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.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Final Finishes of the Year

I've had some time off--I may have mentioned that--and I've been putting things together--which means that I have two final finishes for the year.

All the bits and pieces of the Shady Bower/May Your Hands set from Tricia Nguyen are complete! It's taken years and years, from the time I started the stitching until the final finishing, but it's done.

The four pieces I've finished in the last three days.

The strawberry emery, which has no emery. I've fooled with emery before, and it likes to escape, and it makes a mess, and it's hard to clean up. Since this is strictly decorative, it's just stuffed.

The inside of the needle book.

The inside of the scissors case (like, duh, there are scissors there!)

The inside of the pin pillow book, with a pretty thread winder.

It pretty much took forever to get all this assembled, since I ignored the directions for machine stitching and did them all by hand. In the process, I think I drew enough blood to supply a MASH unit. However, I felt like I had more control over the process, which means that I'll continue to use my hands rather than the sewing machine. And that means that I need to figure in what feels like as much time to assemble the smalls as it did to embroider them.

I also went back and finished the carrying bag for the Merry Cox Sweet Little Blossoms set, so I can call that a finished set, too.

I still have a day and a half before I go back to work to get into some kind of needlework trouble. I believe I'm going to go stash diving and see what floats up.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Happy Boxing Day!

On the day after Christmas, I went back to work.

I have to work tomorrow, too, but then I have to burn off my last vacation days before the end of the year, so I'm taking Friday and Monday off--with New Year's and the week-end, that will give my five days in a row.

I could get used to that.

Anyway, I got Barbara Jackson's ornament for 2018 stitched yesterday.

Notice it is not put together.

It's going in with the last few years' ornaments. With any luck, they'll all be on next year's tree. Along with the ones I assembled this year, put in a very safe place, and didn't find until last night. At least I know where they are now.

Until I forget again.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Twas the night before Christmas

Or maybe late afternoon, and we are having a very good Christmas.

Our family get-together was Saturday, with food and presents and lots of laughter. The Saint and Baby Girl joined Dearly Beloved and me for the day. Baby Girl spent the night--more food and laughter. It was a lovely, lovely week-end.

And then, today, presents arrived!

All the way from England, a beautifully wrapped package.

Which contained this kit from the Crewel Work Company

The contents were presented beautifully.

And included a personalized note--nice touch!

It's to accompany these smaller, related kits, which had arrived in time for Saturday's festivities (so I opened them then!)

And, yes, I did order my own Christmas presents for under the tree since Dearly Beloved asked me to. He wanted to get me a project or projects and didn't know what I'd want, so asked me if I would mind ordering my own. Between his budget and my slush fund, I went just slightly berserk.

With working and cooking and cleaning and celebrating and recovering from celebrating, there hasn't been much time to stitch in the last few days.

But, I have put the thimble nest together for the Shady Bower/May Your Hands project.

And I decided this morning that I would spend today and tomorrow working on this year's ornament from Barbara Jackson for SNS.

We're having a quiet evening and plan for a quiet day tomorrow--so Merry Christmas and Happy Stitching!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Almost Christmas . . .

It's only a few days until Christmas and we are completely into the Christmas Crazies, with packages to wrap and cookies to bake and the last minute dusting and vacuuming and de-cluttering to do.

And, of course, a Christmas ornament to stitch.

I couldn't stand it, I had to work on it, so I jumped right in. No basting (I may be sorry later) and not nearly enough tacks, so everything is slightly cattywompus. I do not believe it will make it to the tree this year, but at least it will be stitched. As soon as I go upstairs and find another box of tacks--I can't take the cattywompus aspect any longer.

Assuming, of course, that I don't succumb to temptation and start this:

Nope, not going to happen--I'm going to get Dearly Beloved to wrap it up and put it under the tree. That means I can shake it but I can't open it.

At least, not until Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Technology thought it won

So I decided to work on more of the smalls for the May Your Hands/Shady Bower set on Sunday afternoon.

The directions for the waxer pocket called for the use of a sewing machine.

So I hauled it out, filled a bobbin, threaded it up, and tried to sew.

There were instant problems. The bobbin thread kept kinking up and breaking. I wound another bobbin and tried rethreading the machine. I rethreaded the machine twice, and I was following the manual's directions for that, I wasn't assuming I knew how to do it.

