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, March 28, 2024

Again, not as planned

 I came away from Black Swan Studio and Sassy Jack's energized and ready to stitch all kinds of wonderful things. I had also decided to start my spring cleaning with a vengeance.

But I woke up Saturday morning feeling vaguely achey, and my head was stuffy. Pollen, of course. Every time I stuck my head outside while in the mountains, I sneezed. Tree pollen is one of my triggers, and there are a lot of trees in them thar hills.

By Sunday, I had to admit I have a cold. A horrendously bad cold in my head, and that meant I have been a lump of misery and totally useless this week.

Maybe not totally useless. I got the Nun stitch worked around three of the panels for House on the Hill.

But definitely not the exciting, colorful stitching I planned.

I would like some cheese with this whine.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Black Swan Studio

 I just got home from the inaugural session of Black Swan Studios, a collaboration between Jackie du Plessis and Kimberly Young, the owner of Sassy Jack's Stitchery.

In a word, WOW!

Jackie reproduced a sampler from Kim's collection, then added smalls based on motifs found in it along with a pocket that displays many of the most familiar sampler motifs. Kim organized and kept everything running smoothly. And every day we had special gifts from both Jackie and Kim. Of course, Jackie's presents were needlework-related, while Kim's reflected artisans from the area. (Keep in mind that Weaverville is just next door to Asheville, NC, a Mecca for artisans and artists of all kinds.)

And look at this gorgeous kit!

The best part? They kept the group a reasonable size, and encouraged cooperation and creativity. We had time to stitch and to ask questions and experiment. So many workshops try to cram as many people as possible into a ballroom, elbow-to-elbow, to the point that you feel more frustration and irritation than enjoyment. Been there, done that, don't want to do it again.

And if this sounds like stitching heaven to you, they are offering an encore session for this project in late October. I understand it will then be retired, the sampler is an exclusive to this event.

And, by the way, I did have another class before this, along with the Flower Cart:

Just look at that beautiful carrier! It's a little sister for Tsubaki, a project I did several years ago. They use similar motifs and the same color family to make a beautiful set of accessories. And, not to enable or anything, Jackie and Kim have decided that Tsubaki will be offered next March for the final time, then it will be retired.

So what am I working on today?


Never-ending laundry.

And making a grocery list so we'll have something to eat tonight.

Actually, I am doing my best to continue with my focus projects: Carmen, Harmony, assembly of previously stitched projects, my online whitework class, and House on the Hill. Apparently I can't be monogamous, but I can try to focus.

But the new stuff is sooooooooo tempting.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Everything is Blooming

 This lovely box of goodies

is going to turn into this:

I am in the North Carolina mountains, taking classes from Jackie du Plessis, sponsored by Sassy Jacks. Today's class is called "Fresh Flowers."

I had a wonderful day, spent with a dear friend I have missed so much since the Big Move. It was a delight having the chance to catch up with her, doing something we both love.

And can you believe that I actually managed to post a blog while going to a workshop? Wonders may never cease.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Salvage Mission

 I managed to salvage the Eternal Flame Huswif from total disaster.

Don't even ask what the disaster was. It involved mis-cutting something, and that is all I want to say about the matter.

Other than it was a learning experience.

I thought I was getting too old for learning experiences. At least I hoped I was. Apparently not.

Anyway, here's the inside:

And, here's the outside:

And, here it is, all rolled up in its handmade box:

Now I feel invincible. If I could pull this out, then maybe I could do a decent job on another assembly project.

Thinking like that is going to get me into so much trouble . . . 

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Bumping into Walls

 Daylight Savings Time started and I have a toothache. If dreadful things come in threes, I'm waiting for the third one to hit.

Oh, wait, it did. I mis-cut the pockets for the needle roll I'm supposed to be putting together. I think I can salvage it, but that may be a delusion caused by sleep disturbances. It's bad enough to lose an hour of sleep for some misguided plan to give us more light in the evenings (despite 20 years of sleep science telling us that we need to have the sun where and when it's supposed to be, otherwise our circadian rhythms get all screwed up)--but to have a tooth implode is something above and beyond necessary.

