June 29, 2010

Plimoth (and some Needlework)

I took this photo last night after a quick rainstorm. Red sky at night. See the little guy in the center of the frame? More about him in a moment.

We went to Plymouth today, but it was too hot to walk the historic area. Bummer. We were able to view some things from the car. I did a u-turn in the middle of the road to drive back to this house, which is marked with the year 1662.

Plymouth has a wonderful knitting shop called Knitting Treasures. I have set my knitting aside, where it will stay for a while, but I did buy a couple of crochet hooks, a how-to book and some nice yarn to teach myself to crochet.

Plymouth has a small needlework shop where I picked up this--Whimsey & Whit's Hope's Dwelling Place's Patty Bartlett Sessions.

Some more progress on SlS. Not a great picture because *whispering* I think my parents cornered the market on 40 watt bulbs. Plus the foliage from their old landscaping has grown up over the windows and it's DARK in here. And the smallish windows in this 60's-era house are covered with dark curtains. Gagh! I'm going blind!

Here's the little guy in the first photo.

He was somewhat unafraid and allowed me to get pretty close. I love his little legs.

And the way he hops. Elvis would groom him and I'd feed him up because he looks kind of scrawny. He and his buddies (there were about 5 of them) were feeding in the marshy grass along the tidal pond. Someone said that these rabbits look different than their outside wild bunnies. They're different than our wild bunnies too, which are lighter colored, rounder and not so rangey-looking.

Audrey and I are headed home tomorrow. See you Thursday!

June 28, 2010

Audrey Goes to the Beach

I'm not normally a huge beach-goer, but it was so hot and sticky today, that we went to the beach. I waded up to my knees--there's a storm kicking up off shore, so there was lots of seaweed in the greenish waves today. Audrey enjoyed herself and it cooled me off to stand in the water.

We had a seafood lunch out (cod sandwich).

And I did some more stitching on Sous le Soleil.

See you again soon!

June 27, 2010

We're Here!

Pink, Peaches and Elvis said their goodbyes to Audrey last night. Pink bowled her over and chewed her bandana, seeming to understand that she is Not-a-Bunny.

Little Elvis, who wears his heart on his sleeve for all bunny creatures, groomed her, licking her nose. He didn't seem to mind that she didn't reciprocate.

Pink: "Elvis is cute, but he isn't very smart."
Elvis: "I have cotton mouth."
Peaches: "Oh, brother."

Here we are at the approach to the GW Bridge. By now I have discovered that I should have stopped at the last rest stop on the NJ Turnpike because I have to pee. I have also realized that in spite of the radio's traffic report to use the bottom deck (local traffic) instead of the top deck (through traffic) because the upper deck delay is 15 minutes of jockeying into line rather than 5 minutes of cutting in and out, I have managed to get on the upper deck. I paid $8 for the dubious pleasure. Along with $9.05 for the NJ Turnpike, and about $8 for the Delaware Bridge and $6 for the Baltimore Tunnel and $4 for driving through Maryland without benefit of any particular structure. And $1.75 to someone for something.

So somehow I blundered onto the top deck. Here it is. Fabulous. Traffic was moving here. Not so on the other side, where my bladder and I spent a very long time on the Cross-Bronx Expressway and then the NY Thruway, creeping along and thinking about rest areas and trying to decide if I should risk getting off the highway (I could see big-box stores from the highway) in the Bronx or Co-Op City. I wasn't sure I could find the highway again if I took a random exit, so I stuck with 95 while Best Buys with bathrooms shimmered like impossible mirages--just out of reach.

But we made it finally--10.5 hours after I started out this morning. Audrey is admiring the view of Green Pond.

She's already made friends with one of the locals.

But she isn't sure about dinner, a stuffed quahog and corn on the cob.

We're off to bed now. Look for more adventures tomorrow night, and perhaps even some stitching.
Happy week ahead!

June 26, 2010


I'm still here in VA, leaving tomorrow instead.

Rebecca asked about DC-area stitching shops. The closest one to DC is my happy haunt, In Stitches, in Alexandria, Virginia, about 14 miles south of DC on route one. Give them a call to get better directions than I can give you. If you have a car, they're a ride down Route 1 and not far from Routes 95 or 495 (the Beltway). If you don't have a car, they're a taxi ride from the last stop on either the blue line or the yellow line metro stations (I recommend driving though). Speaking of In Stitches, here they are! Note the "new chart" racks in the window.

I stopped by there yesterday to pick up my framed "July" by the Prairie Schooler. They did a wonderful job as always.

And I picked up this chart, which they'd ordered because I saw it somewhere on the web and decided I had to stitch it. This is "Sous le Soleil de la Lune," by Reflets de Soie. I love the colors and the motifs. In Stitches has more of these on one of those racks in the window.

