March 24, 2007

Lcome! Sunday Sampler

A little more progress on Tulip Welcome this week:

I didn't try to load a new sampler photo though, as we're still working on dial-up at home since the move. Oddly, even though we moved from an older neighborhood just two miles away, you can't get Verizon DSL here. So disappointing (and by the way, if you haven't received a comment from me, that's why--I surf at work when I can since I don't have the patience to surf from home, but don't have the time at work to formulate replies--I'll be back soon though, especially since I've seen so many nice things on your sites, and have discovered some wonderful new sites as well.) We'll remedy that with satellite service, but that takes time to set up, since they actually have to come to the house and it involves an initial outlay of Big Cash. Looks like we'll have the cash though, because:
Sold, in 48 Hours!!!!

We were so worried, buying a large house and moving into it, and then putting our little house on the market. Common wisdom says that a house will sit on the market for six months or more these days, and it's certainly no fun paying a pair of mortgages. But it would have been so hard to show our little house while we still lived in it; it was pretty stuffed full, even after moving things into a storage unit (12 years in a place will do that), and with six cats and the bunny, we figured we were virtually guaranteed that a cat box would contain an eyewateringly smelly load to meet a prospective househunter. So we took a deep breath and a leap of faith and aided by a team of painters, carpet layers, a handyman or two, a realtor, a whole lot of elbow grease and a statue of St. Joseph buried in the garden just behind the "for sale" sign, we had a contract within 48 hours--a good contract with no contingency and accompanied by a qualification letter from a mortgage company. Phewwww--fingers crossed that it works out all right--the subprime loan thing may bite us in the rear, since it means mortgages are being tightened up, and folks without sturdy credit or a nice down payment may have more trouble getting a loan than previously, so a lot of contracts have been falling through.

The job front is not so pleasant these days, and I have an appointment to talk with another law firm about doing structured finance instead of the horrible antitrust litigation I've found myself involved in since my beloved corporate team picked up their marbles and moved to Baltimore. If I get the structured finance job, I'll be going back to a fairly regular commute to Manhattan, since that's the heart of the finance world, but that's ok. I remember from my last Manhattan stint that living in a hotel room during the week, despite massive homesickness, allows plenty of evening stitching time (if not necessarily enough light in the hotel room to see). And there's the consolation of really good Chinese food (something we lack in the Virginia suburbs) on nearly every corner.

And it's finally spring in the DC area: a whole lot of these were blooming Friday around the Mall reflecting pool. I'm not sure if it's a type of magnolia (although it doesn't have leaves, and they're evergreens generally) or if it's a tulip tree, or something else. The cherry blossoms are beginning to come out, and the willows along the Potomac are greening up. Yay!

March 18, 2007

Still Wishing for Spring: Sunday Sampler

This week was not one of my better weeks with the needle--too many distractions and events at work and home. Work has been busy enough to necessitate my working through lunch--which is my normal stitching time (and which I resent like heck giving up). And in the evening and during the weekend, we've been putting the finishing touches on our now-empty townhouse, which will officially go on the market Monday or Tuesday. The Realtor, knowing that I enjoy blogging and photography, has tasked me with writing the blurb and taking the photos that go into the MLS. Photographing empty rooms is difficult, it seems (oh, for a nice fish-eye lens), and wading through the standard "gleaming hardwood floors" language is not very inspiring, even if they are gleaming hardwood floors. Maybe the property would get some notice if I wrote "pamper yourself with a shining black-market toilet!" (BF used to be a plumbing rep, and we had lovely toilets with a water-wasting, hearty flush. Now, I'm sorry to say, we have quite pedestrian toilets that do the job with a teaspoon of water or so and a "power assist.")

Well, then--enough about my toilets. On to the needlework! Here's Tulip Welcome--this part of it is stitched with two threads over one. Fussy work--I'm looking forward to the flowers.

And here's a work in progress, nearly complete. It's by The Drawn Thread and is called "The Easter Egg Sampler." It came as a kit (so long ago I don't even remember acquiring it); the fabric is 36 count Antique White Edinburgh linen with silk floss, silk ribbon, beads and a gemstone heart trinket. It was a fun stitch because there were a number of different stitches and I love springy/Eastery samplers with rabbits. All I have left to do is sew on the rest of the beads.

Which brings me to this week's sampler: Little by Little's "Caught in a Garden" which is designed to be stitched with DMC and a few colors of Gentle Arts threads on 40 count Hand-dyed Gold Finch Linen by R&R Reproductions.

Happy week, everyone!

March 11, 2007

Sunday Sampler: Almost Spring

A little more this week on Whale Hunting:
Temperatures have gotten warmer here--hard to believe there was snow on the ground two weeks ago. I went to my LNS in Fredericksburg today and picked up two projects in honor of spring. I almost bought the Mermaid Folly design and a couple of other things I've been seeing around the 'net but resisted for now. This design is by the Trilogy and is called "Easter Line Up." It's charted for 32 count Summer Khaki linen and Weeks Dye Works and Gentle Art threads, although a DMC/Anchor conversion is offered as well. It comes with a "posey" trinket that I find a little unnecessary; I don't think the trinket adds anything but expense to the design. What I do enjoy is that it looks as though someone has taken a bite out of the chocolate rabbit's foot; the design says "yum" at the base of the rabbit--funny. I don't know about you, but I'm not much of a trinket, button or gee-gaw person on my projects, although I love beads.

I like this design as well. It's by the Sweetheart Tree and has everything included to stitch the design in a plastic clamshell box, including 28 ct. blue linen, threads, beads and a sunflower trinket.

March 04, 2007

Sampler Sunday: New England Style

I made some progress on Whale Hunting this week, although I'm still working on grass. Because I'm tired anyway and the grass is boring to work on, I found myself falling asleep over my needle more than once. But, still, it's progress, especially since the left edge is actually the margin of the picture.
Yesterday was fun; my sister came to visit me at the new house. In the spirit of things, she wore a jacket color-keyed to my kitchen rug! Hi, Sis!

Most of you, like me, have probably looked around that the newest designs from Nashville. I liked a couple of them a lot including Mermaid's Folly (I think it's called) from the new designer, Courtney Collection. But here are two new ones (not part of the Nashville group) by Brenda Keyes that I stumbled on when I went onto Em-Li's site. I love shopping at Em-Li's--a nice lady in North Carolina (who volunteers her age, which is something north of 65) answers the phone in person and takes your order and ships out the samplers to you quite promptly. Anyway, these samplers are in the style of the Plymouth Sampler and Providence, which so many stitchers like and are working on (I'm doing Plymouth myself). It's kind of funny that a designer from the U.K. creates the quintessential New England Sampler. The top one is called "Puritan," and the one on the bottom is called "New England." These pictures are borrowed from Em-Lis's website. The only thing I find jarring is the flame stitching around Puritan. I think I'd substitute something else for all that zig-zagging which gives a nice 3-d effect but makes me dizzy.