Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Heartstrings Earth Day Make Do Sampler Finish

I am someone for whom spatial intelligence is not a strength. So, flipping a design is always a time consuming and carefully counted chore, especially since I can't be bothered to chart it on paper but work directly on the linen. It took nearly twice as long to stitch the second squirrel as it did the first. Mainly because I made a mistake in the second row which I did not discover till I started back-stitching. Naturally, I had to frog and re-stitch the whole thing. After that, it was simply a matter of charting my initials and the year, centering each beneath a squirrel, and voila, a finish! I am including photos of the whole piece and then some detail shots. I have a few choices when it comes to what I'll pick up tomorrow. I could take up Tracery Dragons or The Sturbridge Box again, or I could finally pull Workbasket's Quaker Sampler out and work another motif, or I could start one of my September goal projects, Primitive Needle's Black'd Skie or Aury's 2011 Quaker Heart ornament. An embarrassment of riches! Whatever my mood, there'll be something to suit. And it doesn't hurt that I have had more stitching time than planned lately. I went into the office Monday to discover that I had no power. I stayed till noon doing the very few things I could without a computer, a phone, a shredder, a TV, lights, etc. Then I gave up and went home. Orange & Rockland Power was predicting 10 - 14 days before power was restored. However, power was restored in just a day and a half. So, it seems that O&R's predictions are like Scotty's on the original Star Trek: "I canna do it, Captain" and then, of course, miracle worker that he is, he does.

I know it is Wentzler Wednesday but I was so excited about finishing this up early this morning that I had to post. I will stitch faithfully on Tracery Dragons for the rest of the day and post progress photos tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Assessing August Goals and Setting September Goals

BAP: Finish Teresa Wentzler's Tracery Dragons. Clearly, this did not happen. But I did finish the crossstitching of page 2 and got started on the backstitching of both Page 2 & 3.
Crazy January Challenge: see above, Tracery Dragons is doing double duty as my BAP and my current CJC. See above.
HOE: Autumn Pin Keep: finished the cross-stitching.
Sewing and Finishing: the four LHN pillows & two HE pin cushions. NO.
Surface Embroidery: finish The Fertile Circles Needlebook NO.
WIPS & UFOs from 2010: Continue work on Workbasket's Quaker Sampler, the Jacobean Elegance afghan, and the Beach Find Pansies panel. NO.
WIP 2011: Continue work on The Sturbridge Box. YES.
On the other hand, I did manage to start [and finish] a few unscheduled pieces: Sue Donnelly's Hear the Sea Call Sampler, Earth Day Make Do Sampler and PS Promo Card Summer House.

BAP: Continue to work on TW's Tracery Dragons on the designated Wentzler Wednesdays.
Crazy January Challenge: Start Primitive Needle's Black'd Skie.
HOE: Assemble and mail Autumn Pyn Keepe.
Ornament: Aury's 2011 Quaker Heart.
Sewing & Finishing: the four LHN pillows & two HE pin cushions.
Surface Embroidery: finish The Fertile Circles Needlebook
WIPS & UFOS from 2010: Continue work on Workbasket's Quaker Sampler, the Jacobean Elegance afghan, and the Beach Find Pansies panel.
WIP 2011: Continue work on The Sturbridge Box.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekend Progress Report: August 28, 2011

It seems entirely appropriate to have as my stitching picture on this post Prairie Schooler's Summer House/Rain ... we are just getting over the after effects of Hurricane Irene. My son is napping downstairs on the sofa, his neighborhood having been evacuated due to an high surge expected for the stream and lake that are literally at his doorstep. The local fire department doesn't expect the damn to hold. I can't reach my daughter who lives on an inlet in the Delaware Water Gap area but my son who recently helped her move in assures me that she lives high on a hill above the shore line. He also mentioned that she doesn't get great cell reception in her area so I should not assume the worst when she doesn't answer my calls. I am trying hard to be sensible and put my anxiety on hold.

