Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I need to 'fess up to something.

It's an odd and overdue confession, but then again that might be the best description of me -- odd and overdue. Anyway, I'm confessing to a Christmas present from last year. My sister got me.....
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Yup. A trip to Ireland (and affliated locales). Yes, I do have a very cool sister. No, she is not up for grabs.

The reason I haven't confessed to this totally wonderful gift is because I find it daunting -- it's just too much. You know what I mean, right? Anyway, now it's July and I sort of need to start figuring out where I'd like to go. Ok, I have to admit to smiling while I type this so maybe the "freaked out" stage has passed into the "excited" one.

So, dearest British Isles friends, do you have suggestions? I know I want to go to Giant's Causeway, and I'd like to go some museums. I do not care a single fig if I kiss the Blarney Stone.

On the stitchy front I haven't been up to much. I've been working on the first of a series of surprises. All I can show you for now is--
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That's all for a few months. Sorry.

Part of why I haven't stitched much is it's turned warmer. It's hard to get enthused about extra bright lights and fabric all over your lap when your hovel ranges around 80 degrees when you get home. Another part which kept me from stitching all of last weekend was this lovely young lady --
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That's Ari messing around with my camera and having a blast the day after her Bat Mitzvah. She rocked! I claim her as a niece even though she's really the niece of my best friend. So leading up to the Big Day there was dress shopping to do and then all weekend was out for celebrating. And, Ari, don't be offended, I'd give up a weekend's stitching for partying with you any time!

See ya'll later. Happy stitching -- here's hoping your staying cool.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Does it have to be summer?

I don't want it to get hot. Hot interferes with my stitching. Then again so does work and yet I tolerate that. Hmmmm.

Before the heat sets in, I've been trying to be productive (and I have to catch up on pictures I owe you).....

First, I can belatedly show my most recent finish all framed up --
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That's Ursula Michaels' We the People which I did for my shop owner because she fell in love with the one I did for my nephew. It's poofed in an old barn-wood-ish red frame. And just to show the sort of reverence with which we all hold our shop owner--- below is the framing ticket showing the charges owing on the piece ....
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Yup, we work with smart aleks. Mind you the owner didn't even notice. lol

Here'e an out-of-date pic of SB Joy in the Journey:
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I actually have pretty much everything in but the backstitching and the random specialty stitches. This may languish a while given my propensity to hate LFBs [Little Fiddly Bits].

Currently I'm enamoured of this Artists Collection summer quilt needlepoint--
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This pic too is out of date, but you may get lucky later this week and see something more. Although, not much more because I've been stalled by the thread I picked to replace the one in the house. I pulled a Grandure but it's too think, which is a real bummer because I really like Grandure's red.

Papillon's Live Simply has stalled at this point:
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No real reason. It's a little hard to hold on the bus and I got enamoured with other things I guess. Maybe next week it'll come back out to play. I do so love the Waterlillies feel though.

Sampler Girls' Hope is coming along well.
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I have more words and even a couple birds in now, and I have to say, Bell Soie is lovely to work with.

Ladies Day has a couple more pots completed --
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I have to say it's really cool to work on this canvas because pretty much every section is perfetly scaled to be big enough not to be fiddly, but not so big as to get boring.

Beatrix is also stalled....
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She's made it this far and no farther. Maybe I'm scared to finish her because then I'll have to face the fact that I have nowhere to hang her.

Months ago I started on Balckbird's Joyeaux Noel
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Yup. That is as far as I have gotten-- a tail feather outline and part of a leaf. I stitched one night and have left it lie ever since. Pathetic. I know. I'm doing it over one on a light green jobelan but switching the colors out for Bell Soie.

Well, back to the grindstone. It's been a busy day --- including hte lunch spent helping to engineering and build the office's entries in tomorrow's downtown paper boat race. We're entering a two-sailed pirate ship and a flaming cheese.... don't ask. I'm not even sure I understand and I was there when the concept was born.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I'm back! And I'm still bad.

Heavens, have you seen the latest from Heartsting Samplery? You must! Go on. Go check out Some Trust in Chariots. While you're looking, I'll be adjusting my wish list. See you in a moment. .....
See? Was I wrong? Do you need it too?

That right there, friends, is why I (and if I don't miss my guess, a lot of you too) are in trouble in the stash and starts departments. Really it's not our fault! If you designers didn't constnatly put out these things that we simply *must* have, we'd be fine. Ya'll get together and put out one thing a year I need and I might could make some progress. As it stands I'm doomed..... and I like it.

Ok, off stash soap box, and back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I found some of the lost pictures and got annoyed and retook others. {The things I do for you!} --

This is Ladies Day, a canvas by Sundance.
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I got the stitch guide to go with it and began stitching on it years ago. I got the black pot in the far left corner done and realized that I had put the 3 rows of continental at the top of the pot in in the wrong direction. I entertained thoughts of just continuing along because I could just do the whole thing to match, but no, I really can't. It would drive me nuts. So, conservatively, she's spent 6 years sitting in a project bag with one pot done wrong.
Then magic happened ("magic" being defined as that moment when I really want to work on something other than what I'm working on). I pulled her back out, frogged my stupidity, spent a day picking all new threads (we'll get back to that), and started again. So far here's the progress:
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My favorite thus far is the big red guy --
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I have to admit that I wanted this to be an exploration in following a stitch guide. I've even mostly done that so far. Sometimes I can't control my urge to alter though. But the really cool thing and my big tip for needlepoint hoarders (errr, collectors) like myself is that if you let your canvases and stitch guides age for a few years, all sorts of new thread opportunities arise to enliven your work. I don't have to use Medici and perle cotton. I can use Belle Soie and Belle Lusso and Silk Lame. Ahhh the joy of thread!

