November 30, 2008


Now that Thanksgiving is over, we turn our thoughts to Christmas. I guess. I'm not a big holiday person. It would not be fair to say that I hate the holidays, but I really don't get whipped into a frenzy by any of it. Perhaps my emotional/nostalgometer is simply turned down a notch or two lower than other people's. Beyond the bizarre behavior of people standing in line for better than 12 hours to save a little money on stuff they probably don't need are the hyperdecorators in my neighborhood. They really got rolling this weekend. My across-the-street neighbor actually got out the ladder today and put up some of his lights, which are now lit. It's the 30th of November. It's RAINING. It's dangerous--never mind the wet, slippery ladder--but let's consider the 15 amps that the outside socket pulls. We drove to dinner last night, and coming home in the dark, it seems that roughly one in 10 of our neighbors has put up lights and action figures and blow-up stuff already. That will increase to about 4 in 5. I don't really get it--we did the outside lights last year, and they seemed nice enough, but a lot of work for something that wasn't that satisfying.

There are two things I'd like this year, aside from our old faithful Christmas tree and the various bulbs I've been forcing: a large, really nice fresh wreath, and a garland of shells for the mantelpiece. I like this garland--it's featured in the latest issue of Tradional Home. I'm sending away for the shells and I'm going to see what I can whip up. I'll show you pictures as I do it. Of course, since I have final exams the next two weekends in a row, it's going to be tricky to get done.

Speaking of wreathes, here's the wreath from Dorothy's Garden. The year goes under my initials, but why tempt fate and put a particular year in, just in case I lose interest and don't finish this until 2022?

And here's Pink, who as always, is doing his best to help me decorate. "Mom, instead of stringing cranberries, let's string doots this year, and hang them on the tree!"

November 27, 2008


Whoa! What is this? An alien life form?

Don't worry, Peaches, I'll have a little talk with this guy.

I don't like his attitude; I'm going to take him out.

He is a little dry.

Oh, brother.

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours!!!!!!

November 23, 2008

Satisfying Sunday

I finished up my homework early, and with the day ahead of me, weighed my choices: cook something elaborate, clean house and stitch or go shopping for the few odds and ends we didn't pick up last night when we went shopping for Thanksgiving provisions (AFTER DINNER so hardly a soul in the store) and go to the library. What I chose: a nap, snuggled in the blankets (it's cold here!) with a cat or two or three. The perfect choice--I've been so tired that I didn't hear the doorbell or the phone or anything else. Alas, I didn't get a lot of stitching done, but here's a little more of Dorothy's Garden.

These guys had a nice snuggle as well--they were asleep at one point, and everyone was cuddled into Elvis' fur.

Some of us contemplated the Christmas catalogs that have been arriving and piling up on the kitchen table.

November 16, 2008

Sunday Samplers

It was an especially nice Sunday; I finished my homework early and took the afternoon off. We went to Target and bought new bath rugs for the bunnies, then on to Petsmart for cat litter, then to Booth Feeds for timothy hay. We drove through the bright chilly afternoon into Fredericksburg to check out the LNS, purchase a book at the used book store and look at Christmas decor (doesn't it seem EARLY? And yet, I'm somehow ready to decorate even though I'm generally a bah-humbug kind of person about the Christmas season). Then out to eat in a nice seafood restaurant with a real wood-burning fireplace. I ate the shrimp sampler, and now my fingers, despite several washings, smell shrimpy. (I want to do the "six things" meme, but haven't had a chance. Here would be one of the items, though: I hate eating food with my fingers, so I eat fried chicken with a fork and knife, which makes BF laugh. I also eat messy sandwiches with utensils. My shrimp came in their shells, so I had to grasp them to pull them out--worth it, even with the sticky fingers that resulted. The worst meal for that ever was a lovely and very fancy white-tablecloth Chinese restaurant in Vancouver where I ordered some sort of crab claws. You had to break the claw to get at the meat, but the claws were covered in some sort of sticky, slippery buttery sauce. Awful, and while the meat inside was great, it just wasn't worth it, in spite of the nice warm finger bowl.)
Here's some progress on Dot's Garden. Michelle, I'm doing it over two; I think the days of doing an over-one project of this magnitude are over. I'd love to see her new design--I don't think I've seen it anywhere. And when you see her, would you please tell her that her charts are literally the best and clearest charts I've ever worked with. Such a pleasure to see what you're doing!

Here's a sampler I bought on ebay. It's from The Essamplaire, and it's a reproduction of an antique. It's to be stitched on 35 or 40 count with AVAS silk or DMC. Stop me before I do this again. I saw the picture and loved it (sorry for the funny angle; it's the best I could do with evening and the flash) but several things make it more of a challenge (the Essamplaire is similar to Scarlet Letter, if you haven't seen their designs): first, the fact that it's an antique repro. means that the charting and stitches are somewhat more random than precise. There are a lot of stitches other than cross, some of which--herringbone and queen stitch--are a royal pain. Some of the architecture and the animals are in a style that might be considered "naive." And it's hand-charted and therefor a tad more difficult to read. It's the same problem I'm having with the Pets sampler that I started last summer--a beautiful design but harder work than a contemporary interpretation of an historic sampler might have been.

Here are the bunnies playing around the dresser. They like to get under there and tear at the carpet, so we try to block it off and it's great bunny fun to pull back the covers (or in Peaches' case, to zip around the side because she's so small).

I've been so busy that I neglected to thank each of you who gave me an award or tagged me for a meme. I haven't had a chance to follow the directions yet, but I will someday soon--the semester's over in three weeks, and there's the long Thanksgiving weekend also. Happy week, all!

November 09, 2008

Elvis and Warren Buffet

I finally had a little time for stitching this week. Dorothy's Garden. Sorry about the lighting--photo taken under lamplight tonight. I need to get moving on this, as there are a raft of new designs that I want to get and work on. This was a quiet weekend full of homework as usual--counting down these last few weeks until the final exams on the 6th and 13th, and then school doesn't start again until mid-January.

Today the boys visited Peaches in her room. She's very dainty and tidy, unlike the two rabbit guys, and no doubt she was appalled at the mess they made.
Here's Elvis, contemplating the help-wanted section of the newspaper.

"Hmmm--executives wanted. I'd be a good executive. I'm well-groomed."

"I have a keen mind."

"I have the same expression as Warren Buffet. (picture borrowed from Warren and I spoke by phone last week; I suggested to him that perhaps he should buy stock. Now's the time, I said. Did you know that Warren comes from the same place that Oxbow Timothy does?"

"I'm an excellent public speaker."

"Here I am with my trusted advisor, Mr. Pink."

November 03, 2008

Monday Bunday

It's been a busy week, and this one is shaping up the same way--lots of homework. But I finished Wendy's RR and have posted it off to Canada. The design originally called for an American-looking flag, but I found a Canadian flag online that Lizzie Kate had charted for "Land that I Love."

We celebrated Peaches' being able to come home last week after five days at the vet. He wanted to keep her a bit longer because she'd gotten a GI stasis after the anesthesia. For the first few days she had to stay by herself in her room, and she seemed lonely.
"Hi! I feel better!"

Now that there isn't any danger of tearing her stitches, she can play with the boys again. They took turns grooming her face and ears and then all dashed around.

Pink, enjoying himself after a game of toss the running shoe in the closet. "Mom! Someone dooted here!"