished with this side. It is possible that I could have been, but I spent the morning rearranging the stash in the living room and sorting some things by priority and making decisions for life after Mary Otter.

I also made chicken salad for lunches this week and meat loaf for supper.

And I spent some time taking care of Dearly Beloved, who took a tumble in the middle of the night when vertigo attacked. Basically, he leaned over to pick something off the floor that he had knocked off the bedside table . . . and he kept on going. Right off the bed. Right onto the floor.

Luckily we keep meds in the house for just such an event, so he spent the day staring off into space or napping, which is why I could spend the day rearranging stash, etc. He is feeling better tonight, but he has gone on to bed since the pills make him drowsy. If he is not significantly better in the morning, I will haul him to the doctor.

Never a dull moment . . .

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Border Wars

One side of this section of the border is complete. The framework for the other has been started.

I had hoped to be farther along at this point tonight, but it isn't going to happen.

I blame it on lack of sleep.

If I get 8 hours a night, I can conquer the world with one hand tied behind my back. I am bright-eyed and alert and able to leap tall buildings step over small obstacles with ease.  If I get 7 hours a night, I can function. But if I get only 6 hours of shut-eye, I become a shambling, stumbling zombie.

I've averaged 6 hours or less every night for the last week.

So today, if there was an error that could be made, I made it.

Hopefully I am finally tired enough to fall into bed and stay there for a few more hours than usual. And I get an extra hour tonight.

Keep your fingers crossed. My eyes certainly are.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Leafing out

We have leaves.

I'm trying to decide if I can stay awake long enough to thread the needle again and start the strawberries.

I can always try one or two and see if I can still count.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Celebrating November 2

This is the day that Dearly Beloved made his appearance on earth.

It is possible that he arrived in the usual way. It is also possible that he was dumped here by a passing spaceship.

The man does not like birthdays. He doesn't want cards, birthday salutations, parties, or presents on his birthday. He doesn't even want birthday cake!!!

Yet another reason for me to think he may be an alien life form.

Anyway, we had Chinese delivered on Thursday instead of Friday in honor of his natal anniversary, and then I settled down to stitch for a bit while he looked at the book that somehow appeared in his spot on the couch without wrapping paper or any other fanfare.

And there is the rest of the vine for this side of the border and I've started stitching in the leaves.

Any more excitement tonight and I might doze off . . .

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Random Wednesday

This may be a little more stream-of-consciousness than usual. I should be in bed.

I have an earlier day than normal tomorrow, so I left my sampler guild meeting right after the program presentation and came home to take a warm and soothing--but fast--shower so I could get  to bed early.

The shower was warm and fast--but instead of making me drowsy, it woke me up.

This was not the plan.

Anyway, the meeting was delightful, as they usually are. This year our program planners are presenting different projects that could go in a sewing box or basket. Last month we got the materials for a wooden needle book.

This is what came home with me tonight:

We have beeswax and molds to use to make waxers and a little box to put it (them) into. I need to go shopping for ribbon because I really liked one of the ideas for a waxer and I want to make a couple of them. The jewelry cap with the tassel is just because they're shiny and sometimes I want shiny in my life.

Mary Otter continues to get the majority of my stitching attention. Most of the vine for one side of this quarter of the sampler is done.  I hope I can get the rest of the vine done tomorrow evening and can start on the leaves that go around the strawberries.

Am I delusional to hope that I can get the right and left borders for this quarter done by the end of the week-end?

Don't answer that.

Because there's something else that I am definitely delusional about.

It's November, the month that traditionally sees a blog a day from devoted bloggers. 

I did this last year, and at the end of the month, I said I would never do it again until I had retired and had more time than I do at this stage of my life.

So I'm not going to say that I will blog every day in November, even though I feel horribly guilty about the way I've neglected my little blog this year. I will say that I am going to try to blog more frequently, at least during November.

And then we'll see if that carries through into December and beyond.