There were words and phrases uttered that are inappropriate for the Sabbath.

My mother and both grandmothers and every great-aunt I had used to say that anything you sewed on Sunday you'd have to pick out with your nose or teeth when you went to the Great Beyond. I always thought they said that because sewing was a necessary task, not a pleasurable pastime.

They may have had something.

I packed up the sewing machine, looked at what needed to be done to make the waxer pocket, and decided to do it by hand. After all, if I haven't learned something from all the finishing tips and techniques I've learned from Jackie du Plessis and Betsy Morgan, then I've wasted a lot of time.

And here is the completed waxer pocket:

I've read over the directions for the other bits and pieces, and decided I'm going to do them all by hand. Yes, it may take ten times longer than zip-zap on the machine, but I know I can do it and will probably like it better. There's a fancy pocket on one of the pieces that may require some finagling, but overall, I do believe I will be happier with the final result.

Take THAT, technology!  This is one thing I don't need you for!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Long Time, No See

Just when I had decided to make every effort to blog more often, the Mac required an organ transplant.

So I was basically without internet access at home for a week. I believe it was more difficult for Dearly Beloved--after all, I could get online at work occasionally. We are now up and running again.

It has been an eventful week.

Monday night I baked a cake to take to the EGA Christmas party scheduled for Wednesday night.

Tuesday night I made the glaze and glazed the cake.

Wednesday I did not go to the EGA Christmas party because Mother toppled out of her wheelchair and clonked her head on the edge of a table. We broke all land/sea records getting to the emergency room--which is normally about a three-hour drive for us--only to find she had been treated and released. So we went to her retirement home to find her with a goose-egg on her forehead, stitches in the goose-egg, a wide band of adhesive tape wrapped around her head to keep her from removing the stitches on the goose-egg, and a soft, woolly cap on top of all of it to keep her from picking at the adhesive tape. She had a rather rakish look. She now has a seat belt on her wheelchair.

The Saint and I are definitely sure that she is going to outlive both of us.

Thursday night was the office Christmas party.

And Friday night I collapsed in a heap.

There has been some stitching.  On Saturday, I hitched up the granny panties and did some finish-finishing.  I now have a pin pad and scissors fob from the May Your Hands/Shady Bower set of smalls Tricia Nguyen taught a number of years ago:

There are only five more pieces to assemble. Only five. Oh, dear . . .

And, here and there, I have found a few minutes to stitch:

I should be working on Barbara Jackson's annual ornament. Instead, I picked up her Pineapple project and got involved in that. I think it has something to do with bright, happy colors in this during a week that's been grayer and gloomier and rainier than absolutely necessary.

Keep your fingers crossed that this week will be a little calmer.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Off in a different direction

This week, we decked the halls and I finished the embroidery on the silk gauze piece from a class I took earlier in the year. I even pulled Frances Burwell out of her pillowcase for an evening.

And then I went off on a tangent.

Several weeks ago--I think I may have mentioned this--I was looking for something else, moved a box, and the bottom of the box split open, spilling a bunch of things I've had in the stash for years.

It was like finding buried treasure.

And one of the things I found was the completed embroidery for Tricia Nguyen's May Your Hands/Shady Bower set of smalls.

Here are a couple of parts:

There are a couple more bits, but the photo didn't come out.

If there was ever a project that illustrates the way I bounce from one thing to another and back again, this is it.

I ghosted the class before I started blogging. I'm not sure when.  The copyright on the instructions is 2002, but I think it was actually a year or two afterwards. I stitched parts, and then was distracted by some other lovely thing, and went off down a rabbit hole with whatever it was.

Some time later, Tricia offered this as an online class, so I audited it, and finished the stitching. I also had the opportunity to buy a painted box to store the items in, once they were completed.  I had the artist date the box 2015, thinking surely that would be motivation to put this together.

The problem was that I didn't remember exactly where the pieces were when I got ready to do that part.

And now they have appeared.

And since I date things with the date I finish them, I have stitched 2018 on those bits that were set up to have a date.

There isn't much of 2018 left. I had best get busy.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Williamsburg Adventure, Day Five

On the last day in Williamsburg, I actually finished something from a class I was taking!!!!!

The fob will go with Madam's Butterfly Etui.

I also made a flower.

 This will trim the etui.

