May 31, 2009

Well, I've Never Been to Heaven, But I've Been to Oklahoma

The title of this post comes from the fact that we're talking vacations today and also that I woke up to a thunderstorm this morning and with that Three Dog Night song in my head. We haven't been on a proper vacation since two years before we moved to this house, so that would make it nearly four years without going very far. We used to pick up and go somewhere--usually overseas--every other year. We'd like to spend our money in the U.S., and we'd like to try something different, so this year we're talking about going to one of the big state fairs--Nebraska, Iowa, maybe Kansas, flying to perhaps Omaha or Indianapolis and renting a car. Road trip! When I was younger I criss-crossed the country for about three years, so I've been most everywhere and want to go again. BF has visited both coasts but has never never been to the Midwest. BF says that if we go to the fair, I have to ride the carnival rides, though. I don't know about that... I need to figure out where the best needlework shops are and plan accordingly, don't you think? Let's see--there's The Silver Needle in Oklahoma. Anyone else have any recommendations on either fairs or needlework stops?

I devoted most of my week to my very long homework assignment, so I didn't stitch much. And wherever I turned, I was running into a problem (generally of my own making). Problem One: La Famille Lapin. I was making great progress in spite of the quarter stitches and backstitching, until the project got separated from its thread. It's red, silk and variegated. I wonder what it was.... It wasn't called for by the pattern.

Problem Two: 1763 Band Sampler. I love this sampler--all but the topmost band (so far--there are more bands over this). On the designer's photo it looks cute--it's sort of freehandish. In my hands it looks sloppy. What to do. I've taken it out and redone it, but to my eye, it still isn't right.

Problem Three: Tulips. It sat in my bag for a while because I don't enjoy the queen stitches. So I sat down one day and finished most of the stitches that are blocking my progress. Except, see the two rows of gold queen stitches? In between there is a row of green queen stitches that fill in the gaps. I actually think I like the gaps left empty, and not just because I don't enjoy doing the queen stitches. Part of me thinks that's a nice reason not to stitch the crowded-looking green stitches, and part of me feels like a slacker for not just DOING them already. But I think the green stitches look too crowded.

And Problem Four: Janet Gibson. What to do, what to do. I'm just not happy with either the coverage of the thread or the limpness of the fabric on this project. I think I'm going to put her away for a while and perhaps restart her later on different fabric. It's just too disappointing to stitch and stitch and then look at it and

This afternoon I think I'll stitch something easy, maybe one of my LHN WIPs, like Morning Berries.

Speaking of Morning Berries, you'll recall the MB verse goes: "The dew upon the berry, relects the morning sun. It glistens like a diamond until the rabbits come." The rabbits came to my new flower garden and munched some of my beautiful new plants right down to tiny stumps. I have to go pick up more plants now because of them. Man, do they love the liriope! And the paprika yarrow.

Here's some of my lettuce crop, safe from their greedy little clutches, in containers on the deck:

It's good to have someone to snuggle with during a thunder storm.

Have a wonderful week!


Colleen said...

On the Band Sampler: it looks like you have been using just one thread...what if you used 2??

I think you're right about the queen stitch in such a small space. Either leave it blank or just do the cross stitch (which is what I would do :)).

Some times we all need to take a break from a project and just do something "fun". :)

Daffycat said...

Planning holidays are loads of fun! Enjoy it! The Silver Needle is a perfect needle-related stop. Plus, Tulsa has some wonderful attractions to warrant you spending an afternoon stash shopping there.

Who wouldn't want to snuggle up with Elvis? All that lovely cuddly fur!

Love to Stitch said...

I love road trips! Kansas has Picture this Plus, it is on my list someday, (if I ever make it to Kansas!) Your projects are looking great. I like the green queen stitch in-btwn the black, on tupips- but thats me! What fabric did you choose for Janet? I cant remember if you had mentioned it b4. It is such a gorgeous piece, deciding sooner or later to switch is a good idea!!

Terri(TerriBoog) said...

A road trip sounds like tons of fun. when I was young, my dad was in the army and we criss crossed the USA going from one station to another. I have very fond memories of that and wish we had done more of it with our kids. Wherever you decide to go - you'll have fun!

I say leave out the green queen stitches. I think it looks great without them!

Vonna said...

