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.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Did it!

I managed to get all the trailing stitch for my whitework online class stitched, the stem stitch worked all away around, and cut the backing fabric away without cutting the surface linen. I now need to lie down with a cold compress on mu head for awhile.

After the whole thing is finished, I'll wash the fabric to remove the rest of the blue marks. And I do have four more motifs to do for this term of the class.

I have learned a couple of things. It took me way, way, way longer to work the trailing than I anticipated. And every stitch requires complete and total focus to place it in the correct place.

Obviously, my focus faltered on more than one occasion.

Consequently, I do not believe there will be a lot of trailing stitch in my future. I doubt I will be stitching monograms on my fine linens. As my fine linens currently come from Tar-Zhay, I'm not sure they're completely worthy of monograms anyway.

There were a couple of times that I needed to do something relatively mindless, so I stitched letters. Lo and behold, I finished the third and last alphabet on Love That Red, which means I can move onto the darning patterns.

I really, really, really love the shade of red in the 100/3 used for this part of the sampler, to the point I want to buy another spool just to have.

That way lies madness.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving, 2023!

 I wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving, wherever and however you're celebrating!

We're having a quiet day. There is a turkey breast and the usual sides for Dearly Beloved and me. We decided to have our family get-together with The Saint in mid-December and combine Thanksgiving and Christmas then--which means I have another couple of weeks to get the guest room ready.

Meanwhile, I plan to stitch.

I have absolutely no idea what is causing the yellow shading in the lower corner of this photo. It is a mystery.

Anyway, I am working on my deep dive into whitework class, and I have to work this trailing stitch for about a mile and a half, hopefully by next Tuesday. I can definitely tell where I was stitching on autopilot and where I was focused on doing it right. I could say that it was showing the progression of the learning process, but, nope, I was just sloppy.

I have been able to keep up with the whitework class so far, which is something I cannot say about the last two deep dive classes I took. In my defense, the third term for both classes started when we were really in the midst of packing for the Big Move. Lord knows, stitching took a back seat to trying to sort out a lifetime's work of stuff.

Since we moved, I've managed to get about half the stumpwork classwork stitched, but I still have the other half and all of the goldwork to do. I have to confess, as I've been unpacking stash and finding treasures, I've also found quite a few UFO's. If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you know I have the attention span of a gnat and the discipline of a two-year-old when it comes to my needlework.

Of course, since the New Year is looming on the horizon, I've started thinking about New's Year's starts. I've also started feeling guilty about all the stuff I've accumulated that I really want to stitch--I like pretty much all of the UFO's I've uncovered. I need to get some things done!

So, I've decided I'm going to focus on getting the stumpwork and goldwork classes finished by the end of the year as well as keeping up with the whitework class. It can be done.

Even though there are three more Christmas ornaments I'd like to add to the tree this year, and a winter scene from Marsha Papay-Gomula that I swore I would do the year.

You see the problem . . .

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Looky What I Found!

When you've been accumulating stash for decades, you sometimes forget what you have. I had forgotten all about this little ornament, apparently for twenty years.

In just a very few minutes, I'm going to trace the design on the linen for the surface stitches, and maybe, just maybe, start it today after I finish working on my homework for my online whitework class.

Meanwhile, I have been stitching a little. The Elsa Williams Tree of Life crewel got some love while I was on the EGA Surface Embroidery Zoom Stitch-In yesterday. I got a couple of fly-stitch leaves and some more stems stitched between oohing and aching over the things other members of the group were doing.

And Love That Red has also had some love:

I've been poking at this a little in the evenings, and got several letters stitched while on yesterday's Carolinas Region Stitch-In. That group meets in the mornings on the third Saturday of the month, so I had a chance to talk needlework twice in one day.

I seem to Zoom a lot on the weekends. I am not complaining at all--it is lovely to see so many people who love doing the same thing I do. 

Meanwhile, aside from stitching, I've started the countdown to T'day. We're having a very small, quiet Thanksgiving this week. I am still planning a massive feast because the best part of Thanksgiving, aside from getting together with loved ones, is having leftovers. Lots of leftovers. Turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce, just the thought makes my mouth water. And the sides, oh, my, the sides. Quite frankly, I do not understand why in the world we don't have some of the sides at other times during the year.