Hard to believe, but here in NY, the official end of summer is just a week away with upcoming Last Hurrah of the Labor Day Weekend and, incidentally, my birthday. As always, it sped away all too quickly and the start up of my religious education program looms on the horizon. The start date for classes is Sept. 19 but there are all sorts of preparations to attend to before then, not to mention the recruitment of three more volunteer catechists. Why do people wait to step forward till the very last moment, hoping that someone, anyone, will do so first ... have they no consideration for my sky-rocketing blood pressure readings? Have the parishioners considered just how much worse it might be if suddenly they had to recruit and hire a new Coordinator of Religious Education [the former one being mercifully confined to a padded cell, babbling incoherently about schedules, catechist shortages, hand-outs, background-checks, late registrations, orientation meetings, name tags, fundraisers, pastors, parents, printers and zero point budgets] ... and just a few weeks before the program is due to start? That'd teach 'em! Or perhaps not ... my delusions of indispensability notwithstanding! At least I can always retreat and regroup in the serenity of my stitching corner. At this point the lyric "In my own little corner, in my own little chair" from the Rodgers and Hammerstein Cinderella has started to run through my head ... perhaps I am not all that far removed from that padded cell, after all! Now enough of this blather and on to stitching progress for the week. First up, the PS Promo card Summer House/Rain is finished. The Heartstrings Make Do Earth Day Sampler is moving along nicely with the addition of squirrels and acorns. I have even done a bit more work on TW's Tracery Dragons. I'll show another picture of the dragons on Wednesday, when, one hopes, there'll be considerably more and noticeable progress. So, apparently, the stitching corner has been a pretty busy place this week.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Earth Day Sampler

I am aware that Earth Day is generally celebrated on April 26th but I have always felt it to be more of a September sort of deal: September being the month of a ripe and bountiful harvest, loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, harvest festivals, my birthday, cooler weather, a lovely autumnal tang in the air, my birthday, fall foliage, fresh pressed apple cider, apple picking, farmers' markets, oh, and did I mention my birthday? If I had set the date, it would have been in September. But, of course, no one asked for me. I, however, am not to be deterred by mere words on a calendar. I plan to have my earth day sampler done in time for September's opening days. I have stitched it in rich autumnal colors and will be including a squirrel motif to represent both the virtue of frugality [as per my dictionary of sampler symbolism] and that last frantic Fall rush to store the goodness of Summer to be enjoyed throughout the Winter. Once I have stitched the second squirrel, I'll add my initials below the one on the left and the year on the one on the right. Anyone wishing to refer back to the original Heartstrings chart to compare and contrast the versions, should click on this link.

And the sampler isn't the only evidence of this EarthDay/Earth Mother mentality. I am in the mood to make apple butter again, for the first time in years. And maybe some applesauce as well. I want to fill my larder and freezer. I am thinking of buying a food dehydrator and one of those vacuum sealing gizmos for freezing foods. Think of it: dried peaches and apples to use in pies and cakes all winter long. Dried cherries and blueberries to slip into oatmeal as it cooks. Bags and bags of frozen applesauce and cherries and blueberries and raspberries and blackberries ready to be turned into applesauce spice cakes and fruit crumbles during the dark and dreary winter months. If we have snow as often this winter as last, I know I'll become a baking fool. In any case, once the weather cools down enough for serious baking, I'll be starting my quest for the perfect recipes for scones and tea biscuits/buns. Heck, I may even return to the practice of baking my own bread and making my own yogurt.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Weak Wentzler Wednesday

I didn't get much done yesterday, just filled in the odds and ends on the right side of the circle and have begun to fill in the upper right corner of page 2 of the cross-stitching chart. One reason progress is so slow is that there are so many color changes. Typically, I take one blended needle, stitch three or four whole crosses and half a dozen quarter crosses and then it's on to the next color change. Right now I have about a dozen needles threaded with all different combinations of thread, stuck in labelled sheets of memo paper. It saves a little time, having the needles ready to go, but not a heck of a lot.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Wonder As I Wander

