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, March 29, 2020

Day 4, butterfly and book

Today I got all the outlining for the two panels that make up the button bag for Ode to Jane Austen.

And I started the butterfly.

And then I got sucked into a book and didn't come out for four hours.

I was sent an advance reader copy of a book called The Second Home by Christina Clancy. I was going to read a few pages and then do my hour on Abigail Davis.

Didn't happen. I got all involved in the lives of the characters, both past and present. The book is being released June 2, and I predict it will be this year's beach book read. Assuming that we're allowed back to the beaches by then, which would happen if people would just stay inside and away from other people!!!

(rant over)

I am seriously thinking about going through the stash and choosing a project for each day of the week.  Not that I need a break from either of the things I have going, but I need some way to determine which day of the week it is. I came downstairs this morning all a-twitter because I thought I had overslept and was going to start work later than I should. Then I realized Dearly Beloved was reading the Sunday comics.

Maybe a different project every day would help keep me on track.

And this is only the beginning of the second week. I can never retire. . .

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Day 3 and Housework is dangerous

I was planning to do some finish-finishing today.

But first, I thought I'd better put on my Domestic Diva persona and corral the dust hippos before they took over the zoo.

I had bent down to dust the bottom shelf of one of the bookcases, muttering all the time about why in the world we had so many bookcases (because we have so many books, obviously). When I tried to straighten up, my back decided it wanted to stay where it was.

I finally managed to get myself sem-vertical and tottered back to my chair. At last, I gave in and took a muscle relaxer. At one point I was watching a documentary on the "lost" pyramid in Egypt. When I drifted back into awareness, there was something on alien-built pyramids in China. I had a moment of confusion, then realized the History Channel had lost its programming mind again.

I did get my hour on Abigail Davis 1820 (aka the Pandemic Project) stitched before I decided to dust, and this is where I am as of today:

Here's a close-up of the dividing band:

Cross-stitch over two takes much less time than letters worked in cross-stitch over one.

However, I do not believe there will be any more stitching today.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Day Two and Week One

Well, I've survived a whole week of working from home. Dearly Beloved and I are still married. So far, so good.

I made my goal on Ode after closing down the work laptop for the day today, so tomorrow this puppy is going to be put together.

And the Pandemic Project is showing some progress.

In real life, we're figuring out a routine and I'm remembering to stop working to take a lunch break and to stroll around the neighborhood.

But I'm still really glad it's the week-end!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Day One

The city and county where I live are now on stay-at-home orders. We can go to the grocery store, but we need to hunker down and stay in place, at least for the next three weeks.

I am working from home. I am not crazy about working from home, but Dearly Beloved and I will both survive. It is a dress rehearsal for my retirement, I suppose.

I will never retire, BTW.

Meanwhile, here's where I am on the Pandemic Project:

It's been interesting to see exactly how much I can stitch in an hour. It's not as much as I thought. I've tried rationalizing that I'm doing most of this as cross over one, but it's true, the electric needle has not only lost voltage, it's also rusty.

And I look at the stash and my only thought is I have a lot to do.

Must. Stitch. Faster.

There has also been a little more worked on Ode's Messenger Bag:

My hope is to finish the embroidery on this before Saturday and, if so, I'm going to start putting the bits for Ode together. I still have two parts to stitch, but I don't want to face the monumental task of assembling the whole project at one go.

Despite having a lot to do, there is always room for another project, and there was good mail this week:

Look at all those luscious colors! The whole project is worked in Queen Stitches! I can't let myself start this yet!

(Well, I could, but I'm trying to stay on track with what I had planned to work on this year.  We'll see how long my will power lasts.)

Anyway, life is going on. I miss going to my guild meetings. I miss seeing the azaleas in bloom along my route to and from work. I miss talking to my neighbors, although we're doing a decent job of yelling at each other from one doorway to another. I miss seeing friends and coworkers. I miss being able to get in the car and go where I want to go.

However, if this is what it takes to stop this horrible virus, I'll do it.

However, during today's early foraging expedition, I believe Dearly Beloved thought it might be a good idea to soothe the savage beast.  This is what he brought home for me:

The man knows me only too well.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

My Pandemic Project

I was talking to Baby Girl, who is working from home three days a week, from her office one day a week, and has a furlough day one day a week, about how much I don't like working from home. Inevitably there is a file I need, or I need to research something in the archives that are not online or digital, or I need to make a copy of something. Actually, I said to her, the only positive thing for me in working from home is that I don't spend an hour in the round-trip commute.

