Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Just call me "Lucky"

Happy mail is here again
The stash is all around again
So let's stich a piece of joy again
Happy mail is here again!!!!!!!!!
2011 11 20 009
I receive this pack of joy from our friend Rahenna who I joined an ornament exchange with.
Just take a look at those goodies! -- Please note the baggie of really pretty beads -- Mr. Postman managed to change that from a lovely scissor fob into a loose collection of beads -- never fear! I can string beads!!!! But I don't know what to do first -- turn that Santa into an ornie or start that partridge. Oh wait. I know what to do first -- oggle my ornie!
2011 11 20 010
You're turning green aren't you. lol I know I would if I weren't me.

And, gentle reader, not only did the post bring that happy package, but it also brought the following goodies from BluStitcher--
2011 11 20 016
I've already picked out some "essential" pieces --
2011 11 20 002
2011 11 20 011
2011 11 20 005
2011 11 20 014
I ask you, dear friends, was that fair of Blu? Did I really need to be lead that far down the path of even more WIPs?

I wish you all as happy a mail delivery as I have had --- and to my American friends, a very, very peaceful and pleasant Thanksgiving!

If, perchance, anyone is going to be at LosCon this weekend, if you see someone frantically stitching away in the panels, drop by and say "hi" -- that'll be me!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Successful hermiting!

Apparently hermiting agrees with my character. So much and yet so little happened this weekend -- and both aspects make me happy.

I was a slug -- a true slug and a happy one at that. Until dinner Sunday nite I did not exit Chez Hovel. And **all** I did was stitch and nap (and take breaks for hummus and feta. For all fine planning I did on Friday, barely one of them saw the light of day. Instead ......

....I stitched this:
2011 11 20 001

......I stitched and finished this:
2011 11 20 007

.....And I finished these (Sure, they've been waiting for a year... but what's a year in the larger world of my slow stitching?):
2011 11 20 003
2011 11 20 004

.....And I made progress on my Oldest UFO -- the only of my Friday Plans to make the cut --
2011 11 20 012
Oh the joy of working with Silk and Colors! Such fun. I have to admit that it's rather slow going since age and a lot of scrubbing during frogging has made it rather essential to stitch based on the picture included in the kit. I consider myself lucky that it is a fairly clear picture so I can follow the more detailed sections without the help of canvas painting.

I have to admit that while I had great plans to hermit this weekend, I had also thought that I'd do some cleaning and sorting (of stash and the occaisional other pedestrian possession)-- I was going to get all my various threads sorted and put away. I was going to get my recent book purchases and gifts input into the computer and tucked away on shelves. I was going to sort out and tidy up all my misc UFOs and WIPs. I was going to sort and toss a bunch of drivel. I was going to make lemon soup. Did I ... no. I ran out of snack bags so the thread sorting stalled, I lacked eggs for the soup, and you can choose between entropy and laziness for excuses for the other non-activities.

How was your weekend? Any hermiting activities to report?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Are you ready to hermit?

This weekend is International Hermit and Stitch Weekend
IHSW Hermie
Will you be joining me? I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to it! I dont have to work this weekend. So it'll be me stalwartly parked at Chez Hovel, listening to books or TV and stitching my little fingers off. Oh, ok. I suppose there will need to be cleaning and organizing too since it looks like my stash pile is close to reaching the critical mass required for it to apply for protected status from the UN.

Of course the big question now has to be: What will I hermit upon? Oh the choices!!!
Beatrix got out for a bit of an airing sometime late last week. Possibly she'll get out this weekend.
2011-11-06 013

Or maybe it's time to start over on my Oldest UFO -- now that I have my Silk and Ivories to work with
2011 11 13 007

Or perchance I'll uncover my Specialty Stitchers' Tree of Stitches--
2011 08 18 001
I could probably get that done this weekend if I eschewed all else.

I've had a couple of these canvases underway and finishing more of them would be quick and staisfying--
2010-02-02 028

But then again, just a couple weeks ago I put this on stretchers...
2010-02-02 029

Ooo, Rose City Stitchers hasn't been out for a while--
2011 07 20 043

And somehow I missed working on America for Veterans Day (what was I thinking?)--

Chances are though I'll haul out ornaments. I want to get a few in the mail just after Thanksgiving so that means me and the stuffing need to spending some quality time together.

