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.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Taking Stock

I'm still working on the bits and pieces for Tribute. My usual refrain: Everything takes longer than I think it should, and this is no exception.

Once I get that multicolor stripe across each of the pieces, I need to sew satin ribbon above and below it, then I need to work two more stripes, one above the ribbon sections and one below. It's going to be a wee bit fiddly to keep it straight. Actually, I've been thinking about using Stitch Witchery to hold the ribbons in place, but I'm not sure how that would affect the sheen of the ribbon. I may experiment out in the margin to see what happens.

I realized this morning as I was paying a couple of bills that, OMG, the year is half over. How did that happen?

I also realized

  • I haven't finished anywhere close to the amount of stitching I had planned to have done by now
  • The finishing pile is only getting higher.
  • The downsizing is taking longer than anticipated
  • However, I have become extremely skilled in puttering around while accomplishing little to nothing.

I have decided I need to do better the second half of the year. I don't know how--puttering is fun--but something is going to have to change if I want to finish even a small bit of my stash in this lifetime. I used to be such an efficient person when I worked. I need to remember how I did that! 

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Headaches

We have a new computer. There is a learning curve, since it has some features the previous one didn't, and is missing some features from the old computer we really liked. There will be trips to the Genius Bar in our future. It appears that we will have to purchase additional stuff to do what we could do on the old machine. And I have to find the info that tells me how to link the printer to the new computer.

So I'm still using the old computer temporarily and hoping it doesn't up and die completely before I get all this sorted out. And that's one headache.

The good thing is that I am working on the last dark plum piece of linen for Tribute.

The flash lightens the color of the linen, which is much darker than it appears. The plum shades in the thread are almost the exact same shade as the linen, and that makes it a wee bit difficult to see. That's another headache.

I have to do a total of six repeats of the colors for this piece, and I'm on the second one at the moment. I'm beginning to think it might be a good idea to do one repeat a day and take just a little longer to finish the stitching for this than to try to zoom through. That might alleviate another headache.

And I just had to change needles on this project for the third time. Apparently my body chemistry is quite acidic, and I take the finish off needles. I can generally get through maybe one-and-a-half projects on a needle, but this summer, I have been killing them dead before I get to the halfway point. Good thing I'm going to be at Sassy Jack's next week and can replenish the supply.

Because being a stitcher without a needle would be real headache!

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Just in Case

 The blog may go dark for a few days. We are in the market for a new computer due to the age and decrepitude of the current one--sorta thought maybe we should replace this one before it quits completely.

So if there aren't any posts, I haven't gone anywhere for very long.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Back on Track

In the middle of the night, when I always have thoughts of disaster, I started thinking about how much I still want to stitch before my class week after next, and how things always take much longer than I think they will--so today I went back to Tribute and finished outlining what will become the opening for the bottom of the box.

I have three more pieces of this dark plum linen that I need to stitch, and one more piece of the cream color. I think I need to have the morning light to work on the darker linen. I can always work on the cream under artificial light in the evenings. I think that's the current schedule until I get the embroidery done.

Tonight, though, I have an EGA chapter meeting, which means I likely won't stitch at all. 

I find that very ironic.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

One panel done

 The first panel for the Tasmanian Needle Tidy is complete.


I do love these colors and the delicacy of the design lines. I think I may continue with this one for another day.

Actually, I think I could have finished this panel yesterday, but after spending a loooooooooong time at the doctor's office being poked and prodded and stuck with needles, I was not in the mood. I was in the mood to fall into a vat of chocolate ice cream, but I managed to overcome that impulse. I was unable to overcome the impulse to make a peach cobbler, so that's how I spent my Monday afternoon. I crawled back into my usual rut today.And that is where I'll stay for the rest of the week, other than my EGA chapter meeting tomorrow evening.

Such an exciting life!

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Downright Rebellious

 When I go off the reservation, I really go all the way.

There are supposed to be wallabies on this band of the Tasmanian Needle Tidy.


You may notice that there are flowers instead.

