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 31, 2021

Memorial Day

I hope everyone had the Memorial Day you wanted today. Ours was quiet, but we've gotten used to that over the last fifteen months. There was some mention of hamburgers on the grill, but then we decided we would be just as happy with the pizza in the freezer. So that was our celebration.

I had meant to blog every day in May as part of Maynia. I realized I hadn't blogged yesterday at about 3 a.m. this morning. Best laid plans . . . but not much to report on the stitching front. I did finish the framework for the rest of the motifs on the Queen stitch needle case I've been poking at for years, literally years:

At least I can tell exactly how much is left to stitch on this one. And, once again, I have been reminded of just how long it takes me to stitch anything. 

But, now that I'm retired, I do have an extra nine-plus hours a day to stitch, so my productivity should rise. I should be able to accomplish a few things in those additional hours!

Saturday, May 29, 2021

One more down

 So the messenger bag, which holds a spool of thread in Ode to Jane Austen, is now done.

I thought this was going to be one of the harder ones to assemble. It was not, it went together like a dream.

Today, I'm taking a break from assembly and doing some stitching instead. I've decided to outline the rest of the motifs on the Queen stitch needle case. Then it will just be a matter of filling in when I feel like it.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Puttering, Two

 And to finish what I began to write yesterday--this is Catherine Theron's Stitcher's Envelope & Accessories--or at least this is the beginning of the flap for the envelope. I think I may have started this at one of Jeannine's seminars in Williamsburg, but I would not swear to it.

I decided I need to alternate projects once in awhile--not a rotation, but I need to have a few things available so when I can't face working on one for whatever reason, I have something at hand that isn't finish-finishing--the sad discovery I made when I started rummaging through the projects next to the wing chair yesterday was that everything in the pile required assembly.

With one exception:

I'm beyond the halfway point on Joanne Harvey's Chinese Imperial Yellow Queen Stitch Needlecase--the name of it is almost larger than the project itself. It has become just a little repetitious. OMG, it is SO repetitious at this point. I don't have a problem doing Queen Stitches, but I have to say, I have the pattern almost memorized.

But, I have decided to persevere. I'm going to try to set aside one hour every evening to put a few more stitches in this so I can get it done before I am ancient. Or maybe before the summer is over. I may already be ancient.

Today, though, I am back to finish-finishing. I'm working on the messenger bag for Ode to Jane Austen, and I'm ready to give the bits another good pressing before the final assembly. That will leave only three pieces to assemble.

And then I need to work on putting together another project so I can reduce the number of projects needing assembly. I have been notified that the kit for Cynthia's Jackson's Tudor Embroidery online course is on its way so I may not be putting things together for awhile. It's a ten-week course, and, for the first time in my life, I'm hoping to keep up with the class. 

After all, I'm retired. What else do I have to do?

Thursday, May 27, 2021


 Today went a little differently than planned.

I came home last night from my EGA meeting, so happy to have been out in the world with people I enjoy being with--it's been a long, long time.  And I always want to stitch more after I've spent time with other stitchers.

However, I sort of assumed I would continue working on finishing today. In fact, I had decided that I would work on the bottle carrier and the messenger bag today.

And then I woke up this morning, and I didn't want to do that.

I wanted to stitch rather than sew, embellish rather than assemble. embroider rather than . . . well, you get the idea.

So I pulled a ten-year-old project out of the stash and put a few more stitches in it. I would show you what it is but blogger won't let me load any pictures. So we'll try this again tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Fiddly, fiddly

 Why are the things that look the easiest always the most fiddly? 

This is the needle book for Ode, and I believe this is supposed to be Jane's profile. The piece is designed to look like a tiny volume--the front is about one inch wide and two inches high. I love little books, and this is adorable.  However, I do think I need to give it another good pressing before I can call it completely done.

I am trying to decide which accessory piece to put together next. There is a container that holds little bottles which I can fill with buttons. There is a pinkeep. There is a messenger bag that holds a spool of thread. There is an etui with a pocket and pin cushion--that last one is going to take some effort. And somewhere in this house, I have the scrims that go with the whole set, so that means a search-and-destroy mission to locate.

