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.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

It's a beginning

I have had two wonderful classes with Jackie du Plessis--and still have another day for the second of the two tomorrow.

There is Eliza, the Peddler Doll.

Thus far, she has bloomers and a cape, which I stitched the first day. She is going to have a tray full of goodies, which we started working on the second day of class. I don't have many of them completed.

Baby Girl, however, did not take a class today, so she has all of her little bits and pieces for the peddler tray accomplished:

Today was the second class, which has a lovely little box made by Ed Miller.  We are making a cover for the box, and the is where I am with that:

Tomorrow we will review the directions for the reproduction of the sampler that inspired the box.

This has been a wonderful week with good friends. I'm lucky to have this time with them and I look forward to it every year. It's even more special now that Baby Girl can come, too.

And it will be back to reality on Monday. I will start counting down the days until next year's event then.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Happy Place

I'm in Williamsburg in my happy place, the annual retreat I take with friends--some of whom I see frequently, some of whom I see occasionally, and some I see only when I'm here during this week in February.

It is absolutely lovely to be here.

Baby Girl and I arrived on Sunday. I was planning to stitch and wander around the Historic District and eat and sleep late. I've managed three out of the four--the bad knee announced it wasn't going anywhere it absolutely didn't have to go and was going to be unpleasant in general, so the wandering hasn't happened.

The stitching, eating, and sleeping late have occurred.

So this is what I've accomplished:

The piece at the top took a week. The piece at the bottom took parts of two days. Notice there is actually more stitching on the piece on the bottom. Amazing what can be accomplished when you're relaxed, well-fed, and have no other responsibilities--and I'm the person who rarely gets anything stitched in a group situation!

This is what I haven't accomplished:

Poor Hannah Thornbush has been in time out for way too long. For some reason, this band has been my Waterloo, and this evening, I cut out everything I stitched in this afternoon. That was disheartening.

I am tempted to move on to another band. The only problem is that I'm afraid I will forget this one hasn't been finished.

That is, of course, until it's been framed and hung on the wall and I happen to notice missing motifs.

Hannah is going to get another shot tomorrow evening, if I have brains after class--because tomorrow starts the first of two classes with Jackie du Plessis!

And along with Jackie's classes this week, I have some lovely accessories to add to my collection. Rachael Kinnison made this beautiful thread palette and thread winders, based on what you'd see in Williamsburg:

So am I currently quite happy?

You better believe it! I never want to leave.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Once a week

I have come to the conclusion that, until I retire, that I can commit to blogging once a week instead of every day. Most evenings, I have time to blog or I have time to stitch. This week I didn't have much time to do either.

And it seems that I've turned into a one-at-a-time stitcher. I may have umpty-leven things started, usually from taking classes of one sort or another--but I end up picking up the same project every evening when I plop down in the wing chair. That may get a wee bit boring for my regular readers.

I did have hopes this week--I really wanted to finish all the bits for the needle roll that fits into Ode to Jane Austen, but there were a couple of evenings I didn't get to pick up a needle at all--and the patterns I'm doing now are just perfect for Zen stitching--life just got in the way.

Why is it when you need the Zen the most, the Zen is the hardest thing to attain?

(That is my philosophical nattering for the month.)

Anyway, I did get all the the long outer panel stitched:

And I started on the pin cushion that will fit on one end:

This little cross-stitch-over-one pattern has been fun to do--pattern easy to remember so I don't have to juggle the chart--and it hasn't taken nearly as long to stitch as I thought it would. I think I'm going to spend the week-end working on this and the pocket that will fit on the other end of the needle roll.

And meanwhile, I'm planning this year's Great Escape. Next week is the annual retreat in Williamsburg. Baby Girl is going with me. There are going to be a couple of classes offered--she is taking one and I am taking both. There will be a chance to catch up with good friends, a stitching room, and the Historic Area.

I do need to decide what to take with me to work on while I'm there. Actually, Ode would be a good choice since I can stitch and talk at the same time when working on that. I may throw Hannah Thornbush in, just in case I decide I need something different. Actually, I'd like to get a few stitches in on the Joanne Harvey Queen stitch needle book, so maybe I'll take that.

As usual, I may need a bigger suitcase for my projects than my clothes.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Never again

I am never again going to announce I plan to blog for an entire month. The minute I do, events transpire to keep me from it.

I did go to sampler guild on Wednesday, had a lovely time, signed up for a workshop and lecture from Cissy Smith for October, and journeyed home.