Then Dearly Beloved and I checked out of the resort, had a nice brunch, and hit the road. We are home, laundry is swishing, and I go back to work in the morning.

sigh . . .

Meanwhile the dilemma is the usual one after a class. Do I work on the new project, or do I go back to what I was doing before I left?

Actually, at the moment, I'm really too tired to decide, much less stitch.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Williamsburg Adventure, Days Three and Four

For some reason, my photos won't load--so this is going to be words only.

Yesterday we started Madam Butterfly's Etui with Jackie du Plessis.

Today we made the paper mock-up to help with assembly.

Yesterday, Dearly Beloved and I tottered (literally--my right knee has been giving me fits!) to the Blue Talon for lunch. He had French onion soup and a ginormous meatloaf sandwich. I had cream of asparagus soup and chicken crepes. We walked around the Historic District for a little bit until my knee said it had had more than enough.

Today we had a buffet lunch as part of the event--and were treated to a lecture by Martha Washington herself!  The presenter was very good, and I could have listened to her all afternoon. We were going to the DeWitt Wallace this afternoon, but knee said no and Dearly Beloved said he needed a nap.

Since we're staying in, I might get the stitching done on my scissors fob, which is part of the kit for Madam Butterfly's Etui, which means I might get the finishing done tomorrow, which means I could go home with a completed project.

That has never happened before. Since this is the last time this event will be held, I should make sure it occurs.

There has been major stash enhancement. Major stash enhancement. Dearly Beloved does not need to know how much stash enhancement has been done, so I haven't pulled out everything once I get back to the room.  There has also been online stash enhancement, in that a piece that Alison Cole taught for the Crewel Works Company was on sale as of today along with three ornaments using motifs from the major piece.

I don't need to do any stash enhancement ever again.

I say that with every event.

Need has nothing to do with it. Want has everything to do with it.

And right now, I want to stitch.

So I am.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Williamsburg Adventure, Day Two

Today I had an early bird class with Jackie du Plessis.

And this is the lovely thing she introduced us to.

It's a scissors case for a special pair of scissors-and I have a very special pair to put inside it.

It was another enjoyable class, and tomorrow's looks just as good. I do love coming here to take classes every year, and some of my favorite projects have been started in Williamsburg every year.

No more.

Instead of this event, next year Annie's is going to sponsor a nine-day tour of Italy with Giulia Manfredini as teacher and guide.

Change is inevitable, but not always what you want.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Williamsburg Adventure, Day One

We did manage to heave ourselves out of bed and onto the road early--we pulled out at 5:05 a.m.--which enabled us to avoid some of the construction tangles and delays on I-85.

And that meant we drove off the Jamestown Ferry right at noon, headed to The Carrot Tree for lunch, picked up our annual passes at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitors' Center, wandered through their bookstore and gift shop, drove to Haus Tirol so I could start the stash enhancement portion of the festivities, then checked into the Kingsmill Resort where the seminar will be held through Sunday.

There is always a gingerbread creation in the lobby at Kingsmill:

Yes, it is that big.

It is Mr. Squeaky's Sweet Shop. Please note the No Cats Allowed symbol on the door.

But, you say, what about the stash enhancement?

Barbara Jackson creates an exclusive ornament for Haus Tirol every year. Here is this year's entry--and now I don't know whether to stitch this first or the SNS project.

I also found premie scissors to go into the scissors case I just finished from Merry Cox's Sweet Little Blossoms Etui.

And there is red linen for a project that I found in the closet a couple of weeks ago.

But what did I bring to work on in the room tonight--I've had inquiries--Joanne Harvey's needle case won out.

Do I have enough energy to stitch it?

I don't even have enough energy to go out to dinner after getting up at 3:45 a.m. We are having cheese and fruit in the room whenever Dearly Beloved wakes up--he's been snoring for the last hour--and I may be sound asleep shortly thereafter.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Decisions, decisions

We are leaving for Williamsburg before dawn tomorrow (if all goes well and we can manage to heave ourselves out of bed on a cold, cold, cold dark morning).

Clothes are packed.  Drinks and munchies are packed. Dearly Beloved keeps loading my pocketbook down with stuff. There will be a few last minute things added in the morning, but for the most part, we're ready to go.

Except for one thing.

I can't figure out what stitching project to take with me.

