February 28, 2010


Yesterday, in spite of the fact that I should have been doing stuff for my classes (as I should be now instead of blogging), I went off to LNS #1 to see what came back from Market. We've all been eagerly awaiting certain charts by certain designers, but there are some quiet, shy charts that haven't gotten much exposure on the web (at least that I've noticed). Here are two that I brought home with me:

"La Couleur du Coeur" by Marie's Passion (Marie Suarez). This includes a really nice-heart-shaped fob/ornament that I cut off in my photo.

And this chart, called "Bagatelle" by a new-to-me designer called LiLi Soleil, creations Brigitte Galaup, which is somehow related to the Dessins company. I'm going to stitch this with a big "G" in the middle (each alphabet letter is charted). I love the roses. Both designs are charted for DMC.

And I couldn't resist starting "Elizabeth Savilles," which I'm stitching using Terri's CC conversion on 40 count Lakeside in maritime white. Lots of pink in this as well.

This design has lots of pink also, although you can't see it in this q-snapful. "Sarah McPhail." Lots and lots of grass to stitch, but I've made some progress even with my homework.

Something unpink: I bought this fabric, which is 40 count Picture This Plus in "fog." I love the color, and I've placed a skein of Crescent Colours in "Hydrangea" on it. The bottom piece of fabric is Lakeside in Vintage Examplar, just to show you the contrast. I love the fog and the Hydrangea, which I'll use for some future project, whether separately or together. It will be a nice break from all that pink.

Peaches: "We all need a break from Pink sometimes."
Pink: "Not nice! Everyone loves Pink!"

I'm off to finish my homework, make a meatloaf and do a little stitching hopefully. Up next week: visit to LNS #2! Who knows what treasures I'll find!

Happy week ahead!

February 25, 2010

Rolling Down the River

A rare midweek post--I've put the pedal to the metal. Or the oars to the water in this case! I've gotten Sarah Hatton McPhail (The Essamplaire) out and am working on it again. I can't think why I abandoned her.

Here, for a refresher, is the sampler photo. My tree is to the left, off the picture. A warm, lazy southern river (Sarah was originally stitched in Norfolk, VA, I believe, although I have to check the notes on that.) No snow in this sampler!

And I'm continuing to work on Janet Gibson. I'm just a teensy bit bored with the over-one verse, but we will persevere (or I may simply stitch "blah, blah, blah"). There are other samplers in the wings!

Our Edinburgh poet friend, Crafty Green Poet has given us the nicest award--thank you so much, CGP! I will apply the button this weekend when I have a few minutes to figure out what I'm doing! Please visit her for the most gorgeous photo of snowdrops, and not a drop of snow anywhere!

Also, our dear, quirky, humongously talented (photo/glassmaking/pretty much everything she touches) bunny mama, Potentially Nervous has a new site to sell her wonderful rabbit photos and wares. Check out the hilarious calendar, posters, notecards. Visit her and browse her stuff here! You know you have to have a bunny calendar! (Note: yes, that's a real bunny.)

The buns: "Why aren't we in a calendar?"
Me: "No one wants a calendar with doots in it."
Elvis: "I'm so embarassed."

Happy rest of the week!

February 21, 2010

The Return of the Scottish Swan

It all started so innocently. I was pawing through my stash the other day looking for something--I can't even remember what, now. I should mention that until this journey into the glittering city of Stashdom, I was quite content with my current projects and eagerly awaiting the new stuff from Market. I spied Janet Gibson's Scottish Swan Sampler project bag and opened it to look it over, sighing over the lovely chart as well as the hated fabric that derailed it, and noting that I had not, after all, managed to cannibalize the threads for another project. (I do that all the time. It makes me nuts.) That set the little wheels spinning--the little wheels, I should mention, that should be spinning thoughts for a paper due for one of my classes (Introduction to Fraud Examination--what a hilarious trip that class is, what with the skimmers, the scammers, the lappers and whatnot), but were then fully occupied in doing a mental inventory of my fabric holdings.
Here's Janet Gibson's chart. JG is by "Hope's Dwelling Place" aka "Whimsey & Wit," and it's sold by Homespunsamplar.com as well as ABCstitch.com. For those of you fond of A&E charts, the chart doesn't show it well, but note the ghostly Adam and Eve in this design! We have the orange A&E, the red A&E, and now we have the bleached A&E, both of whom presumably used SPF 50.

Here's my WIP with the hated fabric. I THINK it's the called for fabric--Meadow Rue, but it's a sickly green (hard to tell in this photo under lamplight). Worse, it's 32 count, so the 1 (NPI) over 2 looks anemic and skimpy. Even worse, the fabric is floppy.