So, will you hermit with me? Please? You know we'll have fun together.

Happy Stithcing!

Barbara and Theoria -- regarding the Warrior Sheep -- I am fairly certian that most 10-ish year olds will be humored by their adventures. It's entertaining, but neither as fast as it could be or prettily-written enough to to be worthy of being slow. It's about this flock of "heirloom" sheep (each variously charactrerized -- one fancies itself a rapper, and one is concerned about her looks and fashion) who get hit by a falling cell phone which they think is a sacred item they need to take to the leader of sheepdom lest evil forces attack the sheep of the world. They are however supposed by a local farmer to have been kidnapped by aliens. In all actuality as they adventure across England (via the Underground, the Eye, boats on the Thames, a commuter jet, etc) they are pursued not only by their elderly, but sometimes spry owner and her gransdon, but also by the bank robbers whose cell phone got the whole story going. It's quirkly, but not wonderful. It's probably a fine investment for the proper age group given the general half-life of a kid's book. Book 2 in the series is out now too -- the warrior sheep do the Wild West. I do not believe I'll be reading that one.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

News flash: Frogging causes stash

I've decided. It is only logical that I join Evalina's Oldest UFO challenge. I'm hauling out my old "friend," the lighthouse needlepoint kit my sister gave me years ago.
2_4_2008 007
As near as I can guess I think I started this in 2004. I believe I had to pause in working on it to do other projects with deadlines. When I came back to it I was annoyed that I hadn't thought to do specialty stitches (who cares that the instructions patiently teach the continental--- yeah, like that's happening). But I had this problem --
2_4_2008 009
-- you see all I had done was the clouds and the tower. I couldn't bear the thought of ripping out the tower for certain, but I figured I could manage the clouds and those were really where I wanted to change the stitching. Well, it seems that it was well-nigh impossible to pull the clouds without the tower. The thought of pulling out that course wool was enough to put me off the plan.... for several years.

Now, spinning time forward, Evalina comes up with this brilliant UFO adventure, and blammo, the lighthouse is on the burner. So this last weekend I pulled ALL the stitching out. It took all bloomin' day. All day -- all SATURDAY. A fine weekend day shot straight to... errr... the trash can. Please believe me when I say that I could have made several small, decorate sheep sculptures from the wool clips I pulled, and pulled, and pulled. And pulled. And then pulled some more.
I had to take several breaks in frogging because my fingers kept developing dents and grooves in them from the needle and the scissors. On one break I tried to find out if the kit was still being made so I could just buy a new one and leave off with my forgging torture. On other breaks (somewhere passed the 4-hour frogging mark) I begun wandering about the store scouting. My scouting missions turned up the following ornaments (on congress cloth-- that's how much my brain was fogged by frogging -- I thought doing a pair of congress cloth ornaments sounded like a joy) which I taped and started the basic threading--
2011 11 13 009
Somewhere aroud hour 6 I decided I DESERVED (!!!!!) the following:
2011 11 13 008
Obviously I not only found it, but also taped, stretchered, and threaded it. I almost pulled down matting and frames to decide whether I was framing it or mounting it in a box. {So much for my plan to "earn" that mask canvas by finishing the lighthouse.}

Now, 4 days on, the grooves in my fingers have faded and I'm mostly over the aversion I have to wooly things. I still think I deserve the ornaments and the rose though!

I'm too lame to have brought the pic of the now frogged canvas and the replacment Silk and Ivory. Soon.....

Finally, on a "literary" front, the following is courtesy of Stitch Bitch who got me thinking....

The book that’s been on your shelves the longest.
My little red Bible which I got in the 3rd grade elevation ceremony at my church -- must be one of the mysteries of Methodism that when you start 3rd grade you're old enough for a real Bible [all the "real" words and only a few pictures (mostly maps) at the back].
After that it'd be the ratty ole copy of The Last Defender of Camelot by Roger Zelazny which I got probably as a junior or senior in high school.
bk Last_defender_of_camelot

A book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time).
Well there's the aforementioned little red Bible which I clearly remember standing on the marble steps in front of the altar clutching. I think I was wearing one of the dreaded choir robes at the time-- they were always too short because I was always too tall.
If I shouldn't be repeating then the Science Fiction Book Club edition of The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
It always reminds me of the old staff room at the library where I used to work and the afternoon my to-be friend snorted at me for rambling on with someone else about Star Trek (I was *not* rambling-- it wasn't like I was such a tremendous fan as that I would ramble) and told me he'd fix my problem. The next day in the same staff room he plopped the SFBC version of The Colour of Magic down in front of me and said, "there, read something worth talking about."

