Saturday, September 24, 2011

Knitting and Crocheting - NOT

At my last session with my physical therapist, I mentioned that I had finally picked a needle and tried embroidering. I said that I had managed to do a few stitches. She pretty much exploded. She told me that I was not to do any more knitting or crocheting until she said so. That holding my hand in the static position needed for knitting and crocheting was not going to help me regain use of the hand. When I repeated that I was embroidering, she shrugged and said don't do any more knitting or crocheting until she said I could.

Hard to believe that even after I tried to correct her about what I do, she kept on calling it knitting.

My ortho doctor has suggested that I see a neurologist ... he (the ortho guy) can't figure out what caused the problem, or why it is lingering. Hopefully the neurologist will have a clue.

I really, really, really miss stitching.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Where Does the TIme Go

The last time I posted was almost one month ago. Since then we have seen an earthquake, a hurricane and the aftermath.

I still am not stitching. I am still in physical therapy for the hand/wrist problem. I'd say what the problem is, except I haven't got a clue about what happened. But, regaining use of the hand is an extremely slow process. As the therapist said today, ' you have come a long way ... when you first came in, you have no functionality in that hand.' To think ... putting a small hearing aid in my ear is a major milestone. And it was ... it was so important to me that I actually made a point to mentioning it to the therapist, because until today, that little gadget was too small for me to pick up. Onward and upward. Eventually, we will make the 'stupid' hand work again.

We didn't actually feel the earthquake ... we were on the road on the way to therapy when it it. But, we did see evidence that it had hit ... the elevator in the building we were traveling to had been shut down - after lights danced out of their ceiling fixtures. We had a few things walk around a bit, but none of the goodies on our shelves came down. Our daughter, near Annapolis, said that the dog was extremely upset, and that the pool was sloshing out of its bounds. They lost power but only for a short time. They had lost power the week before ... a fire in the underground systems ... that took several days to fix.

The hurricane wasn't a big issue for us either. We got about 4 1/2 - 5 inches of rain, a few small branches came down, but that was it. Daughter said they slept in the lower level of the house because there were so many old trees surrounding them. She said the pool overflowed with all the rain. Other than that, they were very lucky. Their neighbor, not so much ... two trees hit the house and another got the car in the driveway. Son, Long Island on the northern side, didn't have any problems except that they lost power for several days. All in all the family was very lucky.

My stitching group is getting together again on Tuesday. I won't be able to make it ... probably not until the end of September, assuming therapy goes well. I miss seeing everyone. Email is OK, but f2f is better.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


We go some fantastic news. Our son-in-law got the results from his latest scans. They were fantastically good. One of the tumors has all but vanished. Another has shrunken noticeably. There appears to be no new growth, and just as an added goody, his lungs have almost completely recovered from the radiation.

 Personally, I have started PT for my wrist issues. The consensus is that I have overdone ... both the stitching and the reacting to the pain and swelling. I am starting slow ... she said ... just maintaining range of motion in the arm and beginning to regain use of fingers. Ouch. Today was hard. Makes me glad I have pain pills. Tomorrow should be a little easier. I hope.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Even though I know that my right wrist and hand are extremely tender and very swollen, that is all I know. I get to see yet another doctor tomorrow. The worst of it is that I am pretty well convinced that he won't know  what to do either. sigh.

On a family note, the grands are truly growing up. Our daughter took her 11-year old to baseball camp recently. On the way to camp, he explained that she could say good bye to him, but no hugging or kissing. She was devastated ... but followed orders. Her husband will have scans done tomorrow. I'm praying that they show improvement.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I am very impatiently awaiting the arrival of my ornaments. I sent them to a finisher very early last month. I got an email from her in the middle of last week that she had finally completed them and that they would go in the mail that night.

She also apologized for taking so long. She had been in the hospital .. and for a pretty major reason. She had a couple of strokes during June. She said that she is recovering well. I hope so. A stroke can do all kinds of nasty damage. After my mother had a stroke - in the hospital - she was unable to bring to mind the word she wanted to use. Pretty minor as strokes go though.

Best wishes for her speedy and complete recovery.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Well, I now have a name for what is bothering my foot. I have Charcot Foot. I really shouldn't have been surprised since I am diabetic, and have neuropathy, but I really was. It is a stress condition that can lead to all manor of broken bones in the feet. So, I get to be fitted for a really heavy-duty foot brace. I will get to wear it for a couple of months or so. Hopefully, after than, I will be good to go ... at least for a while.

Meanwhile, I get to continue staying off of my feet (well, just the one foot, but the other one isn't all that independent, so it goes up too). I keep on stitching, but have now got my right hand in a brace because I have done too much stitching and my carpal tunnel issues are acting up.

Some days, all I do is ache. But the good days far outnumber those, so, on the bad days, I'll look out for the next good one.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Forever and a day

Not quite, but that is now long it feels like since I last posted. A lot has happened since then.

Our oldest grandson has been promoted from 5th grade into intermediate school. We were able to be there for the ceremony and his baseball game the night before.

Our oldest granddaughter has also been promoted from 5th grade into intermediate school. Unfortunately, we were not able to be there.

