February 28, 2008


I did not have a good day at work today. People seemed to go out of their way to be unkind. I watched these guys for a while; I wouldn't want their job--I'm afraid of heights and it was about 25 degrees today and windy--but they seem to get along well, and I've never seen a brawl break out 12 floors up, although I've seen more than one inside an office. Most of these guys come from the Andes, so apparently they are accustomed to heights.

It was particularly nice to head home today:

Where I worked on Karen's Neighborhood:

And the neighbors were nice to each other.

February 23, 2008

More Peaceful Paradise

I've been a bit under the weather, so I was relieved to be able to stay home for an ice storm on Friday. I worked quite a bit on this.

Since the worst of the storm never materialized, I slipped out in the afternoon to my LNS to see the Nashville releases and found this. I love it--perfectly springy, yet unusual. And again, note the two bunnies on the hill. It's called "Windy Hill House" and is by Praiseworthy Stitches. It calls for 32 ct Tarnished Silver by Lakeside Linens and Crescent Colors threads. Fortunately, my LNS couldn't kit this up because they didn't have the right color of linen. There's a companion piece also (actually I think there are four pieces in this series) which the LNS had called "Skating Party" which is just as quirky looking. I'll have to get that one also. Check it out online--I think ABC stitch has it. It calls for a greenish Lakeside Linens piece of fabric and Sampler Threads.

Whew--saved! I'll have to put off kitting it up, which means I'll keep working on Peaceful Paradise and all the other things I've started, including, finally, Karen's neighborhood RR. I had chosed another design, but the soft pink-brick color of her fabric deserved something more complementary, so I'm using a Birds of a Feather chart called "Peace" (again the Peace theme!) which has a lot of red and black in it. I'm using Sampler Threads for it.

Still not feeling great this morning, I dragged myself off to my accounting class and slept through much of the lecture on reporting statements of cash flows. Don't know if the instructor noticed, although it's a small class. After class I came home and stitched a bit and then slept for a while this afternoon while the two little guys snored in their boxes.

February 21, 2008

Let's Dance by the Light of the Moon

Sue emailed me a copy of Attic Needlework's newsletter today which showed some new projects by Primitive Traditions. There is a wonderful chart of Nantucket, which Sue and I like a lot (since we both come from that neck of the woods), but which is $180 because it comes with a sewing chest. It's called Sarah Elliot's Sewing chest, and the price is before the stitcher's half of linen or any of the threads (which are not silk, at least). I'm disappointed because I'd buy it in a minute except for the cost of the chest, which I really don't want. I don't do needlebooks, caskets and smalls, because I prefer to have a picture to hang on the wall when I'm done. And I'm wondering why any needlework designer would choke off sales of an otherwise wonderful chart (during a recession) by offering it so expensively bundled. One possibility, I suppose, is the buzz generated by the high cost of the project. I've complained in the past of the expense of adding beads and buttons that may or may not add anything to a design! Hopefully it's temporary and she'll offer it as a chart alone and leave the option of purchasing the whole deal to those who like such things. In any case, she offers charts of other subjects, also beautifully designed. Here's one of them that I'll definitely buy (picture borrowed from Attic Needlework). It's called "Let's Dance by the Light of the Moon" and it's charted for 40 ct Lakeside linen.

This was a particularly appealing and timely chart (and I note that it has a pair of bunnies on the lawn), considering I ran around last night shooting pictures of my house and neighborhood by the light of a very bright moon. A brief snowstorm had just blown itself out, and a startlingly bright moon and stars appeared. I didn't discover until today that I missed getting pictures of a lunar eclipse by about an hour!

February 17, 2008

Peaceful Paradise

I decided after this picture was taken that the empty eyes on the angels looked a little creepy, so I filled them in.

It's been a sleepy weekend for some reason. We went to Richmond yesterday to eat a belated Valentine's dinner at our favorite French restaurant. I walked down to the Yarn Lounge and checked out the yarns and patterns, but I was too tired to really investigate anything. Too tired to shop for yarn! Dinner was tasty but seemed to take forever, and I pulled over on the way home and turned the wheel over to BF because I was worried about falling asleep as I drove. Maybe it's the weather. I was sleepy again today and stole a little nap instead of going down to investigate the new charts from the Nashville show.