In checking my blog Stats recently, I discovered that was a referring site, with 23 hits. Gothise is a self-described Twitter site for alternative people. Okay, I am an aging ex-hippie so maybe that makes sense. But I do not twitter or tweet or whatever it's called. And I am at a loss to see just how my rather staid stitching blog came to the attention of the goth community. I haven't even waxed philosophical in any recent posts. I rather expect my 23 visitors from that site are as confused as I am. About the only thing we might have in common is a "what were they thinking?" shared head-shaking moment! Such are the arcane mysteries of blogging.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weekend Progress Report: August 21, 2011

I went back to work on the 16th. I always find it so hard to get back into the swing of things after two weeks off. It makes me long for retirement but that is at least five years in the future ... longer if the Social Security Administration keeps moving the eligibility dates for benefits. To make matters even more interesting, I have kicked off the annual Fall procession of doctors' visits a bit early this year. First up, this month, the cardiologist and gynecologist. Next month, the internist, endocrinologist and opthamologist. In October the gastroenteriologist and any other specialists the darlings decide I need to see. I suppose it could be worse, last year there was a surgeon in the mix as well! Usually, this annual ritual begins in September and takes me through December ... it is such fun being a 60-something. I was joking with my boss, whose birthday is two days before mine, that I need a separate address book just for my doctors. His 70-something response: "tell me about it!"

On the stitching front, I have finished Sue Donnelly's Hear The Sea Call Sampler, worked a bit more on Tracery Dragons on Wednesday, stitched most of the motto on the Earth Day Make Do Sampler over one, started the PS Summer House/Rain Promo card as my purse project [for doctors' waiting rooms]. All in all, a rather eclectic week of stitching. This is so much more my typical pattern: a rotation of four or five pieces of varying size and complexity. The past month or so's intense focus on Tracery Dragons, almost to the exclusion of all else was quite the exception to the rule.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

When It's Wentzler Wednesday

Although yesterday was another Wentzler Wednesday, I got very little accomplished. It'd take an eagle eye to spot the progress made since the last photo: just the skinny branches of the rose bush. That's lots and lots of 1/4 stitches and three color changes for such a very little bit of stitching. Even though I am talking about two full hours of stitching, hard as that may be to believe. So there's no point in showing another photo at this time!

Though I am determined to finish this piece, it is beginning to wear me down. It is very complex and takes a great deal of care and concentration. Talk about a high maintenance project! I find the longer I work at it the more easily I am distracted by the siren call of other less complicated charts. This, of course, sets a vicious cycle in motion, delaying the finish and opening up the possibility of more distractions along the way, further delaying the finish, and so on and so on and so on. But I do not wish to put it aside "for a while", fearing the "while" would become an eternity. So for the time being, I will work on it only on the designated Wentzler Wednesdays until such time as I recover my enthusiasm for it. Perhaps I will be able to amuse myself with a wide variety of easier projects throughout the week, storing up reserves of concentration for my Wednesday encounters with the dragons.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Finally, A Finish I Can Show

Last week, I did finish the cross-stitching on my Pyn Keepe for Edgar's round on HOE but can't show it till assembled, sent and received. But today I finished Sue Donnelly's sampler, Hear the Sea Call. This was a very quick stitch, but packed with all sorts of fun little surprises. The embellishments worked so nicely, bringing the sampler to life. The satin stitches and shell eyelets seemed to fly from the needle [a welcome change from the painstakingly slow 1/4 stitches and counting/recounting on Tracery Dragons]. The lettering was quick and easy, comprised as it was of long stitches and backstitches. I might almost have been writing with pen and ink: that's how quickly the words flowed onto linen. While I didn't really time this project, I think it took no more than five or six hours of stitching since Sunday evening when I first picked it up. I'll have to e-mail Sue and tell her that her souvenir sampler from The Stitcher's Hideway [Sturbridge 2011] pretty much saved my stitching sanity. And, I received a lovely gift from in the mail yesterday from Barb H from Illinois: this Homespun Elegance chart and a veritable treasure trove of Old Brasse buttons. That's the second giveaway I've been lucky enough to win in the past month. Especially when you consider I have gone several years without entering my name in a giveaway and then come up the winner in the first two I enter. Could things be any better? I am going to enjoy all this good karma for as long as it lasts. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket!

