September 30, 2009


I think it's very inconsiderate to go to work when you're feeling FEVERISH (thank you for providing me with the perfect word to describe my condition, Siobhan). I've been FEVERISHLY anticipating the new products from market, so I decided to call in sick today. And head up the road to NoVa so that I could relieve my FEVER. Since traffic was better than I expected, I got there just as In Stitches opened. Here's Patricia--several of you know her--opening up at 9:56 a.m. Shall I mention that I was first in the door and I didn't have to knock anyone down or poke them with my sharp elbows, as I might have on Saturday?

Such a lot of projects here--it's hard to see the forest for the trees. I saw several older charts that I intend to buy next time.

My purchases were actually fairly restrained, particularly as I had pre-ordered some of the charts, including Christmas at HRH. I found and kitted up Paradise Lost and also bought Garden of Eerie.

Many of you have seen this book. There are a number of projects inside that I want to do. The cover project is stitched with a combination of CC, GAST and WDW.

This is in the Joyeux Noel book as well; I love it and will stitch it soon. It's charted for Belle Soie, but I think I will substitute AVAS. There are lots of small designs in this book, including a Christmas-y Eiffel Tower stocking. A cost-effective purchase!

This is one of the new Teresa Layman designs that is cross stitch instead of knotted thread. Her website has just a couple of them, but In Stitches had about four, and I really debated which one to get. This is "Sweet Dreams," and it's charted for DMC and WDW.

Ellen also helped me choose a frame for Alphabetissimo. I can't wait to see it done! I had a blast chatting with the ladies and hearing about their market "adventure" (work, work and more work) and seeing all the stuff they brought back after a 15-hour drive (yikes). At the end of my shopping expedition my fever was cured temporarily, and I even had enough money left for a sumptuous lunch:

"Elvis, I'm really worried about that Sweet Dreams picture. Do you have a license to fly? And do you suppose she expects to fly us around the room with her big stitchy butt dragging on the floor? I'll get on your back, and you see if you can take off!"

September 27, 2009

An Embarrassment of Choices

First, progress on Sarah McPhail:

How excited are we about Market? I've speculated that for all the designs we have seen and plan to acquire (my short list: Christmas at HRH, Witches Hollow, Paradise Lost, Garden of Eerie), there is a whole hidden iceberg full of tempting stitches. Note the enablement coming from the shops. This is from an email from Ellen Meyer, the most wonderful proprietor of In Stitches in Alexadria, about her trip to Market. It made my toes tingle and my wallet finger twitch just to read it: "There are approximately 3 times as many cross stitch designers. With only two days (15 hours or 900 minutes) to shop, we have about 6 minutes per room. I guess that brings a new meaning to the words “power shopping”. The new merchandise will be in the shop, priced and ready to be purchased on Wednesday, September 30th. If you cannot make it in during the day, we will have extended hours until 8pm that night." LOL! Makes me want to run down there and wait for the doors to open on Wednesday morning, but alas, I will have to wait for Saturday.

Of course, I have been avidly following the new release emails from ONS as well, and spied this from Blackberry Lane Designs via abcstitch. It's a pendant, and note the size relative to the leaf and acorn. Tiny but perfect. While I wouldn't wear it, I'd stitch it and frame it! There are other tiny pendants as well, including roses and some very cute and intricate-looking Halloween designs.

The array of choices is quite dizzying, and all I want to do these days is stitch, in spite of a full plate otherwise. Speaking of full plates, I've tried to put a little extra effort into meals, such as last night's dinner of roasted cod in panko crumbs and stewed tomatoes with cheddar dumplings. BF's reaction upon seeing the dinner: "No meat?" He was kidding of course, and hoovered it up appreciatively.

And I bought a special treat for the Buns this week: timothy hay mixed with marigold petals. They have been relatively unimpressed, which is probably just as well, because as I recall, the Perdue chickens (probably a regional company?) are fattened up on marigold petals which make them not only heavier but bright yellow. Too bad I don't have photo software; I'd tint Pink yellow here.

Sigh. Those are my choices? Hay or hay with flower petals? Go find me some water cress.
Happy week ahead, all!

