July 28, 2008

The Lost Weekend

I lost a weekend somewhere, and it made me sad not to post on Sunday as I normally would. I spent both days working on my paper and finalizing it. I barely left the house, other than to go to the pet store and buy cat litter, and to pick up a few things at the store. I didn't do my normal ride to Fredericksburg on Saturday to go to the farmer's market (duing peak tomato season!), so I didn't get to visit with my peeps at Everything Cross Stitch. A truly dismal weekend.

As you might expect, I did crack open ATS:

Here's some Monday Bunday. Although the staple of their diet is timothy, they enjoy their crunchies. They get two bowls, but they seem to prefer to share one.

I'm down to two weeks of school before finals, and then I'm free for a few weeks. I can't wait...have a great week!

July 24, 2008

Now I've Really Done It

I had to take a day off today to wait for a repair guy, and then go to a doctor's appointment in Arlington. In the spirit of saving gas by consolidating errands, on my way back home from Arlington I stopped by In Stitches to buy a few fibers that I'm missing on projects. And maybe pick up a piece of fabric or two for future projects. And take a look around at what's new. And maybe get Sail Away by Shepherd's Bush.

This is what I found instead (I abandoned all thoughts of the other stuff when I saw it, although they did indeed have Sail Away): "And they Sinned" by Examplar Dames. I'd seen it a few places on the net and had been contemplating it. It's huge: 809 stitches high x 169 wide, long and narrow. The piece of fabric I bought (Edinboro Sand, 36 ct) is 54 inches long--about four feet of stitching. I was aided and abetted by Patricia at In Stiches (Hi, Patricia!) in kitting it all up.

This should give you an idea of the size. "Let's Dance" (don't you think of David Bowie with that?) (with a little bit of progress)

is swallowed up by ATS' fabric, laid out on the sofa below. I have a lot of two-story walls in my house though; wouldn't a four-foot needlework look amazing on one of them?

"Those walls may well have sunk into the earth and been covered by the dust of the ages before you finish that project. Now let me out of my cage so I can run around and doot under the bed."

Last but not least, thank you, Jan, at Stitching Cats for the Kreativ award! When I get a few more minutes this weekend I'll follow the directions. Have a wonderful time with your dad in Roanoke!

July 20, 2008

Slog-Along Sunday

Today has been full of questions for my classes, on top of the dull paper that I'm writing.
Question 1: If a yacht purchased in Connecticut in October of 1980 isn't delivered until May of 1981, and it is delivered to Rhode Island to someone who has paid cash for it back in October and received a marine bill of sale at that time, when does the title pass and does the seller owe the state of CT sales tax in October, May or not at all?
Answer: this chart looks Connecticut-y to me. It's "Let's Dance by the Light of the Moon" by Primitive Traditions. Let's get it out and start it instead of answering the stupid question about yachts and sales taxes.

I'm stitching it on 36 count pearl gray Edinburgh using Crescent Colors. The designer's picture doesn't do it justice (nor does mine). Her picture though shows a darker blue fabric. I looked and looked and didn't see anything I liked quite as well without changing the floss colors, so I went with the silvery gray instead. I love this designer and hope to see more from her; in fact, I love her Nantucket sewing chest--the chart is amazing, but I simply can't spring for such an expensive project right now, and unfortunately, it comes as a kit with the box and a lot of nice goodies. I tried to talk her into selling me just the chart, but although she was quite nice about it, she didn't want to split up the kit pieces. Understandable but oh, so regrettable. Speaking of regrettable, what's been troubling me about Charlotte Clayton I think I will fix. I'm a bit confused about which kind of silk the new version of the chart intended to use. I think there are a couple of options. Most of the colors I'm using seem pretty true to the photograph, but I think the teal color I'm using is just wrong. It's jarring. So I'm going to frog it out and use a yellowy-greener color instead. I hate frogging, but better to do it now and not feel antsy about the mismatch every time I pick the project up.

