July 31, 2009

Falling in Love Again....

Oh, my. I've got a new obsession. It's winging its way to me from The Essamplaire.... Sarah McPhail. Isn't she beautiful? This is it though--I mean really IT. For the year. I refuse to buy a single other project, especially another BAP. Barbara was right when she commented that certain projects cause you to dwell on your mortality. So do certain collections of projects, I think.

While I'm waiting for Sarah McPhail to roll into town, I picked "Peaceful Paradise" from Midsummer Night Designs from (one of) the WIP bin(s). It's about 1/4 done. I'm going to try to visit some of my older WIPs more frequently, and I'm also doing the Sail Away SAL.

"Will you have time to pet the bunny's nose?"

July 30, 2009

In Honor of Hans: Furry Butts Fursday

I join other bunny bloggers today to honor Hans of Furrybutts with a show of bunny tails. Rest in Peace, Little One.

July 26, 2009


Yesterday's cocktail was the bellini, served with grilled swordfish steaks, homemade tomato/cilantro/lemon relish, rice and fresh corn. The recipe for the bellini is 1 part white peach juice/pulp, 1 part peach schnappes, and 4 parts sparkling wine. I bought the white peaches at the farmers' market--not something I'd normally buy, both because they're a bit sweet, and because they're even more fragile and bruise-prone than regular peaches. Garnish with a peach slice and some raspberries. BF pronounced it delicious (it's not too sweet even with the sweet peach juice). The name of the wine was "Pink," (Australian), and it IS pink. So of course, I had a Pink and Peaches beverage.

Yesterday after the farmers' market I stopped by Everything Cross Stitch and spent a pleasant time sorting through the AVAS for Sarah Spence. I'm changing all the colors, since even though the pink in the fabric is fairly subtle, most of the charted colors didn't look that great with it. While I was there, I picked up this magazine because it has a few really nice projects in it. In fact, I'm predicting that lots of needleworkers will want to do the cover project, which is charted for both NPI and DMC.

Here's some progress on Sarah Spence. Just by accident, the light was right to catch the true color of the fabric.

And a little progress on Alphabetissimo. I'm working to get this done soon. I'd like to have a finish, especially since I'm acquiring a new BAP (one I've not seen done by anyone yet; I'm madly in love with it!): more details about that to come.

Elvis is disappointed that there's not an Elvis beverage, but I told him there was a cocktail in his honor: the fuzzy navel.

Happy week ahead!

July 24, 2009

A Little July Left

I'm not sure I'm going to get this finished by the end of the month. I've been spending time with the Needleprint project and I'm rolling downhill to the end of the semester which means a paper for one class, a cost accounting project for the other class and neither one started to date. Bah. Looks like I'll be indoors a lot this weekend after a quick trip to the farmer's market tomorrow. My approach is to write (or calculate) a section for a paper, then stitch one thread. Or two, if it's going well. Maybe three if it's going badly. I get lots of stitching done when I write papers.

I got a little stash from ebay and I'm feeling uncertain about it. This is an OOP Goode Huswife. I don't think she's re-released this one--yet. I really wanted it based on the little ebay picture. It was OOP! It was Goode Huswife! I love GH! I've never seen it stitched though and the picture on the chart isn't very clear because it's a bit dark. Have any of you stitched this? I'd love to see a picture of it finished.

This came in the same batch. It's a Scarlet Quince design, which seems to operate much the same way HAED does. Has anyone done an SQ design, and were you happy with it? The picture on the front of the package is blurry (pixels instead of stitches). Both projects seem so dense with stitching--I guess I have enough on my plate right now, hmmmm?

Here's the progress on Peachy-Dandy's project.
Peaches: "It's a fleur de lys!"

We said goodbye to Hans, the bunny, this week. His mom is grieving most terribly, and all of us are sad for her. Hug your loved ones--furry or otherwise--extra long tonight.

July 19, 2009

Pink Elephants

So that resolution ("I won't start a new Quaker until I finish my old Quaker.") lasted less than 48 hours. Liar, liar, pants on fire. Hah! So here's Sarah Spence, all rosy and started. I've put the 991bb NPI on the fabric so you can see the subtle pink of the fabric against the stark white. When I picked up the AVAS colors yesterday at Everything Cross Stitch, the floss toss didn't look right, I decided to switch to 32 ct Lakeside Attic Lace, and while that looked a lot better, one strand of silk wasn't enough coverage, and two strands was bunchy-looking, so I switched back to the Porcelain with one strand over 2, so I'm going to substitute colors as I go along. This should be fun!

I did some more on Dorothy this week--another girly pink sampler.

And a new feature: Summer Sunday Cocktail. When I was a kid, my dad was always making rob roys and manhattans and tom collinses in the summer, and there was always a shirley temple or a sip of the real thing for my sister and me. A few years ago we decided to institute an occasional cocktail hour and bought the stuff: shaker and stirrers and various liquors and some proper glasses, but we never did much with it. So today I went into the cabinet and poked around, then blew the dust off the bottles and bought some limes and cranberry juice to make this cosmopolitan. (Vodka, cointreau, lime juice and cranberry.) Mmmmm--vitamin C. BF said it is a girly drink and too sweet (I rubbed the lime wheel along the glass, then rubbed the rim in pink sugar). I think Dorothy and Sarah would like it just fine.

Pink, but not an elephant.

Cheers, all.