Monday, August 15, 2011

L*K Ornament Exchange Received

I received this exquisitely finished little lovely from Cindy in NY as part of the Christmas ornament exchange from the Hooked on Exchanging group. I wish you could see the very dainty trim she used, my photo does not do it justice. She also sent along with a pretty little chart from Country Cottage Needleworks, a mini-sampler called Sunflower.

The ironic thing is that I used the very same Peace-Joy-Love chart for my own entry in this exchange, only I stitched my version in beads. Two takes on the same chart couldn't be more different. I have already carefully stored Cindy's version away with my other cross-stitched Christmas ornaments ... the ones I use to decorate my table top wrought iron tree that decorates my entryway during the Christmas season.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekend Progress Report: August 14, 2011

I have been enjoying a visit from my son and his young family this past week and have been doing a bit of de-clutterring work on the someday craft room space as well. Eight of those very large black trash bags, filled mostly with VHS and audiocassette tapes, are out front awaiting curbside pick-up. So there hasn't been all that much stitching going on. Just completing the floral border on the Heartstrings Earth Day Make Do Sampler. In addition, I finished the stitching on my Pyn Keepe for the September HOE and just need to assemble it. I do have some plans to make some marbelized pearl headed pins with which to decorate it. I'll wait to show the piece once it has been fully assembled, sent and received.

And then startitis struck again. I have been carrying Sue Donnelly's Hear The Sea Call sampler around in my stitching bag since the recent Stitcher's Hideaway I attended [Sturbridge, July 2011]. Sue always includes a design of her own in the swag bags of her retreats, usually a small ornament or pin keep. But this time she really outdid herself. This original Donnelly piece is a lovely little sampler kit, complete with embellishments of small mother of pearl fish and tiny shells and bits of faux sea glass. She included a square of Babbling Brook Linen, a luscious Threadworx floss called Dreamscape [gotta buy a full skein of that little lovely!] and a sweet little nautical floss ring. The sampler is stitched primarily in satin stitch and shell eyelets with the poem stitched in longstitch and backstitch. So it is working up very quickly. I guess all these weeks of painstakingly slow work on Tracery Dragons is taking its toll. Hear The Sea Call is the second unplanned and undisciplined start in just a few days. I'll never make a one-project-at-a-time sort of stitcher: it seems I crave variety. And I'll never be a just-BAPs stitcher, either since I am addicted to the heady gratification of freqent finishes. So expect to see a few more small starts sneaking into the rotation over the next few weeks. I do have Aury's Quaker Heart 2011 and a PS promo card Summer House in reserve for when I need a bit more novelty again, no doubt sooner than later .

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Another Blog

Some long-time readers may have noticed that I am a tea lover. I have been following a number of tea-related blogs for a while now and have finally decided to start my own. I am calling it Tea-Reg, a silly riff on T-Rex and on my family nickname. My first post is about a recipe I developed this morning while my husband slept in. We both love high teas, tea lunches, tea for two type meals and frequent tea shops whenever we can. So while the dear boy slept, I played in the kitchen with what I had conveniently to hand and came up with an elegant little salad I am calling Apricot Glazed Chicken Salad. I'll be serving it today as part of a high tea, presenting it as the filling of mini-croissants. Feel free to drop by if you have any interest in tea or in recipes in general.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Confessions of a Chronic Starter: Evolution of a Sampler

