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, September 20, 2018

Best Laid Plans

While we were dodging the bullet with Hurricane Frances, I starting stitching bricks on Frances Burwell.

As many bricks as I have laid on sampler houses in the last few years, I should be a master mason by now.

I have also ironed and mounted the linen for about half a dozen other projects, which I would show but the pictures just show linen attached to either stretcher bars or scroll frames.  I was planning to dive headfirst into a massive stitching frenzy and was getting the prep part for a bunch of things out of the way.

And then things changed, and I probably won't be stitching or blogging for a week or so.

Mother went back to the hospital a couple of weeks ago due to severe dehydration. She was released to rehab after several days of rehydration. It has been determined that, even with assistance, she can no longer live in her apartment and needs to go into long-term care. This means we need to clear out her apartment by the end of the month, which means that both The Saint and I are doing some furniture rearranging so we can move some of the family pieces into our homes.  This week-end is the major rearranging part, next week-end is the moving part.

Meanwhile, we have noticed some major personality and behavioral changes in Mother.

For one thing, the filters are all gone. Completely. Whatever pops in her head pops right out of her mouth.

And what pops out of her mouth is quite frequently profane. The Saint and I had no idea that mother knew some of the words she knows. And this is after years and years of being lectured that Improper Language isn't necessary if you have an adequate vocabulary and its usage simply lowers you to the level of the Beasts.

But there is something that tops all that.

My prim-and-proper, excessively reserved, and incredibly modest mother has taken up streaking.

While using a walker.

Heaven help us.

Friday, September 14, 2018

This & That

Earlier this week, this lovely thing appeared in my mail box:

I love Merry's designs and was thrilled when SNS offered this one--and I was very lucky to be able to take the class.

Have I started it?


This is what I've been stabbing at this week:

It's Frances Burwell again.

Stitching rectangles and filling them in have been about all I could handle.

You may have heard. There's a hurricane wreaking havoc in the Carolinas. We're waiting for it to decide to meander this way--or not--it's changed trajectory daily. Anyway, it seems we're doomed to have high winds and heavy rain, starting in our area sometime in the next 24 hours.  Flooding is possible. Loss of electricity is almost a sure bet. So Dearly Beloved and I have been making preparations--as in stocking the pantry with stuff that doesn't need refrigeration or actually cooking.

Quite frankly, there are things that I have never had any interest in eating before and will likely never eat again.

I mean, really . . . canned chicken salad?

Monday, September 10, 2018

There and Back Again

Dearly Beloved and I went to Salty Yarns so I could take classes with Jackie du Plessis this past week-end.

Yes, I know Baby Girl usually goes. She couldn't get the vacation time, and I didn't want to drive that far alone, so Dearly Beloved went.

Don't tell him--but he isn't quite as much fun. For example, when I come back from the shop with a bag of goodies and spill them out on the bed, he doesn't ooh and aah. He says, "How many more projects do you need?" Somehow, he doesn't get my answer ("As many as it takes.")

When we arrived, there was a goody bag:

Do you see this nice project bag? It's just the right size for a single project, but it's not humongous.

But all this came out of it:

It was like Mary Poppins' bag. Things just kept appearing. I do not know how in the world they stuffed this much stuff in, but it was like Christmas with more and more and more highly useful things appearing.

And then there was the first day of class.

I have wanted this class for eons and finally was able to take it. It was everything I expected and more--the construction is simply amazing, but aren't they always when it comes to Jackie's projects?

Just so you know, this is the only thing I stitched.

Don't judge. We were busy making mock-ups so we would understand the construction. This is a brilliant way to handle the finish-finishing part of these complex projects.

And, Jackie had brought some things for sale.  I indulged.

She also brought something I had ordered through her September FB Friends offering so it wouldn't be at the mercy of the PO.

I spent the evening enjoying the Friday reception offered to event attendees and drooling over the new projects--and then it was Saturday morning and time for another class:

This is Jackie's new offering, Tunbridge with a Twist--based on Tunbridge inlaid boxes. It is so small and the box and bits so delicate, it makes my heart go pitty-pat. We also spent time on the mock-up for the carrying case.

There are times that I think Jackie should have been an architect or engineer, based on the things she creates. I'm glad she didn't go that path because then I wouldn't have her distinctive designs to stitch.

And then it was time to leave.

We had had a very pleasant trip to Ocean City and saw no reason why the return trip wouldn't be just as nice.


We went from blistering heat when we arrived to heavy rains on Saturday that continued into Sunday. (Actually, Dearly Beloved just mentioned that there is flooding in parts of Ocean City--I'm waiting to hear about the Lankford Hotel and Salty Yarns.) So we left in the rain, but we left early so we'd have plenty of time in case of delays.