Question 2: which scenarios constitute a breach of implied warranty of fitness for human consumption in a restaurant meal: glass in soup; an olive pit in an olive; an olive pit in the mashed potatoes, a chicken foot in the chicken salad, a cow bone in the ice cream, and some fish bones in a fileted fish? This question made me queasy, so I moved on to Deb's Neighborhood RR:

Question: The current I in an electrical conductor varies inversely as the resistance R of the conductor. The current is 6 amperes when the resistance is 800 ohms. What is the current when the resistance is 358 ohms?

"Oh! I know! I know!"

July 19, 2008

The Oysters of Longhorn

Have you seen this? It's from the Stitching Parlor, and it's called the Daughters of Longbourn (from Pride and Prejudice). My LNS labeled the fabric as being for the Daughters of Longhorn; for some reason it's rattling around in my head as the Oysters of Longhorn. Silliness--I'm tired and should go to bed early tonight, but I've been working on a term paper today on qui tam (whistleblower) litigation and have been pushing to get a fair amount done this weekend. That paper is the reason I've gotten a good bit of stitching done also--procrastination. Anyway, DoL is the first in a series of five samplers. I've kitted it up, although I'm deep into "Charlotte Clayton," "Peaceful Paradise," Deb's Neighborhood RR and the usual cast of unfinished characters.

Here's Charlotte so far. I did change to 32 count fabric to make it easier on my eyes, but I got lucky and found a piece of Lakeside linen very similar to the pretty cut I received from Attic Needlework when I ordered the project. The colors in this project are a bit odd, I think, as were the colors in the original. I have a few reservations about it--it was recharted with great skill from the original, which is an amazing bit of work, but I'd have to say I like contemporary interpretations of samplers, with their crisp designs and large assortment of complementary colors, a bit better. We'll see--it is interesting--even if I don't like all the colors that well (and gee, there's a lot of red and pink in it).

The buns have bonded finally after eight months. A few weeks ago I noticed a thaw in their relations: less peeing on each other and more nuzzling. When we moved them to the bathroom while their room was being refloored, they completed the bonding (shared stress perhaps), and became the best of friends. They snuggle together when they nap and groom each other when awake.

"I'm glad he's stopped peeing on my head."

Speaking of bonding, Scratchy and Shy Tabby are the best of napping friends. She snuggles in, and he puts one arm over her; we're not sure why. Affection? He's got to find someplace to put his elbow when she crowds in so close? (Note the needlework project bags to the right of them.)

July 13, 2008

Graybeard and His Grandbaby

Still here! I didn't go to the Cape after all. I realized, when I gashed my knee (nothing serious) and it was bleeding all down my leg and the kitchen floor and I couldn't find a bandaid and couldn't get it to stop and I was thinking furiously "there's no TIME for mopping up blood" the evening before I was to leave early in the a.m. that I just had no more energy for anything. That even on my vacation I was burning the candle at both ends and multitasking and that I was just depleted. So I called my mom and now I'll be going next month sometime between semesters and not wedging it in between 5 other things. I was disappointed but also relieved as I unwound all my various reservations.

So guess what came in the mail yesterday? Charlotte Clayton! I'm missing a few skeins of the NPI, which I'm going to go buy today (they warned me at the shop and being impatient to get it, I said "don't wait, just ship it" and I'll kit up the rest. I'm having reservations about the fabric. They chose the most wonderful Lakeside Linen, carefully choosing gentle mottling, and it's a beautiful piece of fabric. But it's 40 count (my request), and I'm wondering, since there's a little over-one stitching, if I should go to 32 or 34 count.

And the plane is there, behind the cat. I've decided it's the 7Bunny7 returning from the Oxbow Hay company in Nebraska. I've also decided that I'll add a few more small frolicking bunnies in the background to commemorate the little lives of Archi Ann, Stanley, Tidbit and my own Bunnyman. May they frolic together in a big field of timothy.