Not like I won't have anything to stitch. We're going by Haus Tirol tomorrow. I'm taking two classes. There will be a boutique and a teachers' showcase. I just have to make through about 24 hours between the time we hope to arrive and the first class.

There are several candidates.

This year's ornament from Barbara Jackson for SNS arrived yesterday.  "How Great Our Joy" would be perfect . . . but because some of the supplies were delayed, the first lesson won't be posted until Saturday.

I've done a lot of Barbara's designs and all of the ornaments, so I could muddle through with what I have. Inevitably, though, there will be a hint or a suggestion about color placement in the lessons that I will want to know.

There is also this:

This is from a past class in Williamsburg, a needle case reproduced by Joanne Harvey. I started it at the beginning of the year as my travel project--28 count linen and Queen Stitch and a pattern that repeats so it would be easy to work on in a hotel room--but I haven't been traveling nearly as much for work as I once did (thank heavens!). Most of my other trips this year have either involved family events that extended into the evening or stitching events where I quickly had something new to work on. It's been neglected and I do want to get it stitched, so it's a candidate.

Then there is the silk gauze piece from an earlier workshop. I've been poking at it for a couple of evenings to the point that I have only about an hour's worth of work more to do. Then again,  last night I ripped out six stitches for every seven stitches I worked.

And, you ask, what about Frances Burwell?

We have parted ways.

I burned out.


I'm hoping the drawers in the textile area at the museum will be open while we're there and I can look at the original. With luck, that will jumpstart my desire to finish her by the end of the year.

And, if not?

There's always next year.

And I still haven't decided what to take tomorrow.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Random stuff

And this is what's been going on the this week:

  • We had our family Thanksgiving the Saturday before the actual day.
  • I  decided there was enough pumpkin spice in the world when they came out with pumpkin spice potato chips, so we had an applesauce cake with orange glaze instead of pumpkin pie.
  • This was unanimously approved, so this will now become the holiday tradition.
  • We realized the only person who really loves pumpkin pie is Mother, and she isn't able to travel to the family Thanksgiving dinner any longer, so we can change tradition.
  • Dearly Beloved and I have finally succumbed to general decrepitude.
  • We bought an artificial tree instead of a real one.
  • I don't like it.
  • I plan to enroll Dearly Beloved in weight training classes so he can go back to wrestling a tree into and out of the house.
  • The tree isn't decorated yet.
  • We're going to try to do that this afternoon.
  • Also along the lines of setting new traditions, we had the last of the turkey in a pot pie Wednesday night, and I made lasagna for Thanksgiving.
  • That was weird.
  • Otherwise, Thanksgiving was very quiet, so I did some finish-finishing--more on that in a minute.
  • Friday, there was very good mail:
  • Sorry about the blurry picture--this is the kit for the Gawthorpe Needlecase from Jenny Adin-Christie.
  • It has been wrapped and will be placed under the Christmas tree.

  • On Thursday and Friday, I did some finish-finishing:

  • All the bits and pieces of Merry Cox's Sweet Little Blossoms have been assembled, except for the carrying bag, which requires setting up the sewing machine. 
  • That will happen this week--early in the week since we're heading back to Williamsburg on Wednesday.
  • Yesterday we went to visit Mother.
  • She is adjusting--finally--to her new living situation. She laughed and talked yesterday.
So now you're all caught up with the week.

Meanwhile, I've been musing.

Poor blog has been neglected for the better part of a year. I've admitted this and have realized that it's very easy to get out of the habit--so easy--why aren't other habits as easy to abandon?

I'm going to try to get back to blogging more regularly. I know, I've said this before.

But . . . recently I read an entry from another more-or-less lapsed blogger about the state of blogging. She was coming back to blogging after realizing that so many of the blogs she loved have simply . . . vanished . . . with no explanation . . . and she missed reading about projects and lives and enabling. I do, too.

I miss Just String, who's been gone for at least six years--she and I have taken many of the same classes, and she has the same attitude I have--it's just string and you can make it work if you try.

I miss Plays with Needles, whose designs were always inspirational, even though I don't do the same type of embroidery. I think of her every time I pull a needle from the needle book she designed, and which I use almost every day.

I miss Thread in Hand, whose stash looks very much like mine--although, since she is retired, she gets to stitch every day, and I, who am still a wage slave, don't have the time to stick a needle into everything I want.