I have nothing against wallabies. I have no particular fondness for them, either. You could consider me wallaby-neutral. And I felt that the overall feeling of this project fits in with the 16th/17th century designs I love--so I repeated the flower motifs.

I believe this is the last of my rebellion for awhile. I'd like to finish working the background around the flowers tonight, then I have an appointment for my annual physical tomorrow. Once I make it through that ordeal, I have no idea what I'll be in the mood for.

Meanwhile, Happy Father's Day to both Dearly Beloved and The Big Kid.

And Happy Anniversary to Dearly Beloved. As of today, we have been married for 46 years. Neither of us is quite sure how that has happened, but we have accomplished it despite ourselves.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

More Misbehavior

I very sternly told myself last night that I would immediately work the nun stitch in the second panel of Tribute as soon as we got home from the Farmers' Market this morning.

I looked at it.

Several times.

And realized I had hit the wall.

So, despite my plans to stay with this until it was done, I am rebelling and working on something else. Actually, I have two full weeks before I go to Sassy Jack's for the workshop, so I may take a week off. I have always done my best work under a deadline. (That's my story and I'm sticking with it.)

So, I am working on something else entirely.

If you look at the date on the piece that's stitched, you will notice it's dated 2020. I was supposed to take this class from Betsy in June of 2020. Well . . . guess what happened to that plan!

I have already decided to hop from thing to thing for the next week and get it out of my system so I can buckle down and finish Tribute.

We'll see if that plan works.

 

Friday, June 17, 2022

Breaking the rules

 I tend to be a rule follower when it comes to my embroidery. I almost always use the threads, or colors, or stitches the designer calls for, simply because I buy the project because I like it.

I made a change on this:

That center block is supposed to be stitched in 100/3.

I tried. I really did. But I could not get stitches that looked even or tension that I was happy with.

I considered that I am still suffering from the heat, although we had storms yesterday that dropped the temp almost 30 degrees in less than an hour--of course, that meant that the rain added more moisture to the air, which has only increased today's humidity level. But I digress.

I finally decided that the 100/3 might be a little too heavy for the count of the linen I was using, added to the interfacing that I was also working through.

Stash to the rescue! I found a silk thread in almost the same shade and used it. Everything is much better, and I'm happier with the results.

But I'm going to wait until tomorrow before I work the nun stitch block that sits within this one. Sometimes I do know when to stop and do something else.


Thursday, June 16, 2022

We're having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave . . .

If you look really, really closely, you may see two poorly executed four-sided stitches.


 That may be all the stitching I accomplish today.

Now comes the whine:

It's too hot to think. Or stitch. Or do anything other than sip cold beverages.

Yes, the AC is running non-stop. We also have fans running in every occupied room to keep the air moving. Despite that, it's still unpleasant. The actual temperature is 96F as I write, the heat index is 106F due to the humidity. I am accustomed to hot and humid summers--after all, I grew up in this area and have lived here all my life--but I am cranky and grumpy and in a foul mood.

So I am going to take myself and my bad mood and sit in my corner and sip ice water until--well, fall, I guess.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Another bit done

I had a Zoom meeting this morning that kept me from attending my EGA chapter's stitch-in--BUT it meant that I was able to get another bit of Tribute completed while I listened to someone drone on and on. Stitching during certain meetings keeps me from dozing off--just sayin'.


This piece will be folded and attached somehow to create a needle book. I'm looking forward to the class to see exactly how this will happen. There are also going to be two little button pages, and I believe I will do them next.

Eventually I'm going to have to go back to the second big piece of the project and get its inner box stitched, but it was nice to work on something a little different.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Vines and Leaves

So I have stitched the pocket placement and one side of the vine and leaves today.

Obviously, I still need to grow some leaves on the other vine. I will do that forthwith.

But first, some enabling.

Jenny Adin-Christie has added to the aviary. She has designed an owl, and OMG, he is wonderful. He is so wonderful, BDE has also added her name to the notification list when kits are available. Obviously, I have, too. You can see him (I've already named mine George) on Jenny's Instagram page.