I got a little done over the last couple of days on Deb's RR:

And here's a picture of Graybeard. He's a bit scarred up looking. He's been around for quite a while. His favorite snack is my lilies and roses in the little flower patch out back. He can have them--I enjoy seeing him show up in the evening and early morning.

Graybeard seems to have a big family; I found one of his (great, great) grandbabies in my front garden under the fading stems of the bleeding heart bush. I didn't touch him, of course, although it's such a temptation to pick them up and cup them in your hand. After taking these pics, I left him alone.

July 10, 2008

Sugar Magnolia

It has been not a perfect vacation (that would be mild weather, sleeping late every day, no workmen, no homework, housework that is light and stitching nearly every minute), but it has been close, and much has been accomplished in the last few days. I took two midterm exams, gathered the materials for a paper due in two weeks, shepherded a few workmen through some successful repairs and updates, stitched at least some of the time, did errands and cleaned through days of thunderstorms and downpours and blistering, muggy heat, tended my flowers and my vegetables and took some pictures along the way. Oh, and bought a great needlework project, that at this moment should be winging its way to me. Speaking of which, it seems that Charlotte Clayton, although her sampler was stitched in 18--something, anticipated passenger flight. Note the airplane behind the cat on this closeup of one of her motifs. Cue the spooky music. Or is it a bird? You decide.

Tomorrow I fly off to Cape Cod, and I plan to visit Cranberry Cross Stitch (Cranberry Stitch? It's in my purse, along with the directions) once I land in Providence. I'm looking forward to checking out and doing Cape Coddy things. My list of to-do's is short: take lots of pictures, eat some seafood (maybe a lobster salad roll but definitely a stuffed quahog), watch my mother swim at the beach (she loves to; I don't), visit the little town center and take in the sight of summer tourists, have an ice cream cone, encourage my father to fire up the grill (do you notice how much of this trip is eating?). Maybe I'll blow up the inflatable kayak and take it to the end of the street and paddle the tidal inlet, although I doubt it--I always mean to and then I don't. Maybe walk to photograph the gardens that grow so well in the brilliant sunshine (all that reflection off the water) and the fog. Maybe walk to the seafood seller on the harbor bridge and buy a carton of quahog chowder. Mmmmmmm. And hopefully stitch a little on the screened porch while the sea breeze blows. Not a bad thing to do with the last weekend of my vacation, even if I am reluctant to leave home and all my projects.

Here's my stitching on Peaceful Paradise, which I did a little more on while I waited at the doctor's office to have my blood pressure medication refilled. It might be the vacation, or the stitching, but my bp has never been lower at the doctor's office.

This is the dining room, by the way. Here's the before picture with the border of noisy magnolias and the burgundy lower wall. You hardly notice the chair rail because the color and border overpowers it.

Here's the after picture, with simpler colors. The green here is fairly close but not quite true to life. It's sort of a sagey, silvery green, very peaceful. (We were scared it was going to turn out minty looking, but it didn't.) I have the perfect sampler for it, nearly done, which when I can find it, I'll finish.

No computer where I'm going, so I'll post and visit when I get back next week. Have a lovely weekend.

July 08, 2008

Admiring Feelings of a Graceful Lady

So this is all Sue's fault. She forwarded the atticneedlework.com newsletter, they of the tasty and original charts, since my spam filter does away with it, possibly for my own good. This is called Charlotte Clayton, and it mostly has animals on it. Love it, love it. With just a bit more hair, which I might be able to arrange, that bunny looks a bit like Elvis. When's the last time you saw a spotted bunny on a sampler, hmmmm? That Charlotte must have been a fine and graceful lady.

This arrived in the mail yesterday from ABC Stitch--Cinderella. I've not seen a good picture of it yet, although I fell in love with the pumpkin coach in the center. I'm not sure about a couple of things: mostly I don't enjoy stitching people, although I've stitched a pretty good number of them lately. The motifs are a bit far apart, although that makes it interesting. But I can't SEE the darn thing; the original chart comes with a copied, fuzzy picture. I prefer it when the charts come with a nice unphotocopied photo, or better yet, a large four-color cover so you can see the details. All the same, it has an original, sweet but nutty vibe to it that I like. And I've noticed that other stitchers are buying this, so I'll look for their progress before I commit to the thread.