There were delays. My bad--I forgot to turn off the headlights after one of the tunnels on the way home. And then we stopped and had brunch at The Carrot Tree in Williamsburg. And the car battery died.

We were very lucky. The owner of the restaurant had jumper cables and got us on our way--another reason we will continue to dine there every time we go to Williamsburg--in addition, of course, to the fact we've never had a disappointing meal there--it's always good.

So off we go, toddling through the Virginia countryside.

And hit a detour.

Which added over an hour to the drive.

Along with the rains that periodically gushed from the skies.

We did see some lovely parts of Virginia we had not seen before. We would have preferred to decide to take a nice Sunday drive rather than having it forced on us, but at least it was a pleasant experience.

We finally staggered into the house much later than anticipated.

So what am I going to stitch first?

I don't know. While I'm sorting and splooshing and drying the laundry, I've been thinking about that.

It appears that I am going to be a hyperactive hummingbird and zoom from one thing to another until I have touched every project.

Including some I had going before the week-end.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Circles and Squares

There has been some stitching this week.

First off, I finally got one side of the threadwinder case for Amy Mitten's Casket Toys stitched.

This was not without travail.

I started this awhile back--you may remember--and while I was working the part that has a metallic thread, the thread looped up on itself and knotted into a big mess that I was trying to untangle and somehow in all that, the metallic wrap broke and came away from the base thread. So I heaved a sigh and started very carefully trying to remove the stitches. And at that point, the template tore along the line of holes I had stuck in it to set up the outside rim--just like I had planned to perforate the paper for tearing instead of using it as a guideline.

I heaved another sigh and emailed Amy Mitten, who kindly sent me another template. This time I put two layers of packing tape on the template. And I very carefully worked the circle. For some reason, it looks wonky in the picture. It doesn't look quite so wonky in person. I think the gold metal loops are sticking up on one side and that's causing the wonk. And is wonk a word?

I also went back to Frances Burwell:

I've been stitching squares--actually rectangles--and roofing a house.

It appears that I have to build a house on just about every sampler I stitch. Oh, and the bird will have another leg and a foot on this one. I just didn't want to thread up the needle to do about half a dozen stitches.

However, to distract me from building a house, this lovely thing arrived:

I do love me a Barbara Jackson design, and as soon as I find four stretcher bars that will cooperate with each other, I'm starting on this.

Meanwhile, I'm supposed to be heading out to the first meeting of our year with the Carolina Sampler Guild. I do not believe I'm going to get there, because we are getting up at o'dark-thirty to leave for Ocean City, Maryland and classes with Jackie du Plessis. There are still things that need to be done before we leave, and it would be nice to get some sleep before we toddle off down the road.

Hopefully our trip will be less eventful than the last time--we will do our best to avoid deer, whether dead or alive.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

I'm Ba-ack

I'm back, hopefully recharged and ready to go.

August was a difficult month. Mother had Another Episode early in the month, and there were some other things going on that had to be addressed and handled. At one point, I mentioned to Dearly Beloved that I'd really like to take a vacation from my life.

What I was envisioning was a week somewhere totally disconnected and all alone, just me by myself--the phone for emergencies, but no TV, tablet, computer, or other tech. I envisioned oceanfront where I could watch the waves roll in and out, or a porch on a mountain cabin with a stream running by. I'd take a stack of books and maybe some needlework and just relax.

Well, that wasn't possible at such short notice. And I'd probably be loony-toons in about three days.

Dearly Beloved suggested that I just drop everything that wasn't absolutely necessary.

So I did.

I conferred with The Saint and Mother's retirement home about future plans for her care. I went to work. I did laundry. The rest of the time, I just puttered. I didn't even thread a needle for about a week.

While I was puttering, I decided to go through the stash and eliminate anything I didn't plan to stitch.

That backfired. I kept finding things I wanted to do.

So I decided to go back to my usual stitching routine--stitch on whatever strikes my fancy, whenever it strikes it. If I finish something, good. If I don't, whatever.

This is hard for someone who is a goal-oriented, list-making perfectionist, but it's nice to have something in my life that I don't have to do by any kind of deadline.

And that brings me to blogging. I thought about giving it up. It would be one less thing on my list of things to do.

But I do enjoy writing when I have time and something to say. It also helps me keep track of projects. So I'm going to stagger on with the blog for a bit longer.

And I did go back to Frances Burwell and finish the band I was working when I hit the wall.

Am I going to continue work on this? Or am I going to pull something else out of the stash or the basket and work on it for awhile?

You'll know as soon as I do.