I am currently 'walking' around ... not too much walking though in a podiatric boot. This wonderful device was described to me as the equivalent of a walking cast. I am scheduled for an MRI later today to see if it is actually a stress fracture (again). I have had at least one other stress fracture that did not manage to show up on x-rays, so I get to have MRI's to see if there is actually a break. The podiatrist thought there might be gout or pseudogout involved, but the rheumatologist ruled that out. He is thinking there is a bit of osteoporosis involved, but my bone density scans haven't shown that ... everything changes though.

I have been able to get a LOT of stitching done though. I have completed three pieces that had been hanging around   -- Cirque des Carreaux, Quaker Diamond and a Raven.

Cirque (Ink Circles) has been hanging out the longest. I started it several years ago, didn't like it in just one color and ripped out a lot and changed it. I made the larger diamonds turquoise, magenta and green. The first two colors are in Carrie's Thread's Epiphany - a blended color silk. The green - not so much, but I liked it. The colors in the Epiphany don't really show up in the picture though.

The Quaker Diamond was my Tuesday Stitch project for a year or so ... a little bit each Tuesday. When I got to the alphabet which is stitched over one, I put it aside. So, while I was just sitting around with my foot up, I dragged it out an put in the alphabet.

The Raven is one that just plain caught my fancy. It was my Tuesday project after the Diamond.

I have now started working on Christmas ornaments for the grandkids. Seems like those are slower than the rest .. probably because I work so hard to find just the right design for them. This year the girls were easy ... I found a charming colonial girl in The Gift of Stitching magazine. Same design for each, but I am changing the color of the dress for each granddaughter. I haven't decided on what to stitch for the boys ... yet.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A friend from Arizona was in town yesterday. Several of us got together for lunch at the Amphora diner in Vienna. We like going to the Amphora for several reasons - it is pretty centrally located for the group - they don't get grouchy when we sit and talk all afternoon - the food is usually pretty good.

She lived in this area, Maryland and Virginia, during the years her kids were growing up. Then she and her husband moved to Delaware - a beach community. After than, they followed Horace Greeley's advice and went west. She has been in Arizona a number of years now. They had a beautiful southwestern style home in a development that did not allow 'grass' ... native plantings only. And it was a fantastically beautiful area. After her husband died, she moved to a retirement center - along the lines of The Virginia. She is well into her 80's and still drives across the country once a year to visit old friends.

I'm not sure if I would ever do that. I'm not happy on the Interstates - too many people trying to get too many places too fast for me. But I'm truly happy she does it. It is always good to see her. Phone calls and email and notes aren't always enough. Sometimes just seeing and talking the person is what you need.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Here it is June 6th already. I can't believe how fast the year is going.

My son celebrated his birthday early. He became a licensed surveyor in the state of New York. His actual birthday isn't until the 9th, but he was notified that he had received the license about the 1st. We are very proud of him ... this took a lot of doing. He had to present information on all the surveying projects he has undertaken, and pass an intensive exam.

We will have a visiting dog this weekend. My daughter and her family are heading to the Newport News area to celebrate a friend's birthday. But, the dog wasn't invited. So, he gets to visit. We will take him back on Monday when we go to watch Bryce's baseball game. Then on Tuesday, we will be there for the promotion ceremonies as Bryce leaves elementary school and heads to intermediate school. Doesn't seem like he is old enough for that ... or am I just showing my ignorance about when elementary stops and intermediate starts. When I was in school, it was elementary for grades 1-6, junior high for grades 7-9 and high school for grades 10-12. In Anne Arundel County, it is elementary for grades 1-5, intermediate for grades 7 and 8.... I think.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day, almost

It's an unusual day. Memorial Day actually falls on Memorial Day ... or should I say Decoration Day? Either way, it's a day to honor those who gave their all for our country. Thank you.

We didn't go into town for the Rolling Thunder events. We never do, but we always get a feel for them. There is a big Harley-Davidson dealer near here, and the bikers flock there when in the area. He has a large parking lot and plenty of vendors.

I am working on my miniature Cluny tapestry only on Sundays -- at least for right now. I started out on gauze, but soon found that those little squares and I were not in the same ballpark. I switched to 40-count linen and things have been much better. I got new glasses, and things are even better than before. Maybe, maybe, I could have kept on going with the gauze, but I'm happy with the linen.

Just look at all those needles ... there are even more, but the threads are on the other side. I need to pull them out to the right side before I put it away for the rest of the week. I am almost 1/8 of the way through the first of 9 pages. But, not a bad start, I guess.

I am also working on an Ink Circles piece. Instead of doing it all in one color, as the designer called for, I am using some very bold colors. I have reached the point where I need to insert two more colors, and because the rest is so bold, I am at a loss. The yellow I had selected is just not standing on its own. I'll do a little bit more with it, and then post a picture. Maybe by then I will have decided whether or not that yellow gets to stay.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


My oldest granddaughter broke her wrist. She is a twirler, and was a practice. She was attempting a new trick, and landed wrong. The regional semi=finals are in two weeks. She is so upset. She has qualified for the nationals in July, and at this point, they don't know if she will be able to go perform for that. The orthopedist will make those decisions later on. She has another appointment with him this week.
 = {

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It has only been forever since I added to the blog.

I just plain don't think about adding to the blog unless something happens to remind me. Well, today, I finished a projected for a charity stitch group, took a picture to post there, and thought about this blog.

