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, April 30, 2022

Moving along

Today I stitched the top of the pincushion that will fit into the big drawer in Be Still My Heart.

 This means that I have all the parts done so I can construct the insert for the drawer.

Finishing again . . . I love the stitching part of smalls, I love having the finished project. It's that pesky part in the middle that I do not love.

BDE was complaining because she has two stitched projects that now need to be assembled. Should I admit to her that I have a couple of baskets of unfinished smalls? Probably not . . . I believe I need to just hitch up the Granny panties and empty at least one of them out.

Oh, and that means put the projects in it together, not just dump it out to see what's in it . . .

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Deja Vu all over again

If this looks very familiar, it probably is.

Every single, solitary stitch needed to complete the last panel for Behold Thy Beauty is done. 

I am going to take the linen off the scroll frame, cut the panels apart, and stow them away in their project bag until I go to Sassy Jack's in July. There, I will audit the class so I can figure out what the notes I took several years ago mean, and put the etui together.

I do have an edging stitch to work on a separate piece. Apparently I started it in class, but I'm going to have to doodle a little to figure out exactly how I did it then so I can continue to do it now.

I have directions for four small accessory pieces, plus the stitching tray, that go with the etui. All of them have variations on this basic design. I had been thinking I would go ahead and knock them out while I have this project bag handy and the design in my head.

Then I decided I need a vacation from this particular design, so I'll work on a few other things before I circle back. My Stitcher' ADD is really starting to jump up and down, so it's time to move on.


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

A couple of hours

 I haven't been retired so long that I've forgotten what day it is, and this is definitely not Sampler Sunday.

However, once a month, I have a two hour Zoom class, and I have found that I listen better if my hands are busy. I didn't want to work on anything that required constant referral to a chart, or, Heaven forbid, accurate counting--but I could do satin stitch to fill in motifs.

So I got most of the double running on the current band of Hannah Thornbush completed, and I spent my time in class filling in satin stitch.

I think this was also a good exercise to determine exactly how much I can accomplish with two hours of consistent stitching. The answer is, more than I expected but not as much as I would like.

And this is another place on this project in which I wish we had been given a chart that showed all the bands together. This was an online class, and we only received the charts for the bands we were to work on for that particular lesson. The row to show where to place this band in relationship to the previous one isn't always clear, and I do believe I am a stitch or two farther to the left than I should be.

I have also decided I don't care and I'm not ripping it out. So there!

(I can hear generations of school teachers and perfectionist ancestors gasping in dismay. Alas, I am being contrary once again!)

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Real Life

Since the last time I wrote, Real Life has intruded on my stitching life, so there's been very little to report.

However, I've made a start on the next band of Hannah Thornbush, a rather pathetic start, but at least it's a start.

And there was a little stitched into Behold Thy Beauty:

This is the part of the pattern where the repetition starts to get to me. I think I'm going to move to working one strand every day or two until it's done.

And I think I'll have to employ the same tactic for this lovely accessory piece. I do want to get this stitched and assembled, simply because it will make displaying the etui and accessories so much easier.

So, onward and upward. I have one more day of Real Life--a dentist appointment to do the final steps after a root canal tomorrow--and then I hope and pray that I can go back to the schedule I set up months ago.

Or, I could work on some finishing. Or start a new project.  Checking things off my to-do list doesn't seem to be very successful, so I may as well try to be flexible!

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Second (or Third) Verse, Same as the First

 For the next several days, you may be visited by a sense of deja vu, because what I'm hoping to work on is a repeat of a pattern previously stitched. Previously stitched twice, as a matter of fact.

When I worked the dividing band on Behold Thy Beauty, it occurred to me that I had this one section to stitch, and a decorative edge stitch on another piece, and the five panels of embroidery for the bag part of this set would be complete. This would be very good, since I'm going to audit the class at Sassy Jack's this summer to go over the finishing directions again.

So here's the start for the last piece of the bag:

By no means is the last time this design will be repeated.  A kit for a stitched tray was available for purchase when I took the class originally--which means this band pattern will need to be stitched another four times.

