Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Stitching While On Retreat [the religious kind]

I am back from a two day retreat [Sunday afternoon through Tuesday noon] for Certified [or certifiable] Coordinators and Directors of Religious Education. I brought my stitching bag along with me and worked on a few small unobtrusive projects during the talks, between taking notes. I listen better when my hands are busy, either with pen or needle. My gift of the framed piece quoting and illustrating Psalm 145 was well-received by Sister Joan, who does in fact appreciate the time and effort that goes into the needle arts. It was also ooohed and aaahed over by several others which didn't hurt my ego at all, at all.

Here are the results:

I finished this little Halloween ornament from Elizabeth Needlework Designs Have A Jolly Halloween ... I thought it came out rather well though I believe one strand would have been better for the vine and leaves than the charted two strands ... there didn't seem to be enough definition with two strands of floss lying so close to one another in the leaves and curlicues ... if I ever stitch it again, I'll make that change. I did switch out the suggested DMC to Belle Soie silks: Paprika, Creme de Menthe and Old Crow.

This next is as far as I have gotten on a free chart from The Stitcherhood entitled Give Thanks. Using Belle Soie Paprika, I stitched the first one exactly as charted. Using the same silk, I am stitching a second copy the reverse of the first with very few adjustments to the word Thanks to make everything fit. I'll finish it up as a fringed pillow ornament.

It was my intention to frog back to my error on the Peacock Biscornu and to work on Esmeralda's House as well but time did not permit ... so no joy there. I do have tomorrow off for Veteran's Day and hope to finish Esmeralda's House then ... after all I only have the front parlor on the 1st floor left to stitch as well as two spiders in the back hallway. But I also have to pick up some tulle for my niece's bridal veil and some rhinestones and a comb at the local JoAnne's which now requires a trip to the wilds of New Jersey since the local branch closed; drop off two pieces to be framed in a town at the other end of the county; and pick up some Christmas cottons at the quilt shop is still another area of the county. I am determined to get my Sue Hillis' Annual Santas 1-4 made up into pillows for this Christmas, hence the need for the fabric. For those of you about to suggest I save some time and pick up some Christmas prints at JoAnne's, I have this to say: the quality of the cottons at the quilt shop is far superior. Then, of course, there is the clean-up that invariably results from leaving my husband home alone for several days. He is the sort who can't find either the dishwasher or the clothes hamper without a GPS. I came directly to work from the retreat, so the condition of my home will be one more surprise in a day that has so far included the announcement that our office photocopier needs repair [some unidentified someone loaded the 8x14 tray with 8x13 paper which was clearly marked "for children's art work only" - resulting in major jams and total system collapse], that my secretary [daytime] and my assistant [evening] have been writing one another nasty notes in my absence, blaming one another for the glitches and failures to communicate. All I need is a messy kitchen, a coffee table piled with take-out remnants and a pile of dirty laundry in the bedroom to make my day complete.

So much for the monastic serenity I have been enjoying these past few days. Welcome back to the real world with a vengeance ... I think I'll just get back in the car and start driving.

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