There wasn't any Internet access where I was staying so I have a bit of catching up to do.
First, the stash enhancement! I took the time to visit Stitch Today, Knot Tomorrow in Prince Frederick, Md: a shop just about 1/2 hour from where we were staying. It's a small jewel of a shop with beautiful shop models, most of which were stitched by the owner, her daughter and even one very fine piece by her 12 year old grand-daughter. The class teaching pieces were so intriguing that I was wistfully contemplating a move to the area for a few very pleasant moments. One in particular that caught my eye was a ribbon embroidery piece. It was designed to showcase the kind of large and colorful [gaudy] brooches that our grandmothers used to wear on their impressive bosoms back in the days when dresses were made of fabrics with substance that didn't sag or run or tear under the weight of such dramatic pieces. Anyway, the sample was a lovely wreath of silk ribbon flowers and greenery and showcased a large hummingbird brooch. Then there was the fiber wall where I fondled and gazed adoringly at all sorts of silks, blends, overdyes and the like ... and, ultimately, bought some $200 worth of floss. One of my finds was two skeins of a lovely chenille overdye in shades of mauve, green and gold ... I have absolutely no idea how I will use it ... but it was just too tempting to pass up ... indeed, I would have bought more skeins had there been any. I also picked up some overdyed evenweaves, one of which I used immediately to stitch Plum Pudding's Blessed Be.A few pictures:
Finally, I had plenty of time to stitch. I finished Prairie Schooler's 2004 Santa and began the 2005 Santa. I also completed the Cross-Eyed Kat Jolly Roger Cat, the Plum Pudding Blessed Be and the small top for a pink biscornu. Much of the stitching was done on the five hour car trips down and back. But there was some stitching on the beach: a slow and leisurely process, interrupted by the need to gaze placidly out at the bay, counting sailboats, watching several black labs play catch with their humans in the shallows near the sandbar, admiring the smooth glide of canoes and kayaks skimming the shoreline just beyond the sandbar or enjoying the sights and sounds of small children building sandcastles and playing tag with the waves lapping the sandy shore. It wasn't the most productive time but it did restore the soul.
And, now for pictures of current WIPs
Prairie Schooler 2005 Santa [with the quilt]
Lizzie Kate's Housework Never Killed...