Sunday, December 18, 2011

Elizabethan Stitching

  The past couple of weeks I've been doing the preliminary work on two new projects.  One is the Agecroft Sweet Bag which was published in the third quarter EGA newsletter.  The other is a more complex project in the same style, Thistle Threads online course called Glittering Gentleman's Nightcap.  Both projects are worked with motifs based on those found on a jacket in the Victoria and Albert Museum's textile collection
( jacket 1359-1900 and also the Laton Jacket).  The sweet bag is about 4" x 4" and is worked in silk threads on linen with some goldwork trim.  The nightcap is 8" x 21" and worked in silk threads, gilt silke twist and three different types of gold threads. ( I think I'll work the bag first!)

   Tracing the pattern of the cap onto linen was a chore!  The main motif is traced on the right side, but the cuff motifs have to be traced onto the back side as the fabric gets turned up when finished.  Since I couldn't find my light box I had to stand at the window and hold my arm up to trace a bazillion little flowers and leaves.  It took about an hour to complete the transfer.  The sweet bag, by comparison, took about 12 minutes to get traced off.

More information on the sweet bag can be found on this review by Mary Corbet:
She has pictures and a review of the thread kit put together by Access Commodities.

The Glittering Nightcap information can be found on the Thistle Threads website, here:

I'm looking forward to working with the gilt silk threads.  I saw them worked in to the Plimoth Jacket at Winterthur and they're really pretty.
  If I can find my camera cable I might even post photos.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Of Thanksgiving and Jackets

  We had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend, and I hope yours was also pleasant.  The Day was spent with family, overeating and conversing and watching a little football.
  Friday, Phil and I headed down to Winterthur Museum so I could view the With Cunning Needle exhibition which currently includes the Plimoth Jacket.  It's been at least 15 years since I was last there and the place has changed some, but it is still a beautiful estate with awesome gardens.  (Gardens, they call them- 1000 acres of trees, shrubs and water features as well as flowers and grasses.)
   The needlework exhibition was amazing.  The Jacket is set up on a mannequin in a lucite box at the entry of the exhibition rooms. It's possible to get quite close to the fabric.  I've been following the blog and reading some other blogs which discuss the making of the jacket, but even with photos, ...well.  The print medium just does not do this garment justice.  Many of the shapes are stitched with Gilt Sylke Twist, a thread developed for the jacket project.  In photos, this doesn't look very impressive.  It has just a hint of "not thread" to it from the gold metal. Up close and personal, the motifs stitched with this thread have a subtle shimmer of gold that adds depth and richness to the piece.  Bees, pea pods and flower petals are two-dimensional. The pea pods curl open to reveal tiny peas fashioned from spiraled gold thread.  I spent a good ten minutes examining the stitching on this lovely piece before I moved on to other items.
    Included among these were samplers dating back to the mid-17th century, an embroidered linen sailor's suit and duffel bag from the early 1800's,  counterpanes, side curtains, pockets and aprons.  There was a large rug loom set up near a display of wool and linen.  Nearby was a collection of linen garments which included a tiny baby bonnet made entirely of the finest linen I have ever seen.  I swear it must have been 200 threads/inch or finer.  The fabric looked like vellum, it was so sheer and so lacking in visible threads.  There was no embroidery on this cap at all; it was just a simple bonnet with a gathered self ruffle at the brim and fine linen ribbons at the chin.
   I'm hoping that Tricia Wilson Nguyen writes a book about the Plimoth Jacket, covering its inception, design, the interplay with various other crafts and suppliers, and its construction.  Much of this is on the blog, but some of the photos are now missing.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oh, right...I have a blog

