Thursday, January 31, 2008

So many happy dances... so little time

For the amount of happy dancing I'm owed you'd think I was Ginger Rogers.

Mr. Framer sped though Anita's framing so here's the M-Designs personalized sampler all framed:
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I got the stitching done for a make-up ornie for Simone's 2007 exchange:
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sorry for the blurry-- I couldn't take a clear pic of this to save my life

Here's a PIF piece for someone (PS Cranberry Christmas over one in DMC and Sampler Threads):
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Can't tell you who yet and can't show you the whole thing.

And the first of my houses for the Bride's Tree SAL -- It's JBW Designs from one of the JCS ornie issues. I changed all the colors, deleted the beads, and stitched it on opalescent white.
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See! Much dancing and general frivolity.

Quote of the day: "Places to go. People to damage." Mr. Van der Mer -- Neverwhere -- Neil Gaiman
Auxiliary Quote of the day: "Never pick yourself a name you can't scrub the floor in." Granny Weatherwax -- Maskerade -- Terry Pratchett
Currently reading: Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere (brilliant, simply brilliant -- that man's mind is something else) and Butcher's Storm Front
Recently finished: Pratchett's Maskerade -- lol as usual.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Happy Saturday!

Thank you for being patient (and supportive) of my *(#@&@^# Mustard Kimono. Here she is --
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See? Nothing major and it took THREE years. Sheesh! How pathetic is that?

In view of that pathetic-ness, I finally rumbled out what I think is my single goal for 2008 and some sub-clauses...
PLANS 2008:
Be a better daughter, sister, aunt, friend, co-worker
Read 3-4 books/month
Finish 4-8 needlepoints—depending on size
Train reliably
Start each day consciously perky

Possibly I can make decent headway at this. I hope so.

Here's to a great year!

P.S. I've been at work all day (yes, it's Saturday) and I've got a pile of shi... errr stuff to do for the office at home -- so I'm making great headway on being a better coworker..... I hope.

Belated New Years house cleaning

In an effort to clean off the sidebar I thought I'd move the finishes for 2007 to a post and go on with life in 2008. I believe I did mention I don't like to rush into New Years?

Stitching completed in 2007:
1. ST Fruit of the Vine -- Champagne
2. ST Fruit of the Vine -- Rose
3. ST Fruit of the Vine -- Zinfandel
4. ST Fruit of the Vine Pinot Noir
5. ornament exchange, Simone's
6. Midsummer Night Designs -- Quaker Meetinghouse
7. Pals Ornie Exchange
8. Shepherds Bush -- Shepherds Sheep
9. Wiehenburg group ornie exchange
10. Fair and Square Round 3 for Vicki
11. 20-ish signatures on Pals Signature RRs
12. Cross Stitch Pals Signature RR center
13. Sassies RR -- at long last!!!
14. 47 Christmas ornies
15. 2 CSRR groups -- Fantasy and Christmas
16. 3 formally secret projects -- squares for Josh's quilt
17. Beau Geste/Radko -- RWB star needlepoint ornie
18. Blackbird Designs -- My Quaker House
19. Wiehenburg group biscornu exchange
20. Sue Hillis -- Wine a Bit
21. A. Fox Originals -- When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
22. M Designs personalized class sampler

2007 Reads:
1. Rex Stout -- Over My Dead Body
2. Ursula LeGuin -- A Wizard of Earthsea
3. Neil Gaiman -- Stardust
4. Dovie Thomason Sickles -- Fireside Tales
5. Bram Stoker -- Dracula
6. Terry Pratchett -- Reaper Man
7. Neil Gaiman and Micahel Reaves -- InterWorld
8. Rex Stout -- Some Buried Caesar
9. Rex Stout -- The Final Deduction
10. Terry Pratchett -- Making Money
11. Terry Pratchett -- Making Money
12. Rex Stout -- Too Many Women
13. Rex Stout -- Champagne for One
14. Rex Stout -- The Black Mountain
15. Rex Stout -- Too Many Cooks
16. Rex Stout -- Fer-de-Lance
17. Rex Stout -- The Rubber Band
18. Terry Pratchett -- Guards! Guards!
19. Terry Pratchett -- Carpe Jugulum
20. Terry Pratchett -- Wyrd Sisters
21. Terry Pratchett -- Sourcery
22. Terry Pratchett -- Wintersmith
23. Terry Pratchett -- The Truth
24. Terry Pratchett -- Going Postal
25. Terry Pratchett -- The Fifth Elepahnt
26. Sharyn McCrumb -- Bimbos of the Death Sun
27. Tony Hillerman -- The Wailing Wind
28. Tony Hillerman -- Hunting Badger
29. Tony Hillerman -- Dance Hall of the Dead
30. Tony Hillerman -- The Fallen man
31. Charlaine Harris -- Definitely Dead
32. Dashiel Hammett -- The Thin Man
33. Jasper Fforde -- The Big Over Easy

