July 25, 2010

Cobblestones, Brick and Lionheads

No sign of cooling temps, so I'm happy to be a slug indoors this weekend with my needlework. I didn't get much done during the week, but I've made some progress this weekend on Miriam Chilvers:

Audrey and I haven't ventured out to explore Richmond either. But I did scurry out to the local independent bookstore and to pick up some pizza for lunch. On the way, I took this shot of a cobblestoned alley. The street in this part of town--Shockoe Slip--is cobblestone too, but newer, and installed in a kind of clamshell-quilt pattern. These are the real deal, rounded and worn down with use.

I am not sure what has happened to Richmond's downtown area; it is pretty sparsely populated. I imagine the recession is responsible for some of it, but the downtown area becomes virtually deserted after 5:30. The good pizza place I visited closes at 5:00 p.m. Clearly workers don't hang around downtown after hours. Wouldn't this make a great knitting/needlework/quilt store? Those white shutters can be removed and the windows are floor to ceiling. (Probably not from an economic standpoint--but at least from an aesthetic one.) I love the old warehouse-y brick buildings with the old stenciled writing on them.

Malcolm Russell and his wife have gotten themselves a couple of baby lionhead rabbits. Go here to see them--they are just the cutest thing on the rabbit blogosphere. For a change, Elvis approves!

Happy week ahead!

July 18, 2010


It has been very hot here--in the upper 90s every day, as it is again today--so I haven't had a chance to explore Richmond with Audrey. I did walk down to the farmer's market at the train station on Thursday. None of my new co-workers had ever been, but they declined to trot 7 blocks in the heat; no doubt they have formed an interesting opinion of me ("you certainly do like to explore!" I do! I do!) So I set out on a 97-degree day to see what was on offer. I passed some interesting stuff: an old-time variety store, paint peeling and windows full of bright orange placards, selling "fried bologna steak sandwiches" and other curiosities. It has been a long time since I have had a good bologna sandwich--put a slice or two in a hot pan and cook until blistered and puffy, then slap on the yellow mustard and eat it between two slices of squishy white Hol-sum bread with a thick slice of tomato that soaks the bread. We get a lot of interesting food in Richmond, a city far more southern-feeling than the part of Virginia where I live, 65 miles north. We routinely have lunch at the Suntrust Bank cafeteria, which serves all manner of sandwiches and grilled items and good crunchy southern fried chicken wings. The sandwiches are served with piles of marinated red onions on them. The Arby's, which anywhere else is forgettable fast food, cooks breakfast sandwiches to order on big, fluffy homemade biscuits. Even the Wawa, the huge gas station where I stop on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to fill up (these days I'm spending on gas what I used to spend for a bus ticket), serves "shorti" sandwiches--fabulous breakfast sandwiches on ciabbata bread (or pick up a lunch sandwich to go) to be eaten in the parking lot next door. I don't mind dashboard dining, but I can't drive and eat with eggy bits falling into my lap. Also, I've been trying to cach up with the Boka Truk ("Takos for your Mouf") which advertises its food as being Mexican/Asian/American fusion.

For whatever reason, Richmond is a town at lunch of card-table vendors, where you can buy anything from bulgogi to a chicken salad sandwich to Thai noodles from a hand-made wooden plywood cart, or straight off a card table. I'll be sampling and reporting on what I eat. And taking pictures if it ever cools down to the 80s!

Anyway, here's the train station (photo borrowed from Wiki) as it was in 1971. It doesn't look very different now. There weren't many farmers--I was told there are many more on Friday night and Saturday--but I did get a nice bag of Hanover tomatoes, which are famously huge and juicy.

The heat has mostly convinced me to stay inside, stitching. This is Sous le Soleil:

With a close-up of the moon and stars done with Gloriana silk:

And here's a before picture of Catharine McNeal.


Here's Pink, looking cool and snowy. Pink says, "it's best to stay inside when it's sunny and hot to keep from getting sun-burned ears."

Happy week ahead!

July 11, 2010

Where are We Going?

We were very fortunate this week to have won this tiger print, done by the wonderful Diana Moll, artist and bun-mom extraordinaire.

The packaging was too cute to throw away:

Thank you, Diana, for both the print and for the packaging!

Although I started my new job this week, and wasn't relaxed or cool enough (it was 103 degrees in Richmond) to take photos of my new, funky city, I am hoping to show Audrey around this week or next, depending on my workload and the temps. Stay tuned for that whereby we will visit Padow's for everything "pigging" out, where we will take a gander at the skyline, and where we will examine old cobblestones and iron front buildings and tobacco warehouses and contemplate how to turn a 19th century ship around after it has picked up a load of tobacco, and the farmers market. I am a bit directionally challenged, and I got lost in Richmond each and every day leaving the city, in spite of the navigation system in my car. I figured it out finally by Friday.

I was able to stitch a bit on Miriam Chilvers, seen here (AVAS on 40 ct Lakeside pearled barley), as well as more on Sous le Soleil (not enough to show).

Peaches wants to assure RG, who has a new kitty, that it's just a small matter to manage a cat. "It'll be ok, RG!"

Happy week ahead!

July 04, 2010

Stitching with Miriam and Audrey on the Fourth of July in a Peaceful Garden Under the Sun While the Band Played On

I thought that those of you who are interested in sampler-y houses might like to see this antique, true Cape Cod home. It was built in 1900 and it's for sale for $489,000 and is located in East Falmouth, on the Cape. You can see more pictures of it here (click on the 2nd page--the link doesn't take you there automatically). Its barn is even cuter than the main house.

We had a little fourth of July party today. It was extremely hot, so I had a nice opportunity to play with ice. This is from my new ice cube tray: the Titanic, complete with icebergs. Hilarious.

Audrey was our honored guest. She says those are not her beers. *hic*

We had these.

Here's my sister, demonstrating Watermelon Carving 101.

This is Gilbert, demonstrating Pyrotechnics 101 while Audrey watches.

Audrey: "ooooooh! aaaaaaaah!"

Yesterday I was sitting in the stitching chair when the phone rang. It was one of the nice women from In Stitches to tell me that Miriam Chilvers had arrived. I rushed off to pick up Miriam and then kitted her up. I'm stitching her on 40 count Lakeside (I'm forgetting what color) using AVAS. My favorite combination.

I felt the urge to stitch on Peaceful Garden (Stitching Parlor), so I took it out.

And I made some progress on Sous le Soleil:

Peaches, grooming Pink.

Tomorrow's agenda: stitch all day.

Happy Fourth of July, all!