January 27, 2013


Happy Sunday, all! I wanted to show you this cheerful fish. I spent last weekend on Cape Cod and found this guy advertising a dentist's services. I'd go to this dentist based on the fish alone. I think whimsy should be rewarded!
I think winter brings out the wish for bright and sparkly in me, so I put aside most of my historic stuff and got out the glitz. You may remember this rose; it's Rose Marie from Blackberry Lane Designs. I stitched it once already, using the called for DMC and a few glittery threads as embellishments. It may be hard to tell from my photo, but I'm using glittery threads for all of it this time.
And I picked up another project that combines bright, cheery colors, blending filament (not charted--I just added the filament to Santa's hat) and eventually, loads of sparkly beads. It's a nice easy-going stitch--two threads of DMC over two threads on 32 count white linen
I also wanted to work on this Valentiney project and had the perfect cut of Lakeside in Porcelain. I'm using an overdyed silk that's missing its band but is the perfect color of deep pink. It's a JBW design from last year.
I decided that I wanted a more truly Valentine stitch--nothing too large. Are you familiar with Faby Reilly? Very pretty designs.
I got a Christmas design as well. And irises for spring. All of that should keep me out of trouble for a while!
I didn't ignore all of my other projects; I worked quite a bit on Janet Gibson's Scottish Swan. I wanted to start the swan this week, but I'm missing one of the colors and it's not in my stash. Drives me nuts, because I know I fully kitted up this design, but alas, I cannibalized this project more than once, as I recall, before I got really going on it.
Speaking of trouble, here's Kitten-Kitten, exploring one of my project bags:
And Pink, who thinks that because I've been traveling so much, there should be a gift for him. Poor bunny!
Happy week ahead!

January 13, 2013


Hi, everyone! It's a chilly drippy weekend here, and I've been happy to be indoors, stitching with all the lamps turned on. In this gloomy part of the winter it's also nice to see some flair. I've been working on this sampler (note the flair) this weekend--I haven't worked on it for a couple of years. It's been waiting patiently in its project bag. Do you recognize it? Clearly Scottish.
How about this? It's Janet Gibson's Scottish Swan sampler, by Whimsey and Wit.
Not sure if it's still in print, but possibly.
I did a lot of stitching this week, since we don't have any litigation going to trial in the next few weeks at work, which means I get to take lunch and leave on time, leaving a lot more time for stitching. Mary Ann Hoover. Mary Ann's colors are a tad gloomy, so I switched out to something brighter, which is what brought me back to Janet Gibson.
Look what arrived in the mail all the way from Canada! (The Essamplaire). Lady Needlework! Tom decided I needed to stitch her. No small understaking, our lady!
Here's a closeup (from the large 2-page stitching photo) of her face and the serpent twining around her wrist. While it's an unknown symbol of something, I can guess that it's the needlework serpent, which has us under its spell. Needlework serpent also makes a pretty nifty thread snip. Speaking of thread, there are approximately 55 colors of AVAS included in the kit.
The daunting part: probably 50% of this picture is done in queen stitches. Queen stitches make up the ground, most of the flowers, the bugs and the trees. The sky is stitched in a diamond satin pattern. The lady, the castle, the uncorn and the lion, as well as some other small elements, are stitched in tent or continental stitch, over one. In fact, all of the squares on the chart represent one thread, not two. I'm thinking of converting the pattern over-two using counted cross for all but a few of the flowers. It will spoil some of the nice texture, but it might save my sanity. It will also double the size of the finished picture (currently 15.5 x 13.75"). I've been griping about the size of my finished designs, since I have so many bare walls, and stitching on 40 count means that even the largest, most elaborate project turns out too small to be anything but part of a group for impact.
Stitching flair: mica! The mica is cut and shaped to fit the windows of the castle in the background, then they are stitched into place. Fun but nerve-wracking, since the mica flakes and crumbles easily.
Peaches says my sampler conversations are a bore.
May your week ahead contain lots of flair!

January 06, 2013

Mary Ann, Mary Ann, Liz and Isabella

Happy Sunday, all! I've spent quite a bit of time with my needle this week. Here's a little progress on Mary Ann Hoover (The Essamplaire):
Mary Ann MacDonald (the Scarlet Letter, which I'm stitching for Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year):
Elizabeth Easdon (The Essamplaire):
Isabella Fox 1827 (GigiR). I'm stitching Isabella using the charted Gentle Arts threads on 40 count vintage buttercream by Lakeside Linens. It's so nice to have time to stitch now that the holidays are over!

From time to time, I'm asked how the various pets in our house get along. Kitten-Kitten and the bunnies enjoy a supervised playtime here. Pink approaches Kitten-Kitten.
Who reaches out a gentle paw to tap Pink. Kitten-Kitten: "Pink, you're it!"
"Got to run!"
Happy week ahead!