be back for chatting later......

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ahh, happiness!

I finished! I finished! Yahoooooooo

I believe it was at TNNA 3 years ago this month that I bought the “&@*^#(@ mustard kimono” needlepoint canvas to add to my collection of kimono canvases to do for a friend. Three years later it is finally finished!!!! {I'd have a picture for you today if I had remembered to take one.) Miracle of miracles. It’s all I can do not to mail it to my needlepoint shop for finishing right now. I want it done-done. Really done. Finally finished and out of my hair. Have you reacted this way to projects before? It isn’t like they are difficult or large, they are just somehow always on your nerves?

I may jump right into another kimono to prove the axiom that not all kimonos are evil. LOL Besides – the stretcher bars are set for just the right size! Probably I’ll start either Mt. Fuji or some maple leaves….

I can also share my starting square for The Society’s RR –
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I’m doing the LHN scripture/sayings packs. I started with Peace because I knew I wanted the words changed. I just can’t leave a pattern alone!

This will head to my blogless buddy Karen in NY ….. she’s probably hip deep in snow so maybe that makes her feel stitchy. LOL

By the way, if you are so inclined, head over to Chris' blog and wish her a happy bday – it was today. Many returns of the day, Chris!

And a happy bday for my mom who would have been 78 yesterday.
Mom and me at the stunning mosaic orange

Currently reading: Jim Butcher’s Storm Front and Terry Pratchett’s Maskerade
Recently finished: Pratchett’s Eric and Zelazny’s This Immortal (the replacement edition)
Itching to start: Kathleen Ann Goonan’s In War Times and Michael Bockemuhl’s J.M.W. Turner

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Support a stitcher, slug an a**

If you want to read a story about what complete wastes of air some "people" can be, check out Bliss' blog entry for January 20th where she explains her recent encounter with people unhappy with her crafting/stitching/beading efforts.

Friday, January 18, 2008

At long last the wait is over!

Now that she's finally seen it, I can share the M-Designs personalized sampler I did for my friend Anita's Christmas/bday. You know, I might like it better than mine lol

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The eye, Celtic swirl, and amber charms are all off Anita's own necklace of good luck charms. The icon charm near the bottom is of Saint Hugo (I think) the patron saint of dogs. Anita wanted lots and lots of books, her two dogs, two blackbirds (for mirth), and a duck. I added her purse collection, dog prints, her ubiquitous and interestingly-shaped coffee mug, the bench in front of her house, and lots of little specialty stitch bundles. All of the stitching is silk -- some Thread Gatherer Silk n Colours and some Vicki Clayton. This was a blast to stitch. In a few months I'll be itching to stitch another one so I'll have to find someone to stitch for. lol

I can also share my last Fair and Square round which has arrived with Laura
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Kathryn -- How would you like me to forward It's me Rudolph and Winter Row along to you when I get done with them?

Jennifer -- How would you like the LKs when I'm done with them?

All stash should circulate!!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

trying not to grump .... and failing miserably

I give up. I’m just going to wallow in general grumpiness/out-of-sortedness today. Work wasn’t the world’s most salubrious place yesterday, then I went home and got thoroughly annoyed with MSNBC when I heard the commercial touting their election coverage. It included a line from one of their misc hosts who announced with enthusiasm that “we’re going to see history happen this year.”