Other than Dearly Beloved's green bean casserole. If I could figure out how to make just enough for two servings, I'd go with it since he really loves it--but it doesn't reheat well. Soggy canned fried onions soaked in cream of mushroom soup--if anyone can tell me how to revive it so it's not quite so unappealing, please do!


Thursday, November 16, 2023

REALLY Seeing Red

I finished the second alphabet on Love That Red last night, and started a wee bit on the dividing band between it and the last alphabet.

That is not why I'm really seeing red today.

I have two mosquito bites. In the middle of November. I do not like cold weather one little bit, but I'm ready for a week of hard freezes to get rid of the skeeters. I mean, seriously, mosquito bites in NOVEMBER??

In other news, I need to stop spending any time online. I just wrote a check for one of Jackie's online offerings through her FB page, Mary Corbett has a set of new designs for sweet Christmas wreaths that can be used for ornaments (and we all know how easily I succumb to ornament designs), then the Crewel Work Company just offered a very limited number of kits for a couple of adorable stumpwork dogs. After moving my stash, I do not need another thing to stitch. Ever.

But need and want are two entirely different things . . .  

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Seeing Red

 I have needed to stitch without thinking (much) lately, so I'm stitching letters.

You heard that right. I'm stitching letters again. Please be aware that this is the closest I'm going to come to stitching a Bristol Orphanage sampler--or any other kind of sampler with a lot of alphabets.

Jackie's Love That Red again. I'm still working each letter individually so carries on the back won't show through.

Plus, I'm afraid to do anything at the moment beside plain cross stitch. This has been a week for mishaps and miss-steps--I am being nibbled to death by ducks. Nothing has been life-threatening or tragic, just one little irritation after another.

It is quite likely that I need chocolate. A lot of chocolate.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Time Out

 Flowers and Berries is going into time out for a few days.

See all those lovely, dark blue berries, worked in spiral trellis?

They're wrong.

They are supposed to be two-toned, dark blue on the outer edge, light blue on the inside.

I read the directions, which said to work the berries in both shades of blue. I read that to mean that all the berries weren't the same color, and that the colored outline on the chart indicated which berries were dark and which were light.

I was wrong.

I wanted to look at the next couple of bands to see what I would be doing, so I pulled out the color photocopy of the original sampler. That's when I learned of my mistake.  Which took me all afternoon to stitch.

This is after finding the screw on one end of the scroll rod I'm using for Isabel Redie had stripped out, so the knob won't stay on--that was this morning's aggravation. Now, with two stitching mishaps, I believe I will read a book this evening and avoid sharp, pointy things.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Discombobulated and Cranky

 I stayed up way too late last night, trying to finish a book. And I didn't. The book bopped me on the nose, so I took off the spectacles, turned off the light, and officially went to sleep.

But that meant I slept a lot later than usual, and I have been discombobulated all day. I had no morning to speak of, and things kept cropping up that I planned to do earlier rather than later, but now I was doing them later, and for some reason, I feel like I need a nap--even though I had a solid 8 hours (actually closer to 9, but who's counting).

I think I'll just write the day off. After all, I am retired and don't have to answer to authority.

I have done a bit more stitching on Flowers & Berries:

I'm now working on the first of the two larger bands for the bottom, so it's taking longer. And part of it made me cranky.

The center stalk is filled in with encroaching Gobelin. Lord Have Mercy. 

Don't get me wrong. I love the texture you get with encroaching Gobelin. I do. I just find it one of the most tedious, boring stitches in the world to stitch. And I tend to like just about every stitch, simply because it's stitching.

So, I found something to binge on the TV, and got the stem done.

And I'm trying not to think about another project in the queue that uses encroaching Gobelin for the background.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

 I've been assembling Christmas ornaments for a couple of days.

Lower left: a design from Barbara Jackson, bought at Haus Tirol in Williamsburg a few years ago. (I really miss Haus Tirol!) I should probably not mention that the date on the model on the front of the kit is dated 2011, I stitched this in 2021, and now it will finally get to the tree in 2023.

Upper center: Snowflake, one of Jackie du Plessis' little kits that I used to buy at the Merchandise Mall at the old Christmas in Williamsburg. There are stitched snowflakes on either side of the banding that surrounds the snowflake. It is much more interesting hanging than lying flat, but I could not get Dearly Beloved to stand in for the tree and hold it up for photography.