I stayed in with the workmen today, stitching happily. BF is mystified about my ability to enjoy hardly leaving the house other than for a quick shopping trip here and there. I accomplished this--a closeup of the top of Peaceful Paradise.

When the workmen were gone I drove out to check out the World Market. Do you have one of these? It's a chain that stocks a variety of international goods, some familiar, and some unfamiliar, many from poor countries, which makes the goods reasonably priced. I saw this candy and had to photograph it. In case you can't read the label, it says: "Its translucent color so alluring and taste and aroma so gentle and mellow offer admiring feelings of a graceful lady." That's a lot to ask of a gummi candy. There are purple ones with different, purple prose, which I'll show you next time.

So the flooring guys, after pulling up the rabbit-damaged carpet, announced that it was too damp today to install the floor; they were getting a high reading on their whatchamacallit moisture meters. Main floor guy claimed it was the carpet itself, although I had scrubbed the walls earlier, and it's very humid here; there were no marks or stains on the subfloor, possibly because of the expensive pet padding we'd bought (plastic on one side). In fact, he was rather snide about the whole thing. He recommended painting Killz on the floor to kill any odor (what odor? I really can't smell it, perhaps because I'm used to it), so we enlisted the painters to do that. They're quite happy with our business, even if Floor Bozo isn't! Anyway, the floor is now scheduled for next week. "Someone else will come," says Floor Bozo, "because I can't." "Thank goodness!" I said heartily. I think it went over his head, along with the assorted bats and moths that flew out of my hairdo. Sigh. Ok, so I'm a bit eccentric, but it seems in these lean times that one would treat a paying customer a bit better, doesn't it?
Anyway, here's Elvis, relocated to the bathroom with Pink (and the door to the toilet securely shut). Elvis is thrilled that he's finally on a sampler, although he's wondering why he has to share the glory with various cats and birds.

July 07, 2008


This past weekend was blur of schoolwork, so I didn't feel like the vacation had started until this morning, when the alarm did NOT go off at 5:15. I slept all the way to 8:30, and it did me so much good to get the extra sleep.

The painters arrived at about 9:30 to get started on this vacation's list of fix-ups (I do this each vacation--it's kind of a pain, but nice when they're done. It bothers me that I can't do some of this stuff myself, but with the job and school there's simply no time. And in any case, they do a much better job than I could.) Here's a before shot of the kitchen. We're having the border removed (the previous owners installed it, and whatever they used, let's just say that if a tornado came through and took down the house, the border would still be standing.) Note the hole in the top of the wall. That's the leftover from Pink's big plumbing adventure. We've waited all this time to get it fixed, knowing we were going to paint anyway, and frankly, the scary thing is that we stopped even seeing it after a while. My counters normally aren't that clutter free, but I figured the painters might prefer not to work around my big bowl of rotting plums.

I'm finally getting to stitch a bit (ahhhhhh....), so here's a snap (thanks, Edgar, for bringing back that word) of Peaceful Paradise.

And a surprise for the buns: we're having the carpet pulled up in the bunny room and a hard surface installed, which I'll cover with inexpensive rubber-backed rugs from Target. The bunnies enjoy the wall-to-wall, and they pull out the fiber twists with their teeth and deposit them in little piles. Then they pull the carpet away from the tack strips along the wall and dig down through the padding. !!!! Argh! So hopefully, this newest installation will be better for my piece of mind, and also better for them, since I'll be able to set up a big "fenced" courtyard in front of their cages. They don't enjoy being caged, even though I've doubled the cages, so they should be happier.

"Elvis does all of it!"

July 04, 2008


Three cheers:

for the red, white and

Happy Fourth!