But tonight I have an EGA meeting, so all decisions are postponed until tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Second Day of Ode finishing

 And after a second day of finishing, I have the bottom panel, the lid panel, and the opening tab assembled and attached to the desk:

Jackie has made a frame available that can be used for the sampler that fits on the bottom of the desk. I was tempted--I think this is one of the prettiest pieces she has designed. Then I thought about it, and decided I like having it in the bottom of the desk. It's like a surprise every time I open the top.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Another Sunday?

 Today felt like another Sunday. It has been lovely.

And I have started finishing the bits and pieces for Ode to Jane Austen.

Thus far, I have a button bag.

I may work on some other parts tonight. I think there are nine bits and pieces for this project.

And I want to thank everyone for the good wishes for my retirement. I heard from one of my buddies at my old job, asking if I had adjusted. Considering that I slept for nine hours straight last night, and ten hours the night before, I believe I am enjoying it as well as catching up on my sleep. And I've had time to do laundry at my leisure, and have decluttered my corner, and done a bit of housekeeping without feeling as if I had to rush to get it all in.

And that is the best part of all.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Pretty Tulip

 The last of the Roundels is stitched.

This is now added to the finishing pile.  Which I am going to tackle tomorrow, if I don't get distracted by something else.

Dearly Beloved and I did go gallivanting today. My EGA chapter is going to have an actual, in-person meeting this week, and we're meeting in a new location. Since I was not familiar with the area, we reconnoitered so I'd have an idea of how long it would take and approximately where to go. Now that I have the directions pretty well figured out, I can hardly wait. The group has been meeting by Zoom, but after spending so many hours a day at work on the same kind of call, I didn't really feel like doing more. I'm very, very excited to be able to see everyone in person again!

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Lady of Leisure

 This has been the most unproductive Saturday that I can remember, at least since I became a responsible adult.

And it's been wonderful.

We did go to the Farmers' Market this morning. Then Baby Girl swooped in for a surprise visit to take me out to lunch in honor of my retirement. This is the first time we've actually been together since Christmas, and it was lovely, even though it was a flying trip. 

After she left, I finished the last chapter in one book and read the first chapter in another. I've talked to The Big Kid,  making plans for a visit to see him and The Flash.

And I finally put a few stitches into the last Roundel.

I believe I'm going to work on this a little while longer. Or maybe I'll stay up half the night and finish it.

Or maybe not. No plans, no goals, no schedule. I do like this.

Friday, May 21, 2021


 I am retired. Well, actually, not officially. I still have a week of vacation and Memorial Day, but today was my last working day, so I'm retired.

And what did I do to celebrate?  I came home and finished the Honeysuckle Roundel.

I believe I will start on the Tulip tonight--that's the last roundel I need to stitch.

Someone asked me when I thought I would feel like I'm retired instead of just on vacation. I had not thought about that. After all, it's Friday afternoon. Tomorrow I'll get up early and Dearly Beloved and I will go to the Farmers' Market. Then it will be home and the Saturday chores.

But wait! Here's a radical concept. What if I don't swish the laundry and waft the dust cloth and zip around with the vacuum because it's Saturday. What if I do something entirely different?

I believe I've figured out how to feel like I'm retired.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Little bit of stitching

I added a few little bits of stitching to the Honeysuckle:

 Meanwhile, I am re-reading the Sebastian St Cyr series by C.S. Harris. It's been years and years since I read the earliest books and it's almost like reading them for the first time. I highly recommend reading in order since characters are introduced who appear again later.  Anyway, it's set in Regency England with the dashing heir to a title and fortune as the protagonist. And once you start, you can't stop. So, reading is interfering with stitching just a little.

And, by the way, one more day!!! I cleaned out desk drawers today and shredded a small forest of papers which I have moved from desk to desk and office to office for twenty-plus years because I was told they were incredibly important. I have never accessed any of them, so why burden someone else?

My last executive decision!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Move Along, Nothing to See Here

 It is very difficult to write a stitching blog when you haven't stitched in a couple of days, and are unlikely to stitch for a couple more.

