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, May 27, 2019

More gold

I think the word for the year is gold.

I've been couching down a very fine gold thread for the last couple of days. This is one of Amy Mitten's Winter Casket Toys.

When I got that finished, I worked on something not-gold.

I started on the middle panel of Pineapple Perfection.

I'm trying to decide what I want to work on this afternoon between sessions in the kitchen. I'm putting together a few things today so lunches and dinners will be a little quicker to get on the table for the rest of the week. I used to do this all the time and I'm trying to get back in the habit.

Anyway, I need to work on something I can pick up and put down fairly easily between peeling potatoes for potato salad and browning hamburger for hot dog chili and checking on the progress of the turkey breast. I made blueberry muffins this morning--from scratch, I'll have you know--so part of breakfast is also taken care of.

Maybe I am turning into a domestic diva in my old age!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Stitching away

I found that the most comfortable way to function while my back was getting back to normal--and it is, almost--is to sit with my legs propped up and a cushion against the small of my back.

This happens to be my regular stitching position as well.

So I've been stitching--it worked out to about two hours almost every evening this week.

And I got the rest of the first panel of Pineapple Perfection finished:

The first panel of the accordion pocket piece from Tsubaki is stitched:

And the tent stitch part for the first of the acorn accessories from the Master Goldwork class is done:

I have three wonderful days to do what I want. We've already been to the farmers' market this morning (strawberries, blueberries, summer squash, and cucumbers), the laundry is swishing away, and, with temperatures supposed to be in the mid-nineties for the next few days, we are not going outside again until Tuesday.

I could start on the back panel of Pineapple Perfection, or do another panel on Tsubaki, or fill in the Goldwork parts on any of the master class projects I have started.  Instead, I do believe I'm going to pull out the winter casket toys as see if I can get the last piece embroidered.

I think I could get used to stitching without a goal or a deadline or a plan.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Finally a Finish!

The year is almost half over and I just now have my first finish!

This is Tricia's Spot Sampler, started in a F2F class who knows how long ago (maybe ten years?), resurrected when the Masterwork Goldwork Class was first offered by Thistle Threads several years ago, and finally finished in 2019.

I do eventually get around to things.

Now, the question is--what's next? Do I bounce around like I did last week? Do I focus on another project and try to get it finished soon? The main reason I pulled this out was to free up the frame for a casket panel--but now I think I might want to start the second sampler offered in the class while working with gold thread is still fresh in my mind and hands.

I may have to sleep on it before I make the decision. And if that's not an excuse for a Sunday afternoon nap, I don't know what is.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

This past week

I'm not quite sure where to begin.

Dearly Beloved had his surgery and is doing quite well. Actually, he is moving better than I am, since I'm still dealing with my back. Better living through modern chemistry--I have a new prescription for muscle relaxers and a substance that's like Ben-Gay on steroids that has to be rubbed on the site a couple of times a day. There will probably be physical therapy in my future.

Meanwhile, I've been tottering and lurching and limping into work, since you can't function on muscle relaxers unless your workplace wants someone who is totally loopy representing the company. Then I come home and we have dinner (if you plan it right, you can make delivery Chinese last through at least a couple of meals), then I take a pill, and then I try to stitch a little before the pill takes effect and I can't focus my eyes.

I finished the smalls that will go on the case for the box that will contain the sampler roll for Cherry Berry:

The plan was to put everything together. However, I still can't bend comfortably over the cutting mat. I still can't even bend uncomfortably over the cutting mat. So this is waiting for the back to heal.

Pineapple Perfection has a vine that just needs its strawberries added:

A floral band was started on Tsubaki:

(Yes, I know there aren't any flowers yet. The meds haven't made me quite that loopy.)

Everything except the Goldwork has been done on the Petite Pin Cushion from the Goldwork Master Class, offered by Thistle Threads and Tricia Nguyen:

And I started the Golden Accessories, also from the Goldwork Master Class:

If it appears that I've been unable to settle down to anything, you're right, and not just because of the meds.

I lost a good friend this week. We've known each other since college. I was in her wedding. Her Big Kid and my Big Kid are the same age, as are her Miss Prissy and my Baby Girl. She also had another child between, known as the Wild Man. She suffered an aneurism and was gone before anyone could react. The only consolation is that she left us while she was cutting flowers in her garden, her happy place. She was much loved and will be missed.

I had a lot of time to think on the drive to and from her hometown today as we traveled to her funeral and home again. The best way to honor a life is to appreciate your own, and to look for joy in every moment. That's how Genie lived her life. That's how I want to live mine. I'm working on it.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Not gonna happen

Well, the plan was to blog everyday for Stitch Mania.

This was before I threw my back out getting a basket of strawberries out of the car. It wasn't even a big basket.

So there is no stitching going on.

And I have to be Dearly Beloved's transport tomorrow since he has outpatient surgery scheduled.

Maybe we can get volunteers to wheel both of us around at the hospital.

Thursday, May 9, 2019


I forgot to blog yesterday. I went to bed thinking there was something I forgot to do, and at about two in the morning, I remembered the blog.

But at least I got something done last night!

Hopefully I can make as much progress tonight.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

That's All, Folks!

When you decide to celebrate Stitch Mania by blogging every day for nineteen (or thirty-one) days, it's a little embarressing when this is all you have to show.

Pitiful, just pitiful.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Stalking the mail carrier

I've been tracking a package for a couple of days, and today it arrived!

There is no happier moment in a stitcher's life--other than taking the last stitch--than opening up a kit with all the goodies for a new project.

This is a Marsha Papay-Gomola project from Shining Needle Society. It's been awhile since she offered a class, and I was thrilled to see a new offering.