  Some days I wake up with a lousy attitude.  This was one of them and it hasn't been made any sweeter so far.
  I just phoned the doctor's office to make appointments for my husband and myself.  They have one of those automated answering machines that you have to sit and listen for 12 minutes before you actually get to the "make an appointment" menu.  Last time I phoned, selecting 1 or 2 put me through to a Real Person. Today, "it" asked for detailed information on why I wanted an appointment, including the time I want to come in.  Right.  As if I know when there is likely to be a time open.  *eyes rolling*
   So, enough of that.  Last month, I went to the annual SAGA convention and took a few classes.  For the first time since I started attending conventions, I finished one of the projects!  Not only did I finish it, I had it done BEFORE I came home.  This is the stitching equivalent of a Double Rainbow, my friends.  I'm now plodding along on another of the projects.  It's a size 2 dress which is smocked from shoulder to waist, so is going to take a tad bit longer than the small beaded emory bag.
  Convention was a blast.  I flew to San Francisco a few days in advance and stayed with a friend from my California chapter.  We drove down together, and the drive was quite interesting. We saw lots of (what we think were) almond trees, some olive trees and maybe nectarines.  We also saw a lot of dying trees and areas where fires had completely wiped out some orchards. Apparently, the California congress has diverted water away from agriculture so many areas no longer have irrigation.
   The convention was held at the Hyatt Regency Orange County which is located about 3/4 of a mile away from the gates of Disneyland.  My room faced the park so I got to see fireworks every night.
There were lots of nice restaurants within walking distance and because there were so many, there was rarely a wait to be seated.  This is important if you only have an hour for lunch or dinner.  It was also a smaller convention group than most- for some reason, east and southeast members shy away from Anaheim.   The smaller group just felt cozier.  I really enjoyed the week.
   Since then life has been mostly about going to the gym a few times a week and just putting one foot in front of the other.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ahoy, Hobby Lobby

  There it was, emblazoned across a building above the highway- "Hobby Lobby".  I spied it yesterday as I was making a trip out to the airport.  Today I decided I'd make the trek back out to that area and do a little browsing, as I'd often heard about but never been to a Hobby Lobby.
   The first bump came when my GPS refused to acknowledge that said HL existed.  No problem, I thought- I remembered it was near a Red Robin.  Surprisingly, GPS refused to admit there was a Red Robin in Robinson Township, either.  I fell back on the directions to the IHOP by the airport.
   I now know yet a 4th way to get to 376W from home.   There doesn't seem to be a way to get from the IHOP to the Hobby Lobby (or Red Robin) without getting back onto the highway, though...
   So  I went to lunch.
   I asked my waitress if she knew how to get to the HL; she didn't, but said she'd ask the rest of the staff.

Turns out, it won't be open for another few weeks.    Oh, well.  There was  a Michael's on the other side of the shopping center, so I went there instead.  Browsing achieved.

Friday, August 19, 2011

getting healthy... bad for my health.
   It seems I've managed to tear the meniscus in my right knee.  I may have done this at the club, or I may have strained it a bit at the club and then finished the job while mowing my stupid angled lawn.   In any case, I'm advised to apply RICE  (rest, ice, compression, elevation) for the next few days while until I get the results of my xray.
   X-ray, you may ask?  Don't those just show bone problems, and not soft tissue injuries?  Why, yes, that's entirely correct!   However, my insurance company requires that I go through a process.  First I have to see my doctor to ensure that I actually NEED imaging.  (Never mind that a physical therapist recommended it.)
The first imaging needs to be an xray, just to make sure that there are no broken bones.  Now, I'm pretty sure that broken bones would show up on an MRI, too- they do on House and on Bones, anyway... but nevertheless, I had to trudge around about 1/2 mile in a huge hospital to have an xray done first.  It's Friday.   The xray won't be read by a radiologist until sometime Monday, most likely.  My doctor will get copies today, but I can't proceed until a radiologist signs off on the thing.
  Obtaining the xray in the first place was fairly frustrating.  First, it took me 20 minutes to find parking.  The first lot I tried was full.  There was also nowhere to turn my car around at the top of the lot, so I had to back up.   Eventually, I found the proper parking lot and got the car parked, only to discover that I needed to be on the opposite side of the hospital.  To make this even more fun, Radiology isn't called Radiology at this hospital.  They refer to it as "diagnostics".  Er...  Whatevs.
   I'm currently quite unhappy about this whole chain of events starting with the fact that I hurt myself walking.  ( least I didn't fall off a bridge this time)  Walking is supposed to be GOOD for a person!   I'm also irritated and somewhat anxious about the fact that since I'm favoring my right leg, my left leg is also starting to hurt, now.
   The only marginally bright side to the situation is that since I can't do much in the way of exercise, I have no excuse not to do some stitching, so once I manage to hobble up the stairs, that's just what I shall be doing.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

