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, December 31, 2022

Happy New Year's Eve!

 Tonight will be the ceremonial dumping of the Ort Jar. As I doubt I'll be awake at midnight, I'm posting the photo of this year's early:

It is almost full to the top, and it's been tamped down.

However, I have fewer finishes this year than I have had in awhile. That doesn't mean my stitching time was reduced this year--not at all. What it means is that I've stuck my needle in a lot of things but haven't finished many of them. My stitcher's ADHD has been worse than usual. It's more than a little embarrassing to admit that there are about thirty projects sitting in my corner. Unfinished projects. That's too many. Way too many.

I better get busy. Starting right now!

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Glitter, so much glitter

 I have all the chipping done!! And it's so shiny!

And it's so shiny! and so wonky!

I think my template shifted when I was transferring the center design, and then I accidentally pushed the purl purl awry when I was chipping. I thought about trying to fix it, but I have to use the rough purl used for the chips on another motif. I was a little concerned about having enough--so I left it and decided it's a perfect example of how not to set up the motif.

So, hopefully, that means that I'll do the next motif better.

I do not believe that I would be a graduate of the Royal School of Needlework without a lot more practice. A lot more practice . . . 

Monday, December 26, 2022

Chipping away

 We're slowly moving back into our regularly scheduled programming, although it still feels a bit like the North Pole around here. And that meant that I spent part of Christmas Day stitching.

I'm going to spend some time this week finishing up the motifs for the online Goldwork class I'm taking. I have some breathing room since the second term doesn't start for another few weeks, and I will probably take advantage of that time.

Right now, I'm chipping. In chipping, you cut a length of metal thread into teeny bits (aka chips) and then sew them in a random pattern on the surface. It is tedious. It's very pretty, but it's tedious. And slow. And tedious. But pretty.

I have been thinking that maybe it would work best if I do about an hour of chipping, then do something else for the rest of the day.

Like maybe have a belated Christmas Day dinner.

We always have our holiday feasts on days other than the designated holidays. A lot of that has to do with the work schedules of various family members, who always seem to have to work either the actual day or the days right before and after. Travel is involved as well, so it seems to work out best if we accommodate. But it leaves us feeling a little discombobulated.

This year, Dearly Beloved and I decided we would have our own feast on Christmas Day, a turkey and special side dishes. We bought the frozen bird and put it in the frig to thaw. A week ago, longer than the amount of time a bird that size should take.

Apparently the polar vortex that has hit the country also hit the refrigerator. We pulled the turkey out yesterday, and it was still frozen hard in places, and still pretty stiff in the rest of it. So, it went back in.

We had meatloaf.

I believe we should just go with the usual program and stay discombobulated in the future.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Christmas Eve

I gave myself a Christmas present--I finished all the motifs for the first term of the Deep Dive into Stumpwork class. Everything is now attached and stitched!

 I'm still not happy with the first needlelace motif, but I am ecstatic about the second!

Tension is  still a little wonky but it's ever so much better than previous attempts, so it's staying right where it's stitched.

This leaves the Goldwork to catch up on during the coming week. 

Meanwhile, we're all bundled up and waiting for the end of the Arctic Blast. Faucets are dripping in hopes that we avoid burst pipes, and I have on my heaviest turtleneck and sweatshirt--not very cheery. Thus far, though, we still have power and heat. Alas, BDE and her housemates have neither. The mother of one of her housemates has opened her doors, and they, along with the three kitties, have decamped. The humans are all dealing well, the kitties are traumatized and are being very vocal about it.

So, I'm counting my blessings--and keeping my fingers crossed!

Friday, December 23, 2022

Christmas Eve Eve

 The wind is howling and the arctic blast is blasting--the temperature dropped five degrees in half an hour--and I am wearing so many layers that it's quite possible that I can't put my arms down (shout out to "A Christmas Story").

And I haven't stitched in several days, a situation I plan to rectify right after lunch this afternoon. Too many other things happen this time of the year, but I'm feeling the lack.

And there is impetus to thread a needle. The last of my Christmas presents arrived last night, just when I had almost given up on their ever showing up.

I love Kate Barlow's designs, and she has an Etsy shop, and I found it, and that's all it took.

For next year's Christmas tree, the Christmas Rose.