I’m sorry, I can’t help myself. I simply have to “say” what I was grumbling to myself all night long….
"Look you utter moron, we get to see history happen every bloody day. History happens every minute to everyone. If you (you self-centered git) want to define “history” as “something really important” then, you know what? You’re still wrong. You want to be the one to tell the folks in Darfur that it’s too bad history wasn’t happening to them? Why don’t you mosey on down and tell Clara Rojas that it wasn’t historic yesterday when she was released after 6 years as a hostage of Columbian guerillas and got to see her son for the first time since he was 8 months old?" Yeah, I’ll be holding my breath for all the historic attributes of MSNBC’s coverage.

Off soap box.

Well, off soap box ‘cept for one whine – I come in today, grumpy as we have already ascertained, to get a new research project that apparently has as its personal goal kicking my assets. Dang it, it is so annoying when you’re certain the answer exists and yet the information still gets the better of you! Anyone well-versed in the Asian auto market and the business models of Asian car dealerships? Sigh.

Now, definitely off soap box.

I owe a TNNA (The National Needlework Association) report from last weekend. Yes, go ahead and hate me. I get to go the TNNA tradeshow every January and see tons of cool stuff that’s available in the world of needlecrafts. Nope, it’s not open to the public, but I go as a sort-of-employed member of my LNS’ team. I always say that my official job is “shop rememberer.” Long about July I’ll get a call that goes something like this: “hey, do you remember seeing a monkey wearing a tutu canvas?” Then I’ll get the call: “Did anyone at the show have any nice, not comic frog patterns?” And I tell them. I don’t know – some days I have trouble remembering what my name is, but I always seem to be able to remember which booth out of the hundreds at the show had a nice, paisley pillow top, not too large, primarily in earth tones.

Anyway, TNNA (which is mostly needlepoint, knitting/crocheting, and supplies – threads, needles, lights, lotions, etc) was lovely.
That’s last year’s show floor I think. And now you see why the most essential thing to remember for TNNA is not your stitching, but rather your really, really good walking shoes! It was in Long Beach which I highly recommend as a convention city so long as you don’t need more than a couple, close, big hotels. We shopped all day Saturday and I think we were successful although we never did find “classy golf “ or swimmers doing the breaststroke canvases. I got to chat with “old friends”—hiya Marty of Gimmies Designs! (Marty does some lovely dragons, birds, and other critters – they are all so dang cute they’ll make you smile.) I have quite a collection of Marty’s canvases to do and I just ordered 3 more. I’ve done a whole total of one out of my pile of her stuff ---
Gimmies cardinal needlepoint
I really need to get in gear on her pieces.. heck, everyone’s pieces!

Beyond Gimmies, I placed orders for a number of small ornaments. Possibly small I can manage??? ....she says that hopefully! I also vouched for the yumminess of Crescent Colors belle Soie silk line so now we’re carrying all 60 current colors and we’ll get the 10 colors due out in 2 weeks as soon as they are ready! Yahooooo!!! Sad to say TNNA is over for another year. But now I get to look forward to all the packages as they filter into the shop over the coming months.

I do have to share my TNNA giggle. There’s a woman talking on the cell phone and I get only her side of the conversation which goes like this:
“You’ll have to help him, you know.

Yes, but you’ll still have to help him.

Promise me you’ll help him.

Well sure, but you still need to help him.
… [and the kicker…]
He’s just a BOY so you have to help him.”
And “boy” came out in such a way that indicated said Y-chromosome bearer might be around about 45 years old. I had to walk away to avoid chuckling out loud. Weaker sex my fanny. lol

That about sums up TNNA -- tired feet, cross-eyed from power shopping, and generally exhausted.

I also owe some more pics of my stash accomplishments of late – Amy sent me a wonderful Christmas prezzzie along with my order from Down Sunshine Lane’s end of the year sale (it’s not too late!…. The sale continues with great deals hidden all over her site! Yeah, I know, I didn’t need any more stash. It was on sale! lol

My shopping:
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Stop me before I stash again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Say, want to meet a friend of mine? Drop by and say hello to Janaina. She’s doing her best to hold up the stitching honor of the Southern Hemisphere by signing up for practically every exchange on the planet. Hi, J.!

More tomorrow… hopefully less grumpy too!

Happy 249th birthday to The British Museum! This museum-industry icon and home to the Rosetta Stone opened on 15 January 1759. A venerable career despite all the misc fracases over the Elgin marbles, Nazi looted art, etc. Here’s wishing you another 249 years of collecting and displaying!