And there are many, many others who have stopped for one reason or another, simply drifting away to Facebook or Instagram or dropping out of view completely.

I know that there are compelling reasons for all of them to stop--whether family issues or unpleasant situations or simply losing interest in blogging.  I just miss them and I wish they'd return.

So, again, I'm going to try to stick with it and be more present--and stitch a little more than I have so I have something worth blogging about!

Friday, November 16, 2018

well, it's about time!

What I thought would take . . . maybe . . . a couple of evenings has taken all week.

All week.

Just wasn't feeling the love.

But the motifs for the other side of the house are finally, finally, stitched!

And I finally, finally, get to turn the scroll bars.

Except, even though I'm turning the scroll bars, I think I'm going to do a little finish-finishing this week-end.  And that will happen after the family Thanksgiving that we're doing tomorrow. Baby Girl has to work on Black Friday. The Saint has an invitation to a friend's for the actual Thanksgiving. And Dearly Beloved and I don't care if we do the feast tomorrow or Thursday, as long as we get together with at least part of the family.

Besides, it gives us an excuse to have lasagna on Thursday.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Back from Williamsburg

We went, we saw, we want to go back.  (Actually, we are going back in three weeks.)

Dearly Beloved and I tottered around and periodically sat on a bench to recuperate and people-watch while The Flash, his parents, and Aunt Baby Girl roamed around us. I spent a lot of time at the Milliner's, Baby Girl spent time with the Weavers, Dearly Beloved was disappointed that the Cabinet Makers were not there on Saturday, and The Flash fired a cannon.

This is the only picture I got before my camera battery died.

This gentleman was demonstrating the processing of flax.

And after seeing how much waste there is, and how little product at the end of the processing--well, I now understand why my embroidery linen, especially the really good stuff, is so expensive.

Then we had to come home.

And it's raining again. And it's cold, And it was Monday all day.  Phooey.

Frances Burwell did get a few stitches--not many, because the hotel room we had was not at all designed for anything but lying flat on ones back and staring at the big screen TV.  It's a good thing we didn't have to spend much time there . . .

And, now that I'm home and back in the wing chair, I'm trying to decide what I want to do tonight. Frances is really close to a finish--but the finish-finishing directions for Merry's Sweet Little Blossoms were posted today.  I think I'll flip a coin.

Friday, November 9, 2018

A Happy Birthday

Despite pouring rains and wrecks hither, thither, and yon, we have finally made it to Williamsburg.

I should be facedown on the bed--but I couldn't let the day pass without this:

My father was born 101 years ago today. He's been gone for almost twenty years but I still think of him just about every day.

So, Happy Birthday to a Dear Man!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Can't see the Forest for the Trees

Between laundry and packing--and why do you always have to do laundry before you can pack?--I have the last little tree and the branches on the strawberry tree stitched.

I would like to stitch some strawberries tonight, but I think it might be a good idea to pack Frances up so she can go to Williamsburg tomorrow.

I don't think the drawers in the textile gallery at the DeWitt Wallace are open on Saturdays so I won't get to visit the original Frances this time--but we're going back right after Thanksgiving and I'll be sure to see her while we're there.

And maybe I'll have this Frances finished by then.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The problem . . .

The problem with going to a sampler guild meeting is that you come home and you want to do nothing but stitch.

But if you're a working stiff, you have to do things to be ready to go to work the next morning, and that means you don't have time to stitch.

Retiring is beginning to look better all the time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Second Verse, Same as the First

I'm trudging through the motifs on the other side of the house on Frances Burwell.

You would think, having done this before, I'd be just zooming right through.  For some reason, though, doing the exact same thing is booooooooring.

And when I have to force myself to stitch on something, it's time to dig into the basket again.

Frances is going to sampler guild with me tomorrow night, and she's also traveling to Williamsburg this week-end. After all, the original Frances lives in Colonial Williamsburg's textile collection. So she isn't being totally neglected.

We're just taking a little time off tonight.

Monday, November 5, 2018

More glorious threads

I bought more threads.

They came today.

I have some metal threads, some limited edition colors in Facette Gimp, a really neat metal and silk trim piece--all for my casket.

One thing I'm finding is I need different textures for some of the design. And I, who am not all that fond of green (maybe because when I wear green, I look like my liver died), need many different shades and textures of green thread to get the effect I want for hills and dales and trees and leaves.