In a recent newsletter, Nordic Needle mentioned a group that stitched for charities. I thought I'd see what they were all about and decided to join. The biggest problem I see with that group is that none of the charities they stitch for are in my local area. I'm not truly sure how long I will stay a member, but for now I have done a piece for them.

I had planned to host my Tuesday stitch group on June 14th. But this morning I found out that my grandson is graduating from elementary school that day. I'll have to find another day to host.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I've been working on the Oatlands Mystery Sampler. So far, so good, but I'm learning to dislike the very Williamsburgy colors I chose. Normally, I would really like those colors. But somewhere along the line, my tastes seem to have changed. They are very, very, very bland. I like the colors Donna chose for her sampler, but I'm not sure I could live with them for a long term project.

I have finished stitching all of the projects I selected for the January challenge. Now I need to do some finishing work. Good thing I didn't include finishing in my challenge. I have some projects from 2008 that need finishing work.

I am currently stitching Easter projects that didn't get finished before Easter. I have a chart from Trinity Designs that I am working up for each of the grand kids. Maybe they will get them next Easter. That might give me time enough to do the finishing work ... maybe not.

I also have a couple of other goodies in the works. One is a version of a Cluny tapestry. I tried doing it on gauze, but the eyes and the gauze didn't work together, so I am now doing it on a piece of 40 count fabric I had. I haven't gotten very far, but I just restarted yesterday. I will post a picture when I have enough done that you can see that there is something actually stitched. Another piece in progress is an Ink Circles piece - Circque de ... forgot the French word ... circus of diamonds. It was designed to be done in one color, but I am filling in the centers of the diamonds in colors. Pictures later.

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, so obviously we had Mexican tonight. Someday I might actually get it together.

Loudoun Sampler Guild is having what sounds like fantastic field trip. But, I'm not going. Sniff.

Happy Cinco de Mayo, Happy Mothers' Day. And happy anything else that comes along before I get back.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The House is Empty today

After having my son, his wife and their three children around for almost a week, the house feels empty today. It is even emptier because my husband is off at a meeting.

The kids appeared to have a good time. They did everything from visiting the Air and Space Museum to hunting Easter Eggs at their Aunt Vicki's house.

We were 17 for Easter dinner. I am sure glad I didn't have to cook it all. I brought a honey-baked ham, and a spinach salad. My son did a macaroni and cheese dish that was so rich it could afford a chauffeur. My daughter-in-law made bacon-wrapped breadsticks. They are fantastically good, and simple to make. Just wrap a thin breadstick in a slice of room temp bacon. Then coat it with a combination of brown sugar and chili powder. Bake.

My daughter and her family were just back from a trip to Arizona. She did rolls and deviled eggs. She also had some dips and crackers/pita bread. My sister-in-law and her boyfriend brought potato salad and green beans with ham. My niece and her fiance brought cupcakes for dessert.

Everything was SO good!

One of the highlights of the LI family's visit was that all three of the grandkids decided to embroider. The little boy had the most trouble with the actual stitching because his eyes are 20/50 - corrected. He had a hard time finding the little holes in the Aida cloth. His little sister lost interest after a very short time, but kept picking it up. However, the star of the needles was the oldest granddaughter. She kept at it between everything else. When she left here, she had a sizeable bit of work done.

Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of any of them with needle in hand. I was busy helping out, and didn't grab the camera. Husband never thinks to take pictures.

I spent today putting things back the way they were before. And finding lots of Easter grass everywhere. I still don't have all the grass contained.

I'm going to go back to stitching tonight. I'm tired of cleaning.

Oatlands meeting tomorrow. I think we are continuing on with the Mystery Band Sampler. I'm actually caught up to where I should be. Miracle of miracles.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Two Turtle Doves, Three French Hens

I have finished both of them!

I just have A Partridge in a Pear Tree left for the challenge.

The birth sampler I chose is not going to the intended recipient. She lost the baby. I'll have to find another use for it.

My local grand-dog is coming for a visit tomorrow. We will have Dash (a border collie) for a week. The Long Island grands and their mother are coming on Wednesday. Our son can't get away until Friday, so we won't see him until late Friday. They aren't going home until Monday. A very long visit this time. Also, a very complicated transportation method. Barb is driving down to her sister's in Maryland this weekend and bringing their parents. Her sister, her sister's family, and their parents are leaving on Wednesday for North Carolina to visit her brother. Jon is driving his in-law's car here. They will pick it up sometime Monday to drive home.

We will be heading to our daughter's home on Sunday for Easter Dinner. Although it means no leftovers for us, it is an awful lot easier on me that way. So, if I don't get back before .... Happy Easter to you.

Oh, have you seen the embroidered eggs that were featured in Mary Corbett's Needlen Thread? If not, here is a link.
And have you seen the carved Easter Eggs? Here is a link to them. Carvingeggshells.pps

Both are worth seeing. Happy Easter

Friday, April 8, 2011

50th Anniversary

I had thought that I would personalize the Pam Darney Red Bird sampler for my son's anniversary. But, in the end, I did it for our 50th Anniversary. The anniversary isn't until in June, but this way, it is done and I don't have to rush around finishing.

I took it to the framer's. I had a terrible time picking out a frame. I finally ended up with a relatively plain frame with a gold fillet. Hopefully, it will look ok.

I also took my grand=niece's piece. I really like the frame we decided on for that ... a turquoisey frame with a bit of gold next to the picture. The color of the frame is almost the same color as a color in the sampler.

