December 25, 2011


Merry Christmas, All! I wanted to show you something that Sherry brought to the stitching party I attended. This little nativity is made by hand from wool felt, in Kyrgyzstan. There are lots of sheep in Kyrgyzstan and not lots of ways to make money, so these are a natural:

And a closer look:

Our Christmas was wonderful, although we missed my sister, Gilbert and my dad, who are on the Cape. We woke up late, and I made this for breakfast. It's a quiche loraine.

After we had breakfast we opened our gifts and played with our toys. (No, I didn't get anything needlework related from my family, who probably despair of finding anything for me that I don't have.)

Then I stitched, working on two Christmas starts. Full disclosure: I really started this a few days ago, because I wanted to show a little progress. As it is, Blogger insists on rotating the photo 90 degrees; mentally rotate it back counter-clockwise. It's the plus-sized Ann Dale by Shakespeare's Peddler. This sucker is going to take a long, long time to stitch, but I love the colors. I am not using the recommended Lakeside Pear. I don't care for pear--too green. Instead I'm using 40 count Picture This Plus in Legacy. The photo of the color is very accurate. I'm using the suggested silks.

So I also started something small and not quite so daunting: Ewe and Eye and Friends' Small Sampler #3. The sheep will have special stitches applied over their cross stitched bodies. Fun! I did a conversion to silk and I'm stitching on 40 count Lakeside in Sand Dune(?)

Some neighbors stopped by for a snack. There's something green in the little garden on the left that they love. They trotted off when I went out on the deck with my camera. Dash away, all!

I'm not sure what Peaches is doing with her leg here; I think she hoisted her foot onto Elvis' back so she could groom it and he very patiently allowed her to use him as a vanity stool.

I'm working at In Stitches tomorrow. Let's see what trouble I can get into. Better yet, give us a call and I'll help YOU get into trouble. You know there's SOMETHING you wanted that you didn't get!

Happy week ahead, and merry stitching!

December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

I got up very early to go to the grocery store by 6 a.m. because I hate crowds so much. It was interesting that so many people were on the interstate at that hour, heading for the malls, grandma's house and the woods. (I stopped for gas and the hunters were gassing up and buying breakfast sandwiches prior to going to sit in their tree stands or whatever they do; I could hear their hounds in the trucks.) After the grocery store, I stopped by Eileen's bakery for a cheddar/bacon/tomato/egg sandwich--delicious. Eileen's is in a former church, as you can probably tell.

Then, in the early morning quiet, I took some photos of window displays in Fredericksburg. This is in the antique shop window with all the little animals. The swan looks like he met up with our hunters, but he's swimming around successfully with two friends.

The kitchenware store had a bunch of little circus/carnival vignettes set up in the window. They were lit and moving in the dawn quiet.

I have to tell you about the stitching party hosted by Ellen, who owns In Stitches. Ellen has the most fabulous taste, and her home is a joy to behold--especially her finished stitching. Most of these charts are out of print, unfortunately. A tiny pillow:

Don't you love this Christmas design?

And this one, an OOP Prairie Schooler:

This looks like a Ewe and Eye and Friends design. Possibly not out of print (fun to find out).

We exchanged gifts. I lost the light today before I could show you everything I received, but look what Sherry knitted for me for my birthday. I absolutely adore them, and I think they're too beautiful to wear, almost: I want to show them off.

After my trip this morning I came home to put away the groceries and take a long nap and prepare dinner. The rabbits are having dandelions as a special addition to their Christmas Eve dinner.

See you tomorrow with my newest stitching start(s). Happy Christmas Eve!

December 18, 2011


Today I'm heading to a stitching party. Our instructions were to bring a hand-made gift (not necessarily stitched) to exchange. So I finished up these two designs by Marie Driskell: Rose Marie. You've been looking at one of them in my blog header for the last couple of weeks. Here are the finished designs. Next step is to cut and assemble. Yikes.

I spent some time at G Street fabrics in Rockville, selecting trims. Here I'm auditioning them. I eventually conclude they're all too elaborate and detract from the designs by making the ornaments too busy.

It's been so long since I used the sewing machine that I had to review the directions for threading it.

A little liquid courage: a caramel apple martini. Ingredients: Apple Pucker, caramel liqueur, sprite. With a cherry. I don't know the proportions, but I mean to find out. That will be this year's Christmas Dinner cocktail. It's a very smooth, sweet and tasty drink; we may experience Christmas dinner lying on the floor under the table while sharing a box of crackers.

The rabbits appear to share my anxiety: "Don't screw it up, Mom!"

A finish!

The crowd goes wild. These sheep were part of a large display of tiny antique animals in an antique shop window in Fredericksburg. I wanted to purchase all of them, including the little donkeys, cows, pigs and chickens. What fun to have a huge collection of these little guys on the mantel. Tom rolled his eyes when I pointed them out. "Goody, a new collection," he was heard to mutter.

Here's a photo of some of the animals (the camels are camera-shy):

Happy Week of Preparations ahead! I'll be back next Sunday with a Christmas start.

December 11, 2011


Greetings, All! I skipped the malls this weekend and stayed home to stitch. It's been ages since I've been able to do that for a full day, much less two. I'm thinking ahead to January, which for me will be a blend of old and new projects. I'm making my list (and checking it twice). Of course, I got so enthused about starting something new that I had to dig in, so here it is. Mystery project (unveiled in January), stitched on Maritime White Lakeside in 40 count, using AVAS from my stash. This is an old, old chart, which is still available. I call this pre-stitching, by the way. It's a monstrously large project too. I have several whopper projects scheduled for the New Year.

Next up is my old friend Sarah Hatton McPhail. She's coming along, but there's lots of stitching to be done yet, and she's pretty densely packed with stitches. I don't think that I'm going to be able to make the framing deadline (January 6) for entry of this project in the Woodlawn show. On the other hand, my contract job ends on December 23, so I have a couple of weeks to devote to it full-time, but given my interest in new starts and old re-starts, I doubt I'll make it. I'll be spending some time on Cape Cod in January with my dad, and I'm hoping to do some good beach-walking, trying new-to-me beaches in Chatham, Truro, Provincetown and Yarmouth. I love winter beaches, and I hope to be able to capture the charm of them to post alongside my stitching photos.

And what's Christmas without a little Christmas project? Here we have Cinnamon Stick Santa XXIII by Homespun Elegance, "Such Delight." I'm stitching it on a 32 count mystery linen from my stash using the called for DMC, GAST and Wisper fibers.

The Wisper is a lot of fun (it's the fuzzy brown strip to the right of Santa's shoes).

And speaking of fuzzy:

Happy week ahead!