The next morning, I got up, got dressed, and went to work. I'd been there for a couple of hours when I was called by Mother's retirement center. She'd had another fall trying to maneuver herself from her bed to her wheelchair on her own, which is not supposed to happen unassisted, and they were taking her to the ER for evaluation since she apparently clonked her head.

So I literally dropped everything, threw myself in the car, and drove through tornado warnings and torrential rain.

They were bringing her back shortly after I arrived, so I stayed to make sure she was settled. And I got caught by the storm. There were three tornado warnings and continued heavy rains and by the time she was semi-comfortable and calm again, it was getting dark. Due to downed trees and flash flooding, people were being told to stay off the roads, and I had no desire to take a chance driving home.

So I stayed overnight, dozing in Mother's lift chair (which flattens out to a pretty comfortable bed).  It would have been fine had I not been sharing quarters with two little old ladies who couldn't snore in sync.

Mother was stiff and sore Friday morning, and not happy, and taking it out on everyone, so I stayed until early afternoon before driving home.

At that point, after having worn the same clothes since 6 a.m. the day before, all I wanted was a shower, clean clothes, and a nap.

I woke up Saturday with a migraine--likely due to stress and lack of sleep--so yesterday was a bust. I'm still a little sensitive to light and my hair is still sore today--lingering effects of migraine--so I've been taking it easy.

And watching it snow. We went from tornadoes and temps in the 60's on Thursday, to temps in the 30's and a brief snowfall on Saturday.

But this is a stitching blog and there has been a minimal amount of stitching.

I've been stitching on a crewel project during my lunchtimes at work. It was in my work tote when I headed out on Thursday, so while sitting with Mother, I got some more stitching done.

I'm much closer to finished on this than I thought.

And I've done a few stitches on Ode:

And a close-up so you can see what is actually happening.

Hopefully this week will go back to the usual rut with no unexpected events. I could use a few days in a rut after the last four.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Move along, nothing to see here

I found out that February is National Embroidery Month in the US, so I thought I would make a valiant effort to blog every day.

And I planned to stitch every day.

Well, I stitched last night, but thus far, what I have to show is an outline stitched in thread that blends almost completely into the ground fabric. I have a picture, but it looks like a piece of linen.

So, rather than spend the time to upload the photo, I thought I would mention that I have a stitched outline, and I plan to start filling in the inside tonight.

And, just in case I don't get back tomorrow, it's because I have a sampler guild meeting tomorrow night where there will definitely be more interesting things going on than I have around here.

Monday, February 3, 2020

goodies in the mail

So there was a surprise in the mailbox today.

A purple bag means Jackie du Plessis.

And inside are tiny Mother-of-Pearl buttons that reproduce antique and vintage designs.

Jackie is offering a button club this year. You get a Baker's Dozen of two different buttons every month, and this month there was an extra--the little bow.

They are perfect for finishing smalls, and I understand Jackie may offer projects that use them exclusively for members of the group.

They are incredibly sweet, and a happy way to end a Monday that acted like a Monday all day.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

letters and numbers

I've finished the panel with all the letters and numbers that will be part of the needle roll that is part of Ode to Jane Austen.

I believe I am going to do the other parts of the needle roll and put them together, then move on to another of the smalls that will fit into the desk.

I am seriously thinking that I will do finishing as I stitch, rather than stitching everything and having a huge pile of things to put together at the end.  I love doing the embroidery, and I love having the finished project--it's the part between that I don't love. Maybe if I spread it out a little more, it won't feel so overwhelming.

And maybe I won't lose anything if I do it that way . . .

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Not a good start

February is not starting off well for me.

I was all psyched to get the carrier case for Tsubaki assembled today. Last week I had ironed all the pieces and laid them out with their charts (so I would remember which piece was for what) on my worktable. I had the Mylar cut.

Today I decide to get started, pulled out the assembly directions, and discovered the first piece I needed to work on was not there.

Neither was the chart.

Both were gone.

I spent the next two hours searching--everything but pulling up the carpet. It is gone.

The only thing we can figure out is that somehow it was knocked into the trashcan by the table, which Dearly Beloved emptied yesterday.

I am going to have to restitch it.

Sigh . . .

On the other hand, I do have some good news to report. I finished the first alphabet on Ode, then started and finished the second one, and then started the third. I believe I will work on that today and just avoid thinking about Tsubaki, at least until I can restitch the missing panel.