Pictures for both after they return. I still don't have a shot I like of Rhapsody in Red. I keep getting too much glare. I'll try again.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Newest Grand-Niece is HERE!

Well, truthfully, she has been here several days. She was born March 28th. A beautiful, healthy young lady.

Here is the birth sampler I am giving her parents. I have blocked out her name, but it is truly there. I have it laying on a navy blue cloth, and you can tell that it is. The fabric is a bit more 'airy' than I thought it would be. I changed a LOT of the threads - I didn't have all the fibers the chart called for, so I substituted things I had in similar colors . I did go ahead an purchase the Gloriana for the girls skirt. I didn't have a multi-color in pastels. Now I have a lot of that floss left over. I need to find another project for it.

I haven't worked on my 15 projects for a number of days now - finishing up this. Before I personalized this, I was working on my Pam Darney Red Bird. I don't think I am supposed to finish that one .... I've run out of green thread, again. This time, it was entirely my fault. Somewhere along the line, I have misplaced a length (all 12 strands) of Olive-ine. I am going to go ahead and finish up with the Elizabethan Green. The olive thread has enough dark patches that it will work. I substituted a bolder red for the red in Autumn Arbor. I felt that one was way too brown a red for me. I still have three ornaments to stitch. Heading for the home stretch.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stump Work

At the Oatlands EGA meeting today, Betsy taught a stump work project. I have succeeded in avoiding this type of embroidery for years, but decided to give this a try. Now I wonder why I have been avoiding it. What we did is pretty much crewel with padding and a few twists. I haven't finished the project yet, but have made a nice start.

I have been working on my 15 projects. The past several days have been devoted to the Red Bird Sampler by Pam Darney. I have made some nice progress there, and have decided it will be an anniversary present for my son and his wife next year. But, it might wait until 2013 ... their 15th anniversary. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

My nephew's wife is still awaiting the birth of their baby. She is getting fidgety, and has said that if it doesn't come by the 25th, she is going to be induced. I remember those last few days ... by then you are terribly tired of being pregnant, and can't wait for the baby to be born. Stella is taking her time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I'm Late, I'm Late For a Very Important Date

Well, perhaps not a date, but late.
I planned to post at least every 3 - 4 days. Most of the time I don't make that self-imposed deadline. Probably a good thing I am no longer employed because this retirements stuff takes up too much time. I have been retired 14 years, and every day has so much to pack into it that I still wonder that I had time to actually work.

You would think that by now I would have learned to organize my day better, but, no. Days are pretty haphazard. I stitch when I feel like it, and work other things around the stitching.

I have filled up the memory card for my camera and need to make a trip to get a new battery ... either that or take pictures off of the memory card. To take pictures off, I need to make big decisions. . . do I really need 36 shots of my granddaughter at her baton twirling competition, or would 10 do? Do I really need all of the pictures of my progress on the 15 Projects challenge? Probably not, but until I am through with the challenge, I am keeping them. And since I am not deleting them, and I am NOT deleting the granddaughter's pictures, well ... see you at the memory card selection.

Oh, and I have now finished 7 swans a swimming, with no place on the card for a picture.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I can't believe it has been that long since I was here ... 5 days.

I finished 8 maids a-milking. Here it is ... but I don't like the picture I took. This was the best of the lot and it is a bit blurry around the edges.

I have been working on a couple of things outside of the 15 challenge projects. I have started the miniature (on 40 count gauze) tapestry - Sense of Hearing. I am also working on an Ink Circles project - Cirque de ... the English version is Diamonds, but I forget the French. Instead of making it a one color project, I am filling the insides of the diamonds with some bright colors, magenta, turquoise, emerald green .... now I need to decide on colors for the smaller areas. I keep wanting a yellow or gold, but haven't hit the right one yet. I am still working on finishing the toys for the Toy Chest, and have started another Betsy Morgan project, Flowers for Betty. Right now I am still outlining the pieces.

My oldest grandson turns 11 this month. He is a pretty good baseball player, and has joined a new team in his new area. We got him some baseball equipment for Christmas, so we continued that for his birthday. He will get a gift certificate to use at a local sporting goods store. He still wants a catcher's mitt, and they need to fit his hand, not mine. [He and his family don't check on this blog, so I can post this here BEFORE his birthday.]

We will celebrate our 50th anniversary this year. I don't fell like it could have possibly been that long. We are talking about visiting Victoria Island, in Canada for our gift to ourselves. We were there for a few hours as part of our trip to Alaska some years ago. It wasn't long enough, and we have been looking for an excuse to return.

Friday, March 4, 2011

9 Ladies Dancing

A bit of progress ... just a little bit though.

I had her almost done, except for the back stitching and beads, several days ago. I got sidetracked.

I went to the Woodlawn show. Many beautiful entries!! I was lucky enough to get a 1st place for my Rhapsody In Red.  I wish I had taken its picture before I took it over.