For my continued obsession with all embroidery from the 17th century, a tiny little 17th century Stork.

I am being very disciplined, however. I have things I need to complete by the end of the year. Please keep in mind that there isn't anything that says I can't start on them, but I've been poking needles in lots of things this year with very few projects completed to show for my efforts. I'm ready to have some finishes, and the only way to have them is to be disciplined.

I've always rebelled agains discipline. This may be tough.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

One Made It!

 One new ornament made it on the tree this year, and, as expected, it was Barbara Jackson's.

What can I say? I do love me some Barbara Jackson!

I do have others that I need to stitch and I may try to do an ornament a month next year to see how many I can add to next year's tree. But I believe I'll do a Scarlett and think about that tomorrow--or the day after.

I didn't stitch last night because we watched Three Pines, based on Louise Penney's Inspector Gamache books. I think we'll probably be bingeing that over the next couple of evenings. It is very good, and Alfred Molina is spectacular in the role.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Circling back around

I decided how I want to spend the rest of my stitching time in 2022.

This week, I want to finish up a couple of ongoing projects. Next week, I want to set up several more things for the beginning of 2023.

At the same time, I want to work on one of my many workshop pieces from this past year. So, yesterday, I pulled out Dear Heart and started stitching the roses for the back of the needleroll that will fit inside the box.

I think I have about 6 1/2 roses left to do, then I can start filling in the leaves. This would be a perfect stitch-in project, actually, but those aren't starting up again until after the New Year, and I'm really ready to get this one moving along.

I'm sure I can find something else to work on during the stitch-ins!

Sunday, December 18, 2022

The Big 7 - 0

 Yup, it's my birthday. And it's my seventieth one. Goodness Gracious, I am old.

I thought about just letting it go by without mention, but I couldn't. Actually, I feel very blessed to get here; I've lost so many dear friends who didn't. It's like every minute henceforth is a gift, whether I'm here for 15 more minutes or 15 more years. And I'm looking forward to more adventures, even if my wonky knees and bad back don't allow me to bustle around as I once did!

Those adventures will include needlework, of course, especially since a lovely package from the UK came just in time for my birthday.

The Pekok Glove from Jenny Adin-Christie arrived. I have been eagerly anticipating this project since I saw some of Jenny's sketches and first stitches on Facebook and Instagram--and finally, the kits were available.

Opening one of Jenny's kits is like a birthday and Christmas all together:

There are a lot of moving parts in her designs, and every section has its own labeled bag of goodies. I understand that Jenny's mum is the chief kit packager, and she does a miraculous job of putting it all together.

Am I going to dive right in? It is tempting--oh, so tempting!--but I also want to clear the stitching decks before the end of the year. I have exciting things waiting for me in 2023, and I want to be ready for all of them.

(We'll see how long my will power holds out.)

Friday, December 16, 2022

Oldie but Goodie

 I spent most of the day yesterday mixing up cookie dough and decluttering and making a honey-do list for Dearly Beloved so I could get him out of the house for awhile. 

Finally I flopped in the wing chair for the evening, realized I needed something to stitch, hopped back up, and looked for something to do.

And my oldest WIP popped into my hands. I may have mentioned that I started this crewel piece four or five decades ago. I'm very close to a finish, so it's now residing in my corner.

Last night I got part of the stem and most of a leaf stitched.

I'm getting a little concerned about the amount of dark green I have left. I have a humongous leaf that uses that shade, so I may skip from the stem to that leaf and get it done as quickly as possible.

This makes me think of people who are about to run out of gas and drive faster so they can get to the station before their tanks are empty. I don't know that stitching faster will increase the amount of yarn I have--and since the company who created it went out of business years and years ago, I will have to punt if I don't have enough--but this should be a reminder to get things done sooner rather than later.

Much later . . . 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

A Wee Tiny Sampler

 Last night I finished the stitching on the tiniest band sampler I've ever done:

There are 77 bands on the sampler, each a variation on cross stitch or herringbone or cashmere or Queen--and I'm sure I left out something. The whole thing measures about 2 1/2" by 9 1/4".

This has been my after-dinner, before-bedtime project, and I was amazed by how much I got done and how quickly it went. Then it occurred to me that I usually have about three hours in the evening, and those hours add up quickly. So, I may continue to keep a project by my chair, just for that time of day.