building a habit

  I find it difficult to build and maintain good habits.  Several years ago, I got into the habit of walking every single evening, no matter what the weather.  It was great.  I lost a bunch of weight, toned up and felt much better.  Then I got diagnosed with something that required surgery and 6 weeks of recuperation; I got out of the habit of walking and generally turned into a sloth.
   This winter, after a sad canoe excursion, the hubby decided he wanted to join a health club and get himself more fit, so he signed me up, too.  (He thought I'd be upset, poor man)   I started working with a trainer once a week, then twice a week, and am now up to three sessions a week with her.  I haven't been going in on my own time, though.  So, while I'm very happy with the results I'm seeing from working out with my trainer, I could be doing better.    Enter the treadmill.
   When I first started going to the gym, I could manage about 4 minutes at a slow pace with no incline.  At the beginning of the month, my trainer asked me to start doing 15 minutes of cardio before each of our sessions, so I started that.  Only managed 10 minutes the first time.  Yesterday and today, I've done a mile in 20 minutes with an incline of 2, plus a bit of cooldown.  I'm going to walk at least a 20-minute mile every day for the rest of this month.  Hopefully, this will establish a good habit.  Also hopefully, I'll be able to increase my speed and distance a bit each week.  The long-term goal here is to be able to participate in a 5K walk next spring and to do well in it.  The short-term goal?  I'd like to be in a size smaller jeans and have less of a gut by October when I go to my stitching convention.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Still ticking along

Once again, life has nudged blogging to the back burner.  It isn't so much that I've been busy as that I've been busy doing the same things, and seriously, how many times does someone want to hear "went to the gym, took a shower, went shopping, did a little stitching"?
  Our neighbors across the alley had a new curb put in along their property line.  It looks very nice, and hopefully will keep people from driving over their landscaping.  Of course, our property line now looks just that much worse...
   Working out at the gym is giving me some good results.  I still haven't lost much weight, but I did buy a pair of jeans in a size smaller along with a couple pair of exercise pants in the same smaller size.  Today I walked a 20 minute mile at incline 2 on the treadmill.  I'm pleased, as a few weeks ago I could barely manage 10 minutes at a low pace and no incline.  I'm getting stronger and I feel better, so the work is definitely worth it.
   Sewing and stitching have fallen to the back burner for a while.  I've been re-reading The Stand by Stephen King in my free time.  I've also got The Help and The Pirates of Somalia cued up on my Kindle.
Since I can't read and sew at the same time, the sewing is on hold.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Just another Friday

  Few postings have been made recently as I suspect it would get tedious to read basically the same information multiple times.
  I'm still going to the gym three times a week.  It helps; despite the aches and pains produced by the workouts I feel better overall, so I'll be keeping this up.
   The little needle case I'm working on is progressing.  I need to trace the patterns for the insert pieces on to linen lined with batiste, though, and can't find my light box.  I keep forgetting this during the day and at night there isn't enough outside light to make using the window a good substitute.  (I'll be heading upstairs to finish this task soon.)  The stitching is going a little slower than I'd hoped due to the fact that my reading glasses no longer seem strong enough for me to focus on tiny stitches or to thread small needles unless I perch the glasses at the exact right point near the end of my nose and hold my tongue Just So,  so today I'm off to the eye doctor for an exam and new reading/sewing glasses.
  Monday brings the one-year assessment of our house by the builders, so I'll be spending some time on general tidying-up this weekend.  There are very few concerns to be addressed, though.  S&A did a good job for us.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