I have started another new piece - a miniature of the Cluny Tapestry "Sense of Hearing." I chose that one because I have a hearing loss, and it just seemed appropriate. When I sent to put muslin around the gauze, I discovered that my sewing machine had joined the ranks of the wounded appliances. Joanne and Kaethe came to my rescue though. I haven't gotten very far with it yet. But, I didn't expect it to be a quick stitch.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Toy Chest Bits and Pieces

Well, as of this morning, all of the pieces to the toy chest have their interfacing (if needed). One piece has actually been completed (the scissors fob). The rest are awaiting their lining and the final put together. A couple of them promise to be challenging - the wax holder and the thimble holder. The button box has already had a manufacturer's recall ... somehow or another, I managed to stitch the capital B upside down. I'm not honoring the recall though. It will just have to stand on its head.

I think I need a break from the Toy Chest while I decide the layout for the lining cutouts.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Well, I decided to tackle the scissors fob with its twisted cord and tassel for the 2nd piece to finish. I am pretty happy with the twisted cord, and the way the fob looks in general. But, I am unhappy with the way the tassel turned out. If you don't look too closely, it is fine, but could be better...maybe.

The washer repair turned out to be a lot bigger deal than it needed to be. First, Sears called to say that they weren't going to honor the appointment they made over a week ago, but maybe they could come sometime next month, then again, maybe not. We didn't find that (either the attitude or the actually timing) to be acceptable, so we decided to find someone else to do the repairs. We found someone local to do the job. When we called around noon, he told us he couldn't come until between 4 and 7 pm .. and was apologetic that he couldn't come any sooner. He showed up around 6:15, took the dryer off of the washer (it is in a closet), and took the washer apart. Pretty soon, he announced that it would the $450 and he was through. The pump had gone bad. He did a nice job, quickly and cleaned up his mess. My biggest problem was that $450 price tag. The washer only cost us $500 several years ago. But, compared to the $800-$900 that they want for a new washer these days, $450 was cheap. I keep wondering ... if inflation is so low, how come a new washer is almost double in price????????

I didn't make it to the Oatlands meeting on Wednesday .... I was supposed to be waiting for Sears. It sounds like I missed a nice set of antique linens ... <sniff>

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Picture, Finally

OK ... here is the toy chest. Ready to sew up the sides and insert a lining.

Snow, again

I don't know about you, but I am so ready for spring. The Tuesday stitching was once again cancelled due to icy roads.

I have been working on my Betsy Morgan Toy Chest. In particular, the toy chest itself. Today, I stitched the sides (front, back, right and left) to the bottom. Tomorrow, I plan to stitch the front and back to the sides, actually making the box. After that, who knows where I will head. Probably not to the lining though ... that will require making decisions about all of the lining pieces and I don't have lots of the lining fabric. Betsy gives enough to do the project, but you need to be careful to lay it out properly. I didn't layout my skirtex pieces properly, and had to go to a back-up piece.

Here is where the picture would go ... but, I'll have to do that later. While I took several pics, none of them are publishable ... one of the cuts the back in half. I'll try again and post them ... maybe today, maybe tomorrow.

Monday, February 21, 2011

11 Pipers Piping.

I'm almost happy with the beads this time. The ones in the cluster really clustered. And I like the musical notes. . . even though the thread kept pulling out and sliding under. I finally got it right!

6 more days of Christmas to go, and I am taking a break from them. I have been working on my Virgo Quaker. I don't have a lot of progress to share, but I have done a little.

The rest of my stitching time has been spent starting to put together the Betsy Morgan Toy Chest. I have the interfacing ironed down on all the pieces, and the Skirtex shapes drawn. I have actually 'skirtexed' the front and back of the box, with the sides, top, and bottom to be done tonight. When I get them finished, I'll post a picture of the pieces. And with any luck, I'll get the Toy Chest together this week...or next. It has only been almost 3 year since I stitched them, so there is no real rush.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Well, I got a much better pic of the tea cozy. The shadows in my room are unbelievable today. But, at least it is focused.

I've finished another ornament ... 12 Drummers Drummin'. this one has more beads than the rest. And since I don't like the way they are being put on, it made it harder to do. The designer likes them put on with ecru thread. It leaves a bit of thread color at the ends, but that is the way she has them on the design, so I'll live with it. Left to my own devices, I would use red thread.

I watched the Westminster Dog Show this week. Wonderful bunch of dogs! A friend has had Irish Wolf Hounds since I have known her. I've gotten to know how really great a really big dog can be. The Scottish Deer Hound that took Best in Show looks very similar to Sandy's dogs. Just too big for me. One of the Tuesday Stitchers recommended the Coton Du Tulear as a good dog ... it doesn't shed, and it is small. Two points in its favor! I'll have to track down one to see what kind of personality it has. I am of two minds on owning another dog. I'd love to have one, but at the same time, I really don't want another dog at this point in my life. Can I rent a dog for a few weeks, here and there? And would it remember me between times? Probably can't.
I have finished sewing the Tea Room onto the cozy. It looks great~but, my picture didn't look as great. I will try again to get a picture of it...perhaps one in focus would be good. My camera is SUPPPOSED to auto-focus, but somewhere along the line, a setting has gone astray.

The Tuesday Stitch group met yesterday in Stafford County. We celebrated a birthday. The group has 'big' celebrations for significant birthdays ...  every 5th year starting at age 65. Yesterday, we had a 65th birthday. Our birthday girl, Mary, has had a difficult year so far. Her mother passed away, and then her husband fell and broke his hip. He is currently in rehab, and Mary's comings and goings have been limited. However, his daughter was in town this week, so she came to celebrate not only her birthday, but to celebrate a day-out. Her hubby is in rehab at Renaissance Gardens, and as luck would have it, his room is right next door to a member of the Tuesday Stitchers. We had a pot-luck luncheon, and as always, the food was excellent. We didn't get much stitching done ... too busy chatting and eating.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tea Room

I finished the Tea Room last night. Looked at it this morning and ripped out two leaves. I had picked up the wrong thread. I can't imagine how that happened <g>, can you.