So I restarted Janet Gibson this week on 40 count Lakeside pearled barley. The 40-count will make the over-1 a bit more difficult, but it's worth it (the "h" and the "a" in the verse are over one, as is the swan). Ahhhh--much better.
Oh, and speaking of Scottish samplers, I'm hoping for an opportunity in the next few weeks to visit the needlework of the Burrell collection in person--in one of my favorite non-North American cities. Does anyone know where I might be headed? BF is changing jobs, and I'm urging him to take a real vacation--our first in nearly five years--before he goes swimming in the "Too Busy for a Vacation" stream. We'll see. My passport is expired, I believe (although Travisa can get me a new one in about two days), and all the other hassles involved in such travel mean that we may stick to the U.S. Win-win, though. At this point, even a warm beach with a chair, my needlework and a fruity drink sounds good, since our snow STILL hasn't melted.

I found this in the stash dive also, and decided to start kitting it up when I dropped by the LNS yesterday to pick up some thread I'd ordered. It's called Sarah Owens 1839, and it's an Essamplaire chart I picked up a while back on Ebay. It also has some over-1, on the verse. I love the colors used in the design, which calls for AVAS threads. And the verse, which is "When death has snatched they fleeting soul away/And thy fair form is mouldred into clay/May this neat work with bloom unfading stand/To show the beauties of thy skillful hand."

I did some work on "Holy Moses" also.

Pink: "Instead of the big white swan in that sampler, you should stitch a big white, handsome rabbit!" Thanks, Pink!

Happy week ahead, all!

February 14, 2010

My Bunny Valentine

We're finally recovering from being snowbound here. I went to work on Friday, and aside from the mountains of snow everywhere, things are pretty much back to normal, which means no nice long days of stitching, broken up by meals and shoveling. Even so, I managed some more work on "Bo Peep." When I went to the LNS yesterday I kitted up Shepherd Care. And bought a couple of the cute new JBW design leaflets. Have you seen them? They're called "French Country--Noah's Ark" and "French Country--Houses." I also got a French country heart/Valentine which I seem to have misplaced. Oh, well; I'd be stitching it for myself anyway. I am always amazed when I see you all stitch a gift for your husbands/boyfriends, who are presumably touched by the gesture. BF would be "What the hell? What am I going to do with this? I needed a cupholder for the Corvette!" (No, he wouldn't be that rude to say such a thing, but he'd be THINKING it.) We do not typically exchange Valentine's gifts. Yesterday (to avoid the crowds) we went out to dinner (sushi), and today, to show his Valentine spirit, BF grilled me a nice filet out in the 20-degree cold. My treat for him was a pack of Heineken, a box of Red Bull and his favorite soap from the store. It was a fine Valentine's day all around.

How excited are you by the new releases coming at Market? I have decided I will NOT be taking a day off to show up at the LNS' door as I did last time (not through any self-control, but because I gave her a list of the things I wanted her to pick up for me!) In the meantime, I've ordered some older charts from various places, including Elizabeth Savilles 1841 Sampler, which you last saw on Terri's blog. I'll be using Terri's conversion, because hers turned out so beautifully. I can hardly wait to start it, which is a bad sign. If you want a copy of the chart for yourselves, I ordered it from HomespunSamplar.com; it's only $11.50 (do the search on "designer" and "Finger Work").

Progress on Lil Bo Peep:

And remember this? It's Moira Blackburn's "Keep Me."

Progress on "Keep Me." I think of this as the "Bruise" sampler with its many mauve (my least favorite color in the universe), purple, green, rust and yellow overdyed threads. I don't much like them separately, but they work well together.

The boys have just determined that they forgot to get something for Peaches for Valentine's day.
Pink: Did you get her a card at least?
Elvis: I thought you were going to get it!

Peaches: *sigh* "Men!"

Happy Valentine's day, and happy week ahead!

February 10, 2010


Don't you hate the dumb words the media creates? Snowmageddon. Snowverkill. Snowver. The DC area officially has had 55 inches of snow this year, and today's storm was about 12 inches of it. Woo hoo! I'm hoping for another day off--every day the government is closed, my firm is closed as well. I'm getting lots of stitching done, and lots of shoveling. The shoveling isn't worth looking at, but the stitching is: Here's the cutest chart that arrived in the one and only mail delivery we've received in about a week. It's Little by Little's Lil Bo Peep, and I ordered it from Shakespeare's Peddler's etsy shop. It came so fast that it must have flown with the snow! The start, using 40 count Lakeside Vintage something or other from my stash. It's charted for DMC, but I'm substituting (as usual). In this case I'm using NPI silks.

This is the Bo Peep chart.

And some late-night stitching on Christinia Cathcart. It's been awhile, and it's a shame. I can work on it late because it's on 32 count, which makes it a good evening project. Such bright colors.