Here's where I actually am on Live Simply --
2011 06 09 011
I'm doing it on a Vintage patterned white. I think in the end the pattern on the fabric will lend a nice touch to the Peacock Waterlilies.

Here's the very miniscule progress I've made on Beatrix.
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Her problem is she's too big to work on on the bus to/from work, and by the time I get home I'm mostly too tired to stitch, so she gets relatively few hours. Poor thing. I really like her.

This was a handy bus project, but it got left out of the bag one day so it's still not done:
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This is ANOTHER new start. Yes, as a matter of fact I should have my head examined--
2011 06 09 016
That's Sampler Girl's "Hope Perches" with threads switched to Belle Soie (Indigo and Noir, I think). She was what I worked on on the ride in this morning and I got most of "feathers" put in so already the pic is out of date.

Here's Rose City Stitchers--
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It got some time under the needle last night. I really do like it, but I'm tired of lines and vines.

And for the prettiest pictures--
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Meet Daniel. Who truly couldn't be any cuter.
I think he has a future in music since he loves to listen to music. And since he also loves to stick out his tongue I fear he may eventually lead a Kiss tribute band.
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I was never a Kiss fan, but I might see my way clear for such an adorable great nephew.
For the record, he's a really good baby, but his favorite Aunt Ruth trick is to wrap his fingers in my hair and scream. This is not what you call relaxing.

Have a great weekend to all and to all happy stitching!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Bad blogger. Baaad, baaaaaaad blogger.

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Yes, I have been bad. And it's even worse than just being MIA. Not only did I go missing from Blogland, but I went on vacation too! --hanging head in shame and shuffling feet in a tone of penitence-- Will you forgive me? I suppose you realize that's just silly -- regardless of your forgiveness, I will have gone on vacation.

In my defense, I did think of ya'll while I was away --
2011 05 09 180
That there in Martha Washington on her front porch at Mount Vernon with her stitching in the basket by her side. I was so pleased that she was happily spending a day stitching with company dropping in. I'm sure she did it for us.

There has been stitching going on my in neck of the woods. However, much to my shame, what primarily has taken over my life/needles has been New Starts. I ssimply can't keep myself from starting new projects. What gives??!! I *want* to finish things. Really, I do! But instread of working my way through any of the several dozen WIPs I have, I go and start something else. Sigh. Maybe it's in the water? Does late-Spring pollen cause startitis?

Anyway, here are some of the recent adventures:
Beatrix Potter is underway occasionally --
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I even got anohter beaded bit in --
2011 03 01 033
I must say that as mush as I enjoy beading and like the effect, I have to admit that it's damned annoying when you're trying to allign your hoop for the next motif over.

Joy in the Journey is a lot more complete than this...
2011 05 20 107
I'm at the point that I always get to in a SB piece though -- the point at which it's all really little fiddly bits and back stitching. You know how well that goes over with me.

Here's one of the new starts--
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I'm doing it over one in misc silks and loving it. I'm a lot further along than this, but someone's mislayed her pics again.
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And another new start is Martina's Tsunami Sampler which I have wanted to do for a while. So in honor of our Japanese friends I hauled it out and decided to do it primarily in pinks (for the cherry blossoms).
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Since this pic was taken I've picked up some more colors, got them all arranged as substitutes for the colors called for, and gotten going on the stitching.

Another new start -- Papillon's Live Simply in Waterlillies Peacock
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Here's the ultimate proof on how bad the photo collection is... this piece is actually done-- Ursula Michaels "We the People"
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I think we're missing another 2-3 starts too. Sigh. And you know what I want to do more than anything right now? Yup, start another project.

I went holidaying in DC as usual. 'Twas my sister's birthday and a chance to play with my new great nephew. And yes, I owe many pictures, but.. can you guess what's coming?.... I seem to have misplaced the downloads. Sigh. They'll come eventually. There was as usual much art. There was also much beer, but I don't think I bothered with pictures of the beer.

For the record it's mostly the dreaded Work that has kept me away from you all. It seems to be a never ending series of "emergencies." Always someone else's emergencies, mind you. All things considered, I suppose that's all work really is--- a long series of other people's emergencies interrupting your day. Ocassionaly a day has highlights -- yesterday we had a spirited debate about the kosherness of my usage of the word "explicate" instead of "explain." I agrued that if I had to do the damned report, it was my language choice. I also held that it didn't matter whether I chose a 19th Century word or not, since the foriegn-language translator is probably going to write it as "to use ducks excessively in a heat wave" anyway (no, I don't have much faith in the translator).

See you tomorrow! --she says being hopeful--