October 25, 2009

Vacation's End

I am glum today because my vacation is ending and I'm headed back to work tomorrow. There's so much that I didn't have a chance to do! I did stitch some more on Sarah McPhail. I put some stitches into Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow, but not enough to show yet.

On Friday I made it to In Stitches and picked up some threads I needed as well as a few charts. This is "The Governor's Palace," a Williamsburg design by Homespun Samplar. I first saw it on Tanya's blog.

This came as a four-pack of Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly magazines. The four magazines had the "old Aviary" series of charts, which I'd like to stitch up some day. I have no immediate plans to do so, but there's no guarantee that the magazines will be available when I'm ready, since they're already a few years old. Of course, I'd like to stitch this cover project as well.

This is a cheery framed model in the store. I don't know if you can tell, but the stuff bubbling out of the pot and the lettering over the pot are sparkly fibers. There's nothing like a framed model to suck you in--I really wanted to get it, but realizing Halloween was only 8 days away made me rethink that.

Diana has a hilarious video of her bunny, Amelia, devouring a pumpkin. Go see it! Inspired by that, I bought our bunnies a pumpkin. No devouring ensued.
"Are you out of your mind? What is that!? Go get the phone so I can call for a pizza!"

Happy week ahead!

October 23, 2009

Foliage and Waterfalls

Foliage (the entrance to my neighborhood):

Foliage (Sarah McPhail). I had to frog out a couple of the smaller bright-green trees, but no matter. Onward.

Waterfall (more about that later):

BF and I drove to Richmond on Wednesday and shopped for furniture. Shopping for furniture for any couple could be fraught. Might be even if the couple is in agreement as to style, function, color. For us it's difficult: I am an ultra-contemorary girl; BF is a traditional guy. We've gingerly reached sort of a middle ground, in a furniture store called La Difference, in Richmond. La Diff, as it's called, is in the middle of the loft district of Richmond, where the old factories and tobacco warehouses have been repurposed into loft housing. It'd be perfect for us if only we could live in Richmond, something we're working on. For now we have a typical Virginia two-story center hall colonial tract home--on the outside. Inside I'm beginning to push the contemporary envelope after a lot of negotiation and some compromise.
I liked this. It's a chest of drawers, part of a bedroom set, green lacquer with glass applied over it. I can't describe how the pieces glowed in the light. BF pronounced it "awful."

I tried out this chair. Note: if your feet are higher than your head, it might be difficult to stitch.

This looks uncomfortable but was actually quite nice. I like the look. BF reminded me that six cats and their little claws don't work with white leather. Too bad--I saw a number of white leather pieces including a huge sectional and a round platform bed. He's right though.

Boing, boing, boing. Extraordinarily comfortable for a stool. We explored using them in the kitchen (they're office furniture really), but agreed that the price was prohibitive.

Here's our compromise: Shaker. Clean lines for me, nice wood for him. It's difficult to find furniture made in the U.S.; these pieces come from a company in Vermont.

Stash holders!

Another white leather piece, unfortunately. Because look at his face: no wonder we call it the "happy chair." I'd have brought him home simply because it cheers me up to look at him.

The waterfall: it seems we sprang a slow leak in the master bath shower. Drip, drip, drip. While we were away in Richmond, the dining room ceiling began to sag. Sigh. Today the plumber came and tore a hole in the ceiling to look up above. It was all too reminiscent of the great Pink Flood of 2007, where Pink chewed a hole in a pipe and flooded the bathroom, the guest bedroom and the kitchen. We've isolated the problem, fortunately and will have to have some work done up above. There's an opening around a tile in the shower where water gets underneath the tiles, so water has been seeping down and dripping on the ceiling. It could be worse, right Pink?

Peaches: "It's ok to come out, Pink. They know you didn't do it this time."

When the plumber left with his ladder, I headed up to In Stitches to pick up threads and more stash. I got some interesting samplers--all of them traditional, of course. This is a long and picture-heavy post; more about my trip Sunday. Bye!

October 20, 2009

Vacation III

I finished up my homework surprisingly early today, so now I'm free for the week. I celebrated by planting my butt on this sofa most of the day. Note the books, calculator, etc. Also note the stitching project bags. That's Sarah McP. in the center. And note my four stitching buddies (look carefully for the feet of #4 stitching buddy sticking out from under a table). Very peaceful, and very productive, but now I have that stale, unexercised feeling you get after eating a large meal or sitting all day. Plus I could use a shower.

I got a third rose completed on Sarah. I'm excited about getting to the river, but I have a large thicket of trees and bushes to pass through first. My goal by the end of the week is to splash around in the river.

I want to thank Kellie at The Stitching Post for alerting me to this sampler. It's called the "Swan Pond Sampler," and it's from the Knoxville EGA. It's particularly meaningful to me because I spent a very happy time at UT's library school. Even all these years later I hum "Rocky Top" in the fall. I'd love to retire in Knoxville or thereabouts. Anyway, Kellie and I purchased this from the Dixie Darlin' needlework store in Pigeon Forge. I called them, and they couldn't have been nicer. It's charted for DMC, but I'll probably do a conversion.

