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, October 30, 2021

Busy, busy, busy

 For a lady of leisure, I had a lot of things going on this week, which meant I either had a few minutes to stitch or time to blog.

I opted for stitching.

And all the bits for Christmas is Coming are now stitched.

The minute the last stitch was placed, did I start assembling the set? No, I did not. I put another row of leaves in Carmen's Etui.

And this is what I'm going to continue working on today. The pile of finishing grows ever higher, and I am sticking my fingers in my ears and singing "La, la, la" very loudly so I don't hear those projects calling me.

It didn't help when I unearthed another tote bag with a bunch of smalls in it that need to be put together. Actually, there are nine more projects in that bag. When I travelled for work, I would take several small kits with me to work on in my hotel room in the evenings. Some of the pieces come from those trips, others just appealed at the time and were stitched and added to the tote bag. 

This makes at least fifteen projects at hand to put together. This doesn't include the other finishing basket upstairs--I'm afraid to look in it to see what's there.

The responsible part of me keeps saying I should take a couple of weeks and do nothing but sew things together. The bratty part of me stomps her foot and says "I don't wanna."

Right now the brat is winning.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Rebooting again

Yep, I gave my scheduling about two weeks to try out, and found there were too many interruptions and too many distractions to make it work. So, once again, I'm trying to reconcile myself to the fact that I don't work well with detailed plans, especially as a lady of leisure.

Instead of finishing on Friday, I was able to get a little more done on Christmas is Coming.

 I did one of the short ends yesterday, but will take a photo when the other design worked on the same linen is stitched.

I've thought about it--and dismantled the fortress around my chair since I can't possibly work on all the projects piled up there without getting totally overwhelmed--and I think I'll try to keep one very challenging project in progress, and have a couple of things that I can pick up and put down as I have time. I think I'll try to keep Sampler Sunday going since I've made more progress on Rebecah French since I started doing that than I have in years, but otherwise, I'm going back to working on what I feel like when I feel like it.

Sadly, today is going to be one of those interrupted days, and Rebecah probably won't feel a lot of love.

And I'm going to have to figure out how to deal with finishing, especially since I unearthed a tote bag full of tiny little projects that are stitched but not assembled. That came from my traveling days for work, when I threw a bunch of little projects in my suitcase to work on in hotel rooms in the evenings. Apparently since I stopped work trips, they have been breeding. There are a lot more of them than I recalled.

I truly do need to live to 385.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Progress made

 So I didn't sleep in this morning, which meant I took my walk early, and read the newspaper and did the crossword, AND I finished the motif I needed to gild.

I believe the next step will be to spread glue on the back of all these motifs so they can be cut out and appliquéd. However, there is another instructional video to view before I take that step. Actually, I have only two videos left to view for this class so I can get 'er done and off the slate frame.

My afternoon and evening project for Wednesday and Thursday is Carmen't Etui, the class I just took from Jackie du Plessis at Sassy Jack's. We have leaves.

I decided if I got the leaf pattern in, it would give me the best framework for working the other designs on this panel. Everything is worked over three threads, so it's taking a little adjusting to get used to.

Alas, today I need to work on product tests for my former employer instead of working on Carmen.  I've been delaying, putting it off, oh, who-am-I-kidding--I've been procrastinating. The product testing is time-consuming and I have many, many other things I want to do.

Which leads me to time. Baby Girl and were talking the other evening, and she sighed and said,"It's just Tuesday." My attitude was, "OMG, it's already Tuesday evening!" I do remember weeks that dragged when I was working. Now that I am a lady of leisure, they fly by. I keep thinking it should be August, and it's almost the last week in October. So, I'm thinking I should be doing the projects I want to, rather than the things I don't. I am going to have to stand in front of the mirror and practice saying no.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Three Tiny Reindeer

There are now three tiny reindeer on one side of the Christmas is Coming tray.

 Santa will be stitched next, but that will wait until the next spot in the schedule for this project..

I got a very late start this morning. Actually, I was enjoying my nest in my blankets too much to get up at a decent hour--in short, I slept in. We finally have some fall weather with crisp, cool nights, so we changed from sheet and summer bedspread to blankets and comforter. And, once I get my pillows and blankets arranged just so, and snuggle down into them, it's really, really really hard to crawl out. As I am retired, I don't have to!

Anyway, I was only able to get a little of the metal thread stitched in before I lost the good light, but it is started:

If I can force myself out of bed earlier tomorrow, I should be able to finish this flower. I know I said that yesterday, but it could happen.

IF I can force myself out of bed at a "decent" hour. . . 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

blood, sweat, and tears

 After a couple of days in which I barely threaded a needle--Sampler Sunday, for example, was an epic fail--I decided that today I would get back on track (again).

So I set up the Tudor project and started working the couching stitches over the silver plate.