Elvis napped also in his little sleep box--doesn't he look cozy? He sleeps on the carpet when it's a little nap, but he beds down in the box when he wants to sleep a few hours.

February 13, 2008

Pink's Meme

My name is Pink, and I've borrowed this meme from Rabbits' Guy:1. Favorite songs:
Every morning the clock radio goes off and it's playing country, so we hear Kenny Chesney's "Don't Blink" which makes mom teary-eyed. It's about how fast 100 years can pass in a human life. Huhn. Think how fast 10 years goes in a rabbit's life! To her, it's a sad song; to me, it's breakfast time! We also like Southern Rock (Lynard Skynard and the Allman Bros.) and classical violin and bluegrass fiddle ('cause Mom plays the fiddle when she's not fiddling with her needlework) and stuff from the 70s.
2. Favorite toys:
Anything when it's brand new for about 2 minutes. I like pinecones a lot and chew them down to a nub. Also the woodwork. What? It isn't mine?
3. Favorite Food:
Timothy hay and brome grass and meadow mix, and crunchy rabbit junk food and my greens and sometimes a bit of orange.
4. Favorite activities:
Decorating. Undecorating. Redecorating. Sorting through Mom's magazines and peeing on them. Right now I'm taking aim on a form 1040. Then I rip out all the pages. Rrrrrrip. My favorite sound. Also the thing with the woodwork. And squeezing under the dresser like Houdini and peeing there!

5. Bad Habits: All the things in #4. Someday I'm going to be the president and CEO of this company:

A Long and Winding Road

It's been a wearying week already. My bus, which picks me up two blocks from the White House, sat still for over an hour Monday night as firemen and police scurried to and fro, shutting streets down. Why? Who knows? Maybe someone left a lunch bag on the sidewalk. And in the waning days of this administration, there seem to be more frequent motorcades than ever before, all of which seem to occur during rush hour (are they taking someone home every day or are they going out to get pizza?) which shuts down the streets and intersections and screws up traffic. Grrr. I'm not political--too many years of living in the government's armpit have convinced me that they're all a scary piece of work out for themselves, regardless of party, but I can say that the WH is not a very good neighbor.

Then last night we had freezing rain and it took five hours to get home. There were a fascinating number of accidents and people turned every which way on the highway. Thank goodness for having a bathroom on our commuter bus, although I'll grouchily point out that there wasn't enough light to stitch or read by. I've got to remember the clip-on light. It makes the q-snap awfully heavy, though. Then there was the dubious pleasure of chipping/shaving/hammering the coating of ice on the car in the commuter lot and then picking my way home oh-so-carefully. Normally we can't complain about the weather here--Saturday was shirtsleeve weather--but every now and then we get an unpleasant tidbit of what the rest of the country endures. Here's kind of what it looked like, only with lots more cars (I could stitch a whole bunch of red tail lights around that cabin, and it'd look about right).

This is a tiny design by Funk & Weber Designs that I picked at the Scarlet Thread on Saturday. It calls for DMC floss (3 colors) on black 32 count Zweigart.

Since I felt thoroughly growly and the roads were still icy this a.m. and I have a lot of leave built up, I took today off. I worked on this. I finished the Rabbits! block and started in on April's Taxes! block. And I worked on Peaceful Paradise some as well--pictures later this week. I highly recommend PP for anyone wanting a really pretty stitch--the chart picture doesn't do it justice.

February 10, 2008

Elvis Goes to Vienna and Attends the School of Rock

We discovered that little Elvis has a case of worms, which is not that common in rabbits and turns out is fairly harmless. Vets treat the pinworms because of the grossness factor for the humans in the house. So Elvis and I headed yesterday for Vienna, which has an exotic vet called Stahl Exotic Animal Veterinary Services. SEAVS comes highly recommended in this area, although there are several good exotic vets in Northern Virginia. Yesterday's visit was a lot of fun; it's always entertaining to sit in the waiting room of a place that just treats birds and reptiles and little mammals and see what kind of pets come through the door. There was a guinea pig hanging out in a Rubbermaid tub, a large lizard, a pet rat in a little rat-sized carrier and a pair of brown bunnies. My sister was waiting with her dog at her veterinarian, who also has an exotic practice, and reported that a guinea pig or hamster came in in a Barbie Dream House carrier. I was excited about buying a Barbie Dream House carrier for Elvis, but my sister said that it was an actual Barbie Dream House.
Anyway, Elvis is embarrassed about his wormy butt condition and has asked me to tell you that he was actually taking a class (drumming) at the School of Rock Music next door to the vet. You're right, Rabbits' Guy, rock stars get on postage stamps, not samplers. And they DON'T ride in Barbie Dream House carriers!