And Holy Moses.

I left my stitching chair for a while to hack at the ice outside, and the blanket that had been on my lap was quickly taken over by a couple of the residents.

And our bunny picture today is of Fats, who lived with Alice and Bells and Nuage at Potentially Nervous. We're sad to say goodbye to Fats, who died of bad old cancer in spite of the fact that his mom moved heaven and earth to try to save him. Fats was a special bunny soul, and we're so sad to lose him. Go visit Alice, though; she has wonderful and humorous photos and videos of Fats, Nuage and Bells. We also lost our bunny friend Jellybaby a few weeks ago; we had just begun to know her.

Best wishes to all our bunny and stitchy blogger friends.

February 07, 2010

Day Three of our Incarceration: Speed the Plow

I have determined that we should not attempt to sail around the world in a small boat, BF and I. Please send a snowplow. We are stuck and getting on each other's last nerve, a refrain I have heard throughout the neighborhood. Everyone dashed into the bright sunshine today to clear their driveways, sidewalks and decks and to air their grievances (said one woman to another "He's in my kitchen constantly! Eating!") We took turns scanning the horizon and waiting for the cheery scrape of Mr. Plow, to no avail. I now know what I will use all those neglected floss-away bags for, but the pity is, there will be no garbage pickup without the snowplow. No one can get to work tomorrow, even if the workplace is open; we can't leave the neighborhood even to go to the store. (Wailed one man to another: "I'm running out of beer!") I jest, mostly. I'm quite sure when (or if) we ever get back to work, I will look back nostalgically on our little cocoon of comfort (thank goodness we didn't lose the power, although it shivered off a number of times and came back on, only to do it again when we got all the appliance clocks re-set) and the smells of turkey-and-stuffing, and yogurt cake (see below) and slow-cooked spaghetti sauce wafting through the air (not all at the same time, of course). Definitely spring needs to come (go check out spring in Bow, Washington), so I can air out the house! It smells like food in here!

It is pretty, though we've heard we're to get another 5-8 inches of it on Tuesday into Wednesday. My front yard as of yesterday evening just as the storm ended.

I haven't had as much chance to stitch as I'd like--I seem to be constantly making a meal or cleaning up after it (In the interest of full disclosure, those meals are conceived by me. I was looking through blogs, for instance, and came upon Tongue in Cheek's French yogurt cake and had to make it immediately. I have a dozen or so containers of Brown Cow greek style vanilla and plain yogurt, and used two of those, even though they're no-fat and most french yogurt is whole-milk. I did add a little milk in case the greek style was too thick. No matter, the cake turned out wonderfully, with a moist, tender crumb and delicate tangy-lemon flavor. Like pound cake without the pound of butter.) Here's some progress on "Holy Moses."

And on "Wisdom."

Pink: "Mom, I'll bet I can dig us out with this big foot." Yes, you could, Pink, and seeing those claws makes me think that you and the other buns are going to have to have the mani-pedi spa treatment tomorrow.

Happy week ahead, all!

February 06, 2010

Stoop, Fling, HUH!

I take back what I said about the shoveling not hurting; I went out last night at 8 p.m., and again at midnight to scoop and fling. This morning I was sore, but I picked up the shovel again and worked at it for about 2 hours. Made a dent, but now it's snowing harder than ever. We've got about 18 inches so far and it shows no signs of slowing. All over the neighborhood you can hear people scooping and grunting "Huh" as they toss it--it's heavy stuff. Nothing to do for it but go in for breakfast and stitching.

After shoveling last night, because I wasn't sleepy, I did some homework and then sat up until 4 a.m. and stitched. I got quite a bit done ("Holy Moses"). Like the shoveling though, it's a bigger task than it looks.

Elvis and Peaches have invited me to lie down with them; they've promised to groom my ears. Looks pretty comfy!

Happy day, all!

February 05, 2010


The flakes are falling, but it's certainly no surprise; the last few days the reports have become more and more dire. I will say that probably they were conservative in their estimates. It looks like we may have well over two feet before it's all over. I went out around 8 to clear the walk and the driveway. Why? Who knows! I kind of enjoy shoveling, and we've had so much snow lately that it doesn't hurt particularly any more.

We've shopped for days, and we have plenty of food and pet supplies. Last night I went to the store for another load of stuff, fearing that my diet coke supply was insufficient. Plenty of diet coke, but little in the way of meat or produce, and there wasn't a loaf of bread to be had. I went again this morning just after the storm started, and picked up the rest of it--the store had restocked overnight.

Pink: "A white rabbit could get lost in the snow out there...." Oh, Pink, you know I'd outfit you in bright pink Uggs.

See you tomorrow with stitchy pictures if we don't lose the power!