September 20, 2009

Running By, Running On, Running Out

Hey, all--lots going on here (at least with homework) and also with drooling over/kitting up the new designs coming out at market. I've never seen so many wonderful designs that I want to acquire! Dear Celeste, at my LNS, Everything Cross Stitch, in Fredericksburg, VA and dear Jan, at have been very patient with me and my million questions about colors and fabric availability.

Yesterday I kitted up English Whitework. The design calls for 40 count Newcastle linen in ecru or white, and I found it, and it was perfectly nice but I figured the fabric would swallow up all that super-involved stitching, and we can't have that! If we're going to labor, ladies, we need to show it off! Then I spied the dishiest cut ever of Lakeside 40 ct in Winter Sky. My pictures don't capture the true, glorious, hyacinth-y color of it, but the first photo is closest to it. The second photo shows the threads I'm using--only 2!--Perle cotton 12 (on the right), and dentelle tatting thread in 80. (Which makes me think of dental floss, which it somewhat resembles.) I had not found dentelle anywhere on the web, and it turned out to be right in my back yard at my LNS! The dentelle is used only for the cutwork parts I think. Just thinking of cutting this beautiful Lakeside gives me cold chills. I ordered the chart (Needle's Prayse) from 123stitch, and it came in a flash.

I've also restarted Sarah McPhail, this time on 40 ct Lakeside in maritime white. I'm so happy I changed the fabric out--it looks so much better. To avoid the feeling of restitching, a boring project-killer for me, I've started in the middle this time. Here's the bow (see it in the photo of the project below?):

Well, I'm off to the grocery store since we've run out of nearly everything but meat (BF is in charge of meat, so the meat in our freezer might outlast my supply of needlework projects. Well, that's an exaggeration...). He very nicely offered to go to the store for me, but if I agreed, he'd come with another stack of meat, and I'm thinking it might be good to have a salad or something with our (barbecued) meat tonight... Also, I'm in charge of putting together something for this week's cocktail....

Here's Elvis, running by while Yazziebear pays no attention to him.

Happy week ahead!

September 13, 2009

Whitework Samplers

I'm still pondering my choices, especially after discovering that Frances Eden, upon which I have been diligently stitching, is 90 degrees off--meaning the pattern's WIDE instead of LONG, which I full well knew, and I was stitching on a piece of fabric held vertically instead of horizontally. Not the first time I've done that...sigh. Fortunately, the fabric is long enough where I can just chop off the offending portion. Picture me taking the big Gingher dressmaking shears to it, cackling wildly. Or maybe weeping.

In spite of the hovering in the wings of Christmas at HRH and the two Plum Street Samplers charts that I must have as soon as they're released--Garden of Eerie and Paradise Lost--and heaven only knows what else that will come from Market, this is what I'd like to stitch as my replacement for Alphabetissimo: English Whitework Sampler by the Needle's Prayse. It calls for Perle Cotton #12, which I have, and special Denetelle tatting thread in 80, which is possibly available from Traditional Stitches in Canada. DMC makes a tatting thread as well, which is available from Joann's. I'm going to pop over to Michaels later to see if they stock tatting thread. In the meantime, a little imp is wondering if I can substitute some kind of silk. What fun it is to kit this up! (Probably more fun to kit than to stitch.)

This is the Victoria Sampler White Christmas Sampler, which I have around here somewhere, completely kitted up. Who knows where it is, though, so it's on hold until I can comb through a few closets. Pathetic. Truly I am an organizational flake.

I have started this--it's the Heirloom Wedding Sampler by The Victoria Sampler. I call it the Heirloom Cohabitation Sampler since we have no immediate plans to be married in spite of (or because of) 15 mostly blissful years of living together.

The heart looks cattywampus here because the fabric is not in a q-snap and it's a little creased. I'm debating whether I like the 28 ct platinum cashel that the pattern calls for, or if I want to re-do it on a very pretty cut of 32 Picture This Plus in a gorgeous ocean blue. Or on something creamier. The platinum cashel is a tad greenish IRL.

Speaking of Whitework, here is Pink, acting in his capacity as guard-bun.

Happy week ahead, all!

September 11, 2009

Finished. Done. Over.