This, of course, now joins the things in the finishing basket. The finishing basket is currently upstairs, out of sight and consequently, out of mind, while the Christmas tree is taking up its usual corner.

So, along with mixing up a batch of cookie dough for the cookies that have to chill overnight, and dusting and vacuuming the living room for our family get-together on Saturday, I need to think about finishing (if I spent as much time finishing as I spend thinking about finishing, that basket would be empty) and I need to decide on the next evening stitching project.

It's a full day ahead!

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Epic. Fail.

 Well, I signed into my online stump work class feeling quite comfortable. I've been stitching needlelace for decades. To be quite honest, I can't pull from the mists of memory whether I was introduced to it by Jane Zimmerman or Rae Iverson, but it was years and years ago.

And I sat in class and I Could.Not.Get.My.Tension.Right. 

It's a mess. I tired taking it out, and the Perle cotton started fraying and unraveling. I started fraying and unraveling along with it.

Now, this is a piece of needlelace I've done for another project. It's tiny, only about 1 1/2" long.

It occurred to me while I was struggling with size 5 Perle Cotton that I've always done needlelace with a much smaller thread. So, I think I'm going to dig into my size 12 Perle cotton stash to see if I have a color or two that will work with the other shades I have in this project and redo both of these samples with a smaller thread. It will take a lot more time, but, hey, I'm retired! What do I have but time?

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Flower petals

 I finished a flower for my Stumpwork class yesterday.

The petals on the flower are attached only at the base, which made this an interesting thing to stitch. Luckily, we had several practice bits to do to become accustomed to the needle weaving. There is also a leaf to the right of the flower that uses a really unique technique to create--if you have one of the RSN Stumpwork Guides, you can find the directions for doing this type of leaf--believe it or not, it's made with a series of thread loops worked over a tiny piece of cardboard.

I also made slips yesterday. They are embroideries that are applied to another surface. I need to do the application part, and then I will show that. I'm just a little nervous about cutting them out. Oh, heck, who am I fooling--I'm very nervous about cutting them out. 

Last week during our online session, someone asked if there could be a class for working these bitty motifs with pudgy fingers. It was not me who asked, but I seconded the motion!

Anyway, today we will have the last online session for this term, and we will be working on two different types of needlelace. My plan is to get the needlelace stitched and all the stuff that needs to be attached to the main piece done tomorrow, so this will be complete. Then I have just two of the Goldwork sessions to catch up on, and the piece for this term of Goldwork will be complete. 

Monday, December 12, 2022

God Bless Us, Every One

 This year's ornament from Barbara Jackson is completely stitched.

As soon as the finishing lesson is posted, this is going to be assembled and hung on the tree.

I realized that I have two other ornaments designed for 2022 to stitch, with yet another one on its way to me. And less than two weeks til Christmas. Hmmmmmmmm--don't think they'll all adorn the tree this year.

There's always next year!

Sunday, December 11, 2022

All in a day

 When your computer has to go back to the Genius Bar . . . again . . . and you have most of the day without it, you can get a lot done.

I worked on Barbara Jackson's 2022 ornament and almost stitched the whole thing. In one day.

I just have to finish the saying and do the bottom border and this will be ready to be assembled as soon as the finishing instructions are posted. Actually, the stitching directions haven't been posted yet, but I've done so many of Barbara's ornaments that I can usually do the embroidery without that part of the online class.

Meanwhile, I'm still putting things back on the computer that the re-installation removed. This is the first time in over three decades of owning Macs that we've had a problem, and I have to say, the Genius Bar people who have helped us have gone over and above to get things straightened out.

I still maintain that I'd rather stitch than deal with technology.

Friday, December 9, 2022

the frosting on the needlework

 Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy--the most recent Frostings box arrived from Thistle Threads!

And it had so many goodies that the box wouldn't hold them all.

And what is a Frostings box, you ask? 

Tricia Nguyễn of Thistle Threads has offered these collections of threads periodically since she opened her Cabinet of Curiosities course for casket makers and embroiderers who get all tingly over lovely and different threads. For the most part, they are based on the materials that 17th century girls would have had access to when creating their caskets--or treasure boxes. The contents are always unique--and I have been known to order multiple Frostings boxes when the contents are particularly swoon-worthy.