Ah the midwest...nothing better than the good 'ol midwest! I think any fair - in any state - you wouldn't go wrong :o)
And all your WIPs are just delightful! Poor Chatty...he'd like to have a snuggle buddy during a T-storm!

Margaret said...

That's funny -- my dh and I are the same way. I've been to most of the states and he's only driven through the midwest and not been there much. I used to be dragged along cross country when I was little as well. I am not one to give advice on your problems. I'm too waffly on what I even think so I hope you don't mind. I'll just say I like everything you're stitching! Great pic of the bunnies!

FrecklesandDeb said...

What fun planning your holiday! We're staying near home (just the next state), but made the reservations and are getting excited!

Those two look like they'll take any excuse to snuggle!

Anna van Schurman said...

To save your plants from the rabbits, well, not sure how you feel about doing this to the wild ones: mix cayenne, garlic juice, soap and oil with water in a spray bottle. Spray and reapply every time it rains. Saved one of the liriope. Eventually, the liriope get too tough for the rabbits to enjoy.

staci said...

State fairs, fun fun!!! Road trips, even better!!!

I agree that I like the gold queen stitches without the green ;) I think all your projects look great.

And how cute are the little bunny buddies???

Siobhan said...

Oooh, fun planning a vacation! There is so much of the US that I want to see. I have always been interested in Missouri--sounds like there are a lot of fun shops out that way. ??

I can't help on the stitching because I think it all looks good, but if you're not happy with something, take it out. It's your hobby, do what makes you happy.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Well let's see .. you can go "Livin' On Tulsa Time" or maybe "You're the Reason God made Oklahoma" or ... oh blather. I hope you like flat and corn!

Aren't the outdoor gardens to feed rabbits?

And .. what of the bunns during this vacation??? Hmmm???

ON the positive note ... a vacation sounds like just the ticket .. especially a road trip .. "See the USA in your Chevrolet ... tra la la..."

Maybe go ahead and get a nice red convertible for the trip!

Jeanne - WillowTreeStitcher said...

Hi Glenna - love your projects. I too am picky about my coverage and the dark colors always seem to be either a thinner thread or they just appear thinner with the background showing through. I have the same problem on one of my projects which has me stalled - I am thinking of putting another half-cross over all of it and seeing if that fills in in. Enjoy your trip whatever you decide!

Kellie said...

Hi Glenna,
Planning a vacation sounds like so much fun! I always look for needlework shops when we go on vacation too. I would love to someday visit Silver Needle. :) Hope you found the silk for your project. I personally agree with you on the green queen stitches...I think it looks better without them. I think the gold stitches look more defined without the green.
Love the cute snuggling bunnies!!

Melody said...

What beautiful work. Don't miss the Silver Needle if you have a chance at going to Oklahoma. It's a great shop, and the staff are so friendly.

I hope to go again someday. I live in Illinois, so it's a ways for me too.

The Scarlett House said...

Hi Glenna, I could be pursuaded to meet you at the fair! The Midwest fairs are the best. Talk about junk food heaven. Deep fried everything! My DH and I love road trips. I stitch and read while he does all the driving. I'll give some thought to places to recommend in IL and Iowa, if you head there.

Brigitte said...

Your stitching looks wonderful. As for the problems you have with them - you should just stitch them the way you like it. If you don't like a small band, just leave it out. And if you don't like the green Queen stitches between the gold ones just leave them out (although I must admit that I like the green inmidst the gold, but that's just me). Just like Siobhán said "do what makes you happy"

Kajsa said...

Iowa state fair is supposed to be great! We are in Nebraska so the only one we have gotten too is our own. It's ok.

I would love to go to the Silver Needle. There's some wonderful shops in Kansas City too.

Kathy said...

Have heard the Iowa State Fais is great. Have been to South Dakota most recently, but am looking at going to my own state fair in Kansas this year. Haven't been in several years.

There are several LNS in Kansas. I help out at The Sunflower Seed in Topeka. Heart's Desire in Wichita. Picture This Plus is in Abilene along with Eisenhower Presidential Library. There is one shop in Lawrence and 3 in the the Kansas City area. If you decide to come to Kansas, let me know and I will be glad to help you get connected with somethings.

I vote for leaving out the green queen stitches. You stitching looks fantastic as always.