A book you acquired in some interesting way.
Ernest K Gann's Fate Is the Hunter which I picked up at a university donated books sale. It came with a letter inside from Gann thanking one of the big Hollywood studios for their interest in his work and their intentions to make another movie from one of his books, possibly Fate. I don't believe it ever got made, but the letter makes me smile.

The book that’s been with you to the most places.
This is kind of hard. I don't tend to repeatedly haul physical books on adventures. Lots of books I own went from home to college and then about college locations, but that's not very interesting. But once I joined Audible, it became a tradition that I'd avoid bad hotel TV by listening to Sharyn McCrumb's Bimbos of the Death Sun and/or Zombies of the Gene Pool at every con I went/will go to.
bk zombies bkbimbos

The most recent addition to your shelves.
Snuff by Terry Pratchett

Your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next.
Tough again since I have several in process and I'm such a mood reader that it's hard to predict what happens next.
Most recent finish:
bk big 4
Agatha Christie's The Big Four a triumph of the "little grey cells."
Currently Reading:
Going with the "very last thing I was reading" which still yields two answers -- on the way in to work I was listening to the continually fascinating Eiffel's Tower by Jill Jonnes (the fascinating story of the development of the Eiffel Tower and the Paris world's fair that featured it).
The last physical book I had my nose in was The Quest of the Warrior Sheep by the husband and wife team of the Russells.
(One look should tell you it's a gift I needed to be up on in advance... at least I hope that's apparent.) I'm almost done -- thank Heavens!

My next read/finish will hopefully be something else I have in process -- The Nitrogen Murder so I can return it to my booky friend Anita who hasn't goten a chance to read it yet because she's been kindly lending it to weasels like me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

And the winner is.....


Buuuuuuut actually, since only 19 of you responded, I decided that EVERYONE is a winner.

Margaret, as the official name-out-of-my-shopping-bag pull will get "the big prize," but all of you --
-- get a little something. You won't be able to retire your stash-collecting habit on it, but it will be better than junk mail.

I just need emails so I can contact you each for shipping info.

Thank you all so very much for playing along with me!

And in the most important news of the day -- a big thank you to our veterans, serving military personnel, and their families!!!! Bless you all --
5_25_2009 019

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cool idea causing consternation! A giveaway! And a reminder....

Evalina has come up with a brilliant plan. She's hosting an Oldest UFO SAL. You did up that piece you've nearly forgotten about and stitch on it as faithfully as you want to. As you stitch you update Evalina and in January they'll be a prize for most accomplished. Cool, eh. I have one major stumbling block -- figuring out what my oldest UFO is. Anyone else have that problem or does your oldest project haunt you--lurking just at the edge of your vision, creeeping into your dreams/nightmares,.... Mine do that, but I have so many eldery pieces that it's hard to remember who has been languishing the longest. I know for certain which one is the biggest and the one I regret the languishing of the most -- my Vierlanden--
2010-02-15 002
Jeez! The last time I took a progress pic of it was February of 2010. Oh how sad. I can even tell you what slows me down on this one--the motifs are do dense that they seem to take an eternity, and given that I am among the world's slowest stitchers.... you see the problem.

But Vierlanden doesn't win for oldest. I am pretty sure I started that in 2007 or 2008. But I know I started this lighthouse (a gift from my beloved sister) earlier than that:
2_4_2008 007
It's problem is that I got ahead of myself and now I want to stitch the clouds and sky differently, but the thought of all that ripping makes me cringe. I really would like to finish that lighthouse though.
Hmmmm I wonder if I gave myself a prize for finishing hte lighthouse if it would help? I've been nearly overwhelmed with the *need* to but this one canvas at my shop --
2011 03 01 023
I just love this piece. I see the black in the wallpaper in a velvet, possibly with some Neon Rays+ accents in it. The mask -- well the mask would probably be mostly Splendor. I have't worked out the feathers yet. But I simply covet this piece. Sure I have hundreds of canvases around Chez Hovel, but I *want* that one. What if I finish the lighthouse AND some other langishing piece? I'd deserve that Lani mask, right? You support me in this insanity, don't you?

