Last week was my sister's birthday, but because of finals last Saturday, and the difficulty of getting a reservation on Mother's Day, we postponed the celebration to this week. So yesterday morning I headed out to Fairfax County, making a couple of stops along the way, since I don't get up there nearly enough.
First stop. You NOVA stitchers will recognize this window as belonging to In Stitches.
Eye Candy. That's just the NPI rack. What I purchased there comes later in the post. Aside from the shopping, I got a chance to visit with the wonderful women who staff the shop, including Patricia, who filled me in on some of the details about the Janet Gibson Scottish sampler. Patricia is from Scotland, and her mom lives about 10 miles from Auchterarder, which is where the sampler comes from.
Next stop: Hollywood & Vines, a fabulous plant nursery just north of In Stitches on Route 1. The giant flowerpot and watering can and big metal palm trees are the landmarks. My sister had been wishing for hostas and ferns for her shady back yard, so I bought some, and then wandered around, considering plants for our garden, onto which I have spread composted manure, but which has not seen a single plant. I can't describe the headiness of this nursery; the acres of plants, the sweet smell of the flowers, the piped-in classical music. We'll return next week for that.
I picked up my sister and we headed into DC for lunch. We had weighed various restaurants all week, and in the end she decided she wanted a New England seafood meal, so she chose the Tackle Box, which provides a Maine coast-type dining experience. The restaurant has picnic tables and buoys hanging from the ceiling and they specialize in fried clams, lobster rolls and fish platters.
After lunch we headed over to Georgetown Cupcake. We'd been having a lively discussion about what kinds of business are folding in this recession, and what kinds are thriving, so we were amused to see that this is what's thriving, recession or not. See the line in front of the door? We got in line and waited 20 minutes.
Their cupcakes are delicious, and you can get them packed in a clever little six pack box. They were well worth the wait, although since we hit them late-ish on a Saturday, they were out of the more exotic flavors. You'll note we're big coconut fans.
Here are some of the things I bought at In Stitches, aside from a yard of Legacy linen (34 ct in Oaten Scone) and some NPI, AVAS and CC fibers that I needed to finish kitting up, or restock projects that I'm doing. You'll recognize "Wizard of Oz" by Midsummer Night Designs. So fun I had to start it, using the called-for Crescent Colours and DMC on a piece of linen I cut from the yard I bought.
I also got two charts from a new-to-me designer, Heartstring Samplery Primitives. You may already have read her blog, the Twist Family. The first design is "With One Accord," and the second is "1763 Band Sampler." They're charted for 32 count linen using DMC, and there are instructions for staining the samplers after they're stitched. I predict we'll be seeing more samplers from this designer. And they have everything on my chart wishlist: clear, well-done graphs, and a nice large, clear photo of the finished design.
I particularly like the little jumping-jack men in their polka-dotted pants.
Here's my progress on Janet Gibson. Patricia mentioned that the house shown on the sampler, with all the windows, is a style common to that area. I've encountered some difficulties and challenges with this sampler. While Lakeside is one of my favorite linens, and I think the color is perfect, I wish I had chosen a higher count; 34 might have been a little better for coverage. And this particular piece seems a little too soft and loosely woven. Or NPI has gotten skimpier, which it sort of feels like. The white NPI in particular, seems not to cover as well as I'd like. I could start over, but I've already done a ton of work it feels like, so I don't really want to do that. I could double the NPI, but that crowds things a bit. Maybe on the swan. Have I mentioned the zillion different stitches on the swan? Then there's the over-one. See the little green "v" next to the potted plant? Took forever. Man, I hate over-one, and there's more of it than I anticipated. But there's no going back now! Because when all is said and done, I think it will be stunning when it's finished.
Here's a three-pack of cupcakes.
"I would like a three-pack of cupcakes, please!" This is Gracie, my sister's elderly dog. We don't allow her near the bunnies--she was way too interested in my last bunny, so she was permanently banished from the bunny room.
Thanks for sticking with this long, long post. Back to normal soon, as school starts in just a little more than a week!
If you can, find a cupcake and eat it this week!