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.