Anyway, here is the finished Tea Room along with the Tea Cozy it will fit onto.

I had planned to go to the Loudoun Sampler Guild meeting this morning, but found out my grandson's next to last basketball game of the season was today. So, I decided the basketball game was far more important. Sorry, LSG, but Bryce comes first. Then, this morning, after it was too late to change plans again, I found out that Bryce and his family were not going to get to the game. Drat.

I have decided to enter three items in the Woodlawn Show - but I don't have pictures of all of them. Just the Christmas Blessing, which was my last finish for 2010. Maybe after they come back from the show I will get a chance to take pictures.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I'm really still here

I knew blogging was going to be the hardest part. I have been stitching away, but, blogging ... not so much.

My son-in-law has had a bit of a set-back. When he saw his oncologist, he mentioned that he had been having fairly frequent nosebleeds. The oncologist had a N&T man come down and look at it. They agreed it looked like a harmless polyp and surgery was scheduled to remove it. Much to the dismay and surprise of all, the polyp turned out to be  a metastatic tumor. He is scheduled to start treatment with Sutent ... just as soon as the pharmacy gets a stock in ... it is apparently something they don't keep on hand just in case someone walks in to need some. Meanwhile, he remains as healthy and active as a person can be.

Back to stitching. I have managed to finish another 12 days ornament. I got the leaves and back-stitching done on the 5 Golden Rings ornament.  That makes 3 stitched with 9 to go. I wish I had paid attention to how many quarter stitches were involved. I might NOT have select this set to do. Ah well, they are all started now. SO, I will finish them ... I think.

Meanwhile, I noticed my LNS was having a Super Bowl sale. So, off I went. I didn't spend  lot of money, but I am pretty pleased with what I got: The latest Little House Ornament - TWEET, and an older chart showing a TEA HOUSE ... that came with a Tea Cozy. That was on Saturday. I immediately started stitching the Tea House, and am about ... well, it's more than 1/3 done, but not quite 1/2.

Maybe I will remember to post more frequently. Maybe.
I seem to have a lot more space in the actual post than I had in the 'draft.' Something I'll have to learn to fix, but not today.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What a difference backstiching makes!

If you ever doubted that backstitching is worth your while ....

Here is the 5 golden rings ornament to be .... with the 'diamonds and the ribbon ... no backstitching



And here it is with the back stitching --------------->

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Progress, of sorts

One might think that with all the snow days I would have made some progress. And one would be pretty much wrong.

5 Golden Rings has more quarter stitches than Carter used to have little liver pills. I haven't done any of the back stitching yet, so it is pretty blah. Another day or so to add the 'diamonds' on the rings, the leaves, beads and back stitching and it will look quite different - I hope.

The Virgo Quaker is beginning to shape up. I like the color (DMC 502), but didn't really like the second color suggested, so I am doing it all in 502.

My Tuesday stitch group was canceled once again. This time the hostess decided that her steps had changed into ice and the straw that decided everything was the car that was going the wrong way on the street behind her. I am beginning to wish for Spring. But, I know that once spring gets here, I will want more snow.

No pleasin' some people.

My son-in-law had some 'minor' surgery yesterday to remove some tissue in his nasal passages that was causing nose bleeds.

The big appointment with the oncologist was today, but I haven't heard back from them about the results. They are hoping that the scans showed enough improvement to continue with the IL-2. Me too.

Friday, January 28, 2011

10 Lords A Leapin'

Another day of Christmas is done. 

I have started my Horoscope Quaker. It started out to be Virgo, which I was when I bought it. Now that they have changed the signs around on me, I guess I will just leave out the Virgin and put in a design. I'm not altogether sure I like the new alignment. I don't particularly feel like a Leo. But, in the old alignment, they considered me to be on the cusp.

I just got home from the dentist. He pulled the offending tooth. Now he has to make the partial plate and crown. One of these days I will have teeth. I hope.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

6 Geese A' Laying


I don't really like the ecru thread for the beads, but that is what the designer (and her stitcher) used, so, I'm leaving it. Other than that, I'm please with the way it turned out.

We didn't get snow for Tuesday Stitch. Vivian did her usual over-the-top refreshments. We did get a little snow last night, and more is predicted for today, but from what was there has now melted.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Birth Sampler

The Hinzeit America that I chose for the birth sampler is done. All I need is the name and birthdate. I won't know those until July. Well, the photo is standing on its head, and I guess it will have to stay there. My PC is being persnickety about the whole picture thing tonight.

Today was the January meeting of the Oatlands EGA Chapter. I was honored to have been asked to install their officers.

We started a Mystery Sampler. Donna, Kathy and Amanda were our leaders. I put in the first two rows, only to rip them out. After stitching those two rows, I could tell that my center was far enough off (five unstitched threads on one side of the design and seven on the other) to bother me. So, at the lunch break, I ripped it out and started over. I didn't quite finish those two rows. The next row will be a Marking Stitch row. April and July are when we are scheduled to work on it in a formal setting again. That should give even me time enough to complete the sections we were given today.