I have been carrying this Earth Day chart around in my stitching bag for a couple of months now ... since April to be exact. I kept promising myself that when all the Crazy January Challenge stuff was done, I would reward my diligence and self-discipline by kitting it up and stitching it. Surprise, surprise, I just couldn't quite wait! The fabric is a 32ct Zweigart linen in the color Flax and the floss I am using is leftover from one of Catherine Jordan's classes on the use of color in embroidery design. And, typically, I have re-charted the piece. As you can see [by clicking on the link above: the words Earth Day chart], in the original chart the bottom border is very assymetrical. Sometimes that works quite well. But not this time, at least, not for me. I guess I am just too much the stick-in-the-mud traditionalist when it comes to samplers! So I have stitched the border quite symmetrically even though it will mean condensing the spaces between the lines of the motto somewhat. Or I may stitch the motto over one in the very center. And I will be replacing the bird with the odd ball-like flower or very large berry in its beak from the original chart with a small squirrel with an acorn. Or perhaps a squirrel on either side of the motto, if I stitch said motto over one, both beasts facing center. After all, in the symbology of samplers, a squirrel is the symbol for frugality. Since the motto is "Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without", a squirrel seems far more appropriate than a bird. And I am dithering a bit about the flowers. In keeping with the "use it up" philosophy, I limited myself to the floss leftover from a class. I had two full skeins of the dark, rich, deep russets: one skein just a touch darker than the other. And I had two partial skeins of a middling pumpkin tone and just a few lengths of a pale peach shade. I would have loved to alternate the russet and the pumpkin as I stitched the flowers. But I reluctantly came to the conclusion that there just wasn't enough of the pumpkin, even if I extended it by blending the peach with some of the pumpkin floss ... which could have been an interesting effect since all the floss in question is overdyed. First, I stitched every other flower in the slightly lighter skein of the deep russet color. Then, I went back and filled in the flowers in the opposing corners with the same dark floss. This leaves me with 9 of the 14 flowers stitched. Each flower requires 34 inches of floss. Having reduced the number of remaining flowers to five, I now have enough pumpkin floss to stitch them all. That would introduce some color variation as well as emphasize the "make do" part of the saying. I'll be alternating the darker green in the border and the lighter green of the flower centers for the rows of lettering. I'll use the lighter green for the acorn caps and the dark russet for the acorn kernel. And from that same class, my last skein is a lovely grey overdye with just the barest hint of of silvery sage green that will work for the squirrels. Who knew, back in 2005, when I chose this palette that I'd wait till 2011 to find the perfect project for it? My original thought back then, some vague notion involving pumpkins or autumn leaves, dictated my choices. But I think this use of the palette is ever so much better.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Wasted Wentzler Wednesday & a Winner

I am afraid this was a totally wasted day so far as stitching goes. Not a stitch taken all day.

The winner of the monthly giveaway is ABSGRAMS. I will be e-mailing her to get a mailing address later.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Weekend Progress Report: August 7, 2011

Posting this two days late:

Visiting grandchildren [and their parents, too, but let's be clear about priorities ... it's the grandchildren that are receiving most of my attention!] from the West Coast have consumed most of my weekend. Since, they are only four and two years of age, baby-proofing has meant keeping my stitching stuff safely put away. So there is a little less to report than usual. The Tracery Dragons: I picked up this CJC [Day 10] piece back on June 8 and have been stitching on it fairly steadily for two months. I am nearly finished page 2 of the cross-stitching. The most tedious part was stitching the two roses on this page. So very many quarter stitches and 8 different blended needles used to stitch each one! How can such a small area of chart be so complex? If I didn't have my magnet board and straight edged magnet to keep my place, it would have been a nightmare. Even so, it took painstaking patience and lots of counting and re-counting to get it right.