I have fallen down a rabbit hole--I have a REALLY good book--and I'm reading instead of stitching. But I said I would blog every day in May, so I'm making a valiant effort to do so.

Two more days . . . 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Pretty Stuff

Hi. My name is Ann. I am a thread addict.

But when the threads are this pretty, who wouldn't be?

 I took advantage of Tricia Nguyen's opening her Thistle Threads shop to add some wired silk and another spool of gold twist to the inventory. I'm playing with flowers for the big casket and this is part of that experiment.

I am SO going to love my retirement!

Three more days . . . 

Monday, May 17, 2021

Days of my youth

 When you were a kid, did you ever sip the nectar from a honeysuckle blossom?

That's all I could think about as I began the stitching on the next Spring Roundel.

These little designs are like eating M&M's--you get started and it's hard to stop. However, I don't know if I'll be able to play with this tonight. I have to be an adult and pay bills.

I'd rather stitch.

BTW, four more days!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

One Ginormous Strawberry

 Well, the stitching is finished and it's going in the assembly pile:

I've gotta think about the construction for awhile. The directions are not very detailed,. There's one photo that just shows where the basting lines for the top go, and that's it, so I'm going to have to punt. 

But not today. Today I am collecting all the computer equipment and cords that came home with me so I could work from the corner of the living room. I want to get it turned in--another thing to check off the list of things to do before my last working day.

Only five days . . . WOO-HOO!!

Saturday, May 15, 2021

More Strawberries

 So I'm back to strawberries again.

If I do a couple more bands, I'll be down to the bottom seed section and this will be ready to go on the finishing pile. Oh, dear, something else to put together.

In other news, I had the chance to talk to a stitching buddy this afternoon. It was wonderful to be able to talk stitching, and classes we've taken, and projects we're working on, and things we want to accomplish. Hopefully, we'll be able to meet face to face again soon--but just talking on the phone was wonderful!

Friday, May 14, 2021

Pretty in Pink

 So the first Spring Roundel is stitched.

This may be my favorite of the three--that is, until I stitch another, and then it will be my favorite, and so on. I do enjoy the way Barbara Jackson uses mosaic stitch for texture, and, as always, I love her color choices.

And in other news, the office held my retirement party today. I do have five more working days ahead, but some of the people who wanted to be there will be out of the office next Friday.

I have to say, it was a little surreal. I told Baby Girl it was like being present at your own funeral. People say nice things, bring you flowers, and then everybody goes to a reception and eats. Baby Girl said that in effect, you're the dearly departed since you're departing from the work life, so maybe the analogy isn't totally creepy.

Dearly Beloved just told me that I am too weird for words and it's probably a good thing I'm retiring.

He's likely correct on both.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Still Flitting

 And more flitting:

This is the Rose from Barbara Jackson's Spring Roundels, a class taught through Shining Needle. The class hasn't actually started yet, but I couldn't wait any longer.

And, thanks for asking, I am much better today than I was yesterday. No more fever, and I can stay awake for more than two hours at a time, also a good thing. I went to work today--only six more working days!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Day Two

 Nothing to see here today. I had my second Covid shot yesterday--felt fine most of the day yesterday, then suddenly felt very weary and went to bed early. Around 3 a.m., I woke up with a headache and fever.  The fever broke, and I slept pretty much all morning, but I still feel a little out of it.

Much better than having Covid, though!

There are a couple of blogkeeping issues I keep meaning to mention and don't until I've hit Publish.

If you're a noreply commenter, I can't reply to your comments. I read them all, and appreciate your taking the time to add. There is a way to be able to change that status, but I don't remember what it is.

And, ever since the last batch of changes to Blogger, I can't comment on my own or anyone else's blog, so I can't reply to you that way, either. Bummer. Another thing I need to investigate.

Especially since my contribution to Maynia is to try to blog every day. Now that I've mentioned this, some horrible event will occur (or some not-so-horrible event) and I will not be able to do that, but I'm making a valiant effort to persevere.

I believe I will take another Tylenol and a nap so I can go back to work tomorrow.

Seven more working days, but who's counting . . . 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Flitting around

Well, apparently I've given up on monogamy when it comes to my needlework projects.