July 17, 2009


Are you doing the nearly-free Ackworth Sampler? And do you have your favorites if you're just a spectator as I am? I do--the one that looks gold on a blue background. I was on the fence for a while about doing it, because I have so many other things going. So I held off. But last week when I was at In Stitches, I saw this Needleprint project, Sarah Spence's 1806. I left it behind, regretted it and then had them send it to me. If only all our regrets were so easily resolved! It just so happens that I'd placed an order for a stitcher's half of 40 ct Lakeside Linen in the new color, Porcelain, from Attic Needlework. It arrived today, and it is the most tender of pinky-ivories, so lovely I wish I'd gotten a yard. It's hard to tell from this picture, which I took by lamplight and the fading daylight. Anyway, it's a big design, 328x398. There's lots of blank space around the motifs, though, isn't there?

I've been working on this quaker design as well--I picked it up this week. The idea is to finish it before I start the next quaker. Hah! Tomorrow I'll drop by Everything Cross Stitch and pick up a couple things I've ordered and see how many of the AVAS I can get for Sarah Spence. And I haven't forgotten our friends, Headless Hussy and Brainless Betty. Pictures of them on Sunday. And I even picked up Christinia! My needle has been smoking this week.

Friday buns. They routinely sit on each other, smush their faces against each other, smash into each other while running full-tilt across the room and bowl each other over, step on each other's heads or bums. They don't seem to mind.

July 12, 2009

Unconfined: Pear Tree Court

I escaped my confining chores today and zipped up north to Pear Tree Court (In Stitches in Alexandria), where I met two famous bloggers: Tanya, of the Sampler Girl (having a trunk show and debuting a new design), and Siobhan, all the way from Ireland, who was, as I was, talking and shopping. Here's just part of Tanya's beautiful layout, full of charts and models and with a Jane Austen movie running in the background. I'm sort of kicking myself for not insisting on a photo of the two ladies-but I hate shoving a camera in someone's face, especially when that picture's going to wind up in cyberspace, and although the photo doesn't show it, the shop was extremely busy with stitchers shopping the sale and meeting the designer, so I contented myself with the display. I'm also not showing you Tanya's new design, since she was waiting until after the trunk show to reveal it, I believe.

I bought the new design, and also this, one of my favorites, Mrs. Lincoln.

I worked a little on Tea Party today. Of course, it is your fault that I started it, since I'm going to be reporting on its difficulty considering the embroidery. So far, so good--pretty standard bargello stitch for the grass, then ccs on the woman's dress, with some french knots. I've nicknamed her the headless hussy for the moment.

On the way home, I stopped at Lowe's to pick up some stuff and spotted this gentleman and his bird checking out. Amazing that the bird doesn't need to be confined!

"Humph! You got to fly north, the bird at Lowe's isn't caged, but I'm stuck in this old room! But never you mind, I'm chewing my way out."

Happy week!

July 11, 2009


I am supposed to be working on midterm exams for my two classes, but I've been taking regular little blocks of time to stitch. Progress on "July":

I ordered this from 123stitch, and it came very quickly, as do all of my orders from them. It's charted for DMC, but I subbed AVAS because I prefer it. I started it. Frankly, although I said I was going to devote July to patriotic stitching, my interest in that (I now have about 8 patriotic charts waiting in the wings) has begun to...er...flag. I'm pretty distractable--but needlework is about the only thing I have any control over. Schoolwork, the work grind, the commute, a certain basic level of personal and household hygiene, all pretty non-negotiable. Needlework? I give myself permission to do anything I want.

Then there's this. Wow, what colors. And a departure for The Victoria Sampler, I think, because there's not a band in sight. There is some surface embroidery, some beading, some specialty stitches, and some ribbon work. But it's not too large, so it's not terribly daunting. It came with a thread pack (NIP, AVAS, Kreinik Mori, Kreinik braid, silk ribbon, GAST and beads) and I bought the recommended color of linen: Vintage cashel in "country mocha," only I got the 32 ct. instead of the recommended 28.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to get up to meet the Sampler Girl and see her trunk show, so I'd better get back to my exams. Later!
"I disapprove of rigid schedules."

July 05, 2009

"July," Sort of

I didn't finish "July," but I made pretty good progress considering my homework. In the meantime, a few more patriotic charts arrived and I made a tiny start in one of them, which I'll show you when it looks like something.

I went to a 4th of July party at my sister's, and we had great food and played with sparklers. The flame on the left is a mosquito lantern, which I highly recommend.

[Edited to add photos of family members who were disappointed to see nothing but a disembodied hand holding a sparkler in this blog entry.]
It's impossible not to cackle gleefully while holding a sparkler. Also impossible not to swish it around, even if you're (sort of) an adult. My sis:

Bug spray. Necessary when stepping away from the tiki torches. Sis's BF, a fun guy who showed us how to season a grill with an onion.

Contemplating eating the last deviled egg:

I picked up Shepherd's Bush "Tiny Flag" at the framer's.

I had to show you this house. It's sampler-worthy. I went for a walk through F-burg with my camera and stopped to stare at this house; there's something going on with the color in the bright sunlight. I went back today because it was drizzling and I figured the effect would be gone, but it wasn't entirely. Here's the house: a nice Queen Anne Victorian, circa 1890. There's something electric about the color though.

Look at the front porch. See the spring green ceiling and floor? It's hard to do show with the camera but it positively shimmers in the sun. If you live in the area, it's on Fauquier Street, and it's very worth the drive. I'd love to buy this house, and tragically for me, it's for sale--such bad timing, since we couldn't unload our current house (not that I really want to--but still--a special house like this comes on the market but once in a blue moon. Or in a green porch.) It's renovated and looks to be in very good condition; the real estate photos show a nice interior renovation that modernizes the kitchen but doesn't destroy the nice old features of this period home.

Here's a group snorgle. Pink, Elvis and Peaches are concerned this evening about their friend, Fats, who was wounded and has gotten some vet care and needs some medicine his mom (who's a glassblower) can't afford. If you want purchase some beautiful art glass, make a little donation or just wish Fats well, please go here.

Happy week ahead, all!