This post is a bit late because I have just returned from a long holiday weekend at the Hotel Sagamore in Bolton's Landing, NY ... one of those glorious old inns from the late nineteenth century that transports you back to a time when ladies really did spend entire days stitching on the veranda, when folks played croquet on the lawn, when formal tea was served between 2:00 and 4:00pm, when couples strolled along garden paths in late afternoon sunshine and when such activities were all that was required of a vacation resort. I did all of the above and even went on a very leisurely cruise of Lake George. I am including a shot of me stitching on the veranda, alas, in modern dress instead of one of those romantic turn of the century outfits, and another photo of the view that kept distracting me from my stitching. The only thing I didn't do that was on offer was take a horse and buggy ride around the island [my husband sort of raised his eyebrows when I suggested it and then headed straight to the wicker armchairs on the veranda]. The place has changed since our last visit some three years ago. A beautiful sloping lawn once covered with Adirondack chairs is now the site of a series of enormous swimming and diving pools ... looking quite out of place when viewing the lovely old Sagamore from the lakeshore. And the service has deteriorated slightly, but then that seems to be happening everywhere. Well, I am back to my usual work-a-day schedule after a few days fantasizing that I was the wife of one of the first generation robber baron millionaires ... so, bring on the 10 hour work days and the parent meetings and the deadlines and the classes ... I am rejuvenated for the next little while.
First, catching up a bit on the Bride's Tree SAL
Bride's Tree SAL June ornament: a Quaker Fruit Basket [Plenty]. Stitched on 28 ct Glasgow raw linen in Belle Soie silks of Scarecrow and Sister Scarlet. I made some progress on this piece but was hindered by the fact that my silk kept shredding. I switched to a brand new needle but the problem persisted. I have had this same issue with other Belle Soie silks recently ... something that has never happened before. I am wondering if the painted box in which I am storing them is giving off noxious chemical fumes that are breaking down the fibers. Some gifts soaps or candles [can't remember which] came in this lovely heart shaped box painted in a folk heart style and I kept it to store some of my special fibers. In retrospect, probably not such a good idea.
Bride's Tree SAL July ornament: a Quaker Fish [Fertility]. This has been charted out and will be stitched on 28ct Glasgow raw linen in Belle Soie silks.
Next, the Town Square SAL: This SAL has been pretty much a non-starter. I am the only one who seems to be stitching on it. At least, I am the only one who has been posting to the SAL blog and even that has been after a three month hiatus! I finished Val's Stuff Train Depot while stitching on the veranda this past weekend ... in between long intervals of just gazing at the scenery and day-dreaming and, this really shows my age, napping.
Some hand-finishing: I assembled and trimmed Full Moon ... when doing a little stash diving, I came up with some lovely black velvet cording ... just the perfect trim for this piece. The final touch is a hanger made from some glass jet beads salvaged from an antique necklace, interspersed with a few Mill Hill seed beads.
And a new off-goal start: M Designs' Winnifred Witch: This is stitched on a 32ct Belfast overdyed linen, Aurora, using most of the recommended fibers but making a few substitutions so I might stitch-from-stash. Even on 32 ct, this chart [designed for 28ct] is shaping up to be an over-sized ornament - I thought JCS had guidelines about size - I now think I should have used a 40 ct but the only orange toned linen I had on hand was 32ct.
There are still two more ornaments I wish to stitch from the recent JCS Halloween issue: the Plum Street Sampler's Halloween Greetings and the Monsterbubble's Day of the Dead entries; but I'll have to order the kit for the Monsterbubbles ornament, a funky piece stitched on screening and using a 20ct waste canvas, not the sort of things easily found even in a fully stocked on-line needlework shop. I have almost everything on hand for the Halloween Greetings ornament and, with just a few substitutions from stash, should be able to kit it up in time to stitch for Rachel's Halloween Day SAL. I'll ask my husband to get me the Monsterbubbles' kit as a Christmas gift and will hold it in reserve to stitch up for next year. I know I shall continue to see "must stitch" Halloween ornaments but I shall need a bigger tree ... my current table top model is getting very crowded.