And since I'm all into the sparkly at the moment, there are several containers in this particular Frostings box that made my heart go pitty-pat.

There are a couple of bags of attachments--I think I'll use beads to hold them to the surface--and four little boxes of amazing, sparkling, metal threads. I wish you could see them in real life--they are amazing.

I have absolutely no idea what I will do with them. None whatsoever. But I think I need more.

(Tricia opens the shop several times a year. I think the last day for this quarter is today, and I think there are a few Frostings boxes left. Never say I don't do my best to enable!

Thursday, December 8, 2022

This is a test

The computer went to the Genius Bar, where it was determined that the updates we had just updated were causing problems--so the previous operating system was reinstalled--except they "inadvertently" deleted all my bookmarks, so I'm going to have to reconstruct that. And there are a couple of other things that don't seem to be working quite as they should . . . so we go back to the Genius Bar on Saturday morning.

I love technology when it works.

Anyway, this is a test to see if I can load pictures and publish a blog.

This is one of the lessons from the Goldwork Deep Dive class I'm taking. As you can see, we're doing the very basics in this term.

And a motif from the Stumpwork Deep Dive class--again, we're covering the basics. Primarily, we've looked at different types of padding, but this shows how the stitches themselves can provide texture. I've been referring to this as my Seuss plant, maybe something the Whos down in Whoville might grow in their gardens.

Can you tell the Grinch has been on my holiday viewing list? 

I'm gong to hit "publish" and see if this works.  Deep breath . . . 

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Well, Phooey

 I wanted to get back to almost daily posting, but technology has jumped in my way. I can't get the computer to import my photos so I can show what I'm writing about--there was an upgrade to the computer and I have a feeling that it altered the way I'm supposed to deal with pictures.

Or my camera is now too old to communicate with the new computer.

There is a trip to the Apple Store in my near future. Until then, radio silence, I guess.


Friday, December 2, 2022

Another sparkly bit

 I'm still working to catch up on the lessons in my deep dive in Goldwork class, and here's another sparkly bit:

I'm reasonably happy with the square and unreasonably unhappy with the leaf. I don't like my miters on it at all, but having taken out and put in little bits of wire numerous times, I think I know now what I should have done.

But I don't want to do it again, so I'm leaving it. For now. Maybe.

I had plans (notice that having plans means the death knell for any activity) to work on the next two motifs today. However, Dearly Beloved and I seem to have come down with a bug, and neither of us had a restful night. I do not believe that dealing with metal threads and a sharp needle is a good idea. Ginger ale and crackers, now that's a good idea!

Thursday, December 1, 2022

December? Already?

 I am not quite sure what has happened to 2022. I think it just started a couple of weeks ago, and here it is, December already.

I don't know quite what I've been doing the last few days, either. It has been taken up with Domestic Diva activities, but I'm still trying to see what I've accomplished. It seems to have been a two-steps-forward-three-steps-back process--but then, Christmas prep always seems to strike me that way!

What I haven't accomplished is much time with my needle. I plan to rectify that today.

I did get one more section for Be Still My Heart finished:

These two little squares will be assembled into pin cushions that sit on top of Be Still's box.

And the angel holding down the upper left corner? She keeps leaping off the Christmas tree. She's quite a rebellious little ornament--and I'm thinking she may just have to sit by my chair for the next few days until she can learn to behave herself.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Black Friday

 I am not shopping today. Actually, I am doing very little today--the tree is up and (mostly) decorated and I decided to enjoy it instead of bustling around.

We had a quiet day yesterday since we'd already had our family Thanksgiving. I spent most of the afternoon making these tiny things that look a little like pink tadpoles.

We learned four different ways to wrap wire for the stumpwork class I'm taking. They are majorly fiddly, but I do believe this us a very useful technique. The basic wrapped wires are frequently used to make hands in stumpwork pieces. I did the tendrils with three different twists as an experiment to see which I liked the best, then decided that each one could serve a different purpose. We also learned how to add beads--and I do not believe I want to have that experience again--no, wait, maybe I do. The last technique works over twisted wire. I think maybe adding beads to a twisted wire could look like a branch with spring buds on it. 

