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.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New Year's Eve

It is not time for the ceremonial dumping of the ort jar, but I don't believe I will still be awake at midnight, so here it is.

There's a lot of shiny gold and silver threads in the top from the Tudor Pin Cushion, which is currently in time-out for lack of cooperation. There are also a few sewing threads from today's project, the case for Cherry Berry.

I am about halfway through with assembling Cherry Berry's case. In the process, I have not only bent the sewing needle, I have also somehow twisted it so the eye is wonky--which makes threading it interesting. I believe this is going to be a good time to retire that needle and grab another one.

Hopefully the case will be finished tomorrow.  Or maybe the Tudor pincushion will decide to behave. Or maybe I'll start a whole new project for the new year.  It will be a shiny new year, so the possibilities are endless!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Joy, joy, happy, happy

There is a special kind of happiness that occurs when the border meets.

Even when it's a little border.

I know I said I was going to finish the band around the Tudor pin cushion today, but we decided when we got up that today would be a good time to de-ornament the Christmas tree and un-deck the halls.

So we did.  And that meant we had to move the stuff in the living room that had been moved for the tree back to their usual positions. And while we had everything all moved around, it was a good time to vacuum the baseboards and clean behind things that don't usually get cleaned behind because what's usually in front of those places don't get moved very often--mainly because they're heavy.

By the time we did all that, I didn't think I could manage gold threads. I could manage silk, so that's what I did.

And now I'm heading to bed.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Moving along

So,  today I got another step completed in filling in the metal thread part of my little Tudor pincushion.

There is a whole lot of weaving and interweaving to do before I can put this thing together and call it done.

And that brings up a topic of discussion that Baby Girl and I just pondered. Why does everything take so much longer than we think it will or should take? Quite frankly, I thought I'd have this thing knocked out in a couple of days. Here we are at the end of Day Four and I'm still fiddling with it.

Granted, I haven't been stitching 8 hours a day. Granted, I have been working with metal threads, which aren't as cooperative as silk by a long shot. Granted, I'm using that metal thread to work stitches that aren't in my everyday repertoire.

But it's still taking forever!!!

I will admit, I broke it up a little and finished the alphabet on the Salem Flower Basket Needleroll.

I think I may work on the framing around this section tonight for a little while. I believe I need just a little Zen stitching tonight after battling Ceylon stitch today.

Tomorrow I will finish that pin cushion.

I should not remind myself that I have a second pin cushion that also needs metallic embellishments, so I won't.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

On the day after Christmas

Santa was very good to me . . .

Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Garden

The Pugin Scissor Case

The Brown Wren Etui

I have to admit, I have been very tempted to frame each and every one up and start stitching. However, I realized that I need to continue with my Zen stitching program as long as I'm working full -time, so they're going into the retirement/holiday stash for a little longer.

We had a quiet Christmas otherwise. I spent an hour on the phone with The Flash, discussing his plans for his future. He plans to be either a Lego city planner who writes comics or an astrophysicist. 

I have no comment about either one.

Meanwhile, I've been puttering. There has been a bit of stitching--I pulled out the Tudor Pin Cushion that I started earlier in the year:

Obviously, I'm not through--there's a wide band in gold thread that runs around the perimeter, and I need to work on that when I have both daylight and a good night's sleep.

So, I'm heading to bed.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Twas the Night Before Christmas

And I have a new ornament on the tree!

Well, it isn't on the tree in this picture, it's on my worktable--but this is the first time I've ever finished one of Barbara Jackson's ornaments for Shining Needle and put it together and got it on the tree before Christmas. This counts as a Christmas miracle for this stitcher!

And I got to open the last package from Amy Mitten's Mittens for Advent today:

There are all kinds of goodies--from pins and needles to a horn thread winder to a whole bag of Mother of Pearl buttons to jewel-y things and metallic threads and silks and ribbon and beads. Even better, I have had an inspiration on how to turn all this stuff into a sort of steampunk 17th century project. That will happen after the new year.

Dearly Beloved and I are having a quiet Christmas since we had the family festivities on Saturday. This means that I get to stitch without being rude. I've started adding the metal threads to the Tudor Pincushion from Tricia Nguyen's gold work class. Who knows, I may have a finish for Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2019

letters and more letters

I was trying to figure out what to work on, and the Salem Flower Basket Needleroll was right by my chair, so yesterday I picked that up.

You will notice that there are letters.

There are a lot of letters.

A lot of them.

And I really, really, reeeeeeeeeeeeeealy dislike stitching letters.

I can't explain why. It may be that letters generally have no rhythm to them, at least not to me. Or all the starting and stopping. Whatever the reason, there won't be a Bristol Orphanage sampler in my life, unless someone stitches it for me.