And I think I'm going to need more.

And I also think I'm going to have to change some of the plans for my castle, which will be on the back panel of the casket. I was planning to have a shining white and grey stone castle, but apparently there are few shades of gray and white in the historical embroideries. So . . . I need to decide just how gleaming my castle on the hill is going to be.

Back to the drawing board.

Sunday, November 4, 2018


When I went to bed last night, I was planning to stitch all day. I figured after a day of dusting and vacuuming and sorting and hauling, I needed a day with a needle in my hand.

But then I needed a new needle--I've managed to kill another needle with my acidic touch--so I started digging in the basket by my chair for my needlebook. And project bags started piling up. And I started wondering just what all I had in the basket. And the next thing I knew, I had things strewn all over the living room.

Believe it or not, this is the reorganized basket.

I have about half a dozen projects that either need to be assembled or require only few days of stitching to complete. Those are now on the top, so I can move to them as soon as Frances Burwell is finished.

I wish I could say Frances will be finished this week--but I'm working late Monday and Tuesday so I can get my desk cleared early in the week. I have sampler guild on Wednesday, an appointment with the dentist on Thursday, and then we're planning to leave at noon on Friday to drive to Williamsburg for a family week-end with The Flash and his parents.

So this is going to be one of those stolen moments weeks, when I grab a minute here or there, whenever possible, to stitch. Let's see how much I can get done.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

This pitiful little tree to the left of the strawberry tree is all the stitching I've done today.

We have been doing the deep pre-holiday cleaning in the living room today. This includes dealing with the four boxes of stuff we brought from Mother's apartment when we closed it out. The Saint felt that the boxes contained things we might be able to use. After going through them, and purging the contents, we also felt the strong urge to purge our own belongings so that our children will not have to go through all this with our junk.

So we have been deep cleaning and throwing stuff out and filling the recycling container--several times--why would we want greeting cards so old that the paper was turning yellow and why did Mother hang on to them for so long without using any of them?--and we suddenly realized we hadn't had dinner yet--so frozen pizza to the rescue--and by the time I threaded a needle, I had just enough energy to stitch a little-bitty tree.

And that is all for tonight.

I am going to boil myself in the shower and go to bed with a book. Whether or not I have enough energy to actually read the book is debatable.

Friday, November 2, 2018

A strawberry tree?

Doesn't this look like strawberries growing on a tree?

But strawberries don't grow on trees.

But did they somehow train strawberries to grow so they looked like they were growing on trees in the early 18th century?

Well this sent me down all kinds of rabbit holes.

On my lunch hour, I found out about espaliering fruit trees and training vines in decorative shapes. But strawberries don't grow on either trees or vines . . . so then I started looking for illustrations for 18th century gardening practices. That continued after I got home.

I have yet to find a strawberry tree.

So if any of my readers know anything about 17th/18th century gardening practices and can enlighten me, I would appreciate it.

Or maybe little Frances was clueless and just stitched strawberries on a tree.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Rara Avis*

*Five years of Latin in high school and college and I finally get to use a phrase appropriately!

It is a rare bird indeed that can levitate itself into the air without flapping its wings--and I have three of them on this side of the roof.

I've never seen birds that have horizontal stripes, either.

But, please note, all the bricks have been laid on Frances Burwell's house.

I am now going to make a proclamation. In 2019, I will NOT stitch a house with bricks. Just about every sampler I've done in the last few years has had a honkin' big house built out of bricks. I am tired, tired, tired of laying bricks. I plan to avoid bricks for at least a year.

Please remind me of this if I succumb to the lure of a sampler with a brick building next year.

Meanwhile, I plan to continue with Frances tonight, even though I have the first assignment for an SAL. With the sugar buzz I have going, it's probably best to stay with something relatively brainless to stitch.

You see, we had candy at the office for the children and grandchildren of employees yesterday. We had a lot of candy. We had very few children. This means we still have a lot of candy. Somehow some of the mini bags of Skittles made their way to my desk, along with Lifesaver  Big Ring Gummies.  OMG, where have Lifesaver Big Ring Gummies been all my life and why didn't I know about them before yesterday?