Wait a minute.

I've got an hour back.

And I'm going to use that hour on a sampler, one of the new ones that just arrived. So that''s my plan, I'm going to work on that sampler for an hour every day until we get back to normal, whatever that may be.

Abigail Davis 1820 was the choice, mainly because of the verse:

Teach me to feel anothers woe
To hide the fault I see
That mercy I to others shew
That mercy shew to me.

Seems appropriate for the times we're in.

This is where I got in a couple of hours:

Letters over one . . . as usual, I'm going to get that out of the way before I go to the fun stuff.

Let's hope I don't get it finished before we get back to normal. My electric needle seems to be losing voltage as I get older, and I don't want to think that I'll be working from home for that long.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

New and old normal

I've spent this week transitioning from working in an office to working at home, and, once one last piece of technology is installed, I'll be working from home full-time. We have permission to go into the office if we need to print a document or pick up a file or something, but otherwise, we are hanging out at home.

Dearly Beloved has been "foraging" early in the morning, immediately after the stores open after being closed for deep cleaning and re-stocking. So, like everybody else, we're learning to deal with the new normal.

And we do have toilet paper.

Despite the fact that my corner of the living room now has a tangle of cords instead of a tangle of threads, I've been getting a little bit of stitching done.

Finally the second profile on the needle book for Ode to Jane Austen is stitched!  And I started on the panel for the messenger bag, which will become a holder for a spool of thread or pearl cotton.

I am so close to having all the bits and pieces of this project stitched . . . so close . . . so very close . . .

But I'm starting to get restless. Even though I said this was going to be the year I was going to finish at least a fraction of the workshop and online class projects I have started, I'm beginning to get the urge to start something completely new. You know, untouched ground fabric, threads to sort and organize, instructions to read over, a brand new beginning.

It may not have been helped when a package arrived:

Margriet had a sale about a month ago, and I've been looking at these samplers for awhile, so I splurged.

And I do have scroll frames available . . . 

Nope, nope, nope, I need to keep my eye on the prize and get some UFO's into the FO category.

Unless, of course, being home full-time starts to drive me bugnutz crazy and I need a distraction.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Where I've Been

I've had some dear readers who've asked where I've been. I'm still here and I haven't given up blogging, but the last couple of weeks have not been routine.

The Monday after the retreat I came home to catch up with Dearly Beloved and the latest in the Great Squirrel Saga* and to sign tax returns and do laundry.

Tuesday we went to vote after I got home from work, which meant later dinner and later everything.

Wednesday was sampler guild meeting.

Thursday I finally had time to finish one of the bits for Ode:

Friday night I came down with what I thought was a bad, bad, bad case of food poisoning.

It was not. I had a tummy virus that wiped me out totally for four days, and I'm still feeling a little ragged. I was able to do a little stitching in that time--actually, there was a pretty repetitive bit that might not have been accomplished quite so quickly if I had had more functioning brain cells.

Wednesday I went back to work and stitched a little Wednesday evening.

Thursday I pulled out what I had stitched Wednesday because I used the wrong color.

Friday I restitched the section I had removed with the right color.

So this is the stitching for this week:

My plan today is to work on the needle book (that's the one with the profile). Just in case you'd like to know, the profile I've stitched is one thread off. It is all tent stitch over one. I am not going to take it out, even if I could figure out where I went wrong.

So that's where I've been and now I'm back, trying to stay away from big crowds and being prepared to work from home if necessary. And we do have toilet paper, which was Dearly Beloved's quest for a couple of days.

One of my co-workers and I have figured out that the next big shortage is going to be hand cream, due to the amount of hand washing and hand sanitizer use going on.

*The Great Squirrel Saga: I may have mentioned in the past that we live in an area where squirrels do not seem to have any natural enemies and therefore have proliferated. We had the one who tried to eat the fake holly berries on the Christmas wreath. We have one who stretches out on our front stoop in hot weather and scolds us when we dare to try to get into our own home, And now Dearly Beloved has a new reason to despise the rats with furry tails.

He had some major work done on the Geezermobile,  then just a few days later, the Check Engine light came back on. He took the car back to the dealership, where it appeared that some of the wires that had just been replaced due to age had been gnawed on. The good old boy who diagnosed squirrel bites informed him that "Squirrels are just weird, man" and suggested putting moth balls under the hood since "squirrels hate the smell of that s**t".

So Dearly Beloved has been doing that.

And, now, every time he drives out of the cul-de-sac, he leaves a trail of moth balls behind . . .