Lower right: a little Fern Ridge kit that was in a goodie bag at the old Christmas in Williamsburg.

Hmmmm--all of these have some relationship to Christmas in Williamsburg. I do miss the way that event was handled in the days when Hoffman held it. That was definitely a class act. And I sound like a little old lady, lamenting the past.

Meanwhile, Dearly Beloved says we're going to need a bigger tree this year.

Monday, November 6, 2023

Bauble-ing Along

The cold has subsided enough that the sneezes have stopped scrambling my brain cells, so I decided I was going to have Finishing Friday on Monday.

And the Christmas Bauble is ready for the tree.

Of course, it is not time to put up the tree, no matter what the stores say. We don't do that until after Thanksgiving. However, we have an early Thanksgiving this year, so I get more weeks of decking the halls.

And in unpacking, I found a project bag with several ornaments I stitched in 2021 that haven't been assembled. Maybe I should do that before I stitch any more ornaments for this year. Actually, at the moment, the iron and the finishing materials are still out on my work table, so maybe I should plan to do that tomorrow morning.

Plans, I have plans.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

somewhat better living

 I am full of anti-cold-symptoms medications, which means that I am semi-functional again. And that means that I got a little bit of stitching done:

Of course, ten hours of sleep last night may have helped, too. I may try that again.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Better Living through OJ and Chicken Soup

 There was no Finishing Friday, nor was there any stitching.

I have a cold.

Dearly Beloved brought home meds and chicken noodle soup and orange juice yesterday after it hit me. Good thing, because it hit him this morning. He went back to bed.

My nose is such a brilliant shade of red I could be a hazard light. There is no stitching in my hands. And that is even more significant because Barbara Jackson's 2023 ornament has arrived, and I am not working on it.

With any luck, this malady will be of short duration. I have too many things I want to do!

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Random Day in November

 Every year we celebrate the same random day in November for no apparent reason. (It's Dearly Beloved's birthday, and he hates birthdays, so we just call it a random day in November and celebrate anyway.) I cooked his favorite foods--well, some of his favorite foods, since he has a LOT of favorite foods--for dinner, but otherwise it's been a quiet day.

And when there's a quiet day, I stitch.

A whole 'nother band on Catherine Theron's Flowers and Berries Band Sampler.

I do love Catherine's designs and stitch as many as I can find. Not only do I love her colors and her designs, her directions are among the very best--clear diagrams of all the stitches and thorough written directions, along with photographs. She makes it easy to do complicated projects.

I do not believe I will be able to do the next bands in just one day, though. They are larger and more elaborate. Besides, I made up my mind I'm going to have a Finishing Friday tomorrow. We'll see if that goes as well as today's stitching did.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

I Got Hit On at the Cracker Barrel

This is not the beginning of a country western song.

I actually did get hit on at the Cracker Barrel.

BDE and I headed home yesterday in the cold and rain, quite a dramatic change from the 80 degree plus temps we had in Ocean City while we were there. We decided we wanted comfort food so we stopped at a Cracker Barrel in Virginia around lunchtime. We got warmed up, inside and out, and were heading out when I stopped to look at a Christmas display--you never know what you'll see at Cracker Barrel--and an older gentleman strolled up to me and complimented me on my gray hair.


He said he thought it looked distinguished and was almost silver in the overhead lights.


We chatted for a few minutes, then he asked if I lived in the area. Well, no, I replied. He was disappointed.


BDE and I beat a hasty retreat. I said I realized I got hit on. She admitted it had been a long time since she's felt like a third wheel. We were both bemused and amused, especially since the last few photos I've seen of myself have definitely looked like my resting bitch face--actually, my latest driver's license pic looks like a mug shot for a hardened criminal.

The guy must have been desperately lonely.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming:

I've picked up Flowers & Berries, the Catherine Theron class I took about a month ago. I've finished the two bands I started in class, and started the third.

Catherine's designs are always fun to do, so I believe I will stick with this for a couple of days. I have three or four WIP's I'd like to finish by the end of the year, and this is one of them. And I'm thinking about my New Year's start or starts and what I want to accomplish in 2024. Once I decide,  you'll be the first to know.