I spent the evening getting all the bits and pieces for Ode sorted out and in order. And then, when I got home from getting my second Covid shot, I totally ignored Ode and picked up the Holbein Strawberry and finished one band and stitched the next little dividing line.

I think that's it for today, though. After not even feeling the shot in the arm, I'm starting to feel a little feverish and very tired. An early bedtime and a couple of Tylenol are in my immediate future. But it's much, much better than getting Covid!


Monday, May 10, 2021

Baby Steps

 I finally forced myself to take the first steps in assembling all the pieces of Ode to Jane Austen.

I started with the little button bag. The two pieces are self lined, so I need to sew them together and make cords and do some embellishing. But first, I believe I need to give them a good pressing.

I also need to get all the parts for this project organized. I think I have something like nine parts that have to have something done with them, and I think the best way for me to do that is to put the charts for each section with the stitched pieces, and figure out what other bits and pieces from the kit go with those parts, and put them in little piles in the order in which I need to put them together.

That may take the rest of the evening.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Off the Reservation

 I got up this morning and plopped in the wing chair, intending to spend my Mother's Day stitching the day away.

Not a thing in the current pile of projects appealed. None.

So . . . I went upstairs and pulled out a project from the bag of small projects that I took when I traveled a lot for work. It was one that I had started years ago. And, I did few more stitches on Aubergine, a Make-It-Take-It from Jackie du Plessis.

This is a sweet set of smalls, with an easy pattern to remember. Will I continue with it tonight, or will I work on something else? I have no idea, but I'll figure it out. 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

A New Rule

As of today, I have a new rule.

If I'm planning to get up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning to go to the Farmers' Market, I am not allowed to stay up past midnight simply because my book is good. And I especially need to get a good night's sleep if I plan to spend the day assembling a project or working double running.

The Farmers' Market trip was well worth it--strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes (both regular size and cherry), cucumbers, and peas.

And I came home and made biscuits so we could have ham biscuits with the fruit bowl that I also created for breakfast.

I should have taken a nap, but I'd had caffeine by that point, and laundry needed to be swished and tumbled and I needed to read over the assembly directions so I could start.

And that was when I decided I should really postpone putting anything together until I was more rested.

But, I thought, I could do a little on the Holbein Strawberry.

And this is the point I ripped back to after making a quite obvious error that could not be fudged.

Like I said, I've made a new rule. And I, for sure, will be in bed at a reasonable hour tonight.

Friday, May 7, 2021

A little seedy

 I was looking through the directions for the strawberry, and discovered that the seeds at the top and bottom were all worked in running stitch. A lot of running stitch. A whole lot of running stitch.

Nothing against running stitch--it's easy to do and moves fairly quickly, but it's just a wee bit, well, boring. And the directions indicated that it should be worked when everything else is done.

I've always liked doing the boring bits of things first--sort of like eating your broccoli before you get the strawberry shortcake--so I decided to stitch the top of the strawberry first. 

Now it's done, and I could go on to the next double running section, but I have to admit something. The top was so rhythmic and so lulling that I'm about to yawn my head off.  I may have to go to bed early. On a Friday night.

Of course, we are going to get up early to go to the Farmers' Market, and I do want to do some finishing tomorrow, so obviously I need to be alert and rested.

We'll go with that.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Strawberry Fields Forever

 So . . . last night, I needed to stitch rather than finish, and I wandered through the stash, and I found something that has been gracefully aging for 20 years.

And it's stitched mostly in double running, with a few Queen stitches thrown in for fun.

So, I started it, and all would have been well in getting my mind off yesterday's work day if I hadn't miscounted. That counting issue I have, you know.

I'm a little close to the right side, but I think I have plenty for the seam allowance, so it's all just fine.

I suppose you may want to know what this is going to be.

It's called The Holbein Strawberry, designed by Barbara Rakosnik of Periwinkle Promises. I miss seeing Barbara's designs--I am assuming she has retired because it's been awhile--but I have stitched many of her samplers in my day.

And now I'm going to have a big strawberry.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Three French hens?

 Maybe not, unless they roost in trees.

So, all the stitching for Betsy Morgan's Christmas Spirit Etui is complete.