Obviously this was something I didn't need to know.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

It's about time

I figured finishing the scissors case would take a couple of evenings, then I could do the last two little bits of embroidery for Sweet Little Blossoms in another evening, and then that would be it for this project until the finishing class is posted.


I finally got this done Friday night.

And the last two bits yesterday:

As usual, everyday, ordinary life intervenes.

Monday: Trip to Target after work for Halloween candy. And as we all know, the trip to The Tar-zhay may be planned as an in-and-out, but then you think of something else you need, and then you think of something else you wanted to look at, and then you think of something else that you may as well get while you're there and then you realize that you've spent an hour and walked about seventeen miles and of course what you planned for dinner is going to take longer than usual and the evening is gone.

Tuesday:  One of my co-workers celebrated her big 5-0 and we celebrated with her. And the way we celebrate at this office is by eating. There was a breakfast potluck, snacks at 11, lunch, and then birthday cake at 2. Although I showed remarkable restraint, I still staggered home in a carb coma. I did pick up my needle, but I think I spent more time just holding it than stabbing the linen with it.

Wednesday: EGA meeting

Thursday: I have no idea what happened. I came home wiped out, could not stop yawning, finally gave up and went to bed at nine.

Friday: Finally was able to sit and stitch. Hallelujah!

As for today's stitching plans, I think I'm just going to shut my eyes and grab something out of the basket by the wing chair.

Sunday, October 21, 2018


Well, most of my voice is back but the steroids are making me too twitchy to sit still for long--so very little stitching has happened.  Just this:

Meanwhile, I sent Dearly Beloved off to the wedding yesterday with his sister, whose husband absolutely did not want to go. I was still a little feverish so I stayed home.

And puttered. I was looking for a big box of Legos in The Big Kid's former closet. We are going to see them in a couple of weeks, and I figured this would be a very good time to pass the Legos along to The Flash.

Instead I found a treasure for me.

When I picked up a box to get it out of the way, the bottom fell out. And out tumbled a whole bunch of kits that I knew I had but hadn't thought about in awhile. Thistle Threads, Merry Cox, Rae Iverson, Linda Driscoll, Historic Needlework Guild, Sharon Cohen. All very good stuff.

And I still like them all.

Definitely have to live to be 385 to stitch everything I want to stitch.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Silence of the Lambs

or the grumpy chunk of mutton.

I have laryngitis. For someone who makes her living as a silver-tongued devil, this is a problem.

I also have a sinus infection, a mild ear infection in the right ear, enlarged tonsils, and a sore throat. To combat the various problems, I have antibiotics (again), steroids (again), and a nasal spray (something new).

Despite all this, I managed to finish all fifty-seven miles of nun stitch and can start the fun stuff.

And there is more fun stuff coming. Shining Needle Society announced the new Barbara Jackson ornament for 2018. If you haven't been collecting the ornaments since Barbara started the series, you can catch up on each and every one of them.

I have three stitched and finish-finished. I have three more stitched but not finish-finished.

I should take care of that before the new one arrives. (Yes, of course I ordered it. Immediately upon seeing it.) Of course, I could wait until I get the new one stitched and just have a marathon finishing session.

Hmmmmm . . . I think I may have said that in the past.

I believe I'm going to have a marathon finishing session before the new one arrives.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Two More Dwarves

Add stuffy and sneezy to the other dwarves.

I think I'm getting a cold.

I am having a bowl of chicken noodle soup, a large glass of orange juice, and NyQuil for dinner. I am then going to bed.

Because I have to get well by Saturday. We have a command performance (meaning family) wedding to attend.

And if I gave up the Textile Symposium at Winterthur this week-end for this damn wedding, I'm going to go to the damn wedding!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Seven Dwarves

I woke up this morning crabby, cranky, grouchy, grumpy, ache-y, dopey, and ill-tempered.

I was seven dwarves all rolled into one.

I did warn Dearly Beloved as well as my assistant at work and the head of the department, so everyone has given my wide berth today. Actually, I got a lot done as a result. Hmmmmmm . . .

But I think it's a good thing that all I plan to do tonight is work on more miles of nun stitch.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Three Down, Three to Go

We spent Saturday visiting Mother so there wasn't much stitching done. But yesterday I decided I was going to stitch all day and, by golly, I did.