And I was almost finished when I stabbed my finger with the sharp needle. I'm so used to poking myself as I work on this project, that I really didn't pay much attention, other than uttering a naughty word under my breath.

I probably should have done more, since I realized that suddenly my orange and gold threads were red.

I have been told that ones own spit will remove ones own blood. It appears that it will, although I didn't attempt to remove the other blotch on the linen. That's going to be cut off when this piece is appliquéd to the main piece, so I didn't try to take it out.

This is, therefore, where I am. 

If all goes well, tomorrow, I'll add the additional metal thread to the motif. And do my best to avoid stabbing myself.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Back on Track, temporarily

 I still have more samples to work for my old job, but I did spend some time finishing yesterday and today:

Stitcher's Envelope and Accessories by Catherine Theron

I think I need to add Saturday to my Finishing Friday. Sometimes I believe it takes more time for me to assemble projects than it does to stitch them.

Tomorrow will be spent on Rebecah French, then it will be back to the grindstone for a day or so. Then hopefully I'll be completely retired again for quite some time!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming . . .

I am already off schedule.

My former employer asked if I would do some product testing for them. As it is always a good thing to have extra stash funds, I agreed.

There were more products to test in this batch than I anticipated, so I doubt I'll get much stitching done in the next day or so. Phooey!

But, I did get most of the first side panel for Barbara Jackson's Christmas is Coming etui finished last night.


I still need to stitch the French knots in the swag at the top of the panel, but I need to roll the scroll frame to work the next panel on the bottom half of the fabric. I don't want to squish the French knots, so I'll wait and work them all when the second panel is completed.

So back to testing and evaluating. The quicker I do it, the faster I'll be back on track.


Tuesday, October 12, 2021


We had to be adults this morning.

There was a trip to the bank. We got our flu shots. Groceries were purchased. Apparently, in each place, we were in the wrong line, so everything took much longer than anticipated. However, we are retired. All we have is time.

I did get another layer on the Tudor flower after lunch.

 This plate is actually silver, although it looks like gold in the photo. One of the things I've learned in this class is that silver and gold plate add quite a lot of metal sheen to a project, but that it's not my very favorite metal to use.  I have several more projects that require it, but after that, I believe I will drop it from my repertoire.

Last night, I did work on the Christmas is Coming Etui, and got this far when my eyes crossed and the yawns threatened to crack my jaw. I really didn't pay a lot of attention to where I stopped counting.

This morning I had to laugh. I have a headless Christmas tree deliverer. If I stitched for Halloween, I could see doing this again and stitching pumpkins in the wagon. Anyway, tonight I'll give him a head and hopefully some human companions.

On a previous topic, a friend asked me why I was trying to organize and schedule stitching again, and I finally figured out exactly why. 

I keep finding projects in my stash that I want to stitch, and I've brought them downstairs so they'll be at hand. I've also added new things to my stash, as well as finished the stitching for smalls that now need to be assembled. And it's all in my corner of the living room.

The moment I realized it might be out of control was the moment that Dearly Beloved asked if I were building a fort around the wing chair. Much more, he said, and he wouldn't be able to see the top of my head over the piles and baskets.

He exaggerates.

But that's when it occurred to me that I need to have a plan, so I do.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Misty Monday

 After one beautiful sunny day, it's back to gray and gloom. Our winters tend to be gray--no rain, no snow, just overcast skies--but I was hoping we could have a little more sun before the gray settled in.

However, my stitching this morning was very bright and sunny!

Gold Lizerine has been applied around the outer edges of the petal of the front facing blossom, and the first layer of silk has been stitched on the back facing blossom. And, again, there will be layers more to stitch on it before I go to the next major step. I'll start on those layers tomorrow.

And I realized I had forgotten to show the beginning of one of the side panels on "Christmas is Coming."

I have the strongest urge to sing, "our house is a very, very, very fine house" but this doesn't have two cats in the yard.

You have to be of a certain age to recognize that song. 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Organizing? Again?

Ever since I came back from class, I've been thinking about organizing and prioritizing projects.


I go through this exercise every couple of months, trying to figure out how to maximize productivity and at the same time, stitch on everything I want to stitch. So far, I've had a notable lack of success with any system.

The definition of insanity is repeating an action that doesn't work.

I'm insane.

So, I'm setting up another schedule. I'm going to try it for a week to see how it works, and then probably abandon it for my usual rambling from one thing to another.

I'm keeping Sampler Sundays because I've done more on Rebecah French since I started this than I have in the last three or four years. Today I got the rest of the foliage coming out of the basket done.

I really want to finish the Tudor project, so it's getting mornings Monday - Thursday when my head, eyes, and hands are the freshest--and when I have the best light.

Afternoons, sadly, will be devoted to doing all those things you need to do when you're an adult.

Monday and Tuesday evenings get the Christmas is Coming Etui, Wednesday and Thursday evenings get Carmen's Etui.