All will be well--maybe not with the finishing--but I am on antibiotics for the tooth and my "old" dentist can work me in for a probable root canal on Monday.  And, luckily, that is the break day between classes with Jackie du Plessis at Sassy Jack's. Instead of getting to stitch with my buddies, Dearly Beloved and I will be heading to my old stomping grounds. I am busy making lemonade out of lemons, since we figured if we leave early enough, we can have lunch at our very favorite Japanese restaurant before the dentist sees me.

And I have done a little bit of stitching.

This is going to be a pocket for Merry Cox's House on the Hill project. 

It has been aging in my stash for 25 years.

25 years.

Two and a half decades.

That's definitely long enough. 

Do not even mention plans, or rotations, or schedules of any sort. Once again, Epic Fail with programming my needlework.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Fear of Failure

 I've started finishing, and I am filled with fear and trepidation.

Tell me about a technique I've never done, and I'm right there at the head of the line to try it. Show me something that needs to be ripped out, and I have no problem. Well, maybe I have a problem, but I do it because it needs to be done.

Show me something that needs to be put together and I have to take a deep breath before I take the first step. I'm so afraid I'm going to mess it up that I will look for all kinds of excuses to avoid it. Today I went to the grocery store with Dearly Beloved and read the EGA magazine, NeedleArts, from cover to cover.

But if I want to have stitching toys, I eventually have to assemble them.

So, I'm taking that deep breath.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

More Happy Mail

 I seem to recall saying I was going to stitch from stash this year. Maybe I meant I was going to stitch from stash next year . . . 

Because another goody arrived in today's mail.

I signed up for this class, A Hummingbird in Silk and Gold through EGA last year, but it was postponed because of problems getting the materials. Everything has come in now, and the materials kit was in today's mail.

OOOOHHHH, just look at all the little packets of gold threads and the jewel tones in the silks!! Makes my heart go potty-pat.

My heart is going to have to wait for a while, though. The class isn't starting until April 3.

Patience, must have patience.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

All in a Day's Work

As you may have noticed if you've read this blog for any length of time, I do love me some Barbara Jackson projects. A new one arrived while I was in Williamsburg, you may remember from yesterday's post.

Today it is finished. In fact, it is finish-finished.

This may be a new land-sea record. At least, for me.

 The finishing directions haven't been posted yet, but I believe they will be the same as the Little Pilgrim hornbook from last year, which I also stitched. I need to put this one back under the weight--one side is not exactly sticking down so I may need to push a wee bit more glue under it and set the brick back on it until it decides to cooperate.

Now I need to decide what other kind of trouble to get into.

Monday, March 4, 2024

That was the Week that Was

I'm home again.

As usual, I took the laptop with all good intentions to blog while I was gone. As usual, I didn't. And, as usual, what I thought I was going to accomplish, I didn't.

No more plans.

I planned to stitch in the stitching room all week. Instead, I caught up with old friends' lives, made new friends, laughed a lot , went out to dinner, and poked at my projects a little. I hit snags on both projects I took to work on, figured out one, gave up on the other until I was home and could get over my snit, and shopped.

This is the little bit I did on Carmen. 

 Bless her heart, little Carmen didn't space the berries and leaves consistently, so each one has to be counted. And counted again. Talking and laughing are not conducive to accurate counting.

And remember how I said if the class project was supposed to come my way, it would?

It did.

Amy Mitten was the teacher for this class, and she had a couple of extra kits. Yes, I know I was going to stitch from stash this year. I am weak.

And then I cam home, and there was happy mail.

This is the kit for Martha Edlin's ornament--just look at those luscious colors! And don't forget, Tricia is offering a wonderful online class on Martha's life and needlework for the low, low price of $15, $5 of which goes to the V&A. It is an amazing piece of research that changes the way we should view the lives of women of her time.

And last, but definitely not least, another hornbook from Barbara Jackson. This will go with last year's Littlest Pilgrim hornbook. Actually, I may frame that up and stitch on it a bit today.

After I finish unpacking and doing laundry and dealing with re-entry and deciding what to cook for dinner.  In short, back to my regular rut.