That vine on the left that I pulled out three times?  It still isn't quite where it should be, but I decided that perfection was getting in the way and left it where it ended up on the fourth try. After all, nobody is ever going to know except the whole world that I just told--and since this is definitely a first-world problem, I doubt anyone is going to take my needles away and kick me out of the tribe.

I've now completed three of the six pieces that need to be stitched and I think I'm going to continue on with the next three. I am going to avoid thinking about starting or picking up an already started project--I'm really so very close to getting all the bits done that I hate to stop at this point.

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you may notice that I am going off my usual path big time.

I'm stitching this in hand.

I know. Shocking, right?

There are nun stitches galore--which are easier worked in hand. There are the buttonhole flowers that require that the linen be rotated--which is easier worked in hand.

So I'm working in hand.

And wondering if I'll ever get all the creases and wrinkles out when it's time to put it all together.

Sunday, October 14, 2018


This was the post I was planning to publish on Friday, when other things happened.

Because of the support I've received, both publicly and privately, I've decided to continue to blog.

Thank you for your comments.

We live inland. We do not live anywhere close to a coast, unless you count a big man-made lake as having a coast. Yet we have been impacted by both hurricanes that have devastated the areas where they made landfall.

I don't want to minimize the tragedy caused by either storm. The loss of life, of homes and businesses, of ways of life enjoyed by generations cannot be understated.

But we've been hit by both in varying ways.

Florence was like the old college friend, or the Army buddy, or the elderly relative who comes for a visit and just doesn't know when to go home. She settled herself down on top of the state and rained and rained and rained. So we had trees falling over because the saturated ground couldn't hold onto the roots any longer, and we had localized flooding. Here, it wasn't horrible, but it was unpleasant.

Michael came from a different direction and still barreled through. He was more like a big bully, hitting and kicking and stomping everything in his way. We had periodic heavy rain and high, gusty winds, and we were multiple states away from where he came ashore. Trees were falling everywhere and taking down the power lines with them.

So I was sitting at work on Thursday,  composing a diplomatic response to a question on my laptop, when the lights went off. And came on. And went off. And came on. And went off.

Well, it was fairly close to the end of the work day, so we were told to pack up and leave while the batteries on the security lights in the stairwells still worked. To be honest, even though I was upset by losing my eloquent and convincing response, I was delighted. Any time there's an additional hour to stitch available, I'm all in.

So I trotted on home.

To discover that our power was out, too.



Dearly Beloved had been to the grocery store and bought forty bazillion chicken breasts that were on sale. When he got home and found the power was off, he got himself to the nearest convenience store and bought ice--the man has flashes of brilliance--and threw two bags into the frig with the chicken.
(although the chicken was cold when the power came back on, he spent Friday cooking all forty bazillion chicken breasts, then putting them in the freezer. We're going to have a lot of chicken in the next few weeks)

And then the mail came.  And the light was too dim to enjoy any of it.

I got the latest Frostings Box from Thistle Threads. The colors are divine and the twists and textures fascinating.

I really wanted to sit down and read every word on every page, but it was getting darker by the moment. Yes, we have candles and flashlights, but since we didn't know how long the power would be out, we wanted to conserve resources.

So I went to bed at 7:30.

I haven't done that since I was about four years old.

That was a very long time ago.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Upsetting Day

A designer whose work I have long admired and whose projects I love to stitch contacted me today to tell me that unscrupulous individuals were using my photographs to stitch her project.

I am heartsick that her work has been stolen and devastated that sharing my enjoyment in stitching her designs has enabled someone to behave in such a reprehensible way. As she requested, I have removed all the photographs of the project in question, and will not share photos of her work in the future.

Earlier this week, I had decided to try to blog much more frequently than I have been. I've realized that the more I blog, the more I stitch, and the more I stitch, the more I blog.

After today, I'm just not sure I want to continue.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Going Backwards

Last night I worked on the vine on the left of the back of the needlecase:

But, you say, there is no vine on the left side of the back of the needlecase.

There was. Apparently I could neither count nor read a chart last night. After I had ripped everything out twice, I thought that surely the third time would be the charm.

It wasn't.

That's when I gave up and went to bed.

Tonight I'm going to stitch a bird, and make up my mind who my precious loves are (Merry put her granddaughters' names in that spot--and, BTW, The Flash is ten today--which I absolutely refuse to believe--he should still be four) and then maybe, just maybe, I'll try to put the vine in again.