(I did work on Carmen yesterday, and the band for the pin cushion is stitched, along with the last leaf for the scissors fob.)

Because I'm back up to five projects in the downstairs finishing basket, Fridays are going to be devoted to finishing until that basket is emptied. Then Saturday is a free-for-all. 

We'll see how this goes. And, frankly, it would be lovely to finally figure out a system that works. Sadly, I give it two weeks. Sigh.


Saturday, October 9, 2021

Radio Silence

I didn't fall off the face of the earth. I went to the mountains (Weaverville, NC, just outside of Asheville) to take a class from Jackie du Plessis, sponsored by Sassy Jack's.

As you know, I am a total fangirl when it comes to Jackie's classes. Totally. And this is another of her completely unique projects.

Soft, soft colors, little accessories for stitching, a precious holder--what could be better?

And I stitched a little:

This will be the scissors fob, once I get one more leaf stitched.

It was so good to see people I see only at events like this. I shared a table with one of my favorite people--normally we are not allowed to sit next to each other because we have some problems behaving with decorum--so I had a great time in class with her. We met a couple of ladies we know from being in the same FB groups, and it's always nice to put faces with names.

Kim from Sassy Jack's was a lovely hostess, and I'm looking forward to going back for more classes. 

And, it never fails. I go to an event like this, and all I want to do when I get home is stitch. And that is exactly what I'm planning to do as soon as I hit publish. The dust bunnies can wait.


Monday, October 4, 2021

Layers and Layers

 I've spent the morning working on the layers on my blossom for the Tudor project.

I've also stabbed myself repeatedly with the sharp needle.

And the carpet is now adorned with a multitude of tiny metal chips. 

The center of the flower is made by cutting gold check purl (it's a metal thread) into teeny short pieces, then treating them like little beads and stitching them randomly in the specified location. I had cut a bunch of chips because no matter how many you think you've cut, you always need more.

I was setting the velvet board that held the chips on the edge of the frame so it would be easy to access. With my usual grace, somehow I flipped the edge of the velvet board, which landed top down on the carpet after sending a cascade of chips into the air. As it is almost impossible to pick the chips up, I cut more and stitched them in the center.

After all this, I think I should do something else for awhile. I had hoped to stitch the metal edging to outline the petals before I stopped, but I do not believe that would be wise.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Weekend Update

 I had planned to pick up the Tudor project on Friday, right after I posted. I thought I might get a couple of layers on the big yellow blossom stitched.

Instead, the panel for Christmas is Coming leapt into my hands, and I finished it.

I thought about starting the next panels, but the next lesson hasn't been posted yet. There's some shaping that needs to be done on the pattern pieces, and I want to wait to be sure I understand how it's supposed to go. And it isn't like I don't have other things to stitch.

Which brings me to Saturday. Cissy Smith from Gentle Pursuits came to our Carolina Sampler Guild to lecture on Scottish samplers, share some of her collection, and teach a reproduction of one of the samples she owns.

The original has no identifying information, but Cissy surmises it's probably mid-1700's. It's a lovely little sampler, and I'm glad to add it to my collection. Added to that, I was able to spend the day with people I've barely seen for 18 months or longer.

And now we come to Sampler Sunday. I stitched the blossoms (?) on the basket earlier today, and now I believe I may try to get the foliage in the top of the basket done.

All in all, a pleasant way to spend a weekend.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Already October?

How did it get to be October already?

If time flies when you're having fun, I must be having the time of my life!

I did start a new flower for the Tudor project yesterday:

This one has layers and layers of stuff, so I imagine it's going to take a couple of fairly long stitching sessions to get it all done. I have one more motif (also involving layers and layers of stuff)--then I will move to the final big stage. All these elements have to be appliquéd to the fabric holding the rest of the motifs, and then the appliqués have to be embellished. I keep feeling like the end is in sight, but it's still a good ways away.

Then I moved to Christmas is Coming:

I found that working the tree in diagram rows seems to work faster than going back and forth.

Barbara always encourages making changes in her designs if you don't like the stitch she used. In fact, she provides diagrams of optional stitches that would work over the same number of threads.

And I made a change.

The zigzag row below the lettering is supposed to be done in eyelets, worked over two threads. I have mentioned before that I have problems with teeny eyelets. No matter how careful, mine always look scraggly and misshapen.  So, I auditioned a couple of other stitches. Actually, I was thinking about rice stitches for the texture, but it turned out that they had too much texture and looked heavy and lumpy at this scale. I wanted to have something that looked light and airy, the way the eyelets would have looked, but I didn't want to do plain old cross stitches.

But upright crosses . . . hmmm . . . they looked light and airy . . . and could be interpreted as stars . . . so  I went with upright crosses. And I like them!

So, back to work--a few hours of flower and then on to Christmas stitching!