Maybe I'll have it memorized by the time I start that.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Mindlessly stitching

 There wasn't much sleeping last night.

After about four hours in bed, the Very Bad Knee decided to let me know that it disapproved of the change in weather, which is causing lower temps and rain. It started throbbing. Then the Not Quite As Bad Knee and the hip on that side didn't want the Very Bad Knee to have all the fun--and they joined in. This meant that I spent the remainder of the night trying to find a comfortable position. On those times when I dozed off for a few, I had weird dreams. I finally gave up and got up.

But this means that Harmony, which I had planned hoped to work on today was off the list of today's activities. Too much decision-making and skill required for that one--so I needed something mindless.

I don't have many mindless projects in the current pile of projects.

However, Behold Thy Beauty has another section that needed a dividing band worked, and the design on it is almost all cross stitch over one. That's the easiest stitching in the pile, so that's what I've been doing this afternoon.

I have been thinking about starting the vine, but I'm not entirely sure I can remember how to count. I may try it--or I could doze in my chair for a few minutes to see if that helps.

Dozing sounds good. And if you wonder why I haven't taken a nap--basically, when I take a nap, I generally wake up crankier than I was when I went back to bed--and then I can't sleep at night again. I used to be able to nap and loved long Sunday afternoons reading and sleeping. This is another thing that my increasing age and decrepitude have changed. Phooey!

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Back to the schedule

 It's been ages since I had a Sampler Sunday, so, to celebrate Easter, I decided to get back to my routine.

I'm so close to having the rest of the detached buttonhole on the strawberries done. If I weren't going cross-eyed working on them, I would have kept on, but I decided it was time to take a stroll and blow the cobwebs out and give my eyes a different focal point. I'll get back to them once I finish this post.

There was also a little more done on Dear Heart yesterday.

Jackie's flowers looked so smooth and even. Mine do not, despite spending a couple of hours doodling. I finally decided I'm doing an adaptation--funny how that keeps happening--and I have roses, which are never exactly the same. Otherwise, I don't think this would ever get done, especially since there are 37 bazillion roses on the project.

I believe I can live with it.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Trying . . .

 For the last two mornings, I've hopped tottered out of bed, delighted that there was nothing pressing and I could stitch all day. All day.

And, for the last two days, life has jumped in the way with things that seemed to take priority to other people, and that meant that I didn't get to stitch all day.

I'm a wee bit frustrated.

But I have done the outlines for the two structural pieces that make up the innards of Dear Heart, and the double sided tape Jackie recommended for attaching the innards to the box has arrived, so tomorrow I hope to stitch all day--and maybe do some finishing, too.

I just have to stitch vines and flowers on this framework before I can start assembling:

Just so you know, Baby Girl BDE has started her own blog. You can see what she's up to at

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

It was an Impulse

 It has been noted that I like shiny things. And I ran across a designer I hadn't seen before, and she is selling shiny gold work needlework, and I was weak and succumbed to temptation.

I succumbed to temptation three times. You may notice.

The order was filled almost immediately and made it from the UK in about a week, which was nothing short of amazing. In case you would also like to succumb to temptation, the designer's name is Sheila Knight and the name of her Etsy shop is SMKEmbroidery.

Normally I would dive right in, but I am still recovering from the trip. I still can't figure out how riding in a car can be so tiring. Maybe it was riding in a car for long distances four times in a little over a week.

I expect to be back to normal by next week.

Dearly Beloved just asked how I defined normal. He is now going to cook dinner as penance.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Wonderful Things

I'm home again, from another enjoyable weekend at Salty Yarns. I have two new Jackie du Plessis projects to stitch, and I spent the drive here planning my approach to both. 

I believe that I will get the "innards" of both finished and installed, then move on to working on the sewing rolls and other goodies that will live in each--so more to add to the schedule (NOT rotation).