odd weather

  We have had four days of nice weather in a row.  Now, I vaguely remember a few weeks of hot dry weather interspersed with occasional thunderstorms from when we first moved here last July, but I was beginning to think that was a fluke.  Apparently not.  The weather report has called for rain the last three days, but it's missed us, so I'm taking advantage of it while I have it.
   Today I went to Home Depot with a plan.  Since I don't want to go near the fence bed again until I've smothered out the poison ivy, I've started an edging bed along the garage wall.  My plan called for deep red and white begonias backed by multicolored coleus.  All I could find were pale pink begonias.  Even the marigolds were looking a little ragged.  I guess this year I will be planting pale pink begonias and seeing if I can coax a few allyssum into blooming as well.
   note for next year:  start seeds in good time for planting
First I laid down a layer of cardboard to smother the grass and weeds.  It's mostly clover, which is good mulch anyway.  Then I laid down bags of topsoil with the plain side of the bag up.  I'll cut holes in the bags and just pop the begonias into those holes.  Instant mulch!   Add the cedar edging fence I bought and there shall be a garden, of sorts.   It will at least be prettier and neater to look at than the current weedy growth, and I won't have to mow it.  Mowing that patch is pretty difficult as it was originally meant to be under river rock so they didn't level it at all.   As the summer progresses, I'll gradually widen the bed and level out that area.
   Planting right in the bags is a suggestion from the Mother Earth News gardening magazine.  You can do a single layer, or several for an instant raised bed.   Lay out the bags you want and punch holes clear through them with an ice pick or dandelion digger to allow for drainage.  Then cut a large hole in the top, leaving a 2-inch margin of plastic.  If you want a deeper bed, lay down the next layer, punch drainage holes and cut out the top hole until you have your desired depth.  Mulch the sides for a neater look.
   I plan to frame these beds with 2x12s later in the summer, or even late fall, but for now, at least I can have flowers.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

  The big news:  My son married his longtime love on the 4th of June.   The weather was lovely, as was the venue.  I learned a valuable lesson:  when going to a wedding at a lawn venue, don't wear high heels.
I wound up going barefoot rather than having to keep tugging a heel out of the soil.  (James was wearing his Five-finger shoes, so I didn't feel too weird.)

In lesser news, I'm hitting the gym three times a week now and spending more time out in the yard and less in the sewing room.   I've been trying to take advantage of the wonderful weather we've been having before it turns back into too hot or too rainy.
  I do have a couple of sewing goals for this month, though.  I'll be finishing my Silken Sewing Companion from a Kari Mecca workshop I attended in 2007 (!) and starting a cross stitch project requested by my husband.

Monday, May 30, 2011

  I've managed to finish (mostly- still need to attach hooks and eye closures) both of the little flower girl dresses and have my dress practically finished as well.  The wedding is Saturday.    You'd think I'd have plenty of time to work on "extras" between now and then, but I have a training session on both Tuesday and Wednesday, and Tuesday afternoon I've shoehorned myself in to an appointment with a doctor .
   I'm hoping I can find my organdy in my stash so I can do a few machine embroidered appliques for my dress, otherwise it will be just a little plain.
  I hope to post some photos soon, but I just can't figure out how to use iPhoto on my new Mac.  I'll have to reclaim my monitor from my husband's office so I can upload pics to my old PC.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Little Dresses of Blue

  Today I finished both junior bridesmaid dresses.  Phew, what a load off my mind!  They weren't difficult to make, just time consuming and I got stuck on the tulle ruffles for the petticoat.  I despise working with tulle.  I think if I ever have to work with it again I'm going to figure out how to use my gathering foot, stitch the tulle to a binding and applique the turned binding to wherever the ruffle needs to go.  It will give a lot neater edge and possibly be easier to work with.
   My buttonhole attachment came in handy, once I figured out how to make it work properly.  It only took 10 test buttonholes to get a perfect one.
   Later tonight I will start on my own dress for the wedding.  I've got a week- no problem.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