And Jane Nicholas has a new book coming out in the fall with designs inspired by Japanese Crests. She's been teasing us with them for a bit--she's teaching one for EGA National this year, one appears in the Inspirations book on pin cushions--and the book is available for preorder.

Must stitch faster . . . 


Monday, June 13, 2022

Around the Bend

Hallelujah, all the borders for the exterior of this panel of Tribute are complete, done, finished, and over with!!!


 Granted, I still have to stitch the insides, which will include another box in the center surrounded by four-sided and nun stitches--but all those itty-bitty outline stitches are in place!

I think I'll go lie down with a cold compress on my head.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Still Not There Yet

 I told myself I would not blog until I had this piece of Tribute stitched.

Today I told myself that if I waited to get it stitched, I might never blog again.

So, I'm about halfway, and should have been able to get this finished three days ago if I had just buckled down and done it.

Story of my life.


Instead of working on this, I've been digging in the stash. I needed to find a thread for the next bit of Harmony, which is another project I want to get back to, and that took an SOS to a friend to ask if she remembered when and if I had bought it. She let me know I very likely had it and probably in duplicate and told me where to find it. Lo and behold, there it was!

I may need a keeper. BDE has been saying that for awhile.

I also wanted to see if I had any of the supplies for these two projects that came my way via EGA:

On the left is the book of instructions for DayDreams, which is a Group Correspondence Course through EGA. Several times a year, they offer what they call Lightning Rounds, which means you don't need a group to get your hands on the class.  This was in the last round of Lightning Rounds--and Barbara Kershaw, the designer for this project, has two different classes in the current batch. (I may succumb.) I had none of the threads nor the linen called for, but Jane Ellen Balzuweit, from whom I have taken whitework classes through Shining Needle Society, does have them available and I have ordered from her.

Speaking of that, it's been way too long since SNS offered one of her classes. Wonder if I could request that . . . 

On the right is the current Designers Across America project. EGA features a different designer in each issue, and that designer provides a small design you can order. Lucy Barter from SNAD is the current designer, and this pattern is available to EGA members until September 1, 2022. I ordered it practically the second I saw it in the magazine, and it was in my hot little hands a few days later. I have the silk I need, but I don't think I have enough of the gold threads--so it looks like I need to get an order together for my goldwork pusher supplier.

And to complete my needlework experiences over the last couple of days, I was able to listen to a presentation by Dr. Susan Kay-Williams, head of the RSN, offered through the Kindred Spirits Sampler Guild. She focused on schoolgirl needlework education, with a little on RSN history and its role in expanding knowledge of embroidery.

Basically, I've been immersed in needlework the last few days, but have very little to show for it. 

Jeez, I'm retired--what do I have to do other than stitch?


Thursday, June 9, 2022

Color Helps

As much as I love whitework, there are times when color helps tremendously, and this is one of those times.


 I really hope I can buckle down and get a good bit of this piece completed by the time the weekend is over. It is a major goal, and I would have been closer to getting it done if I hadn't completely discombobulated myself yesterday. I had packed my stitching bag to go to my EGA chapter's weekly stitch-in--and then I slept until 9:41. The stitch-in starts at 10. So that didn't happen, and my whole day was thrown off because I needed to do all the things I usually do before the stitch-in, plus wait for a phone call from a doctor's office. (Hire some more staff, people!) And once they called me back, I was on hold for various and sundry reasons--that process took another hour to work through.

While I was on hold off and on, I counted the number of pieces I still have to work on before the Tribute class. I think there are 15 stitched pieces, plus four rings to cover with Hedebo stitches and two spiral trellis appliqu├ęs. That sounds horrendous--but there are only two pieces with any significant embroidery. The rest are mostly outlined, so mostly Zen stitching.

And right now, I need all the Zen stitching I can get. Being an adult is hard!


Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Officially Old

It's true. I am aged.

I can no longer comfortably stitch dark threads on dark linen.


 It looks brighter in this photo than it is--believe me, it's dark. Very dark. Stygian dark.