P.S. Sweet Pea -- I'm so glad we share a secret power. lol

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A couple catch-ups

In my fine tradition of doing everything late......

Since I did the finishing at the last minute, I didn't get a chance to show the final products before Christmas. The first two are my BIL's ornie. The front is an over-1 version in Needle Necessities of an old French pattern:
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And for my sister an over-one penguin on one of mom's spools:
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I'd like to be able to do what lots of other folks are, and share my favorite finish of 2007, but at the moment I think my favorite one is a still-secret one. Mind you this week it's owner is supposed to finally meet it and go to get it framed, but that'd hinge on me finding it. Sigh. I just saw it before Christmas and, well, apparently I put it "somewhere safe." Dang it I hate it when I do that!

More soon... I have many exchanges and gifts to share, but, alas, no time!

Have a lovely!!!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

More DC tripping.....

.... OK, I've managed to get some more pics uploaded for sharing. And it
is a good thing I still have travel pics since my stitchign of late has been "secret" stitching so I couldn't share that anyway!

My final hours in NYC were spent exploring around Wall Street. I visited Trinity Church where Alexander Hamilton and Albert Gallatin are buried and where this memorial to 9-11 stands:
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It's a representation of an old tree that was damaged/destroyed on 9-11. The sculpture now sits in memory to the left of Trinity's front door. Aside from the famous personages, the Trinity graveyard also has some fine examples of Colonial and early Republic gravestone angels --
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While I have to admit I can be "entertained" for hours if left loose in an old cemetery, I can't quite see my way clear to the recent fad for stitching gravestones. Nope, I gotta say, I don't get it.

Wall St. itself was very nicely deced out -- although I'm sure this would have looked much niftier at night:
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And I took one last picture of the happy kidnappers at the "mother church":
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Yes, there's something very telling about the BIL's face. lol

After our whirlwind in NYC we headed back to DC to the relative calm (Congress wasn't in session so it really was pretty calm). In no particular order ....
I spent quite a bit of time at the Renwick
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which was hosting an exhibit of quilts (amazing quilts, I might add) called "Going West." If it comes to your neck of the woods, go! The map quilt is worth it alone!! The crazy quilts are astounding. Oh, just go already!

The Renwick's permanent collection is the home to the bulk of the Catlin Collection. As it is one of my very favorite things I bonded big time. Right there at the top of the stairs I achieved bliss.....
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I just sat and enjoyed for a while....
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The Renwick also holds other amazing pieces -- for instance, I'd like you to meet Young's "Amphora Save":
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This next one cracks me up -- Zucca's "Shaker Television"
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I stopped by the Museum of Women in the Arts (not a Smithsonian) and I am glad to say it was half price because they had two of their floors closed. What I did see does not inspire me to return. Possibly all the very best stuff (and lots of it) was on floors 2 and 3, because all that was out for the public when I was there was about 3 dozen paintings and a wonderful (but very tiny) special exhibit on Acoma pottery. The pottery was marvelous and I'm glad I saw it. But it was a 30 minute museum.
This is Chino's Seed jar for the record:
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Like I said, Acoma pottery was worth the trip. If you get a chance to see an exhibit of it, try it out. It is truly lovely.

My final day in DC was spent in very slow wandering through the East and West Galleries of the National Art Museum. In the West Gallery I was completely enchanted by the JMW Turner exhibit
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There was no photography in the exhibit, but trust me on this, the man was amazing! Simply amazing. This collection is going to a couple other places in the US. I believe the next stop is Dallas. If you have any liking of painting (any medium) and landscapes then you MUST go. It's pure poetry.

Also in the West Gallery I met new "friends"/photo opportunities .... This is Conova's "Winged Victory":
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... and I spent quite a while staring at old favorites -- 2 of Monet's series on Rouen --
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I wandered across to the East (modern) Gallery to spend some time with the Calder:
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and dropping by the Hopper special exhibit and the special showing of "Small French Paintings" (if you like French artists and this visits your town, go-- these are pics that aren't usually on display and you'll love them).

My final stop is the city was to spend some 20-30 minutes watching what I called the light tower in the Reynolds. I am NOT a modern art person, but I fell under this piece's spell big time --
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ttfn --

Just because it made me giggle -- the truck of a DC street-side vendor:
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