garden season

  I just got back to the gym where I discovered that my core muscles are about as strong as wet spaghetti.
Whoosh, I'm beat!  Despite that, I have a ton of things to do today including sewing on the little girls's dresses for at least two hours,  planting a few trees along the house foundation and acquiring a looooong extension cord so I can whack the weeds in the side yard.
  The front ... hmm, I don't want to call it a yard as it's only about 6 feet wide ... portion? Yes, that will work.  The front portion of the yard is looking very sad indeed.  We lost a boxwood to winter winds, so that needs to be pulled out.  It's at the top of a 45-50 degree slope, though, so I'm not quite sure how I'm going to get up to it.  The weird little plants along the bottom of the slope are leafing out nicely, but the current color palette in this bit of yard is dark green and dark gray, and it's just bleah.  I think I'll plop some inexpensive flowering annuals in there until my seeds have a chance to start blooming and we get fresh mulch to spread.
   I'll try to post some photos soon.  I haven't figured out how to manipulate jpgs on the Mac yet and until the dresses are finished I don't have time to learn new software.  My brain seems to only hold one thing at a time these days.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Today is tomorrow, although it should have been yesterday

   Currently, all I seem to want to do is sleep or drink iced tea.
  I managed a trip to Home Depot today for paint, a wheelbarrow, pavers and some other stuff to go along with said items.  Bags of paving sand are heavy.  Assembled wheelbarrows are tricky to get into a Honda Civic Hybrid.  I managed.   I was, however, a drippy, sweating mess by the time I got everything into the car, and it's only about 70 degrees out.  Summer is likely to be fun. Stupid hormones.

   Anyway, Pulp Fashion.
   It is absolutely amazing what a talented artist can do with paper and paint.  Isabelle de Borchgrave can take brown kraft paper and paint and turn them into a replica of a Medici gown, complete with lace and jewelry. From 5 feet away, you cannot tell the dress is not made from velvet.   Delicate Fortuny pleats?  Yup.  She can do those, too.  One display was of an "in-progress" garment which showed the various steps required to cut, shape, and build the various paper pieces into a complete garment display.  Next to it were some pieces in various stages of painting.
  If you're at all close to San Francisco, do try to make it to the Museum of the Legion of Honor to see this exhibit.  If you're not, look for the book as it gives a good overview of both the garments and the processes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Has it been a month?

    It seems that it has been a month since I last posted.  This is partly because entries along the lines of "got up, brushed teeth, had coffee, cleaned, shopped, traced a pattern" just don't appeal to me.
   My husband changed jobs in March.  We moved out here to the wilds of Pittsburgh as a transfer within Google.  Himself decided he needed a change and got hired at Twitter.  In San Francisco.  You know...near the bay area city we just moved away from?  He was out there for five weeks of training; I went out to  join him for the last week and I think I saw more of San Francisco than I did when we lived in Santa Clara.
   I met my friend Lynn (and her new ride) at a BART station, and from there we went to the de Yonge museum to view the Balenciaga and Spain exhibit.  This was a very good collection of his work which highlighted his influence by the culture of his youth.  He made much use of black.  His father died when he was young, so his female relatives wore mourning dress for most of his youth.  The mantillas and cloaks that were common in his area also provided design influence.  There was also a whole cluster of church-inspired garments including a raincoat that looks like a monk's robe and a wedding dress that looks very much like a nun's habit.
  Interspersed among Balenciaga's gowns and jackets and hats were some examples of the items which influenced them.  A complete bullfighter's Coat of Lights, heavily embroidered with gold thread, gleamed next to two velvet and jet-bead embroidered boleros.  I love jet, and it looks simply spectacular on deep red velvet.
   Photography was not allowed at the exhibit, so I have none to share with you, however, there are several good sources of images online.
   Tomorrow:  our after-lunch tour of Pulp Fashion: the Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave

Monday, March 28, 2011

 Spring is finally in the air!
 Yesterday (yesterday was Sunday) I was awakened bright and early (at 8:15) by the sound of earth moving equipment digging a basement down the block.  On a Sunday!  I'm appalled (not because I am religious, but because I'd always thought I could count on Sunday mornings to be quiet).
    So, the robins are about, daffodils are in bloom, crocuses are nearly blooming, and spring construction has started in earnest.  Noise vs More Snow?  I'll take noise for 100, Alex.