Now, am I going to start this right away? Probably not. I want to finish Cherry Berry and go back to the Goldwork projects. But I will have it waiting when I get through with those.

Or it could be part of the retirement stash. Years ago, I met a woman at Christmas in Williamsburg. She had a PhD in neuroscience and did research for a government agency. We sat next to each other in class, and then I ran into her at the boutique, where she had a stack of projects that she could barely see over. I made some comment along the lines of she must have plenty of time to stitch--and she said, no, not really. This was her retirement stash.

Huh? I brilliantly said.

She told me that she might be able to finish one project a year with her work schedule, but she used her vacation time to go to classes and accumulate projects. Then, she said, when she retired, she wss going to stitch all day every day.

Apparently this has worked out for her. She retired at 70, lost 50 pounds because she finally had time to take care of herself, exercises for about an hour every day, and stitches the rest of the time. She has lunch with friends and goes to concerts and plays and does exactly what she enjoys doing. She is now 80 and finishes something like 40 projects a year.

I think I want to be her when I grow up.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Little Boxes

I decided to continue stitching, so today I stitched little boxes.

They will become the accessories for the case that the box that holds the sampler roll will fit into.

Oh, and I finished the sampler roll embroidery:

I will be very happy to finish with all the over-one crosses. Just three more motifs and an initial and that will be the end of that--at least for this piece.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

So close . . .

I'm almost through with the embroidery on Cherry Berry's Sampler Roll.

All I need to do is stitch the blossoms on the last band and this part will be ready for finish-finishing.

So--do I start on that, or do I work the bits of embroidery that fit on the case that covers the box that will hold the sampler roll?

I'm too tired to make that decision tonight. We spent the day traveling to and from Mother's retirement home, where she has decided that the only things she will eat are ice cream and cookies.

If I live to 91, I may decide to do the same thing.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Adding to the library

A few weeks ago, we had a domestic disaster.

A bookcase broke.

Now granted, it was one of those cheap fake wood bookcases that we had bought as a stop gap since Dearly Beloved was going to build a bookcase to match the bookcase he had built about twenty years ago.  Somehow he never got around to it, and we kept buying books, and finally one of the shelves gave up. And it took the three shelves below it with it. We heard thumping and bumping in the middle of the night but couldn't tell where it came from, so we both rolled over and went back to sleep. The next morning, I discovered an avalanche of books.

So . . . I figured we should go through the books to see if there was anything we would never want to read again and we sorted things out and took a couple of boxes to the library and a couple more to the Senior Center and stacked up the books we wanted to keep, which was now a greatly reduced pile.

And since we were going to have more room on the bookshelves (when Dearly Beloved finally gets around to building the new bookcase--I'm not holding my breath--I've been looking at Ikea and Amazon for another stop gap measure), I bought more books.

There is a lot of eye candy in these volumes, which I plan to enjoy as soon as I hit Publish.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Big Rip

Earlier in the week, I mentioned that if I buckled down and stitched, I could get the rest of the mini-sampler finished before Sunday passed.

If you look at the picture with that posting, and compare it with this picture, you will notice that a motif to the upper right of the big urn in the middle is mostly missing. That is because it was completely missing, and I'm in the process of restitching it.

Shortly after writing that blog post, I realized that I had been unable to count to five when I placed the motif and it was in the wrong place. I tried to talk myself into leaving it. I was unable to persuade myself. I even walked away and and folded laundry and walked back and still noticed that it was going to be out of balance if I left it.

So I ripped.

If you think cross stitch over one takes forever, ripping out cross stitch over one takes forever and a day.

Needless to say, I didn't feel like working on this for a bit.

So, I thought, I've wanted to get back to the goldwork spot sampler, and I only have a few motifs left to do and it will be finished, so why don't I pull that out?

So I did.

I have to admit, I wasn't at all pleased with the way my plaited braid looked when I did it. I decided to leave it anyway, hoping that when I went back it would look better than I thought.

It didn't.

It looked worse.

So I cut that out.

OK, now there are two projects that have had stitches that were laboriously created sitting there with less than they had before.

But I still felt like stitching.

Oh, HO, I thought. What about the crewel piece that I've been poking at for a couple of years? Originally I was going to present it to Mother in hopes it would help the ugly green chair she had in her apartment. Then Mother needed to move to full care and the ugly green chair went to live with The Saint, where, I understand, The Saint's BFF has announced the chair is going to have a facelift. But the piece is started, and it would be nice to have it finished.

So I dug around in the workbasket and pulled out that project.

And then I remembered.

There was a leaf. I didn't like the way the designer had worked the shading, so I did something different. And I didn't like what I did.  I decided I actually liked what the designer did better than what I did. But I didn't rip it out at the time.

So, on Sunday evening, I cut out the stitches on the leaf.

At this point, I plopped down in the wing chair with my book and ignored the workbasket. I was afraid I'd see something else that needed to be ripped and removed, and I just didn't believe I could cope with another one.

Days like that make me wonder why I stitch . . .

Wednesday, May 1, 2019


I ended up having to work late tonight instead of going to our sampler guild's social. This was a bummer.

And I'm too tired to stitch at this point.

But I've been reading a lot about Stitch Maynia and I've been trying to decide if I wanted to plunge into the madness.  However, I don't want to start nineteen (or thirty-one) new projects. I don't even want to dig out nineteen (or thirty-one) different projects to work on.

So, I pondered, what could I do?

And then it occurred to me. I haven't had much blogging mojo going on this year, but I don't want to let my blog die a slow, lingering death.  So, once again, I'm going to try to jumpstart the blog by blogging nineteen (or thirty-one) days in May.

Keep your fingers crossed I can keep it going.

One down, eighteen (or thirty) more blog entries to go!