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, 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.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

I really do know my ABC's

You would have thought I would have been working away on this year's ornament from Rachael Kinnison.

You would be right if I had a free slate frame.

Which I don't at the moment.

Now it is possible to remove something from a slate frame . . . NOT!!!!!  Once I have something mounted, laced, tightened, and set to go, it stays on the slate frame until all the stitching is done. So that means I need to get something finished.

The two prime candidates are the Gentlemen's Nightcap and Rachael's Florentine Ornament, and they're both on my list of current projects. The only problem is that I do better with natural daylight to work on those particular pieces. As I do not believe my employer would be very understanding if I haul in frames, threads, and frame stand in order to work on those projects during working hours, that means they have to wait for the week-ends.

So I've decided to work on smalls during the week and slate frame projects on the week-ends for a bit until I figure out something else.

Last night I started the needlecase for Merry Cox's Sweet Little Blossoms. Because I so love working letters (insert sarcasm font) I decided to do the side with the alphabet first. I had almost finished when it was bedtime.

With luck, I'll get the letters done tonight and can go on to the blossoms.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up in String

Very definitely one of my favorite things!

When a package arrives from Rachael Kinnison, it's even better than Christmas.

Every package has a delicate ornament attached to the string.

And then you unwrap the package.

and the stupid picture won't rotate

And you find all the treasures in the box.

Christmas is only one day a year--but there are many days of stitching pleasure in this one box.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Best Laid Plans, Part 2

This was another one of those weeks.

Don't even ask.

I did get a little stitching done--the pin keep pieces for Merry Cox's Sweet Little Blossoms.

When I first started this, the beginning of the piece reminded me of Ikebana.

When I was a child, it seemed that every Garden Club member on Mother's side of the family got into Ikebana for awhile. It was very stylized and ritualistic and every element had to be balanced to perfection.

Personally, as much as I appreciate the aesthetic, I liked my other grandmother's approach to flower arrangement much more.

She wandered out into her yard, cut whatever was in bud or bloom with the colors she wanted, brought her haul inside, and plonked the whole thing into a big white ironstone pitcher with a broken spout. I think the only arranging she did was to artfully drape a flower or bit of ivy over what was left of the spout to camouflage the damage.

Perfection may be vastly overrated.


In other news--I do not believe that fall is every going to happen in this part of the country. It is October and the AC is running.  I saw a meme somewhere that described Fall in the South as Pumpkins, Heat, Humidity, Flip Flops, and Shorts--basically Summer with Pumpkins--and I tend to agree.

We just got home from a wedding held in the middle part of South Carolina and it was just like being fried in a cast iron skillet.

We have another wedding week after next--this one in Asheville, NC--we're hoping it's a little cooler. And then we're waiting to hear about the third wedding of the fall which was supposed to be held in New Bern, NC, which Hurricane Florence flooded. We're not sure the venue will reopen in time.

I'll be happy when all these people finally get married and I can get back to stitching on the week-ends.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Stolen Moments

The last couple of weeks have been . . . taxing. We have discovered that Dearly Beloved is broken and that I have no upper body strength at all. Despite that, we rearranged the living room on our own (why is it when you just want to move one piece of furniture, you're required to move 47 other things?).  Then we spent this past week-end moving furniture from Mother's apartment to The Saint's and my homes (where I am also providing storage for some things that will eventually go to Baby Girl).

We are very happy that Baby Girl came to help and even happier that she goes to the gym four times a week and has the strength and endurance to prove it.

However, in between heaving heavy objects about, I have stolen a few--very few--way too few--moments to stitch.

I started Barbara Jackson's Pineapple:

I laid a few more bricks on Frances Burwell's house:

And I started the band for Jackie du Plessis' Moments piece:

Hopefully things will calm down a bit and I can get back to serious stitching.

Keep your fingers crossed.