  This calls for a manicure.  My nails are currently just a bit too long for me to sew comfortably and keep slipping off the keyboard as I try to type, so it's past time.
  Spring is usually a time when I get all revved up about starting new projects, so it's possible there might be actual photos of actual sewing soon.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

  Hubby and I spent the weekend in the Philly area.  I needed to go try the preliminary jr bridesmaid gown on two little girls (and darn it, I didn't get a photo!) , and hubby is between jobs, so we both went.  It was a nice weekend.  The dress fit both girls- Mad's is perfect, and Ana's just needs to be lengthened a bit in the body and skirt.  I think I'll go ahead and cut her an 8 since I watched her consume 5 garlic knots, some salad and 4 pieces of pizza topped off by half a slice of carrot cake at dinner.  If she's not stocking up for a major growth spurt I'd be surprised.
   Returning home we discovered that all 3 cats survived.  The aquarium, however, is murkily green.  I gave it a water change on Thursday before we left!  Tomorrow I'll be checking to make sure there isn't too much sunlight hitting the tanks, and probably also buying an algae eater.  There is certainly enough to keep one busy for a while.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Convention 2011- California or Bust

The brochure for the 2011 SAGA convention went online yesterday and I've already picked out at least 3 possible classes for each day. This is the first time in a while I have been so excited about classes!
Susan O'Connor from Australia will be teaching! I have wanted to take a class with her for ages now. Her designs are gorgeous and her stitching is exquisite. Jeannie Beaumeister has some lovely designs on offer and there are several other gifted teachers with great projects. I think the only classes that didn't strike me as possibilities were the ones I have already taken. I'm almost even tempted to slog my sewing machine along...but that would be hard on both me and the machine.  I could rent a machine, but it takes me a while to get the hang of adjusting stitches and such, so I'm not sure that would work well for me.  (I am, however, thinking about it)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

fishy tales

I noticed that my Mickey Mouse Platy was chasing one of the reds around the tank earlier, so I looked up platy behavior to find out if this is normal. (it is) I also read up on how to determine whether you have boy or girl platys, because they're live bearers. Turns out this is fairly easy because it's done by fin shape. The author also noticed you can tell if you have a pregnant platy by three means: she's gotten quite fat, she has a dark spot over her ventral fin, or she is female. That gave me a giggle. Seems they are the rabbits of the fish world.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Those signs of spring I mentioned?

Gone, all of them, under a blanket of snow. It's been switching back and forth between little ice pellets and fat flakes of snow all day. I heard varying reports of accumulation of up to an inch to between 3 and 5 inches. I'm currently betting on at least 3. I went out to buy fish for my new aquarium a while ago and the roads were already getting slick and covered with slush.

Have I mentioned my aquarium? My hubby bought it for me last week. We got it set up and filled with water, added a couple of plants to it and have been letting it mature for a few days. Today I went out and bought a betta, a mickey mouse platy and some red platys to add to the water. Next week I'll add some neon tetras. Choosing fish is fun!

My computer is next to a window that overlooks the four-way stop in front of the house. I've been watching cars and trucks slide through the intersection and skid around the corners for the past 20 minutes. I'm glad I don't need to go out again tonight.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Signs of Spring

Last week while driving in the neighborhood I saw about 10 male robins in a tree. I'm thinking they were scouts for a migrating flock. Apparently no one had told them the forecast was for Snowpocalypse to hit in about 14 hours.
Yesterday, while driving along the same road, I noticed one lonely scilla in bloom near someone's sidewalk.
I have some hope this winter may end, after all.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I'm feeling grateful today. Snowpocalypse '11 has so far managed to pass us by. We had rain last night, but it's dry today with just a few occasional snow flurries and some wind. I can deal with most winter weather, but freezing rain scares me.

February 8 is the Hari Kuyo festival. You can read more about it at Stitchin' Fingers. My pins and needles are in pretty good shape, but I think I'll try to post a tutorial on how to make a pincushion and strawberry emory later in the week. Like most of us in the west, I'm rather cavalier about my pins and needles, because I know I can get more cheaply and easily. There are places where an entire village shares just one needle, though, and it is treasured.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter, how I loathe thee

I've hit a snag in the dressmaking momentum. I'm blaming it on the lack of sunshine, but I have little motivation to do anything other than sleep. Rumor has it there is another huge snowstorm brewing, too. I know that our local forecast has nothing in it but snow of some sort or another for the next ten days running.