BlueStitcher s hosting a giveaway for her first blogiversay. Drop in and congratulate her on making it through her first year in blogland.

And, taking advantage of that lead in -- Friday looms, so if you want to be part of my blogiversary draw drop a comment on the appropriate post below.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I've been lucky (and apparently busy too)

... and I am grateful. Slow but grateful (it wouldn't in the least surprise me if that ended up on my tombstone -- I guess it's either that or something along the lines of "I suppose this means you're not going to finsh that project you promised to get done....").

I have receieved some awesome sqaures through Fair and Square in the last 2 rounds --
First, from Elaine this absoluely darling little Sweetheart Tree piece --
2011 09 20 008
I wish you could see in person how lovely and dainty this piece is. The bees are little beads and the honeycomb is absolutely mesmerizing.

From Linda Four Fat Friends --
Linda is apparently channeling her inner Ruth since I've wanted to do this piece for a long time. I have for years pulled it out of my stash and looked longingly at it, only to put it back because something more pressing had to get done.

Some posts back I showed what I did for Elaine, but what I did for Linda has escaped my yammmeirng thus far. For the front I adjusted and Annie Beez pattern--
2011 09 30 020
I changed the house she had to make it look like my favorite light house (Point Loma). I also switched out the lawn colors for aqua wave colors and added some extra motifs to the sky as clouds and, well, sky. The best I could do to make it stand out was switch the bird to medium grey and call him an adolescent gull.
For the back I found out what lighthouse was likely closest to Linda, modified another pattern to fit, and used it to decorate the salutation on the back
2011 09 30 021
I did it all in Belle Soies because I was in a self-indulgent mood and decided I *needed* and *deserved* to stitch in silk just then.

Do you get like that? You just have to stitch in a certain tread because it makes you happy? Sometimes I get downright whine-y about it --- paryt of me floats away from myself and watches what seems like an over-sized toddle have an inner temper tantrum because she wants silks, or the perfect dove grey-brown (I'm in the midst of that one right now so I know it well), or to stitch on hand-dyed fabric regardless of the actual necessity or possibility.

Maybe there's some chemical in stash that builds up in the system as we amass our piles that makes us have these toddler-ish moments.

I want to thank you all for your kind comments on my Aunt. I appreciate the thoughts. Thank you very much.

There's still ample time to be in the blogiversary if you so choose.... see the appropriate post below.

Humorous thought of the day -- from the 1604 Table Alphabeticall's (dictionary) dedication "for the benefit on Ladies, Gentlewomen, or any other unskillful person..."
(yes, I'm listening to Simon Winchester's history of the devlopment of the OED)

Monday, November 07, 2011


I mentioned yesterday the obvious -- that I owe much news. I'll start with a sad report.
Anna Lous roses -- George Burns
My Aunt Anna Lou passed away last month. She was an avid gardener (a sheer magician with roses including the George Burns rose pictured above which graced her front garden), a collector of antique bottles (for which she and her family scoured dumps for years), a bird watcher, a lover of a good-quality chili dog (with fries), a Cher fan, and a woman for whom no drive was too far if there was a good dance band at the end of the road.

I got the call on my Aunt's passing while I was in San Francisco to cheer for my sister and BIL and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Team in Training folks in general at the Nike Women's Marathon.
2011 10 14 067
2011 10 15 194
After 13.1 or 26.2 miles would you be motivated?:

Nike weekend for us and the National Capitol TNT team always includes a delicious sojourn to the Ferry Terminal's farmers' market--
2011 10 15 025
Those are my personal tradition -- a breakfast of misc smoked fish with yummy toppings.

2011 10 15 036
Nope, I did not try the Tongues of Fire -- although they looked really cool.

2011 10 15 041
There were beautiful flowers everywhere.

2011 10 15 055
There was an awesome donut stand offering these temptations.

2011 10 15 058
There was a spice merchant with a lovely science fiction sense of humor.

2011 10 15 083
And beautiful tomatoes caught my eye.

It was a beautiful day and a perfect weekend. Aunt Anna Lou would have approved.

For today, that's it. I'll see you soon with much stitching.
Don't forget to toss your name in the blogiversary draw (from yesterday) if you are so inclined.