Off to take my shower!
"Phew. I smell something!"


October 19, 2009

Vacation II

Although I am not tired of stitching Sarah McPhail, I am tired of looking at her on this site. So she'll be back in a couple of days when I've moved away from the pink roses. I picked up a couple of things to work on last night before I went back to work on Sarah. This is English Whitework. It's fun to stitch, but it's definitely daytime stuff. And I can't get the color right with the camera--it's more purpley than this photo indicates.

And this is something I hadn't worked on for a while. Too Christmasy. Only, it's just two months away now, isn't it? The colors in this are great. I'm forgetting what I'm using on it--a Lakeside I think. Maybe pear. The colors in this photo are pretty true to life. This is almost done.

I've got just one more day of being housebound with my schoolwork, and then I'm free. We're planning a trip to Richmond to look at furniture and go to lunch at someplace fun. And come along with us to Maryland to Captain Billy's for a mess of steamed blue crabs. I'm planning a field trip to In Stitches, always good. And since it's supposed to rain on Friday, I'm hoping to set aside the whole day for stitcher numb-butt.

The bunnies' union says that the bunnies deserve a rest, and the cats' union wants to know why they're never featured here. This is Little Friend, saying good night.

Night, all!

October 18, 2009


I'm technically on vacation, but it doesn't feel like it quite yet. Mostly I'll be doing homework this week because it's midterms, but I will carve out time for stitching and a couple of day trips. Here's a little progress on Sarah McPhail:

And for my bunny-blogger friends, this is entitled "The Hunt for Pink 'Tocktober."

Peaches: "How Dismaying. Here's a shot of the good end of a bunny."

Back to the books! Happy week ahead.

October 11, 2009

Just a Bit

This has been a week full of studying; next week will be the same, since I'm coming up on midterms. I can't wait for the following week though since I'll be taking a week off, partly to study, but partly to do some things around the house and of course, stitch! I'm a little disappointed since we'd planned to spend most of the week in Charleston, SC, but as I realized how much time I was going to have to spend on my computer, I asked BF if he'd really mind if we just stayed home. He said he doesn't mind (hopefully he really doesn't), and I'm going to make sure we try to get away on shorter jaunts.

More progress on Sarah McPhail. I notice Attic Needlework features this Essamplaire kit in its latest newsletter.

A tiny bit of work (I had to start it) on the top center block of Christmas at HRH. Fun! I'm doing it on 40 ct examplar linen using NPI.

I hope this doesn't portend anything. I came downstairs Friday around 2 a.m. and this guy was sticking to the sidelight window of my front door, no doubt eating the bugs attracted by the porch light. Interesting to see his underside and sticky little feet.

Elvis says hi and wants to wish RG at House of Rabbits all the best in recovering from his rotator cuff operation, and also to wish Fats speedy healing. Check out the hilarious rabbit pictures at Potentially Nervous!

Happy week!

October 04, 2009


Some progress on Sarah McPhail. In spite of my new stash, I'm having a hard time putting SP down. I'm working right now on adding the stem-stitched threads to embellish the bow. The stem-stitching is not exact in the way that cross-stitching is, so it's a tad anxiety-producing.

I did start Paradise Lost, but I'm not going to do much more until I order the three skeins of Gloriana that design calls for. Neither of my LNS's carries Gloriana--or the Belle Soie that the BBD Christmas cardinal suggests. I was going to substitute AVAS on the cardinal and then, as I looked at the photo, I realized I'd be missing out on the nice variegation, so I'll send for those fibers as well. In any case, I don't like to try to stitch around symbols that I don't have the thread for--I'm more likely to make a mistake.

This is a big season for fibers if you're stitching the new designs--lots of NPI. Fortunately I have most of that, and it's easy to get.

Fall is finally arriving here, although the days are still warm--in the 70s. The nights and mornings are chilly. The tomatoes are giving a last gasp, and we enjoyed a seasonal favorite last night for dinner: fried green tomatoes, since we have so many green ones on the vine that will get nipped if we have frost. I tried using a pink/unripe tomato as well, and it was actually tastier. The red tomatoes we are getting are smallish and taste...wistful. BF's mom, Nettie, who was from Nelson County, VA, taught me to make fried green tomatoes, and fried chicken. Nettie grew up in Schuyler along with Earl Hamner, Jr., who became famous for writing "The Waltons," the fictionalized feel-good television series about good old hard times during the depression. She used to laugh that Mr. Hamner had embellished a good bit, and that those hard times were just hard times--nothing good about them. Her mom died when she was 14, and as the oldest child of 10 siblings, she raised them all. She taught me a good bit about country and depression-era cooking that would make my cardiologist wince, but her recipes lend interest to our table when we occasionally make one of them. She died a few years ago, and I think the hard thing about growing older is the pang that attaches to certain events and rituals beyond even the missing face at the holiday table or the loss of the familiar voice on the phone.

Pink is helping himself to a towel which he will chew holes in. Bunny owners call this "bunny lace." "I'm embellishing it."

Happy week ahead!