Anyway, my hands were not very happy--you have to hold everything very tightly while wrapping, and I do have touch of arthritis in my fingers--and that may be another reason to let them rest today.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Back to our Regularly Scheduled Programming

 The last week was full of cleaning and cooking and company--and then there was the let-down after all the cleaning and cooking and company were over--and I'm finally getting back to normal. We have a few weeks before we go through all that again, so we stepping back into our rut.

There has been some stitching:

A few more rows on the mini-sampler that will fit into the drawer in Be Still My Heart. Again, this is really mini--the rows are worked over two threads. Looking ahead, I believe there may be a new rows worked over three. I don't think they will look any larger--but then again, I don't believe I've ever worked a sampler quite this delicate.

One of the pin cushions that will sit on top of Be Still is almost done. When I get the other stitched, I think I'll go ahead and assemble them. The insides for the big drawer are done already--and I'm thinking that putting parts together as I stitch them may be the way to overcome some of the finishing phobias I have.

And there has been some stash enhancement. Rachael Kinnison's 2022 limited edition ornament arrived. She has a few kits left . . . 

Just look at all those luscious filament silks!

Of course, I am now on my sugar scrub/heavy duty hand creme regimen, since filament silks will snag on anything the least bit rough on your hands.

At the moment, I am thinking I may start some Christmas ornament stitching. Do I believe I'll get this done in time for Christmas? Probably not, but I may be able to get my Alison Cole and Barbara Jackson ornaments done, and a good start on this. Maybe if I focus on ornaments and my online classes and don't get distracted by something else . . . well, we'll see, won't we?

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Sparkly Stuff

 I didn't mean to drop from view for several days, but I've been catching up with the Deep Dive into Goldwork class I'm taking online from Sara Rickard.

This is what I've done in the first half of the first term.

It may not look like much, but it's literally hours of stitching.

I am a very slow stitcher, and I generally don't get much done during the actual class. I've found that I do much better if I watch the class, then stitch, referring back to the taped lesson as I work. Each class goes into great detail on how to work the steps involved in that week's assignment--including the angle of the needle as it's inserted into the fabric.

Sara is a phenomenal teacher, one of the best I've ever had--and I've taken a lot of classes over the years, both face-to-face and online. She not only tells you what to do, but why to do it that way. If there's an alternate method, she also demonstrates it, then tells us which method she prefers and why she does.

We're really covering the basics during this first term--padding with felt, both single and multiple layers, and with soft string. I've learned a lot about both. I also recognize that my soft string padding isn't great, but I know what I can do to improve it the next time I try. We've also learned how to couch gold threads and fill in shapes with couching. Again, I know how I can improve mine the next time I use that technique.

I'm also taking Sara's Deep Dive into Stumpwork class, and I have a couple of class motifs to work for that. I'll show that one when I'm caught up with it.

Meanwhile, I will be spending the next couple of days cooking and cleaning. We're having Thanksgiving early as usual, and I keep seeing things I need to do before Saturday. The grocery list has been completed, and Dearly Beloved is going on a hunting and gathering expedition. So I may be off the grid again for a couple of days until we go back to our normal rut.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Eye Candy 3

Last but not least:

 Based on Japanese family crests, Jane Nicholas has designed a series of stumpwork and goldwork projects. They really are eye candy:

Meanwhile, I still have two motifs from my online goldwork class that I need to couch and plunge, then I have a motif from the stumpwork class to work, and I will be completely caught up with both classes.

Just in time for more classes on Monday and Tuesday.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Eye Candy 2

 The next addition to my needlework library is Jenny Adin-Christie's Fine Whitework book, written to coincide with the Royal School of Needlework's 150th anniversary.

And it is very fine, indeed!

Whitework is one of those needlework disciplines I wish I had started to explore twenty years ago when eyes and hands were more cooperative. However, I think I can try some of the techniques in the book--if you've ever stitched one of Jenny's projects, you know how detailed her directions are.

I may not get good enough to do a creditable job on this:

but I can definitely admire the skill! And I think I can do some of the other, easier projects in the book, with Jenny's directions to guide me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Eye Candy

I bought myself some books for Christmas this year, and this is the first--simply full of eye candy for the stitcher.

 Every couple of years, Inspirations magazine publishes a collection of lovely needlework projects, and this is the most recent addition.

