Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Galavanting to 2011

Anyone know how it got to be 2011? Where did 2007 go?--- I so can't even get to worrying about '08, '09, and '10 yet! Sheesh.

Let's hit the needled highlights and then go back for some leisurely touring shall we?

I am Christmasing in DC and thus delivered The Dreaded Stockings:
First, the BIL's. You've seen it before, but it has been a while --
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Now the Sister's (aka The Truly Dreaded)--
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You have to understand that I learned something very, very important about myself while doing this particular stocking: I don't do random well. The whole *#(&$#$^&#@ tree is random long and short stitches. I hated and therefore dreaded every bit of working on those long-and-shorts. I have this thing about wanting it to look authentic (ie. tree-like) so it seemed to me that every stitch of Silk and Ivory (the only saving grace about the tree is it is all in Silk and Ivory) seemed somehow to be untree-ish. I even ***looked forward*** to stitching Santa's suit in Very Velvet more than working on the tree, and that's saying a lot! All things considered though, with the passage of a couple months since completion, it was a fun project. I got a decent amount of different stitches in (and some old faves like the hesitation stitch) and used a lot of fibers I liked -- the aforementioned Silk and Ivory, a really nice fine merino wool that was the entirity of the carpet, lots of Fyre Works (they really need a better texture for their hologram ones -- that's stuff is nasty to work with), and Sprinkles (which everyone in my shop hates but me.... good! It's mine, all mine!) to name a few.

Originally I thought the walls would be a pale peach, but the muse (and color realities) took a mint green (Splendor Silk) turn --
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And, yes, Virginia, those are French knots in Santa's beard. Lovely aren't they? Their loveliness is due to the simple fact that I did not do them. My dear friend, Jennifer, finally allowed herself to be pestered into it. And despite the pestering, they are absolutely wonderful. I keep telling her she could lease herself out for French knotting and she keeps replying... well, I can't actually say what she tells me to do. Sorry, I don't know what it is; usually Jenn's such a nice, amenable person.
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I did my own French knots in the mane and tail. Let me tell you, if you want to feel smugly proud of your French knotting and you have a place where you need randomized, irregular, shinny knots, I highly recommend Flair. Oh I just loved knotting in Flair.

My other current stitching affair is a group gift with my stitching buddy Judy which we hope to have finished up soon:
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That's Sampler House's "Catherine's Sampler." Whie I have enjoyed working on this thus far I have a caveat for those who have it in their stash or are thinking about getting it: That picture on the pattern of the finished piece bears no resemblance whatsoever color-wise to the actual colors called for. I actually took a few years to buy this pattern because the colors as pictured were so hideious as to hide the piece as a whole. Turns out the colors called for as so drastically different that I actually pulled all new colors for this version. Most of what you see in the picture is DMC or Anchor, the gold fluer de lis-ish flowers are Sampler Threads (Gold something-or-other) and the pomegranates are Belle Soie (Cranberry, I think).

Aside from a certain lack of stitching, on the holiday front I have:
1. Had a white Christmas
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2. Been extremely frustrated developing into downright pissy
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This was when the computers were (I considered at the time) 50% working (I should have thoght of it as 75% working). They went through a brief period of full workability and then crashed back to 50% when the office machine decided it had a hard drive fault and IT and I couldn't see eye-to-eye on long-distance assistance.

3. Gotten to attend my first ever Greater Capitol Region Bake-Off. A tradition at my sister's house. The first two offerings are her work --
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Her new try for this year a peppermint-flavored sugar cookie with a white chocolate and pepermint candy dip. In a word, fiddily. But, very popular with the squirrel on the balcony where the cut cookies had to sit on sheets to freeze.
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Her traditional cranberry bread with gum drop decoration.
I did my balls. My goal was to stay out of the oven on bake-off day so I did a range of "rum" balls.
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The darkest are Bailey's with dark cholocate cocoa and chocolate shortbread as a base rolled in dark cocoa and pecans.
The medium colored ones are also with a base of chocolate shortbread, but are kalua with milk chocolate cocoa rolled in powdered sugar and cocoa.
The light ones are regular shortbread with orange liquer rolled in powdered sugar.
I have to say that overall last year's lemoncello version of balls are still my favorite.

4. Had the opportunity to meet the Alexandria Fire Department--
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Seems the neighbor was making cinnamon-sugared pita chips for a party the next day and her oven caught fire. All was fine. The oven sensed the fire and sealed itself. But we had 5 fire trucks of personnel milling about the street. No one's exactly certain how the fire got started since there was nothing in the oven at the time, and I failed to get the story on how it actually got put out. Sorry.

5. Froze while watching the lunar eclipse --
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BIL doing his best to capture an image.
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Sister and the corner of yours truly trying our best to stay warm on the windy 4th floor deck at 3am. Yeah, it was really, really cold.

6. wll have to be later because I'm going to be late for this mornings art lectures at the National Gallery ---- I love educational vacationing.

Happy 2011 to all and to all a good morning!

7 comments:

mainely stitching said...

Wonderful to hear from you Ruth! What an exciting time you've been having! Your stockings just leave me breathless!

Loretta said...

Your stockings are beautiful. I really love the Nutcracker one as I am an avid Nutcracker. (At Christmastime you can't go anywhere in my house without seeing a Nutcracker in some shape or form.)

Lennu said...

Oh my, your stockings are stunning! So many stitches and so many colours!!

Beth said...

Happy New Year!! So glad to see you back! Your stockings are amazing - just hearing the names of the fibers made me itch to get back into needlepoint. But, I better stick to just one addiction for now!

Mel said...

Those stockings are STUNNING!!! And the treats look absolutely delish!

Brigitte said...

Those stockings are a dream, so artfully stitched and finished. Great job!

Terri M said...

So many lovely pictures. The Truly Dreaded is so lovely. It was definitely worth all the trouble.