Anyway, I happily thought that I had only one more line of letters to do.

I thought.

And then I realized that the actual pincushion part of this project has more letters. Not only does it have more letters, but I have to chart out my name and location and fit them into the space allowed. And then stitch all those letters.

And it's all in cross stitch over one.

This is going to take longer than anticipated.

Sigh . . .

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Counting down

This year's Barbara Jackson ornament is stitched!

As soon as the finishing directions are posted, I hope I can get this put together. Wouldn't it be amazing if I not only got the ornament stitched but on the tree the same year it was offered? That would be a record.

We had our family get-together yesterday, and it was delightful. There was a lot of food--apparently I cannot do a Christmas meal without acting as if we were going to have a cast of thousands attending--but that means enough left-overs for both Baby Girl and The Saint to have a couple of dinners this week. We had presents. We had Christmas music and watched Christmas movies. And the 25th hasn't arrived, so Dearly Beloved and I get to do it all over again.

I am working tomorrow and then have the rest of the week off. I am planning a marathon of stitching. I'm thinking about a New Year's start. And I have no idea which project or projects I'm going to do for either period--there are so many choices and I want to do them all. And I want to do them now.

What a happy way to end a year and start a new one!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Over the River and Through the Woods

To Williamsburg we went.

We went for the newly revamped Christmas in Williamsburg. As usual, I was planning to blog every day while I was there. Then I realized I had left the camera at home about ten miles into Virginia--which was too far to turn back.

Not a problem, said I. I have my phone and can take pictures with it.

And I did. But then I could not get my Google phone and my Apple laptop to talk to each other. After a very frustrating and exasperating OK Boomer episode, I decided I would write when I got home, but when I got home, I got swept back into work and getting ready for Christmas--and this is the first time I've made time to sit down and do something about poor, neglected blog.

So . . .

I came home with an all-but-finished Early Bird class, Iris Pin Keep, from Jackie du Plessis.

Isn't it divine? And it will go with the Necessarie de Voyage project that I took for the next three mornings. I have not taken a picture of that yet but I do have a finished handle for the delicate, dainty basket that I will be making. And the handle for that basket was done in class after I mis-heard the directions and cut the wrong ribbon. Jackie came to my rescue with an additional length, so I was able to do that part in class.  Apparently my job in life is to do things wrong so other people will know they shouldn't do them the way I did . . .

However, I don't usually get much done in class, so this was a major accomplishment!

It was even more fun because I was able to sit with a group of my stitching buddies, always a happy thing.

Williamsburg was its usual lovely self all decked out for the season. We did get a chance to stroll the Historic District one afternoon after a wander through the Art Museums, my favorite part of any trip to W'burg. I can't wait until the construction on the expanded museum is complete, and all those lovely things that have been in storage for lack of exhibit space come out again.

All too soon, it was time to drive home and fall back into the routine. I have been keeping up with the Zen stitching and got the cording made and sewn around the four Barbara Jackson ornaments that have been stitched for years. They're going on the tree today:

And last night I started this year's ornament:

I've stitched the last of the bits for Tsubaki, so it's in the finishing pile.  The kitchen table has been transformed from Finishing Central to Cooky Baking Central, so Tsubaki will have to wait until I get the final batch baked and cooled--at least that's my current excuse to avoid putting something together.

And I'm still opening my daily goodies from Amy Mitten--but this has rambled on long enough. And there is still decking of the halls to do.

I really needed another week between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

On the First of December

I had planned to show you at least one completed Christmas ornament.

Well, we all know what happens with me and plans.

We had a small Domestic Disaster.

As I was coming downstairs this morning, I glanced into the living room and thought, hmmmm, that tree doesn't look exactly right. However, it was raining cats and dogs and I wanted to get the Sunday newspaper in before it completely dissolved.  I got back inside with the newspaper, spread it out over several surfaces in the kitchen so it could dry enough to read, and wandered back into the living room to see what was wrong with the tree.

What was wrong with the tree is that it was leaning at a 45 degree angle. It would have been completely on the floor had it not run into the arm of the couch.

So, it was off with the ornaments so Dearly Beloved could figure out why it was leaning. Turns out he hadn't quite pushed the stem far enough into the stand, and I spend my stitching time today redecorating.

Let me tell you, putting the ornaments on for the second time during the same week isn't quite as much fun as it was the first time.

So, no stitching . . . yet . . . I still have some time before bed . . . but I did remember to open the first goody from Amy Mitten's Advent mittens.

It is a beautiful skein of Amy's hand-dyed line of threads in a shade of blue from my favorite family of blues.  And now it's very hard to avoid ripping into all the other little envelopes to see what else is there.

I will try to exercise some self-restraint.