Bill is heading to Richmond tomorrow. Tuesday stitch group will be in Alexandria next week. Once again snow is predicted. I am hoping it doesn't snow, because I don't do snow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hardanger Ornament

The stitching in the hardanger ornament is done! Now, I have to trim it, give it a backing and a ribbon for hanging, but those are chores for another day.

Mixed news on my son-in-law today. The oncologist told him that he had not seen the actual scans, but the written report said that  the growth of the tumors had been stopped, but that there was no shrinkage. He was recommending that they switch from Interleukin-2 to another treatment. But before the final decision was made, he wanted to actually see the scans. Perhaps he will see something in the scans the doctor who read them originally didn't see. Prayers, please.

Snow, Sleet, Ice

Well, perhaps not the snow. But the streets are completely iced over. We aren't going anywhere for now. Not even to the library where the books are due today.

My Tuesday stitch group has cancelled for today. Our hostess has a v-e-r-y long sheet of ice for a driveway.

I am working on the hardanger ornament. I hope to finish it up this afternoon and post a picture.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 15

 Today marks the last of the 15 starts. Day 14 was  9th day of Christmas, and today was 5 gold rings.

We are in Farmingville, NY about 20 miles from our son's home. The motel bed is grossly uncomfortable, and the duvet covers instead of plain old sheets are for the birds. With these gems, you get too hot or too cold. There is NO middle ground.

I always forget how impatient my husband can get when we are traveling. I take a diuretic and before we head out I like to give it a little while to work. So far this morning he has almost driven me crazy with wanting to leave. So, I guess I have to leave now. Pictures later ... maybe today, maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Catch Up Posts, Days 11, 12 and 13

I knew keeping a blog would be the hardest part. And now, I've proved it. Here are the starts for Days 11-13

Day 11 ... my regular stitching group met today. We talked, we fretted about the impending snow, and occasionally, we stitched.

Day 12. The Washington DC EGA Chapter meeting should have been today. Instead, it was stitch at home day because the meeting was cancelled due to snow. We didn't get much snow, but the schools opened 2 hours late. Even without the meeting to head to, I didn't get a lot of stitching done.

Day 13. The furnace repair man FINALLY came with the ordered part. A couple of weeks ago, our heat pump for the back part of the house went out. It iced over. The repairman said he didn't have the part needed, and he HOPED he could order it ... the heat pump is getting pretty old and parts are hard to find. While he was here, we heard funny noises coming from the main furnace. Perfect of its parts was also on its last legs. He managed to find the part for that one and installed it that day.

Here is today's start.

I probably won't post again for several days. We are heading to Long Island for some birthdays. My oldest granddaughter turns 11 on January 29th, and youngest grandson turns 8 on the 15th. Combined birthday party this weekend. Then, we have to come back quickly because we are babysitting our grandson in Maryland while his parents head to the doctor to get the verdict on Rick's cancer treatments. Has the Interleukin-2 treatment helped? That is the big question. If it has done what we all hope it has done, he will get the start date for the next series of IL-2 treatments. If it hasn't been effective, the doctor will suggest some alternative treatments. Prayers please, that it has done it's job!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 10

Today I started the hardanger ornament. I got the first round of kloster stitches (and part of the second) done.

I don't think I'll have to look too far for that needle though.

This is what the Christmas Blessing looks like in its frame. If I had set it on the fabric properly, I could have had a bit more fabric between the design and the frame, but it isn't too bad.

The weather people are calling for snow tomorrow. Ugh. I really don't like to drive in snow. I guess that stems from a nasty auto accident I had some years ago. My office let us out a little early and I was 3/4 of the way home when I appeared to hit an ice slick and rolled the car. The policeman who was traveling right behind me told my husband that I did everything right... except I hit an ice slick. I was thrown from the car. When I woke up in the hospital, I was positive the elevator in my office building had crashed. I had no memory of driving home. The hospital folks kept me overnight because they thought they saw a problem with one of the vertebrae.... my doctor came in and told them they just can't read a wet x-ray. That ought to tell you how long ago it was, and I'm STILL not comfortable in snow and ice.

So, thanks Anne, for the offer of a ride for Tuesday Stitch Group. You'll NEVER know how much I appreciate it.

Merry Snow.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 9

Kind of a lazy day today. Bill has had the play-off games on and I have been stitching all afternoon.

Not a lot got done on the challenge projects, but I have picked up Betsy Morgan's All Year Box, and have completed 1 of the panels. 5 panels to go .. and mostly over 1.

Today's challenge project is 6 Geese A Layin' and you can see part of the 6

I think I will start the hardanger ornament tomorrow. We are planning to visit the family on Long Island toward the end of the week, and I think the dark green fabric I chose will be hard to work with in motel light. 


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 8

Day 8 - I started 3 French Hens. Didn't get very far though. It was a very busy day. he memory disk in the Canon says that it is write protected. We can't get it unprotected, and neither of us knows how it got protected in the first place. Guess we need a new memory disk before next weekend when we head to see the LI grandkids (well, parents too, but kids first). Bill dug out the old Nikon and after a bit of finagling we got a picture ...-

This morning was the January meeting of the Loudoun Sampler Guild. Nice turnout for an almost snowy morning. A fantastic breakfast selection. One of these days I am going to remember to NOT eat before I come so I can nibble on some of the goodies. To day was a stitch-in with a bit of old business to take care of. The next few months have some really neat sounding classes.