However, I am not going to tackle finishing tonight. I am not sure what I am going to tackle tonight. Today was Not. A. Good. Day. At. Work. I would kick something, but I've broken enough toes to know that's a bad idea and would not help mood or temperament.

I believe I will go take a shower and wash the day away. I also plan to take deep breaths and think about the fact that I will be retired in a very short period of time.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Oh, Tannenbaum

 Feels strange to be writing that on May 4. But here it is, the little tree that goes on one side of the needle book.

I did think about doing Smyrna crosses for the decorations and now I don't know why I didn't. I may go back and add the top cross. Then again, I may not.

You can also see the tree on the right. Hopefully by the end of the evening, there will be birds sitting on those branches. They are vaguely cardinal-ish in profile, although their colors don't quite fit the cardinal's usual plumage.

And if I get those birds stitched, that means something else for the finishing pile. Based on recent behavior, I should start assembling this in he next few days. However, I think I'm going to break the pattern. Ode to Jane Austen has been sitting in the finishing pile since forever--or whenever I finished stitching all the parts--and I don't know why I keep putting it off. It may be that this is one of my favorite designs from Jackie, and I don't want to run the risk of screwing it up. Or it could be the fact that there are a lot of moving parts to this one and I'm a little overwhelmed. Or it may be all of the above.

Whatever it is, I need to hitch up the Granny panties and get on with it.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Monday Mail Day

Today was one of those Mondays. The best part of being at work today was that I will only have two more working Mondays.

And then I came home and it was a very, very, very good mail day.

This is the centerfold from the instruction book for one of Inspirations magazine's Hand Picked designs. It showed some of the lovely, lovely things in this lovely, lovely kit.

It does have a lot of beads. Mostly beads. I am trying to overcome fear of beading needles. I also have a very strong urge to put this aside for Baby Girl's Christmas present. But meanwhile, I need to find my Koma, which are buried somewhere in the stash room. And when I say buried, I mean six feet under. I took a notebook class on goldwork through ANG from Sandy Rodgers umpteen years ago, and Koma were involved. And where I stored the notebook, the leftover threads, and the tools from that class must be one of those very safe places that are so safe that I have no idea how to find it. I should draw treasure maps when I put something away.

And, happy dance--another kit from Barbara Jackson.

I've been tracking this for about a week. For some reason, it decided to go to New York City, and it stayed there for a few days. The only thing I can think of is that it has had both Covid shots and was ready to get out and see the world. Anyway, it finally wended its way to me.

This made up for a working Monday.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Little things

 I finally managed to stitch the scissors fob for the Christmas Spirit etui.  I do like figuring out double running patterns, but I don't think I worked any two of the leaves the same way.

This leaves only the needle book to stitch, and it's been started, so I hope to get it done this week.

I was trying to decide what to stitch in the evenings after work when this project is complete, so I tottered upstairs to rummage in the stash for a bit. And I discovered a bag of small projects that have been aging since the last century. There are a couple that need just a little more stitching to complete, and three or four more that need to be put together.

So . . . the ones that need to be assembled are now in the pile by the chair to be finish-finished, and the ones that need stitching are in that pile.  I seem to be adding to those piles rather than subtracting from them.

I do not think I will have a problem with boredom when I retire.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

The Merry Month of May

 How did it get to be May already? A third of the year is over, and I'm not sure where it went.

However, we have now made our first trip to the Farmers' Market and have fresh asparagus and a huge basket of strawberries. And the days are getting much longer, so more daylight for stitching. And, the best thing of all, I only have 12 days left in the office and I will be a retiree. I do have to burn off 7.9 days of vacation time before my official retirement date, but as of June 1, I can finally stitch all those things in my stash that have been waiting for the time and energy to do them.

Meanwhile, monogamy has continued with the Christmas Etui.

The other two sides of the box are done.

And the scissors case is stitched.

I have the fob and the needle case to work, and this can go into the finishing pile.

The finishing pile that I planned to have finish-finished by now, but I keep adding things to it. The level is not subsiding.

I should work on that. And will. Because I am going to retire. In a month. WOO HOO!!!