Alphabetissimo, by Papillon Creations, stitched with 2 colors of NPI Silks, 1 over 2, on Picture This Plus fabric in 32 ct Sterling. I will be framing this soon.

I'm so pleased I was able to finish this on my vacation. Now I have to hit the books; school started on Tuesday--part of the reason I took this week off. This semester will not be for the faint-hearted: two courses--Advanced Accounting--the last and most difficult of the five "basic" accounting courses; everything after this is a specialty course. And Taxation for Corporations, Trusts, Estates and Partnerships.

What project is next? I've got plenty going now, but I'd like to use this opening in my very loose "rotation" to introduce another pretty sampler. Possibly Christmas at HRH? Perhaps Ann Rayner. Perhaps a whitwork sampler on another Picture This cut--maybe white on pink or another shade of blue. I feel inspired by One Stitch at a Time--she's doing the English Whitework Sampler by the Needle's Prayse. I also own the Victoria Sampler whitework Christmas band sampler, so maybe that. Or Sarah Woodham by Shakespeare's Peddler (not whitework, of course). We'll see. You can be sure we'll be investigating the possibilities!
(Peaches, investigating the possibilities.)

September 09, 2009

Three Days

Woods Hole Beach at 7 a.m. No sharks here. No seals either. A professional harpooner (what I want to do for my next job; I figure that being a needleworker is a good start for being qualified since I regularly harpoon myself with the needle) electronically tagged the great white sharks. There are at least five of them--the largest is 15 feet long. The scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory are excited, but the swimmers aren't; the beaches are still closed.

My 82-year-old dad was under the weather, so I didn't leave the house much, which meant I accomplished a lot of stitching. Christinia:


I guess I'm a drop-out for the Sail-Away SAL--I just can't get into it. I bought different colors and everything, but it just isn't doing it for me. Sorry, guys, but your projects look beautiful. I may bring up the rear--or not.

These guys behaved badly, BF said. They look innocent to me!

September 05, 2009

Cue the Music from "Jaws"

I looked at the Cape Cod Times online the other day to get the weather forecast and this was on the front page. It seems that five great white sharks (the same type as in Jaws, only not mechanical, presumably) have been spotted off Monomoy Island, which is near Chatham. Apparently there's some disagreement among the towns (just like in the movie) about the wisdom of shutting down the beaches on a holiday weekend. Nauset Beach in Orleans is closed today because of sightings. The paper seems to be taking it fairly lightly and has headlines like: "Be Brave! Hit the Beach!" and "Sharks Missing in Action in Chatham: People yesterday kept looking for a dorsal fin cutting through the sparkling water off Lighthouse Beach and listening for the screams of a swimmer attacked by a shark." LOL: cue the music! I will probably find myself in Chatham as it's my favorite Cape town, but the most dangerous thing there, most likely, will be the traffic. I'm not much of a salt water swimmer, so I don't bother doing much more than wading. The newspaper helpfully noted that it was unwise to swim around the harbor seals playing in the surf; apparently they are the white shark's favorite snack, and the shark might make a small mistake if you are swimming around with them. As I read through the articles about seals and sharks on the Cape, I read an opinion piece by a fisherman complaining about how much seal poop is in the water and that it raises the nitrogen levels of the water--apparently not everyone feels sorry for the seals.

I've spent far more time contemplating which projects to take with me than which clothing. I'll be taking this because it's topical and I'd love to finish it up. Also Sail Away, because I'm overdue for both catching up and posting on the SAL, and Alphabetissimo and maybe one more. I leave tomorrow very early and have decided to skip Brimfield--the weather is supposed to be gorgeous, so I'd love to do something outdoors and I really don't need to find another place to dump money, since I'm planning on buying "Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow." There are 60 NPI colors (although it's also charted for DMC), and I only have about 20 of them in my stash.

BF, who has to work next week, is staying home to bun- and cat-sit. Pink says he has a shark joke for us, since I work in a law firm: "Question: Why didn't the shark eat the lawyer when he fell overboard? Answer: Professional courtesy."

"Har, har, har. George, let's go haul ourselves up on the beach and poop over by the lifeguard stand." This is a photo of gray seals, borrowed from yesterday's Cape Cod Times.

See you soon!