The 'Crazy Project' folks had varying reports on their projects. Some are doing a variation on the challenge ... finish projects that have been lingering in the UFO stack. I am wondering if perhaps that should have been my goal. Nah, I don't have 15 that are worth finishing.

Then it was off to run errands. Many hours later we got home. I was tired and really didn't feel like starting a new project, but my sense of 'you gotta do it' won out.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 7

2 Turtle Doves ... and you can actually see one of them.

OOOOOPS. I put the chart down upside down and backward. Oh, well. You can still see the two turtle doves.

Almost half way through the first part of the challenge ... 8 more days of starts and the rest of the year for finishes. Doing this I have made a discovery about myself. I don't like starting a project every day. I might have several projects going at the same time, but I start them days, weeks, or months apart. I always thought of myself as a serial starter. But I won't do that again.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 6

11 Pipers Piping is off to a start. Not necessarily a fine start, but a start.

I got an earlier start than usual today.

If I don't get to the grocery store today, there won't be much food in the house. I am heading for Wegman's in Fairfax.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 5

Once again, getting started took a lot longer than it should have. It's not like it was hard to do ... just reach in the bag, pull out a chart, pick up a piece of fabric (also in the bag), pick up a skein of thread, add a needle to the mix and there you are. Uh huh. Yep.

Before I could stitch today, I HAD to visit a store that is going out of business. No, it doesn't have a thing to do with stitching, but with my daughter and my son-in-law both VA TECH grads, I found it absolutely necessary to visit to pick over their Tech gifts. They have lots. Make that = they had lots. I got some of them for next year's Christmas.

On the way home, we passed a bird on the side of the road. I made Bill turn around and go back because it didn't move when we went past, and it was sitting up. By the time we got turned around and back to the spot some one had picked up the bird and was in a nearby driveway with the bird and was calling for help. I'm not that good with iding birds, but it looked like a falcon, or perhaps a hawk. It was sitting on a fence as we left the area but not trying to fly away. I sure hope it got help.

We also visited the framer. I had two pieces I wanted framed ... perhaps they will go to Woodlawn, perhaps not. One was the Christmas Blessing. The other was a large red piece by Sampler Cove (Diane Jourdan) called Rhapsody in Red. I wasn't that rhapsodic while stitching it, but I love the finished product. The fellow at the frame shop kept bringing alternate frames for the Red one ... all of them looked fine, but one really jumped up and said BUY ME BUY ME. Until he brought the mahogany one with the little bit of gold |_| |_| |_| ... mimicking the border on the piece. That one was the final choice.

Aster we got home, I got around to reaching into the bag ... out came 8th day of Christmas. Picture below.

I didn't get a lot done ... at least not a lot of stitching.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 4

Today I started 12 Drummers Drumming. Didn't get very far though, but a start is a start. Didn't get a good picture either ...

While I am talking about didn't's ... I didn't get to Jean Schlappi's memorial service. I feel bad about that, but one of my meds was keeping me close to home.

From the time I joined the Washington DC Chapter of EGA, Jean has been my greatest cheerleader. I worked with her on the Reservations committee when I first joined the chapter, and she encouraged me all the way to being a co-president. I served with Jean Esswein, who lost her husband recently.

I will miss Jean.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 3

Third day of the challenge, and I pulled "America" by Hinzeit out of the stack.

This one is to be a welcome baby gift. I don't need it until July, but it is off to a good start.

My nephew and his wife are expecting their third child in March. The anticipated due date is also my son-in-law's birthday. Quite a birthday present for Cousin Rick. I have finished their gift, all except for the name and actual birth date. They haven't completely decided on a middle name, but if it is a girl (and she is expected to be a girl), then her first name will be Stella. I don't have a picture of it yet, but I will post when I have the name etc stitched in.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Four Calling Birds

On the second day of the challenge, I reached into my bag of projects, and up came 4 Calling Birds.

So, 4 Calling Birds it is. I have stitched the two borders and part of the number 4. Birds, vines and the rest of the number to go. Here is a picture ... the colors seem a bit off, the green is DMC 500 and the red (which looks brown in the picture) is DMC 816.

My regular Tuesday stitch group is meeting in Stafford County this week. I don't think I will make it. One of my hearing aids is in the shop, and I find that driving with just one ear to hear is treacherous! Sirens, road noises, etc., all come in from the left ear -- no matter where they actually are. Too much whipping the head around to keep track of where they actually are.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 1 of the Challenge

Well, I got started with the 15 projects. I began with the Pamela Darney (Guildhouse Samplers) Red Bird. 

Basically, all I got done today was baste the top and left hand side borders, the initial S in the upper left hand corner and part of the gold and blue block at the top middle. Then I decided to work on the greens, and hit a snag. Autumn Arbor flows from green to bronze to gold to purple to red. However, in the piece of silk that I have the green part isn't very big. The biggest piece of green I could pull out will make only 7 stitches and 2 of those were because I used the smallest petite needle I could find.  Now I have to find more of the thread that has a bit bigger sections of the green.

By the time I am through with this challenge, I may learn how to take pictures that are really in focus.