And, I cut the fabric for several smalls to use as purse projects: Aury's 2011 Quaker Heart, PS Summer House promo card [for my set of floss tags] and a PS Eagle & Shield patriotic ornament. I kitted the Quaker heart in Belle Soie silks just like I did the 2009 and 2010 hearts and the PS House in DMC and the PS Eagle in either Belle Soie silks. I couldn't resist starting one, the PS Eagle & Shield, on Friday night and finished it in one sitting ... sans border since I am going to finish-finish it as a round ornament.

And for my Photohunt shot: this week's theme is painted and here is a small painted bowl that I purchased in an art gallery in the Boothbay area of Maine. I fell in love with it even though it is totally impractical. It can't be washed without risking destroying the art work. And I won't keep any hard or edged objects in it like coins, keys or earrings for fear of scratching the finish. Impractical it may be but it spoke to me on a purely aesthetic level. And I wanted to bring such beauty home.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

WIPs and UFOs - A General Accounting

One of the commenters on the It's a Matter of Perspective post mentioned the large number of WIPs and UFOs I seem to have. You have only to look at the Goals, Crazy January Challenge and the UFOs sidebars to get an idea of the number. I never really thought of it that way, though, until I took on the Crazy January Challenge this year, starting 15 projects in January. The idea was that all would be completed in the course of 2011. There was the risk, of course, that I'd just end up with a much longer list of UFOs and WIPs.

But that fate seems to have been averted. Here it is August and there are only three pieces left on the list. Admittedly, all of them are fairly large projects but one of the three is already more than half completed. Once I have completed Tracery Dragons, I will start on Primitive Needle's Black'd Skie. I have it all kitted up and the called for floss is a fiber new to me. That adds interest and loads of incentive since I am a veritable fiber junkie. I am hoping to start on that sometime in September. For all its size, it should be a breeze after Tracery Dragons. That would leave the last CJC piece on target for mid-October stitching, appropriately enough, since that last piece is Adelaide Allesandre's Zucca: a lovely tracery sort of pumpkin. That last will be a re-start rather than a continuation of January's work since I really don't like the way the original choices of fiber and fabric are working.

And there is only one 2010 WIP left on my monthly goals list, Workbasket's Quaker Sampler. The other two pieces on the monthly goals list are actually UFOs from even earlier that I am determined to finish this year: The Jacobean Elegance afghan as a Christmas gift for my mother, the Fertile Circles Needlebook and Beach Find Pansies panels for my own amusement since they are in fact my own designs. And, with the exception of three Hooked on Exchanging pieces, the only non CJC 2011 start has been the class piece from the Stitcher's Hideaway, The Sturbridge Box. And, I am making steady progress on that piece.

I plan to work only one more major new start into my stitching program for 2011, above and beyond what I have already mentioned. And that will be Teresa Wentzler's Woodland Angel Christmas Stocking which should carry me right into 2012. There will, of course, be a few more smalls along the way. I need those just for the variety and for a change of pace from all the BAPs.

I plan to devise my own 2012 Crazy January Challenge, using the class pieces from CATS and from the various Stitcher's Hideaways I have attended, resuming the stitching on each project in turn for the first ten days in January 2012. Then, I'll work them into my stitching rotation the same way I did with this year's CJC. The idea will be that I won't start a truly new project from my chart stash of small and medium pieces until I complete something from my UFO list. That way, I should end 2012 with 10 fewer UFOs and only one or two WIPs carrying over into 2013.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A New Start - in spite of all the WIPs & UFOs

Okay, I finally had to do something, anything different. My stitcher's ADD reasserted itself. I needed the novelty. Happily, the piece I chose is not too large and will not interfere unduly with progress on my WIPs ... and as to the UFOs, well they are nearly beyond hope anyway! I am stitching a lovely old PS complimentary chart for the Autumn Pyn Keepe Exchange on HOE. I am using a 36ct Silkweaver linen called Shadowbrook which makes me think of a mossy forest floor, all soft and shadowy greens over a barely discernible base of subtle tans. I did my own conversion from DMC to Belle Soie silks. The silks and the linen are perfect together. The only problem I foresee is parting with the finished piece. Oh, well, a promise is a promise. I'll have to stitch this design again for myself eventually. Happily, I still have enough Shadowbrook linen to do so. I am stealing a technique from the Homespun Elegance blog and photographing a tiny section as a sneak peek to give you an idea of how well the linen and silk are working together without giving away the whole design.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