Yes, I would like to stitch my way from cover to cover, but this is my favorite:

Alison Cole--stitched flowers--totally free-standing, dimensional embroidery. Just amazing!

Meanwhile, I am still working on couching and plunging gold threads on my online goldwork class. I made the mistake of counting the ends on the simplest motif--there are 28 of them The other motifs have more. My fingers and hands require a break periodically, so this going to take awhile.

It's a learning experience. I am also learning patience. At least I hope I'm learning patience and the embroidery hoop won't become a Frisbee before I finish.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

More teeny-tiny, itty-bitty stitches

 To keep myself from doing all the border stitches for the pin cushions for Be Still My Heart, I looked around to see what else I could get myself into trouble with.

There is a sampler roll that will fit into one of the compartments in Be Still, so I rummaged around and found a scroll frame that is the right size, sewed the linen to the bars, and started on the first of the bands of border stitches in the sampler.

And, oh my, they are teeny!

The sampler itself is only about 2 1/4" wide, and each band is only two threads high.

And there are 77 bands.

I believe I will be working on this for awhile.

Monday, November 7, 2022

I didn't mean to . . .

 I was going to save the side panels for Be Still My Heart's pin cushions for stitch-ins and Zoom meetings, just like Robin suggested a couple of days ago.

Somehow, all four sides of the first pin cushion and one of the next have been stitched.

Ok, Ok, I have a rationalization. I got a couple of lessons behind on both of my online classes, and I've been working to catch up. I'm doing techniques I have not done before in both classes, so I have to concentrate and focus and pay attention to what I'm doing--I have wondered what I was thinking of to do both classes simultaneously--OH! I remember--they were both offered at the same time and I wanted to do both, so there you go--anyway, by the time I finish the part I want to do each morning, I need something relatively easy and well within my skill level to work on.

And this has repeated patterns and no counting to speak of and the colors are soothing and I like the design, so this is the project I'm doing to allow my brain to cool off after the morning stitching.

I've been asked to show what I'm doing in the online classes, and I will show you my work at the end of each of the three terms. As long as you promise not to look too closely . . . 

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Getting it done

 Before I could proceed with the sewing roll that fits Dear Heart, I had to stitch the vines that are the basis for the design on the exterior panel.

And I quibbled and delayed.

The chart is tiny. (whine, whine, whine)

It's dark thread on a dark background. (whine, whine, whine)

It's going to take a lot of counting and recounting. (whine, whine, whine)

I finally hitched up the Granny panties, turned on a strong light, and did it. And actually, it wasn't that hard to see the chart or the dark thread on the dark background, and I only counted everything twice just to make sure I counted accurately the first time.

I haven't quite decided if I'm going to start adding the roses to the vines or if I'll do something else today. Actually, what I should do is clear off the bed in BDE's former bedroom so she'll have a place to sleep when she comes home for the holidays. And that will send me down a rabbit hole for sure, since that's where I have a lot of stash waiting for me to stitch. That is a major distraction--but I do have an extra hour today to play!

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Itsy-Bitsy, Teensy-Weensy

The pin cushions are outlined, so I started the border stitches that will go around the sides.

 I love the texture, I love the look, and I love the fact that I will have a good project for the weekly stitch-ins. It helps to have something easy to stitch, since the conversations are so interesting!

Now I think I will alternate between this and setting up the rose clusters on my other current set of smalls, maybe do a day on each.

I wonder sometimes why these accessory pieces are generally lumped under the heading of "smalls." I have projects that have taken longer to stitch than some samplers. Occasionally I also ask myself just how many smalls and etuis and sewing boxes I need. I think the answer has to do with "want" rather than "need." And the answer is that I simply love little boxes and baskets fitted out with all kinds of toys.

My version of a second childhood.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Well Worth the Wait

 Last January, Jackie du Plessis offered some retired teaching pieces for sale to her Facebook friends.

I succumbed.

However, demand was higher than expected, and the supply chain is still slow as molasses for embroidery supplies. I suppose there are things considered more vital than linens and silks and ribbons, although, to a stitcher, those are quite necessary. Anyway, it's been a long wait--and there is still another kit I ordered waiting for supplies--but three of them have arrived.

A Case for Color--loads of different stitches, actually a sampler of different stitches--that will contain an accordion case for skeins of silk--and, oh, those rich reds and greens!