And, yes, I have a white pillowcase on my lap when I stitch. And magnification. And additional lighting.

I'm just old.

Phooey.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Close but no Cigar

 I am sooooo close to having the front panel of Tribute stitched . . . but I'm not there yet.

This big open space in the middle will be cut away so the panels that create a box can be inserted--don't ask me exactly how, that's why I'm auditing this class at Sassy Jacks in July. To get ready for this step in the assembly, you have to work four-sided stitch, then nun stitch all the way around--and you do those stitches after you've added a layer of iron-on interfacing to the back.

I wondered about putting the interfacing on before stitching. Then I figured that it would show through the openings caused when you put tension on the four-sided and nun stitches--and that could perhaps mean that when you add that interfacing, you could potentially glue your piece to the ironing board. That would be a bad thing.

It ain't easy to stitch through interfacing with a tapestry needle. Actually, it took way more effort than I wanted to expend, so I pulled out a sharp and I'm working faster and easier than I was.

I am SO ready to move to another part of the project! 

Actually, I started thinking that monogamy in projects is vastly overrated, and maybe I should alternate this with something else. I started going through the other projects in the pile by the wing chair, and realized that I had also hit a point in those projects that made we want to put them down for a bit.

And that led to the realization that the most enjoyable parts of any project are the first stitches and the last stitches, and sometimes you just have to slog through the middle--when all the freshness is gone and the end seems far, far away.

So, I'm going to continue to slog. I'm also going to make a valiant attempt to finish the nun stitch on this piece before I go to bed tonight.

(I really hope I'm not up at night!)

Friday, June 3, 2022

Frogday

 I have spent an excessive amount of time at the Frog Pond today.

I have spent almost as much time ripping out as I have stitching in--if I didn't miscount or misplace a petal, I left out a stitch or two on the vine. And cross over one thread is a BEAR to take out.

I am determined to persevere--but I may persevere tomorrow.  I think, perhaps, I should do something else tonight. 

Like beating my head against the wall.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Strawberries?

 I think that these are strawberries.

I really wish my printer/copier would allow me to enlarge things, because the chart I'm using for this section is teeny. Despite magnification, I'm having problems seeing it.

And that was just one of the topics of conversation at the EGA Stitch-In yesterday. We are all getting older and it's getting harder to see. Even with my cyborg eyes and additional magnification, I'm finding teeny little things more difficult to do.

This does not mean I'm going to stop trying. Since I tend to be attracted to the teeny, I am going to figure out a way to make it work.

Or I can replace the printer/copier with one that allows me to enlarge stuff.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

An Anniversary

 June is one of those months in which we have several things to celebrate, and I just realized I have another one.

One year ago today, June 1 was the day I officially retired!

I spent the morning at a Stitch-In with some of the members of my local EGA chapter, and I worked on the border for Tribute:


I came home and cleaned out another drawer. While doing that, I started thinking about the things I thought about doing when I retired.

I was going to clear out all the stuff in the house that we don't need, AKA Swedish Death Purge, so the kids won't have to deal with it when we're gone--or that we won't have to deal with it if we manage to downsize.

This is a work in progress. Boy-oh-boy, is it a work in progress, and I am nowhere near where I'd thought I'd be by now. This is why I cleaned out a drawer this morning. I need to get really serious.

I was planning to get healthier.

I am exercising on a more regular basis and eating healthier--it helps that I'm not in the office where we always seemed to have food for some occasion or another--and a coworker who drove by Krispy Kreme every morning on his way to work. Still a work in progress, but getting better.

I was going to make a significant dent in the stash and empty out the finishing baskets.

If anything, the size of the stash has increased. So has the number of projects in the finishing baskets. No clue as to how to rectify this as long as my favorite designers continue to design things I want to stitch. I'll just keep stitching!

I have read a stack of books I wanted to read, and my Netflix queue has diminished somewhat, and I have learned how to putter for hours with nothing to show for it--I think this last is the thing I need to work on eliminating!

So, on to Year Two of Life as a Lady of Leisure!