So even though I should be packing for my trip, I started it. I'm working it on 40 count Lakeside in Maritime White using mostly AVAS, but with some Gloriana threads mixed in. The design is charted for Gloriana, AVAS or DMC. It's fairly large at 343x267 stitches, but manageable. Notice the rabbits on the lawn. You can click on the photo to get a better look at the detail.

I've been thinking about learning to do thread crochet. I have one of my grandmother's crocheted bedspreads, but beds were smaller then, and I need a king-size one or at least a queen size for the guest bedroom. I want to make it look a little more contemporary than this, but eliminating the fringe would probably accomplish that. I like the sunflower design and think it would look amazing in brilliant white or pale yellow. Since you do it one square at a time, it would make a nice "car" or "office" project. I'm going to see if I can find a class somewhere. I found this booklet (original price 29 cents back whenever--1950s? 1960s?) on ebay. There's no copyright date on the pattern booklet, but the furniture looks to be that vintage. I've looked around Michaels (they carry the thread) for patterns, but it seems to me so many of the designs now are either dumbed down for people who don't want to put the time into learning and practicing a craft, or perhaps to look at it a different way, simplified for crafters who are busier. One of the things I love about our cross stitch hobby is that the designers seem to be shooting for the moon now with respect to more complex designs, the use of various fibers and more elaborate stitches. You can do quick/small/simple and still feel as if you've accomplished a satisying project. And for those stitchers who want a big, spicy, challenging design--they're out there!

I didn't leave on Friday because I was too busy the last few days at work and couldn't manage to finish work, get clothes washed and packed, figure out why my right front tire was low, and decide what I was taking. Not to mention vacuuming up the cat litter in my trunk from the spill two? three? months ago. No sense leaving in the thick of tourist traffic today, and I'm hoping that Sunday a.m. traffic is a little better. Who knows--it's summer. On my way out the door to get my car gassed and washed and pick up treats for the car. Hopefully the traffic will move tomorrow though--inching along is the worst. I sat in a local traffic jam for a while yesterday, but it was moving so slowly (stopped, and every so often we'd move a car length), that I was actually able to take out my needlework and stitch a bit, so not a total waste. It's the 10 mph thing that drives me nuts.

Pink: "Are you leaving me because I chewed through another phone cord? I just thought you'd rather have a wireless phone!"

These deer visit my back yard in the evening. Creeps.

Deer 1: "Hey, let's go eat the lady's hostas."
Deer 2: "Nah, we finished them last night. Let's have some raspberries."
Deer 1: "Nope, the wild bunny got them yesterday."

See you on the Cape! (again)

June 22, 2010

Audrey Goes to Washington

I am closing out 20 years of working in Washington, DC. There are some things I don't like about DC--politicians and politics being two of them. I wish there were more downtown shopping options. I will miss my favorite breakfast and lunch places though--I'm not much of a brown-bagger. I won't miss leaving the house at 6:45 a.m. and returning home at 8:00 p.m. I won't miss the smelly bathroom or the broken air conditioning on the bus--not for $280 a month, anyway.

I'll miss the view from my bus windows sometimes though. Goodbye, Capitol.

I've shown a little of the town to Audrey, along with some of the art installations in the law firm I'm leaving. This is a nice piece of folk art that my firm owns. Audrey is a little uneasy about the eagle (she had a scary experience on her last trip), but she is trying the Capitol on for size and is thinking about running for Congressbun.

Here she is perched on the Chihuly glass in the conference center. She's not in any danger of knocking it over, since it's glued to the table.

Audrey, contemplating the Capitol in the distance and thinking about political action committees and campaign contributions.

We went to lunch together at Mixt Greens. I've been treated to lunch by my friends for the last week and a half. On Thursday they're throwing a going-away party for me in the afternoon. I'm hoping to get through it without crying; I am going to miss my co-workers. On Friday I'm headed to New England with Audrey in the passenger seat of my car. Because I'm not flying I'll be bringing my computer, so I'll blog on vacation. Audrey is looking forward to the beach. I'll just be there a few days though, I'll be returning to Virginia to clean house, stitch and get ready for my new job in Richmond after the 4th of July holiday. Speaking of which, "July" is framed and waiting for me at In Stitches--along with a wonderful new chart that I'll unveil when I get back from vacation!

This is Audrey's campaign manager. I think he might be a little sneaky.

See you on Cape Cod!

June 20, 2010

Before and After II

Look who's back--Audrey! Last time she was here, there was too much going to to take a tour, so now that my job is ending on Thursday and I'm taking vacation and heading up to Cape Cod on Friday and then touring Richmond a couple of days the following week, there will be something to show Audrey doing. Thank you, Ann, for the Texas bluebonnet card, which will go up in my new cube, and for the wood bunny and the copies of your wonderful flash fiction, Maelstrom Madness!