Floret Etui and Slipper--this folds into a "purse" to hold stitching essentials, and the slipper becomes a thimble holder--soft pinks and greens and floral designs--all appealing to the prissy part of my personality.

Nancy's Nécessaire--another etui with a fascinating construction--and again, those pretty floral garlands.

I do believe I'll have enough to do while I waiting for the fourth kit to arrive. Yesterday I worked on lessons from the online goldwork class and did more outlining for the pin cushions for Be Still My Heart. I plan to do the same today. I think my mojo is definitely coming back!

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Ghost Stitching

There is an outline, partially worked, to set up a pin cushion for Be Still My Heart.

 When you stitch white on cream, you get a ghost. Maybe I should have stitched this on Halloween?

Today I am working on motifs for the two online classes I'm taking, then maybe I'll stitch the rest of this invisible outline.  Or maybe I'll get into some other trouble. I have decided I am spending the day with needle in hand. I'm overdue for a stitching day, and I need it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2022


 I started on the sewing roll for Dear Heart:

This swirly, whirly thing is a vine that becomes the basis for a cluster of roses. There are six of these on the outside of the sewing roll.

They are not symmetrical, they are more organic--which is another way of saying that they're not all that easy to count. So, until I get them all stitched in, this project will not be attending our weekly EGA stitch-ins with me.

I took another project with me, one which I have not touched since April or May. I spent most of the time at the stitch-in figuring out where I was and what I was doing the last time I worked on it. By the time I had it all figured out, it was time to come home.

And the plumber is here to work on the broken pipe under the kitchen sink. I need to distract Dearly Beloved so the plumber can take care of it without supervision and extraneous conversation.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Back on the Grid

 For a variety of reasons, my stitching mojo ran away and would not come back--so I took some time off from stitching and blogging. Sometimes, it's best not to force things.

Not that I haven't had plenty of inspiration--I've had a couple of very good mail weeks, and I'll show you what arrived over the next few days as I ease back into my usual routine.

I make it sound like I haven't picked up a needle at all--but I have. I've been working on my online classes, and I finally got all the leaves for the inside of the lid for the box for Dear Heart worked.

Sorry for the photo. It's a gray and gloomy day, so no natural light for a decent photo.

I have started the sewing roll that will live inside the box--right now, what I have is about a mile and a half of back stitches that will outline the edge of the roll and create part of the assembly. Another half a mile, and I can start stitching the garlands of roses that will adorn the outside of the piece. And then there are pretty little pockets that will hold thread winders for the inside of the roll. 

I do not know why people call sewing accessories "smalls" when there is absolutely nothing small about any of it!

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Oh, Christmas Tree

While I was out-of-whack this week, good things arrived on the doorstep. This is one of them:

 Alison Cole has been designing annual Christmas ornaments for awhile, and I have a number of them in my stash. But this year, by golly, I plan to get this one stitched and on the tree.

I figure that after getting two projects assembled in one week, I can start something new. 

Actually, I do not need a reason to start something new. You may have noticed.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Finished and Done In

Age and decrepitude did me in this week. I threw my back out--again--so it has not been the most productive time since I couldn't sit or stand comfortably. So I took a pill and went to bed until the muscles unkinked.

Barely was I able to totter again when Dearly Beloved dragged me off to get my flu shot, and I had a relatively mild reaction--about six hours of chills and a low grade fever--but it also interfered with holding a needle in my hand.

However, I was finally able to do a wee bit of finishing and the Tasmanian Needle Tidy is assembled.

Here's the outside with the fob  Betsy Morgan has a signature fob finish, which includes a luxurious tassel. My tassel looks scraggly, and I think it's going to be reworked. Or maybe left off completely. Sometimes tassels get in the way.

Here's the inside. I do love the pocket that says "Odds and Ends." It's just the right size for a pack of needles and a small pair of scissors.

As soon as I decide what to do with that tassel on the fob.

Monday, October 17, 2022


So I got the double-running framework for my next band on the Tudor Band sampler finished yesterday.

 There are now acorns floating in mid-air as well. There are more double-running stems that extend from the acorns, so it made sense to get the acorns in place. Once I get those stems stitched in, then it will make the placement for leaves and flowers easier.

At least, that's the plan!