I hadn't been to Vienna for years, but I remembered hearing that it has a needlework shop called the Scarlet Thread, so after the vet visit, I drove the half mile (all my appointments should be so convenient to a needlework shop) and parked the car with Elvis in it, since the day was a balmy 60 degrees and with a slightly open window, the car was a perfect temp. for a sleeping bunny (being a rock star clearly wore him out). For those of you in NoVa, Scarlet Thread is across the street from the Outback Steakhouse on Maple Avenue, and it's worth a visit. My pictures didn't come out very well, unfortunately. ST has a great collection of unusual samplers that you don't see everywhere; there are German and French samplers, and a small collection of Canadian samplers I hadn't seen before. There are a lot of samplers that feature stitches other than cross stitch, and some crewel kits. They have a gorgeous and easily accessible selection of fibers.
I got "Crabby April thru June" which came with the buttons, by Raise the Roof. I'm planning on stitching the whole design, which is a hoot. I especially like that the May rabbit picture comes with two little round buttons that look like bunny pellets!

I'm stitching on an unknown piece of 32 ct linen that I had in my stash, using DMC floss. It's a pretty quick stitch; if you were ambitious, you could probably stitch one month in a day. Here's my progress after starting this morning (the May/Rabbits block happened to be the center of the design whether you're stitching all 12 months or just this strip). I haven't stitched his whiskers yet because they're a long straight stitch and I didn't want to damage them with the Q snap as I moved around the design.

February 08, 2008

Hopping Along

I've done some stitching on Spring Sampler this week. I'm not sure about the pink eyes on the rabbit. We'll see; I can frog them out. Or I'll ask Pink what he thinks. This photo doesn't show the prettiness of the blue linen.

"How come Pink gets on a sampler and I don't?"

I bought a few samplers on ebay this week; this one is by Green Apple Co. and is called "Beatrix Potter Christmas Tree." I don't remember my Beatrix Potter well, so I'm not sure what the big blob of a critter is under the tree. I'll have to research that. I love Beatrix Potter's animals, and I read somewhere that she loved animals so much that she was constantly smuggling rabbits, mice and hedgehogs into the house. I won't kit this up anytime soon; I typically don't stitch Christmas designs much before Thanksgiving, which gives a bit of a narrow window, although I may make an exception for a couple of the designs I've already started and which I really like.

February 03, 2008

Spring Sampler

Today I visited Everything Cross Stitch in Fredericksburg (hi, Celeste!), which was having a 20% Super Bowl Sale, and I kitted up Waxing Moon Designs' Spring Sampler with 32 ct blue (can't remember which shade) Lakeside linen and WDW fibers. I had a little time tonight, so I started it. The groundhog saw his shadow Saturday, so we have six more weeks of winter, and it'd be nice to have a nice spring sampler to hang at the end of it.

Pink says, "Hurry up and stitch the white bunny on the sampler and give him a pink nose instead of a brown one!"

February 02, 2008

Peaceful Paradise

I managed to stitch a bit on Peaceful Paradise this week, but I was pretty busy, so I didn't get far. For those of you in N. VA, In Stitches is having its Superbowl Sale tomorrow (Sunday) from 12:30, although they're not saying exactly what they're discounting, and how much it is. A mystery! I haven't decided if I'm going to go, especially since I mostly need fibers, and they sell out of those quickly, so I may just hang out here and stitch.

I've changed the cat in Peaceful Paradise to look like our old sweet tabby, Martha, who is in kitty heaven, and I've added the black bunny (Bunnyman). There's no bunny in this chart, but there are a lot of other animals, including dogs chasing each other, and lots of sheep.