I think I'll go throw my lining fabrics into the washing machine and force myself to get some work done.

I just ordered a vintage smocking booklet from Nostalgia at No. 1 . It's about halfway down the photos in the referenced post. Niki's blog is worth a read. She finds some interesting items and has cute and clever ways of marketing some of them.

Friday, January 21, 2011


I ran the snowthrower for the first time today. (Usually the hubby takes care of that job) I didn't run over anybody, including myself and the walks are passable. The edges are not as ruler-straight as hubby's, but I don't care. I still have two feet!

And now, time to go do some sewing.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's snowing. Again. We're supposed to get several inches over the course of the next few days, interspersed with occasional showers of freezing rain. I went to the store and stocked up the pantry: remembered the obligatory eggs, milk and bread.
Since I got home, I've been watching cars roll through the 4-way stop just outside the window. I just hope I don't hear a loud crash when somebody miscalculates.
I had suppressed the memory of just how long and dreary winter is in Pennsylvania.
Roll on, springtime.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


yup- empty machine boxes dragged from sewing room to basement for storage
yup- ditto for some empty packing boxes that have been propped against the wall for ages
yup- Valentine's dress for Maddy started as a test run for the jr. bridesmaid dress pattern.
yup- some books sorted out
yup- packing paper shredded for worm bedding

It's so cozy up on the 3rd floor. I like to go up there just to read as well as to sew because it's calm and quiet even
though it's still quite a mess.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Oh, Boy!

I get to go to a smockers meeting today. It's about 20 miles from home, which means lots of windy roads, probably most of which will be uphill. I'm glad it was warm yesterday so that most of the snow has melted from the roads. I'm still quite wary of driving in and around Pittsburgh.

I'm looking forward to a fun afternoon with other stitchers. I'd feel better if I'd actually done ANY stitching in the past month or so, but being ill just took all the motivation out of me. I think I'll go find everything I need to start on my new reticule kit from Beverley Sheldrick. (I say new, but it's actually older than the one I finished, which still hasn't turned up in the unpacking process.)
Or, I could take my hussif kit, which matches the missing reticule, and start working on it. One of the good things about having all these unfinished (unstarted) projects is that I have LOTS of choices when I need something to work on!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter, still

My life, for the first 10 days of January, was consumed with trying to get over a really wretched cold. Perhaps it was 'flu- I'm not sure. I never did run a fever: I just felt horrible for 4 weeks (apparently, this is a new and improved strain of rhinovirus) and went through approximately 5 boxes of tissues and half a bottle of nyquil. I think I'm better now, but I'm not going to state that unequivocally as I don't want the thing to think I'm inviting it back. I was better enough over the weekend to remove the lights and the SINGLE ORNAMENT from our Yule tree and get Phil to take the tree out for trash pickup. Yeah- one ornament. We found The Most Perfect Tree, Ever, and then I got too sick to be able to decorate it.
While ill, I discovered the amazingly funny blog of The Yarn Harlot. I've started from the beginning in the archives and just read my way up to January of 2008. I purchased The Free Range Knitter from Amazon for an amazingly cheap price and am reading that, as well.
I've also read 4 unrelated books and three magazines. The magazines are producing ideas to go on the Project List. I must stop reading.

In a moment of fiduciary weakness last week I decided I needed a couple of new projects, so I ordered a couple of ornaments from Barbara Meger at Classic Creations, as well as a jewelry bag. These should make good TV projects because they're a kit- everything is right there other than the styrofoam innards. Larger projects (such as finishing the painting of the living and dining rooms) are going to have to wait another week until I'm well and truly no longer feeling poorly.

In the meantime, it is snowing. It started around 1:30 this afternoon, and it looks as if there's about 4 inches of the stuff settled on the sidewalks. It's supposed to keep snowing overnight with another 2-4 inches predicted. Joy.
It's good weather for snuggling down in the living room with some embroidery.