August Giveaway

Two charts: one never used and one gently used. Lavendar Wings' A Friendship Sampler and Jane Greenoff's Blackwork Owl. The gently used chart is Greenoff's Blackwork Owl, as evidenced by this little Halloween ornament finish I made of it.

If you wish to enter your name for this giveaway, the following conditions will apply:

-- open to all stitchers

-- leave a comment below as to why you are interested in the giveaway

-- include an e-mail address in your post if clicking on your name will not lead me to an e-mail link

-- and, while I know this condition is entirely unenforceable, I would ask that the recipient agree to pay this chart forward by sharing it with another stitcher or donating it to a woman's shelter or prison.

-- a winner will be selected on the 10th of the month and informed by e-mail

Good luck to all who enter.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wentzler Wednesday War Whoop

Okay, my goal this month is the well nigh impossible one of finishing this piece by the end of the month but I am going to give it my best shot. Don't ask me why I set myself up like this - it's an A-type personality thing and I have gotten used to it! I did spend Monday's and Tuesday's stitching time as well as Wednesday morning's stitching time on TD, so I am happy to announce that I am very nearly done with page two of the cross stitching chart. Once that is done, I think I will go back and do pages 2 and 3 of the backstitching chart. I really want to get a look at those dragons, if I can. As in most TW pieces, the back-stitching really pulls things together. It remains to be seen if I can finish up page 1 in both cross and backstitching charts by the end of the month. But for now, in the very early days of the month, I will maintain my optimism. It can be done! So say I! At this point, imagine you are hearing a very loud rebel yell or Celtic berserker's war cry!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It's a matter of perspective, I guess ...

... but I was just reading in Barbara's Mainely Stitching blog that she was beginning to hear echoes on her blog. She was referring to the scarcity of comments. So, just for kicks, I went back through the most recent four or five posts to see how many comments she had received: 28, 11, 9, 12 ... the lowest number was, I believe, 7. I would love to be able to say I got that many comments. I often have no comments. Sometimes, one or two or three, tops. The only time I reach a stratospheric 15 or so is when I am doing a giveaway. I have resigned myself to the fact that my personality and/or writing style makes for a blog that is more monologue than conversation. Sure, I wish I had plenty of feedback but it appears it is not to be. But, Barbara, what is echoing emptiness to some would be a great and joyful noise to others.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Weekend Progress Report: July 31, 2011

I delayed this post till Monday morning since I wanted my photo to include every bit of stitching done on Sunday, such as it was. I wasn't feeling all that well and spent most of the day in cat naps, waking for brief periods to fix a meal, stitch a bit, check the computer, start to watch a DVD ... which last always put me right back to sleep again.

Every now and then I go on what can only be called a stitching jag: I stitch on just one project. This past week was one of those times. Tracery Dragons was very nearly my total focus. Somehow, I got in my head that I ought to finish page 2 of the Tracery Dragons before the end of the month. I guess I wanted to make up for all the frogging I have been doing. Well, it was an unreasonable goal and I have about 1/3 of page 2 of the chart left to stitch. Nevertheless, I'll set myself another unreasonable goal for August and see how close I get to achieving it: finish page 1 and 2 of the cross-stitching charts and pages 1-3 of the backstitching charts. If I manage that, I'll have several pieces to take to the framers in early September: Teresa Wentzler's Autumn Faerie [a Christmas gift for my daughter] and Tracery Dragons, Dragon Dreams' The Ice Dragon's Kingdom and Blackbird Design's A Bird in Hand. Though I may make the last up as a small pillow instead.