And, while I was gone, the kit for a class with Catherine Theron through the Orange Coast Sampler Guild arrived, along with a needle minder commemorating the 30th anniversary of the group:

Since the beginning of the year, I have added a total of three projects from Jackie, two from Catherine, and the Jane Bostocke sampler--and there's more to come. I believe I need to get stitching!

By the way, it has come to my attention that Baby Girl is years out of university. She has become a self-supporting, self-sustaining, mortgage-paying adult, delightful company under almost every circumstance. Yes, I am very proud of her, but perhaps I should stop calling her Baby Girl on the blog. Henceforth (at least when I remember to do it), she shall be known as Best Daughter Ever (BDE, for short).

All other family I.D.'s will remain the same.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

lovin' it

I have made it back to Salty Yarns for another class with Jackie, and I am loving it.

 We are outfitting a beautiful tiger maple box.  I have managed to line the bottom of the box, and I've made a paper mock-up of the stitching roll that will live in it, and I did a rose on a doodle cloth today.  This may not sound like much to a non-stitcher, but by the time I got the mock-up finished, my head had exploded and I needed a nap. Luckily, this was a good stopping point for the class, so we'll get back to work tomorrow.

I love coming to Salty Yarn for classes--probably have mentioned this a time or twenty.  Not only do we have superb hospitality from Sara and Mary and their crews, the people who attend classes here are delightful.  And helpful. I left my roll of Scotch tape and some other things that I knew I might need sitting on the kitchen table at home. Not a problem--my tablemates were generous and sharing and took care of me.

It's always wonderful when your tribe expands, and the workshops that Salty offers is the reason mine has grown.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022


I stayed up very late last night, and got up earlier than perhaps I should this morning, but I finished reading the new C.S.Harris Sebastian St Cyr book, "When Blood Lies."

I still have on my nightie and robe, I haven't done a thing to pack or otherwise get ready to leave tomorrow, but I have read, virtually non-stop, since the book arrived on my doorstep in the middle of a raging thunderstorm and pouring rain late yesterday afternoon.

I believe I'll go take a nap so I can be semi-awake at sampler guild tonight. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Not quite . . .

 The hope--notice I said "hope" and not "plan"--was to get the interior compartment fitting for Be Still My Heart completed before I head back to Salty Yarns.

Ain't gonna happen.

I almost have the stitching done for the base of the compartment. For some reason, I've been stitching very slowly today. However, I have done all the laundry--which I am putting right back into my suitcase as soon as I fold it up--and I have figured out some breakfast options (we'll have a kitchen) and started putting that tote bag together. I have also consulted with Baby Girl on travel plans.

So things have been accomplished, just not exactly what I had planned . . . er . . . hoped to do.

Monday, April 4, 2022

To and Fro

Once again, I took the computer with every intention of blogging while I was gone. And, as usual, too much was going on--or I was too brain-dead--to sit down and do anything with it.

Dearly Beloved and I got home late yesterday evening from a quick trip to Salty Yarns, where I took another wonderful class from Jackie du Plessis.

 This is called Be Still My Heart. It will have a fitted compartment in the large drawer at the bottom that holds a variety of goodies, and there will be a pincushion on each of the compartments at the top. I've started on the piece that will be the base for the compartments, and the plan is to continue with that.

Until I go back to Salty Yarns at the end of the week for another class with Jackie. This time, Baby Girl is going to be my traveling companion, and I will take a class called Love Letters.

It is true, I stalk Jackie. You may have noticed. I enjoy her classes, and love the finished projects. And as long as the class is within reasonable driving distance, I take advantage of every opportunity.

So, the rest of the year is going to be devoted to Harmony and Jackie classes and Hannah Thornbush. I decided that on the very long drive home yesterday.

The hospitality at Salty, with Sara and Sally and Mary, was superb, as always. It's one of my very favorite places to visit and take classes.

I am beginning to wonder, though, if the last two years of pandemic shutdowns have affected my roadworthiness. I've always loved road trips, the longer the better. However, I'm finding I don't bounce back like I used to. By the time I got home last night, I was creaking!

So, today I need to figure out a way to oil my joints before I settle down to a lovely day of stitching.