I stitched on Catharine McNeal this week. The Before shot:

And After. I made it to the right hand inner border and I've started work on thistles #8 and #9 out of 20. I plan to stitch a lot on the Cape; my parents are in their 80s, so they're not up for lots of running around, although we'll probably go to the beach and to one of my favorite restaurants in Monument Beach, a seafood shack that has wonderful views of the salt marsh.

Yesterday I took my stitching buddy, Yazziebear, to the vet, for a checkup. Yazziebear is our old-lady cat.

Pink: "I thought I was your stitching buddy!" Note to Pink: my stitching buddies do not eat skeins of silk. Nor do they chew faster when I try to remove the strand of AVAS (green, appropriately) from their mouths!

Happy week ahead!

June 13, 2010

Before and After

Just a quick drive-by today, as I'm headed out on an antiquing jaunt with my sister and a friend. It's been a busy week. My biggest before and after is my job. I gave two weeks' notice on Thursday because I'm leaving Washington, DC and taking a job in Richmond, VA. Better commute, better quality of life, and a new position. I'm not moving--I live roughly half-way between the two cities. More later with pictures of "my" new city, and photos from my vacation between jobs on the Cape. Bunnygirl, maybe Audrey would like to fly back and join me on vacation and scouting expeditions now that I finally have something to show? Click on the link to see the fun that Audrey had on her vacation with Ann and Dan. Ghost towns! Eagles! Mesas!

Anyway, Before, Sarah McPhail:

After, Sarah McPhail:

Before, Elvis' hair-do:

After, Elvis. Elvis: "It's a miracle! I can see!"

Happy week ahead!

June 06, 2010

Summer Sampler Sunday

The last few days have been very hot; this morning it was 90 degrees when I got into my car at 9 a.m. to go to Lowes for a propane tank exchange for the grill so that I could grill the chicken before we had the usual afternoon thunderstorm. I got the tank home without blowing up the car (always my worry as it rolls around in the trunk) and hooked up and BF got the grill cleaned as I got the chicken cleaned and cooked and sauced and everything put away just as the first rumbles of thunder were heard.

Because it was so typically a Southern-hot day, and I was sitting under the big ceiling fan stitching and thinking about when I lived in Chattanooga in an apartment that didn't have air conditioning, so we'd go after work and spend the evening at one lake or another and on the weekend head for the Smokies, where it generally was twenty degrees cooler among the streams and mountain laurel (although I despise camping--just despise it). But thinking about the smell of the Tennessee River (in those days not so pleasant--a mixture of mud and chemicals from the tannery although the river's been cleaned up a lot and there's even a big river aquarium to see now) made me think about stitching on Sarah McPhail, so I got her out and went to work today and won't be putting her away again anytime soon.

Ann Wallace and I are, I'm sorry to say, having "issues." You may remember that Ann is a re-start because I didn't really like the previous fabric. I don't like this fabric either, even though I like the color. It's too THICK, and I keep poking my needle-pushing finger with the eye-end of the needle, which hurts, and it's extra work to keep pushing that needle through thick fabric and realizing just how enormous the design is, so it's time to put it away for a little while and contemplate my options. I have sort of an itch to work on a patriotic or Americana-type sampler anyway. Take that, Ms. Difficult Ann Wallace and Your Miserable Fabric!

Here's a photo of Pink and Elvis just as the storm got rolling. They actually are unfazed by the thunder, but they snuggle all the time. The house is nice and cool, but even so, you'd think snuggling with Elvis and all his fuzziness would be hot on a summer afternoon, wouldn't you? And whoever mentioned that he needs his bangs trimmed is right--he looks a little like Cousin It.
Pink: "zzzzzzzzz."

Happy week ahead!

June 02, 2010

For Rabbits' Guy: New Wheels II

Rabbits' Guy asked for a picture of the other wheels:

We both buy all our cars used.My own car is eight years old, and a plain-jane sedan. BF has been trying to talk me into this car, also at Cooper's. It's a Shelby GT500. Not me, really, but I'll bet it screams.

THIS is me, and I'm a little tempted: 1972 Ford LTD with a 351 V8 Winsor engine. And only 27,000 original miles.

But it's the white leather upholstery that really gets me. Sweet. I think I'll stick with buying needlework though; having a car payment would cut into my hobby budget.

I'm a little shaky right now. I was off work today to have a tooth extracted. Why the tooth had to go is a long, stupid story of dental malpractice on the part of both a dentist and an endodontist with both a botched root canal and a shoddy crown. I went to a different dentist recommended by a friend who relieved me of my poor ruined tooth today. I have never had a tooth extraction before; like most things, the anxiety about it was worse than the execution. While it didn't hurt really, it wasn't a great deal of fun, and now that the novocaine is wearing off, I think it's going to hurt a bit. On the way home I stocked up on soft foods: pudding mixes and tapioca grains and gelato and ice cream. While I waited I did get to stitch a bit on Ann Wallace:

Peaches: "I'm built for speed. And I get 90 miles to a bale of hay."

Happy rest of the week!